If the Starz drama "Spartacus" has shown us anything, it's that it can sometimes be quite a good thing to kill off those characters that are actually important to the drama of the series. In the past three seasons, we have seen some very saddening deaths of male characters that, nevertheless, have really made this show a painful pleasure to watch.
Varro started out the series as one of the few gladiators willing to befriend Spartacus, and it was this kindliness that would ultimately set the stage for one of the most thrilling and also one of the most devastating duels in the entire series. When Spartacus is finally forced to kill one of the few men that he had dared to call his friends, your heart would have to be made of stone not to shed at least a few tears for the innocence (what little of it was left) that Spartacus lost after this incident.
Doctore is, in many ways, one of the most enigmatic and simultaneously fascinating characters in the series. He also shows a great deal of development, as he goes from being one of Batiatus' most trusted servants to one of his deadliest enemies. The fact that he manages to survive until the end of the second full season makes his character all the more interesting, since so many others had already perished. Although his death was not as emotional as that of Varro, it was still a remarkably poignant moment, going to show just how deft this series is at moving among different emotional registers to give its audience the most pleasure.
Finally, we come to the ill-fated lovers Barca and Pietros, who are both brought to death by the scheming of the crippled slave Ashur. If that scheming makes us hate him, it also makes us weep more than a little for the couple that had already made plans to run off together after Barca made enough to secure their freedom. How could you not shed a tear for Pietros, left behind to the brutal mercies of the ludus without the protection of Barca, or when he finally took his own life in desperation? Truly, one of the most heart-rending moments in the history of the series.
Clearly, the deaths of the male characters in this series make for some very emotional viewing. As we move into the final season, we can rest assured that a new set of deaths will no doubt join those already seen.