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It's me war bow. I carried this into me first battle I ever fought. I thought it only fitting for you to carry it into your first battle.
King Fergus to Merida src

King Fergus' Bow, also known as Merida's Bow, is an item featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the first episode of the fifth season.

King Fergus' Bow is based on Merida's bow from the Disney/Pixar film, Brave.


After First Curse
Merida joins her father King Fergus at a battle camp, where he gifts her his old war bow and mentions getting her a tutor to teach her how to fight. The mysterious tutor turns out to be a young woman named Mulan. During a sparring session with her new mentor, Merida hears a horn blow signaling the attack. Realizing her father had Mulan keep her away from direct combat, she hurries to join the battle, getting there in time to see a knight, whose face is obscured by a helmet, approaching to attack Fergus. Merida shoots an arrow to stop the knight, but the shaft punctures a piece of the man's cloak instead. In horror, she watches the man cut down her father and steal his helm, before Mulan leads her away from the bloodshed. ("The Bear King")

Before Third Curse

While searching for her lost brothers, Merida discovers a will-o'-the-wisp, and she catches it, hoping it will lead her to them, only to be magically pulled back by a woman, Emma, who is also seeking to obtain the wisp. Merida, mistaking her for a witch, prepares to shoot her with an arrow, but Emma explains she needs the wisp in order to be rid of her cursed Dark One powers. Sensing the stranger's desperation and sympathizing with her plight, Merida lowers her bow and quiver to the ground and suggests they fight in hand-to-hand combat. The next day, Emma approaches Merida at the Hill of Stones, and a distrustful Merida trains her arrow on her, as the blonde walks around her in a circle. After a moment of silence, Merida shoots an arrow, only for Emma to catch it. She hides behind the stones, hoping to outmaneuver Emma, and releases more arrows, but Emma grabs them every time. ("The Dark Swan")

Belle catches the fierce redhead during archery practice and is amazed to see Merida hit a bullseye thrice, as the loosed arrow cleaves the prior arrow in half each time it hits the target. She questions why Merida needs thinks she magic to change her brothers' fates when she can use her archery skills to prove herself. Only later, when they are preparing to ambush the clans who have taken her brothers captive, Merida admits to Belle about her father's fate, and the guilt she harbors for not being able to save him. Thus, she believes magic is necessary to win this time. However, when push comes to shove, with the clans releasing three arrows to kill her brothers, Merida looses a single arrow that cuts off all three arrows before they hit their targets. The clansmen draw their swords, but she warns them not to test her sword skills, as they already know what she can do with an arrow. ("The Bear and the Bow")

At the old combat site where the southern invasion took place, Merida and her old friend Mulan find the old arrow that Merida shot at the knight, which has a piece of the knight's cloak on to it. Before they can use it to track down the knight, Arthur and Zelena confront them, stealing Merida's bow to locate King Fergus' enchanted helm. Merida gets the bow back when Ruby and Mulan knock out the witch with poppy dust. ("The Bear King")

After Third Curse

In Storybrooke, Merida is taken captive by Emma, who rips out Merida's heart, before ordering the redhead to fetch her bow from the inside of Emma's car. Merida has no choice but to obey, while Emma unveils her grand plan to make Merida turn Mr. Gold into a hero. ("The Broken Kingdom")

Emma orders Merida to kill Belle so Mr. Gold will be forced to protect her. Storming into the pawnshop, Merida warns Mr. Gold of the consequences of his cowardice, since she now has no choice but to hurt Belle. As the redhead warrior readies her arrow in her bow and looses it, Belle and Mr. Gold barricade themselves in the backroom, just as a second arrow pierces through the door frame inches from Belle. After breaking into the room, Merida shoots an arrow at what she believes is Belle and Mr. Gold, which turns out to be their reflections. When they are cornered by her, she hastens Mr. Gold to stop her, but he still refuses to act, prompting Belle to pull out a rug from underneath Merida, who is knocked out. ("The Bear and the Bow")

Under orders from Regina, Merida is told to keep watch on Emma, whose magic has been nullified, in case she tries to escape. Although she dislikes being in the same room as Emma, Merida toys with the idea of shooting her as retribution for all the things Emma has done to her. Just as she is considering putting an arrow in Emma's knee, Hook surprises her from behind. Merida looses an arrow on him, but the other Dark One swiftly catches it and then magically knocks her out. ("Broken Heart")

After Mr. Gold absorbs all of Storybrooke's magic into the Olympian Crystal, Merida comes to the heroes about her concerns that she and the Camelot natives can't return home because magic will be gone soon. To keep this from happening, Zelena uses a wand to make a portal which Merida goes through to return to her family, taking her bow with her. ("Only You")


Production Notes

  • Merida and her bow appear in a special promo shot for San Diego Comic Con.[1] According to Amy Manson, she had about an hour of practice with an experienced archer before they shot the promo. She then requested if she could have a couple of days with proper archery lessons, which really helped her performance for the show.[2]


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


  1. Once Upon a Time - SDCC 2015 Merida Promo. YouTube (July 11, 2015).
  2. Abrams, Natalie (November 29, 2015). Once Upon a Time star Amy Manson on Merida's Brave quest. Entertainment Weekly. “Did you know how to shoot a bow and arrow at the time? No. I've never shot bow and arrow in my life. Actually, they flew me over quite quickly for San Diego Comic-Con, to do the promo. I got a bow and arrow stuffed in my hands, like, "Right, on you go," quite quick. I had about an hour before we shot that with an archer. Then I requested if I could have maybe a couple days with proper archery lessons, which really helped and I thoroughly enjoyed.”

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