Friday 22 February 2013

An unexpected ending...

Major spoiler alert!!!

If you have not seen The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey yet, don't watch this clip (published on YouTube by thapetrificustotalus).

This is the final scene for the dwarves, a scene that moved me to tears... all 4 times that I have seen the film on the silver screen. Even now, I have to remind myself to breathe when I watch this clip.

And as for Thorin: all I really want is to wrap one hand around the dark strands of his hair and snuggle up against his fur-lined frame. Strange, but I always imagine him to be taller than me (about Richard's size), so I would be able to rest my head on his shoulder... ;-)

And then, he would wrap both arms around me, and smile... just like he does in this clip...

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Dinner for two

So, I have to go to London again for work next month. I'm attending a full day of training, so I'll be arriving the night before.

I love spending time in London, even if it's for work and even if I barely get to see the city at all while I'm there.

But one thing I absolutely hate is eating alone. I'd much rather have this man at my dinner table. Delicious food, stimulating conversation, excellent red wine... and the night may turn out a lot less boring than I'm expecting it to be.

So, Richard, if you just happen to be in London next month, don't hesitate to get in touch. I won't even mind if you don't bother shaving ;-)

Pictures (cropped): Richard Armitage as John Mulligan in Moving On (2009).
Original images from

Friday 15 February 2013

The crownless again shall be king


All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
All that is gold does not glitter is a poem by J.R.R. Tolkien from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. When a friend shared it on Facebook, it immediately reminded me of this picture of prince Thorin, working in the forges of men after his people have lost Erebor to the dragon Smaug.
I know the poem is really about Aragorn (written by Bilbo Baggins if I remember correctly), but I think it also perfectly illustrates Thorin's quest to reclaim his home and his crown.

How RA spent Valentine's Day

Do you celebrate Valentine's Day? For my better half and I, this is just a day like any other day. We are always kissing and cuddling and we never leave the house without saying 'I love you', so we don't need a day to remind us how happy we are together.
But even though we don't buy each other fancy presents or go out to dinner, I know a certain Brit who has been rather busy on Valentine's Day over the years. ;-)

In 2001, Craig Parker turned on the charm for this pretty blonde...

Richard played Craig Parker in one episode of the BBC drama Casualty
In 2004, two ladies were fighting for the honour of being RA's Valentine...

Lucy Brown (Ann Latimer), Richard Armitage (John Thornton) and Daniela Denby-Ashe (Margaret Hale)
in the BBC's adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's North & South
And although this lady may have thought she had him hooked...

His heart showed him his one true love with one single yellow rose...

In 2005, Richard dressed up as Guy of Gisborne to present Lady Marian with a token of his regard for her:

Richard Armitage and Lucy Griffiths as Guy of Gisborne and Lady Marian
in episode 6 of season 1 of the BBC's Robin Hood (2006)
In 2006, we fell in love with Harry Kennedy, but he fell in love with Geraldine...

Richard Armitage and Dawn French as Harry Kennedy and Geraldine Granger in The Vicar of Dibley
In 2009, our spy-cam spotted senior case officer Lucas North on a romantic date with yet another pretty blonde. Well, anything's better than Sarah Caulfield, right?

Richard Armitage as Lucas North in Season 8 of Spooks
In 2010, RA hoped these lovely flowers would cheer up his love, as she was not feeling well and had to stay in hospital...

Richard Armitage played Sgt. John Porter in Chris Ryan's Strike Back
In 2011, he declared his love for all the world to see...

Richard Armitage leads his fellow cast members in the Powhiri ceremony
on the first day of filming for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington, New Zealand
In 2012, he sent Valentine cards to all his friends!

And in 2013, under a Black Sky or threatened by Dragon fire, whether on Valentine's Day or not, may our very own King Richard love with all his heart and find that special someone who says 'I love you' back to him.

Monday 11 February 2013

Picture perfect or imaginary image?

This is supposed to be a new picture of Richard that was discovered on Tumblr yesterday. My first reaction was: It's a fake! Richard's head on somebody else's body!

Is it real or is it fake?

Apparently, I was not the only one who had their doubts and the case was swifly under investigation. According to the poster on Tumblr, this was an image from a photoshoot by Robert Ascroft, the same photographer who created this lovely portrait of Richard:

The real McCoy: Richard Armitage as photographed by Robert Ascroft
That settles it then, doesn't it? Mystery solved!
Well, not exactly... I'm not convinced. I still can't seem to shake the feeling that this picture is not real. I can't exactly put my finger on it but there's something not quite right about it. And I am absolutely sure that I've seen that chair before...

What do you think?

Wednesday 6 February 2013

RIII: The King in the car park

"Researchers from the University of Leicester confirm that a skeleton found under a car park is that of King Richard III following extensive testing.

A series of papers presented at a news conference on Monday, 4 February detailed the highly-anticipated results of tests carried out on a skeleton thought to belong to Richard III, who died in battle more than 500 years ago.

Richard Buckley, dig project leader, said: "It is the academic conclusion that beyond reasonable doubt, the individual exhumed at Grey Friars in September 2011 is King Richard III - the last Plantagenet king of England."

I still can't believe it's actually him. What an extraordinary find!

For those of you who, like myself, are not in the UK and therefore did not have a chance to watch the Channel 4 documentary about the search for Richard III, here it is.

A big 'Thank you!' to LilyElizabeta for making it available on YouTube.

Richard III: The King In The Car Park - Broadcast on UK Channel 4 on Tuesday, 5 February 2013.

Random Thoughts: Coming clean

You may or may not have noticed that it's been rather quiet on this blog for the last month or so. That was not planned. I found myself completely overwhelmed with the constant influx of news about RA. As if there was no more room in my brain for anything creative while I was trying to absorb all the news, video, photoshoots, interviews... and of course the film: The Hobbit.  I've seen it (only) 3 times now, in 48fps 3D and I'm trying to stop myself from going to the cinema just one more time.

Promo poster for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey with Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield

The enormous media coverage has also caused an explosion of the RA fandom. The Armitage Army is no longer some marginal group of people from around the world who follow the career of some English guy that most of their friends and family have never even heard of. Our man is suddenly public property and, although it's exactly what I was expecting, it's still scary. Don't get me wrong, I welcome the change with open arms. It's so wonderful to see that Richard is finally getting the attention and appreciation that he deserves. And the more people know about him, the closer we get to convincing the entire world of Richard's extraordinary talent.

Richard Armitage in New York, at a photoshoot for Glamour Magazine

So, I don't mind sharing the fandom with the world, but the fact that the fanbase has grown exponentially has made me re-evaluate the place I want to take up in it. I feel the need to explain myself, to elaborate further on the kind of fan that I am. I don't know if that makes any sense at all, but it feels like the right thing to do. Please keep in mind that you don't have to agree with anything that I say in this blogpost. Actually, I hope you don't. Wouldn't the world be a horribly boring place if we all had similar opinions about everything? But I need to share my own opinions about certain things. I'll start by taking a stand on some of the ideas that have been going around in the fandom lately.  

Do I want Richard to play James Bond?
No. Please, no! Not that he wouldn't be a wonderful 007, but he's so much better that that. Stepping into a billion dollar franchise like James Bond would haunt him for the rest of his career. He'd be typecast for all eternity. And the interesting, challenging roles that he so desperately wants to play, would pass him by, because people would not be able to see past a certain spy... Lucas North: yes. James Bond: No.

To me, this will always be Richard's 'James Bond' picture, simply because of his casual elegance and obvious grace.
Behind the scenes at the 2009 BAFTA awards

Do I want Richard to star in a romantic comedy?
No. Please, no! Again, I'm sure he'd be wonderful at it, but there are so many more exciting roles waiting for him. Why should he waste his time on cheap, easy, romantic fluff? One book in particular seems to be circulating in the fandom these days: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. I haven't read it, so I don't mean to judge the book or the author, but if I had anything to say about Richard's career, I would advise him not to be a part of a screen adaptation of the novel. That's just my opinion, feel free to disagree.

Do I want Richard to play Matthew Clairmont?
Honestly, I have no idea who Matthew Clairmont is. I haven't read Deborah Harkness' books and I don't want to pass judgement on them. But I do know that Matthew Clairmont is a vampire. For that simple reason, RA should stay well away from him and leave the vampires to the likes of Robert Pattinson or Stephen Moyer.

Do I want Richard to play Richard III?
Yes. Yes, please. Richard III is such an interesting character to play because there is so much we know about him but there's also so very much we don't know, leaving the details of his character and the truth about his abilities as a monarch open to creative interpretation. Now that his remains have been found and the eyes of the world are on Leicester, the challenge would be to make Richard III a real man, giving equal importance to his many wonderful accomplishments and the horrible dark truths about his reign while giving them the historical context required for us to completely understand their significance. Let me quickly add 2 things:

1. If Richard ever gets to play RichardIII, I can only hope that this film or series also pays tribute to the women in this story: Cecily Neville, Anne Neville, Isabelle Neville, Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beauchamp, Marguerite of Anjou, ...the lust goes on and on. Their significance may have been overlooked by the history books, but these women play a vital part in the story of the wars of the roses. Ah, to play Anne or even Cecily - I wouldn't even mind sinking my teeth into such a challenge myself (wishful thinking, I know!)

A facial reconstruction of Richard III. Does it look like RA? Not necessarily. Is the resemblance enough for RA to be able to play him convincingly? Without a shadow of a doubt!

2. What if RA decides, as he has often said, that by the time this project actually happens, he will be "too tall and too old" to play the role? Fine by me, as long as he gets to make the decision for himself. He'd be brilliant as Warwick the Kingmaker or even as Richard's father, the Duke of York. Alternatively, he could produce the piece and I'm sure you'll agree that his storytelling abilities would benefit very much from having him in the director's chair. Ah, such a dilemma! (sorry for going on and on about this, I should really do a separate piece about the RIII thing) 

OK, enough confessions for today. I didn't mean to just be negative and I promise to also talk about other things that I would love for Richard to get involved in. In the meantime: is there anything you want to ask me? Anything you would like me to share? Please leave a comment and I'll do my very best to answer all of your questions.

Tuesday 5 February 2013

Random Thoughts: Laptop Lucas

This is me this morning: on the sofa with my laptop. And Episode 2 of season 9 of Spooks in the background. When Lucas is still Lucas and John Bateman is still only a ghost from the past without any real influence on the future.

I find myself going back to Lucas North more and more these days. I'll write more about him very soon. But there's other things I wanted to blog about today, so I'd better get back to that first!

Richard Armitage as Lucas North in Spooks (Season 9 episode 2)
Image courtesy of