When Is Your Armitage Anniversary?

My five-year Armitage anniversary is this week!

It was mid-October in 2009 when my Friday-movie girlfriend drove over to my toy-strewn place near the ocean. As fate would have it, the DVD she brought was scratched, so we browsed what was available on Netflix and settled somewhat nonchalantly on a period piece that had good ratings.

And so it was that I first laid my eyes on this:

First Glimpse

For how many thousands of other innocent viewers has this been their first glimpse of Richard Armitage? And tell me, is it a coincidence that the producers exalt this figure by putting him on a raised platform?! As if we needed any more prompting to encourage our abject veneration!

Dazzled Margaret

(Yes, Margaret, this is the proper stance of stupefied adoration.)

But, truthfully, the full impact of John Thornton/Richard Armitage didn’t fall upon me all at once. At his first appearing I thought “Ok, here’s the leading man.” (Duh! As if you could possibly miss that!)

No, the spell of Richard as Thornton began working on me more deeply here:

Tea cup lust

His vulnerability was beginning to show and his history was so remarkable. A man who respects and admires his mother, who is responsible, dependable, and practices self-denial? Margaret, were you even listening to this man?!

But it was here that I was a goner:

Hopeful sigh

To be precise, it was the hitch in his throat – that moment when he expels that half-second sigh of agonized hope. You know the sound.

Do we even need to mention the tender kissing scene at the end? How is a girl to survive that?

Although I didn’t know it at the time, my world had just shifted. My girlfriend went home to resume her regular routine in life – wholly unscathed (how does this happen?). I replayed the ending without her. It’s not humanly possible to watch it only once. Or just twice.

Within a week, I was a member at C19. In May, the first chapter of A Heart for Milton was posted on the forum. Exactly two years from the time I found Thornton/Armitage, my book was published. At the time I discovered North and South, I didn’t even know I could write compelling fiction!

So, thank you, Richard. And thank you, wonderful fandom, for sharing and being part of the journey. It’s been a great ride so far.

When is your anniversary?

 

 

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54 responses to “When Is Your Armitage Anniversary?

  1. January of 2010 — so five years are coming up for me too. Amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: When is *your* Armitage anniversary? | Me + Richard Armitage

  3. Whenever I think of mine, I remember that yours is soon after. 😉
    Life-altering dates for us.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It is really weird to me that I can even approximate a date — but I can! Thanks to Melanie Friedman of the Bookworm2Bookworm blog and a fan video she posted called “Confession” by OlerySt, I know it was September, 2011 when I first was introduced to Richard Armitage. I was completely mesmerized by him.
    Melanie took pity on me and directed me to “North and South.” Then I joined the C19 board, and the rest (as they say) is history. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. In 2012, I was doing my darndest to stay OUT of the Hobbit Media Machine. I wanted to be completely surprised and in wonderment when I finally got to sit in the theater seat to watch.

    of course, that wasn’t to happen. First came the stills of the dwarves. I found myself drawn to Dwalin and Bofur, Fili and Kili were to die for of course, being such gorgeous young dwarves – but Thorin… I’m thinking – that’s a DAMN fine Klingon!!!

    And then came SDCC – and there in the figs and the pictures was this beautiful, beardy, brawny man they SAID was Thorin. I didn’t see that gorgeous Klingon, but I did sit up and take notice.

    After seeing The Hobbit, I looked around for this… Richard Armitage person… and obtained a few things… but didn’t watch. Not yet. No time. I was writing a Rohirrim fic that HAD to be done. HAD to be done by January 31st.

    Which upon its completion, I became rather ill. In the dregs of my hallucinogenic meds, I was visited (okay, I can call it that) by a rather tall, leather clad 12th century knight who informed me, among other things, that my lurkerish sideline appreciation was getting ready to accelerate at massive proportions.

    I have on purpose refused to watch many things thus far. I write fanfiction. I want to fix things. So yes, I will want to fix John Porter and Lucas and write backstories for Harry. A few MIGHT know of my attempt to give Guy of Gisborne a happy ending… a darling bunny that greatly resembles Gary Fuller is nibbling at my toes.

    I’m not stalkerish – but I’ve looked. His characters intrigue me. The man himself, has earned my respect over and over and over.

    And he’s a dork, and a geek, and a nerd. And lovely. Lovely to look at and lovely inside.

    So… 2 years in January. Looking forward to many more.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Armitage/Thorin has a certain pull, doesn’t he? And the man behind all that hair is so genuinely sweet. Can’t believe The Hobbit has been two years already. Glad you’ve been caught into the fandom!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Richard Armitage as Thornton had me at “Stephens!” It’s amazing how much can change in an instant, and how it only selectively affects certain of us. I’m at about the 6 month mark, so still very new to the fandom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I know some people were taken in at the very first image or word. Six months is still very young. Hope you enjoy following Armitage a good long while. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A Heart for Milton! I loved it, thank you so much for penning it Trudy – and to your friend for bringing a scratched DVD to your Friday movie date 🙂 My four year anniversary is coming up in January. I came to North and South through my love of Brendan Coyle in Downton Abbey; I was going through his filmography (as one does!) … and the rest, as they say, is history (that I would never want to change). Happy Anniversary xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. In November, it will be two years for me. Thornton’s “I believe your daughter and I have already met” nailed it. I “introduced” myself at C19 with my N&S story, and I reprinted it in January at Frenz’s Something Fine site, here: http://raflash.com/2014/01/20/i-saw-something-fine-in-a-19th-century-mill-owner/
    I’m a goner and absolutely loving it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Loved your link, Armitagebesotted; your humorous post about finding RA is hilarious! Two years means you have it pretty bad. It can wear off in a few months on some people. They’re off to greener pastures somehow…. ARE there greener pastures? I don’t think so!!! (Look, triple exclamation points and a teeny bit of shouting – sign of verifiable fanaticism.)

      Like

  9. Thank you, glad you liked my story.
    Higgins brought you to Thornton? And both are worthy actors. Four years is a long stretch for sticking with a favorite. I hope his star continues to rise.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I am 9 days short of my nine year anniversary on The Armitage Army@Richard Armitage Central so that answers the question, when North and South was first shown I was hooked from the first episode but had to wait awhile to pluck up courage to join a forum. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • 9 years is a long time! I’d never joined a forum either. That was for other people…but I had questions to ask. I needed to talk to somebody!

      Like

  11. August/September 2010. Strike Back aired. I came in late to the series, so I didn’t catch the two first episodes, but someone recommended Strike Back to me…and I went: “Oh, that’s Guy of Gisborne”. 🙂
    We watched BBC Robin Hood in 2007-2008, and Richard played Guy so brilliantly that his portrayal of this psycho didn’t really make me want to investigate further. And Marian was killed off; were was this series going, anyway? The 3rd series never aired in Denmark, and so Guy’s path to redemption wasn’t available to me until years later (after Strike Back).
    North and South has never aired here, I believe.
    I’m not a member of anything. This is my first “celebrity crush” ever. But what’s most important to me is that Richard is such a nice person in RL.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are in it for the long haul. It’s really important to me, too, that he is a genuinely wonderful human being. I was truly worried to find out about the actor behind John Thornton at first. I thought if the man behind the character was a disappointing personality (arrogant), it might ruin my enjoyment of John Thornton. Boy was that a needless worry! I’d never had a serious crush, either. There’s something about RA…

      Like

  12. It has been so long for me–I was hooked and mesmerized from the first moment I saw him over ten years ago and have never recovered. Not even sure I want to know, because that would make it a finite time period–and Richard to me is an infinite fascination.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Loved reading your story, Trudy, and I find it just so uplifting, so inspiring, that something personally life-changing came out of your discovery of RA,i.e. your emerging talent as a writer. A well-deserved success with A Heart for Milton – one of the first fanfiction stories I read, too, and bless you for that. What if I had read some awful drivel instead? I might have been put off forever 😀
    Having said that – Thornton did not do it for me, initially. It took two more years after seeing him in that for me to stumble over RA in “Spooks” in February 2012. It wasn’t Lucas either, who drew me in, it was Guy who came to me on Youtube and blew me away when I googled Armitage. So only two and a half years in my case. But boy, what a blast I have had since then. Hooray for sleepless February nights and early morning TV re-runs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It doesn’t matter how many characters it takes to get you reeled in, as long as you fall under the spell at last. I love how the ‘sinker’ is different for different fans. The Armitage Effect does takes its toll eventually. I doubt I would have become a fan from watching anything else. But who knows…
      I’m glad to offer a little more imaginary Thornton (Armitage) for all those who enjoy N&S fan fiction. I read as much as I could in those first few months of giddy discovery!

      Like

      • For me the fanfiction reading comes in phases. Sometimes I go for months without reading much, and then there are months when I read voraciously. At the beginning I consumed almost everything I came across, now I have become more picky. But whatever – fanfiction is a wonderful thing. Oh, and I forgot to say – fanfiction was actually one of the drivers that made me out myself as a fan because I felt the urge to comment on a story. That’s when I set up my fan accounts.

        Like

  14. Early November it will be 4 years that I met John Thornton when watching the DVD for the first time far into the smallest hours….
    I fell head over heels in love with that man and the man “behind” him (!) to such an extent that for almost a year I couldn’t think of anything or anybody else (Quite a remarkable one-sided experience with somebody whom you doesn’t know personally!!) Remember it being often really though to at least somehow concentrate on my work during those days 😉
    In the beginning I had to look up loads of words (and writing them down), as I wasn’t used to read English so much and so permanently, which decidedly slowed down working my way through all the blogs that I discovered one after the other. Reading fanfic stories (never had heard that word before!!) was another time-consuming, but deeply addictive endeveour, where there is no end in sight…… Trudy, actually your first fanfic was one of my first ones I’ve read. You know I loved it!
    Therefore over the years my English has improved noticeably, thanks to our dear man Richie!!
    … but still, since that particular November night in 2010, all my nights became short (or long!!), depending on how you look at it, because being out at work for more than 11 hours a day never leaves enough time to revel (on the importent things!! ;-), like a certain handsome Englishman (with the most beguiling voice!) and all the stories and people that are coming with him…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad it was Thornton you fell in love with. It’s hard not to fall in love with the man behind that character, too! Richard’s such a gem himself.
      What a wonderful way to practice English! Here’s to more years of admiring Armitage. 🙂

      Like

  15. What a great idea for a post, Trudy! N&S was sort of my introduction to Mr. A (thanks again to HeathRA for uploading the proposal scene to YouTube) in that it was the first time I ever saw him but I wasn’t really interested in seeing the rest of it. It took a Guy-centric fic over at FanFiction.Net to suck me in. I’ll go join Guylty in the naughty corner now. 😉

    Like

    • Guy has a history of reeling them in as well, doesn’t he? It doesn’t really matter which character does the job, just as long as you join the ranks of the besotted!

      Like

  16. It’s three years for me. It all started when I saw a picture of Richard on a FB page for the Deborah Harness All Souls Trilogy discussion group … some members were dream casting the books’ main characters and he was put forth as Matthew Clairmont. I took one look at that picture (you know the one, head shot … navy shirt, staring straight into the camera … probably taken during Lucas North publicity), my jaw dropped and my life changed. I had never heard of him, never saw him before. I knew I was looking at Matthew and had to find out who this gorgeous man was …. I immediately looked him up but didn’t actually see him in anything until The Hobbit … as soon as I heard his voice I was lost. I started ordering DVDs and audiobooks like a mad woman (even bought a region free DVD player so I could get my DVDs from the UK … I’m in the US). After The Hobbit came Vicar of Dibley, then Spooks … by the time I got to North and South I was completely under the Armitage spell 🙂 Trudy, A Heart for Milton was the first fanfic I ever read ….. now I’m hooked. Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned the hours and hours I’ve spent watching interviews, clips and storybook readings on YouTube 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s fun, you basically found him in a ‘role’ he’s never even played. I’m sure he’d make a perfect Matthew: mysterious, intense, vulnerable, with that difficult to evade guilt lingering somewhere in his consciousness. (Yes, I read books one and two.) And the voice. Yes, the voice. He’s an entire package, that man. I’m glad A Heart for Milton was your first fanfic.:)

      Like

  17. December 26, 2006. I had purchased the DVD on a whim on Christmas Eve shopping with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law while they bought a DVD player as a gift for my husband. I loved the book in graduate school, so thought I might enjoy the DVD. On the 26th, I started watching and watched it all the way through, ignoring my husband’s family. I was hooked at the end of the first part, during Margaret’s “I have seen Hell” speech, when they showed JT striding through the mill to the stirring refrains of the theme music.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a Christmas present! I LOVE the part when he’s striding through the mill after that dismal speech. Magnetic, beautiful, meaningful cinematography. And are we ever glad you joined the ranks of Armitage admirers. Your fanfics are legendary! 🙂

      Like

  18. Mid 2007 when Guy first appeared on Australian TV, but Harry Kennedy was the clincher for me. (December 2007)

    Like

    • Ahh Harry! He’s beautiful, too. You’ve been a long-time admirer. And isn’t it refreshing to see that he hasn’t changed too much with all his growing fame? He’s taking it all very well, I think.

      Like

  19. Thank you so much for this memorable North & South commemorative post! It was summer of 2009 when I happened to see the N&S idvd in “my” library, my working-place actually, and I when I watched it at home I completely fell for the story, the series … and of course for John Thornton. I don’t know how often I watched it in the meantime … The most intense scene for me has always been the tea cup scene in episode 1! That really got me!
    I knew the book from English lessons at school. And in the meantime I’ve read various fanfictions, starting with your beautiful “Heart for Milton”…
    I started to search for Mr Thornton’s other projects and happened to “stumble” over Dibley and Spooks. And that was it.
    And here we go, swooning over twitpics and selfies of the man himself.

    Like

  20. thank you everyone for the lovely stories 🙂 so nice to read the experiences you all had! mine is fresh still, not yet 3 months old so looking forward to many more months and years to come 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome to the fandom. Of course, I think it’s a very special fandom. We try to be kind to each other, under Richard’s explicit orders. 🙂
      Hope you enjoy the experience of being a Richard well-wisher for many years to come.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Reblogged this on gpg44blog and commented:
    my anniversary NOV 2002 12 YRS STILL GOING STRONG

    Liked by 1 person

  22. MY anniversary nov 2002 12 yrs and still going strong can still remember seeing him in BBC doctors and his brief apperance in casulty was totally in love and always will be

    Like

    • Wow, you really have been a long-time fan! Richard has been so appreciative of his fans all along. It’s difficult to imagine ever losing interest in his career.

      Like

  23. March 2009 I joined the army after a month of drooling over him. It was a chance renting of N&S that did it for me. It didn’t hit me at the first sight of him but somewhere during the movie I became so enchanted that I had to find out who he was. It was seeing him in an interview that I feel in love. Life has never been the same and it’s been a wonderful five and a half years! I look forward to many more!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. My RA anniversary is January 5, 2012. Kind of late,but, so glad I did find him. North and South videos got me started. Then, I had to see the original. Fell in love with him the first time I laid eyes on him, as John Thornton. then Robin Hood, Spooks, etc, etc. My life is better because of RA.

    Like

    • It’s never too late! Think of the new fans that may be coming soon due to the last part of The Hobbit trilogy or when The Sleepwalker comes out. N&S holds a very special place in the art of catching women unawares and ensnaring them to ardent worship! Most of us never regret it, although other hobbies and duties may have fallen by the wayside…

      Like

  25. I just love reading about how everyone found Richard … I’m grinning from ear to ear and nodding my head in agreement with everything I’ve read so far 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  26. My RA anniversary is coming up. It will be 10 years in November. That is when I first saw Richard in the first episode of North and South when it aired on the BBC.

    Like

    • I think those who found him from that first airing of N&S are fortunate indeed to have had the privilege of watching his career unfold. And to have known Thornton so long! 😉

      Like

  27. Loakenshield (Girl of Gisborne)

    My 2nd RAnniversary is coming up soon!! I first found out about Richard when I saw The Hobbit on Dec.14, 2012. As soon as Thorin walked through Bilbo’s door it was love at first sight! As soon as I got home I Googled “The Hobbit Thorin Actor” , found out his name, and the obsession took off from there! Now I’ve seen almost everything he’s been in! 😀

    Like

  28. I’m another one who’s 10th anniversary is coming up next month! when I watched N&S ‘live’ but it was a slow burn for me & I didn’t get hooked until episode 3. I later discovered that I had already seen him in ‘Casualty’ and ‘Cold Feet’. I’m at a loss to understand why he has fascinated me for so long but I’ve given up on trying to figure it out! I consider myself lucky to have watched his career and personality develop over the 10 years and am still enjoying the ride.

    Like

    • Yes, you are among the fortunate who found him with his first leading role – and what a stir he caused as the lead in a romantic drama!! He definitely defined John Thornton for the century. And now Thorin, and Proctor…

      Like

  29. Ten ywar anniversary coming up. I thought my girlfriend was trying to sell me on watching some American Civil War thing, and I gave in against my better judgment. I saw and heard Richard for the first time as John Thornton. Be still my heart! I undertook to conceal my drooling, but I was terminally smitten. Later she showed me Guy of Gisborne. In between hooting at the historical anachronisms, we were transfixed by Gisborne. So it goes…

    Like

  30. It’s a ‘civil war’ of another type! Glad your girlfriend was persistent. Who would want to miss out on finding John Thornton?! You’ve watched him come a long way. 🙂

    Like

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