Live for what you believe in, die fighting for it.
Name: Robyn Mathers
Age: 16 years-old
Robyn is the most noble of the characters in the Tomorrow series and the group’s moral compass. She’s based on John Marsden’s loved elder sister Robin.
She is very religious and a close friend of Ellie’s. Before the war, she was a great athlete yet aggressive on the field. This aggressiveness never moved to other situations though. Robyn would keep a cool head and not resort to violence. When the group discuss an attack plan, she refuses to kill soldiers directly and in doing that she questions herself and raises some interesting points.
But Robyn is not a stereotype. She has a strong faith but she’s still a human and relatable character. Unlike her friends in the group she has a great understanding, she can see the reasons behind the invasion, though she doesn’t approve what the enemy has done: “I can understand why these people have invaded but I don’t like what they’re doing and I don’t think there’s anything very moral about them. This war’s been forced on us, and I haven’t got the guts to be a conscientious objector. I just hope we can avoid doing too much that’s filthy and foul and rotten” (Tomorrow, When the War Began, Chapter 18).
Robyn is one of the most complex and fascinating characters in the series. No words can do justice to this awesome character. I believe that her sacrifice was what made The Third Day, the Frost a favourite of many. No one will ever forget her.
Robyn is …
“For instance, I always thought of Robyn as fairly quiet and serious. She got effort certificates at school every year, and she was heavily into church stuff, but I knew there was more to her than that She liked to win. You could see it at sport. We were in the same netball team and honestly, I was embarrassed by some of the things she did. Talk about determined. The moment the game started she was like a helicopter on heat swooping and darting around everywhere, bumping people aside if she had to. If you got weak umpires Robyn could do as much damage in one game as an aerial gunship. Then the game would end and Robyn would be quietly shaking everyone’s hands, saying ‘Well played’, back to her normal self. Quite strange. She’s small, Robyn, but strong, nuggety, and beautifully balanced. She skims lightly across the ground, where the rest of us trudge across it like it’s made of mud.” (Tomorrow, When the War Began, Chapter 1)
Robyn is strong…
“Next to me sat Robyn, the strongest person I knew. A funny thing seemed to have happened with Robyn. The longer this terrible thing lasted, the more relaxed she became. Like all of us, she’d been devastated by what happened to Corrie and Kevin, but that hadn’t stopped Robyn getting calmer with each passing day. She smiled a lot. She smiled at me a lot, which I appreciated. Not everybody smiled at me. Robyn was so brave that in the middle of one of our toughest times, driving a truck through a bullet storm at ninety k’s, she’d kept me sane. Left to myself I think I might have pulled over to the slow lane, to let all the enemy vehicles overtake. Or stopped at a pedestrian crossing, to give way to a soldier with a machine gun. I drew a lot of courage from Robyn that night, and other times too. I just hoped I didn’t leave her leeched dry.” (The Dead of the Night, Chapter 1)
“Robyn was Robyn the Dauntless. When things were going quietly and normally she kept a low profile. But when the going got tough, Robyn grabbed the axe, swung it round her head, and charged. In the most frightening times, the most horrifying moments, she was at her best. Nothing seemed to deter her. Maybe she felt nothing could touch her. I don’t know. Even now she was walking along quite casually, head up. I had the impression that she was singing something even, by the way she was tapping her left hand on her thigh.” (The Dead of the Night, Chapter 5)
“I thought briefly of Robyn. She had discovered the courage when she needed it.” (The Other Side of Dawn, Chapter 16)
“‘I guess all the time. I just can’t explain how certain things happen, like Corrie being shot. It seems sometimes that nothing can stop the man with the scythe, not even God. Death comes walking across the countryside swinging that scythe, and he might get you or he might not. Or to put it another way, sometimes God saves you and sometimes he doesn’t. I don’t know why he makes those choices; I just have to trust him and have faith that he’s doing it for his own good reasons.’” (The Dead of the Night, Chapter 4)
Robyn on the war…
“‘Of course I mind,’ Robyn said. ‘If I was a saint maybe I wouldn’t mind, but I’m not a saint so I mind rather a lot. And its not as though they’re acting in a very religious way. I don’t know any religion that tells people to go in and steal and kill to get what they want. I can understand why they’re doing it but understanding isn’t the same as supporting. But if you’d lived your whole life in a slum, starving, unemployed, always ill, and you saw the people across the road sunbaking and eating ice cream every day, then after a while you’d convince yourself that taking their wealth and sharing it around your neighbours isn’t such a terrible thing to do. A few people would suffer, but a lot of people would be better off.’” (Tomorrow, When the War Began, Chapter 13)
“‘What Ellie said made me think,’ Robyn said, unexpectedly. ‘When she asked why we were the ones in this position, why we hadn’t been taken prisoner like everyone else. Maybe this is a kind of trial for us, a test, to see what we’re made of.’ She stood and walked to the window and turned to face us. ‘At the end of it, maybe we’ll be judged to see how we’ve handled ourselves. And I think we’ll only pass that test if we’ve acted with honour, if we’ve tried our best to do the right thing. If we don’t do things out of greed or ambition or hatred or a lust for blood, if we keep testing all our decisions against our own beliefs, if we try to be brave and honest and fair … well, I think that’s all that’s expected of us. We don’t have to be perfect, as long as we keep trying to be perfect.’” (The Dead of the Night, Chapter 16)
Robyn on killing in cold blood…
“‘What does that mean?’ Robyn lost her temper. ‘Does that mean that anyone who won’t kill people is letting the side down? Get real Lee. Sometimes it takes more guts not to do something than to do it.’” (The Dead of the Night, Chapter 16)
Heroes are scared…
“I never stop thinking about her. I used to think heroes were tough and brave. But that last look on Robyn’s face: it wasn’t tough or brave. It was scared and uncertain.” (The Third Day, the Frost, Epilogue)
Ellie learns something important from Robyn…
“I learned something very important from Robyn: you have to believe in something. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. It’s not for me and it wasn’t for Robyn. But she did it, and I’m going to keep looking and keep trying till I do, too.
That’s the real trouble with our politicians: they don’t believe in anything except their own careers.
You have to believe in something. That’s all.” (The Third Day, the Frost, Epilogue)