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  • Alas, Poor Villain: A few. Batiatus, though a Bad Boss extraordinaire, was a loving husband and an underdog among the Roman elite.
  • Bury Your Gays: Despite the fact that Anyone Can (and will) Die, the show still gets accused of this. Some fans went so far as to write obituaries for Agron and Nasir the moment the two hooked up, and were surprised to find out that they did make it out of the Season 2 finale alive.
  • Complete Monster: Tullius in Gods of the Arena. While Batiatus is mostly Affably Evil and still shows some redeeming qualities (not to mention that in the prequel he is slower to Kick the Dog than in Blood and Sand), Tullius is no more than a greedy, sadistic, smug, power-drunken aristocrat. He first orders Batiatus to get a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown for refusing to sell Gannicus to him, after Batiatus had been nothing but respectful to him. He manipulates Titus into crashing his own son's plans. At the orgy he challenges Gannicus into a swordfight that Gannicus, as a slave, cannot win, and has the balls to mock him for it. However he takes a running leap over the Moral Event Horizon and confirms his status as a dog-kicking juggernaut in Episode 4 when Gaia, willing to help Lucretia, offers herself to him. At first he accepts and has sex with her... then he cheerfully kills her, just to make clear that, as an aristocrat, he can do whatever he wants.
    • Glaber has REALLY crossed into this...crucifying an innocent slave girl for no real reason just to demonstrate his power over Ilithyia.
    • Roman Nobility in general is portrayed this way. Cold-Blooded Torture is a pass time for them, shown in Season 2, and their cold hearted execution of prisoners. As well as their manipulations of the idiotic populus.
  • Fan Yay: With the occasional gay storyline, Lucy Lawless, and tons of sweaty, half-naked men, it's unsurprising to find this show popular with gay male viewers.
  • Girl-On-Girl Is Hot: Pretty much the only reason to include a sex scene between Lilah and Xena in Gods of the Arena.
  • Growing the Beard: The first couple episodes of Blood and Sand are generally agreed to not be very good. The show starts hitting its stride around episodes three and four, for various reasons; the actors are obviously getting used to the sentence structure of their lines, the show isn't trying so hard to be 300(the influence is still obviously there, it just isn't as blatant), Hannah started really hamming it up as Batiatus, and characters in general became more fleshed out.
  • Guilty Pleasure
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Episode 11 of Blood and Sand involves Spartacus being bedridden due to a severe infection, and the medicus doing everything he can to save him. Andy Whitfield, the actor who played Spartacus, had to leave the role due to cancer. Tragically, he lost the battle a year later.
    • Deliberately invoked, not by the characters, but the creators; in Episode 3 of Gods of the Arena, Barca defeats Gnaeus in the arena and is ordered to spare his life. Of course, Gnaeus is the one who beats and rapes Pietros, driving him to suicide after Barca's death.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: When you consider the great length at which Lucretia extols her hatred of Thracians and then you remember Xena was Thracian, it is hard not to chuckle.
  • Holy Shit Quotient: Very high, as the episodes are specifically written to contain their emotional impact into specific key scenes.
    • Vengeance Episode 7:Sacramentum had a fight between Spartacus and 7-foot tall guy Sedullus. Spartacus sliced his face off with one strike and HIS BRAIN FELL OUT!!!!
  • Ho Yay: Agron. While there has been no mention of his sexuality so far, the show has been taking great care to give Nassir and Agron a lot of moments together that could hint at something.
    • Chadara openly states that she would've gone after Agron instead of Rhaskos if she thought Agron fancied her. It's left to interpretation as to whether she thinks Agron doesn't like her or doesn't like women at all.
    • As of episode 5 of Vengeance, it's confirmed that Agron is gay (or at the very least, bi) and has feelings for Nassir.
  • Iron Woobie: Spartacus.
  • It Was His Sled: If you do not know that Spartacus ends up leading a nation-wide slave rebellion and getting killed (see: Spartacus), you probably live under a rock.
  • Jerkass Woobie
    • For a SMALL moment you feel bad for Glaber once he is made aware of the conspiracy to not only have his marriage dissolved but his child aborted by his wife, father-in-law, and rival.
    • Likewise, Ilithya. It's hard to not feel sorry for her after Glaber fucks her life up.
    • Lucretia. Oh, Lucretia. It's easy to forget how she sent Naevia to a fate worse than death after everything that's happened to her since then.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Episode 6 of Gods of the Arena is about Batiatus and Solonius setting a trap to Tullius and Vettius, then Solonius proceeds to ruin Vettius while Batiatus, before repeatedly stabbing Tullius with a knife and walling him alive, tells him exactly where he can stick his status in.
  • Les Yay: Between Ilithyia and Lucretia, with some Foe Yay thrown in as well.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Tullius (from Gods of the Arena) at first is just as vile as the other Roman nobles. He crosses this with the murder of Gaia who was somewhat likable. Even worse, he did just to show that he could do it and get away with it. He now is a complete psychopath with no redeeming qualities.
    • If he hadn't crossed it already, Glaber definitely crosses it when he crucifies an innocent slave, just to show his power over Ilythia.
  • Narm Charm: The reason many viewers who don't think it's So Cool Its Awesome watch the show anyway.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Seriously, look at John Hannah's face during the credits for season 1.
    • In Vengeance at a Capua party the Upper Class of Capua and Rome take one of the captured Gauls and proceed to string him up and take turns cutting pieces of flesh off of him...always careful to do so in such a way that he won't bleed out or die.
  • Unfortunate Implications: In Gods of the Arena Gannicus, a Celt, is drunk half the time.
  • Values Dissonance: Though Batiatus and Lucretia do violate many of Rome's own laws and customs regarding slaves and servants, many of their actions are only abhorrent by modern standards, considered perfectly normal (even just) by their fellow Romans.
    • Subverted when Batiatus is almost ready to kill his own father for love of his wife: even if it could be seen as vaguely brave, for the ancient Romans parricide was the ultimate Moral Event Horizon. partially played straight because being ready to face your own father's wrath for love was something only a roman with adamantium balls would have done.
  • The Woobie: Pietros spends about an episode as this and then kills himself.
    • Don't forget Diona.
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