Tag Archives: guy of gisborne

Guyday Friday! Ladywriter talks–Politics??–with Sir Guy.


“I hate politics.”

Sir Guy stretched out his long, long denim-clad legs (he was slumming it. Casual Friday, you know.) and lazily crossed one boot-clad ankle over the other. Folding his arms across his snug-fitting black cashmere sweater (its V-neck giving a tantalizing glimpse of that sculpted chest), Ladywriter’s favorite dark knight threw a smirk her way as he tossed back that lustrous inky black mane of his.


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“Did you decide this suddenly, my dear LW, or has your loathing been long standing?” Guy drawled.
She sighed and raked her fingers through her already disheveled hair.

“Oh, it’s been growing. My disillusionment really kicked in when I was working for the newspaper full-time and saw a lot of local and state politicians up close. Reporting tends to breed a certain–cynicism–methinks.”

Guy nodded in commiseration as LW continued.

“And I am already thoroughly sick of all the yadayadayada going on between Democrats and Republicans in social media, the canned political endorsements being dialed to my phone, the ridiculous knee-jerk reactionary posts on Facebook and—”

LW shot Guy her own lop-sided smile, a rather wicked gleam in her eyes behind the spectacles. “If I never saw or heard from Donald Trump again, it would be too soon, my dear Guy!”

He raised a quizzical black brow as he tilted his head.

“You are not an ardent fan of The Donald?” His lips twitched as he spoke.

(Having surfed the net to keep up with current events, Sir Guy was already well aware of Mr. Trump and LadyWriter’s likely opinion of the presidential hopeful. Still, it was great fun to tease her . . .)

LW gave a large and distinctly unladylike snort.

“I’d rather have the sheriff teach me the poetry of pain before I voted that man—-dogcatcher, much less president. As far as I am concerned, he’s a narcissistic blowhard jerkwad who, in the end, is only interested in blatant self-promotion, not what is best for our country.”

“So . . . if he gets this nomination, you will vote for Hilary?”

Ladywriter gave a weary shrug of her shoulders. “I confess I have certain reservations about Hilary, none of which having to do with her being a woman, by the way, but–it may be a case of the lesser of the two evils.” She pressed her hands to her head and shook it. “To think we have months and months of this to go.”

Guy’s kohl-rimmed eyes narrowed in thought. “Perhaps . . . the Ultimate RA Force should reassemble, my lady. And stage an–intervention of sorts with Mr. Trump?”

LW’s eyes widened as she leaned forward. “Oh, could you? WOULD you?”

Guy dipped his head. “For you, my lady, our band of ChaRActer brothers will happily reunite to take on this cursed blight.” As he raised his head, a calculating smile formed on his lips. The gleam in HIS eyes was downright wicked now.

“I think I would rather enjoy, as you would say nowadays, kicking this fellow’s arse from here to next year,” he said in those dark chocolate tones she so loved.

be afraid mr trump


(To Be Continued)

A great black cat crossed her path today . . . Happy Guyday Friday the 13th!


“Some people think days like today are most unlucky …” He purred.

She smiled, tilting her head. “But I’ve never been superstitious.”

A flash of white teeth. Clear blue eyes tinged with grey gleamed as he leaned in close. Dangerously close.

“So you have no fear of black cats crossing your path, my lady?” A dark whisper, murmured in her ear.

Her heart thumped hard in her chest. Could he hear it?

“No . . . not at all. They are such–beautiful, elegant creatures. Who simply need to be–appreciated.”
She caught her breath as she felt his strong, nimble fingers wrap around one wrist, gently caressing it. He spoke again, his voice husky and deep.

“And you have the right touch to tame the beast, my lady?”

She sighed. “Just let me show you . . .”

A dark laugh. “With pleasure . . .”

guyday friday 13th

Happy Halloween from The Dark Side . . .


“You are still such a temptation . . .”

A single saturnine brow is raised.

“Oh–am I?” A husky purr from deep in his throat.

“Ummmm-hmmmmm.” Her lips curved into a teasing smile.

“So many of us ready to fall at your feet . . .”

A flash of white teeth in the semi-darkness.

“Including–you, my lady?”

A soft sigh slowly exhaled. “Always . . .”

A velvet chuckle. “Well, then—I shall see you on the dark side, my angel.”

be reborn

Happy Halloween!

Happy Guyday Friday! It’s Fur-Tastic!


“You’ve added to the family, I see. More orphans in need of–what do you call it?–a FUR-ever home, Ladywriter?” Sir Guy raised a single brow as he gave her a lopsided smile.

LW glanced over at the three kittens cuddled up next to her. “Benny saw them on his way to work the other day and asked me to go on a kitten rescue mission after work.” She shrugged and added sheepishly, “You know I’m a sucker for furry little baby animals.” Ladywriter’s mouth curved into a besotted smile as she looked at the threesome playing together. “And these babies are so—SWEET.”









The dark knight gave a chuckle. “Apparently that’s not what Scarlett thinks. I believe she said in Katteese they were ‘The Spawn of Satan.'”

LW sighed. “Yeah . . . jealousy and the whole territorial thing’s been rearing its ugly head since we brought off the deck and into the house yesterday.” She grinned up at Sir Guy, a mischievous gleam in her bespectacled eyes. “You big cats can be very territorial at times, you know.”

Sir Guy sniffed and shot her one of *those* sideways glances.  “If your heart wasn’t so divided amongst my CReAtor’s ChaRActers, both living and So Not Dead, perhaps we would have no need to have those feelings, my lady.”

“Sir Guy—you know perfectly well that you are THE number one ChaRActer for me, I just happen to have a big heart with lots of room for compelling  ChaRActers and cute little furry creatures, ” she replied in a chiding tone.  Ladywriter spun her laptop around so that her raven-haired visitor could see the screen and tapped its edge with her finger.

“Look–I even worked on some new edits of you last night!”

The flash of white teeth was dazzling as he gave a deep, rumbling laugh of approval.

“Well–wait until Soldier Boy and Chewy Man hear this!”

Chewy Man?! Oh, riiiight.

Happy Guyday Friday!






I like RA just a little shaggy and grungy around the edges . . .


Every time Richard Armitage’s hair begins to grow out a tad I have a little celebration. It’s not that he isn’t still very attractive with the cropped head, because he is. He could shave his head and tattoo it and no doubt I’d still fancy him. It’s just that for me, Richard is even more attractive when those tempting nape curls begin to sprout in back and that endearing cowlick starts to kick up a fuss on top. When there’s enough of that soft-looking hair to imagine running one’s fingers through the waves and playfully messing it up. When there’s a stray lock of hair that begs to be pushed back . . . 654c9c1752e6bab9c8df1d082a4ab725


I certainly didn’t find Francis Dolarhyde’s scar from cleft palate surgery off-putting in terms of his physical appearance, and the musculature RA honed for the character was, erm, inspiring, to say the least. But I think of how Reba said Dolarhyde’s co-workers described him as “clean.” And he was certainly that: clean-shaven, very short hair, clothing crisp and perfectly laundered, ironed and buttoned up to the last button. Not a hair nor thread out-of-place. That quality I DID find off-putting.  A little disarray can be appealing, you know?


Only later, as Francis succumbed more and more to his own special brand of “Dragon sickness,” did we see him trade his buttoned-down look for sexy black leather (reminiscent, apparently, of a look Hannibal had sported, but for long-time RA fans, it was Lucas North he was channeling) and–ooh, look!–heavy stubble.  This version of Francis scared the ever-loving sh*t out of me, but I can’t deny I thought he also looked very good doing it.  If he’d had nape curls, too—*wibble*


source: Candida Brady


Of course, it was Sir Guy of Gisborne who first introduced me to RA as an actor, and Sir Guy’s raven locks were part and parcel of his persona.  Richard had to wear “baby” hair extensions in the back until he could grow his own “medieval mullet” for the first two seasons.  And then, for RH’s final season–we were rewarded with Guy’s Glorious Mane (and one excellent set of long hair extensions. My compliments to the set hairdresser).

In the beginning, that mane was a wild, dirty tangle worn by a drunken, vengeful man half-mad with grief and self-loathing AND OHMYGOD WAS I SMITTEN.  And introduced to the great art of hair acting via Richard Armitage.



We had two Guyless episodes (during which RA was shooting some additional scenes for Spooks) but oh, how it was worth it when Glamour Guy (fresh from Prince John’s Red Door Spa, it seemed) reappeared before our eyes.  Still, Guy being Guy, he wasn’t completely tamed (even if his lustrous locks were). And we wouldn’t want him any other way.  He was like a gorgeous black stallion . . .  proud and defiant.  And the way he could toss that mane with arrogance, anger and frustration!

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I loved how Richard incorporated his long S3 locks into Guy’s character arc. And how he equally “rocked the locks” when it came to Thorin’s beautiful long tresses in The Hobbit trilogy. Hard to imagine that character without the long, wavy dark mane shot through with silver and those fetching braids . . .


Of course, like Guy, Thorin was also magnificent when he wasn’t in the midst of a fray. Behold, Glamour Dwarf!

Richard kept his real hair quite short during the period of shooting TH (not surprising with that dome he had to wear atop his head plus that voluminous wig) and it was short for “Into the Storm” and close-cropped for his role in “The Crucible” on stage in London last year.  It will also be short in “Sleepwalker” and “Pilgrimage.”

For the role of Chop in “Urban and the Shed Crew,” we get Richard with long hair as he dons extensions once more.  Chop is definitely not a character that looks as if he just stepped out of a band box and I doubt “clean” is the first adjective that would pop into people’s minds when describing him. He’s shaggy-haired, doesn’t appear to shave too often, and mostly likes to dress down in fatigue jackets, plaid shirts with rolled up sleeves and faded jeans.  And I think Chop’s rather beautiful even when he’s a bit bloodied up and in need of some first aid. 213b91d0fc677a0e3e58cf34ccb07aaf (1)



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And OK, it looks like it would be fun to get up close and personal with Chop . . . as Anna Friel’s character does here. 😉


Richard and his ChaRActers clean up nicely, no doubt about it.  But there’s something about the man of many faces when he’s more casual, shall we say–the “blue jeans and t-shirt or plaid shirt” RA–that is really appealing to me. Perhaps because I can more easily relate to that image rather than the gobsmackingly stunning man in a designer tuxedo . . . perhaps he seems more approachable, more like someone I might know in real life?  Someone I might sit down and share a snack with and shoot the breeze?



Maybe it’s the plaid shirts with the rolled-up sleeves . . . the hairy forearms . . . and the floppy hair.  And stubble.  *sigh*

Whatever, he’s got it.

(Yeah, baby, he’s got it!!)

And I like *it*with a little extra hair on top. 😉


The Visitor


“You’re writing about me again.”

There was such underlying warmth mixed with surprise and–was that the faintest hint of reproof?–in that deep rumble of his.

He was sitting there at the foot of her bed, that glossy raven head tilted to one side quizzically,  hands clasped around one bent knee folded casually across his leg. A dark knight from a different age decked out in his version of fancy-dress: well-worn, boot-cut jeans encased those never-ending pipes of his, a black V-neck t-shirt and a black leather jacket.  His trademark stubble was heavy enough to be called a beard and there was just a hint of kohl encircling those bottomless blue eyes.

chop crop edit

She wanted to fling her arms around him, bury her face in that broad chest and breathe in his scent. Leather,  sandalwood soap and–chocolate.  Instead of embracing him, she leaned forward and ever so gently brushed his chin with her fingertips.

“You’ve been into the chocolate animal crackers again, haven’t you, Sir Guy? If you’re going to keep that rather fetching beard, I shall have to buy you a brush and comb for it, I suppose.”

Sir Guy caught up her fingers in his hand. So warm. He radiates warmth.

Turning her hand over, he raised it palm upwards to his mouth. His eyes closed, he pressed kisses, light as gossamer, to the surface of her palm.

Oh my.

“You’re crying.”

“So are you.”

He smiled.

A beautiful bearded angel in black leather.

“Perhaps–we’ve missed each other, Ladywriter?”

Perhaps we have.






Feeling ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ : Thoughts on Sir Guy & Francis Dolarhyde


The viewing options for early morning TV, even with 150 satellite channels, isn’t all that great. Infomercials reign. If you want to watch “Breaking Bald” or “Fish Oil Benefits Examined,” you’re good. If not . . .

So I sometimes find myself awake in the early morning hours watching reruns of “Charmed,” a cheesy production about three cute witch sisters from San Francisco whose names all start with “P.” “Charmed” features laughably bad special effects and copious amounts of scenery chewing by the Guest Supernatural Villain of the Week. The costumes and makeup at the local haunted house looks more professional.

Yet, who am I to question all this?  After all, the show stayed on for eight years, so it obviously had its devoted fans.

And I suppose “Robin Hood” was pretty cheese-tastic, too, but at least we had the glories of Sir Guy to make up for flimsy castle walls, anachronisms run rampant (Hang gliding? Casinos? Bustles? In the 12th century?) and groan-worthy scripts.  And he and the odious Vasey were such fun to watch together.

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With Richard as Sir Guy, we got the visual enjoyment of six feet, two inches of a trim, toned athletic physique (those long lean horseman’s thighs! Those PEACHES!) clad in sleek black leather–and later, his memorable medieval couture featuring the Sexy Pirate Shirt and the Marvel of Engineering Trousers with Ties and Laces in All the Right Places.  Add in seductive kohl-rimmed azure eyes, tempting stubble, raven black rock star tresses, a rumbling baritone and hey! presto . . . the World’s Most Smouldering Sidekick was born. Wait . . . who is the star of this show again?!  ‘Cause for this chick, it ain’t Arrow Boy.


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But the thing about Richard as Guy of Gisborne is that he was so much more than another pretty face in another lightweight, rather silly television show. So much more than the standard-issue cardboard cut-out of an evil henchman.

You watched not just because you visually enjoyed him and got a kick out of the general campiness of the show. You watched because he was that character, that damaged soul, proud and arrogant, naïve and gullible, a passionate man desperate for love and a home, a mercurial creature capable of both great violence and great tenderness. A beautiful disaster.  You hated some of his actions, yet–you couldn’t hate him. Richard made you care. And cry. And wonder what might have been for Sir Guy.

Which brings me to Francis Dolarhyde, a character with even darker and more terrifying corners in his soul than Sir Guy. Dolarhyde is cripplingly shy, emotionally stunted and deeply lonely. He feels impotent, unloved, a nonentity. He longs to make a real connection, to become something, someone different–stronger, more powerful, better than he is.  His self-improvement course of action, alas, will ultimately bring death, grief and misery.


Dolarhyde, clearly uncomfortable with the thought of Reba touching him–touching the hated scar on his face?

Sir Guy sought to raise himself by accumulating wealth, power and status, hoping to restore respect for the name of Gisborne. He sought to cleanse his blackened soul by marrying a good, pure woman (who, of course, clocked him and then left him at the altar).

Sir Guy ends up burning down Marian’s house in retaliation, but that’s nothing compared to what Francis does. He murders two entire families and he doesn’t have a wicked boss who orders him to take the lives of perfectly innocent people, or else.

Francis is a serial killer, an odious monster. A dangerous man.

And yet.

As much as I despise the heinous actions of Francis Dolarhyde, I can no more hate him or look away from him than I could from Sir Guy.

FD’s intensity is heartbreaking as he watches so carefully Reba stroking the sleeping tiger, imagining that those caresses are being given to him. This is a middle-aged man who has experienced pitifully little in the way of physical affection.  It’s a staggering experience for both Reba and Francis.



And after their lovemaking, there is his gentleness towards a sleeping Reba.



It is an astonishing performance and I am glad I am able to see it. I am still not a “Hannibal” convert, but I am so, so impressed with Richard’s complex and nuanced interpretation of this role and of the amazing way he is fleshing out Francis Dolarhyde for us.

Call it sympathy for the devil–and kudos to the actor taking us on the journey.

All Hannibal stills and GIFs found on Pinterest; RH stills from Richard Armitage Net

It really *is* all in the perspective.


Recently, this photo taken last year in London of RA with that bottle of champagne (one that was ultimately auctioned off for charity) popped up and pretty much everybody agreed it just looked–odd. Servetus blogged about it over at Me + Richard Armitage as commenters chimed on what made it such a funny-looking photo of Mr. A.



Holding that oversized bottle (is it a magnum or a jeroboam?) in his hands makes our strapping six-foot two (or three) inch tall actor look positively diminutive, doesn’t it? The lighting doesn’t help, casting shadows that somehow make his slender yet solid neck look downright skinny.

We are accustomed to others looking petite in RA’s majestic presence. Below, a still of Dexter Fletcher as the German “boobie” on the set of Robin Hood with RA as Sir Guy. At 5’6″ Dexter is my height (and the same height as Lucy Griffiths, who played Marian), yet from this angle he appears even shorter, doesn’t he?



Now, take a look at this photo of pro basketball player turned commercial pitchman and occasional actor, Shaquille O’Neal.  I should point out that is a normal 12 oz. soft drink can he is holding.  Shaq is 7’1″ with a weight of 325 lbs. and wears a size 23 shoe. I am guessing he has them custom-made . . . he can certainly afford it.


It really IS all in the perspective, isn’t it? Next to Shaq, almost all of us are shrimps! 😉



Will the real Richard Armitage please stand up? Or–maybe not.


“Who’s Richie A, Who’s the real guy, will the real Richie A please stand up, please stand up”

(with apologies to Eminem aka Slim Shady, who is, in fact, actually a guy named Marshall Mathers)

Fedoralady plays the devil’s advocate a bit here . . .  tossing out some food for thought.  Glean from it what you will.


Who exactly is Richard Armitage? That seems to be a question a fair amount of fans are asking these days.

What concerning RA can we agree upon?

I think we can all agree he’s enormously talented. Charismatic. A hard-working professional (maybe even a workaholic). He shows an appreciation for his fans and has a generous heart, supports worthwhile charities and encourages others to do the same. He is not at all hard on the eyes. In fact, he seems to get more attractive with each passing year. There is a lot to like and appreciate here.

The RA that most who have been fans for a longer period have come to expect is this thoughtful, diffident, humble, bookish, boyish, good-humored and gentle sort of gentleman—a kind of Harry Kennedy come to life in some respects. Richard himself once said HK was the character he had played who was most like him in real life, which led to quite a few “squees” in the fandom.


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We saw glimpses of this “Admirable RA” in television and radio interviews to promote his shows and films, in the behind-the-scenes features for DVDs and in some print interviews. There was never a great deal offered up about his private life, even when interviewers tried to pry or provoke it out of him. He preferred to focus on his work, a subject about which he was clearly passionate.

Some fans who first discovered him as Thornton in “North and South” found Richard Armitage the perfect romantic hero and longed to see him in more high-quality period drama. Those who adored him as Harry Kennedy pined to see him perform in a wittily scripted rom-com. Others found “Action Hero with a Heart” Armitage and “Beautiful Baddie (Who Really Isn’t)” irresistible.















For certain fans, RA pretty much ascended onto a pedestal. If he wasn’t a saint, surely he was an angel, almost too good to be true.
After all, look at all his virtuous qualities . . . he was different from all that riff-raff out there in celebrity land, and we could pat ourselves on the back and smugly smile and say, “We fangurl only the best and the most pure of heart.”


And other fans said (in private, if not on forums), “Virtuous qualities, shmirtuous qualities. He can effin’ read the phone book for all I care (preferably in really tight jeans and a shirt with a few buttons undone) as long as I can hear that smooth chocolate baritone and gaze into those hellagood azure eyes and imagine all the bad, bad things I could do to him!” (I should point out these feelings can be found in fans who really, really admire his personality and acting talent, too.)



As for Richard, he has always tended to dismiss talk about his sexual allure, expressing disbelief that he could ever be considered a hottie, proclaiming he’s always found himself a bit odd-looking.

RA has seemed like the perfect celebrity crush for the discerning fan girl: bright and gifted, yet humble and modest. Beautiful and sexy, yet seemingly unaware of his physical charms (although quite a few of us found that hard to swallow). Here was an intensely private man who clearly intended to remain so, one who wanted the focus to be on his body of work as a serious actor–and not his body, as it were.

And then he joined Twitter. Dived in headfirst, one might say.
And we started getting selfies. Lots of selfies. Some were quite funny and cute and a little weird, but in a good sort of way. And one or two were— “Huh? Zat you, Richard?”
They seemed to be of a handsome young man but they didn’t exactly look like Richard Armitage—maybe a younger look-alike relative?

Clearly, our Richie was doctoring his images. Hey, no big deal, right? Don’t all celebrities (and quite of few of us nobodies) use filters and other touch-up tools on our photos before we post them to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the like? And he’s working at lot in Hollywood now, where youth is the religion; he’s almost 44 and there are always younger actors up for the same roles.



B4cEX4uCIAE03cWAnd maybe, just maybe, Mr. A is a bit more vain and conscious of his good looks than we were led to think.

Then there’s this whole thing of tweeting—and deleting. And tweeting and deleting some more. “Make up your mind, Mr. Armitage, a legion of fans is apparently hanging on your every word and trying to dissect what went wrong that caused you to need to remove a particular image/words!” Fans cry out.

So, tell me, Richard,  are you just teasing us, or are you in fact still a bit inept when it comes to this whole social media morass? Inquiring minds want to know. Some fans are getting downright frustrated!

And there are some of the roles Richard is choosing—very action-oriented, one even described as “hyper-violent” and of course, that blood-soaked turn as a serial killer later this season on “Hannibal.”
Didn’t he once state horror was a genre he didn’t think was a good fit for him?

“What caused you to change your mind?” ask some fans, disappointed over your decision.

“Aren’t people allowed to change their minds?” Other fans respond. “This isn’t your run-of-the-mill splatter fest, anyway. There’s great scripting and character development. The critics love it!”

There’s a lot of disquiet and a certain degree of disappointment expressed in the fandom of late and it has led me to query: While we’ve never been completely harmonious, were fans in general happier when RA was actually less accessible?
Was ignorance bliss for some of us when that alluring veil of mystery still swirled around him? Is a portion of it still there or has social media permanently dispelled it?


8992342a74186be2f224f6dbd9d00254I wonder, would it be more acceptable for some fans if he were like a movie star in the old studio system, in which the Powers That Be carefully groomed and molded their stars’ images . . . and kept anything negative out of the press.

Has Richard Armitage as an individual actually changed in any fundamental way, or are we simply seeing him break out of his shyness and shake off some of that British reserve,with the self-professed late bloomer now “busting out all over” with a nearly nude photo posted on Twitter? (Of course, it’s not like he hasn’t gotten naked before for the camera . . . on several occasions, in fact. “Between the Sheets,” “Spooks” and “Strike Back.”)

Do we know/see a little too much now, and are some of us afraid of what we might discover next about “our Richard” that could potentially shatter our illusions about him?

And do we as individual fans and as a collective truly want the real Richard Armitage—whomever and whatever he might prove to be—to stand up? Or can we ever really “know” a man who is such an expert at immersing himself into his characters?  Actors–well, they ACT.

Would we prefer to only fangurl a Richard made to our personal specifications . . . and is there any harm if we do?  Should we hold tight to our fantasies even if reality turns out to bite?

I wonder.

Fedoralady on ‘Manhunter,’ ‘Hannibal’ and Armitage’s flawed heroes (who haven’t actually eaten anyone)


Richard and I have “been together” for just under eight years now. I discovered him as that absolutely delicious baddie (who turned into a goodie but still had to die for his past sins) Sir Guy on BBC America.

Initially I found Sir Guy to be a smarmy bastard, albeit a good-looking one. I did not fall for him right away as many viewers did when watching RA as John Thornton three years earlier in “North and South.” It was more of a slow burn . . .


I noticed something curious happening—the villainous master-of-arms actually had a heart, damaged and flawed though it might be, with glimmers of humanity in all its vulnerability peeking through that arrogant, brutish facade.

By the end of the first series, I was solidly Team Leather, and angry with Marian for leaving him at the altar. I grew increasingly tired of her machinations in the second series. Marian was a tease, and it was a dangerous game she played with this passionate man who went out of his way more than once to protect her from Vasey.

When she taunted him so cruelly in the desert, I decided she had lost her mind. Poor, devastated Sir Guy acted in desperation and disbelief to her words, and went on to clearly mourn her far more than her husband of five minutes ever seemed to do.

By the end of the third and final series, I cried like a baby. I mourned the death of Sir Guy more than I did  some of the actual flesh-and-blood relatives in my extended family. I was, and am, and shall ever remain a Sir Guy of Gisborne apologist.


Richard Armitage doesn’t have to play “good” characters for me to relate to them, care about them, root for and mourn for them. I love his flawed heroes like John Porter, Lucas North (I don’t believe in Bateman) and Thorin. These characters are all complicated and damaged creatures with their own particular emotional baggage: professional disgrace and estrangement from family, prison, loss of home and fortune, each of them struggling in his own way to reclaim his former life and redeem himself (John Proctor I will discuss in a future post. He deserves one all his own).

Richard has himself said in the past his fans won’t like all the roles he chooses, and at the time I thought primarily of Thorin. Let’s face it, more than a few people, fans and non-fans alike, raised eyebrows over the idea of our tall, handsome heartthrob of a fellow as a 250-odd-year-old hirsute dwarf who could have played Disney’s “Grumpy” as far as his personality was sketched out in Tolkien’s original novel. This character certainly wasn’t the romantic period hero or the charming rom-com leading man some fans were hoping to see him play.

Today, Thorin is the favorite RA character of many newer fans, their gateway to discover other Armitage projects, and they can’t imagine anyone else performing in that role (neither can I). It turns out vertically-challenged hairy dudes can become major heartthrobs, too–at least when played by Richard Armitage.


Richard managed to not only look majestic and handsome beneath the dwarf suit, wig and prosthetics, he also fleshed out that role and brought those subtle layers to Thorin. We felt our hearts constrict when the paranoia and gold lust overcame the warrior king, we cried when he saw him fall “one last time.” Another death, another redeemed character.

But how do I deal with Francis Dolarhyde, a cannibalistic serial killer? Here is a character who does not kill people as part of his employment as a medieval henchman in a difficult time when life was “nasty, short and brutish.” Nor is this character a member of the military or the secret service who sometimes must take a life to save many others.

He’s not a warrior prince fighting to take back the kingdom lost to a fierce dragon years before in order to reclaim a throne and restore his people to their rightful place.

Dolarhyde is a monster who kills innocent people and eats portions of them . . . and let me be perfectly honest. It makes me more than a little uneasy to think I might possibly fall for a monster, even one that’s a fictional character. I guess I wonder if I do get infatuated with Dolarhyde, just what might that say about me? Yes, I know the character had an awful childhood. So do a lot of other people who don’t turn out like this.


I have read the book “Red Dragon” and while I didn’t see the film of the same name, I have viewed the 1986 Michael Mann film “Manhunter” starring William Petersen of CSI fame as the Will Graham character. It’s actually a very well-made film with solid performances, including that of Tom Noonan in the Dolarhyde role. I felt a certain pity for Dolarhyde in this film, but he also scared the daylights out of me.

thHB7J4B83It’s been a number of years since I last saw it, and I would like to see it again.  ( Images found on Bing. Noonan as Dolarhyde and Petersen as Graham).



Manhunter frammenti di un omicidio

I am currently watching the new season of “Hannibal” and find I have no desire to re-watch the two eps I have seen so far. I have read raves about this series from critics and some of its fans, but somehow, I am not “getting it,” not yet. I suppose it would help if I had seen the first two seasons, but I have no desire to do that, either.

Does it have great production values? Yes. Does it have a talented cast? Yes. Do I thus far find it excessively bloody, at times pretentious and on the boring side? Yes, yes and yes. Apparently the ratings are down, making me suspect many of RA’s legion of fans are opting out of watching it until RA appears in the last six eps, and some, not even then. Cannibalistic serial killer seems to be that deal-breaker role for some of us.

I certainly haven’t shied away from scary, spooky, even gory films and TV series in the past. I am not averse to dark, morbid humor. I loved “Dexter,” and its protagonist was a Miami crime scene blood specialist who, oh yeah, was also a serial killer, BUT he only killed other serial killers and similarly rotten individuals. He had a code taught to him by his adoptive father, a cop who recognized the tendencies within his son and taught him how to channel his “dark passenger.” Michael C. Hall did a marvelous job of making Dexter somehow likeable and relatable even as we glimpsed the monster within.


(Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan. Bing IMages)

So I am truly curious to see what Mr. Armitage will bring to the table (other than body parts) in this role. We know from the stills already released that he is in fine physical form for the role and if nothing else, we can enjoy that, I suppose. But I have always found more to appreciate in his performances than merely those bodacious biceps and broad shoulders. Those attributes are the yummy icing on the cake of the chaRActers for me.

Thus far, “Hannibal” just isn’t doing it for me. I want to tell Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) to get away from that crazy nutcase, the same for Gillian Anderson (who plays Hannibal’s wife).

Mads Mikkelsen is a very prominent and respected actor in his native Denmark, and considered quite sexy by many, but honestly, he was creeping me out before I saw him in this role. Granted, I’ve only seen him as a Bond baddie, a BBC Sherlock Holmes baddie and as Igor Stravinski in a film about his affair with Coco Chanel that I found beautiful to look at but ultimately empty—style over substance. The sex scenes seemed clinical and cold. He doesn’t capture my imagination the same way RA does. Maybe if he did, I wouldn’t find “Hannibal” such a disappointment  . . .


This role is not helping the gut “ick” reaction I have to Mr. Mikkelsen to subside. Then again, he is also playing a cannibalistic serial killer, so should I not be icked out? I just have very, very, very mixed feelings about all of this.  I don’t like what I call “torture porn” such as one sees in films like the “Saw” franchise and this show is feeling like that for me, albeit with an elegant and refined façade tacked over it.

Oh, Richard. I understand and applaud your desire to take on a variety of roles rather than falling into the rut of playing the same character again and again. To challenge yourself, to stretch yourself as an actor. To take us on new journeys of discovery with your characters.

And I am sure you will do a brilliant job of bringing Francis Dolarhyde to the small screen, just as you have in so many other roles.  I have complete faith in your acting abilities and good sense.

I just wish that you had stretched in a different direction this time around.

Then again, what do I know? This controversial character may become a new fan favorite–and bring you a whole new crop of fans. We shall see . . .

Richard Armitage: So Much to AppReCiAte. Remember, it’s ALL good.



Richard Armitage is all that and a bag of chips. An extra-large bag of Golden Flakes, made right here in Alabama and one of  favorite guilty pleasures to this day.


golden-flake-potato-chips-86225Actually, I prefer their regular chips for everyday eating, but the hot variety seemed ever so appropriate for the subject at hand . .

I believe we all can agree that Richard is enormously talented and versatile in his gifts. The man can act phenomenally well, using every facet of his physical being–that deep, earthy voice, amazingly mobile face, those big, elegant hands and so much more–to bring his characters to vivid (and at time, heart-wrenching) life. We can easily believe he is the individual he is portraying as we take a journey alongside him. We watch, we listen, hang on the edge of our seats as we hold our collective breath; we cheer and we shed tears. We mourn. We do not forget. Those characters, this man, sticks with us.



Richard as Thorin back inside Erebor for the first time in years. Courtesy of The Arkenstone-ck.tumblr.com

Along with those acting chops we have a man who can sing, play instruments, ride horseback and perform fight scenes with the grace and agility of the professional dancer he once was.  All that he has experienced in his life and learned and trained for in each of his roles has helped bring him to where he is today–an increasingly acclaimed actor of both stage and screen with several new projects on the horizon. Workaholic that he appears to be, I don’t think we have to worry about Richard “resting” (as unemployed actors refer to being in between roles) for very long.



He’s also a consummate professional described in glowing terms by co-stars, crew members, scriptwriters and directors. Richard is hard working and humble, affable and kind, generous and good hearted with an infectious laugh that reaches right up into  those twinkling blue eyes. What’s not to love?

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Now, not only is he an amazing talent, he also happens to be really, really attractive.  Easy on the eyes with that arrestingly handsome face and the sort of tall, broad-shouldered masculine physique that invites daydreams and fantasies.  “Oh child of Venus, you’re just made for love . . .” He was always a cutie, but I swear he’s grown into more masculine gorgeousness with each passing year.

And it’s perfectly OK to celebrate that physical beauty along with his intelligence, talent, work ethic, charisma and charitable instincts. Because these qualities, inner and outer, are all part and parcel of what makes Richard Armitage Richard Armitage. And keeps us coming back for more . . . and more.

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So don’t be hatin’ on bloggers who take time out from their serious discussions of his work to light-heartedly enjoy the siren call of Mr. Armitage’s outward qualities, whether it be nipples, biceps, bum or other physical attributes. Because it’s ALL good. Just like a big ol’ bag of Golden Flakes . . .

New Year’s Eve: Reflections on Men I Love, BOFTA & What Matters Most *SPOILERS*



                              Richard, I truly hope you have a terrific NYE, shared with people you love.

It’s New Year’s Eve. Coincidentally, it’s also the 30th anniversary of the night my husband and I got engaged. I still remember the taste of the Cherries Jubilee, the warm tartness of the fruit meshing with the sweet chill of the vanilla bean ice cream. Benny hates cherries, but he knew I liked them and would enjoy the dish. There was the flash of the simple round solitaire sparkling against the black velvet of the case and how he carefully slid it on my finger. His celebratory punch in the air and the exultant “She said, ‘YES!'” that he shouted in the parking lot of the Montgomery restaurant as we headed to the car.  The mix of euphoria and nerves as we embarked on a new chapter in our lives.

That eatery down at the historic Union Depot is no longer in business. We are still here, older, heavier, less hair in some places and more of what’s left turning white fast; hopefully, we are also wiser and stronger (if not physically, then in spirit and soul).  We’ve had our ups and downs–in recent years, a few too many valley experiences, perhaps–but “here we stand and here we’ll stay,” to paraphrase Elsa in “Frozen.”

This is a collage I made of photos of Benny playing with our great-niece Zoe during our family celebration down at Orange Beach before Christmas. It was so wonderful to see everyone, share hugs, memories, play Dirty Santa, sing carols along with the radio, enjoy my sister’s good cooking. But these moments captured below are my favorite moments from the entire weekend: Benny playing with four-year-old great-niece Zoe.

PicMonkey Collagezoeandbenny

This is a 55-year-old man with a troublesome shoulder who isn’t accustomed to roughhousing with kids (he had to break out the Ben-Gay cream when we got home Sunday night). But he’s been making generations of Killough women happy–yours truly, our nieces and now our nieces’ children.

He says he’s not sure he’ll be up to it for the next generation, but I can easily imagine my white-haired fella giving small people rides in his wheel chair if it comes to that.

He is awfully easy to love.  Which reminds me of another tall, blue-eyed, smart, talented, sweet-natured guy (who also has fetching nape curls when his hair is longish!) who is so easy to “crush on.”

On Christmas Eve this year, my husband and I went to see “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.” It took me a few days to formulate my thoughts and reactions to the film.


Richard as Thorin in his kingly attire in a behind-the-scenes still.

I am not going to write a formal review this time around; there are already plenty of those out there by fans and critics alike.

Suffice to say I thought Richard was brilliant. My heart ached along with Bilbo’s and the dwarves as this individual they had pledged to follow, one they so admired and loved (both because of and in spite of his personal qualities) became, as my husband put it, “well and truly the mayor of Crazy Town.” The anger, the paranoia, the vulnerability exposed as he descended into the madness caused by dragon-sickness brought back both memories of my own father suffering the ravages of vascular dementia, and of my dearest Sir Guy. Yes, my buttons were being pushed on several levels.


The moment I will never forget is Bilbo cradling a dying Thorin, unwilling to believe his friend would soon be no more, and how beautiful Thorin is in those last moments, redeemed, at peace, acknowledging what should truly matter to us in life. More parallels with Sir Guy and his “good death.”



Bilbo and his final moments with Thorin. From Pinterest.

It did not make it any easier. I had started getting upset when Kili and Fili perished–so young, too young!! I knew it was coming (although not how, as I had avoided being “spoiled”) but it was still painful.

Biting my lip, I was trying to fight back the tears as Bilbo cried over his slain friend. I felt Benny’s hand patting my knee and glanced over to see the kindness and concern in his sweet blue eyes. He gave me a sympathetic smile and that made me feel better even in my sadness. He didn’t tease me about my tender heart. He simply understood.

I am not sure I can express how much that simple gesture meant to me. And I thought about all the times Richard has signed autographs and posed for photos and carefully considered questions posed to him, how gracious and affable he manages to be even when he’s tired, jet-lagged and probably done one too many press junket interviews.  He cares–he cares about his family, his work, his co-workers, his fans, people out there in need.

I truly believe RA is a kind and compassionate person–my kind of fella. All the physical beauty and extraordinary talent and potent charisma aside, I believe Richard Armitage is a good man. And that is a large part of what keeps me coming back. Hey, I am a happily married, middle-aged lady who harbors no illusions that RA and I are going to be an “item”–as if!

But someone who is so gifted and blessed and still humble and grounded, a man who is trying to make his patch of the world a better place to live–I can heartily support that!

Richard posing with some cosplayers.

Meanwhile, back to BOFTA. There are things about which I could quibble. The battle sequence went on too long IMHO (as did the barrel ride scene in the last installment) and I still think someone loves CGI a little too much. Just because you have the gee-whiz-bang technology doesn’t mean you need to keep pulling it out of the hat. I do think it can get in the way of the progress of the STORY. Also, we saw this installment in 2D, as opposed to the 3D HFR in which we saw the previous films. Not having seen BOFTA in 3D HFR, I don’t have a good point of comparison for this specific film, but Benny and I discussed this and we felt we didn’t miss out on the overall cinematic experience of BOFTA by seeing it in a traditional format. In fact, I think I felt less distracted. I do think it was fashioned to be a good link to the LOTR films . . . and watching them in sequence.  What are your thoughts on the film?

And finally—

I wish you all a wonderful 2015, filled with good health, happiness, prosperity, kindness, creativity, work you love to do and people with whom you can share both your celebrations and your sorrows. And I wish the same for our Richard. ❤

I know we don’t all share the same religious beliefs, but this quote I found on Pinterest expresses a lot of what I personally feel and you can adapt to your system, I think.


“Richard Armitage . . . the performance of the trilogy” from Empire Magazine


DJ at Heirs of Durin has posted the extensive article featuring quotes from all the principal BOTFA actors and several photos I haven’t seen before. Click on the link to see it:


He flies through the air with the greatest of ease. BTS photo of RA battling stuntmen in gimp suits representing orcs–from Empire Magazine.

OK, I confess. First thing, I always look for any quotes from and/or mention of RA in these stories. Then I read what it has to say about the other actors.

While I am at it, let me confess to something else: no offense meant to Evangeline Lilly or Orlando Bloom, but when I see previews of upcoming holiday films and their names, along with Martin and Sir Ian, are included amongst the stars of BOTFA in bold print–and Richard’s isn’t–I am major-league irritated. Call it Armitage Protection Mode if you well; call it the fact I have been miserably sick the last few days and am feeling more prickly than usual, but Thorin and the actor who plays him are simply more important to these films than those two are.  Martin as Bilbo may be the heart of the trilogy, but Richard as Thorin is the soul.  Thorin is described in the article as “the catalyst for conflict” for the final film.

The Empire writer, Ian Nathan also refers to Richard as the actor arguably giving the performance of  the trilogy.” There is also a mention of how Armitage clearly loves “the dark juice of his character.” 



One of five covers for the December issue of Empire. I like it. 😀

And we all know he does dark and juicy well (Sir Guy is lounging in the corner, one saturnine brow raised and a smirk crossing his stubbled face. “Indeed,” The Dark, Juicy Knight purrs).


I am beginning to look forward to the film more than earlier–I have had conflicted feelings about the final film, and the need to say goodbye once more to a beloved, charismatic Richard Armitage character. I know that he will give a fantastic performance and I will need to get out the handkerchiefs. He may not receive a single award for all his hard work and artistry and commitment to the character, but it won’t be because he doesn’t deserve it.

And of course, just like Guy and Porter and Lucas and Proctor and any other of his characters who have “officially” shuffled off their mortal coils, Thorin will be So Not DEAD.


As Guy can tell you, it’s a pretty sweet deal.


Dodgy ear, Doctor Who and–Robin Hood? (Where’s Sir GUY??)


Ever had an outer ear infection, also known as swimmer’s ear?

If not, count your blessings.  Boys and girls, it ain’t no fun.

Thank goodness for the Saturday morning clinic hours in town. After two miserable nights and a never-ending day, I was actually looking forward to another medical appointment. Considering I’ve seen four different doctors in two cities plus all the dratted tests and bloody co-pays that accompany them over the last few weeks, I was obviously desperate.

I got to see a doc, who took one good look inside my swollen left ear with the otoscope and prescribed some antibiotic drops. The doctor appeared to be all of 14, but I was charmed by his lilting accent (Caribbean, I think) and lovely manners. And the drops have already given me a little relief. Hooray!

Because the pain and swelling extend down into my jaw and teeth,  eating isn’t easy. Banana for breakfast, cheese puffs (cheese-flavored air) for lunch, and grits and soft scrambled eggs for supper, courtesy of my lovely husband.  He really IS lovely, with his tousled curls (in need of a haircut again) and those kind blue eyes. I am a sucker for a tall man with kind eyes, a deep voice and a great head of hair.

I’ve slept a little, off and on, perused Pinterest (so many intriguing images and helpful hints, and it doesn’t overtax my addled brain) and now I am watching Doctor Who, with Clara and the Doctor in–well, what do you know?–Sherwood Forest!

It’s all quite good fun. Love it when the Doctor ends up in a highly competitive archery contest with Robin and finally (“Oh, this is getting SILLY!”) blasts the target with his sonic screwdriver and blows it to Kingdom Come.  And later DW says, “Oh SHUT it, Hoodie.” How many times did I not want to tell the one in the BBC 2006 version to do the same . . . *evil little laugh*

If only this chap would make an appearance. *sigh*



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Yes, Sir Guy, you certainly DO. (Would love to see RA make a guest appearance on Doctor Who . . . if I can’t have him as the Doctor himself, of course.)

RA in black & white (with a smidgen of color) & more. Collages & Photo Edits.


Just seeing that scan of the RA-as-Byronic-young-actor photo from LAMDA the school tweeted today reminded me (1) how much I love looking at images of Richard from throughout his career and (2) how much I love RA in classic black and white. So I did some editing and some plundering of my stash of old edits.

Of course, being me, I also had to play with that lovely black and white image of our handsome floppy-haired Richard and tweak it a bit. I simply could not resist. Call it theRApy of sorts.

And speaking of therapy, tomorrow I see the local orthopedic surgeon and have him take a look at me, my MRI and my EMG results to see what he recommends re the wrist.  In the afternoon I am traveling with the newspaper publisher to a neighboring county to tour one of their historic old homes and surrounding property. She’s shooting the photos and I will take notes to write the copy for the upcoming edition of the Camellia Magazine. I LOVE old homes, so although I know I will be tired afterwards, I am very much looking forward to it (and getting paid to write it).


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