‘Spartacus: War of the Damned’ Finale: Series Creator Explains Series’ Ending, Historical Deviations
This past weekend, the 'Spartacus' franchise and its multiple iterations finally came to a climactic end with series finale event 'Victory,' closing out 'Spartacus: War of the Damned' on a hopeful, if tragic note that gave true history its due. And yet, plenty of deaths and survivals within the finale gave fans pause, so what does series creator Steven S. DeKnight have to say of the different ways 'Spartacus' could have ended? Get the latest on the 'Spartacus' closer inside!
Spoiler warnings from here on out, but very few 'Spartacus: War of the Damned' fans were surprised to see the titular hero (Liam McIntyre) ultimately give his life in the final battle, despite the fact that history records the legendary figure's body never to have been found. Speaking to IGN, Entertainment Weekly and the Huffington Post, series creator and show-runner Steven S. DeKnight offered his own thoughts on the finale, including the difficult death choices and their historical basis.
Most climactically with Spartacus himself, DeKnight acknowledges that history never found Spartacus' body, but confessed it would feel a disservice to the character if he saw most of his followers killed in the final battle, but ultimately survived to live his own life. In particular, DeKnight toyed with the idea of Spartacus falling on the battle field, but with Crassus leaving his enemy's body behind out of respect, ultimately deciding that the character's ultimate end should have lent focus to Liam McIntyre's performance rather than highlight another character's actions.
As for the injuries that ultimately claimed Spartacus' life, DeKnight wanted to highlight a connection to Crixus in that both titans only fell after being attacked from behind, too skilled to lose otherwise. Despite Spartacus' weakened condition in fighting Crassus, DeKnight wanted to highlight that Spartacus still bested Crassus, and ultimately won the man's full respect.
As for the finale's other major deaths, DeKnight revealed that Gannicus' final moments went through multiple iterations as well, before finally landing on the moment of the crucified character hallucinating his fallen friend Oenomaus (Peter Mensah) and a return to the arena that championed his name. Fans were eager to see if the reluctantly heroic Gannicus ultimately survived, but DeKnight explains history largely tied his hands, especially as Gannicus had been due to fall much earlier. Naevia (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) too was considered to survive, though DeKnight ultimately felt her story ended with Crixus' passing.
Surprisingly, the biggest survivors of the finale were Agron and Nasir, a fan-favorite couple nearly torn apart in earlier episodes when Agron faced crucifixion at the hands of the Romans. DeKnight liked the idea of Agron being the last gladiator of the Ludus to survive at Spartacus' side, and joked about he and Nasir finally getting the goat farm they'd alluded to in the past. Laeta and Sibyl also survived the event, and were considered to be revealed as pregnant, though DeKnight ultimately thought the idea to be "too TV."
Finally, DeKnight admitted that while he wouldn't have wanted another season in between 'Vengeance' and 'War of the Damned' to make Spartacus' battles against Roman villains too repetitive, he might have preferred a few additional episodes to 'War of the Damned' to make things less cramped. "You do what you can with what you've got," DeKnight tells HuffPost TV. "It's not a bad thing at all leaving fans wanting just a little bit more."
DeKnight had plenty to say about the potential for a Caesar spin-off and his upcoming Starz series 'Incursion,' but what say you? Were you satisfied by the 'Spartacus: War of the Damned' series finale? Would you have liked to see the story end any differently? Tell us what you wanted to see in the comments below!