The Top 20 Famous Fictional Archers Of All Time
Whether you’re debating “who is the best fictional archer” with friends at a bar or just looking for some cool costume ideas, there’s no shortage of inspiring characters in films, movies, and games. Here are our choices for the Top 20 Famous Fictional Archers:
There have been so many Robin Hood Characters over the years, so many remakes and interpretations but thankfully the heroic outlaw who steals from the rich to give to the poor has maintained his characters integrity. The Robin Hood legend came from late-medieval English folklore and has managed to survive in modern literature and films.
Robin Hood is a skilled archer and swordsman and his iconic Lincoln green hat (with a feather in it), tights and green shirt with a brown leather/suede vest have had many variations over the years. Some say he had a cape while others say he wore a dress, there is no set costume for Robin Hood but our favorite has to be from Robin Hood (2010) played by Russell Crow or Jonas Armstrong’s version from the BBC TV series (although special mention does have to go to Cary Elwes from the ever popular, Robin Hood: Men In Tights).
Robin Hood shoots with a traditional longbow, typically 6 ft long and traditionally made from wood or horn.
Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) – The Hunger Games
Katniss Everdeen is a fictional character from The Hunger Games franchise and is portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence in the film trilogy.
Katniss volunteered to take her sister, Primrose Everdeen’s place in the 74th Hunger games as female tribute from District 12. Katniss survives the Hunger Games and rises as a symbol of hope and rebellion against the evil Capitol. Katniss was a self-taught archer with skills gained from hunting in the woods, which helped her during her tournament win.
Katniss wears numerous outfits from a flaming dress to a bright red latex suit with shoulder armor and knee high boots. Our top picks are her iconic outdoors outfit from the 74th Hunger Games and the black latex fighting outfit from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.
Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) – The Avengers
Hawkeye, aka Clinton Barton, is a fictional superhero from the Marvel Comics franchise. The character first appeared in 1964 and has been a prominent character ever since. Hawkeye has no special powers like the other Marvel superheroes, nonetheless he is a world-class archer and marksman.
Hawkeye is portrayed by Jeremy Renner in the current Marvel Universe Movies and has appeared in Thor (2011), The Avengers (2012), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) and Captain America: Civil War (2016).
Hawkeye used a compound bow in Thor, but then switched to a recurve bow for the more recent movies (Hoyt Buffalo in Avengers and a Hoyt Game Master II in Avengers: Age of Ultron).
Legolas (Orlando Bloom) – The Lord of the Rings
Legolas Greenleaf is a Sindarin Elf and appeared in the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Trilogy authored by J.R.R Tolkien. Extremely agile and master of the bow and sword, he is the son of the Elvenking Thranduil of Mirkwood and is the Prince of the Woodland Realm. Played by Orlando Bloom in the recent moves, Legolas used a Mirkwood Long Bow before being gifted the Bow of Galadhrim.
One of his more iconic scenes from the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers involves skateboarding down a flight of stairs on the back of a shield while firing off arrows.
Lara Croft – Tomb Raider
Lara Croft is from the movie and video game franchise Tomb Raider. The characters traditional costume consists of a turquoise tank top, light brown shorts, calf-high boots and tall white socks but this has varied over the years depending on the rendition, and has also consisted of black singlet with camo pants or black shorts. Her accessories include fingerless gloves, a backpack, utility belt with holsters and two pistols, and has recently come to include bows and arrows.
Lara is an attractive English archaeologist and adventurer who seeks out ancient tombs and ruins around the world. She uses various bow types depending on what is found during the game, including long bows, recurve bows, and compound bows, to achieve her quests. The use of the bow started to appear following a 2013 reboot of the Tomb Raider game which also included a costume change to a turquoise singlet top and light brown pants with shin high boots. In the film series, Lara Croft is portrayed by Angelina Jolie.
Princess Merida – Brave
Princess Merida of DunBroch is the main character in the Disney Pixar movie Brave. Princess Merida is no damsel in distress and is an expert archer. She has an outgoing personality and has characteristically long, wild curly red hair and a pale skin tone. She wears a dark teal gown and the voice of Princess Merida was done by Kelly MacDonald.
Cupid is the mythological god of desire, love, attraction and affection. Cupid is a winged (because lovers are flighty) and boyish (because love is irrational) character who is the son of Mars (the god of war) and Venus (the goddess of love). He is often depicted with a bow and quiver full of arrows whose wounds inspire love or passion.
Andromeda – Wrath of the Titans
Wrath of the Titans is a heroic fantasy adventure film that takes place a decade after the gods lost control over the imprisoned Titans. Perseus is called to rescue his father Zeus, overthrow the titans and save mankind. Perseus is joined by a team which includes Andromeda, played by Rosamund Pike, whose life Perseus once saved when she was a Princess. Now a Queen, she heads into battle with Perseus to find the god Hephaestus who can help win the war.
Green Arrow is a fictional superhero from the DC Comic Franchise and first appeared in 1941 in comic book form. Green Arrow, or Oliver Queen is a billionaire businessman and owner of Queen Industries. He was left stranded on a deserted island for several years where he mastered the art of archery.
Nowadays, Green Arrow is an exceptional archer and uses his skills to fight crime alongside the Justice League. Originally played by Justin Hartley in the Smallville series, he is now represented by Stephen Amell in the popular TV Series titled Arrow, which premiered in 2012. His costume is commonly compared to that of Robin Hood, just edgier, and he chooses a recurve bow as his weapon.
Neytiri – Avatar
Neytiri is one of the main characters from the famous Avatar movie released in 2009. The film is set in the mid-22nd century where humans are colonizing a planet named Pandora in order to mine the fictional mineral, unobtanium. The expansion of the mining operation threatens the Na’vi who are a humanoid species native to the planet.
The term avatar refers to genetically engineered, controllable Na’vi bodies used by the humans to interact with the natives of Pandora. Neytiri is the princess of the Na’vi Omaticaya Clan and is tasked with teaching Jake Sully (human) with the ways of the Na’vi.
Avatar still holds the impressive distinction of being the highest grossing movie of all time, and is certainly worth a watch (or a rewatch!)
Susan Pevensie – The Chronicles of Narnia
Susan Pevensie is a fictional lead character in The Chronicles of Narnia who appears in the book and film series (played by Anna Popplewell).
Set in 1940 during WW2, the Pevensie children are evacuated from London to a house owned by Professor Digory Kirke where one day they discover a magical wardrobe, and through it, the world of Narnia. The children soon find out that Narnia is ruled over by an evil witch and has been in winter for a century. Joining up with a talking Lion named Aslan, the children succeed in ending the witch’s rule over Narnia, and take the job instead.
During her reign at the Narnian Capital of Cair Paravel, she is referred to as Queen Susan the Gentle, or Queen Susan of the Horn. Her costumes vary but she uses characteristic red fletched arrows and a traditional wooden recurve bow.
Abigail Whistler (Jessica Biel) – Blade: Trinity
Abigail Whistler appears in the third film of the Blade Series and is the illegitimate daughter of Abraham Whistler, a vampire hunter from the original Blade movie. Abigail is part of the Nightstalkers who are out to destroy the resurrected Dracula. Basically, she is a badass vampire hunter whose signature weapon is a single cam compound bow.
Alec Lightwood – The Mortal Instruments
The Mortal Instruments is a series of fantasy novels, movie, and now a Netflix TV series of paranormal romance/urban fantasy. The storyline depicts an ongoing battle between shadow hunters and demons. The shadow hunters are out to protect the world which is filled with demons, warlocks, vampires, werewolves and other deadly creatures.
Alec Lightwood is one of the main Shadow Hunter’s in the storyline and is known for his expert archery skills and weapon of choice. Alec Lightwood is played by Kevin Zegers in the City of Bones film, and Matthew Daddario in the Shadowhunters TV Series.
Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) – The Walking Dead
Daryl Dixon is a badass fictional character from the horror TV Series, The Walking Dead. Played by Norman Reedus, Daryl survives the zombie outbreak and is critical to the survival of the remaining group due to his expert hunting, tracking and navigating skills. His zombie killing ability is due in no small part to terrific accuracy using his Horton Scout HD 125, or Stryker Strykezone 380 (depending on season) crossbow.
Sylvanas Windrunner – Warcraft
Sylvanas Windrunner is a character from the Warcraft video game series. Sylvanas was the High Elven Ranger-General of Silvermoon but was murdered by Arthas Menethil. For being such a tenacious defender of her realm, and costing Arthas much time and resources, he ripped her soul out and transformed it into a Banshee. Later in the war, she regained her body and her free will, and founded the Forsaken faction of the undead, vowing to avenge her death.
Isabel (Natalie Portman) – Your Highness
Your Highness is a movie from 2011 where Princes Fabious’s bride is kidnapped and his slacker brother is forced to tag along to rescue her. Along the way he runs into a warrior named Isabel who assists him in the quest, albeit for her own secret reasons.
Isabel is portrayed by Natalie Portman in this adventure comedy. Ultimately, her character and performance in this movie was overshadowed before release, by a saga surrounding apparently excessive showing of skin, and the use of a butt double while filming.
Guinevere (Keira Knightley) – King Arthur
Keira Knightly played Guinevere in the Adventure and drama adaptation of King Arthur (2004). The movie focus on the collapse of the Roman Empire and subsequent power battles. Traditionally, Guinevere was the Queen consort of King Arthur with more stories portraying her love affair with Arthur’s chief Knight Sir Lancelot. But not this film, as the love triangle is barely there.
Keira Knightly has a few distinctive costumes, but her iconic look is a leather barely-there “top”, light brown pants and leather knee high boots. In particular this costume attracted some controversy when movie poster of her had been greatly photo-shopped to enhance her chest.
Prophet – Crysis
Major Laurence “Prophet” Barnes is the player’s character in Crysis 3, a science fiction first-person shooter game. Prophet was formerly a CIA agent who grew disillusioned with his superiors and was eventually imprisoned. He was the first person to try on the iconic Nanosuit and eventually became the leader of Raptor Team.
Prophet started using the Predator Compound Bow in Crysis 3 and it’s now his signature weapon.
Atalanta – Hercules
Atalanta was depicted in the Hercules 2014 action fantasy film which is based on the graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars. Atalanta is a mythical huntress and an expert hunter and is part of a band of mercenaries lead by Hercules. The band are approached by King of Thrace to help train his army and defend the city against a tyrannical warlord.
Ygritte – Game of Thrones
Ygritte, played by Rose Leslie, is a major character in the third and four seasons of the Game of Thrones TV series, and also appears in the novels. She is one of the Free Folk and lives north of the wall, meaning she has needed to develop expert survival and archer skills. Ygritte has an epic love hate relationship with one of the lead characters, Jon Snow, but is unfortunately killed at the end of season four.
Have we missed one of your favorite fictional characters? Let us know who your top pick would be for the most epic and memorable archer.
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