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Series / Hispania

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"I swear to you that, each night, there will be one less Roman in Hispania!"
Viriato in the first episode

Hispania tells the story of Viriato, a Lusitanian man who, when The Roman Republic invaded Hispania, went into the mountains and started a guerrilla war against the Romans in an effort to expel them from his beloved Hispania. Thus, it adapts (very loosely) the last act of the Lusitanian Wars.

The series proper starts with the attack to one town where the people are celebrating the wedding between Paulo and Nerea. The Romans kill several people and imprison many more to sell them as slaves, amongst them Nerea, who is taken away while Paulo can't do anything but watch as the Romans do so.

This action sparks fear in many of the nearby towns, one of them being Caura. Viriato, a widower, lives there with his daughter Altea, and works as a goat-herder for one of the richest men in the town, Teodoro. Helena - Teodoro's daughter - and Viriato love each other, but Teodoro doesn't want him to come near his daughter, as he is planning to marry her to someone else of their social level. Without anyone knowing it, Teodoro is also a mole for the Romans, led by praetor Servio Sulpicio Galba and his general, Marco. The Roman camp also hosts Claudia, Galba's wife, who hates him for bringing her to Hispania and because he sleeps around with her slave Sabina.


When Teodoro goes to tell Galba that the Hispanian people are willing to make a deal with him, Galba says that if the men of Hispania go to a certain plain and give out all of their weapons, he will stop making war with them. Viriato, and many others with him - his brother-in-law Sandro one of them - go to the designated place, because they don't want war. Altea comes with her father, and he relents. However, everything is a trap: when the Hispanians give their weapons, Roman troops surround them and start a massacre. Few people survive: Viriato fell to the ground, injured, and the last thing he saw was her daughter being corralled by the Romans. Believing her to be dead, Viriato swears a Blood Oath to fight the Romans as revenge for what they have done to his people and, especially, his daughter.


This series provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Nerea is one starting from season 2.
  • Adaptational Nationality: Darío, Sandro and Paulo, fictitious counterparts to Audax, Minurus and Ditalcus. In the series, they are countrymen and direct neighbors to Viriato, while in real life, they were Turdetanians from the southern Hispania who allied with Viriathus at some point.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: Assuming the series's Césaro is meant to be the historical chieftain Caesarus, it is likely a case of this trope. While Caesarus might have been still alive at Viriathus's time, no source says they lived in the same village at the same time.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: in the second-to-last episode, the rebels' refuge is found by the Romans.
  • Aluminium Christmas Trees: Yep, women really fought along with the men in ancient Hispania. The series generally butchers history left and right, but Nerea grabbing a sword and kicking ass is not merely Rule of Cool.
  • Annoying Arrows: Paulo manages to survive an arrow that goes through him but becomes stuck, and decides to break off the shaft twice. This becomes quite painful for him.
  • Artistic License – History: So much that it needs its own article.
  • Battle Couple: Paulo and Nerea.
  • Beautiful Slave Girl: Nerea, courtesy of being played by Ana de Armas.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Twice in the same scene: first, Viriato comes to the rescue of Helena when she is waiting for him and some Roman soldiers are about to rape her, then Viriato's fellow rebels come to save him from being killed by Marco.
  • Blood Oath: Viriato swears that, every night, there will be one less Roman in Hispania. Doubles as Badass Boast.
  • Cain and Abel:
    • Sandro hates his brother Héctor for something that is not revealed in the series, but that Héctor doesn't want Viriato to know.
    • Marco's brother, a quaestor, asks him to help with proving to the Senate that Galba has not obeyed orders. Marco, who loves his brother but hates the fact that he seems to be a bit patronizing - he had offered him a position somewhere, because he would be kicked out of the army after Galba was judged - kills him so that he doesn't lose the only thing he has, his position as a general.
  • Cliffhanger: the first season concluded with:
    • Viriato and Paulo going to Rome in order to rescue Altea and Nerea. They manage to find Nerea and bring her back, but Altea has been Brainwashed and not only believes in Happiness in Slavery, but thinks that one of Galba's slaves is her mother.
    • Darío being crowned as the leader of the Council of Caura after the death of his father. This bites him off when he is forced to leave the woman he loves and marry someone else.
    • A pregnant Helena being kidnapped by Alejo. She gets married to him and gives birth to Viriato's son, but when Alejo tells her that either she stays with him or she will never be with her son, she chooses staying with Alejo.
  • Dead Person Conversation: after Nerea dies in the arms of Paulo, her ghost guides him out of the Roman camp.
  • Double Agent: Héctor's lies and deals with other people backfire in several ways, and he ends up having to join the Roman army as a mercenary, which later Viriato thinks it'll be useful to get information from the Roman camp.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Viriato, Paulo, Sandro and Darío pull this in order to free the Hispanian prisoners in the Roman fort. The only reason they weren't able to bring Nerea with them was because they were caught in the act.
  • Expy: Sandro might remind many people of Bud Spencer, but he is more likely based in the character Taurus from Spanish comic book series El Jabato, another medium featuring ancient Iberians.
  • False Flag Operation: one of the ideas Galba has to stop support to the rebels is to disguise some Romans as Hispanians and have them assault traders, so that normal people stopped supporting them and joined Rome's side. It fails, because Viriato happened to be near the first attack when it happened, and was able to save his friend Darío by bringing the Roman soldier who had led the attacks.
  • Five-Man Band: the initial group of rebels that Viriato manages to make in the first episodes.
  • Foregone Conclusion: in Real Life, Viriato was killed by three traitors that had been sent as ambassadors from the Hispanic rebels. This was three years after the rebellion started. Do your math.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Gaia, Fabio's (Galba's son) personal slave, is in love with him, and doesn't take it well when Fabio decides to have sex with Sabina over her. When she hears Altea is going to be killed, Gaia decides to get Altea back to her father and frame Sabina. Which backfires when a chain of events gets Fabio in trouble.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Averted with Nerea, who after being marked as Claudia's slave thinks of nothing but getting free. Played straight with Sabina, who regards Claudia quite well and has completely forgotten her past as a Hispanian; and with Gaia, who is in love with Galba's son, Fabio. Also with Altea, who has completely forgotten that Viriato is her father and thinks Gaia is her mother.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Viriato suffers this when his sister Bárbara commits suicide. It takes a dream with his first wife, his sister and his daughter to go back.
    • Paulo suffers one when Nerea dies.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: when the rebels sneak into the camp disguised as Roman soldiers and manage to free the prisoners, one of them makes the most of the fact that they have been untied to do a runner. Sandro has to kill him with a lance so that their cover isn't blown.
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You: Claudia seems to be attracted to Viriato because he's someone she can't have just have on a whim.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • in the first episode of the first season, the Romans deceive the Hispanians (through Teodoro) into believing there will be peace if they give up their weapons. Instead, the Roman soldiers surround the unarmed Hispanians and kill them. In the last episode of the first season, the Hispanians manage to gather a great army to face the Romans in the same place the betrayal took place, and use Teodoro to make them believe that it is only a 2,000 men army, but instead they had many more soldiers, and they manage to attack the Romans on the back in a scene reminiscent of the one above.
    • When Teodoro and Alejo are expelled from Caura for collaborating with the Romans, they take refuge in the same cave where Viriato and the rebels were hiding before being caught.
  • It's All About Me: when Galba's plans fail, he tends to pin the guilt on Marco or the soldiers.
  • Killed Off for Real: Nerea dies on Paulo's arms, after being stabbed by Marco. Much like her character in another series.
  • La Résistance: the whole plot is built around the resistance group Viriato forms and the attempts by the Romans to kill him.
  • The Mole: Teodoro and Alejo. Alejo does it gladly, because he believes the Romans will pay him handsomely.
    • Héctor. A couple of times, he goes to the Romans, because he believes that they are going to win and would like to save his skin. Doesn't work when he gets crucified. During the second season, he becomes a mole for the Hispanians when he enrols as a mercenary in the Roman army.
  • Mooks: the Roman soldiers.
  • Mr. Fanservice: pretty much all the boys, those short tunics don't leave much to the imagination.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: when Nerea dies, Paulo holds her as she dies.
  • Politically Correct History: The show tries its hardest to make the viewer root solely for the Spaniards, and this includes portraying them as a perfectly pacifist, tranquil society with only a couple feudal troubles in contrast to the militaristic, imperialistic, proslavery Romans - a bout of Black-and-White Morality that is completely unfaithful to real history. Case in point, the Spaniards from the series don't seem to keep any form of slavery themselves, even although basically all cultures in the world at the time did and Hispania wasn't the exception.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: when Héctor decides to tell the Romans some things about the Hispanians, he gets "rewarded" with the cross.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Sandro is prone to have this. The biggest one: when he learns that Teodoro told the Romans about Barbara (his wife and Viriato's sister).
  • Rule of Cool: the writers have acknowledged that the Roman uniform wasn't standard, because the soldiers had to pay for their uniforms, but they have all Romans wear the same armour for this reason.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: somewhat averted with a shot where Viriato and Helena are having sex.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Paulo and Nerea are this for each other. This is natural, as they were about to be married before she was captured by the Romans. She somehow manages to keep her virginity despite Galba's attempts to rape her. As of the end of season 2, Galba has raped Nerea.
    • Viriato and Helena. The only reason she was about to marry Alejo was because her father was ruined.
    • Averted with Galba and Claudia. Galba sleeps whenever he wants with Sabina and is attempting to have sex with Nerea, while Claudia seems interested in Viriato and, in the middle of the series, manages to seduce Marco.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: This is how Galba feels sometimes when things don't work as he wants. Even though sometimes the guilt lies on him and his failure at planning.
  • Tonight, Someone Dies: The second season's last episode announced that a character would die. Nerea is killed by Marco.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: When the rebels manage to steal several sacks of wheat, Viriato asks them how they got them. The circumstances (the Romans were going away from the camp, there were very few soldiers) makes him realise that the wheat is poisoned. It comes too late for a family they had given some of the wheat to, though.


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