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Xena: Warrior Princess
John Schulian, Robert G. Tapert
Lucy Lawless, Renee O'Connor, Ted Raimi, Kevin Smith, Hudson Leick
No. of Seasons
No. of Episodes
4 Sep 1995
18 Jun 2001
Intro narration: "In a time of ancient gods, warlords, and kings, a land in turmoil cried out for a hero. She was Xena, a mighty princess forged in the heat of battle. The power, the passion, the danger. Her courage will change the world!"
Xena: Warrior Princess is set in the ancient mythical world of Greece but also explores other parts of the world, such as Rome, China and India. It follows the adventures of the warrior woman Xena. She has cast aside her evil ways as an ambitious warlord and now seeks to atone for her evil deeds by helping those in need. She is befriended by Gabrielle, a quick witted but naive farm girl who wants to see the world and be more like Xena. It's a tongue-in-cheek show that doesn't take itself seriously for the most part. Most episodes have a dramatic, adventurous and action-packed nature to them. Comedy is also generously laced throughout with entire episodes occasionally devoted to a humourous theme. There is also a handful of episodes set in the modern day that somehow tie back to Xena and her adventures from approximately two thousand years ago.
Xena: Warrior Princess was an Emmy Award-winning American action-fantasy TV series that was a spin-off of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Xena was originally a guest star in several episodes of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys as one of his most dangerous enemies and was originally scripted to perish at the end of her story arc. However the overwhelming fan response led to her survival and her own spin-off series. Xena: Warrior Princess would go on to surpass its parent show in popularity and ratings with its titular character becoming a cultural icon.
Xena and Gabrielle are the two lead characters and the only ones to have appeared in every single episode (there are 138 in total). They become best friends over the course of the show but not without stumbling blocks along the way. While Xena thinks on her feet and is very pro-active in dealing with situations, Gabrielle likes to weigh up the pros and cons before diving in but is always ready to follow Xena's advice. Xena used to be an evil warlord known as The Destroyer of Nations. She put her evil past behind her and finds herself gradually relying on Gabrielle more and more to keep her from straying back into evil ways.
Below is a summary of the most important characters that appeared in the show. Click their names to see their individual character pages.
He is a clumsy oaf who likes to think of himself as a mighty warrior. He is good friends with Xena and Gabrielle and wants to help them but ends up doing more harm than good half the time. He has appeared in forty two episodes.
Probably Xena's greatest enemy. As a child, Caliisto watched her family die at Xena's hand. This was in Xena's dark days as Destroyer of Nations. She is consumed with revenge and has developed into a murderous, highly skilled warrior. She is determined to defeat Xena. She has appeared in twelve episodes.
Eve is Xena's daughter but grew up without her for the first twenty five years of her life. In that time, Ares moulded her into a brutal Roman commander. Xena, with the help of Eli, made her see the error of her ways. She has appeared in eleven episodes.
This infamous thief can't resist stealing valuable items especially if it presents a challenge for him. He also has a good heart and will help people in need but doesn't want anyone to know about it for fear of ruining his reputation as "King of Thieves". He has appeared in eight episodes.
Ephiny is an amazon warrior and good friends with Xena and Gabrielle although her loyalty is strongest towards Gabrielle. This is due to Gabrielle becoming Amazon Queen of her tribe. She has appeared in eight episodes.
A street magician in India. He discovers that he is the Avatar. A Deity in human form destined to save humankind from evil. He has great compassion and despairs at the suffering in the world. He has appeared in six episodes.
Xena meets Gabrielle for the first time while saving her village. They become good friends, with Gabrielle learning a lot from Xena's advice. They overcome various enemies along the way, including warlords, gods and titans.
One god in particular is a constant thorn in Xena's side - Ares, God of War. He is upset that Xena has abandoned her evil warlord ways and repeatedly tries to persuade her to come back and be by his side. He frames her for murder and claims to be her saviour. He also masquerades as her father to try and dupe her into lashing out against innocent villagers. It almost works but Gabrielle is there to make Xena realise that attacking these villagers is wrong.
Xena unexpectedly bumps into an old flame, Marcus, while trying to rescue a young woman. She tries to persuade him to stop serving an evil warlord and do good. Unfortunately, his first act of kindness is to give his life to save the kidnapped woman. She meets him again much later but this time he is an undead spirit asking for help in the underworld. The only way into the underworld is to die and become a spirit. Xena does this without hesitation as she loves Marcus very much and manages to stop the madman Atyminius from causing havoc.
As Gabrielle spends more time with Xena she becomes more confident but she grows a little frustrated with being unable to help Xena in combat. When she inadvertently becomes an Amazon princess, she quickly learns the use of a Fighting Staff from the Amazons. Despite being a princess to the Amazons she was able to leave them and continue following Xena but promised to return to them.
While Xena advised Helen of Troy in the midst of the Trojan War, Gabrielle unexpectedly meets Perdicus, a man she was reluctantly to marry back in her home village before meeting Xena. But on meeting him this time she is taken with how capable he has become as a soldier. They part on good terms hoping to meet each other again.
Xena discovers she has an exact double in the form of Princess Diana, daughter of King Thrace. She takes her place to thwart attempts on her life. This is the first of numerous doubles that Xena comes across over the course of the six seasons.
Xena and Gabrielle meet Autolycus, a friend of Hercules, for the first time. He is persuaded to masquerade as Synteres, an assassin, to help them retrieve a stolen holy artefact and will meet them again on numerous occasions in the future.
Xena encounters perhaps her greatest and certainly her most persistent enemy of the entire show. Callisto is a highly skilled warrior woman out for vengeance against Xena. In her dark past Xena had destroyed Callisto's family and village. This twisted Callisto into an evil and vengeful warrior. Although Xena defeated her this time, they would meet again. During their encounter with Callisto they also meet Joxer, a clumsy warrior who becomes good friends with them.
Xena teams up with her estranged older brother, Toris, to get revenge on Cortese. Cortese was responsible for the death of their younger brother Lyceus and the destruction of their village (the village was later rebuilt). Cortese was also responsible for Xena becoming the dark vengeful warrior that she used to be. Although they worked well together in bringing Cortese down, Xena and Toris would remain estranged.
Xena and Gabrielle help the wounded in a Greek civil war. Gabrielle risks her life to save someone from the battlefield but is gravely wounded for her troubles. Xena desperately tries to save her, bringing all her medical knowledge to bear. Without realising it Xena was stimulating her heart when she lightly punched Gabrielle's chest in a moment of despair and desperation. Having saved Gabrielle's life, the two have become inseparable.