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Alt.Tv.Xena FAQ, (Part 1/5): About XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS

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Archive-name: tv/xena-wp/About
Posting-Frequency: Bi-weekly or whenever
Last-modified: 15th February 2000
Copyright: (c) 1997-2000 Paul A Hilling
Copyright: (c) 1997 Edward T. Smith
Copyright: (c) 1997 A. J. Firebaugh
Copyright: (c) 1996 Michael L. Martinez
Maintainer: Paul Hilling (

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
NOTE: This document is not intended to infringe upon MCA or
Universal Studios or Studios USA in any way.

Portions of this document are Copyright (C) 1996 by K. Wieczerza
and used by permission.  This file may be freely copied and
redistributed.  All I ask is that it remains whole and intact and
that this notice is not altered.
This document is intended to provide answers to certain questions
that come up regularly on the news group.  People who
are new to the news group are encouraged to read this document
before posting questions to

Michael Martinez originally created this FAQ in accordance with
the prevailing traditions and customs of the Internet, which
place high value on the free dissemination and exchange of
information.  It has since been trashed and rearranged it into
multiple smaller documents.

This is a living document.  As new information is made available
by the producers of XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS I'll try to update
this file.  Also, corrections will be made as I discover them or
I am informed about them.  Please feel free to notify me of any
errors that you find. Paul Hilling <>
This FAQ is available via ftp from:  To
get a copy of this FAQ by e-mail, send an e-mail to with "ATX-FAQ REQUEST" in the subject.

This document uses the following conventions:

     Names of television shows are given in ALL CAPS.
     Names of episodes are given in "quotes".
     X:WP is an acronym for XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS.
     X is sometimes used for "Xena", especially in making
     reference to both Xena and Gabrielle (as "X and G").
     LL is sometimes used for "Lucy Lawless".
     ROC is sometimes used for "Renee O'Connor".
     ATX refers to the newsgroup Alt.Tv.Xena

Table Of Contents

1.   How did the show get its start?
2.   Where and when is the show available?
3.   Okay, so what can you tell me about the main character,
4.   What can you tell me about Gabrielle?
5.   Are there any other reoccurring characters?
6.   Where does XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS take place?
7.   When (in history) does X:WP take place?
8.   Does X:WP jibe with "traditional" mythology and actual
     is it different?
10.  Where is X:WP filmed?
11.  Do X:WP and H:TLJ share the same writers and production
12.  Was there ever a real Xena?


How did the show get its start?

Xena was introduced as a character in an episode of HERCULES: THE
LEGENDARY JOURNEYS in the 1994-5 season (the first season).  Lucy
Lawless played an evil warlord who decided she needed to take out
Hercules before she could conquer the territories he normally
protected.  So she pretended to be a maiden in distress, seduced
Iolaus into joining her army, and nearly tricked him into killing
Herc (and Iolaus had a good shot at killing his friend).

The name of this episode was "The Warrior Princess".

Although there was nothing redeemable about Xena's character, the
fans loved her and demanded to see her again.  The show's
producers brought Xena back for two more (back-to-back) episodes
that season.  Hercules and Xena were brought together as allies
by Salmoneus to fight Darphus, Xena's former lieutenant who had
taken over her army.  They destroyed the army and Xena decided to
reform herself.

These episodes, forming a two-part story, were called "The
Gauntlet" and "Unchained Heart"

Where and when is the show available?

Xena is now available in most (but possibly not all) cities in
the US and Canada via broadcast stations.  It is now being
broadcast in New Zealand and over 85 other countries.

The USA Cable Network also shows episodes of the series on

Okay, so what can you tell me about the main character, Xena?

The following is a composite description based on two documents
at the official MCA website (  It
also contains other information gathered from assorted sources
including the show itself.

Xena was a peasant girl from Amphipolis, a village in Thrace. Her
parents are named Atrius (we think) and Cyrene.  She has an older
brother, Toris, and a younger brother, Lyceus.  Atrius was
impersonated by Ares in the episode "Ties That Bind" when he
tried to get Xena to serve him again.

Raiders attacked her village, killing her younger brother,
Lyceus.  Since no one else would stand up to the raiders, she
learned the arts of war, built an army, and defeated the raiders.
To make sure no one would be able to attack her village again,
she conquered the surrounding lands.  Eventually, she began
fighting for no more than love of power, and her ruthless army
caused her name to be held in fear by the known world.

Then she ran across Hercules.  See Question #1 above.

Xena is capable of amazing skills in the arts of combat and
warfare.  It is not clear where and how she received this
training, but to defeat her foes, she uses strategy, agility,
acrobatics, martial arts, and several weapons.  Most often we see
her with her sword and chakram, a razor sharp discus-like weapon.
She is skilled in the use of pressure points and has been known
to carry a whip.  All in all not a woman to be trifled with!

Xena also has a son named Solan.  Solan's father was named
Borias.  Dagnine, one of Xena's warriors, murdered Borias.  Xena
gave the infant Solan to a centaur named Kaleipus to raise as his
own son.

Many of the answers to Xena's origins are answered, at least in
terms of how she became an evil warlord in the second season's
two-part episode "Destiny" and "The Quest".

What can you tell me about Gabrielle?

Gabrielle comes from a walled village of simple people,
Poteidaia.  Gabrielle's parents are both alive, as well as Lilla,
her sister.

Xena saved Poteidaia from destruction by the forces of Draco.  It
was one of Xena's first "village" rescues after her conversion to
good.  Gabrielle wanted to go with Xena to lead a "more exciting
life" and gradually insinuated her way into Xena's company.

Gabrielle is a talker.  She has turned this into a skill and is
quite a storyteller.  She has earned money as a bard and even won
the right to study at the Academy for Performing Bards.  She
turned it down to "live the stories" with Xena.  Originally
Gabrielle had no fighting skills, but in the "Hooves and Harlots"
episode she became an "Amazon princess" and chose to learn the
staff as her primary weapon.

Gabrielle and Xena are now "the best of friends" in the highest
and best ways that we can understand this phrase.  Gabrielle also
plays an increasing role in helping Xena to see the good and the
light in all they encounter.

Gabrielle was engaged to a farmer named Perdicas when she met
Xena.  He showed up later in the "Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts"
episode as an officer in the Trojan Army.

In "The Return of Callisto", Perdicas tracked down Xena and
Gabrielle.  He asked Gabrielle to marry him and when she saw how
sickened he was by killing she consented.  Callisto killed
Perdicas in an attempt to draw Xena into a final confrontation.

Perdicas was played by Anotn Bentley in "Sins of the Past", but
he was played by Scott Garrison in "Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts"
and "The Return Of Callisto".

Are there any other reoccurring characters?

Marcus (Bobby Hosea):
     A mercenary companion from her dark days, Marcus encounters
     Xena (this is the first time the fans meet him) in "The Path
     Not Taken".  He obviously feels strongly for Xena. At the
     end of this episode Marcus is turning to the "good" -- but
     is killed.  We meet up again with Marcus in "Mortal
     Beloved".  Xena travels to the underworld to help Hades get
     things in order again.  Marcus is temporarily brought back
     to life to help.

     It is in this episode that Xena and Marcus express their
     love for each other.  The end of this episode is VERY

Salmoneus (Robert Trebor):
     Salmoneus is everyone's favorite travelling salesman.  He is
     always looking for a quick way to turn a buck -- or in this
     case, a dinar.  He is not very strong or very brave, but has
     proven trustworthy when it counted.  Salmoneus considers
     himself a good friend to both Xena and Hercules (especially
     when he's in trouble!) and they find it hard to stay
     irritated with him for long.  He went from being strictly
     comic relief, to being many viewers' favorite reoccurring

     Robert Trebor reprised his role as Salmoneus on X:WP in the
     second season despite rumors to the contrary.  He was in,
     "Here She Comes ... Miss Amphipolis."  Meanwhile, the
     character of Joxer has been added to fill the comic relief
     role the character of Salmoneus performed.

Ares (Kevin Smith):
     Ares is the God of War, a major hunk.  Ares wants nothing
     more than for Xena to lead his armies and go back to her
     good old villainous warlord days.  He posed as her father in
     "Ties That Bind" trying to manipulate her.  Watch out.  Ares
     shows up again in "The Xena Scrolls," wherein the God of War
     finds himself locked in a tomb in 1942 with a descendent of
     Xena's.  Ares later persuaded the Furies to punish Xena for
     the death of her father in the episode "The Furies". Ares
     might (or might not) be Xena's father.

     Kevin Smith also plays Hercules' brother, Iphicles, in

Charon (Michael Hurst):
     Under all that make-up it is Michael Hurst (whom we all know
     as Iolaus in H:TLJ) playing this hilarious role.  Charon's
     job is to carry the dead across the River Styx, but Xena and
     Hercules have both crossed when they were still alive and
     didn't even pay the customary coin!  Listen to Charon's
     constant muttering and occasional song -- he is wonderfully

Autolycus (Bruce Campbell):
     The wily, the charming, the borderline egomaniac...yes...the
     one, the only, King of Thieves.  Autolycus is basically a
     good guy.  He is always trying to look out for number one,
     but has shown himself to be a valuable ally to both Xena and
     Hercules on separate occasions.  He might even have a light
     crush on Xena.  A skilled thief and fighter Autolycus
     succeeds in being both charming and humorous.

     Autolycus appears on XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS in "A Royal
     Couple of Thieves", "The Quest", "King of Assassins",
     "Tsunami", "Vanishing Act", "A Key To The Kingdom" and
     "Takes One To Know One".

Hades (Erik Thomson):
     Hades is the God of the Underworld.  The character comes off
     as being pretty wimpy for a god.  Both Xena and Herc have
     had to help him out.  The best thing about Hades (other than
     the actor playing this role) is that he seems to
     admire/appreciate Xena.

Joxer (Ted Raimi):
     A wanna-be warrior who first appeared in "Callisto," this
     character reappears most often in the series.  Appearing in
     about 30+ episodes so far.  For more information about Ted
     Raimi, visit (

Cyrene (Darien Takle):
     Cyrene is Xena's mother.  She appeared in "Sins of the
     Past", the series opener, and now also has appeared in
     "Intimate Stranger", "The Furies", "It Takes One To Know
     One" and "Lyre, Lyre".

Aphrodite (Alexandra Tydings):
     The Goddess of Love, last made an appearance in X:WP in the
     episode "Punch Lines" (she was a popular regular on H:TLJ).
     Aphrodite is a self centered and somewhat spoiled and vain
     god, who has been known to turn the head of every man who
     sees her.

Cupid (Karl Urban):
     Unlike the valentine's day version of Cupid, the Cupid that
     appears in both X:WP and H:TLJ is an adult with a bad five
     o'clock shadow (he needs a shave).  Cupid is married to a
     mortal who was made into a god by Aphrodite in a H:TLJ
     episode.  Cupid also has a son called Bliss, who caused all
     sorts of love problems in "A Comedy of Eros".  Karl Urban
     also plays Julius Caesar in "Destiny", "The Deliverer",
     "When in Rome", "A Good Day" and "Ides Of March".  Karl also
     played the character Mael in "Altared States".

Eli (Timothy Odmunson)
     We first saw Eli, as a street magician in "Devi", but he's
     more than a magician.  He's actually the Avatar (a
     manifestation of a god), whose main goal was to spread a
     message of love to the world.

Some of the villains have recurring roles, although they may not
appear in more than two episodes.  Myzantius was an arms merchant
in "The Path Not Taken".  He was brought back for an "alternate
reality" check in "Remember Nothing" along with "Krykus", the
evil warlord from "Hooves And Harlots".  "Mortal Beloved" had
several men whom Xena had killed in previous episodes.

Callisto (Hudson Leick):
     Callisto has appeared the most often of Xena's villains
     (except for Ares): "Callisto", "The Return of Callisto",
     "Intimate Stranger", "Ten Little Warlords".  Hudson really
     played Xena-in-Callisto's body in most of "Intimate
     Stranger" and all of "Ten Little Warlords".  Lucy played
     Callisto-in-Xena's body in "Intimate Stranger".  We think a
     body double for Lucy played
     Callisto-in-Xena's-body-in-Tartarus and
     Xena-with-Gabrielle-on-the-beach in "Ten Little Warlords".

     Callisto also makes an appearance on H:TLJ during it's third
     and fourth season.  Callisto has since been several episodes
     of Xena including "The Furies" (briefly), "Maternal
     Instinct", "Bitter Suite", "Sacrifice I", "Sacrifice II",
     "Ides Of March", "Fallen Angel" and "Seeds Of Faith". And
     the H:TLJ episodes "Surprise", "Armageddon Now : Part 1" and
     "Armageddon Now : Part 2".  Hudson also plays the part of
     Liz Friedman, in the H:TLJ episodes "Yes Virginia, There Is
     A Hercules", and "For Those Of You Just Joining Us".  For
     more information on Hudson visit

Hope (Renee O'Connor):
     Hope is Gabrielle's daughter.  Hope was conceived when
     Gabrielle was impregnated whilst she was on the altar of
     Dahok in "Deliverer".  After a very short pregnancy and
     birth, a 'Knight of the Pierced Heart' died under suspicious
     circumstances.  Xena suspecting Hope wanted to kill her, but
     Gabrielle set her free (al la Moses).

     Hope was alleged to be a force for evil in the world and has
     appeared in "Gabrielle's Hope" and "Maternal Instincts".
     She's also appeared in the H:TLJ episodes "Armageddon Now :
     Part 1" and "Armageddon Now : Part 2".  She was last seen in
     "Sacrifice I", "Sacrifice II" and "A Family Affair", in all
     of which, she had taken on the appearance of her mother,

Where does XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS take place?

The official MCA website ( says that
X:WP is: "...set in the 'Golden Age' of myth, long before ancient
Greece or Rome, on the distant frontier of known civilization far
away from the land of mighty Hercules".

**BUT** there is also this information that was taken directly
from Arbiter's original FAQ.  (Special thanks to for the following information):

X:WP is set in Ancient Greece - but they do move around...

Lacking graphics for a map, think of the ancient Greek world as
an upside-down "U".  The left leg represents the Greek peninsula,
and the right leg represents Asia Minor (currently Turkey) --
number and letters are included as very rough guides.

            XXXXXX 5 XXXXX
        D  XXXXX 4   6 XXXXX  F
          XXXXX         XXXXX
      C  XXXXX 3       7 XXXXX  G
         XXXXX           XXXXX
      B  XXXXX 2       8 XXXXX  H
         XXXXX           XXXXX
      A  XXXXX 1       9 XXXXX  I

For reference:
     Athens is a little north of (1)
     Sparta is a bit southwest of (1)
     Troy is in the neighborhood of (7)
     Xena was born in Amphipolis (5)

What happened to her between her leaving Amphipolis, and her
resurfacing in the Hercules episode "The Warrior Princess" is a
little vague.  We do know that she fought many wars in or around
Corinth (1-inland) which is in Arcadia (A/1) -- including one
against the Centaurs ("Hooves and Harlots").  This placing of the
centaurs is a little odd being that the centaurs are from the
state of Thessaly (3).

We first meet Xena somewhere around Hercules' hometown of
Thebes(2), and from there she takes Iolaus to Arcadia before
Hercules ruins her plans.

Soon after she turns to good, Xena returns to Amphipolis.  Since
Gabrielle followed her, presumably mostly on foot, Gabrielle's
home village can't be too far away from Amphipolis.  It is
certainly no farther away than Thessaly (3/4).

In "Death in Chains", X & G are once again in Corinth (1-inland),
where Sisyphus is King.  In the next episode shown, X & G are in
the realm of the Amazons (east of G).

However, since Centaurs are nearby, it implies they are still
near Corinth, or possibly now somewhere in Thessaly -- maybe this
is a rogue group of Amazons....

Other observations include:

In "Orphan of War" we learn that Xena's army fought a second
group of Centaurs led by Kaleipus.  On that occasion she had been
seeking the Ixion stone, a Centaur relic which possessed all the
evil of their race.

In "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" we learned that Xena's army fought
Bacchus and was apparently almost wiped out (and yet she seems to
have won the battle).

For an extensive examination of Xena's history, review the
"History of Xena", available on the web

When (in history) does X:WP take place?

The official MCA website ( says that
X:WP is: "...set in the 'Golden Age' of myth, long before ancient
Greece or Rome..."

**BUT** there is also this information that was taken directly
from Arbiter's original FAQ.  (Special thanks to for the following information)

The time frame is difficult to pin down since the series presents
contradictory material.

Since so much iron is used in weapons (we'll assume it's iron and
not steel), the time can't be significantly earlier than about
150BC -- as that is the time when iron started being produced in

The latest historical reference made in the series so far (Dec.
1995) was in the episode "Death in Chains", where there is
mention of Sophokles (496-406 BC).  This places the series
probably no later than about 380 BC

There are several mentions of heroes of the Trojan War (e.g. in
"The Reckoning"), and this places things sometime after c.1184 BC
(the traditional date of the end of the Trojan War).

We could be comfortable with this except for one thing: Herakles
(Hercules) is computed as dying some 79 years before the start of
the Trojan War -- and obviously Xena and Gabrielle are
contemporaries of the legendary hero.  This places the time
period somewhere between 1300-1250 BC

At of this writing, if we ignore the Sophokles reference, the
series probably takes place sometime between 1300-850 BC

Other observations include:

Not to get to technical, but the writers of X:WP have now thrown
in Julius Caesar and a holiday episode which appears to portend
the birth of Christ.  Suffice it to say, Xena goes where Xena
wants to, and it doesn't matter what time line we go by.

Does X:WP jibe with "traditional" mythology and actual history?

In some cases yes and in many cases no.  Read the two answers
above this (I.6 and I.7), and you will understand.  The show
plays around with actual places, events, people, and myths, but
the producers, writers, etc., choose to be bound to or by them.

How is X:WP like HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS, and how is it

This is VERY rudimentary -- any helpful rephrasing, comments,
suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

How the shows are alike....
1.   The characters know each other and "exist" in the same time
2.   Each show incorporates mythological tales/concepts.  Both
     have a primary star/character who roams the countryside
     righting wrongs with their best friend, who usually travels
     with them.  Xena and Herc are both capable and accomplished
     fighters who are brave and true.
3.   By the way have you noticed that both Iolaus and Gabrielle
     are shorter, more light-hearted/carefree, and of lighter
     complexion than Herc and Xena?

How the shows are different...
1.   Let's get the obvious out of the way: Hercules and Iolaus
     are very male.  Xena and Gabrielle are unquestionably
2.   Hercules is half god.  Xena (as far as we know) is not.
3.   Xena is much more the warrior -- complete with armor and
4.   Herc is in lots of fights, but he doesn't seem to
     "enjoy"/revel in it as much as Xena does.  (Although more
     and more it seems Xena is trying to avoid unnecessary
5.   Xena usually kills or maims a minimum of 2-3 people per
     show.  (Note: There is an apparent decrease in this kind of
     behavior in the 2nd season.)  Hercules will knock a half
     dozen heads together but seldom actually kills or seriously
     wounds anyone.
6.   Xena rarely takes on monsters.  She focuses on warlords.
     Hercules usually takes out the monsters, gets embroiled with
     the gods, and generally deals with situations where mortals
     (except for Xena) are outclassed.  Xena DID defeat a very
     nasty Titan, and she and Herc together helped to free
     Prometheus.  As noted above, she has also gotten involved
     with Ares and Hades a few times.
7.   She definitely has a dark and horrible past/side that she is
     trying to live down and deal with.  Herc has had some bad
     things happen, but *he* has always been a good guy.  I think
     that it is this darkness, their very different pasts, that
     helps the writers to create the distinct
     tones/moods/environments that makes the two shows more
     different than I have been able to put into words here.
8.   Finally, the sidekicks differ tremendously.  Iolaus is a
     warrior and hunter.  Gabrielle is just learning to find her
     way through the world but is trying NOT to become a warrior.
     The Gods took Iolaus down a notch on a couple of occasions
     because of his tremendous ego.  Gabrielle has not developed
     that problem.

Where is X:WP filmed?

It is filmed on location in and around Auckland, New Zealand.

Do X:WP and H:TLJ share the same writers and production team?

No.  There is very little crossover, same company with different

Was there ever a real Xena?

Do you mean a person who actually lived "way back when" with the
name Xena?  Who knows?  Do you mean a female warrior whose life
resembles *our* T.V. Xena in some way?  No.  The T.V. Xena is not
based on historical accounts and/or myth.

"Xena" resounds in the souls of her fans.  There is something
there we recognize and gravitate toward.  The strength, the
courage, the beauty, the challenge of righting your past
misdeeds, the struggle to trust and care, Lucy Lawless and the
whole production team bring to us these things, and it appeals to
us in a way that goes beyond the sum of the parts.

So yes, we like to "pretend" that Xena existed and still does in
many of us.

Aethelrede <>
Amita Guha <>
A. J. Firebaugh <>
Hudson Leick Fan Club (
K. Wieczerza -- aka "Kicker" <>
Kevin Smith Official Fan Club
Kym Masera Taborn <>
Michael Martinez <>
Pat Casciano <>
Paul Hilling <>
R. Carter <>
Renee O'Connor's Official Web Site
Ron Murillo <>
Ted Turocy <>
Tim Smith <>
Ted Raimi International Fan Club (
Whoosh (

(My thanks goto all of the other contributors not listed)

The original FAQ was written by Ted Turocy ( and
K. Wieczerza -- a.k.a. "Kicker" (  Kicker
maintained the original FAQ on her web site,, which now says
something like:  NOTE: This FAQ (by Kicker) has been turned over
to the people at WHOOSH!  The new URL is  This version of the FAQ has
been written and formatted specifically for distribution on the

Why are these documents is so long?  I don't know, except we're
quite involved with the show and believe in what we do or some
such thing :-)
---------------------------END OF FAQ----------------------------

Paul Hilling :- Alt.Tv.Xena FAQ Maintainer
                Alt.Binaries.Multimedia.Xena-Herc FAQ Maintainer

New to ATX? Read the FAQ @
    [Paul's Gabby Grotto]

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