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|Hooves and Harlots|
Gabrielle Protects Terreis
|Series||Xena: Warrior Princess|
|In-Universe Date||Year 0|
|Filming Dates||25 September to 5 October 1995|
|Original Air-Date||20 November 1995|
|Written By||Steven L. Sears|
|Directed By||Jack Alexander|
|Order in Series||10 of 134|
|Order in Season||10 of 24|
|Order in Franchise||39 of 304|
|Previous Episode in Series||"Death in Chains"|
|Next Episode in Series||"The Black Wolf"|
|Previous Episode in Franchise||"Highway to Hades"|
|Next Episode in Franchise||"The Sword of Veracity"|
- "You know, I just thought of something. You’re a warrior princess, and I’m an Amazon princess. That’s gonna make such a great story."
Xena and Gabrielle try to prevent a war between the Amazons and the Centaurs by determining who killed an Amazon princess. Gabrielle finds herself with some pretty big shoes to fill when she's chosen to replace an Amazon princess who died in her arms.
Xena is standing looking at a wood wrapped wreath in the trees with Argo not far away, just as Gabrielle comes over the hill with a walking stick and insists it is so useful for many things, including walking, leaning on, and killing little critters on the ground. Xena grabs the walking stick and examines it. She starts swirling it around her head and body using it as a staff showing off. Xena nods her head handing it back to Gabrielle. When Gabrielle asks what the tree wrenches means to Xena, she explains that they are no trespassing signs due to being in Amazon territory.
Suddenly, arrows begin to rain down around them forming a circle of shafts as they are quickly surrounded by four young Amazon warriors, who are impressed that Xena knows their symbol of peace. One of the Amazons removes her mask, to reveal a young girl about Gabrielle's age named Terreis, the sister of the Amazon Queen Melosa, as well as her comrade Ephiny . But before they guarantee the trespassers safe passage through their hunting grounds, Terreis and Ephiny decide to take them to the Queen. The thought of meeting the queen excites Gabrielle, which Terreis overhears shaking her head with a smile, however Ephiny has a different reaction to Xena who simply glares at her with suspicious looks.
On the way, Gabrielle and Terreis strike up a friendship, Gabrielle mentions wanting to read about philosophy and learn about history and science. Terreis reveals that Philosophy and history are among the first things taught to Amazon children. Terreis goes on further to reveal that The Amazon world is based on truth and a woman's individual strength. Xena, on the other hand, doesn't appear to get along with Ephiny, as the two woman are very tense with each other.
Suddenly Xena, Gabrielle and The Amazons are ambushed. Xena covers Gabrielle and the Amazons take to the trees. Terreis is mortally wounded and Gabrielle risks her own life to shield her new friend from further assault. Before Terreis dies, she gives Gabrielle her Right of Cast, which clearly angers Ephiny. What Gabrielle doesn't realize is that her acceptance of this Right of Cast has made her an Amazon princess, responsible for avenging Terreis' death.
In the Amazon village, the sounds of soulful funeral rituals is being conducted for Terreis. As the Amazons dance and mourn. Two Amazons wearing ceremonial masks exit a hut, each armed with chobos fighting. Several amazons carry the bundled body of Terreis on a stretcher. Xena reveals to a curious but confused Gabrielle that Amazon traditions states that the of sending Terreis to Artemis, the moon goddess. As the strechers proceed towards the pyre, as the Amazons thrown themselves to the ground in the agony of their misery, they stop next to the winner of the chobos fight, who removes her mask to reveal Melosa, the Amazon queen, who picks up the arrows that killed Terries and break them, as the rest of the Amazons cheer.
After witnessing the Amazons' dramatic funeral ritual for Terreis coming to an end, Xena and Gabrielle are informed by Queen Melosa that her people may soon be at war. As they prepare to leave, they see Ephiny and a swarm of Amazons surrounding a Centaur named Phantes, who has been taken prisoner. Ephiny hands Melosa an arrow from Phantes' quiver which perfectly matches the one that killed her sister, as well as tells the Queen that she captured the Centaur as he was escaping across the river.
Despite his predicament, Phantes remains defiant, warning the crowd that the Centaurs will never allow him to die since he is the son of their leader Tildus. When Xena questions Melosa about her problems with the Centaurs, the Queen reveals that they've been trying to encroach on the Amazons' hunting grounds. Xena visits the imprisoned Phantes in his cell and though he expresses eagerness to start a war with the Amazons, she leaves feeling he did not murder Terreis.
Meanwhile, Melosa meets with the local warlord Krykus to gain assurances that he and his men will not take sides if a war breaks out. To avert the bloody conflict, Xena offers to speak with Tildus, whom she has faced before in battle. But Melosa still refuses to postpone Phantes' execution, which is set for noon the following day.
Later, Xena talks to Gabrielle as she is preparing to leave the Amazon Village, Ephony watches from a distance. Gabrielle believes its out of there hands and thinks they shouldn't get involved, and thinks the Centaurs asked for a war. Xena disagrees believing that only fools and profiteers ask for war, and that the Centaurs are neither. Xena is content with her plan, and believes that Gabrielle staying with the Amazons is the safest place for her right now, and trusts they'll protect her because of Terreis. As Xena rides off, Gabrielle finally learns from Melosa that her Right of Cast has made her an Amazon princess, entitled to all the rights and possessions of Terreis. The Queen tells Gabrielle that Terreis was her true sister and the next in the royal line. She tells Ephiny to begin her instruction.
Meanwhile, Xena moves through the woods on Argo, but pauses and looks at three "X" shaped totems dug into the ground. Obviously more territorial markers. Xena hops off Argo to examine the markers, when suddenly an arrow plows deep into the wood. Xena is surrounded by a group of Centaurs and men as soon as she reaches the Centaurs' territory. Xena grabs her sword ready to deflect as many arrows as possible.
Xena braces to repel the arrow assault from the Centaurs, when the voice of an older Centaurs Tidus is heard, telling the Centaurs to back down. When one of the Centaurs named Mesas is seen not breathing, Xena insists she can help him, and Tidus allows her to do so. Xena puts The Pinch on Mesas' chest, and takes Celano's knife and uses her medical skills to save his life.
Back at the Amazon camp, Gabrielle is dressed in Terreis' clothes, by Magdelus and Epinon. Magdelus and Ephinon tell Gabrielle about what kind of person Terreis was, and what that Terreis was an Amazon in the purest sense and would have made a good leader one day. Ephiny enters and tells Gabrielle that from birth, every Amazon is taught to use weapons. She asks Gabrielle to choose a weapon and begin training. When Gabrielle selects a staff, Ephiny gets Eponin to demonstrate it for her.
Elsewhere, when Xena arrives at the Centaur camp, Xena finds everyone busy preparing for battle. Xena pleads with Tildus to postpone his assault on the Amazons and although he confesses that he's lost his taste for war, he tells her he cannot stand by and let his son be executed. At the same time, Gabrielle is training with Epinon using her walking stick and is taught how to wield it like a fighting staff. Ephiny joins them, and tells Gabrielle the proper way to kill a Centaur, demonstrating using a horse as an example, using her own fighting staff, which we learn was passed down to her from her mother.
That night, Xena searches the ground where the attack on the Amazons occurred and tells Ephiny what she has learned -- that Terreis was killed not by the Centaurs but by Krykus the warlord, who stands to gain power and territory by pitting both armies against each other. Together, they head for his camp where they find evidence linking him to the murder of Terreis.
Back at the Amazon village, Gabrielle is utterly miserable now that she knows it's her responsibility to execute Phantes with Terreis' sword or be killed herself for treason. Xena and Ephiny arrive seconds before the sentence is carried out to announce they have proof of Phantes' innocence. When Melosa rejects their arguments, Gabrielle -- who can now claim royal Amazon blood by virtue of her Right of Cast -- is cued by Xena to demand the Royal Challenge, whereby Xena, as Gabrielle's champion, will fight Melosa to try to stop the execution.
The two warrior women engage in a furious battle, with the Amazons and Gabrielle cheering throughout the battle in which Queen Melosa is finally overpowered. Melosa put down her weapon, and Xena is proclaimed the new Queen of the Amazons just as Tildus and his troops arrive. Both sides stand with weapons ready.
Tildus demands to talk to the new Queen Xena, and tells him he's won, and Xena tosses down her sword, as do the Amazons. Ephiny releases Phantes. Xena tells Tildus that he taught her the meaning of war, and that greatness doesn't depend on fighting, but the battles they choose and the people they protect. Phantes tells his father, that they can trust the Amazons after Xena saved his life. When Xena reveals that Krykus was responsible for Terreis' murder, Xena also proves that Celano is a spy and really working for Krykus. Both sides agree to attack the warlord's camp together.
Celano rides back to Krykus' camp warning them to get their weapons ready telling them the Amazons and Centaurs are working together. As the sounds of battle fill the air, The Amazons and Centaurs ride in. Krykus' men attack the Amazons and Centaurs. Celano runs off and Xena goes after him where the two fight. Gabrielle joins in the fight and manages to fight off some of Krykus' men with her staff. A soldier grabs Ephiny from behind, but Gabrielle saves her from him.
Melosa moves on Krykus, as Krykus is closing in on an Amazon. Melosa and Krykus start fighting and Melosa demands to do so in her sister's name.
Elsewhere, Xena and Celano continue to fight, Celano pulls his dagger from his belt and charges. Xena leaps up and then spins around with her sword pointing right into Celano's belly killing him. Melosa defeats Krykus, as well as holds her chobos at his neck, strangling him. Xena enters as Melosa freezes and then refuses to kill him until he stands trial for his crimes against both the Amazons and the Centaurs, as Xena nods her approval.
The Amazons and Centaurs hang out at the Amazon village where an uneasy peace is formed at last between the Centaurs and the Amazons. Melosa mentions that the peace won't be easy, but it's a good start. Xena and Tildus shake hands and finally put their long feud in the past. Tildus says he won't forget Xena giving him back his son.
Gabrielle, Ephiny and Phantes arrive and Phantes mentions Gabrielle has told alot of stories of her adventures with Xena including, the Titans' story, the Pandora story ,and the Tracus story. Epinon hands Ephiny her staff, Ephiny holds it out to Gabrielle, telling Gabrielle it's hers. Gabrielle refuses to take it at first, but Ephiny tells her An Amazon Princess doesn't refuse a gift from another Amazon and she accepts it.
During sunset in the hills, Xena, Gabrielle and Argo walk along. Gabrielle asks Xena if she's mad at her because she didn't tell her about the Right of Cast. Xena tells her she isn't mad, Gabrielle then tells her how great it's going to be being an Amazon, as well as promises no more secrets between them. Xena moves a different way from Gabrielle, as she continues walking talking about her next adventures coming, she eventually notices Xena walked off in another direction and runs to catch up with her.
No Males, Centaurs or Amazons were harmed during the production of this motion picture.
Behind the Scenes
|"“I had such a good time doing [this episode], because I’ve never gotten to do any stunt fighting or anything before. I found it really exciting. I love anything that’s physically based anyway. Doing the fighting was amazing. It was a real plus. So now when a role comes up, I have a good look and see if there are any stunt fights… The [big fight with Xena and Melosa] went out the window at one point and we were really fighting to hold it together before we started laughing…. [We lost the plot] completely! But we got it back again…” "|
|― Alison Bruce (Melosa)
Source: (Titan: The Official XENA Magazine, Issue #3 – January 2000) and many thanks to http://jacksonupperco.com/ for personally researched, and transcribed
|"Hooves and Harlots was great fun because of Alison Bruce. She's a good actress with a lot of charisma, and a nice woman. And we got wise to chariots in that episode, and rigged up quite a machine. The riding scene is over in two minutes instead of the eight hours we spent in the slimy old water!...Sometimes the chariots were attached to tracks, but at other times you had to have the horses crossing to give a sense of reality. "|
|― Lucy Lawless on working with Alison and the chariots scene
Source: Xena: Warrior Princess: The Official Guide to the Xenaverse Book 1997 and many thanks to http://jacksonupperco.com/ for personally researched, and transcribed
- Fliming Dates: September 25th through October 5th (8 day shoot).
- Original U.S. viewers (first airing): 5.9
- This episode's script number is 109.
- The Amazon Nation was structurally based upon the Iroquois Confederation, with different tribes being ruled by separate Queens but still linked by kinship.
- As of this episode, Gabrielle now fights with a staple weapon: a fighting staff.
- Alison Bruce (Melosa) and David Aston (Tildus) went on to star together in Street Legal.
- Alison Bruce (Melosa) also played Kahina in the episode Legacy and Talia in the episode Animal Attraction, both on Xena. She also played in one episode of Young Hercules.
- Danielle Cormack (Ephiny) has said that performing in an Amazon mask was something of a nightmare, especially during fight scenes, since she could barely see through it.
- Up until this episode Gabrielle wore her 'peasant costume'. This episode featured the last time it was worn.
From the Original Script and Cut Material
- In the original script, Terreis is described as a young girl about Gabrielle's age with a similar look.
- Unlike the aired version, in the script it is made clear that Gabrielle didn't tell Xena about the right of cast information at Ephiny's request. After Xena leaves to meet Tildus, Gabrielle questions Ephiny that she will have trouble keeping it a secret from Xena, especially when she doesn't know what the right of cast is.
- A cut scene from the aired version had Gabrielle giving Xena's shoulders a massage before the battle with Melosa.
|"“This is the first time that I had to dance as Gabrielle, and I couldn’t decide if I should really try to dance well or just, you know, have two left feet…. And I just thought, ‘Ah, you gotta have fun with it!’ So I tried to do the goofiest things I could find and they never asked me to dance again, what, for three or four years after that. That was funny.” "|
|― Renee O’Connor on dancing as Gabrielle
Source: (Coffee Talk #2 With Lucy & Renee) and many thanks to http://jacksonupperco.com/ for personally researched, and transcribed
- First Appearence of the Amazon Nation.
- Gabrielle becomes an Amazon Princess.
- Gabrielle gets her first weapon, a Staff.
- This is the last appearance of Gabrielle's 'Farm Girl' outfit.
- This episode generated a Neilsen's rating of 6.8 (of 10).
- This is the first appearance of Danielle Cormack as Ephiny, who will continue to recur through to the final season.
- The first time Gabrielle fights with a weapon, staff.
- Xena does not use her chakram in this episode.
- "Why am I to trust you? At one time we would have rejoiced in each other’s blood."
"Look inside yourself for that answer. Are you still the same Centaur I met at Corinth?"
"You killed a half of my Centaur army. My friends. My son will not die for something he didn’t do. He’s not a murderer. I desperately want to avoid war, but I’m gonna get him back. And I swear, if he dies, every Amazon will suffer at my hand."
- —Tildus and Xena
- "Fun? This fighting staff was my first weapon. My mother passed it on to me. It saved my life more than once. Centaurs have certain strengths and weaknesses. They’re fast and agile. We use that to our advantage. As a centaur passes at full gallop, the staff goes here, to crack the knee at the joint. This splits the leg forward and drops him to the ground. As the centaur falls, a strike to the lower shoulder dislocates the two front legs. Once the centaur is on the ground, an overhead strike breaks the neck. Death is immediate - if they’re lucky. Still fun?"
- —Ephiny, to Gabrielle
- "You know, I just thought of something. You’re a warrior princess, and I’m an Amazon princess. That’s gonna make such a great story."
- Lucy Lawless as Xena
- Renee O'Connor as Gabrielle
- Danielle Cormack as Ephiny
- Alison Bruce as Melosa
- Colin Moy as Phantes
- David Aston as Tildus
- Rebekah Mercer as Terreis
- Mark Ferguson as Krykus
- Andrew Kovacevich as Tor
- Chris Bailey as Celano
- Tanya Dignan as Epinon
- Antony Starr as Mesas
- John Watson as Arben
- Aurora Philips as Magdelus
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