The venerable “star of England”, the BBC, delivered a welly of telly with The Hollow Crown their mega movie length series of Shakespeare’s kingiest adventures. The Internet responded with gusto, with tweets outnumbering the toll of French deaths at Agincourt during the broadcast of Henry V. But far from crying “God for Harry, England, and Saint George!”, the swell of sentiment was high on Hiddlestone.
I swear by Will’s “souvenir of Statford-upon-Avon” mug that there is nothing more fascinating to me than Shakespop. Spurned by the speed with which Henry V memes appeared in Tumblr, I delved into the audience tweets around the show. Just who was watching over two hours of fusty old Shakespeare on a Sunday evening when they could be ironing Monday’s work shirt? The answer I found was BBC-America-watching, I-am-Sherlocked, #lokisarmy devotees. What better way to share what I found in the Internet’s favourite way of digesting stats than in an infographic.
The Hollow Crown was perfect fandom fodder. A saga filled with capes, cut-glass accents and cheekbones. We’re so used to seeing our favourite Shakespearean actors in these opuses, references across fandoms feels natural.
Bardolators, begone. The most common complaint of tweeting viewers of Henry V was having to watch the programme with subtitles on because they couldn’t understand what was being said. The pidgin Shakespearean language commonly adopted by pop culture found its merry way online too. I delighted in stumbling across Fucketh Aye The Hollow Crown.
This was an audience more interested in Nutella than Renaissance theatre, but not too distant from the folks you’d find lingering around the drama section in Waterstones. Most tweeters belonged to artistic professions and by identifying with Ravenclaw house, happily admitting to being bookish. They may have found the courtship of Kate more
arousing than the mighty “warlike Harry” but when their main reason for tuning in was for Tom Hiddlestone’s dreamy blue eyes, I can’t blame them for wishing themselves in her petticoats. Me, I’m more a Ben Wishaw kinda gal.
“I think all the ladies in #thehollowcrown tag would like a little touch of Harry in the night”