Synopsis: In 480 B.C. a state of war exists between Persia, led by King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), and Greece. At the Battle of Thermopylae, Leonidas (Gerard Butler), king of the Greek city state of Sparta, leads his badly outnumbered warriors against the massive Persian army. Though certain death awaits the Spartans, their sacrifice inspires all of Greece to unite against their common enemy.
Genre: Action, Fantasy
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
  17 wins & 45 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
117 min

When the boy was born...

...like all Spartans, he was inspected.

If he'd been small or puny

or sickly or misshapen...

...he would have been discarded.

From the time he could stand,

he was baptized in the fire of combat.

Taught never to retreat,

never to surrender.

Taught that death on the battlefield

in service to Sparta...

...was the greatest glory

he could achieve in his life.

as is customary in Sparta...

...the boy was taken from his mother

and plunged into a world of violence.

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 them,

forces them to steal...

...and if necessary, to kill.

By rod and lash

the boy was punished...

...taught to show no pain,

no mercy.

Constantly tested,

tossed into the wild.

Left to pit his wits and will

against nature's fury.

It was his initiation...

...his time in the wild...

...for he would return

to his people a Spartan...

...or not at all.

The wolf begins to circle the boy.

Claws of black steel...

...fur as dark night.

Eyes glowing red...

...jewels from

the pit of hell itself.

The giant wolf sniffing...

...savoring the scent

of the meal to come.

It's not fear that grips him...

...only a heightened

sense of things.

The cold air in his lungs.

Windswept pines

moving against the coming night.

His hands are steady.

His form...


And so the boy,

given up for dead...

...returns to his people,

to sacred Sparta, a king!

Our king, Leonidas!

since the wolf and the winter cold.

And now, as then, a beast approaches.

Patient and confident,

savoring the meal to come.

But 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 snuff out the world's

one hope for reason and justice.

A beast approaches...

...and it was King Leonidas himself

who provoked it.

That's it.

Now, the more you sweat here,

the less you'll bleed in battle.

My father taught me...

...that fear is always a constant.

But accepting it...

...makes you stronger.

My queen.

A Persian emissary awaits Leonidas.

In the end...

...a Spartan's true strength

is the warrior next to him.

So give respect and honor to him,

and it will be returned to you.


- ...you fight with your head.

- Then you fight with your heart.

What is it?

A Persian messenger awaits you.

Do not forget today's lesson.

- Respect and honor.

- Respect and honor.

Councilman Theron.

You found yourself needed, for once.

My king and queen,

I was just entertaining your guests.

I'm sure.

Before you speak, Persian...

...know that in Sparta everyone,

even a king's messenger...

...is held accountable

for the words of his voice.

Now, what message do you bring?

Earth and water.

You rode all the way from Persia

for earth and water?

Do not be coy or stupid, Persian.

You can afford neither in Sparta.

What makes this woman

think she can speak among men?

Because only Spartan women

give birth to real men.

Let us walk to cool our tongues.

If you value your lives

over your complete annihilation...

...listen carefully, Leonidas.

Xerxes conquers and controls

everything he rests his eyes upon.

He leads an army so massive,

it shakes the ground with its march.

So vast, it drinks the rivers dry.

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.


Now, that's a bit of a problem.

See, rumor has it...

...the Athenians

have already turned you down.

And if those philosophers and boy-lovers

have found that kind of nerve, then--

- We must be diplomatic.

- And, of course, Spartans...

...have their reputation to consider.

Choose your next words carefully,


They may be your last as king.

"Earth and water."

Madman. You're a madman.

Earth and water.

You'll find plenty of both down there.

No man, Persian or Greek,

no man threatens a messenger.

You bring the crowns and heads

of conquered kings to my city steps.

You insult my queen.

You threaten my people

with slavery and death.

Oh, I've chosen my words carefully,


Perhaps you should have done the same.

This is blasphemy. This is madness!


This is Sparta!

Welcome, Leonidas.

We have been expecting you.

The ephors,

priests to the old gods.

Inbred swine.

More creature than man.

Creatures whom even Leonidas

must bribe and beg.

For no Spartan king has gone to war

without the ephors' blessing.

The Persians claim their forces

number in the millions.

I hope, for our sake, they exaggerate.

But there's no question, we face

the most massive army ever assembled.

Before your plan is heard...

...what do you offer?

We will use

our superior fighting skills...

...and the terrain of Greece herself

to destroy them.

We will march north to the coast,

where I will make sure--

It is August, Leonidas.

The full moon approaches.

The sacred and ancient festival.

Sparta wages no war

at the time of the Carneia.

Sparta will burn!

Her men will die at arms...

...and her women and children

will be slaves or worse.

Now, we will block

the Persian coastal assault...

...by rebuilding the great Phocian Wall.

And from there, we will funnel them into

the mountain pass we call the Hot Gates.

Now, in that narrow corridor,

their numbers will count for nothing.

Rate this script:3.9 / 8 votes

Zack Snyder

Zachary Edward "Zack" Snyder is an American filmmaker, best known for his action, superhero, and science fiction films. Snyder made his feature film debut with the 2004 remake of the horror film Dawn of the Dead. more…

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Submitted by acronimous on July 24, 2017

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