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Robin of Sherwood Episode Guide Season 1

Robin of Sherwood Episode Guide Season 2

Robin Hood - Man, Myth or Legend

Robin Of Sherwood

Herne the Hunter

Robin Hood - Man, Myth or Legend

Lythe and listin, gentlemen,
That be of frebore blode,
I shall tel of a gode yem
His name was Robyn Hode.

Robyn was a prude outlawe,
Whyles he walked on grounde:
So curteyse an outlawe as he was,
One was never non founde.

Robyn stode in Bernesdale,
And lenyd hym to a tre;
And bi hym stode Litell Johnn,
A gode yeman was he.

(Geste of Robyn Hode)

Who was he ?

Was he a man or a name, used as a weapon against the Norman rule and oppression?

Where did he live ?

Did he live in Nottinghamshire or Yorkshire as some ballads suggest?

Questions that still cannot be answered today.

The first Robin Hood was found in "Piers the Ploughman" by Langland in c1377, where Sloth says "I know plenty of ballads about Robin Hood and Randolph, Earl of Chester". From the ballads many daring deeds and conquests told, came stories of good an d stories of bold. Of Robin and his men, saving the lives of many a man. From Sherwood to Barnsdale Wood and Nottingham to Yorkshire, tales and ballads went far afield. The peasants of England heard through travellers of the deeds of Robin and his men, this gave them the will to fight and to resist Norman oppression, which in time became a thorn in the Normans side. From this names started to crop up, Robin Hoods Butts, Wells, Inns, etc in no less than six counties. This I am sure kept the Normans, who were hunting him, wondering where he would turn up next.

Was Robin in Yorkshire ?

Kind Gentlemen and Yeomen good,
Come and sup with Robin Hood.
If Robin Hood he be agone,
Come in and sup with Little John.

These words used to be fixed above the door lintel on a Public House in Castleton, North Yorkshire. The Pub was called `Robin Hood and Little John` and marks where they were reputed to have stopped.

About 700 years ago, Olde England was covered by dense forests, so travelling through them was difficult and was a haven for cut throats, vagabonds and outlaws. Adam Bell, Clim of the Clough and William Cloudesly, all travelled through these forests whilst escaping from the clutches of the Norman law. Did they use land marks, trees, rocky outcrops ? Could it have been possible to travel form Sherwood to Barnsdale Wood without leaving either, hence ballads of him in Yorkshire as well as Nottinghamshire ?

Who Killed Cock Robin ?

After the days of high adventure, when Robin and his Merry Men, killed the King's deer, outwitted the Sheriff, and robbed many Merchants and Nobles, it is written in the ballads that Robin was given a Pardon by the King, and served in the Royal Court. This was not the life for Robin and he yearned to be given leave to return to the Greenwood, the King allowed him to return and Robin stayed there for twenty two years.

Sources reveal that Robin " had great paynes in his lymbs, his bloud being corrupted ", (Sloane Manuscript). Robin was taken to Kirklees Priory by Little John, to his cousin Elizabeth de Stayton, the Prioress. Renown for her medical knowledge, she treated Robin by " letting blood ", which was a common custom of this time. This led to Robin's death.

Was it murder ?

Did the Prioress with the aid of Roger of Doncaster, plot Robins death ?.

According to legend when Robin was near death, he called for Little John, by blowing on his hunting horn three times. When John came he asked him for his bow, and said to Little John " Where this arrows lies, bury me ".

Robin Hood's grave is in the grounds of Kirklees Park, and permission is needed to visit the reputed site.

The Epitaph reads .....

" Hear underneath this laitl stean
Laz Robert Earl ofHuntingtun
Ne'er arcir ver as hie sa geud
And pipl kauld im Robin Heud
Sick utlawz as hi an iz men
Vil England nivr si agen
Obiit 24 kal, Dekembris 1247 "

Maid Marion

There was no mention of Maid Marion in the early manuscripts and ballads, and this myth is believed to have been imported from France, and came to England as a character in a Whitsuntide Play (c. 1500 ), passing into the May Games were she married with Robin, and later, entwined in the legend.

Did you know ?

That Robin Hood and Little John loosed arrows from Whitby Abbey roof, and they fell near Whitby Laithes over a mile away. Where the arrows fell, two pillars were set. The field where Robin's arrow fell being called " Robin - his - Field ", and where Little John's arrow fell being called " John's Field ".

That Wolf's Head was a term given to Outlaws, this was because wolves once roamed freely in England and when they were hunted, money was given for the Wolf's head, similarly Outlaws.

Nothing is ever Forgotten......

What astounds me is the amount of information available, whether it be songs, ballads, plays, scrolls, rolls, books, TV Series,and films about Robin Hood and yet people still doubt whether he was FACT or FICTION.

I certainly believe he was a man, a freedom fighter, born from the land and raised to fight injustice, oppression, poverty and the right for every Englishman to be free.

Myths and legends always have some basis of truth. Robin Hood will be remembered as the greatest hero of all time and never forgotten...........


Robin Hood...............................J.C.Holt
Ryme of Robin Hood.................Dobson & Taylor
The Quest for Robin Hood.........J.Lees
The Haunts of Robin Hood........W.R.Mitchell

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Robin Hood - Man, Myth or Legend

Herne the Hunter

Robin Of Sherwood

Micheal Pread

The opening scenes to "Robin Hood and the Sorcerer" set the atmosphere as to how the whole of the first and second series, staring Michael Praed, as Robin, was to proceed. The direction of the series was excellent and especially the 'focus pulling' techniques brought about a mystical and eerie experience. The first series was able to draw on some of the legends surrounding 'Robin Hood'. The members of the band were brought together by the end of the first episode with a new cast member 'Nasir', a Saracen, and a ghostly advisor for Robin, in the shape of Herne the Hunter.

If you could imagine that you live in a small Saxon village on the out skirts of a wood, in the Early to Middle Ages, you would have believed in Spirits and Gods that helped you through your very boring and mundane life. Herne was one of these Gods (the God of the forest) that looked after the harvest. The peasants, villagers and farmers called on Herne to bless the harvest for the coming of summer, but today it is thought of as being Pagan and Heathen by our Christian society.

A 'Black' side to 'Magic' however was portrayed by an 'evil' Baron De Belleme, played by Anthony Valentine and a greater part played by Nicholas Grace as the sceptical Sheriff of Nottingham. The overtones of 'Magic' and 'Paganism' run rife throughout the series. In the episodes of 'The Witch of Elsdon', Angarad Rees playing the part of an innocent Herbalist; 'Lord of the Trees', the time of the blessing (need I say more); 'The Swords of Wayland', Rula Lenska playing the part of an evil 'witch'; and 'The Enchantment', where Gemma Craven resurrects the Baron with help from Robin, these are but a few. Even the mention of Gildas and Wayland gives historical relevance to the stories and links past with present in the series.

This year sees the 10th anniversary of when the first series of 'Robin of Sherwood' was feasted before our eyes and since the last series in 1986 when series three was shown we have still seen the famous outlaw crop up in many films. Robin Hood - Prince of thieves, starring Kevin Costner, Robin Hood, starring Patrick Bergin, Robin Hood man in tights, starring Carl Elwes and last but not least Maid Marian and her Merry Men which has just had its seen its last ever series shown on tv.

In DWB (Dream Watch Bulletins) issue No 101, May 1992, an article by Tim Munro entitled 'The Return of the Wolf' considers how the loose ends for a possible fourth series could be brought together, without making it look silly or ridiculous.

DWB No101 May 1992, Tim Munro 'Return of the Wolf'

Return of the Wolf

Return of the Wolf - ROS Robin of Sherwood - Dream Watch Bulletin 101

"Basically the idea is this - Robin of Loxley isn't really dead. Whatever did happen atop that rocky outcrop in 'The Greatest Enemy', Robin didn't die. Now I know this appears to contradict my earlier statement that 'The Greatest Enemy' relies for its effectiveness on the fact that he is dead, but I don't think this theory detracts from that episode in any way, because even if he isn't dead the Merries and Marion believe he's most certainly gone from there lives. The tragedy of their loss remains as strong as ever.

But suppose, just suppose, that he didn't die. Suppose, in fact, that Herne had other work for him to do; That the Forest God had decided the time had come for his protege' to leave Sherwood, to go out into the world, and to do his work amongst the poor, the weak and the dispossessed, while another man assumed the mantle of Robin i' the Hood. Thus suppose that during the Connery season , Robin is still out there somewhere, travelling the world, doing the work of Herne.

Of course this does appear to conflict with Robins farewell to Marion, and with the implication that it is his spirit which leads his successor to Herne (" I heard a voice," says Connery. "So.... he is free," muses Herne), but apart from that its quite amazing how much evidence there is for this theory once you start looking for it..... in fact you begin to wonder if Richard Carpenter, even then, might have been writing himself an escape clause in case Praed changed his mind.

Firstly, of course, there is a surprising fact we do not actually see Praed die. Secondly, there is the Sheriff's conspicuous failure to transport Robin's corpse back into Nottingham - thus we never see the body, and in deed, De Rainault's whole manner after Robin's 'death' is mighty suspicious. When Gisburne challenges him on the whereabouts of the body, his excuse is lame to say the least, "It was unrecognisable, Gisburne", and later - when Gisburne pursues the point - he becomes noticeably defensive. Note also the sequence when the Hooded Man rescues the Merries. De Rainault's guards are paralysed with fear, believing that they face the ghost of the man they slaughtered earlier.... but De Rainault, somehow knows that the ghostly figure is flesh and blood. " Kill that man," he snarls. Thinking about his uncharacteristically rattled behavior throughout the episodes final act, one begins to wonder if there is a moment when the Sheriff was left alone with Robin's 'corpse'.... and if there was, whether De Rainault witnessed something rather shocking - like, perhaps, a man skewed with arrows casually getting up and walking away, or even disappearing. If you want more evidence, its worth looking at Robin's parting words to Much - "I will be with you again - later" and remembering Robin never made a promise to Much if he new he wouldn't be able to keep it.

Working from this idea, a new series could begin several years after 'Time of the Wolf'. Marion has finally succumbed to Robin II's charms, left the Nunnery and returned to Sherwood.... but Gisburne has discovered that Robin II is his half brother, and in a fury tracks him down and kills him. The Sheriff is jubilant, but in the forest Herne the Hunter vows that it is not over yet - the Hooded Man is returning to his people. Even as Marion sobs over her second husbands corpse, several miles away, a tramp-like figure is entering Nottingham through the main gate. His face is hidden by his hood, but as the first notes of Clannad's The Hooded Man bring up the titles, he lifts his head, the sunlight falls across his face.... and we realise we are looking at an older, more weatherbeaten, but still unmistakable, Robin of Loxley."

Robin & Marion

Tim certainly comes up with some plausible ideas, which I hope are used if the 'money men' can come up with the cash to produce another series. I would even consider giving them my services free to choreograph the sword fights (I have had 10 years experience in Medieval Combat and can use any medieval weapon with expertise). I would certainly like to see a fourth and final series emerge to help tie up all the anomalies at the end of the third series, 'The Time of the Wolf' and I really think that Tim's ideas could be used as an opening episode.

I guess its like being a Dr Who fan, 'who' hopes there might eventually be another series or possibly a film ?

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Robin Hood - Man, Myth or Legend

Robin Of Sherwood

Herne the Hunter

Herne the Hunter

There is an old tale goes, That Herne the Hunter,
Sometime a keeper here in Windsor forest,
Doth all the winter-time, at Still midnight,
Walk round about an oak, with great ragg'd horns,
And there he blasts the tree, and takes the cattle,
And makes milch-kine yeild blood, and shakes a chain,
In a most hideous and dreadful manner.

These words were spoken by Mistress Page in the Merry Wives of Windsor (1623 - Shakespeare), and are believed to be the first evidence we have of the legend of Herne the Hunter, who haunted Windsor park. 'A spectral hunter said to have been in medieval times a keeper in Windsor forest, who hanged himself from the tree known as Herne's Oak, and thereafter haunted the forest.'

The origins of the story are uncertain, though it bears some resembelance to the tale in German folklore of the Wild Huntsman, and a version of it is related by Mistress Page in the Merry Wives of Windsor (IV.iv), where Falstaff dresses as Herne for the denouncement at Herne's Oak. Herne also appears in Ainsworths historical romance Windsor Castle (1843) with vivid illustrations by Cruikshank.

In the HTV series Robin of Sherwood, Herne was seen as The Lord of the Trees and was summoned to bless the harvest for the following year, to celebrate the coming of summer. The blessing lasted for two days (Eastorie fits in well with this, the egg and fertility thing) and nothing could be killed during this time or the blessing would be denied and the harvest would fail.

But the legend is linked to an even older God, that of the Celts called Cernunnos, the 'Horned One'. For Cernunnos is usually shown cross-legged and wearing antlers and is classed as a Stag God. It could be that the famous hillside giant of Dorset, Cerne Abbas, with a 'play on words' with the 'K' for the 'H' sound, could be that of Herne. Other place names include Herne Hill, 2 Herne villages, Herne Bay, Hernebridge and there's Herne's Beck at Hardraw in Yorkshire.

Maybe the name Herne has come from the fact that the cry of the fallow deer during rutting season makes a sound just like 'HERR-NN...! Herr-nn... repeated over and over again. What with Cernunnos being classed as the Stag God, what name would mortal men best named him ?

Although newer Gods emerged, the Horned God remained, and was still present at the dawn of the christian era in the form of Pan and other horned deities. The Christians emerged and convinced the pagans that their Horned God was that of theDevil, of which the 'Holy book' spoke of, in a hope to convert them to christianity.

The Horned God survived Christianity and was found in Folklore, the Horned God became Robin Goodfellow and puck, mischievious spirits who could be helpful to humans, but could still play spitful tricks. Robin Goodfellow is also associated with Robin Hood, who was the champion of the people and in Robin of Sherwood (HTV series), was Herne's son and champion.

I am a leaf driven by the wind..... who are you ?

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Robin Hood - Man, Myth or Legend

Robin Of Sherwood

Herne the Hunter

All Copyrights remain with the original author.

This page was created on 31st March 1998 and on updated 1st January 2004