FimFiction Link - Short ID: 542851/and-they-all-cheered-my-name
Published: Sep '23
I've already expressed a fairly strong disinterest in Treetops' work, but I figured, what the hell, here's a story without a [Human] or [Anon] tag, let's have a look. It's still post-S9, but whatever, one can give that much benefit of the doubt.
It actively irritates me how nice the core concept is compared to the execution. Twiggles visits Celestia because she needs advice—because of an uncaring choice she made, some random schmuck got his house burned down, killing his wife and leaving him jobless, which caused him to resort to muggings, until he accidentally kills a pony in self-defence. All this ends up being too much for him and he confesses his crimes to Twilight in prison. So far so contrived, but still, the idea of her having to do justice in a situation where in a way she's guilty too and not knowing what to do is *nice*. So is the idea that Luna didn't snap because she wasn't as liked as Celestia, but because ponies actively wanted her to be more like her sister and when Cellie herself echoed that sentiment, Luna went over the edge. I also like that Celestia wasn't mourning her sister just for the fact that she had to banish her, but also because she wasn't able to properly explain it to her subjects that it's really all of their faults and especially her own.
Holy fuck, even putting to the side how ridiculously contrived the circumstances are to make both Twiggles and the murderer guilty but also not guilty, the way Celestia's confession is handled is so irritating. For one the sheer melodrama really takes away from the moment's seriousness. See picrel, you can so easily imagine the "dun dun duuun" sound effect after it. And for two it implies that through all that one thousand years she never actually tried to rectify all this, "Welp, they didn't listen to me during my initial address, I guess I'll bottle this up forever and never bring it up again." I'm convinced RT didn't intend this impression about her, but that's really how the whole thing came off. Not to mention the whole thing ends with Twilight just going "Hey, now I know what to do!" "What?" "You'll see ^:))))))" and the story ends almost immediately afterwards.
I'm a sucker for "heavy is the head" stories, but still the fact that people are eating this mess up and praising its apparent nuances is baffling. The prose tries hard to be colourful, but comes off as almost AI written in its rigidity and while there is a good concept here with ideas that are a genuinely good spin on the intro myth of the show, it's held back so hard by an author who's clearly only really experienced in writing le funny green man shortfics.