|First appearance|| S0E01: Past Transgressions|
S3E01: Enemies of Rome
|Last appearance||S3E10: Victory|
|Profession|| Gladiator (House of Batiatus)|
|Relationships|| Oenomaus (Best Friend, deceased)|
Melitta (Friend/First Love, deceased)
Ulpius (Doctore, deceased)
Crixus (Rival/Friend, deceased)
Spartacus (True Friend, deceased)
Donar (Friend, deceased)
Otho (Rival, deceased)
Barca (Friend, deceased)
Auctus (Friend, deceased)
Marcia (Former Sexual Partner, deceased)
Saxa (Ex-Lover/Friend, deceased)
Sanus (Friend, deceased)
Attius (Friend, deceased)
Totus (Friend, deceased)
Sibyl (True Love)
Lugo (Friend, deceased)
Julius Caesar (Archenemy)
Pleuratos (Comrade, deceased)
Celtillus (Comrade, deceased)
Gannicus is a central character and anti-hero in Spartacus. He serves as champion in Batiatus' Ludus throughout the events of the prequel, Gods of the Arena, until his departure upon earning his freedom in the aftermath of the Games of the New Arena. He later returns in Vengeance initially as an acquaintance to the rebels, criticizing their cause against the Roman Republic, though he ironically becomes a rebel himself for the sake of his closest friend, Oenomaus.
He is often referred to by others as a "God of the Arena" due to his legendary fights as a gladiator that had led to winning his freedom.
Gannicus is a Celtic gladiator of average height, athletic, with tanned skin and long, dirty blonde hair. In later seasons he has a tattoo, an ancient Nordic symbol representing invincibility, on his left arm. He is noted to be remarkably handsome and charming, enough so to catch even the eye of Gaia, a woman abiding in the wealthy Roman class. He fights dual wielding two swords in the gladiator style of Dimachaerus.
Gannicus proves himself a remarkable physical specimen: fearless in the arena and possessed by a thirst for the fleeting pleasures of life. His love of wine and women, coupled with his unwavering arrogance, is unmatched by any of the other gladiators. For his victories, Gannicus isn't seen training with the other gladiators, but rather he is allowed to train alone in the shade if he wishes. Gannicus is shown to be a close friend to Oenomaus and his wife Melitta, despite taking Oenomaus' place as Champion in Batiatus' Ludus. With a love for battle, he reveals an excited grin whenever confronted.
Though he could take down opponents with swift efficiency, he demonstrates showmanship by pacing his fights with variety of attacks, demonstrating graphically gruesome executions, and laughing and roaring for the spectators. He boasts that he could take on gladiators with his bare hands, and even willingly gets blindfolded during one fight. Though he pursues physical female companionship on a constant basis, Gannicus does not mistreat women, which is a common trait shared by Spartacus and Oenomaus. Yet, beyond his cockiness, there's an underlying sense of honor about him that creeps to the surface, especially in the presence of Oenomaus. This has been strained in the past few weeks as he struggles with his feelings for Melitta and would later haunt him the following years since his departure.
At first, Gannicus is doubtful of Spartacus and his cause, believing the man to be a jest the same as the rebellion, but as time passes he slowly joins in with the rebellion and, while not considering himself close with Spartacus by the end of Vengeance, he and Spartacus seem to become closer. At the time of War of The Damned, he and Spartacus have become much closer and often joke and trade barbs with one another, Spartacus even knowing him well enough to know and joke about what he was doing while he did not give his report. Spartacus sees Gannicus' potential as a leader and has asked him to become one numerous times, but Gannicus denied stating that he does not wish to become a 'God' in the eyes of the rebels like Spartacus has; Yet he still accompanies him and seems to become one of his closest allies and friends alongside Crixus, Agron, Nasir and Naevia. Gannicus, however, still does not truly believe in the cause and instead does it to honor Oenomaus.
Combat ProwessEditAs a former champion of not only his house but the arena as well, Gannicus is one of the most skilled, athletic, and durable fighters in the series. Gannicus' true testament to his abilities is he has proved himself an equivalent to Spartacus with skill and sword, while Spartacus is considered one of the best, if not the best fighter in the series. Gannicus himself claims he and Spartacus are equal in skill with swords, but admits that Spartacus is superior to him when using a spear.
Gannicus' fighting style suits his way of thinking. With the Dimachaeri style he can constantly attack and with Pankration he can protect himself with no armor worn. He thrives on athleticism and speed that enables him to bombard rapid strikes and aerial assaults with many jumping motions compared to the other gladiators who prefer more grounded combat style. Gannicus also appears to be able to enter into a berserker rage in combat, which greatly augments his strength and overall ability. This has been seen from his fights with Otho, Barca, The Egyptian, and Crixus.
However, Gannicus' morbid pursuit of thrill by facing death as closely as possible often puts him in dangerous combat situations. He willingly fights Otho without weapons, with a blindfold, and challenges enemies that are physically bigger and stronger than him, such as Caburus, The Egyptian, and Crixus, without hesitation. It is the combination of his obsession for danger, nonchalant attitude against fear, gifted athleticism, and supremely honed fighting skills that allow him to stand victorious against virtually every enemy he has faced while laughing and smiling with joy and excitement.
Gannicus is fully capable of taking down multiple enemies even in tight corridors, such as Ashur's mercenaries and the pirates. During the capture of Ilithyia, he single handedly took down an entire squad of bodyguards through the element of surprise and the aid of night time darkness, as well as a group of hunters who later questioned her presence around the gladiator.
Gods of the ArenaEditGannicus is a popular gladiator and rising star within the gladiatorial world in Capua in the House of Batiatus, having risen to prominence since his friend, Oenomaus, was defeated by Theokoles. He is presented by Quintus Batiatus in a match in the Old Arena to which he easily bests his opponent.
Back at the ludus, Gannicus earns rewards for his win; wine and women. He partakes of both vigorously, then jokes with his friend Oenomaus. He appears to be free of all worries, and has little respect for his own life.
Whilst Batiatus attempts a business deal with Tullius, he and Vettius argue over who has the better gladiators. Batiatus jokes that any of his gladiators could beat Vettius' gladiators absent sight, and Vettius takes him up on the bet. Batiatus chooses Gannicus to be the one to fight, meaning he is officially champion of the ludus and the days of Oenomaus as champion have passed. That evening, Oenomaus hears drunk singing from outside and finds Gannicus swaying dangerously on the cliff precipice, an amphora of wine in his hand. He purposefully slips and almost falls off, laughing at the danger of it. He then sobers for a moment and tells Oenomaus that he should be the one fighting (thus calling Oenomaus the true champion), but the next day he is taken to town to face Vettius' champion, Otho.
The challenge takes place in the market. Vettius brings forth his gladiator, Otho, along with a blindfold, reminding Batiatus of the part of his challenge that he had only meant in jest. Both Sextus and Tullius are present, and Batiatus does not wish to be seen as a coward, but he cannot accept. Gannicus instead accepts the blindfold, and readies for the fight, mocking Otho in doing so by saying that the task should not be difficult, as he only needs to direct his blades towards the smell of excrement.
Gannicus is successful to begin with because Otho launches every attack with an angry cry. They lock arms and wrestle around without weapons, but once they are free of each other again, Gannicus cannot find his opponent and is beaten to the ground. Otho lands many hard hits and eventually grabs his sword again. He slashes Gannicus' chest but Gannicus grabs him and forces the sword out of his grip. Otho pulls a nail from nearby and stabs Gannicus in the chest with it, but Gannicus pushes him off again. Sword in hand, Otho moves in and slashes at Gannicus, who dodges out of the way at the last moment. The sword embeds itself in a wooden plank. Gannicus follows the sounds and grabs Otho, forcing him down onto the edge of the sword, cutting his neck open and killing him. Tullius is impressed with Gannicus' performance seeks to buy him off Batiatus, who refuses. A sly battle begins between the two of them over who will own Gannicus.
After the battle, Gannicus joins Oenomaus in his room to celebrate and share wine. Melitta, Oenomaus' wife, enters and hears Gannicus joking about killing Oenomaus in the arena, if it came round to it. She berates him for discussing the possible death of her husband so lightly, and asks him what he would do if he could not laugh or fight his way out of a situation, which is what he would normally do. He replies that he may have to fuck his way out.
A new Roman guest, Varis, arrives in the villa. Batiatus is eager to impress the man to gain favor, and offers demonstration of Gannicus, who trains down in the ludus, to battle. As Varis favors Gaia he lets her choose Crixus, a new trainee, as Gannicus' opponent. Varis requests metal swords used instead of wooden swords, and Batiatus hesitatingly agrees. When the fight begins, Gannicus appears to have the upper hand, but Crixus manages to regain form and even knock away one of Gannicus' swords and down him. Gannicus manages to recuperate and gains control of the battle again, eventually knocking Crixus to the ground.
Later that evening, Batiatus hopes to appeal to Quinctilius Varus personal desires and brings an oiled and prepared Gannicus into his presence. The Roman admires Gannicus' physique, but declines the option of sleeping with him, claiming he is too tired. Varis instead suggests that Gannicus and Melitta have sex in front of him. Forced to perform for the Roman, the two are hesitant at first and Gannicus is apologetic, for Oenomaus and Melitta are his closest friends, and he abhors the thought of raping her. Lucretia and Batiatus allow the show, despite the unspoken arrangement that Melitta does not sleep with anyone other than her husband. Eventually, however, Melitta starts to show enjoyment, which is replaced by shame and tears when it is over. When she returns to Oenomaus in the evening, she mentions nothing of it to him.Titus Batiatus, the father of Quintus, returns from Sicily unexpectedly and begins to show disapproval of Gannicus being the champion of his house. Quintus and Titus begin a feud as to whether Gannicus should be sold to Tullius, which Titus believes to be a sound business strategy, while Quintus believes selling his champion would bring ruin to the house. During this time, Gannicus begins falling in love with Melitta, and is wracked with guilt over having betrayed his friend. Melitta also begins to reluctantly reciprocate, although they do not consummate their love due to respect for Oenomaus. Crixus also begins to feverishly wish to defeat Gannicus in the arena and become champion, but is continually thwarted in his efforts.
Later, Titus arranges a contest to determine who is worthy to remain a gladiator and become champion.
Titus makes a deal with Oenomaus that if Gannicus defeats Crixus he will remain champion and stay in the house but if he falls he will be sold to Tullius. After fighting Crixus to what seems to be a draw Gannicus reflects on not being able to love Melitta. Not wanting to bear the pain of being in love with his best friend's wife he willingly loses the fight, though many, including Crixus himself note that Gannicus threw the fight and could have actually won. Hearing that he is about to be sold, Melitta asks to see Gannicus to share drink with an old friend as they do not believe they will see each other again. However, during the encounter Melitta unknowingly drinks from bottle of honey wine, a bottle that Lucretia had poisoned and served to Titus. Melitta tells Gannicus that despite her words she also has feelings for him & they begin to kiss, but then she begins to cough up blood & Melitta swiftly dies in agony in Gannicus' arms. Gannicus recognizes that the wine was poisoned and carries Melitta to Lucretia & says it was the wine. Lucretia tells Gannicus that "Oenomaus must not know she came to your cell, she was never with you!" Lucretia frames her death and that of Titus on Tullius, as the wine was a gift from him that Lucretia had poisoned. Gannicus was ordered not to tell Oenomaus, but feels guilt when he goes to his cell while he is praying.Gannicus and Oenomaus both despair with grief over Melitta's death while Lucretia wants Gaia's death to be avenged. Naevia replaces Melitta as Lucretia's body slave and she makes promise that no one will ever lay hands upon her for sport & maidenhood will be preserved as precious gift. Gannicus later offers to personally kill Tullius if Quintus goes through with the arrangement and hands him over. He claims that he wishes to kill Tullius to avenge Titus, but Quintus recognizes that he actually desires to avenge Melitta, and refuses to sell him. Instead Quintus conspires to ambush at night in the streets of Capua. He, Gannicus, Oenomaus, the Syrians and several other gladiators drag him into the underbelly of the newly constructed arena of Capua. They all stab the Roman repeatedly, and as he slowly bleeds to death they brick him into a wall, as Gannicus smiles pleasurably at Tullius' suffering. At this time Solonius, who was subject to the condescending words spoken in anger from Batiatus during counsel, comes to terms with Vettius to purchase his gladiators for Solonius' ludus to fight under his banner in the primus.
Gannicus later gained his freedom by remaining as last man standing in the opening game of the primus, becoming the only gladiator to ever win his freedom in Capua. As he departs the ludus for the last time, he gives Crixus his necklace, which is given to every champion of the House of Batiatus, as Crixus was the runner-up in the battle, and is now the new champion. Crixus bemoans the fact that they still do not know which of them is superior (although it's perfectly obvious), so Gannicus invites him to seek him out for a proper contest once he has gained his own freedom. Oenomaus then presents him with a rudis (a wooden sword, engraved with the stories of his victories), as proof that he is a freed slave, and he departs.
VengeanceEditFive years later, it is revealed that Gannicus has been wandering over the years and indulging to the point where he is quoted to be "light in coin". This prompts him to return to Capua, the place where his prestige and reputation was established in search for means to finance his endeavors. In exchange for fighting in the arena once again, he is given an amount of coin by Mercato, a local organizer of the games who is thrilled by his presence.
The night before the execution, he goes to the brothels and sleeps with a prostitute named Marcia.
After realizing they are to face him in the arena, Crixus is baffled as to why their friend would deliberately come to end their lives in the arena, with Oenomaus believing it is because he has lost all honor.
As he waits outside the arena, Gannicus briefly exchanges words with a disguised Spartacus, who has come to free his comrades and destroy the stadium. Spartacus realizes he is a freed gladiator of the House of Batiatus through the branding of brotherhood, and questions him as to why he has come to kill his brother. Gannicus reveals that he had heard that the three were to be executed, and believes only he can make them die honorably.
After making his extravagant reintroduction in the arena, he awkwardly greets his former brother by saying they at last face each other upon the sands as Melitta had always feared. Oenomaus then questions Gannicus, asking if it was true that he had an affair with Melitta the night she had died. Upon hesitation, Oenomaus is enraged and begins to deal heavy blows against him. While they fight, Gannicus says he never wanted to feel what he felt for Melitta or to battle his friend. Their duel continues for a short period of time where both proved to be equally matched in skill until Gannicus parries with Oenomaus and manages to disarm him and give him a flying kick. Gannicus having bested Oenomaus reveals his intentions to why he was sent to execute the three rebels. He tells Oenomaus that he wishes to send him to Melitta's arms in the after-life and give him an honorable death.
Shortly after Spartacus and his men begin their assault on the arena. As Gannicus is about to deal the fatal blow at Oenomaus, the stands collapse on top of them and they are buried underneath.
Gannicus emerges from the rubble with an unconscious Oenomaus, holding his weapons to Spartacus and Agron until he sees Crixus. He calls out to Crixus to help him carry Oenomaus to safety. Gannicus escapes with Spartacus and the rebels, but loses his most prized possession: his Rudis
He accompanies Spartacus, not to be a rebel, but to talk with Oenomaus, who he helps to carry back to Vesuvius. Gannicus tells him of the night Melitta died, and sadly claims that Melitta chose Oenomaus in the end. However, Oenomaus calls Gannicus a man who only looks out for himself. Hurt by his former friend's words Gannicus says he was a fool to believe he would gain forgiveness he then says word of his departure. As he makes attempt to leave, he is accused of stealing the map of the city about to be raided, and the remaining coin the rebels retain. Gannicus and Spartacus fight, but they prove a match for one another. After Chadara (the real culprit) was shot by Mira, he is exonerated. He leaves the sanctuary and continues to maintain his stance of non-involvement with the Rebellion.Gannicus enters Capua again and speaks to the Magistrate. After his conference, and the watching of a crucifixion, he returns to the brothels where he is confronted by Ashur, who turns him in to Glaber. Glaber offers Gannicus a place in his army. When Gannicus refuses, Glaber hands him his rudis and he says he is free to go. He continues to wander Capua, and finds Marcia, the work of Ashur, crucified because she spoke of Spartacus and Glaber ordered any slave who mentions Spartacus will be crucified as well and Ashur noticed her and Gannicus' feelings for one another. Lucretia tries to convince him to assassinate Glaber, but he calls her crazy.
When Glaber sends Ilithyia back to Rome, soldiers discovered her cart was raided. Gannicus was the one who raided the cart, killed the six guards and kidnapped Ilithyia. He left his rudis lodged in the throat of the mercenary Ashur had ordered to spy on him.
He then takes Ilithyia to Spartacus at the temple and asks him to kill her, thus taking vengeance for Sura. He proceeds to speak with Oenomaus saying he would net more fall to Spartacus' cause and does not want to see his brother fall but Oenomaus tells him that their brotherhood was a lie and that gannicus stands for nothing as he always has. Gannicus would then join Spartacus stating that he only does so because Oenomaus believes in the cause and that one day he may too.
He quickly becomes of note amongst the rebels for his superior strength and skill and soon becomes a welcomed member, though he maintains his desire to rebuild his friendship with Oenomaus. He is paired with Oenomaus in a contest, devised by Spartacus to bring the sense of brotherhood into the rebels, against Crixus and Agron. Using their superior skill and cooperation they manage to best the two and rekindle some of their friendship.
When an assault on the temple begins, Gannicus takes up the defence against the Romans. He defeats every opponent he faces and after seeing The Egyptian best Oenomaus he quickly comes to his aid and knocks down the former and saves his friend's life.When the rebels are camped up on top of the mountain, Gannicus speaks to Spartacus and reveals having gained respect for him and that if he is to die at least he will die among brothers. With that he extends his hand and Spartacus shakes it signifying the new formed friendship between the two, Gannicus laughs off. Alongside Spartacus, Crixus and Agron he scales down the mountainside and flanks the Romans. When the rest of the rebels arrive the real fight begins, and Gannicus is shown to be the most excited for combat among them, laughing at the glorious death he sees. As Glaber sounds a retreat, the rebels furiously pursue the Romans. Gannicus engages the Egyptian, who knocks him down and nearly overcomes him before Oenomaus intervenes in the fight and wounds the Egyptian. However, after a brief fight the Egyptian fatally impales Oenomaus in the chest. Enraged, Gannicus breaks free of nearby Roman soldiers and overcomes the Egyptian, delivering a fatal blow to his head. He then goes to Oenomaus' side where the two share final words and reconcile their friendship. Oenomaus states he will see Melitta and they will greet Gannicus as brother in the afterlife. Gannicus then participates in the remainder of the fight. When Spartacus gives his speech, Gannicus appears content to remain with the rebels, fully in honor of Oenomaus, though he also shows a sense of doubt.
War of the DamnedEdit
Following the Battle of Vesuvius, Gannicus remains with the Rebel army. He now loyally serves to honor his fallen friend though still holds doubt for the cause. Gannicus also has now taken a sexual interest in Saxa.
After the victorious battle against Cossinius and Furius, Gannicus returns to the encampment to drink wine with his friends Sanus and Totus and later to lay with Saxa. Spartacus summons him, while upset for Gannicus not submitting his battle report, Spartacus takes notice of Gannicus' skill and tells him to take his rightful place beside Crixus and himself as a leader. Gannicus does not think of himself as a leader refuses but Spartacus says there are many that already see him as such and even greater would follow him in battle and would gladly die for the cause. Gannicus explains to Spartacus that he wants to stay in the brotherhood, but not be seen as god like Spartacus. He later reveals to Spartacus his affair with Melitta and says that even with gaining his freedom, the pain he caused to those he loved remained. He goes on to explain that he is now free from his burdened past, thanks to Oenomaus who forgave him in his final breath. News of a Roman unit close-by reaches the Rebel encampment. Spartacus, Gannicus and the other rebels launch an ambush on the unit, which is revealed to be a messenger. They obtain the news that a force of 10,000, led by Crassus, prepare to face them. They also learn that Cossinius and Furius have fled to a villa nearby. As night falls, Gannicus, Spartacus and Crixus sneak inside the villa, successfully routing the rest of Cossinius' forces, and both Cossinius and Furius themselves.Gannicus, Spartacus and Crixus go to Sinuessa disguised as travelers. A guard almost has all three of them removed from the city before Spartacus mentions Laurus, and are let through once giving over their weapons. Gannicus takes them to Attius, a friend he met when he came to Sinuessa after being freed. Attius agrees to forge two weapons and is paid for his service. While Crixus leaves the city to re-join the rebels and Spartacus explores the city, Gannicus decides to stay and speak with Attius.
With their weapons ready, Gannicus has Attius trick the Roman guards to open the weapons vault and lock them inside. Attius is nearly killed and Gannicus runs to his aid. Spartacus holds off the guards while Gannicus opens the gate. The rebels storm through the city, and Gannicus takes part in the bloodshed, and beheads Laurus, freeing Sibyl and Laurus' other slaves. Before the Aedile, Ennius has the chance to burn the grain in the city, Gannicus and Crixus kill the guards next to him and Ennius is killed by Spartacus.Gannicus is present as the rebels torture the surviving Romans in the city, and is present as Crixus forces Ulpianus and another Roman to fight to the death. Despite his disapproval of the act, Gannicus makes no attempt to stop it but stops Crixus from hurting Attius. Later after Heracleo and his pirates arrive, Gannicus goes out with Spartacus, Agron, Crixus and Totus to the agreement. Things take a sour turn as Tiberius leads his army to attack but after the pirates use their weapons to force the Romans to retreat, Gannicus returns to the city and mourns Totus' death, along with Crixus .During this time, Gannicus learns of Attius' death by Naevia and mourns his friend's death too. He shows suspicion towards Naevia, but goes along with her story that Attius attacked her unprovoked after she asked if he aided the prisoners escape. After a celebration one night Gannicus returns to a villa, where Saxa waits dressed in fine clothing. She takes him to a waiting Sibyl who is equally dressed. Saxa caresses Sibyl, then undresses her, Gannicus is in awe with the innocence of Sibyl and caresses her face, while staring awestruck. After a few minutes he seems to escape out of whatever trance he was in and tells Sibyl to gather her things and leave. Gannicus tells Saxa that he doesn't want a girl - he wants a woman, and they embrace. Sibyl waits outside and thanks him telling Gannicus that she owes him everything. He shrugs, uninterested in the story many have told him before, and warns her she should stay away from him and men of his kind. Gannicus is later shown with Saxa, defending Fabia's brother from Brictius' wrath. He stops the brutality and kindly tells fabia's brother he does not know of his missing sister. He and Saxa continue walking, where they are met by Sibyl who says she knows of something that is of concern. Gannicus accompanies her to the Aedile's stables where Laeta is hiding the escaped romans. He recognizes Ulpianus and asks if he was the man that Attius helped free. Laeta then says that Attius had no part in the act. Upon hearing this, Gannicus realizes that Attius was killed for nothing. He stops Saxa from killing Laeta and tells her to take the Romans to Spartacus while he goes after Crixus and Naevia saying he will see memory of Attius "Well F***** Honored!. He confronts them and tells them the true story - that Laeta not Attius was responsible and that Saxa is taking them to Spartacus. Naevia says it doesn't matter as Attius was a Roman who fell to a deserved fate, however Gannicus says Attius was his friend and curses Naevia, forcing Crixus to defend her. The two then get into a fight where Gannicus dominates Crixus, despite aid from other rebels. Gannicus almost kills Crixus until Naevia knocks him out from behind with a cinderblock. He later regains consciousness and shows up once the rebels have killed many of the roman prisoners and are stopped by Spartacus. He tells Spartacus Laeta was responsible for hiding most of the romans and that Attius had no part in the plot and didn't deserve the end that he met. Spartacus then decides not to kill Laeta or more romans. Crixus says that there are many that question his mind but Spartacus says he questions why he placed Crixus in charge. Enraged, Crixus tries to charge but is restrained by Donar and Agron. Gannicus is satisfied with this and Spartacus then orders that surviving Romans are to be placed in his villa and if the rebels try to disobey him they will they will follow those they have struck down. With that Gannicus leaves with the rest of the rebels.
Spartacus takes Gannicus, Lugo, Sanus and Saxa on a journey with him aboard Heracleo's ship to Cecilia, to make attack on Crassus' grain supply. During the sea journey, Spartacus recounts to Gannicus that the last time he was on the sea was when he was first taken captive by the Romans. Along the way Gannicus asks Spartacus if it was wise to leave Crixus in the city by himself but Spartacus is positive in Agron keeping watch on the Romans. Spartacus then tells Gannicus if he was to fall he wants him to be his successor Gannicus, however reminds Spartacus that he does not want to be a leader but Spartacus says that Gannicus is more worthy of being a leader than Crixus since he did not kill any roman prisoners but Gannicus says he would have spilt the blood of Crixus had Naevia not knocked him out. But Spartacus says he wouldn't have Gannicus still remains unconvinced but Spartacus still has hopes on Gannicus taking his rightful place. The group of Rebels reach Cecilia and attack a Roman party, slaughtering them all and taking their grain.When they return to city walls, Spartacus, Agron and Gannicus fill Crixus in on their strategic plan against Crassus and his legions. As night falls, Spartacus puts his plan into action, however, Heracleo arrives late and absent Sanus. Heracleo betrays Spartacus and reveals that he has brought Roman soldiers aboard his ship back to the city. A fierce battle ensues as Spartacus and Gannicus face the Roman Soldiers. Crixus arrives with other Rebels just in time to finish them off. Spartacus later spots Roman ships heading towards the city and demands that everybody flee to the Ridge. Gannicus offers to cause a distraction, to allow the Rebels to escape through the northern gate. Reluctantly, Spartacus allows this and leads the others away. Saxa is visibly saddened at this and embraces Gannicus telling him not to die and they kiss. Gannicus, with Donar, finds Sibyl and tells her to stay by his side if she desires to live. After Donar is injured and believed to be dead, Gannicus tells Sibyl that many have fallen but she shall not be one of them as the two then take off into the city. Sibyl and Gannicus hide in a stable, Sibyl bandages Gannicus' injured hand and he realizes that she has experience in taking care of injuries. She too admits that she helped injured slaves when hurt by her Dominus, Gannicus asked her who took care of her injuries and she remarks that it was Diotimos and that he became like a brother to her. Romans return to the stable to gather wood and Gannicus realizes they are going to be discovered if he doesn't attack, he uses Sibyl as a bait making her pray loud enough so a Roman would hear. When a Roman soldier discovers them, Gannicus kills him and tells Sibyl to take her life if he cannot kill all of the Romans surrounding them, he says it would be a kindness in comparison to what they would do to her. Gannicus kills all the Roman soldiers and admits to Sibyl that he's beginning to believe in her Gods. While Sibyl and Gannicus are spying on the Romans they find out that Heracleo, who ended up betraying the rebels and believed to have been killed by Spartacus, was still alive, they also find out that he has taken Laeta as a prisoner. Sibyl and Gannicus make a move on Heracleo, Gannicus threatens him with a sword and the Cilician responds by saying during their fight his sword might slaughter Gannicus' woman (indicating Sibyl), Gannicus says that she is not his woman and attacks him. During the fight, Gannicus, thinking he had taken down the pirate, is distracted fighting the other Cilicians that accompanied their leader. Heracleo, still conscious, reaches for Sibyl while Gannicus is distracted. Sibyl fights back but she isn't skilled enough to last, and Heracleo presses a sword to her throat. Gannicus quickly realizes what is happening and yells her name, panicked. The Cilician pirate immediately uses Gannicus' concern to his advantage saying "So you do care for the little one? But it's a pity now that you have killed her!" Gannicus screams "No!" then he watches, shocked as suddenly the Cilician is stabbed in the throat by Laeta with a hot branding iron. Immediately, Gannicus races to Sibyl and for the first time initiates an embrace between them, asking her if she's hurt. Sibyl assures him that she is fine and insists that they help Laeta since she is now a branded slave.
Gannicus, Sibyl and Laeta try to escape by stealing horses but Caesar notices them, forcing Gannicus to draw his sword. Gannicus distracts Caesar and the soldiers as Sibyl and Laeta get the horses. He rides with Sibyl on a horse while fighting off Romans, until they make it out of the city unharmed.
When they find the rebels once again, Gannicus and Saxa embrace. When Spartacus asks Gannicus how he survived he made a reference to the Gods and smiles to Sibyl, indicating that he has growing affection towards her.
Following their escape and arrival at the new camp, Gannicus and Sibyl part ways, but he turns down Saxa's advances when he realizes that Sibyl is watching them. He justifies his actions as a desire to focus on the coming storm that threatens the camp, but as he walks away he glances at Sibyl, who smiles.
Gannicus looks for Sibyl when the storm hits. He finds her with a group of other people and is angry to see that she is offering her own blood as a sacrifice to the gods. He tells the others to seek shelter and carries the bleeding Sibyl away from the altar. He struggles through the storm, trying to reach the camp, but when he sees a large, overturned cart he seeks shelter there instead.
He dresses Sibyl's wound and comments that they are again trapped, wounded and left with no choice but to pray. She is pleased at the idea of him praying and impulsively kisses him. Gannicus returns the kiss but then reiterates his warning that she stay away from men like him. When Sibyl claims that he is asking her to do the impossible, Gannicus gives in and kisses her. He makes gentle love to her in the snow, keeping their cloaks wrapped around them.When they return to the group the next day, Gannicus stays close to Sibyl and when Saxa rushes to greet him, he does not embrace her. It is clear that Saxa knows something has happened, but she says nothing.
At a feast/party in favor of Crixus, Sibyl and Gannicus drink wine together, Sibyl makes a comment about the alcohol burning her throat and Gannicus advises Sibyl that perhaps she should drink water and turn to purer thoughts, of course in a joking manner. Sibyl understands the humor and replays by asking him to get another drink because this one is empty, she sips it all down and Gannicus kisses her before following command.
On his way to get the wine, Gannicus comes face to face with Saxa who confronts him about his affections towards Sibyl. She asks is he with "Little thing now?" and he replies that he did not wish to wound her heart but Saxa smirks, stating that he will ruin Sibyl with his ways and eventually come back to her bed. Gannicus simply laughs and glances at Sibyl who is smiling at him, his face then turns more serious.Crixus is now separating from Spartacus, and Gannicus wants to bid him goodbye. Crixus tries to persuade Gannicus to follow him and his men telling him that it would be a blessing from Jupiter himself if he did, but Gannicus declines, telling Crixus that his journey follows another path and then looks at Sibyl. Crixus turns to see who Gannicus is looking at and smiles when he realizes it's Sibyl. Crixus grins at Gannicus and tells him that there is no greater cause to turn a man from battle. They embrace and Gannicus walks over to Sibyl to kiss her, as Sibyl is now Gannicus' woman. After Naevia returns to the rebels with news of Crixus' defeat, the rebels choose to honor their fallen comrades with a pale shadow of the old arena, where the rebels would take on captured Romans. After Spartacus opens by facing two soldiers, Gannicus tells Sibyl how although he doesn't miss being a slave, he does miss being a gladiator. After Spartacus defeats his, Gannicus comes in and requests to fight three at once. Gannicus proves himself still the God of the Arena as he easily defeats his opponents. As the games continue, Gannicus is informed that Julius Caesar has arrived to broker a deal with the rebels. Gannicus and Spartacus meet with Caesar with Gannicus desiring Caesar's life. However, Caesar offers a trade of 500 surviving rebels for Crassus' son, Tiberius, who was among the Romans captured. The two ponder about this and eventually, with Naevia's approval, agree. As the rebels see Tiberius off to Caesar, he is killed by Kore, who Tiberius had raped. Gannicus holds Caesar back, desiring his life now that he is of no longer use, but the deal is honoured as Kore is sent back with Caesar.
That evening, the rebels put Crixus' head upon his shield on a pyre. There, the rebels begin to chant the names of their fallen comrades. Gannicus cries out Oenomaus' name before they all begin to chant Crixus' name.
Preperations for the final battle commence. Spartacus and Gannicus discuss the coming battle with Gannicus noting they will not be able to win. Spartacus then asks for Gannicus to take rightful place as a leader, yet Gannicus remain reluctant. However, at Spartacus' insistence, he eventually agrees to which Spartacus then gives him a vital task.Before the battle, he lays one last time with Sibyl. She remarks how freedom will mean nothing without him with her. He then states that the Gods did not deliver Gannicus to save Sibyl, but guided him to her so that she would save him. Following their farewell, the rebels split off with some going to freedom and the other into battle. Gannicus stands by Spartacus stating his desire now is solely for blood. When the final battle commences, Gannicus is not present. As catapult and balista fire from Crassus' rear position, Gannicus arrives leading an entire cavalry and infantry unit against the Romans. Gannicus takes off of the horse and commands the rebels whilst fighting off many Roman soldiers. As time goes on, however, the rebels begin to be overrun. Gannicus first sees Saxa mortally wounded, who then dies in his arms. He then sees Naevia die at the hands of Caesar. Gannicus continues to press through and then meets Caesar once more. The two enter their final contest, with Gannicus holding the upper hand. The Roman soldiers, however, surround Gannicus and he lashes out, exhausting himself, suffering several wounds before his sword is literally knocked from his hand. Now that Gannicus is unarmed, he is approached by a grinning Caesar who knocks him out with the back of his sword.
Gannicus is captured and crucified along with the other captured rebels. His last moments are joyous, however, as he is hanging by the cross, he sees Oenomaus smiling at him and then envisions himself standing in the arena with the crowd screaming his name. He smiles and lets out one final battle cry.
Historically, Gannicus was of Celtic origin. His exact tribe is unknown but it is said that he is considered a brother both in bondage and tribal brotherhood with Crixus. If true, Gannicus may be of the Allobroge tribe. The homeland of the Allobroges extended across the modern French regions of Vivarais, Savoy, and Dauphine.
Gannicus (or Cannicus) was a gladiator from the gladiatorial school of Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Batiatus in Capua. Together, with the Thracian, Spartacus, Gauls, Crixus and Oenomaus, and Roman, Castus, he became one of the leaders of the rebellious slaves during the Third Servile War (73-71 BC).
In the winter of 71 BC, Gannicus, along with Castus, broke off from Spartacus, taking 12,500 rebels, primarily Celts and Germans. This marked the second break off of the rebellion.
Gannicus and Castus met their end in Lucania, near Mount Soprano (Mount Camalatrum) where Marcus Licinius Crassus, Promptinus, and Rufus entrenched their forces in battle and defeated them. It is said that during the battle, Gannicus showed extreme bravery.
List of AppearancesEdit
Gannicus is playable in the Spartacus Blood and Sand iphone game. He comes with a spatha and a copper parmula, meaning Gannicus does not come in his original dimacheras form.
- Dustin Clare, the actor who plays Gannicus is said from his appearance on Men's Fitness, to be 5'8 ft tall and 163 lbs, yet in the show he is seen to be the same height as the 5'11 Manu Bennett's Crixus.
- Like many of the main (or highly skilled) gladiator characters, Gannicus fights in the Dimachaeri class, which uses two swords for fighting. Both Spartacus and Oenomaus would frequently use one sword during combat, Gannicus almost always uses two sword showing his particular fondness towards the style.
- Gannicus is shown to have skill with one sword, though, as he manages to beat an infiltrating Caesar when he is training recruits. Also at Crixus' funeral games, he drops one of his swords while fighting 3 Romans and still manages to defeat them with ease.
- Gannicus shows a lot of skill in Pankration which uses a mixture of Pále (Wrestling) and Pugilism (Pugil/ Boxing). It makes sense for Gannicus to be comfortable fighting without weapons with Knowledge of Free Style Fighting like Pankration.
- Gannicus employs numerous unarmed combative methods when using weapons, such as kicking, punching, take downs and grappling in fighting much more than others. One signature move is the wall kick which he would run towards a wall or a ledge of higher elevation, tap and spin kick against an enemy.
- In Decimation, Crixus and Gannicus engage in an all-out hand-to-hand fight in an emotionally heated argument. Both were uninjured and in full stamina at the start of the fight but Crixus is seen caught in various grappling and submission techniques on the ground one that is similar to modern day Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, such as the Kimura, only to be freed a couple of times by interference of the other rebels.
- Gannicus' tattoo is a Viking symbol called the ægishjálmr, which translates to "helm of awe" or "helm of terror". It was often drawn onto the foreheads of Vikings before they entered battle. They believed that the symbol bestowed invincibility upon them and would also serve to terrorize their enemies. The symbol is believed to be derived from an ancient Germanic runic writing system. This may indicate that Gannicus is possibly a Celt of Northern European heritage.
- Gannicus is the only gladiator seen to be freed. He is also mentioned to be the only gladiator in Capua to have ever earned his freedom upon the sands. Like the title of the prequel season, he is fittingly referred as the "God of the Arena" by others.
- Gannicus is known as an equivalent to Spartacus, who didn't appear in Gods of the Arena. Due to his absence, Gannicus serves as a prominent role. In Vengeance, Gannicus is shown to be equivalent in skill as well, when they once fought to a draw.
- Gannicus tells Melitta that if he had to face Oenomaus upon the sands, he would give her husband a glorious death, to which she responds that he joked of killing a man whom he loved that someday he may be asked to. Additionally, he later tells Crixus that the only way to become champion is to never lose. Later in the second series, Gannicus defeats Oenomaus in the arena, however it is worth taking into consideration that Oenomaus lacked proper gear, wasn't fully recovered and fought with shackled hands.
- Gannicus along with Theokoles and Unnamed Murmillo are some of the only gladiators who have a tattoo. The recruit Segovax also had one, but he died before being accepted into the brotherhood.
- Gannicus is one of the few characters with a high moral compass, though he develops his more in Season 3.
- On Spartacus Wiki, Gannicus was voted as 'Most excited' to return on Spartacus Vengeance by fans on this website, 50% of people wanted him to return.
- Gannicus, along with Spartacus, has the highest number of lovers in the series: Melitta, Marcia, Saxa, and Sibyl. He has also previously slept with countless other women.
- In the final episode of Vengeance when Oenomaus was killed by the Egyptian, Oenomaus said that he would greet Gannicus in the afterlife. When Gannicus was crucified in the final episode of War of the Damned, he saw Oenomaus in his vision (alongside being finally back in the arena) which shows that he did indeed greet him.
- As a freed slave or Libertus, Gannicus was a Roman citizen. Manumitted slaves held a limited form of Roman citizenship, in the respect that they could not hold public office, though they might vote and could become civil servants in the form of Lictors (magistrate's bodyguard). As a Roman citizen, Gannicus would normally have been exempt from the punishment of crucifixion, though his actions in the slave revolt would have caused the Roman authorities to make an exception in his regard.
- Gannicus is the twenty-third main character to be killed.
"...Blood rains down from an angry sky. My cock rages on, my cock rages on..."
"Every night is a time for drink."
"The morning sun greets you with your last fucking day."
"We are slaves, the burden of choice and conscience equally removed. We are truly free when we fight, or when we fuck, which I shall leave to do presently."
"There is only one way to become champion; never fucking lose."
—Gannicus to Crixus
"There are many things given to us in this life for the wrong reasons. What we do with such blessings, that is the true test of a man." 
—Gannicus to Oenomaus
"It is a curse, being blessed with so much to offer."
—Gannicus to Melitta
"The gods have heard you. They provide opportunity to become champion."
—Gannicus to Crixus
"There are many things I would die for, many things I deserve to die for, yet this house is no longer among them."
"You and your tiny cock best pray that day never comes."
—Gannicus to Otho
"Come...the task should not be that difficult; I need only direct my blades towards the smell of shit."
—Gannicus to Otho
"I could have bested the man absent an arm and both fucking legs!"
—Gannicus to Ulpius
"You sound like Jupiter, hurling bolts from the heavens."
"I wish to see blood! See me delivered to Tullius' care and I shall see his life for your father's!"
"I am for wine and the embrace of questionable women."
"I have only interest in things I could drink."
"Raise voice again, and I will hack tongue from fucking mouth."
—Gannicus to Ilithyia
"If I am to die, at least I shall die amongst brothers."
—Gannicus to Spartacus
"Let me pass, or put skill to final test."
—Gannicus to Spartacus
"I am Spartacus!"