So when a cult of unicorn supremacists with a penchant for dragon symbolism started attacking pegasi and earth ponies and kidnapping unicorns they deemed as good blood, they signed their own death warrant. Then, knowing the Equestrian army was on their tail, they went and made it personal, killing a dear friend and former lover of Celestia. So instead of leading from the rear, commanding the movements and providing the columns of sun fire to weaken the enemy, she left the command to her general and, after the initial barrage of magic and sun fire, took the field herself. She was intent on killing the leader PERSONALLY.
It was one of those moments where she could never know if it would've turned out better or worse if she had swallowed her grief and stuck to her original plan. There was the added benefit of reminding other potential enemies that she is not a pony to be messed with, but it was a double edged sword, also instilling some of that fear into her own ponies. One of the many 'what-ifs' in her life.
Like what I do? Consider supporting me on www.patreon.com/silfoe ! Every little bit helps a ton!
How can you be a great defender -- and not scare the ones you love? On the other hand, if they cheer as you ruthlessly destroy a deadly enemy ... then what does it say about them?
How do you shed some blood without becoming bloodthirsty? How do you fight a necessary war without it unleashing evil in you ... or your subjects?
All I can say is this: Just remember the things you love. Never let fear or anger change the things you stand for. And if you scare your subjects by mistake, then let them see the tears you cry. Let yourself be slightly vulnerable for those you can trust.
And if you see evil in those you love, then plead with them not to become like their enemies. Never use fear when love has a good chance of working.