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* AlasPoorScrappy: [[spoiler: Naevia was not a popular character, but it was still sad to see her die in the same way that Diona had.]]
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation:
** Literally every character can be interpreted as the "good" or "bad" guy at some point. What's interesting is that three of the main characters in ''Vengeance''--Spartacus, Crixus, and Agron--all have different opinions on almost everything that happens, despite being on the same side, which makes for very different interpretations of their characters. Is Spartacus a brave and compassionate man, or a single-minded idealist? Is Crixus's devotion to Naevia admirable or selfish? Is Agron a pragmatic leader or a selfish brat?
** Come ''War of the Damned'', Crassus is open to considerable interpretation. Is he a loyal servant of Rome who fights out of a sense of patriotism, or a power-hungry politician who fights for greed and personal advancement? Is he a a BenevolentBoss who genuinely cares about his slaves, or a ControlFreak who desires to own people as property, even though he could afford to free them and then employ them if he chose to? Are the disciplinary actions he inflicts on his troops barbaric and overly harsh, or a necessity given their repeated failures against Spartacus? [[spoiler: Was his crucifixion of Kore really necessary? Even if he couldn't spare her life, surely he could have given her a more merciful end?]]
* BestKnownForTheFanservice: A lot of people watch for the equal-opportunity {{Fanservice}}.
* CompleteMonster:
** Cossutius, from the ''Vengeance'' episodes "[[Recap/SpartacusBloodAndSandS2E4EmptyHands Empty Hands]]" and "[[Recap/SpartacusBloodAndSandS2E5Libertus Libertus]]", and the prequel season ''Gods of the Arena'', is the worst example of unchecked Roman excess. A SmugSnake {{aristocrat|s Are Evil}}, he extorts a favor from the House of Batiatus by requesting a “show” from a virgin slave girl. He selects the girl Diona as he knows he can hurt her more and forces her to lose her virginity to a brutish, dirty, filthy gladiator, mocking Diona all the while as an “example“ of how ugliness and beauty co-exist before anally raping her during her ordeal. Cossutius later shows sheer glee at Diona's execution, and at a Roman party is the first to gleefully torture a bound Gladiator for nothing more than entertainment. Furthermore, Cossutius is a serial rapist. He makes it explicitly clear he chooses Diona due to her being a virgin, and makes it quite clear virgins don't exist in his household for that reason. In sexual sadism, Cossutius is well above his fellow Romans.
** [[TokenEvilTeammate Nemetes]], from ''War of the Damned,'' proves that [[BlackAndGrayMorality not even the rebels are devoid of evil in their ranks]]. Initially a callous {{Jerkass}} of the German slaves, once the rebels have taken a Roman city, Spartacus does his best to ensure that the prisoners are treated with every respect and courtesy. Nemetes kidnaps a Roman Domina and rapes and tortures her for sport, prostituting her to be tortured or brutalized by soldiers he knows will go for it. When Julius Caesar is disguised amongst the rebels, Nemetes demands he show his loyalty by hurting the brutalized girl even more, [[EvenEvilHasStandards which horrifies even the hardened Roman]] and forces him to deliver a MercyKill. When Caesar sheds his façade and puts Nemetes at sword point, Nemetes [[DirtyCoward simply tries to bargain to betray Spartacus and turn over all the armies and civilians with them]] to the Romans if he can escape; an offer Caesar rejects.
%%Do not add any other entries without discussing it in the cleanup thread first.
* DarknessInducedAudienceApathy: It's perfectly understandable for one to stop caring about the characters by ''War of the Damned'' due to ForegoneConclusion and the sheer amount of character deaths. ''Vengeance'' killed off eleven main characters, six of whom died in the season finale ''alone'', so it's pretty obvious that by the end of the series, [[KillEmAll nearly everyone who's still standing will end up dead]].
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Gannicus, Sura, Varro, Aurelia, Saxa, Diona, Dagan, Nasir and Lugo.
* EvilIsCool: Batiatus, Lucretia, Glaber, Illithiya, Ashur, Theokoles, Caburus and Caesar breathes this trope.
* EvilIsSexy: Where do we start? For the girls, there's Ilithyia, Lucretia and Seppia.
* EvilVersusEvil: Aside from the Roman elite constantly screwing each other over, the rebels eventually fall into this as well. Crixus, heavily goaded by Naevia, develops such an unrelenting hatred of Romans that he wants them ''all'' dead. Not just the wealthy slaveowners, but even the common people. When he finally breaks with Spartacus in ''War of the Damned'', it is because he will accept nothing less than total slaughter and the destruction of Rome itself. Not that this would end slavery as an institution, as other nations also practiced it. Plus the rebels already had more than a little bit of a MightMakesRight social hierarchy forming amongst themselves. So the final battle between Crixus and his forces against Crassus and his legions takes on this tone.
* FansPreferTheNewHer: Acknowledged in-universe. Lucretia looks quite good when she goes back to wearing her red wigs in ''Vengeance''. Unfortunately she's wearing them at Ashur's orders - after he's been raping her. Notably there's one scene where Illythia complements Lucretia on how good the red hair looks, only for the latter to shudder.
* FriendlyFandoms: With many of the show's alumnae appearing in ''Series/{{Arrow}}'', ''Series/{{The Flash 2014}}'', ''Series/{{Gotham}}'' and even ''Film/SuicideSquad'', one won't be surprised if fans of the show are in good vibes with [[Creator/DCComics DC]] fans.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: The Season 1 DVD special features showed Creator/AndyWhitfield, exhausted after a workout, saying he hopes he's still around when the series ends. He stepped out due to cancer and died in 2011.
* GeniusBonus: The very first episode has a subtle quote of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chief_Joseph#Nez_Perce_War Chief Joseph]]'s famous line, "I will fight no more forever." Spartacus's wife asks him a hypothetical, "You will fight no more?" His response begins, "Forever."
* GrowingTheBeard: The first couple episodes of ''Blood and Sand'' are generally agreed to be not very good. The show starts hitting its stride around episodes three and four, for various reasons; the actors are obviously getting used to the sentence structure of their lines, the show isn't trying so hard to be ''300'' (the influence is still obviously there, it just isn't as blatant), Hannah started really hamming it up as Batiatus, and characters in general became more fleshed out.
** Episode 6 ("Delicate Things") is the definitive turning point. Batiatus shows his true colors as a ManipulativeBastard BadBoss, Spartacus is shattered by Sura's death (which Batiatus arranged, unbeknownst to Spartacus,) and pretty much every character's main motivation for the first half of the season has been shattered and must be rebuilt. If you weren't hooked before, you will be at this point.
* GuiltyPleasure: The show is very violent and sexual, but it is also very enjoyable, so many watch it with a little bit of guilt.
* HarsherInHindsight: Episode 11 of ''Blood and Sand'' involves Spartacus being bedridden due to a severe infection, and the medicus doing everything he can to save him. There's even a scene in that episode where Spartacus sees his dead body on a morgue. Creator/AndyWhitfield, the actor who played Spartacus, had to leave the role due to cancer. Tragically, he lost the battle a year later.
* HilariousInHindsight:
** When you consider the great length at which Lucretia extols her hatred of Thracians and then you remember Series/{{Xena}} was Thracian, it is hard not to chuckle.
** Before Agron was revealed to be gay, the show caught a lot of flack for apparently playing up the BuryYourGays trope. [[spoiler: Agron and Nasir are the only two of the main protagonists to survive the war.]]
** After this show wrapped, large chunks of the cast moved ''en masse'' to ''Series/{{Arrow}}'', two of which are Creator/ManuBennett (Crixus) and Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Naevia.) Considering they play Deathstroke and Amanda Waller on that show, going back and watching them as a couple on this show looks like a match made in hell.
** Saxa kissing Mira becomes this after Katrina Law gets cast as a LipstickLesbian in ''Series/{{Arrow}}''. Her character [[ActorAllusion is even]] an ArcherArchetype.
** After this show wrapped, two alumnae will went on to play Creator/DCComics villain Captain Boomerang in two different adaptations; Nick E. Tarbay (Ashur) in ''Series/{{Arrow}}'' and Jai Courtney (Varro) in ''Film/SuicideSquad''.
** Liam [=McIntyre=] will appear in ''Series/{{The Flash 2014}}'' as the (second) Weather Wizard, which is kinda appropriate for an actor who played a character whose RedBaron is "The Bringer of Rain". Additionally, Liam's character will be replacing said character's brother after he died, much like how Liam himself becomes [[TheOtherDarrin the new Spartacus]] after Creator/AndyWhitfield's [[AuthorExistenceFailure death]].
** Seeing Varo getting a hard time in training is amusing if you've seen Jai Courtney in ''{{Literature/Divergent}}'' where ''he'' is the DrillSergeantNasty.
** If you're aware of the New Zealand sitcom ''Series/DiplomaticImmunity'', both Craig Parker (Glaber) and Lesley Ann Brandt (the first Naevia) starred together in that as ''love interests''. Hilariously in that case it was Brandt's character who outranked Parker's (she was the king's niece).
* HolyShitQuotient: Very high, as the episodes are specifically written to contain their emotional impact into specific key scenes.
** ''Vengeance'' Episode 7 had a fight between Spartacus and 7-foot tall guy Sedullus. Spartacus sliced his face off with one strike and HIS BRAIN FELL OUT!!
* HoYay: Almost pointless on a show where HideYourGays is a strongly averted trope. But it still happens.
** Hints of this between Glaber and Marcus in ''Vengeance''. Especially given Marcus' obvious devotion and Glaber's tendency to heed his advice over anybody else. It is notable that Marcus is pretty much the only fatality that Glaber shows actual sorrow over (or even more than casual interest in). WordOfGod is that it was intended to be this, but the confirmations wound up being cut before production.
** ''War of the Damned'' introduces Tiberius and Sabinus, who may be [[ChildhoodFriendRomance more than best friends]]. Although Christian Antidormi has said they were not a couple, he and Aaron Jakubenko ''really'' missed their marks in their performances if that was meant to be the case. [[note]] What Antidormi said is that their relationship was supposed to appear ambiguous in early scenes, but it resolved itself as just friendship as the arc went on. [[/note]] Also, the fact that Tiberius seeks revenge for Sabinus' death by raping his father's lover adds the subtext that taking his father's lover was somehow recompense for the loss of his own. He also demonstrates [[spoiler: when he rapes Caesar]] that he is [[DepravedBisexual not averse to sexual contact with men]].
** It was around even as early as ''Blood and Sand'', especially between Spartacus and Varro.
-->'''Spartacus''': [After a sparring match] Your head is mine. Now, how shall I mount it? [Big goofy grins from both of them]
*** {{Lampshaded}} in the commentary for that very episode, by Andy Whitfield himself.
* IronWoobie: Spartacus.
* ItWasHisSled: If you do not know that Spartacus ends up leading a nation-wide slave rebellion and ultimately dies (see: ''Film/{{Spartacus}}''), you probably live under a rock.
** Actually, there is no proof that Spartacus was killed. [[NeverFoundTheBody His body was never recovered.]]
* JerkassWoobie:
** For a SMALL moment you feel bad for Glaber once [[spoiler: he is made aware of the conspiracy to not only have his marriage dissolved but his child aborted by his wife, father-in-law, and rival.]]
** Likewise, Ilithyia. Despite being a royal cunt, [[spoiler:it's hard to not feel sorry for her after Glaber fucks her life up.]] It's mainly due to Viva Bianca's acting though.
** Lucretia. Oh, Lucretia. It's easy to forget how she [[spoiler:sent Naevia to a fate worse than death]] after everything that's happened to her since then.
** Tiberius. As incredibly vicious as he is, it is very clear that his father's often cruel attempts to harden him are what turns him evil. In particular being forced to kill his HeterosexualLifePartner (or [[HoYay possible lover]]) in the decimation it is easy to see why he went sailing right across the MoralEventHorizon.
* LesYay: Between Ilithyia and Lucretia, with some FoeYay thrown in as well.
** Saxa has [[BiTheWay bisexual tendencies]] and seems to pursue an offscreen relationship with one of the rebel slaves named Belesa, as they have at least three intimate moments together in ''War of the Damned''.
** Also Between Naevia and Diona in ''Gods of the Arena''; They're close friends, who've both stayed virgins (not so easy in the House of Batiatus) especially since they're seen early on thinking dirty about the gladiators. After [[spoiler:Diona is raped by a Roman,]] Naevia worries to Diona that they aren't as close as they used to be. [[spoiler: And in episode 5 as Naevia helps Diona escape, they share a kiss on the lips goodbye, and a promise to see each other again one day]].
* LGBTFanbase: With the occasional gay storyline, Creator/LucyLawless, and tons of [[{{Fanservice}} sweaty, half-naked men]] (some of whom actually have sex with each other!), it's unsurprising to find this show popular with gay male viewers.
* LoveToHate: Batiatus, Lucretia, Illithyia, Glaber, Ashur, Crassus and Caesar.
* MagnificentBastard: Crassus all the way. He is cunning, AffablyEvil, and quite the {{Badass}}. And yet like any good Magnificent Bastard he doesn't hesitate to kick the dog when he feels he needs to.
** Batiatus has his moments as well. The way he and Solonius team up to take down Tullius in the final episode of ''Gods of the Arena'' is truly awesome.
** Caesar takes this trope to the next level, especially since he looks like a lot like a stunt double for MCU's Thor when he's all shaggy-haired and beardy for the first several episodes.
* {{Mangst}}: The male heroes are, for the most part drenched in more of this than they are blood.
** Spartacus continues to carry a torch for his [[TheLostLenore dead wife Sura]], to the extent that it prevents him from forming meaningful relationships with other women (notably Mira) and [[CrusadingWidower motivates his entire war against the Romans]].
** Crixus takes this all the way to the point of {{Wangst}} over Naevia. Unlike Spartacus, who mostly mourns privately and generally only mentions his late wife to people he is close to, Crixus indulges in [[DramaQueen dramatic public displays of woe]].
** Gannicus feels deep guilt over Melitta, and his betrayal of Oenomaus, as well as various other things. He usually [[DrowningMySorrows covers by drinking]].
** Agron is a notable exception here, in particular averting the GermanicDepressive trope. [[CynicismCatalyst He expresses his rage and hatred towards the Romans over his brother Duro's death pretty openly]]. But he also seems able to move past it when there is no actual battle to fight and is often the most jovial of the major heroes. Nor does it usually interfere with his relationship with Nasir in any way.
* MemeticMolester: Cossutius known as [[FanNickname ''Mr. Rape Face'']].
* MisaimedFandom: UnintentionallySympathetic he may be, Ashur's retribution methods against his tormentors are still not morally acceptable.
* MoralEventHorizon: Tullius (from ''Gods of the Arena'') at first is just as vile as the other Roman nobles. He crosses this with [[spoiler: the murder of Gaia]] who was somewhat likable. Even worse, he did it just to show that he could do it and get away with it. He now is a complete psychopath with no redeeming qualities.
** Ilithyia crosses it when she [[spoiler:manipulates Numerius into forcing Spartacus to kill Varro. She'd done some bad things before that, but even killing Licinia in a blind rage doesn't quite compare to forcing Spartacus to kill his best friend because she just ''hates him that much'']]. Making it even worse, she accomplishes this by having sex with a ''thirteen year old boy.'' Granted, he was considered a man in Roman society, but he's still looked upon as a boy by most of the cast. And Illithyia is still married.
** If he hadn't crossed it already, Glaber definitely crosses it when he crucifies an innocent slave, just to show his power over Ilithyia.
** Naevia, of all people, showed signs of crossing this since ''War Of the Damned'' started. [[spoiler: She crosses it fully in ''Decimation'' when she batters Gannicus with a giant rock after he tried to get Crixus to snap out of his madness. Then she gleefully participates in the slaughter of every Roman citizen within the city.]]
** Batiatus [[spoiler:having Sura killed on the way to the ludus so she can die in Spartacus' arms.]]
** Ashur manipulating Dagan into being sodomized by a Roman elite in ''Gods of the Arena'' could be considered this for him.
** Tiberius raping Kore, who had always behaved more warmly towards him than even his own mother, as a way of getting revenge on his father for Sabinus' death in the decimation.
* {{Narm}}: For viewers in the Australia/New Zealand region, the barely-disguised Kiwi accents can be this.
* NarmCharm: The reason many viewers who don't think it's SoCoolItsAwesome watch the show anyway.
* NightmareFuel:
** Seriously, look at John Hannah's face during the credits for Season 1.
** In ''Vengeance'' Glaber has a party, during which the upper class of Capua and Rome take one of the captured Gauls and proceed to string him up and take turns cutting bits of flesh off of him...always careful to do so in such a way ''that he won't bleed out or die.''
* ReplacementScrappy: Cynthia Addai Robinson replacing Lesley Ann Brandt as Naevia. Unfortunately for her, the cast change also coincided with a massive personality change for Naevia. The character had gone through a TraumaCongaLine and at first was a DamselScrappy but then became a BloodKnight. General consensus seems to be that Lesley Ann Brandt would have been able to make Naevia seem sympathetic despite this - but that the change in actress made it seem like it was a completely new character.
* ShipToShipCombat: The Gannicus[=/=]X[=/=]Saxa vs. Gannicus[=/=]X[=/=]Sibyl shippers in ''War of the Damned''.
* SignatureScene: Every SeasonFinale (detailed below). Though each season has more.
** ''Blood and Sand''
*** Spartacus' victory in episode 5.
*** The PietaPlagiarism in episode 6.
*** The "[[ThatManIsDead I am Spartacus]]!" scene in episode 7.
*** The KillTheOnesYouLove scene in episode 10.
*** The fall of the House of Batiatus, particularly the shield-leap and the RousingSpeech followed by the YeahShot.
** ''Gods of the Arena''
*** Gannicus' blind-fold fight.
*** The forced sex scene in episode 2.
*** The RingOfFire showdown, particularly Gannicus' victory.
** ''Vengeance''
*** The fall of the arena in episode 5.
*** The TraumaticCSection and the very cruel aversion of InfantImmortality in the SeasonFinale.
*** The rebels' assault on Mt. Vesuvius.
** ''War of the Damned''
*** Spartacus' HorsebackHeroism in episode 1.
*** The VikingFuneral in episode 9.
*** Spartacus charging Crassus and his {{Mook}}s all by himself.
*** The shield graveyard.
* SoCoolitsAwesome: With its sky-high kill count, expert fight choreography and its creatively brutal scenes of violence it certainly gets this reaction from even the most casual viewers.
* StopHelpingMe: It was accidental, but Ilithyia convincing her husband to make a grab for glory in the pilot episode really screws him over. Convincing him to attack the rebels before they are sufficiently weakened in Vengeance episode 10 would have had the same effect if Spartacus hadn't pulled his FastRoping trick first.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodCharacter: Diona in ''Gods of the Arena'' is mainly a side character who gets minimal screen time. [[spoiler: She's killed off in the finale to wrap things up, when she could have played a bigger part in ''Vengeance'' especially as a character besides Crixus who has a connection to Naevia]].
* TooCoolToLive: ''Everyone''. It's a ForegoneConclusion, though...
* UnintentionallySympathetic: Aside from the {{Jerkass Woobie}}s above, the following;
** Granted Ashur is a complete dick and his actions are utterly despicable, but still, it's easier to understand where he was coming from, especially by audiences who were/are victims of bullying.
-->'''Oenomaus:''' [You] bear the mark of treachery!
-->'''Ashur:''' Treachery? When did you stand forth for Ashur?! When did any of you greet me short of mockery and scorn?! You... fucking cunts!
** Caesar near the end of the series becomes this.
* UnintentionallyUnsympathetic: [[spoiler: Barca]] during his death. The show establishes him as a JerkWithAHeartOfGold in his last episode, and while his death wasn't treated with AndThereWasMuchRejoicing, the general attitude towards his demise was "he had it coming", especially since [[spoiler: his habit of bullying Rookie gladiators borders on extreme KickTheDog, with the mastermind behind his FrameUp being his constant victim for a number of years dating back to the latter's rookie years]].
* TheWoobie:
** Pietros spends about an episode as this [[spoiler:and then kills himself.]]
** Diona, who undergoes a spectacular TraumaCongaLine that seems to have ended in her emancipation. It hasn't.

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