Recently, I put out a call for people to state their case for fiction’s greatest archer over at The Matticus Kingdom. A few people have already entered their submissions, and, since I’m the one who issued the challenge, I figured I should put my two cents in there as well. Although, with the way my mind has been working lately, it might be closer to one cent than two.
As I stated in my original post, there is no shortage of characters to choose from. There are a bunch of famous archers throughout fiction: Robin Hood, Legolas, Hawkeye, Green Arrow, and William Tell. It would be fairly easy for me to make a case for any of these archers as being fiction’s greatest archer. I don’t like doing things the easy way, however. So, I decided I’d try to make a case for a more unknown archer. The question now was, “Who am I going to pick?”
After some thought, I decided I’d go with……
I know a lot of you, if not all of you, are asking, “Who the hell is Tristan?”
Tristan is a character from 2004’s King Arthur, directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Clive Owen. The character Tristan is portrayed by Mads Mikkelsen (the same guy who played Le Chiffre in Casino Royale). In the movie, Tristan is shown both as a swordsman and an archer. While he holds his own as a swordsman (at least until the final battle when he is killed by Cerdic, the main bad guy), it was as an archer that he made his mark.
While all of Arthur’s knights were good archers, Tristan was the best among them. He could shoot farther and more accurately than any of them. In fact, I don’t think he missed a shot in the entire movie. That’s 100% accuracy, people. He was also able to do that when half his shots were taken while riding full speed on horseback, making his accuracy doubly amazing.
The shot that makes him my choice for fiction’s greatest archer happens right before the final battle begins. After aiming for only a second, Tristan shoots an arrow 1000 yards (they don’t actually give you a very clear picture of how far away it really is. I’m kind of guessing on the range here. All I know is that it’s a verrrrrry long way) over a wall and strikes a traitor who was hiding in a tree. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, he never even saw the traitor climb the tree in the first place to know where he would be.
I never saw, or read, any of the other archers I mentioned pull off a shot even remotely as difficult as that one. That’s why I believe that Tristan is fiction’s greatest archer.