LARP Up Your LARP Bow
PYEW! PYEW! PYEW!
That’s the sound a bow makes.
Everybody knows that, behind the humorless frown, that’s what Katniss Everdeen is thinking while she’s blasting targets.
PYEW PYEW! PYEW!
As we pointed out before, natural leaders naturally carry swords. Halberds are for servants who die to save your life, axes are for brutes and comic relief, and daggers are for cutthroats.
So who are bows for?
Thieves and cowards. Think Robin Hood, or Greek Paris, hiding behind the walls of Troy from the pointless war he George Bushed for the sake of a pretty face.
At least, that’s what the thugs with swords think. The longbow is indigenous, a hunter’s tool invented in Wales over 1,000 years before it was widely used for military purposes. It’s perfect for smash-and-grab, poorly-funded guerrilla warfare. Not “noble” or “bold,” but effective. Katniss, who symbolizes the least consequential and most exploited of the districts, can make a bow out of a tree if she needs to, like Dutch in PREDATOR. Crafty Katniss, graduate of the school of hard knocks and the university of self-sufficiency, SCL, needs a weapon as dependable as her own fingers.
It’s a feminine weapon. Look at it, smooth and rounded, hourglass-figured. Mmm, sexy. Artemis, goddess of the hunt, is often pictured with a bow, and also presided over virginity, childbirth, and wild animals.
Let’s not forget the fact that, despite Katniss’ surprising and refreshing role as the brave rescuer, this isn’t a society which has transcended gender roles. She’s only learned to be a badass and a leader because her mother couldn’t handle life when her father died.
The bow isn’t a blunt force. Katniss can’t fight hand to hand. She’s been trained to hunt, to kill from a distance. Mothers didn’t hand your LARP Bow down to their daughters because bows, like Katniss’ people, are ephemeral. They wear down, become brittle, and splinter with use. The sword is industry, the bow is agriculture.
Your LARP Bow is the tool of the exploited, but it’s also the unlikely symbol of revolution.
The moment first written 3,000 years ago, when Paris shoots triumphant Achilles in the heel—his one weak point—is precisely reiterated when:
SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT
When Katniss finds the weak point and shoots it.
PYEW! PYEW! PYEW!