The Gentle Archer Meme


I had an entire post in my head about the archery I’ve been getting into, inspired by my best friend who recently relocated back to Nashville. I had cool pictures of the brand new arrows I bought and custom-fletched (so proud of those dang arrows). I was going to reflect on my friendship with Patrick, how he surprised me with the Shakespeare ‘Purist’ recurve bow, and the ways in which archery is now playing into our friendship as a common bond. It was going to be a beautiful post.

But then I thought up this meme.

archer-queenIt started out innocently enough. I loved how classic my choice of natural-barbed and bright red fletchings looked. The Narnian color scheme was so pervasive in my mind that I took to calling them my Queen Susan-style fletchings. Then I started thinking about Susan the Gentle, her relatively brief and quiet stint in the Narnia tales, her now-controversial role in the minds of many Lewis critics, and the fact that, as a literary heroine, she has been overshadowed by pop-culture’s new arrow-firing, peer-slaying darling, Katniss Everdeen.

I could sit here and try to dissect all the controversy surrounding the character of Susan Pevensie (who, sadly, never did have as cool a name as “Katniss Everdeen“—I mean, c’mon!), but that’s probably a post better suited to someone else.

If anything, I hope that a meme like this might inspire someone out there who has only ever seen Katniss in action at the theatre or maybe read the best-selling trilogy, to discover who this “Gentle Archer Queen” is, and perhaps find his or herself stumbling into Narnia for the first time.

But mostly, it’s just a fun meme.

Thus I commend this admittedly overly-graphic-designed (I’m a design-ustrator, what’d you expect?) meme to your good linking/copying/pasting and literary fight-instigating on the Inter-web-ernets.

But, here are my new Queen Susan fletched arrows. See you on the archery range!



  1. Loren Warnemuende

    My nine-year-old daughter is going to start asking for arrows like those if I show this to her. She has recently fallen in love with archery (though her only set of arrows are tipped with plungers), partly because of her love of Narnia and recent exposure to the movies 🙂 . She doesn’t know who Katniss is….

  2. Esther O'Reilly

    Isn’t Susan only “controversial” for people who are into “The Problem of Susan” and junk like that? Originally her story just ended kind of sadly (though a bit implausibly from a literary standpoint, IMO anyway).

  3. John Covil

    I feel very naive. I read through the Chronicles of Narnia without once realizing Susan should be controversial.


    And since we’re on the subject of arrows and memes, I have to warn you to be careful. I hear those things can be quite hazardous to adventuring careers should you happen to take one in that middle leg joint.

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