Recently, I saw the trailer for the continuation of the movie “300” called “300, Rise of an empire”. The first movie was good (not great, since I am a history nut) and after seeing the trailer for the upcoming sequel, I thought it would be a nice experiment to try to guess its plot. I haven’t read any of the comics so what follows is technically not a spoiler, even if I guess right.
I think this movie will turn into a battle between two women. The first one is obviously Queen Gorgo (played by our favourite queen Lena Headey), defending home and hearth and all that is good and pure in this world. The second is Artemisia (played by Eva Green whose immense green eyes have persuaded me to base a character in a story of mine after her). In the trailer, Artemisia shows an interestingly intense hatred towards the Greeks. A shot of a little girl watching a city in flames suggests that that is a young Artemisia, watching the destruction of her home. The grown Artemisia is seemingly out for revenge. Since Artemisia was originally a queen from Karia?, it would make sense that the Greeks burned her home in the beginning of the war (for example, Sardis was burned by Eretrians and Athenians which provoked Xerxes’ predecessor Darius to respond with an invasion of Greece).
As for the plot of the new movie, it is my opinion that Artemisia seduced Xerxes and then talked him into attacking Greece since she herself was not strong enough to attack it on her own. In the trailer, you can see that Xerxes returned to Babylon. It would make sense that he softened the target for his mistress. He also granted her command of the Persian navy so she could exact her vengeance. My guess is that the primary target of her revenge is Athens. In the first movie, Athenians are harly mentioned but it is peculiar that Xerxes offers Leonidas dominion over Greece and especially over the Athenians. So Leonidas and the Spartans were nothing more than an obstacle to the main target. Also, historically, after winning at Thermopylae, Xerxes marched on Athens and burned it. This could very well be used in the movie as the revenge of Artemisia. As for the Athenians, they ran to Salamis which is where they fought the naval battle against the Persian fleet. From the trailer, it looks like Artemisia will come herself to finish the job.
So suddenly this movie is not about manly men fighting in hand to hand combat, it is about one woman that manipulates a man in the name of revenge, and another woman that inspires other men in the name of defense (and possibly revenge since she is a widow). I’m not sure why this sounds like I’m a woman-hater. It seems to make a sensible plot for a movie where physical strength of male characters is the primary trait. Unless they throw Xena in there, female characters can’t fight physical confrontations. What’s left is the psychological battle. And it would make a nice twist that in the heart of both war engines sits a woman.
That would be my guess, anyway. Now let’s wait and see the movie.