"Lardner's Ring" is the ninth episode of Season 2 of Robin Hood and the 22nd episode of the series as a whole.
Sir Guy's birthday celebrations quickly turn sour when the hired entertainment ("The Fool") begins poking fun at first King Richard (to the amusement of the guests), but then turns his talents to mocking Prince John and questioning Gisborne's virility.
Meanwhile in the forest, a one-legged messenger outruns the Sheriff's top guard but engineers his own demise by falling from a tree to his death. Marian and Robin find him and the message from the king he was carrying, instructing them to send a message back with a mysterious messenger named Lardner. After burying the corpse Robin takes the opportunity to propose to Marian by making parallels between her and his longbow; Marian, despite the unromantic circumstances ("You're the only man in the world who would propose to a woman over a fresh grave by comparing her to a weapon"), accepts his ring and his hand.
Djaq (with some help from "The Fool", who coincidentally also saved Will from a hanging by Jailer 3), establishes that that "Lardner" is actually a homing pigeon. Upon backtracking to find the bird, Robin and Marian find themselves trapped up the same tree the one-legged messenger fell out of. Surrounded by Sir Guy's men, who are about to burn down the tree by putting pitch on it, Robin defers to Marian's confidence in Guy's affection for her as Marion says he could use her as a hostage. Robin claims the Sheriff wouldn't fall for it, but Marion points out the Sheriff has left. She is about to scream but Robin says she would have screamed earlier. However she says if she were bound and gagged she couldn't scream. Robin refuses initially but she orders him to tie her up. Guy is about to fire a flaming arrow at the tree when Robin lowers the bound and gagged Marion from the tree, saying if he dies she dies. The Fool has the idea of creating smoke round the tree to cover Robin's escape. Robin takes a zip-line back to the forest camp, while Guy has a happy ending to his birthday as he "rescues" Marian, who has remained in the tree with her hands tied to a branch, and returns with her to Nottingham. The Sheriff releases a Falcon which apparently catches the Pigeon. However the Fool reveals he used another Pigeon. The gang marvels over the astuteness of the and romantic aspirations of the pigeon before using it to reply to King Richard's message.
- Robin Hood ... Jonas Armstrong
- Marian ... Lucy Griffiths
- Guy of Gisborne ... Richard Armitage
- Sheriff of Nottingham ... Keith Allen
- Little John ... Gordon Kennedy
- Much ... Sam Troughton
- Allan A Dale ... Joe Armstrong
- Will Scarlet ... Harry Lloyd
- Djaq ... Anjali Jay