May 24, 2017

Why Robin "Just wanted to forget"

*This post contains spoilers for all three season of BBC's Robin Hood.*



Oh, Robin.

You're a mess. You flirt with any girl that crosses your path. You're outrageously cocky and self-assured. And yet....you manage to be an admirable hero despite all of that.

you sure don't avoid it, though

I've been a fan of BBC's Robin Hood for several years now, and count Robin and his lady love, Marian, as one of my absolute favorite couples. They're perfect for each other and complement one another in so many ways. They give each other strength and encouragement to go on and are the bright spots in each other's life.

They need each other as much as England needs them.

Then comes the season two finale, crashing its way onto the screen and destroying all my hopes and dreams in its wake.

(*sob*)

Marian dies, leaving a distraught Robin behind. His better half was ripped from him, in the most merciless way imaginable. They whisper their wedding vows to each other and then she's gone.

(*whispers* Are you crying yet, Olivia? *hands you a tissue*)

(I almost didn't watch season 3 after that, I was so heartbroken.)

With that backstory out of the way, I bring your attention to the topic of this post:
Why I think Robin chose to forget Marian in season three.

In season three, Robin is drastically different from his former self in the previous two seasons. It's only to be expected. His heart was destroyed in the Holy Land. His worst fear imaginable was realized, and now he's struggling horribly: to find himself, to fight again, and to reconcile himself to Marian's loss.

As much as I hate that Robin and Marian didn't have a happily ever after, I love the way these events brought new depth to Robin's character. He was taken down roads we would never have seen him on, dragged through the mud and brought to his knees, but raised up again to new heights and glorious, shining victories.

But there's something that persists on driving me crazy about Robin's season three character arc.


Two words:

Isabella.                      Kate.


It irritated me to no end watching my once heroic Robin flirt and fritter his time away with these silly Marian-wannabes in season three. After the first opening episode, Marian was all but forgotten. 
HE EVEN BURIED HER WEDDING RING (well.....her third wedding ring :P) UNDER A TREE.


JUST....

But despite how teeth-grittingly annoying Robin can be in season three, I've come to understand a few things about his behavior. I still think it was horrible for him to be so unfaithful to his wife, his only true love, when she had only been dead for a matter of months. (I assume it's only a couple months. It certainly didn't take Robin and his gang a long time to get to the Holy Land, why should it take a long time to return?)

But.....I get why he does it.
In fact, his behavior fits with his character.

*Ahem.* Let me begin with my defense. 

So first there's his fling with Isabella. He flirts, she flirts, they kiss, they hold hands, he practically invites her to join the gang, ugh. 

Then, later on in the season, Kate decides she fancies Robin (WHY Kate, WHY. You could have had Allan, but noooo.) Robin encourages, holds her hand, kisses her, la di da di da, till she thinks he loves her.
Season 3 Changes... What Allan says, "Rubbish." The costumes weren't as good as the previous ones, angsty Robin, Tuck FINALLY shows up, and of course Kate and Isabella. Isabella wasn't as bad as the rest, but they tried to make her a replacement for Marian or Djaq instead of making her, more her, if that makes sense. (More in Comments)
yes rubbish because OBVIOUSLY KATE BELONGS WITH ALLAN amiright??

But honestly? I don't think Robin loved Isabella or Kate at all. He liked them, sure. He found them attractive and fun, and I think their fiery personalities reminded him of Marian a little. 
But he didn't love them.

*refrains from making some snarky comment about the ring*
"You know my thoughts. They are for the poor. They are for you. And they're for Marian. The woman I love. The woman who makes me believe that by a twist of fate, we might just be able to see this through."

Even after she was gone, Marian was the one who kept him going. Deep down, he fought for her.

But in order to keep fighting, he had to forget her, in a way. He had to push all thought, all remembrance of her away, deep into the dusty corners of his mind, just so he could function.

 Robin flirted with Isabella and Kate not because he wanted to.

But because he felt he had to.

He says as much to Isabella in season three about his need to forget Marian. When questioned by her about Marian, he says little. But you can see how suddenly weary and broken he appears. When Isabella asks what he felt about her, he tells her, "I just want to forget."


 "In the Holy Land, the men we saw... Every time I raise my bow... I see them. I hear them.... So I have to try not to kill. I have to avoid killing.....And that's why I wasn't there for you... in your hour of need, my friend. Because I have to let those memories go.

 I just have to be free."


Remember those lines, above?  They're from "A Good Day to Die" in season two (one of the BEST episodes).  Robin was telling his friends his own deepest secret, and that secret was that unless he forced himself to forget the horrors of war he suffered, he couldn't fight.

He couldn't even lift his bow unless he made himself forget.

That's why he was never able to talk about Acre with Much. That's why he sometimes acts like what he went through in the Holy Land (prior to season one) didn't happen. Because he knows that if he lets himself show how much it scarred him, he may break.


It's my opinion that losing Marian had the same effect on him. If he didn't force himself to "forget", he wouldn't be able to go on.

Marian: "We were fighters and I'm proud. You keep fighting for me, Robin."

Robin: "I can't fight without you."

Marian: "I'd love to argue with you but we haven't got the time. You promise me, you keep fighting."

We have proof of his inability to fight without her in the beginning of season three. He was consumed with anger and heartbreak, and his thoughts dwelled only on her. He was broken. He had no desire left to fight for the poor of England. It was only after he learned to move on and to put her memory behind him—yes, even going so far as to bury her ring— that he was able to pick up his bow and fight.
To be the Robin Hood he was before.

He finished what they started. And only when this goal was finally met—Nottingham saved from the tyranny of the Sherriff—was he ready.

Ready to go home.



I find the trials and tribulations of Robin's behavior in season three almost worth it when Marian returns for him in those last few moments he has on earth.



And now they can live happily ever after.

(While we fans cry our eyes out, but hey, you can't have everything in life. :P)

Just to be clear, I'm not condoning Robin's behavior in any way. It still grates on me how unfaithful he is to her memory. I guess it'd be different if she had been dead a long time, but STILL. This is Robin and Marian, guys. They're legendary. Not Robin and Kate. Or Robin and Isabella. Robin and Marian.

Season three behavior aside, he also makes a lot of similar mistakes in the earlier seasons. Especially in how he tends to bulldoze over other people and their feelings (cough, Much). But you know what? That's what makes him such a great character. He has his failings, just as we all do. And just as we all need forgiveness for our faults, I find I can forgive Robin his.....even when I sit through some season three episodes and want to reach through the screen and strangle him. :P 
stop laughing at me, Robin. Stop it.

So....there's my thoughts. I apologize if they're a bit rambling and incomplete. But if this post helps you see Robin's behavior in a slightly different light I consider my job done.

And of course, I welcome any and all discussion in the comments!
(Just remember, this is my opinion. Don't hate me please. ;))

23 comments

  1. I've never seen this show (Rosie says I mustn't ;-) ), but what you're saying definitely makes sense. Robin is clearly a character who's gone through a tremendous amount of trauma--and people do ALL KINDS of unhealthy, questionable, and flat-out wrong things when they're trying to cope with trauma. It doesn't make those things "good," but at the same time, it means that it's important for us to withhold judgment whenever we can; because after all, we didn't go through what they went through. *nods*

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    1. Thanks, Jessica! I'm so glad you liked this. Eek, yes, Trauma is indeed the word for it. Poor Robin...
      I loved hearing your thoughts. I agree! :)

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  2. Wisdom. *nods head approvingly* This is true.

    I've not seen this for ages, but I remember being full on MAD at Robin during the entire series - I believe I counted 6 girls throughout the 3 seasons that he kissed, and for me, that was just DISGUSTING. :P Marian wasn't my favourite character by any means, but she was DEFINITELY for him, and Kate and Isabella are nowhere near the same level. (Also, that Sheriff rolling his eyes gif after you mentioned Kate and Isabella's names... HA! PERFECTION. Basically perfection with all the gifs though.)

    I'm still impressed that Robin picked himself up after that traumatic circumstance, and plodded on through life. He made some mistakes, but he still did what he needed to do, and he still loved Marian and they still were together in the last scene so ALL'S WELL. <3 (Well enough, at least.)

    Also I greatly dislike his hairdo. It's on it's way to being a Justin Bieber fringe. Yick. :P)

    ~Miss Meg

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    1. Aw, thanks, Miss Meg!

      RIGHT? He flirts waaayyyy too much, and the kissing is just over the top. *shakes head*
      I'm so glad you agree Marian and Robin belong together, even if she wasn't your favorite!
      (Heehee, and I'm glad you enjoyed the gifs!!)

      "Well enough, at least." <<Haha! I guess it's kind of like life....sometimes things turn out wonderfully and sometimes they're just well enough. We have to pick up and keep moving on either way. (And of course, for us Christians, the end will ALWAYS be the best, because we'll be with Jesus. <3)

      Hahahaha. I agree that his hair does get a little too long in the season 2...but I don't really mind it? I guess he's one of the only guys I've seen who I think CAN pull that hair off, at least a little bit. :P

      Anyhow, thanks for your comment!! :D

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  3. This post made my cry. It is SO well written Natalie! Loved it!

    I totally agree with everything what you said.

    I really dislike Isabella and Kate. They are trying to replace Marian, but she can not be replaced, not by anyone. And Kate, she could have Allan, poor Allan, but instead of him, she choose Robin. Ugh, WHY??!!!

    I must say there where tears in my eyes when we watched the scene where Marian dies. It was so heartbreaking!!!

    I am not really a fan of season 3, it just don't like it. I think that is because Marian isn't there anymore. But I loved the scene where Marian and Robin find each other back again, although it is a sad scene too, because our hero Robin dies.

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    1. Truly, Rachel? Awwww. *hands you tissues* Thank you! I'm really glad it touched you so much. I don't WANT
      to make you cry, of course, but under the circumstances I take it as a compliment. :)

      So true! Marian can't be replaced. Kate and Isabella (specifically Kate) would have been much better characters if the writers had focused on making them characters in their own right, not just a "replacement" for Marian.

      YAY FOR ANOTHER PERSON WHO THINKS KATE AND ALLAN BELONGED TOGETHER!

      I cried during her death scene, too. It really kind of depressed me for a couple days. :(

      I love that scene, too. It's probably my favorite scene from season three.

      Thank you so much for your comment, and can I just say that I love your profile picture? Not many people use Diana as a profile picture, so that's super cool. :D

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  4. *sobs* *needs a hug*

    Thank you Natalie. I was so mad at Robin in the third season. I was so mad that I couldn't think of why he was doing it. I was just mad. I'm still mad, but I can understand it more. You are so right, it is Robin & Marian. Nobody else.

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    1. Awwwwwww. *hugs*

      I'm so glad my post helped you see Robin a bit differently. I agree, I still get mad at him, too. But it definitely helps understanding WHY he did what he did.

      Robin and Marian forever. <3

      Thanks for your comment, MovieCritic!!

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  5. I decided not to read this post because...spoilers you know. (And you know how I hate spoilers. :P)

    JUST KIIIIDDING! In fact, I read the whole thing! (Come now! You didn't really expect me not to, did you? Heehee. ;)) Goodness me though. You did SUCH an awesome job on this. Like I feel pretty much certain now that if I ever do watch this show Robin is going to infuriate me...but at the same time your defense of him makes so much sense. Indeed, this whole post was very well thought-out and very well written. Excellent job, my friend!

    (And wow. That gif of Robin laughing...and your comment under it! That was perfect! :D)

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    1. You know, I totally believed you for a second. I was so proud of dear Miss March!!!

      Annnnd.... then I realized you were joking. I really should have known better. Ugh. Why do you do this, friend? ;D
      Oh well....maybe it's best you know what happens. That way if you ever watch the show, you won't be taken by surprise like I was.

      Awwww!! THANK YOU! I'm so glad you approve. :D

      (Heehee, I'm glad someone appreciated that! I thought it was pretty funny. ;))

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  6. I haven't seen this version of Robin Hood nor do I see myself viewing it in the near future, but my did I relish this post!

    Every point in your argument is well thought out and written, and the GIFs - !!! Every bit is sheer brilliance. :)

    Seriously though, the whole string of "reaction" GIFs you left after the buried wedding ring part (What a strange person hee, hee :)), is perfect in EVERY WAY.

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    1. Thank you, Éowyn!! Aww, I totally understand. This show certainly isn't for everyone, so that's okay. :) I'm really glad you enjoyed the post, though.

      Awwwww. Again, THANK YOU. I'm really glad you liked the post! And the gifs! Haha. I probably had a LEETLE too much fun with that string, but it was worth it. ;D

      Delete
  7. Okay, I have not seen this show but that picture up there at the top, the one that says, "you may kiss the bride" and Robin is kind of sprawled in the dirt holding Marian??? OHMYGOODNESS IT CRUSHED MY FEELS AND I AM IN AGONY. I need to see this show so badly!!!

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    1. I knoooooowwww. I'm sorry! *hugs*
      If you can take it, then I'd definitely recommend this show. I hope you can see it, soon! Thanks for commenting! :)

      Delete
  8. This post. This post is perfect, and you've brought back all the feels, Natalie! *sobs*
    Thank you for sharing some of the character development thoughts in Robin season 3. I likewise was grated by how easily he seemed to forget Marian and flirt with others, but put into perspective it makes more sense, though still makes me quite sad :'(. Much as I hated Isabella though, I found her a more fascinating and deeper character (or maybe better acted?) than Kate's character - I found her too one-dimensional and nagging :P. Ahh, nothing like the beautiful relationship that Robin had with dear Marian <3

    *sobs*

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    1. Wow, really? Thank you, Joy!!
      I totally agree. Isabella made a GREAT villain, and she was a great character by herself. I don't even mind that she flirted with Robin, just that he flirted with her too. Grr.
      Except for the one episode where her brother dies, I'm usually super annoyed with Kate. :P

      Thank you for your comment!

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  9. Just a note though, I don't think it was Allan who was really into Kate as much as it was Much? Can't remember for sure, but that's what I seem to remember, and my heart broke for poor Much AGAIN!

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    1. You're right, Much did indeed have a crush on her. But Allan and Kate were super cute together in "Sins of the Father" so I ship them. :D I think Much should have ended up with Eve from season 1. They were adorable together. <3

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  10. THIS POST IS MY FAVORITE THING.

    GAHH.

    (I need the tissues, thank you. Always. Whenever this story is discussed.) (AND THAT KISS THE BRIDE PICTURE WRECKS ME EVERY TIME.)

    "Then comes the season two finale, crashing its way onto the screen and destroying all my hopes and dreams in its wake." ~ "As much as I hate that Robin and Marian didn't have a happily ever after, I love the way these events brought new depth to Robin's character. He was taken down roads we would never have seen him on, dragged through the mud and brought to his knees, but raised up again to new heights and glorious, shining victories." << CAN WE ALL JUST TAKE A MOMENT TO APPRECIATE THOSE TWO THOUGHTS. YES. THANK YOU. YOU HAVE SAID IT.

    Haha, honestly, it somehow didn't bother me, what he did with her ring? I guess maybe it should have, but I just wasn't thinking about it all that much?

    YES KATE SHOULD HAVE BEEN WITH ALLAN. The idiotic girl.

    I agree with this post. *nods* You explain your thoughts really well and I think they're really true. Robin had to initiate SOOOOO many coping mechanisms, it's really kind of heartbreaking to think about.

    "He finished what they started. And only when this goal was finally met—Nottingham saved from the tyranny of the Sherriff—was he ready.

    Ready to go home." << STOP MESSING WITH MY FEELINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    All these pictures, too, are destroying me. I think I should go. :-P

    W.O.N.D.E.R.F.U.L. post, Natalie -- I'm SO glad you wrote it. It's beautiful. <3 <3 <3

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    1. ALSO. Those reaction gifs. XD I took some, and I saw that the label of the Djaq gif is literally "done with your sass.gif." I can't. XD

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    2. THIS COMMENT IS MY FAVORITE THING THANK YOU, OLIVIA. *huge hug*

      (Good thing I was prepared. :D) (I know; I'M SORRRRRYYYY.)

      *SQUEALS AND GRINS LIKE AN IDIOT* I'm so happy you liked that!!!!

      Well, that's understandable, I guess. There were bigger things to be irritated about than the ring. :P

      Is there a ship name for them? Did we come up with a name for them? I can't remember....how about Kallan? or Allate?

      I'm so so so happy you approve/liked this post, you don't even know. *hugs again*

      I'M SORRRRRRRRYYYYYYY. :'(

      AGAIN--THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I kind of worked hard on this post. Everyone's reaction has been so rewarding. ESPECIALLY THIS COMMENT. So thank you, dear friend. <3

      PS. Hahahahaha, yessss. XD

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  11. This was awesome. I was soooo very mad at Robin when he just wanted to forget her! I wanted to punch him through the screen, especially when Isabella and Kate came in. Argh!
    But this post certainly made me think about Robins behavior in season three. I still think he could have said it honest to Isabella and Kate, that he could never love either of them like he loved Marian. It made me understand him more and gives me a sort of closure on season three Robin Hood.
    Kate should have gone with Allan. Stupid her! Why didn't she see how much he liked her? I think she knew, but she liked Robin more, and thought he loved her too.
    by the way, your fanvideos of Robin Hood were all so fun! And so sad! I could barely watch the one of Allan A Dale and Saturn of Robin&Marian. :'(
    And those gifs! They were so funny! Also loved the one of Robin laughing and you saying ''stop laughing at me, Robin''. So funny!
    Again, great post! Really made me thinking.

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    1. Thank you, Ruth!! (Also, love your profile picture. :D)
      "I wanted to punch him through the screen." <<< YES SAME.

      Awww. I'm so glad this post gave you some things you think about concerning his character. And yay for closure! That definitely makes things easier. <3

      I'm so glad you ship Allan and Kate, too! I really wish the writers of the show would have realized what a sweet romance that would have been. Argh.

      I'm so glad you enjoyed them! I know; some ARE very hard to watch. :'(

      Thank you!!!!!

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