-> I'm Spartacus!
-->-- '''Everyone''', ''Film/{{Spartacus}}''

A staple of SwordAndSandal and LostWorld stories, the hero is captured and forced into the gladiatorial pits [[MadeASlave as a slave]]. He will be trained as gladiator (giving him a justification for becoming a badass warrior if he was not one already). He will win numerous bouts, becoming a favourite of the fans and winning the respect of his fellow gladiators. He will then incite his fellow gladiators to rise up and break out of the slave pits, leaving the hero at the head of a ready-made army of highly trained warriors with which to overthrow the EvilOverlord who condemned him to the pits.

Subtrope of GladiatorGames as well as SlaveLiberation. The main alternative for captive heroes is to be a GalleySlave.
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!!Examples:

[[AC:ComicBooks]]
* Comicbook/TheWarlord (Travis Morgan). Early in his career he was captured and spent time as an enslaved gladiator. He earned his title leading his fellow gladiators to freedom.
* The ''PlanetHulk'' storyline.
* In the IDW ''[[ComicBook/TheTransformersIDW Transformers Generation 1]]'' continuity, Megatron began as a successful gladiator who recruited the greatest gladiators on Cybertron to revolt against their oppressors.
** It's a recurring theme in Generation 1; he also led such a revolt in [[ComicBook/TransformersGenerationOne the Dreamwave comics]], and [[WesternAnimation/TheTransformers the original cartoon]] has an unsuccessful gladiator revolt against the Quintessons in the Transformers' early history.
* BarbarianHero ''{{Slaine}}'' from ''[[ComicBook/TwoThousandAD 2000 AD]]'' orchestrated a revolt amongst the Cythron's human gladiators.
* In ''ComicBook/FantasticFour'' #91-93, the robot gladiator Torgo leads a gladiator revolt on the Skrull controlled planet of Kral, after the Fantastic Four arrives to rescue the captive Thing from the gladiator pits.
* Mongul once captured {{Superman}} and forced him into GladiatorGames. Superman became champion and eventually defeated Mongul.
* Grand finale of the SuskeEnWiske album ''Het Geheim van de Gladiatoren''.

[[AC:{{Film}}]]
* ''Film/{{Gladiator}}''
* ''Film/{{Spartacus}}'' which is, of course, based on the real life version of the Spartacus revolt. (DownerEnding included, if you consider Spartacus et al to be the good guys.)
** More of a BittersweetEnding, considering that [[spoiler: his wife and [[SomeoneToRememberHimBy child]] were freed.]]

[[AC:{{Literature}}]]
* ''Literature/{{Gor}}'' has this a few times.
* ''TheTelnarianHistories'' by the same author.
* The ''{{Kregen}}'' Planetary Romance novels by Alan Burt Akers do this a few times. It's a staple of the genre.
* Literature/{{Tarzan}} stages one in the novel ''Tarzan and the Lost Empire''.
* In Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs's ''[[JohnCarterOfMars The Gods of Mars]]'', John Carter [[TheDulcineaEffect charges into the arena]] when [[DamselInDistress women]] are threatened with great apes, and another prisoner leaps to join him, shouting they should all come, and they do.
** In ''Chessman Of Mars'': the hero infiltrates the game of the title, where the pieces are living swordsmen, and fights; he wins and leads a revolt.
* In Creator/BenCounter's ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' ''Literature/GreyKnights'' novel ''Hammer of Daemons'', Alaric and a fellow captive Grey Knight are forced in fight in GladiatorGames to celebrate the putting down of a Gladiator Revolt. The other Grey Knight dies. To [[{{Revenge}} avenge]] [[FireForgedFriends his friend]], Alaric [[spoiler:instigates another gladiator revolt as ''part'' of instigating a full blown EnemyCivilWar, thereby destroying an entire Khorne Daemon World and sabotaging a Black Crusade.]] Do not annoy Alaric!
* The Spartacus incident also happens in ''The Death of Kings'', the seconds of ConnIggulden's ''Emperor'' series. In this case, since Julius Caesar is the {{protagonist}}, it's a more upbeat ending than that of ''Film/{{Spartacus}}''.
* In Creator/EEDocSmith's ''[[Literature/{{Lensman}} Triplanetary]]'', the last significant attempt to save Roman civilization was a Gladiator Revolt -- and failed utterly.
* ''Literature/TheHungerGames'', especially the third book, could be seen as a post-apocalyptic version of this, with [[spoiler: Katniss and other Hunger Games winners becoming major figures in the rebellion.]]

[[AC:LiveActionTV]]
* Happened in an episode of ''Series/{{Angel}}'' where the titular hero was captured and put into demon gladiator fights. Angel eventually breaks out and leads a gladiator revolt. Unfortunately, after the successful revolt, when the demons are freed and walking into the Los Angeles night, one of his human teammates [[NiceJobBreakingItHero questions if they just loosed a dozen bloodthirsty and deadly demons onto the streets of LA]].
* Similar in "The Gamesters of Triskelion" from the original ''Series/{{Star Trek|The Original Series}}''.
* Much the same plot occurred on ''HerculesTheLegendaryJourneys'', except Herc deliberately got himself captured in the hope of rescuing one of the gladiators.
* ''Series/{{Rome}}''. When Titus Pullo is sentenced to death in the area by his [[HeterosexualLifePartners friend]] Lucius Vorenus, Pullo instead [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome goes on a rampage and kills several of the gladiators.]]
** [[BattleCry Thirteen!!!]]
* ''SpartacusBloodAndSand.'' [[CaptainObvious Duh.]]

[[AC:NewspaperComics]]
* ComicStrip/ModestyBlaise does it in the "Those About to Die..." arc, where an insane millionaire had kidnapped Modesty, Willie and other elite athletes and warriors and was forcing them to compete in a DeadlyGame.

[[AC:RealLife]]
* The Spartacus rebellion is the TropeMaker.
** And, amazingly for a modern reader, the only known example of a gladiator revolt that lasted longer than one day. That's right, folks: armed, desperate, relatively freely moving professional fighters did nothing worse than occasionally grumble over bad food.
*** And Spartacus celebrated several of his victories by holding gladiator games ... which makes him a very strange freedom fighter.
*** Its worth noting that while gladiators are taught how to fight, they are not taught how to be part of an army. Gladiator rebellions would look more like a rampaging horde then real rampaging hordes. Individually, they were likely very good fighters, but they only rarely knew how to set up a good formation or enforce discipline in the ranks, let alone apply tactics on the scale of a battle or even have an actual chain of command. 'Successful' gladiator rebellions were generally done with the intent of getting better conditions, and largely consisted of holding a rich man hostage until he agreed to grease the wheels to get them what they wanted.
**** Whether or not Spartacus could qualify as a freedom fighter is a matter of considerable debate among historians, given that his motivations are entirely unknown and we're left with nothing but the speculation of Roman historians who were projecting their own societal fears and cultural biases onto the rebellion, and modern historians trying to gleam intent from Spartacus' rather baffling troop movements(which aren't consistent between the various roman historians). While popular culture and folk lore remembers Spartacus as a freedom fighter, if one with a taste for PayEvilUntoEvil, there's as much or more evidence that he was simply trying to [[ScrewThisImOutOfHere get the hell out of Italy]], or worse, that he was simply a warlord who escaped slavery to RapePillageAndBurn. Whatever the case, considerable ValuesDissonance applies.

[[AC:TabletopGames]]
* Forms part of the history for the city of Cartago in the ''Lands of Mystery'' supplement for the ''[[{{Champions}} Justice, Inc.]]'' roleplaying game.
* The backstory of Angron, primarch of the World Eaters, in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''. He grew up in the gladiator arenas of a barbaric planet and eventually led his fellow slaves to escape to the mountains. When the Emperor arrived to give Angron command of his Space Marine legion, the primarch refused, choosing to die with his brothers-in-arms, who were facing annihilation at the hands of a massive coalition. The Emperor ignored this and teleported Angron away in time to watch his comrades get slaughtered, and though the primarch would agree to lead the World Eaters, [[HorusHeresy there were repercussions later]].
* The first module for ''DarkSun'' featured this. North of the Tablelands lie a string of cities made up of ex-slaves.

[[AC:VideoGames]]
* In ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresI'', there's a mission where you have to defend an italian region from Spartacus revolts. The Slave Army is on Post-Iron Age, while you're in Bronze Age.
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'' universe, Thrall, the warchief of the Horde was raised as a gladiator by humans. Also, after the king of Stormwind washed up on the shores of Durotar after escaping his imprisionement, some orcs found him and made him fight as a gladiator.
* Happens twice in ''BaldursGate 2''. The first time, you can help the gladiators. The second time, you're one of them.
* ''[[VideoGame/RatchetAndClank Ratchet:]] [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Gladiator]]'' - a Gladiator Revolt... '''[-[[RecycledInSpace IN SPACE!]]-]'''
* The ''Thera'' mod for ''[[VideoGame/MedievalIITotalWar Medieval II: Total War]]'' has this as part of the background for the [[TheHorde Uruk Dominion]]. The Uruks and other bestial creatures were used as gladiators and laborers for the [[AncientRome Romuli]] [[FantasyCounterpartCulture Empire]] until an Uruk named Slavos won his freedom in the gladiator pits. Then [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt the Great Torment]] hit the world, afflicting the planet with storms, frosts, and disease, and the Romuli Emperor sent the Legions to purge the city Slavos lived in as a plague was starting to spread. Slavos unified the gladiators and citizenry and destroyed the Legions, then contained the plague, and created a new nation.

[[AC:WesternAnimation]]
* ''JusticeLeague'''s "War World" put Superman on Mongul's titular War World. He rose to become champion, beat Mongul on interdimensional TV and overthrew his rule.
* An episode in ''SamuraiJack''.
* ''SpartakusAndTheSunBeneathTheSea''. Spartakus (as might be guessed from his name) is an ex-gladiator who escaped slavery following a revolt.

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