Whoosh! Issue 15 -
December 1997


IAXS project #400
By Erin Dick
Copyright © 1997 held by author
1260 words

Graphics Editor's Note: This article is illustrated with two scans of book covers used with permission from Aegys Athene.
Readers who are Honor Harrington fans are encouraged to visit her informative website at: Aegys's Hall of Honor: Ode to Honor Harrington by David Weber.

The Close Relationships (01-02)
Argo and Nimitz: Bestial Partners (03-08)
Gabrielle and Nimitz: Loyal Confidantes (09-10)
Marcus and Paul Tankersley: The Lost Loves (11-15)
Honor Harrington Books by David Weber

Xena and Honor Harrington:
A Comparison Between Two Great Ladies

The Close Relationships

[01] Is it no wonder that Xena: Warrior Princess has become a hit? With strong plots and believable characters, Xena: Warrior Princess has filled a need in the television world -- a need for a strong, multi-dimensional heroine. Another character who has filled a need, but this time in science fiction, is Honor Harrington. Honor Harrington is a captain in the military who was created by David Weber in a series of science fiction novels.

[02] In many aspects, Xena and Honor are very much alike. They are strong yet sensitive and practical yet mystical. Though they both live in different times and places, they both influence their societies in a very positive way. One reason for this success is their close relationships.

Argo And Nimitz: Bestial Partners

Wouldn't want to de-claw or trim the nails of *this*!

Artist's conception of Honor Harrington (with Nimitz).

[03] Nimitz is a six-limbed cat with human equivalent intelligence. He and Honor share a telepathic bond. This bond allows Nimitz to send along the feelings of people around him to Honor and to detect danger. When danger is around, Nimitz protects himself and Honor with his long, very sharp claws. Nimitz and Argo are very much alike. They are both animal partners to humans. They go out of their way to protect their partner no matter what the cost. They are incredibly loyal and they have private modes of comuncation with their partner.

[04] Argo has been through many experiences with Xena. She apparently has been with Xena long before SINS OF THE PAST (#01). You can tell this by the way Xena and Argo flow together. They are used to each other's idiosyncrasies. Xena barely has to give any commands to Argo. They appear to think the same and to sense each other's moods. This indicates that they have been together a long time, no doubt through both good and bad. That develops a strong relationship.

[05] This relationship is demonstrated several times throughout the first two seasons. There were clear examples of this in INTIMATE STRANGER (#32). The first was where Callisto tried to hurt Xena by hurting Argo, and the second was when Joxer tried to protect Argo. Joxer recognised the strong relationship between Xena and Argo and was trying to prevent Xena from getting hurt.

[06] Gabrielle has recognised this relationship between Xena and Argo, and desired to have a similar one with a donkey in SOLSTICE CAROL (#33). When she found out that Tobias, the donkey, responded to whistles just like Argo did with Xena, she was very excited to have her own version of Argo. Gabrielle recognised the special bond between Xena and Argo, and was, perhaps, a little jealous.

[07] Nimitz is the partner of Honor. He has warned Honor several times about danger such as in the novel The Honor of the Queen (Baen Books, 1992). Honor was at a dinner party with a planet's leader when an assassination attempt was made. Nimitz was the one who discovered the assassins and alerted Honor. Even though Honor was hurt during the fight with the assassins, only the assassins were killed. If Nimitz had not been there, the assassination attempt would have been successful, Honor's mission would have failed, and the future for this universe would have been bad, very bad.

[08] Argo demonstrated similar behavior in THE GREATER GOOD (#21). Even when beaten, Argo refused to budge after the comatose Xena had been tied to both Argo and another horse. Not only did Argo refuse to move, but she also communicated to the other horse not to move. That horse, even when beaten, remained steadfast as well.

Gabrielle and Nimitz: Loyal Confidantes

[09] Nimitz's role not only brings to mind Argo, but Gabrielle as well. He often acts as Honor's conscience and provides her with an objective view when she needs it. Gabrielle does the same for Xena. Honor and Xena have both, from time to time, needed to be kept from judging themselves harshly and to put things in perspective. This aids our heroines to go on doing what they do best.

[10] Also, Nimitz and Gabrielle add another side to the lives of Honor and Xena. Both Xena and Honor see much pain, grief and regret in their lives. Nimitz and Gabrielle often help relieve it, and offer their heroes joy, happiness, and all the other good things in life. If Xena and Honor did not have Gabrielle and Nimitz, then our heroes would probably get depressed and stop all the good their doing.

Marcus and Paul Tankersley: The Lost Loves

Watch for the informative PBS special 'Xena Characters inthe Mist'!

Xena and Marcus, briefly reunited in MORTAL BELOVED (16/116).

[11] Xena and Honor share the grief of lost loves. Marcus was Xena's love of her life and Paul was the same for Honor. Paul and Marcus both impacted the lives of Honor and Xena in a positive way before they died.

[12] Paul taught Honor how to love and how to live. He told her how to get over the past but, most importantly, he gave her joy. In her line of work, a captain in the Royal Manticorian Navy, she needed that joy. Often she had to deal with the large number of deaths that resulted not of her own control but under her command. Paul gave her a new perspective on this.

[13] Marcus and Xena had a mutual joy. Marcus showed her that not all men were scum, which Xena needed, especially after what had happened between her and Julius Caesar. To be sure, Xena did not hate men, but she would not allow them get close to her heart. But Marcus sneaked in, and when she discovered it, it was too late.

[14] When these relationships were just coming to flower, both men were killed. Marcus, trying to save someone's life, and Paul, to find Honor. While Marcus had taken the first step to redeeming himself, Paul had been killed by an old enemy of Honor's, who was trying to hurt her as much as he could. Honor went after this enemy and killed him in a duel, nearly destroying her career and her life.

[15] While each took a different approach to the death of their loved ones, they also were able to go on, somewhat, and get over the pain. They were still able to do what they did best, defend people from evil. The close relationships our heroines had enabled them to grow, to become better people, and to have some joy in their lives. All of which are equally important in everyone's lives not just those of the past or the future and most definitively not just for the heroes!

Babes with swords -- works for me!

Honor Harrington sees more costume changes than Xena does.

Honor Harrington Books by David Weber

On Basilisk Station (Baen Books, 1991)
The Honor of the Queen (Baen Books, 1992)
The Short Victorious War (Baen Books, 1993)
Field of Dishonor (Baen Books, 1994)
Flag In Exile (Baen Books, 1995)
Honor among Enemies (Baen Books, 1997)
In Enemy Hands (Baen Books, 1997)


Erin Dick Erin Dick
Erin Dick is a high school student in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.
Favorite episode: THE XENA SCROLLS (#34)
Favorite line: Gabrielle to Xena: "Does an Amazon Queen can beat a Warrior Princess?" A NECESSARY EVIL (#38)
First episode seen: SINS OF THE PAST (#01)
Least favorite episode: THE PRICE (#44)

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