Fandom Forensics

Fandom forensics is when a fangirl (or fanboy) goes into detail mode to solve a mystery. What happened?! When?! Who did it?! Who was there?! Did the tie have a tie clip?! If so, whose was it?!

Take the recent photo of Richard Armitage sitting on a park bench with you know who. (Do I have to say who? Seriously? You know who it is. :D) This photo is being examined for all sorts of information. Was it Photoshopped? Were the flowers really in bloom on Sunday? Whose backpack is that next to Richard? And if it’s his, what does it mean?

I hope none of you mind that I get tickled when I see this mode. As long as no one gets upset if others disagree with their conclusions about a particular item, what harm can some forensics do? Forense (is that a word?) to your heart’s content. Yes, I know it’s not a word. This comment is for the anal Richard Armitage fans of whom I happen to be one at times. Not right now, but if the right picture comes along, I can certainly go into this mode. See here for proof I can do this. :D


  1. I think it *could* be a new show on ID—“Fandom Forensics” ;) An alternative to playing Pet Rescue Saga or Bubble Witch (if only I could convince people on FB to quite sending me invitations to play games!)

  2. Don’t get me started about FB games. A long time ago I even put an announcement on my personal FB page asking people not to include me in that. That’s when I knew it was not my friends but FB allowing programs to send those notices.

  3. Yeah, I figured as much. FB is always doing things to annoy me. :-/

  4. Fandom forensics can be used for many things, often involving released photos from upcoming scifi movies or fantasy movies. Sometimes used to place the photo of a band in time and space. Occasionally used to prove an anecdotes about meeting a celebrity were false.

    However until I encontered lotr/potc fandom I had never witnessed it being used to determine relationships between celebrities. (Maybe I was out of the loop fandom-wise, despite being involved in online fandoms of various things since the 90s). I think it really took off about 10 years ago when magazines like Us Weekly started to publish photos with red circles in them and arrows pointing out people’s rings, and there were mainstream articles and tabloid news show bits about body language indicating relationships between celebrities. It seemed like a diy project for any fan, especially for those who wanted to ship people.
    Clothing analysis is not new either. It was one of the funniest things about domlijah and other lotr ships, because it was so ludicrous. (Ooh, the ‘chartreuse’ smackdown, the ‘burnt sienna’ argument, Orlando’s red and white ‘rainbow’ belt, was Billy wearing Dom’s tshirt at that con?)
    Anyway, some of the history summed up here, especially by anatsuno, who watched so much of it unfold (as did I):

  5. Love this, Cill.

  6. I do think it’s good to rule out fake photos quickly as I think that’s invasive or worse, and I don’t mind the rest except those that are obviously cherrypicking to support their own personal bias or agenda. The more I consider any of these pics / quotes / appearances, the less I believe it’s possible to truly nail down. And that’s fine with me.

  7. You might also find this interesting, including the comments. You know, from a purely historical perspective. ;)

  8. I love fandom forensics. Remember the time we spent on the Windows on the World World Trade Center photo shot during the run of Macbeth? I think it’s fun.

  9. That’s me, SH, I don’t worry about “nailing things down.” I just sit back and watch the circus . . . where’s the peanuts and popcorn?

  10. SH, I think ruling out fakes is a good thing too!

    Perry, I do too! I was an early adopter of YouTube because of it. In Fall of 2005, my daughters wanted me to watch The Bachelor with them. I had never seen it and wasn’t interested. But I relented, and before the show ended, I was thoroughly sucked into guessing who was going to win. Being impatient, I got on the web to look around to see if someone had discovered it. Lo and behold, a fan site said something about this new thing called YouTube where another fan had posted a very slow motion video of the previews and with a detailed analysis. They had also provided a slew of screencaps. Needless to say it was obvious who had won. This was my first introduction to screencaps as well. LOL! I never did tell the girls who the winner was until right before the “reveal” on the show, and then they shortly became big YouTubers. :D

  11. Very interesting stuff, Cill.

  12. BTW, I only watched one other season of the Bachelor, and I knew that winner ahead of time on that season as well. It was the one with a doctor and it happened in France.Those people were so boring, I had to do something to keep me interested.

  13. There was a similar gossip regarding a mistery actor called Toothy Tile, whose saga was started by an entertainment journalist called Casablanca. (He was at E! or something like that.) Read a summary here:

    From what I understand, C tried to show that a certain actor who appeared in Bback Mountain had a certain sexual orientation, and was hiding it while partying all over LA with another young actor, less known.
    waitingfortoothy-part2.blogspot was a place for discussing this gossip, including the clothes swap or a common “beard” for both etc.

    Mr.C. was fired or quit for the entertainment site- I can’t recall exactly. His actions increased the profile of said actors, but it became annoying after a while, because in this time the actor became an O.nominee already and a Bafta winner.

    IMHO there was an initial arrangement between C. and the PR for the actor, which got out of control.

    I see a pattern here…

  14. I remember Ted C. He also wildly fanned the gossip about the lotr actors, for the attention it got his column. I think assuming that any of his stuff was in any way welcomed by the celebrities, or arranged by their pr, is a unique take on it.
    If he was fired, it is only surprising that it took so long. There was trouble because of malicious gossip he spread about Michael J. Fox and Morgan Freeman, among others.

  15. Cill- I know this is borderline OT, but since I found link interesting but kind of got lost in all the acronyms: is there any consensus on when / why DL died? (I find it interesting re: this that Evangeline turned up in the Hobbit after being Dom’s main squeeze for several years!)

  16. Angie, I look at FB as a necessary evil at times. Mostly, I stay away.

  17. @SH: DL = domlijah? or datalounge gossip forum. Datalounge is still very much there (unfortunately). I think domlijah died (after several years) for lack of new evidence, and because it became undeniable that both Dom and Elijah were in relationships with others (female) which they did not publicly talk about (so not for pr purposes) and were not constantly together. Domlijah even existed a bit when Lost was on, although all the participation of their guru Ms Allegro had ceased a while before. She took down her website, the Domlijah Database at that time, but it’s still around in archived copy somewhere. There may even be true believers out there still. Lost may have accelerated the end even without Evangeline (whom they used to trash mercilessly, saying she looked like a guy) because Dom was in Hawaii without Elijah.
    Sorry about the OT, Frenz.

  18. Cill, yes, DL=domlijah, sorry about that & thanks.

  19. Right, Angie! Either the circus or the zoo :)

  20. It’s been very helpful for me in terms of promoting our video production company (my husband says I do a fantastic job with the page ) and the humane society, that page having grown by leaps and bounds since I took it over. And I have fun with my RA FB page. So it’s something of a necessary evil for me, too, Frenz . . . there are just a lot of things that annoy me. And oh heavens football season is approaching and I get so tired of the trash talking between Auburn and Alabama fans!

  21. The zoo is quite appropriate, too, SH.

  22. Cill, the history of domlijah and the machinations of those involved in perpetuating it may well be salient to this discussion. I could be wrong. I guess we’ll find out. LOL! Or not. ;p

  23. I think it has considerable relevance, but that could just be me. And a few others ;-)

  24. You-know-who? Honey it’s Lee Pace not Voldemort.

  25. Oh, it’s so Lee Pace. LOL!

  26. Oh thank heavens you laughed. I really did mean it like a joke. In all seriousness, they both pretty much said, “Please focus on what I do and not on my personal life.”

    So that’s what I am trying to do.

  27. A good plan :D.

    BTW, I sometimes get in trouble because I laugh and the person commenting was serious. Glad you weren’t :D

  28. Interesting to read the comments, Ladies, very interesting. :-)

  29. And again slightly OT, speaking of Ted Casablanca
    (The archive of Casablanca’s gossip has been deleted, I think).

  30. Oh my gosh, thanks to all of you for finally explaining all this crap to me, including the acronyms. I read all the links and now I finally “get” what “shipping” et. al mean, having been oblivious my whole life. Now I’ll see if I can drop one of these into conversation and fool everyone into thinking I’m hip. As if I care, ha ha ha, but it could be worth it if only to shock the sh__ out of a few favored teenaged nieces. Seriously, this has been a terrific public service. I mean that absolutely seriously. Thanks to all who participated and who looked up those useful links.

  31. Refer to people you don’t like as ‘peasants’, @armitagebesotted. Last I checked it was the go-to insult for teenaged girls, especially fans of 1D (1Direction).

  32. Another bon mot! Thank you so much for that!

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