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What's in a Meme? The Girl Archer Moment

| July 13, 2012 | Lifestyle Story Culture

Katniss Everdeen

CLAIM TO FAME: Blockbuster young-adult fiction/movie-franchise heroine with huge crossover appeal

FIRST-NAME PROVENANCE: An edible aquatic tuber, aka arrowhead, genus Sagittaria (Latin for “belonging to an arrow”)

UNIFORM: Poaching outside District 12: boots, trousers, her late father’s illegal-hunting leather jacket; inflaming the Capitol: costumes with a tendency to combust

HAIR: Old-timey French braid–meets– Coal Miner’s Daughter

PERSONALITY: Resourceful, cynical about government, aloof: “Maybe my smiles are hard to come by, but I do care for some people.”

TRAINING: Taught by her dad; shoots to feed her family and to defend herself in the Arena

MOTIVATION: Survival of her family and, ultimately, the rebels of Panem

Princess Merida

CLAIM TO FAME: Pixar’s first female lead, voiced by Kelly Macdonald (Boardwalk Empire, State of Play)

FIRST-NAME PROVENANCE: “One who has achieved a high place of honor” (in Spanish, not Scots)

UNIFORM: Disney princess–meets–Game of Thrones

HAIR: Loose and unruly, with unintentional Rebekah Brooks–defending–Rupert Murdoch overtones

PERSONALITY: Your basic headstrong, sharptongued Gaelic tomboy

TRAINING: Taught herself in the woods; also swings a mean sword

MOTIVATION: The right to control her own destiny: “I am Merida, and I’ll be shooting for my own hand!”

Khatuna Lorig

CLAIM TO FAME: Soviet bloc ex-Olympian; 2012 U.S. hopeful; taught Hunger Games’ Jennifer Lawrence

FIRST-NAME PROVENANCE: The first wife or sometimes the mistress of a sultan—i.e., not to be trusted with sharp objects

UNIFORM: Her new line of archery fashion, Rasta Centaur; her Olympic and European medals

HAIR: Pulled back in a simple ponytail

PERSONALITY: Adaptable, multilingual, fiercely disciplined: “You have to be physically and mentally strong. What else do you need in life?”

TRAINING: Started lessons at age 12 in her native Georgia (the country); now shoots 400 to 500 arrows a day

MOTIVATION: Surpassing her personal best; building her brand: “When you get a score, that’s your score.”


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