Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
SilverStormm

Merlin (2008)

Recommended Posts

A place to discuss particular episodes, arcs and moments from the show's run. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

Share this post


Link to post

So, a few things I wanted to respond to coming off of Season 1:

So, all this "magic" talk is nothing more than a thinly-veiled allusion to Merlin's sexuality, isn't it?

I really like the parallel relationship structure the show has set up: In addition to Arthur (noble) and Merlin (servant), there's also Morgana (noble) and Gwen (servant), and Uther (noble) and Gaius (servant). I read the season one review on the Fangs for the Fantasy blog and I have to agree that the way the show handles class--especially relationships between classes--is rather well done. There are consequences to breaking class boundaries that are often washed away in fantasy settings. Yet I do think that the show takes the time to develop just why the Pendragon family deserves the loyalty of its servants. It balances the myth and modern expectations really well so far.

Share this post


Link to post

I wanted to start a topic for Uther because of how much I'm liking the portrayal so far and some things I wanted to discuss about it. He's probably the most complex character on the show, and I appreciate that he's not a one-dimensional stereotype. The incredible thing is that the show demonstrates that Camelot seems to be a good place to live (for non-magic users), especially compared to its neighbors, and doesn't outright condemn Uther (if only through the series of magical threats constantly undermining the regime). The back story involving Nimue, Arthur's conception, and Ygraine's death really fits well with this depiction of the character. I can see that in the medium- to long-run, banning magic is a big mistake, but I like how complex the picture is.

I also really like the way he handles Merlin's mother--he doesn't just dismiss her, but explains he can't risk war with Mercia. Yet he tacitly allows Arthur and Morgana to go with Merlin. You can see why he is a Good King, even if he tends toward "peace through strength".

I can't think of a clever title for this thread, but I hope someone else might come up with one.

Share this post


Link to post

Take a sip if:

The "Old Gods" or "restoring magic to the world" are mentioned

Merlin does magic or hides something from Arthur (2 sips if he does it in plain sight but Arthur's oblivious)

Uther says "it can't be" when Gaius tells him a sorcerer did it.

Morgana has a prophetic dream/nightmare

Someone says "Guinevere" instead of "Gwen"

Share this post


Link to post

Take a shot every time Morgana does the sweet innocent look to someone's face and turns away to make evil bitchface.

 

Take two shots every time Arthur embarks on a mission that the Crowned Prince / King should never be part of, especially while he has no heir.

Edited by DebbieW

Share this post


Link to post

I appreciated Uther much more after my rewatch.  He's an easy character to dislike if you don't take the time to look at his backstory or the motives for the things he does.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I always liked the way Merlin felt free to bust Arthur's chops (even though it often meant that Merlin was punished in some way)..

Share this post


Link to post

The erasure of the Grail Quest -- and all possibility of a Grail Quest -- is unforgivable.    Watching on Netflix, I knew there were only five seasons before I started the show.  I surmised they might not get to the Grail before the 5th season was finished, and I was okay with that because I figured this is the story of young Arthur and the Grail doesn't become an issue until Arthur is much older and Albion is failing.  It didn't bother me at all until the finale, in which it becomes crystal (cave) clear that THIS Arthur and his knights would NEVER embark on the Grail Quest.

 

The finale was dismal.  

I accept that Arthur died, largely because of Kilgarrah's promise that he would be reborn when he was needed.   I fanwanked that day would come maybe ten or fifteen years in the future, when he would rise again to lead Camelot, rejoin with Guenevere and Merlin, and become the Arthur we know from legend (more or less).   I could have lived with that ending.  BUT, the closing shot of an aged Merlin tramping along a busy highway bordering the Lake of Avalon was devastating.   The message is clear: it's modern times and Arthur still hasn't returned.   Merlin has been waiting for his friend for nearly 2000 years.   The Grail Quest never happened.   Camelot is gone.   The promise of Albion was never fulfilled.   All the people Merlin and Arthur loved, Guenevere, Gaius, the knights,  turned to dust long ago, leaving Merlin alone, waiting.    It was good that Merlin revealed himself as a sorcerer before Arthur died, and that Arthur accepted him, but so bittersweet that they never experienced a friendship built on the whole truth.

 

I hate that role of Kilgarrah was diminished in seasons 4 and 5.   At the end of Season 3 he took Aithusa under his wing (literally) and flew off.   Next time we see Aithusa, she's lost, alone, unable to speak.   What happened?   They could have mined several stories from the possibilities.   Instead, all such questions were left unanswered and Kilgarrah was phased out except for occasions when Merlin needed a quick ride home -- and even on those occasions the subject was never broached.   John Hurt brought so much to that role -- I got goosebumps every time he said "young warlock" --  and to the show.   He complemented the character of Merlin perfectly.  A pity all of that potential was squandered in the final seasons. 

 

Morgana became a one-note character after she went to the dark side.   KILL ARTHUR!  DESTROY CAMELOT!   There was little nuance, no room for conflicting emotions in the character which you might expect considering she grew up as Arthur's loving sister and the friend of Merlin and Guenevere.   The best bad guys are real people too.  There was a little of that in her affection for Aithusa, but even the complexities of that relationship were allowed to fall by the wayside.

 

The half-measures Arthur and Merlin used against Morgana became tiresome after awhile.   She always escaped to fight another day.    Very resilient, that one.   What might have been an unusual and interesting story arc -- Morgana confined in the pit with the dragon -- was breezed over in a 10-second recollection.   An exploration of that storyline might have explained what stunted Aithusa's growth and denied her the ability to speak.

 

And after all is said and done, I think Nimueh was a far more intimidating and fascinating character than Morgana. 

 

Despite my gripes, I truly enjoyed the series and am sad that it is now finished for me (I watched the final episodes last night)

Edited by millennium
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

My unpopular opinion (based on the endless griping that seemed to surround Guinevere) was that she was the only one who escaped this show with anything that even remotely resembled solid character development and a meaningful story-arc. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

The Great Dragon is ageing...

 

Merlin to Kilgharrah, "What am I going to do without you?"

 

Kilgarrah:  "You will remember me."  

 

The scene gets me every time. *sniffle*

Share this post


Link to post

I always saw Merlin as a traitor and a snitch. Honestly. I know the actor once said that if Kilgarrah hadn't told Merlin the prophecy then he would have sided with Morgana against Uther. Uther committed genocide and the show portrayed every warlock and magician who didn't just keep their heads down as homicidal maniacs who had the be stopped by Merlin. So it's five seasons of Merlin killing and battling other warlocks and witches to save the family responsible for routinely slaughtering his kind because, and this is so shocking let me tell you, that family made some enemies along the way. I never liked how Merlin refused to tell Morgana about having magic because he didn't feel close enough to tell her (even though he told other people and they were still friends when he could have shared the info with her) but he felt he had a right to let her tell him secrets about herself. That's a little twisted. I always thought he was really manipulative like that.

 

Arthur half-assed reform - I mean, c'mon, he held a sword to a child's throat to force the druids to do what he wanted - and was still shown to be the good guy. 

 

Morgana got thrown under the bus w/r/t characterization. This is the woman that saved a druid child from execution by trying to smuggle him out of the castle, that ended up chained to a floor after standing up to Uther, and who risked her life to save Merlin's childhood village. And she just....goes off the rails and will kill even other warlocks and witches because, I don't even, if she didn't do that and instead only attacked Uther/Arthur/the knights it might be hard to sell her as a villain.

 

I'm really not sure what this show thought it was doing politically. 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
On 7/5/2015 at 3:41 AM, Ravenya003 said:

My unpopular opinion (based on the endless griping that seemed to surround Guinevere) was that she was the only one who escaped this show with anything that even remotely resembled solid character development and a meaningful story-arc. 

Really late to the party, but I agree with this. As talented as Colin Morgan is, I watched until the end mostly for Gwen.  Or perhaps more specifically, Angel Coulby.  

On 3/4/2016 at 0:22 AM, slf said:

I'm really not sure what this show thought it was doing politically. 

I vaguely recall reading on the TWOP forum that the producers took inspiration from Smallville, of all shows.  Told me everything I needed to know about the writing. 

I watched the show real-time back when it aired, but was recently watching some episodes on Netflix.  I remember liking Merlin in season one, but watching it again? He got insufferable quickly for me.  I think it was something like the 2nd or 3rd episode where Merlin is whining about wanting to be himself, and I thought, "Jeez, you just got there, and you witnessed Uther's hatred towards sorcery first hand, why are you already complaining? You could always go home..."

Arthur and Merlin, despite being the central relationship on the show, was the least interesting for me.  I thought Colin and Bradley usually were at their best opposite other actors. For me, almost all of the most poignant scenes involved Arthur or Merlin interacting with other characters, not each other.  The petulant sniping got old really fast, and I found their final scenes together dull.  I would have preferred Arthur and Gwen getting to say goodbye to each other.  

Santiago Cabrera is HOT, and should be on my TV as much as possible, but Lancelot's martyr complex drove me up the wall.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I just discovered this on Netflix and was hoping to join in the conversation, but alas! I found nothing!?

Anyone care to see discuss?

Let me preface this by admitting that I know some of the history of these characters and was not pleased by the changes they made just to show them "when they were younger" a la Smallville indeed! Especially the non relationship between Morgana and Mordred and Arthur.

Like I told another friend, oddly, I'm more irked at the usage of contemporary language for a show that is supposed to be set in medieval times, than how there was this great love between Uther and Ygraine, (considering how/why Arthur was conceived and that Ygraine thought it was her husband Gorlois), how Mordred isn't Morgana's son. Oh and I'm also irked that Guinevere is a servant, and not the royal princess she should be.

And I find Arthur to be an arrogant tool.

I'm pretty sure I'll go back to that arc in Gargoyles where is the Sleeping King and so noble and wishing for his old friend Merlin.

I am close to finishing the second season and will admit right out that I found "Beauty and the Beast" both hilarious and disgusting.  Sarah Parish, who played the troll/Lady Catrina did a great job and damned if she didn't remind me of a young Jane Seymour!

Dragon is totally this show's version of AIJor-El!!

Share this post


Link to post

Eh, there is nothing historical about Arthurian legends, so the show simply drew inspiration from hundreds of years of fanfic and recreated the story as something entirely new. It isn't an adaptation, it's a re-interpretation, set in its own little universe and aimed at a family audience, a teatime drama a la Doctor Who, and pitched a such.

Also, it isn't set in medieval times. It's set in the 6th century, which is classed as the Dark Ages - post-Roman, pre-Saxon - several hundred years before the dawn of the medieval era. So far as the language goes...again, it isn't intended as a period-authentic costume drama, but rather just a little action-adventure series set in its own little world. If the modernisms bother you, just imagine you are hearing their period-authentic speech through a universal translator or something, which is translating it into a modern equivalent! The dialogue of the characters is designed for accessibility for a modern audience, rather than 6th century authenticity.

Really, it's just a fun, silly little show meant for kids to watch with their parents!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Right. I knew medieval was the wrong period! D'OH!

Warching this is like a cross between The Count of Monte Cristo which took SO many liberties from the book, changing relationships and deviation from the source material and the Arthurian/Camelot stories I grew up reading, that I'm not invested in any of these characters. 

That said, my favorite characters who aren't even part of the main cast are Lancelot and Gawaine. My favorite from the main cast is Gaius. I also like Merlin, though he can be stupid sometimes but Colin Morgan is so endearing.

I can't stand the self-centered, hypocritical asshole Uther.  Magick BAD! EVUHL!!! Unless he needs it for his own self, then it's okay.???

This Arthur is also an asshole. I don't buy or believe his love for Guinevere. And I can't believe he'll become this great king, who will restore magic and peace to Camelot and make it the wonderful kingdom it is in all other iterations.

I can understand Morgana's hate for Uther and Merlin (since he did try to kill her), but so far, I don't understand her hate for Guinevere or Arthur. Though I guess the power for the throne could have changed her. Then again she didn't care about that until Morgouse put the idea in her head.  She just went from a multi dimensional, layered character, to a smug one note character after she went EVUHL.?

But I love the accents and all the pretty! So I will watch till the end.???

I did notice that some of the jewelry that Katie McGrath wears is Indian (from India) because I have the same sets, plus I recognize the way that one necklace she wears was made.?

Edited by GHScorpiosRule

Share this post


Link to post
On 24/01/2017 at 9:14 PM, GHScorpiosRule said:

That said, my favorite characters who aren't even part of the main cast are Lancelot and Gawaine. My favorite from the main cast is Gaius. I also like Merlin, though he can be stupid sometimes but Colin Morgan is so endearing.

Replying just to agree with you - all of the above are the loveliest! Especially Lancelot. And to add an honourable mention for Gwen. I do have a big soft spot for this Gwen, who is a sweetie.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
On 6/25/2015 at 10:10 PM, millennium said:

 

I hate that role of Kilgarrah was diminished in seasons 4 and 5.   John Hurt brought so much to that role -- I got goosebumps every time he said "young warlock" --  and to the show.   He complemented the character of Merlin perfectly.  A pity all of that potential was squandered in the final seasons. 

 

Farewell, Kilgarrah!    You will be missed, John Hurt.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
On 1/24/2017 at 4:14 PM, GHScorpiosRule said:

I can understand Morgana's hate for Uther and Merlin (since he did try to kill her), but so far, I don't understand her hate for Guinevere or Arthur. Though I guess the power for the throne could have changed her. Then again she didn't care about that until Morgouse put the idea in her head.  She just went from a multi dimensional, layered character, to a smug one note character after she went EVUHL.?

I watched this show in real-time as it aired and participated in TWOP discussions.  You are not alone in this. Most of us were thoroughly confused by Morgana's animus towards Arthur and Gwen (the latter, especially). 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

The way I've rationalized it... well, first and foremost I think was just bad writing. (Personally I didn't find most of this show to be particularly well-written though I genuinely enjoyed S1 and the isolated episode here and there.)

But anyway - my feelings pertaining to the whole show (saying so just in case) - I chalk up Morgana's ease in turning her back on Arthur and Gwen to the amount of interaction she had with them in S1 to her near isolation in S2. It's not that they did anything to wrong her per say but it's not long in S2 before Morgana gets pretty separated from anything pertaining to Arthur or Gwen. I stopped considering them friends well before Morgause showed up and by the time she does, I could see Morgana being at a point where she thinks no one else cares.

That said, I don't think Morgana so much hated Arthur and Gwen as getting rid of them was a means to an end. She didn't specifically target Arthur, or have ambitions for the throne, until she heard of her parentage. Up until that point, she just set out to kill Uther and leave Camelot leaderless. Once she does make a play for the throne, particularly after killing Uther and Arthur's made King, I think she just transferred her hatred of Uther onto Arthur as opposed to hating Arthur himself.

However I think Arthur's lack of progress in bringing magic back to Camelot helped to sustain Morgana's contempt (even in the three year time jump between S4 and S5, where Morgana wasn't around demonstrating a bad use of magic, Arthur did nothing). To that I can't fully say her feelings were unjustified even though I don't think Arthur would've done anything to hurt her specifically. The few times they confronted each other, he just seemed sad to be on different sides. Still, he wasn't exactly welcoming magic with open arms.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Agreed that the show wasn't particularly well-written.  That said, the show's use of magic, save for Merlin and the Druids, skewed toward the malicious. So I can somewhat understand why Arthur wasn't particularly magnanimous.  The show had several chances to evolve his views, especially around Uther's fall and death, but the show appeared to dig its heels in on the "secret" and Merlin continuing to lie and deceive for the sake of "protecting" Arthur and Camelot. 

It seemed to me that Morgana, beyond her reasonable Uther contempt, felt entitled to the throne, and Arthur's views on magic weren't relevant to her by the time he became King.  Her targeting Gwen before she became queen never felt logical to me, because hey, they were "friends" at one point.  Having Gwen as a natural (vs brainwashed) ally might have come in handy.  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

That's why I brought up the three year S4-S5 time jump because we were "told" that was supposed to be a golden period where they weren't being plagued by bad uses of magic and still there was nothing to indicate any effort had been made to change people's attitudes about magic or show good examples of it. They might as well have just said S5 took place immediately after S4 because Merlin was just going to keep paying lip service to magic being bad and whenever they weren't faced with it, out of sight, out of mind.

I think with targeting Gwen, it was always more about the throne and to do so even before she became Queen, it may have been a matter of Morgana trying to prevent something that she'd have to take care of anyway. Perhaps Morgana thought it easier to stop the threat before it starts. That's not to say what she did wasn't a betrayal, because it obviously was, but I think them having been friends at one time was so long ago that I wouldn't even say it was relevant anymore. I also don't believe Morgana would've been able to find an ally in Gwen, assuming she never targeted Gwen, as long as there was a conflict of interest with Arthur and Merlin.

Of course I'm guessing the show's intention was to regard Morgana and Gwen as friends through the first two seasons and even in the third, only officially dissolve it when Gwen discovers for herself that Morgana's gone evil. But I just don't believe their friendship lasted nearly that long. I saw two people very quickly go from reaching out and confiding in each other to getting caught up in their own drama and keeping it to themselves. I blame the show for that one because effort still needs to be made to maintain relationships. But if the show can't do that then I'm not going to care when Morgana turns on everybody.

Share this post


Link to post

Arthur remained a tool throughout Merlin's run. IMO, he never became the king he was meant to be, and it annoyed me that the show runners never made good on this promise.  He remained arrogant, stubborn and closed minded for the series' entire run. He had flashes of brilliance, then went right back to being a tool.

Colin Morgan was delightful in the role, but again the show runners kept him stupid, prone to making the same dumb mistakes again and again.  He and Arthur never learned.  I'm rewatching the series on Netflix and I'm almost through S4.  The decision for Arthur to continue to be easily manipulated and puffed up with his own self-importance grated when I watched real time and it grates now.

I liked Gwaine until they started making him the butt of everyone's jokes. This is the first interpretation of Guinevere that I've ever liked though because she was a loyal and faithful consort. (I'm completely ignoring the later foolishness of S4.) But some of Arthur's behavior towards Gwen was vile and she really should have kicked his ass to the curb.  Morgana quickly became a one note villain who I couldn't take seriously and Katie McGrath's over the top mugging didn't help. I liked Kilgarrah (RIP John Hurt) and wanted to stab Uther in the eye with a fork every time he opened his hypocritical mouth.  

And lastly, Sarah Parish was awesome in Beauty and the Beast. Thanks for starting the conversation, GH.  Rewatching made me want to bitch about how annoying Arthur was again.

Edited by taurusrose
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, taurusrose said:

Arthur remained a tool throughout Merlin's run. IMO, he never became the king he was meant to be, and it annoyed me that the show runners never made good on this promise.  He remained arrogant, stubborn and closed minded for the series' entire run. He had flashes of brilliance, then went right back to being a tool.

Colin Morgan was delightful in the role, but again the show runners kept him stupid, prone to making the same dumb mistakes again and again.  He and Arthur never learned.  I'm rewatching the series on Netflix and I'm almost through S4.  The decision for Arthur to continue to be easily manipulated and puffed up with his own self-importance grated when I watched real time and it grates now.

I liked Gwaine until they started making him the butt of everyone's jokes. This is the first interpretation of Guinevere that I've ever liked though because she was a loyal and faithful consort. (I'm completely ignoring the later foolishness of S4.) But some of Arthur's behavior towards Gwen was vile and she really should have kicked his ass to the curb.  Morgana quickly became a one note villain who I couldn't take seriously and Katie McGrath's over the top mugging didn't help. I liked Kilgarrah (RIP John Hurt) and wanted to stab Uther in the eye with a fork every time he opened his hypocritical mouth.  

And lastly, Sarah Parish was awesome in Beauty and the Beast. Thanks for starting the conversation, GH.  Rewatching made me want to bitch about how annoying Arthur was again.

If I could, I'd give you a thousand likes for this! You've encapsulated my feelings on this!

There are no words to express my anger at killing Gwaine off as well. To be honest, at the rate they were going, I expected ALL of the knights to be killed off. I suppose I should be grateful that Sir Percival  and Sir Leon survived?

Even though I had accidentally spoiled myself and knew that the finale was a shitfest, I will say my favorite part of it was when Merlin was in his "true form" and with his staff, killed most of Morgana's army with lightning!! It was awesome!!

And Richard Wilson was absolutely hilarious when he was possessed by the goblin! Or that one episode where Morgouse had put everyone to sleep and Merlin tried a waking spell and Gaius POPPED up with a garish smile but was still asleep. I really loved their relationship and friendship, much more than Merlin and Arthur's, where the latter just continued to insult and demean Merlin. And yet, Merlin took it and took it.  And the Show runners KNEW season five was going to be the last and they had the time to wrap it up and at least live up to the premise! But noooo. We had to see poor Merlin, still waiting for Arthur to rise again, which he never did.

I'm glad I was able to watch this and see how wonderful Sir John Hurt was in portraying Kilgarrah, and getting the shivers every  time he said "Young Warlock," or his whispered "Merlin" at the end of each episode. I would rather have watched him and his adventures near the last two seasons than what we actually got.

So naturally, after I watched this, I pulled out my Gargoyles to watch "Avalon, Part III," "Pendragon," to see the Real Once and Future King, a man with integrity, a warrior who trounced MacBeth, and believed in magick, AND who was wishing that his old friend, Merlin was there to help him navigate New York, 1994!? It didn't hurt that he was so handsomely animated and voiced by an actor who was able to convey King Arthur as a great king.???

Edited by GHScorpiosRule · Reason: I need an autocorrect for my stoopid autocorrect!
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
On 1/31/2017 at 3:54 PM, taurusrose said:

He and Arthur never learned.

Alas, this is why I never cared about their friendship.  But I was more usually annoyed with Merlin than Arthur, mostly because he almost always had the whole picture.  

Share this post


Link to post

I hated how the show portrayed almost everyone with magic as 'evil'. Uther had a spell cast and it backfired, resulting in the death of his wife. Instead of learning that it wasn't his place to play god he decided to illegalize magic and kill every witch and warlock he could find. He had children drowned, men and women burned alive, and encouraged those without magic to turn on those who did have it. Witches and warlocks were a violently oppressed population that on occasion retaliated against the people who slaughtered their kind. All attacks on Uther and the knights were justified, and Arthur too once he assumed a more active role, but the shoe tried to portray them all as psychotic murderers. The only 'good' witches and warlocks were those who kept their noses down and served those without magic. Which is pretty damn gross.

This is one of the reasons I always had such a problem with Gaius, a man who curried favor with the King by ratting out witches and warlocks even though he himself practiced magic. And then, of course, there's how he lied to Morgana about her abilities and tried to keep her drugged up which only helped make her powers more unstable. Why did he just tell her the truth? He was perfectly fine with Merlin's abilities but Morgana was kept in the dark and allowed to believe she was cracking. (Seeing how she was treated in the season one finale breaks my heart. She actually rushes down to Arthur and, in public completely surrounded by the very knights who've butchered countless witches, tries desperately to warn him about the danger she 'saw'. Still, still, neither Merlin or Gaius would be honest with her. Later, Merlin would tell a guy about his own magic after knowing him for like a day.)

I prefer to think Kilgarrah was working against Camelot right to the end (he had every reason to) and was exploiting Merlin to do so. That's the only thing that makes sense given how badly everything turned out. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
12 hours ago, slf said:

Later, Merlin would tell a guy about his own magic after knowing him for like a day.

Right? I was never much of a Morgana fan, but I'll never understand why Merlin, of all people, lied to her.  

Gaius never felt like a real character for me - he was basically there as someone who knew the secret and thus Merlin could interact with. Merlin also lied to Arthur in the first season about what Morgause showed to Arthur regarding Ygraine.  Finally, I never understood why Merlin automatically took the word of Kilgarrah for...anything.  

Looking back, I've no idea why Merlin didn't haul ass back to his mother's village after seeing a warlock burned at the stake as soon as he hit town.  But there wouldn't have been a show, of course.  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I rewatch this show on the regular because it's one of my favorites.  There are clearly flaws (that finale - ugh; albion never happened; Gwen being innocent with Lancelot never revealed), but it really is one of my faves.  The action was great - every season premiere or finale felt like a motion picture epic and I really just adored Gwen and Arthur (Arwen).  Merlin was always fun to watch and I loved the bromance between Merlin and Arthur.  Uther I constantly wanted to stab to death and Morgana was annoyingly evil (but fun).

Great musical score too.

I just rewatched the scene where Arthur caught Gwen/Lancelot kissing and his screaming attack on Lancelot STILL gives me chills (I literally held a fist to my chest as I watched).  Bradley James sold the hell out of a heartbroken and rage-filled King Arthur in that scene.  But years later and I'm still pissed that none of them ever found out that Gwen was innocent because she was under a spell.  Even Gwen thinks she betrayed Arthur.  Ugh - I'm still mad.  

I felt like they never really achieved "Camelot" the way I'd always envisioned it really - Arthur never really seemed to have the time to change and create Albion and that pissed me off.

I will always feel grateful to the writers for the "Hunter's Heart" episode because it was a giant "take that" to a lot of racist fans who constantly bashed Angel Colby for being cast as Gwen.  It was literally the show saying, we KNOW she's not the archetype for this character, but SHE is who we (and Arthur) picked.  Deal with it.  And little Merlin being the Gwen-Arthur shipper was adorbs.  Loved it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, phoenics said:

I rewatch this show on the regular because it's one of my favorites.  There are clearly flaws (that finale - ugh; albion never happened; Gwen being innocent with Lancelot never revealed), but it really is one of my faves.  The action was great - every season premiere or finale felt like a motion picture epic and I really just adored Gwen and Arthur (Arwen).  Merlin was always fun to watch and I loved the bromance between Merlin and Arthur.  Uther I constantly wanted to stab to death and Morgana was annoyingly evil (but fun).

Great musical score too.

I just rewatched the scene where Arthur caught Gwen/Lancelot kissing and his screaming attack on Lancelot STILL gives me chills (I literally held a fist to my chest as I watched).  Bradley James sold the hell out of a heartbroken and rage-filled King Arthur in that scene.  But years later and I'm still pissed that none of them ever found out that Gwen was innocent because she was under a spell.  Even Gwen thinks she betrayed Arthur.  Ugh - I'm still mad. 

Yeah, and it leaves Lancelot's memory permanently tarnished, because he was innocent too and only Merlin (and Gaius) ever knew that. I always want Merlin to find a way to reveal Morgana's manipulation and exonerate them both, even if posthumously in Lancelot's case.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
16 hours ago, phoenics said:

I just rewatched the scene where Arthur caught Gwen/Lancelot kissing and his screaming attack on Lancelot STILL gives me chills (I literally held a fist to my chest as I watched).  Bradley James sold the hell out of a heartbroken and rage-filled King Arthur in that scene.  But years later and I'm still pissed that none of them ever found out that Gwen was innocent because she was under a spell.  Even Gwen thinks she betrayed Arthur.  Ugh - I'm still mad.

Girl! I'm usually dispassionate about storylines from shows long past, but I still bristle over this.  And yes, that scene was really well-done.  His expression when Gwen steps in front of Lancelot to stop the fighting gets to me as well. The banishment scene afterwards is also heart-breaking (though, unlike most, I didn't hate Arthur over it).  Angel Coulby rocked it.  I always thought Bradley James was at his best opposite Angel and Anthony Head. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
9 hours ago, Llywela said:

Yeah, and it leaves Lancelot's memory permanently tarnished, because he was innocent too and only Merlin (and Gaius) ever knew that. I always want Merlin to find a way to reveal Morgana's manipulation and exonerate them both, even if posthumously in Lancelot's case.

This was like the worst take on the affair I've ever seen. It was unimaginative to have Morgana at the center of it when everything else is always her fault anyway. There's the fact that they'd already killed off Lancelot in the show, and given him a nice sendoff, that now they tarnished his reputation for nothing and couldn't even be bothered to resolve it. And then Gwen's gets tarnished for nothing too but at least in her case, she was still alive to not have that be our last impression of her. I just think by the time they decided to tackle that part of the legend, it was too late. It's like they did it just to say they did it rather than have that be a natural place for the story to go.

This is an old interview (obviously) but even Arthur's actor was critical of the affair being an enchantment: http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/merlin/interviews/a442466/merlin-bradley-james-qa-the-final-episodes-will-surprise-fans/

Actually what hurts most of all is I think that awful episode is the one Santiago Cabrera looks his best in.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
45 minutes ago, Winter Rose said:

Actually what hurts most of all is I think that awful episode is the one Santiago Cabrera looks his best in.

Indeed. I wasn't much of a Lancelot fan, but I might have been if this was the look they'd used from the beginning. 

That said, I wasn't particularly concerned about Lancelot's reputation.  The show never addressed it, but I always wondered how Gwen would be received by the court and Kingdom afterward. If I recall, they were allegedly calling for her death, so I can't imagine it was warm feelings upon her return. Plus, Gwen had endured a ton of crap from Uther and Arthur, including the murder of her father.  Lancelot fared significantly better while living.      

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

This is a very small thing, but you know what bugged me about the first season? In episode two "Valiant," we saw Merlin trying and trying to bring the stone statue of a dog to life, and he finally does! A Rottweiler, no less. He locks him in his room, tells Gaius he'll explain later as runs off to save Arthur, but we never see or hear from the doggie again! I thought the dog was part of the plan to expose Valiant, but nope!?

  • Laugh 1

Share this post


Link to post

I'm posting this here because I didn't see a media thread, and this is thread has the most traffic lately.

For all you Santiago Cabrera fans, he's slated to be on a new show on CBS this summer. Here's the teeny tiny blurb I got from imdb:

An MIT grad student and a tech superstar bring a low-level Pentagon official a staggering discovery that an asteroid is just six months away from colliding with Earth.

Share this post


Link to post
13 hours ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

I'm posting this here because I didn't see a media thread, and this is thread has the most traffic lately.

For all you Santiago Cabrera fans, he's slated to be on a new show on CBS this summer. Here's the teeny tiny blurb I got from imdb:

Santi's character is the tech superstar - I'm looking forward to his billionnaire image already!

Share this post


Link to post

I was never keen on Gwen and the actress who played her, She didn't seem to have a lot of chemistry with Arthur or Merlin. I would have preferred the actress who played Mithian. There were sparks there with Arthur. 

In the end, it was Colin Morgan who drew me to the show.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I couldn't stand Arthur.  I want Merlin to ditch him and Camelot. I'm not sure if that's an unpopular opinion or not. 

ETA: I'm watching on Netflix and am on the end of season 2; maybe my opinion will change given more seasons.....

Edited by Fireball

Share this post


Link to post
On 3/3/2017 at 3:03 PM, ribboninthesky1 said:

Thanks for sharing, @GHScorpiosRule! I will definitely tune in.  

Just saw the promo-its called Salvation  and hoo boy, Cabrera=????

It premieres on July 12!

Shoot! I wasn't paying attention so I don't know what time!??

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
12 hours ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

Just saw the promo-its called Salvation  and hoo boy, Cabrera=????

It premieres on July 12!

Shoot! I wasn't paying attention so I don't know what time!??

 

8 hours ago, ribboninthesky1 said:

No worries - I just looked up the promo.  Cabrera plus Ian Anthony Dale? Yes, please.

There's been a trailer released, along with promo pics for the first episode, and both Cabrera and Jennifer Finnigan have posted some behind the scenes pics on Twitter/Instagram - maybe we should all gather in the newly created Salvation forum and anticipate together there! :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I may be the last person to watch Merlin, I was actually convinced that it's not up my alley and I only started it because it seemed like the best of bad choices on Netflix (and I was done with all that I considered promising, or didn't look well enough). Funnily, I really, really loved it until the last episode killed all of my good feelings toward it. 

Unlike many people who posted here, I liked the dynamics of Arthur/Merlin relationship. Yup, Arthur was a tool most of the time but let's not forget that he had a real jerk as a role model. And when it really mattered, he did everything he could to save Merlin or those close to him, whether it was by going to save his mother or helping him avoid being locked up by telling him to run. Also, in the last episode, when he says that he will say something that he's never said before and thanks him, it isn't actually true. Obviously, there were countless things for which he didn't thank, most of which he wasn't aware of, but he did either say "thank you" literally or acknowledged that Merlin is a loyal friend multiple times. Anyway, the best thing about the show for me is that this story of Merlin is more than anything the story about humility, at least for me. Merlin learns about his mission when he is a boy who likes to fool around with his magic and he quickly accepts it fully, taking on every insult that comes his way, giving away the glory to anyone who's around (Arthur, Lancelot, Gwen).

I guess not expecting anything in return is one of the key parts of being humble, but as a viewer, I can't stand that he truly didn't get anything in return. He didn't get to have an honest relationship with Arthur. Two of his few friends he made in Camelot, Lancelot and Gwaine, also died. We didn't see him uniting old and new worlds, we didn't even see him reuniting with Gwen and Gaius in the peaceful Camelot. We didn't see him find love or being allowed to put his talents to good use while waiting for Arthur to return. What we saw and what some interpreted as "a silver lining" looked to me like him being doomed for hundreds, thousands of years, because his life and work could only have one purpose. Someone above suggested that this show was there for kids to watch with their parents. Well, if I were one of those kids, it really would teach me something ugly :) I think it was a truly ugly and ungracious way to say goodbye to him as a character, and it ruined the whole series for me. Arthur, even if he didn't get to become the king we were promised he would, at least got some years of glory and Gwen. I sometimes think that all those underwhelming finales of the long TV series I'm invested in are there to punish me for the time I spent watching, while I could be doing much more useful things with my time. But I can't remember a worse one than this. 

Anyway, this aside, it was interesting to read what some of you above had to say about Kilgarrah. 

On 13.02.2017 at 7:42 PM, ribboninthesky1 said:

Gaius never felt like a real character for me - he was basically there as someone who knew the secret and thus Merlin could interact with. Merlin also lied to Arthur in the first season about what Morgause showed to Arthur regarding Ygraine.  Finally, I never understood why Merlin automatically took the word of Kilgarrah for...anything.  

IMO it was because, especially at the beginning but also later when he was desperate, he was clueless and it was his only chance of getting through the situation. I guess if he was more cautious about believing that he is destined to help Arthur, there wouldn't be any situations but it looked to me like he quickly felt deep inside that it was true, plus several others confirmed it later. I actually didn't find him believing Kilgarrah weird at all, what I always focused on is that two situations when he didn't listen to him were the ones that really unleashed hell (choosing to save Mordred and Morgana). I liked this angle of the story, though it was tragic. It made me wonder if he doomed himself with those two choices, or in other words, if him and Arthur could have done more good and really build a new Camelot, where good magic would be allowed, if he didn't wander off his path on those two occasions. It's easier for me to accept that he saved Mordred, who was just a child. With Morgana though, I guess he knew deep down that nothing good will come from this and he succumbed to his guilt. The other (opposite, I guess) thing I thought about is that maybe Kilgarrah was always deceiving him a bit about the future, knowing that Arthur and Merlin will actually play a smaller part in building the new world, because he wanted Merlin to really be onboard with what he was supposed to do... this one is a bit far-fetched though. 

It didn't strike me that most examples of magic were bad, though when reading about it here and thinking it through, I probably agree. What did strike me though, and it might have been the second most annoying thing after the finale, is that pretty much all those who used magic for good were male - Merlin, Gaius, the wizard who took Merlin to the crystal cave, Merlin's father. There were also some males who are in the grey area for me, like the unicorn guy or Alator (I know, those are disputable). On the other side, there is Morgana, Morgause, Nimueh. And sure, there is also Mordred and several others bad or semi-bad guys with magic, but they don't seem that bad, at least compared to Morgana and Morgause. 

BTW, about Morgana, I guess the other thing that unleashed hell, before Merlin decided to save her, was what some people above said - Gaius hiding the truth from Morgana who did trust him back then, Merlin not opening up to her and Kilgarrah saying she shouldn't know the truth. At worst, if she was destined to be corrupted by dark ways, it would buy them all some time. It seems that Morgause sucked anything that was good out of her. 

I also wonder, why did creators leave the prophecies about bringing back the old ways unfulfilled? It was said that Merlin will unite the old and new worlds, and that Morgana will bring back the old ways. It was really easy to kill Arthur and Morgana and show how the whole tragic finale helped to make those prophecies come true. Instead, they made it tragic and senseless. The only thing those prophecies were good for was predicting who will be killed by whom, which isn't that important. I loved the series so much but I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to rewatch because of the finale defying everything that was good about it. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

So I find myself watching again - mostly because I stumbled across that Medici show on Netflix and Bradley James is in Season 2 - and hilariously so is the lady from Beauty and the Beast (forgot her name?)... she plays Bradley James' character's mom.  

It's really good - but it made me nostalgic for Merlin again.  I keep coming back to this show - I stop short of the final episodes of the series (too painful) but all the way up to that is enjoyable enough, so I keep returning.

The show had some epic moments and direction.  That shot of Gwen on a horse, surrounded by the knights on horseback (all 5 of them: Gwaine, Lancelot, Percival, Elyan, and Leon) was amazeballs.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×