Marcel was not a part of my original daydream. I needed a character that would help Devin emotionally so that he could become the person I already knew him to be. Marcel could guide Devin from the start, and help him adjust to his new life. Marcel had an internal struggle of his own, which is only lightly hinted to in the book. Marcel shields Devin and the rest of the gladiators from his own pain so that he can help them with their own. It was Marcel who first suggested that Devin learn to master his emotions and control his tongue. Marcel taught Devin that the less his enemy knew him the better the advantage he would have. Let’s not forget that he gave Devin the opportunity to push himself intellectually.
Now let’s touch a little on Bailey. He becomes Devin’s best friend. As it gets close for Devin’s first real match they become brothers by blood. Bailey is an optimist so he can see beyond what’s happening now. He understands that he’s being forced to act, so he doesn’t internalize what he’s made to do. Instead Bailey pushes the guilt and horror to those that are responsible for it, whereas Devin always blames himself. Bailey however is not as gifted at fighting. Thus, Bailey with the other gladiators, look to Devin for protection from Ante. Due to the horrific circumstances that they are thrust into they become as close as any two brothers can be.
Ante is one of those characters that you just hate from the start. He and Marko are very similar. They refuse to allow anyone into their stone-cold heart. Ante is jealous of Devin from the start. On the streets in Bosnia he was a great fighter so getting knocked out right after Devin and he met was a crushing blow to his pride. As hard as Ante works, he never learns how Devin always has the advantage, which always keeps Ante a step behind. Ante has nothing but glory to fight for, whereas Devin has his friends. Devin keeps his mind active and alert, always pushing himself, like controlling his temper and his tongue. Without those advantages Ante continues to fall a step behind, which only causes his hate of Devin to grow.