Legendary Journeys
Legendary Journeys

The Furies
Cyrene and Xena Furies.jpg
Cyrene explains to Xena about her father
Series Xena: Warrior Princess
Season 3
Antagonist The Furies, Ares
Setting Amphipolis
In-Universe Date Year 2
Production # V0224
Filming Dates 28 March to 8 April 1997
Original Air-Date 29 September 1997
Written By R.J. Stewart
Directed By Gilbert Shilton
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 47 of 134
Order in Season 1 of 22
Order in Franchise 112 of 304
Previous Episode in Series "A Comedy of Eros"
Next Episode in Series "Been There, Done That"
Previous Episode in Franchise "Beanstalks and Bad Eggs"
Next Episode in Franchise "Hero's Heart"
Title Image
The Furies TITLE.jpg

Xena is driven mad by the Furies and has numerous bounties put on her head, when Ares informs them that she didn't avenge the death of her father. Gabrielle must work out what is really going on, and who killed her father.


Xena, Warrior Princess, has committed a terrible crime. She will be punished by persecution and madness."

Three beautiful but horrifying women do a frenzied dance in the Temple of the Furies. They represent madness. One of them is spinning like a top and shrieks loudly. Another looks like she's going through convulsions and a third is in the throes of a wildly sensual dance. Ares, the God of War, is making a case against Xena and wants the Furies to impose judgment on her. When the women unanimously find the Warrior Princess guilty of failing to avenge the death of her murdered father. Ares convinces them to punish Xena with persecution and madness.

The furies spell turns Xena to madness.

Meanwhile, Xena and Gabrielle are confronted by a group of armed warlords. One of them, Rufinus, tells Xena that a bounty has been placed on her head and that they've come to collect it. Back at the temple, Xena's sentence is being carried out. One of the Furies, Alecto, recites a curse invoking the demons of the soul to drive Xena insane. Suddenly, in the midst of battle, Xena is noticeably affected by the curse and proceeds to apply a series of "Three Stooges" blows to the warlords she's fighting. Gabrielle is at first puzzled by her friend's strange behavior, but soon realizes that Xena has been cursed by the Furies with madness.

A Mad Xena threatens some villagers for imagined wrongdoing.

Gabrielle awakens at night to find that Xena has taken off, leaving all of her clothes hanging from a tree branch. She finds Xena standing naked in the middle of a nearby town square, threatening to punish the villagers for some imagined wrongdoing. Gabrielle struggles to persuade her friend that she is suffering from delusions and finally convinces her that they must go see the Furies.

Cyrene admits to killing Xena's father.

Xena is giggling out of control when they reach the temple. There they encounter Lysis, the temple priest, who explains that the bounty has been placed on Xena's head because she never avenged the murder of her father. The Warrior Princess is surprised to learn that her father was murdered and bolts from the temple to find the killer. Xena goes to a tavern where her mother, Cyrene, is working. Emotionally drained, she collapses in Cyrene's arms. When Gabrielle catches up, she asks Cyrene to reveal who murdered Xena's father. Cyrene confesses that it was she herself who killed him. Xena struggles to absorb this news as her mother explains that her father came home drunk and angry from the temple one night and was planning to kill Xena as a sacrifice to Ares. Cyrene admits she then took an axe and stopped him in order to save her daughter's life.

"You're my favorite. I don't wanna see you throw yourself off some cliff."

Xena decides that there is nothing she can do but kill herself. She heads out towards the cliffs and is contemplating suicide; when Ares shows up to try to persuade her to kill her mother instead. Ultimately, she tells Ares she will do it, but only if the Furies are present so that they will know that she did what she was supposed to do. Xena is about to take her mother's life when all of a sudden, she seems to come to her senses.

Xena plays a brilliant ploy to convince the Furies that she is Ares daughter.

She unexpectedly reveals that her father is not dead, but rather very much alive -- that her father is, in fact, Ares himself! Gabrielle chimes in, stating that legend has it that Ares takes the form of warriors and visits their wives when they're away at battle. Cyrene agrees that her husband's visit home from war, during which time Xena was conceived, was indeed quite sudden and unexpected. Xena decides to prove her case to the Furies by challenging Ares to a duel. She asserts that if she is Ares' daughter, she is half-god and would therefore be able to hold her own in a battle against him. If she is not, Ares is sure to defeat her. A spectacular battle ensues which Xena ultimately wins, thereby convincing the Furies that she is Ares' daughter. In the end, however, we discover that Xena's ploy was really a brilliant scheme she devised to save everyone's life.


"Xena's sanity was not harmed during the production of this motion picture. The Furies, however, will be opening their own lap-dancing variety show off-off-off-Broadway soon."

Background Information[]

Behind the Scenes[]

  • This episode is a holdover from the second season. Twenty-four were made for the season but only twenty-two were required.
  • Calling Gabrielle "Mavis" was an ad-lib by Lucy Lawless.

Key Events[]

  • This episode marks the first appearance of The Furies.


  • This episode continues the running story-arc of Xena's Father.
  • After Xena is struck by madness, she asks one of the ruffians what is the capital of Assyria. This is a reference to "Monty Python and the Holy Grail".

Memorable Quotations[]

"You expect me to trust you? I'm crazy, I'm not stupid! If I'm gonna whack mama, I wanna get something out of it. I want to know The Furies are watching!"
"They'll see it. It's a God thing."
"I won't do it unless it's in front of The Furies!"
"Alright, it can be arranged."
"Good. I'll go get Mom.
Xena and Ares

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