How well do you know the movie, "Braveheart?"

Torrance Grey

Image: Icon Entertainment International, Ladd Company, The, B.H. Finance C.V.

About This Quiz

Clocking in at three hours long, this Scottish history lesson enthralled audiences and garnered Oscar nominations. It was somewhat historically inaccurate... but why sweat the details? Revisit the rousing events of "Braveheart" with our quiz!

"Braveheart" is about what country's war for independence?

William Wallace was a hero in the First War of Scottish Independence. Statues of him can be seen at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, and Edinburgh Castle.

Who played the role of William Wallace?

Mel Gibson was named as one of the "50 Most Beautiful People" by People Magazine the year after Braveheart was released.

What is the name of Wallace's childhood friend?

William and Hamish are seen fistfighting early in the film, but it's all in fun. Later, when Wallace returns from continental Europe, Hamish again challenges him to a contest of strength. Some things never change.

What was King Edward I's nickname?

Edward was tall, especially for his time (he was 6'2"). "Shanks" are the lower part of the leg. Edward is not to be confused with "Crookshanks," Hermione's cat in the "Harry Potter" novels.

Who is Murron?

Murron's untimely death inspires everything Wallace does afterward -- at least, in the movie version. He's motivated by a lost love.

What kind of flower does young Murron give Wallace?

Though thistles are commonly a nuisance, they do have lovely lavender-colored blooms. Wallace keeps Murron's flower pressed in a handkerchief well into adulthood.

Of what nationality is the bride of Edward the younger?

Narration tells us that there were "whispers" that Longshanks would have to father Isabella's child, if he wanted an heir to the throne. Significant, but silent, looks between the younger Edward and a young man in the pews makes clear what this means.

Which foreign language does Wallace speak?

Wallace owes his fluency in these "status languages" to his uncle, who raised him after his father's death. The uncle also took him on a pilgrimage to Rome, where Wallace's Latin probably came in handy, since modern Italian was just beginning to take shape.

What Wallace's uncle's name?

His uncle is a worldly man. When William says he doesn't understand Latin, Argyle says, "We'll have to remedy that."

Why do Murron and Wallace have to marry in secret?

"Prima nocte," or first night, meant that English lords could "break in" the brides of their subjects on a wedding night. It's the main reason William and Murron married in secret, though the fact that her father didn't approve wasn't much help. (Note: according to most historians, "prima nocte" was never actually practiced in the British isles. We would hope not!)

Why, according to what Wallace tells Murron's father, did Wallace come home from the Continent?

Of course, fate has other plans for William Wallace. And McClannough is already doubtful about his intentions, telling Wallace that he can't court Murron, his daughter, until he's proven that he's a peace-loving farmer.

Which religion do Wallace and his fellow Scotsmen follow?

You might expect a movie about Scottish rebels to show them following a native pagan religion, and the English to be the enforcers of the Church. But Mel Gibson, the movie's director, producer and star, is devoutly Catholic and would be unlikely to make a film sympathetic to a pagan religion.

What color cloaks do the English soldiers wear?

The average English soldier wears an orange cloak and a round-brimmed helmet. The magistrate, though, wears red-and-white stripes. His cheerful Dr. Seuss look might have charmed the Scots, if only Dr. Seuss were not 700 years in the future.

How does Murron die?

A rape attempt does play a part here. Murron fights off a soldier, and then is executed for "assault" on one of the king's soldiers, which the magistrate says is as bad as an assault on the king himself.

Why is Robert the Bruce's father disfigured?

This doesn't seem to have a basis in history. Neither was the elder Robert the Bruce involved in William Wallace's capture by the English. Such is scriptwriting!

What is unusual about Stephen, who comes to join the rebel army?

Stephen, played by David O'Hara, comes to the aid of the Scots because he wants to kill Englishmen. At first, he comes off as a bit crazy, but he soon proves his worth.

From what does Stephen soon save Wallace?

The man named "Faudron," who joined Wallace's army at the same time as Stephen, comes to kill him. During a hunt in the forest, Stephen kills Faudron before he can murder Wallace.

Where is Wallace's first victory in real battle?

The historical battle was called "the Battle of Stirling Bridge." There isn't a bridge in the film version, because it was too hard to film around.

What do the Scots do at Stirling to provoke the English?

The Scots do this before and after the English archers shoot at them. One unfortunate soul doesn't get his trousers and his shield up in time and takes an arrow to the cheek.

At Stirling, the most outrageous of Wallace's demands requires that the English commander do what?

Wallace presents "Scotland's terms" to the English. They include leaving England, stopping at every house to apologize for English crimes against the Scottish, and the kissing thing. Needless to say, these terms aren't met.

What color does Wallace paint his face in battle?

A blue dye called "woad" was sometimes used by Gaelic warriors going into battle. However, the tradition had died off before the time "Braveheart" covers.

What does Longshanks do with his son's "adviser?" (Read: boyfriend).

Edward II tells his father that Phillip is his military adviser. Longshanks pretends to accept this, puts his arm around the young man, walks with him across the room, and cold-bloodedly pitches him out a window. His son responds by trying, but failing, to stab Longshanks to death.

Whom does Longshanks send to negotiate with Wallace?

Isabella is seen as levelheaded and cool under pressure. Maybe not as much as her handmaid, though, who cheerfully predicts that Edward II will die in battle and "then you'll be a widow." Cold!

Who are the two traitors at the battle of Falkirk?

The English buy off these two nobles with estates in England. As a result, the two men ride off, with their followers, just before the battle begins.

What soldier knocks Wallace off his horse with a lance?

There was some criticism about how Robert the Bruce was portrayed in "Braveheart." He is a Scottish hero, and his depiction as an morally-wavering second fiddle to Wallace didn't sit well with many Scots.

Where does Wallace kill Mornay?

Wallace rides his horse right in the front door and up the stairs to do this. Nothing says, "I'm really mad at you" like riding your horse straight into a house.

For how many years after Falkirk was Wallace a guerrilla fighter?

Wallace spends seven years in hit-and-run fighting with the English before he finally falls into a trap, supposedly set by the elder Robert the Bruce. He is then taken into custody.

What does Isabella bring to Wallace in his cell?

He turns down the medicine for fear it will make his wits dull during his torture (and possibly cause him to publicly renounce his cause). He finally drinks it to please Isabella, but spits it out once she's gone.

What is Isabella's private revenge on the terminally ill Longshanks?

The idea that Wallace fathered Isabella's son works well in the movie, but is historically inaccurate. Edward III was born long after William Wallace's death.

What word does the torturer want Wallace to say, and what does he say instead?

Even the largely English crowd, who have come to the execution for entertainment, begin to chant "Mercy" on Wallace's behalf. But Wallace won't cave: He yells "Freedom," at which point the executioner gives up and beheads him.

Who does Wallace see in the crowd before he dies?

Wallace hallucinates his lost love. However, his most faithful fellow warriors, Hamish and Stephen, are actually in the crowd, watcing their leader's death.

Who narrates "Braveheart"?

For most of the movie, the narration is impersonal: "I shall tell you of William Wallace," etc. But at the end, Robert identifies himself by relating directly how he went to Bannockburn to accept English oversight, but instead rallied the Scots to fight to win their independence.

What "Braveheart's" closing image?

And Scotland has remained independent to this day ... Wait, what? Scotland is now part of the UK. And the European Union. And rejected independence in a 2016 vote. And voted to stay in the EU in the "Brexit" vote. Golly, how times change!

Why did Mel Gibson not want to play the role of Wallace at first?

Wallace was in his twenties at the time of his greatest exploits, while Gibson was nearly 40 when the movie was made.. But the studio wanted the then-bankable Gibson in the lead, so he took the part.

Who played Uncle Argyle?

Argyle was a small role, but Cox reportedly preferred playing Argyle to a larger role. Fun fact: In the UK, if you say "Brian Cox," most people will think of the charismatic physicist/TV presenter, not the American actor.

Who played Robert the Bruce?

In the movie, Robert the Bruce is torn between his sympathy to Wallace's cause and his loyalty to his father, who collaborates with the English. As a result, McFayden goes through much of the film with an appalled, morally exhausted expression -- good practice for his later role in "Saw III."

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