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The evil Mavican

Mavican (Jenya Lano) is the main villainess in an episode from Xena: Warrior Princess called “Succession” (Series 5, 1999). She is portrayed by Jenya Lano.

Mavican is a warlord leading a gang of bandits. She has set her mind to becoming the successor and protégée of Ares (Kevin Smith), God of War, instead of Xena (Lucy Lawless), the warrior princess. After failing to receive the Olympian’s endorsement by sleeping with him, she decides to kill Xena in order to take her place.

Ares decides to impose his own rules on this feud by sending Mavican, as well as Xena and Gabrielle (Renee O'Connor) to an outer realm. There, Xena soon realises that Ares has merged herself and Gabrielle into the same body, turning into herself by day and into her companion as soon as the sun sets. However, unlike Gabrielle, Xena can follow her friend’s moves during the night.

It is later learned that the "fame" is actually centered on Gabrielle, to succeed Xena's throne.  Ares rules stated that if Xena killed Mavican then she stayed right where she was, trapped in the realm.  He didn't, however say that Gabrielle couldn't kill Mavican.

After failing to beat Xena in two successive fights, the evil Mavican then takes on Gabrielle, who wanders aimlessly through the thick, strange forest. After viciously strangling the young girl with a rope, she knocks her out and locks her up in a wooden cage like a captured animal. Mavican self-importantly reveals her true intentions to Gabrielle: she wants to be remembered for eternity as the one who killed Xena in defiance of the gods’ will.

Jenya Lano - Mavican tumbling
The rising sun unexpectedly transforms Gabrielle into Xena. Mavican realises ecstatically that

Xena is now trapped inside her cage. The heroine warns her that Ares is not to be trusted, and that one never knows what his true intentions are. Mavican arrogantly sneers that it is she who is playing Ares, and not the other way around. She throws several spears into the cage to kill Xena. As she walks towards the cage with relish in order to examine her supposed victim, she suddenly receives a hefty blow against her head with one of the spears. Now only semi-conscious, the overconfident villainess does not resist as a resilient Xena grabs her by the head and slams her violently against the bars. Xena manages to send the cage crashing down, freeing herself, but Mavican avoids captivity by suddenly vanishing.

Xena is determined not to let the wicked Mavican kill Gabrielle, who is currently trapped in the same body as herself. She lures her into another trap, where the blonde warrior is momentarily blinded by thick smoke. Before she knows it, the villainess is wrapped into a lasso made from thorny vines by Xena. The heroine spins the villainess around several times, and finally comes crashing down on her stomach, from where she tightens the ropes around her entire body. Now defeated and rather painfully trussed up, the normally loudmouthed Mavican is suddenly speechless. Moments later, the sun sets and Xena turns into Gabrielle again. The villainess uses this opportunity to free herself.  Fortunately for Gabrielle, Xena has prepared another trap, by which a log hits Mavican into the stomach, offering a chance to escape.

Jenya Lano - Mavican
Although

she accumulates setbacks and injuries, Mavican has become so blinded by her fury and ambition that she fails to realise that Ares’game is not at all about her getting a chance to be his heir. In fact, Ares wants Gabrielle to kill Mavican to prove her worth, and to become his successor. Ares appears before Gabrielle in a cave with a bottomless pit and reveals his true plans. Moments later, Mavican shows up and attacks Gabrielle. The heroine gains the upper hand, but refuses to kill Mavican because she wants no part in Ares’ scheme. Like Xena earlier in the episode, she offers Mavican a chance to join them against Ares. However, the blonde villainess refuses and continues the fight. Daylight finally comes, and Gabrielle turns into Xena again. During the fight, the warrior princess causes several big rocks to fall down so that the only exit from the cave is blocked. Mavican is aghast as she realises that her self-appointed destiny to become known as she who killed Xena will never be fulfilled. Even if she does Xena in there, no one will ever know.

Mavican’s desperate attempts to overpower Xena come to nothing. In fact, she is now kicked around like a doll by her adversary. Xena finally seizes the villainess and jumps over the bottomless pit, where they both grab one of the ropes in the middle, from where they cannot reach firm ground. Trapped in this way, Mavican now panics and calls upon Ares for help. The god of war appears, but shows his disappointment at his self-appointed successor, now pathetically begging for succour. He re-opens the gate to the real world, but only lets Xena escape through it. Mavican is horrified to realise that her destiny will be nothing more than hanging over the void, possibly forever. As she screams in shock and dismay, the scene closes on her, and she is never seen or heard of again. 

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