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All of these quotes/comments have been taken from discussion threads on the Xena Online Community Shipper Talk forum (some from other forums but mostly from ST). Come in and join the fun if you haven't done so already! It's a great place to chat with fellow shippers!

I spent hours going through all the old archives of posts that have been accumulated all the way back to May of 2003. So, there was a lot of material to pull from, and a lot of good discussions and comments that I found to include. I have included the title of the thread that the quote came from for reference. I want to preserve Xena/Ares history of discussion on this website so here is the collection that I came up with. Hope all of you enjoy! (By the way, "Aurora Goddess" is me, if you didn't figure that out.)

It's the way they play off each other, the sparks and zing and all that whenever they're in a scene together. Whether as adversaries or allies, Ares brings out something in Xena that is like touching a live wire.

I think it's because he's this hard-a$$ god of war, scheming, dark, borderline bad guy, and yet Xena brings him to his knees emotionally, he's completely stripped bare by her during the later seasons, and by the same token, she shakes inside when he touches her.

Aresbitch, "Bitexters -- Have a preference?"


The Xena/Ares relationship is hard to capture in a paragraph because it evolves over time -- from the God of War trying to win his favorite warrior back to the dark side, to God of War sacrificing his power and immortality for the woman he loves. One of the fascinating things about this relationship is that they are both drawn to each other in spite of themselves -- both are "feeling urges they're not real proud of," though Ares stops resisting them long before Xena does. (If she ever does... maybe in POV.) Each is the other's weakness. Even when they're adversaries there's such a deep level of understanding between them, and such a sense not just of physical chemistry but profound instinctive rapport.

Interestingly, Caesar's words in WIR -- "It's never just business between us, Xena. It's conflict, it's war, it's hatred -- and it's love" -- are actually a very good summary of X/A (not Xena/Caesar ). Sometimes love/hate, sometimes love/conflict, sometimes just plain love. I suppose in the "canon" of the show X/A can be placed in the category of doomed relationships -- even if you believe, as I do, that they finally reach full mutual acceptance in Path of Vengeance, Xena dies shortly thereafter -- but since FIN isn't part of my canon, I stubbornly maintain that they can have their happy ending.

LadyKate63, "Describing the Xena/Ares relationship?"


Xena and Ares is all about that brand of passion that is waiting in the wings... it's about a planet and a moon constantly revolving around each other; it's that delicious quandry - keep resisting or give into gravity's pull.

When you really think about it from Xena's perspective -
Their story is about addiction: She realizes full well she cannot have Ares in small doses - she cannot have a mere taste him and leave him. She'd want to devour all he that is and once immersed, wish like hell her appetite never satiates.

From Ares' perspective -
It's about burying the fear that: Love for a reformed Xena equals Weakness, and acting out the: Me-God, You-most favored Warrior chirade, until circumstances have that all fall away with the symbolic Chains of Hephestus hitting the floor and in one act he lives according to the tenants of unselfish love.

Nittany Lioness 1, "Describing the Xena/Ares relationship?"


It's part of her tease act. [Xena touching Aresí vest] His vest is wide open in the middle leaving his body so easily accessible. To me, by touching the outside and the edges rather than touching his exposed bare skin, it personifies the "so close yet so far away" theme of their relationship. It's torturous and enticing at the same time. The little minx...she does have many skills!

XenAres1, "The Xena and Ares' vest relationship"


Yes, she loves Ares. She has loved him for a very long time, although I don't think she would allow herself to think of it as love. And yet she would admit that she is drawn to him, she desires him, she likes his company, she cares about him... You do the math.

Tango, "Xena loves Ares?"


Xena trusted Ares and didnt even realize that she did.

princessah, "Xena's trust in Ares..."


I think Xena would have to be dominant [in a sexual relationship], as Ares turns to mush whenever they get close. I think Ares is just so overwhelmed by the feelings he has for her. He has this look on his face that is totally vunerable, and I think it has to do with the fact that this is the first woman he's actually loved in his long, long life. While his sexual experiences have been many, this is the first time he's ever considered it as 'making love', and I think that leaves Ares uncertain, needing Xena to take the lead and restore the agressive aspect to the situation, like in AUS. It took him a little while to get in the game, so to speak.

aeverett, "Xena, Ares and their 'sex descriptions'"


When Ares gives up his godhood, he is still a little bit cocky about it. He gives Xena this look like, "surprised you, didn't I?" And then she sweeps past him to check on Gab and Eve, and this last bit of smugness falls away, leaving Ares uncertain and extremely vulnerable. The transformation is complete. So that when Xena then turns back to him, she finds him truly 'mortal'.

Tango, "Ares going for the hug..."


To me, a lot of the power of the moment, [Ares sacrificing his godhood in Motherhood] of Ares finally doing something for no other reason than he knows it's the right thing (to paraphrase Xena from THE PATH NOT TAKEN, I believe it is) would be lost if he was instantly grinning and waiting for a big hug from Xena. I think from the subsequent shot of his face as Xena says "Thank you" he really looks like he's just stepped onto another planet, which metaphorically he has. I can buy the idea better if I think of it as just a reflex, to reach for the woman he's just commited this insane act of love for, to check she's still there.

XenaAmber, "Ares going for the hug..."


I had always thought that Ares gave up even more with his action [the sacrifice in Motherhood]. He gave up his role in the family of gods, which although it had diminished because of his past actions with Xena, still had the possibility of him coming back to rule. It was a battle with Athena all the way -- and I am sure if she were out of the way, Ares would have made another play for all the marbles.

I think the act of healing Eve was one of desperation. Not only was Xena unable to kill gods when Eve was dead, so there was a good chance that Athena would do her in, but he was also preserving someone dear to Xena. It was an act necessary for preservation and fueled by love.

It wasn't well thought out, it was one of desparation. It was a bad day and getting worse. Sure he lost the ability to do a lot of kewl things, but what he would lose if he didn't was even more unthinkable.

McJude, "Ares' Sacrifice"


You know what's really lovely about that picture? [the Xena/Ares kiss photo from the end of Coming Home]

They are both beat up and battle weary there. Aresí vest is actually faded and thread bare, (as if becoming mortal had automatically aged his clothes, or perhaps he's indeed really roughed it that year or so being mortal) and Xena's hair is a bit bedraggled, the sun is setting, its the end of the day...and they both seem too tired to put up any more walls, play in any more agendas. After all, they've arrived at a safe place, having been through the grind mill of such devastating attraction to one another, and triumphed, in a sense. They've arrived on safe soil. And they both take a moment to revel in it, for a brief moment. That kiss is almost like they, well, are resting on each other's lips.

Nittany Lioness 1, unknown thread


The message was there. By that point, TPTB had hammered the fact that Eve was "supposed" to be humanity's "savior" The God of "love's" messenger. So, when Ares sacrificed himself for the woman he loved by saving Eve, he inadvertendly "saved" mankind's hope as well.

His sacrifice did end up serving the greater good.

Enyo, "Ares' Sacrifice"


I go back and forth on this one. [on whether Xena loves Ares] I'm sure she has feelings for him. That is, she is sexually attracted to him, and she cares about him. As she told him in Coming Home -- he "gets to her." Which might be XenaSpeak for "I love you" when addressed to Ares. Like I said, I go back and forth but what kinda clinches it for me is "The Look" in You Are There when she watches Ares leave with Aphrodite after getting his godhood back. All I can say is ... wow.

LadyKate63, "Xena loves Ares?"


Yes Xena trusted Ares to not harm her or let anything happen to her (if he is watching at the moment), but I don't think she trusted his intentions towards anyone else, which is why there was always that internal struggle within her and why she didn't just accept his help in S5. He'd sell anyone else down the river if he had the opportunity to do so (until S5 sacrifice of course), but for Xena he could never cross that line no matter how much he pretended or threatened to and Xena knew that.

XenAres, "Xena's trust in Ares..."


The sensual aspect of the dance [the tango in The Bitter Suite] definitely exuded the sexual undertone to his seduction, with the words serving as an explanation to the imagery.

The way I interpreted "Come melt into me" is basically Ares saying "be one with me", "join me". He'll be her rock, her strength and support, and her confidant...basically the closest and most important person in her life. I believe in the second verse he even says "Our forces are meant to be merged into one." which could also be taken literally where the melt into me, means the "melting" or bringing together the two of them into one power, one couple, that sort of thing.

XenAres, "A different feel to the tango....."


But I also think Xena was trying to prove more than one thing when she kissed Ares at the baccanalia ( look! Mangled spelling!) - aside from showing Octavius what Livia's been doing with Ares, I think she was also showing her daughter that *she* was the woman in Ares life. Because as soon as Xena showed up, Livia might as well have been furniture for as much notice as he gave her.

Aresbitch, "Jealousy"


She was so totally jealous of Greba. When I first saw the episode, of course I was watching the interaction between Ares and Greba (during her first visit). The times I watched the ep afterwards, I always focus on Xena. She is staring and then saying something to Gabrielle and it looks like she is trying to not seem interested, but she just doesn't know how to act at that point and it is so obviously awkward. It's funny!

Then the second time when she says "Greba go home". OMGOW you can not get anymore blatant than that!

XenAres, "Jealousy"


Xena had just said the one thing she knew would cut him the most, the deepest ["Being with you, having your child. That sickens me."]. He's a god and the son of Zues and Hera. He's got an Olympian's sense of revenge, so I think he was just trying to get some of his own back, and he went straight to the one thing that would hurt *Xena* the most - her daughter trying to kill her, but more than that, her daughter hating her.

It's a game of who can hurt who the most.

But I think Xena won, because she hurt a god. That little nod he gave, the 'okay' - it was painful to watch.

But I think in the end, he wouldn't have let Livia kill her.

Aresbitch, "Did Ares really want Livia to kill Xena?"


SP didn't do a lot of things for me. It had huge honkin' plotholes, out of characterness up the wazoo...etc.

All that aside, I thought that Xena trusted Ares feelings for *her* - maybe not in general. Not with the greater good or Gab or her daughter but I thought she trusted that he loved her and would save her.

And he did, with the most resigned 'woman, you drive me batty' look I've ever seen on a man's face before. I adored that moment. Just that one, though. The rest of the episode was terrible.

Aresbitch, "Xena's trust in Ares..."


Actually I can understand very well why Ares is upset [at Xena under the crosses in Eve].

He spent years mourning Xena after watching her die in his arms. Then she shows up and he realizes that her "suicide" was a setup, and that making him a witness to her "suicide" was a part of her plan. She also greets him with the words "If you were mortal I'd cut out your heart" (and actually if you watch his expression it really changes when she says that and turns from being all vulnerable and emotional to ... much harder). She seeks him out at the bacchanalia and passionately kisses him ... and then he realizes that was a setup too and she was only there for Livia/Eve.

Then, to top it off, he realizes that Eve is still alive and the Twilight thing is still on (and I think that while he's skeptical of the prophecy a part of him does believe that Eve is the Bringer of Twilight). And then after majorly messing with his head, Xena asks him to let her take Eve away and help protect her from the other gods, with no strings attached -- quite possibly signing his own death warrant in the process.

I also think that while he doesn't know exactly what's going to happen, of course, he can instinctively feel his godhood slipping away from his grasp and he knows that his self-preservation -- always his No. 1 priority until then -- is now at odds with his feelings for Xena. So basically he's at war with himself.

No wonder he starts to unravel.

LadyKate63, "Did Ares really want Livia to kill Xena?"


I don't think Xena ever wanted Ares to hate her, or to lose interest in her. So I think that to some extent, it did hurt her to see him genuinely raging at her [in Coming Home]. But I think it also hurt her to hurt him that way, because (1) she was not used to seeing him so vulnerable, and (2) well.... "she wuvs him."

LadyKate63, "Xena more manipulative than Ares?"


there's no comparison between the petty wrongs Ares imposed on Xena and whatever she did to him beat him at his own game.

I think though, that it was ultimately Ares whom was hurt more by Xena's refusal to admit or fully acknowledge her feelings for him.

It kind of reminds me of the Buffy/Spike relationship. Nothing hurt that vampire more than Buffy's refusal to admit she loved him, and in the series finale she finally does and we see him fully redeemed, happy and content.

Ares's suffering I think was on a much higher scale than anything Xena had ever suffered from his schemes.

Yes, he did create many petty situations, but Xena came out of all those situations without a scratch, he on the other hand....he had his heart broken.

Enyo, "Who hurt whom more?"


In the early seasons, when she bested him, it was in a 'professional' capacity - like checkmate in a game of chess. He could admire that because it was 'just business'. But in AUS, it was personal and it involved his heart's desire for her, so when it turned out to be another manipulation, it cut deep.

And maybe her manipulations always worked because it *was* just a game to him (in the early seasons), but for her, it was either for the greater good or for her own survival. Her incentive was stronger than his.

And in CH, there was pain in her face when he was raging at her during his insanity - because he was the god of war and was reduced to being what he was at that moment, and also I think she was feeling regret that all of her manipulations of him in the past evidently did hurt him on some level, for all that ugliness to come spilling out.

Aresbitch, "Xena more manipulative than Ares?"


It IS true, though, that neither of them sets out to break the other's heart. Ares often doesn't seem to realise just how painful something will be to Xena -- and vice versa. Emotionally, neither of them is very cluey -- but at least neither of them is emotionally manipulative, and that's a big reason why I love this relationship so much. When all is said and done, they are remarkably honest with each other.

Tango, "Who hurt whom more?"


I get a warm, fuzzy feelings every time I think about his sacrifice.

He gave up everything he knew, everything he had been accustomed to over thousands of years--his immortality, his powers, his family (though I guess, before MH, they weren't that important to him and it wasn't until after they were all dead, that it dawned on him that his family was gone and that, perhaps, they did mean something to him)... And that, in itself, shows the lengths to which he was willing to go for this love.

And after doing so, he had nothing left, but hoping for the mere chance of changing Xena's view of him and that hopefully, one day, he would get the chance to be with her.

There's nothing greater.

Living without powers he can handle even though, at times during his mortality, he wished he had them back--and who wouldn't? . But living without Xena--it would probably be worse than death itself to him. After all, he had to live with that feeling, that pain for 25 years. To a god, that should have been like seconds to him but because it was without Xena, it probably felt like a lifetime (or more). So he did the only thing he could think of at the time. And one might say that it was almost instinctive. He knew he had to save her and giving up his immortality was the only way to do that. If he had had the chance to think his decisions through a little more he might have made a different choice in how to save her life but because it was a spur of the moment decision, he didn't have much of a choice to debate it. He had to think fast and decide quickly, otherwise, Xena could have died again.

You know, what he said in EVE rang pretty true: "How does it feel, Xena--knowing the person you love despises you, trying to reach her but knowing, in the end, it'll either be her or you." And he ultimately choose her. It's an act that is hard to describe with words.

Aurora Goddess, "Ares' Sacrifice"


I think it's not so much that he's never seen her naked, but that he's totally taken aback by her gesture of rising from the bathtub to display herself to him. Her innocent state has something to do with it as well. Maybe it's her vulnerability. For instance, in TBS, when Ares cuts away Xena's dress in Illusia and leaves her standing naked (even though it's not the "real" Ares), she gives him a smug little look that seems to say "Like what you see? Get yourself an eyeful." In CHAKRAM, there is no bravado at all ... just complete openness.

LadyKate63, "Chakram"


It's like she can actually feel the Ares-ness leaving the atmosphere [when Ares disappears at the end of AUS].

CrazyRaine, "Parting is such sweet sorrow...: X/A good-byes"


The sense I get from the early A/X eps is that to Ares, Xena is special for, among other things, expecting a lot from him. She had the expectation that he would act decently towards her and when he failed in that, she would not hesitate to take him to task for it. I think that for Ares, this was a first: someone who refuses to just let him be.

Xena doesn't claim, for instance, that as a god, he had no ability to love, to suffer, to feel any human emotion, or that he is bound by a different morality. Even in TLW, where she says that he will forget all his gratitude the moment he gets his godhood back, she says it as a challenge -- here, prove me wrong. And he, of course, appears to act exactly as she predicted -- he disappears without returning her body, almost taunting her hidden belief that he could change. But Xena says nothing, only looks hurt, and so Ares does return her body. Maybe it was because he'd had his fun. Or, maybe, it was because he knew that what he did was 'wrong', and that he'd somehow let her down - and he wanted to fix that.

This happens more clearly in "Sacrifice", where again, Ares feels that his forced service of Dahak let Xena down, and he tries (in the farewell scene) to explain his actions.

Same again in "Livia" (it wasn't personal!) and of course, in POV (scorpion and swan).

So all up, I think Ares has a very good idea of 'right' and 'wrong', even if he often chooses not to follow them. I don't believe that there's any evidence that gods have a different morality. It's just that they have much greater capabilities, and anyone with a great deal of power can abuse it with spectacular results, and often get away with it. That doesn't mean that they should.

Tango, "Who hurt whom more?"


As to some of Ares sacrefices, Ares also gave up His HOME and family. Now, he may not have like many of them, but you could sense some affection for Athena and Aphrodite. Even Discord held a small part of his heart. But even if you subscribe to the idea that he didn't like any of them, they were still there from the beginning. He had known them for THOUSANDS of years. They were constants compared to the ever changing mortal world. Love or hate, his home on Olympus was secure. Life as a mortal never is.

aeverett, "Ares' Sacrifice"


I don't think that they had 'equal wrongs', actually, morally or otherwise. Certainly not to an outsider. I think it's just that they are so essentially similar that they recognise this and understand each other's actions (most of the time), and hence there is no sense of blame (again, most of the time).

So why don't they blame each other even when they legitimately can? I think it may have something to do with the fact that both of them, at a very basic level, are individualists - or egotists, if you prefer. They share the certainty that the world revolves around them, and hence when something is wrong they must be at the centre of it. The mere act of blaming someone means acknowledging your inability to control that part of the world... And well - Ares and Xena like to be in control, to put it mildly.

Blaming each other aside, I guess it just isn't in their nature to hold grudges. Ultimately, that's probably what it comes down to, mostly. A personality thing.

Tango, "Who hurt whom more?"


The way Ares treated Xena [S1-S3] was pretty much how all the gods treated mankind. They were going under the assumption that since they created mortals, they were free to do whatever they want with them. And Ares did just that, he wanted Xena to be bad again so he tries to manipulate her using every trick he's got. Now, from a mortal viewpoint everything Ares did was very harsh and unforgivable. He framed her, tampered with her emotions, drove her insane, and tried to make her kill her mother...[not looking very good for Ares is it?] However, Ares does come to realize later the extent of the things he did.

On the other hand Xena hurts Ares more internally than anythin else. She doesn't give him a chance [which is plausible considering their history] and then uses his feelings for her to her advatage to accomplish her own objectives. Now going back to morality, Xena is mortal and she knows how wrong it is to use and manipulate others, so that kind of puts her lower than Ares I guess.

I'm not saying Ares had the right to do all those things. I just think that doing something that you know is wrong to start off with is, worse in terms of morality, than doing something wrong without knowing that it's wrong.

XeniteSally, "Who hurt whom more?"