50 influential fictional women in nerd history

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With a title like Warrior Princess, no one can deny that Xena is one of the most influential women to slash her way through fictional tales. Fans of Xena were first introduced to her in 1995 via the show Xena: Warrior Princess — a spin-off from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. The show was hailed for celebrating strong female heroes, with Xena being one of the most iconic female protagonists in entertainment history. Played by the incredibly talented Lucy Lawless, Xena was brought to life as a fierce and legendary warrior.

Fans watched as Xena went on an epic quest to seek redemption for sins against the innocent, now using her infamous skills to help those who could not defend themselves. And when we speak of Xena, we can’t forget her loyal companion Gabrielle, played by Renee O’Connor. As much as Xena is influential, so is Gabrielle. Seeing this simple farm girl transform into an Amazon warrior was inspiring. It was also a smart move by the show to offer us not one but two impactful heroines who women could identify with.

Xena has been particularly beloved amongst the lesbian community, with many within the lesbian fan base finding Xena and Gabrielle to be a lovely couple and lesbian icons. If you’ve attended a pride parade, you may have seen The Marching Xenas, a group that celebrates the two heroes. Now, Xena and Gabrielle’s relationship on the show was left pretty ambiguous but fans have picked out a lot of subtext between the two. Even Lucy Lawless expressed in an interview to Lesbian News magazine in 2003 that she felt their relationship was “definitely gay.”

Whether you’re a part of the LGBTQ community that celebrates Xena, or just loved watching a brunette warrior princess kick serious butt, there is no denying Xena is one of the most influential women in fiction.