Hello, Merlin Fans,
I have set myself on a quest, a quest to, over the next few months, watch every episode of Merlin all over again.
However, I am afraid I must bore you from time to time with my musings, comments, rantings and ravings, and of course share with you all my happy memories. Don’t worry, it won’t be every day, or week!
And what better way to start than with the first episode of season one. It’s forever imprinted on my mind, and I’m sure on yours too, that very first scene where you see a hill and Merlin appears with his backpack and sleeping mat, and there on the horizon we see the white crenellated towers of Camelot. And what a great first impression he got, our young Merlin, for the first thing he sees upon entering Camelot is the beheading of a sorcerer. That look on his face as he realises he is a sorcerer too, and that man with his head on the block could very well be him!
Another thing that struck me was that the character of Arthur was not yet fully formed, they (director? writers? Bradley himself?) were still searching, and they found the character in episode two, where you see a different Arthur.
Last question: does anybody know where his friends from that first episode went? We have never seen them again.
A few days later I watched episode two: Valiant, and it truly is a magnificent episode, not in the least by that most wonderful of spectacles: the tourney! Oh, what joy it is to see all those knights in their awesome and mouth-watering armour, showing their skills and prowess. It gladdens my heart and rejoices my soul!
There is, however, one rather strange occurrence in this episode: Merlin is supposed to hide his magic at all times, no-one must know lest Uther has him killed. Why then, oh why, why, why, does Gaius shout:”Merlin, are you using magic again?” as he enters his chambers, and leaving the door open! Gaius, a word please: shouting things about Merlin using magic, whilst leaving the door open so all can hear you, is not, I repeat NOT, the best way of keeping Merlin’s magic a secret!
And so my quest continues… A few nights ago I watched episode the fourth, and what a great episode it was! Poor, poor Merlin, all dressed up in the “ceremonial robes” of Camelot with the most ridiculous headwear I’ve ever seen! And Arthur was having so much fun with Merlin’s discomfort, I’m sure he planned it all beforehand.
But then Merlin fell gravely ill… all thanks to the machinations of Nimueh who was trying to kill him. (Fact File: in the Arthurian mythology it is Nimueh who seduces, and later imprisons, Merlin. She puts him in a cave of tree, from which he can never escape.) Wonderful, outstanding acting by Colin Morgan!
And wasn’t Arthur great: going on rather a dangerous mission to save Merlin? (Or, as Uther likes to call him: “that servant, easily replaced”.) That is a far cry from the Arthur we see in the first episode!
One thing was a bit odd: Arthur kills the cockatrice by throwing his sword at him, and it was quite a distance. In the next scene, a mere second later, his sword is in his sheath again… Now, either Arthur very, very quickly retrieved his sword, cleaned it and put it back, or we have what we call a “continuity error”. But does it matter? Not really. Come to think of it, Arthur might have been carrying two swords… What do you think?
(Fact File: this was the spell used by Gaius to make the morteaus flower into an antidote to cure Merlin:
“Seópan ærest wearð feasceaft. Denum æfter dom. Dreamleas gebad he gewann langsum.”
It translates a bit like this: “I boil this first in liquid to protect you from this wretched spreading, this judgement will be discharged, I want you to conquer this protracted sadness.”)
That’s it so far. We will talk again soon!