Here's a question for you men. Did you know women appreciate epic battles and heroism? It's true. My daughter and I watched The Lord of the Rings Trilogy over the weekend which led to an ongoing discussion about battle scenes and heroes.
I made the comment that heroism in the movie's epic battles was testosterone at its finest. That led to our selecting the best epic battle scenes as well as those that speak to women in particular. Usually profound words or Shakespearean-style speeches preface or accompany the heroism.
There are a lot of examples, but these are the ones that immediately popped into our minds. In no particular order, here's the list we came up with before we moved on to another movie.
1. The Last of the Mohicans starring Daniel Day-Lewis as Nathaniel and Madeline Stowe as Cora. I'm singling out the scene where they're trapped behind the waterfall, their gunpowder is wet and useless, capture is imminent, and Cora tells Nathaniel to flee.
He knows he can't protect her if he stays, but he doesn't want to leave her to face those who pursue them. In an intensely emotional scene, he tells her, "Stay alive. Do whatever it takes, but stay alive. I'll come for you.
Why is this scene so powerful, and why does it speak so strongly to women? Because every woman wants a man who loves her...cherishes her. In colonial times when women were considered ruined by rape, Nathaniel is telling Cora to do whatever it takes to survive. He will love her no matter what. He will give his life for her.
This scene is as captivating as it is heartbreaking. Even when Boromir is pierced by 3 arrows, he keeps fighting. Finally, reeling from the injuries, he stands, waiting for the death blow when Aragorn bursts onto the scene.
Like Boramir, Aragorn fights with every ounce of energy and courage he has. After killing the worst of the Uruk-hai, he goes to Boromir whose dying words embed themselves into memory: “I would have followed you to the end. My brother, my captain, my king.”
3. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. The Battle of the Hornburg, aka the Battle of Helm's Deep. Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Théoden who leads 300 Rohirrim are joined by many Elves of Lórien led by Haldir of Lórien.
Despite their small number, they face, without wavering, 10,000 Orcs, Uruk-hai, and orc-human hybrids known as half-orcs or goblin-men. This epic battle features the best of heroism and sacrifice.
The "brothers in arms" suffer devastating losses, but they hold out until dawn when Gandalf arrives with 2,000 Rohirrim. This cavalry turns the tide of the battle.
I have to call attention to a scene that shows the best of estrogen, I guess you could say. Rohirrim Shield Maiden Éowyn faces the Lord of the Nazgûl who taunts, "No man can kill me." She counters with, "I am no man," and proceeds to take him out.
5. 300: The Battle of Thermopylae. What is more epic than a battle to the death against overwhelming odds? The Spartans were the superheroes of their millennia.
This movie and Gladiator starring Russell Crowe must have been dipped in vats of testosterone. Still, it's the self-sacrifice of those who fought that appeals.
I remember in high school English Lit, being swept by chill bumps upon reading the poem: "Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by, that here, obedient to their laws, we lie."
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. I'll conclude this impromptu list with 13 Hours, a stunning film by Michael Bay.
This movie made me ashamed of our government and so proud of the Americans who sought to endure against countless numbers.
The movie will keep you on the edge of your seat, fill you with outrage, and bring you to tears. The movie made me buy the book by Mitchell Zuckoff with the Annex Security Team.
I like what Michael O'Sullivan of the Washington Post said: "One thing that is never in question, whether in the book, in the movie or in real life: These men are heroes."
If you haven't seen this amazing movie, do yourself a favor and rent or buy it.
I haven't seen Sully: Miracle on the Hudson, but I feel as if it's another example of a man steadfastly doing the difficult job at hand because that task was handed to him by Fate.
That's about it for my Monday Musing. What are some of your favorite examples of testosterone at its finest?