The Evil Horde, more frequently referred to as the Horde, is a group of fictional characters featured in the Masters of the Universe toyline and related media like cartoons, comics and toys. The Horde was introduced to the Masters of the Universe toyline in 1985, but since Filmation was moving on to She-Ra's series, it was decided to make the Horde the lead villains in the new series.
The Evil Horde was initially presented as a seemingly small group of formidable creatures of whom Hordak was clearly implied to be the supreme leader. Far less explicitly technological, the initial toys and minicomics depicting the Horde indicated a more mystical background, similar to Skeletor and his Evil Warriors. Hordak is shown to be a sorcerer of equal or greater power than Skeletor, who is just as interested in plundering the mystical treasures of Castle Grayskull as his former pupil.
As originally depicted (and manufactured as a playset), the Horde's base of operations the Fright Zone was an ancient cave-like fort. Technological elements only began to appear in later waves of Horde toys, and their accompanying minicomics depicted further discontinuities with the animated series, such as showing the legions of Horde Trooper robots as a new invention (manufactured on Eternia, no less, unlike the cartoon versions which invaded Eternia two decades ago), as well as the introduction of later cybernetic characters such as Dragstor, Mosquitor and Mantisaur. Nevertheless, Hordak's primary interest remained in magic and his place as supreme leader of the Horde remained unaltered even in the last minicomics which involved the return of the ancient structure known as The Three Towers of Eternia, something he indicated having helped to build, suggesting either time travel or near immortality on Hordak's part.
In the cartoons, the Evil Horde is a vast, interstellar empire bent on the domination of various worlds across the universe. The center of the empire is called Horde world. The Horde was summoned to Eternia by Morgoth, a giant wizard once imprisoned by the Ancients. The Horde sent a scout ship to Eternia and its crew aided Morgoth in taking control of a few towns and villages. One of these was the home of Teela'Na. To defeat the Horde, Teela'Na was told by an old man about Castle Grayskull. Teela'Na sought Castle Grayskull and thanks to Kuduk Ungol, knowingly took on the powers and responsibilities of the Sorceress of the castle in order to defeat Morgoth and the Horde. She managed to do so, and when she returned to the Castle, her predecessor had left (It should be noted that at this point, the members of the Horde are unnamed, but their distinctive bat insignia clearly designates them as such).
The Horde scout ship apparently managed to send a message to the Evil Horde's ultimate leader, Horde Prime, because soon, the vile Hordak and his Horde Troopers arrived in full force. While Hordak waged his war against Eternia and the city of Eternos, he took Skeletor under his wing, teaching him what he knew of dark magic. In time, the Royal Soldiers of Eternos and the magic of Castle Grayskull defeated Hordak. However, learning that King Randor and Queen Marlena's twin children both have a special destiny, Hordak and Skeletor kidnapped them. A young Man-At-Arms and Queen Marlena were able to halt the kidnapping of Prince Adam, but Princess Adora was captured. Skeletor, however, was captured by the guards. He then revealed the secret location of the Horde's lair: Snake Mountain.
Man-At-Arms and the Sorceress went to Snake Mountain, but were too late. Hordak had escaped with Princess Adora. Both were then seen on the planet of Etheria. Hordak and his minions captured many kingdoms, the last of which to fall was the kingdom of Bright Moon.
The She-Ra series is largely dedicated to the struggle of the Etherian rebels against the occupying force of the Horde. In each episode, Hordak has a new dastardly scheme to either destroy The Great Rebellion or make life worse for Etherians. Each scheme meets its demise at She-Ra's hand. The comics largely follow this overall story as well, though where the cartoon Hordak has abandoned plans to invade Eternia, save for a few occasions, in the comics he still tries. Sometimes he works with, and sometimes against, Skeletor.
The Horde has bases planet-wide though its main headquarters is Doom Tower located at the center of the Fright Zone. The Horde possesses vast resources and has a great deal of highly sophisticated technology.
21st century cartoon version
The Horde portrayed in the MYP He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon has much more mysterious characters. The Horde had been a menace on Eternia long before the modern day. Hordak had been the nemesis of King Grayskull. He was also an enemy of King Hiss and defeated his army of Snake Men before putting his sight back on destroying King Grayskull. Upon its final defeat, the Horde was sentenced to exile in the timeless dimension of Despondos. While imprisoned, Hordak became more demonic and his power and advice could be channeled through sorcery. By invoking Hordak, Skeletor is able to cast a spell to replace his head with the familiar floating skull. When Skeletor betrays Hordak years later by refusing to release him, Evil-Lyn and Count Marzo step up to the task. However, just as Hordak is about to emerge from Despondos, He-Man stops the spell.
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power version
The Horde was founded by Horde Prime at some point in the ancient past, though its exact origins remain somewhat mysterious. Using an armada of spaceships, the Horde traveled through space conquering world after world and expanding their empire. Their greatest rival was the First Ones, whom the Horde wiped out.
Horde Prime used clones of himself as soldiers in his armada. A clone who was Horde Prime's greatest general was declared defective by Horde Prime so the clone was sent on a suicide mission.
During this mission, the clone fell through a portal and crashed on Etheria. With nothing but his broken ship, he built his own division of the Horde. He planned to eventually build a portal so he could bring the rest of the Horde forces to the planet so they could conquer it and prove that Horde Prime was wrong about him. At some point, the clone gave himself a name: Hordak.
Hordak has been on Etheria for an unknown period of time. During this time his division of the Horde has succeeded in conquering much of the planet. In order to defeat the Horde, a group of kingdoms and their leaders came together to form the First Princess Alliance, but this alliance was ultimately unsuccessful and after a major defeat it disbanded.
The Horde lost Adora, a promising recruit and force captain, who defected to The Rebellion. The Horde attacked Thaymor and was driven off by She-Ra and company. They then tried to drive out the Plumerians by poisoning their land but were defeated again by She-Ra. They successfully kidnapped Bow and Glimmer from Princess Prom and negotiated a prisoner swap with Queen Angella, but that plan failed due to the intervention of the Princess Alliance. They nearly destroyed the Whispering Woods by using the Black Garnet's connection to the planet and attacked Bright Moon but were barely repelled by the entire Rebellion. This left many Allied places unguarded and the Horde used the opportunity to take several strategic targets such as the fort they held in Season Two episode "Roll With It".
Using the stolen Data Crystal the Horde empowered their weapons and tech, creating new more powerful bots that they used to swarm the Whispering Woods. The Horde lost control over a fort when the Princess Alliance overwhelmed them. Catra, Entrapta, and Scorpia secured a lot of First Ones' tech from the Northern Reach. Shadow Weaver escaped from the Fright Zone and traveled to Bright Moon.
Hordak sent Scorpia and Catra on a mission to the Crimson Waste to look for more First Ones' tech. Entrapta used the First Ones' tech from the Northern Reach to power and enhance Hordak's portal machine. Catra successfully opened the portal, almost erasing all of reality but was stopped by She-Ra.
The Horde managed to increase their number of victories thanks to Double Trouble acting as a spy that infiltrated The Rebellion, but after the Heart of Etheria supercharged the princesses most of Hordak's forces were defeated. Then Horde Prime finally came to Etheria. Hordak's memories and personality were erased and were taken away by his fellow clones, while Catra and Glimmer are trapped on Horde Prime's ship and Horde Prime decided to use the power of the heart for himself, showing that the real battle had just begun.
The Horde of Etheria's fate is unknown, with it heavily implied that all assets of Hordak's division was subsumed into Horde Prime's forces, with an occupational force stationed within the Fright Zone. Horde Prime would replace Hordak as the primary antagonist of the alliance, occupying towns and invading with overwhelming numbers. When Adora and her friends snuck aboard the Velvet Glove to rescue Catra, Horde Prime revealed his motive of implanting chips on disidents, to ensure they would be encorperated into his hive mind. This became very detrimental to the alliance when members of the rebellion were chipped.
Weaponry of the Horde
- The Horde Trooper - a robot army of low intelligence. Each Trooper carries a wand-like device that stuns its opponents. (Although generally presented as robots, a few occasions suggest that they are humans or demons wearing armor)
- Dylamug, in function a larger, more powerful and intelligent Trooper.
- The Evil Horde Slime Pit - A torture chamber of sorts, where the victim is bound to a wall by a bony claw. A vat of slime is then dumped from a large dinosaur skull onto the action figure's head, coating them in the ooze. According to the packaging, and a minicomic entitled "Escape from the Slime Pit", the slime has the ability to transform the victims into mindless slime zombies, who are totally loyal to Hordak.
- Batmex - Unmanned aircraft armed with stun cannons.
- Annihilator - A manned flying craft used for troop transport and many other functions, including annihilation.
- Destructo Tanks - The Horde used these weapons to intimidate and destroy enemies.
- Mantisaur - A giant robot praying mantis.
- Robot Guard
Members of the Horde
- Horde Prime
- Keldor/Skeletor (Betrayed Hordak and The Evil Horde)
- Force Captain Adora (Later became She-Ra and turned against the Horde)
- Catra (main villain of the She-Ra toyline, was added to the Evil Horde when they appeared in the Filmation She-Ra series)
- Shadow Weaver
- Rattlor (part of the Snake Men in most media, is a member of the Evil Horde in the Filmation series, and the minicomics refer to him him as such before returning to the Snake Men)
- Dylamug (unreleased concept figure, appeared in the Filmation cartoon)
- Tung Lashor (same case as Rattlor)
- Admiral Scurvy
- Colonel Blast
- Entrapta (Catra's minion in the She-Ra toyline and minicomics, she also became a Hordeswoman in the Filmation cartoons)
- False Face
- Prince Zed
- Horde Wraith
- Sssqueeze (part of the Snake Men in most media, appears as a Hordesman in issue #8 of the Marvel Comics series)
- Snake Face (same case as Sssqueeze)
- Evil Robot (unproduced)