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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Who is Shining Armor apologizing to at the end of the 10th chapter? To Jewelius who's smugly reproaching the fugitives for upsetting Twilight? Or is his apology directed to Twilight and/or Cadance, with the former having left to check on the latter who's injured and taken to the medical wing? Twilight claimed that Jewelius intended to let Cadance return to Canterlot, expressing in her "The Reason You Suck" Speech the opinion that the others caused Cadance's wounding by bringing her to Canterlot before Jewelius could reinstate her.
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    • When Hildread decides to choose her Knight Templar convictions over her conscience in the climax, her reasons behind it can be debatable. Is she refusing to admit Shining Armor is right to call her out of her hypocrisies because she doesn't want to think that her actions under Jewelius' orders have brought more damage than good, or does she hate Shining Armor that much? Perhaps she's too afraid of Jewelius to turn against him?
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • While the story progressed, some commenters complained about Twilight's negative change in character. Disturbed by this, the author worked on the chapters dealing with the extra details about how that started because of Jewelius as well as Twilight's Jerkass Realization and subsequent reconciliations with her loved ones.
    • In the original version of the fic, the entire Royal Guard did side with Jewelius during his coup, serving him all the way down to the attack on Ponyville. This case of Adaptational Villainy wasn't appreciated by everyone, so the author afterwards added the scene in which one guard joins Lieutenant Shackle in questioning the morality of the attack on Ponyville, only for Jewelius to kill him in response. Eventually the author rewrote a couple of chapters, making it so that most of the guards were injured by the Changelings yet remained loyal to the dismantled princesses, so Jewelius ordered these injured loyalists to be murdered as casualties of the invasion and afterwards hired bribed convicts to replace them.
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  • Harsher in Hindsight: The main antagonist is an ordinary pony who is skilled at hiding his vileness under a nice façade, cunningly schemes and manipulates ponies to turn on each other, is extremely vain and self-serving, acts as a Foil to Queen Chrysalis, claims a title higher than "princess", refuses to redeem himself, and ends up dying as a monster. After the fic was finished, the 8th season aired. Its Arc Villain, Cozy Glow, ends up having all those same traits (with the only exception being that she's turned to stone instead of eaten alive in the 9th season finale for being considered Beyond Redemption.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Jewelius tries to make Twilight his queen, albeit one who only provides him with powerful heirs. Guess who has become Equestria's highest (unmarried) ruler by the series' finale?
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  • Moral Event Horizon: Jewelius crosses this when he reveals to the imprisoned heroes in the 11th chapter that he's been very evil all along, having convinced the Changelings to assault Canterlot and destroyed the heroes' lives of his own accord, just to take the throne and dispose of the aunt and cousin he has hated and been jealous of for years. He also heartlessly gloats about how he used Twilight's sadness and the others' shunning of her to trick her into rejecting them, is planning to use her as his broodmare to be disposed of should a more powerful unicorn mare be found, will kill Cadance while making it look like he's trying to save her, has already killed off all the Royal Guards who were injured in the Changeling invasion yet remained loyal to Celestia, and has Celestia to be hanged the next day.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • Jewelius argues in his propaganda speeches that the entire ponykind has become too dependent on the alicorns and the Elements of Harmony to keep them safe. Vivian expresses the same sentiment during her Motive Rant to Rainbow Dash. Jewelius is hypocritical for being a coward who relies on his allies to do the fighting for him, and Vivian's logic of the ponykind becoming independent under his rule is screwed up, as Rainbow Dash states. Unfortunately, the argument is not completely invalid, given who usually solve the canon crises in the show. There's also the fact that in the fic itself, Ponyville is saved from Jewelius' army when the Elements of Harmony are used to turn them to stone, and the Changelings are then blasted out of Equestria by Shining Armor and Cadance as per canon. In principle, the ponykind toughening up a bit wouldn't be such a bad idea in case the powerful heroes weren't around…
    • As another part of his self-serving propaganda, Jewelius says that the true Elements of Harmony are in everypony instead of "six random mares". However, this warped (and somewhat misogynistic) statement can be interpreted to be a case of Right for the Wrong Reasons in a sense that anyone is capable of displaying the virtues the Elements represent (as well as other virtues) if they choose to. If everyone upheld said virtues, both in civilian and military life, that would result in greater unity and less misfortunes, magic or no magic.
  • Wangst: The heroes express their remorse so often that it can become tedious to some.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Jewelius has Vivian take care of the brainwashed bridesmaids so that Twilight and Cadance can interrupt the wedding ceremony. When he tells Chrysalis of what he did, she's surprised by his betrayal.
      You'd Expect: Chrysalis would reveal to everypony her now broken partnership with Jewelius and what he has done to help her switch places with Cadance. By doing that, she'd have a chance to deny him whatever he seeks to gain out of betraying her, even if he calls her a liar.
      Instead: Chrysalis brushes off the entire issue, confident her victory is assured anyway. She ends up being shrunken and trapped in a glass jar, and it's not until a week later that she's able to expose Jewelius to the heroes when all of them are at his mercy and locked up in cells along with her.
    • After Twilight has stopped the Changelings, Jewelius starts aggressively calling out all the other heroes (even Cadance who can't be held accountable for being taken by surprise) of their mistakes while the wedding guests and some guards are present. He doesn't really give anypony a chance to properly explain themselves, and Vivian points her horn threateningly toward Celestia the moment the princess opens her mouth.
      You'd Expect: Celestia would understand that she needs to assert herself, sternly stop her nephew from making biased accusations, and start properly clearing things up for everypony.
      Instead: Celestia takes no action to stop her nephew from speaking even when he's addressing the ponies in Canterlot's streets. She only asks him to calm himself while letting her own nervousness show, and says that everything would have been resolved differently if Twilight — the hero who just stopped the Changelings — had just kept a cool head and brought evidence to back up her accusations.note  She makes it worse for herself and the heroes by telling them to run right after Jewelius has promised in his speech to correct their mistakes. This backfires horribly as the attempt fails and makes them look as guilty as he says they are. This in turn leads to them all being imprisoned and scorned on by everypony.
    • When the fugitives (sans Luna) sneak inside Canterlot's castle and try to reach the library in search of Twilight, they come across an intersection of three hallways. They decide to split into three groups and reach the library through the three different routes, thinking they'll be less likely to get caught if they aren't all together.
      You'd Expect: The princesses and Shining Armor would first use their knowledge of the castle to give each group instructions on how to best reach the library through the different paths and possibly avoid any patrolling guards. Or better yet, Celestia, Cadance and Shining Armor should each be leading one of the groups.
      Instead: The fugitives split up randomly (with Celestia and Shining Armor both in one group and Cadance in another) and start finding their ways without further discussions. Only the group of Celestia, Shining Armor and Spike reaches the library without being noticed. All the others are found by Hildread, leading Cadance to buy them time to escape and end up being injured by Jewelius. That in turn leads to Twilight renouncing her brother, friends and mentor in anger before she detains them with a magic dome and allows them to be imprisoned again.
    • All the Changelings escape from Canterlot's dungeons at the same time the fugitive heroes escape as well, causing mass panic among Canterlot's citizens.
      You'd Expect: If only for the sake of his image, Jewelius would pacify the citizens, make preparations against a new Changeling invasion, and try to get rid of the heroes later, or at least discreetly.
      Instead: Jewelius absolutely refuses to spare a thought for the Changelings until he's done with the heroes, even when Twilight herself asks him to focus on the Changelings who're definitely more of a threat to ponies than the fugitives. He tries to get the citizens off his back by having Twilight lie to them, but she disobeys his orders, and he allows her to realize his true nature in their following argument, leading her to escape from Canterlot with the Elements of Harmony and rejoin the other heroes. After Jewelius' army is petrified by the Elements and he's cornered by the heroes, the Changelings take their chance to kill him while he's at his weakest.

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