- Broken Base:
- The Reveal that Gallant Heart was a mole and Luna knowing about the assassination and not telling. Some fans think that it works, saying it adds a layer of complexity to Gallant Heart's character. Others think it adds too much complexity and that it opens up too many Plot Holes.
- The Genre Shift upon the Wham Episodes of Aftermath of a Fallen Star. There are two camps for this: 1) It's a natural progression of events due to Disaster Dominoes. or 2) A shoehorned in epic adventure plotline that takes the reader away from the character reactions for the sake of an End of the World scenario.
- Continuity Lockout: Stories that take place after Aftermath of a Fallen Star often hinge on the fact that you read it along with the original and know about all the plot twists from there. So don't skip unless you want to find yourself getting into spoiler territory.
- Complete Monster: Amadeus Blueblood is a powerful Canterlot noble who at first just treated ponies of lesser status, especially the guards and servants, like trash. He's soon revealed to be far worse, involved in, among other deeds, bribery, blackmail and outright assassinations. Manipulating his own son, who he's heavily implied to have corrupted into becoming what he is at the time of the story, he has him assassinate Twilight Sparkle; blackmails Gallant Heart with his beloved brother's life; and has the entire conspiracy, including his son, brutally killed to cover his tracks. After the princess punishes his clan for his association with his son, he poisons his own wife so he can escape to Unicornia with his daughter, Majesty, who he drives down the path of evil, just like he did with her brother.
- Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy:
- With the fact that this version of Equestria is incredibly racist, intolerant and backwards to the extent that any attempt to modernize the country is met with civil war, and the Princesses having done NOTHING at all to address this until Twilight came along, it's a little hard to get invested in the story.
- Even part of the background lore has been criticized for this. Seremora's bio reveals that countless innocent souls (including ones whose afterlives she attacked, meaning you're not even safe in Heaven) are stuck in a Fate Worse than Death in her belly, and her own mortals must put their souls in Soul Jars to avoid the same "afterlife." For some readers, this just took the bleakness Up to Eleven for no clear reason but shock value.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: Stag, a changeling OC, has quickly become this due to his profession.
- Harsher in Hindsight:
- What Blueblood did to Marble Pie was bad enough, factor in her canon personality shown in Hearthbreakers, it takes a new dimension of despicability and plausibility in exploiting her feelings such.
- The ponies' Fantastic Racism, whether it was towards other pony tribes or other races have always been toned down due to being a kids show while being played straight in dark fics like this. Come Season 8 where it's revealed that Equestria's education system is canonically employing segregated education for the three tribes, barring other races from learning in their approved schools and their isolationist policies is also the reason why there is lack of knowledge of the outside world regarding other races resulting in xenophobia. Suddenly, these kind of scenarios went from "bad fantasies" to "pretty much what would canonically happen" should the censors ever come off.
- Heartwarming in Hindsight: Fleur-de-lis is portrayed as a changeling who is Happily Married to Fancy Pants, who is aware of her true nature. Season 6 of the canon show reveals that such a relationship would actually cure a changeling of their Horror Hunger for love, and the first friendship between a changeling and a non-changeling sets the stage for their HeelRace Turn.
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
- Marble's personality in this fanfic was established before her canonical personality was revealed, and they're almost exactly the same: shy, cute and innocent.
- The episode "The Gift of the Maud Pie" reveals that, yes, Pinkie's abilities do run in the family.
- Pinkie Pie's chapter reveals that she has three primary voices in her head, one happy, one sad, and one angry, very much like Joy, Sadness, and Anger.
- A Not-So-Safe Harbor which dabbles in all forms for crimes outside Equestria that has a diverse population of various races and species living together? Are talking about Erebus Isles or Klugetown?
- Jerkass Woobie: Stag, because towards the end of his second chapter we discover why he hates Chrysalis and why he's so protective of children.
- Moral Event Horizon:
- Blueblood and the rest of the conspirators assassinating Twilight.
- Amadeus Blueblood has two major candidates for his crossing the line.
- Option one is masterminding Twilight's assassination, convincing Blueblood (who was having second thoughts) to go though with it, and blackmailing Gallant Heart, who was supposed to be a Reverse Mole, into doing it for real.
- Option two is fatally poisoning his wife Alura (who had spent the last five months grieving over the loss of her son) just to cover his tracks when he and the rest of the Blueblood clan move to Unicornia to plan their next move to take over Equestria, and then the rest of the world after that.
- Silver Spoon saying she's glad that Twilight died since it (ostensibly) means that her plans for Equestria will never come to fruition. This is lampshaded by Apple Bloom who states that there is nothing wholesome or redeemable about Silver Spoon at this point, and would have knocked her lights out if Diamond Tiara didn't beat her to the punch.
- Equestrian's First, an anti-Twilight terrorist cell, bombing Princess Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns on the 15th anniversary of her death. With that in mind, it's hard to feel sympathy for them when Stag infiltrates their base with the help of an unwitting scout and has them all executed.
- Narm: In Aftermath of a Fallen Star, each character's point-of-view chapter ends with a short epilogue describing what they went on to do with their lives, with almost every character being given a Red Baron-esque title. It works for some characters such as Rainbow Dash, the "Loyal Flyer", or Fluttershy, the "Gentle Butterfly". Not so much for Pinkie, the "Pink Balloon" or Donut Joe, the "Empty Donut".
- Ron the Death Eater: Yet another fanfic that turns Blueblood into a villain. At the very least, though, he has a Freudian Excuse, and died seeing the error of his ways.
- Sequelitis: Due to how bleak and hopeless the overall setting is as of the epilogue of Aftermath of a Fallen Star, subsequent sequels were not as well received as the previous works. This has not gone unnoticed by the author, who is asking for reasons why.
- Strawman Has a Point: Twilight's parents are definitely jerks for keeping Mystic grounded but they are right in the fact that Mystic will be targeted by Twilight's haters the moment she enters Celestia's school (see: Regal) and risk being among the dead during the terrorist attack while making her Celestia's personal student would just be begging for a case of History Repeats.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: It would have been interesting to see how Queen Chrysalis (who assuredly does not like Twilight) would react to Twilight's death and her plans to make peace with the Changelings, but this can't happen because she's dead.
- Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Princess Luna taking Cruel Mercy revenge against Amadeus Blueblood was supposed to be a Tragic Mistake with the unforeseeable consequence of leading his daughter Majesty to become a more dangerous threat. But after her knowing of the plot against Twilight but failing to do more like warning Celestianote , Luna leaving him alive and sane enough to corrupt Majesty, who'd have even more reason to oppose Equestria, came off as her repeatedly screwing over everyone with her bad judgement. The author admitted Luna's actions were a mistake that cost fans.
- What an Idiot!: Amadeus Blueblood, the true mastermind of Twilight's assassination, having long been able to keep Princess Luna from uncovering his connection to the conspiracy thanks to the Dreamless Sleep Potion, is now on the run for the Kingdom of Unicornia.
You Would Think: That Amadeus, now more than ever, would shield his mind from Luna's intrusion, at the very least until he reaches Unicornia, which is presumably outside of her range.
Instead: Already thinking that he was out of range, Amadeus doesn't take the Potion. The story tries to justify this in that Luna has a self-imposed limitation which forbids her from probing people's minds for evidence under the grounds of being unable to properly separate memory from dreams, but it's very hard to swallow that a supposedly Macchiavellic figure would trust their opponent to always play by the rules.
Result: Luna is able to detect Amadeus' dreamscape and enter it, which she otherwise would have been unable to do.
- The Woobie:
- Celestia. Big time. Twilight's friends and family as well, especially Twilight Velvet and Spike.
- Twilight herself, prior to her assassination. She was well aware of the backlash she was receiving from the public.
- Flash Sentry, it's simply impossible not to feel sorry for him once his chapter ends.
- Alura Blueblood, Amadeus's wife. Despite everything, she's simply broken over the death of Prince Blueblood, having been in mourning for five months after his execution. It also doesn't help that Amadeus poisons her in order to cover his tracks.
YMMV / The Assassination of Twilight Sparkle