300 (film)

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300 is a 2007 film adaptation of the graphic novel 300 by Frank Miller about the Battle of Thermopylae.

Directed by Zack Snyder. Written by Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad and Michael B. Gordon, with consultation from Frank Miller.
Prepare for glory! taglines

Spartan King Leonidas

  • Madness? This is Sparta!!! [kicks the Persian messenger into a well]
  • [To Gorgo] It would take more than the words of a drunken adolescent girl to rob me of my desire for you.
  • [To Captain Artemis] You are a good friend, but a better captain there is none.
  • Immortals. We'll put their name to the test.
  • Give them nothing, but take from them, everything!!!
  • Today, no Spartan dies!
  • This is where we hold them! This is where we fight! This is where they die! Remember this day, men, for it will be yours for all time.
  • [before meeting with Xerxes; idly eating an apple as Spartans finish off Persian wounded] Besides, there's no reason we can't be civil, is there?
  • [Xerxes is brought to Leonidas on a massive gold throne carried on the back of his servants] Let me guess. You must be … Xerxes.
  • [After being threatened with the deaths of the Spartan women] Clearly you don't know our women. I might as well have marched them up here, judging by what I've seen.
  • [After Xerxes offered to make Leonidas Warlord of his Empire, if he would only kneel before him] You are generous as you are divine, oh king of kings. Such an offer only a madman would refuse. But … the idea of kneeling, it's, uh … you see, slaughtering all those men of yours has left a nasty cramp in my leg – so kneeling will be hard for me.
  • The world will know that free men stood against a tyrant, that few stood against many, and before this battle is over, that even a god-king can bleed.
  • We're in for one wild night.
  • Spartans! Push!
  • Spartans! Prepare for glory!
  • [Response to Daxos, an Arcadian, saying their choices were to retreat, surrender, or die] Well, that's an easy choice for us, Arcadian. Spartans never retreat! Spartans never surrender!
  • No retreat, no surrender. That is Spartan law. And by Spartan law, we will stand and fight … and die. A new age has begun: an age of freedom! And all will know that 300 Spartans gave their last breath to defend it!
  • Spartans! Ready your breakfast and eat hearty, for tonight, we dine in hell!
  • [After dropping his helmet and his shield whilst being asked to submit] You there, Ephialtes: may you live forever.
  • [Dying words] My Queen! My wife! My love.


  • The old ones say that we Spartans are descended from Hercules himself. Taught never to retreat, never to surrender. Taught that death in the battlefield in service of Sparta is the greatest glory he could achieve in his life.
  • At age 7, as is customary in Sparta, the boy was taken from his mother and plunged into a world of violence, manufactured by 300 years of Spartan warrior society to create the finest soldiers the world has ever known. The agoge, as it's called, forces the boy to fight, starves him, forces him to steal … and if necessary, to kill.
  • The wolf begins to circle the boy. Claws of black steel, fur as the dark night … eyes glowing red, jewels from the pit of hell itself. The giant wolf sniffing … savouring the scent of the meal to come. It is not fear that grips him … only a heightened sense of things. Cold air in his lungs … wind-swept pines moving against the coming night. His hands are steady – his form perfect.
  • And so the boy, given up for dead, returns to his people, to sacred Sparta a king. Our king, Leonidas! It's been more than 30 years since the wolf and the winter cold. Now, as then, a beast approaches, patient and confident, savouring the meal to come. This beast is made of men and horses, swords and spears. An army of slaves vast beyond imagining, ready to devour tiny Greece, ready to snub out the world's one hope for reason and justice. A beast approaches, and it was King Leonidas himself who provoked it.
  • [Narrating: as Leonidas bids farewell to his wife] "Goodbye, my love". He doesn't say it. There's no room for softness, not in Sparta. No place for weakness. Only the hard and strong may call themselves Spartans. Only the hard. Only the strong.
  • We march. For our lands, for our families, for our freedoms, we march.
  • [As the Persian ships are struck by a thunderstorm] Zeus stabs the sky with thunderbolts and batters the Persian ships with hurricane wind! Glorious. Only one among us keeps his Spartan reserve. Only he … only our King.
  • We do what we were trained to do. What we were bred to do. What we were born to do.
  • They have served the dark will of Persian kings for five hundred years. Eyes as dark as night, teeth filed to fangs. Soulless. The personal guard to King Xerxes himself. The Persian warrior elite. The deadliest fighting force in all of Asia: the Immortals.
  • [Regarding the Arcadians] They shout and curse, stabbing wildly; more brawlers than warriors. They make a wondrous mess of things. Brave amateurs – they do their part.
  • The Immortals. They failed our king's test, and a man who fancies himself a god feels a very human chill crawl up his spine.
  • Dawn: whips crack, barbarians howl. Those at the back cry, "Forward!" Those at the front cry, "Back!"
  • Our eyes bear witness to the grotesque spectacle brought forth from the furthest corner of Xerxes empire.
  • When muscle failed, they turned to their magic.
  • [Regarding Captain Artemis] Upon seeing the headless body of his own young son, the captain breaks rank. He goes wild, blood-drunk. The captain's cries of pain at the loss of his young son are more frightening to the enemy than the deepest battle drums. It takes three men to restrain him and bring him back to our own. The day is ours … no songs are sung.
  • His helmet is stifling. His shield is heavy.
  • [Later, as Leonidas throws his spear at Xerxes] His helmet was stifling; it narrowed his vision, and he must see far. His shield was heavy; it threw him off balance, and his target was far away.
  • The old ones say we Spartans are descended from Hercules himself. Bold Leonidas gives testament to our bloodline. His roar is long and loud …
  • "Remember us." As simple an order as a king can give. "Remember why we died." For he didn't wish tribute or song. No monuments, no poems of war and valour. His wish was simple: "Remember us," he said to me. That was his hope. Should any free soul come across that place, in all the countless centuries yet to be, may all our voices whisper to you from the ageless stones: Go tell the Spartans, passer-by, that here, by Spartan law, we lie. So my king died, and my brothers died, barely a year ago. Long I pondered my king's cryptic talk of victory. Time has proven him wise, for from free Greek to free Greek the word was spread that bold Leonidas and his 300, so far from home, laid down their lives, not just for Sparta, but for all Greece and the promise this country holds. Now, here on this ragged patch of earth called Plataea, Xerxes' hordes face obliteration! Just there, the barbarians huddle, sheer terror gripping tight their hearts with icy fingers, knowing full well what merciless horrors they suffered at the swords and spears of 300. Yet they stare now across the plain at 10,000 Spartans commanding 30,000 free Greeks! Haroo! The enemy outnumber us a paltry three to one; good odds for any Greek. This day we rescue a world from mysticism and tyranny, and usher in a future brighter than anything we could imagine. Give thanks, men! To Leonidas, and the brave 300! To victory!

Queen Gorgo

  • Because only Spartan women give birth to real men. [Response to Persian messenger questioning why Spartan women are allowed to address him]
  • [To Leonidas] Instead ask yourself: "What should a free man do?"
  • Come back with your shield … or on it. [Last words to her husband, Leonidas, before he and the 300 march off to the Hot Gates, reference to the Spartan saying "Εί τάν εί επί τάς" (Doric Greek: "Either it or on it") in reference to the shield]
  • Your lips can finish what your fingers have started. [Preceding the sex scene]
  • Councilmen, I stand before you not only as your queen. I come to you as a mother. I come to you as a wife. I come to you as a Spartan woman. I come to you with great humility. I am not here to represent Leonidas – his actions speak louder than my words ever could. I am here for all those voices which cannot be heard: mothers, daughters, fathers, sons – three hundred families that bleed for our rights, and for the very principles this room was built upon. We are at war, gentlemen. We must send the entire Spartan army to aid our king in the preservation of not just ourselves, but of our children. Send the army for the preservation of liberty. Send it for justice. Send it for law and order. Send it for reason. But most importantly, send our army for hope – hope that a king and his men have not been wasted to the pages of history – that their courage bonds us together, that we are made stronger by their actions, and that your choices today reflect their bravery.
  • This will not be over quickly. You will not enjoy this. I am not your Queen. [Seconds after she stabs Theron to death ]

Persian King Xerxes

  • Come, Leonidas. Let us reason together.
  • It is not the lash they fear, it is my divine power.
  • There will be no glory in your sacrifice. I will erase even the memory of Sparta from the histories. Every piece of Greek parchment shall be burned, and every Greek historian and every scribe shall have their eyes put out and their tongues cut from their mouths. Why, uttering the very name of Sparta or Leonidas will be punishable by death! The world will never know you existed at all!
  • Your gods were cruel to shape you so, Ephialtes. But I am kind.
  • Embrace me as your king and as your god.
  • You will find that I am kind...unlike the cruel Leonidas, who demanded that you stand, I require only that you kneel.


  • Wounded child: It's quiet now. They came from the blackness.
  • Captain Artemis: I had lived my entire life without regret until now. It's not that my son gave up his life for his country. It's just that I never told him that I loved him the most. That he had stood by me with honor. That he was all that was best in me.
  • Theron: This will not be over quickly. You will not enjoy this. I am not your King. [As he forces Gorgo to have sex with him in exchange for assistance in the council]
  • Stelios (first lines, to Leonidas): We are with you, sire! For Sparta, for freedom – to the death!
  • Priestess : Either your glorious towns will be taken by the sons of Persia, or all Laconians

will mourn for a lost of a king, a descendant of Heracles


Leonidas: Before you speak, Persian, know that in Sparta, everyone, even a king's messenger, are held accountable for the words of his voice. Now, what message do you bring?
Persian Messenger: Earth and water.
Leonidas (pauses): You rode all the way from Persia for earth and water?
Gorgo: Do not be coy or stupid, Persian. You can afford neither in Sparta.
Persian Messenger: What makes this woman think she can speak among men?
Gorgo: Because only Spartan women give birth to real men.

Persian messenger: All the God-King Xerxes requires is this: a simple offering of earth and water. A token of Sparta's submission to the will of Xerxes.
Leonidas: Submission. Well, that's a bit of a problem. See, rumor has it that the Athenians have already turned you down. And if those philosophers and … boy-lovers have found that kind of nerve …
Theron (interrupting): We must be diplomatic.
Leonidas: And of course Spartans! … have their reputation to consider.
Persian messenger: Choose your next words carefully, Leonidas. They may be your last as king.
[Leonidas turns and ponders the offer, looking at three different views, the last being Gorgo]
Leonidas (thinking): Earth and water...?
[He draws his sword and points it towards the Persian messenger, whose back is to a large, deep well. The Spartan guards draw their swords and point them to the other messengers]
Persian messenger: (shocked) Madman! You're a madman...!
Leonidas: Earth and water... You'll find plenty of both down there [indicates the well with his sword].
Persian messenger: (sweating) No man, Persian or Greek, no man threatens a messenger!
Leonidas: (angrily) You bring the crowns and heads of conquered kings to my city's steps. You insult my queen. You threaten my people with slavery and death! (coldly) Oh, I've chosen my words carefully, Persian. Perhaps you should have done the same.
Persian messenger: This is blasphemy! This is madness!
Leonidas (lowers his sword and looks at Gorgo, who nods to him): Madness? THIS IS SPARTA!!! [kicks the Persian messenger into the well]

Leonidas: Daxos. What a pleasant surprise.
Daxos: This morning's full of suprises, Leonidas.
Arcadian soldier: We've been tricked.
Arcadian: Only a few of them? That is a surprise.
Daxos: Silence! We heard Sparta was on the warpath. We were eager to join forces.
Leonidas: If a bit of blood you seek, you're welcome to join us.
Daxos: But you bring only these handful of soldiers against Xerxes? I see I was wrong to expect Sparta's commitment to at least match our own.
Leonidas: Doesn't it? [points to a soldier next to Daxos] You there, what is your profession?
1st Arcadian Soldier: I'm a potter … sir.
Leonidas: And you, Arcadian, what is your profession?
2nd Arcadian Soldier: Sculptor, sir.
Leonidas: Sculptor. And you?
3rd Arcadian Soldier: Blacksmith.
Leonidas (turning towards the Spartans): Spartans! What is your profession?
Spartans: Ha-ooh! Ha-ooh! Ha-ooh!
Leonidas: See, old friend, I brought more soldiers than you did.

Persian Emissary (encountering a group of Greeks building a wall to hold off the Persians): I am the emissary to the ruler of all the world, the god of gods, king of kings, and by that authority, I demand that someone show me your commander! [He is ignored by the Greeks] Listen. Do you think the paltry dozen you slew scare us? These hills swarm with our scouts! And do you think your pathetic wall will do anything other than fall like a heap of dry leaves in the face of …
[The Emissary sees that the stone wall is partially made up of Persian corpses]
Stelios: Our ancestors built this wall, using ancient stones from the bosom of Greece herself. And with a little Spartan help, your Persian scouts provided the mortar.
Persian Emissary: You will pay for your barbarism!
[As the Persian Emissary raises his whip, Stelios cuts off the Emissary's arm]
Persian Emissary: My arm!
Stelios: It's not yours anymore. Go now, run along and tell your Xerxes that he faces free men here, not slaves. Do it quickly, before we decide to make our wall just a little bit bigger.
Persian Emissary: No, not slaves. Your women will be slaves. Your sons, your daughters, your elders will be slaves, but not you. By noon this day, you will all be dead men! The thousand nations of the Persian Empire descend upon you! Our arrows will blot out the sun!
Stelios (grins): Then we will fight in the shade.

[The ground begins to shake and small rocks roll off the cliffside]
Captain: Earthquake?
Leonidas: No, Captain: battle formations.

Leonidas: This is where we hold them! This is where we fight! This is where they die!
Captain: Earn these shields, boys!
Spartans: Harooh!
Leonidas: Remember this day, men. For it will be yours for all time.
[Persian Officer rides through the ranks on his horse to address the Spartans ahead]
Persian Officer: Spartans! Lay down your weapons.
[Spear flies from the Spartans, killing the Persian officer on the spot]
Leonidas: Persians! Come and get them!
[Persians sound the advance and charge towards the Spartans]
Leonidas: Give them nothing! But take from them … everything!

[The Spartans hold up their shields as a flurry of Persian arrows blot out the sun]
Leonidas: Persian cowards.
[Suddenly, Astinos begins laughing]
Stelios: What the hell are you laughing at?
Astinos: You had to say it!
Stelios: What?
Astinos: "Fight in the shade"!
[Other Spartans laugh with him]

Leonidas (decides to visit the small Persian contingent): Captain, I leave you in charge.
Captain: But my king …
Leonidas: Don't worry, Captain. Remember, if they assassinate me, all of Sparta goes to war. Pray they're that stupid. Pray we're that lucky. Besides, there's no reason we can't be civil, is there?
Captain: None, sire. [thrusts his spear into a Persian's chest]

Delios (narrating): Whips crack, barbarians howl. Those in back cry …
Persian Commander (cracking whip): Forward!
Delios (narrating): Those in front cry …
Persian Soldier (as he is stabbed by Leonidas): Back!

Gorgo: So, what does a realist want from his queen?
Theron: I think you know.

Leonidas: Dilios, I trust that scratch hasn't made you useless.
Dilios: Hardly, my Lord. It's just an eye. The gods saw fit to grace me with a spare.

Stelios: It is an honour to die by your side.
Leonidas: It is an honour to have lived at yours.

Leonidas: My captain?
Dilios: Curses the Gods and mourns alone.

Leonidas: This battle is over when I say it is over.
Daxos: By morning the immortals will surround us. The hot gates will fall.
Leonidas: Spartans! Prepare for glory!
Daxos: Glory? Have you gone mad? There's no glory to be hunted now. Only retreat or surrender … or death.
Leonidas: Well, that's an easy choice for us, Arcadians. Spartans never retreat! Spartans never surrender! Go spread the word. Let every Greek assembled know the truth of this. Let each among them search his own soul. And while you're at it, search your own.

Xerxes to Leonidas

Leonidas: Let me guess... you must be... Xerxes...?
Xerxes: Come, Leonidas. Let us reason together. It would be nothing short of madness, were you, brave King, and your valiant troops to perish...all because of a simple misunderstanding. There is much our cultures could share.
Leonidas: Oh, haven't you noticed? We've been sharing our culture with you all morning.
Xerxes: Yours is a fascinating tribe. Even now, you are defiant, in the face of annihilation...in the presence of a god. Imagine what horrible fate awaits my enemies when I would gladly kill any of my own men for victory.
Leonidas: And I would die for any one of mine.
Xerxes: You Greeks take pride in your logic. I suggest you employ it. Consider the beautiful land you so vigorously defend. Picture it reduced to ash at my whim! Consider the fate of your women!
Spartan King Leonidas: Clearly you don't know our women! I might as well have marched them up here, judging by what I've seen. You have many slaves, Xerxes, but few warriors. It won't be long before they fear my spears more than your whips.
Xerxes: It is not the lash they fear, It is my divine power. But I am a generous god. I can make you rich beyond all measure. I will make you warlord of all Greece. You will carry my battle standard to the heart of Europa. Your Athenian rivals will kneel at your feet if you will but kneel at mine.
King Leonidas: You are generous as you are divine, O King of Kings. Such an offer only a madman would refuse. But the, uh, the idea of kneeling, it's- You see, slaughtering all those men of yours has, uh, well it's left a nasty cramp in my leg, so kneeling will be hard for me.
Xerxes: There will be no glory in your sacrifice. I will erase even the memory of Sparta from the histories. Every piece of Greek parchment shall be burned, and every Greek historian and every scribe shall have their eyes put out and their tongues cut from their mouths. Why, uttering the very name of Sparta or Leonidas will be punishable by death. The world will never know you existed at all!
Leonidas: The world will know that free men stood against a tyrant, that few stood against many, and before this battle is over, that even a god-king can bleed.


  • Tonight we dine in Hell!
  • Prepare for glory!
  • They were 300 men, against a million!
  • Then we shall fight in the shade.
  • A God-King must die!
  • A beautiful death!


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