Twilight's Kingdom (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic)
Twilight's Kingdom is the collective name of the 25th and 26th episodes of the 4th season of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, as well as the 90th and 91st episodes of the series overall and the Season 4 finale. It was directed by Jayson Thiessen, co-directed by Jim Miller, produced by Sarah Wall and Devon Cody, and written by Meghan McCarthy. It premiered on the Hub Network on May 10, 2014, with both parts airing as an hour-long event.
The story follows a new threat to Equestria named Lord Tirek, who wants to rule Equestria by absorbing all magic, as well as Twilight questioning the importance of her role as a princess when Celestia sends Discord instead of her to track down Tirek. Tirek tempts Discord to join his side by teasing him with freedom over friendship. Twilight is summoned back to Canterlot, where Celestia reveals the news about Discord's treachery. Celestia decides the best course of action would be to give Twilight all of the alicorns' magic, since Tirek did not know of Twilight's existence. After this, Tirek is finally informed of Twilight's existence. It is all on Twilight to save Equestria from the clutches of Lord Tirek.
Why It Rocks
- It is easily one of the most intense, serious and unpredictable pair of episodes in the history of the show, with realistic and emotional undertones for a preschool cartoon series.
- Following the episode's undertones, it includes pretty emotional scenes that are uncommon in the show, such as Twilight's library being destroyed and Twilight questioning her role as a princess.
- The writing for the episode is a step-up from the previous episodes, with great storytelling and impressive execution to back it up.
- The songs are catchy, with relatively deep meanings behind them, like "You'll Play Your Part", where Celestia, Luna and Cadence explain to Twilight that "her time will come" and her duties are more important than she believes them to be.
- The episode introduces a character from the very first My Little Pony cartoon, Tirek, who is arguably the most threatening villain in the show. He is a powerhungry, destructive, demonic centaur whose main goal is to rule Equestria as its god, accompanied with the remarkable voice acting of Mark Acheson.
- The highlight of the whole two-parter is the magic Dragon Ball-esque battle between Twilight and Tirek. Although the show was very limited with what kind of violence it could show, the battle between Twilight and Tirek was still exhilarating and entertaining.
- Great development in Discord. It shows that even if he did reform before, he had still been struggling with the concept of friendship, and this is shown when Tirek manages to manipulate him into helping him with his evil plans, and when Tirek betrays Discord, he shows a feeling of sadness and disappointment. And the scene where he says "I'm sorry" to Fluttershy exposes some of his realism and vulnerability, easily ruling as one of the most tearjerking moments of the two-parter.
- The moment where the Mane 6's new forms (the Rainbow Ponies) make their debut and the defeat of Tirek with his stolen magic being useless against the magic of friendship is quite inspiring.
- The 2nd part did make some drastic changes of the show that took some getting used to, such as the destruction of Twilight's home, with it being replaced with a castle.
- The episode can get rather dark for its TV-Y rating.
- Tirek is a reinvention of the main antagonist of Rescue at Midnight Castle, which was produced by Sunbow Productions and Marvel Productions.
- Meghan McCarthy noted that they "cannot show Twilight punch Tirek in the face".
The two episodes have received critical acclaim. An Entertainment Weekly writer graded them an A−, describing the two as carrying "a Frozen-y empowering theme (and a sly Godfather reference)". James Zahn from The Rock Father considered the finale "an exciting pair of episodes," adding that "fans of My Little Pony will be discussing these episodes for some time to come." On Tirek's character, Zahn wrote, "The Emperor to Discord's Darth Vader, Tirek is exciting, bringing with him a ... dash of that classic 80s evil." Daniel Alvarez on Unleash the Fanboy gave the finale a 10 out of 10 and called it a masterpiece, praising the general pacing and writing of the episodes. He also considered Tirek a "brilliant antagonist, by far, the best villain the show has seen yet" and favorably compared the battle between Twilight and Tirek to Dragon Ball Z.