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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
300
300

This is Sparta.
Why would Leonidas lie right before his Crowning Moment Of Awesome? Also, thousands of Poopers can't be wrong.

Xerxes is a Goa'uld
He wears a lot make up, he wears a lot of jewelry and thinks he's a god. Oh! and he also has a very deep raspy voice.
  • All we need now is for his eyes to start glowing and it's confirmed.
    • 300: Rise of an Empire seems to acknowledge this, kind of (of course he's not a brain-snake, but Xerxes' origin story is pretty close and in fact is remarkably similar to that of Ra's in the original Stargate film).

300 is Greek Myth or Spartan propaganda.
This explains all seeming historical inaccuracies: This is really what the Battle of Thermopylae was like in a shadowy otherworld where the Spartans really were descended from Heracles and the Persian Army really did contain rocket-wizards and giant rhinos and immortal undead supersoldier ninjas and was lead by an actual god.
  • This is sort of explicitly shown at the end of the movie, where the One-Eyed Spartan is telling the story of Leonidas to an army of Greeks.
    • It could also simply be the One-Eyed Spartan's version of events. He's the only one alive to tell about it (well, the only one on the "good" side), so perhaps it's just propaganda.
    • Dilios being an Unreliable Narrator is canon, so things didn't really happen like that in-verse.
  • Another thing implying 300 as propaganda comes from real-world history. The image which we have today of Sparta is the idealized version of Plato, not the realistic version of Thucydides, who described Sparta to be a thoroughly corrupt Third-World military dictatorship. The Persians described the Spartans as the most easily corruptible of all Greeks and their loyalty was easy to buy. Athenians were the most difficult to buy, and Machiavelli himself acknowledged that liberal states were the hardest to buy because of the benefits of living under it and the rebelliousness of its people. For example, Sparta was only able to end the Peloponnesian War against Athens because they bought ships from Persia. Without Persian support, the superior Athenian Navy would have crushed the Spartans.

It was all just an incredibly lavish LARP campaign...
... seen through the eyes of the geeks participating. Hot babes, lots of sex, lots of homoerotic fightin' men, and immense battles from which much EXP must have been reaped. Clearly this was all just a big LARP session, completely with cinematic slow-mo from the guys who always go "I decapitate that one dude in Bullet Time."
  • Given that the movie adds so many things that weren't in the book, this actually kinda makes sense. The only snag is the council subplot; roleplaying tedious political drama generally isn't too fun.
    • Obviously, sir, you have never larped Requiem.

300 is real, what History tells you is wrong.
Because real life can be awesome like that. Also, it would explain where ninjas came from. Or not...

300 is the past of Naruto.
Well, it's ridiculous, but yet, bullet time and hyperspeed seem to be constants in both worlds. Not to mention flamboyant/overly pierced ninjaesque villains.

300 takes place inside The Matrix
C'mon, who would believe that an army of Badasses killed over eight thousand Persians in bullet time is historical?
  • That means Leonidas is The One. Whoa!

The vegetation in Persia is the natural ancestor of steroids.
Which would explain where the Persian army got those seemingly absurd elephants and rhinos. If this theory is true, it could also be that the mutant wolf killed in the beginning was a tourist from Persia where steroid-infected herbivores are the local carnivore cuisine. Oh, and the slaughter of an innocent Persian tourist - it just wanted to say an affectionate hello, truly! - could be the real reason for the war between the Spartans and the Persians.
  • Anabolic steroids are simply synthesized human testosterone. Less steroids, more 50s style Science! radiation plaguing the plants or something.

Spartacus takes place in the same world.
Everyone I know has been complaining that Spartacus Bloodand Sand is 300 and Gladiator tossed in a blender. I contend that Spartacus actually takes place in the same universe as 300. Spartacus is perhaps, a distant descendant of a Spartan warrior who fought in the Persian Wars.

300 takes place in the Warhammer 40,000 setting
This might be a bit of a stretch but I've been thinking about it. The world where 300 takes place is a Space Marine recruitment world, probably designated a fuedal world rather than feral or death. The reason that no Astartes appear? It isn't their homeworld, so they don't have a permanent presence, just return every generation or so to oversee aspirant trials. They've set up the myths and legends to create a world with greek-inspired warriors, complete with entire other nations for them to pit themselves against. Unfortunately, during the absence of the SM the Persian king and followers have become corrupted by Chaos, probably Slaanesh as excess seems to play quite a part in their appearance in the film. After all, excess is more than just about sex, and Xerxes wants to have the biggest empire, the biggest army, he simply wants it all! It also explains the presence of purple goat/beastmen, strange rhinos, etc. And then there is the big fat executioner with blades for arms, that has to be either a chaos ogryn or a mutant of some sort.
  • If he is Slaanesh, then why is Xerxes a God Emperor?
    • Simple, he's got delusions of grandeur, like a lot of human cultists. He's not a traitor marine, he's from that planet, it's quite likely his knowledge of the wider galaxy is next to nothing since it's a feudal world. He doesn't even realise he's been corrupted by chaos, despite appearances he is just a pawn like every other mortal who falls under the sway of chaos.
      • ...You just gave me inspiration to design a new chapter, cheers mate.
      • Glad I could help, craziness pays off occassionally.
  • The Spartans are ridiculously bloodthirsty and wear red cloaks and brass/bronze helmets. Perhaps they have been unwittingly corrupted by MIGHTY KHORNE?
    • Actually, first-edition fantasy Khorne was basically "Giant bull-headed Spartan ideal", and one formerly official timeline placed the time of his birth in the middle of the rise of Spartan power... Heck, even his Flanderization into being a blood-thirsty single-minded lunatic who really only wants to kill and/or burn EVERYTHING seems to match the way the Spartans in the movie went from "Honor bound rigid strategists" to "dramatic single champions".
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann takes place in the same world.
And this is even more screwed up than I thought. After all, how do you explain away all the Testosterone Poisoning?
  • You mean this?
  • Spartan = Spiral?
  • That's why Xerxes (an agent of the Anti-Spirals) wanted Sparta so badly, the Spartans are going to cause Spiral Nemesis. If Leonidas survived Spiral Nemesis would have happened.

Stelios is Azazeal from Hex.
They share the same actor, and we know that Azazeal has been trying to father the antichrist since at least Ancient Egyptian times.
  • Corollary: Queen Gorgo is a witch.
  • Nah, he'll have been after the Ephors' oracle!

Ephialtes' father was a male, soldier equivalent of the Education Mama.
Ephialtes told Leonidas that it was his mother's love that saved him from being killed as a baby, not his parents' love. The mother probably pressured her husband into escaping with them. Humiliated by the loss of his career and his deformed child, the father began obsessively training his son as a soldier. This causes Ephialtes' obsession with becoming a soldier.

The Persian messenger who gets kicked into the Spartan well by Leonidas is originally from Persian-occupied Egypt, and of Nubian descent.
"Okay", you may now say, "this would explain this one black Persian. But why is every other high-ranking Persian - including Xerxes himself - also black?" Because the Messenger is the only Persian whom all the Spartans who where not among the 300 have ever seen up close. This means that when the last survivor of the 300 tells his story, this is what his audience imagines all the Persians to look like.

The story takes place in an Alternate History where Persia is a Superpower that dwarfs the Roman Empire and has already conquered the Mongol and Chinese Empires, and is on to Take Over the World
Hence why they had Japanese ninjas.

300 takes place in the same universe as spartacus
The visuals just everything.

The entire story is Spartan propaganda in an Alternate History
In this Alternate History, Persia is The Federation that encompasses Asia, hence why they had Japanese ninjas and weird science. Xerxes was just a figurehead, a symbol of Persia as a unified empire despite its de facto status as more of a federation. On the other hand, Sparta is a militaristic, totalitarian People's Republic of Tyranny that uses the Persian expansion to justify war, like how North Korea portrays the US as The Empire. The Persians first tried diplomacy, but it didn't work when Leonidas killed the messenger, starting the war.

The entire story is just a story by Dallios
In reality, Leonidas' 300 was aided by The Roman Empire during the battle. even if Sparta have the most elite warriors at the time, 300 against thousands is highly unlikely. The Persians was becoming a potential threat, so the most powerful empire at the time, Rome, has to acted ahead of their enemy, Leonidas has a defensive advantage on that valley, so Rome saw Spartan as a "uninvited" ally and aided them in battle.
If there's a third movie in the franchise, it will be called 10,000
...and it will be a Perspective Flip focusing on the members of the Persian immortals. Double points if it uses Achaemenid propaganda as a Framing Device, and depicts the Spartans as inhuman monsters.
1408WMG/FilmThe A-Team

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