The Rheingold


TEASER

Moon. Wolf howls.

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Xena's past. Xena sits before a camp fire. Monster Grinhilda moves through the woods. Xena opens her hand to reveal a gold ring.

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Clip from "The Rheingold."

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Xena's past. Xena looks at the ring.

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Clip from "The Rheingold."

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Xena's past. Xena looks at the ring.

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Clip from "The Rheingold."

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Xena's past. Xena slides the ring onto her finger and sighs. Monster Grinhilda moves through the woods, growling. Xena hears her and turns her head. She stands as Monster Grinhilda moves up behind her.

XENA
It looks good on me...don'tcha think?

Monster Grinhilda growls.

XENA
I'm waiting for you.

Monster Grinhilda roars. Xena grabs her sword which was thrust into the ground and stabs Monster Grinhilda who roars. Monster Grinhilda hits Xena and sends her flying, crashing through trees. Xena flips to her feet. Monster Grinhilda follows.

XENA
You don't get it, do you?! As long as I wear this
ring - ya can't win!

Monster Grinhilda roars and moves towards Xena. Xena moves slowly back. Monster Grinhilda follows.

XENA
Come o-o-o-on. Come on. Ah-h-h-h-h!

Xena kicks her and Monster Grinhilda growls. Xena grabs a chain that was on her back, a double raven lock on it. She twirls it and captures one of Monster Grinhilda's hands. Monster Grinhilda pulls Xena, but she flips over her.

XENA
She-e-e-yi!

Xena twirls the chain again and captures one of Monster Grinhilda's feet.

XENA
He-e-yah!

Xena kicks Monster Grinhilda into an abandoned mine. She then runs and closes the gate and starts to chain it. Monster Grinhilda growls.

XENA
Ha-ha-ha!

Monster Grinhilda grabs Xena, but Xena bites her hand. Monster Grinhilda grabs Xena's arm and pulls it through the bars. Xena struggles with her other hand to close the double raven lock to seal Monster Grinhilda in the cave. Xena seals the lock and pulls back. However, the ring is gone. Monster Grinhilda growls.

XENA
Don't think you've won anything! These chains
will hold you for eternity, and you will never use the
powers of the ring - never!

Monster Grinhilda roars. A horse rides down from the sky and lands on the ground. Xena looks at Monster Grinhilda who roars. Xena mounts the horse.

XENA
Yah! Yah! Yah!

The horse takes off into the sky.

XENA
Ye-e-e-e-e-e-hah-h-h-h-h-h!

Xena laughs. The double raven lock holds Monster Grinhilda.

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Outside a tavern. Caption: 35 Years Later.

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Beowulf enters. People mingle.

EXTRA
You sure about that?

EXTRA
I'll take one.

EXTRA
I need one.

EXTRA
I never burned my hand.

Gabrielle and Xena are having a meal.

GABRIELLE
What?

XENA
Ya gonna finish that?

GABRIELLE
All of it.

EXTRA
A drink, sir?

XENA
I thought the portions here were kind of small.

GABRIELLE
You're not getting mine.

XENA
Come on, Gabrielle. You're playing with your food.

GABRIELLE
No, I'm relishing it.

Xena turns her head to look at Beowulf who has been watching her and Gabrielle.

XENA
You got a problem? I don't appreciate people staring
at me while I'm eating.

BEOWULF
Are you Xena?

XENA
Yeah, who wants to know?

BEOWULF
My name is Beowulf.

XENA
You got business with me, Beowulf?

He drops the double raven lock that Xena had used to lock up Monster Grinhilda thirty-five years ago. It's rusted. Xena looks at it and becomes serious.

XENA
I gotta talk to this man, Gabrielle.

She walks away. Gabrielle picks up the lock and looks at it.

END OF TEASER



ACT ONE

Gabrielle looks at the lock. Xena talks to Beowulf.

XENA
All right.

Xena sits down with Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE
What's this about?

XENA
Nothing.

Xena is obviously upset.

GABRIELLE
Hm-m. Do you want my food?

XENA
No, I've lost my appetite.

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Night. Inn

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
Still keeping secrets from me-

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Inside.

GABRIELLE
-after all these years.

Gabrielle gets into her bed. Xena lies down on hers.

XENA
Look...it's something I did a long time before I met
you. I just don't feel like talking about it right now.

GABRIELLE
All right.

XENA
I'm not trying to shut you out. You know our
friendship's the most important thing in my life,
but in this case-

GABRIELLE
Xena...you don't have to tell me. Part of being a
friend is letting people keep secrets. I respect that.

XENA
Okay.

Gabrielle lies down and pulls up her covers. Xena looks over at her, and then at the ceiling.

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The sun rises.

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Gabrielle wakes up to see Xena gone and a scroll on her bed. She picks it up and looks at it. It is signed with an "X" and print of Xena's lips. Gabrielle reads Xena's letter.

XENA (voice-over)
Gabrielle, I've gone to take care of some unfinished
business. This mission is so dangerous, I'm
afraid I won't survive and I can't ask you to die with
me once again. Whatever happens know that my
love for you is endless. Xena.

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Gabrielle rides a white horse. There is an overlapping scene of a moon.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
I know Xena wouldn't have done this...if she didn't
feel this was something she had to do...

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Gabrielle is camped. She writes on a scroll.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
By herself. I debated whether to respect her wish.

Overlapping scene of the sun rising.

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Gabrielle rides.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
But I can't. Her path is my path.

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Sun sets.

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Gabrielle is camped. She writes on a scroll.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
I've been following her now, for weeks. Her trail
has taken me north - due north - farther north
than I've ever been.

Gabrielle looks up at the moon.

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Sun rises.

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Gabrielle rides. There is snow on the ground.

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Gabrielle rides through a village. She moves over to a place to tie her horse where a man takes the reins and does it for her. She walks through the village.

EXTRA
Is there more?

Brunnhilda watches Gabrielle. Gabrielle sees a tapestry of a group of blonde women riding on flying horses. One of the women had black hair.

GABRIELLE
Excuse me. Does your tapestry have a story
behind it?

MERCHANT
You're not from around here, I take it.

GABRIELLE
No.

MERCHANT
Hah, well, these women that, eh, ride the flying
horses, they're called Valkyries - Odin's elite guard.

GABRIELLE
Odin?

MERCHANT
Mm-hm-m.

GABRIELLE
The king of the Norse gods?

MERCHANT
Mm-m.

Brunnhilda pretends to look at a fur pelt, when really, she is watching Gabrielle and listening.

GABRIELLE
So, are the Valkyrie gods?

MERCHANT
No. They are mortal, but Odin teaches his favourite
Valkyrie some runes.

GABRIELLE
Runes?

MERCHANT
They are magical, old Norse writings. They contain
chants that give great power to the one who knows them.

Gabrielle points to the dark haired Valkyrie.

GABRIELLE
This one - here?

MERCHANT
Hm-m.

GABRIELLE
She looks different from the rest.

MERCHANT
Yes. Now what was her name?

BRUNNHILDA
Xena.

GABRIELLE
Xena?

Gabrielle moves over to her.

GABRIELLE
Do you know about this Valkyrie Xena?

BRUNNHILDA
Well...studying her has been the passion of my life.

GABRIELLE
Have you seen her recently?

BRUNNHILDA
Look...Xena's reign of terror ended almost thirty-five
years ago. She's lo-o-o-o-ong since disappeared.

Brunnhilda moves off and Gabrielle follows.

GABRIELLE
My name is Gabrielle. I have come a long way to
find out about this Xena. Please, will you tell me
what you know?

Brunnhilda sighs.

BRUNNHILDA
She came to us from a distant land in the East.
She called it Chin.

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Xena's past. Xena rides.

XENA
Yah!

BRUNNHILDA (voice-over)
We call it the "Land That Sent Us a Demon."

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Xena rides slowly through the woods. Odin moans. Xena rides over to him.

XENA
Who-o-oa.

She stops her horse to look at Odin. He is crucified on a tree. A raven is with him.

XENA
Hey, there. Who'd you mess with.

ODIN
No one is capable of doing this to me without
my consent.

XENA
What kind of an idiot has himself crucified?

ODIN
I don't wish to take part in the struggle of life anymore.

XENA
Why would you wanna do that?

ODIN
I am Odin, king of the Norse gods. It is my duty to
bring peace to the Norse country. Yet as I sit in
Valhalla, and watch the bitter struggle called life
on this Earth, I ask - "Are we doomed to live in a
constant state of endless conflict?

XENA
Damn straight. That's what makes life so worth
living. You know, every day I wake up and I feel
pumped by the knowledge that there is always
someone around the next corner - someone for
me to challenge, to fight, and to conquer.

ODIN
Someday...someone may conquer you.

XENA
Precisely...which is why I don't have time to waste
chatting with a god who doesn't know what to do
with his immortality. (to horse) Chk-chk.

The horse starts to move.

ODIN
Wait.

She stops her horse again.

ODIN
Who are you?

XENA
The name's Xena.

The raven caws.

XENA
You know, you can't escape the struggle, Odin.
Ya gotta embrace it.

BRUNNHILDA (voice-over)
Xena brought Odin out of his despair by sharing
with him her lust for life. He, in turn, made her
a Valkyrie.

Odin half smiles.

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The Valkyries - Xena one of them - ride through the sky on their flying horses.

EXTRA
Yah! Yah!

Xena rides next to Grinhilda.

BRUNNHILDA (voice-over)
Xena excelled in her new role, but it was only a
matter of time before she came-

XENA
Yah!

Xena rides ahead of Grinhilda.

BRUNNHILDA (voice-over)
-into conflict with the woman who was the leader
of the Valkyrie and Odin's lover - Grinhilda.

The Valkyrie ride towards Valhalla.

EXTRA
Yah! Yah!

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First Viking and four other Vikings stubble over a hill and stop. First Viking faces the others.

FIRST VIKING
They outnumber us two to one, and they have
superior weapons. Maybe we should surrender.

Xena rides in.

XENA
Wrong!

FIRST VIKING
It's a Valkyrie.

XENA
Did someone say "Surrender"? What does surrender
give you?

Grinhilda rides in.

GRINHILDA
The ability to fight another day, a chance to see
their families again and the berserkers who were
chasing them will have an opportunity to show mercy.

XENA
This is a battlefield! The only thing to do here is fight.
(to First Viking) Your pursuers come over that rise
in seconds. So you can surrender and crawl back
to your hovels and the everlasting scorn of your kinfolk, or-

She draws her sword.

XENA
-you can go out in a blaze of glory - and fight and
die in Odin's name!

They look at Xena. First Viking raises his axe.

FIRST VIKING
Odin!

EXTRAS
Odin!

XENA
Odi-i-i-i-i-in!

The Vikings cheer and run back into the battle. They fight the enemy at overwhelming odds. Xena and Grinhilda watch. The Vikings are powerful fighters and seems to be winning.

XENA
Odi-i-i-in!

All the Vikings are killed. Grinhilda glares at Xena.

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Valhalla.

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Inside. Odin and others eat at a large banquet table. Xena and Odin sit together. Grinhilda walks in.

ODIN
And what exactly do you desire?

XENA
Pour me some wine and I'll have to show you
after dinner.

Xena and Odin chuckle. Grinhilda enters.

ODIN
Oh...Grinhilda, you're late. Where have ya been?

GRINHILDA
Well, I've been escorting slain soldiers to their
quarters here in Valhalla.

XENA
They're all good soldiers, willing to die with Odin's
name on their lips.

GRINHILDA
Escorting the dead is our sacred duty. There's
no joy in that duty when brave young men are
killed over a senseless battle for greed.

Xena stands.

XENA
Greed is one of the fundamentals of life. It's like
sex. It's--it's like the will to power. It's survival.

GRINHILDA
Not their survival.

XENA
Oh. No, not theirs, but theirs is a greater reward.
Dying with a sword in their hand honours their
lord and master Odin and earns them a place at
his eternal banquet.

GRINHILDA
Odin, this is madness.

ODIN
Oh, I don't know, Grinhilda. Makes some sense
to me.

Xena smiles.

GRINHILDA
If you're embracing her worldview...there is no
room here for me. I'll go.

Grinhilda leaves.

ODIN
I loved her once.

XENA
Trust me, sire...you can live without love.

Odin claps his hand, a command to those serving them. Xena looks at Odin.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
Poor Xena.

BRUNNHILDA (voice-over)
Poor Xena?

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The present.

BRUNNHILDA
You haven't been listening very well, have you?

GABRIELLE
Xena thought that she could live without love. I
know that she can't, 'cause she's my friend. Is
there anything else you can tell me to help me
find her?

BRUNNHILDA
Camp here tonight - I'll come visit you this evening.
I'll tell you what I know. Maybe something will help.

GABRIELLE
I'd appreciate that.

Brunnhilda leaves.

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Sun sets.

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Gabrielle is sitting in a camp by herself, a fire before her. She's writing on a scroll.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
I don't know the details of Xena's mission but
I'm beginning to understand her goal. She wants
to correct some great wrong she did in the past.
My dear friend's curse is to spend the rest of her
life seeking a redemption she'll never allow herself.

Gabrielle hears a stick break.

GABRIELLE
Brunnhilda? Is that you?

She stands and draws her sais. She walks carefully to the woods.

GABRIELLE
Brunnhilda?

Another stick breaks and Gabrielle gasps. She turns to see a branch moving. She turns again and gasps, readying her weapons.

END OF ACT ONE



ACT TWO

Brunnhilda attacks Gabrielle. They fight. Gabrielle cuts Brunnhilda with her own sword on her leg. Brunnhilda knocks Gabrielle to the ground.

BRUNNHILDA
You're pretty good. You cut me with my own
sword - that's impressive.

She sheathes her sword.

BRUNNHILDA
I can't tell whether you're better than me or not,
though, and to prove it, I think one of us would
have to die and I don't want that.

She holds out her hand, but Gabrielle smacks it away.

GABRIELLE
Why did you attack me?

BRUNNHILDA
To prove to you that I am worthy to fight alongside Xena.

She holds out her hand again and after a moment Gabrielle takes it. Brunnhilda helps her up.

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Later. Brunnhilda sits with Gabrielle at the fire.

BRUNNHILDA
If what you're telling me is true and Xena's still
alive, I am on the verge of realizing a lifelong
dream. I'll be able to meet the great Xena. Let me
help you find her. I know these woods like the
back of my hand.

GABRIELLE
If you can tell me everything that you know about
i>Xena and these Valkyries, I bet I could figure it out.

BRUNNHILDA
All right, where did I leave off?

GABRIELLE
Xena won Odin from Grinhilda.

BRUNNHILDA
Right.

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Xena's past. Xena's eyes are closed and she's facing a plant. Odin is behind her.

BRUNNHILDA (voice-over)
And, of course, that wasn't enough for Xena.

Xena sets the plant on fire.

ODIN
You learn quickly.

XENA
That's the power you're going to give me? But couldn't
I do that by just rubbing together a couple'a sticks?

They chuckle.

XENA
Well, couldn't I?

ODIN
No. You've only just begun exploring it. You can
go much further.

He waves his hands and the fire goes out. The flowers are undamaged.

ODIN
If you keep practicing, one day you'll be able to harness
all your energy into a flame that will burn for as
long as you wish.

XENA
Turn all of my bodily energy into a bonfire. Sounds
like self-sacrifice. I'm not into that, Odin.

ODIN
Xena, I have given you everything I give to the
other Valkyrie.

XENA
I want more.

ODIN
Like what?

She slowly starts to move over to him. Her voice changes, seducing, quiet, yet weaker.

XENA
Odin...I'm...tell me about the Rheingold.

Odin sighs and looks away from her.

XENA
Oh, I see.

She turns to leave.

ODIN
Wh--where are you going?

XENA
I can't give my love to someone who doesn't trust
me, Odin. I can't.

ODIN
Your love? What are you talking about? I thought
you could live without love.

XENA
I lied.

She starts to tear up.

ODIN
Xena.

Xena starts to sob and Odin moves over to her.

ODIN
I had no idea you felt this way.

He hugs her.

ODIN
The first thing you should know - the Rheingold
is very dangerous to someone who hasn't forsaken
their love.

Xena's face is on his shoulder. She raises her head a little and it's clear her tears are false, since a wicked look is in them instead.

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Valhalla.

GRINHILDA (voice-over)
Xena is moving up the Rhein searching for the Rhein maidens.

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Grinhilda confronts Odin in Valhalla.

GRINHILDA
How does she know about the maidens?

Odin averts his eyes.

GRINHILDA
You told her. She knew you wouldn't tell her if you
thought she had forsaken love, so she acted as
if she was in love with you, didn't she?

He stands.

ODIN
That's ridiculous! How would she know that the
power of the Rheingold is only available to those
who have forsaken their love?

GRINHILDA
Everybody knows what the gold does to a loving
heart. The local bards sing songs about it.

ODIN
The local bards know this?

GRINHILDA
Oh, you ought to mix with the people more, Odin.
What they don't know is how to find the Rheingold.
Now, however, Xena does. Give me back command
of the Valkyrie. I can stop her.

Odin nods.

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Xena rides her flying horse.

BRUNNHILDA (voice-over)
So Xena headed for the Rhein river, in hope she
could get the Rhein maidens to lead her to the gold.

XENA
Yah!

BRUNNHILA(voice-over)
But Grinhilda and the other Valkyrie weren't far behind.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
They couldn't stop her, though, could they?

The other Valkyrie chase Xena on their flying horses.

EXTRA
Yah! Yah! Yah!

The Valkyries all draw their swords.

GRINHILDA
Get her!

XENA
Yah-h-h-h-h!

EXTRAS
Yah-h-h-h-h!

XENA
Yah-h-h-h-h-h-h!

EXTRA
Yah! Hyah-h-h-h-h-h!

They chase Xena through the sky. A Valkyrie rides down and in front of Xena. Xena draws one of her sword and rides towards her.

XENA
Yah-h-h-h-h-h! Yah-h-h-h-h-h! Yah-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-
h-h-h-h-h-h! Che-e-e-e-e-e-yah!

Xena dives below the Valkyrie and cuts the saddle from the horse. The Valkyrie falls and lands on Xena's horse. Xena turns and glares at her before elbowing her in the face. The Valkyrie falls to her death.

EXTRA
Yah-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h!

Xena watches her fall.

XENA
Ha-ha!

EXTRA
Yah-h-h-h-h-h!

XENA
Yah-h-h-h-h-h!

Two other Valkyries chase Xena.

EXTRA
Yah!

EXTRA
Yah!

EXTRA
Yah!

Xena turns her horse to face them.

XENA
Yah!

EXTRA
Yah!

XENA
Yah-h-h-h-h-h-h!

Xena draws the other sword and rides at them.

XENA
She-e-e-e-e-e-yah!

Xena hits both their swords with hers and knocks them from their horses. They fall to their deaths. Xena sheathes one of her swords.

XENA
Yah!

Grinhilda swoops down.

GRINHILDA
Xena! Aaarg!

She chases Xena. They meet and battle on their horses. Xena disarms Grinhilda. Grinhilda jumps from her horse and tackles Xena off of hers. They fall.

END OF ACT TWO



ACT THREE

Xena and Grinhilda fall. Branches from trees help to break their fall, but they land hard. Xena rises and picks up her sword. Grinhilda is injured and groans. Xena slowly marches over to her like an executioner. She holds her sword over her head, ready to kill Grinhilda, then stops when Grinhilda raises her arm and looks Xena in the eye. Xena kicks her in the face instead and knocks her out. Xena's horse lands. Xena mounts it.

XENA
Chk-chk. Yah!

Xena rides off into the sky.

BRUNNHILDA (voice-over)
So now, only the Rhein maidens stood between
Xena and ultimate power.

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Xena swims. She rises from the water and is splashed by First Rhein Maiden who laughs. Xena splashes her back in annoyance and then fakes a smile. First Rhein Maiden laughs.

FIRST RHEIN MAIDEN
Sister, come join us. Our new friend is delightful.

Xena pretends to laugh. Third Rhein Maiden jumps into the water from the rock in the middle of the lake.

FIRST RHEIN MAIDEN
I think I love her.

SECOND RHEIN MAIDEN
You fall in love too easily, sister.

THIRD RHEIN MAIDEN
I love her, too.

FIRST RHEIN MAIDEN
Be quiet! She's my friend.

SECOND RHEIN MAIDEN
Hm-m-m.

First Rhein Maiden dives under the water. Xena gasps as First Rhein Maiden moves under her and then rises behind her. Third Rhein Maiden moves back onto the rock. First Rhein Maiden swims off and Xena follows.

SECOND RHEIN MAIDEN
Hmph.

First Rhein Maiden and Xena rise from the water. First Rhein Maiden laughs and then Xena whispers in her ear.

FIRST RHEIN MAIDEN
I can't show you that!

XENA
Come on, just a peek.

FIRST RHEIN MAIDEN
It's strictly forbidden.

XENA
Well, how can I be a Rhein maiden if I don't see it?

FIRST RHEIN MAIDEN
You want to become a Rhein maiden?

XENA
Sure. Then I can play with you all day.

First Rhein Maiden giggles.

FIRST RHEIN MAIDEN
Follow me.

She dives and Xena follows.

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They swim.

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They rise in a cave. Xena gasps for air while First Rhein Maiden rises with no need to gulp in air.

XENA
Where is it?

First Rhein Maiden points the way.

XENA
All right.

Xena swims over to rocks that lead out of the water. She moves to a chest and opens it to see a chuck of gold. She is in awe.

XENA
The Rheingold.

Xena moves to touch it.

FIRST RHEIN MAIDEN
You mustn't touch it.

XENA
Yes, I must.

Xena picks it up.

FIRST RHEIN MAIDEN
Are you mad? The Rheingold will only bring about
your destruction.

XENA
Only if I haven't forsaken love.

FIRST RHEIN MAIDEN
Have you?

XENA
Yah!

Xena elbows her in the nose.

XENA
Yep.

First Rhein Maiden whimpers, blood pouring from her nose. Xena moves into the water. She places the gold in her teeth and dives.

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Xena forges the gold into a ring. [These clips had been shown earlier in the teaser].

BRUNNHILDA (voice-over)
A ring forged from the Rheingold would give Xena
ultimate power. And once she put it on, she
became invincible.

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The Present.

GABRIELLE
Xena wouldn't need a ring. She's a great fighter.
She's probably the best.

BRUNNHILDA
You love her very much, don't you?

GABRIELLE
She's my best friend. I know her like I know my
own heart.

BRUNNHILDA
A friendship like that is something to be envied.

GABRIELLE
It has a price - like everything.

BRUNNHILDA
A price you love paying.

GABRIELLE
Yeah.

BRUNNHILDA
She feels the same?

GABRIELLE
I hope so.

BRUNNHILDA
She must. She must be on a very dangerous
mission; otherwise, she probably wouldn't have
left you behind.

GABRIELLE
That's what her note said.

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Beowulf and Xena walk along.

BEOWULF
You miss your friend, don't you?

XENA
Sure.

BEOWULF
She is very beautiful.

XENA
Yes, she is.

BEOWULF
I only saw her the one time, but she seems special.
Who knows how I'd feel if I got to know her.

XENA
Oh, you'd like her.

Beowulf snickers.

BEOWULF
Of course, neither one of us will live long enough
to see her again, anyway. We'll be there soon.

XENA
Good.

BEOWULF
The people up here think of you as a demon.

XENA
So they should.

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Brunnhilda and Gabrielle.

BRUNNHILDA
Can you think of anything, yet? Any reason she
would have come north?

GABRIELLE
No. Ever since that Beowulf came...

BRUNNHILDA
Beowulf?

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Clip from "The Rheingold."

BEOWULF
Are you Xena?

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Brunnhilda and Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE
Yeah. Yeah, he had this-this lock. It had two ravens
on it.

BRUNNHILDA
Two ravens?

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Clip from "The Rheingold."

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Brunnhilda and Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE
(whispering) Yeah.

BRUNNHILDA
Then I know why she came north, Gabrielle. She's
on a suicide mission.

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Beowulf and Xena arrive at a homestead. Dead bodies are everywhere.

BEOWULF
Well, this is it - the end of the line.

Beowulf moves forward. Xena turns her back to him.

XENA
Stay strong, Gabrielle.

Xena draws her sword and follows.

END OF ACT THREE



ACT FOUR

Moon. Wolf howls.

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Xena and Beowulf wait in the homestead. Beowulf sharpens his sword

BEOWULF
Twenty-three warriors - ripped apart. The lucky
ones died right her. The unlucky ones - dragged
back to the beast's lair...eaten alive.

XENA
Friends of yours?

BEOWULF
Many friends. Two brothers. I will do anything to
avenge them. I'm ready to die, myself.

Thunder clashes.

XENA
Whatever happens, Beowulf...I'm with you. What
do they call this beast?

BEOWULF
Grindl.

Grindl growls. Beowulf readies his sword.

XENA
Maybe we can take Grindl down with us. It's big
and it's slow.

BEOWULF
You know this monster pretty well.

XENA
I should. I created it.

Xena moves to the door and draws her sword.

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Gabrielle and Brunnhilda walk along.

BRUNNHILDA
I'm sure they went to the Eastwind bog.

GABRIELLE
How far are we?

BRUNNHILDA
Well, we should camp here tonight. That way, in
the morning-

GABRIELLE
No, no, we're not gonna camp. We're going to
travel through the night.

BRUNNHILDA
Then we'll be there by morning. I just hope we
don't run into Grindl along the way.

GABRIELLE
Who's Grindl?

BRUNNHILDA
"What's Grindl?" is a better question. All while I
was growing up, I heard stories about a monster
trapped in an abandoned mine above the bog.

GABRIELLE
Held by a raven lock?

BRUNNHILDA
Exactly. Ravens are the sign of Odin. He crafted
that lock himself. Supposedly, it was unbreakable
by human hands.

GABRIELLE
What happened?

BRUNNHILDA
The ring happened - the one that Xena made out
of the Rheingold.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Grindl growls several times, then goes quiet. Beowulf and Xena listen. Suddenly, the wall Beowulf is at breaks open and he's thrown back. Grindl enters, the ring on one of his long fingers. He's smaller then Monster Grinhilda and doesn't have the branches on his head. He roars and moves on Beowulf who has lost his sword. Grindl hits him back and Xena attacks, stabbing him in the back of his neck, but not making a dent on his thick hide. Beowulf gets a sword from a dead body. Grindl turns to attack Xena, but she flips over him.

XENA
Che-e-e-e-e-yah!

She flips again to avoid another attempted blow.

XENA
A-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!

She lands next to Beowulf.

XENA
That ring's gotta go back to the Rhein maidens.

BEOWULF
If one of us survives.

Xena battles Grindl. She jumps up and kicks him.

XENA
Hee-yah!

Xena battles Grindl. He tries to grab her, but she stops him with her sword and sees the ring on his finger.

XENA
The ring!

He knocks her back and she crashes into a shelf. Beowulf attacks with an axe. He's knocked back. Xena throws the chakram which becomes implanted in Grindl's neck. She flips over him.

XENA
Hee-yah!

She retrieves the chakram and attacks again with her sword, still not getting through his skin. Beowulf slowly stands. Xena flips over to him and helps him out.

XENA
Get ready for round two.

Xena throws herself at Grindl.

XENA
A-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ah!

He throws her to the ground and then picks her up.

XENA
A-a-a-a-agh!

He starts to smash Xena from one wall into another, again and again. Blood pours from Xena's mouth. Beowulf attacks, but Grindl continues to slam Xena into the walls, then tosses her. She hits the ground. Grindl throws Beowulf.

BEOWULF
Uh!

Grindl kicks Beowulf across the homestead and roars. Some of the roof comes down on Beowulf. Grindl turns to face Xena who is crawling along the floor. Her face is all cut up and she has a wound on her arm. Grindl moves in on her. She bares her teeth.

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Brunnhilda and Gabrielle arrive.

GABRIELLE
This is it, isn't it?

BRUNNHILDA
You do realize this may mean your death.

GABRIELLE
Xena's path is my path.

BRUNNHILDA
I wish I had a friend like you.

Gabrielle touches her arm.

GABRIELLE
You do.

Gabrielle draws her sais and Brunnhilda draws her sword and they run to the homestead.

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Gabrielle and Brunnhilda enter. Beowulf moans from under the rubble. Gabrielle moves to help him and removes the wood from him, then helps him up. He is covered in blood.

BEOWULF
It dragged her off. I don't know whether she's
dead or alive.

Gabrielle stands and moves off. Brunnhilda moves in and gives Beowulf some water.

GABRIELLE
Xena?

Gabrielle sees Xena's breastplate. She picks it up. It's covered in blood.

GABRIELLE
No.

She sighs.

GABRIELLE
Xena.

Gabrielle looks at the breastplate.

END OF ACT FOUR

STARRING
Lucy Lawless as Xena
Renee O'Connor as Gabrielle

GUEST CAST
Brittney Powell as Brunnhilda
Renato Bartolomei as Beowulf
Alexander Petersons as Odin
Luanne Gordon as Grinhilda
Glen Levy as Grindl
Marama Jackson as First Rhein Maiden
Lucy Thomas as Second Rhein Maiden
Stephanie Bertram as Third Rhein Maiden
Guus de Koster as Merchant
Jonathan Blick as First Viking
Roger Morrissey as Monster Grinhilda

Written by: R.J. Stewart
Directed by: John Fawcett

Disclaimer: No flying horses were harmed during the making of this motion picture, although several villages were bombarded with aerial manure.