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NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Horde Prime from the 2018 Netflix series She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. The original version can be found here.
You have forgotten who you are. You truly think you are worthy to stand beside me, could be EQUAL to me? I made you in my image, but you have become an abomination. And so, you must be reborn.
~ Horde Prime to Hordak before wiping the latter's mind.
You miscalculated. I see all. I know all. You thought yourself worthy to challenge me, but you are nothing but a false hero, the last of the First Ones to fall at my hands. You have led your friends to destruction.
~ Horde Prime to Adora/She-Ra.
Horde Prime is the main antagonist of the Netflix original series She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.
He is the overarching antagonist of the first four seasons and is the main antagonist of the fifth and final season. He is Adora/She-Ra's arch-nemesis.
He is the emperor of the Galactic Horde and Hordak's genetic progenitor. In the past, he conquered most of the universe using a massive clone army. At the end of the third season, he receives Hordak's distress signal and sets out to find him. He invades Etheria at the end of the fourth season.
He is voiced by Keston John, who also voices Hordak, Grizzlor, Admiral Scurvy, and the rest of Horde Prime's clones.
I think because we as a show have so much interest in humanizing our villains, I really wanted [Horde Prime] to be different. There is evil in this world. It's dishonest to say that everyone is capable or worthy of redemption. There are people who have stewed in their own hatred for so long that the only thing you can do is just… She-Ra banishes him. "There's no place for you in this world." If there was ever any good in [Horde Prime], if there ever was love or kindness, this is someone who has prolonged his life for so long by taking over the bodies of others, for centuries.
Eventually, everything became about his ego about remaking everything the way he wanted it, remaking it so he had complete control over it. In its most mundane form, I think that is what evil is. In our world, people with worldviews so self-focused and so insular and don't extend to anybody but themselves — it's a simple concept at the end of the day. I think the people who can't see beyond themselves, I think that's what is evil in this world.
I don't think [Horde Prime] is the cause of that evil, I don't think he's made of pure evil. But I think because of the choices he made and the way he sees the world and the years and years of continuing to double-down on that and be so committed to that. At the end of the day, there's no way to redeem someone who doesn't want to be redeemed. There's no way to force them to care about other people if they don't. …To break out of that evil, that's a choice that a person has to make, and I don't think [Horde Prime] is capable of that when we see him in the show.
~ Developer Noelle Stevenson on Horde Prime.
At heart, Horde Prime is a cruel narcissist driven by the desire to control everything around him. Although he speaks with a polite tone, this is simply a mask that hides his true personality of a self-obsessed despot. He believes that the universe revolves around him and that everything should be a reflection of himself. This is shown through his use of clones for his army as well as his suppression of individuality.
Prime is shown to be quite sadistic and condescending in the show, taking joy in making his enemies feeling hopeless, which was displayed during the times when he cruelly taunted Adora for her failures to stop him, telling her that she will never be able to save her friends because of how weak she is.
Prime is intolerant of failure from his subordinates. When Prime first discovered Hordak was defective, he immediately demoted his "brother" and sent the latter on a suicide mission. Years later, when Horde Prime reunited with Hordak and learned of his failure to conquer Etheria, he planned to destroy the entire planet in order to prevent anyone from learning of his brother's failure.
In addition, he considers his clones to be reflections of himself and is disgusted by clones that demonstrate flaws or independent thinking. An example of this trait can be seen in his clones which are shown to be mindless and nameless. He considered Hordak genetic defects to be a personal insult to himself. His later discovery of Hordak's individuality and the existence of a separate Horde faction led him to consider Hordak an even bigger failure than before.
Horde Prime is also shown to be petty. He considers Hordak to be an embarrassment and was willing to destroy all of Etheria simply to hide any evidence of Hordak's "botched conquest". In addition, he berated and admonished Hordak for building an empire that wasn't centered on himself.
Despite this, he is somewhat pragmatic. He was willing to spare Etheria after learning that the planet possessed a powerful superweapon. He also allowed Glimmer and Catra to live since they claimed to know how to activate the Heart of Etheria. Furthermore, rather than killing Hordak, he simply wiped his memory and presumably allowed him to rejoin his forces.
Huntara (silhouette; flashback)
Moment of Truth (mentioned)
The Portal (hidden; voice)
The Coronation (mentioned)
Boys' Night Out (mentioned)
Destiny Part 1 (mentioned)
Destiny Part 2 (full debut)
Save the Cat
Taking Control (voice)
Perils of Peekablue (mentioned)
Shot in the Dark (mentioned)
An Ill Wind
Return to the Fright Zone
Heart Part 1
Heart Part 2
So that's where you've been, little brother.
~ Horde Prime upon receiving Hordak's distress signal.
I apologize for my little brother. His actions are an embarrassment. I desire only peace and order. (Glimmer: Then you'll leave us alone?) [chuckles] Oh, no, child, I cannot let words spread of my brother's botched conquest. For order to thrive, this whole mess must be wiped away. Beginning with you.
~ Horde Prime revealing his true colors to Glimmer.
Your Majesty, what an honor to host a guest of your stature. Trust that your planet will become the jewel of my empire, and it will allow me to bring peace and order to the farthest reaches of the universe. Thank you for your allegiance child. All creatures no matter how small have a place in service of Horde Prime.
~ Horde Prime to Glimmer.
Rejoice, Etheria, for Prime has come to you. Do not fear, for you have been given the opportunity to share in a world soon to be remade in my image. But first, you must prove yourselves worthy. Your leader, your She-Ra, she would see you suffer in darkness for her sake. Cast aside this false hero and deliver her to me. Prime sees all. Prime knows all. They will not escape my judgment.
~ Horde Prime's speech to all of Etheria.
Do you like them? Tokens from many worlds. Worlds that I brought into my eternal light. (Glimmer: Worlds you destroyed.) I take no joy in destruction, but the weeds must be burned away so that new life may flourish.
~ Horde Prime showing Glimmer his trophies taken from planets he's destroyed.
You seem reluctant to help me. But I only wish to use your weapon to bring peace to the darkest corners of the universe. (Glimmer: Peace? If you activate the Heart of Etheria, there will be no one left.) Yes. No war, no pain. Old worlds swept aside... a new beginning for the universe.
~ Horde Prime explaining his motivations to Glimmer.
There is something so familiar about you, Adora. A face I have not seen in a thousand years. Not since I faced your ancestors and crushed their once-mighty empire beneath my heel. You call them the First Ones. And you are one of them, are you not, Adora?
~ Horde Prime revealing to Adora that he destroyed the First Ones' empire.
Rejoice, Etheria, for your day of reckoning has come. I offered you mercy. But you have spurned my good graces. So be it. Your resistance has been for naught. Your She-Ra has abandoned you. All that is left for your world is a terrible and eternal night.
~ Horde Prime's speech to Etheria after gaining control of the Heart of Etheria.
Put an end to this mockery. DESTROY THEM ALL!
~ Horde Prime ordering his forces to kill every rebel.
Ah, little brother. So it's true. You have been thoroughly corrupted. So be it! (Entrapta: No!) [grabs Entrapta by her hair] You have forced my hand. I will unleash the Heart, and so we shall die IN CLEANSING FLAME TOGETHER!
~ Horde Prime's declaration to destroy all life after possessing Hordak's body.
Rejoice, Etheria, for your end... has finally come! You have chosen darkness, and so, into darkness you shall be plunged. The world will end in fire. And when the ashes scatter, AT LAST, THERE... WILL BE... PEACE!
~ Horde Prime about to destroy Etheria.
Cry Etheria! Cry for Prime's mercy! There will be no comfort for you! All the universe will be consumed in undying flame!
~ Horde Prime gloating as he watches the Heart of Etheria's magic consume everything around him.
Though all is reduced to rubble, Prime shall rise again. So it has been, and so it always shall be. (Adora/She-Ra: No. You're wrong. It's time for you to go.)
~ Horde Prime's last words before Adora uses her powers to finally kill him.
This is the first version of Horde Prime to have his face fully shown in animated media in the Masters of the Universe franchise, although his first few appearances before the Season 4 finale are shadowed.
Horde Prime considering Hordak his brother is a reference to the 1985 Filmation series, where the character Prince Zed (who was Horde Prime's son) called Hordak his "uncle".
This is the first version of Horde Prime to be the main antagonist of the She-Ra series, as Hordak was the Big Bad in the previous incarnation.
Horde Prime takes the role of being She-Ra's archenemy in the reboot series, as Hordak was She-Ra's arch-nemesis in the original and in the mainstream comics.
The reason the creators wanted Horde Prime to be the main antagonist in this series instead of Hordak is that Horde Prime didn't have much of a large role in previous incarnations and the comics.
This is the darkest and most evil version of Horde Prime. In fact, Horde Prime is considered by many fans to be the evilest villain in the series franchise due to the horrible things committed by both Horde Prime himself and his followers, including offscreen genocide and having no tragic backstory or redeeming qualities. He's even much more dangerous than Hordak due to a very high body count and causing more catastrophe inside Etheria.
This is reflected in Horde Prime being the only major speaking antagonist to not reform.
Horde Prime is at least partially inspired by Noelle Stevenson's "religious trauma" she had when growing up. His cult is a twisted version of Christianity that "baptizes" its members into obedient tools and seeks to burn the entire universe with searing light.