Thursday, January 18, 2007

Robin Hood. Spotlight on the cast 3: Richard Armitage.

Guy of Gisborne (also spelt Gisbourne or Gisburne), is one of the most interesting characters in the tales of Robin Hood; a character whose "now you see me now you don't" appearances merit some documentation. Originally Gisborne was a just a bounty hunter dressed in animal skins who Robin Hood met in the forest, fought, and decapitated. It could all have ended there, if not for that splendidly villainous name "Guy of Gisbourne", rich with alliteration which rolled from the tongue as ballads were passed around. And so it was that Guy eventually became Sir Guy, a bad knight to counterbalance Robin of Loxley's good. But never in the stories did Guy of Gisborne ever rival the Sheriff of Nottingham as Robin Hood's arch enemy, until Hollywood came along.
The first Robin Hood blockbuster of 1922 relegated the Sheriff to a simple clerk whilst elevating Guy to the status of Robin's number one villain, lusting after Marian and attempting to assassinate King Richard in the Holy Lands. (All sound familiar? Yes folks, if the BBC watched just one Robin Hood film they certainly watched this one). That film proved so successful that it became the role model for Errol Flynn's subsequent 1938 version, in which the Sheriff is once again sidelined in favour of a Gisborne portrayed by Flynn's real life friend and hell raising drinking buddy, Basil Rathbone. The climactic duel between them is a part of Hollywood legend, and Rathbone's splendidly "camp" performance has influenced all the best Robin Hood villains which followed. How ironic then that they would all be Sheriffs: Alan Wheatley (1950s), Alan Rickman (Prince of Thieves), and Keith Allen (Robin Hood 2006), all have a bit of Rathbone about them.
Guy of Gisborne then disappeared from Robin Hood filmdom for almost 50 years before being catapulted back into the public imagination by Robert Addie's definitive portrayal in 1984's Robin of Sherwood. Addie didn't attempt to emulate the slightly pantomime style now associated with the Sheriff, but instead came on strong as a scary, ruthlessly driven, even psychopathic villain. When that blonde haired blue eyed Guy spat out the words "Wolfs head" or "Saxon", whilst trying to dislodge and replace the equally villainous Sheriff from his position of authority, the supposed "master race" references were unmistakable. But most importantly, Addie's tantrums and arguments with the Sheriff still provided a sense of relief and humour against which to balance those characteristics.
In my opinion Guy of Gisborne as he appears in the BBC's 2006 version of Robin Hood, lacks clarity, definition, and this sense of balance. Having opened up so many possibilities which culminated in the emotional (and disturbing) balcony scene of episode 7, in the end he is little more than the two dimensional character of 1922. And, before the Armitage Army string me up in the forest, this is not a criticism of Richard Armitage who is obviously a talented actor. I'd love to see him play Byron or Heathcliffe, where the perceived villain of the piece is in the end the romantic hero. And am I the only person who thinks Bond would be a great role? He has all the attributes of young Connery in the early sixties; that combination of ruthless and romance. (He even looks like the Bond in the books). I know a lot of fans are imagining Armitage's Guy is a romantic heroic type, who only has to sweep Marian into his arms for her to see the error of her ways, but that's wishful thinking and not what's actually been on our screens.
The BBC's version of Gisborne is impressively dressed in classic bad guy style; a combination of Darth Vader and S.S. trench coat. He is an avid admirer and pupil of the Sheriff, equally as happy to witness him cutting either tongues or Marian's hair, whilst his favoured methods of killing are up close, bloody, and sneaky. He is constantly teased, ridiculed and duped by the Sheriff, whether it is lies about the King's return or a bottle of acid to the arm, but he never shows sign of revolt. Neither is he a man capable of tender emotions. When a silk scarf fails to buy Marian's affections he simply ups the "bribe" to a pony. His desire for Marian manifests itself as abusive, threatening that her father's life will be endangered if she refuses to marry him, and when he first attempts to kiss her in episode 11, or indeed succeeds in episode 13, Marian's reaction is that of a teenage girl upset by the unwelcome physical attentions of an older man.
Does this all sound like a really evil villain? Yes, absolutely! But is the character to have no "saving graces" in the name of entertainment? Even canary crusher Keith Allen gets to make us smile when he looses a tooth or gets hung upside down from a rope. There have been so many lost opportunities to develop a fuller character for Gisborne: The baby in Kirklees Abbey which is apparently his; the fact he has TWICE stabbed the girl he lusts after (once on the eve of their wedding night). How would he really feel if he suspected that? As it stands I think he'd simply kill her. Maybe now that his men have seen her gallop off with Robin Hood that's exactly what will happen. As stated, I think ultimately this BBC version of Gisborne has explored the character little more than the silent movie version of Paul Dickey, and as the years go by will fail to dislodge Rathbone or Addie from their thrones. I stand to be proved wrong. Richard Armitage is a fine actor, and there is much potential in the loose ends of these episodes to be explored.

Next week: Sam Troughton

Labels: , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woo hoo, first coment! I think you're absolelutly right! How come Guy of Gisborne never reconises Marian, in real life, I think he might have. It's a bit silly. I love your website! How's coming next week?

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I said last week I'd be back to look for your review of Guy and here I am! Nice background you gave about how the character Guy has been developed over the years, the only other Guy I've seen really is the Basil Rathbone version. I can't remember Addie unfortunately.

Okay so yes I am a great fan of Richard - part of the "Army" as you call it. When Richard is given a good script in this series to get his teeth into he shines, the best moments for me being the fight in the forest with Robin and the best scene, the one with Marian and that proposal. Incredibly tense and he managed to convey a range of emotions from abject rage when Marian first enters (Richard actually made me very scared for Marian's physical wellbeing at that moment) to sadness and vulnerability after her acceptance but she would not kiss him (albeit for good reason!) and he made the transition seem totally believable. However, I would agree that they could have done more to develop his character further. The creators said they wanted Guy to attempt redemption through Marian whilst also being the Sheriff's feared lieutenant. In my view, he has achieved the former rather better than the latter but I feel this is not down to any lack of acting ability but more scripting weaknesses. I personally loved all his scenes with Marian (and also Robin), for me Richard managed to make you feel sympathy at times for a man who frankly you wouldn't give house room to in reality. A man who is a bully, maniupulative, cruel and has no real concept of what genuine love and affection is. However, his stumbling attempts at trying to woo Marian have held through his portrayal their own creepy sad charm! I've also loved Richard's chemistry with Keith Allen, but that brings me back to your point about Guy's relationship with the Sheriff. Richard said in interviews that Guy has his own agenda separate from that of his boss, that he lusts for power and prestige. Well unless you count Marian as being that "agenda", I have yet to see Guy achieve anything without the Sheriff's say so and he capitulates to all his demands. I feel the character is ridiculed, manipulated and made the fool too many times for you to genuinely fear him as you should - he needs to smarten up - and I would like the writers to actually make Guy do some plotting of his own without him continually failing or acting mindlessly upon instruction.

The baby in Kirklees Abbey is another good point - why haven't they made anything further out of that story? And again, I would have loved some background on Guy and why he he has turned against the King....he is supposedly a dispossed lord who had his lands taken away by King Richard - but why? As for his stabbing of Marian, do you think that perhaps this is a deliberate ploy on behalf of the writers to leave this story line until series 2 when he will suddenly discover this? And I am really looking forward to seeing Richard act this one out with Lucy when realisation FINALLY dawns!

Despite this, I appreciate Richard's portrayal of Guy, he's charismatic, not difficult on the eye and with his height and build he has good physicality for the role - although the writers don't give him enough hand to hand fighting to do for my liking. I think he acts the part to the best of his ability and probably gives more than it warrants on the page. As for saving graces I'm not sure what they can be now that Marian has declared her hand. What direction would you like the character to go in the next series? You seem to prefer the Addie version but would the writers be wise to copy that almost with Richard?

I've never seen Guy as being a romantic hero as such but I like the element of vulnerability and confusion over Guy's true nature that Richard has given to the role - that works for me but for other viewers perhaps not. The character could really develop so much more if the writers would only let it, Richard is more than capable of taking up such a challenge I feel, he is one of the most capable actors in the entire cast.

Sorry for the very long rambling post, I liked your review and I didn't think I would but you've made some fair points.

Looking forward to Sam next week!

11:24 PM  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi "anon",

Thanks for such a detailed and interesting response. It would seem we are in broad agreement - as can be best summed up in your line that Armitage "probably gives more than it warrants on the page". Indeed, sometimes when he sighs in frustration at Marian I wonder if he's sighing at what he's being asked to do (or the limitations placed on him). I think he's working hard at putting little nuances into his expressions to explore some ideas further than the written page.

Yes I am a big fan of the Addie version, but certainly it would be wrong to try and copy what's gone before. I just think the brilliance that has gone into the Much characterisation for example, and innovations like the Night Watchman, need sharing around a bit. I can understand Harry Lloyd and Joe Armstrong "waiting their turn" whilst they gain experience. But I do think Armitage and Kennedy could be given more challenge and space in terms of "depth of character".

Hopefully we'll see that in series 2. The BBC have a difficult task of explaing just how Marian is going to survive Guy's anger at riding away from the church with "Hood".

Maybe she'll be forced to spy on the Outlaws whilst living among them?

11:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Richard works hard at putting little nuances into the script wherever he can. An example of that is when Marian is having her hair chopped off and Guy drops his head slightly and gives a little grimace of we presume distaste at what is happening to her. There are many other small examples such as his repeated sighs and eye rolling behind the Sheriff's back when I wonder, was that in the script or is he adding this to flesh things out more? I guess the writers argument for not developing all the characters to the same degree is that they only have 45 minutes and there are a lot of characters.....but if that is the case it is a criminal waste of talent in the case of someone like Armitage and Kennedy to have them in less developed roles when they could easily take on so much more. I really want to see more confrontational and emotional scenes like we saw in Episode 7 with Guy - they really make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end and are so effective dramatically.

And yes, I'm not quite sure how the creators are going to write themselves out of the position Marian now apparently finds herself in after punching Guy and openly riding off with Robin in front of the whole village. The first meeting between Guy and Marian after that incident is certainly going to be interesting!

I just hope that it's a realistic storyline and one that doesn't make you have to suspend disbelief and go "oh please!"

12:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I´m a lover of Robin Hood too.
I liked your review of Guy mainly because you put lots of interest and thought on it but also because I feel you didn´t pay much attention to him and many phrases made me smile. I hope you find my very different view interesting.
Guy of Gisborne reappeared as the cousin and sidekick of Alan Rickman as a small role in Prince of Thieves.
In my opinion Guy of Gisborne as he appears in the BBC's 2006 version of Robin Hood, is the most 3D character of the show, and a great grey as someone between the black of the sheriff and the white of Marian. Having opened up so many possibilities which culminated in the emotional (and disturbing) balcony scene of episode 7, then the fight in 8, and his "let her go" in 13, he also is badly used as plot device. Despite that, what we see on screen makes obvious Richard Armitage is a talented actor. In this case, the perceived villain of the piece is in the end the romantic hero. Guy is a romantic heroic type, who has to follow his whiter nature and work for redemption, but not through Marian.
The BBC's version of Gisborne is impressively dressed in classic bad guy style; extremely sexy leather mixed with delivery boy coat. He has subjected himself to the patronage of the Sheriff, the only way left at hand he can gain back land and position. The Sheriff slowly de-humanises him and fuels his hatred of Locksley, hence his share in the tongue cutting. His humanity and how it is crushed by the Sheriff shows in small details like:
(some examples)
ep3 he shouts angrily "more innocents are dying" and then the Sheriff shows him how useful it is to him
ep4 he hates the hair cutting and suffers for Marian but finds himself powerless to stop the Sheriff.
ep5 his first reaction is not killing the strike man -are you giving them options? asks the Sheriff- and then pities the crying women at the mine.
ep6 he is truly worried for the Abbess and wants to kill Robin personally -end of episode- for attacking things he respects.

He is constantly teased, ridiculed and duped by the Sheriff, whether it is lies about the King's return or a bottle of acid to the arm, but he never shows sign of revolt, just of frustration and impotence.
He is a man capable of tender emotions (vid supra). The main example is that his first interest in Marian was reaching wealth and position, but slowly her white nature has called his, someone without friends and family, isolated and in his happiest day, seeking advice and friendship from a good man who is a servant. He talks proudly and affectionately about his father and mother, and wants to regain and relive that gilded remembrance. As far as he sees, Marian is the only way to get it. But her dishonesty with him makes it impossible. She´s got very good reasons to be dishonest with him. She´s just saving her skin. His desire for Marian manifests itself as abusive, and she and her father´s safety from the Sheriff depend on Guy marrying her. He buys what he tells her but he feels she wants to escape, although he always decides to be blind to that, as she´s the only hope he sees. When he first attempts to kiss her in episode 11, or indeed succeeds in episode 13, Guy's reaction is that of an infatuated man incapable of connect and communicate with the woman he wants.
Does this all sound like a really evil villain? No, not at all. He´s completely grey, he´s a villain who wants to have a marriage of love, position and riches, and is trying to do it both in the good and in the bad way.

His "saving graces" in the name of entertainment are being a 3D character, having a romantic appeal, providing good moments of action and dialogue, and also being the object of many of the Sheriff´s jokes -bum spanked with arrow or the silver arrow incident, for example-.

There have been so many lost opportunities to develop a fuller character for Gisborne. We only can blame the scriptwriters.
The baby in Kirklees Abbey which is apparently his; the fact he has TWICE stabbed the girl he lusts after (once on the eve of their wedding night).
How would he really feel if he suspected that? As it stands we can´t guess. Marian and Guy are always lying to the other. A scenario with the truths can go any way the scriptwriters want, due to Guy´s greyness. Maybe now that his men have seen her refuse him for his lies he will tell his truths.
As stated, I think ultimately this BBC version of Gisborne has explored the character a great deal more than all the other versions put together, and as the years go by will be a classic like the ones by Rathbone or Addie. I stand to be proved wrong. Richard Armitage is a fine actor, and there is much potential in the loose ends of these episodes to be explored.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

I agree that the baby, Gisbourne's that is at Kirklees, whom I may add to that, that he tried to kill by abandoning him in the forest has been conveniently forgotten.
What sort of man tries to kill his own children?
This fact has dropped off the radar scale in such scenes where he tells Marian that he wants her to have his children (I cannot recall the exact line).
No one brings up the fact that he already has a son - illegitimate, though still uncontestably his.
This was brought in very early on in the series and I think it reveals very much of his character.
As it progressed, his character tried to play into the grey area, using Marian to redeem himself, which is another area which makes me suspect that he's a little mad (because nowhere in old religiosity, as far as I am aware, Catholic Christian or otherwise can you redeem yourself through another person being good).
That never flew with me, most especially when his actions towards Marian was so abusive.

I think perhaps that one reason why he appears to have that good side, is because people really like Armitage himself - and I think that does colour his character a little. I mean, I love Armitage too. He's excellent.
But I think perhaps that that has clouded a little of Gisbourne's character, perhaps to the advantage of what BBC wanted to do with him.

Returning to the baby at Kirklees, I am not sure what else they could have done with the baby physically, unless his mother was angry that Gisbourne was marrying Marian or they pulled a Soap Opera stunt and excellerated the baby's aging a minimum of ten years plus.
Theoretically, it could have been used to explore Gisbourne's character. It is obvious to me that he spent time getting to know the servant girls better. I'd wonder if this were a common occurance for him and whether or not he had any other babies floating about.

Yet, I have to agree that Armitage does an excellent job of adding dimension to Gisbourne's character. He would not be as nearly as interesting if he were two dimensional villain. You'd love to hate him and that's about it! It makes him mysterious, interesting and a very good character to try and guess what his background is.

Also - I am also wondering how Gisbourne ended up in the Holy Land attempting to assassinate the King. Was he there on Prince John's orders? In fact, I'd rather like to know why he is out of good grace with King Richard and in good grace with Prince John.

2:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


can i just say that i totally agree with emily? just cos Armitage is a good TV actor, doesn't mean he is good enough for bond!! no offence meant but seriously he is not as good a actor as Daniel Craig- or many other big time movie actors, although admitedly he is better than some. GISBORNE IS NOT GONNA TURN GOOD, AND IF HE DOES I WILL STOP WATCHING!!!! it is totally against robin hood rules! jesus, like emily sed, GISBORNE tried to KILL his own SON! and he happily ordered his own-life-saving friend in ep 13 (pitt) to die, and the same with poor Lambert, so just cos Richard Armitage is a good actor has absolutly no affect on his characters, maybe Armitage is a really nice guy, or mabe he isnt, but Gisborne is not nice, he is power hungry and although not as bad as the sherriff, who has absolutly no good at all, is is one of the bad guys, get over it. sorry for ranting i love this site thank you robin hood claraxxx

10:48 AM  
Blogger robin hood said...

Wow, I'm no longer sure if we're all in agreement or not? But thanks for the debate.

I'll try and respond to some specific points:

Anon said: "cos Armitage is a good TV actor, doesn't mean he is good enough for bond... he is not as good a actor as Daniel Craig".

Did I make a comparison? No. But Armitage looks like the Bond in the books, and has that combination of ruthless edge and romantic image.

Anon said: "GISBORNE IS NOT GONNA TURN GOOD". I certainly hope not. He's nowhere near as scary as Robert addie was. All I would like to see is a villian a lot more complex than someone who shouts effectively and looks great in jack boots and leather.

Anon said: "Gisborne is power hungry". I want him to be even MORE power hungry. I want him to go after the Sheriff's job.

Anon said: "maybe Armitage is a really nice guy, or maybe he isnt, but Gisborne is not nice" and Emily said: "I think perhaps that one reason why he appears to have that good side is because people really like Armitage himself".

I totally agree. That's why I said: " a lot of fans are imagining Armitage's Guy is a romantic heroic type, who only has to sweep Marian into his arms for her to see the error of her ways, but that's wishful thinking and not what's actually been on our screens".

More answerrs to follow...

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi RH
sorry for being grumpy earlier, i was just a little bit annoyed with people, as you so rightly pointed out, nievly thinking that cos Richard is a great actor, Gisborne must be a hugly rich character. sorry again.(for being grumpy). i agree that, seeing the scope of Richards acting, the BBC have left Gisnborne a relitivly stupid and, not quite boring, but predictible character. thank-you for the thoughtful blog on Guy of Gisborne, as usual. Claraxxx

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

me again
i forgot to mention that ihave never read the james bond books, just watched the films clara xxx

5:12 PM  
Blogger robin hood said...


"Grumpy" is fine by me. (It makes a nice change from "Will is fit" - although I'm sure he is!)

I'm pleased everyone who logs on here gets along so well. And I'm looking forward to everyone's opinion on Much this weekend.

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To answer, Clara's post, firstly as for RA not being good enough for Bond....can I just point out that Daniel Craig's big break came on a TV SERIES called "Our Friends in the North" - an excellent drama and he was great in it. TV actors often become movie actors (and vice versa) not all are good but many just need to be in the right place at the right time to shine. With all due respect I don't think RH is the show to measure whether Richard has a lessor acting range to Daniel - and I'm a big fan of his too by the way. Not that I have ever campaigned for Richard to be the next James Bond I have to admit!

Anyway back to Robin Hood, why so angry Clara? Where has anyone said that Guy was going to turn good or that they even wanted him to turn that way? I think it's been established by now what with the baby abandonment, casual murder and at times bullying of Marian that he is not a good man and that his chances of redemption (no matter how much he may think he wants that) are slim to hopeless and using Marian for this purpose is bizarre. I'm a fan of Richard's but I don't let my liking of him cloud my judgement on whether the part he is playing is done well or not. Richard is probably a fine person in real life - but I don't think more kindly of Guy and will him to be "good" because Richard is probably "good" that's just plain strange to mix the fantasy with reality like that! As I stated in my earlier post, and which emily did touch on in hers, for me RA has created a great character which despite the gaping holes left by the scriptwriters in his background and certain plot lines left unexplored, has made him far someone far more interesting and mysterious to me - and yes that is because of RA's talent as an actor. I've loved watching his struggle to try to keep what little "good" (for want of a better word) in him without it being totally crushed by the Sheriff, I've enjoyed the dichotomy of Guy abandoning his unwanted child in the forest on the one hand (because it was the result of a relationship with a mere serving maid perhaps?) and yet his earnest wish to continue what he obviously considers wiith pride his family "lineage" with Marian - a lady. And again, the merciless killing of innocents one minute and then his rather hapless, faltering wooing of Marian the next like a tongue tied little school boy has been great to watch - he could in reality of taken Marian for his own without any of that (then again this is a tea time show!). So for me the character worked and I enjoyed Guy's attempts at "goodness" faltering and ultimately doomed to failure thought they were bound to be - this is Robin Hood after all....the one thing I do agree with you on. So do I need to get over anything or get a grip? Hopefully not.

Back to emily's post, I have to admit I'm intrigued as to what his relationship with the serving girl was, IF there was a "relationship", she said a strange thing to Roy "he has another side he cannot show". Again, the writers left that so you wondered why she said it at all. Was it said for a reason or just to give her character something to say at that moment? And yes, how many other "little" Gisbornes are running around Nottingham I wonder!

Regarding emily's last point, that is one thing I do hope they expand upon. WHO sent Guy to the Holy Land - I'd like to think for once the Sheriff was not in the loop on that and he was sent upon higher instructions - like Prince John. I would also like to know why Guy has turned against the King. Again, it is merely known that his family's lands were taken away by Richard, this has obviously turned him against the King but what happaned there exactly? Was is justly done or rather ironically like Guy has done to Robin - just stolen away? It creates mystery around his character which is good but I would like it to be explored more to create some complexity as to Guy's character and why he turned away from the better man he surely could have been to join forces with the Sheriff. It may answer Robin Hood's prayers for a more complex full rounded character - it would certainly please me! I would also like him to face off against the Sheriff more, I was recently listening to the profile on Guy on the recent DVD just out and Richard said that although Guy and the Sheriff were "loyal" to each other in a way, he had no doubt that if something went wrong either man would not hesitate to stab the other in the back! I would like Guy to start to stand up to the Sheriff more and crave further power and control and come into direct confrontation with him - enough to upset the balance of power a little. Guy is too docile and open to maniupulation where the Sheriff is concerned for me - I'd like the Sheriff to sweat a bit more worrying what Guy is up to.

Hope this post is still keeping us all on friendly terms here still.

And no I will not be one to say how fit Will is....although he seems very nice but rather too young for me!

12:53 AM  
Blogger robin hood said...

Thanks for the input "anon",
Once again I think there's far more unites us in your comments than divides us.

My opinion on why Gisborne is against the King is dealt with in the comments box of the last pictures post. Exactly WHO sent him we don't know. In the Fairbanks film from which I think this idea stems, it is Prince John, because he sees Gisborne as Loxley's main rival. In fact Gisborne demands Marian as part of his payement.

And ALL your final points about Gisborne standing up to the Seriff a lot more are right on target. That's what made the Addie version in the 1980's so good.

But, with regard to "watching his struggle to try to keep what little "good" (for want of a better word) is in him without it being totally crushed by the Sheriff"... well, I'm afraid I've missed that one.

2:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back again! Sorry the reason why he is against the King has been dealt with as you so rightly said, I should pay more attention. It's just left with the who now and I think it's Prince John and I hope all is revealed next series.

I really wish I had seen the Addie version now as you keep mentioning his portrayal - obviously he attacked the Sheriff more than Guy does at present by the sounds of things. I believe Addie died of cancer a few years back? Very sad.

And we shall have to agree to disagree on the last point regarding his struggle with his (cough) "good" side!

I guess as fans we see what we want to see and that is the joy of the show for everyone I think.

Enjoy reading your reviews and articles, I like all the pictures too, nicely put together.

3:52 AM  
Anonymous rae said...

wow. when i was always coming on this site the comments were really short. now they're so loooooooong!

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Rae i no, weird innit! ok 'anon' like i sed after the grumpy comment- i was grumpy. i just found some of ur comments (at the time) silly. sorry. clever comments though. there are new people commenting! look forward to much clara xxx

10:43 AM  
Anonymous rae said...

cant wait for harry lloyd/will scarlett!!

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Clara, I don't think my comments are silly just they express a different opinion to yours that's all but we're all entitled to our own opinions and I respect your views on Guy and RA's performance. And it's okay to be grumpy if you want to be!

And as for the posts being longer than normal, is that a bad thing? Long or short as long as people can say what the want to say does it really matter? You can always stop reading and scroll down.

Better to have some discussion that just repeats of "Will is fit!" surely?

9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol agreed! like i sed, i was grumpy at the time. they are not silly, i was grumpy. like u sed, just cos you have a diff opinion on Robin Hood, doesnt mean their silly. thnx for bein insightful- i never sed longer comments were an issue, its refreshing! claraxxx

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks clara.

Sorry I didn't mean to imply you said longer comments were an issue, I was responding to Rae on that point.

8:49 AM  
Anonymous rae said...

there not an issue im just saying there are longer then when i used to come on this site ALL the time they were shorter.

ps will IS fit!! lol

4:31 PM  
Blogger sadako said...


Hey im sure she didnt mean anything by the long posts, just a passing observation. She was just trying to be nice

6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really can't wait till Harry Lloyd's article is out it's gonna be well good!
luv amy xxx

P.S Harry Lloyd is fit
To Robin Hood,
when is Harry Lloyds one gonna be out?

11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I wasn't have a go at Rae either actually, sorry if my tone sounded "off", I don't want to offend anyone.

And yes Will may be fit....but I prefer Guy, homicidal tendancies and all!!

Just call me sick and twisted.

2:53 AM  
Anonymous rae said...

i think im a bit young for guy....

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, hes like 35! deffo Jonus or Will- is it just me or does Guy of Gisborne have a slightly wierd nose? oh and (lol after this above) yeah, it was getting a little repetitive- 'Will is fit'
'i no, Will=hottie'!!!!! lol he is tho. !!!!!! . claraxxx

9:29 PM  
Anonymous rae said...

hi all harry fans. me and another member have started a lemming forum for all harry fans. you will be joining lloyds lemmings!! please remember its a working progress and is not finished yet as it was only started today!! so lets stop blocking up poor robins comment boxes!! thank you robin and if you dont mind, we might add a link to ur lovely web site and please could u link us!! thankyou!

here it is

9:36 PM  
Blogger robin hood said...

I will put that link in place this weekend. Is the site title "Lloyd's Lemmings"?

9:43 PM  
Anonymous rae said...

yes it is. i will be sure to link u back. thank you robin hood!!

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh dear am I the only "old" person on this blog? Don't make fun of us 35 year olds.....You make me feel positively ancient Clara.

Sorry but Will and Jonas are too young for me, although they seem very nice, Richard is more my type and in my age range, he looks great brooding away in leather too!

11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol, if jonus was only less, dunno, skinny! it would be MUCH better! i like jonus' face tho!! nice smile. yeah, leathers not my thing! still i can see the attraction point, he has the whole bearded and mysterious thing that however played 'aragon' in 'the lord of the rings' had- who IS my type by the way, mmmmm . . . so yeah, he has no attraction for me, but i can see your point of veiw, cos i can totally go for that whole thing! (of beard and dark and mysterious!) clara xxx

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jonas is naturally slender in build I have feeling and nothing is going to change that no matter how hard he works at it, nice face and eyes though. And yes I like Aragon too going totally off topic!

Still it's Richard for me in this show all the way. And I see the Much review is up so I had better take a look.

6:26 PM  
Anonymous rae said...

wow RA lives in my gr8 nans area

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am extremely new to this blogging thing and also to the BBC Robin Hood series, which I watched only some days ago. Unfortunately I am also extremely late to this discussion it seems, but I´d like to add something anyway. I hope that is okay.

First, I wanted to express my thanks for this discussion. It was very enlightening, interesting and filled with lots of background information on the character of Guy of Gisborne.

I´ve never been a Robin Hood fan per so, although I loved the 50ths Disney Version, the 80ths series and even enjoyed Kevin Costners Robin Hood to an extend. I am just saying my knowledge is very limited and only based on visualizations of the book.

In the BBC version however I found that Guy of Gisborne was the most interesting character. I very much enjoyed and liked Jonas Armstrongs version of a cheeky Robin and liked Lucy Griffiths vaguely feministic approach to Marian, but Guy of Gisborne had me puzzled. I never paid much attention to the character in any of the version I mentioned above, so experiencing some more or less random character of a pretty well known story like that is fascinating to me.

I agree that he is fleshed out as a villain. Not only by wearing black leather, but also by the way Richard Armitage plays him. It´s interesting to see his very handsome face turn into a pretty disgusting sneer at times. And I am not even fully convinced his actions speak of genuine love for Marian, and not more of wanting what "belonged" to Robin of Loxley.

There is also some vulnerability about him though. Not the one that makes you actually feel extremely sympathetic to a character, but the one that stems from emotional weakness, social powerlessness, envy and a feeling that one simply deserves 'more'.

Although none of these traits actually make a character more lovable, they do make him very human. And I think this is where it gets interesting.

He might or might not love Marian genuinely, but she does represent a 'flaw' in a character otherwise made out to be simply villanious. His greed for land and power doesn´t makes him a very noble character, but it does make him lacking perfectness. Esspecially in contrast to the Sheriff, who -although a great villain in this version - seems so very smart, viscious, deadly and in the end unbeatable.

I am not sure it was even intended and isn´t in fact a result of wishywashy writing, but his lack of clarity works IMO strangely enough in the characters favor.

At least this is my take on the character. I agree that his character isn´t balanced out, but to me it seems he actually benefitted from it.


2:16 PM  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Ella,

As you can see, the number of comments tend to be in direct relation to the popularity of the actor, and Richard Armitage certainly commands a large "Army" of fans in much the same way as Harry Lloyd is now doing.

You say: "I am not even fully convinced his actions speak of genuine love for Marian". Well, I agree. He doesn't love her at all. He covets her. And I think that's where I have a problem with what you rightly call the "wishywashy writing" as it relates to Armitage's script. Maybe there really is no confusion at all; maybe we just have to forget we've seen him in more romantic / heroic roles, and accept that Gisbourne's unwelcome advances on this young girl Marian are pure and simply wrong.

I'm certainly enjoying Armitage in the series, but (as with Gordon Kennedy), I don't think this is the work they'll be remembered for.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Robin Hood,

it´s really nice that you answered to my reply! Thank you.

I´d like to adress one or two things:

"Maybe there really is no confusion at all; maybe we just have to forget we've seen him in more romantic / heroic roles, and accept that Gisbourne's unwelcome advances on this young girl Marian are pure and simply wrong."

I also think this is where it gets problematic, because it is also hard to express appreciation of the character and not being considered one of his appearantly many fans and being biased or prejudiced by him playing romantic leads before.

There is no doubt in my mind that he is a bad guy, one past 'redemption' at this point, so I think I agree with you about this. Still I see something human in him, something that makes him more than the (more)ultimate evil that is the Sheriff. One I find amazing btw.

My idea was that maybe due to the writing being not totally clear about the character or - maybe it is in fact due to Richard Armitages (unsteady?) way of playing him-, he embodies something human, which is appealling. His human traits aren´t nice traits though. But maybe they make the character more approachable.

So, I do think there are flaws in this character. They may be due to writing or Armitages acting, but to me it seems they actually work, because it made me notice the character above others.

I hope I am not too repetitive, but could make my original point a bit clearer.


6:19 AM  
Blogger robin hood said...

And one thing we're all looking forward to Ella, is how will Gisbourne react to Marian running off with Robin Hood in the middle of their wedding ceremony?

She HAS to be outlawed for that one. There's just no way the BBC can pretend it didn't happen if they want to retain any credibility at all.

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yes. I am sure that´s the crucial point for the Guy of Gisborne character. If the BBC writers or producers wanted to set him on a more ambigous part it should be visible at this point.

Personally, I expect him to grow into an even more dangerous enemy - now also for Marian.

I don´t know about credibility though. They could come up with some remarkable scheme that keeps her from being an outlaw or getting into immense trouble with the Sheriff. I have no idea what that could be though.
But I think if she lives with Robin Hood from now on, the triangle Robin-Marian-Guy of G. is pretty much resolved. But this seems like a rather crucial aspect of this version of Robin Hood to me. It´ll be interesting how they (the writers etc.) deal with that.

But I assume it also depends on how long the series is going to run. If the second series is in fact the last one, this might not matter very much.


Btw. I have one question: when you say Guy of Gisbornes advantes towards Marian are plain and simply wrong do you mean morally? Or based on the age gap? Him being pretty bad a character?

1:05 PM  
Blogger robin hood said...

No I don't think it's the age gap. That would be their business. But Gisbourne has basically made it clear on more than one occasion (after "grooming" her with silk scarves and ponies), that if Marian doesn't marry him (i.e. sleep with him), then her father's life is in danger. That's abuse.
The look on Marian's face when he tried to kiss her was one of repulsion and fear. (See picture on this post). In this respect I think both Armitage and Griffiths can be said to have acted out a very important issue for the younger audience to learn from.

2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah okay. Thanks, I understand what you mean now.


4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(i know im a little late on this post, but i only just found my way here :P )
i must disagree when you say he is a '2dimensional character'... in my opinion, there's a lot of subtext in the story that hints at hidden personalities- such as him being gay? im not sure if anyone else thinks this but i've noticed some things...

One episode, i forget which the sheriff strokes his cheek. my first clue :P

he accepts the ridicule and mocking from the sheriff because they are in a relationship, imo. and at that time, it would have been considered sinful to have a homosexual relationship, and the sheriff would have wanted to hide it- hence using marion to 'prove' guy is straight. also proving how he could stab the one he is meant to love.

him and prince john- you can't tell me they're straight. honestly, the campness of P.J is overwhelming, and the 'do you love me' business too. And in the last episode, i think it was, P.J was talking to Isabella. she said something about offering 'services' (and we all know what she meant, but there are kiddies watching ;p) after he had seen her kissing robin. he replied 'the services you offer hood? ... the same services your brother offers me'. i stared at my tv in amazement... he FINALLY admitted it lool :D

and getting guy to kill the sheriff seems to me like he was jealous. was afraid guy and the sheriff would get back together maybe? anyway, the way all three characters behaved with one another suggested a love triangle to me.

xx rivkah
ps will is NOT hot guy is and i dont care how old he is :P

2:44 PM  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi rivkah
I'm not sure I would buy into the Guy is gay thing, but I understand your point.

In that scene when the Sheriif massages Guy as he wakes from a dream, I think that was more an act of intimidation on the Sheriff's patrt than sexuality.

Although I haven't got the link, I believe sam troughton (Much) has said that he plays Much as if Much is gay. (Even though certain episodes would suggest he's straight).

4:48 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home