Robin, Earl of Huntingdon, has returned home from the Holy Wars under orders from King Richard, to recuperate from injuries sustained in battle. He soon finds that the real battle for England needs to be fought against the Sheriff and his excessive taxation and corrupt administration.
Marian is undoubtedly beautiful and carries great status with her, as the daughter of Edward, the old Sheriff. For those reasons, Guy of Gisborne, a dispossessed lord and Vaysey's right hand man, falls in love with her quite obsessively. From the beginning, she frostily resists his attentions and gifts, unable to look past his murderous ways and cruelty. But as time goes on, her status and beauty aren't the only reasons why Guy wants her - he finds himself wondering if her pure heart and empathy could end his compulsive evil and bring about his redemption upon marriage. In the final episode of the first season, she is coerced by Guy into agreeing to marry him when King Richard returns to England. Though she does not love him, she does so to protect both herself and her father from his wrath.
Though time and heartbreak may have eroded her gentleness, it has left untouched her valiant spirit and keen sense of duty to her people. Marian is head-strong and no-nonsense, if often derisive of Robin's arrogance and cocky attitude towards her. But despite this, her ongoing love for him is evident as the series progresses, and they share many tender moments in secret.
When King Richard appears to return to England (he is, in fact, an impostor), Marian must fulfill her promise to marry Sir Guy, and he immediately prepares their wedding. In one final act of defiance against him, she dresses as the Nightwatchman and attempts to steal from him, but he stabs her as she makes her escape, unaware that she is Marian. Djaq cares for her and manages to revive her when she goes into cardiac arrest. Soon after though, Marian apparently dies, and the penultimate episode of the first series ends with Robin mourning over her body and repeating his love for her. However, it is revealed in the next episode that her body merely shut down as a result of a concoction that she had been given by Guy's physician Pitts.
Regaining her health shortly afterwards, Marian is left without option and to protect her father, arrives to marry Guy. The wedding is interrupted by a frantic Much, who informs her that the King is an impostor, and that it is a ruse by the Sheriff and Guy to weed out the Sheriff's enemies. In the hope that she will forgive him, Guy admits that he knew of the plan, but Marian punches him and flees the wedding. Robin rides up on horseback to greet her and Much, and Marian rides off with him. When they arrive at the castle to expose the Sheriff's plot, she and Robin share a kiss.
In the second series, Marian and her father were under house arrest in Nottingham Castle. Marian could not travel out of the castle without an armed guard, although she managed to escape this edict at various points in time, either by Robin's men creating a diversion, or by manipulating Guy. During these escapes, she would often deliver information to Robin.
In Season 2, it is evident that Robin and Marian's relationship has grown stronger; however, Marian seems be stuck in a love triangle along with Robin and Guy - Guy, who is still ignorant of her being Nightwatchman, and Robin's informer, still harbours deep feelings for her, and she starts to recognize the sacrifices he is making for her. However, she still remains faithful to Robin, despite becoming more adventurous and sensual in her manipulations of Guy. Through Guy, she can gain information to help Robin, and she also has a protector at the castle from other noblemen, like the Earl of Winchester. Guy also offers to conceal evidence linking her to her father's escape from prison, in order to shield her from the sheriff's wrath.
When her father dies, she agrees to join Robin in Sherwood Forest, despite several heated arguments as to whether it was the right thing to do. But although they argued at first, they eventually apologised and were able to see the bigger picture - it wasn't about what made them happy. It was about keeping Nottingham safe and looked after. For that reason, she returns to Nottingham castle with Guy, believing she can be of better use there, with him. However, in the process of that return, Guy is led to believe that Robin has endangered Marian's life, further poisoning Guy against Robin. In "Lardner's Ring", Episode 9, Robin proposed to Marian. She accepted his hand and his ring, although by the end of the episode, she is once more back in the castle with Guy. Later on, she hides the ring from Gisborne, wearing it only in private.
In a late episode of series 2, Guy discovers that she is the Nightwatchman. Devastated, he sends word to the sheriff that the Nightwatchman (and thus, Marian) is caught and sentenced to hang. He then accuses her of manipulating his affections for personal gain. Marian tries to convince him that she cares for him, despite the lies, to seemingly little avail, but in the last few minutes of the episode, Guy and Allan create a decoy Nightwatchman, saving Marian's life. The sheriff pulls a dagger on Guy and threatens him not to make anymore mistakes, a threat which Marian witnesses and is startled by, implying that she hadn't considered the gravity of the sacrifices that Guy made for her. At the end of the episode, she and Guy reconcile. She offers to repay him for saving her life, and he asks that she stay with him. She promises she will, and embraces him. The optimistic tone of the episode left the audience ill-prepared for the events of the finale.
In the final episode of series 2 ("We Are Robin Hood!"), Marian shields King Richard as Guy advances on the injured King. She admits her relationship with Robin, and declares, angrily, that she would rather die than be with Guy. Mortified, Guy runs her through, killing her. Devastated at what he has done, he flees with the Sheriff, while Robin arrives, only to find Marian crumpled in the sand. Marian marries Robin while she lies dying. She then dies in her husband's arms and is carried to her grave.
Lucy Griffiths makes one last appearance as Marian in "Something Worth Fighting For (Part 2)" as Robin is dying. Dressed in silver, she helps him to his feet and they hug.
There is controversy as to whether this is truly Marian's ghost, or Robin's hallucination.
Marian of Knighton Photos
|Previous: Robin Hood||Next: Guy of Gisborne|