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No, I won't leave you! [sending Vires away and catching Milo.] I don't want to spend our last moments running.
~ Cassia.

Cassia is the deuteragonist of the 2014 romantic disaster film, Pompeii. She is the daughter of Pompeii's governor Severus and his wife Aurelia, as well as the love interest of both Milo and senator Corvus.

She is portrayed by Emily Browning, who also portrayed Violet Baudelaire Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events and Babydoll in Sucker Punch.

Appearance

Cassia has long, black hair, with a hairstyle of the Roman period. Her large eyes are of green color. She has nice facial features, notable cheekbones and full lips. She is petite and slender.

During course of the actions, she is wearing various dresses, accurate for the circumstances and time period action is taking place.

Personality

Cassia is definitely a very nice, honest and humble person. She clearly loves her parents very much. Also, she very kindly treats slaves, and it's especially seen for Ariadne, whom she seems to consider not only as close friend, but as she was her sister. She is equally passionate for animals, like horses. Having a strong bond with Pompeii, Cassia is also happy to return to the town. She is definitely upset with gladiator shows, and, although she participates in them as a spectator, she clearly states that people killing each other for their amusement is not a sport. Cassia goes to great lengths to save Milo's life twice, even risking her own security, which proves her good heart and bravery. Due to situation she has found herself in after visit in Rome, making her a damsel in distress, on many occasions she fights Corvus both verbally and physically. Her ultimate affection to people she loves can be seen at the end of the movie, when she refused to leave Milo to the possibility of saving herself.

History

Cassia made her first appearance near city of Pompeii, as she was traveling, accompanied by her servant, Ariadne, back from her one-year-long stay at Rome. The carriage she was making her voyage in hit the hole on the road, as they were passing a group of slaves, and one of horses has broken its leg. As she, saddened, was watching at the suffering animal, Milo, who was present among the slaves, urged his warden, Bellator, to let him take care for the horse; he was, however, hit by the overseer instead. Seeing that, Cassia demanded Bellator to let Milo help the horse, which he obliged. Milo used her help to terminate the suffering for the horse, by breaking its neck. Although the treatment was considered brutal by others, Cassia saw it was the best available option and thanked Milo.

Then, Cassia and Ariadne continued their voyage to Pompeii. On the town's streets the carriage stopped in jam, caused by drunkards celebrating Vinalia feast, so Cassia decided to continue her way home through the town's streets on foot, and took Ariadne with her.

When they arrived at her villa, she was immediately greeted by her parents, Aurelia and Severus. Both were happy to see her, albeit Cassia's mother expressed concern, why did she arrive earlier than planned. Cassia evaded the answer and, similarly, did not look glad hearing, that Severus planed the party, where he would inform all of Pompeii's available suitors about her arrival. It was seen, that they were a loving family.

Late evening on that day, Cassia visited stables to meet her horse, Vires. She expressed her joy to see it, pet it and praised a trainer, Felix.

Next day, Cassia spoke with her mother and expressed her discontent that Severus has had invited a Roman senator to their home. She warned, that in Rome, under emperor Titus rule, as Cassia put it, “every crooked man now has the ear of the Emperor”. Aurelia asked why did really Cassia leave Rome earlier, however, before Cassia was able to tell some details, she had noticed Vires galloping without rider and Felix has disappeared.

On the evening that day, Milo was taken to the party in villa as an object to admire before tomorrow gladiator show. Ariadne saw him and led Cassia to show him to her. Both Cassia and Milo were looking at each other for a while. Then Severus has approached Cassia and asked her to come to the balcony and bring wine for some important guest. That guest turned out to be senator Quintus Corvus. He proposed a marriage to Cassia, but she declined and left him alone.

When Cassia returned to the main party, the quakes began. It destroyed some pottery and made horses in the stables panic. Cassia demanded from Bellator to let Milo enter stable room and calm Vires, which he reluctantly obeyed. After a while, when Vires' neighs died away, she went there alone to see Milo riding Vires. After a short talk, they have understood, that they both hate Rome and, in fact, they both want to escape from its clutches, to freedom. On the impulse of the moment, Cassia has accepted Milo's invitation, jumped on horseback, and they both rode out of the stables, making Bellator fall and surprising Ariadne.

They rode Vires until they stopped on top of the hill with panorama of Pompeii, where they almost shared a kiss. Soon, however, the Roman legionaries of senator Corvus appeared. Cassia suggested Milo to leave her, take her horse and run for freedom, but he refused, because it would be on the Cassia's expense. He also insisted on telling, that it was him, who had abducted Cassia.

Senator Corvus has had the resolve to kill Milo on spot, but Cassia managed to convince him to renounce in exchange for her gratitude. Instead, he ordered Graecus to punish the gladiator with fifteen lashes. The execution took place instantly. Cassia asked Severus to stop it, but he said, that nothing can he do, and she should be glad, that she has saved Milo's life, so she was forced to watch as Milo was flogged, while Ariadne comforted her in suffering.

In her chambers later that night Cassia discussed that event with Ariadne, while her servant was brushing her hair. She admired Milo's fortitude and also explained, that she left Rome just to escape brutal advances of senator Corvus, who now came to Pompeii after her to turn the world inside out.

On the midday next day Cassia arrived with her parents to the amphitheater, and they met senator Corvus there. On Corvus demand, she has taken a seat next to him, but both in her body language and in speech expressed her disgust towards him, and compassion with sympathy for fighting gladiators – especially Milo, who was fighting on the arena. During the show, Corvus lied, that her father had promised him her hand; that was the claim, which Severus denied. However, senator blackmailed Cassia, that if she does not agree to marry him, he will slander her father of treachery before emperor Titus, for which her whole family would be hanged on city's walls. Being terrorized like that, Cassia finally agreed to become Corvus' wife.

Immediately after that Milo did a failed attempt to assassinate Corvus by throwing a broken Roman standard at him. At the last moment, when senator was about to give order to execute Milo, Cassia showed her “thumb up” to spare him, which was followed by the rest of spectators. The senator, enraged by that action of Cassia and her sharp riposte to him, shoved her to his guards and ordered to lock her in her villa.

Despite Ariadne protests and attempts to help, Cassia was brutally pushed into and locked inside a storeroom by the soldiers. This time Vesuvius eruption has started and tremors began for good. The villa started to fall apart, with fissures appearing on walls; the roof is crushed nearly on Cassia, as she choked due to smoke and dust, and lost her consciousness.

Some time later, Milo broke into the room and took Cassia into more secure part of the building. While Ariadne was fetching water, Cassia regained her consciousness and some strength and expressed her gratitude to Milo for returning for her. She also thanked Ariadne for bringing her water, calling her “sister”. Unfortunately, when Ariadne went for some more water, the part of building where she was had sunk into the sea and Cassia, being held by Milo, could only watch, as her friend was falling to her death. He then convinced Cassia, that they should go to harbor, and they left villa together.

In the town they met Atticus, who told them, that harbor was destroyed. Cassia suggested leaving the city and go to the south into the hills. Because they would not be able to make it on foot in time, she went with Milo and Atticus to the arena to get horses.

There, Cassia sent Milo to help Atticus to fetch horses, while she went to mourn her deceased parents. Corvus captured her when she was doing that and chained her into a chariot, shouting, that no slave would take his property. When Milo and Atticus arrived, he left Proculus and rest of his men to fight them, while abducting Cassia and fleeing by chariot like coward he was.

After a while, Cassia has noticed Milo, chasing them on Vires. She managed to free herself from chains and tried to stop the chariot, but was hit by Corvus. Chariot then has disintegrated and crushed onto Temple of Jupiter wall, stunning Cassia. Milo approached her, but she saw that Corvus was attempting to attack him from behind; her facial expression warned Milo just in time and he managed to avoid being hit. Cassia tried to block Corvus’ attack, but she was again hit by the senator and made unconscious.

When Cassia woke up, she saw Corvus, approaching her. But quick enough Milo has launched a surprise attack on him and both men began the deadly fight. At some point, Cassia helped Milo by cuffing Corvus to the chariot. Milo was making a short speech to Corvus, while Vesuvius began its fatal pyroclastic flow, running onto Pompeii. Milo and Cassia rode Vires, leaving shouting Corvus behind.

Shortly after they left the city, their horse, scared of nearby falling volcanic bomb, threw them from its back. Milo urged Cassia to ride Vires to safety, but she dismissed her horse away instead, stating, that she won't leave him, and she does not want to spend their last moments running. Then, as she was scared of approaching flow, Milo told her to look “only at him”, and they kissed each other with love until hot material engulfed them. In the last scene before credits, Cassia and Milo, in the form of piaster mold, are shown in eternal kiss.

Quotes

“Because it was the kindest thing to do.”
~ Cassia explaining to Ariadne, why Milo killed the horse.
I remember every statue, every street corner.
~ Cassia talking with Ariadne when walking on streets of Pompeii.
I couldn't bear to spend another day in Rome. Too many arrogant men who flatter you with their presence.
~ Cassia about her stay in Rome and town's men.
Vires! Oh, I missed you. I missed you. Hello.
~ Cassia to Vires upon seeing it in stables.
What they demand? Does father have any idea what's going on in Rome right now? Since Titus took power, everything has changed. Every crooked man now has the ear of the Emperor. And they assume that they can take whatever they want.
~ Cassia expressing to Aurelia her disgust, when she learned about Roman senator visiting their villa.
Senator Corvus, I believe you have mistaken me for the kind of woman who drapes herself across your lap in Rome. I have no wish to become your wife. […] Enjoy the remains of the Vinalia, Senator. Good night.
~ Cassia refusing Corvus his marriage proposal.
No. You go and leave me here. If you ride you have a chance. […] At freedom.
~ Cassia to Milo, when they were caught on horse outside Pompeii.
He made me feel… safe. A man like that does not deserve to die in the arena.
~ Cassia to Ariadne about Milo.
Now Rome has followed to turn the world inside out.
~ Cassia to Ariadne about Corvus going after her to Pompeii.
Men killing each other for our amusement is not a sport.
~ Cassia about gladiator games.
Everything that you are not, Senator.
~ Cassia answering Corvus his question what Milo is for her.
If you kill him now, on the tip of 100 Roman arrows, you make him a martyr to the mob. Is that what you want? To take home to your Emperor a revolution? And if you reverse this decision, how will it be spoken of in Rome? They will whisper it behind your back, that you have a wife who does not obey your will. Can your reputation bear such a weakness? I might become your wife, but you will never break me.
~ Cassia to Corvus telling why not to kill Milo and Atticus.
Is this the end of the world? Why would the gods let this happen?
~ Cassia about the Vesuvius cataclysm.

Trivia

  • She has similarities to Rose DeWitt Bukater.
  • Initially, upon first reading the script, Emily Browning thought that it wouldn't be a good film. However, she has noticed that Cassia would be educated, tough, save Milo's life couple of times and fight back Corvus, so she changed her mind and decided, that she'd want to do her role[1].

References

  1. Emily Browning “Cassia” On Set Movie Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ym00Nbgmvps
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