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Chariots of War
Series: Xena: Warrior Princess (1995)
Season: One
Story Number: 002
Writer: Josh Becker
Jack Perez
Adam Armus
Nora Kay Foster
Director: Harley Cokeliss
Broadcast: September 11, 1995
Previous Story: Sins of the Past
Following Story: Dreamworker


In a peaceful valley where settlers have met together to build a new barn, men under the command of Cycnus suddenly swoop down in chariots and destroy the barn. Xena arrives 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 men, 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 she is healed.

That night, Sphaerus and his men 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 villagers meet with Sphaerus to arrange a peace, though none of the villagers know that Cycnus has given his son orders to slaughter them all. Xena insists on accompanying Darius to the meeting, though she lays down her warrior guise and is beautifully dressed in a dress that belonged to his dead wife. Before Sphaerus' hidden thugs can launch their attack, Xena discovers their hiding place and launches a great fight. Scared, the villagers decide to flee and Sphaerus, beginning to question his father's cruel plan, orders his men not to follow.

Fearful of Sphaerus' revenge, Darius gets ready to flee before he returns. Xena tries to convince him to stay and fight, but when Darius refuses, she dons her warrior tunic and vows to go on the battle herself. At the same time, Cycnus, accusing his son of cowardice, leads the warriors in one last chariot raid against Xena and the villagers. 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 he1p her, Sphaerus turns his sword against his father, saying that the killing must end. Later Xena kills Cycnus before he can kill his own son. Sphaerus then promises that the villagers will live in peace and Xena and Gabrielle say goodbye to their new friends and leave the village to continue on their journeys.

Memorable quotes[]

  • Gabrielle: I'm looking for my best friend, maybe you've seen her? Six foot tall, dark hair, lots of leather, fights like the Harpies in a bad mood.
  • Gabrielle: My mother always wanted me to get married and have kids. And I remember telling her that I'd always be grateful for the way that she raised me, but she couldn't expect me to pay for that with my future.
  • Gabrielle: I don't want to wind up some lonely, pathetic woman like... (looks at Xena) never mind.
  • Xena: Don't tell me that was HIM?
Gabrielle: 'Fraid so.
Xena: Remind me to have a talk to you about your taste in men.
  • Gabrielle: I'm not very good at this horse thing!
  • Gabrielle: If I die I'll never speak to you again!


  • Lucy Lawless as Xena
  • Renée O'Connor as Gabrielle
  • Nick Kokotakis as Darius
  • Jeff Thomas as Cycnus
  • Stuart Turner as Sphaerus
  • Nigel Godfrey as Tynus
  • Robert Harte as Ugly Ruffian
  • Dane Jerro as Homesteader
  • Patrick Morrison as Lykus
  • Ruth Morrison as Sarita
  • Morgan Palmer Hubbard as Argolis

Background information and notes[]

  • This story had the working title of Sins of the Father.

Continuity and mistakes[]

  • Although Xena leaves her chakram at Darius' house, she is seen in several later shots to still have it in her possession.
  • In one sequence when Xena is riding along, she is wearing her armor, then the next shot she is not, then the next shot she is.
  • When Xena jumps into the chariot, the white horse is on the left and the brown horse on the right. All the subsequent scenes have the brown horse on the left and the white horse on the right.
  • In a scene where Xena is riding, her armor goes from on and off in-between shots.
  • At the end of the episode, as Xena prepares to leave the village, the silo is shown as it was at the beginning of the episode, before being burned.

Chakram Count[]

  1. To stop Cycnus from killing Sphaerus, his son.


  • None, the witty disclaimers didn't start until Cradle of Hope