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BBC (ended 2012)

Episode 4x13 'The Sword In The Stone Part 2' discussion thread

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    boom-moo

    [142]Jan 1, 2012
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    Thanks I'll add them to the first post rightaway.
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  • Avatar of Aving

    Aving

    [143]Jan 4, 2012
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    dpebbleson wrote:
    I think Uther and Morgana are similar in that they are both ruled by their fears, which turn into obsessions. He held a great fear and obsession with magic, and didn't choose means when he tried to exterminate magic users. Morgana was, on the other hand, obsessed with reinstating magic and she saw enemies in almost all non-magic people, but more importantly, in all of Uther's establishment, including Arthur, whom she probably thought of as a hierarchy of people that had to be eradicated before magic could be free again. In those manners, they are very similar. Now, I wouldn't say that Arthur is that similar to Uther. I think Morgana sees him as such, and that is the cause of their tragic misunderstanding. He has inherited some of his problems, and some of his views, but has taken a very different approach to things. He does not act automatically with things, but stops to think.


    Hello


    I hope those of you who discussed this subject don't get me wrong but I'm really surprised that there are so many discussions and debates about the things Morgana and Uther are supposed to have in common.


    If I wanted to express my opinion in short, I'd say that despite what he did, Uther had a heart and Morgana doesn't. At least not anymore.


    I think that everyone agrees that Uther did some very questionable things but he wasn't evil and he certainly didn't enjoy killing people. While Morgana takes a great pleasure and satisfaction in torturing and killing people, Uther had a hard time making the decisions he made when sentencing someone to death, in spite of his very quick judgements. He said several times that he takes no pleasure in killing those he judged and at least in season one he always had a drink when it came to that. Moreover, it was never shown or said that he had the prisoners or anyone being tortured, except Gaius in The Witchfinder, to which Merlin referred as Dragoon when he accused Uther of torturing people, I assume. He wasn't the torturing type anyway because it always seemed that he wanted to get rid of people with magical powers as fast as possible.


    Morgana, on the other hand, even tortures for fun. Remember when she turned Gwen into a deer just hoping to see Arthur killing her and the horror in him if he had killed the woman he loves. That is sick, to say the least. If Uther was in a similar situation, he would have killed the person himself instead of doing some tricks and then watching someone else killing their loved one. He also wouldn't enjoy watching a fight between an outnumbered prisoner and a dozen of his men, all willing to kill him, just to throw him back into jail afterwards and awaiting their death through starving.


    It has been obvious throughout all seasons that Uther deeply loved Morgana and Arthur and did everything to protect them. I would even say that everything he did and what happened to him was because he loved more than it was good for him, starting with Ygraine and losing her and ending with Morgana's betrayal. He lost his peace of soul because of his love for Ygraine, his mental and physical health because of his love for his daughter and his life because of his love for his son. It might be hard to see that when, for example, he changed his attitude towards servants almost every episode and when he always sentenced magical people to death, no matter who. On the surface, most people might see him as a stupid tyrant whose only interest was in hunting down magic, but there was a lot more going on with him. So while he gave all the love he could to Morgana, gave her everything she needed and would have laid down his life for her anytime, she seems to be unable to love at all, maybe except her half-sister. There is nothing good left in her because all she can think of is destroying people and taking revenge. Uther and Morgana both might be driven by hate and desire for vengeance but everyone has something in common with others. That doesn't make them equal. The big differences between Morgana and Uther are so obvious that I'm quite astonished that the writers have tried to compare them to each other several times when Uther was their own creation. They created a character that constantly fought a fight with himself and presented a lot of very soft and human moments with a great ability to love...which obviously was the reason for his hatred. I can't quite comprehend why Morgana is supposed to be like him when she basically now is the complete opposite.


    That is why I also don't understand Arthur comparing her to his father. She is evil and he was not. He was able to love and to sacrifice himself, she has no love left in her heart and she intentionally wants to sacrifice and torture even innocents to reach her goal.


    It's the same with Merlin and Agravaine. They might have in common that they manipulated Arthur but that doesn't make them similar in any way. It's all about intentions, motives and emotions. I have no idea why Agravaine acted so bad but even if he was a little more humane than Morgana could ever be, he can't be compared to Merlin at all. As I wrote above, everyone has some things in common with someone else, but comparing them just because of that would be too easy and simple. I could understand a comparison between Morgana and Uther if she still loved Arthur and her friends and tried to protect them, if she wouldn't take pleasure in hurting and torturing others, if there was some dignity and honor left in her. Her so very unrational attitude, brutality and crazy mind makes her a person who can't be compared to anyone else on the entire show. She would make a good demon on other shows, I think. Shame she has become a surreal character that is too bad to be true.


    As for the episode, I was disappointed that there were so many questions left unanswered. I liked Gwaine in both final epsiodes and it was good to see Merlin reveal his powers at least to Agravaine. Too bad he died so that it didn't have a great impact in the end. Tristan seems to be an interesting person. If I may add my opinion about the season here, I think it was the weakest one of all four. It had its entertaining moments but I had expected some situations we saw in the previous seasons to be solved. To me it feels like the writers have put too much into this season which leaves me with a strange feeling about it all.


    Sorry for my long response, I hope I didn't bore anyone to death.

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  • Avatar of ACDiNosey

    ACDiNosey

    [144]Jan 4, 2012
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    Hi Aving, I get what you are getting at with Morgana and Uther, and I agree that Uther has redeemable features that I can't find in Morgana, but I can see the validity of what Arthur was trying to say: both Morgana and Uther have left their feelings take over all rational thoughts. Uther in his fear of magic (which sort of transformed into a hatred for magic) and Morgana because of her feeling betrayed by Uther and her wish for absolute revenge. I agree their motives are different though, but I think that's what Arthur was trying to get at
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  • Avatar of dpebbleson

    dpebbleson

    [145]Jan 4, 2012
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    Aving wrote:


    Hello


    Hello there Have we met before? When I was reading your post, it was like looking at a cloud resembling a familiar figure...


    Nevertheless, this deserves reply, if anything, because of sheer length and effort that went into it.


    You'll find that we differ philosophically. I think there's a resemblance of all things in the world, let alone between people or even fictional characters. That is not to say that Morgana and Uther are identical; if they were, it wouldn't be resemblance, but a relation by identity, an equation.


    Hence, even if Uther had a heart and Morgana didn't, still they had some similarities. He was a father and she was his daughter, from that we could infer some traits passing from a parent to a child. Stubbornness, bravery, sword-skills, ferocity, more abilities than character traits.


    What they also share is the sense of isolation. Uther mistrust everyone and so does Morgana, particularly in Series 4 where she is left without Morgause.


    They also share cruelty in dealing with people. Uther's wife dies because he wanted a son by magical conception, and he goes on to slaughter every magician, including children, which he drowns and burns alive; Morgana feels repressed and lonely, then is poisoned by her friend, and transform herself into someone who orders mass murders of civilians, burning of crops. She even turns against people who used to be her friends, and unlike Merlin, did nothing to harm her. Uther can be cruel; so can Morgana.


    I disagree that Morgana doesn't have heart. You have demonstrated that Uther had a heart, in that he loved Arthur and Morgana. Same can be applied to the bond between Morgana and Morgause. Morgana loves her sisters, takes care of her when she is injured by Merlin, and feels great grief when Morgause dies. Ability to love and respect other than yourself is surely a sign of a goodness, even in a heart dominated by bitterness and cruelty as Morgana's was. That is by no means denying her evil deeds, or saying that she isn't more evil than good: it's acknowledging that inside her cold heart there's still warmth left for at least one person in her life, her sister. And no matter how small that place is, it still exist, as a stronghold of white inside black, and a seed for a possible redemption the future.


    Uther and Morgana are both tragic figures. He became so obsessed to see enemies in all magic-users; she became so obsessed to see enemies in everyone supporting Uther. He hated everyone aligning themselves with magic; she everyone aligning themselves with Uther. The nature of their obsession lies in the source of frustration. Uther's main frustration is magic; Morgana's main frustration is Uther. Those are the foundations of their towers, which are quite rotten actually, because of which all they built upon them would eventually collapse.


    Uther managed to redeem himself in his very last moments, at least to some degree. We didn't witness his fall, and how he persecuted people when he was at the peak of his frustration. Maybe if we had seen it, we would have judged him as harshly as we judge Morgana. But of Uther's cruelty we've seen and heard only glimpses; with Morgana we've seen her order burning of crops and shooting commoners.


    Such great atrocities are not to be compared, being horrendous in themselves, but somehow I'm sure Uther did more damage than Morgana could, if only because he ruled for twenty years and oppressed magic-users with all means possible for those twenty years.


    Once again, it does not exclude his good deeds, such as bringing stability to his kingdom, being a realistic person, an able military commander, and so and and so forth.


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  • Avatar of Aving

    Aving

    [146]Jan 5, 2012
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    Hi ACDiNosey. I agree with you about the redeemable features. I get what you mean but Morgana's motivation can't be a justification for what she does. Arthur knows that there is actually no reason for her hatred and he also knows about Uther's motivation and the difference in both reason and actions. I'm sure that he still doesn't know that Morgana killed his father but he knows that she tried to kill him in the past and wants to kill Arthur and those who used to be her friends. The differences outweigh the similarities to such an extend that the thought to compare her to Uther couldn't have crossed his mind if he respected and understood his father, wether he agreed with him or not. The fact that he did compare them proved that the geatest impression he had of him was his obsession, but this I can't believe. I think it was a flaw in writing, especially now that Arthur shares Uther's opinion about magic since epsiode 3.

    dpebbleson wrote:
    Have we met before? When I was reading your post, it was like looking at a cloud resembling a familiar figure...


    Not that I'm aware of. If so then perhaps on another board but I haven't posted for a year or so, especially not about this subject I share the opinion of those who think that Morgana and Uther can't be compared to each other, so that might be the reason. What familiar figure do you mean?

    Thanks for your response.
    True, there are always similarities, as I wrote before, especially when people are related. The point is that Arthur and Morgana compared each other to their father to either hurt or to open each other's eyes, yet they tried to humiliate one another. It's comprehensible that Morgana did that for she hates Uther but for Arthur it was inappropriate. He wasn't exactly talking about the natural habits that children inherit from their parents because it wasn't an intellectual conversation about genes and things but just the pure attempts to hurt each other. I find it odd that Arthur used Uther to tell Morgana how little he obviously thinks of her or her actions, wether he still loves her or not.

    To give an example: if there is a person who is convinced that a particular other person killed his or her child, for example, and therefore he or she kills the suspect -
    then there is someone who knows that a particular other person has done nothing wrong but he or she tortures and kills the person anyway, just for fun or out of hatred, rage or thirst for power -
    In both cases they committed a crime. But would you compare the first person to the second one?
    That is the difference between doing bad things for whatever reasons or just being evil.
    Killing and torturing for fun or power = evil and/or sick
    Killing out of grief or fear or self defence (wether necessary or not) = wrong but not evil.

    I don't know if Morgana really loved Morgause. Perhaps she did but to me it seemed to be rather idealisation and dependence than love. And I wonder if Morgana loved Morgause if she had tried to convince her of being good and forgiving instead of teaching her how to use her powers for vengeance and cruelty. I think that Morgause was Morgana's soulmate and the key to her true character. She manipulated and probably fomented her, for they had a common goal and both had magical powers. It doesn't appear to be real sisterly love to me.
    If you truly love someone you don't have to necessarily share their opinion and agree on everything - Arthur and Uther disagreed on essential things so many times but they loved each other anyway - but it was obvious that specifically the agreement between Morgana and Morgause defined their relationship because the moment Morgana disagreed with Arthur and Gwen, she started to hate them.
    Moreover, if you get all the love from another person, your parents or friends, and you can't return or even accept it but instead only hate those who truly love you, then there is something terribly wrong with you. With Morgana, in this case. Her insanity makes her hate everyone, not her obsession.
    Arthur can't compare an insane, cold and evil person to his father, that is just totally out of line.
    Morgana's agenda and attitude was based on pure egoism and hunger for power from the very beginning. Except for the first season I never believed her when she stood up for other sorceres, it always seemed to me that she did it more for herself than for them. The whole world turns around her and her alone. I don't know if you like Morgana or not and I am disappointed that her character was changed so much. I thought she was a wonderful personality in season 1 and I would have prefered her to stay that way. Less crazy and hateful and more sane and humane.

    You said that Uther burnt children alive. Has this ever been mentioned? I can't remember that, all I know is that he drowned them, which is worse enough. Unfortunately, burning people at the stake or drowning them was common punishment in the dark ages, it wasn't exactly Uther's invention. He did the wrong things - most of the time but not always - in order to protect others. He had rather good than evil intentions, just not towards magical people. Morgana is the quite opposite. She has rather bad than good intentions and only thinks of herself.
    You said that Uther can be cruel. Sure, there is no doubt about it. But so can Merlin and Arthur. They all follow their heart and do what they think is right. They all have their own and different ways to protect those they love, exactly like Uther did. Arthur showed his cold and cruel side when he killed King Carleon, slaughtered the Druid camp or just stood there and watched Gaius at the stake instead of trying to help him. Shame they never gave Arthur the opportunity to deal with a sorcerer or witch in the court and therefore make him decide over life and death. He would have been forced to do the same his father did.
    Merlin proved his cruelty on several occasions when he killed others in the process and only tried to heal Uther in order to have magic allowed in Camelot rather than helping a friend and someone who is about to die.
    However, that doesn't make them evil. If they had done it for fun or satisfaction like Morgana does, they would be evil.
    Even Gilli was cruel when he killed his opponent during the tournament, and he didn't really have noble intentions at all but did it out of revenge and for his selfesteem. Still he showed his good side when he backed off and finally saw sense in the end. Let alone that Uther didn't kill him. Had it been Morgana who fought Gilli.... I doubt that he'd still be alive.

    No one is a saint on Merlin, with the exception of Lancelot. Meanwhile I think that he was even a kinder person than Merlin is - and that's quite difficult. If the legend was different, I think he would really make the absolutely perfect King.

    As for Uther mistrusting everyone. I couldnt see that. On the contrary, I've always had the impression that he sometimes was a little naive and could be manipulated easily when he trusted someone. The only ones he mistrusted where magical people. How many times have Gaius, Morgana, Merlin and even Arthur manipulated Uther and how often had he believed strangers, like Katrina and Aulfric, for example, before he knew that they were magical?

    In regard to what you said about the redemption, I didn't see saving Arthur's life as a redemption. Uther wanted to sacrifice himself for Arthur in the first season already and he told him several times what he means to him and how proud he was of him. It wasn't new or surprising. I would have wished for real redemption instead of seeing him die as a *sinner* after decades of suffering.

    And as said before, Morgana and Uther do not share cruelty in dealing with people because Morgana has no sense for honor but enjoys to torture and hurt them.- Uther made a short shrift of those he saw as a threat.
    It is cruel in the sense of killing them and I don't like what he did at all, but after all, he just executed the law of which he was convinced was right. He also released those who were falsely alleged of a crime, like Gwen, for example. Morgana doesn't even need to think that someone committed a crime, she is cruel and mean to them anyway. Sadly, the only law she knows is her sadistic mind.
    Let alone that now that Uther is dead, she should be satisfied, yet she continues her journey of cruelty and brutality.

    See, Morgana and Merlin also have some things in common. They both have magic and they both want to bring back magic to the land, only for different reasons. Morgana wants to end living in fear for what she is, wanting it for complete egoistical reasons and Merlin wants to end the hunt for those of his kind. Both kill for their goal, both have the same goal but different intentions and ways of doing it. So they can't be compared to each other.
    Morgana actually knows what's right and wrong and does the wrong things intentionally. Uther wanted to do the right things but was wrong most of the time. Wether they have something in common or not (like everyone has with anyone), they can't be compared to each other either.
    I think that Uther drowing children was a bit too much. Despite the fact that such terrible things really happened back then, it didn't suit him actually because in my opinion, he was so over-protective that such cruel actions aren't really plausible. Killing them when they were magical, yes. But drowning them? I don't know.
    You are right that we don't know much about the Great Purge. Maybe the writers will subsequently make him as cruel as Morgana is but that would basically make nonsense of his character. At the moment we can only deal with what the show has given us, and that wasn't a torture-loving King who got satisfaction out of the affliction of others.
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  • Avatar of dpebbleson

    dpebbleson

    [147]Jan 5, 2012
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    Aving, maybe we haven't met indeed, I've just noticed you're a new user, so we couldn't have met on this forum, and I'm not a member of other Internet forums. Never mind, it was probably just my imagination.

    I'll try to reply to your points as concisely and precisely as I can.

    - As for your little moral dilemma of choosing between right or wrong, or two wrongs in varying degrees, I would first like to say that I like such discussion. Alas, ethics has been discussed for thousands of years, and this small forum is regrettably not the place for it - it would be too much off-topic. I will, however, quote Immanuel Kant and his categorical imperative as some sort of a stance that I'm very much close to:

    "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law."

    - We're not talking whether Morgana and Uther were necessarily or unnecessarily cruel, they were cruel to begin with. Even if Uther had good reasons (which he didn't), there was immense cruelty in eradicating a lot of people just because his wife died at childbirth. From your argument, it somehow follows that what Uther did was rational, and what Morgana does is irrational, while quite the opposite can be argued. Uther's wife dies and he decides to kill all magical population. I don't see how killing all magical population follows the death of his wife, even if by magic. Does one swallow make a summer? Uther should have known better. However, Morgana was marginalized, oppressed, and even killed at one point, so I'd totally understand if she'd flip out. All of it made her irrational, but it's not irrational how she became like that.

    I can see how Morgana is perceived as a psychotic and whatnot, but tbh, I've always perceived Uther as not very far from being psychotic and paranoid. That was a very interesting aspect of his character: how from a role of a father of Arthur and leader of his people he would in an instant turn to some obsessed person uttering "Magic is evil, we must destroy it!" Good acting saved it from being a bit caricature like.

    Yeah, I like Morgana a lot, it doesn't mean I approve of her ways, I just can see her point of view, without pronouncing it as ethical, good or justified. I don't think we've seen enough of her to see her full intentions. Who knows, maybe after some years she would settle and lead a rather prosperous kingdom..? You never know, especially when you look at Uther, who was at one side capable of mass murder, and at the other side capable of caring for his other people.

    I think Morgana is equated with "bad" because she's hurting the characters that the viewers like to identify with or identify as good: Gwaine, Gaius, Elyan, Merlin... It's kind of a trick in story-telling. When Merlin and Arthur kill someone, it's always a crook; when Morgana kills or tortures, it's always someone of the good ones.

    I agree with you that no one on the show is totally white, as you have demonstrated.

    As for Uther burning children, well Edwin Muirden was one such example. To conclude with the main point: while Morgana and Uther are not the same, they are similar to certain degrees. Their cruelty may be different, but cruelty is there; their means may serve different ends, but both were prepared to commit mass murders; their obsessions may have different roots and branch into different directions, but are obsessions nonetheless.

    So it's not equating them, it's comparing them. Arthur didn't say to Morgana: "You are Uther", but "You are (more) like Uther (than you would like to admit)." And judging by her face, I believe he was right.
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  • Avatar of Sparklingwater

    Sparklingwater

    [148]Jan 6, 2012
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    dpebbleson wrote:
    I would first like to say that I like such discussion. Alas, ethics has been discussed for thousands of years, and this small forum is regrettably not the place for it - it would be too much off-topic.


    I might be alone with my opinion but I think that a Merlin forum is indeed the right place to discuss ethics since the show is dealing with ethics. Plus, this whole discussion refers to the confrontation between Arthur and Morgana in this final episode as well as to the confrontation between Agravaine and Merlin.



    dpebbleson wrote:
    Even if Uther had good reasons (which he didn't), there was immense cruelty in eradicating a lot of people just because his wife died at childbirth. From your argument, it somehow follows that what Uther did was rational, and what Morgana does is irrational, while quite the opposite can be argued. Uther's wife dies and he decides to kill all magical population. I don't see how killing all magical population follows the death of his wife, even if by magic. Does one swallow make a summer? Uther should have known better. However, Morgana was marginalized, oppressed, and even killed at one point, so I'd totally understand if she'd flip out. All of it made her irrational, but it's not irrational how she became like that. I can see how Morgana is perceived as a psychotic and whatnot, but tbh, I've always perceived Uther as not very far from being psychotic and paranoid. That was a very interesting aspect of his character: how from a role of a father of Arthur and leader of his people he would in an instant turn to some obsessed person uttering "Magic is evil, we must destroy it!" Good acting saved it from being a bit caricature like.


    He had good reasons, only we as the audience can't fully accept them. Of course, we all agree that mass murder and quick as well as an unfair death sentences is what it is: plain wrong. Uther did what he did caused by a trauma. When Nimueh and the Old Religion betrayed him which led to the death of his wife, he couldn't help but see magic as the pure evil. The most essential thing, a new and completely innocent life ( a baby - Arthur) caused the death of another most essential thing in life; the deep love between two lovers. All just by magic. He couldn't blame the baby but only those who caused the situation. When terrible things happen, people need to blame someone or something and they need to focus their rage on that to deal with their grief. He said to Nimueh that Igraine was his heart and his soul and she took her from him. It's metaphorical but it describes well his actions that followed by that - his "heart and soul" were gone with Igraine. It shows that he obviously defined himself only through her and had laid his whole personality and life into her hands. By killing Igraine, they killed the best part of him. It was also said by Gaius that magic corrupted and that the land was in chaos before Uther came to the land. Put this all together and you know why he considered magic to be evil and to be responsible for almost every bad thing that happens.


    Morgana had no such reasons. She had problems with her father which, in my opinion, go very deep into some kind of a father complex. Maybe a mixture of admiration, desire for acceptance, inferiority complex and hate. Later also fear due to her magical powers. She behaved like a spoiled child and wasn't satisfied with the wealth and love she received, she wanted more and most of all attention. In my opinion, she is a total egomaniac. No trauma, no terrible loss of a loved one she depended on. Entire Camelot couldn't give her more than she already got. One way or the other, with Uther's death her vengeance should have ended. Since it hasn't, there must be something else, it can't be all just about Uther. And that is why I think, no matter what might have happened during the skipped year with Morgause, that Morgana is suffering from mental alineation.


    If you take a look at some other shows like Buffy or Angel or any other mystery show, those who are considered to be evil are being hunted. To Uther, magical people must have been what for other people in other shows demons are. In their opinion, the world must be released from the uncontrollably evil. Even on Star Trek the Borg were supposed to be completely eradicated, millions of them, although they weren't actually evil but just without emotion. What the protagonists consider to be evil or a big threat is being hunted and supposed to be killed. On Star Trek they learnt their lesson when noticing that there are other ways to deal with the Borg the minute they managed to communicate on an equal level, meaning that some of them gained their individuality back. Uther had no chance to see that there are also good sorceres who don't corrupt, most of all because he didn't want to due to his panic. And when you say


    dpebbleson wrote:
    I think Morgana is equated with "bad" because she's hurting the characters that the viewers like to identify with or identify as good: Gwaine, Gaius, Elyan, Merlin... It's kind of a trick in story-telling. When Merlin and Arthur kill someone, it's always a crook; when Morgana kills or tortures, it's always someone of the good ones


    ...you are right. If it wasn't for Merlin or the druids we would share Uther's opinion because almost all the witches and sorcerers we have seen on Merlin were bad or had unpleasant and bad intentions. So unlike Uther we benefit from knowing that. If the writers had given Uther the chance to witness good acts coming out of magic, practiced by others and not only by himself for healing purposes, who knows what might have changed? Granted, chances are good that he would have ignored it and clinged to his obsession but we'll never know. He wasn't able to see the differences between good and bad sorceres, maybe most of all because he just couldn't believe that anyone was capable of dealing with magic without falling from grace. He himself was the best example for that. With all his power and knowledge and also one of the most powerful friends of the Old religion, Nimueh, he couldn't control magic at all and witnessed the worst outcome he could possibly imagine.


    So, his reasons were not to be justified but indeed rational up to a certain point. Only we, the audience, saw the other side.


    Morgana is similar to the audience. She knows both sides but has decided for the dark side. She had every possible chance to do the right thing but she decided for the wrong things despite all she has experienced and seen. When Arthur compared her to Uther, he overlooked the essential things that make them entirely different. He did what he did to keep her safe-- she did what she did to destroy him and others in every possible way.


    Referring to what you wrote above, I think that TPTB have created some sort of competition between Arthur and Uther as well as Morgana and Uther. Especially the 4th season has brought up many situations by which the audience is almost forced to compare one to another. Who is the better king? Who is or was more evil? Depending on who your favorite character is, the fans are dragged into this competition which isn't a good thing, I guess. I am constantly comparing Arthur to his father to find out if I can see him as a king. He is softer and provides more tolerance, yet I still can't see him as a king but still feel he is just one of the knights and the prince. Maybe it would be different if he had an own "kingly" personality that wouldn't be based on the constant comparison to his father. I'm really tired of that. Referring to Uther in the episodes is a good thing because he shouldn't be forgotten, but making him responsible for all the evil in the world, maybe even for thunderstorms, earthquakes and pestilence (to exaggerate...) is just unnerving.


    Personally, I can't see a moral dilemma when one character tremendously enjoys the agony and torment of others whereas the other character doesn't. The situation seems to be pretty clear to me. Morgana is now the typical person who puts the boot in those who are already entirely defeated. Pity. I liked her in the first 2 seasons, she had such potential.




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  • Avatar of Chayiana

    Chayiana

    [149]Jan 6, 2012
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    Sparklingwater wrote:


    If the writers had given Uther the chance to witness good acts coming out of magic, practiced by others and not only by himself for healing purposes, who knows what might have changed? Granted, chances are good that he would have ignored it and clinged to his obsession but we'll never know.



    Oh, but we do know, that he still would've clinged to his obsession. I mean, even after he has basically witnessed, that Morgana's life was saved by magic (well, he believed it was Gaius, and not Merlin, but he practically knew that magic was involved), he still condemned when magic was used to save others. Or do we really believe that he would've welcomed Alice with open arms, because she was healing people with magic?
    And when Sir Leon was healed by the druids, I actually thought for a moment, he wanted to arrest him because he was healed by magic; at least he was extremely wary. He would've never changed his point of view, and that's exactly what I think he has in common with Morgana. They both have reached a certain point, where they aren't/weren't able to change their believes anymore, they both are/were blind to reason because of their fear and hatred. And that's also, where Arthur is different... he is still capable of changing his view on things and people, something we definitely saw this series.


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    dpebbleson

    [150]Jan 6, 2012
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    Sparklingwater wrote:


    I might be alone with my opinion but I think that a Merlin forum is indeed the right place to discuss ethics since the show is dealing with ethics. Plus, this whole discussion refers to the confrontation between Arthur and Morgana in this final episode as well as to the confrontation between Agravaine and Merlin.


    Well, you're apparently not alone, as there seems to be some others sharing your views. Anyway, ethics in the context of the show fits the discussion I guess, but ethics per se is maybe for some philosophical forum, "in a land of logos and a time of reason"



    Sparklingwater wrote:


    He had good reasons, only we as the audience can't fully accept them.


    Yeah, we're obviously the ones who are wrong there, poor Uther, poor all mass murderers who kill people to treat their traumas...


    Sparklingwater wrote:
    Of course, we all agree that mass murder and quick as well as an unfair death sentences is what it is: plain wrong. Uther did what he did caused by a trauma. When Nimueh and the Old Religion betrayed him which led to the death of his wife, he couldn't help but see magic as the pure evil. The most essential thing, a new and completely innocent life ( a baby - Arthur) caused the death of another most essential thing in life; the deep love between two lovers. All just by magic. He couldn't blame the baby but only those who caused the situation. When terrible things happen, people need to blame someone or something and they need to focus their rage on that to deal with their grief. He said to Nimueh that Igraine was his heart and his soul and she took her from him. It's metaphorical but it describes well his actions that followed by that - his "heart and soul" were gone with Igraine. It shows that he obviously defined himself only through her and had laid his whole personality and life into her hands. By killing Igraine, they killed the best part of him. It was also said by Gaius that magic corrupted and that the land was in chaos before Uther came to the land. Put this all together and you know why he considered magic to be evil and to be responsible for almost every bad thing that happens.


    I get it that he blames Nimueh for the death of his wife, even though she might have told him of the possible consequences. But blaming the magic is simply not a very sane action on his part. What do you mean "Nimueh and Old Religion betrayed him"? Okay for Nimueh if you think so, but how can Old Religion betray him? How can a religion betray a religious person?


    When terrible things happen, many people need to blame someone, right, but it's never said that that's the right thing to do. Especially isn't right to blame everyone but yourself.


    Sparklingwater wrote:
    Uther had no chance to see that there are also good sorceres who don't corrupt, most of all because he didn't want to due to his panic.


    Chaiyana replied eloquently and better than I could so I won't repeat what I agree with.


    Sparklingwater wrote:


    Referring to what you wrote above, I think that TPTB have created some sort of competition between Arthur and Uther as well as Morgana and Uther. Especially the 4th season has brought up many situations by which the audience is almost forced to compare one to another. Who is the better king? Who is or was more evil? Depending on who your favorite character is, the fans are dragged into this competition which isn't a good thing, I guess. I am constantly comparing Arthur to his father to find out if I can see him as a king. He is softer and provides more tolerance, yet I still can't see him as a king but still feel he is just one of the knights and the prince. Maybe it would be different if he had an own "kingly" personality that wouldn't be based on the constant comparison to his father. I'm really tired of that. Referring to Uther in the episodes is a good thing because he shouldn't be forgotten, but making him responsible for all the evil in the world, maybe even for thunderstorms, earthquakes and pestilence (to exaggerate...) is just unnerving.


    I quite like the parallels between them. It's a very common motif, you know, who will inherit the kingdom, will he be worthy enough and all. Arthur is in the process of becoming a great king, but it's interesting to see the struggles, and many failures he has had. Just as with Uther. He's very complex character. For me, he's not completely sane, but not completely insane. In a way he's lost it, but has also managed to keep himself together and become an effective ruler. He even reminds me of King Lear. King Lear was so mad at Cordelia because she wouldn't sing praises of him, so he banished her. Uther had a worse problem, his wife died, but the way he dealt with it was way too much, I mean, such stuff happens, it's not like he's the only one whose wife died at childbirth. Deal with it. But he didn't.



    Edited on 01/06/2012 2:39pm
    Edited 3 total times.
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    PenguinSuzie

    [151]Jan 6, 2012
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    I'm sorry to reply to this here, but I wanted to reply to this conversation. I think I might post it in the Morgana thread.


    Uther didn't actually burn Edwin, he burned his parents and the child ran to save them.

    I do think that Uther thought he was doing the right thing, and somewhat disturbed by it all and had an intense fear of magic. He was paranoid of anything even remotely supporting magic. He was definitely wrong and his methods were severe, but in his own way he seemed to believe that it was the right thing to do. I certainly don't think he was completely in his right mind after losing Igraine. The reason I think that many people sympathise with him is because we have seen how deeply he cares for his children and how much he cared for Igraine. Though he sees the big picture rather than those that make it up, he cares for his people and his kingdom. We've seen the emotional side of him and how broken he really is. Despite being unmovable on his actions and mindset, he never looked to be enjoying watching them suffer. He's not a sadist. He's just not completely all there IMHO, I think her death sort of broke him. Though it wasn't until he found out his own daughter hated and had betrayed him that he seemed to completely fall apart. The interesting thing is how he reacted when he found out she had magic. No anger, he just looked so sad and lost.

    I say 'disturbed by it' because of how he reacted when he saw the dripping ghost of the boy.

    How Morgana got to the point where she hates Uther makes sense. Her trying to overthrow him and rule instead of her younger brother, restoring magic and helping everyone like her makes sense as well. She's as ruthless as Uther, more so maybe, and unlike him she seems to enjoy watching them squirm and scream. In the first two series her journey was clear and we could really see how she'd start to fall down the road that would lead her to a very dark place. Unfortunately we didn't get to see the change, and despite her goal being understandable, she immediately started killing innocents. The fact that she didn't seem to feel guilt over this just fuelled the fire. Yes she cared for Morgause, but her deep love for Arthur and Gwen had disappeared. She seemed to assume they'd follow Uther and she hated everything to do with him. Like Uther's hatred of even supporters of magic, those around Uther, even those who could be considered neutral, those that didn't hate his guts were as good as dead to her. Though even in series 3 she seemed to have a vague affection left for Gwen, which I think she completely lost when Gwen betrayed her. Morgana doesn't seem to notice or won't, that people like Gwen wouldn't have hated her if she hadn't acted first. By series 4 Morgana loses every ally she gains, has lost her sister and doesn't seem to feel anything for anyone. She actually enjoys watching people suffer, torturing them simply for her own amusement.

    I do think Morgana has many similarities to Uther. They are very different as well. Saying someone is like someone doesn't mean they share every trait. I really don't think Arthur was implying Uther was a torturing maniac. All three of them have similarities. Morgana and Uther especially.

    It can come down to a matter of perspective, but it really depends on who you sympathise with more. I feel sorry for both of them, and like both of them, but by this point I do think Morgana is the darkest one. Simply because she enjoys what she does, it's not a matter of fighting for something anymore for her. Though Uther was certainly responsible for a lot of evil, I don't think he himself was evil. I don't think Morgana is either, I think she as well may have gone mad. Possibly she's just snapped and no longer strives for anything more than revenge.

    When I think of how Morgana would react if she saw Morgause again. I imagine she'd cry at her feet and hold her. It makes me think that Morgana is not beyond redemption, it wouldn't take much though by this point.

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    dpebbleson

    [152]Jan 6, 2012
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    PenguinSuzie wrote:

    I'm sorry to reply to this here, but I wanted to reply to this conversation. I think I might post it in the Morgana thread.


    Uther didn't actually burn Edwin, he burned his parents and the child ran to save them.



    Indeed, thank you for your correction

    I like what you wrote about Morgana, and also about similarity not being sameness.
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  • Avatar of Aving

    Aving

    [153]Jan 6, 2012
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    dpebbleson, you wrote:

    "Well, you're apparently not alone, as there seems to be some other user, a doppelganger of yours, it seems. Anyway, ethics in the context of the show fits the discussion I guess, but ethics per se is maybe for some philosophical forum, "in a land of logos and a time of reason"

    If I was paranoid and considered your first reply to me in which you thought we've met before, I would almost assume that you are talking about me

    Especially since you quoted me with something I haven't written:

    "Of course, we all agree that mass murder and quick as well as an unfair death sentences is what it is: plain wrong. Uther did what he did caused by a trauma. When Nimueh and the Old Religion betrayed him which led to the death of his wife, he couldn't help but see magic as the pure evil. The most essential thing, a new and completely innocent life ( a baby - Arthur) caused the death of another most essential thing in life; the deep love between two lovers. All just by magic. He couldn't blame the baby but only those who caused the situation. When terrible things happen, people need to blame someone or something and they need to focus their rage on that to deal with their grief. He said to Nimueh that Igraine was his heart and his soul and she took her from him. It's metaphorical but it describes well his actions that followed by that - his "heart and soul" were gone with Igraine. It shows that he obviously defined himself only through her and had laid his whole personality and life into her hands. By killing Igraine, they killed the best part of him. It was also said by Gaius that magic corrupted and that the land was in chaos before Uther came to the land. Put this all together and you know why he considered magic to be evil and to be responsible for almost every bad thing that happens."

    The above wasn't my comment and neither was this:

    "Referring to what you wrote above, I think that TPTB have created some sort of competition between Arthur and Uther as well as Morgana and Uther. Especially the 4th season has brought up many situations by which the audience is almost forced to compare one to another. Who is the better king? Who is or was more evil? Depending on who your favorite character is, the fans are dragged into this competition which isn't a good thing, I guess. I am constantly comparing Arthur to his father to find out if I can see him as a king. He is softer and provides more tolerance, yet I still can't see him as a king but still feel he is just one of the knights and the prince. Maybe it would be different if he had an own "kingly" personality that wouldn't be based on the constant comparison to his father. I'm really tired of that. Referring to Uther in the episodes is a good thing because he shouldn't be forgotten, but making him responsible for all the evil in the world, maybe even for thunderstorms, earthquakes and pestilence (to exaggerate...) is just unnerving."

    I'd appreciate it if you corrected it, thanks

    Well, I am me and not someone else. In case you believe that I am another member here I have to say that it is not surprising that some people share similar opinions. I might misunderstand the situation but please refrain from comparing me to others or suspecting me of using multiple names. In case I misunderstand you, please accept my apologies

    Anyway, I enjoy the discussion because I think that going deeper into the characters makes a show much more interesting. Although I was disappointed about this season I still like to share my thoughts about some characters and their relationship and I value every opinion that broadens my mind. Thanks for that.

    Everyone has stated clearly that they disagree with the actions of both Uther and Morgana, however, we are all trying to figure out and to explain why the things that happened happened To me it is about comprehending characters, not defending their actions. We are living in the real world and have a quite different perspective than fictional characters have in their stories, and that gives us the opportunitiy to look behind the scenes, so to speak. When comparing the goals and motives of two characters who did and do very questionable things, we try to see what's behind that, but that doesn't mean that anyone would defend anything of the cruel or questionable actions. I hope.

    I have to read again what you all wrote to reply to it.


    Forgot something in reply to Chayiana: The most striking thing hat Arthur and Uther have in common is their aggression, I think. It became obvious when Arthur snapped out when seeing Lancelot kissing Gwen and when he wanted to kill Uther after meeting Ygraine. Arthur might not be exactly as short tempered as Uther but very close to it.

    Edited on 01/06/2012 12:53pm
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    dpebbleson

    [154]Jan 6, 2012
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    Hello, Aving, you see my problem is I usually "go on foot" so to speak. I know a bit of a script language on this site, so I open and close quotations using that scripted language, which obviously can lead to errors, such as me quoting you instead of Sparklingwater. The thing is your arguments are very similar and posts equally long, so that must be why I got you two mixed up. No, I wasn't implying you have parallel profiles here, so apology accepted

    As for Arthur's aggression, tbh, I think I'd react in a very intense way myself. Not with the sword prolly, but would be enraged. So I think it's similarity by being human. They do have other similarities, of course, based on the fact they're both Pendragons.
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    Chayiana

    [155]Jan 6, 2012
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    Aving wrote:
    Forgot something in reply to Chayiana: The most striking thing hat Arthur and Uther have in common is their aggression, I think. It became obvious when Arthur snapped out when seeing Lancelot kissing Gwen and when he wanted to kill Uther after meeting Ygraine. Arthur might not be exactly as short tempered as Uther but very close to it.


    dpebbleson wrote:
    As for Arthur's aggression, tbh, I think I'd react in a very intense way myself. Not with the sword prolly, but would be enraged. So I think it's similarity by being human. They do have other similarities, of course, based on the fact they're both Pendragons.


    Thanks, Danko! I agree with that.


    But I'd like to add that I was only talking about one certain character trait, that Uther and Morgana have in common IMO, and where Arthur differs from them. I never denied that Arthur and Uther also have a lot in common, on the contrary, they do share several traits. So, I don't really understand what purpose your statement serve, Aving.

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    Aving

    [156]Jan 6, 2012
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    ?... Chayiana, I was just adding something to your comment when you wrote

    "And that's also, where Arthur is different... he is still capable of changing his view on things and people, something we definitely saw this series"

    because we were talking about the comparison-situation between Morgana and Arthur. And that was what I noticed.

    Is it just me or is there a tense situation here? What's going on?

    (dpebbleson, there is still a mistake in your quotation)

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  • Avatar of dpebbleson

    dpebbleson

    [157]Jan 6, 2012
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    Aving wrote:
    (dpebbleson, there is still a mistake in your quotation)


    Fixed Have fun!
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    Sparklingwater

    [158]Jan 7, 2012
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    dpebbleson wrote:


    Sparklingwater wrote:


    He had good reasons, only we as the audience can't fully accept them.


    Yeah, we're obviously the ones who are wrong there, poor Uther, poor all mass murderers who kill people to treat their traumas...



    I didn't say that. As you can see, I guess I have described in lengths the meaning of the sentence above, and it doesn't mean that the audience is wrong, on the contrary. It means that it naturally and fortunatley can't accept the reasons as a justification. It would be sad if anyone really agreed with what Morgana and Uther did in regard to killing everyone.


    dpebbleson wrote:


    I get it that he blames Nimueh for the death of his wife, even though she might have told him of the possible consequences. But blaming the magic is simply not a very sane action on his part. What do you mean "Nimueh and Old Religion betrayed him"? Okay for Nimueh if you think so, but how can Old Religion betray him? How can a religion betray a religious person?


    The Old Religion/magic is represented by its priests and priestesses. It is seducing with all its power and like in our religion the devil telling you sweet things and making promises to make you sell your soul, to sin or whatever, the Old Religion is the manifestation of deceitful malice - in Uther's mind. So I assume that he felt betrayed by Nimueh and magic at all.



    dpebbleson wrote:


    When terrible things happen, many people need to blame someone, right, but it's never said that that's the right thing to do. Especially isn't right to blame everyone but yourself.



    Of course it's not the right thing to do. It's just an explanation. When understanding what makes people tick, you understand their motives and part of their character. That doesn't mean to agree with them.



    dpebbleson wrote:


    I quite like the parallels between them. It's a very common motif, you know, who will inherit the kingdom, will he be worthy enough and all. Arthur is in the process of becoming a great king, but it's interesting to see the struggles, and many failures he has had. Just as with Uther. He's very complex character. For me, he's not completely sane, but not completely insane. In a way he's lost it, but has also managed to keep himself together and become an effective ruler. He even reminds me of King Lear. King Lear was so mad at Cordelia because she wouldn't sing praises of him, so he banished her. Uther had a worse problem, his wife died, but the way he dealt with it was way too much, I mean, such stuff happens, it's not like he's the only one whose wife died at childbirth. Deal with it. But he didn't.


    Right, I agree. I suppose he would have been able to deal with it much better if it hadn't happened through magic but if she died of natural causes. Due to the fact that it all started because he asked Nimueh for help, he must have constantly thought that it all could have been prevented, hadn't he asked Nimueh to use magic. But if he hadn't, Arthur wouldn't exist. So there is kind of a choice between his son and his wife because one can only live when the other dies or won't even be born. But it didn't happen due to natural causes but by a descision he made. Therefore there was arbitrariness behind it all, something that could have been avoided, had he known the consequences. Then again, Arthur wouldn't exist. Magic/The Old religion would have had the power to not kill Igraine but did it anyway. While Uther was powerless in this situation, he had to watch magic killing his wife instead of saving her. What I mean is that the whole situation wasn't only a vicious cycle but it's also always easier to deal with the death of a loved one happening by natural causes than to deal with it when the loved one is murdered.


    Arthur has a lot of help, Merlin is at his side and Gaius and Gwen are supporting him. It will be much easier for him to deal with the problems and difficulties the job and life brings. His mental stability is pretty safe, I guess.



    dpebbleson wrote:
    Hello, Aving, you see my problem is I usually "go on foot" so to speak. I know a bit of a script language on this site, so I open and close quotations using that scripted language, which obviously can lead to errors, such as me quoting you instead of Sparklingwater. The thing is your arguments are very similar and posts equally long, so that must be why I got you two mixed up.


    Weird. Long posts and similar arguments...... seriously? You have implied several times that you suspected us of being the same person. Well, we are not. Going by that everyone who has similar arguments or makes long or short posts must be mixed up with others. And I don't have a "doppelganger", I have my own thoughts.



    Chayiana wrote:


    Sparklingwater wrote:


    If the writers had given Uther the chance to witness good acts coming out of magic, practiced by others and not only by himself for healing purposes, who knows what might have changed? Granted, chances are good that he would have ignored it and clinged to his obsession but we'll never know.



    Oh, but we do know, that he still would've clinged to his obsession. I mean, even after he has basically witnessed, that Morgana's life was saved by magic (well, he believed it was Gaius, and not Merlin, but he practically knew that magic was involved), he still condemned when magic was used to save others. Or do we really believe that he would've welcomed Alice with open arms, because she was healing people with magic?
    And when Sir Leon was healed by the druids, I actually thought for a moment, he wanted to arrest him because he was healed by magic; at least he was extremely wary. He would've never changed his point of view, and that's exactly what I think he has in common with Morgana. They both have reached a certain point, where they aren't/weren't able to change their believes anymore, they both are/were blind to reason because of their fear and hatred. And that's also, where Arthur is different... he is still capable of changing his view on things and people, something we definitely saw this series.





    Yes, as I said, chances are good that he wouldn't have given up his obsession. But we don't know, because when he asked Gaius it was all under his own control. He trusted Gaius which was the reason why he didn't executed him. Alice was not under his control, he could never know if she corrupted due to practicing magic or not. That was the problem, magic and everyone who used it was uncontrollable and he himself used it just this once when the situation was much too desperate. It was hypocritical on one hand but on the other he faced his biggest fear in order to save his daughter. I would have liked to know if things had changed if he really had had the chance to witness what Merlin had done all those years. I'm not saying that he surely would have had a change of heart but I would have liked to find out. In his opinion, no one could resist the dark side of magic for long, so finding out that Merlin could and did, his reaction might have been different.


    Morgana would have been the right person to change him and I'm sure she knows that. But she didn't want to and chose to make it all worse. Uther tried to keep what he had built up and Morgana tries to destroy everything others have built or are building. A bit like kids in a sandbox, you always have at least one kid who busts one's sand castle. I still can't see how the comparison fits in the sense it was brought up.


    Edited on 01/07/2012 6:01am
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  • Avatar of dpebbleson

    dpebbleson

    [159]Jan 7, 2012
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    Sparklingwater, as much as I like discussing with you, I think this discussion is going in circles. You have a right to your own opinion, I have a right to disagree, and vice versa.

    As for the implications you mention, my response should be the same - "seriously?" Thank you for your time.
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    NoeliaZaballa

    [160]Jan 9, 2012
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    Uther is the ultimate hypocryte. When he thought Gaius used magic to heal Morgana he was all grateful and happy --even though he wouldnt still like magic- then in another episode with the witch hunter, Gaius confesses he used sorcery (to protect Merlin) and Uther didnt hesitate in sending him to die. Theres no way Uther would have changed his mind, he was at the top of ignorance.
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    Sparklingwater

    [161]Jan 10, 2012
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    NoeliaZaballa wrote:
    Uther is the ultimate hypocryte. When he thought Gaius used magic to heal Morgana he was all grateful and happy --even though he wouldnt still like magic- then in another episode with the witch hunter, Gaius confesses he used sorcery (to protect Merlin) and Uther didnt hesitate in sending him to die. Theres no way Uther would have changed his mind, he was at the top of ignorance.



    I have responded to your post in the Uther thread to avoid discussing mere character subjects in this topic. It's sometimes difficult to find the right topic when certain subjects are brought up in an episode that are about character descriptions or developments.

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