While Alexander is growing up, his father, King Philip II, leads the Macedonians - long derided as barbarians - to victory over the Greek city-states. Long before Philip became the lord of Greece, his son was living under the shadow of the passionate and unbridled man. Alexander struggles to gain his father's approval, and he tries to make him proud whilst also meeting the expectations of his mother. Olympias despises her husband and wants her son to become a powerful yet cultured king. She wants him to be a hero, a legend, like Achilles, who uses his brains and brawn in equal measure. Alexander and his best friend Hephaestion are taught by the philosopher Aristotle, and Alexander grows up to be a sensitive and sophisticated young man, which disappoints his father. However, when Alexander successfully tames a wild, indomitable stallion named Bucephalus, before later traveling with him to faraway India, Philip begins to change his mind. It is Alexander's first moment of true greatness. It is the moment when Philip's eyes really light up as it becomes clear he has now gained a son, and Olympias has lost one.