Xena Warrior Princess

Character Info


Basic Biographical Information
Name Xena
Age Thirty something
Place of Birth Amphipolis
Parents Cyrene and Atrius § (deceased)
Siblings Toris (older), Lyceus (younger/deceased).
Offspring Solan (deceased)
Significant Others Gabrielle, Lao Ma (deceased), Petracles (deceased), Borias (deceased),
Marcus (deceased), Hercules.

§ There is some doubt as to whether Atrius was actually Xena's father,
the other candidate being The God of War, Ares impersonating Atrius.

How we first met Xena

The character of Xena: Warrior Princess started out as a one time villan in the companion show, Hercules The Legendary Journeys. The first Xena story, The Warrior Princess, sees Xena attempt to entrap and kill Hercules (Kevin Sorbo) by using her charms to win over his friend and companion Iolaus (Michael Hurst) and turn him against Hercules.

In the second story, The Gauntlet, effectively the first part of a two part story arc, Xena is usurped in her army by her lieutenant Darfus who leads an attack on a small village. Xena prides herself on being a warrior who only kills those who oppose her with arms; on his own Darfus takes a scorched earth policy and kills the women and children of the village and then torches it. When Xena rounds on him, he seizes control of her army and forces her to go through a deadly challenge known as the gauntlet. When she unexpectedly survives, he banishes her in exile when he discovers that none of the soldiers will obey his orders to kill her anyway. Bitter and on her own, she plots to defeat Darfus and decides to bring back Hercules' head as a trophy to prove her worth. When she fails to defeat Hercules, he tries to pursuade her of the error of her ways and in the end convinces her to join him in a quest to stop Darfus. Travelling with them in their quest is Salmoneus, the travelling salesman who Xena saved from slaughter when she decided he amused her, and Iolaus who remains extremely bitter about his first encounter with Xena. Ultimately this works out, or so it seems until right at the end Darfus is brought back to life with the help of the god of war, Ares, who gives him the task of destroying Hercules.

The third story, Unchained Heart, the second part of the two-part story, sees Hercules and Xena working together to defeat the undead Darfus and the evil monster Gragus, Ares has given him to aid in the destruction of Hercules. Meanwhile Iolaus turns up and Hercules has a hard time convincing him that Xena has changed. At the end of the story, Xena heads off to make amends for her past and to find herself. From this point the story of Xena continues in her own series, called Xena: Warrior Princess.

What We Know About Her Past

Xena comes from a small village called Amphipolis where her mother, Cyrene, runs the local tavern. Xena has two brothers, Lyceus and Tobias(sp?). Her father, Atrius, left them (or so we were told), although we later learn that he was in fact murdered when Xena was still a child of seven. (Who did it and why is covered in the episode The Furies.) When their village was threatened by a warlord, Xena organised and led the village's attempt to fight back, winning the battle but getting Lyceus killed in the process. Once the warlord was defeated, Xena decided to build up her army to ensure the safety of her village and gradually became ever more like the warlord she had taken up arms to fight. After an unfortunate and nearly fatal encounter with Julius Caesar, Xena becomes totally obsessed with gaining power. Along the way she has had some massive battles, one at Corinth seems to be particularly infamous, although she failed to defeat the Centaurs on the occasions she did battle with them. Fearing that Hercules might attempt to stop her advance, she attempts to trap him, setting in chain the events that lead to her change of heart. She finally realises that she has become what she most despised, and is seeking to make amends for her past. Lost as to how to do this she abandons her weapons, but within minutes becomes involved in a fight to save a group of young women from being taken by slave traders. One of these women; a fiesty young blonde becomes her travelling companion, friend and maybe more...

The Actress

The character of Xena is played by thirty-year old New Zealander Lucy Tapert, stage name Lucy Lawless, nee Lucy Ryan. She is married to Rop Tapert, executive producer of both Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journies. Lucy has one child, Daisy Lawless, by her previous marriage to Garth Lawless.

Her previous work includes several non-Xena roles on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys - Lysia, the Amazon Enforcer in "Hercules and The Amazon Women" and Lyla is the first season Hercules episode "When Darkness Falls". She also appeared in the TV Movie "Rainbow Warrior" starring Sam Neill and Jon Voight, and was presenter of the Air New Zealand Holiday TV show on New Zealand television.

Characters Gabrielle

Bevis King <B.King@ee.surrey.ac.uk>
11th June 1998