Why I Love…{Lady Marian}

I may step on a few toes in this post.  Just be prepared;)

SO.  If you've been following my blog for any length of time, you probably know that I am a rather fanatical lover of the BBC show Robin Hood.  I've reviewed all three seasons, I'm in the process of driving my mother crazy by pestering her about watching it with me, and few other stories get me quite as emotionally "stirred up" as RH.  (To which anyone who knows me really well will scoff.)

I love the storyline, the different twists on the original legends, and I love the characters.

Marian, especially, is one of my favorites out of them all.

I know Marian irritates some people, and I understand that (partially), but I really love this gal, so I wanted to share the reasons why with you all!:)

One of the chief complaints I think people have with Lucy Griffith's portrayal of Marian is that they think she's this hugely politically correct character, a deference to the feministic community, and that's probably supported by certain lines and elements, such as the "embroidery" that recurs a couple times in the first season.  Personally, I don't think of Marian as this mega-revolutionary feminist chick.  Is she independent?  Sure.  Does she take on roles that her society would not have given her?  Sure.  But I don't think she's ultra "I can do it all my own way, and who needs guys, they just mess everything up." She gets frustrated with the men in her life--though, really, can you blame her??--but she doesn't invalidate them.

Marian isn't afraid to be a woman.  She isn't afraid to have a woman's feelings or to nurture more feminine talents.  She even scolds Robin for not being more sympathetic, remember?

And, if I'm being totally real with you guys…I don't really mind if the BBC was trying to make her a P.C. feminist.  Frankly, most of the Marian portrayals that I have seen/heard about are damsels in distress.  And while I'm not totally ruling them out…seriously?  Is that the only place for the lovely companion of Robin Hood?;)

Marian doesn't conform to the role in which her society has placed her.  She is fiercely patriotic and feels the desperation of those around her.  She refuses to accept the status quo and fights to change it, to bring about a better England, a better life for those less fortunate.  

And yes, she's a "warrior" and she trains herself to be an apt fighter with the sword and with the bow (and with epic hairpin-daggers, as the case may be).  That doesn't mean that her character was only portrayed that way in order to carry a "feministic agenda".  

So, remember the scene pictured at the bottom righthand corner?  After she attempts to kill
Vaisey and he's going off about it to Guy, and then Guy looks at her like "What did you do"
and she looks back with that half-guilty expression--it amuses me a bit too much :D

The other main issue, at least that I've heard, is that Marian isn't always strictly truthful with Guy *ahem*.  

…Yeah.  This is legitimate.  It could be argued that Marian led Guy on, that she toyed with his feelings, and that she manipulated him like crazy.  Now, granted, she does lead him on sometimes.  She does deceive him.  And she does ultimately break his heart (and I gotta say, I'm not laying any sort of blame on her in that scene--because JUST NO--but she could have timed that "true confession" just a wee bit better).  

But consider the circumstances!  Marian is in an extremely delicate position throughout the entirety of the show.  She is very strongly opposed to Vaisey, and to Guy's participation in his wicked plots, but she knows she will not be any help to anyone in England if she openly defies the authority of the Sheriff.  She would forthrightly be executed, y'know, and then where would those she helped be?  (To say nothing of Robin.)  She is walking a tightrope the whole time, and it requires great presence of mind.  She is caught and punished more than once, too, if you'll remember--and would we have her blatantly reveal her involvement with Robin's movement?  Robin and the gang are working for England, and Marian is supporting that effort as much as she can within her sphere of influence.  She uses her good standing with Guy to others' advantage, certainly, but I don't think she ever acts selfishly. 

I believe that Marian does care for Guy…as a person.  I believe she is intensely interested in his moral evolution--she does her best to make him a better man.  She sees good where there is none…*sob*  And she DOES ultimately make Guy a better man.  (It takes a rather extreme "push"--*glares at Guy*--but it does happen in the end.)

I'd go so far as to say that Marian loves Guy--not as she loves Robin, never as she loves Robin, but she cares for him very deeply as a friend, and I believe her face when he decides to make the heroic choice in that one episode in S2 reveals just how important his growth is to her.  

So, there it is.  I love Marian.  She is a freedom fighter, and I look up to her, frankly.  I hope that if I were to be placed in her position, I would act half as wisely and well as she does.  


  1. This was a good post, Olivia! You did an excellent job describing Marian, and I must say, she sounds like a very intriguing character. Can't say much more than that because I've never seen the show, but I enjoyed reading this. Thanks, Olivia. :)

    ~Miss March

    P.S. I hope you can convince your mom to watch it with you. That would be fun! Has she ever seen it before?

    1. Thank you, Miss March! I'm so glad it was interesting, even though you haven't watched it! Thank you for reading, I appreciate it:D

      Hehe, nope, she hasn't. We're both great N&S fans, so she's concerned about having to hate Richard Armitage, since he plays a…complex, shall we say, character in RH :D

    2. Eeeeeeeeeep!!! Richard Armitage is in this show??????? (Does he play Guy??? I can't remember who, but I knew one of the faces looked familiar!!!)

      That makes me want to watch it so much more!!!

    3. Does he ever!!!! Haha. (Yep, he's Guy. :))

      I know how you feel. ;) I don't think I'd like Guy as much as I do if he weren't played by Richard Armitage, shallow as that is. :-P

      (Also, KATE WHERE DID YOU MOVE YOUR BLOG. I saw a post title that said you were moving on your Google+ profile, but I was too late and now I don't know how to get to your new location! *wails* HEEEEEEELLLLPPPPP

    4. Eeeeeeek!!!

      Not shallow at all!! Or, if it is... I'm right there with you. ;) ;)

      But you've been to my new blog?????? Maybe you didn't know it was me?? Any who, I'm HERE: http://storyanddarkchocolate.wordpress.com

  2. YESSSSSS Thank you. This was a perfectly written post and I couldn't have said any of it better myself. One of the things that I love about her is that she doesn't portray emotion as weakness, or being the 'warrior' as emotionless.

    1. Thank YOU! That's so true, Laura! Marian is strong, but she isn't afraid of being vulnerable.

  3. Well, I was always one of those people who considered Marian to be a rather "too much of a feminist" character. (That may have partly been because my sisters thought so, and I'm quite easily influenced by them. :P) I still enjoyed what you wrote about her, however, and now like her a good deal better. :) I often didn't like the way she treated her father at times (that bugged me the most, I reckon) when she said she'd leave house, and refused to submit to and obey him, because he wouldn't let her "fight" and then in the end he gave in and they made it look like HE was in the wrong. That all girls should be able to refuse their parent's advice and be the better for it. Maybe I over thought it a little, but that's just something I noticed. :) I also didn't really like how she frequently flittered between Robin and Guy (for goodness sake, make a decision and COMMIT, lady!) but considering that she WAS in very sticky situations, I can overlook that a lot. As you said, too, she is still a woman and isn't afraid to show her womanly nature and talents. And I am glad they did that (I almost wished they showed a bit more of it!). I reckon she had compassion for Guy and wanted to help him, but she truly loved Robin (which is basically what you said). Oh, and I thought of another thing that bugged me a bit in the movies - there was one scene I remember, in season 2 I think, when she was doing something that looked startlingly like yoga! :P Ha! That put me off. ;P
    Also, Lucy Griffith is very pretty. :) Dark hair, pale skin, blue eyes.....hmm, the complete opposite of me. Ahem. :P ANYWAYS. Getting carried away there.....you made me like Marian a lot better than I did before. Well done. ;)
    ~Miss Meg

    1. I get that, Miss Meg! Aww, really?! I made you like her more?! Than I am satisfied. Thank you for telling me:D

      That's a very good point about her behavior towards her father. I hadn't thought about that when I was writing the post :-P You're right, she does act disrespectfully to him sometimes. And I DON'T appreciate how she talked to him at times, when he was just doing what he thought was best *sends pointed looks at her* But I do think she regretted her behavior, especially after he died. Remember, "He died believing he had a willful daughter!" So I think she did respect him, but she did certainly mess up sometimes. Great point!

      Hehehe, see, I don't think she wavered between Guy and Robin, but I guess she sort of did…like you said, it was a very sticky situation ;-P

      I kind of wish they'd shown a bit more of her gentle side, too. It's so lovely when it does come out!:)

      HAHA, did she?!?! I don't remember the yoga scene at all, but I'd love to see it…:D

      RIGHT?! It's UNFAIR how beautiful that woman is.

      Thank you so much, Miss Meg! I loved your comment:)

  4. I've never seen this show, but all the same I really, really enjoyed this post! She sounds like a wonderful character--and I think you're right about the "feminist" stuff. Because, what I've basically come to realize is, not EVERY position that the feminists take is bad (although I certainly don't agree with them on everything)! They were quite right to say that, in the Middle Ages, women's roles WERE unfairly circumscribed, and if Marian wants to "break out" of that box and go be a freedom fighter, I say "more power to her!"

    (After all, seeing as I'm in COLLEGE right now--something I would NEVER be allowed to do before the nineteenth century--I can't very well say that everything about the way women were treated in past eras was necessarily good! ;) )

    1. Thanks so much, Jessica! Yep, I'm with you--I agree with feminists on some issues myself;) Exactly; women's roles HAVE been unjust over the course of history. Yes! More power to her is perfect :D

      (Haha, precisely!)

  5. I've never seen this show, but I really loved reading about Marian! She sounds strong without being all macho-woman. If there is such a thing :P

    Oh, and I think she's really pretty!

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Rosie! Haha, that totally sounds like a thing to me :-P

      She is! She's quite beautiful:)

  6. Marian was awesome : ) A wonderfully balanced female heroine for the show.

  7. I really am working on finishing the first season I promise! I'm getting there! I do like Marian. Yeah she's kind of PC but it's not horrible. :)

    1. Haha! You'll probably find it easier to finish it once you hit the second season; that's where things start speeding up;) Yesh! Hehe, we've talked;) I'm so glad you like her!

  8. Wow, Olivia. I would be upset (ahem) because I've been planning a "Defending Marian" post for awhile now (so you kind of beat me to it) but I can't be because THIS IS SO GOOD. :D
    I just-I just agree with everything you said!!!!! Brava, my dear, this was a splendid post!!!

    I LOVE how you put that- "She gets frustrated with the men in her life...but she doesn't invalidate them." Very true.

    And yesyesyes about her and Guy and her position...the more I study her character, the more I realize how she was just doing the best she could. I can't even begin to imagine being in her place-constantly on guard so as not to give Robin away, constantly having to play a part, constantly hiding her true self. She gave up EVERYTHING for what she believed in. Because of her love for a free England and its people, she gave up her home, her safety....she had to see her father die, and then she gave up her life-along with it, her very last dream--to marry Robin and one day have a life together...a family...a home....--all for England.

    Okay. I'll save the rest for my own post. ;) But just YES!! Wonderful post of her.

    (and I was teasing, by the way. I'm not really upset! So don't worry on that account. ;))

    (that last gif....sob ohmygoodness)

    1. *gasp* You HAVE?! Ohhhhhhh, YOU MUST WRITE IT. I will die, but it'll be a good day to die;)

      *blushes* Dawwwww, thanks, girl! I really appreciate it!:D

      EXACTLY. I think if we were all to stop and try and put ourselves in her place, we'd be a bit shocked by how much pressure was on her every minute of every day. Yes. Yes, yes, what you said;) I can't wait to read your post. It's going to be epicness:D

      Thank you so much! *hugsies* (Haha, don't worry, I knew you were teasing;) I knooooow--the gif!)

    2. Ha!!! You used that quote! I love saying that! And oh, I will. Eventually. ;)

      YES, exactly! Your post was marvelous. :) And thank you!! I'm looking forward to writing it up.

    3. Yes ;) Can't wait!

      Aww, thanks! EEEEEEKKKK!!! I'm so excited for it.

    4. This is a comment to say I HAVE FULFILLED MY PROMISE TO YOU. <3

    5. Your defense post was so good, oh my word. :'D

  9. Hi Olivia!
    I LOVE this post! You laced together words and feelings I've had about Marian, but was never really able to explain. I think if I were to sum up Marian's character, I would say she is un-apologtically herself- and that is what I like about her. I really like how you handled the feminism issue- which I don't always understand why that IS an issue. I have an issue when hollywood tries TOO hard to make a strong female character, and by STRONG, that means basically all she does is kick butt. Marian does more than just kick butt- she loves her boyfriend/husband, she loves her friends, she feeds and tends to the poor, she protects those she loves, and her country. She shows mercy and kindness, and basically, she's just herself. Which to me, shows a true strong character.
    Thank you for this post!
    I hope your mom watches it with you too!
    I watched the show first, then my brother, and then my brother with my sister, and then my sister with my sister and then the whole family. You can imagine how many times I've seen the whole show LOL!!

    1. Thanks SO much, Morg! I really appreciate that!:D "Unapologetically herself"--that's perfect! Yes, I could technically perhaps even be termed a feminist, depending upon your definition. So we're together on that;) Yes, exactly, Marian is a fighter, but she's MORE than a fighter. She's…gah. I loves her:)

      Thank you for your comment! Haha, I hope she does too;)

      Really?! That's awesome! I've only watched it all the way through once myself:D

  10. Thank you for this wonderful post! I too am an avid RH BBC fan! and I love all of the characters, ESPECIALLY Marian and Robin.

    I love your beautiful blog!

    ~Lucy Amanda

    1. Lucy, your comment made me so happy! WE ARE ROBIN HOOD!!!!! I love meeting fellow fans of RH; it's so morally supportive, haha.

      Thank you SO much!


Post a Comment

Comments make my day. Seriously. I'd be so happy if you commented. :)

I've gotten really bad about replying in a timely manner, but it's always my intention to do so eventually. (Even though it doesn't always happen. ;))

Popular posts from this blog

My take on the Elsie Dinsmore series.

Romeo and Juliet (2013) {review}

Christian Purity: Things That (Apparently) Need to Be Said