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BBC (ended 2012)

Merlin series 1-4 themed rewatch - Cycle 1 'Merlin'

  • Avatar of boom-moo

    boom-moo

    [1]Jan 9, 2012
    • member since: 02/05/07
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    (Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended when posting these pictures. Merlin is property of BBC and Shine Ltd. )

    This cycle 1 rewatch is centered around the character of Merlin. It includes 6 episodes:

    1x10: The Moment of Truth.
    1x13: Le Morte D'Arthur.
    2x09: The Lady of the Lake.
    2x13: The Last Dragonlord.
    3x11: The Sorcerer's Shadow.
    4x04: Aithusa.

    Discussion on this cycle will run form Jan 7th to Jan 27th. Together with the ongoing discussion, a list of best quotes and worst goofs for the episodes concerned is to be put forward. All suggestions will be listed at the end of this post and during the last week of the cycle, votation will took place.



    As a reminder of what's to come, this is the schedule for the whole rewatch:

    Merlin --->6 episodes: 1x10, 1x13, 2x09, 2x13, 3x11, 4x04.
    Merlin and his destiny (Merlin-Arthur) ---> 8 episodes: 1x01, 1x04, 1x11, 1x13, 2x12, 3x08, 4x06, 4x07.
    Merlin-Morgana ---> 5 episodes: 1x08, 1x10, 2x03, 2x12, 4x06.
    Uther-Morgana ---> 6 episodes: 1x12, 2x11, 3x01/02, 3x05, 4x03.
    Uther-Arthur ---> 5 episodes: 1x02, 1x09, 2x08, 3x02, 4x03.
    Arthur becoming king of legend ---> 12 episodes: 1x11, 2x06, 3x01/02, 3x12/13, 4x01/02, 4x05, 4x10, 4x12/13.
    Arthur-Guinevere ---> 8 episodes: 1x03, 2x02, 2x04, 2x10, 3x06, 3x10, 4x09, 4x11.
    Knights' cycle ----> 9 episodes 1x05, 2x04, 3x04, 3x07, 3x13, 4x01/02, 4x08, 4x10.
    Gaius ---> 4 episodes: 1x06, 2x07, 3x09, 4x07.
    Visiting Ladies ---> 6 episodes: 1x07, 2x05/06, 2x09, 3x06, 4x11.
    Morgana/Mordred/Morgause ---> 4 episodes 1x08, 2x03, 2x12, 4x01

    Cycle 1: "Merlin". To be opened by BM. Runs from Jan 7th to Jan 27th.

    Cycle 2: "Merlin and his destiny (Merlin and Arthur)". To be opened by Dpebbleson. Runs from Jan 28th to March 2nd.

    Cycle 3; "Merlin and Morgana". To be opened by ADCiNosey. Runs from March 3rd to March 16th.

    Cycle 4: "Uther and Morgana". To be opened by Illegalferret. Runs from March 17th to April 13th.

    Cycle 5: "Uther and Arthur". To be opened by pcdsa. Runs from April 14th to May 4th.

    Cycle 6: "Arthur becoming King of legend". To be opened by legend-dreamer. Runs from May 5th to June 15th.

    Cycle 7: "Arthur and Guinevere". To be opened by fantasyfreak77. Runs from June 16th to July 13th.

    Cycle 8: "Knights". To be opened by ForeverArwen94. Runs from July 14th to August 10th.

    Cycle 9: "Gaius". To be opened by LizzyGlue. Runs from August 11th to August 31st.

    Cycle 10: "Visiting Ladies". To be opened by BM. Runs from September 1st to September 21st.

    Cycle 11: "Morgana/Mordred/Morgause". To be opened by dpebbleson. Runs from September 22nd to September 30th.

    Have fun

    ______________

    Best Quote wrote:
    -1x10 Merlin: (About the sword that Guinevere gives him.) "It's very... swordy."
    -1x10 Will: (To Merlin - I think this is mirrored in "The Sorcerer's Shadow" with Merlin and Gilli's conversation.) "Face it Merlin, you're living a lie just like you did here."
    -1x10 Merlin: (Will has died, but he still is his close friend.) "He still is."
    -1x10 Arthur: "In this circle, we're all equals."
    -1x10 Merlin: "I just didn't fit in anymore; I wanted to find somewhere that I did."
    -1x10 Merlin: "If it comes to a choice... between saving people's lives and revealing who I really am...there is no choice."
    -1x10 Merlin: (To Arthur) "You've just got to believe in them because if you don't, they'll sense it, and the battle will be lost before it's even begun."
    -1x10 Hunith: (To Merlin about Arthur) "You belong at Arthur's side, I've seen how much he needs you... and how much you need him."
    -1x10 Arthur: (To Merlin) "Stop pretending to be interesting."
    -1x10 Arthur: "I wish that Camelot was able to help people regardless of how far away they live."
    -1x10 Morgana: "Arthur may act like he doesn't care, but he wouldn't be here if he didn't."
    -1x10 Gaius: (To Merlin) "One whiff of a barmaids apron and you are singing like a sailor."
    -1x10 Merlin: "If it comes to a choice between saving peoples lives and revealing who I really am... there is no choice."
    -1x10 Merlin: (About Arthur) "If he doesn't accept me for who I really am then he's not the friend I hoped he was."
    -1x10 Hunith: (To Merlin, about his secret) "When the time is right the truth will be known."
    -1x13 The Great Dragon: (To Merlin) "I am your kin."
    -1x13 Merlin: (To Arthur) "But promise me this, if you ever get another servant, don't get a bootlicker."
    -1x13 Gaius: (To Merlin) "You have mastered the power of life and death itself. We'll make a great warlock of you yet."
    -1x13 Merlin: (About Arthur) "He can't die, it is my destiny to protect him! We haven't done all the things we are meant to do!"
    -1x13 Merlin: (About Arthur) "He is my friend."
    -1x13 Merlin: (About saving Arthur's life) "Whatever the price is I will pay it gladly."
    -1x13 Merlin: "This is my mother, my powers mean nothing if I can not save her."
    -1x13 Merlin: (To Arthur) "I'm happy to be your servant till the day I die".
    -1x13 Merlin: (To Arthur) "You must learnt to listen as well as you fight".
    -1x13 Merlin: (To Arthur) "Just... don't be a prat".
    -1x13 Gaius: (To Merlin) "To sacrifice myself for you is but an honour".
    -1x13 Merlin: (To Nimueh) "I will make Arthur King but you won't see that day".
    -1x13 Nimueh: (To Merlin) "Pity. Together we could have ruled the world".
    -1x13 Arthur: "Morgana, go back to bed."
    -1x13 Gaius: (About not being able to do all they want to do before they die) "That is the lament of all men."
    -1x13 Gwen: "You're not going to die, Arthur. I'm telling you..."
    -1x13 Merlin: (To Gaius) "But, most of all, you have always taught me... to do what is right."
    -1x13 Uther: (To Arthur) "In your long journey to become King, you'll need a guardian angel."
    -1x13 Arthur: (To Merlin) "I sometimes wonder if you know who I am."
    -1x13 Merlin: (To Arthur) "You're a prat... and a royal one."
    -2x09 Merlin: (To Freya) "I saw you and... it could have been me in that cage."
    -2x09 Merlin: (About Gaius knowing he has magic) "He knows… but I'm not sure he understands."
    -2x09 Merlin: (To Freya) "Magic doesn't have to be a curse. It can be a gift."
    -2x09 Merlin: (To Freya) "I'm not most people."
    -2x09 Merlin: (To Freya) "I like you. With you, I can just be who I am. We don't have to hide anything. We don't have to worry."
    -2x09 Merlin: (To Freya) "Being different is nothing to be scared of."
    -2x09 Merlin: (To Gaius) "You could never understand. Do you know how it feels to be a monster? To be afraid of who you are?"
    -2x09 Freya: (To Merlin) "You've already saved me. You made me feel loved."
    -2x13 Balinor: (To Merlin) "You are the last Dragonlord now. You alone carry the ancient gift. Deep within yourself you must find the voice that you and Kilgharrah share, for your soul and his are brothers. When you speak to him as kin, he must obey your will."
    -2x13 Arthur: "I will not stand by and watch my men die when I had the chance to save them."
    -2x13 Arthur: (To Merlin) "There are loads of servants who can serve, but so few are capable of making a complete prat of themselves."
    -2x13 Arthur: (To Merlin) "I wasn't a prince...I think we'd probably get on."
    -2x13 Balinor: (To Merlin) "I understand how Kilgharrah feels. He's lost every one of his kind, every one of his kin. You want to know how that feels?"
    -2x13 Gaius: (To Gwen) "Never underestimate the power of love. I've seen it change many things."
    -2x13 Merlin: (To Balinor) "We'd have been... happy."
    -2x13 Balinor: (To Merlin) "You are my son. I've seen enough in you to know you will make me proud."
    -2x13 Merlin: (To Arthur) "I know it's hard for you to understand how I feel, but... well, I care a hell of a lot about that armour."
    -2x13 Balinor: (To Merlin) "Deep within yourself you must find the voice that you and Kilgharrah share, for your soul and his are brothers."
    -3x11 Gilli: "It's time those with magic fought back."
    -3x11 Gilli: "Without magic, I'm a nobody."
    -3x11 Gilli: "I've never killed a man before. I just wanted to feel... what it was like to be... respected. But this... I'm not a killer. This isn't me."
    -3x11 Merlin: "It's... lonely... to... be more powerful than any man you know and have to live like a shadow. To... be special and have to pretend you're a fool."
    -3x11 Gilli: "I'm not going to apologise for who I am!"
    -3x11 Gilli: (To Merlin) "You've been pretending for so long now that you've actually forgotten who you are."
    -3x11 The Great Dragon: "To see one of your kin die is never an easy thing. But all great struggles demand sacrifice."
    -3x11 Merlin: "Some choices are easy. Some... stay with you forever."
    -3x11 Uther: "The most satisfying outcome of the tournament is that Arthur's actions have shown me that he is now truly ready to be king."


    Worst Goof wrote:
    -1x10 Uther might say 'Cendred' instead of 'Cenred'.
    -1x10 Hunith looks older than in the S4 finale.
    -1x10 Bradley finding it difficult to keep a straight face when he was meant to be having a serious talk with Matthew.
    -1x10 The man who falls from his horse when the twister starts and gets tangled in the reins can be seen being dragged about twice.
    -1x13 How does Merlin reach the Island of the Blessed the second time if Gaius has used the boat?
    -2x09 The sand stain on Merlin's knee appears and disappears in the scene where he first brings Freya food.
    -2x13 Arthur requests the help of a dozen Knights to fight the Great Dragon. However, 13 of them step up and stand in circle around them. Later on, when they are seen riding out of Camelot, there are only 9 Knights following him.
    -3x11 Merlin doesn't get wet when walking under rainfall, nor do the Rising Sun windows for that matter.
    Edited on 01/24/2012 3:53pm
    Edited 13 total times.
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  • Avatar of pcdsa

    pcdsa

    [2]Jan 9, 2012
    • member since: 01/03/10
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    Even though I haven't rewatched any episodes so far, my favourite quotes because I remember them (well not Balinor's fully had to check that one ) are

    1x13 The Great Dragon "I am your kin."
    2x13 Balinor "You are the last Dragonlord now. You alone carry the ancient gift. Deep within yourself you must find the voice that you and Kilgharrah share, for your soul and his are brothers. When you speak to him as kin, he must obey your will."
    3x11 Gilli "It's time those with magic fought back."

    I loved it when the Great Dragon told Merlin he was his kin and then when Balinor confirmed it later it all fitted beautifully.

    Edited on 01/09/2012 12:17pm
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  • Avatar of dpebbleson

    dpebbleson

    [3]Jan 10, 2012
    • member since: 11/06/09
    • level: 24
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    I have finally rewatched "The Moment of Truth". When I originally watched it almost two and a half years ago, I didn't quite like it; when I rewatched it I had pretty much the same sentiment. I thought it was somewhat too cheesy, what with declarations of friendship, and the way Hunith was changing her mind, and all.

    However, when I rewatched it this afternoon, I actually enjoyed the episode - well, enjoyed it more than I previously had, and noticed some things that are I think very important in the show's mythology, and are introduced in this episode. So within a context of four series, this episode has its place. And it also carries the feeling of Series 1, which, paradoxically, proves to be refreshing after you've spent three months watching Series 4.

    Shall we begin?

    "In a land of myth and a time of magic..." I noticed the little and probably insignificant curiosity that is this first sentence, which we find at the beginning of each episode. It doesn't begin "Once upon a time in a kingdom far away" (or its "Star Wars" counterpart: "in a galaxy far far away"). It's nice that the opening sentence was their own version of the classical one, even if it's not that important. Also, I like that it says "in a time of magic", which could very well be any time.

    Merlin's character

    I've noticed two particular things about Merlin which are show in this episode. The first one is more general and fable-like: if you do good deeds they will pay off. For Merlin they certainly do. He's helped Morgana in the past, therefore, Morgana will help him. He's saved Guinevere's life, so she'll return the kindness. He's been loyal to Arthur and saved his life on more than one occasion (secretly and openly), hence Arthur comes along to help him. All this proves that he is a good person, and also serves as a moral lesson. Now before I come to the next thing I want to say about him, I think it's good to notice that Merlin isn't good with the sword - but Morgana is; he isn't good with sewing and armour - but Guinevere is; he isn't much of a military commander and tactician - but Arthur is. Merlin's friends compensate for his weaknesses, but the compensation itself comes from his key strength - his personality, goodness, kindness, willingness to help himself, etc. So the second thing is Merlin the Mediator. He doesn't need to have all of the mentioned characteristics (strength, cunning, swordsmanship,...), all he needs (but it isn't little thing, even if 'all' is used) is to be a good mediator between the people. Therefore in this episode he's the perfect mediator who brings the whole company of adventurers together, and not by forcing them to come, but by them coming to help willingly. In the same manner, in the rest of the show, Merlin is a kind of a mediator between the worlds. He is able to see both sides: both of non-magic and of magic people. He draws to himself both sides, something Uther wasn't able to do, and which Arthur has yet to learn to do. So I think that's one thing that's key about Merlin - he's accepted everywhere, his character doesn't function in exclusion, but in inclusion into different kinds of societies, groups, cliques, and mediating between them all.

    It's also evident in his role as Arthur's servant. Merlin is able to see the side of the peasants of Ealdor; Will's side; and Arthur side. So it is he who makes it possible for Arthur to be accepted in Ealdor, eventually even by Will - who may represent some darker sides to Merlin and Merlin's opinion of Arthur. He is also able to say things to Arthur that Merlin wouldn't be able to many episodes later, which kind of functions as a relief system..

    So far as his character goes. Now the tribulations he goes to, which pretty much amount to two moral dilemmas:

    1) Should he stay or should he go? Should he stay in Camelot or go help his mother in Ealdor. He decides to go to Ealdor. After the work is done, should he stay in Ealdor, or return to Camelot? He decides to return. It all amounts to the sense of duty. True, if he goes and dies, he won't fulfill his destiny. But if he stays and allows his mother and his friends to be slaughtered, then his destiny fulfilled will leave him unfulfilled to a great degree.

    2) Should he reveal his magic or should he not? This is the first episode in which the issue was tackled in a serious way. Regretfully, it hasn't been revisited in such seriousness afterwards, or I'm forgetting something. Nevertheless, the whole magic thing is tied to the feeling of duty, and is basically a moral dilemma. If he reveals himself, Ealdor is safe, but he might die. If he doesn't reveal himself, Ealdor is doomed... and I wanted to say, he lives, but there was actually a great possibility that he doesn't live, and neither Arthur. So his previous choice of coming basically forces him to use magic, and reveal himself. And interestingly enough he does reveal himself. He goes on to ask Arthur not to think of him badly afterwards, and begins a sentence to admit he had magic. If not for Will's interjection, Arthur would have found out. "Fortune follows the brave" as a saying goes.

    ---

    Random observations and possible goofs:

    - It seems to me like Uther actually says Cendred, not Cenred, but could be I misheard.
    - Funny bit is that Hunith actually looks older here than in S4 finale

    ---

    Favourite quotes:

    "It's very... swordy." (Merlin about the sword that Guinevere gives him.)

    "Face it Melrin, you're living a lie!" (Will to Merlin - I think this is mirrored in "The Sorcerer's Shadow" with Merlin and Gilli's conversation.)

    "He still is." (Will has died, but he still is his close friend.)

    ---

    That would be all, I hope I haven't bored all of you
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  • Avatar of boom-moo

    boom-moo

    [4]Jan 10, 2012
    • member since: 02/05/07
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    dpebbleson wrote:
    "He still is." (Will has died, but he still is his close friend.)
    This is Merlin talking about Will, right?
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  • Avatar of dpebbleson

    dpebbleson

    [5]Jan 10, 2012
    • member since: 11/06/09
    • level: 24
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    boom-moo wrote:
    dpebbleson wrote:
    "He still is." (Will has died, but he still is his close friend.)
    This is Merlin talking about Will, right?


    Yes, when Arthur says he's sorry, he knows it was Merlin's close friend.
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  • Avatar of boom-moo

    boom-moo

    [6]Jan 10, 2012
    • member since: 02/05/07
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    Thanks, I asked because I updated post #1 with your suggestions and I wanted to make sure that I had gotten it right
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  • Avatar of dpebbleson

    dpebbleson

    [7]Jan 10, 2012
    • member since: 11/06/09
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    boom-moo wrote:
    Thanks, I asked because I updated post #1 with your suggestions and I wanted to make sure that I had gotten it right


    You got it all right I thought it was a nice quote, sort of acknowledging death and not acknowledging it at the same time. Life goes on but those who are dead are not lost.
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    fantasymommy

    [8]Jan 11, 2012
    • member since: 11/29/10
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    This episode always reminds me of the Disney movie "A Bugs Life". Hopper/Kannen demand the 'harvest' and bring the poor ants/villiagers to their knees..etc. It feels very unoriginal.


    That being said, I loved seeing another role for Merlin, that of the devoted son. He is oh so sweet to Hunith and the way he looks at her battered face just melts my heart!


    It was nice to see Arthur connect with Merlin about his devotion to Hunith especially considering what an emotional black hole Arthur carries concerning his own mother.


    I couldn't help but think about Will the first time we met Gwaine. Another emotionally scared male character who's father dies as a result of war thus making him hate royalty.


    The Arwen shipper in me loves the exchange between Arthur and Gwen where she chastises him for turning his nose up at the food and then tells him she believes in him..so sweet! A quick glimpse of our 'Once and Future Queen'.






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  • Avatar of illegalferret

    illegalferret

    [9]Jan 11, 2012
    • member since: 05/16/07
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    fantasymommy wrote:
    This episode always reminds me of the Disney movie "A Bugs Life". Hopper/Kannen demand the 'harvest' and bring the poor ants/villiagers to their knees..etc. It feels very unoriginal.


    Me too! I'm glad it's not just me who thought it was like Bug's Life I think i even wrote it in my review on the original thread back when i 1st watched it when it first aired!

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  • Avatar of pcdsa

    pcdsa

    [10]Jan 11, 2012
    • member since: 01/03/10
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    dpebbleson wrote:
    1) Should he stay or should he go? Should he stay in Camelot or go help his mother in Ealdor. He decides to go to Ealdor. After the work is done, should he stay in Ealdor, or return to Camelot? He decides to return. It all amounts to the sense of duty. True, if he goes and dies, he won't fulfill his destiny. But if he stays and allows his mother and his friends to be slaughtered, then his destiny fulfilled will leave him unfulfilled to a great degree.

    I also think he would have felt unfulfilled if he had left Camelot with Freya. Best quote for 1x10 Arthur "In this circle, we're all equals."
    I also like the swordy quote from Merlin.

    I'm not good at spotting goofs but I remember Bradley talking about how he found it difficult to keep a straight face when he was meant to be having a serious talk with Matthew.
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  • Avatar of dpebbleson

    dpebbleson

    [11]Jan 11, 2012
    • member since: 11/06/09
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    pcdsa wrote:
    dpebbleson wrote:
    1) Should he stay or should he go? Should he stay in Camelot or go help his mother in Ealdor. He decides to go to Ealdor. After the work is done, should he stay in Ealdor, or return to Camelot? He decides to return. It all amounts to the sense of duty. True, if he goes and dies, he won't fulfill his destiny. But if he stays and allows his mother and his friends to be slaughtered, then his destiny fulfilled will leave him unfulfilled to a great degree.

    I also think he would have felt unfulfilled if he had left Camelot with Freya. Best quote for 1x10 Arthur "In this circle, we're all equals."
    I also like the swordy quote from Merlin.

    I'm not good at spotting goofs but I remember Bradley talking about how he found it difficult to keep a straight face when he was meant to be having a serious talk with Matthew.


    Yeah, I agree, it seems you should follow your instincts, but not follow every instinct you have.

    The circle quote kind of foreshadows the whole 'round table' thing, it's obviously intentional.
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  • Avatar of fantasyfreak77

    fantasyfreak77

    [12]Jan 11, 2012
    • member since: 05/13/11
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    I've always been particularly fond of this episode. I've always found watching the Merlin-Hunith scenes incredibly lifting and touching--Caroline Faber is just a brilliant actress (I only just noticed her playing with her hands when she was speaking with Uther. Awesome!)--and I always thought this episode marked a significant growth in Arthur and Merlin's relationship, seeing as Arthur got to learn more about Merlin's past as well as his more simple life before coming to Camelot. I think this was the first time we really see Arthur very noticeably treating Merlin as an equal. I think my favorite scene between the two in this episode is when Arthur helps Merlin with his armor. And then my favorite Morgana non-verbal scene, I've mentioned before on Best/Worst, is when she helps Hunith up. Very powerful.


    One thing that I noticed that had me curious was the little exchange between Will and Hunith. I never thought about it, but Hunith sounds like she's more than a reprimanding parent. She and Will get legitimately ANGRY at each other and become almost defensive. You wouldn't think that Will would speak to his best friend's mother that way, so I have reason to believe that their relationship is a bit more than shaky. It's easy to see that they probably hold little respect for the other. I think also that Hunith might even dislike Will because of his "trouble-maker" influence on Merlin as well as his knowledge of Merlin's magic. No, it's wrong to say that Hunith particularly dislikes Will himself. It's more that she dislikes the little fear she feels at having him know, if that makes sense. Well, that's how I see it anyway. Interesting stuff.


    Oh, another mirror I saw immediately: when Will leaps off a roof at that man about to whack Merlin, it totally reminded me of "A Servant of Two Masters"


    Favorite quotes (sorry, I've got quite a few):


    "I just didn't fit in anymore; I wanted to find somewhere that I did." -Merlin


    "If it comes to a choice... between saving people's lives and revealing who I really am...there is no choice." -Merlin


    "You've just got to believe in them because if you don't, they'll sense it, and the battle will be lost before it's even begun." -Merlin


    "I've seen how much he needs you... and how much you need him." -Hunith


    "Stop pretending to be interesting." -Arthur

    Edited on 01/11/2012 9:39pm
    Edited 2 total times.
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  • Avatar of legend-dreamer

    legend-dreamer

    [13]Jan 12, 2012
    • member since: 10/02/11
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    Favourite Quotes: (The first two simply because they show Arthur's far-reaching vision for Camelot and that underneath all of his bravado is a heart of gold )


    1x10 "I wish that Camelot was able to help people regardless of how far away they lived."


    1x10 "Arthur may act like he doesn't care, but he wouldn't be here if he didn't."


    1x10 "One whiff of a barmaids apron and you are singing like a sailor."(Gaius to Merlin as Merlin prepares to leave for Ealdor)


    1x13 "But promise me this, if you ever get another servant, don't get a bootlicker."


    1x13 "You have mastered the power of life and death itself. We'll make a great warlock of you yet."

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  • Avatar of boom-moo

    boom-moo

    [14]Jan 12, 2012
    • member since: 02/05/07
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    I know the point is to focus on Merlin but this episode has too many interesting things to comment on.

    First and quite random, Uther says that "Ealdor lies beyond the ridge of Ascetir" (Ascetir being the forest that serves as a natural border between Camelot and Cenred's kingdom). I think this could be why some people attribute Cenred's kingdom the name of 'Ascetia'.

    I like it how Hunith stands up to Kanan bravely even though she is probably one of the few people in Ealdor who would be able to survive better out of very limited resources. She looks like a strong sensible woman and she has no children or family to provide for and yet she (together with Matthew) shows the most courage. I think that's one of the many Hunith traits that have rubbed off on Merlin. He is brave and willing to help others. It is precisely that which ends up having others owe him, and which in this case gets him Gwen and Morgana's help. And, even though Arthur can't see it, Merlin is keeping his magic secret for the prince's sake. Merlin, like Hunith, is the kind of person that makes a difference and who causes a deep impression on those around him. It hasn't been long since Gaius has met Merlin and it's touching to see how worried he is about Merlin's departure, how he gives fatherly advice (don't touch the wine, do you need an extra blanket?) and his tight embrace, having a hard time letting Merlin go.

    Interesting how Hunith defines Uther as a "good king and a caring man". It is much in tune with Gaius' view of Uther. Regardless of the Great Purge, he has managed to bring peace and prosperity to his kingdom, which is not the case everywhere (as we can see with Cenred and Ealdor) . Uther's choice not to help Hunith: "I cannot risk hundreds of lives for the sake of one village" is a further example of the kind of tough decisions he has been forced to make to protect his kingdom. I like it that Hunith recognizes it not only with her initial statement (which could be taken as a way to try and pocket Uther for her cause) but also by not blaming Uther when he decides not to help. She doesn't throw a tantrum or do any kind of drama. She accepts his decision with dignity and I think, understanding. Morgana looks disappointed but I think no one can blame Uther for his decision. Actually, it isn't shown that anyone does, not even Merlin. Arthur's "I wish that Camelot was able to help people regardless of how far away they live" shows that he is good hearted but inexperienced.

    It's great to see how close Arthur and Merlin are already and how they are of a mind when it comes to some things. Arthur isn't surprised in the slightest when Merlin tells him that he is going back to Ealdor to protect his mother, but he is worried about the fact that Merlin might not decide to come back. He already cares way more about Merlin than he is willing to let show, and likewise, Merlin cares a lot about Arthur as proves the fact that he is willing to keep his secret hidden for him unless it's imperative.

    I didn't remember the bit when Gwen says: "I can amend armour and sharpen swords" to which Morgana adds: "And I know how to fight." It ties nicely with series 4 finale. Gwen is brave enough to pick up a sword, but her fighting skills are not a match to Morgana's.

    Despite the fighting in general is pretty cheesy, there are some details that I love like the boy who risks his life and rushes in to pick up the fallen grain sacks during the struggle or Will putting the furniture back in place inside his home. People are hungry for real, Kanan's men are raiding and rainsacking and abusing big time. It does feel like the struggle has reached the point where Ealdor people are indeed willing to fight to the death for their right to a decent living.

    I really feel for Merlin during this episode, it perfectly depicts how helping Arthur fulfill his destiny is coming at a big prize already for him. Will's: "You are living a lie just like you did here", "you are the one abandoning his people" and "can't or won't" (about using his magic to protect Ealdor) are as harsh as true. He was forced to leave his home only to find himself somewhere else where he doesn't fully fit either. Arthur's reflecting on the kind of life that Merlin had in Ealdor in comparison with the one he's had or the one Merlin has at the moment shows how clueless he is about Merlin's real motives to give up his old, simple and happy life. Merlin didn't know different and under Arthur's point of view, in Camelot Merlin has different. We know though that in Camelot Merlin is only just facing the same problem, only that magnified.

    Arthur's statements about being an equal to anyone who would fight alongside him are proven to be more than empty words when he doesn't let Merlin help him with his armour (in contrast with his previous dog/stick example as he was contently letting Merlin help him into his clothes). The way he reckons to be scared, the handshackes and reassuring words before battle speak volumes of the kind of king he will be. And of course, Merlin makes the right decision and decides to reveal his secret to Arthur. We get to see they are both already the kind of men we know they'll get to be.

    fantasyfreak77 wrote:
    I've always found watching the Merlin-Hunith scenes incredibly lifting and touching
    I agree, I find myself rewinding their scenes together all the time, I think they have really good chemistry. Caroline is really sweet, she irradiates sweetness both with her verbal and body language. I love her face after Merlin makes the sparks dragon, so much said with just a look. I also love how she repeatedly strokes Merlin's hand and then his hair, how she kisses him once and again, how physically close they keep during their scenes together (very beautifully done by the campfire when Merlin can be seen sleeping not just close by or right by her side but lying alongside her.

    fantasyfreak77 wrote:
    I think also that Hunith might even dislike Will because of his "trouble-maker" influence on Merlin as well as his knowledge of Merlin's magic. No, it's wrong to say that Hunith particularly dislikes Will himself. It's more that she dislikes the little fear she feels at having him know, if that makes sense. Well, that's how I see it anyway. Interesting stuff.
    It makes sense to me, I think that Hunith is driven by fear. She lost the chance to live a normal life because Balinor had magic. That prevented them from living together and raising their son together. She was deprived of the love of her man and she surely isn't up for taking the risk of losing her son.

    A goof I hadn't realized before is that the man who falls from his horse when the twister starts and gets tangled in the reins can be seen being dragged about twice.

    My quotes:

    Arthur: "I wish that Camelot was able to help people regardless of how far away they live."

    Will: (To Merlin) "You are living a lie just like you did here."

    Merlin: (To Arthur) "You've just got to believe in them because if you don't they'll sense it and the battle will be lost before it's even begun."

    Merlin: "If it comes to a choice between saving peoples lives and revealing who I really am... there is no choice."

    Merlin: (About Arthur) "If he doesn't accept me for who I really am then he's not the friend I hoped he was."

    Hunith: (To Merlin) "You belong at Arthur's side I've seen how much he needs you, how much you need him."

    Hunith: (To Merlin, about his secret) "When the time is right the truth will be known."
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  • Avatar of wilfeli

    wilfeli

    [15]Jan 12, 2012
    • member since: 09/21/11
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    I hope you don't mind me joining the discussion. It's that every time I watch this episode I've this strange feeling that Merlin was considering leaving Camelot and Arthur and going back to leave with his mother. I can't fully understand what his motivation could be. Returning temporary and helping to defeat Kanone is what I'd expect him to do. But leave permanently... Or maybe it's not what he was thinking and he simply meant there and back again kind of trip.

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    legend-dreamer

    [16]Jan 12, 2012
    • member since: 10/02/11
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    I have only re-watched the Season 1 episodes from this cycle up to this point and these are my observations from "The Moment of Truth". This has always been one of my favourite Season 1 episodes, simply because we see Ealdor and Hunith (other than her brief voice-over scene from episode 1) for the first time. You can see how both have helped to shape Merlin into the person he is at present and who he will become over time. Coming from a small border village, where the simple things are important: eat what is grown, help each other, happiness is food on the table and a roof over your head. Merlin does not take anything for granted and never forgets where he came from.


    Part of Merlin's charm is his thoughtfulness, loyalty, and selflessness. It is what others see in him and has allowed him to start developing his friendships with Gaius, Gwen, Morgana, and Arthur. I really love the campfire scene with Arthur when Merlin thanks him for coming even though he didn't need to. Arthur brushes it off by saying they should get some sleep, but you can see Merlin was deeply touched that Arthur was willing to make this trip to help out.


    I forgot about some of the insight this episode gave into Merlin's view of his servant/master relationship with Arthur. While others may see him just as the Prince's "skivvy", Merlin sees it as his destiny/duty to protect the future king and to help unite Albion. Because he knows what Arthur stands for and what he does, Merlin does not see Arthur just as his master but also as a friend. He has seen how this has allowed him to be close enough to be Arthur's protector, so he hides his magic so he can continue to be by Arthur's side.


    It is interesting that Will poses the question to Merlin about keeping his magic a secret versus helping out family and friends. And later Will states to Merlin "Can't or won't? I'm not the one abandoning these people, Merlin. You are." Those two interactions with his best friend forced Merlin to exam the reasons for his secrecy and what circumstances might cause him to reveal himself for the protection of others. By the time Hunith warns Merlin about not using magic, he has already come to realize that "If it comes to a choice between saving people's lives and revealing who I really am, there is no choice." The next day seeing his family and friends fighting a losing battle, Merlin knew he had no choice and used his magic to create the windstorm. Will's deathbed "confession" to Arthur showed an extremely loyal best friend who helped Merlin by keeping his magic secret.


    "Le Morte D'Arthur" (1x13) shows how much Merlin is willing to sacrifice himself for others. In order to save Arthur's life Merlin exchanges what he thinks will be his own life. By going to the Isle Of The Blessed and making the bargain with Nimueh, Merlin thought it would be his own life taken. Ironic that he did not see how important he personally was in the overall grand scheme (a humble perception of himself). Nimueh says she tried to kill Merlin (in 1x04) before knowing his importance. At that point we know it won't be Merlin's life taken, but someone close to him. Kilgharrah's words from earlier come back to mind "The young Pendragon must live, no matter what the cost." Merlin did say to Kilgharrah he was willing to do anything to save Arthur's life, but if he really knew the true cost I think he may have struggled more with the choice he made (and might have made a different choice).


    Seeing it is Hunith's life that is being taken, Merlin realises that Kilgharrah (and Nimueh) knew what would happen. Seeking to change the event he has set in motion, Merlin determinedly decides to re-bargain his own life again this time to save his mother's. Merlin perceives his mother's life as more important than his powers or destiny. Confronting Nimueh, Merlin states he was not bargaining with the lives of others, he was bargaining his own. Nimueh then reveals "The Old Religion does not care who lives and who dies! Only that the balance of the world is restored. To save a life, a life must be taken." Merlin quickly realises that whoever has the power of life and death can control whose death will be taken to save another's life. He is trying to find a way to do everything: save Arthur, save Hunith, save Gaius and yet still appease the Old Religion's need for a death.


    Merlin finds the solution after his first major magical battle. Starting out it is obvious that Merlin does not know as much as Nimueh, but he does a good job at trying to hold his own. When Merlin stands back up after Nimueh knocked him down, he has the same intense look he gave Agravaine in the cave before he killed him (4x13). Something inside Merlin realised that he could summon all his powers to kill Nimueh and restore Gaius' life. Thus by having gained the power over life and death Merlin was able to accomplish all he wanted, it had become his choice over who lived and died.

    Edited on 01/18/2012 6:24am
    Edited 4 total times.
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  • Avatar of boom-moo

    boom-moo

    [17]Jan 13, 2012
    • member since: 02/05/07
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    wilfeli wrote:

    I hope you don't mind me joining the discussion. It's that every time I watch this episode I've this strange feeling that Merlin was considering leaving Camelot and Arthur and going back to leave with his mother. I can't fully understand what his motivation could be. Returning temporary and helping to defeat Kanone is what I'd expect him to do. But leave permanently... Or maybe it's not what he was thinking and he simply meant there and back again kind of trip.

    I think that when Merlin decides to leave Camelot he isn't sure when or if he'd be back. Unless Merlin would have chosen to reveal his magic to those in Ealdor or he had had the chance to defeat Kanan while keeping his secret, the struggle could have taken way longer. It is Arthur's help which prompts a quick resolution and the chance to go back to Camelot together. Without the prince's encouragement, those in Ealdor wouldn't have decided to fight back that easily and Merlin's stay could have prolongued for an undefined period of time. Now does Arthur help just because he owes Merlin and because it's the right thing to do or also because he wants to make sure that Merlin is safe and sound and eventually can go back to Camelot?
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  • Avatar of dpebbleson

    dpebbleson

    [18]Jan 13, 2012
    • member since: 11/06/09
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    boom-moo wrote:
    Interesting how Hunith defines Uther as a "good king and a caring man". It is much in tune with Gaius' view of Uther. Regardless of the Great Purge, he has managed to bring peace and prosperity to his kingdom, which is not the case everywhere (as we can see with Cenred and Ealdor) . Uther's choice not to help Hunith: "I cannot risk hundreds of lives for the sake of one village" is a further example of the kind of tough decisions he has been forced to make to protect his kingdom. I like it that Hunith recognizes it not only with her initial statement (which could be taken as a way to try and pocket Uther for her cause) but also by not blaming Uther when he decides not to help. She doesn't throw a tantrum or do any kind of drama. She accepts his decision with dignity and I think, understanding.
    Well, in my humble opinion, she wouldn't achieve anything if she told him he was a "bad king and an uncaring man" And I'm not sure what her fate would have been if she indeed threw a tantrum. I don't believe Hunith thinks that Uther is a good king and a caring man, considering he would execute her son if he knew he had magic, and had forced Balinor into exile.


    On the other hand, I agree that Uther's decision wasn't cruel or bad, it was realistic, so she did indeed accept it with dignity and understanding. I think that all in all, Uther was a capable king, and barring magic issues, pretty realistic and rational.

    Edited on 01/13/2012 12:14pm
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    boom-moo

    [19]Jan 13, 2012
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    Sorry, I don't think that I fully expressed what I wanted to. I don't think either that Hunith thinks highly of Uther beyond of his ability to rule a prosperous kingdom but I believe (and I like) that she is able to see other than his shortcomings. Just like Merlin or Gwen, I don't think she would have him dead if the decision would be in her hands.
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  • Avatar of dpebbleson

    dpebbleson

    [20]Jan 13, 2012
    • member since: 11/06/09
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    boom-moo wrote:
    Sorry, I don't think that I fully expressed what I wanted to. I don't think either that Hunith thinks highly of Uther beyond of his ability to rule a prosperous kingdom but I believe (and I like) that she is able to see other than his shortcomings. Just like Merlin or Gwen, I don't think she would have him dead if the decision would be in her hands.


    I agree with seeing beyond his shortcomings. As for parallel between her, Merlin and Guinevere, I agree they wouldn't have him dead if the decisions were in her hands - however, I think, it's less because of appreciating his good traits, and more because they wouldn't like to stoop to his level, or as Guinevere said, it would be something like turning into Uther if you wanted to condemn him to death.

    However, I noticed that Merlin is in the grey area there. In "To Kill the King", if it weren't for Guinevere, he would have let Uther die; he also let Morgana die in "The Fires of Idirsholas".
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