|Chariots of War|
Xena catches two arrows, before being hit herself
|Series||Xena: Warrior Princess|
|In-Universe Date||Year 0|
|Original Air-Date||11 September 1995|
|Story By||Josh Becker & Jack Perez|
|Teleplay By||Adam Armus & Nora Kay Foster|
|Directed By||Harley Cokeliss|
|Order in Series||2 of 134|
|Order in Season||2 of 24|
|Order in Franchise||22 of 304|
|Previous Episode in Series||"Sins of the Past"|
|Next Episode in Series||"Dreamworker"|
|Previous Episode in Franchise||"All That Glitters"|
|Next Episode in Franchise||"What's in a Name?"|
Xena is hit by an arrow whilst defending a village, rendering her unable to stop their brutal attack.
In a peaceful valley where settlers have joined together to build a new barn, thugs under the command of the evil Cycnus suddenly swoop down in chariots and destroy the structure. Xena rides up just in time to pull a young boy to safety before he is crushed by the collapsing timbers.
For saving the boy's life, Sphaerus, Cycnus' son and the leader of the thugs, strikes her down with an arrow and rides off. Darius, the young boy's father, nurses Xena's wound and insists that she stay with him and his children until it is healed.That night, however, Sphaerus and his henchmen ride out of the darkness to attack again. The next day, Gabrielle meets Sphaerus and unaware of what has happened, reveals the woman warrior's identity.
Later, Darius and the other townspeople meet with Sphaerus to arrange a peace, though none of the townspeople know that Cycnus has given his son orders to slaughter them all. Suspecting the worst, Xena insists on accompanying Darius to the meeting, though she lays down her warrior gear and is beautifully disguised in a dress that belonged to his late wife.
Before Sphaerus' hidden thugs can launch their attack, however, Xena discovers their hiding place and launches a fierce fight. Startled, the townspeople flee and Sphaerus, beginning to question his father's cruel plan, orders his men not to follow.
Fearful of Sphaerus' revenge, Darius prepares to move away before he returns. Xena tries to convince him to stay and fight, but when Darius refuses, she dons her warrior tunic and vows to continue the battle herself. At the same time, Cycnus, accusing his son of cowardice, leads the thugs in one last chariot raid against Xena and the townspeople.
Sending Gabrielle ahead to act as a decoy, Xena takes out several of Cycnus' men before commandeering a chariot and facing Cycnus and Sphaerus with her sword and chakram. Seeing her bravery and that Darius has returned to help her, Sphaerus turns his sword against his own father, vowing that the killing must end.
In the end, Xena slays Cycnus before he can kill his son. Sphaerus then promises that the townspeople shall live in peace and Xena and Gabrielle bid farewell to their new friends before continuing on their journey.
|""People may guess that i was remembering childbirth, and the not submitting to the pain because there's no choice than to get through this. You know, these things have got to be done. So i just drew on that experience for that scene"|
|― Lucy Lawless on the arrow removal scene Source: Xena: Warrior Princess: The Official Guide to the Xenaverse book and many thanks to http://jacksonupperco.com/ for personally researched, and transcribed|
|"“This [opening] scene was tough because it was my first introduction to a hard TV schedule. The director had spent all his shooting hours on other scenes and was running out of time. So he had to shoot all my stuff in one setup – with the camera in one position – all at one time. If you notice, there’s only one angle. He didn’t have time to turn the camera back around and get my response to the bartender. The director told me, ‘Renee, I need you to turn around as much as you can to the camera. Try to find a way to play it to us.’ I probably could do a better job now knowing what he meant, but I didn’t really understand how to do what he wanted and make it natural… I could have learned back against the bar and talked over my shoulder. There are ways you can do it and make it seem natural. At the time, I was so green. I was thinking, it has to be truthful. I was thinking I would talk to the bartender the way I normally would and that wouldn’t be over my shoulder. I didn’t understand playing the scene for the camera. I’ve learned since. Lucy was always good at that…” "|
|― Renne O'Connor on the opening scene Source: (The Chakram Newsletter: #21) and many thanks to http://jacksonupperco.com/ for personally researched, and transcribed|
Behind the ScenesEdit
- This episode was originally called "Sins of the Father".
- Shooting dates: July 05, 1995 through July 18th, 1995 (9 day shoot).
- This episode marks the only Xena: Warrior Princess appearance of actor Jeffrey Thomas, who plays legendary Argonaut Jason on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.
- There's a cut scene during the Xena-Darius goodbye scene, Xena says she's never thought of having a home and family until now and tells Darius he's a lucky man. She says, "Somewhere out there I have a father. I want to know about him. I want to know if he's as wonderful a man as you." Darius then kisses Xena.
- This was likely removed once they changed Xena's father's backstory.
- The writers originally intended to have Sphaerus be a recurring love-interest for Gabrielle, but decided to go along with different characters throughout the first season. He was originally thought to be brought back in "Return of Callisto" and end up married to Gabrielle, but killed by Callisto. They ended up going with Perdicas instead.
- Josh Becker revealed in an interview for The Official XENA Magazine (Issue #7 – June 2000) that the writing process for Xena was fairly difficult at the beginning of the series in production and that a Hercules story ended up becoming a Xena episode. “everybody at Renaissance went into a total panic thinking, ‘How do we make a Xena episode? What the hell is it about?’ Meanwhile, I had written a number of Hercules stories… but I went uncredited on [them]…. They couldn’t figure out how to write a Xena episode, nor did they have a writing staff so I took one of my Hercules stories and changed Hercules to Xena – it doesn’t have Gabrielle in it, because the character hadn’t been created yet! So I took this story and handed it to Rob, who said, ‘This works,’ and they bought it!”
- This episode marks the first time that the Chakram is named on-screen.
Chakram Count: 1
Links and ReferencesEdit
- Nick Kokotakis as Darius
- Jeffrey Thomas as Cycnus
- Stuart Turner as Sphaerus
- Nigel Godfrey as Tynus
- Robert Harte as Ugly Ruffian
- Dane Jerro as Homesteader
- Patrick Morrison as Lycus
- Ruth Morrison as Sarita
- Morgan Palmer Hubbard as Argolis
Appearances and MentionsEdit
- Ares (mentioned only)
|Season 1||Season 2 >>|
|#01||Sins of the Past||#09||Death in Chains||#17||The Royal Couple of Thieves|
|#02||Chariots of War||#10||Hooves and Harlots||#18||The Prodigal|
|#03||Dreamworker||#11||The Black Wolf||#19||Altared States|
|#04||Cradle of Hope||#12||Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts||#20||Ties That Bind|
|#05||The Path Not Taken||#13||Athens City Academy of the Performing Bards||#21||The Greater Good|
|#06||The Reckoning||#14||A Fistful of Dinars||#22||Callisto|
|#07||The Titans||#15||Warrior... Princess||#23||Death Mask|
|#08||Prometheus||#16||Mortal Beloved||#24||Is There a Doctor in the House?|