And now, the analyses

StatManDan reviews the two-part “Twilight’s Kingdom” at Derpy News, and while no one has yet touched on my major quibble — “Kingdom”? Since when does Equestria have kings? — there are more important issues lurking, and Telofy hits on the biggest one:

My qualm with the episode was that Twilight appears to make a decision to sacrifice all of ponykind to the Tirekian tyranny only to safe her own seven friends. That is just awfully egoistic. In view of the millions of ponies she sacrifices, it makes virtually no difference whether she just saves her own plot or that of eight beings.

Of course it can be argued that Twilight, being uber smart, considered that Tirek does not factor the mysterious box into his plans for world domination, that friendship and magic are intimately linked or identical in Equestria, that another lesson pertaining to her element of magic/friendship might earn her the key and give her the magical advantage over Tirek that she lacked at the moment, that Tirek might realize any moment that he can break her by torturing other ponies, and that hence she needed to teach Discord and do it quickly to prevail over Tirek.

However, it was not shown or otherwise made explicit that these points factored in her decision rather than just “Buck all these nameless ponies in Ponyville, Manehattan, Fillydelphia, and all around the world: I want to live happily ever after with my seven friends here.”

Considering how late in the proceedings Tirek found out that there was a fourth alicorn, I thought it was pretty clear that he didn’t anticipate The Box. Twi, being übersmart, surely knew that. And I’d bet that she also knew that whatever concessions she might be able to get out of Tirek would be quickly withdrawn — look how fast Tirek turned on Discord — and therefore it was a better bet to take a chance with the Mystery Locket than to be forced to watch her friends perish right then.

And, as StatManDan said in his review:

I’m almost inclined to say Twilight pulled an Aslan (see The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe) on Tirek by sacrificing her powers in exchange for her friends and Discord.

A Deeper Magic from back before the Dawn of Time. If anypony would be attuned to that concept, surely it would be Twilight.

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