Orphan of War
Series: Xena: Warrior Princess (1995)
Season: Two
Story Number: 025
Writer: Steven L. Sears
Director: Charles Siebert
Broadcast: September 30, 1996
Previous Story: Is There A Doctor In The House?
Following Story: Remember Nothing

Synopsis Edit

Xena and Gabrielle arrive in the land of the centaurs, an area that Xena's army once conquered. However, she negotiated a settlement with the centaurs, telling Gabrielle that she told the centaurs she'd never return. But now an evil warlord named Dagnine is after the Ixion stone, a stone which holds all of the wickedness of the centaurs in it. Apparently long ago someone was given a choice with the centaurs--they could chose wicked strength or nobility; the choice was nobility, and the rest was placed in this stone. Xena and Gabrielle are jumped by Dagnine's henchmen, but they beat them, but not before the centaurs show up also. Xena throws down her weapons and tells the one-eyed centaur Kaleipus that she's not there for anything... or anybody, only to stop the evil Dagnine.

A small boy named Solan jumps from a tree and attacks Xena, saying she killed his father, and he is her greatest enemy. Kaleipus looks at Xena and nods as the boy runs off. Xena says "he's my son." Gabrielle of course is a bit shocked but there is no further explanation. However, apparently a man named Borias was Xena's lover and Xena bore his child about 9 years ago; Borias turned "good" before Xena did, though, and he died keeping her army away from this evil Ixion stone.

They all go to the centaur village and Xena watches Solan; Gabrielle thinks Xena should tell the boy she's his mother, Xena gets mad at Gabrielle and pushes her away. Xena has a "flashback"--she gave her baby to Kaleipus to raise in an effort to make a deal and to keep the child safe.

Back to the present. Someone spies on them with a crude telescope; Xena even senses this. This person finally does enough lip-reading to understand that Solan is Xena's son, hidden all this time to keep her enemies from getting him. So the evil Dagnine decides to take the boy. Xena talks to the boy at his "parents" grave--he's been told both his mother and father are dead. Later, Solan and Gabrielle are attacked by about 6 men; Gabrielle valiantly fights them off but gets clubbed in the head anyway, and Solan is taken. Dagnine puts Solan in a cage. Gabrielle finds Xena and Xena goes to get Solan.

Xena talks to Dagnine, who was one of her soldiers, once, and then punches him out. She tries to get Solan, but ultimately they end up falling through thin ground into a cavern. Solan breaks his arm. Xena sets it. They get out of the cave but Dagnine has the Ixion stone. Back at the village, Xena and Gabrielle have a tender friendship-defining moment where Gabrielle feels she failed Xena by arguing with her when Xena is obviously in emotional turmoil over Solan. She wants to be there for Xena. "Always. Always." Xena says.

Dagnine melts the stone and drinks it in an elixir, which turns into a mutated evil centaur. Xena sets a trap for him; he comes to the centaur village to get her. His henchman come in the village the back way; Gabrielle fights them off, and while Xena's fighting Dagnine, she sees Gabrielle in trouble and saves her with a toss of the chakram. Then finally Dagnine is killed, but before he dies he admits that he's the one who killed Borias. Xena later finds Solan by a lake; they talk briefly. Solan throws his sword in the water and says he doesn't want to be a warrior; Xena says his mother would be very proud. She walks away, clearly devastasted over her choice to leave Solan a second time.

Memorable quotes Edit

  • Xena (to Solan): "You have things here that I can only dream about. Things I would want for my son."

  • Gabrielle (about Xena): "She always does what's right, even if it hurts her."

Cast Edit

Background information and notes Edit

  • First appearance of David Taylor as Solan.
  • The real, historical Solan was an Athenian lawgiver and poet, one of the Seven Sages. Elected "archon" (government leader) of Athens in 594 BC, he repealed the repressive laws of Draco and freed those enslaved for debt.
  • This episode featured the first bona fide "flashback" depicting pre-Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Xena. The sequence would be visited again (with slightly different dialogue and costumes) in Past Imperfect.

Continuity and mistakes Edit

  • When Dagnine first gets the Ixion crystal in the cave and holds it up, the wire lighting the crystal can be seen between his thumb and forefinger.

Disclaimer Edit

  • No sleazy warlords who deem it necessary to drink magic elixirs that turn them into scaly centaurs were harmed during the production of this motion picture.