“There is a great evil and it is waking up again.”
Those are the words Madam Razz imparts on Adora in season 4 of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power— and EW has an exclusive look at the action to come on the hit animated series, which returns Nov. 5.
It appears that — after her mother sacrificed herself in the season 3 finale — Glimmer (rocking a new look!) will assume the role of queen. But things are not harmonious in the Princess Alliance. Mermista says there’s a Horde spy among them, which Hordak (rocking a new weapon!) says has left their group in “disarray” as Horde Prime’s arrival is “imminent.”
The trailer also offers glimpses of Huntara (Geena Davis, back as a guest star) and a new addition to the series: Double Trouble (voiced by actor/author/activist Jacob Tobia), who is gender non-binary and uses they/them pronouns.
Here, showrunner Noelle Stevenson breaks down the trailer and what’s to come in season 4.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I’m still weeping over Queen Angella sacrificing herself in the season 3 finale. We see in the season 4 trailer that Glimmer is preparing for her coronation…does that mean there’s no hope Angella survived?
NOELLE STEVENSON: Well, Glimmer finds herself in this whole situation that she’s never been in before. She now has and this just incredible responsibility that I don’t think she ever expected to actually have, because her mother was never supposed to go anywhere. And so suddenly she’s been thrown into the deep end of having to be a leader, having to be a ruler. And with Horde Prime, like the threat of wartime hanging over everybody, the stakes have never been higher. We see Gimmer in a new light because she wants to protect everybody. What is she willing to go to do that, to make sure that no one else gets hurt and that she doesn’t lose anyone else in this fight with the Horde? Season 4 brings a whole new set of stakes for our main characters. They’re all finding themselves in new roles with new responsibilities. And so we’re gonna see them in situations that we’ve never seen them before.
Speaking of things we’ve never seen before, Glimmer has a whole new look!
Glimmer’s new outfit is very much inspired by her mother’s outfit. And I think in some ways it’s a little bit of an uncomfortable costume for her at first. She feels like she has to step into the role that her mother occupied before and do things exactly the way that she did. In the very first episode, she gets this ceremonial robe and it’s huge on her and it doesn’t fit and it’s uncomfortable. She doesn’t feel at home in this role and in this outfit. I think she was one of the characters who read as the youngest in the first season, but we’re seeing her grow. There’s a little bit of an edge to her costume. Even though it’s still pink, even though it’s still glittery, it shows that Glimmer is capable of more things.
We hear Hordak say his brother Horde Prime’s arrival is “imminent.” What does that mean for Hordak and Catra?
We saw Hordak show a little bit of hesitation in the last season about sending for Horde Prime because I think as much as he sees this as his ace in the hole — that if Horde Prime shows up with all of his resources, he’ll be able to conquer Etheria pretty easily — he’s also a little bit afraid of his brother showing up. And Hordak is very motivated t have everything very under control by his brother’s arrival. And I think Catra is kind of holding that over his head. She knows how scared he is of Horde Prime arriving, and that’s what she’s using to keep Hordak doing what she wants him to do. “Your big brother is going to be here soon. Don’t you want to have everything conquered by the time he gets here?” I don’t know that Catra is quite expecting much from Horde Prime. She has a much more personal goal in conquering Etheria. But I think every character, having that threat of this even bigger power hanging over them, it just heightens the stakes for everybody.
There’s also discussion of a Horde spy among the princesses!
Catra and the Horde have sort of stepped up their game in a lot of ways and are finding new ways to infiltrate and break down the defenses of the Rebellion. And the Rebellion, with Glimmer at the head, is trying to counter them and also to keep up and play their own game in return. So I think that, just based on what see in the trailer, I think we can say that the line between good and evil is getting blurred this season in ways that we’ve never seen before.
Catra and the Horde have a new ally, Double Trouble. How did you come to add this character into the mix?
We were really excited to be able to have this character who sort of breaks all the rules of the show. You know, they’re really only in it for themselves and they’re incredibly fun to watch. Double Trouble sort of enters all of the character dynamics and kind of turns everything on its head because they are this new character who is sort of above it all and seeing the dynamics that they bring out in every other character. The character just has so much fun with what. They do and what they do to cause mischief and chaos, but they just enjoy it so much. I think that it’s impossible not to have fun watching them. The energy that [Jacob Tobia, who provides Double Trouble’s voice,] brings to this role just gives it all such a mischievous bent and you can tell how much fun Jacob is having with this character. And it’s just so infectious. Even amidst all of the kind of the heightened stakes of the season, Double Trouble just brings this sense of fun. They really just want to have a good time. And I think our characters are not really prepared for that and it changes the dynamics of those friend groups.
What can you tell us about Madam Razz’s warning about the “great evil” awakening?
I think that there are a lot of unanswered questions from some previous seasons. Who are the First Ones? What were they doing? What was sort of going on before? What’s the purpose of She-Ra? And what was Mara doing? Was she really crazy? Why did she pull Etheria into Despondos and take away all the stars? What is going on?! Those are questions that I think Adora, especially, has been asking, because she feels this connection with Mara, but we haven’t gotten the answers yet. So Madam Razz is a character who’s been around longer than anyone on Etheria. And yeah, I think that there are a lot more mysteries to Etheria that we’re going to delve into this season and hopefully get some answers.
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power season 4 launches Nov. 5 on Netflix.