Bradley James ~ Actor Extraordinaire, Soccer Player & All round good Guy!

Well he is, isn’t he?  

Bradleyh with plants Bradley fantasy

I know that everyone is always saying what a great actor Colin is.. and he truly is.    Yet I feel Bradley is as good if not better and not enough is written about his incredible acting talent.   The scenes in Merlin where his character, Arthur, was given some emotional weight, he was quite extraordinary… real, deep and I feel totally connected to the emotion in that moment.       You know the ones I mean and if not here they are:

*  when he kisses Guinevere for the first time…. what he portrayed without words was mesmerizing

Arthur Gwen Kiss

*  when he meets his Mother

*  when he comes back from that meeting and confronts his Father

Bradley crying father scene great photo

*  when his Father dies

*  when he expresses to Merlin how he is not fit to be King and that perhaps Tristan is right – he’s nothing special

*  when he drops to his knees before Elyan/The Druid Boy  & asks for forgiveness

Arthur holdin gElyabn

*  His death scenes

Merlin & Arthur

 Oh there are more, but those are the ones where Bradley shone so brightly and he literally reached into our hearts and touched us with those emotions.  If anyone has any other particular scenes where Bradley was so amazing.. make a comment!  

Bradley Red shirt

For me Bradley played Arthur and portrayed the epitome of all the qualities Arthur was said to have possessed:  truly noble, walking with integrity and with heart.      I simply cannot imagine anyone else ever playing him … no, I don’t think I can watch, unless it is an Arthur who is much older. 

Bradley swirl y coat

Contrary to what has been reported by some, it was not Bradley who caused the end of Merlin.   Not at all.  Bradley also said in interviews in Melborne, Australia in May of 2013 that he would be open to doing more Merlin as long as the script is good.     

Well we are waiting for that script Bradley and for the producers and people with enough vision to do it right. 

In the meantime, here are some wonderful Bradley photos (this was supposed to be all photos!) 


Bradley’s passion for soccer is well known – it’s great that he has other passions outside of Acting.. many of the great actors do.

Bradley action soccer 1Bradley soccer  Bradley is such a guy too!   It’s obvious he got on well with all of the cast and had fun and played pranks.. but he is also a guy’s guy…. loves to hang out with the guys.    

Bradley & bosy

Boys in Australia

And whenever Bradley is interviewed, he just comes across as a regular, real person.   Lovely energy.   Just like Arthur.  

Bradley funny

Lovely contemporary Arthr

Bradley gorgeous bw

Bradley James on beach

Bradley cool standing pillar

and a final photo of Bradley looking debonair ….

Bradley gorgesou tux

We miss you Bradley!! !    

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MERLIN, The Adventures Continue: Chapter 4 by Tony de Haan


Previously on “Merlin, the adventures continue…”:

Morgana was given an ancient and powerful spell to get rid of Merlin. Merlin survived, but his health is far from good and there seems to be no cure. The old archives, however, may hold an answer.

In the meantime Mordred has fled Camelot. Morgana is trying to get him to join forces with her, but he refused her offer and is returning to Camelot.



Chapter 4

Awake! Awake!

 reading1“I can’t read it, I can’t… can’t read it…” Merlin sobbed and he was feeling more and more frustrated. For hours he had sat there and scroll after scroll he had opened, very careful as not to damage the fragile parchment and each and every scroll was the same. Line after line of illegible script and undecipherable symbols. And yet, the words were there, he could see them hovering in the corner of his eye, all those strange markings turning into familiar words, at least they looked like words, he thought they were familiar and he felt he could almost read them, but every time he turned his head or even his eyes, the words morphed back into those illegible scribbles. “I can’t read it…” Desperately he closed his eyes, pinched the bridge of his nose; and with a heavy sigh he grabbed another scroll and started to unroll it. Wearily he shook his head: scribbles and scrawls, more and more unreadable scribbles and scrawls. Merlin took a deep breath and tried to calm himself. “There must be a way,” he thought, “there must be a way to read them. There must be a way to find out if there is something here to counteract this sleeping spell. If there is something here at all, for all I know it’s nothing but a shopping list.” He started to feel so very sleepy again, but he knew he must stay awake now. He took a large swig from Gaius’ bitter brown potion and winced at the still horrible taste, but at least it kept him awake for a while. Slæp. In the corner of his eye he thought he saw that word, very faint and very blurry. Slæp. There is was again, his eyes moved but a fraction of an inch and it was gone again. “I’m starting to imagine things,“ he thought, but he also knew there was so much magic in these scrolls, it all but leaped from the parchment.

“I must take a scroll to Gaius, he surely must be able to read it,” he finally mumbled and started to roll up one of the parchments.

“If of life you keep a care, shake of slumber, and beware… Awake! Awake!”

Merlin’s heart skipped a beat, he dropped the scroll on the little table and gasped. In front of him stood a human-like creature unlike anything he had ever seen. Black hair, dark piercing eyes, the skin around them an eerie reddish colour. He was naked save for a blue hose with some sort of long white kilt over it and boots of supple white leather. Merlin stared mesmerised at its body: all white with a bluish sheen it was, and completely covered in white spikes, just like a giant porcupine.

“Who… who are you, you… you…, how did you get here, not through the door, I would have heard it, is there a hidden door, yes, that’s it, a hidden door…,” and his eyes darted to and fro, looking but not finding any hidden entrance, “but who are you, have I disturbed something? If so, my deepest apologies, and…,” Merlin gazed with inquisitive eyes at the vaguely smiling creature,“ …and you look like me,” he said softly, “amazing….” Slowly his hand reached out to that strange being, trying to touch it. “You are me! You are me! Awesome! No, that cannot be, I’m sleeping again, dreaming… and OUCH!” The creature had pinched him hard in his arm. “No, I’m awake, but, you are me… how did you get here, who are you, what are you, what are you doing here…”

“Please allow me to introduce myself,” the creature said, “I am a spirit of the air, an airy Spirit if you like and…” he said, raising his hand, “…and please allow me to explain my presence to you in an uninterrupted fashion, so before you commence your unremitting rambling again, asking half-questions without bothering to wait for an answer, I will try and explain a few things.”

Merlin desperately wanted to say something, but with great effort he managed to keep quiet.

“I am a spirit, my dear Emrys, I come and go as I please. Don’t look so surprised, I know who you are. And as to why I am here, well, you summoned me, but without you even being aware of doing so. In a way I am you, as you are me. You see me, and yet you see yourself. You hear me, yet you hear yourself.” The spirit stood very close to Merlin now, his mouth inches from Merlin’s ear. “You must believe in yourself Emrys,” he whispered, “believe in yourself! Only then will you unlock the powers hidden deep within you.” He paused for a moment, and then said: “But we will come to that later, first there are these scrolls…” and suddenly the Spirit stood on the other side of the room. “These scrolls…” and he sat on the top shelf of the book-case. “I told you Emrys, I come and go as I please, when I please,” and he stood in front of Merlin again. “The words, Emrys, the words on these scrolls are asleep. And yes, to answer the question you have just asked yourself in your mind, they do contain the answer to your problem, you can set your mind at rest. What that answer is, I do not know, that is for you to find. Well, actually I do know, but I’m not telling. But the words, Emrys, the words must be awoken first.”

“But how can words be asleep?” Merlin asked, intrigued.

“You are a sorcerer Emrys, you should know that nothing is impossible, not even slumbering words.”

Merlin took a scroll in his hand and said, “Ic biddan becumen nu worde” and for a brief moment his eyes turned golden. Nothing happened. Puzzled, he cocked his head a little and tried again: “Ic ascian that thu awæcest!”. Nothing.

“It won’t work, my dear Emrys, your spells will have no effect whatsoever. But there are spells to unlock its secrets, spells almost older than time itself. You must find those spells in your head, for they are there.” The spirit edged closer to Merlin, their faces almost touching. He rapped his finger quite hard against Merlin’s temple: “Find the spells in there, Emrys. For not only were you born with the magic of the Old Religion, the magic before that time also flows in you. You are powerful, more powerful than you can possibly imagine, more powerful than anyone can imagine. Finding the magic within you to read these scrolls is only the beginning. I know this, Emrys, I know this because I am you, I can see inside your brain, into your very being.” Merlin found he couldn’t avert his eyes from the spirit’s penetrating gaze. “You Emrys,” he whispered, barely audible now, “you have a destiny. You are to be the greatest warlock of all time, protecting the greatest king this kingdom of Camelot has ever seen. Kilgharrah already has told you this and I can do nothing but repeat it. I know what you have seen in your nightmares, those dreams where Arthur and Mordred fell, mortally wounded, at that fateful plain of Camlann. But that dream is not only your destiny, it is part of other destinies too, Mordred’s destiny, Arthur’s destiny. And remember my dear Emrys, the future is made up of innumerable destinies. Shape that future Emrys, shape your destiny, shape those around you and you can start by awakening these words, for if you do not find the spell to counteract Morgana’s, your destiny, and your very life, will be very short indeed. And you would be wise Emrys, to bear in mind that Morgana does not have that kind of immense power, that sleeping spell was given to her by someone with very great magical skills indeed!”

Fighting to stay awake, Merlin yawned and took another sip of the potion. There was not much left.

“Try not too hard to find the answer, Emrys, it is already in your mind. All you have to do is search and you will find what you are looking for. I am afraid I cannot help you, as much as I would like to. Empty your mind Emrys, empty your mind.” And suddenly the Spirit’s face and a slightly mocking voice resembled Arthur’s and he said: “Now, that shouldn’t be too hard, emptying your mind, should it Merlin,” and seconds later he morphed back to his former self.

“But how…,” Merlin said, but the spirit had vanished, leaving him with the unreadable scrolls and more questions than answers. He felt a tight knot forming in his stomach, his hands turned cold and his throat was suddenly dry as he remembered that dire warning: “your life will be very short indeed”. And he also remembered that other remark: it was Morgana who had cast the sleeping spell.

Carefully he put the scrolls back in their wooden cases. One he took with him for Gaius to have a look at. He didn’t know why he took that particular one, it was a hunch, or perhaps he was already, and unknowingly, guided by the ancient magic within him.


* * *morgaga3

 “You failed, Morgana,” Macha screamed, seething with fury, “you failed miserably.”

“I failed? I FAILED? I saw him fall!” Morgana shouted back.

“And I saw him get up again, you fool, you bungler”

 It was your magic, you stupid witch, It was YOUR magic that failed!”

“My magic is strong enough, stupid cow, but the vessel that conducts my magic must be strong also and you certainly lack in that department!”

The two women stood there facing each other, trembling and burning with rage.

“And how do you know Merlin got up again,” Morgana said, her voice dripping with sarcasm, “you’re trapped here.”

“Do you really think that, just because I cannot leave this place, I have no knowledge of everything that happens in Camelot? I have a spy there Morgana, a spy who is my ears and eyes, and you wouldn’t believe the things he told me about you!” Her voice became shriller and louder with each word she hurled at Morgana.

“Then you should know how strong my magic is,” she hollered back.

At that moment Macha’s eyes rolled back, leaving only the whites visible. She sat stock-still, even her breathing seemed to have stopped. Her lips moved soundlessly for a while, then all of a sudden she collapsed on the earthen floor. Morgana just looked at her, not quite knowing what to do. After a few seconds Macha sat up again and with a lugubrious grin she said: “I just got a message. Merlin still lives, but he is getting more and more weak. He might even die. I just might give you another chance to redeem yourself.”


* * *


There, in the kitchen of Camelot, amidst the hustle and bustle of the chopping, plucking, cooking and roasting on hot and roaring fires, on a low stool he sat, Cerdic the kitchen boy, waiting for something to do. Asking for it he could not, for Uther had his tongue cut out for speaking out of turn in front of other kings and thus embarrassing him, and after he lost his tongue Uther had banished him, Cerdic, Keeper of the Wardrobe, to the kitchen, far from the Great Hall and the Royal Chambers. And every day revenge was gnawing at him, eating him away.

The kitchen-staff talks freely when he is around, for he cannot reveal their secrets, he cannot speak and he cannot write. And all the girls and some of the boys confide in him, pouring out their hearts on just about everything, but mainly on their real or unattainable beloved, knowing their secrets are safe with him. So Cerdic sat there, silently, eyes forever downcast, listening to all the gossip and idle chatter.

And thus he heard Rose, a smelly scullery-maid, talk to nobody in particular while she was scouring some cooking-pots: “ ’Ave you ‘eard ‘bout poor Merlin? ‘E’s awake they say, and it’s true, I’ve seen ‘im meself, such a weak boy he is, so weak, it breaks y’r ‘eart. Even Gaius can’t do nothin’ they say. I said to Nell, ‘e won’t last another day I said to ‘er, ‘e won’t, ‘e won’t see another sunrise I said…”


And Cerdic sat there, listening. Someone smacked him on the back of his head. “Take this to master Geoffrey and be quick about it, you lazy rattle-brain,” and a wooden platter loaded with bread, cheese, cold meats and a flagon of ale was thrust into his hands. Cerdic took the plate and quickly scuttled away.


After delivering the platter to a distracted master Geoffrey, who was writing with great haste as if he might forget the words he wanted to write down, Cerdic went to his little hide-away in some forgotten corner of Camelot. Here at least he could find some peace and quiet among his treasures he had collected over the years; bits of broken crockery, discarded spoons, a rusty eating-knife. In the corner stood a crude wooden statue of a woman. Cerdic took it in his hands and concentrated. He felt his mind melting together with the statue. A sudden jerk of his body, his eyes rolled back and the link was established. In his mind he heard a voice, cracking with old age, and in his mind he formed words, letting them flow through his arms and hands to the statue. “O great goddess Macha,” came his voiceless words, “this is your obedient servant Cerdic speaking. Merlin is still alive, but he is getting more and more weak. Talk is he may not live to see another sunrise.”


 * * *


“So, the boy is weak and dying,” said Morgana, her malicious voice dripping with contempt, “I was strong enough after all, as if I ever doubted it myself.”

“Weak yes, but dying no. I don’t believe that for a second. The boy is strong, otherwise he would not have survived. And I’m sure you will be able to harm him a little bit more, but with your pathetic magic that’s just about all you can do.”

Morgana’s nostrils flared and her eyes flashed with uncontrollable anger. A spell formed on her lips, a spell to do serious damage to that miserable old crone sitting there, looking  so very complacent and disdainful.

“Before you unleash that pathetic little magic of yours, you pitiful conjurer, it might be wise to save it for something more important. No matter what, that young upstart of a warlock will die before the moon is full, and with him that unbearable prat Arthur. When I gave you that spell, I also told you there was a price to pay and you agreed. So, whether you like it or not, and I really don’t care one way or another, the time for you to pay has come.” She stretched out her bony hands and suddenly Morgana felt her gnarled fingers inside her head. She screamed and screamed until she could scream no more.

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Next time on “Merlin, the adventures continue…”: will the scrolls reveal their secrets and a visitor to Camelot is announced.

links to the previous chapters:


Chapter 1:

Chapter 2:

Chapter 3:

MERLIN: The Adventure Continues: Chapter 3 by Tony de Haan

Previously on “Merlin, the adventures continues…”

Morgana had been given an ancient spell to kill Merlin: he was giving a dream in which he saw Arthur getting killed over and over again and little by little Merlin would die too, but he was stronger and finally woke up, but not in very good health.

In the meantime, Mordred has fled Camelot.

 Uploader Comment:   Oh this is getting really exciting!!!!!  (Francesca)

Chapter 3

What shall I do? say what? what shall I do?

Mordred in cape

He felt angry and frustrated, sad and confused. Mordred had been riding aimlessly for days on end now. Blinded by grief and anger, all he wanted to do was to vent his anger on anything or anyone crossing his path. He could barely contain his druidic powers, barely contain the urge to unleash every ounce of magic he had in him. Arthur had killed Kara, his beloved Kara. Hanged her like a common criminal and for what… But deep in his heart he knew the reason: she had tried to kill Arthur, tried to kill the King of Camelot. Fighting back hot tears he thought: “no, he could have saved her, he could have shown some clemency. She was only a girl, nothing more.” His horse slowed, the track was getting more and more impassable.

“Mordred…,” he heard, “Mordred…” The sound was like a whisper on the wind, a faint rustling of leaves. He looked around, but saw no one. “Show yourself,” he demanded. Nothing.

“Come Mordred, come to me…,” the ethereal voice whispered, ”Come…”

Mordred rode on, ignoring the voice. For a moment he had thought it was Kara calling him, he did see her in his mind, but it could not be, it did not sound like her voice. “I’m imagining things,” he said to himself, irritated. Then suddenly he found himself on a clear track and there in the distance loomed a dark and forbidding castle. “Come to me, come to me Mordred…”

He followed the road to the castle and was greeted by the outer gatehouse by two unsmiling guards who ushered him through the gate and into the outer court. He crossed the drawbridge and entered an almost empty courtyard.

“Follow me,” another guard said. Leaving his horse in the courtyard, he followed the guard into the Great Hall of the castle. Torches were burning and fires were blazing in the braziers, but they gave off no heat, the cold seemed to suck all the warmth from his body. A few guards in black and unyielding armour lined the walls, at the far end of the hall loomed a throne. “Hello Mordred, I knew you would come to me.” On the throne sat Morgana.

“Do you like it?” she said and her hand glided over the supple black leather trousers and the dull black armour. It was beautiful, he had to admit that, a finely crafted mail shirt of small black rings riveted intricately together, a padded black tunic, a heavy black cloak with a silver clasp. “It really brings out the colour of your eyes,” she said, her voice dripping with honey. “Come, join me and together we can defeat Arthur and claim Camelot as rightfully ours. Just remember what Arthur has done to you. He murdered your friend, didn’t he? Cold and heartless, that’s Arthur for you. And does he recognise your powers? No, he would kill you where you stand just for being what you are, killing you for your abilities. He is no better than Uther and his relentless persecution of druids and witches and warlocks.” Morgana’s voice was dripping with venom now, yet mesmerizing at the same time, luring Mordred deeper and deeper into her web. “You are forced to live your life in hiding, hiding your powers, hiding your true self, always living in fear of being discovered. And you know Arthur will kill you, kill all druids and all those who practice magic. Is that what you want? No, Mordred, join me and you can have all the power you want and more.” She was whispering now, whispering very seductively. Her eyes were cold, yet burning with hatred.


Morgana Witch

Mordred just sat there, gazing longingly at the beautiful armour, stroking it, wanting to shed his red cloak with its golden dragon, his bright mail shirt. His mind was in turmoil, torn between love and hate, between loyalty and treachery.

“I am a Knight of Camelot,” he thought, “Arthur trusts me. The knights trust me. Arthur killed Kara. Arthur loathes magic, it is said Uther his father died of magic gone wrong, of evil magic. Magic is evil. I practice magic. Merlin uses magic. Magic is good. Arthur will kill me if he knew my true self, but Arthur can change. Perhaps one day magic will be allowed, will be embraced even and can I come out of the closet and live my life, could Merlin live his live and need we no longer live in fear and hiding.”

“Well my dear Mordred, have you made a decision?” Honey again, her voice, honey and wormwood.

“No,” he said, his voice a hoarse whisper, “No, I will not join forces with you. I will not become like you. I know Arthur killed Kara and I know he will kill me, but I must have faith that he can change, that Camelot can change. I am a Knight of Camelot, I must uphold my honour, so I must respectfully decline your offer.”

With these rather formal words he turned on his heels and walked away, expecting with every step to be hit by one of Morgana’s spells, killing him or worse.

“Fool,” she yelled at his retreating back, “Fool, this means war. I will destroy Arthur and there is nothing you can do to stop me!” With a mere flicker of her eyes she angrily cast a spell and her two guards dropped dead at her feet, their necks broken. Mordred jumped on his horse and rode away, back to Camelot, but his heart was still in turmoil, divided between love and hate for Arthur and everything he stands for.

* * *

“Enjoy your dinner,” Gaius said and placed a wooden bowl in front of Merlin, who looked at it with sleepy, half-closed eyes, picked up his spoon and stirred listlessly in the steaming pottage. Vacantly he stared at the table, seeing nothing.

“How did work go today,” Gaius asked. No response. “I’m sure Arthur didn’t give you a hard time.” Still no response, Merlin continued stirring his cooling pottage and staring at nothing.

“Did you know Arthur practices magic?” Gaius said, “He tried to light a torch, but ended up setting his hair on fire instead.”

“That’s nice,” Merlin answered, not bothering to look up.

Gaius placed his hand on Merlin’s and said sternly: “Merlin! Look at me!”

“I am sleepy Gaius, I am so sleepy. There is magic working within me, evil magic, I can barely fight it, I can barely do my duties. I can’t keep this up for much longer, Gaius.”


Sleepy Merlin

“Yes,” Gaius answered, “I know. I also know that Gwaine and Perceval and Leon are helping out, polishing Arthur’s armour, mucking the horses.”

“Arthur, and Arthur, does he know?”

“Who are we to know what the king knows?” Gaius answered vaguely, avoiding the question.

“There must be a cure, there must be!” he said yawning and promptly fell asleep, his head all but missing the now cold pottage.

“Merlin, MERLIN!” thundered Arthur’s voice through the corridors of Camelot, “Merlin!!!”

The door of Gaius’ rooms flew open and Arthur came striding in. “Gaius, do you know where Merlin is? He was supposed to… He’s in the village isn’t he? In the tavern no doubt.”

“No Sire, in fact he is… he is not well as you can see.”

“No, how can I… Oh, I see.”

“That sleeping spell was a very powerful one, Sire, it did drain most of his energy away.”

“Well, that can’t have taken long then, the draining.”

With an enormous yawn Merlin woke up.

“Well Merlin, now that you’ve had your beauty sleep, and with all that sleeping you must be as beautiful as… as…”

“As you?”

“Yes, exactly, as me.”

“In that case, I think I’ll stay awake. Looking like you is not a very pleasurable prospect.” And with these words he crashed to the ground. Both Gaius and Arthur rushed to him, lifted him gently and laid him on his bed.

“He is not feeling well Sire,” Gaius said gravely and a bit unnecessary.

“I know, and still no cure found I gather.”

“Alas Sire, nothing. The magic was strong. Old and strong. We are lucky Merlin is such a healthy and strong young man, otherwise he would not have survived.”

“And using… using… sorcery?” It took Arthur a great deal of effort just to propose the use of magic.

“There are no sorcerers left who might know a cure,” Gaius replied with sadness in his voice, “your father’s purge did make sure of that.”

“You can’t let him die, do whatever is necessary. I won’t stand in your way. Use whatever recourses you need, but don’t let him die.” He stood close to Gaius now, their faces almost touching. “I’ve lost my father by evil magic, don’t let me lose Merlin too.”

Merlin groaned, opened his eyes and said: “What time is it?”

“Time to do some work,” Arthur said, holding a pair of dull and dirty vambraces in his hand and smiling broadly. “This is dirty armour. And do you know what to do with dirty armour? Yes Merlin, you clean it. You polish it.”

“You could decide not to wear those,” Merlin said slyly.

“Merlin…” Arthur said with a predatory smile, “If there was nothing to polish, you would be out of a job and without a job no wages and without wages no visits to the tavern.”

“And where would you find another servant who can actually put up with you.”

Arthur put the vambraces on the table and started to leave. His eyes bore into Gaius’: “Don’t let him die!”


Arthur for blog

“It is not a magic I am familiar with,” Gaius said gravely, making sure Arthur had left before talking of magic, “It is old, very old.”

Both fell silent for a while, thinking. Suddenly Gaius said: “Of course! The ancient archives, there are books there long forgotten, writings older than Camelot itself, writings from before the Old Religion, writings that should not exist.”

“I must go there,” Merlin said and tried to stand up, “If there’s a cure, I’ll find it.”

“These books may not be so easy to find and master Geoffrey will certainly not tell you,” Gaius said, “but with your magic you might just find them. First let me make you something for your sleepiness.” With these words he took a handful of beans and tossed them into the fire. Almost immediately a delicious aroma wafted through the room. Gaius took the now dark beans out of the fire and pounded them to a fine powder. He poured hot water on it and after a few minutes gave Merlin the cup. “Drink it, but the liquid only, not the powder on the bottom.”



Merlin drank and with a contorted face exclaimed: “Gaius, this is so bitter, it tastes horribly!”

“Yes,” Gaius said with a hint of a smile on his lips, “I forgot to tell you, it is quite bitter, but it will keep you awake for some time. O, and Merlin…” said Gaius as Merlin walked to the door, ”try not to set free a goblin or two if you please…”

Merlin smiled and rushed off to master Geoffrey of Monmouth.

“Oh, there you are again,” said master Geoffrey in his soft and slightly wheezing voice.

“It has been three months since the last time master Geoffrey,” Merlin answered and smiled.

“Yes, yes,” Geoffrey said, “and here you are again. Carefully he dipped his quill in the inkwell.

“What is it you are writing, master Geoffrey?” Merlin asked, trying to soften up the old man and thus gain access to every nook and cranny of the vast archives.

“Oh, nothing much, nothing you young people would be interested in,” his eye misting over, his voice warming up to his most favourite subject, “it is the history of this Fair Isle from the earliest of times when it was called Albion, hundreds of centuries ago and no one lived here save a few giants and then from far away Brutus came and there are so many stories I could tell. Did you know—“ but

Merlin cut him short.

“You must tell me this wonderful story another time, master Geoffrey,” Merlin said, “but now I must get some books for Gaius. He really needs them and you know how impatient he can get.”

“So true, so true,” Geoffrey sighed. Slowly he stood up, took an iron key from his desk and unlocked a heavy door. “Be careful now,” he warned, ”take care not to upset the books and don’t touch anything you’re not supposed to touch.”

“Yes master Geoffrey, and thank you.”

Merlin entered the library and Geoffrey returned to his desk. He resumed his writing and quickly lost all track of time.

Merlin wandered through the corridors, trying to detect anything magical, but all he smelled was dust and mildew from ancient books, parchments and other things Merlin did rather not want to know. Deeper and deeper into the labyrinth he went, illuminated only by a magical flame flickering in the palm of his hand. The he felt it: magic. At the end of a damp and low corridor he saw a door, hidden behind a veil of thick cobwebs and lichen. As he neared the door, the magic was getting stronger. “Tospringe,” he whispered and the lock flew open. He entered a small room. “Forbearnan,” thus lighting a torch. There were only a few crude shelves on the bare stone walls and on them no more than fifty scrolls or so, but the magic was overwhelming. Hesitantly he touched a scroll, but nothing happened. Taking the scroll from the shelf, he unrolled it and started to read, hoping with all his heart to find a cure.

Next time on “Merlin, the adventures continue…”: will Merlin find a cure or simply fall asleep again?


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Eoin Macken ~ Iconic Irish Writer, Director, Producer, Actor & Guy who cares, writes about One Billion Rising ~ direct from Eoin’s Blog

Eoin lovely~ Eoin is one of those iconic Irish writers & poets that seem to emerge so effortlessly from Ireland. I enjoy reading Eoin’s blog & have done for over a year. He writes what he feels & is not afraid to show the illusion – & reality – of what he observes; sharp, exact snapshots of every day life. Thank you Eoin! 

The day before Valentine’s, Eoin tweeted his latest piece and it’s clear he is passionate about it. I believe Eoin is really wanting people to read this and get the word out about violence against women..

Eoin very kindly gave us permission to upload the entire piece here (in blue)   and here also is a link to Eoin’s blog, enticingly entitled “Everything & Nothing”:


One Billion Rising and something that shouldn’t need to be blogged about.

Tomorrow is Valentines Day.Everybody knows what that means; it’s a celebration of love, your relationship, the time to make a little effort for the person that you adore or just really really like enough to pretend to play along with the commercialism of the day and get away with being ‘cute’. This really applies to men more than women though let’s be honest, and Valentines Day is very much considered a day for men to surprise and cherish women, make an effort. Right? There’s nothing subtle about it!    Well Eve Ensler and One Billion Rising have very cleverly chosen this day as the main focal point for their organisation.
                                                                                                                                                                                  Anybody who has read my blog or my twitter before knows that I love tweeting provocatively about small dogs and inane occurrences, and writing poetry and making films or trying to be vaguely amusing (to myself anyway), but some things are far more important and I hope that this is read and encouraged far more than anything I’ve done relating to my own personal acting exploits or odd ramblings.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
So on this blog I am going to try and talk about sexual violence and abuse against women. Because it is something that happens all the time, in colleges, universities, work places, everywhere, and there needs to be more said about it:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
”  On February 14, thousands of events will take place in hundreds of countries and on six continents, where participants will gather to fight specific issues happening in their communities.”
I am not going to use this blog to preach much about figures, or to say the same things that are being stated on the 1 Billion Rising website because if people are really interested then they can click the links below and see for themselves. Besides, would anybody honestly be surprised at the figure of 1 in 3 women being raped or beaten or sexually abused in their life time? Women probably wouldn’t. I, as a man, was surprised when I first heard it. I have more than 3 female friends and relatives in my own life so even taking whatever variable you would like to into account that is a scary figure. So what am I saying, what is the pointed message that I am making? It’s mainly that I hope more men than women actually read this blog and that it impacts them. I doubt that you find a woman anywhere who will dismiss this idea, this blog or Eve Ensler and her organisation, but I would expect far more men will politely ignore it. Not out of any devilishness, nor even ignorance most like, but because it’s not really very socially cool and is probably considered more of a ‘woman’s thing’, (I’m not quoting anybody specifically there, it just seemed appropriate as that is a general vibe that I have noticed in my life time, which maybe until now I didn’t really notice too consciously).
                                                                                                                                                                                     That brings me to the question of why am I getting involved, is there a specific reason that I am ardently trying to bring awareness to this issue? Yes. Yes and no. Yes, because of course I know people who have had things happen to them, bad things, and not so bad things; things that affect them long term and things that don’t but simply shouldn’t even have to be considered as a situation in the first place, ever. And No. No because there shouldn’t need to be a reason to stimulate my interest and support. There shouldn’t need to be an event that occurs to a friend or loved one to spark an outrage or support, not least because most men will never be aware of any of this happening to their loved ones. They may never be aware, and if they’re not aware then it doesn’t really exist does it. But it does, and everybody should be aware.
                                                                                                                                                                                             I will admit to entirely understanding any hesitance in supporting this cause, or talking about it. It seems so glaringly obvious that there’s no need to discuss it, it’s uncomfortable. Let somebody else fix it. There’s charities, society has always been like this, it’s such a deep seeded issue anyway so why waste time talking about it? Well no, let’s talk about it because it is uncomfortable. 
Honestly, I was reluctant to go too deep into the issue because as a man you automatically feel a little like the enemy. I did anyway; I only tentatively stuck my toe into these waters initially because I felt stupid, like my male friends would judge me a little, or that my female friends would think there was some subterfuge going on. There will always be playful barbs, jokes, that’s the way of life, but it’s also a locker room mentality that exists in all walks of life and it is correct that many times men do things is to impress women. So yes, I entirely understand why this issue is not cool for guys to get involved in, or for there to be an element of bravado about the topic, but that could just be me. I am only on the cusp of understanding what I can do myself so I’m not naive enough to preach and act like I know everything. I just want to help, and to raise awareness, and make it painfully clear that this is something that MEN should be interested and involved in, because that’s sort of the point. To what extent should they be more involved, well maybe creating a feeling that taking advantage of women, or abusing them is something that other men will react to more vehemently, and that it’s not okay to have an undercurrent swimming around society, that it will not be tolerated.
                                                                                                                                                                                             I have had only a limited exposure so far to this organisation, and have only just touched upon what I would like to do, but the most glaring problem that I have noticed is the distinct lack of men involved. Not that they’re aren’t any but just that it is very much a women’s club at the moment. I hope that I’m wrong, and that could even be my own misconception from years of embedded subtle social misogyny and I’m only seeing how few men are involved so I’m not used to it maybe. If I’m correct then this is part of the problem, more men simply need to be actively involved so that it becomes part of the norm to talk about it, in schools and universities not just in the workplace and on blogs and newspapers. Women can encourage their friends and boyfriends to be involved by asking to talk about it, and even actively encouraging them to take part – there is a lot of power in the disappointed female gaze!
                                                                                                                                                                                     This is far more important than Valentines Day and yet for men it is very inter-related. If your wife, girlfriend, sister, friend knows that you’re more interested in being involved in this concept that will garner you a lot more browny points than some roses and a few nice chocolates. (Unless they’re Godiva, then maybe go with the chocolates!).So click the links below, read more about it, maybe it’s too late to be involved tomorrow, but it’s ongoing really, it’s not just a Valentines Day fad, unlike plastic love hearts. Even if you don’t want to support One Billion Rising, and I haven’t gone into detail about their organisation itself over the world, because you can see yourself below, then just have a conversation about it with your friends, and bring an awareness of it as being an actual serious issue that happens every day to somebody that you care about.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
Here is the One Billion Rising website:
                                                                                                                                                                                              And here is an article from the Huffington Post with Eve Ensler:
There is also an organisation for Men to get involved directly, if they want to avoid Eve and take a more masculine approach:

                                                                                                                                                                                           It should also be noted that I have more followers than @VDAY. Which is in itself a problem right?!


Much Love


Thank you Eoin for that wonderful piece.   For anyone who is fond of the written word, I strongly advise you to take a bit of time to look at Eoin’s blog.   He’s truly an excellent writer.     Francesca    

Again, here is the link:

TO LEAVE A COMMENT OR READ COMMENTS     The comment section only appears when you click the “reply/replies” in the small footer underneath the “tweet” button below.    You can also find it by clicking on the number in the square box to the right of the title of this post at the top right hand corner.       Thank you!  



Merlin’s Horses: Magnificent, Mesmerizing & Magical: Dolbadarn Film Horses – Dylan Jones, Horsemaster


Have you heard of Dolbadarn Film Horses?     Perhaps not… but since you are a Merlin fan you have seen their horses on every episode of Merlin….. I know I have marveled at how beautiful the horses were… how amazing they were “acting” in this magical adventure!    I loved the beautiful black horse Colin rode and oh, the White horse that Guinevere & Morgana rode was just gorgeous!
The horses were rather key to the Merlin series….. since horses were the major means of transportation back then!   The writing and entire production was so well crafted that we as viewers entirely became transported back to that time… where riding about on horses seemed the natural way to go…. sometimes I wish it were like that now…don’t you?   A gentler, softer pace.
There’s something about seeing Arthur and the Knights on horses… riding through the woods..or Meriln & Gwaine  off to look for Arthur in The Eye of the Phoenix.     I bet those horses have some stories to tell!
HOrses great one with Colin, Arthur and Knights
So it was a grand pleasure for me to chat with Dylan Jones, Head Horsmaster of Dolbadarn.    He worked on 4 seasons of Merlin  Season 2 – 5 and apparently enjoyed it tremendously.
Dylan talked of how the cast were wonderful to work with & how they all got to be really quite good with the horses by the end of Series 5!   I suppose so.. after 5 years.    He also of course pointed out that it is pretty hard work..    Dylan and his crew had to travel 3 hours from North Wales down to South Wales to film every time … and they also provided the “doubles” for major horse riding scenes.     I’m sure the producers didn’t want any of the actors breaking anything!
Amie, Dylan and Colin
Dylan and Amie from Dolbadarn Film Horses with Colin Morgan on location filming “Merlin”
Dylan and his Film Horses have provided the horses for more than Merlin – most recently they worked on the 50th Anniversary “Dr Who”  and have many other film credits including Robin Hood with Russell Crowe “Willow” and most recently “Atlantis”.
Horses Willow
HOrses Atlantis 1
Dylan also confided that even though he and his family worked on the production, they all LOVED watching the series too…. and were disappointed when it ended.   
When I asked Dylan what he had to say about his time working on Merlin, he had this to say:

” I joined the team back in Series 2 and worked on the Merlin production right through to the end. It was a great pleasure and even better experience to have been part of the Merlin story. There was always a great atmosphere on set when we had the horses in scenes and the artists all got on very well with our horses. Great memories . I hope that we can work with them all one day again .”


Well we hope so too Dylan.. in fact we are counting on it.. we are counting on More Merlin and more Dolbadarn Film Horses!      Thank you for providing the horse “magic” for Merlin!


There were so many outstanding photos of the horses and the time on Merlin.. I just had to include a lot of photos… enjoy!    And thanks to Dylan Jones and Dolbadarn Film Horses for the photos.

Colin on Toscano:


HOrses, Colin on Diablo gorgeous 

Bradley on Rabenete  (amazing light in this photo)



Katie towards the end:


Horses Morgana



Horses Angel


Horses… the Horse is paying as much attentio as Colin!

Trick Riding


HOrses Trick Riding



Horses, just beautiful Horses!


HORSES JUST HORSES Dolbadarn’s Site:

Facebook Page:

(go and give that page a like)



Dylan demonstrating vertical wing Eoin Merlin Horses %22Sins of the Father%22 Series 2 Horses Actors on Standy Horses Arthur & Gwen Horses ARthur & Knights Horses Arthur inmiddle of set Horses Colin & Santiago Horses Colin on Diablo Horses Dylan with COlin Horses Dylan with Riding Doubles HOrses on set with Colin & Bradley Horses series 4 Horses. Ready set Action! Horses.. ARthur Morgana and COlin Katie & Anthony on Zaleno & Diablo Merlin Guinevere Riding Doubles Merlin Merlin all the Knights


The Wizard’s Call – Poem by Lynnie Burroughs

The Wizard’s Call

by Lynnie Burrows

Glastonbury 1 (1)

High up on Glastonbury Tor, evening mist quiet and still,

A Magnificent Figure, bending nature to his will.

A million souls yielding candles to the sky,

Hearten the Wizard forward, asking the question why.

Gathering as one, a vision they could clearly see,

A destiny so bright and true never allowed to be.

A Wizard and his King bringing prosperity and fortune to all,

Camelot’s souls, loving and hopeful, joined the Wizard’s Call.

Blue eyes flashing gold, arm held strong and true,

Drawing closer to the Tor, a promising golden hue.

Serene, Strong, Determined, the Wizard strove through the night,

Returning Friend and King, with the will of his might.

Bathed by the love of Moon, Stars and Flame,

Sparkling jewels from the Wizard’s hand, summoning Arthur by name.

Midnight true, the souls see a figure descend the Tor,

The Wizard’s Call leaving them joyous, wanting no more.

And so it came to be, Merlin and Arthur, Sorcerer and King,

Reunited once more, to the citizens of Camelot did bring.

Health, Happiness and Joy, in friendship, magic and gold,

And The Wizard’s Call in time thrived in the folklore of old.


What was MAGICAL for YOU? Be included in the “Merlin Book of Magic” presented to Actors


    The MAGIC of MERLIN is still working its spell around the world 


What was MAGICAL for YOU?

What was MAGICAL for YOU?

We are currently compiling a “Book of Magic” – comments that have been left by Merlin fans starting from comments left on the first piece on the blog (Dec 27th 2012, 3 days after that dreadful last episode) until now. 

This “Magic Book” will be presented to the actors, writers, creators and producers… as part of the plan that has always been in place to bring Merlin back. 

So now, it is your chance to be included in the “Magic Book” ~ here’s your chance to say what in Merlin was Magical for you. 

So what WAS magical for you? Was it the actual Magic? The candles Merlin made dance in the air for Freya? The Dragon in the Fire? Merlin moving objects at lightening speed…. saving Gaius in that very first episode? 

Or was it the relationship between Merlin & Arthur? That extraordinary friendship that began with comic banter and kept going as we watched Merlin & Arthur’s relationship grow to one of (if not the definitive) most compelling brotherly love stories out there? 

Or perhaps the beautiful love story between Arthur & Gwen? No violence, no cool “put downs’,.. but respect, purity of love, something Sacred and beautiful to watch. That first kiss is, in my humble opinion, unrivalled on film as being the most beautiful screen kiss in existence. 

How about the Mythic tale? The Sword in the Stone….. the Round Table, the Dragon…. all told with such mastery and such simplicity.. no gizmos, no crazy special effects, just superlative writing, outstanding acting & a little magic. 

 For some it was the way the real & true values of honor, respect, integrity and love were portrayed by the main characters again and again. No sharp put-downs, no violent comments, just purity. 

For me, I loved the deference given to Spirituality and the Earth. When Balinor says to Merlin in “The Crystal Cave” “You are a son of the Earth, the Sun, the Stars, sleep now and you will awaken into the Light”, it was a spiritual metaphor of being reborn, of being reunited with Divine Essence. 

And let’s not forget the Fun! Who can forget the immortal “fart” scene in the Courtroom? Or Gaius as the Goblin? Or Uther in love with a Troll? 

Merlin fans have all been drawn to The More Merlin Project by the goal we have, by the heart with which we present our project and by the wish to see Merlin come back with either a Movie, a Mini series or one more Series. Our goal is clear: to have what was always promised: The Golden Age of Camelot & Albion. Merlin using magic freely with Arthur looking on.. with all the Knights looking on, with Arthur finally knowing and appreciating Merlin for who he is: the greatest Warlock of all time. 

So! Take your time…. and write a paragraph – maximum two on what was magical for you. Speak from your heart and we will be heard.

Send your heartfelt comment with ‘What was Magical for Me” in the subject headline to 

Please include your name, country/area .

Also, please put your comment below… if the comment section does not show please hit “replies” small tab at bottom of post

A few will be included in 

 the final “Magic Book” but we will post all comments that are sent on this page & on the blog. 

So come on Merlinians…. what was MAGICAL for you?  

For the Love of Camelot – Keep the MAGIC Alive! 


MERLIN: The Adventure Continues: Chapter 2

Previously on “Merlin, the adventures continues..” 

Morgana had been given an ancient spell to kill Merlin: he was giving a dream in which he saw Arthur getting killed over and over again and little by little Merlin would die too, but he was stronger and finally woke up, but he is not in very good health.



Chapter 2  :   To thy grim tool now take heed, Sir!   by Tony de Haan 


Arthur & the Noble Knights of Camelot

Arthur & the Noble Knights of Camelot

“And I tell you,” Gwaine boasted and draining his mug of ale in one gulp, “That guy, he never knew what hit him!”

Great laughter erupted, Sir Leon almost choking trying to laugh and drink at the same time. “That was a wager never to be forgotten.” Another burst of thunderous and raucous laughter. Arthur sat on his throne and smiled. He took a huge mouthful of a herb-encrusted capon and looked around, feeling very satisfied. The ties of friendship with both the rulers of Mercia and Caerleon were strengthened once more, treaties signed, words of trust and friendship given. Curiously he looked at Sir Vert of Sinople, a wandering knight who came to Camelot a few days ago, asking for lodgings so he could rest himself and his horse before continuing on his journey. All clad in green he was, even his eyes were the colour of emerald.

One seat however, was empty. Mordred was still missing. He needed to get away, he said, trying to clear his head. It has been a hard time for him, Arthur knew that all too well, but he had no choice giving the order to hang his friend Kara. I’ve tried to reason with him, he thought, but he was so angry, so frustrated. I’m sure in due time he’ll see reason. After all, trying to assassinate the King of Camelot is punishable by death, all personal feelings must be set aside. He was, no, he is, a loyal and trusted Knight of Camelot, he will come back. There were rumours of course, a swineherd claimed to have seen him with a woman: “an’ Adult-Mordred-1-Wallpaper-merlin-characters-33068353-1709-953ravenblack ‘air she ‘ad, an’ a dress like one of them fancy rich wimmin fr’m the cas’l”. It could have been Morgana, but Arthur had dismissed that idea. It could have been anybody. Mordred would never, ever team up with Morgana and betray Camelot.



“So Sir Knight,” the Green Knight bellowed in Gwaine’s ear, “I gather you are not averse to a wager now and then.”

“No Sir, I am not,” he shouted back and raided his goblet.

“In that case, Sir Knight, may I be so bold as to propose a little wager.”

“By all means, Sir, by all means.”

“But first I must have your solemn oath as a knight of Camelot and as a


Gwaine gorgeous


“Gentleman? Him? Gwaine a gentleman?” Both Percival and Leon burst out laughing, tears streaming down their faces, their fists thumping on the table, all but upsetting some jugs of ale.

“By the gods, guys, let the man speak,” Gwaine said.

‘Please Sir Knight, pray continue.”

As I said, first I must have your solemn oath you will honour our little agreement.”

“I Sir, I am a Knight of Camelot, a Knight of the Round Table. When I give you my word, I will keep my word, no matter what. So yes Sir Knight, you have my solemn oath! Needless to say Sir Knight, you will undoubtedly honour our arrangement  also.”

“Splendid, splendid! Of course will I honour our agreement. Let us shake hands Sir Gwaine, on our little wager.”

The two knights firmly clasped each other’s forearms.

“And now for the wager, Sir Knight, what is it you had in mind.”

“O, it is quite simple really. You will inflict on me some bodily harm and in turn I will inflict you with the same. I must, however, insist on a few conditions. I get to choose and you must be the one to first inflict the chosen harm on me. Are we in agreement, Sir Gwaine?”

What harm can come to me, Gwaine thought, a black eye perhaps, a bruised rib or two, I’ve had worse. “Agreed, Sir Knight, I do agree. Choose!”

“Very well, Sir, I have here a sword of excellent craftsmanship and all I ask of you is to chop my head off.”

Some could be heard laughing and snickering, others were just shaking their heads.

Chop his head off? It looks like he’s lost his head already! Gwaine stood dumbfounded, not quite knowing how to react. “Very well,” he said at last, “very well. Please give me the sword.”

Gwaine took the heavy broadsword in his hands and tested its balance. It was beautifully made and razor-sharp. Arthur looked at him as if trying to say “no killing of guests here in Camelot”. Gwaine gave Arthur a reassuring smile.

“You’re not really going to chop his head off?” Percival whispered a little anxious.

“Of course not,” Gwaine whispered back, “I’ll just scare him a little, and maybe give him a bit of a haircut. Teach him a lesson not to fool around with knights of Camelot or make outrageous wagers.”

The Green Knight was on his knees now, quite unperturbed and lowered his head on a stool. The Great Hall fell silent, even the dogs were quiet.

Slowly Gwaine came closer and closer. He lifted the sword high above his head and held it there, a roguish smile on his lips.

“Come on Sir Knight, I haven’t got all night.”

Gwaine took a deep breath and with great speed he swung the sword down, narrowly missing the Green Knight’s head. A few hairs could be seen swirling down.

A collective sigh was heard through the Great Hall, the tension broke.

“Excellent! Truly magnificent, Sir Knight, very good. Very good indeed! Verily a masterly hew.” The Green Knight stood up and beamed at Gwaine. “Razor-sharp this sword is, don’t you agree? It clave with one mighty stroke my head clean from my shoulders.”

“Yes,” said Gwaine a bit taken aback, but he decided to play along. “Yes, it did, didn’t it,” and looked involuntarily at the blade, a lopsided grin on his face. It was clean, not a drop of blood could be seen.

“I didn’t feel a thing, you truly are a knight of great skill and renown.”

“A toast,” shouted Arthur, raising his goblet, “a toast to our brave and gracious guest, Sir Vert of Sinople!”

“To our guest!”]

“And a toast to Sir Gwaine, for displaying true gallantry.”

“Sir Gwaine!”

“And now,” the Green Knight said, putting down his cup, “Now Sir Knight, you did swear, upon your honour as a Knight of Camelot, for you to have inflicted upon yourself the same as you have inflicted upon me. I hold you to that promise Sir Knight. I hold you to that solemn oath. This sword that clave my neck will one day cleave yours.”

“I did so swear, “ Gwaine answered formally, “But…” That roguish smile again came to his lips, a twinkle in his eyes, “But… if I’m not mistaken, your head is still on your shoulders, my good Sir, and speech still issues from your lips.”

“It may be but a week, a year and a day or three-score years from now, I will keep you to your word Sir Knight,” and with those words he lifted his head from his shoulders. The Hall fell silent. Retching could be heard, and vomiting. A serving girl fainted, crockery shattering on the flagstones. Others started crying, Guinevere turning deathly pale, Arthur clutching the armrests of his throne until his knuckles turned white. The knights just stood there, staggered and bewildered, unable to move.

“A very beautiful shade of green your visage is turning into, Sir Percival,” the Green Knight said mockingly, “very beautiful indeed. I do so appreciate a nice shade of green.”

“What foul and black magic is this,” Merlin thought, more fascinated than afraid, “it surely must come from knowledge long hidden and carefully kept secret. I’ve never seen this in my life.” He slinked behind Arthur’s throne, ready to stealthily cast a spell should the need arise.

Arthur Cloak Swirling

“Calm, we must remain calm,” Arthur thought, “I must not show fear.” He took a deep breath and summoning all his

strength he proclaimed: “Fear not, this is nothing but a trick, an illusion. You had your fun, Sir Knight,
now come and sit down so we can all have a laugh.”


But the Green Knight did not sit down and his head, now securely lodged under his arm, said: “One day Sir Knight, one day I will hold you to your oath.” With these words he turned on his heels and walked away. In the Great Hall pandemonium broke loose.

“It was a trick, nothing but a cheap trick from an insignificant conjurer, a trick to frighten women and children,” shouted Gwaine, laughing just a little too loud.

“Well, he was good, he even frightened me for a moment,” came Sir Percival.

“And green is your natural colour, come on Percival, you were terrified, admit it.”

“I was not!”

“Yes, you were.”  Gwaine put his arm around Percival’s chest and squeezed him hard, hiding his own fear.

“I still wonder how he did it.”

“Come on Merlin,” said Arthur, “don’t be such a girl, don’t stand there cowering behind the throne. My goblet is empty. Merlin… MERLIN…! I know how simple folk like you are easily impressed with the simplest of parlour-tricks and…”


Merlin & Arthur Destiny

“Yes, Sire,” Merlin said and started to fill Arthur’s goblet. “Easily impressed, that’s me. I was also very easily impressed by your ability to so quickly turn as white as a sheet. A mere trick, I am sure…”.

But Merlin knew it was no trick, he had felt the magic when the Green Knight lifted his head from his shoulders.

“I did not turn white,” he heard Arthur say, “It was a mere trick of light, nothing more.”

“Like your shaking hand is a trick of light too.”


The next day Arthur sent out soldiers to every corner of Camelot to find Sir Vert, the Green Knight, but when the soldiers returned, they all had the same message: no one had seen the Green Knight and no one has ever heard of him.

Next time on “Merlin, the adventures continue”: All Merlin wants to do is sleep and will Mordred return to Camelot?

Tony de Haan is the Dutch Representative for More Merlin.  Tony de Haan

Tony de Haan was born in Leeuwarden (the Netherlands) and makes a living as an archivist at a large insurance company.  In his spare time he does the lay-out for Lembas, the magazine of the Dutch Tolkien Society Unquendor and has been involved in two plays of the Unquendor Theatre Group, both as an actor and as production/lighting designer.  He is also a member (and one of its founders) of the Middle-earth re-enactmentgroup Ennorandirrim and is currently working on his first fantasy novel.   He is living in a small apartment crammed with thousands and thousands of books, including a shelf on Arthurian history, myth and legend and the complete set of Merlin on DVD.


MOJO REVIEW : COLIN Morgan transforms into “Skinny” Full Play Review

PictureA friend and I traveled to London from the United States over the New Year’s holiday to take in some sights and go to the theater. We opted for Mojo, a play that had gotten wonderful reviews…and happened to have several of our favorite & well-known actors in it. We decided to see it more than once—at the beginning, middle, and end of our stay—just in case any of the actors got sick and couldn’t perform one night.  I am so glad that we decided to do this. Mojo was an amazing play that got better and better each time we experienced it. If I had seen it just once I would have missed out, big time.

The first time through the play I had to adjust to the accents. I watch a lot of British television shows (relatively speaking), so I was surprised that I had trouble. Colin Morgan’s cockney accent was particularly tough at times for me, but by the end there was only one line of his that he yelled that I never understood.

I had watched part of the Mojo movie on YouTube to get ready for the play, so I already knew the basics of the plot going in. I’m glad I did this, for it helped me follow the play more easily. That being said, each time I saw it I understood more of the undercurrents and I recognized nuances that I had missed the previous time. This play was very well done—I was overwhelmed by how brilliantly every actor did.

First, Brendan Coyle… As a big Downton Abbey fan, I was excited to see him on stage. He was a strong presence and I loved watching him interact with Skinny and Baby. I’ll admit that I had a hard time ever really accepting him as Mickey because part of me always wanted to believe that Mr. Bates was incapable of…well, go see the show for that detail. I loved seeing his sensitive side when it came to his affection for Skinny…and this made his Mickey character very tragic for me when it was all said and done.

Second, Tom Rhys Harries as Silver Johnny… Tom was wonderful—truly the perfect image for the part. I was sorry that his number of lines was so limited, but he did a fantastic job with what he had. He is definitely a rising star and I look forward to his future projects.


Brendan Coyle as Mickey


Tom Rhys Harries as Silver Johnny


Mays as Potts, Grint as Sweets

Third & Fourth, Daniel Mays and Rupert Grint… I have to talk about them together because their back-and-forth banter was one of the most fun parts of the play. I was not familiar with Mr. Mays before deciding to see Mojo, so I watched a few shows of his on Netflix. I read that he was very well-known in the London theater circuit and now I can definitely see why. His exuberance is infectious and his delivery hilarious. I enjoyed every minute of Sidney Potts. Mr. Mays and Rupert Grint (Sweets) played off each other brilliantly. They made me laugh—a lot. I can see why some reviewers have noted that Mr. Grint’s Sweets is a little similar to the Ron Weasley character, and I’d have to agree with that.  But, I think that similarity served to make the Sweets character even better in Mojo. I felt like I knew Sweets a little already (as slightly goofy Ron), but this was the much darker, more streetwise version.  I loved it. Mr. Grint did a fantastic job—I hope he considers doing more theater in the future.


Ben Whishaw as Baby

Fifth, Ben Whishaw… My only exposure to Ben before Mojo was as Q in Skyfall. Wow. Mr. Whishaw truly blew me away with his acting…not to mention his singing and dancing. His ability to convey various emotions as he swung back and forth between seemingly sane and sadly disturbed was impressive. I don’t think I will ever forget his solo dance across the stage ending in a shower of confetti. In one of the shows we saw, Ben accidentally spit water on the stage and then completely wiped out a bit later when chasing Skinny around the stage at full speed. He crashed down hard (I think his feet actually flew off the end of the stage) but he hopped right up and kept running. If I hadn’t known better I would have thought that he’d fallen on purpose for effect. He has earned a new fan.

Finally, Colin Morgan… In truth, he is the primary reason that I chose to see Mojo while in London. I am a huge Merlin fan. I discovered the show by accident while surfing Netflix for something to watch while on the treadmill. I devoured the first four seasons on Netflix in early 2013 and chomped at the bit waiting for the last season to come out on DVD in the U.S. Since the final show had already aired in December 2012 in the UK, I found out how the show ended from the inevitable spoilers available online. Knowing the end didn’t make it any easier to take. Mr. Morgan’s portrayal of Merlin was so believable, so engaging, that I really cared about his character. More than the usual, I mean. I grieved for his loss and his loneliness at the end. It felt so odd to me…so unusual…to be caught up in a show to that extent—because that had never, ever happened to me before. I am way too logical and practical to give my heart to a fictional character. So, either I changed, or Mr. Morgan offered something that I had never experienced before. I’m thinking it’s the latter. He is a wonderful actor…and a very humble and kind individual. You can’t help but like him. Therefore, when I saw that Mr. Morgan would be starring in Mojo when I was in London, I couldn’t miss it.


Colin Morgan as Skinny in Mojo


Colin Morgan as Merlin

Mr. Morgan as Skinny was completely different from his role as Merlin. As others have said, the casual Merlin fan might not even realize that the same actor played both parts. Mr. Morgan became Skinny—completely. He never wavered. From the moment that he emerged onto the stage cursing a blue streak (wow, that was a shock to my ears) until his dramatic death at the end, he was a twitchy struggler aiming to fit in. The jukebox scene with Baby humping and torturing a partially clad Skinny with a cutlass was mesmerizing in its rawness—that’s another part of the play that I won’t likely forget. One would think that Mr. Morgan in his underwear would be appealing, but in the end you just felt bad for Skinny as he was being bullied by Baby. Skinny was a somewhat downtrodden individual and Mr. Morgan played him to perfection. His death scene was both a little funny and amazingly sad. I noticed that Mr. Morgan switched his final words a bit in each show, making every time a little new…making it real…making it his own. Brilliant acting, as usual. I can’t wait to see what he does next.
So, in summary, if you can, go see Mojo. And, if possible, see it more than once. You won’t regret it.  The fish are jumping and the cotton is high. Don’t miss the boat.

MEETING COLIN MORGAN: Confessions of a Colin Morgan Obsession, MOJO & the Best High Five Ever!

by Margaret Locke

Ostensibly I went to London to do Regency research for future romance writing. And I did make an effort to see lots of Regency-era things (blogs about that coming soon!). But everybody, including my husband, knew the REAL reason I wanted to go so badly this fall was to see Colin Morgan, who’s currently starring in the play Mojo, playing at the West End’s Harold Pinter Theatre. Anything else was just gravy.

My obsession with Mr. Morgan is a relatively new one. A friend started raving last spring about the series “Merlin” that she’d been watching on Netflix, and how much she loved the title character. Given that I’ve always had an interest in and an affinity for the Arthurian legends – although it’d been years since I’d read anything – I decided to give the show a go. I quickly fell in love with it. It didn’t hurt that the two lead figures – Merlin and Arthur – are played by the quite handsome actors Colin Morgan and Bradley James. But plenty of other shows have handsome actors. What hooked me so deeply was the caliber of the acting, the sweetness and intensity of their characters’ friendship, and the principles the show espoused.

Merlin and Arthur

Merlin and Arthur

I have to admit at the beginning I wasn’t sure about Mr. Morgan, this actor my friend couldn’t stop raving about. Yeah, he was cute – but he was so YOUNG! And Mr. James, with that snaggletooth, caught my teenage girl’s affections at first. I still admire Bradley James, think he’s quite handsome, and would love to meet him in real life. He seems like he’d be a lot of fun. But there’s something about Colin Morgan… some kind of intoxicating charisma he has that few other actors have (at least for me). Maybe it’s that he comes across as more reserved, more introverted, possibly even shy. Maybe it’s his lovely voice. Maybe it’s that he seems, at least from interviews I’ve read and watched, like a genuinely nice guy, but one that holds much of his life close to his vest. I don’t know – there’s an allure there I can’t quite pinpoint.

To my surprise, I started blogging about the show. I started a Pinterest board. And I couldn’t keep my mouth shut on social media, so soon all my Facebook and Twitter friends knew about my obsession. My husband mocked me for behaving like a 14-year-old girl… again. He knew I’d gone gaga in the 1990’s over young Elvis Presley (who, sadly, being long deceased, I had no actual chance of meeting), and then was quite the Twimom in the latter part of the last decade – the initial reawakening, actually, of that silly part of me that does indeed behave occasionally like a fan-struck teenage girl.

MojoProgramUnsignedBut this is the first time I truly considered myself part of a fandom. At 41 years old, happily married and with two kids, I’d become… a fangirl. I clearly wasn’t/am not the only one. My girlfriends and I swooned over Merlin. We scoured the internet for news and pictures of Colin when he was playing Ariel in the Tempest over the summer. When we heard he was starring in a new play, Mojo, this fall along with a number of other big name actors such as Brendan Coyle, Rupert Grint, and Ben Whishaw, my friends and I joked about going to see it. Until one friend stopped joking and announced she was going for real. Then my other friend said she knew it was crazy, but she never ever did stuff like this and she was going to go, too. And the lust for London, a place I’ve always wanted to visit, burned anew.

I started talking up my husband, asking if there were any way I could go with them. I knew it would be expensive. I knew it was crazy. But I really, really wanted to. Unbelievably and extremely luckily for me, he told me he’d ALREADY been planning a trip – he had a paper to give at a conference in London in November, so he’d been working on getting childcare arrangements so that I could come, too! Unluckily for him I’d spoiled his grand surprise, but I. WAS. ECSTATIC. I was going to LONDON! Sure, I was also going for the research I first mentioned, and I pretty much fangirled out about all those Regency places, too, but this blog is all about the Mojo experience, baby!

The Harold Pinter Theatre

The Harold Pinter Theatre

Now I admit it was a bit of a tightrope to walk, wanting to freak out about seeing Colin Morgan while not offending my beloved husband. For the most part he was quite patient with me, and I in return did not hang around the theatre as much as I probably would have had I been there with girlfriends. We did, however, walk by it on Monday, the day after arriving, and he kindly took a pic of me in front of the theatre. We ate dinner at the Pizza Express right nearby and hoped for a random star sighting, but no such luck. Oh well – I was still giddy just being there.

On Tuesday afternoon, we stopped by the theater around 5:00 p.m. to pick up our tickets early, before dinner. Peeking down Oxendon Street toward the alley, we saw a few people hanging around. Were they stage dooring already? Waiting for people to go in? I have no idea. After dinner, we headed back to the theatre. I spied two girls standing down near the stage door, so we went down to quiz them about what they knew regarding stage dooring: how many people were generally here? When did the actors typically come out? Who was regularly appearing? In truth, I wasn’t thinking I would get to stage door – there’s only so much a woman should put her poor husband through, and we had to be up early the next morning for a day trip outside of London. My hubby has never really been a theatre person anyway, and here I was, dragging him to a play featuring only men, knowing that the reason his wife wanted to go was to ogle another man… I mean, really, the guy deserves an award for his patience with nutso me.

Anyway, the girls were Americans, like us. They were there to see Rupert. They answered my questions as well as they could, not knowing much more than I did. The funniest part of my interactions with them came when we were asking who had come out and greeted fans in recent days. They said one night it’d only been the two famous ones. “Colin Morgan?” I asked, and they BURST OUT LAUGHING. One girl said, “He’s not famous.” It cracked me up. I guess one girl’s obsessions is another one’s ‘Who?’ But, yes, girls, he IS famous – maybe not as much in America, but he very well could be. He’s got that, pardon the pun, mojo working in his favor!


Around 6:40 we headed in the front doors of the Harold Pinter Theatre. There was already a small crowd inside, even though seating wouldn’t begin until 7:00 p.m., but it wasn’t too bad. After plunking down the £4 for the program, I walked over to wait by the left side entrance, where our seats were, and chatted with the usher, who was quite friendly. I asked if she had interacted with the actors much, to which she replied, “No, not really – mostly we see them from afar, unless they need something and come up here.” I don’t remember what else we talked about beyond her mentioning that the cast did like to play volleyball. “In the theatre?” I said. “Yes,” she answered. “Sometimes we have to move things around for them.” I confessed I was there mostly to see Colin Morgan. She said he was quite good, especially in the second act.

Distance to the stage.

Distance to the stage.

Soon an Irish girl started chatting with me about how excited she was to be there, too – hooray! Another fan girl! And clearly there were more of us lurking about, as once we got to our seats (which were fantastic, dead center in the stalls on the floor 9 rows back, but then again I’d bought early and paid dearly for them!) I started chatting with the two women to my right – one was a young woman from Southern California who was there to see Ben Whishaw, and the other was another American, probably closer to my age, who said she loved anything Jez Butterworth wrote, but that seeing Brendan Coyle wouldn’t hurt, either. It was hard to contain my excitement – I was actually sitting in the Harold Pinter theatre! I was close to the stage! And I was about to see all these famous people live!

annemojoThen the theatre got dark and the curtain went up. And there was Rupert Grint – Ron Weasley to me – on stage. It was bizarre and surreal to see these famous people appear, one by one, right there, on the stage, live!

And here is where I overstepped the fangirl boundaries, much to my shame. I tried to snap some pictures with my iPhone (I thought it might be the only proof I’d have that I’d been there, that I’d seen Colin Morgan live). At intermission, two audience members chided me and an usher came over, telling me I had to delete the photos, which I did immediately. I am a fangirl, people, but I am also by and large a people-pleaser and rule-follower, so I felt awful. I was so contrite. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t. I was just an obsessed American fangirl wanting a picture of Mr. Morgan.

Hubby and I.

Hubby and I.

O.K., onto the play Mojo itself. What did I think? It was a bit hard for me to follow at times, both because the rapid-fire conversation spoken in accents to which I wasn’t fully accustomed was sometimes difficult to understand, and because the play used lingo and expressions with which I wasn’t familiar. The story line didn’t always make sense to me, either – I wasn’t quite sure how these characters related to each other and didn’t understand the dynamics between some of them. What I WAS sure of and what I DID understand was that the acting was brilliant. Really, every actor is very, very good – I was impressed with the explosive verbosity of Daniel Mays, with whom I wasn’t personally familiar (although I understand now he’s quite a theatre mainstay). Ben Whishaw was dynamic and dangerously charismatic, all over the place physically and emotionally with his character. Rupert Grint was quite good and funny and played well off Mr. Mays, and Brendan Coyle was a delight to see as a rather brash father figure to the motley group. But it was, of course, Colin who stole the show for me.

Colin Morgan as Skinny Luke. Photo from Mojo website.

Colin Morgan as Skinny Luke. Photo from Mojo website.

I’d read a few reviews and knew his acting was receiving high accolades (not a surprise), that as Skinny he was nothing like his Merlin character, hardly recognizable, and exquisite in his performance. Yes, yes, and yes. I loved how he threw in this tic of squeezing his eyes compulsively. My husband hadn’t noticed, but for me it added to Skinny’s nervous, jumpy character. He was funny and sad at the same time. He cried – real tears – on stage. This always got my friends and me while watching Merlin – his ability to cry, to display such emotion – and it was the same watching him on stage. The final moments with him were both expected and unexpected in the way they were done (refraining from spoilers as much as I can here), and I think everyone in the theatre was moved. Brilliant!, I wanted to shout. I didn’t, though, still feeling quite chastised from the photo debacle.

When friends asked afterwards about the play, this was my short answer: “The acting was excellent! The play itself was just meh.” With apologies to Jez Butterworth and with full awareness that maybe I just didn’t ‘get it’, that’s the reaction I still have. There were hilarious parts, for sure. Perhaps it was accent/lingo barriers, perhaps it’s because I was admittedly distracted by trying to focus mostly on Mr. Morgan, but I had a hard time getting the relationships between some of the characters and understanding why some of them behaved as they did. But that’s O.K. – I don’t have to get the play to get the fact that I witnessed really excellent acting by all involved. Also, yes, the 14-year-old in me was awestruck by Colin Morgan’s naked legs in the first act and his bare shoulders in the second. There, I said it. The man is buff, although I’d still like to fatten him up with some pasta or something, as he is, true to his character, quite skinny. :)

As the actors left the stage, the curtain came down, and the lights came up, I asked my husband what he thought. “I didn’t like it,” he answered in his no-nonsense style. But I didn’t expect him to, really. It was O.K.; he’d come for me, and for that I was eternally grateful.

But not as much as for what happened next. As we were leaving, I said, “Can we just peek around the side to see?” I assumed it would be a mass of people there and so it would be obvious that stage-dooring wasn’t an option. To my delight, it wasn’t – there was a ring of people around the barrier, but only 1 person deep at that point, so without really asking hubby, well, I skipped on down ahead. I actually found a small space between two women – not enough for me to be belly to rail, but enough for me to stand and be able to reach my program right over the barrier gate – an excellent spot! Hubby came to stand beside me, and soon the space filled in behind and around us. It still wasn’t, I think, a HUGE crowd – maybe 3-4 people deep in spots? The two women to my right, with whom I struck up a conversation, said it was NOTHING like Saturday, in which the crowds had been massive and during which they hadn’t been able to even get close. So they’d come back that night, hoping to meet Brendan Coyle and Rupert Grint. They were happy to know that my appearance, as someone who’d just seen the play, meant the production was over for the evening, as they’d been waiting for a while. We made small talk for a bit, and I chatted with hubby. I handed him my iPhone, as he agreed to take pics so I could concentrate on the actors.


The first to appear, and quite quickly, I might add, maybe only 10 minutes after I got out there, was Rupert Grint. It felt so odd to see one of the Harry Potter stars out and talking with people. Yes, I’d just seen him on stage, but there was still obviously a barrier there – he was up doing his thing, acting, and no one (not even crazy American photographing lady) was going to go up and bother him. Here, he was smiling politely and signing autographs and even snapping a few pics with fans. I asked hubby to video it – and soon I had my first celebrity autograph ever! I spoke a bit with him, and was delighted!


Mr. Morgan 11/5/13, by @katri_leikola

Mr. Morgan 11/5/13, by @katri_leikola

Video of Colin taken by Hubby:   You can hear Colin saying “high 5 to me!”   Click on Colin in the blue pants to view video!   Colin in Mojo

Next Brendan Coyle hopped out the door and started more toward the other end of people. Very shortly after he appeared, Colin Morgan came out quickly and headed toward the people right in front of the door. People had been excited to see Rupert and Brendan – the noise rose noticeably when they appeared, but I can tell you gasps went out when Colin Morgan emerged. I remember literally hopping up and down and shaking my arms and saying something like “Oh…oh…oh…”, to the point where the people behind me said my reaction was the best (I think that’s on the video). I watched him start making his way down the row toward me, not believing it was really him and he was really there. He looked relaxed and happy, that intoxicating dimple and those unbelievable cheekbones on full display. He moved quickly, signing and making little comments, some of which I could hear, many of which I couldn’t. As he was getting closer, my husband said to me, “You need to think of something to say to him!” “I know, I know,” I said, jumping up and down again. Finally he was there –COLIN MORGAN WAS THERE – right in front of me, signing my program. I said something like, “You were fabulous, Mr. Morgan.” As he looked up at me briefly, I added, “I came all the way from Virginia to see you!” To which I think he said, “Did you? High five!” And the man raised his hand and HIGH-FIVED me! “Thanks a million, cheers,” he said as he moved along down the row. I turned to hubby in shock, almost darting away until I realized, whoops, Brendan Coyle was right behind Colin Morgan and I was missing it! So I turned back around and spoke briefly to him – embarrassed again that I had done a stage door no-no in turning away from the other actors once I’d spoken to Colin Morgan. Had I just dissed BRENDAN COYLE? Oh my God Oh my God. On the video it doesn’t look so bad, but I wanted to apologize; I was just so bewildered by getting a high-five that I blanked for a second.


After Mr. Coyle, we did turn to leave since no other actors were out, backing up a bit to let some of the people behind us get to the front. Then I stopped and said to husband, “Wait! Keep videoing! Colin Morgan is still here!” He did as Colin Morgan worked his way down the row. Just as I said, “Maybe we should switch and try to get some pictures,” Mr. Morgan turned and zipped back into the theatre. He didn’t even go to the other side of people; just went back into the theatre with a small wave. Maybe he’d finally gotten cold, being out there in just a T-shirt. My husband had said he himself was freezing, but I, dressed only in a sweater and jeans, never noticed the temp. All-in-all, I think Colin Morgan was only out for maybe 2-3 minutes, not long at all. But I, I had managed not only to talk to him and make eye contact, real eye contact, but I’d gotten a high-five (here’s a video from someone else who was there, in which you can see my arm)! I got to touch his marvelous hand and hear his delicious voice!


This middle-aged fangirl’s day, year, life was made!

The fabulous hubby!

The fabulous hubby!

Eternal thanks go to Husband of the Century, for taking his wife to ooh and aah and geek out over another man, for going to the play with me, and for videoing the whole encounter so that I could relive the moment again and again…and again. Although he might now only be Husband of the 99 Years, since once we got home to Virginia, he took a look at my program and offered to throw it away, saying we didn’t really need it anymore, right?

cranberrysamericanshakespeareAnd a final note… Mr. Morgan, I’ve read that you dislike the internet, so I’m sure there’s no way this little blog will ever come to your attention… but if I’d had more time, what I wanted to do was invite you to come see a play at our American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia. I’d love to get your impressions, and would be happy to take you to a show and dinner beforehand at my mom’s delightful cafe, Cranberry’s, which is right around the corner and serves up scrumptious vegetarian and vegan food – and also has peanut butter.

Hey, a girl can still dream, right?


Silly gift from a dear friend.

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