Welcome to Bae Watch Wednesday, where I tell you all about the fictional characters you ought to be crushing on. This week we are all about She-Ra and its protagonist, Adora.

Who Is Adora?

Adora is the main character of the hit new show She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.  Though she’s only 16, she is already a powerful figure in her own right, as a leading cadet of the Horde, an army dedicated to eradicating rebellion in Etheria. Shortly after the show starts, she is promoted to Force Captain, something she has long dreamed of.

Adora’s long-dreamt-of success soon sours, however. Her best friend Catra is jealous of Adora’s success, so to cheer her up, the two sneak out to explore the Whispering Woods. While there, misfortune strikes when Adora is thrown from their speeder and lands in the middle of the woods. She then experiences a strange vision of a glowing sword and a woman calling her name.

Though shaken by her experience, Adora returns home with Catra. However, she can’t quite get rid of the impulse to seek out the sword. She sneaks out again, asking Catra to cover for her, so she can investigate. This leads to Adora’s life-changing completely.

While in the Whispering Woods, she runs into rebels Glimmer and Bow, who immediately capture and restrain her as an enemy and soldier of the Horde.  They also prevent her from attaining the sword, taking it into their own possession. However, when a wild animal attacks, it’s Adora’s chance to prove herself.

She is able to get free of her restraints and secure the sword. However, rather than leave her erstwhile captors and escape, she chooses to rescue them. This awakens the spirit of She-Ra, Princess of Power and legendary defender of Etheria. Needless to say, all three are shocked by this turn of events. It seems that Adora’s past might contain more than the average Horde soldier.

Protector of Etheria

When Glimmer and Bow reveal to Adora what exactly the Horde does, things change. Though she long believed in the Horde’s propaganda, she can no longer commit to being a part of an army that pillages and destroys. Adora dedicates herself to the rebellion and helping to free Etheria, utilizing the spirit of She-Ra.

This leads to some shenanigans, of course. Being raised by the Horde has left Adora with no knowledge of how the world works, and she sticks out like a sore thumb. When Glimmer brings her to her home kingdom of Bright Moon, the people reject the Horde soldier and refuse to give her a chance until She-Ra emerges.

Once She-Ra gains their trust, however, the mission really starts. Adora’s mission to save Etheria starts with reforming the Princess alliance. She, Glimmer, and Bow travel to various kingdoms to save villages and persuade the other princesses to join in. Since Adora was raised to fear princesses, this takes some adjustment.

Over time, however, the change is good for Adora. The Horde was bad for her. Shadow Weaver, who raised her and Catra, was manipulative and abusive. This led to some serious psychological ramifications, and we see Adora’s near breakdown as she adjusts to being on her own. With the help of Glimmer and Bow, however, she recovers and continues her mission.

Adora’s new-found friends make a huge difference in her life. Bow is dedicated to teaching her about real life, while Glimmer provides unflinching support. They may have started off enemies, but they quickly become close, inseparable friends. Adora’s friendship with Catra, on the other hand, disintegrates as they find themselves on opposite sides of a war.

Princess of Power

Because war has come for Etheria, and as the Princess of Power, Adora’s front and center. When Catra captures Glimmer and Bow, the fun and games leave and it’s time to get down to real business. She-Ra leads a rescue mission with the help of the Princess Alliance, returning to Horde territory to save Adora’s friends.

Things don’t go perfectly. While Glimmer and Bow are saved, Glimmer’s torture at the hands of Shadow Weaver has left her with some illness and an inability to use her powers. Adora also faces her abuser again and only escapes due to Catra’s help. But the biggest problem is that one of the other princesses, Entrapta, is lost on the mission and presumed dead.

The alliance returns to their respective kingdoms, fractured by the loss of one of their own. While Entrapta’s loss is not Adora’s fault, she blames herself for her failure. She also blames herself for Glimmer’s situation and determines to remedy it by learning how to heal as She-Ra.

She sets out to learn more about the legendary spirit, leading to her and Catra forced to work together to survive a deadly temple. While this could be a way to reconcile, this actually leads to a serious rift. Catra decides she needs to be on her own and leaves Adora literally hanging. Luckily, she survives, but darkness is on the horizon.

Catra, who has recruited Entrapta for the Horde, is coming for Bright Moon. They have created a darkness that threatens to overtake the planet. Adora is ready to protect her new home and her friends, but things look bleak. In the end, though, they are able to repel the Horde forces and prove the power of friendship. The war isn’t over, but a serious battle has been won.

Why Is Adora Bae?

We may only be 13 episodes into She-Ra, but it didn’t take me very long to fall for this princess of power. She honestly has an amazing story, and I see great things in Adora’s future. I can’t wait for the next season of She-Ra (please renew, Netflix) so that we can see where the story takes her next.

Given that she is not only animated but a teenager, we’re going to avoid the usual thirst part of this essay regarding Adora’s appearance. She’s cute, to be sure (and looks a lot like a younger version of a friend of mine, which is wacky). But sorry, I can’t. I will say that Adora looks much more realistic and endearing than the retro She-Ra version, but that’s it.

No worries; there’s a lot more to Adora’s character than looks.

You Know What That Is? Growth

Adora’s arc is wonderful. She starts off as a loyal but naïve soldier, who must learn the truth about her side of the war, and ends an icon of the rebellion. No matter what, Adora’s mission is to do the right thing. She doesn’t always know what that is, due to Shadow Weaver’s manipulation and Adora’s innate naïveté.

However, as soon as she figures out the truth, she changes. Adora’s defection from Horde Captain to rebel fighter is swift and complete, even leading to the death of her lifelong friendship with Catra. Sure, she should have known what the Horde was. Even Catra mocks her for not figuring things out sooner. But once Adora learns, she doesn’t hesitate to switch sides.

This is seen clearly in Adora’s relationships with Glimmer and Bow. When she first runs into them in the Whispering Woods, she is antagonistic. The Horde taught Adora that princesses were evil. Glimmer, on the other hand, is quirky, cute, and sparkly. While Adora’s slow to trust her, she sees that princesses are not what she was taught.

Bow, on the other hand, breaks down Adora’s walls thoroughly. Bow is impossible not to love. Adora doesn’t want to be friends with him, considering the situation. However, even she is not immune to Bow’s charm and soon gives in to his friendly chitchat. This leads to her deciding to save them instead of running away.

By the end of the season, this friendship with Bow and Glimmer has completely changed Adora. She has seen the truth and dedicated herself to fighting for good, no matter the cost. She may have lost her friendship with Catra, but Adora’s relationships with Bow and Glimmer changed her for the better. Before, she represented the Horde’s destruction. Now, she will save Etheria.

Weird Horse Girl

But Adora is so much more than just She-Ra, Princess of Power. While She-Ra is a big part of who she is, she is merely an avatar of the spirit. The majority of the time, she is just Adora, a sixteen-year-old girl trying to find her place in the world. And she’s adorable (I’m not sorry).

Being raised by the Horde led to a very sheltered existence for Adora. Bow learns early on, much to his dismay, that Adora doesn’t know what a party is or even a birthday. Despite Glimmer advocating caution and haste, Bow is dedicated to Adora’s education and takes her to a village celebration they run across so she can experience the real world.

It’s a life-changing experience. For the first time, Adora is able to simply have fun. She tastes delicious food, listens to fun stories, and plays party games. Glimmer is able to see the lovely young person hiding behind the Force Captain exterior, and starts to see that Adora is not all bad.

The best part comes with Adora’s first experience with a horse. At the party in the village, she comes across a strange animal. High on the excitement of her first party, she eagerly asks Bow what this is, and pretty much experiences ecstasy when she is able to pet the horse. She later steals the horse, of course, and accidentally gives him wings and sentience, but that’s a whole other story.

The horse and party experience give a better look at Adora’s innate character. She may have been an instrument of the Evil Horde, but at her core, Adora is just a teenage girl who wants a better world. She loves horses, and food, and having fun. Despite her rocky upbringing, Adora is simply adorable.

What’s Not To Love?

As the embodiment of She-Ra, Princess of Power, there’s a lot on Adora’s plate. She is destined to save Etheria, a long-awaited incarnation of a legendary warrior. There was a long gap between Adora and the previous She-Ra, so a lot of bad things have happened that are now Adora’s responsibility to fix. There’s a lot of work to be done for this reluctant and erstwhile princess.

However, Adora proves in season one that she is capable of being who Etheria needs. Adora’s upbringing in the Horde wasn’t ideal, but it taught her discipline and tactics and prepared her for a life of leadership. This will push her to success as the leader and icon of the rebellion and Etheria’s best hope for freedom.

By saving Bright Moon, going toe-to-toe with her best friend and fighting to the last to save the rebellion, Adora proves she has what it takes to save Etheria. She knows the stakes and is unafraid to do what needs to be done to save things. But at her heart, Adora is also just a teenage girl in a strange new world.

Escaping from the Horde’s clutches brought Adora to a new life. This life is good; it has horses, and parties, and friends who love and support her. But it’s still a new life and a big adjustment. Adora has no conception of how to have fun and relax, and she must learn this. She manages with the help of Glimmer and Bow.

In the end, it’s impossible not to love Adora. Whether you love the powerful, sword-wielding warrior She-Ra or the goofy weird horse girl, there’s so much to love. Adora will free Etheria. But she also freed herself and worked her way into my heart in the process.