A Few Thoughts on Being a Fan

Richard Armitage as Thorin

I enjoy the work of Richard Armitage. Have I been absolutely crazy about everything he’s done? No, and really I doubt I could ever say that about anyone. But for the most part, I have enjoyed his work and obviously think he’s talented and look forward to his future projects. That’s one of the reasons I’m here.

The other reason is that it has been such a great time to talk to all of you and to hear your thoughts as well. Getting to know some of you a little better and becoming friends has been the best part of it. I have formed some really fine friendships in the midst of this craziness and for that alone, this has been worth it.

As far as anything else, I am not part of that class of blogger called a “professional fan.” I have nothing against professional fans. I think I’ve made it clear if people want to do that, go for it! Seriously. But I am not one of those people. I already have something I do professionally, and it has nothing to do with being a fan. In fact, it’s probably boring to most of you, so I won’t bore you with it. It’s probably a good thing I have never used this place to pay the bills ’cause I might not look on it with such lightheartedness.

I also have no desire to be a “big name fan” even though some people have tried to say I am. I am not. Gotten lucky a few times, but anything more is in the minds of others. Yeah, I’m saying I do not see myself that way and the thought is actually laughable to me. The way I see things is this is strictly a fun place for me. It’s an outlet, and I’ve no need of anything else. I’ll be really candid and tell you I’ve had so many awards and accolades in my life — enough to last a few lifetimes — I don’t need recognition here. Whether that sounds cocky or not, I don’t care.

And if I’m taking the bark off the tree, I will tell you I get weary of fans who have this maniacal need to be big name fans. This is not a veiled reference to anyone in particular. Not at all. So please don’t read anything more into what I’m saying. I’m just making commentary on something I’ve seen off and on during my foray into this madness. There are people who get carried away and want to be THE Richard Armitage blogger or site or whatever. When I say this, I’m not talking about people who get excited and post a lot. Hell, I’ve done that. LOL! I’m talking about an attitude, a haughtiness that makes me say, “oh brother,” and it makes me stay very far away from those people. The good news is they eventually burn out because people will not survive as a voice if they do not have the spirit of community. This is even true in business. More so today than probably at any other time because of the Web’s ability to facilitate it. The net of this for fan sites or bloggers is someone who comes with a proprietary attitude toward fandom will probably end up being ignored.

On the other hand, if someone comes in the spirit of collaboration and friendliness, it’s great. This is one reason I so heartily support RichardArmitageNet.com and RichardArmitageCentral.co.uk as major representatives of our fandom. I know the ladies who run those sites, and they are nice, very helpful and approachable and not here for anything other than the pleasure it gives them to provide information for all of you to enjoy their favorite actor. I’m sure there are others I should name, but I have to say thank you in particular to Ali and Julie. Thank you for keeping your heads and not letting some of the fan goofiness infect your views. Thank you for being consistent. Thank you for reaching out and fostering relationships with fans. I believe these are key reasons why you’ve been successful.

Before I go, please know that when I say community, I don’t mean we’re all in lock step. That is so boring. I have never liked it when people have absolutely no difference of opinion. There is nothing thought provoking about that. I like that we may at times disagree about something. I want to hear what you think and why. Maybe there is something I need to learn. That’s how I look at it most of the time. Yes, there are a few times when I think, “No, this is what I think, and I’m pretty firm in it.” But that’s not on most things.

Not sure why I decided to post this. It might have something to do with it being 4:00am as I type this line, and I’ve been up for an hour due to being unable to sleep.

Note: the photo above is not indicative of anything other than I’ve just always liked it. The man at work, all dirtied up and yeah, some chest hair showing. ;-)

Some fun coming up in the next post. :D

Edit: this is what happens when I wake up in the middle of the night and start cleaning out my in-box. o_O


  1. You can write all you want, Frenzy, but.. chest hair on your blog?

  2. I know where you’re getting at, but in fear of needing your consultation, I have a different journey in RL now and avoid this subject on my blog, because it could branch out into talk about ‘other fan behaviours’ or ‘ideal fan behaviour’ or defending my own ‘fan behaviour, which I’m doing now as I type and is more defined as ‘following’ and as such a nice parallel universe to be in. Sorry for not interacting as much!


    ‘one of them’

  3. Yet, I developed one heck of a twitter addiction #RichardArmitage :D

  4. My reps tell me I should issue a mea culpa on my blog about this subject soon… and post more functional sexy pictures of RA!

  5. You are cracking me up! As usual. :D

  6. Received a comment from one ‘Anonymous’. Mentions to read about my plans. Mentions that my blog is one of the sanest. Mentions to avoid it all together. Denies I’m The One. (etc.)

    End of crap

  7. I appreciate your blog. Thanks for mentioning RichardArmitagenet.com and richardarmitagecentral, both of whom provide objective coverage of RA. They are always valuable sources of information. I thank you all for what you do!

  8. “Not sure why I decided to post this.”

    Because once in a while someone has to? ;-)

    I will reply to this post later. – Or try to do so. We’ll see.
    Right now all I say is: Thanks for posting it.

  9. when I see others hold back sources b/c they want others to come to them for answers, or they demand to be credited for having the info first, it turns me off big time. why are we here, if not to *share* in our admiration? so when I see RAnet & Central sharing & helping each other on Twitter, it warms my heart :)

  10. thank you from another non professional fan.

  11. I agree, Frenz, let’s keep it fun, life is too short and complicated….
    I appreciate you, as well as RichardArmitageNet.com and RichardArmitageCentral.co.uk . All the aggregating that they do for us is incredibly helpful.

  12. Huh, I thought I commented here earlier but I don’t see it? Anyway I really liked this post!

  13. Good post, Frenz, very good post. Quite a lot to read between the lines…

    I am such a bad fan that I only watch or listen to past movies (except for Capt. America) and TV roles and audio recordings. I am such a bad fan that yours is the only blog I read and even then I wander in and out like someone whose mind is on other things (which it is). I am such a bad fan I rely on Summer’s Pinterest board for any interviews likely to tickle me, and by the time I get to them they are old hat.

    But I’m not so bad that I won’t credit him with the inspiration his roles as far as The Hobbit have given me in my life as a writer. I owe him (and by default you and Summer, I suppose) heaps. Thank you!

  14. I totally agree with you, Frenz, and here’s an example taken straight from this post. I saw a name I don’t know — violetsframework — and wondered “Who’s she? What’s the mea culpa about?” I pasted “violetsframework” into Google, saw it’s linked with something called “Fellowship of The Beard,” laughed my ass off and proceeded to, “Yup, she’s one of us.” Didn’t even click through. Don’t need to. Not wondering about that “mea culpa” any more. She’s a fangirl. I’m a fangirl. That’s all I need to know. Next pretty picture of RA?

  15. Besotted, You rang? :D

  16. I am just now back from one heck of a long day. I have not read all of these comments. Just saw this last one, and btw, Violet is one of the funniest damn people in the fandom. I wish more people knew it!!

  17. Ms Mel, it’s astounding what those ladies do with their sites. It’s a lot of work of which I don’t even come close to doing, but I certainly avail myself of their work. LOL!

  18. kelbel, for the most part, we have a wonderful community even if we have sometimes had differences. I really appreciate that.

  19. Hedgehogess, I look forward to it. :D

  20. Beverly, Yeah, let’s be non-professional together. ;-)

  21. SH, Exactly. This should be fun.

  22. Awkward Celeb, I appreciate that! :)

  23. Prue, The only bad fan is one who will pry into someone’s privacy or who is a bully. Other than that, I hope there’s not any boundaries. :D

    Glad you were inspired. I’ve enjoyed reading your books about Gisborne!

  24. >>>>>Prue, The only bad fan is one who will pry into someone’s privacy or who is a bully. Other than that, I hope there’s not any boundaries. :D <<<<< I agree Frenz.
    But I do consider myself a "bad" fan too because I haven't seen everything RA's been in or read every single article that has been published on RA so far. I do like the sense of "community" though of being a part of something. I've bumped into some good people too through RA's fandom and am grateful. It is a nice place to be (well as of late certain places online are more nicer than others).

  25. Let’s just clear one thing up… We all know I’m THE fan. I mean, when Richard thinks of his admirers (which is like every 5 minutes) he thinks, “I wonder what Nat and the Army are up to lately?” and then he reads my blog, because it’s THE blog, and sends me an email saying “Good job, Nat” or “I think you need to write a piece about my eyebrows.” In fact, that silly Stick Figure Richard stuff? That was his idea. He drew some of them himself. I wasn’t supposed to say anything, but there ya have it. I got so sick of his texts and emails that I had to take a break from blogging. That’s the REAL reason I don’t post much these days. *sigh*

  26. Chest hair??? Chest hair is good. We love chest hair. Hairy chests are good. Thank you. Well said.

  27. I think theres quite a big problem in the RA fandom with fans wanting to be ‘queen bee’ or ‘best fan.’ I’m not talking about you, but I wont name who I’m talking about because you wont publish it if I do but I think we all know who I’m talking about.

    Its a shame because it really does discourage new fans from joining the community.

  28. Hi Frenz,

    I thought about what I wanted to say, and thought about it, and thought about it, and then I thought a little more.

    Well: A long time ago (around the Stone Age I think) I was an active fan in another fandom. Not a big name fan, but someone who spend a lot of time with her hobby, doing fan-zines (yes, it’s that long ago!), beta-reading other fans’s stories.

    One of the problems with the Stone Age is that there’s always an Neanderthal hiding somewhere. One of them found me and decided to tell lies about me. People I had considered friends believed him. Rhabarber, Rhabarber, Rhabarber … (German for yadda-yadda-yadda. And for rhubarb. And no, people usually don’t mix up the meanings. I think. ;-) )

    After the not very funny episode with said Neanderthal and his lies about me I stepped away from fandom. Any fandom.

    Later I realised that I also stepped away from the things that came with being in a fandom. Things like: contact with other fans, writing stories, enjoying a fantasy world etc.

    I thought I’d lost this part of me. The creative part.

    Then I discovered Richard Armitage.
    And the lost part of me is coming back. Slowly. But it’s there again, I can feel it again, and I enjoy it.

    And I don’t want old bad memories or new Neanderthals or trolls or fights between fans about who’s the biggest or the “best” fan to spoil it for me.

    I appreciate the voices of reason in the RA fandom.

  29. I went through that same thing 9 years ago. A set twin sisters. It went on for several years, destroyed the celebrity’s fandom (he wasn’t a big celebrity) It would shock you the depths they went to and the depravity they claimed. I refused to leave the fandom even tho they ‘ordered me to’ – (as if) but eventually, they found someone new to harass.

  30. Lois, I agree.

    Natalie, Busted! ;-)

    Good to “see” you. :)


    Thank you for sharing that. I’m sorry that happened to you, but I think it’s damn near unavoidable that there will be clashes between personalities from time to time in a fandom — even in the Richard Armitage fandom. I hate that, but there it is. Oy.

    But I’m glad you’re enjoying this and have experienced no negative with RA fans, and even if you had, I think he;s enough of a draw to to get past it. :D

  31. Zeesmuse:

    it wasn’t a celebrity fandom so no one else was hurt. *g*


    I KNOW that a lot of people (even in Armitage fandom) have had to face bullying that was worse. (If I understand correctly, you could tell a story about that, too.)

    I think my problem with the whole thing was, that I didn’t expect it to happen. I didn’t think that one bully could and would turn my “friends” into people that didn’t trust me anymore. I mean: Why?! He had nothing to gain.

    I have read around blogs about RA and I found a lot of people had “No to (cyber)bullying!” or something like that on their blogs. Others addressed problems (not only bullying but other problems as well) when they came up.

    I don’t agree with all that is written on blogs, and others don’t have to agree with what I say.
    Yes, there will always be clashes between personalities.
    Yes, I’ve read some things where I was wondering what the writer was thinking. (Or if she was thinking at all …)

    But I’ve also read what I described as “voices of reason”. People who would speak out when problems occurred.

    *g* No, I’m not saying that this will stop nastiness when it occurs. But it’s making the ones who are harrassed feel a lot better.

    Anyway, Frenz, I like reading your blog whether you write about RA or business or SO or anything else.

    Btw, you once wrote somewhere that a lot of your blogging is BS and you said that BS means nonsense. I think you are wrong there. You see, if it meant “nonsense” it would be NS. So: It must be “bon sense” or maybe “best sense”. Yep, much better, *g*

    PS: Do I have to mention that Black Sky will have a dubious abbreviation?

  32. zeesmuse,

    I don’t know what happened to this comment about chest hair. It’s there now. Got to have all the comments about hairy chests being good that I can get. :D

  33. Yes, Chest hair. Please do not wax or shave the chest OR the danglies. Thank you. This has been an unpaid, unbiaised announcement.

  34. I agree, zeesmuse!!


    Your comment, like zeesmuse’s, was another one that I have no idea why it was in “pending” comments. Frustrating! My only excuse for not noticing is that I have been swamped with work and buzzing through this site’s dashboard pretty quickly on my phone.

    By the way, I don’t know who you mean and yes, thank you for not specifying. When I wrote that piece above it was not about anyone in particular but about a mentality. Most of the time when I’ve seen it, I ignore it. Occasionally I get weary at what I see. Thankfully, I haven’t gotten weary much — at least not enough to write about it as I did in this piece.

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