Today’s story is rated PG-13 due to parental guidance.
[Dark] [Drama] [Sad] • 3,617 words
All mothers love their children, and all mothers feed their children. Princess Chrysalis and her mother are no different, except that to a changeling, “love” and “food” are the same thing.
FROM THE CURATORS: While the recent Imposing Sovereigns contest inspired a number of unusual takes on Equestria’s ruling princesses, it also inspired some strong reinterpretations of more well-trodden subjects. “This is certainly not my first time seeing some of these concepts of an alien, uncaring Changeling race with a completely flipped morality system,” Soge said of Motherly, “but the execution here makes all the difference.” Indeed, that execution was remarkably wide-ranging while still keeping a recognizable core. “Touching on subjects like strength and weakness, pride and disdain, power and deceit, this story still somehow felt very Pony to me,” AugieDog said. “A difficult feat for a story with these tags.”
Over and over, it was that well-chosen approach which most impressed us. “The author tends toward the dark,” AugieDog said, “but here, that style really suits the subject matter: the intertwining of love and cruelty in the pre-sherbet-fairy-moose changeling world.” Present Perfect was impressed by how it also intertwined with the show: “This is a really good way to use the changeling canon we were granted in Season 6 — arguably one of the best things to come out of that season.” And while Horizon disagreed, he found just as much to appreciate: “I don’t know how much of the new canon I see in this, but its laser focus on the intersection between emotion and sustenance is really to the story’s credit, and the story it tells with that idea is a strong one.”
But rich characters and character conflicts also helped make this piece exemplary. “The Queen, in fact, is hands-down the best part of this piece,” Present Perfect said, “at first coming off the stern matriarch one would expect from changelings, but showing by the end that she really does care about what happens to the hive, even if changelings have a very strange way of showing things like care. Her self-sacrifice gives her depth and nuance.” And that gave the family drama depth and nuance of its own. “It manages to steadily build up to a surprisingly emotional climax, with some poignant considerations about the nature of love,” Soge said, “and how the feelings in the relationship between parent and offspring can be expressed in complex, and even contradictory manners. Great stuff.”
Read on for our author interview, in which Trick Question discusses interrobang reflections, disagreement hugs, and draconic gut shots.