EVERYTHING TELL ME EVERYTHING but also your feels on how sibyl ruined the fucking show because she did goddammit SHE DID
Let me preface this by saying that while I don’t expect to change anyone’s mind about Sibyl, I don’t hate her. SORRY, LIZ! You’re not going to like my answer.
While Sibyl wasn’t my favorite, I honestly found the fan reaction to her far more troubling than the actual character. Also, Gannicus wasn’t my favorite, so I think they worked well together.
In terms of the narrative, Sibyl is a character who represents the number of slaves who were not strong enough to defend themselves. Like Pietros in Blood and Sand, or the prostitute who was crucified in Vengeance. These characters aren’t innocents because they’re virginal*, they’re innocents because they were born into the institution of slavery and have spent their entire lives subject to the horrors and abuses inherent therein with no means of fighting back or protecting themselves.
So I do find it really troubling that the fan reaction to Sibyl has been to consistently classify her as stupid/useless/worthless, better off dead, etc. She is a victim of the very thing that Spartacus and his army are fighting against, and yet somehow still not worthy of their protection. Okay!
In terms of her relationship with Gannicus, it also make sense for his character as it has developed through the seasons. Gannicus is someone who needs a cause outside of himself. He has more self-loathing than Robert Pattinson on a Twilight press tour. He doesn’t believe in Spartacus’ cause, in part because he had no personal stake in the fight for freedom. He was already free, and he was pretty ambivalent about that at best. Gannicus needs someone to protect and fight for. That was never going to be Saxa because Saxa can damn well fight for herself.
Which brings me to my third and final Unpopular Sibyl Opinion. I love Saxa, do not doubt it. I think she is fantastic and badass and amazing and I will love her forever. That being said, I really, really, really hate the Saxa vs. Sibyl thing. I hate that Saxa seems to be overwhelmingly defined by, “I rival any fucking man.” I hate that she is often presented as the ONLY female warrior on the show, valued not only above women who can’t fight, but also characters like Mira and Naevia who started as slaves and learned to fight for their freedom. Because, the thing is, Spartacus did an excellent job of presenting a variety of characters - a variety of female characters - the likes of which is usually reserved for men, and the constant comparing of Sibyl to Saxa and judging Sibyl worthless in comparison reduces that to: You are only a worthwhile female character if you can rival the men.
At the very least, it reduces Saxa to nothing more than a rival for Gannicus’ affections and, if nothing else, I think it’s fair to say she deserves more than that.
*I do find it curious that so many people seem to think that Sibyl was virginal when throughout the series house slaves were shown to have been sexually abused pretty much without exception. But yes, totally. Sibyl had a terrible, abusive dominus who kept her a virgin because of reasons. Seems likely.
(Bolding added by me upon reblog)
Thank you. Thank you so much for this. You perfectly explained what has been bothering me about the whole Saxa vs. Sybil thing.
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- assassinregrets said: right but my point is that she was treated as being unquestionably “better” than saxa because of her piety and presumed innocence, it’s the same old fucking tired bullshit that sexually confident women aren’t for marrying just fucking
- ramalot posted this