The characters of the BBC series (2006-2009) Robin Hood:
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Robin Hood (Jonas Armstrong)
The Hero of the piece, this Robin is a younger, cheekier, and more easy-going variation of the traditional character. The Earl of Huntington and Lord of Locksley, Robin returns from five years fighting with King Richard in the Holy Land, to find that his lands and estates are now under the control of Guy of Gisborne.After refusing to conform to the corrupt laws that are now in place, Robin escapes into Sherwood Forest and begins a campaign of guerrilla warfare against the Sheriff, complete with the familiar “rob from the rich to give to the poor” system of wealth distribution.
Inverted at one point in the series 2 finale, when Much asks him if he has a plan; when Robin says he doesn't, Much asks him if he has half a plan, to which Robin replies "I don't have half a plan, Much!"
First Guy Wins: Actually, Marian's first meetings with both Guy and Robin happen prior to the start of the show, but it's indicated that she knew Robin first (and was betrothed to him before he joined the Crusades).
Much: I know that’s what you think. Much talks too much. And eats too much. Worries too much. It’s easy for you to say because if I don’t do it, then who does?
Robin: You are already more of a man than I will ever be. You are Much. And you are my best friend.
Robin’s faithful manservant who accompanies him to the Holy Land and who is promised an Earldom by Robin on their return to England. Disappointed at the loss of Bonchurch Estate and all the comforts that it entails, but too devoted to Robin to do anything but follow him into Sherwood, Much is simultaneously the most loyal and most reluctant member of the gang.
Asexuality: According to Sam Troughton, Much was asexual. Apparently, the writers disagreed.
John: I have never killed - except to defend myself. I robbed, to survive, but now I rob to help others... I am one of Robin Hood’s men.
Isabella: You don't say much, do you.
Outlawed prior to the show’s commencement for reasons that are never specified, Little John is the leader of a team of outlaws before he throws his lot in with Robin. Believed dead by his wife Alice, and having never even met his son John, Little John is the champion of women and children, and the Team Dad of the outlaws.
The Artifact: There's one John-centric episode per season (which is invariably a filler), but most of the time he's just sort of there.
Catch Phrase: Several; "We go to Nottingham!", "Him I do not like" (Inverted to "Him I liked" on occasion), "A good day to die" and "We are Robin Hood!" The last one is more the group's catch phrase, but he's the most likely to shout it out as a way of raising morale.
Death Seeker: it is revealed that John feels incredible guilt for having abandoned his wife, and his "a good day to die" catchphrase was because to him, any day is a good day to die. He gets over it
A opportunistic thief, con-artist, pick-pocket and compulsive liar, this Allan strays far from his traditional role as a minstrel (ironically, he is actually left out when the other outlaws dress up as minstrels). The only outlaw that has no personal investment in the cause that Robin Hood is fighting (and often pointing out that as a poor person himself, he should have a share of any stolen goods) Allan sticks around just for the fun of it – or perhaps for want of anything better to do.In early season two he is approached by Guy of Gisborne and coerced into becoming a spy. After a short stint as The Mole, he is found out and openly joins Guy as his right-hand man.
An apprentice carpenter in Locksley, Will’s mother died of starvation in the attempt to keep Will and his little brother alive, and his father lost his hand after taking the punishment for his children when they steal food to eat. The youngest member of the gang at eighteen, Will joins the gang after Robin saves him from hanging and due to his deep hatred of the Sheriff, something that can often cause his low-simmering temper to rise up.The most sensible, moral and sensitive member of the gang, Will falls in love with Djaq and decides to stay with her in the Holy Land at the conclusion of season two.
Djaq: I had a brother. He was killed in your crusades. I became him, his name was Djaq.
Much: Apart from being a girl, Djaq is one of the lads.
Following in the newer tradition of having a Saracen character join Robin Hood’s gang, Djaq is the first female to hold the honour, making her a Twofer Token Minority. Contributing her skills as a physician, scientist, linguist and swordswoman to the team, she came across as less of a Mary Sue than she had any right to, largely due to the genuine affection she had for her fellow outlaws, and her role as Deadpan Snarker.
Forgotten Fallen Friend: After his death, no one ever mentions him again. However, Little John does keep his outlaw tag and later passes it onto his son, somewhat fitting considering he says that Roy "was like a son to me."
Tuck: We're supposed to be inspiring these man to stand up and fight for themselves, giving them real hope.
A mysterious monk who arrives from travelling the world (having left the church after he became disillusioned) at the start of season three, and who joins the outlaws after inspiring Robin to recommit to the cause.
Advertised Extra: Tuck was heavily promoted in the lead-up to season three, but after the first three episodes, he's Demoted to Extra and basically just hangs out in the background. He gets a bit more coverage in the last two episodes, but given the amount of hype surrounding him he's very low-key.
Man Child: There's never a clear indication of how old Kate is, but certain factors suggest she's a young teenager. In which case, it's a little awkward to watch a woman in her late twenties in the role.
Murder the Hypotenuse: Kate makes a couple of very serious attempts to get rid of Isabella, directly and indirectly.
Moral Event Horizon: Her demanding that Isabella be left to die at the hands of her husband strikes many as this.
Negated Moment of Awesome: In the final episode Kate manages to sneak herself out of the besieged Nottingham Castle in order to fetch King Richard, promising the others that she'll "be back with an army." The move that might well have salvaged this character in the eyes of many is negated due to the fact that King Richard isn't even in the country yet.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Poor Matthew stood a better chance of survival in the army considering his sister botches four separate attempts to save him from his enforced conscription. When she's taken captive by Gisborne, Matthew dies trying to save her.
Territorial Smurfette: Kate has just happily identified herself as "the girl" of the gang in a conversation with the other outlaws when Robin turns up with Isabella in tow. Kate's immediate reaction is to snap: "what's the reason for her?"
Guy: You must be the least easily won woman in England.
Dropping the usual “maid” part of her name in favor of "lady", this version of Marian operated as Robin’s eyes and ears within the castle, but also had an agenda of her own what with her secret identity as the Nightwatchman, a masked and hooded figure who distributed food parcels amongst the poor.The centre of a love triangle between Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne, she dies at Gisborne’s hands at the end of season two.
Anachronism Stew: All of her costumes, particularly the infamous yellow cardigan.
Beauty Is Never Tarnished: To a rather ridiculous extent. In Treasure of the Nation Guy beats her within an inch of her life, and she walks away without a mark on her. And even as she lies dying of a stab wound, her hair and makeup look fantastic.
Classy Cat-Burglar: It's unclear whether the Nightwatchman stole prior to Robin's return to England, but she certainly does so afterwards, particularly in The Return of the King when she breaks into Guy's house.
Distress Ball: A couple of times, notably in The Return of the King when she tries to rob Guy's house, and again in Treasure of the Nation. The latter is especially painful considering she dresses up as the Night Watchman in the middle of the day, enters a village teeming with soldiers, breaks into a barn where the food supplies are kept, and is immediately caught by Allan and Guy. It's unclear how Marian was planning to get the heavy sacks of food out of the village by herself.
False Friend: Puts up a front of affection toward Gisborne in order to feed information to Robin. Somewhat subverted in that she doesn't particularly enjoy deceiving him, and on a couple of occasions shows what may be legitimate feelings toward him.
Rich Idiot with No Day Job: It's unclear where Marian gets the supplies to give to the peasants, but it's suggested that they come from her own larder and we never see her steal anything. As such, there's no real reason for her to wear a disguise when delivering food - one gets the sense that she just likes the thrill.
Virgin Tension: Despite dropping the "maid" part of her name, the show makes it very clear that Marian is a virgin. The Sheriff refers to her as a "maid" in a rather cruel way in Who Shot The Sheriff?, and in Get Carter, when Guy asks whether she's given herself to God (i.e. become a nun) Marian replies: "I haven't given myself to anyone yet." This double entendre means more to the audience than it does to Guy considering that Marian has been sleeping in the forest with Robin, and not at a convent as Guy's been lead to believe.
Easily Forgiven: Arguably. Though he's not accepted instantly into the gang, the fact that Robin forgives him at all after he ran through Marian with a giant sword brings this trope into play.
Epic Fail: Guy never manages to kill any of the major characters that he's been sent to assassinate. Not King Richard, not Prince John, and not the Sheriff of Nottingham. God only knows how he managed to screw that last one up, as after "killing" him he actually reaches into the Sheriff's mouth to retrieve his gold tooth, and somehow doesn't notice that the man is still alive. Apparently this trained assassin can only kill people if they're a) unarmed and b) standing directly in front of him.
He also declares that he's going to kill Isabella. All he ends up doing is providing her with the tools she needs to kill both him and Robin. The means for Isabella's death are provided by Tuck and Robin, which are completely unrelated to anything that Guy does.
Kill the Ones You Love: Despite repeated claims that he loves Marian and that "his world will turn to ash" without her, he ends up murdering her at the end of the second series. He spends the rest of the show guilt-ridden over her death, and even in his own dying moments he doesn't hold out any hope that he'll ever see her again in the afterlife.
He also gives his little sister a vial of poison so that she can kill herself, even after she tells him: "you loved me once."
Love Redeems: Subverted big time. Guy and Marian's relationship seems to be following the predictable pattern of a good woman who awakens the inner nobility of a Cute but Troubled Bad Boy...only for Guy to stab Marian to death when he finds out she's in love with someone else.
Not in This for Your Revolution: When he joins the outlaws, or at least initially, as all he wants to do is get his revenge on Isabella for betraying him; by the end it's implied he's come round to Robin's reasons.
Plot-Induced Stupidity: Guy's levels of competence fluctuated wildly, from brutally efficient, to so inept you wonder how he ties his shoelaces in the morning. Two prime examples are his encounters with Djaq in The Booby and the Beast and Kate in Cause and Effect. In the former case, Guy is observant enough to recognise the blonde with the silly-looking braid across her forehead that he had confronted earlier in the day, but in the latter case Guy has a Hey, Wait! moment with Djaq as she's disguised as a serving girl. Guy fails to recognise her, even though she's the only Saracen woman in the entire country.
Running Gag: The sheer amount of times that Guy is stabbed in the back, both figuratively and literally, is almost this. Essentially, it's every single character he ever interacts with: Prince John, the Sheriff, Isabella, Marian, Lambert, Tuck, Allan, Archer... Ironically, the only major character that doesn't betray him is Robin.
Selective Obliviousness: Guy is very careful to ignore the mounting evidence that Marian is working with Robin Hood. By the final episodes of season two, he's in complete denial.
Isabella: Now I know the only person I can trust is myself. I'm on my own.
Appearing in the third season as Guy’s never before seen or mentioned little sister, Isabella entered the show on the run from her sadistic husband. An enigmatic presence throughout her eight episodes, she is the centre of the political machinations that drove the final season. Initially introduced as a Replacement Love Interest for Robin and as The Mole within the castle, Isabella subverted expectations by striking out on her own, flirting with Prince John, performing a Face-Heel Turn and winning herself the position of Sheriff of Nottingham.
Recurring Character: Though not in the opening credits, he's in almost every episode up until his death.
Senseless Sacrifice: Edward dies in order to deliver the Pact of Nottingham into Robin's hands, a McGuffin that the outlaws unfortunately forget to take to the Holy Land when they set off in pursuit of Marian. It would have provided King Richard with definitive proof that Prince John was plotting treason against him, and although Robin convinces him eventually, it's only after Richard sets off a chain of events that results in Marian's death. The Pact is never mentioned in season three, but by that stage, it was worthless anyway.
Archer (Clive Standen)
Malcolm: Remember the birthmark, shaped like an arrowhead. It is why your mother named him... Archer.
Guy and Robin's half-brother. Would have (presumably) become the new Robin but for the show's cancellation.
Dawson Casting: By the time-line provided by the show, Archer is only supposed to be twenty years old. Clive Standen was pushing thirty. Likewise, Archer was a full ten years younger than Robin, though Clive Standen was actually older than Jonas Armstrong.
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: There was actually some effort to avert this, as whilst Archer is clearly set up to be the new Robin, he has different views and ideals (even calling Robin out on condemning his peasant army to death).
Carter (Joseph Kennedy)
Carter: He's not crying, he's laughing on the wrong side of his face.
A Crusader who returned to England from the Holy Land seeking revenge against Robin for his brother's death. Hired as an assassin by the Sheriff, he successfully infiltrates the outlaw camp, but performs a Heel-Face Turn after Robin tells him the truth about how his brother died. Appearing in only two episodes, this guest star became surprisingly popular among the fanbase.
Dropped a Bridge on Him: He's killed by the Sheriff in a scene that lasts no more than two seconds, a death that is then entirely overshadowed by Marian's (though according to the DVD commentary, the grave next to Marian's with the shield belongs to him, so it can be assumed that the outlaws gave him some sort of funeral).