Many thanks to Richard K for the transcript

New Zealand Herald

29 June 2001

Ayeeee! Xena's end too grisly for stricken fans

by Eleanor Black

NZHerald-2906201.jpg (2805 bytes)Xena, television's warrior princess. Played by New Zealander Lucy Lawless, has been killed off in a gruesome series finale which has shocked fans with its violence. After six years of travelling the world looking for trouble, the acrobatic action heroine is shot with arrows and beheaded by a Samurai warrior. Since the episode aired in the United States last weekend, websites dedicated to the feminist icon have been clogged with messages of grief and anger. "I hated [the ending] with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns." Declared one fan on the official Xena: Warrior Princess website. "The whole Xenaverse is suffering." Said another. Some particularly distraught fans are baying for their own taste of blood - that of series creator Rob Tapert, who is married to Lawless.

The pair, who married in 1998, are believed to be on holiday in Hawaii. Before leaving Los Angeles, Mr Tapert said the series' bloody ending completed 'Xena's "journey of redemption" and he expected a backlash from fans. But Xenaphile Barbara Tuart, a 16-year-old from Rotorua who fell in love with the programme at 11 and now edits Xena-based fiction for a New York publisher, says the legend is far from over. She believes Xena will develop the kind of cult following that has fuelled Star Trek conventions for decades. Xena's end - unthinkable at the hands of a man - won't be seen on New Zealand screens until 2003.


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