Citizen of the Roman Empire in the First Century BC
Identity: The general populace of Earth is unaware of the existence of Gabrielle except as a fictional character.
Place of Birth:
Place of Death: Unrevealed
Marital Status: Widowed
Herodotus (father, deceased), Hecuba (mother, deceased), Lila (sister,
(husband, deceased), Hope (daughter by Dahak, deceased), The Destroyer
("grandson," deceased), Sara (niece, deceased), Collieus (reputed
second husband), Renee O'Connor, Janice Covington,
Elaine Vassal, William
Collins (reputed Twentieth Century descendants),
Group Affiliations: ally of Xena and the Amazons
Base of Operations:
Poteideia, formerly Mobile
First Appearance: Xena, TV Series; Episode "Sins of the Past"
Final Appearance: The events of Gabrielle's death have yet to be revealed.
History: Gabrielle was a native of the small city/state of Poteideia in the First Century BC. It has been suggested her family may be Canaanite in origin, due to their the Eastern origins of some of their names, having emigrated into Northern Greece before her birth just ahead of Roman occupation. Gabrielle was raised under modest means eking out a living as farmers, but Gabrielle had other aspirations of becoming a bard (writer) in a time where most of the great literary minds were almost entirely men. Her father betrothed her to Perdicus, the young scion of a neighboring family, but Gabrielle balked at the arranged marriage upon realizing that the marriage would stifle her literary aspirations. She loved Perdicus as a friend, but she realized that she was not ready for marriage. For her to be a successful bard, she wanted to live life and experience the world, but her responsibilities kept her close to home.
Gabrielle's homeland was eventually invaded by the armies of the warlord Draco hoping to seize power ahead of the Romans. In doing so, he would have been able to barter power from the Romans to govern the area. The citizens of Poteideia bowed down before him without having the strength to repel him, and Gabrielle and Lila were captured to sell as slaves, but Draco was ousted from his position by Xena, his former ally. Gabrielle was greatly impressed by Xena and felt great kinship with her. Just as Gabrielle was trying to be a bard in a field dominated by men, Xena had succeeded in being a woman-warrior where no other woman had been before and had even learned to excel in her skills above any other male warrior. Gabrielle left Poteideia to follow Xena and chronicle her adventures. Xena balked at first, unwilling to be responsible for the death of the inexperienced young girl, but eventually, she began to understood her plucky nature by her nature to trying to talk her way out of situations. Xena began to teach her as her protégé how to defend herself, but not how to take the life of others for fear she would descend the same dark path for which she had once succumbed. Eventually, they became close friends and even trustworthy allies.
During the course of her adventures with Xena, Gabrielle met and encountered several characters who would return several times into her life. She encountered the god Hercules during his existence as a mortal man and his best friend, Iolaus. She also met a would-be warrior named Joxer, who developed a hopeless infatuation with her, an opportunist named Salmoneus and the self-styled king of thieves, Autolycus. (Some of these accounts are possibly apocryphal since both the mythological Salmoneus and Autolycus actually lived several years prior.) During her adventures, Gabrielle eventually began to display more and more warrior skills. When she risked her life to defend a dying Amazon, she earned the honor and hospitality of the Amazons through their mortal ruler, Queen Melossa, the mother of the slain girl. Queen Melossa named Gabrielle as her heiress apparent, giving her custody of her daughter's belongings and fighting stick, which Gabrielle began to wield with great skill. This act did not please Queen Melossa's other daughter, Velasca, who often challenged Gabrielle's favor with her mother. When Gabrielle decided to remain with Xena than remain living with the Amazons, she appointed her friend, Ephiny, another member of the Amazon tribe. Velasca meanwhile soon began to hate Gabrielle and tried to kill her several times but was always defeated by Xena coming to her defense.
Eventually, Xena was seemingly injured in battle and mistaken for dead, but she was actually placed into a comatose state as her spirit tried to reunite with her body. Gabrielle returned to Poteideia, and married Perdicus believing her life with Xena was over. Perdicus, however, is murdered by Callisto, one of Xena's enemies looking for her. Xena regains her body to defend Gabrielle and dispatches Callisto by allowing her drown in quicksand. Despite her seeming death, Callisto would escape the underworld with the help of Ares, the god of war, and become a "goddess" herself, returning several times to clash with both Xena and Gabrielle.
Eventually, Gabrielle's friendship with Xena would be sorely tested, trying the bonds of their friendship. When Xena traveled to Britain to defend it against Julius Caesar, she clashed with a cult of devil worshippers where one of their priestesses were slain in battle. The cult lured Gabrielle from Xena to exploit her innocence and used in her in a ritual to offer her as a bride to Dahak, the demon they worshipped. Dahak impregnated Gabrielle with his seed and she became pregnant, giving birth after just a few days because of the occult energies in the ritual. Once she realized the evil inherent in the infant, Xena wanted to to slay it for the greater good, but Gabrielle held her off, believing she could raise the infant to be good, even naming her daughter Hope as a sign of her earnest faith. Xena, however, knew such an effort would be pointless and pursued Gabrielle trying to get hold of Hope, who protected by Gabrielle was placed into a basket and set adrift down river. Gabrielle later lied to Xena by claiming she had drowned her daughter.
Despite their friendship, Gabrielle would debate the ethics of punishment by death with Xena several times. When Xena was called upon a past debt to slay a figure in the land of Chin (modern China), Gabrielle followed ahead of her and warned the Chinese of Xena's plans. Betrayed, Xena was captured and imprisoned, but she managed to escape with Gabrielle's help. However, instead of following Gabrielle home, she slipped back into China and slew her prospective target. Xena never revealed to Gabrielle what she had done until years later.
Continuing to age, Hope soon reached the physical appearance of a nine-year-old child and began organizing an effort to bring Dahak to Earth. When Gabrielle found her again, she finally realized the inherent evil in her and confessed to Xena of her duplicity in concealing her. Xena lost faith in Gabrielle as a result and Hope murders Xena's son, Solon, to further drive a rift between Gabrielle and Xena. As a result, Gabrielle loses her innocence, holding herself responsible for the death of Solon and betraying Xena a second time. Hope, meanwhile recruits Callisto to protect her from Xena, but in an act of trying to atone for her mistakes, Gabrielle attacks her daughter, now having grown into an adult clone of herself, and falls into the pit of hell holding on to her.
Xena traveled to Siberia for the Amazon Land of the Dead for a way to rescue Gabrielle from hell, but Dahak returns Hope and Gabrielle himself to Earth to prepare for his arrival. Xena finally discovers them. The adult Hope seduces Ares and gives birth to the Destroyer as her enforcer, but Xena slays it. Ares rescues Gabrielle to use a bargaining chip against Xena. Callisto is killed as well.
Gabrielle eventually makes a pilgrimage to India to embrace Hinduism and become absolved of her sins. She and Xena live in India for several years before they finally return home. During their stay, they encounter several false prophets and gurus, among them, a genuine healer and teacher named Eli, a member of the Early Christian Church, trying to teach his ways to the Hindus. Gabrielle embraces his philosophies and finally gains inner peace, giving up her staff to follow him. However, Xena is called by Caesar to help him with dissension in the Roman Senate. Gabrielle comes after her to rescue her from Callisto, released from the underworld to get Xena to take her place. Callisto is defeated once again, but after Caesar is assassinated on the senate floor, the Roman Generals look for a proxy to punish for his death and take Gabrielle and Xena captive. Trying them for their sins against the Roman Empire, Gabrielle and Xena are crucified on a field outside Rome for punishment.
After death, Gabrielle's spirit ascends into Elysium, the Judeo-Christian afterlife due to their acceptance of Eli's teaching instead into Hades, the land of the dead, for the worshippers of the Greek gods. However, Gabrielle is taken hostage by demons trying to invade heaven and encounters Callisto in her demonic form. Xena convinces Michael the arch-angel to rescue her. However, during her time in hell, Gabrielle is tricked by Callisto into eating from the food of the dead and becomes a demon herself. To free Gabrielle, Xena must take Callisto's place in hell, but to rescue Xena, Gabrielle has to forgive Callisto for the murder of Perdicus. In doing so, Callisto becomes a pure spirit. As this is happening, Eli on Earth has taken custody of Gabrielle and Xena's bodies and is using his healing powers to keep their bodies between life and death. Although Gabrielle and Xena have spent several weeks in the afterlife, only a few hours have passed on Earth due to the difference in the planes of existence. He manages to resurrect both Gabrielle and Xena, but in doing so, he has given up a portion of his life-force. In Xena, his life-force becomes her off-spring and Xena discovers she is pregnant.
By now, Gabrielle has almost entirely forsaken her life as a bard and is almost entirely immersed in her life as a warrior. She accepts two sai, short three pronged swords, as her new weapons of peace, and defends Xena in battle. Her expertise even impresses Ares as Zeus, the King of the Olympian gods, learns of a prophecy that the birth of Xena's child will be the end of the worship for the Olympian gods. Gabrielle and Hercules protect Xena who know has the power to slay gods by Michael. (Considering the fact that the gods turn up alive into recent years suggests that Zeus manipulated the prophecies to force an end to the end of their worship in favor that mortals could reach their full potential.) However, Ares abducts Xena's infant child, Eve, and renames her Livia, leaving Gabrielle and Xena frozen within a mountain cave.
Mistakenly believed dead, Gabrielle and Xena sleep in suspended animation as their exploits become legend. When they finally thawed out from sunlight breaching the cave, Xena goes in search of her daughter, and Gabrielle returns home to discover her family is dead, and Sara, her sister's daughter, taken captive by Gurkhan, the warlord who killed them. She also discovers Joxer is still alive, but now a very old man with a son named Virgil, who was raised on stories of their exploits. Gabrielle struggles with her status as a warrior to help defend the Amazons, who are losing their power and lands in the region. Xena soon travels to Japan to help defend it against invading armies and is slain in battle. Gabrielle follows her to try and save her. However, Xena's battle continues into the afterlife and she convinces her to let her go, forcing her to accept her destiny without her.
Gabrielle's later life and further exploits such as the end of her life are unrevealed. It is revealed that she later traveled to Egypt on her way home. According to one account, she marries Collieus, a Roman general descended from the House of Troy, and becomes ancestress to the later Collins family in England. (Traditions of curses and redemption in the Collins family may hearken back to Gabrielle's exploits in Ancient Greece.) After her warrior days are over, she finally documents the last of her exploits of Xena. These scrolls are hidden away in a tomb until 1938 when they are discovered by archaeologist Janice Covington, one of Gabrielle's descendants. Instead of getting passed on to scholars and archaeologists, the scrolls fall into the hands of one of Joxer's descendants who surrenders them over to television writers who transform them into heavily slanted and biased versions of the original stories without any of the true motivations of the actual accounts.
The "Xena" TV series becomes a great success, featuring modern actress Renee O'Connor as Gabrielle. Fans of the cult series overanalyze much of Gabrielle and Xena's relationship for overtly pseudo-lesbian themes, a recurring joke in the series. A clinical psychologist named Maddie Merrill is revealed by Ares to be Gabrielle's reincarnation. At the same time, one of Xena's enemies uses Twentieth Century technology to clone Gabrielle and Xena and use the TV series to condition the clones to their original memories. However, Gabrielle discovers that this is all just a ploy to subvert Xena back to her dark side, and she comes to the rescue again.
The later activities of the clones are
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 115 lbs.
Strength Level: Gabrielle possesses the normal human strength level of a woman of her size, height and build who engages in extensive regular exercises.
Known Superhuman Powers: Gabrielle has no superhuman powers. While she was a pupil under Eli's teachings, she briefly had the power to heal, but these were actually an extension of his own healing powers.
Abilities: Gabrielle is in top physical condition and at the pinnacle of top-human performance. She is also an incredible warrior with fighting skills similar but not identical to nunchaku, but although she is not fond of swords, she is quiet adept with her staff and sais. Her gymnastic ability is similar to but not identical to Xena.
Weapons: For the beginning of her warrior life, Gabrielle wielded a five-foot long staff which she could use as a pole or club or even as a way of supporting herself in awkward situations. She later wielded two sais in both defensive and offensive situations.
Comments: Gabrielle is the creation of Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi; she is not a genuine mythological or legendary character.
In the TV series, Gabrielle and Renee O'Connor were played by Renee O'Connor (born 1971).
Last updated: 02/24/08
Back to Main Page