You'd think it would be difficult — if not impossible — to keep fans happy when they know their hero is about to die. But the folks behind Spartacus: War of the Damned don't seem too worried. In fact, as the Starz series prepares to launch its final season on Jan. 25, creator Steven S. DeKnight reminds us that Spartacus' death at the hands of his Roman oppressors is "not unlike the story of the Titanic. It's no big secret the boat will sink. It's how you get there that keeps the audience invested."
In War of the Damned, the former gladiator (Liam McIntyre) leads a massive, growing army of rebel slaves. That soon pits him against the up-and-coming Julius Caesar (Todd Lasance) and Rome's hotshot military commander Marcus Crassus (Simon Merrells). The latter ultimately defeated Spartacus, who — depending on which history you read — either perished in battle or was captured and crucified. Whichever way, "we will leave our fans with quite a gut punch," promises DeKnight. "But the final episode is also rousing and inspiring and really beautiful. I was moved to tears in the editing room — and I wrote the damn thing!"