I didn't really see this in your tags and I looked I promise! What is your opinion on the difference between book Hugh and show Hugh? I find I enjoy him a lot more on the show than in the book. I know it's because it's easier to go into depth about him and his time with Dwight (which the show has done a good job of imo) so I actually find myself liking him as a character a lot more than I did in the book. Just wanted your thoughts on that
I’m going to combine this ask with this one, because they touch on the same thing:
I know you’ve analyzed Hugh Armitage a lot in the past, but do you think there is a case for a different, more favorable interpretation of his storyline? I liked Hugh in the books and I’m very disappointed in the fandom’s reactions to his scenes last night.
Obviously you both asked these questions some weeks ago, so my answer now may vary slightly from what my answer would have been then - though I’m not sure it will vary much!
What is your opinion on the difference between book Hugh and show Hugh?
Primarily, the difference is that we see more of Hugh. In the book, we almost invariably view him through Ross’s eyes or through Demelza’s - very rarely from the perspective of the omniscient narrator, and never from his own POV. In the show, we’ve been given a more rounded character. Because we saw Dwight’s experiences in Quimper, we also saw Hugh Armitage there, and thus his role was enlarged from the book, where he does assist Dwight in the infirmary, but we hear nothing else about his time in the camp, and he doesn’t come to help Dwight deal with the trauma of it all. This is the biggest change from the books, and it’s not one I dislike, because it does serve to give Hugh more depth, and makes him, as I said, more rounded. There is more to him than poet and admirer of Demelza, in the show, whereas in the book, the rest of his life is really quite opaque.
do you think there is a case for a different, more favorable interpretation of his storyline?
I think this depends on which aspect of his storyline you’re thinking of. Because the show has fleshed him out a bit, it’s easier to sympathise with him, I think - or, if not sympathise, at least see him as a character with more depth. Because we know him better, the loss of his sight becomes something more vivid, more affecting, than it quite does in the book. I really like that we saw more of Hugh in Quimper, particularly in the way he supported Dwight there and afterwards, and I think it does make it possible to view Hugh in a more favourable light.
However, that said, his actions towards Demelza are identical to those in the book (or near enough) and I personally don’t find myself viewing him more favourably, in the end, because regardless of the added screentime and added depth of character, he still goes after another man’s wife and essentially manipulates and cajoles her into having sex with him.
I liked Hugh in the books and I’m very disappointed in the fandom’s reactions to his scenes last night.
I think Hugh isn’t dislikeable in and of himself, it’s what he does with regards to Demelza that is a dislikeable thing. I’m glad you liked him in the book! There are parts of his storyline - and certainly how it affects the relationship between Ross and Demelza - that I really love reading. But there are always going to be people who don’t like the characters we do, and Hugh was always going to be a polarising character in the fandom, because of the views of people about Ross and Demelza, and views about Ross’s night with Elizabeth. I personally find myself on ‘the other side’ of parts of the fandom on a fairly regular basis, and I try not to let it affect me, because we’re all entitled to our opinions (though not ignorant opinions :P ) and the fandom - indeed, the world - would be a very boring place if we all liked the same characters and the same storylines.