Girls and Bows -- and Arrows

This is one of those blogs inspired by something personal.  And I have my 3-year-old great-niece to thank for it.  Her mother told me that while they were watching the Disney movie Brave, the little girl picked up a clothes hanger and pretended it was her bow, mimicking the character Princess Merida’s archery skills.

Merida is not the only recent movie or TV character to wield a bow and arrow.  We’ve seen other female characters such as Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games) and Arya Stark (Game of Thrones) make that their weapon of choice.  Granted, their stories are often set in the past and might have an element of fantasy.  Even so, we’ve seen today's young people in general -- often inspired by these books, movies and TV series -- take an interest in the sport of archery.  I wouldn’t be at all surprised if, in the future, my great-niece asks for lessons.

A woman taking a bow in hand, whether for hunting or fighting or target shooting, is an image that conveys strength and power, skill and athletic prowess.  So it’s no wonder that writers have chosen that image numerous times.  I’ve listed some movies and television series below that feature female archers, from backyard target practice to fields of war.

Avatar (Neytiri – Zoe Saldana)
Brave (Merida – Kelly Macdonald)
The Brothers Grimm (Angelika – Lena Heady)
The Chronicles of Narnia (Susan – Anna Popplewell)
Emma (Emma – Gwyneth Paltrow)
Game of Thrones (Arya – Maisie Williams)
The Golden Compass (Serafina – Eve Green)
Hanna (Hanna – Saoirse Ronan)
The Hunger Games (Katniss – Jennifer Lawrence)
King Arthur (Guinevere – Keira Knightley)
Mulan (Mulan – Ming-Na Wen)
Once Upon a Time (Snow White – Ginnifer Goodwin)
Princess of Thieves (Gwyn – Keira Knightley)
Robin Hood (2010) (Marian – Cate Blanchett)
War of the Arrows (Ja-In – Moon Chae-won)
Wrath of the Titans (Andromeda – Rosamund Pike)

Do you have a favorite female archer?  Anyone I left out?  Let me know.

Flickr:  CC          : Merida "Brave" meet-and-greet          Photo by insidethemagic