Get ready to hear "I am Spartacus!" one last time.
It has only been three years since Spartacus splashed its bloody way across Starz, and Friday's epic series finale (9/8c) will conclude the legendary rebel leader's quest to free the slaves of Ancient Rome. And although history spoils the ultimate outcome, it is how each character has lived — and in some cases, died — that is the key to the show's appeal.
Spartacus' Manu Bennett on Crixus' downfall
Death is a complex thing on the series. Although there's no denying that it can be gloriously gory and over-the-top, at the same time, it is closely tied to the underlying theme of freedom. Slavery or death? That's the choice that masters force upon their slaves sent into the gladiators' arena and on the flip side, the choice fugitives make when they escape to join Spartacus.
Who will live? Who will die? Who will send men to their deaths? Check out this preview of the final Spartacus: War of the Damned and then continue reading for the cast's thoughts on killing or being killed on the series:
Cynthia Addai-Robinson and Pana Hema-Taylor
With Spartacus' latest episode comes a sense of dread because that means there's only one episode left before the end.
[Warning: The following contains spoilers from the penultimate episode of Spartacus: War of the Damned. You've been warned!]
Spartacus' Manu Bennett on Crixus' downfall
On Friday's Spartacus, the rebels celebrated quite a few triumphs, which was swell for them since, of course, history dictates a huge defeat on the horizon. Enjoy it while you can!
[Warning: The following contains spoilers from the most recent Spartacus episode.]
The Undefeated Gaul finally fulfilled his destiny.
On Friday's Spartacus: War of the Damned, the rebel forces parted ways... permanently. Spartacus (Liam McIntyre) led the fugitives north toward the Alps and the promise of freedom, while Crixus (Manu Bennett) took his group westward towards Rome and ultimately, to their death. And although Crixus' defeat was disheartening, it was to be expected. "Well, historically, it was going to be the case anyway," Bennett tells TVGuide.com. "Anyone who went onto Wikipedia knew."
Marcus Crassus is far craftier and more ruthless than we previously imagined.
[Spoiler alert! If you haven't watched the "Decimation" episode of Spartacus yet, avert your eyes or continue reading at your own risk.]
On Friday's Spartacus: War of the Damned, the deep plan that Crassus (Simon Merrells) conceived was finally revealed: Julius Caesar (Todd Lasance) would infiltrate Spartacus' (Liam McIntyre) group by disguising himself as a fellow (hairy, unwashed) rebel slave. So that's why Crassus didn't want Caesar to cut his hair!
The Vampire Diaries' Bonnie Bennett is getting a new mentor — hopefully with better intentions than her last one.
The Vampire Diaries' Joseph Morgan on the fallout of forcing Tyler out and Katherine's return
Spartacus: War of the Damned actress Cynthia Addai-Robinson will play Aja, a powerful witch, with a connection to Bonnie's mother, who comes to Mystic Falls to help Bonnie control her magic. Seeing as Jeremy is (most likely) dead, does this mean that the only other person with the ability to guide Bonnie with her magic, Professor Shane, is also about to croak?
Who needs leaders anyway?
On Friday's Spartacus: War of the Damned, both Spartacus (Liam McIntyre) and Marcus Crassus (Simon Merrells) may as well have been missing for all the heed their underlings paid them. Although that may seem like an oversimplification of the situation, wartime is when obedience to the leadership hierarchy is crucial, lest chaos rule.
When Spartacus is away, the rebels will play... with Romans!
On Friday's all-new Spartacus: War of the Damned, airing at 9/8c on Starz, the Romans of Sinuessa en Valle find that the sandal is on the other foot now that the rebels have taken over their walled city.
Pull on your waders because Spartacus and his hairy men are back, and they're waist-deep in blood and guts in their fight for freedom against Roman oppression.
On Friday's Spartacus: War of the Damned premiere, we meet up with the rebels many months after they defeated Glaber. Their ranks have swelled by the thousands, which is making the Roman Senate shake in their sandals. Enter Marcus Crassus (Simon Merrells), the wealthiest man in Rome, who will fund and lead an additional 10,000 soldiers to take down Spartacus (Liam McIntyre).
Spartacus: War of the Damned may be the series' swan song, but first the characters will have a chance to sing a different tune — literally.
At the red carpet premiere for Spartacus, which kicks off Friday at 9/8c on Starz, executive producer Steven S. DeKnight promised that "My C--- Rages On," the fictional bawdy song popularized on the series, will be heard again. "We could not have a season without 'My C--- Rages On,'" he told TVGuide.com. "So listen for it. It'll pop up somewhere."
Liam McIntyre, Lucy Lawless, Dustin Clare
All men face the threat of death, but the Spartacus: Vengeance cast has faced it on a regular basis through their characters on the show.
From Game of Thrones to Spartacus: TV's unsexiest sex scenes
Going into the epic finale Friday (10/9c, Starz), we asked the actors to reflect on what it must have been like to be placed in Spartacus' sandals and had them weigh in on two very important subjects: