Most vivid Richard Armitage fangirling moment(s)?

In honor of the anniversary yesterday — for those who were fans a year ago, remember what we were doing yesterday? — and in response to Agzy’s question.


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All of my most vivid fangirling moments come from the Richard Armitage fandom. Armitage isn’t the first thing I was a fan of, but everything else has been minor, mild, trivial in comparison. With the possible exception of my crush on Mr. Taycher, my junior high school band teacher. Hmmm.

And when I ask myself about vivid, so many moments come to mind. My first fan meetup. Watching the Captain America premiere red carpet via live streaming. Seeing Richard Armitage’s name trend on twitter for the first time. Watching the production diary of Richard Armitage in the powhiri. Getting to see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in 3D HFR after waiting for so long.

Screen shot 2012-11-27 at 9.57.14 AMBut I’m pretty sure the most vivid moment(s) — it depends on how you define the singular here — came on November 28, 2012. It actually started a day earlier, with all the deplaning pictures, and the press snippets that showed a newly confident Richard Armitage, and of course, those jeans! Those jeans! Pictures were popping up all the time. Jonia was a major source. On the 28th there were press conferences. I wondered how Armitage was processing it all. Watched the pictures of the Maori welcome.

Screen shot 2012-11-27 at 9.25.09 PM

And then, when all that was over and we were just waiting for the premiere to start, about two hours ahead of it, I gradually had the feeling that some kind of convergence was occurring, as if I was setting in a nest of machines or receivers that were all aimed in the direction of Wellington and sending information back to me and us in the huge, huge wave and we were all cheering and yelling and screaming “Richard Armitage!”

And that set me up for my most vivid fangirling moment. Because I was one of the ones who was screaming. I described myself on the brink:

I’ve locked myself in, very securely, to a place where no one expects me to be. No chance I’ll be waylaid by Pesky tonight. Here, in my own little world, I’ve connected to myself to a [… ] reliable data stream, set up two computers, and synched all the relevant accounts with each other, so I can flip from tab to tab and cross-platform post […]. Two and a half years ago years ago, approximately — February 25, 2010 — I didn’t know how to do many of these things, or where to look for this information. Now I’m immersed in a group of data scroungers, everyone looking for the latest index of Mr. Armitage’s footprint, somewhere.

I’ve also eaten a light meal and stocked up a caffeinated drink or two in case it becomes necessary. I’ve been to the bathroom. “Time Passages” by Al Stewart is playing softly in the background, on infinite repeat. Something I do to keep myself calm — there’s something about repeated piano riff and the syncopation involved in it that achieves that. Or maybe the line about the things that you lean on being things that don’t last?

There was a certain paradox to that. My office is housed in a buildings that was marked as a potential bomb shelter during the Cold War and my office is in the very center of it. You know the kind, with the walls of multiple cinderblocks. I have to go through four fire-rated doors to even see a window from where I sit (which is why I don’t spend much time there, frankly). The building is still an emergency shelter. So it’s weird to say that in a situation of such isolation, a place set up to be isolating, I felt as connected as I’d ever felt in the Armitage fandom. As I wrote:

I’m data-synched to all these other people from Wellington to Los Angeles who are looking at the same sites and joining the same stream and thinking the same thing, this huge psychic emotional connection that’s giving rise to the oceanic feeling. It’s one part nerves, one part anxiety about the data connections collapsing, one part delightful anticipation of what he’ll be wearing, one part identification with him or what might be in his mind, one part looking forward to the exchanges we’ll have while it’s happening. Maybe that’s not even everything. Lots of stuff. Sexual thrill. The feeling of being at one with a huge group of people.

And that was the prelude for this. After seeing Peter Jackson, Martin Freeman, Philippa Boyens, and James Nesbitt — this, my first glimpse:

Screen shot 2012-11-27 at 10.48.48 PM Screen shot 2012-11-27 at 10.49.09 PM Screen shot 2012-11-27 at 10.49.20 PM

Those are my caps. They’ve been replaced by better images but they’re the ones I’ll always remember. Maybe it was good I was in that isolated building all by myself, so that even the janitors couldn’t hear me screaming!

The night after that is a bit of a blur. More information, better pictures, more commentary. The #TeamThorin fans got to see Armitage, though we wouldn’t hear their report until a little later. Tweeting, chatting, squeeing, capping, downloading, uploading, blogging … all over the place.

And then finding out the next morning that there’d been a message from Mr. Armitage to coincide with all of this. (Some people were still up, but I had to teach the next day, if I recall correctly, so I’d gone home and to bed.) That he’d thought of us while we were thinking of him. Priceless. The icing on the cake. I had been moved to tears a few times the evening before, but that morning — that end to it all — moved me once more. That message fueled my steps for days.

So, that’s my most vivid Richard Armitage fangirling “moment.”

Panta rhei, so things will be different this year. We’re not at the fever pitch of last year, not only because there’s been less Armitage press leadup in comparison to the previous year, but, I think, also because we didn’t spend a  year and a half on near-total news embargo apart from what Peter Jackson told us. And we’ve also had this worldwide moment of togetherness several times since then — at the later premieres of that film, at the live event for the release of the Unexpected Journey DVD, and of course, most recently, at the November 4 live event.

Still, when Armitage steps out of his transportation and onto the red carpet in L.A. in whatever Ilaria Urbinati dresses him in, I’m looking forward to a revival of that intense feeling of connection with everyone else who’s watching and cheering him on, with that oceanic ecstasy. To that moment of pride, triumph, glee, and unabashed love.

~ by Servetus on November 29, 2013.

34 Responses to “Most vivid Richard Armitage fangirling moment(s)?”

  1. I mentioned on Twitter that day the it felt to me like the beginning of a live version of “Better Man” by Pearl Jam because traditionally the audience sings the first verse to the band.


  2. That was a really heady time, when he was making his entrance onto the world stage. Those deplaning photos…omg. And his letter, the red carpet walk. I was bursting with a multitude of feelings.
    But my most consciously auspicious fangirling moment was when Lori sent an email with a link to the announcement that he had been cast as a major character in The Hobbit. I whooped and jumped around our apartment like a nut. So excited for him! And what a journey it has been.


    • I thought of putting that on the list, too, and forgot — I was asleep when that happened but the post I made about it the next day got over 100 comments. SO exciting!


  3. Wow, has it already been a year?
    Does waiting for DOS differ from AUJ? Are we a tad jaded/spoilt in comparison to last year? There was the feeling of the unknown, we wondered how Richard would behave during the onslaught, if he would change, if our fandom would implode, shatter or swell.
    I wonder if RA fans feel differently this time around.


    • I’d actually planned to post about this yesterday (the anniversary) and then spaced that it was Thanksgiving and Chanukkah and it all felt like too much — but yeah. Yesterday was the year anniversary.

      I’ve felt different this year. I remember wondering how he’d deal with it, and that we were anxious about what would happen to the fandom after the anticipated influx (writing four posts about that).

      This year — well, I’m in a totally different emotional space this year. Haven’t been on pins and needles for all of November, though, as I was last year.


  4. Thank you for giving me tingles again thinking of that magical time.

    Of course, my fangurl moment was meeting him, fleetingly, on that yucky green carpet at the London premiere. One day I will write it up; maybe when I finally get my blog together. 😛

    So happy to still be a part of the RA fandom…or should I say RA family. 🙂


  5. Loved reading this! It brought back those feelings we all shared. It was magical!


  6. Wow! Great post!

    I guess my favorite fangirl moment was meeting him in Michigan. He was so kind and so….normal. (And swoon-worthy, can’t forget that.)

    Also the meeting of the minds within this fandom. When it’s not tainted by stupid drama, this fandom is a great source of strength and inspiration for me. I don’t think I’d have hung around the fandom very long just for Richard himself (I can fangirl adequately by myself). It’s the wit and wisdom and spirit and fellowship that keep me coming back.


    • I can imagine that would be hard to top!

      Thanks for the note about the meeting of the minds. There are some really smart, perceptive people in this fandom and reading around Armitageworld can be a lot of fun — a lot of insight has been brought to bear over the years.


  7. I remember it well! It was so much fun to share the event on line with all my Armitage chums. Having been a bit meh about TH, I certainly got on board that day. Sadly I won’t be able to live stream it this year as I have an unbreakable work commitment. 😦


    • it seems like after arranging the world premiere of TH on time convenient for Australia / NZ, they’ve just given up on the latter stuff. I turned out to be geographically lucky again.


  8. Time fly’s when one is having fun. I know this year I will only be able to check e-mail once in awhile. I got a test and my paper do for class. I haven’t felt like homework, but need to kick it into gear. Two more classes to go then break. I am ready to be done and get on with something fun, for a bit.

    Going to see the Hobbit was great fun last year. Date has been made and sons2 & 3, plus there cousin will be going with me. Son3’s birthday party the next day. I also get my daily countdown from son2. Thanks to the movie (RA) and getting him the book he has become a big fan of J. R. R. Tolkien, so much so that he is working on a big report on him.


  9. Brought all the ‘feels’ back! Thanks for the great (and nostalgic) read 🙂


  10. my favorite fangirl moment will happen friday when I’ll be in Waterstone in London at the event of Fisher’s Hobbit Visual Companion…wish me luck!I’ll be glad not to faint in the moment he will enter the room! 🙂


  11. I still remember that day in Wellington as if yesterday minute by minute and can still see Richard heading over to my side and being in front of me mocking my accent as he did his own amused version! I couldn’t take my eyes off him and felt curiously bereft the rest of the day. Not sure I could cope with that again sometimes better to admire from afar for that which is unobtainable! But happy got the snaps and moniker to remember.


    • Thanks for the comment and welcome — and thanks for connecting us all to Richard Armitage. Our late friend Anna said when he meets one of us he meets us all — so thanks for bringing out that special smile on his face.


      • Thanks for the welcome I have been around RA fandom for years but seldom comment?! My memory is not just of the special smile but the twinkle in his eyes and the naughty sense of humour on a day that was quite overwhelming. I had met Peter Jackson at the one ring party and could only think of just thanking him for casting Richard ! He graciously said your welcome and laughed. Thinking of this time last year a will always feel surreal!!!!!!


  12. This time last year, I was asking Tanni if it was alright to make up one of the Thorin t-shirts for him, in preparation for the events in Toronto on 3 December. That Monday is still the third best day of my life, after birth of E and my wedding day!


    • Glad you have your priorities in order! (winks)

      The pictures from Toronto are still a reminder of those special moments.


  13. […] We’re about to hit it again — in approximately 24 hours, the appearance of The Armitage on the red carpet in Los Angeles. Last time was so amazing that it remains my most vivid Richard Armitage fangirling memory! […]


  14. Lovely read serv, such wonderful memories, and you are right about that feeling of connectedness with others; I had never experienced that before. I can remember the exact moment I first saw him on the red carpet, at a distance, talking to fans. God, I was so proud of him, he looked wonderful – happy and confident. Then later his message turned up and I was in floods of tears.
    That and getting to see him at the Q&A in Sydney are my two biggest fangirling moments. Sydney was an amazing experience and sharing it with lovely RA friends made it very special; meeting KatherineD and Bollyknickers for the first time that night was the icing on the cake!
    It’s been a long wait for his next red carpet appearance. The lead up has been quieter, but that’s probably just as well, I don’t think my poor heart could have survived another one like last year’s! 😉


    • I think Sydney might be up there for me, too, although less so than for you, I bet.


      • I think it was the total unexpectedness of that opportunity to see him that made that experience so emotionally overwhelming for me. I had become reconciled to the fact that I would never see him in the flesh, I had my down moments because of it, even shed a few tears (yes, I am a mature, practical, happily married woman, but the way this man makes me feel……*sigh*) but reality would invariably reassert itself. Then out of the blue he was coming here, and it was all so doable.


        • I still can’t quite believe that night happened. It was utterly magical and a memory I will treasure forever.


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