Best archers in fiction debunked


Actual photo of one of my groups at practice

Jacob Reiter, Staff Writer

Several action-based moves and TV series include a bow-wielding character who can pull of amazing feats of accuracy. Some notable names come to mind such as Legolas from Lord of the Rings, Hawkeye from the Marvel franchise, and Katniss from The Hunger Games. All of these characters are portrayed as masters of their weapons, but as a competitive archer myself I can find several glaring issues with the way each of them shoots.


Hawkeye has the least issues of the three, as his stance is correct with his feet planted firmly in place with his legs in line with his shoulders. His grip on the string is firm and deep as it should be, but he falls short in his release. Many of his shots are followed by his hand remaining exactly where it was; if he shot properly his hand would end up underneath his ear after slowly pulling his hand off the string instead of opening his hand.


Katniss has very little issues in the way of her form except for her grip on the string and the bow itself. Her grip is extremely light, only using the very tips of her fingers which leads to her having to pull the string farther than she needs to which puts pointless strain on her body. The second issue she has mainly has to do with her own safety. When drawing the string, she uses her pointer finger to make sure she draws the same distance each time. This is extremely dangerous because after many people saw the movie they began doing the same thing which more often than not would lead to them shooting the arrow through their finger.


The worst offender out of the three is Legolas. Not only does his way of shooting endanger himself, it endangers the functionality of his equipment. The first issue he has is his release; instead of his hand ending up underneath his ear like it’s supposed to, it typically darts off in a random direction which greatly affects the way the arrow flies for the worse. Due to his bow being made of a single piece of uncut wood, it doesn’t have a rest for his arrow to sit on so he uses his hand as a replacement which can lead to injuries of his hand. Additionally he twists the string to make the arrows swerve midair. Not only does this not work in real life, it greatly damages the string itself which can lead to the limbs of the bow snapping.


Many people consider these characters to be the best archers in fiction; however, most of them don’t stack up to real life standards.