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BBC (ended 2012)

Is Merlin Based On A Novel?

  • Avatar of WhippStar

    WhippStar

    [1]May 10, 2009
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    Does anyone know if the show is based on a novel ?

    Edited on 05/10/2009 9:15pm
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  • Avatar of Carmykins

    Carmykins

    [2]May 11, 2009
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    It's based on the old myths and tales of Merlin and Camelot!
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    orophite

    [3]Jun 9, 2009
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    Here is more detailed info on the myth:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camelot
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    yobo13

    [4]Jun 17, 2009
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    I googled the legend of Camelot and it was totally different from the way they are portraying it in this show. Morgana is supposedly Merlin's lover, Gwen and Arthur and together... you get my drift? Everything is screwey, like an alternate "reality"!!
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    Chocolatier

    [5]Jun 23, 2009
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    Yeh they said that they haven't stuck strictly to Arthurian legend, but I think with the main things like, the gwen/arthur/lancelot triangle will happen eventually.
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  • Avatar of nabilb

    nabilb

    [6]Jul 9, 2009
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    Well the names and the general idea of magic and swords are derived from the Arthurian legends. But there is no accuracy to any of the versions of the Arthurian legends.

    In the legends, Marlin have been with Uther Pendragon since before the great war. He is also much much older than Uther and Arthur.

    Another thing is that Guinevere is a princess and not a servant.

    Morgana is the half sister of Arthur, but he does not know until later on, after he sleeps with her hehe!

    Mordred, the druid boy is sent away by Arthur while he is still a baby to his death after knowing that he will be the cause of his destruction, but the boy survives.

    There are a lot of inaccuracies, but they did not pretend to be following the legends, I like the show how it is, it's entertaining, the relationship between Merlin and Arthur is interesting.

    Peace

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  • Avatar of lesser291

    lesser291

    [7]Jul 10, 2009
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    I think this is a fun interpretation of the tales of camelot and an entertaining show.

    I Hope it lasts

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    electricpeppers

    [8]Jul 13, 2009
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    There's a whole load of different novels based on the myths, and like those, Merlin is it's own take on the numerous legends.
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    kanniballl

    [9]Aug 3, 2009
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    From novels, to comics, to TV, to film contemporary media has shown dozens (if not hundreds) of re-imaginings of the story of King Arthur. Hardly any follow the same exact telling anymore so it's hard to judge just how far off the beaten trail this one goes. Did they base the myths off the original, off a retelling, off a movie, etc?

    Personally I have no idea how the original story goes exactly, as my introduction to it is buried under dozens of remakes and made-for-TV movies. I just recall reading the stories years back and really enjoying them, though they too were probably abridged somewhat.

    Some have the Sword in the Stone actually being Excalibur, I think to save time in introducing the two. The way I always learned it that the Sword in the Stone was not Excalibur, he received the latter after a great knight destroyed the first sword and Merlin told him where he could get a weapon great enough to defeat the knight. So they went to the lake and receive it there from an extending hand from the Lady of the Lake (and upon dying it needs to be returned). I guess this can play into the show somewhat, as years from now it can be given to Arthur to defeat another foe.

    Some have Arthur raised without knowing he's Uther's son until much older, some do not. Apparently here he knows right off the bat.

    Some have Arthur being the offspring between Uther and the noble woman of another house (hence him not knowing that he was Uther's son). Others do not.

    Some have Mordred being the son of Arthur, others do not. Hence I was surprised to see him as a young Druid here.

    One telling I recall had Nimueh being Merlin's love, but I only ever heard that once in the US mini-series "Merlin" from the late 1990's.

    I think a couple of tellings have Uther being a complete jerk so that part appears to be right.

    Some have Merlin aging in reverse, either literally or metaphorically. I think one modern retelling implied that it was recorded that way due to him being from the future (which the ancient people's didn't understand), but I might be just thinking of that throw-away line in Babylon 5.

    The list goes on and on. How "should" it be? For that you'll have to ask a medieval lit professor or start hitting Wikipedia.

    Besides, with this starting so far back in Arthur's history and going over detail his young adventures the "true" myth probably no longer matters. For example, Arthur has yet to be married or anything so there shouldn't be any friction or disasters with Lancelot. And I doubt we'll ever reach Arthur's death unless they jump forward some years during a season/series break.

    Edited on 08/03/2009 2:37pm
    Edited 4 total times.
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  • Avatar of jyarter

    jyarter

    [10]Aug 5, 2009
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    Replying to the original question, Is Merlin Based on a Novel? Yes, of sorts except they aren't following the stories only the characters.

    Le Morte de Arthur was written around 1485 I believe and was suppose to be the final tale of the mythology of Arthur. It was suppose to be relative to the 5th Century and took place mostly in England and France.

    As someone stated below, they have changed quite a bit. For example Mordred is the half brother of Arthur and Igraine actually died giving birth to Mordred not Arthur. Also Mordred does strike the mortal blow that kills Arthur in a battle that Arthur kills him as well. Merlin is old when Uther is King and sort of leads Arthur through his time on the throne. Morgana and Merlin were together and Arthur and Gwen were together.

    This version is entertaining as long as you don't care about the changing of the mythology. I suppose they could have changed the names.

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  • Avatar of Madelynn1984

    Madelynn1984

    [11]Nov 10, 2009
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    jyarter wrote:

    Replying to the original question, Is Merlin Based on a Novel? Yes, of sorts except they aren't following the stories only the characters.

    Le Morte de Arthur was written around 1485 I believe and was suppose to be the final tale of the mythology of Arthur. It was suppose to be relative to the 5th Century and took place mostly in England and France.

    As someone stated below, they have changed quite a bit. For example Mordred is the half brother of Arthur and Igraine actually died giving birth to Mordred not Arthur. Also Mordred does strike the mortal blow that kills Arthur in a battle that Arthur kills him as well. Merlin is old when Uther is King and sort of leads Arthur through his time on the throne. Morgana and Merlin were together and Arthur and Gwen were together.

    This version is entertaining as long as you don't care about the changing of the mythology. I suppose they could have changed the names.

    There is no evidence to suggest that any of the people from the Arthurian legend were ever alive. The stories were just passed around by word-of-mouth for a long time before the author of Le Morte de Arthur gathered the stories and wrote them in one place. That is the purest version of the story.

    I think it makes it even more fun to watch that they changed things around, because I can sit here an think, "Hey, that's not the way the story goes. . ." It's all in good fun. I thought that Mordred was Arthur's son (conceived with Arthur's half-sister, Morgana) in the original legend. Mordred is always the one who kills Arthur, though I don't see any Arthur-killing happening on this show! I noticed that Morgause shows up in the next episode. Does anyone know her function in the original legend? I think I get she and Morgana (aka Morgaine) mixed up sometimes.

    If anyone wants to read a really cool version of the Arthurian legend, I highly recommend The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. My favorite movie version is the tv miniseries Merlin from the early 1990's.

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    boom-moo

    [12]Nov 10, 2009
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    Madelynn1984 wrote:
    I thought that Mordred was Arthur's son (conceived with Arthur's half-sister, Morgana) in the original legend. Mordred is always the one who kills Arthur, though I don't see any Arthur-killing happening on this show! I noticed that Morgause shows up in the next episode. Does anyone know her function in the original legend? I think I get she and Morgana (aka Morgaine) mixed up sometimes.
    I think Morgause is Morgana's sister (both half sisters of Arthur), and she and Arthur are Mordred's parents. She was also a magical creature, same as Morgana. But then again, versions are many.
    Edited on 11/10/2009 10:29am
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  • Avatar of haldrey

    haldrey

    [13]Nov 12, 2009
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    It is based, loosely, on the tales of Camelot in a timeline before Arthur becomes king and before the Knight of The Round Table. Based on the timeline of Merlin, it is still a long time before Arthur becomes king, Gwen is found to be a princess and marries Arthur and maintains a relation with Lancelot. By that time Merlin is the Court official sorcerer and Arthur confidant.
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    suatcamillo

    [14]Apr 14, 2011
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    nabilb wrote:

    Well the names and the general idea of magic and swords are derived from the Arthurian legends. But there is no accuracy to any of the versions of the Arthurian legends.

    In the legends, Marlin have been with Uther Pendragon since before the great war. He is also much much older than Uther and Arthur.

    Another thing is that Guinevere is a princess and not a servant.

    Morgana is the half sister of Arthur, but he does not know until later on, after he sleeps with her hehe!

    Mordred, the druid boy is sent away by Arthur while he is still a baby to his death after knowing that he will be the cause of his destruction, but the boy survives.

    There are a lot of inaccuracies, but they did not pretend to be following the legends, I like the show how it is, it's entertaining, the relationship between Merlin and Arthur is interesting.

    Peace



    One thing to add in one of the versions Mordred is the son of Arthur and Morgana. And this version is much fun then the others. :-D
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  • Avatar of boom-moo

    boom-moo

    [15]Apr 14, 2011
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    Locking the thread as the Q&A thread is the place to post questions since forums got rearranged.
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