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Nightmare Fuel / Spartacus: Blood and Sand

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Being a show about a Gladiator Revolt in Ancient Rome, Spartacus: Blood and Sand is filled with grisly violence and gruesome deaths, most of which are depicted in graphic detail, along with plenty of other disturbing scenes. All spoilers are unmarked.

  • 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.
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  • When Naevia and Diona are presented to Cossutius, who says he wants to choose one of them to have sex with a gladiator so he can watch, they both initially look excited that one of them is finally going to lose their virginity. However, as Cossutius approaches them leeringly, they both seem to instinctively sense there’s something not right about this man and grab each other’s hands while he gropes them. Their suspicions are soon proved to be horribly accurate.
  • The nauseating scene where Diona is raped, combined with Tearjerker. Cossutius is an utterly vile man who delights in causing Diona pain and humiliation, and he can get away with all of it because he's a Roman elite and she's a slave. At one point, Diona cries out in pain and outside the room Lucretia looks concerned, but she ultimately does nothing to stop it because she needs favors for her husband. As if that weren't bad enough, Cossutius mentioned in the scene before that virgin slaves are rare in his household, insinuating that he regularly rapes his slaves.
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  • Melitta has a nightmare, which we don't initially realize is a dream, in which Oenamaus catches her and Gannicus having sex. He stabs Gannicus through the throat as he's on top of Melitta, spattering her with blood, then stands over her with the sword, looking utterly deranged. He snarls that she's a whore before attacking her as she screams and tries futilely to shield herself, and wakes terrified. This nightmare is triggered by Melitta being forced to sleep with Gannicus against her will and eventually enjoying it, which is in no way her fault. And part of her seems to genuinely believe her husband would really kill her and Gannicus if he ever found out.
  • In a series chocked with scenes of graphic violence, the deaths of Titus and Melitta by poison in Gods of the Arena stand out as some of the most horrific. Titus is left alone with Lucretia, who gives a chilling Motive Rant revealing she has been secretly poisoning him for years and explaining her plot to pin his murder on Tullius to further her husband's ambitions...all out of love. Titus desperately crawls across the ground after his killer, clawing at her dress as he chokes on his own blood and turns blue; this is inter-cut with close-ups of Melitta, who is fine one minute, then the next, she's spasming and coughing up torrents of blood as a horrified Gannicus futilely tries to save her. All of this is set against a backdrop of thunder and lightning that masks the screams, with a "Psycho" Strings soundtrack that sounds straight from a horror film. 
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  • Being sent to the mines is considered a Fate Worse than Death and we get to see exactly why in Vengeance; hundreds of slaves are packed down cramped, muddy and dimly-lit underground tunnels, forced to dig at the walls until they die, which usually happens in about three months if not less, and there is a general atmosphere of utter despair. There are only a few ways in and out of the mines, and the tunnels form a twisting labyrinth where it's easy to get lost even with a map. The rebels infiltrate the mines to find Naevia and only a small group of them make it out alive.
  • The gladiator's uprising in the finale of Blood and Sand. Even though it could be argued that many of the Roman elites deserved their fate for how they treat their slaves, it's still rather disturbing seeing the slaves storming through the villa, massacring absolutely everyone, even if they're defenseless. It's the culmination of years of being abused and forced to fight erupting into an extremely bloody rebellion. Special mention should go to Aurelia killing Numerius, who is only fifteen (though this makes him an adult by Roman standards, he's regarded as a child by most modern societies). Aurelia is helping guide Numerius to safety through the villa, when she remembers him talking with Illythia about her husband, Varro's death prior to the uprising. Aurelia asks Numerius if it's true he was the one who ordered Varro's death. Numerius, clueless that he's talking to Varro's widow, confirms it and dismisses him as "nothing", at which point Aurelia surreptitiously picks up a knife from the table behind her. She slowly approaches him with a dead look in her eyes, asking him if he knew that Varro would sing their son to sleep or kiss the tears from her cheek. As realization begins to dawn upon Numerius, Aurelia strokes his face and softly says that Varro was not a perfect man, "but he was mine." She then suddenly stabs Numerius, tackles him to the floor and stabs him over and over, repeatedly shrieking "HE WAS MINE!" until Spartacus finds her and pulls her away from the boy's corpse.
  • After trying to kill Spartacus, Segovax is crucified, which we see onscreen. Lucretia mentions that they also tortured him prior to this to find out why he tried to kill Spartacus, including castrating him...and we also gruesomely see that his genitals were indeed cut off and the wound's still bleeding. We don't see his death but he's not still strung up by the next episode, so it can be presumed he died offscreen. How long it took for him to die isn't mentioned.
  • In the final episode of the series, many captured rebels are crucified and displayed along the roadside beside each other as a warning. We see people nailed to crosses, dying slowly and painfully, as well as seeing or hearing people being crucified (we get to see Gannicus' crucifixion in graphic detail). For those who don't know, crucifixion is likely one of the most slow and agonizing ways to die, sometimes taking days. note  Even some Roman contemporaries, such as Cicero, condemned crucifixion as being overly barbaric. And this particular scene actually occurred in real life after the slave revolt was crushed.
  • The Pits (which truly are the pits). They're where underground, hardcore slave fights take place, where there's no honor and barely any rules. Considering how extreme arena fights are, this should give you an idea as to how bad the Pits are. All the fighters get randomized weapons by drawing tokens from a bag. If you're lucky, you'll get a rusty sword. If you're not so lucky, a knuckle-duster fitted with nails. If you're really unlucky, nothing at all. There's one pit fighter in particular who likes peeling his victims' faces off to keep as trophies...and we get to see him do this in excruciating detail. And then he wears them over his own face as masks. The Pits are also known to "change" people, turning them almost feral in some cases. Spartacus himself starts to go a bit crazy after spending days in the Pits, hallucinating his missing wife and randomly giggling to himself. It gets to the point that he'd rather strike a deal with Batiatus to die quickly than go on any longer.
  • The murder of Gaia, or at least the aftermath of it, as we don't actually see it onscreen. The last time the audience saw Gaia, she was very much alive and in her element, playfully attempting to seduce Tullius to help out Lucretia and Quintus. She and Tullius reminisce about their childhood together and how Tullius used to have a crush on her. Then Tullius states he'll sleep with her provided she passes on a message to Batiatus, at which point Gaia (and the audience) start to get an inkling that something's not right here. Later, Lucretia goes to find Gaia and becomes increasingly concerned when she doesn't answer her. Lucretia comes across Gaia's red wig lying on the floor, which only increases her apprehension, then finally enters her room. We're then confronted with the sight of Gaia's body lying in a pool of blood, with a huge hole smashed into her head. It's not surprising Lucretia starts screaming at the top of her lungs. The fact that Tullius was brazen enough to just leave Gaia's body in the house is chilling as well; he's so confident in the power and influence he has he doesn't even bother hiding the fact he murdered a Roman citizen at a party. He also thinks nothing of brutally killing his childhood crush purely to spite Quintus and Lucretia.
  • Although he fully deserves it, Tullius' death is not a quick or pleasant one. He's kidnapped and brought to the nearly-finished Capua arena, where Batiatus taunts him and suddenly shoves his father's ashes down his throat, accusing him of murdering Titus (Tullius is actually innocent of this particular crime, but Batiatus is way too far gone to care). Batiatus, Gannicus and Oenamaus proceed to repeatedly stab him, then brick him up while he's still alive into the wall beneath the arena.
  • What happened to Naevia after Lucretia finds out about her romance with Crixus, combined with Tearjerker. Lucretia beats the crap out of her and when Naevia stands up to her, she orders a slave to "bring [her] a knife" with a deranged smile. We don't see Naevia again for some time...until it's revealed that she wasn't killed; Lucretia 'just' hacked her hair off so violently she cut her and then has her banished. It's revealed in Vengeance that Naevia was sent to one dominus after another as a 'gift'. Naevia was raped multiple times (which we fortunately don't see) and then finally sent to the mines to die. All because she dared fall in love with a man Lucretia felt entitled to and chose to have sex with him rather than have someone choose for her. Naevia is never quite the same and it's not hard to see why after what she went through.
    • Naevia reveals in War of the Damned that one dominus she was sent to appeared to be a kindly Family Man, who fed, bathed and clothed her. Naevia was deeply touched by his kindness after being mistreated for so long, even thinking she must be dreaming. Later that night, the man revealed his true colors by bringing her to workshed, where he proceeded to not just rape her, but physically torture her with his tool kit out of pure sadism.
  • Iliythia's murder of Licinia is one of the most disturbing moments in Blood and Sand, particularly because of how quickly things escalate. Licinia and Lucretia have just caught Iliythia having sex with Spartacus by mistake, horrifying them both and prompting Spartacus to try and strangle her briefly before the guards drag him away. As Ilithyia sits there, shaken and humiliated, Licinia just will not stop laughing about Ilithyia cheating on her husband with his worst enemy. Ilithyia tells her repeatedly to stop laughing, but Licinia ignores her, her laughter growing distorted and echoing. Suddenly, Ilithyia screams at her stop, leaps up, grabs Licinia by the hair and slams her headfirst against a marble step. She then keeps smashing her head until Licinia's face is a bloody, broken mess. It's especially shocking for both the other characters and the audience, because up until this point Ilithyia had been a conniving and self-absorbed jerk, but had never done anything so brutal.
    • Ilithyia herself is actually deeply disturbed by what she did, unable to believe she was capable of this. She has a few flashbacks to the murder throughout the series and on one occasion she's standing where the murder happened, looks down and sees the floor covered with blood even though there's actually nothing there.


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