How Many Years Passed in ‘She-Ra and the Princesses of Power’? Turns Out It’s Longer Than You Might Think
Netflix’s She-Ra and the Princesses of Power has so many good lessons for kids and great writing for adults. The friendships Adora and her friends made are strong, and the princesses have a lot of work to do in order to overthrow the Horde, and then Horde Prime. As you can imagine, fighting off a massive army takes time, something they couldn’t succeed in doing until She-Ra came about. But how long did it take and how many years passed from Season 1 until Season 5?
Adora and her friends have to fight the Horde, to stop them from taking over Etheria
There’s a lot of lore that goes into She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. But essentially, thousands of years prior to when the show starts, the First Ones used Etheria to harvest and study the magic there. The First Ones came from their sister planet Eternia, which you might remember from the 1980s cartoon involving He-Man. That’s where Prince Adam/He-Man is from and where Adora is from as well. However, in this Netflix series, He-Man/Adam doesn’t exist, that audiences know of, even though that is still where Adora is from.
Mara, the previous She-Ra, stopped the First Ones from using the planet as a weapon (which they created) and destroying all of the universes by locking Etheria away from other solar systems. However, through portals, Etheria is brought back into the solar system, and that’s when things rev up going into Season 5.
But the Horde and eventually Horde Prime are interested in conquering Etheria mostly for power, but even more so when Horde Prime learns that Etheria is a massive weapon.
‘She-Ra’ spans over the course of around three years
Even though ages and exact years aren’t given, Noelle Stevenson, the showrunner, has said that around three or four years pass between the first and last seasons.
There are a few examples of how audiences can tell time passes in the show. For one, in the fourth episode of Season 1, Adora tries to use a code from her Horde days. Another Horde soldier makes a remark about how it’s been out of commission for months. Odds are, when Adora defected, all the codes were switched. So that means in only four episodes, it’s been a few months.
And maybe the biggest example of a time change was between Season 3 and 4. Queen Angella died and Glimmer had to assume the throne as the new queen. But she’s very clearly lost baby fat in her cheeks and takes on a more mature hairstyle. And while it’s harder to tell a difference for Adora or Bow, there are subtle differences like the length of Adora’s hair.
“I really like how subtly the creators changed the design to show the characters aging,” one Reddit user wrote. “Bow slowly grows broader. Their faces just slightly get longer. It’s so subtle it’s practically unnoticeable. They just sort of leaves you with the impression of growth even if you’re not conscious of why. It’s really impressive.”
Catra also changes a ton between seasons. By Season 4, her hair is not as wild as it was before, probably symbolizing her own maturity, but also her wild chase for control and power. Her hair no longer has its grey tufts behind her ears and it’s also longer, in addition to its new order.
These characters develop emotionally and physically throughout the series
Animated series show time progression subtly and sometimes not-so-subtly in a way to show the characters’ age differences because it is so hard to see time pass in shows unless explicitly said.
Plus, maturity levels are even more noticeable. Between the way Glimmer takes on a position of power or how Adora resolves conflicts, these teens are now young adults by the end of the series. Season 3 Catra also never would have apologized and felt sympathy for Glimmer like she did in Season 5. They all needed to grow to get to where they are when they defeat Horde Prime.
And their ages show again in the mini epilogue Adora sees as she’s fighting the Heart of Etheria in the finale. It’s Scorpia’s Princess Prom, and since this event happens every decade, it’s safe to say it’s another six or seven years after the finale. Catra’s hair has grown back after Horde Prime cut it all off. It’s back to its wild self, but it’s pulled into a ponytail. Adora’s hair is longer and down. And Bow and Glimmer are very noticeably adults.
While a lot of these aspects might not be that noticeable from just one viewing, it’s worth going back and revisiting Etheria.