The Fan A to Z – #P

After a week and a half abstaining, I had a lovely comment bts today from Michele that motivated me to go back to blogging. I dropped out last week because I first needed some time to finally get the custom RAPS done that had been bought at the RA birthday auction – and then I had a visit from Hariclea over the weekend. Hari and I had tickets for Yael Farber’s Hamlet again, but we mutually decided to give it a miss. I think I have done my Hamlet duties this year… Instead we actually went to the cinema for a live transmission of La Fanciulla from the Met Opera. Jonas Kaufmann was singing the male lead – and even though I am not a massive opera fan myself, I have to say that this opera was absolutely stunning. Four hours in the cinema – and I wasn’t bored for even a second. Fabulous.

Another event followed on Sunday. Author Deborah Harkness was in Dublin for the annual Bram Stoker Festival. I read Harkness’ All Souls trilogy a few years ago – and actually never was a massive fan of it. The books were well written and entertaining, but the vampire genre is just not for me. I most probably would not have read the books if there hadn’t been a large faction of the fandom who had actively promoted RA as a candidate for the role of Matthew Clairmont, the male lead character of the novels. As it was, he really fitted the description of Matthew – tall, broad-shouldered, dark hair, pale skin. And the visuals definitely added to my enjoyment of the books. In any case, I was curious to meet the author in the flesh, so when fellow fan Snowyjo pointed out that Harkness was coming to Dublin, I immediately bought tickets.

Not least also because the event was held in the Chapel Royal of Dublin Castle. I used to pop into the castle chapel every time I was taking visitors around Dublin Castle, but lately the chapel has been closed – at least for sightseeing. The event was not fully booked out, and even though we were only half way down the waiting line before entering the chapel, we bagged the best seats – a side pew with unobstructed view of the “stage”. The conversation was conducted by the well-informed Patrick Freyne, a features writer for the Irish Times. The two of them discussed anything from how Harkness launched into writing from her regular career as a professor of history, to her writing process, to the characters in her novels and her plans for the future of the book series. I really enjoyed listening to Harkness. She came across as down-to-earth and unpretentious, she had many interesting things to say, and I almost felt she was a kindred spirit when she disclosed which handful of fiction books used to be on her bookshelf in the 1990s ( of which I can only remember Marion Zimmer Bradley Mists of Avalon, AS Byatt Possession, and Umberto Eco Name of the Rose).

Anyway, it was a great conversation, and even though the event was not fully sold out, the line for the book signing table stretched all the way back through the chapel within seconds of the event ending. So Hari and I decided not to wait around. I am, however, even more curious to see the series.

Umph, just seeing Matthew Goode there (whom I actually like), I get wistful thinking how good RA would’ve been… 

So yeah, here’s a really nice segue to today’s A to Z Fan Challenge question…

P – RA on big screen or RA on TV?

Small screen, all the way. Yes, I know that the big screen is the way to superstardom. But I am selfishly only thinking about myself here. I simply want RA’s work easily accessible and preferably in a format that brings him on my screen regularly every week. A nice lead role, can be period or contemporary. Heck, I don’t even mind if he reprises a genre that he has done before. I would just prefer to see him in a long-term project that does not involve expensive cinema tickets. Who do I need to bribe to make that happen?

Sorry, that’s a short answer today. But at least I am back.

Happy Halloween! 🎃


156 thoughts on “The Fan A to Z – #P

  1. Very quickly…mostly so that I can be in on the discussion…thank you for the interesting info about Harkness. What a treat that must have been! I love hearing writers discuss their craft.

    I’m torn about the big/small screen question. My life’s work has been dedicated to the big screen, so I lean toward that, but as you say, getting to see RA every week in the comfort of one’s home has a lot to recommend it. And I seem to recall him saying that he prefers TV series because there’s more opportunity for character development.

    I guess that for me, the bottom line is that any project needs to be well-written, have RA in the leading role, not kill him off and have him be as naked as possible as often as possible. Wait, did I say that last part out loud?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. LL, I can’t top your answer so I will concur with you! I think a BBC series would fit well. They seem to me to be well written and lush costumes and location shooting and he could probably stay put in London and stop globe hopping so much… although I wouldn’t mind him keeping a pad in NYC just in case…..

    And to Guylty— hey hey hey you’re back. 10 more answers to go on the challenge!! I er we missed your Tumblr round-up/commentary/asides/visuals as well!!!


    • I know I know… I actually suggested to Hari that we should do the round-up together. Would’ve been great fun – but then we forgot about it on Friday and there was no time on Saturday and Sunday… There’ll be a longer round-up next Saturday instead, I hope.
      And I concur with your suggestion of a nice BBC series for RA.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I have to agree with you about the casting of Matthew. RA would have fit the bill splendidly. I might give the books a go again. I did enjoy them. I’m NOT a supernatural fan – not into vampires and witches and werewolves, but I found this series intriguing.


  4. Big screen or small, for me. it depends on the role. Loved him in SB, which would count as tv, hated the Dollarhyde role, which was tv, too.As for movies, except for Thorin role, I think his movies are completely forgetable. I think most of his movie. roles are obscure, weird or both. Not counting Oceans, but that role was minor, although lovely. I think his big break was ITS, and it came and went like the tornado. My, I sound pessimistic. I must be crashing from all the 🎃 candy I ate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pessimistic or not – I think you have a point there. The whole movie thing post-Hobbit didn’t really take off, did it? Another reason why I am thinking that he should call it quits and concentrate on TV instead.

      Liked by 2 people

      • It really didn’t. I’ve thought about this and also discussed it with a friend. Maybe it’s just because I don’t know enough about the movie business, but having a major role in one of the biggest franchises apparently isn’t necessarily a career maker, as much as fans would like to believe that. Of course, we don’t know how much of it is by choice and how much is just luck (bad or good), but I’ve thought about how much truth is in his little funny annecdotes about going to auditions and people saying “Oh, you’re tall and not nearly as hairy as we thought”. Tears of a clown?


        • There must be hundreds of variables that may determine why an actor suddenly becomes a superstar – and why others (who may even be worthier in terms of talent) do not. Timing, age, exposure, looks, previous role choices, agents, fans, jobs on offer… who knows what it all is. I suppose, the important bit is that he himself is not disappointed with his career. It’s not as if he didn’t achieve anything…

          Liked by 2 people

    • I think if Urban could have been released with a bang instead of a wimper and been accessible to more people like me who will probably never see it at this point he could gain more visibility. I think that’s his problem- Thorin was great but hopefully that was not his peak. BBC has fantastic material and many of their shows have gone across the pond to U.S. so that would tick of a lot of boxes for him and his loyal fans.. Maybe he had banked on BS to do that… ?


  5. Thanks for the post Guylty. I’d rather see him in anything now, rather tha just listening to him, which is all we have at the moment. As for Matthew Clairmont, I desperately wanted to see him in the role, he would have been perfect, but I’m glad he didn’t. It’s well made, but there is something faintly silly about it (aside from the subject matter). Matthew Goode is a fine actor but when flares his nostrils and tries to look menacing, he reminds of my son as a baby when he was straining in his nappy. I would hate to have seen RA humiliated like that ( though I suspect, he would have brought real menace to the role).


  6. Happy Halloween and Happy Birthday! 😘

    I must say I loved the Discovery of Witches books and I’m loving the series! Yes, RA would have been fabulous as Matthew but Matthew Goode is doing a pretty good job, and I don’t think he’s being humiliated in any way in the role.

    Back to the question – small screen all the way. Like you, I want to be able to watch RA in the comfort of my own home, and another lengthy series would be perfect.


  7. Great to read you had a lovely weekend! Hari plus Jonas Kaufmann – no doubt that was a perfect decision! 🙂
    Re Harkness: I have to admit I didn’t like the books… After starting the first novel with high expectations I quit reading the second at about the middle… I am not that much into the genre either. And although I did not mind that much that RA had not been cast I agree that he might have really been a better choice than MG…
    The Chapel looks great – have to keep it in mind for my scheduled Ireland trip!
    As for the big screen/small screen question: your choice sounds very reasonable! Anyway I’d take both given he has had few highly estimated on screen roles recently and for a change… between Audible sessions… 😉
    Thanks for your post!


    • I am wondering whether RA as Matthew Clairmont was also a matter of age? The books are 10 years old at this stage. I can’t quite remember how old Clairmont is meant to be (in appearance, not in age – that would be several hundred years, I guess), but maybe time ran out and RA simply did not fit the description anymore…
      Anyway, yes, I can recommend the chapel – if it is open when you visit. It seems to be closed most of the time.
      And you are right – any screen is better than simply the earphones…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Just running in to wish you a very happy birthday. 🎂 🍾 Hope I’m not too late.

    The Discovery of Witches clip made the series look better than the books, which I found lacking in richness somehow. But maybe that’s because I was busy scrubbing out MG and substituting someone else.


    • You were definitely not too late – I am just late in saying thank you 🙂
      It’s hard to fully criticise the All Souls books without being nasty. It’s not that I disliked them, and I certainly thought they were easy to read. I guess I found them slightly predictable.


  9. Yep, I’m with ya on a Richard Armitage series! I too read the All Souls Trilogy books because of the RA casting hype at the time and quite enjoyed it.I have now watched the TV series as well and while I like Matthew Goode I can’t help but think that Richard would have been even better in this… For me, the series has the same ‘it’s OK’ vibe as the books but I liked it enough to keep on watching, Just read that series 2 and 3 are planned.


  10. At last, I’m doing #P. I would love having RA on my TV every week. Fortunately, besides BS, at least one of his movies seems to pop up each week on TV. I’d like him to be cast in a lead role in some really great main stream movies because it will bring him the name recognition he so richly deserves and he’ll be considered bankable in all entertainment forms.
    Tonight A Discovery of Witches airs in North America. I managed to see the entire series while it aired in the UK and was very pleased. Apparently so is everyone who saw it because it’s up for an award and there will be a season 2 and 3. I thought Matthew Goode was a good Matthew but Clairmont will always be RA to me. Dr. Harkness knows I still believe this. We talk about it. It became kind of a joke at the 3rd annual All Souls Con last August but I was given several ADOW items with RA’s face on them because I’m still adamant he should’ve been Clairmont.
    I still hope you’ll come to Cardiff for the 4th annual Con.


    • So, how has DoW been received in the US? I still haven’t watched it here – and I really would like to. The whole thing somehow has grown on me, not least because of Matthew Goode. That sounds like blasphemy, but no, I agree with you Tommie, and still believe that RA would’ve been ideal in the role.
      So, you have talked to Harkness about this? Well, what is *her* opinion on the matter. I mean, I fully understand that she would now be completely behind Matthew as Clairmont, but was there any truth in the rumour that she actually had RA in mind when she created the character?


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