'Spartacus: Vengeance' Finale Postmortem: Creator Addresses Its Bloody Death Toll
SPOILER ALERT: Showrunner Steven S. DeKnight talks to THR about the season-ender's casualties and plot twists on the Starz series.
It didn’t look good for the rebellion going in to Friday’s season finale of Starz’s Spartacus: Vengeance. Trapped on Vesuvius and surrounded by Roman soldiers, Spartacus (Liam McIntyre) would have to once again do something no one expected in order to get his band of rebel slaves off the mountain.
Note: Spoilers if you haven’t watched Friday’s “Wrath of the Gods” episode.
Surrounded by Glaber’s (Craig Parker) men waiting at the foot of the mountain with just the one path leading up and down, Spartacus found inspiration in his former lover Mira’s (Katrina Law) death and led the group down by vines. The surprise attack would give the rebels the advantage and ultimately Spartacus would get his revenge on the man who ordered his wife to her death. But, the win wouldn’t come without casualties for characters whom the show’s viewers have become very attached to.
The Hollywood Reporter spoke with series creator Steven S. DeKnight about the decisions he and his team made for the finale episode.
The Hollywood Reporter: There was a huge and bloody shift for Lucretia, but was it really a big change?
Steven S. DeKnight: Once you go back with Lucretia you’ll realize, "Oh, she was actually insane the whole time. She never really recovered.”
THR: Lucretia was marked for death once before. When did you decide this was how she’d ultimately go out?
DeKnight: I had originally planned that she was going to die with Batiatus at the end of Season 1. [Executive producer] Rob Tapert passed along the message from Starz that they were very interested in bringing Lucy back. And I loved Lucy; I loved her performance. But I was adamant, “No, she has to die.” And then the next day I called up Rob and said, “I had a thought this morning in the shower of a cool thing to do with Lucy next season.” And it was all based on that she wanted the baby and how it would end. So before we started the season, that’s the reason I brought her back to end it just like that. Because I had this image in my head of revealing why she wanted the baby. Because I think a lot of people have obviously picked up on she’s very obsessed with Ilithia’s baby. But most people think she’s going to take the baby and run away with it, which she kind of does. But in her mind, she’s fulfilling what she’s always wanted. And what her husband always wanted, which I found operatic and grand and twisted. And I’m still shocked that Starz actually let me do that.
THR: Why did you choose to kill off Mira the way you did and with so little fanfare?
DeKnight: It was the one death I think we probably talked about the most, because we went back and forth. I love the character. I love what Katrina did with the character. People always ask me, why do you kill people? And it’s mostly due to story and then the other part of it is looking forward to the next season and the dynamics and how everything fits together. With killing her off you know we wanted to make a statement at the beginning of the episode that all bets were off and anybody could get it. And sometimes that people die and you don’t get a magnificent final death scene with your last words. Sometimes, you just get it. And it’s violent and horrible. And I also really needed an emotional connection for Spartacus throughout this. An emotional loss that led him to the idea of how to get off the mountain. So, they’re out of firewood and the rock is too hard to bury the body and he has to wrap her in these vines. And that’s what leads him to the idea of creating these vine ropes to get off the mountain.
THR: Mira gets killed on the finale and, for a lack of a better word, dumped by Spartacus on the last episode. Don’t you think fans will feel like she got a raw deal?
DeKnight: Yeah, she got a raw deal all around. I mean she fell for a man that will never be able to give his heart. On the plus side, she went from basically a third level sex slave into a very powerful woman. And I just hope people don’t get the wrong impression that, oh, I’m going to build up a powerful woman and then kill her -- not at all my intention. It was purely a product of the story and where we’re headed with the story.