|First appearance||S0E01: Past Transgressions|
S3E01: Enemies of Rome
|Last appearance||S3E10: Victory|
|Profession||Former Gladiator (House of Batiatus)|
|Relationships||Oenomaus (Best Friend, deceased)|
Melitta (Friend/Former Lover, deceased)
Saxa (Former Lover/Friend, deceased)
Marcia (Sexual partner, deceased)
Spartacus (Rival/Friend, deceased)
Titus Lentulus Batiatus (Former Dominus, deceased)
Quintus Lentulus Batiatus (Former Dominus, deceased)
Ulpius (Doctore, deceased)
Crixus (Rival/Friend, deceased)
Attius (Friend, deceased)
Donar (Friend, deceased)
Barca (Friend, deceased)
Auctus (Friend, deceased)
Naevia (Friend, deceased)
Sanus (Friend, deceased)
Totus (Friend, deceased)
Lugo (Friend, deceased)
Pleuratos (Comrade, deceased)
Correus (Comrade, deceased)
Otho (Rival, deceased)
Tullius (Enemy, deceased)
Ashur (Enemy, deceased)
Heracleo (Former Ally/Enemy, deceased)
Gaius Julius Caesar (Archenemy)
|Status||Deceased (Crucified by Roman Soldiers, on Crassus' orders)|
Gannicus, legal name Panulus Quantulius, is a central character and anti-hero in Spartacus. He serves as champion in Batiatus' Ludus throughout the events of the prequel, Gods of the Arena, until his departure upon earning his freedom in the aftermath of the Games of the New Arena. He later returns in Vengeance initially as an acquaintance to the rebels, criticizing their cause against the Roman Republic, though he ironically becomes a rebel himself for the sake of his closest friend, Oenomaus. Later, Gannicus becomes a true rebel to protect innocent people as his true love Sibyl.
He is often referred to by others as a "God of the Arena" due to his legendary fights as a gladiator that had led to winning his freedom.
Gannicus is a Celtic gladiator at 1.78 m tall, athletic, with tanned skin and long, dirty blonde hair. In later seasons he has a tattoo- an Icelandic symbol called the Helm of awe; to induce fear and to protect against abuse of power, on his left arm. He is noted to be remarkably handsome and charming, enough so to catch even the eye of Gaia, a woman abiding in the wealthy Roman class. He fights dual-wielding two swords in the gladiator style of Dimachaerus.
Gannicus proves himself a remarkable physical specimen: fearless in the arena and possessed by a thirst for the fleeting pleasures of life.
Gannicus' unwavering love for conflict and the roar of the crowd. He is an adrenaline addict, often smiling while in battle, and whenever a situation gets tense, a smirk draws on his face. This coupled with his extreme confidence (borderline arrogance) in his abilities is unmatched by any other gladiators. Though he could take down opponents with swift efficiency, he demonstrates showmanship by pacing his fights with variety of attacks, demonstrating graphically gruesome executions, and laughing and roaring for the spectators. He confidently gives his back against opponents, fights an armed opponents with nothing but his bare fists and even fought blindfolded against Otho. Even after being freed from slavery, his love for conflict and battle never wavered.
His love for conflict is probably only matched, if not surpassed, by his love for wine and woman, even once stating that those two were the only real "pressing matters" in the world. He frequently seeks female companionship, and is often seen drunk or with a hangover.
His relaxed and hedonistic lifestyle is is contrasted with a sense of honor and his strong morals, mostly stemming from his close friendship with Oenomaus. It was this that lead him to feeling an extreme level of guilt after feeling a strong attachment with Melitta, Oenomaus wife, after being forced to have sex with her by Batiatus. Despite leaving the ludus and spending five years travelling as a Libertus, his guilt after betraying his best friend never truly went away.
Though he pursues physical female companionship on a constant basis, Gannicus does not mistreat women and possesses a strong moral code, which is a common trait shared by Spartacus and Oenomaus. Yet, beyond his cockiness, there's an underlying sense of honor about him that creeps to the surface, especially in the presence of Oenomaus. This became strained when he began to struggle with his feelings for Melitta and would later haunt him the following years since his departure.
At first, Gannicus is doubtful of Spartacus and his cause, believing the man to be a jest the same as the rebellion, but as time passes he slowly joins in with the rebellion and, while not considering himself close with Spartacus by the end of Vengeance, he and Spartacus gain a mutual respect. At the time of War of The Damned, he and Spartacus have become very close and often joke and trade barbs with one another, even providing each other counsel. Spartacus sees Gannicus' potential as a leader and has asked him to become one numerous times, but Gannicus denies stating that he does not wish to become a "God" in the eyes of the rebels like Spartacus has; Yet he still accompanies him and seems to become one of his closest allies. Gannicus, however, still does not truly believe in the cause and instead does it to honor Oenomaus, however, he occasionally acts as a moral advisor to Spartacus, steering him in the right direction, and does embrace him as a brother.
After developing a relationship with Sybil and the departure of Crixus and Agron with half of their army, Gannicus assumes the unnoficial position of second in command in the rebel army. Just before the final battle against Crassus army, he fully accepts becoming a leader under the cause of gaining time so that those unable to fight are able to escape from the grasp of Rome.
As a former champion of not only his house but the arena as well, Gannicus is one of the most skilled, athletic, and durable fighters in the series. Gannicus' true testament to his abilities is he has proved himself an equivalent to Spartacus with skill and sword, while Spartacus is considered one of the best, if not the best fighter in the series. Gannicus himself claims he and Spartacus are equal in skill with swords, but admits that Spartacus is superior to him when using a spear.
Gannicus' fighting style suits his way of thinking. With the Dimachaeri style he can constantly attack and with Pankration he can protect himself with no armor worn. He thrives on athleticism and speed that enables him to bombard rapid strikes and aerial assaults with many jumping motions compared to the other gladiators who prefer more grounded combat style. Gannicus also appears to be able to enter into a berserker rage in combat, which greatly augments his strength and overall ability. This has been seen from his fights with Otho, Barca, The Egyptian, and Crixus.
However, Gannicus' morbid pursuit of thrill by facing death as closely as possible often puts him in dangerous combat situations. He willingly fights Otho without weapons, with a blindfold, and challenges enemies that are physically bigger and stronger than him, such as Caburus, The Egyptian, and Crixus, without hesitation. It is the combination of his obsession for danger, nonchalant attitude against fear, gifted athleticism, and supremely honed fighting skills that allow him to stand victorious against virtually every enemy he has faced while laughing and smiling with joy and excitement.
Gannicus is fully capable of taking down multiple enemies even in tight corridors, such as Ashur's mercenaries and the pirates. During the capture of Ilithyia, he single handedly took down an entire squad of bodyguards through the element of surprise and the aid of night time darkness, as well as a group of hunters who later questioned her presence around the gladiator.
Gannicus "signature attacks" are;
- Slashing with his swords at the same time towards the opponent’s neck and either decapitating them or slashing their throats. Most commonly used technique, and a very common way for him to kill enemies.
- Jumping towards a wall and performing a 360º flip and either kicking or slashing the opponent with his sword/s.
Gannicus was initially purchased by Titus Lentulus Batiatus in his late adolescence. Gannicus displayed a natural fighting prowess, however due to his arrogance and carefree attitude he was never favoured by Titus and therefore wasn't given much consideration. He did, however, develop a strong friendship with Oenomaus and also befriended other gladiators of note such as Barca and Auctus.
After Titus became ill and moved to Sicilia, Quintus became the Dominus of the house after which time he began to utilize Gannicus in the arena more and more. Gannicus proved to be a real sight in the arena and gained a popular following.
Gods of the Arena
Gannicus is a popular gladiator and rising star within the gladiatorial world in Capua in the House of Batiatus, having risen to prominence since his friend, Oenomaus, was defeated by Theokoles. He is presented by Quintus Batiatus in a match in the Old Arena to which he easily bests his opponent.
Back at the Ludus, Gannicus earns rewards for his win; wine and women. He partakes of both vigorously, then jokes with his friends Oenomaus and Melitta. He appears to be free of all worries, and has little respect for his own life.
Whilst Batiatus attempts a business deal with Tullius, he and Vettius argue over who has the better gladiators. Batiatus jokes that any of his gladiators could beat Vettius' gladiators absent sight, and Vettius takes him up on the bet. Batiatus chooses Gannicus to be the one to fight, meaning he is officially champion of the Ludus and the days of Oenomaus as champion have passed. That evening, Oenomaus hears drunken singing from outside and finds Gannicus swaying dangerously on the cliff precipice, an amphora of wine in his hand. He purposefully slips and almost falls off, laughing at the danger of it. He then sobers for a moment and tells Oenomaus that he should be the one fighting (thus calling Oenomaus the true champion), but the next day he is taken to town to face Vettius' champion, Otho.
The challenge takes place in the market. Vettius brings forth his gladiator, Otho, along with a blindfold, reminding Batiatus of the part of his challenge that he had only meant in jest. Both Sextus and Tullius are present, and Batiatus does not wish to be seen as a coward, but he cannot accept. Gannicus instead accepts the blindfold, and readies for the fight, mocking Otho in doing so by saying that the task should not be difficult, as he only needs to direct his blades towards the smell of excrement.
Gannicus is successful to begin with because Otho launches every attack with an angry cry. They lock arms and wrestle around without weapons, but once they are free of each other again, Gannicus cannot find his opponent and is beaten to the ground. Otho lands many hard hits and eventually grabs his sword again. He slashes Gannicus' chest but Gannicus grabs him and forces the sword out of his grip. Otho pulls a nail from nearby and stabs Gannicus in the chest with it, but Gannicus pushes him off again. Sword in hand, Otho moves in and slashes at Gannicus, who dodges out of the way at the last moment. The sword embeds itself in a wooden plank. Gannicus follows the sounds and grabs Otho, forcing him down onto the edge of the sword, cutting his neck open and killing him. Tullius is impressed with Gannicus' performance and seeks to buy him off Batiatus, who refuses. A sly battle begins between the two of them over who will own Gannicus.
After the battle, Gannicus joins Oenomaus in his room to celebrate and share wine. Melitta, Oenomaus' wife, enters and hears Gannicus joking about killing Oenomaus in the arena, if it came round to it. She jokingly berates him for discussing the possible death of her husband so lightly, and asks him what he would do if he could not laugh or fight his way out of a situation, which is what he would normally do. He replies that he may have to fuck his way out.
A new Roman guest, Quintilius Varus, arrives in the villa. Batiatus is eager to impress the man to gain favor, and offers demonstration of Gannicus, who trains down in the Ludus, to battle. As Varus favors Gaia he lets her choose Crixus, a new trainee, as Gannicus' opponent. Varus requests metal swords used instead of wooden swords, and Batiatus hesitatingly agrees. When the fight begins, Gannicus appears to have the upper hand, but Crixus manages to regain form and even knock away one of Gannicus' swords and down him. Impressed, Gannicus soon manages to recuperate and gains control of the battle again, eventually knocking Crixus to the ground.
Later that evening, Batiatus hopes to appeal to Quinctilius Varus personal desires and brings an oiled and prepared Gannicus into his presence. The Roman admires Gannicus' physique, but declines the option of sleeping with him, claiming he is too tired. Varus instead suggests that Gannicus and Melitta have sex in front of him. Forced to perform for the Roman, the two are hesitant at first and Gannicus is apologetic, for Oenomaus and Melitta are his closest friends, and he abhors the thought of raping her. Lucretia and Batiatus allow the show, despite the unspoken arrangement that Melitta does not sleep with anyone other than her husband. Eventually, however, Melitta starts to show enjoyment, which is replaced by shame and tears when it is over. When she returns to Oenomaus in the evening, she mentions nothing of it to him.
Titus Batiatus, the father of Quintus, returns from Sicily unexpectedly and begins to show disapproval of Gannicus being the champion of his house. Quintus and Titus begin a feud as to whether Gannicus should be sold to Tullius, which Titus believes to be a sound business strategy, while Quintus believes selling his champion would bring ruin to the house. During this time, Gannicus begins falling in love with Melitta, and is wracked with guilt over having betrayed his friend. Melitta also begins to reluctantly reciprocate, although they do not consummate their love due to respect for Oenomaus. Crixus also begins to feverishly wish to defeat Gannicus in the arena and become champion, but is continually thwarted in his efforts.
Later, Titus arranges a contest to determine who is worthy to remain a gladiator and become champion. During the contest, he is paired against Barca. During their fight Gannicus is distracted by Melitta at many instances, which gives Barca an opening. Barca strikes him and nearly defeats Gannicus before the latter becomes enraged to the point where Oenomaus orders Gannicus to stop. He and Barca and then laugh at how the Hoplomachus almost had him and Gannicus looks back up to Melitta before lining back up with the rest of the men.
Titus makes a deal with Oenomaus that if Gannicus defeats Crixus he will remain champion and stay in the house but if he fails to do so he will be sold to Tullius. After fighting Crixus to what seems to be a draw Gannicus reflects on not being able to love Melitta. Not wanting to bear the pain of being in love with his best friend's wife he willingly loses the fight though many, including Crixus himself, note that Gannicus threw the fight and could have actually won.
Hearing that he is about to be sold, Melitta asks to see Gannicus to share drink with an old friend as they do not believe they will see each other again. However, during the encounter Melitta unknowingly drinks from a bottle of honeyed wine, a bottle that Lucretia had poisoned and served to Titus. Melitta tells Gannicus that despite her words she also has feelings for him and they begin to kiss, but then she begins to cough up blood and Melitta swiftly dies in agony while in Gannicus' arms. Horrified, Gannicus frantically begs for her to breathe but receives no change in her and becomes sad. He recognizes that the wine was poisoned and carries Melitta to Lucretia and says it was the wine. Lucretia tells Gannicus that, "Oenomaus must not know she came to your cell, she was never with you!" Lucretia frames her death and that of Titus on Tullius, as the wine was a gift from him that Lucretia had poisoned. Gannicus was ordered not to tell Oenomaus, but feels guilt when he goes to his cell while he is praying.
Gannicus and Oenomaus are both overcome with grief over Melitta's death while Lucretia wants Gaia's death to be avenged. Naevia replaces Melitta as Lucretia's body slave and she makes promise that no one will ever lay hands upon her for sport and maidenhood will be preserved as precious gift. Gannicus later offers to personally kill Tullius if Quintus goes through with the arrangement and hands him over. He claims that he wishes to kill Tullius to avenge Titus, but Quintus recognizes that he actually desires to avenge Melitta, and refuses to sell him. Instead Quintus conspires an ambush at night in the streets of Capua. He, Gannicus, Oenomaus, the Syrians and several other gladiators drag Tullius into the underbelly of the newly constructed arena of Capua.
They all stab the Roman repeatedly, and as he slowly bleeds to death they brick him into a wall, as Gannicus smiles pleasurably at Tullius' suffering. At this time Solonius, who was subject to the condescending words spoken in anger from Batiatus during counsel, comes to terms with Vettius to purchase his gladiators for Solonius' Ludus to fight under his banner in the primus.
Gannicus is in attendance during the Opening Games of the New Arena. Oenomaus comes to him to honor the House of Batiatus, but Gannicus doesn't believe in it. Oenomaus then tells him to fight for Melitta to which Gannicus immediately agrees to.
Gannicus first goes against two gladiators, Synetus and Tasgetius, who he quickly defeats. Gannicus then gains a position in the primus alongside Crixus, Ashur, Dagan, Gnaeus, Duratius and Narto. Before going off, Crixus makes it clear that he will prove himself against him even if they are from the same house. There they face off against 13 gladiators from the House of Solonius. Gannicus focuses mostly against Caburus, champion of the House of Solonius. Eventually Gannicus, Crixus and Caburus remain the last three in the fight and together. Gannicus and Crixus face off against Caburus.
Caburus wounds Crixus and prepares to kill him, but Gannicus knocks Crixus out of the arena to save his life. In a brutal one-on-one fight, Caburus and Gannicus battle with Caburus holding the upper hand. As Gannicus lies on the ground he looks up to see Oenomaus. Reminded of what he is fighting for, he stands up and breaks the spear Caburus thrusts at him drives the spear into his mouth and breaking his jaw, killing him. Gannicus then roars in victory as he is made the victor in the battle. However, Gannicus is then granted freedom becoming the only gladiator to ever win his freedom in Capua upon the sands.
As he departs the Ludus for the last time, he says farewell to his brothers and then gives Crixus his necklace, which is given to every champion of the House of Batiatus, as Crixus was the runner-up in the battle, and is now the new champion. Crixus bemoans the fact that they still do not know which of them is superior, so Gannicus invites him to seek him out for a proper contest once he has gained his own freedom. Oenomaus then presents him with a rudis (a wooden sword, engraved with the stories of his victories), as proof that he is a freed slave, and states how proud he is to see his brother free. Gannicus then tells Oenomaus how Melitta loved him above all others and that he will meet Oenomaus again one day.
He then departs the Ludus, giving the Ludus one last look before taking his leave.
Period Before Vengeance
In the years after he was awarded his freedom, Gannicus presumably traveled through the Italic Peninsula, and in one of those trips traveled to Sinuessa En Valle. There he met a Roman blacksmith, named Attius, and they became good friends.
Though no longer a gladiator, he kept up with events that transpired in Capua. During this time away from Capua, he had heard many tales of the "Undefeated Gaul", who he knew was Crixus and was pleased to learn he became champion after his departure.
Gannicus would learn later of Spartacus' revolt and the death of his former dominus. He later discovered that Rhaskos, Crixus and Oenomaus were to be killed in the arena ad gladium in Capua. This led him to return to his old city, wanting to give them an honorable death in the arena.
Five years later, it is revealed that Gannicus has been wandering over the years and indulging to the point where he is quoted to be "light in coin". This prompts him to return to Capua, the place where his prestige and reputation was established in search for means to finance his endeavors. In exchange for fighting in the arena once again, he is given an amount of coin by Mercato, a local organizer of the games who is thrilled by his presence.
The night before the execution, he goes to the brothels and sleeps with a prostitute named Marcia, who he develops affection for and vice-versa.
After realizing they are to face him in the arena, Crixus is baffled as to why their old friend would deliberately come to end their lives in the arena, with Oenomaus believing it is because he has lost all honor.
As he waits outside the arena, Gannicus briefly exchanges words with a disguised Spartacus, who has come to free his comrades and destroy the stadium. Spartacus realizes he is a freed gladiator of the House of Batiatus through the branding of brotherhood, and questions him as to why he has come to kill his brother. Gannicus reveals that he had heard that the three were to be executed, and believes only he can make them die honorably.
After making his extravagant reintroduction in the arena, he awkwardly greets his former brother by saying they at last face each other upon the sands as Melitta had always feared. Oenomaus then questions Gannicus, asking if it was true that he had an affair with Melitta on the night she had died. Upon showing hesitation to answer, Oenomaus is enraged and begins to deal heavy blows against him, beginning the games. While they fight, Gannicus says he never wanted to feel what he felt for Melitta or to battle his friend. Their duel continues for a short period of time where both proved to be equally matched in skill until Gannicus parries with Oenomaus and manages to disarm him and give him a flying kick. Gannicus having bested Oenomaus reveals his intentions to why he was sent to execute the three rebels. He tells Oenomaus that he wishes to send him to Melitta's arms in the after-life and give him an honorable death. This was best seen when he prevented other gladiators from attacking Oenomaus.
Shortly after Spartacus and his men begin their assault on the arena, Gannicus is about to deal the fatal blow at Oenomaus, when he see the stands collapse on top of them. He and Oenomaus are buried underneath.
After the arena is evacuated, Gannicus emerges from the rubble with an unconscious Oenomaus, holding his weapons to Spartacus and Agron until he sees Crixus. He calls out to Crixus to help him carry Oenomaus to safety. Gannicus escapes with Spartacus and the rebels, but loses his most prized possession: his Rudis.
He accompanies Spartacus, not to be a rebel, but to talk with Oenomaus, who he helps to carry back to Vesuvius. This was seen when he bluntly told Spartacus his rebellion will fail and notes its reason had led many to ruin. Regardless, he continued his friendship with Crixus by regaling on his gladiator days. After Oenomaus awakens, Gannicus goes to talk to him and tells him of the night Melitta died, and sadly claims that Melitta chose Oenomaus in the end. However, Oenomaus sees through this since she was with him the night she died and Gannicus not convincing him in denying something went on between them. Oenomaus calls Gannicus a selfish man who only looks out for himself. Hurt by his former friend's words though seeing he was correct, Gannicus says he was a fool to believe he would gain forgiveness and says word of his departure. As he makes attempt to leave, he is accused of stealing the map of the city about to be raided, and the remaining coin the rebels retain. Gannicus and Spartacus fight, but they prove a match for one another, with the rebels watching intently. After Chadara (the real culprit) was shot by Mira, he is exonerated. He leaves the sanctuary and continues to maintain his stance of non-involvement with the Rebellion.
Gannicus enters Capua again and speaks to the Magistrate. After his conference, and the watching of a crucifixion, he returns to the brothels where he shares a moment with Marcia. Their sweet moment is broken up when he is confronted by Ashur, who turns him in to Glaber. Glaber offers Gannicus a place in his army. When Gannicus refuses, Glaber hands him his Rudis and he says he is free to go, although after Gannicus leaves he orders Ashur to follow Gannicus and crucify him should he try to leave Capua. He continues to wander Capua, and finds Marcia, the work of Ashur, crucified because she spoke of Spartacus and Glaber ordered any slave who mentions Spartacus will be crucified as well and Ashur noticed her and Gannicus' feelings for one another. Lucretia tries to convince him to assassinate Glaber, but he calls her crazy.
That night, he sat at the brothels in thought before making a decision. When Glaber sends Ilithyia back to Rome, soldiers discovered her cart was raided. Gannicus was the one who raided the cart, killed the six guards and kidnapped Ilithyia. He left his rudis lodged in the throat of the mercenary Ashur had ordered to spy on him. This was left as his answer to Glaber to say he sides with the rebels.
He then takes a blindfolded Ilithyia to Spartacus at the temple and asks him to kill her, thus taking vengeance for Sura and preventing further loss of innocent lives. However, Spartacus backed out and Gannicus annoyed that he was supposedly frail. That night, he proceeds to speak with Oenomaus saying he would not have more fall to Spartacus' cause and does not want to see his brother fall but Oenomaus tells him that their brotherhood was a lie, and that Gannicus stands for nothing as he always has. Gannicus would then join Spartacus stating that he only does so because Oenomaus believes in the cause and that one day he may too.
He quickly becomes of note amongst the rebels for his superior strength and skill and soon becomes a welcomed member, though he maintains his desire to rebuild his friendship with Oenomaus. He is paired with Oenomaus in a contest, devised by Spartacus to bring the sense of brotherhood into the rebels, against Crixus and Agron. Using their superior skill and cooperation they manage to best the two and rekindle some of their friendship. He also lightens up towards Spartacus but maintains the belief the rebellion will fail in a way.
When an assault on the temple begins, Gannicus takes up the defense against the Romans. He helps Spartacus in capturing Publius Varinius. He later faces Ashur and some other opponents though is pushed back. After seeing The Egyptian best Oenomaus, he quickly comes to his aid and knocks down the former and saves his friend's life.
When the rebels are camped up on top of the mountain, Gannicus speaks to Spartacus and reveals having gained respect for him and that if he is to die at least he will die among brothers. With that he extends his hand and Spartacus shakes it signifying the new formed friendship between the two, Gannicus laughs off. Alongside Spartacus, Crixus and Agron he scales down the mountainside and flanks the Romans. He readies for battle, with his comrades. When the rest of the rebels arrive the real fight begins, Gannicus is shown to be the most excited for combat among them, laughing at the glorious death he sees. He fights and kills Danus before joining his comrades in killing many Roman soldiers. As Glaber sounds a retreat, the rebels furiously pursue the Romans. Gannicus engages the Egyptian, they start off as equals before the Egyptian knocks him down and nearly overcomes him before Oenomaus intervenes in the fight and wounds the Egyptian. The two work together to battle the mercenary while simultaneously defeating roman soldiers. However, after a brief fight the Egyptian fatally impales Oenomaus in the chest. Enraged,
Gannicus breaks free of nearby Roman soldiers and overcomes the Egyptian, delivering a fatal blow to his head. He then goes to Oenomaus' side where the two share final words and reconcile their friendship. Oenomaus states he will see Melitta and they will greet Gannicus as brother in the afterlife. Gannicus then participates in the remainder of the fight. He then witnesses deal the final blow to Glaber and watches when Spartacus gives his speech to defeat Rome. Gannicus looks upon the celebrating rebels and appears content to remain with them, fully in honor of Oenomaus, though he also shows a sense of doubt.
War of the Damned
Following the Battle of Vesuvius, Gannicus remains with the Rebel army. He now loyally serves to honor his fallen friend though still holds doubt for the cause. In the interim he has stood beside Spartacus and Crixus during major battles. Gannicus also has now taken a sexual interest in Saxa and has developed a strong friendship with Spartacus, having become something of a confidant and moral advisor to him.
After the victorious battle against Cossinius and Furius, Gannicus returns to the encampment to drink wine with his friends Sanus and Totus and later to lay with Saxa and two other women presented as "gifts" to him by Saxa. Spartacus summons him, upset that Gannicus did not submit his battle report. Gannicus reports "We fought, we won". Spartacus then takes notice of Gannicus' skill and tells him to take his rightful place beside Crixus and himself as a leader. Gannicus does not think of himself as a leader refuses but Spartacus says there are many that already see him as such and even greater would follow him in battle and would gladly die for the cause. Gannicus explains to Spartacus that he wants to stay in the brotherhood and remain a close advisor to Spartacus, but not be seen as God like Spartacus. Gannicus also questions Spartacus path of blood, wondering how many must die before he feels peace. Spartacus remarks that the more Roman's he kills the better chance the slaves have, remarking that he could not even save his own wife. With the subject changed Gannicus reveals to Spartacus his affair with Melitta and says that even with gaining his freedom, the pain he caused to those he loved remained. He goes on to explain that Oenomaus finally forgave him in his final breath, subtely telling Spartacus that forgiveness heals where vengeance leaves one empty, but Spartacus isn't moved. Gannicus then departs Spartacus tent to seek more celebration and states that he is with him till the very end.
News of a Roman unit close-by reaches the Rebel encampment. Spartacus, Gannicus and the other rebels launch an ambush on the unit, which is revealed to be a messenger. They obtain the news that a force of 10,000, led by Crassus, prepare to face them. They also learn that Cossinius and Furius have fled to a villa nearby. As night falls, Gannicus, Spartacus and Crixus sneak inside the villa, successfully routing the rest of Cossinius' forces, and both Cossinius and Furius themselves.
Gannicus, Spartacus and Crixus go to Sinuessa disguised as travelers.
A guard almost has all three of them removed from the city before Spartacus mentions Laurus, and are let through once giving over their weapons. Gannicus takes them to Attius, a friend he met when he came to Sinuessa after being freed. Attius agrees to forge two weapons and is paid for his service. While Crixus leaves the city to re-join the rebels and Spartacus explores the city, Gannicus decides to stay and speak with Attius.
With their weapons ready, Gannicus has Attius trick the Roman guards to open the weapons vault and lock them inside. Attius is nearly killed and Gannicus runs to his aid. Spartacus holds off the guards while Gannicus opens the gate. The rebels storm through the city, and Gannicus takes part in the bloodshed, and beheads Laurus, freeing Sibyl and Laurus' other slaves. Before the Aedile, Ennius has the chance to burn the grain in the city, Gannicus and Crixus kill the guards next to him and Ennius is killed by Spartacus.
Gannicus is present as the rebels torture the surviving Romans in the city, and is present as Crixus forces Ulpianus and another Roman to fight to the death. Despite his disapproval of the act, Gannicus makes no attempt to stop it but stops Crixus from hurting Attius. Later after Heracleo and his pirates arrive, Gannicus goes out with Spartacus, Agron, Crixus and Totus to the agreement. Things take a sour turn as Tiberius leads his army to attack but after the pirates use their weapons to force the Romans to retreat, Gannicus returns to the city and mourns Totus' death, along with Crixus. During this time, Gannicus learns of Attius' death by Naevia and mourns his friend's death too. He shows suspicion towards Naevia, but goes along with her story that Attius attacked her unprovoked after she asked if he aided the prisoners escape.
One night, after a celebration, Gannicus returns to a villa, where Saxa is waiting for him dressed in fine clothing. She takes him to a waiting Sibyl who is dressed in a beautiful, white gown. Saxa caresses Sibyl, then undresses her. Gannicus stares mesmerized, his eyes transfixed upon Sibyl. He is in awe with the innocence of Sibyl and strokes her face, while staring awestruck. Gannicus is attracted to her but is moved by her innocence. After a few minutes he seems to escape out of whatever trance he was in and tells Sibyl to gather her things and leave. Sibyl appears confused and taken aback at his dismissal. When she leaves, Gannicus looks saddened but when questioned by Saxa he tells her that he doesn't want a girl - he wants a woman.
Sibyl waits outside, holding her idol in her hands. When Gannicus comes out to leave, she explains that he has not granted her an opportunity to thank him for saving her life. She owes him everything. He shrugs, uninterested in the story many have told him before, but she stays firm in her belief insisting he is as a hero sent by the gods. He holds her chin and gently warns her that she should stay away from him and men of his kind.
Gannicus is later shown with Saxa, defending Fabia's brother from Brictius' wrath. Gannicus stops the brutality. Saxa threatens the man that he will join his sister should he touch any rebel again. Gannicus kindly tells Fabia's brother he does not know of his missing sister. He and Saxa continue walking, where they are met by Sibyl who says she knows of something that is of concern. Gannicus accompanies her to the Aedile's stables where Laeta is hiding the escaped Romans. He recognizes Ulpianus and asks if he was the man that Attius helped free. Laeta then says that Attius had no part in the act. Upon hearing this, Gannicus realizes that Attius was killed for nothing. He stops Saxa from killing Laeta and tells her to take the Romans to Spartacus while he goes after Crixus and Naevia saying he will see memory of Attius "Well Fucking Honored!.
He confronts them and tells them the true story - which Laeta not Attius was responsible and that Saxa is taking them to Spartacus. Naevia says it doesn't matter as Attius was a Roman who fell to a deserved fate, however Gannicus says Attius was his friend and curses Naevia, forcing Crixus to defend her. The two then get into a fight where Gannicus dominates Crixus, despite aid from other Rebels. Gannicus almost kills Crixus until Naevia knocks him out from behind with a cinderblock. He later regains consciousness and shows up once the rebels have killed many of the Roman prisoners and are stopped by Spartacus. He tells Spartacus Laeta was responsible for hiding most of the Romans and that Attius had no part in the plot and didn't deserve the end that he met. Spartacus then decides not to kill Laeta or more Romans. Crixus says that there are many that question his mind but Spartacus says he questions why he placed Crixus in charge. Enraged, Crixus tries to charge but is restrained by Donar and Agron. Gannicus is satisfied with this and Spartacus then orders that surviving Romans are to be placed in his villa and if the rebels try to disobey him they will they will follow those they have struck down. With that Gannicus leaves with the rest of the rebels.
Spartacus takes Gannicus, Lugo, Sanus and Saxa on a journey with him aboard Heracleo's ship to Sicilia, to make attack on Crassus' grain supply. During the sea journey, Spartacus recounts to Gannicus that the last time he was on the sea was when he was first taken captive by the Romans. Along the way Gannicus asks Spartacus if it was wise to leave Crixus in the city by himself but Spartacus is positive in Agron keeping watch on the Romans. Spartacus then tells Gannicus if he was to fall he wants him to be his successor Gannicus, however reminds Spartacus that he does not want to be a leader but Spartacus says that Gannicus is more worthy of being a leader than Crixus since he did not kill any Roman prisoners but Gannicus says he would have spilt blood as well had Naevia not knocked him out. But Spartacus says he wouldn't have Gannicus still remains unconvinced but Spartacus still has hopes on Gannicus taking his rightful place. When Saxa comes to inform them that they have reached shore and kisses Gannicus, Spartacus looks at Gannicus after she leaves and says that perhaps one day Gannicus will find reason close to his heart to be the man he sees him to be. The group of Rebels reaches Sicilia and attacks a Roman party, slaughtering them all and taking their grain.
When they return to city walls, Spartacus, Agron and Gannicus fill Crixus in on their strategic plan against Crassus and his legions. After the city evacuation Sibyl appears in front of Gannicus. He mentions that he thought she had already left for Melia Ridge but she says she did not wish to leave without having a word with him first. She explains that before the rebels took over the city she had prayed to the gods that they would see her to freedom from her dominus and that in him, it appeared that her prayers had been answered. He doesn't care for her explanation and says that this is a story told to him many times before. She clarifies simply stating that it is not something she expects him to believe but wants him to accept that it is what she holds to be true. She wishes him luck and embraces him saying "May the gods watch over you". Gannicus is moved by her affection and concern and replies by saying that may the gods watch over her as well, if he cannot himself. Sibyl walks away and they both turn back to look at each other before Sibyl hurries off.
As night falls, Spartacus puts his plan into action, however, Heracleo arrives late and absent Sanus. Heracleo betrays Spartacus and reveals that he has brought Roman soldiers aboard his ship back to the city. A fierce battle ensues as Spartacus and Gannicus face the Roman Soldiers. Crixus arrives with other Rebels just in time to finish them off. Spartacus later spots Roman ships heading towards the city and demands that everybody flee to the Ridge. Gannicus offers to cause a distraction, to allow the Rebels to escape through the northern gate, stating that his life held less meaning than that of Spartacus since he was their leader and all would be lost without him. Reluctantly, Spartacus allows this and leads the others away. Saxa is saddened at this and kisses Gannicus telling him not to die and leaves with the rest. Gannicus, with Donar, plans to set the grain store alight in order to cause distraction. There, they find Sibyl who had been in hiding since her escape had been cut short by the Romans entering the city. She rushes to Gannicus instantly, frightened of the massacre occuring in the city. He tells her to stay by his side if she desires to live. They set fire to the grain store but the distraction does little to dissuade Crassus from moving against Spartacus. A fight with Roman soldiers ensues in the streets and Gannicus and Donar fight, Sibyl looks on at a distance. Eventually, Donar is injured and believed to be dead, with hopelessness and a sense of inevitable death filling the air. Sibyl looks to Gannicus and tells him that if she is to die tonight, she is thankful to share her last moment with him. Gannicus holds out his hand to Sibyl and tells her that many have fallen but she shall not be one of them and the two then take off into the city together.
Sibyl and Gannicus hide in Laeta's husband's stable. Roman soldiers who had been searching for slaves in hiding in the stables eventually leave. Gannicus appears forlon stating that the soldiers had been talking of victory and that many of the rebels had been killed. Sibyl gently reminds him that they had also been cursing about Spartacus escaping. Gannicus is injured and Sibyl tears a piece of cloth from her dress and bandages Gannicus' hand. She mentions that the gods favor Spartacus and that they bless them both as well. Gannicus asks her how she can be optimistic when the gods are making them suffer like this. She tells him that the gods have helped guide his hands and see them to safety so far. She has faith that they would deliver them from this dark hour. Gannicus remains unconvinced and instead focuses his attention on his bandage. He realizes that she has experience in taking care of injuries. She admits that she often helped injured slaves when hurt by her Dominus. Gannicus reads what she is not telling him and asks her if there was someone who tended to her injuries. Sibyl pauses lost in thought and Gannicus turns his head to gauge her answer. She remarks that Diotimos showed her kindness. Gannicus says "Did he now?" and reading his wild assumption correctly, Sibyl gently retorts that he had been like a brother to her. Gannicus apologizes to her. She looks him in the eye and reminds him that he was the one who struck down the man who took Diotimos' life and her's as well - small piece at a time over a span of years. He looks around at their present situation defeatedly and tells her that his actions had not made a difference afterall. She meets his gaze and tells him that he has "made all in the world" Romans return to the stable to gather wood and Gannicus realizes they are going to be discovered if he doesn't attack, he uses Sibyl as a bait making her pray loud enough for a Roman to hear.
When a Roman soldier discovers them, Gannicus kills him and tells Sibyl to take her life if he cannot kill all of the Romans surrounding them, he says it would be a kindness in comparison to what they would do to her. Sibyl takes the sword, heeding his words. Gannicus kills all the Roman soldiers and appears as Sibyl is holding the knife to her neck. He smiles at her admitting that he's beginning to believe in her gods. He holds out his hand to her and they leave the stables.
While Sibyl and Gannicus are spying on the Romans they find out that Heracleo, who ended up betraying the rebels and believed to have been killed by Spartacus, was still alive, they also find out that he has taken Laeta as a prisoner. Sibyl and Gannicus make a move on Heracleo, Gannicus threatens him with a sword and the Cilician responds by saying during their fight his sword might slaughter Gannicus' woman (indicating Sibyl), Gannicus says that she is not his woman and attacks him. During the fight, Gannicus, thinking he had taken down Heracleo, is distracted fighting the other Cilicians that accompanied their leader. While Gannicus is distracted, Heracleo, reaches for Sibyl. Sibyl fights back but she isn't skilled enough to last, and Heracleo presses a sword to her throat. Gannicus quickly realizes what is happening
and yells her name, panicked. The Cilician pirate immediately uses Gannicus' concern to his advantage saying "So you do care for the little one? But it's a pity now that you have killed her!" Gannicus looks on horrified and helpless screaming "No!", then he watches, shocked as suddenly the Cilician is stabbed in the throat by Laeta with a hot branding iron. Sibyl stands by Heracleo's dead body in a state of shock. Immediately, Gannicus throws away his weapon and races to Sibyl and for the first time initiates an embrace between them. He holds her head, looking her over and asks her if she's hurt. Sibyl assures him that she is fine and insists that they help Laeta since she is now a branded slave.
Gannicus, Sibyl and Laeta make their way through the city, Gannicus dressed in Heracleo's cloak and attire. He is angered by the sounds of torture echoing in the city coming from the celebrations in honor of Caesar and wants revenge for the pain being inflicted on his brothers. Laeta reminds him that now is not the time and they need to escape. They try to escape by stealing horses but Caesar notices them, forcing Gannicus to draw his sword. Gannicus distracts Caesar and the soldiers as Sibyl and Laeta get the horses. He rides with Sibyl on a horse while fighting off Romans, until they make it out of the city unharmed.
When they find the rebels once again, Saxa rushes to embrace Gannicus. When Spartacus asks Gannicus how he survived he makes a reference to the gods and smiles to Sibyl, indicating that he has growing affection towards her. Sibyl is now also wearing Heracleo's cloak, which was on Gannicus when they had fled Sinuessa.
Following their escape and arrival at the new camp, Gannicus and Sibyl part ways, but he turns down Saxa's advances when he realizes that Sibyl is watching them. He justifies his actions as a desire to focus on the coming storm that threatens the camp, but as he walks away he glances at Sibyl and smiles.
When the storm hits Melia Ridge, Gannicus is seen out in the storm searching for Sibyl. He finds her with a group of other people praying around the shrine and is angry to see that she is offering her own blood as a sacrifice to the gods. He tells the others to seek shelter and carries Sibyl away from the altar in his arms. He struggles through the storm, lost - trying to reach the camp, but when he sees a large, overturned cart he seeks shelter there instead. He dresses Sibyl's wound and comments that they are again trapped, wounded and left with no choice but to pray. She is amused and pleased at the idea of him praying. Gannicus tells her he prays upon many things now but he would never be so naive to cut himself. She acknowledges his concern and explains that it was meant as a sacrifice for Spartacus. He is amused and teases that does she believe Spartacus a god now. She gently explains that it was made on behalf of Spartacus for his cause and all those devoted to his cause. Gannicus is touched by her sincerity and acknowledges that he has been a fool to doubt her beliefs in the past. The severity of the storm outside shakes the cart dangerously and Sibyl, in their close proximity, moves into Gannicus' arms who automatically holds her. He comforts her saying that she is safe. Sibyl raises her head from his arms and impulsively kisses him. Gannicus returns the kiss but then reiterates his warning that she stay away from men like him. When Sibyl claims that he is asking her to do the impossible, Gannicus gives in to their mutual feelings and kisses her. He makes gentle love to her in the snow, keeping their cloaks wrapped around them.
When they return to the group the next day, Gannicus stays close to Sibyl and when Saxa rushes to greet him, he does not embrace her. It is clear that Saxa knows something has happened, but she says nothing.
At a feast/party in favor of Crixus, Sibyl and Gannicus drink wine together, Sibyl makes a comment about the alcohol burning her throat and Gannicus advises Sibyl that perhaps she should drink water and turn to purer thoughts, of course in a joking manner. Sibyl understands the humor and replays by asking him to get another drink because this one is empty, she sips it all down and Gannicus kisses her before following command.
On his way to get the wine, Gannicus comes face to face with Saxa who confronts him about his affections towards Sibyl. She asks is he with "Little thing now?" and he replies that he did not wish to wound her heart but Saxa smirks, stating that he will ruin Sibyl with his ways and eventually come back to her bed. Gannicus simply laughs and glances at Sibyl who is smiling at him, his face then turns more thoughtful.
Crixus is now separating from Spartacus, and Gannicus wants to bid him goodbye. Crixus tries to persuade Gannicus to follow him and his men telling him that it would be a blessing from Jupiter himself if he did, but Gannicus declines, telling Crixus that his journey follows another path and then looks at Sibyl. Crixus turns to see who Gannicus is looking at and smiles when he realizes its Sibyl. Crixus grins at Gannicus and tells him that there is no greater cause to turn a man from battle. They embrace and Gannicus walks over to Sibyl to kiss her, as Sibyl is now Gannicus' woman.
After Naevia returns to the rebels with news of Crixus' defeat, the rebels choose to honor their fallen comrades with a pale shadow of the old arena, where the Rebels would take on captured Romans. After Spartacus
opens by facing two soldiers, Sibyl tells Gannicus that she has never seen the games. He tells her that this is merely a dim reflection of the actual games. She asks him if his heart still yearns for old days. He replies that he does not yearn for slavery but for the glory that calls to all of his kind. After Spartacus defeats his opponents, Gannicus comes in and requests to fight three at once. Sibyl shows concern while Gannicus fights but is soon relieved to see his superior skill and ease. Gannicus proves himself still the God of the Arena as he easily defeats his opponents. As the games continue, Gannicus is informed that Julius Caesar has arrived to broker a deal with the rebels. Gannicus and Spartacus meet with Caesar with Gannicus desiring Caesar's life. However, Caesar offers a trade of 500 surviving rebels for Crassus' son, Tiberius, who was among the Romans captured. The two ponder about this and eventually, with Naevia's approval, agree. As the rebels see Tiberius off to Caesar, he is killed by Kore, who Tiberius had raped. Gannicus holds Caesar back, desiring his life now that he is of no longer use, but the deal is
honored as Kore is sent back with Caesar.
That evening, the rebels put Crixus' head upon his shield on a pyre. Gannicus is seen standing with Sibyl, holding hands.There, the rebels begin to chant the names of their fallen comrades. Gannicus cries out Oenomaus' name before they all begin to chant Crixus' name. Soon, the warrior rebels would stand against Rome for a final battle so that the ones who cannot fight would be able to escape and live free. Gannicus is seen kissing and making love to Sibyl as they say their final farewell. He tells her that she must leave with the rest and he must stay and fight for her freedom. She remarks that freedom would mean nothing without him by her side. He smiles and caresses her face. He tells her that she had once told him that the gods had sent him to save her and that she had been mistaken. The gods had guided him to her so that she would save him. They kiss and he tells her that he will join her when the battle is over, if he survives. And if he does not survive, he would wait for her upon the shores of the after life, Oenamaus and Melitta to keep him company, until he holds her again. She takes her idol and gives it to him, praying that the gods protect him and see Marcus Crassus and his legions fall to better men. They embrace and later Sibyl's idol is seen securely tied to Gannicus' belt as he goes into battle. When the rebels split up in two groups, Gannicus holds Sibyl till the last moment and shares one last tearful moment, eventually parting ways. Sibyl goes with Laeta, Belesa, the rebel mother, and the others and as he watches Sibyl leave, Gannicus tells Spartacus that he now desires to see the blood of their enemy.
Preparations for the final battle commence. Spartacus and Gannicus discuss the coming battle with Gannicus noting that the odds are against them. He mentions that he would offer drink to lift spirits but lately, he has turned from it. Spartacus acknowledges that he has noticed the change in Gannicus and mentions that he himself also turned from wild pursuits when he fell in love. He tells Gannicus that their victory in this battle will be not be defined by the number of Roman lives they take but by the lives their fight will help save, including Sibyl's life, Laeta's, the mother and the child, and others. Gannicus finally accepts that this has now become a cause he can embrace. Spartacus then asks for Gannicus to take rightful place as a leader. At Spartacus' insistence, Gannicus eventually agrees to do as asked and Spartacus then gives him a vital task.
When the final battle commences, Gannicus is not present. As catapult and ballista fire from Crassus' rear position, Gannicus arrives leading an entire cavalry and infantry unit against the Romans. Gannicus takes off of the horse and commands the rebels whilst fighting off many Roman soldiers. As time goes on, however, the rebels begin to be overrun. Gannicus first sees Saxa mortally wounded, dying in his arms. He then sees Naevia die at the hands of Caesar but is unable to help her because he is surrounded on all sides by the Roman legion. Gannicus continues to press through and then meets Caesar once more. The two enter their final contest, with Gannicus holding the upper hand. The Roman soldiers, however, surround Gannicus, rotating fresh soldiers to the forefront to fight Gannicus. Eventually, he lashes out, exhausting himself, suffering several wounds before his sword is literally knocked from his hand.
Now that Gannicus is unarmed, he is approached by a grinning Caesar who knocks him out with the back of his sword.
Gannicus is captured and crucified along with the other captured rebels. His last moments are joyous, however, as he is hanging by the cross, he sees Oenomaus smiling at him and then envisions himself standing in the arena with the crowd cheering his name. He smiles at the familiar sight and lets out one final battle cry.
- Unnamed Murmillo – Throat Slice. (Past Transgressions)
- Otho – Throat Slice. (Past Transgressions)
- Tullius – Stabbed. (The Bitter End)
- Tasgetius – In the arena, throat slice. (The Bitter End)
- Synetus – In the arena, throat slice. (The Bitter End)
- 2 Solonius Gladiators – In the final game of the New Arena. (The Bitter End)
- Caburus – Jaw broken with an spear. (The Bitter End)
- 9 Ilithya´s Guards – Slaughtered. (Sacramentum)
- Abrax – Stabbed in the neck with the Rudis, off-screen. (Sacramentum)
- 2 Roman Hunters – In combat. (Balance)
- Lead Hunter – Stabbed. (Balance)
- 5 Varinius Soldiers - In combat. (Monsters)
- Roman Messenger - Throat Slice. (Monsters)
- 4 Glaber's Soldiers - In combat.(Monsters)
- 2 Glaber's Soldiers - Skirmish on Vesuvius.(Wrath of the Gods)
- 7 Glaber's Soldiers - In final battle on Vesuvius. (Wrath of the Gods)
- Danus - Throat Slashed. (Wrath of the Gods)
- The Egyptian - Head Slashed. (Wrath of the Gods)
- 4 Cossinius Soldiers - In battle. (Enemies of Rome)
- Roman Soldier - In forest skirmish. (Enemies of Rome)
- 6 Cossinius Soldiers - During assault on camp. (Enemies of Rome)
- 5 Sinuessa Guards - In combat. (Wolves at the Gate)
- Laurus – Head slashed. (Wolves at the Gate)
- 3 Crassus Soldiers - In beach combat. (Men of Honor)
- 2 Roman Soldiers - In combat on Sicilia. (Blood Brothers)
- Tryphon – Stabbed in the neck with a thrown dagger. (Blood Brothers)
- 7 Crassus Soldiers - During the battle on Sinuesa. (Blood Brothers and Spoils of War)
- 2 Crassus’s Soldiers – Fight in barn. (Spoils of War)
- Adherbal - Slashed. (Spoils of War)
- Cilician Pirate 1 – In Combat. (Spoils of War)
- Cilician Pirate 2 – In Combat. (Spoils of War)
- 11 Crassus’s Soldiers – During escape from Sinuessa. (Spoils of War)
- Crassus Soldier - During assault on camp. (Mors Indecepta)
- 4 Crassus Soldiers - At Milea Ridge. (Mors Indecepta)
- Crassus Soldier - In forest skirmish. (Separate Paths)
- Roman Guard - During assault on Roman villas. (Separate Paths)
- 2 Pompey's Soldiers - Stabbed. (The Dead and the Dying)
- 2 Crassus Soldiers - In rebel made arena. (The Dead and the Dying)
- Mettius’ Friend - Decapitataed. (The Dead and the Dying)
- 9 Crassus Soldiers - During battle of the Siler River. (Victory)
Melitta was a close friend of Gannicus as she was the wife of Oenomaus, they got along fine. When they were forced to have sex to pleasure Quintilius Varus, the two were hesitant but obeyed the commands of their masters. Gannicus apologized before the encounter and the two had sex with both showing visible joy, which showed hidden feelings for one another.
Gannicus begins falling in love with Melitta, and is wracked with guilt over having betrayed his friend. Melitta turns him away but also begins to reluctantly reciprocate, although they do not consummate their love due to respect for Oenomaus.
When Titus arranges a contest to determine who is worthy to remain a gladiator and become champion. Gannicus is told he will be sold to Tullius if he loses in his fights which causes him to try and prove himself though is distracted with gazes of Melitta. In his final match with Crixus, he purposely loses though many, including Crixus himself, note that Gannicus threw the fight and could have actually won.
That night, Melitta visits him and questions his reason as he explains is because his constant sight of her which makes it hard for him as he knew he couldn't have her. Melitta tells Gannicus that despite her words she also has feelings for him and they begin to kiss and nearly had sex but then she begins to cough up blood and Melitta swiftly dies in agony while in Gannicus' arms. Horrified, Gannicus frantically begs for her to breathe but receives no change in her and becomes sad. He recognizes that the wine was poisoned and carries Melitta to Lucretia and says it was the wine.
As Lucretia blamed the poisoning on Tullius since it was his gift, Gannicus wanted revenge on him for it. During Batiatus' plot, Gannicus took part in it and join in the stabbing of the Roman and as he slowly bleeds to death they brick him into a wall, as Gannicus smiled pleasurably at Tullius' suffering.
Marcia is a slave girl Gannicus met in a brothel when he returned to Capua. They had sex and shared a drink before she realized who he was and expressed admiration of him being a freed slave. She asked to see his Rudis and was amazed by his feats in the arena as he told her it was a burden but he must carry it to show he is no longer a slave. He left her but said he would enjoy the memories of their encounter, as she was flattered and smiled at him which he returned.
They meet again after the fall of the Arena and talk with a little flirting in it Gannicus asks her to come with him when he leaves the city. Marcia says that she has been thinking of leaving to join Spartacus' rebellion, and that she is not alone in these thoughts. They were interrupted by Ashur, who tells him that Glaber wishes to speak with him.
Gannicus finds Marcia later, strung up and crucified among other slaves in the marketplace because she was a slave who spoke Spartacus' name which was forbidden by Glaber. He was visibly saddened by her death, which was a major factor in him deciding to become a rebel.
There was no direct interaction between them in Vengeance but Saxa was amazed by his former status as a champion. Gannicus later agreed with a question that Saxa made after Spartacus released Ilithyia and got nothing in return. She later smiled at him for understanding Spartacus' grief about Mira's death which was in contrast to Nemetes.
Sometime after Glaber's defeat, they became lovers with Saxa even learning the common tongue to communicate with him. Due to their similar carefree and thrill seeking personalities, they were compatible and had sex on a frequent basis.
Gannicus met her when her master Laurus tried to kill her and her fellow slaves. His rescue caused her to become immediately infatuated with him. Following the rescue, Sibyl timidly shadows Gannicus, careful never to come too close, but her appearance is noticed by Saxa who later confronts her - she takes her to a Roman home and dresses her up in a beautiful white gown befitting a Roman lady, before bringing Gannicus in to see her.
Saxa caresses Sibyl, then undresses her. Gannicus stares mesmerized, his eyes transfixed upon Sibyl. He is in awe with the innocence of Sibyl and strokes her face, while staring awestruck. Gannicus is attracted to her but is moved by her innocence. After a few minutes he seems to escape out of whatever trance he was in and tells Sibyl to gather her things and leave. Sibyl appears confused and taken aback at his dismissal. When she leaves, Gannicus looks saddened but when questioned by Saxa he tells her that he doesn't want a girl - he wants a woman.
They later meet when she tells him that she wanted to thank him for her rescue but he shrugs, uninterested in the story many have told him before, but she stays firm in her belief insisting he is as a hero sent by the gods. He holds her chin and gently warns her that she should stay away from him and men of his kind.
When she discovers Laeta's secret, she tries to tell him but he almost brushes it aside though stops after hearing her urgency. He sees her discovery and through it learns the truth of another incident and goes to confront his fellows of it.
During Crassus' attack on the city, Gannicus finds Sibyl who was trapped there and she ran to hug him out of relief although annoyed at the delay she will cause, he nevertheless orders her to stay close to his side.
When she believes they will die, she tells him "If I am to die it lifts heart to share final moment with you". Gannicus says that despite all the deaths that night, she won't be among them he grabs her hand and takes her to hide somewhere safe. She tended to his wounds as they hid from the romans who submitted the city under their control. Gannicus develops a fondness for her and when forced out of hiding, hands Sibyl a knife and tells her if he doesn't return to kill herself saying it would be a kindness compared to what the romans will do. He open the hatch and goes to fight the Romans in the stables Sibyl hears the sounds and becomes scared especially when bloodied sword goes through the floor. She hears footsteps coming towards her and slowly moves her knife to her neck the door opens but is relieved as it turns to be Gannicus who tells her he begins to believe in her gods and tells her "Let us see how far they will take us". Gannicus was worried when Heracleo attempted to kill her but she was saved by Laeta. The three soon escaped the city and reunited with the other rebels.
After entering the mountains, he is awkward with Saxa as he notices Sibyl watching them in the distance. When he finds her praying before an altar out in the snow, he is angry to see that she is offering her own blood as a sacrifice to the gods. He tells the others to seek shelter and carries the bleeding Sibyl away from the altar. He struggles through the storm, lost, trying to reach the camp. When he sees a large, overturned cart he seeks shelter there instead. He dresses Sibyl's wound and comments that they are again trapped, wounded and left with no choice but to pray. She is amused and pleased at the idea of him praying. Gannicus tells her he prays upon many things now but he would never be so naïve to cut himself. She explains that it was meant as a sacrifice for Spartacus. He is amused and teases that does she believe Spartacus a god now. She gently explains that it was made on behalf of Spartacus for his cause and all those devoted to his cause. Gannicus is touched by her sincerity and acknowledges that he has been a fool to doubt her beliefs in the past. The severity of the storm outside shakes the cart dangerously and Sibyl, in their close proximity, moves into Gannicus' arms who automatically holds her. He comforts her saying that she is safe. Sibyl raises her head from his arms and impulsively kisses him. Gannicus returns the kiss but then reiterates his warning that she stay away from men like him. When Sibyl claims that he is asking her to do the impossible, Gannicus gives in to their mutual feelings and kisses her. He makes gentle love to her in the snow, keeping their cloaks wrapped around them.
Friends and Allies
Oenomaus and Gannicus were close friends in their time at the ludus. Even though, Gannicus took Oenomaus' spot as champion of the house while he recovered from his fight with Theokoles, they got along quite well in spite of their contrasting personalities. While talking with Oenomaus and his wife, Gannicus joked if they were to fight he'd give him an honorable death.
When Gannicus was forced to have sex with Melitta, he was hesitant for Oenomaus was one of his closest friends .
Five years later, they meet again when Oenomaus is condemned to die in the arena. Gannicus awkwardly greeted him by saying they at last face each other upon the sands as Melitta had always feared. Oenomaus then questions Gannicus, asking if it was true that he had an affair with Melitta the night she had died. Upon hesitation, Oenomaus is enraged and begins to deal heavy blows against him. While they fight, Gannicus says he never wanted to feel what he felt for Melitta or to battle his friend. Gannicus soon overpowered Oenomaus and prepared to kill him when the Arena came down and the two were hit by debris.
After the destruction, Gannicus implored Crixus and Spartacus to help him get the unconscious Oenomaus to safety.
At the time of his arrival, Crixus was seen as a another recruit and Gannicus hardly took note of him but did not take part in bullying him like Barca and Auctus. They formally met when Crixus later approaches Gannicus and touches him, prompting the latter to throw him against the wall and warn him never to come behind his back. Upon hearing Crixus ask for advice to become Champion, Gannicus says never to lose.
The two later fought as entertainment for Quintilius Varus and Gaia. In their fight, Crixus showed great skill which impressed Gannicus before Gannicus gains the upper hand and eventually Crixus does down him, but Gannicus regains strength and bests Crixus in the fight. Gaia, granted the choice to decide the match's end, commands that Crixus lives. Gannicus is impressed with Crixus' new skill
When Crixus struggles in training against Barca, Gannicus later gives Crixus advice to overcome the spear. After Crixus killed Auctus and became a member of the Brotherhood, Gannicus congratulated him.
After earning his freedom, Gannicus kept up with the gladiatorial games and got word of the Undefeated Gaul and realized this was Crixus and was proud of him for achieving such prowess.
They met again after five years where Crixus has rebelled and condemned to die in the Arena.
They first met during the games of Publius Varinius. While Spartacus was under the guise of a Roman soldier, he noticed Gannicus' mark, that of the House of Batiatus. Questioning his morals in killing his brothers, Gannicus responded saying he is the only one who deserves to give them an honorable death. After the fall of the arena Gannicus accompanies, the Rebels to the temple for the sole purpose of having words with Oenomaus. Gannicus originally thought little of Spartacus even thinking his cause would lead his group to certain death.
The two later came to blows when some of the rebels possessions vanished and Gannicus was accused, they are shown equal in combat though the fight was broken up by Mira who catches the culprit and Spartacus apologized for accusing him after Gannicus' innocence is made.
Gannicus later joins the rebellion after kidnapping Ilithyia and over time he develops respect for Spartacus. Before the battle with Glaber, Gannicus admitted his respect to Spartacus before acknowledging him as a brother and the two shook hands as a way of symbolizing a friendship between them. They fought together as comrades and Gannicus came to further respect Spartacus for his leadership after he defeats his foe.
After Glaber's defeat, Gannicus and Spartacus have become very close and often joke and trade barbs with one another, even providing each other counsel. Spartacus sees Gannicus' potential as a leader and has asked him to become one numerous times, but Gannicus denies stating that he does not wish to become a "God" in the eyes of the rebels like Spartacus has; Yet he still accompanies him and seems to become one of his closest allies. Gannicus, however, still does not truly believe in the cause and instead does it to honor Oenomaus, however, he occasionally acts as a moral advisor to Spartacus, steering him in the right direction, and does embrace him as a brother.
Initially, they had a bad view of one another with Agron considering Gannicus to be as worse as the Gauls of the rebels while Gannicus viewed him as a lumbering oaf. Agron was willing to attack Gannicus when the rebel's possessions went missing but watched as he and Spartacus fought.
A roman blacksmith who Gannicus in his days after his freedom. The two became acquainted and friends with Gannicus coming to see Attius had small loyalty to his people. They met again after six years, where Gannicus is now in the rebellion and were happy to see one another.
Originally, Gannicus had no interaction with Ashur but he did not play any role in tormenting the recruits like Barca and Auctus. He even halted them from trying to start unnecessary fights with them after the hazing went too far.
At the Games of the New Arena, Ashur tried to talk Crixus into killing Gannicus but ended up crippled by the Gaul.
Years later, the two meet again where Gannicus is hostile to him though does accompany him to his new master Gaius Claudius Glaber. Unknown to Gannicus, Ashur had previously told Oenomaus of his and Melitta's affair. Ashur later had a slave named Marcia crucified to spite Gannicus as well as because she stated Spartacus' name which was made illegal by the Praetor. Gannicus paid Ashur back by killing Abrax before he joined the rebels becoming an enemy of Ashur. The two met again in Glaber's attack on Spartacus' in Atella, but no interaction took place.
During the Battle of Vesuvius, they fought each before the rebels retreated. They met for the final time as Ashur is forced on a suicide mission by Glaber and Gannicus laughs as Spartacus gives Crixus permission to kill Ashur.
If Glaber and Ashur serve as archenemies to Spartacus and Crixus respectively, Caesar would be Gannicus nemesis. Unlike the very personal feud between the two Rebel Generals and their respective enemies, Gannicus and Caesar's relationship is more of a rivalry that eventually became hostile.
Gannicus and Ceasar have fought each other multiple times, the first being a training match when Ceasar joined the rebels as "Lysiscus". After being defeated by Gannicus, Ceasar comments that he'd have a rematch one day, therefore implying he is a roman, but Gannicus and the rebels laugh at the comment. They later have a brief skirmish in the dock, when the retaking of the Sinnuessa by Romans starts, and later again during Gannicus escape from the city.
After this, their relationship notably sours, Gannicus striking at Ceasar multiple times when he arrives at the rebel camp to bargain for Tiberius' life. Later, when Tiberius is killed by Kore, Gannicus suggests killing Ceasar, and would have done it if it were not for Kore offering herself as a bargain.
Their final clash was during the final battle, when Gannicus had once again the clear upper hand, and would only be defeated by a group of Roman soldiers under the command of Caesar. Gannicus is then crucified on the orders of Crassus.
Gannicus is the only one of the rebel generals who didn't see his nemesis die.
- To read the original historical sources, see Historical Accounts of Spartacus' War.
Historically, Gannicus was of Galic origin. His exact tribe is unknown but it has been speculated that he was a brother both in bondage and tribal brotherhood with Crixus. If true, Gannicus may be of the Allobroge tribe. The homeland of the Allobroges extended across the modern French regions of Vivarais, Savoy, and Dauphine.
19th century German historian Karl Mullenhoff theorized that the name "Gannicus" was of Germanic origin. In light of this, many historians such as English scholar George Long and modern historian Barry Strauss have speculated that Gannicus, and many other soldiers who fought for Spartacus were the captured children of the Cimbri tribe that was completely destroyed at the Battle of Vercellae in 101 BC. In that battle, 60,000 members of the Cimbri tribe (a semi-nomadic tribe from Northern Europe), mostly women and children, were captured and made slaves by the Romans. At the start of the Third Servile War in 73 BC, many of these children would have been full grown and very likely many hundreds or thousands of them served in the Rebel ranks.
Like Spartacus, Crixus, and Oenomaus, Gannicus may have also been a gladiator from the gladiatorial school of Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Batiatus in Capua.
In the winter of 71 BC, Gannicus, along with Castus, broke off from Spartacus, taking 12,500 rebels, primarily Celts and Germans. This marked the second break off of the rebellion, after Crixus a year earlier.
Gannicus and Castus met their end in Lucania, near Mount Soprano (Mount Camalatrum) where Marcus Licinius Crassus, Promptinus, and Rufus entrenched their forces in battle and defeated them. It is said that during the battle, Gannicus showed extreme bravery.
Historically his name might have been 'Gaius Cannicius' or simply 'Cannicus'.
List of Appearances
Gannicus is playable in the Spartacus Blood and Sand Iphone game. He comes with a spatha and a copper parmula, meaning Gannicus does not come in his original dimacheras form.
Gannicus was recently announced as the 3rd of the new Legendary Gladiatiors in the game Spartacus Legends on Playstation 3/XBox 360 alongside Ashur and Agron . He will be showing up at a later date as a boss in the new Nemesis Fights.
- Dustin Clare, the actor who plays Gannicus is said from his appearance on Men's Fitness, to be 5'8 ft tall and 163 lbs, yet in the show he is seen to be the same height as the 5'11 Manu Bennett's Crixus.
- Gannicus kills 125 characters on-screen, which is second to only Spartacus' 268.
- Like many of the main (or highly skilled) gladiator characters, Gannicus fights in the Dimachaeri class, which uses two swords for fighting. Both Spartacus and Oenomaus would frequently use one sword during combat, Gannicus almost always uses two sword showing his particular fondness towards the style.
- Gannicus is shown to have skill with one sword, though, as he manages to beat an infiltrating Caesar when he is training recruits. Also at Crixus' funeral games, he drops one of his swords while fighting 3 Romans and still manages to defeat them with ease.
- Gannicus shows a lot of skill in Pankration which uses a mixture of Pále (Wrestling) and Pugilism (Pugil/ Boxing). It makes sense for Gannicus to be comfortable fighting without weapons with Knowledge of Free Style Fighting like Pankration.
- Gannicus employs numerous unarmed combative methods when using weapons, such as kicking, punching, take downs and grappling in fighting much more than others. One signature move is the wall kick which he would run towards a wall or a ledge of higher elevation, tap and spin kick against an enemy.
- In Decimation, Crixus and Gannicus engage in an all-out hand-to-hand fight in an emotionally heated argument. Both were uninjured and in full stamina at the start of the fight but Crixus is seen caught in various grappling and submission techniques on the ground one that is similar to modern day Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, such as the Kimura, only to be freed a couple of times by interference of the other rebels.
- As a champion of the House of Batiatus, the Latin term would be Campionem.
- Gannicus' tattoo is a Viking symbol called the ægishjálmr, which translates to "helm of awe" or "helm of terror". It was often drawn onto the foreheads of Vikings before they entered battle. They believed that the symbol bestowed invincibility upon them and would also serve to terrorize their enemies. The symbol is believed to be derived from an ancient Germanic runic writing system. This may indicate that Gannicus is possibly a Celt of Northern European heritage.
- In Gods of the Arena, Gannicus expresses familiarity with the Gaulish nation of the Arverni, stating that they "wield spear with deadly purpose". Indicating that he encountered them before becoming a slave to the Romans. It is also likely based upon his cultural knowledge, because Gannicus is a Celt and Gauls are also some form of Celt.
- Gannicus is known as an equivalent to Spartacus, who didn't appear in Gods of the Arena. Due to his absence, Gannicus serves as a prominent role. In Vengeance, Gannicus is shown to be equivalent in skill as well, when they fought to a draw.
- Gannicus tells Melitta that if he had to face Oenomaus upon the sands, he would give her husband a glorious death, to which she responds that he joked of killing a man whom he loved that someday he may be asked to. Additionally, he later tells Crixus that the only way to become champion is to never lose. Later in the second series, Gannicus defeats Oenomaus in the arena, however it is worth taking into consideration that Oenomaus lacked proper gear, wasn't fully recovered and fought with shackled hands.
- Gannicus along with Theokoles and Unnamed Murmillo are some of the only gladiators who have a tattoo. The recruit Segovax also had one, but he died before being accepted into the brotherhood.
- Gannicus is one of the few characters with a high moral compass.
- On the Spartacus Wiki, Gannicus was voted as 'Most excited' to return on Vengeance by fans on this website, 50% of people wanted him to return.
- Gannicus is the only gladiator seen to be freed. He is also mentioned to be the only gladiator in Capua to have ever earned his freedom upon the sands. Like the title of the prequel season, he is fittingly referred as the "God of the Arena" by others.
- After Gannicus had won his freedom, Batiatus mentions that he offered him coin to remain in the Ludus as his champion. But Gannicus, due to his guilt of betraying Oenomaus' friendship, insisted on taking his leave to roam the Republic as gladiatorial free agent.
- As a freed slave or "Libertus", Gannicus was not a Roman citizen, but a freedman. Manumitted slaves hold a form of Roman citizenship after being manumitted, in the respect that they could not hold public office, though they might vote and could become civil servants in the form of Lictors (magistrate's bodyguard). Had he been a Roman citizen, Gannicus would normally have been exempt from the punishment of crucifixion, though even this law was not without exceptions. The legendary orator Cicero once used his skills in court to sue on behalf of a Roman citizen who had been illegally crucified by overzealous provincial authorities in Sicilia. Due to Gannicus's participation in the Slave revolt, Roman authorities likely would have crucified him even if he had been a citizen. However, given his status as a freedmen, Gannicus likely did not have legal protection from crucifixion anyway. The standard method of executing Roman citizens was by beheading.
- On the other hand, gladiators were considered part of a subsection of Roman society called the Infames, who were people operating in professions which, while legal, were considered of ill-repute. Though freed, Gannicus, as an Infamis (singular) would have had very limited legal rights, such as not being permitted to vote in elections, could not provide testimony in court and could be subject to corporal punishment much as was practiced on slaves. Apart from gladiators, other professions tainted with Infamia included pimps, prostitutes, actors, dancers, and executioners (Carnifices).
- Freed slaves in Roman culture would often take the family name or tribal name of their former master. For example; Quintus Lentulus Gannicus. Their master would also become their social patron. Though Gannicus, as a gladiatorial free agent, he does not appear to have followed most Roman customs closely even as a freedman.
- Gannicus goes into the final battle with Sibyl's idol tied around his belt.
- Gannicus is the twenty-third main character to be killed.
- In the final episode of Vengeance when Oenomaus was killed by the Egyptian, Oenomaus said that he would greet Gannicus in the afterlife. When Gannicus was crucified in the final episode of War of the Damned, he sees Oenomaus in his vision (alongside being finally back in the arena) which shows that he did indeed greet him.
- Gannicus has only fought twice in the grand venue that was the Arena of Capua; first during its inaugural night of games, and the second being the day of its destruction by Spartacus and his rebels.
- Historically, although Gannicus is seen to carry his wrapped swords into Capua, it was illegal for anyone (except possibly soldiers and other agents of the state) to carry weapons into Roman towns. Gannicus would have ben barred from entry, or forced to surrender his weapons at least until he left the city walls. It is possible that this law was lightly enforced outside of Rome itself, though this is unlikely to have been the case in Capua at this time, as it was considered "the other Rome" by many contemporaries.
"I am no martyr upon cross, but I would gladly give my life so that those more deserving may live."
"...Blood rains down from an angry sky. My cock rages on, my cock rages on..."
"Every night is a time for drink."
"The morning sun greets you with your last fucking day."
"We are slaves, the burden of choice and conscience equally removed. We are truly free when we fight, or when we fuck, which I shall leave to do presently."
"There is only one way to become champion; never fucking lose."
—Gannicus to Crixus
"There are many things given to us in this life for the wrong reasons. What we do with such blessings, that is the true test of a man." 
—Gannicus to Crixus
"It is a curse, being blessed with so much to offer."
—Gannicus to Melitta
"The gods have heard you. They provide opportunity to become champion."
—Gannicus to Crixus
"There are many things I would die for, many things I deserve to die for, yet this house is no longer among them."
"You and your tiny cock best pray that day never comes."
—Gannicus to Otho
"Come...the task should not be that difficult; I need only direct my blades towards the smell of shit."
—Gannicus to Otho
"I could have bested the man absent an arm and both fucking legs!"
—Gannicus to Ulpius, in reference to Otho
"You sound like Jupiter, hurling bolts from the heavens."
—Gannicus to Oenomaus, who finally asserted himself as Doctore
"I wish to see blood! See me delivered to Tullius' care and I shall see his life for your father's!"
"I am for wine and the embrace of questionable women."
—Gannicus to Mercato
"Unless I can drink that, it holds no worth to me."
—Gannicus to Spartacus, in reference to the map
"Raise voice again, and I will hack tongue from fucking mouth."
—Gannicus to Ilithyia
"If I am to die, at least I shall die amongst brothers."
—Gannicus to Spartacus
"I am not one of your fools, falling to command!" ― Gannicus to Spartacus
"Hahahaha! I knew you would lead these men to their deaths eventually, is this the day you would do it!?" ― Gannicus to Spartacus
"You fight in the style of Dimachaerus. Let me pass, or put skill to final test."
—Gannicus to Spartacus, offering him one last chance to stand down before their duel
"A man must do what he can to brace against the shit of a simple day." -Gannicus to Spartacus
"I am Spartacus!"
- The real, latinized name of Gannicus is written in the selling contract between Titus Lentulus Batiatus and Tullius Severus, as shown in The Bitter End
- Spartacus: Gods Of The Arena Prequel; Episode 1
- Spartacus: Gods Of The Arena Prequel; Episode 2
- Spartacus: Gods of the Arena Prequel; Episode 3
- Spartacus: Vengeance Season 2; Episode 8
- Spartacus: Vengeance Season 2; Episode 10
- Spartacus: Vengeance Season 2; Episode 6