Mar 16, 2013

If You've Only Seen Him in The Hobbit...

If you've only seen Richard Armitage in "The Hobbit" there is so much for you to discover!

I planned on several posts during FanstRAvanganza week but unfortunately life has a way of disrupting our best laid plans.

Unlike myself, most of the other bloggers have been long time enthusiasts of Richard Armitage's work. If like me, you discovered him thanks to "The Hobbit" you may be wondering what else you can see him in. Since December 14, 2012 I have attempted to view everything he has ever filmed, and I've made quite a dent in it! (This by no means serves as an exhaustive list of his work. For that please see either RichardArmitageNet or Richard Armitage Central).

First of all, if you have not seen "The Hobbit" in the cinema, in certain cities there is still time. In Bangor it is still playing through at least this week. Both Richard and Peter Jackson have said it was meant to be seen in the cinema and they are so right. If it is unavailable in your area, Tuesday, March 19th is the release of the video. It can be pre-ordered here.

Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Adventure"

(In my list below, if you click on the photo of the DVD you will be taken to the corresponding Amazon page where you can order these for yourself.)

As I mentioned in "I'm Going On An Adventure" right after seeing "The Hobbit" I came home and looked up what else Richard had been in, I was that impressed with his acting. I suggest you view "The Vicar of Dibley" next.  Why?  No, not because that's what I viewed next, but because it is such a completely different role than Thorin.

Richard Armitage as Harry Kennedy in "The Vicar of Dibley"

I am not even going to share my thoughts -- just watch it!

Probably the role Richard is best known for is as John Thornton in "North and South". If seeing him as Harry doesn't make you fall in love with him, Mr. Thornton should do the trick.

Richard Armitage as John Thornton in "North and South"

I have never seen a man kiss a woman more gently or tenderly than he does in this scene.

BBC's "Robin Hood" was my next discovery.  Ah Sir Guy of Gisborne, the baddie you love to hate, or hate to love. Richard brought nuances to this role that I don't think even the writers intended.

Richard Armitage as Sir Guy of Gisborne in "Robin Hood", Season One
Richard Armitage as Sir Guy of Gisborne in "Robin Hood", Season Two
Richard Armitage as Sir Guy of Gisborne in "Robin Hood", Season Three

One of Richard's earlier works, "Between the Sheets" famously, or infamously, contains scenes where his character Paul Andrews is in bed with his wife (I'll just leave the rest to your imagination). He plays a probation officer and again his acting blew me away. I never knew until the reveal whether Paul was lying or not, that's how well he plays it.
Richard Arnitage as Paul Andrews in "Between the Sheets"

I am still in the process of watching my next discovery, "Spooks" or as it is known in the states, "MI:5"  It is a superb series and even if Richard wasn't in it, I would still find it highly enjoyable.  I am almost through his last season and will mourn when I reach the end, I am enjoying it that much.

Richard's character is an MI:5 spy, Lucas North who at the beginning of Season 7 has just been returned from a Russian prison where he was tortured for 8 years. Richard lost a significant amount of weight for the role and also allowed himself to be water boarded in preparation for the role!
Richard Armitage as Lucas North in "Spooks" Season Seven
Richard Armitage as Lucas North in "Spooks" Season Eight
Richard Armitage as Lucas North in "Spooks" Season Nine

Again, Richard plays a spy in "Strike Back." But John Porter is a complex character and again, Richard brings such nuances to the role. I cannot say I have a favorite character (oh not true, Harry is my favorite) but John Porter is right up there.

Richard Armitage as John Porter in "Strike Back"

I recently received the following DVDs  but have not had time to watch them yet. A little thing called a job keeps getting in the way.

Richard plays a young Claude Monet this this movie.

Richard Armitage as John Mulligan in "Moving On"

Sparkhouse is a retelling of Wuthering Heights. I have been told that Richard's character will vie for the spot as one of my favorites. As he plays a gentle and shy farmer, they might well be right.
Richard Armitage as John Standring in "Sparkhouse"

There are several more and I have not even touched on Richard's audio work.  His voice is divine!  

I purposely did not go in depth or give you my take on each character.  I don't want to rob you of making these discoveries on your own. 

The world has certainly been given a gift in this fine actor. He has enriched my life in so many ways.  
Thank you, Richard!

"Probably Vicar of Dibley's Harry Kennedy is most like myself"
Richard Armitage


  1. Yeah, real life tends to get in the way sometimes, doesn't it? How very dare it?! ;)

    Excellent suggestions for what to watch to be dragged into fandom good and proper! :D

    1. Traxy,

      Thank you!

      But an even bigger thank you for all your hard work in bringing FanstRAvangaza to the world.


  2. What's nice, too, is that all of these longer performances pay to rewatch -- he's such a complex actor at times (esp as Guy) that you see new things each time. And then there's the whole "buying multiple copies so you can pass them on to friends but still keep watching yourself" phenomenon.

    Enjoy! You have some treats still ahead of you.

    1. Servetus,

      Thank you for taking time time to comment.

      Yes, I am rewatching RH and Spooks with the Armitage Watch and seeing new facets of his characters on the second viewing.

      I have now analyzed Thorin in many, many viewings. :-)


  3. Very much enjoyed your compilation here. It mirrors my own journey in so far as I *had* to go through his oeuvre after he had reawakened my attention in Spooks. Did you mention Strike Back, btw? Ab-so-lute-ly yummy, despite that being a very action-based drama, possibly slightly more aimed at the boys... Ahhh, I wish I still had the whole list of Armitage roles in front of me and not behind me... ENJOY!

    1. I absolutely mentioned Strike Back! This woman loved it! :-)

      Thanks for stopping by and taking time to comment. I appreciate it!


  4. Hi Valerie,
    This is a lovely retrospective of Richard Armitage's career highlights!
    Cheers! Grati ;->