The Sword: Part 1 is the first episode of Season 1 of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. It is the first part of the two-part series Netflix premiere special, The Sword.
Adora, a Horde soldier, is seen preparing for her day. As she dresses, she is seen brushing her teeth and attacking a punching bag taped with an image of a princess, who appears to look like the queen of Bright Moon, looming over innocent people. An intercom comes on and calls all cadets for evaluation. She hurries to a platform where she is joined by three other cadets, Lonnie, Kyle, and Rogelio. Noticing Catra is missing, Adora asks where she is, but nobody knows. As the evaluation begins, the instructor tells them that they will be traveling through the treacherous Whispering Woods (in a simulation) to reach the heart of the rebel insurgency Bright Moon. The mission is to defeat the princess queen and liberate Bright Moon in the name of Lord Hordak. The instructor explains that the Whispering Woods is full of princesses ("vicious violent instigators") who will take them out if given the opportunity. He tells them good luck and lets them into the simulation room, where the mission begins.
Using her simulation glasses, Adora yells out and dives as bots disguised as evil princesses fire upon the team. The team splits and searches for cover, dodging attacks. Adora throws a grenade that embeds itself into the machine creating a bot surge, giving the team time to run for cover. But in their pursuit Kyle is hit by a laser. He falls, and when Adora pushes him to his back, a red "X" appears on the upside-down green pentagon in his armor, presumably marking him dead.
His fall seems to activate more bots that shoot at the still standing soldiers. They run and the bots give chase, as Kyle lies on the ground as if paralyzed by the X on his chest. A feline looking woman is watching from the trees, following everyone, and letting them scramble around. The three remaining soldiers put up their shields, trying to deflect the lasers falling from above as they run. Suddenly, Adora stops, and a female soldier yells her name as the floor turns red beneath her. A beeping noise sounds, and the hexagon-shaped tiles she had been standing on began to fall. She jumps to relative safety, but the tiles act as a trigger, awakening a boss bot, the Queen of the Princesses. It fires at them, but Adora takes out a retractable staff and uses it to vault up on top of the machine. She destroys most of the bot and an explosion takes out the rest of it. Adora leaps to distance herself from the carnage. She lands on the ground, confused, and spots a girl in front of her. The girl kicks the machine back down its hole and points at the floor, just in time for Adora to see the tile (now red) engage and fall down into a hole. The girl, Catra, leans over the opening to see Adora, hanging by her staff, over the pit. Catra laughs and offers to help her out of the hole. The intercoms come on and announce that the exercise has been successfully completed.
Catra laughs again at Adora as she puts her things in her locker, exclaiming about how her face had looked as she had realized that she was falling. Adora seems annoyed and tells her that Catra shouldn't be acting so childish, that they're "senior cadets now“ and tricks Catra that there is a mouse, something she's said to fall for all the time, yet Catra herself says it was only once. However, their laughter is silenced when a woman called Shadow Weaver floats into the room. She compliments Adora for completing the course in "record time" and when Adora tries to share the credit with Catra, Shadow Weaver's voice grows dull and unamused, refusing to acknowledge the her, saying that she's unmotivated and it's unbelievable that she succeeded. She then yells at Catra for being "flippant" with her. Catra apologizes, and the Weaver lets it go, choosing to instead invite Adora to walk with her.
While walking, Shadow Weaver tells Adora that she's a prime candidate for Force Captain and that Hordak has elected her to lead a squadron into Thaymor. While she's excited about seeing active duty, when she asks about her team, Shadow Weaver tells her that they are not ready, unlike Adora and that they will only slow her down, so only she will go to Thaymor. Adora tries to explain to Shadow Weaver that her team has been working to see active duty forever and that they should have the same opportunity, but Shadow Weaver responds back to Adora that she raised her to be Force Captain, to lead a squadron, and to liberate the world, as this is what she was raised to do. Shadow Weaver saw her talent from the moment she found her as an orphaned child and took her in. With her, they can crush The Rebellion once and for all.
At a white and gold castle on an island surrounded by aquamarine waters, a curvy girl with sparkly pink hair is sent in. She walks into a throne room where she kneels and greets the woman on the throne, Queen Angella, who is the queen of Bright Moon. The queen tells the young lady besides her, Glimmer, that she was told that she led The Rebellion into danger by staying in the battle when she was ordered to retreat. The queen tells her that she was reckless and put herself and the other rebels in danger.
Glimmer argues that fighting is supposed to be dangerous and that she was just defending Elberon, the village Queen Angella sent her to defend, and that if they keep retreating soon enough they will have nothing left to defend. Queen Angella and Glimmer argue until Glimmer is grounded and sent to her room.
Returning to Adora in the Fright Zone, she pins the Force Captain's pin on her jacket and is standing on a platform outside when Catra approaches her. Catra noticed the pin and is excited about Adora becoming Force Captain. She thinks that since Adora's been promoted, she and her team (including her) will get to see the world, so when Adora tells her that she's not invited, Catra freaks out. She complains that Shadow Weaver has something against her.
Adora brings up the point that Catra is disrespectful, but Catra argues that she shouldn't have to respect her. Shadow Weaver's power comes from Hordak. Then she calls Adora a "people pleaser" and leaves, upset. Adora finds her after she's been given time to cool off and Catra gives her back the badge (as she had taken it from Adora and had not given it back). Catra explains that she isn't jealous of the rank, but instead just wants the freedom Adora now has due to the rank, saying that she’s never been outside of the Fright Zone, and that wants to know what's out there. Adora shows a metal key to Catra- a key to a Skiff. Catra takes control of the Skiff, and knowing that she (Catra) won't preserve the gas and end up stranded, Adora fights for control and as they fight, they steer the skiff into the Whispering Woods. Not caring about the potential dangers lurking inside, Catra powers the Skiff further into the woods. Going too fast, and unable to properly navigate the strange forest, Adora is knocked off of the skiff and abandoned in the wood.
She lands on a bush. When she opens her eyes and gets up, she notices a sword covered in vines. She reaches out and touches the pommel. Upon touching it, a brilliant light erupts from the sword where her hand and sword meet. She hears a female voice. The voice says "Balance must be restored, Etheria must seek a hero," A baby cries, a voice calls "Adora," and then the voice is replaced with Catra’s. Adora opens her eyes to see Catra leaning over her. She tells Adora that the skiff was driven into a tree. And who's to take the blame is up for debate. Adora then starts to panic, asking about the sword and the light and wondering aloud where it could have gone. Catra asks her if Adora is brain damaged. She then helps Adora onto the skiff and takes her home.
At the Castle, Glimmer is writing in her diary. Outside a shadow shoots an arrow into her room, and it unravels to be an note to look out her window. Her friend Bow is outside her window. She tells him that she's grounded, but he can't hear her, so she teleports him into her room so they can talk. She starts going on about the fact that her mother keeps trying to protect her from the Horde, stationing her so far out that she barely ever gets attacked, and when she does something her mother gets mad at her for doing something to save the town. She says that her mother doesn't respect or trust her because she's just a princess. Bow tells her if she wants her mother's respect, she's got to prove that she isn't reckless. Then he shows her his tracker pad, and that it has discovered a piece of First Ones tech is hiding in the Whispering Woods. He says that if she gets it, her mother is bound to be impressed. Of course, then her mother appears at the door to see if Glimmer is in her room. She quickly teleports him out of her room Glimmer told her mother everything is fine. But as her mother asked if someone else in her room because she heard voices. and answers the door, opening it just a smidgen to peak her head through Glimmer told her mother no one is her room when she asked her mother to leave her alone her mother does not like the way Glimmer talked to her and she said that she doesn’t appreciate her tone right now and the argument starts. After a very loud argument that ends in a slamming door, Glimmer teleports to Bow and tells him she's in.
Meanwhile, Adora is in bed, hearing that same voice in her dreams calling her name. She's woken up by the voice and quickly puts her clothes on, not realizing that Catra is awake and watching her. On her way out, Catra catches her and asks her what she's doing. She tells her friend that she's got to go back to the woods to figure something out, electing not to tell her that she's going back to the forest because of the voice in her head. Naturally, Catra is concerned about Adora, as leaving the grounds in the middle of the night for a forest of monsters is not something Adora typically does, so she tries to go with her, but Adora refuses to jeopardize her friend's neck. If someone found out they were gone, they'd both go down for it. So Adora instead asks her to cover for her and tells her that she'll be back before anyone knows she's gone.
Bow and Glimmer are searching for the tech in the Whispering Woods. Bow's tracker pad isn't cooperating and Glimmer is beginning to lose hope. That is until a light begins to shine from deeper into the forest. Adora, on the other hand, is talking to herself as she walks through the woods. She tells herself that maybe she did get hit on the head a little too hard because what she is doing is crazy, yet she finds the sword. Shortly after, Glimmer and Bow reach the sword as well. Surprised, Glimmer yells "Horde Solider!" and Adora charges for the sword. Glimmer teleports to the blade before she can reach it and teleports it away. She throws it to Bow, who runs away with it as she falls onto Adora's back. Yelling, she pulls at Adora's ponytail, but Adora pulls her off of her and uses a Bolas to trip Bow. She goes for the sword, but Glimmer teleports in front of her. Adora tells her she doesn't want to hurt them, but Glimmer doesn't believe her and throws a blast of glitter in her face to distract her. Bow and Glimmer try to pin Adora and Adora tries to reach for the sword. And when she touches it, light explodes from the sword, engulfing everything.
Adora then appears in a different dimension, a world of technology and crystal. A woman is there and she greets Adora by name. She tells her that she is Light Hope and that she has been waiting a long time for her, but she could not reach Adora until Adora forged a connection with the sword. Light Hope tells her that the Sword is meant for her, that Etheria has need of her, and she asks her if she will answer its call, asking if Adora would fight for the honor of Grayskull. Adora tells her that she doesn't understand, and that she needs more answers. But the woman simply tells her that she will understand eventually in time, and fades back into the light from which she came.
When she wakes, her hands are bound. Glimmer has the sword and calls her a Horde spy. She accuses her of trying to steal something that belongs to the rebellion, the sword. And when Adora argues that she found the sword first, Glimmer tells her that the Whispering Woods is under the protection of the Rebellion and that everything in it belongs to the Rebellion and that they are taking her (Adora) to Bright Moon for a proper interrogation. Adora talks with Bow, who is giddy with excitement at their success. They have a First Ones sword a Horde spy, and that Glimmer’s mother is going to be so proud. But on their way out, Bow is concerned that they're lost in a darker side of the forest. He grew up in the woods, but he has never seen the part where they are at. Glimmer tells him to trust her and teleports elsewhere. Bow apologizes for Glimmer's snappiness, explaining that she's usually really nice, but Adora doesn't care. She asks him how he could follow her being that she's a princess, and that princesses are evil monsters- violent creatures that don't know how to control their magical abilities. Bow calls her out on having never met a princess, something she can't exactly deny.
They stumble upon a village in ruins. Taken aback, Adora asks Glimmer what happened to the place. Glimmer tells her not to play dumb, and that she was probably apart of the raiding party that took part in the demolition. When Adora refuses to believe the Horde would do something like this, Glimmer takes her to a failed machine of the Horde- a Horde robot as it had the Horde logo imprinted on the robot. She calls Adora "A heartless destroyer just like all the rest of your people“, but Adora still denies the Horde's role in the catastrophe. She tells her that Hordak is trying to make things better and more orderly. This remark causes Glimmer to break and she begins to shout that the Horde has been poisoning the land, burning the cities, and destroying everything in their path. Glimmer then takes off into the woods, away from the ruins. Bow tries to explain to Adora that the Horde is evil, and everyone knows it. Adora tells him that the Horde she knows rescued her as a baby, gave her a home, a purpose, and that they are her family, not an enemy.
Suddenly, Glimmer comes running back to them, yelling that some giant monster is after her. Bow asks her how big it is, but before she can answer, it breaks through the ground. The monster turns out to be as huge and is as tall as the trees. Glimmer teleports away before it can impale her with its spider-like legs. She attacks it with sparkles, but it only seems to make the insect monster angrier. Adora stumbles, but with her hands tied, she can't catch herself and her leg gets pinned in a crack in the earth. Bow jumps in front of her and attacks the bug monster so she can get free, shooting it with an arrow that releases a goopy green slime substance over its pincers. Glimmer attacks it spasmodically with glitter bombs until it slaps her away like a pesky fly. Seeing Glimmer down, the monster crawls for her, but Bow shoots another arrow, this one releasing a rope that holds the monster back. While Bow tries to keep the monster held back, Adora is able to climb free and goes for the sword. Bow is pulled forward and slams into a tree, landing on top of Glimmer. Glimmer tries to keep the monster back with more glitter punches, but the monster is unphased by her efforts. With the sword in hand, Adora calls for the bug monster. And it rushes her. But Adora, not knowing how to use the sword, and without the full use of her hands, is stuck in a tight situation.
The monster reaches her, and she lifts the sword over her head just in time to block his spiky claw. Upon impact, the sword lights up with power. She hears the woman, Light Hope, who asks her if she will fight for the Honor of Grayskull. Struggling to keep the monster from killing her, Adora shouts "For the honor of Grayskull!". The light got brighter, and Adora is transformed into She-Ra, a princess with long flowing blonde hair, bright blue eyes, a golden crown of wings and a dress of white and gold. The monster then calms down when it sees She-Ra and is no longer provoked.
Artifacts and tech
- She-Ra pacifies a monster just like Mara did back when she first confronted a wild beast with Razz, as shown in Season Four. But the monster resumes its attack after She-Ra transforms back into Adora.
- When Adora is training, she has a picture of an evil-looking Angella on her punching bag. She says “Hey, Princess. You looking at me?” to the photo, but Angella is a queen. However, this may be because she was taught Horde propaganda regarding princesses.
- When Catra is leaping away from Adora after seeing her Force Captain pin, her sclerae are white.
- The Unknown Blue Horde Member shown at the beginning is possibly Commander Cobalt.