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Wolves at the Gate
Spartacus damned e2 left.jpg
Season 3
Number Episode 02
Date Aired February 1, 2013
Writer Aaron Helbing & Todd Helbing
Director Jesse Warn
Previous Enemies of Rome
Next Men of Honor

"Wolves at the Gate" is the second episode of Spartacus: War of the Damned. It is the thirty-first episode in the Spartacus series overall.

Plot Outline[]

Spartacus leads a daring assault to provide food and shelter for his people. Crassus builds a fearsome army and receives an unexpected visitor.


Everyone is regrouping after the recent battles. Crassus has amassed an army composed of six legions and, thanks to Tiberius, armor and weaponry for the said army. Now, Crassus believes he only needs one more thing to take on Spartacus: Julius Caesar. Caesar has covered himself in glory fighting battles abroad. However, he's fallen deeply in debt in the process.

Crassus and Caesar talking.

Crassus brings him in and proposes a deal. He offers him money and further glories if he can help him stop the slave rebellion and kill Spartacus. Caesar agrees to help. Caesar begins to show interest towards Crassus' body slave, Kore, and attempts to undress her. Crassus discovers this and dismisses her. Crassus' wife then admonishes her. She runs away crying and tells Tiberius. Tiberius then overhears Crassus telling Caesar that his son isn't quite ready to be his ally yet, as he needs an experienced soldier, like Caesar.

Later, as Crassus prepares to mobilize, Tertulla attempts to force her way out onto the road with him. He

Tertulla rather boldy packing to go with Crassus.

says he wants to keep her safe and to be able to focus on the upcoming battle. But the truth is, we discover, that he wants Kore with him. It's clear that he actually truly loves her when he goes to her and asks her to come, yet not as an orders. She agrees. The next day, he tells Tiberius he will ride with Caesar to discern Spartacus' movements, but they won't engage. Caesar is miffed that he's been positioned with Tiberius as an ally, but Crassus tells him to relax and that the rewards at the end of the journey will all be worth it. Crassus addresses his troops, saying that it is time they mobilize.

Diotimos and Spartacus.

During a sparring match with Naevia, the butcher, Diotimos, is summoned by Spartacus who wishes to speak with him. Despite having some fear as to why, he consents and goes to Spartacus's tent. Spartacus explains that they need to find a city to occupy during the winter and the city Diotimos is from would serve their needs. It's a walled city on the water and mountains to the west so they would have both natural and manmade fortification. But first, they need to get inside and take it over, which is no easy feat with both the branding of slaves and the inability to bring weapons beyond the wall.

Spartacus and Crixus.

 The Rebels secure a disguise. Gannicus knows of a blacksmith on the inside. Spartacus, Gannicus and Crixus pay the coastal city and Gannicus' friend a visit. They get past the wall by dropping a slave master's name and convinces Gannicus' friend, Attius, to make them weapons, but not before offering a large amount of coin to him.

While wandering throughout the city under disguise, they happen upon the stoning of a slave, ordered to quell more unpleasantness among the increasingly disgruntled slaves who praise Spartacus. When the stoning begins, the slave begins chanting Spartacus' name and says the rebellion will win. The stoning only comes to an end when Spartacus himself throws a well-aimed stone at the slave's head to end his suffering. Later, Spartacus' meets Laeta, who proves useful in telling him of their grain stores and Crassus' plans. She then rescues him from an interrogation by the slave master.

Gannicus and Spartacus are dismayed to find there is a curfew when the gate closes. Nonetheless, they convince

The Rebels storm through the city.

Attius to aid them and go to work. Attius tricks the guards in front of the gate into the arsenal and locs them in. Meanwhile, Gannicus works on lifting the gate and Spartacus holds back the hoard of Roman guards.

Gannicus gets the gates open just in time for the Rebel army, led by Crixus and Agron, to swarm in and take the city. They slay women and children in an culmination of carnage. Diotimos dies, but gets the satisfaction of seeing his master killed.

The face of Laeta.

During the siege, Spartacus runs into Laeta once again, who is aghast that he allied with Spartacus. He declares that he is Spartacus himself. She breaks down, seeing the bodies of dead friends, family, and citizens. Spartacus himself looks in disgust at the dead innocents - as it includes a child he had an encounter with earlier. A few of her friends are still alive, however, and are about to be beheaded by a group led by Nemetes. Spartacus shouts in anger for no more bloodshed to continue - which earns Spartacus the scorn and disdain from a number of rebels.

Dead Romans.

Once cornered, the leader of the city threatens to to torch the vast resources of grain: the heart of the city, it's commerce, and how it feeds its people. Spartacus takes hostage Laeta, the man's wife, and asks her to talk him out of torching the resources in order to save the remaining living. But as she's trying to convince him, Spartacus spears him through the face. Laeta is bereft, saying she could have convinced him. Spartacus tells her that he knows what it's like to lose loved ones, and that he carries the full weight of her loss. He then orders her and the remaining Romans into chains. Spartacus tells his assembled troops that no more Romans are to be killed and that the city is theirs.

Characters in Order of Appearance[]

  1. Spartacus
  2. Crixus
  3. Gannicus
  4. Agron
  5. Saxa
  6. Naevia
  7. Diotimos
  8. Nasir
  9. Donar
  10. Lugo
  11. Ulpianus
  12. Nemetes
  13. Crassus
  14. Julius Caesar
  15. Tiberius
  16. Kore
  17. Laeta
  18. Sinuessa Slave
  19. Decimus
  20. Laurus
  21. Attius
  22. Ennius
  23. Sibyl

Historical Context[]

The rebels were known to have attacked and plundered several small cities and towns, beginning in southern Italia (including Campania and Lucania), and eventually the other regions. Sinuessa en Valle is not named in any historic source, and among the towns and cities claiming Spartacus plundered them, the modern city of Mondragone (where Sinuessa once stood) has made no such claim. However, the siege of Sinuessa in the show parallels the city of Thurii, which the rebels sieged and claimed for the winter months of 72 BC.

In War of the Damned, Julius Caesar aids Crassus against Spartacus. However, there exists no evidence that he took part in any action against Spartacus and his rebellion. At the time of the war, he was serving in an elected military position known as a "military tribune." Every legion had 6 of these officers who held the rank of what is essentially a modern day colonel. With Caesar being a military officer within a legion at the time of Spartacus' rebellion, it's not a huge stretch by any means to assume that he actively served in the war. However, given that he was one of the most written about subjects by ancient historians, the fact that there is no record of his service in the war is notable.


  • A very brief scene from Kill Them All in Season One can be seen when the rebels are taking the city of Sinuessa. This scene is when the Roman nobles were attempting to leave Batiatus' Ludus when the gladiators all revolted and Ilithyia had sealed the doors. This scene is a split second but easily recognizable. 
  • The episode's title makes reference to Caesar's arrival into the conflict, the wolf being the animal used on his armor on both in history and the series. It also refers to the Rebels, who are occassionally referred to as a pack of wolves, besieging the city of Sinuesse en Valle.




Spartacus War of the Damned Episode 2 Preview

Preview of the episode


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