In the series premiere, a Thracian warrior and his fellow fighters align themselves with Rome to protect their homeland. But disenchantment with the Romans soon sets in when their allies' battle strategies leave their villages unprotected from barbarian invaders. The warrior leads a rebellion and deserts the Roman army to return to his village and his wife. Invaders attack and he and his wife escape, only to be captured by the Romans. The warrior's wife, Sura, is forced into slavery and he and the other deserters are taken to the arena in Capua to publicly be put to death by gladiators where he proves his worth and is given the name Spartacus.