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Gannicus (Dustin Clare)

"There are many things given to us in this life for the wrong reasons. What we do with such blessings, that is the true test of a man."

Gannicus serves as champion in Batiatus' Ludus throughout the events of the prequel, Gods of the Arena, until his departure upon earning his freedom in the aftermath of the Games of the New Arena. He later returns in Vengeance initially as an acquaintance to the rebels, criticizing their cause against the Roman Republic, though he ironically becomes a rebel himself for the sake of his closest friend, Oenomaus.

  • The Ace: Gradually deconstructed into a Broken Ace in the prequel, though it starts getting reconstructed during the final season.
  • The Alcoholic: Rarely seen without wine. He states that he's lost his taste for it after falling in love with Sibyl.
  • Almighty Janitor: Inverted. Spartacus actually wants him to be an official Rebel Leader, but Gannicus insists on just being another sword. He finally complies in the finale.
  • Aloof Ally: At first, towards Spartacus and his rebels in Vengeance. Even in War of the Damned, he is fully fighting for them but does not embrace their cause. He finally does in the finale, where they fight to let the noncombatants escape.
  • Amazon Chaser: Towards Saxa, at least.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: So very much. He willingly gets into a fight with a rival House's champion blindfolded.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: Double Subverted.
  • Badass Cape: In War of the Damned.
  • Badass in Charge: Downplayed; he only agrees to become a general towards the end of the war.
  • Bash Brothers: With Oenomaus. Later on with Spartacus.
  • Battle Couple: With Saxa.
  • Betty and Veronica: Sibyl and Saxa respectively are this to him. He ends up with Sibyl.
    • A Gender Flip version in Gods of the Arena. He himself is the Veronica to Oenamaus' Betty for Melitta.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: Naevia and Diona were curious at the size of his cock in the prequel. Melitta implies Oenomaus' is bigger.
  • Blood Knight: Probably more than any other character, he enjoys a good fight. Made apparent by the enthusiastic grins he makes before battle.
  • Breakout Character: Arguably the most popular character in the series.
  • Break the Cutie: He starts out as a devil-may-care gladiator who loves the arena and enjoys all the perks of victory. The rest of Gods of the Arena sees all his joy destroyed, as he receives no credit or standing for seemingly impossible victories, is forced to withstand various humiliations just because he's the best, is used as a pawn in the brutal chess game between Batiatus and Tullius, and his relationship with his only true friends is poisoned. He eventually loses his faith in the house of Batiatus, noting that he no longer fights for it or considers it worth dying for. Even the finale, where he receives much-deserved freedom, leaves him adrift, with no idea where he should go or what he should do.
  • Bromantic Foil: To both Oenomaus and Spartacus.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Deconstructed in Gods of the Arena. His antics doesn't sit well with Titus despite his skills and adoration from both the crowd and his Dominus' heir. Reconstructed in the end of the prequel, however, when he ultimately brought the honor to their house. In War of the Damned, Spartacus tolerates his antics simply because of how charismatic and skillful he is.
  • The Bus Came Back: In Vengeance.
  • Can't Act Perverted Toward a Love Interest: Towards Sibyl, at least, actually telling her to stay away from him so she won't get hurt and believing she can do better. She's persistent and they eventually become an Official Couple, though he's noticeably a lot more gentle with her than he is with his usual lovers. Previously, he was also very respectful and more of a Dogged Nice Guy towards Melitta, the first woman he ever truly loved.
  • Cassandra Truth: He stated in Vengeance that Spartacus and his men were going in a Suicide Mission. Given the Foregone Conclusion of the series...
  • Cartwright Curse: First Melitta, then the Hooker with a Heart of Gold he is fond of. Then Saxa, though he himself dies not too long afterward. Averted, however, for Sibyl, who lives.
  • Chick Magnet: Has the highest number of lovers of any characters, and all of them seem to have fallen head over heels for him.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: He declines the option of sleeping with Sibyl, because she is very young and was clearly frightened. When they finally do have sex, it's only after she initiates it.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Well, prequel if you want to be exact. But he's the Supporting Protagonist of Gods of the Arena, and aside from the fighting style, he could not be more different from Spartacus.
  • Crazy Awesome: In-Universe. In Auctus' words " Only Mad Gannicus could win contest fucking blindfolded!"
  • Crazy Enough to Work: His usual plans.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Crucifixion, resulting in a Crucified Hero Shot.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: The events of Gods of the Arena, though especially Melitta's death, are this for him.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Does this quite a lot.
    Gannicus: We are slaves, the burden of choice and conscience equally removed. We are truly free when we fight, or when we fuck, which I shall leave to do presently.
  • Defiant to the End: He dies giving out one last, triumphant Battle Cry.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Melitta, Oenomaus, and Saxa all died in his arms.
  • Doomed by Canon: The historical Gannicus will be the third of Spartacus' generals to fall. Again, the series keeps to canon.
  • Dual Wielding: His style of fighting, which he uses more than any other gladiator.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Especially Varus.
  • The First Cut Is the Deepest: After Melitta dies horribly, he mostly indulges in emotionally shallow hook-ups and friends with benefits-type relationships. He doesn't truly settle down with another woman until he meets Sibyl in the final season.
  • Glory Days: Openly expresses that he missed fighting in the arena. His Dying Dream is that he's in an arena where people are chanting his name.
  • Die Laughing: As he's dying, he imagines seeing Oenomaus and crowds of the arena cheering for him. He grins and lets out a final roar.
  • The Hedonist: Of the Chivalrous Pervert variety, but besides fighting, he lives for women and wine. He gives this up after falling for Sibyl in War of the Damned.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Oenamaus (initially), stating he loves him like a brother.
  • Historical Domain Character: Gannicus was one of the real generals of the Third Servile War.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die:
    • He is haunted by inadvertently causing the death of Melitta, the only woman he ever truly loved.
    • In Vengeance, it's the death of a Hooker with a Heart of Gold he had grown fond of that drives him to side with Spartacus. He had tried to convince her to leave with him, while she had spoke too loudly about joining Spartacus' rebellion, and ended up crucified by Glaber's men.
  • Indy Ploy: Is particularly fond of this, most noticeably in episode six War of the Damned.
    Gannicus: I will cause distraction and gain needed time.
    Spartacus: By what means?
    Gannicus: I have no fucking idea.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Particularly in Vengeance, where he is far more cynical and world-weary, but still well-intentioned.
  • Killed Off for Real: He ends up being crucified by Crassus' men in the finale, as in real life
  • Knight in Sour Armor: During Vengeance.
  • Lady Killer In Love: With Melitta and Sibyl.
  • The Lancer: Shares this role with Crixus and Agron in War of the Damned. He is the Foil and Moveset Clone type
  • Le Parkour: One of his signature moves is to run up a wall and leap off in order to attack his opponent from above or get behind them.
  • Lightning Bruiser: With more emphasis on the "lightning" part, though he was surprisingly strong, able to cave the Egyptian's skull in one blow and lift Roman soldiers with ease.
  • Living Legend: Considered one of, if not the greatest gladiators to have ever crossed swords. Even his Arch-Enemy Caesar refers to him as a legend.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: He has the longest hair out of all the male leads and unlike the others, he never cuts it, instead wearing it in braids. He's also considered very attractive by both women and men.
  • Looks Like Jesus: Particularly in Vengeance. He even died similar to him.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Besides drinking and fighting, he lives for sex, but is a well-liked Chivalrous Pervert and joins the slave rebellion.
  • Love Redeems: After getting with Sibyl, he tones down his hedonistic tendencies and seems a lot more at peace with himself. He even explicitly tells Sibyl that she "saved" him.
  • Magnetic Hero: He is friends with almost all the gladiators in the ludus, adored by the public and eventually wins over most of the rebels too.
  • Older and Wiser: In Vengeance.
  • One-Man Army: Played with in the finale. It literally takes an army to bring him down. Yet down he goes.
    • Played completely straight in any other fight he takes place in, such as taking down the pirates or Ilithya's guards on his own.
  • Only Sane Man: Is quickly developing into this for the rebels as of War of the Damned.
  • The Perils of Being the Best: In Gods of the Arena, his status as champion results in the local lanistas practically waging war with each other to obtain him. Gannicus himself gets forced into some humiliating and unpleasant situations as a result of this, including being forced to sleep with his best friend's wife and letting Tullius kick his ass because he can't fight back properly.
  • Perma-Stubble: Often sports this, except in Gods of the Arena, where he's clean-shaven.
  • Really Gets Around: Brothels to be exact.
  • Rebel Leader: Zig-Zagged. He refused Spartacus' initial offer to become one of his generals, but is still regarded as one of the rebel's best fighters, thus giving him some authority. Finally played straight in the Grand Finale.
  • Red Baron: The God of the Arena.
  • Red Oni: To Oenomaus Blue in Gods of the Arena.
  • Rescue Romance: He and Sibyl eventually fall in love after he saves her from her abusive dominus (and rescues her several more times afterwards), although he initially held her at arm's length.
  • Retired Badass: In Vengeance, he's been out of the game for five years, and is just as tough as he was in Gods of the Arena.
  • Scarf Of Ass Kicking: Wears one in Vengeance.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Zig-Zagged in Vengeance. He kidnapped Ilithyia and delivered her to Spartacus so he can kill the wife of his Arch-Enemy, just like he did to his, for the sake of "stopping Spartacus' madness". Spartacus refused for the exact same reason, much to Gannicus' dismay. However, Gannicus joined the rebellion nonetheless, mainly due to what the Romans did to the slaves in Capua and to mend his friendship with Oenomaus.
  • Screw Your Ultimatum!: Overlaps with the above. Glaber tried persuading him to join his men and ordered Ashur to make sure he (Gannicus) will. He responded by kidnapping Ilithyia and stabbing one of Ashur's men with his Rudus.
  • Secondary Character Title: Played with in the prequel. Gods of the Arena is a Justified Title referring to his Red Baron and the people behind the Gladiator Games.
  • Secret Relationship: Had a budding one with Melitta.
  • Sex Equals Love: With Melitta. Before they were forced to have sex, he regarded her as a close friend, but subsequently finds himself developing romantic feelings for her.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: With Sibyl in episode 6 of War of the Damned.
  • Sixth Ranger: In Vengeance. He gets promoted to one of Spartacus' (three) Lancers in War of the Damned.
  • Supporting Protagonist: In Gods of the Arena.
  • Tempting Fate: He just loves to do this.
    • From Gods of the Arena episode 2:
    Melitta: "And what happens, brave Gannicus, when presented with circumstance you cannot laugh or fight your way clear of?"
    Gannicus: "Well I may have to fuck my way clear of it!"
    Gannicus: " I'm no martyr upon cross."
  • True Companions: He, Oenomaus and Melitta are all very close friends, often sharing drinks and banter together, although his feelings for the latter are strictly platonic. At first. The show's final credits really emphasise this, depicting the three of them standing together reunited in death. Also, eventually with Spartacus and his generals (though not so much Crixus in the final season).
  • Unstoppable Rage: He often goes in a berserker-like rage, which makes him virtually invincible.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Gannicus claims that he would also have [[partaken in massacre led by Crixus of the Roman families if Spartacus hadn't stopped him. Spartacus tells him he wouldn't have done it either way.]]
  • Wrestler in All of Us: He is extremely competent in unarmed combat, often making use of choke and submission techniques. Exemplified in his fight against Crixus, which he dominated (despite the latter's superior strength), making use of techniques such as foot choke and a Kimura.


Melitta Marisa Ramirez)

"Some acts cannot be avoided when stripped of choice or clothes."

Melitta is the wife of Oenomaus and servant in Batiatus' Ludus, serving as Lucretia's body slave.

  • Accidental Murder: Poor Melitta. She's accidentally poisoned by Lucretia, after stealing and drinking from an amphora of wine Lucretia had slipped poison into without her knowledge.
  • All-Loving Heroine: She is compassionate and helpful towards everyone, in particular being very warm and supportive towards her husband and Gannicus, acting as a mother figure to the younger slaves and even showing kindness and sympathy towards Lucretia.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: She is the most mature and levelheaded of the house slaves, who look up to her.
  • Ambiguously Brown: She's Hispanic.
  • Beautiful Slave Girl: She's a very beautiful slave who has been serving the House of Batiatus all her life. She avoids some of the dangers associated with this trope, as Lucretia preserved her virginity to make her more valuable and then gave her as a wife to Oenomaus, who she is Happily Married to. Then Varus, Gaia and Batiatus request that Gannicus and Melitta 'put on a show' for them. Lucretia, however, attempted to object to this and was visibly disgusted once outvoted by the majority, later promising Melitta that she will never allow such a thing to happen again.
  • Betty and Veronica: Oenomaus (Betty) and Gannicus (Veronica) are a Gender Flip of this trope for her.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Due to unknowingly drinking poison, she coughs up copious amounts of blood before dying horribly.
  • Canon Foreigner: It's unknown if the historical Oenomaus had a wife.
  • Character Death: She has been deceased for several years during the events of Blood and Sand. How she died is explored in the prequel and comes back to haunt Oenomaus and Gannicus in Vengeance.
  • Death by Sex: Sort of. She steals poisoned wine to bring it to her hook up with Gannicus and then starts coughing up blood as they're getting down to it.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: She dies in Gannicus's arms.
  • Dies Wide Open: Though they were closed when Gannicus revealed her dead body.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Like most of the house slaves, she's usually barefoot.
  • Doomed by Canon/Posthumous Character: Oenomaus is a widower in Blood and Sand, so her survival prospects in the prequel weren't promising from the start. She dies from poison in the penultimate episode.
  • Due to the Dead: Oenomaus has her body cremated and intends to bury her ashes beneath the ground, as is traditional for her native people.
  • First Love: She is the first woman that Gannicus ever genuinely loved.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Downplayed. She's one of the few fallen characters who wasn't honored in "The Dead and the Dying". Although, in an extended scene in "Victory", Gannicus does mention her, telling Sibyl that should he fall in battle, he'll wait for her in the afterlife with Melitta to keep him company. She's also mentioned by either Gannicus and Oenomaus in Blood and Sand and Vengeance; she in fact is a key aspect to Gannicus and Oenomaus' story arcs in the second season.
  • Good Bad Girl: Downplayed. She initially exclusively has sex with her husband, Oenomaus and she only sleeps with Gannicus after being ordered to, but then develops feelings for him. It's clear that she feels guilty and conflicted about this and it's still difficult to say she's a genuinely bad person because of it.
  • Happily Married: To Oenomaus until the "Gannicus incident".
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: With Oenomaus. And Gannicus.
  • Latin Lover: She is Hispanic and found quite attractive by a few men.
  • The Lost Lenore: To Oenomaus and Gannicus. Oenomaus still mourns her years later and never has another love interest. Gannicus is particularly haunted and angst-ridden over her death, partly because he thinks it's his fault and partly because he can't even openly acknowledge how he really felt about her out of respect for Oenamaus.
  • Madonna–Whore Complex: She feels extremely conflicted about eventually enjoying having sex with Gannicus after being ordered to and about the feelings she subsequently develops for him.
  • Morality Pet: To Lucretia (at first). Lucretia seems to hold respect and genuine affection for her, is disgusted when Melitta is forced to have sex with Gannicus and later makes an effort to ensure it doesn't happen again. However, she has no problem threatening to tell Oenomaus what happened between her and Gannicus if she doesn't keep quiet about the more unsavoury activities in the ludus.
  • Neutral Female: Justified, in that she is not a fighter but a servant.
  • Parental Substitute: Though she's a Team Mom to all the slaves, Naevia and Diona in particular see her as a mother figure and she does what she can to protect them from harm.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Has one with Oenomaus (initially).
  • Secret Relationship: She was in the beginnings of one with Gannicus, on account of the fact she's already married to Gannicus' best friend. It ends in her death.
  • Sex Equals Love: With Gannicus. It's a particularly disturbing example given that the sex between them wasn't consensual and Melitta is filled with shame and self-loathing over it.
  • Shower of Angst: Not quite a shower, but after being forced to sleep with Gannicus and eventually enjoying it, she's seen kneeling before a basin of water, scrubbing herself and weeping.
  • Sleeps in the Nude: She sleeps in the nude covered with a Modesty Bedsheet.
  • Team Mom: She acts as a role model and support person to the other slave girls.
  • Together in Death: When Oenomaus is killed in the Vengeance finale, he tells Gannicus that he will go to Melitta. In an extended scene in War of the Damned Gannicus tells Sibyl that if he dies, he'll wait for Sibyl in the afterlife with Melitta and Oenomaus, although at this point Sibyl is his Love Interest, making it more downplayed.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: After her tragic death, Gannicus remarks to Oenomaus that she was "The rarest of women. A flower of beauty and compassion in a world full of shit".
  • True Blue Femininity: Almost always wears blue dresses. Apparently, this is a requirement if you're Lucretia's body slave.
  • True Companions: She, Oenomaus and Gannicus are all very close friends, often sharing drinks and banter together, although her feelings for the latter are strictly platonic. At first. The show's final credits really emphasise this, depicting the three of them standing together reunited in death.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Lucretia and by extension the rest of the House of Batiatus. Even if Lucretia does things she doesn't approve of, she remains steadfastly loyal to her out of duty and keeps her secrets. After Gaia's death, she even goes out of her way to comfort her and says they'll lie to Titus about performing a cleansing ritual so that some part of Gaia will remain.


Diona (Jessica Grace Smith)

"I pray that the next man I am forced to lie with will take my life."

Diona is one of many slaves who serves Batiatus and Lucretia. She is a close friend of Naevia.

  • All Women Are Lustful: Cruelly subverted. She giggles and gossips about sex and men with her friends, and seems excited at the prospect of losing her virginity. Then she is raped by Cossutius and becomes utterly horrified by the whole prospect, even stating she hopes that the next man who rapes her "takes her life as well".
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: She starts out as sweet and innocent, but after she is raped she becomes colder and more withdrawn, especially towards Naevia.
  • Beautiful Slave Girl: She's an attractive girl who has served the House of Batiatus since childhood. Lucretia initially preserves her virginity so she'll be worth more, but then reluctantly allows her to be raped by Cossutius to secure favours for her husband. It all goes downhill for Diona from there.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. After being recaptured following a failed escape attempt, she looks terrible - sickly pale with messy hair and chapped lips, and covered in cuts and bruises (apparently from being beaten when she was captured).
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: A very dark and tragic example. Diona is smitten with the gladiators, particularly Gannicus and Crixus, and desires to lose her virginity to one of them. In the third episode, she gets her wish, but not at all in the way she wanted - Cossutius has her brutalised by a dirty, sweaty gladiator and rapes her himself, traumatising her. It doesn't get better for her.
  • Blood from the Mouth: After being stabbed in the throat.
  • Born into Slavery: Presumably, given she and Naevia grew up together and Naevia stated she was born in the ludus.
  • Break the Cutie: She's a friendly and happy young woman in spite of being a slave, who is horribly emotionally broken over the course of the prequel. She ends up as a case of Kill the Cutie eventually.
  • Broken Bird: After being repeatedly raped she becomes a lot more morose and withdrawn. She tries to maintain an aloof demeanour, but eventually breaks down in tears and confesses how awful and hopeless she feels to Naevia.
  • Butt-Monkey: From episode three onwards, nothing goes right for her.

     Doctore Ulpius 

Doctore Ulpius (Temuera Morrison)

"Hubris: a fine quality, often possessed by cunts who perish from it."

Ulpius was the Doctore of Batiatus' ludus before the title was passed on to Oenomaus. He is said to have held the position even during the time of Titus Batiatus.

  • Badass Baritone: Has this voice.
  • Badass in Charge: Of the gladiators in the prequel.
  • Badass Teacher: Given he's teaching gladiators, this is pretty much required, and he proves it in the second episode.
  • Bald of Awesome: He's bald and badass.
  • Brutal Honesty: Often does this, though it gets him into trouble with Quintus, who doesn't appreciate him calling him out.
  • Covered with Scars: On his face, at least.
  • Cool Old Guy: He served under Titus (Batiatus' elderly father, is easily one of the oldest gladiators in the ludus and can still kick serious ass.
  • Killed Off for Real: It was a Foregone Conclusion, but in the second episode, he is told that Oenomaus is to replace him as doctore and snaps, forcing him to fight him to the death to prove himself worthy. Oenamaus proceeds to do just that, though he was utterly confused and horrified by the situation.
  • So Proud of You: His " I have taught you well!" speech to Oenomaus is a very dark take of this trope.
  • Stern Teacher: Even more so than Oenomaus.
  • Undying Loyalty: To the elder Batiatus...which doesn't exactly endear him to his boss' son.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Dies quite early on in Gods of the Arena.
  • Whip It Good: As doctore, he frequently uses a whip to keep the gladiators in line.


Dagan (Shane Rangi)

"Soon you join, cunt!"

Dagan is a Syrian slave and gladiator in the House of Batiatus.

  • Defiant to the End: After Ashur stabs him, he gave him a headbutt before succumbing to his wounds.
  • Eye Scream: He loses his right eye to Ashur in a duel the moment his guard down
  • Handicapped Badass: After losing his eye, he can still put up a decent fight against Ashur.
  • Rape as Drama: Ashur lets him be sodomized by a Roman elite out of jealousy over his rising success and acceptance in the ludus. Dagan doesn't take it well.
  • Satellite Character: Not helped by his limited vocabulary, his character revolves around his animosity with Ashur.
  • Those Two Guys: With Ashur, at first.
  • The Unintelligible: He on speaks Aramaic. He later learned to speak common tongue.
  • We Used to Be Friends: With Ashur by the end of the season.


Auctus (Josef Brown)

Auctus is a gladiator in Batiatus' Ludus and former lover of Barca.

  • Jerk Jock: He eggs on Barca or outright joins in with his bullying routine towards the rookie gladiators.
  • Killed Off for Real: He's killed by Crixus in the third episode.
  • Pet the Dog: He's very loving towards Barca and also has a soft spot for his pet pigeons. He's also quite kind to Crixus when he mortally wounds him, remarking that Barca "taught [him] well".


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