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Fanfic / The Negotiations-verse

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The Negotiations-verse is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic series written by Rated Ponystar that is based on The Conversion Bureau.

Things start out like any other TCB story: Equestria appeared on Earth surrounded by a magical barrier, and they offered humanity the chance to start over again with a potion that would heal all their ills and grant them happier, more peaceful lives. But when it became clear that Equestria's true goal was to convert the entire human race into ponies regardless of whether they actually wanted it or not, war broke out, with humanity uniting in the face of a common enemy and soundly defeating Equestria. Now, Twilight Sparkle has to ensure Equestria's continued survival and broker peace between humanity and ponykind in the aftermath.


This particular take on the TCB genre stands out as it focuses on the aftermath of the conflict between mankind and the ponies from the latter's perspective, that of the losing side. In addition, its tone is a more serious and grounded take on TCB, analyzing and deconstructing certain tropes common to TCB stories.

The story currently spans seven parts. Rated Ponystar has also given the go-ahead to other writers to take part in the universe.

The stories in this series include:

  • Negotiations: The ponies have lost. Their attempt to convert the human race has failed. With Equestria at humanity's mercy, Twilight Sparkle must meet with a representative from the UN to reach an agreement for peace between their respective races and save what remains of her nation. There's just one complication: the humans are adamant that Celestia's death be part of the bargain. Released November 2015, complete.
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  • Reunited: Twilight is reunited with Fluttershy (who, with Discord following suit, defected to help humanity in the early days of the war) and seeks to rebuild their friendship. Released December 2015, complete.
  • Truth: Right before Celestia's scheduled execution, Twilight goes to visit her former mentor and ask her about the reasons behind her actions, and the answers aren't quite so black and white. Released March 2016, complete.
  • Useless: Applejack and Rainbow Dash (now prominent members of the biggest anti-human terrorist cell in Equestria) have a drink as they wait for the bitter end while reminiscing on what they've lost over the years. Released June 2016, complete.
  • Rest: Spike, having seen Twilight fulfill her promise to fix Celestia's mistakes and nearing the end of her life, prepares for cancer to take her. Released August 2016, complete.
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  • Future: Three hundred years after Twilight's passing, Spike, who has spent that time teaching humanity and ponykind, wonders about finding love and life. Released December 2016, complete.
  • Warfare: A journal of an Equestrian soldier from the last days of the war. Released January 2020, in progress.

The Negotiations-verse provides examples of:

  • 0% Approval Rating: Celestia is universally despised by both humanity and the vast majority of ponykind by Reunited, with only a very small number of die-hard loyalists remaining by that point. In fact, when she finally woke up from her coma sometime before Truth, riots broke out all over the world when it was announced that she was going to be put on trial first instead of just executed outright.
  • 100% Adoration Rating: Deconstructed. Ponykind's reverence of Celestia meant that they went along with her plan to go to Earth and assimilate humanity without question, and never once thought about any of the implications of this until it was too late. Twilight herself never even considered that Celestia could do anything as monstrous as leaving behind their entire planet to die and it takes Anthony Doyle's Armor-Piercing Question for her to even begin thinking about it fifteen years after the fact. This fanaticism cost Celestia's people nearly everything they had, so it's no surprise that she was quickly demonized by them when they finally came to their senses.
  • 100% Heroism Rating:
    • The sniper who killed Shining Armor was declared a hero for his accomplishment.
    • Discord is also near-universally loved by humanity, in a complete reversal of how he was initially seen in Equestria.
    • Lyra Heartstrings is also beloved by mankind, nicknamed "Hero and Friend to All Humans" for her outspoken and unwavering rebellion.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Equestria first appeared on Earth in 2036. Ten years went by until Celestia delivered her ultimatum and the ensuing war went on for another five. Future meanwhile takes place over three hundred years after Twilight's death in Rest.
  • Abandoned Area: Canterlot Castle was left vacant and fell into disrepair for many years after Celestia was removed from power. It wasn't until a new governing body for Equestria was determined that they rebuilt it, and it later became the location of Twilight's deathbed as well.
  • Achilles' Heel: The ponies' overreliance on their magic proved to be their downfall when mankind developed the Thalmann Generators, which disable all forms of magic they're used on, leading to the barrier's destruction, the death of Luna, and Celestia being rendered comatose.
  • Aesop Amnesia: In-universe, UN Representative Anthony Doyle points out that there aren't many records of ponykind's history from before the First Hearthswarming Eve, with Twilight arguing that there is no point to remembering such a bad part of their history. Mr. Doyle then fittingly delivers the quote "those who forget history are doomed to repeat it" in response.
    • In Rest, Discord tells Spike that his reason for living should be to avert this by making sure that humanity and ponykind will always remember the important details of history and to never repeat the same mistakes again.
  • A God Am I: Zig-zagged for Celestia, who never outright states it but basically did play God with humanity when she decided that the only way the humans could possibly coexist with her subjects would be to "save them from themselves" by turning them into "peaceful and kind" ponies against their will. Lampshaded by Spike in Future.
    Twilight, when she was little, once asked Celestia if she was a goddess and Celestia answered she wasn't, but was alright being worshiped as one if it meant unifying her ponies even closer. I sometimes wonder if being glorified made her so overconfident in her future decisions or was she like that before it?
  • A God I Am Not: When Cadence and Twilight ascended to alicorn status, they were worshiped as goddesses by some ponies, which Spike notes was rather embarrassing and annoying for the two near-atheists.
  • Aggressive Negotiations: Downplayed in the first story - while the talks are largely peaceful and reasonable, Anthony Doyle makes no bones about the fact that humanity could very easily wipe Equestria right off the map if the ponies don't comply with the UN's terms and conditions for peace.
  • All There in the Manual: This Q&A provides much of the setting's background information and history.
  • Alternate Universe: A few things happened differently in this version of the MLP universe before the ponies' transition to Earth: the events of Equestria Girls never occurred, Sunset Shimmer was killed and then eaten by a tribe of African natives when she visited Earth, and Starlight Glimmer was captured and ultimately committed suicide in prison instead of escaping like she did in the canon opening of season five.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Halberd loses his wings in the kick-off of humanity's invasion of Equestria.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: According to exposition, when the non-ponies living in Equestria revolted against Celestia, she ordered them all to be rounded up and imprisoned until the war with humanity was over, and then after they escaped and tried to flee on stolen ships, the ships were attacked and destroyed, leaving no survivors, but whether the order came from Celestia herself or one of her naval commanders was never determined. But worst of all, Celestia blamed their deaths on the humans to cover it up, driving a further wedge between the warring sides.
  • Anti-Magic: The Thalmann Generators work like an EMP wave, albeit for magic. Concentrating their power into a focused laser beam shot is what finally brought the barrier down.
  • Apocalypse How: One of a planetary scale is the fate of Equus in the absence of the alicorn princesses - without Celestia and Luna to move the sun and moon, every living thing on that planet is now dead, either burned to a crisp on one half of the world or frozen to death on the other. This realization solidifies Twilight's Heel–Face Turn, but later we find out that Equus was doomed from the get-go because its sun was already dying.
    • Earth goes through at least a Regional/Continental one. Mr. Doyle reveals that mankind lost half their nations (Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and a good portion of Africa and South America were among those lost to the barrier while much of the Middle East and parts of China were destroyed in the battles) and over three billion people because of the war, but reconstruction efforts are underway, including finding a cure for those afflicted with the ponification potion.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Given by Mr. Doyle to Twilight near the end of the first story: "Who's been controlling the sun and moon in your old world since you've been here?"
    • Twilight asks Celestia a series of these in Truth.
  • Artifact Title: Subverted - while this is a recursive fanfiction of The Conversion Bureau, it doesn't have TCB in its title. Even still, the bureaus themselves never actually appear onscreen- they apparently did exist before the war, though.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: One plot hole/piece of fridge horror ignored in the original TCB story (and most of its spin-offs) is the question of what happens to Equus without the princesses around to move the sun and moon. This story does not mince words over just how horrifying the results would be.
  • Assimilation Plot: Typical in TCB stories; here it failed.
  • The Atoner: Twilight becomes this after the war, working to redeem ponykind in the eyes of humanity and restore Equestria to something honorable. Her main personal goal is to find a way to reverse the effects of the ponification potion and give the victims their true bodies and selves back before she dies, which she accomplishes sometime before the events of Rest.
  • Batman Gambit: Celestia destroyed both Rome and Mecca hoping that the loss of their most religious cities, monuments, and icons would break humanity's will to fight. Instead, it achieved the exact opposite effect.
  • Berserk Button: The ponies destroyed two of the three Abrahamic religions' holy cities in an effort to break the will of the humans. This backfired. Badly.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: During the war, some humans, soldiers and civilians alike, killed themselves rather than be ponified. Halberd Wings saw one such case with a soldier he had doused with the potion shooting himself in the head before getting fully transformed.
  • Big Applesauce: Twilight mentions that one of the major engagements during the war was the Battle of New York in which Shining Armor was killed.
  • Break the Haughty: Halberd Wings, the protagonist of Warfare, starts off being confident and sure that Equestria will defeat the humans and is convinced fully of the righteousness of their cause. A few brutal battles, losing his comrades, and the death of Luna during the Battle of Jerusalem forces him to eat a fat slice of Humble Pie.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: The Mane 6 is no more. Fluttershy was the first to go when she defected to humanity, Pinkie Pie and Rarity died when Ponyville was bombed, and Applejack and Rainbow Dash joined an underground terrorist cell and were ultimately killed.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Private Halberd Wings had this reaction upon seeing his first shelling.
  • Broken Pedestal: Twilight (and the majority of ponykind) goes through this very hard regarding Celestia.
    • Halberd Wings gets this and how. He, along with nearly every pony under the princess's rule, was raised to believe that alicorns were deities; even Flurry Heart was viewed as a young goddess. But Luna's demise sent the Equestrians into a severe crisis of faith since, according to their religion, alicorns are not only unkillable, they're supposed to lead ponykind in a final battle against evil in their version of Armageddon. Seeing one of the beings they worshiped for generations die revealed that a lot of the prophecies and faith they relied on for morale were wrong.
  • Brought Down to Normal: The Thalmann Generators not only disabled the enchantments the ponies placed on their weapons but also robbed them of nearly all their magic in general, rendering them a lot easier to kill.
  • Brought Down to Badass: While Discord and the alicorns' powers were sharply reduced from what they used to be in their home dimension (with them losing their immortality in the jump to Earth), they were still a force to be reckoned with. Discord's mischief made him an incredibly effective saboteur after he defected, while Celestia and Luna were still strong enough to take on entire armies of humans by themselves when they needed to.
  • Call-Back: Twilight compares the newfoals' odd behavior to how the "equalized" ponies of Starlight Glimmer's village acted in the Season 5 premiere (a very common comparison fans have made ever since the previews came out).
  • Cassandra Truth: Twilight at first doesn't believe Anthony Doyle's claim that the ponification potion rendered all the newfoals infertile... until she recalls that there have been absolutely no reports of the newfoals giving birth to children in the past fifteen years since the bureaus were opened.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Halberd unleashes one after finding out that Thundershot died in the line of duty.
  • Convenient Coma: Celestia fell into a coma at the war's conclusion; this, coupled with Luna and Cadence being dead, leaves Twilight the only one capable of representing Equestria for peace talks in the aftermath.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Twilight calls Celestia out for waging war with the humans, pointing out that the suffering and death that came from it wouldn't have happened if Celestia didn't decide to force them to change and give up their very nature simply to preserve the "purity" of Equestria's culture.
  • Crisis of Faith: Halberd Wings' religious beliefs were first tested at a young age when his grandma died, but they are really put through the wringer after Luna is killed, a complete contradiction against the teachings he grew up on. In the wake of this trial, he and many others still held firm to their faith, while some ponies outright forsook theirs altogether.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Once humanity developed the Thalmann Generators and started putting them to use, the ponies got their asses handed to them on a silver platter from that point on.
    • Halberd's description of the invasion is this trope to a T. To say the defense forces got utterly plowed flat would be an understatement.
  • Death by Adaptation: A very sizable portion of beloved characters from the show are dead before this story even begins thanks to them either being left behind to die on their doomed home planet or meeting their fate in the war between humanity and ponykind, with more deaths occuring through other means as the narrative progresses.
  • Death World: While searching for alternate dimensions that could safely house Equestria, Celestia chose Earth in the end because it was the only one she found among countless others that wasn't this. She states that the others she discovered were virtual Eldritch Locations that would instantly kill ponies due to their different laws of physics or were home to (sometimes incomprehensible) horrors that made humanity, at its worst, look benign in comparison.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Celestia is one for the Ron the Death Eater portrayals of her that are the norm for The Conversion Bureau fics. Truth goes in depth explaining what would cause one as benevolent as canon Celestia to commit such actions. A combination of desperation to save Equestria and tragedy causing her to assume the worst of humanity prevented her from questioning her actions until too late.
  • Deconstruction Fic: Like The Conversion Bureau: Not Alone and The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum before it, Negotiations thoroughly deconstructs many of the usual TCB tropes. For one thing, a mostly medieval/slightly industrialized nation (whose soldiers wield swords, spears and arrows) wouldn't do well in warfare against 21st century tactics and weaponry, humanity does not take the ponies' misanthropy and Assimilation Plot lightly, and it gives a far more feasible explanation as to why Equestria would even go to Earth in the first place.
  • Defector from Decadence: Not every pony agreed with what Celestia said about the humans and the necessity of ponification, and they accordingly defected to aid humanity. Lyra Heartstrings, Fluttershy (with Discord following out of his love for her), Carrot Top, Derpy Hooves, Braeburn, Moondancer, and Flash Sentry are among those Twilight knew personally who rebelled.
  • Defiant to the End:
    • Even after Equestria was rendered completely defenseless, the ponies fought on despite the enormous odds stacked against them and stood their ground until the bitter end.
    • Despite her crusade costing her the lives of most of her family and forty percent of her own subjects, Celestia refused to give up by choice, only stopping when she was rendered comatose and Twilight surrendered in her stead.
    • After being captured following her failed coup attempt, General Valkyrie accused Celestia of dooming the pony race with her actions and then contemptuously spit in her face as one final act of defiance before the princess carried out her execution personally.
    • Applejack and Rainbow Dash adamantly rejected Twilight's decision to surrender to humanity, joined an underground terrorist cell to keep the fight going, and were ultimately killed-in-action.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • Twilight confesses in Truth that if she didn't have Spike and Fluttershy in her life to comfort and support her, she would have killed herself by now because of how miserable her life has become as a result of everything she's lost and the sheer guilt over all the pain and suffering she helped create while following Celestia.
    • It's pretty clear that Applejack already crossed this many times before the events of Useless roll around (with Applebloom's death being the first of several). In the story, she states that she doesn't even have it in her to cry anymore and completely accepts the fact that she's either going to die or be taken prisoner by the humans.
    • In Warfare, Halberd Wings dips his hooves into this with Luna's death after the disaster that was the invasion of Jerusalem, but he doesn't fully cross over until he learns of the Crystal Empire's destruction. He crosses it even further when he loses his wings and coltfriend Thundershot during the invasion.
  • The Determinator: Twilight was so dedicated to finding the cure for ponification that she refused to get her cancer treated for two whole years until she succeeded.
  • Didn't See That Coming: The ponies initially believed that the war with humanity would be easy due to mankind's history of conflict, divisions over past grudges and petty grievances against each other. Needless to say, they were completely taken by surprise and grossly unprepared for when the humans unanimously put aside their differences to defeat the one enemy that was now a bigger threat to them than themselves: the ponies of Equestria.
  • Dirty Coward: Rainbow Dash sees herself as one because she retreated out of fear for her own life after seeing the Wonderbolts get mercilessly slaughtered during humanity's invasion of Equestria and left Scootaloo behind to die in the process. Her shame over this drove her to join the Equestrian Freedom Fighters because she saw Twilight's choice to surrender to the humans as a slap in the face to their memory.
  • Divided We Fall: Subverted. Celestia's ultimatum (convert through ponification or be destroyed by the barrier) gave humanity the perfect reason to unite against a common threat.
  • Due to the Dead: In Useless, Applejack and Rainbow Dash, now members of a pro-Equestrian terrorist cell, are gunned down by a human soldier as they prepare for a Last Stand. Although their friendship with Twilight died due to their refusal to accept her decision to surrender to the humans, and even tried to assassinate her once, she still gives them a proper burial and a small private funeral as a token of their former friendship.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Along with dull coats and manes, Celestia, Applejack and Rainbow Dash are all described as having these, as are what's left of the crystal ponies.
  • Dying as Yourself: In the penultimate chapter of Future, Discord pretends to pass on peacefully so he can then scare Spike with a sudden "BOO!" before dying for real. Spike can't help but be amused by this.
    Spike: (narrating) Even in death... he was Discord.
  • Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: Sure, the barrier made things difficult for humanity at first and cost them a great deal, but once it was destroyed with the aid of several defectors from Celestia's regime, they steamrolled over everything the ponies threw at them and claimed victory. Downplayed in that Earth suffered heavy losses, with several nations being swallowed by the barrier, many major cities being destroyed, and casualties standing at upwards of three billion.
  • Emergency Transformation: In the early days of the conversion bureaus, before Celestia's true intentions became clear, some humans took the ponification potion to cure their terminal illnesses or used it as a cost-free solution for being unable to afford traditional medical treatment for their ailments. Needless to say, the costs outweighed the benefits.
  • Endangered Species: Ninety percent of the crystal ponies were wiped out when the Empire was nuked, leaving only a couple hundred survivors thanks to them being far away from the blast radius when it occurred. By the events of Future, however, their race is officially extinct thanks to the radiation poisoning-induced sterility that prevented them from reproducing.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Discord's love for Fluttershy, as well as his fascination with humans in general, compelled him to defect to humanity when she did, and he later used his powers to help rebuild ruined towns and cities in the aftermath of the war.
  • Extreme Doormat: Keeping with conventions of TCB deconstructions, the newfoals are this. Halberd Wings even admits that he finds it more than unsettling how the newfoals never say "no" to anything regular ponies ask of them, including requests for sex.
  • Faking the Dead:
    • Bon Bon faked her death during the Bombing of Ponyville so she could later reemerge as the leader of the Equestrian Freedom Fighters under her true name, Sweetie Drops.
    • Celestia was poisoned during General Valkyrie's coup attempt and survived, but played possum to trick the rebellious general and her co-conspirators into revealing themselves, after which they were all killed.
  • Fallen Hero:
    • Applejack and Rainbow Dash. Once they were the Elements of Honesty and Loyalty, but now they're terrorists whose actions have directly resulted in the deaths of many innocents in the wake of the war. They've fallen so far that they had no reservations about trying to assassinate Twilight for surrendering to humanity. They get what's coming to them in Useless.
    • Celestia herself also counts.
  • Fantastic Racism: Applejack (and other anti-human ponies) often refers to humans as "monkeys", and even disowns her cousin Braeburn (calling him a "backstabbing, monkey-bucking slut") for not only siding with them but also for getting into a romantic relationship with a human.
    • Halberd actually dedicates an entire entry in his journal to explaining why all the other races of Equus were "inferior" to ponykind:
      Halberd: I mean, let's face it, which of the other races back in our world was decent? The griffins were lazy, rude, and selfish. Dragons always destroyed everything they couldn’t own with their greedy ways. Diamond Dogs were smelly barbarians who kidnapped ponies to be their slaves to dig their mines for gems (what do they do with them anyway?). Minotaurs were just loud and almost as greedy as the dragons. Yaks were uncultured and just smashed everything in anger. Changelings? Well, that’s one race that deserves to be mistreated in my mind. Nothing good comes from an evil creature that sucks the love out of a living being. Maybe the zebras, goats, donkeys, and breezies were okay, but they still didn’t have a civilization like ours did. To me, it’s just further proof that our way of life was just superior is all. Well, until we met the humans.
  • Forbidden Zone: The Crystal Empire is now a nuclear wasteland polluted with enough radioactive fallout to render it uninhabitable for the next three hundred years.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Despite the odds being stacked against Equestria, Halberd still expresses hope in his journal entries that ponykind will ultimately prevail over the humans. We know that's but a fool's dream.
  • For Your Own Good: One of the reasons Celestia tried to force ponification on the human race was her belief that it would resolve all of their problems and make them see "the light of friendship" which she felt they lacked.
  • Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: Aside from turning humans into mindlessly smiling automaton ponies that sing the princesses praises all day long, Twilight admits that even before everything that happened, the newfoals always seemed just too nice and happy.
  • Gilligan Cut: Happens more than once in Warfare due to its format.
    • Halberd's entry for August 1 mentions how excited he is about going into his first battle, then ends. The entry for August 2 starts with him freaking out as he details how everything has gone horribly, horribly wrong.
    • The entry for January 9 has Halberd expressing hope that the Crystal Cannon will be fixed up due to Discord sabotaging it after the destruction of Rome and Mecca while noting the barrier is badly weakened thanks to continued assaults from the Thalmann Generators, with gaps around the Empire. Then comes the next entry, which is dated for January 11.
      The... The Crystal Empire... It's gone... It's all gone...
    • In the entry for May 8th, Halberd's worried about if Thundershot is alive or not, but says that deep down he knows he is before a nurse calls him over to tell him something. Cue the next Entry, with no date given.
      Thundershot's dead.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Twilight passes away peacefully with Spike and Fluttershy by her side, happy that she had successfully fixed her mistakes and seeing that humanity had forgiven her.
    • Discord passes on in the same manner by faking his last breath, then making one last joke. He just couldn't resist getting one last Jump Scare on Spike for his own amusement.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Once the barrier was completely destroyed and Equestria was left wide open, Twilight and Celestia began training their forces in the usage of human weapons, technology, and vehicles in preparation for the inevitable counterattack and full-scale invasion mankind would soon deliver to their doorstep.
  • Great Offscreen War: The war between Equestria and Earth already concluded by the time of Negotiations, and while nothing of it is actually shown, it's stated to have gone on for five years and led to heavy losses for both sides, but humanity ultimately emerged the victor. Averted when it comes to Warfare, which expands on it a bit from the perspective of a Royal Guard, but it's written in the form of his journal entries.
  • Grey-and-Grey Morality: Becoming more of Black and Grey Morality, in fact. On the one hand, Celestia had to make sure that her subjects would be safe and sound from the inevitable death of their world's sun, but her handling of the human situation really could've used some improvement. And humanity certainly wasn't going to take this act of aggression (wiping out their cultures, homes, history, etc) laying down now, would they?
  • Hanlon's Razor: While her genuine cluelessness was mixed with some prejudice, Twilight initially couldn't understand why nearly every human rejected the "perfect gift" that was ponification. The revelation about Celestia (and taking the time to really think about what exactly the potion does) changed this.
  • Happily Married: After the war, Fluttershy married a human doctor and adopted three children with him: two humans and one pony. Lyra and Flash Sentry also got together as revealed later.
  • Harmful to Minors: Fluttershy's three adopted children were War Refugees who lost their birth parents during the war (and God only knows what other horrible things they and other children like them must have gone through). While her youngest is too young to remember much, Flutters states that though her two older human children are now happy and thriving under her and her husband's care, they still get nightmares from time to time.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The revelation that Celestia was completely aware that all life on Equus would die from the sun and moon not moving anymore (or just from the sun's already soon-to-be-approaching death) after she transported Equestria to Earth compels Twilight to immediately turn her over to mankind and demand that she be executed for her crimes.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: How the ponies waged war on the humans. They would teleport a large number of their forces into heavily populated cities (New York, Moscow, Tokyo, etc.), and then convert as many as they could while causing as much damage as possible before retreating, the downside being that such tactics required a lot of time for planning and could only be accomplished by either the alicorns or a large group of unicorns pooling their magic.
    • Halberd states that this was the only way the ponies could fight in Sri Lanka... up until the humans just started firebombing the island.
  • Holier Than Thou: Lampshaded by Mr. Doyle when he recalls Celestia's ultimatum speech and sums it up with this trope. This was also the general attitude of the ponies before and during the war and how they justified their conversion crusade.
  • Homeworld Evacuation: The ponies were all completely unaware that the relocation of Equestria to Earth was this for them. Celestia for her part states that if she could've, she would've found a way to save all of Equus as well, but she didn't have enough time.
  • Hope Spot: The non-ponies living in Equestria who stood against Celestia's regime and failed then tried to flee the nation on stolen ships, only for said ships to be attacked and sunk with them still on board by the Equestrian Navy.
  • Hopeless War: The moment the barrier went down, the ponies were done for; they just didn't know it yet. It wasn't until Luna's brutal death that they even started to wonder if they might actually lose, but the final nail in the coffin was the nuking of the Crystal Empire; only then did they realize that their defeat was inevitable. This realization was the basis for General Valkyrie's ill-fated coup.
    • Whatever faint chance of hope the Equestrian Freedom Fighters had of restoring Equestria to its "former glory" died when Celestia was executed.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Celestia in Truth, due to being Brought Down to Normal, and her appearance has taken quite the beating as well. Lampshaded with Twilight describing her as a goddess fallen into disgrace.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Celestia certainly thinks so, but Twilight takes on a more nuanced view. Halberd Wings goes as far as to declare that humanity should be wiped out completely after what they did to the Crystal Empire, believing them to be beyond "saving" at that point.
  • Humans Are Divided: Subverted. The Princesses thought this would be the case, but they severely underestimated humanity's resistance to being wiped out.
  • Humans Are Special: In contrast to Celestia, this is Discord's view on humanity overall.
  • Humans Are Warriors: The humans fought on despite losing almost half of their population and civilization, attempts to demoralize them by destroying key religious locations only made them fight harder, and once they found a way to negate the ponies' magical advantage, the war became one-sided in humanity's favor. Halberd's journals detail how the war was going after the Thalmaan Generators were brought out, and it's a constant stream of the Equestrian forces being pushed out of the territories they'd gained and the humans reclaiming lands previously lost.
  • Humiliation Conga: The Equestrians got this hard once humanity figured out a way around their magical advantages and destroyed the barrier: Luna was slain in the Battle of Jerusalem, the Crystal Empire was nuked (taking Cadence and Flurry Heart with it), Ponyville was bombed, Canterlot besieged, and Celestia fell into a coma after exhausting all her magical energy to protect what was left of her forces, forcing the ponies to surrender at last. By the time Twilight meets with Anthony Doyle of the UN's Peacekeeping Department in part one, Equestria basically has a metaphorical gun pointed at its head with humanity more than willing to pull the trigger if they try anything funny.
  • Hypocrite: The whole point of the ponies' crusade was to "save" humanity and "make them into something better," and yet after the Crystal Empire was nuked and Celestia commanded her armies to return to Equestria ASAP, the newfoals were all abandoned and left behind to hasten their retreat, and some ponies outright attacked and killed several of them in anger just for being former humans.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Celestia's justification for transporting Equestria to Earth, leaving the other races of their old world behind to die, starting the conversion bureaus, and then declaring war on humanity was all in the name of ensuring the continued survival and preservation of Equestria, her ponies, and their way of life. When Twilight learns the whole truth, however, she really begs to differ.
  • I Die Free:
    • Several members of the Equestrian Freedom Fighters, including their leader Sweetie Drops, committed suicide rather than let themselves be taken prisoner or killed by someone else when their home base was invaded by the Human-Pony Coalition in Useless.
    • Halberd mentions incidents where humans that were splashed by the potion killed themselves rather than be transformed.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: In Reunited, after everything she's lost, Twilight desperately wants someone (besides Spike) who can help carry the weight of her burdens, and so she seeks out Fluttershy years after they parted on bad terms.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: With the EFF's home base being invaded, her spirit broken and her imminent death rapidly approaching, Applejack uncorks the last bottle of Sweet Apple Acres Whiskey left in the whole world and shares it with Rainbow Dash before both of them meet their tragic end.
  • Interspecies Romance: As humans and ponies mingled after Equestria's emergence on Earth, some got into relationships with each other (two notable couples include Fluttershy and her husband and Braeburn and his partner). In-universe, such relationships are viewed as either a way towards the two races reaching peace and healing together after the conflict or unnatural and sick.
    • In Future, Spike begins to pursue a relationship with a human artist named Rebecca.
  • Intrigued by Humanity: Discord finds humans very fascinating with them being very random and sometimes extreme creatures. This, coupled with his love for Fluttershy and simply for his own amusement, is why he decided to help humanity in the war.
  • I Regret Nothing: Zigzagged. While Celestia conveys genuine regret over everything that was lost in the process, she ultimately feels no remorse for doing everything she felt was necessary to ensure the continued survival and preservation of her nation, subjects, and their way of life.
  • Irony: At the climax of Useless, Applejack and Rainbow Dash make a pact to go out in a blaze of glory and kill as many humans as possible before they bite the dust, only for a human soldier to kick the door in, gun them both down, and then move on to the next room uncaring of who he just killed, all in the blink of an eye. And, as if to add some spiritual insult to injury, they didn't even get to finish their drink.
  • Killed Offscreen: Thundershot.
  • Kill the God: Halberd explains in his journal that the alicorns are worshiped as goddesses by the ponies, so for them, if one were to die, it would be an example of this. Luna being killed during the Battle of Jerusalem was the first major hit to the Equestrians' morale. This later happens to Cadence and Flurry Heart when the Crystal Empire is nuked, and then to Celestia herself in Truth, which serves as the last crushing blow to the resolve of the Equestrian Freedom Fighters.
  • Knight Templar: Celestia will do anything to protect her ponies, including sacrificing their homeworld to complete annihilation and then attempting to conquer another and remake it into her own image. She's also determined to keep her reasons away from the public simply to preserve the peace, even if that means she'll be hated forever and remembered as a genocidal monster.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Celestia's defeat and subsequent coma was what finally compelled the ponies to give up the fight, although small resistance groups still exist even years later.
  • La Résistance: Lyra led a group of ponies, including Fluttershy and Discord, to join humanity and fight against Celestia, and their combined efforts are what ultimately allowed mankind to win the war.
    • In Reunited we learn that there were also several non-ponies (griffins, zebras, minotaurs, donkeys, and more) who rebelled as well, but sadly they were all eradicated by Celestia's forces when they tried to escape Equestria, and afterward Celestia blamed their deaths on humanity to cover it up.
    • After losing half of Equestria to the invading humans, General Valkyrie staged a coup to seize control of Canterlot and negotiate peace with mankind to save what was left of her people and country, but failed horribly.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The ponies were on the receiving end of this once the barrier was destroyed.
  • Last of His Kind: Spike is now the last remaining dragon, and Twilight becomes the last alicorn after Celestia is executed until Rest, where she passes away.
    • Not of her species, but Applejack was the only member of the Apple Clan to survive the end of the war (at least until she meets her end in Useless). Braeburn survived, but because he defected from Equestria to help the humans, AJ considers him a traitor and disowned him.
  • Last Stand:
    • Luna was killed in the Battle of Jerusalem when she stayed behind to hold off enemy soldiers long enough so her own forces could escape. She soon met her end after being hit with a Thalmann Generator and was then promptly riddled with bullets.
    • The Invasion of Equestria was this for Celestia and her loyal subjects, who refused to surrender willingly and thus were beaten into submission by the overwhelming onslaught humanity unleashed upon them, ending the war at last.
    • Defied with the deaths of Rainbow Dash and Applejack. They were ready to have one of these, even bantering about wanting to do a Body-Count Competition, but the soldier that killed them machine-gunned them dead without even breaking stride.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Fluttershy's adopted son, a pegasus named Feathershy, takes after his mother in terms of personality and speech patterns.
  • The Lost Lenore: Thundershot becomes this for Halberd.
  • Magitek: The Thalmann Anti-Magic Generators, created from human technology fused with pony magic. New guns and military vehicles capable of firing lasers were also made with the same method.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: One of Spike's co-workers, named Beatstep, has six children and is expecting a seventh.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: This trope plays a big part in why Spike is so apprehensive about pursuing a relationship with the human Rebecca. This also played a part in why Discord never acted on his own love for Fluttershy, and he tells Spike before he passes on not to make that same mistake.
  • Meaningful Name: General Valkyrie, the leader of the failed Military Coup in the final weeks of the war, got her name from Operation Valkyrie, which was, among other things, a failed assassination attempt on Hitler.
  • Military Coup: A group of Royal Guards led by the rebellious General Valkyrie staged one after they accepted that ponykind had no hope of winning the war and Celestia wasn't going to stop. They poisoned her and then moved to take over Canterlot after she died so they could peacefully surrender to the humans' forces, only to walk into a trap where Celestia revealed that she survived their assassination attempt thanks to her alicorn biology. Most of the conspirators were killed in the ensuing scuffle and the survivors were executed for treason, with Celestia carrying out Valkyrie's personally, and all their heads were put on pikes along the palace walls as a message to any other would-be dissenters.
  • Mind Rape: What the potion does to its victims, naturally. We don't meet any of this universe's newfoals, but Anthony Doyle describes them as mindless drones that despise everything about humanity while praising Celestia and ponykind incessantly.
  • Monumental Damage: Not actually seen as per the Great Offscreen War, but it's mentioned that a good deal of humanity's historical structures and important cities (with Mecca and Rome getting completely glassed by the Crystal Cannon) were lost in the conflict. On the ponies' side, the Crystal Empire was nuked to kingdom come and Ponyville was devastated in an aerial bombardment when the country was invaded.
  • Moral Myopia: From the ponies' point of view, they were completely justified in glassing Mecca and Rome and killing millions of innocent humans with the Crystal Cannon, but when the humans retaliated and did the same to the Crystal Empire via nuclear strike, that made them irredeemable and pure evil in their eyes.
  • More Dakka:
    • Luna perished in this manner, so much so that Rainbow Dash described her corpse as looking like "swiss cheese", and it took Celestia two weeks of repairing it with magic and paying expensive preppers just to make it presentable for the funeral.
    • The Wonderbolts were also killed this way, and seeing it happen right in front of her horrified Rainbow Dash so much that she retreated to save herself.
  • The Mourning After: Right before he dies, Discord reveals he had loved Fluttershy ever since she reformed him, but made up all sorts of excuses for why it would never work between them. She was the only one he ever loved and he goes to his grave regretting never having acted on those feelings.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: As revealed in Halberd's journal in the chapter "I Remember What I Fight For", Scootaloo actually liked the humans, admired their accomplishments, and even befriended several of them before the war. However, her loyalty was to Equestria first and foremost.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Twilight is hit hard with this over the course of Negotiations, first with the revelation that the newfoals are all sterile and later when she realizes that everyone they left behind on Equus (i.e. the whole population) is dead now without the princesses there to move the sun and moon.
    • Celestia has plenty of these to choose from, but her greatest regret is revealed in Truth after Twilight spells out in exact detail everything that she lost by following Celestia and how miserable her life has become as a result. It's this that convinces her to share her reasons with her former student.
      Celestia: Out of everypony, I hurt you the worst, Twilight. You have been like a daughter to me, and I have never forgiven myself for all the suffering I have brought upon you. Not even if I were to die a hundred times would it be enough.
    • Halberd Wings writes in a journal entry how shaken and horrified he was after successfully killing a human soldier. Even though he saw the humans as monsters that needed to be converted for their own good, he still killed a person who had a life, friends and family.
  • My Greatest Failure: Rainbow Dash left Scootaloo behind to die when Equestria was invaded and she was frightened by the sheer carnage humanity wrought, her desire to make up for it becoming her motivation for joining the EFF.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Spike didn't agree with what the ponies were doing to the humans, but went along with it without complaint because Twilight did. And Twilight herself followed and trusted Celestia without question even when she had her own doubts.
  • No Body Left Behind: The firing squad that executed Celestia used magic-powered rifles that reduced her body to ash.
    • Discord's body disappears in a flash of light after he dies.
  • Not So Different: When Celestia goes on about how humans are so cruel and destructive, Twilight coldly points out that she's known a lot of cruel ponies herself, citing her former mentor as an example.
    • Discord also compares himself to Spike, noting that they both made excuses to keep themselves from happiness.
  • Nuclear Option: The ponies used their Crystal Cannon superweapon to destroy Mecca and Rome. Humanity then used a nuclear warhead to obliterate the Crystal Empire in retaliation.
  • Oh, Crap!: Halberd in Warfare was assured time and time again that Equestria would prevail, so he goes into his first battle with high spirits. Unfortunately for him, this was also the Battle of Jerusalem, where not only was the fighting there some of the fiercest of the war, but this was also where the humans first pulled out the Anti-Magic generators that they used to kill Luna.
    • It happens to him and his comrades again at the start of the Invasion of Equestria. They stand ready at the beach to face whatever humanity's about to throw at them, but then the fog dissipates to reveal legions of gigantic floating battleships speeding towards them. Bring My Brown Pants doesn't even begin to describe it.
  • One-Man Army: More like one mare army with regards to Celestia and Luna. Even though their powers were greatly reduced during the jump from Equus to Earth, they could still put up a hard fight and gave humanity's forces a great deal of grief, if the descriptions of their respective final stands in Canterlot and Jerusalem are of any indication.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Twilight lost her entire family (save for Spike) and nearly all of her friends to the war. Fluttershy's adopted children share the same story.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Shortly before her demise, Rainbow Dash admits that she can't understand why ponykind could not overcome the human race when she and her friends already fought and defeated beings who were godlike in comparison prior to them. Halberd Wings expresses a similar sentiment after the humans were able to successfully kill Luna.
  • Peace Conference: The premise of part one is Twilight meeting with Anthony Doyle, a member of the UN's Peacekeeping Department, to negotiate peace and long-term goals between their two races now that the ponies have lost the war and are currently at humanity's mercy.
  • The Power of Blood: It turns out that Celestia's blood was a key component in perfecting the ponification serum, while Discord's was essential in creating the cure.
  • The Promise: Twilight makes a vow to Celestia that she will never reveal the truth behind the latter's actions in order to preserve the peace between humans and ponies. In Rest, we see that Lyra and several other UN employees also know the truth thanks to the recordings taken at the time; they also vowed to remain silent on it so as to not make Celestia look like a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
  • Pyrrhic Villainy: Crossing out the "victory" part of this trope, this definitely applies to Celestia. She abandoned all life on Equus to a slow, painful death before trying to force the whole of mankind to convert into more ponies and house Equestria on Earth so that her subjects would be spared their sun's death, and in return lost everything she held dear: her whole family (sans Twilight and Spike, who both immediately disown her as soon as they discover what she's done) was killed, her nation was invaded and completely devastated, nearly all of her beloved ponies turned against her, and finally she herself was executed after waking up from a coma that lasted for several years, and afterwards will be remembered as a murderer and monster even worse than Hitler by future generations.
  • Race Against the Clock: Three hundred years before Nightmare Moon's return, Celestia discovered that Equus' sun was dying and so dedicated herself to try and find a way to save their entire world before it was too late. First, she tried to find a way to extend the sun's lifespan, but that (and everything else she tried after) failed, so she opted for the Homeworld Evacuation route. She searched high and low for a suitable dimension that could house their world, with Earth's dimension being the only one she found that was reasonably safe enough, but despite her best efforts, she was only able to save her own nation and species with what little time was left by that point.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: The whole premise of Truth. Twilight loved and admired Celestia more than anypony else (even her own parents), trusting her judgment in spite of her own doubts, and in return, almost everything and everyone she cherished was taken from her, and she lets her former teacher know just how much pain she's had to endure because of that directly to Celestia's face.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Halberd already hated humanity for what they did to the Crystal Empire, but after he lost both his wings and Thundershot, well...
    Halberd: I’ll kill them. I’ll bucking kill them all. Even if I die I’ll take them all with me. Their cities will burn. Their woman will suffer. Their children butchered. I will see them enslaved, mutilated, and suffer every sin their race deserves since they first learned to crawl. I will tear down their gods and statues. Every bit of their history, culture, and civilization I will see wiped from the face of the earth. I will send them to the fires of whatever hell exists before I piss on their ashes. I will never surrender to them.
  • Reality Ensues: The ponies eventually got around to making firearms to try and give themselves an edge near the end of the war. The initial result? A number of soldiers were hurt or killed after several accidentally shot themselves and others during training, as they had no concept of gun safety.
    • Also, the ponies were eventually able to produce tanks to combat the humans. Great, right? Except they're based off designs mankind hasn't used since the 1940's because Equestria doesn't have the materials or technology to make anything more advanced, while humanity has since developed mobile armor that shoots lasers along with other weapons using a mixture of magic and technology.
    • Moreover, even with their training and preparation, the ponies were still horribly unprepared for fighting off the invading forces. Not only were their newly developed weapons still way out-of-date by humanity's standards, but the humans also spent those last few months preparing themselves for a brutal offensive and making sure they could exploit every advantage they had. As a result, the invasion starts off as an absolutely merciless Curb-Stomp Battle that results in the quick deaths of the majority of the first defense line.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Twilight delivers a powerful one to Celestia at the end of Truth:
    Celestia: I know my methods were wrong in many ways, but my intentions were good!
    Twilight: Did Luna think so? You kept it from her, didn't you? The real reason we came? I watched her die trying to save us from the humans in Jerusalem and we risked bringing her body back here. Did you realize your mistake the moment you held her dead body and cried, or was it after the Crystal Empire was nuked and left an entire race to decline? Did you realize your mistake when they bombed our shores? Killed my friends and family? Sent Canterlot into flames?! Or was it when you woke up with a million voices screaming for you to die?! (momentary silence) Celestia. You may have had good intentions, you may have been trying to save us... but you once told me that the right way is always the hardest and difficult way. But you must follow it because the rewards are everlasting. You failed to follow that. Your methods were too extreme. Innocent life of all kinds has died... and if there is an afterlife, you will have to answer for that.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Twilight and Mr. Doyle are able to negotiate the terms of ponykind's surrender and overall future status on Earth relatively peacefully... owed largely to the fact that Equestria and what's left of the ponies will be wiped off the face of the Earth if Twilight doesn't comply with the UN's bigger demands.
  • The Reveal: Why did Celestia do all of this? Because Equus' sun was dying and she didn't have enough time to save their whole world from the coming destruction, so she transported Equestria to the only suitable planet she could locate (Earth) knowing what fate would befall Equus after they left, and as for the bureaus themselves, those were made to prevent humanity from "poisoning" Equestria with their influence.
  • Revenge:
    • While not the primary motivation behind her actions against mankind, Celestia admits that she was partially driven by this after a group of African bushmen devoured Sunset Shimmer when she was sent to Earth to scope it out.
    • After Celestia's true crimes were exposed, her former subjects ransacked her palace and wiped it clean of all valuables to get back at her for nearly ruining their race with her leadership.
    • Mankind dropped a nuke on the Crystal Empire to avenge the loss of Rome and Mecca after they were destroyed by the ponies' own WMD, the Crystal Cannon.
    • After the Crystal Empire was obliterated, Halberd Wings vowed to destroy all humans as payback for the deaths of Cadence, Flurry Heart, and the four million crystal ponies that were killed in the blast. Later on, he goes a step further and vows to enslave and mutilate humans after losing both his wings and Thundershot in battle.
    • Applejack and Rainbow Dash joined the Equestrian Freedom Fighters to get back at the humans for their own personal losses, and at one point attempted to assassinate Twilight for surrendering to the humans.
  • Sadistic Choice: Celestia was faced with one after she discovered that there was indeed a safe dimension (i.e. Earth's) to use as an escape from the death of Equus' sun but had no means to transport their whole world there. Her options boiled down to either wasting even more precious (and very limited) time trying to find a way to save their entire planet, or sacrifice all other life on their homeworld to at least guarantee the survival of her beloved subjects as opposed to nothing at all. Guess which one she picked.
  • Salt the Earth:
    • Thanks to the immense power of the Crystal Cannon, anything it fired upon was reduced to a barren, scorched wasteland a la "glassing" from the Halo franchise, as was the fate of Mecca and Rome.
    • After the barrier was shattered and the Crystal Empire was annihilated, Celestia ordered all her forces to withdraw back to Equestria proper, but not before burning and destroying the lands they previously conquered so the humans could not use them.
  • Scars Are Forever: As a result of her role as a combat medic during the war, Fluttershy now sports a few battle scars, and Twilight can never bear children now thanks to a bullet wound she received during the conflict. Spike, meanwhile, bears several emotional scars stemming from the harsh reality that not only is he the only dragon left, but he also has no means to carry on his people's legacy after he dies due to knowing next to nothing about dragons overall thanks to his upbringing.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: The ponies who rebelled against Celestia. Fluttershy in particular felt that converting the humans into something else went against nature.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When humanity invaded Equestria's shores and easily plowed through the first line of defense, Rainbow Dash became so horrified by the sheer amount of carnage she witnessed (which included her fellow Wonderbolts getting gruesomely massacred) that she abandoned her post and fled for her life, leaving Scootaloo behind to die in the process.
    • Once the barrier was gone and the humans began utilizing nuclear warheads against them, Celestia and Twilight tried to find a way to transport Equestria to another world and escape mankind's wrath, but they neither had the time nor the power of the Elements of Harmony they needed to do it before humanity invaded.
  • Screw Your Ultimatum!:
    • When Celestia told humanity to either convert into ponies or be wiped out by the barrier, they collectively declared war against Equestria in response.
    • Before the Invasion of Equestria commenced, the humans demanded the ponies' unconditional surrender, warning them that if they refused to comply, then mankind would go in guns blazing and lay waste to their home until the ponies either gave up or were all wiped out. Celestia chose to stand her ground and her loyal subjects followed suit, which, while commendable, didn't work out well for them.
  • Sex for Solace: Rarity, after she lost her husband in the war and her child was stillborn, turned to Spike for comfort. It was his first time, and things were awkward between them after that, with Spike's romantic feelings for her fading away as a result.
  • Shout-Out: In Warfare, Halberd recalls how Private Button Mash said that love can bloom on the battlefield.
  • Spanner in the Works: Before the barrier was destroyed, Discord would often teleport back to Equestria and act as a saboteur on humanity's behalf; he never killed anypony, but his methods proved to be very effective in distracting the ponies and giving his new allies a much-needed edge during the early days of the war.
  • Spiteful Spit: General Valkyrie spit in Celestia's face as a final act of defiance before being executed for treason after attempting to instigate a Military Coup.
  • Stepford Smiler: The newfoals, who are constantly and always happy. It's unsettling to humans and ponies alike.
  • Sterility Plague: All of the newfoals are infertile. Celestia states that she never intended for this and hoped to rectify it after all of mankind was converted, but now Twilight has taken it upon herself to cure humanity of ponification instead. Similarly, all the remaining Crystal Ponies that survived the nuclear attack on the Crystal Empire were rendered sterile due to radiation poisoning.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: In Truth, after Twilight argues that Celestia had no right to force the humans to change themselves even for all their imperfections, Celestia does this, screaming that she couldn't let humanity's cultures "poison" Equestria's own.
  • Sugar Apocalypse: The Bombing of Ponyville. Hell, the whole Invasion of Equestria could count.
  • Superweapon Surprise: Humanity first used the Thalmaan Anti-Magic Generators during the Battle of Jerusalem, which took the ponies by complete surprise, as they had no idea how to counter against a weapon that turned their greatest advantage moot.
  • Survivor's Guilt:
    • Rainbow Dash has been consumed by this due to being the Sole Survivor of the massacre that killed the Wonderbolts. Her guilt was further compounded by the fact that she only survived due to retreating out of fear for her own life and abandoning Scootaloo to suffer the same grisly fate.
    • Spike feels this in Future due to surviving the war and outliving all his old friends, which contributes to his fear of being happy.
  • Tactical Withdrawal: In the Warfare chapter "I Rejoin the Fight", Halberd explains that with the barrier brought down and the threat of nuclear attack very real, Celestia immediately ordered all her forces to fall back to Equestria and prepare for a large-scale human counterattack. From there, everypony went about converting the entire nation into one massive impenetrable fortress while the remaining princesses tried (in vain) to find a way to transport Equestria to another world to escape the humans' retribution.
  • Tears of Joy:
    • Shed by both Twilight and Fluttershy when they reconcile.
    • Twilight sheds these again when she sees the candlelit vigil, equal numbers of humans and ponies alike, standing outside of her home right before she passes away.
  • This Is Unforgivable!:
    • In Reunited, Twilight states that out of all the things her former mentor was directly responsible for and knowingly did, the one thing she refuses to forgive Celestia for is the fact that Spike often cries himself to sleep at night due to knowing that he's the only remaining dragon now thanks to her.
    • In Truth, after learning the reasons behind Celestia's actions, Twilight asserts that although she can understand and even sympathize with Celestia's position, she absolutely cannot forgive the fact that her former mentor dragged Equestria into an unnecessary and entirely avoidable war that caused so much loss and suffering because she chose to believe in the worst of humanity and disregard all their good aspects rather than try to make peace with them.
    • Due to everything they themselves personally lost during the war, Applejack and Rainbow Dash refused to make peace with the humans and couldn't accept Twilight's decision to surrender. They go to their graves hating her and the humans.
    • In Rest, we learn that Spike absolutely despises Flash Sentry for having broken up with Twilight (and accidentally hitting her in the process when they were arguing) and defecting to aid the humans. He states that while he understands his reasons in hindsight, he still won't fully let it go.
  • This Means War!: When Celestia delivered her ultimatum to humanity, they responded in kind.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Fluttershy trained to be a combat medic during the war and would often travel to the front lines to help wounded soldiers despite the danger. Many other Equestrian defectors are noted to have done the same.
  • Tranquil Fury: Twilight displays this in part one when she is reminded of Lyra's defection and those who followed. In part two, Fluttershy shows signs of this when she assures Twilight that everything that happened was Celestia's fault alone, as well as when she talks about the trauma her adopted kids went through during the war and how it still affects them.
  • Uncanny Valley: The newfoals are this In-Universe, summed up by Twilight as "nice... just... too nice," to the point that even she believed something was fundamentally wrong with them but was willing to let it slide because she still believed in Celestia. Halberd also confides in his journal how he finds it more than a tad bit creepy that the newfoals never say "no" to anything, including random ponies asking to sleep with them.
  • Undignified Death: In Useless, during the invasion of the EFF's home base, Rainbow Dash and Applejack are gunned down right as they were preparing to do a Last Stand.
  • United Nations Is a Superpower: The UN is stated to have become a lot more powerful and far more of a peacekeeping entity during and after the war.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Upon learning that his species was now extinct and the role Celestia played in it, Spike became so enraged and sorrowful that Twilight gave him an entire forest to vent his grief on. He destroyed the whole thing in less than a day.
  • War Is Hell: Said word-for-word by Halberd Wings in Warfare, who admits the humans certainly were right on the money with this. The ponies really were not prepared for the sheer brutality of how the humans wage war, especially with the Anti-Magic weapons they developed turning the ponies' biggest advantage moot.
  • War Memorial: One was erected in the ruins of Ponyville. Twilight visits it once a year to remember all those who died when the town was destroyed including Rarity, Pinkie Pie, the Crusaders, the Cakes and many others.
  • We Are as Mayflies: In Future, Spike has angst over this, as he has outlived many of his friends and is afraid to pursue his feelings for Rebecca because of this.
  • We Used to Be Friends:
    • The Mane Six's friendship was shattered by the war, first by Fluttershy defecting to help the humans, and then Rarity and Pinkie Pie being killed, and finally by Rainbow Dash and Applejack refusing to accept Twilight's decision to surrender to humanity. Twilight and Fluttershy do eventually reconcile a few years after the war.
    • As with Lyra and Bon Bon. The former defected to aid humanity, leading the rebellion against Celestia; the latter stayed loyal to Equestria, faked her death during the Bombing of Ponyville, and founded the Equestrian Freedom Fighters after the war ended. Lyra was heartbroken to find those last two details out.
  • Wham Episode: Truth, due to being a real gut punch of a reveal.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In Truth, Celestia initially refuses to explain the reasons behind her actions to Twilight, arguing that it doesn't matter since it won't change anything past or present, leading to Twilight raging at her in this manner. It convinces the fallen princess to explain herself to her once faithful student.
    Twilight: You were my mentor! My hero! I loved you even more than I did my own mother! Yet I lost everything following you! I lost friends, family, and ponies I've known for years! I lost my ability to have foals! Two of my friends hate me because I did the right thing by surrendering and now I have to hunt them down like criminals! My very hooves are stained with the blood of Equestria knows how many innocent lives from either the potion I helped create or my magic alone! Not to mention I played a part in leaving an entire planet with millions, if not billions, to die because I trusted you saying they would be okay! If it wasn't for the fact that I still had Spike and Fluttershy, I'd just kill myself and end my miserable life right now!
    • In the final weeks of the war, a group of rebellious Royal Guards realized that Equestria was doomed to lose and tried to launch a Military Coup to take over the throne and surrender peacefully to humanity's forces to save what remained of the country. However, their plan failed due to Celestia surviving their assassination attempt, leading to them being executed for treason. Their leader, General Valkyrie, spent her final moments calling Celestia out for ruining Equestria and dooming the ponies with her stubborn refusal to give up.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Fluttershy still considers Equestria to be her home, but knows she can never return at this point because of everything that had happened under Celestia's rule. Also the Equestrians' original home planet counts, as without Celestia and Luna, the Sun and Moon stopped moving, either boiling or freezing the planet (depending on which side it was on). This is compounded by the fact that the Equestrian sun was also slowly dying, meaning that even if they stayed, everyone would be dead anyway. Furthermore, anyone who considered Ponyville their home wouldn't be able to return as the town was destroyed in the war.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: The Equestrian Freedom Fighters are fighting for and clinging stubbornly to the "old" Equestria, but they are little more than terrorists who have murdered and assassinated many innocent humans and ponies in the years following the war's end. They're all wiped out in Useless.
  • Zero-Approval Gambit: Not that she planned for or intended it, but Celestia is completely willing to be hated by everyone and remembered as a historical villain more detested than Hitler, Stalin, Bin Laden, Mao and Pol Pot put together as long as it means that her ponies will be safe and forgiven and able to peacefully coexist with humanity.


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