Tag Archives: Maid Marian

Once Upon A Time Character Review: Robin Hood

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about Once Upon A Time. I am only writing up to the end of season 6. Read at your own risk if you have not seen the previous seasons.

*I am choosing, for the purpose of this post, to only focus on FTL/Storybrooke Robin, not the AU Robin that appears in the 6th season.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Once Upon A Time to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

Robin Hood is one of the noblest characters in our culture. He is the selfless hero who takes from the rich and gives to the poor. He always does what is right, without question.

But what if doing what is right was not so easy? This was the question posed by the Once Upon A Time version of Robin Hood. Played briefly by Tom Ellis and then played by Sean Maguire for the remaining seasons, Robin is the soul mate of Regina Mills/ The Evil Queen, teaching her how to love again years after the death of her childhood sweetheart. But there is a catch.  Up until a certain point in the narrative, Robin was presented as a single father grieving the loss of his wife, Marian (Christie Lang). It took some time, but Robin broke down Regina’s walls and it seemed like they were headed for their own happily ever after.

Then Marian returned and Robin had to choose between his family and the woman he loved. But Marian was not Marian, she was Zelena (Rebecca Mader) and she was also pregnant by Robin. In the end, Robin gave his life to save Regina, proving that it is possible to do what is right and follow your heart.

To sum it up: sometimes a character’s journey can be boiled down to the question of what is right or what the heart wants. In life, this is often a murky question. The best writers are able to manipulate this question into a narrative that forces the character to go on the journey to answer that question. That journey, when presented properly to the audience, can not only take them on a ride, but also teach them how to answer what can be a very delicate question.

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Filed under Character Review, Fairy Tales, Once Upon A Time, Television

Flashback Friday-Robin Hood (2010)

Hollywood likes reinvention. So much so, that every few years, an old story is recycled into a new adaptation that the film makers will be successful at the box office.

Hollywood’s most recent reinvention of Robin Hood occurred in 2010. Stepping into the shoes of the legendary outlaw was Russell Crowe.  In this movie, Robin Hood starts with the name of Robin Longstride. Maid Marian, Robin’s love interest, played by Cate Blanchett was reinvented as the widow of an aristocrat.  Marion’s father in law, Sir Walter Loxley (Max Von Sydow) convinces Robin to impersonate his son, at least long enough to prevent the crown from confiscating his land. While Robin and Marian are pretending to live in wedded bliss, Godfrey (Mark Strong), a member of court who secretly helping the French plan an invasion of England.  Robin is soon drawn into the dangerous mix of politics, secret aspirations and the threat of war.

Robin Hood has been done to death by Hollywood. Every generation has had it’s own Robin Hood.

But what I liked about this adaptation is that the filmmakers attempted to ground the story into history of the period, instead of relying purely on the myth.  Another factor that appealed to me is that Marian was rewritten from the standard aristocratic damsel in distress to a strong, capable woman who stands up for what she believes in.

I recommend it.

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Flashback Friday-Robin Hood Triple Feature-Robin And Marian (1976), Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves (1991) & Robin Hood: Men In Tights (1993)

Robin Hood is the immortal outsider. A former aristocrat who returns from the Crusades to find that his family is dead, his lands have been confiscated and the woman he left behind, Maid Marian may have moved on with her life.

His story has been immortalized on screen multiple times over.

In 1976, audiences were introduced to a middle aged Robin and Marian in a movie of the same name. Years after the original story ends, fate has again separated our lovers. Robin (Sean Connery) returned to the Crusades to find that Marian (Audrey Hepburn) is now the abbess of a priory. It seems that she is content to live out the rest of her days as a nun. But when the Sheriff Of Nottingham tries to arrest Marian on religious grounds, Robin must step in and fight for the love of his youth.

I like this movie. But then again, I always like when we see old, familiar characters in new situations and in different places in their lives. Another quality that makes this movie an excellent film is the two leads, who are age appropriate and have excellent chemistry.

Fifteen years later, in 1991, a traditional film of adaption of Robin Hood premiered. Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves starred Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.

I like this movie. There is something about the traditional re-telling of a familiar story that never gets old, no matter how many times one has read the story or seen the movie. And of course, there is the Bryan Adams song that gets stuck in your head, no matter how many times you try to get rid of it.

Finally, in 1993, Mel Brooks, as he always does, put his own spin on the Robin Hood story in Robin Hood: Men In Tights. This time, Cary Elwes stepped into the role of Robin Hood with Amy Yasbeck as Marian and Roger Rees as his longtime nemesis, The Sheriff of Rottingham.

This movie is a solid Mel Brooks production. As he did with Young Frankenstein, he lovingly satirized and altered the story of Robin Hood. And like most Mel Brooks movies, this movie is incredibly funny and quotable.

I recommend all three.

 

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Filed under Flashback Friday, Movie Review, Movies