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Real Life

  • Empress Theodora during the Nika Revolt (532). We don't know exactly what she said, but it was something like: "My lords, the present occasion is too serious to allow me to follow the convention that a woman should not speak in a man's council. Those whose interests are threatened by extreme danger should think only of the wisest course of action, not of conventions. In my opinion, flight is not the right course, even if it should bring us to safety. It is impossible for a person, having been born into this world, not to die; but for one who has reigned it is intolerable to be a fugitive. May I never be deprived of this purple robe, and may I never see the day when those who meet me do not call me empress. If you wish to save yourself, my lord, there is no difficulty. We are rich; over there is the sea, and yonder are the ships. Yet reflect for a moment whether, when you have once escaped to a place of security, you would not gladly exchange such safety for death. As for me, I agree with the adage that the royal purple is the noblest shroud." And yes, she did convince Justinian to fight and win.
  • Boudicca's final speech to her army (60) has been verbally passed down as such: "But now, it is not as a woman descended from noble ancestry, but as one of the people that I am avenging lost freedom, my scourged , and marked body, the outraged chastity of my daughters. Roman lust has gone so far that not our very person, nor even age or virginity, are left unpolluted. But heaven is on the side of a righteous vengeance; a legion which dared to fight has perished; the rest are hiding themselves in their camp, or are thinking anxiously of flight. They will not sustain even the din and the shout of so many thousands, much less our charge and our blows. If you weigh well the strength of the armies, and the causes of the war, you will see that in this battle you must conquer or die. This is a woman's resolve; as for men, they may live and be slaves, and captive." Her army lost, however.
  • French Revolution general Jean-Baptiste Jourdan at the Battle of Fleurus (1794):

  "Retreat ? No retreat today ! Victory or Death !"

  • This trope was essentially Cicero's job. All it took was a series of rousing speeches from this man to have the conspirator Catiline executed without a trial.
  • Abraham Lincoln: "Four score and seven years ago..."
  • Frederick the Great to his fleeing Prussian troops at the Battle of Kolin in 1757 : "Ihr verfluchten Racker, wollt ihr denn ewig leben?" (roughly: "You damned bastards, do you want to live forever?")
  • The U.S. Marines in World War I, having just arrived on the Western Front, were sent into battle through retreating French troops. After being implored to retreat with them, one of the Marine officers offered: 'Retreat? Hell no, we just got here!' (the attribution as to which officer offered the quote is sketchy though).
  • Queen Elizabeth I (1588, defeat of the Spanish armada): "My loving people, we have been persuaded by some, that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit ourselves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I assure you, I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear; I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good will of my subjects. And therefore I am come amongst you at this time, not as for my recreation or sport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live or die amongst you all; to lay down, for my God, and for my kingdom, and for my people, my honor and my blood, even the dust. I know I have but the body of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart of a king, and of a king of England, too; and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realms: to which, rather than any dishonor should grow by me, I myself will take up arms; I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field. I know already, by your forwardness, that you have deserved rewards and crowns; and we do assure you, on the word of a prince, they shall be duly paid you. In the mean my lieutenant general shall be in my stead, than whom never prince commanded a more noble and worthy subject; not doubting by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, and by your valor in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over the enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people."
  • On Omaha Beach on D-Day, Col. George Taylor got his troops off the beach by saying, "There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach; the dead and those who are going to die! Now let's get the hell out of here!"
  • The Patton Speech: "No bastard ever won a war, by dying for his country. He won it, by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."
  • Winston Churchill's speeches during World War II. The man was a master of the Rousing Speech.
    • May 13, 1940:

 I hope that any of my friends and colleagues, or former colleagues, who are affected by the political reconstruction, will make allowance, all allowance, for any lack of ceremony with which it has been necessary to act. I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this government: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat."

 We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim?

 I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all error, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival. Let that be realised; no survival for the British Empire, no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no survival for the urge and impulse of the ages, that mankind will move forward towards its goal. But I take up my task with buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. At this time I feel entitled to claim the aid of all, and I say, "come then, let us go forward together with our united strength."

    • June 4, 1940:

 "I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone.

 At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty's Government-every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation.

The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength.

 Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail.

 We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old."

    • June 18, 1940:

 But as it is, I am happy to inform the House that our fighter strength is stronger at the present time relatively to the Germans, who have suffered terrible losses, than it has ever been; and consequently we believe ourselves possessed of the capacity to continue the war in the air under better conditions than we have ever experienced before. I look forward confidently to the exploits of our fighter pilots--these splendid men, this brilliant youth--who will have the glory of saving their native land, their island home, and all they love, from the most deadly of all attacks. ...

 What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us.

 Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.

 Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, This was their finest hour.

  • De Gaulle, this same June 18, 1940. His government surrendered after the hero of the previous war, Pétain, was put to power. He was a brigadier general in London, with no army, with no navy, with no air force. His country was clearly on the track of fallen powers, however the war ended. For everyone else, it would have been the end of the fight. For him... it was only the beginning. When he finished his job, he managed not only to regain everything lost, but to make sure his country was still among the great powers (all the while pissing off a large bunch of his allies).

 The leaders who, for many years, have been at the head of the French armies have formed a government. This government, alleging the defeat of our armies, has made contact with the enemy in order to stop the fighting. It is true, we were, we are, overwhelmed by the mechanical, ground and air forces of the enemy. Infinitely more than their number, it is the tanks, the aeroplanes, the tactics of the Germans which are causing us to retreat. It was the tanks, the aeroplanes, the tactics of the Germans that surprised our leaders to the point of bringing them to where they are today.

 But has the last word been said? Must hope disappear? Is defeat final? No!

 Believe me, I who am speaking to you with full knowledge of the facts, and who tell you that nothing is lost for France. The same means that overcame us can bring us victory one day. For France is not alone! She is not alone! She is not alone! She has a vast Empire behind her. She can align with the British Empire that holds the sea and continues the fight. She can, like England, use without limit the immense industry of the United States.

 This war is not limited to the unfortunate territory of our country. This war is not over as a result of the Battle of France. This war is a worldwide war. All the mistakes, all the delays, all the suffering, do not alter the fact that there are, in the world, all the means necessary to crush our enemies one day. Vanquished today by mechanical force, in the future we will be able to overcome by a superior mechanical force. The fate of the world depends on it.

 I, General de Gaulle, currently in London, invite the officers and the French soldiers who are located in British territory or who might end up here, with their weapons or without their weapons, I invite the engineers and the specialised workers of the armament industries who are located in British territory or who might end up here, to put themselves in contact with me.

 Whatever happens, the flame of the French resistance must not be extinguished and will not be extinguished. Tomorrow, as today, I will speak on the radio from London.

  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt
    • March 4, 1933:

  This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory.

    • December 8, 1941:

 Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

...Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island. This morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

  Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves.

  Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

  I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

  Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.

  With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounded determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God.

  • Paratrooper Joseph Beyrle, the only soldier known to have served with both US and Soviet armies, relates how the female commander of his Soviet tank battalion would always use the same stirring phrase, followed by her troops enthusiastic "UH-RAAAAAH!" When Beyrle asked for a translation it turned out to be: "Follow my ass as if you can have it!"
  • Martin Luther King, on the 26th of August, 1963:

 We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children. ...

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

  I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

  I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

  I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

  I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

  I have a dream today!

  I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

  I have a dream today!

  • And on April 3, 1968, the day before he was kiled:

  And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers? Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. So I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

  • Jim Valvano at the 1993 ESPY Awards. After being diagnosed with bone cancer in June of 1992 and discovering it had metastasized the following month, he was awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award at the inaugural edition of the ESPYs. In his acceptance speech (with most of his ESPN co-workers in or near tears), he announced the creation of the "V Foundation", which would be dedicated to finding a cure for cancer, and that its motto would be his famous quotation, "Don't give up. Don't ever give up." At one point, the teleprompter flashed that he had 30 seconds to wrap it up, at which point he said, "They got that screen up there flashing 30 seconds, like I care about that screen. I got tumors all over my body and I'm worried about some guy in the back going 30 seconds." The conclusion:

 Valvano: Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever. I thank you and God bless you all.

    • The 1993 ESPYs were held on March 3. Valvano died April 28, 1993, at the age of 47.
  • There was a bit of Defictionalization with the example from Knute Rockne: All-American listed under Film. The actor giving the speech was Ronald Reagan, and he was so effective at giving the speech in the first take, the other actors became so fired up that they just charged towards the door. The problem was, it was just a set, and the group of actors playing the team tore down the whole set in their charge. It had to be rebuilt for an additional take.
  • George Washington was really good at these.
    • January 3, 1777:

 My brave fellows, you have done all I asked you to do, and more than can be reasonably expected; but your country is at stake, your wives, your houses and all that you hold dear. You have worn yourselves out with fatigues and hardships, but we know not how to spare you. If you will consent to stay one month longer, you will render that service to the cause of liberty, and to your country, which you probably can never do under any other circumstances.

    • August 27 1776:

 The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die.

 Our own Country’s Honor all call upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions—The Eyes of all our Countrymen are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings, and praises, if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the Tyranny meditated against them. Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and shew the whole world, that a Freeman contending for Liberty on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.

  • Say what you will about /b/, but when they get stirred to righteousness it's a sight to behold, as in this message about rescuing a young Anoynmous from his insane mother:

 "Any of you ever watch the Rambo movies? Because that's what this is. Sure, we're going in guns blazing, fucking up anyone who gets in our way, but by God this is a rescue mission. We've got a /b/rother behind enemy lines who needs our help! This woman is batshit insane and we can't let her continue fucking with him like this. She wanted to ABORT HER TEENAGE SON because he was viewing pornography. She tells him he's a rapist because he likes girls. She tells him that "his kind" are responsible for everything wrong in the world. She tells him that he is worthless and inferior. This is unacceptable to me as an Anonymous, it is unacceptable to me as a man, and it is unacceptable to me as a decent human being. Do what you have to do - tell the son, tell the ex, tell social services, but we are going to get our man out alive."


"My brothers... we were forged in victory. A victory that ended the great war and brought forth the reign of Mount Olympus. Born from the depths of the underworld, rooted in the river of souls, our mountain emerged out of the Chaos. As it grew, so too did the might of the Olympians. We created a world of peace, a world of prosperity, a world that lives in the shadow and safety of my mountain. A mountain that has come to be the absolute measure of strength and power. Now, on this day, that power is to be tested. The mortal Kratos, seeks to destroy all that I have wrought. Brothers, put aside the petty grievances that have splintered us for so long. We will unite. We will stand together. And I will wipe out this plague! OLYMPUS... WILL PREVAIL!!!"
Zeus, God of War 3

We do not know what our chances of survival are, so we fight as if they were zero. We do not know what we are facing, so we fight as if it was the dark gods themselves. No one will remember us now and we may never be buried beneath Titan, so we will build our own memorial here. The Chapter might lose us and the Imperium might never know we existed, but the Enemy - the Enemy will know. The Enemy will remember. We will hurt it so badly that it will never forget us until the stars burn out and the Emperor vanquishes it at the end of time. When Chaos is dying, its last thought will be of us. That is our memorial -carved into the heart of Chaos. We cannot lose, Grey Knights. We have already won.
Justicar Alaric, Grey Knights
"Zeon's strength was expended in the Battle of Loum! There is no way they can create new soldiers overnight, and Ghiren Zabi knows it. I therefore appeal to all the citizens of the Earth Federation, to each and every one of you. Zeon is exhausted! Now is not the time for us to kneel before Zeon. It is time for us to rise! Now, more than ever, is our chance to defeat Zeon!"
General Revil, Mobile Suit Gundam: Awakening by Yoshiyuki Tomino

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;

Or close the wall up with our English dead.

In peace there's nothing so becomes a man

As modest stillness and humility:

But when the blast of war blows in our ears,

Then imitate the action of the tiger;

Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,

Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;

Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;

Let pry through the portage of the head

Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it

As fearfully as doth a galled rock

O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,

Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit

To his full height. On, on, you noblest English.

Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!

Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,

Have in these parts from morn till even fought

And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:

Dishonour not your mothers; now attest

That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.

Be copy now to men of grosser blood,

And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,

Whose limbs were made in England, show us here

The mettle of your pasture; let us swear

That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;

For there is none of you so mean and base,

That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.

I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,

Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:

Follow your spirit, and upon this charge

Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'
King Henry V, act 3, scene i, by William Shakespeare

If we are mark'd to die, we are enow

To do our country loss; and if to live,

The fewer men, the greater share of honour.

God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.

By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,

Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;

It yearns me not if men my garments wear;

Such outward things dwell not in my desires:

But if it be a sin to covet honour,

I am the most offending soul alive.

No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England:

God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour

As one man more, methinks, would share from me

For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!

Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,

That he which hath no stomach to this fight,

Let him depart; his passport shall be made

And crowns for convoy put into his purse:

We would not die in that man's company

That fears his fellowship to die with us.

This day is called the feast of Crispian:

He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,

Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,

And rouse him at the name of Crispian.

He that shall live this day, and see old age,

Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,

And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'

Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.

And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'

Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,

But he'll remember with advantages

What feats he did that day: then shall our names.

Familiar in his mouth as household words

Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,

Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,

Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.

This story shall the good man teach his son;

And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,

From this day to the ending of the world,

But we in it shall be remember'd;

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;

For he to-day that sheds his blood with me

Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,

This day shall gentle his condition:

And gentlemen in England now a-bed

Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,

And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks

That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
King Henry V, Act 4 Scene iii, by William Shakespeare.
Humans are no strangers to war. After all, we've been fighting for as long as we can remember. War is all we know. In the past, we fought for Imulsion. We fought for country. We fought for freedom. But all that changed after E-Day. For 15 years, we've been fighting for our very survival against inhuman, genocidal monsters. It is a fight we cannot continue. Humanity faces extinction, unless we end this war... now. We had thought the Lightmass Bomb would decimate the Locust Horde, but they survived, and have returned stronger than ever. They brought with them a force that can sink entire cities. Even Jacinto, our last beacon of hope through all these dark days, is now at risk. Soon we'll have nothing left to defend, and that means we have only one option: ...attack. Gears, what I ask of you now is not an easy thing, but it is necessary. If we are to survive... if we are to live long enough to see the seasons pass, our children grow, and experience a time of peace that we have never known, we must now take this fight to the Locust. We will go to where they live, and where they breed, and we will destroy them! This is the day we take the battle to the heart of the enemy! This is the day we correct the course of human history! This is the day we ensure our survival as a species! Soldiers of the C.O.G.... my fellow Gears... go forth, and bring back the hope of humanity!!
Coalition of Ordered Governments Chairman Richard Prescott, Gears of War 2
Marines, the Prophet of Truth doesn't know it yet, but he's about to get kicked right off his throne. We will take our city back, and drive our enemy into the grave they've been so happily digging. One final effort is all that remains!
UNSC Fleet Admiral Terrence Hood, Halo 3
You all know the mission, and what is at stake. I have come to trust each of you with my life -- but I have also heard murmurs of discontent. I share your concerns. We are trained for espionage; we would be legends, but the records are sealed. Glory in battle is not our way. Think of our heroes; the Silent Step, who defeated a nation with a single shot. Or the Ever Alert, who kept armies at bay with hidden facts. These giants do not seem to give us solace here, but they are not all that we are. Before the network, there was the fleet. Before diplomacy, there were soldiers. Our influence stopped the rachni, but before that we held the line! Our influence stopped the krogan, but before that, we held the line! Our influence will stop Saren; in the battle today, we will hold the line!
Captain Kirrahe, Mass Effect, with appropriate music.

Words shouldn't matter. People have died. If losing our friends isn't enough, if that doesn't make you want payback, then what are we doing here?

The Collectors blindside their targets. Hit and run. As powerful as they are, they're cowards. They've never had to stand and fight the best of us -- that's you.

I don't know if they can feel fear, but we're damned sure going to give them the opportunity. Hit them hard! One way or another, it ends here!
Commander Shepard, Mass Effect 2, final battle at the Collector Base (Renegade version)

We've lost some good people. They gave everything to get us here. It's up to us to make it mean something and do them justice.

The Collectors, the Reapers... they aren't a threat to us. They're a threat to everything -- everyone. Those are the lives we're fighting for. That's the scale.

It's been a long journey, and no one's coming out without scars. But it all comes down to this moment. We win or lost it all in the next few moments. Make me proud. Make yourselves proud.
Commander Shepard, Mass Effect 2, final battle at the Collector Base (Paragon version)
This is the Admiral. You've heard the news, you know the mission. You should also know there is only one way that this mission ends: and that's with the successful rescue of our people, off of New Caprica. Look around you. Take a good look at the men and women that stand next to you. Remember their faces, for one day you will tell your children and your grandchildren that you served with such men and women as the universe has never seen. And together, you'll accomplish the feat that will be told and retold down through the ages, and find immortality as only the gods once knew. I'm proud to serve with you. Good hunting.
William Adama, Battlestar Galactica
Here we are in the mouth of Hell, and we made it this far by leanin' on each other. That thing may be the key to stoppin' the Queen of Blades, but it's our sweat and blood that'll make it happen. After everything we've been through, past all the fire and fury, the one thing I know is that we can count on each other to get the job done. Or die trying, if that's what it takes. ...Because some things are just worth fighting for.
James Raynor, Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty

Zeratul: Protoss brethren, heed me! The last twilight has fallen. The galaxy burns around us! The terrans have already been consumed. We are all that stands against the shadow. But if we are to meet our end this day, then we will do so as one! En taro Tassadar!

Selendis: This is the hour of truth, noble templar! Let the enemy know the wrath of Aiur's champions!

Artanis: My brethren, hear me, for there is little time left. All that remains of our race, our civilization, are those that stand beside you now. Trust in each other. Strike as one will. Let our last stand burn a memory so bright we will be remembered forever. En taro Tassadar!
—the protoss prepare for battle against the Dark Voice, Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty
Let me ask you two a question: You ever wonder why we're here? ... No, I mean you! What are YOU doing here? You always act like you want to quit, but hell, you could've left whenever you wanted! No one would have stopped you, so why are you here? And you, Simmons! You say you want to be in charge. They would've given you your own squad a dozen times over! You know it, and I know it, but you're still here. And you, Tucker: Much as I hate to admit it, you're actually good at being a soldier. ...I know you like to make your rude comments, and pretend like it all doesn't matter, but an entire alien race chose you to be their hero! So why are you here? And Caboose, um... It's good to see you. ...Maybe you're all here because this is the only place you fit in. Maybe you're here because you don't have anywhere else to go. Or maybe you're all here because, deep down, you want to be here. The reason doesn't matter. What matters is that you're here! For all we know, Tex and Church are dead. That means we're the only ones that know what's happened, the only ones that can prevent them from covering it up. So the way I figure it, if these Freelancer guys will use us, take us away from our families, and send us all over the dad-gum galaxy just to test if their agents are ready for the big fight, well, I guess I'm interested in showing them exactly what a big fight is all about! It's time to clean the slate! So I'm not ordering you to go. I ain't even asking. You do what you gotta do, Private Grif.
Sarge, Red vs. Blue: Revelation
The sky people have sent us a message, that they can take whatever they want and no one can stop them. But we will send them a message. You ride out, as fast as the wind can carry you! You tell the other clans to come. Tell them Toruk Makto calls to them. You fly now, with me, my brothers! my sisters! And we will show the sky people that they cannot take whatever they want. And that this... this is our land!
Jake Sully, Avatar
Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. "Mankind." That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it's fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom... Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution... but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: "We will not go quietly into the night!" We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!
President Whitmore, Independence Day

"My friends, it has often been said that I like war. Friends, I like war. No, friends, I love war!

I love holocausts. I love blitzkriegs. I love defensive lines. I love sieges, charges, I love mop-up operations, and retreats.

Wars across prairies, in streets, in trenches, in grasslands, in frozen tundras, through deserts, on the sea, in the air, I love every act of war that can occur upon this earth.

I love blasting the enemy to smithereens with artillery salvos that thunder across the lines of battle.

My heart leaps with joy whenever a soldier is tossed high into the air and cut to pieces by well placed sniper rounds.

And there is nothing like a tank operator using a Tiger 88 to destroy enemy tanks. And the feeling that comes when a soldier runs screaming from his blazing tank only to be mowed down by heavy machine gun fire, is such an exquisite feeling.

Like when ranks of infantry brandish their bayonets rushing into the enemy line. It moves me deep within my heart to watch a fresh recruit stabbing over and over into the bloated chest of a long-dead enemy.

The sight of deserters being strung up from a street lamp is an irresistible pleasure. And there is nothing more arousing, than the sounds made by prisoners of war dropping like flies, screaming in agony as they're mowed down by ear piercing schmeissers!

When a band of pitiful resistance fighters makes their final stands with nothing but small arms, only to have their city smashed to atoms block by block by 4.8 ton bombshells, I'm in ecstasy.

I love it when my forces are ravaged by a Russian armored division. It's so sad to see towns and villages that were supposed to be defended at all costs, being laid to waste, their women and children being raped, and killed.

I love to be squashed under the heel of the British and American war machines. The humiliation, as my men crawl around like vermin, ducking the Jabo flying overhead.

Gentlemen... All I ask for is war, a war so grand as to make Hell itself tremble. Gentlemen, I ask you as fellow brothers in arms, what is it you really want? Do you wish for further war as I do? Do you wish for a merciless, bloody war? A war whose fury is built with iron, and lightning, and fire? Do you ask for war to sweep in like a tempest, leaving not even ravens to scavenge, from this Earth!?"

Very well. Then krieg is what you shall have. We are a clenched fist, ready to strike down all who oppose us, with our might. But.. After enduring over half a century wallowing in the darkness, for us, a simple *ordinary* war will no longer be sufficient. We need a MASSIVE war! A war beyond any other that man's history has never known!

We are but a single battalion.. The remnants of of defeated army numbering less than a thousand strong. However, I believe that each of you old warriors is worth a thousand of their sickly soft children! We represent a force that could easily defeat an army of a million and one men! It is time for them to awake the ones who sent us screaming into oblivion, and who now lie sleeping. Let's drag them out of bed by the hair, and remind them of what we are! We will remind them of what it feels like to live in fear. We will remind them of the sound our jackboots make against their throats. We will remind them, that there are more things between Heaven and Hell than are dreamt of in their philosophy.

Our Kampfgruppe of one thousand vampires will burn this world down to ash. Yes, my friends! Soon, Europe's charred remains will illuminate the night sky! I have brought you all back just as I promised I would. Back to our favorite battlefield. Back to our beloved war!

At last, the sea lion has crossed the ocean and is heading up the hill! Attention soldiers of the Millennium battalion, this is a message from your commander:

Friends...let's bring them Hell."
The Major, Hellsing

This is - this is the President.

I've just been informed that our mid-range military bases at Beta Durani and Proxima Three have fallen to the Minbari advance. We've lost contact with Io and must conclude that they, too, have fallen to an advance force.

Our military intelligence believes that the Minbari intend to bypass Mars and hit Earth directly, and the attack may come at any time.

We have continued to broadcast our surrender and a plea for mercy, and they have not responded. We therefore can only conclude that we stand at the twilight of the human race.

In order to buy more time for our evacuation transports to leave Earth, we ask for the support of every ship capable of fighting, to take part in a last defense of our homeworld. We will not lie to you - we do not believe that survival is a possibility. We believe that anyone who joins this battle... will never come home. But for every ten minutes we can delay the military advance, several hundred more civilians may have a chance to escape to neutral territory. Though Earth may fall, the human race must have a chance to continue elsewhere.

No greater sacrifice has ever been asked of a people, but I ask you now: to step forward one last time - one last battle to hold the line against the night.

May God go with you all.
The President of Earth, In The Beginning

Enemies of the Imperium, hear me: you have come here to die.

The Immortal Emperor is with us, and we are invincible.

His soldiers will strike you down. His war machines will crush you under their treads. His mighty guns will bring the very sky crashing down upon you. You cannot win. The Emperor has given us his greatest weapon to wield, so make yourselves ready.

We are the First Kronus Regiment, and today is our Victory Day!
Governor-Militant Lukas Alexander, Dawn of War: Dark Crusade, when the Imperial Guard stronghold is attacked.
Today the enemy is at our doorstep, and thinks he can push us of this world. He is already gloating. He can taste his victory. But what he fails to see is that we will make this his last meal! The Chief Librarian has ordered the purge of this world to protect our Chapter's secrets. Are we to retreat with our duty unfulfilled? Are we to let a black mark stain the banner of the Blood Ravens? I say that we will not! I say our enemies will regret the day they ever decided to face us in battle! Our Battle Barge orbits overhead and will rain the Emperor's holy fury on our opponents! More of our brothers will come to join the fight, but as always our enemy outnumbers us. Each of you must be an army in your own right! Veterans of the First Company, the finest of the entire Chapter, stand with us! Let their valor guide your fire into the enemy's heart! Remember that we are Blood Ravens, brothers. We have all sworn to protect fonts of hidden knowledge. Each one of us must fall before handing this world to the enemy. The Emperor is with us! The Unknown Primarch is with us! They have come for our blood, but they will drown in their own!
Captain Thule, Dawn of War

"Space Marines! Today the enemy is at our door. We know our duty and we will do it. We fight for our honor, as Blood Ravens, as Space Marines, and we fight in the name of The Emperor! If we die this day, we die in glory. We die hero's deaths. But we shall not die, no, it is the enemy who will taste death and defeat; As You Know, most of our battle brothers are stationed in space, prepared to deep strike!"
Commander Boreale, Dawn of War
"Citizens of Berlin! A ring of steel surrounds your rotten city! We will crush all who still dare to resist the will of the Red Army! Abandon your posts! Abandon your homes! Abandon all hope! Ura!"
Commissar Markhov, Call of Duty: World At War
Friends! This island is a great and wonderful place. Never have any been as blessed as we are to live in such a paradise! I love my home, and Jaller loved it too. But, most of all, Jaller respected his duty! Let us repay him by doing our duty! Let us remember him by fulfilling our destiny. Let us go forward together! Let us awaken the Great Spirit!
Hahli, Bionicle: Mask of Light
"Never before have so many come together - from all quarters of the galaxy. But never before have we faced an enemy such as this. The Reapers will show us no mercy. We must give them no quarter. They will terrorize our populations. We must stand fast in the face of that terror. They will advance until our last city falls, but we will not fall. We will prevail. Each of us will be defined by our actions in the coming battle. Stand fast. Stand strong. Stand together. Hackett out"
Admiral Steven Hackett, Mass Effect 3
You hear that? That's the mating call of the Northmen! They want to fuck us! Well, I haven't had a good fuck in weeks! I'm ready for one! They say every ironborn man is worth a dozen from the mainland. You think they're right? We die today brothers! We die bleeding from a hundred wounds with arrows in our necks and spears in our guts! But our warcries will echo through eternity! They will sing about the Battle of Winterfell until the Iron Islands have slipped beneath the waves! Every man, woman, and child will know who we were and how long we stood! Aggar and Gelmar! Wex and Urzen! Styg and Black Lorren! Ironborn warriors will cry out our names as they leap onto the shores of Seagard and Faircastle! Mothers will name their sons after us! Girls will think of us with their lovers inside them! AND WHOEVER KILLS THAT FUCKING HORNBLOWER WILL STAND IN BRONZE ABOVE THE SHORES OF PYKE! WHAT IS DEAD MAY NEVER DIE!
Theon Greyjoy, Game of Thrones [1]

Forty Inspirational Speeches in Two Minutes


  1. right before getting whalloped on the head by his own men
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