Nelo, Cyrene, and Xena, Plowshares Into Swords
Portrayed By Tom Atkins[1]
Appearance "Plowshares Into Swords"
Affiliations Ares
Series Xena: Warrior Princess
Cause of Death Killed with an Axe
Killed By Cyrene

Nelo was the father of Xena, and was a man of mysterious background, possibly Spartan[2].

Although Xena had fond memories of her father, he disappeared when she was a young girl[1]. He was in fact killed by his wife, Cyrene, with an axe, in order to prevent him from killing Xena in a fit of madness.[3]

During Xena's warlord days, legends spread that her father was a Spartan king[4].

Many years later, Ares would impersonate Nelo, going under the name "Atrius" in an attempt to coax Xena out of her redemption[1].

The Furies later brought to light that Cyrene had murdered Nelo, but questions were brought up as to whether Nelo was Xena's true father[3]. Decades later, the ghost of Cyrene would still be haunted by her murder of Nelo[5].

Background informationEdit

Nelo only made one true appearance, in the XWP comic: "Plowshares Into Swords." The appearance of Xena's father in "Ties That Bind" was Ares in disguise, and he was mentioned in two other episodes ("The Furies" and "The Haunting of Amphipolis").



Ares appearing as "Atrius"

In the original script to "Sins of the Past," Xena's father was named Nelo of Mycenae, and was stated to have disappeared to Argos.

When "introduced" in "Ties That Bind" (in the form of Ares pretending to be him), he went by the name of Atrius. Xena doesn't object to this name, possibly because of her knowledge of his mysterious background.

In "The Haunting of Amphipolis," the ghost of Cyrene refers to her husband as Orestes. This may have been his real name that he kept from the rest of his family, or another name he went by with Cyrene.


Both the episode "The Furies" and the Hercules & Xena Roleplaying Game raise the possibility that Nelo isn't Xena's father, and she is in fact a half-god - the daughter of Ares. The Furies took this in consideration when deciding to lift the judgment off of Xena and Gabrielle later reported this as likely in her tales of Xena's exploits[6].


"Plowshares Into Swords" explicitly shows us that Nelo and Cyrene's first coupling resulted in the unexpected birth of Xena. Xena's brothers are not mentioned in the comic, but as Nelo later lived as husband to Cyrene, he is likely the father of her younger son Lyceus. As Toris is older than Xena[7], he must be the son of a different man.

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Ties That Bind"
  2. "Plowshares Into Swords"
  3. 3.0 3.1 "The Furies"
  4. HTLJ Series 1 - Card #6: Xena
  5. "The Haunting of Amphipolis"
  6. RPG book: Secrets of the Ancient World
  7. "Death Mask"