This is one of my favourite pieces of dialogue interaction and without realising has helped re-access some of my belief systems. I don’t have time to go into it now but I’ll come back and tidy it up. It comes from Zhang Yimou’s 2002 MASTERPIECE Hero.

The scenes themselves are placed in the videos below and start from 3:41 in the first video. The text speech itself has been shortened for conciceness.

Broken Sword: They asked why I had abadoned the mission. I told them the King mus not be killed. That is what calligraphy taught me. I didn’t kill the king. Please Abadoned your plan

Nameless: No

Broken Sword: Was your sword forged in hatred?

Nameless: Yes, for 10 years it never tired. I can’t stop now

Broken Sword: How can i dissuade you?

Nameless: Only by killing me

Broken Sword: Are you that determined

Nameless: Yes

Broken Sword: Allow me to convey my conviction… In three words


Broken Sword: These words express my mind…Please Consider

*scene change*

King Qin: What were the words he wrote?

Nameless: ‘All under heaven’

King Qin: All under heaven?

Nameless: Broken Sword said..’The people have suffered years of warfare, only the King of Qin can stop the chaos… by uniting all under heaven.’ He asked me to abandon the assisanation for the greater good fo all. He said ‘ one person’s suffering is nothing compared to the suffering of many. The rivalry of Zhao and Qin is trivial compared to the greater cause

*emotional pause*

King Qin: The person who really understands me is my most feared enemy. Alone, I have endured so much criticism, So many attempts on my life. No one understands my intentions. Even my court officials see me as a tyrant. But I never imagined, that Broken Sword, my arch-enemy, would truly understand and appreciate my real motives.


King Qin: I would like to know how you mean to kill me without your sword?

Nameless: By capturing yours!

*disarms himself and throws his sword at nameless*

King Qin: This sword has protected me through all my battles. Having found a true confidant in Broken Sword, if I die, I am content with my life. Let ‘All under heaven’ guide your decision

*turns around*

*nameless pics up the sword and lunges at the king with it hitting him*

Nameless: your majesty, your visions have convinced me, that you are commited to the highest ideal, of ultimate swordsmanship, therefore I cannot kill you. Remember those who gave their lives for the highest ideal: peace

*Nameless leaves the palace to be executed, revealing the King is actually unharmed*