|Title:||Amazon Queen |
|Born:||Village of Potidaea|
|Parents:||Hecuba (Mother) |
|Children:||Hope (Daughter) |
|Interests:||Xena (Soulmate) |
|Affiliations:||Northern Amazon Tribe |
Telaquire Amazon Tribe
|First appearance:||Sins of the Past|
|Portrayed by:||Reneé O'Connor|
Gabrielle is a fictional character in Xena: Warrior Princess, played by Reneé O'Connor. She is referred to as the Battling Bard of Potidaea. Her trademark weapons are the Amazon fighting staff and the sais.
Reneé O'Connor was chosen to play the role after she impressed producers with her role in the Hercules television movie The Lost Kingdom.
Her name is the feminine of Gabriel, from the Hebrew, which means "messenger of God". That is the name of one of the Archangels, and during the show, Gabrielle becomes an Archangel. While Gabrielle is typically a French given name, it has a grammatically correct Greek feminine ending and contains no anti-Greek sounds (pronounced as Gab-ree-el-lay). Also, the Greek version of "Gabrielle" is Γαβριήλα, (Gavrila).
In the two musical episodes, Gabrielle's singing voice was provided by Susan Wood.
From farm girl to warrior
When Gabrielle first meets the Warrior Princess, Xena, she is a farm girl living in the village of Potidaea. She and her sister Lila, along with several other village girls, have been kidnapped by the men of the warlord, Draco, to be sold as slaves. Xena intervenes and rescues them. Awed by her fighting skills, Gabrielle decides that she wants to become a warrior too. She also wants to avoid the marriage that her parents, Herodotus and Hecuba, have arranged for her with her childhood friend Perdicas. Gabrielle insists on following an initially reluctant Xena on the road. The two women soon develop a strong bond of love and friendship. Over the six years of the series, Gabrielle evolves from a naive, idealistic teenager into a fully fledged, but deeply conflicted warrior fighting alongside Xena.
Gabrielle becomes an Amazon when she defends a dying Amazon Princess during an ambush. Before she dies, the Princess Terreis passes her "right of caste" to Gabrielle, and Gabrielle inherits her rank and possessions. This leaves Gabrielle the heiress presumptive to the Amazon Queen, Melosa. Melosa's adopted daughter Velasca, becomes a rival for the position of Queen of the Amazons after Melosa's death, but Velasca's schemes (which include aspirations to godhood) are foiled by Xena and Gabrielle. As Gabrielle wishes to travel with Xena rather than rule the Amazons, she appoints her friend Ephiny to act as Amazon Queen in her place.
Gabrielle learns how to fight with a fighting staff from the Amazons. With Xena's encouragement, she develops a philosophy of fighting for the Greater Good without killing.
About a year after meeting Xena, Gabrielle encounters Perdicas again and decides to marry him. The morning after their wedding, he is murdered by Xena's nemesis, Callisto. Gabrielle's grief and anger tests her ideals of reverence for life, but she nonetheless resists the impulse to kill Callisto. During this period, Gabrielle's strong commitment to peacemaking and compassion often serves as a counterbalance to Xena's warrior nature.
When helping to defend Britannia against Caesar, Gabrielle comes into contact with an evil cult that tricks her into killing one of its priestesses, Meridian. The loss of Gabrielle's "blood innocence" enables the evil god Dahak to impregnate her. After a pregnancy that lasts only a few days, Gabrielle gives birth to a girl she names Hope. After becoming convinced that the baby is simply a vessel for Dahak, Xena wants to kill Hope. Gabrielle manages to save her daughter by putting her in a basket and sending her downriver.
Two months later, Gabrielle finds Hope again, now looking like a nine-year-old, and already in the process of helping her father, Dahak, implement his plan to take over the world. Hope allies herself with Xena's enemy, Callisto. In revenge for Xena's attempt to kill her as a baby, Hope murders Xena's son, Solan. This forces Gabrielle to accept that Hope is indeed evil. She kills her daughter by giving her poison, an act that continues to haunt Gabrielle throughout the series. She holds herself responsible for Solan's death, as well as for betraying Xena a second time, even after reconciliation with Xena is effected through their musical journey in the Land of Illusia. When she once again encounters Hope, who was saved from the funeral pyre by her father, Gabrielle sacrifices herself to save Xena by jumping into a lava pit and taking Hope with her. Gabrielle mysteriously survives the fall, and is later reunited with Xena. It is later revealed that Ares saved Gabrielle, with plans to use her as a bargaining chip against Xena.
After her first kill, and the traumatic events with Hope that followed it, Gabrielle temporarily embraces complete pacifism as an alternative to fighting by Xena's side. She and Xena travel to India, where they encounter a series of false prophets and gurus, as well as a genuine healer and teacher, Eli. Eli claims to have found enlightenment and Gabrielle becomes interested in his philosophy of non-violence and inner peace, which he calls the Way of Love. Gabrielle attempts to follow Eli's way, and throws away her staff under his influence. However, when Xena is in the midst of a battle with the Romans in an effort to rescue Gabrielle, Eli, and a group of prisoners, Callisto, uses Xena's own chakram against her, breaking her back. Gabrielle chooses to fight to save Xena and even kills some of the soldiers herself. Before their crucifixion, Gabrielle tells Xena that she had chosen "The Way of Friendship".
After being crucified, Gabrielle and Xena ascend into Heaven, but are soon ambushed by demons. The demons are able to take Gabrielle to Hell, where she comes face to face with the demonic form of Callisto. Xena and a group of Archangels are able to rescue Gabrielle from Hell before Gabrielle can fall to the darkness. She then learns that Xena has taken Callisto's place in Hell. She eventually forgives Callisto for the murder of Perdicas, and that act of forgiveness grants her the right to join the Archangels in battle. During her fight with the demon-Xena, they are restored to life by Eli.
At this time, Gabrielle accepts her new path as a warrior and acquires a pair of sai, which become her signature weapon thereafter. Xena's pregnancy, revealed shortly after the duo's return to life, further forces Gabrielle to fight and sometimes protect Xena. On two occasions, the god of war Ares, impressed by Gabrielle's new warrior skills, tries to recruit her to his side, but Gabrielle always resists.
Gabrielle and Xena sleep in an ice cave for 25 years after Ares places them there because he mistakenly believes they are dead. After waking up, Gabrielle discovers that her parents have been killed by the North African warlord Gurkhan, who has also kidnapped her niece, Sarah, for his harem. Around this time, Gabrielle develops a close friendship with Joxer's eldest son Virgil, who shares many of her traits as a bard and warrior. Gabrielle struggles with the issue of seeking vengeance against Gurkhan. She is often troubled by her role as a warrior, particularly when she has to lead her Amazon tribe into a high-casualty battle against a superior army, led by the demigod Bellerophon, to rescue a fellow Amazon queen. Despite the success of the mission, Gabrielle tells Xena, "With each battle, I lose more of myself".
The series' final scene finds her on a ship headed to Egypt, where she intends to continue the fight for the Greater Good, with Xena accompanying her in spirit.
Gabrielle changes her costumes a lot more than Xena. Here is a list of her main clothes from season 1 to season 6. Watch them shrink before your very eyes!
Her first costume, seen in Sins of the Past, is a normal peasant dress. It has a long brown skirt, light blue shirt, and sometimes a darker blue jacket. It's last seen in Hooves and Harlots, after she becomes an amazon.
Her second costume is a brown and blue belly shirt, with a shorter brown skirt. It's first seen in Death in Chains, but gets changed in The Black Wolf.
Her third costume is changed at the beginning of season two in the episode Orphan of War. It's a shorter green belly shirt with a diamond pattern, and criss-cross strings in the front. Her skirt is a lighter orange-brown, with a belt. It's last seen in the season 3 episode Been There Done That.
Her fourth costume is first seen in The Dirt Half Dozen. It's a lot like the third one, except the shirt is even shorter and has a flower pattern. Her shoulders also aren't covered anymore. This costume lasts the longest out of them all and is last seen in the season 4 episode Devi.
Her fifth costume comes in right after the last one in the episode Devi. It's a sari with a long sleeve yellow belly shirt, a red and yellow skirt and belt, with red wrist bands. Sometimes she wears it with a yellow scarf and either goes bearfoot or with sandles. She also has henna on her hands, chest, and belly. It's last seen in the season 4 episode Ides of March.
Her sixth costume first comes in at season 5 in the episode Chakram. It has a woven brown belly top with white beads that ties together in the back, and an orange skirt with a brown belt hanging over it. She also has leather bands on her upper arms, silver wrist guards, and a white bead necklace. It's last seen in the season 6 episode Haunting of Amphipolis, when it's ripped up by zombies.
Her seventh and final costume comes in the episode Heart of Darkness in season 6. It's a very short red velvet and woven top, with a red velvet skirt. She has a black and silver belt, wrist guards, and band around her right upper arm. She also has a necklace with 3 pearls on it. It's last seen when she's last seen in the final episode, A Friend in Need Part 2. At this time, she finally has mastered the chakram and inherits it from Xena after her death.