Role in the film
Maid Marian is first seen messing with Robin Fitzooth's arrow target for practice as a joke somewhere next to Huntingdon Manor. Robin playfully catches her when she tries to run away from him for messing with his archery practice until her nurse, Tyb arrives to finish dressing her up and to escort her back to her father, the Earl of Huntingdon. Robin bids Marian good-bye when she leaves with her father to Nottingham Castle in Nottingham, where she is to be left in the care of Queen Eleanor while the Earl and King Richard leave to join a Crusade and the King's brother, Prince John assumes command of the kingdom.
A few days later, an archery contest is organized by Prince John and his new Sheriff of Nottingham at the Nottingham fair to determine which archer is the best to serve Prince John and form an army of good arrow shooters under their command. Prince John and the Sheriff seem impressed with a competitor and one of the Sheriff's bowmen, Red Gill's archery skills during the game. Despite Red Gill's mockery, Robin still manages to shoot a straight bull's-eye. As it turns out, it's Robin's father, Hugh Fitzooth and Robin himself the winners. However, Robin gives his prize to Marian as he learns that she is leaving for London with the Queen. As Robin and his father walk through the forest, they greet the Queen and Marian as they journey to London before Robin's father is murdered by Red Gill for having defied the Sheriff after the Queen and Marian left the fair. Luckily, Robin avenges his father's death by killing Red Gill, thus, begins Robin's life as Robin Hood, an outlaw living in Sherwood Forest who steals from the rich and gives to the poor.
Two years have passed, King Richard's Crusade has ended in failure, and the King finds himself imprisoned in Austria to be held for a ransom of 100,000 marks. Knowing that her son, Prince John hasn't raised and refused to contribute to the fourth of the ransom, the Queen and the Archbishop of Canterbury go to Nottingham to consult him. At his castle, Prince John lies to his mother; claiming he never knew or heard of his own brother's capture and ransom from his mother's messengers, whom he also claims they never reached him as well.
Using his wit, he decides to hold a donation tomorrow at Nottingham Square. Still, the Archbishop and his mother suspect he's up to something. Prince John gives them an excuse by telling them that he's been busy forming an army of foresters against Robin Hood and his outlaws known as Merrie Men. Having known Robin Hood all her life, Maid Marian refuses to believe his story (including the story of how his father was killed) and tries to persuade the Queen to allow her to find Robin and prove her his loyalty to their King. But the Queen refuses since she is her responsibility and Prince John continues to mock and rebuff Robin Hood.
The next morning, Maid Marian leaves the castle, disguised as a page boy to find Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest when she learns that the page is on his way through Sherwood Forest to fetch the Sheriff of Nottingham. During the journey, she is joined by Allan-a-Dale the minstrel, whom she generously paid for his singing, and Midge the Miller. Once at Sherwood Forest, they encounter Robin Hood, his friend; Little John, and his cousin; Will Scarlet. The outlaws make Midge pay some money and Allan-a-Dale sing a tune while Marian tries to stop them. Robin is delighted when he finds out that the page boy is none other than Maid Marian and decides to bring her and her friends back to their lair. Knowing of the Prince and the Sheriff's lies and treachery, they generously and honorably donate as much money as they can to pay the ransom and ensure the King's safe return. As Robin Hood and Friar Tuck take Maid Marian back to Alford Abbey for the night, Robin and Marian share a kiss after Robin helps her cross the stream as Allan-a-Dale joins along to sing a love song for them.
The next day, during the donation, after being escorted by Friar Tuck, Maid Marian presents everyone with Robin Hood and his men's donations; much to Prince John and the Sheriff's chagrin and the Queen and the Archbishop's joy. When the Sheriff tries to object on behalf of the Prince, Robin and his men (disguised as peasants) make him pay 1,000 marks; an act which provokes the crowd to ask for as well from him. To avoid embarrassment and suspicion, Prince John has the Sheriff donate as well (1,187 marks) while Robin and his men inconspicuously empty out the rest of the treasury (more than 10,000 marks) into one big chest and present it forth to the donation in front of everyone too, thus, the deliverance of their King is assured; much to the Prince and the Sheriff's shock. After Robin and his men mockingly thank and congratulate the Sheriff for his contribution, they throw him in the river when the Sheriff sees through their disguises and escape.
Refusing to give up all his tax money and to allow his brother to return home safely, Prince John plans to disguise his men as Robin Hood's outlaws to steal his money back tomorrow while the Queen and the Archbishop are conveying the ransom through Sherwood Forest. Knowing Maid Marian has been fraternizing with the outlaws and could see through their deception, thus, jeopardize their plan, Prince John and the Sheriff have her imprisoned in the dungeon and make his mother believe she is with Robin Hood.
After the plan fails to succeed, at night, at the castle, Robin and his men (disguised as Prince John's guards) return and force Prince John and the Sheriff at knifepoint to take them to Maid Marian and free her. Finally, Prince John is thrown in Maid Marian's place in the dungeon by Little John while the others handle the Sheriff.
A few days later, after foiling Prince John's plans involving the King's ransom money and vanquishing the Sheriff for good, at Robin's lair, Robin Hood is wounded and sick, thus, forced to reluctantly stay in bed in a cave and eat broth and barley at Friar Tuck and Maid Marian's insistence. Then, a mysterious black rider appears.
After the rider reveals himself to be in fact, King Richard, whose ransom has been paid and who has returned safely to England, is indebted to Robin's good deed and that of his men, knights and dubs Robin, the Earl of Locksley, Maid Marian, wearing an outlaw's disguise, approaches the King and asks him of her father, whom he tells her that he awaits her at Huntingdon where the Queen vows to marry her to the Earl of Locksley. At first, Marian seems shocked since she remains oblivious to the fact that Robin Hood is in fact the Earl she is to marry until the King reveals him to her.
Finally, Robin and Marian share a kiss as they prepare for their wedding at Huntingdon Manor.