It has begun. I have entered yet another exile era, holed up at home and back in a random show bandwagon a.k.a hyperfixating on binge watching Merlin until Arthur dies a gruesome death and my heart is shredded into pathetic million pieces so I can breathe again. I know it’s been more than a decade since this show ended. The main actors already aged like fine wine but this show had me on chokehold for no apparent reason. TikTok is the equivalent of TV commercials in my life now. Quick! Somebody call Shou Chew to steal my data a.k.a. Merthur fanedit clips bookmarked on my TikTok account. Other tech companies probably already stole our data wayyy before that congress hearing, anyway. Who are we kidding?
I’m currently in the middle of season 3. Is this a mid-series review? Unsure. Probably, to some degree. So, why am I compelled to write something about it? First off, my head won’t shut up about it. Second, what’s life without delving into an all-consuming work of fiction in an obsessive manner? Third and most importantly, this is a pivotal point of the show for me. If you don’t think so, that’s your problem.
- Morgana’s rage for Uther, fueled with unreasonable hatred, was amplified. Like ??? Girl? Where are you getting all these hatred from? She was “kidnapped” for one year. Her powers were harnessed, she’s probably brainwashed by Morgause but it makes her unrelatable because we were not given a peek during that one year of kidnapping. She’s literally hell-bent on killing Uther and Arthur. BBC writers did her character dirty. The dragon went on and on about how she’s evil. She wasn’t. She could’ve been magic besties with Merlin. I know in the lores she was the villain in the Arthurian legend but the reason for this was just not enough.
- The de-twinkification of Merlin was officially complete. Loving this change on him so much so that I want a neckerchief for myself in the dead of summer. I’m fighting for my life here. Singapore sun is the only thing holding me back because it is cooking its inhabitants. Oh, and he’s wearing more blue just as much as Arthur does. Talk about 10th century couple shirts. Sometimes, Merlin is on a first name basis with Arthur. Yeah, it’s a big deal because he’s a servant. On top of that, he still calls the future king ass, prat and clotpole without getting beheaded. Love that for him!
- Arthur fulfilling more kingly duties as the show progresses. He’s also sensitive to Merlin’s mood. His approach to things have matured. Truth be told, it is a wonder to me how Arthur grew up to be kind and loyal having been raised by Uther whose heart was full of blind hatred.
- Gwaine parading around Albion like a chaotic, hot Jesus saving Arthur from dying a thousand times (ok, it was actually three) while simultaneously dispatching me straight to hell for my sins. LOL.
- Arwen’s ship is sailing and I’m NOT here for it. Headcanon is Merthur. Periodt.
- Kilgharrah is free, had its revenge on Camelot and made way for Merlin to go dragonlording.
Arthur was Merlin’s religion. Merlin was the fans’ religion. And in the words of a Highschool Musical song, “we’re all in this together”. Us fans are all probably in our own imaginary Camelot in the era of our own choosing. Initially, I didn’t want to rewatch this because I dread the ending. But what do we do during difficult moments and when things don’t go our way? We turn to a force greater than ourselves: AO3. It is the balm to our soul because BBC queer baited us all, because BBC weren’t brave enough to give us the Merthur happy ending we all deserved and because we need to forgive BBC and seek closure in a form of a 100k – 400k words written by strangers from across the globe and hidden in the depths of AO3. For those of us who have not made peace of that stupid, heart-wrenching and grief-inducing ending, we have found, written or commissioned our own season 6 somewhere. Mind you, this BBC slander was not entirely unprovoked. It would not have happened if I wasn’t ugly crying like a big baby at 4am on a random Tuesday. Headcanon and canon melded into one and it is now my new reality.