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BBC (ended 2012)

Episode 5x03 'The Death Song Of Uther Pendragon' discussion thread

  • Avatar of XyFan

    XyFan

    [21]Oct 21, 2012
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    sorry for doubleposting, i wont do that again.

    dpebbleson wrote:
    I liked this episode very much.

    - Gaius was as reliable as ever. But why does the actor sound and look so weary and beaten? The hair, the look is like of a man who is ill. Of course, the actor is quite old, still the various departments aren't doing much to make Gaius look healthier and whatnot. At the same time, we aren't given any information that something is wrong with Gaius, so that we could infer his demise...


    Is it just me or without Gaius the whole kingdom would be pretty much doomed? Merlin certainly doesnt have all the knowledge there is to know. Gaius plays too big role to leave yet.. And sorry for being very rude now, just out of stupid curiousity, what would they do if something happened to the actor =.=?
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    Ashleighnikiann

    [22]Oct 21, 2012
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    FrancesWebb wrote:
    My question: When Arthur was heading out to visit his father, he doesn't tell Merlin where they're going but does order him not to tell Guinevere that they're leaving. What is their relationship that he simply would disappear for days without notice? Couldn't he have made up a story if he knew she'd disapprove? Maybe she reads him to well for him to lie to her?


    And generally, we haven't really seen Arthur and Gwen together at all. Has their relationship changed in the past three years? Are they less close now? Or is this just an oversight on the part of the writers?


    Regarding Uther almost revealing Merlin's magic at the end of the episode, I imagine that Arthur will at least wonder at what his father was going to say about Merlin. Arthur's kind of a meat head, but he's not entirely stupid. Maybe he'll begin to make connections on his own.


    But they really have to stop with the "Arthur getting knocked out so he doesn't see the magic" situation. This is beginning to look like laziness on behalf of the writers.

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    dea300

    [23]Oct 21, 2012
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    Ashleighnikiann wrote:


    FrancesWebb wrote:
    My question: When Arthur was heading out to visit his father, he doesn't tell Merlin where they're going but does order him not to tell Guinevere that they're leaving. What is their relationship that he simply would disappear for days without notice? Couldn't he have made up a story if he knew she'd disapprove? Maybe she reads him to well for him to lie to her?


    And generally, we haven't really seen Arthur and Gwen together at all. Has their relationship changed in the past three years? Are they less close now? Or is this just an oversight on the part of the writers?



    I feel as though it was just a missing scene. Maybe Arthur told her that they were going hunting again since they didn't catch anything last time. And on the return, he could have just told her that Merlin scared everything off again.

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    boom-moo

    [24]Oct 21, 2012
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    PenguinSuzie wrote:

    I hope that's right.

    Thank you very much for your help I have elaborated on some, what do you think? Here:

    Potions made by Gaius:
    -A poultice for Percival’s shoulder wound.
    -A sleeping draught for Gwen.
    -A potion for Arthur and Merlin to see Uther in spirit form.

    Arthur and Gwen moments:
    -Gwen realizes that he is sad during the banquet. He kisses her cheek and touches her shoulder affectionately as he leaves the table.
    -Arthur tells Uther that he married for love. “I love Guinevere. More than… I can express”.
    -Arthur is worried over her after she’s injured.
    -Arthur tells Merlin that Uther knows how much he loves Gwen.
    -He reproaches Uther for trying to kill Guinevere.
    -Arthur tells Uther that “Guinevere is wise and strong and I trust her more than anyone” and that he would rather “not rule at all than rule alone”.

    I have worded the outfits one to match the descriptions that have been used from the past seasons. Hope that is ok with you

    Is there any list you'd like to fill in yourself every week?
    Edited on 10/21/2012 11:04am
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  • Avatar of Scop

    Scop

    [25]Oct 21, 2012
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    I liked this episode. It was a good way to put Uther's ghost to rest in both a figurative and literal sense as well. Despite what Morgana believes, Arthur's firmly entrenched in the idea that Uther was wrong and he has a definite separation in his brain between good sorcery and bad sorcery.


    It's obvious Arthur's seen too many witch burnings in his lifetime. I'm assuming cases of witchcraft were supposed to be brought to Camelot for trial and Arthur hadn't realized some village headmen were taking matters into their own hands. He probably has some guilt over that for how Morgana turned out.


    The next thing he does is use a magical object in a magical ritual to perform some sorcery of his own and raise the dead. Morgause would be proud as raising the dead was always her forte. Basically, Arthur's probably just performed enough magic that would have gotten him killed during Uther's reign if it were found out. And he knew it would still be problematic if anyone found out his intent as he hid the horn from Merlin until they left the castle (Merlin's not the only one keeping the magic secret). This means, however, that Mordred isn't going to find out anything about what happened (but even if he did, Mordred's said to Morgana that he's learned that even those who say they're friends of magic can't be trusted).


    I love the fact that even though Arthur doesn't think of Merlin as his court sorcerer, he still uses him in that fashion. Whenever there's something dangerous and magical about, Arthur doesn't call on the group of his closest knights to back him up. No, he brings along Merlin. My favorite bit of that is when they hear the noises coming from behind the servants door in Arthur's bedroom, right after Merlin's convinced him that he's accidentally summoned his father's ghost. Arthur looks over at Merlin who's holding the serving tray and seems to silently say "put down that tray nonsense and get over here and help me defend Camelot against evil where you belong!"



    Great scenes between Merlin and Uther. From a happily ever after point of view, I wish Merlin could have taken the high road and told Uther he's been the only protection Arthur's had from the mess Uther created, but hey, he's been frustrated with this magic thing for ten years with Uther choosing his version of Camelot over Arthur's life, Merlin just had to get Uther's goat by telling him he wasn't successful in keeping magic away from Camelot's heart.


    The result though is that now Uther believes the reason Arthur turned his back on Uther's ideals is because he's been under the control of a sorcerer; a sorcerer he himself placed at his son's side. Which is true, just not in an evil way. The knowledge was enough to snap Uther back from thoughts of filicide back to defending his precious son against the horrors of magic and almost, but not quite warning Arthur just before Arthur again performs another act of sorcerery and uses the magic device to send Uther back to the land of the dead.


    Somehow, I don't think he'll be resting peacefully. If there's anything that would get Uther to try to find a way back to the world of the living, that would be it. Perhaps we'll see that in season 6?


    It would have been a cool way to do the reveal though to let Uther utter that last word, Merlin to look horrified at Arthur, Arthur to look back at Merlin, rather bored and say "are you coming" then walk out the door and down the hallway.


    Looking forward to seeing what happens next week!



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  • Avatar of boom-moo

    boom-moo

    [26]Oct 21, 2012
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    What Arthur says about magic:
    -He believes that the chandelier fell on the Round Table because the chain broke and that Percival’s wound was an accident and can’t be persuaded to think otherwise (“Do you expect me to believe that my father's spirit is responsible for these things?”).
    -He refuses to believe that Uther’s spirit is responsible of Gwen’s attack.
    -He asks Gaius about ghosts and goes along with his plan to send Uther’s spirit back to the spirit world.
    -“I never thought the day would come when I would be hunting my own father”.
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    FrancesWebb

    [27]Oct 21, 2012
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    Ashleighnikiann wrote:

    Regarding Uther almost revealing Merlin's magic at the end of the episode, I imagine that Arthur will at least wonder at what his father was going to say about Merlin. Arthur's kind of a meat head, but he's not entirely stupid. Maybe he'll begin to make connections on his own.



    I doubt we'll see Arthur making any big conclusions about Merlin based on Uther's last sentence. As far as I could tell, the most he could have gotten was "Merlin has m...", and there are too many possible ways to finish that sentence. He could have been accusing Merlin of stealing something (e.g. "Merlin has my [comb/favorite crown/etc.]."), or of doing something wrong (e.g. "Merlin has made a fool of this family once too often!"). Uther had attacked Guinevere and Percival for being jumped-up commoners, but even though that reason wouldn't work for Merlin, the first two attacks probably would have left Arthur not expecting Uther's attacks to be well-reasoned or justified. He might not even think much about Uther's motives at the end in going for Merlin.

    If past history is any example, Arthur will not think Merlin's a sorcerer until he is faced with absolute proof. We know that he has failed to be convinced in the past by Merlin confessing to sorcery, to others accusing Merlin of sorcery (with evidence), or by insanely unlikely things happening all the time (e.g. convenient rock falls, tree branches falling willy-nilly onto battle but always on Arthur's enemies when things are getting dicey, and maybe the weirdest, enemies constantly being forced to drop their weapons when they become suddenly superheated). Merlin isn't always Arthur's only ally on scene when the insanely unlikely things happen, but he often is.

    Ashleighnikiann wrote:

    But they really have to stop with the "Arthur getting knocked out so he doesn't see the magic" situation. This is beginning to look like laziness on behalf of the writers.



    Agreed. In the 1940's Superman radio show, Lois Lane used to faint all the time instead. She and Clark would be facing certain death, she would faint from fear, then he'd save the day, and make some excuse to her when she woke. They did have other ways of making sure she was oblivious, but this one was used too much.
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    PenguinSuzie

    [28]Oct 22, 2012
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    boom-moo wrote:
    I have elaborated on some, what do you think?
    It's great!
    boom-moo wrote:
    Hope that is ok with you
    Of course, it's fine.
    boom-moo wrote:
    Is there any list you'd like to fill in yourself every week?
    Not really, I'm sure I'd forget. I'd love to help out though if that's okay.
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    boom-moo

    [29]Oct 22, 2012
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    PenguinSuzie wrote:
    boom-moo wrote:
    Is there any list you'd like to fill in yourself every week?
    Not really, I'm sure I'd forget. I'd love to help out though if that's okay.
    Of course it is, thank you

    Arthur is knocked unconscious or prevented from knowing about Merlin's magic:
    -Uther’s spirit has knocked Arthur out when Merlin uses magic to counteract Uther’s attack.
    -Arthur sends Uther’s spirit back to the spirit world when he was mid-sentence warning him about Merlin having magic.
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    Agravaine_yay

    [30]Oct 30, 2012
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    I'll try my best to abide the rules... but I must be honest and true to my own opinions; because after all, it's a set out human right to have your voice heard.

    To be honest, I liked this episode, but something was and is really bothering me...

    Arthur is only still respectful of his father because he's an idiot. In my opinion, Overman blew all Uther's character into Smitherines. In The Wicked Day, Uther was sent off just fine, and after thatthey should have just put him in the past.

    I'm not really a fan of Uther, but they went SO OVERBOARD with his attitude! Why would he want to kill his son after all he had said to him about him being ready and how he loved him? I think it was a complete ridicule.

    Sure, Uther would be mad that Arthur has put everything he has built in reverse, but for god's sake! Look at his DAUGHTER, Morgana! She's a sorceress and wants Camelot to burn to ashes. And now that she is now identified as a 'Pendragon', she would be the one tormenting his legacy! So it was a large plot hole with Uther going after Arthur, not Morgana.

    And even if he was really mad at Arthur, why the hell would he want him dead for Christ's sake!?

    This show threw Lancelot's character under the bus my giving him a suicidal and betraying reputation from Arthur's point of view, now it's Uther who they are doing it to!

    In my opinion, this episode had a complete display of mischaracterisation in terms of Uther's motives. All those 42 episodes of us seeing Uther's interesting and depthful character flow has now been destroyed. And they are also lacking a display of showing that Arthur is mentally strong as well as physically.

    Aside from some, I must say the ratings aren't very good... On Tumblr: hate was burning like lava straight after the episode, on Merlin Wiki: people were threatening to stop watching the show, and here: the average user rating is barely over 5/10.

    Uther's character by has the most depth and is the most interesting to sus out, however this 'Uther', in my opinion, was none other than a one-dimensional zombie.

    Before you jump to the fact that 'I'm wrong' or whatever you think... just think about it - how do you think Uther's character was treated? Forget about Arthur or Merlin, just think about Uther! Because he is practically, in my opinion, the main thing in general that went wrong in the episode.

    (And lastly, if you've seen my episode review, I didn't mean it entirely, I just got up on the wrong side of the bed that day.)

    Edited on 10/30/2012 3:13am
    Edited 4 total times.
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  • Avatar of Sparklingwater

    Sparklingwater

    [31]Oct 31, 2012
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    I agree with you.


    Admittedly, I'm not surprised that they sent Uther off as a monster, given the weird sudden change of his personality after his death during season 4. They already made him a king of war and a ruthless character even aside from his attitude towards magic which was contradictory to seasons1 -3.


    The plotholes were so obvious that I'm surprised some fans didn't notice them. There is no valid reason why he should be able to watch Arthur and Gwen, in whatever way he managed to do so, but not noticing that the person who is always at Arthur's side has magic. Uther obviously witnessed that Arthur achieved peace, ironically after Arthur himself had jeopardized the peace contract with Annis, but he didn't notice that Merlin helped him with magic, neither here nor in all the other countless situations?


    It doesn't make sense for Uther to return as a vengeful ghost whose revenge or anger focuses on his son when it was his daughter who killed him. This was supposed to tell us, I think, that he didn't know about Morgana's ongoing attempts to destroy Camelot either? It is highly unlikely that he doesn't even mention Morgana and it is totally out of character for him to offend and even attack Arthur. Even those who disliked Uther knew that he was proud of his son and that he loved him but suddenly they just accept that Uther would ever hurt Arthur only because he is supposed to be disappointed in him, as a ghost who can't even rule anymore. Camelot came second, his kids came first. That was the way he was characterized in all seasons. Changing it all doesn't make sense.


    It was also out of character for him to dismiss love as something unimportant as well as acting so brutally towards Gwen. He didn't even treat sorcerers this way, let alone commoners. TPTB used Uther to give the fans an excuse of a magic reveal in addition to show that Arthur is supposed to be different, yet there would have been tons of other ways to show this, ways that would have been in character and logical. The show doesn't stay true to its own characterizations and it's a shame that so many things are being overlooked and turned into the opposite. Believing any character description is not possible anymore since one has to expect at any time that everything will be changed without explanations for the sake of weird plot.


    I'm also astonished that there is no mentioning of Arthur violating his own law and by that turning into a hypocrite. It's strange that Uther was called a hypocrite when using magic to save Morgan, yet it's all so different when Arthur uses magic only to talk to someone he misses.


    I'm also disgusted by the lack of mercy and by the level of brutality and cruelness that this show meanwhile demonstrates. For some reason TPTB suddenly seem to have a thing for tormenting their characters even after their death, dismissing them as unimportant monsters. Its all one dimensional and ridiculous.


    This epsiode was a total waste, it leads to nothing and it changed everything we have been shown before. This all has nothing to do with 'Merlin' anymore.

    Edited on 10/31/2012 2:39am
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    chrisalanhazel

    [32]Nov 1, 2012
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    What I was wondering was why Mordred couldn't sense a spirit when Uther crashed the candelabra on the Round Table. I thought Mordred being a Druid (and powerful) would have sensed it or even tried to tell Merlin about it.

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    PenguinSuzie

    [33]Nov 1, 2012
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    SparklingWater wrote:
    The plotholes were so obvious that I'm surprised some fans didn't notice them. There is no valid reason why he should be able to watch Arthur and Gwen, in whatever way he managed to do so, but not noticing that the person who is always at Arthur's side has magic.
    He's a ghost though, I just assumed that they couldn't see him whenever he didn't want them to or that he could slide into and hide in the walls if he didn't want them to see him. I'm not all that surprised that they didn't bring up the fact that ghost Uther clearly has a bit of magic himself, unless we're to believe that he was up on a stepladder in the middle of the round table trying to bring down the chandelier, or doing it with a crossbow or something.

    I think the reason Uther didn't see Merlin use magic was that he wasn't watching them for long, he wasn't specifically watching Merlin on his own and Merlin never really used magic this episode (until later on) so there's really no reason why Uther would have witnessed it. If he'd stuck around for ages watching their every move for weeks and kept an eye on Merlin I'd wonder though, but that wasn't the case. The reason he knew that Gwen was queen and those men were knights was because it was obvious. They sat around the round table, and Gwen was clearly queen. Just realized what you meant. I thought you meant after he'd gotten out and what he'd have seen since then. *face palm*
    SparklingWater wrote:
    Uther obviously witnessed that Arthur achieved peace, ironically after Arthur himself had jeopardized the peace contract with Annis, but he didn't notice that Merlin helped him with magic, neither here nor in all the other countless situations?
    I don't think Uther has been watching them from the afterlife this whole time. Though he did mention in the spirit world to Arthur that he knew what had been going on, he probably only got some random glimpses, maybe only since the old women gave Arthur the horn. Not enough to really put everything together but enough to know how Arthur was handling things. It's Arthur that he'd be watching, knowing Uther I don't think he'd go out of his way to watch the servant. I kind of forgot for a bit there that Uther talked to Arthur in the spirit world like he'd been watching them, I guess he didn't see much though otherwise he'd have had a lot more to say .


    I enjoyed this episode a lot, but it was really disappointing in a lot of ways. I so wish they'd handled Uther better, I'd really been hoping for and expecting some sort of peace and wanted Uther (knowing about Merlin's magic and seeing everything from a new perspective) to ask him to look after Arthur and scenes like that. I think it's a pity nothing even remotely like that happened. If Uther had been seeing absolutely everything I wish they'd handled his knowledge and reaction better. Though maybe he's a bit like Arthur in his 'obliviously short sighted never sees anything ever' trait.

    Edited on 11/01/2012 11:41am
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  • Avatar of Sparklingwater

    Sparklingwater

    [34]Nov 2, 2012
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    Hi PenguinSuzie, long time no see. Hope you are well.



    PenguinSuzie wrote:


    SparklingWater wrote:
    The plotholes were so obvious that I'm surprised some fans didn't notice them. There is no valid reason why he should be able to watch Arthur and Gwen, in whatever way he managed to do so, but not noticing that the person who is always at Arthur's side has magic.


    PenguinSuzie wrote:


    He's a ghost though, I just assumed that they couldn't see him whenever he didn't want them to or that he could slide into and hide in the walls if he didn't want them to see him. I'm not all that surprised that they didn't bring up the fact that ghost Uther clearly has a bit of magic himself, unless we're to believe that he was up on a stepladder in the middle of the round table trying to bring down the chandelier, or doing it with a crossbow or something.

    I think the reason Uther didn't see Merlin use magic was that he wasn't watching them for long, he wasn't specifically watching Merlin on his own and Merlin never really used magic this episode (until later on) so there's really no reason why Uther would have witnessed it. If he'd stuck around for ages watching their every move for weeks and kept an eye on Merlin I'd wonder though, but that wasn't the case. The reason he knew that Gwen was queen and those men were knights was because it was obvious. They sat around the round table, and Gwen was clearly queen. Just realized what you meant. I thought you meant after he'd gotten out and what he'd have seen since then. *face palm*


    SparklingWater wrote:


    Uther obviously witnessed that Arthur achieved peace, ironically after Arthur himself had jeopardized the peace contract with Annis, but he didn't notice that Merlin helped him with magic, neither here nor in all the other countless situations?



    PenguinSuzie wrote:


    I don't think Uther has been watching them from the afterlife this whole time. Though he did mention in the spirit world to Arthur that he knew what had been going on, he probably only got some random glimpses, maybe only since the old women gave Arthur the horn. Not enough to really put everything together but enough to know how Arthur was handling things. It's Arthur that he'd be watching, knowing Uther I don't think he'd go out of his way to watch the servant. I kind of forgot for a bit there that Uther talked to Arthur in the spirit world like he'd been watching them, I guess he didn't see much though otherwise he'd have had a lot more to say .


    I don't know how things work in the afterlife and how Uther was able to see what's going on but according to what he told Arthur there was no doubt that he was aware of what Arthur had been doing the past 3 years. One would think that he would focus on the fact that magic was still around and that he died at the hands of magic, at the hands of his daughter no less, yet he didn't even mention or consider Morgana even though he must have known that she is constantly plotting against Camelot. Merlin is the one whith who Arthur spends the most of his time with or maybe at least an equal amount of time like he spends with Gwen. Since Uther knew that Arthur had achieved peace - even though there had been peace for decades under Uther's reign as well, but, well, okay... - he also knew how and why. So he must have seen Merlin too. Gwen was only a serving girl too yet he noticed her very well. Why not Merlin when he used magic so many times when being close to Arthur. I don't know if they have something like a magical tv screen in the afterlife or whatever but in case that Uther only knows what Arthur knows because they are mentally connected or something, Uther must have known about Morgana's attacks too. But did he care? No, he ranted about Gwen and the knights, total unimportant things that certainly, as he could see too, were no threats to Camelot, unlike Morgana. Uther said nothing about his death, Agravaine, Morgana, Gaius, nothing at all. Only Gwen and the knights. Totally ridiculous.


    I think it's obvious that they ignored the fact that Uther must have known about Merlin only to show this weird reveal and to give Merlin the chance to tell Uther off. Logic is unimportant and sacrificed for one single scene that was supposed to make the audience gasp.


    As you can see, Uther was always defined by his hate for magic and his love for his children. Now it was almost the other way around, humiliating and attacking his son and not caring about magic until Merlin told him about his powers. Magic should have been a subject before he talked to Merlin since magic was the very thing that caused each and everything in Uther's life, in Camelot and in his death. But it was obviously more important to show a difference between Arthur and Uther even if it meant to completely change Uther's character. And in order to do this, plotholes don't matter



    PenguinSuzie wrote:


    I enjoyed this episode a lot, but it was really disappointing in a lot of ways. I so wish they'd handled Uther better, I'd really been hoping for and expecting some sort of peace and wanted Uther (knowing about Merlin's magic and seeing everything from a new perspective) to ask him to look after Arthur and scenes like that. I think it's a pity nothing even remotely like that happened. If Uther had been seeing absolutely everything I wish they'd handled his knowledge and reaction better. Though maybe he's a bit like Arthur in his 'obliviously short sighted never sees anything ever' trait.





    Yep, a final redemption was long overdue. For some reason TPTB seem to enjoy the misery of a person in the show and it almost seems as if it was a sadistical pleasure to first let Uther suffer in life and most of all before he died, and then later even as an immortal soul in death. Wherever he is and whatever the circumstances in the afterlife, he surely isn't happy or at peace as we could see when he returned and then was sent back. And like noboby cared when he suffered and died in season 4, nobody cared now when he was sent back and obviously is not leading a happy death in the afterlife. Not even Arthur cared about this.


    TPTB could have shown Arthur's so called development in so many other and much better ways. A peaceful Uther would have done the job too. The audience would have been given a chance to say good-bye to a character that went through hell and back, obviously literally instead of now hating him for being an evil soul and someone who now is accused of never having loved anyone. Nothing in this epsiode made any sense and I wish Uther hadn't returned when we only saw a crazy, boring and brutal soul, the total opposite of his character while he was still alive.



    chrisalanhazel wrote:


    What I was wondering was why Mordred couldn't sense a spirit when Uther crashed the candelabra on the Round Table. I thought Mordred being a Druid (and powerful) would have sensed it or even tried to tell Merlin about it.




    It's all for the sake of plot. Whenever someone should sense or figure out something, they seem to be blind. As I said, logic doesnt matter when a certain plot could be disturbed by it.

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  • Avatar of chrisalanhazel

    chrisalanhazel

    [35]Nov 2, 2012
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    I do agree. Since beginning of season 5, I felt that the stories were more illogical than ever. In my opinion, Mordred being perceptive of Uther or even sensing a ghost and warning Merlin wouldn't have disturbed the plot of this episode in any way. Maybe they thought it was better not to let Mordred be helpful to Merlin. I guess I have to wait till the end of this season to know more...

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    PenguinSuzie

    [36]Nov 2, 2012
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    SparklingWater wrote:
    Hi PenguinSuzie, long time no see. Hope you are well
    Hi!
    SparklingWater wrote:
    TPTB could have shown Arthur's so called development in so many other and much better ways. A peaceful Uther would have done the job too. The audience would have been given a chance to say good-bye to a character that went through hell and back, obviously literally instead of now hating him for being an evil soul and someone who now is accused of never having loved anyone. Nothing in this episode made any sense and I wish Uther hadn't returned when we only saw a crazy, boring and brutal soul, the total opposite of his character while he was still alive.
    I agree. Perhaps they intended Spirit!Uther to be much colder and distanced from his human self, but if that's what they were going for they could have made the difference much clearer. He just seemed like an entirely different person with no explanation, completely indifferent to Arthur, and that's not like him at all. He didn't even seem happy to see Arthur! There should have been a mention of Morgana, I don't know why he only focused on how things were being run in his absence. It seemed to become some sort of obsession.

    Edited on 11/02/2012 12:43pm
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