me + the richard armitage religion

Could this guy be a deity? Richard Armitage demonstrates his Smaug cheeks at the L.A. premiere of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, December 2013.

Could this joker be a deity? Richard Armitage demonstrates his Smaug cheeks at the L.A. premiere of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, December 2013.

We’ve got conversion experiences. We’ve got a theology and rules about behavior, and we’ve got traditions about the Armitage. We see in him some traditional virtues. We’ve got relics. We’ve gone on pilgrimages. We’ve had (personal and less personal) encounters with him, with heartening or affirming results. Many of us would say he’s a life-changer. We’ve got (however tongue-in-cheek) shrines. We’ve got dogmas. We’ve got something along the lines of hadith (definition of hadith).

Some people would say we have a deity. Others would find that blasphemous.

Can we talk?

One of my best fan friends thinks WordPress has become boring. A regular reader has pointed out to me privately that I’ve become reticent. I think they’re both right. I’ve taken a lot of refuge in satire, which isn’t my natural mode, as much as some readers in enjoy it. A lot of my most interesting Richard Armitage discussions go on off blog these days. Many of us have become hesitant to discuss interesting things in public for fear of drama, and the more ground we cede in terms of our capacity to talk about things that are either controversial or don’t make everyone who reads them happy, the harder it becomes to get it back.

So, as I am in a wonderful mood after Richard Armitage’s doodle and his matching donation raised $8700 USD for NFNetwork, a thing to which it is hard for me to see a downside, and feeling doubly delighted about all the money Guylty’s RAPS project is raising for earthquake relief in Nepal, I will give it a shot.

This topic incorporates things that I’ve been discussing with friends for years in other contexts, things I’ve thought for a long time, and a new idea that’s just occurred to me in the last six weeks or so that has re-energized my thinking on the question. It reflects all kinds of conversations I’ve had, and I thank those of you who’ve discussed these things with me. You may recognize your own thoughts here because of that, and I hope that these posts invite to further discussion. It’s not going to be especially well organized, though, because one reason I’ve put off writing about this is that I couldn’t figure out exactly how to organize it.

So it’s just going to come as it comes.

First: Is Richard Armitage [like a] G-d? Or more like a tulpa? What is a tulpa? And what is it that we’re doing with him? Note that my answers are not intended to be definitive; they are based on my impressions after five years of this. Ymmv. But I’m confident it can be a great discussion! Let me suggest: if this topic makes you angry beyond reason, just click the x and make this all go away and look at whichever picture of Richard Armitage calms you most. There are so many!

Next post.

~ by Servetus on May 20, 2015.

9 Responses to “me + the richard armitage religion”

  1. […] Continued from here. […]


  2. Interesting topic and questions! Can’t wait to read more thoughts about it!


  3. This sounds really interesting. Looking forward to reading more from you.


  4. I’m so glad you’re going there. I agree it’s been a trifle stagnant of late as we’ve passed the release of The Crucible and are basically just waiting for something new to be released or to happen. I’m sure it’s a given that a discussion of Armitage Fandom as a form of religion would be controversial, but I won’t deny it interests me as I try to puzzle out my own preoccupation with the man. I definitely don’t see him as any deity, but I do see my own reaction to him and the subsequent actions I’ve taken as really rather extraordinary and there are parallels to a religious fervor, if nothing else. =)


    • I think there are a few things I’d like to be able to say via shorthand, just having a particular discussion and being able to point to it. So I’m hoping this clarifies some stuff for me, too.


  5. Will continue reading before commenting. Must admit, I’ve been on the lookout for lightning bolts a few times as I equated RA with God. Am guilty of worshipping a false idol? Possibly. Probably. Sadly for my soul I haven’t repented.


  6. Fascinating and if anyone can explore this the right way, it’s you…. Even in my short time in the fandom, I’m aware of fans who accord him an odd combination of yes, reverence, and …. well, you know, the usual 🙂 And I’ve struggled to understand why I feel the way I do as well. “Where am I and how did I get here?” LOL…. looking forward to this read!


    • as always, it’s a way of thinking about something (important to keep in mind), if it helps you good, if not, no worries 🙂


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