The year is 2013, and there’s an exponential increase in demand for female superheroes. So far, so good. Progress is being made on all fronts including toy branding and social media. Having strong female leads is an integral part of how we shape our daughters (and sons) on how to behave towards one another. We’renow less interested in applauding politeness and reservation in girls if it means for them to wait for their prince. We’d also like for our boys to consider a spirit of adventure that doesn’t have to be rewarded by a damsel in distress.
And that’s why we’re happy to see the new trailer for the upcoming The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug includes a character that is not featured in any of the books. Peter Jackson and his wife Fran Walsh decided to create Tauriel–head of the Elven guard–to not only expand the female cast, but to also add definition to the elf world in Mirkwood Forest. She’s a skilled fighter whose favorite weapons include a bow and two daggers. (Tauriel is played by Evangeline Lilly, whom some folks might recognize as Kate from ABC’s Lost.)
However, we don’t really know what to make of the recent trend of female archer warrior women. Below are just a few of the prominent female archers from modern films and television shows–including Merida from Brave, Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, Ygritte from Game of Thrones and Sailor Mars from the animated series Sailor Moon. Even though there’s been a recent spike in female archers, it goes without saying that there are tons of other female warriors such as Black Widow (Natasha Romanov) from Iron Man 2, Brienne of Tarth from Game of Thrones, and Hit Girl from Kick-Ass. (We didn’t take any children to go see Kick-Ass.)
And there will be plenty more lady archers, too. We probably won’t take our kids to see the lady arrow-slinger in the upcoming 300 sequel 300: Rise of an Empire, but we suspect that we’ll be seeing the femme ninja in this summer’s The Wolverine. We won’t see Tauriel in all of her glory until December, but we’re hoping that she’ll be a well-rounded character and inspiration to our daughters. Here’s our first look at her –in a trailer that may be too intense for younger children…