- 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.
- Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Fate is written in stone, and nothing, not even the gods can change it. Any attempts by anyone to change their predetermined fates will only make things worse, so you should just shut up and deal with the hand you've been dealt, even if it condemns you to misery and madness for the rest of your life.
- 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.
- Tear Jerker: You will cry when you read this story. Probably several times.
- 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.
- Penumbra as well.
- 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.
YMMV / Background Pony