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:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

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


"If That Is What It Takes: A Warrior's Love" by Talaran banner dated Aug 1999. An subtext vid

Many of the early Xena fanvids have been lost over time. The fandom reached its peak shortly after the WWW expanded and many of the Internet Archive websites only date back to 2001. In addition, some of the VCR era fanvids never made it online. In a July 23, 1999 post to alt.tv.xena one convention reported that they had received permission to show videos that had never appeared online: "By the way, my partner and I have our hands on a really kewl subtext music video that is NOT available online. Pat Benatar's Hit Me With Your Best Shot. We've the editor/director's permission to screen it for specific populations at the Con (Merwolfs and ATX'ers). So if anyone is interested in attending, email me privately. New Yorkers may be familiar with the editor's previous music videos of The Warrior and Hit Me With Your Best Shot. They've been screened at Meow Mix Xena nights."[2]

A fan replied: "The Warrior and Hit Me With Your Best Shot. I have both of these on tape...along with about 14 others."[3]

A few years earlier, on August 2, 1997, Xena fans held a party in Dallas, Texas where they advertised in alt.tv.xena that they would have "8 Xena music videos for your viewing pleasure...including some of my big faves from those creative California fans. We will also have a few other videos to pop in - in case the crowd gets catatonic."[4]

At the Jan 1998 Burbank, California Xena convention, fan vids may have been shown. Because of Creation Con's policy of not crediting editors, it is not clear if the vids were fan made, however a few vids match the titles of some of the early fan made videos:[5]"The first offering was a music video salute to Gabrielle (to the tune of "Wind Beneath My Wings").[6] It was the same [video] as the previous day, but I'm a sucker for those music videos, so I didn't mind. ....After Brad Carpenter's talk, they showed a music video salute to Salmoneus. Why they didn't show this yesterday, before Robert Trebor's talk, I will never know. It was pretty funny, and was done to "Workin' For a Livin'"....By way of introduction [to Lucy Lawless], they showed a music video salute to Xena (to the tune of "Simply the Best")...[7]

Even though most Xena websites are now offline, a few fanvids from 1999 can still be found archived. One example is Daniel Ma's Maria Carey vid "A Hero Lies Within You" that has a June 19, 1999 date.[8]

Likewise, the timing of the early subtext vids remains fluid. There are references to such vids in a March 2, 1999 post to alt.tv.xena, one of which, "Come To My Window,"[9] was shown at a New York Creation Con.[10]

[Katilist]:"So... how many people saw Creation's video salute to the X/G relationship, set to the song "Come to My Window" by Melissa Etheridge and chock-full of subtexty scenes, ending with the (near) kiss from "The Quest"?"

[Ecc1kcy]:".... I went to the Santa Monica [Creation] convention and they didn't show it (and at least one-half of the audience there would have loved it). I have heard that fan-sponsered events have excellent subtext-positive music video tributes but I haven't seen any of those either."

[Katilist]: '"Yes, it really exists. No, there is not a URL because it is a video that Creation showed at the NYC con, and is not available anywhere. Yes, I think it would be a bloody good idea if we started haranguing Creation to sell these videos. I would want to be the first on my block to own that one, fer sher. I was really glad my new gf got to see this video. She is new to the life and this positive view is helpful to her (you should see the photos she picked out at the vendor booths -- all XnG, of course)."[11]

A few surviving examples of subtext vids are Talaran's website with subtext vids starting in August 1999.[12] Other examples include: "Something To Talk About" by Alex Robinson on or before Feb 2001,[13], "I Could Fall In Love With You" by Pooka dated on or before Nov 2001[14] and "At Last" dated on or before May 2001.[15]

Lists of Pre-2000 Xena Fan Vidders

Notable Vids

Individual Vids

Vid Index Sites


See also The Xena vid Category on Fanlore

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.)
  2. cite
  3. cite
  4. DALLAS - XENA Party 8/2 Update!!! post by Adele Fairman dated July 28, 1997; archived link.
  5. RJ Stewart Chat? post to alt.tv.xena dated 12/16/1998; Archive link. See also Question for those who recently attended Creation Convention(s) post by Matt Savelkoul to alt.tv.xena dated Oct 21, 1998 asking if Creation Con had given fan vidders credit for the vids they showed; Archive link.
  6. Possibly by The Video Vixen. Source: archived website dated Feb 2001.
  7. Chrome aka Mike's post Greetings from the Burbank Con! (part 3) post to alt.tv.xena dated Jan 19, 1998; archived link.
  8. archived at the WayBack Machine, dated June 19, 1999.
  9. The video may have been edited by Matt of Xena University. Several of Matt's videos were shown at Creation Cons from 1998-2001. Source: Matt's Pasadena Convention Report, Archived version
  10. The writer may have been referring to the Creation Con held in New York on September 27, 1997. A con report from that time mentions music viedos, but "Come To My Window" was not mentioned in the report. Source: NYC Xena Con - Results by Erica Friedman post to alt.tv.xena dated Sept 29, 1997; archived link.
  11. "Is Xena A Lesbian?", posts to alt.tv.xena dated March 2, 1999; archive.is link.
  12. Talaran's Realm, archived in 2000.
  13. archived website dated Feb 9, 2001.
  14. archived website dated Nov 27, 2001). A copy of the archived vid can be downloaded here.
  15. archived website May 18, 2001. A copy of the archived vid can be downloaded here.