Were it not for Richard Armitage, I wouldn’t have seen Guy of Gisborne. I’m not being funny or nothin’. Originally I had no keen interest in watching Robin Hood. But some friends were talking about it so I took a look. It must have been one of the earlier slow paced episodes because I was so bored with the hero that by time I glimpsed a black leather clad figure sneering in the background, I’d lost total interest. My later “discovery” of RA brought me back to the show for the express purpose of taking another look at this character, Guy of Gisborne. This is my take on the evolution of Guy:
S1 showed a truly nasty character. He slinked about in black leather, black mane, black eyeliner when not riding his black horse, smirking and sneering as he did the evil sheriff’s bidding. He was venal and vicious. He was a nobleman with a self-styled title and no lands, obsessed with regaining family power and status. He was Vaisey, except younger, taller, better looking, not as cunning, but half as crazy. He was the antithesis of Robin Hood and almost the dastardly panto villain who twirled his mustache and cackled evilly – but not quite. He wished to possess Marian as a stepping stone to status but something – humanity- stirred within because of her.
S2 unveiled a more layered character. There lurked a damaged soul and beneath the evil exterior. His need to possess Marian morphed into an obsessive love and belief that through her, he could cleanse away his sins. If he could untangle his mind from Vaisey’s influence, he could be the better man Marian wanted. Several times he endangered his precarious position with the crazed Sheriff by extending protection to Marian and even the villagers. Alas, despite his flashes of goodness, he managed somehow to undo the good he’d done. He was still dangerous and nasty but instead of eliciting boos and hisses, his bad acts provoked a disappointing sadness, and finally shocked horror.
S3 revealed the tortured soul full force, a man in hell slowly going mad with guilt and self-loathing. We learn his backstory and kinship to Robin, Archer and Isabel and are told had it not been for the twist in fate, he could have been Robin Hood. Even in changing sides, he’s motives still aren’t quite right, not quite noble and selfless until almost the end. He died free and redeemed although he had about two seconds to savor it all.
So this is the story of Guy in a nutshell: he’s evil but not really; he’s justifiably vilified but misunderstood, even by him self. Ultimately, he proves a tragic figure even in redemption. So why do I hate to love Guy? Find out tomorrow.
So Dear Reader, what do you think about Guy’s evolving personality and changing appearance each series? Tell me in this blog’s first ever polls. Take a look, think carefully and vote. Notice there is no box for “Don’t make me choose!” You must pick one. Feel free to explain your choices in the comments section. I’ll have the results at the end of the fest. [I just discovered the second question was polled last year. However, with the increased number of blogs and hopefully, readership, it might yield different results. Let’s see what happens.]
Wait gang! A marvelous idea occurred to me. I’m interested in what fans truly think about Guy. If you send in a short blurb telling me your deepest thought/passion/fantasy about him, I will publish them together anonymously. Something like this. Nobody need know who said what, unless you give me permission to attach your name. Click the contact tab above to email me. C’mon, it will be fun!
Also don’t forget to visit the other participating blogs. The list is here.