Saturday, April 13, 2013

Spartacus Power Rankings, Vol. 10

Spartacus: War of the Damned, Episode 10 - "Victory"

10. Kore - Life's a fickle mistress, is it not? One week you're giving the Spartacus fandom a mass orgasm by knife-murdering the black-haired version of Joffrey. The next you're nailed to a cross. One week you're clear at the top of a list, then you're smack at the bottom because, really, all you accomplished that latter week was getting pushed around and then crucified. Sorry, Kore!

9. Pompey - Rolling in late, taking full credit for battles you didn't even participate in and wearing the world's gaudiest white armor in the process. Indeed, Pompey stands a choad.

8. Marcus Crassus & Julius Caesar - One taking a more literal-minded approach (or perhaps one who stands fucking Roman!) may suggest that the technical winners of the Third Servile War's final battle deserve a higher place on the last Spartacus Power Rankings. But I say fuck that. Crassus overwhelmed superior strategy and army fueled by righteous cause by just throwing tens upon tens of thousands of men at it. Of course the guy who brings a bulldozer to a sword fight is going to win.

Caesar clearly stood no chance against Gannicus until literally dozens of dudes showed up to help him, and even Crassus' secret and supposedly unblockable blade-grabbing technique was but child's play to Spartacus until, again, backup showed. But when teeming legions take down a lone hero, what you have is still a hero. For all his wealth and cockiness, in his heart of hearts, Crassus will always carry knowledge of who won that duel and who should have stood victorious on the field of battle.

7. The Romans who speared Spartacus - Yeah, they were just the coincidental outer fringes of the Roman tidal wave that swept through the rebels, and they only dealt Spartacus' mortal wounds by sneaking up when he was otherwise engaged. But at least these cowards showed initiative. Right up until Nasir speared them.

6. Naevia, Saxa & Castus - The noble fallen. They fought well. They died with honor. May their names be forever esteemed and the gods greet them as heroes in the afterlife.

5. Laeta & Sibyl - And when the dust settles on the epic and bloody, bloody journey that was Spartacus, two of the four named good guys to make it out the other end yet clinging to life are War of the Damned's new ladies, Laeta and Sibyl. And hey, good for them. Sibyl was never too interesting, but I'd say the way Laeta got her hands dirty killing Heracleo during their escape from Sinuessa en Valle earns her passage to a long and anonymous life somewhere in Rebeltown.

4. Lugo

There are... no words. (Except "Fuck your mothers!", obviously.)

3. Gannicus - "Victory" saw Gannicus finally embrace the spirit of Spartacus' cause and rise a leader, commanding the rear guard of Spartacus' army and becoming a badass general to rival Spartacus and Crixus themselves in the process. And perhaps even more importantly than his achievements on the battlefield, "Victory" saw Gannicus finally achieve his full potential and become a man Oenomaus would have been proud of: A man with honor.

For much of War of the Damned, I nursed a private theory that they might go a little Inglourious and have Ganny survive the final battle, to go on and star in some kind of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys-esque spinoff where he roams Italy doing heroic deeds. Alas, it was not to be, but a glorious fucking end it was (at least until the crucifixion), with Roman upon Roman falling to Gannicus, Caesar himself failing to best him, and Gannicus only defeated when surrounded by what looked like damn near a whole battalion.

So Gannicus died upon a cross, finally being reunited by vision in his last moments with his beloved brother Oenomaus. And as Crassus with Spartacus, Caesar must forever abide the knowledge that he would have fallen to his rival had it not been for the backup of his Roman hordes. Gannicus stands now and forever a God of the Arena.

2. Agron & Nasir - Make no mistake, these eachotherfuckers live! Their cocks rage on! They saved Spartacus from Crassus' sword, and Nasir even preemptively avenged Spartacus by killing the Romans who mortally wounded him. Great for Nasir, of course, but special tribute must be paid to Agron, the only one to go all the way from slave to gladiator to rebel to leader – participating in the takeover of Batiatus' ludus, the fight against Glaber and Battle of Vesuvius, and the war against Crassus – and make it out the other end alive, to spread word of Spartacus' deeds forevermore. If anything, the episode's titular "Victory" belongs to Agron.

1. Spartacus

Crassus: "Would that you'd been born a Roman, and stood beside me."

Spartacus: "I bless the fates that it was not so."

He was born a man yet now stands forever a legend. All hail the Thracian warrior, the Slayer of Theokoles, Bringer of Rain, king of the rebels and champion of not just the arena but all free peoples... whatever his name may have been. 

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