Women of Awesomeness: Marion Ravenwood (Part One)

marionThis Woman of Awesomeness has proved so awesome I am compelled to write about her in two parts!

Marion Ravenwood is the daughter of Abner Ravenwood. She was raised travelling around the world, but never really showed much interest in treasure hunting and archaeology until she met one of her father’s protégés, a man called Indiana Jones. Marion was but 16 yrs. old and he was 10 yrs. her senior. A romance blossomed between the two. The affair ruined Indy’s friendship with Marion’s father. At the end Indy was gone, leaving Marion heartbroken and bitter.

Karen-Allen-Animal-HouseMarion travelled with her father afterwards as they looked for the Ark. She went all over the Middle East, Europe and finally ended up in Nepal. Abner bought a tavern which he named “The Raven.” Marion became the bars manager, using the proceeds to fund her father’s expeditions. After Abner died Marion became the owner of the bar. Her plan was to earn enough money to return to the US in style.

Then her plans were radically changed in one short evening. It had been 10 years since Indiana Jones broke her heart and suddenly he returned. Did he come for her? No, to add to her bitterness he came for her father. More specifically he came for a certain artifact. Instead of greeting Indy with a hug, she slugged in him the face. In the end, she agreed to give Indy the artifact he wanted.

marionAfter Indy left the bar for the night a Nazi officer, Arnold Toht, came into the bar, demanding the same artifact.  Marion was not about to give it up and resisted. She did not, I think, expect the level of violence that happened next. Marion was a scrappy fighter though. Indy came to her aid, but in the end the bar was burned down, along with all her money. So she declared herself Indy’s partner, thus the two were reunited.

It didn’t take long for Indy to realize he was never truly over Marion, and she him. They danced around each other but it seemed pretty obvious the chemistry was still there. Then Marion got captured by the Nazis and seemed to die in an explosion. We all followed Indy’s reaction to this, but we are never treated to what happened to Marion from her point of view. I would like to speculate.

karen_allen_1981_07_08I imagine at first she was scared, of course, but more I bet she was pretty pissed off. She knew Indy would try to find her, or at least she strongly hoped as much. (I can only guess that she didn’t realize that she was thought to be dead.) Marion hadn’t survived as long as she did owning a bar in Nepal by being a light weight though. She was a clever girl, and I don’t think the movie showed enough just how clever she was.  I can only imagine that she observed her situation carefully, slowly trying to gather what she would need to enact her own rescue, should Indy prove top slow in finding her.  She used her wits and feminine wiles to procure a guardian out of Beloq. From what I understand in the original treatment of the script the attraction between them was genuine and she developed the beginnings of real feelings for Beloq. Indy found her, to his surprise, and instead of rescuing her he leaves her. Although I’m sure Marion wasn’t too happy about this she still didn’t cooperate with the Nazis. She nearly succeeded in her escape attempt (and watching her drink Beloq under the table was great fun.) She resisted interrogation from the creepy Toht, an act which I am sure many had failed.

RaidersLostArk_141PyxurzThen, despite Beloq’s protests, Marion was tossed into the Well of Souls with Indy. (I suspect this was Toht’s way of controlling Beloq.) No matter how awesome a woman is, being bombarded with creepy skeletons would make anybody freaked out. Indy and Marion escaped and ended up on the merchant steamer Bantu Wind. On the boat once of the funniest romance scenes of all times took place. That was also the one moment when it became clear to everyone that Marion was still deeply in love with Indy. After he passed out she looked at him so tenderly when she lamented that they seemed to never get a break. Of course the quiet didn’t last. Marion was taken, again, into Nazi custody.

Indy and Marion are reunited on a small island north of Crete and tied to a stake together. The ark is opened; faces are melted and good triumphs over evil. We are left with Marion and Indy, the sole survivors from God’s Wrath. In the end the ark is safely put away, and Marion and Indy are together. For a time. (To be continued)

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