Rename (alt titles 7/24): The Archer

Total posts: [211]
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26 TuefelHundenIV4th Jul 2012 06:34:23 PM from Wandering , Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchman of the Apocalypse
I can agree it might be a little bit too broad. And on second thought a rename might not be bad either. Something that more conveys that they are skilled archers instead of a mass of archers in general. Something like Master Archer.

The blurb overall could be condensed and the useful notes portions cut and moved to the existing usefulnotes entry for Archery if they are already not present.

The linked YTTW despite saying it is not for launch but as a launch point to rewrite the whole trope would be better as a general sub-trope for female archers which is what a lot of the people working on it seem to see it as that. We could then remove that portion of the blurb.

In general it should still refer to skilled archers like Robin Hood, Hawk Eye, Green Arrow, etc. in general.

Skilled archers in fiction are likely to have Improbable Aiming Skills and/or use TrickArrows.

Archers in fiction are generaly portrayed as weaker then a melee fighters but that can tipped on its head by having a bow that requires a lot of strength to string or draw back that only the archer can use.

It kind of leaves out that modern archers are going to have a more modern bow like a compound bow and are far more likely to use trick arrows. A good example would be Hawkeye another would be Rambo.

Archers are als the ranged specialists and are not as good at melee as say the fighters.

In short it should try and read as The Archer is a character who uses Bows and Arrows almost exclusivel and are skilled with the weapon, sometimes to the point of having Improbable Aiming Skills. (Robin Hood, Hawk Eye, Legolas)

May or may not use trick arrows. Modern Archers use some form of advanced bow usually a compound bow and are more likely to use trick arrows. (The Green Arrow, Hawk Eye, Rambo)

Archers are frequently portrayed as being weak or more frail yet more graceful and agile then a fighter. Elves who are also frequently portrayed as being graceful and agile, are often portrayed as very skilled archers. Archers can also be protrayed as being powerful and strong by virtue of using a bow no one else can string and draw. (Greek Mythology and one of the Scorpion King spin off movies)

They may overlap with Loveable Rogue characters and may take on a appearance like Robin Hood (Green Arrow and Robin Hood Expiess ingeneral fall under this). Sometimes Ranger type characters are notable archers. See usefulnotes page for facts on being an archer. Look at Improbable Aiming Skills and TrickArrows for related tropes.

it should be noted Rugged Archers that live off the land are typically what a Ranger Archer is. When I say Ranger I am thinking the Lord of the Rings rangers and the various Rangers in fiction they inspired.

edited 4th Jul '12 7:28:49 PM by TuefelHundenIV

"Who watches the watchmen?"
The Bow Woman YKTTW pretty much made it clear that it's almost impossible to make a general trope about female archers - just as it is almost impossible to make a trope about male archers (which is what we have right now). Both tropes would quickly devolve into general lists of people using bows, just like it is right now.

As for my original post - yes, it doesn't describe subtropes, and I should have used another term. In a followup I described these as vectors, ie they are four possible ways that archers can be developed into as archers. They are then combined to form tropes (as shown in my examples). How to express that best is part of what of we need to do here.

The ranger-archer is probably best described as a development of the hunter (which also is part of the cloud of tropes regarding the archer), who is focused on the capable-independent vectors.
28 TuefelHundenIV4th Jul 2012 11:38:20 PM from Wandering , Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchman of the Apocalypse
People who use a bow especially characters is pretty much what an archer is. But say calling it Master Archer and cleaning up the current write up a little bit makes it more clear it is more about their skill and persistent use of a bow and arrow as a weapon.

The trope right now is not just about male archers but archers with skill in general. It can be cleaned up and focused down to be specifically about highly skilled archers

The female archer bit is actually workable when it used in that specific fashion listed on this page The YTTW needs more work but it is not impossible.

We have a listing for Forest Ranger but not something as iconic to fantasy as Rangers from Lord of the Rings, Ranger's Apprentice, Dungeonsand Dragons, and numerous other pieces of fantasy ficiton and fantasy games. The Tracker, hunter, scout, master bow man, and skilled with stealth etc.

Better description found here on TheOtherWiki

On the elves well they are usually master archers by default and may or may not be more agile/dextrous.

If someone is just blindly adding anyone with a bow they are being lazy and not reading the description, which is generally bad form from editors.

There will always be some contention with various tropes.

The Bow Woman is actually pretty well written and off to a decent start. Needs some more work but not bad at all. The other one is very clumsy and I doubt will make it.

If the biggest problem is just someone adding anyone with a bow you fix that by correcting the editor.
"Who watches the watchmen?"
Changing to Master Archer would be a huge step up. But how is that different from Master Swordsman, story-wise? Are they both Master Fighter who uses a specific weapon? Also, what examples would go on Master Archer that wouldn't go on Improbable Aiming Skills?

edited 5th Jul '12 5:35:05 AM by Routerie

If people feel my original split was too complex, it can be simplified in two different ways:

One is to create subtropes for each combination; the other is to ditch the capable vector and get three tropes:

Archers Are Elegant

This would be the Legolas type. Calm yet swift, composed, focused, graceful movements.

Archers Are Independent

This would be the Artemis and Robin Hood type. Self-reliant, independent thinking, can express as rebelliousness.

Archers Are Vulnerable

This would fit Paris of Troy, and quite likely quite a bit when The Chick gets a bow. Supports the group effort, but can run out of arrows and will need help once the enemy gets close.

Going through the examples in The Archer (the wicks are many, and a lot of them potholed), limiting myself to the first three per genre:


  • Green Arrow: independent type
  • Hawkeye: independent type
  • Strongbow: independent type; quite passionate about everything

Films - live action:
  • Blade: no information to judge
  • Legolas: elegant type
  • Susan: elegant type, probably a hint of vulnerable


  • Artemis: independent, fits very poorly to the type given in The Archer
  • Rama: no information to judge, no crosslink
  • Hou-Yi: independent, from what I remember when I read the story long ago

Video games:
  • Zelda: elegant, but quite a bit of vulnerable as well
  • Leliana: elegant and vulnerable, from what I can see

Web comics:
  • Haley Starshine: independent
  • Janet: elegant
  • Nastajia: no info to judge

That gives me the following breakdown:

  • Elegant (most similar to The Archer as written): 6
  • Independent: 7
  • Vulnerable: 3
  • Incorrect to The Archer: 2
  • No info: 4

That's no sign of a healthy trope to me.

31 shimaspawn5th Jul 2012 09:20:17 AM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
You really don't know many of these works well do you? All of the examples I know would fit under all three of your proposed tropes.

Green Arrow for example has a very elegant fighting style, is independent and strong, but is far more vulnerable in up close combat.

The same can be said for Legolas though his independence comes off as haughty rather than wise cracking.

Robin Hood is elegant and independent. He's not vulnerable, but he is the flipside of vulnerable where they switch to a different weapon for close combat. He's not actually a pure archer and is in fact a better fencer than an archer. He probably shouldn't be on this trope.

You can't separate the tropes because you would have identical lists for every single one of them. That's not how you make subtropes.

The misuse here is characters who just use a bow a couple of times under the trope The Archer which is for characters whose personality and storyline are influenced by the weapon they wield and almost exclusively use just bows.

edited 5th Jul '12 9:22:11 AM by shimaspawn

Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
32 Xtifr5th Jul 2012 08:32:03 PM , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
World's Toughest Milkman
Robin Hood [...] is in fact a better fencer than an archer.
The guy who famously won the Sheriff's competition by splitting an arrow already in the bullseye is actually a better fencer than archer?

Are you thinking of a different Robin Hood that the one I'm familiar with? The fellow of legend? grin

(Yes, I realize that if you limit yourself to the oldest ballads, you get a remarkably schizophrenic picture of who or what this mythical figure actually was, but archer seems to be his primary attribute in most depictions from the Victorian era through the present.)
Speaking words of fandom: let it squee, let it squee.
33 TuefelHundenIV5th Jul 2012 08:40:05 PM from Wandering , Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchman of the Apocalypse
Robin Hood is likely one of those cases where he could be a Ranger, Master Archer, or Bow and Sword in Accord depending on how he is depicted. I know what Shima is getting at. In several depictions of Robin Hood the character is also a skilled swords man. I recall Black and white and Technicolour Robin Hood frequently portrayed as skilled fencer and archer.

I have seen versions where Robin Hood is effectively a man living off the land ala the Ranger or is depicted as the Master Archer like in the Kevin Costner Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.
"Who watches the watchmen?"
Anecdotal: I think of Robin Hood as an archer.
Becky: Who are you? The Mysterious Stranger: An angel.
Huck: What's your name? The Mysterious Stranger: Satan.
35 shimaspawn5th Jul 2012 09:19:58 PM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
I'm most familiar with Errol Flynn as Robin Hood and fencing is his primary fighting style for that. In either case, he's never depicted as a pure example of The Archer in any media. Even when he's better with a bow, he's still damn good with a sword and switches between the two easily.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
Of course an archer, at least if written as a decent character, will have elements of being both elegant, independent, capable/skilled, and vulnerable.

But all archers will have those elements to differing degrees, and used different ways. That's why The Archer feels so schizophrenic as a unified trope. It can be used to create a Damsel in Distress or a Lady of War. It can be used to create an elegant supporting character like Legolas. It can be used to create a highly independent character like Artemis or Skade.
37 shimaspawn7th Jul 2012 04:36:31 PM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
So you want three tropes that duplicate each other and confuse the reader rather than one trope that has a slightly broader but much more coherent narrative because you're not randomly splitting one trope over three pages?

Legolas is highly independent. The fact that he's a supporting character has nothing to do with him being The Archer. Tropes aren't just clones of each other. There can be minor variations. Things that have nothing to do with the trope can vary. What you're doing is along the lines of insisting we need to split because they don't all have the same hair colour.

edited 7th Jul '12 4:38:53 PM by shimaspawn

Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
I agree with Routerie how a trope isn't "The Noun" but "The Adjective Noun." How about The Down To Earth Archer? It sounds calm, self-possessed, and analytical like elves and a Lady of War. It disqualifies the fiery princess from Brave.
39 shimaspawn7th Jul 2012 06:00:05 PM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
But you're just making the trope arbitrarily narrow then. In this case the trope is a number of adjectives.

The Archer is a skilled bow(wo)man. They're generally independent and used to working alone. This tends to make them practical, a little haughty or arrogant and not the best at following orders especially from those they don't respect. The archer is generally stealthy and graceful and tends to fight at a distance. They're vulnerable up close as a result unless they switch to a different weapon for close combat. The archer is most likely to be found in a wild setting and can share traits with the Cold Sniper.

There you go. There's no one adjective there but that's the core of the trope. The elves being different from the princess from Brave is elf vs. human tropes. It has nothing to do with The Archer. It's like saying that we should split the elves from the humans because the elves are blond and the princess is a red head. The division is something that has nothing to do with the trope and is not a trope in and of itself.

You can divide tropes into things that are not tropes themselves. This generally happens because people see overlapping tropes and try to split out according to different tropes instead of the one they're trying to codify. It's splitting by hair colour.

edited 7th Jul '12 6:02:44 PM by shimaspawn

Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
Eh... I'm beginning to lean towards scrapping the splitting now.

But is there any way to come up with a clearer name? If not Adjective Noun then Adjective Adjective Adjective noun, or something? Something to stop, for example, video game pages from saying stuff like "The Archer: Most players will want to become somewhat skilled in Archery, since it's one of the only ways to force a Dragon to land."
I'm not suggesting a split, just a title that says something more than, "character who uses a bow," because not all of them qualify, do they?
Archer Archetype? Archetypal Archer?


(*runs, hides*)

edited 8th Jul '12 9:19:16 PM by Routerie

I don't think a split is necessary, nor particularly useful. It would be better to list a those traits in the description and say that a character should have at least one of them.
The Internet misuses, abuses, and overuses everything.
44 ccoa9th Jul 2012 12:28:44 PM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
I like Archertype.

I think we should at least consider a rename, because people do tend to misuse the Weapon of Choice tropes quite frequently. But someone should do a wick check first.
Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
45 Xtifr9th Jul 2012 12:49:45 PM , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
World's Toughest Milkman
I'm amused by Archertype, but I'm not convinced it's a good name. Might work if it had a decent searchable redirect or two, though. Otherwise, I have to lean towards the plainer-but-clearer Archer Archetype.
Speaking words of fandom: let it squee, let it squee.
Someone suggested that earlier. But this isn't about being really good with a bow (which mostly goes under Improbable Aiming Skills anyway). It's about all the different things that combine to form this character type.
I think Archer Archetype is better than the current.

Does anyone want to contribute to the YKTTW Weapons Are Unladylike? It's my attempt at saving Tomboys Know Archery.

edited 9th Jul '12 6:51:39 PM by lexicon

49 SeptimusHeap13th Jul 2012 04:51:56 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
I support Archer Archetype, providing that someone comes up with a wick check.
50 TuefelHundenIV13th Jul 2012 04:11:06 PM from Wandering , Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchman of the Apocalypse
I can't think of anything better that describes what the trope is supposed to be. I back that name.
"Who watches the watchmen?"

Alternative Titles: The Archer
24th Jul '12 5:17:19 AM
Vote up names you like, vote down names you don't. Whether or not the title will actually be changed is determined with a different kind of crowner (the Single Proposition crowner). This one just collects and ranks alternative titles.
At issue:

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