May 27, 2017

Why I Love the Characters of BBC's Robin Hood

This is going to be really quick post (because #time) but before this wonderful Robin Hood week ends, I wanted to dedicate a post to one of the things that influences my love for the BBC Robin Hood characters. I've already touched on this in both of my defense posts, but I'll state it again.
I love how real these characters are. 

They all have struggles, failings, and flaws that sometimes make me horrified of them or heartbroken for them. But these struggles are also very relatable, to some degree or another.

Robin, our hero himself, is vain. He struggles with his desire for glory, his need to be loved.

Marian battles her pride and her stubborn refusal to acknowledge when she needs help.

Allan lets his jealousy and greed lead him to betray his closest friends.

Much is ridiculously annoying and gluttonous and selfish and entirely void of tact.

Will's desire for justice can quickly turn to burning revenge.

John is burdened by his past, and his anger at himself can sometimes flare up against his friends.

Djaq lets her fear hold her back from being honest about her feelings for Will.

Roy ran away from home, neglecting his mother and leaving her to wonder if he was alive or dead.

Kate is a self righteous, annoying brat.

Guy's failings would take too long to list, but he's murdered and done all sorts of atrocious acts.

Archer lives according to his own desires and pleasures, without a care for anyone but himself.

But that's only half the story. If these characters never changed, and remained frozen in their sins and struggles, they wouldn't be as endearing as they are. But they don't.
They do change.

Robin realizes that without the love of his friends, the admiration of others means nothing.

Marian learns humility and the art of working within a team.

Allan redeems himself and is faithful to the very end, even when his friends abandon him.

Much proves, time and again, that he's a true hero by risking everything for the friends he loves.

Will channels his anger into helping others.

John is the first to notice when someone is hurting, and the first to try and help.

Djaq finds courage in the darkest moments to do what she never dared do before.

Roy sacrifices himself to save others, including the mother he so long neglected.

Kate fights to protect those she loves.

Guy finds that true power comes from forgiveness...for others...and for himself.

Archer finds himself drawn to helping a cause with completely unselfish motives.

And that's why I love these guys. <3

PS. Olivia, thank you SO much for this wonderful Robin Hood week, dear friend!!! *hugs*

May 26, 2017

"England Needs Me"—In Defense of Marian

Today I'm here to defend one of the most famous heroines (or love interests, depending on which version of the story you read/watch) of all time. Maid Marian, or Lady Marian, as she is called in BBC's Robin Hood. (Yes, this post will be in defense of that version of her character. Sorry if you're not a fan.) (Actually, no I'm not! Because this post is for those who dislike her! Haha.)

*Spoilers for all of the RH seasons are below, read at your own risk. *
*Also, this post is very long.*

In the few years I've been a fan of BBC's Robin Hood, I've come to the conclusion that people either love or hate Marian. Or, to put it less strongly, they either think she's great or very annoying. (My brother falls into the latter category. He doesn't have very good taste. ) (Kidddiiiiing.) (:P)

*Takes a deep breath* Okay.

I'm going to address a few things I notice people usually complain about concerning Marian, and then list a few reasons why I think she's amazing.

She is so beautiful and amazing she was my fav on the show I cried when she dided. I meen I was balling!
Reasons People Give for Not Liking Marian:

1) Marian plays with the feelings of Robin and Guy
A frequent point of dislike I see people have for Marian is how she treats two of the prominent men in her life. They seem to think she encourages both Robin Hood and Guy of Gisbourne without having true feelings for either one. I've read complaints of how her attitude towards each of them seems to change with the wind, how she doesn't truly care for either of them, and how she leads both on simultaneously till her death by Guy's sword seems her just due.


This argument annoys me, quite frankly. I'm not saying her every decision or action concerning Guy or even Robin was perfect. But it's not like Marian was some teenage high schooler, flirting just to kill time. She was a woman in a very dangerous position. She basically had the role of a spy. Can you imagine trying to balance the love of your life and a man who won't leave you alone all while under the tension of high-stakes espionage. UM, I can't.

First off, about Robin. I honestly don't quite understand what people mean by saying that she led him on. She loved him! And she married him. Does that define "leading someone on"?

this moment <3 <3 <3
Now, I will admit it takes them allll of season one to finally admit they have feelings for each other. But what's so unnatural about that? Slow-burn romances are better than "love at first sight", in my opinion, anyways.

During that time in season one, they clash a lot in opinion, despite Robin flirting with her every chance he can get.  But Marian refuses to encourage him. She wasn't ready for a romance again, not after her heart had been broken once already by Robin. This is why she kept her distance, and rebuffed his flirtatious attentions.

She didn't want to encourage him until she knew she could trust him again.

Then there's Guy. Look, I agree. She did encourage him and she did lead him on. I even get frustrated with her sometimes. But here's the thing: It's not like she wanted to do that to him, okay? I don't believe Marian obtained any enjoyment from the role she had to play for Guy. But, in her perspective at least, she had to do it. She couldn't see any other way of preserving her spot in the castle (which she needed in order to help spy for Robin), much less her own life or the life of her father.

Referring back to her role as a spy—Marian was in a very, very dangerous position. She was pulled from so many opposing sides—loyalty for both her father and for Robin created conflict more than once in her life. Add in the angle of maintaining the appearance of obedience to the Sheriff (and Guy) and she had a recipe for disaster in her hands. Marian handled it the best she could, and I think she did pretty well. I know I would have made many more mistakes! :P  So, unless you know you would have been able to juggle your role as a spy, your duty as a daughter, your love for an outlaw, and completely and politely refuse allllll the attentions of Sir Guy of Gisbourne (who can make your life a whole heck of a lot easier if you just pretend to maybe like him, FYI) then I don't think you have room to criticize Marian. :P

Basically, this is all I'm saying: MARIAN HAD A LOT ON HER SHOULDERS, EASE UP ON HER PLEASE, OKAY?? Thank you.

sorry, this is too funny not to include
Another word I would like to share with you before I move on to my next point. Marian did not love Guy like she loved Robin.
But did that mean she didn't care for him?
I don't believe so. Countless times Marian proved that she truly did want the best for Guy, and that she saw the potential for him to be a better man. She encouraged him, gave him advice, even scolded his wrong actions when she could. She presented him with a different view of things, a worldview untainted by the Sheriff's evil. She wanted him to become a hero. She pitied him and tried to help him, but in the end, he chose to go his own way.
ERMAHGERD! i watched this show and died at the end omg the sadness and cuteness and evil and uh!!

I don't believe Marian is in any way responsible for Guy's destructive decisions (especially his murder of her, or his subsequent downward spiral in season three).
Did her actions influence his? Yes. 
Was she responsible for them? No.

We (Marian and Guy) are all responsible before God for our own actions. Not those of others.
(I know that Christianity isn't really a theme in RH, and what little there is can be pretty un-Christian, but my point still stands. :P)

(gif) - Marian: "Thank you, Sir Guy."
awwwwww his smile *cries*

2)Marian is argumentative
I think a lot of people get fed up with Robin and Marian's constant bickering relationship in season one. Now, personally, I love couples that bicker before admitting their feelings for one another. But that's just me, and not everyone has to share that opinion. (Bickering in a relationship is different, though. I only mean couples who bicker before they're in a ship. Just to clarify. I don't think bickering married couples are cute.)

I agree that Marian can be somewhat impatient and stubborn and uncooperative when interacting with Robin in season one. But I think there's a reason for her behavior that we can all relate to.

She wants recognition. For years she had been helping the people of England as the Nightwatchman, bringing food to the poor in the cover of night. Then Robin comes along. Overnight he earns hero-worship for his open defiance of the Sheriff and gains a reputation for "stealing from the rich to give to the poor." Suddenly the Nightwatchman isn't such a big deal anymore.
can we talk about this scene?!?!
I think Marian becomes jealous. Plain and simple. He stole her show, so to speak, and her anger and frustration at this is poured out on him in season one. Not to mention she's still hurt by how he abandoned her during their betrothal and went to seek glory in the Holy Land.

Marian bitterly resents one of Robin's own flaws—his love for glory—and her flaw of resentment becomes evident because of it.

But this is what I love about BBC, guys!! These characters are so real, with incredibly relatable flaws and struggles. Haven't we all resented someone who took credit for our work or gained more recognition for something we'd been doing long before they ever came along? I know I have.

In some ways, Robin and Marian are such polar opposites that it's inevitable they should clash sometimes. He's cocky. She's reserved. He openly flouts the local law. She tries to work within the system. He likes to plan things (or half plan things...). She likes to plunge in, head first.


But at the end of the day, their primary goal is the same: save England. And that's why they work so well together.

3) Marian is prideful
This one isn't so much something I've heard people complain about Marian, but it's something I've noticed myself.

I think Marian struggles with pride. Maybe her pride is the root of all her struggles. And I can relate with this because pride is something I definitely struggle with as well.

Marian's pride is wounded when Robin leaves her for the Holy Land.
Her pride is wounded when he returns and steals glory for work she'd been doing.
When others think her talents and capabilities are limited because she's a woman.
When her father won't stand openly against the Sheriff.
When Robin points out when she's wrong and she knows she's wrong.

You know the episode where Marian joins Robin's gang with the forest? Her pride is at 110% in that episode. She can't let her guard down enough to submit to Robin's authority, admit she can be wrong, and let others see how much she is hurting inside.

Deep inside, I think Marian harbors a lot of fear, a lot of hurt, and a lot of self-doubt. She covers it up with a fierce exterior, allowing her pride to hide her from those who want to help her—and love her—the most.

Reasons I think Marian is a true heroine:

1)Marian is lion hearted
If you can't agree that Marian shows incredible courage time and again, then I must beg a question—have you even seen this show?? Marian risks her life over and over again in order to help the people of England. She openly fights the Sheriff's men as the Nightwatchman, and is constantly in conflict with the Sheriff over matters concerning the people of Nottingham. And when King Richard is about to be killed she puts herself in front of him, right in the path of Guy of Gisbourne's sword.

Granted, I don't think Marian knew Guy would kill her—the thought probably never occurred to her—but it was still a daring thing to run out in front of a man holding a sword, intent on murder. And she died because of that choice.

Even when dying, Marian was brave. All her dreams were being sacrificed in that moment—dreams of a future with Robin, of seeing England become a safer, better place—but she didn't dwell on it. Instead she smiled and reminded Robin that they had yet to finish their marriage vows.

That's courage, if you ask me.

2) Marian is selfless
Marian exhibits an amazing degree of selflessness in the course of the show.  I mean, first there's the tiny fact that she puts herself in danger 24/7 in order to help those who are less fortunate. But besides that, she risks and sacrifices all sorts of things on a day to day basis. Remember her title? She's Lady Marian. She could live a life free from cares and worries. She could live in relative luxury if she only turned a blind eye to the Sheriff's doings and kept herself to her own concerns.

But she doesn't. And she pays for it throughout the show. Her hair is cut as a punishment for helping feed the poor. Her home is burnt down. She's kept under castle (house) arrest. Her father is thrown in jail.

And yet she keeps doing what she knows is right, regardless of the consequences to herself. 

Most of the instances mentioned above are punishments Marian underwent, not exactly sacrifices. But do you remember when she goes back to the castle after her engagement to Robin?  She did that because she could help Robin better in the castle than in the forest. She knew she could better protect him there, and even though she wanted to stay with him, she chose to go back.

Last, but not least, she gave up her life in order to save the king who could save the people of England.

3) Marian cares for others
Maybe point is too similar to the above, but I think it's worth mentioning anyhow. Marian cares for the less fortunate, guys. Giving her life for England aside, she cares for people on a day to day basis. She never allows herself to feel it is her due as Lady Marian to have more than others, and she does everything in her power to help the poor.  She goes into a quarantine zone of the city in order to bring food and medicine to the sick, brings bread to people trapped by the Sheriff, helps Robin rescue a little boy the Sheriff held hostage, and rushes to fight the Sheriff's men attacking the villagers of Clun.

You can't deny Marian cares for others deeply. And that, above anything else I mentioned, makes her a heroine worth emulating.

All specific arguments aside, here are my thoughts:
 Yes,  Marian made mistakes. She had flaws and weaknesses and messed up more than once. Many times, in fact. But isn't that what makes a character relatable and well-crafted?
Not the absence of flaws—but the courage to rise up and change and keep moving on in a better direction.

I don't know about you, but characters like that are some of my favorites, and BBC's Robin Hood is full of characters just like that.

Olivia, our lovely blog party hostess, wrote a REALLY good defense of Marian awhile back. Here's the link. As of now, I can't remember at all what she said, though I plan to read it as soon as I finish this post. ;) So rest assured, Olivia, that if we end up saying a lot of the same things, I promise I didn't steal it from your post! :D

The truth? The truth is, this country is being choked to death. The truth is, honest people are being forced to lie and cheat and steal.
that quote entirely sums up a lot of the stories of BBC Robin Hood, imo

May 25, 2017

Fanvideos, anyone?

Olivia's fantastic Robin Hood party is still going strong, folks, so head on over and check out her posts and Hamlette's giveaway!

This entire post will be about BBC Robin Hood, by the way. Just to warn you all. :) (Basically, all my posts for this week will be about BBC Robin Hood. Sorrynotsorry.)

There are some very talented people on youtube who (much to the delight of fans like Olivia and I) put together heartbreaking beautiful videos set to music with clips from movies or tv shows.

Well, Robin Hood is one of those tv shows. I've probably seen all of the Robin Hood fanvideos on youtube worth seeing and so I thought: why not share some of my favorites with you all?

And guess what? I'm putting them in order (my favorite is number one)! *gasp* Yeah, this will be a feat. :P

(*whisper* Also, almost all of these are Robin/Marian videos. Sorrynotsorryagain.)

10) Hello//Robin&Marian

I'm not a big fan of this song, but I really like it in this video. It fits quite well and definitely describes Robin and Marian's relationship in the first season. I also love the way the lyrics sometimes match the dialogue clips. Like "It's me" and "sorry".

9) Ships in the Night//Robin&Marian

I really love this song and, like the above, it's so perfect for Robin and Marian's fights and misunderstandings in the first season, though this video spans their entire life (sob). I also love the flashes of color between each shot (okay, I'm trying to find good things to say about each video rather than just screaming, "It's so good! Robin and Marian are the best!!" over and over. ;P).

8) Marian's Life

 Eek, this video. This is supposed to be what Marian was dreaming/feeling during the season one climax, when she was unconscious from the knife wound Guy gave her. I love the creepy, nervous feel of the video, and how Marian dreams of "what could be" one day with Robin (although I'm not a big fan of Keira Knightley in Princess of Thieves).

7) Barely Holding On//Robin

This is about Robin in season three, struggling with how to continue on without Marian and it's beautiful and sad and absolutely heartbreaking. It's so good, though. (I love that shot of Marian watching him during his speech. :))

6) Losing Your Memory//Allan

Allaaaaaaaaaaaaaan. *sobs* This video is SAD. If you're emotionally unstable about Allan, you may not wish to watch it. (Those black and white flashback shots kill me.)

5) Sink or Swim//Robin&Marian

Such a fun song! This is adorable and just great. I love it. (And the ending!!! Awww. *happiness*)

4) Feather on the Clyde//Robin&Marian

Okay, this one is so beautiful. It's gently bittersweet and full of "what if's". I just....I really love it. <3

3) See You Again//Robin&Marian

Dear Olivia herself introduced me to this one! AND ISN'T IT GORGEOUS AND HEARTBREAKING?? I words.
"It was just a dream..." *cries*
(That shot of Robin seeing the couple with their baby in season three....and the flashback to Marian holding a baby in season one...why must you break my heart??)
(And the ending.....gahhhhhh.)

2) Ho Hey//Robin&Marian

This one is just so fun and happy (a much needed balm, after most of these videos *sob*) and I absolutely adore it's upbeat, fast pace and bright colors. Not to mention the song is adorable. <3

1) Saturn//Robin&Marian

Lastly, we have my very favorite of them all (at least at this moment, anyway). Between the swirling snow and this incredibly beautiful song that breaks my heart every time....ahhh. I love it. So much. It's it. I can't put into words how beautiful it is.

Well, are you sick of Robin and Marian fanvideos yet? ;) Admittedly, I waste too much time watching these videos (thus this post was a perfect excuse to do so heh) but I just...I love them muchly. :)

By making this post, I realize I've seen very few videos about Guy of Gisbourne. Any recommendations? I'm sure there's got to be some good ones out there.

If you still want more, here's some honorable mentions:

There Are Miracles//Robin Hood&Company

Safe and Sound//Robin Hood&Company

Marian's Death--Beauty in the Breakdown

We Will Rock You//Robin, Guy, and Archer

Just a Dream//Robin&Marian

(These last few ones are particularly hilarious, being as they are set to Disney songs. ;))

Can't Wait to be King//Prince John

Zero to Hero//Robin

Kiss the Girl//Robin&Marian

How Does She Know?//Marian&Robin&Company

Do you like fanvideos?
Which of these did you like best?
Do you have any recommendations for me?