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BBC (ended 2012)

Episode 4x05 "His Father's Son" discussion thread

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    ACDiNosey

    [101]Nov 1, 2011
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    There's some beautiful though fleeting footporn in this episode, Esther, if you haven't already compiled that, and a hint of barely disguised chestporn, and some giant champion armporn, but I don't think that counts
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    boom-moo

    [102]Nov 1, 2011
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    This is what I have:

    Chestporns/Bodyporns:
    -Arthur's red and white chest revealing shirts-porn.
    -Arthur's footporn.

    Should I add the giant?
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    merthurwen

    [103]Nov 1, 2011
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    boom-moo wrote:
    I see your point merthurwen but even if Merlin's plotlines become a means to help Arthur, I don't think that they make Merlin's character less relevant than Arthur's (in a 'just the friend of the protagonist' way). And to come back on topic... Arthur is knocked unconscious or prevented from knowing about Merlin's magic: -He is busy fighting Derian when Merlin meddles with the fight.



    I agree and disagree. I don't think Gwen Merlin or Morgana are less relevant...just relevant in a different way. But if a characters sole purpose is about the empowerment of another and therefore we call them a love interest and say they areless relevant or lacking then that has to apply to all characters whose sole purpose is about empowering another character.



    Merlin included because this show isn't about how he becomes the great wizard. It's about how he aids Arthur in becoming a great king. Strip away everything else and Merlin is just a friend protagonist as Gwen is just a love interest. In this episode we get to see the importance of her role because she and Merlin are giving the same advise and not for the first time hers weighs more maybe because hers is tied directly to his desire for her. It's kinda like when Arthur was telling Merlin commoner's can't become knights because those are the rules then Merlin reminds him that he can't have Gwen cause those too are the rules. Like wise following your heart means not being war oriented and he discovers this when he discovers that following his heart also enables him to have the woman he loves.

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    jaqtkd

    [104]Nov 1, 2011
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    I'm not sure the two can be separated - or even the three. Merlin needs Arthur to become a accepted powerful sorcerer, Arthur needs Merlin and Gwen to become a good man who can, then be the great King of legend. Merlin and Morgana are both heading down their destined paths because of their various interactions with eachother and the various decisions they made.


    In a tale such as this, no one character's journey is islolated from the other. Merlin and Arthur have, always, been the two main characters in the show with the girls coming next and the two older men in even more general roles. What one thinks of having the lead characters as males is a different matter and has more to do with the fact this is an old story of 'legend' from a time when all the lead roles were men.


    As for Merlin v Arthur I'm with Boom-mo on this; I see Merlin as the lead, as the title suggests. In the most practical sense it's true to as I've regularly heard various cast and crew say that Colin has the longest work hours and is in more scenes than Bradley.

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    TylwythTeg

    [105]Nov 1, 2011
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    merthurwen wrote:


    Other than a soap where there is endless time to spend on character development i'd love to know of one series where there is a love interest where the love interest is more than the love interest. I can't think of one.



    Although it's a rarity, there are some females who spring to mind (mostly in 'older' shows). As of more recent, I think Marian from Robin Hood is a good example. She was her own character, and had her own plots, in addition to being Robin's main love interest, and part of the three-way triangle with Sir Guy. She even had her own objectives as The NWM (censor hates that word O_O) I always found Marian very interesting and a good product of a strong female lead. But I guess the fact she was the secondary starring character makes it a slightly different situation. I think in the third season of RH, the new girl Kate fell into the 'girlfriend' with nothing else going on. I'll stop there, because it's turning into a conversation that belongs on a different forum!


    I think in Merlin the male characters have always been more productive and interesting to the plot than the girls, mostly for the fact they have stood full center, with only an occasional plot for Morgana and Gwen in which they really were independent of co-plots involving Arthur/Merlin/Uther/Gaius. I'm not saying that's bad, just not exactly fulfilling from a girl viewer's standpoint (unless you are just a fan girl who is more interested in Colin and Bradley than anything). Most of the guest starring female characters on the series are usually enchanted or baddies, so it's just part of the series' make-up. I think the girls (especially in the last two seasons) have been primarily to be supporting members to the storylines. Given the roles (a witch and a servant) I understand it probably is the easiest way to go in terms of coming up with reasons why Gwen and Morgana are around.


    I think my main issue with the entire break-up/make-up of Arthur/Gwen this ep was the fact she so readily accepted him back, after he treated her insensitively. I felt like Arthur could have done with some lasting effects of his mistakes enabling character growth. Between stopping the war and getting Gwen back, he seemed to have got off easy. I really would have been more impressed with Gwen if she had backed away, giving Arthur time to reconsider the ramifications of his actions. It would have needed a few eps to play on the break-up plotline for it to really feel like an impact. I realize fully Gwen is a sweet character, who seems endlessly forgiving and caring, that's all great. I wouldn't want her to be fickle and mean all the time. But it's often written to her own harm as a character that she just waits around for Arthur, even when he doesn't do right by her or anyone. As a role modal for girls, Gwen needs to show some self-worth and some grace in not patting Arthur on the head when he offers an apology. I don't think it sends the right message when the writer's put Gwen in a situation where she seems to only care about being Arthur's girlfriend no matter how she is treated. Maybe I think too deeply, but I just feel like sometimes this pairing heads to the wrong direction when it comes to relationship problems. I think the writer's find it more convenient to 'break-up/make-up' during the course of one ep, so they don't have to bother continuing the plotline over to the next ep.


    Regarding the bigger plot of the ep, I was wondering about one thing... Since Careleon was taking over villages and had a bunch of soldiers and Arthur had his men out to intercept him, wasn't there already a type of war going on between the kingdoms? I was a bit confused why exactly killing Caerleon caused the war, when it seemed there might have been a war going on already?

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    boom-moo

    [106]Nov 1, 2011
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    merthurwen wrote:

    But if a characters sole purpose is about the empowerment of another and therefore we call them a love interest and say they areless relevant or lacking then that has to apply to all characters whose sole purpose is about empowering another character.

    Yeah but I don't think that's the case of Merlin. He is more than the friend protagonist, the story is told through his eyes to start with, he is privy to a lot of stuff that Arthur remains oblivious of, he has the whole picture of which Arthur is just a part. Merlin's destiny is united with Arthur's indeed, both are making mistakes and learning as they go, both are slowly becoming whom they are to become and Merlin is learning a lot about himself all the while that common destiny is set in motion. The difference is that Arthur takes the glory and Merlin usually the blame, but that doesn't make Merlin any less protagonist (if anything, they'd be 50%-50% in that regard). If you compare Gwen to Merlin, you'll see that's there's a lot lacking when it comes to backstory and character development, they are nothing alike when it comes to weight in the show. If you strip away everything else as you say, Arthur would be dead in episode 1 and there would be no story to be told.

    They are all relevant in different ways indeed, the ones wouldn't make sense without the others but to me Merlin is the pillar that holds the story together. I'm afraid I can't explain myself better, sorry about that
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    TylwythTeg

    [110]Nov 1, 2011
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    boom-moo wrote:


    They are all relevant in different ways indeed, the ones wouldn't make sense without the others but to me Merlin is the pillar that holds the story together. I'm afraid I can't explain myself better, sorry about that


    Makes sense to me. SmileThe series is called Merlin so I think he should rightfully be the main one who keeps things in order. I wouldn't mind more for Merlin to do, I think in this season Arthur is kinda getting more attention (thus far) with his story arc, hoping Merlin will return to full center. I surely wouldn't mind the introduction of more stuff for Merlin to handle and even a new love interest.... I mean he didn't have much to do in His Father's Son, besides tripping, getting caught and blinking in the nick of time to save Arthur's hide.


    (having some quote code issues, trying again)


    Yeah, could be @ war. That's probably the reasoning behind it.

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    boom-moo

    [112]Nov 1, 2011
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    TylwythTeg wrote:

    Regarding the bigger plot of the ep, I was wondering about one thing... Since Careleon was taking over villages and had a bunch of soldiers and Arthur had his men out to intercept him, wasn't there already a type of war going on between the kingdoms? I was a bit confused why exactly killing Caerleon caused the war, when it seemed there might have been a war going on already?

    I don't think a war had broken yet but Caerleon was surely taking his chance to conquer small Camelot chunks now that Uther is dead and Arthur just a newbie in the king business. The treaty that Agravaine wants him to sign includes withdrawing his men from Camelot and returning the territories that he had taken like Everwick, so Caerleon had already started to make some moves towards trying to conquer Camelot. I think that Bayard is mentioned at some point too so I take it that whichever peace treaty Uther had signed in the past might not be effective now that he is pushing daisies. I can totally see all the surrounding kingdoms looking towards Camelot like hawkes when news of Uther's dead spread.
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    TylwythTeg

    [113]Nov 1, 2011
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    Okay, I was just thinking again (dangerous past time O_o) ... isn't fair to assume that there would have been a war regardless of Caerleon's execution? If he was breaking the treaty he held with Uther, and refused to surrender the lands in Camelot he was conquering, the two kingdoms would have found themselves involved in a war. If that's accurate, then it's not so much Arthur brought about a war than it is that he just bad a bad moral decision.... I know Caerleon was killed (off-screen for some reason) but ultimately I'm not sure if his death really should have been treated as the reason for war. Know what I mean?

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    boom-moo

    [114]Nov 1, 2011
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    I know what you mean and I agree. Arthur could have surely chosen an alternative to execution, but executing Caerleon was justified (albeit morally questionable). Should Arthur have chosen to throw him in jail and Queen Annis would have decided to carry on with his husband's conquering methods, war would have broken all the same. Caerleon's execution gave Annis a nice excuse to push the war.
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    Tankim

    [115]Nov 1, 2011
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    TylwythTeg wrote:


    Okay, I was just thinking again (dangerous past time O_o) ... isn't fair to assume that there would have been a war regardless of Caerleon's execution? If he was breaking the treaty he held with Uther, and refused to surrender the lands in Camelot he was conquering, the two kingdoms would have found themselves involved in a war. If that's accurate, then it's not so much Arthur brought about a war than it is that he just bad a bad moral decision.... I know Caerleon was killed (off-screen for some reason) but ultimately I'm not sure if his death really should have been treated as the reason for war. Know what I mean?



    Depending on how war was defined back then. Defending or conquering back smaller villages could be called war but maybe it would have been more like defending the own kingdom against smaller troups instead of fighting back the entire army. If a war was what Carleon's kingdom had planned, then it was even more implausible that Annis called it off again. Even if Carleon's kingdom had planned a war, it was Arthur's actions that hasted it because Carleon's troups would have been weakened by time when trying to conquering villages. Chances for a less bloody outcome would have been much better that way. Either way, the execution of Carleon prompted Annis to react with her entire army and a very deadly war, had it happened.

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    jaqtkd

    [116]Nov 1, 2011
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    My thought on that whole business was that, by the laws of their lands and all the unwritten laws, Arthur was entirely justified to take his life. That's why I've said before that Uther would have also done it. Not because he was 'bad' but because he was a good, strong king and that's what they all did in those days.


    The issue here is, does Arthur really want to keep following in his ancestor's footsteps ... doing what they've all done, being just the same as everyone else?


    Well, no. According to the dragon et al, he is going to be 'The Greatest King' he's going to be different and better. That was ultimately what this whole episode was about - finding another way. (Now I'm getting a 3.02 Merlin/Morgana flashback - isn't that much the same thing. Merlin wanting to break the mould of victim/bully and Morgana not being able to?) Merlin and Arthur are different from most of the other 'leaders' in this story and they will, eventually, tackle these issues in a different and more humane way.

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    BrightlyLit

    [117]Nov 1, 2011
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    merthurwen wrote:


    Merlin included because this show isn't about how he becomes the great wizard. It's about how he aids Arthur in becoming a great king. Strip away everything else and Merlin is just a friend protagonist as Gwen is just a love interest. In this episode we get to see the importance of her role because she and Merlin are giving the same advise and not for the first time hers weighs more maybe because hers is tied directly to his desire for her. It's kinda like when Arthur was telling Merlin commoner's can't become knights because those are the rules then Merlin reminds him that he can't have Gwen cause those too are the rules. Like wise following your heart means not being war oriented and he discovers this when he discovers that following his heart also enables him to have the woman he loves.



    I just finished reading all of the various comments and have to say, Merthurwen, that I totally agree with all that you've said. I've felt this way a long time and it's good to hear someone else address it. From my perspective, I don't think the meaning of the character is solely the amount of screen time he or she has, but the purpose they have in the overall story. In that sense, I agree wholeheartedly. As I see the purpose of Gwen in this story and view the primary issue being Arthur's destiny as the great king of legend, I have no problem at all that she doesn't have a separate story line, as other women have had, such as Marian. It depends on what she is achieving in the overall story. I'm going to be a bit old-fashioned here, but as I see it, if a woman is successful in the role of supporting and encouraging her husband to greatness, and the world benefits from it, she can't have a much better storyline than that. I would have no problem if my daughters lives would reflect that kind of greatness.


    To me, greatness is seen in humility, forgiveness, and compassion. We're going to see that develop in Arthur as the story progresses and Merlin and Gwen will have no small part in that. Both of these two characters have to possess these traits themselves if we're to see them as inspirations to the king in this regard, and both do. That is why I had no problem whatsoever with Gwen's quick forgiveness. In fact, as I see it, Gwen had forgiven him already when he walked out of her cottage that night. I saw it in the words she spoke as he went out the door and I saw it in her countenance with Gaius the next morning. IMO, Gwen didn't forgive Arthur because of his cuteness in that weak apology and those pathetic flowers, bless his heart, she was already in a state of forgiveness when she walked in his room that night. So to me, they had that little rather heated makeup scene partly because of their desire for each other, but as someone pointed out on another thread, this is the Gwen who had sent him out the door at the end of 2x10 and who had walked out of the room in 3x02 when she saw that he starting to focus on her rather than the task at hand. She's always shown the strength to do what is best and right in a given situation and in this case, her forgiveness was best for ARTHUR, not for herself. She knew her man, she knew he was not speaking from his heart, and she knew he would return to his heart. And I do believe she knew all this as the words came out of his mouth. She also knew what words to say to him to bring him to his senses and she did. Actually, I loved the breakup scene; as much as it may have hurt her, she knew it wouldn't last. There are times when making a person sweat it out is appropriate I do agree, but I definitely think this was a time for forgiveness.

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    TylwythTeg

    [118]Nov 1, 2011
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    Tankim wrote:


    Depending on how war was defined back then. Defending or conquering back smaller villages could be called war but maybe it would have been more like defending the own kingdom against smaller troups instead of fighting back the entire army. If a war was what Carleon's kingdom had planned, then it was even more implausible that Annis called it off again. Even if Carleon's kingdom had planned a war, it was Arthur's actions that hasted it because Carleon's troups would have been weakened by time when trying to conquering villages. Chances for a less bloody outcome would have been much better that way. Either way, the execution of Carleon prompted Annis to react with her entire army and a very deadly war, had it happened.



    I understand what you are saying, just I don't fully agree. If Caerleon was the king, he was calling the shots so he may well have been intended to slowly grab land away from Camelot, fully prepared and knowing his actions would lead into a long term dispute and war with Arthur. Annis however seemed more affronted that her husband had died of execution than the fact he had died. So I think perhaps Annis was the real power behind the throne, with Caerleon doing things his way with or without her approval, she probably knew Caerleon was neglecting the treaty on his land-grabbing excursion. That would also explain why both sides so easily had huge armies at their command. Armies would be made up on commoners mostly, so it'd take time to gather a large force, unless the preparations for war were already pretty much settled. Therefore, Annis would have likely called off the war and agreed to Arthur's single combat solution, even if Caerleon had not been executed. I think ultimately, Arthur made a bad moral decision, but there was already a war brewing, which of itself was going to happen no matter what.

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    jaqtkd

    [119]Nov 1, 2011
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    Oh, you've just got to read this, guys. Love or hate this episode, it's hilarious.



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    merthurwen

    [120]Nov 1, 2011
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    I guess it's harder because I'm not actually arguing who is more or less relevant. Like Jaqktd my personal opinion is that these three are kind of like a 3 legged stool.



    My quibble is with calling Gwen just a love interest. She is no more just a love interest that Merlin is just a buddy. It doesn't really matter who gets more screen time who's on the set longer or that it's told from Merlin's perspective. The bottom line is this show is about getting Arthur to rule over Albion justly and to that point Merlin's sole purpose is to prop up Arthur as is Gwen's in a different way. So if you are going to diminish her character because of that then to be consistent you would really do the same for every role on the show but esp Merlin as he is a male Gwen. I mean come on he even gave her 4x02 you are precious speech last week.Laughing I forget things but I think we know just as much about Gwen's back story as we do Merlin's which is to say very little and that's with Merlin having tons more screen time. Really just pointing out how fandom tends to put Gwen in a no win situation.



    @ Tylwth Teg I totally get your point about Gwen accepting Arthur expect this is really only the first time Arthur has pushed Gwen away (since they have become a couple) and it's at a time when he is emotionally vulnerable and full of self doubt. To me she and Merlin have to be his anchor right now. Merlin see's this Arthur all the time and yet stands by him and Gwen was right to do the same otherwise how does he know he can fully trust her if she is only there for him when he is meeting her expectations or giving her what she wants.



    Uther obviously loved Arthur but it was conditional (until his death scene). What he needs from these two is to know they care for him the man even when he falls short in that role or the one as King. Love and friendship should not be about what the other person can do for you. If you are only emotionally available to someone when they can give you what you need then it's not love. Arthur has been there for Gwen through thick and thin and even when he said they couldn't be together you could see how much it hurt him to have do what he thought was in his kingdoms best interest...what would it have said to him had she forced him to humble himself in order to gain her forgiveness. I keep saying it but with all of it's faults this show does agape and romantic love well and I can't think of another to equal it in this department.

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