feature XENA: warrior princess Taken from TV Zone #142

She lived by the sword, and ultimately she died by the sword. Xena: Warrior Princess has been a constant staple of Cult Television for six years. Lucy Lawless and co. discuss the...

Warriors' Fate

End of season spoilers for UK viewers!

Xena in her fighting pose

See also: LEXX's crew talk in triplicate


So it's all over for Xena. After six years of the warrior princess yi-yi-yiing her way into battle, the phenomenally popular Fantasy series has joined its parent show Hercules: The Legendary Journeys in the tv history books. On June 19th 2001, the show's stars Lucy Lawless (Xena) and Renee O'Connor (Gabrielle), joined with producers Rob Tapert and RJ Stewart at the Museum of Television and Radio in Los Angeles, to discuss their thoughts on the end of the series.

Fire and Mayhem in the Final Episode"The ending we chose…" Stewart begins tentatively, "the reason we did that; when this series began, Xena had been created on Hercules as a villain. To redeem herself, Xena had to turn away from violence - but that's not going to make a tv series, right? So she hears Gabrielle in distress, she comes to the rescue, and then she's on a mission to redeem herself. But we've always withheld that concept of her forgiving herself about what she's done, that she's had to pay a great price. She's basically a war criminal.

"So fast forward six years and we're working on the final episode, and we wanted to do a Japanese ghost story, and hell if you're going to do a Japanese ghost story, Xena's got to be the ghost! So we thought, wait a minute, the ultimate redemption for Xena may be here."

Heading Off

In the final episode, A Friend in Need Part 2, Xena is killed in Japan having been hit by arrows and finally beheaded. It wasn't the ending some fans had expected. "I don't know why people expected us to walk off into the sunset," Lucy Lawless points out. "It was the strong choice, the bold choice, the risky choice, and I know some people don't like it, but the characters come full circle. She lived by the sword, and by golly she died by the sword!"

But was this always going to be Xena's destiny? Was there a version of the script in which Xena lived? "There was a version of the script where Gabrielle dies with her," Tapert offers. "But, was there one where Xena lives? I don't think so..."

Darren Knight


Also in this issue: LEXX's three main stars talk about getting down to Earth

More from those involved in Xena: Warrior Princess's finale in TV Zone #142

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