ARES: MIND, BODY, AND SOUL. AN ANALYSIS OF THE GOD OF WAR IN "TEN LITTLE WARLORDS"
IAXS Project #109
By Cat Italiano (Italiano@prodigy.net)
Content © 1996 held by author
WHOOSH! edition © 1996 held by Whoosh!
1. "Ares: Mind, Body, and Soul" analyses what the second season episode TEN LITTLE WARLORDS (#32) tells us about the god of war.
2. The four episodes Ares up to now has appeared in on XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS are THE RECKONING (#06, series 01-06), TIES THAT BIND (#20, series 01-20), INTIMATE STRANGER (#31; series 02-07), and TEN LITTLE WARLORDS (#32, series 02-08). It is further interesting to note that Charles Siebert directed all but INTIMATE STRANGER; and that although INTIMATE STRANGER was directed by Gary Jones, it used many of the same techniques as the Siebert directed episodes.
 The character of Ares, the god of war, has appeared in the television show XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS four times and, hopefully, will appear many more. Thankfully, the writers of the show did not create him as a one-dimensional strong, brave being. Instead, Ares is portrayed with respect to the mind, body, and soul of the mythological Greek god.
Ever have one of those days?
 In general, there are two aspects of Ares' mind: (1) the bloodthirsty warrior and (2) the humorous pig. First of all, Ares is possessed by a strong desire for violence. According to Xena, it is this characteristic which makes him "the right man for the job." Ares strongly respects the warriors of TEN LITTLE WARLORDS for their brutal traits.
Nothing like a regained Godhood to add a little more spark to one's life
 Ares' bloodlust is satisfied by his easily inflamed angers and passions. It is his vengeful impulses which get him into binds. For example, when Sisyphus steals his godhood which exists in the form of a sword, Ares' does not think of a logical method of getting it back. Instead, he attempts to attack a sorcerer whose powers out-weigh his own temporary mortal powers. However, in the end, Ares gets his revenge by sending Sisyphus back to the underworld once he regains his godhood.
 Ares is also a humorous womanizer. When he is forced into retirement, all of the peaceful villagers become comical brawlers. Observing Gabrielle beat up a bar keep, Ares comments to Xena, "Not usually so contentious is she? Damn it, I like it!"
 Ares also comes on to Xena with cheesy pick-up lines like "you must miss staring into those baby blues every time you look in a mirror" and suggests that Xena would be an excellent goddess of desire. He talks to Xena openly about his experiences with Callisto in Xena's body. In a pathetic attempt to gain some kind of 'Seduction Points', Ares flatters Xena by describing "the change [Xena] can inspire in a man or a god."
Warrior Princess in freefall
 When faced with his own mortality, Ares become a figure of comedy. His belch, his hangover, and his ability to still make a joke despite what has happened make TEN LITTLE WARLORDS a delightful episode. When Xena inquires about Callisto's experience in Tartarus, Ares simply replies "Oh, she's behaving herself" and laughs as he recalls the image of Callisto screaming in a fire pit.
 As 'Callisto' (hint: it's really Xena) shoots down the other warlords' stories of Xena, Ares hovers in the background with a smile across his face. In the end, however, Ares is not tough enough to make it as a human and cries "How do you mortals get from day to day, you know?", after being hung up-side-down over flames as knife-studded walls close in on him.
Thankfully Xena: Warrior Princess exploited the menfolk just as much as they exploited the womenfolk
 Ares, played by the New Zealander actor Kevin Smith, also possesses the body of a god. After a brief but damaging scrimmage against the other eight warlords, Xena insists on binding Ares' wounds. The image of him sitting on the bed without a shirt on is very convincing. This incredibly muscular body has all of the passions that go along with it. Despite the extreme moral differences between Xena and Ares, he has a strong physical attraction toward her.
 He may have the body and the violent yearnings of the god of war, but in his soul, Ares is a coward. His methods of satisfying his bloodlust usually boil down to simple murder. After she throws him a wine-soaked rag to put on his cut, Ares cowers away from Xena as she approaches to help him stand up. While Xena is bandaging the wounds on his back, Ares admits that he did not enjoy the fight as much he thought he would have. Later, having cowered away from a mere rat, Ares is obviously not the courageous, all-powerful god that he is usually assumed to be.
You can't deny it. It was great to have Ares back