The great ReluctAnt Dragon

My dear friends,

I know this is not the post you are waiting for, but it’s the one I have right now. I actually wrote this during RDC5, but things were too hectic to actually post it. No time to reread/edit. So imagine reading this on Saturday night:

I have to say a word or two hundred and fifty times two? about some reactions to RA’s photo op policy and the fannibal’s disappointment with it.

I have read a number of people getting huffy about the fannibals expressing their disappointment with Richard’s Photo Op Rules & Regulations and I would like to say something about that.

Yes, it’s his choice and I wasn’t surprised or upset by that at all. Like many of us, I was surprised he decided to show up in the first place. And he has bodily autonomy same as all of us do. That’s understood.

That said, I completely understand that fannibals are upset/hurt/surprised by this. There is a standard for this con that was not being met by him and I get the feeling that wasn’t apparent to many of them beforehand. Unlike us, whose favorite pastime is analyzing his every breath (well, not me, I’m not that kind of fan, as you know, I’m far to lazy and unorganized; I only analyze maybe every third breath) their main focus is the show and Mads, who is the king of the realm. It is HIS show but it’s also a real ensemble piece and every actor here gets the fan love. All of them seem more than happy to get up to all kinds of fan shenanigans. They have all been multiple times and they are beloved. It’s an intimite fandom, almost familial in the vibe you get (I’m always just describing my impressions as an outsider looking in, of course) and the con is their family reunion time. So the rules of their bar (to drag out that overused cliche) run heavily towards ‘the wilder, the better and always, always wear your flower crown’ (I know I do!!).

Now into this happy, flowery, lovably crazy bar, where Mads Mikkelsen’s only reaction to the request “Can you please pretend to throttle me for the photo” will be “from the front or from the back?” and Aaron Abrams and Scott Thompson will gladly do a synchronized biting event, comes the “no hugging, no touching, no flower crowns” rule and it is a bit like “no shoes, no shirt, no service” signs at your favorite beach bar. You’re there in your swim trunks for crying out loud, of course you want your margarita served without shoes and a shirt. So it’s a bit of a letdown to the fandom, because it’s a huge outlier and also not expected by many IMO.

So I fully understand the confusion and disappointment expressed by a lot of people and besides–they feel their feelings. Those cannot be changed and I haven’t read anything that was rude, so I can’t object to someone expressing how they felt.

Edited to add: On Sunday he did change his policy and I just saw the digitals of that day. There was hover-hugging, some real hugging and he wore a few flower crowns. I am massively jealous. I want to be the bigger person, but I’m not that saintly. I had my photo op on Saturday and while it’s an okay photo, it doesn’t compare to the Sunday ones. *sniff* But kudos to RA for reading the room and finding it in his heart to adjust.

More about my shenanigans when I’ve settled back into my routine a little more. Working today was brutal. I’m just not ready to adult yet.

Peace out,
Kate

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53 thoughts on “The great ReluctAnt Dragon

  1. I really don’t have anything to add to this. No wonder – we discussed the issue to death while there. Just to say that I loved the way you wrote this. The beach bar analogy, the third breath, synchronised biting event – spot on, but hilarious in its expression. Mind you, I really loved your BBQ analogy more. (Oh, how I love doing the ‘insider reference thing’ here…)
    And btw, even though *I* did get a second (*coughs* third) chance with the photo op, I also nearly choked when I saw the digitals today. Sometimes I could kick myself for being a stupid German – who follows the rules without questioning or requesting. Maybe, had we asked, we could’ve gotten our “The Mute Twins” photo.
    Anyway, now that the rules are down and the OoA has survived his first con, we all know what to expect. I’m glad you wrote your reaction to it down and made it clear that anybody was entitled to their reaction. And that even includes RA.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. *snorts*… I think you could make a career out of similes and analogies!
        The BBQ one went along the lines of “it’s as if you are invited to a BBQ where everybody’s supposed to turn up with venison and you are the one who contributes half a vegan sausage” – or something like that…

        Liked by 3 people

    1. I got so hung up on the BBQ thing the first time around that I forgot to say: Your comment about the German rule following sentiments was spot on. I was so concerned with him, I completely forgot about myself in that moment.

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      1. I find myself very, very German in such circumstances. When the photo lady said to me “Richard doesn’t want to be hugged and no flower crowns, either.” I replied “OF COURSE!” *snorts* For me there was NO QUESTION that the rule was right, was normal and was to be obeyed. 😂It was ALL about him, and not at all about us…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes!! I immediately switched from fangirl mode to professional mode. My job is to make sure things run smoothly, so that persona took over completely. How can I do this efficiently and with the least amount of discomfort for HIM?

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    1. We don’t know. We showed up and the photo PA said to everyone in line: “No hugging and he doesn’t want to wear any flower crowns.” No further comment.

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    2. In the absence of any reason given, I assumed he was worried about any interference with his hair piece.
      That was pure and silly joking, but boy, did that little jibe lift my mood after the downer of the photo policing…

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Ok, here is my *real* opinion: I think he is actually a little bit stiff and not quite relaxed enough (in public in general, not just at a con) to let go and be silly for no other reason than being silly. We’ve heard of him doing that in “safe spaces” – on set, surrounded by friends, occasionally in an interview setting – but he doesn’t do it in the presence of fans. Insecurity? Fear of revealing something that he wants to keep private? Or even plain vanity??? Jesus, I hope it’s not the latter. That’s worse than being a repressed Brit with a massive stick up his bum (or how did Bridget Jones put it in her inimitable way?)

          Liked by 4 people

            1. Oh, the one where he said that he was a typical man, finding it difficult to rein all the urges in? 😂
              It could easily have been a traumatic thing. Who knows – maybe not just in terms of pushback from fans, but from friends…

              Liked by 1 person

            2. It’s just he was super chatty in that interview and discussed personal stuff then all after that were just work (I think -still a newbie so my time lines maybe off)

              Liked by 1 person

            3. No I think you are right. I remember one interview where he talked about his first time etc., and it caused a bit of furore in the fandom. So much so that he had to write one of his lovely fan letters and appease the fandom, effectively apologising for what he had said. The dear, dear man… sometimes he is just too nice…

              Liked by 3 people

            4. Really? He apologized about that? I’ll have to reread, but it didn’t strike me as controversial at the time. Does this appeasement still exist?

              Liked by 2 people

            5. At first glance I thought that said “Did he apologize for losing his virginity” and it made me LOL. 😂😂
              It’s okay Richie, we figured as much. 😉

              Liked by 3 people

            6. Ok, so the message in question is from September 2006 and it says the following: “Just wanted to pass comment about a certain newspaper interview. I never intended to reveal anything about myself, I was just having a lovely chat with a very nice lady, and almost forgot myself….think I am a bit out of practice. These are the lesson I have to learn, hate being guarded and worrying about saying the wrong thing to please the crowd, that’s just not me, but I guess I will have to take lesson from Blair and Brown about deflection technique. I am completely of the opinion, that none of this helps you to believe my portrayal of a character, but the arena which I work in trades with this kind of information currency, I intend to be a spendthrift in future.”
              So yes – he got burnt, and boy is he disciplined and principled to be still hanging on to that conclusion….

              Liked by 3 people

            7. Wow, this is fascinating. Thank you for sharing with us newbies! I must have been tapping into my psychotic…um…psychic link on Monday when I was noodling around with a new RL episode, as in it I am urging RA to relax and let fans see the real Richard underneath the “Mr. Movie Star Guy” persona.

              Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for the thoughtful and entertaining analysis. As I posted on G’s blog, I went ballistic APM over the weekend but now realize that I allowed my own anxieties to blind me. I did see some snippy comments on Twitter about how RA was going to lose a lot of fans over the photo ops and that contributed to my overreaction, because hey, the guy is allowed to have his space. But, you know, if someone is going to stop admiring an actor and his work simply because he didn’t want to throttle them (either from in front or behind), they probably weren’t much of a fan to begin with.
    I wish that you’d gotten another shot at the brass ring once the conductor of the carousel had descended from his high horse a bit, but hopefully the autograph session made up for it, at least a little. (I will make sure to have plenty of margarita fixings on hand for when The Mute Twins appear at my birthday con! 🍹🍹) Good luck getting back into adulting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly, I can see both sides of this. But if you pay £45 for the (at least implied) steak 🥩 and lobster 🦞 dinner and they give you a bowl of Campbell‘s chicken noodle soup, your first reaction is not gonna be favorable. Some snippiness is to be expected.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Especially if the other entrees are whooping it up with fans and giving whipped crème and chocolate cake for dessert and the “soup” stoops with hands in pockets like he’s severely constipated…

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        1. I’m sorry, but that’s harsh. He looked lovely, even with his hands in his pockets. Sometimes it was downright cute. What you’re describing isn’t chicken noodle soup. Chicken noodle soup is a perfectly fine meal. Not something utterly unpalatable.

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          1. ok bad analogy on my part. From the pictures I’ve seen he looked uncomfortable on Saturday vs more go with the flow on Sunday in comparison to Mads and the other guys.. both days. I think it was good for him to get out there and socialize so I’m happy for him even at Sundance what little time he was there.

            Liked by 1 person

    2. I think I know which tweet you mean, LoLo. But I think that fan was not Armitage Army but Fannibal, and thus she can’t really be measured by her dedication to Armitage or about not being much of an Armitage fan. (How much is being much of a fan, anyway? There’s no rule-book, no scale of fangirling effectiveness, so there are no objective measurements.) Her reaction was about not extending her obvious love for the Hannibal show to *one* of the (secondary – as in: guest) cast members because he didn’t match her expectations. And I think that is a valid reaction.
      If truth be told – I think that both Richard and the fan in question will survive the crisis. I’m sure he has enough fans – and she is probably happy with the stars who have shown themselves to be very fan-friendly.

      Liked by 1 person

            1. They are of use in so many ways I could not begin to explain… You capture Tall Dwarf magnificently and funny and sweet and I was crying with laughter this morning and full mouth smiling which I sorely needed!!

              Liked by 1 person

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