Legendary Journeys

Gab defend succession.jpg
Gabrielle defends herself against Mavican
Series Xena: Warrior Princess
Season 5
Antagonist Mavican
In-Universe Date Year 4
Production # V0902
Filming Dates 29 April to 7 May 1999
Original Air-Date 11 October 1999
Written By Steven L. Sears
Directed By Rick Jacobson
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 93 of 134
Order in Season 3 of 22
Order in Franchise 257 of 304
Previous Episode in Series "Chakram"
Next Episode in Series "Animal Attraction"
Previous Episode in Franchise "Rebel With a Cause"
Next Episode in Franchise "Darkness Visible"
Title Image
Succession TITLE.jpg

The hot-headed warrior Mavican wants to be Ares' right-hand woman and believes it is her destiny to be known as Xena's killer. Offering Mavican the chance to prove her worth, Ares sends her, Xena, and Gabrielle to another world and pits them against one another. With rules of Ares' game limiting their options, Xena and Gabrielle must escape from the other world as well as Mavican's bloodlust. Little do they know, Ares's goals are not what they appear.


Ares talks to Gabrielle about her newfound warrior skills

After a rollicking roll in the sack, Mavican tells Ares that she wants to be his right-hand woman, just as Xena once was. Ares says no, Mavican isn't good enough. Mavican throws a sword at Ares as he starts to walk away. Mavican pouts a little and asks what Xena did to get the job. Ares says Xena never asked for the job. Ares dismisses the idea and disappears. Xena beats up an awful lot of guys while telling Gabrielle to stay back and out of the way but Gabrielle keeps insisting she can take care of herself.

Later at Demeter's Temple, Gabrielle gets some water while complains to herself that Xena is still overprotective of her. Ares appears to Gabrielle. Gabrielle says Xena took on five bandits; she could have at least let Gabrielle have one of them. Gabrielle is upset because Xena is over protective and doesn't notice her new weapon skill. Ares speaks as he is sympathetic, and then he disappears.

Xena prepares to fight Mavican.

Suddenly, Mavican appears and throws a javelin towards Gabrielle's head. Xena arrives just in time to deflect the javelin and takes over the fight, which greatly upsets Gabrielle. Mavican, eager to prove to Ares that she can be Xena's successor, makes no secret of the fact that she intends to kill Xena. Xena throws her Super Chakram, which splits in two, and whirls around and bounces and flies all over the place, with Mavican doing lots of dancing and flipping to avoid it. Mavican and Xena cross swords, knocking over a statue and pillar.

Ares sets the battle between Xena and Mavican in a alternate world

Ares soon materializes and insists that Mavican and Xena finish their battle where they can do no harm. He then opens a vortex and explains the rules -- Mavican will be brought back from the vortex if she kills Xena, but Xena will stay in the vortex if she kills Mavican, and they are welcome to call Ares for help. Eager to begin the fight, Mavican jumps into the vortex as Xena and Gabrielle are sucked into it.

Mavican tries to explain to Gabrielle why she needs to kill Xena

Gabrielle falls into a black room and Xena lands on a grassland near the cliff where she is attacked by Mavican. Xena fights with her bare hands when she realized her weapons was not with her. She knocks Mavican over an embankment and goes off in search of Gabrielle and at nightfall, finds herself in a dark room. A light suddenly appears and Xena sees Gabrielle sleeping on a tree branch. Gabrielle wakes up startled and finds Mavican's campsite. Not wanting Xena to be trapped in the vortex, Gabrielle figures it's up to her to kill Mavican. But Mavican captures Gabrielle and puts her in a wooden cage. As morning approaches, Mavican tells Gabrielle that it's her destiny to either kill Xena or be killed by Xena. Either way, Mavican figures that she will be remembered forever.

Ares tells Xena how impressed he is with Gabrielle's fighting skills

The sun rises and Gabrielle morphs into Xena. Xena and Mavican realize that Ares has put Xena and Gabrielle into the same body, Xena gets the day shift and Gabrielle takes the night. After failing to convince Mavican to work together to defeat Ares, Xena escapes. Xena goes to a stream and Ares appears. Ares says he wants to watch his old girlfriend fight because he's missed it. He and Xena talk. Gabrielle is in the little room with the spotlight, but she doesn't get to see everything like Xena does. Ares says Gabrielle has gotten good at fighting; he is impressed with Gabrielle. Xena works to set a trap with vines and thorns.

Xena sets a trap for Mavican.

Mavican makes weapons. Xena breaks rocks. Xena stirs up a fire. Xena leaves a trail for Mavican to follow. When Mavican finds Xena, Mavican says she hates to kill Xena, because she could learn so much from her, like how to know when someone's sneaking up on you. Xena and Mavican fight and Xena gets Mavican all wrapped up on a thorny vine.

Xena watches Mavican from the dark room.

When she reaches a clearing, Xena writes a note to Gabrielle on a piece of bark and attaches it to a staff. Mavican finds Xena, who almost manages to restrain her, but the sun sets and Xena morphs into Gabrielle.

Mavican breaks free and explains to Gabrielle how she and Xena are in the same body. Mavican takes advantage of Gabrielle's confusion and knocks Gabrielle away, and gets free. Mavican goes after Gabrielle with a stake. Gabrielle looks behind her and sees a good looking staff stick. She picks it up, releasing a trap Xena had set with a big log swinging. Gabrielle ducks; Mavican is hit in the stomach. Mavican throws a really sharp rock into Gabrielle's shoulder. Gabrielle grabs the staff with the note attached to it and takes off running.

Ares reveals he wants Gabrielle not Mavican.

Ares approaches Xena in the black room and tells her that he really wants Gabrielle, not Mavican, to be his right-hand woman. Xena is mortified, but knows that Gabrielle wants nothing to do with Ares. Gabrielle enters a cave and reads the note that Xena left for her. In the note, Xena apologizes for not acknowledging the woman that Gabrielle has become.

Ares offers Gabrielle the chance to kill Mavican

Ares materializes in the cave and tries to convince Gabrielle to join him. He tells her that Xena's destiny is in her hands and that it's up to her to kill Mavican. He disappears just before dawn and Mavican finds Gabrielle. Mavican wants to fight, but Gabrielle realizes that if she kills Mavican, Ares wins.

Mavican calls Ares for help sealing her fate

The sun rises and Gabrielle morphs into Xena. Xena forces the entrance of the cave to collapse and tells Mavican that now no one will ever know what really happened inside the cave. This infuriates Mavican because she wants the world to know that she either killed Xena or was killed by Xena. Mavican attacks and Xena holds her over the side of a bottomless pit. Desperate, Mavican calls for Ares' help. He appears and opens the vortex, but only allows Xena to pass through. Knowing that anyone who asks for his help is not worthy of being Xena's successor, Ares leaves Mavican trapped in the cave.

Gabrielle learns the truth behind Ares manipulation on her

Xena and Gabrielle tumble to the ground outside Demeter's Temple, as Ares appears. He tells them they won. Xena tells Gabrielle she is very proud of her. Xena tells Gabrielle that Ares once told her that anyone who asks for help doesn't deserve it, so Mavican made a fatal error in yelling for Ares. Ares told Gabrielle the offer to be his right hand woman is still good. Xena tells Gabrielle she is a little surprised Gabrielle didn't consider the offer. Xena tells Gabrielle she'll try harder to see Gabrielle's abilities, although it is hard for her to see her little bard growing up. Xena tells Gabrielle that the next seven little bad guys are all hers.


Ares' libido was not harmed during the production of this motion picture.

Background Information[]

  • The bandits fight near the beginning of the episode is made up entirely of stock footage. Some of the bandits tossed in the off camera fight with Xena at the beginning of the episode were actually from a clip of a Hercules episode originally. Another shot, of the bandit being thrown into the lake, is from the first season Xena episode "Altared States".
  • At the 02:13 mark, Xena's original Dark Chakram is shown for a few frames, rather than the Balanced Chakram she obtained in previous episode.
  • Xena wears noticably different armor starting with this episode featuring a dark blue and silver color scheme, pauldrons of a totally new design, and much longer skirt which begins above the waistline and ends at the knees. She will wear this armor beneath the coat she acquires in Animal Attraction until Amphipolis Under Siege, when she eschews the coat and returns to her normal armor. This outfit is referred to as her "maternity outfit", since both in-universe and behind the scenes, it was designed to accommodate Xena/Lucy's pregnancy. This is one of the few episodes to show off the armor, as Xena is rarely seen without her coat in any of the episodes during this storyline.


  • Ares Blows a smoke ring in the shape of a Chakram
  • Ares shows an interest in Gabrielle.
  • Last time Xena holds a Sai
  • Gabrielle holds a staff for the first time since The Way
  • The Portal Ares using looks like the one to get to the Stange World

Chakram Count

Thrown at Mavican (split)

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