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Minas Tirith Forums » New Line Cinema's Hobbit » Tauriel (Page 2)
Author Topic: Tauriel
Roll of Honor Athene
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In the days of castle-based seiges, archers didn't wear much armour at all because they were behind ramparts. They often but not always had a faceguard/helmet of some sort but as DQ mentions, you have to have freedom of movement to shoot and you wouldn't want your armour getting in the way.

Even if they were ground-based troops providing cover for infantry or something like that, they wouldn't have had anything more than boiled leather armour. Only knighted cavalry usually had metal armour, which most people couldn't afford and which was very heavy.

Contrary to what you see in fantasy movies, few peoples ever developed the art of mounted archery. You need both hands elevated and free to use a bow, even a standard simple bow, and how do you control a horse at full charge with no hands? I used to ride and you can direct a horse at a sitting trot using only your legs but I'm damn sure I couldn't have done it at a gallop. Not to mention when you're riding something running at 30mph, no matter how smooth the gait of your horse, your accuracy is going to be poor.

The Comanche people were particularly good at it, and the Mongols. Both developed the art on flat open grasslands where the horses could effectively be set running and the herd instinct would keep them together. Of course, I guess Elves could magically talk to their horses with the power of thought. []

This message has been brought to you by the Committee for Scientific Pedantry in Fantasy Films. You're welcome. [] []

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Tigranes
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quote:
In the days of castle-based seiges, archers didn't wear much armour at all because they were behind ramparts. They often but not always had a faceguard/helmet of some sort but as DQ mentions, you have to have freedom of movement to shoot and you wouldn't want your armour getting in the way.

Even if they were ground-based troops providing cover for infantry or something like that, they wouldn't have had anything more than boiled leather armour. Only knighted cavalry usually had metal armour, which most people couldn't afford and which was very heavy.

The relative lack of armour also has to do with the social standing of archers in many, particulary Western European, cultures (i.e. low tier). In Asia and parts of Eastern Europe, battlefield archery was more widespread among the nobility, and Persian or Japanese knights were known to fight as well-armoured horse archers, although of course with a kit that allowed some mobility.


quote:
Contrary to what you see in fantasy movies, few peoples ever developed the art of mounted archery.
I wouldn't say that basically all Iranian peoples, as well as Turkic and other Central Asian peoples, amounts to "few". Even Germanic and Slavic tribes adopted horse archery under the right circumstances. Not to mention horse archers being common in the Middle East for millennia. The Native American tribes are more of an epilogue to the history of mounted archery.
It's mostly a matter of geography and opportunity. Steppes are good for mounted archery, while swamps or rainforests aren't.

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Snöwdog
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quote:
"Pretty decent, but what's with those "feminine" armour types that always leave the most vital organ exposed? I don't think that showing cleavage will help as a distraction against orcs."
[] I guess that's where the 'Fantasy' part comes in. []
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Roll of Honor Athene
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Tigranes, I should have been more specific. I meant the art of firing repeatedly while at full gallop as elves are often shown in fantasy adaptations. The mounted archers in most Asian societies formed up, fired, and then charged rather than continually firing on the hoof.

ETA: Am fully prepared to be shown as wrong though! []

[ 10-22-2013, 01:47 AM: Message edited by: Athene ]

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Tigranes
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Well, the Parthian shot, as the name indicates, was already known in antiquity (for those who haven't encountered the term yet: it's basically turning in the saddle of a galloping horse to shoot at pursuers). (There's also the Cantabrian Circle which implies milling around like mad while the riders closest to the enemy hurl their javelins, don't know if this applies to horse archers too). Etc. pp. So shooting from a moving horse was actually commonplace among Central Asian cultures. Don't know if this applies to Samurai etc. as well, but I seem to recollect it does. I can try to dig up some sources for mounted archery but not before November.

You're probably right though that horse archery is portrayed somewhat incorrectly in film. To be honest, I've never paid too much attention to the technique because I was so glad that they remembered to include HAs at all. IMO having mounted archers among elves and Rohirrim was a great - and lore accurate - decision on behalf of PJ and crew. We should have seen them among the Easterlings as well though.
What is definitely incorrect is the portrayal of "foot" archery though. Not only is the penetration power often exaggerated (I guess they use assault rifles as a reference) or the lethality downplayed (depending on the plot), but also the way bows and arrows are used. We all know those Legolas scenes from the movies...

What really annoys me is how rarely we see javelins used in movies and TV. I don't know if that is due to their lethality (would be awkward losing a couple extras or even cast members to historical accuracy) or to the ignorance of filmmakers/script writers; maybe both. In any case, this was an incredibly common weapon, both for infantry and for cavalry.

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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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quote:
This message has been brought to you by the Committee for Scientific Pedantry in Fantasy Films.
[] Where would we be without it?

Javelins are ridiculous weapons IMO, I'm happy to not see them. Spears too. One good throw and... Oop! I'm unarmed! [] Curses... []

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Hamfast Gamgee
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Longbows were certainly more effective.
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Tigranes
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Javelins and spears are the most common weapons in human history, up until modern times, apart from knives. That alone is testament to their efficiency. Also, people who used javelins usually carried several of them into battle, as well as a backup weapon, the type and quality of which depended on their social status or battlefield role.


quote:
Longbows were certainly more effective.
Than javelins? No. That's like saying "apples are better than oranges", anyway. Different weapons, different tactical roles. Of course you can't hurl a javelin over two hundred metres, but then that's not the point of using it.

Regarding longbows, the term is kind of fuzzy and while they were undoubtedly effective in the right hands (read: a well-drilled formation of archers), they are subject to notorious overhyping, much like the Katana.

[ 10-22-2013, 10:22 PM: Message edited by: Tigranes ]

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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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No weapon is particularly effective in the wrong hands, so let us assume none of us are talking about their use in the hands of un-skilled lunatics. Vicious things, longbows. Also, however widely used javelins may have been, I still think that any weapon that requires a back-up for when you've had you three shots is insane. Bows are't much better, but at least you can carry a good number of arrows...
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Gollum Gollum
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Still... if you're in the middle of a battle, you may not have enough time to shoot. And your precious arrows in your quiver won't help you much.

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We needs it...
We mussst get the preciousss...

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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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Archers don't TEND to be in the middle of a battlefield though. []
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Aiwrendel
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Unless the battle comes to them. []
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Gollum Gollum
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Yesss, preciousss, that's what we means

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We mussst get the preciousss...

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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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Unlikely I would think, unless your army is only archers.
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Tigranes
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Very likely, if the enemy commander is the better tactician.
Archers were vulnerable to direct attacks by infantry and even more so, heavy cavalry. That's why some armies used barricades to hide their archers or arquebusiers behind, like the English did during the Hundred Years War, or the tactics employed by Oda Nobunaga (cf. Battle of Nagashino). Even mounted archers were not untouchable by default. in 955 AD, a Hungarian raiding force of around 5000 riders, mostly horse archers, were intercepted and completely destroyed (as in, slain to the last man) by 4000 Germans at the Lechfeld. They deserved it, too. Weapons are only as good as their users, and the commanders of those users, and those who pay them. No ancient or medieval weapon was an all-conquering superweapon.

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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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I don't really need a lecture on my country's use of the bow as a weapon. [] Did anyone mention superweapons?

quote:
...a Hungarian raiding force of around 5000 riders, mostly horse archers, were intercepted and completely destroyed...
Yes, I believe we had already established that GOOD mounted archers were a rarity.
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Gollum Gollum
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[] [] [] Tigranes []
I do appreciate your "lecture"

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Tigranes
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Thank you Gollum Gollum. I'm sorry if I come across as hostile or condescending, it's certainly not my intention to do so (except towards that one arrogant wanker whom I exchanged one post with, but he's not one of the regular visitors anyway).


quote:
I don't really need a lecture on my country's use of the bow as a weapon.
I'm sure you know a lot about bows and archery, but that makes me wonder all the more why you make such ignorant comments about the tactics involved?


quote:
Yes, I believe we had already established that GOOD mounted archers were a rarity.
The Hungarians at that time were as good as they came. They had plenty of experience and like all steppe peoples of Eurasia since the time of the Kimmerians, they were GOOD mounted archers, born in the saddle and all that. Under the right circumstances, they were absolutely devastating.
In fact, the power of those raiding armies stood in the way of important internal Hungarian social and cultural reforms, which were carried out by the Árpád dynasty promptly after the removal-by-proxy of this threat. They also terrorized much of Europe for about sixty years, coinciding with Viking and Arab raids.
What this episode showed is that archers, even those on horseback, could be defeated by other armies, even those of an entirely different composition, if the correct strategies and tactics were employed. Just like any other tactical arm.
I could also cite Macedonian (under Alexander III, obviously), Roman, or Chinese successes against various Central Asian tribes/powers for that.

Regarding the Mongols, what made them nigh-invincible for some time was
1) their rigid tactical and strategic organization,
2) very competent leadership at the time of their expansion(I believe Sübügätäi holds the record for most battles won), and
3) the initial inability of most of their enemies to react properly in order to counter their strategy and tactics.
I would also add as a fourth criterion that their rise was aided by external factors such as climate change and disunity among their enemies.

[ 10-26-2013, 12:50 PM: Message edited by: Tigranes ]

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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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Call me ignorant all you want, but I have little interest in your opinion of my views. I never claimed to be spouting facts and I can't be bothered to fight. []
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Snöwdog
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There it is.... []

... which brings us back to how 'hot' Evangeline Lily is, and how 'not' Tauriel is ...

[]

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Tigranes
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Well...
I like how (in the trailer at least) they recycled some of the made-up crap dialogue (Elrond to Aragorn, about Arwen) from the LotR films and had it refit for (Thranduil to Tauriel, about Legolas), almost word for word. It's like they don't even bother.

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Roll of Honor Athene
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Hey, sorry if my fairly ill-informed comments kicked off this row. []
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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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What row, Athene? []

I can't say I thought that Tauriel-Legolas-Thranduil mirrored Arwen-Aragorn-Elrond. Arwen wanted Aragorn and Elrond wanted her to leave him, I don't think he would ever have tried to return the Evenstar without Elrond egging him on. It looked like Thranduil was warning Tauriel not to lead his little boy on. [] Not seeing the similarity. Did I miss something?

[ 10-28-2013, 11:51 AM: Message edited by: The DarkQueen Iauraearien ]

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Snöwdog
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There are rows & there are columns. And some rogues that cut across in a 45° diagonal.

So after seeing the movie, I think the idea of Tauriel was reasonable. Trouble was the forced shallow love triangle that she had written for her. Had she been just a bit older when the filming of Lord of the Rings was happening. She would have made a way better Arwen.

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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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quote:
She would have made a way better Arwen.
You think so? She's not my idea of Arwen. A bit too assosciated with fiesty characters for that IMO.
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