Xena is a character from Robert Tapert's Xena: Warrior Princess. She first appeared in the series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, before going on to appear in the Xena: Warrior Princess television series.
Xena's adventures chronicle her fight against evil in a heavily fictionalized ancient Greece. In Hercules, she is depicted as a seductive but treacherous warlord. Further episodes of Hercules featured Xena during May sweeps, and chronicle her evolution from a villain to friend and ally of Hercules. In her own series, Xena set out to redeem her murderous past by fighting against tyranny and evil, and protecting the innocent and weak. Many of her adventures prior to the televised stories are revealed in flashback episodes.Creation and conception
Conceived by Robert Tapert, Xena originally was supposed to die at the end of the episode Unchained Heart. However, the studio decided to expand the Hercules franchise, and Tapert chose Xena for a solo series.Biography
Xena was raised as the daughter of Cyrene and Atrius, though the episode The Furies raised the possibility that Ares, god of war, might be Xena's biological father. She had two (half)-brothers: Toris, her elder brother, and Lyceus, the youngest of the three. Xena mentioned to Iolaus she had a third brother, but there was no further elaboration on the character. Xena believed that her "father", Atrius, abandoned the family when Xena was young, but later learned that Cyrene killed him to prevent him from murdering Xena. Xena had a normal early life. She was born and raised in Amphipolis, a fairly large village in Thrace. She had a boisterous relationship with her brothers, and helped her mother in the family tavern. Xena's first love was Petracles. They were engaged to be married, but Petracles left her to take up the life of a warlord. Once again abandoned by an important man in her life, Xena developed a bitterness toward men, and a distaste for close relationships in general.
Xena's life was thrown into chaos when peaceful Amphipolis was attacked by the warlord Cortese. Since no one else would stand up to the raiders, Xena and her younger brother Lyceus gathered an army.They defeated the raiders, but Lyceus and many of the villagers were killed in the process. Xena was blamed for their deaths and was ostracized.
Xena wanted to ensure the safety of her homeland, despite the ingratitude of its residents. She conquered surrounding lands. Later, she took to the sea. During her conquest of Neapolitis, she took Julius Caesar, a young and ambitious Roman officer, hostage. They had a torrid affair. She naïvely believed they were an "unstoppable team," and allowed him to be ransomed. Caesar returned to recapture Xena and her men, and had them all crucified on a nearby beach, further deepening her resentment of men to whom she had become emotionally involved.
Shortly before the unhappy events of the Neapolitis campaign, Xena became close to M'Lila, a stowaway slave of mysterious origins. M'Lila taught Xena to fight, and to use acupressure techniques in healing and close combat. M'Lila risked her life to rescue Xena from the cross, and took her to the healer Niklio. Roman soldiers discovered them, and killed M'Lila. At that moment, Xena suffered a psychotic break, and metamorphosed into Dark Xena, whose "purpose in life is death."
Xena gave in completely to her inner rage. Before she had fought to save her people, and to fulfill her sense of adventure; now she craved power. She traveled to Central Asia, where she joined forces with the Hun warrior Borias. The two, who quickly became lovers, terrorized the region until Xena angered Borias by alienating the powerful Chinese families Ming and Lao. Xena retaliated by kidnapping Ming Tzu's young son, Ming T'ien. Xena ransomed the boy, and was captured with Borias's help. Lao Ma, the beautiful matriarch of the Lao family, saved Xena from certain death at Ming Tzu's hands, and set about awakening Xena's soul. She was successful only to an extent; Xena's spiritual growth stalled when Borias re-entered her life. She murdered Ming Tzu, and angered Lao Ma by suggesting they kill Ming T'ien as well.
Leaving the death of Ming behind her, Xena and Borias gradually made their way across the steppes of Central Asia. Near the home of the Siberian Amazons, Xena met an evil shaman named Alti who, in exchange for Xena's help in destroying the Amazons, dubbed Xena the "Destroyer of Nations." By this time, she was pregnant.
During the ensuing Battle of Corinth against the Centaurs, over 10,000 warriors died. Xena had become everything she had fought against in Amphipolis.
Around the time of the Battle of Corinth, Xena became obsessed with possessing the Ixion Stone, a talisman which would give her the power of Evil Centaur. Horrifed, Borias, left her, though returned to try and rescue her and their son. He was killed shortly after seeing his newborn son.
Borias's abandonment and death made her realize what a monster she'd become. Afraid she would be a bad influence on her child, She gave her newborn son Solan to the Centaurs to raise. Mother and son were apart for years, the boy never knowing his mother was the warlord Xena.
Xena's adventures took her to the Norselands where she met Odin, in whom she inspired his bloodlust and a craving for power. He made her his favorite valkyrie, but she betrayed him by making a ring out of the Rheingold. The ring was imbued with magical power. A valkyrie named Grinhilda, Odin's former lover, learned of Xena's betrayal, and tried to stop her by using the ring. Unable to control its power, the ring transformed Grinhilda into a monster. Xena then trapped Grinhilda in a cave where the valkyrie gave birth to the famed monster Grendel.
Most of the tales of Xena's life during this period remain untold, referred to in flashbacks or in episodes of the Hercules TV series.
She met Boadicea, Queen of Britannia, and betrayed her.Several years later, Xena attempted to destroy Hercules by turning his best friend, Iolaus, against him.Shortly afterward, she instinctively rescued an infant from death at the hands of her army. Sensing weakness in her, her men mutinied, and forced her to pass through a brutal gauntlet without her armor.With the help of Hercules, who had become her friend, she finally understood what her actions had cost others and herself. She swore to redeem herself through noble acts.
Xena's television series begins when she decides to make her life change. Haunted by her past, she determines to end her warrior ways. As she strips off her armor and weaponry and buried them in the dirt, she saw a group of village girls attacked by a band of warriors. Among the girls is a vivacious young woman named Gabrielle (played by Renée O'Connor). Xena saves the girls leaving Gabrielle in awe of the Warrior Princess' abilities. Gabrielle begs to be Xena's traveling companion. Over time, Gabrielle becomes Xena's dearest friend.
As part of her reformation, Xena reconciled with her mother, Cyrene.
Among her adventures, Xena encountered the war god Ares, with whom she had an intense love/hate relationship. He vied to make her his Warrior Queen, and was one of her mentors in the past. She has died several times, been reincarnated at least twice, and was put on ice for twenty-five years by Ares. The last event prevented her from raising her daughter, Eve, and indirectly brought about the Twilight of the Greek Gods. Soon after this cataclysmic event, Xena and Gabrielle journeyed to Japan to help an old friend. There, Xena learned that she had unknowingly been the cause of a fire which had killed 40,000 people. Xena sacrificed herself in battle, an honorable death for a warrior princess.Gabrielle had Xena's body cremated, to have the ashes burried near her brother Lyceus in Amphipolis.
According to the darsham, Naiyima, this is only one of many lives Xena will live throughout the ages. Her next incarnation will be as the revered peacekeeper Arminestra. In many of those lives, she will walk a path together with her soulmate Gabrielle furthering the cause of good against evil.