All through the three series and one mini-series of Spartacus (Blood and Sand, Gods of the Arena, Vengeance and War of the Damned), there have been some gruesome and memorable despatches of people from this world to the next, both in and out of the arena. Here are the top ten.
The short-ass half-pint who occasionally lapses into a broad Aussie accent, Gannicus loomed large in the mini-series Gods of the Arena. I thought he would make it to the end, but alas…After the rebels gain thousands of more freed slaves, Spartacus tries to groom Gannicus to become a leader, which Gannicus refuses time and time again. Hours before the final battle, Gannicus finally agrees to become a leader, so that the rebels may have a better chance. He approaches Crassus’ army from behind with his own group, distracting him from Spartacus. Gannicus tops a load of Romans before finally being captured by Caesar. Gannicus is then crucified along with hundreds of other rebels. Nasty. In his final moments, Gannicus sees his old friend Oenamaus, and imagines being back in the arena again, with everyone cheering his name. A long journey from nothingness to glory in the arena, to freedom, to a painful and lingering death.
She the actress everyone seems to like the least. Whether it’s because her predecessor was infinitely prettier, or that she uses too much botox and make-up, she racks up the irritation factor whenever on screen, gazing lovingly at Crixus’ lump. Anyway, having despatched many a Roman to the next world, in the final battle against Crassus and his army, she bravely fights off the Romans with Crixus’ sword, until she comes across Caesar, who easily bests her, and then kills her with her own sword.
8. Some Captured Roman Soldier Non-entity
After the death of Crixus, Spartacus hold games in his honour, except this time, it’s Roman captives who have to fight in the arena. The gladiatorial battle was great to see and the perfect tribute to Crixus. The best kill of course goes to Spartacus in a very one-sided match. Spartacus delivers a twin-sword strike through the back of a Roman’s head and out through the eyes. Loverly-Jubbly!
Tullius, a very rich and influential Roman and enemy of Batiatus. A really odious creep, he arranges for Batiatus to be brutally beaten up. Tullius is responsible for the construction of the grand arena in Capua (seen in both seasons 1 and 2). He gets his come-uppance though when he is tortured and eventually sealed up, still alive, within the walls of the very arena he built by Batiatus and his group of vengeful gladiators. Nice touch Quintus!
A nice exit as this Roman General who has dogged Spartacus’ footsteps from the outset eats steel. Remember that he was the Roman army legatus who is responsible for Spartacus’ enslavement as a gladiator. In the season 2 finale, Spartacus and his followers escape the mountaintop that Glaber had trapped them on, and began bombarding the temple Glaber now occupied with his own siege equipment. During the battle, Spartacus and Glaber fight once more with Spartacus finally slaying his hated foe by stabbing him through the chest, then ramming his blade down his throat.
Varro volunteered to become a gladiator and sold himself into slavery so that his wife would want for nothing. He was even going to support the baby his wife was carrying even though he knew it was not his. A thoroughly decent chap, it was pretty obvious he wasn’t going to survive for long. But he makes the top ten for two reasons. Firstly he has to be killed by his best mate, Spartacus himself. Secondly it is the textbook despatch method of execution; A downward thrust by the side of the neck into the vital organs. What starts out as a non-lethal exhibition bout turns into something much darker when the little shite Numerous stabs his outstretched thumb downward, turning the combat into an execution. In fact Varro actually grabs Spartacus’ hand and pulls his arm and sword down… and there we have it, the blonde bimbo burbles blood and bobs off to the after-life.
Theokoles is an albino Celt towering above all of his opponents (the actor who plays him stands 6′ 10″). He was unbeaten prior to the Shadow Games episode. Oenomaus is the only man to survived a battle with Theokoles (and still bears the scars of the match). Crixus and Spartacus are chained together to fight Theokoles but Crixus refuses to fight with Spartacus, wanting glory for himself, and subsequently pays the price by getting pretty chewed up. There is a trademark Spartacus/Crixus move whereby one uses the shield of the other to gain elevation. This same trick is used in the final episode of Blood and Sand (Kill them all) when the gladiators at the Ludus turn on Batiatas and his chums. Spartacus is ever after known as the “The Slayer of the Shadow of Death and bringer of Rain” (there has been a drought that ends with Theokoles’ death).
Tiberius’ mate, Sabinus is unlucky enough to draw a white pebble and there fore is one of the one in ten who must be “decimated” as ordered by Marcus Crassus because the Romans ran from a battle with Spartacus and the Silesian pirates. Sabinus encourages Tiberius to follow the command of his father, and is brutally clubbed to death by his fellow soldiers including Tiberius. With no quick despatch by a sword, the scene is actually quite hard to watch as it takes some time before Sabinus departs this world. It marks a turning point for Tiberius who becomes cruel and single-minded after this- eventually getting the privilege of removing Crixus (see below).
Sedellus is a Germanic Tribe leader and quickly becomes the big cheese (or is that Black Forest Gateaux?) for the Germans in Spartacus’ growing army. There is no love lost between Sedullus and Spartacus but the straw that breaks the camel’s back is when during festivities, Sedullus tries to rape Naevia, who was out to fetch wine, in the middle of the temple hallway, but is stabbed by her in his attempt. He strikes Naevia across the mouth and threatens to cut off her face, but not before Sedullus is stopped by Agron, as the two begin to fight. Sedullus easily overpowers Agron into the ground and repeatedly punches him in the face. Crixus initially watches them in amusement, however, he discovers the true nature of the fight when Navia tells him what Sedullus did to her, and comes to Agron’s aid. This spurs a brawl between the rebels and the Germanics. Spartacus saves Agron from death and very briefly tangles with Sedullus in a sword fight. It’s a one-sided fight; after getting slashed across the stomach, Spartacus slices the Germanic leader’s face in a clean upward slash. Sedullus brain then slips out. Yuk-erama!
Perhaps not the goriest of deaths, but very memorable. The Gaulish Champion of Capua finally meets his maker on the field of battle. Wounded, the runty little son of Marcus Crassus, Tiberius, gets to decapitate him and we see Crixus’ spinning head captured in Naevia’s eyes. I always rated Crixus above a lot of the other actors in the Series because he did seem to bring some genuine acting skills to his role- he wasn’t just a six-packed moron. I even named my cat Crixus!