Take a quiz on the epic events in 2004's Troy

By: Julie Medina
Image: TMDB

About This Quiz

Loosely based on Homer's Iliad, this epic adventure film unfolds the entire story of the decade-long Trojan War within a couple of weeks. Recall the life of Achilles, the beauty of Helen, and the ingenious Trojan Horse that ended Troy.

Who plays Achilles, the unbeatable warrior?

Achilles was a Greek hero of the Trojan War; he is the central character and greatest warrior of Homer's Iliad. His mother was the immortal nymph, Thetis, and his father, the mortal Peleus, was the king of the Myrmidons. Brad Pitt plays this demi-god. Brad Pitt is an actor and producer. He has received multiple awards and nominations, including an Academy Award as a producer under his own company, Plan B Entertainment.

Who plays Hector, the heir to the King of Troy?

Hector was a Trojan prince and the greatest fighter for Troy in the Trojan War. As the first-born son of King Priam and Queen Hecuba, he was heir-apparent to his father's throne. An Australian actor, Eric Bana gained Hollywood's attention in Black Hawk Down and by playing the Hulk. He was the lead in The Other Boleyn Girl, Star Trek, and The Time Traveler's Wife. In 2013, he starred in the Lone Survivor and in the following year, Deliver Us from Evil.

Who plays Paris, the man who falls in love with Helen, Queen of Sparta?

Paris is the son of Priam and Hecuba, the king and queen of Troy. His brother is Hector. Paris is best-known for his elopement with Helen, Queen of Sparta, this being one of the immediate causes of the Trojan War. Orlando Bloom plays Paris. Bloom starred as Legolas in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Will Turner in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, and as Balian de Ibelin in Kingdom of Heaven. In addition, he starred in Elizabethtown. Bloom has also starred in theater and was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

What clever way does King Agamemnon of Mycenae avoid a huge war with casualties when taking over other kingdoms?

Agamemnon of Mycenae declares, what a pity it would be for both his men and the other king’s men to die in battle, especially when there is an easier way to decide who will take over the land. If his best warrior beats the other king’s best warrior, winner takes all. When Triopas of Thessaly agrees to these terms, Achilles defeats Thessaly's champion in single combat. Agamemnon is portrayed by Brian Cox, a Scottish actor best known for appearing in The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, X2, Braveheart, Rushmore, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Doctor Who. He was the first actor to portray Hannibal Lecter on film in the 1986 feature film Manhunter.

Achilles seems invincible, so how is he killed?

Although the death of Achilles is not presented in the Iliad, other sources concur that he was killed near the end of the Trojan War by Paris, who shot him in the heel with an arrow. Later legends state that Achilles was invulnerable in all of his body except for his heel. Alluding to these legends, the term "Achilles' heel" has come to mean a point of weakness, especially in someone or something with a strong constitution.

What are Hector and Paris doing in Sparta?

Prince Hector of Troy and his younger brother, Paris, negotiate a peace treaty with Menelaus, King of Sparta. Eric Bana (Prince Hector) and Brad Pitt (Achilles) did not use stunt doubles for their epic duel. They made a gentlemen's agreement to pay for every accidental hit: $50 for each light blow and $100 for each hard blow. Pitt ended up paying Bana $750 and Bana didn't owe Pitt anything.

Who is Paris having a secret love affair with?

While negotiating a peace treaty with Menelaus, Paris has a secret love affair with Menelaus' wife, Queen Helen. Paris smuggles her aboard their home-bound vessel, enraging Hector. The director, Wolfgang Petersen, originally didn't want Helen to appear in the movie; he felt an actress couldn't live up to the audience's expectations. The producers insisted, so Petersen cast an unknown actress.

There is another love affair in this story, between which two characters?

There is a love affair between Achilles and Briseis. In mythology, Briseis was a queen in Asia Minor at the time of the Trojan War. Her character was at the heart of a dispute between Achilles and Agamemnon that drove the plot of Homer's Iliad. Briseis is portrayed by Rose Byrne, an Australian actress. Byrne played a leading role in the Australian film, The Goddess of 1967, which brought her a Venice Film Festival Award for Best Actress. From 2007 to 2012, she played Ellen Parsons in Damages, which earned her two Golden Globe and two Emmy nominations. Byrne has also starred in the films 28 Weeks Later, Knowing, Insidious, X-Men: First Class, and X-Men: Apocalypse, as well as the comedies Bridesmaids, Neighbors, and Spy.

King Menelaus is enraged about Paris taking his wife. King Menelaus asks his elder brother Agamemnon to war on Troy. What does Agamemnon say?

Upon learning that his wife ran off with the Trojans, Menelaus meets with Agamemnon, his elder brother, and asks for his help in taking Troy. Agamemnon, who has wanted to conquer Troy for a long time, agrees, since it will give him control of the Aegean Sea. The movie's trailer contained the shot revealing the entire Greek fleet sailing toward Troy, but it had substantially more ships in it. When it became clear that this would be unrealistic (ships sailing so close to one another would only hinder each other), the number of ships in the shot was drastically reduced in the finished movie.

Who is Achilles’ friend who tries to convince Achilles to join the war against Troy?

Odysseus, also known by the Latin name Ulysses, was a legendary Greek king of Ithaca and the hero of Homer's epic poem the Odyssey. Odysseus also played a key role in Homer's Iliad and other works in that era. Odysseus is renowned for his brilliance, guile. He is known by the epithet Odysseus the Cunning (mētis, or "cunning intelligence"). He is most famous for the Odyssey - ten eventful years he took to return home after the decade-long Trojan War. In the movie, as Achilles strolls along the beach among the unpacking Greeks, he teases Odysseus about being the last one to show up. This is an in joke for those familiar with the Odyssey. Odysseus was the last Greek to return home from Troy because he clashed with various gods.

Although Achilles initially refuses to join the fight against Troy, who convinces him to do it?

Achilles, who strongly dislikes Agamemnon, initially refuses Odysseus, but eventually decides to go after his mother, Thetis, tells him that though he will die, he will be forever remembered. Odysseus is played by Sean Bean, who portrays Ned Stark in Game of Thrones, as well as roles in Accused and Henry VIII. His most prominent film role was Boromir in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He also starred in GoldenEye, Patriot Games, Ronin, National Treasure, North Country, The Island, Silent Hill, Black Death, Jupiter Ascending, and The Martian. He has won an International Emmy for Best Actor and has been nominated for a BAFTA and Saturn Award.

What is Achilles’ cousin’s name?

Patroclus’ parents are gone and Achilles is teaching Patroclus how to fight. This is quite an honor, as any King would give his kingdom to be trained by Achilles. Patroclus is portrayed by Garrett Hedlund, an actor, model, and singer. His films include Friday Night Lights, Four Brothers, Eragon, Country Strong, Tron: Legacy, On the Road, Inside Llewyn Davis, Unbroken, and Pan. Garrett Hedlund won the role of Patroclus one month after arriving in Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.

Who says this to Patroclus? “Even if your cousin doesn't come, I hope you'll join us, Patroclus. We could use a strong arm like yours.” Achilles: “Play your tricks on me. But not on my cousin.”

Odysseus tries to bait Patroclus into gunning for war in order to convince Achilles to go to war. Did you know that Garrett Hedlund gained 30 pounds for his role as Patroclus? He gained an additional 20 pounds for his role in Friday Night Lights, which got him up to 200 pounds; he normally weighs 145.

How does the King of Troy react when Paris brings home Queen Helen of Sparta?

In Troy, King Priam is dismayed when Hector and Paris bring Helen, but he welcomes her as a guest and chooses not to send her home. If he did, Paris would likely follow Helen and be killed. Priam decides to meet the Greeks in open battle. King Priam is portrayed by British-Irish stage and film actor, Peter O’Toole. O'Toole achieved international recognition playing T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia, for which he received his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. He was nominated for this award another seven times – for Becket, The Lion in Winter, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, The Ruling Class, The Stunt Man, My Favorite Year, and VenusIn 2002, O'Toole was awarded the Academy Honorary Award for his career achievements. Additonally, he was the recipient of four Golden Globe Awards, one British Academy Film Award, and one Primetime Emmy Award.

In the movie, what happens when the Greeks arrive on Troy’s soil?

With their arsenal of boats, the Greeks arrive and take the Trojan beach, mostly thanks to Achilles and his Myrmidons. They also sack the temple of Apollo but allow Hector and the surviving Trojans to return to the city. Apollo is known as a god of music, truth and prophecy, healing, the sun and light, plague, poetry, archery, and more. There are many discussions about whether the gods are angered by the desecration of Apollo’s temple, but Achilles does not care.

Who takes Briseis away from Achilles?

Achilles claims Briseis, a priestess and the cousin of Paris and Hector, as a war trophy. But Achilles is angered when Agamemnon spitefully takes her from him. This results in Achilles deciding he won’t fight when Agamemnon lays siege to Troy. Coincidentally, Brad Pitt tore his left Achilles' tendon during production.

Who said this? “War is young men dying and old men talking. You know this. Ignore the politics.”

Odysseus understands the game of politics and tells Achilles to ignore it all. Did you know that in order to make a feature-length movie, there had to be differences between the film and Homer's Iliad? For instance, the twelve Greek Gods play a major role in the Iliad; some side with the Greeks and some with the Trojans, even arguing and physically fighting beside their allies. The war lasts 10 years, and the events depicted in the movie take place during the last few months of the war.

What does Paris offer when the Trojan and Greek armies meet outside the wall of Troy?

The Trojan and Greek armies meet outside the walls of Troy. During a parley, Paris offers to duel Menelaus personally for Helen's hand and to spare the city. For Paris, an inexperienced fighter, it was a sure death. Agamemnon, intending to take the city regardless of the outcome, accepts. Menelaus wounds Paris and almost kills him, but Hector cannot stand seeing his brother wounded and when Paris will not finish the fight, Hector replaces Paris and kills Menelaus.

Who is Ajax?

Ajax is a mythological Greek hero who commands his army wielding a huge shield made of seven cow-hides with a layer of bronze. He is portrayed as fearless, strong, and powerful, but also with a very high level of combat intelligence. Ajax and Achilles have become friends on and off the battlefield. In this particular battle, Achilles sees Hector kill Ajax. Tyler Mane, a Canadian actor and former professional wrestler, portrays Ajax. Mane is known for playing Sabretooth in X-Men and X-Men: The Official Game, and also Michael Myers in the remake of Halloween and Halloween II.

What else happens in the first battle?

In the first battle, most of Agamemnon's forces fall to Troy's archers. Odysseus convinces Agamemnon to give the order to fall back. Agamemnon gives Briseis to the Greek soldiers to keep their spirits up after the loss. Achilles saves her, however, and the two fall in love. Achilles decides that the war is a lost cause, resolving to leave Troy in the morning.

Why does Priam instruct Hector to retake the Trojan beach?

Despite Hector's advice otherwise, Priam instructs him to retake the Trojan beach in the night and force the Greeks home. As they had just retreated due to the injuries being sustained from Troy’s archers, the Greek army would be attending to the wounded. As it was night, many of the troops would be asleep. Nigel Terry plays Archeptolemus - the Oracle who interprets the signs of war for Peter O'Toole's character, Priam. Did you know that Nigel Terry previously appeared with O'Toole in 1967's The Lion In Winter? Terry played slow-witted son John to O'Toole's King Henry II.

What happens after Priam’s plan backfires?

The attack brings the Greeks together and the Myrmidons enter the battle. On screen, Achilles kills 33 men. But just killing these men was not enough. Brad Pitt trained for six months to get a body that looked like that of Greek statues.

Who says this? “I'll tell you a secret. Something they don't teach you in your temple. 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.”

Achilles says this to Briseis when she is a prisoner in his tent. Although the gods and goddesses do not play a major role in the movie, they did in the Homer's Iliad. As a demi-god, Achilles does not have the awe that Briseis does when praying to her gods. In fact, he shows his disdain for the god Apollo by decapitating a statue of him in front of a temple dedicated to him.

Hector duels a man he believes to be Achilles, but who is he really?

Hector duels a man he believes to be Achilles and cuts his throat, only to discover it was actually Patroclus. Devastated, the armies agree to stop fighting for the day. Achilles is informed of his cousin's death and vows revenge. Did you know that during the fight when Patroclus dresses up as Achilles, Brad Pitt himself is in the scene? When Hector removes Patroclus' helmet after cutting his throat, Garrett Hedlund is in the costume.

What secret does Hector share with his wife?

Knowing of the coming retribution from Achilles because Hector accidently killed Patroclus, Hector speaks privately to his wife, Andromache. He leads his wife to a secret tunnel beneath Troy and instructs her to take their child and any survivors she can out of the city, should he die and the city fall. Did you know that all of the male cast had to shave or wax their chests to maintain the look of the Greek statues? Eric Bana usually has a hairy chest but had to wax it completely. Ouch!

What does Achilles do after he wins against Hector in a one-on-one battle?

Achilles arrives outside Troy and demands Hector to come out. The two fight evenly for a while, until Achilles wears Hector down and kills him. Achilles drags his corpse back to the Trojan beach, straining his relationship with Briseis. Speaking of killing people, did you know that Brad Pitt claimed the filming was torturous for him because he had to quit smoking?

What happens when Priam disguises himself and speaks with Achilles?

Priam, in disguise, sneaks into the camp and meets with Achilles, imploring him to let him take Hector's body back to Troy for a proper funeral. Remorseful about his actions, Achilles agrees to return the body and allows Briseis to return to Troy. He also tells Priam that he is a greater king than the one he serves. Achilles then promises a truce of twelve days so that Hector's funeral rites may be held in peace. Do you remember when Achilles and Patroclus train inside an ancient Maltan "menhir"? That structure could have been built as early as 2000 BC. Talk about authenticity!

How do the Greeks breach the walls of Troy?

Odysseus devises a plan to get inside the city with a gigantic wooden horse made from their boat parts. Then the Greeks abandon the Trojan beach, hiding their ships in a nearby cove to make it seem as if they have left. Since the Trojans think this is an offering to Athena, they dare not leave it outside the city walls. Did you know that Achilles' death is not mentioned in the Iliad? According to The Odyssey, he died well before Troy fell, and it was his death that inspired Odysseus (Ulysses to some) to build the Trojan horse.

Which of these things happens the night Troy is sacked?

That night, Greeks hiding inside the horse emerge and open the city gates for the Greek army, commencing the Sack of Troy. Andromache and Helen help get the Trojans to safety through the tunnel. Paris gives the Sword of Troy to Aeneas, instructing him to protect the Trojans and find them a new home. Andromache is portrayed by Saffron Burrows, a former model and an English-American actress who has appeared in such films as In the Name of the Father, Circle of Friends, Wing Commander, Deep Blue Sea, Gangster No. 1, Enigma, Troy, Reign Over Me, and The Bank Job, as well as starring as Lorraine Weller on Boston Legal, Dr. Norah Skinner on My Own Worst Enemy, and Detective Serena Stevens on Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

Which of these deaths happens at the sacking of Troy?

Glaucus is killed by Odysseus. Agamemnon kills Priam, and then Agamemnon finds Briseis and taunts her; however, Briseis is able to free a knife from her gown and kill Agamemnon. James Cosmo, who portrays Glaucus, is a Scottish actor known for his appearances in films including Highlander, Braveheart, Trainspotting, and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. He has appeared on TV as well, in series such as Game of Thrones.

How do Achilles and Briseis leave each other?

Achilles fights his way through the city and finds Briseis, but he is shot through the heel by Paris, who is seeking revenge for the death of his brother. This arrow to his ankle makes him vulnerable. Paris puts several more arrows into Achilles' chest until he finally collapses. With his dying breath, Achilles implores Briseis to leave the city with Paris. It’s surprising that Achilles didn’t collapse for other reasons. Many stagehands fainted from the 100-degree weather (38 degrees Celsius) on location.

How does the film end?

In the aftermath, with Troy finally taken, funerals are held for the slain and Odysseus personally cremates Achilles. For the movie, the city of Troy was built in the Mediterranean island of Malta at Fort Ricasoli. Other important scenes were shot in Melliena, a small town in the north of Malta, and on the small island of Comino. The outer walls of Troy were built and filmed in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Film production was disrupted for a period, after Hurricane Marty affected filming areas.

What did the critics think of the film?

Troy was met with mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 54%, based on 221 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10. The site's consensus reads, "A brawny, entertaining spectacle, but lacking emotional resonance.” Maybe that’s because Brad Pitt was very tired. One hurricane tore through the set at night and wiped out Brad Pitt's house. Pitt woke up at around 4 AM, but he was so tired from the night before that he slept through the hurricane.

What did the fans think of the film?

The audience gave it a 73% on Rotten Tomatoes. It was a huge financial success. On a budget of $175 million it earned $497.4 million in box office sales, making it one of the most expensive films produced in modern cinema. Troy was the eighth-highest-grossing film of 2004.

Which of these categories did the film win at the Academy Awards?

The film won the Academy Award for Best Achievement in Costume Design. It was a challenge to clothe the stars and the extras to look individual with their armor on. It was also difficult to communicate to the extras. According to the special features DVD, 300 buff Bulgarian male extras were transported to the Mexican shooting location and trained for battle scenes so the Greeks and Trojans would look sufficiently European. They supplemented Euro-looking Mexicans and were used in battle close-ups. "Soldier extras" got instructions in Spanish, Bulgarian, and English.

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