|First appearance||Comic #4: The Shadow of Death |
S1E05: Shadow Games
|Last appearance||S1E05: Shadow Games|
|Relationships||Theokoles's Mother (Mother, deceased)|
Karina (Lover, deceased)
Gharib (Friend/Rival, deceased)
Marcus Decius Solonius (Employer, deceased)
Oenomaus (Rival, deceased)
Crixus (Rival, deceased)
Spartacus (Rival, deceased)
|Status||Deceased (Slain in the Arena by Spartacus)|
|Actor/Actress||Reuben De Jong|
Theokoles is a retired legendary Greek Gladiator, known famously as the Shadow of Death.
Theokoles is a huge Greek albino gladiator with deathly pale skin and reddish eyes. His skin is covered with scars, supporting Varro's rumour that he has been cut 1000 times; in particular his face, across which there are two deep gashes, alongside his torso and arms. He has a tattoo on one shoulder, which was given to him by a band of pirates he served with for a time. Theokoles' albinism accounts for his pale skin, red eyes and photophobia, which allowed Crixus to easily blind him with reflected sunlight. He fights wearing very little armor, only adorning a balteus and wields two swords. His swords are much larger than standard gladii, a benefit to his massive size.
a gladiator who cares for glory and fame above all else, even after winning a thousand fortunes throughout all his battles in the arena. He enjoys toying or teasing his opponents to amuse the crowd, apparently showing lack of true skill in a first bit, before moving in as the powerful warrior he really is. He also appears to have a high resistance to pain, being able to withstand grievous, even fatal, wounds and continue to fight as if there was nothing holding him back. Despite this, however, Theokoles possesses a kind heart, not being able to stand hearing or seeing women in pain or despair. Ultimately, his love for the arena comes from the fact that he was never accepted anywhere else, and that it was the arena where he flourished.
Theokoles is the biggest, strongest, and most durable warrior encountered in the series, whose legendary battles have been engraved into the history of the arena. The giant shows a great amount of skill, being able to beat Oenomaus at his prime and badly wounded Crixus, both are two of the most skilled warriors in the series. He was never defeated in his career and Theokoles even once bested 100 men in the arena. Theokoles shows immense strength and durability, receiving many wounds yet continuing to fight without a problem.
Theokoles fights in the Dimachaeri style, a two sword fighting style usually best suited to small and agile gladiators. Despite this he uses his strength and size to wield both blades as skillful as any other Dimacheri.
Theokoles was born in a small village in the region of Sparta in Greece. He was extremely large and powerful, even as a child, but his mother still treated him with love and care. Eventually she passed away and he grew up being a gentle giant and farmer. Treated as a monster by the other villagers, he eventually fell in love with Karina, the only person to ever show him kindness. However, Karina dies in intercourse with Theokoles and this causes the whole village to finally turn on him, calling him monster and all kinds of names. In grief and rage he killed all that attacked him and buried Karina next to his mother, before moving on.
Theokoles wandered after that and to which he later saved the life of the son of Gharib. Gharib was a pirate captain and they welcomed Theokoles with open arms. They sail across the seas gaining fortune and fame and Theokoles eventually gains a tattoo. However, when the pirates later attempt to rape several women, Theokoles' mind changes and he begins to fight off and kill the pirates. During this time a storm hits and the ship is crushed by the waves, with Theokoles being sent into the harsh sea.
He later washes up on Roman shores and finds himself captured by Roman soldiers. He is sent to the arena, where he flourishes and, after years of being called monster and beast, found a place where people cheer his name. Over the years he grows more famous and more victorious, having never lost a battle. He is soon battled by Oenomaus, the Champion of the House of Batiatus. They fight hard, almost as equals for a time, though Theokoles is still the far stronger combatant. Before going to deliver the final blow, however, he hears the cry of Melitta. This moves him, and he tells Oenomaus to grab his sword. However, the editor of the games notes of Oenomaus skill and his ability to have fought longer than any other gladiator against Theokoles and grants them both victory. While Theokoles is satisfied, Oenomaus is personally disappointed.
Throughout the many years he would fight in the arena, earning thousands of fortunes and gaining every victory against the Gladiators he faced, would later retire to an unknown place.
Blood and Sand
Theokoles is mentioned a few times in the series, spoken of in fear and awe. Kerza and Varro tell of how he was cut over a thousand times and that only one had managed to survive in a battle against him. Spartacus, however, doesn't believe in the stories about him, which causes the other gladiators to further scoff him.
Solonius procures the retired Theokoles to outdo Batiatus. He is set to fight against Batiatus' gladiators, Crixus and Spartacus, as only one gladiator would not be enough. As the games approach, Oenomaus trains the pair, overwhelming them with a similar intensity that will pale for what they will face in there arena. Oenomaus tells them of his own fight with the Shadow of Death, revealing his wounds, and telling them that only by fighting as one will they stand a chance.
Spartacus and Crixus enter the arena on the day of the games, with anticipation as their legendary opponent appears before them. Theokoles enters the arena with many spectators cheering in both awe and amazement at the legend himself. Spartacus and Crixus quickly charge against their opponent, fighting as one and manage to overcome the great giant. Theokoles falls with major wounds, the crowd cheers and Spartacus and Crixus celebrate as their victory came swift from their combined effort. However, the crowd stops cheering as Theokoles rises again, having been toying with them the entire time, and shouts out Crixus' famous line "Capua! Shall I begin?" as a taunt before the three resume the battle. Their combined assault fails as Crixus refuses to fight with Spartacus and Theokoles manages to seriously wound Crixus.
Before going to finish Crixus off, Spartacus shouts at Theokoles to gain his attention. Spartacus, taking advantage of Crixus' shield to propel himself into the air, delivers a fierce strike. Spartacus initially fights well on his own, but Theokoles quickly begins gaining the upper hand, easily pushing back the Thracian. Not giving up yet, even with his insides exposed Crixus grabs a helmet lying nearby and reflects the light into Theokoles' face, blinding him momentarily. Spartacus uses the moment to his advantage, circles behind Theokoles and cripples him to his knees and repeatedly strikes him before finishing him by decapitation.
During Spartacus' rebellion, Romans including Mercato often referred to him as the "Slayer of the Shadow of Death", a title as infamous as the "Bringer of Rain".
- In the Spartacus: Blood and Sand iPhone game, Theokoles is one of the playable characters, however he must be unlocked before he can be used. He fights with two swords.
- Reuben De Jong, the actor who plays Theokoles is 208cm (6'10") tall and weighs 140kg (308lbs). While still impressive, he is much shorter than the said 10+ feet he was described to be.
- Crixus and Oenomaus are the only two gladiators to have been defeated by Theokoles and lived.
- Theokoles, along with Gannicus and Unnamed Murmillo, are some of the only gladiators seen to have tattoos. It can be noted that the recruit Segovax also had a tattoo, but he died before being accepted into the brotherhood.
- Theokoles comes from the Laecedaemonia (Laconia) region in southern Greece, so he may have Spartan ancestry.
(To the crowd after being knocked down by Spartacus and Crixus): "Capua! Shall I begin?" 
- Spartacus: Blood and Sand Season 1; Episode 5