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The One where I meta again

I'm so scatter-brained, I nearly forgot about the Merlin the Elf assignments so hence frantic typing commenced to make today's deadline. As always, the result could have used more work and I'm not completely satisfied with the characterization but hopefully my poor recipient won't be too disappointed. Sigh.

Also, since yesterday I didn't get around to it.

There wasn't really much or anything in the way of Merlin/Arthur here - and this might have been the first episode where you can say that - but it wasn't a bad episode at all. Nice side effect of liking the side characters as well. :)

Incidentally, someone referred to the slash dragon as an extreme shipper who takes to bashing all other characters beside his OTP. And that cracked me up.

For some reason I especially liked the way they played the theme music during the graveside scene. It had something beautifully haunting. Quite fitting if Arthur and Merlin ever chose to embrace each other in a lovely, outdoor scenery. *cough*

The Philosopher's Stone, eh? Or rather the Mage Stone. Did Rowling get a copyright on the name? Because that wouldn't be right.


Also, since we have our big Finale next week - sniff and also TRAILER!ZOMG! - I wanted to do something different and write up some mini-metas for each of the main cast (and I mean mini, I'm not gonna write long-ass essays about 6 frigging people) of all the episodes so far. So, here we go.




Merlin himself probably is one of the character who hasn't changed terribly much which is interesting since he is the main character. Sure, he has learned more about magic, his own and the magical world per se. He has made friends and enemies alike. But his core personality seems intact, still a little naive, a little innocent, eager to help those in need and fight injustice, unhappy he has to do it in secrecy and still mostly of a cheerful mind. I guess his one big change was something we didn't really witness, when he set out from his village for an uncertain future in Camelot.

His potentially "darkest" moments so far have been a willingness to let a young boy be killed because he wasn't ready to potentially trade Arthur's life for it in the future. The other would be last episode's crisis of faith where he seemed almost ready to have Uther be sacrificed so magic could roam free again. In both cases, he wrestled with it and in both cases it needed a little outside prompting to change his mind.

I specifically left out his first kill or subsequent ones because the way Merlin never made a big deal of it, leads me to thinking it isn't that big a deal. Both were instances of self defense or a defense of others and the guy does live in medieval times. Which were harsh. People back then probably had a different outlook on such matters back then.

Arthur on the other hand has changed greatly if we look at his introduction in the Pilot. Which made me go "oh boy, it's gonna be a long Season - ha - with that prat". Then again, his pratish side hasn't vanished, it's more like another side or more precisely the things under the surface have been revealed. He shows great care and concern for his people, great dedication to his duty but also still the arrogance of youth and his status as a Prince.

Still, the show takes care to show some noticeably differences to Uther. In episode 2 Arthur himself says that Uther will never apologize to him - didn't completely stay true but he has a point - yet he immediately apologizes to Merlin for doing him wrong. And while Arthur clearly longs for his father's love and appreciation, he has a breaking point. Usually he disobeyes by bending the rules somewhat, for example riding out to get Merlin his cure or arguing on Morgana's behalf but refusing to give the order to stop food delivery to the starving people was possibly the first ever taking a stand.

You can see the seeds of the future King Arthur in him but I have to agree with Gaius, he is not there yet.

Morgana This show's Morgana intrigues me because while she is firmly one of the good guys, there is still often a hint of ruthlessness and the potential for darkness in her, none so obvious as in this episode. But it makes her a cross between Morgan Le Fay - the evil sorceress - and Morgana of say the "Mists of Avalon" adaption.

We got some backstory on her. Apparent they kept it intact that Gorlois of Cornwall was her father, though obviously he was a subject of Uther, not his own King. And Uther pretty much pulled a Picard on her Dad and then Wesley'd her in his care. She has developed a kind of sibling relationship with occasional flirting with Arthur. And like Merlin, from early on, Morgana has shown to want to fight for the little people. And often enough the magical people. Though like Merlin she has more reason to do so than others because while it's unclear how much she is aware of her powers, she is aware somewhat.

Unlike Merlin however I can see Morgana crossing certain lines easier. After all, she almost did in this episode. Maybe she is kind of a Proto-Nimueh at this point which would be quite tragic because Nimueh is downright evil now and if she once was a thourough good guy, that is a regrettable fall.

Gwen Another character who probably didn't change too much over the course of the show. She, too, is someone who likes to help people but isn't as passionate as Merlin or Morgana about it, neither in the good nor in the bad way. While she has a backbone when it's necessary, she is clearly more of a follower, more innocent in that she won't cross certain lines, not even be tempted to. That makes her somewhat unique of all the characters as she provide a peaceful, calming influence for everybody else's more passionate nature.

Uther often plays a villanous role in the show, but isn't solely the evil tyrant either. Remember, Merlin's motherr from that other kingdom made it out that their king is a shit who doesn't give a damn about his people. Whereas I totally believe Uther when he said he would have sent soldiers if only the village was iin his territory. Gaius also confirms that the people are mostly happy and prospering under Uther.

The one area where the man sees no reason is magic, even to the point of getting violent with those he loves like Morgana here. Yet he seems to appreciate her trying to challenge him on moral authorities in theory, maybe in memoriam of her father doing so. But you can bet dollars and donuts that once the big, evil M-word is spoken, Uther will once again be blind to anything and everything. I guess in some way it's lucky for Arthur that Uther didn't focus his need for revenge over Igraine on the baby but instead Nimueh and her magic. Therefore, Morgana is right when she says he continues to make enemies of them all, all the main characters have betrayed him on the matter of magic at least one time or another. Even Arthur with the druid boy.

His relationship with both his "children" is complex. He loves them but only shows it small, precious moments. Still, I for one, am glad he hasn't yet been killed off and I'd hope they put this off for some time to come because the dynamic would change so much with King Arthur and I want a bit of the "early years" still.

Gaius who provides the "good" fatherly/mentor figure to Merlin - and unlike Bo Kent he even likes Lex, äh Arthur. He lets himself ruled by caution, science and the wisdom of age though he clearly is a very empathic man. It's apparent that his loyalty towards Uther came at a price at doing things he wasn't content with in the past. But he is probably too rational to dwell on things he can't change though maybe hiding and helping Merlin is a way of atonement for him.

Comments

( 14 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )
blackpanther07
Dec. 8th, 2008 12:04 am (UTC)
Ok I have heard several things about Merlin and would like to watch it, will you tell me what channel it is on and what day, plez?
astri13
Dec. 8th, 2008 12:10 am (UTC)
It's a British show actually, airs on BBC Saturdays at 7.30

NBC bought the right to it and was supposed to air it beginning February next year on Sundays but latest news don't show it on the schedule.

I think most US and non-British folks aquire it through other channels. :) If you get somehow get your hands on it, you should give it a try. It may be kind of cheesy but extremely slashy too.

blackpanther07
Dec. 8th, 2008 12:21 am (UTC)
I get BBCA which I think is BBC america right? it has Dr who and torchwood, ect.
astri13
Dec. 8th, 2008 12:25 am (UTC)
Oh, I didn't know there was a channel like this. Merlin would have probably occassionally landed there but now since NBC bought the damn right, even if sit on them, it might not. Networks are so stupid.
kuhekabir
Dec. 8th, 2008 08:40 am (UTC)
sorry to butt in ... lol ... but from what i know bbca does air the uk shows but usually later than they are in the uk...and since nbc bought the rights to merlin, i dont know if they will air it all...
nachekana
Dec. 8th, 2008 12:43 am (UTC)
Imagine that, for once, I've seen the episode before reading your review! *gasps*

I liked it, even with the (almost) total absence of Arthur/Merlin moments. Though the longing look that Arthur sends in Merlin's direction after being mean with him was quite something... :)

I think Morgana is an interesting character, but she is so freaking intense that she scares me. I can see her go dark side without a problem. Even with good intentions.

For the first time, Uther really scared me too. So far, of course, I had seen the bad father and the bit too strict King but with this episode, I really saw the tyran. *shivers*

TRAILER!ZOMG!

ZOMG indeed!!! I can't wait!!!

I 100% agree with everything you wrote in your mini-metas. Especially this:

You can see the seeds of the future King Arthur in him but I have to agree with Gaius, he is not there yet.

astri13
Dec. 8th, 2008 12:52 am (UTC)
Imagine that, for once, I've seen the episode before reading your review! *gasps*

Hehe, probably because my review is a day late. *g*

I think Morgana is an interesting character, but she is so freaking intense that she scares me. I can see her go dark side without a problem. Even with good intentions.

Yeah, that girl's passions run hot, too hot probably.

For the first time, Uther really scared me too. So far, of course, I had seen the bad father and the bit too strict King but with this episode, I really saw the tyran. *shivers*

And then again, he was so emotionally open there with Morgana at the end. Oh Uther, what to do with you?

I guess he would be a great king if he didn't yell execution every time someone said "magic".

Also, it's kind of hilarious that he executes people (well, that's not hilarious of course) who have given room and board to a sorcerer or basically anybody who spoke to a sorcerer. Hey Uther, who ever invited Edwin the sorcerer to a permanent stint in Camelot? Was it maybe you?

Also if Merlin's secret comes out, the whole city of Camelot is dead by those rules. And I bet you Arthur will be the first because he let a sorcerer sleep in his bed. *g*
nachekana
Dec. 8th, 2008 01:06 am (UTC)
Also, it's kind of hilarious that he executes people (well, that's not hilarious of course) who have given room and board to a sorcerer or basically anybody who spoke to a sorcerer. Hey Uther, who ever invited Edwin the sorcerer to a permanent stint in Camelot? Was it maybe you?

AHAHAHAH Please, don't remind him of that, he'll be able to get himself executed!

And I bet you Arthur will be the first because he let a sorcerer sleep in his bed. *g*

LMAO So so true. My flatmate doesn't watch Merlin but I wanted to show her something (Ok, I had just said that I would tap Arthur's ass if I had the occasion and she wanted to know what he looked like so I was looking for a good scene to show her...) so I picked the scene in the previous episode where Arthur is getting dressed in his room and Merlin is cleaning near the unmade bed. And her first reaction was: "Did they just sleep together?"

THAT comes from someone who isn't into slash and doesn't even watch the show. I'm just saying.
astri13
Dec. 8th, 2008 12:59 pm (UTC)
And her first reaction was: "Did they just sleep together?"

THAT comes from someone who isn't into slash and doesn't even watch the show. I'm just saying.


Bwahahha. The show, it's so obvious. I love it. *g*
kuhekabir
Dec. 8th, 2008 08:40 am (UTC)
i so love this show *hugs*
astri13
Dec. 8th, 2008 01:00 pm (UTC)
Yes, it's just so charming and funny, it never fails to leave me with a huge, goofy grin on my face.

Okay, maybe next week will be the exception. *wibble*
leelust
Dec. 9th, 2008 07:05 am (UTC)
Man, Morgana in this last ep! She scared me but she was so awesome. I really didn't mind less Arthur in the ep cos i just had no time to notice it :)
astri13
Dec. 10th, 2008 12:55 pm (UTC)
She scared me but she was so awesome. I really didn't mind less Arthur in the ep cos i just had no time to notice it :)

Hehe, I always mind less Arthur but not so much like in other shows where I only like one or two characters and when they aren't on, I'm bored. Merlin is a really good ensemble cast.
leelust
Dec. 10th, 2008 02:26 pm (UTC)
Oy, you know, i don't fangirl this show and don't ship anyone so for me it's just matter of entertainment - whether i was interesting to see the story or not. This last ep was interesting to watch.
( 14 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )