After working all Saturday afternoon at the office on Spring 2016 course scheduling stuff, I was tired and bleary eyed. Yet, I ran some errands and went to the grocery store on my way home. And I came home to my hubby having baked stuffed pork chops … and some lovely exquisitely talented British actor Richard Armitage as Sir Guy of Gisborne images from the 2006-2009 Robin Hood series on BBC One in my twitter notifications.
The hauntingly evocative Sir Guy portrait art by Nightshadow at right of Richard Armitage as Sir Guy (from RH3 in 2009) that was tweeted by Laura Day (Thanks!) is one that I particularly love for its capturing a quiet moment of sadness and of reflection in Sir Guy.
Yes, Richard Armitage could make Sir Guy rage and roar like the best of them (my graphic below)–but he used that over the top energy very sparingly. Richard’s Armitage’s forte as an actor and storyteller is subtlety and nuance–with very intimately conveyed performances that draw you into caring for the character, especially those characters who want to be a better person, to be a better man, and they start to try to be change and be good, like Sir Guy did.
For all the wrong paths Sir Guy chose earlier in his life–his attaching himself to the megalomaniacal Sheriff Vasey being chief among them–Sir Guy was trying to set himself aright near the end of the series. And trying to do something different when everyone expects the opposite of you, can feel like a daunting task, even a hopeless case. People become stuck into a rut sometimes because others won’t let them out of the rut. It’s called “frozen evaluation” in interpersonal communication theory, viewing a person as they were in the past, and not allowing for their change or growth. Of course, it can be comfortable to think that no one and nothing ever changes, but that is a fantasy–and not in a good way.
And Sir Guy had no concrete end goal in mind when he decided to turn himself around. His unrequited love Lady Marian was dead–by his hand. His only family, his sister Isabella harbored a grudge for him marrying her off to someone who turned out to be controlling and abusive. Sir Guy had no noble patron who could elevate his status and wealth, and the people of Nottingham hated him. And yet, Sir Guy stayed around Nottingham–even when he had a chest of silver that he showed Lady Marian that could set him up anywhere? Misery loves company, I guess. Sir Guy terrorized the citizens and they despised him. It was an unhealthy relationship that wasn’t going to improve on its own–without some divine intervention.
Or perhaps, equine. Let’s face it, the only solid and unwavering relationship Sir Guy had was with his horse (left via RANet). But even that was a master and servant relationship of sorts. And though horses might seem to listen to a litany of one’s travails, you would be hard pressed to interpret their responses or advice. Two snorts for yes and one snort for no is not an easy form of communication. And horses have terrible table manners, are rotten house guests, and generally act as if they were born in a barn. So no support for Sir Guy from that quarter–horse or no.
And then out of the blue, Sir Guy’s nemesis Robin Hood and he formed an uneasy alliance to rescue their up to that point unknown younger half brother Archer. Though Sir Guy and Robin had their brother as a common purpose, Archer was very wary that they were really going to save him. So Archer did not trust them–he did not trust his brothers. Whereas Robin was offended at this–him thinking everyone should trust the legendary Robin Hood–Sir Guy was more realistic, though still annoyed with his new found brother Archer. It was an inspired plot twist that gave Sir Guy the impetus to change.
Besides, Sir Guy had no where else to go but up when the revelation of him having a brother occurred–with the size of his family increased by a plus one. Previously, Sir Guy had been on a long downward spiral that only briefly elevated when Prince John backed him with the charge to capture Robin Hood (in RH 3, episode 5, Let the Games Commence). But Sir Guy failed–he always failed to capture Hood.
And in hindsight–now knowing Sir Guy’s destiny of brotherly connections–his seemingly random, fitful, frustrating path in life seems destined to be his own inescapable fate. Forming a different sort of alliance put Sir Guy on a path to give up his usual violent, self centered responses to life, and for him to join with a group of individuals fighting for a common good. Hell had frozen over. But then, Heaven had to welcome one more, when Sir Guy died as a noble sacrifice in the end–he had met his true destiny.