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Fangirling about Spartacus

There’s been some talk about how Nagron came about really quickly, that you don’t really get to see how or when or why they fall in love. That it’s all a bit fast and sudden and whereas everyone is happy it’s there, it’s not very grounded.

I disagree. I saw it coming with bells on. And practically held my breath all the way through to the first kiss. And then to the second one. And now holding my breath for next episode where I hope to see some more loving. But as I am an overanalytical bastard, I decided to break how it panned out into episodes. You know, just to… academically evaluate the epic love story that is Nagron (yeah, I should be writing my dissertation at the moment but EXCUSE ME REAL WORLD I AM BUSY WITH SOMETHING MORE IMPORTANT OK?)



Vengeance - Episode 1

Timeline wise, it has been a couple of weeks since the slaves escaped the ludus. So, only a couple of weeks since Duro died. Looking back at the last episode of Blood and Sand where Agron cries for his brother it’s pretty clear that killing a few Romans is not going to be enough for him to get over the devastating grief.

This is even clearer in new series, the very first scene with Agron, where he grabs the barely alive mercenary and bangs his head against the stone laughing when prompted to stop. This to me is an especially powerful scene that sort of lays out the fundamentals of the character for a new season. If you look back at how Agron’s character has been in previous episodes, you can tell he does have a violent streak and a short fuse as it is, but in the first episodes of the new season it is displayed even more.

He reacts with over aggravated violence to everything that happens, is willing to jump at the opportunity to bang heads with anyone (apart from Spartacus) that says anything that can be interpreted as a challenge and even more clearly, tried to kill the slave trader who sold him and his brother to Batiatus with his bare hands. His violence, apart from his brute-like character, is fuelled by grief and thirst for vengeance.

Vengeance - Episode 2

Taking note from last episode, the same pattern emerges. When the rebels attack the villa in search for Naevia, rather than cleanly slicing a guard into pieces Argon drowns the first one he grabs. I also note that he prefers to use his dagger rather than a sword, might be just me but I assume it’s because of the closer proximity of his hand to the wound caused. It’s more brutal and takes more strikes to kill a man with a dagger than with a sword and I think Agron might just enjoy to lay a few extra blows on “Roman Shit” rather than giving them a clean death.

There’s a lot of fighting talk from Agron in this episode, he’d rather gather an army and wage proper war than search for Naevia. He only seems to agree to toddle on with the current cause because Spartacus is committed to it. He would rather get trained fighters immediately than train house slaves to wield a sword, which is quite clear from his chat with Sparty before Nasir and his merry men were offered swords, and later in his attitude towards them.

When Nasir, then Tiberius makes an attempt on Sparty’s life, he seems a lot more docile than I would have expected him to be. I would have expected him to jump the little man and send him on his merry way to the afterlife without a second thought. So, what's different?

Now, if you thought I was picking everything apart before, it gets worse now. When Agron asks Sparty how they should train this wild little dog, his attitude already has changed. It’s almost as if he has found some sort of base appreciation for Nasir. Why? 1) Crixus slaps the living daylights out the boy but he still stands there, defiant, doesn’t shy away from the vicious stare from the Gaul. 2) Nasir glares at Spartacus with this sort of “yeah, you give me a sword and I’ll fucking ram it down your neck” look. 3) He actually stands straight up, showing absolutely no remorse.

But wait, there’s more! The only time Nasir actually looks down is when Agron looks at him. The only time Nasir actually let’s this “I’m a tough guy srsly guys I am” façade drop is when Agron eyes him up. And to me, this is where it all started. Not when Agron noted it would be a pity to put the boy down when he was training with Sparty, but just there. Agron probably could appreciate the fighting spirit he saw in Nasir, and seeing that never falter regardless of the perhaps ill-advised direction it first takes.

And yes, to those who wonder if the line “What’s your name little man, so I may properly mourn your passing” was a clumsy pick up line from Agron; yes, it definitely was. At this point, I’m not sure if he was testing the waters to see if Nasir swung that way or if he was trying to get it on there and then, or both, but when the talk turned to brothers the whole thing turned direction. If Agron took Nasir only as a fancy piece of ass to be ravished until now, I think this is where it became something deeper. You only need to check out how they look at each other to figure that out.

Now, let’s take a step back. All Agron has done so far is pick a fight at every given opportunity and spat at anyone who gives him even the slightest reason to. Who am I kidding! He doesn’t need a reason. He bites before he barks, scuse the pun. But something’s shifted. Something’s different.

And in the end of the episode, when the patrol from Capua comes over, Nasir totally grabbed the sword after Agron got a hit landed on his face. It was kind of obvious. And adorable. But not nearly as adorable as when he says his real name.

Now, there is a real point in how he says his real name.

Sparty: “You did well, Tiberius”
Nasir: (looking at Sparty) “Nasir” (Looking at Agron) “My brother called me Nasir.”

You see what I mean? Yeah. And those looks they exchanged? Seriously? I thought I might actually die because I flailed so much.

Vengeance - Episode 3

In the third episode the whole business of these two becomes a lot clearer, but it still takes baby steps. They clearly fancy each other but I assume neither of them really know what to do with all these emotions.

There is unashamed flirting going on in the first scenes of the episode, where Nasir saves Agron by stabbing the Roman soldier in the back. “You favour a clever strategy; fuck the man from behind”. I mean really, Agron, can you be any more obvious? And the way Nasir sort of looks like a blushing virgin after that comment is just… yeah. You know what I mean. I think, perhaps at this point, Nasir thinks he is more into Agron in all the epic love kind of ways than Agron is into him, and he doesn’t really know what to do with all of this freedom to feel the way he wants but at the same time all he’s ever known is to be told to feel or do things.

The exchange between the two over the how Agron would help shoulder weight of robbing a man a life wasn’t perhaps as clear cut in this, but it certainly was going towards the same direction as the unashamed flirting before. I’ll take this opportunity to point out how absolutely adorable Nasir is about Agron lying. I just love how he can’t hide emotions on his face at all. A point I will revisit later.

Nasir’s kind and empathetic nature comes out later when he and Agron talk about the lie Agron told Crixus. But more importantly, it shows the shift in Agron. In the last couple of episodes, Agron has reacted violently to anyone or anything that disagrees with his point or the cause he has set himself to. He hasn’t wasted much time smiling. But not with Nasir. In fact, he is rather gentle with Nasir. Not just with this gestures, but the way he looks at him, and especially the way he talks to him. His voice is not a matter of fact (“I just did what had to be done”) but kind and gentle. Characteristics that you wouldn’t expect from Agron given past transgressions. What was said was surely important (“I would not have you and countless others die in vain attempt) but the way it was said, I think, is far more important. And then there was the intense looks exchanged, obviously, but really, it’s the shift in Agron’s character that sets the tone to what follows.

And the way the looked at each other when Crixus said he would follow Sparty to Vesuvius… Yeah, perhaps Agron was a little smug (“Look, I was right all along”) but there is something deeper there. Apart from Nasir obviously feeling guilty about it all, but also the fact I believe that apart from thinking of the greater good, Agron wanted to protect Nasir.

I’m not even going to go into how Chadara called it first (“Don’t think I haven’t noticed your eyes upon him”) but how Nasir reacts to her words is more important. I think that’s when it finally hit home to him. When I say ‘it’ I mean that what was going on wasn’t just carnal lust or a fine bromance, but a bubbling epic love story. There is a shadow of denial there, but I think it’s not because he didn’t think what Cadara said was true, but because the lie was weighing heavy on him.

We all know what happened after that, and it doesn’t really need deeper analysis, apart from when Nasir decides to go with Sparty and the others to the mines. Agron is obviously shocked that Nasir would rather go to certain death than follow him to Vesuvius but there is a clear moment when you can see that regardless of the fact he is not happy with Nasir’s choice, or the fact that Nasir totally blew his cover on the whole Naevia story, he respects him for his bravery (stupidity?). “Fucking Syrians”. Yeah, right. Did anyone else notice how Nasir and Agron looked at each other before Agron left?

Vengeance - Episode 4

Very low on Agron events, but the little that does happen, is the final nail in the coffin. “Yeah, hi Sparty, glad you’re alive and all but scuse me while I go and check out my boyfran”. Seriously, though. It’s almost if Agron goes to check Sparty is OK, realises that Nasir is there and then whether Sparty is there or not really doesn’t matter anymore.

And how Agron looks at Nasir when he realises that the little man still lives (let alone how gently he touches Nasir’s chin to check his face)… I think here is the crux of what we see in the following episodes. They say that you don’t know what you got until it’s gone, and I believe here Agron realises how close he came to lose Nasir. How close he still is to lose Nasir. And that finally makes him realise his true feelings, but even more importantly, to admit them. Perhaps more to himself than to anyone else.

And here you can also see how Agron’s character has shifted from the blood-thirsty brute (not saying he isn’t that at all anymore, just saying there’s a shift) into having more depth. He isn’t gentle with anyone like he is with Nasir. There’s this new side to him, he’s a caregiver as much as a fearsome warrior, he loves as much as he hates, with the same passion and fire. Don’t know about you guys, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching the development of his character from what he was to what he is today.

I don’t think I need to analyse what happens in the later episodes. It is pretty clear cut from there on. I would say that I find it more realistic see them slowly progress into an established couple. If they immediately jumped into bed and had hot sex, well, as much I would have loved to see that as soon as possible it would just have eaten away at the realism and pure epicness of their love. Just to be near one another and to have one kiss is enough right now. Just to know the other is alive is enough. How romantic is that? Really? Be still, my fangirl heart.

So, saying that the whole affair was too quick, that you don’t really know when they fell in love and speculating that it happened off screen… please. I disagree. It is actually rather impressive how tastefully and cleverly their blooming love was written into the series.

I can’t believe I just spent two hours typing this up. If anyone actually takes the time to read this, I will be so surprised it’s unreal.



Academia has ruined the way I fangirl.

Comments

( 42 comments — Leave a comment )
stargazer60
Mar. 7th, 2012 12:11 pm (UTC)
Really? Some people think their relationship just happened too fast? Are they watching the same show?

I've love the development of their relationship, you've pointed out all the moments that have shown the slow burn of it all. I don't think you are being over analytical, just being observant!

So, yes, I read the whole thing...and was nodding along with it the entire time...
mauled_down
Mar. 7th, 2012 12:36 pm (UTC)
Hear hear, sister.

I stumbled upon this thread on tumblr that pondered whether Nagron fell in love off camera and whether it was all too fast. I suspect they're watching a different series, too.
stargazer60
Mar. 7th, 2012 05:28 pm (UTC)
I had a tumblr account for quite some time and never really went there. Have been there now because of these two. But I still don't know enough on how to navigate around -- so, could you point me in the right direction for more Nagron goodness on tumblr?

Thanks in advance!!!
cyrindha
Mar. 7th, 2012 08:06 pm (UTC)
You could try checking out this tag - the Nagron tumblrs and fans will be making appearances.
http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/agron+x+nasir
stargazer60
Mar. 8th, 2012 12:54 am (UTC)
Thanks!!!!!!
mauled_down
Mar. 8th, 2012 12:04 pm (UTC)
The Nagron tag is also pretty active and usually has good stuff. http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/nagron
(Anonymous)
Mar. 7th, 2012 12:57 pm (UTC)
:)
Thanks for writing and sharing this. It is really a nice done analysis and I enjoyed reading it. You nailed it perfectly. Love the description of the characters ^^
mauled_down
Mar. 7th, 2012 02:59 pm (UTC)
Re: :)
Why thank you :)
ailurophile6
Mar. 7th, 2012 01:40 pm (UTC)
Too fast, really?! What? Obviously they have not been watching as closely as you and I have ;)

I have far more difficulty believing Spartacus' 'relationship' with Mira, who seemingly appeared out of nowhere to be his new love interest. Where did that come from?!
mauled_down
Mar. 7th, 2012 03:04 pm (UTC)
Hear, hear sister!

I am a little confused about how close Mira and Spartacus actually are in this season. I just watched the last episodes of season one as... ehm... RESEARCH and I didn't get an inkling about them being so solid. What happened there?
bygoshbygolly
Mar. 7th, 2012 01:41 pm (UTC)
Very well done! I, too, was confused by all the people saying it happened suddenly- I thought it was obvious Agron and Nasir were going to smooch from the beginning. Glad to see all the reasons written down.
mauled_down
Mar. 7th, 2012 03:04 pm (UTC)
I can assure you, the pleasure is all mine :)
ericajean1010
Mar. 7th, 2012 02:01 pm (UTC)
You are so 'right on' about everything!!!! I saw all those little moments too, but they didn't seem little but huge. Agron's development into what he is becoming has been a wonderful progress to watch. He has turned himself into a beloved character, by many I believe.
I think what ailurophile6 said about Spartacus and Mira is right as well. Now that had to have happened off screen in-between the ending of season one and the weeks that followed before season 2 picked up at. We knew she had something for him to begin with, but he always made it clear to her that there was nothing there, so that was a 'wtf', where did that come from? I know in the movie Spartacus, there is a slave girl who became his 'true love', and they had a child that lived as well as her, but...... I just do not see it with those too. You see the love and respect with Nasir and Agron, I see no love with Spartacus or Mira, but, I do see respect and how he is respecting her more. I like her character in season 1, but for some reason, I do not like her very much now. IDK.
But as for Nasir and Agron, I can not wait to see how this continues with them. Its very exciting and I feel butterflies in my tummy when I watch them. XD They are Epic!!
mauled_down
Mar. 7th, 2012 03:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! I hope we continue to see the gradual development of both Agron's and Nasir's characters, and I hope it will be done as tastefully and beautifully as it has been done so far.
selonbrody
Mar. 7th, 2012 02:16 pm (UTC)
Um, okay, so you are epic and grand. To be honest, you may have just turned me into a diehard Nagron shipper. Not that I wasn't a fan before, but seeing their relationship laid out like that makes me realize just how much depth there is between these two men, and ugh I love it. Thanks so much for taking the time to write all this!
mauled_down
Mar. 7th, 2012 03:20 pm (UTC)
Diehard Nagron shipper, eh? I would see our numbers grow :) Ta very much!
thebluewanderer
Mar. 7th, 2012 03:31 pm (UTC)
You honestly have all my love for writing this. I don't even know what to say, it's just perfect.
I'm joining the chorus of 'I don't know how people can say that it was too fast and that they fell in love off screen', because IMHO their relationship is one of the best written in the show: with them the writers have shown us all the developments they had, where they came from and how they actually happened. I think the only other couple that has all these basics is Crixus/Naevia (and maybe there is a reason if these two ships are my favourites and I find a lot of similiarities between them).
So, yeah, you did a wonderful job, thank you so much for writing and sharing this!
mauled_down
Mar. 7th, 2012 04:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! Much appreciated! :)
lost2mercy
Mar. 7th, 2012 04:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks for typing it all up for us. Now whenever I come across the "wait wut happend with Agron and Nasir there?" comment I'll just link them here.

I was nodding along to it all, except I hadn't noticed Nasir looking down when Agron looked at him after his attempt on Sparty. So thanks for pointing that out (had to go back to rewatch that scene immediately... you're right, great observation!).
mauled_down
Mar. 8th, 2012 12:05 pm (UTC)
Many thanks for reading it :)
transfixeddream
Mar. 7th, 2012 05:22 pm (UTC)
I am totally in love with this post! I admit that I didn't pick up on anything between them, really, until two or so episodes in, but now I just want to go back and rewatch everything and take it all in. I do love that how, in a series where sex is everywhere, they haven't immediately jumped in bed together. (Okay, maybe love is not the right word, because part of me just wants to go ENOUGH ALREADY! I'VE WAITED LONG ENOUGH! but, I digress.)

Thank you so much for taking those two hours to type this up!
mauled_down
Mar. 8th, 2012 12:11 pm (UTC)
My pleasure!:) I think the absence of sex in a series that is so overloaded with it only serves to make their feelings even more precious. Be still, my fangirl heart.
kalichan
Mar. 7th, 2012 05:43 pm (UTC)
As a fellow distracted-from-dissertation-by-the-wonder-that-is-Spartacus!person, I would just like to say that this is AWESOME. I'm notoriously bad at seeing which ways canon is going to go with pairings, so I don't think I noticed this stuff when it was happening, but looking back, YES. I heart them so so so much.
mauled_down
Mar. 8th, 2012 12:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks very much :)
sunystone
Mar. 7th, 2012 06:16 pm (UTC)
I love you for writing this. I agree with everything you said! I still can't believe some people didn't see their relationship coming! Are they watching the same show? :D
mauled_down
Mar. 8th, 2012 12:13 pm (UTC)
I know, right? I'm glad there's plenty of us who did see it coming though. Just means we can flail about it together :D
kahtyasofia
Mar. 7th, 2012 06:22 pm (UTC)
Anyone who didn't see it coming was paying too much attention to other things, because it was there all along. You nailed it all. All the small scenes, the dialog, the looks, all of it. It's lovely and it's epic. The actors are doing marvelous things with some subtle writing and it warms a fangirl's heart.

Thank you for taking the time to do this. I've been wanting to, but time hasn't allowed.
mauled_down
Mar. 8th, 2012 12:16 pm (UTC)
Yes, absolutely. You're 100 % right. The actors are giving flesh to words and it is epic and awesome.
riot_fox311
Mar. 7th, 2012 07:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks for writing this up! It was a good read, and you really hit the nail on the head. =D
mauled_down
Mar. 8th, 2012 12:16 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you :)
cyrindha
Mar. 7th, 2012 08:09 pm (UTC)
Awesome! It did happen fast, but this shows how much they managed to do in that short time to make the relationship believable.
mauled_down
Mar. 8th, 2012 01:17 pm (UTC)
See, I don't think it happened fast at all. I saw a slow build up for it, and of course you have to remember that there is the timelapse in the episodes, it seems like an hour to us but one episode can cover up to a few weeks, and there might be even months between episodes. But you're right, the relationship is very realistic and adorable.
funkyinfishnet
Mar. 7th, 2012 10:22 pm (UTC)
You really nail this issue perfectly. Thanks so much for exploring these two and their truly wonderful relationship. The actors and writers have all my respect for making the relationship so real and believable and so beautiful. I love how tender Agron is with Nasir - and I never thought I'd be describing Agron as tender! It's a thing of beauty really and I love the respect that the writers and actors have for the relationship, it's obvious in the characters' actions.

Thanks for bringing all this home to me. I'm such a shipper and it's wonderful to be amongst others who feel the same way.
mauled_down
Mar. 8th, 2012 01:19 pm (UTC)
The actors and writers have all my respect for making the relationship so real and believable and so beautiful. Hear, hear sister!

I love how tender Agron is with Nasir - and I never thought I'd be describing Agron as tender! Not a truer word spoken!
msnjs
Mar. 8th, 2012 03:57 am (UTC)
Nice...
Nicely done. But I still think the relationship happened fast. Yes, you could kinda see it coming. But when they kissed, it was as if they had been together for some time. We did not see when it started. Looks and nods do not make a relationship or a great love. I wanted a little more. We deserved a little more. They deserved more.

We see Mira week after week bending over backwards to prove herself to Spartacus; trying to win him over. Crixus is crying about Naevia every 2 secs, not to mention their many scenes in season 1. Illythia has her calendar full. And that other whore was spreading for the queue... It just would have been nice to see a more definitive scene for this couple.
mauled_down
Mar. 8th, 2012 01:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Nice...
Looks and nods do not make a relationship or a great love. No, of course not, but they build up to it. And that's what this post is all about. Because people did not see the kiss coming, they didn't see the relationship coming. And the looks and the nods were the build up the the kiss happening.

when they kissed, it was as if they had been together for some time. See, I just don't agree. The kiss was the moment you talk about, the definitive moment of when the relationship established. That's where to build-up was going. And as I pointed out before, Agron probably only realised the nature of his feelings in the end of the episode before they kissed. And Nasir wasn't awake for any loving before they actually did then, well, kiss. But I suppose we just have to agree to disagree.
msnjs
Mar. 8th, 2012 03:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Nice...
Yes, we will. But I still like your piece.

I actually think, if I had to choose for the difinitive moment.. When they found them in the woods and Argon barely tapped Spartacus and gave him a quick nod but then went straight to Nassir, that gesture, that look, that momment- THAT was it.
mauled_down
Mar. 8th, 2012 04:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Nice...
I'm not really sure we are talking about the same thing anymore. Are you saying that they became an established couple in the scene in the forest? The one where Nasir was nearly dead? I suppose it was a definite moment where their feelings for each other were undeniable, but I wouldn't say their relationship became established in that moment, mostly because whatever was going on, Nasir couldn't reciprocate it. But again, we have to agree to disagree :)
msnjs
Mar. 8th, 2012 05:32 pm (UTC)
Re: Nice...
I agree. I meant that it became aparaent to the audience, not so much established.
mauled_down
Mar. 8th, 2012 05:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Nice...
Do you mean their love became apparent, or their relationship? Because they weren't in a relationship (per se) at that moment. Of course you are right in saying that it was a definitive moment - but as I said before, because they kind of accept their feelings for each other in that moment - but their feelings and their growth can be seen throughout the episodes until the moment when they officially (officially? well, publicly at least) got together in episode 5. That's what this post was about :) Exploring that build up.
csigeekfan
Apr. 13th, 2012 01:26 am (UTC)
I absolutely love your essay/explanation/passionate speech. I think you nailed it. There is so much we do not see that I think it's obvious by episode 4 that they're bound. I don't think they may have fully defined it by then, but I think they both recognize it.

Okay, getting off my own box now. :D
beautifullion69
Aug. 24th, 2012 07:44 am (UTC)
In ep3, did Chadara tell Nasir that she believed Agron liked him too?
( 42 comments — Leave a comment )