|Vaisey of Nottingham|
Davina (Sister) †
|Behind the scenes|
Death (Killed by Robin Hood)
Vaisey, the Sheriff of Nottingham, is the main antagonist of the BBC television series, Robin Hood.
Robin of Locksley, a noble, returns with his freed servant Much to Nottingham, only to discover that the new Sheriff, Vaisey, has been terrorizing everyone for the past three years. He confronts Vaisey, which only angers the Sheriff. Vaisey decides to humiliate Robin and ensure Locksley's loyalty by having him read the sentence of Will and Luke Scarlett and Allan A Dale at their hanging. However, Robin stops reading the sentence and rescues the trio, who escape the castle. The Sheriff brands them outlaws, and now wants Robin Hood killed.
In "Sheriff Got Your Tongue?" Vaisey tries to lure out Hood for capture by cutting off villagers' tongues one by one until he reveals himself. Robin is forced to give himself up to the Sheriff by Little John, an outlaw who has captured Hood, and Hood is taken to Nottingham Castle for interrogation. However, Much, Allan A Dale and Will Scarlett convince Little John and his men to help free Robin. Eventually Robin is freed with the help of Marian, his love interest, and he threatens the Sheriff, saying he will kill him. The Sheriff does not believe him and tries to have Robin and his gang, who have recently arrived only to find Hood already freed by Marian, killed. However they escape, and the gang comes under the wing of Robin. By now most of Robin's gang against the Sheriff has been assembled: there is Robin himself, Allan A Dale, Will Scarlett, Much and Little John. The Sheriff is desperate to have these outlaws killed, as he knows they will threaten his goals.
In "Who Shot the Sheriff?" a spree of murders occurs, which the Sheriff blames on Robin to turn the people against him, despite the fact that he knows it's not him. The Sheriff also has people killed by his own men in order to turn everyone against Robin even more. However, when it is discovered that the Sheriff is a target of the unknown assassin, he makes a deal with Robin to capture the murderer. Soon after, the Sheriff, tying in with his and Hood's plan, visits a village publicly in order to draw out the assassin. The assassin is discovered and stopped by Robin and Marian, who Robin has found out is the Nightwatchman, a previously unknown entity who leaves food for the poor. The pair take pity on the assassin, whose wife died under the Sheriff's evil regime, but he is killed by Guy of Gisborne under the Sheriff's orders anyway.
During "Parent Hood" the Sheriff captures a more minor member of Robin's gang, Royston White, and tells Royston to kill Robin Hood for him. Royston refuses at first but then the Sheriff reveals that he has Royston's mother hostage, whom Royston cares about deeply. The Sheriff's threat is this: if Royston doesn't kill Hood, then he will have his mother killed. Royston agrees and is sent away, and tries to assassinate Hood. The attempt fails, however, and the gang are angry, until Royston tells them why he done it. They then decide to go and free Royston's mother, and though they do so, the Sheriff's men manage to kill Royston violently, thus striking an emotional blow to Hood and his gang.
In "Turk Flu" the Sheriff opens a mine and forces villagers to work in it. When the villagers revolt, they are quelled by the Sheriff easily, but he fires them all anyway, as he has a batch of Saracen prisoners on the way who he can force to work. When the Saracen workload is intercepted by Hood, the mine is compromised and eventually destroyed by Hood's gang, who gain a new member in the Saracen woman Djaq. The Sheriff had also hosted an archery competition to lure Hood out that day, but when a man wins the Silver Arrow, the prize, the Sheriff suspects it is Hood and has him investigated. It turns out to be a young boy whose father was killed by the Sheriff for refusing to work in the mine. However, this is a deception by Robin. He did in fact win the Silver Arrow but switched places with the boy so that it would look like he had won it. In the end the Sheriff is forced to give away the Silver Arrow, something he'd never intended to do.
In "The Taxman Cometh" The Sheriff takes in a nun who appears injured at the request of Guy of Gisborne. However, it turns out the nun is a fake and steals the Sheriff's money which he has locked up in the chapel. Additionally, Robin and his men have been captured by a tax collector, whom the Sheriff rewards. However, Robin escapes and it turns out that the nun and the tax collector were working together to scam the Sheriff. In the end, Robin steals the money they stole from the Sheriff to give to the poor.
During the events of "Brothers in Arms" Allan A Dale is reunited with his brother, who is then captured by the Sheriff. When Robin and the gang try to rescue Allan's brother and his friends at their hanging, the Sheriff reveals tat he has brought forward the event an hour, and that Allan's brother is already dead. This, again, strikes an emotional blow at the gang, Allan in particular, and at the same time, Marian is forced to tell Guy that she will marry him when King Richard returns from the Holy Land.
In "Tattoo? What Tattoo?" the Sheriff captures Djaq and tries to force her to create an acid chemical that could be useful as a weapon for the Sheriff. Elsewhere, Robin remembers that when he was in the Holy Land a man with a tattoo tried to kill the King. He discovers that Guy of Gisborne has exactly the same tattoo and is therefore the assassin, and captures him. When Hood hears of Djaq's capture he eventually decides to exchange Gisborne for the girl. When the Sheriff and Robin meet to do this, the Sheriff burns off Gisborne's tattoo (and therefore the proof that he was the assassin) with some acid he got from Djaq and escapes with Guy.
A scientist named Lambert shows the Sheriff some very dangerous and explosive black powder and says he will sell it to Vaisey as long as he doesn't use it as a weapon in "A Thing or Two About Loyalty". However, Lambert does not trust the Sheriff and tries to escape but is captured. Eventually he is killed by the Sheriff's men and the Sheriff discovers that Robin Hood has found out the location of Lambert's book, which contains the formula for the powder. However, the Sheriff is unable to retrieve it and his remaining store of black powder is destroyed, leaving him without the weapon he wanted.
In "Peace? Off!" the Sheriff has a plan to make lots of money. He has the Saladin's (the leader of the Saracens in the Holy Land) nephew hostage. However, the nephew, Prince Malik, believes that he is in Nottingham to meet Prince John and make peace. He is captured by Hood's gang who let him go when they see who he is, but then Hood finds out that the Sheriff's real intentions behind having the Prince here. The gang discover a group of women who Djaq tells them are Saladin's finest assassins. They reason that the assassins are here to kill the Prince, who has went against Saladin's orders, as Saladin does not want peace. They go to the castle to save the Prince and in doing so are forced to help the Sheriff. Once they are holed up in the Great Hall with the Prince and the Sheriff, a battle ensues between the gang and the assassins. During this, Vaisey is forced to fight with the assassins, which he does quite effectively, and the women are defeated. Despite the fact that he has helped Hood (although only for his own means) Vaisey warns Robin that it is "business as usual" tomorrow.
During "Dead Man Walking" the Sheriff decides to host a "Festival of Pain" during which he will have all of his prisoners tortured for fun in the Great Hall. However, he is unaware that Little John of Robin's gang is a prisoner and Robin comes to save him and his family. When Hood interrupts the Sheriff's festival, Vaisey attempts to hold Little John hostage with a dagger, but is thwarted and left to live.
In "The Return of the King" Robin finds new proof of Gisborne's attempted assassination of the King in the physician Pitts, who covered for Gisborne by eating his meals and telling everyone he was ill during his absence. However, Marian is fatally wounded in her guise as the Nightwatchman and is taken to a cave to recover. However, Pitts betrays their location to the Sheriff and Gisborne, who close in on the gang with a contingent of soldiers.
In the final episode of series one, "A Clue: No", the Sheriff is thwarted in his attempt to kill Hood at the cave. and Marian is saved. However, he then announces that the King is returning from the Holy Land and is visiting Nottingham. In the castle, the King has the Sheriff arrested for treason upon his arrival, and orders that anyone with evidence against the Sheriff should go to a room to present it. However, it turns out this is a trap and the King is an imposter under the employ of Vaisey, who is in fact waiting in the designated room to kill anyone who comes in to give evidence against him and therefore kill his enemies. However, Robin Hood discovers this plot and puts an end to it before Marian's father, the former Sheriff Edward, is killed.
At the beginning of series two, Vaisey is still Sheriff of Nottingham. During "Sisterhood" he hosts a meeting at the castle of several shady men, who Robin Hood discovers are all nobles who dislike the King. When Hood is captured by the Sheriff's sister, Davina, and hung from the roof above a pit of snakes in the room where these nobles are meeting, it transpires that these men are the Black Knights and that their goal is to put Prince John on the throne. They are led by Vaisey who promises them victory. They leave Hood to die in the snake pit, but he escapes and fatally wounds the Sheriff's sister. The Sheriff comes across them and his sister dies in his arms, an event at which he seems uncharacteristically emotionally moved. However, it is revealed that Robin cannot kill the Sheriff as Prince John has promised that should Vaisey die unnaturally then he will send an army to burn down Nottingham and everyone in it. Additionally, Guy of Gisborne has employed Allan A Dale as a spy in Hood's gang, something the Sheriff will use to his advantage.
In "The Booby and the Beast" the Sheriff invites a rich German count to a gambling night in his castle. He plans to swindle the Count of all his money to fund the Black Knights. Meanwhile, Robin's gang attempt to infiltrate the Sheriff's strong room where he keeps all his money. Eventually they manage to steal said money with the help of the Count who has lost deliberately to please the Sheriff. The Count gets his money back and the gang give the rest to the poor.
During "Childhood" the Sheriff has employed a man to create an impenetrable suit of armour. When Gisborne captures a group of boys who oversaw the testing of this armour, the Sheriff orders them to be killed, but they are saved by Robin Hood who heard of the armour and the kidnapping from one boy who escaped. Hood manages to steal the rocks with which the armour is made, but one boy is recaptured and the Sheriff demands an exchange between Hood: he will return the boy if Hood returns the rocks. However, Hood hatches a plan to get the boy and destroy the rocks: he will put pitch into the box with the rocks and do the exchange and, once he has the boy, he will fire a flaming arrow at the now flammable box, thus destroying the rocks. However, Allan A Dale tells Gisborne of this plan and during the exchange the Sheriff empties the pitch into a bag with no pitch so they shall be safe. Then, the Sheriff tells Gisborne to kill Hood, and Guy reveals himself, clad in the impenetrable armour, and attacks the gang. Robin defeats him by pouring pitch on him and burning him. Hood spares his life and manages to get the bag of rocks, and sets it on fire. Afterwards, the man who made the armour abandons the Sheriff, thus meaning that the Sheriff has been humiliated at the exchange and that he will never have his armour.
In "The Angel of Death" the Sheriff tests a poison created by Joseph, his scientist, on a district of Nottingham and blames the ensuing death on disease. He is doing this because he sees potential for this poison to become a weapon. However, Robin's gang find out by working in this district that only certain people who accepted food from the Nightwatchman have been taken ill. It turns out that this person was not the Nightwatchman (revealed by Marian), therefore it must have been an impostor. The gang suspect that foul play is afoot. Joseph, who is in the district pretending to help Robin, is recording the results of this experiment in a book which Robin finds. Joseph is thus revealed and, after admitting that he has poisoned the people, escapes the district. Then Djaq devises a cure for the poison and helps the people get better. Back at the castle, Will, angry at his father's recent death at the hands of the Sheriff, poisons Vaisey, despite Prince John's promise. Robin, upon discovering this, cures the Sheriff and forces him to admit to Nottingham that he poisoned them. Joseph falls out of a high window when trying to attack Robin and dies.
During "Ducking and Diving" the Sheriff's spy Henry of Lewes is coming to Nottingham to reveal the location where King Richard will land upon his return to England. However, Henry becomes ill and the Sheriff employs a physician to cure him as he needs his information. However, this physician is the same person who helped Robin Hood's mother at Hood's birth, and she agrees to help Robin silence Henry by giving him a concoction to scramble his memory. But Vaisey finds out the physician helped bring Hood into the world, and realises she is helping him. He has her tried for being a witch and says he will only stop her death if she helps Henry. However, Hood saves her and kidnaps Henry, eventually killing him, leaving the Sheriff without the information he needs. Hood also figures out Allan A Dale is a spy, thus depriving Vaisey of another source of information.
In "For England...!" Vaisey brings all the Black Knights to Nottingham to make them sign a pact that shows their loyalty to Prince John. However, he is blackmailed by a Black Knight named Winchester into handing over some of his land when Prince John takes over, otherwise Winchester will not sign the pact. Vaisey is forced to agree, and Winchester also warns Vaisey that Robin Hood tried to employ him to not sign the pact and thus demoralise the Black Knights, and is probably planning an attack right now. Armed with this information Vaisey makes all the Knights wear a wooden guard under their clothing and, when Hood tries to kill them all during the meeting, this wooden guard saves the Black Knights' lives. Robin is captured but is rescued by his gang and, once the pact is signed later on, Vaisey kills Winchester so that he can keep his land.
In "Show Me the Money" the Sheriff has employed Allan A Dale, who betrays some of Robin's secrets to him. Meanwhile, Hood is trying to steal the pact as proof of Vaisey's treason and, with the help of Edward, Marian's father, succeeds. However, Edward is killed during the chase out of the castle, but Hood manages to keep the pact. This angers the Sheriff, who wants the pact returned.
During "Get Carter!" the Sheriff employs a man named Carter to kill Robin Hood and retrieve the pact. However, it turns out Carter was in the King's guard in the Holy Land and is only going to kill Hood for revenge, as he thinks Hood killed his brother. He finds out he is mistaken however, and decides to help Hood get the reward money the Sheriff has put on Hood's head. They pretend Robin is dead and Carter takes Hood's "body" to the Sheriff. The Sheriff gives Carter the money, but it is then revealed that Robin is alive and the pair escape with Vaisey's money. In the end they escape and Carter says he will return to the Holy Land to tell the King of the Sheriff's treachery.
In "Lardner's Ring" the King sends a messenger to Robin Hood, who mistakenly goes to Locksley Manor where he believes Hood still resides. He realises that Hood is no longer here and tries to escape from the Sheriff's men, whom the Sheriff has ordered to get the messenger as he wonders why he would want Hood. However, Hood finds the messenger first who tells him to "Find Lardner" which turns out to be a carrier pigeon with which Hood can send a message to the King. The Sheriff also finds out from a fool who the messenger had spoken to at Locksley Manor and hunts down Hood. When the carrier pigeon is released the Sheriff has it killed by a falcon, but this pigeon is in fact a decoy and the gang later send the real pigeon with a message detailing the Sheriff's treachery.
Later, Vaisey has a nightmare and ends up sleepwalking into the middle of Sherwood Forest alone during the events of "Walkabout". He dresses up as a pauper and forms an alliance with a family of robbers who plan to steal Robin Hood's money. They hide at Hood's food drop off point (with Vaisey in disguise) and when Little John and Djaq turn up, they make themselves look pitiful, so much so that Little John decides to take them to the camp to feed them. They are blindfolded and taken to Hood's hideout, and the Sheriff reveals his identity and, with the help of his new team, knocks out John. Vaisey searches the camp and steals what he believes to be the pact. However, Hood returns to the camp and knocks out the Sheriff to take him back to Nottingham because, in Vaisey's absence, Prince John's men have come to burn down the shire as per the Prince's promise to do so should Vaisey die or disappear. Nottingham's destruction is narrowly avoided and the Sheriff is happy that he has the pact. However, he is dismayed to find out that it is in fact a fake.
In "Treasure of the Nation" Robin Hood receives a cryptic message from the King that he is meant to figure out. The Sheriff hears about this from a traitor that had helped Hood and follows the outlaw's gang. The clue leads to the King's mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and the Sheriff pursues her, realising that the clue was meant to lead Hood to her to protect her from Prince John's plan to lock her up and claim he had her support, therefore gaining her army. The Sheriff chases Eleanor and the gang to a clearing and fights with Robin but is defeated. The Queen Mother is saved and taken to safety, with the Prince's plans in tatters.
Vaisey had planned to kill the King when he landed in England, but his mercenaries at the port tasked with this job were killed and the King decided to stay in the Holy Land, as Hood had forewarned him about the Sheriff's plans. Because of this, the Sheriff decides to launch a new phase of Operation Shah-Mat (the Black Knights' plan to kill the King). He, with Gisborne and Allan A Dale, will travel to the Holy Land and assassinate Richard. In "A Good Day to Die" Marian tries to kill the Sheriff, but is foiled, and he decides to take her with his right hand men to the Holy Land on their mission. Meanwhile, the Sheriff's mercenaries have surrounded Robin Hood and are about to kill him. However, Allan A Dale, racked with guilt, abandons the Sheriff during their journey and helps rescue Robin's gang from certain death at the hands of the mercenaries. He tells them of the Sheriff's plan and the gang rush to the port to travel to the Holy Land and stop Vaisey.
In "We Are Robin Hood!" the Sheriff and Gisborne arrive in the Holy Land and meet up with their Saracen allies. The Sheriff tells one of them to pretend to be Saladin's messenger and to tell King Richard Saladin wants to meet in the desert to negotiate peace. The pretender does this, and, under the Sheriff's orders, also tells King Richard that Saladin has received intelligence that Robin Hood is a traitor and not to be trusted. The King agrees to meet Saladin alone and ties up Robin Hood and his gang to die in the desert when the outlaw arrives to help him. The Sheriff comes across the gang tied up and ties up Marian with them then leaves them to die. However, the gang escapes with the help of Carter, who believes them, and they convince the King that they are sincere and that Saladin will not be meeting him: it will be the Sheriff's assassin. Hood dresses up as the King and meets "Saladin" who tries to kill him. When the Sheriff realises that it is not the King they are attacking and that he has been found out, he, Gisborne and his allies flee to an abandoned town nearby. A showdown ensues, and the Sheriff manages to fire an arrow into the King's back. Marian is killed by Gisborne when she gets in his way when he is trying to finish off the King but Robin's gang arrive to protect Richard. With all his allies dead apart from Gisborne and the King alive but wounded and protected, the Sheriff flees the Holy Land.
After he failed in the Holy Land, King Richard forgave his brother Prince John and ordered the Black Knights to be disbanded. However, the Prince managed to convince Richard that Vaisey had repented for his wrongdoings and should be reinstated as Sheriff and was also able to keep Robin Hood's status as that of outlaw.
In "Total Eclipse" the Sheriff is told by Prince John's messenger that he must pay a tax of a thousand crowns a month, a nearly impossible amount, because of his failure in the Holy Land. This worries the Sheriff greatly and he manages to capture several of Robin Hood's men. However, a monk named Brother Tuck manages to bring Robin back from the brink of hopelessness and they save Hood's men before the Sheriff kills them. Hood is back with a new gang member in the form of Tuck, and the Sheriff is literally fighting for his life in the eyes of John.
During "Cause and Effect" the Sheriff is supplying the villagers of Locksley as a militia to a pair of Irish brothers who want an army to take over Ireland. He is doing this to raise money to pay Prince John, despite the fact that the Irish are John's enemies. He captures Hood and one of the brothers betrays the other's intentions of helping Hood to the Sheriff. The Sheriff locks up this traitorous brother with Hood but they both escape. The Sheriff then begins taking the villagers to the port with the loyal brother in order to get his money, but Robin Hood and his gang free the villagers and the Irish brother fighting with Hood takes the other one away with his remaining men along with some money to fund his conquest of freeing Ireland from tyranny. This leaves the Sheriff penniless and, knowing he will be punished if he doesn't do something, he hands Gisborne over to Prince John's men, claiming that it is his fault there is no money.
In "Lost in Translation" the Sheriff blackmails the Abbot into convincing the villagers that Hood is a heretic. His hold over the Abbot is that he knows the Abbot has translated the Bible into English, an illegal feat. However, Tuck finds this out and Hood's gang attempt to get the Bible back so that the Abbot can stop the Sheriff blackmailing him and tell the people the truth. The Sheriff convinces the villagers that Hood tried to steal the hand of Saint Luke on St Barnabus' Day and Hood turns up at the church where the Sheriff is denouncing him and pleads with the Abbot to admit the truth, despite the Sheriff's blackmail. However, the Abbot doesn't and Hood is arrested. The people cheer for him to be burnt but, just before the outlaw can be killed, the Abbot admits he has lied about Hood being a heretic. For this betrayal the Sheriff burns the translated Bible but Hood escapes, having regained the trust of the people.
The Sheriff employs a new tax collector in "Sins of the Father". However, this man is actually here to get revenge on the Sheriff, who killed his father years ago. He manages to get the Sheriff to sell his guards to another noble temporarily so that the Sheriff is left defenceless. He waits at his old home for the Sheriff to figure out his plot from his accountant, Scrope, who the taxman has used solely for this purpose. When the Sheriff does figure it out, he goes to the taxman only to discover Hood is there; the taxman had kidnapped some of Hood's gang and Hood was there to rescue them. The Sheriff is angry that he was used but is knocked out by Hood's gang. The taxman is later killed and the Sheriff's troops are returned.
In "Let the Games Commence" Guy of Gisborne returns to Nottingham. He was not punished by Prince John but was given a contingent of men and a secret weapon to kill Robin Hood. The Sheriff is angry that he was not told but is forced to accept this fact. When a travelling circus arrives in town with one of Robin Hood's gang hiding in it, its leader, Bertha, is threatened by Vaisey for money but tells him she will have the member of Hood's gang publicly killed in the rigged gladiator fight. Little John, said member of the gang, is told to go down when Bertha gives the signal and just thinks that this is nothing more than a rigged fight for the circus to make money, but, unknown to him, he will be killed when this happens. However, he figures out this plot and escapes with Hood's gang, who have recently just escaped from Gisborne and his secret weapon, a lion. After the gang escapes, the Sheriff gloats to Gisborne that he has failed to kill Hood again.
Prince John decides to personally visit Nottingham in "Do You Love Me?". He decides to have some fun and tells Gisborne to kill the Sheriff for his failures, but also orders the Sheriff to murder Gisborne quietly. Gisborne tries to stab Vaisey when they meet but is unable to and later knocks the Sheriff under a burning roof in Locksley where the Prince is having the buildings burnt down. The Sheriff tries to shoot Gisborne with a bow and arrow but unluckily misses. Later, during the Prince's feast, the Sheriff suspects his plate is poisoned and switches it with Gisborne's but it turns out it isn't. Then, when Gisborne is praying in the chapel, the Sheriff visits him. He is suddenly attacked by Gisborne and they have a long fight. The Sheriff defends himself with a candlestick but Gisborne knocks it away. Soon, Gisborne has the Sheriff defenceless on the stairs; or so he thinks. The Sheriff stabs Guy in the leg with a hidden dagger and punches him. Gisborne recovers and they continue fighting. They make it onto the battlements and the Sheriff knocks Gisborne over. Guy manages to cling on. Vaisey is about to kill him, but he manages to stab the Sheriff in the chest and climb back up. The Sheriff says to Gisborne "don't trust him" before he apparently dies. However, it is revealed at the end of the episode that the Sheriff survived; as his apparently dead body is being carted away, Vaisey's fingers mysteriously twitch.
The Sheriff Returns
Somehow the Sheriff escapes being buried and then it is unclear what he does. He either goes to Prince John who forgives him and lets him build an army to purge Nottingham of Hood or goes into hiding and builds his own army for revenge on Hood and Gisborne and possibly to go on and challenge Prince John. A telling statement of his intentions is when he later says he will take Nottingham for John, although this could easily be him speaking out of habit as he used to when working for the Prince and not what he wants to do now. It could also be a ploy to make Hood think he is here on John's orders and therefore make the outlaw believe he has more power than he does and thus make him surrender out of fear. Regardless, he employs Blamire as a spy in Nottingham and Blamire feeds him information. Eventually, the Sheriff finishes building up his army and making plans in "Something Worth Fighting For Part One" and marches to Nottingham, killing a member of Hood's gang, Allan A Dale, on the way (he either killed Allan to stop him from telling Robin that he (Vaisey) was alive, or he did it to get Hood to avenge him). He and his army arrive outside Nottingham and Blamire joins them, telling Vaisey that, as he ordered, he has told Isabella to get Gisborne into a secret tunnel leading into the castle alone so that he can kill him. Lately, Robin Hood has taken over the castle in the name of King Richard and is in charge of organising the defences against Vaisey's army. In "Something Worth Fighting For Part Two" the Sheriff and Robin have a parley, where the Sheriff tells Robin to give up or face invasion and reveals his secret weapon: Byzantine fire, a heavily explosive substance. Robin refuses and prepares to fight his oldest and most dangerous enemy.
Vaisey's Attack and Death
A member of Robin's gang, Kate, tries to go to the King's loyal troops for help against Vaisey during the night and Hood manages to disarm the Sheriff's trebuchet, meaning that Vaisey can no longer use the Byzantine fire. However, Vaisey manages to capture Kate, but she is rescued by Much. Afterwards, the Sheriff goes into the aforementioned secret tunnel where Isabella has trapped Gisborne. The Sheriff engages in a swordfight with his old lieutenant and is nearly killed but Robin Hood and Archer, the outlaw's brother, enter the tunnel. Isabella, Blamire and Vaisey engage in a duel during which Vaisey holds his own against Gisborne, Archer and Robin. When Vaisey is knocked down by Hood and about to be stabbed, Isabella cuts Robin's neck with a poisoned dagger, thus condemning him to death, which the old Sheriff is most happy about. At the same time, the Sheriff manages to stab Gisborne with his sword and Isabella stabs him again from the back, killing him. Isabella and the Sheriff flee. Unknown to them, Hood has managed to create a huge amount of Byzantine fire in the great hall which, if lit, would destroy Nottingham. Hood has also evacuated the city's remaining inhabitants via another secret tunnel. The Sheriff enters Nottingham and takes the town, although Isabella wonders where everyone is. They enter the great hall where the Byzantine fire is kept. However, Hood has returned to the town despite the fact he is dying. He fires a flaming arrow from outside into the great hall's store of Byzantine fire. The Sheriff laughs, thinking Hood has missed him, but looks at the substance and realises it is the fire. Before he can react, it blows up, killing him, Isabella, his entire army and destroying the castle and Nottingham completely.
After the Sheriff's death, it can be assumed that Prince John rebuilt Nottingham and continued to plot, regardless of whether Vaisey had attacked on his orders or not. Soon after the tyrant's final stand, Robin Hood died, a direct result of the Sheriff's plotting and getting Isabella on his side. From this point of view, it could be said that Vaisey won a victory of sorts against his enemy. However, Hood's gang continued to fight on for Hood, thus making him immortal in a way. This spirit of helping the poor against tyranny and injustice goes against everything the Sheriff fought for, thus meaning that his aims were rebutted in the name of Robin, further indicating that Vaisey was truly defeated in the end.
- "Underneath this harsh surface, there's just more harsh surface."
- ―Vaisey of Nottingham to his accountant, Scrope, when killing him.
The Sheriff of Nottingham had the personality of a complete megalomaniac. He was cold, murderous, intelligent, ruthless, cowardly, cunning, narcissistic and a misanthrope. Vaisey was the manifestation of evil and tyranny in the eyes of the people of Nottingham. He was cruel and sadistic, taking pleasure in the pain and misery of others, as shown when he cut out the tongues of the people of Locksley. Not pleasant company, he had an insensitive and cynical attitude, and was prone to explosive rages when something (often Hood) obstructed his plans. He was greedy and selfish, taxing the people unfairly and only using the position as Sheriff as one step in his plan to gain ultimate power. He worked only for himself, and probably only helped Prince John for his own selfish desires. Vaisey was desperate for power and totally inhumane, as shown when he told Gisborne that "humanity is a weakness." He despised peasants, and hated being touched by them, suggesting that he had some sort of grudge against the poor.
He also appeared not to believe in God or care about God as he acted this way when meeting a woman he believed to be a nun. The only time he showed some care for God was when he was pretending to be pious to turn everyone against Hood. Vaisey only had 30 percent good in him he showed caring for birds as shown in the first episode when Robin gets him angry he accidently squishes his bird and is shocked and scared and got mad when Gisborne scared another one of his birds. He also cared for his sister a lot when she was killed he hated Robin even more then he did before. Vaisey may have been a tyrant but he was usually a man of his word especially to his right hand man guy. As shown when he would allow Guy to marry Marian if it made him happy. And when Marian told him about Guy being captured Vaisey would trade Djaq to get him back. But besides those things he was more evil then good.
Talents and Abilities
The Sheriff appeared incredibly intelligent, perhaps to a genius extent, as shown by his many and often complex plots. There are many examples of this. He threatened to kill Royston White's mother unless he killed Robin Hood. This plan only failed because Hood saved the man's mother. It could be argued that Vaisey should have had Royston followed to the camp but he couldn't do this as he was busy and his men would be too obvious. When he captured Allan A Dale's brother, he knew that Hood would try to rescue them at the hanging and so killed them an hour earlier showing that he could plan and anticipate Hood's movements to a successful extent.
When Gisborne was revealed to have pretended to be a Saracen and kill the King, the Sheriff displayed knowledge of this, suggesting that he was probably responsible for it as he tended to plan most of the plots against the King. Another plan was holding Saladin's nephew hostage for a huge ransom, although he didn't anticipate that Saladin would send assassins to kill the nephew, most likely just an assumption as it would be difficult for such people to get into England. Also, the Sheriff planned to use an impostor King to draw out his enemies which nearly succeeded and, indeed, he was able to get rid of at least one such man.
Another idea was scamming a German count of his money, a plan that backfired however when it turned out this count was not as stupid as he believed. This was merely an underestimation, not a reflection on Vaisey's planning skills. Also, the Sheriff tried to drown Matilda to get her to do something for him, which was good because it shows how he can play on people's fears of death to get them to obey him. This plot only failed because of Hood's unknown intervention. Vaisey also hired a skilled assassin called Carter to kill Hood, and this only failed because of information he did not possess. It could be argued that Vaisey should have had Carter followed to Hood's camp when Hood took him there, but he couldn't do this simply because his men would be too obvious and he would be busy. He also managed to kill Hood's messenger bird to the King that they had both been chasing, showing that Vaisey can plan ahead as he assumed that his men might fail to retrieve the bird and Hood might release it. This plan only failed as the bird he killed was a decoy, information he again did not possess and he was not aware that Hood could find another bird to use as decoy.
Vaisey was also able to disguise himself as a pauper and make Hood's gang take pity on him and was thus able to infiltrate Hood's camp with the help of another pauper woman. He nearly retrieved the pact but failed because he didn't have time to check it was real. Operation Shah-Mat was his idea, this being the plan to kill the King in the Holy Land. He nearly succeeded in killing Hood and the King, but this only failed because Hood was able to escape and convince the King that he was here to protect him and not kill him and therefore was able to stop Vaisey's assassin. Another good idea was selling soldiers to the Irish for money and being able to hide it from Prince John, a plan that failed because one of the Irish brothers turned against him. His last good plan before being "killed" by Gisborne was convincing the people that Hood was a heretic, thus showing that he could play on the beliefs of the superstitious peasants.
This only failed because the Abbot he was blackmailing to convince the people Hood was evil found bravery at the last minute to stand up to the Sheriff. Finally, if the Sheriff was planning to build an army to take back Nottingham and challenge John, it shows he is skilled in deception as he was able to hide this huge task from everyone and place a spy in Nottingham. Also, he made plans for invasion, something that would take time and thought. However, even if he was acting for the Prince, he still hid it from Hood (something quite difficult to do) and still made the invasion plans. Again this was only a failure because Vaisey didn't know Hood and his people had fled the castle before he invaded, and also he was unaware that the substance that exploded and killed him in the great hall was Byzantine fire before it was too late.
Vaisey also showed a genius stroke in his manipulation of people. For example, cutting the tongues of the villagers of Locksley played on people's fears. At the same time he offered a reward for Hood's capture. This succeeded indirectly as when Little John saw that his wife was about to be subject to this, he released Robin who saved the wife by force but was captured. It should be noted that John was prepared to hand Robin in for the reward money (as were his old gang) and also to save his wife. Also, he had Lambert tortured to give him black powder, which again played on fears. It was later said by Robin Hood that Lambert would have given in and this would have let the Sheriff succeed. This only failed as Hood was told the location of Lambert's chemical book and moved it before the Sheriff got to it. Lambert was killed for this betrayal. His hosting of a so-called festival of pain showed Vaisey was adept at putting fear into people as this had the potential to cripple his prisoners' minds and put everyone else in fear.
He had some degree of skill with a bow, as shown when he shoots King Richard in the back from a considerable distance, but fails to kill him.
Finally, Vaisey was also quite skilled in combat. When Saladin's finest assassins arrived to kill the Prince he was holding hostage, he was able to defend himself against them, albeit briefly and with little degree of bravery. He was able to fight effectively against Gisborne when Gisborne tried to kill him, and very nearly succeeded in murdering his old lieutenant. Additionally, during his invasion of Nottingham, Vaisey was able to fight with Gisborne, Archer and Robin Hood, and although Hood defeated him and nearly killed him, this shows great skill as he was able to fight against all three quite effectively. One of his signature moves was to bite his opponent on the hand in order to disarm them, making his style almost unorthodox and very aggressive.
Behind the Scenes
The Sheriff of Nottingham was portrayed by Keith Allen in the Robin Hood TV series. Talking about the Sheriff's plans and ultimate ambitions in Series Two in a Radio Times interview, Allen said, "There's a lot of political manoeuvring in order to get Prince John on the throne. Then - who knows? - he might even get rid of him and put himself on there." See the full interview at http://www.radiotimes.com/content/show-features/robin-hood/keith-allen-richard-armitage-interview/.
The Robin Hood website describes the Sheriff as a "ruthless, greedy, witty, determined, paranoid, driven, cruel, calculating, politically-minded, insecure, devious, intelligent, highly-strung strategist." (See http://www.bbc.co.uk/robinhood/characters/sheriffofnottingham.shtml.)
Keith Allen said he would not do a fourth series of Robin Hood if there was one: "I doubt I'll go back for a fourth series if they do one - it's boring to work on now. I've done three series, and I'd like to move on to something else." He also said, "The work I've done on it has been brilliant, though. I've enjoyed all three series a huge amount, they've been excellent. But there's lots of different aspects to performance, and I want to try different things." (See http://www.whatsontv.co.uk/drama/robin-hood/news/keith-allen-to-quit-robin-hood/5748.)
- "Will You Tolerate This?" (first appearance)
- "Sheriff Got Your Tongue?"
- "Who Shot The Sheriff?"
- "Parent Hood"
- "Turk Flu"
- "The Tax Man Cometh"
- "Brothers in Arms"
- "Tattoo? What Tattoo?"
- "A Thing or Two About Loyalty"
- "Peace? Off!"
- "Dead Man Walking"
- "The Return of the King"
- "A Clue: No"
- "The Booby and the Beast"
- "The Angel of Death"
- "Ducking and Diving"
- "For England...!"
- "Show Me the Money"
- "Get Carter!"
- "Lardner's Ring"
- "Treasure of the Nation"
- "A Good Day to Die"
- "We Are Robin Hood!"
- "Total Eclipse"
- "Cause and Effect"
- "Lost in Translation"
- "Sins of the Father"
- "Let The Games Commence"
- "Do You Love Me?" (Apparent Death)
- "Something Worth Fighting For (Part 1)"
- "Something Worth Fighting For (Part 2)" (Death)