Andrew Tiernan: Ephialtes
Ephialtes : There is nothing to forgive, brave King. I know what I look like...
King Leonidas : [quietly] You wear the crimson of a Spartan.
Ephialtes : My mother's love led my parents to flee Sparta... lest I be discarded...
King Leonidas : Your shield and armor?
Ephialtes : My father's, sir!
Ephialtes : I beg you, bold King, to permit me to redeem my father's name by serving you in combat!
Ephialtes : My father trained me to feel no fear to make spear and shield and sword as much a part of me as my own beating heart!
Ephialtes : I will earn my father's armor, noble King, by serving you in the battle!
King Leonidas : [Ephialtes shows King Leonidas his thrust; it's good and the King is surprisingly impressed] A fine thrust.
Ephialtes : [smiles] I will kill *many* Persians!
King Leonidas : Raise your shield.
Ephialtes : Sire?
King Leonidas : Raise your shield as high as you can.
[Ephialtes tries to raise his shield; he cannot as his physical disability prevents it]
King Leonidas : [calmly] Your father should have taught you how our phalanx works. We fight as a single, impenetrable unit. That is the source of our strength. Each Spartan protects the man to his left from thigh to neck with his shield.
[Leonidas takes his sword and shield to demonstrate]
King Leonidas : A single weak spot and the phalanx shatters. From thigh to neck, Ephialtes.
King Leonidas : I am sorry, my friend; but not all of us were made to be soldiers.
Ephialtes : [shocked] But, I-!
King Leonidas : If you want to help in a Spartan victory, clear the battlefield of the dead, tend the wounded, bring them water. But as for the fight itself, I cannot use you.
[as the Spartans are surrounded]
Persian General : Leonidas, my compliments and congratulations. You surely have turned calamity to victory. Despite your insufferable arrogance, the god-king has come to admire Spartan valor and fighting skill. You will make a mighty ally.
Ephialtes : Yield, Leonidas! Use your reason! Think of your men! I beg you.
Persian General : Listen to your fellow Greek. He can attest to the divine one's generosity. Despite your several insults, despite your horrid blasphemies, the lord of hosts is prepared to forgive all, and more, to reward your service. You fight for your lands? Keep them! You fight for Sparta? She will be wealthier and more powerful than ever before! You fight for your kingship? You will be proclaimed warlord of all Greece, answerable only to the one true master of the world! Leonidas, your victory will be complete if you but lay down your arms, and kneel to holy Xerxes.