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Guy of Gisborne

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Are you surprised the King has enemies? He has no idea! He will make peace with a Turk. There will NEVER be peace with a Turk!
~ Guy of Gisborne to Robin Hood about trying to assassinate King Richard
Swear all you want, Hood, it won't make any difference. The legend dies here. Slowly... and painfully, I'd imagine. Meanwhile, I get to be Sheriff. Life is sweet, isn't it?
~ Gisborne to Robin and Isabella
...How about a state funeral?
~ Gisborne trying to kill Prince John at his coronation

Sir Guy of Gisborne is the third main character in the 2006-2009 TV Series Robin Hood, the arch rival of Robin Hood (the series' main protagonist), the secondary antagonist of the first two series' and the false main antagonist of the third, before being redeemed. He is portrayed by Richard Armitage.

History

Gisborne was the Sheriff of Nottingham's second-in-command, and managed the Locksley estate in Robin's absence. He was reluctant to relinquish control over it and took a dark satisfaction in being named its permanent lord after Robin is outlawed. His eagerness for land of his own comes from bitterness over having no actual Gisborne estate, and he contemplated renaming Locksley to Gisborne.

He was also a suitor of Lady Marian of Knighton, but she did not return his affections, being in love with Robin Hood. However, Gisborne practically forces her into an engagement with him.

It is revealed that Guy was the masked assassin that Robin was wounded by in the Holy Land as he tried to prevent him from killing King Richard. Robin slashed his tattoo with a sword during the fray, and Robin realizes that it was Guy when he sees his tattoo with an identical scar through it. However, as the series progress, it is clear that Gisborne is a member of the Black Knights cult, which ordered a failed assassination attempt on King Richard's life to be carried out by him.

Gisborne is evidently not completely evil, as he lacks the Sheriff's sadistic glee and even seems at times to disapprove. When three young boys witness an incriminating event, Gisborne attempts to spare their lives even though the Sheriff wants them dead. He risks his own life to help Marian when the Earl of Winchester demands her as part of a deal. He does show remorse for his villainous ways in the final episode of the first series and lets Marian leave after she goes to warn Robin of the Sheriff's plan. However, this rejection weighs heavily on him at the start of the second series, and he chooses to burn down the home of Marian's father when the Sheriff decides to place the family under watch in the castle.

In the series two finale, Marian offers Guy her hand if he assassinates the Sheriff before he can oversee the murder of King Richard (though she does think that Robin Hood is already dead by this time). Gisborne instead alerts the Sheriff of Marian's offer and decides to wed her regardless of her approval. During the final battle within an abandoned Saracen town between Robin's men and the Sheriff's assassins, King Richard is wounded and put at the mercy of an advancing Gisborne. Realizing that Guy is consumed with power and greed, Marian stands between Guy and the King, informing him that she loves only Robin. An enraged Gisborne finally snaps and runs Marian through, but seems genuinely shocked and horrified by his actions, nearly crying. He flees the fort with the Sheriff on horseback, as Marian dies in Robin's arms.

In the third season, Guy of Gisborne returns as a much more relentless and darker persona in series three following his killing of Marian. He threatens a young girl's life and throws Robin off a cliff in the first episode of season three. Soon after he disobeys a direct order from the sheriff and goes so far as to threaten Vaisey's life, prompting Vaisey to turn Sir Guy over to Prince John's soldiers.

Gisborne is seemingly killed, as he misses two episodes, buy he later returns with Prince John's imperial guard, released with orders to slay Robin Hood. His younger sister, Isabella Thornton, also arrives in Nottingham after Prince John disbands the Black Knights.

After Prince John plays Gisborne and the Sheriff off against each other, Gisborne stabs the sheriff in the heart. It is revealed that Gisborne only supported Vaisey for power and shown no remorse in killing him at all. The sheriff's apparent last words are to warn Gisborne not to trust Prince John. After apparently killing Vaisey, Prince John appoints Gisborne as the new Sheriff of Nottingham. He manages to find out that Isabella  is league with the outlaws, and arranges an elaborate trap to kill her and Robin. However, after they survive, Prince John threatens to fire Gisborne, but he eventually angrily tells him that he considers him "a fraud, a fake, an impostor" and "a pretender". The prince-regent attacks Guy only to fall into a pit, after telling Gisborne that his days as a free man are over. It is revealed in the next episode that Gisborne was outlawed by Prince John himself.

However, sometime later Gisborne is captured by Isabella, who poisons his wound, throws him in the dungeons and sentences him to death. Squire Thornton, Isabella's estranged husband who briefly takes power as Sheriff, throws Isabella's feisty new companion, Meg, in a cell next to Guy's. At first Meg clearly states that she despises Guy, but after he helps her to quench her thirst and gives her some food she takes a liking to him. Gisborne also appears to show some of the decency he once showed Marian.

After being released by Isabella, Meg feeds Guy before attempting to set him free by stealing the dungeon keys. However, Isabella catches Meg trying to free Gisborne, sentencing both to execution. The two then escape thanks to Robin, who agrees that Meg does not deserve death. However, Meg is stabbed during the escape. Guy flees with her, and after finding somewhere solitary he lays her down and the two kiss briefly. Meg then dies in Gisborne's arms, a resemble to Marian dying in Robin's arms in the last season finale.

Gisborne later changes his ways, agreeing to help Robin and finally joining the outlaws. In the end, Gisborne refuses to abandon the outlaws and aids them in their final battle. Gisborne meets his end when the Sheriff and Isabella mortally wound him in a sword fight in a secret tunnel under Nottingham Castle. Gisborne tries to push Robin away from Isabella's blade, but only ends up placing himself in reach of the Sheriff and his sister, who both run him through without mercy. As he lies dying, Gisborne apologizes to Robin for everything he has done to the outlaws, and the two old enemies make their peace with each other. Gisborne utters his last words: "I'm sorry. At least you have someone waiting for you: Marian...the love of my life. She was always yours. I lived in shame, but because of you I die proud...and free.", then dies.

Personality

At first, Gisborne was portrayed as cold, pitiless, cruel, sadistic, extremely malicious, bitter and sarcastic. He unquestioningly obeyed the orders of Vaisey and had no qualms about resorting to torture or murder if he felt a situation demanded it. He possessed a great hatred of Robin Hood and tried to kill him on numerous occasions. He is also highly intelligent and extremely cunning, and seen by much of Nottingham as an iron-fisted, cruel and heartless individual but nobody could even begin to understand his inner potential.

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