Follow TV Tropes


Fanfic / Within And Without

Go To

Twilight Sparkle and her friends are approached by Princess Luna, who presents them with a set of questions:

Did you ever stop to wonder what became of Trixie, Gilda and Blueblood after your encounters? What did these episodes truly mean to you? What role will they yet play in the lives of the Elements of Harmony?

Last, are these questions as relevant as the journey towards the answers? Who will benefit from seeking these answers - you, them, or I?

Originally written by Cloudy Skies in August-September 2011, Within and Without portrays the Mane Six confronting these and other issues in an lengthy, emotionally-driven quest that spans all of Equestria. It was among the first My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Fan Fics to blend well-written adventure narratives, character exploration and development, and shipping. It was recently revamped with new scenes and additional edits, all of which can be found here:


This My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic contains examples of:

  • The Atoner: Luna, as it slowly becomes clear over the course of the journey. She cannot bear to look at the Moon due to something happening before her banishment, but refuses to tell what it was. This is to the point where Luna's been forcing herself to incessantly watch her memory of herself destroying the city of Crepuscin due to her guilt. By her rough count, she's viewed it 15 million times in the last thousand years.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: From Fluttershy to Rainbow Dash.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Star Hammer, an orb of pure darkness that is described to be intimately linked to Luna. If she's not wielding it, it apparently lures in anyone nearby to try wielding it with lethal consequences. Celestia has her own artifact, the Sun Spear, which she's used to kill immortal beings who went insane and became a threat to the world. The few details about it indicate that it has a terrible hunger and power.
  • Advertisement:
  • Back from the Dead: The Princesses are capable of returning the deceased to life, but they swore themselves to not use it since they're beholden to "higher powers". Luna breaks the covenant between herself and Celestia to revive Trixie after she died.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Nowhere near as sexual as most shipping fics, but Twilight and Luna's relationship takes a long time to develop and almost never goes smoothly.
  • Break the Haughty: Trixie gets the absolute worst of it, and it's not portrayed as satisfying or deserved. No unicorn deserves to lose their magic entirely, and she's revealed to have stopped taking care of herself and can't sleep due to nightmares after touching the Star Hammer.
  • Brick Joke: Princess Longleap, Winter Sun, and the Somewhere Far Away epilogue.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Trixie loses her magic after surviving contact with the Star Hammer. Luna notes that Trixie got off lightly, compared to what could have happened if she interacted with anything else in Luna's study.
  • Brutal Honesty: Applejack's blunt honesty and straightforward nature create several issues within the group. They also convince Luna to revive Trixie.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy have people they love that they can't admit to, for similar reasons Once it's pointed out to her, Twilight develops this with Princess Luna, adding yet another source of conflict between the two.
  • Call-Back: Luna promises to give Dash anything she wants - with reason - as reward for going on the adventure. The story ends with Dash asking to have her marriage with Pinkie made official.
  • The Chessmaster: Luna obviously has her own plans that she remains cryptic about, and Celestia has a hoof in how things play out.
  • The Chief's Daughter: Gilda, daughter of the Chief of the Blackclaw Tribe in the griffin territories, who repeatedly ran away from her tribe to find her own way in life.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Rainbow Dash accuses Gilda of being like this, long after Rainbow found someone else.
  • Coming-Out Story: Part of Rainbow Dash's character arc, as while she's in a romantic relationship with Pinkie, she's sworn Pinkie to secrecy about their relationship out of fear.
  • Cowardly Lion: Fluttershy is the only one brave enough to yell at Luna for her actions after Grey Hollows.
  • Dark Secret: Luna's reason for going on the adventure, and a core part of the tale is Twilight trying to discover just what Luna's hiding.
  • Death by Despair: Trixie loses her will to live, dying shortly after being found in Clopenhagen. She gets better.
  • Determinator: Twilight goes to incredible lengths to save Luna from herself.
  • Doom Magnet: Winter Sun, as all three of her previous inns have either burned down or been destroyed. The Epilogue shows that her insurance company regards her as a "special case", with an even longer string of insurance claims showing that she's been unlucky for a very long time.
  • Driven to Suicide: When she's finally found and cornered, Trixie threatens to kill herself.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Not quite dying due to a quick response, but Twilight becomes badly injured and delirious near the end of the story, and bluntly tells Luna how she really feels.
  • Dynamic Entry: Princess Celestia detects that Princess Luna has brought someone back to life. She immediately leaves the banquet she's attending, gets to Clopenhagen in record time, and then breaks through a wall in the hotel that the party is residing in due to how angry she is.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The Mane Six and Princess Luna set out to resolve the problems caused by their treatment of Gilda, Trixie, and Prince Blueblood, having to face danger and heartaches to truly fix their mistakes. The biggest obstacle is Luna herself, which takes the cumulative efforts of the Six along with Twilight's breaking past Luna's walls to save her from herself.
  • Eldritch Location: Crepuscin, thanks to Luna becoming Nightmare Moon and unleashing cataclysmic magic on the city. The ruins of the city were buried during the passage of time, which caused the Everfree Forest above it to become one as well. Specifically the palace containing Luna's magical artifacts.
  • Every Body Knew Already: Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie's romance. Despite their best efforts to keep it hidden, everyone except the oblivious Twilight quickly picks up on it, and they're exasperated that she's not caught on yet.
  • Everyone Can See It: The connection and eventual romance between Twilight and Luna... and Twilight is not aware of it for quite some time.
  • Foreshadowing: All over the place, as hints about the problems in later chapters can be seen lurking in conversations during earlier chapters, though Fluttershy's own is the most subtle.
  • Hero Insurance: The more expensive aspects of the trip - especially property destruction - are paid by the royal treasury.
  • Hidden Depths: As it turns out, Fluttershy is the most experienced traveler of the Mane Six. This is because she roamed Equestria searching for Rainbow Dash after she left Cloudsdale without letting Fluttershy know where she went.
  • Hospitality for Heroes: Luna uses her planning and foresight to give Winter Sun ownership of a hotel, exactly where the group would be staying several chapters later.
  • I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship: Fluttershy thinks this will happen once her private issues come to light, and spends a lot of the story avoiding all attempts to bring those problems to light.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Fluttershy doesn't take the reveal of Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie's relationship well, as she's been in love with Rainbow since flight camp.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Twilight walks in on Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie early on, right in the middle of a makeout session. She's too oblivious to realize what's going on, though.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Fluttershy for Rainbow Dash, as she doesn't let herself reveal her own feelings out of guilt.
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: Luna is the biggest offender and it gets her constant flak from the party, but everyone in the group is hiding something. The emotional turmoil nearly breaks the group apart.
  • Love Redeems: Luna doesn't overcome her own problems until Twilight helps her.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Chief Blackclaw, Gilda's father. He uses his right to the dueling rules by declaring Gilda as his champion and Rainbow Dash herself as the stake for Gilda winning. In one stroke, he gives motivation for his daughter to actually care about helping him, and she's motivated by possibly keeping Rainbow in the tribe.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Between Twilight and Luna. However, Twilight still has the choice of becoming immortal.
  • My Greatest Failure: Luna spends her nights reliving the memories of her final moments before being banished to the moon.
  • Mysterious Past: Luna tries to keep hers as hidden as possible, to the irritation and concern of the Mane Six.
  • Noble Savage: Brenliana, who approaches the Mane Six at the head of a squad of griffins, all wearing warpaint and tribal masks. She quickly proves herself to be both reasonable and concerned with her tribe's welfare.
  • No Hero Discount: Applejack, Rarity, and Luna handle the adventure's finances, since Luna refuses to take advantage of her status to make businesses give them free goods and services. Twilight didn't even think to bring money.
  • The Oath-Breaker: Luna breaks a covenant with Celestia to save Trixie, and stands by her decision.
  • Out of Focus: Prince Blueblood never actually appears in the story at any point, being restricted to offhand references and being used by Luna to string along Rarity. Luna eventually reveals that while he is in Clopenhagen, he's been sent there to stay with relatives by Celestia, in order to receive etiquette lessons usually reserved for noble children.
  • Parental Abandonment: Fluttershy suffered from this, as her father abandoned Fluttershy and her mother when she was young. Her character arc focuses on her gaining enough independence to stop using Rainbow Dash as an emotional crutch.
  • Simple-Minded Wisdom: Pinkie Pie is much wiser than she acts, frequently surprising Twilight with her observations.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: Said almost word for word by Fluttershy.
  • Polyamory: After Fluttershy's feelings of loneliness and love for Rainbow Dash are revealed, Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie promise to share their love and accompany her. Rarity calls it "terrifically modern."
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Many of the members of the griffin tribe.
  • Race for Your Love: Done literally between Rainbow Dash and Gilda, with the future of the griffin tribe and Rainbow's freedom at stake.
  • Rebellious Princess: Gilda, who turns out to be the daughter of the Blackclaw's chief. She's repeatedly fled home due to his restrictive upbringing.
  • Road Trip Romance: This story manages to combine a long adventure with a healthy dose of shipping.
  • Scenery Gorn: Crepuscin, even with it buried under the Everfree Forest. The palace courtyard is still full of the bones of the ponies Luna killed as Nightmare Moon.
  • Secret Keeper: Nearly everyone is keeping secrets from each other, and a great deal of the story's conflict arises from secrets suddenly being revealed.
    • Luna deliberately withholds information on Blueblood just to get Rarity's attention. She also tries to keep her past hidden, to the point of casting a spell on Twilight to prevent her from seeing Luna's dreams.
    • Twilight sees Luna's vulnerabilities and eventually learns about her descent into Nightmare Moon.
    • Applejack questions Luna's motives and overall personality, but not openly early on.
    • The Pinkie Pie Promise is used to prevent Pinkie from revealing her relationship with Rainbow Dash, despite it being obvious.
    • Rarity's insecurities about her future and sense of self-worth.
    • Fluttershy's severe abandonment issues and unrequited love for Rainbow Dash.
    • Despite appearing in only a couple of scenes, Princess Celestia knows what's happening during the adventure and enacts her own plans.
  • Secret Relationship: Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie think they have this, but fail miserably. The only one not aware of this is Twilight, who is generally Oblivious to Love.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Rainbow Dash is too afraid to publicly admit her feelings for Pinkie Pie until she's called out on it.
  • Shout-Out: As everyone is deciding whether or not to go on the adventure, Pinkie Pie states that it's dangerous to go alone.
  • Spanner in the Works: Luna underestimated Twilight's determination to access her dream, even if it ended up being for the better.
  • Standard Hero Reward: Played with. Before leaving, Rainbow Dash asks if they're going to get something for going on the adventure. Amused, Luna promises to give her anything she wants, as long as it is within reason. Luna agrees to make Dash and Pinkie's marriage official.
  • Staring Down Cthulhu: Twilight's friends physically protect her from an enraged Luna, despite knowing they could be killed.
  • There Is Only One Bed: The rooming arrangements at the inns are occasionally problematic, often leading to development between certain characters.
    • Amusingly, Applejack chooses to stay with Pinkie Pie early on, obliquely hinting that Pinkie and Rainbow Dash would be too noisy if they shared a bed.
  • They're Called "Personal Issues" for a Reason: Luna frequently invokes this to keep Twilight from learning the truth. She does anyway.
  • The Storyteller: Trixie's last known location is traveling away from Ponyville and telling stories from her life.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: Everyone in the town Grey Hollows really hates Luna, and eventually begin equipping themselves with these as they chase her and her entourage out of the town.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Grey Hollows, being both isolated from Equestria as a whole and its residents bear knowledge that the rest of the country isn't aware of. As it turns out, they're the descendants of survivors fleeing Crepuscin, and have kept the memory of that night alive for the last thousand years.
  • Transparent Closet: Almost everyone knows Rainbow Dash loves Pinkie, yet they try to keep it hidden.
  • Unrequited Tragic Maiden: Fluttershy for Rainbow Dash. She gets better.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Fluttershy has the confrontation with a suicidal Trixie almost under control, but Dash's loud mouth ruins it.
  • Wandering Minstrel: Trixie is a tragic version, both in what's happened to her and that her material is primarily tragic.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Winter Sun, who keeps having to flee her inns and setting up shop in other locations, with the party just being the latest weird thing that's happened to Winter Sun.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: One of the driving questions of the adventure, as Luna asks the Mane Six if they've ever considered what happened to Gilda, Trixie, and Prince Blueblood.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Luna is on the receiving end of a few these.
    • Rainbow Dash gets a called out on quite a few of her mistakes as well.
  • Wham Episode: The events at Grey Hollows, and Trixie's death mid-conversation in the hotel.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Explored with as Luna comes to terms with her past mistakes. It's also revealed that the Elements of Harmony grant their bearers the choice of immortality.
  • Yes-Man: Twilight is often accused of being this for Celestia and Luna. She spends her character arc learning of her own self-worth in relation to the princesses.
  • You Are Not Alone: Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie eventually do this for Fluttershy.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: