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"Indiana Jones. I always knew some day you'd come walking back through my door. I never doubted that. Something made it inevitable."
―Marion Ravenwood[src]

Marion Ravenwood (later Marion "Mary" Williams) was the daughter of archaeologist Abner Ravenwood and the wife of Colin Williams, and later, Indiana Jones, with whom she had a son, Henry III or "Mutt".

After a relationship in the mid-1920s, Marion and Indiana Jones wouldn't see each other again until 1936, when the pair joined forces to track down the Ark of the Covenant that was Abner Ravenwood's obsession. During that time, Marion and Jones rekindled their romance to the point where they almost married. However, Jones had second thoughts and the relationship ended a week before the wedding. Instead, Marion would go on to marry Colin Williams but the child she bore was fathered by Jones.

Williams was killed during World War II and Marion would once again reunite with Jones, this time in 1957, when she was kidnapped as part of a Soviet plot to find the Crystal Skull of Akator. Afterwards, Marion and Jones finally succeeded in getting married.


Early life[]

"I was a child. I was in love. It was wrong and you knew it!"
―Marion Ravenwood[src]

Marion Ravenwood was born in March 1909, the daughter of the famous archaeologist and treasure-hunter Abner Ravenwood. As a girl, Marion was never particularly interested in her father's work—until 1925,[1] when a dashing Indiana Jones was asked to help his former mentor track down the Ark of the Covenant. Indy romanced Marion, and the ensuing romance destroyed Indy's relationship with Abner.[2]

Afterward, Abner kept Marion close. She traveled with him on his quest for the Ark, which led to Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Europe, and finally Nepal. There, in Patan, Abner purchased a small tavern, which he christened The Raven.[6]

For several years, Marion managed the bar while the proceeds benefited her father's expeditions in the surrounding mountains. It was a difficult life, but the constant flow of alcohol provided Marion with some amount of solace.[2]

Marion in 1934.

In 1934, Marion was robbed. She chased the thief to Tibet and met the newest member of the Adventure Society at a valley village with Yeti footprints running through it. Marion and the recruit joined forces and found the tracks led to the Yeti lair, a cave complex where the Man with the Silver Eye's mercenaries had chased off the creatures. The pair eventually discovered that Silver Eye was looking for immortality from the lost city of Shangri-La and moved to destroy the entrance before he could reach it.[7]

Afterwards, Marion turned her attention back to the one who had robbed her and the item that was stolen: the Headpiece to the Staff of Ra. Assisted by the Adventure Society recruit, the pair tracked the thief to a monastery.[7]

Return of Indy[]

Marion with the Headpiece to the Staff of Ra

When Abner disappeared in early 1936, Marion assumed the worst. She was contemplating a return to the States, when suddenly, after ten years, Indiana Jones reappeared on her doorstep. She did not extend a warm welcome, instead she gave him a punch in the face but reluctantly agreed to part with one of her father's artifacts—a medallion referred to as the Headpiece to the Staff of Ra—for the sum of three thousand dollars.[2]

Unfortunately, Indy was not the only one with designs on the medallion. A Nazi officer named Arnold Ernst Toht confronted Marion and Indy at The Raven, and in the ensuing struggle, the tavern burned down. As Indy's ambitions had effectively robbed Marion of her livelihood, she felt justified declaring herself Indy's partner.[2]

Together, the pair traveled to Cairo, Egypt. There, Jones and Ravenwood met up with the archaeologist's old friend, Sallah el-Kahir. It was at the digger's residence that they came across a lone Capuchin monkey, that the former bartender promptly adopted, joking to Indy that the primate was their "baby."[2]

While shopping in the city marketplace, Marion and Jones were ambushed by a band of local thugs coordinated by German agents. Thanks to the latter's skill with a whip, Ravenwood evaded capture but, eventually, she crossed paths with another hitman, who drew a knife on her. She was chased into a dark building by the thug, who was knocked out by Marion with a frying pan.[2]

Moving the unconscious thug out of plain sight, Marion hid inside an empty basket. Her plan backfired as the Capuchin, actually in the service of a Nazi informant known as Monkey Man, had apparently witnessed her taking cover. Climbing atop the basket, she screeched loudly, revealing Ravenwood's position to the enemy. Marion was subsequently kidnapped by the thugs and taken away, loudly screaming and calling out for Jones to help her.[2]

After quickly dealing with a menacing Arab Swordsman, Indy managed to track down his captured partner, who was being loaded onto a Nazi troop truck full of explosives. Using his pistol, the archaeologist successfully disabled the vehicle and killed the driver, an action that caused the truck to crash and explode.[2]

Marion threatening Belloq with a knife.

Indy believed she was dead until, by a fortunate accident, he stumbled upon her bound and gagged in one of the Nazi tents and realized that the baskets must have been switched. To Marion's chagrin, he decided to leave her, reasoning that an escape would draw too much unwanted attention and regagged her. The perceived betrayal did not affect Marion's refusal to cooperate with her captors, however. Belloq's advances resulted only in an aborted escape attempt, and Toht's interrogation was likewise met with uncommon resistance.[2]

Marion and Jones in the Well of the Souls.

After recovering the Ark, Toht threw Marion into the Well of Souls to die with Indy. The intrepid pair managed to escape and Indy intercepted the Ark en route to Cairo. Indy and Marion then fled aboard a merchant steamer, the Bantu Wind, but the Nazis persevered. After threatening the ship's captain, Katanga, the Nazis took Marion and the Ark aboard their U-boat. Indy secretly gave chase, clinging to the submarine's periscope for the duration of the voyage.[2]

The Nazis took the Ark to a small island north of Crete, and there Indy made a desperate attempt to free Marion before being captured himself. Fortunately for the both of them, the opening of the Ark unleashed the Wrath of God upon their Nazi captors, leaving Marion and Indy as the sole survivors of the ordeal.[2]

Back in the states[]

Marion in Washington DC

Afterward, she accompanied Indy back to the U.S., and comforted him when the government cut short his research into the Ark's powers. While struggling to define her often complicated relationship with Jones, Marion tried her hand at various professions. She opened a nightclub, The Raven's Nest,[8] in Manhattan's fashionable east side; but within days of opening, it was burned down by the club's conniving decorator, Jamal.[3]

After taking a stab at journalism, Ravenwood accepted a job working public relations at the National Museum. The position led to a number of further adventures with Jones, including a search for her presumed dead father in Nepal. Later that year, Marion Ravenwood disappeared, leaving only a note in her absence: "Mr. Jones, I've got to get away. Don't you dare come looking for me. Marion".[4]

It seems that eventually they were reunited and even planning to marry. One week before the wedding though, Indy reconsidered and thought it would not work. It was his turn to disappear and the two did not meet again for nearly twenty years.[5]

Unbeknownst to Jones she had also taken away his son. Marion had become pregnant in the fall of 1937. In July 1938, Marion gave birth to Henry Jones III. Marion started dating an RAF pilot named Colin Williams three months after Mutt was born, and married him soon after. Mutt grew up thinking Colin, who died during World War II, was his biological father. Marion raised him with her close friend Harold Oxley, who, like Indiana, was a former student of Abner.[5]

Reunited again[]

Marion: "I'm sure I wasn't the only one to go on with my life. There must have been plenty of women for you over the years."
Jones: "There were a few. But they all had the same problem."
Marion: "Yeah, what's that?"
Jones: "They weren't you, honey."
―Marion Ravenwood and Indiana Jones.[src]

When Oxley went missing in Peru in 1957, Marion received a letter from him, went looking for him, and was captured by Russians led by Irina Spalko who also had captured Oxley. She was able to get a letter to Mutt, enclosing Oxley's letter and telling Mutt to find Indiana Jones.[5]

Marion reunited with Indiana Jones in 1957.

Marion again encountered Jones when he and Mutt were also captured by the Russians. She accompanied Indy, his partner George McHale, Mutt and Oxley into a South American rainforest and Inca temple in a search for the Crystal Skull of Akator. They became close once more and when a life threatening situation arose stranding in dry quicksand, she revealed that Indiana was Mutt's father. On managing to escape the pit, they were once again taken prisoner.[5]

When they were driven as prisoners in a truck through the rain forest, Marion explained to Mutt that Indiana was his real father. However this led to an argument which became so intense their guard moved to gag Marion which positioned him to be knocked out by Indiana and Mutt. Indiana then escaped his bonds with Mutt's hidden switchblade and freed Mutt who in turn untied Marion. In a hectic adventure through the rainforest and Akator, Marion and Indiana rekindled their romance very quickly despite everything that had happened before, and afterwards they finally became husband and wife.[5]

Personality and traits[]

Strong of spirit and possessing street-smart savvy, Marion was able to drink men under the table and could throw an effective right hook. She loved her father but she was bitter when she became stranded in Nepal due to his work. While René Emile Belloq found Marion attractive, she also had the intelligence needed for a woman to get his attention.[2] For Indiana Jones, the first thing he ever noticed about Marion were her blue eyes. While there were many women in his life after they split up, he confessed to Marion that they all shared the same problem of not being her.[5]

Behind the scenes[]

Karen Allen portrayed Marion Ravenwood in Raiders of the Lost Ark.[2] She later reprised the role for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.[5] The character was named Marion after Raiders writer Lawrence Kasdan's grandmother, while her surname was taken from Ravenwood Lane in California.[9] Ravenwood is a tough, self-reliant woman, who is unintimidated by men, and able to take care of herself when the situation demands it, a similar character to Princess Leia in Star Wars.

Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood.

The script states that Marion's age in Raiders is 25 years old, making her around 15 at the time of the affair with a 27-year-old Indy.[10] With the release of Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide in 2008, this was changed when Marion's birthyear was revealed to be 1909, making her age about 27 at the time of Raiders instead.[1] Karen Allen herself was 28 during Raiders of the Lost Ark. She is nine years younger than Harrison Ford.

In 2008, Hasbro released a toyline to coincide with the release of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull which depicted Marion as she appeared in Raiders of the Lost Ark. There was also an exclusive action figure of Ravenwood made for the planned fifth wave of the Hasbro toyline that went unreleased and instead was made an exclusive figurine for the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con, along with the rest of the fifth wave's toys.[11]

Concept and creation[]

Spielberg originally intended the role for his girlfriend Amy Irving, but they split during production.[12] Sean Young auditioned for the role,[9] Barbara Hershey was considered,[13] while Debra Winger turned it down.[14] Steven Spielberg cast Karen Allen, on the strength of her performance in National Lampoon's Animal House. Allen screen tested opposite Tim Matheson and John Shea, before Harrison Ford was cast as Indiana.[9]

Kasdan's depiction of Marion was more complex, and she was genuinely interested in Belloq in earlier script drafts.[13] Allen and Paul Freeman added more comedy in the tent seduction scene.[9] The actor came up with her own back-story for the character, such as what happened to her mother, her romance with Indiana at age 15, and her time in Nepal; Spielberg described it as "an entirely different movie".[13] This also included Marion prostituting herself following her father's death,[15] which was suggested during the development of the screenplay.[10]

After Raiders of the Lost Ark was released, Spielberg wanted Allen to return for the sequel, but George Lucas decided that Indy would have a different love interest in each film.[9] Frank Darabont claimed it was his idea to bring back Marion for (what became) Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, during his tenure as writer from 2002 to 2004.[16] Steven Spielberg approved Darabont's idea, and although Darabont's draft was ultimately turned down and David Koepp was brought to take over, Spielberg insisted that Koepp retain Marion.[17]

The character in the National Treasure series Abigail Chase and The Mummy franchise's Evelyn Carnahan O'Connell are said to be based in part on Marion.


Marion Ravenwood was featured in The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones comic book series in the mid-1980s but she was written out in issue 25. Although there were plans to bring back her for issue 35, the book was canceled with number 34. During the 1990s, author Rob MacGregor was not permitted to include Marion in his prequel novels for Bantam Books' Indiana Jones series despite his interest in exploring Marion and Jones' past relationship, being told that George Lucas could be saving her for the fourth film:[18] "How did Indy meet [Marion]? What happened in their earlier encounters? George apparently wanted to keep that for the future. Maybe we'll find out in Indy IV", MacGregor had speculated.[19] While writing the novelization of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, author James Rollins was allowed to expand on Marion's backstory from the film.[20] Following the fourth film's release, however, Indycron keeper Leland Chee stated, during an interview with in 2010, that Marion's life between Raiders and Crystal Skull is currently off-limits for further exploration by writers.[21]

Sources contradict each other for when Marion and Indiana Jones first met canonically. Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide has the pair meeting in January 1920 (making Marion eleven years old at the time) whilst Jones was under the tutelage of Abner Ravenwood.[1] However, James Rollins' novelization of Crystal Skull has their introduction to one another in one of Jones' graduate classes.[22] Indiana Jones' first teaching job is depicted in the summer of 1925 at London University during the events of Indiana Jones and the Dance of the Giants where Jones meets his first wife Deirdre Campbell.[23]

Ravenwood and Jones hold up the trophy.

Rollins also has Marion and Jones' first kiss at an unspecified university.[22] The Ultimate Guide sees the relationship with Marion that destroyed Jones and Abner's friendship occur from the spring to autumn of 1925, overlapping with Dance of the Giants.[1]'s (defunct) Marshall College entry placed it in 1926.[8]

Marion appeared as part of the SuperBowl XXIX preview for Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye in 1995 played by an uncredited performer. There, she assists Jones in acquiring the stolen Vince Lombardi Trophy but the character wasn't included the attraction itself.[24] However, Karen Allen went on to promote the ride as herself alongside John Rhys-Davies in The Making of Disneyland's Indiana Jones Adventure.[25]


Non-canon appearances[]


Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 Raiders of the Lost Ark
  3. 3.0 3.1 Marvel Comics logo.png The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones – "Club Nightmare!"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Marvel Comics logo.png The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones – "Good as Gold"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  6. Raiders of the Lost Ark Sourcebook
  7. 7.0 7.1 Indiana Jones Adventure World
  8. 8.0 8.1 Marion Ravenwood's Marshall College entry on (backup link on
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Indiana Jones: Making the Trilogy
  10. 10.0 10.1 Raiders of the Lost Ark script development
  11. Indiana Jones Action Figures
  12. George Perry (1998). Steven Spielberg: The Making of his Movies. Orion, 44-45. ISBN 0-75281-848-1.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 "25 Years of Indy!", Empire, October 2006, pp. 73, 78.
  14. Gregory Kirschling, Jeff Labrecque. "Indiana Jones: 15 Fun Facts", 2008-03-12. Retrieved on 2008-03-15.
  15. Karen Allen in Raiders of the Lost Ark. ACME. Retrieved on 2008-04-03.
  16. "Comic-Con: Frank Darabont Talks ‘Indy’ Similarities", MTV, 2007-07-28. Retrieved on 2008-02-18.
  17. The Complete Making of Indiana Jones
  18. Interview to Rob MacGregor at El Recoveco del Geek (Spanish site)
  19. Aaron Gantt. Interview with Rob MacGregor. The Indy Experience. Retrieved on 2008-02-18.
  20. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Q&A at
  21. Leland Chee interview at
  22. 22.0 22.1 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull novel
  23. Indiana Jones and the Dance of the Giants
  24. Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye
  25. The Making of Disneyland's Indiana Jones Adventure

External links[]