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Themistocles is the main protagonist in 300: Rise of an Empire. He is played by Sullivan Stapleton.



Themistocles fights the Persians at the Battle of Marathon


Themistocles hesitates to kill Xerxes

Themistocles is first seen leading the charge at the Battle of Marathon, where he mortally wounds the Persian King Darius with an arrow to the heart. During this battle, he beholds the king's son, Xerxes, but does not proceed to kill him.


Themistocles speaks to the Greek city states of the Persian threat

He is later seen in Athens before its destruction. In a council meeting, he asserts that the Greek city states must unite against the Persian threat, and that he requires a substantial fleet. To this end, he even travels to Sparta to enlist the help of King Leonidas. Once he arrives however, he learns from Dilios that Leonidas is consulting the Oracle, He meets with Queen Gorgo instead. He requests the service of the Spartan fleet, and tells her of his ambition to unite Greece, but Gorgo refuses him, as she is only interested in the preservation of Sparta.


Themistocles Traps and defeats the Persians at a cliff

Returning to Athens, he learns from his friend Scyllias that Artemisia is leading the Persian fleet. Themistocles knows of her and her history. He is impressed by the spirit of Scyllias' son, Calisto, but his father does not want him to participate in the war. When Themistocles finds that Calisto has infiltrated the army, he takes the boy under his wing. Themistocles soon achieves victories by commanding the Greek ships into a circular formation, allowing them to ram the Persian ships from the side. When the Persians attack a second time, he lures them into a narrow crevice and his forces lay waste to them.


Themistocles goes to meet Artemisia


Themistocles discusses the war with Artemisia


Themistocles threatened by Artemisia

One night, Persians approach the Greek camp and inform Themistocles that Artemisia's ship is moored in neutral waters. She has requested his presence so that she can meet her enemy face to face, and recognize him when he dies. Themistocles accepts and meets Artemisia on her ship. She compliments his strategic skills, and asks him if he is a God. Themistocles brushes off the question, and she reveals that although he has made an admirable stand, she can sustain losses for months, and will eventually overcome his fleet. She then makes him a offer. He shall be spared if he joins her side as naval commander of the Persians. She is amused when he reveals that his life's ambition had been assembling the Greek fleet for her. The two end up having a brief bout of hate sex, but in the end he rejects her offer. Enraged, she sends him on his way, stating he is no more than a mere human.


Themistocles gives Ephialtes a message

When Themistocles and the Greeks suffer defeat the next day, some question Themistocles ambitions. He replies that he does not enjoy warfare, but simply fights out of love for his country. He encourages his men to take a stand. He receives news of the Spartan defeat at Thermopylae, and instructs the messenger to carry this news to all of the Greek city states. In Athens, Themistocles interrogates Ephialtes, and is disgusted by his treachery. He sends him back to Xerxes with a message of vengeance.


Themistocles meets with Gorgo again

Themistocles journeys to Sparta to try and request their help once more. Dilios warns him that Gorgo is in no condition to be reasoned with. Themistocles finds Gorgo mourning the death of her husband. She impatiently demands why he has come, and again he makes his request. A grief stricken Gorgo dismisses him, feeling that Sparta has given enough, and will give no more. Before he leaves, Themistocles returns Leonidas' sword to Gorgo, and urges her to avenge him. Gorgo ponders this as she silently weeps.


Themistocles before the battle


Themistocles before his final duel with Artemisia


Themistocles charges with the Spartan reinforcements

At the Battle of Salamis, Themistocles knows he must kills Artemisia to hamper to Persian forces. Without her leadership, the Persian fleet will crumble. He eventually corners her on a wrecked ship, and the two engage in a fierce battle. Initially Themistocles gains the upper hand when he forces her back and punches her in the face. She is impressed, but soon regains the offensive. The two prove equally matched, and end up in a stalemate. With the arrival of Gorgo and the Spartans, Themistocles overpowers Artemisia and kills her, although not before giving her a chance to surrender, feeling it would be a shame to kill her. Themistocles and Gorgo subsequently unite and lead the Greek forces into battle.


Portrayed as level headed and rational, Themistocles is master stategist and tactician. In politics and in counsel he is able to inspire and sway those around him with words of wisdom. On the battlefield he is a ferocious warrior, able to fight with several Persian Immortals at once. He was able to match Artemisia in combat, and eventually defeated her. His tactics also allowed him to exploit certain weaknesses in the Persian Navy, something he did so well that Artemisia described it as being very graceful. He deeply loves his country, but most of all he treasures his fleet. He is devoted to Greek freedom and unification, to the point where he has not found time or interest in raising a family.

His success and prestige have made him confident, yet slightly arrogant. He acknowledged his defeat at the Battle of Artemisium, regretting his underestimation of Artemisia. Nevertheless he was quick to recover. He was one of the few Athenians who seemed to hold a measure of respect with the Spartans. Gorgo was civil towards him, though with a hint of mockery here and there.