RA Flash Fan Event: I saw something fine…


The following text is excerpted and adapted from a piece I wrote called Worlds Collide which appeared as a guest post on me+RichardArmitage last fall.  You can find the original here.  

My story, I have discovered, is quite common in the global ranks of Armitage fandom.  2012 was a rough year for me.  I seemed to be at crossroads in so many aspects of my life, and after spending time in Greece the previous four summers, I was feeling trapped at home.  In search of respite from the actual and metaphorical din of my life, I had exhausted all the Jane Austen film adaptations to be found.  I finally followed Netflix’s repeated advice that I should watch North & South.  I admit, I was momentarily taken aback…North &  SouthThe John Jakes adaptation?  Patrick Swayze?  I saw that in high school…  The picture didn’t look right, so I read the full description…Oh, different North & South, OK.  Ever a fan of period drama,  I “found” Richard Armitage accidentally and was captivated almost immediately.   Almost.  

Who is that terribly severe, stern man?  Not the romantic lead certainly...

Who is that terribly severe, stern man? Not the romantic lead certainly…

I was initially surprised by the rather explosive violence of the opening altercation on the floor of the mill.  At that point, I had not read Gaskell’s novel, so I knew nothing about the story or the characters.  It didn’t take long to get the lay of the land and warm up to John Thornton…or be mesmerized by the actor who inhabited him so movingly, from rage to insecurity and vulnerability…


Not even a mother’s touch can soothe some hurts…

He had me at the portrayal of Thornton’s determination to propose to Margaret despite his almost fatalistic belief that “she would not have him.”  The incredible tenderness as he gazes at her lowered head in the train station scene was the cherry on top…


The soft gaze and that tiny elusive smile…

and this?  This?  THIS!!  I  W A S  D O O M E D ! !

and this? This? THIS!!   I   W A S   D O O M E D ! !

It was a combination of factors…the looks, the amazing voice, the intensity…some alchemy of qualities that silenced all of the angst and let me breathe.   Let the games begin! Inquisitive by nature and a little afraid that I had finally fallen off the deep end, I investigated in secret…no one must find out, what would they think?   I Google’d, I watched, I listened, I read, I lurked here and there trying to figure out this strange obsession I had developed.  I have never been inspired to fandom, even as a teenager – What am I doing I asked myself repeatedly, but the more I learned about Richard Armitage, the deeper in I fell.

A month later, I was no closer to understanding it, and it was getting stronger.  On August 22nd (an Armitage intervention?)  I was inspired to break my silence and comment, but to do so, I would need a virtual disguise…Obscura was born.  Obscura is Latin, meaning dark, secret, unknown, as I rather prefer to remain in the context of this world…at least for now.

Over the past fifteen months, I have continued to explore what “it” is that draws me in.  I’ve been inspired to write, I’ve begun to blog, I’ve made some fantastic friends, and I’ve found that Richard Armitage inspires a lot of incredible people in much the same way that he inspires me.   I don’t think that it is any single thing, but a combination of qualities that have resulted in a remarkable person…not perfect, but then no one is – perfection is an illusion in my book.

I have come to accept that Richard Armitage has entered my life as a sort of lodestar.   I’m not fighting it anymore.   I still don’t fully understand it, but I don’t know that I actually need to define completely what it is about him that inspires me, although I enjoy pondering it.  I freely admit, Richard Armitage is probably not an actual celestial or supernatural force, but somehow he has managed to unlock a whole lot of doors inside me that were keeping me stuck in a place where I didn’t want to be and I continue to be grateful.

PS…if anyone reading would like a place to post his/her own “I saw something fine,” reflection, drop me an email at ancientarmitage at gmail dot com.  I’d be happy to host 🙂

16 comments on “RA Flash Fan Event: I saw something fine…

  1. guylty says:

    What the? How come I did not comment on your “coming out” back then? (I know why – I was in London for TH premiere.) So, we count another win for Thornton. Ya ya, I have got my tail firmly between my legs at this point. I am blind.
    The anonymity thing resonates with me. While I admit in RL that I have a thing for RA, I don’t admit how *big* a thing. The *obscure* 😛 internet handle makes that easier… And yes, I don’t think there is much else to do but to accept the star intervention in one’s life – and get on with it. It’s all about just taking the best from it – and you seem to get that balance right. Love the way you give back with your blog posts. (But then I am a total history nerd…) Glad you found RA, read, delurked and came out. x

    • obscura says:

      Every character added some new level though :). I have talked to a couple people, but only really in general terms…I find that most people don’t really get fandom (I didn’t BR) and I’m nor inclined to swim upstream to explain.

      I’m certainly aware that a little rain must fall everywhere, but I really do love all of the positives that being a part of thus community has brought – I’m glad I delurked too

      Oh…and another thing…history nerds rock!!

      • guylty says:

        Yes, it’s hard to describe the fandom thing to outsiders. It’s not much different from being the member of any club, though. A group of people bonding over shared interest in something. I think the issue of being a fan of an actor is more difficult to explain. Well, we have discussed that ad nauseam already.
        It could be worse, I suppose. I could be fangirling over Keanu Reeves still *haha*

        • obscura says:

          Yeah, it kind of feels like people don’t get it unless the “get it” you know? Then ensues the uncomfortable “judgy” business. Who needs that? So, it remains my little secret…that I share with who knows how many now 😀

  2. Perry says:

    I’m with Guylty. You do give back with your blog posts, which are informative, cheeky and succinctly to the point. I always experience a lift when I see a new post from Ancient Armitage in my notifications.

  3. Beverly says:

    After those kisses, I was doomed, too. Step aside Darcy.

    I wish more writers and directors would realize how sexy a sweet kiss can be.

  4. Mezz says:

    Wonderful post Obscura and I’m so glad you started blogging! Your posts add such an enjoyable and educational perspective to Armitage World. I have been pretty much outed re my RA crush (flying interstate to see him is bit of a give away) but just how deep – and important to me – that crush is, is yet to be realised by those closest to me in RL I think. 😉
    *sigh* other kisses fade in comparison to this one, and the way he looks at her….omg….I never tire of watching. Makes me weak at the knees every time.

    • obscura says:

      Thanks! I’m glad too…I really enjoy it. It’s reconnected me to a lot of things I had forgotten about. You know, I’m less and less concerned about being outed in general, but I take your point about sharing the whole depth of scope with the “uninitiated”. I can easily share it her with you all since you understand the concept. RL…I’ll stick to generalities I think!

  5. jazzbaby1 says:

    Love this.

  6. armitagebesotted says:

    I love this story. It’s much like my own, except when I decided to de-lurk, my strategy in choosing my name was to intentionally experiment with liberating myself by declaring my status outright (“She has shown the world!”), hence,
    armitagebesotted. Funny thing is, I NEVER planned ahead to meeting people in real life and hearing them say it out loud. Cringe. I like the “nickname” solution that has come about organically, though. Most automatically shorten it to “besotted,” object “armitage” being implied, assumed, and understood by all.

    • obscura says:

      Welcome…thanks for commenting! LOL…it’s funny the thought process that goes into the pseudonym…and how quickly it gets shortened to a pseudonickname! 🙂

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