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Merlin (UK and US): Keep the Magic Secret


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Poll: Roll Call -- Visitors to this thread are mainly based where (as it pertains to viewing schedule)? (519 member(s) have cast votes)

UK Viewer or US Viewer?

  1. UK (252 votes [47.91%])

    Percentage of vote: 47.91%

  2. US (274 votes [52.09%])

    Percentage of vote: 52.09%

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#31

jkenney

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Posted Sep 22, 2008 @ 6:05 PM

Nuallain - I don't think pre-Geoffrey of Monmouth legends about Arthur (which are very vague and generally lack detail) can really be considered to be part of the "Matter of Britain" as it's generally understood - they are forerunners to it. Except maybe for some Welsh stuff, the earliest stuff about Arthur also, from what I can gather, includes neither Merlin nor Uther at all, so it's hard to say that this is could be the basis for a story about Merlin.

As to the sword in the stone, and such, from what I can gather you're right that this did not appear in Geoffrey. But from what I can gather, the sword in the stone legend is not much younger than Geoffrey - it comes from Robert de Boron, who was in the late 12th/early 13th century, seemingly - only a few generations younger than Geoffrey, and several hundred years before Malory codified the legend.

I suppose that there's so many different versions of the legend that it's silly to take Malory's version as in some sense "canonical," but the particularly distant versions of the legend often seem to have little to do with the actual legend - I'm looking at you, Clive Owen and Keira Knightley.
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#32

Dragonet

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Posted Sep 23, 2008 @ 11:31 AM

I read somewhere that 'the sword in the stone' was mistranslated, and was actually taken from a Saxon.
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#33

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Posted Sep 23, 2008 @ 11:44 AM

Oh, I'm not denying that there are lots and lots of different versions and interpretations of Arthurian legend and that large chunks of it were undoubtedly invented wholesale by Chretien de Troyes. But is just seems like the BBC have kiddified it, ignored what grown-ups know or have read about it and made it something kids will like. Which I don't object to in and of itself, but it just seems sad that they couldn't have taken the period jkenney mentioned and based it then. It just seems like they wanted it all; young pretty Merlin and young pretty Arthur at the same time, regardless of how odd this might seem to the vast majority of folk who know anything about the legends.

I suppose I'm just not the target audience and should probably shut up,

Edited by TartanTart, Sep 23, 2008 @ 11:45 AM.

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#34

D.C.

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Posted Sep 23, 2008 @ 8:12 PM

Well, at least it's had the bonus effect of making me want to reread L'Morte D'Arthur. I read the first Penguin volume a few years ago but have forgotten most of it, and never really got started with the second. But I don't remember Merlin appearing in what I read.
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#35

Dragonet

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Posted Sep 27, 2008 @ 2:57 PM

You'd think an episode featuring one attractive young man dressing and undressing another attractive young man would have more HoYay in it. Le sigh. Not that there was a complete dearth, mind, but...
Never mind me. I'm a Heroes girl. I'm spoiled.
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#36

Savage2003

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Posted Sep 27, 2008 @ 5:03 PM

I'm actually really glad that I wasn't one of the people who dismissed Will Mellor before seeing the episode, sorry they killed him.

Anthony Head is going very Lionel Luthor in his Uther, and he's pulling it off, well done sir.

Morgana was much more of an actual person tonight, I was worried they didn't know how to use her, but obviously they just didn't have time to set her up properly first episode.

Liked it much better now that the setting up has been accomplised, next week Michelle Ryan as the ubervillan, bring it!
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#37

Dana S

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Posted Sep 27, 2008 @ 5:20 PM

Anthony Head is going very Lionel Luthor in his Uther

Luther?

I missed this week's episode (6 pm is too early for me!), does anyone know if there are some repeats on BBC1 or BBC2 later in the week?

Edited by Dana S, Sep 27, 2008 @ 5:29 PM.

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#38

Lazlo

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Posted Sep 27, 2008 @ 6:16 PM

I liked this episode a lot more than the first, partly because we got to see more of Morgana (go Katie!), we got to see a (slightly) better side to Arthur and we got to see Merlin perform magic other than telekinesis. Very good all round.

Interesting that Morgana has had no real (knowing) interaction with Merlin yet - the only main character who hasn't. I wonder how that 'first' meeting will play out. Is she even aware of his existence?

Not so fond of the earlier time - I go to the movies on Saturday afternoons, so it interferes with my schedule a bit.

Edited by Lazlo, Sep 28, 2008 @ 6:34 AM.

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#39

Paul O Regan

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Posted Sep 27, 2008 @ 6:36 PM

Dana S, it's repeated tomorrow at 3:25 PM. Though if 6 PM is too early for you, that probably won't be much help.
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#40

Ganymedeone

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Posted Sep 28, 2008 @ 3:16 AM

Anthony Head is going very Lionel Luthor in his Uther, and he's pulling it off, well done sir.

So true, that. With Merlin as Clark, Morgana Lana, Gwen Chloe, and the dragon as Jor-El! In fact, midway through the episode I realized that if I stopped thinking of the cast in terms of Arthurian legend, the story is quite entertaining. Some nice use of magic throughout, as well as fleshing out some of the characters. And the relationship Merthur was well played.
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#41

Dragonet

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Posted Sep 28, 2008 @ 4:23 AM

Really? I thought the magic was a little inconsistant. Sure, it is nice that he's no longer just telekinetic, but he suddenly needed an incantation to use his telekinesis, and the thing with the dog? How does that make sense? Presumably the sheild was already enchanted, unlike the dog, so surely it would take a different kind of magic to enchant an object than to make use of one that is already magic.
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#42

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Posted Sep 28, 2008 @ 5:47 AM

Morgana Lana


*Shudder*

Please no! I'm friends with Morgana's actress, and the thought that she could end up anything like Lana is too horrifying to contemplate.

Dragonet, I guess I would see the enchantment used in creating the shield as actually being the same spell Merlin casts with the stone dog; every time Valiant ordered his snakes to attack he was simply re-triggering the spell.

As for the incantation I consider it an example of his growing knowledge. Merlin performs much more complex acts of telekinesis in this episode without having to keep concentrating. I see his telekinesis as simply his untrained use of magic seeping out. Access to codified magic in books allows him to refine it. Presumably casting a normal spell takes less effort and allows a higher degree of control than using raw magic.

It is a little like a singer; the singer has a naturally gifted voice that can still do some impressive things without training. With training and knowledge he can project that voice in a more controlled manner doing things he couldn't do earlier no matter how much he drove his voice. I see the magic on this show as being similar.
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#43

Dragonet

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Posted Sep 28, 2008 @ 2:38 PM

Well, the second part makes sense, although a mention of it in the show would have been nice if that were the idea. The sheild, though. Why is it the same spell? There are so many differences. In addition to the above-mentioned, it took Merlin, a natural wizard (and there's another thing that annoys me: they called him a warlock, which actually means oath-breaker) many, many tries to work the spell, while Dude from Two Pints worked it easily, and Merlin had no control over the dog. The sheild thing was supposed to be just an invocation, a summoning that could be performed by the bearer and the bearer alone. I don't know why it worked on a random statue, or why it worked differently.
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#44

John Potts

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Posted Sep 28, 2008 @ 3:50 PM

I'm sorry, I just can't deal with Merlin being younger than Arthur. Arthur being a jerk - that I can live with, provided he matures over time.

I only caught the end of Episode 2, but I thought the Dark Knight was a complete idiot - when your shield starts exuding magical snakes, going "Arthur, you're dead now!" is stupid - even if you won, you've just admitted to killing the King's son using illegal magic. Could he really hold off all of King Uther's men once he was revealed as Evil? He should have accused Merlin (who was standing about five yards from him at the time!) of working an enchantment upon his shield (it was even sort of true), which would have got Merlin into trouble. Maybe he really was just a brainless thug.
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#45

Dragonet

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Posted Sep 28, 2008 @ 5:43 PM

Apparantly Merlin can turn himself invisible, and TPTB just forgot to show the audience that, because the same thing happened last week with Not-Gwen.
Anyway, I think DfTP had given up on surviving, and just wanted to do as much damage as possible on his way out. I don't know why the guards didn't jump in, though, having seen proof of cheating, and I think I missed the part where Arthur lost his sword in the first place. I'm not clear on what the big deal is about Morgana throwing him the sword, either, except as a shipping thing. He was about to be murdered, and he had no tools with which to prevent this, so she handed him one. Big deal.
Their whole relationship is just... what? I mean, I don't know much about the social habits of normal teenagers, so I can't judge how accurate it is for them, but I doubt a Prince and a - I'm not sure what Morgana's title is supposed to be, but she's definitely important - would dare treat each other like that, especially in public. If either of their fathers wanted to make something of it, there could be a serious disruption in the workings of the kingdom.
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#46

TheLabRat

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Posted Sep 28, 2008 @ 10:36 PM

I know, I know, Arthurian legend is mutable at best, but this is just a step too far from anything I know of it to be able to take it seriously. I would have quite liked seeing Merlin come of age in a society with magic secret, knowing that all the actual Arthurian stuff was to come in his Dragon-endorsed destiny. I'm sure kids will love it, but it's just a bit too fast and loose with what I already know and enjoy about the story. I'm an old fart, sue me.


For the most part I can look past everything except for one; the seeming pairing of Morgana and Arthur. Because they are siblings for crying out loud. OK, OK the show decided that they are siblings only by way of being raised by the same man. And the legends have that whole they had a kid together in spite of being half-siblings thing in them (which I quite like the Mists of Avalon's take on since I've always thought the Morgana was The!Evul stuff seemed like anti-chick inspired weirdness anyway). But in the first episode when Morgana was going on about how Arthur hadn't asked her to the party I just kept thinking, "that's because it's inappropriate to intentionally date your half-sister."

But still, I quite liked it, if for no other reason than that if I were 10 I would be harassing my mother to get us home on time to watch it. The lead certainly is a charismatic young thing, isn't he? I swear that grin could cure cancer.

I'll just push the I believe button and go with it I guess. Good clean silly fun. Curious to see how Guinevere goes from maid to queen though.

Edited by TheLabRat, Sep 28, 2008 @ 10:36 PM.

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#47

Ganymedeone

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Posted Sep 28, 2008 @ 10:43 PM

If either of their fathers wanted to make something of it, there could be a serious disruption in the workings of the kingdom.

From what I gather, since Morgana's Uther's ward, and Arthur is Uther's son, they are close to being siblings (minus the blood tie), which might be a tie-in with Arthurian legend. Perhaps more word on what happened to Morgana's parents (were they killed in a meteor storm, for example) will be forthcoming, as well as the fate of Arthur's mother. In most legends I've read Morgana and Arthur shared a mother, but that's clearly not the case here, making them available for dating. As far as social norms go, though, they seem only to apply to Merlin thus far, and mostly when Arthur's a tad peeved at him.
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#48

Nuallain

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Posted Sep 29, 2008 @ 2:24 AM

It certainly wouldn't have been uncommon in medieval times for someone to be 'adopted' explicitly to keep their lineage close to the family and their marriage into your blood line arranged at an older age. There was a difference from today where being someone's adopted guardian and being their father were seen as very different things.

Plus, Morgana's status in this seems (like a lot of other things) to tie in closer to the 12th century legend rather than Morte d'Arthur. In that version she's part of Arthur's family by adoption, they don't hook up, she's not the mother of Mordred and, in fact, she's one of the goodies.
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#49

Dragonet

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Posted Sep 29, 2008 @ 6:40 AM

From what I gather, since Morgana's Uther's ward, and Arthur is Uther's son, they are close to being siblings (minus the blood tie), which might be a tie-in with Arthurian legend.


Oh, I see. I'll back off that, then, although it really does put more of a sibling vibe on their relationship than a shippy one. To be honest, I'm not paying all that much attention.

(were they killed in a meteor storm, for example)

Lol. C'mon, she's not that bad. Knock on wood.

I'm just waiting for her to start learning magic.
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#50

Nuallain

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Posted Sep 29, 2008 @ 8:41 AM

I guess there has to be a shippy element to it since Morgana said in episode one that she believes the only reason Uther adopted her was to ultimately arrange a marriage with Arthur. It's actually kind of an anti-ship since Morgana and Arthur both seem to be against the idea.
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#51

Lazlo

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Posted Sep 29, 2008 @ 11:46 AM

(were they killed in a meteor storm, for example)


Hey! What has poor Morgana done to deserve being grouped next to Lana (or alternatively what has Katie McGrath done to be grouped next to Kristin Kreuk)? Grrr....

Personally I imagine they are setting the brother/sister thing up for the big reveal, which is why we won't see anything beyond a Luke/Leia degree of kissing, if that.
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#52

Dana S

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Posted Sep 29, 2008 @ 12:47 PM

Yeah, I wasn't sure if I was supposed to see Arthur and Morgana as brother-and-sister or as love interests either. I quite liked their banter, though. I have a feeling we're gonna get triangles of both Guinevere/Merlin/Morgana and Merlin/Morgana/Arthur, don't know why.

You'd think an episode featuring one attractive young man dressing and undressing another attractive young man would have more HoYay in it.

Oh, I thought there was plenty.
- During their sword fight in the beginning, Arthur slapped Merlin's ass with his sword. (sadly, not a euphemism.)
- As you say, Merlin dressing and undressing Arthur.
- Merlin watches Arthur. Gaius: is it my imagination or are you...enjoying yourself? HEE.
- Dragon about Arthur (& Merlin) : One half cannot hate the other half that makes him whole. AWW.
- "You can buy me a drink" If that's not asking someone out for a date, I don't know what is. Especially with the reply: I can't be seen..."buying drinks" with a servant.

In all seriousness, I really like the not-quite friendship between Merlin and Arthur. Merlin is clearly still just a servant, not A Special Chosen One who can get away with anything, but Arthur does trust him.

Also, am I the only one who appreciated how very pale Morgana looked when she sat in the crowd at the duels? After seeing that I started noticing that none of the "royals" have a tan. After years of seeing only tanned people on television, I expected this part of history to be overlooked.
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#53

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Posted Sep 29, 2008 @ 1:13 PM

Also, am I the only one who appreciated how very pale Morgana looked when she sat in the crowd at the duels? After seeing that I started noticing that none of the "royals" have a tan. After years of seeing only tanned people on television, I expected this part of history to be overlooked.


Katie's that pale in real life, though it is certainly helped by her hair - she is naturally sandy brown and the dark red colouring really changes her look and makes her paleness much more vivid.

Interesting to compare her with Anne in The Tudors - Natalie Dormer was quite tanned I recall.

Edited by Lazlo, Sep 29, 2008 @ 1:31 PM.

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#54

D.C.

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Posted Sep 30, 2008 @ 12:35 AM

I'm just waiting for her to start learning magic.

I got the impression from her dream in this episode and from the previews of next week that she's already got some under her belt, she just hasn't blatantly used it in Camelot yet.
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#55

Dragonet

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Posted Sep 30, 2008 @ 6:53 AM

Ooh, I missed the sword thing. Thanks, Dana. And I did say there was some. It's just I'm used to Heroes levels. Oh, and the break-up scene was pretty slashy too. And the whole "please come home, the place is a mess" - Merlin is Arthur's wife. Also, they live in the fifties, but still.

D.C., you're right. That and her reaction to the execution in the first ep suggest that she knows she has magic, but I don't think she's started actively learning it yet.

RE the lack of tans, that's one thing that confuses me about the actress playing Gwen. The token minority thing doesn't really apply to Camolot.
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#56

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Posted Oct 4, 2008 @ 7:24 PM

Well, that wasn't Morgana acting as the sorceress after all. It was somebody else, played Michelle Ryan, who is the spitting image of Morgana. I assume they made the two actresses up like that on purpose?
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#57

Dragonet

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Posted Oct 5, 2008 @ 4:23 AM

I think I spoke too soon. I'm warming up to Gwen/Merlin. Well, I think Gwen's crush is cute, anyway. Although, did anyone else see some Gwen/Morgana?
I'm still not buying that it's reciprocated, mostly because of the whole thing with Arthur loudly proclaiming that it was so. It was clear he didn't believe it for a second (which, may I say, is so slashy). If this show went in for subtlety, I'd say Arthur knew about Merlin's magic, knew he was telling the truth, and didn't care. Again, slashy.
Morgana and Arthur are still giving me more of a sibling vibe than anything else. It doesn't squick me out, but it does mean I can't buy them as a couple.
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#58

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Posted Oct 5, 2008 @ 5:05 AM

I don't care how badly Uther supposedly wants to protect his kingdom from magic and sorcery, etc....he so far has NO redeeming value, and any allegiance anyone shows to him reflects poorly on their character. Aside from the illogic throughout the episode, I quite liked the character bits between Merlin, Arthur, and Morgana. Arthur defending Merlin was cute (and, yes, slashy), as well as his appointing himself to search his manservant's private room, and pointing out Merlin's sloppiness. A little sparkage in those scenes. The scene with Morgana and Arthur WAS way more siblinglike than I think the show was going for, and I wondered whether Merlin going to Arthur himself would have worked as well? But, then, Merlin might have actually had to provide a plan, which he didn't seem to have. Also, Arthur could have been more consistent with Morgana in the caves. First, you tell her to hang back to be safe,and then you think ythe three of you should split up? Not sure how that works, other than making the three of you individually less safe. Morgana's shared 'secret' with Merlin was a let down. I thought she might admit to some dabbling herself, but no such luck. I liked Gwen a lot, but her situation just made me more angry at Uther. And I do wish that, since Merlin had come up with a cure for Gwen's father, that he and Gaius might have pout their heads together and made a cure in their CSI:Camelot lab.
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#59

Dragonet

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Posted Oct 5, 2008 @ 9:49 AM

Morgana's shared 'secret' with Merlin was a let down.

Yeah. The whole 'talking about two completely different things' thing is such a cliche. Also, a lot of the lines didn't quite make sense in the context of Merlin/Gwen rather than magic.
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#60

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Posted Oct 5, 2008 @ 11:18 AM

I don't care how badly Uther supposedly wants to protect his kingdom from magic and sorcery, etc....he so far has NO redeeming value, and any allegiance anyone shows to him reflects poorly on their character.



In fairness to the characters allegiance to Uther, Arthur is his son and Morgana is his step-daughter so they will have a bit of emotional baggage involved with confronting him. Gauis, I assume feels his talents can do more good at court than elsewhere. Merlin and Gwen don't seem to show him any particular allegiance.

I wasn't especially pleased with the shared secret either, but I am glad that at least we have had Morgana and Merlin interact (for the first time?).

Well, that wasn't Morgana acting as the sorceress after all. It was somebody else, played Michelle Ryan, who is the spitting image of Morgana. I assume they made the two actresses up like that on purpose?


Yes... I am wondering if they are planning on making Nimueh her real mother.

Interestingly I have just checked and see that Michelle Ryan is only 24, making her younger than Katie McGrath.
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