Homer Or Hollywood: 5 Inaccuracies In Brad Pitt’s Troy (& 5 Times They Got It Right)


  • Odysseus’s cunning is well represented in “Troy”, despite not being the main focus: it shows his intelligence.
  • The brutal Troy scene in which Achilles fights Hector received praise: it accurately portrays Achilles’ anger.
  • The fate of Paris in “Troy” differs from the original text: it is presented as more heroic in the film than in Homer’s poem.


Bringing Homer’s ancient work to the big screen raises the question of how accurate Troy It’s like a movie. Based on Homer’s writings about the Trojan War in The Iliad and the Odyssey. Troy was a 2004 Hollywood blockbuster starring Brad Pitt as Achilles, the world’s greatest warrior who becomes embroiled in war for the city of Troy. Directed by Wolfgang Peterson, the film was a box office success with a mixed response from critics. 20 years after its release, there is still fascination with the precision of Troy.

Troy is one of the few films based on Greek mythology to be released in the 21st century, but many people took issue with how closely the film follows the source material. The controversial decision was made not to include any presence of gods, which is a large part of Homer’s writings, although there are also several differences in the historical events and the fate of the characters. At the same time, Troy manages to do justice to a number of aspects of the story for which it deserves credit.

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Things in Troy that were accurate

Odysseus’ cunning


Those familiar with Homer’s work will be surprised to discover that Odysseus is not the main character at the center of the work. Troy. Instead, she plays a supporting role to Achilles with Sean Bean taking on the role. However, while his role in the overall story may not be as significant as viewers might expect, the film does the character justice by showing him as the war’s most intelligent strategist.

It speaks volumes that Odysseus is the only high-ranking member of the war council whom Achilles respects, with the warrior being the one who manages to convince Achilles to come and fight for Agamemnon in Troy. The one trait that Homer made very clear about Achilles, both in The Iliad and The odyssey, was that this character was brilliant, witty and full of intelligence. This is clearly shown in the film when Odysseus gives the iconic moment of coming up with the plan to use a Trojan horse to infiltrate Troy and win the war.

Achilles’ treatment of Hector’s body


While Troy has many critics who criticize its narration and its accuracy, many of them agree that if there is one incredible scene that elevates the film, it is the fight between Achilles and Hector. The confrontation occurs after Hector kills Achilles’ cousin Patroclus in battle, thinking he was Achilles. This leads Achilles to seek revenge and exact it brutally.

Achilles’ lack of respect for Hector’s body

Hector fights bravely against Achilles, but in the end he is no match for him and is murdered in front of his family. Still overwhelmed by his desire for revenge, Achilles ties his corpse to his chariot and drags him back to the Greek camp. The film correctly captures Achilles’ disrespect for Hector’s body, which was a serious transgression in Homer’s day, although the desecration is worse in the original text.

Helen and Paris start the war


Helen’s role in the story of the Trojan War is pivotal and has become an iconic ode to her as one of history’s greatest beauties. While both the source material and the film go deeper than that, they both stick to the idea that it was the forbidden romance between Helen and Paris that started this war.

The film may not accurately capture all the details about Helen and Paris’s relationship, but it accurately shows how the couple’s decisions led the Greeks to set sail for Troy. The film shows Helen falling in love with Paris and voluntarily returning with him to Troy. While some accounts portray the events in this way, others show Paris kidnapping Helena against her will. However, Troy’s version is also interesting for examining how others view the act as selfish and reckless, especially Hector, Paris’s brother.

Achilles’ withdrawal from the fight for Briseis


The relationship between Achilles and Agamemnon is constantly unstable throughout the film. Tensions really boil over when Agamemnon steals Briseis, the captured priestess, from Achilles. Rose Byrne landed one of her first major roles in Hollywood when she played Briseis. Although she hates Achilles at first, the two gradually form a bond and Achilles feels protective of her.

Since Agamemnon cannot control Achilles because the warrior does not respect him, he decides to use Briseis as a pawn. This causes the war hero to withdraw from the fight. The source material also shows Achilles withdrawing from the fight because of Briseis. However, the film omits that Agamemnon only took Briseis from Achilles because the god Apollo ordered him to give up his own concubine, Chryseis. In addition to Troy eliminating the gods from history, his capture of Briseis simply solidifies him as a true villain.

Hector’s funeral


Brad Pitt’s role as Achilles is certainly considered the hero of the story, but he is certainly a flawed hero. The murder of Hector is a difficult moment to root for, as Hector was perhaps the most likable character in the entire story and Achilles’ disrespectful treatment of his body is not what the brave warrior deserved. Fortunately, Achilles finally seems to understand the error of his ways.

The film is faithful to the events that happen right after, also with regard to Hector’s body. King Priam of Troy sneaks into the Greek camp (although in the epic poem he is escorted by the god Hermes). There he begs Achilles to allow him to take Hector’s body and bury it. In both versions of events, Achilles is moved by Priam’s plea and allows him to take Hector’s body and hold a proper funeral. The fighting is suspended to allow the funeral to take place.

Things in Troy that were inaccurate

The relationship between Achilles and Patroclus


The place where Troy moves further away from The Iliad is the relationship between Brad Pitt’s Achilles and Patroclus. In the film, the two are portrayed as cousins, and Achilles mentors his younger relative. Other ancient works (except The Iliad) portrays the two characters as lovers, while Homer does not explicitly state whether or not they are lovers. However, there is no mention of them being related in the source material.

Watching how their relationship develops, including their chemistry and passion as they practice wrestling, and Achilles’ furious rage when he learns that Hector killed Patroclus, it makes more sense that they are lovers than cousins. Unfortunately, even in a film as recent as 2004, it would be rare to see a gay relationship depicted in a Hollywood blockbuster, even if it is faithful to the original story.

The time lapse


Brad Pitt has starred in many war films, but Troy relies on a particularly long conflict that fans may not realize depending on the movie. It is said that the Trojan War lasted 10 years. The Greeks tried tirelessly for a decade to breach the formidable walls of Troy without success, forcing them to finally find another way to enter the city.

While the film doesn’t have a clear timeline, it certainly doesn’t feel like 10 years pass from the moment the Greeks land on the beach to the moment the Trojans take the horse to their city. Some might argue that years pass in the film without the audience being explicitly informed, but the film does not effectively show the passage of time. Of course, this is an understandable change for the film, as the war may seem less impressive if it drags on for a decade.

The death of Agamemnon


Brian Cox gives one of the film’s best performances as Agamemnon, who serves as the story’s central villain. While other versions of the story haven’t made him quite as cowardly, the film is elevated by having such a vile character that the audience hates, as well as Cox’s scenery-chewing performance. Given his unpleasant nature, it makes sense that the writers decided to give the audience some satisfaction by killing him at the end.

However, in the original story, Agamemnon is one of the characters who survives the Trojan War. He doesn’t have a happy ending in any version of events, but the old works made it last longer than in the movie. The story of Agamemnon’s life after Troy is told in a selection of Greek plays. He is eventually murdered by his wife and his lover, prompting his son to seek revenge.

The destiny of Paris


Coming off the success of Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean, Orlando Bloom took on the role of Paris, who was not as heroic as the others. In fact, Bloom recently talked about Troy and his dislike of Paris’s role as they made him a cowardly character when he confronted Menelaus. While the character is given a more redemptive ending in which he can show some of his heroism, it is not an accurate ending for the character.

While it accurately shows Paris in love with Helen, Troy deviates from the original when it comes to surviving the ordeal. In the film, Paris kills Achilles and then escapes from Troy with his cousin Briseis. In Homer’s poem, Paris dies during the war after being hit by Philoctetes’ poisoned arrow.

Helen’s recollection of the events of her life


The film portrays Paris and Helen as lovers, their trip to Troy being more of a rescue mission than a kidnapping. At one point in the film, Helen even explains that Sparta was never her home. She says her parents sent her there when she was 16 to marry Menelaus. Although only a minor detail, this is inconsistent with the original version of events. Helen’s parents were the king and queen of Sparta. She was already Helen of Sparta before marrying Menelaus.

The idea of ​​running away with Paris no longer seems so selfish

Even though Helen is such an important figure in the Trojan War story, the film doesn’t seem to know what to do with the character once the war begins. Moments like this help flesh out her character and strengthen this view of her romance with Paris. With the idea that she was a child taken from her home, the idea of ​​running away with Paris no longer seems so selfish.

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