10:35:43 AM Mar 25th 2016
There are some noteworthy examples from medieval literature; especially the Passion of St Sebastian (d. c. 288), in which the saint is riddled with arrows but does not die, and was nursed back to health before being discovered and beaten to death. Drawing on this trope Ælfric of Eynsham wrote that the East Anglian King Edmund (d. 869) was shot with arrows until he looked "like a porcupine", but did not die, so the Viking invaders decapitated him. Ælfric's Old English version was itself a paraphrase of the Latin Passio Sancti Eadmundi which dates from the late 10th Century. Although the most popular life of Sebastian dates from the 12th Century (the Golden Rule), the deliberate allusion to Sebastian by Abbo suggests that the story of Sebastian containing this trope was relatively well known in the 10th Century. Although the saints are historical figures whose lives are attested in other sources, haggiography should not be confused with reality, and this should still not be considered "truth in fiction". The whole point of the survival of the men at these points was that it was supposed to be miraculous.
03:50:11 AM Dec 19th 2012
Something that happened at the real battle of Crecy is the Genoa crossbowmen -noted at the time as some of the best in Europe- had been marching for eighteen bloody hours. Meanwhile, the English longbowmen had been waiting, having had time to rest, eat, fold and put away their pants... (true story). Plus the French nobility had hissy fits about the 'commoners' preceding them. With crossbow vs longbow, things might've been iffy. With only one side with archery, buttkicking ensued. "In Mulan, Shang takes an arrow to the shoulder that knocks him off his horse, but he promptly yanks it out, gets up, and keeps going. It looks like the arrow just hit the shoulder pad of his armor, but not actually him." Mongols had a very nasty recurved composite bow. If Shang was hit by the arrow at all, it would hurt even if it didn't penetrate. "Subverted in Marvel Comics' Secret Wars where the archer Hawkeye is confronted by super villain Piledriver who gives a Badass Boast about his bullet proof skin. Hawkeye warns him that at close range his arrow will strike harder than a bullet. Undaunted, Piledriver moves to attack and is shot in the shoulder. In shock, Piledriver retreats to nurse his wound." Apparently Piledriver forgot that just because something's bulletproof doesn't automatically mean it's blade proof. There's a reason the bulletproof anti-shrapnel vests that soldiers wear have such a variety of materials in their makeup. A plot point in one Green Arrow comic I own. Green Arrow fired a bladed arrow at an intruder as he fled, but it didn't work. When someone mentions that the intruder was probably wearing a bulletproof vest, GA mentions kevlar can be cut. Turns out the reason why a arrow didn't puncture the bad guy as he fled was because he was wearing chain mail under his disguise. The real stuff, from a genuine suit of armor he owned. (Later the weight causes the bad guy to drown. In the same place he once imprisoned his child victims.)
12:47:23 PM Sep 29th 2012
I was considering adding a bit about the difference between arrows and arrows but decided to start with my reasoning since I'm not sure where it fits. One thing many who compares arrows and bullets fail to grasp is the difference between a flight arrow and a broadhead (hunting point). A flight arrow is the sort you use in target shooting and is generally about 8-9mm in diameter, the sort you use in target practice or competitions. It is to the bow as a weapon what a bb-gun is to a handgun. A 'real' arrow actually has a broadened, sharp point 2-4 cm wide... After seeing the reference to the cracked article (though that was a crossbow), I felt this is an important point, since that example is precisely such a pointless bolt that is not an argument for the non-danger of crossbows...
07:32:45 PM Jul 15th 2011
edited by Sharpur
edited by Sharpur
"Actually, contrary to popular belief (probably perpetuated by games), crossbows weren't stronger or more accurate than bows." Military ones generally were/are. The problem lies in using them on the battlefield: The more powerful the bow the longer it takes to span (pull back). That's not a problem if you're shooting from behind defences. In the open field, the baddies will get ya. "an arrow does most of its damage when being pulled out due to the barbs" No, an arrow, like any other projectile, does most of it's damage when it transfers it's kinetic energy to the target on impact.
03:15:53 AM Apr 2nd 2011
'an arrow or a crossbow bolt takes a certain amount of distance away from the shooter to get up to enough speed to actually do damage to whatever's being shot at. Point blank range only works if you're using a firearm'? Doesn't sound right. Where does the additional energy come from?
03:34:28 AM Dec 19th 2012
It takes a moment to get up to speed -but it's a very quick moment. Bullets do too; they have more energy pushing them, so it happens faster. The object is going from a base 'resting' state to one of (violent) motion. In either case, it's barely noticeable or unnoticeable to human senses.
09:08:17 PM Jul 24th 2010
I find it somewhat amusing that several Video Game examples basically just state that arrows can go through someone without killing them...these being in games where a sword slash has about the same effect (the Oblivion example for instance). Should we really list those examples? Given that arrows in those settings are no less lethal than swords etc?