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Quotes / Last Stand

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    Comic Books 

Marshal Dina: This is it guys. It's Thermopylae. It's Rorke's Drift.
Marshal Gregson: Huh?
Marshal Dina: The Alamo, Gregson.
Marshal Gregson: Yeah. John Wayne.
Marshal Dina: It's a last stand. No quarter. We can't be sure Canary will deliver the goods. We have to face the fact we're not leaving here. They might overrun us. They might beat us. They might kill us. But they'll never forget us.
Birds of Prey, issue 14

    Film - Live-Action 

Saladin: Will you yield the city?
Balian of Ibelin: Before I lose it, I will burn it to the ground. Your holy places. Ours. Every last thing in Jerusalem that drives men mad.
Saladin: I wonder if it would not be better if you did.



"Nineteenth [Platoon] lasted seventeen minutes from the time the gates closed. They accounted for one-hundred and eighty nine enemy casualties. No one witnessed their heroism."

"Let me not then die ingloriously and without a struggle, but let me first do some great thing that shall be told among men hereafter."
Hector of Troy, Iliad XXII, Lines 304-5

"What we are doing is not defending. There must be a hundred ships out there. More. Crammed full of Venn. So keep that in mind as you take all the safeguards off the traps. Get the cauldrons on the boil. Pull those stones and flood the basement. What we are going to do, until the last one of us stands, is buy the king time."
Liet-Jarlan of Castle Andahi (Inda)

"Though it may be our part to find a bitter end before the Gate of Mordor, if we do so, then you will come also to a last stand, either here or wherever the black tide overtakes you."

"To the Commander, Confederation Jumptroopers:
Sir: Fuck you.
We stand until the last man falls."
Lord Thomas Reserve Shamba, The Man Who Never Missed

"It was four hundred years ago or more, when the Dothraki first rode out of the east, sacking and burning every town and city in their path. The khal who led them was named Temmo. His khalasar was not so big as Drogo's, but it was big enough. Fifty thousand, at the least. Half of them braided warriors with bells ringing in their hair.

The Qohorik knew he was coming. They strengthened their walls, doubled the size of their own guard, and hired two free companies besides, the Bright Banners and the Second Sons. And almost as an afterthought, they sent a man to Astapor to buy three thousand Unsullied. It was a long march back to Qohor, however, and as they approached they saw the smoke and dust and heard the distant din of battle.

By the time the Unsullied reached the city the sun had set. Crows and wolves were feasting beneath the walls on what remained of the Qohorik heavy horse. The Bright Banners and Second Sons had fled, as sellswords are wont to do in the face of hopeless odds. With dark falling, the Dothraki had retired to their own camps to drink and dance and feast, but none doubted that they would return on the morrow to smash the city gates, storm the walls, and rape, loot, and slave as they pleased.

But when dawn broke and Temmo and his bloodriders led their khalasar out of camp, they found three thousand Unsullied drawn up before the gates with the Black Goat standard flying over their heads. So small a force could easily have been flanked, but you know Dothraki. These were men on foot, and men on foot are fit only to be ridden down.

The Dothraki charged. The Unsullied locked their shields, lowered their spears, and stood firm. Against twenty thousand screamers with bells in their hair, they stood firm.

Eighteen times the Dothraki charged, and broke themselves on those shields and spears like waves on a rocky shore. Thrice Temmo sent his archers wheeling past and arrows fell like rain upon the Three Thousand, but the Unsullied merely lifted their shields above their heads until the squall had passed. In the end only six hundred of them remained... but more than twelve thousand Dothraki lay dead upon that field, including Khal Temmo, his bloodriders, his kos, and all his sons. On the morning of the fourth day, the new khal led the survivors past the city gates in a stately procession. One by one, each man cut off his braid and threw it down before the feet of the Three Thousand."

But the Men of Dor-lómin held the rearguard, as Húrin and Huor desired; for they did not wish in their hearts to leave the Northlands, and if they could not win back to their homes, there they would stand to the end. Thus was the treachery of Uldor redressed; and of all the deeds of war that the fathers of Men wrought in behalf of the Eldar, the last stand of the Men of Dor-lómin is most renowned.

    Live-Action TV 

"The Humans, I think, knew they were doomed. But where another race would surrender to despair, the Humans fought back with even greater strength. They made the Minbari fight for every inch of space. In my life, I have never seen anything like it. They would weep. They would pray. They would say goodbye to their loved ones and then throw themselves without fear or hesitation at the very face of death itself. Never surrendering. No one who saw them fighting against the inevitable, could help but be moved to tears by their courage, their stubborn nobility. When they ran out of ships, they used guns. When they ran out of guns, they used knives. And sticks. And bare hands. They were magnificent! I only hope, when it is my time, that I may die with half as much dignity as I saw in their eyes at the end. They did this for two years. They never ran out of courage. But in the end, they ran out of time."
Londo Mollari, Babylon 5

"If this should be, our final stand,
we will stand together with pride
We will honor the past, and fight to the last
it will be A Good Way to Die"
— "A Good Way to Die", heard in the Lexx Musical Episode "Brigadoom"

"Yo Way Yo, Home Va-Ray,
Yo Ay-Rah, Jerhume Brunnen-G
Yo Way Yo, Home Va-Ray,
Yo Ay-Rah, Jerhume Brunnen-G
Yo Ay-Rah, Jerhume Brunnen-G"
— "Brunnen-G Fight Song," Lexx


"Lord of all Noldor
A star in the night
And a bearer of hope
He rides into his glorious battle alone
Farewell to the valiant warlord

The Fate of us all
Lies deep in the dark
When time stands still at the iron hill"
Blind Guardian, "Time Stands Still"

"He left the phone hanging, then came back and said:
"We've nothing to fight with, and may wind up dead.
But we've voted to stand up and fight them instead
And we might keep them from getting through."
Leslie Fish, "Flight 93"

"When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we'll see
No I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me"
Ben E. King, "Stand by Me"

"There came wi' false Inveray thirty-and-three
There was nane wi' bonny Brackley but his brother and he;
Twa gallanter Gordons did never sword draw,
But against three-and-thirty, what is ane, what are twa?
Wi' swords and wi' daggers they did him surround,
An' they pierced bonny Brackley wi' many's the wound
Frae the heid o' the Dee, tae the banks o' the Spey,
The Gordons shall mourn them, and ban Inveray."
— "Baron O' Brackley"

"And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there"

"Imperial force defied
facing five hundred samurai
surrounded and outnumbered
sixty to one the sword faced the gun
Bushido dignified
It's the last stand of the samurai!"

"Then the One Hundred Eighty-Nine
In the service of Heaven
They're protecting the holy line
It was 1527
Gave their lives on the steps to Heaven
Thy will be done!"
Sabaton, "The Last Stand"


"Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the Gate:
'To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his gods"
Thomas Babbington Macaulay, "Lays of Ancient Rome"

"If we must die - let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursed lot.
If we must die - oh, let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
Oh, Kinsmen! We must meet the common foe;
Though far outnumbered, let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!"
Claude McKay, "If We Must Die"

"The sand of the desert is sodden red,—
Red with the wreck of a square that broke;—
The Gatling's jammed and the Colonel dead,
And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
The river of death has brimmed his banks,
And England's far, and Honour a name,
But the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks:
"Play up! play up! and play the game!"
Henry Newbolt, "Vitai Lambada"

    Tabletop Games 

"If there can be no victory, then I will fight forever."
Koth of the Hammer, Magic: The Gathering, "Darksteel Plate"

"That is what it means to the chosen of the inquisition: to realize that one's task is impossible and attempt it anyway. Out of Hope. Out of Duty. If nothing else, than out of sheer Spite."
Inquisitor Lichtenstein' Warhammer 40,000

Captain Roima: I cry out for troops and you give me rhetoric — I plead for ammunition and you give me speeches — I ask you again, Commander, what can you pledge me?
Commander Tarrel: A heroic death, Captain

"The green tide of Orkdom is upon us and we are alone. There can be no mercy. No surrender. If we survive this day it will be a miracle."
Commissar Yarrick, Warhammer 40,000

"That was the last of the redoubts. Now we come to the meat of it. Let duty be your sword. Honor be your shield. Many depend on how we acquit ourselves this day. We shall not falter. We shall not show fear! We are Greatswords of Averland! Mighty mages and loyal dwarfs! We are the soldiers of the Empire and we shall not yield! In Sigmar's name!"
Warhammer: Forge of War


    Video Games 

"Boy, oh, boy... the price of freedom is steep... [draws his sword] Embrace your dreams... and whatever happens... protect your honor... AS SOLDIER!!! COME AND GET IT!!!"
Zack Fair, Crisis Core

Though the battle was all but lost, the soldiers rallied to their leader to heed her command one last time. The enemy would know the strength of their arms and the resolution that burned within their hearts.
If only but for a fleeting and final moment.
Flavour Text of the Rally magic, Dawn of the Dragons

"Imperial Guard casualties reach 97% before evacuation is complete. Blood Ravens losses: total... They refused to retreat."
— The (non-canon) Tyranid campaign ending, Dawn of War II: Retribution

“The fire burned within us. Not by choice, not because we sought the flame. But because there was no other way.
“When you stood before the Forge, there was no doubt. No fear. Not even anger.
“My order stood for generations. We held against the shadow, bearing a weapon that seared flesh and melted bone.
“And now we stand at the end. May history remember the Forge. Remember the Hammer. Remember the Sunbreakers.”
Ouros, Third and Final Empyreal Magistrate of the Sunbreaker, Destiny 2, Lore: "Hollow Heart"

"Can you survive? Alone? The Covenant decided long ago to take Reach and no single man - make that no single Spartan - could stop them. You fought long and hard and gave Reach your all to achieve this point. Fight if you must, but understand that you owe Reach nothing. Your efforts will line on the annals of history, and all of humanity will sing your praises for centuries to come. Be the Lone Wolf if you desire and fight for all you can, but you know this is not a battle you can win. It is time to say goodbye."

"We held out longer than Shreveport. We held out longer than Baton Rouge. WE HELD OUT LONGER."
Wall graffiti, Left 4 Dead 2

"I cannot hold out for long, but the Pfhor will not soon forget the day that a lone corvette obliterated half of Battle Group Seven, Western Arm."
Durandal, Marathon 2

"Ack! Ack! No way! I'm going out in a blaze of glory!
Ha-ha! Ack! Come on! I'll take it all on!
Never! Never! I won't give up until the bitter end!"
Boisterous Bruiser teammates in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky, when at critical health

"On a distant, shadowed world, the protoss will make their final stand. Their heroes will gather, their forces will be marshaled, and they will die bravely. But still, they will die."
The Overmind, StarCraft II

"My brethren, hear me, for there is little time left. All that remains of our race, our civilization, are those that stand beside you now. Trust in each other, strike as one will. Let our last stand burn a memory so bright we will be remembered forever! En Taro Tassadar!"
Hierarch Artanis, StarCraft II

"You're gonna have to try a little harder than THAT!"
Undyne the Undying, Undertale

Blazkowicz: I'm on the move. I need to find Wyatt and Caroline. You should come with me.
J: I'm kind of in a spot, you know. Pretty well cornered by the man, actually. I appreciate the offer, but, you know... I've been on the run my whole life. So sick of the silence. I figure, when I'm gone, I'll be silent, you know, 'til the end of time, but... This moment, right now? It's gonna be loud.

"It's good to see you survived that last assault, but when the Burning Legion makes its final push, they'll wipe us out. It's been an honor to fight by your side all these years, but our strength was not enough to save Azeroth. Before we meet death, let's send a few hundred demons screaming back to the Twisting Nether!"
Archmage Khadgar, World of Warcraft

    Web Comics 

"You always go down guns blazing. Thats what a hero does when he loves adventure and has guns. If theres one thing movies have taught me besides the fact that guys using a corpse as a silly puppet is friggin HILARIOUS it is THAT FACT."
Jake English, Homestuck

Doyt: Like that one ancient Earth general said, "Never, never, never give up Winston Church Hill."
Haban: I've never understood that hill metaphor.

    Web Original 

Ed: We are surrounded! I am not in my happy place, Heavy! I am not in my happy place!
Heavy Weapons Guy: (SMACK) ...Put your fists up, little man...

    Real Life 

"Would it not be wondrous for this whole nation to be destroyed, like a beautiful flower?"

"The Guard dies, but the Guard does not surrender!"
— Attributed to General Count Cambronne of Napoleon's Imperial Guard, when asked to surrender during the Battle of Waterloonote 

"Politique intérieure, je fais la guerre; politique extérieure, je fais la guerre. Je fais toujours la guerre."
("Interior policy, I wage war; foreign policy, I wage war. I always wage war.")
George Clemenceau

"For over five years [Churchill] has been chasing around Europe like a madman in search of something that he could set on fire."

"Long before Custer died at the Little Bighorn, the myth of the Last Stand already had a strong pull on human emotions, and on the way we like to remember history. The variations are endless -— from the three hundred Spartans at Thermopylae to Davy Crockett at the Alamo -— but they all tell the story of a brave and intractable hero leading his tiny band against a numberless foe. Even though the odds are overwhelming, the hero and his followers fight on nobly to the end and are slaughtered to a man. In defeat the hero of the Last Stand achieves the greatest of victories, since he will be remembered for all time."
Nathaniel Philbrick

"Go tell the Spartans, passer-by, that here, by Spartan law, we lie."
Simonides, epitaph for the Spartan dead at the Battle of Thermopylae

"Then we will declare war on Germany - the most hopeless war that has ever been made."
Jan Kozielewski, later Jan Karski, a member of the Jewish resistance during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

"They have fought bravely, and forced us to waste a couple of hours in deployment and maneuver."
Notes from a German commander's report regarding an unknown platoon of engineers during the Battle of the Bulge.

"Well, the war is over. All that's left is to fight to our heart's content... Our goal is Tokugawa Ieyasu's head!"
Sanada Yukimura, just before his final charge and death in Siege of Osaka.


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