Whoosh! Issue 16 -January 1997

DRACO, THE WARLORD:
CAN HE BE REFORMED?

IAXS project #357
By Virginia Carper
Copyright © 1997 held by author
1913 words



The Typical Warlord (03-04)
The Warlord Draco (05-10)
Other Warlords (11-16)
What About Draco? (17)
Biography



Draco, the Warlord:
Can He Be Reformed?



Look behind me?  Yeah,
right, like I'm gonna fall for that!

Draco is about to get a strong dose of The Warrior Princess
in SINS OF THE PAST (01/101).


[01] One of the great themes of Xena: Warrior Princess is Xena's redemption. When she first decides to go home, she arrives to a hostile village. Then, Xena confesses to her angry mother, "I wanted to come home. I thought maybe I could get it right." Later, Gabrielle saves her from being stoned by her own people [SINS OF THE PAST (#01)]. After that, from time to time, Xena will tell Gabrielle how grateful she is for her friendship. For without her, Xena fears that she will regress and become the fearsome warlord that she once was.

[02] The master thief, Monlik, sneers at Xena, "What! Become like you and roam the countryside helping people..." [THE DIRTY HALF DOZEN (49/303)]. In her current travels, Xena encounters many such people like Monlik. One of them is Draco, the ruthless flesh-peddling warlord (as Gabrielle describes him). However in A COMEDY OF EROS (46/222), Draco falls under the spell of Bliss, Cupid's little son, and for the love of Gabrielle, decides to reform. Can he change? Will he become Draco: the Reformed Warlord?


The Typical Warlord


You think you have it
tough! Better not have to use the restroom in this getup!

Talmadeus doesn't take kindly to being sold shoddy goods
in THE GREATER GOOD (21/121).


[03] In THE GREATER GOOD (#21), Talmadeus, the warlord, promises Salmoneus, Xena's friend, "Yes, Yes. Don't worry! I'm an honorable man, as you said. Go lead my men to Xena and bring her and the villagers here. When I know she's truly dead, I'll let everyone go." When Salmoneus is out of earshot, he tells his lieutenant, "Salmoneus, Xena dead, and an entire village of slaves to be sold. It's turning out to be a good day." He has no intention of keeping his promises. Later Talmadeus ridicules the captive villagers, "You people are pathetic. You think you can steal Xena's body from me. Salmoneus thinks he can trade his life for the villagers. Such nobility... such a waste of time."

[04] Talmadeus exemplifies the typical warlord -- totally selfish, greedy, and amoral.


The Warlord Draco


[05] In SINS OF THE PAST (01/101), Draco dodges arrows from four prospective members of his army. He taunts them when they miss. The fourth hits its mark, and he grins. "Ares (the God of War) has smiled on you today," he tells the lucky fourth. Hector, his lieutenant who was sent to capture the women of Poteidaia, returns to tell him that he was stopped by Xena. Draco reacts as if a knife went through his heart. While serving in Xena's army, he had fallen in love with her.

[06] That night, Xena sneaks into Draco's tent and asks him to stop preying on Poteidaia (Gabrielle's village). Instead, he taunts Xena about her new resolutions: to do good and to right wrongs. Grimly, Draco tells her, "You can never go home." As Xena pleads with him, Draco needles her, "Celebrate your dark side. Don't run away from it." Finally, Xena decides that he is a lost cause and leaves. However, he does promise that he will not attack Poteidaia.

[07] Just for spite, Draco decides instead to attack Amphipolis, Xena's village. He figures that Xena will either join him or die defending her people. Facing Draco, Xena proposes a duel to the death with staffs. He nearly bests her, but Xena overwhelms him and wins. In exchange for sparing his life, she makes him promise that he will not attack her village again. In agreement, Draco swears on the Head of Ares. One of his officers decides differently and attempts to assassinate Xena but Draco kills him first. A man of his word, Draco leaves with his army.

[08] Two years later, Draco encounters Xena when he arrives to capture the Hestian virgins from their temple. Still in love with Xena, Draco sees her with Gabrielle. Just as she spies him, little Bliss shoots one of his father's love arrows at her. Under the arrow's spell, Xena falls for Draco. Now in love with him, Xena believes that Draco can be turned from the dark side. Again, she visits him in his tent and tries to prevent him from stealing the temple virgins. Laughing at her, Draco tells Xena that he is selling them to a slaver, Pinullus.

[09] Later, when Draco glances at Gabrielle, Bliss shoots him, and Draco promptly falls in love with her. He abducts Gabrielle to have her for his wife. When Draco finds out that she prefers only good men, he pledges to Gabrielle: "From now on, whenever I loot a town or raid a village, I'll only kill the old people. Or maybe just the men over fifty? Livestock? Okay, all right, all right. I'll only kill other looters and raiders." Draco's love for Gabrielle taps into an inner well of hidden morality.

[10] When Cupid, the God of Love, removes his son's spells, Xena asks him to keep the spell on Draco. No longer in love with him, Xena still hopes that Draco will reform. Taught by Gabrielle, Xena now understands that everyone deserves at least one chance. Before he leaves, Draco enters the temple to find Gabrielle. Kneeling before her and the altar, he vows, "Everything I do will be for you. So don't forget me, Gabrielle. The gods know I won't forget you. I think I'm gonna like this helpful stuff." Hopeful of a bright future, Draco starts on his journey toward goodness.


Other Warlords


[11] In THE GREATER GOOD (21/121), Xena imparts her new philosophy to Gabrielle, "This isn't about me. It's about these people. That's way we're here. People like this used to be my victims. I keep that in mind every time we come up against warlords like Talmadeus. It's the greater good. Remember that." Now in her travels, Xena encounters other warriors whom she tries to reform.

Zagreus

With these looks the guy must be a chick magnet.

Zagreus receives "Whiny Warlord of the Year" award
in A DAY IN THE LIFE (39/215).


[12] These days, Xena wants to rid the countryside of unrepentant warlords such as Zagreus. In a typical response to the "new" Xena, Zagreus rants, "You set me up Xena...It's not fair. I'm just trying to make a living. All us warlords are. A little looting, a little mayhem. You used to do it, Xena. But you changed, and you ruined things for all of us. You made fools of us all." [A DAY IN THE LIFE (39/215)]

Monlik

[13] To fight Ares, Xena enlists the help of several people who she trained as killers. One of them, Monlik, challenges her, "The old Xena would have known what to do. There is no profit in it now. The new Xena is more interested in stopping Ares or giving the secret to everybody and level the playing field." She retorts, "Your reward is in your freedom and your choices afterward." Choosing to attack her, he dies in the attempt. Later, his associate, Walsim, taunts a captive Xena, "You offered freedom. Agathon offered cash." [THE DIRTY HALF-DOZEN (49/303)]

Goliath

They make me look
gigantic 'cause they film me with really tiny cameras!

Goliath in his Sunday Best
in GIANT KILLER (27/203).


[14] Xena's friend, Goliath the Giant, sided with the Philistines against the Hebrews. Because Xena perceived the Philistines as evil, she tried to convince him to leave them. Unmoved by her pleas, Goliath wanted to revenge his family's deaths, and he believed that the Philistines knew where Gareth, the murderer was. Sadly, Xena observed, "I understand that a man's soul can be poisoned by hatred." Later, Goliath was killed by David, one of the Hebrews. As Goliath laid dying, Xena told him, "I'll always remember you as a loving husband, a great warrior, and my friend." [GIANT KILLER (27/203)].

Marcus

[15] When he witnessed a pointless killing of a small boy, Marcus (Xena's lover) tried to renounce the warlord's life. However, he failed, and later enlisted in the army of an amoral warlord, Mezentius. However with Xena's help, he finally did reform, and died saving Princess Jana from Mezentius. After Marcus' death, Xena convinced Hades, the God of the Underworld, to release him from the tortures of Tartarus to retrieve Hades' Helmet of Invisibility. Because of his help, Hades allowed Marcus to live in the Elysian Fields in peace. Marcus had the desire to be good but he needed Xena's support. [PATH NOT TAKEN (05/105); MORTAL BELOVED (16/116)]

Palaemon

Palaemon about to reveal his eye makeup secrets.

Perhaps all Palaemon really needed was a good sidekick
in BLIND FAITH (42/218).


[16] To make his reputation, Palaemon wants to kill Xena but refuses to do so when she becomes blind. Xena realizes that he has never killed anyone before. Like Goliath, Palaemon is a good man; but unlike Goliath, he yields to Xena's persuasion to remain good. Perhaps it is because he has not yet crossed over the line to senseless killing that makes him receptive to her pleas. [BLIND FAITH (42/218)]


What About Draco?


Gabby traded Draco for Joxer.  Who's dumber?

Draco decides he could get to like doing good
in A COMEDY OF EROS (46/222).


[17] By his accounts, Draco was ready to leave his warlord life behind but nobody supported him in his decision. Once, Draco tried to renounce his warlord's ways and went home for a fresh start. But Draco's blacksmith father, like Xena's mother, was ashamed of his immoral son. When Draco returned to his village, his angry father beat him with a hammer. With no one to give support to him in his desire to reform, an unhappy Draco fled. In revenge, he became a ruthless, flesh peddling warlord.

[18] What is there about Draco that Xena saw in him the potential for reform? Perhaps, like her, he has a hidden well of morality. She senses this when he keeps his word to not attack her or Gabrielle's village. Many warlords would have laughed in her face, and burned them anyway. Perhaps, Draco was a good person before he met Xena. Since she feels guilty about ruining people's lives, Xena refuses to give up on him. She knows that Gabrielle's friendship has helped her, and feels Gabrielle's influence could help Draco. Once, Xena had confided to Gabrielle, "Question is, who would I be without you?" [THE DIRTY HALF-DOZEN (49/303)]

[19] Draco, himself, offers clues to his redemption. Unlike Talmadeus, Draco keeps his word. He is a man of honor who Xena could trust. Unlike Zagreus, he does not mock Xena when he finds that she changed. Open about his actions, he warns Xena what he would do if she interferes with his plans. Since he wanted to reform once, Draco knows what goodness is and knows that he wants to return to grace. He simply needs someone to encourage and give him support. His love for Gabrielle propels him on the road to uprightness.



Biography

Virginia Carper Virginia Carper
My goal is to be a garden variety human being. My friends know me as a squirrel. I am, however, a card carrying member of the Squirrel Lovers Club, and do squirrel studies. The FRB.GOV means that I am in U.S. Federal Government Service, and proud of it. My husband, the Civil War Buff, introduced me to things military. Together, we have visited every Civil War battlefield in PA, DEL, MD, W.VA., VA, and NC. I am also a disability activist. My family watches XWP for the marvelous things Xena does and for Joxer , the warlord with autism. (Yes, we all have various disabilities.)
Favorite episode: ULYSSES (#43)
Favorite line: Xena to Gabrielle: "Are you alright?" Gabrielle: "Yeah, I just had to get rid of my squid friends." LOST MARINER (#45)
First episode seen: WARRIOR PRINCESS (H#09)
Least favorite episode: A NECESSARY EVIL (#38)

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