You’ll fall in love with today’s story before you know it.
Changeling Courtship Rituals
[Romance] [Comedy] • 38,574 words
For years, Twilight Sparkle and Queen Chrysalis have been at each other’s throats. Both have experienced victory over the other, and both have experienced defeat. Out of all the creatures in Equestria, none despise each other the way the pony Princess and changeling Queen do. They seemed destined to remain locked in battle forever, or at least until one is finally dead at the hooves of the other. The cruel insults, the vicious loathing, and the powerful spells that have passed back and forth between them at each meeting have become the stuff of legend.
Imagine Twilight’s surprise when she finds out changelings consider this dating.
And now they’re married.
FROM THE CURATORS: It’s always a great sign when the five of us approach a comedy and find ourselves unanimously agreeing on its hilarity. “Changeling Courtship Rituals is such a madcap pile of wackiness from start to finish,” Present Perfect said, echoed by Soge: “The story is a riot from beginning to end — the ‘meet the parents’ chapter is one of the funniest things I have read in ponyfic.” Chris appreciated the story’s self-subversion: “When this fic is on, it’s hilarious. Whenever it appears that it’s about to start taking its premise too seriously, it quickly pulls the rug out from under itself.”
It’s easy to see from the story description where the humor in this romantic comedy comes from, but one of the pleasant surprises that awaited us inside was the depth of emotion it also managed to work in. “Twilight decides that her best course of action is to use Chrysalis’ feelings for her to see if she can get Chrysalis to act in a way that’s more acceptable to ponies,” AugieDog explained in his nomination. “The ways in which this doesn’t exactly work out make for both the comedy and the drama, and the author covers every base I could think of.” Soge agreed: “The strong characterization work manages to really elevate its plot. It’s the story of Twilight growing as a person in very important and realistic ways, culminating in a powerful climax.”
He wasn’t the only one praising the story’s strong characters. “The side characters consistently steal the show,” Horizon said. “Celestia’s private reaction to Twilight’s news, and Discord’s first introduction, were both laugh-out-loud moments.” Ultimately, however, it was the story’s breadth — not just in tone, but in the range of humor it covered effectively — which sealed our feature. “It’s full of great character-assassinating humor, refuge-in-audacity silliness, and the like,” Chris said. “And it knows exactly how seriously to take all that audacity. Twilight makes an excellent straight mare in a world gone crazy, and yet that craziness is of a consistent-yet-ridiculous form that makes it easy to understand the world.”
Read on for our author interview, in which Codex Ex Equus discusses flying machines, reading superpowers, and multi-dimensional monsters.