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Batiatus: What would you do to hold your wife again? To feel the warmth of her skin, to taste her lips? Would you kill?
A very bloody, very violent, very sweary, very sex-filled Starz television series produced by Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Steven DeKnight. It was initially picked up for 13 episodes and then got a second pick-up before a single episode aired.
The show's graphic-novel look is reminiscent of 300. Each episode has slow-motion fight scenes, in-your-face blood spatters and explicit sex. The production possibly owed its greenlight status to the runaway success of HBO's recent Rome.
Season 2 was postponed after star Andy Whitfield was diagnosed with cancer. He passed away on September 11, 2011, and was replaced by Liam McIntyre. A prequel miniseries, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, premiered on January 21, 2011.
Has a recap page, under construction. Be advised that the folders below may contain unmarked spoilers from previous series.
Spartacus: Blood and Sand provides examples of:
- Adrenaline Time: At least once per fight scene. Even John Hannah executes a slo-mo kick at one point.
- Affably Evil: Batiatus loves his wife, dreams of being a father, and does some pretty awful things to his peers and slaves alike.
- Affirmative Action Girl: The series adds plenty of female characters to the male-dominated traditional story.
- Ambiguously Jewish: Ashur uses the biblical metaphor "forbidden fruit" in regards to Naevia. He also fulfills many stereotypes of the Greedy Jew, being a duplicitous money-grubber who is physically inferior to the other gladiators. Ashur comes from Assyria, and some Assyrians were Jews. "Ashur" is also the Hebrew name for "Assyria".
- Antiquated Linguistics: Everyone periodically drops articles (such as "a," "my," and "this") from their speech to sound more poetic and old-fashioned.
- Anyone Can Die: The list as of the end of Season 1: Sura, Varro, Batiatus, Barca, Pietros, Duro, Good Solonius, Calavius, Numerius, Ovidius and too many minor characters to count.
- Arch Enemy: Batiatus and Good Solonius, Crixus and Ashur, and for a while Spartacus and Crixus. Despite the early set-up, Spartacus and Glaber are not arch-enemies (at least until Season 2) as after several episodes Spartacus explains that even though Glaber is the man who took his wife, he is not the one who killed her.
- As You Know: Lampshaded.
Barca: Romex has the advantage.
- Autobots Rock Out: Several fight scenes break out the electric guitar.
- Badass: Spartacus, Oenomaus, and Crixus. Since the series takes place within a Ludus almost all the characters, named and unnamed alike, are skilled fighters, but these are the men who inspire fear, envy and awe in those who see them.
- Bad Boss: Batiatus and Lucretia toward their slaves when it suits their purposes, though they often try to make it seem like they're Benevolent Bosses.
- Bash Brothers: Agron and Duro, "the German Brothers".
- Battle Cry: Spartacus' trademark "RUAAAARGH!"
- Beautiful Slave Girl:
- Most of the slaves, obviously. Batiatus and Lucretia are fond of having slaves act as fluffers before they get down to business with each other. Invoked with Mira who is (repeatedly) sent to Spartacus to act as this. She is implied to have been this, possibly for much of the ludus, as well. To his credit, he turns her down as she is not there willingly, though they later become willing lovers. Naevia is an interesting example, Lucretia protects her virginity, but only so that she will be worth more later.
- Pietros is a male example, though he and Barca genuinely love each other. Gnaeus on the other hand...
- Bed Trick: And how. Notably, both of them are victims of it.
- Benevolent Boss: Batiatus plays this straight when it suites his purposes, primarily with Ashur and Oenomaus. Ashur was granted a promotion to the villa and was given Crixus' woman, and Oenomaus was slated for freedom and being hired as lanista. He averts the trope whenever he feels that he can wring more advantage to do so (See Bad Boss above)
- Berserk Button:
- Batiatus does not like it when he is mocked and denied a higher status due to his heritage. Not at all.
- Ilithyia does not like being laughed at.
- Beware the Nice Ones:
- Aurelia castrates a rapist, and later stabs an adolescent boy to death for having her husband killed.
- Sura, to a lesser extent. She is not an easy mark for a Geddi gang-rape, and does not run for safety when her husband comes to her rescue. She also gives Spartacus his marching orders: Kill them all.
- Blondes Are Evil: Ilithyia; also Lucretia when she is not a redhead.
- Big Bad: Batiatus for Season 1.
- Bigger Bad: Glaber, and the Roman Republic in general.
- Body Paint: A number of slaves at a party are painted white to resemble marble statues. Ironically, real Roman statues were painted to look like people. Also used for the Bed Trick mentioned above.
- Bullying a Dragon: Ovidius (the loan shark) tries to intimidate Batiatus in early episodes, but has a difficult time of it since Batiatus is usually followed by at least one famous and deadly gladiator.
- Bury Your Gays:
- None of them survive. Not Barca, Pietros, or Gnaeus.
- Then averted with Agron, who survives Blood and Sand but isn't revealed to be gay until Vengeance.
- Butt Monkey: Spartacus at first.
- Catch Phrase:
- "Jupiter's cock!" might as well be Batiatus'.
- "<Insert name here>, you are summoned." Seriously, the guards say nothing else.
- Crixus has one in-universe - "Capua! Shall I begin?"
- Cluster F-Bomb: To the extreme, almost borderline Tourettes Shitcock Syndrome. Especially Batiatus whenever he has a Villainous Breakdown.
Batiatus: "I will not! NOT be FUCKED, you FUCK you fucking cock-sucking, you haemorrhoid-sucking FUCK, YOU FUCK!"
- Chained Heat: Spartacus and Varro.
- Chekhov's Skill: The show takes time to highlight Spartacus' tactical mind, showing that he's capable of formulating plans and adapting them to new situations, skills that will later prove crucial during the revolt. It also shows Crixus as having a knack for inspiring loyalty and admiration in those around him, which will come into play when Crixus breaks off with half the rebels when Spartacus decides to leave for Gaul.
- Chewing the Scenery: Batiatus chews the scenery every chance he gets.
- Chick Magnet: Crixus has three separate women, from three separate Roman social classes, all fantasizing about him throughout the first season.
- Clark Kent Outfit: Who was expecting Good Solonius of all people to be so ripped?
- Coitus Uninterruptus: Since this is set in Ancient Rome, this happens often. Batiatus and Lucretia are especially guilty of it. They have slaves act as fluffers before they get down to business with each other, and Lucretia even once asks Batiatus to have anal sex with one of her slave girls in the bath for her viewing pleasure. Barca and Pietros also have sex in their cell, which is easily visible to anyone who walks by.
- Curb Stomp Battle:
- Spartacus gets his ass handed to him in his first few matches with Crixus.
- Spartacus' 'battle' against Good Solonius in episode 12 was explicitly designed as an execution.
- In the finale, Doctore vs. Ashur.
- Cruel Mercy: Spartacus lets Glaber live in the first episode, forcing him to go back to Rome in shame. Glaber returns the favour.
- Dead Person Conversation: Spartacus has a few of these with Sura and Varro.
- Depraved Homosexual: Gnaeus.
- Determinator: Spartacus gains a reputation as a man who defies death after surviving his execution and a long stretch of duels in the Pit.
- Dirty Coward: Ashur.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Batiatus tends to do this.
- The Dog Bites Back: Ilithyia in episode 13. She gets the last laugh on Lucretia by escaping the massacre at the ludus and having her soldiers seal the doors behind her.
- Doomed by Canon: Spartacus's rebellion will ultimately fail. However since his body was historically never found, it's possible that the series could write him some sort of happy ending.
- The Dreaded: Theokoles. Crixus nearly shits himself when it's announced he and Spartacus are to face him. Doctore is sure they'll both die.
- Driven to Suicide: Pietros.
- Dual-Wielding: Theokoles. Later, Batiatus orders Spartacus to adopt the style as an in-universe invocation of the Rule of Cool. Oenomaus, though it is not his signature style, shows that he is capable of this as well in episode 5. This is somewhat anachronistic because, while there really was a dual-wielding gladiator type called Dimachaerus, it seems that it was popular a couple of centuries after Spartacus' time.
- Empathic Environment: When Theokoles (aka the Shadow of Death) steps into the arena, the sky clouds over.
- Enemy Mine: Spartacus and Crixus against Theokoles. And again at the end of the first season.
- Enemy Rising Behind: When Theokoles stands back up. Spartacus and Crixus don't notice until they register that everyone else is doing a Mass "Oh Crap".
- Mr. Fanservice: Most of the male cast, especially the gladiators.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- Ashur refuses to accept Good Solonius's bribe, saying, "I am a villain, but I'm not your villain."
- Ilithyia is horrified when she kills Licinia in a fit of rage and shows genuine guilt for it.
- Batiatus is also furious with his wife for manipulating the events that lead to Ilithyia murdering Licinia, although this could be explained away as him being worried about what the costs might be. He does however apologize to Spartacus over Lucretia tricking him into sleeping with Ilithyia, and seems to genuinely mean it.
- Evil Albino: Theokoles, the Shadow of Death.
- Evil Versus Evil: It is great fun watching the various Roman characters screw each other over.
- Evil Redhead: Lucretia, this of course when she is not a blonde.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Season 1 finale is called "Kill Them All".
- Face Death with Dignity: Good Solonius. He even goes out with a smile knowing that Batiatus will be following him soon enough.
- Fake Nationality: Nobody is from any of the areas of the Roman Republic where their characters would have originated:
- Welsh-Australian Andy Whitfield plays a Thracian, who inhabited south-eastern Europe, beyond the borders of Ancient Greece.
- Scottish John Hannah plays an Italian.
- Kiwi Lucy Lawless plays an Italian.
- American Erin Cummings plays a Thracian.
- Half-Maori Manu Bennet plays a Gaul.
- Maori Antonio Te Maioha plays a Carthaginian.
- American Nick Tarabay (of Lebanese descent) plays a Syrian.
- Fake Brit: Combining most of the above with The Queen's Latin results in this trope.
- Fan Service: Both male and female actors are almost uniformly chiseled and gorgeous, and the men especially spend most of their onscreen time bare-chested and glistening. Gratuitous female nudity also abounds. There's even an intersexed person in there. Truly equal opportunity fanservice.
- Fanservice Extra: Some of the arena spectators like to flash their breasts at the gladiators.
- Fight Clubbing: While the arena is socially acceptable, the Pit is an underground fight club that is considered a shameful den of depravity.
- Finagle's Law: Responsible for much of the series' drama. Batiatus in particular seems to fall foul of it a lot.
Batiatus: "Once again the gods spread the cheeks and ram cock in fucking ass..."
- Finish Him!: An extreme example, Spartacus is forced to kill his best friend Varro at the conclusion of a playful exhibition match.
- Five-Bad Band:
- Follow the Leader: The influence of 300, Rome and Gladiator is pretty obvious here.
- Marcus Crassus (the Roman general who will become the ultimate nemesis of Spartacus and his men) gets mentioned once or twice by other characters. Now that his cousin Lycinia has been horribly murdered he has personal reasons to get involved in the story.
- Combined with Tempting Fate when Ilithyia sees the gladiators for the first time, and wonders aloud what would happen if they were to go berserk and try to escape.
- Foregone Conclusion: We know from history that Spartacus' slave revolt will ultimately fail. Glaber will also get his comeuppance when he chases the escaped gladiators to Mt Vesuvius. All that remains to be seen is whether Spartacus will kill him horribly or grant him a second Cruel Mercy.
- Frame-Up: Batiatus kills Calavius then delivers Numerius and a host of guards to the fresh corpse in order to frame Good Solonius.
- Freak-Out: At the end of episode 10.
- Gladiator Games: Duh.
- Gladiator Revolt
- Go Out with a Smile: Good Solonius.
- Gorn: Obvious
- Green-Eyed Monster: In episode 12, Mira all but foams at the mouth when Spartacus asks to speak to Varro's widow.
- Hearing Voices: Spartacus periodically has hallucinations of his wife. She tells him to kill everybody.
- High-Pressure Blood: Copious amounts of blood sprays and gouts across the screen whenever a gladiator lands a blow, though, even from ostensibly bloodless wounds such as being thumped in the back with an axe shaft. However, there's rarely any bleeding afterwards, probably because most of the blood effects are CG.
- Historical Domain Character: Spartacus obviously, but also Crixus, Oenomaus (Doctore), Batiatus and Glaber.
- Improbable Hairstyle: Crixus has a modern military crew cut that would be nigh impossible to get at the time. Although the Romans did invent the military cut, the one Spartacus gets would be more accurate. Also Suro has a modern fringe and layers. Subverted with Lucretia, who has unnatural red hair, but episode 3 reveals she wears wigs, which is Truth in Television for some Roman women.
- Infant Immortality: Whether Barca disobeyed orders because he could not bear to kill a child drives the plot of episode 6. It turns out that he did not disobey orders, and he was lying to Pietros to make him feel better.
- In Medias Res: Used in a few episodes.
- Ironic Echo:
- "What would you do to hold your wife again?"
- "Capua! Shall I begin?"
- An interesting example for Ilithyia. In one episode, Batiatus gets a few more slaves to be turned into gladiators. Ilithyia who loves big strong men with large endowments, purchases one of them as her own slave. Later Spartacus speaks out of turn in front of her and her friends, and she states that she would have him crucified were he her slave. She later tries to have her slave kill Spartacus in the washroom but is stopped by Crixus. The slave's punishment: Castration and crucifixion, in the training yard for all to see, especially Ilithyia.
- Interplay of Sex and Violence.
- Jerkass Facade: Spartacus adopts a jerkass facade to get respect in the arena, while still remaining a decent guy at heart. For example, when Gnaeus is harassing Pietros, Spartacus angrily orders Pietros to bring him some water, which gives Pietros an excuse to get away.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Crixus.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Batiatus.
- Karma Houdini: Ilithyia as of the season 1 finale. She escapes the slave uprising at the ludus and heads back to Rome. She obviously can't escape it forever judging from her last interaction with her husband.
- Glaber and Ashur as well. Lucretia lives, but as her husband and unborn child are dead she hardly gets off scot-free.
- Karmic Death: Batiatus, Numerius and a whole slew of Capua's elite are slaughtered when the blood games they were attending turned against them. Lucretia was stabbed through her womb, but Word of God states she will return for Season 2 and is thus not dead.
- Kick the Dog:
- Glaber makes a point of telling Spartacus what he has done to his wife.
- Ashur's cruelty to Pietros after Barca is killed.
- Ashur again: he is allowed to have any of the slaves as his sex slave, and he chooses Naevia because he knows that she and Crixus are in love. This was also likely part of a Xanatos Gambit to get revenge on Crixus, it works flawlessly.
- Kill'Em All: Episode 13. It is all there in the title. Also, Sura is fond of telling Spartacus this.
- Loan Shark: Ovidius, who reminds Batiatus of his owed debts in three different episodes. However, it turns out to be a bad idea to browbeat a guy with a stable of gladiators at his beck and call.
- The Lost Lenore: Murdered wife Sura is a classic example. She appears after her grisly demise in flashbacks and dream sequences, and the closest Spartacus comes to a subsequent love interest is a slave whom he chivalrously does not sleep with, at first, who bears more than a passing resemblance to her.
- Lady Macbeth: Ilithyia convinces Glaber to go against his orders and make a grab for glory (at the expense of Spartacus and his Thracians), which arguably kicks off the entire plot. She is also perfectly capable of making life difficult for Spartacus in her husband's absence.
- Made of Iron: Several characters, but special mention must go to Theokoles, the Shadow of Death.
- Male Frontal Nudity: The show often gives Moral Guardians a heart-attack with its oh-so terrifying display of uncensored penises.
- Manipulative Bastard: Batiatus and Lucretia, who play their slaves and Roman countrymen to whatever tune they like. To a lesser extent, Ashur. The way he goes about getting Barca killed is worthy of mention, as is his revenge on Crixus, the gladiator who wounded him, in episode 12.
- Manly Gay: Barca.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The show is rather vague on whether or not the Roman gods actually exist in the setting; Sura and Spartacus experience prophetic dreams at different points, and it's vague as to whether or not the gods actually make it rain after Spartacus slays Theokoles, or if it was just coincidence.
- Mythology Gag: The scene introducing Mira to Spartacus bears striking similarity to the introduction of Spartacus and Varinia in Spartacus, possibly Foreshadowing their future relationship.
- Nice Guy: Varro.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown
- No Name Given: Spartacus himself, whose Thracian name is never revealed. Batiatus labels him Spartacus, after a legendary Thracian king, because Glaber never bothered to learn his name. Afterwards they make a point of never letting him utter his original name in order to separate him from his past life.
- Not Quite Dead: Lucretia in Season 2, according to Lucy Lawless.
- Not So Different: Spartacus and Crixus in the Season 1 finale. Crixus even laments that had things been different, they would have been as brothers; and even though they stand in each others way, both of them are fighting for a just cause.
- Not What It Looks Like: Good Solonius, knife in hand, standing over the corpse of Calavius.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: DeKnight said in commentary for the finale that the only scene he regrets having to cut was after Duro's death. Apparently, Agron kills everyone, and Oenomaus comes to find him surrounded by the bodies of the guards.
Oenomaus: This was my home for many, many years.
- Oh Crap:
- Batiatus' slimy henchmen Aulus, who was ordered to kill Spartacus' wife, has one in episode 11; Towards the end of the episode, he finds himself all alone with Spartacus while he "questions" him about the absence of the supposed wound he received trying to rescue her from alleged attackers while en route to the ludus.
- Batiatus has a massive one when Spartacus nearly impales him through the head in Episode 13.
- Oh My Gods: "Jupiter's cock."
- Ominous Latin Chanting: During a sex scene, no less. It makes sense if you have worked out that it is actually Ilithyia not Lycinia under the mask, making both of them victims of a very brutal Bed Trick.
- One-Woman Wail: Sura's theme.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Crixus to Spartacus during and after the Segovax incident.
- The Other Darrin: Liam McIntyre will be replacing Andy Whitfield as Spartacus as of Season 2. Cynthia Addai-Robinson will also be replacing Lesley-Ann Brandt as Naevia due to Brandt's preoccupation with CSI:NY.
- Pass the Popcorn: Of all times and places, Ashur does this on Sura's funeral.
- Pet the Dog: Batiatus goes against the crowd to spare Spartacus' life when he submits in his fight against Crixus.
- Playing Against Type: To most American tropers, John Hannah. Widely known as bumbling brother Jonathan in the Mummy movies, he shows a very dark side in the fifth episode. To a lesser extent, Lucy Lawless as his conniving wife. The two actors enjoyed playing against type so much that they both came back to reprise their characters for the upcoming prequel mini-series.
- Playing to The Fetishes: Naked wrestling, hermaphrodites, sex shows, a large, muscular black man with a voice like Zeus himself - add a whip and his promise to turn you into perfect physical specimens, and you get an extra ten percent of female fans. The ones who weren't already here for the shirtless bronzed gladiator bodies and rampant nudity.
- Plenty of Blondes: Many of the Roman noblewomen favour blonde hair. Ilithyia is a natural blonde while Lucretia sometimes wears blonde wigs.
- Plot Armour: Literally. Whether a sword will bounce off your helmet or go straight through and impale your head depends on how important a character you are. Especially blatant when on other occasions you see Roman soldiers take a sword slash on their breastplates and still go down in a spray of blood.
- Poirot Speak: Characters do not drop into Latin at random or with any frequency, but the English dialogue is often interrupted by a few specific Latin nouns related to the military, political office or gladiatory games and training (See also Shown Their Work below)
- Pride: Ends up causing a lot of the drama in the story.
- Punctuated Pounding: Batiatus is fond of combining this with the Cluster F-Bomb, whether it's kicking a dead slave or beating someone round the head with a cup. Aurelia also does this in the finale while stabbing Numerius.
- The Queen's Latin
- Race Lift: Oenamaus (aka the Doctore) was historically from Gaul, like Crixus. He is reimagined as a (scary) Bald Black Leader Guy.
- Rape Is Funny When Its Male On Male: Averted. Gnaeus' beating and raping of Pietros is horrific, in universe as well as both Spartacus and Varro are sickened by it. The others aren't amused by it, but don't seem to care as Gnaeus is a gladiator and Pietros is only a slave.
- Rated "M" for Manly
- Redemption in the Rain: For Spartacus in the arena in episode 5, after he and Crixus fight Theokoles. The rain breaks the heat wave and drought that had been gripping the city. He is thereafter repeatedly referred to as "bringer of rain."
- Retired Badass: Oenomaus (Doctore) certainly counts, though he is only retired from the ring. He was the only man to ever survive a fight with Theokoles and is able to teach both Spartacus and Crixus a thing or two.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Main star Andy Whitfield has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. While waiting for him to recover, Starz made up for the gap with a prequel mini-series. Whitfield has since bowed out of the series to continue treatment. Sadly, he lost the battle on September 11, 2011.
- Reality Ensues: A cut Spartacus receives in his fight with Varro that he doesn't get treated results in a wicked infection that nearly kills him.
- Rich Bitch: Ilithyia.
- The Rival: Crixus and Spartacus.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The season's finale.
- Rousing Speech: An epic and genuinely touching one is delivered by Spartacus to the rest of the slaves after the massacre at the end of Season 1.
- Rule of Cool: The fight scenes tend to verge on this. Popping someone's head off with a chain, for example.
- Based on their diet and anecdotal evidence, historians believe that most gladiators were actually overweight, as the extra layers of fat would provide the crowds with blood (which they liked) without wounding the gladiator too much to fight. But where's the fun in that?
- Sacrificial Lion: Varro.
- Say My Name: Doctore: ASHUUUUUUUURRRRR!!!
- Scary Black Man: Doctore. Scarred, bullwhip-wielding, bald and badass.
- Shown Their Work:
- In the match between Crixus and Spartacus in episode three both men are armed correctly for their gladiator types (Crixus, a Gaul, is a murmillo, and Spartacus is armed as a thraex, which is a stereotypical Thracian), and the matchup of these sets is one that was actually used in the real arenas.
- Though the language itself is entirely in English, all titles and positions are referred to with their proper Latin terms, and even correct gender and tense declension.
- Sir Swearsalot: Batiatus is the absolute king of this trope.
- Smug Snake: Ashur.
- Sophisticated As Hell: Flowery language delivered in The Queen's Latin is frequently combined with the Cluster F-Bomb.
- Stripperiffic: Ye Gods and how. Many of the gladiators go into battle with their chests completely exposed and train in what amounts to a loincloth. There are frequently scantily dressed female slaves as background extras and several episodes where the background extras are fully nude.
- Sword And Sand(al)
- Tear Off Your Face: An underground pit fighter named Ixion does this to defeated opponents, then wears their faces as masks.
- Tempting Fate: Episode 13 has this gem;
Batiatus: Friends! We are perfectly safe inside the villa!
- Then Let Me Be Evil: When Ashur gets berated for his slimy Manipulative Bastard behaviour, he pulls this line of defense, pointing out that everybody treated him like pig feed and that nearly every git move he pulled benefited his master, Doctore and the ludus, so screw the gladiators and their honour. From what we see in Gods of the Arena, his attitude is at least partially justified.
- There Are No Rules in the Pit.
- Think Nothing of It: Spartacus does this after Mira thanks him for saving her from a guard. It doesn't go well.
Mira: Gratitude for last night.
- This Is Sparta(cus): And oddly enough, the line used is "I! AM! SPARTACUS!"
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works:
- All the time in the pilot. It's practically Spartacus' signature move.
- Subverted in the second episode — a thrown sword is still lethal, but when your opponent is fast enough to parry it, it becomes lethal to a random innocent bystander. Oops. Then lampshaded immediately by Doctore: "If you throw your sword in the ring, you are dead."
- Throwing an axe however is apparently okay, as Spartacus saves Batiatus' life this way in Episode 4.
- Ironically played straight by Doctore in the final episode of the season. Doctore is apparently badass enough to pull it off.
- Thwarted Coup De Grace: Twice in the Season finale.
- Title Drop: In episodes 1, 2, 6, 12, and 13.
- Together in Death: Batiatus and Lucretia. Subverted as Lucretia lives.
- Took a Level In Badass: Spartacus eventually earns respect after killing Theokoles.
- Tragic Monster: While not in the series, Theokoles is painted as this in the prequal comic. Basicly speaking he was a good natured, hard working boy who turned out to be exceptionally good at killing, and not much else. Some of the details are especially tragic, but best not to get into them.
- Training From Hell: Doctore seems to favor it.
- Traumatic Haircut: In episode 2, Spartacus's long hair is hacked off when he becomes a gladiator. For some reason, Barca and the two German brothers are allowed to keep their hair long.
- Turned Against Their Masters: The gladiators famously turn against their masters in a mass rebellion.
- Unholy Matrimony: The series is actually rather good about this - being complete bastards does not stop Batiatus/Lucretia and Glaber/Ilithyia from being relatively loving and devoted couples.
- The Un-Reveal: Twice in episode 2, when Spartacus is about to tell us his real name. The first time Crixus cuts him off, the second time the Doctore invokes Talk To The Whip. He gets cut off again in a flashback, this time by Sura.
- Villainous Breakdown:
- Batiatus begins to break down during the revolt at the end of Season 1, when he sees not only his plans for office, but his own ludus falling apart.
- Lucretia trashes her room after Ilithyia demands a night with Crixus, who until then had been her personal sex toy.
- Ilithyia has a murderous one after she realizes she has been subjected to a particularly nasty Bed Trick.
- Visual Pun: When the gladiator who wears his opponents' faces in the Pit turns to the audience with his newest trophy and says, "You wanna face me?!"
- Walking Shirtless Scene: A lot. This gets particularly ridiculous in the pilot, where Spactacus is shirtless and bare-legged in the snow. Also, it isn't restricted to the men, not by a longshot. It's easier to list the cast members who don't get a shirtless scene.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: Ashur just wants a little respect from the other gladiators, to the point that he is initially reluctant to accept an elevated position because it will mean that he will never get the chance. He comforts himself with cold blooded vengeance.
- Wham! Episode: Episodes 6, 10, and 13.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Mira calls Spartacus out on his selfishness twice in Episode 12. First by telling him that if he tries to kill Batiatus, whether he succeeds or not, every slave and gladiator in the ludus will be killed. When she learns that he did not take his revenge because Aurelia is now a slave for Batiatus, she tears into him even more for the fact that he'd let everyone except her die.
- Whip It Good: Doctore.
- Woman Scorned: Lucretia reacts pretty much as expected when she finds out why Crixus has lost that loving feeling.
- Would Hit a Girl: Ilithyia gets this a lot. Spartacus tries to strangle her after he finds out he had sex with her and her own husband headbutts her when he finds out she murdered Licinia. Crixus on the other hand manages to stab Lucretia in the gentlest way possible.
- Xanatos Gambit: Batiatus arranges Good Solonius' murder, then sends Ashur to warn him. If Good Solonius doesn't listen then he dies, if he does then Ashur gains his trust to exploit later.
- Xanatos Roulette: His plan to frame Good Solonius for the magistrate's murder however relies on precise timing that would be nearly impossible in an age without clocks.
- Yaoi Guys: Barca and Pietros.
Spartacus: Gods of the Arena provides examples of:
- Accidental Murder: Melitta falls afoul of this in episode 5.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Gaia while watching Lucretia and Batiatus having sex, and later Varus.
- All Women Are Lustful: It goes without saying that they love watching the gladiators training. Naevia and Diona's curiosity about the size of Gannicus' cock is one example, but the poster girl of this trope is Gaia. That woman is Lust personified.
- Ambition Is Evil: Played with — more so than in Season 1. Batiatus' ambition to rise above his station is a sympathetic goal, but the measures he takes to ensure that he does are questionable. Titus, meanwhile, comes across as more than a little cowardly as he remains humble before the villains of the series and refuses to allow Batiatus and Lucretia to take revenge on Tullius for killing Gaia.
- Badass: Gannicus and Oenomaus are the established badasses of this series, with Barca not too far behind. Other characters from Blood and Sand are seen to be still in training.
- Badass Boast: Batiatus' idle boast that any of his men could defeat any of Vettius' blindfolded comes back to haunt him when Vettius demands that Gannicus do exactly that. And Gannicus wins anyway.
- Benevolent Boss: Lucretia is shown to care about her servants and only allowed certain things happen to them because of pure social pressure, although she's not above blackmailing Melitta into convincing Oenomaus not to tell anything about the orgy to Titus. But then again, she apologizes later.
- Big Bad: Tullius is the primary antagonist, with Caburus acting as one for the arena.
- Bi the Way: Lucretia and Gaia.
- Black and Gray Morality: Batiatus, who might count as a Villain Protagonist given the events of Blood and Sand, comes across as significantly less evil than the competition.
- Black Best Friend: Gannicus' best friend is Oenomaus, and he appears quite close to Barca.
- Blade on a Stick: The hoplomachi, most notably Barca and Auctus.
- Blonde Guys Are Evil: Vettius, though he's more of a jerk than really evil. Tullius is one in the truest sense of the trope.
- Book Ends
- Break the Cutie:
- Gannicus starts out as a devil-may-care gladiator who loves the arena and enjoys all the perks of victory. The rest of season 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. Even the finale, where he receives much-deserved freedom, leaves him adrift, with no idea where he should go or what he should do.
- Then there's Diona, who is raped repeatedly until she's on the point of suicide. Naevia helps her escape, but she is soon caught and executed in the arena, in front of her only friend's eyes.
- Broken Bird: Diona after her traumatic first time.
- But Not Too Gay: Averted. The series doesn't shy away from gay kisses, Barca and Auctus most notably. Lucretia and Gaia are played with Girl-On-Girl Is Hot in mind.
- Call Forward: All over the place, including extensive Backstory for even seemingly incidental details such as why Oenomaus doesn't drink wine any more, why Lucretia favours her red wig, and how Ashur got his burn scars and crippled leg.
- Depraved Bisexual: Varus, and the same can be said about other numerous Roman visitors to the house of Batiatus.
- Doomed by Canon:
- Oenomaus will become Doctore but will lose his wife and the faith he has to his Ludus, and never see glory in the arena again.
- Affable and cheerful Ashur will become a bitter schemer who manages to kill Barca.
- Good Solonius and Batiatus will not stay best friends.
- Barca and Auctus won't last, as Barca is with Pietros in the original.
- Dramatic Irony: Being a prequel, the series provides this in spades.
- Drunken Song: Gannicus sings a very crude one while celebrating his victories in episode 1. While he's balanced on the edge of a cliff no less. It's the same song the gladiators were singing during the party in "Delicate Things" while Barca was being murdered.
- Dual-Wielding: Gannicus' preferred fighting style.
- Femme Fatale: Gaia, though her charms failed her in the end.
- Fake Nationality: Gannicus is played by Australian Dustin Clare.
- Grey and Gray Morality: Batiatus' struggle with his father is this, everything else is Grey vs Black.
- Happily Married: Oenomaus and Melitta, they're like a benevolent version of Batiatus and Lucretia.
- I Am Not My Father: In the first two episodes, several people have made this comment regarding Batiatus (and he essentially fires Doctore for mentioning it). He feels that his father's patient attitude has held the family fortunes down, and episode three makes it very clear that Batiatus and his father are not on good terms.
- Inadequate Inheritor: Titus considers Batiatus to be this.
- Incendiary Exponent: Invoked for the primus in the final episode, which takes place inside a Ring of Fire. Gnaeus cranks it up another notch by setting his net on fire during the battle.
- Interplay of Sex and Violence: During the primus, there's a crowd shot with a couple having sex while the battle takes place.
- Jerkass: Vettius.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Gannicus is extremely cocky, but also really amiable around Oenomaus and Melitta, and later acts surprisingly nice towards Crixus. Auctus is arguably this as well; while he treats the new recruits badly he saves his gentler side to his birds and, of course, Barca.
- Karma Houdini: Batiatus - but only within the context of this series, with the events of the first season turning it into Dramatic Irony.
Batiatus: "And one day, we will see proper reward for all we have done!" (scene cuts to him dead on the floor at the end of Blood And Sand)
- Kick the Dog: A Roman man aproaches Dagan, who can't speak Latin, and asks if he is interested in having a good time, Ashur and his not so Tactful Translation says Dagan is okay with it and adds that he likes it rough. Later Ashur casually blinds one of his eyes after feigning helplessness while he was taking him down in combat. With A Friend Like This indeed.
- King Mook: Caburus. He gives Gannicus and Crixus a run for their money in the finale. Gannicus finally kills him by shoving a spear tip into his mouth, before ripping his jaw off.
- Lady Macbeth: Lucretia is quite capable of taking the problem of Titus' stifling influence into her own hands. Indeed, she is revealed to have been doing so from the very beginning.
- Manly Gay: Auctus.
- Manipulative Bitch: Gaia.
- My Life Flashed Before My Eyes: The series is Batiatus' dying flashback.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Batiatus gets one at the end of the first episode, he returns the favour later.
- Nothing Can Stop Us Now: Batiatus at the end of the final episode.
- Oh Crap: Titus in episode 5.
Titus: "Tell me you're not the serpent I thought you to be."
- A Party - Also Known as an Orgy: Episode 4.
- The Patriarch: Titus.
- Perfect Poison: How Lucretia killed Titus and Melitta, though the latter was an unfortunate accident. Just a sip of the poisoned wine was enough to make them cough blood and die messily. Actually, she has been poisoning Titus for a long time, not exactly to kill him, but to make him sick and leave them alone. We don't know if it is the same poison in a bigger dose or another, stronger, one.
- Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner: "Apologies."
- Psychotic Smirk: Tullius is fond of doing this.
- Rape Is Love: Gannicus and Melitta fall in love after they're forced to have sex with each other.
- Ring of Fire: The showdown between Batiatus and Good Solonius' gladiators in the final episode.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Batiatus, Gannicus, and Oenomaus go on in the season finale. Ironically what they really what revenge for (the deaths of Titus and Melitta), are the things Tullius isn't guilty of.
- Self-Made Orphan: Batiatus thought of doing this, but was stopped at the last minute by his father's attempt at reconciliation.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Auctus and Barca. Of course Auctus is only sensitive as a gladiator can possibly be, but his liking of birds shows he's a bit more warmthearted than you would expect from a man who lives to kill.
- Suicide By Gladiator: Doctore all but forces Oenomaus to kill him.
- Sequel Hook: After Gannicus is freed in the final episode, he tells Crixus and Oenomaus to come find him when they earn their own freedom. Given that the historical Gannicus was one of the four main generals in the Third Servile War, chances are we will see him again.
- Shown Their Work: The Latin language lacks definite and indefinite articles. Knowing this makes the english dialogue a lot less strange.
- Start of Darkness: While not exactly moral, fives years prior Lucretia seemed to care for her slaves. Ashur was more compassionate even showing grief at having to kill a fellow slave. And while impetuous, Batiatus was at least bothered by some of the actions he took towards forwarding his ambition.
- Tactful Translation: Ashur plays it straight, but never with good intentions.
- Team Mom: Melitta to the other slave girls, especially Naevia and Diona.
- Tempting Fate:
- Good Solonius gloats to Vettius in episode 6 "We were not found knife in hand, kneeling beside body!" This almost perfectly describes the Frame-Up from the first season that leads to his death.
- Also this exchange between Gannicus and Melitta in Episode 2.
Melitta: "And what happens, brave Gannicus, when presented with circumstance you cannot laugh or fight your way clear of?"
- Three-Way Sex: It doesn't take long for Gaia find her way to Lucretia and Batiatus' bed.
- Title Drop: In every episode except number 4. Batiatus also refers to Gannicus as a "god of the arena" in the finale.
- Took a Level In Badass: Crixus, after a Rousing Speech from Batiatus and his arena battle with Auctus.
- Two Guys and a Girl: Gannicus, Oenomaus and Melitta who are true friends (the latter two are married), but then Gannicus and Melitta are forced to have sex an event that shakes everything up.
- Villain Protagonist: Batiatus, the Big Bad of Blood and Sand for Season 1, is front and centre and only a bit less of a vile schemer. It works because his enemies are even bigger dicks.
- We Used to Be Friends:
- This series reveals that Batiatus and Good Solonius, bittier rivals in Blood and Sand who each arrange to murder the other, used to be the best of friends in days past.
- Also, Crixus and Ashur. While by no means best friends, they get along very well, and Ashur even shows concern when he believes Crixus is going to die in his fight against Gannicus. Ashur is absolutely shocked when Crixus cripples his leg.
- Wham! Episode: Episode 4.
- With Friends Like These...: Ashur and Dagan are good friends, and Dagan even saves Ashur's life. When Dagan starts receiving more praise as a gladiator, however, a jealous Ashur puts him in a very uncomfortable situation.
- Women Are Wiser: Melitta has shown wisdom, kindness and patience like no one else in the series. It is particularly emphasized when she interacts with the irresponsible and boisterous Gannicus and her husband is always seeking her for advice. Lucretia is also more level-headed and cautious than Batiatus and this trope may apply to all the other women with Gaia being an notable exception, but only in the "morally-superior" part though.
- Yaoi Guys: Barca and Auctus.
Spartacus: Vengeance provides examples of:
- Achey Scars: Lucretia's wound starts to ache when she sees Crixus.
- Action Girl: Mira has been as valuable a warrior as any of the other gladiators so far.
- Saxa revels in her warrior ways
- Also, Naevia has turned into this by the last couple of episodes.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Compared to previous seasons, name a single Roman character who isn't at best a Jerkass and at worst a Complete Monster.
- Annoying Arrows: Played with in episode 8, Glaber takes an arrow to the shoulder, and despite wearing armor is knocked off his feet. He isn't seriously hurt though. The Egyptian completely ignores a dozen arrows sticking out of his chest, arms, and legs; but he seems to just be that tough.
- Anyone Can Die: Continuing the trend of Blood and Sand, we have Aurelia, Marcus, Rhaskos, Albinius, Lucius, Seppius, Seppia, Varinius, Mira, Ashur, Oenomeus, Glaber, Lucretia and Ilithyia's newborn baby.
- A recent interview with Steven DeKnight revealed that Ilithyia also died.
- Armor Is Useless: The Romans' heavy armour does them about as much good as in the previous season. The revolting slaves don't trouble to loot or wear any of it, often fighting fully armored soldiers in loincloths.
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Agron and the Rhines, whose German is barely comprehensible for native speakers.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: The germans pledge themselves to Spartacus after he kills their greatest warrior.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: Marcus seems to subscribe to this strategy.
Marcus: "And we shall fight until the last drop of Roman blood!"
- Attempted Rape:
- When the gladiators arrive at the mines, Mira is presented as an "apology" for the slaves arriving late. The lead Roman wastes very little time in trying to rape her. She however will have none of it, and puts a knife on his crotch and demands he tell her where Naevia is. Turns out that was their plan all along.
- One of the Rhines attempts this on Naevia. It did not end well.
- Battle Couple: Spartacus and Mira.
- Naevia and Crixus
- Saxa and whoever she's with now
- Bawdy Song: The Gauls, particularly Rhaskos, have one called My Cock Rages On. Rhaskos starts singing it naked at one point, much to the other gladiator's displeasure. This is apparently the only song gladiators ever learn, as it's the same one Gannicus was singing last season.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Mostly averted in that many characters acquire cuts that become permanent scars. Exceptions include:
- By the end of episode 4, after constant running and fighting through the woods Spartacus' and Mira's faces are both stained with blood and mud. It's all gone by the next episode though.
- Only three characters in the entire show have ever been bruised: Ilithyia, Naevia, and Pietros. It's worth noting that their bruises come from more "domestic" fights, compared to battles: Ilithyia is hit by her husband, while Naevia and Pietros receive bruises at the hands of their rapists, Ashur and Gnaeus, respectively.
- Big Bad: Glaber.
- Big Damn Heroes
- The Black Dude Dies First:
- In episode 4, Spartacus, Mira, Nassir, and Naevia are accompanied by 4 unnamed gladiators three of whom are black. Admittedly, all four of them die, but the black ones do die first.
- Oenomaus is the first of the four generals to die, but he was historically the first to die as well.
- Blood From the Mouth: Averted and played straight; not everyone who bleeds from the mouth dies, but almost everyone who dies bleeds from the mouth.
- Boisterous Bruiser: All of the Rhines
- Broken Bird: Naevia due to recent events.
- Brother-Sister Incest: Seppius is in love with his sister Seppia, and gets jealous whenever she has the attention of other men. Glaber notices and is creeped out.
- The Bus Came Back: Gannicus returns in episode 5.
- Call Back:
- Gannicus is introduced as "A true God of the Arena". Ashur also calls him this.
- In episode 8, Spartacus presents a thin piece of cloth to Glaber as proof of Ilithyia's capture, perfectly mirroring what Glaber did to him at the beginning of Blood and Sand.
- In episode 9, The House of Ashur, reminding Lucretia and everyone of the House of Batiatus.
- In episode 10, "At last the Roman knows his place before us! On his knees!"
- Can't Spit It Out: Nassir towards Agron.
- Captain Obvious: Ashur states the Gannicus has made his choice after Gannicus singlehandedly slaughters a Roman honor guard, kidnaps Glaber's wife and leaves his rudis impaled in the gladiator Ashur had sent to watch him.
- Catch Phrase:
- You can almost bet that Agron will say some variation of 'Fucking [Insert Race Here]', usually Gauls, at least once an episode.
- Nasir seems to hiss whenever he is about to fight.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder:
- Blood and Sand and Gods of the Arena hinted at this, but Vengeance is proving that this is the way Roman Politics were handled. Nearly everyone in the Roman Upper Class is shown to have a case of this.
- Ilithyia accuses Ashur of having this toward Glaber which is probably the one time in the series when he's actually not an example.
- Clingy Jealous Girl/Woman Scorned: Mira does not take learning about the Bed Trick incident from Blood and Sand well.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: A pretty horrific example happens in episode 4 when one of the captured Gauls is selected by the Roman elite as a means of both revenge for the massacre at the end of Blood and Sand, and for their own personal amusement.
- Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like:
- Spartacus is not terribly happy with Crixus and the Gauls saving him from Glaber's soldiers. Crixus later states they weren't there to save him, but to stop him from killing Glaber, as the Roman reprisal would be more than they were ready for.
- Naevia believing that Crixus died so that she could escape, and knowing how many others died in the attempt, she angrily chastises the rebels for throwing away so much to rescue her. Notably, she chastises Agron, who was the one opposed to the rescue from the start for this very reason. When he tells her this, she says he should have tried harder to talk them out of it.
- Creator Cameo: Michael Hurst appears as a Roman soldier in episode 9. He's the one who says, "Praetor, the rebels are in retreat."
- Cruel Mercy: In episode 8, Spartacus turns Ilithyia loose into the woods, telling her that Glaber does not love her (which she probably already knew). He even says that it isn't a kindness, as she is now lost without food or water.
- Curb Stomp Battle: Spartacus v Sedullus.
- Deadpan Snarker: Agron is developing into one between Crixus and Spartacus' constant seriousness.
Agron: (discussing a slave that tried to kill Spartacus) And how do you propose we train this wild little dog?
- Glaber also shows signs of it.
Marcus: (after hearing a piercing scream from Ilithyia) What has happened?
- Ilithyia in the bath "relaxing"
Ilithyia: Oh! Gaius. You give hot cause to flutter.
- Death By a Thousand Cuts: The fate of one captured Gaul in episode 4, until Ilithyia gets fed up and finishes him off.
- Death by Disfigurement: Oenomaus loses an eye and is killed in the following episode.
- Death Seeker: Oenomaus. After the fall of House Batiatus, he begins to fight in The Pit as a means of punishment.
- Designated Girl Fight:In a massive brawl between the brotherhood and the new German recruits, of course Mira ends up tangling with the only action girl on the other side. Though it's about as brutal as the other fights.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: Mira presumably dies in Spartacus' arms, though no one knows she's dead until he puts her down. Oenomaus in Gannicus' arms.
- The Dog Bites Back: Glaber kills Senator Albinius after he's had enough of Albinius mocking him and he's discovered the conspiracy against him.
- After Lucretia tries to put the new and improved Ashur in line with insults, he calmly explains to her that she owes him a lot. And then drives the point home by brutally raping her.
- The Dragon:
- Marcus appears to act as Glaber's second-in-command.
- Ashur becomes Glaber's Dragon later. He's even got his own dragon: the Egyptian.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?:
- A villainous example. Ashur seems to be the embodiment of this trope in his own eyes. He did all of Batiatus' dirty work before AND after he was marked as a member of the Brotherhood. He was the one who rescued Lucretia and nursed her back to health and is alluded to have done countless other favors and deeds for other gladiators. Yet he is still seen as someone who is below standing.
- Glaber also once he learns that despite his rank, no one likes or respects him.
- Easily Forgiven: Averted. Oenomaus is deeply hurt by the revelation Gannicus slept with his wife, and holds it against for most of the season. He appears to be starting to forgive him in episode 9, and acknowledges Gannicus as his brother before dying in his arms in episode 10.
- Easy Amnesia: Lucretia now remembers nothing of the events of the last few months due to the trauma of what happened at the ludus. Turns out she was lying about that, at least partially. She's certainly remembered by the end of the season.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: A great many of the characters are motivated by revenge. And in the end Spartacus, Naevia and Lucretia take it all in brutal ways.
- Expository Hairstyle Change:
- Lucretia's natural brown hair has now grown through and reflects her now fragile state. Agron's long hair has now been cut completely short to symbolise the level in badass he has taken.
- Ashur shaves his beard when he becomes a man of influence and power through Glaber.
- Evil Versus Evil: It is still great fun watching the various Roman characters screw each other over.
- Eye Scream: The Egyptian stabs Oenomaus in the eye in episode 9.
- Fate Worse Than Death: The mines were hinted to be this in Blood and Sand and Gods of the Arena, and Mira certainly believes it to be as well. From what we see, she's right.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Spartacus invokes this in Episode 9 by having 2 gladiators/slaves who don't get along fight as a team against another two who don't get along. He hopes this will lead forge a sense of camaraderie between them.
- Five-Man Band
- Flashback with the Other Darrin
- Foe Yay: Ilithyia fantasizes about Spartacus while she is in the bath.
- Foregone Conclusion: Oenamaus and Glaber dying at Vesuvius shouldn't come as a surprise, as this is what happened historically (the bloodbath among the other main characters, on the other hand...).
- In Episode 1, Glaber and Marcus are discussing Pompey and his war in Hispania. Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, known as Pompey, was one of the two generals who ultimately defeat Spartacus; and was in fact absent for much of Spartacus' War due to dealing with a war in Hispania.
- In Episode 5, Spartacus and his forces establish a camp at the base of Mount Vesuvius. Historically, Spartacus' final confrontation with Glaber happens on Vesuvius.
- Genius Bonus: Although its possible that the writers did not know, one of the speeches at the arena in episode 5 is one of these. A Roman character says to a Capuan crowd that "Hannibal is at our gates" and then says words to the effect of "but we beat him ultimately". The in-universe audience and the knowledgeable amongst the viewers will know that Capua switched sides and supported Hannibal against Rome and was punished for that, and at the time of the Third Servile War still had a Roman garrison in order to keep the city under Roman thumb.
- Gorgeous Period Dress: Practically every Roman woman wears one. Special mention goes out to Ilithyia's Pimped-Out Dress from Episode 4's party.
- Groin Attack: Ashur gets a sword to the crotch, courtesy of Naevia.
- Hands-On Approach: Varinius teaching Seppia how to use a sword in episode 4.
- Heal It with Fire: In episode 4, Nassir has a wound treated this way. It even gets a Call Back to Blood And Sand, when it's mentioned Crixus survived his wounds from Theokoles this way.
- Spartacus also tries to do this with Mira, but it's too late.
- Heel Face Door Slam: Any possible chance that Aurelia and Spartacus can finally be on good terms is lost when he sends her away to find her son but they are ambushed and she is fatally wounded. With her last words she orders him to keep away from her son.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Spartacus uses the Romans' own catapults against them in the finale, invoking Kill It with Fire on a large part of their camp.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Marcia, a prostitute Gannicus becomes acquainted with. She gets crucified for talking rebellion.
- The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: Hunted up the mountain, the rebels finally turn the table and it is Glaber and the Romans in the end who have to defend themselves in the temple
- Human Ladder: The Romans stand on each others' shields to storm the temple walls in episode 9.
- If You Kill Him You Will Be Just Like Him: Spartacus' reason for not having Nassir killed, despite the fact that Nassir just tried to kill him. Spartacus claims that he would be just like Glaber if he killed Ilithyia.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Agron said this almost verbatim after Crixus confronted him about lying about Naevia's status.
- Infant Immortality: In the final episode, Lucretia takes this trope and throws it off a cliff. Literally.
- Ironic Echo:
- "We'll get through this together, as husband and wife."
- Spartacus bringing Glaber Ilithyia's ribbon, the same way Glaber brought Spartacus Sura's ribbon.
- "Is there nothing left between us?"
- "At last (he) learns his place before us; on his knees!"
- "We are friends, are we not?" This gets echoed twice in Vengeance, but was originally said in Blood and Sand.
- Lucretia dropping her red wig from the balcony was reminiscent of the way Gaia's body (she often wore a red wig) was disposed of in the prequel.
- Instant Expert: Mira masters the bow very quickly. Though Lucius indicates she has a natural talent for it. Taken Up to Eleven when later in the same episode she learns how to use it, she shoots an arrow between a dueling Gannicus and Spartacus and hits Chadara in the throat. Though its then immediately subverted when Mira reveals she was aiming to wound.
- Jerkass: Rhaskos.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Well...maybe gold's a bit strong, but aside from being loud and obnoxious, he seems to have his good qualities. Foremost being his Undying Loyalty to Crixus.
- Kick the Dog:
- Ashur taunts Oenomaus about Gannicus and Melitta's affair from Gods of the Arena. Later, he brutally rapes Lucretia just to prove he can.
- Glaber crucifies one of Ilithyia's slaves, despite knowing she is innocent, just to show his power, and even forces Ilithyia to confirm that the slave was a traitor.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: Lucius.
"At least it wasn't a fucking Roman who took my-" (beheaded)
- Kill It with Fire:
- In episode 5, while Spartacus and Agron enter the arena as part of a rescue, Mira and a team of gladiators set fire to the arena's foundations causing it to burn and collapse.
- In episode 9, Glaber's forces catapult flaming debris at the rebels' base. Crixus shoves Varinius in the way of one and he is incinerated.
- Knife Nut: Mira, before becoming The Archer. Also, the Egyptian.
- Large Ham: Glaber. A fairly unremarkable villain in season one with very little screentime, in season three he seeks to make up for Batiatus' absence by letting his inner ham free at last.
- Last Stand: Episode 4. Subverted. Spartacus and Mira, who refuses to abandon him, prepare to make one against an approaching army. But it turns out the forces approaching are their own.
- Leeroy Jenkins: What Marcus turns out to be. A few gladiators act like this Wrath of the Gods, and get Mira killed. Needless to say, Spartacus is pissed.
- Love Is a Weakness: Ashur mockingly points out how love has led to ruin for Gannicus, Crixus, and Oenomaus. Gannicus later laments this as well. Ironically he meets his downfall for trying to wed Lucretia.
- Mad Oracle: Lucretia. Turns out that she doesn't really think that she's an oracle, but is at least a little insane.
- Mook Lieutenant: Marcus. Unfortunately he is also a Leeroy Jenkins and dies for it by Ashur's hand. He is then replaced by Salvius (another Roman officer), while Ashur gets promoted to The Dragon.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Ilithyia to Seppia.
- Neck Snap: The Egyptian does this to a random brothel patron, his head doing a full 180.
- Number Two:
- Agron seems to be this for Spartacus' side of the Rebels.
- Rhaskos for The Gauls.
- Glaber has a Roman soldier who commands his forces, but his not his Dragon.
- Obfuscating Insanity: A tricky one, since Lucretia often appears insane to the viewers, but to the Romans she appears perfectly sane. She's faking the whole thing to get vengeance on Ilithyia.
- Odd Friendship: Ilithyia and Lucretia.
- Oh Crap: Ilithyia gets two in one episode; first when she finds out she has to return to Capua and second when she finds Lucretia still alive in the Ludus.
- Spartacus gets a rare one when Aurelia's dying and beaten body is dragged out in front of the market by Glaber's soldiers. Having previously thought she was safely on her way to finding her son.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: During the climax of the final episode.
- Only Sane Man: Mira. Spartacus wants revenge, Agron wants to fight, and Crixus wants to find Naevia. She seems to be the only main character who simply wants to get out of dodge and start a new life while they still can.
- Subverted as the season progresses. She's now just as deep as the rest of the Rebels and is usually the only female that goes with the group into battle.
- Gannicus could be considered this, since he seems to be only one who realises it's a lost cause trying to take down the Romans.
- Subverted as the season progresses. She's now just as deep as the rest of the Rebels and is usually the only female that goes with the group into battle.
- Pay Evil Unto Evil: Ilithyia, Albinius, Seppius, and Varinius all spend several episodes repeatedly mocking and belittling Glaber. It's great fun to watch, but it comes back to bite almost all of them in the ass.
- Psycho for Hire: Ashur enlists several of these, after finally making Glaber realize his men are not good enough to fight gladiators.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: Ashur's aformentioned Psychos.
- Rape as Drama: Naevia, Lucretia.
- Rape Is Love: Ashur accuses Lucretia of beginning to enjoy him raping her, but she really really doesn't.
- Red Shirt: Lucretia gets to decide which captive gladiator gets to be tortured to death. Among her choices were Crixus, Oenomaus, Rhaskos, and a guy we've never seen or heard from before this episode. Guess who she picks.
- Retired Badass: Gannicus has been out of the game for five years, and is just as tough as he was in Gods of the Arena.
- Rich Bitch: Seppia.
- Right Through His Pants: Averted. This series is fair in this regard.
- Say My Name: Ashur has his sex slave call him Dominus ("master").
- Sex Slave: Lucretia for Ashur.
- Shipper on Deck: Chadara encourages Nassir to get with Agron.
- While their lack of watchfulness merely amuses Mira and she sends them away to have fun in bed and so she can go strangle someone.
- Shoot the Messenger: After Ashur's terms of surrender are rejected he attempts to leave to deliver their response, only for Crixus (who's pissed about what Ashur did to Naevia) to point out that Ashur's head will be suitable response. Spartacus agrees.
- Slashed Throat: Too many to count.
- Slow Clap: Lugo initiates a particularly cool one with his sword and shield in episode seven, as a sign that he and the other Rhines will follow Spartacus.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Aurelia.
- Suicide Mission: Agron sees rescuing Naevia as this.
- Strawman Had A Point Seeing as out of the entire group Spartacus led to the mines the only four survivors were Spartacus, Mira, Nassir (who almost didn't make it out himself), and Naevia herself. Everyone else was killed or captured.
- Gannicus sees a slave revolt against Rome as this, though he eventually joins it. The irony of course being, he's right.
- Team Mom: Mira.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Several times. Surprisingly, it also applies for the villains, as throwing an axe earns Salvius the honour of being the only Roman legionary to kill one of the main characters.
- Took a Level In Badass: Ashur. And what a big level it was.
- Mira has gone from a slavegirl/concubine in Blood and Sand to having a pretty impressive killcount building up in Vengeance. Actually, her badass level triples per episode.
- Ilithyia. In Blood and Sand she proved she could kill. In Vengeance, she proves she can kill in cold blood with a smile on her face.
- Naevia: the delicate flower got thorns indeed.
- Ashur. Yes, it deserves mentioning twice.
- Took a Level In Jerkass: Glaber's Jerkassitude gets turned Up to Eleven this season. It's hard to not feel sorry for Seppius as he dies knowing his sister is at the mercy of the man who slaughtered everyone in their household.
- Likewise, Ashur.
- Torture Technician: The entire upper-class of Capua/Rome seems to have a minor degree in this.
- Driven home with Glaber as his execution of choice is crucifixion.
- Ashur tries his hand at this to break Oenomaus and get information about Spartacus' whereabouts. While he proves a brutal physical torturer, it's ultimately his calm, smug delivery of psychological torture that breaks Oenomaus' silence.
- Traumatic C-Section: In the season finale.
- Trojan Horse: In episode 8, Glaber delivers a wagon that is full of his mercenaries instead of the supplies he promised.
- Underestimating Badassery: The Romans generally underestimate Spartacus and his followers, thinking them "common slaves". Completely ignoring the fact that his fighting force is made primarily of slaves who were trained day in and day out on nothing more than how to fight and kill. Ashur desperately points this out, no one listens.
- Comes to a head in "Chosen Path" after Ashur tells Glaber, for the thousandth time, how dangerous the gladiators are compared to the average Roman mook. Glaber's response is to throw Ashur into a dogpile of soldiers and tell them to go nuts. Ashur kicks the crap out them.
Ashur: And I was considered lowest among the Brotherhood.
- Undying Loyalty: Agron to Spartacus, Rhaskos to Crixus.
- Unholy Matrimony: While Ilithyia and Glaber showed signs of this in Blood and Sand, its taken farther here. Ilithyia even states "We are both monsters Gaius, let us be monsters together."
- Villainous Rescue: Ashur saves Oenomaus from death in the pits so he can hand him over to Glaber for interrogation.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Mira and the others give one to Spartacus for letting his desire for revenge against Glaber blind him.
- Agron dismisses Naevia as just one life and insignificant. Spartacus calls him out and rightfully points out that Agron wouldn't feel that way if Duro was in Naevia's place.
- Spartacus gives one to the Rhines (Agron's kinsmen) after they promptly act like the worst house guests ever.
- Spartacus again chews out a few of his gladiators for trying to leave the mountain in a way doomed to fail, which gets Mira killed.
- Worst Aid: In episode 10, Spartacus takes the axe out of Mira's chest before carrying her up the mountain, leading her to bleed to death before they can help her. Though, she was unlikely to live anyway.
- Wrestler in All of Us: Episode five features several gladiator matches where the gladiators drop their weapons and end up grappling on the ground in styles very reminiscent of MMA.
- You Have Failed Me: Glaber nearly has Ashur executed for failing to capture Spartacus and getting Marcus killed before Lucretia saves him.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Glaber, Ashur, and their mercenaries typically execute anyone they question.
- Ashur himself becomes a victim of this trope in the finale, when Glaber sends him to offer surrender to Spartacus's army knowing they'll refuse and kill him.
- Your Cheating Heart: Ilithyia and Varinius are cheating on Glaber and Seppia with each other.
- Technically Varinius and Seppia were never together; Seppia was trying to start a relationship, but it didn't go anywhere.
- Glaber cheats on Ilithyia with Seppia when she leaves for Rome.
- You Shall Not Pass: Lucius does this in episode 8. The Egyptian eventually marches up to him and slices his head off.