Archery for Elves
Having spent my day in Mirkwood being frozen by
a bitter North wind that sent half our archers running for cover and
half our arrows into the brush, and having spent the evening gluing
fletches back onto arrows that decided to burrow under the target
instead of gracefully arching straight at it, not for the first time I
thought of the worst moment, from an archer's point of view, of the
Lord of The Rings trilogy of films.
It occurs in the The Extended Edition of The Fellowship of the Ring,
where Galadriel is giving out her gifts to the members of the
Fellowship, and in her innocence (even a sorceress can't know the mind
of an archer) she gives Legolas a new bow.
This is what would have really happened.....
Galadriel (in a gracious, posh voice):'And to you, our cousin from the
Northern lands, I give you a bow, such as the Galadhrim use....'
Galadriel (in slightly less gracious voice): 'It's a bow, Legolas. As in 'bow and arrow'
Legolas: 'A bow? A NEW bow? what in Middle Earth am I supposed to
do with a NEW BOW? It takes AGES to break in a new bow. That is why
Elves are immortal, they need the time to get used to their new bows.
And you choose this moment in time to land me with a new bow? Just when
I am in the middle of this mission, quest, thing, and surrounded by all
sorts of ghastly people intent on my doom - and that is just the
Fellowship - not to mention being pursued by hordes of orcs with bad
teeth and 70s haircuts....'
At this point Legolas holds up the new bow and points out various aspects for Galadriel's closer inspection.
'Look, the riser is 23 inches at least, and my old bow is 21, and
the limbs will have to be changed to fit. And even without measuring it
I can see the bracing height is all over the place, and the great thing
about being an Elf is you have perfect vision so you can see your
tiller height is wrong just by looking at it. And the string! I won't
even go into the string, where is the nocking point? Expect me to put
it on, do you? I'd have thought the queen of Lothlorien could stretch
to a bit of sticky tape. And look at these arrows! I can see they are
only 24inch, and I draw a 26. They'll fall off the arrow shelf and I'll
shoot myself in the foot!'
Gimli (in an undertone): 'I think you already did, laddie....'
Legolas (heaving a resigned sigh): 'Oh well, now I have it in my hand, I suppose I better make the best of it. Hey you...!....''
(this is addressed to Haldir, watching with a smirk)
'...just run and set up a couple of targets so I can practise. An
eighteen centimetre face at thirty metres, forty metres and fifty
should do, and a few five metre bunnies. Jump to it!'
Galadriel, moves on to the next member of the Fellowship, with a
pensive look on her face. This time it is Gimli. Galadriel asks him
'How much of my hair did you say you wanted?'