The bow and arrow is a projectile weapon that predates recorded history and is common to most cultures. Archery is the art, practice, or skill of applying it. Katniss Everdeen uses a bow to hunt for food in the woods, and it becomes her weapon of choice in the arena during the 74th Hunger Games and 75th Hunger Games. Gale Hawthorne is also a skilled archer, learning his skills from Katniss, who in turn learned from her father, Mr. Everdeen.
DesignThe bow is a flexible arc with the ends tightly connected by catgut or a linen string coated in beeswax. Bows may be made of wood (usually ash or yew), fiberglass, metals, and carbon fiber components.
A bow's power is referred to as its draw weight, which is measured by the pounds of pressure it takes to pull the draw string to the point from where the arrow is released. The arrows are straight pieces of wood, carbon fiber, or light metal. The arrowheads are tipped with sharp bits of metal or stone. The arrows' ends are fletched with goose feathers or plastic to help keep them straight in flight. They are stored in a container called quiver, which the archer wears either over the shoulder, resting on the back, or around the waist.
The three major bow varieties are compound, recurve, and longbows. Compound bows use cams to allow the bow to store more energy, without a heavy holding weight. Longbows are the simplest, having mostly straight limbs that draw their power directly from the archer's pull of the string. Longbows require the greater amount of energy from the archer, but are easier to make. Recurve bows get added power by having two forward curves at the end of each limb, allowing the bow to spring the arrow toward the target with greater energy. Katniss likely uses a recurve bow because it provides ample power and accuracy, without being too long to easily move through the forest. In The Hunger Games film she uses a recurve bow and is also depicted using a leather shooting glove.
The Hunger Games
Although Glimmer claimed the bow and arrow from the Cornucopia during the opening bloodbath, after she was stung to death by the tracker jackers, Katniss was able to recover her bow and arrows despite the hallucinations she was experiencing from the tracker jacker venom. Katniss proceeded to then use her new bow as her main weapon, using her skills to destroy the Careers' supply store and kill Marvel and Cato as well as hunt.
After Katniss became a victor, she continued to hunt daily despite her wealth in order to provide for Gale's family because he had begun to work in the mines and refused to accept any money from her. The only time they were able to hunt together was on Sundays.When Katniss was in the Training Center, she decided to go to the archery range for "some sanity." The trainer Tax tossed fake birds high into the air for her to hit. When she shoots down five in one round, she realizes that she has gained the attention of most of the victors, who are regarding her with "everything from envy to hatred to admiration."
In the 75th Hunger Games, numerous bows and quivers were supplied at the Cornucopia. When Katniss obtained her bow, she briefly faced off against Finnick Odair, who was poised to attack her with his trident, before they quickly became allies. Katniss fired and missed at Enobaria, but hit Gloss in the calf. Brutus deflected her first arrow with his flotation belt and submerged himself before she could fire a second shot.
Katniss later aims at Finnick but realizes that he is not her enemy and fires an arrow with Beetee's wire wrapped around it into the force field, causing lighting to travel along the wire into the field and destroy it.
MockingjayAfter Katniss joins the rebellion, Beetee designs a special, custom-made military-grade bow for her in District 13. This bow was black and was designed to fit in with her mockingjay costume and be fully functional. To Katniss, it seems like a living weapon as when activated by the sound of her voice, the bow emits a slight hum that can be felt. When she tells it "Good night," it shuts down and reverts to being a regular bow. The bow fires regular, explosive, and incendiary arrows distinguished by the colors of their shafts that Katniss was able to shoot accurately from over 100 yards away. Gale was also equipped with a standard military bow that was equipped with various gadgets and scopes. Although both were later trained in firearms use, they carried the bows as special weapon after joining Squad 451, a sharpshooter unit. Katniss later uses her bow to assassinate President Alma Coin.
Following her return to District 12, Katniss attempts to hunt after being snapped out of her lethargy by Peeta's eventual return and planting of primrose bushes outside her house. She is too weak after her inactivity on her first attempt, but eventually is able to resume.
Bows and arrows are used throughout the trilogy, and Katniss and Gale are the only two characters who are most prominently known as archers. Katniss has tried to teach Prim, Peeta, and Haymitch how to shoot at various times, although none of them were any good. Katniss' father, however, was an excellent archer and was even skilled at making the bows themselves. Although Glimmer displayed an affinity for the bow, she displayed a lack of skill with it and missed Katniss when the latter was in a tree. This was odd given that she was a Career Tribute and presumably would have had much more training and experience. In the movie Glimmer was shown to be a much better archer, barely missing Katniss when she was in the tree.
- Bow and arrow on Wikipedia