Everyone here should, especially by now, know that Andy Whitfield died (RIP). This led to recasting the lead roll of Spartacus and the entire creation of the Gods of the Arena series, from which we gained the character Gannicus.
My question to start this off is simply this: How different would the entire series be had he lived and continued starring? I've heard and read rumors that Lucretia and even Ilithyia were meant to die at the end of Blood and Sand. These little changes inspire an entire different story line. Glabur would still remain the main antagonist, his being joined by Ashur would be easy to see but the entire story line is changed with just Lucretia missing. Does Ashur die during the season? What of Oenomaus, does he die?
Finally on a slightly different note: Has anyone noticed that Vengeance and War of the Damned have been more of an ensemble piece since Liam's taking over the role? Perhaps this is because of Spartacus' new role as a complex visionary, or just a change in directorial staff. I just noticed it during the last couple episodes how Spartacus is less the center of each episode and more of a side character compared to his fellow Rebels. Of course it is fair to say that this change would happen regardless as Spartacus Seasons 2+ would have to rely less on introducing Spartacus to us and making him the story centerpiece and rely more upon storytelling and other character development.