Legendary Journeys

Gabrielle's Hope
Gabrielle Hope.jpg
Gabrielle with Hope.
Series Xena: Warrior Princess
Season 3
Antagonist Hope, The Banshees
Setting Britannia
In-Universe Date Year 2
Production # V0404
Filming Dates 6 June to 17 June 1997
Original Air-Date 27 October 1997
Written By R.J. Stewart
Directed By Andrew Merrifield & Charles Siebert
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 51 of 134
Order in Season 5 of 22
Order in Franchise 120 of 304
Previous Episode in Series "The Deliverer"
Next Episode in Series "The Debt"
Previous Episode in Franchise "Stranger in a Strange World"
Next Episode in Franchise "Two Men and a Baby"
Title Image
Gabrielle's Hope TITLE.jpg

Gabrielle learns the impossible — she is with a child. The baby is growing fast and is born within a couple of days. Gabrielle immediately gains a maternal instinct towards the child, but Xena isn't convinced of its innocence.


Gabrielle awakens from nightmares of her first kill.

Gabrielle awakens in a feverish state, tormented by the fact that she's taken a human life. She begins experiencing severe stomach pains as she and Xena make their way through the forest of the Banshees. Suddenly, a Banshee explodes from the ground in front of Xena and smashes her in the head. Xena immediately strikes back but the Banshee, who shuttles between corporeal and spiritual forms, has already departed her earthly body and slips away unharmed. When two more Banshees pop up and attack her, Xena is again unable to land any punches before they vanish into thin air. Finally, when Gabrielle leaps into the fray, the Banshees cease their onslaught and bow their heads to her. They assure Gabrielle that they mean her no harm — to the contrary, they love and worship her.

Banshees determined to protect Gabrielle's unborn child.

Later, in a coastal village, Xena leaves Gabrielle at a tavern to pull herself together while she takes off for the harbor to find a boat heading south towards Greece. She is secretly followed by a warrior named Caswallawn, who wears a medallion around his neck displaying a heart pierced by a sword. Meanwhile, the villagers, armed with clubs and pitchforks, begin surrounding the tavern where Gabrielle has been eating strange combinations of food. A chubby man named Cadbury incites the mob to torch the place as they shout for "the witch" to come out. When Xena hears the roar of the crowd, she rushes to investigate but is stopped by Caswallawn and two of his warriors. A furious fight follows, three against one. Meanwhile, inside the tavern, Gabrielle uses her staff to vault over a wall of flames and flies out of the fiery tavern, over the heads of the villagers and into the harbour. She quickly makes a run for it, with the villagers close behind.

Gabrielle learns from the banshees she's pregnant.

Xena is finally able to break free of the warriors and takes off after Gabrielle and the mob. All of a sudden, Gabrielle is struck by a pain in her side and collapses. The villagers surround her and just as Cadbury is about to stab Gabrielle with his pitchfork, Xena leaps in to save her. Cadbury explains to Xena that Caswallawn and his warriors have told them that Gabrielle will bring "the beginning of the end of goodness." Xena takes off to find the warriors in the forest and comes upon Gabrielle who is already there, surrounded by three Banshees who are groveling at her feet. Gabrielle is questioning them about the horrible pain in her stomach and just as Xena arrives, they tell her she's carrying the child that will bring a new order to the world. Gabrielle is stunned and refusing to believe them, makes as narrow escape with Xena to the nearby castle of the Warriors of the Pierced Heart.

Gabrielle gives birth to the Daughter of Dahak.

Alarmed at how quickly Gabrielle's belly is growing, Xena leaves her in a room in the castle and follows the sound of voices to a chamber where five warriors are arguing at a round table. Two of them, Eochaid and Goewin, are reproaching Caswallawn for inciting the village against Gabrielle, claiming she's an innocent despite what's growing inside her. At that, Xena bursts in and learns that when Gabrielle was on the altar in the temple of Dahak, the Evil One, he planted his seed within her. Soon a blood-curdling scream sends Xena running to Gabrielle's side, with the warriors in hot pursuit. But before the men can get to Gabrielle, Xena bars the door and helps deliver Gabrielle's baby.

The Banshees help Gabrielle escape from Xena.

As the warriors break down the door, an exhausted Gabrielle begs her friend to protect the child. Xena, joined by Eochaid and Goewin who believe the baby may not be evil after all, manage to get Gabrielle and the child to the round table room, locking the other warriors out. Utterly captivated by her infant girl, Gabrielle names the baby Hope and is furious when Xena tells her she believes the baby is the evil daughter of Dahak. That night, Eochaid proves to be a traitor as he sneaks outside and allows the Banshees to enter the castle to take the child. Xena follows and is able to fend them off for a while.

Gabrielle lies about Hope to Xena.

When she returns, Xena finds Goewin dead, strangled by his own medallion. When she finds the medallion in Hope's little hands, she is certain the baby is evil and draws her sword just as Gabrielle awakens. Gabrielle scoops up the baby and dashes out. She invokes the help of the Banshees against Xena and a desperate chase follows until Gabrielle finally surrenders. She claims that the baby tried to choke her and convinces Xena that she threw her into an abyss.

Gabrielle prays for Hope's safety.

Soon, however, Hope's head pops up from inside a basket, which her mother has secretly sent floating down the river. Gabrielle and Xena have made camp for the night and Xena is asleep. Gabrielle leaves and talks to the winds, to her daughter, saying she knows she'll be OK and for her to be good.


Despite witnessing the bizarre and somewhat disturbing birth of Gabrielle`s Hope, no farm animals were harmed or traumatized during the production of this motion picture.

Background Information[]

  • The episode marks the birth of Hope.
  • In this episode, there are several references to Arthurian Legend:
    • The knights have a round table, a reference to The Knights of the Round Table, King Arthur being one of them.**Xena pulls the sword out of the stone, which is a direct reference to King Arthur, who was the only person who was able to pull it out later.
    • A major plot inconsistency appears to arise, however, as Excalibur was taken out of the lake by Arthur and put into the stone by Hercules no sooner than the Hercules: The Legendary Journeys episode Once Upon a Future King after the defeat of Dahak. In this episode, the stone would still be a throne and Excalibur in the lake - as the joke of Xena effortlessly pulling the sword out of the stone, admiring it and putting it back much to the astonishment of the present Warriors of the Pierced Heart is so good, the writers should have imagined an explanation why the sword ended up there in this episode in "Once Upon a Future King". However traditional Arthurian texts make it clear that Excalibur and the Sword in the Stone are two different swords, a detail many modern adaptations change. 
  • Banshees are creatures from Irish mythology and aren't typically found in Britannia.
  • A trait typically assigned to vampires is given to banshees: when Xena and Gabrielle take shelter in the castle, Xena says "Legend says they can't follow without being asked". In actual Celtic mythology, banshees were considered benign creatures and sometimes 'part of the family'. Their cries were genuine lamentations for the dying person and they were said to attach themselves to specific families for generations. Ergo, a banshee would probably not need permission to enter a building – they were already considered to be more than welcome, though their appearance in general would be obvious cause for concern!
  • This isn't the first time that the story of Moses has been referenced. In the episode, "Cradle of Hope", Xena and Gabrielle find a baby in a basket floating downstream.
  • After Gabrielle gives birth, one of the soldiers protecting her says "They don't know if Hope is a child of the darkness or the light because their beliefs say that they will both come in a similar way." Perhaps unintentionally, this foreshadows Xena becoming pregnant by Callisto and giving birth to Eve, who is the child of the Light even more so than Hope is the child of Darkness. At the time, it was probably just a throwaway reference to Jesus.

Links and References[]

Guest Stars[]



The Legend Of Excalibur Xena Warrior Princess






  • When Xena comments, "I think you're pregnant. I'd say you're in your fourth month" and Gabrielle replies, "That's ridiculous. Xena, I'm--I'm having a hysterical reaction to killing Meridian." the term derives from the Latin word "hystericus" which itself is derived from the Ancient Greek ὑστερικός (husterikós, “suffering in the uterus") itself derived from ὑστέρα (hustéra, “womb”) meaning that Gabrielle was literally right, even though she probably intended the more general sense of exhibiting extreme emotion.

Season Navigation[]