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This article is about the original character. You may be looking for Hordak from She-Ra and the Princesses of Power series.

Hordak is a fictional character in the Masters of the Universe franchise. He is the leader of the Evil Horde, an army of savage warriors, most of whom wear a red bat symbol on their chests to convey their allegiance. He is the former mentor of Skeletor, one of the franchise's main villains. According to most story media, Skeletor betrayed Hordak and trapped him in another dimension before beginning his own conquest of the planet Eternia. Hordak then returned with a vengeance to take over Eternia for himself.

Hordak is recognizable by his grotesque white (sometimes cream/bone colored) face, with sharp red eyes, his flat snout-like nose, red vampire-like fangs and pointed bat-like ears. He wears a collar of bones and black armor over his chest, emblazoned with the Horde bat symbol.[1] His appearance resembles a vampire or bat-like creature, although in some media he appears more cyborg-like.

Hordak is generally recognized as being the lead villain of the She-Ra: Princess of Power cartoon, in which he is the arch nemesis of She-Ra, He-Man's twin sister. In this series, he rules the planet of Etheria with an army of Horde Troopers.

History

Minicomics (1985 - 1987)

Hordak returned from the dimension in which he was imprisoned to wreak vengeance on Skeletor, his old student, while also making his own attempts to destroy He-Man and seize Castle Grayskull. [2]

He was a sorcerer who had since turned his attention to science, and used a combination of magic and technology in his attempts to conquer Eternia (though he favoured the latter). Hordak was involved in many key events in Eternia's past such as the building of the central tower in The Three Towers of Eternia. When he entered the central tower years later, a buzz-saw weapon formed in his chest which could burst forth and cause untold damage to his enemies. [3]

Filmation animated series (1985 - 1986)

Hordak, with Shadow Weaver

She-Ra: Princess of Power

Hordak was the primary antagonist in She-Ra: Princess of Power, in which he rules a Horde occupied Etheria from his fortress in the Fright Zone. Hordak preferred to use technology rather than magic, and had the ability to transform his body into a variety of weapons. He was opposed in his rule of Etheria by the Great Rebellion.

Many years ago, on Eternia, Hordak and his favorite student, Skeletor, kidnapped Adora when she was an infant, but Skeletor was captured and told Man-At-Arms where to find Hordak. Hordak was able to get away to Etheria with the baby Adora, and he saw to it that she grew up to be a Force Captain in the Horde, thanks in part to the spells Shadow Weaver cast on Adora to make her docile. [4]

Hordak answers to the supreme ruler of the Horde, Horde Prime, who was implied to be his own brother.[5]

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002)

In the 2002 He-Man and the Masters of the Universe series, Hordak was a Dark warlord from ancient Eternia, who opposed Castle Grayskull's original ruler, King Grayskull, with a massive army. The conflict ended when Hordak commanded his sorcerers to draw Castle Grayskull into the dimension of Despondos. The spell failed with King Grayskull's intervention, and Hordak and his army were banished to the dark dimension instead. [6]

While trapped in Despondos, Hordak saved Keldor's life after he failed to assassinate the Eternian Elders, and had acid splashed in his face when it was deflected by Captain Randor. Hordak saved Keldor by magically removing the damaged flesh and allowed his bare skull to exist in a magical floating state above his shoulders. Having saved his life on the promise of a later price to be paid, Hordak renamed Keldor as Skeletor. [7]

Hordak in the 2002 He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Series.

Some time later, Hordak called upon Skeletor to free him from Despondos, and Skeletor initially seemed powerless to resist his mentor. However, Skeletor surprised the onlooking Evil-Lyn and He-Man by defiantly destroying Hordak's Sanctuary, and thus hoped to seal his former master away forever.

Soon after, Evil-Lyn attempted to free Hordak through different means with the help of Count Marzo, but after He-Man destroyed the Well of Darkness, Marzo absorbed the power of his amulet and fled. [8] It was also revealed that Hordak was responsible for creating that series' Dark Hemisphere on Eternia by performing the Spell of Separation. [9]

According to Ian Richter of Mattel, who initiated most of the storylines on the cartoon, Hordak was going to conquer Eternia in season three and serve as the main villain of the season before finally being overcome by Skeletor. However, the toy line and cartoon series were both canceled after the show's second season, so the third season was never produced. [10]

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (2018 - 2020)

Hordak in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.

The She-Ra and the Princesses of Power series portrayed Hordak as a clone of his "brother", Horde Prime. Hordak was one of Prime's top Generals, until he was cast out due to a genetic defect and sent on a suicide mission. Instead, Hordak fell through a portal to Etheria, where he quickly set about creating his own empire in an attempt to conquer the entire planet, hoping this act would be enough to convince Horde Prime to take him back into the Horde empire. However, Hordak found that Etheria was cut off from the rest of the universe, and he had no way of contacting Prime.

Over the years, Hordak recruited more followers to his army, and began to experiment with portal technology, hoping to one day summon Prime to Etheria and prove he was not a failure.

Masters of the Universe Classics (2008)

Hordak's bio on his card back reads as follows:

Real Name: Hec-Tor Kur™

Second born heir to the Horde Empire, Hec-Tor Kur™ arrived on the planet Eternia® while battling the cosmic warrior He-Ro™. Taking the name Hordak™, he raised an army and challenged the Snake Men™ for rule over the planet. Although he defeated King Hssss™, Grayskull, leader of the free people of Eternia® succeeded in banishing him to the dimension of Despondos™. It was here that centuries later Hordak™ contacted a young alchemist named Keldor™ and began teaching him the ways of the dark arts in exchange for freedom from his extra dimensional prison.[11]

Hordak in other media

While Hordak came to be generally recognized as She-Ra's main adversary, most story media outside of the cartoon focused more on Hordak as one of He-Man's arch enemies. He featured predominantly in the Star and Marvel comic series in the US as an enemy of He-Man, and also in the London Editions comics in the UK.

London Editions also published a short-lived She-Ra comic series, which also featured Hordak as the main villain, explaining that he divides his time between his rulership of Etheria and his attempts at conquering Eternia. The UK comics also state that there are two Fright Zones that he operates from, one on Etheria and one on Eternia, the latter resembling Mattel's Fright Zone playset. The UK comics revealed that he came from the world of Academica, apparently a world dominated by science and industry.

Powers and abilities

In the Filmation series, Hordak possesses an array of powers. Unlike his treacherous former pupil Skeletor, who relies mostly on magic, the majority of Hordak's powers are seemingly the product of science. He is capable of transforming himself in a variety of ways. For example, he can turn his arm into an energy cannon, which has also been seen emitting fire, become a massive tank, and even transport himself over great distances by becoming a rocket. In the episode "The Sword In The Stone", Hordak even transforms his arm into a vacuum cleaner. Although mechanical in result, these transformations may have been magically instigated, as they occur instantaneously with an eerie glow and sound effect - but we must not forget the Third Clarke's Law: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic"

However, the minicomics and Marvel Star comic books depict Hordak as using magic to a greater extent, more so than science. He is shown to be a powerful dark mage of equal or greater power to Skeletor and most likely has far greater knowledge.

As was the case with Skeletor and He-Man, Hordak received later action-figure iterations that had new special features. As Hurricane Hordak, he has the power to discharge violent whirlwinds via mechanical rotor-blades that replace his right hand. As Buzz-saw Hordak, he can launch a deadly spinning buzz-saw like projectile from his chest. The accompanying minicomics explain the origins of both seemingly technological powers in clearly magical terms.

In the 2002 Mike Young Productions Cartoon, Hordak briefly appeared in flashbacks and in astral form via dimensional portals. Hordak was depicted as a supremely powerful magic-user, seemingly of vastly greater power than Skeletor, and with no apparent reliance on technology whatsoever, other than his Horde Troopers, although it was unknown if those redesigned minions were still intended to be robots like the original versions.

Behind the Scenes

  • The animation model for Hordak was designed by artists Gerald Forton and Herb Hazelton, based on many different concepts provided by the design department of both Filmation and Mattel.

Appearances

Masters of the Universe minicomics

Princess of Power minicomics

Golden Books Hardcover

She-Ra: Princess of Power (cartoon)

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002)

External Links

References