Up to Speed: Spartacus: War of the Damned

Dan-Feuerriegel-Agron-Dustin-Clare-Gannicus-Liam-McIntyre-SpartacusManu-Bennett-Crixus

What: Spartacus: War of the Damned, the final season of Spartacus on Starz.

When: Fridays at 9pm on Starz

Characters:

  • Spartacus (Liam Mcintyre): A former Thracian slave and gladiator, Spartacus is the leader of a slave revolt started in the Roman city of Capua, where Spartacus was trained as a gladiator at the ludus of Quintus Batiatus.  He was brought into slavery by Roman praetor Gaius Claudius Glaber after he abandoned his post during a war with barbarians to rescue his wife from a barbarian attack.  Spartacus learned that Batiatus was involved in his wife’s death and managed to lead his fellow gladiators into a bloody massacre of Batiatus and his guests at a party before a big gladiator match at the arena.  He vows vengeance against Glaber and his wife, Illythia.
  • Crixus (Manu Bennett): A Gaul and another former gladiator, he is at first hostile toward Spartacus but eventually gains respect for him as he proves himself as a gladiator.  He gives himself fully to the rebellion when his love, Naevia, is sent to the mines when their affair is found out by Batiatus and his wife, Lucretia.
  • Agron (Dan Feuerriegel): A German gladiator and another extremely loyal soldier of the rebellion.  Agron was brought to the house of Batiatus with his brother, Duron, who was killed in the arena and he vowed to get revenge for his death.
  • Gannicus (Dustin Clare): Before Spartacus arrived at the house of Batiatus, Gannicus was their greatest champion, earning his freedom in a spectacular victory in the opening games of the Capua arena.  He set out into the world a free man at the end of Spartacus: Gods of the Arena.
  • Oenomaus (Peter Mensah): Formerly the gladiator trainer or doctore of the ludus, Oenomaus helps his brothers during the massacre at the end of the first season but believes he has no honor left and does not immediately join the rebellion.
  • Mira (Katrina Law): Spartacus’ love interest, he often seeks out her guidance and advice and she quickly becomes a formidable warrior, specializing in the bow.
  • Naevia (Cynthia Addai-Robinson): Crixus’ love interest, she was sent away to the mines at the end of season one after Lucretia and Batiatus discovered she was having an affair with Crixus.
  • Ashur (Nick E Tarabay): A slimy and cunning Syrian gladiator who was injured by Crixus during a match, permanently giving him a limp and keeping him from competing in the arena.  He performed many back alley deals and killings for Batiatus and pledges his loyalty to Glaber after he survives the massacre.
  • Lucretia (Lucy Lawless): The wife of Batiatus, Lucretia is as cunning and ruthless as any of her male contemporaries, whether slowly poisoning her father in law so her husband can take over the ludus to blackmailing fellow noblewoman Illythia after she murders another noblewoman in a fit of rage.  She had a long running affair with Crixus but he ultimately stabbed her through the stomach during the massacre. She miracously survives thanks to some emergency stitching from Ashur.
  • Glaber (Craig Parker): Praetor and general of Rome, Glaber is tasked with hunting down and ending the slave revolt or lose his position.  The senate holds Glaber responsible as he both brought Spartacus to Capua and into slavery and gave patronage to Batiatus.
  • Illythia (Viva Bianca): Glaber’s wife, she is extremely deceitful and selfish, only interested in furthering her position in Roman society.  In season one she and some other noblewoman went to the house of Batiatus to sleep with some of the gladiators and while she thought she was having sex with Crixus, it turned out to be Spartacus and when another noblewoman, Licinia, laughs at her, she kills her in a fit of rage.  Lucretia agrees to help her hide the body but blackmails her to get her husband to offer patronage to Batiatus.  When the massacre starts, Illythia flees and locks the door of the house behind her, trapping many nobles inside to be slaughtered.

New Characters:

  • Julius Caesar played by Todd Lasance
  • Marcus Crassus played by Simon Merrells

Key Events:

  • Spartacus and his rebels hide in the sewers of Capua and make guerilla raids against the men of young nobleman, Seppius.
  • The senate dispatches Claudius Glaber to Capua to end the rebellion and he makes the former house of Batiatus his headquarters.  He forces his pregnant wife Illythia to join him.  The couple is shocked to find a seemingly insane Lucretia still alive and wandering the halls.
  • The wife of Spartacus’ best friend Varro, Aurelia, wishes to leave to join her son in the country.  Spartacus gives her some coins and she and a few other slaves flee the city.  They are captured and Aurelia is displayed in the town square.
  • Spartacus attacks Glaber before he can kill Aurelia and manages to kill some of his legionnaires before Crixus forces him to retreat.  Aurelia dies in the sewers and Spartacus gathers the rest of the group and says they need to gather more weapons and soldiers and then they will bring war to the Romans.
  • The rebels move south and take over the villa of a rich nobleman.  They kill him and free the slaves.  One in particular, Nasir, is angered because he lost what little power he had and tries to kill Spartacus but Spartacus decides not to kill him but have him trained as they were.
  • Lucretia is hailed by the citizens of Capua as an oracle as she must of had the favor of the gods to survive Spartacus’ attack.  This angers Illythia greatly, especially when Glaber starts making tactical decisions based on Lucretia’s advice.
  • Oenomaus, believing he has no honor, heads to the pits, a vicious underground fighting ring to die.  He is almost killed but is saved by Ashur, who brings him to Glaber and pledges his loyalty.
  • Spartacus and the rebels learn that Naevia is being held at the mines, although Agron lies about the fact at first because he believes it would be suicide to attack the mines.  Spartacus, Mira, Crixus and some others head to the mines and manage to rescue Naevia but Crixus is captured by Ashur and his men.
  • Crixus and two of his fellow Gauls are to be executed in the arena by Gannicus, former champion of the arena.  Spartacus leads an assault on the arena, destroying it and rescuing Crixus and Gannicus.  Gannicus refuses to join the rebellion however.
  • Illythia tries to get her father to dissolve her marriage to Glaber in favor of marrying the far more wealthy and favored Varinius.  Her father is killed in the arena during the attack and Glaber learns about her plans.  He tells her the only reason she will remain alive is to give birth to his child.  He then begins to have an affair with the much young Seppia, sister of Seppius, who is killed by Ashur and his squad of killers to fake an attack by the rebels.
  • Spartacus and the rebels make their camp in an abandoned temple at the foot of Mount Vesuvius.   The recently freed slaves are trained in the ways of the gladiator and the rebels also manage to free a boat of German slaves to add to their ranks.
  • Gannicus, seeing what the Romans are doing to innocent slaves in Capua, attacks Illythia’s wagon as she is heading back to Rome and brings her to Spartacus.  They try to make a deal to exchange her for weapons and armor but are double crossed by Glaber.  Seeing he had no intention of getting his wife back, Spartacus releases her into the woods.
  • Illythia manages to back it back to Capua and manages to save Glaber’s life when Seppia tries to kill him in the bath.  Lucretia found Seppius’ distinctive bracelet among Ashur’s stolen goods and told Seppia.  Illythia and Glaber agree to turn their hatred of each other to focus on Spartacus and the rebels.
  • Using the decapitated head of Lucius, caretaker of the temple the rebels were hiding in, Ashur finds the location of the temple and Glaber sends all his forces to it, with additional troops led by Varinius.  Spartacus and the rebels manage to capture and kill most of Varinius’ men but are forced to flee to the mountain when Glaber starts an assault of flaming projectiles.
  • With no food or water, some of the rebels attempt to raid the Roman camp but are almost overrun until Spartacus, Mira, Crixus and some other intervene.  Mira is killed by an axe that Ashur tries to throw at Spartacus.
  • Illythia and Lucretia visit the front lines in an attempt to get rid of Ashur, whom Glaber has promised both the ludus and Lucretia when the rebellion is crushed.  They claim he was the one who told Seppia about Glaber killing her brother and Glaber sends Ashur on a suicide mission to try and get Spartacus to surrender.  He is killed in one on one combat by Naevia and his head is sent back to the Roman camp as an answer.
  • Spartacus comes up with a plan where he, Agron, Crixus and Gannicus will use vines to scale down the back side of Vesuvius and take control of the siege weapons, then the rest of the rebels will attack in the ensuing chaos.  The plan works but Oenomaus is killed during the attack.  The rebels manage to push the Romans back inside the temple until the only survivor is Glaber, who Spartacus kills by thrusting a sword down his throat.
  • Illythia and Lucretia arrive back at the ludus and Illythia’s water breaks.  Lucretia seemingly lends her aid to delivering the baby but instead gives Illythia a c-section and reveals that she was only faking being insane and that all of her actions were meant to have Illythia give birth in the house of Batiatus.  Lucretia takes the newborn and plunges off the cliffs nearby to her death, claiming that she and Quintus will now have the family they always deserved when they are reunited in the afterlife.  Illythia seemingly dies of shock of blood loss after crawling to the cliff face.

 

 

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