- Author's Saving Throw: The reveal that Celestia actually does fund anti-slavery movements and cells on top of playing the Long Game waiting for the right time to assassinate Prime Minister Surachi comes off as this after the overwhelmingly negative response to her handling of the issues listed under Unintentionally Unsympathetic.
- Broken Base: Let's just say that Chapter 15 made a lot of readers (especially those on Fimfiction) hate Celestia.
- Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The horrible ways some pony slave owners are shown to treat their slaves and Celestia's gross incompetence has caused a lot of readers to either give up on the story altogether, or just continue reading in the hopes of Celestia and all of ponykind getting a real punishment for their actions. Some readers even expressed a desire for the Equestrians to be enslaved as a form of Laser-Guided Karma.
- Idiot Ball: Many readers felt The Reveal in Chapter 15 with regards to why the humans were enslaved was a case of Celestia holding a particularly large one of these.
- Fridge Logic: If the whole enslavement situation came about because two humans ate a pony, how are there still Griffons or Diamond Dogs around in Equus? Griffons are the mythological arch-enemy of horses; and chapter 15 states they are locked in a ceaseless state of on-again-off-again warfare. The Diamond Dogs are shown in-canon to be perfectly willing to pull the same bullshit the ponies are.
- For that matter, why haven't the windigoes shown up to feed off the humans' misery/hatred?
- Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Celestia. While she clearly did not enjoy turning the humans into a Slave Race for the ponies, her rather weak attempts to justify her decision to Luna as well as the fact that she refuses to just overturn slavery overnight have made her come off like a weak and incompetent leader easily manipulated by her Evil Chancellors to many a reader.Celestia: "Luna, please, I need your help. I want your help to bring things to how they should be, with humans free."Celestia: "That would not solve the problem. Ponies have had humans as slaves for centuries, to just force them to give it up would be difficult, these things will take time, but..."Luna: "You say you want to set things right, but you're not willing to do so in the quickest and simplest way?"
- The fact that it took protests from pegasus abolitionists to outlaw the practice of human gladiatorial rings, as well as the fact that a great many slaves are being mistreated (Twilight and Applejack are very clearly exceptions rather than the rule), yet Celestia doesn't seem to have done much to improve those conditions doesn't exactly help her case either.
- The Woobie: Chains, naturally.
- Woobie Species: Humanity as a whole has become this.
YMMV / Chains