Another terrific episode!!
First of all, I love the collage with the Lady of the Lake from Herc and the red background and all that. Gorgeous. The photos throughout were great, too.
Anyway, it was really great to get some backstory on Ares instead of Xena for once. I also like that Xena didn't automatically freeze up on him the minute she found out about something bad he'd done in the past that was affecting their present - they've grown a lot.
I'm glad Darion got to have his happy birthday after all. The dungeon scene with Gab and Darion was especially touching.
It was also interesting that Xena and Gab acknowledged the change in their relationship from what it was during S6 - they truly have other people to love and spend time with besides themselves, and it's a good thing (Martha Stewart, anyone?).
Very enjoyable ep!
ETA: I loved the banter/smack talk between Xena and Enyo. There was some great dialogue in this one, but I especially it between these two.
Oh, and I like how you answered the question of what happened to the Dagger of Helios.
I also liked the ending where Enyo tells Ares that she wouldn't have betrayed him, and he seems regretful over her death, saying that he "couldn't" love then. It added even more depth.
Thanks for the great episode!
Interesting story - a very original twist! Don't think I've ever seen anything like it in other fanfics.
The idea that Ares was a more savage, primal god a millenium ago and has grown progressively more "civilized" is very appealing - presumably, all of the Olympians showed similar traits originally as primal nature spirits and avatars, becoming more refined and sophisicated to reflect the changing society that worshipped them. The delight that Ares and Enyo take in killing, heedless of whether or not anyone believed in, honored or feared them is a good representation of their capriciousness and elemental nature. Enyo's release into a world that is no longer a "fit" for her makes for a compelling plot.
Good job with the Daimon story as well - it's hard to work with stories involving children without descending into sentimental goo, and Ryan and Co. did well to avoid that pitfall. Daimon's relationship with Gab is well-drawn, and I liked Gab's recollections of her family life - it's easy to forget that she had a close relationship with her sister and undoubtably loved her parents as well.
Enyo's "kiss of death" was clever, and the fact that it turned the GOW into Wimpy Ares instead of Mortal Ares was different enough so that the device felt fresh. Good idea to reintroduce the Dagger of Helios - beats having yet another god-killing weapon show up, and there was a nice tie-in with SoF, reflecting the situation Ares now faces with Enyo.
Nice fight scene at the end, with good coreography and a "realistic" way for Xena to strike the fatal blow - not a lot of SuperXena, just crafty-fighting Xena and an assist from Ares.
Solid ep yet again, and my compliments on the artwork - great idea by Ryan, and wonderful implementation by Aurora. Great job, everybody!
Finally got around to reading it.
I liked quite a bit - the idea of Enyo and Ares in the past (as people keep saying) was interesting but believable.
It was fun for Xena to have to deal with one of Ares' ex-girlfriends, only one who was so-not-a-threat and couldn't get Ares in trouble.
I liked that Xena seemed to kinda understand that Ares wasn't that Ares anymore.
And when Enyo tells Ares, basically, that she did love him, his response of 'well, I couldn't love back then' just gives so much more credence to him and Xena... his times mortal and what she's shown him.
I mean, some of the schemes he's pulled with Xena, they don't seem so bad when you realize what he's come from.
It was a wonderful idea and well written story. I'd be interested to see the past selves of some of the other gods!!