Merely a Mare, Epilogue: Trust

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Literature Text

Dear Princess Celestia,

Recently, I learned a very important lesson about friendship, and love, and all life. I learned about a treasure that is easy to break, difficult to repair, and infinitely precious. I learned about a gift that most ponies give warily, if at all; nothing else has such power to hurt its giver when rejected or neglected or misused.

I learned about trust.

Trust is powerful. It can blind a pony to doubts, and allow them to act with absolute clarity of purpose. When a pony puts a piece of their fate in another's hooves, those two ponies are bound together by a thread both subtle and powerful. The bonds of trust between parents and their children, between rulers and their subjects, between goddesses and their devotees, these are the things that hold societies together. Smaller in scope but no less important is the trust between friends, which lets us share our worries and fears, our hopes and dreams, and the secrets of our innermost selves. With these connections to those we depend on, and to those that depend on us, we do not have to face life alone. A pony that cannot trust is cut off from others in a way that no physical isolation could ever match.

Trust is dangerous. It numbs the part of us that doubts: the part that is cautious when a pony is driven to rush in, the part that seeks understanding when a pony only wants to condemn, the part that holds back when a pony prepares to lash out. When I trusted too much in my own assumptions, my own perspective, I lost sight of the larger picture. I judged other ponies and their motives poorly, and I acted because I was afraid of my ignorance when I should have waited until I was assured of my knowledge. When a pony trusts too quickly or unwisely, they build their life on a foundation of sand, and risk it falling to pieces at the first brush with reality.

Trust is beautiful. It can quell our fears and make us feel safe. It can silence our doubts, and give us the confidence we need to succeed. It can shatter our suspicion, and leave us with the innocence required for love. Trust can bring two very different ponies together and inspire them to open their hearts to each other. A lack of trust can open an insurmountable gulf between two ponies that love each other very dearly. The deepest of connections can only be made with those we trust.

I have learned my lesson. I will be wise with my trust. I will recognize it as a kindness, and give it generously and joyfully. I will be loyal to those I trust, and to those who trust me. Above all, I will be worth trusting, and seek out others who also deserve that confidence. I will be proud to call such ponies my friends.

Just as I am proud to call you my friend, princess.

-Your once again faithful student,

Heavens Sparkle
If the show can use heavy-handed letters to Celestia, so can I. Besides, it was a great opportunity to get one last subverted expectation in.

Many thanks to my editor, :iconsosweetntasty:, for helping me on these last few updates.

I'm opening critique here for anyone that wants to leave a critique of Merely a Mare as a whole.
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Nosnibormada's avatar
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star: Technique
:star::star::star::star-half::star-empty: Impact

I've been reading this fic for the past few days now, and I thought I'd just leave my thoughts here. I'll start by saying that I was drawn to it because ScyStorm (who I'm sure you know of) said it was his favourite fanfic of all time. I can understand why he'd think that, since this story is of a remarkably high standard. Indeed, I'm tempted to call it the best written fanfic that I've had the pleasure of reading. Every single sentence is understandable, descriptive and thoroughly enjoyable to read. You deserve merit for that.

Oddly enough the shortcoming of the fic, in my opinion, is the pacing. The tensions between Twilight and Celestia, however strong they may have been, felt rather sudden and lost somewhat more of the impact that they could have perhaps had. The same is true of the introduction of Ever Free (I'll just use his villain name for the sake of context) and perhaps even, to a lesser extent, the shipping between Luna and Applejack. Don't be put off by the three and a half stars I've given to the impact section, by giving that I simply mean 'not bad, but room for improvement'.

Ultimately though, I'd say that the real strong point to this story is that it really explores the idea of being an immortal goddess. Whilst it is a widely accepted fanon in most FiM fics the actual concept of immortality and omnipotence is rarely explored in said works. At the beginning of the story I saw Celestia and Luna as being just what they appear to be in the show, just two ponies who also happen to be rulers of Equestria. By the end, they were much more to me. They had gone through many hardships during their eternal lives and had learned more and more all the while until they finally became the wise and caring characters that they were by the time we got to the present of the story. It made those two appear even more human to me, that they weren't born/created (however they came about) as the mature characters that they are. They had to earn that maturity and wisdom through their own experiences and mistakes, just as much as anyone else does.

Whilst this critique may be somewhat rambling and disjointed (it's the first one I've ever written), this fic is anything but. It holds its own as a story and even as a slight piece of philosophy. Perfection, if you ask me, is impossible to achieve. What is achievable though, is damn near perfection. And if it weren't for the issue with pacing affecting the impact of the plot then this would be one of the damn near perfect fics that I've read. But kudos all the same for creating a completely unique work of art.