Guilty Pleasures Part 2- Merlin

21 Jul
Merlin Cast Signing Kapow 2011

Merlin Cast Signing Kapow 2011

I have always had a bit of a love for Arthurian Legend. I’m not an expert in the field or anything like that I just have a fascination for myths and legends. My first introduction to Arthurian legend was the Marshall Cavendish Storyteller series. Do you remember those? Am I showing my age? As well as modern fairy tales they had Arthurian legend amongst other myths and folktales. I loved that series but that’s another story!

When Merlin came on the scene I decided to watch it, albeit  nervously. I knew it was going to be an Arthurian mash up of sorts, they were putting the legend in a blender and seeing what came out.  They made Merlin a young man like Arthur. They made him a powerful warlock in a kingdom where magic is outlawed by Uther Pendragon and if anyone learns his secret it could mean his death.

Just one small catch he has to use his powers to help Arthur fulfil his destiny whilst keeping his gift from him. I had my doubts. To my surprise though, I loved it.

They had magic, battles, humour and drama. It was original enough that although you knew the ultimate fate of the characters you didn’t know what would happen along the way. I found that if I didn’t think about it as Arthurian legend but as a new story in its own right it was easy to enjoy. Besides the Arthurian legends themselves are not exactly historical fact now are they? It’s part myth, part fantasy part folklore. Hopefully Merlin has inspired more people to read up on the Arthurian legends.

In fact my work collegue at the time and I became friends due to our mutual love of Merlin and Dr Who. We loved it so much in fact in 2011 we went to the first Kapow comic Con to see the cast. It was the most badly organised event I think I’ve ever been to but we had a good time anyway, despite only getting 10 seconds with the cast. We did manage to get some photos though. Sadly I didn’t manage to get a good one of Angel because there was always someone between me and her or she had her head down signing 😦 I include some here but of course my twitter followers will already have seen these so they can skip them if they wish.

Katie McGrath Kapow 2011

Katie McGrath Kapow 2011

Colin Morgan signing at Kapow 2011

Colin Morgan signing at Kapow 2011

Katie and Angel Kapow 2011

Katie and Angel Kapow 2011

Colin and Bradley Kapow 2011

Colin Morgan and Bradley James signing at Kapow Comic-Con 2011

Colin Morgan Bradley James Kapow 2011

Not sure what’s going on here. Some interesting facial expressions are involved

Colin Morgan, Bradley James and Katie McGrath Kapow 2011

Colin Morgan, Bradley James and Katie McGrath Kapow 2011

Merlin cast signing at Kapow 2011

another photo from the signing table.

Merlin Panel Kapow 2011

Merlin Panel Kapow 2011

I loved series 1-4 What of series 5? I hear you ask! Well I didn’t love it (sorry to those who did.) I felt there were a lot of potential storylines opened up in previous series that could have been explored in 5 but instead we got weeks of “evil Gwen.” I’m sure many loved it but personally I was left feeling unsatisfied. It did have brilliant moments though and the finale was excellent; even though they ruined it in the last 10 seconds, WHY?!

I would have liked to have seen Merlin having the chance to live in Camelot with Arthur post magic reveal and see how his relationship with those around him was effected. What about people finding out the truth about Gwain? What about toying with the possibility of Morgana’s redemption. Maybe explaining why she went from conflicted to over grown toddler with magical rage? A process we didn’t get to see. All in all though Merlin was a happy experience for me and I hope once the disappointment of the last series has gone I’ll be able to rewatch the earlier episodes again and recapture the magic.

 

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