H/c in Armitage’s work

So as to have some content beyond the Fanstravaganza (don’t forget to vote!):

It’s been interesting to me that so many of Mr. Armitage’s major roles have developed related fandoms. North & South, Robin Hood, and Spooks all have fan fiction writers writing about characters he’s played. (This must create a nightmare for his publicists, since those characters attract distinctly different kinds of audiences. I continue to wonder exactly which kinds of roles he gets offered in the main.) I haven’t looked for Sparkhouse fic specifically, but it would fit well in this genre. Strike Back seems likely to offer fans a similar outlet. In contrast, as I’ve noted before, there’s little to no Vicar of Dibley fan fic that relates to Harry Kennedy, and this seems to be because Harry appears not to have any real problems. Armitage has complicated that perception by claiming that Harry has a dark past (and here’s a fun fic [link removed as fic is now hidden, 7/26/15] that fleshes it out, by Mulubinba–please leave comments about this fic specifically on her site!), but that past seems to come through in his performance only as relief and a desire to embrace happiness (even a willingness to ignore a lot of annoyance to do so. Then again marrying a vicar is almost a masochistic act if you have any kind of intolerance for annoyance).

I’ll go out on a limb and say this has something to do with his apparent predilection for roles that facilitate a hurt/comfort plot. Guy of Gisborne is an obvious candidate for h/c, as everything about his character says “I have been abused,” but at least for me, Mr. Thornton was not. An alternative theory: it may be the subliminal aspects of Armitage’s performances that encourage his fans to see these roles as the vehicle for h/c plots. The page I link above says that the major engine of h/c fiction is the desire to deepen relationships between the characters. Do fans of Armitage–especially those who are writing Mary Sues into their plots–unconsciously see h/c fanfic as a way to deepen their fantasy relationships with him?

I ask this mostly because last night when I got home from work I spent an hour lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, developing a h/c Lucas North fic. I am wondering whether I need to see Spooks series 8 in order to write it down, or if I can abandon my position as a historian enough just to go totally AU — or if I really should get on with my life, for crying out loud! But: is the fantasy about Lucas North, about Mr. Armitage, or both? Or neither?

Also, I hope this is not a spoiler for anyone who really cares, but Lovelace is essentially a rapist. I wonder whether this is too big of an obstacle for fanfic authors to overcome–or if the Clarissa narrative will offer them other opportunities for creativity. Or if radio drama is not vivid enough to inspire fan fics.

~ by Servetus on March 17, 2010.

14 Responses to “H/c in Armitage’s work”

  1. Well, quite a few fanfic authors have overlooked a murderer, so go for the AU. You’ll be in good company. lol!

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  2. Stupid question time…What is AU?
    Sounds like you really need to write these fantasies down! A new RA fanfic author is born! Don’t fight it! We may all come to that point soon! Your imagination sounds better than most..what with the dreams too!
    As for Clarissa! I painstakingly watched all 20 some episodes on Youtube and although I didn’t really like Clarissa, that rape scene was extremely nasty! Not in a graphic way, but certainly in a psychological way!
    But so far, as I listened to the radio program, they haven’t read any letters from Lovelace to his friend that show his evil intentions, so he came off sounding quite heroic, I thought and seems to be in love with her.
    I don’t know how the rest of it will make me feel, but so far my sympathies are with him!

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  3. I only half listened to the first ep of Clarissa, but a rapist huh? Like how Guy is a murderer? Perhaps I wont listen to the rest.

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  4. AU=Alternate Universe or denial. LOL!

    For instance in my alternate universe Marian continued to see something good in Guy and ultimately redeemed him with her love. I’m sure in parts of fanfic heaven Lovelace will be redeemed by Clarissa’s goodness. Isn’t this the pattern for countless romance novels? Women being so powerful with their love that they can reform a man? It is in the majority of romances I’ve read. 😀

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  5. Aha! Like AU is the opposite of RL !
    I’m a newbie at short forms!
    Ragtag, keep listening! It’ll be interesting to say the least!
    Really people might end up hating Clarissa like they hate Marian.
    (I don’t hate Marian btw) …(there’s a shortform I know!)
    But I am not too fond of Clarissa. She’s a prude!

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  6. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
    I am trying this reply again…

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  7. And here I was thinking AU meant Australia… or is Australia an alternate universe? 😉

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  8. Great comments, all!

    I’m tempted to say, in my capacity as a professor, that it’s worth it to continue with Clarissa for educational reasons, but in my capacity as a human being, I’d say it’s not worth listening to anything one doesn’t like, as there’s so much else out there to enjoy. In my capacity as a crazed fan of Mr. Armitage I’d say we should keep listening just to hear THE VOICE. I’ve been speculating that the plot line won’t bother me as much on radio because I will not see it, but I guess that remains to be seen. I agree that the editing of this version tends to make us see Lovelace in a better light than the book does.

    I guess I am too new to the world of RH fandom to realize that people hate Marian. Why? Because she didn’t love Guy? I thought Lucy Griffiths did a good job but that she was too young for the role.

    Never having been to Australia I cannot speculate on its RL or AU status, but I have certain suspicions (grin).

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  9. They hate Marian because she USED Guy. And lied to him and basically jerked him around for her own ends. However, much as I grew to love Guy (in spite of myself), in Marian’s case, the ends justified the means. She wasn’t just fighting for King and country, like Robin, she was lying and acting out of her moral duty to save lives (even her own) and to protect the downtrodden people of her village. I believe she did have feelings for Guy, (mostly sympathetic, obviously some sexual–she WAS a woman), but that couldn’t override her one true love for Robin. So she was a heroine in my eyes, although flawed of course, which made her even more endearing. The love triangle was very well done, so it’s a wonder they could go on to Season 3.

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  10. I haven’t seen all of series 2 yet, so that story arc is still developing for me. I’m still dealing with how I feel about him coercing her to marry him, and her decking him at the altar.

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  11. I never have understood the Marian hate. Yeah, she messed with Guy, but she also had a soft spot for him. She clearly was torn until that last episode which made no sense to me. Sorry if that’s a spoiler for anyone.

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  12. I saw “Larndner’s Ring” last night, so not much longer until I hit the fateful end of series 2 (I know what happens already. Unlike Mr. Armitage, I am not disturbed by spoilers. I don’t look for them, but if I run across them I am not angry). I could see being angry at Marian for using Guy. When she kisses him for the first time to prevent members of Robin’s gang from being seen in the castle, it is a bit angering, as he’s just told her pretty clearly how much she means to him and how badly he feared that he would never get to kiss her. I am still thinking hard about that episode and will probably writing extensively about it over the weekend. I think I am bugged here a lot by the age different issue and can’t get past the age of the actors. Armitage is 15 years older than Griffiths, and that makes me read the scene at least on some level as a young girl toying with the emotions of a besotted older man. Also, of course, given how much Guy has manipulated her in the past and the extent to which he has been manipulated, one has to wonder what, if anything, she believes of his behavior.

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  13. […] definitely be something new. John Porter’s relationship with his daughter fits well into the hurt/comfort scenario I broached much earlier and then never developed. Maybe I just like the idea that Mr. Armitage would take the role of a […]

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  14. […] summarize the not-very-complicated plot here, in case you haven’t read it yet. It’s a hurt/comfort story with a delightful […]

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