H.) How has your attitude to RA changed over your time as a fan?
I remember loving his eyes from the get go, not just the color but the way he uses them in his acting. Thorin’s eyes are what really drew me to him. that, and his voice. I loved the low, commanding sound of Thorin’s voice, how it combined wisdom and compassion and came out husky but silky? I don’t know how else to describe it. I liked how Richard looked with a beard and how he seemed so well informed in interviews during The Hobbit era. his younger self was more lighthearted but more awkward as well, so although I loved his dorkiness, I preferred the ‘older’ version. I never really liked him clean shaven. it makes his face seem full of sharp edges.
I loved The Crucible- so full of passion and heart wrenching moral dilemmas. and big dusty boots! I enjoyed Hannibal too, even though it was very dark and the red dragon visited me in my nightly dreams in a way that was both terrifying and exhilarating. Richard looked really good as Francis Dolarhyde, like a sculpture of the male form. I didn’t like how his clothing style switched to a younger look during that time. I don’t mind it now but then, it just seemed like too much of a change too quickly. I wanted to like Berlin Station. I wanted to. Daniel didn’t pull me in that first season, and I really needed him to.
The past two years have been rough on me, both mentally and physically. my grandfather’s death brought about changes in my extended family that have been rocky to traverse. then I suddenly became ill with stomach issues that took awhile to diagnose, the solution of which brought about something that was worse than the original ailment! I’m right as rain now (knock on wood) but at the time I needed a distraction, something I could lose myself in to forget all my woes for awhile. I needed someone with a sunny disposition and Richard, bless him, is not that person. I was lured away by another pair of pale blue eyes, someone who checked off those missing boxes of wedding ring and family man as well. in the end, all of that was the impetus, not twitter. twitter is just easier to blame.
Overall, I still admire Richard as an actor. I still respect him as a person. I still enjoy him in interviews. he may not be my main focus anymore but he’s still in focus. and that’s still a good place to be.
Around Valentine’s Day I came across a little Q&A that I found kind of cute. it asked questions about your partner but made it seem like they were the one asking, “what was your first impression of me? what do you like the best about me?” I plugged in my own answers in relation to my husband and had a nice walk down memory lane. then I got to thinking about different Richard Armitage characters, imagining the questions coming from them and, well, you know me: a new Challenge is born!
Meet Cute: Francis Dolarhyde
1.) What was your first impression of me?
shy, maybe a little creepy, with intensity simmering underneath
2.) What is your idea of a truly romantic evening with me?
when we play hide-n-seek at your house!
3.) Something that you’d like to change in me but don’t have the nerve to tell me
your eating habits are atrocious. there, I said it!
4.) Which 3 parts of my body are your favorites, and why?
your overall physique because you’re very fit and it conveys power. your tattoo because you seem to like it so much and it gives you confidence. your fingers because, well, just because.
5.) 3 qualities that attracted you when we first met, or once you got to know me
you’re unpredictable, sometimes vulnerable, but also confident. sometimes overly so.
6.) What is our favorite movie to watch together, and our favorite song?
The SinnaBunny visited my mailbox yesterday and left me: Belstaff Francis!
he was through the door without even a “you owe me awe” before he commandeered a living space for himself.
Belstaff Francis was made by the talented Nancy Soares of sinnabunny crafts. her Etsy shop is filled with similar plushies from various television shows. I don’t think Francis should be left to his own devices in that big old house, maybe he’ll need a roommate in the future?
Guy of Gisborne could be a nice fit
or maybe John Proctor
I don’t know who this Garrett fellow is but he looks capable
the sinnabunnycrafts shop on Etsy can be foundhere.
Richard’s run on Hannibal is over and while I won’t miss the show itself, I have grown attached to Francis Dolarhyde, but not for the reasons I thought I might. a lot of fans have fallen for the shy boy, the damaged soul who doesn’t understand life and death and love in the way that most of us do. I like that Francis because I want to ease his burden, show him what love (all kinds) is.
The Francis that has really captured my attention though isn’t that shy boy, it’s the Francis who is becoming something more. not the Dragon persona specifically, because the Dragon is what pushes Francis to murder families and that’s horrible, but the part of him that is embracing the thought that he doesn’t have to sit back and take it anymore.
…which is a bit of an oxymoron since the Dragon is bullying Francis into doing what he wants. I guess I like the in-between Francis? I don’t know, I’m starting to confuse myself! let me explain what it is that I like and what facets of his personality(s) I find alluring.
I like the physical way that Francis starts inhabiting his body. not just the fleshy parts we get to see in the attic but also how his stance changes, the way he moves and walks. how the uncertain boy who first meets Reba, starts to own the space around him once they become intimate with one another. this is different from the man who first invites her into his van, eats pie with her; the methodical loner.
I find the physicality most alluring when he’s the Dragon; the power. I’ve become slightly addicted to the scene with Dr. Chilton. Richard’s acting steps out of the box here in a way that both frightens and excites me. he’s scary! his demeanor, his voice. I feel like I am right there in the room with them, frozen. I couldn’t leave if I wanted to!
The body itself entices me, as he’s sitting there in his robe. his shoulders seem so square all of a sudden, so regimented, and that patch of skin that’s peeking out at the neck. the silk of the robe, the hypnotizing cadence of the voice, not being able to see his eyes or observe his facial expressions forces me to rely on whatever it is that he is pushing out into the room. can pheromones reach through the television?
there’s just all kinds of mind-fuckery going on in that scene! it shouldn’t feel sensual but it does. the fear shouldn’t entice me but it does. I shouldn’t eagerly anticipate whatever horror he’s about to unleash upon the doctor but I do. FYI: on rewatch, I shut this scene off after the feline stalk but before the demonic kiss. the gore is more than a little disturbing.
I feel some of that same magnetism during the scene when Reba locks the door. I think it’s understandable in that scene because it’s more clearly Francis, who is trying to do right by Reba. it’s still that odd mixture of wariness and familiarity that is Francis, along with those sensual undertones. he’s telling her to touch his chest so that she can find the key that he’s wearing around his neck.
it seems like something different, the encouraging tone to his voice feels intimate but quickly shifts to a reprimand when her touch goes too far.
I hold my breath when she goes over to lock the door, hoping that she will do what he says. not because I’m afraid for her but because I’m afraid for him.
I want him to feel that someone has faith in him, whether he deserves it or not. I want him to feel goodness in the air, if only for a fleeting moment, before he goes off to do what he feels he must do. he’s either going to fail at the task he’s set before himself, or the Dragon is going to prevail; neither scenario is promising. let him carry a talisman of goodness, of love, of humanity, with him where he ends up- so that he’s not alone.
with all this feeling swirling around inside of me, it’s no wonder I was disappointed with how it all played out. I felt it was wrapped up too quickly, that the characters involved suddenly went off script and did things that didn’t mesh with what had gone before. aside from the very last frame of Francis, with his earthly wings, I felt he had been disrespected by the ending of the story. his demise wasn’t worthy of him, in my opinion. he was so smart and so cunning and so physically able, that whole tag team dance of blood just seemed cheap in comparison.
in the end, I surprised myself with the attachment I grew to feel towards Francis. he’s like a roller-coaster that frightens me but gets my adrenaline flowing so strongly that I find myself stupidly shouting, “let’s go again!” I feel like I shouldn’t want to, but I will, because I have no choice.
I finally watched the last episode of Hannibal yesterday evening (no real spoilers ahead). I’ve been putting it off because I was afraid to see it end– fearing emotional overload or gore overload or both. the series is not something I would normally watch but I’m glad I had the experience of watching it. I wouldn’t say I enjoyed the program itself exactly, the overall style wasn’t really to my liking, but I did enjoy seeing Richard stretch himself in the acting department. I can truthfully say that I was scared of him several times throughout the story. I’ve tried to resist spoilers as much as my curiosity would let me and I think I did well, all things considered (i.e.Tumblr) but I did see mentions of people raving about the finale, how emotional it was and how it was a fitting ending and how the song enhanced the scene, etc. etc. so I went in with expectations– never good for me–and came out sorely disappointed.
I did really like the scene with Reba and the locking of the door, but this post isn’t a review of the episode or the series, it concerns what happened after…yep, it’s dream time! early on, after only the second episode of Richard’s, I had a Stockholm Syndrome type dream starring Dolarhyde, myself, and his house–I have a bit of a crush on his house.
I had yet to really experience Richard’s characterization of Dolarhyde, but the small glimpse I had seen caused me to have a very vivid dream that was equal parts scary and confusing, because of the loyalty I grew to feel towards him. Richard’s voice as Dolarhyde alone, really infused that character with a certain kind of depth that pulled me in like a magnet. and it was that feeling that dominated the dream I had last night as well, only this time it was much scarier and even more confusing.
The beginning of the dream is a bit murky in my memory. it involved Dolarhyde and Hannibal chasing me, with Hannibal nipping at my ankles like a dog and Dolarhyde fending him off. Will was with me and we ducked into what we initially thought was a shopping mall but turned out to be a children’s school. we thought there would be enough people around to afford us some time to catch our breath and formulate some kind of plan. the next thing I knew, Hannibal, myself, and Dolarhyde (though he was more The Dragon at that point) were in a small, underused cafeteria. Dolarhyde was ready to be “changed” and he wanted Hannibal to talk him through it. I was scared shitless, just standing there hoping that I wouldn’t be forced to take part in any way.
it seems as if Dolarhyde and I had cultivated a friendship at one time, during his struggle with the Dragon but before it had all escalated, and so I was upset that I was going to loose my friend. he was still in there somewhere, existing alongside the Dragon. Dolarhyde started removing the layers of clothing he was wearing. he tossed a sweater at my feet and I picked it up, hugged it to my chest, while giving it a nostalgic sniff. he saw me do this and stopped his movements.
I became really scared, not knowing whether I had offended him or not. then he said, in his dark methodical voice, “you may wear the Dragon’s coverings, when you find the need”, like he was giving me permission and bestowing upon me a high honor. he beckoned Hannibal forward then and dismissed me, so I backed out of the room slowly.
I joined Will at the open doors, where he had been watching. the bell of the school rang, surprising Dolarhyde and unnerving him. Hannibal calmly told him that it was the school bell because we were in a school. then Hannibal started singing “Jesus loves the little children” and it was creepy as hell! Will and I looked at each other in a panic, not wanting the children to see what was about to happen, so we closed the doors to the room and stood guard. most of the kids moved along and didn’t pay us any mind but one boy stopped to look through the windows of the doors and exclaimed how cool the life-size anatomy model looked. as I was shooing him away he asked if he could touch the intestine. I looked at Will, horrified. I had avoided looking in the room myself but Will was watching and told me that Dolarhyde was willingly being disembowel by Hannibal. I stumbled out the doors of the building after that.
I desperately needed to decompress and get my head straight. I was feeling all kinds of conflicting emotions, horror and fear but also sadness and compassion, on top of a begrudging respect for the Dragon. I spotted a bench across the parking lot, located at the side of a maintenance garage, and so I started towards it. I was in a daze and nearly missed being hit by a car that was driving through the parking lot, when I noticed a man walking parallel to me. I weaved my path a bit to see if he would stick with me and he did. I glanced at the man and he was definitely not friendly.
I thought, “and the hits keep coming! I so do not need this right now!” the man scared me, uttering verses from the Book of Revelation about horsemen and angels, but he also made me very angry. I needed to mourn my friend, not deal with whatever brand of insanity this guy had going on!
I purposefully put on the shirt that Dolarhyde had given me and then stopped walking, the man did too. he blankly stared at me as he pulled a book of matches from his pocket. I looked around and realized the pavement outside of the garage was covered in spilled gasoline and patches of rainbowed oil. as I turned back towards the man, he lit a match and dropped it. oh, it is ON now! I lunged at him and we fell to the ground wrestling.
he was smaller in stature so he didn’t automatically overpower me but I was struggling. I finally got the upper hand and pinned him to the ground. this seemed amazing to me because I was not in particularly good shape and I had spent the whole day running from Hannibal. I felt like the shirt was giving me some sort of power, whether it be physical or only mental.
it was difficult to keep the man subdued though so I screamed out for Will, hoping he was just inside the doors and could hear me. as the fire started to spread, I screamed out a second time, while emotionally trying to keep myself together because my anger had turned back to fear–I was about to lose it and just deconstruct on the spot. as a last ditch effort I called out to Hannibal, not particularly loud and kind of on the end of a sob. suddenly the man stopped struggling underneath me and I felt him lift his head as I had my face pushed into his back. he whispered an awed “fuck”. then I heard Hannibal ask calmly “you called, my dear?” …and then I woke up.
my heart was pounding and I felt like I was drowning in that vulnerable feeling you get after having a nightmare, but then I laughed to myself and thought “and that’s how a finale is done! #micdrop”
(when you start dreaming in hashtags, maybe it’s time to back away from Twitter)