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Tear Jerker / Spartacus: Blood and Sand

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  • Naevia helplessly watching Dionna's execution.
  • Evil they may be, but you can't help but feel bad for Lucretia and Batiatus' attempts to have children.
  • Varro's death. What really sells it is Spartacus' reaction. After killing his best friend, he's back in his quarters. He's clearly struggling to hold in his feelings. Finally, he snaps and smashes every breakable object in his room until he's left pounding the wall until his hands are bloody. When Mira finds him, he's weeping like a child, and the episode ends as he cries on her shoulder.
    • And then Aurelia's reaction to the loss of her husband.
    Spartacus: "Varro asked that I see you taken care of."
    Aurelia: "Then return him to me."
    • Aurelia said this after selling herself to work for Batiatus. She gave her son to her brother to free him from debt. When Spartacus points out that he could give the money earned from his victories to her, she adamantly refuses any of his help. At this point, she admits to not caring whether she lives or die.
  • While deserved, Batiatus's death is heartbreaking. The opening of Gods of the Arena twists the knife further, with his dreams of glory used as an Ironic Echo.
    • Especially his horror at seeing Lucretia stabbed and collapsing, and the way she reaches for her dead husband. They're both assholes, but you can tell they truly love each other.
  • When Oenamaus is about to die in the pits, he hallucinates his younger self and Titus looking at him sadly. Fridge Horror occurs when you consider that Titus is the first person to ever believe in Oenamaus, his only parental figure, and probably the only person Oenamaus still believes in— and he's still just a guy who bought Oenamaus to bring glory to his house in a blood sport.
  • Lucretia has finally lost everything at the end of Season 2. Her husband is dead, her unborn baby is dead, her home is not her's anymore and she's had Ilythia try and kill her. She gives a rather dangerous C-Section to Ilythia and then throws herself off a cliff, having legitimately gone entirely round the bend...
    • Illythia has to watch Lucretia carry her newborn baby away from her and jump off a cliff with it. And that's seconds before she dies.
  • When Caesar and Kore reveal how much of a monster Crassus's recently killed son Tiberius was, Crassus goes from pained but vengeful to utterly broken.
  • When Crixus and Naevia are parted in Blood and Sand. Special mention to Crixus weeping in despair that he has ruined them, and the parting shot of Naevia’s hand leaving his face as he silently cries in anguish.
    • Naevia's Traumatic Haircut (although we only see the aftermath). We spend half the episode thinking Lucretia's "bring me a knife" order means that she's been killed. Instead Lucretia just tortured her in a vindictive Slut-Shaming way. And there's no doubt she wanted Crixus to see what she had done right before Naevia was sent away forever.
  • Spartacus being delivered Sura’s body was particularly brutal, with him weeping over her as she die in his arms.
    • Especially as it was just when he thought he was going to be reunited with her, and seeing Sura's happiness in being able to see her husband again before she dies. Everyone else in the ludus, even the people who hate Spartacus, seem heartbroken too at the sight.
  • Kore's death. Whilst one understands Crassus's reasons for having her crucified, it's heartbreaking seeing her nailed to the cross, watching Crassus with tears streaming down her face, looking so utterly broken. Crassus himself seems to be hiding behind a stony mask at the sight of his dying lover and it really brings home the realisation that, whilst he may have defeated Spartacus, he's lost everything he truly loves in the process.
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  • Everything that happens to Pietros after Barca's death. Made even worse by the fact that he dies believing his lover abandoned him to be raped and abused whilst he got to be free, when the viewers know that he was actually murdered by Batiatus.
  • Watching Agron get crucified is pretty heartwrenching, especially as its not made clear initially if he survives it or not. Dan really knows how to sell that screaming pain.
    • His's distraught reaction when he tries and fails to grip a sword afterwards. He always prided himself on his fighting skills and outright tells Nasir he believes that fighting is all he's good at, and now that too has been taken from him.
  • Crixus' death is possibly one of the most heart-wrenching in the entire series. Not only is it awful seeing 'the Undefeated Gaul' brought to his knees and humiliated - by being stabbed in the back by Tiberius of all people - what truly sells it is the interactions between he and Naevia. She tries desperately to defend him, only to be subdued, and sobs helplessly, whilst Crixus spends his final moments gazing upon the woman he loves, silently trying to give her some support. It certainly helps that Naevia's grief in the scene is actually real; Cynthia Addai-Robinson was reportedly channeling her own grief over the recent passing of her father. The fact that Naevia is only allowed to live so she can be sent back to the rebels with Crixus' decapitated head just adds salt to the wound, too.
    • Nasir learning that Agron is probably dead is awful.
      • On a happier note, their reunion scene can cause tears of joy.
    • Saddened by the fact that Naevia, who had also just lost her lover Crixus and had been grieving with Nasir, is starkly reminded that Crixus is truly dead.
    • On that last note, Naevia later watching a woman tending to her newborn - she's clearly thinking of how she and Crixus had talked of starting a family when the war is over, and now those dreams are shattered forever.
  • Gannicus, crucified, hallucinates that he is being applauded by a thronging Colosseum audience. For all their hatred of their enslavement, the gladiators cannot help but long for the glory of the arena and the adulation of the crowd.
  • The end of "Victory." The kill 'em (almost) all ending was expected. The credits montage of all the dead of the entire series, ending in Andy Whitfield's triumphant shout of "I am Spartacus!", was not.
  • As Spartacus lies dying, Laeta tries to rouse him, saying 'Spartacus' once, twice, a third time. Then we are reminded of a simple thing, lost beneath the legend that has been built up around that word:
    Spartacus: *weakly* Spartacus...That is not my name...
  • Sure, Tiberius isn't entirely sympathetic over the course of War of the Damned, spiraling down and across the Moral Event Horizon, but between being born and raised as an upper class Roman, desperately trying (and failing) to get his father's love and respect, and then having to personally kill Sabinus, his combination Morality Pet and best friend (with a dash of Ho Yay) during the Decimation... Ultimately, he's as much a creation of Rome's making as the rebellion itself.
    • To build on the element of Ho Yay, because there's a tearjerking element to it, it's also a part of the culture of the time - Even if Tiberius and Sabinus were attracted to each other, due to their social standing, they couldn't actually express it - Roman citizens were not supposed to have sexual relations with one another or they'd lose their status (as elaborated on the YMMV page). Ironically, while this could just be Alternate Character Interpretation, it shows the way that Rome has made slaves of its citizens, even as they fight a war against Spartacus's slave rebellion.
  • Meta: Andy Whitfield's early death. After only one season of what should have been his Star-Making Role, he was diagnosed with cancer. Gods of the Arena was created since production for Season 2 had already started, but rather than recast the role the showrunners made a prequel season to let Whitfield seek treatment. It seemed all was well and he would return. . . but the treatment was unsuccessful, and Andy Whitfield would pass before Vengeance aired. He did give his blessing to Liam MacIntyre, who would succeed him in the role of Spartacus, and while MacIntyre is a pitch-perfect replacement, every time you see him you can't help but be reminded why you're not seeing Andy Whitfield.


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