|First appearance||S1E02: Sacramentum Gladiatorum|
|Last appearance||S1E10: Party Favors (Physically)|
S1E11: Old Wounds (Spartacus' Vision)
S3E10: Victory (Flashback)
Gladiator (House of Batiatus)
|Relationships||Quintus Lentulus Batiatus (Dominus, deceased)|
Lucretia (Domina, deceased)
Aurelia (Wife, deceased)
Gnaeus (Rival, deceased)
Spartacus (Best Friend, deceased)
Oenomaus (Doctore, deceased)
Rhaskos (Friend, deceased)
Hamilcar (Friend, deceased)
Rabanus (Friend, deceased)
Titus (Former Friend)
|Status||Deceased (Killed by Spartacus, on Numerius' orders)|
Varro is a Gladiator in the house of Batiatus during Spartacus: Blood and Sand. He was once a free Roman man, but voluntarily becomes a gladiator in Batiatus' Ludus to pay off his momentous gambling debts. He rose from being a common recruit to becoming one of the more formidable gladiators in the ludus. Varro is the husband of Aurelia, father of Janus, and a friend to Spartacus.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Varro stands out from the other gladiators with his short, blond curly hair. He has a friendly demeanor and open face, giving him a boyish look. Even from before training in Batiatus' Ludus, Varro boasted a muscular build.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Varro is one of the kinder and friendlier of the gladiators. He is a gladiator by his own choice, deciding that he would pay off his debts by fighting in the arena and putting his winnings towards the debt; these are also sent off to support his wife, Aurelia, and son. He chose to pay off the debt out of honor instead of taking the coward's route, which would have been to flee Capua and hide.
Despite his more gentle nature, Varro is boisterous and enjoys sparring with Spartacus, with whom he has a close friendship.
Combat Prowess[edit | edit source]
While lacking any combat experience in the beginning, Varro quickly proves himself to be an able gladiator, fighting in various styles of weaponry such as sword and shield, spear, axe, dagger and single sword. As time goes on, he finds himself being personally taught by Spartacus to further his skills, and also fighting beside him on the sands.
Varro soon becomes one of the best gladiators of the ludus where in the arena he proves to be a strong, agile fighter, and a worthy opponent. In his last fight, Varro was able to hold his own against Spartacus even giving the latter a cut on his abdomen before he was overpowered.
Blood and Sand[edit | edit source]
Spartacus and Varro are brought into Batiatus' Ludus in the same group where they are first met with either indifference or contempt by the other gladiators. During their first day of training, the two spark a conversation over lunch and Varro believes he is in good company with Spartacus.
The next day, when they receive no food, Spartacus shares the bread Ashur gave him with Varro. Varro reveals to Spartacus that he had submitted himself to Batiatus in order to pay off debts he had previously incurred, with his primary interest being to support his family.
During the night of the test, Varro is pitted against Gnaeus. Varro utilizes his new skills with great effort and, after some time, fights to a draw with Gnaeus. Batiatus takes note of Varro's worth and announces that he has passed the test. He is welcomed into the Brotherhood with open arms and, after watching Spartacus become successful in his, takes the vows and receives the Mark of the Brotherhood, becoming a true gladiator.
Varro regularly pairs up with Spartacus in their training, continuing to converse and becoming fast friends. At noonday meal, Varro also tells Spartacus the story of how Barca became a legend of the arena, much to Spartacus' disbelief. He and Kerza also later tells Spartacus about the legend of Theokoles, the undefeated Shadow of Death.
Doctore reveals a set of games are going to commence, stating that all that prove themselves with find position. Spartacus questions who would be given the Primus position. Varro remarks that Crixus is a choice of certainty and that it wouldn't matter who faced him as they would be doomed to lose.
Varro questions Spartacus' motives, wondering what the Thracian hopes to achieve as Spartacus states that he is not interested in glory or coin. During a training session Spartacus speaks
out of turn and causes himself and Varro to be thrown into The Hole, the cesspool of the Ludus. Varro berates Spartacus for his outburst and questions him further about what he is doing at the Ludus. Spartacus eventually reveals that if he prevails in the arena then Batiatus would find and return his wife to him. Varro, in a similar state, asks him if she is worth it to which Spartacus says she is worth everything. Varro smiles. remarking how his is as well. With the common goal of fighting for their loved ones, the two solidify a true friendship.
Back at the baths, Varro questions Spartacus in using his water rations to clean a piece of cloth. As they converse, Doctore and Ashur arrive and announce the positions of the upcoming games. The Primus is to see Crixus and Gnaeus fight, other gladiators discover their positions and Spartacus and Varro discover that they are to fight each other as the first match, as the lowest. Spartacus is eager is face Crixus again, claiming his fight with him during the test proof of his ability to win. Varro reminds him, however, that Spartacus' victory was due to the piece of cloth and that Crixus is a dangerous legend. They are approached by Ashur in this conversation, who, despite his hatred of Crixus, agrees with Varro and confirms Crixus' lethality by telling the story of how he alone faced the dangerous and infamous Gargan Twins and came out victorious, becoming a true legend of the arena. Spartacus, however, still remains unconvinced by the stories.
Spartacus hopes to manipulate the standings to fight Crixus in the Primus, impatient about waiting to prove himself when Sura is in the balance despite Varro's caution. He also does not wish to fight Varro, remarking that although he wishes many in the Ludus dead, he is not among them. Varro expresses hope that the Gods see them both live in their fight and says that Spartacus may not have a choice in the matter, but Spartacus counters that there is always a choice. Spartacus causes aggression within Gnaeus and sees him injured. When Doctore questions the situation, Varro supports Spartacus and thus they are both abstained from any punishment.
The night before the games sees the gladiators presented in the villa to be viewed by Roman nobility. Varro and Spartacus engage in quiet chat before Varro is taken by Lucretia and Ilithyia to perform a service. This service is have sex with a slave in front of many nobles. Though Varro performs, he is notably against the idea silently saying to himself for his wife to forgive him. Ilithyia becomes lustful at the sight of a gladiator performing intercourse and demands Varro have sex with the slave again. He does so begrudeingly.
Varro returns to the main room after he is finished his task. On his way to stand next to Spartacus he overhears Batiatus and Doctore talking about the Primus and how Rabanus will be to replace Gnaues in the Primus. He relays this to Spartacus, who reacts by attacking Crixus in front of the guests. This display gets the attention of the crowd who both love Crixus and Spartacus. Batiatus then makes it so that the Primus will have Spartacus and Crixus face each other. Spartacus and Varro share a smile after the announcement.
During the games Varro is successful in winning his first arena battle and goes to give Spartacus support. He watches as Spartacus is bested by Crixus, but relieved that his friend survives.
Spartacus is later condemned to fight in The Pits, a place Varro regrettfully knows well. This puts Spartacus through physical and mental instability, even leading the gladiators to begin to show desire of blood to Spartacus. Hamilcar attempts to threaten Spartacus but Varro stands up for his friend and makes the Sardinian back down. He begins to notice how Spartacus is losing himself and attempts to aid him but to no avail. Spartacus eventually regains himself back into the Brotherhood to which he and Varro reunite as gladiators once again.
After learning Spartacus and Crixus are paired to fight against Theokoles, Varro becomes concerned, believing that his friend may die; but still offers support to Spartacus. He watches the fight and becomes amazed at the Spartacus' victory, cheering and then enjoying the rainful that follows.
Varro becomes proud of Spartacus after the latters ascent to the rank of champion.
After sending Ashur to deliver a message to his family, the Syrian returns without a reply and instead arranged for his wife and son to come see him themselves. Aurelia, comes to visit him with their son, he is excited to see his family and kisses his beloved wife. They talk for a while until she tells him she is with child by a man named Titus who provided a home for her while Varro was gone. Varro feels betrayed, and is not swayed when Aurelia tries to tell him she was raped. He then refuses to support her with his earnings, at one point even spending them on having sex with a slave girl. Spartacus, recently widowed, convinces his friend to forgive his wife by winning money from him and then giving it back. After days of waiting, Aurelia reaches Varro again, and he tells her that he will support her and her unborn child. His spirits are renewed once more and he tries to send a letter but gets news that blood was found in his home.
Varro is enraged and attacks Ashur before he is put in solitary. Spartacus tells him to think of where his family would flee if threatened. Varro is released from solitary and is told by Spartacus that he has sent a house slave named Mira to locate them.
Afterwards, he and Spartacus fight in the arena where they succeed in defeating a Large Gladiator. Varro returns to the ludus and is reunited with his wife who tells him that Titus came for her but she held him off to escape.
That same night, Spartacus is requested by Numerius to perform in an exhibition match at his birthday party. It is
originally intended for Spartacus to face Crixus, but when Numerius is seduced by Ilithyia, who wishes to cause Spartacus anguish, it is decided that he must face Varro instead. The two duel at the festivities in front of a group of high standing citizens as well as Numerius and his father, Calavius. They appear to be evenly matched, with Varro even landing a hit on Spartacus and inflicting a small wound, but is eventually bested by Spartacus and falls to his knees in a joking fashion. Spartacus, his sword to Varro's neck, then looks to Numerius to pass "judgement" on Varro. To his and everyone else's surprise, Numerius gives Varro the thumbs down, meaning Spartacus must kill him. Spartacus, in a deep state of inner turmoil, looks to Batiatus for guidance, who then attempts to interject by stating to Calavius that the fight was simply for exhibition and not to the death. Calavius, however, admires his son's blood-thirstiness and tells
Batiatus to see his wish carried out. Batiatus, horrified by this turn of events yet still wishes to please Calavius in order to further his ambitions, gestures to Spartacus to finish Varro. Spartacus does not move, and guards prepare to advance on the two. Varro pleads with Spartacus to do it so that they both are not killed. He pulls Spartacus' sword into himself, and asks him to live and see his family provided for, as he would have done the same for his friend. Spartacus reluctantly drives the blade home, killing him. The next day, Varro's body is taken out of the ludus on
a wagon by a heartbroken Aurelia and her son. After this, Spartacus falls into a state of extreme distress, upset, and regret for killing Varro, being reduced to tears over his friends passing.
Varro appears again in Spartacus' hallucinations, caused by an infected cut he obtained from his sparring with Varro, directing him to 'tend the wound'. It is in this hallucination with Varro and Sura that leads Spartacus to discover what really happened to his wife and become "himself" again.
Vengeance [edit | edit source]
Aurelia still grieves over his death along with Spartacus, and dies with her final wish for the rebellion to star as far away from what remains of her family so they do not suffer the same fate
War of the Dammned[edit | edit source]
Spartacus mentions Varro's name during Crixus' funeral pyre to honor him along with all the other deceased rebels to that point.
List of Appearances[edit | edit source]
Books[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Jai Courtney, the actor who plays Varro is 185cm (6' 1") tall.
- After earning the mark of the Brotherhood, Varro has more respect from the other gladiators than anyone else in his recruitment class; even respect from Crixus.
- Varro's shield has an eel design, he is seen with it in the episode 'Party Favors' when he fights in the arena. Crixus has an octopus design on his shield, and Agron has a crab design on his shield, making all three of them bear sea creature designs on their shields.
- Varro typically fights in the style of Murmillo, as seen throughout his time training in the ludus and his fights in the arena.
- When his body is sent away from the ludus his pallbearers are Spartacus, Rabanus, Rhaskos, and Hamilcar.
- In the novel Spartacus: Swords and Ashes, for the primus of the Funeral Games of Marcus Pelorus he chooses to fight with the spear, shield and helm of the Hoplomachus. He can also be seen training, with Spartacus, in this style in the episode Party Favors.
- Varro was the third main character to be killed.
- The Roman legal term for a free man who sold himself into slavery because of debt was a Nexus or "debt slave". Nexum being the contract that a debt slave submitted him or herself to. Nexum was actually abolished by the passing of the Lex Poetelia Papiria 323 BCE, though various Italian Socii states may have continued the practice. Nexi (plural) would be held in bondage by their creditors, known as Obaerati. Quintus Lentulus Batiatus may have been Varro's Obaeratus.
- Varro in Latin means "durable' or 'strong".
- As a native of the Italian region of Campania, Varro may be a descendant of the Samnites, former opponents of Roman hegemony in southern Italy.
- Varro could also be a member of the plebeian Gens of Terentia.
- Varro is one of the only Romans to become a true ally to Spartacus; the others being Aurelia, Lucius, Attius, and Laeta.
Quotes[edit | edit source]
"Jupiter's cock! And now we train all day!?"
—Varro to Spartacus
"Sleep... and dream of better days."
—Varro to Spartacus
"In the world of the gladiator a man's fame and glory constructs its own truth."
—Varro to Spartacus
"So, buried up to your balls in garbage—is this part of your plan to get Sura back?"
—Varro to Spartacus
"Live... and see my family provided for... And know I would have done the same."
—Varro to Spartacus; his last words
Varro: "Well... the Champion of Capua–-always making friends."
Spartacus: "I need but one."
Varro: "Fortunate, since it appears one is all you have."
Varro: "After one more year my debts will be paid. We can start again, all of us, together."
Aurelia: "I wish we would have just left. To Pompeii or Sicilia."
Varro: "Would not have been honorable."
Aurelia: "Honor? Where's the honor in debts of gambling and chance? Where is the honor in leaving your wife and child?"
Varro: "Every mistake I have made I will set right. I will be the man you deserve. From this moment on my life is yours and yours alone."
Spartacus: "Do not forget why you are here, Varro. You dishonor your family. You dishonor your own wife!"
Varro: "My wife is a whore! ... She carries another man's child."
Spartacus: "...How did this come to be?
Varro: "A friend from the marketplace. She claims he forced his way onto her but—
Spartacus: "You find fault with her!?"
Varro: "She did not fight!"
Spartacus: "Had you not left to pay your debts, she would not have had to! She lives Varro, she lives. You may yet hold her in your arms... a thought a decent man would cherish."
"Wake me when it's time to die again"
—Varro to Spartacus
Varro: "Don't... don't... there is no choice"
Spartacus: "There is always a choice"
Varro: "Not this time."
"So the gods throw women at you now?"
- Varro to Spartacus
References[edit | edit source]
- Spartacus: Blood and Sand Season 1; Episode 3