Whoosh! Issue 15 -
December 1997

WHOOSH! Special
By Anita Louise
Copyright © 1997 held by author
3510 words

The Furies (01-04)
Ares (05-07)
Back to the Ranch (42-45)
Summary (46)

Reflections of a Father

The Furies

[01] The Furies are three goddesses who punish by their secret stings the crimes of those who escaped or defiled public justice. The heads of the Furies were wreathed with serpents and their whole appearance was terrific and appalling. Their names were Alecto, Tisiphone and Megaera. They were also called the Eumeneides.

[02] In the third season premiere episode of Xena: Warrior Princess, the Furies play a significant role. They are portrayed as three scantily clad women who like to dance. One of them tries to captivate Ares with her movements [THE FURIES (47/301)].

[03] Ares goes to the Temple of the Furies and convinces them that Xena must pay for the death of her father. You would think that someone as smart as a Fury would know that Ares is a mover and shaker, that he likes to work people --including the gods -- to his advantage. The Greeks looked upon Ares as a quarrelsome god who sent war and pestilence and delighted in destruction.

Xena and Gabrielle doing what they do best,
walking and talking.

[04] Amazingly enough, the Furies believe Ares and pass judgment on Xena. They find her guilty of all charges and condemn her to persecution and madness.

Ares, a pensive god


[05] Xena has managed to outsmart Ares every time he has tried to bring her back into his power. Although at one time Xena lived to follow the cruel and powerful ways of The God of War, she has changed directions in her life and now is on the road to help people, not to kill and conquer them. Ares has never given up on Xena and has come close several times to drawing her back into his world of destruction. What he does not seem to understand is that the one stabilizing person in Xena's life is Gabrielle.

Xena, Xena, Xena!

[06] The two of them together -- Xena and Gabrielle -- have taken on whatever lies in front of them in the name of good. Even if there are times when Xena has fallen back into her dark ways, the Bard is always there to light her way back. Many people were appalled to hear that Ares could be Xena's father. Incest was the topic on many mailing lists and in the chat rooms. Perhaps because Ares' past dealings with Xena had seemed very much like sexual seductions, the thought of Ares being Xena's father did not sit well with many fans.

[07] We do not have much information about Xena's father except for the episode, TIES THAT BIND (20/120).


[08] TIES THAT BIND (20/120) begins when the warlord Kirilus and his men have captured women from the village of Lotia. The women are confined in a large makeshift wooden cage. Ares appears to Kirilus and the two of them discuss conquering with his Army. Ares seems to think that someone else would do better leading the Army as he says, "It's more a question of desire, a fire in the eyes and quite frankly you just don't have it. But I know somebody that does, somebody born for greatness. But sometimes the best man for a job is a woman."

[09] As we can see, Ares is still haunted by Xena. The God of War cannot get the Warrior Princess out of his mind.

[10] Gabrielle and Xena stand high in a tree watching what is going on below them.

The arboreal Gabrielle

Gabrielle: They're going to sell them as slaves.
Xena: No, they're not.
Gabrielle: There must be twenty men down there, Xena.
Xena: I didn't say it was going to be easy.
[11] While they are talking, a commotion takes place below them. A lone man confronts the guards and has come to free the women. Xena jumps down to help the man as she feels he will be killed. During the fight the man is wounded and Xena helps him. She bends down and treats the cut on his arm.

Xena: Are you trying to kill yourself or, are you just new at this?
Atrius: Xena?
Xena: Do I know you?
Atrius: You should, I'm your father.

Atrius, Xena's father
in TIES THAT BIND (20/120)

[12] Xena gets a cold look on her face.

Atrius: The name's Atrius. Xena, I've missed you, look at you.
Xena: I don't know who you are but my father wouldn't rescue slave girls. All he cared about was himself.
[13] She turns to walk away.

Atrius: Don't you walk away from me.
Xena turns and gives him a look only Xena can.

Gabrielle: Is he your father?
Xena: Give me a break.
[14] Xena leaves with Gabrielle as the man stares after them.

[15] Gabrielle and Xena talk and the Bard can see that something is happening, even if Xena is denying it. Gabrielle thinks that if this man is Xena's father, he can help her put things in some sort of order in her life. Whenever she would bring up the topic of family, Xena would either evade the subject or talk about her mother and her brother Lyceus.

[16] Back at the cage where the women are held captive, Xena walks up to the guards, her sword in one hand and says, "Hey boys, want to play?" A fight ensues as Gabrielle runs to the cage and picks the padlock then releases the women. One woman goes in a different direction and Gabrielle runs after her. The two are accosted by a guard and Atrius shows up, fights the man as Xena arrives to see the fight.

[17] After Atrius kills the man, Xena, Gabrielle and Rhea turn to leave.

Gabrielle freeing some soon-to-be ex- slaves.

Atrius: You're just going to ride off?
Xena: Why shouldn't I?
Atrius: Because I'm your...
Xena: No you're not.
[18] Xena chooses to ignore Atrius' comment and leaves.

[19] Xena cannot understand why this man has chosen to try to become a part of her life, especially by pretending to be her father. Ever since her father disappeared, Xena, as a child, was lost. The two of them had been so close. There were times when she even thought maybe she had done something wrong and his absence was her fault. The hurt and hatred she carried for her father did not endear this man to her.

[20] Xena is talking to Gabrielle.

The Warrior Princess

Xena: My father left us when I was little and I haven't seen him since then.
Gabrielle: Is there anything you remember about him?
Xena: Well, there was one thing. When I was very young I would stand in the field and watch my father ride his horse. He'd come so close and I'd stand fast not moving a muscle and he'd gather me up in his arms and off we'd go.
Gabrielle: Sounds exciting.
Xena: It was, I thought he was the greatest man in the world.
[21] Although The Warrior Princess is hurt, you can see that she had great love for her father. A child who looks upon her father as the greatest man in the world, speaks volumes, as does an adult who professes to hate the man, yet can remember that she thought as a child.

[22] Xena sees Atrius on horseback running from men who are calling him a thief. Xena goes to his aid. He tells her that the horse is his and it was owed to him. Xena tells him that she will check out his story.

Atrius: You're just like your mother, why can't you trust me? Remember when you were a little girl the way I would lift you up into the saddle, back then you trusted me with your life. Xena, I'm the same man.
[23] When Xena confronts one of the men and asks if the horse was owed to Atrius, he tells her yes. You can see that Xena accepts this man's story and considers that perhaps he may be her father.

[24] Later, Atrius hums a song that Xena knows, a song that she remembers from her childhood.

Atrius: You know the reason I left your family is I was young when I married your mother. I was too young, I thought I was missing out on something, I convinced myself my true happiness lay somewhere else over the next hill, the problem was the hills never ended. So don't get me wrong sometimes life is hard but with your mother, she's just stubborn.

Some more of Xena

Xena: Strong.
Atrius: Yeah, that's what I mean, I miss those days.
Xena: Me too.
Atrius: Well now we have each other, what about you Xena, anything about your life that you might like to tell me?
Xena: No.

Xena, pondering her father

[25] By this time we can see that the hard shell that Xena has put up is disintegrating, and the smile on her face shows that she misses her father and the times they shared. The Warrior Princess' father has come back into her life.

[26] Kirilus sends a man to kill Xena. The assassin is proficient in blowing deadly darts. He lies in wait for Xena, who surprises him and blows the dart back at the man. Atrius gets in a fight with the assassin and as the man begs for mercy, Atrius kills him. Gabrielle witnesses this and cannot believe Atrius could have been so cruel. Atrius tells Xena the man had a knife and he had to kill him. Xena believes Atrius and Gabrielle is confused about what she saw.

Gabrielle, concerned.

[27] Atrius and Gabrielle walk together and he says, "I could see that you and Xena are a team, I don't want to come between you two. I've made up my mind, as long as the two of you are together, and you should be, there's just no place for me." Gabrielle decides to do what she feels is the right thing. Knowing that Xena had lost her father as a young child and now has a chance to get to know the man, Gabrielle tells Xena that she will take the women home by herself. Xena says, "Gabrielle what is going on?" Gabrielle gives her an explanation and even though Xena does not quite believe all Gabrielle tells her she says, "OK." As Xena walks away Gabrielle says, "Good-bye Xena."

[28] Here, I, the writer of this article, must take a look back at the two woman and their love and self sacrifice for one another. I must admit that I would love to have a heart to heart talk with these two women. There has never been such a deep bond of friendship in series television that I can remember. Xena and Gabrielle each think they have to sacrifice the life they have with each other to make the other happy. The thing they need to remember is that the happiest they have been, and ever will be, is when they are together. Not by leaving one another, out of some misguided self sacrifice.

Xena kissing Gabrielle goodbye

[29] I have been in this situation and must admit I have taken the Xena and Gabrielle steps. If I had it all to do over again, I would have said, "You are the most important person in my life." Instead I graciously said, "If you are happy, then I am happy for you."

[30] I knew at the time I wanted to say, "I lived in darkness, work being my only means to life. Then one day you walked into my life and said, 'Get out, live. There are so many things out of this office that you can enjoy. Visit the mountains, take time to listen to the sounds of birds singing. Take a chance, there's lots of life outside of this job. Anita, take time to smell the flowers.'

[31] What I wanted and should have said was, "You have taught me so much about life and living, I never knew life could be so wonderful. Each day I look forward to seeing your smile and eyes that seem to sparkle and speak every time you gaze at me. I know you are giving me the opportunity to tell you just how I feel. The truth is, I love you, you are my best friend and I know that my life will wither away if you leave, I want you to stay and be a part of my life, now and always."

[32] Xena and Gabrielle have both encountered similar opportunities and each time they have opted for, "If you are happy then so am I." I believe that each, especially Gabrielle to Xena in THE RETURN OF CALLISTO (29/205), gave the other an opportunity to let them know just how much they cared and wanted the other to be a part of her life. Yet in RETURN, Xena -- although deeply hurt -- copped out. The same happened in my life. My friend got married and moved. My heart was breaking but I remained quiet and wished my friend well. Since then a divorce has occurred and my friend's life is in turmoil. I have no idea where my friend is at this moment all I know is if I had said what I wanted, I would know.

[33] Gabrielle talks to Rhea and says:

Gabrielle: You loved your sister but you left her?
Rhea: I had no choice, she deserved to be with her husband, I had to leave so she could be happy.
[34] Gabrielle thought she made the right choice by leaving Xena and allowing Xena to be with her father. Rhea's words supported Gabrielle's assumption that she had made the right decision.

[35] Xena, talking to her father:

Xena: If you're going to be part of my life again, there's something that you should know. I've done terrible things in my past.
Atrius: What's past is past, I only care about the future, our future and don't be ashamed of your past Xena, it's made you the great woman you are today.
[36] Xena could not believe her ears but her father was finally back and he wanted to be a part of her life. Xena would do all she could to make up for the past. Her father may have missed seeing her grow up but he could share in the present and in the future with her. Xena was happy.

[37] Xena finds out after she puts the pinch on one of Kirilus's men, that his army is heading for Lotia. She knows that is where Gabrielle is and even though she is happy to be reunited with her father, she cannot allow Gabrielle be in danger and goes to help. Atrius goes because he tells Xena he has done some terrible things to the village and needs to make amends.

[38] The villagers capture her father because of his past sins committed against them and Xena asks them if she stops the army will they let her father go.

Village Elder: You? stop an entire Army? impossible.
Xena: Watch me, I have many skills.
[39] She rides out to meet Kirilus. They fight and Xena wins. Kirlus's army is now hers and they head toward the village. Upon arrival, she sees her father tied to posts. He is bloody and clinging to life. She cuts him down and tells him that he will be all right. Meanwhile her men capture Gabrielle and the other villagers. Xena carries the body of her father in her arms. As she stands in front of the village elder she asks: "Who did this to my father?"

Village Elder: He brought it on himself, trying to escape from our guards.
Atrius groans: Xena.
Xena smiles down at Atrius: Shh, you're going to be all right.
Atrius: I'm dying, they did this to me, all I wanted was to be with you.
Xena: I know, I know...

Xena and Atrius during his last moments
in TIES THAT BIND (20/120)

[40] Xena is beside herself with grief. The father who she had lost all those years had found his way back into her life and now he is dying in her arms. The feelings she has for him are evident in her past words and actions. Atrius dies and Xena is hit with a sadness that has now brought back her evil side. How dare these people do this to her father? She has lost him again, only this time she will be able to express her rage and frustration.

[41] Even though her dark side has consumed her and she wants to kill everyone in her path, it is Gabrielle that brings her back to reality. The bond these two share is deep, and it is always the Bard that is the light that shines out of her face. "I couldn't stand the darkness that would follow" without that light. [THE RETURN OF CALLISTO (29/205)]

Back to the Ranch

[42] The Furies bring thoughts of her father back into Xena's life. She finds out that her mother Cyrene killed Atrius because he came home one evening drunk and was going to sacrifice Xena to Ares.

[43] The man that Xena has loved all these years was going to kill her, the man she thought was the greatest man in the world. If the Furies had not already condemned her to madness, learning this might have done it alone. However, if you look at TIES THAT BIND (20/120), and the bond Xena and her father shared, then view THE FURIES (47/301), it just does not seem to gel in this author's opinion. But then I do not write the series, I just seem to live each episode. A fan of the series can quote word for word episodes. They know when a brush moves and is not supposed to, a fan can point out everything and anything pertaining to Xena: Warrior Princess.

[44] It is evident that Xena and her father shared a great love for one another. How could a father that shared so much with his child, want to kill her? Maybe we should look at Ares again, he seems to mold people in his ways and if this happened then I have to say it is because he took over Atrius's mind that night. As we can see he is relentless in his conquest of The Warrior Princess.

Ares to Xena about Gabrielle: I still don't see what you see in her.

[45] Xena leaves the Temple of the Furies with Gabrielle and Cyrene. If Ares, The God of War still cannot see what Xena sees in Gabrielle, then he is doomed to failure in his quest for Xena. For a god, Area can be so dense. Even Callisto has figured that out...

Gabrielle smiling at her Warrior Princess


[46] What have I tried to divulge in this piece?

  1. Xena loved her father.
  2. Her father loved her.
  3. Ares doesn't love anyone but himself.
  4. If he did take the shape of Atrius when Xena was conceived, he is not the man that watched her grow and spent time doing things with her.
  5. We all know that you can be born to someone but that does not make them great parents.
  6. Adopted children are finding out that adoptive parents can be the most loving and giving people.
  7. Atrius shared his life with his daughter, before he disappeared.
  8. He suddenly vanished from her life.
  9. Cyrene loves Xena and would kill to save her.
  10. Ares is angry that Xena left his warring ways.
  11. Ares will probably never give up trying to get Xena to come back.
  12. As long as Gabrielle is with Xena, the light will continue to shine.
  13. Do not put off tomorrow what you can do today, tell that special someone how you really feel.
  14. Never let your work overtake your life.
  15. Always take time to smell the flowers.


Anita Louise Silva Anita Louise Silva
Anita Louise Silva studied at the Pasadena Playhouse College of Theatre Arts, having performed on the main stage in many productions. She attended the University of Wisconsin where she studied Community Action Leadership. After graduation Silva returned to the community and began to implement Social Programs. She studied at the Arizona State University/School of Nursing and has worked in Public Health many years. She took a Police Sciences Course through NAC and received her General Law Enforcement Diploma. She took this course for the purpose of assisting with her manuscript which is currently under re-write.
She was President of the Official Fan Club for the television series, China Beach. Currently she is the President of the International Fan Club for Xena: Warrior Princess, and is writing a continuing story in the newsletter for the International Fan Club for Xena: Warrior Princess.
Favorite episode: ALTARED STATES (#19)
Favorite line: Xena: "Have I made myself clear?" Gabrielle: "No. You're a little fuzzy around the edges." ALTARED STATES (#19); Xena and Gabrielle climbing out of well: Gabrielle: "Did I hurt you?" Xena: "No, no, loving every moment of it." ALTARED STATES (#19).
First episode seen:
Least favorite episode:

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