IT’S HERE! The “We Want More Merlin” Official Video – 3 Million views on Youtube!

Exciting News!

The “We want More Merlin” Official Video is finally out!

We are launching the video tonight late.

* Our aim is 3 Million views on youtube in 10 days

If you want Merlin back with the same cast for a re-write of the end or a new series, movies, a little bit of help from you will go a long way

* Please go & watch the video asap:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lM2xOcXDDu8&feature=youtu.be

and hit that ‘LIKE” button

* Send it to all your friends!

* If you are on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, share it

* Most important: If you have a youtube, (or even if you don’t) You have our permission to download and then upload to your own channel. Or just post on your channel. Please put a link to the video on your channel

A lot of people doing all of the above is how we are going VIRAL on youtube. When we have 3 million hits, we WILL get the attention of producers, actors, writers and creators.

Thank you for your support!

KEEP THE MAGIC ALIVE! WE BELIEVE!

 

Laura's Merlin ORiginal header

 

Merlin’s Magic Weekly ~Poem

Merlin logo

Wondrous wizardry that wrought magic

Destiny descends, boy meets dragon

Princes are prats yet prospering friendship

Sire and servant two souls are as one

Then death and disaster to darken our hearts

King keeling over killed by cold steel

Warlock is weeping wailing his soul

Lonely and lost living are we

By: Tony de Haan

                                                                                                                                         Merlin & Arthur Bromance

Merlin & Arthur

King of Camelot ~ A Poem

​KING OF CAMELOT
(Who wouldn’t be me)

Arthur Cloak Swirling

Yes I have it all, or so it would seem,riches and wealth beyond anyone’s dream

Ceremonies and banquets my status on show

Arthur Hand sword outstretched

Who wouldn’t be me?
No one I know
The tournaments to show off my skills with a sword
The honour and glory from whom I’m adored
The hunting the drinking the servants in tow
Who wouldn’t be me?
But do you know
Every moment is judged by what you do
For every person that loves you, twice fold hate you too
The decisions that tear you apart from inside
And when you make a mistake there’s nowhere to hide
The lives of my people I hold in my hand
I see my knights die as we fight for our land
The weight of a kingdom can make a man cry
So who would be me?
Sometimes not I

Arthur collage

By
Amanda Young

Merlin and Arthur and Merthur, Oh My!


Merlin_Calm
I admit it. I’m addicted to the BBC series “Merlin”. I only started watching it via Netflix a few weeks ago on the recommendation of my dear friend Kary, who kept raving about it. A few weeks, and I’ve already inhaled seasons 1-4. I’m now waiting on season 5, which hasn’t aired in the US yet and thus isn’t available on Netflix. It’s, uh, arriving in the mail tomorrow from Amazon.

I already know how the series ends, however, because of the magic of the internet (thank you, YouTube. I think.) and my impatient nature. See, I started a Pinterest board to pin up pics of the stars of the show, Colin Morgan and Bradley James, but kept coming across images from the final season. With good reason – it is is a powerful ending. Powerful and amazing and sad.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I’ve always had an interest in the Arthurian legends. The characters of Arthur and Merlin and Guinevere and Lancelot are known to about anyone familiar with Western Civ. I’m pretty sure I took a class in college or grad school that read through some of the lit, as I have vague memories of L’Morte d’Arthur and Geoffrey of Monmouth. So that brought up a natural curiosity about the show: what spin would it put on the stories? Would it stay true to the mythology? And how are they going to get away with such a young, cute Merlin?

And he is cute, which is another reason I happily dove into episode 1. I have always been a sucker for a good-looking man, and this show promised at least two. I also, er, like shows and books that, um, apparently are aimed at 14 year old girls (Twilight, anyone?), so the “Camelot High” tone, as Kary described it, of the 1st season, was quite fun. The silly, improbable plot twists – in season 1 and throughout the series – are mostly fun, too. Some of them you want to roll your eyes at, others seem impossibly clever (Guinevere as a servant?).

The show also very smartly draws you in using familiar but effective tropes. First, as already stated, most of the myths and legends are somewhat familiar to us, so we think as an audience we know what to expect. But not completely – just enough to keep us (or at least me) hooked, and to have us (me) nodding, “Oh yeah!” when certain events (Excalibur) or characters (Sir Gwaine) pop up. Second, we know secrets the characters don’t. Kind of like Merlin, who knows all about Arthur’s destiny and Merlin’s own role in it, when no one else does (O.K., outside of Gaius). So we feel armed with secret knowledge, and that keeps us on the edge of our seats, wondering if and when the characters will see what’s really going on. We know Morgana has turned evil long before most of the characters do. Same with Aggravaine. And of course we’re privy to Merlin’s magic, something he must keep hidden from very nearly everyone, which makes us feel more connected to him, as if we’re in league with him.

The characters are familiar, too – not just because of who they are in historical legend, but because of the classic temperaments/personality types they embody. I recently saw a pin on Pinterest comparing the four main characters – Merlin, Arthur, Guinevere, and Morgana – with the four main Houses in Harry Potter. It’s an apt comparison. Those kinds of characters work, especially when paired with each other. Opposites really do attract, and the dichotomy of the personalities and how their differences and similarities play off each other makes for very compelling storytelling – in Merlin, and across other fictional works throughout history. We seem to like those opposites. They speak to us – we can see a little of ourselves in one character or another.

Arthur is the quintessential alpha male. As he should be; he’s the Prince who will become a King. He embodies the ultimate in masculinity – he’s courageous, valorous, a champion. Bradley James completely looks the part, with his muscular frame and square jawline, his crisp, sexy British accent. He just looks… kingly.


Merlin is the intellectual, the scholar, the helper. Colin Morgan is certainly attractive, but no one is going to mistake Merlin for a big, beefy knight. He’s not supposed to look like that. He’s supposed to look wise and magical, and he does – like a sprite. He’s loyal, dependable, humble, and true.

Guin is the solid, dependable friend, Morgana the beauty with an evil desire for power inside. We’ve seen it all before. And we still love it.

But really, if all it were were pretty people and familiar characterizations, I wouldn’t be this obsessed with this show. I’ve seen and enjoyed plenty of other shows like that. I watch Glee and Vampire Diaries weekly and enjoy them immensely. But it’s not the same. Why?

Because of the depth of the relationship between Arthur and Merlin.

It’s amazing, it’s intoxicating, it’s incredibly moving. And it’s so exciting to see such a real, emotional connection between men, a true male friendship. Much of their friendship, of course, is unspoken – they ridicule each other, malign each other, curse each other (especially Arthur’s treatment of Merlin), but we as the audience see – through their body language, their facial expressions, the depth of emotion in their eyes – how these two really feel about each other. It’s a bond that largely remains unspoken throughout the series, until the very end.

This is where the actors in this show absolutely amaze me. Colin Morgan and Bradley James are so adept at expressing a multitude of feelings just through their eyes and body language alone. I know that that is what acting is all about, but believe me, I don’t know many actors who pull it off as well as these two do. You can see the pain behind Arthur’s teasing, see the sorrow behind Merlin’s grin. And, oh, how Colin/Merlin can cry. In this era of “real men don’t cry,” is it not refreshing to see men showing real tears? It is for me.

The intensity of this relationship, especially in the last few episodes, has had people across the internet speculating and ‘shipping’ the characters – and the actors. Such a relationship must go beyond friendship, they seem to argue – it must be romantic and sexual. No men interact that way with each other unless they’re involved in a physical way. I’ve heard there is a lot of fan fiction describing explicit sexual encounters between Arthur and Merlin. I’ve seen suggestive pictures on Pinterest. There are lots of references to ‘Merthur’ and ‘Brolin’.

Really? Really? Why must we always go there? Why do we, as a culture, assume that if two men show genuine caring and emotional involvement with each other, they must be gay?

Not, as Seinfeld says, that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m a staunch supporter of gay rights and gay marriage, have lots of friends and family members who are gay, and have absolutely no problem with the variety of sexual orientations that are out there.

But it frustrates me that that seems to be the only conclusion many people can draw about these characters – and about the off-screen, real-life friendship between Colin Morgan and Bradley James. The question that overshadows a lot of things is, is their relationship (Merlin/Arthur, or Colin/Bradley) sexual or not?

For me, sexualizing the relationship between Merlin and Arthur cheapens it, and cheapens what the two actors were able to accomplish in their portrayal of it. They have a bromance, for sure, but I don’t think it was intended to be a romance. Merlin had Freya, albeit very briefly. Arthur showed interest in a variety of women, not just Guin – although the family-friendly nature of the show kept all of that quite tame. But even if they hadn’t thrown in those plot points, I still think that friendship, a soul-connected friendship, is what binds Merlin and Arthur. They ARE two sides of the same coin. Why can’t we imagine intense, emotionally-intimate friendships between men that don’t involve physical intimacy?

Of course another good question is, does it matter? Does it matter if the relationship between Merlin and Arthur, or between Colin and Bradley, DOES go beyond friendship? This seems to be a driving question of our time – we seem obsessed as a society with figuring out who’s gay and who’s not. I even have to admit that I spent some time yesterday on Google, trying to see what I could find out about Mr. Morgan and Mr. James. Why? It doesn’t affect me personally. It was rather offensive for me to even be prying into that, when I really thought about it. I will never meet Colin Morgan or Bradley James, much less have a relationship with either one of them (sigh), so what difference does it make to me?

I guess because I LOVE the idea of two men getting the opportunity to experience the miracle of such a close bond – on screen and off. Friendship is powerful. Powerful. Knowing someone is there for you, that they’ve got your back. Being willing to have theirs. Wanting what’s best for them. Truly loving them. There’s nothing like it.

I am a romance novel junkie and an aspiring romance novelist. I crave romance. I love the idea of strong, passionate relationships and happily ever afters. I have since I was a little girl, and it continues to this day, my desire to live in a world where love conquers all and the intense, passionate, romantic, physical, and sexual attachment to one person is the ultimate goal.

But friendship is undervalued. And to see a friendship like this – between MEN – is thrilling. Because I want my son to have friendships like that. I want my son, and all other men, to feel ABLE to have friendships like that. Many men do, I know. I suspect others, especially young men, keep their guy friends at a distance because they don’t want their attentions to be mistaken for something else. It’s sad that it would even matter – the only people to whom one’s sexuality should really make a difference, I think, are the person him/herself and whomever they’re dating. But it still does. And it’s damaged male friendship along the way.

I love this show. Love it. It’s excruciatingly painful at the same time, however, now that I know for sure how it concludes. We all know the stories. We all know Arthur dies in the end, but to experience it on screen is heart-breaking (and I’ve only seen snippets, not yet having watched season 5). We’re so used to our happy endings in America that to have one that is otherwise just feels…well…wrong. But it’s oh-so-powerful, it’s what keeps our guts wrenching long after the episode and the series has ended, the idea that this powerful friendship has been divided and has come to an end. What a loss.

And so a series that started out for me as a pleasant diversion, an indulgence in my guilty love affair with pop culture and shows meant for swooning teenage girls, has become much, much more.

Yes, people, I know it’s a television show. It’s not real. But it has reminded me again of some of the most powerful experiences in my own life: the devastation of betrayal and loss, and the healing balm of friendship and connection. It’s a show about ideals, portrayed in some idealistic and of course unachievable ways, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t speak truths about loyalty, loss, love, and friendship. And speak them magnificently.

Long live the King!

 

******************************************************************************************************************************************

AnneAbout the author: In her previous life, Anne was a doctoral student in medieval history. Now she’s an at-home mom penning romance novels and aiming for publication someday. But just as an Elvis addiction distracted her from her academic endeavors back in grad school, so now her recent Merlin obsession has captured her energies and attention completely, leading to her to spend countless hours watching episodes, pinning pics on Pinterest, and writing blog entries over her love for the show. Oh well. That’s a form of romance, too, right?

This post originally appeared on Anne’s personal blog. Thank you to Francesca and More Merlin for asking me to post it here, as well.

 

The Tempest First Night & Colin Morgan’s Performance Review by Donna

I have watched and admired Colin Morgan from the beginning of Merlin. This young actor with a cheeky smile and twinkle in his eye.

I bought Island & Parked and fell in love with his talent and skill and ability to turn his hand to anything. I watched him in the 24 hour musicals at The Old Vic (Dec 2012) even had the pleasure of meeting him. Yes I admire his good looks (who wouldn’t?) his youth, his ability to catch & hold your eye…but it’s his acting, his career post Merlin that interests me. How will this young actor fair away from the magic of Camelot? Will he maintain the massive fan base he has? Or lose it over time? The answer after watching him perform in The Tempest is simple…No!

From arriving at The Globe, to starting to queue for seats in the Yard, through to entering this remarkable theatre I was spell bound. I have never seen a Shakespeare play, not really read much, but Colin in The Tempest? This I have to see!

Tempest Opening NIght

So I bought the book and read it beforehand. I knew exactly when to expect ‘Ariel’ and so I waited….

What I didn’t expect was a play so full of laughs, so well acted by all the cast it would be rude to not mention them. I was transfixed by Roger Allam & the actor who played Caliban. I was in admiration for the cast who physically threw themselves around the stage – on and off it! I didn’t realise how involved the audience would be.

The first sighting of Colin is when he literally rolls onto the stage and leaps up. No doubt about it he has arrived! Throughout the play he astounds with his agility, flexibility, strength..cartwheels, climbs, swings…all done with ease and poise.        Colin Tempest Crouching

 He runs around the stage with speed yet at other times is totally still, with ethereal qualities, transfixed on his fellow actors, intense and unwavering. Wide-eyed yet with an intense blinking of eyes that has you mesmorized, he maintains this throughout.

At one point I watched him sitting cross legged, listening to the other actors. He sat stock still, no movement apart from little turns of his head, small expressions on his face that spoke volumes. You could almost read his mind as to what he was thinking, yet he didn’t move nor speak. This degree of acting is what I admire so much in Colin. To be able to portray so much in one look is a skill not all actors have.Colin Tempest Peacock

All around him actors (and audience) laugh and create noise throughout the play, but Colin remains still, quiet, in character until at the end when he breaks into a gorgeous smile. The dancing at the end of the play is worth the long wait …& yes he can dance too!

I knew Ariel sang & I was nervous for Colin. We have been told he has a good voice but have not heard it as yet. Is it good? Yes. Is it powerful? No. But it is a sweet voice, a controlled voice that with time and confidence will grow. I loved it but other critics may not. This is just my opinion and I’d happily listen to him sing again.

I don’t want to give anything away, to give spoilers..but pictures have been posted of his outfits so Iwill add.. You will not be disappointed. The skinny boyish merlin is a fit young man now, with a tight fitting costume highlighting this. His agility demonstrates his fitness. His costumes are not the most flattering but it doesn’t detract that it’s Colin underneath. The ‘harpy’ costume is quite amazing with Colin on stilts and wings operated by other actors. Working together can’t be easy but they do so making it a brilliant scene. The intense scene is a show stopper.Colin Pillar Tempest

At the end the cast received massive applause and lots of shouts of appreciation. What struck me was how surprised Colin looked – almost like he was surprised the play was such a success. Humble to the end.

So overall? Two hours after being home I cannot sleep, my mind still buzzing, and I am left with a sense of awe. Yes. Colin Morgan is a damn fine actor! Yes. He is charming, intelligent and good looking. And no..he will not lose his fan base but instead it will grow, along with him, as he continues with his brilliant career.

Donna with Colin
The Author: Donna (with someone we already know!)

I’m Donna, a full time nurse from the UK, who in her spare time enjoys watching Merlin and supporting the actors from this brilliant show. I have had the pleasure of meeting a few of the cast and look forward to supporting them in their future ventures. I love being part of the Merlin family as I have got to know people from all over the world.

We want more Merlin Video Teaser! New Website “More Merlin” launched TODAY

Hello Everyone

Exciting news! Hopefully you received and read the announcement about the launch of our main site : More Merlin today. Apologies for the first blooper email; the second one was correct.

The new site is our sister site and home of the “More Merlin” project to bring Merlin back. Please go over and subscribe there. This blog will continue as part of the More Merlin project, as was always intended from the start.

We are launching the More Merlin Project with the “We want more Merlin” video teaser. And here it is:

Be part of the “We want More Merlin” video!

Keep the Magic Alive!

Merlin: Why Fans Crave a Different Ending

Over the ages there have been many books and stories written about the legend of King Arthur and Camelot, from “Le Morte d’ Arthur” by Sir Thomas Malory to “The Mists of Avalon” by Marion Zimmer Bradley.  There have also been numerous movies, plays, and TV series. While each of these may tell the tale a bit differently, one thing that they do all share is a common ending: Arthur dies at the hand of Mordred.

Merlin & The Great Dragon

In all fairness to the writers and creators of the BBC’s TV series, “Merlin”, they ended the series in the same way that all of the previous stories ended; with the death of Arthur. So why are the majority of the fans of Merlin dissatisfied with how the show ended? How could they have been expecting something different, when the legend decrees that Arthur must die?

For one, the BBC’s “Merlin” has been very different than its predecessors in regards to the legend of Arthur, Merlin, and Camelot. BBC’s “Merlin” was created to be different from the legends in that it showcased a young Merlin and Arthur, quite unlike other stories based on the legends.

Written to be a family series, “Merlin” took on a whimsical tone, showing how a young Arthur and Merlin interact, become friends, and fight for what they believe is right and just. The series became very popular in the UK, and its fan base grew internationally. People of all ages enjoyed watching a show that encompassed things thMerlin & Arthur Waterat we feel have been lost in our modern times: chivalry, honor, loyalty, and friendships that bloom despite social status and hardship.

The fans became engrossed by the show’s characters and the challenges that they faced. We became enchanted by the ideas and the promises of the Great Dragon and the legends of the Druids: that Merlin and Arthur share a fate to unite the lands in peace and to bring magic back to the lands. Having Merlin’s powers be a secret added greatly to the flavor of the show; the fans were in on the “secret” and were eager for the day that Arthur and Camelot would learn of Merlin’s powers and for the return of magic where it will no longer be outlawed.

But all of the show’s foretellings never came to be, and five years’ worth of build-up fell rather flat. All of the greatness that was foretold of how Merlin and Arthur would bring magic back and the Golden Age of Camelot didn’t happen. The fans’ desires of having Merlin openly use his magic and be recognized as an equal instead of a servant never became a reality. Even if Arthur was to die someday, the fans were expecting at least a taste of the Golden Age that was promised for five years, and to see the lands of Albion united. Instead, Arthur never did come to trust or allow magic, the lands weren’t united, and Arthur didn’t seem to accomplish anything that was considered “great” in the eyes of the fans (other than forming the Knights of the Round Table).

Arthur learns of Merlin’s magic on his death bed, giving no satisfaction to the fans that couldn’t wait to see how Merlin’s and Arthur’s relationship will change based on that knowledge. The young dragon that Merlin saves becomes nothing more than a witless beast and the Great Dragon becomes weary and tired. Knights die unnecessary deaths. Is it a mystery then how the fans are dissatisfied with the final outcome?

Considering all of the other liberties that the writers took with the show, it is a wonder how they felt compelled to have the ending be so dreary and unfulfilled. The fans care little of how the original legend ended; what was wanted was an ending worthy of the direction that the show had taken, and that is what the fans expected… and deserve

.Merlin & Arthur on Horses

And THAT is why there is an outcry to re-write the ending. I can only hope that the writers and actors respond accordingly to their fans, and for those of us that still believe that bravery, friendship, and magic can prevail in the end.

Empowered Women: Guinevere & Morgana

 

Guinevere

Gwen Early

When Guinevere came up to Merlin in the stocks and said “Hello, I’m Guinevere, but everyone calls me Gwen.  I’m The Lady Morgana’s Maid”.   I was surprised.   But I was also captivated.   Hah!  What a great twist on the legend.. Guinevere a maid… and to The Lady Morgana.. who is not the evil witch but the beautiful ward of Uther.

Gwen may be a maid, but she has character, she has strength.    How wonderful it is when she speaks up and lets Arthur know that he is arrogant, selfish and not being respectful in her house.     Yes, Gwen might be a maid and a woman, but she has strength, courage & wisdom.    Gwen literally guides the young Arthur into becoming that man that she “sees inside”.      She constantly reminds him from the beginning to be true to his heart, to be true to himself.   Gwen is the gentle voice of wisdom whispering in Arthur’s ear.

Gwen 2

 

One of the most wonderful aspects of this series is that with all four major characters: Merlin, Arthur, Gwen and Morgana, they all go through epic journeys from being young people, unsure & questioning to strong adults with strong sense of self, sense of purpose and strength.. and we get to journey with them.

We watch as Gwen goes from maid to Arthur’s confidante above all others to Queen.     Along the way Gwen suffers loss.. a great deal.    Her father and brother both die.    She is cast out of the home she knows by the man she loves.. she loses everything.    And what does she do?   Does she sit and cry or complain?  No, she gets on with life, helps Arthur again and comes back to be his Queen.   What a truly empowered woman.

We all identify with Gwen, the maid because she is not afraid to speak her mind.   She does so with Arthur early on and even has the courage to speak up to Aggravaine in front of the entire council.     She does what is right, just as Arthur does and to hell with the consequences.     Gwen has integrity and Gwen is real.    Do we see her fragility?   Yes of course.   Do we see her sad & powerless?  yes, of course.   Butwe also see her strength, her power and her steadfast commitment to truth and Arthur.      Gwen even faces the dreaded Lammia to save Merlin… she’s a true heroine.

Gwen Queen 2

 

 

And who do all the men want?   Arthur? Lancelot? Gwaine?   Gwen, because her heart, her integrity and her love shine through.   Gwen is a true heroine and a truly empowered woman.

 

 

Morgana

Morgana early 2

So many movies & books have portrayed Morgana, the evil witch.    The creators and writers were inspired in giving us this Morgana.   I salute the creators and writers for giving us a complete Morgana; for not starting with the “evil witch” but giving us the whole history of how Morgana becomes so full of resentment & hate.      We see Morgana go from sweet, loving ward with bad dreams to resentful, cruel Morgana, intent on revenge.     But that whole journey takes time.

As Uther’s ward, we see spirited, zesty Morgana:  beautiful, courageous, able to fight just as well as all the men.    Morgana is Series 1 and even in Series 2 is willing to lay down her life for another, willing to feed the people above herself, willing to help Gwen, Arthur and Merlin.    It is Morgana and Gwen who immediately go with Merlin to Ealdor to help the village, Arthur who follows.

Morgana early 1Morgana’s  journey into discovering her own magic is told with such honesty.    When Merlin appeals to Gaius to tell Morgana the truth, we want that to happen.    We feel Morgana’s isolation with her secret, as Merlin does.   We see her struggling with her fear, confusion & pain.

Yet it is Morgana’s relationship with Uther that is the significant & defining influence on who Morgana becomes.   In making Morgana Uther’s ward, we see those glimpses and moments throughout the series where Uther’s cruelty leaves  Morgana feeling powerless:  her distress at people so easily murdered by Uther, particularly Mordred’s Father and Gwen’s Father.

Morgana Queen 2

The final turning point for Morgana is when she finds out that she is Uther’s daughter.   She gives him that chance to tell her, saying to him “almost like a Father”.    Katie’s acting here is superb; she looks at Uther wanting him so much to say yes, appealing to him almost like a child, giving him the opportunity to say yes, you are my daughter, of course I will show the world that I love you as much as Arthur.    It is in that moment, in Uther’s refusal to acknowledge his daughter, that Morgana makes her final choice.

Is that not the truth for all humanity?   It is only when we are isolated, unloved, unacknowledged that we turn to revenge… for some of us, we feel it is the only way.

And so Morgana’s empowered ward with a conscience for all becomes Morgana, empowered & bitter adult, intent on revenge.     What does she say when Merlin refers to her not being loyal?   “Just because I don’t have anyone left to be loyal to doesn’t mean I am not loyal”.     She’s right of course.   She was incredibly loyal to Morgause.. and she was incredibly loyal to Uther, Arthur and the rest before she turned.

Morgana late 2

Ultimately of course, Morgana the sorceress wielding her power against the good is sad, as all those who have lost their humanity and are mired in the depths of revenge.   Yet in this story, we are compelled to watch Morgana to the end.

Our society today often makes reference to “empowered women” as though it is something that has been discovered in the last 100 years.   Gwen & Morgana demonstrate that empowered women have been around for eons; being empowered, like being disempowered is a matter of choice, character & courage.

Merlin and Arthur: Legend Brought To Life

Merlin Arthur Tree best

by Kirsten Caspers, Germany  

Normally, I’m not a TV kind of person. I prefer books, and the longer the better! True storytelling is what I love, and in a time where narrative culture is more and more determined by the length of a Twitter message, the spinning of a grand old-fashioned tale has become a rare thing on television. Such a rare exception was the BBC series Merlin – until it was announced late in 2012 that the show wouldn’t be continued after the end of series 5. When I read that in an interview, my first thought was that it seemed quite a daunting task, if not even an impossible one, to tie up all the loose threads that were glaringly left hanging about in the few episodes that were left, let alone to provide the series with an ending that would remain faithful to its trademark genial tone, and live up to all the expectations that had been raised over the years by constantly reminding us that it was Merlin’s destiny to build Camelot’s Golden Age with Arthur and return the magic to the land.

Sadly, my apprehensions turned out to be justified. The evening of the Merlin finale – Christmas Eve, of all things! –  left me sitting stunned in front of my TV, tears streaming down my face, only vaguely aware what had just happened to me, although it occurred to me what it was later that night: emotional trauma at the hands of a television series! Ever since then I have been searching the internet for Merlin related sites like this one, where I could voice my disappointment and outrage at how this series I loved was ended: much too rushed, without real closure, sporting at least one gaping plot hole (the fact that Merlin dragged the gravely injured Arthur all over Albion on horseback instead of calling Kilgharrah to help immediately), leaving many storylines unexplored and the main promise, that of Camelot’s Golden Age – implying a new level in the Merlin/Arthur relationship, with a fully recognized Merlin finally being on equal footing with Arthur, getting credit for his deeds at last, and their friendship being renewed and strengthened so they’ll be able build the new Camelot – remaining unfulfilled.

At this point, I’d like to stress that I’m no giggling fangirl. I’m a 39-year-old English teacher from Germany, mother of four (who all love Merlin just as much as I do, if not more), and freelance writer. For me this is not about “Merthur” swooning – I leave that to my daughter – but the blossoming friendship between the prince and his servant is undeniably one of the high points of the show, even the force that gives it momentum, an incredibly sweet, innocent, and touching bond of brotherhood that we can relate to on a basic human level. I firmly believe that it was this fusion of a timeless tale of true friendship with one of most famous and fascinating subject matters of the Western literary canon, transforming it into a story that allows glimpses of the familiar Arthurian legend while developing a strong and original take on it, that strung a chord with viewers around the globe.

When I stumbled upon Merlin, I was immediately intrigued, and never have missed an episode since. I also bought the German DVD editions so my children could watch them with me. At first I was convinced that I liked the show for its many obvious endearing features – the simply told stories, the teasing banter between prince and servant, the young cast’s sheer enthusiasm, the epic fights against evil witches and magical beasts, so beautifully and tastefully rendered, in short, its classic fantasy setting. But soon I realized that for me – and apparently for many others too, as the numerous blog entries and forum posts throughout the internet show – that beyond this heroic, romantic surface there was much more to it than that.

Merlin has resonated deeply with my imagination. This series, which cheerily disguised itself as a lighthearted family show, in truth explored the archetypal leitmotifs of European literature, and of human nature itself, within a charming and enthralling fantasy frame that made it easy and a fun experience to follow these explorations. Honour, love, duty, friendship, betrayal, the rocky relationship between fathers and sons, the attempt to live up to a destiny one did not choose, being torn between different loyalties, the demons that wait to be fought every day, all these are basic human concepts that are still as valid and important today as they were when the medieval and Renaissance authors wrote their Arthurian romances. Granted, Merlin was first and foremost intended as a fun fantasy drama, and rightly so, as it is one of the very few TV series that can be watched and enjoyed by the whole family, without falling flat for the older generation. But while my children fell for Merlin’s perfect sword-and-sorcery approach, with its gorgeous costumes, lots of magic, dragons, classic villains, and beautiful, sometimes ethereal settings, it was the characters’ confrontation with the pitfalls of human nature and their consequent development, conveyed so brilliantly by the cast’s outstanding performance, what really caught my attention. Ever since J.R.R. Tolkien laid down the basic framework and rules that have shaped the fantasy genre, it has been clear that the true magic of a good fantasy story is never to be found in the magical power that is wielded – or the Dark Lords of the trade would always triumph. The true magic in fantasy lies, in fact, in the heroes’ strength of character, their courage, their perseverance in the face of insurmountable difficulty, and in the friendship and love that prompts them to their brave deeds. It’s no coincidence that the great fantasy champions are more often than not simple people whom fate puts in a position they haven’t actively sought out, unlikely heroes who, as J.K. Rowling put it in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, “take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well”. In precisely this spirit, the series made Arthur and Merlin young contemporaries rather than an old Merlin being advisor to a young king Arthur, which probably was its most important and ingenious diversion from the Arthurian sources, because this plot device allows us the pleasure of getting to know our heroes before they have fully come into their own. Notwithstanding his astonishing magical powers, Merlin appears as a simple peasant boy who wears his heart on his sleeve and whose refusal to be daunted by rank or physical superiority is constantly getting him into trouble; Prince Arthur is already a skilled warrior and courageous knight when we meet him, but as yet lacking such virtues as modesty or consideration for others, hiding his deep-rooted fear of not being able to live up to his father’s high expectations behind a tough “save-the-world” attitude, as Gwen phrases it when she first talks to Merlin. Although we know from earlier takes on the legend what kind of men Merlin and Arthur will grow into, Merlin portrays them as young boys who have yet to overcome their only too human flaws, who are not legendary yet but still have a great deal to learn. Following Arthur’s progress from somewhat self-centred, secretly insecure and pampered “prat” to truly kingly material, and Merlin’s transformation from naïve prodigy-cum-country bumpkin into the wise and powerful but unswervingly compassionate mage who’s invisibly pulling all the strings from behind his humble disguise was pure joy. By embarking with them on their journey to legendary status, we began to care deeply about them as characters, and became emotionally involved in their classic coming-of-age story.  As much as we enjoyed the ever present tease of Merlin’s magic being eventually discovered (a moment we all simultaneously dreaded and yearned for), it was the development of Merlin’s and Arthur’s characters, and of their unlikely friendship, which cast the true spell of Merlin and made soon seem the many turrets of beautiful Pierrefonds Castle as the legendary Camelot feel like home to everyone who accompanied the heroes on their weekly adventures. As we followed the progress of this friendship, feeling sorry for Merlin’s ordeals, being angry at Arthur’s unfairness, rejoicing when it became obvious that the duo had started trusting each other with their lives, we were drawn into the age-old questions of human nature they had to deal with as the events unfolded, and drawn into the legend itself.

There has never been any TV series, movie, or book before where the ending has left me so heartbroken, and which such a sense of having been cheated by the authors. It was, simply, wrong, and what is really tragic is that it didn’t have to be like that, not even if it was important to the authors to stay “true to legend” – which is in itself impossible, as there is no such thing as “the” legend where Arthurian writing is concerned. For literally a thousand years, from 12th century historian Geoffrey de Monmouth (to whom the Merlin writers tipped their hat by assigning him a permanent cameo role in the series as a grumpy court librarian of the same name), to Renaissance writer Thomas Malory, to modern fantasy authors like T.H. White and Marion Zimmer Bradley, the king and his sorcerer have inspired writers throughout the Western world to use the existing material and do with it whatever they wanted, depending on their respective time, their targeted audience and intentions. There is not a single other subject matter in the history of European literature that had such an impact or inspired such a sheer mass of writing, both in prose and poetry and in every major European language, than the story of King Arthur and the knights of the round table. None of the Arthurian authors ever had any scruples at all to employ poetic licence whenever it suited their needs. From the very beginning, the Arthurian cycle has been a legend in progress. Obviously, the Merlin writers were aware of this practice and have employed it themselves countless times throughout the series. It was always fun to meet a well-known character in a way that differed slightly or, in many cases, greatly from the other familiar versions of the story, and find out how they would eventually “get there”: Guinevere is a serving girl?! But wasn’t she supposed to be the queen? – Lancelot is such a nice guy, and Gwen could never betray Arthur, so how do we reach their legendary betrayal?! – Merlin is supposed to be a Gandalf-style old man with long white hair and a beard, not a young guy, so why do the legends describe him as old?! The series played with our preconceived notions about the legend, and brought them home to us with a twist. That was the secret that made the series so deliciously plot-driven in spite of the fact that the Arthurian plot has been known for centuries. And this, too, explains why its ending has been felt to be so upsetting and incongenial by so many fans.

What is truly jarring about the final episode of Merlin is not the fact that Arthur dies. Arthur’s death at the hands of the traitor Mordred has been a central motif since the beginning of Arthurian literature. Everyone who is familiar with Malory’s take on Arthuriana, or has read White’s The Once and Future King, knows that Arthur is, eventually, going to die, and that Camelot will perish. It’s the essentially British version of the biblical lament of “how are the mighty fallen”, and we wouldn’t really expect any Arthurian tale to change that. What he indeed have come to expect from Merlin, however, is a respectful treatment of our beloved characters’ growth, and the above-mentioned plot twist that does justice to the characters while still capable of being seen in accordance with legend. These two concepts have, time and again, formed the backbone of countless Merlin episodes, but tragically the final one, which should by rights have revelled in every aspect that made Merlin the series it had become, failed miserably on both counts. While the eagerly anticipated magic reveal, though something of let-down where plot is concerned (why come out now, when innocent lives could have been saved by doing so much earlier?), was a beautiful and heart-rending piece of acting – so kudos to Colin Morgan and Bradley James for their amazing achievement – and while Arthur’s gradual acceptance of Merlin’s true nature was everything fans had been hoping for, it came much too late, and robbed us of the chance to see Merlin recognized by the whole of Camelot as the world’s greatest sorcerer at last, and, above all, accepted and respected by Arthur for what he is. That was what their beautiful friendship had promised us, and what we felt was due to us, and when looking at the ancient sources, and taking note of the explicit loopholes provided there – Geoffrey of Monmouth, for instance, says nothing about Arthur actually dying, but states that he was just “mortally wounded” and brought to Avalon to be “healed” – it seems a complete mystery to me why the writers of Merlin insisted on killing Arthur off before any of the great deeds the series kept alluding to had been accomplished, when they could easily have employed one of their trademark plot twists to devise an ending where Arthur would still eventually meet his doom in Mordred, yet gets to build the legendary Golden Age of Camelot with a fully revealed Merlin at his side.

Of course, it would not be easy for Merlin’s creators to renounce the ending they decided on. I imagine that every creative artist feels honour-bound to stand by his creation once it is accomplished. I understand that, and I wouldn’t presume to even begin to know the circumstances in which the decision was made to end Merlin, and end it the way it has, but given the points I stated above it is obvious for everyone with eyes to see that it can’t possibly have been the ending the writers originally envisioned. As the recurring popularity and constant reinvention of Arthurian legend shows, existing versions don’t have to be set in stone like Excalibur. An obviously wrong ending, stemming from a temporary error in artistic judgement, can be revised. It’s not even necessary to go back on it. There are dramaturgical devices available to deal with episode 5×13, after all – make it a dream, make it a vision in the Crystal Cave, a prophecy of what will happen if Merlin doesn’t take action at once. I want to appeal to the outstanding, inventive writers and producers of Merlin to rethink their decision to end the series, because, in Merlin’s words, “Some choices are easy. Some stay with you forever.” Please, don’t let the choices you made in The Diamond of the Day stay with you forever!

I am aware that it is much to hope for, but I for one won’t give up on the dream that there will indeed be a Merlin series 6, or a miniseries, or even a film with the same cast and characters who brought the legend home to us, so that destiny can be fulfilled, magic returned to the land, and Kilgharrah’s words about Emrys not having failed what he set out to do will finally come true. But whether it will come to pass or not, in my heart I know, as surely do all the Merlinians around the world, that this is not the end to Arthur’s and Merlin’s story. Their legend lives on. We will remember them. We would just rather do it by watching a brand-new Merlin episode that, this time round, does justice to its own creative goals and intentions.

Kirsten Caspers, Germany