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BBC (ended 2012)

Episode 4x06 "A Servant Of Two Masters" discussion thread.

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    boom-moo

    [121]Nov 8, 2011
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    As I see it, the thing is that:

    -We don't know if bastard offspring had a claim to the throne or not. Laws from that time are not written in stone.

    And even if they wouldn't have a claim historically speaking:

    -We are talking of a fictional time where TPTB create their own laws and do as they please, so Morgana might as well have a rightful claim after all. I think that's the case since no one so far (at least that I recall) has said that her claim is crazy, unfounded or against the law, neither Uther nor Arthur, Gaius or Geoffrey, who is suppossed to be the one more versed in the laws and who actually crowned her without as much as voicing a complaint (he would have done it anyway since Morgause's magic is a convincing enough threat, but I would have expected Geoffrey to say something all the same if he thought it to be against the law).
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    JJuna

    [122]Nov 8, 2011
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    boom-moo wrote:
    As I see it, the thing is that: -We don't know if bastard offspring had a claim to the throne or not. Laws from that time are not written in stone. And even if they wouldn't have a claim historically speaking: -We are talking of a fictional time where TPTB create their own laws and do as they please, so Morgana might as well have a rightful claim after all. I think that's the case since no one so far (at least that I recall) has said that her claim is crazy, unfounded or against the law, neither Uther nor Arthur, Gaius or Geoffrey, who is suppossed to be the one more versed in the laws and who actually crowned her without as much as voicing a complaint (he would have done it anyway since Morgause's magic is a convincing enough threat, but I would have expected Geoffrey to say something all the same if he thought it to be against the law).


    Surely even if she is in line to the throne, she cannot be above Arthur in the line of succession. It's not only a question of her illegitimacy, but also her gender. Amazingly it's only now in 2011, that laws in Britain are being amended to allow first-born daughters to inherit the throne ahead of their younger brothers. However, I take your point about TPTB. In this area, as so many others, they are a law unto themselves

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    boom-moo

    [123]Nov 8, 2011
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    JJuna wrote:
    However, I take your point about TPTB. In this area, as so many others, they are a law unto themselves
    That's it. She is older than Arthur and they seem to go with that rather than a gender or legitimacy issue. Whatever fits their storyline, as per usual. And it's their story after all.
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    Sparklingwater

    [124]Nov 8, 2011
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    Despite all my complaints about the missing logic in the show since season 4 has started, I'm pretty sure that in regard to that even the TPTB are following a certain logic.


    When Morgana claimed the throne in the last 2 episodes of season 3, the knights weren't willing to accept her claim. She also took the throne by violence and threatening. If she was the right heir, the knights would have accepted her according to the laws of Camelot, unless they didn't because they were still loyal to Uther who was still alive. Goeffrey crowned her because he had no choice, facing the threat and Uther being defeated. She conquered Camelot, so to speak. Arthur wasn't there and no one knew if he was still alive. Moreover, Gaius told Merlin that Arthur was the only one standing between Morgana and the throne, so that made pretty clear that Arthur, as the male offspring of both king and queen was and is the rightful heir.


    I think Morgana's claim is based on her goal to end the anti-magic reign and also a sign of her insanity.


    As for Uther being of royal blood, we don't know since here in the retelling of Merlin some things have been changed, but in most legends Uther is of royal blood. I think the most popular legend makes him the son of King Constanine who actually was a roman (Constantinus) or the son of a roman imperior. Morgana is of royal blood, too but wether she is older or younger than Arthur, the male offspring generally was the rightful heir to the throne.

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    merthurwen

    [125]Nov 8, 2011
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    Sorry once again I've been unclear. She seems to believe that she is Camelot's rightful heir as in she should have the crown instead of Arthur. Sure it's a fantasy land but when Morgause brought Uther to the throne room in 3x13 he told her that her actions were unlawful as she has no claim to the title, to which Morgana exclaims that she does as his daughter, this he did not dispute. The problem is that even if she were not a bastard she would still be 2nd in line after Arthur(thus her attempts to capture kill him or get the knights to acknowledge her as a way of winning the people who would not recognize her as Queen cause Arthur (the rightful heir) lived.



    So I totally get her attempts at killing him because then she would be rightful heir but she is not now and yet I think in every ep this season she has claimed to be. Maybe just another sign that she is unhinged. This is all very confusing as it makes it even harder to understand Agravaine/Morgan merger. He already has (or did have) the ear of the king. He could hope for no better under Morgana and seems to be unfriendly to magic. He stated early on that he'd made a vow to Arthur's mother. Maybe the vow was to prevent Arthur every realizing Uther's dream of having a heir, but again why would he need Morgana to plot Arthur's death? Ok rambling now. Back to the original queery...maybe it's just a way of showing how removed she is from reality. Kinda like the line where she's on about Merlin thwarting her coo, as if she didn't make all the choices that lead to her sister's slow painful death and her living in a hovel.



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    Sparklingwater

    [126]Nov 8, 2011
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    merthurwen wrote:


    Sorry once again I've been unclear. She seems to believe that she is Camelot's rightful heir as in she should have the crown instead of Arthur. Sure it's a fantasy land but when Morgause brought Uther to the throne room in 3x13 he told her that her actions were unlawful as she has no claim to the title, to which Morgana exclaims that she does as his daughter, this he did not dispute.


    I guess it was a shock to him that Morgana knew that he was her father and betrayed him, plus she defeated him. If the situation had been different, he surely would have protested and disputed.



    merthurwen wrote:


    Agravaine/Morgan merger. He already has (or did have) the ear of the king. He could hope for no better under Morgana and seems to be unfriendly to magic. He stated early on that he'd made a vow to Arthur's mother. Maybe the vow was to prevent Arthur every realizing Uther's dream of having a heir, but again why would he need Morgana to plot Arthur's death? Ok rambling now. Back to the original queery...maybe it's just a way of showing how removed she is from reality. Kinda like the line where she's on about Merlin thwarting her coo, as if she didn't make all the choices that lead to her sister's slow painful death and her living in a hovel.





    I wouldn't bet on Agravaine telling the truth. He is manipulating Arthur and wants his trust, therefore he tells him sweet little lies, I suppose. And I'm also not sure if he is unfriendly to magic. Maybe a bit concerned but obviously not against it.


    Yes, in my opinion Morgana ist just deluded and megalomanic, which is why she doesn't accept Arthur on the throne. She thinks she has the moral right to it but not the lawful right. Or maybe she is transferring Uther's part as a superior and uber-person now to her own personality, trying to imitate him, only in the wrong and pathological way. I think she always saw him as a superior power and was overwhelmed by that, which could be another reason why she wanted to destroy him.

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    JJuna

    [127]Nov 8, 2011
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    merthurwen wrote:


    Sorry once again I've been unclear. She seems to believe that she is Camelot's rightful heir as in she should have the crown instead of Arthur. Sure it's a fantasy land but when Morgause brought Uther to the throne room in 3x13 he told her that her actions were unlawful as she has no claim to the title, to which Morgana exclaims that she does as his daughter, this he did not dispute. The problem is that even if she were not a bastard she would still be 2nd in line after Arthur(thus her attempts to capture kill him or get the knights to acknowledge her as a way of winning the people who would not recognize her as Queen cause Arthur (the rightful heir) lived.


    Yes, I think you are right. She usurped the throne from her father, and her 'legal' claim cannot have been greater than his. I think Uther was simply too stunned and devastated to raise any objections at the time. However, the knights and people of Camelot had accepted and loved Arthur as the rightful heir for many years. It's probably unlikely that they would have accepted someone else, even if that person had genuinely had a superior claim to the throne.


    merthurwen wrote:


    So I totally get her attempts at killing him because then she would be rightful heir but she is not now and yet I think in every ep this season she has claimed to be. Maybe just another sign that she is unhinged. This is all very confusing as it makes it even harder to understand Agravaine/Morgan merger. He already has (or did have) the ear of the king. He could hope for no better under Morgana and seems to be unfriendly to magic. He stated early on that he'd made a vow to Arthur's mother. Maybe the vow was to prevent Arthur every realizing Uther's dream of having a heir, but again why would he need Morgana to plot Arthur's death? Ok rambling now. Back to the original queery...maybe it's just a way of showing how removed she is from reality. Kinda like the line where she's on about Merlin thwarting her coo, as if she didn't make all the choices that lead to her sister's slow painful death and her living in a hovel.



    She does seem to be somewhat unbalanced mentally. I think Katie has mentioned her warped thinking in interviews. As far as the Agravaine/Morgana dynamic is concerned, I've had another look at the final scene of 4x06. There are definitely tears on his cheeks, so I think there is still something to be explained about their relationship. He certainly seems to care for her, whereas she seems indifferent. It will be very surprising if their alliance lasts. I'm not sure that their motivations and ambitions are compatible.

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    merthurwen

    [128]Nov 8, 2011
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    Actually SW I was on a walkabout and didn't see your post that preceded mine. You actually made my point for me.



    No doubt Agravaine will not tell the truth about much I just don't (even remotely) get why he is in league with Morgana. Maybe once he's found out he will give his reasoning.Yell



    Oh and I say he's not friendly to it because each time Morgana uses it he appears afraid. So while he obviously will use it as a means to an end he doesn't seem to like it. Which is why I always thought he would attempt to kill Morgana after using her to kill Arthur so he could then assume the throne (as he too has a claim) with no one the wiser to his hand in Arthur's downfall...but then came the final scene last week where he seemed genuinely concerned for her...or was his only real concern for his ability to carry off his plan without her? Very confused on this point.

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    JJuna

    [129]Nov 8, 2011
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    merthurwen wrote:


    Oh and I say he's not friendly to it because each time Morgana uses it he appears afraid. So while he obviously will use it as a means to an end he doesn't seem to like it. Which is why I always thought he would attempt to kill Morgana after using her to kill Arthur so he could then assume the throne


    I agree with you, he does seem very nervous but I wasn't sure whether just of magic or more specifically of Morgana's own powers. Funnily enough, I'd assumed that she would try to dispose of him, once he had outlived his usefulness. Perhaps they both have the same idea.


    merthurwen wrote:


    ...but then came the final scene last week where he seemed genuinely concerned for her...or was his only real concern for his ability to carry off his plan without her? Very confused on this point.



    It's a credit to Nathaniel Parker that we are kept guessing. He seems impossible to read. These questions will probably only be resolved in the final episodes of the season.


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    merthurwen

    [130]Nov 8, 2011
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    JJuna wrote:
    It's a credit to Nathaniel Parker that we are kept guessing. He seems impossible to read. These questions will probably only be resolved in the final episodes of the season.





    I know JJ...right? He has mad acting skills. For the life of me I can't get a handle on him and it's because he allows us to see the character's wheels turning but not where they stop.



    Please no one get upset. This is just a personal opinion. But if Katie's acting was better Morgana could be a very impressive baddie as well. I/ve read the opinion that Morgana's magic hasn't been impressive/strong enough, but honestly she has been imbued with the same strength's as Morgause had, she just hasn't sold them as well. I must admit she has treaded water a couple of times this season but by and large in my opinion she has been subpar. Actually she didn't just hold her own in the scene where she put the serpent in Merlin she was really good but then she fell back into her usual femme fatal posing thing during the showdown. Don't get me wrong. This season for me has been really great. But just imagine Emilia's skill set played along side Nathaniel's then I think I would relish the baddie scenes as much as I cherish the Merthurwen scenes.



    For instance. It's through Bradley's acting that we see he no longer values/trust Agravaines opinion as early as the counsel scene where he for the first time both quits his voice with the raised hand but shows a bit of contempt (tonal) when he challenges Agravaine's attempt to divert attention from his treachery with the Alinor misdirect.



    To me if Bradley hadn't been as commanding in that scene his later confrontation with him wouldn't have been as menacing. I guess I am saying in a long winded way is that it's the acting that sells this show and from the baddie perspective Nathaniel Parker has been a saving grace.

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    wilfeli

    [131]Nov 8, 2011
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    merthurwen wrote:


    For instance. It's through Bradley's acting that we see he no longer values/trust Agravaines opinion as early as the counsel scene where he for the first time both quits his voice with the raised hand but shows a bit of contempt (tonal) when he challenges Agravaine's attempt to divert attention from his treachery with the Alinor misdirect.



    To me if Bradley hadn't been as commanding in that scene his later confrontation with him wouldn't have been as menacing. I guess I am saying in a long winded way is that it's the acting that sells this show and from the baddie perspective Nathaniel Parker has been a saving grace.



    I actually liked the way he raised his voice when reacting to obviously wrong assumption that Alinor might have betrayed them and right after that returned to his reasoning and thinking though self. And in the confrontation with Agravaine, when he holds his hand on sword's hilt most of the time, something similar was when he faced Dragoon. I get the impression that he was ready to kill if necessary if Agravaine didn't provide good explanation.


    I really like the way Agravaine is played by Nathaniel Parker - he makes him interesting character and intriguing, and makes me wonder about his motives and wanting to see more of him.


    And yes, very deep sigh, I have to fastforward almost all scenes with Morgana since (I believe) season 3. Well might be making an exception for occasional scene with Merlin in it - they sometimes work for me.

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    jaqtkd

    [132]Nov 8, 2011
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    I like Katie and am happy enough with her Morgana but, I agree, when she plays alongside Colin - then she positively sizzles. Those two do have chemistry; more, I think, than TPTB feel that they needed or originally wrote for. However, I love Dark!Mergana and hope they are starting to latch onto the fact that the scenes with those two are electric ... it was commented on a couple of times during the S3 commentaries so, fingers crossed.

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    merthurwen

    [133]Nov 8, 2011
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    jaqtkd wrote:


    I like Katie and am happy enough with her Morgana but, I agree, when she plays alongside Colin - then she positively sizzles. Those two do have chemistry; more, I think, than TPTB feel that they needed or originally wrote for. However, I love Dark!Mergana and hope they are starting to latch onto the fact that the scenes with those two are electric ... it was commented on a couple of times during the S3 commentaries so, fingers crossed.




    HolaSmile I didn't mean to imply that I don't like Katie. I have no issue with her at all, I just find her acting skills hit or miss. For me she lacks range and tends to do the hollywood sex/pose thing when she is not clear. Some of her scenes can be brilliant and others all but unwatchable. For instance in this episode that initial scene with Agravaine was hard to watch. But her 1st scene with Merlin was very good but then came the showdown scene which was for me ok in spots and down right bad in others. So teaming her with Colin is not a recipe in itself for success.


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    jaqtkd

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    merthurwen wrote:


    HolaSmile I didn't mean to imply that I don't like Katie. I have no issue with her at all, I just find her acting skills hit or miss. For me she lacks range and tends to do the hollywood sex/pose thing when she is not clear. Some of her scenes can be brilliant and others all but unwatchable. For instance in this episode that initial scene with Agravaine was hard to watch. But her 1st scene with Merlin was very good but then came the showdown scene which was for me ok in spots and down right bad in others. So teaming her with Colin is not a recipe in itself for success.




    Really? I always think she's spot on whenever she's with him and 'hit and miss' when she's with the others but ... hey! whatever! Wink She is the most inexperience actor from the younger four so I give her a little benefit of the doubt - I think it's less about her and more about how incredible the other three are. As I said, I just think sparks fly when every those two glare at each other but then, I'm rather biased when it comes to Dark!Mergana so ... what do I know?

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    wilfeli

    [135]Nov 8, 2011
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    merthurwen wrote:


    HolaSmile I didn't mean to imply that I don't like Katie. I have no issue with her at all, I just find her acting skills hit or miss. For me she lacks range and tends to do the hollywood sex/pose thing when she is not clear. Some of her scenes can be brilliant and others all but unwatchable. For instance in this episode that initial scene with Agravaine was hard to watch. But her 1st scene with Merlin was very good but then came the showdown scene which was for me ok in spots and down right bad in others. So teaming her with Colin is not a recipe in itself for success.


    I can occasionally tolerate Morgana when she is pared with very strong actor besides Colin, very occasionally. I really tried to like her version of Morgana character, she was given enough material to somewhat justify turn to evil and make it an interesting and conflicting villain, and I'm more than willing to turn a blind eye on weaknesses of this show, but as hard as I try I just have to resort to fastforwarding.


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    merthurwen

    [136]Nov 8, 2011
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    @Jaqktd you know what you like and for the most part I agree with you. But the scene when she was trying to convince Dragoon/Emrys of their natural affinity born of magic. That should have been straight and weighty because she was right. There could have been a moment of conflict in Merlin, think back to baddies before who have tried to sway Merlin to the bad side. Instead Katie starts strong, then fell back on her tendency to use kittenish sex appeal to sway and old wizard...for me that was a total miss. But that first scene where she was healing his wound and cooing her snake thingy...was very good. I don't get any romantic vibes from them but that scene felt real and I was watching Merlin and Morgana as opposed to Merlin and Katie.



    LOl @ Wilfeli. I don't FF but I do tend to be distracted. Like I'll have to actually replay the scene cause I feel like I missed something and then realize now there was just a character break.


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    Tankim

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    Sparklingwater wrote:



    Yes, in my opinion Morgana ist just deluded and megalomanic, which is why she doesn't accept Arthur on the throne. She thinks she has the moral right to it but not the lawful right. Or maybe she is transferring Uther's part as a superior and uber-person now to her own personality, trying to imitate him, only in the wrong and pathological way. I think she always saw him as a superior power and was overwhelmed by that, which could be another reason why she wanted to destroy him.




    That's very interesting. This would make her someone who is suffering from inferiority complexes and superiority complexes at the same time, caused by the overwhelming and to her seemingly unbeatable personality of her father and hence maybe even self-loathing. Wow, that would make her having real mental issues. Still there is no explanation why she suddenly changed that way. I would understand that if she was abused or something or if he had been that unstable from the beginning. But that drastic change just wasn't backed up in any way.


    I don't think it's Kathie McGrath's fault. She has to deal with what the writers give her and due to the fact that Morgana has become an insane and bitter villain for whatever reason, she has to play that evil person. Evil characters are always boring just because they are evil. Characters who do questionable things but are not actually evil, are interesting. As long as they don't give Morgana back her human side, she will stay nuts and like a caricature of herself. Not Kathie's fault, she plays both characters - Morgana of the first two seasons and totally crazy Morgana - very convincing and credible. Just the character is not believable and convincing.

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    wilfeli

    [138]Nov 8, 2011
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    merthurwen wrote:


    LOl @ Wilfeli. I don't FF but I do tend to be distracted. Like I'll have to actually replay the scene cause I feel like I missed something and then realize now there was just a character break.


    I agree Lol, and that's me who can usually forget almost everything for a chance to see pretty faces in nice period clothes (dresses preferably). I was trying to articulate this feeling for some time and I think I've finally managed to do it, it feels as if I'm watching adventures of Merlin, Arthur, Gwen and Katie. Sometimes it works, sometimes it becomes too OOC for me.

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    merthurwen

    [139]Nov 8, 2011
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    Tankim wrote:


    Sparklingwater wrote:



    Yes, in my opinion Morgana ist just deluded and megalomanic, which is why she doesn't accept Arthur on the throne. She thinks she has the moral right to it but not the lawful right. Or maybe she is transferring Uther's part as a superior and uber-person now to her own personality, trying to imitate him, only in the wrong and pathological way. I think she always saw him as a superior power and was overwhelmed by that, which could be another reason why she wanted to destroy him.




    That's very interesting. This would make her someone who is suffering from inferiority complexes and superiority complexes at the same time, caused by the overwhelming and to her seemingly unbeatable personality of her father and hence maybe even self-loathing. Wow, that would make her having real mental issues. Still there is no explanation why she suddenly changed that way. I would understand that if she was abused or something or if he had been that unstable from the beginning. But that drastic change just wasn't backed up in any way.


    I don't think it's Kathie McGrath's fault. She has to deal with what the writers give her and due to the fact that Morgana has become an insane and bitter villain for whatever reason, she has to play that evil person. Evil characters are always boring just because they are evil. Characters who do questionable things but are not actually evil, are interesting. As long as they don't give Morgana back her human side, she will stay nuts and like a caricature of herself. Not Kathie's fault, she plays both characters - Morgana of the first two seasons and totally crazy Morgana - very convincing and credible. Just the character is not believable and convincing.




    Tankim do you think that living under constant mental stress and threat of physical danger is abusive? I do therefore I don't see Morgana as strictly evil. I think that she changed because she gave in to her desire for revenge. To me it's been clear from S1E1 that Morgana had the kind of personality flaws that if feed into could lead to giving into the darker forces that we all have inside. Little by little over each season she chose evil over good.


    When some blame Merlin/Gaius it seems to me they forget that Aglain(sp) told Morgana to pity Uther as he had let hatred drive goodness from his heart and he showed her the right path by laying down his life to try to save hers. Morgana had all she needed to fight the same darkness she shared with Uther and she even had Merlin who did everything save expose himself to her to show her that he would keep her secret, and did everything he could in 3x12 to give her the chance to tell at least what she knew about the spell inflicting Camelot.



    Anyway back on track. Though I agree with you that the writing is uneven on this show it has been so for every character. The difference to me is that Katie has not been able to sell the subtlety that her character requires because it has certainly been written in the plot. For me even the Arthur/Gwen anger thing is in the plot (3x06) when she realized her best friends had been keeping this huge secret from her she could have played hurt/betrayal and a sense of isolation at learning that. Then we would understand why she's so angry with them. Instead we got a self satisfied smirk at learning a secret. There are little moments like this in each of their roles that either sell the character or set the character up for later plot. I think the others handle it well (Bradley's choice in 2.10 outside Vivian's door comes to mind), but not so much with Katie.

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    Tankim

    [140]Nov 8, 2011
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    merthurwen wrote:



    Tankim do you think that living under constant mental stress and threat of physical danger is abusive? I do therefore I don't see Morgana as strictly evil. I think that she changed because she gave in to her desire for revenge. To me it's been clear from S1E1 that Morgana had the kind of personality flaws that if feed into could lead to giving into the darker forces that we all have inside. Little by little over each season she chose evil over good.


    When some blame Merlin/Gaius it seems to me they forget that Aglain(sp) told Morgana to pity Uther as he had let hatred drive goodness from his heart and he showed her the right path by laying down his life to try to save hers. Morgana had all she needed to fight the same darkness she shared with Uther and she even had Merlin who did everything save expose himself to her to show her that he would keep her secret, and did everything he could in 3x12 to give her the chance to tell at least what she knew about the spell inflicting Camelot.






    I think that is a very interesting subject and I'd like to continue this in the Morgana/Katie thread later on if you agree

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