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The 13 Most Lethal Archers In Movie And TV History

Updated March 19, 2021 1.2k votes 169 voters 2.7k views13 items

List RulesVote up the deadliest archers in pop culture.

Fictional archers are among the most impressive combatants in any medium. The best archery in movies is done by some truly awesome characters. Almost anyone can pull a trigger, but it takes years of practice and extraordinary upper-body strength, hand-eye coordination, and focus to accurately draw back a bow and release.

Archers exude a particular kind of confidence, wielding their weapon like a second arm. Imagine Ygritte slinging arrows at the Night's Watch or Legolas battling waves of orcs. Thankfully for Hawkeye and John Rambo, exploding arrows are a thing. It's entertaining, romantic, and aesthetically pleasing to watch these heroes master such a timeless and primal weapon (usually out of necessity or for survival). This list compiles movie/TV marksmen (and women) whose specialty is the bow and arrow. As for who’s the most deadly, that's for you to decide.

  • Photo: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers / New Line Cinema

    Elves are essentially immortal, retaining their youthful reflexes in perpetuity - something that's important to remember when talking about Legolas. All of the Elves in Middle-earth are expert marksmen, yet somehow this fellowship member stands above the rest. Chalk that up to thousands of years of practice and a propensity to do good.

    Throughout the Lord of the Rings franchise, Legolas shield surfs while shooting several orcs and takes down an Oliphaunt (among other things), all without the help of Hawkeye-esque technology. Unfortunately for Gimli, Legolas's kill count will seemingly climb forever.

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    21
    Deadly?
  • Photo: Captain America: Civil War / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    If being one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s best agents weren't enough, Clint Barton, AKA Hawkeye, is a founding member of the Avengers. While expertly trained in almost all manners of combat, Hawkeye keeps up (mostly) with his super-powered cohorts thanks in large part to his skill with a bow and arrow.

    He's easily one of the most dangerous characters on this list due to how strategically he uses his arsenal - arrows that regularly defy the laws of physics. They explode, create energy fields, and often act like boomerangs. Whether he's taking on extraterrestrial invaders, firing an arrow from one flying aircraft to another (accounting for wind/motion variables), or dropping an entire car park on Iron Man, Hawkeye "just can't seem to miss."

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  • Photo: Arrow / The CW

    Hawkeye may have the big-screen clout, but Oliver Queen, AKA Green Arrow, is the OG - and probably more dangerous. Almost every iteration of the character (the most significant of which is the CW's Arrow, starring Stephen Amell) sees him lost at sea and left for dead, spending years surviving on the island of Lian Yu.

    Afterward, Oliver hones his archery skills by completing a plethora of covert missions, returning home as the vigilante Green Arrow. Anyone familiar with the CW's Arrowverse is more than familiar with Oliver's high-tech arsenal - and his ability to take out droves of enemies and inspire confidence in anyone lucky enough to fight alongside him.

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    15
    Deadly?
  • Photo: Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves / Warner Bros.

    Whether he’s depicted as an animated fox or a man (being played by the likes of Errol Flynn, Kevin Costner, Russell Crowe, Cary Elwes, or Patrick Stewart), Robin Hood is the quintessential archer to which all others are compared. As the most accomplished archer in popular culture, Robin Hood - and his legacy of taking from the rich and giving to the poor - will forever be tied to the bow and arrow. 

    He even became the first movie character to ever fire six or more arrows simultaneously (while pinning an enemy to a tree in Robin Hood: Men in Tights). We've seen him hit targets hundreds of yards away (sometimes on horseback) and redirect arrows midair with others. There’s nothing this man can't do... except maybe retire.

    74
    17
    Deadly?