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Sins of the Past
Series: Xena: Warrior Princess (1995)
Season: One
Story Number: 001
Writer: Robert Tapert
R.J. Stewart
Director: Doug Lefler
Broadcast: September 4, 1995
Previous Story: -
Following Story: Chariots of War


Though she has lost her hunger for power and destruction, Xena cannot stand by when a group of warriors under the command of Hector, a vicious lieutenant of the cruel warlord Draco, threatens to slaughter the peasants of a small village. Xena single-handedly drives off the brutal attackers. Though the villagers are grateful, they are also fearful of her reputation and ask her to leave right away. All, that is, except a spirited young woman named Gabrielle who -- bored with life in the village and the prospect of a loveless marriage -- pleads with the warrior princess to take her along on her journey. Xena refuses and leaves alone on horseback, bound for her home in Amphipolis.

That night, Xena steals into Draco's mountain encampment to confront the savage warlord. Having spared his life in their last encounter, Xena asks him to spare the peasant village. He agrees, but when she rejects his offer to join up with him, claiming she has lost her taste for the slaughter of innocents, he makes secret plans to lay waste to Amphipolis. Meanwhile, Gabrielle sneaks away from home in the dead of night, determined to join Xena and become a warrior herself.

On the road to Amphipolis, Xena meets up with a blind man-eating Cyclops, who has an old score to settle with the woman warrior. Evading him, she continues on her journey through fierce rainstorms and across rushing rivers. When she realizes she's being followed by Draco's men, she sets up an ambush and forces Hector to reveal Draco's plans to destroy her home village. Meanwhile, Gabrielle follows Xena's trail, showing considerable resourcefulness along the way. When she is trapped by the Cyclops, she outwits him, then charms an old traveler into giving her a ride.

Xena's joy at reaching home turns to sorrow when she is met by a wave of hostility from the villagers. Even her mother Cyrene cannot forgive her daughter for her sinful past and is unwilling to listen to her warnings about Draco's advance. When Draco's warriors begin torching the valley, an angry mob comes after Xena, convinced that she is in league with the evil warlord. At the last moment, Gabrielle steps forward and convinces the villagers to let Xena go. The two gallop off on horseback, but when Draco arrives, Xena reappears and challenges him to a fight on the scaffolding surrounding the village meeting hall. They agree that the first to hit the floor will die. The ensuing battle is spectacular and evenly matched, spilling over the scaffolding and onto the heads and shoulders of those who have gathered to watch. Finally, with a flying somersault through the air, Xena lands squarely on Draco's chest and sends him crashing to the ground. Instead of slaying him, however, she makes Draco promise to leave without harming anyone.

Though Xena has saved the village and reconciled with her mother, there is too much anger over her past for her to stay. Followed by Gabrielle, Xena leaves to continue her battle against the forces of evil.

Memorable quotes[]

  • Draco (to Xena): "Celebrate your dark side. Don't run away from it."
  • Cyclops (to Gabrielle): Shut up! I hate chatty food.
  • Draco: Xena, how was the homecoming, did they throw you a party?
  • Gabrielle (talking about Xena): There's no way she would let a man close enough to do her. Well not that kind of do her.


  • Lucy Lawless as Xena
  • Renée O'Connor as Gabrielle
  • Jay Laga'aia as Draco
  • Darien Takle as Cyrene
  • Stephen Hall as Hector
  • Linda Jones as Hecuba
  • Willa O'Neill as Lila
  • Geoff Snell as Herodotus
  • Anton Bentley as Perdicas
  • David Perrett as Gar
  • Patrick Wilson as Cyclops
  • Wally Green as Old Man
  • Roydon Muir as Kastor
  • Huntly Eliott as First Citizen
  • Winston Harris as Boy

Background information and notes[]

  • The theme song for "Xena: Warrior Princess" was a modified version of "Kaval Sviri (The Flute Plays)" from "Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares". In the original "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" episode where Xena was introduced, the original Kaval Sviri was the music used to announce Xena racing into battle.
  • This episode marks Gabrielle's first outfit, known as her "Farmgirl" outfit. She wears this outfit for most of season one. She has a total of seven different outfits in the series.
  • Although it is never stated on screen, the original script for this episode lists Gabrielle's father's name as Herodotus and her mother's name as Hecuba.
  • The roles of Xena and Gabrielle were originally casted with actresses Vanessa Angel as Xena and Sunny Doench as Gabrielle. These two actresses both were hired for the parts but pulled out for personal reasons.
  • In the UK, the scenes where Draco kills Hector and some of the scenes with Gabrielle and the cyclops were never aired and instead were censored for being too violent.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Willa O'Neill (Lila, Gabrielle's sister), Jay Laga'aia (Draco) and Darien Takle (Cyrene, Xena's mother).
  • The Campfire scene was originally longer in length, but cut out. It has Xena at her campfire lamenting the loss of her cook, the only reference to her missing her old life with her army. They had Gabrielle convince Xena to bring her along because she can cook, but they rewrote the ending. They wanted to end with the two characters building a personal connection, rather than make it a joke.
  • Rob Tapert, Executive Producer and co-creator of Xena, has a small cameo in this episode. He is one of the Amphipolis villagers Xena and Draco walk on during their battle. He is the one wearing the turban that Xena spins on. Rob Tapert said he appeared in the show because filming was running late and they had sent the extras home, so he and a number of others in production made cameos.
  • The original ending ended with the camp fire scene, no walking beside the horse the next day.

Continuity and mistakes[]

  • When Xena is riding on Argo, right after Gabrielle gets a lift from the traveler, her sword and Chakram switch sides between shots. In the final shot, she doesn't even have either of them on her hip.
  • During the Neck Pinch, Xena tells the man he has 20 seconds, not the usual 30.
  • Gabrielle never introduces herself, by name, to Xena. The only time she is mentioned by name is when her husband-to-be tries to get her to leave the hut where Xena is being cared for. Xena never calls her by name, either, so perhaps she has forgotten.
  • In real life, it actually takes less than thirty seconds for a person to pass out (even die) when the flow of blood is cut off from the brain.
  • When Xena crosses the bridge on Argo she says "Come on, boy", however we learn later in the series that Argo is most definitely a mare, although the part of Argo is occasionally played by a male horse during stunts.

Chakram Count[]

  1. Xena throws it to disarm the men at the beginning of the episode.
  2. Xena throws it to make the Cyclops' pants fall down.


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