The Key to the Kingdom
Autolycus, Meg, Joxer
Autolycus, Meg and Joxer
Series Xena: Warrior Princess
Season 4
Antagonist Ormestin, Kryptos
Setting Greece
In-Universe Date Year 4
Production # V0602
Filming Dates 20 April to 28 April 1998
Original Air-Date 11 January 1999
Written By Eric A. Morris
Directed By Bruce Campbell
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 78 of 134
Order in Season 10 of 22
Order in Franchise 209 of 304
Previous Episode in Series "Past Imperfect"
Next Episode in Series "Daughter of Pomira"
Previous Episode in Franchise "Let There Be Light"
Next Episode in Franchise "Redemption"
Title Image
The Key to the Kingdon TITLE

Meg, Autolycus and Joxer team up to find the key to unlocking and discovering the Crown of Athena.


After stealing a priceless jewel, Autolycus flees the scene of the crime. After successfully avoiding capture, he encounters Xena. Hoping to avoid her retribution, the King of Thieves confesses and throws back the ruby. Joxer appears and tells Autolycus that the person in front of him is not Xena - it is one of her doubles, the barmaid Meg. Autolycus realizes that he could have kept the jewel and proceeds to exact his revenge upon Joxer.

Later, Joxer and Meg tell Autolycus about their plan to find the valuable Crown of Athena, which was hidden when the young, cruel King Cleades disappeared. His realm is now ruled by two warlords, Ormestin and Kryptos, who continue Cleades' tradition of ruling with an iron hand. Meg and Joxer explain that they need Autolycus to get into their stronghold and steal the "key". Legend states that the key will lead the bearer to the treasure. Autolycus agrees to help, for a share of the treasure.

Meg, posing as Xena, manages to get into the castle. Autolycus follows through a window and manages to break into the key room. As he removes the blanket from the treasure chest, he is surprised to find a baby. Suddenly, Meg leads Ormestin and Kryptos into the room and has him arrested. As Autolycus is led off to the dungeon, Meg steals the baby.

Meg reunites with Joxer, who is surprised to find her with a baby. She explains that her plan has been to start a family and a respectable life with the baby. Joxer accepts her answer and helps her care for the baby. Meg's plans are interrupted by the warlords' soldiers and a very angry Autolycus, who has just escaped from jail. Autolycus is soon distracted from his revenge upon Meg when the baby wanders off into the marketplace. After a chase that involves the soldiers and a runaway chariot, Meg rescues the baby. Once the baby is safe, Autolycus realizes that the baby's blanket is the map to the Crown of Athena.

Ormestin and Kryptos catch up with them when they reach the treasure cave. As the fight begins, the baby crawls into a basket and suddenly changes into a young man -- King Cleades. The battle reaches a turning point when the real Xena arrives and helps the king fight off the soldiers. Kryptos manages to steal the Crown and run back to the castle with Ormestin. As the group travels back to the castle, Cleades reveals that he was turned into a baby by Athena to see as a child sees and to learn how to rule with kindness. The group intercepts and defeats Ormestin and Kryptos as they try to sneak out of the kingdom with the Crown and the jewels. As the kingdom rejoices, Xena consoles Meg, who reveals she can never have children of her own.


No Priceless Porkers, of either organic or ceramic origin, were harmed during the filming of this motion picture.

Background InformationEdit

Behind the ScenesEdit

  • This is the only episode of Xena: Warrior Princess that doesn't feature Gabrielle without any mention or reference to her whatsoever. The reason Renne O'Connor does not appear is she was busy filming the movie "Rubbernecking" at the time.
  • Despite this episode being a "Xena-Lite", Lucy Lawless is featured throughout as Meg.

Key EventsEdit

  • Autolycus, Meg and Joxer discover the Crown of Athena.
  • Meg and Joxer are first suggested to be a couple in this episode. Although later episodes will still reference his love for Gabrielle, Joxer and Meg's relationship will be revisited in "Livia".


Links and ReferencesEdit

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