FDS: My Heart Always Returns to Richard Armitage as John Thornton, July 19, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #786)

I watched the final episode of the BBC’s 2004 adaptation (image right) of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North&South-2004BBC-dvd-cover_Jul10815raentbeloved story “North & South” last night–again. I have watched it countless times–especially the final train station kissing scene where the reticent lovers John and Margaret finally acknowledge their love for each other.

The love story of John Thornton and Margaret Hale came to life for me with the searingly nuanced character portrayals by the immensely talented actors Richard Armitage as John and Daniela Denby-Ashe as Margaret. No two actors in a film, or in a love story, have moved me the way that Richard as John and Daniela as Margaret have moved me–to smiles, to tears, and to joy again and again. Whether it was the hurt in John’s eyes in thinking that Margaret was lost to him forever, or the regret that Margaret instantly felt in refusing John’s proposal–and so many moments of shyness and awkwardness, and even stubbornness between them–that makes me root for their love to blossom every time I watch the film.

And John’s and Margaret’s awakening to their heart’s true love and soul mate in each other in the final scene at the train station always moves me with its romantic poignancy. John is incandescently happy when he sees Margaret on the station platform as their two trains idle before passing–he is heading home to the North after visiting her idyllic Helstone in a pilgrimage of sorts, and Margaret is heading South to London after visiting Milton and not finding him there to discuss her “business proposition”. John has been brought low by financial reverses and must give up his mill. Margaret is now in possession of the mill ownership and Mr. Bell’s other wealth transferred to her as his goddaughter, so she offers funds to assist Mr. Thornton to reopen the mill. She has no expectation of Mr. Thornton loving her in return–she selflessly hopes to help him regain what he has lost. And yet, Margaret’s gesture of offering all of her newly bestowed wealth to him conveys to John what his heart has longed to discern–that she loves and accepts him.

Their first kisses in silent declaration of John’s and Margaret’s mutual love are sweetly Guy-and-Roseanna-kissing-areRichardArmitage-andDanielaDenby-Ashe-inNorth&South-epi4-340-Jan0114ranet-sized-brt-crop2brttender (original image image from RANet, my edit right). And their kisses are scandalous for that time of strict social rules for interactions between unmarried persons.   The shockingly clandestine nature of their meeting is especially true with Margaret initiating the first lingering kiss from her upon John’s hand that has gently clasped hers in thanks for her generosity. This bold move of Margaret’s frees John from the chains of propriety as he acts upon his heart’s desire as he lovingly takes her face into his hands and he kisses her tenderly–two kisses at first, and then four adoring kisses, which she responds in kind to. And though Margaret’s hesitant pulling away from John as the whistle sounds for her train to depart for London is interpreted by John as rejection, she affirms her commitment to him by swiftly returning to him to travel home with him to Milton. The moment John spies Margaret’s reflection in one of his train’s windows–with a lovely mise en scene of cotton bales on the far platform as seen through the window–his joy cannot be contained as he gives her a luminous smile and asks “You’re coming home with me?” Margaret smiles lovingly up at John in response before entering his train compartment–to return home with him to Milton and become his wife.

“North & South” is a story about second chances, and about last chances–in life and in love. It is a story about learning to understand another’s perspective–as they learn to understand your perspective. And it is a story about two people for whom their love is new and wondrous, as much as their love is transformative–John’s and Margaret’s destinies now lovingly intertwined forever. And thus with Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe bringing these timeless characters and their love story to vivid life, John’s and Margaret’s tale of love is etched indelibly upon my heart.

And so let us now enjoy the North & South love theme music and images of that final scene via lucifmello’s lovely video, “North & South Soundtrack – Northbound Train”:

Wishing you a peaceful and loving Sunday! Hugs!

About Gratiana Lovelace

Gratiana Lovelace is my nom de plume for my creative writing and blogging. I write romantic stories in different sub genres. The stories just tumble out of me. My resurgence in creative writing occurred when I viewed the BBC miniseries of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North & South in February 2010. The exquisitely talented British actor portraying the male lead John Thornton in North & South--Richard Crispin Armitage--became my unofficial muse. I have written over 50 script stories about love--some are fan fiction, but most are original stories--that I am just beginning to share with others on private writer sites, and here on my blog. And as you know, my blog here is also relatively new--since August 2011. But, I'm having fun and I hope you enjoy reading my blog essays and my stories. Cheers! Grati ;-> upd 12/18/11
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22 Responses to FDS: My Heart Always Returns to Richard Armitage as John Thornton, July 19, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #786)

  1. Esther says:

    Ahhhh, yes…. I will never ever get enough of this either….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. July 19, 2015–Thanks for liking this post!

    Esther, Herba, Carolyn, jholland, & Servetus


  3. jmajohn07 says:

    Thanks for the hugs (needed them today) and for this lovely piece of my favourite RA role. God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi jmajohn07, You’re most welcome–about the hugs! We all need hugs now and again. And thank you for your kind remarks about my little essay above about RA and N&S. I’m glad that you enjoyed it! Cheers! Grati ;->


  4. Carolyn says:

    Thank you! Like so many others, this was the DVD that led me into this wonderful world of Richard! Thornton was my first love! It was such a happy day when I found this in our library, here in the US. To think, had I not, I would never have ‘discovered’ Richard!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Carolyn,
      My RA fan genesis story is very similar to yours. I rented the N&S dvd at our local library on a lark in February 2010–my never having heard of the story nor of Richard Armitage before then. And what a revelation it was! I was so enamored of the story and of RA that I instantly set about ordering my own copy of the dvd–renewing the rental until I received my copy. Ha!

      Life has these serendipitous moments. And finding and admiring Richard Armitage–and developing the many friendships that I have made along the way in discovering RA’s wonderful storytelling through his many roles–are true blessings!
      Hugs & Cheers! Grati ;->


      • Carolyn says:

        HA, I would keep the DVD the three weeks I was allowed, take it back, wait and watch for the librarian to check it back in. Then go check it out again! This went on for a couple of months. I only found it because I wanted to watch something in that genre. So, I checked the spines of all the DVD’s for anything PBS or BBC, having watched all that I knew titles of. He made such a big impression on me that I researched on the internet, at the library, to see if anyone knew who he was. LOL, the first video that popped up was ‘Sexy Back’. I almost embarrassed myself when I saw my Mr. Thornton in a speedo! Finally, I ordered the N&S, deciding I should let someone else enjoy it. This was in 2009, and I have loved every minute of being in the RA world, meeting wonderful people and loving Richard in his many roles. Hugs!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • LOL! Glad to know that my library check out extensions for N&S were in good company! And of course, even if there were any library fines–which there weren’t–RA as JT is worth it! *wink*

          And the Armitage fandom is full of lovely people around the world whom I would never have been able to meet–but for him. We are Global Team Armitage! Hugs & Cheers!


  5. July 19, 2015–A heads up that the ladies who run the Spread the Love (STL) RAndom Acts of Kindness blog have a new contest, with a signed RA The Crucible poster as its prize, here:



  6. jholland says:

    Ah… just so. Thornton is really my original love as well. Thank you! I have watched it countless time on Netflix, then ordered a region-free DVD player so I could get the deleted scenes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi jholland, Thanks for your kind note! I feel for you about needing a region free copy. I had to do that for Sparkhouse. Then I discovered the vlc software. Check it out. Thanks for visiting and commenting. Cheers! Grati ;-)


  7. After I am done with Robin Hood, which will be very soon, this is the next thing on my list. Can’t wait to see it (if I can find it somewhere on the net).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Andrea,
      Thanks for your note. There used to be Youtube links for each of the four , one hour episodes of North & South. But I couldn’t find it–or I would have linked it for folks. it may have been that the video channel they were on had to take it down to avoid copyright infringement.

      RANEt has links to all of Richard Armitage’s works available on dvd/cd. And if you buy via Amazon via clicking through the RANet site first, RANet donates their commission to one of RA’s charities. Here is that RANet link:

      Cheers! Grati ;->


  8. July 19, 2015–Dinny’s Child tweet shared her first Richard Armitage as John Thornton in N&S “moment”:


  9. And …


  10. And …(image courtesy of RANet)


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