I remember, some time during... maybe season three? Four? I remember Stevenson saying, in some article, that a major difference between SPoP's antagonists and protagonists was that the antagonists (namely Hordak and Catra) felt that they had to do everything on their own.
And like... I think about that a lot, in terms of Hordak. I think about the why of it, and how it's so different from what I would have expected.
The usual trope - the kind I'm so accustomed to - is that sort of... how to say... "villain rejects friendship because they believe it makes them weak/think love is stupid/don't appreciate the positives of companionship." Y'know. That sort of thing.
And prior to Huntara, Hordak seemed to potentially fit this trope. Stoic, solitary villain obsessed with strength and success and victory. He absolutely looked like the variety of character who would respond to Entrapta's "I like being friends with you, too" by scoffing at the concept, viewing it as beneath him.
But that's not Hordak.
Hordak doesn't self-isolate because he thinks himself above connecting with other people. He doesn't try to solve his problems alone because he thinks he's better at it than everyone else.
Rather, he isolates out of deep insecurity and self-loathing and anxious self-preservation. He tries to do things on his own because he believes that that is what he must do so that he is worthy of love and companionship.
He wants closeness. He wants to be part of a social group. He wants to be loved.
He's just been brainwashed and conditioned and abused into believing that these things can only be achieved by proving himself worthy of them. That he must show himself capable of Prime's idea of accomplishment and victory, despite his illness, in order to be accepted and cherished.
It's such a departure from the classic trope.
So often, we get villains that have to "learn to love" or have to "learn the magic of friendship," or whatever. So rarely do we get villains that want love, that want companionship, but have a dysfunctional understanding of how to receive them.
How rare it is to have a villain learn to accept help not by being "knocked down a peg," but by being lifted up. By being told that it's okay to accept help. That it doesn't make them lesser. That they're worth it.
It's just such a dear thing: that what Hordak needs to learn isn't humility, but self-love.
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Everyone shutup and listen.
Enemies to lovers is about:
The extremely complex layers of human nature
The first ever kiss
The exhilaration that comes afterwards
The “youre not alone” cmon guys this is textbook by now
The hasty kisses afterwards
That erotically intense moment in the story where they have stand off in front of each other, angry and hurt and never breaking eye contact, weapons drawn and pointed to the other ones throat, painfully torn in their decision, breathing and swallowing hard, knowing very well what they have to do but neither of them actually going through with it, stuck forever amidst what they stand for and what they yearn for, knowing that theres such a fine line between wanting to kill the other one and wanting to die for the other one, and that that line is about to be carved (in blood or lust could go either way you don’t know!) by the very weapon that they are now gripping and pointing at potentially the only other being in the world who makes them feel witnessed, needed and truly seen
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