Well, now I’ve treated you to/tortured you with two of my spin-off writings that stem from Forest of Lies. I think only if you were very unobservant you wouldn’t have noticed that both of them dealt very closely with Robin Hood. He’s MY Robin Hood, whom I more often call Robin.
Who is he?
He’s a character that the more I learn about him, the more I find there is to learn. The more questions I answer, the more pop up. He’s never boring, and he’s never fully understood.
Part of that is just the nature of his personality. Even when he talks a lot (and he can get going), he keeps a lot back. He’s willing to trust people with his life even when he knows they’re not trustworthy, but he’s not willing to trust people with his heart and soul even when he knows they are. Having grown up in an emotionally abusive home and then moved on to a situation that tore at him both emotionally and physically, he’s not willing to give people what he can keep from them. He reached the point where almost everything was pulled into the light with to be played with like a toy, and he guards against that ever happening again even in casual conversation.
One would think that I, as the author, would easily be able to dive inside his mind and figure everything out and put it in order, or perhaps even change his personality to make him easier to understand, but that simply isn’t the case. I’m not sure why that is, though I think it has something to do with the belief I hold in general about Forest of Lies--it’s not really from me, because I couldn’t write something that beautiful. I don’t think Robin’s really from me either, not at the source. I truly believe God put him in my story to show me truth about the world, Him, and myself, because he has.
That’s a little off topic, but probably good for you to know as I attempt to describe this character. Another, less important reason why I don’t just jump in and put things in nice little boxes, I think, is because that sort of violates a character. Let me explain. If I jump inside his head and begin making up things and putting them in boxes, making it all make sense, I’m not going to end up with a character who is a three-dimensional person; I’m going to have a three-dimensional robot. I think this is part of the reason so many writers talk about character that came in and “took over” the story. You have to respect your characters if they’re going to do that. Only if you treat them as real people will they (eventually) respond as real people. Sure, you’re still in charge, and in a way it’s just different parts of your imagination reacting with itself, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t valid. The imagination is a wonderful, God-given thing, and it working like it does doesn’t mean you’re all mystic or something, which I hope I don’t end up sounding like.
So. Back to Robin. I figure this is the best place to mention what I rarely remember to mention when describing a character (I am actually backing up and adding it in). He has light blond hair, intense blue eyes, and is 5’4,” which, considering Medieval height standards, isn’t really that awful, though it’s fun to tease him about. He often seems a shade pale because of health issues, and has a long scar on his right cheek. When he’s feeling well, he can be quite active and really does love archery.
He’s reserved, soft-spoken, and trustful or distrustful depending on what you’re talking about. He’s also intense. This might not seem to match, and I certainly don’t mean he’s intense like another character of mine, Yvette, who is pretty much a walking bomb who explodes every five minutes (sorry, Yvette). Instead, he’s intense like some kind of fire: maybe smoldering. He gets focused on things, or decides about things, and then throws himself forward continuously. Often, he’s trying to hard, or maybe is a little off in what he thinks he should be doing. It takes a bit of a mental smack to get him to stop if he’s going the wrong way, and superhuman strength to stop his going to hard.
Connected that, he can be intensely stubborn...gently. Which, I admit, can be confusing. He doesn’t usually get all flared up and mad because you’re trying to get his mind to change, he’ll just keep plugging away.
Like any human being, he has a great desire to be loved, especially considering how starved he was of even just plain kindness in his early years. At the same time, he isn’t good at expressing love, because of the exposure that causes. Put it simply, he’s afraid. He’d rather bear the hurt of not ever knowing if the other person cares for him (either in friendship, or another kind of way) and not ever expressing what he feels then dare to step out and say it. It’s a miracle he ever approached his wife...
As is a usual assumption in Robin Hood, he also has a heart for the poor and oppressed. The main difference probably is that instead of moving in and out of their lives leaving food and money (though he does that too) he also chooses to struggle along with them, plowing fields, making food, chopping wood, playing with kids.
As is probably obvious, I can continue describing almost indifferently. A few more things, and I’ll let you go. The next bit may seem like some kind of paradox or oxymoron: he’s humble to the extreme, even boardering on some kind of arrogance. He doesn’t see himself as worth much, but he doesn’t just serve others; he insists on bashing himself all. the. time. He has confused ideas on self-worth. He understands that without God he’s nothing, but he doesn’t understand that God also thinks he’s precious. Because of guilt of his own sin and his abused past, in his darker moods he can’t grasp or be fully sure that God really loves him for being who he is. Having this unresolved for several years helps lead to the breakdown that my sequel Unbroken deals with.
So. There’s a tad of who Robin is, not to mention lots of his past and what he went through behind the scenes of Forest of Lies.
I love you, Robin.