- Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Given how dark and sad this story can get, as tragedy keeps on piling on Lyra, it can be hard to keep going.
- Nightmare Fuel
- The curse in general, to be forgotten by everyone and unable to have friends, or hold onto any sort of life more than moment to moment and eventually to end up in the Unsung Realm.
- The Unsung Realm in general a vast prison hell of entropic decay and cold filled with eternally imprisoned ponies wrapped in chains working vast machinery for an insane goddess.
- Sing her song and become nothing. Sing her song and become nothing.
- The fate of Penumbra after Comethoof was cursed, alone in a hostile quarter of the city in the middle of a war, no idea why, and pregnant with a child that is slowly killing her.
- The Woobie:
- Lyra, most obviously in the chapters set in the days after the curse first takes effect. She evolves into an Iron Woobie later on.
- Twilight, after her falling-out with Moondancer, and especially when she then realizes the impact of Lyra's disappearance from her life and memory.
- In the backstory, Dr Alabaster Comethoof, an earlier victim of the same curse.
- Snips, his sister, and his mother, at least while they're living with Straight Edge.
- Moondancer, in Lyra's flashback to her own experiences of an abusive father.