Xena: Warrior Princess

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Name: Xena: Warrior Princess
Abbreviation(s): Xena, XWP
Creator: John Schulian, Robert Tapert, R. J. Stewart
Date(s): 1995-2001
Medium: television series,
Country of Origin: United States (filmed in New Zealand)
External Links: IMDB Subpages for Xena: Warrior Princess:
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Xena: Warrior Princess was a spin-off from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, following the tale of Xena, a reformed villain who was seeking to atone for her bloody past, and Gabrielle, a young woman who wanted to be a bard and left her village to follow Xena. The friendship between Xena and Gabrielle was at the heart of the show and over the seasons canon continually found new ways to describe them as soulmates. Although nominally set in the Greece of myth and legend, the series embraced anachronisms, borrowed liberally from myths and cultures the Greeks could have had no contact with, and joyfully mutilated geography when it sent Xena on journeys.

Gabrielle and Xena, art by Warren Oddsson, printed in Buddies: A Collection of Media Art 1958-2001, may have appeared in a previous print zine


Xena fandom is dominated by f/f fanfiction. no doubt due to the canon's focus on the close friendship between Xena and Gabrielle. At times, the show deliberately brought the queer subtext as close to text as it could get[1] without crossing the line; at other times, the show seemed merely to be titillating the viewers with faux-lesbian scenes. Either way, the Xena/Gabrielle relationship was meaningful to a lot of people because it was the closest to showing a lesbian relationship as an epic romance that most X/G fans had ever seen on TV at the time of its original airing. (Arguably, this remains true today. While the representation of lesbians on television has improved, female action heroes with female friends, female sidekicks, and woman-centered plotlines remain rare.)


(more to come)

Notable Works


Fanzines in Xena fandom are rare and only feature the het/gen/slash side of the force. The Xena/Gabrielle fandom went a different way with regard to print publications. Instead of zines the fandom published a high number of uber novels. These stories were usually published to the net first and when they proved popular enough, one of the small lesbian publishing houses that came out of the Xenaverse picked it up for a print run. For a list of X/G uber novels see Vielka Clavijo's listings of published Uber Xena novels.


See Category:Xena: Warrior Princess Websites


Individual Vids

Vid Index Sites


Fan Art

Xena. Artist: Kara Senberg. Artist Notes: "11"x14" on 110lb paper, inked with Sharpie permanent pen."

Parallel evolution

Xena fandom appears to have developed in near-isolation from other fandoms, resulting in many fannish traditions being reinvented independently. The development of the Subtext FAQ, for example, is similar to the creation of The Generic Slash Defense Letter by early Blake's 7 slash fans. Specific fannish needs led to a unique vocabulary that describes concepts and activities often known in other fandoms by different terms.

Xena-specific vocabulary

A 1999 Campaign

From the 1999 MediaWest*Con program book:
Studios USA. distributor of Xena: Warrior Princess has pulled an episode of the show, entitled The Way from worldwide syndication.

For those who haven't heard about the controversy, Renaissance Pictures, which produces Xena, created an episode using Hindu deities. This offended a group of fundamentalist Hindus called the World Vaislunava Association, formerly the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (read Hare Krishna). The group then used pressure tactics via the electronic medium of faxes and e-mail, as well as telephone calls to flood the affiliates carrying Xena. It apparently was based on these numbers that the affiliates forced Studios USA to cave in.

If you want to know more about this controversy or learn about ways to help out, I will have materials in the con suite, including a petition. I have a personal copy of the episode and Jeanne has agreed to schedule showings during the con a couple of times, more if there is any interest. Come decide for yourselves if the episode is worthy of such a ban. I think you will find it is not.

Help us Xena fans out. This could easily happen to your favorite show. - Vivian Sheffield.


Xena also has several virtual seasons, including the Xena/Gabrielle XWP Subtext Virtual Seasons and the Xena/Ares Shipper Seasons.


  1. Valerie Foster, Yes Lucy, There Is Still a Subtext on Xena. Posted October, 1999. (Accessed 30 November 2008.)