For My Own Sake

I know I said in my last post that I was ready to have some fun, and I am more than ready to do so but… I haz thoughts. and I need to say them out loud. I probably shouldn’t add to the drama, just remain quiet about it all instead, but it’s something that’s important to me so I have to say it. my thoughts center around the incident that caused the shirtless Crucible pics uproar and how I feel it’s being misrepresented, also “Armitage Protection Mode” and what it’s really about for some of us, and the way this fandom turns on each other repeatedly and how that makes me feel.

gah! drama
gah! drama


It’s My Party and I Can Perv if I Want to

there has been some talk about a certain FaceBook fan page telling others that they shouldn’t objectify Richard in the latest Crucible shirtless photos that have been making the rounds in the fandom, that this kind of behavior takes away from the message of the play. quite a few bloggers have been stating their opinion that we, as fans, should be able to “appreciate” anyway we choose and we should not tell other fans how to fangirl. I feel that this particular situation has been represented unfairly.

surely not!
surely not!


1.) the fan page in question is not just a general Richard Armitage fanpage, it’s one that was set up specifically to discuss and celebrate The Crucible. and it says in the description “Please keep this a Fun, Respectful, and Friendly place to visit”



2.) when a situation arose that made the administrator of the page uncomfortable (drooling over said pics apart from their context in the play), she made a post explaining her feelings about the issue: that the play was meant to be more than looking at a bare chested man, and therefore she felt it was best to not discuss the pics on the page until more fans had a chance to see them within their original context. there are plenty of other places within the fandom where one can go to see and discuss those particular photos

oh, reaally?


3.) she has every right to control what is and is not discussed or viewed on her page. saying she does not approve of the current reactions to the images does not automatically mean she is telling others how to feel about them. and saying that she does not want the images shown or discussed outside of the play because they’re meant to be taken much more seriously than they have been, does not mean you can’t view or feel differently about the play than she does

my belly is not cute!
my belly is not cute!


This incident has turned into a cause for the right to objectify shirtless Armitage if anyone so chooses, however they choose. by stating her opinions of these photos in relation to the play, the page administrator has been seen as chastising others for not feeling/understanding the weight of the play. but see, this is where I get confused: bloggers are using their own platforms to say that the administrator should not tell the fandom what to do and are getting applauded for it, yet when the administrator did the exact same thing- using her own platform to say that she didn’t like the tone surrounding those pics- she gets ostracized. how are those two things different? they are all using their own spaces, that they are in control of, to state their own opinions. but because one didn’t place the words “I think/feel” in front of her sentences, she’s automatically seen as policing others. have pronouns really become that important?

Bilbo said that, not me. I would never be so materialistic...
Bilbo said that, not me. I would never be so materialistic.


APM: fandom enemy no.1

this isn’t about the photos themselves and the drooling for me, this is about double standards. this is about those who set certain boundaries for themselves and their spaces, getting shamed for not adhering to the status quo. I often make sexual innuendos on this blog and occasionally post a bare chested photo myself. the tone of my blog is light and I take things completely out of context with the gifs and captions that I post, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have lines I won’t cross. one example: bare bum screen caps/gifs. I don’t post them because I feel that it’s disrespectful to make light of some of those particular shots out of context. while it may be fun to tease about some of them (as I often reference Paul leaving his socks on) I wouldn’t be able to do that with the shots of Lucas. that scene, where he was undressing in order to appease his former captor, is wrought with underlying emotion. it’s about submission, it’s about sacrifice, it’s about Lucas reliving a very difficult time- one that caused him to try and take his own life. I wouldn’t post those pics even if they were being discussed within their original context though, because I also feel that doing so would be disrespectful to both Richard/Lucas and also to my husband  as well, who sometimes reads this blog (seeing his wife drooling over another man would hurt him. I don’t want to do that). when I say “disrespectful”, I’m not only talking about who is in the picture or who may see them but I’m also talking about how they make me feel- my own sensibilities about them. so often I see the defense “Richard is a grown man who has chosen the type of career that will make him desirable to others. he knows this and can take care of himself, he doesn’t need you to do it for him” true, all of that is true. but it’s not just for his sake, it’s for my sake. I don’t want to see certain characters and certain emotional situations made light of, for various personal reasons. I don’t want to see Richard’s body discussed in certain ways because of my respect for the man he is on the inside (because I get embarrassed about it *blushes*) and so I don’t do it in my space. I don’t tell others they can’t post them in their spaces or react to them in the ways that they want to. when I see those things in other spaces, I just keep walking. it’s not always about policing and telling others how they should or should not act, it’s also about us protecting ourselves and our own sensibilities. and yet, we get shamed for it. in trying to promote their own right to view the pics in the fashion that they choose, often fans turn the tables and shame the supposed shamers instead. we all have our reasons. whether we agree with those reasons or not, it would be nice to try and honor the other person’s feelings towards the matter.



Smells Like Teen Spirit

I’m sharing what I think- you don’t have to agree, of course- I’m not telling the fandom how they should feel or act. my hope is that we could not only treat Richard/his characters with respect, but each other as well. that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun, that doesn’t mean we can’t “appreciate” his physical attributes, it just means that we shouldn’t force our will on anyone. but it seems like we’re constantly picking at each other, getting offended over grammar, our rights, who belongs and who doesn’t. we say that our community is a welcoming one and that we all want to celebrate Richard together, but our actions speak differently sometimes. I suspect that if Marlise Boland would have just used the pronoun “we” when talking about the fandom instead of “they”, then there wouldn’t have been nearly as much offense taken when she talked about fans making ring tones out of interview sound bites or captioned gifs. and now that we’re on the subject, since she is a fan herself she should know to ask better questions. I mean, come on! how many times have us seasoned fans heard those same ones before? she clearly does not know the history of this fandom, What. A. Newb. I say that with sarcasm because it’s a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation for her (whether you consider her a fan or a journalist or something in between). take my summary above about the Lucas North undressing scene: were you offended at my summary of what that scene means? if you didn’t exactly agree with my interpretation, you probably just brushed it off and continued reading because you understood that it was my opinion of the scene, even though I didn’t put that ever important “I think/feel” at the beginning of the sentence (or tack on that “in my opinion/just my opinion” safety net at the end).  which is why I think the incidents as of late really don’t have all that much to do with what is being said about them on the surface, it’s about negative feelings towards the particular people who are at the center of them. if nothing else, I just wish we could be real about it.




so yeah. there it is. my thoughts. agree, disagree, or agree to disagree- they are mine in my space. I might end up losing some readers over this. and it certainly does not fall in line with my penchant for trying not to give drama the power. once upon a time I wrote Richard a fan letter. in that letter I mentioned how hard it is for me to exist in any type of community because I just want to enjoy myself, do my own thing, without getting caught up in all the politics and rules. but the interactions I’ve had in this fandom have bettered me as a person, both the good and the bad. I enjoy learning about other people who live far away from me or who live different kind of lives than I do. it’s fun to see what we have in common and to learn about our differences. I like broadening my horizons that way, through the fans and the things that trickle down from Richard’s career choices. what has been the most surprising to me about it all is that people seem to enjoy when I share my enjoyments with them. we can laugh and be silly on this blog, inadvertently breaking down stereotypes and prejudices at the same time, while getting to know each other through discussing Richard and his work. that’s what it’s all about for me. heading up The Thorin Project was a very meaningful experience, not only because of all the heartfelt and personal things we included in that book, but that we did it together. maybe it’s not realistic to hope that we can all be nice to each other, look out for each other, and just have fun as Richard implores. but I’m going to try. for my own sake.


Thornton Ramblings

North & South weekend, when everyone tells their own stories of what viewing North & South for the first time meant to them and how it launched them straight into a fascination with Richard Armitage. Lovely, lovely stories, all of them. but I didn’t come to Richard Armitage through North & South, that honor goes to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey instead. and although I greatly enjoyed North & South, once I finally got around to viewing it, it didn’t have a significant impact on my life.  This often leaves me wondering how much those small differences have to do with the way I view things in relation to Richard, the choices he makes, and the reactions to them.


In large part, that is why I avoided viewing North & South for so long (5 months is an eternity in obsessive fangirl reckoning!). The hype was so strong…it scared me. What if I didn’t think Richard as John Thornton was all that? I hadn’t been disappointed so far with the likes of Thorin, Harry, Lucas, Porter, Mulligan, and Andrews but what if this was the one to dull the shine? and if I didn’t think North & South was anything to write home about, just another period piece with another misunderstood Darcy, how would that reflect upon my growing relations with the fans who absolutely adored it? So much pressure! It was the role that launched the fandom, after all.

Thornton reads a letter
who is Harry Kennedy and what is a “sweater”?

It all worked out in the end, of course. Viewing “the kiss” on youtube before I watched the actual series is what finally prompted me to give in. That kiss was… I think “holy f*ck” were my exact words upon my first viewing! I had never seen, and have yet to see, a better kiss onscreen e-v-e-r. My impression up until that point, not having viewed the series itself, was that the story was a classic denial piece, full of stubbornness, misunderstandings, and UST (unresolved sexual tension); so basically every dime-store romance novel ever written. Prideful, outspoken female characters get under my skin (the one I see in the mirror each morning is hard enough to handle…). I won’t say my assumptions were entirely wrong but there was a vulnerability on screen that softened the harshness.

Thornton and Margaret kiss gif
actions speak louder than words

My people, working class coal miners and steel workers, came from the same stock as the workers in Milton. Some even from the North of England itself. My childhood was full of company strikes and Scabs and the devastation it brings to a community when it’s main places of employment shut down. different from the time period that North & South was set in but similar enough to make an impression on me (Ewan McGregor’s “Brassed Off” is a movie that touches me deeply in this regard). now, because of John Thornton, I was empathizing with Management (my Union loyal family will disown me!)

you're coming home with me? gif
it’s the least you can do

So I’m not saying that North & South leaves me unaffected, it was just never a turning point in my “fan path” the way it has been for so many others. I’m kind of envious, in a way. To be struck by lightening from one project, one performance alone, must be a powerful thing. These things tend to come to me more softly, they rattle around my subconscious and tap on my shoulder, until the day that I finally decide to acknowledge them. When I do, they’re already there to stay. That’s what my discovery of Richard was like. One day I had never heard of him or seen those piercing eyes, and then I had. There were a few weeks in between where I tried to put him on the back burner and convince myself that he couldn’t be any different from the others. but he sat there and simmered…and smoldered…and without really realizing what I was doing, I started to research him; slowly, then obsessively. and once he came into focus, it felt like he had always been there.

North & South handholding gif

In a way, I guess that’s how John Thornton is for me too. He’s the face of this fandom, the founder, if you will. You can’t be a Richard Armitage fan without at least being aware of Mr. Thornton. So although it wasn’t because of him that I joined this fandom, and it took awhile before I even “met” him, I felt like he was always there. watching. Thank You for stalking me Mr. Thornton, no good deed goes unpunished…

Higgins and Thornton share a word
what goes around comes around

What Is Your Quest?

I’ve been watching events unfold over on the IMDb message board the past few days, so I’d like to throw out some general thoughts regarding Trolls.


Trolling: a style of fishing in which one trails bait through a likely spot, hoping for a bite.
To a troll, any attention is good attention, especially if it gets their target group heated enough to forget themselves and unleash their knowledge of a beloved subject/person in a fit of passion. This gives them ample opportunity to scoff at your dedication while showcasing their (believed) superior wit. Do not give them what they want. Do not feed the trolls; they will starve if they are not acknowledged. That means ignoring and not responding to anything they have to say, and I mean anything.
Fili has blonde hair, Kili has brown; get it right!
I’ve watched these types of dramatics many times in various circumstances. Commenters, who don’t even have an interest in the beloved subject matter (in this case, Richard Armitage) will throw out seemingly innocent comments that they know will incite.


Ignore! Ignore! Ignore!
Do not engage…even to try and keep the peace.


They may come in standing on a solid platform at the beginning of the disagreement but their behavior swiftly tears the wrappings away and reveals truly rotten foundations. Would you waste your time on a forum whose subject matter you weren’t even interested in? Don’t let their petty need for attention darken your happy Hobbit hole.
that was not meant as a euphemism, boys!
My advice would be to block them & pretend that they don’t exist. If you’re worried that they are spreading slanderous lies about Richard and disrespecting his privacy, their reach is small. Do you believe everything you read in comments? If you care, you investigate further. Those who are gullible enough to believe anything are just passing through anyway. The ones who care will seek out the truth.


A troll’s audience are the lurkers. when you respond, you become players in their show; don’t be a tool.

Now does anyone know the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

I’m asking for a friend.

“H” is for Honesty

Do you ever feel like your interactions online are like a dinner party, where you need to watch what you say and how you say it in order to make a good impression?

*No, dressing your poodle up as Legolas isn't weird at all...*
No, dressing your poodle up as Legolas isn’t weird at all…

say what you wanna say
and let the words fall out
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave.
~”Brave” by Sara Bareilles


Lately, I’ve been feeling like the things that I say keep getting misunderstood. I’d like to think that it’s not intentional, that I’m just being overly sensitive; and that is true to an extent.

I can be clumsy; does that make me stupid? huh? Does it?! (no, it makes you a klutz. get over yourself)
I can be clumsy, does that make me stupid? huh, does it?! no, it makes you a klutz. get over yourself

*I* need to own this. *I* need to stop tip-toeing around the issues because “I’m new here and I don’t want to cause problems.

*what if they're sleeping? maybe I should knock softer*
what if they’re sleeping? maybe I should knock softer

When I do confront and it all goes to Hell,


It’s my own expectations that are my biggest downfall. My approach isn’t automatically the rule.

*that was funny. Laugh!*
that was funny. laugh!

What are these unwritten rules that keep tripping me up? Well, as I understand them, they seem to be:

be nice
I can do that *smiles*

be respectful to your fellow fans
again, no problem!


be respectful of Richard
this one can be subjective, so I’ll just invest in some blinders

Richard should probably get some too
Richard should probably get some too.

I can respectfully criticize Richard, as long as I tack on a ‘whatever makes him happy‘ disclaimer
as Richard Armitage fans, isn’t that a given, that we want him to be happy?

unless it makes you happy *winks*
unless it makes you happy *winks*

I can state my opinions, as long as I include a ‘in my opinion‘ or ‘everyone has a right to their own opinion.
doesn’t the *I think* or *I feel* already cover that?


don’t accidentally accuse anyone of, well, anything. or imply that they are doing something wrong.
this is getting complicated (the doing it wrong issue can actually be one of my own hot-buttons; I’ve never claimed that I’m not a hypocrite)



So, in summary: I should just approach every conversation as if it has the potential to get me sued,

Richard! that is not PC! *tsk*
Richard! that is not PC! *tsk*

cover my ass, and just generally kiss ass

it's better to say arse; I've not figured out why, yet.
it’s better to say arse; I’ve not figured out why, yet.

and I should be fine!



I’ve not spent a lot of time on blogs before, most of my interactions in other fandoms have taken place on forums.

*she doesn't know our ways; I'll vouch for her this time*
she doesn’t know our ways; I’ll vouch for her this time

I love the interactions I’ve had with all of you on this blog

you'rrre great!
you’rrre great!

but when I roam abroad, I should bring along some protection

get your mind out of the gutter, Richard!
get your mind out of the gutter, Richard!

to build me up a bit first. the lyrics to this Sara Bareilles song can help in that regard, give it a listen:


Have you ever felt this way too? What kinds of things are holding you back, either in fandom or in real life?

Swearing, perhaps?

-fucking door!-
fucking door!
-you, God damned...-
you, God damned…
-bloody bastard!!-
bloody bastard!!

or maybe that’s just me?

Show me how big your brave is

The Adventure Begins

Once I had made the decision to find out more about this Richard Armitage fellow and looked up his mini-bio and list of film works on IMDb, I turned to Google. First, to figure out how the heck to pronounce Leicester, then to find a decent fan-site that would hopefully tell me the kinds of things I wanted to know.

is he a kid at heart?


does he play well with others?


I clicked on RichardArmitageNet and was hit full force with loads of helpful information!

are you paying attention?

Photo galleries, Print and Video archives, Audio extracts and downloads, Previews of his film work; OH MY! I’m a visual person (shocking, I know! ) so my first stop was the Photo Gallery. I skipped over the individual film projects, since I had no idea what any of them were yet, and focused on the Photoshoots.

do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk by again?

As I browsed, I found some that have become lasting favorites

While others, I would just have to come around to.

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood…
Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful

Next I moved on to the Print archives. This is my favorite way to become familiar with an actor. You can watch them grow and progress as a person, and track their career as it unfolds before them. I found an interview from the North & South era, that fit what I was looking for. It told me he was Modest. It told me he was Polite.

and Bashful

It told me he was Self-Depreciating, Considerate, Solitary, Introspective, Valued his Roots, and Always wanted to Put his Best Foot Forward.

it’s true!

To say I was intrigued by this point was an understatement. I then hunted down a few Video interviews. Instantly I latched on to this one:

I admired his poise and focus, and the way he seemed to sift through his mind to find the answer he was searching for and showing us clearly the moment he had found it. When he gave the little quip about practicing his horse riding skills with the action figure, I knew I was hooked! An unassuming dry sense of humor will win a place in my heart every time.


This North & South video interview was next:

When Richard talked about his research, and the importance of costumes and their biographies, it became clear to me that he shared my passion for giving good stories the respect they deserve.

Every girl is crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man

Then came CBeebies. He reads bedtime stories to kids?!

This endeared him to me straight away. I then moved on to the Audio section.

brace yourself…

I picked A War Less Ordinary. When I heard Code Poem for the French Resistance, I wept real tears. So Beautiful. The poem, his enunciation, the VOICE! It wasn’t a superficial physical reaction I was having towards Richard Armitage; I was learning him from the inside out.

The chase had officially begun.

I have long legs too Richard, you better run faster!