Leonidas Is Kinda Thick

August 30, 2010 at 10:52 am (randoms)

The Spartans had a pretty good plan going: Hold off the Persians at the strategically perfect Gates of Thermopylae until the Council got off their fatasses and sent the rest of the army to bail them out. So when Quasimodo Uglius Muchus showed up out of nowhere and told Leonidas about a secret path that could ruin their whole strategy, that could have been a problem.

Luckily, he was on the side of the good guys. All he wanted to do was help fight the Persians to restore honor to his outcast father. But in a move that was epic both in douchebaggery and short-sightedness, Leonidas turned him away, spouting some bullshit about how the hunchback would weaken the strict formation of the phalanx.

Look, we’re no experts on military tactics or anything but it seems to us like you could just place the dude slightly outside the phalanx, have him kill a few Persians, soak up a lot of arrows, and die a hero’s death. Everybody’s happy.

Hell, it’s not like the Spartans actually fought in a neat formation anyway. A few seconds into the battle it turns into a free-for-all where everybody starts leaping around and trying to figure out how to kill each enemy in a cooler way than the last.

Instead Leonidas tells him that he’s too weak to fight and that his father will remain dishonored, which in Spartan terms would be like if someone called you at a funeral and questioned your parentage while simultaneously making sweet love to your mother. The double-whammy of an insult drove the hunchback directly to Xerxes, where he immediately sold out the good guys.

But even if that nonsense about the phalanx was right, what Leonidas actually did about the secret path was even worse: absolutely nothing. No wall of boulders to block it off, no traps to decimate the Persian troops, not even guards to send warning back to the troops. Look, even if the hunchback hadn’t made like Lando Calrissian, Persian scouts might have found the passageway all by themselves. Instead of making literally any effort to stop them, Leonidas pretty much just forgets about the whole thing. We never even see him ask about the path’s location–for all we know, he has no idea where the damn thing actually is.

There’s a line between heroically facing death and actively courting it; Leonidas sprinted over that line and never looked back.


Specifically, he first sprinted in fast motion, then slow motion, then fast motion again.

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