That's the thing, we don't know about their relationship but only got to see that she was willing to go to war because of her husband's death. One might think that maybe she was grieving and had a healthy relationship with her husband because otherwise such drastic actions would not really fit - unless we would see some more of her and would know what kind of person she is. If the audience knew her better, they would know if she was doing it out of grief or out of pride or maybe because she was just in the mood for a little war because she doesn't like Arthur or whatever. Alas, we don't know and we can only judge from what we get to see. And what we got to see was a queen who lost her husband and who wanted justice and maybe revenge. Going to war, dark ages or not, was not just a descision someone made while drinking some tea and combing their hair. War is war and it takes a lot of efforts and ressources and is always a great danger and risk to everyone. The queen had a reason and from what we saw, it was the death of her husband. And for that, it was much too quick for her to forgive the killer of her husband in such a friendly way. Withdrawal and peace to save thousands of lives is one thing, putting some kind of a halo above his head was a little implausible. It would have been absolutely logical and credible if someone else had executed Carleon and Arthur then taking responsibility. That would have been a great story. To show that he still makes mistakes and makes the wrong descisions, it would have been enough to show him sentencing a magical being, a witch or a sorcerer to death. This would also have been acceptable when comparing him to his father.
As for comparing Morgana to Uther, there were similarities in the first 2 seasons but now there is nothing left that could compare one to another. Being bitter and seeking revenge doesn't make them equal in their actions and thoughts. Again, Uther was at peace with Carleon's kingdom. Morgana wants war, no matter the consequences. Moreover, she has no real reason for being that crazy and full of hate. She might have a reason to disagree with Arthur, although she has never really tried to make him her ally. She also might have a reason to dislike her father for what he had done to others but her total rage and hatred still doesn't make sense.
I agree, Sparklingwater. I really liked Annis, she had authority and charisma, also the necessary wisdom despite her descision to go to war due to her grief, but she was too quick in forgiving the executioner of her husband. One can call off a war and make a peace treaty without forgiving and most of all without glorifying the killer. That is what she did. I don't need to see people full of anger and revenge, therefore it actually was a good thing that she came to an agreement with Arthur. Yeah, I like happy endings It was just not convincing and much too simple. Arthur didn't do anything to deserve her friendship. Her respect perhaps but not her friendly attitude. I can assure you, if anyone killed my husband or any other family member or friend of mine, I wouldn't call them someone who gives me hope. Sorry, I find that just plain ridiculous. By the way, if Uther had done that, everyone would have demonised him for that instantly. I bet if it had been him, queen Annis would have tried to quarter him and lay Camelot in ashes, no matter if he went to their camp and asked for forgiveness. I can't see a logical or comprehensible reason why Arthur could go away with what he did by earning a compliment in the end.
Hey, Arthur killed King Carleon, let's get over it, life is so good! Morgana killed her father, let's get over it, it's not so bad! A bit too simple, isn't it?
I wouldn't be surprised if one day the devil showed up, destroying the world and then someone saying "well, you act exactly like Uther".... Or maybe an asteroid falls down on earth and then everyone says "hey, this is Uther's fault!"
Wait a minute... does that mean he isn't the devil? Seriously, I agree with you. I got that feeling too.
I think you have a great point about modern sensibilities. Nevertheless, this is a sanitized version of the legend, and a true depiction of that era would not be appropriate in a family show. I do have a problem with the way Arthur was portrayed in this episode. It seems to me completely out of character. We should remember that the advice he followed was not given because it was the right thing to do, but in the hope of ensuring his destruction.
I agree, JJuna. We are not watching Camelot or King Arthur (the movie) but Merlin. Kings and queens did a lot more cruel and horrifying things back then, even Uther was a saint and cuddle bear compared to them, but this is not what Merlin used to be about. Comparing the circumstances in the dark ages or the middle age to our today's society probably would give us the willies and scare the cr*** out of us. But Merlin has never been a show that wanted to show us how terrible and horrible the dark ages were, on the contrary. Arthur DID act out of character. Although I agree that he was always easy to be influenced and often just watched what wrongs his father did (it took Gwen to open his eyes in The Witchfinder), he also often stood up against actions that he did not agree with. If he is willing to disobey his father when Uther raises the taxes (Beauty and the Beast) then he surely is able to deny executing an unarmed man kneeling before him. Excuse me, what Arthur did was not completely out of line, it was cowardly and infamous. And that is not the Arthur we know. He makes mistakes, he didn't always act right, he can be an arrogant pain in the butt but he is not a cold blooded killer, wether it was accurate for the real dark ages or not.
Yes, he was ruthless and fickle. It was also surprising that he got over it just so. Killing someone in a battle is something different than executing an unarmed man that already was in his pocket and under his control. What's more, I wonder why none of the other knights protested. It's not very noble to kill someone in cold blood. The only one who was at his right senses in this situation was Merlin and I find it hard to believe that suddenly everyone seemed to be under hypnosis or something just because Agravaine whispered words of evil...
I didn't have a problem with Arthur's character development in this episode. Carleon was the aggressor and he and Annis would have known what the consequences were if/when he was captured. Of course Uther would have either killed him or declared war on the spot, he may not have even offered him a treaty - not that he would have let it get that far - he'd have attacked when that first village was taken.
And what makes you think that when, as already mentioned, Uther was always cautious not to risk a war, even when someone tried to kill his own son (by the wy, it was Arthur who said that reacting to Odin wouldn't be the right thing and then Uther agreed. So where was his wisdom now in regard to Carleon?). Uther had always been well aware of the fact that things would cause reactions, meaning that by killing a king, a war would be the result. He never wanted war. We could see it very well when the other kings arrived in Camelot for peace treaty. I'm sure Uther would not have killed Carleon but would have thought of another solution. Not out of love and kindness but out of pragmatical reasons. Let alone that due to his point of view of nobility and traditions, killing an unarmed (non-magical) man would be beneath him. Despite all the "Uther is ruthless" sayings, he wasn't a war mongerer and peace was more important to him than anything else concerning Camelot.
Not that any of that would never have happened as Uther himself was the ultimate deterrant. His neighbours, be they allies or enemies, knew how ruthless he was and the 'peace' that Camelot has enjoyed these last twenty five years has always balanced on a knife edge of fear. The only way Uther could have 'united' Albion was through war, Arthur will do it another way
As for keeping peace because he was feared, Uther was ruthless towards those who practiced magic but not, as far as we know, towards other kingdoms. It's not that all the kings loved each other or were super best friends ever, and of course, since Camelot obviously was the strongest kingdom, there were those who would have loved to conquer it (like Cenred, for example), but it was Uther who managed to lead Camelot into peace, who wanted to keep peace and who did not attack other kingdoms. That's why there was peace between Camelot and Carleon's kingdom and I wonder why Arthur thought he could kill a King without any consequences.
I can't agree with queen Annis' last sentence towards Morgana. As Sparklingwater wrote, there is nothing that Uther and Morgana have in common aside from seeking revenge. Only thing is that Morgana acts like a terrorist and would kill each and everyone, even those who loved her while Uther always protected his kingdom and its people as well as his friends and family (unless magic was involved). Uther had a reason for his hatred (not saying that he was right), Morgana has no reason for her insanity and rage. She is pure evil at the moment, just bad and nothing else. I wonder why some defend her actions and say that she was right in killing her father and that it is understandable that she wants to kill her friends and family when on the other hand Uther's reasons for hating magic (the loss of Igraine) seem to be irrelevant (again, not saying that he was right). Morgana is right but Uther is bad one? That's weird.
Actually I wonder what the title "His Father's Son" was about. Did it refer to Arthur coming to senses in the end or did it refer to him executing Carleon? After all, it wasn't "Her Father's Daughter" but "His Father's Son". And given that Carleon and Uther were at peace and that Arthur put it at risk but restored the peace again, it might have referred to the positive outcome. I would like that, would be a positive surprise and it wouldn't demonise Uther for once. Because meanwhile, I'm sick and tired of all that Uther-bahsing in the series and all that comparing crazy Morgana to him.
All in all, this was another disappointing episode. Bad character development, rushed story and a lot of incomprehensible situations. This is not "Merlin" anymore to me.