I’ve got a great video here for you to watch today in which an ancient warfare expert sits down and analyzes battle scenes from several films and shows that are set in ancient times.
Roel Konijnendijk has a doctorate in ancient history and is a lecturer at the University of Oxford’s New College, and he offers some fascinating insight on these battle scenes. In fact, he hilariously points out that Hollywood is pretty much always getting it wrong when it comes to bringing these battle sequences to life! It’s funny watching him laugh at the stuff he finds absolutely ridiculous.
Konijnendijk rates the realism of tactics portrayed in films such as 300 (2006), Alexander (2004), and Braveheart (1995). He breaks down the martial arts prowess of stars such as Brad Pitt in Troy (2004), Orlando Bloom in Kingdom of Heaven (2005), and Russell Crowe in Gladiator (2000).
He also looks at some fantastical scenes such as the battle of Helm’s Deep from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) and the battle of Winterfell from Game of Thrones. Konijnendijk analyzes the historical accuracy of scenes from The Last Kingdom (2015) and Red Cliff (2008), and he rates the realism of the military formations, tactics, movements, and weaponry of each scene.
While a lot of these battle sequences are historically inaccurate, they sure do look good in the movies! Regardless, more studios should bring this guy in to help them if they actually do want to create an accurate battle sequence.