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Hypable

British Merlin fans were able to get their series 5 DVD box sets today, and might have already listened to the commentary track for “The Diamond of the Day, Part 2,” which features Katie McGrath (Morgana) and Julian Murphy.

This track marks the first and so far only time in which one of the Merlin showrunners have spoken out about the way in which the show ended, and as such, we are sure that fans of the show will be curious to find out what he had to say.

The commentary is a very enjoyable listen; they seem to have a lot of fun discussing the show and playing with innuendos and fan assumptions. If possible, do listen to the whole thing yourself, because we’re sure it’s more enjoyable to hear Murphy and McGrath themselves rather than reading about it!

Here are some of the biggest reveals for easy consumption:

The magic reveal almost didn’t happen

One of the first things which Murphy reveals is that in one version of the finale script, “Arthur never found out about Merlin’s magic.” This was definitely shocking, since that has been what fans have probably been anticipating the most for the past five years.

Murphy also acknowledges here that they were, in fact, never planning to reveal Merlin’s magic before the end of the series. Luckily they decided to include it in the finale after all, as not doing it at all “felt like a cheat to the audience.”

The finale was “a love story between two men”

Merlin and Arthur’s friendship has obviously been one of the driving forces of the series, and the perceived ambiguity of their relationship has been a main focus for the fandom. In this commentary, Murphy and McGrath share some really interesting thoughts (and some very funny jokes) about the pair of them, and while a lot of what they say is definitely not meant to be taken seriously, we did find some of their comments worth pointing out.

Most notably, the showrunner confirms that Merlin and Arthur did indeed grow to love each other by the end of the series, calling it a “pure” love. “We did, very genuinely, think of the episode as a love story between two men. Which is what I think it is, jokes and innuendo aside,” he says. McGrath adds that, “you can’t deny that Merlin and Arthur do love each other, you know? In whatever love way you want to think, there is no denying.”

Their jokes in the commentary largely revolve around the idea that magic (and the magic reveal) is a metaphor for homosexuality – an idea which Merlin fans have been throwing around for years, and we were therefore surprised to hear the way in which McGrath and Murphy address it. Murphy says things like, “on no level is magic metaphorical in this show,” to which McGrath will respond, “it’s funny, I don’t actually feel like you’re being sincere.” This leaves us to wonder to what extent they were, in fact, making these metaphors on a more conscious level than perhaps the average viewer (who wasn’t necessarily looking for the subtext) might have assumed.

Murphy points to the moment where Arthur finally dies as what the entire series has been building towards. At the “just hold me,” Murphy justifies to a shocked McGrath that, “well, he’s dying, the man he loves is dying, so he’s holding him.”

“I think you maybe just confirmed what a lot of people thought,” McGrath says at the end of the commentary. “And I’m glad that Julian could do it, because he’s probably the only one who could have gotten away with that commentary.”

We also want to point to a hilarious line by Murphy, even if it is said in joke (when Arthur passes his seal to Gaius), “That’s the last vestige of his heterosexu– I mean sorry, that’s the last vestige of his marriage.” Well, now that the show is over, we guess they can finally make jokes like this, right?

Gwen and Leon? Morgana and… Morgause?

Now, here is a ship which never really sailed, but which this writer in particular might have developed a bit of a penchant for. And evidently, so has Katie McGrath. Murphy jokes about Gwen being a “scorned wife,” and McGrath replies, “but she has Sir Leon!” Although Murphy’s response (“ah, see, that’s another undercurrent in Merlin“) sounds like a joke, we’ll take it. Gweon, are we calling it?

McGrath also complains that she never got a love interest, and Murphy pays homage to another fan pairing: “I gave you Morgause. Incestuous lesbianism, what more do you want?” Although he maintains that it was McGrath and Emilia Fox who brought that element of their relationship across. Sadly though, the Gwen/Morgana mud wrestling scene never got greenlit. “It’s a family show,” Murphy says. “Not in your head,” McGrath replies.

Choosing to end the series with tragedy

“I felt a horrible pressure doing these [last] two [episodes],” Murphy admits. “Because you gotta pay off the series.” Because they based the show on such an iconic legend, and because people have an expectation for the ending and Arthur’s death, “it has that weight of history, and yet you have to make it fresh.”

Ultimately, the showrunner calls the finale “simple,” just Merlin and Arthur on this final journey together. He also allows that, “obviously the ending is tragic, basically, Arthur dies and he fails,” adding, “I don’t know how the nation’s gonna feel on Christmas eve. It’s pretty gut-wrenching.” But Murphy explains that he just couldn’t find a way to give the show a happy ending, because “people would feel cheated.” So he couldn’t find a way out of the tragedy, except for adding in the final flash forward moment at the very end.

Finally, Murphy clears up a few things which fans might have been left wondering about: when they fly to Avalon on the dragon, Arthur was indeed completely dead. And the hand coming out of the lake was the Lady of the Lake’s, not Arthur’s.

We’ll leave you on a high with McGrath’s vision of the ending, which sounds like something straight out of a fanfic – and we have to admit, we kind of love it: “I had the most amazing ending where Arthur is lying mortally wounded on the battlefield. Merlin comes up and cradles him in his arms. Merlin to Arthur: ‘I have magic.’ Arthur takes Merlin’s face in his hands. ‘I know. I think I’ve always known.’”

What do you think about Julian Murphy’s quotes? Now that you’ve had some time to process, how do you feel about the way in which Merlin ended?

The hosts of Hypable’s Merlin podcast Talks of Camelot share their thoughts on the ending and the final season as a whole on the latest episode of the podcast! Listen, enjoy, and leave us your feedback.

  • rilman

    Merlin should have called the dragon earlier and they could have changed history :)

  • Winkyxx

    right in the feels…

  • MizzyMel

    What this idiot doesn’t seem to understand is the story they told. It was supposed to be a “Before they were famous” Smallville type concept. Nobody wanted or expected this show to go through the end of the legend. The only people that wanted that was the JJ’s and their craptastic writers fueled by their delusional narcissism and penchant for crap show management. What he got was an entire fan base who felt cheated. Go him. In more capable hands the show could have been way bigger than it was and would likely still have a cast interested in playing the characters. Hopefully this idiot won’t be doing any more shows.. That they are no longer affiliated with Shine boosts their stock a bit.

    • samy

      I have to agree with you. I suspect however, you’ll get a lot of upset replies.

      Although they had slowly but surely moved away from their original concept since the second year (which IMO was a mistake in the long run), that they ended on a depressing note with Arthur dying and technically, nothing being gained as far as magic becoming legal or a true united land outside of some peace treaties, instead of a hopeful ending that left the gloom and doom for off-screen future will always put the end on a sour note for me.

      I’m happy that M/A is canon, however it does not make me feel better about the end. They could have achieved the same things, reveal and M/A canon love, if they had stuck to the original premise. I’d of gladly waited to see Arthur become king, Morgana as evil, etc, etc for the last season if they had focused on 5 year journeys of each character – with stuff like the reveal being earlier on and a huge part of what shapes the hopeful future – we didn’t have to see the doom ending, to be honest. Instead, they either hurried into the big things and they got old quick, or did nothing with them until the very end, and too much of the show after the first year felt like a waste of promise.

      It was a fun show, at times. The music, shooting of the scenes, etc was always great and a pleasure. The cast is a nice bunch, there was some good acting when given a chance. Impressive guest actors. However, they never truly could find a way to both tell a good fantasy show with stories of the week that could still have progressive development and continuity. They were so worried about trying to be epic and their green screen that they forgot a lot of what makes a good story is the journey and characters/their relationships with others and themselves, the world building, etc. And oddly enough, when they finally did something good with Merlin/Arthur, they had to go and ruin it (for some, at least) by killing Arthur off. Perhaps that is romantic to some, and I respect that. However, Merlin sitting by the sea instead of returning to the kingdom his friend loved to protect it, kind of takes away the romance of it all. We can pretend whatever we want, however, with the hopeless, vague way it ended, fan fiction no matter how great it can be written, does not always fill the empty spaces or void for everyone.

      • MizzyMel

        They told the beginning, they told the end. They just hemmed and hawed too scared and unoriginal to move the story along while patting themselves on the back that people watched anyway. The cast carried this show. If you watch the show from season 1 episode 1 all the way through you’ll see what awful story telling and writing has done to a show that could have and should have been as big as Twilight or True Blood. People can get angry all they want, they did not tell the story of Arthur nor Merlin. Merlin was known to have magic. Arthur was known to be a great and noble King. This is not the story they told. They didn’t have the right to tell the ending of the legend because they never included anything in the 5 years on screen that made any of the characters legendary.

        The show should have ended with the battle at Mount Baden when Arthur united the lands of Albion. Arthur could have found out about Merlin’s magic. Mordred and Morgana survived but perhaps banished or imprisoned to come back and fight another day. Ending with Arthur accepting Merlin for who he is and the magic within him and making him the advisor as per the legend. EVERYONE would have been happy with this. We know what happens down the road and how it ends up it was unnecessary to skip the entire legend and think they were being trendy and edgy by jumping to it without telling any of the story. The entire thing is a mess.

        People can get mad, but the only thing that carried this entire show was the cast and the friendship between Arthur and Merlin. I could care less about Merthur or gay subtext. With a lessor cast and chemistry between them this show would have tanked like every other project these worthless producers have been involved with their entire careers. They took the Arthurian Legends and they told it horribly and made it story of pure failure with no triumph. Shame on them.

        • Nina K.

          Thank you so much for saying *everything* I have in mind. I couldn’t find better words. I’ve never felt more cheated, more devastated as a loyal fan than from these idiotic writers of “Merlin”. I can’t even watch series 1 and 2 anymore because it hurts seeing all the potential and the promises that were smashed to pieces later on. And they bring the Arthur/Merlin relationship as a balm? And they think it’s enough? Murphy, what are you on?? For me, the rushed reveal and the “love story before the death” was the biggest insult, not a gift! They had Merlin fail and killed Arthur and just because they had a few last hours together, that’s supposed to be enough to make me feel elated? REALLY?! Er…. No. A crumb at the very end is a cheat, an insult. And very, oh but VERY lame, lazy, gutless writing of the whole series 5. Shame on you, TPTB. May the cast and crew never work with people of your level ever again.

        • elissa

          Thankyou, I couldn’t have said it better.

          At SDCC it was said that this was the story of everybody becoming the legends we know them to be (Katie may have said it but Capps and Murphy were there, and agreed) So what did Arthur do to become a legend? Merlin?

          • MizzyMel

            Well in Season 1 Episode 8 we were told if the boy lived he could not fulfill his destiny. In Season 2 Episode 11 we were told that the prophesy speak of an alliance of Mordred and Morgana united in evil and it must be stopped whatever the cost. Even all the way up to Season 5 the dragon said if Merlin had a chance to kill Mordred he must not fail. In Episode 5 Merlin stated that he’d have Arthur become the King he was destined to be so he clearly wasn’t that yet, and even in Episode 10 of Season 5 Finna gave up her life so Merlin could help Arthur could create the world they all longed for. Then in episode 13 when Mordred indeed kills Arthur the union between Mordred and Morgana happened NOW we’re supposed to believe that all Merlin had dreamt of building had come to pass? Oh Ok Great Dragon… Please lets insult our intelligence a little more. Meanwhile Arthur can’t put on his own shirt without assistance, is ruling his kingdom according to lies his father told him, is now the hypocrite that he called his father in Season 2 Episode 8 as he uses magic for his own means and ends but forbids and passes judgement on everyone else. Everyone is tip toeing around him protecting him from the truth of the world he’s supposed to be ruling over because he’s apparently not big boy enough to handle it all while oppressing a population of people and committing genocide against them.

            That’s not even mentioning the fact that Merlin is a meek mouse scared to do anything for fear Arthur won’t like him anymore and Morgana is consistently using stronger more powerful magic against him and consistently getting his butt kicked while telling Arthur a bunch of crap and keeping his people oppressed and allowing Arthur years after his fathers death to continue to believe the lies he was raised under. Because what if Arthur doesn’t like him anymore?

            I’d say they did absolutely nothing to be of legend outside of being legendary failures. But oh hey.. they love each other. Rejoice. Now lets send Merlin to roam for 1500 years looking like a homeless person around the Tor. Edgy.

            What I really want to know is how their transgender baby dragon ended up being great for Albion and why Freya has the scariest thickest man hands this side of the Atlantic. *eye roll*

          • elissa

            Yes, we had 3 years in which supposedly nothing happened, so Merlin did nothing to advance Arthurs view of magic – EVER, even stating it in 5.5. (the worst line EVER, but I suppose the writers thought it was edgy and twisty)
            AND Morgana was always shown to be more powerful, even though we were continuingly being told that he was more powerful than anybody else.
            First rule of writing, show, don’t tell.
            I too, want to know what happened to Aithusa, and big-man hands grabbing the sword? – did they think nobody would notice??? Even if they couldn’t get a female diver, surely they could have done something post-production! little things count
            Yes, he loves Arthur and thats all that matters – apparently.
            The whole thing is just ridiculous. I loved this show, I really did and had high hopes for this series, but the whole thing just took a huge nose-dive.
            Nothing makes any sense, and Julians justifications of it are a pointless exercise in grandstanding.

          • Nimueh123

            Well said! They ruined season 5 and they never gave us what they promised us for 4 seasons.

          • elissa

            I can deal with them using bits of the legends at “‘touch points”or whatever the word was, but to use them as vague idea’s without any follow through is just lazy on their part.
            Having listened to this commentary, its amazing they got anything up at all, as things were rushed and forgotten and of course we all noticed the butch-arm catching the sword.
            There are so many things in this series that make no sense, but Julian as he told Katie, just go with the flow! That might have worked in TV 20 years ago, but audiences and shows are more sophisticated, and want more.
            so he had trouble, he realised that the audience wanted a pay-off, but he wasn’t able to deliver it. He went back and re-read Malory (I don;t know why he would bother)
            We wanted more than a simple love story with a hugely sad ending. We wanted them to see the legends that we all know they become.
            TPTB’s view of the Arthurian era was that it was a massive failure, I’m sure many of the “so-called puritans they love to hate” and fans, would disagree with him.

          • http://www.facebook.com/lilah.miranda Lilah Miranda

            Bradley, Angel nor even Colin would touch this shit finale with a 10 ft pole. Katie’s a kiss ass so she’s the only one who agreed to do it. If she ever gets another job it’ll be on a Julian Murphy production. That’s if he can get a job himself.

          • Nimueh123

            I agree with every word you said there. The individual episodes of season 5 were great,, but they just did not add up to the story. There was no consistent story arc. Just think of the ‘lovely’ alien in ep 2. Whatever became of him/her? And this is only a little example.
            I really hate that in the end what happens seems to be all Merlin’s fault. And that Arthur never became the promised king.

        • lennaFam

          I totally agree with you..they chose to tell the story of Arthur and Merlin who according to the legend were both great..great idea trying to say it a way nobody else did before.We saw a begenning very different, Merlin and Gwen as servants? who would have thought about it? BUT..this IS the story of Artur the king who created Albion and Merlin the super powerfull sorcerer!! How can someone change the story so much that none of them becomes what they were famous for? And after all,why should I watch a show about Arthurian legends if nothing that consists this legend actually happens? All these promises from the first season lead to a failure. As a person who watched the show from its start I feel betrayed..And why is everybody so happy about them being gay? If so, Gwen should have indeed left with lancelot who died too soon (pitty) and leave Merlin as Arthurs beloved queen who would later become a myth..come on..everything beautiful in this story was destroyed with season 5.I could accept a crazy Morgana , but a king who did nothing worth of remembering and an ALWAYS bullied Merlin? Thats too much for me..I expected so much more,perhaps thats why Bradley looked so bored talking about it in the interviews..because nothing really changes from the second season,same old same old. They make me feel so angry laughing about it and talking about fans colorable thoughts..After all these years,I feel they should have never touched the myth but create someone from their own imagination to tell his story,I mean ..the myth exists..you can change how it happened but WHAT happenned is what makes it worth telling it..the last season ruined it for me and ever more the way they see it .It just makes sad like losing a friend or something..

    • http://hypable.com Selina

      I’m gonna level with you for a moment – when I first read “this idiot,” I thought wheeeyyy here come the haters. Which, I guess, is kind of true – but hey, that’s your perspective and you guys have got some good points.

      I still have to give my counterargument though. Because on one hand, yes, it was meant to be an origin story (although I don’t think you can say Julian Murphy didn’t understand the show, seeing as it was HIS show…), but that was when it started. The first, let’s say three seasons, that was the Smallville part. Then Uther died and Arthur actually went from Prince to King, and THEN it became Lois & Clark (for lack of a better comparison). And yes, we were cheated out of a golden age. Yes, we might have liked to see Merlin acknowledged and worked side-by-side with Arthur (although note that this was NEVER in the writers’ plan, to reveal Merlin’s magic before the end. We might disagree with this decision, but they’re the showrunners, not us).

      All of these complaints are valid. No one is ever going to make a finale of anything that everyone is going to like. But in my opinion, the finale was beautiful. It was tragic, and Merlin’s fate was perhaps unnecessarily cruel, but the way I see it, this was a gutsy move by the writers as opposed to a cop-out. There’s always that itch to wrap everything up neatly and to give endings a silver lining, a neat little bow. Merlin didn’t do that. It brought the pain, it left us heartbroken – and I will never, ever forget it. I am not a fan of tragedies, I probably wouldn’t have watched the show if I knew how depressing the ending would be; but now that I’ve seen it, I am extremely impressed and thankful that the writers gave us something so tragically beautiful.

      (Again, we’re all allowed to feel however we want about the finale. I just wanted to offer a counter-perspective.)

      • alias

        and all the plotholes? and the fake and pathetic love story between Arthur and Gwen? and the death of important characters (Mordred and Morgana in primis) hurried and rushed away, like they weren’t worthy of something more? and the freaking sense of making a story about the greatest wizard of all the times and end it with his very failure?

        • http://www.facebook.com/lilah.miranda Lilah Miranda

          You may disagree but the love story between Arthur and Gwen was the ONLY consistent thing developed on this show. Arthur and Merlin weren’t consistently developed. Arthur’s reign wasn’t even consistent. One minute he was the noble king of legend promising the Druid people would live in peace and then… nothing… they weren’t hunted but they weren’t exactly welcome either. He had his moments… but Arthur should have learned about the magic in the 4th season. Or at least the start of the final season. I get it that they turned the magic reveal into Clark’s flight on Smallville, which we only got at the very end, but I still feel cheated. I feel cheated that Arthur died. I feel cheated that Gwen didn’t get to say goodbye. I feel cheated that I don’t know if Merlin ever went back to Camelot. I feel cheated that I didn’t see the ban of magic lifted. Arthur accepted Merlin… whoopdee doo…. big effing deal. Did anyone else ever find out the truth? Or only Gwen? Did Gwaine know before he died? Did Leon? Percival? And what about Aithusa? What happened to him… her… whatever it is… because in season 4 it was a boy and in season 5 a girl… so even Aithusa got a fucking gender swap. They couldn’t even keep THAT consistent. Don’t they have people whose sole job is to keep up with continuity? The hell did they do for the last year? Not their jobs clearly.

        • may k

          Okay, there’s no need to make insulting comments about Arthur and Gwen.
          Why do shippers constantly have to start wars? If Arthur and Gwen’s
          love was fake, they wouldn’t have had it consistently breaking
          enchantments. As a matter of fact, Arthur and Gwen shippers would have
          every reason to call Merthur fake since the canonity of that ship is
          resting on some audio commentary by a producer who spent the whole time
          making gay jokes and still left the relationship open-ended by calling
          it a “pure love” that people could interpret as anyway that they
          wanted. The show’s over, give the ship wars and insulting digs a rest.

      • MizzyMel

        The ending was visually stunning and tragically heartbreaking and moving. It just didn’t fit the story they told and it was entirely inappropriate to that story.. They could have easily told the exact same final episode only changing the name of the battle and when they fly off on the dragon taking the next scene to Camelot where Arthur is recovering and Merlin’s magic accepted by him and end it there. They told the beginning and the end and left out the middle. If they’d actually shown Arthur as a worthy King, shown us the Arthur and Merlin of legend I wouldn’t have an issue with it. Being appeased by stunning visuals and tragically beautiful is certainly your right, but for me at least I require a story to have a point and this story while it was theirs to do with as they wanted had no point. Arthur may as well have died in series 1 episode 1. The story they told as a whole wasn’t heartbreaking and tragically beautiful. It was sadistic and pointless and made a mockery of a much loved legend. The episode as a stand alone was stellar. If you can look past the fluff and look at the entire series as a whole it’s bizarre that anyone would want to tell this story let alone think anyone would want to watch it. The bait and switch was breathtaking, but that’s exactly what it was. Bait and switch and a giant screw you to a fan base that supported it from day one despite it’s incredibly long list of flaws. I for one feel scammed and will make a point not to watch anything these producers are involved in.

        • samy

          Honestly, I don’t think the producers truly understand their own story. Going by Julian Murphy’s “go with the flow” remark, it perhaps confirms what many fans have felt for years: that they really didn’t have a true grand plan and changed/made up/wrote off/retconned things if need be as they progressed to fit whatever the story of the episode was. They went from the hopeful idea of Arthur becoming a great king who legalizes magic, to dying without accomplishing much. They didn’t even bother to answer if things are eventually changed following his death, to at least make it seem like his death and Merlin’s continued sacrifices resulted in something.
          I’m all for A/M love, however that does not mean I’m okay with the end, let alone much along the way. If anything, by forsaking their shared destiny in the end in favor of doom and death and endless waiting – excusing it by saying ‘but who cares, because they love each other’ the producers were actually disrespecting that relationship and the love the guys shared for each other. And if they thought ending on an upsetting note would not cheat the audience, they must have forgotten how the audience had been left to believe in the first episode there would be someday be a truly better Albion.
          I don’t believe they understand their own show. Rather they understand what they were trying to do this or that episode, not really caring about anything else.

          • Nimueh123

            Hear. Hear! Could not agree more!

        • http://hypable.com Selina

          I’ll have to agree to disagree with you. And I don’t think the majority of the audience hated the ending, only a very vocal faction.

          • lennaFam

            It is indeed his show but not his story, when you make a show based on something that already exists you have to be very carefull with what you do with it. We dont have a problem with Arthur dying , but because he died doing noting of those he was supposed to do before his death. From dragons call we have been expecting their great moments which never came. So, why say all this things about a destiny of glory if not to let as see a part of it or at least its beginning? Even cast members agree the writing was bad .. We’ve been waiting and waiting for two things , Albion and magic reveal and acceptance since the very first moment, from the first execution and the only thing we got was Morganas stupid attempts to take over camelot.If she wanted Arthur dead so much why didn’t she broke his neck at first sight like the other guy she killed? A whole season of plot emptiness deserves this negativity from fans so committed and at the end so disappointed..We supported them all the way and they let as down..Not that our lives depend on the show , but still is something that can make us feel bad..( like when mufasa died, i believe we all felt like crap with that right? joke..)..

          • Nina K.

            I’m afraid you’re wrong, Selina. The audience is pretty much divided right in the middle, according to most online polls. In a very popular forum, the votes are 50-50, 50% loved it, 50% hated it. And for the first time (and last time actually) even lurkers came out and voiced their opinions, most of those negative.

            Does a show belong to their creators? Yes. Should the creators write what they wish? Yes. Should the creators consider the fans’ feedback and desires? Yes. Did the creators of “Merlin” consider the fans? … No. Actually, they didn’t even consider the very premise of their own show, they made it up as they went along, with no talent, no continuity, no inspiration whatsoever. “Merlin” was supposed to be the early years till the beginning of Albion and the return of magic. By skipping everything and going straight to Camlann, they pretty much turned everything on its head and ruined it. That was not the show I expected to watch.

          • http://hypable.com Selina

            I think there is a certain sense of entitlement coming across here from a faction of the fan base. You can be as unhappy as you like with the ending – and again, I think every single complaint is a valid one – but ultimately, you were owed and promised nothing from the people making the show. So if you don’t like it, well… that’s too bad, but that’s how it goes. They were never going to satisfy everyone. And I think they did an amazing job, even if I might have personally wished for a different ending.

          • samy

            There is no sense of entitlement, geesh. Many people (the official MO facebook had tons and tons of venting replies for a few days after the finale, beyond the ‘bring it back’ posts) were upset or let down by it, especially when the first episode made clear Arthur was foretold to be the one to restore bring to a united land, which never took place. People are upset for many valid reasons, no one is expressing how they feel because they felt entitled. If a show changed form or doesn’t exactly do as well with things, people are going to speak up, even if you yourself were happy with it as it is. You are taking remarks like “that is not the show a person expected to watch” in the wrong way.

          • http://hypable.com Selina

            Maybe you’re right and I am misunderstanding. I’m just seeing some very intense pessimism here, and it seems like you guys are cheating yourselves out of enjoying what we DID get in favour of holding onto the hurt and betrayal you feel about the way the series ended. And that’s a shame.

            Just to clarify, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being unhappy with the finale… just, guys, it’s over. They’re not gonna go back and change it. If you’re disappointed, I am very sorry you feel let down by the writers. But in my opinion, this was always their story to tell. It started as a Smallville-type prequel series, but that’s not how it ended. Fair enough. It was tragic, yes, and we never got the golden age, no. Do I wish we’d had the golden age? HELL YES. But then the finale happened, and we didn’t get it. But what we DID get was still beautiful, and I appreciate the story the writers chose to tell.

            We never could have predicted the ending. And now that it wasn’t what we imagined, it doesn’t make sense to me to spend all this time and energy being angry that it didn’t end the way you wanted it to end. Because it wasn’t your decision, and you never had control over the direction the show was going to take.

            But again – each to their own. This is the end of Harry Potter/Lost all over again. Big, passionate fandoms will always be split. :)

          • MizzyMel

            What is there to enjoy in a story of failure? There is enough negativity in the real world. Don’t bill a show family friendly escapism and then sadistically bait and switch it to utter failure while calling yourself gutsy and edgy. There is nothing to enjoy in that. Maybe you can, but if I could take back every hour I’ve spent watching the show I would. There is nothing left to enjoy in the show for me because there is always the knowledge in the back of my head that they fail. These showrunners ruined their show. They can tell any story they wish but when you leave more than half of the people who supported you angry and even your own cast bails on you at some point you have to stop and say they’re not very bright. They sure have the right to be incompetent and arrogant living in their delusions of grandeur that they gave a satisfying ending but reality speaks for itself. The fans are unhappy and the cast left some of them citing or strongly hinting to the same reasons the fans are unhappy. If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…. it’s a duck.

          • http://www.facebook.com/lilah.miranda Lilah Miranda

            The fact that even the cast is bitter as hell about how the show ended justifies our bitterness. Because not even they saw it coming and they were closer to the process than anyone of us.

          • Nina K.

            Entitlement? When I am told that Arthur will unite Albion and bring magic back and I get his death and Merlin’s failure, that is not entitlement, that is blatant cheating and betrayal, isn’t it? :)

          • http://www.facebook.com/lilah.miranda Lilah Miranda

            I’m sorry… I don’t know about you but I was promised Albion… I was promised King Arthur of legend ruling with Queen Guinevere by his side and Merlin as his advisor. I was promised a Golden Age. That’s what they promised in the Pilot. What I got in the end is them skipping til the end of the sheer sake of it because they were lazy and Murphy was a queer baiter. That’s what I got. That’s NOT what I signed up for. And it has nothing to do with being “entitled”. It has everything to do with respecting a legend that has been around long before you were even a thought in your mom and dad’s mind.

          • MizzyMel

            It was his show, but the story of Arthur and Merlin do not belong to the show runners. If not for the abilities and chemistry of the cast their version of it would certainly go down in history as one of the worst retelling’s ever and the only retelling in which Arthur and Merlin were both utter failures and accomplished absolutely nothing. It’s one thing to put your spin on it, it’s quite another to butcher it to the point of pointless. If you’re ok with that then that is certainly your right. The majority of people think the ending they went with was a slap in the face to the very large fan base that has supported it since the beginning. I think you’re wrong. The majority hated the ending – one only needs to take a look around to anything Merlin anywhere on the internet and see those who thought the ending was good or satisfying are in the minority.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003560678111 Susan McGuirk

            I have to say, MizzyMel, you have a way with words that exactly sums up my feelings

          • http://www.facebook.com/lilah.miranda Lilah Miranda

            Nope. Majority of the people who watched it and have watched the show from the start hated it… And Murphy was inconsistent with his story telling. He should have been fired AGES ago. Maybe then the show could have gotten a make-over… they would have stopped with the queer-baiting that the avid viewer didn’t actually care for and actually told a story worth telling. They would have kept up with their own continuity and mythology rather than let it fall by wayside. And the show probably even would have still been on the air cause the actors would have wanted to stick around and wouldn’t have been counting down the days for their contracts to expire.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lilah.miranda Lilah Miranda

      I applaud this post!!!

  • http://forgiveyourmind.tumblr.com/ Tariq

    I’m shocked they even considered not doing the magic reveal, but I’m loving that they thought of it and intended it to be a love story between two men. I’m so torn!

    Either way, I loved this show and I will be rewatching right along with Talks of Camelot so it will never end. Not really. <3

  • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.oppenheim.9 Sarah Oppenheim

    I like that they acknowledged Gwen/Leon. My friends thought I was crazy when I said that I saw it. Also, I swear to god, the arm that came out of the lake was male.

    • Tanya

      I thought the arm was male too, but I think what it was was just that they used a male diver. It was such a big moment though, I would have hoped that they would’ve been a bit more careful about making sure whether or not it actually looked like it was Freya’s arm, haha.

    • Nimueh123

      I agree with you. I always thought that Leon had an eye on Gwen. And if te story continued I bet they would be a couple within a year.
      And the arm looked male !

  • Tanya

    I had been waiting anxiously to hear what the creators had to say about the ending! They are the only ones who we can take their word as law in regards to what did and didn’t happen. I loved hearing the commentary and I hope that he doesn’t regret what he said because I, and I’m sure many others, really appreciated hearing him say what he did. Jokes and everything. It made me feel a lot better after being so heartbroken by the ending; it was a good deal of insight and closure.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lilah.miranda Lilah Miranda

      How did his commentary not offend you…? Not only as a fan but as a woman?!?!?!

      • Tanya

        I’m not sure I understand why I should be offended as a woman due to his commentary?

        In general I wasn’t offended because people read into shows whatever they want all the time and I think there’s nothing that the actors, writers, or producers of the show can really do to stop that..and I don’t think it’s wrong of them to reference/joke about it, or even actually admit that they feel the same way, either. I honestly don’t think that Julian was trying to be malicious with his comments and that’s mainly why I don’t feel offended by them. But just as people read into shows different things, I read into the commentary something different from what you did and I just didn’t feel a reason to be offended.

  • ForFrodo

    It’s all coming back…Jesus, I’m gonna cry

  • http://twitter.com/HunteriHeroici5 Princess Pendragon

    This was truly not the ending I was expecting. I’m sure other fans have already voiced it. But sorry, how did Arthur and Merlin become legends exactly? Not in this manner. I think I read it somewhere below, someone mentioning that the show should have ended with the Battle of Baden where Arthur unites the lands of Albion. Such a waste of the greatest potential.

  • Nina Weston

    So many good points being made about the show! But why do some assume that Merlin never left the lakeside and will now wait an eternity for Arthur to return? It’s never stated in the finale that Merlin never returned to Camelot (or Ealdor for that matter), that he never did anything else. In fact, we know that he did, because he becomes famous as the wizard Merlin (not Emyrs), and Merlin shows up in a lot of other lore (from assisting Galahad in the retrieval of the Holy Grail to Harry Potter!). He’s just outlived those times, and now is in the modern age, still awaiting Arthur’s return. As for that, the dragon said that Arthur will return, and Murphy was trying to make the ending less tragic by showing the Merlin will be there when Arthur does come back. So the two are destined for greater obstacles/adventures/glories.

    Yes, yes, that didn’t make me any happier to see the these two characters go through such sad times. It doesn’t fill in the many plot holes or the failure to show Arthur as a great king or Camelot in its golden era (I like MizzyMel’s ending best!). And it’s a very sad ending for Guinevere (and I’m a Merthur shipper) and for Gwaine. Not to mention Elyan and Lancelot and many others. I think the producers focused too much on trying to make the series “dark” and to be like Harry Potter (increasingly mature with each book) – but they just didn’t have a great writer like JK Rowling. They should have stayed with their original premise and would have ended up with a better show and a happier audience!

    • MizzyMel

      There is apparently a cut scene of Percival who see’s Merlin set Arthur out on the lake. He then returns to Camelot and informs Gwen of Arthur and Gwaine’s death. If Merlin returned to Camelot he didn’t do so within the canon of the show nor did he do so to inform Gwen of Arthur’s demise. They show Percival in the show tracking to Avalon after Gwaine dies and if you watch Merlin while he is crying at the boat he looks back over his shoulder as if he notices someone there.

      • Nina Weston

        Thanks for the extra info! Still, I don’t think it means that Merlin never left the lake again, or never saw his mother in Ealdor, etc. Since the show didn’t specifically show otherwise, I think Merlin still went on to do other things and be the great wizard he became reknowned for. Who knows, perhaps he even made a visit back to Camelot? Or not, as the memories were too painful. But either way, I don’t think Merlin would stop helping people. What’s sad is to see him isolated and waiting for Arthur today! But perhaps Avalon’s (read: the world’s) time of great need is upon us, and Arthur will soon appear. And we know that Merlin will be there. It’s quite a love story.

  • Camelotian

    It wasn’t the ending I was expecting. Maybe it wasn’t even the ending I wanted. But it was simple and tragic and heartbreaking. And I loved it.

  • Vecc

    The ending is tragic, but not entirely, because Arthur will rise again and Merlin is immortal. :) Their friendship is eternal, just like their legend.

  • Jim

    What rubbish that the story couldn’t have ended differently. Capps and
    Murphy didn’t follow the legends to begin with. They changed many of the
    original story lines. I reject that whole argument.

    As to Merlin and Arthur being in love. That has been obvious for years,
    especially on Merlin’s part. I’m glad that they finally admitted what they’ve
    been playing around with during the entire series. It’s ashamed that they have
    been dishonest all this time.

  • Magnolia

    Well havng this bloke doing the commentary instead of Colin and Bradley together will CERTAINLY stop me from buying the DVD. Ever.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lilah.miranda Lilah Miranda

      Bradley and Colin wouldn’t touch this finale with a 10 foot pole. They aren’t exactly fond of it and they hate Murphy. Well, Bradley does anyway.

      • Tanya

        Where are you finding this information that they didn’t like the finale and Bradley hated Murphy? Which interview(s) is that all from?

      • Ric-D

        Bradley has stated clearly in cast interviews that part II of the finale is his favorite episode of all.

        The assertion that Bradley and Colin “hate” Julian Murphy is malicious rumour-mongering.

        As for not touching the finale, I’m afraid to tell you this, but they both did a lot more than touch it. They made love to it.

  • Kara

    I’m very mixed about the finale

    On one side I am happy and appreciate their comments and the fact the finale was all about Arthur and Merlin, and that finally they’ve acknowledged what we knew from the start the love between Arthur and Merlin.

    On other side I still feel cheated and perhaps insulted (as a loyal Merlin fan) by the ending and clear arrogance of the producers.
    It’s outrageous to think they seriously considered not doing the magic reveal, it’s like they’re completely out of sinc with the audience.. or trolling.

    The writing on the show was so frustrating.. (esp last season).. 1 step forward 2 steps back…

    It’s only due to the outstanding chemistry, great charm and performance of the main cast what truly saved this show, despite all the lousy writing, especially in last season. The show could be PHENOMENAL unfortunately that was wasted by the lousy writing.

  • superantonia

    I get the distinct feeling that Katie not only knows fandom, and embraces fandom, but she also is a part of the fandom. Four you, Katie McSlash. You go, Katie McSlash.

  • Teranel

    Katie’s idea of how the series should have ended was what I was expecting/hoping they’d do. But I was content with how they wrapped it up.

  • Nimueh123

    I think my heart stopped at least twice reading that.
    They were considering NOT having a reveal? Can’t comment on that in a polite way…..
    Johnny now is making clear hints about the bromance?
    I have always thought that everyone could take from Merthur what they wanted. That is totally fine. But now declaring – albeit jokingly – magic was a metaphor for homosexuality – takes it a step too far for me. And it seems that all the innuendos were deliberate. To what purpose, I wonder? And what’s the point of rattling the boat publicly now? (I have my ideas, but…)

    I so agree with most of the comments I have read below: we have been seriously cheated of a lot of things that were promised right from season 1. (most of have already been mentioned below). How can Julian think that we did not feel cheated by this ending – the one he considers would NOT cheat us. Arthur fails, after achieving nothing with Merlin causing most terrible events in some way or another. It is totally frustrating.
    I am really disappointed that Julian is doing the commentary on 5.13. I had kind of hoped that it would be Colin and Bradley. I feel sorry for Katie having to suffer Julian’s rumblings and putting up with his annoying comments.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lilah.miranda Lilah Miranda

      Don’t feel bad for Katie. She’s there because she wants to be. And Bradley can’t stand the finale. He couldn’t wait to get out of his contract. He’s the main reason why there isn’t another season or trilogy of films. He’s the reason, Murphy tried pitching a reboot and got fired for it. So most of those comments about Merthur, Murphy made out of spite of Bradley because the Merthur has been making Bradley uncomfortable for years. It’s why he changes the subject whenever he is asked about it. It is why he couldn’t wait to leave the show. I’m only glad that he said no to another season and now he’s better off for it. He’s in LA and hopefully he’s got something up his sleeve. And it’s something worth his time.

      • Nimueh123

        Well, I am not so sure Katie ‘wants’ to be there. I think that they are asked to do some of the audio commentaries and I reckon they can hardly say no…maybe it is even in their contract.
        I have also felt that Bradley had had enough of Merlin for a while. Chainmail and all. Where did he make comments of not liking the finale though? Or are you dedecting this from the fact that he seems to be the only one that did not comment on it afterwards?
        Interesting point about Julian making the bromance comments to spite Bradley. Did you read this somewhere? Or do you have insider knowledge?
        Sorry to ask so many questions but this is quite an interesting point.
        I think most of the cast were ready to move on. They are all young and do not want to be stuck in the same role for ages. They can stretch their wings now and I cannot wait to see them in other projects.

      • elissa

        While I’m not so sure we can speak for the actors themselves,
        Katie may have been the only one willing, no matter what she wanted to do.
        It is however a great shame that for the last commentary on the last episode we’ve been forced to listen to a showrunner, who provides no explanations whatsoever into the story HE chose to write.
        Until the last year or two, Bradley seemed relaxed about the whole Merther thing, unfortunately for him, people started making rude remarks about his relationship with his girlfriend. Season 4 he did little to no publicity, so we really can’t say how he felt. But this year he was definitely bored. I’m not surprised he wanted out.
        Colin has always been uncomfortable about Merther and has also avoided the topic in interviews, giving a polite and cursory answer. Both male actors seemed very over it this season, and I can’t blame them. However all 4 have been nothing but professional in any interview and will certainly not come right out and speak the truth. Eoin has been the only one to have said a few things on twitter.
        In the first few seasons the Merther might have been incidental, but certainly not in this season.
        It might be a bit of fun for some viewers, and obviously the showrunners in their perverse school boy humour, but for the actors it was not. And when it starts to have an impact on their personal lives, and future employement prospects then it must become difficult.
        It does seem however, that Jones and Murphy forced the issue onto their actors, not just Bradley, who had no choice but to go through with it, no matter how much they disliked it.
        I wish Angel, Katie, Colin and Bradley the very best in future projects

      • MizzyMel

        I agree completely. I, too, got a sense that Murphy was really bigging up the gay subtext as a dig to Bradley who hasn’t been very subtle about his discomfort with it and felt it went too far. Even without Capps and Murphy being involved I think this is the main reason he wants to leave the role behind and has no intentions to reprise it in any medium. He’s done with all the image manipulations, video manipulations, graphic fan fics, and fans attacking his real life relationship due to their ship pairings and wants nothing more to do with any of it.

        Arthur and Merlin were best friends. They loved each other in a pure brotherly love type of way. They were not gay men or in love with each other romantically. People can choose to want to believe if this they wish, but I’d bet an extraordinary amount of money peoples obsession with it and the showrunners pandering to them was a major reason the show ended and the men involved in the shipping bailed.

        • Andersett

          Sorry, but how you come to this conclusion after hearing their commentary is beyond me. They were meant to symbolise two men in love with each other – I think that is called gay men nowadays. (Unfortunaltezly, the producers could never really take the full step and let people know for sure, why some think that this is about “pandering” to some “community”.) And by the way, their relationship (however people chose to see it during the series) was what kept viewers coming back to the show, not the thing ruining it. If anything, it was this “obsession” that helped create such a vibrant fandom for Merlin. If there was any “pandering” inserted into this show it was the Arwen romance, because it is peripheral to the story, which the central relationship between Merlin and Arthur is not. Unfortunately, the writing was so crappy in the end that many of the fans feel cheated.

          • MizzyMel

            no my dear.. not two men IN LOVE WITH each other. Two men who love each other. Show me where it’s said in love with each other and I’ll show you where you are making it be what you want it to be. That’s certainly your right to do it, but don’t make a gay relationship cannon… It’s not. Two men can very well love each other in a platonic relationship and nothing anywhere outside of the imagination of the people who wish it to be a gay relationship says it is anything but a platonic relationship.

            They’re inviting you to think what you want do what you want and pandering to those who wish it to be so.. but it’s not. It never was. It never will be. Not within cannon. Just in the imaginations of the fans who want it to be. Two men who have been through as much as those two have been through together, faced everything including life threatening situations and both demonstrated they are willing to die for the other best friend brother type relationship do happen. It IS love. It IS platonic. Ask anyone soldier who’s ever been in battle about the bond among men. It doesn’t mean they’re trying to kiss each other or think about sticking it in the pooper. So sowwy.

          • Andersett

            My dear, you are mixing up two different things: the canon series on screen and the commentary by one of the writers. This thread is about the commentary, not about whether the canon is explicit, implicit or whatever. The commentary makes it quite clear that the writer did not see their relationship as only just a strong friendship, because the words used are “homosexuality”, “same-sex attraction”, etc. And by the way, even though you can love a friend, one would not call a friendship for a “love story”, because it leads you to think about romance. With all the jokes about sex, hetero / homo and the writer making explicit that the relationship/reveal is meant to work as a metaphor for same-sex attraction, it is clear how he was thinking. You are fully right that this is not explicit in the canon, but never did I say so. My comment was a critisism of the way they chose to do the series. Because, yes, my personal opinion is that a real love story would have been stronger than a friendship. It is ok to think otherwise of course. The canon is however made in a way to make people interpret things …. And now we know that this was done on purpose. In fact I am a bit fed up with comments saying that “you only see what you want to see, but nothing is there”. The truth is that the producers did not dare/want to show more than they did, but they did show a lot to make you think in that direction. At least they suceeded in keeping everybody watching.

          • may k

            If that’s the case then why is Julian Murphy now recanting everything he said in that commentary and has just called Merlin and Arthur’s relationship a story about friendship in the interview that he just recently did for LA Times? That 5×13 commentary was clearly queerbaiting. Commentary meant to pander to and appeal to a section of the fandom that they’re aware of and trying to market to. If he’d been serious about it, he wouldn’t be backtracking on his words just weeks after that dvd was released. And not once did Murphy say that the reveal was meant to work as a metaphor for same-sex attraction. He said that some people had told him that they thought that magic was a metaphor for being gay. So the reveal would have been a metaphor for Merlin coming out of the closet. Two completely different things. And since Arthur doesn’t have magic, how would that even apply to him? Also, I hope you’re aware that writers/producers deliberately inserting gay subtext into a show without actually giving canonical representation of a gay relationship also consistitutes as queerbaiting. It’s nothing to be proud of. It’s exploitative and problematic because it’s something that they often do to appeal to the slashers in the fandom while leaving room for themselves to run to the media and make “no homo” comments so they can also pander to homophobic people who would otherwise not watch the show if it had a real gay couple. And this is exactly what Julian Murphy did in this series and in his commentaries. In the 5×13 commentary he also talked about how he was trying to have mud wrestling scenes with Gwen and Morgana and the director in the 5×02 commentary said that he had asked him to include more gay subtext in the scene where Percival and Gwaine were being held in Morgana’s cave. It sounds to me like Murphy was going on a gaybaiting rampage, trying to insert subtext into everything. What he did with Merlin and Arthur isn’t any different from what he did with just about every same-sex relationship on that show. There’s subtext between Gwaine/Merlin, Merlin/Lancelot, Gwen/Morgana, Arthur/Mordred, etc. So if you’re going to accept Arthur and Merlin as a love story based on a producer deliberately adding subtext to their relationship, then you should also be accepting all of the other same-sex relationships in this show as love stories. This is why people are more than free to disregrad his commentary on the dvd, especially since he’s not even sticking to what he said and is now backtracking on it in interviews.

          • Ric-D

            It’s interesting to notice how the “queerbaiting” accusation gets thrown around to actually bash gays. To bait a queer is to lead him into a trap and assault him. The finale is not a trap. It is the convergence of the entire story arc. Far from being an assault on gay males, it is an exquisite validation of their existence. If anything has anti-gay or queerbaiting overtones, it’s the absurd extremes to which people are going to deny Merlin could possibly be, or even hint at, a same-sex love story.

          • Ric-D

            Andersett, you explained the distinction so clearly. I’ve been trying to think of how to say the same thing, but you’ve done it better. Posters on different websites are still going to extremes to split hairs about exactly what kind of love this was. It’s as if they’re in shock or denial about what they saw.

            It’s true there’s room to interpret many of the scenes, but the story arc isn’t endlessly malleable, either. I think many viewers do not fully appreciate the point you made that the producers didn’t emphasize certain things earlier because they couldn’t. Yet the finale depicts a love that comes only in a love story, not a friendship. It sounds to me like the commentary is meant to drive home that point.

          • BadTigz

            Sorry, I know it is a year late and a dollar short…..But two men loving each other does not equate “gay love”. There are SO MANY other types of love that is just as strong as romantic love…maybe even stronger. People don’t seem to realize that these days and look strangely at such friendships, which is truly sad. The ancient Greeks had many words to describe types of love, sadly we don’t. But rest assured, platonic love can be as strong, and many times stronger, than romantic love. So, two men who “love” each other does not automatically equate to being gay. In order to be a gay relationship, romantic feelings towards each other must be present.

    • elissa

      At the very least Julian could have explained some of the scenes and some of the decisions that were made – we all want to know what happens – surely he has some idea as to why he wrote the scenes as he did, especially old Merlin at Glastonbury. But no, we don’t get that, just a lot of insincere joking about sexuality.
      I too, feel sorry for Katie being in the same room with him, she might have laughed along, but in some parts, does not sound comfortable.

      • Nimueh123

        Yeah, I also had the same feeling. There are some points where she seems to be genunely uncomfortable and in disbelief at what he says.

        • elissa

          I agree with you other comments, I would guess that doing the commentary is part of their contracts, and something they have to (even if they stuff around and just chat as Bradley and Rupert did) .
          I don’t think she wanted to be there, but had to be there.

          I have listened to an earlier interview with Jones on a podcast, and he seemed to put the decision on all the actors not wanting to continue, as well as it being difficult to renegotiate their contracts – obviously they wouldn’t be able to employ them as cheaply.

    • Ric-D

      Katie was chosen to do the commentary because she has always been the biggest promoter of the Merlin/Arthur relationship. She sounded to me as if she were having a great time doing the commentary. Nothing in her remarks gives the slightest impression that she did it with a gun to her head.

      Magic as a metaphor for same-sex attraction on Merlin’s part is perfectly plausible and it is not a “joke.” As to why they’re “rattling the boat,” it’s to make it undeniable that Alex Vlahos was right in calling the finale “a brilliant love story between Merlin and Arthur.”

      It’s also most likely a smackdown to the haters out there who’ve been online since late November passing off as fact lies and rumours about the show and its cast. One would think that sinking Merlin’s prospects for a BTA award would satisfy them, but apparently not. Considering the damage all these online slanders have caused, the smackdown is well deserved.

      As to the finale being a “cheat,” it was not because Arthur does not fail at the end. Gwen is the guarantor of Albion. Of course, everyone is free to argue about whether or not this is so, but the scenes suggest that this is the case.

      • Nimueh123

        I never said that ‘a gun was held to her head’. Feeling uncomfortable is something rather different, IMO at least. If you did not hear that – well, as I said above – we all hear and see different things. That’s fine. Why Katie was chosen to do 5.13 – we can all but guess – we’ll never know for sure unless she gives a reason herself.
        Glad, you did not feel cheated by the finale. Even if Gwen is continuing what Arthur founded, it is not what most of us hoped for to see in the end.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003560678111 Susan McGuirk

    I have Season 5 DVD but haven’t the heart to watch it just yet. Knowing this now I’m not sure I will listen to the commentary. I don’t care what fans do or don’t read into the various relationships. It was family entertainment and everyone who watched could get out of it whatever they wanted to see. Kids aren’t bothered about a love story between two men or two women, they liked the magic and to see Merlin and Arthur triumph over adversity week after week. As adults we enjoyed watching the characters grow up and the funny moments in an otherwise serious episode were perfectly timed. The fact that they weren’t going to reveal that Merlin had magic in the final episode just says to me that they never really intended it to finish at the end of Season 5. That’s why Diamond of the Day parts 1 & 2 feel so rushed. I really wanted to see more of Alex Vlahos as Mordred, at least another season, for his character to grow. We definitely need a Season 6 of Merlin to right the wrongs of Season 5. I’m not saying let’s have another Dallas shower scene (heaven forbid) but there are plenty of ways to change the ending and bring back the characters we all fell in love with. If anyone here is interested and hasn’t already joined the cause, please join us at facebook.com/merlin2return or @merlin2return.

  • Lady Mayr

    I am a huge fan of the Arthurian tale. Excalibur sucked me into the legend in the late 80s. When this television series aired here in the US originally on the NBC network I was immediately hooked. It was the acting that sucked me in and the retelling of this great mythology. For the last five years I’ve been hooked. When I heard they were abruptly ending the series and only this year announcing “it was planned all along for only a five year run” it felt like we were left at the altar! How could that be so? Arthur never learned about Merlin’s magic?! Merlin never got to partner with his King in great battles like some of us imagined …without the guise of cloak and dagger. However, I accepted that this was a retelling and gave the writers license to take me on a journey. A journey that was cut short for no reason at all other than … to rush a finale. But in the meantime, we grew to love the characters, the villains, the creature and the dragon was wonderful … the mesh of action, adventure, humor, love … this show had it all. Completely baffles me why it was cut short! I say … I’m not done … and whoever else has the shares the same sentiments …join our movement! Make your voice be heard … if BBC doesn’t want to renew … Let’s get the good ole US of A step in and save the day. SyFY Channel saved Stargate SG-1 after Showtime dumped it in its fourth season! The fans refused to let it go … SyFy picked up the series and went on to enjoy 7 more seasons as well as a variety of spin-off shows, not to mention, it played an integral role in putting SyFy on the map as a major player. Join us and help summon back The Merlin! http://youtu.be/xiheKr9zOew (facebook.com/merlin2return or @merlin2return.)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003560678111 Susan McGuirk

      I think the fact that we are still talking about this a month after the last episode was broadcast in the UK says a lot about how the fans really feel. Completely agree with you Lady Mayr.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003560678111 Susan McGuirk

    I love the fact that this article has created a lot of debate and it’s interesting to read the comments.
    I agree that the writers had every right to end the story however they wanted. After all, most of the scripts weren’t written until just before they started filming (if we’re to believe previous episode commentaries on the DVDs). The fact that it wasn’t the ending fans wanted or felt they deserved after following Merlin for five years doesn’t mean that we hate the writers, far from it. I’ve enjoyed the writing and loved watching the show for the pure escapism. Okay, so there are some inconsistencies mainly brought about by having to cut scenes to get the show to fit the allotted time-slot but we can forgive them for that.
    What I find troubling is that on 12th August 2012 while they were still filming Series 5, Johnny Capps said that they were looking to extend into a 6th season – this is just two months before they wrapped up filming at Pierrefonds. So what happened between 12th August and 26th November 2012? Could it be that Warner Brothers who bought into filming the books by T A Barron “The Lost Years of Merlin” didn’t want the TV show to be still on air? After all, that project has been on the back burner since 2008 having been snapped up by Paramount initially in 2000 and then handed over to Warner Bros in 2010 when their option lapsed. It is interesting to note that Warner Bros issued an announcement on 6th December 2012 that they were going to start casting for “The Lost Years of Merlin” very soon and T A Barron’s website also confirms this.
    I still believe that dedicated fans of the TV series can all work together to get Merlin back on our screens and we are taking positive steps to do this. Our first goal has been achieved, making sure that Colin Morgan won Best Actor at the NTA 2013 so if you want to help then join us at http://www.facebook.com/merlin2return.

  • Po_ta_toes

    I might get a lot of bashing/rate down but to be honest, I’m actually pretty okay with the ending. If you look in the bright side (for merthurs), at least it showed how much Merlin love Arthur. And how much Arthur cared for Merlin. It shows their bond, the same mutual feelings, and well…just a lot of bromance. Besides, if Arthur was alive then he would be back with Gwen. If he did, then the whole canon thing between ‘Arthur’ and ‘Merlin’ would be pointless.

    Just trying to be optimistic.

    • may k

      But since Gwen eventually died she would have reunited with Arthur in the afterlife so how does that make ‘Arthur’ and ‘Merlin’ canon? Also the dragon isn’t exactly the most trustworthy sort. He lied to Merlin about Aithusa being a good symbol for Camelot. He lied about Arthur and Merlin reuniting the lands of Albion and he also once tricked Merlin into sacrificing his own mother for Arthur. So how do you know that he didn’t lie about Arthur rising again? It seems like he set this whole thing up to turn the Pendragon siblings against each other so he could end their line and get revenge on Uther and he used Merlin to do it.

    • may k

      But since Gwen eventually died she would have reunited with Arthur in the afterlife so how does that make ‘Arthur’ and ‘Merlin’ canon? Also the dragon isn’t exactly the most trustworthy sort. He lied to Merlin about Aithusa being a good symbol for Camelot. He lied about Arthur and Merlin reuniting the lands of Albion and he also once tricked Merlin into sacrificing his own mother for Arthur. So how do you know that he didn’t lie about Arthur rising again? It seems like he set this whole thing up to turn the Pendragon siblings against each other so he could end their line and get revenge on Uther and he used Merlin to do it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003560678111 Susan McGuirk

    Just wondering while reading through these comments . . . if they’d told us at the start of Season 5 that it was going to be the last one rather than waiting until they were two-thirds of the way through would it have made any difference to the way fans feel?

    • MizzyMel

      no

  • http://www.facebook.com/lilah.miranda Lilah Miranda

    I’m glad he’s been fired. I hope he never works in TV again. He’s a misogynist and
    a queer baiter and Katie is no better than he is. No other actor wanted to comment on this finale because we’re not the only ones who felt cheated. And seriously… Murphy is such a prick for all that he said… childish much? Ugh. I’m glad this damn show is over and my 3 favorites can go on to get critical acclaim on shows that are worthy of getting awards. Like Angel in the new Dancing on the Edge and Colin with the new Quirke. Katie will be lucky if she ever gets another role. And Bradley is already looking toward American TV. Murphy will be unemployed and good riddance. He deserves it. You reap what you sow, buddy…. you reap what you sow… >_<

  • emrys

    A white dragon bodes well for albion, for you and Arthur, and the world you will build together
    Ok, what did Aithusa do to bring about that? Side with Morganna?
    Everything you sought to build has come to pass? Oh? What exactly? No magic allowed, Gwen the sole ruler of Camelot. Merlin never returns. Instead wanders for 15 centuries waiting for a Medieval KIng who would be out of place in the new world? I love the series, but that ending was sooo rushed that it didn’t make sense

    • MizzyMel

      but but but…. they love each other.. It was tragically beautiful.. /sarcasm (I so totally agree with you)

    • Nimueh123

      Yeah. I always wondered about that line! Never made sense.

  • Ric-D

    Julian and Katie stated the obvious. I’m surprised that people were blindsided by the ending. Most people saw pretty clearly it would have to conclude with Merlin and Arthur. That’s the way it began. The entire story arc was closing in that direction.

    The ending is just superb. Bradley James’s performance couldn’t have been matched by any other actor, and of course there’s Colin Morgan. Julian mentions that “magic” for Merlin could be a metaphor for same-sex attraction. That’s how I take it. The entire series makes much more sense that way. I’m not trying to push that interpretation off on anyone, but I am saying that Julian isn’t far off the mark.

    It’s interesting that they chose the show’s biggest Merthur-shipper, Katie McGrath, for the commentary. She wouldn’t even let the “pure” love comment get by her — she said it was “whatever” kind of love. You go, Katie!

    At the very least, they’re telling everyone directly that the finale is, as Alex Vlahos put it, “A brilliant love story between Arthur and Merlin.” That means that all the previous episodes were building toward this angle.

    I think people who don’t like the ending will come to appreciate it over time, especially once they re-watch the earlier episodes. The story arc is actually pretty consistent when seen in light of these comments. What’s more, all the other relationships among characters still make just as much sense.

    I’m only sorry that the negative reaction, and, I’ll say it — even homophobia — being propagated online since December destroyed Merlin’s chance to win the BTA award. It didn’t hurt Colin Morgan, but it was a mean, ugly slap at everyone else.

  • Andersett

    It is amazing to hear that Merthur was actually so well-planned and intentional. Unfortuantely, the crappy writers never spelled anything out for sure, not even in the final scenes. The ending was so horribly bad that it ruined my Christmas Eve and I am still hurting. And I say that still thinking it was both beatiful and sad and with amazing acting. But a story promise must be fulfilled in some way, otherwise the story telling is BAD and will upset people. Of course the writers are free to tell whatever story they want, but we are free to tell them that the ending sucks when they do not deliver on their story promises. Also, you don’t set up an entertaining family show with lots of comedy in it just to suddenly and brutally end it as a freaking tragedy of death, broken promises and utter failure. No, they completely blew it on this one. As a Merthur shipper I enjoyed the acting and what they tried to do with the emotional scenes, and I enjoy at least getting some confirmation about the romance (and not just friendly bromance) between the two men, but quite frankly the way the last episode was written and how they ended the whole series in a rush just took any pleasure out of watching. As has been stated it was the great cast that made this show and not the writers, who managed to create a huge fan following just to slap us all in the face with their inconsistencies, even joking about it afterwards. I would appreciate an apology for all the unfulfilled promises, including the Merthus kiss we never got, apparently not even hidden away on the DVD. So Mr Murphy, if you ever want to tell a “love story” again, maybe you should include at least one, yes only one would have been enough, kiss the next time.

  • Fan

    Ok somehow i have missed the season finale of 2013s merlin, so my question is when was it????????????

  • Susan

    If TPTB think I will ever watch anything they are ever involved with ever again, they are wrong.
    I can’t believe people are actually watching Atlantis.
    I have to say, these comments have made me feel a bit better, the Merlin fans on Tumblr are off watching Atlantis.
    They destroyed their show. I could have forgiven a lot of the bad writing, and there would still be a lot to forgive, had Arthur lived and Merlin was able to practice magic. As it is the series is one big waste of time.
    The only good that came of it was learning about Colin Morgan and Bradley James, without whom the show would have been a total failure.

  • Brittany Smith

    Haha, I feel like the only Mergana shipper on this post, although I’m not opposed to Merthur, I just think that that leaves poor Gwen out of the loop and I feel if they had really wanted to make this a story about “two men in love” that they could have done a way better job. haha

    I really believe that Merlin and Morgana should have gotten together or at least had a moment in the series. I would have enjoyed seeing Morgana being redeemed and join Arthur, and Gwen as one of their court advisors. (next to Merlin of course) It’s a shame that Katie’s character never had a chance for character development after going “evil”. I was really looking forward to her confrontation with Merlin about him having magic, but that was a let down. wah wah.

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