Cyrene (Xena: Warrior Princess)

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An older woman with long brown hair, she has blue eyes and wears a blue tunic top. Darien Takle as Cyrene
First appearance Sins of the Past
Last appearance The Haunting of Amphipolis
Created by Robert Tapert
Portrayed by Darien Takle
Species Human
Occupation Tavern-keeper
Affiliation Xena, Amphipolis

Cyrene is a fictional character in the television series Xena: Warrior Princess. She was portrayed by the actress Darien Takle.

Character History[edit]

Cyrene is the mother of Xena, Lyceus, and Toris, and the widow of Atrius. She owns a tavern in Amphipolis, and is a prominent matriarchal figure in the community.[1] We first meet her when Xena travels back home after renouncing her violent past. Cyrene shows her own strength of will when she walks right up to her daughter and removes her sword, stating that weapons are not welcome in her tavern; it is clear where Xena gets her fighting spirit from. Xena warns her mother and the other villagers that an evil warlord, Draco, is planning on attacking the village and Xena offers to help the village fight him.[1] Cyrene tells her the village does not need her help referencing a past battle in which Xena led the village against an invading warlord, Cortese, and many villagers perished. She then tells Xena she is not welcome in Amphipolis anymore. Draco begins torching the village and the villagers, believing that Xena is in league with Draco, go after her. Gabrielle comes and persuades them to let Xena go. Not wanting to cause any trouble in the village, Xena leaves with Gabrielle.[1] Later, Xena realises she cannot turn her back on her village and her mother so she returns home. There, she challenges Draco to duel. Draco accepts and they fight on some scaffolding with the condition that the first to touch the ground is to be killed. Xena wins, but spares Draco's life. Upon witnessing this, Cyrene can see that her daughter really has changed and forgives her. The rift between mother and daughter slowly begins to heal.[1]

The same woman lies on an altar waiting to be sacrificed, a small dagger is held above her breast.
Cyrene awaits her fate at the hands of Xena in "The Furies"

The Furies[edit]

About three years later, when Ares convinces The Furies to make Xena mad for not avenging her father's murder, we discover that Cyrene is the person responsible for Atrius' death and that she faces the possibility that Xena may kill her to appease The Furies, so that they will remove her madness.[2] Cyrene, like a true warrior, faces up to this, just like she stood up to her husband and killed him because it was the only way to prevent him from sacrificing their daughter to Ares.[2]

The Siege[edit]

The same woman, holding a baby in her arms.
Cyrene stands up to Athena, while holding baby Eve

Cyrene, again shows off her leadership skills and steadfast spirit many years later, when she stands up to Athena, and the other Olympian Gods, who wish to destroy Xena's daughter, before she can bring about the Twilight of the Gods.[3] Xena, Gabrielle, and Eve return to Amphipolis to seek refuge from the Gods. The villagers call a meeting to discuss whether to support the Gods or help Xena and her newborn baby and risk their lives. Athena appears while the meeting is in session, and asks Xena if she is willing to destroy her neighbours' faith in the Gods for the sake of a single child.[3] Cyrene, holding Eve in her arms, challenges the Goddess, "Hasn't this village given up enough of its children? I've already lost a son and a grandson I've never even met. Well, I won't give up this child, not even for the Gods themselves." Athena then addresses the rest of the village, asking them if they are so willing to die for this child, but before she can finish Cyrene begins singing Amphipolis' anthem, Glede ma glede, a song of defiance and hope. The other villagers slowly join in the singing, proclaiming their unity against the Gods.[3]

Cyrene's Death[edit]

The same woman tied to a wooden stake, flames surround her as she screams out in pain.
Cyrene burned at the stake because the villagers thought she was a witch

After Xena and Gabrielle's 25 year slumber encased in ice on Mount Etna,[4] they travel to Amphipolis with Eve, so she can meet her grandmother.[5] When they arrive they find the village deserted. They enter Cyrene's tavern to investigate and look for Cyrene, but the place is run-down. While searching the tavern Eve sees the apparition of a man dragging a woman, who both pass through her. She tells Xena that her mother is dead; she could feel Cyrene's spirit as she passed through her.[5] She tells Xena that Cyrene's spirit is in pain and trapped in some kind of limbo. Eve says that the village has become a spiritual gateway, with good and evil fighting to claim it. Xena visits Cyrene in the family tomb and swears to her that she will make things right, while there she meets a man who tells her that evil spirits were sent to the tavern years ago and the village, thinking she was a witch, burned Cyrene at the stake.[5] Xena finds Eve and Gabrielle and tells them of Cyrene's fate. Xena fights Mephistopheles, defeats him and frees the trapped souls, her mother and the others are now at peace, living a happy after-life in the Elysian Fields.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d "Sins of the Past". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1995-09-04.
  2. ^ a b "The Furies". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1997-09-29.
  3. ^ a b c "Amphipolis Under Siege". Xena: Warrior Princess. 2000-02-14.
  4. ^ "Looking Death in the Eye". Xena: Warrior Princess. 2000-04-24.
  5. ^ a b c "The Haunting of Amphipolis". Xena: Warrior Princess. 2000-10-09.
  6. ^ Stoddard Hayes, K. (March 2003). "Characters - Cyrene". Xena: Warrior Princess: The Complete Illustrated Companion (Paperback). Titan Books. pp. 188–189. ISBN 1-84023-622-1.