Let’s return to Loki’s Army, this time with Catherine Roy. What else can I tell you that I haven’t told you already? I’m glad that the fandom is growing, that kindness defines those who join it. Now let’s see what Catherine says about the fandom and the actor (Tom Hiddleston, obviously). Enjoy!
How did you come to discover and become part of this fandom?
Catherine: After I discovered Tom, I wanted to learn more about him. I started looking around and doing some web searches. It led me here.
How did you learn of Tom Hiddleston? Do you remember how you became a fan?
Catherine: I first heard of Tom while browsing the forums of Ravelry which is a yarnie website I joined nearly eight years ago. One of the groups I belong to there had a team for the Ravelympics called Team Loki. For people to compete, but have their yarn projects be inspired by Loki in some way. I was really curious! All I did was click, and there was all of this stuff about Tom, in addition to his Loki. I had to find out more. I completely re-evaluated the one performance I had seen of his at the time, Loki. It was my favorite character in the film, namely because he was the only one that seemed to have feelings I could identify with.
Tell us something about the group Tom Hiddleston/ Loki Army. Where can we find it? What makes it special? What makes fans want to join the party?
Catherine: One of the things that I’ve always loved about the group is the way it comes together to rally behind anyone else that likes Tom too. Whether it means trying to cheer someone up after a bad day, giving advice about something someone asked for help with, or supporting a charity that Tom supports. I know a lot of people join because they are looking for a sense of community with people who won’t mock them for their interests. The great thing is, that interest doesn’t always need to be Tom Related.
With over 14000 members, arguments appear sometimes. But there are also bonds which develop offline. How would you describe Tom Hiddleston’s army? What do you like and dislike the most about the fandom?
Catherine: I’m not sure how to describe the Army. I think it depends on the day of the week, and how long it’s been since Tom has done something interesting in public. The group is ever changing and diverse. There are some very lovely and active members and there are some that would rather just watch in the background. I love how everyone comes together, and supports one another simply because Tom would. The thing I dislike most about the fandom, is the sense of ownership some people seem to have towards Tom. As if he belongs to them and isn’t allowed to have a personal life until he meets them. Don’t get me started on the people that have actually stalked him. It’s possible that the things I don’t like are that way just because it’s the internet.
Having the possibility to interact with people coming from different cultures and backgrounds, how has that aspect influenced you?
Catherine: I’ve had the chance to meet some really interesting people. For about 6 months, we were trying to screen the incoming members to keep spammers and trolls from joining. We literally messaged every single person that asked to join, and didn’t approve anyone that we hadn’t spoken to. I thought before that I was a patient person, but now I know. I’ve had conversations in which everything had to be ran through a translator program. I’ve learned from some of the members too. The group has been an amazing experience. Sometimes it’s a lot of work, and I question humanity. Other times my faith in the future is just restored.
Fandoms have been around for decades, but now they are more visible. From your perspective, how would you say that they have changed over the years? How have the dynamics within or among groups have changed?
Catherine: I’m actually not really sure how they may have changed or not. This is the first fandom I’ve ever really considered myself a part of. Sure, I like certain shows, movies, and books, but I’ve never before gone out of my way to even say “hello” to anyone else that liked that stuff too.
Last year we posted a tag about Reading Habits. Tell us about some of your habits.
Catherine: I read mostly fan fiction these days. I love Archive of Our Own, simply because the search function to find anything I might want to look at seems to be more sophisticated than other sites. I’ll read any Destiel, FrostIron, or Snarry that has a halfway decent plot. Spend way too much time reading it too. One of my favs on fanfiction.net: Lessons From a God by Malkavia30. Now that is seriously steamy FrostIron! Heed the author warnings though.
What are some of your favourite literary works? How have they influenced the way you look at life?
Catherine: When I read Lord of the Flies back in high school, it was likely one of the last books I read the really changed the way I look at the world. I thought, this is human nature, to turn on those who are weaker. I decided I didn’t want to ever be that kind of person.
Finally, what drives you?
Catherine: Sadly, I’m such a procrastinator I’m only driven by playing catch-up sometimes. I’d like to be a better person, I strive not to abandon my principles. I’m a bit hot-headed though, so sometimes I end up arguing about what is important and forgetting to do anything about it.
by Elena Atudosiei