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Callisto
was a recurring character on Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. She was one of the most bloody and ruthless warlords of the time, due to witnessing the horrific deaths of her mother, father and sister at the hands of Xena, during a chaotic assault on her village. She built an antagonistic relationship with Xena throughout the years, (along with others, notably Gabrielle and Hercules) constantly attempting to destroy her both mentally and physically.

Despite her short temper and evil behavior, Callisto's life was filled by many events. She witnessed the death her family and the destruction of her home, died twice at the hands of Xena and was sent to Tartarus, Hell and Heaven. She has been a mortal, an immortal, due to the golden apples, and a goddess, due to Ambrosia. After her final death, she was sent to Hell and became a Demon and later an Archdemon. She was then sent to Heaven by Xena and became an Angel, before reincarnating into Eve, Xena's daughter, who would later become the bringer of Twilight and peace.

History

Reincarnation

After her death, the Angel Xena encounters the demon Callisto upon her ascension into heaven. Callisto manages to take Gabrielle into hell, tempting her to eat the foods provided to make Gabrielle one of them. Xena enacts to become an Archangel and sets upon the task to rescue Gabrielle. A fight ensues between Xena and Callisto in which Xena cripples Callisto. Callisto spits at Xena, telling her that she would never forgive Xena for all that she had taken from her. In an act of remorse and redemption for her own guilt at Callisto's suffering, she purges Callisto's soul and brings her back to the light while Gabrielle is saved by the Archangel Michael. Callisto ascends to heaven and becomes an Angel, utterly devoid of the pain and torment that she had always known and in exchange, Xena is turned into a demon, sacrificing her own soul to save her. Callisto now exudes such light and goodness that Gabrielle, now in heaven, at first cannot believe it, nor forgive the woman standing before her. Callisto's memories of her past deeds, crimes and savagery were wiped in the purge and the Callisto before Gabrielle only showed a kind and gentle being that would've been had it not been for the destruction of her home and the death of her parents. Gabrielle eventually does come to the realization that Callisto is no longer the woman she once was and forgives her. Callisto is also reunited with her parents in heaven. Gabrielle soon becomes an Archangel herself, aiding the other Archangels in the defense of heaven as Xena launches an attack upon paradise. While Gabrielle battles against Xena, Callisto - now a Guardian Angel, visits Eli and with her help resurrects Xena and Gabrielle.

In the episode Seeds of Faith, a (mysteriously) pregnant Xena is asked by Callisto to not interfere in Eli's defiance against the Greek gods. When Eli is slain by Ares, Callisto's pleas to not kill Ares are ignored and when Xena is held at knife point does she realize the true intent of Eli's mission. It is also revealed that Xena's pregnancy is no coincidence. Callisto, having atoned for her sins in heaven is now ready to begin a new life and chose Xena as her mother. In this way, Callisto's gift of Eve to Xena is a way of atoning for the death of her son, Solan, while also giving back a family in which Xena took away so many years ago.

Skills and Abilities

As a mortal, Callisto had dedicated her life to becoming a strong enough warrior to eventually face Xena. Knowing how powerful her mortal enemy was, and having nothing else to live for, Callisto learned everything she could about the Warrior Princess.

Callisto was an exceptionally skilled martial combatant, though she tended to favor the sword or hand-to-hand combat. She was capable of going toe-to-toe with Xena, though in a prolonged fight, the latter's experience gives her a decided advantage. Callisto was also capable of catching Xena's Chakram, something few others were able to do.

After becoming immortal, Callisto effectively ceased to age and gained various new abilities, including an extremely potent healing factor and inexhaustible stamina.

Once Callisto became a goddess, her power increased exponentially. She gained the ability to teleport and use lightning and fire as weapons, the latter being her preferred element. Her previous immortally and neigh invulnerability were dramatically magnified, as she survived being encased in tephra (hardened lava) for some time, and was immune to being killed by physical attacks.

As an angel, Callisto gained the ability to reincarnate herself, which she did through Xena's unborn daughter.

Trivia

  • Callisto is one of few characters to have appeared in five seasons of Xena: Warrior Princess: the others being Brutus, Ephiny, Aphrodite and Argo.
  • Callisto was the first person to be seen on-screen killing a god (Strife).
  • Callisto is the only character to become an Immortal and then become a god.
  • In the HLJ episode be deviled Instead of Xerxos, it was to be Callisto (Hudson Leick) who escaped from Hell. The Arciana character was also meant to be Callisto's sister, who would've been revealed not to have been killed in Cirra by Xena's army as long thought. The overall plot, otherwise, would've been the same as what came to be. However, when Callisto became set to appear (and be redeemed) in "Fallen Angel", it was decided to go with a completely new character rather than have her appear in (airing) back-to-back episodes.
  • Callisto's story strongly resembles that of Xena's: they were both twisted into vicious killers during a violent ransack on their hometowns, which resulted in the loss of family members, they both took charge of fearless armies and they were both later redeemed by one of their enemies (Xena by Hercules, Callisto by Xena).
  • Callisto is the only character to have her name featured in two episode names: "Callisto" and "Return of Callisto". This is not counting Eve with "Livia" and "Eve", as her name is not Livia.
  • Callisto is the only character to have been a Mortal, Immortal, god, demon, archdemon and angel.
  • When Eve is killing the Elijans in "Eve", one of them states that they had seen much worse, living through Callisto's raids. Eve replies: "She did some good work - but I'm not Callisto." The irony of this statement is lost on both characters.
  • Callisto was originally going to be the villain for the Hercules: The Legendary Journeys series six premiere, but considering that she would be appearing in the Xena: Warrior Princess series 5 premiere the very same night, the writers settled for a new character altogether. Had Callisto appeared, the episode would've featured the revelation that Callisto's sister survived and had been alive the whole time, adding yet another dimension to her redemption.
  • Callisto was one of the names thrown around to appear in "When Fates Collide," but they picked Alti instead.
  • Although there is a mythological character named Callisto, she bears no resemblance to this character. The mythological Callisto was a nymph of Artemis. When Zeus took an interest in her, he disguised himself as Artemis to seduce her. There are various accounts as to what happened next, but all agree that both Artemis and Hera were enraged and that Callisto and her son by Zeus were turned into bears and eventually placed among the starts as Ursa Major and Ursa Minor (the Big Dipper and Little Dipper).
  • Callisto's Sword vastly resembles the Force Edge from the video game franchise Devil May Cry, especially the blade and the guard.
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