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Legolas, a master archer

An archer is someone whose primary weapon in battle is the bow and arrow. There are many different archers in The Lord of the Rings and the other books by J.R.R. Tolkien.

In Middle-earth


Some of Thorin's company used bows to hunt in The Hobbit.


A fully armed elf Archer with a quiver of arrows

An Elf Archer of Mirkwood, from The Battle for Middle-earth II

The Elven archers from Lórien used large bows of Mallorn wood strung with elf-hair. Their arrows were almost four feet long and usually made of ash with a tip made of gold and shaped like a Mallorn leaf. They used a spiral method of fletching (attaching feathers to the arrow shaft), thus making their arrows more accurate, up to a quarter mile.

Legolas was the most renowned archer throughout the Third Age. Earlier in his journey with the Fellowship of the Ring, he used a bow from Mirkwood, and it was later replaced by the bow of the Galadhrim Lady Galadriel gave him.[1]


The Númenóreans used bows made of steel with steel tipped arrows an Ell long. These bows were unmatched in range and were greatly feared by the enemies of the Númenóreans. These bows continued to be used for a time in the Realms in Exile but few if any survived to the end of the Third Age.


Faramir, a trained archer

Gondor's army contained units of archers famed for their skill with longbows. The fief of Morthond contributed solely archers to the aid of Minas Tirith in the War of the Ring.

Rangers of Ithilien

The Rangers of Ithilien were primarily archers. They used a simple longbow, with green fletching on their arrows.


Rohan included archers in its Éoreds, likely trained to fire from the saddle as the Rohirrim usually fought on horseback.

Haradrim and Easterlings

Haradrim archers in action, atop a Mûmak, in The Return of the King film

The Haradrim (Southrons) were also skilled archers, along with their allies the Easterlings. The Haradrim were masters of archery and had expert snipers positioned on the feared Mûmakil.


A goblin archer as depicted in The Battle for Middle-earth games

Orcs and Goblins were often seen carrying bows. Their bows can range from being as tall as an Uruk to relatively short. Though not nearly as skilled as the Elves or Rangers, these archers could certainly be deadly. Orc arrows were usually tipped with poison or barbed, so even a glancing hit could be fatal.


The Hobbits were not a warring people, but were very skilled at archery. During the reign of the last King of Arthedain the Hobbits sent a force of archers to defend Fornost and another company to fight in the Battle of Fornost a year later. Hobbit archers were also responsible for the death of Gríma Wormtongue.

Most notable archers