Tuesday 12 March 2013

4RA-2: Selection 1 of Fan-Questions

Posts from previous FanstRAvaganza years 2012 & 2011

One thing that absolutely fascinates me about RA and his preparation for film roles is his creation of stories and biographies and background for his characters. That he has these background stories, predestines him to answer most of my questions I have for him playing certain roles, more so than the scriptwriters themselves, as they make up a story, but what interests me much more is, how he made these stories work, how to get the feeling of a plausible flesh and bone character out of their raw material.
This is the pre-condition for most of my questions and why they are directed at RA.

Today, I will start with a selection for “The Hobbit” and “Spooks”:

What I would like to ask Thorin Oakenshield: 
Though I gladly admit, "The Hobbit" is not my strong part with questions, so it was a good point to start with only a few  ;o)
  • Why undertake a quest without closer research about the dangers, conditions of the way and the situation with the dragon? Why go in so unprepared and only rely on Gandalf as backup and rescue?
  • Why not search for his father first?
  • Why not ask Gandalf about what he knows, but only take him as a granted help?
  • How does RA legitimise Thorin’s behaviour for leading his nephews into almost certain death?
  • What is the misbehaviour of Thorin at the end which legitimises his loss in battle / in his honour and consequently his death? Is the loss at battle parallel to his error and misbehaviour in other areas?
  • Does RA believe in this parallelism of the one who is right wins and the one who is wrong looses in a battle?
  • At what time would he see that way of thinking to have been common and why does he support the continuation of such a thought system?
  • What does “The Hobbit” has to tell youths and adults today and what does he think Tolkien wanted to achieve with portraying such an ancient believe system?
  • The Hobbit does not reward effort, but for every success a lot of magic and outsider's influence is needed, not only one’s own abilities, work and effort. This is rather a fate-belief than based on the own ability to change the destiny. How can this inspire young people to become strong and hard working, upright people?
  • Why is Bilbo the hero, while he steals and betrays his friends? Are those the elements Tolkien wanted to show his children as the right behaviour in the world?
  • Why is it necessary for Bilbo to support Thorin’s enemies, when Thorin is completely aware of the loss the city endured because of the dragon and wants to recompense them? What gain does this turn of the story give to the audience?
  • Why does it need to be half the bounty, which has been accumulated for generations by the dwarves, when the other recipients did nothing either to help fight the dragon nor to accumulate the wealth? Should that tell us that force and not hard work gets the easier reward? (If we see our banking crisis, I don’t think children need a further example in that regard to get the idea that hard work is not popular.)
  • Why do the dwarves not deserve their own hoard after their long exile, but are seen as greedy that they want their home back and revenge because nobody helped them in their legitimate fight or during their exile?
  • Why can Tolkien and his event driven writing style especially fascinate boys?

What I would like to ask RA in his roles as Lucas North:

One of my main characters and roles of RA I would like to grill without end, is Lucas North, rather less John Bateman, whom I just ignore somehow, but would rather accept more in a form like Al Delarmy, as he at least would have some kind of motive or answers. John Bateman for me just seems to be an empty shell not worth asking anything at all.

Already from the series 7 and 8 I have enough unanswered questions for Lucas North, but series 9 just hit it all off by not answering a single one, but just opening up a wagon load of new ones.

So here only a small selection of questions still burning inside me through all my re-watching of “Spooks”:

  • What did Lucas North do in China? Where did he get his artefacts in his flat/ apartment?
  • How long did he stay there? How well does he speak the language and which dialect and when did he have time to learn it?
  • What languages does he speak and when did he learn them?
  • What did he study at university?
  • When did he meet Maya Lahan?
  • What crime did he commit to only be imprisoned for 1 year back then when causing the separation with Maya Lahan?
  • Whom did he offend to seem to feel the need to protect Maya Lahan, but who seemed not interested enough in him to track his departure?
  • Why did the Russians not train him and give him a technical update before coming back as double agent?
  • Why does Harry Pierce have such a strained relationship to Lucas North? Why can’t he openly ask Lucas North a single question? Why is all their dialogue overshadowed by a load of different intentions, but not once a straight forward talk between two equals wanting to know the other’s answer?
  • How does Lucas North interpret the Ancient of the Days by William Blake?
  • When did Lucas North learn Greek and Latin? What education did he have?
  • How could Lucas North get the tattoos, when he was kept in isolation in the Russian prison?
  • What did the other Russian prisoners, who did the tattoos on his body, tell him about Russia, their reasons to be imprisoned, the state of the world outside of the prison, about the prison guards, the prison conditions, etc.?
  • Whom did Lucas North befriend in the Russian prison?
  • What did Lucas North do during his active time at MI5 before his imprisonment in Russia?
  • How does Lucas North react to the application of conspiracy theories? Can he fight them entirely himself? If not, which one’s does he favour / fall into, which one’s is he able to discard? How does he see their working mechanisms? What does he think about global groups like the freemasons, the French atheist sector of the freemasons, the real equivalent to the Bendorf group in Spooks, the clubs, circles and associations with an abundance of secrecy and an accumulation of too much time and money?
  • What are Lucas Norths’s goals in life? (For me, he does not clearly have any in Spooks, not in the series 7 + 8, nor in series 9.) Maya Lahan here is no goal – as she comes in so late and because she seems rather a method than a goal to me.

You see, Lucas North would have no silent second around me, as this is only a small selection.
And I must say, Harry Pierce really did a bad job interrogating him and getting out no real information.

Now I obviously did ask too many questions ;o)
Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

Tomorrow, I will go over to King Richard III and afterwards more to analyse my approach than adding further unanswered / unanswerable questions.

Posts from previous FanstRAvaganza years 2012 & 2011


  1. He does appear to be rather detailed and immersive with his character's backstory. It was noted once that Sigourney Weaver had so many notes about her characters, that were written in the margins of her scripts (along with flags, highlights, tags, etc.), that you could barely read them. Would love to see what Richard's scripts are like. For the Hobbit though, I think production might have taken them back.

    1. If I remember correctly, I think there was a mentioning sometime, that RA had little character notebooks.
      I think the space in the scripts would not be enough for him.
      That really increases my curiosity, what he makes of his characters, what backstories he gives them and how he creates them to get their own life ;o)
      Thak you very much, Crystal Chandlyre !

  2. Loads of interesting food for thought there, Cdoart. To answer them all you would need more than just an interview. I'd love to know what RA's perspective on his characters is, and what kind of backstories he invented for them.

    1. Thank you, Guylty !
      I don't imagine the questions in an interview surrounding, not even with my imagined RA. I must confess, I think he would distract me too much to focus on the questions ;o)
      I think I'd rather shove over a piece of paper and he could answer them at his leisure. That I think would work much better ;o)

  3. These questions really gives a lot of food for thought. I think that RA would get a kick out of answering them.

    1. Thank you, Collar City Brownstone !
      They would be a change to the Xth circus question or what his preferred book was as a child, especially on a marketing tour for "The Hobbit" ;o)
      If I would go there, I perhaps would ask what his preferred Shakespeare play was (ruling out "Richard III" beforehand, to get a new answer or limiting it to the comedies and ruling out the historical works and tragedies).
      I just would like to know what makes his created characters 'work', what brings them to life, what gets them to be whole.