10 year fan journey

Around this time of the year, 10 years ago, I became a Richard Armitage fan / well-wisher / follower of his work, whatever you want to call it…

My parents had given me a North & South DVD for Christmas 2005, a little over a year after it had aired on the BBC. They didn’t know this miniseries but because they knew I am a sucker for a period drama, especially a BBC one, they figured they couldn’t go wrong with that. I had missed this period drama on TV and thought that, had it been any good, I would surely have heard more about it. So, I parked it – after all, 4 hours is a huge chunk out of your day and with a husband, a job and two small kids I just could not muster up the courage to invest my time in something that could very well be a disappointment. Then I became ill, struck down by flu, and while rummaging through the DVD’s for something to watch on my laptop in bed, I came across the North & South DVD again. “Oh why not?” I thought. I was going to watch one episode and then take another nap but then this happened…

RA NS

Headache be damned, I could not stop watching and by the time “Look back at me” happened…

N&S Look back at me

… I knew for sure that I had reached a point of no return! I watched the whole 4 hours in bed before the kids came home from school/daycare… The next day I watched again… and then after that again… and again… suffice it to say, it’s the best time I ever had being sick!

Once I felt a little better I started searching online for any info on Richard Armitage. I joined the C19 message board (one of the boards set up after the BBC message boards had crashed over fan reception of N&S), I started watching fan videos (and later started making them myself for other shows), I tried to get my hands on other work Richard had done, I hunted for interviews, I started reading fan fiction and I watched anything new he was doing. Heck, I even wrote a fanfic continuing on where N&S had ended!

To my utter delight 8 or 9 months after I had discovered Richard he had a part on one of my favourite comedies The Vicar of Dibley…

VOD4

…and then of course I watched Robin Hood (didn’t like the show much, only watched for Richard) and Spooks and Strikeback and all that came inbetween and then The Hobbit happened …. and The Crucible…

 

…and here we are and it’s 10 years on!

I have always been more of a lurker in the fandom, preferring to not engage too much, because frankly, who has the time? I sure didn’t, with a job, a husband, two young children and pretending to have a bit of a social life as well. In addition, I was always a little iffy about belonging to large groups, I do not want to be part of some sort of Richard-religion, where I’d have to abide by certain rules and regulations. I just want to be my own kind of fan, on my own terms. I didn’t want to be involved in bust-ups or arguments that happened even then (I still don’t). So, I read and watched and looked and listened and surfed the net and very occasionally commented but mostly enjoyed being a Richard fan on my own. Well, not completely on my own… I have always shared my obsessions with my husband and he has always been very cheerfully supportive. Yes, lucky me. 🙂 So, I was fine with my personal fangirling ways for many years and honestly, I still would be fine with that… And then I started blogging because now, with the kids growing up, I have a little more time on my hands.

I didn’t start blogging because of Richard, I started blogging because I wanted to document certain things I am preoccupied with at any point in time. That means blogging about Richard, but also about any other number of things. Of course, I could have documented all that in private (which I used to do way back when, when I had diary) but something compelled me to do it publicly on the internet. I mean, if I enjoy something, maybe there’d be other like-minded people out there who enjoyed the same thing and they’d like reading my blog? If not, fine; if yes, fine as well! So, I finally took the plunge and this blog was born.

One of my first posts was about meeting Richard at The Old Vic’s stage door and when I posted a collection of positive reviews of Richard as Thorin Oakenshield things really started taking off on my blog (thanks to Servetus, who linked to that post!). Suddenly other Armitage fans were reading and commenting here and I started commenting on their blogs and now I find myself immersed into interactive Richard Armitage fandom more than I ever intended to be! This time it’s on my blog and therefore on my own terms and I comment on other blogs when I want to and I find I am enjoying myself.

The next immersive step I took was actually acquiring one of Guylty’s RA badges!

deranged

And now, this weekend, for the first time ever, I even had the pleasure of actually meeting a fellow Richard Armitage fan in person! We had a marvelous time, going from cafe to shops to market to cafe to restaurant, chatting and chatting all day long. We talked about Richard, and life and husbands and children and other shared interests and it was great!

So, 10 years after first discovering Richard, and after 10 years of following his career, I find I am now part of my own niche fan-experience involving other fans as well. I’ve come a long way and I wonder where will I be at, or what kind of fan will I be or I will even still be a fan, in 10 years time? One thing I do know: time flies when you’re having fun – I can hardly believe I have loved Richard Armitage for 10 years already!

It’s been quite a ride so far, from this…

RA NS interview

… to this…

richardarmitage-davidcopperfield-summer 2015

I had no idea when I started fangirling over him that it would last this long and yet it has! There is an appeal to this man that is undeniable, that will not go away and as he develops in his acting the appeal becomes even stronger than ever! Like other long-term crushes of mine (Gregory Peck and Colin Firth) he has become a permanent fixture in my life and for now he is the biggest actor-crush I have. Even if it should all end tomorrow I will forever be grateful for having ‘found Richard’ 10 years ago and for all that that has brought me so far.

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37 thoughts on “10 year fan journey

  1. What a lovely post, Esther. First of all – congratulations on your 10 year anniversary. It’s a good long time, and it really shows that there is more to Richard’s appeal than a smouldering gaze or a carefully exposed bicep. It’s nice to hear that you find the fan interaction as an enhancement of the whole experience. That is – I personally think – the best possible outcome of our “hobby”: the interaction and human contact that develops from it. Like you, I have no idea whether this infatuation will last forever. But like you, too, I am happy that it is happening now, and I will always look fondly on the experience, the man who made it happen, and the friends I met because of it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Congratulations on your 10 year anniversary! I first watched North and South January, 2011 so it’s been about five years for me. I was also a quiet fan for a while but I am enjoying meeting and learning about other fans (unfortunately online only.) I seem to wax and wane a bit – sometimes I’m more involved, other times not as much. I have been enjoying your blog and many of your suggestions!

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  3. I haven’t been aware of RA for nearly as long as you, but I can sure relate to your experiences, beginning with N&S, then surfing for info and finding fanvids, joining the forums, lurking on blog sites, seeing The Crucible, deciding to blog, and even the Servetus signal boost! And last but certainly not least, the influx of new friends as a result of all of the above! Like you, I have no idea how long it will last, but I suspect it will be a good long while. LOL. Congratulations on your 10 year fanniversary!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations Esther. 10 years is a long time and I hope you’ll continue to write for at least 10 years more. About Armitage and also about other things, they are always a pleasure to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love reading about other people’s fandom experience. Ten years is quite an odyssey, and it appears you are a “lifer”! Do you think Thornton is the most potent single performance in regards to creating fans? Or is it Guy of Gisborne? I find that with Ciarán Hinds, it’s usually either Julius Caesar or Captain Wentworth (with a few of us going in a big way for the villain Bois Guilbert from “Ivanhoe”).

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  6. Congratulations on the 10 years of fun! Thanks for sharing your experience with us and i like the idea of all the communications and interactions enriching the experience further 🙂
    To the next 10 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. 10 Jahre, das ist lang! Und immer noch und immer wieder mit so viel Liebe und Engagement dabei! Ich gratuliere Dir ganz herzlich! Ich freue mich, dass Du so viel Positives im Fandom erlebt hast und gehe davon aus, dass wir noch ganz viele Jahre Freude, Spaß und Liebe mit ihm haben werden. Mit ihm und mit den Menschen die wir durch ihn kennen lernen durften. Und ganz ehrlich, diese Menschen, die sind doch das Wichtigste bei dem ganzen fangirlen 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Happy 10th year Fanniversary! And Happy Valentine’s Day! Loved reading your fan journey story! Thanks for sharing! Hugs & Love!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy Anniversary Esther and thanks for sharing your Armitage-story with us!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I really like your blog Esther.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Danke für diesen Beitrag und herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Jubiläum! Manches kann ich voll und ganz unterschreiben – den verständnisvollen Ehemann habe ich z.B. und zum Glück auch. 😉
    Ist es nicht schön, dass Richard auch nach 10 Jahren noch genug Anreiz zum Bloggen und Fangirlen gibt?!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Heute hab ich deinen Blog entdeckt und bin nun ganz gerührt von diesem Rückblick auf zehn Jahre mit Richard. Herzlichen Dank dafür, Esther. Und natürlich herzliche Glückwünsche!
    Für mich ist das alles ja noch sehr neu und ich bin froh “euch” gefunden zu haben. So viele nette, aufgeschlossene und bodenständige Menschen, die die gleiche Leidenschaft teilen ohne dabei völlig abzudrehen.
    Es beruhigt mich außerordentlich, dass es euch gibt und ich nicht alleine bin auf der Welt 😉
    Ihr erweitert meinen Horizont ungemein. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, solche liebe Worte! Danke!
      Du hast Richard erst kürzlich entdeckt? Darf ich fragen wie? Finde es immer schön, dass es immer wieder neue Fans gibt. 🙂
      Schön, dass Du vorbei geschaut hast!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wir haben uns bei Guyltys Mon Chéri Shrine darüber ausgetauscht, dass mich der “Schlag” so richtig bei “North & South” getroffen hat. Wie bei dir – recht klassisch wohl 🙂
        Aufmerksam auf Herrn A wurde ich durch den Hobbit, den ich durch meine langjährige Tolkien-Begeisterung natürlich ausgiebig angeschaut habe. Ich fand diesen langhaarigen Thorin ausgesprochen gut gelungen und in den Anhängen der EE hörte ich dann einen gewissen Richard Armitage mit einer unglaublichen Stimme tiefgründige Gedanken formulieren. Ich habe (nur so) mal nachgeschaut, wer denn das ist und was der sonst noch so macht… kam zu “The Vicar of Dibley”, dann zu “North & South”… na ja und jetzt unterhalte ich mich hier mit dir . So kann’s gehen 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Very belatedly, happy fangirl anniversary!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. […] ❤ auch mit. In den letzten Wochen gab es ganz viele Bilder von N&S bspw. bei Esther und da habe ich mir kurzentschlossen dieses Kleinod britischer Fernsehkunst wieder einmal als […]

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  15. […] the other day, I got to thinking about the first fan videos I ever watched and they were all about North & South. I don’t think many of them were even on YouTube at first, as YouTube was so new then! I have […]

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  16. […] have blogged about this before, how once when I was sick in bed in the spring of 2006, I stuck a DVD of North and South into my […]

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