In a new interview, Merlin actress Angel Coulby looks back on her five years playing Queen Guinevere, and talks about the fates of the characters in the finale. Spoilers for American audiences.
LA Times has a great interview up on their site with Coulby, where she talks about everything from her best memories from the set to her thoughts on the Arthur/Gwen/Lancelot love triangle.
Speaking about the twist BBC’s Merlin put on the romance aspect of the Arthurian Legends (namely the fact that Gwen ended up choosing Arthur, not Lancelot), she says, “That could have been the death of the relationship between Arthur and Gwen, but instead they put a twist on it that made it possible for us to sort of carry on the series and for us get to the end point that they’d always planned.”
Going on to discuss her own character, Coulby agrees with the assessment that Guinevere served as the conscience of the show. “Gwen is always so good and so moral and the moral compass of the show,” she says, and admits that she was excited to get to play evil for a while in season 5.
As anyone who has watched the final season will know (and really, if you haven’t, stop reading now), it is Gwen who ends up sitting the throne of Camelot and realising Arthur’s visions of peace and unity.
Coulby calls this twist, “a very intelligent choice by the writers and the producers,” because she believes it highlights the strength of the women in Merlin. “[There were] lots of powerful women in the show. And that doesn’t always happen,” she acknowledges.
As for working with the other actors, Coulby expresses her satisfaction with how quickly they grew close. “The more we got to know each other, the more comfortable we grew with any sort of physical contact and that sort of stuff, particularly between Arthur [Bradley James] and myself,” she reflects.
Finally, she shares her memory of her final day on the set, calling it, “quite fun. Everyone was in quite good spirits,” she recalls. “Everybody was sort of feeling like although it had been an amazing experience, we always knew it was only going to be five years, and we were prepared that it was going to end.”
Read the full interview with Angel Coulby on LA Times’ Hero Complex blog.
Merlin returns to SyFy with 5×08 “With All My Heart” this Friday, May 3, at 10/9c.