The time is nigh, my friends – winter is coming. Yes, even if you’re not a fan of “Game of Thrones,” you probably know those three magical words that cause an entire fandom to bend the knee. But what exactly makes “Game of Thrones” so great? Is it the dragons? The magic? The archery?
All of the above.
It’s true – the show has elements that are less-than-believable. But one thing that’s as real as Joffrey’s love for himself: The show has some amazing archery moments.
Although archery has appeared on the show a number of times, each time is as sweet as a goblet of mead. We’ve rounded up a compilation of some of the greatest archery moments on the show to-date. Some of these scenes will take you down memory lane. Die-hard fans, be prepared for a wave of nostalgia.
Bran Learns Archery – Season 1
While Bran turned out to be a problematic hero, (Hodor DIED for you, Bran), he had a great archery moment in the very beginning. When we see Bran practicing archery with his brothers, we notice how badly he wants to fit in. He wants to be as big and strong as they are. The sound equipment picks up the intensity of Bran’s deep breath and the bowstring stretched taut. Bran completely misses the target, but his sister Arya lands a bull’s-eye from the railing. Marksmanship runs in at least some of the Stark family’s blood.
Arya and the List – Season 3
Fans of the show are very familiar with Arya Stark’s list of enemies, first mentioned in Season 2. She whispers the names of her enemies every night before she falls asleep to keep her hatred alive. She rattles off their names as she shoots arrows at hay bales built to resemble a body, stating a new name each time she sends an arrow flying. Arya’s archery tutor teases her about how long she takes to make a shot and corrects her form, instructing her to touch her chin with her hand, let her back take most of the work, and never hold the draw too long. While you’ll catch a few archery form snafus in the show, this instruction is not one of them.
Edmure Can’t Land the Shot – Season 3
When Catelyn Stark’s father dies, her brother, Edmure, attempts to ceremoniously light the boat containing his father’s body with a flaming arrow. He confidently and slowly lines up a shot, takes aim and misses. He resets and does the same thing again, and again. Edmure’s uncle pushes him aside and swiftly sails a perfect arrow in one shot. Embarrassing, but amusing.
Ygritte the Wildling and Jon Snow – Seasons 3 and 4
Ouch. This clip hits you in the heart almost as hard as it hit Jon Snow. Ygritte was many things, especially an expert markswoman. Although the actress, Rose Leslie, makes a novice mistake a few times by wrapping her finger around the arrow shaft and gripping the string with four fingers, it’s implied that her character is spot-on. When Ygritte learns of Jon Snow’s betrayal, she could have ended him, but she didn’t. This scene was not only a heartbreaker for Ygritte and Jon Snow enthusiasts, it was a true show of Ygritte’s archery prowess. Those three arrows landed exactly where she wanted them to: right in our feelings. Ironically, Ygritte later dies by arrow because she couldn’t bring herself to let hers loose on Jon Snow. She basically died because of her love for him. (You may know nothing, Jon Snow, but you should at least know that.)
Fun fact: Rose Leslie and Kit Harington (Jon Snow) are married in real life. So technically archery (and the show) brought them together. How’s that for romance?
Did this walk down memory lane stir your excitement for the show? Do you want to immerse yourself in the world of “Game of Thrones?” Maybe you won’t find yourself face-to-face with fire-breathing dragons or mysterious priestesses names Melisandre, but you can try your hand at archery by visiting the real-life filming location where the Stark clan learned the trade. If you spend enough time there, you might end up on-point like Ygritte.
In the meantime, check out your local archery range and imagine yourself as part of the Stark family or as a wildling, and let your arrows fly. You could make it as a member of the Night’s Watch.
What’s your favorite “Games of Thrones” archery moment? Let us know!