In A Time Of Ancient Gods: The Norma Scrolls


[And now, someone will don a winged helm, figure out that Beowolf is actually Brunhilda (and gay), and kiss the princess awake in a shamanist potlach in the Amazonian woods. Or something like that. Also, who knew the chakram could double as a headgear? – Bellini’s “Norma” at the Teatro Real, with Karine Deshayes (Adalgisa) and Maria Agresta (Norma), Madrid 2016. – Photo Credit: Javier del Real/Teatro Real]

I swear, you’re making it too easy for me these days when it comes to these posts. I don’t even have to try to fill in the blanks any longer because there are no blanks.

Clearly, “Xena” missed a chance by not making a “Norma” episode (except that much of the show is basically one big “Norma” arc. Soulmate debate included). – Ah, the visual landscape of grand Camp!

I mean…


[Adalgisa channeling the bridal plissé: check
(Renée O’Connor (Gabrielle) in Xena: Dreamworker (1.03)]


[Norma donning the Breastplate Warrior Princess Whites: check
(Lucy Lawless (Xena), and I don’t recall the exact episode of XWP. Feel free to add.]


[Standing on stones in flowing white dresses. Oaths and/or swords may be involved: check.
Renée O’Connor (Gabrielle), Lucy Lawless (Xena), Xena: Fallen Angel (5.01))


[Pagan Lady Power on the warpath in campy outfits, but there is always time for a heart-to-heart: check.
Musetta Vander (Illainus), Paris Jefferson (Athen) in Xena: Amphipolis under Siege (5.14)]


[Shamaness or Warrior Princess: cast a soprano who can give you both. Also: Olympic Headgear: check.
Claire Stansfield (Alti), Lucy Lawless (Xena) in Xena: Adventures in the Sin Trade I (4.01)]

But don’t take my word for it. You can still watch this “Xena and the Druids vs. the Romans” Special Overlength Episode over at ARTE Concert. Ayyyyiyiyiyiii and battle on! (and just in case this wasn’t clear: I am loving every bit of it. The person who can do camp is a person who can navigate both love and irony, and if we need something right now, it might the the ability to love, and the ability to get a good check on reality at the same time)

Also, dear Gods, do not let me comment on the following:
(It’s the Northern Druid furs! It’s Caesar arms and curls! And it’s clearly Carroll Todd (Toddy to his friends) entering the Carneval au Romain in a chocolate mink. *bites fist*)


[Bellini’s “Norma” at Teatro Real, Madrid 2016.  Photo Credit: Javier del Real/Teatro Real]

(and I really, really needed this bit of silly fun today)

12 thoughts on “In A Time Of Ancient Gods: The Norma Scrolls”

  1. Wait, didn’t Brunhilda turn out to be Grendel’s Mom in that one episode? And Odin had two eyes? I dunno, I’s confused…

    I will say I was impressed with the NerdBros in my Greek 101 class for knowing all the episodes of Xena by heart.


    1. Now I want to take your Greek class.

      (I thought Brunhila turned into Grendel over that love story with Odin gone wrong? Was that it? I don’t remember the content details, but the camp was glorious)


      1. I should say not my class but our. I wasn’t doing the teaching — this being a state uni, that was done by a brilliant, underpaid, and overqualified adjunct. I was just a greying non-trad auditor infiltrating from the English Dept. But that class was quite the epic itself and prelude to another.

        (I may actually have to revisit this show as I was too old at the time to have those details engraved on my own brain cells.)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It was the mid-nineties, and it was the first time I saw women kicking the villains to the curb and swaggering on with their female companion into the sunset, all while touching upon many dear myths, so it definitely left an imprint on my teenaged self.

          …what was the next class? …Greek 102? 😉


          1. I remember you could tell all the neighborhoods where girls were watching Xena based on the sounds coming from the playgrounds. And then I would go up to class and get all the Xena-based critical discourse from impromptu sidebars with Women’s Studies faculty (which I had fun explaining to the NerdBros 15 years later).

            There was no next class. The administration refused to give us one, because (we figured out later, because of course they wouldn’t admit it up front, even when we directly petitioned them) they had already positioned the program to fail, and they were about to eliminate it.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. …eliminating language classes. How I hate that (the very thigns that further intercultural and historical understanding!). And another adjunct in the streets, I guess?

              But your Xena years sound all kinds of wonderful. Playground sounds!
              (I remember once being at a reading event on a book fair by a sort-of-famous, then not-yet-officially-out German actress, and even though the book she was reading from was a children’s book, the audience was packed with 20-sth lesbians. Everyone behaved perfectly straight, the organizers in puzzlement thanked the large crowd for so enthusiastically supporting a children’s book, but then during applause, one of the dykes in attendance uttered the Xena battle cry (and the actress tried to smother her grin in reaction))

              Liked by 1 person

      1. We just watched the whole series on Netflix a couple years ago, and this makes me want to do it again. Gotta get through the X-Files first though – I never watched that when it was actually on TV, but my wife is educating me on the iconic Gillian Anderson. #speakingofeveryones90sgirlcrushes


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