One of Orlando Bloom’s most famous roles was also one of his first. He was cast as the archery expert elf Legolas in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and again in The Hobbit. Can Orlando Bloom shoot a bow?
Orlando Bloom spent a grueling eighteen months filming The Lord of the Rings, where he did all of his own stunts, including archery. LOTR wasn’t the first time he had combat training however, it was a course he had to take while enrolled in Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
With all of the training he received, and by doing his own stunts, Orlando Bloom was able to become very adept at archery. He was also credited with the surge in interest of archery within younger generations.
Lord of the Rings
Orlando Bloom didn’t audition for Legolas Greenleaf, the Sindarin Elf of the Woodland Realm in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. He actually auditioned for the character of Faramir, who entered the story in the second film and ended being played by David Wenham.
Peter Jackson didn’t want him for Faramir, but did want him for Legolas, and Bloom accepted the offer, two days before graduating from Guildhall. Shortly after graduating, he made the move to New Zealand to begin training and shooting of the movies.
During filming, Orlando fell off his horse and broke at least one rib, causing the actor to be in pain for some of the shoot. This injury came within about two years after he fell three stories, while horsing around, and broke his back, which required surgery. The doctors weren’t sure at first if he would be able to walk again, or perform.
Not only did he manage to do both, but he has since taken on very physical roles. Bloom has admitted, on more than one occasion, that he is a daredevil and likes to take risks. Because of this, he’s also been injured several times, which include a broken nose, broken left arm, broken right wrist, broken both of his legs on separate occasions, as well as a broken skull. On three different occasions.
History of Archery
While there may have been a surge in archery in the early 2000s due to Lord of the Rings, and Legolas Greenleaf, it was definitely not a new sport or art. It is believed that archery has been around since the stone age, dating back to around 20,000 BC.
The ancient Egyptians were the first people that have been known to regularly use bow and arrows, around 3,000 BC. The Egyptians saw that the bow and arrow were useful for hunting and as weapons in war.
During the Zhou Dynasty in China, archery competitions were performed for the nobles as entertainment. The Chinese introduced archery to Japan in the 6th century, and it became popular, especially in martial arts.
These days archery is more of a sport than a necessity. Some people still hunt with bows and arrows, especially cultures that are isolated, but it’s not the main means for hunting. Neither is it used in warfare these days.
Japan still recognizes it as an art and practices it in Kyudo, which is performed mostly for physical fitness as well as for moral and spiritual development. Archery is also a recognized Olympic sport.
Some people seem to have forgotten that Legolas is a fictional character, in a fictional world, from a movie.
Plenty of archery aficionados were quick to point out some of the discrepancies between Legolas’ use of a bow and real-world scenarios. Many of which had to do with the degree of the bow, but some pointed out quivers and even the fact that he shot two arrows at once at one point.
Even though the character may have been criticized, many of the critics agreed that overall, Orlando Bloom has is a great archer.