Whoosh! Issue 24 - September 1998

RELATIONS AND RELATIONSHIPS OF XENA, THE WARRIOR PRINCESS
IAXS project #535
By Grant McFarlane
Copyright © 1998 held by author
2129 words



Kin (01-04)
Kith: The Lovers (05-06)
     Petracles (07)
     Caesar (and M'Lila) (08-09)
     Borias (and Lao Ma) (10-13)
     Iolaus, Hercules, and a Couple of Others (14-16)
     Marcus (17)
     Ares (18-19)
And the Rest... (20-23)
     Callisto (20)
     Gabrielle (21)
     Draco (22)
     Cecrops, Ulysses, and Rafe (23)
True Love? (24-25)
Conclusion (26-27)
Biography



Relations And Relationships Of Xena, The Warrior Princess




Kin

The hair and the attitude she gets from her mother!


One thing we're certain of... well, pretty much... Cyrene is Xena's mother.


[1] Xena was born in the small village of Amphipolis to Cyrene, an innkeeper, and Atrius, a warrior. She was one of three children, with two brothers: Toris, the elder, and Lyceus, the younger. She also had a son, Solan, now deceased, with Borias, another warrior.

[2] Xena's family history was tragic, but as she is Greek, this is sort of fitting, literarily-speaking. Lyceus was killed when he battled, at Xena's side, against the cruel warlord, Cortese. Xena thought Atrius abandoned his family when she was young. She later learned that Cyrene killed Atrius because he was going to kill Xena. Finally, Gabrielle's daughter, Hope, murdered Solan.

[3] Also, there have been questions raised on the issue of Xena's paternity. This writer believes that Xena is indeed Ares' daughter, as this lineage explains many of her abilities and also goes a long way toward explaining the remarkable number of Xena lookalikes that pepper ancient Greece. Presuming Ares' genes are dominant, like the rest of him, any offspring would tend to look like him. Thus, Xena may have at least three, possibly four (the fourth season will tell), half sisters in Meg, Leah, Diana and ???. As for grandparents, it may be safe to assume that both Cyrene's and Atrius' parents are dead. Now, if Xena is Ares' daughter, then Zeus and Hera would be her grandparents.

[4] Either Solan's, who may come back from the dead (death is such an impermanent thing in the Xenaverse), or Xena's, who may have another child, or Toris' descendants will eventually produce Melinda Pappas [The Xena Scrolls (34/210)]. Pappas is the most "modern" member of Xena's family tree that we know about to date, at least the mortal side of the tree. If there is a god side of the family, then Hercules would be an uncle.


Kith: The Lovers

[5] Xena has admitted to being a hot-blooded lass, and we love her for it. In FORGIVEN (60/314), she said she ran with the young bucks in Amphipolis and was a wild kid. Over the series, including the "Xena Trilogy" in the first season Hercules, we learned that there are many lovers in the Warrior Princess' past, although few of her relationships could be termed "deep and meaningful". Xena has not had a good track record with men. (In fact, her best relationships have been with women). The stories of Xena's love life went something like this: she fell for the wrong kind of guy, and the guy ended up (1) betraying her and, eventually, dying, or (2) failing her and, eventually, dying. (Hercules and Iolaus are among the lucky few to survive this seemingly unavoidable fate).

[6] Let's compile a list of men for Xena. Please note most of these men date from before Xena's reformation. She seems less inclined to have casual affairs now. Some have speculated that this is because her relationship with Gabrielle is of the romantic variety.


Petracles

And my teeth are their whitest too!


Petracles last most of an episode in A FISTFUL OF DINARS.


[7] What about Xena's first love? In (14/114), we meet Petracles, a man Xena was going to wed. He, of course, got what he wanted, and once he had that, he abandoned her. He later realized what he had lost and was full of regret for his past actions. Xena was bitter and mistrustful of Petracles, but he managed to redeem himself by saving Gabrielle, but, of course, he wound up dead at the end of the episode. Was Petracles one of the young bucks that Xena hung out with in Amphipolis/Athens? Certainly he was one of her first relationships, and because it went sour, she may have resolved not to get emotionally entangled again.


Caesar (and M'Lila)

[8] Then came Julius Caesar [DESTINY (36/212)] who Xena thought she loved, but, of course, he betrayed her and his men murdered her friend, M'Lila. Whether M'Lila was more than a friend is unknown. Certainly, Xena had grown to respect her and wondered why M'Lila would lay down her life to save her.

[9] Broken and twisted and battered physically and emotionally from Caesar's betrayal and the death of M'Lila, Xena went east to Chin [THE DEBT 1&2 (52,53/306,307)]. Somewhere along the way, Xena picked up Borias.


Borias (and Lao Ma)

[10] Borias was destined to become the father of Xena's son, Solan, but at the time they met, they were "just using each other", to quote Xena. There was no love, just barbaric animal passion (got to love those barbarians though). However, Borias was to betray Xena not once, but twice! The first time, it was to Ming Tzu, who hunted Xena down.

[11] Lao Ma tried to teach Xena the Way (and perhaps became infatuated with Xena [and vice versa]) and saved her from Ming Tzu. Xena was not a great student, however. She failed to fully grasp Lao Ma's teachings. Xena was dressed in silks, but was, nonetheless, still a Barbarian at heart. She killed Ming Tzu and threatened Ming T'ien, which angered Lao Ma, who chastised both Xena and Borias, exiling them both from Chin.

[12] Xena fell back into her old ways, accompanied by Borias. They waged war, looted, pillaged, and did the Barbarian thing. Xena became pregnant. It was not a desired baby, but perhaps Xena thought having a son would bind Borias to her. Whatever the reason, Xena had the child.

[13] We also learned in ORPHAN OF WAR (25/201) that Xena had battled against the Centaurs in an attempt for more power. The Ixion stone represented that power. It was then that Borias betrayed Xena again! He turned to good and hid the stone. Borias was, of course, killed, not by Xena, but by one of her men. Xena's army was unable to defeat the Centaurs or she decided not to press the attack (depending on which episode you watch: HOOVES AND HARLOTS [10/110] or ORPHAN OF WAR), therefore, she made a deal to the Centaurs: "Raise my son in secret, and I will spare the Centaurs and never come back". The Centaurs agreed. Solan would only find out much later, when he was dead, that Xena was his mother! [BITTER SUITE (58/312)]


Iolaus, Hercules and a couple of others

[14] Timeline-wise, how long was it until her meeting Hercules? Thus far, that's unclear. Eventually, however, Xena appeared and seduced Iolaus. She got some of her lovers killed in the process. Theodorus died in an attempt to kill Hercules, and Xena killed Estragon with her chakram when he surrendered to Hercules. All three men were just pawns to be used as she felt. She had no real emotional connection to any of them.

[15] However, in an amazing turnaround, Hercules became the one man she began to trust. Suffice it to say, they become lovers, but Xena was not ready to team up with anyone, and so she rode away from Hercules.

[16] Hercules was the son of Zeus and the mortal woman, Alcmene. Xena was Zeus' granddaughter, if we accept Ares as Xena's father, so Xena and Hercules 'thing' was a "family affair", although Xena had no way of knowing this at that time.


Marcus

It's not the being dead I mind so much as the long wait for the mail.


Marcus seems the sentimental favourite among Xena's old (dead) boyfriends.


[17] Marcus may be Xena's one true male love. In THE PATH NOT TAKEN (05/105), Marcus got a chance to show he loved Xena and wanted to do good. He died to impress Xena. He came back from the dead a few episodes later in MORTAL BELOVED (16/116), and Xena killed him out of love. Marcus, who had been condemned to the underworld, was re-judged by Hades and was allowed to dwell, this time, in the Elysian Fields.


Ares

[18] You may say that Ares was not one of Xena lovers, but I contend he is/was certainly familiar with her body. Callisto killed Theodorus, but as Xena herself said in A DAY IN THE LIFE (39/215), "...she was in my body at the time". That was Xena's answer to Gabrielle's "20 Questions" challenge, an answer which, of course, infuriated Gabrielle.

[19] What's significant to this discussion is that Xena maintains it was her body, even though Callisto was using it. Well, Ares "used" Xena's body too, granted, while Callisto was in it, but Xena's already said that even while she was "possessed" by Callisto, it was still her body. Thus, at least Xena's body has been intimate with Ares. [Assoc. Ed's note: Prior to THE FURIES (47/301), the "energy" between the characters, or, in other words, the attraction the actors created between their characters, was of a sexual nature, as is acknowledged by Kevin Smith in his recent Whoosh! interview.]


And the Rest...


Callisto

[20] Xena and Callisto share emotional ties, even if they are not happy ones. There is a "connection" there. [Assoc. Ed's note: In source after source, Hudson Leick also acknowledges that the chemistry between Callisto and Xena, and between the two actors, has a "sexy" energy to it.] In addition, if you look at THE BITTER SUITE (58/312), I would call Callisto/the Fool's behavior sexually flirtatious.


Gabrielle

Weenie?


Xena and Gabby shared quiet, tender moments as far back as SINS OF THE PAST.


[21] There was also the Autolycus possession in which Xena got to visit Gabrielle, a la Ghost (Jerry Zucker, 1990), and we almost had a real Gabby/Xena kiss. Later, Xena's "soul" actually jumped to Gabrielle's body, and they shared a consciousness. Gabrielle felt warm, safe, and protected, which certainly suggests a degree of intimacy.


Draco

[22] Draco was Xena's type. She liked the "bad boy" type. The second season had some typical bad boys for Xena to love. Draco was one, particularly in A COMEDY OF EROS (46/222).


Cecrops, Ulysses, and Rafe

[23] Cecrops [LOST MARINER (45/221)] and Ulysses [ULYSSES (43/219)] were aberrations. Maybe Xena had been hit by the mizzenmast or ate some funny calamari/sushi. These men are technically were not even her type, specifically, they're not bad boys. Rafe, who appeared in KING CON (61/315) was a bad boy (sort of), but he only got a kiss, which he took; it was not given. But, Xena did give him the once-over.


True Love?

[24] The only real, stable, long-term relationship that Xena has had is her partnership with Gabrielle. Emotionally, Xena is trying to learn to trust and love. Gabrielle has, of course, betrayed Xena's trust and lied to her. On the other hand, Xena dragged Gabrielle behind a horse and even "killed" her in Illusia.

[25] Overlooking that though, Xena and Gabrielle are a couple, and, even if TPTB are never going to say so explicitly for fear of alienating some viewers or advertisers, the subtext is bold enough to conspicuously suggest physical intimacy between these two women. Their body language speaks a thousand words. Of course, TPTB have to keep the question open and subtext fairly covert. I enjoy watching them "walk the tight rope" as some have said.


Conclusion

[26] In conclusion, looking at Xena's history with men and women, her most successful relationships have been with woman, excluding the Callisto connection, if indeed you grant one. M'Lila, Lao Ma, and now Gabrielle have all been good "partners" for Xena, regardless of the nature that you ascribe to that partnership.

[27] Of the men she's had and has genuinely loved, Marcus, who is dead, is out of the running for Xena's affections, but she remembers him fondly. Hercules, who is not going to settle down anytime soon, is also not a candidate, though he started her back on the right path when she had lost her way. Is there actually any real possibility of Xena settling down with a man? In A DAY IN THE LIFE (39/215), Gabrielle put it best: "I don't think settling down is for her". BUT, Gabrielle also says of her traveling companion, "She likes what I do!" Draw your own conclusions.



Biography

Grant McFarlane Grant McFarlane
Male/age 32. Native New Zealander or New Xenalander as I Leick to say. Interests: Xena, anything Lucy, Hudson or Renee related. Other genre shows: Babylon 5, X-Files, The Pretender, and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Favorite Author: Lois McMaster Bujold; Favorite Book: the Vorkosigan Books; Favorite Singer: Heather Nova Oyster and Siren 2 of her best albums.
Favorite episode: CHARIOTS OF WAR (02/102)
Favorite line: Gabrielle after Xena chakram-ed Joxer: "You killed him!" BEEN THERE, DONE THAT (48/302)
First episode seen: A DAY IN THE LIFE (39/215)
Least favorite episode: KING OF ASSASSINS (54/308)
Favorite villain: Callisto
Least liked character: Joxer

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