Top: The Dark Chakram in "Return of Callisto"
Bottom: The Balanced Chakram on Xena's hip, in "Legacy".
|Owner(s)||Xena, Gabrielle, Kal|
|Series||Xena: Warrior Princess, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys|
|Also Known As||The Chakram of Light|
The Dark Chakram
The Balanced Chakram
|First Appearance||"The Warrior Princess" (HTLJ)|
"Sins of the Past" (XWP)
|Last Appearance||"Armageddon Now Part 2" (HTLJ)|
"A Friend in Need Part II" (XWP)
The Chakram is the trademark weapon of Xena. Once thrown it has the ability to ricochet off objects and return to the thrower, which requires high dexterity to catch. Only four people have been seen to control the Chakram successfully: Xena, Gabrielle, Callisto and Eve.
It is arguably the most iconic and mysterious item in the Xenaverse. Not much is known about the weapon: It was possibly given to Xena by Ares, around about the time she left Chin and ventured towards the Norselands. It is thought this, due to the absence of it when she was with Borias in Chin and Jappa and then its presence when she first met with Odin in Norway.
Originally, there were two Chakrams - The Chakram of Light and The Dark Chakram. Ares stole the Dark Chakram from Kal, the Chakram's protector and fellow God of War. He then gave it to Xena whilst she was traveling to the Norselands. Xena carried it throughout the years, herself unaware of its origin and existence. When Xena first came across Callisto she became the first person other than Xena to demonstrate a successful throw and catch of the Chakram. She showed an obsession towards the weapon, constantly catching or stealing it from Xena, whenever the opportunity arose. When Julius Caesar issued a bounty on Xena, Callisto aided him in becoming Emperor of Rome, stealing the Chakram in the process. When Xena ruined her plan, Callisto angrily threw the weapon directly at Xena, breaking her spine and the Chakram itself, leaving it in two pieces broken in half.
When Xena was later crucified by Caesar and then resurrected by Eli, she seemed to have no recollection of her violent past and appeared to be unaware of her skills. Gabrielle, Amarice, Joxer, and Eli soon realized that it was related to the broken Chakram. Enlightened by Kalib's scrolls, they learned that it could be repaired at the Chakram's altar, which happened to be guarded by Kal and his army. Xena discovered that there is another Chakram, identical to her own and complementarily, it had the power to kill a god - The Chakram of Light. Upon acquiring the broken Dark Chakram, she then placed it on the altar for repair. Both Ares and Kal were after the Chakram of Light to obtain the power to eliminate the other gods of War and to become the supreme God of War themselves. In order to dissipate the power, Xena fused the two Chakrams together, creating a new Chakram with the ability to split in half and fly as two independent weapons. This Chakram went on to be known as The Balanced Chakram, as it balanced out the Light and Dark side of the two weapons. It was also known as the Ying-Yang Chakram, Super Chakram, and Splitting Chakram. This Chakram stayed with Xena until her death in Jappa, when Gabrielle inherited it.
The actual origin of the Chakram is unknown. We don't how or why it was formed, what it's made of or how it works. We do know, that Ares stole it from Kal, another God of War in Italy. Fans assumed that Ares gave Xena the Chakram after the death of Borias and before she travelled to Norway and met Odin seeing as how we never saw the Chakram in any evil Xena flashbacks before then, however, R.J. Stewart has said that Xena had the Chakram in her possession throughout all of her time as a warlord, negating that theory.
Both the Chakrams have patterns which can be debatable as to what they are intended and unintended to connote.
The balanced Chakram has a plain silver color on the outer ring and an 'S' shape that runs through the middle with a split. On one side of the split was gold and the other side was copper. Some fans believe that the Balanced Chakram is a reference to dark and light, mainly because it resembles the Chinese Yin-Yang symbol. This could also be because of how it was formed - Xena merging the Dark and Light Chakrams together to balance them out. The balanced Chakram also represents Xena's good and bad sides balanced together, as without her dark side she is an innocent-acting girl with no memory of her warrior way or her past.
The balanced Chakram is seen to be able to separate into two individual halves, enabling Xena to use them in hand-to-hand combat. They can also be thrown in the same manner as the whole Chakram and Xena even appears to be able to control them mentally in flight as seen when she first battled Mavican.
Dark and Light Chakram
On the front of the Chakram is a basic pattern of nine yellow cubes, circling the ring. The back of it has a more complex pattern, of which give the impression it is on fire. Inside each flame and cube are round Paua shell pieces embedded into the weapon (Paua is the name of the New Zealand Black Foot Abalone: Haliotis iris, common name paua or blackfoot paua).
It is unclear what these patterns mean, mainly because we don't know much about its origin. One of the side's design was shown as a design around parts of Lao Ma's palace though, on the archway of the bedroom chamber in Lao Ma's temple (tai).
Because of its otherworldly origins, the Chakram is a magical weapon that possesses its own unique qualities beyond that of more mundane weapons, most notably its physics-defying ability to ricochet and return to its thrower.
The Chakram is shown to be an incredibly powerful weapon in the right hands. Despite having a razor-sharp edge capable of slicing flesh and stone alike, it has displayed the ability to inflict purely blunt damage even when striking with the sharp edge, as Xena is shown numerous times throughout the show using the Chakram to knock people unconscious without wounding them. A blow from the Chakram was also shown to be strong enough to break Xena's back without causing severe lacerations. Whether this blunt vs. sharp quality is based purely on the thrower's skill or one of the weapon's innate magical abilities is never fully explained.
To catch and throw the Chakram, it requires an immense amount of awareness and concentration. Few people have demonstrated this.
Xena is quite obviously the main person who can control the Chakram, being its original wielder.
Gabrielle has watched the Chakram and traveled with Xena for years and then finally demonstrated her true reflexes by using it in the final battle.
Callisto's first ever line to Xena in 'Callisto' was You want it? Come and get it. This was in reference to the Chakram. It was assumed by her behavior that she had been following Xena for a while before encountering her, so she had probably watched the Chakram intently to master it.
Xena's daughter has shown this twice once when she made the Chakram break with her sword and caught both parts and then she caught it again to cut herself free from being dragged. Eve's ability to use the Chakram in spite of her lack of experience with the weapon could be explained both by her direct relation to Xena as well as her being Callisto reincarnated.
While Iolaus could neither throw nor catch the Chakram, he was trained by Xena to deflect it and guide its trajectory during the time that they were allied. He demonstrated this ability using a shield.
The Xena from the Strange World had the ability to use the Chakram despite not having one. She demonstrates this by throwing her shoe at a target and have it ricochet off several soldiers and catch it on its return, much to her own surprise at her unknown skill.
Behind the scenes
- The Chakram is actually based on a weapon that ancient Indians used, which had the same name. They too would throw it great distances, but it wouldn't richochet, nor will it return to the thrower. It was a sharp edged disc that varied in size and was the weapon of choice for most ancient day Sikhs.
- Throughout the run of season 4 of the show, the balanced Chakram's introduction is foreshadowed numerous times.
- The idea of the Chakram was copied twice throughout the show:
- In "The Dirty Half Dozen", Agathon creates a weapon, made from the metal of Hephaestus, that acts in the exact same way as the Chakram, where it is thrown and returns to the owner. It is shaped like a boomerang.
- In "Dangerous Prey", Prince Morloch owned a weapon that almost mimics Xena's Chakram in movements. It is shaped like a triangle, rather than a circle.
- The pattern of the Dark Chakram can be seen on the archway of the bedroom chamber in Lao Ma's temple (this set was also used in "Men in Pink").
- The pattern on the Hind's Blood Pendant also matches that of the Dark Chakram.