The Season 5 premiere of “Once Upon a Time” hit a bull’s-eye Sunday, wowing viewers with a major plot twist and several new characters, including King Arthur, Will O’ The Wisps and, you guessed it, Merida.
At the beginning, we learn the “savior,” Emma Swan, is now the malevolent and fearsome “Dark One.” However, Emma is determined to save herself and regain her good, light magic. But first, a “wisp” must take her to Camelot to find Merlin.
You might recognize the fleeting blue light of the Will O’ The Wisp from Disney and Pixar’s 2012 Blockbuster hit “Brave.” Legend holds that if you catch the wisp and return it to its home, it’ll return a favor.
Emma chases a wisp through the woods, only to be outrun by a hooded bow-wielding character.
Enter “Brave” archer Merida.
Overtaken by dark magic, Emma knocks Merida to the ground. Merida jumps up and draws her bow, exclaiming: “Back off, lassie. My aim is true. Don’t test me.”
What’s Merida shooting? A beautiful wooden recurve bow. The bow features a dark-stained grip and ornately carved limbs. The tips, curving outward like those of a traditional recurve, are adorned with feathers. Merida uses traditional wooden arrows with feather fletching, and arrowheads carved from stone.
When asked about her bow via twitter, actress Amy Manson said her “Once” character has two bows; one that’s a little heavy and one that’s “light as a feather.”
Our guess is that she uses the lighter bow when running through the forest (she’s a girl on-the-go), and the heavier one when she’s actually shooting.
Merida isn’t the first “Once” character to shoot archery. It looks like Robin Hood’s Sean Maguire has been giving Merida’s Amy Manson some on-set tips.
— Sean Maguire (@sean_m_maguire) September 28, 2015
Off-set practice is especially important. Manson and her fellow “Once-ers” played archery tag on their day off.
Are Merida, Sir Lancelot, King Arthur and his court teaming up to defeat the Dark One? Considering that the Dark One, Emma, stopped not one but eight of Merida’s arrows with her bare hands (Note: Do not try this at home!), Merida needs all the help she can get.
Watch Merida in archery action on Sundays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.
Ready for your own archery adventure? Get started here.