Fitzg’s Journeys: Marian – A Vindication

Guess what gang?  Fitzg is back!  This time she has provocative post entitled “Marian, A Vindication.”

For a bigger view, click here.  For some reason, iFrame is throwing errors.





20 thoughts on “Fitzg’s Journeys: Marian – A Vindication

  1. Good piece, fitzg and Judiang. Perfectly showing the dilemma of the medieval woman. The even more difficult part was that in fact marriage age WAS so young. 13, 14. Imagine Marian as a 13 year old. How on earth would she have had the emotional and intellectual maturity to make rational decisions?  She played the game, moved the pieces in a badly considered way and the result was the most terrible checkmate.

    Thank you both for this post!


  2. Very good points fitzg, and thank you for making them. It has often pained me to read so many hateful comments about Marian. She was a true heroine (at least according to the way her character was written in the TV show).

  3. @Prue and phylly, I liked Marian. And was impressed with Lucy’s portrayal. Lucy was a teen herself when filming began, and with so little experience, played the part with admirable authority. And, yes, she was the heroine. Margaret of Anjou was about 13 when married to the ineffectual Henry VI, who probably inherited the Valois’ tendency to mental disability through his grandmother, the wife of Henry V. And Isabella was married to Edward II, who had some confusion about his sexual identity. Both deserved better, and were reviled for doing what they thought best in very bad circumstances.

  4. Fitz, I agree with you about Marian, and I love these posts.  Keep them coming.   One of my degrees is in history and in particular British history. The time of Richard I and period just preceding it and shortly after are of great interest to me personally.   Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitane are fascinating, and my family’s history is tangled up with theirs.  I cannot get enough of reading about them.

    Thanks again, and glad to see you back.

    • Frenz, thank you so much for the comments. The whole medieval era is fascinating, is it not? (I love my DVD of The Lion in Winter. There is a non-malicious cynicism to it. 🙂 )

      So great to see you posting more on your blog. Missed you.











  5. Hello, Ana Cris, my thanks for reading the guest-post! Marian is memorable, don’t you think?

    • Hi Fitzg,

      I appreciate very much the character Marian. She reminds me of the archetypal of Maiden, that I worked in a post, and Marian represented the hunting godness, such as Diana and Arthemis. Another point that strikes me is the tragic story of Marian, that it refers to numerous rites of passage of condition feminine, from girl to woman, and a valuable lesson that we all have to learn: the avoidance of the predator.

      But what I like about your post is that you call attention to the fact that she fought with the weapons that she had, within the constraints of her time. She did the best? Maybe not. But she fought for the best. And that is perhaps what really matters.

      • @ana cris, I’m not as well-read as I should be in the Maiden. But it has always resounded, as allegory/symbol of the female “condition”. Annoying, even, to put quotation marks around condition, as though we are an aboration. OK, I like men, a lot. But I don’t consider either “condition” male or female as forever antagonistic. Complementary? But, in times such as the medieval (or Victorian) eras, women have just had to make use of whatever they had. We still do. Still, there are mysteries in feminity, and no doubt today’s senstive New Men and metrosexuals? still retain a fear of the female – the Other. There are mysteries to men, too. I don’t understand them completely. Which is fine. It is part of what makes them attractive.

  6. I think one thing is essential when we judge Marian, she what she did to Guy was for her cause, not for herself. We may not agree with the support for King Richard and may not like Robin, but Robin’s and Marian’s cause was to help the people, whereas Guy’s cause was helping himself most of the time. Marian put herself into danger as the nightwatchman, with nothing to gain for herself, Guy feared for his immortal soul (series 1 finale) or feared to loose the woman he wished to marry (various occasions in series 2) – so doing something for Marian is not selfless either. I’d say Marian cause is the worthier and because of that, in manipulating Guy the end justified the means.

  7. @Jane, I so much agree with your points. I can’t excuse myself from adoring the Armitage Guy, but that is irrelevant. The BBC Marian was a rather wonderful character portrait, and I have admiration for Lucy Griffiths. Not so certain about Robin, though. I tend to feel the character, as written, was not admirable. But then, neither do I think that Richard I was a great ENGLISH king…Richard I is another topic. A conflicting one. As for Jonas Armstrong, well, actually, (memo in notebook to develop thoughts for a later time), I think he did rather well with the material…and I so much like your comments, Jane. Guy was self-engrossed and a product of his time and circumstances.  He simply did not know Marian. His Marian was in his imagination.

    • I think many Guy fans were way to harsh with Robin (and Marian) and way to indulgent with Guy. Robin was written as a flawed hero and in the hands of another actor could have worked brilliantly. Arrogance for example, while not an attractive trait, can be plain annoying when displayed by one actor and incredibly sexy when handled by another. A flawed hero is a great thing and much more interesting than a flawless hero, in this case it just didn’t work, and Robin mostly came across as a spoilt brat.

      Of course, the premise of every RH story is that the Sheriff and his henchmen are evil and unjust, and Robin is morally on the right side, and that things will improve for the people once King Richard returns. That is given, and arguing it from a historical perspective just doesn’t make sense in the context. Even if we do, the plot to get rid of a useless king was not at all to make things better for England and it’s people, but solely to gain power and wealth and the reign of the black knights/PJ/The Sheriff would have been a lot worse than King Richard’s. And Guy was one of them, there is no arguing that. And I don’t think a hard childhood is an excuse for that.



    • One more thing, in episode one Robin made a conscious decision to give up his privileged life as a noble and fight for the people. In this version, unlike in some others, Guy and the Sheriff did gave Locksley back to him. He could have settled there, married Marian and be a good and decent landlord. But when he interrupted the hanging he knew it would make him an outlaw. So he made a choice he could not be enough admired for. The choices Guy made are of a very different nature.

    • It would have been a terrible message to young girls had Marian given up her ideals and her cause and given into Guy’s demands simply because she was sexually attracted to him. It makes a good plot for fanfic, and usually true love and Guy’s redemption come later, but hoping for that in real life would be disastrous.

  8. @servetus, nor have I. I understand being head over heels about the Armitage Guy, (I am) but I still feel the production as a whole is a bit underrated. Totally absurd modernist version of something medieval, but really rather good. And really good fun. And with rather good actors and characters…

  9. I’m afraid I can’t help seeing it in an historical context, though Gisborne cannot be excused, in RH1 and 2. And King John was worse. Ah well, at least there was Magna Carta. 🙂 – which has nothing to do with this production. Marian’s instincts were the right ones, even though they led to her death . She was heroic, and from that viewpoint, she was the hero of the series. She had a “moral compass”, sadly lacking in the male characters. Even if Robin’s choices were initially for the glory of Robin, he did make the right decisions. I can spare some sympathy for Jonas, though; he had some good scenes. It was bad luck that an older actor made an alluring character of a bad man. But given that was supposed to be series for children, Gisborne got his just desserts. (I’ve always wondered if Elizabeth fell in love with Darcy or with Pemberley – sorry, that is off-topic.)

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