Dilios quotes

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!

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