Follow TV Tropes


Film / Troy

Go To

"Men are haunted by the vastness of eternity. And so we ask ourselves: will our actions echo across the centuries?"

The 2004 film version of the legend of The Trojan War, directed by Wolfgang Petersen, written by David Benioff and starring Brad Pitt as Achilles, Eric Bana as Hector, Orlando Bloom as Paris, Diane Kruger as Helen, Brian Cox as Agamemnon, Peter O'Toole as Priam, Rose Byrne as Briseis, and Sean Bean as Odysseus in one of his rare not-dying roles.

The film is not technically an adaptation of Homer's Iliad, despite common misconceptions, as it takes material from other sources as well: the movie covers the entire story of the war, from the abduction of Helen to the Trojan Horse and the Sack of Troy, whereas the Iliad deals only with a single episode of the war, the wrath of Achilles and the deaths of Patroclus and Hector. While the Iliad covered only a few weeks of the war, in the process of adapting ten years of war to the screen, the film deviates from the plot of The Trojan Cycle in terms of who dies when in the Ensemble Cast, and focuses more on Hector (who many see as the Hero Antagonist of the story).

Other differences include the downplay of supernatural elements, and Achilles is made into a more honorable (and sometimes womanizing) character instead of a brooding jerkass. While it doesn't try to claim it is "The True Story" of the Trojan War, it is portrayed in a fairly realistic fashion as such that it may very well have happened in a similar way. Achilles is Shrouded in Myth as being a demi-god, but it is later clarified to not be the case; he is merely an exceptionally powerful human.

All spoilers are unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

A trope list! Take it! It's yours!

    open/close all folders 

  • Achilles in His Tent: Achilles is on extremely bad terms with Agamemnon, refusing to fight the king's battles unless there is glory or Briseis, and he spends a lot of time sulking in an actual tent. Just like the trope, most battles between the Trojans and Greeks tend to be fairly even until Achilles steps in to turn the tide in the latter's favor.
  • Achilles' Heel: Zigzagged—while Achilles does ultimately take an arrow to his heel, the trope is subverted as he only dies after being shot with arrows repeatedly in the chest, although the heel injury slows him down enough that he was an easy target for Paris. What double subverts this, however, is his love for Briseis, which developed throughout the course of the film—his love for her led him to make the journey to Troy to rescue her from Agamemnon's clutches, just as the city fell, which resulted in Paris mistaking him for a rapist and firing the arrows that killed him.
  • Actor Allusion: John Shrapnel is once again in a Trojan War film. He appeared in the television adaptation of Troilus and Cressida in 1981 as Hector.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Hector fails to kill Ajax in the legends, but succeeds in the movie.
    • Paris can land a hit on Menelaus and kills Achilles in a more fair way than the legends.
    • Briseis is more than a prize Achilles and Agamemon fight over, and she is the one to kill the latter.
    • Achilles still easily defeats Hector, despite his improvements, and takes several arrows after the one in the heel to be taken down.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Paris, the evil-hearted coward of the legend, is a good-hearted coward in this film.
    • In the Iliad, Hector can be as nasty as his Greek counterparts, often delighting in murdering champions, and he ravaged Patroclus's corpse and looted his armory. He even calls out Paris on his cowardice, straight up telling him that he wished he was never born. In this film, Hector is considerably more heroic, giving Patroclus a Mercy Kill, then retreating to allow Achilles to recover Patroclus's corpse, as well as intervening during Paris's duel with Menelaus and killing the latter to save the former.
    • Downplayed in this film's portrayal of the Trojans and Achaeans. The Trojans are generally painted as innocent countrymen who are defending their land against the Achaeans, who are portrayed as being very barbaric and led by two ruthless kings. While these portrayals are consistent with the narrative in the Iliad, they are still a more modern perspective of the events compared to the perspectives presented by the original poem.
    • Achilles actually loves Briseis, and doesn't see her as a means to his honor.
  • Adaptational Mundanity: The movie completely leaves out the mythical elements from the The Iliad, and focuses only on the human aspect of the war.
  • Adaptational Nationality: In the original mythology, Helen was born and raised in Sparta (her father was the King) and Menelaus actually married her in order to become King of Sparta. Here, Helen was married into the Spartan royal family.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Hector is presented as a reasonable man who much prefers peace over war. He is also shown to be brave and aware of his responsibilities. In the original story, he is a bully who runs away from Achilles until he is tricked by a God to stand and fight. He also makes a point of treating Patroclus' body with respect, whereas in the original epic he would have mutilated it just the same as Achilles did to his body had he succeeded in dragging it back to Troy.
  • Adaptational Timespan Change: The entire ten years of war appear to take place in less than a fortnight. Hector's infant son is still an infant at the end.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • The Achaeans are the Always Chaotic Evil of this movie, especially during the final Sack of Troy, where they slaughter civilians, throw babies into the fire, pillage, rape, and burn everything.
    • While not exactly a Nice Guy in the original poem, the film goes to great lengths to portray Agamemnon as little more than a pure evil, mustache-twirling tyrant with no redeeming qualities beyond a genuine love for his brother Menelaus, who is not portrayed in the best light either. And even then, he exploits Menelaus' plight for his own ambitions. He wants to conquer Troy and annex it to his kingdom and sees Helen's abduction as an Excuse Plot to mount an invasion. In the poem, Agamemnon never really expresses any true desire to conquer Troy, his plan is to defeat the army and avenge his brother's humiliation. Hence why he and the Achaeans sack the city and level it to the ground and kill, exile and enslave the population rather than establish a new government (as every conqueror would rationally do).
    • Menelaus is subjected to this treatment too, as he is depicted as a violent Blood Knight with a Hair-Trigger Temper who intended to kill Helen with his own hands once he got her back. In the original poem, Menelaus actually ended up forgiving Helen, and before that is arguably even one of the few characters to be in the right, as there was no indication that he was ever a bad husband to Helen, making Paris more akin to a kidnapper for taking her away from him. The movie gives Menelaus a lot of flaws to justify Helen's decision to cheat on him and to be sure that the audience will side with her and against him.
  • Adaptational Wimp:
    • As usual with most modern interpretations, Agamemnon is portrayed here as a cowardly backstabbing Armchair General who is sitting behind his troops in the midst of battle. This film takes it a step further by showing that he caused the Greeks to lose the initial engagements of the Trojan War with his arrogance (specifically in the first attempt to besiege Troy), and he is never seen "fighting his own battles" (as Achilles snarks early in the film). He is even killed by Briseis at the very end when he threatens her at knifepoint during the Sack of Troy. In the original myths, Agamemnon was a CLASS A Badass who could take on Trojan formations single-handed, to the point where even Achilles begrudgingly showed respect to the Greek king's martial prowess.
    • In the original myths, Ajax nearly kills Hector on multiple occasions, and at one point single-handedly holds off the entire Trojan army. He's never even wounded throughout the war, despite not having any divine assistance. In the film, while Ajax does make a badass showing for himself, Hector manages to kill him in their only confrontation. In the myths, the closest Hector got was disarming him once, and he didn't even wound Ajax—Ajax just retreated because he thought it was a sign that Zeus was favoring Hector at that moment.
  • Adapted Out: Speaking of the Trojan Cycle as a whole and not just the Iliad, a lot of details get left out. Despite being repeatedly referenced in the movie, the Olympian Gods do not appear despite playing a huge role in the tale, as they directly affect the plot (the Trojan War happened because of them and they fought on opposing sides of the war). Prominent warriors on both sides (like foreign allies Sarpedon, Memnon and Penthesilea and Priam's many other sons like Polydorus and Troilus for the Trojans, and Diomedes and Ajax the Lesser for the Greeks) are absent. Achilles having a son, Neoptolemus, is also left out, as are even just mentions of Penelope and Telemachus, Odysseus's wife and son, or that Agamemnon is married to Helen's sister Clytemnestra. Several key characters like Queen Hecuba, Cassandra, Iphigenia, and others were also omitted.
  • After-Action Villain Analysis: The Trojan priest says this when they find the beach abandoned, save for some corpses and a nice big wooden horse. (It's a Trap.)
    Priest: Plague! Don't get too close, my lord.
    King Priam: What happened here?
    Priest: They desecrated the temple of the gods, and Apollo desecrated their flesh.
    Glaucus: They thought they could sack this city in a day. Now look at them... fleeing across the Aegean.
  • Age Lift:
    • Downplayed. Based on the fact she was twelve when Theseus abducted her near the end of his reign, traditionally said to have ended in 1205 BC, Helen's date of birth is at least in 1217 BC. Her daughter Hermione was said to be nine (other sources say six) when she was abducted by Paris and the traditional date for the Trojan War is 1194-1184 BC. If Hermione was born in 1203 BC, then that means Helen was fourteen years old when she gave birth and probably was the same age when she married Menelaus. The film has Helen stating she was sixteen when she married Menelaus, making her two years older at least than her mythological counterpart at the time.
    • Some sources say Menelaus was thirty at the beginning of the Trojan War, meaning he was forty when it ended. Brendan Gleeson was nearly fifty and very much looked it. This extends to his elder brother Agamemnon, who was played by a fifty-eight year old Brian Cox.
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • As a movie adaptation of the stories it was rather inaccurate, being a "historical interpretation", but one particularly egregious point was that the filmmakers put a llama in the city of Troy. Llamas, of course, being native to the Americas and could not have been in Troy at any time in the past.
    • The Trojan War takes place in the Bronze Age but there are several weapons in the film that didn't exist until the Iron Age or later. This extends to armour as well, such as the use of tube and yoke thorakes.
  • Animal Motifs: Lions for Achilles and Horses for Hector.
  • Annoying Arrows:
    • Ajax, who simply snaps the arrows and keeps on going.
    • The first shot goes into the heel, but Achilles gets right back up. It's the four arrows after that that do the trick, but he pulls them out one after another before finally keeling over so when Greek soldiers find him, the only arrow in his body is the one just above his foot.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: In this adaptation, both Paris and Patroclus would qualify as this to their older brother and cousin respectively.
  • Armor Is Useless: Mocked by Achilles. A boy comes to his tent to tell him that Agamemnon is calling for him and starts gushing about how amazing Achilles is, saying "they say you can't be harmed in battle," to which Achilles responds "then I wouldn't be bothering with the shield, would I?"
    • Averted when Achilles' armor blocks at least two sword strikes from Hector in their duel.
    • Present in effectively every other battle scene, with the majority of fatal blows seemingly piercing armor effortlessly.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Hector tries an Armor-Piercing Question on Achilles: "You speak of war as if it's a game. But how many wives wait at Troy's gates for husbands they'll never see again?" Achilles responds, "Perhaps your brother can comfort them. I hear he's good at charming other men's wives." Hector is duly speechless.
  • Artistic License – Geography: The Troad is not nearly as desert-like (or smooth) as seen in the film.
  • Artistic License – History: At one point the question of "How long until the Hittites invade?" is asked. By 1184 BCE, the traditional date of the Fall of Troy, the Kingdom of Hattusa was a dying empire. It came to an end in 1178 BCE.
    • Most of the Greeks and Trojans wear the tube and yoke thorax, an armour that would not be in use for at least five hundred years. Most notably with Achilles wearing hoplite armour complete with a bronze Corinthian helmet. In reality, the Greeks who could afford helmets in this period wore very different styles (most famously helmets made from boar tusks), and the choice of body armour was between heavy bronze torsos, and light tunics. Though, Ancient Greek art often depicted the characters in clothing and armour from the time period the art came from, so this is Older Than Feudalism when it comes to art based on the Trojan War.
  • Ascended Extra: Achilles's officer Eudorus and Hector's officer Glaucus have more "face time" here.
  • Award-Bait Song: "Remember" sung by Josh Groban and composed by James Horner, who pretty much deals in these.

  • Badass Army: The Myrmidons, Achilles's elite fighters. Who spend much of their time doing nothing because Achilles is sulking. Since there are only 50 of them to begin with and more than half die in the first battle of the war, they're more of a Badass Crew.
  • Badass Back: Achilles deflects an arrow to the back without looking.
  • Badass Boast: Achilles has quite a few:
  • Bastardly Speech: Agamemnon gets one of these, where he explains that supporting Menelaus' quest to get Helen back was just an act, and that sacking Troy was for him the whole reason for the campaign.
  • Batman Gambit: The Trojan Horse ploy exploits perfectly the piousness of the royal family and his court, too devoted to the gods to not bring the giant wooden offering to their temple inside the city. Faking a plague among Greek ranks also helped the Trojan think of Apollo’s intervention.
  • Benevolent Boss: Agamemnon to his highest vassal lords. He accepts their homage gracefully and addresses them like treasured friends, promising them glory come the victory. Giving Briseis to his demoralised men is also a rather twisted application of the trope. Achilles seems to be the king's one exception, as the two have incompatible philosophies and openly despise one another.
  • Berserk Button: The younger cousin of Achilles, Patroclus, is definitely this. After learning of the boy's relation, Hector's facial expression says enough about what his fate will be once Achilles learns of his cousin's death at Hector's hands. He guesses right...
  • The Berserker: Ajax throws himself into the thick of battle with wild abandon, screaming his guts out as he slays Trojans. Even the bloodthirsty Achilles is more restrained as he kills with cold efficiency instead.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: Several. First is when the Greek army takes the beach of Troy, second is the battle that occurs at the gates of Troy around halfway through the film, third is the Trojan raid on the Greek encampment, and lastly, the fall of Troy at the end of the film could possibly count.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Menelaus and Agamemnon are the two Greek kings that invade Troy together. Menelaus is killed about halfway through, leaving Agamemnon as the sole Big Bad for the rest of the film.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • Menelaus beats the crap out of Paris in a duel, and while Hector is thoroughly unimpressed with his brother's cowardice, he still saves him by killing Menelaus.
    • The above leads to Agamemnon displaying this trope, but he becomes so blinded by rage that he loses a fifth of his army in a single day. In the Director's Cut, he openly swears to avenge his brother's death before burning his corpse, and exults in having fulfilled his promise as Troy is sacked and burned.
  • The Big Guy: Ajax towers over every man, Greek or otherwise, can toss a foe from his horse, uses both a giant warhammer and a thick shield at the same time. For the Trojans, he'd qualify as The Brute.
  • Big "NO!": Briseis just before Paris, mistaking Achilles for a rapist, shoots him.
  • Bling of War: Agamemnon's armor, befitting his status as the high king of Greece, is much shinier than any other Greek warrior's armor.
  • Blood from the Mouth. Downplayed. Ajax spits blood after taking Hector's spear to the gut.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Menelaus is a Large Ham but also a good warrior.
  • Broad Strokes:
    • Homer and other writers have Achilles and Paris die a long time before the Greeks enter Troy (there is even time enough to marry Helen to Paris's brother Deiphobus). However, since the creators cast Brad Pitt as Achilles, the hero of the film, he doesn't die until the very end. This change allows no fewer than four characters who were supposed to die or be captured to escape.
    • From a certain point of view, this is true to the The Iliad's portrayal since the book is all about Achilles and Hector and ends with Hector's burial.
    • Also, many scenes in The Iliad were altered, such as the scene with Achilles chasing Hector around the city walls until Hector decided to stop running. That probably wouldn't have fit the tone.
    • Several of the characters changed: Agamemnon and Menelaus were not the stock villains they're portrayed as, and escaped the wrath of the gods or women at least until they got home in Agamemnon's case; Hector would have let Paris die, not saved him, because of his sense of honor; Ajax was a civil defensive fighter, not a barbaric berserker.
    • Greater Ajax went berserker at one point after the Iliad and slaughtered an entire flock of sheep, but that was because of a madness sent by the gods after Ajax reacted badly over not being awarded Achilles's armour after he and Odysseus saved his body from the Trojans.
    • Also: Achilles wasn't a misotheist, he honored the Gods; Patroclus was older and wiser than Achilles (Iliad XI, 780-790), not his whiny baby cousin, and the latter was famous for being among the youngest warriors in the war. And Hector actually tried at great lengths to desecrate Patroclus's corpse throughout the battle. (When Patroclus died, the fight actually continued and wasn't suddenly canceled like a football match).
    • Achilles's soldiers fought tooth and nail to defend Patroclus's body. They were driven off long enough for the body to be looted, but they fought their way back to claim the actual corpse.
  • Brutal Honesty: Odysseus drops quite a few of these in his role as the Only Sane Man for the Greeks.
    Odysseus: We need to retreat!
    Agamemnon: My army's never lost a battle yet!
    Odysseus: (indicates the Curb-Stomp Battle around them) You won't have an army if you don't fall back!

    Odysseus: The men believe we came for Menelaus's wife. He won't be needing her anymore.
    Agamemnon: My brother's blood still wets the sand and you insult him?!
    Odysseus: It's no insult to say a dead man is dead.
  • The Brute: Canon Foreigner Boagrius. Ajax could also be seen as this.
  • Call That a Formation?:
    • Averted by the Trojans in general, but the Greeks tend to play it straight. In the battle following Menelaus's death, the disorganized Greeks basically lose because they can't break the Trojan ranks.
    • The Greeks do have their moments where they avert this trope and as a result, they win engagements. An obvious example is during the landing at the shores of Troy where Achilles and the Myrmidons were being shot by arrows from the Trojan defenders. They initially suffered some casualties and seeing this, Achilles orders the Myrmidons to form a Phalanx, and they gradually stepped forward without casualties until they came close enough to charge into the Trojan archers and slaughtered them. Truth in Television as this portrayal of the Phalanx was actually one of the common ways Hoplites dealt with archers.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You:
    • Agamemnon hates Achilles with a burning passion, and the feeling is reciprocated, but Nestor has to remind him that his skills as a warrior are invaluable. Agamemnon still barely tolerates him.
      Agamemnon: Of all the warlords beloved by the gods, I hate him the most.
      Nestor: We need him, my king.
      Agamemnon: For now.
    • At the very beginning of the war, Achilles confronts Hector inside a temple to Apollo while the Greeks are storming the beaches of Troy. Killing Hector on the spot, with too few to see the deed, and in such anticlimatic timing would give him little glory so he prefers to let him go to slay him later. It really comes back to bite him in the ass when Hector kills Achilles's beloved cousin Patroclus.
  • Carry a Big Stick: Ajax has a giant warhammer as his weapon.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • Inverted by the Trojan priests, who always give exactly the wrong advice and are always believed. Interestingly, their prophecies are always literally true. Cassandra herself does not appear (merged with Briseis.)
    • Amusingly subverted in the actual myths, as the priests actually foretell that the Trojan Horse will be the doom of Troy. Poseidon, being on the side of the Greeks, "shuts up" the priest Laocoön, and the Trojans swiftly take the horse inside to avoid being next to feel the god's wrath.
    • Played straight with Hector.
  • Chastity Dagger: Agamemnon meets his end when Briseis takes out a dagger and stabs him as he's on the verge of raping her.
  • Chekhov's Skill: The movie shows that Paris is nowhere near his brother in hand-to-hand combat, but he is an excellent archer.
  • Chewing the Scenery: "I will smash their walls to the ground... if it costs me 40,000 Greeks! Hear Me, Zeus!"
    • Cox's Agamemnon swans around in the kind of crazy-colored vestments favored by overweight middle-aged fiber artists, leaving half-chewed crumbs of scenery in his wake. At one point a character scolds, "You can't have the whole world, Agamemnon. It's too big — even for you!" But Cox gnaws so relentlessly at everything around him, you're sure he could nibble it down to size in no time. — Stephanie Zacharek, Salon
  • Coins for the Dead: The funeral scenes show coins placed over the dead warriors' eyes.
  • Combat by Champion: The Iliad is Trope Codifier of this one.
    • Achilles vs. Boagrius in the beginning.
    • Subverted with Paris vs. Menelaus, as both Menelaus and Agamemnon secretly planned to sack Troy after the duel anyway. Hector is well aware of this, making it yet another reason why he opposed Paris fighting the duel.
  • Composite Character:
    • The film's version of Briseis is combined with Chryseis, Cassandra, and Clytemnestra, all of whom are Adapted Out. She's depicted as a respected priestess of Apollo (Chryseis was the daughter of a respected priest of Apollo), as the younger female cousin of Paris and Hector (Cassandra was their younger sister), and she's the one who kills Agamemnon.
    • Paris gets Laocoön's lines at the end of the film.
    • Hector with advice-giver Polydamas, which actually makes Hector even more tragic because while in the book, Hector dies as an indirect result of NOT taking Polydamas's advice, while in the movie he dies because everyone else doesn't take HIS advice.
  • Confusion Fu: Of all the natural gifts of combat Achilles has, his greatest strength seems to be just how unorthodox his style of combat is, moving and attacking in unusual ways that allow him to claim openings others could not. His fight with Hector helps underscore this, comparing Hector's experienced, orthodox fighting style with Achilles' flowing, dynamic style which included things like stabbing with a spear from behind his own head.
  • Continuity Cameo:
    • Paris hands off the sword of Troy to an escaping Aeneas, to the delight of Latin geeks in the audience... though Aeneas is a random teen civilian in the movie instead of a Trojan warrior. For bonus points, Aeneas is also guiding his aged father. His wife is nowhere to be seen, but maybe he already lost her.
    • In the extended version, Odysseus's first scene shows him in Ithaca with his faithful dog. His son is still not mentioned, though.
  • Cool Old Guy: Glaucus, second-in-command for the Trojan armies. Also Nestor, who along with Odysseus, is the Only Sane Man on the Greek side.
  • Costume Porn: The men have kickass armor and often clean up nicely, but the women naturally get pounds of jewelry. Helen's circlet of golden laurel leaves is especially notable.
  • Coup de Grâce: Achilles vs. Hector; attempted by Menelaus.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Menelaus vs. Paris: The spoiled prince who has never killed anyone cannot hold a candle to a middle-aged but experienced and more solidly built warrior king.
    • Achilles vs. Boagrius. That's if you can even call it a battle.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion:
    • Menelaus vs. Paris: While Paris is quickly shown to be no match for Menelaus, he does manage to punch the bastard in the face once before going down. The old but definitely stronger and more experienced war veteran otherwise beats the shit out of the wimpy spoiled prince.
    • Achilles vs. Hector: Hector is clearly outclassed and knows it, but is the only character in the entire film to even come close to wounding Achilles in combat and provide any kind of real challenge in combat. At one point he manages to scratch Achilles' breastplate, causing the Greek to look astonished, implying no one had ever managed that before.
  • Curse of The Ancients: Achilles responds to Agamemnon seizing Briseis by calling him a "sack of wine"!
  • Cycle of Revenge:
    • Menelaus goes back into war with Troy to avenge his honour, only to be killed by Hector. Agamemnon swears vengeance against Troy over his brother's death.
    • Hector kills Patroclus in battle. Achilles avenges his cousin's death by killing Hector. Paris gets revenge for his brother by bringing down Achilles.

  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Hector (to a degree) is the only one to give sound military advice and point out the flaws in the plans of everyone else. When Priam himself cites Apollo as the patron of Troy and that even Agamemnon is no match for the sun god, Hector replies something along the lines of: "Oh, really? And how many legions does Apollo command?" He goes on to point out that Achilles cut off the head of Apollo's statue without being smited, concluding (rightly) that the gods won't fight Troy's wars.
    • Odysseus definitely earns it as well (and also gives sound military advice), he's just in the film less than Hector. Sean Bean even manages to convey snark without speech; in the scene where people fawn over Agamemnon for having conquered Troy's beach on the first day, Odysseus smirks to Achilles as if to say "Can you believe this shit?"
    • Odysseus has the most snarky line in the movie: "The men believe we came here for Menelaus's wife. He won't be needing her anymore."
    • Achilles is pretty snarky himself in this adaptation. Not as snarky as Odysseus, mind you, but he has his moments (see Armor-Piercing Question above).
  • Death by Adaptation: Menelaus is killed by Hector in order to save Paris, despite that all the myths make him survive the war and he and Helen return to Sparta and their daughter Hermione. It's easy to see why they changed it, though.
  • Death by Irony: Achilles is forewarned by Eudorus that he should not offend Apollo, who is known as the Sun God, as he sees everything. Achilles chooses to ignore his advice and arrogantly chops the head off of the statue of Apollo, which ominously shows the God as an archer. By doing this, Achilles basically signed his doom because he ends up being killed by Paris' arrows. One could say that Apollo had killed Achilles through Paris.
  • Death by Woman Scorned: Agamemnon; see Troy for details.
  • Defiant to the End: Done both ways when Paris kills Achilles. Achilles keeps pulling out the arrows and advancing on Paris, while Paris stands his ground and keeps firing arrow after arrow.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Lysander. He has just enough dialogue with Hector to indicate that most of his scenes were left on the cutting-room floor.
    • Aeneas appears only by the end as a civilian youth, despite that in the myths/literature he's a great warrior, Hector's peer, and a demigod.
  • Demythification:
    • Portrayed as more of a "what inspired the legend" reenactment. Gods are kept on the down-low here, although Achilles claims to have seen them.
      Messenger Boy: They say your mother was an immortal goddess. They say you can't be killed.
      Achilles: I wouldn't be bothering with the shield then, would I?
    • In The Iliad, Achilles's mother is a sea goddess. In this film, she's a woman of questionable sanity who believes she's a river goddess. We're never quite sure whether she really is a goddess or not. Also, unlike later versions, in the Iliad Achilles is not invulnerable but is shown being wounded in battle (though only grazed).
    • The Iliad says Priam infiltrated the Greek camp because the god Hermes guided him. Here it's because he knows the lay of the land better than the Greeks.
  • Desecrating the Dead: Achilles promises to disfigure Hector's corpse after he kills him. After he does the deed, he drags the body behind his chariot, and we later get a close-up of Hector's body to see that Achilles made good on his promise.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Achilles sulks in his tent for half of the story.
  • Diamonds in the Buff: Paris gives Helen a necklace while she is otherwise nude.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Paris decides to bring Helen to Troy because he loves her. Needless to say, this causes trouble. Hector even calls him on it.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation:
    • Agamemnon, who in the original myths ends up going home with Cassandra as his slave, only to be killed by his wife. Here, he's killed by Briseis.
    • Hector was stabbed in the throat in the original myth while wearing Achilles's armor which he had looted from Patroclus. Here, Achilles stabs him in the chest through his own armor, which he never replaces.
    • Ajax, too. Here, he's killed by Hector. In the poem, he actually kills himself out of shame for having slaughtered a flock of sheep (believing it to have been Odysseus, Agamemnon, and other leaders who had agreed to give Odysseus Achilles's replacement set of armor).
    • Achilles consented to Patroclus's armor switcheroo which led to his death, but here it's a surprise to everyone. Achilles also advised Patroclus to only drive the Trojans away from the ships and not to give chase.
  • Dirty Coward:
    • Paris. He instigates a war, volunteers to fight as the Champion to end said war quickly, and then runs away after losing the fight. His lust and cowardice ultimately cause his entire city to burn.
    • Subverted after Hector's death, which finally allows Character Development to kick in. During the final battle, in which Paris helps Trojan soldiers fight off the Greeks for a brief time and kills four, as well as Achilles, making it five. True, he did ultimately leave, but it was to rescue Briseis (and in the Director's Cut, Glaucus urged him to do so).
    • Agamemnon is depicted as an Orcus on His Throne who doesn't directly involve himself in combat, yet reaps all the glory of the soldiers who fight for him. The only instances of battle he partakes in are killing wounded soldiers who can't defend themselves and murdering the old king Priam by stabbing him In the Back.
  • Disney Villain Death: The Trojan High Priest is thrown off a tower by Greek soldiers.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Achilles's desecration of Hector's body becomes this due to the latter's Adaptational Heroism in the movie. Yes, he killed Patroclus thinking it was Achilles, but he immediately regrets it when realizing his mistake, administering a Mercy Kill to spare him a drawn-out and painful death due to a slit throat (something he brings this up to Achilles in their confrontation, who ignores it due to being too blind by rage) and reveals to his wife that killing someone so young haunts him. In contrast to his mythological counterpart who did try to desecrate Patroclus's corpse when Achilles applies the same to him, in this version, he shows mercy and regret. It becomes overkill.
    • Agamemnon, too, falls into this. Sure Prince Hector dishonorably kills his brother during a Combat by Champion, but his wrath goes way out of proportion when he orders the Greek army to kill everyone in Troy and burn the city to the ground, which is both way too excessive (he could have taken his wrath on only the Trojan royal family) and counterproductive to his dream of making a Mycenaean Empire since he originally wanted Troy as a fortress to control the last bits of the Aegean Sea he didn't have a hand on.
  • Doomed by Canon:
    • Achilles won't survive the war, but his name will live on in history. His mother prophesies this before he sails to Troy and his death.
    • Troy and its inhabitants will die. The extended cut shows in detail the sack of Troy, everyone being slaughtered or raped (then slaughtered), and the city burnt to the ground. Only a handful of refugees make it to the secret tunnels.
  • Due to the Dead: Elaborate funeral pyres for Patroclus, Hector, and Achilles.
    • Hector makes it a point after he first beat the Greeks in battle that they would be allowed to collect their dead. Agamemnon would probably not have extended the same to the Trojans.
  • Dual Wielding:
    • Near the end of the beach battle, Achilles fights with two swords, finishing his last opponent by throwing one at him.
    • Toward the tail end of the Sword Fight, Hector uses his sword in one hand and a broken spear in the other. Achilles swipes the spear and throws it into his shoulder before stabbing him in the chest.
  • Duel to the Death: Hector vs. Ajax, Hector vs. Patroclus dressed as Achilles, Hector vs. Achilles.
  • El Cid Ploy: As in the Iliad, Patroclus pulls one by pretending to be Achilles. It works for a time, but Patroclus is singled out by Hector and is killed.
  • Elite Mooks: Achilles's Myrmidons for the Greeks and Hector's Apollonian Guard for the Trojans, though the former emerge victorious when they clash. Only Hector is shown taking down Myrmidons in single combat.
  • Epic Movie: The poster art says it all. A movie depicting the greatest Greek war of Antiquity? How couldn't it be an epic?
  • Establishing Character Moment: Achilles, in his first five minutes on-screen, demonstrates his arrogance, his fearlessness, his military prowess, and his mutual enmity with Agamemnon.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Odysseus thinks up the Trojan Horse after watching one of his men carve a wooden horse for his son.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Agamemnon is genuinely devastated by the death of his brother Menelaus who he sincerely cares for and is close to. In the Director's Cut, his death is the reason Agamemnon orders Troy to be destroyed rather than taken as new base in his empire.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Everyone on both sides is aghast with Menelaus being genuinely distraught and disgusted to see that Paris refuses to Face Death with Dignity after he's defeated in a duel, and instead grovels to Hector.
  • Evil Counterpart: There is a "trifecta" so to speak that have parallels that would go into this category involving three sets of familial duos.
    • When you really think about it, Agamemnon actually serves this role to Achilles. In how both have a massive ego, both desperately desire to make their names immortal through the annals of history, both have a younger relative who they are very close to (Patroclus and Menelaus) whose death (both at the hands of Hector ironically enough) sends them into a vengeful rage, and both have a desire for Briseis.
    • It can also be said that Agamemnon and Menelaus parallel Hector and Paris as well. Both sets being royal brothers with genuine bonds of affection towards each other, with an older sibling who is more successful and glorified but also defensive of his younger sibling. The feud over Helen is also notably rooted in the younger sibling of either pair, both of whom are illustrated to have been notorious womanizers.
    • There are also parallels between the duos of Achilles/Patroclus and Hector/Paris. While none of them are evil per se, they do fall into opposite sides of the conflict. Achilles and Hector are the older of the two, and each is renowned as the greatest warrior on his side as well as one of the greatest warriors who ever lived. Both are also respected military commanders. Patroclus and Paris are the impulsive and naïve younger members of the pair who make certain mistakes because of those flaws (each of their biggest being taking on an opponent who was far out of their league in combat).
  • Evil Overlord: Agamemnon only cares about expanding his hegemony over Greece and its surrounding territories and he is using Helen's "capture" as an excuse to invade Troy.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Averted hard by Paris who upon being beaten by Menelaus in a fair duel does not calmly await death, but instead runs and crawls back to the protection of his brother Hector, to Menelaus's almost shocked anger who even calls out to Helen.
  • Famed In-Story: Achilles is the most prominent example, as his name is feared across the Aegean. Funnily, King Triopas in the beginning of the story doesn't fear Achilles much.
  • Fanservice: Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, and Orlando Bloom all get some glistening, well-muscled shirtless scenes, and most of the male cast wear short tunics during their fighting scenes. Those who prefer women get Diane Kruger, Rose Byrne, and Saffron Burrows.
    • The extended cut shows off more, particularly Diane Kruger.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Priam is a wise and good king, but he puts faith more in the gods rather than the advice of his son, Hector. He is convinced that the Gods will allow Troy to win the war due to his kingdom's patronage to Apollo. He chooses to accept ambiguous omens from his priest over practical advice from Hector for strategy against the Greeks. Odysseus would later use Priam's zealous reverence for the Gods to trick him into bringing the Trojan Horse into his city, bringing Troy's destruction.
    • For Paris, it's his lust and cowardice. He knew that abducting Helen from Sparta would instigate a war between Greece and Troy, but he convinced her to leave anyway. While her situation was understandable, she was still Queen of Sparta and taking her from Menelaus gave Agamemnon the excuse he needed to invade. As for his cowardice, Paris wasn't a trained warrior like Hector, but challenged Menelaus to a duel anyway. As expected, Paris lost, but he ran and took cover with Hector, forcing Hector to kill Menelaus. It was at this point there was no stopping the war.
    • For Agamemnon, it's his pride and greed. Agamemnon is a very proud and haughty man who brags about the accomplishments of others while claiming them as his own. He believed his army invincible, which led him to make strategical blunders that would've cost him the war had it not been for Patroclus's death at the hands of Hector. Agamemnon was also very greedy, motivated solely by self-interest and his desire for power. His greed and pride left him unwilling to stop the war between Greece and Troy and would only accept conquering Troy as the outcome.
    • For Patroclus, it was his naïve idealism. Patroclus strongly believed in the Greek cause and saw it as noble and glorious, not seeing the true reality behind the war and how it was ultimately for nothing but power and politics. When Achilles decided to abandon the Greek cause due to his hatred for Agamemnon, Patroclus felt Achilles's decision was wrong for abandoning the Greeks. Patroclus would steal Achilles's armor and lead the Myrmidons to bolster Greek morale, leading to him fighting the superior warrior, Hector, and getting killed.
  • The Fatalist: Achilles, among others.
    Achilles: I'll tell you a secret: The Gods envy us. They envy us because we're mortal — because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now — and we shall never be here again.
  • A Father to His Men: Hector shows great care for his soldiers and laments that they have to die en masse for such petty reasons as Paris taking away Menelaus' wife.
  • The Film of the Book: The movie is a loose adaptation and expansion of the Trojan Cycle.
  • Finishing Move: Achilles has a quite remarkable move, where he jumps high in the air and thrusts downward into the trapezius, stabbing the vitals.
  • Flaunting Your Fleets: One scene shows off the allied Greek fleet, which covers the sea even when the camera flies high in the sky.
  • Foil: Achilles to Hector and vice versa. They also serve as The Rival to each other. Here are all the ways it plays out:
    • Both Achilles and Hector are known to be the greatest warriors of the Trojan War. However, Achilles and Hector are on opposing sides. Achilles is a Greek and Hector is a Trojan.
    • Hector is of Royal Blood, being the Prince of Troy and the son of King Priam while Achilles is not of royal lineage.
    • Hector is a Warrior Prince and Achilles is a Blood Knight.
    • Although both are the greatest warriors ever, they both fight in battles for completely different reasons or purposes. Achilles’ reasons for being a great warrior are far less noble than Hector’s; Achilles fights for nothing more than the fame, glory, recognition, and the hopes that his name will be remembered long after he is gone. Hector, on the other hand, fights for his family, his honour, and his country.
    • Achilles shows that he does not really care about being honourable in the same way that Hector does; Achilles shows that he cares more about recognition and glory whereas Hector cares about responsibility and duty.
    • Personality wise, Achilles is more Hot-Blooded, impulsive, reckless, and brash while Hector is more of The Stoic, logical, calm, and level headed. Hector also does not seem to like the concept of violence and war and only fights in battles out of duty and responsibility while Achilles seems to love the concept of fighting and violence much more than the Emotional Bruiser Hector. Hector also seems to fight for his country while Achilles tends to fight more for himself.
    • Hector loves and respects his King (Priam, who is also his father) and he obeys and serves his King as best as he can. Achilles, on the other hand, has no respect for his King (Agamemnon) and he downright hates him, disrespects him and disobeys him, refusing and reluctant to fight on behalf of him at first.
    • Hector seems to fit the qualities of The Hero (noble, dutiful, responsible, humble, honourable, loyal, family man) while Achilles seems to fit the qualities of an Anti-Hero or Byronic Hero (selfish, hot headed, cynical, jaded, impulsive, brash, arrogant).
    • Both Hector and Achilles have a younger brother (Paris for Hector) and younger cousin (Patroclus for Achilles) respectively that they have shown to have strong Big Brother Instinct as well as Knight Templar Big Brother instincts towards; both have shown that they will go to extreme lengths to protect their younger relative as much as they can.
    • Both Achilles and Hector are in love with a Trojan woman (Briseis for Achilles and Andromache for Hector).
    • Achilles is The Casanova, being first seen sleeping with two women and then with Briseis later in the film. Hector is a family man, completely faithful to his wife Andromache.
    • Achilles lacks Hector's illusions. He does not even pretend that he serves a noble cause, knowing full well that it is driven by Achamemnon's greed. He is also quick to point out that Hector is in no position to criticize since it was Hector's own brother who caused the war.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Hector and Paris, with Hector being the Responsible Sibling to Paris' Foolish Sibling. While Hector has shown and proven himself to be an upstanding, honorable person who understands the meaning of responsibility and duty, Paris has shown that he is the opposite of his brother, someone who's selfish, spoiled, cowardly, and doesn't even begin to understand what it means to be a good and responsible person. Instead, Hector ends up being the one to fight Paris' battles for him.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • At the beginning of the movie, a dispute between Achilles and Agamemnon prompts Achilles to begin to walk out of the battle, with only Nestor convincing him to come back to the fight. Later, Achilles does walk out for good after Agamemnon takes Briseis from him.
    • After his humiliating defeat at Menelaus' hands, Paris is not seen wielding a sword again; Helen spies him instead practicing with the bow. He will use his archery to deadly effect at the climax.

  • General Failure:
    • Agamemnon's arrogance in believing he can easily conquer Troy causes him to bungle every step of the invasion, and he only makes headway through the efforts of his subordinates. Achilles and (to a lesser extent) Ajax are the reason he even gets a foothold on the beach. He also foolishly charges his forces into the Trojan phalanx, which also puts them in range of the wall's archers, resulting in mass casualties. He wouldn't have even breached the walls without Odysseus' plan to build the Trojan Horse.
    • Even though he is respected by Achilles for his nobility and goodness, Priam is painfully this kind of leader. He takes the opinion of his crazy old priest more seriously than that of his son Hector, who is a respected warrior and general in his own right, perhaps because he believes the gods are on Troy's side. This ends disastrously and Priam's choice (encouraged by said priest, no less) to let the Trojan Horse inside his city is what dooms it. Had he burned it as more sensible voices warned him, the Greeks would have likely given up and returned home.
  • Giant Mook: Boagrius, played by Nathan Jones, who seems to specialize in this. One onlooker even calls him the largest man he's ever seen.
  • Glory Seeker: The Iliad is both the Trope Maker and Trope Codifier, and Troy follows in its footsteps, particularly in the cases of Achilles and Agamemnon, the latter being more of a Glory Hound.
  • Going Commando: It's made very clear that Achilles doesn't wear anything under his kilt.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Agamemnon is shocked to learn that not only did Achilles and Priam meet in Achilles’ tent in the middle of the Greek camp, but that Achilles unilaterally called for a week-long cease-fire with Troy to allow them to have funeral games for Hector.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: Helen's affair with Paris is portrayed more sympathetically than her husband Menelaus's constant whoring.
  • Good Is Dumb: Priam is one of the kindest characters in the film but he is also unfortunately one of the most naive and foolish. Had he listened to his sons’ valuable and reasonable advice instead of relying on a priest’s “signs of the gods”, he would have won the war.
  • The Good Chancellor: Nestor, who acts as a restraining voice to Agamemnon's own angry fits and reminds him of the importance of strategy over his own emotions.
  • Grey-and-Grey Morality: Neither side is particularly virtuous, with Agamemnon simply using Helen to justify the war and Menelaus clearly cared for her only as a trophy wife while Paris was a scrupulous womanizer who knew what the consequences would be for taking Helen. Much of the Trojan royal court and military is dismissive of the war and the fact of people dying just because they believe the Gods will allow them to win. Hector and Odysseus are the only people who come across as noble and respectful at all times, while Achilles is generally portrayed as better than most of the royal Greeks.
  • Hate Sink: Agamemnon.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: It is repeatedly emphasized that Achilles and Patroclus have a close relationship because they are COUSINS. In the Iliad and other versions of the myth their closeness derives from growing up together at the court of Achilles' father. Whether or not the two were actually lovers in a sexual sense has been controversial for 2,400 years, in a debate that goes back at least as far as Classical Athens.[1]
    • Regardless of the intent of the source material, the movie's awkward belaboring of the point that they're COUSINS DAMMIT falls squarely under this trope — since the goal seems to be to avert even the possibility that they could be less than 100% heterosexual.
    • According to Pindarus, Patroclus was a kind of half-uncle to Achilles, less close kin than e.g. Ajax.note  It just didn't matter to the Greeks, and in ancient Greece the word "pederasty" denoted an accepted sexual relationship between a young man and an older one who acted as his teacher or mentor — the role Patroclus played for Achilles. Achilles' womanizing is also accurate to the original stories, where much of the plot is motivated by Achilles' desire for various women as well as men: he lusted after Penthesilea, Queen of the Amazons, in a subplot that shall sadly be missed.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Averted, for the most part, then enforced when Achilles fights Hector, as the former knows the latter killed his cousin because said cousin was disguised as Achilles. As they're squaring off, Achilles removes his helmet with, "Now you know who you're fighting."
    • And then Hector removes his to keep the fight fair.
  • Hero Antagonist: The Greeks are the protagonists, but they're led by an expansionist power-hungry tyrant while the Trojans are simply defending their land and paying for the rash actions of one of their own, and their leaders are far more noble.
  • Hero of Another Story: Odysseus, obviously. On the side of the Trojans, we have Aeneas.
  • Hidden Depths: Achilles shows these a couple of times.
    • For all his Blood Knight and Glory Hound tendencies, Achilles eventually reveals that a lifetime of war affected him more than he usually lets on:
      At night I sometimes see them. The faces of the men I killed. They're waiting for me on the far bank of the Styx. They say, Welcome, brother.
    • Similar to the above, he also displays a far more advanced perspective on the Greek pantheon and life in general than most other characters in the story:
      The gods envy us. They envy us, because we are mortal. Every moment is more precious to us. You will never be more beautiful than you are right now. And we will never be here again.
  • Hollywood Tactics: The Greeks charge at the Trojan army deployed in phalanx right under the walls of Troy. They're stopped cold by the Trojan phalanx, and then decimated by archers on the wall. Lampshaded by both Achilles and Odysseus, the former unable to believe the other Greeks are being that stupid even before they hit the phalanx, and the latter repeatedly advising Agamemnon to pull his warriors back.
  • Honor Before Reason: Hector, rather than order the archers to fire, or just let Achilles scream himself hoarse, accepts Achilles' challenge, knowing that he is going to his death, and that Troy will likely fall thereafter. Further, after he kills Patroclus, rather than press the attack, he agrees with Odysseus that this is "enough for one day".
  • Hope Bringer: Achilles is depicted this way throughout the movie, where the Greeks are sure they can win the war if they think he is on their side. Best shown when Patroclus disguised as Achilles rallies a counterattack against the Trojans, and the scene uses sweeping heroic music to convey that the tide of the battle is now turning in the favor of the Greeks.
  • Hope Spot: Was that Hector driving his sword into Achilles, Priam and the Trojans do hope so because Hector had no real chance against the best warrior of the world. Too bad, the stab went between Achilles' flank and shield arm. The counterattack drives Hector back and he trips to the ground.
  • Hypocrite:
    • When Hector chastises Paris for taking Helen from Sparta, knowing it'd spark a war between Greece and Troy, Paris claims he'll die fighting for his love for Helen. However, when he loses to Menelaus during his duel, Paris cowers and crawls to his older brother. Willing to die for love, eh, Paris?
    • Agamemnon disparaging Achilles as a selfish Glory Hound when advised to make peace with him. Though he's not exactly wrong.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: An interesting case when Hector realizes that Paris slept with Helen. He doesn't care about Helen, but warns Paris not to endanger Troy or "I'll rip your pretty face from your pretty head".
  • I Have a Family: Achilles spares a Trojan soldier during the sack of Troy because of this. Knowing Agamemnon's plans for the city, Achilles also tells the man to get his family out of Troy before it's too late.
    Trojan: Please, I have a son!
    Achilles: Then get him out of Troy.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Agamemnon does this twice to Briseis. The first time while taunting Achilles, declaring, "Perhaps I'll have her give me a bath" though later he insists he never touched her. The second time he taunts Briseis directly, to which she responds with a Chastity Dagger.
  • Informed Ability: Priam is supposed to be a wise king. Instead, he seems to be a religious fanatic who refuses to listen to reason and constantly dismisses good advice because of dubious religious omens.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Inevitable, since an actual, you know, human being got cast as Helen of Troy (in this case, Diane Kruger). Nobody thinks she's unattractive, but opinions on her vary from "drop-dead gorgeous" to "lovely, but she'll probably disappoint SOMEONE."
    • The same applies to Briseis, when her family and Greek captors often mention how pretty she is.
      Priam: The young men of Troy were devastated when she chose the virgin robes.
  • Informed Flaw: Menelaus is characterized by Helen and some of the Trojans as a warmonger who lives only for battle; yet, the very opening narration describes him as a man tired of war, and his first scene certainly makes his pursuit of peace and friendship with the Trojans seem genuine.
  • It's All My Fault: Helen and Paris throughout the movie (even though they seemed to understand the consequences of their action even before they acted).
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • At their first meeting Hector tries to high road Achilles by reminding him that the men he killed had wives and families, Achilles responds by pointing out that he wouldn’t even be there if it weren’t for Paris and Helen providing Agamemnon with an excuse to invade. Granted, Achilles was being a jerk about it, but... he wasn’t wrong.
    • Odysseus points out Menelaus' death weakens Agamemnon's Pretext for War, using Helen as an excuse to conquer Troy.
    • Achilles initially pulls out of the Trojan War out of spite against Agamemnon, but he rightfully tells the disapproving Patroclus they are losing the war. Indeed the Greeks have no way of getting into Troy, until Odysseus comes up with the Trojan Horse.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: One of the more well done parts of the film is Achilles as this trope. He is arrogant, often rude, selfish, and impatient, but on the other hand, he genuinely seems to respect women (or at least Briseis), he values honor above all, and he cares about the men who serve alongside him and under his command. The character is actually much more sympathetic than in the source material it takes its inspiration from.
  • Karma Houdini: Paris (and to an arguably lesser extent, Helen) is one of the only characters in the film to escape with his life, even though his own selfish actions are directly responsible for the death and or ruined life of nearly every other person in the movie. Though it's played with in the he has to watch Troy burn and know that it's all his fault, and by the end of the movie, the implication is he has grown enough as a person to fully understand the gravity of what's he has done.
    • Arguably, lots of Greek soldiers who by the end Rape, Pillage, and Burn Troy, and while their leader gets killed, the majority of the military survives and arguably returns home.
  • Kill It with Fire: The third battle begins with the Trojans rolling bales of hay lit on fire into the Greek encampment.
  • Kill Me Now, or Forever Stay Your Hand: Achilles to Briseis. More like "kill me or have sex with me, your choice." Seeing as it's Brad Pitt her choice was not surprisingly the latter.
  • King Incognito: In the extended Director's Cut, Odysseus is introduced this way. He's mistaken for a shepherd by Agamemnon's messengers looking for the king of Ithaca and tells them that "Actually, I Am Him".
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: Both Achilles and Hector to their younger cousin and brother respectively.
    • Achilles doesn't take his eventual failure of this trope very well at all.
  • Large Ham: Brian Cox out-hams Brendan Gleeson and Peter O'Toole. He taught an entire generation of filmgoers how to spell AGAMEMNON! by helpfully shouting it at key points in the film. Not a complaint, mind you...
    • In interviews, you can see him grinning like a kid in a candy store throughout the shoot. Though some of his lines are straight from the Iliad itself. He later revealed he'd wanted to appear in an epic sword and sandals film ever since he was a boy and this was one of the few roles he ever actively pursued. He's clearly enjoying it as much as he hoped he would.
    • Don't forget the moment right after Menelaus dies. You can see Brian Cox's face almost literally turn about eight shades of red as he screams for his soldiers to fight.
  • Last Stand: Glaucus leads a Last Stand of Troy's soldiers while trying to buy time for any survivors.
    "Soldiers of Troy! To LEAD you has been my honor!"
    "The boatman waits for us! Let's make him wait... a little longer!"
  • Leave No Witnesses: One Trojan on patrol discovers the Greek navy hasn't actually sailed home after leaving the Trojan Horse behind. Unfortunately he gets riddled with arrows.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Technically, Achilles and the Myrmidons do this when the Greeks first reach Troy. They're awesome enough that, despite a copious helping of Hollywood Tactics, they actually succeed.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Despite his huge size, Ajax is also surprisingly agile, avoiding sword blows from up close and getting several quick strikes on Hector.
  • Lock-and-Load Montage: Achilles and Hector prepare to battle each other. Doubles as a Shirtless Scene.
  • Love Makes You Stupid: Since the movie doesn't involve the gods much, it seems that both Paris and Helen have decided together to leave Sparta, therefore directly ruining decades of Trojan diplomacy and angering the King of Mycena's brother, just on their love for each other.
  • Made of Iron:
    • Ajax gets speared in the gut and responds with a Megaton Punch. He takes several more stabs before he goes down.
    • Achilles manages to stand up and limp after getting shot in the heel, keeps going forward as he takes three more arrows in the chest, then the fifth one finally brings him down.
  • A Match Made in Stockholm: Achilles and Briseis, particularly after Achilles rescues her from Agamemnon and other Greek soldiers, which comes off as a version of Good Kidnapper, Bad Kidnapper.
  • Mal Mariée: Heavily Implied Trope. Menelaus is played by Brendan Gleeson and he was visibly graying at 48 years old. Blonde, slender Helen as played by Diane Kruger was almost half his age in her twenties. And the main point of the film is that she runs off with Paris, a foreign prince her own age. This doubles as a good explanation for why a pretty-but-very-human queen would become known as the World's Most Beautiful Woman.
  • Mercy Kill: Hector vs. Patroclus after he discovers it's not Achilles. This is a bit of Adaptational Heroism from the Iliad, where Patroclus is older and Hector attempts to steal Achilles' armor.
  • Mickey Mousing: James Horner's score during the climactic duel; Gabriel Yared's rejected score during the first fight.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: In the scene where the Trojans first flee from the Greeks into the city, you can see one handling a pair of South American llamas. Fridge Logic sets in when you realize that the film was shot in Malta and Mexico, where llamas are not native, either.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Averted on the night of the Trojan attack on the boats. Achilles and Briseis are laying next to each other, and the blanket is low enough to show off Brad Pitt’ torso, and therefore Rose Byrne. At least Byrne has her arms.
  • Morality Pet: Briseis seemed to be one for Achilles. She eventually also became his Berserk Button after Patroclus' death. Briseis seemed to have humanized Achilles, who is known to only care about fighting for glory and recognition. She brought out the much kinder and gentler side of Achilles. Achilles even tells Briseis as he is dying that "she gave him peace in a lifetime of war".
  • Movie Superheroes Wear Black: Technically an example since the Epic Hero is the ancestor of the Super Hero. In the myths, Achilles is stated to wear gold armour. Here it is black (same with the rest of the Myrmidons).
  • My Deity, Right or Wrong: In a major Does This Remind You of Anything? moment, Achilles points out some of the severe moral inconsistencies of Greek religion to Briseis. Intriguingly, while her response sounds devout on paper, Rose Byrne's reading of the line comes off more as long-suffering weariness, implying that Briseis is actually deeply bothered by this:
    Achilles: You've dedicated your life to the gods. Zeus, god of thunder. Athena, goddess of wisdom. You serve them.
    Briseis: Yes, of course.
    Achilles: And Ares, god of war? Who blankets his bed with the skin of men he's killed?
    Briseis: (hollowly) All the gods are to be feared and respected.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Hector, when he realizes that he had slain Achilles' younger cousin, Patroclus, instead of Achilles himself. The look and the reaction that Hector has when he realizes this truth is heartbreaking. This moment makes Hector an even more sympathetic character than he already is, showing that Hector has a conscience and empathy for others. It also confirmed that Hector does not like violence and war but only involves himself in battle for the love and protection of his family and his country. One can automatically see the guilt and the remorse on Hector's face for having killed one so young. Hector is so distraught over Patroclus' suffering (he had his throat slit) that he commits a Mercy Kill by stabbing him with his sword to stop Patroclus from suffering and to put him out of his misery. When Odysseus tells Hector that he had killed Achilles' cousin, Hector basically knew that his fate was sealed. Hector even expresses to Andromache that he had killed someone so young in Patroclus, all the while showing deep regret and remorse for what he had done through his expression.
    • Achilles also has a moment likes this. After Priam politely scolds Achilles for the way that he had treated the dead body of his son after fighting him and killing him and when he asks to have his son's body back for proper burial rites, Achilles cries over Hector's dead body, showing that he feels remorse and guilt for killing the Trojan prince. Achilles even tells a dead Hector "that they will meet again soon". It was in this moment that Achilles finally showed Hector, his rival, the respect that he deserved.
    • Helen after the first day of battle. Sure, she had an It's All My Fault mentality from beginning to end, but after witnessing the funerals of the Trojans who died that day, she is so overcome with guilt that she decides to give herself up to the Greeks, despite knowing that Menelaus will undoubtedly kill her, in the hopes of stopping the carnage. Sadly, as Hector points out, doing so would accomplish nothing.
  • Mythology Gag: Toward the end of the movie, Odysseus realizes that the story of this war will be a story told and retold forever...and he wonders briefly if anyone will ever tell his story. Well...

  • Nay-Theist: Achilles. See The Fatalist above.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Priam ordering an assault on the Greeks ends in Patroclus being killed by Hector in a case of mistaken identity, and Achilles murdering him in retaliation thus Troy losing its best and most respected leader who would have been able to stop the Trojan Horse plot. Lampshaded by Agamemnon.
    Agamemnon: That boy may have just saved the war for us.
  • No Bisexuals: Achilles was Ambiguously Bi in the original story, to the point of Lampshade Hanging; a not-so-uncommon thing with Ancient Greek warriors. The film downplays his relationship with Patroclus and plays up his relationship with Briseis.
  • No-Sell: While Menelaus handily controls the duel against Paris, Paris manages to land one decent punch on Menelaus, who barely staggers and simply spits the blood out before returning the favor and knocking Paris on his ass.
  • Not a Game: Hector to Achilles. In a variation, it's not to scold him for the problems that viewing war as a game causes for his allies, but how he's blind to the impact his killing has on his enemies.
    Hector: You speak of war as if it's a game. But how many wives wait at the gates of Troy for husbands they will never see again?
    Achilles: Perhaps your brother can comfort them. I hear he's good at charming other men's wives.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: As a review on IMDB put it, "Congratulations Sean Bean, for making me realize Odysseus was actually a native of Sheffield." But no one else in the cast seems to bother, either. Weirdly, it still kind of works — the most jarring voice is that of American Brad Pitt, compared to his mostly British, Scottish, Irish, and Australian co-stars. A big reason why it still works is because the target audience has little idea what Bronze Age Greeks sounded like, and American actors trying to sound like modern Greeks could have been just as absurd. And even in theatre, plays based in Ancient Greece would use different English accents for the different city states, so this isn't anything new to the genre.
    • Achilles having the sole American accent actually works, as it helps mark him an outsider to the other Greeks. And, since the Ancient Greeks had many different dialects, it's not far-fetched that the characters would have varying accents.
  • Number Two: Eudorus is this to Achilles acting as a relay for Achilles' command, and Glaucus is this to Hector.
  • One-Man Army: Achilles. He’s the greatest warrior from Greece, able to kill dozens of men with spear or sword, and his mere presence both demoralizes the Trojans and encourages the Greeks. Hector also qualifies since his leadership and combat ability led to the first Trojan victory.
  • One-Steve Limit: Why the movie only uses one Ajax, the bigger one. In the myths there are two Greek kings named Ajax (Aias) in the Trojan War, with the more prominent and physically bigger and taller one being known as "the Great/Greater" and the other being "the Lesser".
  • One-Woman Wail:
    • When Hector gets killed by Achilles.
    • When Troy gets sacked by the Greeks.
  • Only Sane Man: Hector on one side, Odysseus on the other. They only meet for about fifteen seconds, but the respect is instant.
    • Especially Hector, who seems to be the only Trojan with any idea of what real tactics in such a war would be. Any time his fellow Trojans decide to do something stupid because of 'favorable omens', he seems to be fighting the urge to Facepalm.
    • Paris takes up his brother's mantle later, being the one who advises Priam to just burn the Trojan Horse. Of course...
  • Papa Wolf: Priam solemnly declares that he'd fight 1000 wars for Paris despite his son's numerous faults. However, Hector points out that Priam will not really be fighting said wars.
  • Parting-Words Regret: Achilles is obviously feeling this after his cousin's death. The last words he ever said to Patroclus were to not spend his life following another man's orders, before then kicking Patroclus out of his tent. The next day, Patroclus did exactly what Achilles told him to do and got killed for it.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Agamemnon gets an unexpected moment of this when he responds to Paris' offer of a Combat by Champion: "A brave offer, but not enough". As much of a ruthless megalomaniac as Agamemnon is, and as little respect as he has for Troy's royal family, something still made him acknowledge Paris' courage. Of course, Agamemnon being who he is, he reverses the moment hardly twenty seconds later when he unhesitantly agrees to his brother's plan to allow the duel and then sack Troy anyway.
    • After demonstrating just how much of a Jerkass he can be at his worst (by desecrating the corpse of Hector, who had answered his challenge and fought honorably), Achilles lets King Priam take back Hector's body for a proper burial, and promises that no Greek will attack Troy for the 12 day funeral rites to be properly performed. He also tells Priam that Hector was the best warrior he had ever fought and frees Briseis to him.
  • Prescience Is Predictable: "One day I will look upon your corpse and smile!" Also, Achilles' mom. And the Trojan priests, oddly enough.
  • Prevent the War: Paris and Helen try to defuse the conflict by personal duel and just giving herself up, respectively. Sadly the war is motivated by politics rather than honor.
  • Proper Lady: Briseis, Helen, and Andromache all fit the trope. Briseis could be considered a Princess Classic (through her relation to the Princes Hector and Paris), and also, being a priestess who serves Apollo; Helen is one considering she is first the Queen of Sparta and then becomes princess of Troy and finally, Andromache, for being the wife of Prince Hector, automatically making her a princess of Troy. Helen, Briseis, and Andromache are all refined and poised women who are of high status.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Immortality! Take it! It's YOURS!!!!"
    • "Then every... son of Troy... SHALL DIE!!"
    • "But the GODS... favor ONLY!! THE STRONG!!!"
  • The Queen's Latin: With the exception of Achilles, who has a peculiar mid-Atlantic accent, fully enforced. Eric Bana and Rose Byrne don't seem to be using their native accents, either.
  • Questionable Consent: Achilles wakes up with Briseis pressing a knife to his throat. He tells her to do it, and when she doesn't, he initiates sex. She appears to consent — but she was a prisoner, and he had just saved her from being branded and gang-raped by the other soldiers. She might not have had much choice, since without his protection she would be at the mercy of the other soldiers again.
  • Rank Scales with Asskicking: The most prominent fighters on both sides of the war are either part of the nobility or (like Achilles) the leaders of their own warrior groups.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: "BURN! BURN TROY!" Troy gets this treatment at the end.
    • The Director's Cut of the film takes it to a whole new level, showing the conquering Greek soldiers' transgressions on the Trojans in an even more vicious light with rapes, hangings, and throwing babies into burning buildings.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Hector gives Paris one after realizing that the latter has absconded with Helen, saying that he will drag their nation into war for his own sake, and that he doesn't know anything about love or war.
    • A brief one: after curb-stomping Paris in their one-on-one duel and watching him try to crawl away, Menelaus looks up at the walls of Troy where Helen is watching and cries out, "Is this what you left me for!?"
    • Priam's gentle scolding of Achilles in his tent, reminding Achilles that as aggrieved as he is about his cousin's death, he himself has dealt that same wound to countless others whose brothers, husbands, and sons he has slain.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Achilles' ultimate fate. His growth into a better man devoted to protecting Briseis from the sack of Troy happens only moments before Paris shoots him dead with a bow.
  • Refusal of the Call: Achilles' initial reaction when Odysseus tries to convince him to take part in The Trojan War. Achilles dismisses the offer at first, as it's a petty affair about a cuckholded king, but then Odysseus tells him that all the kings of Greece will be participating, making it the greatest war the Achaeans have ever seen, which appeals to Achilles' lust for glory.
  • Regal Ringlets: Helen, Briseis and Andromache all have curly hair, representing their regality and their royal statuses.
  • Revenge: It's plausible that the reason why Paris kept on firing arrows at Achilles despite Briseis' pleas for him to stop is because he wanted to avenge Hector.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Achilles goes on one of these against Hector after learning of Patroclus's death.
  • Rousing Speech: The commanders in this war regularly motivate their troops with promises of gold, glory or reminding them of the strength of their country. Morale is taken quite seriously in the film.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Nearly the entire cast, but particularly Hector. Even old Priam has his moment when he sneaks into the Greek camp alone to confront Achilles.
  • Rule of Cool: Achilles being practically a Dance Battler? It may sound ridiculous, but Brad Pitt makes it work.
  • Sacred Hospitality: Menelaus is justified in his anger towards Troy since the Greeks have always praised the rights of guests and hosts in honor of Zeus. Paris violated it after he drank his wine, ate his food, embraced him in friendship and then had sex with Menelaus' wife Helen and made off with her as his own bride.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Sort of. While the Greek gods don't appear directly as in the original, the statue of Apollo looks distinctly Mesopotamian.
    • Probably referencing Greece's relative cultural dependence on Egypt and the old Middle East at the time; some scholars think Troy was a Hittite dependency (the "evidence" put forward for this crucially depends on making a lot of assumptions, though).
    • The carved statues outside of the Temple of Apollo are Egyptian right down to the pastiche beards: interestingly, they're still done wrong, as their left feet are shown to be forward, signifying divine mortals instead of gods.
  • Saved by Canon: Odysseus is quite famous for taking a decade to return home after the Trojan War. It is a given that he'd survive the movie.
  • Say My Name: "AGA-memnon!" "Ach-ILLES!"
    • "Hector! Hector! Hector!"... and on and on.
  • Scenery Porn: The city of Troy before the war begins... just beautiful...
    • Also of note is the island of Phtia, with gorgeous landscapes of the blue sea against the yellow coastline. Achilles meets his mother in a hidden cove where the water reflections illuminate the rock walls.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Averted for that very reason. Helen is so overcome with grief and guilt at how many soldiers of Troy have died, that she attempts to give herself up while the Greeks are still on the beach. Hector points out to her if she did, the Greeks would still sack Troy anyway, so she should go back to Paris.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • The movie ends with Odysseus lighting Achilles's funeral pyre before leaving to go back to Ithaca, presumably kickstarting the events of The Odyssey.
    • Paris hands the Sword of Troy off to Aeneas, presumably kickstarting the events of The Aeneid.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Achilles. He seems to have found a way to cope with it, but mentions that he sees his victims waiting for him in the Underworld in his dreams.
  • Shield Bash: While storming the beaches of Troy, several Myrmidons dispatch their opponents this way. Ajax knocks down a horseman from his mount by bashing his shield against the horse, even making the horse fall sideways.
  • Shining City: Troy, especially during Helen's arrival.
  • Shirtless Scene: Achilles, Paris, and Hector are all attractive men, and regularly stroll with nothing on their torso during intimate moments.
  • Showdown at High Noon: Between Achilles and Hector outside Troy’s city walls (making the The Iliad a possible Ur-Example). The importance of this type of showdown is lampshaded earlier by Achilles, who says to Hector in their first meeting, “Why kill you now, Prince of Troy, with no one here to see you fall?” He further explains to Eudorus why he let Hector go: “It’s too early in the day to be killing princes.”
  • Silly Reason for War: The Trojan War is sparked because Helen quit her husband with Paris. The ridiculousness of the casus belli is lampshaded a few times but it's also pointed out that Agamemnon is only using that as an excuse for invading Troy, which he wanted to do long ago. "I suppose love is a better reason than all the rest."
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Achilles vs. Boagrius (almost everyone he fights, really.) Then he walks away.
  • Skyward Scream: Agamemnon's Signal: To charge after seeing his brother get killed.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Achilles/Briseis. Achilles and Briseis are from opposing sides yet they fall in love with each other. Achilles is a Greek while Briseis is a Trojan, cousin of Princes Hector and Paris. Hector unknowingly kills Patroclus (Achilles' cousin) and to get revenge, Achilles kills Hector in return (Briseis' cousin). Towards the end of the film as Troy is falling, Achilles goes on a mission to save Briseis from possibly getting killed. Sadly, Briseis' other cousin Paris ends up killing Achilles through the use of a bow and arrows and Achilles meets his foretold doom. Briseis refuses to leave a dying Achilles and as he is dying, he confesses that he loves her and that amidst all of the violence, she had given him peace in a lifetime of war. Briseis flees with Paris and Achilles dies alone.
    • Paris/Helen, perhaps the Trope Makers. Prince Paris is a Trojan prince who falls deeply in love with Helen, the Queen of Sparta, who is also married to Menelaus. Because of this, their love is strongly forbidden. Menelaus discovers Paris and Helen's betrayal and asks his brother, Agamemnon to go to war with him. Basically, the entire Trojan war was started because of Paris and Helen's love for each other and many unnecessary deaths and casualties had occurred because of Paris' love for one woman.
  • Stout Strength: Menelaus is quite heavyset but very strong all the same, owing the years of fighting experience. He effortlessly wields a heavy sword and tosses a shield aside with one hand and beats up the younger and more traditionally built Paris without breaking a sweat.
  • Sword and Sandal: Wolfgang Petersen said he wanted it to be a throwback to classic sword-n-sandal films like Spartacus.
    • And it was a success up to a point. Large Ham, Badass fights, stars in period clothing. Just needed some writing polish.
  • Sword Fight: Achilles vs. Hector is considered one of the best Sword Fights on film even by people who hate the film.) And the spear duel that preceded the sword fight was pretty memorable too.
  • Sticks to the Back: Achilles's shield, most of the time. The movie may actually be right about that one.

  • Teeth Flying: Paris manages to knock a tooth loose from Menelaus, but it's the only good jab he gets in the fight.
  • Too Important to Walk: The Greek Kings come to the walls of Troy in chariots instead of walking like the rabble. They do need to preserve their strength.
  • This Loser Is You:
    Boy: The Thessalonian you're fighting... he's the biggest man I've ever seen. *I* wouldn't want to fight him....
    Achilles: And that is why no one will remember your name.
    Boy: (looks teary-eyed at the camera as Achilles rides off)
  • Thwarted Coup de Grâce: Menelaus is on the verge of killing Paris during their duel, but Hector's Big Brother Instinct is too strong. He interrupts the duel and stabs Menelaus in the guts before he can reach Paris.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Achilles is warned that he shouldn't offend the Sun God known as Apollo. Seconds later, he decapitates the Statue of Apollo, which shows the god as an archer. If the viewers imagine that the Gods are actually influencing the events of the movie, then Achilles pretty much signed his death warrant, resulting in Apollo using Paris's arrows to kill Achilles. Sure took his time, though.
    • Justified though in that Achilles shows signs of being a Nay-Theist, if not outright irreligious and even if one assumes the Greek Gods have a play in the movie's event, it should be remembered Achilles is supposedly the son of a river deity and thus has Olympian blood in him.
    • Moreover, his mother predicted that he would reap so much glory during the war that he'd be remembered forever, but die before he can return. As far as he believed, there was little danger of Apollo smiting in on the spot and he knew he'd die in the war anyway while still fulfilling his goal.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Going a little bit into Adaptational Badass territory, Paris is subject to both tropes. After Hector's death, he finally realizes things will never be the same and mans up, while it took him Achilles' death in the original poems for him to grow a spine. He is shown practising archery in his free time rather than partying around or showing affection to Helen. By the time the Trojan Horse is introduced, he actually is far more level-headed than his father and the Trojan generals, to the point that he warns them that the Trojan Horse may be a trap (but sadly is ignored). When Achilles meets him during the Sack of Troy and attempts to attack him, Paris stands his ground and fires arrow upon arrow (including hitting the famed heel on his first shot) until Achilles is too wounded to continue attempting to assault Paris. This may not be significant until you realize that 1) Achilles had received multiple shots in vital areas and kept trying to get at Paris (which in real life would scare the crap out of even real soldiers) 2) This is Achilles, the BEST WARRIOR of Greece we are talking about. Killing him with a bow and arrow may not be as manly as taking him on with a sword but when it's a man who killed many of the best soldiers Troy had to offer and could even take on 10-20 warriors singlehanded, you definitely earn some badass points. 3) Going hand-in-hand with Adaptational Badass and point 1), most interpretations of the original story have Achilles killed immediately upon being shot in the heel, and 4) While Paris still did that in the original poems, he clearly had Apollo's help and Achilles wasn't focused on him, unlike in this movie. Even earlier Greek sources where Achilles' supposed immortality was not part of the canon, a single arrow shot was enough to seriously incapacitate (and depending on what author you read, even kill) Achilles. It should be added also that in the original stories, Paris didn't hit Achilles with his own skill but had the help of Greek Gods and their powers. So, when we have a cowardly party boy who has done nothing but lay around with other husband's wives not only have the fortitude to stand his ground against an In-Universe Memetic Badass but even continue to engage in battle despite said legendary badass receiving wounds from multiple arrows, WITHOUT the help of Gods but with his own skills he developed in his free time, Paris definitely both Took a Level in Badass and received some Adaptational Badass points. Also, sort of a Truth in Television as in real life it takes immense internal courage not to run away and to continue firing projectiles when your enemy is just a few steps away and is about to slash your neck.
  • To the Pain: Achilles' promise to Hector.
  • Trojan Horse: Check. In this version it's made out of the charred remains of a trireme, so it has a Darker and Edgier look.
    • Minus the charring, that's pretty much where the lumber is always said to come from. The empty ships that the diminished number of Greeks couldn't sail home.
  • *Twang* Hello: Achilles welcomes Odysseus with a spear thrown into a tree near the passing king, surprising the latter and inviting a quip about Achilles’ legendary “hospitality”.
  • Unflinching Walk: Achilles after dispatching enemies; he doesn't look back. See Single-Stroke Battle. Prone to breaking out the walk in mid-battle during the lulls, too.
  • Victory by Endurance: Discussed when Paris is about to duel Menelaus. Hector advises him to, "Make him swing and miss. He'll tire." This makes sense since Paris is young and Menelaus is middle-aged. However, Paris does not follow the suggestion and tries to take his bigger and stronger opponent head on. He predictably gets his ass kicked.
  • Villainous Breakdown: By the film's climax, Agamemnon has become completely unhinged, loudly shouting for his men to burn Troy to the ground. More so in the Director's Cut, in which he slits a wounded soldier's throat, then says in a manic voice, "No one! Spare no one!" and viciously tells a dying Priam "No one's innocent."
  • Villainous Valour: Menelaus is clearly meant to be worse than Paris, as he is a violent Blood Knight and a womanizing Hypocrite when it comes to Helen cheating on him. However, he's not a coward and his duel with Paris shows that, contrary to his brother Agamemnon, Menelaus is a true fighter.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Agamemnon’s postwar plans. His subsequent Adaptational Villainy suggests his plan was defied.
  • Watching Troy Burn: Oh yes, Priam is devastated to see that the Greeks have invaded his city and are now killing every Trojan they can get their hands on.
  • War Is Hell: Hector is the most open about his opinion about war being a horrible waste of lives where ambitious rulers throw family men into battle for greed or glory. Several other characters do not voice their thoughts openly, but Odysseus is reluctant to risk his life in the Trojan War, and Achilles describes seeing the faces of those he's killed haunting him at night.
    • The Trojans experience first-hand what happens when tens of thousands of vengeful enemies invade your homes. Cue mass murder, rapes, babies tossed into the fire and so on.
  • War Was Beginning: The movie opens over a map of Greece with Odysseus narrating a bit about the Trojan War.
  • We Have to Get the Bullet Out!:
    • Averted during the beach attack when Ajax is struck by an arrow in the thigh. Instead of pulling it out, he simply snaps off the shaft and keeps fighting. Indeed, this was the only safe way to deal with arrow wounds during a battle, as pulling out the arrowhead would only cause more damage and cause blood loss, especially in a part of the body that has a lot of arteries, like the thighs.
    • He does it again after he gets gutted by a spear. Instead of pulling the spear out, he breaks the shaft off, then uses it as a weapon.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Hector gives a scathing one to Paris for taking Helen with him without considering the consequences.
    • Patroclus gives another one to Achilles when he learns that the Myrmidons will sail back to Greece, leaving Greeks to die against the walls of Troy. The young man calls him out on leaving good men to die because of a personal feud with Agamemnon, and being indifferent to their deaths.
      Patroclus: You betray all of Greece just to see Agamemnon fall!
      Achilles: Someone has to lose.
      Patroclus: In my years to come, may my heart never turn as black as yours!
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Paris and Patroclus, both inexperienced men who barely qualify as proper adults. Paris thinks that he can carelessly womanize everyone and contemplates for a time fleeing East together with Helen, only caring about their mutual love. Patroclus thinks that war is a glorious affair and is full of Greek patriotism. Their involvement in the Trojan War shows them that neither the world nor war are that nice.
  • Wild Card: Achilles is this to Agamemnon. The High King of Greece can expect obedience from the other kings, but Achilles neither respects nor obeys his orders, and regularly threatens to kill Agamemnon.
    Agamemnon: Achilles, he can’t be controlled! He’s as likely to fight us as the Trojans.
    Nestor: We don’t need to control him, we only need to unleash him.
  • World of Ham: Peter O'Toole, Brian Cox, Brendan Gleeson and even Brad Pitt all seem to be competing in a scenery-devouring contest.
  • World's Best Warrior: Achilles, natch. Hector is the only one who comes remotely close with several dead Greek kings and heroes to his name, and all he managed was to inflict a single scratch on Achilles's breastplate.
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: Averted. Helen of Sparta is here "merely" rumored to be of great beauty. In contrast of the Trojan Circle where all the kings of Greece were interested in Helen and swore to defend the suitor, here Helen is a mere excuse for Agamemnon's expansionist goals.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • Hector considers Achilles to be this. Achilles does not agree until later and eventually calls him "brother".
    • A straighter example is Achilles and Priam after the latter sneaks past thousands of Greeks into Achilles' tent to take back Hector's body.
      Achilles: If I let you take him, it doesn't change anything. You're still my enemy in the morning
      Priam: You're still my enemy tonight. But even enemies can show respect.
      Achilles: Priam, you're a far better king than the one leading this army.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Agamemnon orders his army to exterminate the Trojans. They all comply, and the Director's Cut shows a couple of scenes of Greeks taking babies from their mothers and tossing them into burning houses.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Hector and Achilles wind up breaking each others' spears during their duel.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Hector explicitly commands the archers not to fire on Achilles when he rides up to Troy's walls alone, a completely exposed target. A really sad case of Honor Before Reason.
    • Averted by Paris, of course. As an inexperienced prince who's never fought all his life, shooting him from afar is the only way he could ever face Achilles.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Lampshaded by the characters who do think the gods are interfering with mortals' affairs.
    • There Is Only One Possible Outcome in a Greek story. Even if you have American actors, or conflicting source material, the narrator and characters in each version of the story will agree that their outcome could not have happened any other way, and the characters foresee it. See The Fatalist, above.
  • You Fool!: Hector when he learns what Paris has done.
  • Zen Survivor: Achilles. "At night, I see the faces of all the men I've killed. They're waiting for me on the other side of the River Styx. They say, 'Welcome, Brother'."

Is there no one else?!!


Video Example(s):


The Fall of Troy

The fully shot fall of Troy ifnthe film "Troy" (not shown in theater release) shows war in all its horror.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / RapePillageAndBurn

Media sources: