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Bow and Sword in Accord

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A bolt to the face or a blade to the gut. Either way works.

A character who wields both a bow and sword (this includes crossbows). This is quite common in fiction for a number of reasons:

  • It makes tactical sense. Even the toughest swordsman or most accurate archer will find their weapons useless when fighting at the wrong range.
  • It looks damn cool.
  • It gives the author another tool for their hero to use, allowing for easier writing during action sequences and extra strategic options for players in video games.

Besides these more down-to-earth or aesthetic reasons, using a bow and sword competently takes a lot of training and time; it can symbolise dedication, co-ordination, flexibility of character and perhaps even a certain kind of intelligence. It's certainly the mark of a wary, well prepared character; if you're this well prepared you're either naturally thorough in preparing for circumstances or have been taught the value of said preparations by experience. Characters like this are often royalty or nobility in reduced circumstances; the combination of a bow, a relatively humble weapon, beside a sword or other heraldric arm, a sign of high birth. It might also be a character from a humble background who has come into a more heroic, important role in life.

It can also signify that this character, for all his noble bloodlines, is an amoral person. Be wary of sword and crossbow combinations in particular.

Characters armed this way tend to be rather lightly armoured. This may of course be due to the fact that most archers are lightly armored. (When was the last time you saw or read about a hero in full plate using a bow?) For some reason, the archer element seems to dominate. They tend to either be extremely agile or wily and cunning in order to make up for it. This does make some sense, given that the more weapons you carry, the less weight you can devote to armor.

Of course, it's rather difficult to wield both a bow and a sword at the same time (though some characters with crossbows small enough to be fired one-handed manage) unless you've got more than two hands. The favoured technique for this style is typically to shoot foes with arrows from a distance, and then draw the sword once they get too close for comfort.

A mutation of "pen and sword, in accord" (the samurai ideal) of course.

This trope is not for gun-and-sword combinations. For Dual Wielding a sword and a gun (or similar firearms), see The Musketeer (wielding a melee weapon and a firearm, but not at the same time) and Sword and Gun (wielding a blade and a firearm simultaneously).

Subtrope of Choice of Two Weapons.

It's worth noting that this trope used to be called The Ranger, from The Lord of the Rings rangers. Any references to rangers on this page are likely from when the trope was in YKTTW.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Guts of Berserk fits the ranger profile, using throwing knives and a repeating crossbow along with his BFS. He deviates from the general profile by being heavily armored and by also having a fourth weapon (a gunpowder cannon built into his arm) as a nasty surprise for any demons who think they have him beat.
  • Uryū Ishida of Bleach, being a Quincy, has the bow for a primary weapon, although Ishida has the Seele Schneider, a Laser Blade that absorbs the spirit particles (reishi) his opponents release whenever they attack. It turns out that this weapon can do even more damage when fired as an arrow.
  • Leaf from Dog Days fights with a crossbow and short sword combo. The crossbow is also attached to a retractable cord on his belt, allowing him to let go of it in the heat of battle and quickly switch to melee range.
  • The Fate/Prototype version of Gilgamesh is an expert dual wielding swordsman as well as an archer.
  • Signum of Lyrical Nanoha. In her case, she's a swordswoman first and only switches to a bow when an enemy can't be fought at melee range or if she's going for a long-ranged sneak attack.
  • In a variant, Warrior Monk Youkai Bloodrobe from Ushio and Tora fights with a longbow in his left hand (the string is seemingly part of his own body and can pull itself backwards at will) and a long-bladed naginata in his right hand. When the latter is destroyed he folds up the bow to form a sword.
  • Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon: Moroha wields both a demonic katana and a Sacred Bow and Arrows.


    Comic Books 
  • In Cossacks, the Ottoman Sipahi riders use both bows and swords whereas their Polish Hussar enemies go for Sword and Gun.
  • Green Arrow:
    • Judd Winick had Oliver spend the year following Infinite Crisis training to become a swordsman as well as (obviously) an archer. Robin Hood was explicitly named as the inspiration for this.
    • Roy Harper, the original Speedy, is skilled in knives as well as archery.
    • Mia Dearden, the second Speedy, was trained in swordsmanship by Oliver.
  • Hawkeye: Clint Barton trained under both a master archer and a master swordsman. He tends to favor his bow, but when he had to give up his identity, he used his fallback weapon to become "Ronin".
  • Sin City: Miho sometimes employs the sword/arrow combo. Sometimes shuriken are used instead.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1992), Roam is primarily an archer, but he also has sword at hand for close-combat.

    Fan Works 
  • A Boy, a Girl and a Dog: The Leithian Script: Beren was an outlaw ranger leading an one-man guerrilla against Sauron's forces for years, so he needed all kind of short and long-range weapons. He lugs around two different swords, one bow (and he is really good at it, starting practicing when he was around four) and a ton of daggers and dirks.
  • A Growing Affection: Sakura becomes an archer, but continues to use her axe if her opponents get to close or she runs out of arrows.
  • The Night Unfurls: Starting from Chapter 13 of the original, Hugh wields the Simon's Bowblade, a scimitar that can turn into a bow, for adapting to both short and long range.
  • Vow of Nudity: Iaqo, the hexblood leader of a fey bandit party, dual-wields a poisoned crossbow and a shortsword in combat.
  • As'taris in With Strings Attached uses both, though the sword far more often than the bow.

    Films — Animation 
  • Princess Merida in Brave is a magnificent archer, able to shoot a sword out of a man's hand when aiming from 20 to 30 yards away, while in the dark and on horseback, and without hurting the man himself. And, when the bow gets taken from her, she uses a sword to beat the tar out of her father, who's an excellent fighter himself and trained her in the use of both of these weapons.
  • Some of the Leafmen in Epic (2013).
  • Mulan is proficient in both sword and bow as a product of her Training Montage. She is skilled enough with a sword to hold her own against the villain Shan Yu, and her Improbable Aiming Skills with the bow are probably the only reason she and her Love Interest aren't dead at the bottom of a cliff....thanks to an avalanche she caused with another ranged weapon. But hey, it wiped out the other army and not hers!
  • Ashitaka from Princess Mononoke uses both a long bow and a short sword. The pommel of his sword is fashioned with a ring that allows him to keep the sword in his hand while shooting.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood: Robin is an expert fencer and bowman. (He also wields the quarterstaff, to somewhat less effect.)
  • Assassin's Creed (2016): In addition to being a Multi-Melee Master, Aguilar is also a very good shot with a bow and uses it to pick off pursuers. However, he doesn't carry a bow with him (at least not on the mission depicted in the film).
  • Avatar: The Na'vi use both bows and knives.
  • Avengers Grimm: Red, as the Badass Normal of the cast, sports both a bow and a sword in her quest to kill The Wolf.
  • The Hobbit
    • Kíli carries a bow as his primary weapon but also a short dwarf sword.
    • Bard the Bowman fought with a sword in The Battle of the Five Armies, as his bow had been broken in killing Smaug.
  • Ladyhawke: Navarre uses a Cool Sword and a double-crossbow.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • Aragorn uses both bow and sword in the movie (and is the source of this combination being dubbed "The Ranger" initially), but he usually uses the bow only to open battle, staying in melee once it opens.
    • Legolas is more flexible, switching between his bow and his knives when appropriate. Elves in general are capable of both archery and swordplay.
    • The Uruk-hai captain (Lurtz) at the end of the first film also employs a bow/sword combo.
    • Faramir's rangers from Ithilien used bows and swords and were lightly armoured, but the mainline Gondorian archers are depicted in plate armour, though it may have been a lighter style.
    • The Galadhrim of Lothlorien who march to aid the Rohirrim at Helm’s Deep have a very specific weapons configuration; both their quiver and scabbard are carried on the back of their breastplate, with the former situated towards the right shoulder and the latter towards the left, allowing for convenient switching between arrows and swords.
  • King Arthur (2004): Tristan's primary weapon is a composite bow wielded from horseback, and he unsheathes a curved Dao-style sword for close combat.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe: Everyone knows Hawkeye is the greatest marksman to have ever lived with his bow and arrows, but since his introduction we've been shown he's also capable of using other weapons. In The Avengers (2012) he wields a knife and a gun; in Captain America: Civil War he has collapsible batons and a staff; and finally in Avengers: Endgame he takes the alias "Ronin" and uses a katana along with his usual bow and arrows.
  • Rambo: The title character uses a modern variant, with a compound bow and a large bowie knife (in addition to whatever guns he can get his hands on).
  • Robin Hood: Men in Tights: Makes an Exaggerated Trope out of it.
  • Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves: Has Robin Hood doing this because he's Robin Hood and is good with both.
  • Wonder Woman: Shows Bullet Time training of Amazons in archery and swordsmanship, (among other weapons) both on ground and on horseback. This comes in handy when Steve Trevor accidentally leads the Germans to Themyscira.

  • It's not uncommon in games from the Fighting Fantasy series to have the hero use both a sword and a ranged weapon, usually a bow or a crossbow. Situational examples include a sling and, in both Howl of the Werewolf and Port Of Peril, a gun.
  • Lone Wolf: Starting with the Magnakai series, the eponymous hero can use a bow alongside melee weapons. Also the case for his lieutenant in the New Order series.

  • Discworld:
    • The Ankh-Morpork City Watch carry both swords and crossbows, and in Vimes' case various coshes and knuckledusters as well. Oh, and a truncheon.
    • In Guards! Guards!, one of them (Colon) attempts to kill a dragon with a bow.
  • Appears several times in The First Law trilogy. Dogman and Grim Harding both use bows almost exclusively, but are still plenty capable with bladed weapons. Ferro Maljinn fits the trope even better, being a deadly archer and swordswoman, switching from one to the other based on how close her enemies are and how many arrows she has left.
  • In Fengshen Yanyi, Yang Jian normally fights with his sharp, three-pointed lance in melee, but can also use the magical Golden Bow with Silver Arrows to attack from afar. The only other character who has a similar weapon setup is Huang Tianxiang, who uses a spear but also has a bow he's not afraid to use to wound an escaping enemy.
  • Tarl Cabot of Gor is an expert swordsman, but he's also quite good with the peasant bow, even though everyone else looks down on it because it's a peasant weapon.
  • The Iron Teeth web serial’s forests are haunted by many different types of dangerous monsters and bandits. Thus many of the characters use both bows and swords.
  • Malazan Book of the Fallen:
    • Lightning Bruiser Icarium Lifestealer carries both a longbow, which seems to be his first choice of weapons, and a sword, and can be deadly with either, but wears little — if any — armour.
    • The Tall, Dark, and Snarky Tiste Andii youth named Clip is introduced sporting both a bow and a rapier, although the entire description seems to exist to emphasize how he's modified his gear for stealthy movement, setting up the scene for him being an assassin.
  • A Practical Guide to Evil: Both Ranger and Archer. Notably, Ranger carries a bow and sometimes uses it to devastating effect, but her speciality (as in: she challenges lesser gods for the thrill) is swordfighting, with two swords to boot. Her pupil, Archer, is very deadly with her shortswords when the situation calls for it, but as her Name implies, is even better with a bow.
  • Gilan in Ranger's Apprentice uses a sword next to the usual bow. But only because he already had years of training before becoming a ranger. All others have 2 knives as their melee weapons. This is because of time required to master both bow and sword.
  • Richard in The Sword of Truth is very skilled with his sword, but his gift also makes him a perfect marksman.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • Legolas in The Lord of the Rings uses both a bow and a long knife, although he prefers the bow.
    • Beleg Cúthalion in The Silmarillion, one of the greatest archers in the First Age. He wielded Belthronding, a yew longbow; and Anglachel, a sentient sword made out of starmetal.
  • Bazhell in David Weber's The War Gods series is known for his sword, but also carries a crossbow. He typically gets off one or two shots before dropping it to charge with his sword. He's also heavily armored. (Scale or ring mail, though he'd probably like plate if he was ever in one place long enough for someone to make him a set.)
  • The Wolfhound is both an expert marksman and swordsman.
  • In Percy Jackson and the Olympians this applies to the children of Apollo. Because their father is such a good archer, most of his children inherit this talent from him. In combat, however, they also resort to swords when they are attacked at close range.
    • This also applies to the Hunters of Artemis. They are just as skilled with a bow and arrow as they are in sword fighting.
  • A shadowhunter in The Shadowhunter Chronicles is expected to be able to handle bows and arrows accurately, even though he fights mostly with knives and swords. Some shadowhunters like Alec Lightwood, Mark Blackthorn and Simon Lewis even choose the bow as their primary weapon, but are also armed with swords.

    Live Action TV 
  • Arrow. Thea Queen when she was the vigilante Speedy. This is due to the influence of her two mentors—her brother Oliver (The Arrow) and her supervillain father Malcolm Merlyn (who is the Dark Archer but taught her to use the sword as well). Everyone else tends to carry either bow or sword, even if they are proficient with both weapons.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In just about every legend of Robin Hood, Robin of Locksley was one of the deadliest archers of the land, and no slouch with a sword either. While he was definitely above average with a quarterstaff, however, he was (usually) no match for Little John (himself a pretty good archer), and Friar Tuck was his superior in bare-handed grappling.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The ranger character class is the archetype from early editions. This is still their theme somewhat in later editions, though in 3rd, Fighters and their abundance of feats can be more effective, and in 4th, Rogues can do this without having to spread out their ability growth.
    • It's generally considered a good idea for every character in any edition of D&D to have both a melee and a ranged weapon. Particularly with the combat rules of 3rd and 4th editions, it's highly advised that frontline warriors pack a handful of javelins, and wizards take advantage of crossbow proficiency.
    • Made painfully obvious with the Swordbow (Regular, Light, and Great versions) from the Magic Item Compendium (D&D 3.5). The weapon transforms from a sword (Longsword for Regular, Rapier for Light, Greatsword for Great) into a bow (Longbow for regular, Shortbow for Light, Composite Longbow (+4 Str requirement) for Great) and back again as needed. On top of this, you can also interchange attacks with the two forms as part of the same full attack action.
    • It's also entirely possible to wield a melee weapon in one hand and a hand crossbow in the other. The 3.5E sourcebook Drow of the Underdark offers the Versatile Combatant feat for this arrangement, while 4e offers the Drow Fighting Style feat. 5th Edition allows this with Crossbow Expert feat, allowing a person to fire the hand crossbow in off hand after you attack with main hand weapon. Depending on rule interpretation, you can even use the feat to dual wield Hand Crossbows.
    • The Soulbow class in Complete Psionic can summon up arrows composed of mental energy and shoot them at people in addition to summoning up a sword composed of mental energy.
  • As of the Dawn Solution, Solars in Exalted have a Charm that specifically facilitates this combat style: Elegant Dance of Bow and Blade. Furthermore, they can switch between weapons mid-combat via Hyperspace Arsenal.
  • While the above points for Dungeons & Dragons ring true for both editions of Pathfinder, the gunslinger in 2nd Edition can evoke the 'sword in one hand, bow in another' fantasy specifically with its Way of the Drifter style. This style focuses on versatile combat, giving you bonuses when switching between weapon attacks and letting you reload even when both hands are occupied. While generally expected to be doing this with firearms, the gunslinger in 2nd Edition can also use crossbows - including hand crossbows - with most of the same abilities.
    • Also in 2nd Edition, the Dual-Weapon Warrior archetype lets any class do this when you take the feat Dual Thrower, which allows you to use any feat from the archetype with a thrown or one-handed ranged weapon in addition to melee weapons. This lets you use feats like Double Slice or Dual Weapon Blitz with a melee weapon in one hand and a ranged weapon - such as a hand crossbow - in another. They can also pick the Dual-Weapon Reload feat, which lets you reload weapons like firearms and crossbows without needing a free hand.
    • In 1st Edition, the feat Opening Volley encourages a playstyle like this: tagging someone with a ranged attack makes them easier to hit with a melee attack.
  • WarMachine/Hordes: Most ranged units use firearms, or are weak in melee combat, or both, but there are a few models or units that use a bow or crossbow and are still strong in melee. Examples include Nyss Stryder Rangers for the Legion of Everblight, Exemplar Errants for the Protectorate of Menoth, and Mage Hunter Strike Force for the Retribution of Scyrah.
  • Warhammer Fantasy: For many of the same reasons mentioned in the Real Life examples below, every ranged combat unit carries a hand weapon in addition to their bow/crossbow/gun/blowpipe, etc. A few examples are worth particular notice, however:
    • The elite scout types of the three elf armies — Dark Elf Shades (such as our friend in the picture up there), High Elf Shadow Warriors and Wood Elf Waywatchers. Unlike most missile troops, who are generally decent shots but of only average close combat prowess, these warriors display exceptional skills with both sword and bow / crossbow, having both a Weapon Skill and a Ballistic Skill characteristic of 5.
    • The mercenaries of Pirazzo's Lost Legion specialize in use of both the pike and the crossbow, and each member of the company is highly proficient in both. In tabletop terms, the Lost Legion can choose at the beginning of each battle whether to deploy with crossbows and act as long-ranged fighters or with pikes and act as melee spearmen.

    Video Games 
  • Your main weapons in The Adventures of Robin Hood.
  • Afterimage: Templar Knights can switch between a bow or a sword to attack you depending on your distance from them.
  • Age of Empires III has longbowmen who use swords in melee combat. This is shown with them doing more damage in melee combat than other infantry made for range.
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura characters can be built who switch between guns or bows and melee weapons, but carrying multiple weapons of your chosen type is also common because Breakable Weapons is in effect and swords are no good for breaking open stubborn chests.
  • In Assassin's Creed and its sequel, every archer also packs a sword or bludgeon for close quarters combat. In Brotherhood the crossbowmen intriguingly do not pack close-quarters weapons, but with the crossbow finally in his hands after being foreshadowed back in the first game's first trailer, Ezio can do this. A tactic is to anger some guards, crossbow half of them, chainkill the rest, finish up with crossbowing any cowards. In Assassin's Creed III Connor has a conventional bow.
  • All characters in the Avernum games can equip a bow or crossbow alongside their normal weapon. There's not even any way to determine which one is being used at the time.
  • The majority of units in Battle for Wesnoth carry two different types of weapons, often one each of ranged and melee. Special mention goes to the Duelist's higher level sprites which are shown wielding both a crossbow and saber simultaneously.
  • In Battle Realms, The Dragon Clan Samurai wield both a bow for ranged combat, and a katana for melee. In line with the game's troop alchemy system this makes sense, because samurai require that a soldier be trained as both an archer and a melee fighter (the alchemist's guild is presumably for the armour, or the tempered steel sword). The Serpent Clan Bandit, on the other hand, uses both a curved sword and an arm-mounted crossbow, both of which can be poisoned with the proper research.
  • Bloodborne takes this trope to its most literal extreme with Simon's Bowblade, a sword that can turn into a bow.
  • In Conqueror's Blade, the Khevtuul Cavalry, Rattan Rangers, and Feathered Crossbowmen units can switch between using swords and crossbows (or regular bows for the Khevtuuls). Other archers carry daggers for close combat, but only the above units have actual swords and are at all capable in melee combat.
  • Dark Souls:
    • In Dark Souls, the Chosen Undead can employ any weapon on right hand and left hand slot, one can carry a sword and a bow (or crossbow) at the same time.
    • In Dark Souls II, the moveset of most weapons are no longer affected by which hand the Chosen Undead used, it is now also possible to aim (or even fire Dark Orbs) with the crossbow by carrying it with both hands, making the Sword and Bow combat more practical.
    • Dark Souls III depicts this as being a standard of the Black Hand Hunters of Lothric (both the one you can summon as a phantom and the one you encounter as an enemy), with both having variants of switching between bow and sword and Dual Wielding in lieu of carrying a shield. Towards the end of The Ringed City, Slave Knight Gael uses a chipped Executioner's Greatsword and a Repeating Crossbow against you, he even incorporates both of them at the same time by leaping to the sky, firing the crossbow mid-air and lands an overhead spinning slash in one of his movesets.
    • In general, dexterity builds across the entire franchise will usually be equipped with some sort of sword and some sort of bow, even if they switch between the two weapons as the situation demands rather than using them both simultaneously, since most of the weapons with good Dex scaling are either swords or bows. In particular, the katana/longbow 'samurai' build is enduringly popular thanks to its particular combination of style and practicality - both weapons offer an excellent balance of speed, range, weight, and damage output.
  • DeathSpank : The eponymous hero wields a crossbow alongside a sword (or a number of other melee weapons) in his first and third games. The second game has a gun instead.
  • Guardians in Destiny 2 can carry three different weapon types at the same time. Among these are bows and swords. So a Guardian can wield a bow and a sword simultaneously, together with a third weapon. Even two bows and one sword are possible if they want to. note 
  • Diablo:
    • It's a fairly good idea to have this set up, at least in Diablo (1997). Warriors occasionally find themselves needing to shoot at something (or, in the case of enemies trapped on the opposite sides of portcullises, want to pick enemies off at a distance.) A rogue often finds herself needing to resort to hand-to-hand if fast enemies are encroaching, so having a sword and shield and the strength to use both available helps. Straying out of The Ranger and into Magic Knight, magic is helpful to the rogue as well, though the warriors' maximum magic is so low that it's barely worth his while. The sorcerer is pretty damn awful with both bow and sword, but it's worth giving him a bit of strength and a light sword and shield in case he runs out of mana. (True, you might be screwed if this is the case, but it's better than nothing.)
    • The Lord of Destruction expansion pack for Diablo II added the ability to switch between two whole sets of wielded equipment with a single keypress, making this set-up tremendously more practical.
  • In Dishonored, the main character Corvo is equipped with both a shortsword and a crossbow, and can use both at the same time. The assassin Daud has much the same gear in the DLC. These two also conform to the Sword and Gun trope, as they can replace the crossbow with a pistol.
  • Firion in Dissidia Final Fantasy is treated as this. He's a full-blown Multi-Melee Master; his sword and bow receive the most attention.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Dragon Age: Origins allows you to switch between two full sets of weapons. Given the thrust of the game as being somewhat more tactical, it's almost unheard of that even one character doesn't switch to a bow. (Even mages, whose staves automatically hit at range, can do a lot more damage with a bow if they hit often enough.)
    • While Dragon Age II lacks the weapon switch option, archers automatically switch to the "murder knife" whilst attacking in melee.
    • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, Hawke, if a Rogue, randomly switches between a bow and two daggers in battle.
  • A possible build for Angelo in Dragon Quest VIII, and somewhat viable as bows are rare while swords are common, and one has to use Item Crafting to make half of them, including the Odin's Bow.
  • The Elf of Dragon's Crown has this as one of her potential builds. Investing in the Holdout Dagger skill lets her pull out a dagger to complement her bow. In addition to its use as a backup weapon, with the appropriate skill, she could also perform Back Stabs with it for a lot of damage.
  • Dragon's Wake: The main antagonist is a Black Knight that uses a sword, shield and crossbow, as well as magical powers, to hunt and kill dragons.
  • In Dynasty Warriors 5 (and the games that came before it), all characters can switch between their primary weapon and a bow. The bow is more-or-less useless unless used by Huang Zhong or Xiahou Yuan, who incorporate the bow much more into their move sets, and can rapidly shoot waves of arrows at their enemies.
    • Xiahou Yuan in most games usually fights with a club and his bow to take down his foes. In earlier games, such as Dynasty Warriors 3, his weapon was a scimitar.
    • Starting from DW 7, all characters can equip any other weapon alongside their primary weapon, so if the player chooses a bow, then it becomes this.
    • In Samurai Warriors, the Sengoku-era counterpart to the Three Kingdoms setting of Dynasty Warriors, the character Ina uses a bow that has blades mounted on it, allowing for melee combat. The same applies to Magoichi Saika and Ieyasu Tokugawa, who both possess ranged weapons, but also have a means of smacking enemies around with them.
    • In Arslan: Warriors of Legend, the characters Arslan, Daryun, Farangis, Gieve, Elam, Alfarid, and Kubard all carry at least one bladed weapon and one bow. The gameplay's weapon-swapping mechanic allow them to freely swap between them at will, making it the ideal combo.
  • Since Elden Ring is a direct Spiritual Successor to the Dark Souls series, playable characters have much the same loadout of ranged and melee weapons, with Dexterity builds especially making equal use of their bows and swords. The katana/longbow 'samurai' build in particular is back and better (and more popular) than ever, thanks to the game bringing back the dedicated Dual Wielding movesets from Dark Souls II while removing the durability mechanic that was previously the bane of such delicate weapons.
  • Common throughout The Elder Scrolls series. Naturally, the Player Character can choose to use a bow along with a variety of melee weapons. However, as the series' AI has gotten more advanced over time, NPCs gave gotten in the action too. For instance, enemies who start with a ranged weapon will switch to a melee weapon if you close in, but will then switch back if you fall back or get into a position where they cannot reach you with their melee weapons.
  • In Elsword, the archer character, Rena, start to use a sword with her bow if you follow the Trapping Ranger/Night Watcher class path.
  • While every character in The End Times: Vermintide and its sequel (except Bardin's Slayer career in the latter) carries both a melee and a ranged weapon, not everyone can meet this trope (Sienna uses magical staves rather than actual ranged weapons and Kruber, nominally The Musketeer, can only use a bow in his Huntsman career in the sequel). Kerillian is the straightest example, the only character who can only use bows (including a Dark Elf repeater crossbow in her Shade career), but Bardin (when not a Slayer) and Victor can also use crossbows as well as their black powder weapons and, as already mentioned, Kruber gains the ability to wield a longbow as a Huntsman. Incidentally, Bardin is the only character who can never actually wield a sword, preferring more traditionally dwarfish weapons such as hammers and axes.
  • In Eternal Darkness, Paul Luther and Roberto Bianci can use a crossbow to compliment their melee weapons; sadly, in practice, the bolts' inherent weakness and the crossbow's long reload time means you probably won't touch it much.
  • Fable:
    • Your hero from Fable is an example of a ranger, with a bow and a sword. Also a Magic Knight, as he can wield will magic.
      • Also potentially worth noting that most other heroes subvert this. The majority of heroes seem in the game are more specialized, only a few of the more skilled ones (read: named) use two skills habitually, and only one or two use all three of the disciplines.
    • Fable II lacks longbows, but has the same basic combat style and the option to use a crossbow and a sword. Otherwise you're The Musketeer.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VI: Edgar starts out with a Mythril Sword and an Auto Crossbow for his weapon and Tools respectively.
    • Final Fantasy XIII-2 takes this to perhaps the most literal extreme. Serah's bow and sword are the same weapon which she can transform at will.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance: Viera Assassins can use both katanas and greatbows in battle, making them dangerous in both close combat and long range. The sequel also allows Hume and Gria Hunters to wield knives alongside greatbows.
  • A frequent combo in the Fire Emblem games.
  • In For Honor, most of the samurai heroes, as well as the Highlander, can use a bow as an optional feat along with their primary melee weaponry. The Valkyrie, Centurion, and Gladiator have a variant that lets them throw a spear, and the Peacekeeper has a crossbow. These weapons are quick to fire, has a very long range, and does moderate damage, but has a lengthy cooldown to prevent it from being abused, making them good for opening a fight or taking down an opponent who is running away.
  • Forge Quest: The Player Character starts the game with a sword and a bow and arrows.
  • The Girl and the Robot: The robot wields a sword and an archer's bow, which it can use for combat and puzzle solving.
  • Warriors, Rangers and Thieves in Guild Wars 2 can use both swords and bows.
  • Elise from Gungnir uses both a longbow and a rapier, and it's generally a good idea to have one of each in her available weapon slots.
  • In Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Might/Finesse hybrid classes usually use some variant of this combination.
  • In Kingdom of Loathing, a revamp of the Disco Bandit skill set in October 2013 gave the Disco Bandit a number of combat skills involving knives, on top of their usual affinity for ranged weapons.
  • Knights of the Old Republic allows Blaster and Sword in Accord, though it's easier in the second game because you can equip two full sets of weapons and switch with the click of a button. The first game requires you to go through the inventory menu to do this.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Baleog the Fierce from The Lost Vikings is equipped with a bow and sword, though he ditches the bow in the sequel.
  • In Mark of Kri, the main character, Rau, starts with a sword and gets a bow later. He eventually receives other weapons, but spends most of the game with the basic combination.
  • Suitably exaggerated with the Monster Hunter's arsenal in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. She fights with two swords, a third, humongous sword, and an equally-oversized bow. This is after all a woman who hunts dragons for a living. Ordinary weapons just won't do.
  • In Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, the protagonist, Ranger Talion is equipped with his standard sword, Urfael as well as the hilt of his dead son's sword which he uses as a dagger, Acharn, and he is bound with an Elven Wraith who uses his bow, Azkâr.
  • Just one of many combinations possible in Might and Magic. Everyone can learn to use the bow (including crossbows) in addition to his or her primary weapon (with other weapons being very class specific, the primary weapon is often something other than a sword). There is one exception in the late-game of VI and VII: blasters. You can wield them together with bows (blasters go in the right hand slot, while bows go on the back), but blasters always takes precedence when attacking (melee weapons take precedence if they are close enough to attack. Blasters are ranged weapons in the melee slot...), so the only point in going blaster-and-bow is using the bow as a Stat Stick.
  • Minecraft Dungeons: You are able to have one melee and one ranged weapon equipped at the same time, with a bow and sword being just one of the available combinations. It's also the first combination a newly created character starts out with.
  • Subaru Ikariya of Monark wields a dagger and a crossbow, in addition to his electrokinesis.
  • A possible combination in Mount & Blade, and near universal among higher-level archer units.
  • Quite possible in Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2, although it's more useful in the first game because the sniping opportunities (e.g. taking potshots through a portcullis) are much more frequent.
  • Mio Aiba of Omega Labyrinth Life is depicted as using a bow in her skill art, and the rest of her skillset actively encourages long-ranged fighting. However, she still has one of the highest starting Strength and HP stats in the game, which makes her an excellent tank also.
  • The Apprentice in Orcs Must Die! can wield both a crossbow and a bladed weapon, but not at the same time and only if the player chooses to equip either.
  • The Braver class in Phantasy Star Online 2 uses katanas and bows as its weapons of choice.
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has major antagonist Genichiro Ashina, who is a master with both bow and sword. Additionally, bandit and Okami archers will pull out swords in close combat, even if they're nowhere near as deadly as Genichiro.
  • Shadow of the Colossus: The player has exactly two weapons, a bow and a sword. Interestingly, the Wanderer is a highly skilled archer but completely untrained in using the sword.
  • In Smite the Norse god Ullr wields a bow and a pair of axes, and can switch on either range or melee stance.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
  • Garr/Woodrow from Tales of Destiny can use both a bow and a sword in combat in the PS2 remake. In the original, he has to choose between one or the other.
  • Temporal Wardens in Tales of Maj'Eyal are very good at this. They start with access to bow-specific and double weapon-specific skillpaths, and their starting Celerity ability lets them swap weapons without losing a turn.
  • Tales of Vesperia features Raven, whose weapon of choice is a "Transform Bow", a bow that literally folds into a dagger.
  • Team Fortress 2:
    • The Sniper's non-gun primary weapon is a bow, and his melee a selection of kukris (technically knives, yes, but they're big enough to count towards this trope).
    • The Medic can also replace his syringe gun with a crossbow that's both a Healing Shiv and a regular weapon while using any of a number of bonesaws in melee.
  • In Terraria, this option is quite feasible, as is The Musketeer. This tends to work best with the harpoon or other ammoless weapons that count as dealing ranged damage. Melee specialists can do the same by using boomerangs and similar weapons, as those are distance weapons that count as dealing melee damage.
  • Garrett uses bow and sword in the first two Thief games (partly as an artifact of the unexpected history of the engine in those games) and switches to bow and dagger in the third. The bow can be used as a weapon, but more often is used as a tool by firing Trick Arrows (the games discourage killing any humans; that's just unprofessional for a thief). The blade is always a weapon of absolute last resort; Garrett doesn't do well in melee.
  • The rebooted Tomb Raider (2013) has a longbow as Lara's signature weapon, and can use a climbing axe to lethal effect in close combat after earning enough experience.
  • Total War:
    • Ranged units in games always come with a melee weapon. For most archers this means little more than daggers, but some (like highland nobles in Medieval II, Gaul Noble Archers in Rome and Bow Samurai in Shogun and Shogun II) this means full-fledged swords.
    • Some units go the other way, and have a ranged weapon as an auxiliary when their main mode of attack is in melee — most Roman footsoldiers have a sword, shield and three javelins for example. The Danes in Medieval II have Norse Archers, which are actually substantially better in melee than they are at range (base ranged attack is 7, while base melee is 12).
  • Dorstag in Ultima Underworld 2 uses both a sword and a crossbow, and is famous for his skill with both. He essentially serves as the boss of the Pits of Carnage.
  • Valkyrie Profile:
    • Lenneth. She loses this ability in the sequel, since you can use all three Valkyries in battle.
    • Her younger sister Silmeria uses bow as her primary weapon in battle, while she uses swords for Nibelung Valesti or when she directly controls her and Alicia's shared body.
  • In Volcano Princess, when Rose grows up to a teenager and becomes a knight, she learns how to use a sword and a bow to fight the monsters lurking in the forest. Her adventuring companions favor either a sword or a bow, but only she can wield both.
  • Wallachia: Reign of Dracula: Elcin battles Dracula's forces with a bow and arrows and a sword.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • As initially conceived, Hunters were supposed to be this trope. To this end, Hunters had a minimum range for ranged attacks, they started without a pet to force players to learn how to switch between both effectively, and one of the talent trees, Survival, contained talents focusing on close range combat. As the game evolved, the minimum range was dropped, the focus of the Survival tree moved to traps, and then, after the removal of the Ranged slot in Mists of Pandaria forced bows into the Main Hand, the melee skills were dropped entirely. If anything, their pets (which, at least for Beastmaster specialists, make up a considerable portion of their damage output), represent the sword now.
      • In classic, the epic bow quest that Molten Core raiding hunters underwent was the pinnacle of this trope. The quest was designed to test the hunter's ability to use both their ranged and melee capacity to their maximum. It involved killing 4 elite demons 100% alone, not even their pet could assist. Each demon worked differently, taking noticeable damage from only a single ability: 1 had to be kited using only your DoT shot, another was a pure melee slugfest, another had to be hit with a melee ability that slowed its movement speed then while slowed it took extreme damage from a particular ranged shot that also drastically reduced its damage for a short period requiring a chaotic alternating in-out dance of ranged>melee>ranged>melee>ranged. The rewarded bow could have its string removed to covert it into a melee staff.
    • Even while it was possible to be this trope, itemization usually led players away from it. Hunters often didn't start with both bow and sword; the closest any race came were either Draenei, who got a crossbow and sword, and Night Elves and Blood Elves, who got a bow and a dagger. While any Hunter could learn to wield swords, there were more appropriate statistics for hunters on axes and polearms. And while any Hunter could learn bows, crossbows and guns equally well, guns could be crafted by those tired of waiting for a good bow to drop.
    • The only other classes with the potential to use both sword and bow were Warriors and Rogues, who tended to use the bow only for attracting an enemy's attention, after which melee weapons did most of the work. After the Ranged slot was removed, both classes got a weapon-throw attack instead.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Fate/stay night, Servant Archer is named such because he's primarily focused on ranged combat and uses a bow. He's also very adept at using swords, such that his ultimate attack is known as Unlimited Blade Works. This is because he is the Future Badass incarnation of Emiya Shirou, who also has the power to summon swords and was the star-member of the archery club who only ever missed one shot...intentionally, to see what it felt like.

    Web Animation 

  • Crystal Heart: Muna- she is a warrior princess turned Syn agent that fights with a longbow from the distance, and a scimitar in melee.
  • Goblins: Kore has his crossbows and AXES. He usually Dual Wields one or the other.
  • No Heroes: Shara is quite adept with both her bow and in close quarters using a sword. Later she also becomes very deadly with her newfound telepathic artifact greatsword ...
  • Visseria: Treneth holds a knife in his hand at the same time as his bow, presumably in case something surprises him.
  • Momba Kawunei in The Water Phoenix King is always seen in flashbacks to the war with his massive recurve bow, "Eye-Biter," but he carried a katana then, too — though recently has upgraded to a Magitek blade capable of cleaving just about anything.

    Web Original 
  • Dream uses both a sword and a bow and arrow to use against the hunters. Dream uses the bow for far-range attacks and hitting the hunters many times when he's being chased.
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, Hannibal, Orestes and the Khitans have learned to use both the bow and the sword in battle.

    Western Animation 
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: In "Day of the Dark Knight", Merlin summons Batman and Green Arrow to Camelot to save it. He arms Green Arrow with a sword and shield.
  • Runaan from The Dragon Prince has a special weapon. It is a bow that can be converted into two curved short swords. That makes him an effective assassin.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) example: Although Splinter usually uses no weapon save for his walking stick, he equips himself with a katana and bow for his assault on the Shredder's mansion in the season 3 finale "Exodus".
  • Young Justice (2010): Artemis starts out using the longbow as a sidekick to Green Arrow. While working undercover as an agent of the Light with the codename of Tigress, she uses a sword and a crossbow.

    Real Life 
  • Until the wide adoption of repeating firearms, the Central Asian style of mounted archery was nearly unstoppable. The use of mobile archery from the ancient Parthians on was nearly unstoppable. The sword and lance were used at close range and on those rare occasions when fighting was on foot, but they were always secondary tools.
  • The Muslim world abandoned its previous weapons and tactics upon contact with tribes such as the Mongols and Seljuks. The straight sword gave way to the shamshir and its variants. Heavy infantry was largely replaced by horse archery.
  • The Prophet Muhammad said that all Muslim men should know archery and said that the value of prayer was multiplied if one wore a sword.
  • The Russians, Georgians, Poles, and Hungarians adopted similar styles of arms and tactics. The Hungarian bow is a variant of the Asian asymmetric compound bow. The Magyars also were a prominent horse archer culture who once ruled the plains.
  • Native Americans of various tribes (but particularly the horse cultures of the Great Plains) were known for archery, but had a complete panoply of weapons available to them including tomahawks, knives, war clubs, and lances.
  • English longbowmen prove themselves to be quite lethal in hand to hand as well as ranged combat when the few bogged-down French knights at Agincourt managed to close the gap (mainly due to the English running out of arrows!). With their variety of weapons, including their handy woodsman's mauls, the archers played a decisive role in defeating the remaining French.
  • Colonel Jack 'Mad Jack' Churchill, in charge of third and then second commando during World War II was famous for fighting with a longbow and a claymore (a long-bladed, one-handed basket-hilted sword, not the two-handed great sword). To highlight how awesome this was, there's a possibly true story of Churchill leaping onto a tank, breaking the door lock off with the claymore, and then killing the crew inside with it. He is also the last person with a confirmed archery kill in a modern war, having killed a German Sergeant in 1940 (whose last thought was presumably along the lines of, "oh you got to be fucking kidding me...")
  • Even though they believe Katanas Are Just Better, the primary weapon of the Samurai was originally the bow. The katana came later in history; their legendary code of honor, "Bushido" or "Way of the Warrior", was originally known as "Kyūba no Michi", or "Way of the Horse and Bow".