HBO premieres Season Two of the epic series that chronicles the continuing events surrounding the fall of a Republic and birth of an empire. This season’s storyline begins immediately after Season One ended: with the 44 BC assassination on the Ides of March of Gaius Julius Caesar and the near-simultaneous death of Niobe, wife of Caesar’s faithful bodyguard Lucius Vorenus. Diverted from his post after learning that Lucius, his assumed grandson, was in fact Niobe’s illegitimate son, Vorenus (Kevin McKidd) now descends into near-madness over his failure to protect Caesar, his role in his spouse’s death, and the rumored murder of his estranged daughters. Meanwhile, other principal characters jockey for position and power in the void left by Caesar’s demise. Mark Antony (James Purefoy) survives his own assassination attempt, and aligns himself with Atia (Polly Walker) and her precocious son Octavian (Max Pirkis), anointed in Caesar’s will as his son and heir. Brutus (Tobias Menzies) and his mother Servilia (Lindsay Duncan) ponder how to curry favor with the pro-Caesar masses; Cleopatra (Lyndsay Marshall) sails into the city to pay respects to her fallen lover and win legitimacy for the son she says Caesar fathered; and Pullo (Ray Stevenson) returns to Rome with his new wife Eirene to help Vorenus pick up the pieces of his shattered life, finding purpose if not contentment in Rome’s rough-and-tumble world of river commerce.