Ungh! Sins Of The Father. Just... WHY, WHY, WHY?!! Why did Merlin not try to Take a Third Option? Why is he and everyone else so insist on keeping the status quo? Why not just talk Arthur down from killing Uther and then get him to come clean? Why not tell the truth and then begin to make amends for the persecution of magic users?
The castle is made to help eavesdroppers. Everybody is listening in on everybody else's conversations. So why on earth do people keep on trying to have private conversations in that place? Especially ones that will get them killed?
For crying out loud, Merlin has magic. And Lancelot knows! Instead of fighting all those immortal soldiers so he could tip the cup over with his hand, why didn't he tip it with his mind as soon as it was in sight?
Maybe the Cup is immune to telekinesis. It would also answer why Merlin let it fall into the hands of Cenred's men the episode before.
In Queen of Hearts, when Merlin is pretending to be the much older sorcerer who cast the love spell, why did Uther bother to ask if he's ever done anything to offend him? Aside from the obvious fact that, duh, yes he HAS - since when does he care???
I don't think he does care. When Uther asks "Dragoon the Great" if he's offended the sorcerer in some way, what he's really saying is "Was it worth it? Was your bizarre scheme to make my son fall in love with a servant, which utterly failed by the way, worth getting burned to death?" It's not really a question. It's a taunt.
On that note, as Merlin (in his guise of Dragoon) easily escapes death by burning at the stake, why could the other sorcerers Uther had put to death not do the same?
Why are Morgana's magic and general villainous acts being kept from Arthur?? In 4x03 "The Wicked Day", why, WHY couldn't Merlin or Gauius or Dragoon have just told Arthur that it was Morgana's enchantment that caused Uther's death? I don't understand what purpose this serves, it's not like this would have revealed Merlin's magic. Similarily, in 4x06, "A Servant of Two Masters", at the end, why couldn't they have told Arthur that Merlin had been under Morgana's control the whole time?
As a guess, perhaps they kept Morgana's involvement in Uther's death a secret because a) Arthur was already suffering enough, and b) it didn't really make a difference. Uther still died by magical means. Regarding the events in "A Servant of Two Masters", Gaius and Gwen already knew that a hunt for a traitor was going on, and felt that it would be safer for Merlin is they just kept a lid on it.
Okay, this may very well be the case, but it does present the problem that Arthur is now subject to so many lies and half-truths concerning magic that it would be virtually impossible to realistically have any sort of magic reveal. Seriously. If Arthur is to ever accept magic, one day, he needs to be given the full picture on EVERYTHING. Ever.
Plus, Arthur has a basic human right to know the full circumstances of his father's death.
That would probably take an entire episode, and I suspect the writers will just go for another time skip in order to avoid the complexities. Where would Merlin even start? "I'm a sorcerer, I'm Dragoon, I'm also Emyrs, I freed the dragon, I hatched another dragon, I poisoned Morgana, I didn't tell you about your half-sister, I accidentally killed your dad but it was actually Morgana, Agravaine is in league with Morgana, Evil!Lancelot was actually a Pod!Person, it was Gwen who ran all night to bring you news of Helios's attack - oh, and all those times you were humiliated in front of your knights or the court was probably just me using magic on you..."
He doesn't have to give the self-incriminating information or the stuff that isn't really relevant (his other name means nothing to Arthur, for example). They could always go "I have magic, I'll give you the whole story later. [cut] See, not so bad, is it?"
Why doesn't Merlin reveal his magic to Gwen? Or if not reveal, at least give out hints? It's not like Gwen has a prejudice against magic...and Lancelot knows...surely Merlin trusts Gwen just as much, if not more than Lancelot?
He probably doesn't want to put her in a situation where she has to choose between lying to Arthur and keeping a dangerous secret, and maybe he's afraid of her reaction, after having seen what "magic" has done to her father or Morgana.
Particularly since it was his interference that caused her father's death.
Also, Merlin has never deliberately revealed his magic to anyone who was not a doomed antagonist or a fellow magic-user. Gaius and Lancelot both found out more or less by accident.
Mordred. The writers desperately want to make him into a villain, obviously because of canon, but he hasn't done anything villainous. Protecting yourself against people trying to kill you isn't considered villainous by this shows morality standards, and that's the most he's done. I would say Merlin's actions towards him- trying to keep him from escaping- are more villainous than Mordred's actions.
He was probably going to develop into one before the actor vanished.
The tension around Mordred is more of the You Can't Fight Fate variety: he is still more or less an innocent child who can't reasonably be held responsible for what he will do in the future, yet Merlin knows that the kid is destined to be Arthur's mortal enemy.
Keep in mind Mordred wasn't raised in a medieval society where, if people are going to kill you, you fight back. He was raised among the Druids, who are extremely pacifistic. When have we ever seen them fight back? They save knights who are injured if they can, and they run away if Uther finds them rather than fight back. Mordred has been raised, from birth, to never kill anyone. Sure, you can't blame him for fighting back, but not caring is really disturbing.
Morgause's early attempt to kill Uther was not an unambiguously good act. Even setting aside the conversation between Gwen and Merlin where Gwen makes the point that tyrant or no tyrant, killing Uther would be murder, assassinating Uther at that point in the series would have led to widespread chaos and death. The enemies of Camelot would have rushed to take advantage of the situation, and Arthur was nowhere near ready to take the throne. Best case scenario, we're talking about a long drawn out war with many casualties on both sides. Worst case scenario, Camelot falls and Albion is never united.
Morgana. Just Morgana. She's been traumatized time after time, is clearly suffering from a mental disorder, it's mostly Merlin (and Gauis') fault for not helping her, and we not only get nothing out of it, we don't get any kind of redemption or sympathy. The writers freaking hate her! Jeeze, and WTF was the OOC-ness of that last ep? She's NOT EVIL! She's NOT going to go around being as bad as Uthur! IT IS PSYCHOLOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR HER! I've heard of designated villainy before, but this takes the cake.
I'm not going to defend the writers' treatment of Morgana, but I think I know why she was written the way she was. Time and time again Uther has been portrayed as a hypocritical Jerk Ass who has killed hundreds of innocent people, including children. In the minds of the audience, getting rid of Uther can only be considered a GOOD thing. However, the writers are obviously committed to making Morgana "evil", and so they have to make her crusade against Uther (which objectively has the noble goal of getting rid of a tyrannical ruler) as EVIL as possible - cue all the smirking and sneering, just to drive home the point that what she's doing is BAD. But why they chose to throw her in the deep end of the pool of evil straight away instead of a gradual descend into darkness in which she ends up just as bad as Uther without ever realizing it is a pretty bad case of They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot.
If you notice this always happens to the antagonists. Almost to a character, they have one beef and that's the whole "Uther is trying to kill me." And yet every single one goes axecrazy and attempts to kill the entire kingdom. It's obviously because the villains have to actually be worse than Uther, because after three seasons there's no reason why anyone would actually bother defending Uther and his genocidal dictatorship (which directly threatens the protagonists), unless the alternative was something measurably worse. Hence why anyone who is a villain is also a genocidal psychopath even if there's literally no reason for them to act like that, as we've seen with Morgana.
Agreed. By this point, the question is just why they're making her evil when she'd be an amazing addition to the good guys...
If the Wikipedia article for Morgana Le Fay is anything to go by, she might eventually become good again.
In the actual Arthurian literature she was never particularly evil to begin with. Most of her "villainy" consisted of an ongoing feud with Guinevere who exposed her adultery to the court. Of course this was completely hypocritical since Guinevere herself was committing adultery, and most of Morgan Le Fey's actions were designed to expose her. The minute that Guinevere was out of the picture she and Arthur became, more or less, best friends.
Could you define "actual Arthurian literature"? It sounds like you're describing The Mists Of Avalon, which is Arthurian literature sure enough, but somewhat irrelevant in discussing the depiction of Morgana on Merlin. Especially since this Guinevere has done absolutely nothing to Morgana (and almost certainly won't commit adultery either).
By "actual Arthurian literature" I think they are referring to the part-historical, part-mythological "histories" that early British writers put out about Arthurian myth. If you really are interested start out with Historia Regum Britanniae by Geoffrey of Monmouth because I think that is the oldest actual written account. And the whole character of Morgan Le Fey is extremely ambiguous depending on who's telling the story anyway, that is nothing new. In her earliest appearance in the legends she's not even Arthur's sister, just a powerful healer who looks after him.
Some fans think that Morgana is (and always was) selfish, which the writers showed us as early as season 2 episode 3, The Nightmare Begins. She's so scared of going back to Camelot and her magic being found out that she is willing to let innocent people die. When Morgause showed up, she began to follow her rather blindly. When Alvarr told her that her friends would die for supporting Uther, she just went with it. The speed of her Heel Face Turn was ridiculous, of course, but maybe her turning bad wasn't all that "out there." (Also, not all of the audience wants Uther gotten rid of; he actually does have his fans!)
I'm still not sure that Morgana is a villain. She is certainly a Designated Villain, but she doesn't really do anything villainous until season 3. In season 2, the most villainous thing she does is cast a sleeping spell on the castle so that Morgause could kill Uther without killing anyone else which is actually not very villainous at all and actually quite heroic. In season 3 she doesn't do anything more villainous than what Merlin does to his own magical brethren, and, compared to Uther, her actions are quite heroic. The writters just don't understand how good she is versus how evil Uther is. I'm not even convinced the writers think she is evil, even though everyone in the show seems to think she is. She needs some serious villainous actions before we can even consider accepting her as the villain rather than the hero. After all, rebels against evil dictators have been good guys before.
Merlin says "Women and children are dying!" and she replies "Good." In season 2, Morgana's not a villain. After what Merlin does to her, she becomes evil because she stops just wanting to hurt Uther and starts hurting everyone... Like Arthur and Gwen. Arthur and Gwen. They never did anything to her. That was really the Moral Event Horizon for me, when she stops caring who she hurts as long as she gets to Uther. And Uther's only evil depending on point of view... A lot of the "good guys" don't think he's evil. Gaius thinks he's actually good for the kingdom... Except for that little genocide thing.
Oh, yeah, and you can't forget the guard in 3.01 and the citizens in 3.13. That's rather villainous.
The only reason she acts like that is because of bad writing, I think. Her goal is to get rid of Uther, which can only be a good thing. However, she has to be the Big Bad in the King Arthur legends, so the writers give her Evil Feels Good tendencies complete with the Obviously Evil smirks and Evil Laugh. She might as well be twisting a mustache. If the show were at all realistic, in terms of psychology, she wouldn't smile at abusing Gwen so much, as Gwen is/was one of her closest friends and confidants. It doesn't make sense to see Morgana fiercely defending Gwen and Gwen's father when Uther accuses them of sorcery to the Morgana in Season 3 smirking when Gwen gets kidnapped. It just is bad writing and is a bad case of Jumping Off the Slippery Slope as well as Designated Villain. It does make sense, however, that she is trying to bump off Merlin, as he did try to kill her plus he didn't help her when she learned about her magic. However, you are right. As far as the show at face value goes, Morgana is a villain, however, only in an Evil vs. Evil way or more likely a Black and Grey Morality.
Bad writing or no, that's still her character. We don't know what happened to her in the year she was missing, but we do know that as early as Season 2 Morgause was shown to be pretty convincing. And then she saved Morgana's life, and got to train Morgana for a year when Morgana must have been feeling betrayed and hateful. I wish the writers had handled her turning evil a little better, but I'm not going to say I don't see how they got her there. Besides, she was willing to let bad things happen to Gwen, Merlin, and Arthur when Alvarr said he wanted to pretty much kill everyone in his way. And even just her goal of killing Uther is pretty bad, because that would probably put Arthur off magic a bit... and because really, killing the man who raised you isn't nice.
One thing I didn't like was we didn't really see the good side of Morgana's actions. If she was portrayed as a well intentioned extremist who is trying to kill Uther and seize control of Camelot but at the same time still loved and cared for her friends and tried to help any magic users who got mixed up in Camelot's affairs, then I would have liked her a lot better. Instead we got this obviously evil witch who showed absolutely no compassion whatsoever and just sat on her chair smirking evilly while Merlin dealt with the incoming sorcerers himself.
Yup. That's entirely the fault of bad writing. Morganna should be portrayed as a Well-Intentioned Extremist. However, she is portrayed as obviously evil. That's why I'm betting that she just went insane, or something, because there's absolutely no reason why she should be doing the Obviously Evil smirks and stuff. Also, there's absolutely no reason for her to gun for Gwen. She has a good reason to gun for Merlin, Arthur, and of course Uther, but Gwen she just wants to attack for no good reason. Hence the bad writing and the assumption that she's insane.
Also, I think so of it is they're trying to turn Morgana into an Uther. Many of her actions are mirroring Uthers. With Morgana herself, I don't think killing was ever a big deal with her. She grew up with Uther who raised his own son to be a killing machine. I don't think she actually see's human lives as valuable. The writers didn't show this very well (smirk anyone?) but I can see what they are trying to accomplish.
She has that obsession with becoming queen, and when she foresees Gwen sitting on the throne, she feels she's being usurped.
There are a lot of stuff in episode 4, The Poisoned Chalice, that bug me.
First of which being, after Arthur chucked his sword into the stomach of that.....monster thing, why didn't he ever think to take it back out? Yes, he had another sword, but it was much shorter, and wouldn't he think that having a more formidable one would be wise on a quest that few had ever previously come back alive from?
Nimueh's disguise is ridiculously thin. First thing she says is that she was running from her cruel master and got lost in the forest.....And then proceeds to offer to help Arthur on his quest, telling him "I know this place."
I have to say, I don't get how Merlin knew what was happening to Arthur while in the midst of a killer fever. Yes, Gaius said "His words are not his own.", but.....Doesn't that just make it all the more strange that he apparently knew what Arthur was going through, and was able to send magic to help him out?
I'm pretty sure Gaius was just trying not to let Gwen realise that Merlin was doing magic when he said 'his words are not his own'. My understanding was that Merlin's delirious, subconcious state was allowing him to use aspects of his magic that he wasn't conciously aware of. It also seemed to imply that there was some sort of pyschic bond thing going on, but that hasn't really come up since.
The spell he performed in Valiant shouldn't have worked, should it? He used the same spell to bring to live an ordinary statue, and the snakes on the shield. Which acted more like real (if smart) snakes that lived in a shield than painted snakes that came to life - when they left, the painted snakes remained, and they even needed to be fed.
Merlin just needed the snakes to be seen, so it's possible he brought to life the painted snakes as opposed to the real ones.
In which case all three snakes should have come to life rather than just the surviving two.
Uther killed Gwen's father. Seriously, this should have been the Moral Event Horizon, when all the characters rose righteously against his tyrannical rule, or at the very least no-one ever trusted him again. Instead, Morgana considers vengence, this is treated as her coming close to Jumping Off the Slippery Slope, and she backs off when he apologises. What the heck?
The writers are clearly of the opinion that killing someone is always wrong, even if they have killed someone themselves, and that vengeance is not justice. I share their opinions and wasn't bothered by the episode at all.
I agree that killing is always wrong, but I disagree that the writers feel that way. In the latest episode, Merlin knew the witchfinder had framed Gaius; he knew how; he planted evidence, which, could be argued was justifiable. The witchfinder was guilty and deserved punishment, and if Uther choose death as the punishment, that would be Uther's decision alone, a decision unforseeable by Merlin. However, by doing that frog trick, Merlin condemned him to death for a crime he didn't commit (sorcery). He knew that the witchfinder would be killed if Uther thought the witchfinder was a practiser of magic. Gaius was the only one who knew what Merlin had done and, for obvious reasons, didn't see the immorality of it. But the show could have found some other way to condemn Merlin's action if the writers had wanted to.
Somewhat offr topic, but I am of the opinion that television shows such as this should maybe try and extablish some kind of... not a moral code, as such, but at least basic philosophy ealing with what the show is about, so that the writers don't end up morally contradicting themselves without reason. That's what Star Trek: The Next Generation did. You shouldn't have to AGREE with whatever moral quandry was on the cards this week because that way of thinking is a slippery slope (many episodes of TNG revolved around subverting the suggested code or pointing out the ways in which it didn't work) but you should at least try to make sure your writers are on the same page about what the show is trying to say overall, before they start typing.
It didn't say he killed the father first of all. Morgana said he promised him reinforcments but didn't give him any. Considering it was war it's entirely possible something came up and he couldn't get them. Especially since they were apparently great friends. Also Merlin was thinking about letting him die until Gaius reminded him all of Camelot depended on Uther until Arthur is ready to be king, and I think you'll agree Arthur is not yet ready.
By this point, though, Morgana is only a Designated Villain. She has no idea that Arthur will be a good king. While she may take Good Is Not Nice to a whole new level, she's also fighting Hitler. Uthur has committed genocide, right down to drowning children. So why is she evil? Because she's there? Or maybe because the writers aren't really talking to each other at all?
In The Witchfinder, why exactly does Merlin use magic on that smoke at the beginning? If there's a column of smoke in the middle of the forest, the most obvious explanation is that it's a fire that somebody's made, and they'll probably be standing right next to the fire and be slightly alarmed if the smoke suddenly changes into a horse. And this just doesn't occur to Merlin? Not to mention that the smoke was within plain sight of Camelot anyway.
...Though the stupidity of it is acknowledged in the episode, of course.
Nothing major, but some of the character's dialogue is bugging me. Merlin used to call Arthur 'Arthur' all the time. In the first season, he called him sire sarcastically when they met and respectfully when he was resigning to go help his mum; those are the only two times I remember. Now, he's calling Arthur sire all the time. Lancelot never called Arthur by his first name until the second season; the closest he came was calling him Prince Arthur. I think the Lancelot one bothers me more than Merlin, however. However disillusioned he was, I just can't imagine him addressing Arthur, who he bloody idolised, so casually unless they had managed to become actual friends, which they hadn't.
Maybe Merlin's just... respecting him a little more now, for some reason?
I have seen speculation that Merlin is being more respectful because after the events of "Le Morte D'Arthur", he's aware that he could probably destroy all of Camelot if he wanted to, so he doesn't feel the need to talk back to Arthur any more. Therefore it's actually a self-confidence thing.
The constant Status Quo Is God attitude is getting annoying by itself, but along with that is how the events of one episode are never mentioned again afterward. You'd think Uther marrying a woman who turned out to be a troll would be quite a talking point in Camelot for some time afterward, but by the next episode, it's like it never happened.
In fairness it's not clear how long it's been. And the latest episode is even worse - it looks like Arthur finding out the truth of his birth and trying to kill Uther isn't going to have any influence on later episodes at all!
Merlin convinced Arthur that that Morgause was lying, remember?
There would still be some very serious repercussions for Arthur's actions.
Then it's simple: talk Arthur down and stop him from killing Uther. Make the truth public, and if anyone doubts it, have Gauis confirm it. I honestly cannot see any problem here. What exactly makes Arthur "not ready" to be king? If he isn't, why can't Uther (maybe with help from people like Gauis, Morgana, and Arthur) try to make amends by stopping his persecution of people who use magic? Wouldn't a king like him gain a lot of support being willing to admit he was wrong and do everything he could to make up for it? Sounds idealistic, I know, but it's probably a hell of a lot better than what comes later...
Would you really mention that The King got hoodwinked into marrying a Troll??? (Assuming you want to live that is:-)
Certainly Uther himself wouldn't be terribly keen to hear about it, but a casual mention by Merlin, Gaius or Gwen when he wasn't around would have been OK.
The status quo was pretty messed up in the second last episode of season 2.
... and now it's somewhat back again, with Morgana returning to Camelot (albeit now evil and with only Merlin and Gaius knowing this), and Merlin still getting aid and advice from the Great Dragon.
Although Morgana is now intermittedly trying to kill Uther, and Merlin's relationship with the Dragon is markedly different - as of the series three finale, he's a Dragonlord, and thus can make the Dragon do whatever the hell he likes.
One of the most egregious examples is the war between Cenred and Camelot in "The Tears of Uther Pendragon". A major war between two powerful kingdoms is completely forgotten by the following, fart joke-filled episode. There is no sign of the death or damage caused by the siege nor does Uther seem to be planning any retaliation. One is left to assume that the matter was solved diplomatically off-screen. But they couldn't have included a brief scene in which Cenred tells Uther he performed the attack under the influence of magic or something? Uther probably would have understood.
They don't even have to acknowledge specific events from specific episodes, but how many times will Merlin run into the throne room, claim something magical is happening, everyone disbelieves him, and then he is proven to have been right all along? At least three or four times per season. It's ridiculous that they would not treat everything Merlin claims as a possibility and investigate it.
Some of the actors have mentioned that they will stop hitting the "reset button" in season 4!
What's with the complete 180 on the coupling front between series 1 and 2? Series One seemed to be quite firmly setting up Merlin/Gwen and Arthur/Morgana. Then series two hit and these couples were completely dropped, Arthur/Gwen was made the Official Couple, hints of Merlin/Morgana were hinted, while the two couples that series one spent its time establishing just completely dissipated. Did the writers just get bored with the first two and change their mind? Or was the plan all along to heavily imply one avenue and then switch to another?
Also, with the sudden 180 turnaround in season 2 Gwen's role seems to consist of being only the love interest of both Arthur and Lancelot while Morgana went from a strong proud woman to a chess piece, who is just utterly clueless during everything that supposedly makes her switch to the evil side.
Man, I thought Supernatural had thematic difficulties, but this show really really doesn't know what story it's telling at any given moment. Don't get me wrong, I love it anyway, but still. For example: I'm kind of sympathetic to Uther's point of view on magic. I mean, they may have given it a ignoble origin, but considering what goes on every episode, he seems to have a point. And while I'm on the subject, the lack of continuity with certain bits of character development give the impression that all his extreme Kick the Dog moments are just minor personal failings. Another thing that just bugs me: Why exactly is Merlin so uberly attached to Arthur? Ok, I can see that in the beginning he went from thinking he's an ass to seeing that he's more of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, but as far as I can see, the devotion kicks solely because Merlin's told it's his destiny to protect Arthur. So what's up with that?
I always assumed that Merlin was extremely attracted to Arthur and really loved being abused by him. That's why he's so attached.
I always assumed that off-screen they became really great friends through missions and quests together and such, and Merlin and Arthur became kind of codependent of each other. Also, there is a chance that Arthur is subconsciously realizing that he doesn't die when Merlin's with him, so in his mind Merlin register's as good.
Can anyone tell me why, in "Sweet Dreams", it's bad from a political standpoint for Arthur and Vivian to be in love? Aren't medieval royals supposed to want to marry their children off? Isn't that in fact one of the classic ways to seal a peace treaty? In a male-dominated society, isn't that one of a princess' main reasons for being?
Vivan's father may have been an Overprotective Dad and she seemed to be a bit of a Daddy's girl.
But most of the time the general perception was that a good marriage was exactly what any woman would want, and what would be most benefical for them from every perspective. Having your daughter to marry a handsome, virtuous prince who is going to inherit one of the most powerful kingdoms in the land out of love would be like a dream come true to just about any realistic Medieval king imaginable.
A good political marriage, carefully arranged by the parents would be acceptable. A premarital sexual relationship done without their permission might not be looked upon so positively.
Making the Vivian character into Olaf's wife instead of his daughter would have solved both this and the Unfortunate Implications on the main page.
Why don't the druids do any magic when they are under attack by Arthur's men? When Morgana showed up uninvited she was immediately surrounded by giant scorpions that were clearly under the druids' power, yet Arthur and his soldiers never come across anything like them. Likewise, Merlin has to enchant mist to cover their escape, even though one would imagine that such a feat could be achieved even by the simplest of mages.
The scorpions weren't being controlled by the druids, were they? I thought they were wild giant scorpions. In which case they might just be nocturnal.
It must be noted that the dragon gave Merlin knowledge he claimed "few wizards" ever had. Merlin is on a different tier than most. I'd bet the druids likely have a pitiful level of magic, sans Mordred.
How did the Great Purge work out, anyhow? How did Uther manage to wipe out majority of the magic users, when he constantly is utterly helpless against even one; how wasn't he assassinated by magic at the first days of the Purge?
The most common explanation is that the magic users he's going up against now are the toughest ones (survival of the fittest and all that), but really, seeing as they can all be taken out by Merlin...
Well they weren't in hiding in the days of the great purge, so he could probably get to them easier. Maybe he just did it all at once. Magic couldn't have been that widespread that a king couldn't stop them.
You can't send an army after a couple of people. The Great Purge went after a very large community of people, where the remaining magic users are either in hiding or amongst the druids (and therefore also in hiding).
The obvious answer is that your garden variety magic user is not trained to handle or powerful enough to deal with a competent knight out for blood. This is stupid beyond all measure, of course, but there it is. Just look at the druids and the other magic users the show features. If these people had practical magic powers, they could take out groups of people by themselves. As it stands, the only people who even have a base amount of "attack magic" are Mordred and Merlin. Everyone else has to resort to the sword, so they get whipped. More to the point, the magic users that exist now are not only smart enough to avoid direct confrontation, usually opting for subterfuge, but often hedge their bets by bringing along legitimate threats. Uther also seems to have the common sense to target the weakling spellcasters controlling the bigger threats (such as how that evil knight group was brought down), or to use other magic users to his own ends and betray them (the dragon).
Why is it stupid that a regular magic user would not be able to handle a knight? Not everyone with magic powers is necessarily going to want or need to train as a combat mage (especially before the Purge happened), so there were presumably a large number of them who specialised in some other form of magic, or never bothered to build up their magic skills at all and hence were not much more dangerous than some random peasant when the army came along.
The argument could also be made that Uther has largely let his guard down since the purge since the vast majority of magicians and certainly the magical establishment has been wiped out. Also, given the way Uther seems to think, he'd be much better at fighting an organized enemy like the high priestesses than a shadowy, elusive one like the magic users remaining during the series.
How exactly has Arthur not discovered Merlin's magic yet? In The Fires of Idirsholas, Merlin uttered a spell to make the ceiling collapse whilst standing right behind him. To be fair later events probably distracted Arthur a little, but once they got a moment to breathe don't you think Arthur would have confronted him or something?
Merlin also performed magic while standing right behind somebody in The Once and Future Queen and The Witchfinder. I agree that the other characters' convenient deafness was very annoying.
And on a related note, Gaius specifically stated that no mortal had ever survived the touch of the Dorocha (Darkest Hour Pt.1), and then Merlin survived and no one wondered how.
Also Arthur must have problems with his hearing, in the episode Lady of the Lake you can audibly hear water boiling. Still he manages to stomp right into the water burning his foot.
Whenever Morgana sneaks out of the castle, she always wears brightly colored, high quality cloaks that only a noble woman could afford. You'd think she would have some understanding of the concept of disguise.
This leads to Fridge Brilliance. Morgana often wears a red cloak. Which is the same colour as the knights and guards cloaks. If she was spotted at a distance she could be mistaken for another guard.
She is as subtle as a neon sign. Anyways, the guards also happen to wear armor, so only a part of their uniform is showing.
I always assumed that Morgana's absolute lack of sneakiness was a product of her growing up a sheltered life in the palace. Just look, in the first two seasons, just about every time she tries to be sneaky, she gets caught unless there's someone like Merlin or Arthur helping her. As soon as season 3 hits, she's suddenly gained some sneak skills from spending a year with her crazy half-sister. (That and as of 'The Tears Of Uther Pendragon' we see she's more...assertive when it comes to dealing with the guards that spot her.)
Morgana may also figure that, if she's spotted, she can come up with some kind of excuse for why she's wandering around the castle in the middle of the night, as she did in The Crystal Cave when she told Uther that she got scared and wanted to be with him. As the King's ward, she's trusted and, after her return after a year's absence, Uther dotes on her. A claim that she couldn't sleep and wanted some air might earn her a reprimand if Uther thinks that it's dangerous but she's likely to get away with it, at least on the first occasion. However, if she's caught wearing a disguise, it's going to be considered suspicious and whatever seemingly innocent excuse she comes up with will not be taken at face value.
Um...does anyone else remember that time Arthur had Gwen's father arrested which led directly to his death? I can understand why neither Arthur nor Gwen would want to bring it up in the context of their relationship, but isn't it a bit of an elephant in the room?
Presumably Gwen doesn't consider it to be all that important - she's quite explicitly not the type to hold grudges, and not only was Arthur not really responsible, he was obviously very distressed at what had taken place (leading to one of the first Arthur/Gwen scenes in the whole series, actually). Either that or the writers just don't want to over-complicate things...
The fact that Merlin and Gaius apparently didn't learn their lesson in ep2 of s1, Valiant, and once again leave an attempted murder victim and sole witness unattended in the first episode of season 3 bugs me. Hell, at first I thought it was a genre savvy ploy to catch the culprit, and that the guard hadn't actually survived. But no...
And on a slightly unrelated note, I was just about ready to slap Morgana the next time she flashed the camera yet another "hehe i am evil!" grin.
For those keeping track at home, 3x01 Smirk Count: SEVEN! And the kicker, in just the "Previously on Merlin" segment for 3x02 Smirk Count: THREE! Out of 45 minutes worth of footage from episode 1 that the writers thought the audience needed to see in order to understand episode 2, three out of seven of Morgana's smirks were chosen. Seriously? We need Morgana smirking three times in 30 seconds in order to understand she's evil?
Why didn't Merlin tell Morgana that he had magic in the first place, rather than sending her to the druids and putting them in danger? He's one person, there are about 50 of them. If he died because of it, which is unlikely seeing as Morgana showed no signs of betraying him at that point, at least that would have saved 50 lives. Not only that, but hadn't she proved herself trustworthy by fighting to save his village? She put her life on the line for him in that episode, but it is immediately forgotten about for the sake of Plot.
Because it was obviously planned from the beginning to have Morgana be evil as in the legend, but yes, it was an idiotic move on Merlin's part to not tell her since they could have supported and further trusted each other. This, combined with his later poisoning of her, make it almost solely Merlin's fault that she ended up the way she did. It's almost guaranteed that Merlin will get through to Morgana at some point, and she will want to listen to him and turn back, but will soon find out that he has magic and deliberately lied and hid it from her when she was deeply suffering. Then, her Face Heel Turn will be complete and she will be lost for good.
First of all, Merlin is under no obligation to tell anyone about his magic if he doesn't want to. Second of all, by the time The Nightmare Begins rolls around, Merlin has a pretty good reason not to trust (or at least to be somewhat uneasy about) Morgana, despite their past relationship. In To Kill the King he sees firsthand that Morgana can be extremely dangerous when crossed, going so far as to appoint herself judge, jury and executioner for Uther (but not going through with it right at the last second). Later in The Nightmare Begins, he not only has the Dragon's warnings about her knocking about in her head, but he witnesses her refusal to return to Camelot despite the fact that a dozen or so innocent lives are at stake. Furthermore, this is the episode in which he sees Mordred kill several soldiers with a Sonic Scream and smile at what he's done. This obviously unsettles Merlin, especially in the light of what the Dragon told him about Mordred. And if he's right about Mordred, then perhaps he's right about Morgana too.
Merlin is very much used to secrecy. Revealing his secret is just something that doesn't come easily to him, even when it would probably help.
This may lead to a bit of Fridge Brilliance concerning 3X11. One of the reasons Morgana followed Morgause was that she felt no one else knew what it was like to have to hide who she was in order to survive. In 3X11, Gilli voices the same complaint, and Merlin shows him his magic, revealing that yes, he does know how it feels. It's possible that he chose to confide in Gilli because he learned from what happened with Morgana, and, lo and behold, Gilli comes to agree with Merlin's views on magic by the end of the episode.
Why doesn't Morgana just accuse Merlin of sorcery and have him be executed? It doesn't even have to be true or have any evidence as Uther would probably listen to her immediately. Or, she could probably even kill him herself (even in front of people) and suffer no consequences due to their two different social classes. If someone would make a fuss, she could just claim that he attacked her.
My guess would be that the plan at this stage is to integrate herself into the castle's trust; and Arthur at least is sure to put up a fuss if Morgana starts bad-mouthing his trusted servant (Morgana knows how close they are). At the very least, having Merlin around gives her possible blackmail leverage, and Merlin is clearly terrified that she will spill the beans on the poisoning episode, so it's not like the above hasn't been considered as a possible scenario when/if Morgana feels the time is right.
Had the writers thought this through at all, a great reason why Morgana would have chosen not to have Merlin executed would be because Morgause knows there's something strange about him (as she says to him in "Tears of Uther Pendragon Part I") and has instructed Morgana to investigate further. *Sigh*. Just think, we could have had a season of Morgana just as wary of Merlin as he was of her, creeping around and trying to figure out his secret, and setting traps for him in the attempt to make him perform magic in front of her and confirm her suspicions.
In The Changeling, it is revealed that the Sidhe have spent at least twenty years plotting to take control of Camelot by marrying Arthur to a changeling princess. But if that's the case, why, back in Series 1, were they perfectly okay with a banished Sidhe killing Arthur for his own ends? Did they temporarily forget about their own plan?
For all that Gaius claims the Sidhe are a long-lived race that like to play the Long Game, their leader actually seems incredibly impatient. And they seem to be more interested in having a Sidhe Queen of anywhere, not specifically Camelot; Elena could probably have married someone else.
I was wondering why the Sidhe didn't just take over Arthur at birth and that way they would definitely have a Sidhe king. Yeah, a bumbling one that the nation would think was a bit of an idiot, but where'd be the difference?
Maybe the Sidhe can only possess women? Or something?
It bugs me that Merlin isn't at least trying to drop hints to Arthur and/or Gwen that Morgana is a very serious threat. I get that he's got no proof, but...well, if I am aware that there's a highly poisonous snake in my living room then I am morally obligated to warn the rest of my family about it. The fact that Morgana is actively taunting him about his silence: "if you've got a problem, why don't you talk to Arthur about it?" makes Merlin's silence on the subject immensely frustrating. Seriously Merlin, why don't you talk to Arthur about it? The worst he can do is not believe you, and then at least you'll have put the seed of doubt into his head for the next time he spots Morgana manically smirking to herself in the corner for no apparent reason.
Well, that really did not work out well when Merlin told Arthur that Agravaine was not trustworthy. Arthur even threatened Merlin with exile for such accusations. It wasn't until he saw Agravaine marching with Morgana in the seige of Camelot, that he finally accepted it. Arthur probably would remain in denial about the possibility of the woman he has known for most of his life, being a traitor.
If Uther is Morgana's father, doesn't that mean that Morgause is not Morgana's half-sister?
I'm assuming it's their Mother they have in common. I mean, if Uther being Morgana's Father could have meant that Morgause was not her sister, Morgana would probably have realised and said something.
I'm going to have to rewatch The Sins of the Father, but was it not stated there they shared a father?
No. It was heavily implied, but never outright said.
I'd say it actually was implied they shared a mother, because of the whole take-this-bracelet-it-belonged-to-my-mother thing.
Gorlois married Ygraine. Ygraine begat Morgause and Morganna and Mordor. Gorlois died. Ygraine married Uther and begat Arthur. 2010 is the big reveal that Uther had an affair with his best friend's wife while Gorlois was still alive. Morgana is Gorlois' child by law and nurture, but Uther's child genetically. Morgana thought of Gorlois as her father and loved him more than Uther. Morgause does not distance herself from her half-sister because Morgana's paternity is convenient for her cunnig plan.
Ygraine wasn't the mother of Morgause and Morgana - Gorlois's wife's name was Vivian, as Uther tells Gaius: 'Vivian was growing lonely...'
Both Morgana and Arthur are age 20ish. That's illogical Captain. Morgana bonded with Gorlois, so she should have been age 5ish before he died. There is a huge plot point that when Ygraine married Uther, she couldn't have childern for ages so she used dark magic and offered the Messianic sacrifice. Morgana should be age 9 at Arthur's birth like in the film Excalibur.
It's possible that Morgana and Morgause share a mother, Gorlois's wife, and she was the one who gave Morgause the bracelet 'from the house of Gorlois': maybe she considered herself a member of her husband's "house", or maybe she married her cousin. (This still raises the question of why Gaius knew they were only half sisters before he knew that Gorlois wasn't Morgana's father, of course...)
You can plot out a sequence of events that allows for everyone to be born with the stated familial relationships, but it kind of requires Vivian to get around a lot, at least in terms of family-friendly television. So let's say Uther sent Gorlois on some kind of quest/crusade that takes a reeeeaally long time, at least two years. After he leaves, Vivian "gets lonely" and has Morgause with someone besides Uther (after all, Morgause explicitly doesn't have a claim on the throne). For obvious reasons, she can't keep the child, and so has her daughter placed as some kind of servant or something somewhere within Camelot or her household. Thus, Uther, Gorlois' best friend, would know about Morgause existing, and, if we assume Vivian had some sort of magic, would also know that Morgause is probably magical as well (if known, her magical status may not have been hidden, since it was before the purge), while Gorlois himself would know nothing of this illegitimate daughter. After a while, Uther is desperate for an heir. He goes to Vivian, conceives Morgana, and then goes to Nimueh for help with conceiving Arthur legitimately. The timeline for this particular series of events doesn't have to be exact; depending on the order, Uther is either a cad for cheating on his pregnant wife or else realizes his mistake for cheating on her in a moment of desperation and tries to make up for it by redoubling his efforts to impregnate her with magic. The point is that Morgana and Arthur are roughly the same age. Right after Uther impregnates Vivian, Gorlois comes back, and his return is soon enough that she can claim the child is legitimate even though Uther knows she isn't. It's also possible that Gorlois comes back before Morgana is born but after the pregnancy is obvious, realizes that his wife cheated on him with his best friend, and decides to be a nice guy by claiming Morgana as his own. Vivian presumably dies in childbirth or soon after Morgana is born, while Igraine dies giving birth to Arthur. Uther goes on his rampage, wanting to destroy Morgause for possibly/definitely having magic, but unable to go after Morgana because he can't/won't kill his own daughter, especially after the death of his wife. This adds yet another layer to the Uther/Morgana relationship, because it implies that Uther knows that she probably has magic, but is either in denial out of loyalty to her or else just doesn't care because he loves he so much. He's exhibited that he's willing to use magic to save Morgana, it's quite possible that he already knows her secret but refuses to hurt her.
Merlin's "I've never met anyone like you before" line to Freya. Morgana, Merlin... she's also magical and suffered with great secrets (not to the extent of Freya, but still), but he never bothered to truly help her at all with her magic or nightmares despite supposedly being her friend, which has truly come back to bite him hard in the third season. And no, pawning her off to a camp of Druids (which failed miserably and got them all killed except for Mordred) doesn't count. For Freya, on the other hand, he aided and revealed his magic to her immediately despite not even knowing her or just why she was even in shackles in the first place. I am not a Freya hater by any means, but the Double Standard is pretty blatant and annoying.
There could be Fridge Brilliance at work here. It's established early on that Merlin has a crush on Morgana, one that only intensifies when he realizes she has magic too. But he holds back for a number of reasons: she's nobleborn, she's intimidating, and he's warned repeatedly by Gaius and the Dragon (perhaps unfairly) that she's not trustworthy. He feels helpless every time he looks at her. Then, along comes a timid, helpless, near-death Mysterious Waif with powers. The Dulcinea Effect and Chronic Hero Syndrome kicks in. Here's someone he can help. Freya is therefore a Morgana proxy. In this relationship it's Merlin calling the shots. There's no confusion or miscommunication, it's just a cute chick completely under Merlin's protection. Everything he does for Freya is what he wants to do for Morgana, only he can't, which is why he latches onto her so quickly. (Granted though, the "I've never met ayone like you before" makes little sense).
I think he meant "I've never met anyone like you before" in the "love at first sight" way, not in the "I have done a detailed analysis of your situation and concluded it is unique" way.
Alice said that she wanted to harness the manticore's power for good. Exactly what about a deadly scorpion monster can be used for good?
Apparently nothing. Aren't you glad Alice found that out for us?
Maybe it's like the way snake's poison can be used for antidotes?
This case of Status Quo Is God may be somewhat justifiable here but in 4x10 Uther tells Arthur he must marry for political expedience when not 4 episodes prior Arthur stopped his wedding ceremony and made it clear he would not marry for any other reason than love. Uther may be set in his ways but consistently ignoring that which has been repeated to him time and time again...
In 3x10 Merlin pretends to be an old wizard putting a charm under Arthur's pillow to make him fall in love with Gwen. Arthur finds this out. If he knows he's in love with Gwen because he is, and not because of a spell, then how does he explain the wizard? What does he think the wizard actually did? If that makes any sense...
A plot-hole, but I guess Arthur's thought-process was simply: "Weird shit happens in Camelot every week. I could try to figure it out or I could make out with Gwen behind this pillar!"
I like to simply believe he knows about Merlin's little secret, and is keeping his mouth shut out of a misplaced sense of discretion. I'm waiting on the big Reveal to flop miserably.
Fridge Brilliance when you realize that he was probably just hinging on this as an excuse to save Gwen, whatever the cost.
I like Merlin, don't get me wrong, but at this point it really seems like they're using the same damn plot(s) over and over. Each week in all likelihood the plot has more than half a chance of being: a) someone comes into Camelot and tries to kill Uther/Arthur (delete as appropriate); b) someone tries to enchant Uther/Arthur (delete as appropriate); c) there's a tournament or duel or something involving sharp pointy objects and someone's trying to kill Arthur; d) Arthur gets sent on a quest to prove himself worthy yet again and drags Merlin along with him; e) someone comes along who has a grievance against Uther but learns to move on by the end of the episode and sometimes becomes a recurring character. And everyone fancies Gwen. And Uther continues to look down on everyone. It just goes on and on and on!
Oh definitely. I noticed this around season 3 with its constantly used plot lines. How about a marriage with a magical creature— the Pendragon men seem to get themselves in these situations.
There are a few things that bug me in 3x12 (beware of spoilers, if you haven't watched)
What kind of an idiot do you have to be to make all your soldiers immortal but not use the magic on yourself? I know Cenred wasn't particularly bright, given how he let Morgause manipulate him, but he wasn't THAT much of a moron, come on. It just made me go, WTF.
Why didn't anyone die because of Sir Leon's recovery? Wasn't it established in season 1 that if you save someone with the Cup of Life, someone else dies instead? Why didn't Merlin and Gaius at least discuss it? If someone died off-screen, why would druids save a knight of Camelot knowing it would kill an innocent person?
Judging by the Season 1 finale, the cup is very flexible over how and when the "sacrifice" is killed.
In the series on finale, Arthur had been bitten by the Questing Beast and was thus automatically doomed to die - the Questing Beast is a creature of magic, so it wasn't a normal injury. Sir Leon, on the other hand, was injured fighting ordinary soldiers. As his injury was completely natural, he wasn't doomed according to the law of the Old Religion, and so saving his life had no effect.
Speaking of Sir Leon, how exactly did he outrun immortal soldiers on horses, whilst he was unarmed and on foot?
It's not a widely known fact, but given enough distance, a fast and motivated human CAN outrun a horse.
Because let's face it, we all would have cried if anything had actually happened to Sir Leon. I had a "what...? No!" moment at the beginning of the the episode when they said he had died and even Arthur looked to be on the verge of tears.
Also, just maybe, drinking out of the cup of life earlier that episode had the side effect of making Sir Leon unusually hard to kill...
Morgana. Just, freakin' Morgana. Everything to when she has to smile evilly (hint hint audience: "I'm not good anymore!") to the fact she is going to kill people who actually love her (Arthur, Gwen who always treated her well) and random guards who just check up on her. How can a generally good person turn that bad so fast?
There was such a potential for tasteful drama if they had done it well. If Morgana decided to side with Morgause to bring Uther down, but still cared for Arthur and Gwen (hell, maybe even Uther and Merlin), it would have been heartbreaking to watch her trying to harden herself and doing what's necessary for magic to return, whilst tearing up inside. Instead, she's just one-dimensional and plain annoying.
Glad that someone agrees. Especially considering the kind of emotional and deep character that she is (was).
I am really, really hoping she is possessed by some undead creature or something. Especially after she practically leaped over the Moral Event Horizon during the season finale. Uther called her out.
Does Morgana know Merlin's secret? (The answer, as of the end of season 3, is no.)
How does Camelot have so many soldiers? They get picked off all the time and Camelot, not looking like a very big kingdom, always seem to be more running around? Do they all meet with the very picky requirements to be a knight?
It bugs me that most of season three was pointless filler, and all the good stuff was squeezed into the two-part finale. Why was a possessed princess, a farting goblin, a shifty-eyed kid with a magic ring, Gaius's old girlfriend, and a dozen or so tournaments deemed more important than Morgana's coup and Arthur's regaining of Camelot? The coup should have taken place halfway through the season, then we could have had six or so episodes of Arthur roaming the countryside, gathering up his knights and having them get to know each other, Merlin collecting old magical friends and allies, Gwen acting as a spy within the castle, and more of the juicy Uther/Morgana recriminations. I loved what we saw in the finale, but all things considered, it's quite possibly the best (worst?) example of They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot I've ever seen.
It bugs me that the mini-series starring Sam Neil (which preceded this show by nearly a decade) isn't listed on the main page. The show should be under "Series".
It is now. The mini-series is under "Film".
Ok, so Morgana and Morgause want the throne. The discovery that Morgana is Uther's daughter "simplifies" things because it meant that she could legitimately claim the crown. Except that Arthur's in the way. So she wants Arthur dead, but Uther alive to recognise her as heir. So what the hell was she doing in 3x11?
Step two; pit Uther against Arthur. And then let's look really disappointed when they don't maim or kill each other. I mean come they're father and son, they didn't kill or seriously injure any of their unrelated opponents, why would they do this to their own flesh and blood?
And whilst we're on the topic of this episode, Gilli was travelling to kill the king. Except the king wasn't entered into the tournament until the day before.
I assumed Gilli was just going to fight in the tournament for the prize and some recognition, and killing the king became an added benefit when they got to the finals.
On the subject of "Morgana is a legitimate heir", it bugs me that when Uther was forced to kneel before Morgause, shouting "you have no right to the throne", she trotted out Morgana instead saying: "No, but I have got an immortal army, dumbass."
Especially seeing as Uther earlier in series 3 stated that he took Camelot by force. Since when did deposing a monarch / invading a kingdom have anything to do with bloodline?
For this one, I assumed that it had to do with justifying your place on the throne to neighbouring kingdoms. You can take Camelot by force, like Uther did, but if you don't want to be fighting off all of Uther's supporters for the next decade or so it helps to have a blood claim.
I think the whole point is that either Arthur or Uther could acknowledge Morgana as their heir, since she's their natural daughter/sister. She is the heir until Arthur has a child of his own, and his death can be arranged, so it doesn't really matter which one survives. In the lack of a child from Arthur, it should go to Morgana (yes, she's a bastard, but kings generally have a way around that. And not only on Merlin, clearly [[A Song of Fire and Ice|Jon Snow]] also had some of that going around.
I know I'm not going to get any sympathy with this one, but Gwaine. I'm sorry, but he sweeps in and everyone likes him except the bad people and he has a mysterious past and a ticket back for any episode and no discernable flaws and the estrogen brigade pawing him and he's accepted by Merlin and Arthur instantly and they're making a little trio/ot3 and he's such a brilliant fighter and he gets the best lines/loveable rogue persona and bluntly, he seems to me to be a great big Gary Stu. And nobody seems to mind except me. Nobody. And it seems so blatant. Arrr!
They don't care because of apathy.
Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but I didn't see Gwaine's introductory episode, which may have swayed my opinion. I first saw him— and decided that I liked him— in The Eye of the Phoenix; that is to say, around the "Arthur's lucky to have us"/"It wasn't for Arthur" conversation. Sure, he wasn't the first— and definitely won't be the last— to provide unfaltering backup, but it was so great to see a character who was happy to stand by (and was even rather protective of) Merlin. His character is completely different from Arthur's, which endears him to me even more; as great as the prince is, it gets tiring, seeing him pitch a goblet at Merlin for the seven hundredth time— the sympathetic approach was a nice change of pace. As to the no discernible flaws thing, it could be argued that he's obviously a little too close to his alcohol, but credit where credit is due. (Translation: touche.)
Is it just me, or is Merlin's pathological need to keep his magic a secret endangering more people than it's saving? Arthur's entire plan to save his father would have changed completely had they known that Merlin had magic, or that Merlin had access to a magic sword that would have killed the immortal soldiers, or that spilling blood from the Cup would have destroyed the soldiers. Why not share this vital piece of information? Then instead of a rescue mission to the dungeons, they all could have targeted the Cup instead. As it was, Arthur and the knights would have died if Merlin hadn't gotten to the Cup in time, and the fact that Lancelot and Merlin weren't where they were supposed to be - dismantling the warning bell - is the reason that Arthur and the knights were pinned up against the dungeon wall in the first place. It's almost as though Merlin sent Arthur off on a mission that he knew would fail, just because he still doesn't trust him enough to tell him the truth.
Also, why not give Excalibur to Lancelot for the duration of the mission? Then an experienced soldier could have handled the immortal knights whilst Merlin raced for the Cup. Okay, there was probably a writer somewhere who balked at the idea of someone other than Merlin using Excalibur before Arthur, but personally I think it would have been rather cool. And maybe using it could have gone to Lancelot's head a little bit, showing us why it's so important that Merlin had to put it in the stone at the end.
Only letting Merlin use Excalibur is less tradition than the Dragon's rules. It was meant for Arthur, and Arthur alone. Merlin needed it to take out the Cup, and giving it to Lancelot might have resulted in it being in the wrong hands at the wrong time.
Plus, the Dragon told him not to let anyone other than Arthur use the sword. Remember how loud he screamed when he found out Uther had a go at it? Merlin can be trusted with Excalibur - he made it after all, and fully understands it - but it's apparently unsafe to let it fall into any other hands.
The prevalence of Status Quo Is God has already been discussed, but I'd like to vent over the specific example of Sins of the Father. I mean, if Merlin hadn't hit the Reset Button, imagine where the show could've gone emotionally. That episode was the result of a season and a half of Arthur's Character Development, with regards to both his role as the future king and his opinion of magic. If Arthur doesn't change his mind with regards to magic, then all of Merlin's work into his character development was for nothing. Arthur was at a crossroads, and his decision would decide the fate of the kingdom. I'm willing to bet that Arthur wouldn't have gone through with killing his father. It's not something he would do, even when he was that emotionally stretched. Instead, Arthur would have seen the light with Merlin's help, and realized that he had to be the better man or else risk becoming as bad as his father. Here was his chance to prove his father wrong and Merlin right. By stepping back and sparing his father, we can have Arthur 1) prove he's better than his father and 2) lay the framework for Arthur's development as the future king of Camelot. Arthur would have known exactly how wrong his father is, and been that much more eager to institute reform once Uther dies. He might not forgive Uther, but instead try to become a better king so as to prove Uther wrong and correct his father's failings. The show could have grown such a big beard. And instead, Merlin cops out and betrays Arthur's trust by telling him Morgause lied. Seriously?
It's like they want to have their cake and eat it too. Pay off character development potential that has been developing while also putting things back to the drawing board at the end of the day for the next freak-of-the-week episode, so they don't strain the casual viewers' brains or have to change elements of the series premise. Smallville is also an offender.
Trip down memory lane: I've just rewatched "The Gates of Avalon", the one where the Sidhe girl tries to kill Arthur to regain her immortality. What the hell was the point of that scene in which she gets Arthur to announce that they want to get married in front of the entire court? This was entirely counter-productive to her plan and nearly got her and her father executed by Uther. All it did was call attention to herself and could have ended with Uther putting his son under guard to ensure he didn't run off to elope. And then she managed to sneak Arthur out of the castle to the lake via hypnosis in the early hours of the morning anyway...so why the heck make him fall in love with her and announce his intention to marry her to everyone??!
Good point. Maybe she needed to give Arthur a reason to be angry at his father to solidify her control over him? Like, "See, that jerk wants to spoil our love! You should probably only trust me now, even if I'm actively drowning you."
The Poisoned Chalice: Why the cup was given to Merlin? First it was supposed to be given to king of Mercia which makes sense but then Uther decides to give it to Merlin so if his accusations are true he dies of poison or... he dies at hand of king of Mercia. Way to encourage people warning about poisoning.
As I recall it wasn't so much Uther giving it to Merlin as it was taking it away from King Bayard. Uther told him that if he had poisoned the goblet, he wanted to deal with Bayard himself. Still a pretty counter-productive way of encouraging his people to speak up against assassination attempts though.
They could have fixed that issue easily enough. Instead of having Uther order the guy who fingered a potential assassin into a death or death situation, he could have picked another servant (Guinevere?) to be the guinea pig, with Merlin volunteering to drink in their place or grabbing the goblet. The end result would be the same but Uther wouldn't have disincentivised any future attempts to protect members of the royal family.
Yes, but did anyone else notice that in the beginning, King Uther's point in LIFE seemed to be to spoil things for our other protagonists? It was like the writers decided "Hey, someone needs to be mean here. Oh, I know, everyone already hates Uther, so let's give him a flimsy reason to mess things up!" Thankfully they've stopped doing that as often, much to this Uther-fan's relief.
What was up with Merlin releasing the Dragon about five minutes after seeing a vision of the future where the Dragon destroys Camelot? I know he promised, but he'd been promising to release the dragon all season, and as far as I can recall, no specific timetable was ever agreed upon. Also, just moments before releasing him, Merlin asks the Dragon to swear he won't attack Camelot. The Dragon's response was, and I quote: "FOOL, I AM A DRAGON AND I WILL SMASH SHIT UP AND EAT YOUR NEIGHBORS I'M NOT EVEN GONNA LIE." That seemed like an indicator, of sorts.
He swore on his mother's life. He isn't the type to go back on that. Plus there are the circumstances which lead to said swear.
And he is probably Genre Savvy enough to realize that, when a powerful warlock swears on his mother's life, dragon magic or the Old Religion or the Balance of Nature or something is likely to be invoked to hold him to that oath, literally. After all, his mother almost died once already under similar circumstances: when he bargained Nimueh "a life for a life" and failed to specify that the life he meant to trade was his own.
It shouldn't have mattered that he swore on his mother's life. Remember when they read out the list of casualties? More than a hundred people died. Many of them were children. Many of them were almost certainly mothers. Merlin had every reason to expect this to happen. If Merlin were really a good person, or at least not a well-meaning but incredibly thoughtless person, he wouldn't have preserved his mother's life at the cost of the lives of dozens of other mothers.
Why is it that whenever someone is ordered to clean out the stables they always come back with messy hair, grubby clothes, and horse shit all over their face? I don't know how they clean out stables in Camelot, but they're obviously doing it wrong.
Seconded. It's clearly meant to show it's messy work, except it's really not, even with tools of the era.
I think (not positive) this is at the end of season 2, when Merlin sends away the dragon with his magical dragon speaking... and then tells Arthur that Arthur slayed the dragon. And Arthur BELIEVES him. If someone told me I just slayed a dragon, I would look around for a giant freaking dragon body. And if I didn't see one, I would at least ask where the body went. Don't get me wrong, though, I love Merlin!
Merlin says Arthur fatally wounded the dragon, not that he outright killed it. The former allows it to fly away and not leave a body.
So what's the deal with Freya? Is she dead? Alive? A spirit? A mermaid? A disembodied hand in a lake? What? And what was the deal with the Fisher King and the vial of Avalon's water? Did he know Freya was inside it? Did the two of them know each other? How did he get it in the first place??
3x03: Goblin's Gold. I know there's been plenty of 'what's up with Season 3 Morgana' on this page, but this episode stands out in particular. A verbatim transcription follows:
Goblin!Gaius: Merlin has magic! He's a sorcerer! You should arrest/execute him!
Morgana: *behind an evil smirk, of course* Hmm, this makes so much sense. Merlin, a sorcerer? Now I know how he was able to escape my sister and why those random rocks fell on me in the catacombs. In fact, now that I think about it, lots of weird stuff happens around Merlin. And he was very helpful when I found out I had magic and wanted to protect that Druid boy too! All that talk about "using magic for good" and "understanding how I feel" in the catacombs makes a lot more sense now!
Normal!Gaius: Never mind. I was possessed by a goblin and didn't mean a word I said. Merlin is not a sorcerer, you should just forget I ever said that.
Morgana: Okay. Sure!
Really Morgana? Really?
This is the reason why Morgana in season 3 was so frustrating as a character. Perhaps we would have been more accepting of Morgana as an unrepentant villain if she were actually, you know, good at being an unrepentant villain. Instead she's a one-dimensional Smug Snake with an annoying smirk, little to no intelligence, and a success rate of zero.
The problem with that idea is that letting her win at all just isn't an option. There's no buildup in her villainy. It's always almost straight to "kill a main character", and that outright can't be allowed. If she had done some more subtle evil acts, like maybe killing a few scouting parties or something, it would be easier to appreciate her as a villain.
So what IS Gwen's schedule when she works for Morgana? She clearly has a home of her own outside the castle in which she lives(As it is where he father lived, she's kidnapped from there by Morgause' thugs). Yet she's ALWAYS at the castle also, she us there whenever Morgana has nightmares in the middle of the castle. Does she have a twin that takes he place in the castle when she's at home?
Its probably just convient for the writers. She probably normally goes home at the end of the day and goes to the castle in the morning, but she might have been ordered to look after Morgana when she went thourgh her nightmares.
Morgana dreams of Gwen being crowned Queen by Arthur. She decides the logical thing to advance her plans is... Kill Gwen. Why? Only way Gwen becomes queen is if Arthur becomes King, killing her may or may not affect Arthur, but why decide to try have her killed as a witch at all? Other than the fact that Morgana is holding on to the Villain Ball really hard? It's a waste of her effort and barely advances her plan. Heck, keeping her alive is actually benefitial, as she's leverage on Arthur (as proven when Arthur goes to rescue her that one time she's kidnapped). I mean, her original plan (have Uther discover Arthur and Gwen's affair, banish the later, hoping Arthur would exile himself in protest leaving the throne open for her) makes sense. But everything after that makes no sense. Somehow Arthur's speculation that he and Gwen would return and he'd make her his queen prompts Morgana to decide "Lets have Gwen Killed" rather than "Yay, I get many years to secure my ass on the throne."
It makes even less sense when you consider that she was planning on killing Arthur anyway, and if Arthur was dead, then she wouldn't have to worry about Gwen becoming queen.
The Green-Eyed Monster? Since coming back from her year away, Morgana seems to have picked up on Morgause's class-elitism, and even the good Morgana of the first two series probably would have bristled at the thought of her own handmaiden supplanting her place at court.
I'd say that Morgana was looking ahead, and anticipating that Arthur and Gwen would potentially become a threat to her hold on the throne. Arthur renouncing his claim to the throne to leave with Guinevere and live out the rest of his days in obscurity could work to her advantage, especially if she's able to influence Uther to ensure that he doesn't opt to let Arthur marry Guinevere so he doesn't lose his heir. However, Arthur's intention to return to claim the throne after Uther's death changes things. Morgana could anticipate that the Prince who renounces his throne for love will be very popular with the people, especially when the woman he loves is a commoner, like them. Even if Uther decides to name Morgana his heir, Arthur is going to be there to challenge her claim, and he'd have an even better chance of succeeding if Uther names Morgana his heir without acknowledging her as his daughter. He'd be seen as the rightful heir, who only lost his inheritance because he followed his heart. It's also possible that Uther might reconcile with Arthur at a later date. She may have reasoned that, if Uther had Guinevere burned at the stake, it would drive Arthur away from his father and from Camelot permanently.
Why do people complain that Arthur relinquishing his entitlement to the throne to save Gwen's life was Out of Character? Time and time again Arthur has put his life on the line to save individuals (Merlin, Elyan, the village of Ealdor) or to protect his honour (putting his head on the block for Morgause) and by doing so endangering the line of succession and leaving Camelot without an heir. He has always put people's lives before his right the throne; this was simply the first time it's been verbalized (though in "The Crystal Cave" he flat-out tells Merlin that he would be willing to give up the throne if it meant saving Morgana's life, and for all intents and purposes he did give up the throne back in "The Labyrinth of Gedref" for the sake of Merlin and his honour when he drank what he thought was a cup full of poison).
I certainly don't think it was unnatural for Uther to assume that Arthur was under a spell for wanting to give up the throne (he doesn't know his son as well as he thinks he does), but in a moment of panic, in which the woman he loves is about to be burnt to death, while he's running out of options in which to convince his father to spare her life, I don't think there's anything even remotely Out of Character about what Arthur did. Sure, it was a stupid thing for him to say to Uther (we have Merlin's Oh Crap expression as In-Universe proof of that) but he was clearly panicking, and I'd be interested to know what people think Arthur should have done to convince his father not to kill the woman he loves (I guess he could have played the "oh, I'm just using her for sex" card, but that would have been completely OOC for a guy who's so big on honour).
This one is more the writing staff than the characters. There are so many amazing tales in Arthurian literature, especially as you go back towards the 6th century, and the way the writers have chosen to establish their canon means they can't access any of them. For example, the siring of Arthur by magical deception and anything to do with his family - in traditional literature he had an enormous family of cousins, aunts and uncles, a legitimate full-blood sister and five sons. Gwenhwyfar (Guinevere) had a wicked sister, Gwenhwyfach, who helped start the battle of Camlan where Arthur died. Culhwch and Olwen has an epic Engagement Challenge with over FORTY different tasks - slaying witches, rescuing imprisoned heroes, a journey to the Otherworld, not to mention the centre piece of hunting two monsterous, enchanted boars - before the hero wins his bride (their wedding is kicked off by him beheading her father). They could have gotten an entire series of material just from one story, but it would never work now.
Agree - if they don't do some variation of Gwaine and the Loathly Lady, I'll be heartbroken.
Okay, so supposedly, Uther sees Morgana as an angel just because she's his child. But Arthur is his son as well, and Uther has no problem pointing out Arthur's flaws. It seems like a lame explanation as to why Uther is blind to Morgana's dark side.
Because she's a girl? Seriously, though, Arthur is the future king, so Uther naturally thinks he has to scrutinise and push him extra hard.
It still doesn't make sense. In season 1, regardless of gender, Uther had no problem sending Morgana to the dungeons for speaking out against him.
Uther didn't have a problem correcting Morgana... but then she got "kidnapped" for a year, and he thought that he'd lost her. He probably didn't realize how much she meant to him until that happened, and doesn't want to notice anything that makes her less wonderful. And whatever he does notice, he puts down to post-kidnapping tramua.
In series 3, episode 6 starts with a flashback to the past where we see baby Elena in a her bed when a sidhe flies through an open window and possesses her, and a thought immediately came to mind. Why was she left all alone and unguarded? Surely a guard or at least a maid should be present in the room and making sure she's well looked after and safe (especially since she is the king's daughter). Also, the fact that the window to her room was left open could be dangerous since an enemy of the king or anyone that's considered bad could climb up the castle walls, get through the window and snatch the child without anyone noticing (Yeah, I know the chances of that happening in broad daylight is near impossible, but still).
Maybe if Grunhilde was already Elena's nursemaid, she was too irresponsible and/or knew nothing about how to take care of baby?
In the season three finale, when Merlin knocks over the Cup and the immortal men explode as Arthur and the others are fighting them, Arthur doesn't even blink. Seriously, he never stops to wonder why this just happened. Doesn't ask, isn't suspicious. I know he shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth and, besides, he isn't the smartest cookie in the jar, but if you were about to be killed because your opponent couldn't be, and then the invincible enemy just... exploded, wouldn't you be curious?
Probably another off-screen moment of "Oh, magic did it". They knew the soldiers were undead, so they were probably smart enough to realize that something happened with the Cup of Life.
But if that was the case, why didn't they go after the Cup in the first place? And didn't they wonder what happened to it? And if Merlin told Arthur the truth that he saved them all by knocking it over, why didn't they deem that scene important enough to put in the episode? That would be pretty dang important, I would think. (Though they also didn't show or even hint at Arthur asking Merlin where he'd gone if not to turn off the warning bells, so perhaps you're right and it is all off-screen.)
Adding to that, why didn't Merlin want to tell Arthur that was where he was going? You don't need to out yourself as a warlock in order to knock over a cup. Of course, It might make sense if he wanted to hide Excalibur, but considering Arthur's supposed to wield it, I don't see why he'd need to.
"I just happen to have this handy Sword-of-Kill-Undead that I never told you about which I'll use to break the cup's magic." That wouldn't have gone over well.
Why in the hell would Uther put his one and only heir in a fight-to-the-death match as often as he does? I mean really, I get the need to prove your son is brave and capable, but there's such a concept as "first blood!"
Season 4 episode 1 - how is Arthur not at all worried when Merlin suddenly collapses and starts foaming on the floor? And how is it not mentioned afterwards? This is not something that casually happens to people...
If you look at Arthur's eyes he seems to have a "Merlin's just being Merlin" type reaction.
Even for Merlin, it's really not normal.
Maybe Arthur thought Merlin couldn't hold his liquor and just passed out?
Why didn't Merlin think of getting Excalibur? Its proved capable of killing the dead before.
Living dead, not ghostly dead, and there's no guarantee Merlin could have retrieved it before nightfall.
Where's the Cup of Life and why didn't the Morg-sisters use it to heal Morgause?
Uther did say he wanted it in Camelot's vaults. That's probably where it is.
Morgana probably didn't have time to use the cup to heal Morgause. Her army was destroyed and the knights were probably on their way, so the only choice she had was to flee.
What is the motivation of Arthur's uncle for helping Morgana? If she wins, he gets to be #2 in the kingdom... But he's already that... under Arthur. What does he stand to gain by siding with her? Is he just doing it For the Evulz? Heck, it's implied he's related to Arthur's mom, therefore not related to Morgana, so what got him to betray his blood-relative (Arthur) for Morgana? Even better, Morgana's got a track record for killing those who help her (Remember Cenred?), Arthur doesn't. So again, why help her?
Maybe he's hoping that the two siblings will kill each other, leaving his path clear to the throne. And if he's Igraine's brother, maybe he's got a grudge against Uther for what happened when Arthur was born.
At the moment I'm assuming that he's either got a reason that will be revealed later, or (more likely) he's just waiting to stab her in the back. What confuses me is... Why the heck does she trust him? How did they even start working together?
The second episode reveals that he's got a grudge against Uther like so many others. Blanket excuse for betrayal.
Personally, I think it seems he's in love with her, in the 'my Dark Mistress' kind of way. The way he carries her and then cares for her at the beginning of 'Secret Sharer' and the end of the previous episode seems to support that.
A deleted scene confirms that he's in love with Morgana, so that's probably his motivation, along with the grudge against Uther.
Also Agravaine likely loved his sister very much, and just couldn't extend that love to Arthur his nephew. I also buys into that he is in love with Morgana as nothing else makes sense as Agravaine is a much more competent villain than the self-sabotaging Morgana.
In the end of 3.07, they aren't exactly clear about where Elyan is living. So, during 3.10 I assumed he'd left town to start up a forge elsewhere. But then in 3.12 he's in Camelot. Which begs the question... Where the heck was he when his only remaining family member was about to be burned at the stake, falsely accused of sorcery? (Something I also wondered about Tom in The Mark of Nimueh. Not the most reliable family.)
I may just be remembering this wrong, but: Morgana has found out that her nemesis is "Emrys". Morgana knows the druids. The druids know that Merlin and Emrys are the same person, don't they? How has Morgana not found out yet?
She hasn't asked? She IS now renowned as an evil sorceress, so the druid may not feel like talking to her.
A Servant of Two Masters: If Merlin is bewitched to believe that his sole aim in life is to kill Arthur, why is he so gob-smackingly awful at it? He doesn't look where he's going and charges into a wall whilst running at Arthur with a sword? Then his next genius plan is to make Arthur's bathwater hot enough to bend metal... so how is that meant to kill Arthur? Surely he'd just get out of the bath?
Because, on some level, Merlin is still Merlin and he really doesn't want to hurt Arthur. That would explain why he never tries using his magic to make the job easier.
I think the more obvious headscratcher is why Merlin didn't just KILL MORGANA when he was...oh I don't know...chained right in front of her. Seriously, he has two dragons on call one of whom HATES Morgana, give Kilgharrah a shout and he'll come stomp on her. Not only that but he's more powerful and has more experience than her (Morgana's been practicing magic for two years now, Merlin's been doing it for however old he is plus he's defeated people who've been using it for twenty or more years *cough*Nimueh*cough*Cornelius Sigan*cough*Morgause*cough*), just throw her into one of the walls, break free and drag her back to Camelot. Voila, problem solved and everyone can live happily ever after.
Maybe he was secretly enjoying the kinky torture session.
In the magic-off Morgana and old-Merlin have later, there is a point where Merlin has Morgana completely out-manouvered and is standing over her, seeming to struggle over whether to kill her or not. And of course, he doesn't. I think Merlin just can't bring himself to kill Morgana. Given their past, it's understandable.
...Given their past? In the past, Merlin poisoned Morgana, intending to kill her off for good. The only reason he isn't trying anything fatal now is because the writers want her to keep plotting.
Poisoning her was a last resort sort of thing, and he didn't have any alternative. Merlin isn't a cold-blooded killer just yet.
Merlin has been a cold-blooded killer since season 1. He knows a sleep spell, but regularly kills mooks anyway. He murdered an unarmed woman in cold blood right after killing her father in front of her. He killed Grunhilde. He killed Nimueh. There are probably more I'm forgetting or haven't gotten to. In summary, he's personally killed at least dozens of people, several of them named. There has almost always been a nonfatal alternative, and he almost never expresses any kind of regret. Just because he can't bring himself to kill a former friend doesn't mean he won't straight murder people outside his Monkeysphere.
Here's a big thing that's been annoying me. Why does Morgana think she has a claim to the throne? She doesn't. She's a bastard, unmarried female offspring. There's no way in hell she'd inherit. As of the end of s3 5 people knew Morgana was Uther's daughter; Uther, Morgana, Morgause, Gaius and Merlin. Now if Uther's dead Gaius and Merlin won't back her up, Morgause and Morgana wouldn't be believed so she's got no claim even if Arthur's dead. Also did the writers miss the fact that bastard children can't inherit, otherwise Henry Fitzroy (Henry VIII's most famous bastard child) would have been king.
Then there's the idea that 'well if Morgana's mother slept with Uther while she was married who else did she sleep with'. Morgana would know what a royal court was like in terms of rumour and scandal, if her being a bastard got out she'd be ruined not a princess.
She has a claim to the throne because the writers say she has a claim to the throne. This is a magical fairytale kingdom in which a king can marry a servant with (relatively) little fuss, commoners can become knights, and which is an Anachronistic Stew at the best of times. Historical accuracy regarding the rules of inheritance are pretty much irrelevant.
The same way Henry Tudor became Henry VII. Having a claim to the throne surely helps, but the really important thing is that she invades (and is backed up by another monarch, Cendred). Henry Tudor also only had a claim to the throne through his mother, that had her OWN claim through... bastard children. The rules of inheritance weren't really clear up to the end of Tudor period; there are many cases of kings, hell, whole Houses that didn't have quite a good claim to the throne, including the Tudors; but one can also mention John I (his nephew should have inherited after Richard I), the whole Lancester dinasty (York had a much better claim), Richard III, and let's not even get started into the A Hundred Years War. History is told by the POV of those who win; that why we see the Tudors as somewhat rightful kings.
Depending on how the law of Camelot stands with regard to legitimacy and inheritance, being born out of wedlock may not be an insurmountable barrier to Morgana having a claim to the throne. It's possible that, if Uther acknowledged her as his daughter, she would have a right to a place in the line of succession. He said that the truth of her origins must be kept from the people for Arthur's sake but it's unlikely to have a significant negative impact on Arthur if it becomes known that Uther fathered an illegitimate daughter. On the other hand, if being acknowledged as Uther's daughter would make Morgana a potential contender for the throne, it would mean a possible fight for the throne after Uther's death, which he would want to avoid. Uther was able to disinherit Arthur in favour of 'Lady Catrina' so it's possible that the succession of the King's eldest son isn't automatic.
When did Sir Leon get so close to Merlin? Season 2 to Season 3, their relationship could at best be described as friendly indifference, but come Season 4 he's always sticking up for Merlin and ruffling his hair like Merlin's his kid brother!
Some time passed between seasons three and four, during which the Knights and Merlin became close friends.
In both 3X02 and 4X07 the subject of a traitor in Camelot was ignored after said episodes. By the end of part two of "Tears of Uther Pendragon", Uther state that Morgana had twarted the traitor's plans at defeating an army. My question is, did Morgana have a fall guy to blame for it. If not, that means Uther just took her word for it, and completely disregarded the idea of a traitor in Camelot until part one of "The Coming of Arthur". The same can be said for Arthur in "The Secret Sharer". After Gaius is found innocent, Arthur completely stops looking for the traitor in Camelot.
In 302, she wouldn't need a fall guy, really. She's trusted enough that "I chased him off and broke his weapon" would do. She could even claim she never actually found the traitor, just the weapon. In 407, Arthur had exhausted every avenue for a possible spy. Everyone he questioned was apparently innocent, and no one else could have known, so he would have just chalked it up to bad luck.
After Merlin is free from the snake, why doesn't he tell Arthur where Morgana is hiding out. If Arthur doesn't believe him, Merlin could speak to one of Arthur's trusty knights where Morgana's hideout is and they can support Merlin's claims. Merlin has a good reason to know where it is, because he was held hostage and Gaius could make up some excuse that Merlin was enchanted to forget his time there and Gaius made a remedy to restore his memories. Arthur could take many of his knights there and kill (or capture) her, or at the very least, force her to relocate. Instead Merlin says nothing and just lets her continue to plot undisturbed.
For that matter, why did Morgana stay in her hovel after Emrys attacked her there? She's terrified of him, and he's clearly stronger than she is, yet she stays in a place where she knows he can find her again at any point.
Excalibur. Yes, I know that it's a sword that can kill what's already dead, but why is it so dangerous in the wrong hands? It's not like all the other armies are made of zombies. I wouldn't have minded in its first two episodes, seeing as it was just doing what we knew it could do, but it was forged for Arthur, and when Arthur wields it in the series 4 finale...nothing much of note happens. Sure he says it's not bad but it's freaking EXCALIBUR in the Once and Future King's hands!!! Shouldn't it be doing SOMETHING to set it apart from every other sword Arthur has wielded?
Although I will concede that Arthur does have a history of ignoring when his significance sense is tingling (The Dragon's Call when he seemed to notice something more about Merlin, The Beginning of the End for Mordred). He probably would have dismissed it as just nothing if something special was happening. But why couldn't they do something cool that the audience could see?
Honest question: What special thing would you want Excalibur to do? Shoot fireballs?
Not the OP, but I think a lot of people were somewhat disappointed in the role Excalibur played. We'd been waiting four seasons for Arthur to claim it, and yet once he's got it, nothing particularly interesting is done with it. He doesn't earn it on his own merits (because it was Merlin's magic, not Arthur's innate worthiness that drew it from the stone) and he can't even defeat Helios with it! On the main page it's under Informed Attribute, considering the Dragon explicitly told Merlin that the sword was for Arthur and Arthur alone. And yet not only do Merlin and Uther wield the sword to good effect (with no consequences whatsoever) but Arthur pulling the sword out of the stone was a bit of con-artistry devised and controlled by Merlin. Arthur was not a particularly good king this year (nearly taking his kingdom to the brink of war, trusting Evil Uncle Agravaine, banishing Gwen, doubting the loyalty of Gaius and the knights, not taking precautions over the siege tunnels - heck, he was even a bit of a cad to Princess Mithian!) and yet instead of making Arthur face his mistakes and learn and grow from them, Merlin just tells him a bed-time story and gives him a brand new sword to make him feel better about himself. Excalibur is reduced to a "confidence-booster" instead of something that proves Arthur's worth. Remember back in season two in which Arthur entered a tournament incognito because he wanted to win on his own terms? Does anyone else think that that guy would have hated Merlin's little trick? Season four was not kind to Arthur's characterization, where for the most part he just seemed like a Puppet King, first to his uncle and then to Merlin.
I can't argue with any of the above. I seriously don't understand why the writers didn't do the simple thing of having Merlin cast a spell on the stone holding Excalibur so it only lets go for a worthy king of Camelot. It wouldn't fix everything but it at least wouldn't have cheapened the moment Arthur pulls the sword out. However, the original question was why Excalibur never does anything special. And again I must ask, what "special thing" should Excalibur do?
Well okay, we know that the unique thing Excalibur CAN do is kill wraiths, the undead, etc. But since there was nothing of that kind in the two The Sword in the Stone episodes, they could have at least suggested that the sword was imbuing Arthur with some sort of mystical strength or skill (wasn't this what Excalibur orginally did in the legends?) Since the sword was established as a) magical and b) specifically Arthur's, then they could have shown Arthur with a level of prowess in battle that had not hitherto been seen on the show, or perhaps have Arthur mentioning that it felt perfectly right for him to be using it (to quote Faith from Buffy the Vampire Slayer when she gets her hands on the scythe: "this feels like it belongs to me.") Basically, just give us the sense that it is finally in the hands of its rightful owner and that it's giving him an edge in the fighting. Like I said, he should at least have been able to take down Helios with it.
If they call it "the Old Religion" that must mean there's a New Religion that supplanted it. So what is it? The obvious answer would be Christianity, but then why are there so few signs of it? The most evidence for Christianity we see are a few exclamations of "Oh God!" and that's very thin evidence indeed.
This is a family show, and maybe they don't want the backlash of going on and on about the religion of their characters. Either they choose a real religion for the characters to practice, which seems like they're preaching to the viewers if they spend too much time on it, or they make one up and spend a lot of time trying to make us understand this new religion. Either way, the specifics of their religion aren't really important. That said, I'm pretty sure their 'new' religion is Christianity, since the 'old religion' stuff seems to do with magic most of the time, and Christianity has never been big on magic. ETA, after seeing The Disir: They are pushing for the old religion to be brought back and accepted, and if they explicitly said that the new religion was Christianity, with the old being pagan, that would really rile people up! An even better reason not to go into specifics.
Having just added Shoo Out The New Guy to Agravaine's entry on the character page, it made me wonder - why did the writers bother making Agravaine the maternal uncle of Arthur? Why not just have him as some Old Retainer who had decided to support Morgana rather than Arthur? I mean - think of all the Plot Holes it would have covered! No inexplicable Remember the New Guy. No wondering how Morgana won him over to his side. No confusion over why he was gunning for his own nephew. He could have just been a Flat Character who existed to leak information to Morgana for money/promises of a relationship/a better position in Camelot under Queen Morgana, without any emotional ties to either sibling. That immediately cuts down on all the time wasted on Agravaine. Sure, you would lose the "personal element" of Agravaine being Arthur's trusted uncle...but then, they never really did much with that angle anyway. We learnt nothing about Agravaine's relationship to Ygraine and got no pay-off for Arthur realizing his own uncle had betrayed him. It just felt like the writers put a lot of time and effort was put into establishing this character, whilst simultaneously having no interest in his motives, background, ambitions or role in the show.
Okay, this might be Fridge Brilliance, but it doesn't look intentional so I'll put it here. When Agravaine is trying to get Gwen and Lancelot killed, he mentions that in his father's day, adultery in the noble families was punishable by death. There's so much wrong here, so I'll point it out.
Gwen isn't a noble. Shouldn't you rethink some of these laws if a commoner is to become queen, such as what point she becomes a noble? At this point she's still technically a peasant.
Don't you remember Morgana? Uther's illegitimate daughter? And it wasn't even a daughter by a serving girl or a prostitute, which would have been much more socially acceptable, it was a high-born noble lady. And if Morgana is older than Arthur, which is quite probable, it was while both of them were married. Are you really invoking "Your father would have killed her for adultery." when Uther preformed the worst kind ofimaginable? Even by the standards of medieval kings that was considered out of line.
And strangest of all - it's not adultery because they're not married yet!
Ok, so this is probably more for the sake of a Running Gag, but why the hell doesn't Arthur teach Merlin how to use a sword? If he's going to take his boyfriend into battle time and time again, why not make sure the poor boy at least survives?
Why is Merlin still not sitting at the Round Table? I'd think that he would've deserved a spot by now...
Merlin isn't a knight, he's Arthur's servant, so maybe there's some sort of stigma about that, even if he is a very close friend at this point. Also, they maybe trying to keep the show dynamic of Merlin being the real hero, but he's the man behind the scenes.
It’s not a major one, but it’s bugging me. In The Fires of Idirsholas, Morgana receives an unsigned note asking her to meet the writer in the forest. She leaves to meet the writer, finds Morgause, doesn’t seem to be surprised or troubled by this and doesn’t need any prompting to declare her hatred for Uther. At this point, she doesn’t know that Morgause is her half-sister and their previous meeting consisted of Morgause sympathising with her over her nightmares, offering her a healing bracelet and then sneaking into Morgana’s room while she slept to leave the bracelet there after it was refused. Even if Morgana is supposed to be assuming that the note is from Alvarr rather from than somebody trying to lure her out of the castle to kidnap or murder her, she is still strangely quick to trust a near-stranger.
Several things about Uther's behaviour in The Death Song of Uther Pendragon are quite odd. Firstly, after so many years, he has nothing better to say to Arthur than how much his rule sucks? That's cold, even for Uther. Secondly, he stated in a previous episode that his knights were people who supported him for the throne, or their kids, so why does he have a problem with Arthur choosing his knights from people who supported him for the throne? Wouldn't knighting them make them nobles? And thirdly, he tries to kill Arthur because it is "best for Camelot". How is not having a ruler at all better than having one whose methods Uther doesn't approve of? He has also previously stated that Arthur means more to him than anything. He was even willing to sacrifice himself to save Arthur from Tristan De Bois, which would have left Camelot without a king (Arthur hadn't come of age and been officially announced as crown prince at this point). Oh, and the things he does to "set things right" looks a lot like magic.
He's a genocidal tyrant, so I doubt he's had a nice, cozy afterlife. Plus, as this show has continuously stressed, people who come Back from the Dead are never the way they were before.
Merlin worries about Morgana's magic growing to his level because she was able to sustain an aging spell for so long. If I recall correctly, Merlin's problem with the aging spell was that he had trouble ending it. Why would you worry about Morgana's magic growing if she's able to do a spell half as well as you could five years ago? Sure, she's strong, but Merlin is still leagues beyond her. That, and don't the Druids, the Dragon, and practically everyone on show say that Merlin is the most powerful sorcerer of all time? One of the few things that's absolutely specific is that no one will be on Merlin's level, and, as we see in the episode, Morgana still needs incantations to kill someone.
I know, I know, medical things in TV shows are always wrong and whatnot. But seriously. In "Another's Sorrow," all Gaius knows is that Merlin is unconscious and has a big gash on his head and yet when Arthur asks if Merlin will be alright, he says "he should be fine but there's no telling when he'll regain consciousness." Um. He can't possibly know that Merlin will be fine, he doesn't even know what happened. I mean, I guess you could argue that Gaius knew he'd be fine because he was already planning to heal him with magic, but even then, he wasn't sure it would work.
This is less a headscratcher than curiosity, but - what exactly was Mithian trying to achieve in escaping Morgana whilst in Camelot? Morgana was physically coercing her and holding her father as leverage, so knowing this, and therefore acquiescing up to a point, why did Mithian keep trying to run away?
She was probably trying to warn Arthur so they could figure out a plan together.
Doesn't Arthur know (or at least guess) that Mordred has magic? I mean, he helped smuggle him out of the castle to stop him from being burned alive for having magic in Season 1 and he knows he's a druid who's father was killed by his father. So why does he welcome him into the kingdom and make him a knight and make a point of telling Merlin and Gwen and anyone else who will listen how much he trusts him and take him on an expedition to kill another sorcerer?
Arthur promised to treat the Druids with respect in A Herald of a New Age so he may not hold Mordred's background against him because of this. He may believe that magic is something that can only be learned, not that it can be inborn, and that either Mordred didn't learn magic or learned it but has chosen to turn his back on it, as Gaius is supposed to have done.
Or it's possible Arthur simply doesn't realize who Mordred is. They met when Mordred was just a kid and the name may have slipped Arthur's mind, so he's not aware that Mordred is a druid and can do magic.
On the subject of Mordred, why doesn't he do magic anymore? It was asserted that he's about as powerful if not more than Merlin and Morgana and that was as a ten year old boy. Even if he wants to keep it under the radar, surely it would come in handy during a fight or when he's trying to protect Arthur against sorcery? Not to mention that Merlin does magic pretty openly and no one's realized yet. It's like the writers have forgotten that Mordred's supposed to be a powerful sorcerer. For that matter, why doesn't he use sorcery to kill Arthur in Merlin's vision? Did his magic just die out with age or would it just be too much for Merlin to have two magical archenemies?
Perhaps he wants to follow the Law of Camelot. It appears being knighted means a lot to him, possibly enough for him to stop using magic. And, having had to hide his magic for so many years, he is probably quite capable of getting by without it. And he is not Merlin's arch enemy at this point. He has done noting suspicious yet, except in the vision, which might not come true unless Merlin tries too hard to prevent it (which has happened before - you'd think he would be a little less inclined to blindly trust prophecies by now).
In The Hollow Queen Morgana has Daegal disguise himself as a druid (complete with hood and tattoo) in order to lure Merlin out into the forest. When the trap is sprung, she tells Daegal: "Merlin has a soft-spot for outcasts, especially Druids." Er... how does she know this? The obvious precedence for this is Freya (Morgana has no knowledge of this) and Mordred as a boy (who Merlin was reluctant to help). So where'd she get the idea that Merlin would specifically want to help out a druid?
But it was Merlin who (somewhat accidentally) brought Mordred to Morgana in the first place, while he was saving him from the palace guards. Even though he did have second thoughts later, Merlin was the first to help the boy and he did come through in the end. When Merlin found out that Morgana has magic, he sent her to the druids as well. From that, she could at least infer that Merlin doesn't necessarily dislike druids, and since he feels obligated to help anyone in need, it wasn't too much of a stretch. The "especially druids" part was probably meant to be a jibe at his "disloyalty" towards Arthur (by sneaking out to help a presumed magic user).
Oh right, I'd forgotten about The Nightmare Begins.
This probably sounds silly and it's not that much of a complaint but...does this show know that it's based on a tragedy? I haven't caught up with the series as it is right now, but the thing is, it can't really end on a happy note without completely missing the point of the original legend or at least some of the theme of The Once and Future King. It just seems that while the show is getting darker pretty much every season, I can't imagine this very much family friendly family show having this ending where Camelot falls and like half the knights die and Arthur has truly fallen.
Perhaps they'll save that for the spinoff? (That is, if they really do make one)
Oh, they know its a tragedy. They broke a good number of hearts with the S05 finale
So, did anyone else notice that Kilgharrah, the Great Dragon, gave terrible advice about people? I mean, he convinces Merlin to distrust and even attempt to kill Morgana and Mordred because they will be horribly evil someday... but it's the very act of distrusting them and trying to kill them that causes them to want to turn on Merlin and become evil in the first place. If Merlin had simply put his trust into Morgana and told her his secret at the begginning of season two when she's discovering her magic then she wouldn't have felt lonely and turned to the dark side when Morgause showed up. Plus, if he shared that Arthur would one day unite the kingdoms and create a world where magic is no longer punished then Morgana wouldn't have felt that usurping Uther was the only way to end magical discrimination, and Morgana and Mordred and Morgause all, likely, would have been happy enough to help Merlin insure that Arthur's destiny happened. The only downside would be that there wouldn't be as much conflict in the series that couldn't be sorted out with ease since there would be a team of four magic-users working behind the scenes to protect the once and future king. "Hmm, Merlin, apparently Odin's men were marching this way when they were all suddenly disintegrated..." states Arthur, "Huh, I wonder how that happened..." Merlin ponders out loud as he winks at Mordred who winks at Morgana who winks at Morgause. I mean really, how many times has Merlin advised Arthur to 'follow his heart'? Merlin should have listened to his heart instead of listening to a reptile that's been underground for far too long; things would have probably worked out better.
Well, Kilgharrah is dead now, so when Albion comes again Merlin'll probably be wondering how it's so easy.
It's possible Kilgarrah is actively trying to bring the prophecy about by telling Merlin to try to stop it. Plus he seems to always give whatever advice screws Uther over the worst, so he's more than a little biased. And not all his advice was that bad: If Merlin had just not saved Mordred or Morgana a lot of trouble could've been avoided. That being said, yeah, a lot of his advice is kind of terrible. However, it's also possible that his own advice giving is prophesied, as are Merlin's reactions. Choosing to save Mordred, for example, is something of an important moment in Merlin's character development. He may give his advice knowing it has to be rejected. Not sure if that's a trope yet, but if it isn't I'd like to propose the name Doctor Manhattan Syndrome.
In the episode where that thief tries to take over Merlin's position as Arthur's manservant, he at one point knocks Merlin out while he's cleaning the stables to make it look like he fell asleep on the job, then releases all the horses. But Merlin landed with his face in a pile of horseshit. People don't generally take naps in piles of horseshit. Arthur's supposed to be a great king someday, which would imply being able to recognize a threatening situation when he sees it. Why, then, is his reaction "My manservant is lazy and incompetent," rather than "Someone just attacked my manservant and released my horses; summon the guards!"
Arthur thinks Merlin is basically the Village Idiot of Camelot. I guess sleeping face-down in a pile of manure is something he can imagine Merlin doing. EDIT: Oh, and he also thinks Merlin is an alcoholic. So there's that.
Not yet. That was in season 1, I don't remember Gaius defaulting to the tavern excuse till season 3.
Well regardless, the Village Idiot thing was there pretty much from day 1.