Fairytale Retellings & Prompts: Robin Hood

This month we’re doing a series called the A-Z blogging challenge where we dive into Fairytale Retellings and provide prompts for writers. Writers are the people making the books, television shows, and movies of tomorrow. For more information on the challenge check out my earlier post here.

No legend’s history has been more debated than that of Robin Hood. Some people with similar names dating back to the late 13th century have been suggested as its origin. There are altogether some eight plausible explanations for the story’s beginnings but none proven true above all others.

There have already been a variety of adaptations and retellings as the picture below would suggest. The story of Robin Hood continues to be widely represented in literature, film, and television.

Robin Hood is considered one of the best known tales of English folklore. But here are a few things you might not know about the legend of Robin Hood. Although not a part of the original ballads about Robin Hood, Maid Marian and Friar Tuck joined the bandit and his friends Little John and Will Scarlet somewhere around the 15th century.

It wasn’t until the 19th century that the story of Robin Hood was adapted for children.

What about the name Hood? The surname Hood referred either to a hooder, (a maker of hoods) or alternatively to somebody who wore a hood as a head-covering. There’s even a dialect variation of the name of Wood making him Robin Wood. (That works too.)

Diversity in the form of a Muslim joining the ‘merry men’ didn’t show up in the retellings until the ’80s. Since that time there have been many more diverse characters introduced into the story as well as female Robin Hoods.

If you recognize every picture in the collage above then you might be a true Robin Hood fan.

Do you have a re-telling that you’d like to see? Here’s your prompt: Create a brand new Robin Hood, one we haven’t seen in television or film. Go!

If you’re enjoying the prompts and this month’s theme be sure to leave a comment below.

For more blogs participating in A to Z 2020 click the link here.


T.S. Valmond is the science fiction and young adult fantasy author of The Bolaji Kingdoms Series and The Verity Chronicles. As an award-winning poet, world traveler, and sign language interpreter she uses her experiences to fuel her stories. She’s a regular contributor to the website and founder of the Riders & Flyers group.


  1. Yes, I am one of those Robin Hood nuts, so am aware that Maid Marion and Friar Tuck were late to the party. 🙂 A bit like Lancelot and Merlin were in the Arthurian canon, though Merlin was earlier than Lancelot. I do recognise most of the photos.

    If I recall correctly, the first Muslim Merrie was Nasir in Robin of Sherwood, then in Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves. There was a dreadful series called The New Adventures Of Robin Hood, where Marion wore a short red dress and spoke with an American accent! But they did have a Muslim Merrie. (And the delightful Christopher Lee as a friendly wizard)

    Most recently, of course, there was a Saracen girl, Djacq, in the band.

  2. I like Wood better than Hood 🙂
    I always though I’d like to see more of the other companions beside Robin…

    The Multicolored Diary

  3. I guess I’m not a true Robin Hood fan 😉 Would love to see more female Robin Hoods!

  4. The essence of Robin Hood is that he does all the cool, adventurous bad things, but does them for a noble cause and thus we can like him and cheer for him without feeling guilty. This idea shows up everywhere, but perhaps my favorite incarnation is the series “Leverage.”
    Black and White (Words and Pictures)

    1. Ooo! Good example, and thanks for sharing that.

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