Ok this time we are going to look at another hero that I fell in love with when I was a child and that was Robin Hood. More pacifically the Robin Hood that was portrayed in the ITV series Robin of Sherwood but I will touch on other Robin Hoods that we have seen over the years.
I was about seven I think when Robin of Sherwood hit the screens and growing up surrounded by woodlands as you do when you live in the Forest of Dean I used to love pretending I was him as I ran through the woods playing with my friends. This wasn’t my first encounter with this character, I had of course seen Disney’s Robin Hood (and yes I do own it on DVD) and I can remember listen to records when I stayed with my nan including Gary Miller’s Robin Hood (and yes that song is on my MP3 player along with the theme from Robin of Sherwood and Everything I do I do it for you.) I’ve watched many of the films with Robin Hood from Sean Connery to Russell Crowe.
So I have always had a love for the character and its bleed through to other characters most notably I think is the Arrow, a show I really enjoy. It is like a cross between Batman and Robin Hood. Two of my favourite heroes rolled into one. My character on the online game Neverwinter is an archer and when I use to be into Warhammer years ago I collected Wood Elves.
So what is it I love about this character? Well like a lot of my heroes he fights for the small guy, trying to defend people’s rights. In the modern world he can be compared to someone fighting against the big corporate companies and there is something that I think many people can relate to.
There is also something of a sliding scale with the heroes I have listed so far. He-man is an accepted hero loved across Eternia, well except for Skeletor and his gang. Spiderman has had his stages of being a vigilante but is generally seen as a superhero plus his secret identity as Peter Parker allows his to live a normal life away from the world of Spiderman. Robin is an outlaw. In this respect he is more of an anti-hero as he is living outside the laws of the land. And it is clear that should he be caught then it would mean death. But this is a world where there is injustice and bad things happen to people because of those in charge. Robin Hood has given up his ‘normal’ life in order to fight against this system, the reason he now has to live in the forest in hiding. So from Robin Hood in general there is a role model that shows that sometimes you have to take a stand against injustice in the world and fight for the people.
But returning to Robin of Sherwood what I liked about this show was that it was steeped in mysticism. You had the supernatural aspect of Herne the Hunter and foes that used black magic. Robin himself was armed with Albion. A mystic sword with the powers of light and darkness. (Again a connection with He-man and his sword of power, I love swords) so this gave the show another edge where our hero is connected to the forces of nature. (This is something that will feed into another blog about my next blog about my beliefs) So this show at such a young age also provided in a way a connection to my spiritual or mystical side. The other thing I have learnt through this interpretation of the character is to be in touch with my spiritual side and to be at one with the natural forces around me. There is nothing I enjoy more than going for walks in the woodlands around me. Not only do I find it very relaxing but there is also a little bit of excitement from being in the woods that connect me to my childhood. (I’m also reminded of the speeder bike chase from Return of the Jedi) I find that not only does such walks relax me and gets me in touch with nature but it is also a chance to reflect on things in my life. Even the name of this blog has a connection to it.
It should also be noted that Robin Hood is a leader of men. He-man may of lead but the people who fought alongside him were likeminded people who thought it was their duty to fight for good. Spiderman although teaming up with others at times is mainly a lone hero. What Robin Hood did was come along others and managed to get them to follow him in his fight making him an inspirational leader.
Robin Hood represents that part of me that wants to stand up for injustice, to be a light against the dark and inspire others to do the same but most of all it inspires me to be in touch with the more naturalistic side of myself.