|Series:||Xena: Warrior Princess (1995)|
|Writer:||Robert Tapert & R.J. Stewart|
|Broadcast:||15 May 2000|
|Previous Story:||The Rheingold|
|Following Story:||Return of the Valkyrie|
Gabrielle, Brunhilda, and Beowulf search for Xena in a very desolate forest that looks like a fire just went through it. Brunhilda tells Gabrielle not to get her hopes up. Beowulf finds Xena's blood on a tree, and says this is where it ends. Gabrielle says no, this is where Xena got away. She sees part of Xena's armor on the ground and picks it up. Beowulf says Gabrielle isn't being realistic. Gabrielle insists Xena is alive. She says they must split up, so they do. Gabrielle wanders around the desolate deforested forest. She hears something. She calls out Xena's name, and Xena reaches out and grabs her and pulls her behind a tree. The monster roars, and Xena points. Grindl walks along the horizon. They watch. Beowulf calls out Gabrielle's name, and Grindl turns and heads off.
Xena and Gabrielle hug. Gabrielle tells Xena not to leave her again. She says Xena is hurt, and helps Xena sit down. Xena looks pretty beat up. Brunhilda and Beowulf come up. They tell Xena that Grindl has cut off their escape by the cliffs. Xena tells Brunhilda and Beowulf they should leave. Gabrielle says she isn't leaving Xena, and then Brunhilda and Beowulf tell Xena they aren't leaving Gabrielle in an interesting little exchange of looks and conversation. Brunhilda makes some comment about warriors, and how great it is to meet a real warrior, and Xena tells her that she's changed in 35 years, she's learned about love and peace and stuff, and she looks adoringly at Gabrielle while she speaks.
Xena cleans up well. They find Grindl's lair. Gabrielle asks Xena is she's sure about this. Xena says she is. They all go into the lair, which is filled with lots of tunnels. Xena calls Grindl "her" and Gabrielle wants to know what this Grindl is. Xena tells a story in flashback. She says that after she stole the gold, she was getting ready to put on the ring when Grinhilda the Valkyrie shot an arrow and took the ring from Xena. The ring will give a mortal the power of a god, but the mortal must forsake love. Grinhilda hasn't forsaken love, but she says that to stop Xena, she'll risk that she'll have the power of a god long enough to stop Xena before the curse kicks in and her essence is destroyed. Grinhilda puts on the ring. Xena and Grinhilda fight. Xena gets whooped, but just as Grinhilda gets ready to stomp Xena into little pieces, Grinhilda starts to feel the effects of the ring. She turns into a monster because she valued her beauty and looks and humanity above everything else. Xena cuts off one of Monster Grinhilda's fingers, and gets the ring. Xena puts on the ring. Monster Grinhilda flees, and Xena locks her up, as seen in The Rheingold. Xena does this because she wants Grinhilda to suffer her ugliness forever. But, as we already know, the Monster Grinhilda got the ring. The ring was useless to Monster Grinhilda, but Xena says that after 35 years, Monster Grinhilda must have learned how to forsake love. Xena wants Gabrielle and friends to drop the mountain on Monster Grinhilda.
Xena runs down the tunnels. The Grindl roars. Xena sees the monster. Grindl sees Xena and runs after her. Xena leads Grindl down the tunnels. Xena taunts Grindl. "Come on, you remember me," she says. Grindl goes after Xena. Xena gets to the place for the rockslide, but Grindl catches on and runs away. Xena gives chase. Gabrielle goes after Xena, and Beowulf and Brunhilda chase after Gabrielle. They all catch up to Grindl as it turns on Xena, and then it fights everyone. They all get knocked around by Grindl. The timbers in the tunnel start cracking, and Xena tells Beowulf to get the others out. He does, and Xena tosses the chakram and starts a rockslide. She and Grindl are trapped on one side of the rockslide.
Brunhilda and Beowulf are very concerned about Gabrielle, but Gabrielle is only concerned about Xena. She starts tossing rocks and the others help.
Xena and Grindl, on the other side, fight. Xena runs and leads Grindl down a tunnel again. They fight some more. Xena gets knocked around. Gabrielle crawls through the hole she made in the rockslide. She finds Xena's chakram, grabs it, and runs through the tunnels. Brunhilda and Beowulf crawl after Gabrielle.
Grindl grabs Xena in a death grip. Gabrielle runs forward and sees that Xena is in trouble. She jumps on Grindl's back and jabs at Grindl's neck with the chakram. Grindl drops Xena, and tosses Gabrielle off. Xena grabs the chakram and sticks it in Grindl. Grindl dies. Xena takes the ring off Grindl's finger. Xena hears a noise, and tells Gabrielle and friends (who finally arrive) that they have to get out.
Xena says that Grindl wasn't Grinhilda. Grindl had all its fingers. Grinhilda was missing one because Xena cut it off a long time ago, Xena says. They hear a monster noise. Xena says, that's Grinhilda. She says they have to get the ring to Rhein maidens. A raven sits on a branch, watching, and it seems to telepathically communicate with Brunhilda. The bird then flies to Odin.
Brunhilda and Gabrielle talk as they travel, stuff about love and warrioring and such. Xena stops, and asks Brunhilda to scout up ahead. Xena takes Gabrielle aside and tells her she does not like Brunhilda. She doesn't trust her.
Brunhilda sees more ravens. Odin appears. He tells Brunhilda that she was supposed to get the ring from Xena and bring it straight to him. He says he knows that Brunhilda is in love with Gabrielle. Brunhilda says she had to play up to Gabrielle to win her trust. The Valkyries all appear. Odin tells them that Xena's weakness is her partner, Gabrielle. He says, get Gabrielle. Xena will trade the ring for Gabrielle, or Gabrielle will be killed. The Valkyries ride off.
Beowulf and Xena wonder what is keeping Brunhilda. The Valkyries appear. "Get the blond," someone says. Beowulf and Xena fight the Valkyries. As they fight, Brunhilda rides up on a horse, and swoops Gabrielle off. The horse flies away into the air, with Gabrielle yelling "Xena!" and Xena stops and yells, "Gabrielle." Xena and Beowulf continue to fight Valkyries. Xena tells Beowulf to see where Brunhilda is taking Gabrielle. Xena keeps fighting. Odin appears. He says he'll trade Gabrielle for the ring. Xena says no deal, because the Valkyries were as surprised as anyone when Brunhilda rode in and took Gabrielle. Brunhilda is acting alone, Xena says. Odin tells Xena that she killed Grinhilda's son, that Grinhilda was pregnant when Xena turned her into a monster with the ring. Xena tells Odin she's taking the ring back to the Rhein maidens. Odin says he wants the ring himself. After Xena, it was easy for him to forsake love, and he wants the ring for more power and to keep godslayers like Xena off his back. Beowulf comes to Xena and says Brunhilda has Gabrielle in the East Bog.
Brunhilda stops, and she and Gabrielle have a spat. Gabrielle says she has to get back to help Xena, and Brunhilda says, Xena, Xena, is that all you think about? Brunhilda, who is a Valkyrie, says she has escorted lots of warriors to Valhalla and Gabrielle has the purest and brightest heart of any fighter, and she has changed Brunhilda, just like she changed Xena. Gabrielle says she's sorry. Brunhilda says she defied her god for Gabrielle.
Odin goes to Monster Grinhilda. He tells her Xena killed Junior Grindl. Odin says he'll take Monster Grinhilda to Xena. They do a god disappearing act.
Gabrielle tells Brunhilda that she and Xena have this connection, that they are soulmates. It just kind of happened. Xena and Gabrielle are meant to be together. Brunhilda says she'll prove which warrior deserves Gabrielle's love.
Beowulf and Xena walk through the bog, looking for Gabrielle. Xena says Beowulf must know the bog. He says it's a nasty place and he's never been there, but he'd go through the fires of hell for Gabrielle. Odin and the Valkyries show up again. Odin says he wants the ring. Xena says, step aside, or join the Olympians. Monster Grinhilda grabs Xena. Odin tells the Valkyries to find Gabrielle and kill her.
Beowulf fights the Valkyries. Xena finally gets around to where she can attack Monster Grinhilda. Xena throws the chakram, and it circles around Odin, keeping him busy dodging it, while Xena gets away from Grinhilda. Xena fights Grinhilda and Valkyries while the chakram flies around.
A Valkyrie stabs Beowulf, who falls to the ground. Grinhilda knocks Xena down. Xena is surrounded, without weapons, by Odin, Grindl, and Valkyries. Xena begins to slip on the ring. Odin says it will destroy whatever Xena holds the most dear. He says it will kill her and Gabrielle. Xena says she has to take that chance. She puts on the ring. Her sword and chakram come to her. She deflects Odin's fireballs into Grinhilda and into Valkyries.
Gabrielle, chasing after Brunhilda, tells her she can't win in a fight against Xena. Valkyries attack them, and Brunhilda fights them off. Gabrielle fights off one, too. Then Brunhilda says Odin and the Valkyries will kill Xena before she can do it herself, to prove her love for Gabrielle. Gabrielle says, you're going to spill blood to prove you love me? You're sick. Gabrielle walks off.
Xena continues fighting Monster Grinhilda and deflecting Odin's fireballs. She kills a Valkyrie. She gets Grinhilda, and then hears Gabrielle call out her name. She does one of her famous long-distance flips and goes away. Odin says leave her, the ring is killing what she values the most.
Brunhilda finds Xena can't remember who she is. She drops her sword. She has lost her sense of self and her memories of Gabrielle. Brunhilda tells Xena to give her the ring. Xena gives Brunhilda the ring. Xena looks at the chakram, and cuts her hand open with it. She drops it.
Brunhilda finds Gabrielle. She tells her that Xena won't know her now, that Xena put on the ring. Gabrielle says, "no." Brunhilda gives Gabrielle the ring. Brunhilda says Xena lost what she valued most, her memories of Gabrielle and what they share. Brunhilda says that Odin and the Valkyries will stalk Gabrielle forever. Brunhilda says she will protect Gabrielle by becoming an eternal flame and encircling her. Only a certain pure soul or something like that can pass through the flame; nothing can harm Gabrielle. Brunhilda chants and turns into a pillar of flame. She encircles Gabrielle, who finds herself arrayed in pretty clothes.
Beowulf wakes up. He stumbles around and finds Xena's sword and chakram. He calls out her name. Gabrielle lies down on a big flat rock, with the ring in her hand, and goes to sleep with the flame encircling her. Xena wanders through he bog. She says she can hear laughter. Who am I? She screams.