The story is about a Macedonian boy who grows up and becomes the great warrior and conqueror of all times, Alexander the Great. Alexander is one of King Philip's sons. King Philip of Macedonia is married to Alexander's mother, Olympia, but she is of foreign blood so her son is not considered the legitimate heir. King Philip has many other children and many other mistresses.
Click here to see the rest of this review
Alexander grows up under his mother's influence. She tells him that Zeus is his real father and she teaches him how to tame snakes. She is considered a sorceress and King Philip hates her for having so much power over young Alexander's mind. King Philip believes that Alexander is a weak boy and he doesn't think him fit to be his successor until the boy tames a wild stallion and names him Bucephalus.
Philip teaches Alexander valuable lessons by bringing to his attention the great Greek and Macedonian myths and Alexander dreams of being a great warrior, conquering foreign nations and building an empire. King Philip gets yet another wife and he marries her while she is expecting a son. Olympia warns her son that if King Philip's new wife gives birth to a boy the both of them are going to be killed because the new son will be the successor and the true heir. She tells him that he should kill the new wife and baby as soon as possible in order to protect his life and his legacy. Alexander has a huge fight with his mother and he goes to the wedding. He tells his father that he, Alexander, is the true heir and they get into a huge fight. King Philip tells Alexander to leave Macedonia. They reconcile after a while but King Philip is assassinated under Alexander's eyes and he knows that Olympia was behind the whole thing.
Alexander is proclaimed king and he starts planning his first campaign. He wants to fulfill his father's dream of conquering Persia. He marches against King Darius' huge army and he is about to win the battle when he gets the idea that he should kill King Darius himself. He gets very close to killing Darius but he escapes and Alexander can't follow him. Alexander and his army enter Babylon, the capital of the empire and they establish themselves in King Darius' extremely rich city. Alexander keeps hunting King Darius through the mountains until he finds him assassinated by his own generals and left to rot among the rocks.
Alexander gets very bold and he conquers tribe after tribe and city after city. He marries a barbaric and extremely beautiful woman named Roxane against his general's advice of marrying a Macedonian woman and having a Macedonian heir. In fact, Alexander doesn't love Roxane. He loves Hephaistion, his childhood friend but he doesn't dare to proclaim his love for the young man and their affair remains secret. Roxane understands the fact that Alexander loves Hephaistion and she gets very jealous. Alexander wants a son but it seems that Roxane is barren because she doesn't get pregnant.
Alexander leads his army further and further away from home and his generals are getting restless. They want to return to their homeland and they don't like the fact that Alexander is treating the barbaric leaders as their equals. Alexander forces his army deeper and deeper into India and the men are getting sick from the infested water. Alexander leads one last desperate attempt to conquer India but he is badly wounded and he his army gets slaughtered and trampled under the elephant's feet. Hephaistion is also injured and they decide to return to Babylon.
Hephaistion dies of an unknown disease and Alexander is devastated. He starts drinking too much, he gets sick and dies soon after Hepahistion's death. His generals start fighting soon after his death and they divide the empire among themselves.
Olympia, Alexander's mother, knows that her son is dead when she sees a hawk approaching her window. She is going to be assassinated by the new emperor of Macedonia and Greece, one of Alexander's generals.
The storyteller, an old and withered man, one of Alexander's generals that was assigned to rule over Egypt, tells us that Alexander was most likely poisoned because he was getting mad with power and he wasn't listening to his generals anymore.
Best part of story, including ending:
The movie seems to be accurate enough. Alexander's life is impressive in its own way and a movie about his conquests is very enjoyable. The story is very inspiring and it shows that fortune favors the bold, indeed.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene was the one where Alexander mourned his friend, Hephaistion. Alexander tells Hephaistion that he is the only person that can understand him and his desire for conquests and he begs his friend to stay with him a little longer. I was in tears when I realized that Hephaistion was about to die and that Alexander was to follow.
Opinion about the main character:
I liked Alexander's determination to move further and further and to discover new territories and new worlds. I felt that he was more than a conqueror, he was some sort of explorer and wanderer. He had the soul of an explorer for sure. I was sorry that he had to die so young.