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Saxa
Saxa.png
First appearance S2E07: Sacramentum
Last appearance S3E10: Victory
Profession Slave (former)
Rebel
Race German
Relationships Nemetes (Ex-Lover/Friend, deceased)
Sedullus (Comrade, deceased)
Lugo (Friend, deceased)
Harudes (Friend, deceased)
Totus (Comrade, deceased)
Gannicus (Ex-Lover/Friend, deceased)
Mira (Rival/Friend, deceased)
Agron (Friend)
Donar (Friend, deceased)
Naevia (Friend, deceased)
Nasir (Friend)
Belesa (Lover)
Sibyl (Rival)
Caesar (Enemy)
Pleuratos (Comrade, deceased)
Correus (Comrade, deceased)
Oenomaus (Instructor/comrade, deceased)
Lydon (Comrade)
Fulco (Rival/comrade, deceased)
Status Deceased (Killed by Roman Soldiers)
Actor/Actress Ellen Hollman

Saxa is one of a group of Germanic prisoners rescued from a slave ship in Neapolis who become one of the Rebels under Spartacus' command.

Appearance

Saxa is a beautiful woman with blonde hair and an athletic build. Despite her size, she is able to fight against those larger than herself. When she is first seen in Vengeance, she wears light brown, ragged clothing, and keeps a slave collar around her neck, even after being freed. In War of the Damned, the slave collar is finally taken off, and Saxa is fitted with rebel clothing. 

She wields two daggers in combat, fitting her size and speed. After the events of Vengeance, Saxa now wields The Egyptian's daggers, which Steven DeKnight confirmed.

Personality

Saxa possess an aggressive, powerful personality that she shares with many of the other Germanic fighters, and at the beginning only speaks their native tongue. However, unlike most of the other women in the series, Saxa is battle-hardened, and frequently boasts of her skills in combat - she normally fights with twin daggers, while also showing skill in unarmed combat. She enjoys challenging men to battle, wanting to prove that her strength is on par with, or greater than any man's. Saxa is bisexual, often expressed by kissing women at random, and also has sex with some.

Saxa takes a fascination for Gannicus, having heard of his fighting prowess and title as a champion in the arena, and even shares similarities with his lifestyle. When she finally enters a relationship with the Celt, they often engage in sexual performances, occasionally with wine and other women, and live out their lifestyles to their fullest pleasurable extent. Saxa is a woman that doesn't wear her emotions on her sleeve; the few and very brief moments she allows herself to seem vulnerable with Gannicus, he doesn't take notice. On the surface, their relationship seems, all in all, cavalier. When Gannicus leaves Saxa for Sibyl, she is obviously offended, but instead promises Gannicus that he will only ruin Sibyl's innocence with his ways. 

Combat Prowess

Few women are as honed in combat as Saxa. She is arguably the best female fighter of the rebels. Utilizing twin daggers (later using The Egyptian's daggers), her preferred method of combat is to close in on her opponents with her agility and deliver a fatal blow. Like many of the other characters, her combat history stretches far back to her days of fighting for her country. Strong and hot-headed, she can easily dispatch several Roman soldiers alone. She's also skilled with the bow, being able to pick off many Romans from afar with deadly accuracy and precision.

Vengeance

Sacramentum begins with Spartacus and Agron arriving on a ship, bribing the slave owner to let them look at his shipment before daylight. As they head down below deck, they pass a group of slaves, finding Saxa caged up in the back. Agron begins conversing with the German leader Sedullus in their native German, only to be told that the

Saxa as she is first seen.

nearby guard also understands, prompting an altercation. The guard motions for his weapon, but is pushed back into Saxa, who grabs him from her cage, clawing at his eye until he is killed off by Lucius Caelius. The fight is brief, and ends with the Germans freed, united among Spartacus' rebellion. She glares at Lucius as she departs her cave, having noticed him pretending to leer at her as a prospective buyer.

Saxa is as rude and violent as her male counterparts, and they immediately begin to liven up the camp, having a bonfire while feasting on game and getting drunk with wine stolen from a Roman cart, all the while wresting each other. Saxa is more than willing to join her brothers in a wrestling match, punching her lover Nemetes to the ground when he playfully insults her, before straddling and then kissing him.

When Sedullus starts a riot, as a result of his drunken behavior, Saxa fights Mira, who is evenly matched against the German and even manages to take her down. The battle ends when Spartacus arrives and kills Sedullus. Saxa is among the Germans who choose to follow Spartacus, right after Lugo.

Saxa later shows a passing interest in Gannicus, and asks Agron about him; when Agron teases about her existing relationship with Nemetes, Saxa implies that it could be temporary. It is Saxa who comes closest to fending off the supposed Roman attack on the temple, when Spartacus, Crixus, and Gannicus imitated Roman soldiers and invaded before dawn. Saxa is about to set Spartacus on fire when he calls off the attack and reveals the soldiers' true identities. Later that day, while Spartacus dresses down the rebels for their failure to protect the temple, Saxa makes a rude comment in German about Mira's preference for archery. When Agron tries to scold her for her disrespect, she growls and literally snaps at him. She then makes Agron translate her questioning of Spartacus as to why he let Ilithyia go despite Glaber not delivering the promised weapons in exchange--a complaint which Gannicus seconds. Spartacus follows this with an explanation, and plans to unite the rebellion cause among them, including Saxa. As part of this training and reconciliation, she is paired with Lydon to undergo further training by Oenomaus, possibly implying a past rivalry with Lydon. Before beginning the day's activities, she and Harudes quarrel and almost have a confrontation with Fulco, before Oenomaus and Rabanus intercede.

Saxa & Mira winning their fight.

Spartacus proposes that rebels who have issues with each other fight together as teams, to learn teamwork and camaraderie. Saxa is paired with Mira, considering their bitter history. They easily defeat their opponents, then Saxa excitedly kisses Mira on the lips.

When the Romans raid the rebels' camp, Saxa fights well, wielding two daggers and taking down many soldiers. However the failing numbers of the rebels, as well as the arrival of Roman reinforcements, force Spartacus' army to retreat to Vesuvius

Saxa, disgusted by Nemetes.

Not wanting to die stranded in the mountains, Nemetes leads a splinter group of Germans, including Saxa, in an attempt to breach the Roman vanguard at the mountain's one pass. When their attempt fails, due to the presence of Ashur and the Egyptian, Spartacus and his allies come to their rescue and help them back into the mountains, with Gannicus aiding Saxa up the mountain. Mira is killed in the process, however, and after Spartacus beats up Nemetes and gives a rousing speech, he wraps her corpse in vines. Gannicus shows understanding towards this which Saxa admires, while Nemetes is inconsiderate, disgusting her, and she implies they are over.

In the final battle at Vesuvius, Saxa is among the rebels forces that flank Glaber's forces. She survives to the end, ready to face Rome and whatever may come next. 

War of the Damned

Months following the Battle of Vesuvius, Saxa remains as fearless as ever and has become a ruthless and highly skilled fighter, killing Romans with apparent ease. Saxa has since learned Latin and therefore communicates clearly with everyone else. She is present during the battle against Cossinius' forces, slaying one Roman after another with her comrades. 

Saxa, about to make love to Gannicus.

After the battle, Saxa finds Gannicus and makes love to him, as well as some "gifts" (two female prostitutes) she brings with her. Perhaps suiting both partners, the relationship doesn't appear exclusive, but does appear very passionate - Spartacus is somewhat annoyed that Gannicus will usually fail to report to him after a battle, for he instead indulges for days in the company of Saxa, other women and wine.

When the rebels besiege the Roman city, Saxa takes part as

Saxa slaying Romans.

one the many invaders. With her twin daggers she kills many Romans. She along with Sanus and Nemetes are yelled at by Spartacus after they attempt to execute some Roman civilians. They follow his orders, but appear disgruntled about it. She later cheers in victory as Spartacus announces they have taken the city. Later, Saxa seeks out Gannicus for so

Saxa kisses Belesa.

me more love-making and notices that her lover has a shadow - a young slave, Sibyl, keeps a shy watch over Gannicus after he killed her Dominus, thus saving her and the other slaves in the house from certain death. Saxa is intrigued, perhaps even slightly jealous, and proceeds to locate the girl and ask her why she is following him. Sibyl replies that she only wishes to thank him. Later, Saxa dresses them both up in fine Roman clothes and takes Gannicus to where Sibyl is being kept waiting. Saxa seductively caresses her and unties her dress. He stares in a trance at Sibyl, but tells her to retrieve he clothes and leave. When Saxa asks him if he was not pleased Gannicus says he

Saxa presents Sibyl to Gannicus.

doesn't want a girl, he wants a woman.

When the negotiations with the Cilician Pirates are ongoing, Saxa reports to Nemetes and Naevia that several Roman prisoners have gone missing. She then remains at the gate with the others while Naevia goes out to discover the reason, which actually entailed killing the blacksmith and Gannicus' friend, Attius.

Saxa later amuses herself by watching the recruits' training with Donar and laughs when an undercover Caesar claims that he will have a rematch with Gannicus. Though she doesn't approve of letting the Romans live, she remains extremely loyal to Gannicus and by extent Spartacus. 

Sibyl later comes to Gannicus and Saxa in regards to something suspicious she had seen. It later turns out to be Laeta harbouring some of the Roman prisoners. It is at this moment that

Saxa and Gannicus cuddling.

Gannicus realizes that Attius had actually been murdered and not involved in the plot. Saxa sees his anger and he tells her to take the Romans to Spartacus. She asks then where Gannicus goes to which he replies "To see Attius' memory fucking honored".

When Lysiscus stirs up the rebels and Crixus turns it into the massacring the remaining Romans, she tries to escort those saved by Laeta to Spartacus, defeating two rebels that challenge her and even attacking Nemetes to defend them, though she is knocked out by Lysiscus.

She would later become part of a group consisting of herself, Spartacus, Gannicus, Sanus, Rabanus and Lugo to cross the sea to other Roman coasts in order to secure more food and at the same time slay many Roman soldiers. Alongside Agron and Donar, she would defeat many of the Romans at the gate when they retake the city, but Caesar manages to damage the gate enough that it is bashed down. Caesar then warns the three rebels to run.

At first, the trio manage to fight off one small wave, but eventually forced to retreat into the city. When they meet up with Spartacus, Crixus and Naevia, they all begin to discuss what to do. It is eventually decided that the rebels will retreat into the mountains, however, Gannicus and Donar volunteer to stay behind to cover them. Saxa is visibly saddened at this and embraces Gannicus, telling him not to die and to return to her.

Saxa realizes Gannicus is no longer hers.

While camped in the cold, snowy mountains north of Sinuessa, the group is astonished at Gannicus' return and Saxa embraces him, clearly filled with joy at the return of her lover.

She and Gannicus remain close but Gannicus strays further and further from her, much to her disdain. She joins Spartacus and others in assaulting the tent of Marcus Crassus. However, it turns out to be a trap, but the rebel group manages to escape back to their own camp.

When an extreme storm hits the rebel's camp, Saxa becomes worried about Gannicus and sees if Spartacus knows where he is, leading the rebel leader to attempt to search for his friend while Saxa remains in worry.

After the storm passes Gannicus and Sibyl return together. At first overjoyed, Saxa sees that Gannicus no longer holds her

Saxa tells Gannicus he will ruin Sibyl.

to heart and instead merely remarks at how not all were so lucky to survive. The rebels soon take the fight to Crassus' wall and find themselves off of the mountains.

Eventually, Spartacus and Crixus decided to move in separate paths, but not before they take over a Roman village for one last night of rest together. Saxa and Gannicus meet and 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.

When the rebels eventually split up, she chooses instead to go with Spartacus in order to escape the Republic over the Alps.

Saxa with her bow.

Saxa would intercept a group of Romans camped out in the night alongside Spartacus, Gannicus and Lugo. Saxa uses a bow to quickly take out one of the group while her companions ambush them. Saxa remarks to Lugo that next time he will use the bow because she wishes to be up close with the Romans. It is also here that Spartacus discovers that the Romans are not Crassus' men but that of Gnaeus Pompeious Magnus, another Roman general who will prove a threat to the Rebels. 

During the games set up by Spartacus in honor of Crixus' death, Saxa is briefly seen fighting a Roman. As expected, she defeats him with ease. When Tiberius remains the sole member of his captured troops left, Saxa takes him and leads him into the middle of the makeshift arena where he is fight Naevia.

Saxa, receiving a fatal blow from a Roman.

During the final battle, Saxa goes with Gannicus to strike Crassus' legions with a cavalry charge from the rear. She dismounts and loads up the catapults and ballista with the help of Correus and others, and fires them towards Crassus, taking down many of the soldiers effectively. She assists Gannicus with throwing oil pots at soldiers flanking them, which proved somewhat effective. She fights off many surrounding Romans well, but is injured and then impaled by a sword, though still strong enough to kill the man who put it there. 

Saxa dies in Gannicus' arms.

Gannicus notices her injury and rushes to help, and catches her before she falls to the ground. Her last words are "I again find myself...in your arms" in her native tongue, before succumbing to her wounds. Her death angers Gannicus, who continue to fight the Romans.

Trivia

  • The name Saxa is German from sachs "Saxon". The Saxons were a Germanic tribe, their name ultimately deriving from the Germanic word sahs meaning "knife". The Saxons emerged during the Third Century CE as an offshoot of the old Ingaevones tribe of northern Germany.
  • Ellen Hollman, the actress who plays Saxa, is 5'7" tall. Her brother Eric Hollman and her sister-in-law Kristen Alexander are also involved in the series.
  • She is one of the only three main female warriors in the series, along with Mira and Naevia
  • She was the twentieth main character to be killed.
  • Saxa was the last of the German warriors to die.
  • Germanic tribes such as the Cimbri, the Marcomanni and the Suebi had women warriors known as "shieldmaidens" according to some sources. Saxa appears to have been such a woman in her own culture.

Quotes

"I again find myself...in your arms"[1]
Saxa to Gannicus; her last words

References

  1. Spartacus War of the Damned Season 3; Episode 10

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