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First appearance S1E02: Sacramentum Gladiatorum
Last appearance S1E10: Party Favors (Physically)
S1E11: Old Wounds (Spartacus' Vision)
S3E10: Victory (Flashback)
Profession Roman Citizen
Gladiator (House of Batiatus)
Race Roman
Relationships Aurelia (Wife, deceased)
Janus (Son)
Unnamed Brother-In-Law
Spartacus (Best Friend, deceased)
Rhaskos (Friend, deceased)
Hamilcar (Friend, deceased)
Rabanus (Friend, deceased)
Titus (Former Friend)
Status Deceased (Killed by Spartacus, on Numerius' orders)
Actor/Actress Jai Courtney

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.


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.


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 gambling 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 ProwessEdit

While lacking any combat experience in the beginning, Varro quickly proves himself to be an able gladiator, fighting in various styles of weaponry. 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.

Blood and SandEdit


Varro as a Gladiator.

Spartacus and Varro are brought into Batiatus' Ludus in the same group. 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.


Varro and his wife, Aurelia.

He becomes skilled as a gladiator, and often partakes in wagers. He stands by Spartacus, no matter how badly the latter is treated. On the day his wife, Aurelia, comes to visit him with their son, 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.

That same night, Spartacus is requested by Numerius to perform in an exhibition match at his birthday party. It is

Varro and Spartacus celebrate a victory in the arena.

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 

Varro's death by Spartacus.

Batiatus to see his wish carried out. Batiatus, who 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, not wishing to see his friend suffer, drives the blade home, killing him. The next day, Varro's body is taken out of the ludus on

Varro's dead body.

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.

List of AppearancesEdit

Spartacus: Blood and Sand

Spartacus: War of the Damned


Varro appears as one of the characters in Spartacus: Swords and Ashes and Spartacus: Morituri.


  • 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.
    • Steven S. DeKnight revealed in an interview that the writers had always planned for Varro to die in the episode Mark of the Brotherhood, but due to favor among fans and a plea from the late Andy Whitfield, his death was pushed back two episodes.
    • Varro's death was met with a heavy backlash from fans.
  • 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. 


"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."[1]
Varro to Spartacus

"So, buried up to your balls in garbageis this part of your plan to get Sura back?"[1]
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


  1. 1.0 1.1 Spartacus: Blood and Sand Season 1; Episode 3

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