Grab your shield and meet us in the phalanx as we charge forward with the film 300 this week. If you’re looking for more FYR content, we launched our Patreon this week!


Director: Zack Snyder
Budget: $65,000,000
Worldwide Gross: $456,000,000

300: Rise of an Empire
Director: Noam Munro
Budget: $110,000,000
Worldwide Gross: $337,580,000

Foundational Qualms

  • It’s not historically accurate. 300 was based on Frank Miller’s comic so to be annoyed over it’s inaccuracy is just petty. Further to this, it is an account from Dilios so there is obvious bias. Even within your family, there are stories that you tell the world that you know aren’t true. Further to this, accounts from Indigenous Australians witnessing for the white people approaching the shores, because they didn’t have frame of reference for guns and canons they were interpreted as magical beasts. In the famous words of Winston Churchill, History will be kind to me for I intend to write.
  • Spartans are known for being quick witted. A lot of the delicious quotes are from historical accounts.
  • Adultery kind of didn’t exist in Sparta and sexuality was much more progressive than most would presume.
  • There is only one correct way to pronounce Leonidas. Every other instance cause bleeding from the eardrums.
  • For some reason the accents didn’t bother us but we usually have qualms with mismatched accents in other films/TV shows.

Breakdown and Analysis

  • Oti undertook research for this episode but none of it was about Spartans.
  • 300 was very effective as it was a personal story and all other grander elements are in the background. Rise of an Empire had a grander scale and we didn’t get the emotional investment required to care more about the characters.
  • 300 presented a different viewing experience. Gladiator is a great film but where 300 succeeds is in it’s aesthetics. The world was so immersive and it caught all our attention. Zack Snyder removed all the noise to focus on this film. The fantasy element was to also illustrate the creative licenses that were taken. If you want to experience wholly realised narrative bolstered in creative licenses, you are in the right place. Rocketman is a good example of this too.
  • Rise of an Empire does well in rounding out the overall story. It covers the Battle of Marathon which is the first instance of the Persian Empire seeking to invade. What they didn’t account for what the heart and military prowess of Greece. It gave Athenians and other city states confidence that they are capable without aid from Sparta.
  • At the battle of Marathon there are accounts that the Persian army had inferior weapons. Yet 10 years later at the battle of Thermopylae they didn’t try to improve their weaponry.
  • Wolf perfectly illustrates the military strategy employed at the battle of Thermopylae.
  • Leonidas and Gorgo were a strong unit. Leonidas wasn’t going to heed to the oracle and Gorgo knew that. Freedom above all else. They trusted in each other and this was tested throughout the film.
  • Women were almost considered as citizens. Which was rare for ancient societies. They were allowed to exercise, be educated and were known for their breathtaking beauty.
  • The concept of freedom is that it needs to be worked for.
  • After a sad desperate night after a few drinks you might just let Rise of an Empire Ephialtes hit that.
  • KT believes she could have slotted in quite easily as a Spartan woman. Aside from exercising ofcourse lol
  • In Tanzania, soldiers were told if they drink this water those bullets cannot touch you. They ran into battle, got shot and kept going. Morale is very important and the way you approach a battle is very important. This saw a lot of success with the Spartans and also Vikings. There were historical accounts of Spartan men oiling each other and applying perfume and this was because they were preparing for a beautiful death.
  • It was a very sacred role and no one was to kill them. Leonidas says your words are your words and held them accountable.
  • Peter Mensah becomes Doctore after being kicked in the well.
  • There is an underdog element attributed to the Spartans which is true in regards to sheer numbers alone.
  • Scores and scores of the Persian army against 300 Spartans. Overlaying the wolf symbolism we have Leonidas identifying a geographial advantage. It was frustrating that the Persian army was so blatantly lazy. They had valuable intel and chose not to bolster up their army. Yes they had a multitude but it’s hard to respect lack of effort.
  • This film is gratitutous, sure. But why not bathe in the gloriousness of this film?
  • Xerxes said a few times how he would erase the Spartans from history which is cute because here we are, friends and lovers.
  • When there is a threat you are expecting a foreign entity. What people don’t account for are the domestic entities plotting against you. From a narrative point of view, it’s interesting to have multiple characters coming after your throne.
  • It is possible to enjoy delorable characters. If it is executed correctly.
  • You may think you are a Spartan but we are all Ephialtes. Spartans are jocks and Ephialtes is in the corner starting his podcast.
  • It’s an interesting dynamic when you introduce a weak link. Ephialtes would have betrayed Leonidas irregardless. He had no business requesting to fight and was not self aware enough to count himself out.

Unrelated but vital points

  • Oti promised we wouldn’t fight. You decide if this promise was kept lol
  • It’s fun to come back to a film and recognising well loved thespians.
  • Shout out to Nicole Behari. She was done dirty on Sleepy Hollow.
  • Australian actors seem to be casted when you need a man’s man.
  • Beyond sploosh mountain you will find sploosh summit.
  • It’s sad that Xerxes got his elephants before Cersei.
  • Let us know if you would like for us to cover an African historical film.
  • KT has a newly formed Ephialtes member.
  • Imagine if For Your Reference podcast was the only time capsule of 2019. We would all be viewed badly lol
  • KT will be petitioning for Oti to be the voice of Xerxes.

For Your Reference

Oti’s pick

Spartacus  | TV Series (2010–2013) 55min | Action, Adventure, Biography | TV Series (2010–2013) Summary: The life of Spartacus, the gladiator who lead a rebellion against the Romans. From his time as an ally of the Romans, to his betrayal and becoming a gladiator, to the rebellion he leads and its ultimate outcome.
Countries: USALanguages: English
Game of Thrones  | TV Series (2011–2019) 57min | Action, Adventure, Drama | TV Series (2011–2019) Summary: Nine noble families fight for control over the mythical lands of Westeros, while an ancient enemy returns after being dormant for thousands of years.
Countries: USA, UKLanguages: English

KT’s pick

Vikings  | TV Series (2013–2020) 44min | Action, Adventure, Drama | TV Series (2013–2020) Summary: Vikings transports us to the brutal and mysterious world of Ragnar Lothbrok, a Viking warrior and farmer who yearns to explore - and raid - the distant shores across the ocean.
Countries: Ireland, CanadaLanguages: English, Old English, Norse, Old, Latin, French