wandering through the Richard Armitage fandom
Sparkhouse is a sad story,
I’m not going to lie.
When I first watched the mini-series on YouTube, it haunted me for days afterwards. Not because of the tragic love story at the center of it all and not because of the gutsy girl who just couldn’t seem to catch a break, but because of John Standring. I just couldn’t seem to get him out of my head.
so I turned to fan-fiction.
I gobbled up every Sparkhouse story I could find, I was possessed!
Have you seen Sparkhouse yet? Not sure you want to risk it?
Let me help, here are the important parts:
Farmhand fancies employer’s daughter
He asks her out
for a drink
and a bit confusing
The next day
she tries to let him down easy
She leaves town
but then she comes back
Financial problems force her to offer the farmhand
a shot at being farm-owner, if he marries her
there’s a Wedding
a Wedding Night
and they lived happily ever after!
well, maybe not right away…
I’ll let poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox explain:
She had looked for his coming as warriors come,
With the clash of arms and the bugle’s call;
But he came instead with a stealthy tread,
Which she did not hear at all.
She had thought how his armor would blaze in the sun,
As he rode like a prince to claim his bride:
In the sweet dim light of the falling night
She found him at her side.
She had dreamed how the gaze of his strange, bold eye
Would wake her heart to a sudden glow:
She found in his face the familiar grace
Of a friend she used to know.
She had dreamed how his coming would stir her soul,
As the ocean is stirred by the wild storm’s strife:
He brought her the balm of a heavenly calm,
And a peace which crowned her life.
After resisting Guy of Gisborne for so long, you may be wondering what finally made me give in.
Two words: Hood Academy.
Yes, the behind-the-scenes feature that focused on the
swordsmanship, archery, and horseback training the cast participated in prior to filming.
“but that’s not really Guy”, you say, “that’s Richard.”
(you’re totally not saying that because you all understand *winks* but let’s just pretend)
As someone who has no qualms about saying
that she generally does not like longer hair on men or guy-liner,
I saw this interview:
and began to rethink things.
That was then followed by this:
and I was done. I had to check the infamous Guy of Gisborne out,
if only to witness some of this in action:
Behind-the-scenes clips win me over every time,
I’ve always found them very a-peeling…
I had gotten to the point in my fan path where I felt I really couldn’t avoid Guy of Gisborne any longer.
The leather and guy-liner aside, there had to be something to this character.
After I realized that the show was called Robin Hood and not Guy of Gisborne…
I found it on Netflix and settled in to see what all the hoopla was about.
My immediate first impressions:
*Richard’s not the star of this show?
*Robin is a twerpy douche
*is this supposed to be funny?
because the subtleties are cracking me up!
I needed to watch more than just one episode in order to form an opinion of Guy
and to get a real feel for the show.
4 hours later a box popped up on my television screen asking me if I wanted to continue watching.
That sent me into a fit of giggles, like the TV was judging my viewing choices
(the TV does this to guard against being left on, unattended)
A lot of negative things have been said about this show;
the acting, the costumes, the writing.
I find it generally enjoyable. I think, as adults, we judge it unfairly.
It’s a family show, sprinkled with contemplative points amid the action and veiled humor.
It was easy to see that Guy would take the forefront though.
My kids, who wandered in and out during my first viewing,
became more interested in Guy’s plight than the seemingly obvious hero of Robin.
Guy wore black, he was mean, and he held a job that gave him power;
this automatically equaled “bad guy”.
Robin was dressed in a more mismatched style,
had a lighter disposition, and was essentially homeless; this equaled “good guy”.
And, of course, there is always a girl stuck in the middle…
As my kids became more interested,
my son for Robin’s magical archery skills
and my daughter for pretty Marian and boyish looking Robin,
they both soon remarked on the flipped issues.
Robin was doing the right thing by fighting injustice, yet he was stealing from unsuspecting travelers to do so.
Guy was being ruthless with the peasants, but it was the Sheriff who was forcing that kill-or-be-killed mentality onto him.
Marian was attached to Robin because of childhood memories and their shared values,
yet it was Guy who appreciated her for who she was and was always trying to protect her.
My 9 and 13 year olds were a bit less articulate in their explanations, of course,
but their musings and questions told me that they understood what was going on under the surface.
After I went on to watch the rest of the episodes on my own, with my adult sensibilities,
I had many positive and negative reactions to the characters, storylines, realism, etc.
But it’s that first simplistic impression that stays with me,
and it’s why I find myself going back to Robin Hood, aka Guy of Gisborne,
again and again.
While researching the numerous examples of the audio heaven that is Richard’s voice,
I came across the commercial adverts.
Something that I find myself doing a lot of,
is trying to guess the identity of the narrators in television commercials.
Often times I will recognize an actor by his voice alone,
and will then spend countless hours trying to figure out which character the voice belongs to.
The way they pronounce that certain word or phrase will end up driving me crazy until I figure it out!
Yes, I could just look it up on the internet but where’s the challenge in that?
Needless to say,
I like voices.
So I was very curious to see what kinds of commercials
Richard has lent his voice to.
I think the jewelry commercials are my favorite,
(click on titles below to listen)
The Winter-Olympics one is nice too
because we know Richard has a personal fondness for skiing.
I’m not entirely sure what the “Santander” ad is about though
I get too distracted hearing the precise way Richard enunciates Santander
I keep saying it over and over again,
(and also the way he pronounces customer)