Aphrodite (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess)

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Aphrodite
First appearance The Apple
Last appearance Many Happy Returns
Created by Robert Tapert
Portrayed by Alexandra Tydings
Information
Species God, occasionally human
Occupation Goddess Of Love
Affiliation Xena, Gabrielle, Ares

Aphrodite is a fictional character played by Alexandra Tydings in Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.

Overview[edit]

Aphrodite is the Goddess of Love on both Xena and Hercules. Aphrodite inspires love and passionate desire in humankind while her brother Ares, her antithesis, promotes warfare and conflict. Despite this conflict of values, Ares and Aphrodite are siblings and allies. Aphrodite is portrayed as a modern-day Greek Goddess, with somewhat of a dumb blonde and usually vain persona. She is essentially good-natured and helpful; she is close friends with Gabrielle because of that. Nearly all of Aphrodite's attire resembles lingerie, and she is nearly always barefoot. She romances Hephaestus, but unlike the myths, their relationship is essentially a happy one.

Character development[edit]

As in the myth of her birth, Aphrodite first appears rising out of the sea in a giant seashell. As a joke, she then uses the seashell to go windsurfing.

Before her marriage to Hephaestus she is portrayed as being a bit promiscuous; she steals a boyfriend away from Hera and because of that Hera places a curse on her son Cupid.[1] Cupid falls in love with a girl named Psyche, who is said to be more beautiful than Aphrodite, which makes her extremely jealous. Out of jealousy, Aphrodite tries to shoot a love arrow at Psyche, but Cupid tries to stop her.[1] This only makes things worse when Hercules is accidentally hit and falls in love with Psyche. Thanks to Hera's curse, Cupid literally turns into a green-eyed monster with jealousy at the thought of losing Psyche. The curse is eventually lifted when the truth comes, after he confesses his love for Psyche and she marries him. Aphrodite gives Psyche Ambrosia to make her a goddess to make amends, since she is the one who started the mess. Although she soon realizes she is now a mother-in-law, which does not make her very happy.[1] She becomes a grandmother later on when Psyche and Cupid have a son, Bliss.[2]

On Hercules, Aphrodite is usually the comic relief or the viewers' window into the politics of Mount Olympus. Though she is originally introduced as a scheming goddess, devious and almost as uncaring as Ares, she quickly evolves into a more benevolent fun-loving character, though still prone to mood-swings. She is also the only member of his Olympian family Hercules seems to have any sort of close relationship with (in one episode he refers to her as his favorite little sister, and is somewhat close to her son Cupid who refers to him as "Uncle Herc"), despite the trouble he seems to cause him.

Aphrodite determines to break up a royal family marriage that will end a war, only because the newly allied kingdoms plan to destroy her temples. As her son Cupid explains to Gabrielle, "When the Goddess of Love decides to do something petty and spiteful, she can be a tad difficult to reason with."[3] She later develops a friendship with Gabrielle and tries to save her during the massacre of the Olympian Gods.

Aphrodite becomes one of the survivors of the Twilight of the Olympian Gods, organized by Xena when the gods, under Athena's flag, join together to kill Eve.[4] Aphrodite remains unconvinced that Eve will willingly destroy the gods, to the point where she sneaks Xena and Gabrielle into Olympus itself. After the Twilight of the Gods, Aphrodite becomes mentally unbalanced due to Ares losing his powers; Love must be balanced by War.[5] Her powers are stolen by Caligula, whom Xena tricks into killing himself.[5] This makes matters worse, since love is now gone from the world altogether. Xena restores the powers of both Aphrodite and Ares using golden apples she stole from the Norse Gods, thereby restoring balance to the universe.[6]

Appearances[edit]

  • The Apple (Hercules)
  • Love Takes a Holiday (Hercules)
  • The Green-Eyed Monster (Hercules)
  • For Him the Bell Tolls (Xena)
  • Reign of Terror (Hercules)
  • Stranger in a Strange World (Hercules)
  • The Quill Is Mightier (Xena)
  • One Fowl Day (Hercules)
  • Fins, Femmes and Gems (Xena)
  • If the Shoe Fits (Xena)
  • Love on the Rocks (Hercules)
  • My Best Girl's Wedding (Hercules)
  • Love Amazon Style (Hercules)
  • Little Problems (Xena)
  • Punch Lines (Xena)
  • Married with Fishsticks (Xena)
  • Motherhood (Xena)
  • The God You Know (Xena)
  • You Are There (Xena)
  • Many Happy Returns (Xena)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The Green-Eyed Monster". Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. 1996-11-11. 
  2. ^ "A Comedy of Eros". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1997-05-12. 
  3. ^ "For Him the Bell Tolls". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1997-02-24. 
  4. ^ "Motherhood". Xena: Warrior Princess. 2000-05-15. 
  5. ^ a b "The God You Know". Xena: Warrior Princess. 2001-01-29. 
  6. ^ "You Are There". Xena: Warrior Princess. 2001-02-05. 

External links[edit]