Spartacus showrunner explains [REDACTED]'s shocking death

Contributed by
Jul 4, 2015, 5:40 PM EDT

We knew the current season of Spartacus Vengeance was building toward something big—and it paid off in spades Friday during the season finale. Now showrunner Steven S. DeKnight explains why all that death and destruction was necessary. (Spoilers ahead!)

First off, sci-fi goddess Lucy Lawless is, apparently, gone for good this time from the hit Starz series. After killing off one of the show's central characters, DeKnight said Lawless' Lucretia was always destined to take that fateful dive, from the moment she survived season one.

"That was actually a decision I made when we decided to bring her back at the end of Season 1. [Starz] approached me about possibly bringing Lucy back for [Vengeance] and I was adamant that she had to [remain dead] along with [John Hannah's] Batiatus, and everybody said, 'OK. We respect that.' And then the next morning in the shower I had the idea of bringing her back as 'Mad Ophelia' and letting the audience believe that she had recovered her sanity through this season," he told TV Line. "But then you get to the end and you realize, 'Oh, no. She was, in fact, crazy the whole time.' And I always had the idea of her revealing that it was all about the baby, which a lot of fans already picked up on. I think they thought she was going to take the baby and run away with it, which in our world she does, except she's taking it to the afterlife for her dead husband so they can finally have the family they always wanted."

As for the chance that Lawless' Lucretia could get a reprieve for a return appearance, DeKnight said they've had that discussion, and it ain't gonna happen again.

"At the 11th hour, after we had already shot it, we had some discussion about [possibly] bringing Lucy back next season. But [fellow exec producer and real-life husband of Lawless] Rob Tapert and I both looked at the story and where we were going and felt very strongly that [although] we loved Lucy and we loved the character, [Lucretia] had run her course," he said. "And [she] really didn't fit in with Crassus going after Spartacus [in Season 3]. There was really no way to put her into that Roman camp. And we had a brief discussion about what if she ended up in the rebel camp? But my very strong feeling was that, story-wise, it wouldn't work because Crixus or Naevia would try to kill her. So it was with much trepidation that we decided that it was best for the story that we wrap that up her character."

Of course, Lawless was only one of six (yes, SIX) characters killed off at the end of the season. But DeKnight said it'll all make sense next year, when the historical action drama veers off in yet another new direction.

"It seems like every season we make it a different show. And it's part and parcel with the history that we're following. This season was really a transition period between Blood and Sand and what's coming next. In Vengeance, we found an artfully creative and historically plausible reason why we could reuse Batiatus' Ludus as Glabor's staging ground to go after Spartacus, and that way we could also reuse the city of Capua," he said. "So we had those holdovers from Blood and Sand and Gods of the Arena. But moving forward, we move away from that area, so there is no more Ludus, there is no more Capua. It is very much Crassus along with the aid of Caesar going after Spartacus and following some of those events that happened in history. So it's much bigger than this year was. The scope of it, again, multiplies many times as Crassus battles Spartacus across the country."

What do you think? Did the finale leave you stunned?

(via TV Line)