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300 (2006) Poster

(2006)

Goofs

Jump to: Anachronisms (6)  | Character error (1)  | Continuity (12)  | Errors in geography (1)  | Factual errors (5)  | Incorrectly regarded as goofs (2)  | Revealing mistakes (6)  | Spoilers (6)

Anachronisms 

(at around 11 mins) As Leonidas is considering the Persian Messenger's offer the camera zooms in on a mother standing with her daughter, clearly visible is the curved outline of a modern brassiere cup under the woman's peplos (or chiton).
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(at around 17 mins) When the Oracle is first seen writhing on the stone, her head turns and you can clearly see a modern industrial ear piercing.
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(at around 1h 10 mins) Among the weapons Xerxes' army uses on the Spartans are small bombs, which would have used explosive powder. Black powder was not invented until the 9th century A.D., and not known to Arabs until the mid-13th century.
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Several characters, including Queen Gorgo, have vaccination scars. A very noticeable example is at around 37 minutes, on Daxos' left bicep when he and Stelios are looking at the amassed Persian forces and talking about the Spartan's wish for a beautiful death.
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Many of the characters, including Leonidas, have visible capped/filled teeth.
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Several characters are seen wearing contact lenses.
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Character error 

Despite Leonidas correctly explaining to Ephialtes that the Spartan strength comes from fighting in a Phalanx, throughout the movie they rarely fight this way. Instead, the fight scenes are more traditional and exciting.
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Continuity 

(at around 51 mins) After the Spartans are attacked with the shields for the first time Leonidas stands and breaks the arrows off leaving the heads in his shield. When he turns to attack moments later the arrows are gone completely.
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During the ending of the fight with the immortals, Leonidas' helmet has a coat of hair on top (probably to mark his status as the king). In the next scene, while he kills the immortals, he is wearing an ordinary helmet.
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(at around 17 mins) When the oracle is asked the future of Sparta, the clip that holds her gown switches from her right shoulder to her left shoulder, then back to the right.
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(at around 50 mins) When the Persians first fire their volley of arrows at the Spartans, their capes become pinned down by many of them as they duck, but when they stand up, there are no arrows in their capes, nor any corresponding holes.
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After Leonidas' face is cut by the Immortal, throughout the movie the cut moves slightly (e.g. at first the part under his eye is slightly slanted, then later on in the movie, the cut starts farther down on his face, and it is more straight).
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The shadows change positions as Queen Gorgo talks with Theron.
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(at around 46 mins) The first time the Spartans are attacked, a Spartan's arm is grazed with a spear over the top of the shield wall. When the spear moves forward it cuts the arm, then in the next shot from another angle, the arm has no wound yet and gets cut by the spear retracting.
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(at around 36 mins) When Queen Gorgo and the Loyalist meet for the first time, they speak against a backdrop of torches. We see their shadows as they talk on the sand. However, when we see them speaking again, the floor beneath them is all stone. It is not possible that their shadows could have reached all the way from where they are speaking, down the steps, and out into the sandy courtyard.
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(at around 11 mins) When Leonidas is talking with Xerxes' messenger, you can easily see his plait change position between shots.
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(at around 48 mins) when the slow motion scene begins with Leonidas, his spear doesn't initially have a grip. Once he throws the spear a grip appears.
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(at around 1h 45 mins) During the final scenes of the movie, when the camera fades out on to the vast army, Dilios does not have his helmet and the spear is in his right hand, but in the next scene the spear is in his left hand and he goes on to wear the helmet using his right hand.
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(at around 32 mins) When Leonidas is carrying the child out of the destroyed village, the child's head is hanging below Leonidas' arm. However, when Leonidas stands in front of the Tree of the Dead, the child's head is level with his arm, and no longer drooping.
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Errors in geography 

Greek people both then and now mostly have and had olive or light brown skin, dark eyes and dark hair, given the extensive sun exposure that comes with living in the region. There would be very few blondes, as this genetic trait was not prevalent in that region during that era.
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Factual errors 

(at around 59 mins) Xerxes, or any Persian ruler, would never have referred to himself as a god or a god-king as an Egyptian Pharaoh would. It would be the highest blasphemy. Their title was roughly translated as King-Emperor which the British Monarch used during the height of their Empire. The Persians, specially the Persian kings, were Zoroastrians, who were monotheists with a single supreme Creator. Their god is considered, by many, to be the same as the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God.
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Ephors were not crazy old priests: they were representatives of the citizens of Sparta, elected each year.
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The Greek forces at the three-day defense of Thermopylae were not just 300 (+ the Arcadians) but at least 4,200, as mentioned by the primary source Herodotus multiple times. The 1 million+ Persian troops mentioned in the movie are correct as Herodotus himself mentions 3 million Persians.

Furthermore, modern scholars reject the figures of the Persian army given by Herodotus and other ancient sources as unrealistic, and estimate the number of Persians in the range of 70,000-300,000.
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The final test for a Spartan warrior was not the wilderness survival, though that was a part. The final test was to sneak out of the barracks, kill an unsuspecting serf, and return without being caught. The wolf story of Leonidas might actually be loosely based on Xerxes. To prove he was worthy to be King, Xerxes was locked in a room with a full grown lion, armed only with a spear.
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(At around 1h 2mins) When the Immortals are first introduced on screen, Dilios states that they have served the Persian kings for 500 years. But by the time of the battle of Thermopylae in 480 BCE the Persian empire, also known as the Achaemenid Empire, had only existed for 70 years. The Achaemenid Empire was founded by Cyrus the Great in 550 BCE.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

During the battle scenes, the blood never appears on the ground. In one scene, the blood hits the ground and disappears; in many it vanishes in the air. In another, the droplets fall and stick out of the ground like arrows. This is a stylistic choice to reflect the 'graphic novel' origins of the film.
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Dialog contains many apparent anachronisms such as "Hell" and "August," but we are hearing a modern translation of what they really would have said.
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Revealing mistakes 

(at around 1h 9 mins) When the battle rhino appears, it can be seen passing through one of the Persians.
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(at around 49 mins) The sun sometimes changes position in the sky, most noticeably when the Spartans push the Persians off the cliff. In this shot, they are silhouetted against the sun, which is level with them, but seconds later the distant Persians fire arrows which blot out the sun now high above them.
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Whenever you see an arrow being shot they have barbed or wide arrowheads yet after they have hit someone the are always in a small round hole. The arrows would look like they are sticking out of a cut the width of the arrowhead.
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(at around 1h 40 mins) During the final fight scene a Spartan says to his king "my king, it's an honor to die at your side." His "6-pack" abs are clearly airbrushed.
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(at around 48 mins) In the battle scene that follows a Spartan soldier taking down half a dozen enemy troops with his spear before chucking his spear at another enemy, the enemy who gets hit with the spear falls back but another enemy right beside him also falls back, despite not being hit by the spear at all.
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(at around 59 mins) In Xerxes' first appearance, all the closeups show the prosthetic piercings in his face are clearly fake attachments with makeup.
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Spoilers

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Continuity 

(at around 1h 15 mins) Astinos' body changes position between shots, even before his father touches it.
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In the last fight scene, the Persian archers are all lined up behind the Spartans, but when Xerxes gives the call to attack, the arrows come from in front of the Spartans and hit them in their chests rather than their backs.
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When Captain Artemis is stabbed by the immortals in the final battle, blood flows from his mouth and leaves a clearly visible stain on his lower lip. Yet when he falls to the ground and turns his head to Leonidas, his lower lip is dry.
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Crew or equipment visible 

(at around 1h 35 mins) On a close-up shot of Leonidas, when he is about to kneel to Xerxes, you can see the reflection of the studio lights in his eyes.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

Dilios is telling the story to the new soldiers he is commanding before battle. Yet he leaves before King Leonidas and his men execute their final attack. So he wouldn't have known what they did exactly but he is telling the men everything until the point of Leonidas' death as if he was still there for it. However, Dilios, according to director Zack Snyder in the documentary The 300: Fact or Fiction? on the 2-Disc Special Edition DVD, is not a man to allow truth get in the way of a good story and is narrating in an effort to invigorate his men before a later battle.
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Revealing mistakes 

(at around 12 mins) After Leonidas kicks the Persian messenger into the pit, he turns and walks towards the camera, when he does this the scar on his right shoulder can be seen coming off slightly.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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