Legendary Journeys

Xena and Callisto Sacrifice I.jpg
Xena and Callisto
Series Xena: Warrior Princess
Season 3
Antagonist Callisto, Hope, Ares, Dahak
Setting Greece
In-Universe Date Year 3
Production # V0420
Filming Dates 2 March to 11 March 1998
Original Air-Date 4 May 1998
Written By Steven L. Sears
Directed By David Warry Smith
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 67 of 134
Order in Season 21 of 22
Order in Franchise 155 of 304
Previous Episode in Series "Vanishing Act"
Next Episode in Series "Sacrifice II"
Previous Episode in Franchise "Top God"
Next Episode in Franchise "Reunions"
Title Image
Sacrifice I TITLE.jpg

Xena and Gabrielle rescue Seraphin, a sacrifice that will bring about the return of an evil Goddess, presumably Callisto. When Xena confronts her, she discovers that the Goddess is in fact Hope.


Callisto escapes the vortex.

Outside Ares' temple, lightning strikes from the center of a pulsing light and thunder is heard as Callisto emerges from the vortex with revenge on her mind.

Xena and Gabrielle search for Seraphin

Meanwhile, Xena and Gabrielle are secretly witnessing a strange ceremony in which Gabrielle's friend Seraphin is about to be sacrificed. After a large clay mask is placed over her head, the young girl is lifted high in the air on poles and suspended over a bowl. Werfner, who is leading the ritual in front of a gathering of disciples, is just about to kill Seraphin when Xena sends her chakram flying, slicing through the shaft of his spear. Gabrielle yells for her young friend to follow her but Seraphin doesn't move.

Xena and Callisto reunite

As Xena flies into the midst of the crowd and tries to fight her way to the girl, Seraphin and a priest named Janiclea are taken away by two burly men. Xena pursues them into the woods and after fending off an attack, is surprised see Callisto standing over the fallen body of Janiclea. She has slit his throat with a dagger. Blowing Xena a kiss, she suddenly disappears with her victim.

Ares tries to forge an alliance with Xena

Xena returns to Gabrielle and begins the dangerous search for Seraphin, who they now believe is one of Callisto's worshippers. Along the way, Ares tries unsuccessfully to forge an alliance with Xena, warning her that Callisto is amassing an army of followers to conquer the world. The group of disciples has now relocated and the ceremony of sacrifice is about to begin again. Seraphin goes off to prepare herself and returns wearing the mask and robes.

Xena and Callisto battle it out until Ares shows up.

But when Werfner moves in to kill her with his spear, he is met with resistance and it turns out that Xena is really the one behind the mask. As she heads for the woods, fighting off the disciples, the ground suddenly explodes in front of her and Callisto appears. The two women battle it out until Ares intervenes.

Xena learns Hope is to be reborn...

Later, when Xena and Gabrielle learn that Seraphin has no idea who Callisto is, Xena comes to the shocking realization that the young girl is preparing to be sacrificed for the rebirth of Hope, the daughter of Gabrielle and the evil Dahak. Despite Xena and Gabrielle's protests, Seraphin is convinced that Hope is the savior of the world. Xena and Ares are determined to keep Hope from building a powerful following and as Xena starts pondering ways to use Hope's mortal side against her, Ares begins organizing a huge army. Gabrielle keeps trying to talk Seraphin out of her blind allegiance to Hope and finally admits to her young friend that Hope is her daughter. Seraphin is at once respectful and fearful.

Callisto talks to Hope in her preserved state.

Meanwhile, Callisto and Werfner are in the cave of the Sister Peaks, the place where Hope — who is still in a cocoon stage — is to be reborn. It soon becomes clear that Callisto is protecting Hope. Xena manages to find the cave and demands that Callisto turn over the cocoon.

Ares takes the cocoon to the Halls of War.

A fierce swordfight ensues and Xena triggers an enormous rock slide, burying Callisto in tons of rubble. But just as Xena is about to destroy Hope, Ares suddenly appears, then quickly disappears with the cocoon. When Xena returns to Gabrielle and Seraphin and tells them that she thinks Ares has taken the cocoon to the Halls of War, the three take off to find him.

Disciples of Dahak appear to attack Xena, Gabrielle and Seraphin.

Meanwhile, the cocoon begins to emit a low wailing sound which gradually builds in intensity. Werfner hears it and heads off to complete his mission. Seraphin also hears it and warns Gabrielle that the disciples are coming. Soon, a line of disciples appears — old men, women and children, all carrying scythes, with a vacant, distant look in their eyes. Like the living dead, they surround Xena and try to pummel her. On Xena's orders, Gabrielle and Seraphin run to a hut on the other side of the ridge, but the disciples quickly find their way there and begin breaking through the walls. With Xena's help, the two women manage to escape through the roof.

Xena and Gabrielle have devised a plan to use Seraphin to get to Hope.

Unbeknownst to Seraphin, Xena and Gabrielle have devised a plan to trap Hope. Xena pretends to leave and Gabrielle, feigning doubts about whether her daughter is truly evil, tells Seraphin to find Hope and warn her that Xena is coming to kill her. Xena and Gabrielle then secretly follow the young girl to the Halls of War, where Ares and Werfner are guarding the cocoon.

Ares calls in his debt from Gabrielle

When they arrive, Xena enters the Halls while Gabrielle waits outside. Suddenly, Ares grabs Gabrielle and takes her to the Temple of the Fates where he tells her that she must prevent Xena from killing Hope or Xena will die.

Seraphin's blood sets the rebirth in motion.

Meanwhile, Seraphin has finally reached Hope's cocoon and Werfner and several disciples start the sacrificial ceremony. But Xena intervenes once again, fights off Werfner and the others, as well as prevents Seraphin from turning the knife on herself. Seraphin is accidentally stabbed, however, when she jumps in between Xena and Werfner and as she stumbles to the cocoon, she presses a blood-soaked hand upon it.

Hope emerges from her cocoon

The cocoon begins to glow and suddenly, it ruptures. Xena is about to plunge her sword into it when she is hit from the side by Gabrielle and knocked to the floor. Everyone watches in amazement, including Callisto who has managed to escape from the rock slide, as Hope emerges from the cocoon covered in white ooze and looking exactly like her mother, Gabrielle.

To Be Continued...


No Pulsing Cocoons were harmed during the production of this motion picture. What was witnessed was purely a re-enactment.

Background Information[]

Behind the Scenes[]

  • Shooting Dates: March 2, 1998 through March 11, 1998 (8 day shoot).
  • This episode was watched by 5.1 million viewers on its original airing.
  • Jodie Rimmer who plays Seraphin is the third actress from the last ten episodes of Xena who later appeared on Young Hercules. She played Lilith on the spin-off. She was preceded by Katrina Browne (Mendala in "When in Rome", Cyane on the spin-off) and Angela Dotchin (Soraya in "Tsunami", Kora in the spin-off).
  • In an interview on the Season Three DVD set Steven L. Sears mentioned that he and Paul Robert Coyle both wrote the two-parter together and both wrote their parts and explained how the story came about "[In these episodes] we wanted to solidify the relationship between Gabrielle and Xena at that point. We wanted to show that they had a great purpose. We wanted to show that they were keystones in fate—in the history of humanity. And we wanted to set up what could be the battle for the dominion of the earth and we wanted to do it in about 90 minutes. So there were a lot of layers to put in with this. One of the things that I think we all jumped onto immediately was the idea of Callisto’s involvement with [Hope]…”
  • Steven L. Sears said on Ares switching sides and working with Dahak that Ares’s one concern is Ares. "Dahak was capable of destroying him, so of course he was going to join in, just to prolong his existence. Ares was pragmatic. Given enough time, he was convinced he could find the flaw in Dahak that would allow him to regain power. He wasn’t foolish enough to challenge Dahak when the odds were so stacked against him. Even trying to convince Xena of the truth wasn’t working, a situation he contributed to. So he went to plan B: Surrender until a better moment. And once he had thrown in his lot with Dahak, it was in his interest to make sure Hope survived. After all, there was always the old Ares charm that told him he might have a chance at controlling Hope as well. Considering his past, why wouldn’t he believe it?”
  • At Dragon Convention in Atlanta, Steven Sears stated that the character of Werfner was based on Gollum from The Lord of the Rings.

Key Events[]


  • Chakram Count: 2
  1. To stop Seraphin from being sacrificed.
  2. To stop Seraphin from being sacrificed again.

Links and References[]

Guest Stars[]





Ares, Callisto, Hope, Dahak


Sister Peaks, Temple of the Fates, Halls of War


Season Navigation[]