Was it serendipity that led you to discover Richard Armitage?


Serendipity: Luck that takes the form of finding pleasant or valuable things that are not looked for.

In the mid-18th century, Sir Horace Walpole stumbled upon a Persian fairy tale called The Three Princes of Serendip (Serendip was the name of the island that is now Sri Lanka). The heroes of the stories traveled about, making happy (and chance) discoveries. Walpole added the word to the English language in 1754

Horace Walpole

Horace Walpole (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I didn’t go looking for Richard Armitage, but I found him one Saturday night playing the bog-standard henchman as a supporting character in a kid-friendly show on BBC America, Robin Hood 2006.

The show turned out to be more than a bit cheesetastic. And full of anachronisms. Still, Robin Hood the show had its charms. I particularly liked the characters of Allan and Much and the young actress playing Marian. All talented and entertaining actors.  And then–slowly–I began to pay more attention to one specific character. And it wasn’t Ye Olde Legende Hero.

I'm here for the bad guy. Our meeting was serendipitous.

Sir Guy as played by Richard Armitage might be a right smarmy bastard, but he certainly was a good-looking right smarmy bastard who also turned out to be more complicated than he first appeared on the surface.  And by the time he got left at the altar by the woman he believed would cleanse his soul with her goodness and purity, I felt something funny going on inside me.  This character was getting to me.  It was as if I could see inside his heart; I could see the “evil henchman’s” humanity, his vulnerabilities.

"Let her go." Guy moments after being slugged by his bride-to-be and left at the altar. My heart truly belonged to Guy from that moment on.

That Richard Armitage fellow was a very good actor. And not bad to look at. He had–presence. Charisma. He had–IT. I wondered what else he might have done.  And so I started searching on the Internet, and found various forums, blogs and websites and the fanvids on YouTube, and started reading fanfiction. And so it began . . . the fascination, the obsession, the addiction, whatever you will call it.

Leading to a tall stack of DVDs featuring Mr. A’s performances.  Leading to writing fanfiction and making fanvids and now, blogging about him. And all because I sat down one night to watch a show in BBC America. And I just keep discovering more things to like, admire, respect and adore about him.  He is a most pleasant and valuable thing to discover when you aren’t even looking for him.

Thank you, Sir Horace, for introducing “serendipity” to the language, and thank you, Richard Armitage, for being a shining example of it.

Richard, you serendipitous sweetheart, you!

13 responses »

  1. Yes, it was serendipity that led me to contract this serious case of RAitis! It all happened one night while searching for something on Netflix. The powers that be recommended North and South. I thought that it sounded like a interesting thing to watch! Four hours later I was Hooked! At 2:30 a.m. I began my quest for all things Richard! And it’s become a daily thing! I almost hate going out of town because I can’t get on the internet to check out the sites!

    • And the Armitage Effect kicks in yet again. Yeah, I was away for a while back in Sept./Oct. when we took the cruise and I stayed with my sister for a while after that. It got rather antsy. 😉

      • I don’t know why but reading about a theory you have I was thinking of my sister. When I lent her my North&South DVD a few months ago I remember saying to her “I am in love !” (Hmmm !) and she had laughed and said “you are sick”.
        I suspect she has caught RAitis for a few weeks. Guy is now her desktop wallpaper and she is watching and rewatching RH. She will not confess why she loves RH so much but only talks about GoG.
        She is suffering from multiple sclerosis for two years and I think RA is become a good distraction from her illness and pain. Thank you Richard !

  2. Serendipity may have been trying to lead me to Richard a few years back when I first saw VoD and RH, but I wasn’t paying enough attention!
    Thank goodness I came to my senses!! Like Laurie, I need my daily Armitage fix.

    • There is also a theory I have about Richard registering on our radars just when we may need him most and not necessarily the first time we see him perform. I will expound on that in another post. 😉

  3. I could have been years ahead in my Richarding if only my cable provider hadn’t refused to carry BBC America. I remember seeing ads for “Robin Hood” when it came out and even reading the occasional article about it and wishing I had access to it. At least now I’m on the right path and still have many things to look forward to discovering. 🙂

  4. Thank you for the interesting info on the origin of this word! I think it definitely was serendipity that led me to watch the last two episodes of VoD on a bleak, bleak Sunday in early January.. Talk about love at first sight! Never experienced anything like that before. It was a “colpo di fulmine” as the Italians say. As if I were struck by lightning. Oh and I get very antsy if I don’t get my daily RA fix too! Especially when I’m at my sister’s. And I will be going again this weekend for the Easter Holiday.. so..

  5. It was serendipity for me as well. In fact, I have to thank our Independence Day for discovering Richard 🙂 On that day, Dec 6, we always have – believe it or not – a gala with dancing, interviews, very beautiful dresses and a LOT of hand shaking for several hours on TV. It has been broadcast live for decades and it’s one of the most popular programmes. So, I went to the TV website to check the airing times via the Internet, and, at the same time, noticed N & S there. I was thinking about our Independence Day but discovered Richard when I least expected it. One more reason to appreciate being independent 😉

  6. A girlfriend had been recommending N&S for some time, and I dodged it, thinking, “Oh, *bleep*, not another American Civil War epic!” Finally, she explained that it was set in England during the Industrial Revolution. We watched. I managed to conceal my sincere interest in Mr. Thornton, disguising drooling and chop-licking by sipping my tea and dabbing at my mouth with the napkin. I became an Armitage addict with one dose. That led to being introduced to RH by the same friend. As we hooted with laughter at the appalling anachronisms, I couldn’t take my eyes off the dude in black leather nor stop thinking, how delicious… I simply can’t get enough of Guy. So, serendipity or addiction, I’m just glad he’s become part of my life.

  7. My story is similar to Leigh’s. A blogging friend, who shares an interest in “costume dramas”, suggested N&S. I was also hesitant at first as I thought she was referring to the American Civil War N&S tv movie. I finally smartened up and picked up THE definitive N&S at my local library. The rest is history. I now own N&S, Shakespeare Retold & the VOD wedding episodes. Just last week saw RA as Ricky Deemng in George Gently – also borrowed from the library. I pvr RH but plan to buy it eventually. Can’t wait for The Hobbit – it will be icing on the cake.

    Cheers everyone!

    • Thanks, Elaine, for sharing your story and welcome. I think we are ALL waiting with bated breath for Thorin to appear on a movie screen near us. 😀 It’s wonderful to first discover him in the various roles. I have seen everything (and pretty much own it all) he’s done . . . which makes this drought even harder. Of course, his performances are very much worth repeat viewings, but it would be nice for something NEW.

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