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    BBC series 
Robin Hood and his merry men are actually villains with good publicity.
How often do we really see them giving to the poor? Just often enough to make the peasants love them. The outlaws steal and keep everything for themselves. They frequently kill poor inept guards who are only doing their jobs and probably have families to feed. All instances of someone "framing" Robin Hood by shooting down innocents are, in fact, Robin Hood shooting down innocents. The sheriff is not fighting against him because of a personal grudge, but because of a true desire to keep his people safe.
  • You're closer than you think here. The original Robin Hood ballads portrayed them as romanticized outlaws, but outlaws nonetheless. Robin's "generosity" only appears when he makes a loan to a penniless knight. Given his traditional weapons of sword and bow, Robin was more than likely a yeoman (freeborn commoner) and probably held the bonded peasants in nearly as much contempt as the nobles did.
    • I think Joss Whedon got the measure of Robin Hood in Jaynestown; he robbed from the rich because they were worth robbing, and gave to the poor once or twice when he had to make a fast getaway.
  • I always assumed they just did that off camera, and, since it wasn't important to the plot, it wasn't included.
  • A bit of Fridge Logic/Fridge Horror courtesy of The Cartoon History of the Universe:
    Narrator: I've always wondered how much of the money (that Robin robbed from the rich) went to pay for Richard's ransom...

The sheriff has a black leather fetish.
The reason Gisborne appears to never change his clothes is because the sheriff raided his wardrobe and replaced everything he owned with the same black leather outfit.

Kate from Robin Hood is an Alternate Universe counterpart to Marian, from Maid Marian and Her Merry Men.
The characters in Maid Marian are very different from the characters of similar names in every other version, and the title character is a blonde, bolshy commoner, rather than the traditional dark-haired noblewoman. Kate is a blonde, bolshy commoner. Probably there was a For Want of a Nail sequence of events that led to her getting a different name. Whether this means there are versions of Rabies and Barrington around is still to be determined.

The series will end on a Mind Screw.
Even if it only clings to the bare bones of history, the show cannot have a positive ending, because Robin loses; King Richard dies abroad and Prince John becomes the King. The only way to avert this is an ending that well and truly casts history aside and goes its own way.

It did.
Just see the spoilers at the main Robin Hood series page. I'll be speculating here, but perhaps the makers realized that they had screwed up major by killing Marian and that nothing they could do would have saved the series ... so they killed it instead in an "out with a bang" (no, not that one) way.
  • Alternately ...

The third season, starting with the second season's finale, only happened in Kate's imagination
In reality, Kate is just a peasant girl who only met Robin Hood once and hopelessly fell in love with him. Being aware that he loves Marian, she "killed" her and took her place. In other words, Kate is a self-insert Mary Sue.
  • This could also explain Archer's God-Mode Sue qualities (as described in the main Robin Hood page): he's an OC created by Kate, who was trying to make a really cool extra character for her story but went a bit overboard. Or perhaps she was getting tired of Robin at this point and wanted to make Archer her new love interest.

All of Robin Hood actually is an elaborate performance taking place in a modern Renaissance Faire.
It would explain the large potions of Politically Correct History and Anachronism Stew the show serves up for the viewers. Why no blood is ever seen, despite numerous fights breaking out. And why the Sheriff's guard appears to have graduated from the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy and go down with a simple tap. And how come winter never seems to arrive. Would also go along way to explain the at times painful writing despite the cast's best attempt to work with it.
  • And Kate is the director's daughter.

The third season is all taking place in Robin's head during his spiral into insanity.
Driven mad by the losses incurred during the second season finale, Robin Hood becomes much darker and driven. To distract himself from grim reality, he begins constructing an elaborate fantasy in his head, including a Replacement Goldfish: first Isabelle, then Kate. (In 'reality', he may have professed interest in Isabelle, only to be rebuffed, leading to her shift in fortunes, while Kate was either constructed out of whole cloth or is very loosely based on some girl he saw once in town.)
  • His hallucination of Marian as he's dying actually makes this strangely plausible.

Kate's behavior can be explained by PMS.
Each season takes place over the course of a year and it's presumed that each of the twelve episodes (the thirteenth is always a two-parter with the twelfth) are a month apart. As such, each monthly episode falls on the day that Kate is having her period. The outlaws shill Kate like there's no tomorrow and treat her like a Purity Sue, yet the audience never glimpses anything but a perpetually pissed-off Jerkass Sue who acts like she hates everyone and everything around her (sans Robin). Maybe she was a perfectly nice person for most of the year, but unfortunately each episode just happens to take place on the day that she has good reason to act like a total bitch.
  • Unfortunately doesn't work when you consider that the episodes don't allow for a month between them - the gaps between episodes 8/9 and 10/11 at least are considerably less than a month, possibly as little as a few hours.
    • Those times of the month can last for more than a few days... which easily covers that.
    • Only if Robin and Guy spent the gaps between episodes 9 to 11 wandering around the forest with no food for weeks, and none of the other outlaws ever noticed - which would be pretty unlikely even by series 3's standards.

The BBC Robin Hood takes place in the far future.
The seris takes place after a world wide apocalaspe where Britain has been reduced back to the Middle Ages. HOW ELSE DO YOU JUSTIFY THE Anachronism Screws?

Gisborne was hallucinating when he stabbed Marian to death, and we only saw his point of view.
He's had hardly anything to drink and has spent all day with the sun beating down on him in tight leathers, and he's feeling the pressure of not screwing the mission up at this delicate stage for fear of what will happen to him if King Richard escapes alive. Hence, when Marian rushes up to him unarmed and starts screaming that she loves Robin Hood when her attempts to otherwise talk him out of killing the King fail, and just stops trying to back off from the man with the massive sword when he reacts to the news with stunned silence, this is a distorted version of actual events. He does still stab Marian to death, but the events between him sighting the collapsed King and him and the Sheriff escaping the ruined town were different in reality. This is the only thing that can explain Marian's sheer stupidity - it is Gisborne's worst fear manifesting itself.

BBC's Robin Hood takes place in the same universe as Harry Potter
... and most of the main characters were reincarnated as the Marauder-Era HP characters.

Robin, Marian and Guy were, of course, reincarnated as James Potter, Lily Evans, and Severus Snape. This is, in fact, only one example of MANY times that they have been reincarnated over the centuries, and they always play out the same "doomed love triangle" scenario: Guy/Snape loves Marian/Lily, but because of his connection to "the dark side" she rejects him in favor of Robin/James. This leads to Guy/Snape bringing about Marian/Lily's death (this comes about in different ways in the different lifetimes, sometimes directly, as in the case of Guy stabbing Marian, or sometimes indirectly, as in the case of Snape and Lily), and the guilt over her death leads him to do a Heel–Face Turn. They are destined to repeat this cycle in endless lifetimes until one of them makes a decision which breaks the cycle (most likely, Guy/Snape choosing to be good without Marian/Lily's death being necessary. Who you think she ends up with after that is a matter of preference.)

The other outlaws were also reincarnated as Marauders and/or members of the Order of the Phoenix. Allen became Sirius Black (the charming scoundrel), and his brother Tom of course is Regulus. Will and Djaq are Lupin and Tonks. Little John became Hagrid, and Much is Peter Pettigrew (Robin/James is betrayed by a friend in every lifetime, but who the traitor is can change depending on different factors. In the HP cycle, Allen/Sirius being born into the Black family gave him a distaste for empty power and wealth, which meant he was not vulnerable to being bribed to betray his friends. On the other hand, Robin/James having a slightly crueler edge in the HP cycle led Much/Peter to finally get fed up of being used and belittled by his friends and turn traitor. Although they are reincarnations of the same people, different circumstances mean that they are not identical in every lifetime. Thus Much is a far more loyal person that Peter was, and would not have betrayed Robin the way Peter betrayed James.)

  • This theory isn't meant seriously of course - but you have to admit it fits pretty perfectly.
  • This is actually the reason I support Lily/James over Lily/Snape despite the fact that I'm not all that fond of James. I was a fan of Robin Hood before I was a Harry Potter fan and Lily/Snape reminds me too much of Marian/Guy, which I've always thought of as a really disturbing pairing. A friend of mine(who loves Snape but hates Guy) got quite annoyed at me for pointing out the parallel.
    • A bit off topic, but there are Lily/James and Lily/Snape fanbases??
    • But didn't Lupin want to run away from Tonks and an-as-yet-unborn Teddy when he found out Tonks was pregnant? That doesn't really fit with Will's personality or sense of devotion to the cause and to his friends.

Isabella was actually Marian.
After being stabbed to death, a severely pissed off Marian makes a Deal with the Devil to return to earth and reap bloody vengeance on Guy for murdering her. The persona of Isabella is created and RetConned into the time-line (and Guy's memory) so that she has a perfect excuse to seek him out. This also explains why nobody has ever mentioned her before - until she turns up, she never actually existed. Isabella is the Hyde to Marian's Jekyll: the subliminated feelings of powerlessness and suppressed anger that Marian was never allowed to display in her own lifetime.

The story of Thornton was Marian/Isabella's cover story to get into Nottingham, and the years of abuse she suffered at her husband's hands was symbolic of Guy's mistreatment of her over the past two years. Because Marian still wants to give Guy a second chance, she keeps requesting an apology for what he did to her in the past, but when he continually refuses, her heart is hardened towards him once and for all.

Isabella's attraction to Robin is based on Marian's love for him, but when he breaks up with her because of his inability to have a family, his committment to the cause, and Kate (barf), her long-term feelings of resentment and frustration with Robin take over the lingering aspect of Marian that was within Isabella. Marian/Isabella decides "screw it!" and seeks out power for herself, something that was denied her in her own lifetime.

Thornton himself is actually Satan who comes to claim Marian's soul considering she has yet to fulfil her part of the bargain by killing Guy and Robin. He comes to her as Marian's greatest fear: an abusive and controlling husband who is capable of raping and murdering her (as Guy was). There is a brief chance for Robin and Isabella/Marian to work things out, but Robin's failure to protect her from Thornton, the way he attacks her in her bedroom, and Kate (barf), destroys this. By killing Thornton, Marian/Isabella destroys the pact she made with Satan, but the cost is her own understanding of why she's back on earth. Thus, she loses her mind and can only grasp one simple goal: kill Guy and Robin.

When she succeeds with this, and with Marian's hatred and rage purged away with the death of Isabella, Marian is free to return to her true self and return to Robin for their Together in Death scene.

Allan didn't really die.
Everything from when he dies on was just a hallucination on somebody's (probably Kate's) part. In fact, after being kicked off the team he decided he'd had enough and hitchhiked back to the Holy Land to go live with Djaq and Will.

    Disney film 
Speculation on other characters in the Robin Hood Mythos
If other characters from the Robin Hood myths were used, they would also be other woodland animals. Here are a couple guesses.
  • Will Scarlet would be a rabbit. He might even be Skippy, as they're both younger characters who admires Robin Hood, just like Will Scarlet is often portrayed as. ("Skippy" might be a play on his last name.)
  • Much, the Miller's Son would be a mouse. Much is best known for being as small as Little John is large, and being a mouse would certainly fit that image.
  • Will Stutely/Stukely would be a raccoon. Largely because it would be strange to have a band of thieves portrayed as animals and none of them be the classic animal thief.
  • Guy of Gisbourne would be a cat. See below.

The animated Disney version takes place in the same universe as Kung Fu Panda
  • They can take place even in the same time period (the animal equivalent of the 12th century), only on different continents.

In the Disney version, Saladin the Great would be an Orangutan
As another nod to The Jungle Book, where Little John is obviously Baloo, Sir Hiss is supposed to be Kaa, the Vultures are similar to the Vultures in that movie, the Elephants looking similar to Indian Elephants instead of African ones, and the Sheriff of Nottingham looking like one of the wolves from The Jungle Book, I believe that Saladin the Great, the Muslim Commander of the 3rd Crusade and the first Sultan of the Ayyubid Dynasty (that ruled Egypt and Syria), would be an Orangutan, and would look similar to King Louis, although I don't think he'd have the same voice.
  • Wouldn't a tiger resembling Shere Khan be more fitting?
    • I agree that a tiger would be more fitting, since King Richard is a lion, and it would make sense if both armies were led by a big cat. Maybe a Louie-like orangutan could be his advisor / sidekick?

The Disney version is the past of Talespin, not The Jungle Book
It can't be in the same universe of Jungle Book because humans exist and animals act more like animals there, while in Talespin everyone is an anthropomorphic animal and wears clothes.

The Disney version is done live action with cartoon actors.
Robin Hood and The Jungle Book are both shot "live" in a world similar to Who Framed Roger Rabbit, where characters like Baloo and Little John, or Kaa and Sir Hiss are the same actor in different movies.

If Guy of Gisbourne had appeared in the Disney version, he'd have been a cat.
It's well-known that elements of Disney's Robin Hood were based on Reynard the Fox. Robin is Reynard himself, the Sheriff is Isengrim the Wolf, Richard (or John) is King Leo, Friar Tuck is Grimbard the Badger ("the holy Grimbard, who had always led a hermit's life") and so on. In Reynard, Tibert the Cat is as cunning as Reynard, and while he initially speaks in Reynard's defence, he soon becomes one of his opponents. He is a good choice for Gisbourne, often presented as Robin's Evil Counterpart.

In Disney's Robin Hood, all the reptilian characters are analogous to people of color, being considered a different "ethnicity" of animal.
We only see four reptiles in the movie- Sir Hiss, a crocodile Captain, Toby, and Toby's father. Sir Hiss's background music take some cues from Indian snake charmers, and he takes a ridiculous amount of abuse from Prince John. While the rabbit children play with Toby, they casually make fun of him. If the mammals view the reptiles as a different ethnicity, this explains why Sir Hiss and Toby still hang around- it's much the same everywhere else in Animal England.

Prince John is actually a mountain lion, and adopted.
This is why he has no mane, despite being a male lion.
  • Male lions with scanty, almost non-existent manes do exist; they have only tufts of fur around their faces, not unlike the tufts on Prince John's cheeks.

Skippy is actually Robin Hood's illegitimate son.
About seven years from the start of the movie, before the widow rabbit married the father of the rest of her children, she and Robin had a fling that resulted in her getting pregnant (Don't ask me how the biology works for this.) She couldn't tell him this until recently, after he returned from the Crusades and began his campaign against Prince John's tyranny.

Upon finding out about Skippy, he went to Skippy's birthday party in disguise. So when he says "Happy Birthday, Son!" after Skippy realizes that it's Robin Hood under the beggar's cloak, it's not just the tradition of calling any boy "Son", he actually means it. His line to Skippy's mother "I only wish I could do more" is out of genuine concern for his son's well-being, and as an apology to the widow for not being around to help out sooner.

This is also the real reason why Skippy goes with Robin and Marian at the end of the movie. He's going to live with his biological father.

Alan-a-Dale is Roger Miller with cluckitis.
In the episode of The Muppet Show where Roger Miller (Alan-a-Dale's voice actor) guest stars, most of the Muppets catch "cluckitis," a disease that temporarily turns you into a chicken. Kermit tries to hide the outbreak from Roger, but when Kermit catches it himself, the jig is up. Roger understands, though, and mentions that he had cluckitis once. This episode aired several years after Robin Hood came out. Roger must have had cluckitis when Robin Hood was made and that was why he played the part of a rooster.

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