HBO News Blog

What a New Series of Rome Could Include

By Charlie Bingley on Nov 27, 2012 to HBO Classics

Both historical and fictional characters died over the two seasons of Rome, including ones we may have loved or hated, though many characters seemingly prevailed with their fates half tied up. With many key significant characters still alive during the early days of Emperor Augustus’s (Octavian’s) reign, here are a few ideas of how stories could develop if Rome returned our screens either as a film, or as Season 3.

The Fate Of Vorenus

After the roller-coaster ride of Vorenus’s Roman journey, his supposed death was a little underwhelming and fast considering the amount of emotion we had been through with him. Whilst the scene of Vorenus’s peace-making to his children on his deathbed is highly dramatic and saddening, his death isn’t the glorified end his character deserves or the audience expected. However the co-creator of the series Bruno Heller, has stated that Vorenus may possibly be alive, the news coming out when rumours circulated over a possible Rome film. Combining this with the support that we don’t actually see Vorenus die, it’s indicated that Rome was perhaps purposely left open for progression. It certainly would be enthralling to have Vorenus back, with intriguing plot holes surrounding his faith in Emperor Augustus, his redemption with his children and whether at a time when Rome has no civil conflicts, Vorenus joins the foreign campaigns of Emperor Augustus or makes the most of the current peace in the Aventine Collegium.

The Expansion of The Roman Empire Under Emperor Augustus

In order to keep the beloved characters Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus the narrative would have to be realistic following the time frame of the previous two series. Of course there is the option of not renewing the two characters, but that is a decision that would potentially upset fans. Historically, Antony and Cleopatra’s deaths were in 30 BC with Emperor Augustus’s return and celebrations in Rome occurring directly after this event. Emperor Augustus, commonly know to us as Octavian, reigned until 14 AD, meaning that stories could continue to run with the expansion of the Empire acting as the historical background just as Rome season one and two had used historical backdrops to intertwine its characters into. Over this period of time Emperor Augustus expands the Empire into Northern Hispania, parts of Eastern Europe and extends Roman held lands in Africa eastward and southward, allowing for many campaigns that Pullo and Vorenus could potentially be involved in and more intense battles and gory action for us.

Potential For Developed Characters and New Scandals

Many characters saw their demise before the final episode of Rome leading to a diminished number of developed characters at the end of series two. However there is room for current characters to develop. Characters who have the opportunity to come into their own include Agrippa, a close friend and general of Emperor Augustus. Agrippa’s only significant input in Rome is his fictional affair with Augustus’s sister Octavia and his victory over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the battle of Actium, though this was shown and mentioned only briefly in the show. Historically Agrippa marries Pomponia Caecilia Attica, daughter of Cicero’s wealthy friend Titus Pomponius Atticus, allowing room for development of characters and introduction of new ones. Interestingly Agrippa later marries Emperor Augustus’s only biological child Julia The Elder, and because Agrippa is 25 years her elder at the time of their marriage, Julia enters an affair with a Roman named Sempronius Gracchus.

It was also gossiped that Julia had feelings for Augustus’s stepson, her step brother Tiberius, who she later married under political circumstances by order of Emperor Augustus who sought to acclaim Tiberius. Tiberius loved his current wife dearly, who coincidentally was a daughter from a previous marriage of Agrippa, so naturally his marriage with Julia didn’t bode well. As shown in Rome series 2, Emperor Augustus makes an ultimatum declaring that he will pass laws that punish adultery. Therefore eventually Julia was arrested after being rumored to have had numerous dealings and affairs with men, including a son of Mark Antony himself. Tiberius later comes into power, and it’s believed that Julia died of starvation from her exclusion and isolation. Meanwhile in later life, Agrippa was sent to govern the Eastern held Roman provinces, after a brief rift in Italy. A lot to take in granted, but it’s as almost if a new series could write itself. Again, these new story lines would have to somehow fit with the chronology of characters ages, if indeed Pullo and Vorenus are to return, though this was already an issue in the series one and two.
Another pathway could be to have the coming of age of Vorenus’s children. This would provide us with more potential, exciting character development with his daughters starting to become more available for marriage and his non-biological son becoming a young man. With Vorenus and Pullo not exactly being the best of role models, it would be captivating to see how the children react to adulthood under their influence and guidance. There is also Pullo’s son to contend with, as season 2 ended on a comical note, as it hint’s that Pullo tells his son that he is not of the blood of Julius Caesar but in fact his own.

Vorenus and Pullo with Partners

Two terrible tragedies saw Vorenus and Pullo woman-less. The resulting shenanigans didn’t give either of them any credibility to their status or conscience. A heartbroken Pullo and Vorenus quickly turned into a long slog of crime, whoring and bad behaviour. We will always love Niobe and Eirene, and hold a place in our hearts for them, but Pullo and Vorenus are in need of some womanly love. Vorenus especially looks as though a huge part of his life needs to be filled again, and a good woman could do that. Rome is a heavily populated place, full of goddesses, and a good woman for Vorenus and Pullo could set them on a righteous path once again.

The Lives of Characters Before Season 1

An alternative route would be to show the lives of our favourite Romans before the events of season 1. This could potentially mean either a younger cast playing the characters of both seasons or the actual cast of the series returning. If this worked it would make spectacular viewing, keeping us gripped with the lives of the our favourite characters whilst identifying many loopholes to their pasts. How and why did Mark Antony become so vulgar? How did Caesar become a military mogul? How did Niobe and Vorenus come to be? And has Pullo always been a bit of a hothead? A few interesting thoughts.
These are just a few ideas, so feel free to mention your own! We’d love to know what fans have in mind for Season 3 or indeed a film. To be clear we have no idea whether or not HBO will make a season 3 of Rome.  In fact we highly doubt it now that this much time has passed.  It seems like all you can do is pick up the DVD and/or Blu-Ray and watch the greatness that has already been filmed!                                        

  • James Kihara

    A season 3 would have been nice and market it well to get viewers. People are getting tired of all the crappy programming there is today.

  • I always thought a prequel would be great, being able to see Vorenus’s father and his campaigns with Sulla.

    • Pollice Verso

      Good idea.

    • Jeffrey Cash

      Sulla/Marius would be cool, but I think showing the Julio-Claudian dynasty would be even better. Caligula would be a perfect addition in a season 3 (or 4)










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