One of the oldest sports in the world, archery has always found its way into the cultural relevancy. Because it is a sport of great skill, there has always been a sense of admiration associated with those who wield a bow with efficiency and grace. Plus, there’s definitely a “coolness” factor that comes along with it. Across various mediums, and for millennia, there have always been those wielding archery equipment to great effect.
While this certainly isn’t a definitive list of every fictional archer, it represent variety in personalities and in the ways that they have used archery equipment to better serve themselves and those around them. Some are based in classic literature, and others exist only across print and television.
Link – The Legend Of Zelda Series
The first archer on the list is Link, who has been the protagonist of incredibly popular The Legend of Zelda videogame series for over 30 years. Wielding a variety of archery equipment, each with unique, magical properties, Link has been doing his best to rid the land of Hyrule from evil forces. While the bow and arrow isn’t his only weapon, players must use it for not only combat purposes, but to also solve the cerebral puzzles that the series has become notorious for, especially in more modern iterations of the game.
Green Arrow – DC Comics
While he was not as well known of a character as his Justice League counterparts Batman and Superman, Oliver Queen AKA The Green Arrow has become a more prominent figure in popular culture over the last 5+ years. This is mostly due to the character having his own CW show, Arrow, which introduced millions and millions of viewer to not only his eccentric character, but the incredible ways he wields a bow to keep the citizens of Starling City safe.
Odysseus – The Iliad and The Odyssey
One of the oldest heroes in history, mythological or otherwise, Odysseus is the main character in Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey, and also plays a role in his other well known epic, The Iliad. Odysseus used archery equipment in quite the romantic fashion near the climax of Homer’s poem. After missing for 20 years, he returns home to find his wife, still waiting for his return. However, she is being courted by various suitors, each of whom have been presented with the same challenge: if any of them are able to string Odysseus’ rigid bow and show an arrow through 12 axe shafts, they may have her hand. While every suitor fails miserably, the disguised Odysseus is able to bend the bow, tie the bowstring with ease, and then deliver an arrow through the 12 shafts. It is at that moment that the city of Ithaca recognizes their king has returned.
With each of the above characters, the archery equipment they employ is always used for the greater good. It is an ancient and noble craft whose roots are tied to mythology and beyond. As time goes on, there is no doubt that more and more characters will be created whose bow and arrow will serve them and those around them.