A blog about BBC's Robin Hood. Humour, smut and various other revisions to the series can be found here. I wasn't pleased with how TPTB ended the show so here is where I give my own interpretation on how I would have ended things. Visit the archive to catch up on events from June 2015 to December 2015.
Look, I’m guilty of not liking Robin – I have no problem admitting that.
But being able to write the prequels made me think about why he would have left for war. If I just went by the show/episodes then yes, personally Robin at times wasn’t very relatable to me.
However, having written them I can now see what other people have seen in him. I come from the heavily biased point of view that Marian – for me – is the main character.
The whole point of robinhoodrevisited is to put right what the creators put wrong IMO. Going by the shows canon, there was no denying Guy/Marian’s chemistry in my view. Then again, saying that, an argument can be made for proximity helping in that regard.
Robin’s sometimes flippant attitude towards Marian rubbed me the wrong way. At times it was fairly chauvinistic:
Robin: “Can I ask you a question? (Marian looks at Robin.) Why do they call you the Nightwatchman when you come out in the day?” Marian: “I don’t normally. You know I can’t be seen. And I did not choose the name.” Robin: (Scoffs:) “Bah. Anyway, you do not need to do it any more, day or night.” Marian: “Now you’re here, you mean.” Robin: (Chuckling, arrogantly:) “Yes!”
Simply put, for me, the series didn’t do enough to show me that Robin truly loved Marian. The show…how it ended up made it look like Marian was a trophy to be won.
Anyway, if I do write these ‘Gisborne returns to Nottingham’ tales then there will be a lot involved.
Nottingham Castle. Outside The Sheriff’s Office. (The wedding has been called off. Much stands tearily in the corridor waiting. Marian sits on a bench with her hands in her lap. She looks over at Much concernedly.) Inside The Sheriff’s Office. (Edward is sat in his chair fuming, raging at Robin. Robin is stood by the window, looking but not seeing. His mind too wracked with grief over the loss of both the life he has the one that will never be.) Edward: “What do you have to say for yourself?” Robin: “My Lord..” Edward: “Speak plain! You owe me that much.” Robin: (Turning away from the window:) “Edward, it’s the way it has to be. If I serve the King in the Holy land my father’s debt is forgiven.” Edward: “You could’ve come to me, we were to be family after all!” Robin: “There was no time to raise that kind of money. Sheridan needed my answer the very next day. It is done now.” Edward: “I could raise taxes. The people of-” Robin: (Interrupting:) “The people of Nottingham should not have to pay for my father’s mistakes.” Edward: “Neither should you.” Robin: (Ruefully:) “I’m used to it.” Edward: “How long would you be gone?” Robin: “I’m told it could be years.” Edward: (Rising from his chair:) “And what of Marian?” Robin:(Smiling at the mention of his beloved:) “She has told me she will wait for me.” Edward: (Slamming his fist onto the table, Forcefully:) “No! (Pointing at Robin:) That I will not allow. (Moving around the table closer to Robin. In a hushed voice, mindful of his daughter overhearing:) I have seen far too often what war does to people. It tears families apart. I have already lost two brothers in my life to the fighting. I will not have that for Marian.” Robin: “What are you saying?” Edward: “You must end it Robin. Break off your engagement to my daughter and set her free from the burden of being a widow of war.” Robin: “But…I love her.” Edward: (Sighing:) “And she loves you. I see it, even if I don’t understand it. (A moment passes.) Which is exactly why you must finish your courtship, so that she can be spared that pain.” Robin: (His heart aching:) “I don’t think I can do that.” Edward: “You must! You must be strong for the both of you. (Softly:) For if you truly love her, you must set her free.” (Robin says nothing but returns his gaze to the window.)
Outside The Sheriff’s Office. Interior Corridor. (Marian looks up to see Robin exiting her father’s office. Much walks forward but Robin waves him off. Much spares Marian a glance then heads down the hall giving the pair their space.) Marian: “How did it go?” Robin: “Well, I think he’s pleased about not having to pay for the wedding.” Marian: “Robin..” Robin: “He offered to tax Nottingham to raise the money, but I refused.” Marian: (Smiles and nods:) “How long do you have?” Robin: “Not long, we’ll have to leave before nightfall if we’re to have any chance of catching up to the convoy.” Marian: (Dryly:) “And that would be such a shame.” Robin: (Moving closer to her:) “Marian…” Marian: “I know, I know. (Earnestly:) I will write to you, every day.” Robin: (Shaking his head:) “No, Marian.” Marian: (Continuing:) “And pray for you every night.” Robin: “Marian, stop this.” Marian: “Just promise me you’ll come back safely, all right?” Robin: (Taking a steadying breath:) “Marian, listen to me. I think we should be realistic about this.” Marian: “No, I know what you’re going to say and you just have to believe that-” Robin: “I want to go, Marian. (With false bravado:) I’m excited about it actually.” Marian: “What?” Robin: “Yes, I’ve been thinking about it and I think this is going to be a great opportunity for me.” Marian: “Opportunity? Robin what are you talking about?” Robin: “Glory, Marian! This is my chance to finally make my mark on the world. And I can’t…(His voice faltering a moment, showing his emotions:) I can’t be tethered to you when I return home.” Marian: (Hurt:) “Tethered?” Robin: (Outwardly smiling as his heart breaks with each cruel word he must speak:) “Yeah, can you imagine the number of women who will want me after I return from war cloaked in glory? I would be a fool to miss out on all that!” Marian: (Softly:) “But what about your promise?” Robin: “I…(Again his bravado falters, remembering that day not so long ago. Coldly:) Your father was right about me, Marian. Glory is all I’ve ever cared about.” (Marian opens her mouth to speak but no words will come. They stare at each other, tears threatening to fall from Robin’s eyes.) Marian: (Intensely:) “If you can look me in the eye and tell me you never cared for me…that you never loved me. I will let you go and never look back.” Robin: (Outwardly stoic, internally heartbroken:) “You’re not enough for me.” (Marian drops her head at these words. Robin’s silent tears go unnoticed as they fall from his eyes. He wipes them away just as Marian raises her head.) Marian: (Resolved to never show him her heartache:) “Then you’d better go.” (She turns and walks to her father’s office. With her hand on the latch she looks to Robin one final time before she opens the door and leaves the room.) Robin: (Solemnly:) “Goodbye, Marian.”
Locksley Manor. Exterior. Later That Day. (Much is stood outside with many bags over his shoulders. Robin exits the house carrying his own supplies.) Much: “Master I don’t understand.” Robin: “She’s better off without me, Much. In time she will move on and marry someone who deserves her.” Much: “But Master, surely..” Robin: “I’ve made my decision, Much. (Reaching up to cup Much’s neck, softly:) There’s still time for you to change your mind.” Much: (Shaking his head:) “No, where you go, I must follow.” Robin: (Bites his lip and nods:) “Thank you, my friend. Let’s see this out together.” (The pair pick up their belongings and leave Locksley Manor for the final time.) Nottingham Castle. Marian’s Chamber. (Edward sits solemnly on his daughter’s bed as Marian prepares herself for the council of Nobles.) Edward: “You could sit this one out, Marian. People would understand.” Marian: “No. (Turning to face her father:) I need to set an example. I was too wild before, I see that now. It is a daughter’s duty.” (Edward gives a small sad smile and extends an arm to Marian. She gives him her own forced smile and the pair make the long walk towards the Great Hall. A pained expression adorns the Sheriff’s face, for the dutiful daughter he’d always hoped for has come at a most terrible price.) Just Outside Sherwood Forest. (Robin and Much make their way slowly out of Nottingham towards the Great North Road. Passing by ongoing construction of Knighton Hall, Robin stops a moment at a familiar tree. Running his fingers across the gift he made for Marian he closes his eyes at the memory.) Much: (Calling from a few paces ahead:) “Master?” (Robin opens his eyes, the spell broken. He caresses the tree one last time then calls out to his friend.) Robin: “I’m ready.” (As Robin turns away and jogs to catch up, we slowly pan back to the other side of the tree to finally reveal the engraving.)
Nottingham. Locksley Manor. Exterior. (Robin, Marian & Much are sat around in the tall grass laughing and joking with one another, spirits are high.) Much: “I just think that as the best man, it’s my duty to arrange the stag party.” Marian: “Oh you do, do you?” Much: (Looking at Robin who grins, then back to Marian, uncertain:) “Yes, definitely.” Marian: “And who would you invite to this party, Much?” Much: “Well..there’s Robin of course…myself…and..” Marian: (Gives him a moment:) “So just you and Robin, then?” Much: “Look, I just think it’s important for a man who’s going to get married to experience one last night of freedom.” (Marian looks at Robin who just shrugs his shoulders.) Marian: (To Much:) “And where would this party take place?” Much: “Well…(Looks around.) Er…In Sherwood forest! (Gaining confidence:) Yeah, a night in the woods just two best friends swapping stories and drinking around the campfire.” Marian: (Amused:) “I see. So your plan is to spend the night before the wedding roughing it alone with Robin in the woods beneath the stars?” Much: (Folding his arms:) “Yes.” (Marian and Robin exchange looks silently communicating something:) Robin: “Well, it does sound romantic…” Marian: “Hmm…(Agreeing:) it does actually.” (Much looks between the two of them, frowning slightly.) Robin: “I mean it is our last night of freedom before we marry. For the both of us.” Marian: “Yes it is. Perhaps I’ll join you.” (Much opens his mouth to protest but Robin is too quick.) Robin: “That sounds like a lovely idea. You and I under the stars, sharing a blanket.” (Much unfolds his arms and shakes a finger at them.) Much: “Now see here, I didn’t mean..” Marian: “Just you and me and Much.” Robin: “Definitely…(leans in to kiss her:)…and Much.” Much: (Slightly concerned:) “The…the three of us?” Robin: “Of course! My best friend and the woman I love all sharing a blanket under the stars.” Marian: “On our last night of freedom.” Robin: “Free to do whatever we wish.” Marian: “And no one would ever need to know.” Robin: “It’d be our secret.” (Robin and Marian turn to face Much who is stood with his hands on his hips, frozen, mouth agape.) Marian: “So what do you think, Much?” (Much stands unable to make a sound, too much in shock.) Much: “Well I…I mean I’m flattered..but I. (Marian cracks first, unable to contain her laughter, Robin soon joins her. Slowly, realisation dawns on Much. The pair were just teasing him.) Oh, I see, very funny. (Slightly louder over the sound of laughter:) Very funny indeed! (At their continued laughing:) You two deserve each other!” Marian: (The first to recover:) “We’re sorry, Much. But the look on your face!” (The pair renew their giggles as Much stands slightly annoyed but very much relieved.)
Cut To. The Tavern (Lord Sheridan is also laughing, but for far more sinister reasons.) Malcolm: (Looking down at his hands, shaking:) “What have I done?” Cut To. Locksley Manor. Exterior. (Gladstone exits the house, wiping his hands on a cloth.) Gladstone: “Master Robin, have you heard from your father today?” Robin: (Standing, turning to face the older man:) “Not since this morning, no. Why?” Gladstone: “Oh, I’m sure it’s nothing. It’s just that Jane Scarlett came by looking for him. He was supposed to be dropping the money off for Dan today.” Robin: “And she’s not seen him?” Gladstone: “I’m afraid not sir.” Robin: (Nods:) “Right, I’ll go look for him.” Marian: “Let’s go.” Robin: (Raising his hand:) “No, it’s all right, you stay here with Much.” Marian: “Robin, it’s no trouble.” Robin: “I know…Thank you, but I just think…” (Robin trails off, looking to Much who catches on quickly.) Much: (Thinking of an excuse:) “Ah, I think Robin means you and I should go look at Dan’s work and see if it meets your approval.” Robin: “Exactly – everything has to be perfect for the wedding. I won’t be long.” (Robin hurries off in another direction as Marian watches him go. She looks at Much who motions weakly towards the Scarlett house. Curious as to what might be the matter, she holds her tongue and follows Much to the carpenter’s home.)
Nottingham Town. (Malcolm walks slowly with his head down through the streets. We see Robin arrive and he skids to a stop.) Robin: “Dad! (He moves closer.) Dad, what’s happened?” Malcolm: “I’ve lost it. I’ve gone and lost it all.” Robin: “What are you talking about?” Malcolm: (Pained:) “Everything…all the money. (Finally looking at Robin:) It’s all gone, son.” Robin: (Frowning:) “You’re drinking again? And gambling? (Malcolm nods his head. Robin is seething but tries to reign himself in.) Okay…well we’ve been here before. We’ll just have to knuckle down and-” Malcolm: (Interrupting:) “Not this time, Robin. I bet with money I don’t have.” Robin: (Confused:) “Why would…who did you gamble with? I told practically everyone in Nottingham not to let you gamble!” Malcolm: “He isn’t from here. Some older man, dressed in black…(Motioning with his hands:) gold chains, stocky build.” (Robin frowns a moment, then realises who fits that description.) Robin: “This man, did he give his name?”
Locksley Village. (Marian and Much sit on a hill overlooking Locksley. Having visited Dan Scarlett and approving of his work, the pair return their attention to Robin.) Marian: “He’s embarrassed by his father, isn’t he?” (Much doesn’t answer immediately, running a blade of grass through his fingers, considering his answer.) Much: “For the longest time, Malcolm Locksley was beloved by his people. He was fair and kind and would do anything for anybody. Then Robin’s mother got sick and…it took a lot out of both of them. For awhile after her death everything seemed normal, but you could see the light that once shined behind Lord Locksley’s eyes had disappeared.” Marian: “He was keeping a brave face for his people and his son.” Much: (Nods and continues:) “A few years went by like this until…Robin was left more and more by himself in the manor. Lord Locksley would go away for short but regular periods of time. Nobody knew where he would go. (Hastily:) And I’m not saying he was an absent father but-” Marian: “The time away added up.” Much: “Yeah. For me it was a blessing, Robin and I became the best of friends, despite our differences.” Marian: “Robin doesn’t strike me as someone who would judge someone by whether they were a noble or not.” Much: (Smiling:) “He isn’t. (Clearing his throat:) Anyway, when his father would return and for days afterwards you would see that light return to his eyes. It took those close to him to notice the difference.” Marian: “Do you think Malcolm had found a new love?” Much: (Considering:) “I couldn’t say. It might have explained it. But that all changed after the fire.” Marian: “What happened?” Much: “We don’t know. All that is known is that there was a huge fire and Lord Locksley was lucky to escape.” Marian: “Is that when his drinking started?” Much: (Nods:) “Whether he drinks to soothe his pain or he’s drinking to forget…we just don’t know.” Marian: “Has Robin asked him what happened that night?” Much: “Many times, but Lord Locksley refuses to speak about it. And so, steadily over time there’s been this gulf between them. Is Robin embarrassed by his father? No, I don’t think so. I think he just misses the man he once was.” Nottingham Town. (Sheridan walks with his horse on the bridge headed out of town. Robin races after him.) Robin: “Lord Sheridan! (Sheridan stops but does not turn around. Robin catches up to him:) Lord Sheridan, it’s me, Robin of Locksley.” Sheridan: (Feigning ignorance a moment:) “Ah yes. I remember you, you chose not to fight for your country.” (Sheridan makes to move but Robin holds his hand up.) Robin: “Lord Sheridan, please. That man you met in the tavern, that was my father.” Sheridan: “The drunkard? That was Lord Locksley? (Adopting a conciliatory manner:) Ah I see…that’s why you were so adamant about remaining here. You’re playing Lord of the Manor while your father cannot.” Robin: “A duty I perform proudly, my Lord.” Sheridan: “A duty you will enjoy permanently should your father not honour his debt to me.” Robin: “My lord?” Sheridan: “Your father owes me a great deal of money, Master Locksley. I have given him one day to give me what is mine or there will be grave consequences for him.” Robin: “My lord, please. My father has told me the amount he lost to you, we cannot possibly raise that kind of money in such a short time.” Sheridan: “Then his life shall be forfeit, dear boy. A Royal emissary cannot be seen to be made a fool by anyone.” Robin: “You shall have your money, Sir, but we need more time!” Sheridan: “There is no more time, boy. I leave for London in the morning to join the King on his crusade. (Leaning in:) That money will help greatly in our efforts to overthrow the savages that hold Jerusalem hostage.” Robin: (Desperately:) “Take our home, Locksley Manor. It is yours if you spare my father’s life.” Sheridan: “What would I do with a manor? I am a soldier, Locksley. I plan to fight and die for my King, I need no such encumbrance.” (Sheridan moves past Robin, his horse by his side.) Robin: (Pleading:) “Is there nothing I can offer you?” (Sheridan stops walking, his back to Robin and his smile broad.) Sheridan: (slowly:) “There is one thing a soldier needs more than money for weapons. (Turning to face Robin:) And that is more soldiers.” Robin: (Drops his head:) “You don’t know what you’re asking of me.” Sheridan: (Somberly:) “I know exactly what I’m asking. I’m asking a son to trade his own life for his fathers. Join with me and your father’s debt will be forgiven. Your lands will remain Locksley lands and your people will flourish.” Robin: “How will they?” Sheridan: “The King is most generous to those who choose to fight alongside him. To those who are loyal. I leave you to make your decision, you have until noon tomorrow.” (Sheridan turns and resumes walking away from Nottingham town. Robin watches him leave with a pained expression, his world having just come crashing down around him.)
The relationship between Henry and Richard finally dissolved into violence shortly before Henry’s death. (Philip Augustus held a peace conference, making a public offer of a generous long-term peace settlement with Henry. Henry refused the proposal, whereupon Richard himself spoke up, publicly changed sides at the conference and gave formal homage to Philip in front of the assembled nobles. The conference broke up with war appearing likely, but Philip and Richard launched a surprise attack immediately afterwards where Henry was gravely injured. Henry was carried back to Chinon on a litter, where he was informed that John had publicly sided with Richard in the conflict. This desertion proved the final shock and he finally collapsed into a
fever. Soon after, at Ballan, Henry, only just able to remain seated on his
horse, agreed to a complete surrender: he would do homage to Philip; he would recognise Richard as his heir; he would pay Philip
compensation, and key castles would be given to Philip as a guarantee. In the immediate aftermath of Henry’s death, Richard successfully claimed his father’s lands. Eleanor was released from house arrest and regained control of Aquitaine, where she ruled on Richard’s behalf. As King, Richard was more determined than ever to begin the crusade. Once again sending his emissaries out to find the best men England had to offer. Lord Sheridan requested that the King revoke the law that gave Nobles the right to refuse serving in the King’s war. Richard declined, noting that he knew far too many useless, fragile Nobles and would be better off without them in his ranks.)
Nottingham. (Undeterred, Sheridan returned to Nottingham with a plan.With the help of one of his spies, Sheridan would track down Lord Malcolm Locksley.) Sherwood Forest. (Sheridan and Fuller move quickly through the forest trying not to make a sound. They stop behind a large tree a moment.) Fuller: (Pointing:) “That’s him. In the cloak.” Sheridan: “Good. He’s a drunkard, you say?” Fuller: “He was, but I ain’t seen him touch a drop in months. Something to do with his son’s wedding.” Sheridan: (Dismissively:) “Ah, once a drunk always a drunk. Don’t you worry, I’ll have him right where I want him. Where is he headed?” Fuller: “The tavern. (At Sheridan’s look.) He’s a gambler too.” Sheridan: (A little too loudly:) “Perfect! (The pair drop behind the tree. Quieter:) Perfect, this will be like taking candy from a baby. If my plan works, Robin of Locksley will be headed to the Holy Land with me before the month is out.” (Sheridan pats Fuller on the shoulder and they resume their pursuit of Lord Locksley.)
London. Coronation Day. (Prince John is seated sullenly by the fire as his brother, the King enters the room.) King Richard: “Cheer up, brother. I keep telling you, you made the right choice.” Prince John: “The only choice you left me.” King Richard: “Indeed. And you made it all by yourself. Oh come now, you can’t possibly fault me for releasing our mother to her rightful place?” Prince John: “This isn’t about Aquitane! This is about our father!” King Richard: “Here we go, always the daddies boy, weren’t you? Father was weak and a liability to our family. I have brought peace with France and am about to reclaim Jerusalem for Rome.” Prince John: “And what of England? Do the people not deserve your (snidely:) Heroic presence to rule over them?” King Richard: (Chuckling:) “John, look around you. The people of England love me, I cannot do a thing wrong. You on the other hand, were unable to tame the Irish. (John sneers at his brother with contempt.) Face it, little brother, had father named you his heir then our country’s future would be in serious doubt.” Prince John: “So you would leave England without a sitting monarch as you fight your wars thousands of miles away?” King Richard: “On the contrary, I leave England with just that. (Leaning in closely:) A sitting monarch. You will assume the throne while I am gone, dear brother. You will listen to the Royal advisers, you will enjoy my position and you will save face in front of the populace.” Prince John: “You wish me to do nothing of importance while you are away?” King Richard: “You will have the power to do as you wish. (Moving to admire his reflection in a mirror.) But we both know your judgment isn’t to be trusted. So you will be a good Prince and hold everything in place, just as I leave it, while I’m away. (Turning back to face John:) Unless you’d like me to ask mother to-” Prince John: (Indignant:)“No! I shall do as you ask.” King Richard: (Chidingly:) “Ah ah ah. ‘I shall do as you ask, your Majesty.’ ” Prince John: (Staring daggers into his brother, slowly:) “Yes, your Majesty.” King Richard: (Smirking:) “Good boy.” (The King leaves the room as John’s look is thunderous.) Nottingham. Tavern. (Malcolm Locksley sits quietly in the corner of the room. Sheridan watches him as he stands by the bar.) Sheridan: (To Barkeep:) “That man over there (Pointing at Malcolm:) What’s he drinking?” Barkeep: “Malcolm Locksley? Water only, under his strict instructions.” Sheridan: “Really? Bit of a lush is he?” Barkeep: “I’m not at liberty to say, my Lord.” Sheridan: (Tosses a few coins at him:) “And what about now?” Barkeep: “He’s been known to knock a few back, yes my Lord.” (As the Barkeep reaches for the coins Sheridan grabs his hand tightly.) Sheridan: “And his son, does he approve?” Barkeep: (Wincing in pain:) “Ah, no sir. That’s why he’s on water.” Sheridan: “I see. (releasing the man’s hand.) Sounds like his sobriety is not a voluntary one. Two tankards of ale for me and my new friend, Lord Locksley.” (The Barkeep pours the drinks and Sheridan takes them, walking over to Malcolm in the corner of the room.) Sheridan: (Acting inebriated:) “Afternoon, kind Sir. Care to join me in celebration?” Malcolm: (Looking up then back to his water:) “No, thank you, I wish to be alone with my thoughts.” Sheridan: “Oh come now, it’s not every day England crowns a new King!” (Sheridan slams down the tankards and sits heavily into a chair opposite Malcolm, a gleam in his eye.) Nottingham Castle. Sheriff’s Quarters. (Marian & Edward are going over the preparations for the wedding which is due to take place on Saturday.) Marian: “Are you concerned that you were not invited to London for the Coronation? (Edward does not answer as he is busy tallying up the cost of the decorations, flowers etc for the occasion.) Father?” Edward: (Jolted from his calculations:) “What? Oh, no not particularly. (As Marian looks to him pointedly:) Well, I’ll admit it’s not a good sign… but the King cannot invite all the Sheriff’s of the land to attend his coronation, can he? I mean, there would be anarchy in the streets.” Marian: “Do you think it has anything to do with Robin’s refusal to-” Edward: (Reassuringly:) “I really doubt the King is that petty, Marian. Besides, I will have to go to London at some point for the royal appraisal.” Marian: “What’s that?” Edward: “Oh, just a formality really. When a new King is crowned it is customary for all representatives of each county to travel to London to be appraised by the new King. To see if he approves of me or not, in short. It was the same when I was first appointed Sheriff. After I was sworn in, I headed to London to visit King Henry.” Marian: “Are you not worried he’ll side against you?” Edward: “If he does, he does. There’s nothing I can do about that. But it is more often than not the case that the incoming monarch will retain most of the ‘old guard’ to make his transition easier.” Marian: “To maintain a sense of stability, I suppose?” Edward: “Yes, I would say so.” Marian: “Do you think Richard will try to recruit Robin again, now that he is King?” Edward: “As far as I know, the law remains the same. No Noble shall be compelled to join the King’s ranks if he does not wish to do so. And I sincerely doubt Robin’s position has changed on the matter.” Marian: (Considering, then changes the subject:) “I suppose so. Now, what I was thinking for the party after the ceremony was…” (Marian continues to recite what she would like for the wedding reception as Edward goes back to worrying about paying for it all.)
Back At The Tavern. (Sheridan is continuing to goad Malcolm into joining him in a celebratory drink.) Sheridan: (Shaking his tankard at Malcolm:) “Come on, what’s one drink going to do?” Malcolm: “For the last time, I said no!” (Sheridan slams the tankard down, causing a few drops of ale to slosh onto the tabletop.) Sheridan: (Hands raised in defeat:) “Fine, fine. No drinking. (Reaching into his pocket.) Then perhaps a friendly wager? (Pulling out a deck of playing cards he notices the momentary flicker of interest in Malcolm’s eyes.) Ah, I thought you were a betting man, the moment I set eyes on you.” Malcolm: “No, I shouldn’t..” Sheridan: “What’s your game eh? Blackjack? Gin? Poker?” Malcolm: (Making excuses:) “I…I’m out of practice.” Sheridan: “Ha! All the better for me then. So what’s it to be?” (Malcolm looks at Sheridan as he shuffles the cards. He assesses the clearly inebriated man before him and makes his decision.) Malcolm: “Poker.” Sheridan: “Now you’re talking! (Turns to the bar:) Barkeep! Another round!” London. Evening. (Celebrations continue long into the night as the Royal court rejoices over their new King. In a far corner however sits Prince John, a dour expression on his face. A man dressed in black approaches and the Prince looks up.) Prince John: “Ah, Vaisey. A friendly face at last, come sit.” Vaisey: “Surely, Sire, (Indicating the gathered masses.) you are surrounded by friends?” Prince John: “Spineless sycophants more like it. They don’t love me, they adore my brother.” Vaisey: (Taking a seat beside the Prince:) “There are those of us who have loved for this to be your coronation day, Sire.” Prince John: (Sighing:) “Yes. (Taking a deep breath and looking around at the throng of people:) My father for one. That’s something I’ll never forgive my brother for, making me swear my allegiance to him over my father.” Vaisey: “You had no choice, Sire. It was a necessary evil to gain the King’s trust.” Prince John: “Oh, he doesn’t trust me. He expects me to assume the throne in his absence and do absolutely nothing. To be a figurehead and nothing more.” Vaisey: “And for as long as your brother is in England, you shall. But once he leaves…” Prince John: (Realisation dawning on him:) “There will be nothing to stop me from doing exactly what I want, how I want.” Vaisey: “Yes, Sire. Although I would suggest replacing those who are loyal to the King with people who…have your own best interests at heart.” Prince John: (Smiles at Vaisey:) “Oh, Vaisey. I knew there was a reason why you’ve served me longer than any other man in my employ. What would I do without you?” Vaisey: (Bowing his head slightly:) “You will never have to know, Sire.” Prince John: “Hmm. As soon as my brother leaves on his foolish quest, we shall set about restructuring England to best suit my needs.”
Henry’s relationship with his two surviving heirs was fraught. (For,
while the King had great affection for his youngest son John, he showed
little warmth towards Richard and indeed seems to have borne him a
grudge after their argument in 1184.The bickering and simmering tensions between Henry and Richard were cleverly exploited by the new French king, Philip Augustus. Initially Henry and Philip Augustus had enjoyed a good relationship.
Despite attempts to divide the two, Henry and Philip Augustus agreed a
joint alliance, even though this cost the French king the support of
Flanders and Champagne. Philip Augustus regarded Geoffrey as a close friend, and would have welcomed him as a successor to Henry. With the death of Geoffrey, however, the relationship between Henry and Philip broke down. Philip suggested to Richard that he should ally with the French king
against Henry, marking the start of a new strategy to divide the father
and son. This coincided with Jerusalem surrendering to Saladin and calls for a new crusade swept Europe. Richard was enthusiastic and announced his intention to join the
crusade, and Henry and Philip Augustus announced their similar intent. Taxes began to be raised and plans made for supplies and transport. Richard was keen to start his crusade, but was forced to wait for Henry to make his arrangements. In the meantime, Richard set about crushing some of his enemies in
Aquitaine. Richard’s campaign undermined the truce between Henry and Philip and
both sides again mobilised large forces in anticipation of war. Henry rejected Philip’s offers of a short-term truce in the
hope of convincing the French king to agree to a long-term peace deal,
but Philip refused to consider Henry’s proposals. A furious Richard, however, believed that Henry was stalling for time and delaying the departure of the crusade.)
Nottingham. Knighton Hall. (Work is well underway for the building of Knighton Hall. The building is being constructed on what was once Locksley land. With the engagement of Robin and Marian, Malcolm Locksley generously donated the land as a wedding present. In the woods nearby Robin and Marian sit together watching the progress.) Robin: “I hope your father is pleased with the way things are shaping up?” Marian: “He’s not thrilled with how much this is costing him. (At Robin’s look, reassuringly:) But that’s just his way. I think he’ll miss having me around all the time once we marry.” Robin: “Well I can’t say I blame him. (They share a warm smile.) I’ve made you something, well carved you something…as a housewarming present.” Marian: “Really? What is it?” Robin: (Stands and dusts off his hands:) “It’s nothing much, just something for us.” Marian: (Holding out her hand for assistance:) “It sounds wonderful, show me.” (Robin takes Marian’s hand and pulls her to her feet. They walk to the top of the ridge overlooking Knighton. Robin stops at a tree and turns to Marian.) Robin: “Close your eyes.” Marian: “Is this a trick?” Robin: (Laughs:) “No, trust me. (Marian closes her eyes and feels Robin take her hand again and guide her to stand in front of the tree.) OK, open them. (Marian slowly opens her eyes and sees Robin’s gift. Worried she doesn’t like it, apologetically:) I realise it’s not much but I thought-” Marian: “I love it.” Robin: (Relieved:) “You do?” Marian: “I do. It’s us. (She leans up and kisses Robin.) Thank you.” Robin: “I thought perhaps one day we could have it carved onto our fireplace?” (Marian takes Robin’s hand in hers and stands beside him admiring the carving.) Marian: “Hm, I like that idea.” Nottingham Castle. Sheriff’s Quarters. (Edward is seated at his desk as a stocky built man stands before him.) Edward: (Looking up from the letter handed to him by Sheridan:) “Lord Sheridan, how may I help you?” Sheridan: “As the letter states, due to the forthcoming war with the savages in the Holy land, the Prince is preparing his troops.” Edward: “I’m afraid I don’t understand, is the Royal army not up to the task?” Sheridan: (Looking down his nose at the Sheriff:) “The Royal army is already protecting the King, strategically placed in readiness for a war with France and paramount to England’s defense against the Irish.” Edward: “Indeed. So perhaps another war is not what the country needs right now?” Sheridan: (Smirking, then sneering:) “Fortunately, Sir Edward, what is best for the country is not ultimately your concern.” Edward: “It is my concern when you swan in here asking for Nottingham to sacrifice its sons and brothers for an unwinnable war!” Sheridan: (Calmly:) “Careful, Sheriff. Words of that nature are tantamount to treason. Now, do you know where I might find the best of what Nottingham has to offer? Or shall I have the Prince made aware of your refusal to help your country?” (Edward throws the letter down onto his desk and leans back, speechless, into his chair.)
The Old Mill. (Robin and Much sit together at the old mill. Production has ceased since the passing of Much’s father.) Robin: “Are you sure you don’t want to pick up where he left off?” Much: (Twirling a blade of grain between his fingers, ruefully:) “Nah..dad was right, I don’t have the temperament or the talent for this kind of work.” Robin: “You could learn.” Much: “I spent my childhood trying to learn, no use. That’s why he sent me to work for your father, get me out from under his feet.” Robin: “You know how to sell it. If you had a partner you could – ” Much: “I hate market day. (At Robin’s look.) I only went there because you loved it so much. And to spend time with dad. But I was useless at it.” Robin: “Much..” Much: “Nope, (Getting to his feet:) this place is better off without me. I couldn’t bear to tarnish his name.” (Robin gets to his feet as well, holding out a flask to Much:) Robin: “A toast then. To your father.” (Robin takes a drink from it and passes it to Much.) Much: (Taking the flask and raising it:) “To dad.” (Much takes a drink and almost immediately coughs from the potency. Robin smiles and slaps Much on the back as he continues to cough.) Nottingham Castle. Marian’s Chamber. (Edward and Marian are discussing Lord Sheridan’s visit.) Marian: “And what did you say to him?” Edward: “I suggested that England would be best served not entering another war.” Marian: (Nods in agreement:) “To say the least. What was his reaction?” Edward: “Well he wasn’t impressed with my candor. But I’ve had enough of it, sending men off to war for no good reason. Some senseless quest for glory.” Marian: “You said all that?” Edward: “No..but my tone implied it.” Marian: “Hmm. So what happened?” Edward: “Ah, well you see… (Moving to sit beside Marian on her bed.) Lord Sheridan is on a scouting mission to recruit soldiers for the Prince’s crusade.” Marian: “You mean the King?” Edward: “Apparently not. Sheridan is here on behalf of Prince Richard. It seems the Prince is more eager to begin this next crusade than his father.” Marian: (Considering this a moment:) “Perhaps the King is having second thoughts?” Edward: “It’s possible…but I’m afraid I don’t have the luxury of simply ignoring a direct request from a member of the Royal family.” Marian: “But if the King is dragging his feet..” Edward: “I’m sorry, Marian. I had to give Sheridan my co-operation.” (Marian waits for Edward to continue. But realises what this means.) Marian: “You gave him Robin’s name? (Getting to her feet and pacing the room, angrily:) You told him to go see the man I am to marry to ask him to fight in the Prince’s war?” Edward: “You must understand, my position as Sheriff was under threat. Robin may yet-” Marian: (Interrupting:) “What? Decline the offer? Decline the opportunity to leave his responsibilities behind? His chance for glory?” Edward: “As a noble Robin has the choice on whether to fight or not.” Marian: (Shaking her head:) “From the moment I met him, Robin has always yearned for adventure.” Edward: (Sighing:) “So, if what you say is true then isn’t this an ideal opportunity to find out if his feelings for you are what they seem?” Marian: (Frowning:) “You sent Sheridan after Robin to test him?” Edward: “Would it not be better to determine whether Robin wants to leave for glory before you marry? (Looking down at the floor.) I could not bear to see you a widow of war.” Marian: (Distraught:) “If you did not want us to marry, father… (Edward looks to her about to protest.) you should have had the decency to say so!” (Marian storms out of the room, leaving Edward to stare after her.)
The Old Mill. (Robin and Much are sparring together with their swords. They are pretty evenly matched, but Robin the more athletic manages to use his agility to best Much.) Much: (Breathing hard:) “I had you there for a moment, admit it.” Robin: (Chuckling:) “Close only counts when playing horse shoes, Much. (Shrugs, but admits:) You had me, but couldn’t shut me down. (Resumes his fighting stance.) Again?” Much: “You’re on. (The sounds of swords clanging and swishing can be heard far and wide as the friends battle one another. Robin’s attention is momentarily caught by the sight of Sheridan walking towards them from a distance. Much knocks Robin’s sword from his hand.) Ah-ha!” (Robin smirks then jumps down to retrieve it. He flips over a beam and lands next to his sword, plucking it from the ground. The sound of clapping can be heard as Sheridan approaches.)
Sheridan: (Still clapping:) “Very impressive.” Robin: “Thanks.” Sheridan: “You’re far too easily distracted however. That won’t do in battle.” Robin: “Battle?” Sheridan: “Yes, master Locksley. I’ve come to recruit you for the Prince.” Robin: (Raising his eyebrows:) “Is that so?” (Robin turns and heads back up the steps to meet Much on the second tier of the building. Sheridan follows, undeterred by Robin’s lack of reaction.) Sheridan: “Yes, I have sent been by Prince Richard to scour the land and find the best fighters England has to offer.” Much: (Chiming in:) “Well, look no further than my Master. (Proudly:) There’s no man better with a sword in the whole of Nottingham.” Robin: (Chidingly:) “Much..” Much: (Continuing:) “Well, other than me of course, I’m right up there.” Robin: “Much stop talking.” Much: (Further babbling:) “Then there’s Marian of course, but she’s a girl so..” Robin: “Silence, Much!” (Sheridan glances at Robin then offers his hand to Much.) Sheridan: “I am Lord Sheridan, trusted adviser to Prince Richard.” Much: “How do you do? (Shaking Sheridan’s hand.) I am Much, trusted adviser and brother in arms of Robin of Locksley. (Robin smiles despite himself at Much’s antics.) So what are you scouting for, is there a tournament happening?” Sheridan: “A tournament? Oh I’m afraid not young man. The Prince has sent me to find men to populate his army for the glorious battle against the heathens in the Holy land.” Much: (His face falling rapidly:) “Ah. (Looking to Robin, then back to Sheridan:) Now when I say there’s nobody better..” Robin: “It’s all right, Much. (To Sheridan:) I’m afraid I have to decline.” (Robin moves to gather up his things as Sheridan watches him, taken aback.) Sheridan: “Decline? My dear boy are you not aware of how much honour comes with an offer like this? To stand proudly beside Royalty as you fight for King and country? Why it is..” Robin: “I would do myself a dishonour if I were to abandon my people. I am responsible to the people of Locksley and their families.” Sheridan: “I was told your father..” Robin: “My father is not a well man and cannot adequately perform his duties. But more importantly than that, Sir, (Smiling:) I am to be married.” Sheridan: (Frowns, incredulous:) “You would defy your future King, for a woman?” Robin: “I would defy a thousand King’s for Marian. (To Much:) Come on, we’re leaving.” Sheridan: “Now see here..” Robin: “Am I right in thinking that the Sheriff sent you here?” (Much grabs their belongings and heads down the steps.) Sheridan: “He did, yes.” Robin: “Then Marian must already know of your intent. I have to see her.” (Robin makes to move past Sheridan but is held back by a hand to his chest.) Sheridan: “I’m accustomed to getting what I want, lad.” Robin: “Well you shall not get it from me. I am to protect another and I will not disappoint her.” Sheridan: “Prince Richard shall hear of this.” Robin: (Defiantly:) “Be sure that he does. Now, if you’ll excuse me.” (Robin looks behind him then jumps, flipping in mid air to land gracefully on the ground. He lands next to the departing Much who has a worried look on his face.) Much: “Master, is it wise to anger such a man?” Robin: (Giving Sheridan one last look:) “Relax, Much. (Turning to walk with his friend.) It’s me he wants, and I’m not going anywhere.” (The pair head back to Locksley village as Sheridan, his face unreadable, watches them leave.)
Locksley Manor. Exterior. (Marian sits waiting on the stump of an old tree as Robin and Much approach. Wordlessly, Robin asks to be left alone with Marian. Nodding, Much breaks off and heads towards the tunnel and into the manor.) Robin: (Approaching, quietly:) “Hey.” Marian: (Not looking up:) “Hey.” (Robin can see Marian is troubled but patiently waits for her to speak.) Marian: (Acting casual:) “There’s a Lord Sheridan looking for you. Father met with him at the castle.” Robin: (Nods:) “I know, we had an interesting conversation.” Marian: (Finally looking up:) “Really? (Trying to seem unconcerned:) And what did you speak about?” Robin: (He considers Marian a moment then replies simply:) “I believe you already know.” Marian: (Nods, resolvedly:) “And?” Robin: “And…what?” Marian: (Slightly agitated:) “You know what, what’s your decision?” Robin: “My decision? (Marian looks at him earnestly:) Oh, did I decide to leave all my troubles behind and join Richard’s army, that decision? (Marian drops her head but nods, unable to meet Robin’s gaze. Robin slowly moves closer to her. Cautiously, as if she were a deer he does not wish to spook, he brings his hand up under her chin and lifts her face to look into her eyes.) I told him that my place is here, with you.” Marian: (Warily:) “But the adventure…the glory?” Robin: “Marian…I wanted all of those things…yearned for them for years. All before I met you. I don’t need to go anywhere to find my happiness when she’s standing right in front of me.” Marian: (Watches him a moment, them beams:) “You promise?” Robin: (Raising his hands to cup her face:) “With all of my heart, my love.” (Robin closes the gap between them and kisses Marian with all the love he has to offer. Marian, overjoyed, gives the same back to him tenfold.)