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King Agamemnon (Brian Cox) of Mycenae is in Thessaly, Greece, with his army looking
to expand territory and influence. On the battlefield, Agamemnon's soldiers prepare to
engage in combat against the army under the Thessalonian king, Triopas (Julian Glover).
Rather than suffer great losses, Triopas agrees to Agamemnon's proposal to settle the
matter in the traditional way - through a decisive match between the best warriors of the
opposing armies. Achilles (Brad Pitt) is summoned by Agamemnon, and after arriving,
easily kills the Thessalonian champion Boagrius (Nathan Jones). Accepting defeat,
Triopas presents Achilles with a scepter as a token for his king. But Achilles refuses,
saying Agamemnon is not his king.

In Sparta, Prince Hector (Eric Bana) and his young brother Paris (Orlando Bloom)
negotiate an end to the war between the outlying kingdom of Troy and Sparta. On the last
day of a week-long peace festival, Paris manages to smuggle Helen (Diane Kruger),
Menelaus' (Brendan Gleeson) wife, back to Troy with him. Infuriated by Helen's
disappearance, Menelaus vows revenge. Meanwhile, Agamemnon (Menelaus' brother),
who had for years harbored plans for conquering Troy (an achievement which would give
him complete control of the Aegean Sea), decides to use his brother's situation as a
justification to invade Troy. He is advised by his general, Nestor (John Shrapnel), to call
upon Achilles to fight for the Greeks, ensuring they can rally enough troops to the cause.

Odysseus (Sean Bean) is then sent to Phtia to convince Achilles and his Myrmidons to
fight, and finds him training with Patroclus (Garrett Hedlund), his cousin and student.
Odysseus says the fleet will be sailing to Troy in three days, and that this war will never
be forgotten. Achilles consults his mother, Thetis (Julie Christie), and she tells him that
should he stay, he will find peace and a long life, but his name will be forgotten. Should
he go, he will find everlasting glory, but will die in combat. Achilles decides to go to war.

The Greeks land at Troy and take control of the beach on the first day of the war.
Achilles and the Myrmidons kill many Trojans and also desecrate the seaside temple of
Apollo, slaying the unarmed priests that reside there. Within the temple, Achilles and
Hector meet but do not fight, with Hector outnumbered but allowed to leave. Briseis
(Rose Byrne), a member of the Trojan royal family who has chosen to dedicate her life to
service to the gods, is captured and taken as a prize to Achilles. However, he treats her
with kindness, which makes her initially cautious.

Achilles and his Myrmidons do not take part in the next day's fighting because of
Agamemnon's unfair claim to Briseis, but they watch the events from a distance. With the
Trojan army beneath the walls of Troy and the Greek army surrounding it, Paris
challenges Menelaus to a duel to settle things. Menelaus agrees, knowing he is the better
warrior. Agamemnon then decides he will attack afterward anyway, regardless of the
outcome. Paris, severely outmatched, is easily defeated. Terrified of dying, he crawls
back to his brother's feet. Menelaus approaches and moves to finish Paris, but Hector
intervenes and kills Menelaus. A shocked and enraged Agamemnon orders his army to
charge the Trojans. The Greeks are easily repelled, mainly because their attack brought
them within range of the Trojan archers. Hector also killed Ajax (Tyler Mane). At the
pleas of Odysseus, who realizes that the Greeks will be annihilated should they continue
the fight, Agamemnon withdraws the troops.

To offer his men entertainment to assuage their bruised morale, he gives Briseis over to
the encampment, where she is abused and on the verge of being raped and branded with
an iron before Achilles cuts through and rescues her. He carries her back to his tent and
attempts to help her with her wounds, but she still does not trust him and refuses his help.
They then engage in conversation, during which Achilles reveals that he is not quite the
"dumb brute" Briseis had initially assumed him to be and advises that she should enjoy
the mortality of her own life, which gives her something to think on. Nonetheless, later
that night, Briseis is seen pressing a knife to Achilles' throat as if to kill him in his sleep,
but he quickly awakens and instead of being afraid, tells her to go ahead and "do it". She
is slightly surprised at this and questions why he isn't afraid, to which he replies that since
everyone dies, the timing doesn't matter much. Though he challenges her to kill him once
again, Briseis seems unable to and hesitates. As she does so, Achilles slides her skirt up
and kisses her passionately, she drops the knife and succumbs to his advances. Early that
morning, Achilles is seen watching her from a seat as she sleeps.

The next day, the Trojan council is arguing amongst themselves whether or not to
directly attack the Greeks again, to conquer them once and for all. Hector, realizing that
such an attack would be futile, strongly advises against it, but Priam, foolishly swayed by
his priest's "bird signs" and Glaucus' convictions, gives the order. Meanwhile, Briseis and
Achilles are lying in bed together, and it is inferred that Achilles is planning to leave the
next day, as he had ordered Eudorus to load the ships, much to Patroclus' indignation.
Briseis seems skeptical of his decision and asks him if he could really "leave this all
behind", to which he asks if she could "leave Troy".

The Trojans launch a surprise attack on the Greek camp just before dawn. As the Greeks
seem to be on the verge of defeat, Achilles appears with the Myrmidons, and joins the
battle. He brings courage to the Greeks, and eventually fights man-to-man against Hector.
The Myrmidons are shocked by Achilles apparently being outmatched by Hector, and
having his throat cut. This energizes the Trojans and dismays the Greeks. Hector kneels
and pulls Achilles' helmet off, and finds it is actually Patroclus (Garrett Hedlund) who he
has killed, not Achilles. Grieved at having slain someone so young, Hector gives him a
killing blow out of mercy. Both armies agree to end fighting for the day, and Odysseus
informs Hector of the boy's identity. Achilles, who had slept through the battle, is told by
Eudorus of his cousin's death. The Myrmidons had also mistaken Patroclus for Achilles,
since he had put on the same armour, and moved with a near identical fighting style.
Later that night, Achilles leads the funeral ceremony, complete with a funeral pyre.

The next day, an enraged Achilles approaches the gates of Troy alone and demands
Hector to come out and face him. Hector requests a pact that the loser be given proper
funeral rites by the winner, which is angrily refused by Achilles, with him saying " There
are no pacts between lions and men." The pair fight a fierce duel but in the end Achilles
kills Hector, and then ties the body to the back of his chariot, callously dragging it back
to the Greek camp. That night, King Priam visits the Greek army's camp to retrieve
Hector's body. After an emotional talk given to him by Priam (Peter O'Toole), Achilles
breaks down into tears near Hector's body. He lets Priam take Hector's body back,
promising him that no Greek will attack Troy for twelve days in order to give time for the
proper funeral rites to be performed on the prince, also saying that Hector was the best
he'd fought. Achilles lets Priam take Briseis back as well, and gives her the shell necklace
Thetis made for him. He later makes amends with Eudorus (whom he had beaten and
almost killed over the death of Patroclus), and gives him one last order: to take the
Myrmidons home.

During the 12 days that Troy mourns Hector's death, the Greeks plan to enter the city
using a hollowed-out wooden horse, devised by Odysseus. The Greeks leave the horse at
the location of their camp, then withdraw to the beach hiding in their ships behind a
nearby island. Paris warns Priam about the dangers of the horse, and says they should
burn it. However, Priam neglects his warning and is blinded by the priests' talk of the
horse being a "peace offering from the Greeks", in order to appease the god Poseidon for
a safe passage home during their retreat. Assuming victory, the Trojans take the horse
into the city and celebrate. A band of Greeks come out of the horse at night, killing the
guards and opening the gates to the city, allowing the main army outside the city to enter.
Without the defenses provided by its walls, the outnumbered and unprepared Trojan
resistance is overwhelmed. Troy is sacked, and King Priam is killed by Agamemnon.

Achilles frantically searches for Briseis, who is at the shrine of Apollo being threatened
by Agamemnon. She kills him with a concealed knife, and is saved from Agamemnon's
guards by Achilles. Achilles kneels down to help her up. Paris, who is looking for
Briseis, sees Achilles and Briseis and shoots an arrow that strikes Achilles in his
legendary heel. Crippled, he turns to face him but is hit in the chest by several more
arrows, despite fervent pleas from Briseis. Achilles manages to remove all but one of the
arrows, the one in his heel. The wounds are fatal, and after a final passionate kiss and
teary farewell, Achilles urges Briseis to join Paris as they escape the city through a secret
passage. Achilles watches them go and finally falls over in death with his heel still
pierced by the arrow.

After a disorganized and futile attempt by surviving Trojan soldiers to repel the invaders,
the battle ends and the Greeks storm the inner palace only to find that Achilles has died
just a few moments earlier (but only after he had removed all the arrows from his chest).
Funeral rituals are performed for him the next morning in the ruins of Troy. The movie
ends with Odysseus delivering the final words: "If they ever tell my story, let them say I
walked with giants. Men rise and fall like the winter wheat, but these names will never
die. Let them say I lived in the time of Hector, tamer of horses. Let them say I lived in the
time of Achilles."