Richard Armitage and the absent mother?
As we know — Richard Armitage’s own mother is not absent at all. That said, I was lying in bed last night and pondering how many of his roles — in the cases the make reference to a family — involve an absent or insensitive mother.
- Thorin Oakenshield’s mother is never mentioned — while family conflict is central to The Hobbit, it’s all about him and his father and grandfather.
- Francis Dolarhyde has an absent mother and abusive grandmother.
- Gary Fuller’s mother is never referred to, but his sons have an absent / dead mother.
- Lucas North refers to a father, but not a mother.
- Guy of Gisborne struggles severely with his mother’s decision to marry Robin’s father and her treatment of his father after his return.
Of course, the opposite is true for his signature role of Mr. Thornton — here he has a very involved mother. Seen from a modern point of view, one might even call her controlling, but such close mother / son relationships were seen differently by the Victorians, as Feminema notes here.
I wonder if this is disproportionate, or if it’s just such a normal technique of drama that we tend not to notice it, or if it comes down to Armitage’s previous preference for epic lead roles, in which some kind of troubled family history frequently plays a role.