Legendary Journeys
Legendary Journeys

Path of Vengeance
Ares Manipulates Xena.jpg
Ares comes full circle
Series Xena: Warrior Princess
Season 6
Antagonist Ares, Livia
Setting Greece
In-Universe Date Year 32
Production # V1418
Filming Dates December 2000
Original Air-Date 12 February 2001
Written By Joel Metzger
Directed By Chris Martin-Jones
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 126 of 134
Order in Season 14 of 22
Order in Franchise 295 of 304
Previous Episode in Series "You Are There"
Next Episode in Series "To Helicon and Back"
Previous Episode in Franchise "You Are There"
Next Episode in Franchise "To Helicon and Back"
Title Image

Eve is put on death-row by Varia and the rest of the amazons for raiding the village years ago. Xena and Gabrielle desperately try to get Eve off the hook, but Xena discovers that Varia has an underlying motive - Ares.


Eve is put on trial by the Amazons

All 12 Amazon tribes, have come together to form a single tribe. Varia pledges that their army will be the mightiest in the world.

Eve's return to Amazon lands doesn't go well.

Meanwhile, Eve, on her way to the Amazon valley, is approached by Roman soldiers who tell her they have been sent by the new Emperor as her guard. On a mission of peace, Eve begins to voice her objections when suddenly, Amazons swoop in from all directions and a bloody battle ensues. As the Romans attempt to retreat, Varia charges Eve, recognizing her at the last moment. Referring to her as Livia, the name Eve was known by during her dark days as a Roman warrior, Varia orders her troops to seize Eve. When the Roman captain sends a soldier off to get word back to command, the soldier runs into Xena and Gabrielle. Near exhaustion, he reports that the Emperor sent his unit to Amazon country to protect Eve, but she was taken prisoner by the Amazons.

Xena learns Eve is on trail by the Amazons.

In the aftermath of the melee, Eve begs Varia to stop the senseless killing of soldiers who have already surrendered, but Varia turns a deaf ear. Varia reminds Eve that Queen Marga sentenced her to death if she ever returned to Amazon lands, but Eve proclaims that she's come back to make amends for her past. When Xena and Gabrielle arrive at the pass leading to the Amazon valley, Cyane appears and informs them that Varia has closed off the area. By appealing to Cyane's sense of honor that has been assaulted by the killing of defenseless men, they manage to convince her to let them through. As they move on, Gabrielle insists they must try to save Eve without alienating their Amazon friends.

Ares talks to Varia about his concerns.

Meanwhile, Ares meets with Varia who informs him that the other Amazon queens don't appear to be sold on the notion of a united Amazon nation worshipping Ares. The god of war reminds her she must follow through on her end of the bargain if he is to help her conquer Rome. When he learns that Varia has captured Eve, he realizes Xena will be arriving shortly to save her daughter and convinces Varia that taking on Xena will aid in uniting the Amazons.

A young Varia in flashbacks to Livia's attack.

Eve's trial is already under way when Xena and Gabrielle arrive at the Amazon compound. Interrupting the proceedings, Gabrielle reminds the council that she has the rank of Queen and is granting Xena permission to defend Eve. Conceding, Varia continues recounting a gruesome tale about the murders of Amazons Livia/Eve committed in the past. Eve confesses to the crimes and hangs her head in shame as Kanae orders a vote to decide if she should be executed.

Livia in flashbacks planning an attack against the Amazons with Ares.

With all the Amazons in favor of execution, Xena and Gabrielle are granted one hour to prepare and present an argument in Eve's defense before she dies. As Varia drags Eve off, Xena notices that Varia's sword is identical to one that Ares gave Livia. When Xena confronts Varia with some expert moves, it becomes obvious that Ares has been training her and Varia admits as much, claiming that Ares is helping her rebuild the Amazon nation.

the newly godly Ares and Xena share a moment

Back in the courtroom, Xena scolds Eve for returning to Amazon territory, but Eve insists that she is haunted by her past and wants to be punished for her actions. Understanding, Xena instructs Eve tell the full story to the council. Eve reveals that Ares manipulated her into taking over Amazon lands and enslaving their people, insisting it was necessary for her to do so in order to spread her name all over the world. Shocked by Eve's account, Varia soon confronts Ares. When she accuses him of being behind the raid that killed her family, he vows he did it for the good of the Amazon nation and convinces her that the only way to avenge her sisters' deaths is to conquer the Romans.

Gabrielle and Varia in the royal challenge.

Later at the council lodge, the Amazons threaten Gabrielle's rank when she refuses to vote in favor of executing Eve. Xena arrives just as Gabrielle enters a guilty vote. Gabrielle chases after Xena and tries to explain that if she loses her rank as Queen, there's no hope for Eve. When Xena finally confronts Ares, he admits that his goal is to get both the Romans and Amazons to worship him and he suggests that Xena use force to save Eve.

Ares reveals his true intentions to Xena.

Xena returns as Varia is about to condemn Eve, but Gabrielle suddenly grabs the royal scepter from Varia, snaps it in half and uses her rite of challenge to instigate a showdown. A shackled Eve sits in Gabrielle's corner with Xena and the brutal fight begins. Brilliantly trained by Ares, Varia easily defeats Gabrielle, finally knocking her unconscious.

Xena once again manages to foil one of Ares plans

Xena rushes to Gabrielle's side while Eve is hauled off to the lava pit to face her fate. When Gabrielle comes to, she is overwhelmed with sorrow at the thought that Xena might have to wage war against the Amazons to save Eve. Xena is taunted by Ares as she races towards to the lava pit. There she leaps in front of Varia, accusing her of trying to assuage her guilt over not killing Livia during the raid years before when she had the chance. That action might have saved her sisters. Varia lashes out and the two engage in a heated battle, balancing on pillars above the burning lava.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Xena ultimately prevails and cuts Eve free. Eve warns the Amazons that only pain lies ahead if they follow Ares and an emotional Varia declares that there will be no more fighting. Back at the council lodge, Varia pardons Eve. Xena tells Eve she should forgive herself for all she's done. Eve asks Xena if she's forgiven herself for all she's done. Eve says she is leaving to go east, to Chin. She thanks Gabrielle for saving her mother and for bringing her happiness. Eve says goodbye to Xena and Gabrielle before heading east to continue spreading the message of Eli, Xena tells her to stay out of trouble.


The disclaimer for this episode was harmed during the making of this motion picture.

Background Information[]

Behind the Scenes[]

  • The original script of "The God You Know" showed Caligula's successor Claudius, who was in love with Eve. This scene in the earlier episode would have explained the sudden Roman support of Eve in this one.
  • The most recent Cyane is played by the same actress who played Eris, the Northern Amazon who wanted to be Xena's sidekick, in season 5's "Lifeblood" and "Kindred Spirits". It's possible that this Cyane is related to Eris in some way, but it's never commented upon.
  • The scene with Ares in the field was originally written as taking place in an old Temple of Artemis, which Ares was having redone for him by the Amazons.
  • The writers knew that they wanted to put Eve on trial for her crimes, but they weren't sure where. They considered having her trial in the Roman Senate.
  • Gabrielle's fight with Varia was written as a wrestling match, and there was a scene of Xena oiling Gabrielle in preparation for it!
  • Ares was added to "Path Of Vengeance" because Rob Tapert wanted to show Ares going back to his old, manipulative ways once he got his Godhood back. But RJ Stewart added the story of the scorpion and the swan to establish that while Ares was a bad guy again, he wasn't a completely unsympathetic character.
  • Unlike most fight scenes between two actors, there were no stunt doubles used in the fight between Renee and Tsianina. Most actors coming onto the show aren't capable of doing a fight scene safely, so they put them with a stuntie whenever possible.

Key Events[]

  • Last appearance of Eve. Eve sets off to spread Eli's teachings in the East. There was discussion of having Eve appear in the series finale, but in the end she was omitted. The fact that the finale was set in Jappa while Eve was supposed to be nearby in Chin makes this somewhat ironic.
  • Xena fights Varia and at the end shows a punch towards the throat that she says no one ever survived except Ares. This suggest Xena at one point in her warlord days was given special training by Ares. Probably the same he was giving Varia at the time.


  • After Xena tells Varia to kill her first if she truly wants vengence, Varia uses Livia's move to toss Xena to the ground. Perhaps this is what made her realise that Xena was right about her path turning her into the same monster Livia was.
  • This is the only flashback heavy episode where the flashback stories concerns someone besides Xena.
  • Music from the "Vision" used.


  • After Xena suggests that she be the one to fight Varia in Gabrielle's place, Gabrielle tells her "It doesn't work that way..." This statement has been known to be false, as twice before Gabrielle has chosen Xena to fight for her. In Season Five's "Kindred Spirits" to fight Joxer, and in Season One's "Hooves and Harlots" when she challenged Queen Melosa. However, both events occured in two different tribes before they all merged in to one and the rules may have changed.

Links and References[]

Guest Stars[]

Season Navigation[]