4.13: The Sword in the Stone - Part II

ctg

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Morgana and Helios have successfully captured Camelot, and Merlin and Arthur are outlaws on the run. Trapped in Ealdor with a ruthless army closing in, their situation becomes desperate. Arthur must take control before Camelot is lost forever, but faced with Agravaine's betrayal and the strength of Morgana's force, the young King has lost his conviction.


Only Merlin can restore his faith, and only an extraordinary act can prove to the King that he was born to rule. Will the young warlock convince Arthur before his dreams of Albion fall to pieces?


Of course, that's the point. But will he in the process reveal his extraordinary abilities, including being able to control Dragon's is a mystery that I believe the producers doesn't have balls to go with and I truly believe that as it's part of the Christmas programming, they cannot show any dark aspects and the show will continue as it has done for many years.

What I find really interesting is that after having studied some of the medieval aspects Arthur's war method's sound pretty primitive for the time period and they don't take any advantage of true period methods. With the great dragon guarding their rear, I believe they could easily take back the Castle and make flame-grilled shish-kebab from remaining troops.

So no need for the magical sword in there, but that's what they need to do as the show must go on.
 
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Dave

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Difficult to talk about this without spoilers (if you have recorded it for later) because just for once there were quite a few. So, stop reading now if you don't wish to be spoilered.

First of all, not more bleeding caves! What is is with caves and these writers? This isn't Dr Who!

Second, I shouted a big hooray as Merlin finally got rid of Uncle - why they ever invented that character is beyond me. Glad to see the end of him.

ctg expected that only by showing his abilities, could Merlin convince Arthur that he is the King born to rule all Albion. As expected, that wasn't going to happen, which is where the Sword in the Stone came into it. Pulling out the sword in front of his remaining subjects (the BBC extras department was a little stretched if that was supposed to be all of Camelot) showed that he was made of the right kingly stuff.

ctg was spot on about the Dragon though. That quickly made charcoal of the Morgana's army in the woods and left Camelot open to be relieved. Then Merlin (in disguise as Emrys) did a midnight foray into the castle and placed one of those charms we have seen before under Morgana's bed. I like it when they use some continuity like that.

Then they attack the castle. Everyone has a sword, even the servants, traders and artisans. Everyone, except Merlin. No one says anything to Merlin about it - like how come you aren't going to fight, even Gwen has a sword? If he is staying in character and doesn't have magic, surely he needs to fight like everyone else. Even Morgana had a sword (and was pretty useful with it killing at least 4 knights - not the 'red shirt' guards either but knights.)

Gwen confronts Morgana and as she is about to be beaten, Merlin collapses the ceiling. "How did that happen?" says Gwen. "No idea," says Merlin. It wasn't me! That was probably the low point for me. Even Gwen is not that stupid. She already knows he has some magic.

Arthur and Gwen, now reconciled, are married in the Great Hall and everyone lives happily ever after.

The final scene brings back the 'old character' the writers have mentioned. It isn't that old a character. It was the baby dragon hatched from the 400-year-old egg. As Morgana wanders injured through the forest, she falls and is about to die. Then 'junior' (sorry I forget the name it was given) pops up and heals her by breathing on her. He then flies away. I'm assuming that this has created some kind of bond between them which will now grow stronger, becoming a running theme next Season and leading ultimately to some future battle of the dragons.
 

Mouse

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I forgot it was on so just watched it on the iPlayer.

Gotta say, I loved Merlin vs Agravaine.

I thought too, like Dave, why doesn't Merlin have a sword? But then he did have one when they (with Tristan and Isolde) faced Morgana and that man in the big throne roomy place. So...

Thought the whole Isolde thing was tragic. Would've rather had Gwen stabbed saving Arthur, then maybe Merlin healing her.

Didn't get the whole point of the dragon thing at the end.

Also, where did Merlin's mother go?

And, again, why did Percival disappear last ep then suddenly reappear in this one? What was he doing?!

I liked Merlin as Emrys again, just seeming so much more powerful than Merlin. But why would he be? Why isn't Merlin like that?
 

wort

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Here in the States we're just getting ready to start Season 4 but I have friends who keep me posted. Very disappointed to hear that Arthur still does not have any clue about Merlin's powers. There are many variations of the Legend of King Arthur and I have enjoyed most of the twists the writers have taken with the story, but I am not aware of any of those versions of this story where Arthur does not know of Merlin's powers. It's time for Arthur to know the truth and the writers could go a number of directions to start this process. I'm told Arthur goes back to find Merlin, why couldn't he have overheard or witnessed the confrontation with Agravaine. It's time to move this thread forward instead of another monster of the week or wronged wizard or witch out for revenge.
 

Perpetual Man

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I really enjoyed it, thinking the whole thing was a magnificent romp, the ideal way to end the series. Of course there were all the normal niggles but they did not seem to matter because there was so much fun to be had.

For a show that has been criticised for not changing much over the course of it's run, this season has managed quite a few - probably more than many other shows, Uther killed, Arthur becomes king, Lancelot written out, a new character introduced and then written out and Arthur and Gwen getting married.

Of course the biggy - Merlin revealing his secret to Arthur has not happened, and I have wondered whether the writers are going to start making use of that in a new way - playing with an audience who obviously want to see it happen. There were a number of times when I thought Merlin was about to spill the beans and then didn't - so are we going to see a lot more of this next year?

It has it's flaws but Merlin has consistently entertained - apparently the highest rated (viewing figures) scripted show on a Saturday night, which is something to be proud of.

I did not like the appearance of the white dragon (the way it looked) but it adds an interesting twist to the tale - although I cannot see how it can be a threat. Merlin is the Dragon Lord and doesn't that mean they all have to obey him?

Dave - two things you mentioned - Merlin's line about 'It wasn't me!' - I agree it was a bit corny, but I took it as one of those joke's between friends, Gwen knowing full well it was, if you know what I mean.

And Merlin not having a sword. I haven't re-watched it but I'm pretty certain he did to start with. When they are preparing to go into the tunnels and Arthur is speaking, Merling and Gwen are in the back ground, both holding swords - Merlin looking really uncomfortable and I thought it odd that he had a sword, but guessed he threw it away when he was out of sight. Of course I might have been imagining things.

I had been drinking when I watched it.

Roll on season 5
 

Jo Zebedee

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I thought the same thing about the dragon, Perp. Overall I liked this, and enjoyed the use of Tristan and Isolde, even if she was rather Xena in her get up. Thought it was nice to see what Merlin could do with his magic, getting rid of Ol' uncle impossible.

If they do go down the line of the neverending secret being the hook for the series, I'll be disappointed; there's only so long you can go on doing it before people get fed up. Well, I do anyway, but not noted for my tolerance!

But easily the best 2 episodes of the season.
 

ctg

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Happy belated Christmas from Berlin.

I watched the last episode at yesterday evening, when we sat down to relax after the flights. And I have to say that it was good. It wasn't the greatest, but it was a very fastly paced episode. And they covered a lot of the legend in that one.

The people have commented about the Morgana's dragon and I think that is the dragon - as well as their own plot-twist - that the Knights of the Camelot goes to kill at some point.

When Merlin reveals that Vortigern's tower cannot stand because its foundations rest on the den of two struggling dragons, it is immediately apparent that the dragons represent two warring leaders.

Once the dragons are released from the ground, the white dragon kills the red one and then dies itself. Although Merlin says that the dragons represent Vortigern and those who will defeat him, the prophecy may suggest a second, more foreboding, interpretation to an audience already aware of how Camelot will fall.

Might the red dragon be Arthur, the white Mordred, and the castle the kingdom which shall be destroyed in their struggle?
http://www.uiweb.uidaho.edu/student_orgs/arthurian_legend/quests/monsters/adrgpg.html



What did bug me with the Excalibur is that in some of the legend that I've listened or read, the first Excalibur gets broken and when the Lady of the Lake gives it back, Merlin gives him the legendary sword sheet that makes Arthur almost invulnerable to the wounds.

I don't know if that's real or my interpretation, but as I see this series progressing I'd have thought Merlin giving that sheet to Arthur at this point because we haven't even seen the Lady of the Lake.

Is she going appear at some point in the next season, I don't know.

Or is she the fairy queen that we saw at some point in the first season?

Really don't know as that sort of clue might have escaped some people's attention on the over the years that Merlin has progressed as the series. Personally, I would dread to use that long bridge in my own stories.

The action that we saw was mostly cheesy, and I wish that the BBC would have invested a little bit money to make the Sword if the Stone as a mid-season movie for a longer series, where the writers have 22 episodes to fill in the story as it should have happened.

What I also wish is that the writers also would use these episodes as an introduction to the Season of death and dread. In other words, similar kind of mood change that JMS did with the Babylon 5 seasons. As Arthur is as much of a main character as Merlin is from this point on.

So really, they shouldn't be calling Merlin as only "Merlin" as Arthur senses that Merlin is a bit more than he says he is. And you can clearly see it if you relax your mind to accept the story as it's presented. And like Merlin, he cannot show that. He cannot say that Merlin is a mage, that he believes he is, as it would compromise his position as a King to his subjects.

Don't you agree?
 

rune

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Im not sure what I thought of the last two episodes, at least there was some action which was good. Great to see the dragon return too. But what is going to happen next, seems like a good conclusion to Merlin now, dont see the point to it returning
 

Dave

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But what is going to happen next, seems like a good conclusion to Merlin now, don't see the point to it returning
It is possible that they wrote it that way, and since so many series get cancelled without being able to write a proper ending, that is good. However, from what I've heard it is returning. The fifth Season is already in production. There was always a five season plan though according to this:
http://www.scifinow.co.uk/blog/merlin-season-5-secrets/
 
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