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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Dwarven Archery
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Hamfast of Gamwich
Rivendell


Mar 20 2013, 10:04pm

Post #1 of 31 (1315 views)
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Dwarven Archery Can't Post

The "Hobbit's Tale" DVD extra shows footage of Graham McTavish along with other actors having archery lessons as part of their dwarf training. When do people think we'll see all the dwarves with bows and arrows? Where will they get them from (Laketown, Erebor) and who will they attacked with them?


Macfeast
Rohan


Mar 20 2013, 10:06pm

Post #2 of 31 (750 views)
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I'm guessing Beorn supplies the dwarves with bows and arrows. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


(This post was edited by Macfeast on Mar 20 2013, 10:12pm)


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Mar 20 2013, 10:23pm

Post #3 of 31 (691 views)
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i think beorn [In reply to] Can't Post

 
they've lost a lot of their equipment in goblin town. if they entertain him well enough with a good story, he'll deck them out with some necessary bits.

cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Mar 20 2013, 10:26pm

Post #4 of 31 (674 views)
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Beorn [In reply to] Can't Post

He gives them the bows.

Thank you for your questions, now go sod off and do something useful - Martin Freeman Twitter chat 3/1/13


cats16
Valinor

Mar 20 2013, 11:02pm

Post #5 of 31 (637 views)
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Laketown is still plausible... [In reply to] Can't Post

If the men want to give them weapons that would have the best chance of killing Smaug. I'm sure they would find it more laughable than anything, but it's still a possibility. But if I had to guess between the two options, yes, I'd say Beorn is the likeliest source of the bows and arrows.


LordotRings93
Rohan


Mar 20 2013, 11:09pm

Post #6 of 31 (657 views)
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Definitely Beorn [In reply to] Can't Post

As you can see in one of the DoS pics, Thorin is aiming a bow at something in Mirkwood (webs covering the area), and before the dwarves depart Beorn gives them all bows.

Lover of Medieval Fantasy
"I know what I must do. It's just... I'm afraid to do it."


Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Mar 20 2013, 11:11pm

Post #7 of 31 (643 views)
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Ayup [In reply to] Can't Post

He gives all of them bows along with the ponies with supplies before they leave for Mirkwood. That's where they get them.

Thank you for your questions, now go sod off and do something useful - Martin Freeman Twitter chat 3/1/13


cats16
Valinor

Mar 21 2013, 12:02am

Post #8 of 31 (620 views)
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Ah yes, I forgot about those pictures. [In reply to] Can't Post

Good call on that one.


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Mar 21 2013, 12:07am

Post #9 of 31 (642 views)
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I tend to wonder... [In reply to] Can't Post

Is being the best archer among a company of Dwarves akin to being the best NASCAR driver in a pack of dogs? Even Thorin's best bowman seems to be so-so at most (at least in the book).

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Roheryn
Grey Havens

Mar 21 2013, 1:06am

Post #10 of 31 (627 views)
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You know, speaking of bows... [In reply to] Can't Post

I bet Thorin's pretty good with his...bow. Bet he never misses his target, either. I wouldn't mind a few archery sessions from *him*. He could show me how to stroke that bow...I mean shoot it!...any day. Angelic


Cirashala
Grey Havens


Mar 21 2013, 2:42am

Post #11 of 31 (622 views)
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archery skill [In reply to] Can't Post

I honestly think that their short stature would limit their range, and it depends on the shot. I agree that Kili's shot when he ran out from behind the rock could have been better, but then I was reminded that he had only have a second to aim at a moving target he didn't even see to begin with, and at a very bad angle at that. Plus the shorter arrows (due to shorter arm length) wouldn't penetrate tough warg hide as well as elven arrows (see-Legolas). And a dwarf may be a decent archer, but he wouldn't have had the hundreds of years or best eyesight in Middle-earth that elves do, so it's reasonable to expect elven archers to be much better (plus they could have longer range bigger bows and longer arrows, and they had the most efficient design for arrow penetration in the style of their arrowheads-take a look at "The Lord of the Rings Weapons and Warfare" book and it analyzes the arrows from several different races, and their respective designs, weaknesses, strengths, and range based on decent archer. I don't know if dwarf arrows were mentioned, but it is a great in depth analysis of other arrows).

As to the arrow shooting in Mirkwood in the book, remember that it is mentioned that Bilbo couldn't even see his hand in front of his face. It would be difficult at best for even the best archer with the best eyesight to hit something in those woods. And even in FOTR Legolas's shot in the dark at the Fell Beast was an admirable shot-he hit it, but he didn't know what he hit-and he is USED to the dark forests of Mirkwood. The dwarves are used to firelit tunnels and daylight-not the deep black that is Mirkwood. And I seriously doubt the dwarves practiced their archery indoors.

And one more bit about Kili's skill-yes, his shots toward wargs were questionable-one assumes that since this is his first adventure maybe he didn't have as much practice against wargs and knowing where to maximize injury on one. However, you look at his shots while they are entering the hidden pass, he is actually making some decent shots-one goes through an orc's forehead, another goes into a jugular vein, etc. They are all kill shots he makes to the orcs-it's the wargs that seem to give him trouble (and odd angles).

Half Elven Daughter of Celethian of the Woodland Realm

(This post was edited by Cirashala on Mar 21 2013, 2:43am)


marillaraina
Rohan

Mar 21 2013, 4:16am

Post #12 of 31 (532 views)
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Yeah [In reply to] Can't Post

I also think it's partly due to the weaponry itself, as you say. I just don't think dwarven arrows are made to kill Wargs in one shot, unless it managed to go right into an eye or something. Wargs are very large and seem thick skinned and I'm sure have very hard skulls, I'd imagine the arrows would have to be extremely sharp and straight and long to easily penetrate.

When they were hiding by the rock, Kili literally had about a second to aim and shoot at an awkward angle. When they were in the forest still, it was rather crowded, many of them were standing fairly close together and they'd just been attacked by the first warg which Thorin was still in the process of killing when the second one came from behind him, but Kili got off a good shot, it just wasn't able to kill the warg on it's own.

And when he was shooting orcs on the plain his shots seemed to be excellent.

But even despite the disadvantage, Kili was the only one with any kind of useful long range weapon and thus is pretty much the only reason they were all able to get in to the pass relatively quickly and easily. They were surrounded and the numbers were closing in and would have done so much sooner if he hadn't been standing there shooting at them because nothing would have been stopping them. We know that Wargs and orcs just tend to charge in if it's people on the ground with just swords and axes. As I recall we only saw one actually get through and Thorin killed it near the entrance of the pass, just before he called for Kili to come in. So he was good enough to slow them down quite a bit.


Cirashala
Grey Havens


Mar 21 2013, 4:48am

Post #13 of 31 (584 views)
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archery and dwarves [In reply to] Can't Post

I honestly think with the contempt dwarves have for elves that many dwarves choose to not have the bow be a primary or even secondary weapon out of sheer stubbornness.

I also think IMO that dwarves prefer a close quartered fight to distance fighting, and with their low center of gravity and strength are probably better suited to such tasks than archery, which is not as advantageous for some so short. Their bodies seem to be made more for axes than bows. And axes underground would be much easier to operate-there would be too many people in the way who could get hit for arrows to be of much use indoors, and dwarves dwell in the mountains unless they don't have a mountain to dwell in.

Not to mention, axes can be used for more than just battle-they can also be used in mining. So if a dwarf is accustomed to using an axe on a daily basis, warrior or no, it would make sense that in a battle situation most dwarves would be carrying axes over other weapons, since many of them may not be full time warriors.

And with their enemies usually taller than them, archery would be more successful only if there was some sort of rise for the archer to stand on to get good shots, and one cannot always pick the design of their battlefield.

I agree that it would be advantageous (especially in situations such as the wargs on the plains one) to have more than one person with a long distance weapon. But I would imagine finding enough dwarves to not only be interested, but able to spare the time to train with it to get good at it, is probably harder than it looks, hence only one primary archer in the group. Book Thorin knows how to use bows (Beorn gives them all bows and arrows as part of their provisions through Mirkwood) and we can assume that others may have a passing ability. But few would carry them as a main weapon.

Also, with the dwarves carrying the vast majority of their weapons on their back, many of them probably didn't have room to carry a quiver or the other weapons would have gotten in the way, making carrying a bow not as plausible.

Half Elven Daughter of Celethian of the Woodland Realm


marillaraina
Rohan

Mar 21 2013, 5:00am

Post #14 of 31 (516 views)
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Oh I agree [In reply to] Can't Post

I wasn't really criticizing the dwarves for not having more bow users, but they were lucky they had one because otherwise the wargs and orcs would never have slowed down. They'd have likely had to fight for every inch of their escape and serious injuries could have occurred or worse. Kili and his bow was pretty much the only thing holding them back at all.

I do think it probably isn't all that practical for them generally speaking, as you say - low center of gravity and most of their enemies bigger than them, so unless they were fighting from a wall, not that useful. Whereas their strength and balance makes axes, hammers and swords something they could really excel with.

They must use it some for hunting. They must have to hunt their own meat sometimes at least, it can't all come from trade, especially once they became a wandering people trying to find someplace to call home and likely not very welcome much of anywhere. And traps are usually best for smaller animals as opposed to bigger ones which would feed more people(or big dwarf appetites:))


Cirashala
Grey Havens


Mar 21 2013, 5:16am

Post #15 of 31 (523 views)
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hunting [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, I completely agree with hunting.

Perhaps that is why Thorin and others, despite disdain of elves, are at least passable with the bows in Mirkwood Smile

They must have taken it up in order to hunt

Half Elven Daughter of Celethian of the Woodland Realm


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Mar 21 2013, 2:00pm

Post #16 of 31 (460 views)
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You are right; I am not being entirely fair. [In reply to] Can't Post

As you point out, Dwarves are physically unable to use the more powerful longbow and they don't seem to have developed the compound bow to compensate (do we see any recurve bows?). Also, in AUJ, Kili does pull off some pretty impressive shots.

Cirashalo posted:

Quote

Not to mention, axes can be used for more than just battle-they can also be used in mining. So if a dwarf is accustomed to using an axe on a daily basis, warrior or no, it would make sense that in a battle situation most dwarves would be carrying axes over other weapons, since many of them may not be full time warriors.



I wouldn't think that an axe has many mining applications; although it is a useful tool in general. For mining, Dwarves would most likely use sledgehammers, pick-axes and mattocks.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Mar 21 2013, 2:07pm)


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Mar 21 2013, 5:25pm

Post #17 of 31 (420 views)
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about those Dwarves.... [In reply to] Can't Post

I have to admit that the Elves (always my favorites) would, due to long lives, be the best archers. And it seems Tolkien set them up that way. (He always wanted to shoot well with a bow, and he seems rather Elf-centric).

However... I was at a Rennaisance Faire, and talked at some length to a practiced archer (saw him make some ridiculously cool shots). He had a tiny little bow hanging on the wall of his booth.

Me: "So, that's a kids' bow..."
Him: "No. That is a Plains Indian horseman's bow. It has a pull of (I forget the precise number, but it was like over 100 pounds...)..."
Me: !!!

The short powerful bow needed a strong arm to pull it, and could send an arrow through a buffalo (think: tank, with fur). I don't remember what its range was (I'm thinking it was useful as a fairly close-up weapon, used from a galloping horse... one of my friends does archery hunting and I know you don't shoot deer from a mile away). The archer had to be strong, quick and accurate. Perfect for a Dwarf.

Go outside and play...


Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 21 2013, 7:08pm

Post #18 of 31 (416 views)
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That's a monster of a punch in a bow [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Me: "So, that's a kids' bow..."
Him: "No. That is a Plains Indian horseman's bow. It has a pull of (I forget the precise number, but it was like over 100 pounds...)..."
Me: !!!

The short powerful bow needed a strong arm to pull it, and could send an arrow through a buffalo (think: tank, with fur). I don't remember what its range was (I'm thinking it was useful as a fairly close-up weapon, used from a galloping horse... one of my friends does archery hunting and I know you don't shoot deer from a mile away). The archer had to be strong, quick and accurate. Perfect for a Dwarf.



Indeed, such a bow would be amazing in the hands of a low center of gravity, upper arm strong warrior (IE:Dwarf!). And upper arm strength is what it would take - my guy BFF's bow is a 65 lb DW, and I practicially have to stand inside it to pull back, leaving me able to shoot my own foot and nothing else. Those Plains bows aren't wood - they are compunded of horn, bone and wet then dried in-situ sinews, so they are amazingly stiff and can pack quite a punch. Over 100 lbs - that's amazing. Like a crossbow bang but without the reloading time.

Hell hath no fury like a Dragon who is missing a cup.


imin
Valinor


Mar 21 2013, 7:35pm

Post #19 of 31 (398 views)
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When you say 100lb bow [In reply to] Can't Post

You are meaning it takes 100lb of force to pull back the bow fully? Also when you pull back on the string is your arm which is doing this at 90 degrees to the ground so its coming from mainly rear delt action?


marillaraina
Rohan

Mar 21 2013, 7:43pm

Post #20 of 31 (383 views)
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material [In reply to] Can't Post

But we don't know what the dwarves bows are made out of, do we?(serious question do we know what they are made out of?:) Material and method makes a big difference in the amount of power a shot will have. Arrows can make a difference too

Also I doubt even the plains Indians killed very many Buffalo with only one shot of an arrow. More likely they'd be brought by one or possibly even two well place shots and then finished off in other ways or with a shot to the brain at very close range after it was down. Kili brought down those wargs, he just wasn't able to kill them in one shot.

I understand more often than not they'd surround the buffalo herd of stampede them towards a cliff or into areas where they'd be trapped and thus easier to kill. It wasn't usually a Native American with a bow taking out buffalo with one shot. :)

(Speaking of Renn Faires, I played at one of the archery booths in the market games section once and I couldn't even get the arrow to make it to the target, it kept falling a couple feet short. lol God I have NO upper body strength :))


(This post was edited by marillaraina on Mar 21 2013, 7:52pm)


Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 21 2013, 8:11pm

Post #21 of 31 (373 views)
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Indeed [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
You are meaning it takes 100lb of force to pull back the bow fully? Also when you pull back on the string is your arm which is doing this at 90 degrees to the ground so its coming from mainly rear delt action?



Rear delt and it really needs a nice smooth rotator cuff as well. DH doesn't do well with bows (even my 15 lb) because of all the old shoulder injuries. 100 lbs is an amazingly stiff bow... and you would have to train your fingers to bear that kind of tension as well, moving up from slimmer softer bows.

You might do well with it though! Wink with some practice!

Hell hath no fury like a Dragon who is missing a cup.


Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 21 2013, 8:15pm

Post #22 of 31 (380 views)
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No we don't - now I want to know! [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the plains archers probably helped in the herding process, and like bullfighters can assist in disabling the quarry with upper neck and hamstring shots. We have a buffalo farm near me, we go to see them alot, such huge animals. It would indeed be a lucky arrow to do one shot one kill. Smaller game of course would not be as much of an issue with that velocity.

Kili's bow LOOKS like wood. Now I am going to have to stop there and have a look!

Hell hath no fury like a Dragon who is missing a cup.


Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 21 2013, 11:23pm

Post #23 of 31 (651 views)
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Kili's Bow [In reply to] Can't Post

I stopped the film to get a look at several points, feeling like with the color grades and the texture found with the material I feel like it might indeed be of horn. On the "Heirs of Durin" site (tried to make a link, didn't work, darnit) under the heading :

In Defense of Fili, Kili and Thorin Oakenshield an Appreciation Beyond Hot Dwarves

there is a photo (looks between shots) of Thorin, Kili and Fili in scene 88. I enlarged it to 400% zoom, and with a magnifier in addition it looks like recurved horn to me, not wood. There is blonde streaking in (relative in the shot) the part of the bow off to the right side that simply does not look like wood. Plus there are lightening grooves in the sides, and it too looks like carved horn, not wood. The hardware looks like metal, and of course the bow is quite short, which is appropriate for Kili's height and strength. I tried to find written confirmation but no luck. If that's the case it is a heavy draw weight item with shorter range than an Elven bow. Its totally subjective of course. Would love to know for sure.

Hell hath no fury like a Dragon who is missing a cup.


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Mar 22 2013, 4:30am

Post #24 of 31 (339 views)
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in my admittedly limited knowledge... [In reply to] Can't Post

...of Plains Indian hunting styles (despite having hung out with a few descendants of those folk)...

there was the drive-em off a cliff style...

and the gallop up and shoot 'em style... and it probably did take more than one arrow...

Some random Frederick Remington art shows Native Plainsmen spearing buffalo from horseback. The horse, of course, only came to them late in their history, somewhere in the 17th century...

Both Remington and Charles Russel did art showing Native hunters shooting buffalo with short bows... from largely bareback horses, often with the only "bridle" being a line around the lower jaw.

I have played with bows, attempted to shoot from a horse too... yeah well, all I can say is it's harder than it looks....

Go outside and play...


ByThorinsBeard
Rohan


Mar 23 2013, 4:54pm

Post #25 of 31 (305 views)
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Awesome thread [In reply to] Can't Post

For those who are interested,

The Weta book Hobbit AUJ Chronicles 1: Art & design has renderings of Thorin and Kili's bows and at least one arrow head. The bows are very compact and squat in design ( very accurate to what Kili is using), so I agree you need incredible upper body strength to pull back on the bow string.

I agree with many here who think bows are back up weapons (or hunting) for dwarves.

Personally, I wish there was an archery option in Manhattan (beyond being accepted into Columbia University) as I would love to take it up again. It has been way too long.

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you anywhere." - Albert Einstein.


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