MLP AU: Discord as Celestia's spurned lover.
I know this is dated but I wanted to elaborate on a theory I used to believe in until it was disproved in season 7. Starswirl the bearded was the spurned lover of Celestia. The clues to Starswirl being Discord were numerous, and like many of the fandom I clung to this theory until Starswirl came into the show. So I am migrating this from the perspective of a fan-theory to an alternative universe. I know that in the extended universe, there may be some holes to this theory, but I have not read much of the comics, or any of the chapter books, so I am basing this entirely on what we saw from the TV show. More than this, from what I understand, the comics at least, are considered B-canon, meaning that they are not 100% accurate. So this alternate universe is based on the following evidences: Starswirl never understood friendship, that was stated multiple times. It falls to reason he also never had a romantic relationship of any kind. Nor did he have any interest, his only ambition was the pursuit of knowledge and magic. Ultimately he attempted to make sense of the universe and attempted to discover the laws which kept it going. In addition to his magic innovations he discovered multiple scientific laws, perhaps gravity, electromagnetism, and Celestia knows what else. While never directly stated, I also like to believe that he wrote many treatises in broader subjects like political and moral philosophy. All attempting to find a theory which underlined everything. Starswirl was introduced to Celestia when she first entered equestria, shortly after Starswirl helped discover and build it. In Celestia, he found the one pony who he ever felt any romantic feelings for. She was everything he ever sought but never found: knowledgeable, powerful, and beautiful. The two developed and acquaintanceship and Celestia became the closest thing Starswirl considered a friend. Eventually, Starswirl confessed his feelings for her, but Celestia could not reciprocate. Even though she had feelings for him, she swore a vow of celibacy to focus exclusively on learning. More than this, Starswirl was mortal and leaning to the end of his years. Celestia did not wish to spend eternity, or near eternity, heartbroken when Starswirl died of old age. Celestia told Starswirl they could never be married or be together as anything more than friends. This drove him into a deep depression. He eventually concluded that Celestia would love him if he was an immortal alicorn like her. Starswirl concocted the spell which Twilight used at the end of season 3. However, given his shortcomings, he did not transformed into his expected results, turning into a hideous draconiques. Nonetheless he believed that Celestia would love him for he had achieved an immortal life. On the contrary, Celestia could not stand the sight of him, worse she could detect that the spell had warped his mind. Celestia rejected him more forcefully, informing him she never wanted to see him again. Starswirl at this point truly became Discord. The pain of rejection finally snapped the last traces of altruism and sanity he had. More than this, he adopted a Nihilistic philosophy, his desire for finding truth and meaning transgressed into a belief that there was no order, no consistency, no concrete absolute truths, developing his philosophy best personified in his opening lines "what fun is there in making sense." Shortly thereafter he staged a coup against Celestia and established himself as Ruler of Equestria, seeking to undo the order and remake the world in his chaotic image. Celestia and Luna eventually came back and dethroned him as described in season 4. However, Celestia never forgot her love for Starswirl, nor did Discord ever fallout of love with Celestia. This is why Celestia was adamant that he could be reformed, and forgave him even after he briefly defected over to Tirek. It also explains why he gave Celestia a flower and winked at her. Many fans of the Discord is Starswirl theory believed that Starswirl turned himself into Discord out of a blind search for magic, I feel that this explanation gives a greater depth to Discord as a tragic character. For this same reason, it contradicts another popular theory that believers in this headcanon also advocated, that Discord had no memory of his life as Star Swirl, and that Discord simply was out of revenge against Celestia for turning him into stone. However I feel that Discord is a better character with full knowledge of his scientific past. It also explained the aforementioned affection that Discord showed to Celestia. More than this, in converting to a nihilistic and pessimistic outlook on life, it explains why he never truly sought to “rule” equestria with an iron fist like Sombra, Tirek, Cozy Glow, the Changeling Queen, and Sombra did. It’s clear from the glimpses at his reign in both the flashbacks and the opening of season 2, that his only true agenda was to spread chaos and disharmony to all he encountered, out of the belief that order, consistency, justice, and “making sense” were delusions, and that all that truly existed was incomprehensible, uncertain, unpredictable chaos. While this fan theory is discredited, this can still exist as an AU. For if the theory of an infinite number of parallel universes exist, this happened in another reality. Given that Discords origins were never fully explored, and Starswirl turned out to be rather a flat character they didn't need to introduce, I much prefer this reality. Thanks for being with me todayAlektheWererat.