Silver Arrow

According to the folklore, silver is the only thing that can kill a werewolf. If you’re an archer fighting a werewolf, you better have a Silver Arrow. It’s not as unlikely as you might think. Best to be prepared, so just save a slot in the quiver for one of these shiny little beauties.

Silver Arrows are a long standing staple of the fantasy genre. They appear in fantasy video games and tabletop RPGs. In The Legend of Zelda it’s an absolute must to defeat Ganon. You could buy silver-tipped arrows arrows in the first edition of Dungeons & Dragons for 5gp each. In modern pop culture, silver arrows appear frequently in MTV’s Teen Wolf. And that is the only time I will ever reference that show.

Silver Arrows are real, but extremely rare. Silver arrowheads are not only expensive, they are impractical. Silver is not a good metal for weapons; an arrowhead of silver would be ruined by striking anything harder than skin.

Data

  • Type: Lethal Arrow
  • Frequency: Very Rare/Uncommon
  • Effects: Kills werewolves. Kills other things, too, but mainly werewolves.
  • Also Known As: Silver-Tipped Arrow

Reality Check

Today everyone knows that silver is needed to kill werewolves, but that is actually a fairly modern addition to the myth. The idea is generally attributed to the legend of the Beast of Gévaudan from German folklore of the 19th century. In the mid 1700s, an enormous wolf-like beast roamed the countryside killing and eating unsuspecting victims. According to the legend, Jean Chastel, a local hunter, killed the beast with a blessed silver bullet. This detail only appears in versions from 1935 on, though, and not in earlier tellings.

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