Make the choice to read today’s story, and you’ll be rewarded with an intriguing romp through Norse mythology.
Can’t Choose Your Family
[Crossover] [Slice of Life] • 3,937 words
It’s been five thousand years since the Summit of the Gods was last hosted in Equestria, and after dropping off Discord in Ponyville, Celestia returns to Canterlot Castle to meet with the entire Norse Pantheon. Before she can arrive, though, she’s stopped by a guard with a strange message, sent on the behalf of a mysterious figure from her past.
FROM THE CURATORS: This story’s cover art and description suggest the central family tie of the story — but it takes a deeper reading to realize just how cleverly the idea is constructed. “The story’s labeled ‘Crossover’ because it posits that Celestia and Luna are the daughters of Sleipnir, Odin’s eight-legged horse in Norse mythology — which means, of course, that their grandmother is Loki,” AugieDog said in his nomination. “It’s an idea that I just plain find appealing.” The rest of us were equally taken with those ideas. “The big draw here is the mythology, and what sells that is the solid characterization,” Horizon said.
Singled out for the greatest praise was the Norse deity who pays Celestia a visit. “There was clearly a lot of thought that went into Loki’s character, from ‘his’ flexible definition of gender to his unconventional sense of loyalty and understanding of betrayal,” Chris said. Present Perfect agreed: “The way Loki is written has a certain je ne sais quoi. There’s an equal measure of ‘otherworldly god’ and ‘concerned grandmother’ there, very difficult to pull off well.” But, as AugieDog noted, the Equestrian characters are given equally thoughtful depth. “The story is a very nice character study of Celestia,” he said, “focusing on the choices she’s made concerning Equestria, in light of the constant sideways glances she and Luna get from the other Aesir due to their heritage.”
And while there was plenty to impress us in the character work alone, this story was also full of little surprises to enrich our reading experience. “There’s a good deal in here that I’ve never seen before — most notably Discord’s relationship to Celestia,” Present Perfect said. Horizon agreed: “From how Discord fits into the picture to the identity of Celestia and Luna’s mothers, this is full of surprising ideas that click into place like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.” All told, as Present Perfect said, this is a story carried by the solid execution of its ideas: “Anyone interested in mythology weaving will no doubt enjoy the way in which the Norse mythos has been applied to Equestria.”
Read on for our author interview, in which CyborgSamurai discusses dangerous shoulds, replacement hips, and sociopathic shattered shapeshifters.