Sir Guy, RA and I and our Seven-Year AnniveRsAry. Not itching yet.

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It was seven years ago this summer when it all began. One sticky south Alabama Saturday night I flipped on the TV and tuned into BBC America to catch their latest version of the Robin Hood legend.

I have to be perfectly honest. I found the rebooted “legend” less than–legendary. Hoodie with his boyish bangs, constipated expressions and cocky strut did not exactly make me forget Errol Flynn.

I did think his cohorts had their charms, Marian was pretty (and pretty feisty), and the sheriff, the sort of amusing panto-ish villain one loved to hate.  But the one who ultimately kept my attention and piqued my interest was the tall, scowling, smirking man in black.

 

He was the one always hovering near the sheriff, arms folded across his broad chest, trying to be impassive. The master of arms’ body language and facial expressions, however, told so much about the “evil henchman.” Oh, he was a handsome devil, no doubt about it, and he knew it.  “A right smarmy bastard,” I said to myself.  In spite of some reservations about the show, I kept watching . . . the chief attraction being the bad guy, Guy.

 

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I abhorred some of Sir Guy’s choices and actions; still, the more I watched, the more complex this potentially one-note cardboard cutout of a character became.  I’m not bein’ funny — the baddie turned out to have a heart and soul, folks. Robin Hood 2006 had its cheese-tastic appeal, but the raison d’etre of it all for me was Gisborne.  By the end of the first season, when Marian slugged him and left him at the altar, I was fully Team Leather all the way.

I cried buckets when the character died at the end of the third and final season. Even though I knew in advance it was going to happen and tried to prepare myself for The Moment, I was still so distraught when it came.  I shed more tears over this fictional character than I have some flesh-and-blood relations. He was–and is–that real to me.  And I still simply cannot bear to re-watch THAT Moment.

And so there was nothing to do but to declare him “loved into being” a la The Velveteen Rabbit, back with us to enjoy more adventures, and serve as the catalyst for my popular “Sloth Fiction” stories.  Sir Guy is SO Not Dead.

 

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We each have our own story about the character that lured us into Armitage Mania. Guy was my particular “gateway drug” into the Armitage fandom. But I didn’t stop there.  I went on to investigate more online about this very attractive actor with the rich, honeyed baritone and beautiful way of moving, a performer who could also speak volumes without saying a word, giving a mere flicker of those long, darkened lashes, a sidelong glance, or a twist of his mouth. I watched fanvids and visited a few Armitage sites.

 

When I had the cash, I ordered the DVDs of RA’s I could find stateside at that time: North and South, Vicar of Dibley and a used copy of Sparkhouse.

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After viewing those three productions in quick succession, call me officially blown away. The man was clearly no one- trick pony in the world of acting. How could the man who inhabited cripplingly shy, awkward sheep farmer John Standring also bring to life sunny, cheeky accountant Harry, sober Victorian mill owner Thornton and the smoulderingly seductive presence that was Gisborne?  And yet, he did, looking and moving and sounding differently in each and every role.  Richard made me believe and care every single time.

And he’s done it again and again–as Lucas, as Porter, Ricky, Mulligan, Kruger, Thorin . . . and now he’s wowing London theatre audiences as gruff, work-hardened farmer John Proctor in Miller’s The Crucible.  And will no doubt perform admirably as Gary the widowed dad and teacher in Into the Storm and in whatever future roles he undertakes.  And then of course I’ve also discovered how kind, thoughtful, funny, bright, humble and simply extremely likeable the real man appears to be.

He’s not perfect, but he is a pretty special human being.  I really do believe in the power of The Armitage.

In long-term relationships, in marriages, there is a phenomenon referred to as the “Seven-Year Itch” in which the partners begin to feel an urge to–stray, to move on to pastures with, say, Bahia grass versus Fescue (I am a farmer’s daughter, remember).

And yet, not only do I not feel an urge to move on to a different actor on which to have a big ol’ crush, I also don’t plan to ever abandon my first RA love.

Sir Guy of Gisborne, you will always be my very favorite.  I wrote my first novel-length fanfic about you. I’ve made more Guy photo edits, fan art and fan vids than I have of any other ChaRActer. Of course, there is more of you, in 37 episodes, although never enough even then.

You continue to inspire me, and to endear yourself to me with that special blend of thrilling alpha male dominance (I will forgive you things I would never forgive anyone else) with an awkward sweetness, aching vulnerability and at times, heartbreaking gullibility.

 

And frankly, nobody, but nobody, rocks the Guyliner, stubble, leather and long locks the way YOU do. You’ll always be THE one.

I’m not bein’ funny . . .  no seven year itch for me!

 

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26 responses »

  1. Hi Angie, I SO agree with you about the character Guy. I would LOVE to read your full length fanfic novel, what’s it called and how could I access it? I really wanted to ask Richard two questions – did he get to buy/keep his brown leather armour from series 3, apparently Keith Alan was outbidding him for it and R.A was dismayed, he said ‘It’s my blood and sweat in there’. And did he ever fall or get thrown off Richie or any horse on the R.H episodes. Do you know any of the answers Angie ?

    • The fanfic is called “Dangerous to Know,” an AU Guy/Marian fic for adults, and it’s posted at Live Journal under my username fedoralady. It’s also at Dreamer Fiction, but you do have to have membership there. I do not know the ultimate fate of his S3 costume—I hope he got it, too, he certainly EARNED it. I don’t think he ever got thrown off Richie—maybe someone else out thereknow– but he did have some trepidation about doing so much riding (although he had also ridden in Cleopatra). He looks just a little hesitant in some of the Hood Academy images. However, you can really see over the course of the series how much confidence and poise he gained in the saddle—until he was practically one with the horse. Served him in good stead when he played Thorin.

  2. just read your blog. I,too am in love with Sir Guy. I hope every RA fan is. He is “something else”. But, I have to admit John Thornton was my 1st view of Richard. Instant fanlove. I ordered N&S as soon as I could. I guess I have worn it out. I have only been a fan 3 years, the commitment is for life. Where can I see your stories about Sir Guy? Would love to read them. Thanks

  3. wow, seven years? coming up on 4.5 I still feel all the intensity and more — congratulations on your RAnniversary!

    • I know, right? It was the summer of 2007 when they first aired RH on BBCA and I even remember writing a column about having fun watching this show . . . mainly due to the baddie. I don’t always have the time and energy I’d like to devote to my Armitaging, but I know he and you all are out there, carrying on . . . glad I had a break during which I could enjoy all the Crucible excitement!! Thanks!!

  4. I truly believe that once you’ve been Armitaged there is no going back , RL may sometimes take over but at heart you’ll always be his …SO well done fedorlady ,and a massive thank you for all your wonderful posts .Here’s is to the next 7 years . xxxxx

    • I tend to agree. In some of my most difficult times (the illness and deaths of my mother and my father-in-law only three months apart) he’s probably helped me retain my sanity. Coming in late, exhausted but unable to sleep, I would listen to some RH audio books I had with me, or watch vids or just look at some of his pix . . . and it gave me comfort. Thanks a bunch!!

  5. Great post my dear. It hit so many points for so many of us. He just makes us feel so damn good and maybe just a bit naughty too and doesn’t he say he likes that in a woman? For me it was North and South that did me in. It was just so beautifully done and the color just overwhelmed me in the cotton mill. After that I had to find everything I could. Thank you so much for your posts and may there be many, many more.

    • Thanks, Peggy. I remember when I watched N&S I originally planned to only watch the first half. Ha! Ended up staying up and watching the whole thing. Cried and swooned and felt all ooey-gooey inside. Perfect romantic hero, our Mr. Thornton. And yes, a first-class period drama all way round.

  6. Congratulations on seven years of sharing enthusiasm and happiness through RA and his creations. And thanks to you, if a southern lady every tells me “bless your heart”, I will know what it means. Important to know. 🙂

    • Thank you, Kathy. I’ve enjoyed it. Funny, I started with fanfic, after I finally got up the nerve to publish it, but said “that’s it” as far as fangurling activity. Then I found myself drawn into doing fanvids. Which is highly addictive. Then came the photo edits and fan art . . . and the next thing you know, I am starting a blog!

      You know, re “bless your heart,” It *can* be said in very kindly way, and I have done it. But it can most definitely be a put down, too!!

  7. Congratulations, happy anniversary and many happy returns!!! And THANK YOU so much for being my guiding light into Armitageworld. I’m forever in your debt! ❤ Ah and Harry Kennedy forevah!!! 😀

    • Thank you, thank you, thank you, my dear girl. I remember back in the YT days . . . I want to make a new video, but haven’t made a decision on just what I want to do yet. Glad to do it all! Yes, hooray for Harry, our sweet, sunny accountant!

  8. Congrats on seven years. Sir Guy has a soft spot for me too, he is the first one who did it for me. In a way it’s to bad that I saw a couple of Richards little known characters that I saw first. I did also see Robin Hood number 3 on BBCA (2008)the every end of it and didn’t know what to think of it. It took watching it from the start on PBS in 2010.

  9. Seven years! Well done, thou! (I’m only into fourth year of career-following). And it was Guy on BBCca that sparked the interest. Sparked to Sparkhouse/N&S/Spooks, etc. etc. And now a very, very good return to the stage. (Oh to be in England, now that July is here…)

    The spark was mildly acknowledged from at least N&S. Now the actor is presently established by the Establishment. As an Actor. That isn’t a bad thing. Monet has now his Established museum in Paris at the Quai d’Orsay. It is possible to work around the Establishment. But they may not always be ignored….

    Keep on, Angie, and best to you for always surmounting the frail confines of physical realities and work around them with spirit

  10. Congratulations on seven years, Angie. Thank you for everything! (Nine years since I saw N&S for the first time, hopelessly smitten ever since.) You know Guy has a special place in my life, too.

  11. Seven years and still going strong! Yay! Thanks for sharing how the Armitage effect worked on you. And I’m with you, I’ve absolutely no itch to stray to other pastures. No one else has the entire package or the Armitage intrigue. No one.

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