Merlin’s Spell On My Life

I hadn’t fully understood the massive impact that the BBC series Merlin had been on my life until it ended. The feelings that overcame me were a total and complete surprise.

Why was the ending of this show so devastating? That is the question that,  still today,  I’m sorting out. I’ve spoken with old friends and made new ones as I’ve tried to make sense of this feeling of sorrow and loss.

I have very little insight into some of the reasons I’ve been so affected by this show, but what I have come up with is this. First: this show has shown us friendships that go so deep, it defies logic and it’s shown us how integrity is a trait to be treasured and upheld. It’s also shown us that even though we are wounded in the deepest part of ourselves, we can forgive and expect better.

I liked watching this show knowing that when someone was going to be killed I didn’t have to worry about the blood and gore. I also LOVED the romance that was pure and not tainted by today’s push that sex is the be all & end all of a relationship. The male, female relationships in this show were the type of relationships we long for in today’s world.  The types of friendships and the leadership of a kind,  caring King such as Arthur as well as the brotherhood between the King, his servant and his knights is the types of kinship I think most people would like to have in their own lives. I know I long for it.

This show has shown us that life can be honest, kind and filled with caring, loving and true friends as well as love. It gave us hope that we could have these things in our own lives and for it to end so quickly and with so little justice for our star Merlin who has been a caring, loving, kind, true and faithful friend was more than I could cope with. I think to see that after all his blood, sweat and tears that evil (Mordred and Morgana) wins over good(Merlin) left me in a state of flux. To see him alone without fulfilling his destiny at the end was a total feeling of injustice and incompleteness. I feel almost as if I’m Merlin walking on that road waiting for what should have been.

The whole Merlin concept has been a lesson in values and relationships and how fragile our family ties can be when misunderstandings and misinterpretations happen.   The purity of friendship, loyalty and love that were the backbone of the series has showed us that acceptance of others in our society is a noble and just act.  Seeing that friendship could overcome anything is uplifting and heartwarming.

Some of us started watching Merlin at a time in our lives when we were depressed and feeling sad and empty with nothing to look forward to and feeling like we weren’t accepted as we are in this cruel, selfish world.   Merlin gave us an escape from that for a short time and as the show progressed we even began to feel that if Merlin could find acceptance,  then maybe we could too. But the one thing we never see is that Merlin and magic are accepted in Camelot, and with acceptance being a strong thread though out the series this left me longing for that acceptance for Merlin and myself.

I’m not sure what we were supposed to take-away from the last two episodes, but satisfaction was not one of them!    Seeing Merlin wandering alone, grieving and waiting for his destiny to be fulfilled was gut wrenching and not pleasant.

I had hoped the writers and creators would continue to take the same liberties with the ending as they had through the entire show.

So I sit or lie here writing to try and get my emotions out so I can “try” and get some normalcy back to my life.

I haven’t nor do I feel I will anytime soon be able to watch any episode of Merlin. I can’t take going through the feelings all over again knowing how unhappy Merlin was left in the end.   I need to know that when we do what is  right and just,  we do get happiness from it.   And I long for that happiness for Merlin.


Comments

Merlin’s Spell On My Life — 35 Comments

  1. i know some of you will be so shocked to know that millions of people in Africa and the beautiful country i came from Nigeria love Merlin so so much , the characters are just amazing and my favorite of them all Angel Coulby.i also got sad at the way it ended to the extent that that my siblings and friends were asking me if i was ok was ok,they say stuffs like “it just a movie” but i see it beyond that. Merlin is one of the most inspiring mature series have ever seen in my entire life and i must say a big thank u to Diane for her beautiful article, u are are a good writer and you almost made me cry.love u Diane.i would love your responds.thank u

    • Hi Adejuwon! No not shocked at all….. did you see the We want more Merlin video? We have Nkinda from Tanzania saying how much he loves Merlin and we have many from Africa on our facebook page who are helping. Yes, I agree, it is about much more than just a series, it is about the love, honor & respect portrayed. If you want more Merlin PLEASE VERY IMPORTANT, DO THE FOLLOWING:

      * Watch the Video here and “like” and share: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lM2xOcXDDu8

      * SUBSCRIBE at this site and also our main site here: http://www.moremerlin.com

      * Like our facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/moremerlin

      If you are on twitter we are there too.

      Please do all of the above…. share especially the video so we can get MERLIN BACK!

      KEEP THE MAGIC ALIVE! WE BELIEVE!

      Thank you for your support!

  2. i know some of you will be so shocked to know that millions of people in Africa and the beautiful country i came from Nigeria love Merlin so so much , the characters are just amazing and my favorite of them all Angel Coulby.i also got sad at the way it ended to the extent that that my siblings and friends were asking me if i was ok was ok,they say stuffs like “it just a movie” but i see it beyond that. Merlin is one of the most inspiring mature series have ever seen in my entire life and i must say a big thank u to Diane for her beautiful article, u are are a good writer and you almost made me cry.love u Diane.

    • Adejuwon,
      Hi, I do know exactly how you feel. I am however NOT shocked that so many from Africa love Merlin and just HOW much they love it. I have made more friends from
      Africa through the love of Merlin and I really appreciate them. They not only love Merlin but have come to love Merlin fans. They have taken charge of their feelings
      for Merlin and are working VERY hard to help and get it back. Merlin has brought to all of us a time of inspiration and hope. We’ve all been told “it’s just a movie” but
      we do know that it’s much more than that. Thanks for coming and reading the articles, I hope you can see that you are NOT alone with the way you feel. We are here for you
      and so are so many other fans. Check out the website http://www.moremerlin.com and come to the facebook page where you can join in with thousands of others who feel just like you do.
      https://www.facebook.com/moremerlin. I’m glad you enjoyed my article and you can see that Merlin did cast a spell on me and I haven’t found a cure for it. Thanks for the compliment and know that I love u too. Diane

      • Hello Diane,seeing the fact that you responded to my message put a smile on my face,thank you for responding,i will of course join others to say ‘i want more Merlin on the web address you sent me but i hope our plea of more Merlin will be answered cos if its gonna be ignored i then can assure of how sad lovers of Merlin will all be here,you could tell them how much we love them all(characters)since you are in the same country with them i assume.thank you.

  3. OH MY GOD… that is unbelievable.. i was reading this article and i cried, you really used all of the words i never was able to find, you really touched my emotions, this is unbelievable i was ready to respond to this uknown friend until at the end i saw, so surpriced, that it is an article by Diane.. Wow Diane i really don’t know how to thank you, i never thought we have so many in common, your perspective is EXACTLY like mine, you think exactly like i do and i have to admit that it was extremely weird reading this article and feel like i was reading my own words!!! wow.. and i just log in to read the article you suggested to me and while i was searching for it this one just caught my attention.

    within these lines i just found the relief from my totally mixed and confused emotions:

    “First: this show has shown us friendships that go so deep, it defies logic and it’s shown us how integrity is a trait to be treasured and upheld. It’s also shown us that even though we are wounded in the deepest part of ourselves, we can forgive and expect better.

    The male, female relationships in this show were the type of relationships we long for in today’s world.

    to see that after all his blood, sweat and tears that evil (Mordred and Morgana) wins over good(Merlin) left me in a state of flux. To see him alone without fulfilling his destiny at the end was a total feeling of injustice and incompleteness.

    Seeing that friendship could overcome anything is uplifting and heartwarming.

    Some of us started watching Merlin at a time in our lives when we were depressed and feeling sad and empty with nothing to look forward to and feeling like we weren’t accepted as we are in this cruel, selfish world.

    But the one thing we never see is that Merlin and magic are accepted in Camelot, and with acceptance being a strong thread though out the series this left me longing for that acceptance for Merlin and myself

    I need to know that when we do what is right and just, we do get happiness from it.
    And I long for that happiness for Merlin.”

    THANK YOU DIANE for your this absolutely amazing aricle xxxxx

    • Elsi,
      Wow, thanks. I see you all over facebook. I KNOW how hard you are working and that is EXACTLY what it’s gonna take for us to get the results we want.
      I too spend hours on the computer looking for anywhere I can let people know that we are out here working hard for them and for MORE MERLIN.
      I’m glad to know that we are of like minds and I’m glad I could touch your heart in some way and I’m glad to know that you love Merlin as much as
      I do. I know there are others out there that feel the same way we do and others who are working VERY hard to get MORE MERLIN. It is so good to know we
      are not alone in our love of Merlin. I’ll take with you soon on facebook. See you there. Diane

      • Thank you too Diane!! We are not alone we have each other and i also know i feel it deep in my heart that we will achieve our goal soon or later !! Talk to you soon :) xxx

  4. Can’t say it better and agree with Francesca…not the fact that Arthur died is the problem…but this rushed end….

    May be the last two episodes should be the end for season 6 ???? (but Arthur died older, Arthur united BRITAIN and much more…..). The ‘epic foretold battle’ lasted less than 10 minutes and this also made it so difficult to accept.

    I am sure there is a chance to make it better….that the Merlin fans will feel comfortable with it and that the show will not left a bad taste…..and bad memories….

    • Nice piece Diane, I agree if they “really” wanted to “stay true to the legend” then stay true. Make Arthur old, make Mordred his son, make Merlin old… if you’re gonna play around with it, which I loved what they did, then why the need to play around and then in the in end say ..oh, we all know how the legend ends so we have to see Arthur die and stay with the legends we’ve all read and know. Please. If you’re gonna play with the legend…. play with the legend. I didn’t tune in to watch something new and fresh to be thrown back to the old stuff.
      They really do need to give us what they hooked us in with. A retelling.

      • Thanks Kay,
        I think so too. If they were willing to do a complete redo of how Merlin and Arthur and Morgana and Mordred etc meet then a redo of the ending isn’t out of the realm of possibility, but after all the brilliant writing and story telling they sure do miss the mark in the end.

    • Suzanna,
      Very well said, 10 minutes for the all time epic battle not acceptable, and yes there is a chance to make it better and with your help and that of all Merlin fans we can make it happen. Do sign up for the blog and be a part of getting this bad taste out of our mouth.
      Love the way you put that……. and those bad memories… well, those have got to be replaced. Thanks for your comment.
      Diane

  5. Well done, but … you and many others have failed, it seems to me, to note something rather important about “Merlin” and the Arthurian legend:

    Merlin, in the series, DID fulfill his destiny. He DID keep Arthur alive as long as was needed. He could not prevent Arthur’s death, and it would be impossible for him to do so in any telling of the legend, in any form, as much as it would be impossible for a retelling of the Christ story to end with Christ being removed from the cross while still alive, or “The Wizard of Oz” ending with Dorothy deciding to live happily in Oz and never go home.

    To do so would be to miss the point of the legend entirely. Arthur must die. He must die in order to rise again when he is most needed. And if you think that sounds an awful lot like another story about a certain religious figure previously mentioned, then you understand the core concept behind comparative religion and comparative literature. The story can be told in any number of ways … but it must end the same.

    The world has a place called the United Kingdom. Arthur paved the way for these kingdoms to unite. In T.H. White’s “The Once and Future King,” as with the musical “Camelot,” the story ends with war still raging but Arthur remembering a time when Camelot flourished, imagining that his death will not be in vain when people realize how every single human being matters. But Arthur still dies. An older man, perhaps, but the general story structure is the same.

    Very different, of course, is Merlin, who is not a young man but an old, wizened wizard who grows backward. Still, Arthur imagines at the end that Merlin (Merlyn) is still with him, and will always be with him.

    In the series, Merlin waits for the day when Arthur will return. Has he always been around? Maybe … or, maybe the very fact that we see him ends the series on a hopeful note, for Merlin has returned in the modern day (not been wandering aimlessly for centuries), and wherever Merlin goes, Arthur cannot be far behind. Perhaps Arthur is going to return shortly? Perhaps now is when we (aka Albion) are in the most need?

    With no disrespect intended, I’ve found that MOST (not all, but most) people who are critical of the series for ending the way it did are younger and have probably not had a chance to study the legend.

    There is only one way the legend could have ended. While the series was called “Merlin” and not “Arthur,” it does indeed end with Merlin having fulfilled all of his goals — of protecting Arthur, at least until Arthur’s sacrifice was required, and of seeing a Camelot in which magic is not forbidden. Guinevere makes it a point to say how pleased she is to know Merlin is with Arthur — and Gwen knows Merlin has magic. Gwen is not afraid of it, and finally, in the end, neither is Arthur … he has come to see that magic has helped him, that sorcery is not always wicked.

    Could Merlin have told Arthur sooner? Theoretically, yes. Dramatically, no. To have done so earlier would have turned the series into a programme about all of the fun Camelot has warding off its enemies with magic, it would have been a very dull show, dramatically.

    Merlin’s secret was a painful one for him to keep. Have you not known someone who took a secret with him or her all the way to the grave? Or heard about such people? Merlin would have done so, had the truth not been required at that moment.

    Merlin saw Arthur to the shores of Avalon, where he will rest until needed again.

    Arthur fulfilled his destiny of changing Camelot, of beginning the process of uniting the kingdom (remember his truce with Odin?), of bringing Camelot to the height of its glory, of being the Once and FUTURE King. Merlin fulfilled his destiny of being Arthur’s sage and protector.

    “Don’t let it be forgot / That once there was a spot / For one brief shining moment / That was known as Camelot.”

    The legend ends … only to live on in our hearts and minds. And “Merlin” fulfilled its own promise of retelling that legend for a new generation. It is not sad … it is a hopeful note that one who might save us still is said to return.

    • Hello John

      Thank you for your literary & eloquent post. I have a couple of comments to make. First, contrary to your inference, most of the people who have posted on this blog are older, certainly not young teenagers and most are very familiar with the legend. If you have not yet read it, I certainly suggest you read “Legend Brought to Life” (to the right, under recent posts). If we are to adhere to the legend, Arthur was not that young when he died, but older.

      Most of us are aware that Arthur dies. That is not the issue we have with the series. The issue we have with the series is that it ended in a rushed, slapdash fashion and with a tone that was totally inconsistent with the entire 5 years.

      As Diane pointed out, the writers played it “fast and loose” to use the vernacular with the legend…. many of us hoped that this series that touched our hearts so deeply would end in a way that did justice to the relationships, emotions and values that were so central to the series and which, I believe, made it so popular across so many age groups and so many countries.

      Merlin Unfulfilled (tab above) refers to the promises that were not fulfilled. I personally do not consider 10 minutes of Arthur knowing that Merlin has magic a fulfillment of the promise made throughout that there will be a time when Merlin practices magic freely in Camelot and under Arthur’s gaze.

      A survey of all the sites, pages, twitters, facebooks etc out there shows unequivocally that most fans feel this way. At the end of the day, it’s about feelings, desires and values and I for one would far rather see another season of Merlin than most of the sub-standard shows on TV.

      Thank you again for your comment; it’s good to have a broad range of opinion here.

      • I appreciate your reply, in return! Yes, Arthur died when he was older — and the legend encompasses a great, great many ideas, characters, places and experiences not even hinted at on the show.

        However, when you compare the ending of “Merlin” wish a series like “Lost,” you can see how remarkably true the writers and producers stayed to the central ideas.

        The reality is, there were some attempts to get a sixth series started, but for whatever reason, and there are many theories — including some that sound like conspiracy theories! — it didn’t happen. Personally, I’d much rather see a series go out on a high note than end long after its time.

        But to come back to my original point, I feel you’ve overlooked the basic concept of the ending — that it is a hopeful one, that it is filled with promise AND fulfillment, that it creates a sense of resolution and a satisfying feeling that the characters have accomplished what they needed to accomplish. The view that because it was sad or rushed means it was disappointing overlooks the central idea that Camelot HAS flourished, that good HAS prevailed, that right HAS been seen, that truth HAS been recognised, that faith HAS been rewarded.

        Then again, it is all about what perspective you want to see it from. If you believe Merlin has been wandering and grieving, then that is indeed sad and tragic (and tragic endings can be wonderfully cathartic and satisfying on a different level). If you believe, as I choose to, that Merlin has not been in some purgatory but instead has reappeared to herald the imminent return of Arthur, the ending takes on a different meaning.

        In your difficulty to accept the ending that was chosen, perhaps you could return to the final episode with a slightly altered perspective and give it another chance to see it through a different set of eyes? You may find your heart lifted.

        But in the meantime, thank you for allowing me to post and for reading my thoughts!

        • I’m glad that this blog is providing you and others with a space to air their feelings and thoughts…. that was the intention.

          I do not believe Merlin was wandering and grieving.

          You might take a read of the article that started this blog, posted on Dec 27th
          http://www.merlin-arthur.com/hello-world/

          In it I believe I expressed the following concern which is another reason for wanting more of the series in its current guise and Camelot in its golden age. Namely that the return as suggested at the end is that Arthur comes back in the present day. For me (and many others I believe) part of the charm of Merlin was the lack of blood & gore, gratuitous violence, cell phones, computers, gizmos, special effects and Flash flash flash on the screen. If Arthur comes back in the present day, my concern is that the update will include all or some of the above.

          What was so different about this series and it is my belief that this is why it has initiated the huge response out on the net is that it portrayed the values that don’t appear in many other shows: integrity, honor, respect, love.

          Great dialogue we are having! Please do read some of the other articles though!

    • Thanks Ruth, I think this is just about how the majority of Merlin fans feel. The more I read the more I see those with these feelings as well.
      Thanks for your reply… hope you sign up and continue to share our feelings to your fellow Merlin fans and friends.

  6. “In the Harry Potter Generation I grew up from kid to teenager, but
    In Merlin Generation I become from teenager to adult.”

    I loved being a fan of Merlin. I will hold it in my heart always.
    Merlin has helped me in the hard times of my life.
    I still love watching how the actors/actress become stars in Merlin. (re-watching..re-watching…re-watching…)

    I will always be a Merlinian!! long live Merlin♥

    • Hi Arikan,
      Yes Merlin has helped many of us in the hard times. It was showing me that if Merlin could be accepted as is then so could I. But the ending threw all that out the window. He doesn’t get the full justice that good should. I so want to see that being accepted as you are is a good thing and a happy time, not that you end up sad and alone for most of your life.
      Diane

      • Of course, Merlin ended up being happy and accepted. The series made a rather strong point of making sure it was clear that Guinevere not only knew about Merlin but was quite pleased to know he was with her husband and king.

        Merlin helped an untold number of people through his magic. He was able to reveal himself to his king and best friend, and have Arthur understand how deep his friendship and love for Merlin, that the revelation changed nothing about their bond.

        To go beyond this would have been unnecessary, though it might have been pleasing on the surface. Arthur succeeded in being a good and noble king. Merlin succeeded in protecting Arthur. Together, they stopped the threat of Morgana. Good won, even if it came at a sacrifice.

        Can this not make you happy, knowing that “Merlin” ended with redemption, courage and fulfillment?

  7. I loved reading your piece on Merlin you completely touched on everything that I have felt about merlin ending and I am glad that it isn’t just me. It took me a long time to work out why I felt so emotionally connected to the program the actors and the story, and you are completely right in all that you say about us missing these types of relationships and connections from our lives in today’s society. I am truly sad that it has ended and still get very emotional about the way it ended, for me, merlin should never have been left alone, waiting forever for Arthur to return but I feel as though the writers ended it in the present day so that they could not bring it back or produce a spin off as I think it would be very difficult to continue the story without being detrimental to the high standard of the show. I will always miss it but I would not want to see it return without all the actors we know and love x

  8. Great piece Diane.
    Unlike you, I HAVE been watching (and re-watching, and re-watching *lol*) Merlin from the beginning. I am seeing things in every episode that I never noticed before and am enjoying the journey of Arthur and Merlin from the beginning. I’m enjoying it despite the fact that I know what happens five years down the line – I just love watching the characters and the actors growing.

    It is a credit to everyone involved in the show that it has had such an impact on our lives and although my hope is that a new ending will be written or another season made, when I search the internet for news my heart is ripped out all over again.

    I am slowly gathering information, names of contacts, people who may just listen to what the fans are saying. At the moment it feels like the door has been firmly closed, locked, bolted AND nailed firmly shut! Everyone has moved on, rights to the show have been left with fellow Shine company Kudos and Fremantle Media Enterprises. Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy have moved on to set up their own independent company and would have no further involvement. The controller of Drama Commissioning at the BBC is Ben Stephenson and if the BBC were to commission another series then it would be up to him. Of course, another company could commission a series but it still depends on the actors themselves. Any further shows would HAVE to have the same cast otherwise it just wouldn’t work.

    I get more and more disheartened as I find out what needs to be done to get this off the ground :o(

    Having said that . . . they never thought ‘House’ would last beyond the first season and all that was was a weekly story about the same thing – House gets a patient with a supposedly incurable illness and then cures them! That series ran for 8 years AND they made 22 episodes a year so a little bit of me still hopes for a small miracle.

    Sorry, I’m rambling a bit today.

    Keep the faith. Long Live Merlin!

    • Missing Merlin,
      Thanks for the comment. However, now I’m really disheartened. I don’t know how you learned so much information but I’m glad you did the research to let us know. Maybe Mr. Stephenson will see how many of us love and would be thrilled with more Merlin. If you learn more of what we need to try and do to get another series commissioned please let us know. Hard work is something I am not afraid of. I’m here to help and do whatever is needed.
      Please keep in touch with us and let us know what you learn.
      Oh yeah, I do plan or rewatching earlier eps. of Merlin it’s just that right now when I try my heart leaps and I just can’t do it. Pitiful, I know, but I will get there.
      Thanks So Very Much and Blessings,
      Diane

    • Thanks Cara,
      This is the first piece I’ve ever written, the wonderful lady whose blog this is ask me to contribute. It was a scary but cathartic experience. We’ve found sooo many love and miss Merlin and we need to get our emotion out and find others who feel about Merlin like we do.
      Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.
      Diane

  9. I completely agree with what you’ve said. There was so much in this series that we are missing in todays world, the brotherhood of knights, friendship, love. There are many things left unexplored in this series, I understand that as a family show there are issues they couldn’t touch. But yes, to see him alone at the end, implies that his destiny is now to wait for Arthurs return – which is sad, horrible and lonely (and not at all in keeping with any legend I’m aware of, perhaps its for the spin-off). While it was lovely to see Arthur aknowledge Merlin’s magic, there were many things lacking in that episode. (a more magical ending for Arthur going of into the mists, been taken by the priestesses of the Isle would have been nice to see.
    I can go and watch some earlier episodes, read fan-fic (and non-fiction) but I can’t in all honesty watch that last episode.

    • Elisssa,
      Yes, that’s exactly the way I feel. Those elements of friendship, love etc seem to be missing from our world today and it was nice to see that it could exist. But I was left with a gaping hole in my heart when Merlin after all his love, friendship and hard work was left not fulfilling his destiny, and all alone with that pain.

    • A spell, that is exaclty what it feels like. I don’t, however know how to break the enchantment. Anyone have any clues? Like I stated above, I can’t even make myself watch any Merlin just yet, knowing how unfilled the ending leaves me. I’m gonna get it a while longer and then try to view them again.

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