Whoosh! Issue 15 -
December 1997


IAXS project #448
A Whoosh! Member Opinion
By Nicholas Nayko
Copyright © 1997 held by author
690 words

Who says disco is dead!

Dancing up a storm -- or madness --
in THE FURIES (47/301).

[01] In my Whoosh! #11 (August 1997) article, Callisto, Die Furie?", I described the Greek mythological creatures known as the Erinnyes and the Eumenides that are comparable to the Roman Furies. Further, I compared Callisto to the Greek Furies. In this article I will compare the Greek Furies to the Xenaverse Furies portrayed in THE FURIES (#47).

[02] I was pleased that the Furies were portrayed as beautiful women (following the Greek myths) as opposed to monster-like creatures. However, the Furies as portrayed in Xena: Warrior Princess were not stern nor appalling like the same myths. These Furies seemed to have no opinions of their own and were easily manipulated by Ares, the god of war, and by the putative mortal, Xena, as well.

[03] The Furies of myth would not be fawning all over Ares. By contrast, it would be Ares respectfully requesting the Furies intervention to avenge the unpunished murder of Xena's father. In Aeschylus' The Eumenides, the Furies hold their own very well in debate against Apollo and Athena.

[04] The Xenaverse Furies were quick to believe Ares' accusation and were easily swayed by Xena's testimony. Could they not have checked out what happened in the past? In the Xenaverse they apparently do not have much memory since Ares tells Xena in THE DELIVERER (#50) that the Furies had probably already forgotten about the insanity thing.

[05] Perhaps the Xenaverse Furies should have been portrayed as dominatrixes. What better characterization of females relentlessly pursuing and punishing those they believed deserved it?

[06] The use of the Furies in the episode title is perplexing to me. Usually the title mentions the most significant character in the story or the theme of the tale. In this case, the Furies were pretty insignificant characters except they have the ability to turn on and off persecution and madness. They were just a plot device to be used by Ares to initiate the madness and by Xena to persuade them to cease. Use of the Furies in the title implied a much bigger role for them.

[07] The Temple of the Furies was in keeping with the mythological spirit. The Greek Furies had sacred groves such as mentioned in Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus and had temples. At the end of The Eumenides, Athena even offers them the use of part of her temple. That's how highly they were thought of in the Greek myths. They were more worthy of respect than the Xenaverse Furies.

[08] The writer changed the fate of Orestes from the Greek myth. In the episode, Orestes was still mad after the Furies pardoned him. In contrast, Orestes was cured at the end of The Eumenides and vowed to become the protector of Athens even after death. There seems to be no reason for the writer to change the fate of Orestes except as another plot device to make the peril more serious to Xena.

[09] The XWP writers have been clever in other episodes of adapting myhological characters into their scripts and modernizing them. I believe they failed in this adaptation of the Furies. They used them as a plot device in a disappointingly ambiguious "is Ares Xena's father or not" storyline.

You want to keep *these* three chicks OUT of yourfantasies!

A "family" portrait of the Furies.


Nicholas Nayko Nicholas Nayko
BA in political science 1972. MS in systems management 1976. Works for the Federal Government. Interested in history and militaria, especially Russian. I've enjoyed traveling domestically and abroad, seeing different cultures.
Favorite episode: ROYAL COUPLE OF THIEVES (#17) and RETURN OF CALLISTO (#29)
Favorite line: Xena: "We all eventually become who we pretend to be" BLIND FAITH (#42)
First episode seen: THE GAUNTLET (H#12)
Least favorite episode: BEEN THERE, DONE THAT (#48)

Other Whoosh! articles by this author:
    "Callisto: Die Furie?"
   Whoosh! #11 (August 1997)
   Whoosh! #14 (November 1997)

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