Do Paris and Helen Remain Together After the Movie Troy?

Directed by Wolfgang Petersen, ‘Troy‘ is a historical drama movie that chronicles the epic battle between the Greeks and the Trojans. When Prince Paris of Troy falls in love and escapes with Helen, the queen of Sparta, her brother-in-law King Agamemnon of Mycenae, declares a deadly war against the Trojans. The Greeks then proceed to invade the impenetrable Troy with the great warrior Achilles on their side, devising a brilliant tactic to get into the walled city. As the movie ends, they defeat the Trojans and annihilate their homes, but the audience is left wondering what becomes of Paris and Helen. Let’s find out about the fate of the two lovers, shall we? SPOILERS AHEAD.

Do Paris and Helen Remain Together?

In ‘Troy,’ Prince Paris meets Helen when he and his brother Hector are negotiating a peace treaty with King Menelaus of Sparta. However, it is revealed that he is having an affair with her, and thus, he hides her on the ship back home and takes her to Troy. When Menelaus’ brother King Agamemnon of Mycenae swears revenge against the Trojans for this and gathers the Greek forces, he is accompanied by his trusted heroic warrior Achilles. After a prolonged war, they enter Troy and wreak havoc, but Paris kills the latter and escapes to Mount Ida with Helen.

In reality, there are numerous theories about what happens to the mythological couple after the war ends. The most popular one is based on Ancient Greek author Homer’s epic poems ‘Odyssey’ and ‘Iliad,’ the latter also being the inspiration behind the movie. As per his imaginings, Paris gets mortally wounded by an arrow shot by Greek archer Philoctetes, toward the end of the Trojan War. Helen then rushes to Mount Ida to summon his first wife Oenone- a nymph who has healing powers. But she refuses to help him due to her resentment over him abandoning her.

Paris succumbs to his injuries and Helen returns to Troy and marries his brother Deiphobus. However, she later betrays him to her first husband Menelaus by hiding his sword. After he is killed, Helen comes back to Sparta with the latter and they reconcile to lead a happy married life. While Homer’s version of events depicts Paris dying and Helen reuniting with Menelaus, others like the tragedian Euripides give a different account of her fate. In his play ‘Orestes,’ he depicts her being attacked by Agamemnon’s son after Paris dies. Luckily, the Greek god Appollo saves her and she ascends to Mount Olympus when Menelaus returns.

But in his other play ‘Helen,’ Euripides states that Helen never lived in Troy, but was hidden by Hermes in Egypt, where she met Menelaus after he got shipwrecked post the Trojan War. They fell in love and escaped from the clutches of King Proteus, who wanted to have her for himself. Another similar narrative involving Egypt is seen in Ancient Greek historian Herodotus’ work, claiming that after Paris and Helen left Sparta, his ship lost its way and reached the desert country. King Proteus then disallowed him to take her as their relationship was illegitimate.

Thus, a new bride accompanied Paris to Troy, whereas the Greeks refused to believe that Helen was not with him. After the decade-long Trojan War, Menelaus traveled to Egypt, where King Proteus rightfully returned his wife to him. Yet another account by the geographer Pausanias states that Helen did return to Sparta with Menelaus, but after his death, she was driven out by his sons to Rhodes. There, she took shelter with Polyxo, the wife of warrior Tlepolemus, who died in the Trojan War. Livid at her spouse’s death, she sent handmaidens dressed as Furies behind Helen, and they hanged her from a tree.

While there are so many conjectures about what happened to Paris and Helen after the Trojan War, Homer’s theory best expands upon the narrative of the movie, as after all, it is the source material. Although, ‘Troy’ also deviates a bit from the events depicted in ‘Iliad,’ and shows Paris to be alive and escaping to Mount Ida with Helen, as the walled city burns down. The director has brilliantly left it open to the viewers’ imagination to speculate what may happen to the lovers after they leave Troy behind. But as far as we can tell, the couple probably lives together in Mount Ida till death, as she loves him too deeply since the beginning and doesn’t wish to stay with Menelaus.

This is because Homer’s ‘Iliad’ depicts that Goddess Aphrodite gave Helen as a gift to Paris after he judged her as the most beautiful deity. Helen is thus forced to live with him and they share a strained relationship. Whereas, in the movie, she willingly falls for him and accompanies him to Troy, later continuing to be by his side even after the Greeks invade. Hence, Paris and Helen seemingly remain with each other after the Trojan War and begin a life away from her vengeful husband.

Read More: Why Did Achilles Cry after Killing Hector?