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XENA

Real Name: Xena

Occupation: Adventurer; former would-be conqueror, former mercenary

Legal Status: Citizen of the Roman Empire in the First Century BC

Identity: The general populace of Earth is unaware of Xena except as a fictional character.

Other Aliases: The Warrior Princess

Place of Birth: Amphipolis (now part of modern Greece)

Place of Death: Higuchi, Japan

Known Relatives: Atrius (father, deceased), Cyrene (mother, deceased), Tyrius, Lyceus (brothers, deceased), Solan (son by Borias, deceased), Eve (daughter by Eli, alias Livia), Melinda Pappas (reputed descendant)

Group Affiliations: ally of Gabrielle, Hercules and Iolaus

Base of Operations: Mobile

First Appearance: “Hercules - The Legendary Journeys” TV-Series, Episode: "Warrior Princess"

History: Very little is known about the history of the legendary warrior princess Xena as many of her tales and exploits are contradictory and conflicting with known historical records. One theory is that there may have been several such female warriors by that name and their exploits later merged and confused. One of the first such women known as Xena lived at the time of the Trojan War in the Twelfth Century BC and fought at Troy and was close friends of Odysseus, helping him regain his throne after being lost at sea for fifteen years. Another Xena was an ally of the Roman armies that conquered Palestine in the First Millennium BC and witnessed David slay Goliath of the Philistine armies in Ancient Palestine. The one thing that all these figures named Xena have in common is the fact that they were all friends of Hercules after he gained godhood and considered him a close friend,  ally and at one time even a lover. One theory is that through her adventures that Xena may have traveled through time and experienced these figures, but this is unconfirmed. One theory is that these earlier Xenas were ancestors of one figure whose adventures largely took place in the First Century BC, and it is in this period that the gamut of her adventures takes place.

Born in the Macedonian village of Amphipolis, Xena was born under modest conditions as a farm maiden sometime during the early Roman invasions of Greece. During this turbulent time, Thracian warlords and Macedonian mercenaries were constantly invading and devastating Greece in trying to claim it from Roman rule. Many of these generals and mercenaries followed the worship rites of Ares, the god of war. Xena’s father, Atrius,  was a military leader who vanished, possibly killed in battle, and left his sons, Toris and Lyceus to rise up and  replace him. In the absence of her brothers, Xena tried to organize a defense closer to home, only to become disgusted by her fellow villagers' fear and reluctance to fight, an act that she viewed as cowardice. After Lyceus fell in battle, Xena undertook her own mission to create her own army and became a hardened warrior. Because she was a woman, her rivals and opponents always underestimated her, allowing her to easily defeat them. Her objective during this time was to help free and protect her homeland, eventually becoming a pirate to defend the coast. Eventually, she encountered an Egyptian slave girl named M'Lila, who had been taken from the land of Chin (modern China). Xena was astounded by the M’Lila’s Chinese martial arts incorporating agility and knowledge of pressure points, and insisted she teach her to use the same techniques. With these skills, Xena became a much more dangerous antagonist in battle.

Sometime around 50 BC, Xena encountered Julius Caesar, who was then a young idealistic Roman officer, and she became attracted to him for his position and power. She tried to forge an alliance with him, and he used her to help take control of power in Greece. He seduced her then betrayed her after having no more use for her, having her crucified and left to die as an example for others. This began Xena’s downward spiral into hatred and vengeance against the world around her and she refused to never allow herself to fall weak again. M'Lila rescued her from the cross and took her to a healer named Nieko, a healer who managed to save her life but not the damage to her legs. Xena teamed up with an ambitious warlord named Borias, and together, they led an army, which pillaged their way to Chin, where Xena met Lao Ma, a magician and healer, who finally healed Xena's legs, at a price which she did not name. Xena did swear to someday return and repay the woman who had healed her. Traveling through India, Xena picked up the weapon for which she would become best known, a sharp metal discus called a chakram, which she would wield with great efficiency.

By now, Borias and Xena had become lovers, but they began to grow in opposite directions. Borias had begun to understand honor, but Xena was becoming even more ruthless in her violence against others. She helped an outcast Amazon priestess named Alti murder the members of the tribe which had exiled her. Xena didn’t care for Alti at all, but Alti easily manipulated Xena to her own ends, a fact Xena eventually became aware of, and they parted company under less that amicable conditions. By this time in her life, the only thing that stopped Xena from being totally corrupt was the influence of Borias. Pregnant with his child when he died, the last shred of decency in Xena seemed to die with him. She gave her son, Solon, to centaur allies of Borias to be raised safely away from the enemies who might otherwise hurt him to get to her. During this dark period of time, Xena murdered the family of a young girl named Callisto, who swore to avenge their deaths by killing Xena as revenge. In later years, Callisto would become one of Xena’s most psychopathic and dangerous enemies to date.

Eventually, Xena saw the god Hercules as a rival to her blood thirst and terror. (The actual chronology of Xena’s life by this time now becomes contradictory and confusing. By now, Hercules had become one of the gods of Olympus, but according to these tales, Xena met him before he had attained godhood. Hypothetically, this could have been during one of the times Hercules had forsaken his godhood, or the events of their first meeting is confused with one of the earlier women known as Xena. The truth and facts of these accounts have yet to be revealed.) In order to make Hercules less than a rival, Xena seduced his best friend, Iolaus, to drive a wedge between them, but their friendship proved too strong for that to work. Eventually, Xena began seeing her armies committing atrocities too much for even her, such as killing defenseless woman and children, one rule she had always followed. Her leadership was usurped by Darphus, once one of her loyal lieutenants, and she was driven out by her own men. Xena teamed up with Hercules and Iolaus to regain control of her army, but Hercules reminded her that she had become just as violent as the armies she had once fought to control from taking power. Xena was able to defeat Darphus and her former army, but she made a solemn vow to turn away from war. Once more reverting back to the noble person she had once been, Xena began a long climb to redemption, seeking to save lives and do good deeds.

As penitence for all the evil she had committed, Xena tried to return to her more humble beginnings, but the people of Amphipolis would not reaccept her, fearing her presence would welcome her many enemies coming to take revenge. Distraught and humbled, she renounced her warrior ways briefly, but reclaimed her chakram and armor to defend the community of nearby Poteideia. In doing so, she gained the attention of Gabrielle, a young would-be bard, who followed her to chronicle her exploits. Xena gently protested her youthful companionship, but gradually, Gabrielle matured into a worthy warrior and ally in her own right, gaining Xena’s respect and becoming her closest friend and traveling companion.

Xena and Gabrielle’s friendship became somewhat legendary. They defended each other through countless adventures with warlords, mercenaries and even the Olympian gods themselves. They became friends and allies with a would-be hero named Joxer, an opportunist named Salmoneus and a self-proclaimed king of thieves named Autolycus among several characters, even crossing paths with Hercules and Iolaus a few more times. Gabrielle even followed Xena to Chin to fulfill her promise to Lao Ma. However, when Gabrielle nearly died as a casualty of war, Xena realized finally realized how much she meant to her and restored her to life by unknowingly using  a then unknown modern form of resuscitation. Ares meanwhile counted Xena one of his favorite warriors and threatened Gabrielle several times to subvert Xena back to her former bloodlust but was defeated time and time again, even once impersonating her deceased father. This act lead Xena to speculate that Ares could be her biological father, a way of explaining her seemingly superhuman skills, but Ares vehemently disputes this. Eventually, Ares realized he was in love with Xena and sought her as his equal, but she was constantly defying his acts to subvert her.

Xena’s friendship with Gabrielle was soon to be sorely tested. Gabrielle was eventually kidnapped by a demonic cult and given as a bride to Dahak, a powerful demon. Dahak impregnated Gabrielle, and she gave birth to a daughter she named Hope. Xena wanted to slay Hope before she could gain maturity, but Gabrielle stopped her, convinced she could prevent Hope from growing up to become a demon. Hope quickly grew to maturity and allied with Callisto to destroy Xena and all the gods of Earth to prepare for the arrival of her father. Eventually taking form of Gabrielle, Hope seduced Ares and gave birth to the Destroyer. Xena killed the entity, but Hope slew Solon as revenge to further the rift forming between Xena and Gabrielle. Blaming Gabrielle for not allowing her to kill Hope when she had the chance created a wedge in Xena’s friendship with Gabrielle, and Xena had to team up with Callisto to kill Hope, an act that took Gabrielle’s life as well.

Distraught over the loss of Gabrielle and her son, Xena vanished into Siberia and didn’t return to Greece for several years. She traveled briefly into Hades to search for Gabrielle, but in doing so, she clashed with Alti trying to escape the underworld for Earth. Gabrielle meanwhile turned up alive, as part of Hope’s attempt to return to life herself and helped Xena to destroy Hope. Using Xena’s buried hostilities to Gabrielle for the death of Solon, Alti tried to permanently sever and shatter the friendship between Gabrielle and Xena but failed.

Xena and Gabrielle by now stopped in India and became involved in early Hinduism. They met an early Christian named Eli who tried to turn them into belief of one true God. Xena eventually reached Rome and was part of the events leading to the assassination of Caesar. Later, she impersonated Cleopatra after her death in order to keep peace in Egypt. When the Romans crucified Xena and Gabrielle for their crimes against the Roman Empire, their souls entered into Elysium, the Judeo-Christian afterlife. Xena freed Gabrielle from the pit of hell with the help of the Archangel Michael, but in doing so, he gave her the duty of slaying the Olympian gods that Christianity could exist without being stifled by the gods of Earth. Eli meanwhile restored Xena and Gabrielle to life on Earth, but he also mystically imparted part of his life force into Xena that she would be with child. Zeus, ruler of the Olympian gods, was warned that the birth of Xena’s child would result in the death of the Olympian gods, and he dispatched several of the gods to try and slay Xena while she was weakened in her pregnant condition but protected by Hercules. By Michael’s will, Xena successfully slew several but not all of the Olympians, particularly Discord, Artemis, Athena and Poseidon. However,  the gods have turned up to be very much alive in later years, and it is assumed that Zeus may have manipulated the prophecy to force an end to the worship of the Olympian gods, using spells to resurrect the slain gods some years later.

Surviving the bloodshed, Ares abducted Xena’s daughter, Eve, and renamed her Livia to mold her into a warrior like her mother. He froze Xena and Gabrielle for several years in suspended animation, but when they finally thawed out, over twenty-five years had passed. Still youthful, Xena tracked Livia to Ares and convinced her that she was her mother. Livia eventually turned against Ares to follow the preachings of Eli.

With the deaths of several of the Olympian gods and the wane of his godhood, Ares briefly lost his immortality and recruited Xena to save his godhood. Aphrodite was also being drained of her immortality by the Roman Emperor Caligula. With a golden apple stolen from the Asgardian gods, Xena restored both Ares and Aphrodite to godhood.

Xena soon clashed with Alti once more while trying to indoctrinate Livia into one of the last known tribes of Amazons. She also traveled to Japan to help defend a city from a demon called Yodoshi. To defeat him, Xena took her life to fight him in astral form, but Gabrielle kept trying to return her to life. Eventually, Xena’s ghost appeared to Gabrielle to get her to stop, telling Gabrielle that she did not need her anymore and that she would have to live on without her.

According to one account, Xena and Gabrielle appeared in the Fifth Century AD as allies of Beowulf in search of the fabled Rhinegold of the Asgardian gods, but this story may be apocryphal, or referring to yet another Xena. Ares, upon discovering the Olympian gods were alive, turned against Zeus and tried to conquer Olympus, eventually getting imprisoned in a tomb with Xena’s chakram as the key. Gabrielle’s scrolls about the life of Xena were placed in the tomb as warning against releasing Ares. In 1938, a Nazi-funded expedition freed Ares, and Xena took possession of Melinda Pappas, one of her descendants, to try and keep him imprisoned, but he escaped and manipulated World War Two from afar before hindered by Wonder Woman.

The Xena scrolls, however, were spirited away by a young opportunist instead of being studied and analyzed by scholars. His grandson turned them over to Hollywood writers to turn into a TV series named “Xena” alongside the TV series Hercules was starring in under the name of Kevin Sorbo. In the TV series, actresses Lucy Lawless and Renee O’Connor played Xena and Gabrielle. “Xena” the TV-series was a major success, and fans of the modern TV series speculated and psychoanalyzed Xena’s relationship with Gabrielle, particularly its pseudo-lesbian characteristics, but while these traits may be indicative of the modern stories as deciphered by Hollywood writers, they do not apply to the semi-historical Xena. One woman actually believed herself to be the reincarnation of Xena and wore a mock-up of her costume but turned out to be the reincarnation of Joxer, explaining her Xena-filled dreams. (Ironically, Xena had been reincarnated as a man named Harry Casey dating Annie Day, Gabrielle’s reincarnation.) One small cult of fans using genetic and scientific expertise used cell samples of Xena and Gabrielle to clone them into modern day heroes. Just where they got the cell samples or knew who they belonged to is unrevealed, but it is known that Alti took control of the project and tried to use the most violent scenes of the TV series to condition Xena to her original warlike version. Possibly infused by the spirits of their former selves, Xena and Gabrielle once again defeated Alti, possibly for the last time. Their whereabouts are unrevealed.

Note: In one alternate reality, Hercules became a tyrant named the Sovereign and became lovers with Xena. In another briefly diverged reality, Iolaus altered the timeline and Hercules never stopped Xena, resulting in her gaining power over the Roman Empire. In yet another divergent reality, Caesar altered the Threads of Fate and escapes the underworld to conquer the world with Xena as his wife.

Height: 5' 11"

Weight: 125 lbs.

Eyes: Blue

Hair: Black

Strength Level: Xena possesses the normal human strength level of a woman of her size, height and weight who engages in extensive regular exercises.

Known Superhuman Powers: Unknown, see Abilities

Abilities: Xena is an incredibly skillful fighter and martial artist using advanced Eastern arts resembling modern karate, judo and ninjitsu with extra-ordinary gymnastic ability to increase the ferocity of her regular combat skills. She can jump straight up almost ten feet. She has incredible acrobatic and balance ability and can bounce off walls and use all her body’s natural pinot points to incredible advantage. Her fighting skill is nearly superhuman, enough to take down Ares or even Hercules, speculating that at least some of her abilities could be godly in origin, but this is unconfirmed. She is knowledgeable about pressure points, precision areas in the body for stopping nerve control and blood flow, allowing her to kill or paralyze with a fingertip, depending on the pressure she uses. She is a ruthless swordswoman and fighter, capable of turning any object into a weapon, including a wooden marionette or a dead fish. Her most renowned weapon is her chakram which she can utilize to its greatest efficiency..

Weaponry: Xena also uses a circular bladed weapon known as a chakram, which she can throw which such force and velocity that it ricochets off objects, slicing throats or stunning opponents then rebounding back to be caught by her hand. Her proficiency borders on nearly mystical. She can control and manipulate its trajectory to strike even an unseen target or keep it in flight nearly indefinitely, ricocheting off several surfaces until she plucks it from her flight. Even while her spirit was in Callisto’s body and even Gabrielle’s body, she could wield it with such force to convince others of her identity.

Transportation: Xena rode atop an Arabian horse named Argo taken during from her years as a pirate. During her time in India and the time she was believed dead, Argo was found by Joxer and his wife, Meg, and sired another horse, also named Argo who Xena rode in the later years of her life.

Comments: Created by Robert G. Tapert. Xena is not a genuine mythological or legendary character. 

In the TV series, Xena was played by Lucy Lawless (born 1968).

Last updated: 02/24/08

 

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