I didn’t fall for Richard Armitage because of Mr. Thornton’s kiss

Mr. Thornton fascinated me for other reasons. But as a straight adult female, I’ve got nothing against a wonderful kiss, and Richard Armitage can obviously kiss with the best of them, something he proved so sweetly and gently and intensely in North & South.

But there was a time during early-onset Armitagemania where I’d set aside five or ten minutes per hour simply to watch that (admittedly anachronistically public) kiss on youtube. I haven’t needed that kind of stress release at work in almost three years now — Armitagemania got me moving forward and out of my funk. But still — that kiss! What is it?

What is the best thing about it? His hand on hers? The look in his eyes? His hand on her hair? The slow way he tilts his head? The barely evident initiation? Her hesitant response? The way he makes his extreme love and desire evident despite the way he holds himself back? The ongoing caresses with his lips? The way he lets go of her, looking straight in her eyes?

What makes this kiss so good for you?

~ by Servetus on November 13, 2014.

20 Responses to “I didn’t fall for Richard Armitage because of Mr. Thornton’s kiss”

  1. the way he holds her face, like she’s a frighted bird that might fly away. how he pours passion into the kiss but gently, so as not to crush her with intensity.

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  2. The way he puts his hand over hers to end her nervous misery and before he kisses her is eyes look to be a bit hesitant, a bit questioning and hoping. And then each time he goes in for the subsequent little kisses he seems to first draw in a little breath, kind of breathing her breath into him — like he wants to not devour her, or draw who she is into him …something like that that I don’t know how to describe. And he is so gentle and caring not to overwhelm her and yet convey the depth of his feeling for her. And then when she abruptly gets up and leaves (just to tell poor Henry to take a hike) my heart went in my throat thinking Whaaaaat? What is she doing?! ! But then she comes back and what a sigh of relief. The whole scene is just so perfect and emotional.

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  3. The way he subtley draws in a little of her breath before each little subsequent kiss

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  4. The idea that, irregardless of how many takes are necessary, a man can learn to deprive a woman of speech with just a kiss.

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  5. The gentle way in which he holds her face really gets to me. But honestly, the whole thing is the perfect onscreen kiss as far as I’m concerned. The tenderness, the passion, the love just exudes all over.

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  6. I agree with Little Red. It is all of the above, the slowness in which the kiss unfolds and the closeup which makes it seem they are in their own world. The kiss is so passionate and innocent at the same time. The train station kiss is a movie staple, but usually couples are saying hello or goodbye. Coming together from opposite directions builds the suspense, so when the kiss happens, I am “into it”. I love the tenderness with which she kisses his hand, and then his response. I always wondered if she had not kissed his hand, would he have been bold enough to kiss her?

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  7. All of the above.

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  8. The prelude to the kiss where she raises his hand to her lips and kisses it takes my breath away. There is such sweet tenderness in the way he reacts to her declaration of love; how he gazes into her eyes and softly caresses her face to gently pull her towards him. It’s the two of them savoring this brief moment that makes the actual kiss itself so memorable for me.

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  9. The ongoing caresses with his lips……… Himmel ❤

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  10. Yummm Master Armitage .
    Daniela’s acting is very helpful though I think he can kiss melon;) with the same look in his eyes 🙂

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  11. It’s the tenderness in all of it – the way he takes her hand, and looks at her, full of love, longing and hope that she will welcome what he is about to do, reciprocating the feeling. How he then carefully and slowly leans in, almost tentatively touching her cheek with his nose, his lips making the softest of contact. And even the demanding, yet subdued passion of the kiss is still tender, his eyes closed to be concentrate all his senses only on the longed-for kiss. It’s so nuanced, so many feelings are conveyed in that short scene that you have extracted here. Amazing really. Totally believable, too.

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  12. “Sigh”

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  13. Everything….the tenderness, the expression in his eyes when he looks at her as she babbles on then takes his hand and kisses it, the way his hand frames her face so gently…. it’s perfect.

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  14. I try to reflect with some rationale about the matter (if any of it is possible…) and the result is that the kiss is just the tip of the iceberg… Thornton’s personality had already conquered us all in the course of the events and the kiss is nothing but its perfect climax. As much as Daniela Denby-Ashe can be devoid of any ability to express or convey any feeling, he is perfectly able to create that perfect exchange of souls that a kiss should be. He conveys his love, his passion, his tenderness and his lips are all that can be enticing and sensuous in such a way that she gets the same result pretty much unwillingly and without even realizing it.

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  15. it starts pulling at my heart when she holds his hand after he has covered hers and lifts his to her lips and kisses it. The expression is his eyes turns from mere hope to bliss, there is an enchantment in his half lidded eyes, his whole heart pours out or floods his eyes if you will in that second. It’s that expression in his eyes that gives me butterflies 🙂
    And then the moment when his hand goes from barely touching her cheek to his fingers spanning her neck (which seems so intimate, possessive yet gentle) the sight of bones in his fingers and hand almost tensing with all he feels under his skin and the control in it, the fact that he wants to savour every moment, as it is something he’s been longing for for such a long time… It’s perfectly judged harmony between the intensity of the emotion and the tenderness of it which keeps it in check almost 🙂

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  16. Wow, these are such amazing answers … I get caught up by the way he tilts his chin just before he’s going to kiss her the first time …

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  17. […] From the beginning, this blog has addressed identity in different ways. Who am you, who am I, what is being, what is performance, what is the difference? Mr. Armitage, the upshot of my second viewing of North & South was that something you did suddenly made it okay for me to ask again who I was and to allow in the sensory data and emotional responses that would help me answer that question. I don’t know why that night. I don’t know why you. I don’t know anything. Why that kiss? […]

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  18. I marked this to look at later. Lol.
    In true Richard style, every nuanced movement he makes here is deliberately meant to express the essence of Thornton – in general and at this monumental climax. This kiss sums up exactly what Gaskell wanted to portray in the hero she envisioned : a tender Master. It’s the bewildering and complex mix of being tender and yet strong that Gaskell is exploring in both Margaret and John’s characters. But tenderness in a man is so incredibly moving and powerful because it displays a vulnerability that is more commonly equated with weakness and women.
    LOVE Gaskell for spinning things in disarray and showing that individuals don’t have to fall into culture-imposed categories.
    And this kiss is just exactly what Thornton is all about. All that tenderness inside, with the strong passion and self-control barely contained. He’s still master of himself – just barely. (And a lot of the story has been about him unravelling. )
    It’s that tenderness/passion in this kiss that is lethal. You know he loves her deeply, and with his growing fervency as she doesn’t resist – you get the idea of how much he’d like to show her! It’s enough to make any warm-blooded girl being to feel light-headed. 😉

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    • Huh — I tend to think of Gaskell as reinforcing contemporary gender ideals rather than strongly contesting them, but that’s because the class issue is really more central to me in reading that book.

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