Call it Robin Hood chic or bull’s-eye branding: Archery is having a major pop culture moment. Thanks to the success of The Hunger Games, whose tough teenage heroine deftly wields a bow and arrow for survival, the formerly second-tier summer camp sport is the hot symbol of youth and rebellion. The string-twanging can be heard loudest in Hollywood, from Hunger Games’ Katniss to Hawkeye from The Avengers to Merida, the princess in Pixar’s latest animated feature, Brave. On the small screen, the sadistic King Joffrey rules with a crossbow on HBO’s Game of Thrones, and in the fall the CW is debuting Arrow, based on archer superhero Green Arrow. And let’s not forget video games, where you’ll find sharpshooters as central figures in Crysis 3, Tomb Raider, Far Cry 3 and Assassin’s Creed III.
This bow-and-arrow bonanza is perfectly aligned with the Summer Olympics in London, where the arrow-slingers will include 23-year-old Brady Ellison from Arizona, the first archer to win three World Cup titles, and Im Dong-Hyun, the legally blind South Korean who won the gold in Athens and Beijing. —Alec Foege
Image credit: cwtv.com