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In Which I Fulfill A Request

Of the tall, dark, and brooding variety. 
So Adele of Persnickety Snark fame tweeted me the other day informing me of her desperate need for a new Richard Armitage post and asking me pretty-please-with-sugar-on-top if I could whip up a little something to fill the void. Now I have made mention of my appreciation for Mr. John Thornton a.k.a. Eye Candy Numero Uno a.k.a. The Armitage, etc. etc. once or twice in the past. But, you know, she's right. As she usually is. It has been far too long since I've done so. I mean, my friend Chelle's got an actual sidebar tally going on over at Tempting Persephone to see how often she can post on the man this year. She's at eight, by the way. *clears throat* Clearly, I've been remiss and it is time to rectify this troubling situation. Let's start, shall we, with a confession.

Confession: I don't actually swoon over movie stars very often.

Book characters? Sure. Actors? Not so much. I'm not sure it's necessarily a healthier way to be per se, but it does mean I spend less time gazing at pictures of my crushes online. That is until the two worlds intersect. Then things can get a little interesting. In other words, I become a sloppy puddle of a goner and start spending time searching for photos of said star in which he looks somewhere in the vicinity of the image I have in my head of said character. This does not happen often (probably a good thing) but when it does . . . the results can be, well, devastating. And, unsurprisingly, the most recent occurrence involved a certain swoon-worthy man by the name of Armitage.

It started out small. First, I merely pictured him playing Mr. Nicholas Brisbane from my beloved Silent in the Grave. Which is so not a stretch from his stint as Mr. Thornton. We all know he can rock the top-hat-and-cravat look like nobody's business. Brooding? Check. Pent-up passion? Check. A determination to both make out wildly with the heroine against a tree (any hard surface will do, really) and keep his distance at the same time? Check and check! Now if someone would option the film, write a killer script, and just cast him already. I ask for so little, people.

Then came the inevitable branching out of genres. His image started appearing in my head while reading urban fantasy, high fantasy, young adult, contemporary fiction. I picture him as Adam from Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson series because, well, what Adam fan in her right mind wouldn't? I can see him doing a mean Irial from Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series because I know he would have no trouble pulling off the Dark Lord in all his irresistible ruthlessness. I even have it on good authority he'd be just right for a 10-years-down-the-road Poe from Diana Peterfreund's Secret Society Girl series. Those of you familiar with my feelings on the irascible patriarch will understand why I had to actually take a moment to recover from the awesomeness of that image. Now if we could somehow get him to shave his head for a role, I would be able to tell you if I could envision him as Bran from Juliet Marillier's Son of the Shadows. But just between you and me, all signs point to yes.

And so, after much pondering (and picturing), I have finally come to the following conclusion:

I can't think of a character I wouldn't want to see him play. 

It's true. He's so versatile of expression. And hairstyle. For instance:

Silly, happy, broody, scary, dreamy, angry. Clad in t-shirts, leather, red scarves, or carelessly loose cravats and dangerously unbuttoned cuffs. You name it--he delivers. 

One last confession. Though I own and have watched North & South several times, and a few choice scenes ("Look back at me") even more than that, I've never watched the BBC's Robin Hood series. I even own the first season on DVD! I know. So tell me. Am I missing out? Should I start watching it, oh, say . . . tonight?


  1. Mmmm...The Armitage. Except, NO. He is NOT Adam Hauptman. Adam is blond.

    But I'm all in on him being Nicholas from the "Silent in" series.

    For some reason I picture Irial younger too.

    But yes! Yes! Yes! The Armitage is delicious. I now feel the need to go home tonight and watch Disk 4 of N&S. ;o)

  2. rofl. OK when you fall, you fall hard. HAVE you watched him in the Vicar of Dibley? That is some awesomesauce. Just those couple of episodes. Awesome.

  3. Ok, but he's devastating as Thornton.
    And I'm with you on the no swooning over actors. George Clooney and Brad Pitt never did anything for me. Although for awhile I held a bit of a torch for David Duchovney. That is, until I saw Richard Armitage.

  4. He's so good almost nobody holds a candle to him. Although I need to hear if he has a good singing voice, because currently Hugh Jackman is a triple threat. Sexy accent, great body, great singing voice- plus he can dance. If The Armitage could do all that I am convinced he would be my #1 celebrity crush.

  5. Please watch Robin Hood. It's awesome. I think we should all pay homage to that beautiful Armitage. :D

  6. I have heard the BBC Robin Hood is very silly and over-the-top. But I'm sure he's delightful in it. I have heard that he is more interesting with Maid Marian than Robin is, because Robin wants to be a tender lover. (Says my sister.) (Who uses phrases like that.) :P

  7. Love, love, love him! I bought the first season of the BBC Robin Hood because of him....and he's still great, but I wasn't much interested in the rest of it so I still haven't see all of the 1st season.
    I never thought of him for Nicholas Brisbane and now I can't believe how I missed it!

  8. Great post. =) I have to say that I am fairly unfamiliar with Armitage. I'll have to change that it seems.

    So, what are you saying Angie . . . you don't just DIE over Robert Pattinsen aka Edward?!?!?! Are you crazy!! LOL. hehe, just kidding.

  9. YES to Robin Hood! It is a totally different role for him (and not as good as North and South IMO) but still fun and very, very watchable. Although a little campy at times - but still fun. Plus he wears this black leather getup (sorta) which never fails to make me giddy.

  10. Oooh! Oooh! YES! Remember?! I told you on...goodreads, I believe it was, that, even if you don't enjoy the series as a whole, it is worth watching for Mr Sexy, Broody, Silent (did I mention sexy?) Guy of Gisbourne! DO IT! TONIGHT!!! (I'm sure you'll find that, like me, you will silently find yourself rooting for Sir Guy, over Robin...he's just SO damn sexy!) :)

    Elizabeth :)

  11. omg...Bran from Son of the Shadows! Totally see it now! Now I must find a nearby chair so that I may swoon as well. ;)

  12. You know I love me some Mr Thornton. But I couldn't sit through more than one episode of Robin Hood. For me, it's as much about the character as the actor. I love Colin Firth's Darcy, but obviously don't like him so much as the husband in Shakespeare in Love (or the English Patient). And I think that does say something about their skill as an actor, to be able to make something of themselves in that role.

    And sometimes you start out thinking, "Well, objectively, that actor is not very atractive..." (RA as Thornton has that hook nose) and then you get over it or even appreciate it.

    When I first started watching Veronica Mars, I didn't find Jason Dohring particularly attractive. But he was amazing as Logan Echolls, and he and Kristen Bell had so much chemistry that I totally fell for him and it was clear why they had had HAD to write in a romance between them -- and that was a case where the writers really WERE going with what was obvious on the screen. I don't think they had it planned out in advance.

  13. Kati, woman. Adam is not blond. Where does it say that Adam is blond?!? And I went back and forth on Irial, but the Dark Lord's like a million years old and I like the charisma RA could bring to the role. ;)

    Janice, lol, I really did fall hard in this case. And, yes, I watched those Vicar of Dibley eps like the day after I finished N&S. Soooo cute.

    Raspberry, Duchovny's got that boyish charm no question. But he's got nothin' on RA.

    Amy, I'm so happy we see eye to eye on this. No idea on the singing voice question, but my DH has a gorgeous voice so I'm willing to let RA slide. *grin*

    Mel, this is what I keep hearing. I watched the first episode and it was so cheesy I never went back. But I had no clue RA was in it. Now I may be able to watch it just for him. We shall see.

    Jenny, LOL! Thank you for that laugh. Your sister sounds priceless. I definitely wasn't down with the Robin they cast (in the first episode, at least) but I have the feeling I could be down with RA in anything. That he's the bad guy is merely a perk.

    Misti, perfect, isn't he? I mean, I can't even picture anyone else now. No other image comes to mind. :)

    Camie, okay, listen to me carefully. You must rent/buy/Netflix N&S TODAY. And you will see what I all the fangirling is about. I really think it will be your cup of tea.

    Michelle, well, just the thought of him in a black leather getup makes me giddy so watching it will, I'm sure, be just super.

    Elizabeth, I remember your recommendation well. I think it's time. I'll keep you posted.

    Samantha, right?! I am not the only one! I mean, wow. Shaved head, tatts down one half of him. Um. Yeah.

    Diana, you're absolutely right. I went through the same turnabout in emotions with Logan on VM. The writers were seriously on the ball because I read the same thing--that that romantic arc was not in the plans, but Dohring just WORKED IT and their chemistry was something to behold. And voila! Magic.

    So you're saying he doesn't pull off Gisbourne, then? Surrounded by all the cheese? Hm.

  14. This is a little off topic but not too much with the mention of Nicholas Brisbane. Thank you for recommending Deanna Raybourn's Lady Julia Series. I recently finished Silent in the Grave and am now working on the Sanctury (I keep getting interrupted). Loving them. Thank you.

  15. I don't know about Gisbourne. Honestly, I may not even have met him. I watched THAT little of the pilot. And it was pre N&S so it may have just gone right over my head.

    And I think some of it is transference. Like people who really, REALLY love Gerard Butler in Phantom decide he's sexy in some of the other crap he does (and boy, he makes some stinkers!) and perhaps loving RA as Guy is partially because we're set to love him from Thornton. I know I sat through a lot of really horrific episodes of Moonlight just to get a few seconds of Jason Dohring.

    Which is similar to the argument I have re: Gale. People who love Gale's "type" seem to forget that there isn't actually much Gale there in the text.

  16. I watched Robin Hood for him to slurk around evilly in leather...

    Wasn't worth it. And yet, couldn't look away.

  17. Richard Armitage encased in black leather? That would be a big YES! Even if he is kind of a bad guy in Robin Hood, he's still sexy as all get out. :)

    Yes, as with everyone else in the world, I'm a big Armitage fan as well. I'm a bit more immature though, as I also have a couple of other movie say Rupert Penry-Jones. I feel silly for it, but he makes me swoon a bit too.

  18. Okay, so if I post about your post that totally counts toward my tally. Right? :)

    I watched season one of Robin Hood just for him. The show, ah, not so great, and they don't make use of his character in a spectacular way, but there are a few scenes... *drifts off*

    What was I talking about? Oh, right!

    I prefer him as Thornton, of course, but Harry (from Vicar) makes my heart beat faster, as does Lucas (from MI-5.) What am I talking about? I get a thrill just watching/listening to him read picture books! *hopeless*

  19. BTW, I am giving Robin Hood another whirl as we speak, seeing how it's available on Netflix Watch It Now.

    For the curious, North & South is ALSO available on Netflix Watch it Now.

    Have I mentioned how much I love my new TV?

  20. OMG, he is *totally* who I pictured as Brisbane when reading Silent in the Grave! That movie needs to be made, like, tomorrow!

    I found the first two seasons of Robin Hood to be irresistible cracktastic delights (did you know that there were female ninja bodyguards dressed in neon blue spandex in twelfth century England? True fact!), but RA even manages to bring some gravitas to the proceedings - while Robin and Marian are clearly Meant To Be, Gisbourne's sincere, unrequited love for Marian is actually pretty affecting.

    I'd skip season three, though. It kind of went off the rails.

  21. Awhile back I found someone on youtube who had uploaded only the parts of Robin Hood that featured Richard Armitage.... I don't know if they are still up but if you can't handle the cheesiness of the show and just want the attractive man in leather it is a very hypnotic option :)

    There should be a petition for Richard to play Brisbane! It would be perfect!

  22. All right, y'all, I made it through the first episode of RH and I am yet to be swayed. How long does it take to get bearable?

  23. I totally agree with Armitage as the dark and broody Brisbane! Great post!

  24. I agree with Fancy Day. Get on youtube and watch the fan videos of Guy of Gisborne and get the swoon worthy pictures without the cheesiness of the series.

  25. Kim, oh I'm so happy to hear that! Aren't they just delightful? I love her way with words and vibrant characters. I fell particularly in love with her brothers in SANCTUARY.

    Diana, lol, I wondered how Moonlight was. I wanted to watch him in it but never got around to it and then it was gone.

    Although I'm going to have to disagree re: Gale again. :) I think you are right and a lot of Team Galers like the type and so side with him. But I honestly loved him from page one. Loved their friendship most of all, back when it was just a bleak world they survived in together before the horrific thrill ride of the HG came into it. I know it wasn't much in the way of pages, but I just liked him a lot. Enough for me to prefer him to Peeta. Though I really do love Peeta. I do. I just feel loyal to Gale.

    Sarah, see? I don't know what to do. I fear I would be in the same situation. Unable to look away from the corn. Should I even go there? *frets*

    Becky, I am unfamiliar with Mr. Penry-Jones. Was he in that Jane Eyre adaptation awhile back?

    Chelle, hehe. Totally counts. And perhaps I will just have to skim through the first season stopping on the most interesting bits. Love those eps of Vicar of Dibley.

    Diana, new TV? How nice! And I love Netflix Watch It Now.

    Alison, I'm so with you. I would be SO unspeakably delighted to watch him in that movie.

    And that is hysterical about the blue spandex ninjas. I am not sure if I am up for such cracktastic delights. But I am tempted. I really am. Big sucker for sincere, unrequited love...

    Fancy Day, throw that petition together and I'll sign it. I'll sign it and get everyone I know to as well. I'm sure they'll listen to us... ;)

    Diana, that's only as far as I made it, too. I was wide-eyed and gape-mouthed at the cheese. And the teeny-tiny Robin Hood they cast. But it was pre-RA-on-my-radar, as you said. If you press on, keep me posted so I know how long it takes.

    Heather, clearly he's the only one for the job. We have spoken. So let it be done. *rings gong*

    Misti, hm. The thing is I don't know if I want to just ogle the pics. I really want to be involved in the story and see the character come to life. *sigh*

  26. sigh.......Thanks for the pictures and post. I had a busy crazy day of cleaning and unpacking boxes and rearranging furniture that just doesn't seem to look good any way that I put it. I needed a little pick me up and this was more than perfect. ahhhhhhhh.

  27. Yay! Spreading the Armitage love! I completely agree with you, actors don't usually star in my fantasies of dreamland, but RA is the exception! His John Thornton even tops Mr. Darcy!

    I'd recommend you to watch RH, especially the 2nd season, that is even better than the 1st, but bear in mind that it is more of a parody than a historically accurate period drama series.. (it is only worth watching because of RA).

    Have you seen him in Vicar of Dibley? Another series where he is excellent!

  28. THANK YOU...Angie!

    You made my freaking day. I got thrown up on today at school and then came home to see this wonderful post. Richard Armitage and you make everything better.

    I could watch him snog all day long. The 'look back at me' scene is awesome as well :P

  29. Oh Richard..yes, he def would make a good Nicholas Brisbane..

    Adamn...not so much. Mercy Thompson would eat him alive ;) LOL

    Of course I have no idea who should play Adam.

    I've tried to watch the Robin Hood series...not so good.

  30. Well, now I'm two episodes in. Your assessment of "teeny tiny" Robin is correct. In quick shots, I keep thinking I'm seeing Will Scarlet or whoever the other blue-eye brunette Merry Man is supposed to be. Someone of Dale.

    And despite RA's impassioned "it's so tough to be Guy of Gisbourne w/o any Gisbourne" speech in this last episode, he has yet to win me over. The man is gleefully looking on while a whole bunch of villagers (women and children) are having their TONGUES CUT OUT. Sorry -- this is not "Mr. Thornton beats up a grown man for very dangerous smoking in the cotton room." This is "random villagers being maimed and tortured on a whim."

  31. Ah, Richard Armitage. *swoon* Thank you for sharing this lovely post. I have definitely watched that final train station scene in North & South more times than can possibly be healthy. But I never once imagined him as Bran in Son of Shadows. Hmm... now I am tempted to reread Son of Shadows with Richard's image in mind.

    I will admit to having watched the first two seasons of Robin Hood just for Mr. Armitage. Yes, that show is insanely cheesy, but I would recommend hanging in there to catch the glimpses of (shirtless) Richard in season two. I found season two much more bearable than season one, due mostly to the fact that the Guy/Marian storyline took center stage more regularly. Actually, skipping straight over to youtube to check out just the Guy/Marian scenes might be the best way of watching Robin Hood. I specifically recommend this scene from Season 2, Ep. 3:

    I also agree with everyone who has mentioned Logan & Veronica's chemistry. Jason Dohring is not someone I can imagine having noticed outside of VM, but he just rocked the socks off of Logan and completely won my allegiance. I even watched several episodes of Moonlight just to catch a few minutes of his snarky sense of humor.

  32. There's really only one episode of Moonlight worth watching, and it's toward the end -- a very Josef-centric (Dohring) episode. Just a horrible show all 'round, sadly. Bad premise, bad acting, bad choices on the parts of the writers, SEVERELY creepy character interactions...

    I wish Dohring would get a new job. I was also willing to watch Washingtonienne for him, but it never got picked up.

    In my perfect world, there would be a Veronica Mars movie whereby Logan asks Veronica (now a trained investigator/FBI agent/whatever) to come back to Neptune and clear him of a murder accusation. Ooh, maybe of his wife! Seriously, Rob Thomas, call me!

  33. Nice nice post! What the heck are you waiting for regarding Robin Hood? We just got Season Three in our hands and boy, is he angry angry this season! How is it that he can be such the ruthless bad guy and yet you still feel for him?

  34. Liz, oh, I'm glad it helped brighten the end of a long day. Wish I was there to help you. I can't wait to see your new house! I keep trying to figure out a time we can come visit.

    Stella, agreed. Tops Darcy somehow. And I'll bear the parody thing in mind. I've watched a couple of the episodes of VoD that he's in. *love*

    Adele, holy crap. That's a lame day. I'm so sorry! And glad you came home to something happy. I'm with you on the snogging, btw. Wow.

    Mandi, until you come up with a viable alternative, I shall stick to my RA as Adam mantra. ;-)

    Diana, lol, Adam-a-Dale? Yeah, he just didn't have a large enough...presence for me. One ep, though. Gisbourne sounds pretty heinous. I wonder sometimes how far someone could go and I would still be able to love them. You do have me intrigued, though. I wasn't able to start last night because of sick little girl. I kind of still want to. Hm.

    And that is so depressing about Moonlight. He really does need to work some more. I LOVE your idea for the VM movie. *grin* When will they do it?!

    Violet, yes! Do the re-read and let me know. It dawned on me as a possibility not long ago and I have to say I'm rather attached to it by now. Thanks for the link!

    Suey, lol. You make me laugh. Angry angry RA is just an enticement, you know.

  35. I have a confession as well: I ordered the BBC North & South DVD, when I normally don't EVER buy movies (spending money that could go towards books on something else? Bah!)

    It was worth every cent. I watch it all in one sitting.

    Um. Need I say how much I loved it? And now I am happily able to join you in the Armitage fangirl department. So now in addition to my absurdly long list of literary crushes, I have a living and breathing person I can sigh over... I wonder which is worse?

    I've only seen a few episodes of Robin Hood, quite some time back. I may have to power through all three seasons sometimes soon, for Armitage if nothing else.

  36. 30rock7:32 PM

    I love hearing about Richard Armitage love, and yes, I also have a major crush on him

    BTW he can sing! and dance! You can hear him sing in Part 2 of Clarissa, and he was a dancer in musical theatre before he went to drama school, including dancing in Cats, and he is also in the Cats video (though is hard to spot him under the costume and makeup).

    The other thing to mention is STRIKE BACK - it's gonna be HUGE!!!! I'm seeing it on Monday!! On a big screen!! Can't wait (swoon)...

  37. Tina, you know I don't buy as many movies as I used to anymore either. But N&S is SO worth the price. I will be watching it for years to come. If you do power through Robin Hood, do let me know. :)

    30Rock, wow, he can sing too? Did you hear that, Amy? :) I haven't seen any of Strike Back yet. Sounds like it's good...

  38. Le sigh. I just found this post via Persnickety Snark and it makes me so happy :) Ah Lucas and your prisoner tats. I hope you did make it through Robin Hood, it's truely awful, but so worth it for Guy of Gisbourne and bizarely Allan (not to take away from the Richard Armstrong by mentioning the other pretty, but he also deserves le sigh). Very importantly - if you haven't done it yet you must seek out the episode of George Gently where he is a biker!


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