Legendary Journeys

Them Bones, Them Bones
Xena Them Bones.jpg
Xena prepares for Alti
Series Xena: Warrior Princess
Season 5
Antagonist Alti
In-Universe Date Year 4
Production # V0908
Filming Dates 14 June to 24 June 1999
Original Air-Date 1 November 1999
Written By Buddie Williers
Directed By John Fawcett
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 95 of 134
Order in Season 5 of 22
Order in Franchise 261 of 304
Previous Episode in Series "Animal Attraction"
Next Episode in Series "Purity"
Previous Episode in Franchise "Hercules, Tramps and Thieves"
Next Episode in Franchise "City of the Dead"
Title Image
Them Bones TITLE.jpg

Alti returns through the spirit world to gain control of Xena's unborn baby's soul and use for herself to return to the surface world. To combat against this, Xena and Gabrielle must go to the spiritual realm and defeat her there, by using the teachings of Yakut and the Northern Amazons.


Xena experiences pains in her stomach

Gabrielle digs in the ground for a mushroom-shaped herb that Xena wants for morning sickness. Xena complains about pregancy saying she feels like a slug, but Gabrielle tells her she looks beautiful. Xena is is happy because she knows she does not have to go through it alone.

Xena, Gabrielle and Amarice travel to Northern Amazons land

When Xena suddenly experiences sharp pains in her stomach, Gabrielle takes her to see a midwife. As the midwife examines her, a baby skeleton tears out of Xena's belly. Horrified, Xena screams and loses consciousness. Gabrielle calls out to Xena who wakes up to realize it was only a nightmare. The midwife tells Xena that she needs bed rest, but Xena is convinced that someone is trying to kill her baby. She tells Gabrielle and Amarice that they are going to see Yakut, a shamaness and leader of the Northern Amazons.

Yakut performs a ritual on Xena learning Alti wants to harm Xena's unborn baby

Upon their arrival at the village, Yakut welcomes Xena saying she's been expecting her. Amarice wonders to Gabrielle if Yakut saw it in some sort of vision, to which Yakut tells her she did. Yakut performs a ritual and tells Xena that her child is being drained of its life force in the spiritual realm by Alti, the evil shamaness Xena killed. Yakut informs Gabrielle and Amarice about Alti, telling them that the only place to attack her is through the spiritual realm. Yakut explains the whole concept of spiritual realms to both of them. Gabrielle knowing that Xena can't fight Alti in her condition in the spiritual world, convinces Xena to send her instead. Xena hands Gabrielle the dagger she will need to kill Alti and tells her not to let go of it no matter what.

Gabrielle must perform the ritual of the Shamaness in order to gain access to the Spiritual Realm

The two perform an elaborate ceremony and Gabrielle falls into a trance. Alti greets Gabrielle and uses the trickery of the spirit world to beat Gabrielle while remaining free of the dagger's reach. The shamaness makes Gabrielle begin to cut her own throat with the dagger. In the physical world, Xena sees the cut appearing on Gabrielle's neck and desperately tries to wake her, but can't.

Gabrielle attempts to fight Alti in the spirtual realm.

Using spiritual warfare, Alti counts to ten and kills Gabrielle in the spirit world and the physical world. Xena performs CPR on Gabrielle and successfully pulls her back into the physical world, alive. When Gabrielle tells Xena that Alti said she needs the baby to be born, Xena realizes that Alti is trying to reenter the physical world by taking away her baby's soul and replacing it with her own. Xena figures the only way to stop Alti is to perform the burial ritual for restless souls.

Xena and Yakut try recovering Alti's bones.

She sends Gabrielle and Amarice to the Scherian Caverns to retrieve a special amber that, when placed on Alti's remains, will trap her soul when it hardens. Xena and Yakut leave to recover Alti's bones, but when they find them, the skull is missing. Yakut tells Xena that she took the skull because she thought she could harness Alti's power and use it for good. But now Yakut knows that she's responsible for Alti's return.

Alti steals Xena's unborn babies soul.

Later that night, Yakut puts herself in a trance and enters Alti's realm. Xena wakes up and sees that Yakut is unconscious. She enters Alti's dreamscape and Alti punches Xena in the back and retracts a glowing orb. As Xena and Yakut awake from their trances, Alti tells Xena that she will give her child's soul back if she is brought back into the physical world.

Gabrielle learns the truth about Amarice's not being an Amazon.

Meanwhile, Gabrielle and Amarice enter the caverns and are greeted by Chi'ah, an Amazon mystic who guards the amber. But Chi'Ah reveals that Amarice is not really an Amazon and will not let her pass. Gabrielle retrieves the amber and she and Amarice return to Yakut's camp. Determined to retrieve the child's soul, the Amazons perform an elaborate ceremony and Xena brings Alti out of her realm.

Xena tricks Alti into entering her own dreamscape, where Alti is weakened

But in actuality, Xena has tricked Alti. She merely transferred her from one dreamscape to another, which has weakened her powers. Alti, in skeletal from, attacks Xena with a vengeance. Xena steps out of her skin and the two skeletal forms go head to head.

Gabrielle pours the Amber on Alti's bones.

In the physical world, Gabrielle sees that Xena has the upper hand and pours the amber on Alti's bones, which causes Alti to freeze in place in the spiritual world. Xena takes her sword and slices Alti right down the middle, causing the bones to explode. Xena returns to the physical world with her child's soul perfectly safe … at least for the time being. Alti's bones smoke. Gabrielle backs up. Alti screams in a voice-over as she bones scatter. Xena lies still. Gabrielle runs to her. Xena is not moving. Gabrielle helps her up and the two rejoice in Alti's defeat.

Xena sees a dove and accepts motherhood.

Gabrielle rewards Amarice for her bravery by making her an Amazon. Instead of resuming her travels with Xena and Gabrielle, Amarice decides to stay with the Northern Amazons. Elsewhere, Xena and Yakut walk along saying goodbye. Yakut tells Xena she isn't like any other friend and she will miss her. Xena tells Yakut she's heading east because more people and spirits and things will be after the baby. Xena sees a dove, meaning she's accepted her baby and being a mother.


Xena and Alti were Bad To The Bone during the production of this motion picture.

Background Information[]

Behind the Scenes[]

  • Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci's first episode as showrunners, a position they would hold for the following twelve episodes unti original showrunner R.J. Stewart's return with "Antony & Cleopatra". The pair had previously acted as showrunners for Seasons 5 and 6 of Hercules and also showran Jack of All Trades for executive producer Rob Tapert.
  • At the Chicago Convention, Claire Stansfield was asked if she had read the original Steven L. Sears script for the episode and what she thought of the changes. She said she had and indicated that the original script called for her to be naked and that she was to fight the Amazons.
    • She also stated that she enjoyed her "controversial" lines, and added that a stunt double's arm was what we saw going into Xena's stomach.
  • This episode originally was supposed to feature Ares trying to get the Northern Amazons to his side, and helping them against Alti and also learning about Xena's pregnancy. Alti and Ares were going to meet, but all these plans were cut, very early on, and decided to drop Alti and Ares meeting for the first time.
  • Buddy Williers is credited as the writer and Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman are credited as creative consultants. Buddy Williers is a pseudonym used by Steven L. Sears, who chose to use it when his original draft of the episode was heavily edited by Orci & Kurtzman. Sears stated, "This isn't even a comment on quality. I just had no way to take responsibility for any of it."
  • Donogh Rees (Chi'ah) makes her first appearance on Xena: Warrior Princess, but has appeared several times on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, most notably as Frigga in the episodes "Norse By Norsevest" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow Bridge".
  • When the character of Amarice was created, they intended her to be a real Amazon, but when Jennifer Sky got the part of Cleopatra on Cleopatra 2525 they needed to "park" the character somewhere, so they thought that having her stay with the Northern Amazons while learning to be one of them was the best way to write her out.

Key Events[]


  • In the scene where Gabrielle enters the spiritual realm, every motion freezes: the camp fire, the bird, the splash in the lake, except the water flow, where the focus of the camera is on the splash.


  • During "Adventures in the Sin Trade I & II", Xena declared Yakut the new shamaness and Otere the new queen. But Otere does not even appear in this episode, nor is there any mention of her absence.
  • This is the only episode of Xena to feature all female characters and not a single male character is present in the episode.

Links and References[]

Guest Stars[]

Claire Stansfield as Alti
Jennifer Sky as Amarice
Kate Elliott as Yakut


Donogh Rees as Chi'ah
Beryl Te Wiata as Midwife
Rachel Hayward as Amazon






Season Navigation[]