Friday, October 24, 2014
In Which I Talk About Robin
Personally, she's one of my favorite characters in the series. I connect well with her. She has my sense of logic, my love for adventure yet reluctance to step out on her own, my tenacity for losing lists.
I think part of the problem is that I failed to fully establish her character in book one, and in book two, she was so emotionally off-balance, I couldn't do any real development. She gets a lot of development in book three, as seen through Eric's favorable perspective, but you guys don't have that book yet.
Some of the biggest complaints against her are the fact that she always seems to be bragging about her swordskill, and her habit of rolling her eyes every time anyone says anything.
Robin is an ENFP, like me. She craves the acceptance of people, but doesn't want to dance to their drumbeat. She learned early that her drumbeat is not one that people readily accepted, but instead of abandoning it, as she could so easily do (maybe she couldn't take up sewing or dancing, but she could abandon her sword and become just as vapid and silly as her peers), she began telling herself that they were wrong, and that she didn't need their approval.
More than anything, she craved her mother's love, which due to reasons disclosed in book two, Queen Charlotte hesitated to give her. Again, she coped by telling herself that her mother was wrong, had horrid nerves, and that she didn't need her approval.
Someone said that bragging is a sign that there isn't really any talent. But Robin does have talent. She is the best swordsman in the world. It's an undeniable fact. But she sees it as her only talent (not that it is, but she doesn't know that at the beginning of the book), and it's a talent that has ostracized her. She's insecure about it. And so, naturally, she's going to become louder about it. She's going to start challenging every sword-wearing person she meets, or at least goad them into challenging her.
And that's why she and Eric are one of my favorite couples. It's not that she needed him to be her dashing hero to save her, but she needed someone who would accept her, and not be intimidated by her skill. Not only is he not intimidated, it's why he fell in love with her in the first place. He accepts her, which gives her the balance she so desperately needed in her life. As much of a pair as they had been, Robert had been equally insecure - though in a quieter way - and he didn't quite trust her sword. He couldn't provide it, her mother was reluctant, and though her father tried, he was also very busy ruling a kingdom.
So, in a way, you're going to see a very different Robin in book 3. She'll have the same strange logic, the same temper, the same sense of adventure, but she's finally comfortable with herself. She's not as loud about her sword-skill - though she'll still let you know about it and won't turn down a fight - and more open to the people around her.
I think fans are going to enjoy seeing how she matures.