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Rename (alt titles 7/24): The Archer get usage counts

What if there are two archetypes: the ranger-hunter-wilderness archer Lord Gro talked about, and the other one discussed earlier?
Oppression anywhere is a threat to democracy everywhere.
I see I didn't notice the Sandbox.Archer Archetype that was already up.

I'll be blunt and say that you are trying to construct a trope here that doesn't exist. Looking at the criteria named in the first paragraph:
will typically refrain from the use of heavy armor
strategies that involve around keeping the enemy away from them
...describe any archer. So it's just "character with bow and arrow as Weapon of Choice" again. Then:

[dependence on] skill (...) they are good at what they do and they know it
therefore they are

independent and often suspicious of authority.
Well it certainly sounds plausible that a character that is exceptionally skilled and capable is not very good at subordination. But is that true only for archers? Not at all. So if there's a trope here at all, then it's not an "Archer Archetype", but something along the lines of Archery Is Rocket Science or Archery Is Superior, i.e. only exceptionally skilled people can be archers and that skilled archers are somehow superior to skilled melee fighters, and so can afford to be arrogant and obstreperous. Next:

stealth, trickery and tactics
This again are characteristics that are shared by many character types, not just archers. If "stealth, trickery and tactics" is only a way of saying "fights from a distance, avoids close combat", then we are again in "archers are ranged fighters with a bow" territory. Finally:

fit but not burly (...) a dependence on both grace and skill
There might be actually a trope, but it's not "Archer Archetype". It's "Graceful Archer", a trope stemming from the false notion that bows are "elegant" weapons that require above-average "skill", but not strength.

The second paragraph says, in a nutshell: "On one extreme, such characters are brash and hotheaded. On the other extreme, they will be cool and analytical." Well, duh! That describes all humanity. Also means that it's completely irrelevant whether the character is brash or calm, hotheaded or analytical.

Bottom line: I can't see any trope that deserves such a grandiose name as Archer Archetype. The only tendencies in the portrayal of archers that might be tropable material are, as above mentioned, "Archers are Superior" and "Archers are Graceful", and these are not inherently related. Everything else melts away if you look at it.

edited 17th Jan '13 1:44:52 PM by LordGro

It's perfectly possible to admire building a cannon to destroy the moon, whilst lamenting the act of destruction.
You're saying that because the tactics and attributes attributed to archers make sense suddenly it's not a trope anymore?

^^ That's some awesome analysis right there.

 205 Septimus Heap, Thu, 17th Jan '13 3:18:40 PM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
A Wizard boy
@Herr Gro: Archetypes usually have many things associated with them, so I am not warming for an "the other people also do this" argument just yet.

 206 Cider, Fri, 18th Jan '13 9:07:20 AM from Not New York Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
The Final ECW Champion
Okay, having seen the "cleanup" going around what was formerly "The Archer" I think this still needs help.

What this trope used to be about was characters who were noted for their archery. So...Artemis and Apollo somehow do not count because of, actually there is no reason. Their examples are just deleted because "zero content" or "not enough information" as in gods of archery who go around shooting arrows at things making bets with each other over who can hit what apparently is not enough information to conclude they are dedicated archers.

That is what the trope should be called, Dedicated Archer. Simple and to the point. It can be a super trope, an index even, but being a dedicated archer is nowhere near as broad as people sitting on chairs or anything breathing oxygen evidence by all the characters who are not dedicated archers.

Kid Icarus, I don't know about the latest installment but in the first two the only things using bows were Pit, the Centurions and Pit's evil knockoffs. Furthermore, the bow was Pit's only reliable weapon, which makes him a dedicated enough archer for me.

Hawkeye in Marvel comics? No, he is not the only guy in a modern setting using a bow, but he is one of the few people that is exclusively using one. He, Moonstar, Blade, the Valkyries and the Punisher would qualify for the straight and arrow path as they have all had stints of carrying bows around but all the others have always had other weapons to fall back on, weapons they are more associated with(psychic powers, blades, spears, guns) so Hawkeye is the only one I would call a Dedicated Archer.

If the trope was to be renamed that is what it should have been, and the old description would have been just fine for it. The current description reads like it is trying to be some sort of specific archetype but cannot narrow it down enough. Let us keep this simple. If you want something not so broad see if you can get someone to support a new trope page on You Know That Thing Where.

edited 18th Jan '13 9:08:13 AM by Cider

Modified Ura-nage, Torture Rack
 207 Septimus Heap, Fri, 18th Jan '13 9:09:57 AM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
A Wizard boy
Being a dedicated archer isn't this trope. That is why their examples were deleted.

You're saying that because the tactics and attributes attributed to archers make sense suddenly it's not a trope anymore?

No. I'm saying that determining that an archer „fights from a distance“ is a paraphrase, not an analysis.

That an archer uses lighter armor than a melee fighter is almost as trivial, but most importantly it's not a „character type“, much less an „archetype“. – I'm aware that the name was mostly chosen for being punny, but the pun here really gets in the way of clearness.

Also, not all of the traits attributed to archers in fiction make sense. The idea that slender, „graceful“, not-strong people are especially well-suited to be archers doesn't make sense. And what do you know? By far not all archers in fiction are slender and graceful. Hercules was famous for his bow. Was he graceful? Not at all. What about Apollo, Philoctetes, William Tell? Also not very slender and graceful. Robin Hood wasn't imagined to be slender and graceful before 20th century movies.

So long as people were used to bows as weapons of war and hunt, nobody associated archers with being slender and graceful. Because an archers needs strength as much as any other fighter. I dare say that the whole image of the „graceful archer“ dates no further back than the 20th century. Not even Legolas was especially slender and graceful in the Lord of the Rings book. I think you are generally too much under the influence of recent Fantasy literature.

I assume the trope previously known as The Archer was intended to be a subset of Weapon of Choice: Which kind of character gets to use a bow, and what does it tell us about a character if (s)he uses a bow?

Problem is, archers in fiction don't have all that much in common. Bows can be carried by a variety of character types. I don't think there is a „archer archetype“. I actually read through the thread and there have been a wide spectrum of different opinions on what the „typical archer character“ is like. This suggests there is not as much commonality as you want to detect.

I've written up a draft on what I consider trends in the depiction of archers in fiction. Accordingly it's not a trope, but rather an analysis: Weapon of Choice: Bow and Arrow. I don't know if it is of any use, but it illustrates why I think that a trope called "Archer Archetype" is not going to work.
It's perfectly possible to admire building a cannon to destroy the moon, whilst lamenting the act of destruction.
 209 Cider, Fri, 18th Jan '13 2:10:39 PM from Not New York Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
The Final ECW Champion
Okay, I am writing a series. Maybe about a band of merchants or mercenaries. So they all need to contribute something, I am only on fourteen of them so I am running out of ideas how to make them distinct...lets make one of them a master bowman? He can hunt for the group and or snipe enemies for them. He may not even be into shooting things too much, bows could just happen to be the product he sells, being good with them just helps.

I could have him fashion bullets for slings, hammer out swords or specialize in building bear traps and chariots. But I chose to give him a bow, the skill to use it and all the implications that come along with it.

Maybe it is a Jew soldier in the Persian Empire. One thing I could explore is why he chose to be an archer instead of a sling man. Maybe he's an English soldier, which instead becomes why the long bow instead of that new rifle?

A blow gun is a perfectly acceptable tool for my sneaky assassin but so is a cross bow. He will just have to go about things a little differently depending on which I chose.

Choosing to dedicate your character to archery is as much of a tool for story telling as making your character the alcoholic, and what are tropes but tools?
Modified Ura-nage, Torture Rack
Okay, to get this back in action, I think that just because someone is a famed archer does not necessarily make them this trope. Yes, Apollo is famed for his skill in archery. So were Odysseus and Paris and who knows how many other figures. The question is what these characters actually have in common. We've isolated a trope for one portrayal of archers that has lasted for centuries and are down to tweaking the definition. I think if there's another trope involving other famous archers then that is probably another trope.

However, merely being a skilled archer by itself? That's not a trope. It's about as meaningful as being a skilled pianist.

edited 21st Jan '13 5:12:02 PM by Arha

 211 shimaspawn, Mon, 21st Jan '13 5:14:06 PM from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
This thread is going backwards. Having it open longer is impeding anything actually getting fixed. As such it will be locked.
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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.
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