- Entertainment and Media
"I've cut off the flow of blood to your brain. You'll be dead in 30 seconds."
Xena is a fictional character from the television show Xena: Warrior Princess, which aired from 1995 until 2001. Created by Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi, this strong female character, played by Kiwi actress Lucy Lawless, quickly won a legion of fans who continue to support the show and its stars to this day.
Xena lived in Ancient Greece, living a life of evil and hate as a powerful warmongering warrior until she met Hercules, who set her on a new path of righteousness. Shortly afterward, she met village girl Gabrielle (played by Renee O'Connor), who went on to become her best friend and saving grace.
Xena battled evil for six seasons, encountering warlords, demons, angels and gods, until the show finally came to a controversial climax! Now approaching its 15th anniversary, the show continues to find new fans, while loyal lifelong Xenites still eagerly pack out the annual convention in America.
In this lens you will learn more about Xena and the impact she has had on the world. Enjoy!
Photo Credit: From personal autograph collection. Buy Xena Photos at Creation Entertainment
This work is the copyright of the author, MissMerFaery (2009). Please DO NOT copy this elsewhere either in print or online. Photos are copyright of the stated sources and may not be used without permission. First published: 2009
Ten Reasons to Love Xena!
- She is empowering to women across the globe (and men!)
- She is not afraid to stand up for what is right
- She is a true friend to her soulmate Gabrielle
- She has a fabulous war cry
- She looks great in leather!
- She has "many skills"...
- She fights for the Greater Good
- She overcame her dark side
- She kicks butt!
- She inspired the one of the greatest fan bases a TV show has ever known!
Xena: Warrior Princess Box Set - The Complete Six Seasons
You can buy all six seasons in one marvellous box set! Enjoy the entire incredible journey, from Xena's early struggle for redemption and meeting Gabrielle, to her ultimate battle in Japan.
The complete Xena - nuff said!
Enjoy all six seasons along with a very impressive host of extras and bonus features, with behind-the-scenes documentaries, exclusive footage and bloopers, interviews and more!
The Girl from Amphipolis - Xena's Past
Photo Credit: Find Official Xena Photos at Creation Entertainment
Xena was born in Amphipolis, Thrace. Her world changed when the village was attacked by a warlord named Cortese. Xena led a resistance against him, gathering together an army, which led to the death of her brother, Lyceus, along with many other villagers. The village, including her own mother, turned against her, but despite this, Xena determined to protect her homeland, and would go on to grow her army and conquer surrounding lands.
She spent time pirating the high seas, gathering the means to form a mighty army. During this time she met M'Lila, who taught her the infamous 'pinch' (a pressure point technique which cuts off the flow of blood to the brain, killing the victim unless the pinch is released). She also encountered Julius Caesar, who beguiled her into trusting him, but eventually betrayed her and had her crucified. Xena was rescued by M'Lila, but not before her legs had been broken. Luckily, she was taken to a healer, who was able to reverse some of the damage. But M'Lila was killed, which led to a new Xena being born; one of darkness, and revenge, and death. This era of Xena's life is chronicled in the season two episode 'Destiny'.
Xena became seized by blood-lust, and joined forces with the warrior Borias. Together they led a mighty army, with Xena making an impressive warrior despite being a cripple.
Whilst on a campaign in China, Xena met Lao Ma, a beautiful and wise wife of a Chinese ruler. She healed Xena, curing her injured legs, and began to teach her a better way, but Xena's rage and hatred won through, and she left once more with Borias. These events are told in season three's 'The Debt' Part I&II. Xena's travels also take her to Japa, where she meets Akemie, a young girl who possibly had the power to turn Xena from her evil path, but who kills herself as punishment for murdering her wicked father and sends Xena into a spiral of self-destructive grief.
Xena and Borias continued to conquer, eventually conceiving a child together. However, an evil shamaness named Alti entered their camp, seducing Xena with the notion of becoming the 'Destroyer of Nations'. Xena went on to kill both amazons and centaurs, and became so obsessed with power and war that Borias left her, turning to the side of the centaurs. This was an act that would lead to his downfall; poignantly dying as his child with Xena was born. Xena realised she did not want her son, Solan, growing up to be the monster she had become, or for him to be a target for her enemies, so she gave him to the centaurs to raise. This story of Xena and Borias is told in the season four episodes 'Adventures in the Sin Trade' Part I&II and 'Past Imperfect', and Season Six's 'Last of the Centaurs'.
In the subsequent years, Xena continued to wreak havoc, betraying Boadicea and even becoming a feared and bloodthirsty Valkyrie to get the better of the Norse god Odin (told in the season six Norse trilogy).
Eventually, she finds herself at the head of an army which grows increasingly mutinous. She hatches a plan to kill Hercules by turning his best friend, Iolaus, against him, but fails. She then saves a child from being killed by her army, and berates them for murdering women and children. One of her men, Darfus, leads a mutiny against her which leads to her walking the 'gauntlet', where she is cruelly beaten senseless by her men. But Xena survives, and goes on to fight against her former army alongside Hercules, who teaches her a better way. This is chronicled in the Hercules episodes 'Warrior Princess', 'The Gauntlet' and 'Unchained Heart'.
From here, Xena goes on to meet Gabrielle, and the series is born!
The Path to Redemption
The character of Xena was introduced in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Show creators Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi wanted to make a series out of this incredible warrior, exploring a far darker show than the lighter Hercules, but networks weren't so sure.
When writing Xena's trilogy in Hercules, the outcome of 'Unchained Heart' depended solely on whether the idea for Xena's own show was picked up. If it hadn't have been given a chance, Xena would have died in battle redeeming herself.
Thankfully, the show WAS picked up, and Xena went on to run for six fabulous seasons.
The show never shies away from Xena's dark past. Despite fighting relentlessly for good, the warrior princess can never escape the guilt she feels at the countless murders she committed, and although Gabrielle leads her onto a bright and righteous path, Xena never feels she can wholly redeem or forgive herself.
Good Vs Evil!
Okay, go on, be honest... we all love Xena, but did ya like her a weensy bit better when she was a badass and kicked serious butt? Go on, you can tell us....
Do you prefer Good Xena or Evil Xena?
Great Xena stuff from Amazon
Love Xena? Find some great products on Amazon.
Most Famous For...
* Her chakram
* Her war cry
* The pinch
* The leather
* Her "many skills"
* Her "are they or aren't they?" relationship with Gabrielle
Xena and Gabrielle
The Soulmate Thing!
One of the most enduring things about Xena, and one of the things that makes it SO popular with its loyal fans, is the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle.
These two are soulmates - destined to be together forever. Anyone familiar with the show will know that Xena gained a massive gay following, with much speculation throughout the show's run as to whether Xena and Gabrielle were just good friends, or lovers. Some fans thought they were, some didn't.
The producers loved to tease, and there were plenty of "moments" and even one or two kisses... but because the show didn't want to upset either set of fans, they never actually stated one way or the other! Which is great, because you can imagine their relationship however you want it to be. Either way, one thing is for sure - the bond between these two is unbreakable. Not only that, but it inspired an incredible sisterhood across the globe, forging friendships between Xena fans all over the world.
Who wouldn't want such a beautiful connection between two souls, either with a lover, or a friend?
Xena and Gabrielle's friendship survives against all odds.
Warrior Princess: Hot or Not?
Quick, what do you think of Xena?
Xena and Ares
The Love Hate Thing!
Despite the lingering questions about Xena and Gabrielle, there was another "will they won't they?" figure in Xena's life - in the form of immortal God of War, Ares!
Xena was a self-confessed fan of "bad boys" and Ares was most certainly her guilty pleasure. The God of War spends much of the show trying to coax Xena back to her "glorious" bad days of when she was Evil Xena, to no avail.
Despite his war-mongering ways, Ares had a huge soft spot for Xena, even in her good form, to the point where he gives up his immortality to save the lives of her daughter and of Gabrielle, during the Twilight of the Gods.
Ares was played by Kiwi actor Kevin Tod Smith, who sadly died in 2002 following a freak accident on a film set, where he fell from a concrete block and never regained consciousness. The Xena community greatly mourned the loss of this talented actor, who poignantly was on the verge of breaking into Hollywood movies as he was due to commence filming on a Bruce Willis movie, Tears of the Sun.
Xena never could resist a bad guy in leather...
Anything Ares Can Do, Xena Can Do Better!
Not that they're competitive or anything...
The Best Xena Sites on the Web
Here are the best Xena links to keep you up to date with the Xenaverse!
Know of any fab sites not listed here? Let me know!
The Australian Xena Information Page is THE site to keep you up to date with the Xenaverse. All the latest news on Lucy, Renee and all the other cast/crew members will be updated here regularly - virtually every day. This site is a labour of love and
- Xena Fan Club
This is Creation's official Xena Fan Club page.
- Lucy Lawless Fan Club
The official site of Lucy Lawless. Keep up to date with Lucy's blogs, concerts, appearances and projects. You can also purchase photos and clothing.
- Renee O'Connor Fan Club
The official site for Renee O'Connor. Keep up to date with Renee's news, plus purchase exclusive photos and even prints of her infamous artwork.
- Michelle's Xena Page
A great gallery archive of Xena!
All the stats and episode info on Xena
Birthplace of the International Association of Xena Studies
Xena and Callisto
The Nemesis Thing!
Xena faced many foes during her six seasons, but the most popular of all has to be the psychotic Callisto!
Xena's nemesis was actually created by Xena - during her time as an evil warrior, Xena laid waste to a village when Callisto was a child, causing the deaths of her parents. Callisto grew into a twisted killer hellbent on vengeance, and when we first met her, she was murdering her way through villages pretending to be Xena, to blacken the warrior princess's name and get her attention.
Callisto featured in numerous episodes and endured numerous demises after becoming immortal, causing a great amount of harm, from the death of Gabrielle's husband, to the shocking death of Xena's young son Solan, which caused the infamous major rift between Xena and Gabrielle in Season Three.
One of the things that made Xena so great was that it wasn't afraid to be dark, despite its reputation as a "camp" fantasy show.
The story of Callisto had its morals, too, with the warrior discovering that revenge did not make her feel any better - only empty, and longing for oblivion. In the end, Xena makes a stunning sacrifice in the final chapter of Callisto's story, and she lives on in a whole new form. If you've not yet seen the show, I won't spoil it for you!
Xena finally redeems Callisto and gives her the peace she has always dreamed of.
The Devil in Disguise...
...but oh how we loved her.
Adventures in the Xena Trade
Xena and Gabrielle's relationship blossomed throughout the show, but was also threatened on numerous occasions, especially during the infamous 'Rift' arc of episodes.
Here is an overview of each season.
Xena Season One
After her life-changing encounter with Hercules in the first series of The Legendary Journeys, Xena is lost and confused. She saves a village from an evil warlord named Draco (coincidentally a former flame!) and meets Gabrielle, who is inspired by Xena and follows her on her journey home to Amphipolis. So begins the world of Xena!
Season One introduces us to the main characters little by little, including Callisto, Joxer, Autolycus and the Amazons. It also sees the friendship between Xena and Gabrielle develop. Both are faced with losing the other during this season, and both they, and we, start to realise how much they mean to each other.
Buy Season One!
Not discovered Xena yet? Enjoy the beginnings of the Warrior Princess phenomenon with this Season One boxset!
From Xena's first meeting with Gabrielle in "Sins of the Past", to nearly losing her in season finale "Is There a Doctor in the House?", Season One shows why so many fans fell in love with Xena!
Sins of the Past
Hooves and Harlots
The Greater Good
Is There a Doctor in the House?
Xena Season Two
Season Two sees Xena and Gabrielle's relationship develop and blossom, and gives us both comedy in the form of episodes such as Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and great drama in the form of A Necessarily Evil, Return of Callisto and more.
We enjoy more from the Amazons, and even get to see Joxer become a dashing hero - even if only for a day!
Buy Season Two!
Enjoy season two escapades with this boxset!
Xena's adventures continue. Callisto returns to wreak unimaginable havoc in Gabrielle's life, and Xena is killed (for the first time!)
Return of Callisto
Warrior... Princess... Tramp
A Day in the Life
For Him the Bell Tolls
Xena Season Three
Season Three is, in my opinion, the point where Xena became a truly great show. Aside from the outstanding array of episodes it gave us, it proved that it was more than just a lighthearted fantasy series, and showed its dark side.
Xena and Gabrielle face both death and their darkest hour in this series, and only this show could pull off what it did in the episode The Bitter Suite - mending their broken relationship in the form of a musical. Sounds insane, but it worked!
It also featured the stunning two-part episode The Debt, which explains a key part of Xena's backstory and takes us to China for the first time.
Buy Season Three!
The show takes a darker turn in Season Three - find out why by getting this boxset now!
Xena and Gabrielle's friendship is tested to the limit in this season. Gabrielle faces her darkest hour while Xena faces the loss of her son. Can the two ever reconcile?
Been There Done That
The Debt I&II
The Bitter Suite
Forget Me Not
Xena Season Four
After the shock cliffhanger of Season Three, where Gabrielle seemingly plunged to her death to save her friend's soul, we are treated to the first of the "shamanic" episodes, where we learn about the northern Amazons, the evil shamaness Alti, and see a chilling vision that will haunt the entire fourth series - Xena and Gabrielle being crucified.
Gabrielle returns in episode three, and the series brings a wealth of superb episodes, as well as great new characters such as Amarice and Eli.
The series culminates in another series cliffhanger from which even Xena and Gabrielle surely cannot come back from? Once again the series brings us darkness and drama as, rather than save the two characters from their fate, it sees the vision come true...
Buy Season Four!
This boxset takes Xena to a whole new level in Season Four. Don't miss the incredible ending in Ides of March!
Gabrielle decides to follow the path of peace, while Xena is plagued by a troubling vision throughout the series, which foresees the death of herself and Gabrielle at the hands of the Romans. Will it come true? Watch to find out!
Adventures in the Sin Trade I&II
Between the Lines
Ides of March
Xena Season Five
We should know by now that death is never the end on Xena, and sure enough, some angelic magic and Eli manage to bring the two back to life after a visually stunning battle through Heaven and Hell.
Gabrielle really comes into her own in this series, becoming a warrior in her own right. Just as well, because Xena finds herself pregnant, and due to a prophecy the gods are all after her unborn child.
The series takes insane storylines to a whole new level towards the end of the series, with the final episodes occurring 25 years later. Confused? You'll just have to watch the show!
Buy Season Five!
This boxset sees Xena become a mum - but the gods aren't happy!
From the breathtaking resurrection of Xena and Gabrielle in the season opener, to Xena's unexpected pregnancy, to the mind-bending twist towards the end of the season, this series is not to be missed!!
Seeds of Faith
God Fearing Child
Looking Death in the Eye
Xena Season Six
The final season of Xena had its highs and lows, but none so controversial as the season finale.
Despite the show missing all of its supporting cast due to the 25 year leap in time (aside from the remaining gods and Xena's daughter Eve), there are many great episodes in this season, including some impressive Amazon ones.
SPOILER ALERT If you haven't seen the show, you might want to skip this bit!
In the end, we return full circle to Xena's quest for redemption, and her final sacrifice to do just that. In order to make right what she did in Japan years ago, she must destroy the evil Yodoshi. In order to do this, she has to die. Of course, Xena has died many times during the show, and throughout this two-parter, fans were in no doubt that Gabrielle and Xena would once again be reunited at the end. But the final twist was cruel - in order to save all the souls that had been trapped, Xena had to stay dead. This ending left fans so distraught that a director's cut was released. Same ending, but slightly less harsh on the final scene - Gabrielle is originally seen alone on the boat, but in the new version, Xena appears beside her in spirit.
Xena dies a warrior's death, and Gabrielle goes on, taking Xena's place with her chakram, to carry on Xena's work for the greater good.
Buy Season Six!
This final, breathtaking boxset brings Xena to a shattering conclusion. Don't miss it!
Xena faces many challenges in this dark and final season. The loss of her mother, the rekindling of the relationship with her daughter, and past wrongs to put right. From a gorgeous Norse trilogy to a tear-jerking finale in Japan, Xena and Gabrielle go far beyond where they have ever been before.
The Ring/The Rheingold/Return of the Valkyrie
Old Ares Had A Farm
When Fates Collide
To Helicon and Back
Many Happy Returns
A Friend in Need I&II
You might also like...
The Season Finale Director's Cut. For those of you left devastated by the ending of A Friend in Need, this director's cut offers a (slightly) more bearable cut of the final scene.
Meanwhile, the Hercules 'Xena Trilogy' contains those all-important three episodes which introduced us to Xena.
The beginning and the end - Xena makes her debut in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and exits in A Friend in Need.
Or perhaps the Condensed Xena?
Never seen Xena? Not got time to watch 'em all just yet, but want to experience the vital elements? Why not try the 10th Anniversary DVD - the best and most significant episodes, chosen by the fans.
A collection of the very best of Xena, as voted for by the fans.
Juicy Lucy Lawless
All About the Woman Behind the Warrior
Xena was played by New Zealand actress Lucy Lawless. The part was almost given to Vanessa Angel, but she pulled out. Network executives were not keen to take a chance on an unknown, but Lucy was remembered by executive producers Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi, for her impressive role in former Hercules films and episodes. Luckily for them, they managed to track her down and cast her in the role.
Lucy was actually born Lucy Ryan, and got her interesting surname from her first husband, Garth Lawless, with whom she has a daughter, Daisy. She later went on to marry Xena producer Rob Tapert, with whom she has two sons, Julius and Judah.
Since Xena ended, Lucy has appeared in various film and TV roles, including a regular stint on Battlestar Galactica as Cylon D'Anna Biers. She also appeared on the American reality show Celebrity Duets, finishing in second place, and from that launched a new career in singing, performing at sell-out concerts each year to her loyal fans.
Find out more about Lucy on IMDB.
Lucy Lawless - Buy From Art.com
Are you a die-hard fan of Xena? Do you collect Xena, as well as watch?
Many fans have incredible shrines to the Warrior Princess, in the form of artwork, posters, memorabilia and even real props and costumes from the show. Type Xena into eBay and literally hundreds of listings will show up. Even now, this show is hot!
Just some of the many forms of collectibles include:
Clothing - T-shirts, jackets, nightshirts, caps
Pictorial - official photos, fan club lithos, autographs, artwork, posters, postcards, stamps
Trading cards - base sets, rarities and even costume cards
Books - novels, guides, comics, graphic novels, magazines, scripts
Audio Visual - DVDs, soundtracks, convention DVDs, the animated film
Drinking Utensils - mugs, steins, glasses, travel mugs
Jewellery - from chakram earrings to semi-precious stone designs
Dolls - action figures, 12" dolls, custom figures
Figurines - statues, busts, porcelain dolls, pewter figurines
Games - computer console games, board games, CCG
Stationery - calendars, pens, activity books, bookmarks, wallet cards, magnets
And much, much more!
Photo Credit: Eager collectors browse the merchandise stalls at Xena London. Â© MissMerFaery
Find Xena on eBay
There are countless Xena goodies to be found on eBay! Every now and again, some real gems pop up, from original genuine props and costumes to rarities such as press kits or early and unusual merchandising.
Where to Collect Xena!
Here's a roundup of the best places to find Xena merchandise on the web, and also cool info on collecting! You can read more in my Collecting Xena lens, coming soon!
- Creation Entertainment
This is the official merchandise site for Xena (along with some other cool sci-fi shows). Here you can join the Xena Fan Club or Premiere Photo Club (subscribing yourself to 8 amazing new photos every month!), buy Lucy concert gear, and get your hand
- Forbidden Planet (Click the banner)
Xena comics, ceramic tiles, fan kits, plates, mugs, autographs and more!
- Legendary Heroes
Another official merchandiser. Here you can buy the series DVDs and official replicas of Xena's weaponry.
- Xena Prop House
Here you can download free issues of the amazing "Xena Prop House" newsletter which chronicles Xena prop collecting. It showcases an incredible array of original props and wardrobe, as well as offering advice on collecting props, offering items for s
Learn More About Collecting Xena!
I run a charity fanzine called "Anything for a Dinar" which showcases all the Xena merchandise available. It builds up into a catalogue of products with handy checklists to help you collect, and includes everything from photo and trading card galleries to one-of-a-kind items and charity auctions.
AFAD is a non-profit fanzine, donating 80% of its cost to various charities including Redwings Horse Sanctuary, the RSPB, Habitat for Humanity and the Woodland Trust.
So far it has covered dolls, action figures, stamps, drinking utensils, photographs, games, custom dolls, one-of-a-kind items, charity auctions, Patricia Parker art and more.
If you love to collect Xena, please check AFAD out, and help support a charity at the same time! Thank you.
You can join in with the AFAD community on Facebook!
Xena: The Amazing Fandom
Even now, almost 15 years after the show began, fans are still incredibly loyal to this show. The character of Xena has inspired and empowered countless individuals, who have taken the spirit of Xena and brought it into the real world. Whether this be by supporting each other, a charity or an important cause, Xena fans are like no others any show has ever known.
A prime example of this was at the recent Writer's Strike in America. Other writers were amazed when refreshments kept arriving for the former Xena writers, sent along by the fans to support them and keep them going! They were blown away by the dedication still shown by the fans.
Every year in January, fans gather to celebrate Xena at the annual official convention held by Creation. It is testamount to the love of the fans that virtually all the main stars still show up year after year. Providing they have no commitments, Lucy and Renee appear faithfully on stage each year, answering questions, entertaining with song and dance, signing autographs, and in Renee's case, even posing with fans for photo ops.
The Xena experience even came to London in May 2008, with Lucy and fellow cast and crew appearing on stage. Lucy also treated her European fans to two nights of her best concert yet!
Lucy on stage at Xena London 2008. Â© MissMerFaery
From Xenaverse to Planet Xena!
Xena gets a planet named after her
In 2003, Xena took the astronomy world by storm when scientists nicknamed a newly discovered small planet after her. They then went on to name one of her moons 'Gabrielle'!
An Artist's Concept of Kuiper Belt Object 2003 UB313 (Nicknamed Xena) and Its Satellite Gabrielle. What an incredible addition this would make to a Xena collection! Pay tribute to Planet Xena - click the image to buy a print!