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Film / The Scorpion King

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The Scorpion King is a Spin-Off/Prequel to The Mummy Returns, released in 2002.

It's the year 5000 BC - or thereabouts. The anachronistic Greek general Memnon is out to, you guessed it, take over the world, which consists of African tribesmen, Amazons and the City of Gomorrah in improbably close conjunction. The leaders of the Free Peoples, including the chiefs of the aforesaid Africans and Amazons, hire the 'last of the Akkadians', a race of deadly assassins (which would come as a surprise to Sargon of Akkadia), to kill the evil sorcerer whose magic and prophecies are the source of Memnon's success.

The film also spawned four direct-to-video prequels/sequels. The second film, subtitled Rise of a Warrior (2008), is a prequel showing how Mathayus became the badass he is at the start of the first film, as well as his quest to avenge the deaths of his father and brother at the hands of the evil sorcerer-king Sargon. It also started off the sequels' tradition of having one Designated Girl Fight per film between the Action Girl female lead and a token Dark Action Girl.

The third film, subtitled Battle for Redemption (2012), is a straight sequel to the first film, revealing that Mathyus eventually fell from kinghood after a terrible tragedy and returned to his old life as a mercenary. However, his current mission to help a beautiful princess save her kingdom from the evil warlord Talus offers him a chance for redemption for what he sees as his past failings as a king.

The fourth film, subtitled Quest for Power (2015) appears to be set at an indeterminate point between the first and third films (i.e. after Mathayus lost his throne but before the events of the third film), has Mathayus betrayed by his apprentice Drazen, a power-hungry prince who used him to steal a relic that could lead to unimaginable power. Mathayus now finds himself in a race against time to beat his former friend to the power he craves, aided by the members of the royal family Drazen's father overthrew to become a king.

The fifth and final movie, subtitled Book of Souls (2018), has Mathayus teaming up with a Nubian princess called Tala to find a legendary relic known as the Book of Souls to defeat the evil warlord Nebserek, who has acquired a cursed artifact known as the Fang of Anubis, which can steal the souls of those slain with it and can only be stopped by the titular book.

These films provides examples of:

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  • Action Girl:
    • The sorceress Cassandra, despite clearly not being an actual trained fighter, still isn't afraid to pick up a sword and either defend herself or others... and isn't bad at it for an amateur, either.
    • Queen Isis and her Amazons.
    • Layla from the second film.
    • Silda in the third movie and Valina in the fourth. The series likes its leading ladies to kick ass.
    • Tala in The Book of Souls is a warrior princess that saves Mathayus after he is mortally wounded by Nebserek's minions.
  • Anachronic Order: The first movie was a prequel to the Mummy series, while The Scorpion King: Rise of a Warrior is a prequel to the first movie. Younger cast, Direct to Video, no actors of note, and a really reduced budget. More specifically, ''Rise of the Warrior'' is a Prequel to a Prequel of a Sequel of a Re-make of an 80-year-old film. To add to the confusion, a Mummy reboot was released in 2017 and Scorpion King's fifth film was released in 2018. Fortunately, the third and fourth film are straight sequels to the first Scorpion King, reducing the confusion....somewhat. It's somewhat unclear if the fourth one actually takes place before the third.
  • Anachronism Stew: The series is all over the place. It supposedly takes place during some vague ancient Mesopotamic times which can't choose whether they preceded the Pharaonic period or not.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me:
    • Memnon's eventual plan for the Sorceress once he no longer needs her visions.
    • Talus pulls this on Princess Silda in the third film, though he insists on having the wedding night before the actual ceremony. Silda stalls until Mathyus gets there to bail her out.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    Balthazar: Akkadian, you're riding to your death. If I let you go alone... (grins) what glory would there be left for me?
  • Black Vikings: The racial makeup of the cast is, shall we say, a bit odd for Ancient Egypt, what with the half-Samoan The Rock playing an Akkaddian (of course, the film's Akkadians seem to have virtually nothing in common with the actual Akkadians; perhaps in the Mummyverse the Akkadians were Polynesian?) and Kelly Hu (a mix of English, Chinese, and Native Hawaiian) playing a character with the Greek name of Cassandra. The following movies make this even more muddier by adding actors from multiple ethnicities and backgrounds.
  • Cool Sword:
    • Mathayus' scimitar and Memnon's Dao sword in the first movie.
    • The Sword of Damocles in the second movie, the only weapon capable of harming Sargon and can only be found in the Underworld.
    • The Fang of Anubis is a decisively evil example. Imagine Stormbringer as an Egyptian khopesh.
  • Dark Action Girl: Astarte in Rise of a Warrior (by virtue of being an evil goddess with immense magical powers that fight physically), Tsukai in Road to Redemption, Chancara in Quest For Power and Khensa in Book of Souls. Each one mostly seems included in order to have a Designated Girl Fight fight with the female lead.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Each sequel has one: Layla vs. Astarte in Rise of A Warrior, Silda vs. Tsukai in Battle For Redemption, Valina vs. Chancara in Quest For Power and Tala vs. Khensa in Book of Souls.
  • Evil Overlord: Memnon, Sargon, Talus, Draven and Nebserek. Appears to be a requirement to be the Big Bad, since the main villains of the other three films are also this.
  • Groin Attack:
    • Near the end of the first movie, the Sorceress battles against one of Memnon's mooks from inside the palace and during the ensuing battle, she throws a quick knee towards his groin, making him yelp out in pain.
    • Done to several poor mooks throughout the fourth movie.
  • Ms. Fanservice: A lot of the female characters would qualify. With the biggest examples per film being, in order: Cassandra, Astarte, Silda, Valina and Amina. The last example is actually a plot-point, since she disrobes under the moonlight to reveal her voluptuous body revealing that she is in fact the Book of Souls in human form
  • Mr. Fanservice: Mathyus, but a lot of the other male characters from the franchise could qualify, due the constant Shirtless Scenes from all of them.
  • Non-Actor Vehicle: Both films - the first for The Rock (who was beginning to make a name for himself in Hollywood at the time), and the second for Randy Couture. The third film for Dave Batista and Kimbo Slice (as Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson).
  • Royal Harem: Memnon and Sargon have one of their own personal harem. In the first movie, Mathayus accidentally stumbles into it, which results in all of his weapons being stolen while Memnon's concubines distract him with their charms. In the second movie, he is rewarded with a night with Sargon's harem for his service. Nebserek is briefly seen with one in the fifth movie.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something:
    • In Quest for Power, Mathayus is joined in his quest for Alcaman's crown by members of the ousted royal family of Norvania, Valina and her father Sorrell Reskov.
    • In Book of Souls, princess Tala takes matters in her own hands and joins Mathayus in finding the titular Book of Souls.
  • Rule of Cool: Sprinkled all across the series alongside Rated M for Manly.
  • Samus Is a Girl:
    • In the first movie Memnon's sorcerer (assumed to be male before The Reveal) is actually a sorceress. In the Latin American dub, they made it look like it was an old lady.
    • Done again in the third film: the rebel leader Cobra is really Princess Silda.
  • Sword and Sandal: Its an epic series that takes place during Mesopotamia during The Time of Myths.
  • You Killed My Father:
    • Mathayus is initially after Memnon because he executed his brother. The second movie reveals that he wants to make Sargon pay for the death of his father, and later his younger brother.
    • Played with — when Balthazar finishes off Takmet, he says, "For your father," avenging the betrayal that kicks off the plot.
    • Silda to Talus in the third film.

    The Scorpion King 
  • Amazon Brigade: Queen Isis and her tribe.
  • And This Is for...: Balthazar reminds Takmet that he murdered his own father, before Balthazar runs him through with a lance.
  • Arrow Catch: Memnon's favorite trick.
  • Arrows on Fire: Two words: "Catch this."
  • The Artful Dodger: One helps Mathayus infiltrate Memnos's palace. He is caught and almost get's his hands cut off, but it's rescued by Mathayus.
  • Artistic License – Biology: The poisoned arrow Mathayus was stabbed with would not have been much of a threat (well, aside from the whole getting stabbed thing), since the type of scorpion the venom was taken from, an emperor scorpion, chosen because they are huge and look creepy, is actually only slightly more dangerous to something the size of a human than a bee. With scorpions, the bigger they are, the less dangerous their venom, since they will use their claws to kill prey and their size to frighten off predators. Mathayus would have been in much greater danger from dying from blood loss or infection than from the venom.
  • Artistic License – History:
    • So apparently Viking warriors are well known for having blood feuds with assassins from Akkadia before the pyramids were built.
    • Memnon was the name of an Egyptian king, not... wherever Memnon was supposed to be from.
    • Good thing no one remembered that magic black powder or how effective it was. Could be given a Hand Wave — the only person who knew how to make it kept blowing up his laboratory and was more or less treated as a Mad Scientist.
    • The very first line in the movie sets the tone, with a barbarian chieftain boasting "we have killed Babylonians! We have killed Mesopotamians! We have killed Assyrians, Mycenaeans, Sumerians! But we have never had the pleasure of killing an Akkadian!" Timeline issues aside, Babylonians, Assyrians, Sumerians and Akkadians are all Mesopotamian.
  • Artistic License – Physics: If the first five minutes of The Scorpion King do not have you in tears of laughter, you're part of a tough crowd. To clarify, Mathayus shoots three mooks (at the same time) with three arrows shot (at the same time) from his bow. The center mook is sent flying, flipping head over heels for at least 15 meters, smashes through the wall, and KEEPS flying for another 10 meters. Though, they did manage to make it out so that it takes a really strong guy to string a really strong bow to shoot really strong arrows.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: It is mentioned early on by the narrator that the reason Memnon is the king of his empire is because he is the army's most skilled warrior. After Mathayus defeats and kills Memnon in the climax, he is automatically hailed as the new king.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Mathayus and Balthazar.
  • Bad Boss:
    • Thorak, discovering two of his Mooks have failed to stop Mathayus from leaping out the window, yells at them to "go after him" and tosses them out the window. About five stories up. Mathayus lands on a series of wicker screens that break his fall; the guards land on the roof tiles on either side and die.
    • Memnon also kills one of his soldiers for having talked back at him.
  • Badass Boast: 'Who dies first?'
  • Badass Creed: "Live Free. Die Well." At the end, "Live Free. Rule Well."
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: One hopes Memnon has fire insurance. But it wouldn't help. He was the one who set his palace on fire. They'd figure he was just trying to get the money by torching his place.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Mathayus. King? He just wants the guy who killed his brother.
  • The Big Guy: Dwayne Johnson, Michael Clarke Duncan, and Ralf Moeller, all together in one film.
  • Black Comedy: Takmet, displaying his father's head: "He was very shocked. You could tell by the look on his face."
  • Blown Across the Room: Given how far back Mooks fly when hit by Mathayus' arrows, one would imagine his bow has the Punch II enchantment on it.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Takmet mocks Balthazar about how he's "the ruler of nothing but a pile of rocks and sand", either forgetting or not caring that Balthazar towers over him in height and out-muscles him by a fair factor too. Balthazar proceeds to crush Takmet's hand (and the goblet he's holding) with no visible effort.
    Balthazar: If I'm no king...why are you on your knees before me?
  • Can't Bathe Without a Weapon: The Sorceress is prepared for surprises while bathing.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: After kidnapping the Sorceress, Mathayus plans to use her to bait Memnon to him and avenge his brother's death.
    Sorceress: "So you're going to use me first, and then kill me. I feel so much better."
    Mathayus: "I could always do it the other way around and kill you first."
  • Catapult to Glory: When Mathayus assassination attempt on Memnon fails, he uses a catapult to get out of the room he's hiding
  • The Cast Showoff: In the first movie, Mathayus keeps losing his weapons, thus forcing pro wrestler Dwayne Johnson to lay a smackdown.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Mathayus uses the arrow sticking out of his back to take out Memnon.
  • Continuity Nod: Memnon's mooks wear the same red turbans (down to the metal logos) as Imhotep's mooks in The Mummy Returns.
  • Cool Horse: Played with: Mathayus's steed of choice shows all the classic features of a hero's stallion - smart, enduring, fast, white - except it's a camel.
  • Co-Dragons: Thorak and Takmet both carry out Memnon's orders
  • Crashing Through the Harem: Mathayus crashes into one while running away from Memnon guards. Unlike other examples, the girls steal his weapons away while he's not looking and call the guards on him.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Having your naked head devoured by fire ants.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Cassandra does a good job of turning the tables on Memnon in the climax even before Mathayus drops in.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Philos. There'd be more, but every other character falls down on the "deadpan" bit.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: You just know when Balthazar and Mathayus break their swords on each other they are going to end up as friends.
  • Distracted by the Sexy:
    • When is Mathayus Crashing Through the Harem he's too distracted by the girls to notice they're actually stealing his weapons from him.
    • When Mathayus crashes on Cassandra bathing and she rises from her water nude he can't help but stare.
    Cassandra: Well, are you going to try to kill me or just stare at me!?
  • Establishing Character Moment: During the opening montage, Memnon ploughs through enemies and deflects arrows with his swords, then a very large enemy army bow before him only for Memnon to have his archers open fire on them anyway.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Cassandra's name is used only once in the movie, in one of her visions. She's called "The Sorceress" the rest of the time.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: Several times. Memnon should consider floor lighting.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Mathayus and Balthazar clash with and threaten each other throughout the film, but become Bash Brothers in the climax and show signs of friendship afterwards.
  • Flaming Sword: Rule of Cool is in full effect when Memnon runs his swords through an oil torch to light them on fire.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Cassandra tries this on Mathayus when he catches her bathing, but all she manages is to scratch his arm.
  • Godiva Hair: The Sorceress of course, when Mathayus surprises her in her bath.
  • Happily Ever Before: The only hint of the events that happen to the main character in The Mummy Returns is the sorceress saying "Nothing lasts forever." Other than that, the ending is pretty cheery. Stephen Sommers, the writer and director of The Mummy Returns has said that he considers the Scorpion King in his film to be an Identical Grandson of Mathayus, who Sommers felt was too heroic to turn into the bloodthirsty character seen in The Mummy Returns.
  • Hope Spot: Even after losing his sword, Mathayus manages to disarm Memnon and brutally beat him down. Cassandra starts to hope that her vision of Mathayus's death was wrong, until Memnon regains the advantage and everything she saw starts to come true.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: "No one goes into The Valley of the Dead! That's why they call it the Valley of the Dead!"
  • I Have This Friend: One of Memmnon's generals insists that "the men" need to see Cassandra in person to reinforce their morale and be convinced she is still there, although Memnon (probably correctly) believes the man is speaking about himself.
  • Ironic Echo: Memnon quips "Die well, assassin" as a Pre-Mortem One-Liner in mockery of Mathayus' last words to his brother Jesup, though this only ends up pissing off Mathayus even more.
  • Just Think of the Potential!: Philos, Memnon's captive scientist, is trying to reproduce gunpowder from a Chinese formula, saying that it could "do great things, wonderful things... or terrible things." One wonders if he's dragging his feet just a little, knowing that Memnon is only interested in his inventions' military applications.
    • To be fair, most of his inventions do not seem to have non-military applications, as he himself concedes when describing his prototype catapult: "It was meant to be a quick means of transportation, but there was a little problem with the landings..."
  • Kick the Dog: Memnon, constantly. Between that and the massive clutching of the Villain Ball, he's quite the quintessential action movie overlord.
  • Landing in Someone's Bathtub: Mathayus lands in sorceress Cassandra's bathing chamber, albeit not in the bath itself.
  • Last of His Kind: Mathayus again. The Akkadians are apparently wonderful assassins, but very bad at self-preservation.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Balthazar is needlessly antagonistic to people who are on his side - even taking into account that he doesn't trust Mathayus. So, naturally, he and Mathayus end up fighting in a situation that probably could've been easily avoided, something that Mathayus calls him out on when he gets the upper hand.
  • Mermaid Arc Emergence: Cassandra is seen dramatically flipping her hair backward when surfacing from her bath when Mathayus crashes into her bathing chambers.
  • Mook Horror Show: The sandstorm sequence, where Mathayus shows off his stealth skills and picks Thorak's men all off.
  • Naked Freak-Out: When Mathayus drains the water from Cassandra's bath they both end drained up with it and emerge in a fountain in the middle of the city. Cassandra is not happy when she finds herself completely naked in public.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Cassandra's being kidnapped by Mathayus and ending up naked in front of a crowd in the city is Played for Laughs.
  • No Name Given: Many of the characters names are never spoken during the film, but they are all listed in the credits. All except the street urchin boy who Mathayus befriends.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: At one point, Menmon waxes poetic to Cassandra about how his plan to Take Over the World and establish The Empire is meant to "bring order after centuries of chaos" in a Thousand-Year Reign. When she tells him rivers of blood will never bring peace (and in the opening it's shown he won't hesitate to execute surrendering opponents right where they bow), he answers that they can bring obedience, and that will suffice.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Mathayus gets an arrow in his back during the final battle. Then, he takes it out, defeats the Big Bad and everyone (even him) forgets he was even wounded.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Philos and Arpid, diving out of the entrance to the under-tunnels as it bursts into flames.
  • Prochronic Product: An inventor creates gunpowder 3000 years before it should have been.
  • Prophecy Twist: The sorceress sees Mathayus being hit by an arrow and presumably dying... But then, when it happens, he gets up, pulls the arrow out of his back, and uses it on Menmon.
  • Rated M for Manly: The whole damn first movie, from arrows that strike people back at an impossible distance being fired from a bow that only the incredibly manly protagonist can use, to the same incredibly manly protagonist taking an arrow from his back to fire it at the Big Bad. Did we mention when The Rock and Michael Clark Duncan cross their swords and end up cutting the swords themselves, at the same time?
  • Red Shirt Army: More like red scarf army.
  • Russian Roulette: A variation. Memnon puts six pots on a rotating table, loads poisonous snakes into four of them, places lids on the jars, and then spins the table. He does so to make sure the sorceress still has her powers. She guesses right the first time, changes her mind on the second and instead uses her powers to get the snake to attack him.
  • Sand Necktie: Memnon's solution when Cassandra tells him Mathayus can't be killed by his hand or any he commands is to bury him in the sand up to the neck and let him be eaten by ants.
  • Scary Black Man: Michael Clarke Duncan, who else? He's a good guy, though.
  • Scenery Censor: When Cassandra stands in her bath, her chest is covered by Godiva Hair or her arms while her lower body is blocked by a fruit bowl.
  • Schizo Tech: Mostly thanks to Philos.
  • Screw Destiny: The sorceress tells Mathayus that he's destined to fall at the hands of Memnon. He just tells her he'll make his own destiny, thank you very much.
  • Seers: The Sorceress's main gifts that she uses to help Memnon in his conquests.
  • Shout-Out: The scene where Mathayus cuts the huge gong loose and takes shelter behind it as it rolls away is straight out of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, aside from the guards firing arrows instead of bullets at him.
  • Shown Their Work: For all the things the movie gets hilariously wrong in history, physics, and everything else, it does properly depict one thing that most fantasy films don't — it actually takes a lot of muscle power to draw back the string of a bow. Especially for a bow as large as Mathayus', it would take someone as strong as Dwayne Johnson to pull the string back enough to properly fire an arrow. When Takmet tries to show off by playing with the bow in front of some serving girls, he can barely pull the string back an inch.
  • Slashed Throat: Memnon kills Jesup after he's captured this way. Using one of Mathayus' own knives just for added Kick the Dog.
  • The Smart Guy: Philos. His profession is a magician, but that "magic black powder" clearly is not.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Memnon's death. He gets hit in the chest with an arrow fired by Mathayus, the force blasting him backward, off the roof of his temple. And before he even has the chance to land from the fall, an explosion engulfs and incinerates him.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: What says 5000 BC better than... hard-driving rock'n'roll accompanying a big-ass choir and orchestra?
  • Suck Out the Poison: Cassandra does a magical version of this to Mathayus after he's poisoned.
  • Taking the Bullet: The Sorceress tries to take an arrow for Mathayus but as she grabs him, he turns around and takes the arrow for her. However, he survives.
  • Title Drop: To the Ending Theme, "I Stand Alone" by Godsmack
    Balthazar: Will you stand alone before the fury of [Memnon's] armies?
  • Toplessness from the Back: Cassandra when she's rising from the fountain.
  • Toppled Statue: The explosion set off in Gomorrah's under-tunnels not only saves most of the heroes, but also undermines Memnon's statue and sends it crashing to the ground - followed shortly by Memnon himself.
  • Translation Convention: One of the many films set in ancient history that use this.
  • Virgin Power: Subverted. Seems that sorceresses just tell their masters this so they'll keep their hands to themselves.
    • Played straight in the novelization, where narration from her POV after sleeping with Mathyus reveals that she genuinely did lose her power. Her actions in the cobra roulette thus become a combination of quick thinking and blind luck, and her "predictions" at the end of the story become more like ironic jokes.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Memnon, in comparison to Mathayus. He is faster (and a dual-wielder) but not nearly as big or strong.
  • Wishing Well: The fountain Mathayus and Cassandra end up in after they get drained out of her bath. A boy is throwing a coin at it to make a wish just as a naked Cassandra rises out of the water right in front of him. He immediately thanks the gods for apparently fulfilling his wish as he enjoys the eyeful.
  • White Stallion: Amusingly subverted: Mathayus's well-trained, heroic steed is a pure white camel.
  • Wife Husbandry: The Sorceress states that Memnon has held her captive since he was a child, and Memnon says that he intends to have her become his lover once his victories are complete.
  • You Killed My Father: Mathayus seeks revenge on Memnon after he kills his brother Jesup.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: Averted: Mathayus gives his word that he won't kill Horse-Thief Arpid and will obey his commands in exchange for Arpid saving him from ants (it makes sense in context). Afterward, Mathayus uses the camel and essentially forces Arpid to walk, causing him to protest that they had a deal, and Mathayus tells him that he's upholding the deal, as he is not going to kill him... at least, he won't kill him yet.
  • Zerg Rush: How Memnon's men were planning to take out Mathayus and his allies in the climax.

    The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior 

  • Big Bad: Sargon.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Essentially, the protagonists go to Greece, fight a minotaur in a labyrinth, and somehow access an Underworld realm where a Semitic/Near Eastern goddess lives, one that, in real life mythology, was associated with war and sexuality.
  • Foregone Conclusion: While the movie ends with Sargon being killed and a new king being crowned promising to restore Akkad to its glory and honor, its pretty much a given that him and his people will be wiped out in the near future, leaving Mathayus and a handful other Akkadians as the last of their kind.
  • The Good King: Sargon's predecessor King Hammurabi is responsible for sparing Mathayus' life when he incurs Sargon's wrath.
  • Historical Domain Character: The main villain is Sargon the Great, founder of the Semitic-speaking Akkadian Empire.
  • Human Sacrifice: Sargon orders his subjects to attend the coliseum for an event. However, archers shoot arrows to activate a Rube Goldberg device that pours oil in aqueducts to bathe the people, and later prepare to shoot fiery arrows at the pooled oil to ignite it.
  • I Choose to Stay: At the end of the film, Fong, who wanted to return to China, settles down in Akkadia as a local seller.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Ari and Mathayus go to Sargon's palace, while Fong and Layla follow the people to the coliseum.
  • The Unintelligible: Fong, the Chinese acrobat Mathayus rescues from the labyrinth, cannot speak any word the other characters can understand.
  • Our Minotaurs Are Different: A minotaur guards the entrance to the Underworld.
  • Praetorian Guard: The Black Scorpions, the Akkadian king's bodyguards. Mathayus joins them in order to try to assassinate Sargon for his father's murder.
  • Prequel: Chronologically, this is the first movie of the entire series.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: As the movie continues, Mathayus's main group is formed: he (an orphan Akkadian warrior), his female childhood friend (an Action Girl escaping an unwanted marriage), a Greek poet, and a Chinese acrobat.
  • Translator Buddy: Ari, the Greek poet, is the only one that can talk to Fong.
  • The Underworld: Astarte's domain. It's portrayed as a vast empty desert that soon sprouts a swamp littered with corpses and cursed souls. It's said that they have one hour left to return home before turning into stone.
  • The Vamp: Astarte falls pretty hard for Mathayus and attempts to doom him through seduction.
  • The X of Y: Its title, Rise of a Warrior.

    The Scorpion King 3: The Battle for Redemption 

  • Adaptational Superpower Change: Apparently, the "Book of the Dead", which worked in the Egyptian mythology context of this film's parent series, can resurrect people from anywhere.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Book of the Dead. Yes that Book of the Dead
  • Happy Ending Override: The movie opens with the revelation that a few years after Mathayus became king, his wife Cassandra died of the plague, his kingdom falls apart and he becomes a sellsword like he used to.
  • Large Ham: Billy Zane does what he does best and makes the whole experience very enjoyable.
  • Monster from Beyond the Veil: The three undead champions summoned by the Book of the Dead.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Talus holds the dubious honor of being the weakest Big Bad of the series, relying on magic rather than physical combat like previous antagonists. He is also killed by a mob instead of Mathayus.
  • The Plague: While not explicitly shown, the film establishes that Cassandra, the prophetess from the first film, perished to it, as well as many Akkadians.
  • You Don't Look Like You: While still recognizable, the Book of the Dead looks and functions somewhat differently from the its original appearance, lacking the lock and requiring the Eye of the Gods medallion to use. Justified since over the centuries between films, the Book was likely further modified by its owners.

    The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power 

  • Advertised Extra: Lou Ferrigno is featured right in the center of the movie's poster, yet he plays a minor antagonist who is fought during the prologue.
  • Agent Mulder / Agent Scully: Mathayus and Sorrell have this dynamic in the fourth film, with Mathayus being a believer that the heroes are being guided by the mystical power of Lord Alcaman and Sorrell being a skeptic who comes to debunk each of the extraordinary occurrences during their journey as cleverly executed instances of Bamboo Technology. In the end, when the mortally wounded Sorrell is healed by the Crown of Alcaman, he finds himself forced to admit that a power like that is truly miraculous.
  • Fight Clubbing: Valina is forced to fight in a cage against Chancara.
  • Meaningful Name: Mathayus and his companions go to an all-female tribe that worships a goddess. The name of their high priestess? Feminina (the Latin language feminine adjective for 'pertaining to the female gender').
  • Meaningless Villain Victory: Drazen's search for power turns out to be worthless since the artifact he seeks deems him unworthy and kills him at the end of the movie.
  • Ruritania: This time around, Mathayus goes to the country of Norvania, in the "Northern Forests".
  • Whole-Plot Reference: Most of the film's plot, especially the climax, is copied from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

    Scorpion King: The Book of Souls 

  • 10-Minute Retirement: Mathayus starts the movie having sworn off life as a warrior and settled down as a blacksmith instead. Needless to say, it doesn't last.
  • Annoying Arrows: At the start of the movie, Mathayus is hit with three arrows in the chest by Nebserek's minions, but he merely shrugs them off snaps them back and continues fighting on for a short time.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Fang of Anubis is a khopesh sword forged by the Egyptian god of the Underworld to steal the souls of those killed by their wielders.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Anyone killed by Nebserek has their souls trapped inside the Book of Souls and exist in eternal torment and darkness. As a result, the Book herself suffers every time someone is slain because she can sense their pain and agony.
  • Feathered Fiend: Nebserek's priestess Mennoffer uses a pet falcon to track down anyone she wants.
  • For the Evulz: Khensa needlessly kills the little boy Abel even when Mathayus pleads for his life.
  • MacGuffin Girl: The Book of Souls is a beautiful young woman named Amina.
  • Noble Savage: The Black Arrows are a Barbarian Tribe that the heroes cross paths with when trying to reach the Temple of Scrolls. They do have a sense of fair play and honor when they agree to give safe passage to Mathayus when they hold a contest with him, which not only he wins but shows mercy to his opponents earning their respect.
  • Running Gag: Mathayus tends to reply "I am just a blacksmith" every time someone refers to him as "Scorpion King".
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The leading ladies, Tala and Amina, respectively. The former is a stern and fierce warrior woman and the latter is a feminine and sensual lady.
  • Twisting the Prophecy: Subverted. Agamemnon's soothsayer says that the captured Mathayus "dies not by [Agamemnon's] nor his men's hand". He takes it as a good riddle and then the next morning he orders his men to bury Mathayus and his friend neck-deep in the sand, and then release desert ants on them to slowly eat them to death. However, Mathayus and the others still manage to escape the ants.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Nebserek decides to leave Mathayus alive a little longer just so that he can finish him off in a duel. His priestess asks why he doesn't just kill him on the spot; he reasons that he wants to make a good show for his men since they thirst for blood. She points out it's dangerous, but he claims it won't be a problem since he wants to fight Mathayus while he is half-dead and unable to fight properly. The priestess doesn't argue further, likely because her boss is crazy. Nebserek's plan provides plenty of time for Tala to summon scorpions to revitalize Mathayus and free himself.


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Gods Be Praised

A boy throws a coin at a wishing well, only for Cassandra to emerge out of the water and have a freak out when she realizes she's naked in front of a crowd.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (27 votes)

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Main / NakedFreakOut

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