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Always, Alan Rickman

When it comes time to write a tribute to a fallen idol, we here at the Ace of Geeks like to allow whoever would like to to write a tribute. Today we’re going to hear words from Raven Knighte and Mike Fatum.

Another one of my fandoms has lost an icon this week. This has been a tragic week for fans, seeing the passing of David Bowie – and now Alan Rickman. Known most recently for his role as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies, he passed away today at the age of 69 from cancer. Confirmation is reportedly from a family member.

With roles ranging from romantic to villainous, his characters have commanded a certain sympathy from his audience – the kind that makes one love even the darkest parts of the character, as in “Rasputin,” for which he won a golden Globe for Best Performance:

In “Robin Hood: Prince of thieves” (a role that won him a BAFTA), I found myself hoping that the Sheriff would get the girl. And while I wanted to slap the sneer off Marston’s face in “Quigley Down Under,” I also wanted him to come to his senses and rise above his prejudices. I cried, along with the rest of the Harry Potter fandom, when Snape died so tragically – ever faithful to the memory of his fair Lily, in “Harry Potter.” I found this a while back – a fan edit of Snape’s important moments. Put into chronological order of occurrence in Snape’s life, rather than in the order they actually appeared in the films, it tells a heartbreaking tale:

His comedic turns were well done, as exhibited in “Galaxy Quest” and “The HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” With his droll and deadpan delivery of dialogue, the humor wasn’t so much in the words themselves but with the irony. With this scene, I started out laughing but the compassion with which he recited the hated line had me shedding tears:

He played his romantic characters so truly that I would wish that I could be so lucky to know the character as a real person – for example, the 1990 film “Truly Madly Deeply” with Rickman playing Jaime, a ghost who tries to help his grieving partner move on in the wake of his passing:

He was respected and well-liked by many. Sir Ian McKellan and Emma Thompson posted lovely tributes on their respective social media pages. Some of his fellow “Harry Potter” castmates also posted their reactions to the news of his passing on their social media feeds:

 

Thank you, Alan Rickman. Thank you for the humor, the compassion… the honest love you had for your craft, and your generosity in sharing that with the world. By Grabthar’s hammer – you shall be avenged.

alan rickman quote

Raven Knighte

Like most people of my generation, I first knew Alan Rickman as “the guy from Die Hard.” As I grew older, he became “the guy from Die Hard and Robin Hood,” but it wasn’t until I saw him in Dogma that my brain finally transferred him over into knowing him by his real name. Rickman was never The Guy in the way somebody like Tom Cruise was – he was a treasure, someone who you might not know would be in a movie, but would instantly make your day when he walked on screen. He was, if I may be so pretentious as to actually quote Shakespeare right now, the soul of wit. Every line, no matter how crass or silly or beautiful, flowed from his mouth as if it was the most natural thing in the world.

There’s a reason that, to this day, people still find pieces of meaning in his performance as Severus Snape. Rickman was handed the single most complex character in that mythos, and filled every moment of his performance with nuance and grace. Had a lesser actor played the role, Snape would have been a bully. But every moment Rickman was on screen you felt every inch of that character’s pain. And you felt the noble soul that drove him on every day, even as his exterior showed only bitter anger. When the giant twist (Harry Potter spoilers, if you’ve never read them or seen the movies somehow) that Severus was working for Dumbledore was revealed, I was never shocked. In my mind Severus had always been a good man. Part of that was Rowling’s writing, but a good chunk of that was Rickman’s performance.

This has been a truly awful week, and I can’t stand that we have to memorialize both David Bowie and Alan Rickman in three days. So I want to leave us remembering when a great actor took the time to turn all of his considerable talent to being absolutely hilarious.

Mike Fatum

Raven Knighte
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Raven Knighte is addicted to cheese and popsicles. Her favorite pastime is proving not only that it can’t rain all the time, but also that it actually can’t rain at all, by refusing to believe that rain exists. Her favorite quote is the letter that Brian wrote and reads at the end of the movie “The Breakfast Club,” because all five of those characters from the movie live in her head. She bathes in pixiedust daily, feeds clocks to crocodiles, and fights pirates. She has been known to take to the skies and crow loudly on occasion.

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