|First appearance|| Comic #1: Upon the Sands of Vengeance |
S0E01: Past Transgressions (Mentioned)
S1E01: The Red Serpent
|Last appearance||S1E01: The Red Serpent|
|Profession||Gladiator (House of Solonius)|
|Relationships|| Unnamed Father (Deceased)|
Unnamed Mother (Deceased)
Unnamed Brother (Deceased)
Marcus Decius Solonius (Dominus, deceased)
Albinius (Archenemy, deceased)
|Status||Deceased (Killed by Spartacus)|
|Actor/Actress|| Campbell Cooley (voice, tv show)|
Ray Park (voice, motion comic)
Arkadios (also known amongst fans as the Red Serpent Gladiator) is a gladiator for Marcus Decius Solonius, seen fighting in the arena against Drenis at the start of the series. Arkadios is the first major kill amongst four for Spartacus, the main protagonist of the series. He is called "Arkadios, the Scourge of Athens" and is considered Solonius' best man, much like Crixus is for Quintus Lentulus Batiatus. He is also the main character of Upon the Sands of Vengeance and also serves as the narrator for the Motion Comic Series.
Arkadios is iconic by the use of a The Red Serpent imprinted on his shield, which is about the size of his torso. In addition to the shield, he wears a helmet that shields his entire face and renders it impossible to see (his face is revealed later to be that of a young man with mid-length brown hair and a look of vengeance in his eyes). He also wears shoulder plating to protect his upper arms and some armor around his waist, though leaves his abdomen and legs uncovered.
In Blood and Sand Arkadios has a personality like any other warrior in the arena. He craves praise by the crowd and will often pause to give showmanship to them, especially when he is truly besting an enemy. He is not jealous, however, when forced to fight with three other gladiators by his side, suggesting respect for his brotherhood. He is not merciful in any way and as such, will kill when given approval.
It is revealed however, in Upon the Sands of Vengeance that he is a very emotional character born into blood and violence. His parents and brother were murdered at a young age and he was forced into slavery, where he was bought by Solonius. He worked his way up quickly to survive every battle, growing into a gladiator who focused on only one dream: vengeance against the man that stole everything from him, Albinius. With every victory, before the final blow he would see Albinius, wanting to slay him more than any other. He came to appreciate the ways of a Gladiator, craving the blood and the parties that came with it, though he viewed them as piggish events. What he truly desired was Albinius' head.
Arkadios shows that he does not take pride in causing his opponent's pain, rather they must die in order for him to reach his goal. In his final moments, he accepts the fact that after his defeat, Spartacus will be the God before him.
Upon The Sands of VengeanceEdit
Arkadios was born to a farmer and his wife in Athens, Greece. He lived here peacefully with his brother and parents, often sword fighting with his brother for fun. One day he and his brother sparred, with Arkadios emerging victorious, though his father then emerged and told both of them to attend to their chores. While both were away, the Romans arrived, led by then-Legatus Albinius, who killed his brother and mother, knocking young Arkadios down where he remained unconscious for some time. When he awoke, Arkadios saw his father's head hanging before him, gripped by Albinius who simply grinned and enslaved the boy. He along with three others were sold to Marcus Decius Solonius in Capua, to be gladiators. He was forced to fight and kill the others with a large stick if he wanted to become a Gladiator.
He quickly grew through the levels of training, defeating opponents big and small and as time went on, his success as a gladiator would reward him with true combat in the Arena. As he readied himself for the finishing blow, he would picture that face, the face of Albinius as he stood there smiling down at him with a cold stare. Eventually the night came where Spartacus and the other Thracian slaves would arrive for execution...
Gods of the ArenaEdit
While not appearing, he is mentioned by Quintus Lentulus Batiatus when he is speaking of Solonius on how between the two of them they hold the greatest gladiators in all of Capua. Batiatus marks Arkadios as one of these gladiators.
Blood and SandEditArkadios arrives with his master, Solonius, to be presented for the next day's Gladatorial games. However, Arkadios remains strictly focused on his target, Senator Albinius, the entire time. He plots an attack, ready to strike at the last man's calling, but before he can take his chance, Legatus Claudius Glaber arrives with his slaves for the game the next day, set for execution. Arkadios, fearing the amount of Roman guards would be too much, chooses to hold off the slaying, waiting patiently for his chance yet again. Solonius then informs him that he will commit the executions tomorrow, which he gladly accepts as his chance to get at Albinius will be made reality.
Arkadios is called out by Solonius as the first presentation from the House of Solonius with his title as the "Scourge of Athens". After the other gladiators are presented, Arkadios pairs up with another gladiator in a demonstration fight for the Romans. During this time, he locks eyes with one of the Thracians and points his sword at him, revealing full intention of ending his life.
As the day of the game arrives, he kills each Thracian slave including Byzo and eventually faces Drenis, who gives up quite a battle yet loses regardless of his position. One final man remains: Spartacus, yet unnamed.
When he ends up facing the man in the Arena, the odds are suddenly changed when three other gladiators (all under the control of Marcus Decius Solonius) join alongside Arkadios for a four-on-one battle.This puts Arkadios's plans on hinge, they are his comrades, and it will hamper his assassination attempt. However, deciding that Albinius deserves to die no matter what, he continues with the execution and fights Spartacus, intending to take with him Albinius at any cost.
The order is finally given, and all men begin the battle by taking advantage of Spartacus and weakening him to the point of death, leaving him on his knees. Spartacus looks up to see the Red Serpent on his shield and recalls the dream Sura once spoke of, remembering now the words she said; Kill them all. When the gladiator finally receives his order to kill Spartacus, he rushes forward with sword in hand to end his life, only to have Spartacus rush forward with a blade of his own, impaling him with the blade. The strike fatally wounds him and Spartacus goes on to slay each of the other three men: skewering one man's skull, having another man crushed by his fellow's axe and killing the last with a piked weapon. Arkadios then lays still, hearing the chants for Spartacus, and calls him a God in his last moments, much as he considered himself beforehand.
It is this kill, along with the other three, that goes down in history as Spartacus's first great feat; standing against four men in the arena armed with nothing but a sword, emerging victorious. It is often remarked upon by other characters, both in pride and in envy, even in jest (by men such as Oenomaus, who considers it nothing).
- Given the details of the backstory of Arkadios, it may be that he was enslaved just days before the Roman siege of Athens, under the command of the Proconsul Lucius Cornelius Sulla between late 87 to early 86 BCE. This was part of a larger conflict known to history as the First Mithridatic War (89-85 BCE), which involved the Athenian politician, Aristion, pledging the support of Athens to King Mithridates VI of Pontus, in return for the Kingdom of Pontus ending Roman rule in both Greece and Asia Minor (modern Turkey). Aristion became the Tyrant of Athens until the capture of Athens.
"I... am a god. The arena is my temple; blood, my sacred wine; death, my ambrosia. The crowd chants my name, praised to their deity of pain. Arkadios! Arkadios! Arkadios!"
"Ready, Thracian cunt?"
―Arkadios to Spartacus"
- ↑ Spartacus: Blood and Sand Season 1; Episode 1
Here is a link to Upon the Sands of Vengeance, featuring Arkadios: