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"The Rheingold"  Episode 119/607



X:  "It looks good on me-- don'tcha think?  I'm waiting for you."


X:  "You don't get it, do you?!  As long as I wear this ring-- ya
can't win!  Come o-o-o-on.  Come on.  Ah-h-h-h-h!  Ha-ha-ha!
Don't think you've won anything!  These chains will hold you for
eternity, and you will _never_ use the powers of the ring--
never!  Yah!  Yah!  Yah!  Yah-h-h-h-h!
Ye-e-e-e-e-e-hah-h-h-h-h-h!"  [Laughs]


[35 Years Later]

G:  "What?"

X:  "Ya gonna finish that?"

G:  "All of it."

Bartender's Voice:  "A drink, sir?"

X:  "I thought the portions here were kind of small."

G:  "You're not getting mine."

X:  "Come on, Gabrielle.  You're _playing_ with your food."

G:  "No, I'm _relishing_ it."

X:  "_You_ got a problem?  I don't appreciate people _staring_ at
me while I'm eating."

Beowulf [Beo]:  "Are you Xena?"

X:  "Yeah, who wants to know?"

Beo:  "My name is Beowulf."

X:  "You got business with me, Beowulf?  I gotta talk to this
man, Gabrielle."



X:  "All right."

G:  "What's this about?"

X:  "Nothing."

G:  "Hm-m-- do you want my food?"

X:  "No, I've lost my appetite."


G's Voice:  "Still keeping secrets from me-- "

G:  "-- after all these years."

X:  "Look-- it's something I did a long time before I met you.  I
just don't feel like talking about it right now."

G:  "All right."

X:  "I'm not trying to shut you out.  You know our friendship's
the most important thing in my life-- but in this case-- "

G:  "Xena-- you don't have to tell me.  Part of being a friend is
letting people keep secrets.  I respect that."

X:  "OK."


[G reads letter [X's Voice Narrates]]:  "Gabrielle, I've gone to
take care of some unfinished business.  This mission is so
dangerous, I'm afraid I won't survive-- and I can't ask you to
die with me once again.  Whatever happens-- know that my love for
you is endless.  Xena."


G's Voice [Narrates]:  "I know Xena wouldn't have done this-- if
she didn't feel this was something she had to do-- by herself.  I
debated whether to respect her wish-- but I can't.  Her path is
my path.  I've been following her now, for weeks.  Her trail has
taken me north-- due north-- farther north than I've ever been."


G:  "Excuse me-- does your tapestry have a story behind it?"

Old Man:  "You're not from around here, I take it."

G:  "No."

Old Man:  "Hah, well-- these women that, eh-- ride the flying
horses-- they're called Valkyries-- Odin's _elite_ guard."

G:  "Odin-- "

Old Man:  "Mm-hm-m."

G:  "-- king of the Norse gods?"

Old Man:  "Mm-m."

G:  "So, are the Valkyrie gods?"

Old Man:  "No-- they are mortal-- but Odin teaches his-- favorite
Valkyrie-- some runes."

G:  "Runes?"

Old Man:  "They are magical, old Norse writings.  They contain
chants-- that give great power-- to the one who knows them."

G:  "This one-- here?"

Old Man's Voice:  "Hm-m."

G:  "She looks different from the rest."

Old Man:  "Yes-- now what was her name?"

Brunhilda [Bru]'s Voice:  "Xena."

G:  "Xena?  Do you know about this Valkyrie-- Xena?"

Bru:  "Well-- studying her has been the passion of my life."

G:  "Have you seen her recently?"

Bru:  "Look-- Xena's reign of terror ended almost 35 years ago.
She's _lo-o-o-o-ong_ since disappeared."

G:  "My name is Gabrielle.  I have come a long way to find out
about this Xena.  Please, will you tell me what you know?"

Bru:  "She came to us from a distant land in the East.  She
called it Ch'in."



X:  "Yah!"

Bru's Voice [Narrates]:  "We call it the land that sent us a

Odin [Odi]:  [Moans]

X:  "Whoa.  Hey, there-- who'd _you_ mess with/"

Odi:  "No one is capable of doing this to me-- without my

X:  "What kind of an idiot has himself crucified?"

Odi:  "I don't wish to take part in the struggle of life

X:  "Why would you wanna do that?"

Odi:  "I am Odin-- king of the Norse gods.  It is my duty to
bring peace to the Norse country.  Yet-- as I sit in Valhalla,
and watch the bitter struggle called life on this Earth-- I ask--
`Are we doomed to live in a constant state of endless

X:  "Damn straight.  That's what makes life so worth living.  You
know, every day I wake up and I feel pumped by the knowledge that
there is _always_ someone around the next corner-- someone for me
to challenge, to fight, and to conquer."

Odi:  "Someday-- someone may conquer you."

X:  "Precisely-- which is why I don't have time to waste chatting
with a god who doesn't know what to do with his immortality.

Odi:  "Wait-- who are you?"

X:  "The name's Xena.  You know, you can't escape the struggle,
Odin.  Ya gotta embrace it."

Bru's Voice [Narrates]:  "Xena brought Odin out of his despair by
sharing with him her lust for life.  He, in turn, made her a


Valkyrie [Val]'s Voices:  "Yah!  Yah!"

Bru's Voice [Narrates]:  "Xena excelled in her new role-- but it
was only a matter of time  before she came into conflict with the
woman who was the leader of the Valkyrie and Odin's lover--


Norse Soldier [N S]:  "They outnumber us two to one-- and they
have superior weapons.  Maybe we should surrender."

X:  "Wrong!"

N S:  "It's a Valkyrie."

X:  "Did someone say `Surrender'?  What does surrender give you?"

Grinhilda [Gri]:  "The ability to fight another day-- a chance to
see their families again-- and the berserkers who were chasing
them will have an opportunity to show mercy."

X:  "This is a battlefield!  The only thing to do here is fight.
Your pursuers come over that rise in seconds.  So you can
surrender and crawl back to your hovels and the everlasting scorn
of your kinfolk-- or-- you can go out in a blaze of glory-- and
fight and die in Odin's name!"

N S:  "Odin!"  [Soldiers Cheer]

X:  "Odi-i-i-i-i-in!"


X:  "Odi-i-i-in!"


Odi:  "And what exactly do _you_ desire?"

X:  "Pour me some wine and I'll have to show you after dinner."
[They chuckle.]

Odi:  "Oh-- Grinhilda-- you're late.  Where have ya been?"

Gri:  "Well, I've been-- escorting slain soldiers to their
quarters here in Valhalla."

X:  "They're all good soldiers, willing to die with Odin's name
on their lips."

Gri:  "Escorting the dead is our sacred duty.  There's no joy in
that duty when brave young men are _killed_ over a senseless
battle for greed."

X:  "Greed is one of the fundamentals of life.  It's like sex.
It's-it's like the will to power.  It's survival."

Gri:  "Not _their_ survival."

X:  "Oh.  No, not theirs-- but theirs is a greater reward.  Dying
with a sword in their hand _honors_ their lord and master Odin--
and earns them a place at his eternal banquet."

Gri:  "Odin, this is madness."

Odi:  "Oh, I don't know, Grinhilda.  Makes some sense to me."

Gri:  "If you're embracing her worldview-- there is no room here
for me.  I'll go."

Odi:  "I loved her once."

X:  "Trust me, sire-- you _can_ live without love."


[The Present]

G's Voice:  "Poor Xena."

Bru's Voice:  "Poor Xena?"

Bru:  "You haven't been listening very well, have you?"

G:  "Xena thought that she could live without love.  I know that
she can't-- 'cause she's my friend.  Is there anything else you
can tell me to help me find her?"

Bru:  "Camp here tonight.  I'll come visit you this evening.
I'll tell you what I know.  Maybe something will help."

G:  "I'd appreceiate that."


G [Narrates]:  "I don't know the details of Xena's mission-- but
I'm beginning to understand her goal.  She wants-- to correct
some great wrong she did in the past.  My dear friend's curse--
is to spend the rest of her life seeking a redemption she'll
never allow herself."

G:  "Brunhilda?  Is that you?  Brunhilda?"  [Gasps]




Bru:  "You're pretty good.  You cut me with my own sword.  That's
impressive.  I can't tell whether you're better than me or not,
though, and to prove it, I think one of us would have to die--
and I don't want that."

G:  "Why did you attack me?"

Bru:  "To prove to you that I am worthy to fight alongside Xena."


Bru:  "If what you're telling me is true and Xena's still alive,
I am on the verge of realizing a lifelong dream.  I'll be able to
meet the great Xena.  Let me help you find her.  I know these
woods like the back of my hand."

G:  "If you can tell me everything that you know about Xena and
these Valkyries-- I bet I could figure it out."

Bru:  "All right-- where did I leave off?"

G:  "Xena won Odin from Grinhilda."

Bru:  "Right."



Bru's Voice [Narrates]:  "And, of course, that wasn't enough for

Odi:  "You learn quickly."

X:  "That's the power you're going to give me?  But couldn't I do
that by just rubbing together a couple 'a sticks?  [They
chuckle.]  Well, couldn't I?"

Odi:  "No-- you've only just begun exploring it.  You can go much
further.  If you keep practicing-- one day you'll be able to
harness all your energy-- into a flame that will burn for as long
as you wish."

X:  "Turn all of my bodily energy into a bonfire.  Sounds like
self-sacrifice.  I'm not into that, Odin."

Odi:  "Xena-- I have given you everything I give to the other

X:  "I want more."

Odi:  "Like what?"

X:  "Odin-- I'm-- tell me about the Rheingold."

Odi:  [Sighs]

X:  "Oh, I see."

Odi:  "Wh-where are you going?"

X:  "I can't give my love to someone who doesn't trust me, Odin--
I can't."

Odi:  "Your love?  What are you talking about?  I thought you
could live without love."

X:  "I lied."  ["Sobs"]

Odi:  "Xena-- I had no idea you felt this way.  The first thing
you should know-- the Rheingold is very dangerous to someone who
hasn't forsaken their love."


Gri's Voice:  "Xener [sic] is moving up the Rhine searching for
the Rhine maidens."

Gri:  "How does she know about the maidens?  You told her.  She
knew you wouldn't tell her if you thought she had forsaken love--
so she acted as if she was in love with you, didn't she?"

Odi:  "That's ridiculous!  How would she know that the power of
the Rheingold is only available to those who have forsaken their

Gri:  "Everybody knows what the gold does to a loving heart.  The
local bards sing songs about it."

Odi:  "The local bards know this?"

Gri:  "Oh, you ought to mix with the people more, Odin.  What
they don't know is how to find the Rheingold.  Now, however--
Xena does.  Give me back-- command of the Valkyrie.  I can stop


Bru's Voice [Narrates]:  "So Xena headed for the Rhine river-- in
hope she could get the Rhine maidens to lead her to the gold-- "

X:  "Yah!"

Bru's Voice [Narrates]:  "-- but Grinhilda and the other Valkyrie
weren't far behind."

G's Voice:  "They couldn't stop her, though, could they?"

Val's Voices:  "Yah!  Yah!  Yah!"  [Etc.]

Gri:  "Get her!"

X:  "Yah-h-h-h-h!"

Val's:  "Yah-h-h-h-h!"

X:  "Yah-h-h-h-h-h-h!"

A Val:  "Yah-h-h-h-h-h!  Hyah-h-h-h-h-h!"

X:  "Yah-h-h-h-h-h-h!  Yah-h-h-h-h-h-h-h!

A Val:  [Screams]

X:  "Ha-ha!"

Gri:  "Yah-h-h-h-h-h!"

X:  "Yah-h-h-h-h-h-h!"  [Etc.]

Gri:  [Yells]

X and Gri:  [Scream]



X and Gri:  [Scream]

X:  "Chk-chk.  Yah-h-h-h-h!"

Bru's Voice [Narrates]:  "So now, only the Rhine maidens stood
between Xena-- and ultimate power."


Rhine Maiden 1 [R M 1]:  "Sister, come join us.  Our new friend
is delightful.  I think I love her."

R M 2:  "You fall in love too easily, sister."

R M 3:  "I love her, too."

R M 1:  "Be quiet!  She's _my_ friend."

R M 2:  "Hm-m-m."

R M 1 [Laughs]:  "I can't show you that!"

X:  "Come on, just a peek.

R M 1:  "It's strictly forbidden."

X:  "Well-- how can I be a Rhine maiden if I don't see it?"

R M 1:  "You want to become a Rhine maiden?"

X:  "Sure-- then I can play with you all day."

R M 1:  "Follow me."


X:  "Where is it?  All right.  The Rheingold."

R M 1:  "You mustn't touch it."

X:  "Yes, I must."

R M 1:  "Are you mad?  The Rheingold will only bring about your

X:  "Only if I haven't forsaken love."

R M 1:  "Have you?"

X:  "Yah!  Yep."

R M 1:  [Whimpers]


Bru's Voice [Narrates]:  "A ring forged from the Rheingold would
give Xena ultimate power.  And once she put it on-- she became


[The Present]

G:  "Xena wouldn't need a ring.  She's a great fighter.  She's
probably the best."

Bru:  "You love her very much, don't you?"

G:  "She's my best friend.  I know her like I know my own heart."

Bru:  "A friendship like that is something to be envied."

G:  "It has a price-- like everything."

Bru:  "A price you love paying."

G:  "Yeah."

Bru:  "She feels the same?"

G:  "I hope so."

Bru:  "She must.  She must be on a very dangerous mission;
otherwise, she probably wouldn't have left you behind."

G:  "That's what her note said."


Bru:  "You miss your friend, don't you?"

X:  "Sure."

Beo:  "She is very beautiful."

X:  "Yes, she is."

Beo:  "I only saw her the one time, but-- she seems special.  Who
knows how I'd feel if I got to know her."

X:  "Oh, you'd like her."

Beo [Snickers]:  "Of course, neither one of us will live long
enough to-to see her again, anyway.  We'll be there soon."

X:  "Good."

Beo:  "The people up here think of you as a demon."

X:  "So they should."


Bru:  "Can you think of anything, yet?  Any reason she would have
come north?"

G:  "No.  Ever since that Beowulf came."

Bru:  "Beowulf?"

[[[[[[Beo:  "Are you Xena?"]]]]]]

G:  "Yeah.  Yeah, he had this-this lock.  It had two ravens on

Bru:  "Two ravens?"

G [Whispers]:  "Yeah."

Bru:  "Then I know why she came north, Gabrielle.  She's on a
suicide mission."


Beo:  "Well, this is it-- the end of the line."

X  "Stay strong, Garielle."



Beo:  "23 warriors-- ripped apart.  The lucky ones died right
her.  The unlucky ones-- dragged back to the beasts's lair--
eaten alive."

X:  "Friends of yours?"

Beo:  "Many friends.  Two brothers.  I will do anything to avenge
them.  I'm ready to die, myself."

X:  "Whatever happens, Beowulf-- I'm with you.  What do they call
this beast?"

Beo:  "Grindl."

X:  "Maybe we can take Grindl down with us.  It's big and it's

Beo:  "You know this monster pretty well."

X:  "I should-- I created it."


Bru:  "I'm sure they went to the Eastwyn bog."

G:  "How far are we?"

Bru:  "Well-- we should camp here tonight.  That way, in the
morning-- "

G:  "No, no, we're not gonna camp.  We're going to travel through
the night."

Bru:  "Then we'll be there by morning.  I just hope we don't run
into Grindl along the way."

G:  "Who's Grindl?"

Bru:  "`What's Grindl''s a better question.  All the while I was
growing up, I heard stories about a monster trapped in an
abandoned mine above the bog."

G:  "Held by a raven lock?"

Bru:  "Exactly.  Ravens are the sign of Odin.  He crafted that
lock himself.  Supposedly, it was unbreakable by human hands."

G:  "What happened?"

Bru:  "The ring happened-- the one that Xena made out of the



X:  "That ring's gotta go back to the Rhine maidens."

Beo:  "If one of us survives."

X:  "The ring!"

X:  "Get ready for round two."

Beo:  "Uh!"


G:  "This is it, isn't it?"

Bru:  "You do realize this may mean your death."

G:  "Xena's path is my path."

Bru:  "I wish I had a friend like you."

G:  "You do."


Beo [Moans]:  "It dragged her off.  I don't know whether she's
dead or alive."

G:  "Xena?  No.  [Sighs]  Xena."


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