Hercules: The Legendary Journeys

Season 1 Episode 14

The Warrior Princess

Aired Monday 5:00 PM Mar 13, 1995 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
63 votes

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Episode Summary


The beautiful warrior woman Xena was intent on securing complete control of the region of Arcadia. To accomplish her goal, Xena decided that Hercules must die. She posed as a maiden in distress and effectively lured Iolaus away from his best friend. Xena then used all her beauty and charm on Iolaus, even preying on his jealousy of his friend's reputation. Hercules discovered Xena's true identity and went to rescue Iolaus. At first, Iolaus turned on Hercules rather than join him. But eventually Iolaus realized the truth. He and Hercules fought Xena and her army until Iolaus was injured. Xena departed, vowing a vengeful return.


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  • xena tries to turn iolaus against hercules by seducinig him,with the stategic aim to make hercules kill iolaus and when his moral is down take the advantage kill hercules and be free to conquer the worldmoreless

    a truly superb episode,not only for introducing xena, i am more hercules fun, but because the episode really desrveses.Maybe the last fighting scene after hercules duel with iolaus,wasnt that much worked,however the rest of the episode was breathtaking.We see how hercules been traded by his best friend and trying to fool his self by being cool,how the passion for a woman can destroy the best friendship.And yes even that friendship,iolaus loved hercules but he was always under hercules shade,he was very proud man,so is normal to have some jealous of hercules cause the acceptable hero was herc,xena also knew perfectly how to reveal this iolaus weakness and how to make him passionate about her,iolaus lost his mind.Hercules feeling so bad and alone cause even his best friend and one of the few persons he had in life iolaus treat him like an enemy and turned his back,he want to give up but finally finds the strength to fight xena and forgive iolaus.Is obvious that hercules tries to be superior and not to get angry about iolaus.This episode has a good plot you understand more and get into more at the characters,great episode to watch.moreless
  • Meet the Warrior Princess, ain't she evil!

    This is the classic first episode in the Xena Trilogy, "Warrior Princess". In it Iolaus (who's becoming Herc's regular sidekick at this point) is seduced by the Warrior woman Xena. It's funny, 9 episodes into the regular series Lucy has already played 3 characters in the world. However, originally she wasn't suppose to be Xena. God am I glad that twist of fate that put the role in her lap happened.

    But moving on... Xena is played as an evil Harlot in this and it seems very jarring to those that are familiar with the series. Despite being a bloodthirsty warrior (as seen in the way she relishes the blood on her sword after a battle) her power with her men here is played as a very sexual one... more so than it ever will be again. This is seen very much in the way she sends a poor warrior to the slaughter after kissing him. Obviously they were still figuring out how to play the character. But wow, when Xena took up her sword and started swinging I was filled with all my old Xena-joy. This is my least favorite of the Xena Trilogy episodes, but it's fun none the less. I tend to agree with Kevin Sorbo (who didn't buy Iolaus would turn on Herc for a woman as easily as he did), but in the end he came to his senses pretty easily. And considering "Pride comes before a Brawl" it doesn't seem to out-of-character that he would go overboard only to say to himself "Why am I doing this to my best friend" and throw down his sword.

    Of course there's that bit of trivia attached to this episode, Xena says she had three brothers who died in battle. That turned out to be a lie as she has two brothers and only one died in battle. Perhaps she was over-dramatizing her life for the sake of winning Iolaus' favor. And the weirdest thing kept bothering me, the fact that she wasn't riding Argo. Of course she may have met/found Argo between Unchained Heart (Herc Season 1) and Sins of the Past (Xena Season 1). I can't remeber my Xena Argo-history well enough. Who cares anyway?moreless
  • Iolaus is seduced by the cunning Warrior Princess, who aims to turn him against Hercules in a plot to rid the world of the half-God, leaving her free to take over the land; in this out-of-character episode that introduced the world to Xena...moreless

    Well, this episode doesn't really need much introduction – it's the one that unleashed Xena onto an unsuspecting world.

    After Iolaus had been absent from a number of episodes in the season, here we are treated to another Iolaus-heavy tale, just two episodes after the Iolaus-centric 'Pride Comes Before A Brawl'.

    Kevin Sorbo has said that he wasn't fond of this episode as he felt nothing could come between Hercules and Iolaus (Michael Hurst and several other members of the crew have echoed these thoughts). I have to confess I am rather split down the middle on this issue. In many ways, I agree that Herc and Iolaus are such old friends and have been through so much that nothing as trivial as a woman would come between them. But if you're prepared to overlook that fact, it is a well told story and reasonably plausible (though I'd still prefer it if she had at least used some kind of magic potion to sway him or something!).

    But the difference in character in this episode isn't limited to Iolaus and Hercules – Xena is a considerably different character to the one we would become accustomed to. Ordinarily, the 'bad Xena' is portrayed as a villainous yet still somewhat honourable warrior. Yet here she is portrayed as completely immoral and ruthless.

    It isn't until midway through the episode that we see Xena in her 'pre-heroic' battle dress for the first time, and it's in this that she cuts a striking image and becomes more memorable. It is a version of what would become her regular battle dress, with a more 'evil' look to it, especially the bat-like shoulder pads, almost having a Halloween look to it.

    Some might rank this episode very highly simply because it introduces Xena for the first time. But I consider it to be a good but not quite classic episode; Xena's real strength would become more apparent in her next appearance, 'The Gauntlet', which would showcase her to the maximum of her (then) evil ways and sow the seeds for her reform.

    All-in-all, the Xena of this episode comes across as little more that the 'villain(ess) of the week'. It isn't until her next episode, the breathtaking 'The Gauntlet', that we see Xena in all her glory.moreless
  • Hercules and Iolaus journey into a trap set by the evil Xena Warrior Princess who seduces Iolaus to manipulate him into trying to kill Hercules. Hercules must try to save his best friend before he loses him to Xena forever.moreless

    the first appearance of the Warrior Princess. In this episode we get a look at where Xena is coming from, and how she came to be. Xena plans to kill Hercules so that nothing stands in the way of her taking over the land of Arcadian. She in turn seduces Iolaus, and plays on his feelings for her to spark jealousy towards Hercules to try to persuade him to kill Hercules. Hoping Iolaus will be defeated by Hercules, and the shock of killing him will make him weak for killing, Xena's plan fails when Iolaus chooses to side with his best friend again. She even tried to frame Hercules by killing one of her own soldiers, then telling Iolaus that it was Hercules who killed him, and also attacked her. Obviously seeing this episode before i can't be as excited as i was the first time i saw it, but it still continues to move me. While saving Iolaus from a beating on the back of a horse, Xena rides away, escaping the clutches of Hercules...For now.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • This is the ancient world's first appearance of Xena. It was the third appearance (and role) of Lucy's in the Hercules Universe, however.

    • Xena tells Iolaus that all three of her brothers were killed in battle. This would later prove to be false, as she has only two brothers, a younger one who was killed in battle (Lyceus) and an older one who's still alive (Toris).

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Hercules: (after Xena kills her own man for surrendering) Is this what you do to all your warriors Xena?
      Xena: Only those who don't follow my code!

    • Hercules: (introducing himself to Iolaus' new friend Xena) So, if he's going to talk about himself all night, should we do it over a nice dinner?
      Iolaus: Yeah.
      Xena: Oh, I think I'd be better off trying to look for a soft, warm bed. (gives Iolaus a smldering look) Think you could help me one last time?
      Iolaus: Uh, yeah, I think that can be arranged.

    • Hercules: (complaining that Iolaus has been monopolized by Xena) Last time I saw him, he was walking out of the inn with a big, dumb smile on his face. That was a week ago. What's he doing, anyway?
      Alcmene: Hercules! You fathered three children. You shouldn't have to ask!

    • Iolaus: (in a hot tub with Xena) You do this for all your warriors?
      Xena: Only the special ones.
      Iolaus: Oh, I hope there aren't too many of those.
      Xena: Right now there's just you.

    • Hercules: (referring to Xena) It sounds like she'll do anything to get what she wants.
      Petraikis: And she wants everything. And if she kills you, there will be nothing to stop her.

    • Petraikis: (begging Hercules to fight Xena) She's a monster! Just like the Hydra and the Nemean Lion and the Stymphalian Bird. You didn't walk away from fighting them, Hercules. And you can't walk away from fighting her.

    • Xena: The only one to do battle with Hercules when he arrives is Iolaus. Do you understand? I don't care how quickly my little man dies and I don't care how painfully he does it- no one is to be out there until Iolaus is dead, and Hercules is standing, staggered by the weight of what he has done to his best friend. Then and only then do we move in to rid the world of the son of Zeus. Do I make myself clear?

    • Hercules: (to an escaping Xena) Aren't you going to say goodbye?
      Xena: Hah! You haven't heard the last of me, Hercules!

    • Hercules: (after beating Xena's army) It always helps to know what you're fighting for before you start fighting.
      Iolaus: Is this where the lecture starts?
      Hercules: It could be. But it won't.

    • Iolaus: Come on, do I look dangerous?
      Xena: Looks can be deceiving.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Kevin Sorbo really disliked this story, since he firmly believed that no woman could ever come between Hercules and Iolaus.

    • Disclaimer: No animals were harmed during the production of this motion picture.

      This is the first disclaimer to appear at the end of a Hercules episode, and the only one meant to be taken seriously. Most likely it refers to the scene in which Xena injures her horse to win the sympathy of Iolaus. In later episodes disclaimers were strictly humorous, poking fun of a major plot element in each episode.

    • The original woman cast to play Xena was British actress Vanessa Angel. When she became sick and was unable to accept the role, Lucy Lawless received the part. Lucy Lawless was on a camping trip with her family when she got the call and had to hurry back to civilization.