Follow TV Tropes

Following

Series / Robin Hood

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/robin_outlaws_s2_5313.PNG
Robin, plus the (typical configuration of) outlaws.

"Will you tolerate this injustice? I, for one, will not!"
Robin, "Will You Tolerate This?"
Advertisement:

2006-2009 British adaptation of the Robin Hood legend, with Jonas Armstrong playing the title character. In the series, set in 1192, Robin of Locksley returns to his native England after five years of serving in the private guard of King Richard during the Third Crusade.

He returns home to find England has descended into tyranny and chaos in the King's absence due to the rule of his brother, Prince John. Upon witnessing the suffering the poor of England have endured, Robin immediately takes action against the Sheriff of Nottingham and his right-hand man, Sir Guy of Gisborne through the use of his skills as an archer and swordsman.

He is immediately stripped of his title as Earl of Huntingdon and outlawed, after which he gradually builds a band of fellow outlaws to assist in his quest to alleviate the suffering of Nottingham's poor. Throughout Series 1, he and his band of outlaws, assisted by his love interest Lady Marian, take numerous actions against the Sheriff and Gisborne, while in the second and third seasons their efforts are aimed at thwarting organized efforts to overthrow King Richard and conquer England.

Advertisement:

The show made some interesting changes to the legend. Friar Tuck was omitted for the first two seasons, and when he appeared in Series 3, he was turned into a Black warrior priest. Marian was not referred to as "Maid" and became something of an Super Hero in her own "Nightwatchman" Secret Identity. The Merry Men (which included a Saracen woman) were not referred to as such, being only called "the outlaws". Green tights were conspicuous by their absence.

The show ended after its third series due to the departure of much of its cast, most notably Armstrong, Griffiths and Armitage. Has a Character Sheet and an Episode Guide.

It should be noted that the Robin Hood mythos is a rich theme that British TV returns to, as if magnetically drawn, at periodic intervals. The first Robin Hood television series aired in on the BBC in 1953, and starred Patrick Troughton (grandfather of Sam Troughton, who played Much in the 2006-09 series) in the title role. However, that series is now lost to time, with only a few minutes of footage remaining. The earliest surviving example would therefore The Adventures of Robin Hood (1955-60), which starred Richard Greene in the title role. It ran for several years , was much repeated, and is well-thought of as a show which in terms of script, acting and production values were many years ahead of its time.

Advertisement:

The 1984-86 series Robin of Sherwood (distributed in the USA as simply Robin Hood) dwelt heavily on the more mystical and romantic elements of the mythos with a soundtrack from Enya and Clannad, and was both praised and parodied for its misty Celtic cinematography.

The New Adventures of Robin Hood (1997-98) was an American TV remake owing more to Hercules and Xena than to English mythology or historical period accuracy.


This show contains examples of:

    open/close all folders 

     A-M 
  • Aborted Arc: Throughout the first two-thirds of the second season, Robin and the outlaws are concerned with the accumulation of Black Knights in Nottingham. The Sheriff is getting them to sign the Pact of Nottingham, a document that will set Prince John up as King and which goes on to be a MacGuffin that an important Recurring Character actually dies for in order to deliver it to Robin, and the plots of two subsequent episodes are driven by the Sheriff's attempts to reclaim it from the outlaws' camp. In episode twelve this entire plot is dropped completely when the Sheriff decides to travel all the way to the Holy Land in order to assassinate King Richard himself. The Black Knights are given some degree of closure in Series 3, when it’s said that they’ve disbanded, but it doesn’t change the fact that a whole season worth of set-up went precisely nowhere.
    • In Series 3, the writers seem to be setting Kate and Allan up as a potential couple. After episode eight, Allan loses all interest, and has no reaction whatsoever when Robin hooks up with her instead. Neither is there any closure on the Will/Djaq/Allan Love Triangle. Much/Kate doesn't go anywhere either, though it's given a bit more attention.
    • In his first appearance Tuck mentions that the outlaws should be Training the Peaceful Villagers to stand up for themselves, instead of just providing them with food and protection. Unless you count Tuck's failed attempt to stage a peaceful protest (which ironically is sabotaged by a helpless villager that Tuck had plenty of opportunity to train in combat) this idea goes nowhere.
    • For an example of an arc that's aborted before it's even had a chance to begin, the series ends with the surviving outlaws discussing the need to raise King Richard's ransom money. The show's cancellation was announced about a week later.
  • Adrenaline Makeover: Accidentally inverted with Kate. On joining the outlaws Kate loses the forehead braid and the simple peasant outfit; but her new green dress is of a severely impractical length that obviously impedes the actress's ability to move, and she's constantly shaking or tipping her head in order to keep her unbound hair out of her eyes.
  • Advertised Extra: Prior to the airing of the third season, the introduction of Tuck was treated as a huge draw-card, with actor David Harewood mentioning in interviews that his character had a dark back-story as to why he left the church and that a power struggle with Robin for the role of leader would take place. Neither of these storylines materialized in the show, and Tuck only gets one character-centric episode before he's relegated to extra.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Guy of Gisborne (played by Richard Armitage) has an army of fangirls, and according to the creators, Marian's attraction to him stems from the fact that "women like 'em a little rough." Likewise, Allan-a-Dale gained a mysterious boost in popularity after his Face–Heel Turn and defection to the Dark Side and subsequent upgrade to black leather, though the trope is subverted within the show in that love interests Marian and Djaq ultimately prefer Robin Hood and Will Scarlett, respectively, over their bad boy counterparts.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Guy of Gisborne is obsessed with Marian, to the point where he murders her when she reveals she loves Robin Hood. Played With in Series 3, in which Robin starts relationships with Isabella and then Kate, only for it to become clear that he doesn't really care for either of them: refusing to run away from Nottingham with Isabella at her request, and later acting largely indifferent to Kate even after entering a romantic relationship with her.
  • Aluminium Christmas Trees: In a show with this many anachronisms, the average viewer might be forgiven for rolling their eyes when Prince John appoints Isabella as the Sheriff of Nottingham. However, Prince John (after he was crowned King) was actually responsible for appointing a woman in the position of Sheriff in Lincolnshire.
  • Anachronism Stew
    • Marian wears a modern sweater, and invents hand grenades and hand gliders. And no, the sweater wasn’t the costume department trying to reimagine a Medieval garment - knitting didn’t hit British Shores until the 14th century, making it highly unlikely that someone in the 12th century would had been wearing something that looked like it was brought from Carnaby Street in the 1960s.
    • Of course in some instances, the anachronisms are intentionally funny, such as in the casino episode.
    • In the second episode of Series 2, what appears to be an electric buzz-saw shoots out of the wall of the strongroom.
    • There's a scene in an early episode that has Marian practice Tai-Chi outside her house at a time when Tai-Chi hadn't even been invented in its country of origin. The scene itself is pointless, and seems only to exist in order to include a random anachronism.
    • In one episode the Sheriff uses the phrase "tick tock, tick tock", in spite of the fact that clockwork wouldn't be invented for another century.
    • Some anachronisms were included to add emotional depth to certain plot points. For example, in "Peace? Off!," Harold is suffering from what Robin and Much call "Crusader's sickness"— what we nowadays know as PTSD. The earliest account of PTSD symptoms, as recognized in hindsight of course, comes from Henry IV, written circa 1597, a good 400 years after Richard the Lionheart's reign.
    • Series 3 repeatedly uses the word "crown" to refer to a unit of currency — the Sheriff's patronage tax to Prince John is 1,000 crowns a month, and Leopold of Austria is holding King Richard to ransom for 250,000 crowns. The earliest English coin to be called a crown is from the 16th century. In both cases the amount of money is clearly meant to be a lot in context (the Sheriff directly calls the tax "impossible" to meet, and King Richard's ransom "enough to bankrupt a country"), so the writers' intention may have been it was some reference to an amount of money, rather than a specific unit.
    • "Lost In Translation" involves an abbott translating The Bible into English. This didn't happen until 1382.
  • And the Adventure Continues: A subdued version at the end of Series 3 as the surviving outlaws carry Robin's body deeper into the forest after vowing to fight on in his name.
    • This trope is also invoked between Robin and Marian in their Together in Death scene, wherein Marian tells Robin that: "the greatest adventure is yet to come."
  • Animal Motifs: Pigeons = love, apparently.
  • Annoying Arrows: Played straight, but then averted big time with Allan's death.
  • Anyone Can Die (Edward, Marian, Allan, Guy of Gisborne, the Sheriff, Isabella, and finally Robin himself.)
  • Apathetic Citizens: Many of the peasants don't really seem to care what's going on around them (in "Total Eclipse," nobody has a very strong reaction to the sight of Guy grabbing a child and waving her over a cliff). However, this may be because most of the extras were Hungarian, who presumably had little idea as to what was going on in any particular scene.
  • Arc Words: "Everything's a choice. Everything we do."
  • Aristocrats Are Evil:
    • Played straight; Sheriff Vaizey, Guy, his sister Isabella and the Black Knights
    • Subverted: Prince Malik and Count Friedrich of Bavaria
    • Averted: Robin himself (who is a good if outlawed aristocrat), Marian, Sir Edward, and Queen Eleanor
  • Arrow Cam: Two examples, one from "Total Eclipse" and another from "The Enemy of My Enemy."
  • Arrows on Fire: Typically to blow things up, most importantly Nottingham Castle in the Grand Finale.
  • Audio Adaptation: Big Finish produced six audio books read by members of the cast featuring original stories (not to be confused with the audiobook adaptations of the four novelisations that were produced by BBC Audiobooks). They can be bought from Amazon.UK but transcripts are available here.
  • Author Tract: The show is filled with not particularly subtle references to the War on Terror.
  • Badass Crew: The outlaws. Unless you're talking about Kate.
  • Battle Couple: Surprisingly, not Robin and Marian (they are rarely seen fighting together) but certainly Will and Djaq (albeit only for the two episodes in which they were an actual couple).
  • Being Evil Sucks: Guy: "I lived my life in shame."
  • Being Good Sucks: Robin: "I am tired of doing the right thing!"
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Robin has this with all three of his Love Interests: Isabella, Marian, and Kate (in that order). The first one ends up killing him.
  • Big Bad: The Sheriff (Vaizey), then later Prince John. Vaizey seemed like he'd become this again for the finale, but was actually working for Prince John too.
  • Black Dude Dies First: The first character to die in the series (who is not a nameless, faceless Mook) is De Fortenay, the Sheriff's Master of Arms. Played by a black actor. In 12th century England.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Various characters are shot, run through, stabbed, at one point somebody gets decapitated, and not a drop of blood is ever seen. However there are a few exceptions; blood is seen on Allan's corpse, Robin is visibly bleeding after he's shot in "Parent Hood," and blood is seen on the dagger Gisborne uses to stab Marian in "The Return of the King."
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: The snake pit, the lion, the duel over the boiling oil, the sealed overflow chamber that slowly filled with water (which Guy wandered away from before the water was even over Robin's head), the Sheriff's endless refusals to kill Robin because he preferred to torture him slowly... after a while you begin to wonder if Guy and the Sheriff actually wanted Robin to live for some reason.
    • Lampshaded in the audiobook story The Dambusters, where the Sheriff wonders out loud why he doesn't just kill Tuck on the spot as he decides to leave Tuck in the middle of a water mill to drown and then leaves before Tuck is even slightly injured for no clear reason.
  • Bookends: In the first episode, Robin gently touches runs his fingers through a blossom-tree as he walks down into Locksley. In the final episode, he trails his hand over the long grass outside Sherwood. It's not quite the same, but the Call-Back is obvious.
  • Brick Joke: In the Series 1 episode "A Thing or Two About Loyalty," Allan suggests they could use the black powder to blow up the whole castle. Two and a half seasons later...
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Allan-A-Dale, notably in "Will You Tolerate This?" and "A Dangerous Deal."
  • Bring News Back: Throughout Series 2 the Sheriff aims to stop Robin sending a messenger to alert King Richard of Operation Shah Mat.
    • Kate tries to warn the outlaws under siege in Castle Nottingham that the King has been captured before reaching England, and provides news that no help is coming from the King's army.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Technically no actual incest ever occurs, but it's hard not to think of it when Isabella drugs her brother Guy and ties him to her bed posts, or when the first meeting of half-siblings Archer and Isabella has flirtatious overtones, or when Isabella and Robin make out extensively without any knowledge that if not for an accidental fire when they were children, they would have ended up as step-siblings. The Sheriff and his sister had strong overtones of this as well.
  • Brother–Sister Team: Sheriff Vaizey and Davina. Guy and Isabella, when they're not trying to kill each other.
  • Caged Bird Metaphor: Oddly used considering it was the evil Sheriff that kept caged birds, as opposed to Marian (the obvious "caged bird" of the story).
  • Cain and Abel: Finn and Tiernan, the two Irish brothers in the episode Cause and Effect.
    • Also Guy and Isabella.
    • And of course, King Richard and Prince John.
  • Canon Foreigner: Kate, insofar as the legends of Robin Hood can be considered "canon".
    • Actually, in some stories there was a "Kate the Kitchen Maid" who ended up almost ruining the rescue of Alan-a-Dale's love Lucy because she nearly gave the outlaws away by screaming. Much kept her quiet and, when they saved Lucy, he brought her along. Depending on the source, she and Much may have eventually married.
    • Isabella and Archer may also count, though they are related to one of the main characters; the former eventually becomes the new Sheriff of Nottingham, and the latter would have presumably been the new Robin had the show not been cancelled.
  • Cardboard Prison: Whether Nottingham Castle's dungeons are this varies Depending on the Writer; sometimes they manage to break out, but many other escape attempts fail. Played more straight with various other prisons, such as the vault in "Cause and Effect."
  • Catchphrase:
    • The outlaws: '"We are Robin Hood!"
    • The Sheriff: "La dee da dee da" and "a clue: no."
    • Allan: "I'm not being funny, but..."
    • Little John: "Him/her/that, we like/do not like."
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: The third series at times, on one hand offering Meg's death and Isabella's descent into insanity, on the other Robin converting a canopy into an impromptu hang-glider and the lion.
  • Character Development: Quite a lot in the second season; one reason for the show's new beard.
  • Characterization Marches On: In the first episode Robin and Marian have opposing points of view when it comes to dealing with the Sheriff. Marian is more political, whilst Robin is more personal. By Series 2, their viewpoints have been switched around.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The Greek Fire ledger that Djaq rescues from the campfire. Technically the ledger itself never appears again, but what Djaq learns from it sure does.
    • Marian's hair clip, which also doubles as a dagger.
    • Marian's lockpick, first seen in the late Series 1 episode Peace? Off, turns up again completely unannounced and unmentioned in the Series 3 episode Cause and Effect.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Little John's gang has four members in the first two episodes: John, Roy, Forrest, and Hanton. While John and Roy join Robin's outlaws, Forrest and Hanton disappear after episode two with no explanation, and are never mentioned again.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: The outlaws rob from the rich and give to the poor, keeping nothing for themselves despite the fact that without any homes, jobs or resources, they are even poorer than the poor. This paradox is one of the reasons that Allan performs his Face–Heel Turn.
    • The episode "Show Me the Money" shows that Robin actually has a substantial amount of money kept in reserve (before he manages to lose it all to the Sheriff, a fact which is never mentioned again).
  • Collective Groan: "Much! Shut up!"
  • Combat Pragmatist: Djaq and Allan-a-Dale. The former isn't above attacking someone from behind or throwing pepper in a man's face (justified in that she is tiny and needs every advantage she can get), and the latter has a Grey-and-Gray Morality. When the other outlaws insist that an enraged Robin not kill Guy of Gisborne, citing his "no killing" policy back at him, Allan just shrugs.
  • Concepts Are Cheap: As a rule, the outlaws fought in the name of Richard the Lionheart, despite his portrayal as a rather misguided, easily duped king.
  • Continuity Snarl: In the third season, a Whole Episode Flashback posits that Robin and Guy have known each other since childhood, even though the premiere depicts them meeting for what is clearly the first time.
  • Conveniently Precise Translation: In "Treasure of the Nation," everybody renders thesaurus patriae as "treasure of the nation", never (what would have the episode's roots a bit too blatant) "national treasure".
  • Covers Always Lie: The UK box set for season has a line-up of the outlaws, including Roy and Djaq. In the show, Roy died before Djaq was introduced. The box set for Series 3 has Tuck displayed front-and-centre, even though he's relatively minor.
  • Cruel Mercy: Robin spares Gisborne's life after he has killed Marian, the woman they both loved, and Robin's wife. Gisborne begs Robin to end his life; instead Robin spares him and forces him to live with his guilt.
  • A Day In The Lime Light: All of the outlaws get at least one episode that focuses on them:
    • Little John — Dead Man Walking, in which he reunites with his wife and son, who both believe him dead.
    • Will Scarlet — Angel of Death, sees him go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge after his father's murder.
    • Allan-a-Dale — Brothers in Arms, which has him deal with the arrival and death of his brother Tom.
    • Much — A Thing Or Two About Loyalty sees him installed as lord of Bonchurch and enjoying a romance with a village girl.
    • Djaq — Turk Flu; also her introductory episode.
    • Tuck — Lost In Translation, in which he goes after a Bible translated into English.
    • Kate — being the invoked Creator's Pet she gets three character-centric episodes: Cause and Effect, Sins of the Father and Something Worth Fighting For Part I all revolve around her.
  • Deadly Ringer: Averted: when each of the Merry Men gets an Instrument of Murder, Little John gets ordinary and very small bells, which he tacks on the end of his Simple Staff.
  • Death by Sex: Well, death by symbolic sex at least. Dominic Minghella is on record as stating that Marian's death was "the consummation of Guy and Marian." The death scene involved Marian in a white dress and with loose hair, getting impaled in the lower abdomen with a sword, which is then pushed further into her as she throws her head back and gasps, before she looks into the eyes of her killer and slides down his body to the ground. In the background, a fountain gushes water from Guy's direction toward her.
  • Debut Queue: Series 3 does this for the first six episodes. Episode 1 and 2 introduce the two new series regulars Tuck and Kate, while 3 and 4 gives them each a character-centric storyline. Episode 5 introduces Isabella, while episode 6 marks the debut of Prince John. It quietens down after that, though episode 10 is a Whole Episode Flashback to the birth of Archer, Robin and Guy's secret half-brother, and episode 11 introduces him as an adult.
  • Determinator: All the outlaws. Yes, even Kate.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Marian dies in Robin's arms, as do Edward and Guy. Davina dies in Sheriff Vaizey's arms. Meg dies in Guy's arms.
  • Dies Wide Open: Guy closes Meg's eyes, Tuck closes Allan's eyes and Robin closes Guy's.
    • Also the Sheriff for his sister Davina.
  • Disney Death: Marian at the end of Series 1, and Vaizey in series three.
  • Dog Food Diet: The outlaws are forced to eat squirrels and rats sometimes.
  • Domestic Abuser: Squire Thornton.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Both invoked and averted. Marian punches Guy in the face (and deliberately uses a ring as a knuckle-buster) just before she bails on their wedding; this is largely justified as he's already physically tried to prevent her from leaving the chapel and threatens her father's safety if she doesn't go through with the ceremony. However, in a later episode she punches Robin in the stomach so hard that he doubles over in pain just because she's frustrated. This is played for laughs.
    • Inverted in the third season with the arrival of Isabella. Guy and Robin repeatedly manhandle her (choking her, pushing her, slapping her across the face) in ways that are never treated as that big a deal; but whenever Isabella reciprocates, it's meant to demonstrate how she's Jumping Off the Slippery Slope. And when she kills her abusive husband while he is choking her, Robin calls her a murderer.
  • Dramatic Curtain Toss: Twice, once when the Sheriff reveals a captured Robin, and again when he displays the tax money in a cage overlooking the courtyard.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Constantly. On one occasion, the outlaws get their guard uniforms from a group of guards whom Gisborne has already reported dead, and yet the castle guards let them in anyway.
  • Dying Alone: Carter and Allan die alone, as does Robin. Somewhat averted in that last case as he chooses to die alone in Sherwood, and is greeted by Marian's spirit as he does so.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: The fact that The Sheriff, Isabella, Guy and Robin are all killed, but not without taking each other down with them (either before or during their own dying moments) is somewhat awesome.
  • Early Instalment Weirdness: The use of slo-mo in the pilot. Also the repeated use of Repeat Cuts in the first few episodes, whenever Robin did something particularly heroic.
  • Easily Forgiven:
    • Robin forgives Guy for running Marian through with a sword, an act that sets off Roaring Rampages of Revenge in dozens of other movies and television shows. Yet by the final episode, Robin is referring to Guy as "my friend." This is somewhat justified, as the two are thrown together out of circumstance rather than choice.
    • Allan is also taken back into the fold with relative ease, though it is subverted at the end of the third season after Sheriff Isabella releases a proclamation that Allan has been pardoned.
    • In her first episode, Kate rats out Robin's location to Guy in exchange for her brother's freedom. Robin is only in the castle in the first place because he tried to help Kate free her brother, but the outlaws express shock at her betrayal for about two seconds before being completely fine with it. The episode ends with Robin apologising to her for her brother's death. When Isabella turns up, Kate is the first one to suspect her of treachery, and nobody points out that Kate is just as culpable.
    • Tuck also introduced himself to the gang by leading them into a trap as a motivational tool for Robin to get his mojo back by saving them. At the end of the episode Robin admits Tuck to the gang, barely acknowledging complaints from the rest of them that, oh yeah, he was the reason why they were almost executed. Tuck's explanation is something along the lines of "You've got to gamble big to win big." Justifiable in that Tuck was very helpful to Robin during the episode; but when Robin is captured in the next episode, it's a little surprising that the gang is willing to follow Tuck
    • Archer sold Guy and Robin out to Isabella for money, and also sold Vaizey Byzantine fire. He ends up a member of the gang with little comment to him being untrustworthy. Admittedly, like Guy, he was thrown into the situation with them and they didn't really have much of a choice in the matter.
  • Enemy Mine: Happens Once a Season; the Sheriff briefly teams up with Robin when his life is threatened in Peace? Off!, Gisborne asks Robin to help find the Sheriff in Walkabout before Prince John's men destroy Nottingham, and Gisborne joins the outlaws near the end of Series 3.
  • Epic Fail: The Foregone Conclusion to the Sheriff's attempt to kill King Richard.
  • Even Mooks Have Loved Ones: The magnitude of Guy's love for Marian is never entirely grasped by the Sheriff.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Sheriff of Nottingham is rarely called by his real name (Vaizey), and even is called "the sheriff" in the rare cases when he isn't.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Guy is frustrated and baffled by Robin's willingness to leave behind his aristocratic wealth and live as an outlaw, but eventually tumbles to the explanation that it's because Robin is a glory-hound who gets off on the love of the peasantry. It never once occurs to him that Robin embraces outlawry not because the people love him, but because he loves them.
    • Prince John is a very weird case of this mixed with It's All About Me, as he believes that because he is Prince John, everything that he does is inherently good. When Isabella tries to call him out on it, pointing out that burning villagers to death in a church is not the mark of a benevolent king, his response is to say, "But I am being benevolent!" He's an evil character who can't comprehend that he's not good.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Both Isabella and Allan upgrade to leather after their Face-Heel Turns.
  • Evil Gloating: The Sheriff, Guy, Prince John, and Isabella love to do this.
  • Evolving Credits: Series 3's opening sequence was constantly changing to add and remove actors and images of their characters, to the point that with two exceptions, the credits were never the same two weeks running.note 
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Marian is always in the right place at the right time to hear Guy and the Sheriff's evil plans. Sometimes they talk about them right in front of her.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Gisborne's hair throughout the third season; in the first two episodes it's been grown long and greasy to indicate the aftermath of his murder of Marian. When he returns following a two-episode break in episode five it's still long, but he seems to have found the time for a shampoo.
    • Likewise, when we first see Isabella her hair is loose and maidenly; after her Face–Heel Turn and elevation to the position of Sheriff, she wears it in a severe-looking bun, and finally, when she reverts to Ax-Crazy mode, her hair becomes wild and loose again.
  • Exposition Party: A darker version than usual. Robin's birthday party is the pretext for getting the gang in a barn, but the exposition comes about when the party turns out to be a trap, and the characters decide to share their secrets, thinking they will all be dead by morning.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Most of the episodes are implied to be strewn across the course of a year, but the last five episodes of Series 3 take place directly after one another, across a span that's no longer than three days or so.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Allan in Series 2, Isabella in Series 3.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The Sheriff's guards seem to be completely blind to everything unless it is staring them directly in the face. And maybe not even then.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Marian.
  • Fanservice: Marian's cleavage-revealing costumes, Guy's shirtless scenes, Allan-a-Dale's shirtless torture scenes, every outfit Isabella wears. Robin, Guy, and Allan manage to get their shirts off for the most paltry of reasons, the funniest of which is when Guy tries on armour over his bare skin.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • The Sheriff leaping out of his bath stark naked in "Booby and the Beast."
    • Kate's painful attempt at being sultry at the start of "Enemy of My Enemy."
    • An interesting case is the "courtship" between Guy and Marian. Richard Armitage is on record as saying that he "wanted the audience to squirm" every time Guy got near Marian, what with his leering glances and oily smirks, and the entire relationship played out as an immensely dysfunctional one of threats, deception, intimidation, and violence. Many were creeped out by it, particularly since the actress playing Marian was only eighteen years old at the start of the show; however, a large portion of the fanbase found Guy's antics even more of a turn-on.
  • Faux Action Girl: Despite being shilled as “a good fighter” and insisting that “I can look after myself”, Kate is... well, to call her "completely useless" is putting it mildly. She appears in eleven episodes, and in that time she...
    • is held captive five times (once by Gisborne in "Cause and Effect," twice by Rufus in "Sins of the Father," once by random guards in "Too Hot to Handle," and finally by the Sheriff's men in "Something Worth Fighting For")
    • endangers her own life by wandering into a volatile situation and making it worse four times (in "Cause and Effect" she ruins the outlaws' ambush by rushing in prematurely, achieving nothing except to get Robin captured along with her brother, and later abandons the outlaws to sneak into the castle by herself only to be discovered five seconds later; in "Sins of the Fathers" she goads Rufus into destroying her pottery kiln and livelihood; and in "Something Worth Fighting For" she sabotages Tuck's attempt to stage a peaceful protest by daring the guards to kill her)
    • is almost raped three times (by Rufus in "Sins of the Fathers," Prince John in"'Too Hot to Handle," and Sheridan in "The King is Dead")
    • gets caught in the Standard Female Grab Area hold twice (by Gisborne in "Cause and Effect" and by Sheridan in "The King is Dead")
    • is seriously injured in combat once (a random soldier throws a dagger at her in "Do You Love Me?"). Every single time she needs a man to extract her from the situation.
  • Final Season Casting: To compensate for the loss of three cast members at the end of Series 2, the writers introduced five new ones in Series 3. Had a season four been commissioned, only one original cast member (Gordon Kennedy) would have remained on the show; everyone else having been killed off (Jonas Armstrong, Lucy Griffiths, Keith Allen, Richard Armitage, Lara Pulver, Joe Armstrong), written out (Harry Lloyd, Anjali Jay) or moved on to other projects (Sam Troughton).
  • Final Speech: Marian's father and then Marian herself. And Vaizey, even though he doesn't really die. Guy and Robin in the Grand Finale.
  • Finale Credits: Minor example; "Something Worth Fighting For" used an alternate version of the closing theme to avoid Soundtrack Dissonance.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Roy who?
  • Friendship Moment: After Allan-a-Dale's brother is executed, Djaq takes him aside and comforts him as he weeps, opening up for the first time about her own brother.
    • There are tons of these among the outlaws: Allan and Will's handshake in "Walkabout," Robin and Much's hug in "Get Carter!", Marian's thank you to Djaq in "The Return of the King," everyone's reaction to Will in "The Angel of Death," and even Much holding out his hand to Djaq so that she can balance on something as she crosses the campsite in "Treasure of the Nation."
  • Generation Xerox: The episode "Bad Blood" reveals that the Gisborne/Locksley feud began with a Love Triangle between Malcolm of Locksley and Roger of Gisborne, both of whom were in love with Ghislaine of Gisborne. However, in the flashback, it is Locksley who is responsible for their mutual love's death rather than Gisborne (and it was accidental, rather than Guy's deliberate murder of Marian.)
  • Geographic Flexibility: Right when the outlaws need to dispose of a gang of children, an orphanage suddenly appears on the outskirts of Locksley.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Subverted. In the Grand Finale the outlaws and their allies are under siege in Nottingham Castle, though they manage to sneak out one of their own people in order to seek out King Richard's armies. However, it emerges that (as the Sheriff gleefully gets to inform them) that King Richard is being held hostage in Austria, so no help is coming.
  • Good Colours, Evil Colours: Bad guys wear black leather. Outlaws wear shades of green, grey and brown (except for Djaq, who wears shades of purple, being a more exotic character than the others). "Halfway" characters like Isabella and Marian wear bright, jewel-like colours; usually reds, golds and blues.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Many of Isabella's gowns.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: The strongest swear words we ever hear are "hell" and "damn", and those are confined almost entirely to the third series. Two exceptions: an early Series 1 episode does feature the expression "son of a cur", and in "Ducking and Diving," where Matilda calls Vaisey a "whoreson", which was pretty serious in 12th-century swearing.
  • Go Seduce My Archnemesis: Played with. Robin relies on Marian as his spy in the castle, and though he never specifically orders her to use "feminine wiles" in order get information from Guy, this is the unspoken assumption between them.
  • Grand Finale: The final episode of Series 3, although it did try to set up for a forth season.
  • Groin Attack: Only used twice; when Marian sends a skittle ball below the belt of Count Frederick and in "For England!" when Little John waves the bells on his staff in Guy's face before jabbing him in the groin with them..
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: There is likely at least one instance of this in every episode.
  • Hairpin Lockpick: Robin uses Marian's hairpin thusly.
  • Handsome Lech: According to Richard Armitage, this is how he was playing Gisborne, especially in the first season, saying that he "wanted the audience to squirm every time he got near Marian." Judging from the Fan-Preferred Coupling that goes on, he failed utterly.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Allan again, at the end of Series 2. Guy of Gisborne and Archer in Series 3.
  • The Hero Dies: Series 2 ends with Marian's death; Series 3 ends with Robin himself being killed.
  • Hesitation Equals Dishonesty: Guy and Marian, usually to each other.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Robin and Much. Guy and the Sheriff in the first two seasons, though their relationship is extremely dysfunctional.
  • Historical Domain Character: Apart from King Richard and Prince John, Eleanor of Aquitaine appears in a Series 2 episode and Archbishop Hubert Walter is in Series 3.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Sheriff is blown up by the explosives that he himself has brought into Nottingham Castle.
    • In hindsight, Guy probably wishes he'd been nicer to his little sis.
      • Robin probably wishes that too.
  • Holding Out for a Hero: Tuck thinks that Robin's defense of the village people prevents them from standing up for themselves, and that they should be training them to fight instead of making them rely on outlaws for protection. Nothing comes of this.
  • Hope Spot: The show could be downright sadistic about these at times, particularly in the Series 2 finale.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Will and Djaq, although he's not so much "huge" as "really, really tall".
  • Hotter and Sexier: According to interviews, the costume designer was instructed to dress Lucy Griffiths in "sexier" costumes for Series 2, whereas in Series 1 her outfits were meant to "appeal to young girls". Then Marian was killed off and viewers were introduced to Isabella, who was walking Fanservice.
  • Human Ladder: Little John in the first episode, and Much in the second-to-last episode.
  • I Want My Mommy!: The Sheriff in one or two early episodes when he's in serious peril (such as in Dead Man Walking when he believes Little John is about to kill him).
  • I Want Them Alive!: This trope is perhaps the only reason these outlaws manage to survive three whole seasons, particularly since the Sheriff and Guy still want them alive even after they've been captured.
  • Iconic Item: Robin's bow, Little John's quarterstaff, Will's axe, Much's shield (and hat!)
    • Kate is renowned for her forehead braid, though this is more the result of Memetic Mutation considering she only wore it for three episodes in total.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode in Series 1 was named for a line of dialogue taken from that episode. The finale's title was a catchphrase of the Sheriff's that had been prevalent throughout the series.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: A spinning target and a shooting arrow would often segue scenes.
  • Idiot Ball: Everyone, always.
    • The notable exceptions are Will and Djaq. Easily the most intelligent people on the show, the fact that they were Put on a Bus at the end of Series 2 has lead to fan speculation that they were never given much dialogue (and were absent from important scenes) simply because they could have solved all the outlaw's problems had the others just shut up and listened to what they had to say. Example: Djaq figures out that Allan is The Mole, but Robin tells her to be quiet just as she's in the middle of telling him.
  • If I Can't Have You…: There are multiple theories as to what exactly was going on when Guy stabbed Marian, but this trope is certainly one of them.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Firstly, Guy runs Marian through with his sword at the end of Series 2, and Guy then dies a Karmic Death at the end of Series 3, after the sheriff impales him.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The Sheriff's guards are hilariously useless, to the point where you could probably make a reasonably good case for renaming this trope "Nottingham Castle Guard Marksmanship Academy".
  • Improbable Hairstyle: Marian looks just like she's stepped out of a shampoo commercial, Allan-a-Dale seems to have access to lots of hair gel, and Kate's forehead braid belongs in a book of optical illusions.
  • Improvised Zipline: One of Robin's favourite escape plans.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Some of the episode names, such as Parenthood and Sisterhood.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Kate, who gets an incredible amount of male attention across Series 3. For Much it's Love at First Sight, Allan also pursues her, Robin hooks up with her, and her presence alone is suggested to be a factor in Archer deciding to join the outlaws. Little John says she's "worth more than any treasure" and she's constantly menaced by villains who demonstrate a frank sexual interest in her. Yet the fact that Kate is just a dim-witted peasant girl makes all the adulation directed at her come across as rather silly, especially when compared to her predecessors, who were objectively far more beautiful (with personalities and intelligence that would make the average guy actually want to hang out with them) yet only allowed two love interests each.
  • Ironic Echo: A possibly unintentional one. In the first episode of the first season, Robin tells Much one of the most important rules of combat is "never forget the last man" when Much breaks his cover before the last of the Sheriff's guards has gone by. Whilst escaping from the castle via the escape tunnel in the final episode of Series 3, Robin proceeds to break this rule - the Sheriff's guards are coming down the tunnel, and Robin breaks from his hiding before he's out of sight of the last one. Given the completely different writing team for Series 3, it's difficult to tell if this was a deliberate call back or a coincidence, although the episode had been written by the only Series 3 writer who had also worked on the first two seasons (Simon J Ashford).
  • It's Going Down: Castle Nottingham, foreshadowed as early as series one (though perhaps accidentally).
  • Just Eat Gilligan: The Sheriff takes absolutely no affirmative action into trying to round up the outlaws. There are no bounty hunters sent out, no rewards placed on the outlaws' heads, no wanted posters, no extra guards on the castle parapets, no hanging innocent people until they show up, nothing.
    • A £500 bounty on Robin's head is mentioned in passing in "Get Carter!", but apparently nobody wants to or is able to try, as the Sheriff needs to explicitly seek out an assassin with a grudge against Robin to take him up on the offer.
  • Karmic Death:
    • Guy dies after he's impaled on the sheriff's sword, the same way he killed Marian at the end of Series 2. Likewise, Isabella manages to stab him in the back with a dagger dipped in a poison that he himself had given to her as retribution for selling her as a child to a sadistic husband.
    • Thornton dies at the hands of the wife he'd tortured for seventeen years.
    • Arguably, there is a twisted sense of justice in the deaths of Robin and Marian, as both are killed by the Gisborne siblings, after having their hearts jerked around one too many times by the Official Couple.
  • Killed Off for Real: Roy in Series 1, Marian's father Edward and Marian herself in Series 2, and finally Allan, Guy of Gisborne, the Sheriff, Isabella and Robin Hood (in that order) across Series 3.
  • Kiss of Distraction: Marian uses this technique all the time on Guy of Gisborne. Whenever he's about to catch Robin or his gang breaking a law, outwitting the Sheriff, or sneaking into the castle, she'll kiss him, or promise to marry him, or otherwise take advantage of his obsession with her.
  • Lady in Red: Isabella quite often, usually when she's at her most seductive. Also Marian on a couple of occasions, most notably when the sheriff tells her to wear something to "stimulate the imagination."
  • Lady of War: Lady Marian, particularly in her role as the Night Watchman.
    • This provides an interesting contrast with Djaq, the Cute Bruiser. In most versions of these two tropes, it is the Lady of War who is the elder of the two women, whilst the Cute Bruiser is younger. Here, the clear-headed Djaq is clearly several years older than the more temperamental Marian.
  • Large Ham: The Sheriff. Prince John turned it Up to Eleven.
  • Last Episode, New Character: Not exactly the very last episode, but Archer was introduced in the third-to-last episode as a future Suspiciously Similar Substitute for the role of Robin Hood. Cancellation put a stop to this.
  • Last Kiss: Guy bestows one of these on Meg. Made especially poignant considering it was also her first kiss.
    • Robin also gives one to Marian, right after they wed and just before she dies.
    • Kate tries for one of these with Robin in the Grand Finale, but has to make do with a platonic hug instead.
  • Last-Name Basis: Robin and Guy never refer to each other as anything but "Gisborne" (or "Gizbin") and "Locksley" or "Hood." This is averted in the last few episodes where they finally start using each other's first names; they don't even seem to realize that they're doing it.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The back of the Series 3 DVD boxset has written on it: "Marian's death was just the beginning."
  • Left Hanging: The third season ends with Prince John still in power, King Richard being held hostage in Austria, the remaining outlaws vowing to raise the ransom to free him, and newcomer Archer tasked with the responsibility of becoming the new leader of the gang. However, faced with the absurdity of a Robin Hood show without a Robin or a Marian, the fact that all but two of the nine original cast members had been killed off or written out, and the prospect of the universally-despised Kate as the story's female lead, the BBC (rather wisely) opted to pull the plug.
  • Legacy Character: Robin would have become this, but for the show's cancellation. The episode in which he dies ends with the outlaws declaring that they are all now Robin Hood.
  • Leitmotif: Him I Liked is the show's "death music", appearing for the deaths of Roy, Edward, Matthew and Gisborne.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Marian does this when she joins the outlaws in the forest, as does Kate. Subverted with Isabella: she is first seen with her hair down and then starts wearing it up after her Face–Heel Turn.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: In Series 3, Kate is the Light Feminine to Isabella's Dark.
  • Limited Wardrobe: The outlaws get one outfit per season. They even recycle their clothing considering that Much's yellow waistcoat was originally worn by Robin in the first episode. Justified on account of the fact that they're outlaws.
    • Subverted with Marian and Isabella, who get a new outfit each episode (Lucy Griffiths jokes on one of the DVD commentaries that half the show's budget was spend on her clothing). It is especially extraordinary in Marian's case considering her house is burnt down at the start of Series 2, and yet she still manages to have brand new outfits at the ready.
    • Gisborne's leathers. Lampshaded thusly:
    The Sheriff [mockingly relaying a message from Marian to Gisborne]: ...and for God's sake, change your clothes once in a while.
    • Though the Sheriff later implies that leather is part of a bad guy ranking system when his response to Alan helping seal the secret entrances is "Upgrade this boy to leather."
  • The Load: Kate. Dear god, Kate.
    • As one reviewer put it: "Why don't the outlaws use Kate as a human shield? At least then she'd be useful."
  • Long Lost Sibling: Isabella, Gisborne's sister, and Archer, Robin and Gisborne's previously unknown brother (it's kinda complicated).
  • Love Hurts: Only one couple makes it out alive, and only because they get Put on a Bus.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Robin dumps Isabella. Isabella responds by trying to kill him. As you do.
    • Invoked by Robin in "Show Me the Money."
    Marian: What's that man doing? Has he gone mad?
    Robin: Yes! He's in love!
  • Love Triangle: Multiple.
    • The Robin, Marian and Guy triangle plays an interesting twist on the type 4 love triangle, with Marian not loving Guy, but playing along with it because it's a good political move, and allows her to easily play The Mole. Meanwhile, Marian and Robin are completely in love with one another yet separated because they are more effective apart.
      • In the third season this is stretched into a Love Dodecahedron: Much and Allan have a crush on Kate, who pines for Robin, who quite fancies Isabella, who flirts with Prince John, who is pretty much in love with himself.
    • Will Scarlett, Djaq and Allan-a-Dale, though this isn't played with very much.
  • Loving a Shadow: Robin seems to fall for Isabella due to her passing resemblance to Marian. Likewise, Much's devotion to Kate may well have stemmed from his memory of Eve, who also had fair hair and a distinctive braid. It's also hinted that Kate's feelings for Robin are no more than hero worship, though he seems more aware of this than her.
  • MacGuffin: The Pact of Nottingham, Eleri's necklace, the tax money, a pigeon, Prince John's crown, Gisborne's tattoo, and a baby, to name a few. Even water of all things, when a drought hits Nottingham.
    • Used best in the episode "Brothers In Arms," in which Guy takes a necklace off a young peasant girl to give to Marian. Throughout the course of the episode, the necklace exchanges hands between eight different characters. It has particular significance to each of them, and they all get a turn to steal it, find it, return it, or give it away, until finally its whereabouts lead to Marian being forced to agree to Guy's marriage proposal.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In the Grand Finale Robin and Marian get a Together in Death scene — but did it really happen? On the one hand, Robin has been fatally poisoned and is possibly hallucinating, especially since the last we see of him is his hand reaching for Marian before he succumbs to death. On the other, Marian is wearing a dress that we've never seen her in before (surely Robin would have imagined her in an outfit he was familiar with) and as they embrace, Marian's laughter can be heard echoing through the trees in a way that suggests it's audible beyond just the two of them. It's ultimately left up to the viewer to decide whether it was a dying vision or a real visitation.
  • Mugged for Disguise: The way Robin infiltrates the castle (by getting disguises from the guards).
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: When Marian hears that the Sheriff is planning to assassinate King Richard, her solution is to murder him first.
    • Robin chooses to murder all the Black Knights - including the Sheriff and Gisborne - for no clear reason in "For England!."
  • Mutual Kill: The four main players in the battle of Nottingham Castle (Robin, Guy, Vaisey, and Isabella) all manage to take each other out; Robin is poisoned by Isabella and Guy is stabbed by Vaisey, but Robin has already set in motion a plan that ends up incinerating them both.

     N-Z 
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Kate's attempt to save her brother from enforced conscription leads directly to his death.
    • Likewise, the gang's insistence that Isabella can't be trusted leads to Robin doubting her and eventually breaking up with her. Turns out she was completely loyal to him until she was humiliated and dumped, and for some reason, Robin looks surprised that a Gisborne has taken rejection badly.
      • Everyone treats the mentally-unhinged Isabella like crap, and then they look surprised when she goes mad and starts killing everyone. Just about the only person to show her any consideration and respect is the megalomaniacal Prince John, explaining her loyalty to him.
    • In "Too Hot to Handle," the outlaws steal Prince John's water to give to villagers in a drought. When Prince John arrives with water to give them, he realises that the villagers have taken his water from Robin Hood, destroys it, adds an unaffordable price to his own supplies, and drowns a villager to boot.
  • No Sparks: Robin begins a relationship with Kate for no real reason beyond the fact that she has a crush on him. After he's fatally poisoned, he notably can't bring himself to kiss Kate goodbye, despite her obvious attempt to get a Last Kiss.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Robin and Guy at the end of Series 3.
  • Not Quite Dead: Robin's father and Vaizey.
    • There's also a (very good) chance that Isabella survived the castle explosion considering the writers were expecting a forth season and most of the newly introduced characters had been signed on for at least one more season.
  • Novelization: Exists for the first four episodes.
  • Odd Friendship: Quiet, self-righteous Will and outgoing, amoral Allan.
  • Oh, Crap!: Vaizey gets an epic one in the series finale when he realizes what's in the barrels next to him.
    • He also indulges pretty much every time he realizes that Robin has really lost his temper.
  • Once an Episode: One of the outlaws will invariably sneak into the castle and beat up some guards.
    • Also (as mentioned below), a character would be introduced who would either be put in danger by the Sheriff et al or would be in league with them, and who would never be heard from again.
  • One-Shot Character: Every episode included a guest star who (with only a couple of exceptions) was either killed off by the end of the episode or Put on a Bus and never mentioned again.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted; both Robin's manservant Thornton (a recurring character throughout Series 1) and Isabella's husband share the same name. There are three Kates: a villager in an early Series 1 episode, a regular character in Series 3, and it's also mentioned that Edward's wife/Marian's mother was named Kate.
    • And of course, two Johns: the outlaw and the prince. Of course, given the profound difference in character, the fact that Prince John only appears in three episodes, and that Gordon Kennedy’s character was always given the traditional “Little” appellation before his name, it was virtually impossible to get them mixed up.
  • Only One Name: Much, Djaq and Kate.
  • Operation: [Blank]: Operation Shah Mat, for Vaizey's plot to kill Richard I. This is actually a Meaningful Name, as Shah Mat is Persian for "The King is Dead" and is the origin of the word checkmate.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The outlaws' hoods also seemed to double as invisibility cloaks, as no one ever seemed to notice them when they raised them over their heads. Funny hats also seemed to do the trick.
  • Parents for a Day: Once in each season, with a baby, a gang of small boys, and a red-headed kid respectively.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: The outlaws more or less abandon the whole 'rob to the rich to give to the poor' idea in the second half of Series 3 to concentrate on Robin and Guy's secret half-brother and removing Isabella as Sheriff.
    • Mind you, considering that Isabella was actually half-competent when it came to hunting down and killing outlaws, it probably makes sense that getting rid of her became a priority.
    • Lampshaded at one point in Series 2 when Much attacks Little John for accidentally letting the Sheriff into the camp, and he responds, "I was trying to help the poor! Remember, like we used to do?"
  • Politically Correct History: It is amazing how many non-white people apparently lived in 12th century rural England. Subverted though, as this was genuinely not unlikely, many historical sources show that travellers from the Middle East, Africa, and Asia migrated to Europe and Europeans travelled out in-turn. There was, after all, currently a war going on that sent soldiers from England to the Middle East, never mind the famed Silk Road that brought trade between Christian Europe and the far east.
  • Posthumous Character: Roger and Ghislaine of Gisborne (Guy and Isabella's parents).
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Since it's a TV series whose source material is a body of folklore and its own earlier adaptations in literature and the performing arts.
  • Pre-Sacrifice Final Goodbye: Actually configured a little to become a Post-Sacrifice Final Goodbye. Robin is stabbed by Isabella with a dagger coated in a lethal poison halfway through the Final Battle, though it's slow-working enough to give him time to complete the mission and get individual goodbyes with each of the remaining outlaws.
  • Protagonist-Centred Morality: How good or evil a character is depends entirely on how big a fan they are of Robin Hood. In fact, Isabella turns evil when Robin breaks up with her, and Guy eventually credits Robin with his redemption.
  • Protagonist Title: Robin Hood, obviously.
  • Public Execution: Robin rescues Will, Allan, Luke and Benedict from one in the first episode (a punishment for stealing flour), and they come up again several times subsequently.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Much and Djaq were the masters of these.
  • Put on a Bus: At the end of Series 2, Will and Djaq opt to stay in the Holy Land for reasons that are never specified.
  • Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits: Robin Hood's team includes his long-suffering manservant, his noble-born girlfriend, a woodsman, a carpenter, a Saracen prisoner of war, a thief/poacher/con artist, a warrior monk, and... uh... a girl who made pots.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Royston White, Guy of Gisborne and (belatedly, given that they die several episodes after their redemption) Allan-a-Dale and Carter.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: In the Series 2 finale, Guy tells the Sheriff that he will "take Marian by force." Whether he was bluffing or not probably depends on your shipping preferences, but it's clear that this line and the murder that follows was behind why Richard Armitage described this episode as "the point of no return" for Guy.
  • Recurring Character: Sir Edward (Marian's father) in seasons one and two; Rebecca (Kate's mother) in Series 3.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Robin replaces Marian with Isabella, and then replaces Isabella with Kate. Then he dies and ends up with Marian again. Oy.
  • Reset Button: Richard Armitage himself expressed frustration in interviews regarding the relationship between himself and Marian. No matter how many awful things he did to her (burning her house down, punching her father, coercing her into marriage, etc.) the writers kept "resetting" the relationship so that the two of them could have tender moments together. Any sane female would flat-out refuse to have anything to do with him, and the fact that Marian kept crawling back for more made her look like an abuse victim. Eventually Richard Armitage decided that Guy was legitimately in love with Marian, only to learn that Guy would stab Marian to death.
  • Retcon: The Series 3 Whole Episode Flashback rewrote the entire known history of both Robin and Guy.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Robin, after Marian's death. For all of twenty minutes, anyway.
  • Rightful King Returns: Subverted and averted. In the episode that carries the same name as this trope, King Richard is rumored to have returned to England, though it's just a ruse for the Sheriff to flush out conspirators against him. By the end of the show, Richard is being held hostage in Austria.
  • Rousing Speech: Robin specializes in these, beginning in the first episode with the "Will you tolerate this?" outburst. Tuck gets quite a few of them too.
  • Rule of Cool: A cursory look at one episode should prove the entire series follows "whatever would be awesome", as evidenced in the Politically Correct History, the Anachronism Stew, and depending on your views, Marian's aforementioned costumes.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Will and Djaq, ticking off nearly every part of the trope.
    • Also the Night Watchman.
  • Sassy Black Woman: The Abbess of Rufford who turns out to be a con artist.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Though they set up a feud between Kate and Gisborne (considering the latter killed the former's brother) this doesn't really go anywhere, and ultimately Kate's purpose is to romantically pursue Robin, and be pursued herself by other outlaws.
  • Second Love: Played with and Deconstructed in rather awkward ways in Series 3. After Marian's death, the showrunners enthusiastically discussed how this was an opportunity to see how Robin copes without the love of his life. Turns out, he does surprisingly well, with the introduction of two new Love Interests in the following season, and barely a mention of Marian outside the first episode. However, there is some nuance here and there. One suspects that Robin was Loving a Shadow when it came to Isabella, given her resemblance to Marian in both position and appearance, and the relationship quickly implodes when he refuses to run away from Nottingham with her. From there, Kate is presented as the true Second Love, with plenty of Character Shilling designed to make her seem like a perfect and natural partner to him. Yet towards the end of the season, after their Relationship Upgrade, Robin only seems tepidly interested in his new girlfriend (he's practically talked into the relationship by Little John) and after he's fatally poisoned in the Grand Finale, he has very little to say to Kate and can't even bring himself to give her a Last Kiss. Seconds later, he's reunited with Marian's spirit in Sherwood Forest. So all that time and energy that was spent on building up Isabella and Kate as potential Second Loves for Robin is eventually rendered meaningless, with the final word being that for Robin, there was never going to be a Second Love after Marian.
  • Scars are Forever: Robin and Marian both sustain wounds from Gisborne, and the scars are relevant plot points.
    • Guy's facial scar that Robin gives him at the beginning of the third season remains, but the wound that the Sheriff caused by dripping acid on his arm disappears.
  • Scarpia Ultimatum: Deconstructed. In this case, it is not Guy that demands Marian's hand in order to spare Robin's life, but rather Marian who offers herself to Guy if he assassinates the Sheriff (believing that Robin is dead). Further subverted in that Guy seems disgusted by the deal and instead agrees to the Sheriff's orders to kill King Richard, telling him that he plans on taking Marian anyway, whether she likes it or not.
  • Secret Relationship: Robin and Marian.
  • Secret Test of Character: In "A Clue: No," the Sheriff comes up with a brilliant method to figure out who among the nobles of Nottingham is plotting against him. He takes advantage of the fact that none of these men have ever actually seen King Richard to have an imposter come to court. The "king" has the Sheriff arrested for treason and encourages lords to testify against him. Those who enter a room to do so pay the price. Marian's father is close to testifying but Robin (who has met the real Richard) is able to warn him that this is an imposter so he can act "loyal" to the Sheriff.
  • Secret Underground Passage: Nottingham Castle appears to be filled with these.
  • Shoot the Rope: Most episodes.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Allan-a-Dale. Where to begin? His only brother betrays him and is then purposefully hanged long before the outlaws arrive to rescue him. He's captured, tortured and coerced by Guy of Gisborne into becoming The Mole. He loses his first love interest to Will, and his second love interest to Robin. His two best friends abandon him right after his Heel–Face Turn, deciding to stay in the Holy Land together. He's framed by Isabella, resulting in the gang instantly turning on him without giving him a chance to defend himself. On his way to warn Robin that Prince John's army is on the march, he's shot repeatedly with arrows in the back and dies believing that his friends consider him a traitor.
  • Shout-Out:
  • The Siege: The premise of the Grand Finale.
  • Siege Engines: Trebuchets and Battering Rams both show up when the Sheriff attempts to reclaim Nottingham in the Grand Finale.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Possibly the only reason why Kate exists, as the Token Girl of the outlaws.
  • Somebody Set Up Us the Bomb: How the Sheriff and Isabella meet their deaths.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The triumphant-sounding music played over the end credits can fall into this depending on the episode, particularly on the DVDs where the "Next Time" trailer is removed and the episode cuts straight to credits.
    • The most astounding example is at the end of the second season finale. Shell-shocked viewers have just witnessed Marian get run through with a giant sword at the hands of Gisborne, followed by her burial and a Really Dead Montage. We then get a quick goodbye to Will and Djaq and the severely depleted gang of outlaws heading back home across the desert. The music throughout all this is fairly soft. Once the outlaws are on their way, cut to the triumphant soundtrack over the credits.
  • Spoiler Opening: He had already been given a Finger-Twitching Revival, but the Sheriff's return in the penultimate Series 3 episode is ruined by the inclusion of Keith Allen's name in the opening titles.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Though some of the new characters are introduced late, or only stay for a few episodes, Series 3 is dominated by Isabella, Kate, Prince John, Tuck and Archer, leading to the marginalization of the original outlaws. Even Robin and Guy were short-changed to some extent as a result of the character overload.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Guy.
    • To a lesser extent, Much in Series 3, who continues to pursue Kate long after she's made it clear that she's not interested.
    • Even Kate is something of this in regards to Robin - always ensuring that she's partnered with him during missions, getting aggravated if he's not paying her enough attention, and turning into a Clingy Jealous Girl the very second that she claps eyes on Isabella.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: Subverted in the first episode of Series 2 with Djaq. A Mook grabs her and shouts: "I've got the girl!" Djaq calmly head butts him, retrieves her sword, and marches off, muttering, "A woman, you'll find."
  • Status Quo Is God: Subverted in Series 3 - after a while it becomes impossible to predict what will happen next episode as everything is switched up so much.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Robin averted this for the most part, except for one time when he was really, really pissed off at a wounded Marian's claim that she did the whole "Rob from the rich, give to the poor" thing with more intelligence.
    Robin: Every time you go out, you get arrested or stabbed or betrothed. You should stay at home and do your embroidery!
    • Of course, he apologized for saying that a few seconds later.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Arguably (very arguably), Marian had this in regards to Guy of Gisborne, particularly in the first half of Series 2.
  • Storming the Castle: The outlaws storm Nottingham Castle and take Isabella hostage in the penultimate episode of Series 3. The the real Sheriff turns up having survived from Gisborne's seemingly successful attempt to murder him and surrounds the castle with an army, sort of turning this into All Your Base Are Belong to Us.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Kate, who replaces Djaq as a female gang member and Marian as Robin's potential love interest. Tuck also fills Will Scarlet's spot in the gang, and Gisborne's sister Isabella seemed to be another replacement Love Interest until her Face–Heel Turn.
    • The last four episodes of Series 3 — if not the whole of Series 3 — was setting up Archer to use a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for Robin if the series got renewed. It didn't.
  • Swiss Cheese Security: Nottingham Castle for much of the series (barring Something Worth Fighting For where the difficulty of getting in is a major plot point).
  • Taking the Bullet: Meg takes a spear that was aimed at Guy.
    • Subverted for comic effect earlier that season when an arrow meant for Guy is blocked by an enraged man crying out, "I'll kill ye, Gisborne!"
    • Isabella also takes an arrow for Prince John, fired by Guy, and as a result is awarded the position of Sheriff.
  • Taking You with Me: Although this is not the direct intent of the characters involved, this is what Robin, Guy, Isabella and Vaizey manage to do to each other in the Grand Finale. Guy gives Isabella poison to kill herself with, which she instead uses to coat a dagger's blade. She tries to stab Robin with it, but Guy intervenes, opening himself up to a killing blow by the Sheriff (with an extra stab in the back by Isabella). However, Guy's sacrifice gives Robin enough time to escape and light the fuse that kills Vaizey and Isabella. However, Isabella managed to nick Robin with her dagger, sending him to his own death via poisoning.
  • Temporary Substitute: Owing to several episodes of Series 3 only featuring one regular cast member based in Nottingham Castle, there are a number of one-shot guest characters who temporarily take on some of the functions of the absent characters, most notably The Dragon Blamire in "Something Worth Fighting For".
  • Tempting Fate: Robin says of his engagement to Marian: "Let's hope we live to enjoy it." They don't.
    • In the Grand Finale, the Sheriff says "That is the last time Robin Hood makes a fool out of me!" Immediately after, he decides to attack the castle via the escape tunnel, which will result in Robin making a fool out of him by way of blowing the castle up.
    • At the end of her first episode, Kate tells Robin, "I hope I never see you again." Eleven episodes later, she gets her wish...
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Robin in The Return of the King and again in Total Eclipse.
  • Those Two Guys: Will and Allan in the first season; Much and Allan in the third season.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: A few times. There was an important one by King Richard in the series 2 finale.
  • Together in Death: Robin and Marian
  • Tonight, Someone Dies: The Series 2 finale's promotional material stated that either Robin, Marian, Guy, or the Sheriff would die.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Guy killing Lady Marian in Series 2 is what leads to many other characters being killed in Series 3. Also, had Guy not impulsively kills the woman who could have gotten away with throwing herself between King Richard and Guy's sword by not bringing up her marriage to Robin Hood, then the deaths wouldn't have happened.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Marian's ring, presumably her wedding or engagement ring except it looks totally different to both of those, retained by Robin in the first episode of Series 3. He buries it at the end of the episode after deciding he can't dwell on it.
  • Tragic One-Shot Character: Meg, whose narrative purpose is to be a Replacement Goldfish for Guy in the wake of Marian's murder at his hands. She's also killed, though Guy gets to play the role of saviour instead of killer in her case.
  • True Companions: The outlaws.
  • Tsundere: Marian (definitely Type A) and Kate (mostly Type B after her first episode, and then only in regards to Robin).
  • *Twang* Hello
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Allan, Djaq and Will in seasons one and two. In Tattoo, What Tattoo the boys each blurt out their feelings for Djaq in an attempt to galvanize a reluctant Robin to assist in her rescue, leading to a truly hilarious reaction shot from everyone involved.
  • Unequal Pairing: Marian and Guy; Robin and Kate.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Djaq all the time, Marian when she joins the outlaws, and Isabella once she loses her mind.
  • Unnecessarily Large Interior: The escape tunnel designed specifically for the Sheriff's use in "Something Worth Fighting For." Heck, it even had windows!
  • Unusual Euphemism: Burying a corpse in the forest?
    • Getting some honey?
    • Apparently Archer showed Gwyneth one of his "wonders of the Orient".
  • Unwanted Rescue: Kate. The first time in Sins of the Father is arguably justified as Robin and Much's intervention leads to her being outlawed, but a later example in The King is Dead, Long Live the King outright shows her shout at Much for rescuing her from a man holding a knife to her throat.
  • Unwanted Spouse: Thornton. Isabella flees from him, and eventually kills him.
  • Vasquez Always Dies: Four times. and only the Faux Action Girl gets to see the end of the series.
  • Victim of the Week: Usually a suppressed peasant or sympathetic noble that needs help, including a midwife accused of witchcraft, a maiden whose necklace was stolen, a knight whose beloved is being held for ransom, and the general mass of starving hoards. In the third season Kate became the Designated Victim.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Guy, after Marian's death - though being sent to Prince John causes him to snap out of it pretty quickly. Also the Sheriff, after he learns Prince John is not happy with how he's dealing with Robin Hood up to his apparent death. Like Gisborne, he returned having got over this spectacularly. Isabella becomes more and more psychotic as the series progresses.
  • Villainy Discretion Shot: In the fourth episode of the show, Guy leaves his infant son in the woods to die of exposure, after having promised the birth mother that he would see him safely to a convent. We don't see Guy do this, only ride up on his horse once the deed is done, and after the episode, the fact that he has a son is never brought up again. It's all so vague that many chalk it down to Canon Discontinuity.
  • Visual Innuendo: In the episode "Treasure of the Nation," Little John meets one of the Queen's bodyguards, who carries a staff that's bigger and longer than John's. Little John spends a good part of the episode eyeing it with suspicion, and the two men engage in a fair amount of dick-measuring.
    • As noted above, Marian's death scene was shot with deliberate sexual references as the 'consummation' of Guy's relationship with her, specifically the massive phallic sword he stabs into her abdomen. There's also a fountain gurgling away in the middle of the scene, but that could be coincidence.
  • The Walrus Was Paul: In the final episode of Series 2, there's a rather inexplicable scene in which Guy has a dream about Marian massaging his shoulders, who then turns into Allan. On the DVD commentary, the actors turn to writer/director Dominic Mingella for clarification, who admits that he only added the scene in order to make people talk about it, saying: "the internet will be buzzing after this scene!"
  • War Is Hell
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Marian.
    • Also Kate's initial response to Robin, before she becomes his biggest fangirl.
  • Wham Episode: Many in Series 3, including but not limited to "Do You Love Me?" (Prince John's introduction), "Bad Blood" (the Whole Episode Flashback to Robin and Guy's childhood), and the penultimate episode.
  • Wham Line: "I love Robin Hood." Said to absolutely the wrong person...
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In Series 3, Guy unleashes a lion on the outlaws as his "secret weapon". Last we see of it, it's still roaming Sherwood Forest.
    • When we first see Isabella, she is hiding a mysterious-looking book in a hollow log in Sherwood Forest, along with a purse full of money. At the end of the episode the purse is retrieved, but the book is never seen or referenced again.
    • In the episode "Cause and Effect," Robin and the gang use two extremely large, automatic-firing, multi-arrowed crossbows in order to make their enemies believe that the woods are full of outlaws. Where on earth did these things come from? And where the hell did they go afterwards?
    • At the end of Series 2, Allan is seen carrying a pigeon-carrier, presumably with a messenger pigeon inside (the DVD commentary confirms that Djaq gave it to him). He must have dropped it overboard on the voyage back, because it's nowhere to be seen in Series 3.
    • In the first two episodes, Little John has two outlaws as part of his band, Forrest and Hanton. By the end of the second episode, they're with the other characters as part of Robin's men... and in the third episode they've completely disappeared.
    • An inverted example: where the heck did Kate's green dress come from?
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: In the Series 3 episode "Cause and Effect," some Irish viewers might wonder why one of the Irish brothers has a Northern Irish accent while the other has a Dublin accent...
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: Robin doesn't kill the Sheriff because of an "insurance policy" that Prince John has placed on his life, which states that Nottingham will be razed to the ground if he is harmed. Robin doesn't kill Guy after Marian's death because he wants him to suffer with what he's done. But why the Sheriff and Guy don't just shoot Robin is a mystery, and finally Isabella has to do the job for them, a mere five episodes after she declared to herself that she would. Now that's efficiency!
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Isabella and Kate are each convinced they are Robin's true Love Interest, that the other is The Rival, and eventually partake in a childish Cat Fight over him. Despite this Love Triangle taking up much of the season's screen-time, the truth is that Robin doesn't care that much about either of them, is one half of an Official Couple with Marian, and gets a Together in Death scene with her in the Grand Finale with nary a thought for anyone else.
  • Yandere: Guy practically embodies this tropes for Marian, even killing her when he realizes she wants to be with Robin.
  • "YEAH!" Shot: The outlaws at the end of Series 1, one that almost seems to Break The Fourth Wall.
  • You Can Keep Him: Used a couple of times between the Sheriff and Guy. Robin soon caught on to the fact that holding Guy hostage was fairly pointless; the Sheriff was never particularly interested in getting him back.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Pitts, the corrupt physician. He was the man that provided Guy's alibi when he was off trying to assassinate King Richard, and when Guy realizes that he's spilled the beans, he orders his men to shoot him. Guy even yells out: "you've served your purpose" before giving the order.
    • Robin uses the phrase verbatim in "For England...!" when he finds out that the Sheriff's scribe "fell from the battlements" and died.


Top