Category Archives: physical beauty

More Guyday Friday: it’s gettin’ hot in here . . .

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A favorite Armitage image. When you can’t sleep, Richard.

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Minor crisis involving a dog, this time Seabee, who apparently got herself stuck somehow in the crawl space beneath the house. I heard what sounded like distress barks from dog and puppy and some sort of metallic thumping around 2:45 a.m.  I went in search of a flashlight and a T-shirt and roused spouse just in case the bogeyman was out there, too.

Whilst I tried to calm the other dogs, Benny finally flushed out Seabee. He checked her over for injuries and found none. But the poor dog must have exerted herself mightily, as she was hassling heavily and drinking water as if she’d discovered an oasis in the scorching desert. We’d stayed with them until everyone seemed on an even keel.

It’s not hot, but it is very humid. I can feel the rain in the air and in my knee and now I’m fully awake again. *sigh*

Time for a little Richarding.

This screencapped image of Richard taken, I believe, from a video promoting The Hobbit prior to its theatrical release, has been on my mind.

There are a lot of things that appeal to me here. There’s that thoughtful downward look we all seem to like, combined with the beard (not universally liked, but looking very sharp to my eyes here) and the close-cropped hair showing off that nicely shaped noggin of his. I’m thinking his hair here is very close to its natural color, which appears to be brown with a reddish tint to it.

Love the thick fringe of fairish lashes and the glimpse of rosy pink lower lip, and the faint furrowing of the brow as if he’s musing over some pleasant subject. And, minus airbrushing, I can see the old chicken pox(?) scar on his forehead. For some reason I find that comforting. Perfect in his imperfections.

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And now, I am going to return to my massive Bronte bio and then try to get some sleep. If only all will remain quiet on the (Southern) front . . .

Guy Friday: Beautiful in Black & White

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After last night’s storms, a quiet, cooler day with humidity below 50 percent. This is a good thing. Doing knee strengthening exercises as I put this entry together.  They aren’t all that much fun, but looking at Sir Guy is.  The lashes, the stubble, the delicately-shaped lips that curve into such delicious smirks, the intensity of his gazes, the curls at the nape of his neck, the tousled mane . . . yup, those knees are hurting just a little less now. *sigh* Happy Guyday Friday, dear ones.

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Guyday Friday: The Peacock!

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I quite like peacocks. peacocking Wouldn’t mind having some out here except the dogs would like not give them any peace. Those gorgeous shades of green and blue, such a feast for the eyes!.  Our late, lamented cat Smokie used to sit outside the hall closet door and cry for the large peacock feather (purchased at a cat show we attended) that she knew was tucked away inside there. Fantastic kitty fun!! That pussy loved her peacock plume!

I like peacocks so much I have some peacock-related items on the way:

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To give my updos a bit of color, two of these peacock hair clips.

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And for those moments when hot flashes hit or it’s simply a sticky summer’s day in south Alabama, how lovely it will be to whip out this pretty, peacock-ish hand fan and cool down in style.

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Peacock earrings, for those times I want a bit of bling. All the above not likely to be worn/used at once. 😉

But what, pray tell, do all these things have to do with Sir Guy?

Well, wouldn’t you say our proud, vain, beautiful henchman was just a wee bit of a peacock?

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Just as a male peacock would do, Sir Guy likes to present his–er–plumage and show it off for the ladies. He knows what they want to see. And he’s quite proud of it.

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In honor of Sir Guy and Guyday Friday, here’s my little tongue-in-cheek captioned fanvid tribute to not just the Hot Velvet Henchman, but several of the CReAtor’s delectable characters.

“Whatcha waiting for, it’s time for you to show it off–
“Come on baby, let me see what you’re hiding underneath. . .” 😉 😉 😉

‘First Impressions’ of the Leader of the Company: More from ‘Chronicles II’

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More fascinating tidbits from the latest Weta Workshop book, this time from Peter King, makeup and hair designer:

First impressions are often lasting . . . when you are designing a character for the screen it is vital you get their look absolutely right for the first shots in which they appear . . . so that we impart a message about the character we want them to understand instantly when he walks on screen. Consequently, we put a lot of thought into Thorin, and his arrival in the movie is built up by the other Dwarves as they await his arrival at Bag End.

thehobbit-p1_1274Thorin, as he appears at Bilbo’s door. Our first glimpse of the majestic dwarf in present day.

There is an awe and a reverence that surrounds him. He is very strong and slightly scary, but also hypnotic and charismatic. Thorin is the leader, a king among his people and the Dwarf upon whose shoulders the future and hopes of his people rests.

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I have to say that I was “wowed” by the first impression of Thorin when Gandalf opened that door to him.  Charismatic? Absolutely. Hypnotic? Hmmmmm–was I saying . . . oh, yes. Definitely.

I was truly awed.  (Not that I expected anything less than awesome with Mr. A involved.)

King discusses how Thorin’s look evolved:

We went through a number of iterations before we settled upon his final makeup, which consisted of a thin forehead and nose, wig and ear. Thorin’s nose was Romanesque, which imparted a sense of nobility. His wig was also composed entirely of human hair, without any yak, which was used to add body to some of the other dwarves. That allowed it to flow and move more romantically.

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*sigh* Works for me, Mr. King. Works for me.

As for Thorin’s beard, King has this to say:

For the same reason, Thorin’s beard ended up clipped quite close to preserve his more refined appearance and to not hide the actor under a full face of hair. It was important for people to understand and relate to Thorin so we didn’t want to build a wall of hair in front of him that would impede that in any way.

Very wise decision, sir. That face is much too expressive to hide it all under heavy prosthetics and excess facial hair.

And here are some thoughts from Mr. Armitage himself:

Early on in the shaping of Thorin’s look, we had some quite extreme prosthetics and elaborate beard designs. I was very pleased with the effort, which was such a transformation.  I looked like another being–older, and very much like a Dwarf.  As the design began to change, with resculpting, reshaping and stripping back, I realized that is was a process we were going through, to find a point at which Thorin and the actor inside him were both visible.  Of course, that feels like a great compliment, although Richard Taylor did tell me fairly near to the end of filming that they straightened my nose, which is apparently off-center . . . I didn’t know that!

Gosh, I thought his real nose was darned near perfect. Perfect in its imperfection. And truly noble.

And I do love that romantic hair . . .  I think it’s time for my “Thorin: King Under the Hair” fanvid!

A ‘handy’ post: RA talks dealing with prosthetic digits in ‘Chronicles’

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My job was to try and make the character of Thorin feel very real, despite the heavy makeup, working my facial muscles, making sure the wig moved like hair, without too much appearance of vanity, which Thorin has very little of. The biggest challenge was the prosthetic hands.

I think hands reveal so much about a character.  They are sensitive little beings all of their own, and the enlargement with the silicone hands could quite restrictive. I wasn’t able to put my hands through my hair, or pick up anything with ease.  Touching my face, or touching another character’s face in a tender moment, was always going to be difficult. Hands are also connected to the emotions. The clenched fist and the relaxed shaking fingers–these are things we had to learn to live without.

~~Richard Armitage, actor, Thorin  From the Weta Workshop book Chronicles II, “Dwarf Prosthetics”

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I found this fascinating in terms of our fascination with Richard Armitage’s own beautiful, expressive hands and how he has used them in past roles (as well as his endearing penchant for talking with his hands in interviews).

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I can only imagine he did find it frustrating to be restricted in the use of those hands whilst playing Thorin. Richard strikes me as an actor who uses all the “weapons” in his acting arsenal, facial expressions, voice modulation, hair, body language and those amazingly expressive hands, to bring a character to life. The restrictions placed on him by the makeup and prosthetics proved just one more challenge for our gifted performer to take on–and triumph over!

When he speaks of “touching another character’s face in a tender moment” my stomach does flip-flops. Once again I envision the object of Thorin’s affection being gently, tenderly caressed, face cupped in his hands before a soft, beardy kiss. Sort of a Thornton moment for Thorin . . .

(I know, I know, Thorin doesn’t have a romantic interest in the book, it’s not canon, yadda yadda yadda–but a girl can dream, right?)

Something that I have wondered about is how the actors were able to wield their weapons as dwarfs so believably and effectively with those unwieldy prosthetic hands.  And I found the answer within the pages of this book, too: dwarf mitts!

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According to Jason Docherty, the special makeup and prosthetics supervisor for Weta, the use of fighting mitts was the answer:

“The silicone covered only the top, leaving the fingers, palm and bottom completely open, and thereby not inhibiting the grip of weapons at all–great for fight sequences but not for a close-up. For close-ups, we always used a full arm or full hand.”

Docherty also mentions how much time Thorin spent with his forearms exposed and so he often wore the full arm prosthetic. That included battle scenes, so there were “fighting forearms” lacking palms, too, for just such occasions. Hmmmmm, battling Thorin with bare forearms. Roaring, hair flying, eyes flashing. Works for me . . .  *whimper* Can’t wait for some sneak peeks of him in full Bared Forearm Alpha Fighting Mode.

That being said, I really would like to see those hands on the big screen free of any silicone, being beautifully expressive. Oh, Black Sky, where art thou?

Big Bad Black-Clad Man: Yep, more Guyday Friday!

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Such masculine beauty in the midst of all your angst, my beloved dark knight.

 

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As if. They will never learn. Of course, Sir Guy, you DO look very “come-hither” in your medieval go-go cage. Just sayin’ . . .

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Menacing can be really sexy with the right equipment. And he’s got *it.*

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Yes, I do believe the CReAtor read for the roles of both Sir Guy and Vasey. No offense, Keith, but I believe Mr. A would have had us even more enthralled with the Dark Side. But then–we’d have missed out on the six feet two inches of black leather-clad bodaciosity known as Sir Guy.

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Says it all. Happy Guyday Friday!

Oakenshield: The Warrior Who Would Be King (NEW fanvid in HD!)

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I told you I was going to objectify and stalk Thorin muhahahahahahahaha.  Although I am not sure you can really do those things to fictional characters. Then again, they seem so REAL when Richard gets his beautiful and talented hands on them, if you know what I mean . . . anyhow, here’s a rather long but fast-paced and stirring fanvid celebrating the beautiful, stubborn, proud, fierce warrior and uncrowned King Under the Mountain, Thorin Oakenshield. I tried to condense down some of his best scenes from his days as a dwarf prince at Erebor to that final scene with the Company on the mountain peak. And I do love me some “Queen.” I hope you enjoy! Be sure and watch in HD to appreciate all the Thorin goodness.

“Near-stalkerish.” Really?! I don’t think so.

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I’ve spent much of this weekend working on a birthday video for our video production company partner’s grandson. I am still very much in the learning process of using footage versus still photos/screencaps and even with some handy-dandy editing software, it’s been a tricky process.

Lots of technical glitches, lots of trial and error. More than a few moments of frustration. I am still not fully satisfied (when am I ever in terms of what I create?), but my part is finally done, and it’s half-way through saving now, whittled down from over 32 minutes to 17, with a soundtrack including a half-dozen birthday and celebration-oriented songs. Benny will put the finishing touches on it.

My personal favorite moment? When the little boy’s husky dad heaves the rather large and very handsome family dog onto his shoulders and takes him away, striding in slo-mo. The dog seems to be enjoying himself.

I’ve always enjoyed making my little slideshow fanvids, choosing the rights songs, images and adding my captions, well aware they lack the technical know-how of our goddesses of fanvids like Heather or Daria (Giz the Gunslinger). Still, they’ve entertained me and provided catharsis in the making of them.

If in sharing them with others, I’ve also provided some entertainment, those “ooh” and “ah” and “swoon” and “thud” moments, and a few good chuckles along the way, then I feel as if I’ve “done my job.”  None of us receive any compensation for what we do in terms of fanvids (or fiction or art, etc.) so it is all a labor of love.  A way to pay tribute to someone who has brought so much pleasure and friendship into my life and the lives of others, who has sparked my imagination and my sense of wonder and urge to create.

What a lovely muse he is–so much more than merely  handsome, fit guy who’s nice to look at.

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A photo edit I did of the latest bit of Ascroft deliciousness that has appeared.

So I confess to being really bothered when two different comments showed up on my Dreamer video ( a career-wide video I made prior to The Hobbit celebrating RA as a hard-working and talented performer from his youth) suggesting my work was “near-stalkerish.” I am sorry, but I just don’t see it. If I’d felt it exhibited that vibe, I would have never made it and posted it in the first place.

I think the suggestion particularly hurt simply because out of the hundred-plus vids I have made, that happens to be one of my favorite ones. I love the music by Elizaveta and the message of that song, “Dreamer;” all the images of Richard from slighty gawky youth to sleek and assured grown up and the hopeful and positive spirit I believe it offers. It’s truly meant to be a celebration of the man as both actor and special human being, and dare I say I am rather proud of it? I have always hoped that if RA ever got the chance to see it, he would approve.

I did not rummage through the man’s trash to find these photos or in any other way “stalk” him. Thanks to some wonderful ladies like Ali at Richard Armitage Net, the folks at Richard Armitage Central and the gals at the Russian RA site, we are provided with many, many images of RA from throughout his schooldays and his career. These are not paparazzi pics invading his privacy, but headshots, professional photo sessions, behind the scenes photos on his various sets, official school photos and the like.

I personally love looking at old photos from the scrapbooks of friends, co-workers, family members and I know many others who do, too.  Why shouldn’t we enjoy these gems from the life of a man we like and admire and adore?

And frankly, looking at Richard Armitage makes me feel good. It lifts my spirits, moves me, makes me smile. It’s not just about the surface good looks and obvious sex appeal, although there is plenty of it; it’s about the decency and humor, the kindness and mischief, modesty and intelligence I believe I glimpse in that countenance. As for his performances, they are truly relevatory.
Surely there is a big difference between appreciating and admiring from afar and actually stalking someone, a person you clearly know you do not have a personal relationship with nor do you have any illusions you ever will?
Ah well, you can’t please ’em all.

And so I suppose I shall continue my practice of not only “objectifying” Mr. Armitage, but “stalking” him as well by making fanvids, art, writing about him and watching his performances. I am thinking of stalking Thorin next time around. Maybe he won’t slay me with the mighty Orcrist . . .

In the meantime, “stalk” Mr. Armitage with me, won’t you? And I hope you have had a lovely Easter. (Quietly busy here,with the thunderstorms kindly waiting until late afternoon to strike.)

It’s Thorin Thursday! Part 2 of “How I Fell for a Hot, Hairy Dwarf . . .”

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(If you missed the first installment, https://thearmitageeffect.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/guest-post-how-i-fell-for-a-hot-hairy-dwarf-never-looked-back-part-1/)

It’s Bechep! Welcome back dear readers to the next and final instalment of my guest post  “How I Fell Hard for a Hot, Hairy Dwarf & Never Looked Back”  If you missed last week’s post then I invite you to go back and have a read – even if you find the post uninteresting, there are some nice pictures!

Fasten your seatbelts and get ready for some blatant dwarf love!

Part 2. Hot and Hairy Dwarf.

Warning: For those fans that disagree with the objectifying of Richard Armitage, please look away now. Do join us again in Part 3 as I’m afraid there is lots of worshipping and objectifying about to take place.

Now dear friends, let”s just start with a pretty picture.

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If I begin to talk nonsense or babble incoherently, please feel free to throw a bucket of cold water over me.

Right, let’s get started discussing this hot and hairy dwarf.  Well, where to start? Let’s just take it from the top shall we?

The Hair –  And yes I use a capital letter for the Hair because it deserves it don’t you think?  I want to wash it, braid it and then wind said braids around my finger, grab handfuls of it, smell it, run my fingers through it and brush it.  It is like something out of a shampoo commercial.  The way he flicks it around in such an outstanding fashion and it all falls back into place just so – *sigh*

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Hair acting at its finest.

Younger Thorin with his shorter, darker mane is positively dreamy.  But I can’t help being ever so fond of the longer, thicker, slightly greying locks.  They just make him look so regal and worldly. I just want to brush them away from his face and…*cough* let’s get back to it, shall we?

The eyes –  OHHHHHHH the eyes. Richard’s eyes are quite honestly the most amazing, mesmerising eyes I have ever seen.  Their colour makes me gasp and their intensity makes me swoon.  Put these eyes onto a hot dwarf and Cha-Ching! You have got yourself a winner. Imagine if you will, staring into them while he talks with you about his quest to return to Erebor, well I don’t know about you–but I just melt into a puddle.

I cannot move on without just mentioning the eyelashes.  The way he flutters them at all manner of hobbits, wizards, dwarves, elves – no wonder Lord Elrond returned Orcrist the sword to him.  I’d quite frankly give him anything he wanted if he batted those eyelashes at me.

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See what I mean?

The Beard –  Again I use a capital letter.  I have seen many pictures of Richard as himself sporting this beard and, although not normally a fan of beards, I will confess that I love it.  Thorin’s beard is quite simply a thing of beauty. It’s sitting there all “look at me” and well, I comply and look at it!  It adds to the whole majestic, royal, yummy, scrummy vision that is Thorin Oakenshield. And no matter what sticky situation he has managed to get himself into, it always looks so well-groomed – how does he do it? Oh, well you see, he’s perfect.  Ohhh I just want to graze my hand along it and have it tickle my face…  Ummm, perhaps you should get that bucket of cold water ready, dear readers.

The voice– I don’t really think I need say too much about the voice as I’m sure you are completely aware of Richard’s voice. It’s one of his most wonderful and appealing features. That deep baritone and lovely accent. I would be quite happy to sit down and listen to him read the Phone Book with that voice.

But back to Thorin. The way he barks orders at everyone, speaks kindly to an old warrior, utters the name of the elves in disgust, apologises for his doubt to a hobbit, it really has me swooning.  Of course, one cannot talk about Thorin’s voice without mentioning the singing – I believe I actually hyperventilated right there in the cinema when he starting singing by the fireplace. *THUD*

Hmmmm it must be time for another pretty picture – one that shows off the beard I think…

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I realise that I am running out of time here (I do tend to waffle so when talking about Thorin Oakenshield) so I will just make a general final list of all the other things that made me fall for this hot dwarf:

  • His divine lips that curl in contempt, smirk with arrogance or smile in pleasure.
  • His coat pelt that just begs me to run my fingers through it or wrap it around me (or both at the same time)
  • His sword, belt, ring axe and shield – all add to the majestic vision of the King Under The Mountain. And the way he wields that sword…*ahem*
  • His attitude has me all in a tizzy. Because let’s be honest, there’s nothing quite like a bit of a bad boy with an attitude to match.  He’s so damn arrogant, haughty and domineering – and I can’t get enough of it! Of course he can also be humble and kind when he thinks no-one is looking.

So, there you have it.  Some of the reasons why I “fell hard for a hot, hairy dwarf”. And as I wipe the drool from my chin we shall sum up with-

Part 3 Never Look Back

As I move forward as a new Richard Armitage fan and Thorin Oakenshield admirer I’m quite excited to think of all the things that I can still look forward to. I will continue to have all those experiences that I mentioned in Part One last week (yes dear reader, I may still get those underpants!) and many new ones too I’m sure.

Of course there are the other two movies to look forward to,  but I can’t wait to meet more new people (Richard Armitage fans are really the best ever!), learn, tweet, blog, talk and read about Richard/Thorin, I still have many TV shows to watch that star our boy from Leicester,  and I’m very, very quietly going to whisper to you that I may even try writing a Thorin fanfic.

So,  that hot, hairy dwarf started a chain of events that has led me to a wonderful, educational, exciting, busy time in my life.  I wonder if I thank him will he look at me like this and say in that deep voice “You are welcome, Lady0akenshield” (QUICK get that bucket of water and throw it on me now!  *THUD*)

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And now as I dry myself off – that water went everywhere! – all that remains is for me to bid you  farewell.  I hope you have enjoyed reading my ramblings about Thorin Oakenshield and I managed to make you smile and, if you weren’t already a fan of our dwarf, see some of his outstanding qualities.

And to you Angie, thank you so very much for having me on your Blog. I was honoured that you asked me.  Now, I have tidied up, put everything back in its place and left the key by the door.  I may just leave a small belonging behind, perhaps up on a shelf so I have an excuse to come and visit again.  I won’t stay long I promise!

Visit Bechep’s blog “Such is Life” at http://www.bechep.wordpress.com

Lucas, More Light than Dark

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I have to joke about Series 9, otherwise I tend to cry. Oh, well. Lucas was, is, and will always be a hero to me, a complex one, damaged by those years of torture and deprivation, plaintively longing for a relationship that was long since over with his ex-wife, struggling to find his place in the world and to regain the trust of his colleagues–flawed, damaged, but a HERO, nonetheless. Loyal to his country, concerned about colleagues, kind to young folks in trouble like Dean. Cerebral, resourceful, a deep thinker with the soul of a poet.

And what a handsome and stylish fellow he is. So attractive in his Belstaff jackets and snug-fitting jeans, in the Pete pinstripes with the power red tie, the dark hair, pale skin and blue eyes, deepened by the cool-toned sets and lighting on the show, giving him an otherworldly beauty.

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Oh, and he’s also quite fetching when he’s not wearing a lot of clothes . . . just sayin.’

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More Sweet Blue Eyes: RA Style

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In the last post, I focused on some of Richard’s ChaRActers and their expressive azure peepers. This time around, we’ll gaze upon the beauty of RA’s blue eyes in candids and photo shoots, both older and more recent (and longish hair, shortish hair, beard, no beard, stubble. Something for, hopefully, everyone).

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Finally! Guyday Friday: There’s CAKE! (& art & vids)

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“Whot . . . no–vertically challenged hirsute would-be king appearing today?” The dark knight drawled, a glint of amusement in his kohl-rimmed blue eyes as he lounged against the door frame.

“It’s Guyday Friday, so I’d say it’s pretty much all about the six feet, two inches of smouldering testosterone-laden medieval gorgeousness,” Ladywriter replied insouciantly, a smile tugging at the corner of her mouth.

Sir Guy rubbed his aquiline nose and gave a small yet manly sniff. “I wasn’t certain–after all, it seems it’s been Thorin Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday AND Thursday here at the blog, my lady.”  There was a note of accusation beneath the sarcasm in the rumbling voice. Did she detect a hint of sadness in those mesmerizing eyes?

Ladywriter wriggled just a little uncomfortably. She had rather wallowed in all things Hobbity and Thorin-y.  But with the big DVD release and new featurettes with so much Thorin goodness, wasn’t it only to be expected? Still, Sir Guy could be a little–sensitive at times.

“I promise–lots of Guy art, Guy vids, Guy goodness on the schedule for today.” She smiled and tilted her head. “Along with—strawberry rum cake. Moist and flavorful–with a kick.”

Both eyebrows raised, Sir Guy’s mouth curled into a delighted smirk. “Just for me?”

“You betcha.”

Sir Guy swiftly came to her side and pressed a hearty kiss to her forehead. Ladywriter released an inner “squee.”

“I’ll wager HE didn’t get a cake . . .” And with a triumphant grin, Sir Guy strutted out, ready to enjoy a large slice of cake with a milk chaser.

Ladywriter smiled to herself. “Only for you, Sir Guy, only for you . . . my first Armitage hero.” She sighed. “And you’ll always be my first ChaRActer love.”

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Last Call for Thorin Thursday: The Softer Side

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He’s proud and sometimes haughty, but he can also show humility. His temper is sharp, but there is a soft spot in his heart for those close to him. Often stern and forbidding, when he is able to let his guard down a little, a gentler side shows. And the smiles, rare though they may be, are just incredible. Perhaps all the more incredible because of that rarity.

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And then there is Richard himself. Modest, gentle, with that sweet humility. Pretty hard not to love.

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