|Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts|
The Infamous Trojan Horse
|Series||Xena: Warrior Princess|
|In-Universe Date||Year 1|
|Filming Dates||20 November to 28 November 1995|
|Original Air-Date||15 January 1996|
|Story By||Roy Thomas & Janis Hendler|
|Teleplay By||Adam Armus & Nora Kay Foster|
|Directed By||T.J. Scott|
|Order in Series||12 of 134|
|Order in Season||12 of 24|
|Order in Franchise||43 of 304|
|Previous Episode in Series||"The Black Wolf"|
|Next Episode in Series||"Athens City Academy of the Performing Bards"|
|Previous Episode in Franchise||"The Enforcer"|
|Next Episode in Franchise||"Athens City Academy of the Performing Bards"|
At the behest of Helen of Troy, Xena goes to the embattled city to help end a 10-year war with the Greeks. But while trying to rein in the hostilities, she discovers a Trojan horse who's working with the enemy.
Helen, the beautiful Queen of Troy, awakens from a recurring nightmare in which she is about to be murdered by a dark and mysterious warrior. At her side, Paris, the handsome ruler of Troy, reassures her that victory is at hand in the Trojans' ten-year-long war with the Greeks. Helen is not consoled, however, and privately dispatches her personal guard Miltiades to find Xena and bring her to Troy to help end the bitter conflict.
Not far from the city, Xena and Gabrielle walk along. Xena is annoyed by Gabrielle not picking up more supplies when they came through Mount Poulis. When Gabrielle mentions they can stop from Troy, since they are not far away, Xena tells her they won't be stopping in Troy, and explains it's too dangerous, and after fighting the Greeks for ten years, she doubts that Trojans have any food to spare. Gabrielle is excited about meeting Helen in Troy, but Xena tells her to forget it. When Gabrielle's stomach growls, Xena tosses her apple half and she takes a bite.
Xena and Gabrielle come upon Miltiades as he is being attacked by three hooded thugs. Xena jumps into the fray but is unable to save the life of the guard, who relays Helen's message with his dying breath. Xena sets out for Troy with an excited Gabrielle, who can't wait to meet the legendary Helen.
When they arrive,Perdicas, a brave young Trojan soldier, watches from a battlement as they fight their way past the Greek soldiers. Stunned when he recognizes Gabrielle as his former fiancee, he rushes to the gates and helps them get inside, fighting off their attackers.
In the Greek camp outside, King Menelaus, the ruler of the Greeks and Helen's husband by a forced marriage, meets secretly with a Trojan traitor helping him in a plot to invade the city and capture Helen. During the meeting, he learns that Xena has fought her way through his army's lines.
Meanwhile, Gabrielle is extremely surprised to be reunited with Perdicas and amazed that her former fiance -- a gentle farmer when she knew him -- has become a valiant warrior. After Xena explains to Perdicas that she has come to help fight on the side of the Trojans, she goes in search of Helen before Perdicas can escort her to his commander Deiphobus, the head of Troy's security forces and Paris' brother.
When Xena finds Helen in her palace bedchamber, the beautiful Queen asks for her help in returning to Menelaus in order to end the bloody war, but Xena insists that her surrender will have no effect on the fighting. Meanwhile, Deiphobus tries to convince his brother Paris that Xena cannot be trusted.
Later, despite Xena's counsel, Helen attempts to sneak out of the palace and go to Menelaus. When Xena confronts her in the courtyard, they hear someone approaching and hiding themselves, watch as Deiphobus steals out of the city through a secret passage. Xena follows him to Menelaus' camp and overhears him promise the King that the city will soon fall.
Returning to Troy, the warrior princess reports Deiphobus' treason to Paris and Helen, but when Deiphobus arrives to announce that Menelaus has agreed to surrender, Paris is convinced his brother is telling the truth. He arrests Xena as soldiers burst in with the news that the Greek army is withdrawing and has left a gift of peace at the gates -- a huge wooden horse. Xena is thrown into the dungeon as the victory celebration begins.
Later, when the Trojan guards are drunk, several Greek soldiers climb out of the horse. In moments, the city gates are opened and the Greek army, led by King Menelaus, enters to begin looting and burning the city. Xena, after fighting her way out of the dungeon, tells Gabrielle and Perdicas to gather all the people they can and barricade themselves inside the city temple while she finds Helen. As Menelaus tears apart the city searching for the beautiful Queen, Xena prepares a nasty surprise for the invaders.
Meanwhile, the traitor Deiphobus sneaks into the temple through a secret entrance, kills his brother Paris and kidnaps Helen for himself. The Greeks break down the doors of the temple just as Xena learns what Deiphobus has done. She quickly ignites substances she's mixed to produce a huge smoke screen and those in the temple are able to escape. Xena then engineers their flight from Troy by hiding them in the wooden horse, which the Greeks take out of Troy with them.
Later, she returns to the burning city to rescue Helen from the clutches of the evil Deiphobus. Xena overpowers him in a fierce battle and ties him up, leaving him for Menelaus to find.
In the end, Helen, intent on making a new life for herself, leaves accompanied by the brave and handsome Perdicas, as a somewhat wistful Gabrielle looks on. Xena hugs Helen goodbye telling her to take care.
Later, as Trojans leave Troy, Xena and Gabrielle walk along. Xena asks Gabrielle she is surprised that Peridcas didn't join them for a while, and Gabrielle says he made other plans. Gabrielle and Xena take one last look at Troy. 'Do you want to go back for the horse? It's bound to be a collectors' item?' jokes Gabrielle. Xena grins saying 'Only if you're gonna pull it.' and Gabrielle laughs.
- No Oversized Polynesian-Style Bamboo Horses were harmed during the production of this motion picture. However, many wicker lawn chairs gave their lives.
Behind the Scenes
- This episode marks the first appearance of Scott Garrison as Perdicas. He was previously played by Anton Bentley in "Sins of the Past".
- In the first scene where we see Xena and Gabrielle, the shot has been reversed, as Xena's weapons are on her left side and Gabrielle is holding her staff with her left hand. In the next shot, everything has returned to normal.
- The shot where Xena is crouching in a bush whilst listening to Deiphobus and Menelaus of Sparta talk, is reversed yet again, as Xena's sword is on her left side.
- When Xena is fighting Deiphobus after he has kidnapped Helen, he knocks her into a big boulder, which wobbles when she hits it (revealing it to be a prop).
- When the archers attack the Trojans, one of them falls from the wall, which wobbles as he falls (revealing it to be not be stone).
- After the Greeks emerge from the Trojan Horse, Deiphobus consorts with one of his men as he looks on at the attack. After he tells the soldier to retrieve Helen, a member of the crew is clearly visible crouching down behind Deiphobus.
- In history, three of the major figures of the Trojan War (especially the siege that ended the war) were Hector, Achilles, and Agamenmon. These three people were all said to be dead in "The Reckoning". Since the Trojan Horse appears only Achilles and Hector should be dead, Agamemnon didn't die until he returned to Mycenae.
- The Trojan Horse was conceived of and designed by Odysseus, yet Ulysses does not appear.
- The idea of a Greek fighting for Troy is scoffed at numerous times in this episode, however, Perdicas is from Potidaea, a village in Greece, making him, of course, Greek.
- Troy was not at war with the Greeks, and was in fact considered legendary, in Hercules and the Lost Kingdom. Deianeira of Troy does not appear nor is she mentioned. It's not entirely clear how much time in-universe has passed between the movie and this episode.
- The Trojan War is traditionally dated to have ended in 1184 BCE. Poteidaia was founded in 609 BCE, and Amphipolis in 437 (after two earlier failures following the departure of the Persians, who fortified the site in 480).
- The Trojan Horse is made of bamboo, but the plant is not native to Europe or Turkey, the location of Troy.
- Gabrielle's staff is broken by a Greek soldier when Troy is being attacked. When Gabrielle gets out of the horse to escape from the city, she's got her staff back undamaged.
- Chakram Count: 2
- To kill a Greek soldier, whilst trying to enter Troy.
- To knock out the Greeks standing guard outside the gate.
- Roy Thomas, one of the writers for this episode is no stranger to the Trojan War. As a writer for Marvel Comics, he wrote the Thor story "Thunder Over Troy", in which the Asgardian Thunder God is sent back to the Trojan War. He went on to adapt Homer's "Iliad" for Marvel's "Marvel Illustrated" line, as well as Homer's "Odyssey" and "The Trojan War", which is based off of the Epic Cycle.
- In mythology, Deiphobus was actually loyal to the Trojans. He was forcibly married to Helen after Paris was killed, and was killed himself during the fall of Troy, either by Odysseus, Menelaus, or Helen herself.
Links and References
- Galyn Görg as Helen
- Scott Garrison as Perdicas
- Cameron Rhodes as Deiphobus
- Warren Carl as Paris
- Ken Blackburn as King Menelaus
- Adrian Keeling as Miltiades
- Aidan MacBride Stewart as Greek Soldier
- John Manning as Greek Scout
- Matthew Jeffs as Trojan Soldier #1
- Peter Ford as Trojan Soldier #2
- Geoffrey Knight as Trojan Guard
|Season 1||Season 2 >>|
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|#02||Chariots of War||#10||Hooves and Harlots||#18||The Prodigal|
|#03||Dreamworker||#11||The Black Wolf||#19||Altared States|
|#04||Cradle of Hope||#12||Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts||#20||Ties That Bind|
|#05||The Path Not Taken||#13||Athens City Academy of the Performing Bards||#21||The Greater Good|
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|#07||The Titans||#15||Warrior... Princess||#23||Death Mask|
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