When it aired in the '90s, Xena: Warrior Princess grew a loyal following, centered of course on Lucy Lawless' strong performance as the titular Xena, a talented warrior fighting evil with her trusty companion Gabrielle (Renee O'Connor). At the time, it was never explicitly stated that the two characters were lovers, but the subtext seemed suggested it, and Lawless herself said they definitely had to be.
Now, in the wake of a controversial death in The 100, writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach—who will be writing and executive producing the Xena reboot—has confirmed that not only is Xena a lesbian, but also that the new show will explore her sexual identity in much greater detail than the original.
Responding to a fan's question via Tumblr, he wrote (spoilers if you watch The 100):
"Xena will be a very different show made for very different reasons. there is no reason to bring back Xena if it is not there for the purpose of fully exploring a relationship that could only be shown sub-textually in first-run syndication in the 1990s. it will also express my view of the world - which is only further informed by what is happening right now - and is not too difficult to know what that is if you do some digging."
So clearly, the original run of the show aired in a time where TV wasn't willing to explore a lesbian relationship as intimately as what we've seen in Hollywood in recent years. For Xena fans and fans of realistic portrayals of minorities on TV, this news will hopefully lead to a better situation than the one currently clouding The 100.
Cover image: Lucy Lawless via Instagram