Friday, August 14, 2009

The Crimson Herring in the Bull's Eye

I’d been IM-ing with Sunshine and she came up with quite the concept.

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned the “futuristic Robin Hood” movie that’s going into production. I asked her thoughts on it, even though I figured she’d probably not be so keen on the idea. She replied she didn’t really care, no, as Robin Hood had never been one of her favorites. But since she loves movies, she might give it a try depending on how it looks. Then came the swerve.

Okay, at first it’s not a swerve, but a common complaint. She wondered why Maid Marion (Maid Moron in her words) always had to be such a wuss. I replied that at least in recent manifestations there has been attempt to give her more than a damsel in distress role. I added that it might not have always been successful, but at least they tried. One Marion, however, does in fact "kick ass" - in the BBC series. She’s got all the attributes of a fair woman, plus. She’s well learned, can hold her own in wit and intensity with the "domineering" men and also is quite active. Not just in helping Robin and company to sneak in (or what have you) but also in fighting alongside him. (“Spoiler” info to come… if you don’t want part of it spoiled for you, move on to the next paragraph.) I explained to Sunshine how in the BBC series, long before Robin returned to Nottingham, she had become a personage called The Night Watchman. The Watchman would perform a role of protection and aid, in much the same way as Hood. You might even say she gave Robin the idea. She continues this risky business even when caught and exposed. At any rate, the writers (and actress Lucy Griffiths) gave us a Marion worth her salt.

Okay, here’s the curve ball Sunshine threw: Why can’t Robin Hood be a woman? There’s not even a name change involved. I don’t know about you, but I really love this idea. And since the legend of Hood is completely malleable as I explain in this post, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. The more I thought on it, the more I liked it. And now I want to see it.

As we continued on with the discussion, we wondered… would the Sheriff, Sir Guy of Gisbourne (and others) think they are dealing with a man? Hmmm. At first it seemed too pat/expected. I mean, wouldn’t it be cooler if they knew they were being bested by a woman? Especially in that day and age. Then again, that can also be construed as too pat/expected. Furthermore, wouldn’t it be advantageous of a female Robin Hood to have the authorities believe she’s a man? Can’t ask for a redder herring disguise. It’s a difficult one to rejoinder. Of course, the discussion led Sunshine to another legend-shifting idea. What if Robin Hood and Maid Marion were the same person? Whoa, yes. Perhaps that is a crimson herring?

Certainly a lot to think about. I know I’d like to see a version where Hood is a leading lady. (Just don't give her a skimpy outfit!)


Danielle Mari said...

This Sunshine sounds like quite a character herself.

Anonymous said...

That is a neat idea that I don't recall seeing anywhere else--the closest to it I've seen is on Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears where various knights were competing for Princess Calla's hand, and she didn't really want to marry any of them so she disguised herself as a boy and competed herself (and won).

One question, though, what would her "proper" name be, then? "Robin Marian"?

And yeah, I'm with ya on the skimpy outfit deal. :P

Danielle Mari said...

Hahaha!!! Robin Marian!

And as I recall, Marian (in some versions) is set to marry some unsavory Guy that she really doesn't want to marry. I can see her demurely pushing him away as he tries to advance on her, "I'm saving myself." Than, later, as she reveals herself to be THAT Robin Hood and is attacking him or robbing him or whatever, he asks, "WHY!?!" And she again says, "I'm saving myself."


Ok. Someone write it.