Legendary Journeys

Mortal Beloved
Xena Marcus Mortal.jpg
Xena and Marcus battle the Harpies in the Underworld
Series Xena: Warrior Princess
Season 1
Antagonist Atyminius
Setting Underworld
In-Universe Date Year 1
Production # 76919
Filming Dates November 1995
Original Air-Date 12 February 1996
Written By R.J. Stewart
Directed By Garth Maxwell
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 16 of 134
Order in Season 16 of 24
Order in Franchise 50 of 304
Previous Episode in Series "Warrior... Princess"
Next Episode in Series "The Royal Couple of Thieves"
Previous Episode in Franchise "Let the Games Begin"
Next Episode in Franchise "The Apple"
Title Image
Mortal Beloved TITLE.jpg

Xena crosses the River Styx to the Underworld in order to help Marcus in stopping a madman from destroying the Elysian Fields.


Marcus as a ghost warns Xena of trouble in the Underworld.

One night, the ghost of her beloved Marcus appears to Xena to ask for her help. He tells her that the Underworld has been thrown into total chaos and that good souls are in danger. Xena follows his instructions and dives deep into the Alcyonian Lake to gain entrance to the Other Side, leaving Gabrielle behind to wait for her return.

Xena arrives in the Underworld.

When she arrives on the shores of the River Styx, Charon confirms that the wicked now have the run of the Elysian Fields, while the innocents are suffering in Tartarus. He ferries her across the river where she rejoins Marcus and witnesses the evil that has overrun Paradise. Marcus explains that the dead madman, Atyminius has usurped Hades' power by stealing his Helmet of Invisibility and that Hades is now confined to his palace.

Questioning Marcus, Xena realizes that he was put among the wicked when he died. She is therefore quite moved by the selflessness of his request for help in restoring order to the Underworld.

Atyminius with the helmet of Hades.

Suddenly, the brutal Atyminius himself appears with the golden helmet strapped around his neck and proclaims his plans to go among the living to resume his old hobby of murdering brides. Smelling mortality in the crowd, he hones in on Xena and commands the wicked to kill her, but Xena cleverly incites rebellion among the assembled evildoers, inspiring them to fight Atyminius for possession of the helmet. A bloody free-for-all ensues and in the confusion, Xena and Marcus manage to escape.

Gabrielle waits by the shore for Xena's return.

As Gabrielle waits by the shore of the Alcyonian Lake for Xena's return, Xena and Marcus head for Hades' palace. But before they can enter, they must fight their way past two vicious harpies. Xena grabs a torch to stop one of the hideous flying creatures with a dazzling bit of fire-breathing and rescues Marcus from the deadly tail of the other.

Xena kills a Harpy.

When they finally confront Hades and Xena relates Atyminius' plan to continue his killing spree. Hades notes that once the madman returns to the land of the living wearing the Helmet of Invisibility, he will become mortal again and can be killed. Furthermore, when he dies, the helmet will not return with him to the Underworld. Harboring a small glimmer of hope, Hades agrees to allow Marcus to become mortal again for 48 hours in order to help Xena pursue Atyminius.

Marcus is given 48 hours of life again.

Meanwhile, the invisible madman has emerged from the Alcyonian Lake to return to the realm above. Removing Hades' helmet, he suddenly materializes in front of Gabrielle, threatening her with a knife. Though terrified, she puts up a valiant struggle to fend him off until Xena and Marcus emerge from the Lake and save her. They attack Atyminius with their swords, but he quickly dons the helmet and disappears. When the three bed down at a campsite for the night, Marcus and Xena finally get a chance to express the depth of their feelings for each other.

Atyminius is killed in a well planned move.

As Xena, Marcus and Gabrielle continue their search for Atyminius the next day, they learn of an impending wedding celebration and sure that the ceremony is Atyminius' destination, they hurry to it. There, Xena convinces the bride's father that his daughter's life is in grave danger and proposes that she replace her in the pre-wedding bathing ceremony. When the beautiful young bride walks in on their conversation, Xena explains the situation while the invisible Atyminius listens in.

Xena and Marcus say goodbye again forever.

That night, Atyminius stole into the bride's bedroom and is surprised to find Xena -- who was certain he was eavesdropping on her earlier conversation -- waiting for him. But before she is able to get to him, he dons the helmet and disappears. A brutal sword and knife fight ensues, with Xena deftly remaining one step ahead of his blows. Finally, Xena manages to throw a blanket over his invisible form and defeat him.

Xena is proud of Marcus in the afterlife.

When she and Marcus return the helmet to Hades, Xena convinces the god to judge Marcus again, now that he will die a second death. This time, Marcus is allowed entry into the Elysian Fields. An exhausted but grateful Xena returns to the land of the living, knowing that she and Marcus will one day be together again.


No Winged Harpies were harmed or sent to a fiery grave during the production of this motion picture.

Background Information[]

Key Events[]


  • Xena does not use her Chakram in this episode.
  • This is the first episode of the series that Argo does not appear.

Links and References[]

Guest Stars[]

Other Cast[]




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