Monday 19 March 2012

Thank you !!!

FanstRAvaganza 3 was (and still is) wonderful.

I found so many interesting blogs and posts and news and information and games and polls and ...

I can't mention all the things I liked and which made this event so wonderful for me, as each post holds its own bliss and extends the wonderful RA-world for me.

I hope you enjoyed the event and took part in all its fun and enjoyment.

Servetus created a wonderful and funny Thank you post for the FanstRAvaganza event here.

bccmee created wonderful batches for FanstRAvaganza 3 participants here. Be sure to get your batch! See mine here:

Still, I want to say thank you as well and want to thank
all creative and resourceful bloggers who participated,
the KingRichardArmitage-bloggers (KRA-Index / List on the KRA-website),
the fans and community of the German Richard Armitage Board, who wonderfully took part in the event, commented and discussed, and
all the wonderful fan-sites, who make the RA-fandom a real joy, like by Ali (whom I nearly always quote for picture references) and by Annette, the inexhaustable source for Mr. Armitage's career steps and his messages. (Annette is the only one who sometimes let me fear that Mr. Armitage might not be so unaware of the online-activities around himself, as he makes us believe in interviews, because in my view this site is so very well chosen for his messages. I hope I am wrong, as it makes my blogging much easier ;o)
These two sites, though no participants of the FanstRAvaganza event, relieve me of so much research work and the necessity to search for information or check the reliability of resources, as they hold well founded material readily available, that I just needed to mention them here.

Now I was working on an appropriate way to thank you:
Big Hugs and Thank you, for being part of the RA-fandom, by reading, commenting, lurking, watching, sharing and being the wonderful friends and lovely community you are !!!

I don't link all the participating blogs in here, as they are much more handily available and the articles researchable by topic, posters, blog, etc. on the FanstRAvaganza Index page, which is also linked in under the FanstRAvaganza banners.

Sunday 18 March 2012

Richard Armitage - Historical Interest for Men (7)

Sunday, March 18th

Last, but definitely not least!
• Freeform: Agzy shares with us her favorite Armitage paper doll
Ana Cris examines Lucas North's tattoos through Maori tattoo culture
Jas Rangoon premieres her new John Bateman fanvid
• In fandom, jazzbaby1 thinks RA fandom is just groovy!
C.S. Winchester asks "naughty or nice?" in a picspam
Mrs. E.B. Darcy thinks about Armitage's future after TH to wrap up the Hobbit chain
Jo Ann offers the last King Richard Armitage post, on Richard III and the Tudors
• In fanfic, Maria Grazia reviews and compares works by the authors she's interviewed
Gratiana Lovelace wraps up the event with a guest post by Melissa the Mouse!

Links to all FanstRA 3 posts appear here at the end of the event!

Richard Armitage - Historical Interest for Men

Or: What historical interest of a man can tell a woman about him

When it comes to reading and book publications, one might get the impression, that women are especially interested in history. But what are the aspects, making history or the interest in history so very interesting for women?

In our research throughout the week, we already found out, that history is a very special combination for actors, mingles well with fantasy, all time periods do work for Mr. Armitage regarding clothing- and hair-styles, his interest for King Richard III is special, but today, we will find out, what does interest in history tell us about the man himself !

Some fans of Mr. Armitage hesitate to share his interest in King Richard III, because of ...
-  Missing interest in history (They remember boring schooldays, where they had to learn dry and boring names and dates. If they were anything like me, forgetting them after a short while ;o)
-  Missing splashyness or prestige of a historical topic
-  Minor financial backing for historical film projects
-  RA will be hidden in costume (Though he is in more costume and prosthetics now in “The Hobbit”.)

But those fans are missing out on the greater implications and secrets, this historical interest reveals to us women ;o)

Historical interest means:
Project Magazine (edited) -

-  Attention to detail and patience (as the research to find out reliable material between all the spread propaganda and intentional misinformation is extensive. The good researcher must be willing to go on till he can be content with the results he found.)

-  Imaginative capabilities (see article FanstRAvaganza Day 2: History & Fantasy)

-  Understanding of complex connections, systems, rituals, behaviours, reasonings and motives

-  Open for intellectual challenges

-  Good with seeing the detail in complex contexts

-  Not too great or self-important, to let only the present rule; so needs to be openminded

-  Interested in different attitudes, approaches to life, systems to explain life and the world in general
Project Magazine (edited) -

-  Interested in the great system and the reasons behind our presence. For example, where and why did society evolve in a certain way, why did mankind come to the dead end it is right now, what traditions lie behind certain behaviourisms, how did the legal system come to be the way it is, why do we have certain rules of politeness or a definitive feeling for what is adequate, ...

-  Good memory, to keep track of all complex and connected facts and diverse motives and influences. (Can well be used to remember birthdays and anniversaries and so of good use to keep a partner happy ;o)

- Well organized, as what a historian can't remember, he must be able to easily find again.  (or again patience, as what he does not find he has to search for ;o)

- It also is a sign that this man can stay quiet, do research or think and come up with the right answer at the right time, instead of trying to generally fight down other opinions, because he wants to dominate or feels cornered and wants to prove his superiority.

- He is an interesting partner in a discussion, because he has to tell something. His knowledge is based on his research and reading. Though I must admit, in my experience, I had to draw the dialogue out of their noses, as they tend to be quite shy and thoughtful persons and open up slowly, as they don't want to offend or bother someone who is uninterested in their topic.

Project Magazine (edited) -

As a final result, historical interest in men is a sign of character-strength, which shows that this person is interested in more than his own self. (In my experience really a major advantage and sure sign of historians or historically interested men, compared to 'ordinary men' ;o)

So watch out and if you don't already have one, search for a good historian or historically interested man like Mr. Armitage ;o)  [Be careful to evade the 'blenders' who only have one topic they repeat time over time again, as a kind of chat-up line.]

<<  FanstRAvaganza now came to an ending. I hope you have enjoyed the journey through history and had or still have plenty of opportunity to enjoy the wonderful articles of this year's FanstRAvaganza, collected here at the FanstRAvaganza-Index-Page. >>

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Saturday 17 March 2012

Richard Armitage & Richard III (6)

Saturday, March 17th

It's almost over, oh noes!
• In fandom, Phylly3 celebrates her second blogiversary!
• In the Hobbit chain, Antonia Romera compares trailers for An Unexpected Journey in three languages
• In fanfic, Jo Ann finishes her story
fedoralady traces the evolution of her "sloth fic" series
• In freeform, Gratiana Lovelace rescreens her Armitage birthday vid
Fabo casts Armitage in Hollywood musical remakes
C.S. Winchester takes on Armitage in period costumes from N&S and Miss Marie Lloyd

Links to all FanstRA 3 posts appear here at the end of each day.

King Richard Armitage - Tagged Post

Previous posts in the KRA-Taged line:

Tomorrow will follow: March 18th, 2012: Jo Ann (Cerridwen Speaks)

To visit the complete Link-List of the FanstRAvaganza-KRA-posts, go to the: FanstRAvaganza - KRA-Index page

Why King Richard III is such a worthy topic for our time

King Richard III lived at a very important time break, not only between the so called 'Middle Ages' and 'Modernity', but a break in many more aspects.
The New World was not discovered yet, though a very adventurous time was, where such discoveries were made possible by fast and monumentuous changes in 'technology', medicine, hygiene, navigation, wood work, discoveries regarding the human body, astronomy, and lots of scientific areas more.

But King Richard III is interesting in many more ways than for living at a 'timebreak'. In all this change and time of crisis, he also was a 'moral' king, who might be an example for our times in some way.

Far from getting into any kind of political debate here, one thing of our time is quite undisputed:

Those in power and those who can, use their power for their own gain,
not the well being of their employees, customers or subjects.

Only few are the proving exception to this rule.

I made a sport of it to ask people around me, whom (either in politics or a powerful position in the industry) they still trust.

After a long pause, the best I could get as answer was:
“XY is not as bad as the rest.”

Is that good? – Not really.

But now to my real topic and why I admire King Richard III and Richard Armitage for his interest in this very special king:

King Richard in my opinion still holds an important message for our present time.
The first thing he did, when he became king, was to call all judges to him (on the first day as King of England! – No time to celebrate, but right down to business and to what was important to him).

He emphasized the importance he put on unbiased and just judgments, not to be influenced by position, rank, connections or money.
The weight he put on a well balanced judgment was so great, that he acted with lenience towards his own enemies and the conspirators against him. He even was accused of being too mild by his contemporaries. Later researchers often saw his lenience as quite a major contribution to prepare his own downfall, as it did not prevent his enemies from further conspiring against him.

A clear decision in his own favour, a strict action like executions of all involved in a conspiracy, could have prevented much of the later happenings, but it would also have made King Richard III an ordinary king and leader, one of those we have too many anyway.
As it is, King Richard III should be remembered not as the ‘Hunchbacked king’, but as “The just and good King Richard III”.

Reading recommendation:
Jeremy Potter: Good King Richard? An Account of Richard III and His Reputation, London 1983

<<  Tomorrow, the historical debate about Mr. Armitage and history as well as FanstRAvaganza 3 as a whole come to an end here on this blog with results, what historical interest can tell us about the man himself.  >>

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Friday 16 March 2012

Richard Armitage & Historical Hairstyle (5)

Friday, March 16th

Friday F3!
In the Hobbit chain, Mrs. E.B. Darcy projects what our hero may do in TH: There and Back Again
Ana Cris discusses a Maori ceremony Mr. Armitage witnessed in New Zealand's mountains
• In King Richard Armitage, fitzg guestposts at judiang's on non-Richard roles for Armitage in a Richard III project
• In fanfic, Jas Rangoon continues  her modern N&S fic
Maria Grazia presents an interview with Cat Winchester and giveaway of her book, Northern Light
• In freeform, fedoralady asks about our dream Armitage-narrated audiobooks
John Thornton wonders if anyone else could play him
Agzy discusses Heinz Kruger's sartorial choices -- and what's underneath them!
• In fandom, jazzbaby1 maps Armitage in the Tommyverse

Links to all FanstRA 3 posts appear here at the end of each day.

Richard Armitage - Historical Hairstyle

In Search of a Hairstyle for King Richard III

In yesterday's post, we saw, that Mr. Armitage has the admirable ability to make all costumes and all time settings work for him. He looks fascinating as Roman Soldier, intriguing as a gangster from Chicago of the 1920th and admirably free-spirited as a road-gang leader of the mid 20th century.
That he can make a King Richard III work for us on screen, I have no doubt at all.
But, while engaging in activities for KingRichardArmitage, I met various opinions regarding Mr. Armitage playing a historical figure of the late 15th century.
Some complained, the 15th century had such awful hairstyles. Can't he play someone more attractive?
I only could shake my head and think: Really, how could you doubt that Mr. Armitage would make that work, that he would look attractive in whatever he wore or whatever hairstyle they put upon him. (Sidenote: He even makes a 'hairy dwarf' look good ;o)

How could one not like Richard Armitage with long hair after seeing such pictures?
"Robin Hood", ep. III.5 - Source:
What better proof  could there be than longhaired Sir Guy of Gisborne?

So I think I need not prove that Mr. Armitage can indeed make the Renaissance hairstyle work for him, but rather must show you the comparison and similarity of the hairstyles:

Source: Cardiff Church window by Leo Reynolds Source: (edited)

The hairstyle already looks very similar. Add the right cap or a crown, and King Richard is ready to go.

Though I like Mr. Armitage with beard:

Source: (edited)

I also find him quite adorable without one.

And I am quite sure that at least the anti-beard fraction of fans will agree, that Mr. Armitage without a beard is quite a sight.

Source: Source:

The sideburns (Koteletten) Mr. Armitage mostly wears, (visibly in the right picture and especially pronounced in his role in "North & South") in my continental view clearly declare him to be a British man ;o)
My grandfather called them something like 'hearing stoppers'. I think I already mentioned once here on the blog, that my grandfather could make fun of everything and brought a smile to every face ;o)

Beard Excursion:
King Richard III is said to have been clean shaven, so no Thorin-look possible or one like the late photo shoots with Mr. Armitage.
To be well groomed was the expression of a well versed man in society. To control one’s body was a sign to show that one could rule the surrounding world as well, when one was in control of oneself.
A very distant idea, when one considers our 'flower-power' era. Our more recent attention to well groom one’s body, first the womans body, legs, arms, eyebrows, etc, ;o) – I won’t go into any more detail – does result from an entirely different motivation:
Here the wish to appear younger is the leading motive, which is associated with less and more controlled growth of hair on the body.
So you see, by far not as honorable motives as in the late 15th century.

To continue the discussion of yesterday with the historical costumes, to fill the time gaps in his historic performances, I would like Mr. Armitage to play Friedrich von Schiller. But then he would have redish hair and mostly would be pressed to wear a white powdered and awfully scratchy wig. (Immediately my protection mode is activated ;o) So perhaps I should refrain from that wish and let him have his natural colour or black like in most of his roles.

Servetus just added a wish for him to play John Locke, which I would support, though here, he would be forced to wear wigs or at least powder his hair too.


And the natural style, if short or long or middle or ruffled or wet ...
just pleases him very well.

Franz Liszt by Henri Lehmann (1839)-

But perhaps the artistic genius Franz Liszt, who had quite an effect on the women of his time, might be something for him? Here he would not need to change the hair colour, could bring in his musical talent, though Liszt did not play the cello, but the piano. But a similar effect on womankind is already in place.

So after adding different hairstyles to yesterday's different costumes, I would say, Mr. Armitage is well versed to make long, short, overflowing much, extremely short hair and different colours work. So no limit far and wide to see here, why any kind of role should be unavailable for him. (Though I would not want him to play just everything, only the roles he likes ;o)

Mr. Armitage can make every time, style and context work for him, so either historical or contemporary roles are open for him, as he makes everything a perfect experience for us viewers.

Have an enjoyable rest of the FanstRAvaganza-Week !

<<  Tomorrow follows my contribution to the KingRichardArmitage tagged blog chain about why I admire Richard Armitage for wanting to do the film about "King Richard III"  >>

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Thursday 15 March 2012

Richard Armitage & Historical Costume (4)

Thursday, March 15th

Half over, already!
• In King Richard Armitage, Servetus admits to (gasp!) stray thoughts while lecturing
• In fanfic, Margaret Hale guestposts at John Thornton's on why she loves him
Jo Ann continues her story
• In freeform, Jas Rangoon jokes about potential reproductive partners for Mr. Armitage
Itsjsforme reveals another Guy of Gisborne PSA (still not safe for work!)
Gratiana Lovelace needs more help captioning "Whimsical Moments with Deadly Serious ChaRActers!"
• In fandom, IngeD3 focuses on Ricky Deeming
Fabo confesses her Richard Armitage eyelash fetish!
• In the Hobbit, it's calories galore as Antonia Romera discusses fingerlicking at the Hobbit table
The Queen takes on Hobbit cakes

Links to all FanstRA 3 posts appear here at the end of each day.

Are Men Especially Attractive in Historical Costume?

Analysis on basis of Mr. Richard Armitage

This question in regard to Mr. Armitage in general is quite difficult to answer. With an attractive actor to begin with, it is hard to judge objectively. But I will try and will give you examples to judge for yourself.

The earliest historic reference we have of Mr. Armitage, is of him being a Roman soldier, around 40 BC.
(I have not seen the film, so no more exact dating or comment about the film here.)

Source: (edited & combined)
He certainly cuts a fine figure on a horse and the Roman style is not exactly unbecoming.

Unfortunately then, Mr. Armitage takes a long break and does not appear for more than thousand years.
From the strange style of his clothing, it is a bit hard to exactly date his next appearance in time as Sir Guy of Gisborne. But I would say, something about high Middle Ages (and lots of Fantasy-land).

He perhaps traveled with the Roman invaders, as now, he is in England (that for a strange coincidence is situated in Hungary, another part of the Roman Empire) and certainly developed a liking for dark colours in his clothing.

Then again Mr. Armitage leaves us for many a hundred years, though reminiscent to his earlier appearances either jumps from the Roman Empire to the British Empire and continues his preference for black cloths. As John Thornton he continues his way north, though only slightly from his last appearance in Nottingham castle.

Mr. Armitage's next sightings are closer together and he slowly approaches our time.
Here some excerpts of his later appearances in history:

Malice Aforethought - Source:

Mr. Armitage seems to develop a liking for top-hats, reminiscent to Mr. Thornton.

Mary Lloyd (around 1900 AD) - Source:

Ordeal by Innocence (around 1910 AD) -

Clearly not happy without a hat.

Captain America (around 1910 AD) -

But Mr. Armitage really would make a good gangster boss in Chicago in the 1920th, though the hat is missing ...

George Gently (around 1950 AD) -

Even after the Great Wars in the 20th century, Mr. Armitage has historic coverage of the time.

We then already come to more contemporary roles, but as we all know those well, I will leave them out, as they do not especially classify as 'historical', at least not from our point of view as contemporaries.

But what we discovered in this overview, Mr. Armitage still has wide historical gaps to cover. So to come back to my favourite topic, a King Richard III really would fill one of the gaps nicely.

But for imagining him in such a time, we mostly must rely on (unmanipulative manipulations of) historical material.

Topic Excursion about King Richard III and Venice:
What I would rather rule out for King Richard is, that he, like William Shakespeare depicted him, was a bodily impaired king.
Though at a timebreak and at the end of our later defined time period of the "Middle Ages", still some rules of reign significant for the earlier Middle Ages dominated the thinking of the population.
King Richard III by Shakespeare is described as the hunchbacked king.
In my view, for the time of the late 15th century it is not possible for one to become king, have a hunchback and this stay unmentioned for his whole life. If that would have been the case, it would have been discussed not only in England by all his subjects, but also on the continent by all visiting diplomats and traders coming into or hearing news about the country. The topic would have spread, together with a firestorm of a debate, if an impaired king could hold the divine right to rule a country. (As impairement still in a way was recognized as God's punishment.)
Especially when even the healing ceremony is documented for King Richard III’s coronation and nobody would have believed an impaired king to have the divine healing ability, when he could not even heal himself.

It also must be mentioned, that the late 15th century was a time of spies, informal informants and a well established news system covering the whole of Europe. Among the best informed diplomats and chroniclers of the time are the Venetians, though all Italian states were well informed, to support their trade and interests.
Unfortunately, there is a reason why we have rather little knowledge about King Richard III’s time from sources in Italy, the first and mostly reliable (or at least reliable to act in their own interest and write history under that premise) chroniclers of that time. The War of the Roses brought insecurities  and something traders can’t use is insecurity, especially when each side of the rivaling parties tended to gilden their war coffers by confiscating the goods of foreign traders. Therefore, the most reliable and effective sources of the time, the Venetians with a well established state propaganda (today we would call it “well advised advertisement”) and state collected history, are mostly silent about King Richard III.
Venice was hit by anti-foreigners assaults against their property once too often during the War of the Roses and so they drew back their diplomats from England.
Unfortunately that leaves us without the best chroniclers of the time, as they only returned after King Richard III’s reign.
Though their informal sources, as a well informed town like Venice never left a potential market completely, did not mention a hunchbacked king, but rather a just king. It even is, as far as some researchers go, due to King Richard’s levelheaded reign that Venice decided to send their diplomats back. It only came to fruition after King Richard III’s death and so the Tudor dynasty passively profited from King Richard III’s good management of the state once more.
King Richard III is said to have preferred the Italian style of clothing and also admired and supported learned men from the University of Padua, which belonged to The Serenissima, the town of Venice, at that time.
Still, King Richard III also limited the power of the foreign traders, by demanding an exchange in goods, so that the foreigners could not only draw out money and gold from England, but also had to buy goods from England in return for their own goods as well. (A fair trade principle, but when we see today’s markets, it did not survive into our days.)

But now you really deserve an Italian styled 'King Richard' image:

RA as Italian Nobleman (15th century) -
Source: Catalogue by Frick Collection (edited)

As now also the 'hunchback'-topic is out of the way, I will show you some (slightly manipulated) contemporary sources for Mr. Armitage appearing as King Richard III: (Please excuse the sometimes bad picture quality. I did not have better source material available to use.)

Anne Neville - Richard III and their son -
Source: (edited)

King Richard III -

RA as Man in King Richard III's time -
Source: Dion Clayton Calthrop "Historical Costume"

As a result of today's journey through time, we found out, that Mr. Armitage fits into all periods and traveled far and wide through time. He still has some large gaps to cover, but otherwise, at least I come to the result, that he can wear and make each costume work excellently for him and his character.
Time difference is no hindrance for him, so the historical roles can come flowing in now. I would not mind at all ;o)

Please let me know your thoughts and what time period you especially would like Mr. Armitage to select.

Doge Loredan -
And as I have talked so much about Venice today, I will also reveal a secret wish of mine to you:
I would also like Mr. Armitage to play that historic person, when King Richard III is finished, of course ;o)
(Portrait is by Giovanni Bellini of the Venetian Doge Leonardo Loredan.)
The high age this person reached, leaves Mr. Armitage quite some more time, though I am not sure how Mr. Armitage would look with the hair hiding cap of the Venetian Doges. But more regarding 'Hair' tomorrow ;o)

Have a wonderful FanstRAvaganza Week!

<<  Tomorrow I will continue this topic with adding my musings about Mr. Armitage and historic hairstyles.  >>

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Wednesday 14 March 2012

Richard Armitage & Women (3)

Wednesday, March 14th

F3 brightens up "hump day"!
In fanfic, Maria Grazia presents an interview with Trudy Brasure and giveaway of her book, A Heart for Milton
C.S. Winchester helps new authors get their feet wet writing fanfic
• In freeform, ChrisB continues the alphabet with "B is for Beard(?)?
jazzbaby1 puts John Porter in the hands of Frank Spotnitz
Agzy outs Armitage characters as dog lovers
• In fandom, fedoralady recommends the right tunes for your Armitage fanvid
Rose Gisborne describes her Armitage day
• In the Hobbit, IngeD3 reveals the deeper meaning of the dwarfs' hoods
Ana Cris reflects on Armitage and Maori ceremony
• In King Richard Armitage, Fabo offers some choices to play Anne Neville

Links to all FanstRA 3 posts appear here at the end of each day.

You will recognize that in the following title I explicitely speak of 'women' not one 'woman'!

Richard Armitage & Women

That Richard Armitage is aware of his fanbase, yesterday's article by Fabo Laktuko at her blog White Rose: Sincere and Simple Thoughts showed perfectly.

That Richard Armitage holds a special fascination, no fan will deny. But what makes Mr. Armitage so attractive to us women?

Women for one are notoriously curious, so his mystery certainly plays an immense part. But that certainly can't be all there is or he would not manage to attract such a large and manifold group of women over such a length of time.

We already saw that Mr. Armitage uses his fantasy and creativity, and thoughtful men are especially attractive.
His attention for detail (not only in his historic approach but in general to all his roles) and his persistence to achieve the best quality are further points to make Mr. Armitage appear reliable, stable and in general a good person to know.
In further articles, I will analyse, if the attractiveness has something to do with historical costume, varying hairstyle and will go deeper into the topic, if his historical interests have something to do with his exceptional attractiveness.

For now, it still is a miracle what makes Mr. Armitage so special that he attracts such a loyal and attentive fan-base!
Because, to some extent, his fan-base is special:
- the age diversity of the group
- the connected group feeling
- the collective experience of fandom
- the supportiveness, not only towards the actor, but to each other as well
- the protectiveness for the actor
- for a lot of fans it is the first time they experience fan-fever ;o)
- the building of a helpful community all around the world supporting and caring for each group member
- and I am sure you can add lots more points to this enumeration ...

Other men tend to divide women. Men even cherish when women fight for their attention, as they feel attractive and sought after that way. (I will spare you the description of some of my more crass observations in that regard. It would not be pleasant.)
In contrast, Mr. Armitage tries to ascertain peace among his fans and fan-groups, which is a point of highest admiration for me.

His ability to inspire women, awaken their creativity, heighten their fantasy, which is due to creating an imaginative world full of ideals and better concepts. His unobtrusive way of affecting them by deep emotion and a layered and complex explanation for the actions of otherwise mere film-roles.
This all is very attractive to women, much more so than beauty, as, like most women know, beauty can be fake or enhanced or manufactured or just entirely be an illusion.
But every woman loves a good riddle and a complex individuality. As women tend to feel pressured by society rules, they also admire freedom and lived individuality.

A character with virtue, the ability to evoke a sense for a better world, an utopia which might come true, is more powerful than the most potent drug.

How Mr. Armitage has the ability to use that power so effectively, is far beyond my abilities to analyse, so here I can only state the facts, that he has and uses this power to quite some impressive effect. I unfortunately am not able to fully provide unbiased reasons of how and why, as I am affected as well ;o)

You will have recognized that in all my writing about Mr. Armitage and the attractions he holds for women, I needed not to mention the outer beauty of Mr. Armitage. 
He possesses much more potent and irrevocable hooks for women.

<<  Tomorrow I will discuss the role historical costumes play in the attractiveness of men and actors. I hope you will continue to follow my explorative journey ;o)  - Have lots of fun with FanstRAvaganza 3 !  >>

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Tuesday 13 March 2012

Richard Armitage - Fantasy & History (2)

Tuesday, March 13th

Yup, there's more!
• In freeform: Melanie on why Harry Kennedy is the perfect man
Itsjsforme unveils Guy of Gisborne's latest public service announcements (not safe for work!)
• In fandom, Fabo on Richard Armitage's statements about fans
Gratiana Lovelace requests help captioning in "I'm Too Sexy for My T-Shirt!"
The Hobbit chain goes creative with The Queen on Hobbit quilts
Mrs. E.B. Darcy on Hobbit action figures!
• For King Richard Armitage, IngeD3 reviews the Michael Hicks biography of the fifteenth-century king
• In fanfic, John Thornton on why he loves Margaret Hale
Jo Ann introduces us to a new Armitage character she knows we'll love

Links to all FanstRA 3 posts appear here at the end of each day

Richard Armitage - Fantasy & History

History & Fantasy from general perception are some entirely different concepts of coping with and seeing the truth.
A historian, confronted with the opinion that what he does ultimately is 'fiction', might get a bit miffed, but is the separation between history and fiction really so easy to determine?

Fantasy is a way of creating and interpreting one’s environment and all that happens and is around oneself. We use a considerable amount of fantasy to get along in our present time.
You don’t believe me?
So ask two eyewitnesses who attended one and the same event to describe it to you. To make it the more interesting, they should leave out hard facts like the location's address, exact time and names of other attendees. Now, you will recognize, it starts to get really interesting, as for quite a while into their description, you will have difficulties determining, if they indeed attended one and the same event. Each one sees different things, notices different things and finds other things important as well as comes to his own conclusions what the whole event was about or why he went there.
This is exactly the same with history. The one who tells the 'story' defines its outcome and selection, as well as its interpretation.

To re-create history, a present time long gone, to some extent also necessitates an amount of ‘fantasy’.
To ‘create’ a functioning environment, where mostly large parts can no longer be proved by the remains from that time, a large quantity of fantasy is necessary to fill the gaps.
Modern research by far gave us close and detailed insight in what people ate, what they did or where they lived.
But for example, we have no resemblance of knowledge of how they danced, how their music sounded in the late Middle Ages or what they cooked. From the remains of food which were found and the very fragmentary cookbooks remaining, exact measurements are scarce and the ingredients mentioned were well beyond the reach of normal folk.
So we need to engage our fantasy, to awaken this time in our mind and fill the gaps, historical research cannot fill.
For example, some 20 years ago, I read a historical research stating, that at the court in London a normal courtier in the late Middle Ages drank 5 litres of wine daily. I needed quite some fantasy to come to terms with that statement ;o)

The love for fantasy books, Mr. Armitage mentioned to have, might well have been the exact point to awaken his interest in history, literature, the enactment of history in theatre and film and furthermore to bring King Richard III to our present time in a film adaption. (You see, I just can't refrain from coming back to my favourite topic ;o)

But when we are already there, as a result of fantasy and history mingling together, I must ask the question:
Are Thorin Oakenshield and King Richard III so much different? – And that leads further to the results of the long going poll on the KingRichardArmitage website:

Source: (edited) Source: Image created by a dear friend
and fan (edited)

Comparing the two characters:
King Richard III
- was real
- ended tragically
- was just and idealistic during his lifetime
- was a fierce fighter and good warrior
- married his early love, Anne Neville
- lots of brothers and a conspiring and ‘intriguing’ family. But after the death of King Edward IV the last living male child of Richard, Duke of York and Cecily Neville and so
- the last keeper of his father's legacy

Thorin Oakenshield
- only lives in fantasy
- [BIG "The Hobbit" SPOILER] ended tragically
- is fierce and idealistic during his life
- is a fierce and stubborn fighter
- unmarried
- single son and keeper of his father’s legacy

Though their life is not entirely comparable, they share quite some similar aspects.

The participants of the poll seemed to agree with me, as all the options in the poll got results:

13 participants voted for beard (I will come back to the beard-topic in my Friday-FanstRAvaganza post, so won't say more for now.)
55 for lost kingdom - And indeed, both lost their hard fought for kingdom with their [Spoiler-Alarm for "The Hobbit"] death.
What I found especially interesting, and what brings back my initial topic of Fantasy and History not being so far separable,
9 participants voted for "They both lived in England".
The research mostly declines nowadays that King Richard III wanted a horse, so the next one is a bit hard to answer definitively. But
15 participants would give both, Thorin Oakenshield and King Richard III, a horse. I find that very kind of them!
The majority was convinced both were fierce fighters. One now gets a two part film, hopefully the other will follow shortly ;o)
85 votes and so the clear winner of the poll. 

Thorin Oakenshield & King Richard III - fierce fighters
So their similarity and the connection between Fantasy & History is proven at last!

Have a nice and funny FanstRAvaganza 3 Week !

<< Tomorrow's post will discuss "Richard Armitage & Women" and somewhat uses the results of the first two articles to search for conclusions. - Please note the plural in 'women'! >>

I don't need to mention who made this wonderful banner and you will know anyway ;o)

Monday 12 March 2012

Richard Armitage & History & Acting (1)

Monday, March 12th

In the beginning, Richard Armitage made scores of fans -- and he keeps on making them!
• To kick off the fandom chain, Didion converts friends to Armitage love
Phylly3 reports on her fandom experiences
• In the Hobbit chain, Ana Cris writes on her recent film location visit
Mrs. E.B. Darcy speculates about what our hero will do in An Unexpected Journey (spoilers!)
King Richard Armitage chain begins with Maria Grazia on a film adaptation of Richard III
• Beginning the fanfic chain, fedoralady explains fanfic's mainstream appeal
• In the freeform chain, Fabo files an eyewitness report on Richard Armitage's visit to U.S. accent school
jazzbaby1 wonders "what were they thinking?" re: Lucas North's women
• and ChrisB opens the Armitage Alphabet, with "A is for Action"

Links to all FanstRA 3 posts appear here at the end of each day.

I warmly encourage you to visit the Index page with a list of all FanstRA-posts, as it will structure the posts after their topics, their tags, their authors and their post date to make it easy for you to find posts entirely to your liking and not to miss out on any of the wonderful posts.
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Enjoy and have fun with Fun..., oh, FanstRAvaganza!  ;o)

Richard Armitage & History & Acting

Mr. Armitage talks about history and his way of research in his Christmas Message to his fans (3rd December 2007).

[...] Richard III is still very much in development, I am weighed down with history books in my determination to uncover as much fact as possible before we embark on telling his story, which will ultimately be a fiction!

An interest in history is quite closely connected to an interest in literature, and interest in literature quite often leads to an interest in the implementation of the literary creations.
History is the art to find the background of the stories someone wrote down and the time they were created, so literature and history come together in one art to bring the creations to life in a performance or film-adaption. (Though, I must confess, most modern theatre productions do no longer make that connection immediately recognizable.)
To understand the full meaning of a play, to some great extent the historical background is researched, to understand
-  the motives of the author, but also
-  to understand the motives, the author wanted to give his roles on their way to the audience
-  to find out more about the time and its rules which made the depicted situation and its specific outcome possible.

So, history for an actor mostly consists of history of literature, which, especially for all English speakers and Mr. Armitage in particular, who has his own history in the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), means :

I could not find the original source, so took the image
from Nat's blog at ArmitageFanBlog.
Here is Mr. Armitage in his role as McDuff in “Macbeth”. And at least in regard of costume, this RSC production evaded historical references, at least to the time the work was created by Shakespeare.

History and the occupation with times past always held another fascination than just to find something out about literary works we have from past times. It is also the wish to discover, where we came from and what formed our present in the way it is. History also is a way to search for solutions, the past perhaps can already tell us and which may help us in our present time.

One historian of my acquaintance once brought it down to a point: "A scientist, confronted with a problem, thinks the problem must be a new one, as he does not immediately know the solution, so he goes and calculates, draws back in his laboratory and tests.
A historian confronted with a problem, does not think the problem is unique, but goes into the next bookshop or library and searches for the solution someone else already found for him."

The historian believes, the problem lies in a more general constitution of human nature. This is also a central point of research for performers, as they must be avid observers and researchers of human weaknesses, strengths, motivations and motives. What gets people to act and what motivates them to keep quiet and go along with certain situations?
That Mr. Armitage gets the small motivations for his roles so very right is one of the reasons he is able to keep his fans hooked and get them to return and re-watch his acting again and again.
But this requires a deep research into what motivates his character in a certain situation and that means historical research into a person’s reasoning and self-justification to a great extent and also sociological research into the background, social behavior of groups not one’s own. Even his contemporary roles require the same attention for detail and research as roles are separated from oneself either by social standing or time and so the actor is not immediately familiar with the small and significant behaviourisms of a group his character belongs to.

Mr. Armitage's performances show us, that he does his research admirably well and so the characters he playes become wonderfully alife for us.

<< Tomorrow's FanstRA-post will continue with the topic 'history' for actors by comparing "Fantasy & History" - Have an enjoyable FanstRAvaganza 3 Week !  >>

I don't need to mention who made this wonderful banner and you will know anyway ;o)