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BBC (ended 2012)

Episode 5x05 'The Disir' discussion thread

  • Avatar of rheager

    rheager

    [21]Nov 4, 2012
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    First time poster and I'm so confused at the direction season 5 is taking. I loved the acting in this episode - fantastic! However, there are only eight episodes left to bring this story to a conclusion. It appears right now that the situation is hopeless and that Merlin's wish to restore magic is at its lowest point ever. I know that it is typical in storytelling to bring the hero to the brink of hopelessness and then eventually he overcomes all obstacles to "win" in the end. With eight episodes left, I'm not sure I can see how this is going to be possible? Right now, Arthur appears to not be willing to accept magic back into Camelot, and his past and present experiences have taught him to see only the negative aspects of magic. If/when Merlin reveals he has magic, I can't see Arthur being accepting of this.


    Also, in regards to Mordred in the episode, he has shown no secret hostility to Merlin or Arthur, and at the end of the episode, I also didn't catch any anger towards Arthur. He's a really likable character. So, as I said in the beginning, this episode, while was very dramatic and wonderfully acted, just leaves more questions than answers, imo.

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    Scop

    [22]Nov 4, 2012
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    Merlin seems to be making the same mistake with this current vision of the future as he did with the Crystal Cave. In trying to prevent the future he seems to be causing it.


    I guess this was the big event in magic that changed everything and it wasn't the glowey blue creature... though maybe the glowey blue thing will be their way out?


    Still and all, keeping magic from having a free reign was the right decision for Camelot's future, if not for Arthur's fate. What Merlin wants for magic is for it to be balanced with the non-magical world and not to dominate it, causing ordinary people to live in fear. Do wish he would have put it to Arthur that way instead of giving it a full denunciation, but then he was trying to take the dragon's advice and see to Mordred's death. Poor Mordred's just trying to find a place to fit in and even Merlin won't give him any shelter.

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    fernajen

    [23]Nov 4, 2012
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    Yes, Arthur isresponsiblefor his actions. But the fact of the matter is he was on the fence. Arthur being confused and conflicted could've been pushed either way and Merlin sent him the wrong way. Why did Merlin do it? To try to commit murder. Theramificationsfor if and when the reveal happen are going to big and nasty. There will be no explaining away why he steered Arthur away from accepting magic. I don't think "Mordred needed to die." will be a veryacceptableanswer. Merlin come out of the situation looking like the worst of villains in Arthur's eyes.


    Arthur's his own bane my foot. As far as I'm concerned Merlin is Arthur's bane.

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    allenleonardo

    [24]Nov 4, 2012
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    Also first time poster (and sorry English is not my mothertongue) I�m not sure if I like this episode or not. I just can�t see how Arthur will ever find out about Merlin, or if Merlin will ever get the respect he deserves. If it really ends this season they only have time to finish it in 8 episodes, which is kind of short. And now Merlin even stood against magic. I loved Colins acting in that scene but I hated these nine words. How will Arthur ever accept magic back? Can�t they show at least some good magic user once in a while? At least Mordred is still on Arthur�s side, maybe they do a twist at the end and he never really betrays them (maybe he will be bewitched? =D)


    So onto the characters:


    Gaius: Really he doesn�t change. Always the "we have to wait till we have proof and I can�t believe it" But even if he also thinks that Mordred is bad, than he will just wait till something bad will happend. So I absolutely loved that Merlin coldly refused to heal Mordred. Finally he did what he thought was right What happened with his left eye? Did the actor has problems with it or was that intentional?


    Merlin: Poor guy, he can�t just get a break. =( Nearly all his decisions had bad consequences. I so felt for him in this episode. Sadly he had to ask the great dragon what he should do.
    ***SPOILER***


    Still sweet of him to mark the grave of the sorcerer. He looked so lonely.


    Mordred: I really liked him in this episode. He was kind of cute but I don�t really trust him. I can�t forget that he left Merlin in Arthur�s Bane. But he really likes Arthur and the other knights..I just don�t know what to do with him.


    Arthur: I like Arthur, I really do but sometimes I just want to shake him. He is the king so he should make the decisions and not always rely that much on Merlin. Did someone else also feel that Arthur is much more friendlier with Mordred than with Merlin? I mean they came back at the end and what does he do? He hugs Mordred and later he is lifting him up. After only knowing him for a short time. He is never that friendly with Merlin. I just find that sad =(. And didn�t he see the tears in Merlins eyes? (I wish the writers would go a little deeper and show us later that Arthur thinks about that, maybe talk about it with Gwen.) I find it funny that he always wants to ride out even though is men could take care of it, even Gwen points that out. Quite dangerous.


    So finally the end of my post =D



    _____________

    Post edited by the editor to conceal spoilers under proper tags.

    Edited on 11/04/2012 10:31am
    Edited 3 total times.
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    boom-moo

    [25]Nov 4, 2012
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    allenleonardo wrote:

    What happened with his left eye? Did the actor has problems with it or was that intentional?

    I'd say Richard had a burst blood vessel that could be seen already in 5x04. It comes and goes during this episode (since they film scenes out of order).


    ***SPOILER***
    allenleonardo wrote:
    And didn�t he see the tears in Merlins eyes? (I wish the writers would go a little deeper and show us later that Arthur thinks about that, maybe talk about it with Gwen.
    I think that Arthur did notice but that he thought that Merlin was at the brink of tears because he was condemning a man to death and not because he wasn't allowing magic back.
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    allenleonardo

    [26]Nov 4, 2012
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    ah sorry about the spoiler ^^;; I thought that it was not one.



    :
    I think that Arthur did notice but that he thought that Merlin was at the brink of tears because he was condemning a man to death and not because he wasn't allowing magic back.


    Hm yeah he looked quite surprised after Merlin spoke, so you are right he probably thought it was because of Mordred. Hehe if only he knew that Merlin hoped for Mordreds death. Would Arthur have chosen the same path if it would be Merlin on the deathbed?



    But I really don�t see how the magic can come back to camelot after this or how Merlin can reveal that he has magic without beeing seen as a traitor. There really has to happen something big to change Arthurs mind. Poor Merlin. He has quite the burden on his young shoulders and every decision can create even more problems.

    Edited on 11/04/2012 10:53am
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    boom-moo

    [27]Nov 4, 2012
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    No worry, it wasn't a biggie But better safe than sorry, one never knows how things might turn out.

    allenleonardo wrote:

    Would Arthur have chosen the same path if it would be Merlin on the deathbed?

    Ouch, I don't think he would have.

    _____________

    Episode 5x05 RIP list:
    -Sir Ranulf killed by Osgar.
    -Osgar killed by Gwaine.

    Episode 5x05 Lives Saved list:
    -Mordred saves Arthur’s life by getting in the way of a staff thrown at him.
    -Arthur (indirectly) saves Mordred’s life by rejecting the Old Religion.

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  • Avatar of Ashleighnikiann

    Ashleighnikiann

    [28]Nov 4, 2012
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    I don't think the events of this episode make it impossible for Merlin to bring magic back to Camelot. The prophecy that he will still stands, so there's still a possibility for him to do that.


    And I'm glad Arthur didn't bring magic back to Camelot in this way. He would have had to agree to worship the gods of a religion he didn't believe in, so the decision wouldn't have been a true belief in the value of magic. Plus, if he would have agreed to what those three mages were asking, might they have killed Mordrid? Then he definitely would have had even worse feelings toward magic! When Arthur makes the decision to allow magic, it needs to come from a true belief that he's doing the right thing.


    But that scene where Merlin was clearly struggling about how to answer Arthur was so intense. My heart was pounding! I was so sure this was the moment when he was going to reveal he had magic -- and then bam! He does something completely unexpected. Wow.


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    PenguinSuzie

    [29]Nov 4, 2012
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    Ashleighnikian wrote:
    And I'm glad Arthur didn't bring magic back to Camelot in this way. He would have had to agree to worship the gods of a religion he didn't believe in, so the decision wouldn't have been a true belief in the value of magic. Plus, if he would have agreed to what those three mages were asking, might they have killed Mordred? Then he definitely would have had even worse feelings toward magic! When Arthur makes the decision to allow magic, it needs to come from a true belief that he's doing the right thing.
    Good point. Though Merlin telling him there's no place for magic in Camelot and things like that makes it feel like we're just going backwards.
    Ashleighnikian wrote:
    But that scene where Merlin was clearly struggling about how to answer Arthur was so intense. My heart was pounding! I was so sure this was the moment when he was going to reveal he had magic -- and then bam! He does something completely unexpected. Wow.
    It was really intense. I was so hoping and actually starting to believe that he was going to tell him, or encourage him to accept magic. It was definitely really well acted on both parts.
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  • Avatar of XyFan

    XyFan

    [30]Nov 4, 2012
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    boom-moo wrote:
    -Arthur (indirectly) saves Mordred's life by rejecting the Old Religion.
    Did the Arthur's decision really had any effect on Mordred's bettering? I thought Mordred got healed somehow by himself, maybe being because he was a Druid?

    Edited on 11/04/2012 12:29pm
    Edited 3 total times.
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    boom-moo

    [31]Nov 4, 2012
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    XyFan wrote:

    boom-moo wrote:
    -Arthur (indirectly) saves Mordred's life by rejecting the Old Religion.
    Did the Arthur's decision really had any effect on Mordred's bettering? I thought Mordred got healed somehow by himself, maybe being because he was a Druid?

    Yes, Mordred getting better is a result of Arthur's decision not to allow magic back, that's actually the surprising twist at the end of the episode.

    It would seem that Arthur's decision would have meant Mordred's death (which would have been true should the dying knight be any other than Mordred) but by rejecting magic Arthur actually made the future possible, all that the Disir warned him about: the loss of all that he holds dear, great suffering, Camelot falling and the end of his reign (at the hands of Mordred, which Arthur isn't aware of but Merlin knows well --> that's why Merlin felt quite the idiot at the end: according to the Disir's judgement Mordred's life is Arthur's punishment for rejecting magic.).

    Have I explained it right? It can get a bit confusing.
    Edited on 11/04/2012 3:23pm
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    sendean77

    [32]Nov 4, 2012
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    I struggled a bit with this episode. Similar to what texasislandr said in Post 19, I sometimes feel like I am watching a trainwreck unfold. And when Merlin said, "There can be no place for magic in Camelot," my heart broke for Merlin and Camelot. But after much pondering of episode 5x05, I agree with what boom-moo says in Post 20.


    I thought about what the alternative could have been if Arthur had agreed to the Desir's wishes. One religion forced on everyone? That is not Albion. As Gaius told Altor in episode 4x07, "For the Druid legends are true. Merlin is Emrys. And destined for greatness. A man who will one day unite the powers of the Old World and the New and bring the time that the poets speak of -- the time of Albion." Merlin brings the Old and the New together; Albion is not just for one group of people.


    And as Gaius told Arthur in that same episode, "Contained within this great kingdom is a rich variety of people with a range of different beliefs." Choosing only the Old Religion could have led to as much persecution as under Uther or worse. There are many examples of that in history and in current events.


    Although some choices seem poor at the time, they are often based on what informaton is available at that time. Later we may be able to see how all the choises led to the right outcome afterall. Yes, even "Wicked Day, "Aithusa," and "Desir." If we are standing in a river, we can only see the part of the river where we are standing. When the final MERLIN episode airs, whenever that may be, I am hoping we will then have seen the whole river, see where we started, see where we ended, and that we will understand and be satisfied with the results as well as the journey.

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    PenguinSuzie

    [33]Nov 4, 2012
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    sendean77 wrote:
    Choosing only the Old Religion could have led to as much persecution as under Uther or worse. There are many examples of that in history and in current events.
    I thought they just meant to embrace it, not that he had to exclusively follow it. I didn't get the impression that he and Camelot were to necessarily follow the religion, but to respect and accept it and it's people.
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    boom-moo

    [34]Nov 5, 2012
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    PenguinSuzie wrote:
    sendean77 wrote:
    Choosing only the Old Religion could have led to as much persecution as under Uther or worse. There are many examples of that in history and in current events.
    I thought they just meant to embrace it, not that he had to exclusively follow it. I didn't get the impression that he and Camelot were to necessarily follow the religion, but to respect and accept it and it's people.
    "Embrace the Old Religion. Learn her ways. Bow to the Goddess." It's a bit ambiguos but in either case, the Disir didn't seem to be giving friendly advice, they sounded like a threat and tried to murder the King and his men and I don't think that's the best way to make a reluctant Arthur go against all what he has been taught (magic being evil) and pretty much all what he has seen (magic being used for evil).

    I agree that whenever and however Arthur decides to allow magic back, it should be because he really wants it and not as a threat, as exchange or an imposition.
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    illegalferret

    [35]Nov 5, 2012
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    Now this one was interesting, they weren't lying when they said series 5 would be darker and more grown up!


    Merlin and Arthur aren't meant to bring magic back to Camelot, but i don't think i've seen anything so far that makes me think the powers behind the old religion are a nice bunch, more sinister and creepy! Anyway i digress, the main dilemma of this episode was magic or no magic (or save Mordred/kill him), and you can see Arthur and Merlin wrestle with their consciences as they try to decide what to do for the best. I was surprised my Merlin's anti magic stance, but i think he's so wrapped up with trying to rid Camelot of Mordred it wasn't so unexpected so suppose. The whole campfire scene was brilliant, it's good to see Arthur asking for and listening to Merlin and he seemed (at least for this episode) a little suspicious of how seriously Merlin was taking the decision and his speech on how he knows a place is scared. Though i've watched this show long enough to know Arthur's suspicions will probably be promptly forgotten! But a little (optimistic) part of me thinks that this episode is helping to lay some even more interesting groundwork for later on.


    Other episode points: nice to see Guinevere working with/supporting/challenging Arthur, the Knights banter with Mordred was good (and in keeping with their characters when on-mass!), have the producers and Arthur forgotten Mordred has magic? Or is he just better at keeping his secret than Merlin?And with only 8 episode's to go this year, what an earth is going to turn Mordred against Arthur? They're best buddies at the moment and unless he's already working for Morganna (just more subtly than Agravaine) something massive is going to have to happen!


    Also i'm beginning to think Arthur's Bane is more Merlin than himself! Between them they seem to be unintentionally bring about Camelot's ruin

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    boom-moo

    [36]Nov 5, 2012
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    illegalferret wrote:

    what an earth is going to turn Mordred against Arthur? They're best buddies at the moment and unless he's already working for Morganna (just more subtly than Agravaine) something massive is going to have to happen!

    I have no idea but I guess that it'll be something related with magic, a big decision that Arthur makes and disappoints Mordred so. As you mention he is doing quite well at hiding his magic and vouching for Arthur, but if Arthur's anti-magic stance makes him prosecute someone, Mordred might thing that he is not that different from Morgana and chose to side with her again. After all, he can be himself around her unlike around Arthur.
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    illegalferret

    [37]Nov 5, 2012
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    boom-moo wrote:
    illegalferret wrote:


    what an earth is going to turn Mordred against Arthur? They're best buddies at the moment and unless he's already working for Morganna (just more subtly than Agravaine) something massive is going to have to happen!


    I have no idea but I guess that it'll be something related with magic, a big decision that Arthur makes and disappoints Mordred so. As you mention he is doing quite well at hiding his magic and vouching for Arthur, but if Arthur's anti-magic stance makes him prosecute someone, Mordred might thing that he is not that different from Morgana and chose to side with her again. After all, he can be himself around her unlike around Arthur.


    I've been desperate to find out what turns Mordred against Arthur since The Beginning of the End, so i'm sure i can wait a few more weeks But i think you're right it can only be something magic related, persecution of a fellow druid or maybe Mordred cracks and does magic? But i'm getting off topic, back on topic The Disir implied that Arthur as king had hunted down magical beings (people) but we've not seen him do anything that anti magic so far (bar the sorcerer in this episode), so when was all the so called persecution? In the series break?

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    boom-moo

    [38]Nov 5, 2012
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    I don't recall Arthur actively prosecuting magical people (let alone to the death as the Disir said) as a king, but he did as a prince. Maybe the Disir meant that? It's not all that clear.

    Arthur: Have I not been an honourable king? Have I not made Camelot a fair and just kingdom?
    The Disir: So much is true. But you have denied the Old Religion. Dismissed its faith. Persecuted its followers. Even unto slaughter.
    Arthur: I fight against sorcery and superstition, that is all.
    Edited on 11/05/2012 8:37am
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    illegalferret

    [39]Nov 5, 2012
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    boom-moo wrote:
    I don't recall Arthur actively prosecuting magical people (let alone to the death as the Disir said) as a king, but he did as a prince. Maybe the Disir meant that? It's not all that clear. Arthur: Have I not been an honourable king? Have I not made Camelot a fair and just kingdom? The Disir: So much is true. But you have denied the Old Religion. Dismissed its faith. Persecuted its followers. Even unto slaughter. Arthur: I fight against sorcery and superstition, that is all.


    You're right it's not clear at all! Yes he hasn't allowed magic back but after watching Morganna that's hardly surprising! But it was only the other week he used a magical artifact and saved a condemned witch from the flames he's considerably more tolerant than Uther and if the old religion and Morganna leave him alone for long enough i think he could be won round. Maybe the Disir are getting confused between Arthur and Uther or TPTB have been fiddling with the past again!

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    boom-moo

    [40]Nov 5, 2012
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    illegalferret wrote:

    if the old religion and Morganna leave him alone for long enough i think he could be won round.

    I think he can be won around indeed but the Disir did a cracking job at it, didn't they?
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