Agron is, in some ways, a character we are all familiar with: the brawny, brutish jock who not-so-secretly has a sensitive side. When we first meet him, he is the older brother trying to earn his stripes in Batiatus’ ludus. When his younger brother Duro is killed during the first slave uprising, Agron resolves to fight the Romans, give aid to Spartacus and take back his freedom.
It’s the familar “become a man” narrative; Agron must fight for what he wants and needs. It’s a story as old as the dawn of literature, with roots in ancient epics like Gilgamesh. Agron’s sexuality has roots in the same work: the powerful, war-like man who desires other men is likewise a trope thousands of years old. As a character, Agron was nothing new: simply the culmination of ancient sexualities that put pleasure and person above gender and “pieces parts,” brought to life on the small screen for all to see.
And yet, Agron was something wholly new to modern audiences: he’s here, he’s queer, and yes, he will kick your butt if you don’t like it. We’ve seen “tough-guy” gays before, but with Agron, we get that gay tough guy without all the usual accompanying baggage. What a breath of fresh air. Agron is the jock boyfriend we all hope to have: fiercely protective, unafraid to love, and yes, rippling with muscles.
It’s impossible to talk about Agron without talking about his great love, Nasir. Sure, they hit a few bumpy patches, especially when a hunky pirate makes googly eyes at Nasir. But there is never any doubt: it is Agron and Nasir, and it will always be Agron and Nasir. Invigorated and intoxicated by the mere presence of the other, theirs is the sole romance in Spartacus that will endure the twin tests of war and time. They got their happily ever after. And, thus, in a very real way, so did we. –MC