(and dossiers on a few of the usual suspects)
The episodes listed below show (in flashback) major events in Xena's dark history from 'Ten
Winters Ago' or more - the 'back-story'. In most cases, the consequences are then resolved in the
'now' portion of the episode, which is not further described here. (Xena to Ming Tien: "I've
learned to clean up after myself". And she has a lot to clean up.)
(Note: These are listed in 'flash-back chronological' order, more or less. Not all flashbacks are included, nor are verbal references to Xena's past, which are legion).
Accounts in square brackets  are inferences not explicitly shown in the episodes.
|DESTINY (X2/12)||In an attempt to safeguard Amphipolis' security, Xena tyrannises the surrounding countryside, including Cirra, Callisto's village. She captures Caesar and ransoms him. M'lila, a stowaway, teaches Xena the 'pinch' and (probably) other fighting techniques. Caesar returns with troops, betrays Xena and has her crucified, from which she is rescued by M'Lila, who takes her to the healer Nicklio. Caesar's troops burst in and kill M'lila who is protecting Xena; Xena kills them [and flees east].|
|THE LAST OF THE CENTAURS (X6/17)||Xena, on the run from Caesar's troops, meets Borias, and steals him away from his wife Natasha and son Belach.|
|THE DEBT 1 and 2 (X3/6-7)||Xena and Borias invade the kingdom of Chin (China). Xena splits with Borias and kidnaps Ming Tien, heir to the throne; Borias betrays her to Ming Tzu; Lao Ma rescues Xena, and reconciles Xena and Borias; Lao Ma proposes a three way alliance between herself, Ming Tzu and Borias; Xena and Borias team up to kill Ming Tzu and are about to kill Ming Tien when Lao Ma turns on them [and they have to flee.]|
|FRIEND IN NEED 1 (X6/21)||Xena and Borias find the kidnapped Akemi in Chin, they rescue her for the reward. On the boat to Japan, Xena teaches Akemi the 'pinch' and fighting (a nice counterpart to M'lila in Destiny). Borias stays on the boat while Xena and Akemi travel, first for Xena to get a katana sword, then to Akemi's home where, to Xena's shock, Akemi kills her father to avenge the rest of her family. Akemi then demands that Xena help her commit suicide. Xena, very drunk, goes to bury Akemi's ashes in the family plot but the townspeople try to drive her off; Xena starts a fire that burns down the town. [Xena returns to meet Borias on the boat.]|
|ADVENTURES IN THE SIN TRADE 1 and 2 (X4/1 & 2)||In Siberia, Xena and Borias encounter
Alti, who tells Xena she's pregnant. Borias distrusts Alti but Xena comes under her influence, is seduced by
Alti's apprentice Anokin, who dies in some unexplained fashion, Alti takes Xena to the Land of the Dead to see
Anokin but Anokin rejects Xena. Xena and Borias raid a village, Borias saves an orphan, Otere; Alti predicts
that Otere will one day take Xena's power and Xena should kill her but Borias prevents her.|
Xena tries to assassinate the Amazon Queen, Cyane, but is beaten by Cyane. Borias negotiates an alliance between them and Cyane. Borias leaves the orphan Otere with the Amazons. Cyane offers to make Xena an Amazon and defeats Alti in a contest of mental powers. But Alti persuades Xena to side with her, Xena kills Cyane and all the Amazon leaders, leaving the tribe leaderless.
|PAST IMPERFECT (X4/9)||Xena and Borias are about to split up. They are besieging Corinth and have taken the centaurs prisoner, and Xena is searching for the Ixion Stone which Alti has told her about. Xena is about to give birth to Solan, who Borias wants to take away from Xena's dangerous life. Xena wants to kill the centaur prisoners but Borias frees them and runs with them. As Xena goes into labour, Borias' army attacks; Borias tries to seek out Xena but is killed by her servant Satrina and her treacherous lieutenant Dagnine; Satrina and Xena flee. Xena gives the infant Solan to the centaur Kaleipus for safety.|
|ORPHAN OF WAR (X2/1)||Xena gives Solan to Kaleipus the centaur to look after (brief flashback only, previewing the events of Past Imperfect)|
|LOCKED UP AND TIED DOWN (X4/7)||Brief flashback - Xena carelessly feeds Thalassa to the crabs. There is no particular indication of when this occurred and it has no consequences outside the episode itself.|
|THE RHEINGOLD, THE RING, RETURN OF THE VALKYRIE (X6/7-9)||Xena encounters
a suicidal Odin, and lifts him out of his despair; and Odin makes her a Valkyrie, which brings her into
direct conflict with the leader of the Valkyries, Grinhilda. (Shades of Borias and Natasha). Xena learns
of the Rheingold and wishes to possess its power; she defeats the pursuing Grinhilda and steals the gold
from the Rhinemaidens.|
Xena forges the gold into a ring which gives its wearer godlike powers - BUT then, unless they have forsaken love, they turn into a monster. Grinhilda uses the ring to defeat Xena but then turns into the monster, Xena gets the ring and chains Grinhilda up in a cave, Grinhilda snatches the ring back. Xena rides away on a Valkyrie flying horse [presumably, back to Greece]. Grinhilda was pregnant and gives birth to a similar monster, Grendel, who later escapes and terrorises the countryside.
(This backstory was split into fragments throughout The Ring and The Rheingold)
|Events after this occur in sequence in the regular Herc and Xena episodes from The Warrior Princess onwards|
Callisto's story is intimately connected with Xena's, besides being the most fascinating villain ever, so she
deserves her own listing!
Young Callisto was seen (in flashback) at the burning of her village Cirra by Xena, in DESTINY.
The flashback in ARMAGEDDON NOW 2 also fits here.
An unidentified woman (later found to be Callisto) shoots Xena with a poison dart in THE GREATER GOOD.
However, the 'Callisto' episodes proper are:
|XWP||CALLISTO (X1/22)||Callisto appears, bent on vengeance against Xena, but ends up in a jail cell.|
|RETURN OF CALLISTO (X2/5)||Callisto breaks out of jail, kills Gabrielle's new husband Perdicus (much to the relief of most fans), Xena buries her in quicksand|
|INTIMATE STRANGER (X2/7)||Callisto takes over Xena's body with Ares' help (and Xena gets Callisto's), but Xena traps her in Tartarus (still in Xena's body)|
|TEN LITTLE WARLORDS (X2/8) (Marginally, though Xena is using Callisto's body)||Xena helps Ares get his godhood back, at the end of the episode he gives Xena her body back, leaving Callisto still in Tartarus in her own body|
|HTLJ||SURPRISE (H3/12)||Hera releases Callisto from Tartarus, she becomes immortal, Herc traps her in the labyrinth|
|XWP||A NECESSARY EVIL (X2/14)||Xena releases Callisto from the labyrinth to help fight Velasca, Callisto eats ambrosia and becomes a god, but is trapped in a lava flow with Velasca|
|MATERNAL INSTINCTS (X3/11)||Gabrielle's daughter Hope releases Callisto from the lava, then (encouraged by Callisto) kills Xena's son Solan, Xena buries Callisto in a cave. What is it with this woman and geology?|
|THE BITTER SUITE (X3/12) (only in Gabrielle and Xena's imaginations)||'Callisto' incites Gabby to kill Xena; and acts as Xena's guide(?) in Illusia|
|HTLJ||ARMAGEDDON NOW (H4/13-14)||Hope releases Callisto (again!), she returns to the past but fails to save her parents in Cirra, Herc throws her through the portal into the 'World between worlds'|
|XWP||SACRIFICE (X3/21-22)||Callisto escapes, helps Hope hatch, gets bored with life, does a deal with Xena and is - finally - killed by Xena. R.I.P.|
|IDES OF MARCH (X4/21)||Callisto is released from Hell to make Caesar emperor and corrupt Xena - but fails in both.|
|FALLEN ANGEL (X5/1)||Callisto is saved from Hell by Xena, turns good, and brings Xena and Gabrielle back to life.|
|SEEDS OF FAITH (X5/9)||Callisto is revealed as the 'father' of Xena's baby Eve.|
Ares has been seen often on both sides of the HTLJ/XWP saga.
Interestingly, though Ares first occurred on HTLJ very early in the piece, the definitive
Kevin Smith war god appeared five times on XWP before Hercules got to meet him.
The earlier Ares occurrences on HTLJ were either controlling someone else or using someone else's body.
Ares also appeared frequently on Young Hercules; none of those are listed here.
|HTLJ||FESTIVAL OF DIONYSUS (H1/4)||Ares infiltrates the wine, thus controlling the Virgins who drink it. He also physically controls Pentheus in fighting Hercules|
|HTLJ||ARES (H1/5)||Ares creates a monster to battle Hercules|
|HTLJ||THE VANISHING DEAD (H11/111)||Ares impersonates Jarden, a dead general, using his body. When unmasked, he reappears (in the same body) as the War God|
|HTLJ||THE GAUNTLET (H1/12)||An 'emissary of Ares' revives the obnoxious (and dead) Darphus. However, the emissary has long fingernails, so unless the War God is in drag, this sighting is doubtful|
|XWP||THE RECKONING (X1/6)||The first appearance of Ares in person, in the form of Kevin Smith. Ares tries to control Xena by framing her for murder and offering her a way out - joining him; Xena cleverly outwits him|
|XWP||TIES THAT BIND (X1/20)||Ares impersonates Xena's father Atrius and tries to gain control of her dark side|
|XWP||INTIMATE STRANGER (X2/7)||Ares helps Callisto take over Xena's body|
|XWP||TEN LITTLE WARLORDS (X2/8)||Ares becomes mortal when Sisyphus steals his sword; Xena (in Callisto's body) helps him get it back; Ares keeps his promise and switches Xena back into her own body|
|XWP||THE XENA SCROLLS (X2/10)||Ares is released in the 1940's by a descendant of Xena's|
|HTLJ||ENCOUNTER (H3/13)||Ares saves Serena, the last Golden Hind, whose blood can kill a god, from Zeus|
|HTLJ||WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN (H3/14)||Herc marries Serena while Ares plots...|
|HTLJ||JUDGEMENT DAY (H3/15)||Ares' henchman Strife frames Herc for murder of Serena|
|HTLJ||THE END OF THE BEGINNING (H3/19)||Herc and Autolycus go back in time and Herc frees Serena from Ares' influence|
|XWP||THE FURIES (X3/1)||Ares persuades the Furies to drive Xena insane in another attempt to control her; Xena outwits him again|
|XWP||THE DIRTY HALF DOZEN (X3/3)||Ares gives the brash Agathon a try-out as his latest warlord; Xena defeats Agathon|
|XWP||THE DELIVERER (X3/4)||Ares tries to get Xena to destroy Dahak's temple, aware of the threat Dahak poses, but Xena is too obsessed with Caesar Julius Caesar|
|HTLJ||STRANGER IN A STRANGE WORLD (H4/5)||Ares helps Hercules foil a plot to kill Zeus. We also meet the alternate Ares, God of Love|
|HTLJ||TWO MEN AND A BABY (H4/6)||Ares wants his baby, Evander, but its mother Nemesis wants to keep him away from Ares' influence|
|HTLJ||HERCULES ON TRIAL (H4/10)||Ares seeks to take advantage of Hercules being tried for his 'crimes'|
|XWP||THE QUILL IS MIGHTIER (X3/10)||Due to a misfiring enchantment by Aphrodite, she and Ares lose their powers; Xena and Gabrielle have to restore order|
|XWP||THE BITTER SUITE (X3/12)||Ares stirs Xena into killing Gabrielle, and appears also in Illusia as King of Swords and as one of the evil spectres|
|HTLJ||ARMAGEDDON NOW Pt 1 (H4/13)||Hope enlists Callisto and Ares to try and get rid of Hercules|
|HTLJ||ARMAGEDDON NOW Pt 2 (H4/14)||The alternate Ares in the alternate timeline is happy with alternate Evil Xena|
|HTLJ||YES VIRGINIA, THERE IS A HERCULES (H4/15)||Ares causes an earthquake in California (present day)|
|XWP||FORGET ME NOT (X3/17)||Ares acts as Gabby's 'guide' in her memory world|
|HTLJ||PORKULES (H4/16)||Ares' confederate Discord turns Hercules into a pig|
|HTLJ||ONE FOWL DAY (H4/17)||Ares takes revenge on Iolaus for turning Discord into a chicken|
|XWP||SACRIFICE Pt 1 (X3/21)||Ares helps Xena fight a threatening new god, they think it is Callisto but she is just protecting the new 'goddess' Hope, daughter of Dahak and Gabrielle; Xena traps Callisto; Ares does a deal with Dahak to protect Hope in her cocoon|
|XWP||SACRIFICE Pt 2 (X3/22)||Ares is helping bring Dahak into the world. He seems to have given up on Xena. Too bad. Callisto, having done a deal with Xena, is on the opposing team again and zaps Ares with a fireball in the final fight|
|HTLJ||REUNION (H4/22)||Hera sends Ares to kill Hercules|
|HTLJ||FOR THOSE OF YOU JUST JOINING US (H5/9)||Ares (in the present day) wants merchandising rights|
|HTLJ||REDEMPTION (H5/11)||Dahak wants to kill Ares and take his powers; Herc sends Nebula and Morrigan to protect him|
|HTLJ||STRANGER AND STRANGER (H5/13)||Ares kills the Sovereign (Herc's Alternate Universe evil twin), and tries to keep the other gods trapped in the Alternate Universe where they fled to escape Dahak. The alternate Ares, God of Love, tries to help Hercules|
|HTLJ||FADE OUT (H5/20)||Ares sends Discord to make Herc disappear, but gets faded himself|
|HTLJ||REVELATIONS (H5/22)||Ares ends up helping Herc to save humanity|
|XWP||DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN (X4/22)||Ares (in the present day) wants to use the Y2K bug as a chance to take over the world|
|XWP||CHAKRAM (X5/2)||Ares and the other war god Kal want to use Xena to get the Light Chakram which can kill a god yadda yadda...|
|XWP||SUCCESSION (X5/3)||Ares sets up a duel between Xena/Gabrielle and his dalliance Mavican; Xena cunningly defeats Mavican|
|HTLJ||FULL CIRCLE (H6/8)||Ares does a deal with Atlas, the Titan, to kill the other gods and leave him as the last one|
|XWP||SEEDS OF FAITH (X5/9)||Ares kills Eli who he sees as a threat to the Olympian gods|
|XWP||GOD FEARING CHILD (X5/12)||Xena's baby is prophesied to end the Olympian gods. Ares is in love with Xena (though he can never admit it to her) and is torn between that and stopping Hercules (who is protecting Xena from his father Zeus). Hera, the Queen of the Gods, swaps sides and stops Ares from zapping Herc. Herc eventually kills Zeus|
|XWP||ETERNAL BONDS (X5/13)||Ares, still trying to win Xena, offers to protect her and Eve from the other gods who blame Eve for Zeus' death, if Xena will give him a child|
|XWP||AMPHIPOLIS UNDER SIEGE (X5/14)||Xena uses Ares to help defend Amphipolis (and Eve) against Athena|
|XWP||LOOKING DEATH IN THE EYE (X5/19)||Ares reverently entombs the bodies of Xena and Gabrielle after the other gods 'kill' them, not knowing they are only asleep|
|XWP||LIVIA (X5/20)||Ares has decided on Livia as Xena's successor, not knowing she is Eve. When he finds Xena is still alive, though, he loses interest in Livia|
|XWP||EVE (X5/21)||Ares still wants Xena; he offers his help against Livia but Xena rejects him|
|XWP||MOTHERHOOD (X5/22)||The gods declare all-out war on Eve. Ares is torn between killing Eve and protecting Xena. Ultimately, he sacrifices his immortality to revive Eve so that Xena can defend herself against his sister Athena, whom Xena kills|
|XWP||COMING HOME (X6/1)||Ares is attacking the Amazons, who he believes have ambrosia, which would allow him to reclaim his godhood; but the Furies are driving him mad, he 'kills' Xena, and she kills the Furies.|
|XWP||OLD ARES HAD A FARM(X6/10)||Ares, as a mortal, is being hunted by old enemies; Xena tries to settle him somewhere safe|
|XWP||THE GOD YOU KNOW(X6/12)||Caligula is draining Aphrodite's powers to make himself a god; Ares is determined to save his sister|
|XWP||YOU ARE THERE(X6/13)||Xena steals the golden apples from Odin and restores Ares and Aphrodite to Olympus|
|XWP||PATH OF VENGEANCE(X6/14)||Ares is trying to regain his prestige by using the Amazons to start a war|
|XWP||SOUL POSSESSION(X6/20)||(Flashback: Xena 'marries' Ares to save Gabrielle after Sacrifice 2:) In the 20th century Ares tries to call in the agreement|
Ephiny, popular Amazon Queen (or is that Amazon Regent - the laws of Amazon Succession are rather obscure) has appeared in many XWP and a couple of little-known crossover episodes, earning herself this (posthumous) paragraph.
|XWP||HOOVES & HARLOTS (X1/10)||Ephiny teaches Gabrielle, not very patiently, to use a staff|
|IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE? (X1/24)||Ephiny's Centaur husband, Phantes, has been killed; she has his son, Xenan|
|THE QUEST (X2/13)||Ephiny supports Queen Apparent, Gabrielle, against Velasca|
|A NECESSARY EVIL (X2/14)||Gabrielle appoints Ephiny her regent|
|HTLJ||LES CONTEMPTIBLES (H3/17)||Lady Marie DeValle (Ephiny look-alike) in the French Revolution|
|HTLJ||PRODIGAL SISTER (H4/7)||Ephiny has a brief walk-on encounter with Herc|
|XWP||MATERNAL INSTINCTS (X3/11)||Ephiny is witness to the misfortunes of Xena and Gabrielle|
|THE BITTER SUITE (X3/12)||Ephiny tries to defend Gabrielle from Xena|
|HTLJ||SKY HIGH (H5/12)||Ephiny does the Warrior Princess thing and helps Herc save a town from a volcano|
|XWP||ENDGAME (X4/20)||Ephiny is killed in battle by Brutus|
|XWP||LAST OF THE CENTAURS (X6/17)||Ephiny's ghost returns to protect her son Xenan|
Dahak was the most dangerous threat to the world and the Xenaverse.
Bloodthirsty, totally devoid of charm, and the guy had absolutely no sense
of humour. Dahak was let into the world by Gabrielle (or by Xena - fans
fight over this) and ultimately it was left to Hercules to clean up
the mess. In between, Dahak was the origin of a major story arc in both
series - the Rift in XWP and the Death of Iolaus in HTLJ.
|XWP:THE DELIVERER (X3/4)||Gabrielle is lured into Dahak's clutches|
|XWP: GABRIELLE'S HOPE (X3/5)||Gabrielle gives birth to Hope, Dahak's daughter. Xena insists that Hope is evil and should be destroyed. Gabrielle demurs|
|XWP: MATERNAL INSTINCTS(X3/11)||Hope, under the strange impression that it will deter Xena, releases Callisto from the lava flow to cause mayhem, and kills Solan. Gabby poisons Hope. Xena traps Callisto in a cave.|
|HTLJ: ARMAGEDDON NOW(H4/13-14)||Hope (somewhat cremated) releases Callisto (again) and sends her back in time to kill Alcmene before Herc is born, with the intent that a world without Herc will be easier for Dahak to enter. Iolaus foils her plan.|
|XWP: SACRIFICE(X3/21-22)||Hope returns to the world (as an egg, which hatches) and mates with Ares, who has done a deal with Dahak; Callisto switches sides and helps Xena and Gabs defeat her; Gabrielle and Hope fall down a volcano and Xena kills Callisto as promised with the Hinds Blood dagger.|
|XWP: A FAMILY AFFAIR (X4/3)||Hope and Gabrielle have survived the fall; Hope has given birth to Dinsdale, the Destroyer, who accidentally kills her. This is the last of the Dahak arc on XWP|
|HTLJ: FAITH (H5/1)||Dahak, still trying, has enlisted the aid of King Gilgamesh, Nebula's brother. Herk innocently helps Gilgamesh find the nectar of the Sumerian gods; Gilgamesh drinks it and destroys the gods. All Dahak needs now is the sacrifice of a warrior's heart; Gilgamesh aims at Nebula and hits Iolaus instead.|
|HTLJ: DESCENT(H5/2)||Herc searches for Iolaus in the Sumerian Land of the Dead (just like Xena seeking Gabs in Sin Trade)|
|HTLJ: DARKNESS RISING(H5/8)||Dahak kills the Irish Druids; Herk and Morrigan go to Sumeria to help Queen Nebula, who has gone mad, and finds that Dahak has taken over Iolaus. Dahak/Iolaus goes to Greece to further his plans.|
|HTLJ: LET THERE BE LIGHT(H5/10)||Helped by Zarathustra, Dahak's first disciple from 1000 years before, Herc, Jason, Nebula and Morrigan battle Dahak/Iolaus. Herc can't just kill Iolaus, or the sacrifice of an innocent soul will mean Dahak wins (shades of Gab). They trap Dahak and Herc must exorcise him.|
|HTLJ: REDEMPTION (H5/11)||Dahak sends his messengers to kill Ares so he can take his power. Herc sends Nebula and Morrigan to protect Ares. Ultimately, the exorcism succeeds. Iolaus' spirit ascends to the Light (some sort of heaven). This is almost the end of the Dahak story except for....|
|HTLJ: STRANGER AND STRANGER(H5/13)||The Greek gods (with the exception of Ares) have hidden from Dahak in the Alternate Universe of Stranger in a Strange World. Herc goes to rescue them, Ares goes to make sure they don't come back, and kills the Sovereign (Herc's Alternate Universe evil twin) with the hinds blood dagger on the way. Herc (and the gods) win this one.|
Hera, Queen of the Gods, hated Zeus' illegitimate son Hercules and her
attempts to destroy him occupied much of the HTLJ series. However they only
occasionally impacted on the Xenaverse. However, the story finally ended on
Only the episodes remotely related to XWP or the main 'Olympus' theme are listed here.
|SURPRISE (H3/12)||Hera releases Callisto from Tartarus and sends her to kill Hercules|
|ENCOUNTER (H3/13)||Herc meets Serena, a Golden Hind, and falls in love. Zeus is trying to kill all the hinds since 'only' Hind's blood can kill a god|
|WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN (H3/14)||Herc and Serena marry; Ares, with the agreement of the other gods, takes away Herc's immortal powers|
|JUDGEMENT DAY (H3/15)(with Xena and Gabrielle)||Strife kills Serena, frames Herc, Xena helps save him, Zeus restores his powers|
|THE END OF THE BEGINNING (H3/19)||Autolycus steals the Kronos Stone, 'five years back' Ares kills Serena, Herc forces him to spare her 'mortal' half, but 'loses' the timeline where he married her|
|STRANGER IN A STRANGE
WORLD (H4/3) |
(with the 'other' freaky Xena)
|In the Alternate Universe, Freaky Xena has some Hind's blood with which she is poisoning Zeus; Herc foils the plot and the Sovereign (alternate evil Herc) is trapped in the 'place between worlds' with the Hind's blood in his possession|
|ARMAGEDDON NOW (H4/13-14)|
(with the alternate Evil Xena, Callisto and Hope)
|Callisto and Ares open the portal from the 'place between worlds' and grab the Hind's blood from the Sovereign; Callisto coats a dagger with it and kills Strife; Iolaus tries to use it to kill Callisto, but fails; and Herc grabs the dagger and hides it in a wall. And Iolaus uses the Kronos Stone (which still exists in an alternate timeline) to go back 30 years and save Alcmene from Callisto, thereby preserving Herc's existence and wiping out the alternate timeline where Evil Xena ruled the world. Callisto, annoyed, destroys the Stone.|
|XWP: SACRIFICE (X3/21-22)||Callisto, tired of life, having failed to persuade Hope to kill her, manipulates Xena into doing it with the Hind's blood dagger|
|TOP GOD (H4/21)||After Alcmene's death, Hercules somewhat reluctantly accepts Zeus' offer to make him a full god.|
|REUNIONS (H4/22)||Hera shows Hercules that Zeus only made him a god to help protect Zeus against the other gods. She blackmails Zeus by threatening Alcmene, who Zeus still loves. Zeus hands over his power and becomes mortal. However, mortal Zeus starts enjoying himself so much that Hera, jealous, sends Ares to kill him. Herc defeats Ares, and (now being a god) heals Zeus, who was dying of his wounds. Herc and Zeus return to Olympus, where Herc defeats Hera, who falls into the abyss.|
|STRANGER AND STRANGER(H5/13)||The Greek gods (with the exception of Ares) hide from Dahak in the Alternate Universe, from which Herc releases them.|
|FULL CIRCLE(H6/8)||Evander, Ares' son by Nemesis, Goddess of Retribution, (who Hera once sent to destroy Hercules, then stripped her of her immortality when Nemesis refused - but that's another story), has caught the eye of his grandfather Zeus. But what Zeus really wanted was for Evander to release Hera from the abyss. His conscience hurts him. However, Evander also releases the Titans, who can topple Olympus, and with whom Ares (who else?) does a deal. Hera has lost her memory, but reconciles with Zeus - until Ares restores her memory of Zeus's infidelities and she turns Zeus to stone and goes after Hercules. Hercules deflects her lightning bolt to hit Atlas the Titan, who has just pushed away the pillar holding up Olympus, but who turns to stone and ends up holding up Olympus himself. Evander is killed in the fracas. Hercules shames Hera into restoring Zeus so that the two of them can revive Evander. The series ends with Zeus and Hera reunited, and Ares frustrated.|
|XWP: GOD FEARING CHILD (X5/12)|| The Fates have
prophesied that the reign of the gods will end when a child 'not begotten by
man' is born. Zeus decides Xena's child must die, even if he has to let Ares
kill Herc to stop him interfering. Xena decides to get Hades' helmet of
invisibility to let her get close to Zeus and neutralise him. She finds
Solan in Tartarus and helps him to the Elysian Fields, defeating Hades to do
Hera feels the Gods have had their time: "Parents should never outlive their children". She stops Ares killing Herc and helps Herc find the bones of Cronos (another thing that can kill a god) in the hope that Zeus will be deterred. Zeus however, is still determined to kill Xena, and Herc if necessary; Hera zaps Zeus to let Herc get away and Zeus kills her. Xena has the baby and Herc kills Zeus in protecting her. Zeus tells Herc "You have never disappointed me. Specially today".
Thus ends the story of Zeus and Hera.
|ETERNAL BONDS (X5/13)||The gods Artemis, Apollo and Poseidon, angry at the death of Zeus and afraid that Eve will bring about their own end, send their followers to kill Eve. Ares offers to help Xena if she will become his lover - which Xena rejects.|
|AMPHIPOLIS UNDER SIEGE (X5/14)||Never mind the minor gods
last week, now Big Sister Athena is taking a hand. She besieges Xena in Amphipolis;
the villagers fight to defend Eve against their erstwhile patron god. Xena pretends
to take Ares up on his offer, and with his help Athena is defeated. |
|LOOKING DEATH IN THE EYE (X5/19)||The Fates tell Xena that "only in the essence of Death will the child find salvation". Now things are hotting up - Athena and Hades are both after Eve. Xena traps Celesta (Death) and uses Hephaestus' chains to tie up Celesta so no-one can die any more - including Eve. Celesta is an impartial god (and may be immune to the Eve twilight); but she cries when Xena reproaches her with the deaths of so many, and Xena wipes her tears away. Athena and cohorts capture Gabby and offer to swap her for Celesta. Xena agrees and they run for it in a wagon with Ares offering to help, but Xena tells him to get lost. As they reach the cliff top the gods start using the wagon for target practice; Xena makes Gabby drink some stuff from a vial; and the whole wagonload goes over the cliff. At the bottom, Ares appears, Xena drinks from the vial and 'dies'. Joxer and Octavian arrive but they're too late, Ares has taken the bodies of Xena and Gabrielle. Octavian has Eve (he was babysitting), and tells Joxer that Gabby and Xena only drank Celesta's tears - the 'essence of death' - and should wake up Real Soon Now. But Ares does not know this, and reverently places Xena and Gabrielle in ice coffins in an ice cave and seals the door forever.|
|LIVIA (X5/20)||25 years later, Xena wakes up. She finds that
Livia, Champion of Rome and about to be married to Augustus Caesar (Octavian), is
really Eve; and that Ares is controlling Livia and wants the marriage for his own reasons.
However, Ares wants Xena more. Xena succceeds in foiling Ares and Livia's plans.|
|EVE (X5/21)||Livia flees and goes on the rampage, killing
the followers of Eli wherever she can find them, while Ares tries to persuade Xena
into accepting his offer - he helps, she gives him a child. Still no deal. |
|MOTHERHOOD (X5/22)||The Gods find out that Livia is Eve and
decide she must be destroyed - and this time they really mean business. Aphrodite
wishes Gabrielle could be left out of it, and Ares wishes the same about Xena, but
the rest are implacable. Athena sets the Furies to make Gabrielle kill Eve. The
other gods are more impetuous, and decide on a direct attack. Eve, meanwhile, has
been baptised and this gives Xena the power to kill gods while Eve lives. The gods
attack and Poseidon, Discord and Hephaestus are killed by Xena before Athena calls
the others off. Later, Ares appears as a diversion while the Furies make Gabby stab Eve,
but Xena realises just in time to chakram Gabby before she can finish the job.
Athena now decides on a frontal attack which gets Hades and Deimos killed; Athena
and Artemis retire defeated. Aphrodite, meanwhile, is trying to help Gabrielle,
while Xena catches Ares in time to stop him killing Eve. Xena persuades Aphrodite
to take them to Olympus. Ares tries to make a deal - Xena can be a god, but Eve has
to die - but Xena shoots him with a crossbow bolt. Xena offers a deal of her own -
heal Gabrielle and Eve and she'll leave Athena alone - but is turned down and Artemis
tries to shoot Xena and dies trying. Athena battles Xena hand to hand, Xena stabs
her but with no result as her power is gone, Eve has just died. Ares crawls towards Eve and Gabby. Athena
is about to finish Xena when Xena desperately stabs her - and Athena is fatally wounded.
Ares has just given up his immortality to revive Eve and Gabby. |
And so the season ends.
|COMING HOME (X6/1)||Ares is attacking the Amazons to obtain
ambrosia which he believes they have, but the Furies are driving him mad; they plan to
take over Olympus. Xena stages her own death at Ares' hands to flush them out, and
her chakram kills them.|
|THE GOD YOU KNOW (X6/12)||Caligula is draining
Aphrodite's powers in order to make himself a god. Ares (now mortal) is
determined to save his sister - which means he can't let Xena kill Caligula
or Aphrodite will die too. Archangel Michael also wants Caligula dead; Xena
tries to drown Michael and has her god-killing powers taken away; Caligula
drains the last of Aphrodite's power, leaving her mortal; and Xena tricks
Caligula (who doesn't know she's lost her god-killing powers) into committing suicide
rather than be slaughtered by her.|
|YOU ARE THERE (X6/13)||Xena defeats Odin to steal
the golden apples, and restore Ares and Aphrodite to Olympus.
Greek Gods are now a worse insurance risk on this series than Xena and Gabby's romantic
interests. The casualty list is as follows (Greek gods only):
|Nemesis||Goddess of Retribution||Powers removed by Hera for not killing Hercules, now a mortal||THE FIRE DOWN BELOW|
|Bacchus||God of Wine||Killed (probably) by Xena||GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN|
|Velasca||Goddess of Chaos||Still trapped in the lava flow||A NECESSARY EVIL|
|Strife||God of skirmishes||Killed by Callisto with the Hinds Blood Dagger: "Well, at least we know the stuff works"||ARMAGEDDON NOW|
|Callisto||Goddess of Fire and Rockslides||Repeatedly killed by Xena; finally using Hinds Blood||SACRIFICE 2|
|Dahak||(Not a Greek god)||Killed by Hercules||REDEMPTION|
|Zeus||King of the Gods||Killed by Hercules, fulfilling the Fates' prophecy||GOD FEARING CHILD|
|Hera||Queen of the Gods||Missing, believed dead; Zeus wanted for questioning||GOD FEARING CHILD|
|Poseidon||God of the Sea||Killed by Xena off Hades' pitching||MOTHERHOOD|
|Discord||Goddess of Skank and Retribution||Lost her head attacking Xena||MOTHERHOOD|
|Hephaestus||God of Metal, Aphrodite's husband||Killed by Xena with his own hammer||MOTHERHOOD|
|Deimos||God of Fear||Run over by flying cart while attacking Xena||MOTHERHOOD|
|Hades||God of The Underworld||Killed by Xena's firebreathing trick||MOTHERHOOD|
|Artemis||Goddess of Hunting||Killed by Xena with her own arrows||MOTHERHOOD|
|Athena||Goddess of Wisdom, Warfare and Weaving||Killed by Xena in a straight fight||MOTHERHOOD|
|Alecto, Megaera, Tisiphone||The Furies||Killed by Xena's stand-off cruise chakram||COMING HOME|
Score: Callisto 1, Hercules 2, Xena 11.
Note that Strife was seen alive in the late 20th century in YES VIRGINIA, THERE IS A HERCULES, which is an unsolved anomaly.
The remaining gods are Ares, God of War, who gave up his immortality, and Aphrodite, God of Love, who lost it to Caligula (who Xena persuaded to commit suicide, but he doesn't make the list as he wasn't Greek and he wasn't a proper god anyway); but Xena restored Ares and Aphrodite to Olympus in YOU ARE THERE. Also extant is Celesta, Goddess of Death, who is still in full possession of her powers.
The Fates are still in business too, assuming the events of WHEN FATES COLLIDE when Gabs destroyed their loom happened in an alternate universe and not 'this' one.
The other minor gods seen in the Xenaverse and presumably still alive are:
|Proteus||Very ugly shape-changing god||PROTEAN CHALLENGE|
|Demeter||Not seen, only her temple||FISTFUL OF DINARS|
|Cupid||God of Love||A COMEDY OF EROS|
|Apollo||Obnoxious, whatever he was god of||TOP GOD|
|Hermes||Messenger of the gods||PORKULES|
|Triton||Messenger of the sea||LOVE ON THE ROCKS|
|Lachrymose||God of Despair||PUNCH LINES|
Early in her history, Xena clashed with the young ambitious
Julius Caesar, with disastrous results for her. However, she later
evened the score by causing, directly or indirectly, the deaths of
most of the leading Romans of her era - in no particular order, Caesar,
Crassus, Pompey, Brutus, Mark Antony. She did, however, approve of
Octavian and set him on the throne. Take note, Rome: you mess with
Xena, Xena will mess with you.
This is a short summary of the episodes:
|Xena captures Caesar, ransoms him, Caesar vows revenge and crucifies Xena, her friend M'Lila rescues her but is killed by Caesar's soldiers. Xena flees east (as seen in The Debts).|
|THE DELIVERER (X3/4)||Xena travels to Britannia to help Boadicea fight Caesar; meanwhile Gabrielle is entrapped by the followers of the 'One God' which starts the whole Dahak story (q.v.)|
|WHEN IN ROME (X3/16)||Xena captures Crassus, one of the Roman Triumvirate, to exchange him for the prisoner Vercinix of Gaul. When Caesar and Pompey realise 'Vercinix' is Crassus, they let the execution proceed anyway. Doesn't it seem as if these Romans deserved each other?|
|XWP||ADVENTURES IN THE SIN TRADE 2 (X4/2)||Not a Roman episode as such, but Alti shows Xena a vision of her and Gabrielle being crucified in the snow, which spooks her all season.|
|HTLJ||RENDER UNTO CAESAR (H5/5)||Herc's entry in the Caesar stakes. Caesar tries to invade Ireland, but Herc and Morrigan defeat him. This has not gone down in history, as the scribe who recorded the defeat went down to meet the fishes.|
|XWP||A GOOD DAY (X4/5)||Caesar and Pompey are battling for supremacy in Greece, and laying waste to the countryside. Xena engineers a battle between their armies to cut short their depredations.|
|ENDGAME (X4/20)||Pompey and Caesar's lieutenant Brutus are still fighting in Greece. Pompey captures Amazons to sell as slaves; the Amazons attack one of Brutus' patrols and Brutus kills Ephiny. Xena negotiates with Brutus to attack Pompey as he is attacking the Amazons; Xena kills Pompey. Two down..... Gabrielle as Amazon Queen sends a peace treaty with Brutus to Caesar, but Caesar burns it.|
|IDES OF MARCH (X4/21)||Caesar, afraid of Xena, has offered a reward for her head. Xena decides the only way she can be safe is with Caesar dead. Nice to see them in agreement. Brutus captures Gabrielle, Amarice and Eli as hostages on Caesar's behalf, and is disturbed to see crosses being made. Xena attempts to chakram Caesar but is foiled by Callisto, who has been ordered by her 'lord' (of the underworld) to set Caesar on the throne of Rome. Callisto tells Xena that Gabrielle is captive; Xena rides to find Brutus, and warns him to beware of Caesar. Xena storms the fort where Gabrielle and the others are held, releasing them, but Callisto chakrams Xena and she and Gabrielle are captured. They are crucified as Caesar proclaims himself Emperor and Brutus leads the Senate in stabbing him.|
|FALLEN ANGEL (X5/1)||Not a Roman episode, but various powers including Archangel! Michael, Eli and Callisto return Xena and Gabrielle to life.|
|ANTHONY AND CLEOPATRA(X5/18)||Brutus, Marc Anthony and Caesar's nephew Octavian are fighting for the throne of Rome. They each want the Egyptian fleet. Brutus has Cleopatra assassinated (with an asp). Xena impersonates Cleopatra and meets Mark Anthony, and they begin to fall in love. However, she concludes that Anthony is too ruthless to be allowed to rule Rome. She encourages Anthony and Brutus to attack each other with their fleets, promising the help of her fleet; but as they join battle the Egyptian fleet with Octavian aboard attacks both of them. Xena kills Anthony and Gabrielle kills Brutus. Octavian becomes Emperor of Rome. Take heed, Octavian - do not, ever, get on the wrong side of the Warrior Princess.|
|LOOKING DEATH IN THE EYE(X5/19)||Octavian, now a friend of Xena's, helps her in her plan to fake Eve's death and her own, to fool the gods who want to kill Eve (see Twilight of the Gods, above). This is the first time Xena has really trusted any Roman. Other than that, this has little to do with Roman history.|
|LIVIA(X5/20)||25 years later, Octavian is now the Emperor Augustus, and about to marry his protege Livia (Eve) and make her heir to the Roman Empire. Ares, who has power over Livia, wants this for his own reasons. Xena, however, foils both Ares' and Livia's plans. (In real life, Livia was Augustus' wife. See the Whoosh! Episode Guide under 'LIVIA' for more details).|
|LEGACY(X6/5)||In the desert, the Romans are still trying to expand their empire. Xena helps the desert tribes defeat the Romans in a minor skirmish, somewhat hampered by Gabrielle's unfortunate killing of the chief's son.|
|THE GOD YOU KNOW(X6/12)||The mad Roman emperor Caligula is trying to drain Aphrodite's powers and make himself a god. Xena (who has just lost her god-killing powers as retribution for trying to drown Michael) bluffs him into committing suicide.|
|PATH OF VENGEANCE(X6/13)||The new Roman emperor, apparently infected by Eli & Eve's message of peace, is withdrawing troops back to Rome. However, he does send a troop to escort Eve, who the Amazons promptly slaughter. (The troop, not Eve). Strangely, there seem to be no comebacks from this.|
|WHEN FATES COLLIDE(X6/18)||Caesar, Julius Caesar hacks the Fates' loom to change events before DESTINY; Xena becomes his Empress. However, Caesar's still evil at heart and Alti's around... it falls to Gabrielle to destroy this alternate world and return to 'reality'.|
Autolycus, like Ares and Aphrodite, was a character who featured equally in both sagas. First seen on
Hercules, next two times on Xena, so neither series 'owns' him.
He also (probably) appeared in Young Hercules, of which we know nothing. Auto seems to have been held on standby for occasions when a resourceful confederate (or, on occasion, minor villain) was needed to help the story along. This means he never really had a story arc, he was always just Mr Reliable - and why there is often not much plot description below. However, he was always entertaining, and had a tendency to steal the limelight in any episode.
|HTLJ||THE KING OF THIEVES (H2/1)||Auto's first appearance, in his eponymous episode, where Herc has to capture him to clear Iolaus who has been blamed for Auto's robberies.|
|XWP||THE ROYAL COUPLE OF THIEVES (X1/17)||As for Herc, so for Xena: Xena coerces Auto into helping to recover a treasure (which turns out to be a doomsday weapon)|
|XWP||THE QUEST (X2/13)||This time, Xena's coercing Auto into stealing - her body. From the Amazons. He's turning into a reluctant hero.|
|HTLJ||THE END OF THE BEGINNING (H3/19)||Back on Herc duty - Auto steals the Cronos Stone, which is a time machine, takes him and Herc back to when Serena was alive, Herc alters history so Serena survives (but in an alternate reality)|
|HTLJ||BEANSTALKS AND BAD EGGS (H4/1)||Herc does 'Jack and the Beanstalk'. It's as dire as it sounds. What did Auto do to deserve this?|
|XWP||THE KING OF ASSASSINS (X3/8)||Definitely an improvement. Auto helps save Cleopatra - and gets to chat her up in her bath|
|HTLJ||MEN IN PINK (H4/12)||Herc does 'Some Like it Hot'. A vast improvement - excellent ep all round.|
|HTLJ||PORKULES (H4/16)||Talking animals. Things are getting dire again...|
|HTLJ||ONE FOWL DAY (H4/17)||Handcuffed to Iolaus, covered in mud, and pursued by a giant chicken. This is as bad as it gets. HTLJ's rival to 'Married with Fishsticks'.|
|HTLJ||MY FAIR CUPCAKE (H4/18)||And just to make amends - HTLJ reprises Men in Pink, in a bittersweet romantic ep with the Marilyn Monroe-ish Lacey Kohl as Cupcake.|
|XWP||TSUNAMI (X3/19)||This time, XWP drops it. XWP does 'The Poseidon Adventure', unsuccessfully. Not even Auto can keep this one afloat.|
|XWP||VANISHING ACT (X3/20)||XWP tries to reprise 'Royal Couple of Thieves', but falls short. Better than 'Tsunami', though.|
|HTLJ||GENIES AND GRECIANS AND GEEKS, OH MY (H5/4)||Something to fill the slot while the leads shot something more significant elsewhere. Had Auto and Salmoneus in it so it can't have been too bad. Can it?|
|XWP||A TALE OF TWO MUSES (X4/6)||Auto as a fire-and-brimstone preacher. Xena and Gabs help Tara bring dance back to a uptight Middle East town. This is possibly more meaningful today. A surprisingly catchy episode.|
|XWP||KEY TO THE KINGDOM (X4/10)||Another not-very-distinctive episode, other than an unexpectedly moving appearance by Meg.|
|HTLJ||JUST PASSING THROUGH (H5/14)||Forgettable, presumably.|
|XWP||TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE (X4/19)||Xena does 'Cluedo'. Someone's killed a bounty hunter and Discord, Goddess of Skank and Retribution, is determined that someone (doesn't matter much who) will pay. Some snappy dialogue enlivens it.|
|HTLJ||HERCULES, TRAMPS AND THIEVES (H6/5)||Auto is suspected of a robbery that, for once, he didn't do. Herc saves him. (So far as I can remember).|
Aphrodite has spread her appearances promis... err, generously over both
series. At first sight shallow, vain and selfish, she really wants to be
liked and has a better nature that asserts itself when she lets it. She was
first seen in the Hercules episodes THE APPLE, LOVE TAKES A
HOLIDAY, THE GREEN-EYED MONSTER, and the XWP episode FOR HIM THE
BELL TOLLS, causing assorted mayhem.
In REIGN OF TERROR Aphrodite first showed that she could be really useful and courageous, taking on the mad King Augeus who Hera had just given godlike powers in the hope that he would kill Hercules.
We saw a very different, strait-laced Aphrodite in the Alternate Universe of STRANGER IN A STRANGE WORLD, where she was being blackmailed into marrying the evil Sovereign in order to save the life of Zeus.
Back to her mischievous self, Aphrodite enchants Gabrielle's scroll (and loses her powers, in company with Ares) in THE QUILL IS MIGHTIER. She finds that mortality is really a drag. That's nothing! - shortly thereafter, as the human form of Katherine the Pig in PORKULES, Aphrodite's stand-in Alex Tydings gets to roll in mud with every evidence of enjoyment.
Aphrodite's plotting causes more mischief in FINS FEMMES AND GEMS and IF THE SHOE FITS, but in LOVE ON THE ROCKS her better nature reappears in helping Iolaus and Nautica defeat the 'Goddess of Skank', Discord, culminating in Aphrodite beating up Discord quite convincingly. Way to go, Love Goddess! In LOVE AMAZON STYLE though, her well-intentioned spell to get the Amazons to 'lighten up' is taken advantage of by Deimos, and her domestic problems with her husband Hephaestus distract her from helping Herc until almost too late.
In LITTLE PROBLEMS another Aphrodite spell gone wrong nearly causes the end of Xena as we know her, though Aphrodite does put considerable effort (and oil wrestling) into undoing her mistake. And in PUNCH LINES she shows an altruistic concern for Gabby's writer's block, though she does enjoy the odd bath in white chocolate while doing so.
Mud? Oil? White chocolate? Alex, if you see a production assistant approaching with a bucket of maple syrup, start running!
However, there are worse things than mud. Appearing in MARRIED WITH FISHSTICKS is undoubtedly one of them. Aphrodite and Discord were a riot in this episode, if only it were less incongruous.
However, all this trivia is forgotten in MOTHERHOOD, where the battle between Xena and the gods over Eve reaches its climax. Aphrodite asks Athena if her friend Gabrielle can be left out of the fight and gets told "Don't watch". At some danger to herself, she risks the flying fireballs and Xena's chakram to try and help Gabrielle. At Xena's entreaty, she takes Xena, Eve and Gabrielle to Olympus to offer Athena a deal. And at Xena's suggestion, she disappears, so she doesn't see the death of Athena, or Ares surrendering his immortality to save Eve and Gabby - which leaves Aphrodite the senior god in Olympus. Archangel! Michael's messenger told Xena that Eve would prepare the way for the rule of the God of Love. Could this be, not Eli's god, but Aphrodite?
Apparently not, unfortunately. The next time we see Aphrodite, in THE GOD YOU KNOW, the mad, bad and totally zonked Roman emperor Caligula is draining Aphrodite's immortality in order to become a god himself. And Aph now has a hairstyle like a small haystack. Ares stops Xena from killing Caligula as this would kill Aphrodite too; until Caligula has drained all her powers and she's mortal but apparently free from Caligula's influence; whereupon Xena bluffs Caligula into killing himself.
In the next episode, YOU ARE THERE, things have gone terribly wrong; without a God of Love, love has died; a few pathetic peasants are following Aphrodite around trying to catch the last traces. However Xena, hampered only slightly by a nosy reporter, takes the golden apples from Odin and restores Ares and Aphrodite to Olympus.
In the last Aphrodite episode, MERRY HAPPY RETURNS, Aphrodite is back to her well-meaning but error-prone self.
Nebula? What's she doing here? Which XWP episode was she in?
Well, none. And now she's been transported by aliens to the future, she probably never will.
Nebula has graced the HTLJ episodes WEB OF DESIRE (H4/4), WAR WOUNDS (H4/19), FAITH (H5/1), DESCENT (H5/2), DARKNESS RISING (H5/8), LET THERE BE LIGHT (H5/10) and REDEMPTION (H5/11). She is way the most forceful woman to stir up the Hercaverse since Callisto rampaged through it. She has never met Xena.
Her look-alike Cleopatra has been seen on XWP in KING OF ASSASSINS (X3/8), taking a bath at Autolycus.
The alternate Nebula camped it up in the Alternate Universe in STRANGER AND STRANGER (H5/13), filling in for the alternate Xena who couldn't make it.
Now, it seems, she's been reincarnated two and a half thousand years in the future, along with junior Amazon Amarice and the Amazon Queen Cyane, in CLEOPATRA 2525.
Okay, so she still shouldn't really be on this list, right? Right. So you tell her that.
... and since Nebula snuck
in, here's a few more regular Herc characters...
The original Goddess of Retribution was Herc's old girlfriend Nemesis (Karen Witter), who was sent to execute Iolaus for the sin of pride in PRIDE COMES BEFORE A BRAWL (which took all Herc's efforts to avert). Later, in FIRE DOWN BELOW, Hera sent Nemesis (now in the body of Teresa Hill) to kill Salmoneus, but it was a set-up, a plot to kill Herc and loyalty test for Nemesis (which she failed). Hera stripped Nemesis of immortality as a punishment, then sent her 'replacement', the Enforcer, to kill Herc in THE ENFORCER; Nemesis helped Herc defeat her. Much later, in TWO MEN AND A BABY, Nemesis (now on her third body, the equally decorative Kimberley Joseph, and with a nice line in judo) had Ares' baby Evander, which didn't go down too well with Ares' young female friend Discord. Discord also hated Nemesis for 'fouling up' her job as Goddess of Retribution, a job which Discord always wanted herself. It appears from TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE that Discord has finally pestered Ares into letting her have a crack at it.
Evander, of course, is Zeus' grandson who brought Hera and the Titans back from the abyss in FULL CIRCLE (in which Nemesis had an all too brief walk-on part).
Discord (Meighan Desmond), the marvellously bitchy Goddess of Skank (as
Aphrodite termed her) first appeared on Xena, but spent most of her time on
Hercules. She was in many ways the exact opposite of the Goddess of Love. She
was ambitious and always wanted Ares to give her more power.
Discord first appeared briefly in THE DELIVERER, giving Ares a telling-off for his casual way of dealing with the Dahak menace. She was next seen on Hercules, in TWO MEN AND A BABY, where she found Ares his Halls of War (by driving the previous owners mad) and tried to kill Evander, Ares' child by Nemesis, out of jealousy. Foiled by Hercules, she tried to take revenge in IF I HAD A HAMMER by corrupting the living Hercules statue which Hephaestus made for Atalanta, Herc's would-be admirer. Trying to take the late Strife's place as henchman to Ares, she turned Hercules into a pig, and got turned into a giant chicken herself (PORKULES and ONE FOWL DAY) - definitely the low point of her career.
Things looked rather more promising when she persuaded Nautica the mermaid, Triton's daughter who keeps the sea from freezing, that she'd be happier as a human (LOVE ON THE ROCKS). However, she was foiled again by Hercules and, worse, beaten up by Aphrodite. Those two do not like each other ("Fashion victim!" "Blonde!") Still trying to impress Ares, in FADE OUT she managed to trap Herc into becoming the victim of an ancient curse which made him fade away, and enjoyed herself tormenting Deimos, God of Terror, Strife's look-alike brother. However, Herc and Iolaus again turned the tables and left Ares stuck with the fading tendencies.
Possibly thinking Discord was less dangerous when she had her way, Ares gave her the job of Goddess of Retribution in the Xena episode TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE, however she was foiled of her prey by Xena's detective skills. Back in Herc, she had A WICKED GOOD TIME manipulating some young girls into becoming witches and framing Hercules as a warlock, but it backfired yet again.
And ONE FOWL DAY was not the low point of her career - appearing in MARRIED WITH FISHSTICKS must carry that dubious distinction.
Until, that is, her all too brief appearance in MOTHERHOOD, where she lost her head. Literally. Very sad.
Ares' assistant, the
obsequious, ingratiating, obnoxious and creepy Strife, first appeared in the
'Golden Hind' trilogy, ENCOUNTER, WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN, and
JUDGEMENT DAY, interfering in Ares' business for his own
advancement. He killed Herc's wife Serena, the Golden Hind, and framed Herc
for the crime. Herc had to be saved by Xena and Zeus. Later, in the
time-travelling episode THE END OF THE BEGINNING Strife tried again,
shooting Herc with an arrow, but Serena saved him.
Strife's next appearance was in ARMAGEDDON NOW, where he had a truly terrible day. He got successively beaten up by Hercules, Ares and Callisto. Then it got worse. Callisto killed him. However, it obviously didn't 'take', since he was still around in the 20th century to assist Ares in YES VIRGINIA, THERE IS A HERCULES.
Strife's lookalike cousin Deimos (also played by Joel Tobeck) first appeared in FADE OUT, competing with Discord for Ares' approval. Deimos was less obsequious, more flaky, and just as obnoxious as Strife had been. In LOVE AMAZON STYLE he cashed in on a blunder by Aphrodite in making all the Amazons obey him, until Aph, Hercules and Iolaus managed to defeat him. Deimos' farewell appearance was in MOTHERHOOD, where he participated in the campaign against Xena and was terminally squished by a low flying wagon. Still, he was in good company.
Serena was the last
of the Golden Hinds, who Zeus was trying to kill, since Hind's blood was the
Only Thing That Could Kill a God (well, the first Only Thing, anyways, later
we had the Dagger of Helios, and Cronos' bones, and a few other odds and
ends...) Ares saved her from Zeus for his own ends. She fell in love with
Hercules, they married, then Strife killed her and framed Herc for it, and
Xena had to save him. (Roughly simultaneously Sam Jenkins, who played the
Hind, fell in love with Kevin Sorbo, who played Hercules, and they married
with rather happier results). (ENCOUNTER, WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN,
Shortly thereafter the Cronos Stone gave Herc the chance to go back in time and save Serena's life, but this Serena was Kara Zediker and she was married to someone else in that timeline so Herc lost her again. (THE END OF THE BEGINNING).
Much later, in MY BEST GIRL'S WEDDING, Hercules gets another chance to help the alternate Serena (who looks like Sam Jenkins/Sorbo again - confusing, these alternate realities!) when her husband is drowned; Herc gets him back for her. These alternate realities can be painful, too.
And in BE DEVILED, the first ep of the last season, 'Serena' appears again to Herc, except it isn't Serena, it's Sin, who chose to appear in a form that Herc 'should find pleasing'. In her best performance yet, Sam Sorbo puts on an excellent display of malicious amusement as she manipulates Herc into - nearly - letting his dark side take over. (Yep, Herc has a Dark Side too, but it's not within a country mile of Xena's).
Reputedly the Greek gods used to swap bodies
at will. Certainly XWP has seen its share of lookalikes, impersonations,
body-swapping, and versatile actors playing several parts. By my count, the
score so far (for the main characters only) is:
Xena's body has been inhabited by Callisto (INTIMATE STRANGER)
Xena has been controlled by (or turned into) Kali (THE WAY)
Callisto's body has been inhabited by Xena (INTIMATE STRANGER, TEN LITTLE WARLORDS)
Xena and Gabrielle have had timeshares in the same body (Gabs took the night shift) in SUCCESSION
Xena has also controlled Gabrielle (briefly) and Autolycus (THE QUEST)
Xena has controlled Daphne (a little girl) in LITTLE PROBLEMS
Gabrielle has been inhabited by an evil spirit (DEVI).
Xena and Gabrielle have been seen in future incarnations in BETWEEN THE LINES.
This doesn't count occasional spells of madness, weird dreams, flashbacks, turning into Bacchae or similar phenomena such as any normal inhabitant of the Xenaverse can expect to happen every day.
LL has variously played: Good Xena, Bad Xena (both at the same time in
DREAMWORKER; Freaky Xena with the squeaky voice in STRANGER
IN A STRANGE WORLD; evil Xena in the alternate-timeline world of
ARMAGEDDON NOW II; Princess Diana, Meg, High Priestess Leah,
Artimnestra in BETWEEN THE LINES, Melinda Pappas, Annie in DEJA
VU; and also Callisto-in-Xena's-body.
Lucy also appeared as Lyla in HTLJ, and as Lysia, the blonde Amazon second-in-command, in HERCULES AND THE AMAZON WOMEN, the first Hercules telemovie which pre-dated HTLJ.
ROC has played Gabrielle, Hope, the executioner in STRANGER IN A STRANGE WORLD, Shakti in BETWEEN THE LINES, Dr Janice Covington in THE XENA SCROLLS, the alternate 'slave' Gabrielle in REMEMBER NOTHING, the about-to-be-executed alternative Gabrielle in ARMAGEDDON NOW II, Dr Mattie Merrill in DEJA VU, and Sunny Day, camp counsellor, in FOR THOSE OF YOU JUST JOINING US.
She also appeared as Deianeira in HERCULES AND THE LOST KINGDOM, the second Herc telemovie.
Hudson Leick has played Callisto, Xena-in-Callisto's-body, and Liz Friedman in YES VIRGINIA, THERE IS A HERCULES and FOR THOSE OF YOU JUST JOINING US.
Bruce Campbell, besides Autolycus's many impersonations, has played two Autolycii at once in THE END OF THE BEGINNING, and Rob Tapert in YES VIRGINIA and FOR THOSE OF YOU JUST JOINING US.
Kevin Smith, besides playing our favourite War God in many XWP and HTLJ episodes, has also played Herc's half-brother Iphicles in the HTLJ episodes WHAT'S IN A NAME, WEDDING OF ALCMENE , SURPRISE, and WAR WOUNDS, and Jerry Patrick Brown, writer, in FOR THOSE OF YOU JUST JOINING US.
And that's only the major characters!
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