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06/27/08 11:09 AM
I don't recall a single instance of Xena saying that after Season 4. (Maybe the closest is "Gabrielle, you're the purest thing in my life"
in Motherhood, but that's under rather unusual circumstances -- Gabrielle lies mortally wounded by Xena's hand. ) She talks about Gabrielle (in Legacy) as the one thing in her life that matters
to her more than the Greater Good, but that's not quite the same thing. You can love someone very dearly without considering them your light or your
moral compass. In the Ring trilogy she underscores Gabrielle's role in her transformation a couple of times (when she says she has changed and Brunhilda
asks "Why, what happened?" she says "Lots of things" and looks at Gabrielle, and then of course there's the "it wasn't
magic" at the end). But to me she may still be talking simply about the fact that, because of Gabrielle, she has love in her life. Also, I don't
know... somehow it doesn't feel "real" to me the way that Xena's words about Gabrielle as her light and her "source" feel in
So the more Gabrielle saw of Xena's capacity for evil, the more Gabrielle saw Xena as even stronger for her ability to resist her darkside. ... Actually
maybe that's why the one person Gabrielle does seem to constantly tell how bad Xena is is Xena herself. (eg. in Paradise Found). In a strange
way that could be Gabrielle's way of saying "look how strong you are" or "look how much I must love you since I'm here even though
you're so evil".
You know, I don't think that's what it is. I think it's more that Gabrielle is really torn at this point. Often, it seems that her first instinct
is to believe the worst about Xena -- e.g. in Between the Lines, when Arminestra tell her (after the "jump" into Shakti's body) that
they're fighting an evil female warrior, Gab's first assumption is that it's Xena. (Admittedly, maybe this is in part because Naima has told her
that something is threatening Xena's karma in the future, so maybe Gabrielle interprets that as "oh no, Xena's gone evil again!")
06/27/08 12:39 PM
Xena Studies Ph.D.
But I think Xena still kept that same basic view of Gabrielle even in Seasons 5 and 6. I'd actually say the example you gave from the Ring Trilogy was a
pretty big demonstration of how Gabrielle continued to influence Xena regarding being "good". The "it wasn't magic" line is
specifically referring to how Xena was now giving up the Rhinegold's power rather than using it for selfish reasons, and in contrast to the last time the
Rhinemaidens saw her, when she tricked them and used violence to get the Rhinegold from them in the first place.
Also other examples such as in HOD where Xena implies Gabrielle helps convince her of "the power of love to save lives".
Xena's attitude towards Gabrielle as a warrior in Season 6 is different to how she views Gabrille in the earlier Seasons, but I don't interpret it as
a sign Xena sees Gabrielle as any less of her moral guide. A big part of that is that Xena blames herself for the changes Gabrielle goes through. I'm not
sure that she sees Gabrielle as less "pure," having less "light" etc. but that the light has become invisible in the face of all the
decsisions and mistakes Gabrielle has made and all the traumas she's witnessed. I think as Xena takes responsibility for that, she regards
Gabrielle's actions as a warrior as a necessary adjusment to the situations she's put Gabrielle into, rather than as an indication that Gabrielle is
not the ideal person she used to see her as.
However, in the example of BTL, I thought that Gabrielle's first thought would have been Xena no matter what she heard - she knew Naima had been sending
her to join Xena in their future lives, so hearing them discuss someone who's obviously making an impact in that lifetime, Gabrielle thinks it's
probably Xena. Actually I really didn't read anything more into that than that Gabrielle's first thought is always Xena.
06/27/08 3:28 PM
do you think maybe you're being a tad too charitable?
If it's simply a matter of Gabrielle's first thought always going to Xena, why wouldn't it occur to her that Arminestra -- the first person whose
company she finds herself in after being projected into the future -- is Xena?
Actually, I wonder if Xena's guilt over taking Gabrielle down the path she's taken her leads her, on some level, to exaggerate Gabrielle's role
in her conversion.
06/28/08 4:01 AM
But how much of that was due to their friendship in general and how much was to do with Gabrielle as a role model inspiring Xena by showing her how someone
could live according to a code of peace (and therefore be a truly pure, good person, since, in Xena's eyes at least, someone is what they do), I'm
not sure. I think it's most likely a combination of both, but I think the second part - Gabrielle actually being a good person - was more crucial, since
that was what made their friendship so important in the context of Xena's conversion. Xena gets reassurance that she can change from the very fact that
Gabrielle - who is everything she would like to be/thinks she should be- is her friend.
06/28/08 11:13 PM
I think that initially when Xena tried to protect Gabrielle's innocence (e.g. in Dreamworker) she was trying to warn her of what happens to any person
when they kill. However, at some point in Season 2 Xena starts seeing Gabrielle as an extraordinary person different from all others.
In Legacy, when Gabrielle says that her "light" is gone, Xena never really disputes that -- neither then and there nor at the end of the episode.
06/29/08 3:37 AM
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