The premise of the show was that She-Ra, whose secret identity is Adora, and her friends must defend Etheria from Hordak and his evil Horde, after realizing her true destiny through her brother Adam, who is also known as He-Man. The She-Ra cartoon's premise was similar to the He-Man premise, with the distinction that while He-Man served King Randor and the rulers of Eternia, She-Ra was a revolutionary engaged in a rebellion against Hordak, the ruler of Etheria. She-Ra, like He-Man, wielded a magic power sword. Adora transformed into She-Ra by holding it aloft and saying "By the Honor of Grayskull."
She-Ra had allies among the rebels; they included Beau, an archer, Glimmer, a princess, and Madame Razz, a witch. While He-Man rode a tiger, She-Ra rode a winged unicorn. Hordak, like his counterpart Skeletor from the He-Man series, had a supporting cast of supervillains, including Leech, Catra, and Clawdeen.
She-Ra had her début in the full length animated movie, He-Man and She-Ra: The Secret of the Sword, which appeared in 1984. The syndicated series premiered in 1985 and was cancelled in 1986; it lasted 93 episodes.