Legolas Greenleaf is the Elven prince of the Woodland Realms in the three volumes of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.
As portrayed by Orlando Bloom in Sir Peter Jackson’s movie rendition of LOTR, Legolas became a surprise hit worldwide because of his golden locks, physical grace, archery skills, and superhuman athletic prowess, catapulting Bloom to instant stardom.
But Legolas, of course, is a fantasy — a literary and cinematic creation.
Here is a real-life Legolas, Danish archer Lars Andersen who is single-handedly reviving the lost, forgotten art of war archery by his study — and practice — of old, forgotten techniques in historical archery manuscripts.
For thousands of years, the bow and arrow was used for war, but nowadays what archery we know is the distorted version from TV and movies. Andersen shows Hollywood archery has very little to do with actual war archery, specifically:
- Carrying arrows in a quiver on your back only works if the archer is a target archer who shoots while standing still, instead of real-life war archers who shoot on the run.
- Historical archers actually carry their arrows in a quiver from their belt, or in their draw hand.
- Placing the arrow on the left side of the bow is also bad when the archer is in motion. Instead, placing the arrow on the right side of the bow is quicker.
Watch Larson as he rapid-fire shoots one arrow after another; catches an incoming arrow in his hand, then shoots that arrow back; shoots incoming arrows with his arrows; and splits an incoming arrow in two.
H/t Activist Post