Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Archery - it's all the rage these days

As a former archer I have always had a soft spot for tales, legends and myths that involve bow, arrows, and infinite badassery. With the sudden popularity of archery due to movies and books, I believe it is time to take a good spotting look at the contestants.

The Huntress
Exhibit A:
Katniss (The Hunger Games), Merida (Brave), Susan Pevensie (Chronicles of Narnia), Hanna (Hanna), Neytiri (Avatar)

Exhibit B:
Artemis/Diana  - Goddess of the Hunt
The Amazons - Even though not all Amazons used bow and arrow as a main weapon, they were rumored to have cut off one breast to make archery easier. As a femare archer, I don't really see a point in this, but thus goes the story.
Nymphai Hyperboreai - Nymphs, followers of Artemis, responsible for skills in archery
Camilla and Opis - Huntresses of Roman legends
Atalanta - the ultimate tomboy of Greek mythology
Skadi - goddess of archery, formerly a frost giant
Satet - archer goddess of Egypt

The Hunter
Exhibit A: 
Legolas (Lord of the Rings), Hawkeye (Avengers), Green Arrow (Justice League), Robin Hood (countless movies of Robin Hood), Prince Willian (Snow White and the Huntsman) etc. etc. etc.

Exhibit B:
Apollo - Greek god of the Sun, music, art, archery, and ridiculously photogenic (sculpture-genic?...) people
Kheiron - The Centaur, mentor to countless Greek heroes. Seen as an archer in the constellation Saggitarius.
Eros - better known as Cupid
Odysseus - there is that one famous bit about the bow that no one was strong enough to string...
Philoctetes - legendary Greek archer in the Trojan war
Paris - Dumb as he was, he did hit a guy in the ankle from the walls of Troy...
Ullr - Norse god of archery and hunting
Egil - Legendary archer of Norse mythology (way before William Tell)
William Tell - National folk hero of Switzerland. Apple, boy, arrows, you know the drill.
Yi, the Archer - Legendary person in Chinese mythology. Shot the Sun off the sky. Nine times.
Attila the Hun - Not usually famous for this archery skills, but according to Hungarian folk legend he was quite spectacularly good at it anyway
Robin Hood - I don't have to introduce this guy
Ekalavya - Legendary archer from the Indian epic Mahabharata. Self-trained, left-handed, has nine fingers. What's your excuse?
(By the way, read the Mahabharata for a whole lineup of ridiculously talented archers)
Kamadeva - the Hindu version of Cupid. With more flowers.
Erekhe Mergen - Legendary Mongolian archer, shot a few suns off the sky for good measure, no biggie

Now the only remaining question is:
Who would win?...

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