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Xena and her friends
Xena (Lucy Lawless)
"It's easy to talk like that when you're in Heaven. Where I come from, you fight for what you believe in."Former warlord turned wandering hero.
- '90s Anti-Hero: It's all there; stripperiffic costume, a dark, violent past, a name that is spelt with an "X", a distinct lack of compunction about killing her enemies, frequent brooding, sarcasm and extreme badassery.
- The Ace: Xena has many skills that she acquired during her extensive travels to many parts of the ancient world over a period of many years. In particular, she has shown remarkable skill and prowess in hand-to-hand combat, displaying numerous acrobatic tricks and the ability to disable and/or otherwise kill multiple opponents at one time. Along with her sword and chakram, she has also shown great proficiency with other weapons such as batons, daggers, and whips. She is also a formidable tactician, inspirational leader, and strategic thinker.
- Action Heroine: Xena goes beyond mere Action Girl status and ascends to this. She's the woman who set the standard for all TV heroines, even Buffy.
- Annoying Arrows: Xena takes almost as many arrows as Callisto did in the featured picture, (pulling only some out), in the finale. Unfortunately for her, she wasn't a god at the time.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: The reason why Xena was leader of her army of old, and often how she manages to help redeem fellow lost souls now.
- The Atoner: Xena spends the entire series atoning for her misdeeds, and dies to achieve redemption.
- Badass Normal: Xena can outfight anyone she comes up against, even when she's sick (or crazy), and the fact that she can outsmart gods makes her a bigger Guile Heroine than Gabrielle.
- Batman Gambit: Xena is fond of using these against her enemies, and even toward her friends upon occasion.After Xena successfully tricks everyone into believing Ares is her father, with a little unwitting help from Gabrielle and Cyrene...Gabrielle: Xena, you knew what your mom would say about the night of your conception. And you knew exactly what I would say. Well, I don't know if I like being that predictable.Xena: I knew you were gonna say that.
- Battle Couple: With Ares.
- Battle Cry: Xena often utilized a signature war cry, "Alalaes." Her cry was an alternate writing for "Alale" (or "Alala"), who in Greek mythology was the female personification of the war cry
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Ares.
- Blood Knight: Although she has always enjoyed battle and thrives in the midst of it, after Caesar screwed her over, she became this in a very bad - and indiscriminate - way. Even after her Heel–Face Turn in Hercules, she still contains elements of this.
- Booze Flamethrower: One of Xena's favorite moves.
- Character Title
- Choice of Two Weapons: Her sword and her chakram.
- Contralto of Danger: Xena's voice is much deeper than Gabrielle's, since between the two, Xena is a seasoned fighter, while Gabrielle is a bard.
- Dark is Not Evil: Without her dark past, she wouldn't be the hero she became, and that, in the end, it was all worth it.
- Dating Catwoman: With Ares.
- Determinator: So much. The woman has a will of steel.
- Divine Parentage: While it is never outright stated during the show, it is heavily, heavily implied that Ares took the form of Xena's father and then impregnated her mother, leading to her birth, which would make her a demigod and thus explain how she's capable of fighting at a level comparable to Hercules and standing toe-to-toe with other divine beings even before being expressly granted divine powers.
- It's likely that it was never outright stated due to Ares' ongoing lust and sexual involvement with Xena. While the true mythical Greek pantheon was hardly a stranger to incestuous relations, that sort of thing is heavily frowned upon on network television, and a show where Xena is constantly pursued, hit on, and lusted after by her own father would quickly get the studio into a lot of hot water.
- Fatal Flaw: Her willingness to sacrifice herself to save others.
- Guile Heroine: Is notorious for her cunning.
- The Heroine Obviously, see the title.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In the finale. Xena's quest for redemption ends when she sacrifices herself to kill the Japanese demon Yodoshi, which is holding the souls of the dead. Xena fights a Japanese army by herself and they kill her. Xena, now a spirit, fights and kills Yodoshi. Xena decides to stay dead so the souls of the 40,000 she (accidentally) killed years ago can be released into a state of peace.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: This is Lucy Lawless of course...
- Invincible Hero: Xena, while supposedly a regular mortal (questions about her true father aside), is pretty much unbeatable. She has defeated entire armies on her own along with war gods, archangels, and demons in direct battle despite their vastly superior strength. Any time she meets an enemy she cannot directly defeat she either acquires new powers, skills, or weapons that allow her to triumph or her enemies conveniently forget about the powers that would let them easily defeat a mortal.
- Kiai: Xena never leaps into battle without letting out a piercing cry of "LILILILILILIIIIIII!".
- Lady Legionnaire Wear: tended to have these in her outfits.
- Lady of War: Warrior Princess.
- Mama Bear: Very protective of of her son Solan. Not to mention she fought and killed GODS to protect Eve.
- Ms. Fanservice: She's an athletic and stuning woman who never wear sleeves and her clothes very often have her legs revealed. And, of course, Lucy Lawless is not bad...
- Not So Different: From Zeus of all beings. An immaculate conception pregnancy with a child prophesied to herald the One God of Light that is supposed to destroy the current world order in favor of a new one. A baby that people attempt to murder to prevent the destruction it is supposed to bring about. This description matches the circumstances around both the births of Gabrielle's child in season 3 and Gabrielle's child in season 5. Xena tried to kill the baby in season 3 and Zeus tries to kill Xena's baby for the same reasons.
- Our Hero Is Dead: A few times...
- Precision-Guided Boomerang: Her chakram.
- Rousseau Was Right: Though once a brutal warlord, she only raised an army in the first place to protect her home village from raiders. The death of her brother and then Caesar's betrayal helped push her over the edge.
- Shamu Fu: Many times. Including that one when the defeated a whole army with it...
- She Who Fights Monsters: How Xena first became a warlord.
- Statuesque Stunner: Xena, of course, is a tall bit of sexy.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: She's like the female version of Batman!
- The Strategist: She is an honestly brilliant military commander and strategist. There is a very good reason why she got the title "Destroyer Of Nations" and why in just ten years she became one of the most formidable warlords of all time.
- Tragic Hero: She dies because she couldn't overcome her Fatal Flaw.
- Whip It Good: Just one of the many weapons wielded by her.
Gabrielle (Renee O'Connor)
"The world belongs to men, only because we let them."Xena's best friend, sidekick and chronicler.
- Action Girl: In later seasons.
- Adrenaline Makeover: Gabrielle goes from a mousy wannabe bard to a sai wielding Action Girl over the course of the series, inciting a very◊ dramatic◊ change in retrospect.
- Badass Bookworm: Gabrielle is a bard by profession, always writing stories. As the series progresses, she goes from innocent non-combatant to a highly skilled fighter in her own right who earns the Fan Nickname "The Battling Bard of Potidaea".
- Boyish Short Hair: Seasons 4, 5 and 6.
- Break the Cutie: Gabrielle gets quite jaded at various points, thanks to all the plots that revolve around her life going terribly.
- Cartwright Curse: Gabrielle has the worst luck with men.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: While serving as Joxer's sidekick.
- The Lancer: In later seasons.
- Morality Pet: She plays this role for Xena.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Gabrielle does this once per episode early on. Of course, her biggest example in this regard is letting Hope live and lying to Xena about killing her. Lots of consequences there.
- Promoted To Opening Credits: Season 2.
- Sai Gal: Seasons Five and Six.
- Technical Pacifist: Gabrielle has no problem whacking people with her staff, but refuses to kill. For the first few seasons anyway.
- Thou Shall Not Kill: Not until the end of season 4 that she learned she always can't stick to this rule. And then she just threw the rule away altogether and started killing people left and right. (There's not really a good justification for this other than that she found pacifism too hard.)
- Took a Level in Badass: Her earliest costume was a very modest dress while later episodes had her with a green midriff revealing top and a skirt with her fighting staff. And later a more revealing costume, shorter hair & a pair of sais. Ares himself tells her when she tries to hunt him that when she first met she couldn't even pick up a blade.
- Wandering Minstrel: Gabrielle becomes a wandering Bard for a while, before becoming Action Girl Jr.
- Weapon of Choice: Her staff, and (in later seasons) her sais.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Her naivete combined with an unbending righteousness leads her to rash though well-intentioned action.
Joxer the Mighty (Ted Raimi)
"Joxer the Mighty, He wanders through the countryside...
"Oh, that song again! I can't get it out of my head! The meter is awful!Harmless Villain turned Heroic Wannabe, Joxer is one of Xena and Gabrielle's best and most trusted friends.
- Accidental Murder: "The Convert" sees him score his first kill ever. It was a complete fluke and against a notorious warlord, but he still feels disgusted with himself.
- Butt Monkey: Exhibit A: In a Spot the Imposter episode his friends identified him because he was hanging from a wall by his underpants.
- Dogged Nice Guy: To Gabrielle.
- Happily Married: To Meg after the time skip
- I Just Want to Be Badass: He really wants to be a mighty warrior like Xena. Aphrodite even grants his wish in one episode.
- Killed Off for Real: killed by Eve/Livia.
- Lethal Chef: Referenced in several episodes, especially "Takes One to Know One," when trying to solve a murder of a bounty hunter Xena, Gabrielle, their friends and family thinks that Gabrielle may have killed her with Joxer's gravy recipe. She didn't.
- Plucky Comic Relief: No matter how hard or how often he tries to be The Lancer, the Anti-Hero, or the Villain Protagonist, poor man.Joxer: Now listen, I'm fierce, and I have a lust for blood. As a matter of fact, if a couple of days go by and I haven't shed some blood, I get very depressed. Blood and me go together like a horse and chariot! I once bathed in a tub of blood! My nickname is Bloody Joxer!Xena: If you like blood so much? Keep talking.
- Undying Loyalty: His defining trait. People routinely mock him for his bluster and sometimes idiocy, but he goes above and beyond for his friends. Most notably in "Forget Me Not" where he tried to help Gabrielle after she gave her memories.
- The Unfavorite: Implied to be this in his family, since his father was a warlord and his brother is a skilled assassin, while Joxer himself isn't much of a warrior. Even his Camp Gay other brother who works as a singer got more respect (although at least he's good at his chosen profession...).
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Autolycus, though the insults largely only come from the King of Thieves.
Autolycus (Bruce Campbell)The King of Thieves.
- Adaptation Distillation: In the original myth, Autolycus was the son of Hermes, messenger of the gods, which would grant him a degree of Divine Parentage. This is never touched upon in the show, though it would explain his speed and agility if it were the basis of his character. Amusingly, in one Hercules episode, Autolycus disguises himself as a statue of Hermes.
- Deadpan Snarker: He's played by Bruce Campbell. So, snark is inevitable.
- Everyone Has Standards: Never steals from anyone that can't afford to lose it. He once demanded that a poor community pay a large amount for his services, but then he secretly gave it back to them when the mission was done.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Iolaus. Their first meeting was Autolycus leaving Iolaus to deal with the fallout of a robbery, which nearly got him executed. They're not pleased to run into each other a couple years later, but they develop an understanding after overcoming adventures involving a vicious hunter, Ares, and a giant chicken.
- Freudian Excuse: In his first appearance, he explains to Hercules why he's a thief."A bloated merchant from Cyros tricked my brother, Malachis, out of his land. And when Malachis protested, the merchant had him killed. And the-powers-that-be did nothing about it. So, I delivered my own justice. I robbed that merchant, and I gave every dinar he had to the sick, the hungry, the poor. The merchant became a pauper. And, well, I became an outlaw... but not just any outlaw, either."
- Gold Fever: Zig-Zagged. He's a thief that loves dinars, gold, jewels, and anything else of value. There are times when he knows to avoid robbing people like warlords, but his compulsion has also caused him to steal from gods or cursed objects under the belief it wouldn't come back to bite him.Hercules: You didn't have to steal it in the first place.
Autolycus: Don't ya see, man?! I've got a problem! It's a sickness. If I were the last man on Earth, I'd steal from myself.
- Jerkass Façade: Constantly. Nicely summed up by Xena during "The Quest":"You often don't let people see who you really are. I was in there. I know. For all your bluster, Autolycus, you're a nice person."
- Loveable Rogue: Made more loveable by being played by Bruce Campbell himself.
- My God, What Have I Done?: In "Tsunami," he allowed himself to be captured and sentenced to hard labor, so he could rob a diamond mine. Gabrielle saw him boarding the prison ship and tried to help him, which in turn brought Xena aboard. The ship is soon capsized by a tsunami and sinking, leaving Autolycus feeling very guilty about endangering his friends.
- Parental Abandonment: His father died before he was born and his mother while he was a child, leaving his older brother to raise him.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Autolycus prides himself on being the King of Thieves, but...Autolycus: Ah, then you've heard of me.
Hercules: Not until today.
- Undying Loyalty: For all his snarking and posturing, he's completely devoted to his friends.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Joxer and Salmoneus.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Mentioned by Xena under Jerkass Façade, but also in "Tsunami":Autolycus: Spare me, Xena. We both know what I am.
Gabrielle: What's that?
Autolycus: Someone who can let a friend walk straight into trouble all for the chance to steal a few lousy stones.
Xena: Well, excuse me, I must've mistaken you for a man who once risked his life to save mine.
Ephiny (Danielle Cormack)Amazon Queen. Married the centaur Phantes, and is the mother of Xenon.
- Action Girl: As you would expect of an Amazon.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Averted. She dies quickly into "Endgame," but much of the episode revolves around the fallout of and reaction to her death.
- Interspecies Romance: With Phantes.
- Killed Off for Real: Killed in battle by Brutus.
- Worthy Opponent: After killing her, Brutus refers to her as one of the best sword fighters he's ever come across.
Aphrodite (Alexandra Tydings)
"Don't believe everything you hear about blondes.
- Absolute Cleavage: All her "outfit".
- Character Development: Started out as a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing but gradually became more likeable. Was also The Ditz and while that never went entirely away it did lessen.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: She does quite well against Discord.
- Dumb Blonde: At first, but she shows her true intelligence as the show progresses.
- Jerkass Gods: Early on, before she...
- Last of His Kind: She and Ares becomes the only survivors of the "Twilight of the Olympian Gods", organized by Xena when the deities, under Athena's flag, join together to kill Eve. Aphrodite remains unconvinced that Eve will willingly destroy the deities, to the point where she sneaks Xena and Gabrielle into Olympus itself. After the Twilight of the Gods, Aphrodite becomes mentally unbalanced due to Ares losing his powers: Love must be balanced by War.
- Love Goddess: Share this role with her son Cupid.
- Ms. Fanservice: Invoked In-Universe, just watch her outfit.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: While she acts ditzy and at times even clueless, she has demonstrated on several occasions that she's far more aware and calculating than she lets on.
- Odd Friendship: With Iolaus and Gabrielle.
- The Ophelia: During her time with Caligula in "The God You Know."
- Valley Girl: Seems to be the inspiration for her voice and speech patterns.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: She falls for Hephaestus, the supposedly ugly god, because he sees her as more than a sex object.
M'Lila (Ebonie Smith)A runaway slave from Gaul who ends up on Xena's pirate ship at the same time as Julius Caesar. She becomes the first of several of Xena's mentors.
- Foreshadowing: The little girl at the beginning of "Destiny" has a necklace like M'Lila's, and appears to speak the same language as M'Lila.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: Although she isn't older than Xena, she is still the first of several characters from Xena's past who helped shape the Warrior Princess we know today, and her death at the hands of Roman soldiers sent to apprehend them is the final straw that sets Xena on the path of darkness.Xena: “You’ll be dead in thirty seconds. But know this - you won’t be the last. Tell Hades to prepare himself. A new Xena is born tonight - with a new purpose in life - death.”
- Pressure Point: M'Lila teaches Xena "the pinch," her signature move which cuts off the flow of blood to a victim's brain, leaving them thirty seconds to live.
Borias (Marton Csokas)Warlord with whom Xena rode prior to her first appearance in Hercules. Father of their son Solan
- Disappeared Dad: He died the night Solan was born.He also left his wife and son for Xena back when he first met her.
- Even Warlords Have Standards: Prevented Xena from killing a young Amazon, Otere.
- Posthumous Character: He's been dead for ten years by the time we first hear his name.
- Redemption Equals Death: He is remembered as a hero by every Centaur on earth after allying with them against Xena.
Lao Ma (Jacqueline Kim)One of Xena's mentors, and the first person to attempt to turn her back to good during her warlord days. She is the wife of Laozi and according to the Xenaverse, she is the real author of the Daodejing.
- Cursed with Awesome / Blessed with Suck: Lao Ma herself says this, "I have been blessed, or cursed, with the ability to see into the souls of others. You don't know it yet, Xena, but you're a remarkable woman, capable of greatness."
- Cultured Badass: She acts humbly and properly, but she can take you down if necessary.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: At a meeting with Borias and Xena, it seems like Lao Ma is flirting with Borias. Then, as she reaches for a dish on the table, Xena throws a knife at her hand.Xena: That's my piece of meat you're reaching for.Lao Ma: You're wrong. I don't eat meat. (Reaches for vegetarian dish.)
- Mama Bear: Even when he's going to kill her, she won't attack her son. He uses this to his advantage. She also sends her young daughters away so they will be safe from their brother.
- Missing Mom: Is this to Ming T'ien, and K'ao Hsin and Pao Ssu.
- Opposed Mentors: With Alti, though Xena only meets Alti after she's left Lao Ma.
- Pretty in Mink: Has a red gown with dark fur trim and fur hat.
- Silk Hiding SteelSoft as water, hard as the raging flood.
- Thanatos Gambit: Before her death she sends a cryptic message to Xena, knowing Xena would return to Qin to make things right.
- Underwater Kiss: With Xena, when Xena was hiding from Ming Tzu in Lao Ma's bathtub, to give her enough air to stay hidden.
Eli (Timothy Omundson)Former street magician turned miracle worker.
- The Chosen One: As a Devi, and an Avatar.
- Looks Like Jesus: He is the Jesus version of Xena universe.
- Despair Event Horizon: When Xena and Gabrielle are crucified.
- Healing Hands: He brings Gabrielle and Xena back from the dead with them.
- Pacifist: Actual Pacifist after he becomes the messenger of the One God.
Amarice (Jennifer Sky)A plucky young Amazon introduced near the end of season 4.
- Catch Phrase: "In my tribe..."
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Amarice, who had been Xena and Gabrielle's companion for a good run of episodes earlier that season, was unceremoniously killed offscreen during the teaser for the episode "Lifeblood".
- Put on a Bus: She didn’t come back.
Meg (Lucy Lawless)Barmaid and Xena lookalike. Hijinks ensue when Meg impersonates Xena or their other lookalikes Princess Diana and Leah the Hestian Virgin.
- All Women Are Lustful: Meg and the girls in her brothel are portrayed as such.
- Fangirls: To Joxer the Mighty, of all people.
- Happily Married: To Joxer after the time skip.
- I Was Quite a Looker: She aged badly.Gabrielle: (to Xena) I'd lay off the beans, if I were you.
- Jumping Out of a Cake: Does so for Ares' bachelor party, dressed only in whipped cream. He is amused until he learns she's not actually Xena.
- Malaproper: Refers to Xena's chakram as a "shamrock."
- Missing Dad: He died in childbirth. Well, he got drunk and fell off the roof while she was being born.
- Mistaken Identity: Every episode in which she features.
- Put on a Bus: After Joxer dies.
- Slobs vs. Snobs: When disguised as Princess Diana, or as Leah, the High Priestess of Hestia, Meg doesn't always put on a good show as a lady of good breeding.
Minya (Alison Wall)An ordinary woman who dreams of being a warrior like Xena.
- Fangirl: To Xena.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: She tries to pull it off, but can't quite match Xena for Fanservice. Not that her boyfriend Hower was complaining once he saw Minya in her leather.
- Hide Your Lesbians: Possibly. She says at the end of "The Play's The Thing" that she's a "thespian," but it's a bit hard to hear, and she might be saying something else entirely. It certainly sounds like a confession of a different sort, especially as she says fellow female cast member Pollina helped her to come to this realization.Minya: "The two of you made me realise something deep down inside myself that I guess I always knew but I didn’t dare admit. I’m a thespian."
- Lampshaded by Gabrielle wanting to make sure Minya said "thespian" and not something else.
- Plucky Comic Relief: If Minya's there, it's probably a light-hearted episode.
- Put on a Bus: Never seen or heard from again after Season 4.
- Shout-Out: Her character is a shout out to the fans themselves.
Cyrene (Darien Takle)Xena's Mother, who runs a tavern in Amphipolis.
- Action Mom: She takes on Athena to protect Xena and her granddaughter.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Mother: Xena certainly thinks so when Cyrene places an ad around town for a husband for Xena when she finds out Xena is pregnant.
- Burn the Witch!: Cyrene is burned at the stake when the villagers think she is a witch.
- Mama Bear: Killed her own husband to protect Xena when she was young.
- Parental Favoritism: Spent years estranged from Xena after the death of Lyceus because Cyrene blamed Xena for his death. She never mentions Toris, Xena's other brother. Then again, no one else does either.
OctavianCaesar's nephew and future Emperor Augustus. He was just a boy when Xena met him. He adopted Eve when her mother was presumed dead and later tries to marry her.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: His regal toga is an American flag.
- The Emperor: What he is fated to become for Rome.
- Historical-Domain Character: He is a real-life figure, though better known by his name Augustus.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: Despite his very infamous nature as a manipulative chessmaster, he is portrayed in a very positive light in this series becoming a surrogate father for Xena's daughter.
Eve/Livia (Adrienne Wilkinson)Xena's daughter chosen to be the new messenger of the god of Love. Her birth heralded the Twilight of the Olympians so Xena faked her and Eve's death. Eve, as Livia, was raised by Octavius to become Rome's most powerful warrior.
- The Butcher: One of her monikers.
- Chickification: When she embraced the Way of Love.
- Child Of No Father Born: A child born of no father was prophesied by the Fates to bring about the Twilight of the Gods. Eve was conceived by Callisto's spirit to be a vessel of her reincarnation.
- Dark Action Girl: Before she became an Actual Pacifist she was absolutely ruthless. Justified given that she's a sort of reincarnation of Callisto.
- Deus ex Machina: Her Heel–Face Turn was literally an act of divine intervention.
- Has Two Mommies: Pointed out in "Motherhood".Gabrielle: We saved your daughter.Xena: No. We saved our daughter.
- Also in a very literal sense, since angel Callisto impregnated Xena as a way to atone for killing Solan, resultan in Eve.
- Heel–Face Turn: As mentioned above, she becomes a freaking ''angel'.
- Historical-Domain Character - Augustus' empress was named Livia.
- "Not Important to This Episode" Camp: in the episode "Antony and Cleopatra"Gabrielle: I wish Eve could see this.Xena: She's better off with my mother in Alexandria.
- Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: Xena and Gabrielle go to sleep for thirty years in coffins of ice and awake to find Eve has aged to adulthood.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Callisto. Justified in that her reincarnated soul is Callisto's.
- Tyke Bomb: Thanks to Xena and Gabrielle being in a magical sleep for decades she was functionally raised by Ares
- Wife Husbandry: Augustus tried to marry her but she felt no love because he hardly spent time with her. Plus the squicky factor...
Ares (Kevin Tod Smith)
"Since time began, it has been warriors who have shaped the world."
- Brought Down to Normal: But never permanent.
- In-between "Intimate Stranger" and "Ten Little Warlords," his godhood is stolen from him by Sisyphus, and he struggles to get along.
- Gabrielle accidentally does this to him in "The Quill Is Mightier..." (though he handles it much better than Aphrodite).
- Over on Hercules, Dahak entering the world and coming to Greece affects all of the Olympians. Ares demonstrates a little bit of power here and there, but he's severely weakened and slowly loses what little ability he has.
- At the end of Season 5, he sacrifices his godhood to revive Gabrielle and Eve. This one stuck the longest, as it's not until halfway through Season 6 that the god of war makes a comeback.
- Dating Catwoman: With Xena. He often flirts with her, though she always rebuffs him. By Season 5, he found that he sincerely loved her.
- Early Installment Weirdness: In his first few appearances on Hercules he was more of a general God of Evil who liked to build murder cults to himself and usually acted through intermediaries or possessed corpses. The first time he was shown as personally present he looked like a giant animate suit of armor with glowing eyes, and his influence was usually shown by just a skull over the moon. Kevin Tod Smith didn't even get the part until season 3 of Hercules/ season 1 of Xena.
- Everybody Hates Ares: Ares is a reoccurring major villain. When he first started in Hercules, he was portrayed as a God of Evil who set up murder cults, when he wasn't starting wars to feed his dog Graegus. He was also the Evil Mentor to Xena during her warlord days.
- Evil Mentor: Prides himself in making Xena what she is.
- Freudian Excuse: He says that everything he ever learned about evil and greed he learned from Hera. He's appreciative of that.
- Graceful Loser: He often congratulates Xena when she gets the better of him (most notably in "The Reckoning"). This does not extend to others, though, especially Hercules.
- Heartbroken Badass: Despite treating him as his own personal Butt Monkey, Ares was devastated when his nephew Strife was killed by Callisto."He wasn't so bad. He-he tried real hard. He was just no good at his job." (to Callisto) "You didn't have to do this!"
- Hell-Bent for Leather: His own attire. He also considers Xena's leather outfit to be sexy.
- I Gave My Word: If you can get Ares to agree to something unconditionally, he will honor it regardless of the consequences. This was demonstrated in "The Reckoning" and "The Dirty Half Dozen."
- In Love with Your Carnage: Ares' attraction to Xena during her warlord days and disappointment when she became a hero.
- Last of His Kind: He and Aphrodite becomes the only survivors of the "Twilight of the Olympian Gods", organized by Xena when the deities, under Athena's flag, join together to kill Eve.
- Love Redeems: He has been in love with Xena for a long time, but instead of confessing to her, he's so terrified of rejection that he constantly invents stupid plans to try to force her to be with him. Considering that he was born to be a war god and that that is his innate nature, it is understandable that this would be the way he would try to court her, but this is possibly the worst way to approach Xena. Nevertheless, he does in the end sacrifice his godhood and his own future for her.
- Really Gets Around: As is expected of the gods, Ares has associations with a lot of women, some overt, some implied. Among his count are Xena, Callisto, Nemesis, Hope, Aphrodite (their son together is Cupid), Discord, Eve, the Furies, and he's implied more than once to have a thing for Gabrielle.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: He made it to the 20th-21st century.
- The Unfavorite: Out of all of Zeus' children. It generally doesn't bother him, but the idea that Hercules (a half-mortal) is Zeus' favorite angers him to no end.
- We Will Meet Again: No matter the show, he will do this almost every single time he appears.
- Worthy Opponent: Considers Xena to be one. He often speaks of his regard for her talents, even as she's about to foil his plans.
Callisto (Hudson Leick)Former Xena victim now bent on her destruction. Becomes an angel in season 5 thanks to Xena.
- All for Nothing: As said to Xena in "Maternal Instincts":"You don't seem to get it, do you? You've won. All these years I've spent living to destroy you—thinking that only if I could give you the same pain that you gave me, I'd be rid of it and life would go on. And then I do and nothing changes. I don't feel better, just empty. So, you let me go, Xena. You can't win this battle. You've already won the war."
- And I Must Scream: After she dies the first time, Callisto's existence boils down to this. She is so consumed with hate for Xena killing her family that she can't find peace even in death. In "Intimate Stranger" (as well as "Surprise" from HTLJ ), her version of Tartarus is being confronted with her guilt and screaming in agony. It gets worse when she realizes there is nothing she can do to Xena to make her feel the same way.
- Annoying Arrows: Provides the picture for this trope, from "Maternal Instincts".
- Arch-Enemy: To Xena. They could easily be the female versions of Batman and the Joker.
- Badass Normal: When first introduced.
- Big Bad: One of the most recurring villains on the show, and one of the only ones to pose a serious threat to Xena.
- Chainmail Bikini: Her regular outfit.
- Create Your Own Villain: Xena apparently obliviously did this to her, though this is before Xena's Heel–Face Turn. Callisto believes that until she becomes a goddess and goes back in time to the day her parents were killed. It turns out that the future Callisto was the one who murdered her own parents, but her dazed past self assumed Xena was to blame. Given the chance to undo her past, after an accident she instead made sure it happened, making it clear that one more Never My Fault villain actually is the way she is by choice. She took her mother and her younger self into a barn to protect them. When he father (thinking that the strange woman is one of Xena's Mooks) tries to attack her from behind, she throws a dagger at him without looking. Realizing that she can't change the past, she reluctantly incinerates her own mother with a fireball. In a last-ditch effort, she tries to kill her younger self by setting the barn on fire, but the girl is saved, swearing vengeance against Xena. Although then, Iolaus manages to save Alcmene, thus foiling Callisto's mission, meaning that she never got sent back in time, never accidentally killed her parents, and it's still Xena's army's doing.
- Dark Action Girl: Obvious since she is the Xena's Evil Counterpart.
- Death Seeker: Outright stated several times. When Velasca asks her if she has a death wish, she replies, "You know, it's funny, I think I do." Later, in "Sacrifice", she requests that Hope kill her in exchange for her help—saying she wants total oblivion instead of going to an afterlife. It's also implied that she hopes for Xena to kill her almost as much as she wants to make Xena suffer; even though Xena grants her wish a couple of times, it rarely sticks.
- Demoted to Dragon: Defied during those occasions she works with Ares ("Intimate Stranger" and the "Armageddon Now" two-parter). She has no intention of following orders, only doing so to get what she wants and then casting him aside afterwards.
- Despair Event Horizon: she reaches this early on and then keeps on going.
- The Dragon: First to Hope, then Mephistopheles.
- Dragon with an Agenda: She really couldn't care less about the goals of Hope or Mephistopheles; she only sees them as means to getting what she wants (death and revenge, respectively). She even splits from Hope because it's taking too long for her to get her reward.
- Empowered Badass Normal: After eating ambrosia
- The Faceless: During her first appearance ("The Greater Good").
- The Fool: In "The Bitter Suite" (which was bleeding Tarot imagery) Callisto dresses up like this.
- "Freaky Friday" Flip: With Xena during "Intimate Stranger" and "Ten Little Warlords".
- Heel–Face Turn: In an unusual twist, she only pulls this during her afterlife.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Her regular outfit.
- Hobbes Was Right: During a Hercules crossover, Callisto feels that all mortals are wicked and should be punished.
- In-Name-Only: Other than both being goddesses, she and the mythological Callisto have nothing in common.
- Knight of Cerebus: Every episode she appears is unlikely to have any campy or light-hearted moments.
- Laughing Mad: She is almost always seen with a huge smile on her face, often giggling with evil glee as well.
- Light is Not Good: She appears in "The Ides of March" as a Woman in White in order to contrast her appearance and evil goals.
- Ms. Fanservice: Her regular outfit is more fanservicey than Xena.
- Never My Fault: While Xena's army did kill her family and ruined her life, she refuses to take responsibility for murdering countless innocent people as part of her quest for revenge. Even her own mother's spirit told her that these people didn't need to die.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Her status in the divine hierarchy changed more often than any other character on the show; she had been a mortal, immortal, goddess, demon, archdemon, and angel.
- Playing with Fire: As a Goddess.
- Physical God: After eating ambrosia.
- Psycho for Hire: Often enemies of Hercules or Xena will try to use her to their ends, and she goes along with it in the hope that causing Xena the same crushing agony that she experiences will stop it.
- Psychopathic Womanchild: Callisto has some very girlish mannerisms, such as her sing-song tone of voice, her giggling almost constantly over her evil plans, her swift mood swings, her screaming battle cry which sounds oddly like a child throwing a temper tantrum, her constant efforts to get Xena's attention, her avoidance of intoxicants, sex, and love... Justified, since her Despair Event Horizon (losing her family to Xena's army) happened when she was a girl.
- Pyro Maniac: She has a horrible obsession with fire. A very unhealthy albeit justified one.
- Reformed, but Rejected: The look on Callisto's face after Xena has given her Light and Gabrielle tells her about her horrific crimes is, in itself a Break the Cutie moment. She looks absolutely heartbroken.
- Trauma Conga Line: She went through Break the Cutie as a little girl and then the hits just kept on coming, with the hate, anger, and pain building to insane heights. She's a rather odd example in that all her attempts to stop the pain amount to her trying to harm others, and so she unintentionally instigates the events that cause her more pain. She does in fact get Driven to Madness by the sheer agony and her emotional spectrum is so fractured that often she can't feel anything at all.
- Villainesses Want Heroes: With Hercules in the Hercules crossover.
- Would Hurt a Child: Callisto shows that she would right from the get-go, when she starts committing acts of terrorism in Xena's name.Xena: I never killed women and children.Callisto: Well, you have now.
- Taken a step further in "Surprise," where she taunts Hercules with this:"If I go back to the Underworld, I won't be suffering alone. I'll find your children. Klonus, Aeson, and little Ilia, is it? And I'll dedicate eternity to making them suffer. After all, I got here, didn't I? I can get to them."
- Taken a step further in "Surprise," where she taunts Hercules with this:
"If they are not under my control, then they are my enemies."
- Back from the Dead: He's killed off at the end of Season 4, but he escapes Tartarus in Season 6's "When Fates Collide" and alters history so that he never betrayed Xena.
- Big Bad: He's the only historical character to pose a threat to Xena for several seasons.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Pointed out in "Endgame".Brutus: He wouldn't betray a friend.Xena: Pompey was a friend. And Crassus, wasn't he a friend, too? I was once a very good friend of his. But maybe you're special.
- The Emperor: Though the Senate begged to differ.
- Leitmotif: Trumpet fanfare can be heard when he appears.
- Lima Syndrome: Xena fell in love with him when he was her captive.
Velasca (Melinda Clarke)
"Where were you, Artemis, when the name Amazon became a joke told by old men in taverns?!"Amazon who battled Gabrielle to become Queen.
- Evil Counterpart: To Ephiny. Neither took Gabrielle's Right of Caste seriously, but Ephiny grew to respect her, while Velasca sees her as an obstacle and then her enemy.
- Motive Decay: Deconstructed through two appearances. She starts out wanting to take over the tribe, seeking to improve the Amazon Nation and bend it to her own vision. However, she grows to personally hate Gabrielle for opposing her and wrecking her standing. When she becomes a full god, she focuses on trying to kill Gabrielle instead of taking over the tribe or killing the Centaurs. Velasca even admits to Gabrielle that the Amazon Nation is dead and that she's going to instead remake the world itself instead of concern herself with Amazon matters.
- Physical God: After eating ambrosia.
- Rage Against the Heavens: Why she destroyed the Temple of Artemis.
- Remember the New Guy: She was in exile during season 1.
Alti (Claire Stansfield)Former Amazon turned Shamaness.
- Because Destiny Says So: Alti has the power to prematurely kill people by making them experience their death before it's supposed to happen.
- Big Bad: As a villain whose power lies in the use of psychic powers, Alti posed a reasonable threat to Xena.
- The Corrupter: Manages to corrupt an already evil Xena.
- Mad Scientist: Becomes this in 2001.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: During their fight in "Adventures in the Sin Trade II," Alti attempts to break Xena with a vision of her and Gabrielle being crucified by the Romans.Alti: Your little friend is dying with you, Xena. How does that make you feel?
Xena: 'Cause if she's dying in my future, that means she's alive in my present!
- Opposed Mentors:
- With Cyane, Queen of the Amazons. Cyane bests her in a mental showdown, though Xena ultimately sides with Alti, and kills Cyane and the other Amazon leaders.Cyane: Your choices are simple, Xena. Side with us and find life, or side with Alti and find death.
- Alti is also an opposed mentor to Lao Ma, though Xena only meets her after she leaves Lao Ma.Alti: Your friend you told me about, Lao Ma, her powers come from denial, from self-sacrifice, from the light. That’s not for people like you and me. I wanna tap into the heart of darkness - the sheer, naked will behind all craving, hatred, and violence. I’ll become the face of death itself - capable of destroying not only a person’s body, but their soul. Help me, and I’ll make you ‘Destroyer of Nations’.
- With Cyane, Queen of the Amazons. Cyane bests her in a mental showdown, though Xena ultimately sides with Alti, and kills Cyane and the other Amazon leaders.
- Past-Life Memories: She uses memories of this life in her next life to fight Xena and Gabrielle in their next lives.
- Precision F-Strike: B strike.(To Gabrielle)"Xena's little bitch. Welcome to the doghouse."
Hope (Renee O'Connor)The evil child of Dahak and Gabrielle.
- Anti Christ: The daughter of a mortal woman and a God of Evil.
- The Chosen One: Dahak's followers see her as his means of remaking the world. She's only too happy to take part.
- Daddy's Little Villain: Hope thought Gabrielle tried to kill her because she was closer to Dahak.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Hope truly loved both Dahak and the Destroyer. She also sincerely forgave Gabrielle for poisoning her, though that led to a swift response on Gabby's part.
- Evil Counterpart: To Hercules—being a powerful half-mortal that serves her full god father.
- Evil Twin: Sort of, since it's her mother she's identical to.
- Fetus Terrible: She strangles one of the knights working with Xena and Gabrielle to protect her.
- Mommy Issues: Resents Gabrielle for abandoning her, but also offers Gabrielle a chance to be in her life. Gabrielle responds with a pretty serious “Hell-to-the-No”.Gabrielle: Hope...when I gave you that poison-
Hope: It’s okay, Mother, I forgive y-
Gabrielle: –I'm so sorry it didn't kill you.
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: As an adult, Hope looks exactly like her mother, Gabrielle.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Her followers really believed she was good.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Several people try to kill her before she's even born and continue even afterward. Even her mother, Gabby, abandons and then attempts to kill her. Despite this, Hope is willing to forgive her mother and wants to be close with her. Gabby's not interested. To be fair, the reason is because not only did Hope kill someone in cold blood within an hour of being born, all that she is interested in is to kill and torture people. Yes, she wants Gabrielle to be close with her...so they can both take over the world and kill everyone within it. Her intrinsic nature is geared towards murder and torture, even though she knows that it is wrong and that not only would Gabrielle disapprove of her actions but that they cause great pain and suffering (she lied and manipulated Gabrielle of her own volition when she killed Solan and tried to pretend she was innocent). However, HER child could be considered the real Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.
Draco (Jay Laga'aia)
- Bad Boss: He kills a minion for failing him, though gives him a chance to fight.
Najara (Kathryn Morris)A “Joan of Arc”-esque character, and warrior zealot. She claims to hear the voices of "Jinn" and believes in reforming her enemies through "The Light".
- Defeat Means Friendship: She gives anyone she beats 3 days to turn to the Light, or she kills them.
- Evil Counterpart: She is like a reformed Xena minus a Gabrielle.
- Yandere: To Gabrielle.
Athena (Paris Jefferson)
"I've poisoned your water supply. What will you give them when they're dying of thirst, love?"Goddess of wisdom and war. She took over leadership of the Olympians after Zeus' death.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She's every bit as vicious as Ares when necessary such as to protect her family.
- Bling of War: Her armor is solid gold, and her warriors dress in silver.
- Face–Heel Turn: Before she took over the Olympians and started pursuing Xena, Athena was the only Olympian Xena admired.
- Necessarily Evil: Tried to kill Xena because of the prophecy that Xena's child would destroy the Olympians.
- Create Your Own Villain: Unknown to Xena, Ming Tien looked to her as his mentor. He saw his father, who was a pretty bad guy, as weak because of his concern for him.
Pao SsuOne of Lao Ma's estranged daughters.
- Cain and Abel: with Khao Hsien
- Evil Costume Switch: Once her identity is known, she switches from her qipao to the regalia of an empress
- Pure Is Not Good: She masters Lao Ma's power because of her purity of hate.
"Girl, I have seen death more times than I care to. You are either a fool or you don't know what you are talking about.Caesar's right hand man
- Bling of War: Wore silver armor
- Hero Killer: He killed Ephiny in battle.
- Killed Off for Real: At the battle of Actium, at that.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: He sincerely believed Caesar was his friend and had Rome's best interests at heart.
Bacchus (Anthony Ray Parker / Kevin Smith)The Greek God of Debauchery.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Inverted with prejudice - Bacchus (or Dyonisius as he is better known among Greeks) tends to be either depicted as a Pretty Boy or as an middle-aged fat man. This version of him, on the other hand, is outright demonic.
- Big Red Demon: Bacchus has blood-red skin and large curved horns.
- Eviler Than Thou: Hades denounces him as "the biggest worm in the family."
- The Exile: He is effectively an outcast among the gods and his servants are barred from entering the Elysium fields.
- Noodle Incident: The battle between his cult and Xena's army.
- Our Vampires Are Different: He is able to turn people into Bacchae - who are pretty much evil vampires.
- Take Over the World: On Young Hercules, his ultimate goal is to gain enough followers to take over the mortal world.
Ilainus of MyceneaAthena's champion.
- Evil Counterpart: She is loyal to Athena as much as Xena used to be loyal to Ares.