Fictional crush challenge – day 9

10 days, 10 fictional crushes
Post an image of a fictional character who has been or still is your crush. No names or explanations needed. TV, movie, book, comic, cartoon characters are valid.

John Thornton (Richard Armitage) from the BBC’s 2004 adaptation of North and South. To anyone who reads here regularly this isn’t a surprise, I think. Four years ago, around my 10 year anniversary of crushing on Richard Armitage, I already wrote about first meeting John Thornton. It was “Look back… look back at me” that sealed the deal and forever stole my heart. That fourth episode really was everything. And oh my goodness, has it really been 14 years? I feel extra old now.

John Thornton awakened my interest in Richard Armitage, John Thornton inspired me to write fan fiction, John Thornton inspired me to go online and check out message boards and Armitage-related websites and blogs, John Thornton inspired me to actually read Elizabeth Gaskell for the first time, John Thornton still inspires me to watch some of or all of North & South again from time to time and John Thornton is on my bedroom wall (signed by Richard Armitage himself.)

For a while I thought it was only John Thornton who interested me but I have come to accept that it is something more than just John Thornton that keeps me hanging around Richard Armitage. I still can’t put my finger on what quality it is exactly that keeps me interested but I do know that whatever it is, Richard used it very effectively when he portrayed Mr. Thornton. Even now, after 14 years, a few looks at John Thornton’s intense gaze and furrowed brow can still make my heart skip a beat.

I used to watch a lot of N&S fan videos in those days and years when I first became a fan and later even made fan videos myself. I never made an N&S fan video (maybe I should rectify that situation but then again there already are so many good ones out there, it feels redundant now) but I have always enjoyed watching good John Thornton ones. This is one of those videos I have always loved, it has a lot of the captivating John Thornton gazes in it. The video was made by Delicateblossom who was one of my fave fan video makers at the time when she used to make them.

John Thornton will hold a piece of my heart forever. Sigh.

Fictional crush challenge – day 8

10 days, 10 fictional crushes
Post an image of a fictional character who has been or still is your crush. No names or explanations needed. TV, movie, book, comic, cartoon characters are valid.

Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) from The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. I’m not really a fantasy reader or fan but Mr. Esther loved the Rings trilogy books by Tolkien so convinced me to try the first movie The Fellowship of the Ring back in 2001. I went to the cinema with trepidation and yep, in the end I fell for it, head over heels, and for Aragorn specifically. I pestered Mr. Esther to tell me what would happen next in the story but he told me to wait for the next movie in a year’s time or to read the trilogy. So, I read the trilogy and the love for Aragorn deepened.

I feverishly awaited and then saw the final two movies when they came out and we bought the extended edition dvd’s as they came out as well. In the fall of 2004 I travelled to Boston to see an exhibition with props from the film (and meet face to face for the first time some friends I had made online via a parenting forum). No pictures from inside the exhibition, but this is my tiny friend with me outside the Boston Museum of Science while the third friend takes the picture. I still adore these two women to this day. It’s also quite lucky this fan crush post is scheduled for today, as today is also my tiny friend’s birthday and she was the biggest Viggo Mortensen fan of the three of us. 🙂

I even still have a few Aragorn fan items in my possession, like the action figure Aragorn that stands next to a Thorin Oakenshield (from The Hobbit) action figure in my bedroom and an Aragorn fridge magnet my tiny friend once sent me.

I really like The Hobbit and thought my fave Richard Armitage made an excellent Thorin Oakenshield but I never crushed as hard on the Thorin character as I did on the Aragorn character. I never loved The Hobbit trilogy quite as much as I did The Lord of the Rings trilogy either but even so I still love all these films and I’ve enjoyed the books. I am forever grateful to Mr. Esther for introducing me to the wonderful world of Middle Earth and to Aragorn in particular.

Fictional crush challenge – day 7

10 days, 10 fictional crushes
Post an image of a fictional character who has been or still is your crush. No names or explanations needed. TV, movie, book, comic, cartoon characters are valid.

Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth). I already loved Jane Austen’s most famous novel so when this was coming to BBC TV in the autumn of 1995 I was more than ready to watch it. I had only ever watched an old Pride and Prejudice with Laurence Olivier, which I wasn’t too fond of (Olivier was fine, just didn’t like the adaptation so much). I wasn’t prepared for the fierceness of love I felt for this 1995 TV series and for Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in particular. I can’t tell you how often I have re-watched (parts of) this adaptation over and over again. And yes, I was tickled pink when Firth reprised the character in modern times as Mark Darcy in the Bridget Jones‘s Diary movies.

No other Darcy was able to come close to Colin Firth’s portrayal of the character (nope, not even Matthew Macfadyen – he felt more like a Brontë character to me in P&P 2005 than a Mr. Darcy). I even have a Mr. Darcy pillow…

… and yes, I completely admit to being one of those thousands (or millions?) of women who have swooned over the actor and the character. No one can top Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy for me, ever.

Fictional crush challenge – day 3

10 days, 10 fictional crushes
Post an image of a fictional character who has been or still is your crush. No names or explanations needed. TV, movie, book, comic, cartoon characters are valid.

Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) in To Kill a Mockingbird. I will never forget when I first read the book in the summer of 1985 when I was 15 and we were on holiday in Ireland. I found it in a Dublin bookstore and bought it and read it because as a Gregory Peck fan I knew that he had won an Oscar for the movie adaptation. I hadn’t seen the movie yet, so only had very rudimentary information about the story (this was in the days before the internet after all). It’s the only book I can recall reading instantly again. When I say instantly I really do mean instantly. I read the last sentence and then immediately turned to the first page and started reading it all over again. It’s been an absolute favourite book of mine ever since and I completely love the character of Atticus Finch, in a daddy crush kind of way. I didn’t see the movie itself until a few years later and yes, Peck was indeed the perfect embodiment of Atticus.

Fictional crush challenge – day 2

10 days, 10 fictional crushes
Post an image of a fictional character who has been or still is your crush. No names or explanations needed. TV, movie, book, comic, cartoon characters are valid.

When I was 9 years old I had two abridged, youth version books of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre which I loved. The one had details in the story the other didn’t have so I used to read them both and I read them often. One of the abridged books had drawn illustrations and the other had pictures of the 1973 BBC TV mini series in it. I developed a crush on Mr. Rochester and studied those photos extensively, picturing the character of Rochester with this face. It would be at least another 25 years before I would finally actually see the 1973 adaptation.

I have seen many more Rochesters besides Michael Jayston since I first read the abridged book and later the original version.

Orson Welles, George C. Scott, Timothy Dalton, William Hurt, Ciaran Hinds, Toby Stephens, Michael Fassbender, Felix Hayes, Tim Delap. And hmmmm, as I type this the day before it gets posted and look over at the couch to Mr. Esther (who is sporting his ‘corona beard’) he gives me Mr Rochester vibes as well, i.e. the bearded version as portrayed by Hayes and Delap for the National Theatre.

Anyway, each of these Rochesters brought to life by actors had their pros and cons and I don’t have the patience to go into all of that now, it would take too long. Suffice it to say that my fascination with Mr. Rochester, warts and all, remains intact to this day.