FairyTale Friday: Robin Hood


A new addition in the FairyTale Friday series. This time a comparison of Robin Hood’s story.


Sean Maguire and I at NYCC

Robin Hood has become a staple on Once Upon A Time, thanks to his relationship with Regina (Team Outlaw Queen).

But how has the traditional story changed from folklore, to Disney film, to his portrayal on Once Upon A Time? For starters, Sean Maguire is not a fox (ok, maybe figuratively, but not literally, like in the Disney film).

Let’s see how the story has been adapted.

Folklore: Robin Hood is not from a fairy tale, unlike many of the stories from Once Upon A Time. He is, however, a part of English folklore as the outlaw who stole from the rich to give to the poor. Robin Hood’s history in this folklore began in the 15th and 16th centuries in the form of ballads.

Robin Hood statue at Nottingham Castle in England

There are many different stories about Robin Hood that incorporate the character we know today. A popular legend tells of the outlaw, Robin Hood, from Nottingham a skilled archer, who with the help of his “Merry Men,” would steal from the rich to give to the poor. Robin Hood was described as wearing a distinct green, and featured characters, such as Maid Marian, Little John, and Friar Tuck. In his time, he spent it fighting back against his enemies, the Sheriff of Nottingham, and King John, who stole the throne from its rightful owner, King Richard I.

It has never been proven that Robin Hood had existed, but the legend has lived on to make the character well-known to many people.

There’s lots of information out there about the history of Robin Hood, you can check out some of these sources, here, here, and here, to find out more about our favorite outlaw.

Disney: In the 1973 Disney Classic, Robin Hood, the well-known bandit was not your typical human because he was a fox (literally, not figuratively). The film’s story tells how Robin Hood, with the help of Little John, got back his love, Maid Marian, and stopped the evil lion, Prince John, from taking the townsfolk’s money.

With the story taking place in medieval England, it seems fitting to have a minstrel, a rooster, narrate the story with ballads, just as the original Robin Hood stories were told. The main story of the film is how Prince John and his right hand, Sir Hiss, visit the town of Nottingham and have the Sherriff collect tax money from the poor townspeople. When they visit, Maid Marian, Robin Hood’s sweetheart, joins and Robin tries to see her again using some trickery against the Prince.

As Prince John continues to increase the tax, the townspeople are unable to pay it so they are imprisoned, however, Robin Hood and Little John help save the townspeople, take back the money, and ruin Prince John, who is arrested, along with his henchmen when the rightful king, Richard the Lion heart, who is, in fact, a lion, returns home. Oh, and in Disney fashion, Robin Hood and Maid Marian live happily ever after.

OUAT: Now, on Once Upon A Time, there is not much known of Robin Hood’s past, though we have learned bits and pieces along the way. The show has showed us who is, presently, in the series.

When Robin Hood was first introduced (“Lacey” 2×19), he stole magic from Rumplestiltskin to help save his dying, pregnant wife, Maid Marian. When he reappeard (3×01), his wife was gone, but had a young son (the absolutely adorable, Roland). He staked out Rumple’s castle after the 1st curse broke and helped Neal get to Neverland to save Henry. When the 2nd curse was cast, he met Snow, Regina, and company in the Enchanted Forest. We found out that fairy dust said Regina and Robin Hood were soul mates, and don’t realize this until they return to Storybrooke (“Quiet Minds” 3×15). They began a love affair, until Emma brought back Maid Marian in 3×22, where they were reunited. Unfortunately, Robin Hood was conflicted and stayed with Marian, to live by his code, until she was frozen, when things got more complicated with Regina.

Many of the traditional aspects have been included on Once Upon A Time, from the Robin Hood stories, his Merry Men, Little John, the Sherriff of Nottingham, and even Sherwood Forest, but the character, itself, has grown so much more on the series with his son and relationship with Regina.

There is one other addition to this series, check out FairyTale Friday: Rapunzel.

Which version do you like the most??


One thought on “FairyTale Friday: Robin Hood

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