Guy of Gisborne (Robin Hood TV series character)

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For the general character, see Guy of Gisbourne. For the Robin of Sherwood character, see Guy of Gisburne (Robin of Sherwood character).
Name: Guy of Gisborne
Occupation: Evil Villain, master at arms
Relationships: enemy-turned-friend of Robin Hood, sidekick of Sheriff of Nottingham, (unrequited) lover of Marian, brother of Isabella of Gisborne, half-brother of Archer, father of Seth, employer of Allan a Dale
Fandom: Robin Hood (BBC 2006)
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Guy of Gisborne is a character in the Robin Hood BBC television series of 2006–9, an incarnation of the Robin Hood legend. He is played by Richard Armitage.

In Canon

Guy serves, together with Sheriff Vaisey of Nottingham (Vaisey of the Uncertain Spelling), as the major antagonist to Sir Robin of Locksley, the Earl of Huntingdon, known as Robin Hood (BBC 2006 character) (“Hood”). This Gisborne incarnation gets an Evil Sister, Isabella, and shares a half-brother, Archer, with Robin.

"Giz", a Bad Boy in Black Leather and Guyliner, falls heavily (and in canon largely unrequitedly) for Marian (Marian Fitzwalter, Marian of Knighton or "Maz"). In canon, their romance is doomed to end in tragedy; in fanfiction torching a gal's home and running her through are just ways of saying "I love you".

After this low point, he gets a Redemption Arc that awards him a Marian Replacement and a Tragic Retcon, and sees him joining the outlaws and Dying Nobly trying to save Robin's life.

In Fandom

Guy is perhaps one of the most popular character in the series.[1] He is often treated as a Bad Boy Woobie. TV Tropes explains that he ...stabs unarmed women, leaves babies in the woods to die, burns down houses, and sells his sister to a rapist. He's also arrogant, selfish, and has a vicious temper that causes mass suffering to him and everyone around him. And yet, whenever anyone shows him a shred of kindness, he blossoms like a delicate little flower in the sun...the fact that he's a Draco in Leather Pants doesn't hurt either.[2] He's also a character who suffers beautifully.

Most Guy fans tend to assume that Guy is capable of redemption and that their partner of choice (Marian, Robin, Meg, OFC...) can help him to achieve it. Most consider there is a limit to how low he will stoop; rape, at least of a noblewoman, is usually out. Some defend or excuse many of his canonical villainous acts. For example, some create a gapfiller that exonerates him from deliberately abandoning his illegitimate son in the early episode "Parenthood", or even dismiss the act altogether as being OOC on the part of the PTB, before the character was fully established. (A few fans even disregard his murder of Marian as another clearly OOC action.) His fans have sometimes been accused of attempting to defend his actions by bashing Robin or especially Marian. Where this goes as far as blaming Marian for her own murder, it is generally condemned even by hardcore Guy fans. According to sylvi10, there can be a tendency to feel sorry for [Guy] while disliking Marian, forgiving his violence and blaming her "manipulative" behavior. When the level of dislike for Marian accompanies an extreme love of Guy, well, that can result in some ... disturbing ... conclusions.[3]

One widespread piece of fanon is that the reason he almost always wears leather gloves is to insulate himself against his Evil Deeds.

Fannish Responses

The writers made Guy a tortured, yearning, conflicted villain. The costume department gave him black leather lace-up pants and metal buckled leather jacket. Armitage gave him smouldering screen presence and towering height. They should never let him too close to Marian. It gives the writers another reason to show him semi-naked, killing Robin's hopes for love-interest plausibility. With Marian in the castle, Guy has power, purpose, opportunity and angst. He may be a snake, but he's a romantic redemption-seeking reptile! {reviewerama}[4]

I revel in his bad boy-ness. In fact, I see a bad BOY, isolated, unloved, suffered God only knows what at the hands of the Sheriff. I see a vulnerability as well as fear and weakness but also great yearning and desire for love and belonging. ...
I don’t think they prettied him up on purpose. The man is just attractive. I mean, black leather, black eyeliner, black hair, smirking, growling, killing, threatening. Seriously, what more could they do to scream, “Hey folks, this is the bad guy here!” The problem was, they handed the part to an actor that breathed life into the character and gave him a heart and a soul (neither in pristine condition, I might add). The man is mesmerizing on camera, even when he’s in the background I just watch him. Just when you think he’s tipped over into the abyss of evil, he does something, just one little thing, to show that his soul is not entirely covered in blackness. (Ann Marie)[5]

Personally, I don't try to deny or ignore or excuse the terrible things that Guy has done. But I do appreciate the journey that character went through. That's really where the interest lies for me. I have a major soft spot for bad boys on the road to redemption. If he started out from and ended up in the same place, I really would not be so invested in his character, despite him being attractive. But with Guy, it was obvious that he was more than just a typical baddie from the start and I've always tried to understand his motivations and actions without excusing them. I kind of relate to Marian with trying to see the good in him despite everything. And a lot of times, I've been disappointed in him and then, sometimes he managed to surprise me and I guess it was all part of that journey. (Skye42)[6]

...As a fic writer I do agree it is hard to strike that balance between violent!Guy and sweet n' shy!Guy. Personally I believe that while the Sheriff may have had a hand in creating the brutal and violent Guy we were treated to during the show, it was fairly obvious that this is not Guy's default setting. Yes, I believe Guy swings more towards the violent side even without the Sheriff's encouragement, but Guy's violence stems from severe self-esteem issues and a lack of knowledge about how else to achieve any of his goals. ...

I think Guy would manage to be his shy, sweet, kind self with someone he cares about, but that's about as far as it goes. ...

I don't like the idea of a mushy overly romantic Guy. ... While Guy would most certainly have his romantic moments if he was with someone who cared for him as well, it would not be all the time. Guy can get pissed off at people he cares about too. I rather like the contrast of his violent nature and his loving nature. They both go hand in hand perfectly because he is a very passionate man. (Moriko)[7]

IMO, Guy's controlling moments are nothing more than bluster. ... In contrast to Robin, Guy is not a leader but a follower, both by natural temperament and circumstance, and has a tendency to gravitate to the strongest personality near him (Vaisey, Marian, and finally Robin). He's quite content to take his lead from Marian when they work as a team (in Walkabout). (LadyKate63)[8]

I see Guy as a person who's extremely difficult to get to know because he is never able to tell the truth about himself. He might have wanted to marry Marian because he loved her, but he said it was to protect her and to cage beauty for himself because those were reasons Vaisey would accept (and love most certainly wasn't). LadyKate pointed out that Guy was very insistent that toward the end he was staying with Robin and the gang (and fighting for Robin and the gang) because Guy wanted vengeance on Isabella. I think that Guy wanted Robin and the others to think that, and Guy might have told himself that in his conscious mind, and the writers might have wanted us to take Guy's statement at face value – but I think deep down inside, Guy had other motivations entirely. He just didn't seem that concerned with hurting Isabella, and he did seem like he was changed by being completely on the other side – like he could at last stop battling the "is this right" and "I chose power" feelings and simply work to bring good to people. (taliatoennien)[9]

On his Redemption Arc

...from the very beginning, I was almost certain that there had to be something more to Guy. There was a reluctance, a depth and a complexity to him that went beyond the black-clad right-hand-man he could have been in the hands of a lesser actor. And if that was all we had ever gotten to see – those little early hints of compassion, those times where it appeared that, just for a moment, there was more to him than the villain's role life had dealt to him – I would have been content. I would have joined up with other Guy fangirls, and we would have talked and squeed and theorized about why he was so damaged (we did that anyway...) and written fics that milked those moments of humanity for all they were worth, and we would have speculated about what it would be like for him to do the right thing, just once.
But then, the most amazing thing happened... I didn't have to pretend to make Guy better than he was. Canon did it for me. The writers may have made a lot of mistakes on this show, but letting Guy turn into a person was not one of them. He got to fall in love with Marian in canon. He got to begin to make real, beautifully noble choices. He got to begin to change, and then... he killed her, and I worried that we had seen the last of Guy's humanity, but as the third series progressed, I realized that it was still there. It was horribly trodden upon and abused and haunted, but it was there. And then, he was standing up to the Sheriff and having life-changing conversations with young, naive girls in prison cells and offering Robin a hand up so they could go traveling together... And so, while I see where all of the people who think that Guy's turnaround and integration into the gang went by too quickly are coming from, I'm so terribly happy that Guy got any sort of redemption at all that I don't care. Sure, I wish he could have had a long, awkward time of it getting to know his place in the forest, but with Richard leaving, they didn't have a long time. So they did the best they could with the time they had, and I think it was fantastic. (Corrielle)[10]


The most popular pairing by far is the het Guy/Marian. Common tropes include fix-it AUs where Marian doesn't die; ghost-Marion where she does; hurt/comfort; sharing beds or bodily warmth; and forced marriage scenarios, often as a result of AUs where the S1 finale marriage isn't interrupted. Guy is also frequently paired with OFCs, usually either after the interrupted wedding or after Marian's death. The pairing with Meg, a minor character from S3, has a small but enthusiastic following, and there are occasional stories that pair him with Annie, the mother of his illegitimate son from S1.

Guy is also sometimes slashed, usually with Robin, which spans the spectrum from darkfic to domestic bliss in the Forest. Allan a Dale is a rarer slash partner; this pairing usually falls towards the happier end of the Guyslash spectrum. The Guy/Sheriff pairing, on the other hand, is generally very dark, with a lot of non-con and not very consensual BDSM, while the pairing with Prince John can be played at either end of the spectrum. Occasional Guy/Marian/Robin, Guy/Marian/Allan and Guy/Sheriff/Allan threesomes can also be found. In fact, Guy is a bit of a little black (leather) dress, and pairings with almost all the other characters have been written.

Example Fanworks


Some Guy-centric fictions set in the pre-S1

  • Past and Present by sunnyday30 – It's set in pre-S1. How did Guy come to be Vaisey's right hand man and did he get more than he bargained for?
  • To Be Worthy by lexie2/lillianschild – It’s the pre-series AU and S1AU. Betrayed by his latest master and mocked by the cruel hand of destiny, Sir Guy of Gisborne returns to Nottingham twenty years after his banishment determined to reclaim the life which should have been his.
  • Lesson of Killing by Amaranthe Athenais – It's set in the pre-S1. Guy never killed anyone before, but tonight he has to kill an innocent man in cold blood. Vaisey became the godfather of the new Guy – he taught Guy to kill.

Some Guy-centric fictions

  • This Side of Hell by LadyKate1 – It’s set after the events of S2 Finale. Three days after Marian's death in Acre, Djaq goes to visit her grave and finds Guy there.
  • A Different Side by LadyKate1 – It’s set after S3E9 (Dangerous Deall). Guy meets someone from his past (a canon character), with unexpected consequences.
  • The Tortured Mind of Gisborne by KerryVeritas – As Gisborne and Vaisey ride out of Acre, Gisborne has to face what he's just done. Takes place at the end of the canonical S2 Finale.
  • The Angel Of Death by xXxBubbleHubxXx – It’s in the second half of S3. Guy is now an outlaw, there is a killer on the loose. Will Robin aid his enemy and save his life?
  • Guy & Marian Acrostic Series by lexie2/lillianschild – A series of sequenced one-shots spanning over S1 & S2 & AU beyond. The fics explore Guy's relationship with Marian and are told from his POV.
  • Touch Me by lexie2/lillianschild – A great look at Guy’s tortured mind, masks are hard to be stripped alone.
  • Tell Me by lexie2/lillianschild – "There are secrets in my heart, tears in my eyes and a person on my mind." One-shot set at the beginning of S1.
  • Outlaw Guy by jadey36 – It's set somewhere in S2. Guy joins the outlaws and finds happiness, but that happiness is cut short when things go terribly wrong.
  • You are not Alone by Doplhen – It's set somewhere in S2E7 (Show Me The Money). Guy comforts Marian appropriately after her father's death.
  • Death Has Come by Lady Gisborne 15 – It’s set in S3 Finale. Oneshot of Guy of Gisborne's tragic death.
  • Delirium by Experimental Madness – It’s set in the beginning of S3 AU. Guy awakens from a serious fever and hopes Marian can help him deal with the nightmares he has suffered.
  • Chains by Experimental Madness – It’s set in the post-S3. Guy manages to survive the destruction of Nottingham Castle only to find himself captured by slavers. Wanting nothing more than to die, Guy finds the will to live again after befriending a fellow slave who may have her own inner demons to fight.

Recommended Guy/Marian fictions

  • Fallout by bookishy – Guy/Marian, AU after S2E13 (We Are Robin Hood). Guy and Marian deal with the aftermath of killing the Sheriff. It’s popular among fans, Marian Lives! AU novel (WiP).
  • A Place to Call Home by emn1936 – the popular novel-length take on the forced marriage scenario. As in many of this genre, Guy is surprisingly chivalrous about his marital rights.
  • Fortune's Wheel by an_lagat_glas – the politics-heavy AU novel (WiP). Guy is forced by the Sheriff to rape Marian and then helps her to recover. This is one of the few popular stories in which Guy rapes someone other than a servant, and the act is depicted as a violation of Guy almost as much as Marian.
  • Humanity by CaribbeanAzure – Guy/Marian AU starting from S2E6 (For England). Answers what would happen if Sheriff Vaisey didn't let Guy go after Winchester to save Marian. It’s more a novel than a story, and it’s popular among fans.
  • Travelers Returned by LadyKate and Tango – Guy/Marian, Robin/Marian, Robin/OFC S3 AU. Everyone thinks Marian of Knighton died in the Holy Land, but she is alive, and headed to England. Marian returns to Nottingham to find herself embroiled in political intrigue, torn between her relationship with Robin and Guy. It’s a great novel, and it’s popular among fans.
  • Quintessence Of Life: Mysteries of The Past by Amaranthe Athenais – Guy/Marian, Robin/Marian, Robin/OFC AU starting from S2E10 (Walkabout), part one of the long epic (trilogy). The novel has an exclusive and original plot that is largely focused on the triangle Robin/King Richard/Guy (no slash, just the triangle about the mysterious relationships of the past), and Marian is not killed by Guy in a jealous rage. It’s a great novel, and it’s popular among fans.
  • Quintessence Of Life: Mysteries Unveiled by Amaranthe Athenais – Guy/Marian, Guy/Meg, Robin/Marian, Robin/OFC AU starting from S2E10 (Walkabout), part two of the long epic (trilogy). The novel has an exclusive and original plot that is largely focused on the triangle Robin/King Richard/Guy (no slash, just the triangle about the mysterious relationships of the past). Marian is not killed by Guy in a jealous rage: someone else is mortally wounded by Vaisey. It’s a great novel, and it’s popular among fans.
  • Everything But The Girl by Velocity Girl1980 – Guy/Marian AU starting from S2E6 (For England). Instead of handing Marian over to the Earl of Winchester, as the Sheriff commanded, Guy does the right thing and helps her escape the Castle.
  • Running Up That Hill by Velocity Girl1980 – Guy/Marian AU, sequel to Everything But the Girl. Newly wedded Guy and Marian haven't even begun to adapt to their new life, when an unexpected turn of events rocks them – parenthood.
  • The Sands Of Morpheus by Experimental Madness – S3 AU, Guy/Marian. Marian is alive and must travel back to Nottingham with the aid of Will, Djaq, and a roving band of players led by a mysterious woman who seems to know more about their quest then first assumed.
  • Know Your Enemy by Unsentimental Fool – one shot, identity porn with the Night Watchman.
  • All I Want for Christmas is You by sunnyday30 – Set somewhere in S2. Guy/Marian love and fluff. Anachronisms abound.
  • Stone Upon Stone by EndlessBlue – canon-friendly vignette in Guy's PoV.
  • For more examples, see Guy/Marian

Recommended Guy/Meg and Guy/OFC fictions

  • Robin Hood: The Road to Redemption by Sarah Cartwright – Guy/OFC in an political arranged marriage. Robin has vowed to avenge Marian's death. Guy wants for revenge for what he's lost.
  • God Gave Me You by funnygirl00 – It’s set in the end of S1, Guy/Meg, Robin/Marian fiction. Guy and Meg met when Marian rejected him at the altar, and affections blossom swiftly.
  • Ne're forsake me, here remain by funnygirl00 – Guy/Meg, Robin/Marian fiction, S3 AU. Guy meets a strong spirited woman in the dungeons under the castle. It's hate at first sight for them both.
  • Friend Closer Than a Brother by maxcatmom – Guy/Meg, Robin/Marian fiction, S3 AU. A fast-paced retelling of Season 3, starting with S2 Finale. Guy didn’t stab Marian in Acre but someone else did.
  • These Silent Words by Lady Gisborne 15 – S3 AU, Guy/OFC fiction. Guy desired death above all wealth, power, or love. When he is saved by a young girl who does not speak, his life begins to change drastically.
  • The Hatred I Feel by Ditzybea – S3 AU, Guy/OFC, Robin/OFC fiction. After the death of Marian, a visitor comes back to Nottingham after a 5 year absence, and maybe she is just what Robin needs for his revenge. But does this visitor have an entirely different agenda?
  • Unseen by Experimental Madness – S3 AU, Guy/OFC, Robin/Kate fiction. Rebecca Tanner had always been in love with her master, Sir Guy of Gisborne. Her feelings were hardly a secret; everyone knew. Everyone, that is, save for Guy.
  • The Storyteller by Experimental Madness – S3 AU, Guy/OFC, Robin/OFC fiction. Robin was always the hero, and Guy always the villain. While still grieving over the loss of Marian, both will find comfort from the most unlikely of women. One will find his purpose again, while the other may yet be able to redeem himself.
  • Second Chances by StinkiSoki – It’s set after the end of S1, Guy/OFC fiction. During the celebration of the Sheriff’s birthday, Guy meets someone who might just be able to thaw his frozen heart.
  • First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes? by maxcatmom – Guy/Meg fiction set after the S3 AU, sequel to A Friend Closer Than A Brother. It's been three years since the siege and Guy's pardon from King Richard, and Guy is a married man now. But Guy is very anxious on this summer day.

Recommended Guy/Djaq fiction

  • Bound Home by EndlessBlue – S3 AU, Guy/Djaq. Guy survives, and he and Djaq try to bury ghosts both old and new. Guy/Djaq. Warning for character death.

S2 and S3 Finale AUs

  • Lady Marian and Her Two Husbands by LadyKate1 – S2 Finale AU. Guy takes Marian up on her offer to kill the Sheriff in Acre, but things don't quite go as planned. Near-death experiences and accidental bigamy ensue. Robin/Marian, Guy/Marian.
  • The Lady Of Nottingham by LadyKate1 – the tragic S2 Finale AU, popular among fans. Things take a slightly different turn in the Season 2 finale.
  • Price Of Loyalty by Amaranthe Athenais – the new tragic S2 Finale AU, popular among fans. The trip to Acre to save King Richard ends in the most unexpected way.
  • Dust Claimed Him by Schryosel – S2 Finale AU. During the battle in Imuiz, Marian is not killed, but something else dramatic for Guy and Marian happens.
  • England's Freedom by xXxBubbleHubxXx – S3 Finale AU. Guy follows Isabella into the secret tunnel and Robin comes there too, and the battle unfolds. Will they come out alive?
  • from Death by xXxBubbleHubxXx – AU set after S3 Finale. Gisborne is failing to recover from the wound Vaisey inflicted. Will Guy survive? Sequel to England’s Freedom.
  • Trust in Blood by SophieSaulie – S3 Finale AU. There is no battle in the tunnel because Guy discovers Sheriff in the forest before the siege of Nottingham.
  • Surviving The Bloodbath by exotic little bird – S3 Finale AU. Robin is wounded by Isabella's poison-tipped dagger. Guy survives the bloodbath in Nottingham. But is everything as tragic as it seems?

Slash fictions








  1. ^ In one 2009 poll he received approaching half of the votes, with nearly three times as many as Robin, his nearest rival. [1]
  2. ^ TV Tropes: Jerkass Woobie: Live Action TV (accessed 10 June 2013)
  3. ^ Robin Hood Fan Community: Guy Fans: Are We Wrong? (accessed 19 June 2013)
  4. ^ The BBC's Robin Hood (accessed 18 June 2013)
  5. ^ FanstRAvaganza 2.4: An Interview with Ann Marie (accessed 18 June 2013)
  6. ^ Robin Hood Fan Community: Guy Fans: Are We Wrong? (accessed 19 June 2013)
  7. ^ Robin Hood Fan Community: Guy and Violence (accessed 20 June 2013)
  8. ^ Robin Hood Fan Community: Robin/Marian/Guy (accessed 20 June 2013)
  9. ^ Robin Hood Fan Community: How well did Guy and Robin know each other? (season 3 spoilers) (accessed 20 June 2013)
  10. ^ Corrielle: Robin Hood 3x13 Review: Something Worth Fighting For, Part 2 (accessed 21 June 2013)