It's Merlin Day

Merlin & House of Anubis....

After the hectic past two weeks I can safely say that I am now caught up with the new Season Five (the fifth and, sadly, final season) of Merlin which is now airing on SPACE…. I admit there are things I’m not looking forward to in this final season - specifically, I’ve never been a fan of Gwen’s and I’m dreading watching a full season of her as queen. An adult Mordred should be a welcome addition though. I am liking the influx of great guest stars (e.g. Liam Cunningham, Lindsay Duncan, Anthony Head). I really wonder what they have in store for Morgana – hopefully not another year of her trying to take over power from Arthur. I  hope they buck tradition and have Morgana leave Camelot on a positive note. Since the series has now finished airing in the UK I have done my very best to avoid any spoilers on Tumblr. However, I have read some discouraging reports on the finale itself. It seems there has been a lot of negative feedback - fans were not happy with the conclusion to the series. That’s a shame. Well I’ll try to keep an open mind as I watch the remaining episodes. I do hope that in the end Arthur does discover Merlin’s magical abilities and is accepting of it. I guess beyond that I’ll leave it up to the writers.

And while one of my fav shows has now returned I have yet to hear any news on a Canadian premier date for House of Anubis Season 3. Anyone have any details as to when it is starting up in Canada? Inquiring minds want to know. Season 3 is already up and running in on Nickelodeon America. Is it true that there is no NINA in Season 3? Isn't the show technically about her? How is that going to work without her?

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This is the last season of Merlin and the character arcs haven't changed much....I have a problem with this. Regardless of the fact that the show is an alternative telling of Merlin, some fundamentals of both Merlin and Arthur should be retained. Such as Arthur was reputed to be a wise and fair king without arrogance and walked in both religious worlds of Christianity and paganism and his rule was one of a 'golden age'.

Merlin was reputed to be one of the most revered and respected 'mage" of his time. His magic abilities were unsurpassed and people were both in awe and in fear of him in that good way.

So after watching the first episode of this season BBC's Merlin all I see is that both characters have a long way to go but that shouldn't be for a show that is in it's last season. So I'd love to know wtf the writers are doing because none of the fundamentals are even remotely being brought to these characters yet.

Merlin is still weak in terms of magic abilities compared to Morganna where he should be blowing her out of the water and his 'powers' should be growing even more which should instill even more fear in Morganna (as it always did)....while Arthur is still an arrogant prat and still somewhat childish instead of caring and considerate thus showing nothing of the wise leader he should be moving towards plus Arthur should also be accepting of 'the old religion' and realizing it's benefits to ruling his kingdom and ushering in a golden age. He should suspect that Merlin has magic and know Merlin is, has and always will use it for good and to help others and himself and thus Arthur isn't fearful as Uther was of it.

Although I do love the show I am very dubious as to how this will live up to my expectations of the legends of Merlin, Arthur, Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table. I know that the writers aren't sticking to convention here but still as I said some fundamentals should be present as a core to give respect to the myths and legends.

BTW don't get me started on the alien abduction and probing of Sir Gwaine in that episode either - funny and entertaining though it was but still....

Edited at 2013-01-18 02:10 pm (UTC)
I can understand what you are saying. I am having the same issue with The Borgias (see my post from today) It is so frustrating when shows really remove themselves from canon and/or historical accuracy. I always love a fresh new spin on things but there are some facts you just cannot and should not change no matter what. Even though Arthurian 'history' is a misnomer - it is only a 'legend' after all - some key changes to Arthurian canon really impact the flow of this series.

I don't think Merlin is weak in comparison to Morgana in terms of his magical ability...I just think they don't show enough of Merlin's abilities on the show. The issue here is that Merlin can't use magic all the time. In standard Arthurian legend, everyone knows who Merlin is and that he does have magical abilities and is a wise and revered mentor to Arthur. In this series, they have stripped Merlin - how could a servant who is the same age and/or even younger than the king ever be a wise,revered mentor? It would be completely unbelievable and undheard of. In fact, I think Arthur would lose the respect he has gained if it were known how much he relied on Merlin for any type of guidance. So everything has to be hush hush. Ditto for Merlin's magic. Because of the ban on magic only Morgana (and anyone else opposed to the rule of Arthur) is able to publicly use magic, Merlin is therefore only able to use his magic selectively and creatively when the time allows for it. On the show the biggest task for Merlin is to figure out exactly how and when and to what extent he can use this magic. It kind of makes it difficult for his powers to grow...or to show how they have grown when the use of magic is so restrictive. Further, it is annoying how they have robbed Arthur of some of his key positive traits as of the great things about Arthur was how accepting/objective he was about religion in that he did support both paganism and Christianity. In fact, it was one of the key reasons why he got the throne - all sides could respect him as a king who supported both the old and the new religion. They seem to avoid the pure 'religious' aspect of the Arthurian legend and pawn it off as being simply whether or not one is opposed to magic (which presumably is the 'old way'). Arthur blindly follows his father's ban on magic. If this were 'real' Arthur that would have never been the case. He would have been open to magic - acknowledging that there was, at its truest form, a definite good in it. If that were the case well then the whole series would be different and Merlin would be in a complete 180 position from where he is now. I think it's too late to make the full change at this stage but they at the very least owe it to the audience to let us see Arthur learn that Merlin does have magical abilities and discover all the good that has been brought about as a result of Merlin's magic.

One thing that annoys me a bit is Merlin's lack of interest in gaining knowledge. Why does Merlin consistently have to go to the dragon or even to Gaius for knowledge? There is an archives/library in Camelot. IDK about you, but I would always envision Merlin as someone who learns by going out and seeking knowledge on his own - not just turning around and asking people (or in this case, dragons) to give him his answers on a silver platter. Frankly, even though Merlin is a 'servant', I'd expect to see him reading a heck of a lot more on the show...trying to learn more about the history of the creatures he encounters and the magic he is able to create.

Another thing I was hoping for this year was more episodes about the Knights. Yes I know the show is primarly about Merlin and Arthur but rise of the knights is critical to the success of Camelot. The knights just seem like a bunch of generic warrors who serve Arthur - not the revered and chivalrous knights of legend. I'd really like more of their backstories and how their presence is influencing the strength of Camelot and the growth of Arthur's power. Based on the last couple of episodes it seems like Arthur is not exactly the all-powerful King of Britain. He is just another ruler out there among many. Shouldn't Arthur and his Knights be a tad more established (and even esteemed) by now? When is that going to happen?
Maybe weak isn't the best word to describe Merlin vs Morganna but yes I do agree that they don't show him doing much and yes the whole learning more is no existent and I think that's what really bugs me! Even if the writers were to have him showing Gaius how he's progressed or if he was shown trying his powers (even in secret if need be) beyond what is shown when he's protecting Arthur I'd be happier anything to show he's more powerful and he's just being discrete about what he can do in light of how his world feels about magic and the parameters that the show has set up (he's not going to tell the world obviously in this context who or what he is but the again the audience should see it more) to the point where even Morganna does not know how much he really can do but the audience should (but doesn't)! This is the last year of the show and we should be beyond where Arthur thinks Merlin is just a useless servant and belittling him all the time. There should be some (if minor) respect there after all these years of Merlin being faithful to him and proving himself). This is how squires become Knights so why can't Arthur show some confidence, trust and even some kind of small friendship to his servant Merlin instead of the constant unking like "I'm better than you" attitude provided by the writers.

I don't mind Merlin running things by the dragon and Gaius as long as he's come up with the answers and is just seeing if they make sense (as this is young Merlin) or if there is a better way he hasn't thought of...and yes if he can't find info on creatures or an objec then by all means ask the dragon or G but not directly asking for help all the time as I agree it's so annoying.

Oh yes the Knights should be going on their quests, and have the respect of the people but yes it seems as if they are nothing although I have to give Eoin Macken kudos for trying to portray Gwaine as worthy given what lines/story he has to work with.

Yes I agree there is nothing special about this Arthur or the Knights or Camelot even....sad but not the true Arthurian legend and myths we've all come to love.