FanstRAvaganza 2.2: A Clue? No!


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:

Guy S1. Basic evil, basic outfit with cravat and mullet

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.

Guy S2, getting it wrong since 1190. Tweaked image, longer hair, no cravat, all leather

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 Guy, basic deranged; Greasy long locks, black shirt, fancy britches
S3 Guy, cleans up nice; Revised image, glamor locks, Venetian leather














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.



35 thoughts on “FanstRAvaganza 2.2: A Clue? No!

  1. Oh dear – am I the first to comment? I really couldn’t take to Guy in the first or second series. I’ve tried to examine the character in depth but have stalled half way through Series 2. Many fans have told me I have missed the best episodes. I made the effort to sit down to watch Series 3 and found myself starting to like Guy although I found his redemption arc a litte hard to swallow initially. It became more believeable for me as the series went on. I therefore voted for Series 3 Guy in both poll questions.I’m still very ambivolent about this character. I’m not sure why he has such a hold on so many people. Obviously he must have a magnetic attraction – it’s not just a case of liking the atractive bad boy as John Mulligan did not engender similar sentiments – perhaps if John M was to feature in 13 + episodes, an attraction may gel? Perhaps it is RA’s ability to add dimensions to his characters (ie he can portray a good side to a “bad” character and a bad side to a “good” character) which makes me so confused about his more villainous roles. He is very good at playing the conflicted personality imo. Hope I am making sense …. I’ve never really understood Guy and find it hard to express how I feel about the character.

    • You’re making perfect sense. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why he appeals to so many because he’s multi-layered. Different aspects appeal to different people. Viewers can find him as complex or simple as they want.Thanks for the added information. I will need it for your conversion on Thursday. 😉

  2. S3 on both for me, although I did really like him in S2 as well. Some fine acting there, you can see the pain he goes through when Marian is playing her little games with him. If he was just a baddie in S1, his character definitely evolved from that, and Lost Souls are far too attractive as character archetypes go. <3

  3. @Mulubinba,you have a valid point- Jhn Mulligan never gave any hits that he had remorse or hesitation about the bad things he was doing. In fact, his declaration in the jail is exactly the opposite, he condemns her as a hypocrite, enjoying the spoils of his drug dealing yet judging him for the acrs which generated the income.For Sir Guy, there was no definite demarcation. He was bad but then he didn’t give Marian up as the Nightwatchman and suffered some abuse for it (humiliation definitely). How much growth did that indicate! A far cry from when he gave Marian up to the Sheriff for cavorting with Robin(the necklace episode). It is his light and shadows that are intriguing…his conflict that draws me to see..will he win the battle against his baser self THIS time? Truthfully, I root for him to do so as I find his struggle nobler than Robin Hood’s entrenched arrogance and snobbishness.Sir Guy is a depiction, in my opinion, of the struggle within ourselves we wage everyday. I hope someone is rooting for us too!

  4. I love the legend of Robin Hood, but the reason I started to watch, and kept watching, this version of Robin Hood was because of Richard Armitage. He saved the show and made the show his own. He “stole” the show from Robin Hood and to me it really became “The Story of Guy of Gisborne”.I would say I fell for Guy the moment I saw RA in all the black leather. I don’t mind “bad boys”, like them as a matter of fact, in fiction only of course, not in RL- LOL. I think there’s a certain attraction to bad boys and the fact that many women feel we can redeem them somehow. Of course, good looking bad boys 🙂 Of all the RH character Guy was the one that really evolved through the three series. Couldn’t have happened without Richard’s talent and development of the character.I think he looks gorgeous as Guy on all three series, but I love the man in black leather and Guyliner.

    • Hi Musa! Tomorrow’s post deals exactly with your point about the attraction for bad boys.I absolutely agree about Guy taking over the show. When the writers saw how good RA was, they it along.

  5. Definitely not the Bad Boys in RL! But as characters, the play of light and shadow is so much more dramatic than the blandness of heroes. No wonder good actors love to play the villains. And really good actors have no hesitation in pulling faces and making themselves “ugly”.

    • Definitely, I’ve never been drawn to bland characters. Superhero types, like Robin Hood, may be on the side of good, but they have a harder time being interesting. Guess I’ve gotten too old and cynical for goodie-goodie types.

  6. Great post! When I did the poll last year, season 2 won on looks, but it was season 3 that I liked. It will be interesting to see if the results this year. Wonder if the table will turn?

    • Welcome Avalon! Thanks. I considered removing that poll after discovering your’s, but then thought what the heck. Hmm, the same poll over time… feels almost sociological. Think in a few years we will have enough data to do a study? 😉

  7. Guy of Gisbourn dumped in the water bowl and afterwards thanking Marianne for her help is the moment, which totally changed my perception of him as ‘bad Guy’. I adore his redesigned version in series 3, so I am divided between series 2 and 3 and voted that way as well.Though Guy is not my favourite RA-character. I think I am a Lucas North addict and John Mulligan has a very heavy influence, especially in the last prison-scene, where he shows his vulnerability.

    • You just liked Guy wet, confess it. ;)Ah, Lucas North. There’s a kettle of worms. Are you a fan without S9 or including it? John Mulligan isn’t getting as much love as RA’s characters. Maybe I missed the nuances in the prison scene. Can you explain how he shows that vulnerability?

      • There is something in John Mulligan’s eyes. I don’t know if its a quiet resignation or what…but in Richard’s eyes, as Mulligan, its there…and it changes into a hardness…

      • @judiang and Ann MarieI confess, I do love RA wet, but in this scene he also appeared so fed up, that he really caught my attention.From this scene onwards, watching Guy of Gisborne was o.k. for me, before I had feared him a little and avoided Robin Hood.Lucas North (Unfortunately evene with Series 9) though his story line is ludicrous. I intend to write a fan fiction about the ‘real events’ after FanstRAvaganza, to get the wrong impression of his character in Series 9 out of my mind completely.John Mulligan in the prison scene first consciously leads her (Ellie) on to drop him and behave like the spoilt child she was. He gives me the impression that she really had been ‘the real thing’ for him as he tells her girlfriend.He – as I see it – makes it easy for her to leave him and he makes a clear exit simple for her. It only is not so easy for him, who really had seen her as way out of his ‘wrong side of town’ background. His sad face at the end just is heart-wrenching to me.His hopeful “Do you?” just makes my heart fly out to him. I would never have been able to leave him alone in a prison cell in such a moment and seeing what he intentionally was doing.

        • Ah, the magic of RA’s acting. It’s interesting how he reaches different viewers at different times.I was curious how your felt about S9 Lucas. The only one who seems to have survived that finale unscathed is Servetus. Just checkin’. ;)That’s an interesting take on John Mulligan. I thought he revealing himself to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing instead of goading her. I’ll have to rewatch that.

        • CDoart,I am going to watch that scene again but I bear in mind that he also put the drugs in HER bag and wasn’t going to be with her when she went through the airport to go overseas! She had a very good chance of being caught for drug smuggling…

          • You are absolutely correct, Ann Marie. I do not pretend, that John Mulligan is a good guy, but the police had been hard on his track at that time and he had to get the stuff off his heels and out of town. And trying to get the stuff through strict international airport controls does not seem the cleverest idea to me at all.Who knows what deal he really had intended.I would have taken the stuff and dumped it in a lake (by that method eventually poisoning all the fish in it.)Part of my problem was, that I could not associate with or develop any sympathy for Ellie.But the last scene really gets me to want to cuddle and comfort him. I know he is in prison for a good reason, but still…

  8. Really good post and comments..very thought provoking!! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone back to Season 2, about midways, and watched Guy be nice, Guy not be nice, Guy be nice…tried to keep track of it and finally gave up. It was like the writers couldn’t decide if he was going to do “the right thing” or not. Drives me nuts!I think what drew me to Guy, besides the very obvious, was that Robin was such a goof. Sorry. Not diplomatic at all but sheesh, really? The desire for “everyone to love me” that was discussed on and off again really turned me against him. If your incentive to do good is admiration and brownie points, then you’re doing good for the wrong reason.I tried to “redeem” a bad boy once loooong ago. What I found rather quickly was that he wasn’t sure he wanted to be redeemed. He latched on to me like a lightening bolt and while not trying to drag me into his world, stepped rather tentatively into my world. My friends were amazed that I ever gave him the time of day and still comment about it all these years later. They thought I was crazy but they also thought I made a brave effort even tho I failed.That was the real thing…I feared that failure, but for once, and totally out of character, overcame fear to do perhaps the right thing. We’re friends now but if he would’ve had his way, that friendship would have been a more permanent thing. I’ve always thought that Marion was scared to death of the what ifs concerning a relationship with Guy. And rightfully so. Talk about a bumpy road!Extremely interesting post!

    • Thanks! I can’t decided between S2 and S3, each has its appeal. Maybe that’s why I love the character so much.I wonder if it’s possible to be both a Guy fan and a Robin fan at the same time. Every Guy fan I’ve encountered has said the same thing about Robin – he’s a prat. And the Robin fans have the opposite reaction. Reminds of the rabid JA fan commenting on Mulubinba’s blog, “This post made me want to hurl. How can you like Guy when Robin is the hero. He’s on the side of GOOOOD!” Come back when you’re old enough, sweetie.Thank you for sharing your personal story. It’s good to hear you came out of it fine; many have tried the same thing and gotten burned. Tomorrow’s post touches on what you said.

  9. My favourite is S2 because this Sir Guy is at the point where he could really change, if writers would have taken the chance his story could have been oh so much more interesting that it was, also I think he was the one that made me a RA fan (although I didn’t admit it until sometime later).OML 🙂

    • Oh, interesting comment. What chance are you thinking about in particular?I was chatting off-blog with some fans and we concluded Guy would have been even more interesting a post-watershed Robin Hood for adults. 😉

      • In my mind both Marian and Guy in all the episodes after Marian went back to the castle, had the chance to change. Marian to really let herself accept her feelings for Guy and really care for him and not use him, while Guy could take at this 2 directions road, step into the one that lead him to be the man, he knew he could be (but being Marian his motivation to let that part of him get out, she is needed).Oh yes, RH for adults might have been much much more interesting and daring in the storyline.OML 🙂

  10. It’s difficult choice between series 2 and 3. I too liked S2 for the appearance. But oh dear, that S3 mane is hard to resist… Series 1 seemed rather unformed, with cast, including Armitage settling into their characters.Guy in 3 was extraordinarily dramatic – a lesser actor would have been chewing the scenery; However, RA had it under control, which gave the performance more impact. The Meg episode was especially moving, with Gisborne emerging from his hell to actual human empathy.

    • He did get his crazy on when Robin returns to kill him. There was nowhere to go from there but slide into a turpor. You are right, he still wasn’t OTP.Experiencing Meg’s feisty sweetness and death probably saved his sanity. He realized somebody other than Marian could see the good in him and he could respond in kind.

  11. I was watching a Season 2 episode recently (Get Carter), and I suddenly realised what it is about Robin that particularly annoys me, and it’s that he always talks to Marian and the outlaws (in fact everyone) like he’s their dad!That is, in a preachy, patronising way (Dad knows best, etc). I don’t think that this is in the script, I think that it’s JA’s interpretation and performance – and it’s a great pity that he didn’t think to do anything more interesting with the material he was given. So there’s a weird thing going on with Marian supposedly attracted to a man who basically treats her like she is a child.And on the other hand, of course, we have Guy, who’s your slightly older, rather dangerous, biker boyfriend-type – I mean, who could resist that??!!! Not me!!

    • That was probably JA’s fault as an inexperienced actor fresh out of drama school. He needed to convey a quietly strong wise leader and that required a subtle touch. Too bad his head swelled; he could have asked RA for pointers.

  12. Obviously, in real-life Guy would have been a cold-blooded killer from whom I would run. However, as a fantasy figure, he’s gorgeous to behold. Clearly the writers and producers knew that, hence the larger role Guy played in the series.

  13. I didn’t mind Robin, but ya know, Guy was wearing black leather All. Over. (Series 2) and guyliner and had the raven locks. By Series 3 the leather didn’t matter so much. Still, I wonder how much that had an impact on me.The character of Guy seems to stay with me. I think because he was operatic in scope and therefore manifests and elicits big emotions. Actually, Series 1 had its Shakespearean moments (especially with Vaisey), which really got me hooked, hit the pleasure centres of my brain.I also think that out of all of RA’s characters so far, he spun dreck into pure gold (nothing can save Jocas). To me that is genius, and I am ever attracted to that kind of hot genius. 🙂 That, and the large emotional resonance with Guy, stays with me.

    • Welcome pi! Yes I think he hit all our pleasure centers. ;)I don’t think the producers and writers anticipated such appeal with the audience. Goes to show, you can’t keep a good actor down, except with — ohh, don’t get me started.

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