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Villain Overview

You fool! I am your Senator!
~ Corvus, to his people.

Senator Quintas Attius Corvus is the main antagonist in the 2014 historical film Pompeii. He was a ruthless Roman senator who was hell-bent on killing Milo, marrying Cassia (against her will), and escaping from the apocalyptic disaster of Pompeii, the titular city, by any means necessary.

Corvus is responsible for bloody quelling of Celtic Rebellion in 62 AD, when he and his troops made a massacre of the whole horsemen tribe except Milo. Seventeen years later, on 79 AD, he arrives to Pompeii with the only intention to force Cassia, a daughter of the Pompeii governor, to marry him.

He was portrayed by Kiefer Sutherland, who also portrayed David in The Lost Boys, John "Ace" Merrill in Stand By Me, Venom Snake and Big Boss in the Metal Gear Solid video game series, Bob Wolverton in Freeway, Freddie Lee Cobb in A Time To Kill, Jonathan Kendrick in A Few Good Men, The Caller in Phone Booth, and Bosco in Marmaduke.

Biography

Corvus was a highly corrupt and ruthless senator in the employ of the Roman emperor Titus. He was first shown as a Roman Tribune, who killed Milo's mother and whose legionaries slaughtered the whole tribe of Celtic horsemen, unintentionally leaving behind a single survivor: a young boy named Milo.

Seventeen years later, Corvus, now senator of Rome, occupied himself with stalking Cassia, the daughter of the Pompeii governor, Severus, when she was visiting Rome; however, this forces her to return to Pompeii early, as she greatly resented Corvus' advances. Corvus later came to Severus in Pompeii and informed him, that the emperor is not interested in investing in his plans to rebuild the city, but he himself is.

Meanwhile, Milo, now a gladiator in Pompeii, helped to calm down Cassia's horse after a sudden earthquake startled it. Having already met Milo once before, she accompanied him on horseback out into the open, but they were captured by Corvus' men. The senator attempted to kill Milo for the alleged kidnapping of Cassia, but she pleaded for his life, claiming, that horse has bolted and the gladiator has saved her life. Corvus spares Milo and orders Graecus to punish him with fifteen lashes. The senator was later seen at the amphitheater of Pompeii, where he prepared to get rid of Milo by ordering him killed during the first battle. While Milo battled his way through the oncoming hordes, Corvus blackmailed Cassia into marrying him by threatening to expose her family's supposed treason against the emperor (the penalty for this being death). Following the battle, Milo emerged victoriously and openly declared his disgust with the Roman Empire by hurling a broken Roman standard at Corvus, only for Proculus to stop it. As Corvus was about to give the order to have Milo assassinated, Cassia immediately held the "thumbs up" in order for him to live; infuriated, Corvus had her taken away by his guards and locked in the villa.

Shortly afterwards, there was a massive earthquake and Vesuvius began to erupt, causing the amphitheater to crumble. Corvus was knocked out by falling debris, together with Cassia's parents. When Severus saw Corvus' body, on the request of his wife, Aurelia, he attempted to stab the senator, who suddenly woke up and killed him instead. Leaving Severus and Aurelia dying, Corvus fled into the city with the intention of escaping on a boat from the harbor, killing several citizens who were blocking his path in the process. Milo found Cassia and freed her, but she was again captured by Corvus and chained to his chariot, as he planned to take her back to Rome with him to become his wife. As Milo approached, Corvus set his guards on him before riding off into the distance. Milo managed to defeat them all and then started chasing Corvus on horseback, both of them dodging huge volcanic bombs and crumbling roads, until the senator's chariot finally crashes onto the Temple of Jupiter wall. Corvus was thrown to the ground and engaged Milo in a vicious sword fight (during which Milo stabbed him through the arm), before finally being handcuffed to the chariot by Cassia. Roman senator furiously told Milo that he has no right to oppose a man in his position, but Milo told him how Corvus killed his peoples and that his gods are coming to punish him. Milo and Cassia then escaped from the collapsing city, leaving the terrified Corvus to beg for his life and to be incinerated by the pyroclastic surge, that consumed Pompeii entirely.

Personality

Senator Quintas Corvus was shown to have a highly selfish, aggressive, impatient, and brutal personality. When needed he pretended to be highly polite, sophisticated, and authentic, but sooner or later he showed his true colors: he was much more unpleasant, perverse, and repulsive.

Corvus was an authoritative, tyrannical and despotic individual, and had little tolerance towards others — even his own henchmen.

Despite his elegant and sophisticated personality, which he was showing on the surface, Corvus was brutal, tyrannical, selfish, and ruthless. Corvus disliked Milo and was very envious towards him — especially because Cassia was in love with Milo instead of Corvus.

He stayed in his true nature in relation to Cassia, which meant he in fact never had any positive feelings for her. He pretended to be courteous towards her, but even as he spoke to her, it was like he was perceiving her as a nice toy or trophy. Besides, even when he seemed to be polite, one could draw a conclusion from their talk, that Corvus in fact was stalking Cassia; that was confirmed later, when Cassia told her servant, Ariadne, that she left Rome to escape from Corvus, but he came to Pompeii after her. When he got more envy and irritated at her, he became brutal, using threats and physical force on her, as well as imprisoning Cassia in her villa. Finally, he chained her and openly called “his property”. When enraged, Corvus even tried to kill Cassia.

Quotes

The Governor wants these trade routes re-opened. These rebel Celts need to be dealt with once and for all. This entire territory requires a clear and well-defined message. […] Kill them. Kill them all.
~ Corvus' speech after defeating Celts.
If I were to spare the life of this slave, what would it be worth to you? […] I believe you understand the question, my dear.
~ Corvus to Cassia, with a blade near Milo's neck.
What exactly is that slave to you?
~ Corvus to Cassia about Milo, during gladiators games.
But I will break you, and you will stay broken to stand, sit or crawl as I decree. Do you understand me?
~ Corvus' primitive and brutal answer to Cassia, when she said that he will never break her.
Because the property of Quintus Attius Corvus will not be taken by some slave.
~ Corvus when he chained Cassia to a chariot.
Wait! Wait! Wait! Who are you to do this to me? I am Senator Quintus Attius Corvus!
~ Corvus, chained to the chariot, was still too proud.

Trivia

  • There was a Roman military man and politician with a surname of Corvus, but he had different names (Marcus Valerius) and lived over 300 years before the movie's action took place.

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