Merlin: Family TV At Its Best

Colin sweet

Last week I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to see the National Television Awards being broadcast from London. With the time difference and my children’s schedule things were hairy and I missed watching live.

However, the following morning I went on Twitter and Facebook and discovered that the NTA’s had been very exciting for all of my Merlinian friends.

Colin Morgan was chosen by the people for Best Male Actor in the Drama category, for his work as the character Merlin. This made me so happy I almost cried.   Finally this talented man is recognized and all because of us, his Merlin family.

My happiness was not complete however. Merlin did not win in its category.  That honor went to Downton Abbey.

I have not watched anything but a couple of episodes of Downton.  I had to check it out.  I love British TV! So I will not claim to know anything about that particular show except for my first impressions of it.  It was dramatic.  It was emotional and filled with angst. It was intelligent and thoughtful and I could easily have gotten hooked on it.  A friend said, “It’s a soap opera, wrapped in classy sheep’s clothing.”  She loves it!  So why didn’t I keep watching you ask?

I had turned on the second episode when my 8 year old entered the room.  He came in just in time for some sexual innuendo and a well done kissing scene between two men.  Very loving, very classily done;  BUT NOT FOR CHILDREN.

Downton Abbey is written for adults.  In my house the kids are always trying to watch TV with me.  That is special time for them to sit on the couch and cuddle with their mom and dad.  Downton isn’t appropriate for them and I needed to keep this family ritual and entertain myself as well.  Because, honestly, I can’t stand most of what the large cable companies produce and label as family programming.

And so we come to Merlin.  Family entertainment filled with drama, excitement and utter silliness. (Season 3 Ep. 3 is the one with the Goblin. My kids ask routinely to watch this one again and again.) There is true love and kindness between friends and just enough magic dragons and spells to make my day. Why can’t the cable companies in the US bring us something with this kind of richness?

Once Upon a Time is a very cool fantasy program.  ABC produces it I believe. (Please correct me if I am wrong.)   I’ve watched it with my husband but not my kids yet. It’s kind of scary in some places.  I don’t want my young ones to have nightmares.  But more importantly OUAT only shows dysfunctional relationships and damaged people.

All characters must be flawed in some way.  They must learn and grow or they aren’t interesting.  Merlin has flawed characters.  Arthur isn’t perfect and he grew up in a very difficult situation with no mom and a dad who was distant.  Merlin didn’t have his father for most of his life and had no opportunity to know him.  They both make huge mistakes and then have to try and rectify them.

But despite this difficulty they are kind and wonderful beings, who have positive things to say and who for the most part (Evil Morgana excepted) try to do the right thing.

The general feeling of the show is one of optimism.  That good does conquer all and that beauty and goodness are worth fighting for.

This is why I watch Merlin. I can leave an episode, even a sad one, feeling better about life instead of worse.  I can escape for a little while into a place where the good people are in power and that power is used to help instead of hinder.

Imagine if all entertainment was written for families?  How much more positive would our world be if writers, producers and directors found positive statements to make for our children and theirs?  Hope springs eternal.

Love to all my Merlinian friends out there.  We will be heard.

Merlin & Arthur Bromance: True Brotherly Love

One of the aspects of Merlin that is talked about, tweeted, facebook’ed etc is the “bromance” between Merlin and Arthur

.Merlin & Arthur Bromance 2

I believe Bromance is the correct word, for what I saw portrayed was a very lovely brotherly love, the kind that exists between blood brothers, the kind that exists between comrades in arms on battle fields and the kind that exists between men who are great & true friends.

Even though Arthur is a Prince and Merlin a Servant, yet the bond they shared grew to be very strong.     How wonderful it was to watch this relationship grow over the 5 years of the series.   From the time of their first meeting with Merlin having the courage to stand up to the great Prince, we knew it was going to be special.    It was very true to life:  the banter between them was funny & dear; we always knew that watching an episode, there would be some scene where Arthur teases Merlin and Merlin returns the favor, somehow.

Their actions though proved the depth of their friendship.   When either was in trouble, the other came immediately to his aid.     This is what true friendship, true brotherhood is all aboutMerlin & Arthur Bromance 4.   In this case it happens to be two men but it could just as easily be two women.    For there is true sisterhood also.   I know I certainly have two friends in this world whom I consider sisters.   I know they would help in an instant if I needed it (and they do) and I do the same for them.     I love them.   This is purity of friendship, purity of brotherhood or sisterhood and purity of love.

So much kudos again is due to the writers.   The way this relationship built, the little touches where particularly Merlin, was made aware of how much Arthur valued him (such as Princess Mithian coming to Merlin to ask him to “give her a chance”  because Arthur valued his opinion more than any other).

The heartbreaking death scene was just that, heartbreaking.  After 5 years of being part of this wonderful relationship (and show) we watched Merlin say goodbye to his friend, his brother.    Colin Morgan and Bradley James were quite extraordinary in these scenes.    As someone else commented on this blog, Bradley had to go through the gamut of all the emotion of finding out that Colin has magic in… 10 minutes and he did an incredible job.   Colin was also extraordinary in the depth of emotion that came from his as he felt powerless to save his friend, his brother.

Merlin & Arthur Bromance

 

All of the indigenous races of the Earth value the purity of the brotherhood or sisterhood relationship and understand its importance.   That is why they have initiations into becoming a man or becoming a woman and being part of that sisterhood or brotherhood.     As men, there are some things that are just “guy things”  and as women, there are some things that are just “women things”.    It’s as old as humanity itself.

While in recent years, more films have shown the brotherly type relationship between men as well as scenes where men cry, (thank goodness), no film or tv series of which I am aware has had the courage to show this type of deep brotherly love,  so kudos again to the writers, producers, directors and actors who took this important step.    This is particularly important in our current society where love in general whether between men & women, men & men or women & women has become very often distorted and denegrated to levels of cheap shock value & emptiness.    The depth of this relationship showed real, real feelings and was a brave step forward.

I hope that this wonderful, open, relationship full of truth, loyalty, honor and love allows all the men out there to be more open about their love for their brothers, whether blood or not.    Brotherhood is an important part of being human.

So thank you Merlin, thank you Merlin & Arthur, Colin & Bradley, Julian Jones and all the writers and everyone involved in creating this special show.     We loved it!   We still love it.

 

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.

Merlin & Spirituality : Not just Magic but Spiritual Truths

Merlin Dragon in flames

Is Merlin a Spiritual show?

It is for me…..  and I believe at least one or more or maybe all of the writers intentionally wrote spiritual themes into the whole series; there is more than one scene that was, that is, truly, deeply Spiritual. I do mean Spiritual rather than Religious.

For the sake of clarity I will attempt to define what those terms mean to me.   “Religion” to me stands for dogma, institution, rules, regulations, something organized & controlled by those who seek to disempower, control, not to empower.   “Spirituality” cannot be separated from life.     It is the values by which we live every day.     Do we live in integrity?   Do we live with honor?   Do we focus on building people up or dragging them down?   Do we seek out the light and love?   Do we make decisions from the heart?

In Merlin, “Magic” is what captivates our hearts and minds; we are enthralled that Merlin can put up a hand and move objects, people, even the Earth.    We have that suspicion, that hope that if we try, we too can move energy just like Merlin.

What is it that Yoda says to Luke in “Star Wars”? Merlin Magic Runes

“Do or do not.   There is no Try”

We have that memory deep, deep in the depths of our subconscious minds, whether from past lives or other dimensions, that we too have the ability to move energy.  And we do… there are people walking the Earth at this time that do this and even programs training people.   But moving objects in itself is not Spiritual.   It is the intent with which it is done, as always,  that marks the Spiritual act.

Magic :  the force of the Universe  

Countless times when Merlin (Colin Morgan) goes to seek the counsel of the wise Dragon, Kilgharrah,  he is told that this particular magic is ancient (some magic that has been used & with which Merlin has to contend), that it is “of the Earth itself” and “will endure beyond the time of Men”.   What the Dragon is really saying is that Magic is the energy of the Universe, that which binds all things together, moves all things and that when harnessed,  it can be used to move or do anything.

Indigenous peoples across the world have very similar spiritual beliefs:  they all believe that the Earth is truly our Mother, that there is a counterpart, a “Father Sky” or Father force which is a balance to the Mother energy, thus a Mother-Father God force.    They all believe that we come from the Source of the Universe that is the source of all energy: the Earth, the Sun, Stars and Sky.. the Universe.     They have known for eons that the force which makes up our Universe can be harnessed by those who understand how and that knowledge is something that they have guarded for thousands of years.   There are Spiritual leaders from these indigenous tribes all over the Earth who walk with this energy with true power, connected to the Earth, connected to Source.    The healing power they have is tremendous & yet those who walk in this way are truly humble, just as Merlin.    For those who truly have power, those who are truly connected to Source do not brag or advertise their gifts, they walk in humility, harmony & grace. When Merlin has lost his faith after he has lost his magical powers,  Balinor comes to him, he says :  “You are not just my son, you are also the son of the Earth, the Sea, the Stars and the Sun”.     It was like listening to one of the Spiritual leaders of the Native peoples of the world: Native American, Maori, Hawaiian, Kogi or any other of the indigenous peoples who have kept these beliefs alive throughout the ages until now.

The Crystal Cave

The Crystal Cave

In the penultimate episode, Merlin goes to the source of all Magic… The Crystal Cave, in hopes of regaining his magical power.     No accident of course that the Source of all magic is “The Crystal Cave”; many nowadays are aware that crystals are energy conductors (even at the basic non-Spiritual level they are used to powers cell phones) but they are truly energy conductors… they amplify telepathy, open the connection between the different dimensions. Again, in  The Crystal Cave, Balinor says  “Rest now and you will awaken into the light”.   Wow!   What a Spiritual Metaphor!     And then Balinor urges Merlin to step into the Heart of the Crystal Cave, like the Heart of Mother Earth herself.. to be reborn into his true dazzling power.     It’s the story of being reborn, dying to the old and re-awakening to the new, the Shaman’s death, but always awakening into the Light.

The Druids, Indigenous People of Europe  

I  am grateful that the writers chose to portray the Druids as peaceful people, as indeed they were.     Yes there was the episode when one lost his way (Alvarr) and is actively seeking Uther’s downfall but for the most part, they are shown as they truly were:   peaceful, loving, walking with Spirit on the Earth.    Arthur comes bursting aggressively into their hideout seeking the Cup of Life and they hand it over without argument.    The same with the Triskellion, the key that opens the Tomb of Ashkanar where the Dragon’s Egg has lain undisturbed for 400 years.   They live in balance & harmony with Mother Earth and seek only peace.   It is because they live in such harmony with the Earth and all living things that they understand and can use the true force of the Universe.

The Unicorn:  Symbol of Purity

 Unicorn 1   The episode where Arthur kills the Unicorn is Spiritual expression in its highest form.    In his gung ho attitude to please his Father & bring the “prize” of a Unicorn horn home to the Castle, Arthur kills this beautiful animal.      Merlin’s anguished “no” falls on deaf ears.     Enter Anhora,  The Keeper of the Unicorns, beautifully portrayed by Frank Finlay.    Now Arthur (Bradley James) must prove he is “pure of Heart”  in order to lift the curse upon Camelot and save his people.   While at first disbelieving that his act could cause the curse, Arthur has the chance to redeem himself; by showing kindness and allowing the man who is stealing grain to take it anyway and by being willing to die instead of Merlin for his people.     Arthur proves he is “pure of Heart”  and the curse is lifted.      That could have been the end of that episode but ahh… Arthur proved he had truly learned from this experience when he retrieved the Unicorn horn and buried the horn ceremoniously.     While Merlin looked proudly on, Arthur apologized for taking the Unicorn’s life and was rewarded with the sight of the Unicorn.. alive once more on their next trip to the forest.     The Unicorn is indeed a symbol of purity in myth and Spiritual terms so this episode was one of the most Spiritual in the series.

Excalibur:  Symbol of Light

  Excalibur 3  Excalibur, forged in a Dragon’s breath and therefore able to cut through all darkness whether living or dead.    The implication is that this is a weapon that can combat negativity in all dimensions, across all dimensions. As Kilgharrah says:  “This sword must not be wielded by Uther, it has been forged for Arthur and he alone must wield it”.     Well, ok, Merlin can too of course. but other than that, Excalibur must only be wielded by someone who is “pure of Heart” , again, the reference to the importance of purity, of coming from the Heart. What a brilliant job the writers did in telling the tale of how the sword came to be in the Lake…. and how a woman’s hand holds it up for Merlin to take and again, how it came to be stuck in a rock.    Terrific writing. The symbology of the sword being able to vanquish all energy, anything that is conjured up by the “darkness” that comes through Morgana and others is a simple validation of the premise that the Light always vanquishes the dark.    Light a candle in a dark room and there is Light.      Excalibur is the Light which when wielded by the pure of Heart vanquishes all darkness.

Balance    

Although it is used in terms of taking one life for another (more than once)… the concept of “balance” in the world is also a theme running through Merlin.     When the veil between the worlds is torn… Kilgharrah, Gaius and the Willia (the Spirits of the Rivers & Streams who heal Merlin after the attack of the Dorocha , more reference to true Spirituality of the Earth as practiced by the indigenous peoples and more nowdays)  refer to regaining the balance of the Earth.    That is a concept as old as life itself and present in all Spirituality.  Balance on the Earth, balance amongst the creatures of the Earth, the delicate balance of the circle of Life, the balance between male & female, dark and light.      What does Kilgharrah say to Merlin when Morgana turns?   “She is the dark to your light, the hate to your love”.

Tracing the line between disenchantment & evil

I want to give the writers so much kudos here.     Again, here is Spirituality behind the scenes.    Morgana & Mordred do not appear as evil incarnate out of nowhere.    The writers took the time, especially with Morgana, to show us the journey that took her from sweet natured, wilful ward who has bad dreams to Morgana, her heart turned to darkness,  intent on destroying her brother & friends.      In today’s world, when awful events happen, lone individuals shoot school children or people at work, the media dives in for a frenzy of blame.  There is so much judgement.     People do not end up doing these things for no reason.    There is always a journey that takes a soul from potentially happy to so unhappy & full of resentment that they feel their only choice is revenge.      I believe the key to Morgana’s “turn” is that she had no one to share her lonely experience of feeling she had magic, knowing that it was outlawed, knowing that Uther would probably disown her.     As Merlin said to Gaius, had she had the kind mentoring of an Elder such as Gaius, perhaps Morgana would not have turned to darkness. With Mordred too, he so wants to be accepted and part of Arthur’s Camelot.     And yes, here the writers needed a reason for him to turn so they had Arthur senselessly condemn Mordred’s love to death…. well hmmm… his reaction was to be expected.

Dragon & Dragonlord:

Kilgharrah is the voice of Wisdom, knowledge & Truth.   John Hurt’s marvellous voice as Kilgharrah was just right; it seems as though his voice truly is 1000 years old.    

Dragon 2

Merlin goes to him for counsel.   When all else fails, Kilgharrah has the answer.    Even when Merlin seeks his advice about mending the torn veil, Kilgharrah knows that Lancelot will offer his life… calling him “the noblest and bravest of them all” and knowing that hearing that, Lancelot will of course offer his own life to save both Arthur & Merlin.     Kilgharrah has lived for 1000 years… he is old, he has seen the world turn and he is part of “The Old Religion”   part of the Earth.    His magical powers come from the Earth itself.  His counsel is always wise, truthful and measured.    He uses only as many words as needed.     The connection between Kilgharrah and Merlin, the Dragonlord is one of honor, respect & wonder. The writing here was superb…. Balinor’s voice coming through the dimensions to say to his son “You’re the last Dragonlord now.   You alone carry the Ancient gift.  Deep within yourself, you must find the voice that you and Kilgharrah share,  for your soul and his are brothers.   When you speak to him as kin, he must obey your will”.       It is the Spirituality of the Earth peoples: the indigenous races, who believe that the animals, all animals are our brothers and sisters, that there is a connection that binds all living beings.  When that connection is honored, respected and called… magic is in the air.

The Cup of Life

The Cup of Life is of course a reference to the Holy Grail.

Cup_of_life 1

Whether you adhere to the Christian concept that this is the cup that Jeshue (Jesus) used at The Last Supper or whether your beliefs align with the more commonly now accepted concept as depicted in “The Da Vinci Code”, that the Cup represents the Female, the Feminine part of the World, symbol of creation…. it is the Cup of Life.     The symbology of the Cup of Life is yet another example of spirituality in Merlin.    The cup can be used for good or for the darkness…the message being as always that it is the intention with which magic is used that is of the utmost importance.

Arthur’s Values:   Integrity, Honor, Loyalty

Of course these are not just Arthur’s values, they are also Merlin’s values, Gwen & Gaius and the Knights.     But as the leader, Arthur has the opportunity to demonstrate and live by these values or something else.    By choosing honor, integrity, loyalty and living from his Heart, Arthur aligns himself with the higher Spirituality of life.

Particularly uplifting and moving are the scenes where Arthur kneels before those he believes he has wronged:    to Queen Annis, (His Father’s Son)  when he realizes he should not have taken her husband’s life and to the Druid boy inside Elyan,  (A Herald of  a New Age) whose life he was responsible for taking.   On both occasions, he offers himself knowing that that the other may choose to end his life; ; yet he does so anyway.. because he can do nothing else. To remain true to himself, he must do the right thing.   To bring peace, he must take the risk of losing his own life, and so he does.    Kudos to Bradley’s acting here, particular the scene with the Druid boy/Elyan.

Cathar

“Alatar of the Cathar”  .    Perhaps the Writers took a few liberties here with the use of the word Cathar.   But perhaps not.     The Cathars were the early followers of Jeshue… the ones who heard his words directly and believed in a Mother/Father god, reincarnation and more.     They were quashed both around 300AD and again in the early middle ages by the Church.       Were they able to perform Magic?   Perhaps… but they could almost certainly do what Alatar did with Gaius, reach into another’s mind and see information.  But and here is what again is crucial.. only when it is done for the highest good  which is exactly what Alatar does.    He now knows who Emrys is… but will never tell Morgana and more, will support Merlin in his mission.

 

The Diomer 

The Diomer – Key to all Knowledge.    How appropriate that the key turns out to be a being that looks like our star friends…. an ‘alien’ to contemporary society but one whose features & shape has been drawn and visioned for thousands of years.     Many now believe that our world was visited thousands of years ago by “star people’ who were gave us knowledge and taught humankind about life, Spirituality and were the wisdom behind the knowledge that built the pyramids of the world as well as other ancient buildings and sites which we now know could not have been done by simple men.. indeed could not even be built by technology we have today.     “Star People” is the name given to these people by the Native Americans and other indigenous peoples of the Earth.   The Ancient Hawaiians still do Ceremony to honor the Pleiades from which planet they believe they came.   

The Diomer

So Spiritual indeed that the “key to all knowledge” is indeed a “star person”.. the Diomer.     And how Spiritually perfect that while Morgana is searching for a “key” to unlock all knowledge, she does not realize that it is a person.   Yet Merlin realizes immediately upon meeting the being that this is the “key” she is looking for…. but also has the wisdom to know that asking for knowledge is not the way, for all true knowledge comes from within. 

 

Symbols:    Healing, Herbs, Runes, Crystals, Feathers & Sage

The symbols in Merlin are Spiritual indeed.  

Crystal with Morgause

 Runes, feathers, crystals & Sage being used in healing.  Prayers said to the Divine Source Energy as when  all those with “magic” healed others including Merlin, Gaius, Balinor.      Throughout all 5 seasons, all of these props & symbols are seen consistently used underlining the Spiritual nature of the show and its intent in showing the “old ways” of what might be termed Earth Spirituality.

 

The Disir :

The episode with The Disir is an interesting exploration into The Goddess.     “The Triple Goddess”  is represented by 3 women who appear to be rather dark.   They certainly appear to be somewhat angry.     I was not that happy at their portrayal as judgemental  women, but I did like the twist that had Merlin thinking he was finally making the right choice in advising Arthur not to agree to their demands to restore magic as he thought this would mean Mordred’s demise…. and then realizing his mistake!    Had he kept true to his heart   (as evidenced by the tears in his eyes when he says “there can be no place for magic in Camelot… beautiful, soul filled acting, Colin)  Mordred would have died and magic would have been restored to the kingdom… ahhh!       All too late he realized his mistake.     The Goddess .. and God.. are all about wanting us to follow our hearts.   When we follow our hearts… we align with divine Source energy.

The Magic of Spirituality though is shown in this episode as Merlin, Arthur and the Knights approach the Cave.    Merlin says “this is a Sacred place”.

Later as Arthur and Merlin pass the night in the forest before Arthur gives his decision to The Disir, Arthur asks Merlin  “how did you know this place was Sacred?”

Merlin “well, it’s obvious”          Arthur “pretend it isn’t”

Puzzlewood 3

Merlin:  “Everything here is so full of life, every tree, every leaf, every insect,   it’s as if the world is vibrating, as if everything is much more than itself…..”   (wow Merlin, so utterly Spiritual!)

And not just Spiritual, more & more people are now seeing the truth that all things “vibrate” at a frequency and that this is what gives them form.   Mother Earth and all her plants, trees, leaves vibrate at a very high frequency.

Arthur:   “you feel all that? ”    Merlin :   “don’t you?”

The references in this episode to the Sacred Spring, grove of Ewe trees, the pool where The Disir “divine” , hallowed ground, Sacred relics all implying that it is important to respect others Spirituality.

It’s all about the Heart

It is a consistent theme running through Merlin from the outset of feelings, of making decisions from the Heart that underlines the Spiritual nature of the show.   True Spirituality is Love, is about living with love, living from the Heart.

Consistently, Gwen encourages Arthur to follow his heart and he does.    Consistently Merlin advises Arthur to do the same thing… and he does.      

Arthu & Gwen Season 5

 

Love is freely shown, affection freely given between men & women, men and men, women & women, young and old.

Merlin-Gaius

Merlin is not just a battle between good and evil or a mythical tale about heroes, it is the highest form of Spiritual expression.

 

Please comment & Share!    (Comment tab is below at the end of the tags)

 Please also check out the other posts (top right hand corner under “Recent Posts”)

*  Why do so many mourn the death of Arthur?

*  Merlin: Real Romance at Last

*  The Magic of Merlin:  Endings & Beginnings:  Arthur lives again

*  Merlin’s Spell on my Life  (by Diane Hamilton)

Francesca Azuremare       January 2013        Copyright.      You may copy/upload this article to other blogs  with permission.  Please email me at merlinarthurperspectives@gmail.com

Merlin : Real Romance at Last
avatar

Much has been written about the “bromance” between Merlin (Colin Morgan)  and Arthur (Bradley James).      Quite a lot has been written about the romance between Arthur and Gwinevere (Angel Coulby).

Arthur Gwen First Kiss

Whichever way you look at it, over 7 million people in the UK alone tuned in every Saturday over 5 years to watch “Merlin”.

So much captivated our hearts and minds about Merlin:  the magic, the intrigue, the sense of honor, the grace with which the story was told.    For many, the romance was key to keeping us watching.   Even though we know the legend and know Arthur ends up with Gwinevere, the sweet telling of how it came to be in this version was…. sublime.

And made more so because it was so…. romantic.    What does that mean,  romantic?  It’s not just the guy giving the girl flowers, the exchanged looks across the room or at the other’s disappearing back in a room or down a hallway.. it’s not just the magic of forbidden love.       It’s Love that is what makes the difference.

Across the 5 Series, we saw the first moments of the magic on Arthur’s and Gwen’s faces when they begin to  realize they are feeling that ‘thing’ for the other.    We saw the sweet way they spoke with each other, exchanged glances and touches.     And ahhh!    that first kiss!    Gentle, Romantic, the long kiss as the light shone from behind and lit up the image…. it was Love.. it is Love.      It’s what every girl wants… what every guy wants if he will admit it.

Arthur Gwen Kiss

Let me be clear.   Sex is great, sex is wonderful, I love sex.     But sex is a very private thing and I happen to be of the opinion that it should remain so.      I’m so tired of the movies and tv today where we have to see sex over and over again.    The same moves, the same action, the same old same old.    There’s no magic in it folks…. none at all.     Not to mention there’s most assuredly no magic in the kind of violent sex that is now frequently portrayed as normal in movies and on tv.     Yes, sometimes sex can be urgent, fast, passionate.    But there’s a fine line there between real passion and … something which is way more disturbing.     So many young people nowadays have been brought up into their young adulthood thinking that this is what they have to do in relationship… oh dear.    I mourn the passing of romance.

So for me, watching the gentle romance of Arthur and Gwen was inspiring, magical and truly romantic.  I didn’t need to see anyone’s clothes being ripped off or either of them totally naked.  How much more real and intimate to show the intimacy through those moments of connectedness  with a touch (as when Arthur takes Gwen’s hand and puts it on his chest when he is wounded during the Dragon attack)  or when even though they are restrained by guards… they reach out to each other in an embrace (Queen of Hearts) .

I realize that being a BBC Family show, that perhaps they could not have shown that anyway…. but I see other shows which are aimed at a younger audience with plenty of violence and a fair amount of senseless sex.

Merlin’s brief romance with Freya was another wonderful journey into real romance.

Merlin Freya Candle

Merlin fell in love and was prepared even to give up his life in Camelot and his destiny to be with Freya.    A gentle kiss.. the caring that he showed, the willingness to do anything for her.

Colin Morgan’s acting as he said goodbyeto Freya and her boat drifted into the Lake of Avalon was so moving.   He truly does reach a depth of emotion that few actors do… and he is so young.

I suppose that’s another reason I mourn the end of “Merlin” in its current guise at the BBC.      I will really miss the romance.        Gosh if there were to be another series… the romance between Arthur & Gwen can continue and we might even be able to glimpse some romance for Merlin.    Just because he is the greatest warlock the world has even seen does not mean that he doesn’t get a girl!   (right girls?)

There has been some comment in various places that one of the reasons the series ended was because how many new stores could there be?    That they had already done the same story so many times (someone or other trying to take down Camelot, Merlin saving the day, Arthur not knowing).     And so?   The stores were brilliantly written and they did not seen the same to me.      And the writers could have such fun with a romance for Merlin.

As for the bromance between Merlin & Arthur… ah that’s a whole other post.

Long live Romance!   Long Live Merlin!

Merlin Freya Kiss

*  I welcome comments:*    the comments tab is a bit hidden at the end of the tag section below

Please comment and Share!    Thank you!  

Please also check out other posts under “Recent Posts”  top right hand corner:

*  Why do so many mourn the death of Arthur?

*  The Magic of Merlin:  Endings & Beginnings:  Arthur lives again!

*  Spirituality in Merlin:   Not just magic but true Spiritual values

*  Merlin’s Spell on my Life (by Diane Hamilton)

 Francesca Azuremare       January 2013        Copyright.      You may copy/upload this article to other blogs  with permission.  Please email me at merlinarthurperspectives@gmail.com

The Magic of Merlin : Endings & Beginnings…. Arthur Lives Again!

Is Merlin really over?   No!     For those of us who love Merlin, the BBC Series that came to a sad close on Xmas Eve, the answer is no, it cannot be.

Colin-Morgan-is-Merlin

There can be a movie .. or perhaps another series after a break?    Yes, yes yes, we know Bradley (Bradley James) doesn’t want to play Arthur again (although never say never Bradley)  and we can appreciate that Colin (Colin Morgan) , Angel  (Angel Coulby) and Katie (Katie McGrath)  as well as Richard (Richard Williams) want to explore other acting avenues… of course we understand that!   But it’s clear that millions of people around the world want more.

Arthur died or almost died so many times throughout the course of the 5 series that (at least this was my experience watching the finale)  we thought, I thought,  he would pull through again this time.     I felt this nagging feeling that oh gosh maybe he won’t but I wanted to believe that he would.  Perhaps that was part of the shock when he said “just hold me” and passed away.

Bradley-as-Arthur-bradley-james-27193668-500-281Ah but when Merlin moved the boat out into the water.. we all noticed he did not light a fire….. aha!   That means that Arthur can come back unscathed by the marks of burns….it could even be Bradley playing him again… (if he ever agreed to it!)  But Arthur, in tv or movie terms, certainly has the capacity to return.     After all, his is the”Once and Future King”.

As to the final scene with Merlin walking along by the lake where Arthur rests against the backdrop of a modern bus barreling through.. hmmm.    So Merlin comes back in today’s age?     Here’s the thing about that.. at least for me.

The Magic of Merlin was not just that there was magic,  it was that the story was told with such grace.  That even though there were epic battles, the communication between the characters was honorable, respectful, kind.   Merlin was carried through 5 seasons by superb writing, extraordinary acting, inspired set design & scenery, great directing and more.     It did not rely on fast cars, planes, gizmos, special effects, gore, violence. casual, insignificant sex all thrown together in a questionable package of what is the latest “cool”, as so many tv shows and movies are.

So for me, I hope that Merlin does not return to the present day if any or all of the above ingredients are part of the return.    I would hope that the producers and writers find a way then to have Merlin & Arthur here in our time teaching the modern world about honor, integrity and acting from the heart.

It occurred to me (and I noticed a post on Imdb where someone suggested the same thing)  that one way to avoid the awful crassness of today’s world would be to have Merlin & Arthur return in a post apocalyptic world; one where we humans have managed to destroy our world to the point where technology is no more and (by sheer force of circumstance) we are back living simple lives in balance & harmony with the Earth.     In such a scenario, Merlin & Arthur would be the ones once more leading the way.

The Magic of Merlin was never just about being able to start fires with no flint or create horses in the smoke, it was about a similar time where people cared for and helped each other, where the values of honor and integrity were revered and where people strived to live from the heart.

So come on Producers, Creators and Writers, do the right thing.   Do what Merlin & Arthur would do.   We are waiting.

 

*  I welcome comments!*     The comments tab is a bit hidden in the tag section below at the end.

Please comment & Share!     Please also check out the other posts under “Recent Posts”  top right hand corner….:

*  Why do so many mourn the death of Arthur?

*  Merlin:  Real Romance at Last

*  Merlin & Spirituality :   Not just magic but Spiritual truths

*  Merlin’s Spell on my Life (by Diane Hamilton)

 

 

 

 

Why do so many people mourn the death of Arthur?

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.

Merlin & ArthurI’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