#Do you ever just cry because of Gabrielle’s character arc? #She started out so naïve and wide-eyed saying that she wanted to grow up to be just like Xena #and while her admiration for Xena never diminished her understanding of what it meant to be Xena—to be #a warrior like her—matured #The more Gabrielle traveled the more she saw the more she fought the more she realized #that Xena’s heroism was not without a price: #fighting changed things; #killing changed everything; #and living on the battlefront sometimes necessitated terrible impossible choices #After a while the prospect of giving up so many of her original ideals scared Gabrielle so she ran away— #tried to give up the fighting and killing; tried to walk a path of love and peace #But then there was always Xena—Xena who Gabrielle couldn’t forsake even if she wanted to forsake #the path that following Xena had set her on couldn’t leave Xena’s side even though she knew that anyone who traveled with Xena had to fight #It came down to another impossible choice so Gabrielle chose Xena and never looked back #It was following that path—which Gabrielle called friendship—which led to the fulfillment of Gabrielle’s #original wish: that she grow up to be just like Xena; to be a warrior like her #Year after year season after season Gabrielle gave up more and more and increasingly became a warrior #That’s why the end of the show is so haunting: gets exactly what she wanted from the start but ultimately it isn’t what she wants anymore at all #She is as capable as Xena as skilled and even as ruthless and unflinching as she #and yet all she could want in the world is to go back to being that naïve and wide-eyed little girl #that Xena found in Potiedaea—the one Xena fell in love with all those years ago #It’s a shocking reversal and one that is so carefully wrought over so many years #I just… damn