Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.

Following

Nightmare Fuel / She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nightmareshera.png
There was a good reason for that mask.
Advertisement:

Moment Subpages are Spoilers Off. You Have Been Warned.


Season 1

  • Adora, Glimmer and Bow being chased by the insect monster, which just won't stop going after them.
  • Shadow Weaver's uncovered face. The animators really went an extra mile in terms of detail, what with her bulging eye veins and scarred skin.
  • Shadow Weaver in general, but her treatment of Adora and Catra especially. Their relationship is reminiscent of a narcissist whom has a favorite child (Adora) and a scapegoat child (Catra).
    • Not to mention the implication that Shadow Weaver just stole Adora as a baby.
    • "In The Shadow of Mystacor" is particularly horrifying, with Shadow Weaver pulling the textbook definition of Gaslighting for the entire episode.
  • "The Battle of Bright Moon": Catra gruesomely lacerates She-Ra's back with her claws.
  • Hordak is surprisingly Affably Evil, but he's still chilling. Especially how pragmatic he is. While the '80s version was mostly Played for Laughs with moments of staggering incompetence, Hordak here is believable as a world-conquering warlord.
Advertisement:

Season 2

  • Hordak's Reasonable Authority Figure facade begins to degrade in this season, and on two separate occasions he removes the air from the room while Catra's in it just because he's angry with her. Watching her gasp for breath is terrifying— and worse yet, that's the situation she's in at the end of the season.
  • Hordak is seen without his armor and cloak, revealing him to be thin and sickly, with odd coloration on his arms and back. He also has cybernetic implants that allow his body to interface with his armor, but they need regular delicate maintenance. Delicate because if not done carefully it's extremely painful for him. It's likely he's been in constant agony this whole time.
  • Scorpia implied in season 1 that her family joined the Horde willingly. A flashback here, however, implies that this might not have actually been the case....
  • The spell Shadow Weaver uses in her backstory to gain power manifests as a shadowy ball of reaching hands reminiscent of the Cluster, not to mention how it later swallows up the head of the sorcerers' council. Are all those hands people the spell's already devoured?
      Advertisement:
    • Shadow Weaver approaching the Horde to join them. The Horde guards see her as a slithering shadow with crazed, inhuman eyes, the street lights in the Fright Zone flickering out and dying in her presence.
  • Hordak reveals his plan is constructing portals. Entrapta is in awe with the possibility of moving armies across Etheria in an instant but he dismisses this as thinking too small, alluding to opening up to far-off planets and galaxies. Just what is his end goal? Bringing in even vaster armies? Summoning Horde Prime? Returning Etheria to the Universe?
  • The reveal of how Shadow Weaver "found" Adora: Shortly after joining the Horde, she saw two Horde soldiers with baby Adora, having found her while they were out doing what they do. Then Hordak, not really interested in the crying baby, tells them to just leave it in the infirmary with "the others". So apparently the Horde just go around abducting the kids of people they kill.
  • The last shot of season 2 is Adora fast asleep with Shadow Weaver looming over her.

Season 3

  • After prolonged separation from the Black Garnet, Shadow Weaver is deathly ill. Shadows pour out of her skin like liquid whenever she coughs.
  • Catra has become so utterly broken that she is now willing to destroy all of Etheria, including herself, if it means denying Adora another victory over her.
    • Just before Catra activates the portal, Adora desperately tries to plead with her to stop, pointing out that if her plan works, she will die too. Catra darkly snarls back that she does not care, stating that if she dies, she'll at least die knowing that she finally won.
  • After Catra opens an interdimensional portal, the characters find themselves in a new setting in which they experience fugue states and see objects suddenly appear and disappear. Then, the fabric of reality begins to disintegrate as a purple light quickly devours the setting. When Adora is in this version of reality, she is constantly having visions, her memory keeps failing or getting mixed up and, most terrifying, she keeps seeing the world light up and being destroyed.
  • Catra's laugh when she starts to remember reality as it was. It's creepy as hell. And then there's the demented expression that follows. In case it wasn't clear already that Catra's gone completely off her nut.
  • After being caught up in the wave of purple light disintegrating the new version of reality, Catra emerges in a corrupted state. Her right arm and the right side of her face are black, and she speaks with the voice of the legion.
  • Hordak's laboratory features several alien fetuses growing in glass vats. Entrapta learns that these were his attempts at cloning a replacement body for himself.
  • Hordak tells Entrapta about his achievements as Horde Prime's chief general, which included the conquest of entire galaxies. It's chilling to realize how unfathomably massive Horde Prime's military must be to pull off such feats, and how many quadrillions of people they've killed to build his empire.
  • Horde Prime now knows where Hordak is. The final scene suggests that Horde Prime's invasion may be imminent.
  • When Horde Prime receives Hordak's transmission through the portal, an old file on Hordak appears on Horde Prime's screen, complete with a picture of the clone with a monochromatic color scheme and uncharacteristic blank expression. Viewers learn in season 4 that this is exactly what the drone-clones look like. The picture is of Hordak before he became "Hordak", before his free will kicked in, when he was just another mindless drone in Horde Prime's army.

Season 4

  • Noelle Stevenson described Season 4 as "the season we all went to see Annihilation." IT SHOWS.
  • In the first episode, Hordak is in the midst of a nervous breakdown after Entrapta's supposed betrayal. It's a shock to see the normally cool, dominant Hordak disintegrating.
  • Catra defeats Hordak by knocking out the lights in his sanctum, pouncing on him, and ripping out the First Ones crystal powering his cybernetic exoskeleton before he can react. Doing so shorts out the life support functions of his exoskeleton. Hordak falls to his hands and knees, barely able to move and struggling to breathe. Catra's move was not only physically sadistic but emotionally sadistic, since the crystal was a gift to Hordak from Entrapta and Catra had recently lied to Hordak about Entrapta's supposed betrayal.
  • We finally find out why Mara turned against the First Ones and abandoned the mantle of She-Ra. Because the First Ones were actually Omnicidal Maniacs who transformed Etheria into a living weapon for the sole purpose of eradicating all life in the galaxy, because they saw all other life aside from themselves as "impure". Adora is so horrified by this that she willingly destroys the Sword in direct defiance of Light Hope.
    • Light Hope when Adora confronts her about the truth. Her dispassionate nature faded entirely, and she furiously rants about how the rest of the galaxy is "impure" and must be "cleansed", and outright orders Adora to stop questioning her and perform her duties as the First Ones' "weapon".
      • And even then, Light Hope still manages to be sympathetic. Why? Because its then revealed that when Mara rebelled, Light Hope was actually genuinely considering her plea to give non-Etherian life a chance. How did the First Ones respond? By kidnapping Light Hope and forcibly reprogramming her into a mindless, emotionless tool with the sole directive of finding a new She-Ra to activate the Heart and begin the galaxy's cleansing.
    • The activation process is pretty horrifying. At first, the princesses get a major power-boost from the magic channeling through them into She-Ra, but then it starts becoming too much and they start falling down in pain.
  • Horde Prime proves to be much worse than his 80's incarnation ever was. Within minutes of his first onscreen appearance, he ruthlessly dismisses Hordak's attempts to conquer Etheria as a "waste of time" despite the latter having spent decades building up his army and empire from the ground up, gives him a brutal "The Reason You Suck" Speech, and then casually orders Hordak sent for "reconditioning". And the season ends with both Glimmer and Catra at his mercy.
    • Horde Prime forces himself into Hordak's mind. Hordak looks terrified as Horde Prime probes his memories. Later, when Horde Prime neck-lifts him and overrides his mind, Hordak's expression goes blank, and his eyes change from red to green. Whether the effect is permanent remains to be seen, but for the moment, "Hordak" is gone. Horde Prime can do that to any of his clones.
    • Horde Prime has multiple eyes on the right side of his face, all gazing in different directions. During a November 2019 Patreon discussion with fans, character designer Rae Geiger explained where those eyes came from: he took them from his clones.
    • To be a clone in Horde Prime's army means your thoughts are monitored and signs of independence (including giving yourself a name) can get you mind wiped and reset like a malfunctioning machine.
    • The moment before he overrides Hordak's mind, the expression on Hordak's face is like that of a horrified child who doesn't understand why his parent is hurting him.
    • Horde Prime's demeanor is incredibly offputting. He only raises his voice once, when he reprimands Hordak before mindwiping him. At all other times, he speaks in a soft, affable and sophisticated voice and treats Glimmer and Catra with the utmost kindness and courtesy, even when he nonchalantly threatens to murder the former and her entire planet to cover up Hordak's "failure" and later states his intention to harness the Heart of Etheria's power for his own use.
    • The way Horde Prime touches Hordak and Glimmer feels very predatory. The way he gropes Hordak's face and runs his hand over Hordak's armor during the Mind Rape is uncomfortable to watch. Horde Prime also touches Glimmer's face and holds her hand, making her visibly uncomfortable.
  • Horde Prime's clones look like Hordak with green eyes, white hair, and colorless clothing. They're silent and obedient to Horde Prime, and may be drones. "Reconditioning" might involve turning Hordak into one of them, if Horde Prime's mind-wipe has not done so already.
  • Beast Island lives up to its reputation as the worst place on Etheria. A First Ones-tech dumping ground (literally classified as a disposal site by Mara's ship systems), it's crawling with mutated deadly creatures (such as the initially unassuming pookas, which slowly surround and ambush their prey) and constantly giving off a signal that grows stronger the longer you're there—compelling you to approach the center of the island, where the land destroys your mind with your own doubts and fears, then slowly consumes your body with vines. A process we get to see firsthand on Bow, Entrapta, Adora, and Micah, complete with Empty Eyes.
  • Double Trouble's dissection of Catra's personality comes off as brutal and somewhat even horrifying. They first confront her using the appearance of Adora, just to rile her up, and laughs as Catra reacts with fear and anger. Then, they take it up a notch, transforming into Catra herself and telling her she doesn't really want to rule the Horde and that it's never been a real goal. They start getting really cruel by repeatedly shifting into people Catra has in someway cared about, mentioning all the things people have done to her. Then, they transform into Scorpia to tell her it's all her fault that people leave. It's utterly heartbreaking to watch Catra slowly become more and more despondent, and it's easy to tell that the affectionate body language Double Trouble uses as Adora really gets to her. However, Double Trouble goes even further, and explains that they have betrayed her and everything Catra has ever worked for will be torn down, making it clear that they themselves never cared for her either. Double Trouble finishes off with a cheerful smile, leaving Catra despondent and alone.
    • It's fairly unnerving to see Double Trouble come right out and emotionally break Catra after she had appeared to look up to them. The cruelty they display in one scene can only be surpassed by that of Horde Prime, which is fairly high bar. Even Shadow Weaver's abuse doesn't quite reach that level, as Double Trouble reveals the truth in the most brutal way possible and then leaves Catra completely alone with no one. When Glimmer shows up, Catra outright tells her to just do it.
    • The worst part that might not be easily noticed is that Double Trouble lumps in Shadow Weaver and Hordak's abusive behavior with Adora and Scorpia's legitimate grievances with her, basically implying Catra deserved her Parental Abuse. That could make Catra extremely vulnerable to gaslighting if she and Shadow Weaver ever meet again.
  • At the end of the season, dozens of ships from Horde Prime's fleet have appeared in Etheria's skies. Given the vast technological gap between the intergalactic Horde and Etheria, the implications of what those ships could do is disheartening.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report