It is 3 days since I watched the final episode of “Merlin” on Christmas Eve. The tears still stream down my face every time I think about Arthur’s death. I am bereft. It is as though I have lost someone so close to me I cannot bear the sadness and pain.
I’ve tried going back and watching earlier episodes to remind myself of the funny moments, the romantic moments, the moments of hearing the characters express from the heart. I’ve tried watching something else.. not even possible. I’ve tried focusing on other things : work, a hike in real nature that usually has me on a high… but as I was walking along amongst the trees with the magnificent views of the ocean and mountains around me, all that was going through my head was why? and “no, no, no!”
The part of me that can still think relatively clearly has been stunned by the enormity of this reaction to the death of a character in a TV show. What is going on? As someone who has done my fair share of processing feelings, analysis of self, childhood et al, I am almost trained to think : what is this? Why am I having such a seemingly out of ordinary reaction to an ordinary event? Surely it cannot be just a reaction to a mythical character in a TV show. I checked through every level of pain, events, relationships, anything that could be the real reason for the level of sense of loss that I have been feeling. Nothing.
Then I spoke to my 20 year old daughter, currently in Paris and she was the same. She too was in grief, wondering why her reaction to Arthur’s passing was so strong. Then I got online and surfed through the hundreds of comments on everything from the BBC to Imdb. The comments ranged from the pure angry: “F….. you BBC” to “I can’t stop crying” (there were a lot of those) to the analysts who questioned why Arthur had been allowed to die when he could so easily have been saved again. The reasoning there being that since the series have not adhered strictly to legend (or history, or both) thus far, why did they have to end the series this way?
When I saw the reaction out on the net, I thought… hah, at least I am not alone. This is about feelings. All over the world, literally, peopele are feeling a huge sense of loss; a sense of loss far greater than the death of a mythical character in a TV show could or perhaps should illicit. So what is it? What is so unbearable about the loss of Arthur?
What does Arthur represent? Arthur is the leader.. but the good leader. He walks through the world with honor, integrity and most importantly with heart. Across 5 series, we have seen him care as much for the little man as for his comrade in arms, as much for his servant as for his friend. Arthur always does the right thing, not caring what may become of himself. But more important than even that, Arthur makes decisions with his heart with encouragement from Gwinevere along the way. How many times did we hear Gwen say “you’ve a good heart, Arthur, don’t ever change”. Even when he was led astray by Agravaine or others he would heed Gwen’s words and come back into his heart.. and he always did.
Arthur is gentle in love, strong in battle and loyal in friendship – a true hero. Contrast that with what we have in our world today: leaders who care nothing for the people and make decisions accordingly… a population who for the most part have become lost in the drudgery of their existence, not living with passion, just surviving. People who now treat each other as they see demonstrated in movies and TV: if not violent in action then most assuredly violent in words and thoughts. As Arun Gandhi, Mahatma’s Grandson says,what is accepted as communication in today’s western society is violent… words spoken without courtesy, consideration or love.
The entire series of Merlin showed people and values that have all but disappeared from our world: people speaking to each other with respect, caring, loyalty amongst friends, brothers, sisters and community. Honor and doing the right thing. Even the romance showed us what true love is: not rough “I have to have you now ripping clothes off” but gentle, Sacred Love.
And wonder of wonders, due to the time in which is is set, no guns going off constantly, no blood spattering everywhere and bodies being shown in graphic horrific detail, no flash, flash flash on the screen every 5 seconds.
Arthur represents all that is good, the light, the truth, the way to live. In our individual and collective psyches, he is the ideal for which we long, the ideal for which we want to strive, the person we wish to be. We mourn the loss of that light, that connection to truth that we miss so much. We can almost taste the feeling of being that, of living in this way… and so we mourn.
And what of Merlin? Merlin’s grief is ours also; for why did he fight so hard to support Arthur? Perhaps at first he was told it was his destiny but very quickly Arthur became for Merlin as he does for us all. Merlin lives on, a true hero and another who represents all that is good, but the light that is Arthur is gone.
Merlin (Colin Morgan) and Arthur (Bradley James) have given us permission to want that way of living again, to abandon the values that have been trumped at us for so long and return to walking on the Earth with integrity.
** I welcome comments…… does anyone feel the same way? ** The comments tab is a bit hidden below in the tags right at the end…….
Please also check out other posts under “Recent Posts” top right hand corner:
* Merlin: Real Romance at Last
* The Magic of Merlin: Endings & Beginnings, Arthur Lives Again!
* Spirituality in Merlin: Not just Magic but Spiritual Truths
* Merlin’s Spell on My Life (by Diane Hamilton)
Coming Soon: Living from the Heart