Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow

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Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow is Child ballad 152.


The sheriff of Nottingham complains to King Richard of Robin Hood.


An altered version of the tale appears in the first episode of the Robin of Sherwood television series, in which the prize offered is a silver arrow belonging to Herne the Hunter as a means of luring Robin to the castle. This episode is parodied in Mel Brooks' "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" in which the contest itself seduces Robin. The event also appears in the animated Robin Hood (1973 film), with the prizes instead being a golden arrow and a kiss from Maid Marian. The event also appears in the computer game Conquests of the Longbow: The Legend of Robin Hood, where the player, as Robin Hood, can win a golden arrow in an archery contest, thereby adding its value (15000 marks) to a ransom to free Richard the Lionheart from prison abroad.

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There are many archery contests in the legends of Robin Hood, but many of them are clearly derived from this source, as in Howard Pyle's The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood. Other variants are more closely related to the older contest included in A Gest of Robyn Hode, where they are recognized and must fight free.

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