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Xena: Warrior Princess

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Xena: Warrior Princess

Xena: Warrior Princess
A woman in leather armor sits on horseback with flames behind her. At the bottom of the screen in capital letters is the word
Opening sequence logo
Genre Action/Adventure
Sword and sorcery
Created by John Schulian
Robert Tapert
Developed by R.J. Stewart
Starring Lucy Lawless
Renee O'Connor
Theme music composer Joseph LoDuca
Composer(s) Joseph LoDuca
Country of origin United States
New Zealand
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 134 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Robert Tapert, Sam Raimi
Running time 45–48 minutes
Production company(s) Renaissance Pictures
Studios USA
Universal Worldwide Television
Distributor Studios USA
Universal Television
Original channel Syndication
Picture format NTSC
480i, 576i (SDTV)
Audio format Stereo
Original run September 4, 1995 (1995-09-04) – June 18, 2001 (2001-06-18)
Related shows Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
Hercules and Xena - The Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount Olympus

Xena: Warrior Princess is an American/New Zealander television series filmed in New Zealand. The series aired in syndication from September 4, 1995, until June 18, 2001.[2]

The series was created in 1995 by writer-director-producer Robert Tapert under his production tag, Renaissance Pictures with later executive producers being R. J. Stewart (who developed the series along with Tapert) and Sam Raimi. The series narrative follows Xena (played by Lucy Lawless), as an infamous warrior on a quest to seek redemption for her past sins against the innocent by using her formidable fighting skills to now help those who are unable to defend themselves. Xena is accompanied by Gabrielle (played by Renee O'Connor), who during the series changes from a simple farm girl into an Amazon warrior and Xena's comrade-in-arms; her initial naïveté helps to balance Xena and assists her in recognizing and pursuing the "greater good".

The show is a spin-off of the television series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys;[3] the saga began with three episodes in Hercules where Xena was a recurring character originally scheduled to die in her third appearance. Aware that the character of Xena had been very successful among the public, the producers of the series decided to create a spin-off series based on her adventures. Xena was a successful show which has aired in more than 108 countries around the world since 1998. In 2004 and 2007, it was ranked #9 and #10 on TV Guide's Top Cult Shows Ever[4] and the title character was ranked #100 on Bravo's 100 Greatest TV Characters.[5] Xena's success has led to hundreds of tie-in products, including, comics, books, video games and conventions, realized annually since 1998 in Pasadena, California and London.[6]

The series, which soared past its predecessor in ratings and popularity,[7] has received a strong cult following, attention in fandom, parody, and academia, and has influenced the direction of other television series.[8]


  • Plot summary 1
  • Production 2
    • Series format 2.1
    • Casting 2.2
    • Theme music 2.3
  • Characters 3
    • Main 3.1
    • Others 3.2
  • Geography 4
    • Amphipolis 4.1
    • Potidaea 4.2
    • Athens 4.3
    • Cirra 4.4
    • Countries 4.5
  • Spin-offs 5
    • Movies 5.1
    • Literature 5.2
    • Comics 5.3
    • Role-playing game 5.4
    • Video games 5.5
    • VHS releases 5.6
    • DVD releases 5.7
  • Reception 6
    • Awards 6.1
    • U.S. ratings 6.2
    • Influence on the lesbian community 6.3
    • Costume donation 6.4
    • Uber and Uberfic 6.5
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Plot summary

Xena: Warrior Princess is set primarily in a mythological fantasy version of ancient Greece and was filmed in New Zealand. Some filming locations are confidential, but many scenes were recorded in places such as the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, part of the Auckland Regional parks often credited at the end of the episodes.[9]

The Ancient Greece depicted in the show is largely derived from historical locations and customs, modifying known places and events – battles, trading routes, towns, and so on – to generate an attractive fictional world. The settlements are presented as a mixture of walled villages and rural hamlets set in a lush green, mountainous landscape. They are often seen under attack from warlords, and travelling between them involves frequent encounters with small bands of outlaws. All of the main towns are named after historic towns of Ancient Greece, and exhibit some of their essential characteristics – Amphipolis (birthplace of Xena[10]), Potidaea (birthplace of Gabrielle[11]), Athens (birthplace of Joxer[12]), Corinth, Delphi, and Cirra (birthplace of Callisto[13]) which was burnt to the ground by Xena's army.

As the show progressed, however, events took place throughout more modern times and places, from Cleopatra's Alexandria to Julius Caesar's Rome. The mythology of the show transitioned from that of the Olympian Gods to include Judeo-Christian elements. Eastern religions were touched on as well, with little regard to accurate time-and-place concerns. One episode, "The Way", which loosely interpreted elements of Hinduism as major plot points, generated controversy, requiring the producers to add a disclaimer at the head of the episode and a tag explaining the episode's intentions at its end.[14]

Mythological and supernatural locations are presented as equally real, physical places, often accessed through physical portals hidden in the landscape such as lakes and caves. They include the Elysian Fields, Tartarus, the River Styx, Valhalla, Heaven and Hell. The inhabitants of such places – gods, mythological beings and forces – are for the most part manifested as human characters who can move at will between their domains and the real world. Ares, the Greek God of War, for instance is an egotistical man who wears studded black leather, and Aphrodite Goddess of Love is a California Valley Girl who uses typical Valley Girl slang and dresses in flowing, translucent pink gowns.


Series format

Xena is a historical fantasy set primarily in ancient Greece, although it has a flexible time setting and occasionally features Asian,[15] Egyptian[16] and Medieval[17] elements. The flexible fantasy framework of the show accommodates a considerable range of theatrical styles, from high melodrama to slapstick comedy, from whimsical and musical[18] to all-out action and adventure. While the show is typically set in ancient times, its themes are essentially modern and it investigates the ideas of taking responsibility for past misdeeds, the value of human life, personal liberty and sacrifice, and friendship. The show often addresses ethical dilemmas, such as the morality of pacifism; however, the storylines rarely seek to provide unequivocal solutions.

Xena freely borrows names and themes from various mythologies around the world, primarily the Greek, anachronistically adapting them to suit the demands of the storyline. Historical figures and events from a number of different historical eras and myths make numerous appearances, and the main characters are often credited with resolving important historical situations. These include an encounter with Homer before he was famous, in which Gabrielle encourages his storytelling aspirations;[19] the fall of Troy;[20] and the capture of Caesar by pirates, with Xena cast as the pirate leader.

Competing religions are treated as compatible and co-existent in a henotheistic world, allowing the Greek Pantheon to live side by side with the Norse Gods, Indian Deities, the "God of Love" and others. Each god, or set of gods, controls a different part of the world, and (in the show) survives only while people believe in it. In seasons four and five, the Greek people gradually transfer their faith from the Greek Gods to the "God of Love" over a period of about 25 years, and as their power fades, the Greek Gods are almost all killed off in a climactic battle.

This quirky mix of timelines and the amalgamation of historical and mythological elements fueled the rise of the show to cult status during the 1990s and early 2000s (decade). It was one of the first shows to tap into its Internet following, allowing fans from all over the world to discuss and suggest things related to the show. The Xena fandom is still an active community today.


Xena: Warrior Princess starred Lucy Lawless as Xena and Renee O'Connor as Gabrielle. The first choice for Xena was the British actress Vanessa Angel,[21] but an illness prevented her from travelling, and the role was offered to another four actresses before the relatively unknown Lawless. Sunny Doench was cast as Gabrielle, but she did not want to leave her boyfriend in the United States, so O'Connor, who had appeared in Hercules in another role, was chosen.

The show features a wide assortment of recurring characters, many of them portrayed by New Zealand actors. Ted Raimi became a core member of the cast from the second season as Joxer. Actor Kevin Tod Smith played popular character Ares, God of War, and Alexandra Tydings played his counterpart Aphrodite, Goddess of Love. Other notables included Karl Urban in a variety of roles such as Cupid and Caesar, Hudson Leick as Xena's nemesis Callisto (Leick also played a body-switched Xena in the episode Intimate Stranger[22]), Claire Stansfield as the evil shamaness Alti; and a number of trusted friends – Jennifer Sky as feisty sidekick Amarice, Danielle Cormack as Amazon regent Ephiny, Bruce Campbell as Autolycus King of Thieves, Robert Trebor as dodgy entrepreneur Salmoneus, William Gregory Lee as the warrior-poet Virgil and Tim Omundson as the spiritual healer Eli.

Theme music

Composer Joseph LoDuca wrote the theme music and incidental music, and co-wrote the lyrics for the songs in "The Bitter Suite." The theme music was developed from the traditional Bulgarian folk song "Kaval sviri," sung by the Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir. The original "Kaval sviri" can be heard where Xena races into battle in the Hercules episode "Unchained Heart."

The musical score of Xena: Warrior Princess was critically well received and garnered seven Emmy nominations for LoDuca, who won the Emmy award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore) for the Season 5 episode Fallen Angel in 2000. Most of the series' music was made available on six soundtrack albums. Two of these albums contain the soundtracks from the musical episodes "The Bitter Suite" (Season 3) and "Lyre, Lyre, Hearts on Fire" (Season 5).



The series follows Xena and her traveling companion Gabrielle. Xena is on a quest to redeem herself for her dark past by using her formidable fighting skills to help people. In Hercules, during her two first episodes, Xena was a villain and a powerful warlord, but in her third appearance she joins

External links

  1. ^ Erickson, Hal. "Xena: Warrior Princess [TV Series]". Allmovie. Retrieved July 28, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Xena: Warrior Princess (a Titles & Air Dates Guide)".  
  3. ^ "Xena: Warrior Princess". Retrieved October 17, 2009. 
  4. ^ "TV Guide Names the Top Cult Shows Ever". Retrieved October 17, 2009. 
  5. ^ "The 100 Greatest TV Characters". Retrieved October 17, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Xena Convention Page". Retrieved October 17, 2009. 
  7. ^ Jenny Hontz (1997-02-26). "‘Xena’ powers to record rating". Variety. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  8. ^ a b c Young, Cathy. What We Owe Xena, Cathy Young, September 15, 2005. Accessed September 29, 2009.
  9. ^ "Xena: Warrior Princess: The Locations". Retrieved June 8, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b "Sins of the Past". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1995-04-09.
  11. ^ "A Family Affair". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1998-12-10.
  12. ^ "Lyre, Lyre, Hearts on Fire". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1999-01-17.
  13. ^ a b c d "Callisto". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1996-05-13.
  14. ^ "Hinduism controversy". Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  15. ^ "Purity". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1999-11-08.
  16. ^ "Antony and Cleopatra". Xena: Warrior Princess. 2000-04-24.
  17. ^ "When in Rome...". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1998-03-02.
  18. ^ "The Bitter Suite". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1998-02-02.
  19. ^ "Athens City Academy of the Performing Bards". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1996-01-02.
  20. ^ "Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1996-01-15.
  21. ^ Gets the Axe"Xena". BBC News. October 17, 2000. Retrieved November 2, 2007. 
  22. ^ "Intimate Stranger". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1996-11-11.
  23. ^ "Legacy". Xena: Warrior Princess. 2000-10-30.
  24. ^ "A Friend in Need". Xena: Warrior Princess. 2001-06-18.
  25. ^ "Sins of the Past". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1995-09-04.
  26. ^ "Hooves and Harlots". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1995-11-20.
  27. ^ "For Him the Bell Tolls". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1997-02-24.
  28. ^ a b "The Reckoning". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1995-10-16.
  29. ^ "Soul Possession". Xena: Warrior Princess. 2001-06-04.
  30. ^ a b "The Furies". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1997-09-29.
  31. ^ "Ties That Bind". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1996-04-29.
  32. ^ Stoddard Hayes, K. (March 2003). "Characters – Caesar". Xena: Warrior Princess: The Complete Illustrated Companion (Paperback). Titan Books. pp. 180–183.  
  33. ^ a b c "Destiny". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1997-01-27.
  34. ^ "The Ides of March". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1999-05-10.
  35. ^ "Adventures in the Sin Trade". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1998-05-10.
  36. ^ a b "The Deliverer". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1997-10-20.
  37. ^ "Gabrielle's Hope". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1997-10-27.
  38. ^ "Maternal Instincts". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1998-01-26.
  39. ^ "Fallen Angel". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1999-09-27.
  40. ^ "God Fearing Child". Xena: Warrior Princess. 2000-01-31.
  41. ^ "Looking Death in the Eye". Xena: Warrior Princess. 2000-04-24.
  42. ^ "Livia". Xena: Warrior Princess. 2000-05-01.
  43. ^ "Motherhood". Xena: Warrior Princess. 2000-05-15.
  44. ^ "Xena: Warrior Princess (2006)". Yahoo Movies. Retrieved October 31, 2006. 
  45. ^ "The Xena Movie". The Xena Movie News & Multimedia Site. Retrieved October 31, 2006. 
  46. ^ Xena Movie “Just Won’t Happen,” Says Creator Rob Tapert, Retrieved on April 21, 2009
  47. ^ "Xena defeats Breaking Bads Walter White to win first Heroes vs. Villains tournament". HitFix. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  48. ^ "Twitter / RealLucyLawless: Had an interesting call from". Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  49. ^ "Twitter / RealLucyLawless: But there's a lot of red tape". Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  50. ^ "Xena: The Warrior Princess might be coming back to slay your favorites | Moviepilot: New Stories for Upcoming Movies". Moviepilot. 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  51. ^ Xena: Warrior Princess Official Guide To the Xenaverse: Rob Weisbrot: 9780385491365: Books.  
  52. ^ K. Stoddard Hayes (2003), Xena Warrior Princess: Complete Illustrated Companion, Titan Books,  
  53. ^ Sherman, Josepha XENA: All I Need to Know I Learned From the Warrior Princess NY: Pocket Books, 1998; ISBN 0-671-02389-6
  54. ^ "Xena Books and Magazines". Ted Turocy. Retrieved 1995. 
  55. ^ "Dynamite - The Official Site | The Shadow, Game of Thrones, Vampirella, Evil Ernie, Damsels, The Boys, and More!". Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  56. ^ " Xena Warrior Princess - Season One Video Set [VHS]: Lucy Lawless, Renee O'Connor, Harley Cokeliss: Movies & TV". Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  57. ^ " Xena Warrior Princess - Season Two Video Set [VHS]: Lucy Lawless, Renee O'Connor, Anson Williams: Movies & TV". Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  58. ^ " Xena Warrior Princess - Season Three Video Set [VHS]: Lucy Lawless, Renee O'Connor, Gilbert Shilton: Movies & TV". Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  59. ^ " Xena Warrior Princess - Season Four Video Set [VHS]: Lucy Lawless, Renee O'Connor, T.J. Scott: Movies & TV". Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  60. ^ " Xena Warrior Princess - Season Five Video Set [VHS]: Lucy Lawless, Renee O'Connor, John Fawcett: Movies & TV". Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  61. ^ " Xena Warrior Princess - Season Six Video Set [VHS]: Lucy Lawless, Renee O'Connor, Garth Maxwell: Movies & TV". Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  62. ^ "Xena Episodes Ratings". Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  63. ^ "Xena and Gabrielle: Lesbian Icons". Retrieved October 31, 2006. 
  64. ^ "Top Ten TV – Sex Bombs". Retrieved October 31, 2006. 
  65. ^ a b Leonard, Andrew (July 3, 1997). "Who Owns Xena?". Salon Magazine. Retrieved January 2, 2007. 
  66. ^ "Lucy Lawless". Lesbian News. Retrieved October 31, 2006. 
  67. ^ Lo, Malinda. (4 January 2006) Fan Fiction Comes Out of the Closet Accessed 19 July 2007.
  68. ^ Smithsonian magazine. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution. Page 44: "Lucy Lawless, star of Xena: Warrior Princess, which aired from 1995–2001, has given her signature costume to the Museum of American History."
  69. ^ "Definitions". February 26, 2006. Archived from the original on January 27, 2007. Retrieved February 4, 2007. 


Uberfic is a variety of fan fiction in which the characters live in an alternative universe. The characters and events are true to the original canon but usually in a different time period, often as the ancestors, descendants or reincarnations of canon characters. The term originated in Xena fandom. Uber was employed several times in the series, beginning with the second season episode "The Xena Scrolls", in which the descendants of Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer meet up at an archeological dig in 1940 and unwittingly release Ares from his tomb.[69]

Uber and Uberfic

Not at first, because they would put boning in the corset. It would cover up those little floating ribs that are so important for breathing, so I'd feel like I was having panic attacks. But it just became a second skin after a while. It was very functional, once I got over the modesty factor. I admit to being a little bit embarrassed the first couple weeks because I'd never worn anything so short.
—Lucy Lawless,  Smithsonian, November 2006, page 44

In 2006, Lucy Lawless donated her personal Xena costume to the National Museum of American History.[68] In an interview the same year with Smithsonian magazine, she was asked the question "Was the Warrior Princess outfit comfortable?" and she responded:

Costume donation

The Xena fandom also popularized the term Altfic (from "alternative fiction") to refer to same-sex romantic fan fiction.[67]

Many fans felt that the sexual nature of Xena and Gabrielle's relationship was cemented by an interview given by Lucy Lawless to Lesbian News magazine in 2003. Lawless stated that after the series finale, where Gabrielle revives Xena with a mouth-to-mouth water transfer filmed to look like a full kiss, she had come to believe that Xena and Gabrielle's relationship was "definitely gay... there was always a 'well, she might be or she might not be' but when there was that drip of water passing between their lips in the very final scene, that cemented it for me. Now it wasn't just that Xena was bisexual and kinda liked her gal pal and they kind of fooled around sometimes, it was 'Nope, they're married, man'."[66]

A subject of much interest and debate among viewers is the question of whether Xena and Gabrielle are lovers.[8][65] The issue is left deliberately ambiguous by the writers during most of the show. Jokes, innuendo, and other subtle evidence of a romantic relationship between Xena and Gabrielle is referred to as "lesbian subtext" or simply "subtext" by fans.[65] The issue of the true nature of the Xena/Gabrielle relationship caused intense "shipping" debates in Xena fandom, which turned especially impassioned due to spillover from real-life debates about same-sex sexuality and gay rights.[8]

Xena has enjoyed a particular cult status in the lesbian community. Some of the lesbian fan base see Xena and Gabrielle as a couple and have embraced them as role models and lesbian icons.[63] A group called The Marching Xenas has participated in many gay and lesbian pride parades.[64]

On the left is a tall black haired woman, dressed in leather. She is bending down to kiss a young, slightly shorter, blonde haired woman.
Xena kissing Gabrielle in the Season 2 episode The Quest

Influence on the lesbian community

Season Highest U.S. ratings Network Rank
1 1995–1996 6.1 million Syndication #12
2 1996–1997 7.8 million Syndication #7
3 1997–1998 6.6 million Syndication #9
4 1998–1999 4.9 million Syndication #13
5 1999–2000 4.1 million Syndication #2
6 2000–2001 3.9 million Syndication #2[62]

U.S. ratings

Awards Outcome
Emmy Awards:
Outstanding Music Composition for a Series Won
ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards:
Top TV Series Won
Top TV Series Won
Top TV Series Won
Top TV Series Won
Top TV Series Won
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films:
Best Genre TV Actress (Lucy Lawless) Nominated
New Zealand Film and TV Awards:
Best Contribution to Design Won



In Region 2 & 4, Universal Pictures released the entire series on DVD. In addition, they released a complete series collection on DVD in Region 2 on October 8, 2007.

On January 12, 2010, Universal Studios Home Entertainment announced that they plan on re-releasing Xena: Warrior Princess on DVD. They have subsequently re-released the first five seasons.

Anchor Bay Entertainment released all 6 Seasons of Xena: Warrior Princess on DVD in Region 1 for the first time between 2003–2005. As of 2010, these releases have now been discontinued and are out of print as Anchor Bay no longer has the distribution rights.

DVD releases

Universal released seasons 1-6 on VHS in 1999-2001 [56] [57] [58] [59] [60] [61]

VHS releases

  • Simutronics Corporation created an MMORPG under license called Hercules & Xena: Alliance of Heroes, based on both Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. In subsequent years Simutronics relinquished the license, removed trademarked material and rebranded the game, which still exists, as Alliance of Heroes.
  • Electronic Arts published Xena: Warrior Princess (video game) for the PS1 in 1999. Played from a third-person perspective, the game play involves slashing, jumping, and kicking through a variety of primitive 3D environments. Xena can also find and use power-ups and her trademark chakram. Once thrown, the chakram becomes a first-person weapon to guide toward enemies.
  • Saffire published Xena: Warrior Princess: The Talisman of Fate for the Nintendo 64 console in 1999.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess for the Game Boy Color was developed and released by Titus Software in 2000.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: Death in Chains, a multi-path video game for the PC adapted from and expanding upon the television episode of the same name, although none of the original actors provide their voices.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, another multi-path video game for the PC, again adapted from and expanding upon the television episode of the same name, again without the original voice actors.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess for the PS2 only released in Europe.

Video games

West End Games published the Hercules & Xena Roleplaying Game in 1998.

Role-playing game

There have been a number of comic adaptations. The earliest ones were released by Topps Comics, Dark Horse Comics(written by Ian Edginton and John Wagner). More recently the license has moved to Dynamite Entertainment.[55]


There have been a number of novelizations by authors like Martin H. Greenberg, and fiction such as The Empty Throne, The Huntress and The Sphinx, The Thief Of Hermes, and Prophecy of Darkness.

In 1998, XENA: All I Need to Know I Learned From the Warrior Princess,[53] was published, allegedly written by Gabrielle, Bard of Potidaea and "translated" by Josepha Sherman.[54] In it, Gabrielle writes enthusiastically about many of the lessons that she learned. For example, in a chapter entitled "Anything can be a weapon- Anything!", she instructs the reader on fighting with unconventional weapons; and in another, "Nobody Likes a Winer", she bemoans the perils of alcohol.

Many books have been released as tie-ins, including The Official Guide to the Xenaverse by Robert Weisbrot.[51] This includes a detailed episode guide for the first two seasons, a look behind the scenes, the story of the origin of the show, biographies of cast and crew, and trivia about the show. After the sixth and final season, Xena Warrior Princess: Complete Illustrated Companion.[52] was published.


Following the continued online popularity of the show, a global campaign to directly bombard Universal Pictures with requests for a Xena movie was launched in April 2013. Over the space of only a few days, hundreds of thousands of messages were sent showing support for the production of a Xena film starring the original cast. After receiving nods of acknowledgement from Universal Studios offices in Australia, Finland and Spain, the efforts of the campaign were rewarded in May 2013 when Lucy Lawless stated on her Twitter account that she had been contacted by a "chap who wants to re-invigorate the #Xena brand" while warning fans that "there's a lot of red tape around #XWP so don't get your knickers in a twist. It may come back in a different form".[48][49][50] Since then, Lucy Lawless has appeared on multiple televised interviews showing her support of a potential revival of the Xena franchise, stating that talks are currently underway to resolve legal issues impeding the progress of a potential Xena Movie project.

In 2011, a movement campaigning for the production of a new Xena movie was started. The Xena Movie Campaign gained support from thousands of Xena fans around the world. In 2013, they were instrumental in helping Xena gain the support needed to win the 2013 Half Price Books Tournament of Scifi vs. fantasy heroes with millions of backing votes. With the Campaign's supporters growing to over 90000 in the space of only a year, Xena fans were able to repeat their previous online success by spurring Gabrielle on to win the 2014 Half Price Books Tournament of Scifi vs Fantasy Sidekicks, while simultaneously also helping Xena fight her way to the lead of the HitFix Heores vs Villains March Mayhem Tournament - beating popular characters such as Buffy, Batman and Walter White along the way.[47] The continuing success of the Xenite community in promoting Xena is a clear sign that, despite almost 20 years going by since the series was aired, it continues to have a very strong and passionate following.

In April 2009, however, Rob Tapert stated firmly there is no hope of a live-action Xena feature film, at least not any time soon or starring Lucy Lawless or Renée O'Connor. "It's something that just won't happen....In twenty years or ten years, in some amount of years, like McGyver, like Charlie's Angels, it [could] happen like that [with other actresses]."[46]

Since the end of the series rumors have circulated that a feature length movie was in the works. In 2003 screenwriter Katherine Fugate was approached for the project, and was quoted saying that she expects the start of production to be three to five years away, which suggested a release sometime between 2006 and 2009.[44] Actress Lucy Lawless has been quoted in several interviews saying she would be interested in participating in a Xena film as well.[45]

In August 1997 Hercules and Xena: The Battle For Mount Olympus a DTV animated movie was released, featuring the voices of a number of actors from both Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. The movie plot involves Hercules' mother being kidnapped by Zeus and the release of the Titans. Xena and Gabrielle have supporting roles in the movie, and at one point Xena even bursts into song.


There have been numerous Xena spin-offs into various media including films, books, comics and video games.


To remain in keeping with the ancient world, and to avoid using modern names, the script often removed the last letter of a country's name, changing China to Chin, and Japan to Jappa.

In addition to Greece, Xena and Gabrielle visit many countries during their travels including Italy (usually referred to by its capital, Rome), China, (usually called Chin), Japan (known as Jappa, only seen in the finale, and mentioned in passing in "Who's Gurkhan"), Great Britain (known as Brittania), India, Siberia, Egypt (called 'The Land of the Pharaohs'), Sahara, Mauritania and several Scandinavian countries (called 'Norseland').


Callisto is from Cirra in Phocis, central Greece. Xena's army torched the village when Callisto was a child, causing the death of most of her family. Xena and Gabrielle only visit Cirra once, although it is mentioned rather often.


Joxer was brought up in the city of Athens, capital of Greece, and it is often mentioned in passing. Xena and Gabrielle rarely pass through it, but it was the main setting for the clip show "Athens City Academy of the Performing Bards", and was nearly visited in "One Against an Army".


Gabrielle was born in Potidaea in Chalkidiki, Greece, which features many times as a rural village. Many pivotal episodes are based here (including the series premier, "Sins of The Past", and "A Family Affair").


In the backstory of the show, ten years ago Xena had set out to become a warrior, to protect Amphipolis from attacks by a warlord called Cortez. This was the journey that turned her into an outstandingly fierce fighter with an evil reputation. When she returned to Amphipolis seeking reunion with her mother, she met Gabrielle on the way and was inspired to fight for good.

Xena – the main character of the show – was born in the city of Amphipolis in Thrace[10], Greece. Xena and her comrade in arms, Gabrielle, made frequent trips there over the course of the series and it was referenced often. Xena described Amphipolis as "full of life", although several times it was full of death: for instance, the city became a breeding ground for demons after Xena and Gabrielle returned from their twenty-five year sleep. Mephistopheles, the King of Hell, had captured the soul of Xena's mother Cyrene and imprisoned her in hell.


Locations in the plot are centred on real towns of Ancient Greece, including -


During the episode "The Ides of March", at the end of season 4, Xena and Gabrielle were crucified by the Romans, as Caesar is betrayed and killed by Brutus. They are later revived by a mystic named Eli with the spiritual aid of Callisto, who by that time had become an angel;[39] Callisto also makes Xena to conceive a daughter after the resurrection, and this child is prophesied to bring about the Twilight of the Olympian gods; this girl was named Eve.[40] To escape the gods' persecution, Xena and Gabrielle fake their deaths, but their plan goes awry when Ares buries them in an ice cave where they sleep for 25 years;[41] during that time, Eve is adopted by the Roman nobleman Octavius and grows up to become Livia, the Champion of Rome, and a ruthless persecutor of Eli's followers.[42] After her return, Xena is able to turn Livia to repentance, and Livia takes back the name Eve and becomes the Messenger of Eli. After Eve's cleansing by baptism, Xena is granted the power to kill gods as long as her daughter lives. In a final confrontation, the Twilight comes to pass when Xena kills most of the gods on Olympus to save her daughter, and is herself saved by Ares when he gives up his immortality to heal the badly injured and dying Eve and Gabrielle.[43]

Over the course of the series, viewers were also introduced to various members of both Xena, and Gabrielle's, families. This includes parents and siblings of both women, but most notably featured were their children. Xena gave her first son, Solan to a group of centaurs after the death of his father, Borias, who was killed in combat against a warrior in Xena's employ. Solan never knew that Xena was his mother, however knowing Xena for a long time. While aiding Xena and Boudica to defend Britannia against Caesar, Gabrielle comes into contact with an evil cult that tricks her into killing one of its priestesses, Meridian.[36] Using her, the dark god Dahak impregnates Gabrielle just as Xena rescues her.[36] Over the next few days the child grows inside Gabrielle, and she eventually (and quite dramatically) gives birth to a girl, naming her Hope.[37] Even though she is the seed of an evil deity, Gabrielle tells Xena that she is also a part of her and that there must be some good in her as well. Being the daughter of Dahak, she quickly developed supernatural powers, and kills within hours of being born, proving to Xena that there was no chance of saving her. Hope aged amazingly fast, and, mere months after being drifted down a river by her mother, she appeared to be about 9 years old. Despite Gabrielle's hopes that she would "be good", Hope killed Xena's son Solan before being poisoned by Gabrielle herself.[38]

Alti is a Northern Amazon shaman driven out of her Siberian tribe by Queen Cyane, because of her hunger for power. She is one of the most influential people whom Xena encountered in her dark days, and possesses various spiritual powers. Alti is probably best known for her trademark stare, which brings up pain and suffering from the target's life and unleashes the torment (in the form of both pain and physical symptoms) once again. Whenever Alti stares at Xena, Xena often feels the pain of when her legs were broken,[33] her back snapped by her Chakram,[34] and multiple barrages of attacks from some of her mortal enemies. However, as Alti grows in power during the series, she is able to conjure up pain and suffering from both a person's future, and from future lives they have yet to experience. This power is what causes Xena to realize that Gabrielle is alive early in Season 4, after Alti shows Xena a vision of her and Gabrielle being crucified together on Mount Amarro.[35]

Other major antagonists of the show include Caesar and Alti, a Roman official and Shamaness respectively. Caesar's first appearance was in the second season episode "Destiny." Caesar's first introduced as a young Roman patrician,[32] and is portrayed as being very arrogant, so much so that when he is captured by Xena and her pirates he is not afraid. When threatened by Xena he tells her "I know what I'm fated to do with my life"[33] He allows Xena to seduce him, when in reality she is the one being seduced. This ultimately leads to both her capture and crucifixion at the hands of Caesar,[33] along with both her legs being broken; an often revisited and referenced moment in Xena's past. This betrayal by Caesar is the direct catalyst for Xena's transition from pirate to ruthless warlord.

Suave, charming, witty, yet ruthless and amoral, Ares often represents, especially in the early seasons, the seductive power of war and the dark side. He repeatedly attempts to lure Xena away from her quest for redemption alongside Gabrielle, and to win her over as his Warrior Queen.[28] He offers her huge armies and historic victories, great wealth and great power, and in later seasons his love,[29] offers which she consistently rejects despite being sometimes tempted. Much of Ares' relationship with Xena remains ambiguous, including whether he is at least partly redeemed by his love for Xena, or is in fact her father, or to what extent Xena reciprocates his feelings. He says several times that he "has a thing" for Xena, and this seems to prevent him from killing her, even when pitted against her in deadly combat.[30][30][31] yet he pursues her sexually and romantically. Likewise, Xena is suggested to have strong feelings for Ares, but over the course of the series, never pursued them.

Also in the first season, Xena and Gabrielle meet two of their biggest enemies: Callisto (Hudson Leick),[13] a vengeful warrior woman, and Ares (Kevin Tod Smith), the Greek God of War.[28] Callisto is Xena's arch enemy and also a major antagonist over the course of the series; when she was a child, Xena's army burned Callisto's home village of Cirra, causing the death of Callisto's entire family.[13] Callisto, a child at the time, was left traumatized by the attack and eventually went insane and became obsessed with extracting revenge on Xena. She displays a bizarre brand of sadistic, gleeful, shrieking cruelty towards Xena and her associates.


. Eventually, he becomes a close friend to Xena and Gabrielle. comic relief Joxer's goal is to fight for justice, but unfortunately with no physical know-how of his own, he remains the show's main [27] a comic man who styles himself "Joxer the Magnificent", and later "Joxer the Mighty."[13],Joxer, and is trained by Xena. In the first season, Xena and Gabrielle meet staff learns to fight with a [26],Amazons, and eventually to a formidable warrior. She is initiated into a tribe of bard but soon becomes a notable character in her own right. As the show progresses she undergoes significant changes in costume and style, evolving from a simple farm girl to a talented [25]

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