[11 January 2021] I’ve been running this site since April 2019, the day before Rory’s 50th birthday in fact. The blog on this site has been through approximately three incarnations during that time, and is on the third as I first write this (January ’21). My story of how I became a fan was in the first incarnation and I had never bothered bringing it back for the second one. Some people are curious about this and some aren’t. For those who are curious, I’m putting it back on the site nested under my “about me” page. Seemed the most appropriate place; it’s bad enough I mix in my personal opinions and snippets of my life on the blog, but those posts usually also include things specifically about Rory or some aspect of the site. This one’s a lot more personal (no, I will not get gross), so it really doesn’t go there. So anyone who wasn’t curious in the first place will find missing it much easier.
I could go dig up the original post because I’ve got it backed up somewhere, but it’s probably on my old laptop and I don’t feel like juggling laptops just now. So I will just tell the story as best I can and hope I didn’t forget anything.
Hang on to yer butts because this goes back to the nineties.
In 1996 I was your typical twenty-two-year-old trying to figure out life and basically rebelling against shit I’d been taught that no longer made sense to me. This coupled with a fairly strong background in mythology (it was one of my interests as a kid, as in I would tune out of the classroom lessons to read books about it) and a high school friend who’d been into Wicca led me to the Church of All Worlds (CAW), a Neopagan church. I’m not going to get into what all that means; you’re welcome to go google it yourself if you’re curious and believe me, I’m not asking you to sign up. I’ve been out of it myself since 2003. It’s not a cult and they’re not murderous psychopaths or anything, it’s just… weird and if you don’t know what you’re doing you’re going to get yourself caught up in stupid drama. Warned you.
ANYWAY. So, CAW fostered several groups across the United States and worldwide, and those groups were called “Nests.” (This makes sense if you know where the church’s name came from. GOOGLE IT.) If you couldn’t find a local nest, you could join one called Internest, which was an email list where people could have two-way conversations. Basically like Usenet or a message forum or a Facebook group (or… *spit*… Reddit). I can’t remember precisely what year I joined Internest, but I know for sure it was some-when between ’96 and ’98. I stayed on that list for so long, not counting a hiatus I took somewhere in there but returned later, that for years afterward I could not type the word “Internet,” which we all used to capitalize, without adding that “s” in there. Occasionally it still happens (though I always catch myself).
While I was there, one of the other members was a lady named Parris McBride. If memory serves, she was a second-ring member (a bit like second degree if you’re Wiccan), known as a “Scion.” Again, that’s more than I want to explain here, just that’s what was going on. The Scions as a rule weren’t as active on the list. They usually had local Nests to administer and real-life stuff going on, which was how they had their shit together enough to get to second ring in the first place. But sometimes Parris would send something to the list. Sometimes it was what I liked to call an “Old Hippie” story, usually involving some sort of adventure, sometimes also involving road trips. I always enjoyed her stories. Sometimes she would talk about her boyfriend George and these books he was writing.
Yep. THAT George.
Eventually (again, in 2003) I left the email list and the church and I’ve never heard from Parris since; she had never been one of the group that I was closer to anyway. Life happened. I moved on.
For some reason, and I’ll never understand why because I visited bookstores a lot and could have tried them, I never actually went to pick up any of George’s books. I would not get around to reading them until after my most recent relocation in 2009; at some point afterward I made an abortive attempt at the first book, caught wind of the incest angle and all the talk of married thirteen-year-olds, and put it back down for a while. Even the whole time people were talking about the TV show, I just sort of took it in stride because I wasn’t going to watch the show without having read the books and, for a long time, I wasn’t going to read the books.
Finally, around the time “The Dragon and the Wolf” aired on HBO (the final episode of season 7, you’ll recall), I don’t know what pushed me to it but I finally gave up and started checking the books out of the library. I think I reasoned that there was no way in fuck that wide a cross-section of society liked the show and the books without the books actually being good and hell, there are fucked-up stories about incest and thirteen-year-old brides in history, never mind a work of fiction. And if I could suffer through the four books of the Twilight “trilogy” “saga” just to see what that was about (my verdict: decent world-building, needed a better writer), I should give A Song of Ice and Fire a shot.
I read the first book as a library book and then began buying them.
New. In hardcover.
That is a high compliment coming from me.
At some point between the end of season 7 and the beginning of season 8 I finally settled down to watch Game of Thrones as well. I had a lot of “hey, what fresh bullshit is this, that’s not in the books” moments, and I fucking hate what they did to Sansa whose only crime, really, was being too sheltered and she’s a LOT kinder than they painted her in the show, but overall it’s an interesting spectacle, kind of like the Harry Potter films versus the books.
Last time I wrote about how I became a fan of Rory’s, I couldn’t remember at that time either precisely what got me started. I know that at some point I began IMDBing various actors from GOT because I was recognizing a lot of faces. That’s my big talent in this household: noticing a face, going “Oh hey, I know that actor!”, and then driving House Male (I’m platonic housemates with my kid’s dad, for convenience’s sake) crazy if I can’t remember where until I pick up my phone or laptop to IMDB the person and find out. There are times he tries to one-up me, and usually he gets the face wrong. Haha. But I was having far too many “I know that actor” moments watching this show. So I was looking everybody up. I can’t remember if I specifically wanted to look up Rory or if I was just looking him up as a matter of course. But I was fascinated to learn I’d seen him in two things already: Hot Fuzz and The Book Group when the latter was on Hulu. We had looked up Michelle Gomez, who was a female version of the Master on Doctor Who for a couple seasons, to see what else she’d been in and that’s what got us onto TBG. In both cases House Male decided to watch and I sort of half paid attention from whatever else I was doing, so I remembered Rory but not very well. Seeing him as Sandor Clegane sort of brought it all full circle.
Apparently, at some point in the midst of all this I started REALLY noticing Rory. Like, THAT WAY.
There was some kind of intermediate stepping-stone thing that I don’t remember happening, but next thing I knew I was watching this video from Kris Hivju:
Oh wow! I thought, what an amazing singing voice. He sings??? So off I went looking. Then I found this.
“But that can’t be Rory,” I thought. “He’s lip-synching. Got to be.” So I went trying to find other vids of him singing, and instead ran into a bunch of uploaded YouTube vids where someone had spliced together only the Kenny scenes from each episode. I hadn’t watched more than the first season the first go-round, and hadn’t paid much attention even then. So I got sucked down that rabbit hole.
It didn’t take long. First episode. This scene.
Y’ALL. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW I STILL HAVE SHARK WEEKS. MY FUCKING OVARIES EXPLODED.
I was pretty much a lost cause from then on. I know I had already been collecting pics of him for at least four months before I started in on this site. At least.
The funny bit is most current female Rory fans seem to be all over him as the Hound. Yeah, I’ll concede, he is compelling in that role. There are even times I want to jump on him as the Hound, drag him off to the nearest bath, and have fun with him and some soap. (Shit, I think I said that out loud.) I love the way he moves when he fights. I love the way he sits on the damn horse afterwards riding away and eating that damn chicken. I used to go “yay!” to myself with every opening credit that had his name in it because it meant I’d get to see him again. I cringed when Gregor half puts Sandor’s eyes out and then Sandor dies in “The Bells” and I was furious with the showrunners for killing him off. I get it. I do. But I will always have a soft spot for Kenny McLeod. Even more so knowing that Annie Griffin, the writer of The Book Group, took so much from Rory to make Kenny happen.
And no, Rory wasn’t lip-synching that one time. GOD.
I have always had a soft spot for rebels and musicians and artistic types and bookworms, but I don’t like the femmey bitchy type of musician or artist — I also like a guy who revels in his masculinity, who goes out and DOES stuff, who doesn’t just live in his head. It is nearly impossible to find guys like that anymore. It’s almost “Renaissance Man” and it used to be a goal for men to aspire to, but it isn’t cool anymore. Typically when someone breaks that barrier, he’s a nerd, and he still doesn’t break it all the way down. I suppose you could call Rory a nerd by the loosest definition. You can really see that streak in his interview while he was in Banished about how he enjoyed learning blacksmithing for his role and actually working with the equipment on set, so much so that the book he always brings with him on set for between takes lay neglected.
He wants a forge, he wants (or wanted) to live in a castle, he likes living rough; I remember reading one interview with him early on (wish I could find it again — at some point I will) where he was talking about going to live in a house that the only way you could get to it was by rowing a boat across a lake and he said, I remember this clearly: “It’s not got electricity or anything.” Talking about it like a little kid excitedly bragging about a new toy he got for Christmas. That made my ovaries explode like with the TBG kissing scene with Claire, but in a different way. Like if I had ovaries in my brain, sort of thing.
Other women are looking at him going “omg he’s huge, omg look at those hands, hrr hrr hrr” and I’m over here like “aw, he’s smart, he’s strong, he does his own thing, he takes no shit, he likes weird stuff just like I do… WHERE DO I SIGN UP,” because if there’s some kind of clone of Rory out there in the world who I’d actually have a chance in hell with, I WANT ONE. I did not know I had a type until I ran across him. Now I want to know where the hell they all are!
Out in the wilderness doing their own thing, I suppose.
In the meantime, at least I can see this one on video. SIGH
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