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 Rise and rise again, until lambs become lions.

Robin Hood is a 2010 film starring Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Oscar Isaac and Mark Strong, directed by Ridley Scott.

The film distinguishes itself from previous Robin Hood films in that, like other recent rebooted franchises like Star Trek and Batman Begins, it offers an expanded origin story for the hero, showing how he met his supporting cast and how he became an outlaw. However, the fictional elements of the film's origin story are made up for the film itself, and familiar folkloric elements are not depicted, or at least not in the usual way. The film connects Robin's origins with historical tensions between King John and his nobles and between England and France as a whole (though Hollywood History is rampant).

The Third Crusade is over, and an archer of murky origins named Robin Longstride deserts the English army together with his friends. He comes across a dying knight who sets him off on a quest to discover the secrets of his past. Meanwhile, England is beset by troubles from within and without. A newly crowned king's incompetence proves taxing, the nobles are restive, the common people face impending poverty and hunger, and a traitor is working with foreign powers to cripple the kingdom. Robin's journey takes him to the English royal court and to the struggling town of Nottingham, where he finds his true heritage and true love, and rises at England's hour of need to burst into legend as "Robin of the Hood".

The usual storyline that Douglas Fairbanks' silent Robin Hood and later Errol Flynn's The Adventures of Robin Hood made famous, or rather standard (see: Prince of Thieves, Men in Tights, etc.) with the nobleman Robin being outlawed, making trouble for the Sheriff of Nottingham, and Storming the Castle at the end to save Maid Marion is hardly covered here. While Robin does rob from the rich and give to the poor, this is not presented in the usual manner.

Unlike some other Robin Hoods and like one other (Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn's Robin and Marion, which featured Robin at the end of his career), the film is mostly set in the reign of King John and only features his brother Richard the Lion Heart at the start. The film also includes more Historical Domain Characters than is usual for Robin Hood films. Aside from Kings Richard and John, their mother Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, John's wife Queen Isabella of Angoulême, the English court official William Marshal and King Philip Augustus of France all have roles in the plot.

Thus, right away it's important to recognize the film is trying to do its own thing rather than put its own spin on a story everyone knows, like most previous Robin Hood films. The story everyone knows (often through the previous films themselves) is also not quite the same as the Robin Hood legend taken as a whole, but rather an Adaptation Distillation of centuries of oral and written tradition, and book, television and film treatments of that tradition. Most of the familiar story details everyone knows only developed through the centuries, including the association of Richard and John, Robin being a knight, a Storming The Castle climax, and even Robin's whole shtick of robbing the rich and giving to the poor. Still, Your Mileage May Vary with such an approach to a familiar character; the film has been subject to Critical Backlash and Internet Backdraft because of it.

This film contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Marion. Many eyes rolled at this inclusion, though one ballad has Marion disguise herself as a page and duel Robin with swords "for at least an hour or more".
  • Adaptation Expansion: While not a conventional retelling of Robin Hood like other films, the movie is an origin story for Robin and provides a setup for the legend.
  • All There in the Manual: The Production Notes (.doc file) and assorted interviews reveal some plot and character details not found or not explained in full in the theatrical cut.
  • Almighty Janitor: King Richard is killed by a French cook who takes a pot-shot at him while delivering soup.
  • Anachronism Stew: Despite the film's generally authentic medieval feel (Hollywood History aside), the ships in the climactic beach battle look rather like WWII-era Higgins boats, only rowed instead of motorized. The ships and the battle itself have prompted comparisons to Saving Private Ryan.
  • Annoying Arrows: Averted, the most important deaths (Richard, Godfrey) happen via arrow.
  • Arc Words: "Rise and raise again, until lambs become lions." According to Robin it means "Never give up." The phrase is the motto of his late father, who was executed for preaching in favor of increased civil rights and against absolute monarchism. Sir Walter, a supporter, had the phrase engraved in his sword hilt. When his son gives this sword to Robin years later, Robin's suppressed memories are stirred by the phrase, kicking off the main plot thread.
  • The Archer: Robin is a common-born, professional archer through the crusades. His buddies, save Little John, are also archers.
  • Arrow Cam: Used when Robin finally kills Godfrey.
  • Arrows on Fire: The archers shoot bags of crude oil, planted by sappers, to blow up a castle gate.
  • Attempted Rape: Marion fights off one.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: King Richard the Lionheart leads his army into battle from the front which gets him killed and later King John feels obliged to as well, despite it being his first time, and despite the objections of his retainers.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Subverted, as the audience knows the guy being crowned is by all accounts (including his mother's) the wrong man for the job.
  • An Axe to Grind: Little John, whose signature staff gets an axehead.
  • Badass Grandpa: Sir Walter, Marion's father-in-law, isn't afraid to swing a sword at his enemies, despite being 84 years old and nearly blind. Not to mention his "tumescent growth..."
  • Badass Preacher: Friar Tuck. Not only does he use the Bee-Bee Gun, see below, but also wears armor and goes into battle against the French.
  • Bald of Evil: Godfrey and his henchman.
  • Band of Brothers: After 10 years together in the army, Robin's friends choose to stick around even after Robin urges them repeatedly to go their own ways.
  • Beard of Evil: While many males in the film have facial hair, ranging from Perma Stubble to full BadassBeards, this trope applies to various villain characters: King John, the Sheriff, the true Big Bad King Philip, and Godfrey's second-in-command. Godfrey is the only clean-shaven villain, but a different trope applies to him.
  • Bee-Bee Gun: Friar Tuck locks up a bunch of French soldiers inside his small church and throws two beehives in to keep them company. This is a rare case of Chekhov's Bee-Bee Gun?
  • Big Bad: On one level, King John; but as the film quickly establishes, the true Big Bad is King Philip of France.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Robin, the Merry Men and a force of English soldiers drive off Godfrey's "tax collectors" from Nottingham. They are The Cavalry from Marion's perspective.
  • The Big Guy: Little John.
  • Big No: Robin utters one of these at the final battle when Marion is taken down by Godfrey.
  • Bilingual Dialogue: The nobility are perfectly comfortable speaking and understanding both French or English. This is true to history as, just barely a hundred and fifty years after the Norman Conquest, much of the nobility and certainly the Norman royal house would have used French (or, specifically, Anglo-Norman, a related language also called Norman French) as their language of choice. English was very much a peasant's tongue and was not used in government until the fourteenth century, due to the Hundred Years War and further reinforcement of negative opinions of the French.
  • Blood Brothers: John and Godfrey are "joined at the breast", i.e. had the same nursemaid, so they are literal bosom buddies from way back. But Godfrey is Evil All Along, and learning of his betrayal leaves John quite shaken.
  • Bloodless Carnage: The film aimed for a PG-13 rating (for the theatrical cut at least), and so there is relatively little blood and no gore, compared to Gladiator.
  • Blood Oath: Twice:
    • When Godfrey swears allegiance to the French king, the king is eating raw oysters and has just cut himself opening one. He offers Godfrey the oyster laced with his blood, and Godfrey eats it.
    • Alan points out to Robin when he swears to return Sir Robert's sword that this trope is in effect, since Robin had nicked his hand. Robin blows this off, but still returns the sword to Sir Robert's father.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: King Richard and Little John.
  • Book End: When Robin first crosses paths with Godfrey, Godfrey flees on horseback, and Robin only managed to nick him with an arrow. In the end, the same situation plays out, but Robin catches him in the neck.
  • Bow and Sword In Accord
  • Brutal Honesty: When King Richard asks for his opinion of the crusade, Robin answers honestly that it was a pointless waste of life. From the setup in the previous scene, it almost seems that King Richard was going to reward Robin for his honesty and set himself as a Reasonable Authority Figure. Instead he puts Robin and his gang in the stocks for their trouble.
  • Burn, Baby, Burn: Walter is cremated.
  • But You Screw One Goat!: Little John jokes that Will Scarlet “co-habits with sheep” and mimes sheep-shagging. In the film, Will's accent and red hair likely marks him as a Welshman.
  • Canon Foreigner: Most notably Original Characters Godfrey and Walter. In a looser sense, the Historical Domain Characters, aside from Richard and John, who get to be part of the story for once.
  • The Cavalry: Robin and part of the army drive off Godfrey's raiders/tax collectors from Nottingham. They are also literally cavalry.
  • Chekhov's Army: The film opens with a band of young thieves stealing Nottingham grain. Marion explains they are orphans whose fathers died in Richard's wars. While they are glimpsed once or twice in the middle of the film, they show up again to help Marion and Tuck free the captive villagers while Robin and The Cavalry fight off Godfrey's raiders. They also show up at the climactic beach battle, led by an armour-clad Marion. At the very end of the film, when Robin is declared to be an outlawww, they form the majority of his band.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Friar Tuck's beehives and Marion's self-defense dagger come in handy when the French are pillaging Nottingham.
  • Chewing the Scenery: King John
  • Colourful Theme Naming: Will Scarlet is a Redheaded Hero instead of wearing red clothes like in traditional versions.
  • Cool Horse: Robin rides the king's white horse throughout the film.
  • Corrupt Church: Most of the church officials are blind to the hunger and poverty of the people, as long as their own riches are filled. Averted with Friar Tuck, who could even use the Church’s own argument against them when Robin robbed the grain from the previous Friar.
  • The Crusades: Part of the backstory, as is now standard for Robin Hood. Robin is haunted by a massacre Richard ordered at the siege of Acre. Despite this, in a departure from several recent treatments of Robin Hood there are no actual Saracen characters in the film.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Godfrey is best buddies with the King of England, who promotes him to his second in command. He couldn't possibly get any more power by betraying him to King Philip.
    • Justified: Godfrey agrees to betray England long before he becomes Chancellor, and given the stature of a position in the French court instead of the (almost completely bankrupt) English court, Godfrey most likely was looking to make money in addition to gaining power, both things that Philip could offer.
  • The Danza: A close enough reverse one where Allan A'Dayle is played by Canadian singer Alan Doyle. Another reverse one is William Hurt playing William Marshal.
  • Darker and Edgier: This is certainly one of the grimmest tellings of a Robin Hood story, from the old ballads to modern works. Definitely so, compared to The Adventures of Robin Hood and most other Robin Hood films, by having more (or more overt) violence, politics and poverty than is the norm. Crowe's Robin is far from Flynn's wisecracking rogue. Even Prince of Thieves, which already tried to be Darker And Edgier while at the same time having Alan Rickman as the Sheriff, is outdone by this film.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Robin and his fellow deserters pose as knights killed in an ambush to get back to England quickly. Later, Robin continues to live as Robin of Loxley at the family's request. This helps meld the various backstories of Robin as both a commoner and knight into one story, as well as helps explain why a knight would be such a good archer.
  • Demoted to Extra: The Sheriff of Nottingham, typically remembered as Robin's most direct adversary, has a very minor role in the film and barely comes into conflict with Robin at all. His later role in the legend is only hinted at in the very end.
  • The Dragon: Godfrey to John and the French King at the same time.
  • Drop the Hammer: Robin wields a horseman's hammer during the cavalry sequence, before switching to a sword for the climactic final duel.
    • Likewise Little John. Note above how his staff has an axe head now? The other end has a mace head.
  • Duel to the Death: In the middle of a battle, Robin faces Godfrey in a sword fight, though the traditional outcome of this trope is subverted when Godfrey rides off and Robin offs him with a single long-range arrow shot... from behind.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Despite John being the runt of Queen Eleanor's eight children, he is correct on every account about how the state of England isn't his fault, but Richard's.
  • The Dung Ages: Ye Goode Olde Days are scarcely glimpsed here, which ticked off many reviewers.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: John, upon learning of Godfrey's betrayal (the last of the royal court to learn of it), flies into a rage and nearly stabs his wife, who has informed him. Then he breaks into tears and gets a Cooldown Hug. May also qualify as a literal Villainous Breakdown, but he's not the chief villain of the movie.
  • Evil Chancellor: Godfrey to King John. His title really is Chancellor. Also Treacherous Advisor.
  • Executive Meddling: Probably to shorten running time, a key scene was cut from the theatrical cut where Robin comes out as an impostor of Sir Robert Loxley. In the present version we are led to believe that Robin successfully maintained his deception until the battle scene where suddenly everyone is cheering him by his real name Longstride. This creates a plothole because John outlaws him partly for impersonating a knight. Reports also say nearly 20 minutes of footage were cut, and knowing Scott they will likely turn up in the home video release. (Note: They did)
  • Fake Brit: Robin and Marion are Australian, King John is Guatemalan, and Sir Walter is Swedish.
    • Not to mention (save Tuck) the Merry Men are two Canadians and an American.
  • Fan Service: Robin removing his armor is for the ladies, as well as continuing the growing sexual tension between Robin and Marion.
  • Feudal Overlord: A benevolent and not particularly wealthy example in the Loxleys of Nottingham; Marion works together with their tenant farmers in the fields, and later Robin and the Merry Men follow suit.
  • Flirting Under Fire: Marion and Robin kiss in the water between the French warships as Marion bleeds from a wound and the fighting rages on around them.
    • Marion isn't bleeding, Robin's blood from his head wound is dripping onto her.
  • Foot Focus: There's a pointed close-up of Marion washing her feet. This continues the theme of showing Marion as an action girl who gets her hands (and feet) dirty.
  • French Jerk: An entire army of them!
  • Glasgow Grin: Robin manages to shoot half of one to Godfrey in France.
  • The Good Chancellor: William Marshal before he's replaced with the Evil Chancellor.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Worn by the nobles and soldiers; contrasted with the plain clothes of the Nottingham peasants. Marion's dresses are also comparatively plain compared to the garments of the other noblewomen in the film.
  • Harmless Villain: The Sheriff, who gets to hit on Marion but mostly serves as the butt of jokes.
  • The High Middle Ages
  • Historical Downgrade: Was so fond of this that it occasionally ventured into Narm territory, especially with Richard's death and the Sheriff of Nottingham in general.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade:
    • William Marshal, renowned in his time as a soldier and statesman and called after his death "the flower of chivalry" and "the greatest knight who ever lived", gets to help fight off an French invasion that never happened (though they did invade years later; see the Hollywood History entry below)
    • The same applies to Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, one of the most powerful women in her time, though her role in reinforcing her son's rule is suitably behind the scenes.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Inverted with King John, who is given a more balanced portrayal than in many adaptations - still a bad and petty ruler, but he accepts Godfrey's treachery without trying to defend it when it becomes apparent, and leads his men into battle. Also, he is an actual, not phony, king of England this time.
    • Played straight with King Philip, who leads an invasion that never happened (though his son, still prince, did lead an invasion years later; see the Hollywood History entry below).
  • Hollywood History: Despite being promoted as going into the history behind the legend, the film contains rather large deviations and inventions.
    • According to the film, Robin Hood's father is responsible for (at least what would become) Magna Carta. Despite promising to give it his seal of approval, John doesn't and has Robin outlawed for his trouble. This does not contradict the fact of the real Magna Carta being signed several years into John's reign, and so Scott plans to cover it for real in a sequel should it be greenlit.
      • The production notes explain the charter is a precursor to Magna Carta. It is intended to represent the Carta de Foresta (Charter of the Forest), which awarded rights, privileges and protection to the common man. In the film, Robin's father drafts it years before it actually was. Yet John's refusal to approve it still does not contradict history, because the real Carta de Foresta came after Magna Carta, sealed by John's son Henry III.
    • The main plot conflict is dodgy because King Philip never invaded England. Years later, when John broke the terms of the Magna Carta and many barons rebelled for real (unlike the film), Philip's son Louis led an invasion with their support.
    • The film shows Richard dying from a crossbow bolt almost immediately. In truth, he lived for more than a week, succumbing to gangrene after a botched operation. He even lived long enough to see the crossbowman (a boy who defended the walls with a crossbow and a frying pan - not a cook) brought before him. He forgave him (even after the boy confessed that he had shot Richard to avenge his father and brother) and ordered that he be set free and even rewarded with 100 shillings for such a lucky shot. Shortly after Richard's death, the pardon was retracted by a mercenary captain, and the boy was flayed alive.
    • Richard's death actually occurred in 1199. The movie instead explicitly states it as happening during his return home after the Third Crusade.
      • Actually, yes and no. The film explicitly mentions the year 1199. However, it also mentions Richard "fighting his way back home" which is also true. After leaving the Holy Land Richard was captured and spent some years in an (IIRC) Austrian prison. After being released for ransom he went and fought the French without even setting foot in England (teh English king ahd lots of land in France, this being one of the reasons for the Hundred Years War). So it's actually both right. Richard did die in 1199 and it was on his way home from the crusades.
    • Richard speaking English, bragging about his English heritage and directing slurs to the French during the first siege for that matter. In reality, all "English" monarchs and nobles between 1066 and 1453 were of Norman extract and spoke the Anglo-Norman language, more like French than anything English.. While they would have looked down on the rest of the French, they also would have considered English to be the language of peasants. Richard himself was far more interested in controlling Normandy than England.
    • The film also, and quite understandably, overlooks the fact that Isabella was twelve when she married John.
  • I Am Dying Please Take My Macguffin: After deserting the English army upon Richard's death, Robin and company come across an ambush of the King's knights. The knights were escorting Richard's crown back to England. The trope is slightly subverted because Robin is not actually tasked with escorting the crown in their place, but seizes the chance to get a free trip home. Cue Dead Person Impersonation.
    • However, he is tasked by a dying knight to bring his sword back to his father. The sword doubles as both Memento MacGuffin and Sword of Plot Advancement, because Arc Words engraved on its hilt stir Robin's hazy childhood memories, and this drives him to seek out more information in the knight's hometown of Nottingham.
  • Instant Messenger Pigeon: Used by an English spy to alert William Marshal of Godfrey's machinations.
  • Jerkass: Both King Richard and King John, unusually, though they have different ways of showing it. Neither are very fond of Robin, either.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: King John's rant at his mother over Richard's follies, such as going off to play war and having to shell out an exorbitant ransom to get him back.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Isabella, who in spite of being a bitch, truly loves John.
  • King Incognito: Richard dons a cloak and hood and mingles among his men.
  • The Lancer: Both Allan A'Dayle and Will Scarlet are this to Robin.
  • Large Ham: Boisterous Bruiser King Richard, and his brother John even moreso.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The King of France whom Godfrey is working for.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: A crucial one at that; see Executive Meddling above.
  • Naked on Arrival: Prince John and his French mistress (and to-be-wife) are interrupted in bed by the Queen Mother. The film is PG-13, so Modesty Bedsheets are present.
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: who else but Marion? She even ends up as the camp mom at the end
  • Non-Indicative Name: Some reviewers are of the opinion that the plain title "Robin Hood" was inadequate for a film about how a man became Robin Hood amidst warring kingdoms. He is "officially" Robin Hood only at the end. May fall into In Name Only territory, if you Accentuate the Negative and have the Flynn-style Robin as reference.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping - This provided much humour for British viewers of the film, in which Robin Hood jumps around several areas of England in a single scene. Also proved to be Russell Crowe's Berserk Button, when quizzed by Mark Lawson about it.
  • Oop North: The accent is attempted by Crowe, not entirely successfully (see above) and is also used by the Northern barons.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted (if you consider diminutive names) with Little John/King John, Will Scarlet/William Marshal and Robin Longstride/Robert Loxley.
  • One-Woman Wail: Used in some scenes.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: "Little" John. (since the traditional tale of him being named "John Little" until Robin renames him is not used) When Friar Tuck asks him about the moniker, he responds, "What are you getting at? I'm proportionate!"
  • Origins Episode: This movie essentially works as one for the legend of Robin Hood, as most of the movie is about explaining how myths related to him (such as stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, being an incredible archer, living in the forest with his Merry Men, etc) came to be in the first place. By the end of the movie the Robin of legend has only just begun his work.
  • Papa Wolf: Sir Walter. Upon learning the man before him was his son's murderer, he flew into a rage against him, despite being very old and blind. He was able to actually wound Godfrey before he was taken down.
  • People of Hair Color: Mostly averted. Unlike other versions where Saxons are blonde and Normans are dark-haired, most people in the film are dark-haired. Will Scarlet appears to be a Welsh redhead though.
  • Rain of Arrows
  • Rape, Pillage and Burn: Godfrey's modus operandi, under the pretense of taxation. Feeling strapped for cash, the newly crowned John plans to raise taxes against the advice of his infinitely more experienced mother and chancellor. John fires the chancellor and gives his job to Godfrey, who is ordered to get him his money by all means. Godfrey personally leads a warband through the land carrying out the trope; the audience knows all along that Godfrey is an agent of France purposely spreading unrest and disunity in anticipation of an invasion.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: John gives one about Richard to Queen Eleanor when she criticizes him for not being more like his experienced brother. John points out that his mother has supported Richard through everything, from the far-too-costly wars to having to pay four year's worth of England's treasury to ransom him when he was captured by the Saracens, and the basic fact that the entire reason England is in such disarray now is Richard's fault.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: The final beach battle, with apparently anachronistic ships, has been described as Saving Private Ryan IN MEDIEVAL TIMES!
    • Even before the film was released, comments were rife about the film being Gladiator IN SHERWOOD! just because of the same director and same lead star with the same haircut, and Braveheart IN ENGLAND! just because there are battles and Robin gives a speech.
  • Red Herring: The scene where Marshal tells Godfrey to backstab him before he does. In fact, that's the last they interact with each other in the movie, and Godfrey is shot through the throat.
  • Rewrite: As stated above, the film creates its own origin story and does not follow the familiar template Errol Flynn, Kevin Costner and others have depicted. But besides that, the film also does not use familiar details from folklore.
    • For starters, Robin is given a new name, "Longstride". But as the movie progresses, he does become "Robin of Locksley" in a way (see below).
    • Instead of Robin and Little John fighting with staffs over a bridge, the film has the two fighting over a shell game.
    • Instead of Robin meeting Friar Tuck at a river and the two conning each other into carrying the other over, Tuck is the new town priest who does beekeeping and mead brewing on the side.
    • Will Scarlet and Allan A'Dayle are already Robin's army buddies at the start. Will is not related to Robin.
    • Instead of stealing money and jewels and distributing them to the poor, Robin steals grain owed to the Church so that the people of Nottingham won't starve.
    • But the biggest innovation in the film is probably making Robin a common archer who impersonates a dead knight named Loxley, and Marion being that dead knight's wife.
  • Rousing Speech: Robin gets to expound on civil liberties vis-a-vis the duties and obligations of a king.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Both Kings of England and the King of France act as field commanders in battle, though John's lack of experience is duly noted and has to take advice from William Marshal and Robin.
    • And King Philip, though he does go along with his army, doesn't engage in actual combat, remaining on board his ship for the duration of the battle.
  • Russell Crowe Is About To Shoot You
  • Samus Is a Girl: An extra rider wearing a face-concealing helmet arrives at the battle just before the final charge. You probably didn't even need to highlight this to know that it's Marion, did you?
  • Scenery Porn: Several areas, not including drab Nottingham. In one scene, the English cavalry assembles at a verdant hillside with a huge white horse carved into it. Such figures really exist, though the film is vague whether which of the real ones is supposed to be represented.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott previously worked on Gladiator, and rehashed a number of elements from it. Scott had to assure Crowe, "It's okay to steal from ourselves!"
      • Crowe as Robin Hood catches a weapon thrown to him after riding along the ranks of his troops on horseback, exactly as he did in Gladiator.
      • Robin wears a caesar haircut and beard, the same look as Maximus. Crowe had grown his hair longer for the part, but Scott insisted on going back to his Gladiator look.
    • The anachronistic-looking warships arriving at the beach battle seem to reference the famous D-Day sequence in Saving Private Ryan.
  • Shown Their Work: Russell Crowe practiced archery for four months in preparation for the role of Robin Hood, and has been a fan of Robin since childhood.
  • Simple Staff: Little John's traditional staff is upgraded to a big ol' axe. Other characters use normal staffs.
  • Sixth Ranger: Little John, who works with siege engines unlike the archers Robin, Will and Allan, joins the three (who he already somewhat knows) when they desert the army. Will jokes that they don't take strays.
    • Later, Friar Tuck helps them rob a caravan, and he and Marion have joined Robin's outlaw band by the end.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": "Allan A'Dayle" instead of the usual 20th century spelling Alan-a-Dale; likewise, Marion instead of Marian, and Loxley instead of Locksley.
  • Stylish Protection Gear: Richard's crown is mounted on his helmet.
  • Tagalong Kid: When Robin, John, Will and Allan desert the army after Richard's death, a young sapper (who Robin saved in the film's opening castle siege) comes with them. However, he's also a Red Shirt.
  • Take Over England: The Evil Plan of the real Big Bad, who takes advantage of John becoming King. He originally planned to have Richard killed, but Richard helpfully got himself killed on his own even before we see him plotting. He counts on his agent Godfrey, John's buddy, to get into a position of power by which he can foment unrest. With the English nobles divided among themselves, he then plans to invade. And it would have worked too, despite counter-intelligence finding the plan out, except for a certain archer blundering across a dying knight, who then compels him to go to Nottingham, where he will find out his true heritage - which includes a drafted charter of rights which is used to unite the nobles in support of John (and vice versa).
  • This Cannot Be!: When King Philip sees the English army waiting for him, he says (paraphrased) "This does not look like a country at war with itself!"
  • Title Drop: A straight one doesn't occur, but "Robin of the Hood" shows up at the end.
    • Also, when Robin's gang rob a caravan, he quips: "We are men of the hood, merry now at your expense".
    • And in the beginning, Robin's response to Little John wanting to travel with them: "The more, the merrier."
  • Trailers Always Lie: Trailers kept the fact that the movie centers around Robin before his outlaw days hidden.
    • The trailers also appear to show Robin ambushing a group of knights in a forest, but he is really ambushing the ambushers of the knights themselves.
  • Translation Convention: Either this or They Just Didn't Care, considering all English nobles at this time would have spoken French. Richard the Lionheart is recorded as not being able to speak English at all (meaning modern historians consider it more accurate to refer to him as Richard Coeur de Lion).
  • Turncoat: Godfrey, whose treachery is in no way hidden from the audience.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Or at least expected to be able to appreciate inter-kingdom rivalries and the ramifications of Magna Carta on British and world history. This didn't go over well]] with those who were expecting [[They Changed It, Now It Sucks a more traditional treatment.
    • Said document wasn't really Magna Carta as said in the script, though they don't make this fact clear in the film. Thus some critics bring the real thing up in their reviews.
  • Warrior Monk: Friar Tuck.
  • Warrior Poet: Allan A'Dayle
  • What Could Have Been: As detailed in an interview with one of the original writers, the original script (PDF file), titled Nottingham, was about a heroic Sheriff of Nottingham who is caught up between a power struggle between John and Richard - while at the same time investigating serial killings in the area. Robin Hood, portrayed as a self-serving rogue, is a Red Herring suspect of the murders, but in the end he and the Sheriff work together to resolve the conflicts.The script was bought by Universal, and Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott got on board. The script was rewritten to make Robin Hood an alter ego of the Sheriff, and then the original story was replaced entirely. The only thing the original script and the final product have in common (besides the general subject matter) is making the Queen Mother Eleanor of Aquitaine a key supporting character. What makes this bad is the realization that the screenwriters of Nottingham have no rights over their unused script, essentially leaving another original and unique take on Robin Hood unable to be used, and the writers with no involvement on the finished, Brian Helgeland-written product save co-writing credits. That's cold.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the theatrical cut at least, Prince John's first wife disappears after the scene which establishes she has been displaced by the French princess, which France can use as a pretext to go to war. John says he will ask the Pope for an annulment, but that's all the film gives on this matter.
    • After King Richard dies, Robin and his group head back to England. The rest of the English army (hundreds or thousands of troops) are left behind in France to continue the war. They are never mentioned again. What makes this incredibly jarring is that near the end of the movie the French invade England with a sizable army. How is this possible if they are still at war at home? It's like the screen play completely forgot about them, and we are expected to as well.
      • Robin mentions that he expects most of them to either be sent home or desert, thus his line about wanting to beat them to the boats before the price of crossing goes up a hundred fold.
  • The Worf Effect: Marion experiences a nonlethal case of this against Godfrey.
  • Xenafication: Has there been a Robin Hood story since the late 70s where Marion hasn't undergone this?
    • Marion was an Action Girl early on until later versions made her simply The Chick. Modern adaptations tend to make her an Action Girl (or at least a Tomboy) again, at least as early as Disney's other Robin Hood film, 1952's The Story of Robin Hood. Also see Older Than They Think below the entry for Action Girl above.
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