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Xena: Warrior Princess (TV Series 1995–2001) Poster

(1995–2001)

Trivia

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The majority of Gabrielle's stunts and fight scenes were performed by Renee O'Connor herself, including the backflip from "The Abyss" where Gabrielle kicks a cannibal in the face mid-flight, which was done without any wirework.
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Lucy Lawless donated her Xena costume to the Smithsonian in 2006.
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In an interview given by Lucy Lawless in 2013, she admits regretting not having done a Xena movie when the show was at its highest moment of popularity.
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In 1996, while rehearsing a skit for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992), Lucy Lawless fractured her pelvis when she was thrown clear from her horse. As a result, several episodes of Season 2 had to be edited to accommodate her recovery. Some of them were changed so Lucy could have a very slight appearance (in one episode she only appears as archive footage), and they created some brand new episodes.
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Before her own series, Xena made her debut in a three-episode arc of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1995). Vanessa Angel was the original choice to play her, but when the actress became too ill to fly to New Zealand to film, Lucy Lawless was cast instead.
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Rob Tapert on why and how he picked Xena's weapon: "I had a book of ancient weapons and I saw this weird discus called the Chakram and I said let's give her this because it can return and we'll never have another character use it. John Schulian [series writer] said he hated it and said we should cut around it. I told him 'that weapon is the coolest thing I'd ever seen' - it's her signature piece".
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Lucy Lawless modeled Xena's famous war cry on the ululations of Arab women.
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Quentin Tarantino has stated to be a huge fan of this show.
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The planet Eris which was discovered in 2005, was nicknamed Xena, after the heroine of the TV series, by the team that found it. Though it wasn't given the name officially, it's moon was named Dysnomia, after the Greek goddess of lawlessness which bares a similarity to the name of the actress that plays Xena, Lucy Lawless.
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In the episode "The Bitter Suite", the scenes, settings and costumes are based on pictures from tarot cards. Callisto is dressed as the fool, and one scene had Joxer as the hanged man.
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Won Hitfix's first March Madness Heroes vs Villains in 2014. A highly contentious match-up between fandoms, Xena beat out the likes of Wonder Woman, Batman, Buffy, Dr. Who, Jack Bauer, and Walter White to take the title as champion.
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Much debate surrounded the possible lesbian relationship between Xena and Gabrielle, which the writers deliberately kept ambiguous. Since the demise of the show however, Lucy Lawless has stated that she believes the characters were romantically involved.
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Kevin Smith who recurred in Xena for 32 episodes as Ares, God of War, passed away in a tragic accident in 2002.
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Lucy Lawless played 6 characters in the series: Xena, Princess Diana, Meg (5 times), Leah, Annie Day (twice), and Melinda Pappas. This makes it a total of 8 characters that she played in the Xena/Hercules franchise, as she played two other characters in Hercules The Legendary Journeys: Lysia(movie) and Lyla.
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Karl Urban was originally intended to reprise his role as Cupid during the "Twilight of the Gods" storyarc in Season 5, but was unable to return due to filming "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy as the character Eomer. Karl Urban eventually returned in Season 6 as his equally popular character Julius Caesar. When asked about the fate of Cupid at a convention, Karl replied that he remained at Mount Olympus with Aphrodite and Ares - the only two surviving Greek Gods.
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The show was originally set in Greece, but by the third season the show began to take place in Rome, Egypt, China, Japan, Siberia, Norway, North Africa and India. In addition to the Greek mythology, Hinduism and Christianity were also introduced through several story arcs.
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Renee O'Connor played 4 characters in the series: Gabrielle, Hope (3 times), Janice Covington, and Mattie (twice). This makes it a total of 7 characters that she played in the Xena/Hercules franchise, as she played three other characters in Hercules The Legendary Journeys: Sunny Day, The Executioner, and Deianeira(movie).
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Gabrielle's fighting style was a mix of martial arts, kickboxing and acrobatics. Her two trademark weapons - the fighting staff and the sais - are both part of a Japanese fighting style known as Okinawan Kobudo.
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Gabrielle had a total of 7 regular outfits over the course of the series. Starting off with a Greek Farmgirl's dress in Season 1, Gabrielle would upgrade to 3 different Amazon outfits, a yellow two-piece Indian garment and two warrior bikini costumes.
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In season two, Xena's ratings soared past it's predecessor, 'Hercules the Legendary Journeys,' becoming the number one syndicated action show. It continued to lead Hercules every subsequent year both series aired.
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Sunny Doench was originally meant to play Gabrielle, but she didn't want to leave her boyfriend in California so Renée O'Connor was chosen.
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Xena's horse Argo was played by Tilly. She did many of the close-up shots with Lucy Lawless. She also had a body double, Mac, whom was used in second unit in long shots. And she had a stunt double, Barbie, who did most of the tricks such as kicking and rearing.
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Renée O'Connor was not in the opening credits for season 1. At Lucy Lawless' insistence, Renee was included in opening credits from season 2 onwards.
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Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor are both natural blondes; Lawless dyed her hair black (on Hercules) then brown, while O'Connor dyed hers strawberry blonde for most of the show's first two seasons.
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A Day in the Life (#2.15) came about because Rob Tapert wanted it make an episode which had as little action as possible giving Lucy Lawless (Xena) a chance to recover from her injury making it like a documentary. The story followed Xena and Gabrielle on a seemingly mundane typical day.
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The Livia/Eve story arc was created to accommodate Lucy Lawless' pregnancy.
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Ranked #10 in TV Guide's thirty "Top Cult Shows Ever" (Friday, June 29, 2007).
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In a 2012 article by NBC News, Christian Science Monitor, it was revealed that the US military is developing Xena Warrior Princess style body armor for women.
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Zoe Bell joined the series in 1998 as Lucy Lawless's stunt double.
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Ranked #9 in TV Guide's list of the "25 Top Cult Shows Ever!" (30 May 2004 issue).
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Lucy Lawless was pregnant during the fifth season and her pregnancy written into the series. In the episode God Fearing Child (#5.12), Xena gives birth to her daughter Eve. In real life, Lucy Lawless gave birth to her son, Julius, on October 16 1999.
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Subject of a 2015 io9-Observation Deck article titled 'Why Xena Warrior Princess Still Matters Today,' an in depth look at the show which explores the significance and influence the series maintains many years later.
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In the end titles of almost every episode there are a few funny lines, known as "disclaimer", which usually end with "the production of this motion picture". They're related to the content of the episode. Several episodes in Season 1 have no disclaimer; from Season 2 onwards every episode gets one.
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The opening credits remained the same for the first five seasons, but they were changed for the sixth and last season.
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Michael Hurst who played Iolaus in 'Hercules the Legendary Journeys' directed six episodes.
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Though there are many other instances of subtext in earlier episodes, and later throughout the series, the episode 'A Day in the Life' was the first to largely fuel speculation that Xena and Gabrielle had a romantic relationship. Encouraged by Renée O'Connor's ad lib "she likes what I do," Renee's own idea to add that in. Furthermore, the playful bathtub scene, and Gabrielle kissing Xena on the cheek as they lay side-by-side under the stars to sleep.
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Melinda Clarke, who played the amazon Velasca in Season 2, was originally up for the role of Xena but dropped out.
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While she was auditioning for the role of Gabrielle, Renée O'Connor was standing on a chair reading the lines for Rob Tapert. Renee fell off the chair, which made Tapert remember her while he was casting.
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In a 2015 article, The Mary Sue, a popular geek culture online magazine, published an article titled 'Twenty Years Later, a Look at How Xena: Warrior Princess Changed Television' stating: "it's a perfect time to look back on the legacy of a show that changed pop culture forever."
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In a 2005 Salon article titled "What we owe Xena," it highlighted how the show has become culturally significant.
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In a 2011 memoir at Alex Belth's Bronx Banter blog by one of Xena's creators, John Schulian, titled "From Ali to Xena" chapters 43, 44, 45 he describes how the character of Xena was created, and the success of casting Lucy Lawless.
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The Joxer the Mighty ballad was written and composed by Ted Raimi.
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Most of the fighting scenes take place on dirt ground, to hide the place mats for the actors.
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There are two "The Simpsons" toy action figures of Xena/Lucy Lawless based on the 1999 Lucy Lawless' appearance in the "Treehouse of Horror X" special, "Desperately Xeeking Xena." The second one was released in 2014 as part of the 25 greatest guest stars series.
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Ted Raimi stated in DVD interviews that Lucy Lawless wrote in his dialogue, the line: "is that a hickey?" for the episode Been There, Done That.
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Jennifer Sky, who auditioned for Gabrielle, but lost out to Renee O'Connor, would later star in the short-lived "Cleopatra 2525" created by Xena creators Rob Tapert and R.J. Stewart. Coincidentally, Gina Torres who played Hel in "Cleopatra 2525", played Cleopatra in "The King of Assassins" (#3.8), Which Josephine Davison briefly assumed the role in "Antony and Cleopatra" (#5.18).
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A "Xena" video game for PlayStation was released in 1999.
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Rob Tapert , a fan of Hong Kong martial arts films, sought roles models for Xena in the rich Asian movie heritage. More specifically, she was inspired by Brigitte Lin 's character in The Bride with White Hair (1993) , a warrior witch that walks through the gauntlet, survives, and changes her old ways.
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The theme song contains the Bulgarian Women's Choir singing in the background. The English lyrics are translated below:

"The Warrior Princess rides alone. Her past drives her from shame. Against the forces of a dark world She fights for good, not for fame. Horns sound her coming, blare her name. "Make way the Warrior! Cheer!" Drums beat a rhythm Let villains beware The Warrior Princess is here."
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In the bathtub scene in A Day in the Life (#2.15). When Gabrielle turns to face Xena. Renee O'Connor could be glimpsed wearing a bathing suit, although Xena and Gabrielle are naked in the scene.
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The shows first two seasons were shot in 4:3 aspect ratio. From the third episode of the third season onwards (the first two episodes were actually shot at the end of season 2), it was filmed in 16:9 widescreen.
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Ted Raimi played six different characters on Xena the Warrior Princess; Joxer, Jace, Jett, Joxer 2, Jack Kleinman, and Harry O'Casey.
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The three main female characters are: Xena (translates to "foreigner" in Greek), Gabrielle (translates to "messenger of God" in Hebrew), and Callisto (translates to "very beautiful", again, in Greek).
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Xena is a warrior woman from ancient Greece. Lucy Lawless (Xena) would later play the Roman woman Lucretia in "Spartacus: Blood and Sand".
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In 2001. Lucy Lawless and Jeri Ryan did a photo shoot for a magazine. In one of the photos, Lucy Lawless and Jeri Ryan posed in their costumes as their characters Xena and Seven of Nine. Lucy Lawless is a month younger than Jeri Ryan and both "Xena: Warrior Princess" and "Star Trek: Voyager" which both first aired in 1995, both ended in 2001.
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There are 4 different Joxer the Mighty song.
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In (#3,9) Warrior... Priestess... Tramp, Xena's doppelganger, Leah, has a speech impediment. She pronounces her r's as w's. Thus for example, the line: "praise Hestia" ends up being: "pwaise Hestia."
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Karl Urban played four different characters on Xena Warrior Princess, Cupid, Julius Caesar, Kor, and Mael.
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Craig Parker played three different characters on Xena; Bellerophon, Cleades, and Prince Sarpedon.
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Lucy Lawless's stunt double Zoë Bell was later the stunt double of Uma Thurman in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) and Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004). In the film, Uma Thurman starred as Beatrix Kiddo, a former assassin whom seeks revenge upon her former boss and lover Bill David Carradine and his associates. Writer and director Quentin Tarantino admitted in a interview he is a Xena fan.
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Series 6 is the only season of the series to have nudity: The slave girl Milda's Gina Varela bare bottom could be seen in Xena: Warrior Princess: Who's Gurkhan? (2000) and Xena and Gabrielle's bare breasts could be glimpsed and their bare bottoms are seen in Xena: Warrior Princess: Legacy (2000). Body doubles for Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor were used for this scene. In all preceding episodes, only Xena and Gabrielle's bare backs, bare shoulders and bare upper chests were seen.
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Several episodes from Season 4 were broadcast in a wrong order by the Spanish public national television.
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Boulevard Books published seven official Xena:Warrior Princess novels between 1996 and 2000.
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In behind the scenes footage of Xena: Warrior Princess: Whose Gurkhan? (2000) it was revealed Lucy Lawless wore hair extensions for the series and that in the 6th and final season, she wore new hair extensions that snapped on and off because makeup artists couldn't run their fingers through the actress's hair when Lawless's hair got weaved.
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In 2001, Lucy Lawless participated in a photo shoot for a magazine with Jeri Ryan which both Lucy Lawless and Jeri Ryan got into costume and posed as their characters Xena and Seven of Nine. The series premiered the same year as Star Trek: Voyager (1995) which Jeri Ryan played Seven of Nine. Both characters are formerly evil. Xena is the reformed former leader of an army of outlaws that terrorized Ancient Greece and Seven of Nine is an dis-assimilated Borg. The Borg are a race of cyborgs that conquered planets and assimilated other species into their own kind. Both Lucy Lawless and Jeri Ryan were born in 1968.
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In Xena: Warrior Princess: Livia (2000) Eve goes by the name Livia and is a fearless Roman commander. In ancient Roman history, Livia Drusilla (Born 30 January 58 BC - 28 September 29 AD) was the influential wife of the Roman emperor Augustus throughout his reign, as well as his adviser. The name 'Livia' is a girl's name of Latin origin which means "olive" usually used as a short form of Olivia. Historically, the olive tree represented peace and harmony.
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After production on the 6th and final season was completed, Renee O'Connor gave birth to her son Miles Muir in September 2001.
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The characters of Xena and Gabrielle and their relationship strongly influenced the relationship between Ripley and Call, the main characters of Alien: Resurrection (1997), played in that film by Sigourney Weaver and Winona Ryder.
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Although the series is based on Greek mythology, the character of Xena was not an actual mythological Greek hero and had been created for Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1995) which the series is a spin-off of.
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In the series, Xena is said to have been born in the city of Amphipolis. Amphipolis was a real ancient Greek city, a colony of Athens which was established in 437 BC. It fell under the control of Sparta in 424 BC, was annexed by the Kingdom of Macedonia in 357 BC, fell under the control of the Roman Republic in 168 BC, and was eventually annexed into the Roman Empire. The city declined under the Byzantine Empire, and was abandoned in the late 8th century AD. Its remains are in the vicinity of the modern city of Serres, in the Greek department of Central Macedonia. Archaeologists have found several ancient tombs and monuments in the city.
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In the series, Gabrielle is said to have been born in the village of Potidaia/Potidaea. Potidaia-was an actual ancient Greek city, a colony of Corinth established around the 6th-century BC. In 356 BC, it was destroyed by Philip II of Macedon during warfare. Nearby cities were later established by both Cassander and Augustus. Potidaia's remains are in the peninsula of Pallene, itself attached to the larger peninsula of Chalkidiki, in the Greek department of Central Macedonia.
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"Gabrielle" is a French feminine name. It derives from the masculine Hebrew name Gabriel/Gavri'el ("God is my strength"). It is a theophoric name, invoking and displaying the protection of a deity. In this case the deity is El, an ancient Semitic "supreme god", often mentioned in texts from Mesopotamia and Canaan. In the Hebrew Bible, El is one of the terms used for the national god of Israel, and there are several theophoric names invoking his protection.
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Lucy Lawless came up with the burial song tune while jogging - making a tape recording of it she gave it over to Joseph LoDuca who took it from there.
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In The Ides of March (#4.21), Caesar has a dream that Xena is having sex with him in woman-top-position and then stabs him with a knife. A nod to the classic 1992 suspense thriller Basic Instinct (1992) , which in that film, the main antagonist Catherine Tramell Sharon Stone is seen riding a man and then kills him with a ice-pick.
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In September 1999, Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor were featured in FHM magazine.
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The Bitter Suite - Season 3 Episode 12 was nominated for 2 Emmy Awards. Composer Joseph LoDuca - outstanding music and lyrics for the song The Love Of Your Life. Also in same category with Dennis Spiegel for the song Hearts Are Hurting.
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Lucy Lawless was considered to play Jean Grey in X-Men (2000) but Lucy Lawless wasn't able to take the role due to her commitment to the series. In X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) succumbs to her dark side and transforms into the Dark Phoenix. The series is about Xena overcoming her dark side.
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Lucy Lawless was offered the role of Jean Grey in X-Men (2000) but Lucy Lawless was unable to take the role due to work on Xena and Famke Janssen was cast.
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The series is not just about Xena and her quest for redemption. It's also about Gabrielle's transformation from a naïve young woman to bard to warrior. Gabrielle whom aspires to be a warrior joins Xena on her travels to learn from her and to help keep Xena on the straight path.
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During a panel session at Armageddon Expo in Wellington in June 2016. Ted Raimi was asked by a fan of the show "What was it like working with Lucy Lawless?" Raimi stated that he found it "horrible" working with Lucy Lawless.
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Manu Bennett whom appeared as Marc Antony in Xena: Warrior Princess: Antony & Cleopatra (2000) would later to go on to star in Spartacus (2010) as the Gaul gladiator Crixus, whom is the sex slave of Lucretia, the evil wife of the gladiator school owner Quintus Batiatus. Lucretia is played in that series by Lucy Lawless (Xena).
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Lucy Lawless and Rob Tapert welcomed their first son Julius into the world on October 16th 1999. Lucy Lawless and Rob Tapert never acknowledged that they named him after Julius Ceaser, the Roman Emperor.
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Adrienne Wilkinson whom played adult Eve in the 6th and final season would enter the Star Wars universe. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (2008) (VG) as Maris Brood and Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) (TV Series) as The Daughter and Star Wars: The Old Republic (2012) as Gianna. Star Wars was about Anakin Skywalker whom turned evil and became Darth Vader which he later redeemed himself by destroying Emperor Palpatine.
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Adrienne Wilkinson is 9 years younger than her on-screen mother Lucy Lawless.
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15 years after the series premiered, Lucy Lawless starred as Lucretia, the evil wife of Roman gladiator school owner Quintus Batiatus in the Rob Tapert/Sam Raimi produced Spartacus: Blood and Sand (2010).
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The name Xena derives from the ancient Greek term "xenos", meaning "stranger."
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Like Doctor Who (1963), Xena: Warrior Princess is influenced by the Western genre. Xena is the reformed former outlaw whom rides across the desert wilderness and the Badlands fighting other outlaws and helps people in need of help as she seeks redemption for her dark deeds and after she and Gabrielle help resolve a crisis or situation, Xena and Gabrielle moves on.
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Vanessa Angel was originally to leave to her show Weird Science (1994) and was set to play Xena. However Vanessa couldn't take the flight to New Zealand because was sick with flu and Lucy Lawless was cast.
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The show was mentioned by Daffyd Thomas (Matt Lucas) in Little Britain USA: Episode #1.5 (2008) which in a Daffyd Thomas on Campus sketch, he confronts two lesbian roommates in the room next to him because he cannot sleep because they are making a lot of noise.
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Funko released a Funko Pop! of Xena in 2019.
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The series was featured in the feature film About a Boy (2002) which Will and Marcus (Played by Hugh Grant and Nicholas Hoult) are seen watching Xena on television in a scene in the movie.
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The series is not just an action fantasy adventure series, it is also a drama and comedy.
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In 2015, almost 20 years after the series first aired, it was announced NBC was developing a reboot of the show but without Lucy Lawless. In 2017, it was reported NBC aborted the reboot of Xena.
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It's ironic that Lucy Lawless's (Xena) maiden name is 'Lawless'. Xena was once the evil leader of an army of outlaws.
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Adrienne Wilkinson later played a similar role in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (2008) as Maris Brood, a corrupted Jedi Padawan whom renounces the dark side.
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The series takes place in ancient Greece and is based on Greek mythology. However, guest actress Gina Varela whom played Milda in Xena: Warrior Princess: Who's Gurkhan? (2000) has a Greek father.
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The series is a simple story of a warrior woman overcoming her dark side.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Gabrielle's fate is never revealed.
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We never learn of Gabrielle's fate and what happened to the character following the end of the series and Rob Tapert never considered making a possible spin-off series centering around Gabrielle and following her on her own adventures following Xena's demise and the spin-off would had also focused on Gabrielle as she struggles to adjust to life without Xena.
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After the finale of the series aired in New Zealand. An upset viewer wrote in to The TV Guide and expressed her anger about the ending of the series stating "How dare you kill off Xena and leave Gabrielle alone!".
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The arc of Xena's death, her spirit possessing Autolycus's body and her revival in Season 2 was influenced by Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984). Spock's death, resurrection and Dr. McCoy being possessed by Spock's living essence.
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Xena's pregnancy and giving birth to Eve in Season 5 was written into the series due to Lucy Lawless's real-life pregnancy as she was pregnant with her son Julius (Born on 16th October 1999).
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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