Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Story of Archie Kennedy

{In case you don't know this, April 3rd has for the past few years been proclaimed Archie Kennedy Day by yours truly, because of the significance of the fact that April 3rd is actor Jamie Bamber's birthday. And because we needed a day to gush about Archie, didn't we?}

     Once upon a time I fell in love with a fictional character.

     It was years ago now, but I still remember. I still remember when my mom brought the Horatio Hornblower movies home from the library for the first time -- those four DVD cases bound together by a rubber band that spent so much time in our house over the next four years. At first I wasn't interested; at first I thought the whole series was boring. But I was twelve, you see, and twelve-year-olds are often immature idiots. And these things take time. They can't happen all at once.

     It must have been halfway through the first viewing of the series that I gave up being stubborn and decided to watch the movies along with my Mama and my sister Sadie (who, being younger than me but ever so much smarter, was already head-over-heels with the show and everyone in it). It must have been somewhere in that time that I decided Archie Kennedy was my favorite. And it must have been soon after that when I decided I loved him.

     All of a sudden, Archie Kennedy became my first fictional love. I reveled in his every line, I simultaneously swooned and cried over him. I dedicated the patch of violets on the creek bank in the woods to him. I wrote letters to him in my journal. (I still do, actually. Is that weird?) I dreamed about him as only a young girl can dream about a fictional character -- wishing desperately that he was real, while at the same time enjoying the fact that he was made-up, because that meant I was free to dream of him always, and I could have him, and he was mine.

      I'm not really sure why I picked Archie -- I mean, Horatio is obviously the hero of the Hornblower movies. Horatio is the one who does all the wildly heroic things; he's the one who wins battles, gains respect and admiration from everyone, and instills fluttery feelings in the heart of every female who's ever watched those movies. (I mean seriously. If you haven't experienced such, you obviously have some issues.) But it was Archie who stole my heart from the beginning -- it was Archie who made me feel compassionate for him and admiring of him at the same time. And it was him who made me cry. (I have a thing for characters who make me cry.)

     So one spring, when I was fourteen, I wrote this little note in the back of my notebook:

     I will find Archie someday, somewhere out there.

       ~Emma April 24th, 2013

     Post-script: If I don't, I shall die an old maid.

     That was my story, and I was determined to stick to it. Now, I'm seventeen, and after all the dreams, all the letters, all the silly girlish fantasies -- and watching the Hornblower movies about seven times -- I still hold out hope. I'll find Archie, someday.

     In the meantime, I can still swoon over him, because that is the prerogative of a seventeen-year-old girl.

"That's enough, Mr. Kennedy."

"Almost feels like home."

"Sir, Randall! You call him sir!"

"Twenty yards short! The sea boils, Mr. Bush!"

"He has the captain's ear! Why did he not speak when he had the chance?"

"What are you suggesting, Mr. Wellard?"


"I alone did it. I alone pushed Captain Sawyer into the hold."

"And when they ask you, did you push Captain Sawyer into the hold?"
"Are you asking me that question now?"
"I am not."
"Then I will answer it when the time comes. Until then I see no reason to speculate."

   "Nations need heroes, Mr. Hornblower. Heroes make us believe that the impossible is achievable."
"Only if one knows their name. Mr. Kennedy--"
"Mr. Kennedy took a calculated risk when he pushed Captain Sawyer down the hold, for the good of the ship and, in all likelihood, was right to do so."
"You think Mr. Kennedy was telling the truth?"
"I think Mr. Kennedy was a man of great loyalty, sir. He saw his duty and did it."
"And went to his grave without the merit of his good name."
"But you and I will not forget it."

      Happy birthday, Archie.


  1. I LOVE HIM TOO. (But he's yours, don't worry.) His FACE though - everything about it. He's so HANDSOME and CUTE. :-) (This comment is starting to get pretty embarrassing. But really, he's a keeper - and I 100% understand your infatuation for him. (I don't always get it on all your favourite movie heros, but I SO do here.))

    He definitely is my favourite HH character and ohhh WHEN HE DIES. Whyyy did he die?!! (I should make you an I <3 Archie T-shirt.)

    Happy Birthday, dear sir.

    ~ Naomi

    1. I KNOW RIGHT? (I could have written "ikr", but then I remembered we don't do that. In public. Haha. This IS an embarrassing comment.) I'm glad you understand -- what a relief that is. Not many people seem to. ;-)

      Archie's death scene is probably my favorite death in the history of ever. (Even though he breaks my heart and makes me cry buckets.) Sadie and I have the whole thing memorized and often quote it back and forth -- she's Horatio and I'm Archie.

      Hahaha, I don't think I'd wear that t-shirt. I have to draw the line somewhere. ;-P

    2. It makes me happy to hear that you refuse SOME shirts. :-P

  2. Happy Archie Kennedy day!!! I love his character too, almost as much as Horatio. :)

    1. Thanks, Bethany! I adore them both -- but I've just always had more of a thing for Archie. :-)

  3. I'm officially a Horatio Hornblower fan, thanks to you! :) I've only seen two episodes so far, but I've enjoyed every minute of it! (Well, maybe not the flogging scene. But that's really short.) So far I think I'm too stuck on Horatio to appreciate Archie yet, but I'll get there! And yes, there is something wrong if you haven't any "fluttery feelings" for Horatio! :)

    1. Really?! I've made you a fan! *fist-pump* Oh, you will LEARN to appreciate Archie. You're still starting out... you haven't gotten to The Duchess and The Devil Yet. (That's when I really fell in love with him.)

      My sister and my mom prefer Horatio. They don't really understand me. ;-P But Sadie and I have always said that she'll marry Horatio and I'll marry Archie, so it works out.

  4. So now, apparently I need to see this series, if for no other reason than your post inspires curiosity. As always, your posts make me smile!

    1. Aww, thank you. :-) YES! I highly recommend that you do.

  5. He's a darling--I can just tell. I haven't ever seen the movie but I already KNOW he is.

    Poor guy, though. He needs a big hug, that's what.

    Happy birthday, dear Archie. <3

    1. Jessica, I guess you've probably heard me talk about him enough to know, huh? ;-P Yes, he does need a big hug. I tend to form extra-strong attachments to characters that make me feel sorry for them.

  6. Sweet Archie! His devotion to Horatio (who ends up acting rather strict when he is in charge - argh!) and his mischieviousness when he and Horatio jump off the cliff with Mr. Bush. :) He was the brave one, jumping with a man who was afraid of heights and another who couldn't swim. (I think I may have butchered that quote, but hopefully you know what I'm talking about. :) )

    1. EXACTLY. :-) No worries, I got it. "Archie, you're the one who jumped off a cliff with a man who can't swim, and another who's afraid of heights." *convulses with fangirly delight*

    2. Yes, thank you! :) You may have Archie. I'll take Mr. Bush. :)

  7. Aww, this was such a sweet post! Happy Birthday, Archie! I hope I can watch your show someday. ;)

  8. I think we really DID need a day to gush about Archie. There's so much to 'gush' about, with him. <3

    Ohhh, now I understand about violets and Archie! :D That is such a SWELL idea! Dedicating a patch of violets to him... huh, I'd never thought of such a thing. And I've not actually written letters to fictional characters (or random strangers) either, but I've always loved the idea. :) I'll have to, one day.

    I liked Horatio, but I never loved him. With Archie, it was an entirely different case. I just 'got' him. He was the one I cared for far more, the one I was completely drawn to. THOSE DARLING EYES.

    He's such a boy, even though he's a man at the same time. I love that about him - he's so innocent and youthful. :D (You can totally see it in his face in some of the pictures you had, in particular... when you put all the quotes and pictures at the bottom (which was swoonful-ly epic-ly awesome by the way), the first one, the third one, and the tenth one all show it clear as day. :)
    Oh, that eyebrow gif... *drops back onto chair and stares at it*

    That last line. That was the most powerful line in the entire series, for me. I LOVE LOVE LOVED it. <3 *sobs* He didn't deserve to die. He deserved happiness. He deserved a good life....
    ... I never thought I'd miss someone I've never met. ;)

    I hope you find your Archie someday, Emma. I wonder if your Archie is currently waiting for his Emma. :)

    ~Miss Meg

    1. Miss Meg, your comment made me SO HAPPY. :-) I'm so glad you understand!!!

      I love Horatio too, but it's more of an admiration -- I don't love him. (Wow, I'm going a little heavy on the word 'love' here.) With Archie, like you said -- I just 'get' him. (And his eyes. His eyes are IMPOSSIBLE.)

      I know. The first time I saw the eyebrow gif it was the same thing. *stares with tongue lolling*

      "You and I will not forget it. AAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! Oh my, when Captain Pellew comes to the ward room, and they have that conversation and he gives Horatio the orders...."I wish you a safe voyage"...."Thank you, sir".....OHHHHH. MY HEART.

      Thank you. :-) My, what a thought! *blushes* But I hope you're right.

  9. I need to watch this SHOOOOOOWWWWW!!!

  10. I'm horribly late commenting on this, but... Archie is the sweetest. I mean, I adore Horatio, and I love and admire and swoon over Ioan Gruffudd, but Archie is the sweetest.

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  12. Oh. My. Gosh. I'm sorry, can I just borrow so someone's shoulder to cry on? *sobs* Emma, Emma you cruel woman... how can you break my heart so?
    Those pictures.... aaaaaaggggghhhhhhhhhh!!!!!! I'm dyyyyyyyinnnngggggg!!!!! I am not 2000% unashamed of my love and admiration for dear Archie. He is... oh I'm dying.
    Girl, by the end of this post I was on the verge of tears. My sister acting crazy next to me would not allow me to get into the feels of the moment... sigh.

    Remember when they jumped off the cliff?
    Remember when he made that amazing shot at that Frog- er. That is- Frenchman (remember which part I mean?)
    Remember when... he... he... *agonized groan* pardon me, I must weep into a pillow for the next three months.

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