Episode: The Rhinegold
Subtext report, Xena Fanfiction, Xena and
Note: Many of these reports are littered with errors
because I wrote them quickly and 'on the fly' so I could post
them quicker to the 'Nutforum' back in the day.
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This season keeps
getting better and better. Sorry to all the naysayers out
there the suspected a second poorly scripted rift to rip
apart. Far from it actually. But I’ll get into the reasons
why in a moment. First up however I think I should tell you
about the two separate tales that Tapert and Co. are pulling
together to make one Xena story or should I say bastardizing
in that special X:WP way (VBG).
First story Beowulf
which is set in Denmark – seems Beowulf has a pesky monster
problem. One of his soldiers is eaten in the ‘great hall’
one night. When the beast, named Grendel who can’t be killed
by weapons, returns Beowulf manages to rip its arm off. It
goes back to the marsh where it was born but ends up bleeding
to death. All is well until the monster’s momma shows up.
Beowulf slays her too in the lake with a magic weapon (similar
to King Arthur’s Excaliber). Beowulf lives to be an old man.
During a fight with a dragon, he is mortal wounded but not
before destroying the beast.
Now the second
story – Sigurd and Brynhild. Brynhild was a Valkyrie (who
defied Odin in regards to warfare) banished to earth,
imprisoned in a ring of fire which only the bravest and
fearless warrior could break. When Sigurd braved the fire he
broke the spell of a charmed sleep as well, they fell in love.
He gave her his ring he got for slaying a dragon, unaware of
its curse. During his travels he betrayed Brynhild when he was
bewitched by Grimhild and lost his memory due to drinking
magic mead. He married Gudrun and then helped Gunner win
Brynhild, who was his true love unbenounsted to him. On
finding out about Sigurd’s betrayal Brynhild planned to kill
him. Sigurd’s memory did return and his guilt and grief over
his betrayal was great. The Nibelung brothers slew him, urged
by Brynhild who was seeking revenge. As Sigurd died the last
name he called out was Brunhild. Brynhild in her grief over
losing Sigurd killed herself.
Now that the
history lesson is over boys and girls (VBG) On to our subtext
report. Now make sure you pay close attention and look to the
top if you need a recap now and then.
The story opens
with Xena looking at a shinny ring while she’s wearing some
goofy head wear. A monster creeps up behind her and she says
it’s about time. She leads him down toward a cage. She tells
him as long as she has the ring she’ll win so he might as
well give up. She manages to trap him in the cage with a lock
with two ravens on it. The monster however manages to snatch
the ring off her finger. But Xena’s not worried. He’ll
never know how to use it so it’s not over by a long shot.
Xena and Gabby are
eating in Joxer’s tavern…okay it’s not JOXER’s Tavern
just the same building – kinda like that ship Rob’s Folly.
I wonder if that place is called Raimi’s Pad (VBG). Anyway
they are eating dinner and Xena is eyeing Gabby’s food
asking if she’s going to finish it. Gabby tells her she’s
not getting her food – like the bardly one would ever give
up food (VBG). Xena complains about the portion size and
whines to Gabby that she’s not eating the food she’s
playing with it so she might as well give it to her (LOL). (I
like watching these two characters ‘play’ with each other.
It’s a very nice opening scene – very Day In the Lifeish).
Gabby says she’s not playing with her food she’s savoring
it so back off. From behind them a man is watching them Xena
asks if he’s got a problem. He asks if she’s Xena. She
says yes and he throws down the raven lock on the table. Uh
oh….Something’s rotten in ole Denmark (VBG). Xena says
she’s gotta speak to the guy. They walk to the corner and
have an unheard conversation while Gabby examines the lock.
Xena comes back not looking too happy. She won’t tell Gabby
what’s up. Gabby offers Xena her food (which she firmly
denied her moments earlier (VBG)Ahhhh isn’t that sweet.
Gabby’s the best. I love Gabby. Have I mentioned that? (VBG))
. Xena says thanks but she’s lost her appetite.
They get ready for
bed and have this conversation:
G: Still keeping
secrets from me – after all these years.
something I did a long time ago before I met you. . .I just
don’t feel like talking about it right now.
G: . . . Alright.
X: I’m not trying
to shut you out. You know our friendship’s the most
important thing in my life. . .In this case-
G:Xena you don’t
have to tell me. Part of being a friend is letting people keep
secrets. I respect that.
They go to sleep
(separate beds) and gabby wakes to find this ‘Dear Jane’
Letter: Gabrielle, I’ve gone to take care of some unfinished
business. This mission is so dangerous I’m afraid I won’t
survive and I can’t ask you to die with me once again.
Whatever happens know that my love for you is endless. Xena.
The story jumps to
Gabby writing in her scrolls as she rides on horseback and
‘scrolls’ by firelight alone (ahhhh~sniff~): I know Xena
wouldn’t have done this if she didn’t feel this was
something she had to do by herself. I debated whether to
respect her wish but I can’t – her path is my path. I’ve
been following her now for weeks. Her trail has taken me
north, due north, farther north than I’ve ever been.
Next we see Gabby
walking through a town. She catches the eye of a blonde woman
who lingers behind her watching Gabrielle. Gabby sees a
tapestry in the market square and asks the merchant if the
pictures tell a story. He can tell she’s not from these
parts and say yes. He then tells her this tale:
These woman that
ride the flying horses are Valkyrie, Odin’s end (death)
guards. Valkyrie are mortal but Odin teaches his favorite ones
spells. Gabby notices that one looks different from the rest.
The old man can’t remember her name but the woman who’s
tailing Gabby says her name is Xena. Gabby asks if she knows
about this Valkyrie named Xena. The blonde says studying her
has been the passion of her life. Gabby asks if she’s seen
her recently. The woman says no, her reign of terror ended
over 35 years ago and walks away. Gabby chases after her and
introduces herself saying she’s come a long way to find Xena
and any info would be helpful. Blondie says Xena came from a
land called Chin but her people call it the land that brought
them a demon. Flashback time!!! Xena comes across Odin who’s
crucified himself to a tree because he’s depressed over not
bringing peace to earth. [In the ‘real’ tale Odin hung
himself on Yggdrasil, the cosmic tree for nine days, to learn
the secrets of the dead]. Xena tells him she lives for
conflict. She’s always looking for someone to conquer. Odin
warns that someday someone may conquer her (wink, wink, nudge
nudge (VBG) Gee, I wonder who could ever conquer Xena,
hmmm?(BG)) Xena tells him you can’t escape the struggle of
life – you have to embrace it. With that Odin gets the will
to live and made her Valkyrie . Xena did well but she butts
heads with the Valkyrie leader and Odin’s lover, Grimhilda
(See story two above).
Next we see Xena
telling some Danish soldiers to go back into battle with
Grimhilda telling them to wait and fight another day. In the
name of Odin Xena rallies the troops and they get slaughtered.
Xena is back at godly headquarters at a banquet table when
Grim comes in. She chastised Xena for sending those men to
their death but Xena says it was right because it was in
Odin’s name. Odin sides with Xena and Grim says she’s gone
– she’s leaving if Odin sides with Xena. After she’s
gone Odin says, " I loved her once." Xena tells him,
"Trust me sire, you can live without love."
Xena," Gabby says. Blonde says you weren’t listen real
well (LOL). Gabby says it’s because Xena thought she could
live without love. "I know that she can’t. She’s my
friend." (Oh yeah just like Marcus is her friend, and
Herc and …. You get the point. Xena’s had a LOT of
‘friends’ (VBG)). Blondie tells Gabby to set up camp there
and she’ll return tonight to tell her more tales to help her
quest to find Xena.
Later that night
Gabby is doing her bard thing when Brimhilda attacks her.
(Turns out Blondie has a name after all). They fight and Gabby
makes Brim cut herself with her own sword – small gash in
the leg. Brimhilda knocks Gabs to the ground and pauses. She
tells her that she doesn’t know who’s the better fighter
and the only way to tell is to fight to the death and that’s
not what she wants. She offers her hand to Gabby but Gabby
slaps it away. Brim says she just wanted to show that she was
worth to follow Xena. Gabby thinks it over and takes her hand
when it’s offered again.
By the fire Brim
tells Gabby if Xena is still alive she’s on the verge of
realizing a life long dream. She wants to help find Xena. Brim
goes back into tell her story.
Xena won Odin from
Grimhilda. Odin is showing Xena how to make a fire spell. Xena
says she wants to know more. She wants to know about the
Rhinegold. Odin says he can’t tell her that. And Xena starts
to cry and says if he doesn’t trust her then….she trails
off and he asks what. She tells him that she was wrong before.
That love is possible because she loves him. Seems that the
rhinegold can only be touched by those who have forsaken love.
He thinks he has nothing to fear and tells Xena the secret of
where it’s at. Grimhilda returns and tells Odin he’s been
suckered. She asks him for permission to stop her. He gives
his blessing and she and the Valkyrie go after her toward the
Rhine River on flying horses. They battle and Grim and Xena
end up falling to earth. Xena gets up first and goes to kill
Grim but she stops and kicks her in the face. Xena finishes
her journey and is frolicking in the water with the
Rhinemaidens. She’s turning on the charm as the maidens
begin to fight over who gets Xena. Seems two of them are in
love with Xena and as the third points out, they both ‘fall
in love too easily’. One maiden gooses Xena under the water
and they have this conversation after Xena whispers something
in her ear.
M: I can’t show
X: Come on – just
a peek (Okay LOLOLOL – even my husband thought this was
X: Well how can I
be a rhine maiden if I don’t see it.
M: You want to
become a rhinemaiden?!
X: Sure…Then I
can play with you all day.
M: (smiling and
thinking it over) Follow me.
rhinemaiden then takes Xena under water to a cave. Once inside
she shows Xena a chest. Xena opens it up and reaches. The
maiden warns her that the rhine gold will only bring about her
destruction. Not if I’ve forsaken love, Xena tells her. Have
you? The maiden asks. Xena answers by elbowing her in the
face, giving her a bloody nose.
She dives back into
the water and goes back to make her ring that makes her
invincible. Back at the present Gabby and Brim have this
B: You love her
very much don’t you?
G: She’s my best
friend. I know her like I know my own heart.
B: A friendship
like that is something to be envied.
G: It has a price
– like anything.
B: A price you love
B: She feels the
G: I hope so
B: She must. She
knows how dangerous this mission is and she left you behind.
G: That’s what
her note said.
Now it’s Xena’s
true time confessions<G> She’s walking with Beowulf
and they have this exchange:
Beo: You miss your
friend don’t you?
Beo: She’s very
X: Yeah she is.
Beo: I only saw her
that one time but she seems special. Who knows HOW I’d feel
if I got to know her.
X: Well you’d
Beo: Of course
neither one of us will live to see her again anyway. Well be
Beo: The people up
here think of you as a demon.
X: . . . .They
Gabby and Brim are
talking and Gabby mentions Beo and the lock. Now Brim sees
what’s happening. Xena’s on a suicide mission. Xena and
Beo end up at the outpost/great hall. Beo goes in and Xena
whispers ‘Stay strong Gabrielle’ in prayer. Beo goes
inside and is sharpening his sword. With night falling they
know the monster will be arriving. Beo says they call the
beast Grendel. Xena says it’s powerful but it’s slow. Beo
says she knows this beast pretty well. Xena says she should
because she made it. The monster then comes through the side
of the building and starts to attack them. During the fight
Xena sees that the monster still has the ring. She tries to
get it but it beats the stuffing out of her and Beo. Beo gets
buried under some wood and junk and the monster closes in on
battered Xena. Xena tries to stand up but she can’t. The
next morning, we see Gabby and Brim approach the outpost. Brim
says she wishes she had a friend like Xena does. Gabby puts
her hand on her shoulder and says she does and the two of them
enter. They hear groaning and Gabby pulls the debree away to
find Beowulf. Beo says he doesn’t know if Xena’s alive or
dead. Gabby starts to call out for Xena but no answer. She
looks in the corner and goes over. She picks up Xena’s
breastplate and strokes it but no Xena is to be found.
To Be Continued.
Fade to Black
Next week: Here’s
the full promo for ‘The Ring’ folks. I’m not sure how it
all fits together with the ‘real’ story. It seems that no
single Xena character is a character from Norse mythology but
a complication of many different Norse characters. It’s very
likely that Xena does get married in the ‘present day’ but
she doesn’t know who the hell she is and gets tricked like
Sig did. Here you go folks:
power is unbelievable
(Someone is holding
the ring, a pic of the monster, Grim and Xena battling)
Grim (to a scared
looking Odin): She has the ring!
(Odin throws a
fireball at a soldier who’s next to ‘present’ Xena, he
falls over, Grim is behind Odin at the time)
A: But the price
killing what she values the most (Shot of Gabby in flames,
moving around as her outfit changes into a little hot white
looking scared comes up behind Gabrielle who’s got a
startled look on her face before Xena raises her finger)
A: On and all new
Xena. A choice between true love (Xena hugs Gabby with her
eyes closed tight. Gabby hugs Xena)
Don’t ever leave me again.
(Present Xena is
taking off the ring when a blue light flashes over her, Odin
does battle with Xena, a fire ball hits the monster,
‘blondie/Brim’ striking something or someone with a raised
sword, Gabby laying down on a big rock to take a nap(G), one
woman giving another woman the ‘ring’, )
A: and true self
X: It’s a mistake
from a very long time ago.
A: And a
consequence that’s unforgettable (Xena drops her chakram and
X: (screaming in
great angst) Who am I?!?!
A: Battle on
Xena…Coming next week.
All I can say are