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How Crossbows Are Earning a More Prevalent Role in Movies & TVWords by Edie Fasano
On the small screen several series’ featuring crossbows have been renewed for the coming year.
My husband’s perennial favorite — THE WALKING DEAD — is still going strong on AMC, and Daryl Dixon, played by Norman Reedus, is one of the series’ longest surviving characters. This is due, no doubt, to his silent but deadly signature weapon and his expert tracking and hunting skills. Daryl is shown to be an expert marksman. Taking out “walkers” with his a Stryker Strykezone 380 crossbow. Reedus reportedly likes the Stryker so much he takes home after filming.
Stephen Arnell as the DC Comics Character, Oliver Queen, aka The Green Arrow, continues to use the Oneida Eagle Kestrel compound bow Felicity gave him in Season 2. His protégé, Roy, aka The Red Arrow, played by Colton Hayes, prefers a recurve bow.In The Walking Dead, Daryl Dixon, played by Norman Reedus, taking out “walkers” with Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl on The Walking Dead, reportedly likes his Stryker Strykezone 380 so muhc that he takes it home after filming.
Katrin Law’s character, Nyssa al Ghul, the daughter of the notorious leader of the League of Assassins hints, “She has some interesting secrets.” One thing that’s not a secret is that she fights fire with fire using her own compound bow.
ABC’s ONCE UPON A TIME and NBC’s GRIMM are both filming new seasons. Both series feature scenes in fairy tale worlds where crossbows were prevalent.
GRIMM, a traditional crime drama with an otherworldly spin, features a double-decker pistol crossbow known as the Dopplearmbrust. Armbrust is German for crossbow, and this beauty is used by Portland police officer Nick Burkhardt, played by David Giuntoli.
Designed by Nick’s Grimm ancestors, the Dopplearmbrust fires two hemlock tainted bolts simultaneously, and is guaranteed to take out the “Blutbad” demons of the show.
On the silver screen crossbows are loved in the fantasy genre and in many writer’s visions of a world after the apocalypse when ammunition is scarce. This year crossbows even made an appearance in a comedy.
For lovers crossbows, the last installment of Peter Jackson’s LORD OF THE RINGS and HOBBIT films didn’t disappoint. Elves, Orcs, Goblins and men used long bows and crossbows for hunting and warfare in all of the movies.
In THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES, we hoped we would finally get to see the Wind Lance, an enormous, dual limb mounted windlass crossbow that strongly resembled a Roman Ballista, in use.
When Smaug descends and sets Lake-town on fire, Bard the bowman, played by Luke Evans, climbs the bell tower, with his longbow, but finds it useless against the beast. His son Bain, John Bell, brings him the last Black Arrow, forged by Thror the Dwarf.
Bard quickly fashions a makeshift crossbow from the burning remains and balances the Black Arrow on his son Bain’s shoulder. He fires, nails the behemoth dragon that plummets into the lake.
Even a makeshift crossbow can restore order to civilization!
From Middle Earth to post-apocalyptic earth, THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY 1 continues the saga of Katniss Everdeen with Jennifer Lawrence’s third appearance as the bow-wielding savior of District 12, and now the world.
Katniss is given a very special long bow that can fire regular, explosive, and incendiary arrows at a range of over 100 yards.
The design of the screen used version was a combination of four different contemporary bows. Hunting arrows provided inspiration for another weapon.
The inventiveness of the modern mechanical broadhead arrow was behind the design of the trident carried by Sam Claflin’s character, Finick. With a twist of the handle the blades expand making it into a weapon that can inflict some serious damage.
Liam Hemsworth’s character, Gale Hawthorne, is equipped with a tactical crossbow. The designers used WWII weapons as their inspiration, but with the crossbow they didn’t want to deal with the issue of the time it takes to cock and reload, so they made it an “automatic” crossbow. — hey, it IS the future! The unusual barrel attached to the stock under the riser is an auto-loading bolt magazine. Although no such device exists yet it definitely looks cool on screen.
A genre where we don’t often see crossbows making an appearance is comedies, but this year they were wielded in force during the cameo-filled network rumble in the feature film ANCHORMAN 2. The rumble that was a reprise of the one shown in the first movie featured a star-studded cast representing a variety of “News” Teams including The MTV News Team lead by Kanye West’s character, Wesley Jackson.
The entire MTV News Team took to the rooftops and bombarded the field with arrows shot from some rather primitive looking crossbows.
Whether it’s fantasy, post apocalyptic sci-fi or comedy, Hollywood loves its crossbows. I cant’ wait to see where they pop up next year. Now it’s time for me to pop down to the range and see what’s new in the real-world of crossbows.