The chakram is a razor sharp disc and Xena's main weapon.
The chakram can be used as a ranged or melee weapon. When Xena throws it, she can make it ricochet off objects to hit many targets in one throw and then have it come back to her. It can fly for a possibly limitless amount of time and distance. She can even cause it to change direction in midair. Xena's original chakram is also near unbreakable, and could even shatter the unbreakable metal of Hephaestus. Her second chakram was able to split into two halves and be used like two knives, or two different chakrams. After Xena throws it, it can split in midair and come back together. Both chakrams could hit objects or people at different strengths and angles, making it seem like a punch or an axe.
Since the Chakram of Light could kill gods and the Dark Chakram could break the metal of Hephaestus, it could be that one chakram's ability was to kill the unkillable and the other's was to break the unbreakable.
- The Original Chakram/Dark Chakram: Xena's first chakram is called the Dark Chakram. It was taken off an altar in the temple of the chakram, located in a land where a god named Kal is the god of war. Kal claims that Ares stole it many years ago and gave it to Xena. Not much was known about the chakram for most of the first four seasons other than that it is one of a kind and a very powerful weapon. However, the first indication that it may be more than just a regular weapon was in the season three episode The Dirty Half Dozen, where it was able to break the unbreakable metal of Hephaetus. Its background is finally expanded in the season five episode Chakram. It was broken when Callisto (in a god-like form given to her by the lord of Hell) threw it into Xena's back and broke her spine. Later, Xena took the broken pieces and placed them back in the original spot on the altar in the temple. The altar magically fuses the pieces and makes the Dark Chakram whole again.
- In a continuity error, the broken pieces of the Dark Chakram were found in the 1940s preserved in a tomb with Gabrielle's scrolls in the season two episode The Xena Scrolls. Had the series ended after season four (as originally intended) when the chakram was broken, this would not have been an error as the broken chakram would not have been fixed.
- The Light Chakram: The Light Chakram had the power to kill gods and was wanted by both Kal and Ares. However, only a person without any darkness in their soul could take it off the altar without bursting into flames. Numerous people tried to remove it from the altar (some forced to do so by Kal) and failed as seen by the many burnt remains in the room. Because Xena had lost her dark side after being resurrected by Eli, both gods wanted to use her to get the chakram for them. It was also initially believed by Eli that the Light Chakram was the key to restoring Xena to normal. This was proven wrong when Xena remained in her innocent state even after she was able to pick it up from the altar. In a desperate attempt to save Gabrielle, she used the Light Chakram to slash Kal across the abdomen, causing him to be incinerated.
- The Yin-Yang Chakram/Super Chakram/Splitting Chakram: While Xena was in a state of confusion and mixed emotions after killing Kal, Ares tried to manipulate her into giving him the Light Chakram. However Xena picked up the newly fixed Dark Chakram from the altar and held both chakrams together above her head. This diffused the power to kill gods and transformed the two chakrams into a new chakram with splittable light and dark halves, resembling a yin-yang. As stated by Eli's scroll, it also balanced the light and dark in Xena's soul and restored her to her regular self. While it no longer had the power to kill gods, the new chakram was still very powerful in that it was seen capable of deflecting a fireball thrown by Hades back at him in God Fearing Child. This chakram accompanied Xena throughout the rest of her journey and was inherited by Gabrielle in A Friend in Need II after she was able to use it successfully. This chakram too survived to present day as seen in Send in the Clones. However, it was not well preserved and signs of deterioration such as rust can been seen.
Connection with Xena
Some fans speculate that Xena has a supernatural/psychic connection to her chakram. This stems from the fact that balancing the chakrams was the key to restoring the balance of the light and dark sides of her. Also, it could be possible that her dark side was not brought back along with her soul because the Dark Chakram was broken at the time of her resurrection by Eli (note: both sides of her personality were intact in Paradise Found). However it took more than fixing the Dark Chakram to restore Xena to her old self; she also needed to balance the light and dark chakrams together and form a new chakram made from both, mirroring how Xena has a balance of light and dark inside of her which makes her the warrior she is.
Fans also speculate that this is why Xena is able to use the chakrams as well as she could. Most notably, the Super Chakram was able to act almost as if it had a mind of its own. Examples of such feats were:
- Turning its course in midair without ricochetting in Legacy.
- Flying straight at Eve and splitting at the last second to avoid her and destroy an incoming spear in Motherhood.
- In Coming Home, it supposedly misses Ares, ricochets off nearby rocks and disappears into the background for the length of their entire fight and Xena's consequent apparent drowning. It comes ricochetting back at the exact moment when the Furies appeared to decapitate all three in a row, only to disappear again. It again comes back right into Xena's hand but only after she is revived from hypothermia and not before. The only other time the chakram was used in such a calculated manner was in the season three episode Been There, Done That. But this required Xena countless days of calculating angles and ricochet points using the Dark Chakram.
These feats could be just due to Xena's extremely perfected skill in using the chakram over the years and not as a result of any supernatural connection.
List of Users
- Xena: As the chakram's primary user, Xena is exceptionally skilled in throwing, catching and using it as a melee weapon. She is able to throw and catch it even in states of blindness and can change its course after it is thrown by someone else. After acquiring the Super Chakram, she is able to use it the conventional way as a whole chakram or use the halves as two separate smaller chakrams. She can throw the two halves separately or have them split mid-trajectory to surprise enemies. They may also return as halves or reform into the whole during the flight back. As an added feature, Xena also splits the Super Chakram often and uses the edge and the sharpened point on each half for melee slashing and stabbing respectively.
- Callisto: Although not as skilled as Xena, Callisto was also able to throw and catch the chakram with ease. The times she used it, she could ricochet it off more than one target (albeit not as many as Xena could) and catch it on its return. She could not, however, sense the chakram from a distance as mentioned by Xena when she was in Callisto's body (Intimate Stranger), though Xena claims it's because she was not used to that body.
- Livia/Eve: Though she was never seen throwing the chakram in any form, she was able to catch it both as halves and as the whole chakram. In a surprising show of skill, Livia stopped the Super Chakram headed towards her with her sword and made it split into the halves. Immediately after, she droped her sword and caught each half in each hand. As Eve, she caught the chakram as a whole to prevent Xena from saving her from being dragged across the desert.
- Gabrielle: With time running out to save Xena, Gabrielle hurls the Super Chakram as a last ditch attempt to knock out the warlord blocking her way at the end of A Friend In Need II. To her surprise, she not only manages to knock him out but also catches it on the ricochet. Although this is the first time Gabrielle has successfully used it as a ranged weapon, it should be noted that she has tried to use it as a melee weapon several times before. Some memorable occasions include attacking Grindl to save a wounded Xena and more humorously, cutting fish and scratching her back.
- Other notable mentions:
- While Iolaus could neither throw nor catch the chakram, he was trained by Xena to deflect it and guide its trajectory during the time that they were allied on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. He demontrates this ability using a shield in the Hercules episode, Armageddon Now.
- Also in Hercules, Xena 2 from The Strange World had the ability to use the chakram despite not having one. She demonstrates this by throwing her shoe at a target and have it ricochet off several soldiers and catch it on its return, much to her own surprise at her unknown skill.