10 Fearless Female Film Archers

by Diana Denza

Many gals out there are anxiously awaiting the June 22nd premiere of Pixar’s Brave. Starring a feisty red-headed archer named Merida (voiced by Kelly MacDonald), this doesn’t look like your typical prince-saves-helpless-damsel flick. This defiant princess is determined to live a life as free as her flowing curls. So, when a dreadful curse is set upon her family, Merida sets out to save the day. 

But don’t think this little lady is the first chick out there to tote a quiver and know how to use it. Here are nine other movie heroines who rocked the bow and arrow on the big screen.


Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games (2012)

As The Girl on Fire, Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence) sparks a rebellion against a totalitarian regime responsible for the deaths of countless children. And she does it with the help of her trusty bow and arrow. If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t caught the flick, Google “Katniss’ apple shot.” You’re welcome.


Serafina Pekkala, The Golden Compass (2007)

What’s more badass than a witch queen? A witch queen who soars through the air, bow and arrow in hand. Enter Serafina Pekkala (played by Eva Green), who plays a pivotal part in rescuing children from Marisa Coulter’s forces of evil. Some distant relation to Ann Coulter by any chance, Marisa?


Neytiri te Tskaha Mo’at’ite, Avatar (2009)

After saving her soon-to-be-love Jake Scully from a pack of viperwolves, Neytiri (played by Zoe Saldana) teaches him how to use a bow and arrow. Though formidable, she doesn’t kill unless absolutely necessary. And that’s pretty darn admirable to us.


Guinevere, King Arthur (2004)

The daughter of Merlin, Guinevere (played by Keira Knightley) is all the more enchanting as she wields her bow and arrow. Sadly, marketers in the United States digitally “enhanced” her breasts in movie posters, a practice that Knightley spoke out against –and rightly so.


Park Nam-joo, The Host (2006)

In this Korean monster thriller, Olympic archer Park Nam-joo (played by Bae Doona) shoots arrows at a hungry mutant beast in an attempt to rescue her 13-year-old niece. Oh, and the film contains political/social/military commentary to boot.


Susan Pevensie, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

The quick-witted Susan Pevensie (played by Anna Popplewell) is also a talented archer, employing her bow and arrow in battle. Not bad for a willful teen!


Fa Mulan, Mulan (1998)

Mulan (voiced by Ming-Na) manages to squash the traditional gender roles imposed upon her, and she does so with the help of  the few weapons at her disposal. But first, she undergoes some tough training, learning archery and the fine art of retrieving an arrow from a high post while donning weighty medallions. Merida has some big shoes to fill!


Hanna, Hanna (2011)

Hanna (played by Saoirse Ronan) is a 16-year-old assassin with bright blue eyes, soft blonde locks, and a thin frame. Don’t believe this pint-sized chick can take someone down with just an arrow? It happens… really.


Abigail Whistler, Blade: Trinity (2004)

Okay, so this film won’t go down in movie history as a classic. But I could watch Abigail Whistler (played by Jessica Biel) kick vampire ass for a long, long time. Hear that, Hollywood?


(Images via Google, Flickr, and Wikipedia)

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