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A Solstice Carol
Xena as Fate Solstice
Xena disguising herself as Clotho
Overview
Series Xena: Warrior Princess
Season 2
Antagonist King Silvas
Setting Greece
Production
Original Air-Date December 9th, 1996
Written By Chris Manheim
Directed By John T. Kretchmer
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 033
Order in Season 9
Previous Episode Ten Little Warlords
Next Episode The Xena Scrolls
Title Image
A Solstice Carol TITLE

Xena and Gabrielle help save an orphanage from being shut down by a tyrant king on Solstice Eve, by impersonating the three Fates.

SummaryEdit

Solstice 01

He stole my chakram

King Silvas is holding a court and sentencing an old couple to hard labor for celebrating the Winter Solstice, which he outlaws in his kingdom. He then tells Senticles, his clerk, to ready an eviction notice, and Silvas adjourns the court.

Xena and Gabrielle arrive in Silvas' kingdom full of festive Winter Solstice spirit, but quickly fall prey to the cunning young pickpocket Lynal, who steals Xena's chakram when he thinks she's not looking. Curious about the boy, the warrior princess and Gabrielle follow him to an orphanage where they find a group of clean but threadbare children in the care of a wonderful matronly woman, Melana. There, perched on top of a partially decorated pine tree, is Xena's chakram, adorned with colorful ribbons.

All are shocked by the sudden arrival of Senticles, who bursts into the orphanage to proclaim that its residents will be evicted at midnight for failure to pay the huge taxes demanded by the King. Seeing the holiday decorations in the room, one of Senticles' guards calls for the immediate arrest of Melana and her charges for violating the King's ban on celebrating the Winter Solstice.

Solstice 03

Only 35 dinars

Grabbing her chakram, Xena leaps into action and manages to tie the guards up to prevent the arrest. Upon questioning Senticles, Xena is amazed to learn that the notoriously hard-hearted King Silvas outlawed the annual celebrations some 30 years before, after losing his wife, Queen Analia, one Solstice Eve. She and Gabrielle also discover that Senticles, a fundamentally timid and good-hearted soul, was formerly a toymaker of some renown, who was stripped of his profession by the embittered King. Gabrielle becomes determined to show the King the error of his ways and comes up with an elaborate plan, enlisting the help of Xena, Senticles and a donkey named Tobias, whom she rescues from the tannery.

Solstice 04

Xena looks to the past

That night, Xena steals into the King's bedchamber and gives the startled ruler an ominous warning about shutting down the orphanage. Fleeing just ahead of the guards, she discovers a secret chamber exquisitely decked out to celebrate the Winter Solstice but covered with 30 years of dust and cobwebs. On one wall hangs a wedding portrait of the King and his young bride, Queen Analia, wearing a beautiful pendant. Later that night, Xena steals into the King's room again, disguised as Clotho, the first of the Fates whose province is the past.

Solstice 05

Xena as Clotho

She frightens Silvas into following her to the secret Solstice room where Gabrielle, veiled and costumed to look like the young Queen Analia, is suspended by a rope and appears to be a ghost floating in mid-air. Her disguise is almost blown when the donkey Tobias, who is holding her aloft, hears a distant whistle and lets the rope go slack.

Xena, however, manages to distract the King by giving him a goblet of drugged wine, allowing Gabrielle time to recover her disguise and warn Silvas that he must reject his narrow and greedy path before it's too late. The King soon succumbs to the sleeping potion in the wine and passes out. Xena and Gabrielle express confusion over Silvas's assertion that Analia walked out on him, as opposed to having died years before.

Solstice 06

Gabrielle as Analia

Some time later, Xena revisits the King, this time disguised as Lachesis, the second of the Fates whose province is the present. She wakes Silvas, forces him to dress as a commoner and takes him to the orphanage so he can see the results of his cruelty. Posing as weary travelers, the two are warmly welcomed by Lynal and the other children and invited to share in their Solstice celebration.

Solstice 07

Look at all these toys!

Meanwhile, Gabrielle and Senticles are on their way to the orphanage to deliver a bag full of toys Senticles has kept hidden for years when they spot a group of soldiers about to kick in the orphanage door. Xena springs into action when the soldiers threaten her and their king-in-disguise with arrest, but the strain is too much for Silvas and he soon passes out.

Solstice 08

A Solstice Gift

As Xena and Melana tend to him, Xena notices that Melana is wearing the distinctive jeweled pendant she saw on Queen Analia in the castle wedding portrait. The warrior princess returns to the thick of battle and together with Gabrielle, Senticles, Lynal and the children, uses Senticles' many toys as makeshift weapons to defeat the guards. When King Silvas awakens and sees the hooded figure of Melana, he assumes she is Atropos, the Fate of the future. Terrified that he is facing imminent death, the King vows that he can and will change his ways and joins the battle on the side of the children. When the guards are finally vanquished, Silvas is shocked to discover that the hooded figure is, in fact, his precious wife Analia, who has been running the orphanage since she walked out on him 30 years before.

Leaving the king and queen happy for the first time in decades, Xena and Gabrielle depart and later on the road they meet a man and woman traveling, with a baby. Gabrielle gives them the donkey. The woman tells her, "May God smile on you always for your kindness." Xena then gives Gabrielle a Solstice present: it is the carved sheep like the one Gabrielle had as a child. "I don't have a gift for you," Gabrielle says as she thanks Xena. "Gabrielle, you are a gift to me," Xena tells her.


DisclaimerEdit

Senticles was not harmed during the production of this motion picture. However, several of his toys are in dire need of repair.

Background InformationEdit

Behind the ScenesEdit

Key EventsEdit

GoofsEdit

  • When Xena and Gabrielle are constructing their plan, Xena asks Senticles if he'll take her to Silvas. When she says: "Right Senticles?", her mouth does not move when she says Senticles, only when she says "Right".

OtherEdit

  • This episode premiered the same night as "A Star to Guide Them", a Christmas-themed episode of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Based on both episodes' endings, they appear to take place more or less at the same time.
  • Lynal mentions how Hercules turned King Midas away from his greedy ways. That backstory was established in "All That Glitters".
  • This episode appears on the Region 1 Season two, Disc three DVD as "The Solstice Carol" instead of "A Solstice Carol."
  • Chakram Count: 1
    • When Xena throws it to tie up the guards with ribbon.

Links and ReferencesEdit

Main CastEdit

Guest StarsEdit

Other CastEdit

ReferencesEdit

PeopleEdit

DeitiesEdit

PlacesEdit

OtherEdit

Season NavigationEdit

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