Why Braveheart Is Considered One Of The Most Historically Inaccurate Movies Of All Time

After a rousing speech, we see the Scots charging headfirst into battle against the English…and as the scene fades to Wallace’s sword defiantly planted in the ground, a triumphant voice tells us what is happening. then pass:

“In the year of grace 1314 starving and outnumbered Scottish patriots charged the fields of Bannockburn. They fought like warrior poets. They fought like Scots. And won their freedom.”

It’s a moving ending with an emotional finale that would leave even the most hardened clan members with tears in their eyes. But while the Scots in Bannockburn may have fought like Scots, they didn’t exactly win their freedom. After the Battle of Bannockburn, Robert the Bruce continued his fight against the English monarchy for another 14 years. The War for Scottish Independence was fought through famine, civil war and great political upheaval until 1328 when the Kingdom of Scotland finally won its freedom.

Even then, freedom was short-lived, as the Scottish nobles and their English allies refused to accept defeat, forcing the Scots to another one War of Independence just four years later. Probably not the ending that “Braveheart” director Mel Gibson had in mind.

What “Braveheart” delivered was a mishmash of history and imagination, resulting in one of the most historically inaccurate historical epics of all time. It almost makes “Troy” look like a documentary. Still, it made for a hell of a movie, even if that’s not quite what actually happened.

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