#IChooseSean, #BringBackRobinHood, #SaveRobin #OutlawQueenForever. If you are a viewer of the TV show Once Upon a Time and call yourself a “Hoodie” or “Outlaw Queener”, you are probably familiar with these hashtags as they have become a repeating, broken-hearted & passionate refrain of fans of the character Robin Hood, the relationship between him and Regina the Evil Queen and the actor Sean Maguire for the past 6 months. And what a long 6 months it has been since writers Adam Horowitz & Edward Kitsis unceremoniously & unnecessarily killed off fan and cast favorite Robin Hood on May 8th after 3 years of development and promises for more.
From the moment of his death, fans took to Twitter expressing themselves quite vehemently with sadness, disappointment and anger:
#OUAT Robin needs to come back so he and Regina can be happy. His sacrifice made it possible to kill Hades!! Just like Hook 9:09 PM - 8 May 2016
@DobrevLoochs Robin's death was so unnecessary why would they kill him. He deserved better and Regina didn't deserve to suffer again#OUAT 9:13 AM - 9 May 2016
@vanishingrace NOT AGAIN! NOT FUCKING AGAIN! ROBIN NO #OUAT 9:10 AM - 9 May 2016
@theneewyorker I'm really sad and bitter about what happened in #OUAT. Robin didn't deserve to die and be treated this badly 8:50 AM - 9 May 2016
Even Hermione @Cia94 How can they do this to me? Hook AND Robin. I mean...I'm crying! #OUAT 8:25 AM - 9 May 2016
kimchoi @kimChoii11 So Zeus resurrected Killian but he can't do that for Robin? Why is life so unfair... for Regina?! #OUAT 7:12 AM - 9 May 2016
Ame @Matsuricon 2016 @HeartOfAmethyst Went to bed sad about Robin, woke up sad about Robin. #OUAT 6:46 AM - 9 May 2016
But there was something else within the heartbreak and recrimination towards Adam, Eddy & the show. There was love and support for Sean. Even when rumors of Robin’s death began swirling, fans rallied for him and with Robin’s death on May 8th and in the days after, it was clear the floodgates of love and support for Sean were opened. Memes, videos, hashtags and photos were tweeted to him, the show’s writers and other fans every day and in the now 6 months since it has happened, it has not stopped or even slowed down. Rather it has grown.
Many may ask, what is it about this actor and character that has people so stirred up?From the beginning Robin was something special to the show. This was a character that came in with his own historic (and possibly based in some fact) legend and as such he already had built in fans who adored him. Soon avid viewers of Once Upon a Time, who weren’t all that familiar with or into Robin Hood, quickly jumped on the bandwagon.
Maybe it was seeing him as a father or watching the unconditional love that was between him and Regina grow or just the honest way Sean Maguire breathed life & love into Robin. From the first, Sean filled Robin with a depth of feeling that showed he was more than just a rebellious & dashing outlaw thumbing his nose at the Sheriff of Nottingham. Sean showed that his Robin was a man who had known loss and darkness, but had channeled it into something worthwhile. He embodied Robin’s strong core of loyalty & devotion for the people he was trying to help and for the people he loved, particularly his son and gave him a sense of humor & a touch of sadness.
For three years he put his heart and soul into this role. Even in the fifth season when his screentime was limited to an amount not befitting a series regular, he gave his all. When relegated to the background with, at times, no dialog, he conveyed Robin’s feelings with clear facial expressions and body language. At times, just watching him interact with Lana or Raphael who played his son was magical & captured my attention from anything else in the scene. Even when not on camera, Sean won fans over, whether it was going out to meet people who had gone to the filming locations and waited hours for him, or taking the time at conventions to go the extra mile by doing favorite Robin poses with them in pictures or just giving a simple compliment such as how nice they looked or admiring art or gifts they brought him.
Whatever it was, fans were quickly enthralled & embraced him and instead of accepting his fate, fans have rallied. The purpose of this article is to break down and illustrate some of the ways fans of Robin and Sean have stepped up to show their support. For example, here's some numbers for you:
What follows is just a sample of some of the things I’ve seen fans come up with to express their love and appreciation for this character and the actor who brought him to life. I have given credit to those who wrote articles, created fan art, made videos, ect, whenever I could find names or social media handle. If there is something posted here that doesn’t have credit attached, it’s because I could not find the information, not because I was willfully excluding anyone so please don't gripe at me for using it as part of this expression of love/support for Robin and Sean. Anyway, here we go:
Since May 8th, fans have shown written support for Sean in a multitude of ways. Spurred on by Robin’s death, Adam & Eddy’s largely dismissive reaction to the heartbreak of the fandom and the lack of coverage from print & online media on the fight to bring him back, many took to their computers and wrote their own articles with topics ranging from tributes to Robin & Sean, the efforts to get him back on the show, appeals to Adam & Eddy to undo his death, and critiques of the show and why fans won’t be watching anymore. In all of them the passion and love for this character and for Sean pours out and has often stirred the emotions of other fans and inspired them to express their own thoughts.
13 Reasons Why Robin Hood Shouldn’t Have Died On Once Upon A Time. By Nicole Lee May 10, 2016 https://www.buzzfeed.com/nicolelee93/13-reasons-why-robin-hood-shouldnt-have-died-on-o-25bk2
Once Upon A Time - Why [Spoiler]'s Unfair Upcoming Death Means My Ultimate Goodbye To The Show. By Christina Pimenta. May 2016 https://voiceoftv.com/once-upon-a-time-why-spoilers-unfair-upcoming-death-means-my-ultimate-goodbye-to-the-show
An Open Letter Of Appreciation To The Robin Hood of Our Hearts, Mr. Sean Maguire. By Christina Pimenta. May 2016 https://voiceoftv.com/an-open-letter-of-appreciation-to-the-robin-hood-of-our-hearts-mr-sean-maguire
How Sean Maguire Stole The Hearts Of Fans Everywhere. #IChooseSean. By Nicole Lee. May 22, 2016, https://www.buzzfeed.com/nicolelee93/how-sean-maguire-stole-the-hearts-of-fans-25bk2
Letter To Adam Horowitz. JUNE 3, 2016 https://catnoirsite.wordpress.com/
To “End” A Hero… And To Save Him? June 11, 2016 https://viewershipblog.wordpress.com/
Robin Hood Fans Fight On by Kat McKinney June 19th, 2016 https://www.buzzfeed.com/katmck82/robin-hood-fans-fight-on-by-kat-mckinney-2fp3v
Fighting the Good Fight June 27, 2016 https://awriterjourney.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/fighting-the-good-fight/#more-927
To Hope Or Not To Hope: The Fight To Bring Back Robin Hood! Story by ReganC. July 2nd, 2016 https://creators.co/posts/3987018
Robin Hood Fans Fight On (Updated) by Kat McKinney July 25th, 2016 https://creators.co/posts/4010971
An Open Letter to Adam Horowitz & Edward Kitsis by Kat McKinney August 8th, 2016 https://creators.co/posts/4025990
Dear Adam And Eddy, Reasons To Bring Back Robin Hood! By: Lucy Crock September 1st, 2016 https://creators.co/@LucyLovesOQ/4032146
‘Once Upon A Time’: Robin Hood, Gentleman in Distress. By Lizzie. May 2016. http://fangirlish.com/upon-time-robin-hood-gentleman-distress/
'Once Upon a Time' Kills Off a Fan Favorite. By Alyse Whitney, Lesley Goldberg. May 8th, 2016 http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/once-a-time-robin-hood-891434
Once Upon a Time's Sean Maguire 'Shocked' by Robin Hood Twist, Shares Secrets Behind 'Missing' Scenes By Matt Webb Mitovich / May 9 2016 http://tvline.com/2016/05/09/once-upon-a-time-season-5-sean-maguire-interview-robin-dies-deleted-scenes/
Once Upon a Time star was as blindsided by Robin Hood's death as fans were. By Allyson Koerner May 09, 2016 http://www.sheknows.com/entertainment/articles/1121129/once-upon-a-time-star-was-as-blindsided-about-robin-hoods-death-as-fans-were
Once Upon a Time Kills Off a Fan Favorite, and It's Heartbreaking For Many Reasons. By Kelsie Gibson. May 10, 2016 http://www.popsugar.com/entertainment/Once-Upon-Time-Kills-Off-Robin-Hood-41245434
Why Robin Hood Deserved a Better Ending on 'Once Upon a Time'. By Derek Stauffer May 10th, 2016 http://www.buddytv.com/articles/once-upon-a-time/once-upon-a-time-robin-hood-de-59921.aspx
TV's 10 Most Shocking Deaths of the 2015-2016 Season (Robin Hood is On this List) May 27, 2016 http://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/pictures/tvs-10-most-shocking-deaths-of-the-2015-2016-season-w208039/once-upon-a-time-robin-hood-sean-maguire-w208053
‘Once Upon a Time’ Fans in Shock After Major Character Death. By Joe Otterson. May 9, 2016 http://www.thewrap.com/once-upon-a-time-fans-in-shock-death/
Articles Supporting Sean Maguire as Robin Hood:
Sean Maguire Breathes New Life Into Robin Hood in Once Upon a Time by Xaque Gruber September 10th, 2015 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/xaque-gruber/sean-maguire-breathes-new_b_8120030.html
Sean Maguire hits bull's-eye as Robin Hood in 'Once Upon a Time' by Neal Justin September 25, 2015 http://www.startribune.com/sean-maguire-hits-bull-s-eye-as-robin-hood-in-once-upon-a-time/329543051/
All these articles have been shared on social media numerous times with all of them being tweeted to Sean, the writers and the ABC network.
One thing that has always been clear is that the cast of OUAT works well together and considers themselves a family. Not only do they enjoy working together, but they often hang out outside of work at such things as sporting events, house parties & concerts. When Sean joined the show he was instantly embraced by the cast, becoming very close to Colin O'Donoghue, Emilie de Ravin, Rebecca Mader & Lana Parrilla. When his character was written off, it was clear that it hit the cast hard. Sean revealed that Colin was the first cast member he called when he found out he was being axed and Lana has said repeatedly in interviews that she misses working with him and has come close to tears when talking about him being gone. See the images below:
In the above video, Lana talks about Sean from .25 seconds in untill 1:42 and refers to him as family & the best love interest she's ever gotten to work with.
The pic below is a screenshot of a video from ETOnline at 2016 ComicCon. Would have included the entire video, but it keeps getting removed from my article. If you go to the YouTube address in the picture, you can see the cast talking about missing Sean from 1:50 to 2:26. Lana specifically says they all miss Sean and calls him "a part of the family" and "one of the funniest people I've ever known."
In this next batch of pictures from the Fairy Tales convention in Paris this past June, we see lots of love for Sean from the cast, culminating in a group embrace of Sean.
It's clear that that fans were not the only ones who lost someone dear to them when Sean had to leave.
For those not familiar with the term, fan art is any image, whether painted, drawn or manipulated by photo editing, that is created using existing characters and, either immortalizing them as they are portrayed or putting them in situations that you would like to see them in. This is something that has always been done with Robin & Outlaw Queen, but since Robin’s death, fans have taken such expressions of art and run with it. Be it turning Robin into a phoenix, showing Robin & Regina’s wedding, or putting them into a photo with all their children, this art form has allowed fans to show their creativity, put forth their support and passion for the characters and served as a means to keep Robin & Outlaw Queen alive and draw fans together. We've recently been seeing a lot of fan art that places Sean in scenes from season 6 in places/situations that fans feel he would be in. There are whole websites devoted to fan art about these characters and they are constantly being shared on social media and being tweeted to the actors, the writers and the network. What is shown below is only a small sample of the amazing and beautiful art that is out there, but it just goes to show the creativity that Robin and his love story with Regina has inspired. While I've seen lots of wonderful work by many artists, I must give special shout-outs to @FlaviaOttaviane @starscythe @DreamshadeIvy, @FictionallySpeakinggg & @frivolouswhim for their multiple creations of fan art. Honestly, these five people have consistently created some of the most realistic & beautiful fan art I have ever seen and its often moved me to tears. Follow them on Twitter and you will see what I mean.
As I said, this is only a small sample of the beautiful art and amazing talent that is available and the fact that a fictional couple is able to inspire such passion and creativity is truly wonderful and it is something that Adam & Eddy should take under consideration.
I had never really been familiar with fan fiction until I learned about it from other fans of OUAT and there is a lot of it out there. Every couple, both canon & non-canon has been written about. In the case of Robin and Regina, there was not a lot until season 4 started and upset fans with the return of Marian (who was really Zelena). With that development and then the ludicrous addition of the plot of Zelena tricking Robin to have a baby with her, fans took to their computers with resolve to write better stories for our couple. After Robin's death, there was an even bigger explosion of Outlaw Queen fan-fic. For example, when you Google Outlaw Queen fanfiction, it returns 310,000 results. Googling Robin Hood & Regina fanfiction returns 324,000 results. And many of these stories give the actual writers some great competition in terms of having better plots, streamlined continuity and more originality when it comes to situations Robin & Regina are put in (such as not always having them in danger or facing a new villain each week). Now of course I could not list all of the fan fiction here so I'm just listing the seven most recent ones I've been reading:
OutlawQueenEndGame Twitter Handle RegalHoodie17 https://www.fanfiction.net/u/6058629/OutlawQueenEndGame
Coming Home by em_louise https://www.wattpad.com/267160818-coming-home-prologue-robin%27s-pov
Operation Outlaw Queen: The OQ AU Project http://operationoutlawqueen.com/
MGStars aka @TiffanyGPR https://www.fanfiction.net/u/6616819/MGstars
Journey to freedom By: MGstars aka @TiffanyGPR https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11489242/1/Journey-to-freedom
Letters & Notes:
In the months since Robin’s death, fans have become increasingly vocal about it with many writing out their thoughts and feelings. They range from many subjects covering such topics as why his death is unfair, how it hurts the show, cast & fans and also words of support to Sean and what his portrayal meant to them. While there is sadness, anger and frustration in these writings, there is also passion, love and regard for Sean with praise for his talent and kindness towards his fans. Again, I have given credit when I could find names or handles for the authors of these letters/Tweets so PLEASE don't get snippy if there is no name attached.
One of the things I’ve seen a lot of on Twitter lately is the merchandise geared towards Outlaw Queen & Sean. There are t-shirts, pillows, jewelry, figurines (that fans like to pose together), blankets and art. For Sean, there have been several shirts, bags and hoodies that were designed to not only allow fans to show support for him, but to also show support for causes that are close to his heart as the proceeds from the items would be going to some of his favorite charities.
The next few images are of Outlaw Queen pillows from /www.redbubble.com/shop/outlaw+queen+throw-pillows. They say they provide "High quality Outlaw Queen inspired Throw Pillows by independent artists and designers from around the world." Again this is just a small sample of what is out there.
These next images are of jewelry inspired by Outlaw Queen. Most of this is from Etsy.com and I promise there's way more then just these few pieces.
The next two images are of the Once Upon A Time Robin Hood & Regina action figures from Icon Heroes. Full disclosure, if I ever get married these may very well be my cake toppers.
These next few images are of the items that were created for the #IChooseSean support campaign.
Since Robin’s demise there has been a marked increase in the creation of polls on Twitter, Facebook and online publications that have mentioned Sean, Robin & Outlaw Queen with some pretty favorable results. These polls in turn have been tweeted numerous times to the writers and the ABC network to show just how dedicated the fans are and what they want.
Reasons for Robin’s Return:
One of the things the I saw a lot of over the hiatus was fans coming up with very logical and well-thought out scenarios & reasons for why Robin should return to the show that were shared with fans and sent to Adam & Eddy. It truly amazes me how many wonderful ideas have come from this fandom. Instead of just sitting and wallowing over his demise, many people put their thinking caps on and have proposed valid and reasonable ways he can be brought back given the use of magic on the show. I’ve even seen some of these reasons adapted into fan-fiction that is so amazing; it rivals some of the actual storylines on the show.
Robin Hood's death went down early in convention season and Sean had been booked to appear at many of them. Once his last episode aired, fans took the opportunity to show Sean in person how much they appreciated him via songs, signs and chanting his name.
The above video is from Sean's Q&A at OUATNJ when fans sung to him.
This next video is from the Ever After II convention in Brazil in June 2016 where fans sang the song "Photograph" by Ed Sheeran.
This last video is from the Fairy Tales convention in Paris this past June. Taken during the closing ceremony by @OUAT_Source_FR, at 3 minutes & 42 seconds in, Sean gives a heartfelt & emotional speech thanking fans for their love & support culminating in a group hug for him from the cast and fans chanting his name.
Through the use of pictures, GIFs, and webpage banners, many fans have created amazing examples of pictorial support for Robin and Sean. Many of these images have been posted via social media, used to decorate webpage’s and turned into signs that have been taken to conventions to either show or give to Sean.
When referring to this topic, I mean the many ways that fans have come up with to actively show their love for Sean and Robin. There have been many online petitions, letter writing campaigns, fan videos, photo projects and Twitter trends. The fact that so many have come together and put so much effort into these projects is truly inspiring. This first video is by @AniStreep5 and was posted on YouTube on February 3, 2016.
In the video posted by @Maguiretini, she shows how the photo project she came up with that I mentioned earlier looked like when it was finished. Truly amazing.
The following images from from a website I created for a #BringBackRobinHood letter writing campaign to some executives at ABC. The letter writing portion of the campaign went on through May & June and itgot a lot of support. The photos are of the site, the names of those who took part, quotes that they left about why they love Robin, Sean & #OutlawQueen & a few of the letters fans wrote.
Carolyn Frau @carolinefrau, Kelly O @BroadwayKelly, Praewa. L. @pzpraewa, Mitchell Ponce @SkilledArcher, Shelby Loren Scott @SimplyShelbs16, OnceUponAChiliPepper @BelgianOUATfan, MARIJULANA ➹ @WoolGrillRegal, Kardelen | Robin @struckbyColfer, #oncers Polls&Tweets @OUATACCOUNT, Team_RobinHood @Team_RobinHood, ~Jaʐʐ~we ❤u Sean @Jazzminn_Brown, Ф I Choose OQ Ф @OuatBones, Alexandria Brim @AEBrim, #1 Sean Maguire Fan @OriginalGroupi, Bia R.I.P ✝ OQ @BiaAylesworth, @TiffanyGPR, Alexandra @MsOlatwo Aline Watanabe, julie glaza, Bella Silva, Sara Dall’argine @SaraDallArgine, Ashlee Cormier, Roumiana Todorova, Kealeigh Crozier, Kirstie Kutches, Felicia Cannon, Emily PC, Joslyn McMillan, Paméla Coe, Ani Lobjanidze, William Butterworth, Chloe Delaney, Jillian Richards, Jessica Sheppard, Addie Ruiz, Hope Mullineaux @HopeMullinax, Sheikinah Batchelor Kathryn Coleman, Oli Plasil, James Kingston, Legacy Rhoads, Abbie Dela Cruz, Dark Niece, Beatriz Reyna, Diana Oest,Megan Rawlins, Annee C., Susan Serrano, Jennifer Hull, Quinn Houk, Jenifer Sprenger,Jenna Pitzer, Nini Lobjanidze Thaylis Leichsenring @Listhefan, Iina Urpalainen,Elena Massaro, & Jennifer Franceschi.
Since Robin’s demise on May 8th, fans first began their efforts by getting such hashtags as #IChooseSean & #SaveRobin trending. #SaveRobin trended on Twitter with approx 20,000 Tweets. #IChooseSean has gotten approximately 8,000 Tweets and trended for two weeks in a row when it first began. #7DaysofOutlawQueen (which was started by @DreamshadeIvy & originally was supposed to last for just one week in June) has been tweeted and retweeted close to 10,000 times with fans swearing to keep it going until September. #BringBackRobinHood originally had gotten over 10,000, but thanks to a new fan effort, has experienced a resurgence with fans swearing to make it trend every Sunday until the premier on September 25th. The first attempt on August 14th had #BringBackRobinHood trending in 12th place, but over the course of the evening, it moved up to 4th place above Justin Beiber who had 456 million tweets. I’d say that’s pretty impressive. The images that follow are of all the witter trends featuring Sean, Lana, #OutlawQueen & Robin Hood that have taken place between May through September.
Before I launch into this bit of the article, let me say that I'm thrilled that I'm able to include it at all since when I first started writing this, it had not been announced that Sean Maguire was coming back. Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, while I have been a very gung-ho participant in the now almost 6 month fight to get Robin& Sean back on OUAT, I do admit that I had my moments of tiredness and feeling that there was very little hope. These feelings became even stronger after Comic-Con when Adam & Eddy started saying things like "it doesn't mean we're bringing Robin back. He Died" and "Dead Is Dead." To hear them say that, when they knew how much backlash there was out there, was incredibly disheartening.
Despite what Adam & Eddy said, I and many other fans continued to virtually pummel Adam, Eddy and the ABC Twitter accounts with Robin Hood, Sean & #OutlawQueen related tweets. In one interview with ETOnline that speculated on Sean's return back in September, Eddy said:
"I will say this: we see those tweets every day. All 3,000 of them, every two seconds."
BTW, that’s 129,600,000 tweets hitting their timelines! Booya! However, even with them acknowledging those tweets, the tone of the article indicated they had no interest in bringing Robin back. Now that article came out five days before the September 25th premiere aired and was enough to tick off any remaining Hoodies & OutlawQueen'ers that held onto hope and many announced that they were well and truly done with the show. It certainly put me off the show I'd faithfully watched for 5 seasons. When premiere night arrived, many changed their channels and stayed off Twitter, but all was not as it seemed.
At the end of the premiere, word began to circulate that perhaps hope was not lost due to the appearance of a feather floating down to a bench where Regina had been sitting and talking to Snow White. The significance of the feather was due the fact that Regina had been looking for one of Robin's arrow feathers that Roland had given to Zelena to give to Regina, but Zelena had lost it. When people saw that feather float down, they quickly grasped onto it as a symbol of hope that it was maybe a sign from Robin. Speculation on if it was just a fluke or if it meant a possible return exploded. But it was not until Tuesday September 27th that things got really good for the fandom again.
After coming back from my lunch break, I signed into Twitter (briefly so I thought) to check for a message and while looking, I noticed that several #OutlawQueen & #Hoodie friends were Tweeting ecstatically such things as "He's back!" and "#OutlawQueen reunited!" Confused & not daring to hope, I scrolled down my Timeline and saw this:
As I clicked on the link, I felt my heart beat faster and by the time I finished reading, I was almost hyperventilating as well as both crying and laughing. Thank goodness I was alone in my office or else people might have thought I was having a panic attack or something. I ended up staying on Twitter for another fifteen minutes or so and I can tell you that the sheer joy and excitement that I saw from fans was positively beautiful, heartwarming and just made me proud to be a #Hoodie & #OutlawQueen'er. And I was not alone in my joy. The following images are of Tweets celebrating Robin's return. The first image is from when Sean confirmed his return:
Of course fans were not the only ones to express happiness to Robin's return. Cast members soon took to Twitter to welcome Sean back with open arms:
Lana Parrilla also expressed her excitement via an interview a few days after the announcement:
Sean himself gave several interviews after the release of the news of his return. While there were very few details on how the plot will unfold, he did express how much he enjoyed playing Robin before, how happy he was at the prospect of working with Lana again and his thanks to the fans for their support for him and his character as well as their efforts to get him back on OUAT:
Fans and cast were not the only ones to celebrate Robin's return. Many online publications chimed in, commenting on Sean's great acting, the beautiful relationship Robin and Regina had, and how devastating his loss was and what it meant to the show and to the fans. Many of them also mentioned the efforts of the fans to get him back which was gratifying given that we have been working for his return since May and until now, our campaign had received very little attention. Until the announcement of Sean's return, the only mention of what the fans were doing was a few sentences in a story on EW.com on July 11th, 2016:
The fact that so many publications are now talking about it makes fans happy because it calls attention to our fight and shows that the love for this character that Sean has inspired is no small thing. Here are some of the articles that have come out:
Sean Maguire to Return to 'Once Upon a Time' in a 'Surprising' Way by Derek Stauffer Tuesday, September 27, 2016 http://www.buddytv.com/articles/once-upon-a-time/sean-maguire-to-return-to-once-61413.aspx
Once Upon a Time: Sean Maguire to Return as Robin Hood — But How? By Matt Webb Mitovich / September 27 2016 http://tvline.com/2016/09/27/once-upon-a-time-season-6-robin-hood-returns-sean-maguire/
Robin Hood Is Returning to Once Upon a Time Even Though He's Super Dead by Kaitlin Thomas | Sep 27, 2016 http://www.tvguide.com/news/once-upon-a-time-robin-hood-returning-sean-maguire/
Once Upon A Time’: Sean Maguire Returning As Robin Hood In Season 6 by Avery Thompson Tue, September 27, 2016 http://hollywoodlife.com/2016/09/27/robin-hood-returning-once-upon-a-time-season-6-regina/
He’s back! Sean Maguire’s Robin Hood returning to ‘OUAT’ by Lindsay MacDonald. September 27, 2016 http://screenertv.com/television/once-upon-a-time-season-6-sean-maguire-returns-robin-hood-not-alive/
Hallelujah, Robin Hood Is Coming Back to Once Upon a Time by Eliza Thompson Sep 28, 2016. http://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/tv/a3920459/robin-hood-back-on-once-upon-a-time/
Once Upon A Time’ Season 6 Spoilers: How Will Sean Maguire Return? 3 Theories About Robin Hood by Amanda Remling. 9/27/2016 http://www.ibtimes.com/once-upon-time-season-6-spoilers-how-will-sean-maguire-return-3-theories-about-robin-2422760
Once Upon A Time’: Robin Hood Set To Return In Season 6 by Nelly Singla. September 27, 2016 http://heroichollywood.com/once-upon-a-time-robin-hood-returns/
I'm also including these two exceptional fan blogs because to me they really capture how happy and excited fans were when Sean's return to OUAT was announced:
The Return of Robin Hood. Tuesday October 4th, 2016. http://musicalangel12.blogspot.com/2016/10/the-return-of-robin-hood.html
When Fans Win. Tuesday, October 4th, 2016. https://awriterjourney.wordpress.com/2016/10/04/when-fans-win/
ONCE UPON A TIME Cast Hugfest With Sean Maguire (Robin Hood) in Steveston By Susan Gittins. November 3, 2016 http://www.hollywoodnorth.buzz/2016/11/once-upon-a-time-cast-hugfest-with-robin-hood-sean-maguire-in-steveston.html
However, despite the joy that the news of Sean's return brings, there is a fly in that ointment. In recent interviews, while few hints have been given, both the writers and Sean have referred to his return as a "story arc" with "closure." This implies that, despite the claims of the writers that they hear the fans, they are still choosing to ignore what we truly want. We have not been engaged in this almost six month fight to just get closure and see him go away again. The fans want him back for good and for him & Regina to get the happy ending they both deserve. The following images show some of the responses fans had to the idea of closure:
Now while I can't say for certain what Adam & Eddy hoped to accomplish by saying Robin's return is just for a story arc to give closure, if it was to appease the fans, then based on the reactions I've been seeing it's a pretty safe bet that it's going to backfire on them. Fans are FAR from appeased and are speaking out with with constant Tweets, hashtags, photos and videos. See the following images for a small sample of how fans are expressing themselves, particularly after Sean posted a picture of himself with Lana on October 16th:
Another major way that fans showed love for Robin and Sean was on Saturday, October 29th which was International Robin Hood Day. For several days before, fans took to Twitter and spread the word to show Sean some extra special love & support that day. Of course fans ran with it, tweeting photos and words of thanks & support to Sean with many being retweeted to Adam, Eddy & ABC. As there were far too many to include in this article, the pictures that follow are a small sample:
What is clear is that since the news of Sean's return came out, the fans are not just sitting back and considering the fight being over. If anything, the love & support for him increases on a daily basis and the news that he was back on set sent fans into an overdrive of happiness and determination to keep up the campaign and lay it all out on the table. Images & words of support continue to be tweeted to Sean constantly and the hashtags of #BringBackRobinHoodForGood, #KeepRobinAlive, #SaveRobin, #IChooseSean, #OperationFox (the title of our mission to get him back for good) and #OutlawQueenForever are being shared & tweeted over and over to the writers and ABC. Any bit of good news is seized upon and spread amongst the fans as soon as it appears.
In fact, on November 3rd, pictures of Sean filming with Lana and some of the cast were released & sent fans into a tweeting whirlwind of joy and excitement. See the pics and some fan reactions below:
Well after 6 long months, the announcement of Sean's return & the news of him being back on-set, where do we stand? On the one hand, fans are ecstatic that he is back and that our efforts were primarily responsible for it. But on the other hand, the knowledge that it may be the last time we see him on OUAT and that Adam & Eddy just did this as a way to get us off their backs has many questioning if it was all worth it.
I can only speak for myself, but when I got involved in the campaign to try and get him back, it was not only because of the show and Robin's relationship with Regina. It mostly came from my appreciation of Sean and a desire to show my support for him. I have been a fan of his since 2001 when he did a little TV movie called Prince Charming. If anyone hasn't seen it, you should. It's really cute, he's dashing with longer hair and his character quotes Shakespeare a lot.
When he joined OUAT and I got to meet him (my former love of the show led me to go to a con), it felt like it came full circle and as I saw how he treated his fans, I gained a deeper respect for him as both an actor and a person. For me there was a shift in how I saw him and from then on I thought of him as a fond acquaintance who I cheered on and wanted great things for. So when people ask why I cared so much & took his departure from the show so hard, that's why. It was like losing a friend and I hated to see a role that he clearly enjoyed doing & something he worked hard for taken away from him.
For a while, it was hard to decide if I was going to keep on watching OUAT after Robin died because I still love & admire many of the actors on it. But for the last few seasons, the show has been failing in many areas and for me the death of Robin has negatively impacted the show and cancels out every message OUAT has ever put out there of hope, faith and true love triumphing over all. I mean this is what the show is supposed to be about and yet, in the case of Robin, it completely deviates from those messages. Every other male lead has died and then been brought back to life and yet Robin, a legendary hero, loyal friend, doting father and lover of Regina doesn't deserve the same chance. To me, those things about him should make him a character worth keeping around as we need to more good & honorable men like him on TV.
His absence on OUAT is noticeable & distressing and when I've watched some of the scenes from this season, I find myself thinking, "this is where Robin should be standing", he would be helping with this problem or this is what he'd say." It's not something I want to be doing as it makes me sad and I didn't sign up for that feeling when I first started watching OUAT. As much as it saddens me to say it, if Sean and Robin will not be staying on the show, then I'm done watching it. It's a shame that the writers allowed it to get to this point because it's now something that defines the show and this negative aspect will be remembered, but it is what it is.
That being said, I will always support Sean Maguire and whatever he does. I know I'm not alone in this as others have said similar things and that they will follow his career to whatever show he may go to next. A great example of this was with Sean's recent guest appearance on NBC's Timeless, where he played James Bond creator Ian Flemming. Hoodies & Outlaw Queen fans excitedly talked about his appearance for weeks beforehand & on the night his episode aired, they took to calling themselves #BondGirls and Tweeting #BondIsBorn.
The way I look at it, I appreciated and followed Sean's career long before OUAT came on and I will continue to do that long after OUAT is over wit. Given how bad the ratings have been this season, I suspect that end will be sooner rather than later. A man like him, with his talent, kindness, and the many causes he supports such as Anti-Bullying and The Robin Hood Foundation, deserves my attention and I feel privileged to have met him and to call myself his fan.
I close this article with a bit of a Robin Hood poem by John Keats: "So it is, yet let us sing. Honor to the old bow-string! Honor to the bugle-horn! Honor to the woods unshorn! Honor to the Lincoln green! Honor to the archer keen!" Love and honor to you Sean!
Thank you to everyone I mentioned in this article who allowed me to use their images, tweets, artwork, & videos. This has been a month-long passion project and I could not have done it without your help. I know these past 6 months have been hard on us all, but it has truly been a pleasure taking part in this fight with you. There may have been stress, tears and weariness, but there has also been kindness, support, saltiness, humor and fun. We can be proud of being there for each other, standing up for Sean and what we were able to accomplish. Love to you all!