The Woman King: 10 Greatest Quotes

Woman is king A powerful story of strength and resilience told from the perspective of Akoji, the all-female royal guard of the Kingdom of Dahomey. Powerhouse performances by Viola Davis, Lashana Lynch and Tuso Mbedu are anchored in a dialogue that speaks to the conflict of a nation still in the grip of the slave trade.


Great quotes from General Naniska’s advice to new recruit Navi to preparing Akoji for war against the Oyo Empire. Woman is king As inspiring today as it was in 19th-century West Africa.

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“We have a weapon they’re not ready for.”

King Geso

The Kingdom of Dahomey still participated in the slave trade in the 19th century and regularly went to war with its neighbors to trade prisoners of war with the Oyo Empire and its Portuguese partners. Woman is king King portrays Gezo as a conflicted man as he brought his kingdom wealth, and he refuses to be a tribute state to Oyo, sending Akoji with a message of succession.

This quote opens the movie and immediately evokes Akoji as a formidable force. Many amazing battle scenes They also fight with Oyo. At a time when the rest of West Africa was adapting to European warfare with horses and guns, the Akoji considered their presence even stronger thanks to their prowess and death in battle.

“Always obey Isoki.”

Izoki to Navi

Isogi is the first member of Akoji that Navi meets at the palace, and the stern second-in-command isn’t too impressed with his new recruit. She doesn’t mince words with Navi, but instead tells her what to expect from life as a member of the King’s Guard, ending her tour with a very important rule; “Always obey Igozi.”

Beyond invoking the first law of Fight Club, this quote is important because many of the things Izoki teaches Navi form the foundation of physical and mental strength needed to be one of Akoji’s fiercest warriors. When Izoki is captured by Oyo Navi, she uses a very important rule, and by always obeying Izoki, she repeats Izoki’s own principles to her, and she refuses to give up on herself or her sisters.

“To be a warrior you must kill your tears.”

General Naniska to Navi

To become an Akoji, a woman must ignore the prospect of raising a family. She must eschew marriage and children and rely solely on her skills and her sister to serve the king and protect her kingdom. General Naniska is an example of how Navi must become a practical and tough woman if she hopes to last decades under the king’s custody.

Despite being nineteen, Navi is still very alienated by Naniska’s cynicism and doesn’t always understand her motivations. When Naniska explains to Navi that there is no place for tears in Akoji and that she must be strong and impervious to grief, it is because she does not want her to be overcome by her emotions and make mistakes.

“Are we learning to cook? You cut the body, not a ham.”

Isogie to Akoji Warriors during training

Izoki and General Naniska are in charge of training the new Akoji recruits and they do not hold back their criticism. As the young women cut the wooden targets, they scrutinize each strike and call out their mistakes in front of the group.

Despite his quiet demeanor, Isoki actually does double duty as a character with some of his quotes. She’s also as comic relief as she can be, like this line of dialogue that compares young women’s strikes to dicing ham for dinner.

“Fighting is not magic. Skill.”

General Naniska to Navi

Growing up, Navi had heard great stories of Akoji and matched their fighting skills. Very powerful magic users. When she saw that they were mere flesh-and-blood women instead of powerful witches, she was disappointed and was not afraid to tell this to General Naniska in a private moment.

The General sets her straight when she explains that fighting isn’t magic, but a skill that needs to be honed. No amount of magic or special herbs can make up for the lack of effectiveness with spear, sword or rope. The Akoji have a fearsome reputation because they are good at war, not because of anything supernatural or fake.

“I don’t have an easy life!”

Navi to General Naniska

With a choice between marrying a brutal man twice her age or joining Akoji, Navi chooses to become a warrior. After living in the palace, she begins to see how much sacrifice goes into life as in the king’s custody, and she struggles to find her place among the other new recruits. General Naniska doesn’t believe the young Navi has what it takes to see it through.

Like any young man who wants to be taken seriously, Navi denies Naniska’s claim that she doesn’t know what it’s like to fight and that spending her life on a farm has weakened her. The general’s words ignite a fire within her, and she begins to discover a strength she didn’t even know she had, gaining the respect of her peers in the process.

“We are Akoji. We do not act alone.”

General Naniska to Navi

During a particularly gruesome confrontation with Oyo, Navi decides to act on impulse to protect General Naniska. A “one vs. many” fight scene. While her decision was successful, she acted alone, which was not the Akoji way. Even after her life is saved, the General punishes Navi in ​​front of the other women.

One of the many reasons the Akoji is so successful is that they fight as a unit and adapt to each new military challenge with strengths built on teamwork. Like the Spartans of Greece, they fight for the woman on their right and left, making them an unstoppable force. Acting alone threatens the strength of the entire unit, and puts lives at risk.

“You are powerful. More than you know. Don’t give up your power.”

Izoki to Navi

Izoki acts like an older sister to Navi, warning her of the dangers of loving anyone other than her fellow Akoji. Calling attention to one man is not only prohibited, but also distracting the unit’s attention. She believes that “love is weak” because it can usurp a person’s priorities.

This quote speaks of someone losing their inner agency once they turn to the demands of a partner. Izoki sees how powerful Navi is as a warrior and believes that if she gives it to Malik, he will diminish her spirit by making her serve only him. Izoki’s words help Navi see where her focus should be – on her own desires and aspirations

“You have the key. You decide when the lock will turn.”

Malik to Navi

Despite being from two different continents and two different worlds, Malik and Navi share feelings for each other. In order to protect Navi from Oyo, Malik is forced to buy her as a slave so that she will not be taken abroad. When she protests, he assures her that he doesn’t want to control her.

When Malik physically gives Navi the key to her room and tells her that she can decide when to leave, he reminds her that she is always free to make her own choice. With Akoji and with him, she has personal freedom

“We are fighting not only for today, but also for the future!”

Addressing General Naniska Akoji

During their final battle against Oyo, General Naniska rallies Akoji with a speech that encapsulates everything they stand for and what they want to do in the future. She hopes they will become part of a kingdom that no longer sells its own people, as the Akojis have always done. Fighting for the Kingdom of Dahomey is fighting for all of Africa.

This quote brings up the recurring theme of agency in Akoji’s history, while also connecting it to the modern theme of integrity that he hopes will inspire the audience as much as the warriors. from Woman is king Dahomey is somewhat revisionist in its approach to the history of the Kingdom, a way of working around some of its unpleasant past actions.

Next: 10 Best Movies Like The Woman King

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