Whoosh! Issue 72 - September 2002

By Ancestrina Benson
Content © 2002 held by author
WHOOSH! edition © 2002 held by Whoosh!
2379 words

Introduction (01)
Aphrodite in Greek Mythology (02-04)
Aphrodite in Xena: Warrior Princess (05-10)
Aphrodite Episode Guide (11)
Alexandra Tydings Résumé (12-13)
Articles about Aphrodite (14)
Interviews (15-16)
Links (17)



'Aphrodite Sings Unrequited Love Songs', not available in stores.

Diving into those tublar waves in THE APPLE.

[01] This review highlights Aphrodite -- a very important secondary character in Xena: Warrior Princess. Aphrodite, who was performed by Alexandra Tydings, is the central figure in many Xena episodes. Most of her appearances were in comedic episodes. She is the goddess of two important powers in the Xenaverse and the world: Love and Sex.

Aphrodite in Greek Mythology

[02] Aphrodite, in Greek mythology, was the goddess of love and beauty and the counterpart of the Roman goddess, Venus. In Homeric legend, she is said to be the daughter of Zeus and Dione, one of Zeus's consorts. However, in the Theogony of Hesiod, she is described as having sprung from the foam of the sea and etymologically, her name may mean "foam-risen". According to Homer, Aphrodite is the wife of Hephaestus (her full brother), the lame and ugly god of fire. Her lovers include Ares, god of war, who in later mythology was represented as her husband (not to mention the fact that he was also her full brother). She was the rival of Persephone, queen of the underworld (for the love of the beautiful Greek youth Adonis).

[03] Perhaps the most famous legend about Aphrodite concerns her role in the cause of the Trojan War. Eris, the personification of discord, and the only goddess not invited to the wedding of King Peleus and the sea nymph Thetis, resentfully tossed into the banquet hall a golden apple on which were inscribed the words "for the fairest". When Zeus refused to judge between Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, the three goddesses who claimed the apple, they asked Paris, prince of Troy, to make the choice for the award. Each goddess offered Paris a bribe: Hera, that he would be a powerful ruler; Athena, that he would achieve great military fame; and Aphrodite, that he should have the fairest woman in the world. Paris declared Aphrodite the fairest and chose as his prize Helen of Troy, the wife of the Greek king Menelaus. Paris' abduction of Helen led to the Trojan War.

[04] Probably of Near Eastern origin, Aphrodite was identified in early Greek religious belief with the Phoenician goddess Astarte. She was also known under a variety of cult titles, including Aphrodite Urania, queen of the heavens, and Aphrodite Pandemos, goddess of the whole people.

Aphrodite in Xena: Warrior Princess

The origin of the Swedish Bikini Team.

Gabrielle and Aphrodite take on Norse mythology in LITTLE PROBLEMS.

[05] Aphrodite's role in Xena was not as significant as in real mythology. In the previous section, you read that Aphrodite was one of the most important goddesses in Greek Mythology (although many sources state that she was not important due to the already existing importance of sex and love in past cultures. In the Xenaverse, she was primarily a comic relief that added balance to the dramatic moments --a role similar to Joxer's. In Greek mythology, Aphrodite was treated as a god with multi-purpose skills, such as queen of heavens, goddess of all people, etc. In Xena: Warrior Princess, however, her only role was goddess of love and there was no reference to any other powers that she could have. It seems safe to assume that people considered her very important, as her temples in the show were always bursting with presents and gifts from her worshippers.

[06] She is shown as the daughter of Zeus and Hera, which makes her a half sister to Hercules. We see this evidence in several episodes when she talks about Hercules as her "big bro," which is a clear clue to affirm the hypothesis that Aphrodite is the daughter of Zeus and Hera. This also makes her a full sister to Ares, god of war.

[07] In THE QUILL IS MIGHTIER, Aphrodite became mortal for the first time. She went through the experience of being a human being. This experience made Aphrodite more human, as she learned how humans lived. There were very meaningful moments in that episode and these highlighted Alexandra Tydings' skills for comedy as she belches, snores, and gets filthy.

[08] Aphrodite's role in Xena was not much in the beginning, but the relationship between Gabrielle and her, makes a very special connection to Xena. In turn, this allows Aphrodite to receive very special treatment from the Warrior Princess. Such a good relationship among the three women is made very clear in the episodes PUNCH LINES and MOTHERHOOD. In PUNCH LINES, we could see a very close relationship with Aphrodite and Gabrielle. It seems that both women had been developing a good relationship unbeknownst to the audience; perhaps, they may have seen each other in other occasions apart from the Xena adventures. Gabrielle could not have otherwise become such a good friend to Aphrodite in such a short time.

[09] In MOTHERHOOD, there was a good and caring Aphrodite. She helped Xena on two occasions. The first was when she had to protect Gabrielle from the danger of transporting Xena to another room and, in addition, Gabrielle was hurt. The second, another crucial moment, was when she transported Xena, Gabrielle and Eve to Mount Olympus. She never attacked Eve despite Athena's orders to kill Xena's daughter. She obviously cared about Xena and Gabrielle making her a very significant influence in that episode.

[10] Around Season Six, we could see that Aphrodite was part of the family. She was one of the few gods who survived the collapse of Mount Olympus, losing her immortality in THE GOD YOU KNOW, but regaining it in YOU ARE THERE by eating from a golden apple stolen by Xena in Valhalla.

Aphrodite Episode Guide

Thank goodness for this WHOOSH! episode guide or I'd never catch up!

Gabrielle gets a bit of unsolicited help from Aphrodite in THE QUILL IS MIGHTIER.

[11] This guide covers the television shows Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. You can click on the title of the episode to read the Whoosh! entry.

(H30/217) THE APPLE
First aired: 02/19/96
Iolaus is used as a pawn by Aphrodite to stop a wedding, as Renaissance Pictures tells the story of how the apple contest really went.

First aired: 10/14/96
Aphrodite decides it is time for a career change, and warms up to Hephaestus in the process.

First aired: 11/11/96
Aphrodite's jealousy entangles Hercules and Cupid in a plot to marry off a mortal female whose beauty is drawing attention away from Aphrodite.

First aired: 02/24/97
Aphrodite casts a spell on Joxer, making him have different personalities when a bell rings. This is Aphrodite's first appearance on Xena.

First aired: 04/14/97
Hera plays up to Augeas' delusion that he is Zeus by giving him a taste of godly power, which he can keep if he kills Hercules. Aphrodite gets bent out of shape because Hera is trying to take over her temples. The Venus de Milo is created in this episode.

First aired: 10/27/97
Herc and Iolaus find themselves in parallel worlds, each saddled with lookalikes of the other who act very differently. Meanwhile, Zeus appears to be dying.

Hercules & Xena: The Animated Movie
Released direct to video: 01/06/98
Zeus brings Hercules' mother, Alcmene, to Mount Olympus, and Hercules, believing she has been kidnapped, leads a rescue mission to save her. Zeus' jealous wife, Hera, decides that it should now be her time to rule the universe. Hera steals the Chronos Stone, source of the God's power, and unleashes the four Titans from their eons of imprisonment.

First aired: 01/19/98
Aphrodite casts a spell on Gabrielle's scroll, making it magical. When Gabrielle writes something, it becomes manifested. One more time we see the selfishness of the gods to obtain personal purposes without considering other people's feelings.

First aired: 04/13/98
Another spell sends Xena, Gabrielle, and Joxer to go fishing in order to distract the three people from recovering a beautiful diamond that is Aphrodite's desire.

First aired: 01/25/99
Xena, Gabrielle, Joxer, and Aphrodite try to convince a spoiled and stubborn kid that there is no place like home.

First aired: 03/01/99
It is the Goddess of Love vs. the Goddess of Skank! Discord starts messing around on Aphrodite's turf and the fur flies.

First aired: 10/04/99
A depressed Aphrodite casts a spell on the male-bashing Amazons to give them a new attitude. Aphrodite reconciles with Hephaestus. This is Aphrodite's last appearance on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.

First aired: 11/22/99
Gabrielle and Aphrodite have until sundown to save Xena's soul from being trapped inside a young girl forever.

(101/511) PUNCH LINES
First aired: 01/24/00
The doctor is in -- Dr. Aphrodite plays therapist to Gabrielle when Gabrielle suffers writer's block.

First aired: 02/21/00
During a thunderbolt "discussion" between Discord and Aphrodite, Gabrielle is knocked unconscious into the sea. When she wakes up, a merman convinces her that she is his wife and the mother of three.

(112/522) MOTHERHOOD
First aired: 05/15/00
Aphrodite helps Xena by saving Gabrielle, who was been hurt, however to do so, she must betray her Olympic family.

(124/612) THE GOD YOU KNOW
First aired: 01/29/01
The Archangel Michael asks Xena and Gabrielle to stop the evil and immortal Roman emperor Caligula, who is slaughtering innocents. Afraid for her daughter Eve, who is in Rome, Xena agrees to the job. Her plan takes a bad turn when she learns Caligula has taken Aphrodite as a sex slave. If he dies, she will die, too. To complicate matters, Michael manipulates Eve into becoming the bait he believes Xena needs to kill Caligula.

(125/613) YOU ARE THERE
First aired: 02/05/01
A tabloid reporter tries to get the scoop on Xena and her motivation for her quest to obtain the legendary golden apples from Valhalla … and it has something to do with Aphrodite.

First aired: 05/14/01
On their way to deliver the Helmet of Hermes to Thebes, Xena and Gabrielle save the young virgin Genia from being sacrificed by religious zealots. They take her to Aphrodite to talk sense into her. The young virgin then becomes a zealous follower of Aphrodite. This is Aphrodite's last appearance on Xena: Warrior Princess.

Alexandra Tyding's Résumé

[12] All the personal information regarding Alex Tydings must be consulted in her official website, where you will find a lot of information on how to contact Alex and get an autographed picture.

[13] Her e-mail is alexandra@alextydings.com She regretfully does not have time to respond to every message, but every few months, the Webmaster posts her responses to some of the most common or interesting questions. You can get an autographed picture by joining the official fan club, or buying an autographed photo or artwork at her official website.

Articles about Aphrodite

Some of these articles stink as bad as this fish!

Aphrodite isn't down with sushi in FINS, FEMMES, AND GEMS.

[14] In this guide, you can click on the title of corresponding link to read the Whoosh! article, and you will also find some links about appearances of Alexandra Tydings at different conventions.

Aphrodite, oh My Goddess, Bret Ryan Rudnick. Whoosh! #47
Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Xena: Warrior Princess: A Comparison, Heather Schmidt. Whoosh! #40
THE WAY: A Spiritual Epiphany for Xena, Dana Hlusko. Whoosh! #32
Depictions of Goddesses in Xena: Warrior Princess, Nusi Dekker. Whoosh! #31
Gabrielle and The Joxer Syndrome, Shelley Sullivan. Whoosh! #21
Time Out Of Mind: Alternate Realities In Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess, E. A. Week. Whoosh! #24
Hair As A Function Of Personality In Hercules: The Legendary Journeys And Xena: Warrior Princess, E.A. Week. Whoosh! #29
Alexandra Tydings -- Q&A, Tina Mancuso. Whoosh! On the Road.
Gen Con 98, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, August 6-9, 1998, Daniel Charles MacDeavitt. Whoosh! On the Road


[15] Aphrodite

Aphrodite, Ms. September, Shelley Sullivan and Kym Masera Taborn. Whoosh! #28 (01/99)
Aphrodite, Ms. January, Shelley Sullivan and Kym Masera Taborn. Whoosh! #52 (01/01)
Xena: il tormento e l'estasi 2002 Calendar Interviews, Shelley Sullivan. Whoosh! #64 (01/02)

[16] Alexandra Tydings

An Interview with Alexandra Tydings, Bret Ryan Rudnick. Whoosh! #17 (02/98)
Inside the Head of Alexandra Tydings, Amy Murphy. Whoosh! #61 (10/01)
Friends And Co-Workers Share Their Memories And Impressions Of Kevin Smith, Alexandra Tydings. Whoosh! #67 (04/02)
Inside the Head of Alexandra Tydings Redux, Amy Murphy. Whoosh! #72 (09/02)


Alexandra Tydings is shopping a series about two women who travel around time and space. This is a project in development and pre-production, and it will probably start next year. However, there are several resources to learn how it would be and what actors might participate in the show.

The definite online resource of Alexandra Tydings, including news, filmography, guest appearances, and pictures of her many faces. It is updated frequently and Alexandra sometimes posts on the website and interacts with her fans as often as she can, she even replies to e-mails.


Ancestrina Benson. "Kevin Smith Episode Guide In Xena: Warrior Princess". Whoosh! #67 (04/2002)

Ancestrina Benson. "The Different Faces of Athena."
Coming soon in an issue near you!


a woman of mystery Ancestrina Benson
Ancestrina is an Italian teacher in Mexico. She has been watching Xena since the first ever episode in Hercules. She loves music and gymnastics and her dream is to travel around Europe and meet Lucy Lawless.

Favorite episode: Any with evil Callisto, THE QUEST, The Ring Trilogy, BETWEEN THE LINES, THE DEBT, and IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE.
Favorite line: Gabrielle: "Any path is okay Xena, if it is with you" THE ABBYSS
First episode seen: THE WARRIOR PRINCESS (Hercules)
Favorite Fan Fiction: I read a fan fiction in Italian called "Il mio amore senza fine (My endless love)". It is the best Über story about how Xena finds Gabrielle.
Favorite scene: When Callisto throws the chakram to Xena's back (THE IDES OF MARCH). It is a meraviglioso scene!
Least favorite scene: The first ten minutes of FRIEND IN NEED II



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