FimFiction Link - Short ID: 158538/the-hanging-of-twilight-sparkle
Published: Jan '14 — Mar '14
This story pains me in multiple ways. Some good, some bad.
Let's start with the good, shall we? 'The Hanging of Twilight Sparkle' is a short, twenty four thousand-word long fic about, the trial, the last night and well, the hanging of Twilight Sparkle. The author does not pull their punches. Every interaction Twilight has with another character is heart-wrenching, regardless of whether it's about comforting her or in one instance even coming close to murdering her before the proper execution could happen. Even Pinkie Pie is handled in a dignified way, despite the fact that more often than not she is the one character authors trip up on, due to feeling compelled to make crack a joke in the dreariest of situations. The fact that the author doesn't chicken out and lets Twilight survive at the end is commendable too, something like that could have easily caused the story's otherwise chocking atmosphere to fall apart in an instant. The last scene in which she slowly suffocates to death is hard to even read, you can almost feel the rope on your own neck as she finally chokes and dies in front of spiteful thousands.
And yet the story is "ruined" by one stupid choice. Now, I'm well aware the author did this intentionally, they even say so, but a well-meaning stupid choice is still stupid. To put an end to this roundabout sentence: We never get to know why Twilight did what she did. All we get to know is that Princess Luna is dead and with her over three thousand others, all caused by Twilight. The author claims there are "clues" to her cause and I might just frankly be a brainlet, but I can't really seem to figure it out, nor could most of the other readers as I saw in the comments. Most of the clues are like "she would have taken [Twilight's friends] away," which just kicks the question of motive further down the road. Leaving things up to interpretation or the readers' imagination is a great tool to create a bit of mystery. However, in a story like this, I feel like we lose out on more than we gain by the secrecy. Don't get me wrong, as I have written in the previous section, the tragic feelings still come through strongly, but the fact that we're left in the dark is simply put annoying. Especially considering how good the story otherwise is. Perhaps the story's promised alternative ending would have shed some light on what truly transpired, but seeing that OP hasn't been online for nearly six years now makes this kind of a moot point.
Overall: 6/10 Competent writing, brutal and tragic scenes, dumb secrecy. It's not a long fanfic, so if you can accept the idea that such a pivotal question can be left unanswered, I can recommend reading it.