Robin Hood in Lego form. Photo credit: Dunechaser / CC BY-NC-SA

Robin Hood in Lego form.
Photo credit: Dunechaser / CC BY-NC-SA

Who is Robin Hood? Only the sexiest man in literature! The legend of Robin Hood has been captured and recaptured, interpreted again and again with Robin Hood films, TV shows, games, and other media. Robin Hood has been around for so long that he’s fallen into our arsenal of fairy tales, and of course, Disney’s Robin Hood helped with that.

It’s not just physical attractiveness that makes a man sexy. We ladies want men who are passionate about their dreams, mentally and physically strong in times of adversity, and committed to doing the right thing, no matter what. And, the roguish appearance doesn’t hurt of course!

Even though Robin Hood legends are just that–legends–and there is little evidence to support Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men ever existing, we don’t have to examine the texts and interpretations of the Robin Hood legends very long to determine why he is the sexiest man in literature.

#1: Robin Hood is Compassionate, Even to his Rivals

In Robin Hood and the Potter, Robin Hood is impersonating a potter in Nottingham, and meets the sheriff. Robin Hood shows the sheriff how he can shoot and the sheriff asks if he knows Robin Hood. Robin Hood, presumably amused that the sheriff didn’t recognize him, tells the sheriff that he will take the sheriff to Robin Hood the next day. The sheriff agrees and invites Robin Hood to his house for supper, and to stay the night.

The next morning, Robin Hood leads the sheriff into the woods, and the sheriff is surrounded by Robin Hood’s Merry Men. But because of the hospitality the sheriff’s wife had shown Robin Hood while in Nottingham, Robin Hood decides to let the sheriff live:

Nere for the loffe of yowre weyffe,
Off more sorow scholde yow seyng.

Basically: If not for the love of your wife, of more sorrow should you sing.

Then when the sheriff goes home to his wife, she lols because Robin Hood tricked him out of everything he had but his white horse. LOL. That sheriff be dumbs.

In addition, sometimes when a rival bests him or his rival’s skill matches his own, he invites him to join his band. This is the case in Robin Hood and the Curtal Friar.

#2 Robin Hood’s bros have got his back.

Notably, Little John. In modern media, he’s often portrayed as a lovable buffoon, but in the old texts, Little John is actually pretty fierce:

Litul John callid up the jayler,
And bade hym rise anon;
He seyd Robyn Hode had brokyn the prison,
And out of hit was gon.

The porter rose anon sertan,
As sone as he herd John calle;
Litul John was redy with a swerd,
And bare hym throw to the walle.

“Now wil I be jayler,” seid Litul John,
And toke the keyes in honde;
He toke the way to Robyn Hode,
And sone he hym unbonde.

Little John & Robin Hood, fighting it out before they were besties.

Little John & Robin Hood, fighting it out before they were besties.

NOW I WILL BE JAILER. I feel like you could put that on a t-shirt. Tots stealing that idea.

The above excerpt is from Robin Hood and the Monk. Little John is rescuing Robin Hood from jail. Robin Hood had been captured because one morning he’d gone to church to pray, but the monk at the church told the sheriff that Robin Hood was there, and had him arrested. Little John hears this news, kills the monk who betrayed him, and hurries to the jail to set Robin Hood free.

You might be thinking: Little John seems to be way more badass in this story. Yes, Robin Hood getting overwhelmed by guards and getting captured is not his finest moment. But the fact that Little John would do this for him shows the loyalty instilled in the band of Merry Men. While Little John and Robin Hood don’t always get along, they’re still besties, and they’d do anything for each other. Knowing that your man has got friends that support him goes a long way.

#3 Robin Hood is a giver.

Robin HoodYes, Robin Hood’s thing is that he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. This idea didn’t actually integrate into the literature and ballads until the 17th century, but all around, he’s willing to help out whenever someone is in need. His karma usually comes back to him threefold and saves his life.

In Robin Hood and Queen Katherine, the queen summons Robin Hood and asks him to compete in an archery contest so that she can win a bet. He gladly does so, and wins.

In Robin Hood and the Bishop, an old woman exchanges her clothing with Robin Hood so that he can escape a treacherous bishop. She does this because he had given her shoes and socks on a previous occasion.

In another ballad called The Noble Fisherman, Robin Hood decides to go to sea (just because!) under the name of Simon. An old woman hires him on her boat, but he turns out to be a lousy fisherman and the rest of her crew makes fun of him. When French pirates attack the ship, Robin Hood springs into action and kills all of the pirates. He searches the ship and finds a sizeable treasure. He offers to share half of it with the fishermen–even though they’d done nothing but belittle him the whole time. In the end, they tell him that he can have the treasure.

#4 Robin Hood Knows How to Make the Best of Any Situation

Robin HoodRobin Hood is constantly getting himself into trouble. But does he complain? No. He finds a solution, and often he does it with a smile.

In Robin Hood’s Delight, he finds himself in some trouble with three foresters. They fight, and Robin Hood is not winning. He can’t even use his horn to summon the rest of his band. Instead, Robin Hood uses his good-natured wit to convince the foresters to drink with him at a local inn instead of killing him. Luckily, they agree, and they all go and get drunk together!

#5 Robin Hood, as a character, is romanceable.

Robin Hood and Maid MarianTrue that Robin Hood is technically “taken” in that his heart is “traditionally” devoted to Maid Marian, it’s very easy to envision yourself being whisked away by a daring, witty rogue, whether he is Robin Hood or a man in his image.

Maid Marian wasn’t always the main lady in Robin Hood’s life. In fact she was associated with May Day celebrations–as was Robin Hood (in many stories, he must compete in May Day archery competitions). In the old ballads, Robin Hood usually doesn’t have a lady in his life.

In other words, ladies, original Robin Hood is single! ^_^

But not always. In one ballad that describes Robin Hood’s upbringing, there is a character named Clorinda, a shepherdess, who Robin Hood romances and then eventually, marries.

‘By the faith of my body,’ said bold Robin Hood,
‘I never saw woman like thee;
And comst thou from east, ay, or comst thou from west,
Thou needst not beg venison of me.

Robin Hood knows how to treat a lady. In Robin Hood’s Death, he goes to be bled by a prioress, but she betrays him and gives him mortal wounds. Little John begs to avenge him, but Robin Hood refuses, because he says he would never hurt a lady.

Bonus Reason Why I Love Robin Hood!

Okay, so Disney’s Robin Hood was definitely not the sexiest portrayal of Robin Hood, nor was it even the best Robin Hood story ever, but just listen to Brian Bedford, the guy who voices Robin Hood. I love his voice!


The Violet Fox is a female Robin Hood.

The Violet FoxKiera Driscoll is known as The Violet Fox on the streets of the fantasy world known as Marlenia. She steals food and supplies from Marlenian merchants and shares them with her people, the Freetors, who are forced to live underground. Want to read more? Check it out here.

Robin Hood is the classic outlaw, and was roguing it up before any of you other bad boys. Do you love Robin Hood? Who is your favourite rogue?

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Clare C. Marshall grew up in rural Nova Scotia with very little television and dial up internet, and yet, she turned out okay. She is a full time freelance editor, designer, and web manager. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing and publishing her own books. When she’s not writing, she enjoys playing the fiddle and making silly noises at cats.[/author_info] [/author]