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With nothing but a broken ship, I built an empire. When my portal opens, I shall bring forth my brother's armies to crush the Rebellion, and Horde Prime will see that he was wrong. I am not a defect. I am worth something.
Hordak is the central antagonist of the Netflix original series She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, which is a reboot of the 1985 Filmation series She-Ra: Princess of Power. He is the main antagonist of the first two seasons and the first half of the third season and later the secondary antagonist of the second half, one of the two secondary antagonists of the fourth season and the secondary antagonist-turned-anti-hero of the fifth and final season.
He is a ruthless and pragmatic alien warlord who invaded Etheria and leads an evil army called the Horde.
It's later revealed that he is a defective clone of Horde Prime, the ruler of the universe. Decades before the series, Hordak served as Prime's greatest general in the Galactic Horde before he was cast aside due to his defective nature. After being stranded on Etheria, he became bent on conquering the planet in hopes of regaining Horde Prime's favor.
He is voiced by Keston John, who also voices his genetic progenitor Horde Prime, and is confirmed to voice all of Horde Prime's clones in the fifth season.
As a leader, Hordak is shown to be pragmatic and rewards subordinates that perform well. When Adora defected from the Horde, Hordak simply wrote her off as a lost cause and decided to have Catra replace Adora. He also gave Entrapta access to any resources she asked for after seeing the improvements she made on the Horde's weapons. When he saw Catra's effectiveness as a new Force Captain, he eventually made her his new second-in-command.
However, he is quick to turn on any subordinate who disobeys his orders or tries to deceive him. He was angered by Shadow Weaver's repeated attempts to capture Adora despite his previous orders to ignore her. When Shadow Weaver refused to hand over the Black Garnet to Entrapta and attacked Catra, Hordak had her imprisoned and later sent to Beast Island (essentially a death sentence). When Catra attempted to cover up Shadow Weaver's escape, Hordak was also prepared to send her to Beast Island despite her previous successes.
Hordak idolizes and is extremely devoted to his creator Horde Prime. He refers to Horde Prime as his elder brother and sees Prime as a parental figure. Following his exile, Hordak became desperate to prove himself to Horde Prime and believed that Prime's arrival would fix all of his problems. Hordak's near-worship of Horde Prime ultimately proved to be his downfall, as he was blind to his progenitor's disgust and contempt towards him.
Being rejected by Horde Prime has caused Hordak to develop deep insecurities. He is shown to loathe himself for his genetic defects and possesses low self-esteem. He also lacks self-worth, as he accepted Catra's lie that Entrapta betrayed him due to his belief that he doesn't deserve anyone's friendship. He is extremely insecure about his body's weakened state and uses his armor to hide it from enemies and allies alike. He is shown to lash out at minions who accidentally see him outside his armor.
Hordak tends to psychologically project his own perceived weaknesses and insecurities upon others. His treatment of Catra was reminiscent of his interaction with Horde Prime. Notably, he lambasted Catra for failing him, despite Catra having been an extremely effective second-in-command. This likely stems from his feelings, as he was Horde Prime's best general before the latter cast him aside due to a minor weakness. His decision to punish Catra by sending her on a suicide mission is also similar to the punishment he was given by Horde Prime.
Hordak is also arrogant and tends to underestimate others. He considered Adora unimportant to the Horde even after it was revealed that she was the legendary warrior She-Ra. He also sent Catra to the Crimson Waste, believing that she would never succeed in her mission and die. Both assumptions would later be proven wrong. This arrogance also led Hordak to mistreat Catra, causing the latter to resent him and contributing to Catra's decision to overthrow him.
Hordak is shown to be distant to his subordinates. When addressing his soldiers, he often refers to them by their rank. He only addresses those he trusts by their actual names. Notably, at the beginning of "Destiny Part 1", he refers to Catra by her name after having grown to trust her as a worthy co-leader. At the end of episode, his trust in Catra is completely broken and this is shown when he refers to her as "Force Captain" before attacking her.
In Season 3, Hordak falls in love with Princess Entrapa since she was the only person to treat him with genuine kindness. He was willing to share his insecurities with her and grew even more enamored after Entrapa created an improved version of his exoskeleton. When Catra led him to believe that Entrapta betrayed him, he was heartbroken and saddened. He became prone to brooding in his lab and his depression left him feeling unmotivated. He also became angered by the mere mention of Entrapta's name, although still held feelings for her as he blushed when Imp played recordings of her name. Upon discovering that Catra had lied to him and sent Entrapa to Beast Island, Hordak broke down into tears and later attempted to murder Catra in a rage.
Hordak's love for Entrapta ultimately led to his redemption, as he turned against Horde Prime and rejected him as his brother. After Adora freed him from Prime's control, Hordak acknowledges Adora and appears to be on friendly terms with the Rebellion.
Powers and Abilities
Alien Physiology: As a clone of Horde Prime, Hordak's biology differs from those living on Etheria. He doesn't need as much oxygen compared to native Etherians, as he had no trouble breathing or speaking in an artificial atmosphere with low amounts of air.
Cyborg Body: Hordak has a cybernetic body that greatly enhances his physical capabilities.
Enhanced Strength: In his original armor, Hordak was strong enough to bend a metal wrench. With the second version of the armor, Hordak was strong enough to carry large pieces of machinery.
Enhanced Durability: Hordak's new exoskeleton allowed him to survive being crushed by a giant claw crane and being shot by one of Bow's exploding arrows.
Enhanced Reflexes: While wearing his improved exoskeleton, Hordak was able to catch one of Bow's arrows with a single hand.
Genius-Level Intellect: Hordak possesses a high level of intelligence and is shown to be proficient in various sciences. He is shown to be resourceful, a skilled strategist/tactician, and possesses the capacity for creating advanced technology.
Resourcefulness: Hordak has shown to be incredibly resourceful. From his nothing but a crashed spaceship, he was able to create an empire and it can be inferred that he used his ship's remains to build his headquarters over the Fright Zone.
Skilled Tactician: Hordak is a skilled tactician, having previously been the favored general of Horde Prime. During the Horde's conquest of Salineas, Hordak personally led his troops in attacks on Salineas's coastal towns.
Technological Proficiency: Hordak is stated to have a "brilliant, technological mind". He was able to build a portal device (albeit with Entrapta's help) and was able to construct his arm cannon from salvaged First Ones technology.
Leadership: Prior to being stranded on Etheria, Hordak was Horde Prime's top general and lead numerous successful military campaigns to conquer much of the universe. During his time as the Horde's leader on Etheria, Hordak was treated with fear and respect by his subordinates.
Genetic Degeneration: Due to a flaw in his cloning, Hordak suffers from several genetic defects. These have caused his body to slowly deteriorate over time, as shown by the holes in his arms. These defects also cause Hordak to experience severe pain and occasionally have seizures. To survive, Hordak needs to wear his exoskeleton, which acts as a life support system.
Exposed Power Source: The second version of Hordak's armor is powered by a First Ones crystal attached to the suit's collar. The crystal is easy to remove and doing so will deactivate Hordak's cybernetic armor. This is usually enough to incapacitate him, as his body will experience severe pain from his genetic defects. Catra was able to defeat Hordak twice by using this method.
Malfunctioning Power Armor (formerly): The second version of Hordak's exoskeleton was prone to malfunctions and shorting out, presumably since it was built in a short amount of time without any testing done beforehand. When his armor shorted out, Entrapta would be needed to tune up Hordak's suit and fix the malfunctions. By Season 4, Hordak appears to have figured out how to stop his armor from shorting out.
Cybernetic Exoskeleton: To compensate for his deteriorating body, Hordak wore a set of powered armor which enhanced his physical capabilities.
First Armor: The first version of Hordak's armor enhanced his physical strength and enabled him to move despite his body's deterioration.
Second Armor: In the third season, Hordak discards his previous armor in favor of an improved version built by Entrapta. Hordak's new armor incorporates First Ones technology and further enhances his physical capabilities. This version was powered by a First Ones crystal which was attached to the suit's collar.
Laser Cannon: In Season 4, Hordak built an arm-mounted laser cannon using salvaged First Ones technology. The weapon was powered by a large energy crystal and fired a powerful energy beam. The laser was strong enough to destroy the Sea Gate. However, the weapon was not particularly sturdy as Catra was able to destroy it with one kick. Hordak used it during the fall of Salineas and later against Catra.
The Sword: Part 1 (mentioned)
Flowers for She-Ra
In the Shadows of Mystacor
No Princess Left Behind
The Battle of Bright Moon
The Frozen Forest
The Price of Power
Once Upon a Time in the Waste (mentioned)
Moment of Truth
Boys' Night Out
Destiny Part 1
Destiny Part 2
Horde Prime (mentioned)
Save the Cat
An Ill Wind
Return to the Fright Zone (mentioned)
Heart Part 1 (non-speaking)
Heart Part 2
Very well, Force Captain Catra. You will have other chances to prove your worth to me, as my second-in-command.
~ Hordak promoting Catra as his new second-in-command.
Hordak: Etheria's atmosphere has proved to be a complicating variable in my experiments. Catra: I— [coughing] Hordak: I just removed that variable. Tell me, Force Captain, how is your breathing? [watches Catra as she gasps for air] Pathetic. Just like everything on this backwards planet. Do you know what the definition of failure is, Force Captain? [turns off atmosphere device] Failure is when something ceases to serve a purpose. When that happens, it becomes worthless to me. Thus far, your performance has been lacking.
~ Hordak to Catra as he uses his atmosphere device to deprive her of air.
Hordak: You lied to me. [activates atmosphere device] Catra: Wait. [starts gasping for air] Hordak: I know your lax security allowed Shadow Weaver to escape. I know you've been covering it up, lying about her whereabouts. But worst of all, I gave you the chance to come clean, to prove your worth to me, to the Horde. This was a test. And you failed. [watches as Catra blacks out]
~ Hordak choking Catra for lying to him.
I could not lie to you about who you are because I have never known or cared about someone as inconsequential as you.
~ Hordak to Adora.
All this time I have been trying to return to your side. But it has not been in vain. I have built an empire in your name. [...] I conquered this world for you. To show you that I am worthy, so that I may retake my place by your side. I have bent its people to my will.
~ Hordak attempting to impress Horde Prime.
Hordak: Who are you?! What are you doing here?! [pauses] Why do I know your face? Entrapta: [shocked] Hordak? Hordak: No, do not say that name to me. I have no name. [stares at Entrapta's crystal] What have you done to me? Entrapta: You do remember me. I knew you would.
~ Hordak meeting Entrapta after having his mind wiped.
Hordak: Go. Maybe then these... memories, these... imperfections will leave me. Entrapta: Remember! Your imperfections are beautiful!
~ Hordak and Entrapta's parting words.
I am not your brother. You made me in your image, but I am more than that. I gave myself a name, I made a life of my own, I made... [stares at Entrapta] a friend. I am Hordak and I defy your will!
~ Hordak standing up to Horde Prime.
I remember you.
~ Hordak to Adora after being freed from Prime's control.
Promotional image of Hordak.
Hordak (right) in the show's intro.
Hordak's appearance as Horde Prime's general.
Hordak crying after learning the truth about Entrapta.
Hordak battling Catra.
Hordak having his mind read by Horde Prime.
Hordak in the Season 5 Intro.
This is the most sympathetic version of Hordak.
Hordak calling Horde Prime his brother is a reference to the 1985 Filmation cartoon, where the two of them were related siblings.
Hordak's arm cannon pays homage to the one belonging to his counterpart from the original series.
Despite being the main antagonist of almost three seasons, Hordak never engaged She-ra in a fight and hardly interact with each other, except for the second-to-last episode of the third season and briefly in the series finale.
This is the first version of Hordak to be a Tragic Villain and Insecure Clone.
This is the first incarnation of Hordak who is not the main antagonist as his origins and character is much different as Horde Prime is his creator and the role belongs to him.
The only characters Hordak has fought are Glimmer, Bow, Catra and briefly Horde Prime, but he lost to them all. This proves that this Hordak is much weaker than the original and if he did challenge She-Ra in a fight he would have lost easily.