300: Rise of an Empire
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FAQ Contents

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for 300: Rise of an Empire can be found here.

In terms of chronology, the movie for the most part occurs in parallel with the original 300 movie. However, there are events which occur both before and after the original 300 movie. Events which occur before include: Battle of Marathon and Xerxes becoming the God-King. Events occurring after include Themistocles visit to Gorgo (where she is still mourning King Leonidas) and the Battle of Salamis.

*300: Rise of an Empire is a prequel, a side-sequel, and a sequel to the original film, 300 (2007), with the events in the follow-up taking place before, during, and after the events in the original. The first battle that takes place in the 300: Rise of an Empire movie is the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC. This happens ten years prior to the events in 2007's 300 movie. Athens victory over Persia at Marathon, Greece sets the stage for the motivations behind Xerxes's transformation into the movie's fictional God King.

The second battle that occurs in 300: Rise of an Empire, the Battle of Artemisium (a 480 BC naval engagement), took place concurrently with the Battle of Thermopylae that unfolds in the original movie, 300. It was Themistocles who proposed that the Greeks attempt to stop the Persian advance by confronting them on land at the narrow strait at Thermopylae. Leonidas and the 300 Spartans undertook the task, which is chronicled in the movie 300, with the Spartans eventually being overtaken by the Persian forces. At the same time, the Greek navy attempted to block the Persians on the water in the Straits of Artemisium. However, they were forced to retreat after the defeat at Thermopylae.

The third battle in Rise of an Empire, the Battle of Salamis, occurs after the Persians have advanced and burned Athens to the ground. Like in the movie, Themistocles had learned from the mistakes he made in the Battle of Artemisium, realizing that Greece likely did not stand a chance when confronting the larger Persian navy in the open water. He figured out that if the Greeks were to win, they would need to engage in close combat with the Persians in straits that were narrower, such as those at Salamis. There, the large Persian warships could be outmaneuvered by the smaller Greek ships.

Returning characters include King Xerxes, Queen Gorgo, Ephialtes, Dilios, and The Persian Messenger. King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) only appears in flashbacks.

Yes. Herodotus, also known as the "Father of History," makes numerous references to Artemisia as he recounts the events of the Greco-Persian war. He describes her as a ruler who did not lead passively, and instead, actively engaged herself in both adventure and warfare. "her brave spirit and manly daring sent her forth to the war, when no need required her to adventure. Her name, as I said, was Artemisia..." -The Histories

Yes. In exploring the 300: Rise of an Empire true story, the works of Polyaenus, the 2nd century Macedonian writer, describes an example of the real Artemisia's intelligence in combat. He tells of how she would carry two flags on board her ship, one a Persian flag and the other the flag of her enemy, Greece. Artemisia would fly the Greek flag as she approached an unsuspecting Greek warship. Once she was upon her enemy, she would then unleash the full force of her Carian fleet.

Yes. According to Herodotus, the united Greeks even offered a reward of 10,000 drachmas for Artemisia's capture.

Yes. According to historians Herodotus and Plutarch, the brave Athenian general Themistocles was not born into wealth. His father, Neocles, was an ambiguous Athenian citizen of modest means. It is believed that his mother was an immigrant. Other children kept Themistocles at a distance. It didn't bother him much, because as other children were off playing together, Themistocles was studying and sharpening his skills. As described by Plutarch, his teachers would say to him, "You, my boy, will be nothing insignificant, but great one way or another, either for good or for evil." In researching the 300: Rise of an Empire true story, we learned that Themistocles' less than modest upbringing benefited him in the newly democratic government of Athens. He campaigned in the streets and could relate to the common and underprivileged in a way that no one had before, always taking time to remember voters' names. He was elected to the highest government office in Athens, Archon Eponymous, by the time he was thirty. http://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/300-rise-of-an-empire/

No. The true story behind 300: Rise of an Empire reveals that Themistocles did not kill Xerxes's father, King Darius I of Persia (Darius the Great), with an arrow at the Battle of Marathon. King Darius died approximately four years later in 486 BC of failing health. It was then that Xerxes, the eldest son of Darius and Atossa, became King, ruling as Xerxes I.

No. In the 300: Rise of an Empire movie, a young Artemisia (Caitlin Carmichael) watches as her family is murdered by a squad of Greek hoplites. She then spends several years being held as a sex slave in the bowels of a Greek slave ship. She is left to die in the street and is helped by a Persian warrior. She soon finds herself training with the finest warriors in the Persian Empire, hoping to one day exact revenge on Greece. This backstory for Artemisia was invented by Frank Miller and the filmmakers to explain the motivations behind Artemisia's ruthless thirst for vengeance in the film.

Yes. Queen Artemisia of Caria, portrayed by Eva Green in the movie, became queen when she was wed to the King of Caria. Ancient Greek historian Herodotus never mentions the king by name in his writings titled The Histories. Little is known about Artemisia's husband except that he died when their son was still a boy. Following his death, Artemisia became the ruler of the affluent kingdom of Caria.

Yes. Artemisia I of Caria had a son named Pisindelis (not shown in the movie), who was still a boy when his father died and his mother took over as ruler.

Yes. According to the writings of Herodotus, Artemisia I of Caria was the only female commander in the Greco-Persian wars. Like in the movie, she was an ally of Xerxes and served as a commander in the Persian navy.

Yes. Themistocles had sent a messenger to Xerxes, telling the Persian King that the Greeks intended to flee by ships that were harbored in the isthmus of Corinth. Unlike in the movie, that messenger was not Ephialtes of Trachis, the disfigured hunchback who had betrayed the Spartans at Thermopylae. The real Ephialtes, who was not a disfigured hunchback, escaped to Thessaly and the Greeks offered a reward for his death. Thinking that the Greek forces were scattered, weak, and intending to flee, Xerxes believed the messenger and sent in his navy for an easy victory. To his surprise, his ships encountered the full force of the Greek navy ready to engage in battle.

Yes. In the movie, Themistocles tells Artemisia that his only family is the Greek fleet, which he has spent his entire life readying to battle her. According to the writings of Plutarch, the real Themistocles did have a wife, Archippe, with whom he had three sons: Archeptolis, Polyeuctus, and Cleophantes. He also had two older sons, Neocles and Diocles. In addition to his sons, Themistocles had five daughters that are mentioned by Plutarch, at least one of whom he had later during a second marriage.

No. The 300: Rise of an Empire true story reveals that unlike what is shown in the movie, the real Artemisia did not die at the hands of Themistocles in the Battle of Salamis. She survived the battle and did not meet her fate while engaging in combat. While Artemisia I of Caria did not perish in battle, it is unclear how she actually died. One legend reported by Photios, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 858 to 867 and from 877 to 886, has Artemisia falling in love with a man named Dardanus. According to Photios, when Dardanus rejected her, Artemisia threw herself over the rocks of Leucas and was swallowed by the Aegean Sea. However, some historians argue that this action goes against her nature as a strong-willed conqueror.


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