There are a lot of things about the series Merlin that I love. I loved them then; I love them now. Ideals of integrity, devotion, and friendship done against wonderful backgrounds of forests and castles … studies on relationships, parent/child, brother/sister, good vs evil, difficult choices … etc. So much is hidden in the anticipated story-line resolutions.
All of these themes contribute to the maturing of our hero, who starts the story as a naive country boy newly arrived in the city; a city that is dangerous for anyone with his special abilities. Through 5 seasons we watch this young actor display humor, sorrow, joy, anguish, loyalty and devastation. Merlin does not acquire his maturity easily … he takes us on his journey filled with hope and arrives at the end with acceptance that not all things are within his power.
There are interesting philosophical questions presented to us. … I love that Merlin is placed in so many moral dilemmas. I love that his magic does not come easily … that he has to practice … that he often doesn’t get it right the first time or two. I love that Gaius does not have unlimited knowledge … that he very often has to find an answer in one of his many books. I love that Merlin is given different advice by different people, both of whom he respects, and is left on his own trying to evaluate the “right” thing to do. I love that frequently the “right” thing leads to the opposite of the desired result. There is so much irony … so much that cannot be traced to only one good choice. (Like life …) Did Merlin make the right decision? Did he make the wrong decision? Which decision would have led to the preferred outcome? Does the preferred outcome end up being the best outcome? Can we know that answer … even if we are writing the script ourselves?
There are so many of these kinds of questions raised. This is a story of the heart, and for that I am grateful. It is also a story ripe with ethical examinations … and Colin helps us understand these … helps us experience the anguish of heavy decisions that can affect all he holds dear. We are not standing aloof as an observer only, we suffer with him.
(archives Oct 2014 )