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Richard, a Fan by any other name…

Armitage a rose

I’ve come across a few notes here and there that said “Hello, I’m a new well-wisher!”.

Firstly, you are very welcome to our little group of friends 🙂

Secondly, I wanted to focus on the phrase “well-wisher” for a bit.

Richard has always mentioned his unease at having “fans” and in his last Christmas message (which I really wasn’t expecting and which brightened up a particularly grim day), he referred to his admirers as “well-wishers”.

Far be it for me to tell Richard what to feel (Oh, I would sooooo love that though…), but I’m just not feeling it.


Let’s take a look:

The Oxford Dictionary defines a well-wisher as:

“a person who desires happiness or success for another, or who expresses such a desire:

Hick received plenty of advice from well-wishers”

OK, not bad…

I certainly wish nothing but the best for Richard, root for him and contribute in my own measly way by buying cinema tickets, DVD and such, not to mention that shameful moment when I actually bought the Guy of Gisborne action figure that I’m way too ashamed to talk about just yet…

But what about passion, Richard?


Let’s take another word: fan

“a person who has a strong interest in or admiration for a particular sport, art form, or famous person:

 I’m a fan of this author”

That certainly fits me much better, although the origins come from “fanatic” and…well… I hope that’s not what I am just yet, but give it time!

Strong interest? Check!

Admiration? Double check with a cherry on top!

Of course showing interest and admiration is tied to hoping the object of our interest will thrive, after all, in part, their success is our joy.

Let’s crank it up a notch- how about fangirl:

“(informal) a female fan, especially one who is obsessive about comics, film, music, or science fiction:

your average fangirl, despite the implication of the name, is a grown-up”


“someone who has a particular regard for someone or something:

he was a great admirer of Henry James”

Good, not great, but allocatess with Armitage, so that’s a bonus and doesn’t have that strong stench of crazy…

Then there are the Richardettes, The Armitage Army and RArmy, but this refers to the whole group, a fandom, not an individual.


The point is, as has been proven by the already beyond boring discussion about the Cumberbitches, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, and someone hooked on Richard Armitage, however they choose to identify themselves, will nevertheless show interest and support the man.

If you don’t mind, Richard, I’ll wish my colleagues well and I’ll stick to being your fan.

You can call me a crazy fan (no, seriously, preferably whisper it gently in my ear…) but if the Jimmy Choo fits then that’s who I am!

About Agzy The Ripper

Sew, Rip, Repeat... and love each moment of it! Join me as I embark on a myriad of sewing and crafting shenanigans.

47 responses »

  1. Hear hear. I don’t mind being labelled a “fan” – it actually gives me a giddy feeling of youth. “Well-wisher” – oh, that is so tame, so civilised, so distanced. Doesn’t really describe the intensity of emotion that he can rip from me through his performance. But yeah, I can see how it must be odd to have “fans”. Better get used to it, Richie.

    • littlesallyboots (Hannah A)

      I agree, well-wisher is just a tad too tame…and, sorry Armi, just a bit wishy-washy >_> Sweet though, and goes with his self-effacing nature, n’aww!
      That’s not to say I don’t wish him well, because I do… it’s just that I also wish I could stroke his face, so…. 😉

    • Richard can call me anything he likes (as long as he calls me…) but I know what feel’s right for ol’ AgzyM and well-wisher just doesn’t cut it 😉

  2. Since I was introduced to RA world, I have thought a lot about the topic and in many moments, while visiting blogs, reading posts here and there, I doubted myself as being a real RA fan, but I always found it difficult to deal with labels. Anyway, I think I am one, not the very passionate one, but I am. 😉

  3. I have never been *a fan* to any celebrity/boygroup/author/painter/rockstar etc in all my life. When Armitagemania happend unto me I was completely unsuspecting and therefore didn’t have a proper defence mechanism. No chance for a little girl from beyond the mountains. As I soaked up all information I could get on the internet I was instantly came across the beautiful world of the army. The nice wellread ladies, all very motherly. *ähem. My very first experience with fandom. And I have learnt one thing: *fan* is short for FANTASTIC, nothing less. I certainly cannot speak for all kind of fans of all kinds of celebrities. But fans of Mr. A. are a great bunch of people.
    Being called a fan is completely ok with me. I am just not a fangirl. I am more the type of a veritable valkyrie. 😉

    • Love your story. I can only agree. I never fangirled before Richard, either. And everything about this unexpected experience has been ‘fantastic.’

      Agzym – I don’t suppose that the term ‘well-wishers’ quite paints the vision of those that squee and jump out of their seats in bursts of spontaneous exhilaration, does it? Thought not. I’m a ‘fan’ then, and wouldn’t have it any other way.:)

      • Agreed. Maybe if I was in my late teens or early 20s I’d feel describing myself a fan was too infantile. Now I’m embracing not worrying about how other people see what I do, if I want to fangirl and it makes ME happy and doesn’t hurt anyone, what’s the harm? I’ve never felt shame that some poor souls are subjected to by “friends” and “loved ones”. If someone really cares about you, they want you to be happy. If you don’t want to help me with my crushing- fine, but get out of the way because I will run you down on my way to my computer to check out new RA stuff 😉

    • Oooh, I like your explanation where the word fan is derived from, i.f. Agree! And hey – well-read, check. Motherly – check (I have a couple of sprogs). Does not necessarily mean I can’t be cool and sexy *ggg*. Armitage has no idea!

    • I agree! Fan DOES stand for fantastic! This is my first experience with a fandom and I really think I couldn’t fall through a better rabbit hole! Just large enough not to be stifling and to get a good flow of steady creativity, but small enough that within weeks you know most people, or at least have heard of them 😉

  4. I’m with you Agzy. “Well-wisher” just isn’t working for me. I find I’m writing it in quotes – which are more like air quotes. Sorry Richard, as Mick Jagger said, “You can’t always get what you want.”

  5. Mnie tam wsio rawno ! 🙂 Niechże mnie Ryszard nazywa jak tam chce i jak mu wygodnie .
    Może czuje się bezpieczniej nazywając mnie “well-wisher ” ? 😉

  6. Exactly.

  7. Reblogged this on Me + Richard Armitage and commented:
    So glad Agzy wrote about this. I’ve noted my issues here and there. Richard Armitage is welcome to any reaction he likes to the word, fan, including not using it, but since the term is not being used to describe him but me, he doesn’t get to decide. I have always identified positively with fan and I *love* “fangirl” — both the word and being one! Sorry, Mr. Armitage, not sorry.

  8. armitagebesotted

    He gets to play someone else all day. Now it’s my turn. After a lifetime of being responsible, practical, careful, and NEVER referring to myself or other grown-women-with-jobs as “girls,” because then they’ll treat us like girls — pay us less, not give us mortgages and credit cards, require us to pretend we’re married to get birth control prescriptions, etc., etc. (ask your elders about those days, you young’uns) — for once I’m treating myself to a silly, ridiculous, enjoyable hobby: lusting after a handsome movie star and giggling about it with internet friends. “Fangirl.” I’m owning it, and I’m loving it.

  9. I self-identify as an Ardent Armitage Admirer (AAA). I neither squee nor thud, but oh, the places my mind goes with Mr. Armitage…

    • Poiret would probably agree, a healthy dose of Armitage thoughts sprinkled throughout the day works those little grey cells (and sometimes, not going to lie, does wonders for the dusty loins LOL!).

  10. I agree, fangirl is preferable to well wisher. Ii am resurrecting my girly, silly self through RA appreciation. And besides, well wisherdom just doesn’t haven’t have a ring to it.

    • Well wisherdom! No, I don’t like the sound of that at all 😉 Not to mention I’d have to go back and update my master’s thesis. I’d be writing about well-wisher fiction… nope, don’t like it one bit…

  11. Reblogged this on Richard Armitage US and commented:
    No, nor do I do calm, “I want to be a pin-up”! Nor do I.

  12. armitagebesotted

    Well Wisherdom: sounds like an area of a cemetery, or a model of a hearse.

  13. There is the German colloquial expression of Mädel (girl) and I’m using Mädels (plural) with pleasure (!) when talking about me and my (RL) girlfriends (all very grown-up between 30 and 60!). That is because I believe, deep in our being we still are those “little” and “not so little” girls we once were, and that we’re going to be forever in the course of our life (according to what I’ve heard ;-). Staying connected to that (sometimes awfully hidden) part of me I consider as very, very important and absolutely obligatory. I like “Mädels” and it right away comes to my mind when I think of all you women out there, sharing my/our passion for a certain Richard. Therefore I’m quite happy with being a fangirl or fan (as rabid as I am!! LOL Agzy, what was it with that rabbit hole?? I could rabbit on about Richie all day long….)
    BTW.. Isn’t it freeing when at a certain age, we less and less care about what others think of us and our (hopefully not so calm) doings?
    I’d rather not forget: I wish (you all) well……. Grin….

    • beautifully put ,I never had the chance to fangirl when I was young….shitty childhood etc so now that im older ( and I don’t care if my son thinks im “sad “)I can finally embrace this passion of mine for this lovely man….and at the same time discover all these lovely ladies that share their thoughts and feelings .I am a fangirl of Richard Armitage and a fan of his fangirls too ! ” well wisher ” does not reflect the level of ..compassion ..friendship…err lust !…e.t.c…that a fangirl does !

    • You know Linda..that feeling “I don’t give a s…t what others think about me” is probably the best in my case 🙂

  14. I can understand where Richard is coming from here. The word “fan” has lost its meaning not due to any of us in particular but due to the actions of some out there. The “fans” who stalk, sometimes even assault celebrities are the ones who have caused much of this unease with the word. As noted the word fan by itself has never meant any harm to anyone. You could use the word “admirer” and still end up with some psycho in truth so it isn’t really the word so much as it is the person behind it. I don’t care what Richard calls me really. It can be fan or well-wisher but I’m sure he must realize that even using well-wisher doesn’t get rid of the few who take it over the line. Believe me the stalkers consider themselves well-wishers and in fact they may consider themselves better than that. If he likes well-wisher then that is fine. We all know we are still fans and I think that he knows that the majority of his Army are normal, good decent people who simply support his work and enjoy meeting him when the opportunity comes up. Richard hasn’t entered that part of being a celebrity yet where a “fan” is some alien to be seen but avoided at all cost. He actually likes people, his people but he is a smart man too. He knows there are pitfalls in this and that is possibly part of the unease he feels. So rave on all fangirls. You have to be what you are right?

  15. I can’t say I’m not a fan – I am, both of the man and of his work. He is exceptional in the capacity to evoke emotion with one glance. There are actors far more well known that have yet to master that talent.

    Would I call myself a “fangirl”? Well, I have to say I burst out laughing when I read “doesn’t have that strong stench of crazy…” regarding fangirl. With the negative connotations, perhaps not. I would have to say I am more than a well-wisher, although I am most certainly that too. Admirer? Absolutely. I just don’t thing I can put a label on how I feel truthfully.

    I can only hope that he continues to do work he enjoys, gets roles he feels comfortable in, and does things that make HIM happy. I know I read something a while back where he had looked at roles in the past for what his fan base would like (whether he actually did them or not, I don’t know); but I truly hope he never does that. If he picks roles or does work that HE likes, then the Admirers will continue to admire; the well-wishers will continue to wish well! It’s all in the eyes folks; if he isn’t having fun, neither will we.

  16. A mnie zastanawia czyim fanem był Ryś, że przestało mu się to słowo podobać. Mnie osobiście nie przeszkadza, a wręcz przeciwnie, lubię określać siebie jako RA-fan, bo naprawdę fajnie jest być jego fanem.


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