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Friday, November 01, 2013

Robin Hood Week: Cast of Characters

Love that Roy's in this one.  I'm about to watch 'Parenthood'  *sob*
'Kay, I know Roy's not canon, but this was the best picture I could find.

I decided that since this week was all about Robin Hood and his gang, I should do a little bio/description for each of the main characters, for reference.  I haven't included characters from the BBC show like Djaq or Archer, simply because not everyone participating in this week will have watched the show, but I believe that all the book characters are well known (except maybe Will Stutely, who I'll be talking about later on this week).'s the cast of characters.

  • Robin - The bold outlaw who robs from the rich and gives to the poor (or in the words of one Robin Hood - "Rob?  That's a naughty word.  We never rob.  We just borrow from people who can afford it.").  He loves Marian, fights the sheriff of Nottingham and Sir Guy, and has loyal friends in Will Stutely and Little John.  He's brave, bold, heroic, a bit of a rogue at times, amazing when it comes to archery and something of a trickster.
  • Marian - Robin's love interest and the daughter of a wealthy noble.  Interestingly enough, Marian was one of the last characters to take her place as one of the main characters of the legend, probably due to the fact that she's only mentioned twice in passing in Howard Pyle's version of the legend.  She's quick-witted, brave, beautiful, a fighter, and passionate about Robin's cause (though not as much as he is).  In almost every story, she dies of fever about five years after she and Robin marry.  At least they had five years of married life, instead of five minutes (in the BBC Robin Hood).
  • Will Scarlet - Robin's cousin and a member of the gang.  Will is probably my favorite character in any version of Robin Hood I've read/watched (at least those that have him in it) and I can't quite pinpoint the reason why.  He was on the run from the sheriff when Robin found him in the forest.  He wore bright red clothing, hence his name (his original name was Will Gamwell).  Will is a fighter, but he's often portrayed as much gentler than most of the other group members, and he often stays behind at camp when the others go on missions.  This isn't to say that he's a wimp; he's just less used to fighting than the others.
  • Will Stutely - I recently discovered a great liking for Will Stutely.  At first I didn't really like him or even notice him that much because the only version of Robin Hood I'd read was Howard Pyle's (more about that book tomorrow) and he hardly ever did anything noteworthy and he was quite rough toward Allan when the gang first found him.  But then I read Paul Creswick's adaption, and I fell in love with Will.  That guy is epic.  He's Robin's right hand man, almost as good as Will Scarlet in my opinion, and just...I'll save most of my thoughts for the post I have planned about him/Carter later on this week.  There's this one thing he does...well, I'll save it, like I said.
  • Allan a Dale - Where do I begin with Allan?  The first time you really meet him in the book(s), is when he's crying by the side of a river because the love of his life is being made to marry an old knight against her will.  In Howard Pyle's adaption, the gang help him and then you never hear from him again (not that I minded - he was really a wimp) but in Paul Creswick's, he's still does the crying thing, but after Robin saves the day, he and his amazing little wife (she totally reminded me of Djaq) join the gang and it's awesome.  Allan is so much better in Creswick's verison.
  • Friar Tuck - Almost every Robin Hood story I've read has Friar Tuck introduced when Robin goes in search of a priest to marry Allan and his love.  Robin and Tuck meet, have a sword fight, Robin calls his men, Tuck calls his dogs, and all the differences get worked out and Tuck joins their gang.  I quite like Tuck.  He doesn't feature very much in later stories in any adaption, but I think his first appearance is great.  He has all these dogs at his beck and call (or whistle), and he can control them so's great.
  • Little John - Again, the story of Little John is the same in every Robin Hood story/legend I've read.  He and Robin meet while both are trying to cross a bridge, they fight with staffs (I almost typed 'stags' - interesting thought =) ), Little John dumps Robin off the bridge, and they become life long friends.  Odd that.  But, seriously, Little John is probably Robin's best friend.  He's the one who stays with Robin as he's dying, he's the one that Robin trusts with all his secrets, and he's the one who's the main pillar of the group, so to speak.  I really, really like him (or should I say 'him I like'?).
  • Much (or Midge) - There are conflicting accounts of Much being a miller's son, or Robin's squire, but I believe the common story is that he's a miller (or miller's son).  Much actually doesn't get a lot of screen-time (page-time?), so I don't have much to say about him.  They really developed his character in BBC's Robin Hood.  Way more than the original.
  • Sir Guy of Gisbourne - Horrible, cruel, vicious, nasty and just all around terrible.  Those are only the beginning of how to describe Guy.  In the book that is (I'm saving my defense of BBC's Guy for later on this week).  In Howard Pyle's version, he's an insane, paid assassin who tries to murder Robin, but is killed by him instead.  In Creswick's, he's only in the book for about two pages before Robin kills him.  I read another adaption once where he dogs Marian's footsteps throughout, being really rude about it.  Him I do not like.  At least in the books.
  • Sheriff of Nottingham - The devious villain behind it all (actually, his daughter Marie is even worse).  The sheriff plots dozens of times to capture Robin, but it never works.  Don't you think he would learn his lesson?  Anyway, that's basically all I have to say about the sheriff.  'Cause he's actually quite  a flat character.
Who are your favorite characters in Robin Hood?  Who are your least favorite?


Miss Jane Bennet said...

Ha, um, you know my sentiments on Will. Both Wills. COUGH. ;)
I pretty much agree with everything here, only I do feel sorry for the Sheriff once in a while in the Howard Pyle book...*runs and hides*
I can never make up my mind about BBC-Guy, and of course Howard Pyle-Guy is just EVIL EVIL EVIL. :P
Sooooo excited about this week!! :) :)

Jennifer said...

My favourite is Much. I love how loyal he is even when he's scared. I love how he can never come up with a snappy comeback - probably because that's the way I am. He always makes me smile.

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