Magar is impatiently waiting for some attention, sending glares in my direction and snapping irritably at all those that share his book. He’s in my Robin Hood/King Arthur retelling, and if I neglect him any further he’s going to throw a hissy fit. He’s actually been on good behavior of late, but I’m afraid that he’s going to change his mind about being nice to me. So let me introduce you:
What does he look like?
Completely black Irish, folks. Thick black hair, blue eyes, and a rather ruddy complexion. Pink-based, if you will. His hair is a little on the long, shaggy side, but his beard is always well-trimmed and perfectly groomed. His features are rather sharp, with a strong nose and kind of low eyebrows set in a longer face. His eyes are a clear, pale blue and rather small, but his eyelashes are dark and thick, making them quite striking. He has a regal, dangerous air about him, and there is no question of the power he holds in society. (And I really don’t picture Magar looking exactly like Richard Armitage, but he works well enough. Same black Irishness, intimidating expressions, and, well, one must admit — most humbly and with the most casual tone ever — that he’s kind of the most beautiful man that’s ever existed).
What does he think of his looks?
He’s pretty sure he’s handsome. He definitely has insecurities, but he decides he’s sexy.
What is his role in the story?
When Lady Marian’s parents died, being the sheriff of neighboring Derbyshire, he offered her a place in his home. Then he refused to let her leave and basically took over Nottinghamshire as well. He does everything he can to ensure he is the one in power and plays his game ruthlessly, using everyone else as pawns.
Does he have any family?
He only had his father, who was abusive and constantly told him he would never amount to anything while expecting perfection of him. Magar hates him.
Does he work alone or have others help in his work?
Magar doesn’t share power. If there’s something he can do himself, he’ll do it. And if he does agree to let someone help him, there is no trust involved and he plans on disposing of them once his goals are met.
How did he get into his position of power?
He worked hard for it. His father was a lesser noble but always longed for more. Magar was driven to become great, to outshine his crippling childhood and rise above the odds. He has sacrificed and used others as stepping-stools until he wormed his way into the position of sheriff of Derbyshire.
Does he see himself as the villain?
Does anyone? He believes this to be his rightful due. He is very entitled and because of all he’s overcome, he thinks he deserves whatever he wants because he can get it. He doesn’t really believe in right and wrong, because to him, if you can get it you deserve it. He believes the common folk are lazy and worthless because they don’t have the brains or the drive to become like him. People with morals or a sense of humanity are weak because they think it’s wrong to kill to get what you want. The world revolves around him, his losses, and how he deserves to make up for those losses by taking whatever he desires. Including Marian.
So how does he feel about Marian?
First of all, he wants her lands. Her parents are dead, so he’s decided he gets to run Nottinghamshire according to his own rules, and he knows that a marriage between himself and the lady of the next county will cement his status as owner of Nottingham. But though he would never admit it, Marian intrigues him. She’s headstrong and wild, despite her ladylike manners, and she makes him curious. And she’s beautiful. She’s like a prize to him, as well as a sort of security blanket. I’m going to quote Commodor Norrington from Pirates of the Caribbean here, ’cause what he says is basically Magar’s feelings toward Marian: “This promotion throws into sharp relief that which I have not yet achieved. A marriage to a fine woman.” As the story progresses, I think that Magar comes to respect Marian more, and he hates it, yet that same respect drives him to developing feelings for her, which he hates almost as much. And when she doesn’t reciprocate, he lashes out. Not pretty.
If Magar met me, how would he react?
Sorry, but he wouldn’t give you the time of day. Unless you had something to offer him, he would let you know who was boss and send you on your way. If you showed him a cell phone or something, however, he would take it, learn about it, then have you hanged for witchcraft and keep the device.
What would be his living nightmare?
The power and prestige he has acquired is the world to him. It’s a mark of how far he’s risen above the pain he has. If that crumbled, he’d go with it. He would become irrational and lash out at everything, but it would be because he’s hurting inside.
What is his greatest wish?
He thinks it’s to be so settled in his position that nothing could rock him or make him feel inferior. That he would be respected and admired and that everyone would unquestioningly agree that he was fit for this power. But really, he just wants to feel okay. He wants the pain in his heart to go away. He doesn’t want to be afraid, or hurt, or sorrowful again.
Could he have been a good man?
I definitely think so. But his experiences — and giving in to those experiences — have destroyed him. He let the poison of his childhood grow and fester, while if he had someone to help him out of that, he would be a hero.
Okay, that’s Magar. I really wasn’t that partial to him when he first popped into my head, but then I got to know him and as I began to understand him, I fell completely in love with him. I want to see him become that good man. But it’s up to him whether or not that happens, same as with the rest of us.