- The ending, in which Maximus fulfills his vengeance as he dies, simultaneously restoring Rome to the republic that the true, dying Emperor had hoped for. He passes on to be reunited with his wife and son, and his fellow gladiators are freed. Of course, he's undoubtedly a legendary hero of Rome at this point, a paragon for all Romans to aspire to.
- "Now we are free. I will see you again... But not yet. Not yet..."
- For all his flaws as a father, Marcus Aurelius does still have a good relationship with Lucilla. It is very bittersweet, but they both realize their intentions were always good toward each other:
Marcus Aurelius: Enough politics. For tonight, let us pretend that you are a loving daughter, and I am a good father.
Lucilla: ::kisses him and puts her arm around him:: This is a pleasant fiction, isn't it?
- While speaking with Maximus on their last night in Germania, Marcus asks him about his farm back home. Russell Crowe's delivery makes it painfully clear how much he loves and misses his home and his family...which makes what happens next all the more tragic:
Maximus: My house is in the hills above Trujillo. A...a very simple place. Pink stones that warm in the sun. A kitchen garden that smells of herbs in the day. Jasmine in the evening. Through the gate is a giant poplar. Figs. Apples. Pears. The soil, Marcus. Black. Black like..::starts to cry:: like my wife's hair. Grapes on the south slopes, olives on the north. Wild ponies play near my house. They tease my son. He...he wants to be one of them.