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Ulysses
Ulysses
Ulysses looks on at The Sirens, in "Ulysses"
Portrayed By John D'Aquino
Created By R.J. Stewart
Series Xena: Warrior Princess
Only Appearance "Ulysses"
Profile
Gender Male
Status Alive
Residence Ithaca, Greece
Race Human (mortal)
Also Known As King of Ithaca
Relationships
Romances Penelope, Xena
Affiliations Poseidon, The Sirens, Penelope, Xena, Gabrielle
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Ulysses, King of Ithaca, was a character on Xena: Warrior Princess. He ruled the province of Ithaca with his wife and Queen, Penelope, until, much like Cecrops before him, he was cursed by Poseidon and was unable to return to his homeland. Xena and Gabrielle helped Ulysses combat against Poseidon and break the curse.

BackgroundEdit

Ulysses was a noble and devoted King. He fought with the Greeks against the Trojans in the Trojan War, which Xena and Gabrielle were also at the heart of. Once the war at Troy had finished, he soughted out refuge in a cave, which happened to be inhabited by Polyphemus, the cyclops son of Poseidon. In the fight with Polyphemus, Ulysses managed to blind him, a mutual trait shared with Xena, of whom had also blinded a cyclops. Upon leaving the cave, he was told that his wife, Penelope, had been killed in a shipwreck that was too violent to survive. He was then prevented from returning home to Ithaca (which was presumably without a ruler) by Poseidon, as a punishment for blinding Polyphemus.

Approximately a year later, Xena and Gabrielle found Ulysses in an unfair fight with some pirates, which prompts them to help him even the odds. After the battle, Ulysses explains who he is and that he is trying to return home to his kingdom. Poseidon appears to warn Xena to keep out of this dispute. Xena and Gabrielle volunteer to aid Ulysses in his quest. The trio commandeer a boat and set sail for Ithaca. They bravely face all of the obstacles that Poseidon throws at them - Sirens, whirlpools and ferocious weather. During this journey, Ulysses begins to develop feelings for Xena. The two share a kiss and Ulysses asks Xena to consider staying in Ithica for a while: Xena does not explicitly express her feelings about Ulysses, but she says she will think about it. Gabrielle assures her friend that Ulysses' feelings are clear and that if being with him will make Xena happy, Gabrielle will be happy too. Xena admits that Gabrielle taught her to love again and it seems that perhaps the heroine and Ulysses will find happiness. However, upon reaching Ithaca, Ulysses learns that Penelope is in fact alive and well.

In order to appease the raucous pirates (but still prevent anyone from seizing the throne) Penelope is holding a competition, the winner of which will become the King of Ithaca. The challenge is to string the Bow of Ulysses, a task which seems easy enough, despite stories that Ulysses himself is the only person able to string and use the bow. Meanwhile Ulysses, Xena and Gabrielle have sneaked into the castle. When they have a moment alone, Ulysses assures Xena that Penelope being alive does not affect his feelings, but Xena puts on an act of sneering condescension, scoffing at Ulysses and saying "You're not my type." He sees through her ploy but is still hurt and they continue their infiltration. Ulysses poses as a peasant and after several pirates have tried and failed is given the chance to string the bow. After a long struggle (and some secret help from Xena) he strings the bow. A fight ensues and eventually the pirates flee.

Xena and Gabrielle find a crew and are packing up the ship to leave when Ulysses boards and tells Xena that he figured out that she was tricking him in order to give him a chance to be reunited with his wife, but that the plan backfired: Ulysses confesses that he loves Xena more than ever for giving him that chance when her own feelings were at stake. However, Xena insists that Ithica needs Ulysses and that she's sure he will forget falling in love with her. Ulysses relents, though still firm in his belief that he will not forget Xena and that she won't forget him.

Xena confesses to Gabrielle that she is sad but will be all right. She is happy that at least she could help someone she cared for and that is the greatest thing one can do in their life.

Mythological BasisEdit

  • Ulysses is the Roman name of the hero Odysseus.
  • Odysseus was Athena's favorite mortal and several of Xena's actions helping him are based on actions Athena took.
  • Although he is mentioned as having fought in the Trojan War, he does not appear in Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts, a glaring omission considering that he is the one who conceived of and designed the Trojan Horse.
  • Ulysses's mother, Anticlea, was the daughter of Autolycus, while his father Laertes was a grandson of Zeus.

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