A couple of years ago, Mrs Word of Ward and myself took archery lessons in London. I ended up really enjoying it and going back quite regularly. I guess it appealed to the medievalist in me. Plus, society might collapse and I might need to invade France one day. Archery is superb fun and it’s pretty easy to learn. After half an hour you can fire an arrow – but it takes years to get really good or be even vaguely consistent. Anyway, it’s great and as I’m 6’1 they let me use the biggest bow they had which was awesome – it’s based on height and strength so I didn’t pick it and therefore it isn’t compensating for anything. Obviously being more British than Elf, I associated more with Robin Hood, but each to their own ludicrous fantasy.
You do get better and quicker but it is still a fairly slow process to notch and draw and aim. That was why, after a few hours of archery and therefore a massive expert, it is easy to watch the Lord of the Rings and scoff as Legolas rapid-fires arrows into goblins and orcs. At least Robin Hood films had him firing an arrow normally, even if he tended to have a strange accent most of the time. Except it turns out I was wrong. It now seems there are certain techniques that can be used that make you a regular Hawkeye/Robin Hood/ Legolas/ other famous possibly fictional archer.
Thanks to studying ancient techniques and being generally pretty cool, Lars Andersen is a modern-day Legolas. (Tolkein wrote his books to be a mythology for western culture so it counts as the past.) He can fire arrows ridiculously quickly and can even catch an arrow and fire it back. It’s pretty bloody amazing and you should see for yourself. So here you go: