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Five months later, and we’re still not over the dramatic, traumatizing Merlin series finale. Read on to find out why we’re convinced BBC’s Merlin is damn near impossible to get over!

If you’re among the American fans who waited patiently for the end of Merlin’s fifth and final season to air stateside, we suspect you’re most likely still mourning over the loss of the series, and possibly some of your favorite characters.

Those of us who watched last December wish we could tell you the feels are a phase which will pass, but as we here at Hypable know first hand, that’s just not the case.

While Merlin was on the air, we thought it was a great show. Fun, historical, whimsical, tragic… what was not to love? Sure, it was silly at times, but no TV show is perfect.

But now that it’s over? Yeah, it pretty much ranks up there as one of the few works of fiction we’ll never, ever forget.

Almost six months later, we’re still waiting for that moment to come where we can put Merlin on the proverbial shelf in our minds along with all of our other beloved fandoms which have come to an end, but that moment seems as far away as ever.

We survived the end of Harry Potter, Lost, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy, Lord of the Rings, and all of the other timeless classics.

So why is Merlin, that fun little Saturday night family show on the BBC, so hard to get over? And it’s not just us! The entire Merlin fanbase, whether they loved or hated the finale, are still talking about it.

Our Merlin aficionados here at Hypable have put their heads together, and come up with 5 reasons why we’re still not over BBC’s hit fantasy series!

This post was written by Hypable writers Selina Wilken and Pamela Gocobachi.


1. The Memorable Characters

Merlin memorable characters

Everyone knows that you can tell the best story in the world, but that story is nothing without memorable characters needed to move it along.

Just like series that have come before it, BBC’s Merlin is full of irresistibly memorable characters we as the audience just couldn’t help but fall in love with.

But the funny part about Merlin was that Capps and Murphy weren’t exactly introducing us to new characters when they set out to create the show.

Instead, they found a way to reintroduce us to characters that some of us grew up hearing stories about when we were children.

So what is it about BBC’s Merlin that made us fall head over heels in love with characters like King Arthur and Guinevere and even Merlin himself?

As simple as it sounds, the reason is simply that the show runners behind Merlin managed to make the characters relatable to the audience.

Arthur didn’t start out the perfect heroic figure we know from the legends. He was young and flawed, and it was hard to see how the arrogant, conflicted young man we meet in season 1 could ever become the powerful, fair king we knew he had to grow into.

Similarly, aging Merlin down was probably one of the best decisions the show runners ever made.

By making Merlin younger, he ceased to be the untouchable enigma he becomes later in life. The Merlin of BBC isn’t otherworldly; he’s not yet powerful, and not yet legendary. Like Arthur, he is a flawed character, arguably has a tendency to put his foot in his mouth, and most notably, he doesn’t have all the answers and easy solutions we’d expect from the original Merlin.

When you strip it down, at the end of the day, Merlin is just a boy trying to figure out his place in the world. And who among us can’t relate to that?


2. The Merciless Tragedy of it All

Merlin finale tragedy

There’s a reason tragedies are usually more memorable than comedies: whenever you engage with a work of fiction you become invested in its set of characters, and you care about what happens to them.

And when those characters go through hell and back, but ultimately come out of it relatively unscathed? You can let out a sigh of relief and go back to your own life, content in the knowledge that your fictional friends are alive and well.

Tragic endings are much harder to shake off, because you carry all of the characters’ regrets and what ifs around with you. What if Romeo and Juliet had just talked to each other like normal people? What if Orpheus had resisted the urge to look back at Eurydice as he led her out of the Underworld? What if Rose had just shared that damn plank with Jack?

But even those endings are easier to get over than the ending of Merlin. Why? Because Merlin didn’t end.

In Romeo & Juliet, both characters die. It’s tragic, but they’re dead, the story is over. In Titanic, Rose is left on her own to grieve Jack’s death, but let’s get real, she knew him for like a week. And ultimately knowing him gave her the strength she needed to break out of the golden cage she’d probably have been trapped in all her life, if not for the events of the story.

Storytellers usually can’t help but leave their readers/viewers one small silver lining, just enough to allow them to make their peace with an otherwise tragic ending.

But in Merlin, there is no silver lining. Nothing good came of Arthur’s death, and Merlin was allowed no possible way out of his grief and regret – not even death, as the final scene strongly hinted that he’d indeed been waiting for all this time.

We spent five years watching these characters grow and change and become the characters we knew from legend. Gwen went from servant to queen, Arthur went from inexperienced prince to competent king, Morgana went from philanthropic princess to queen of darkness, and even Mordred got to transform from loyal friend to reluctant enemy.

But not Merlin. It was ultimately very symbolic (whether the writers intended it that way or not) that Merlin was the only character who never got to take his rightful place at the Round Table.

Everyone else had their Golden Age (although most of it happened during the gap between seasons 4 and 5), but Merlin only came into his power at the very end, when Arthur’s reign was over. So while he technically fulfilled his destiny, his storyline did not come full circle like the others’ did.

Merlin, our protagonist, never got his reward for all those years of hardship. While he never wanted reward or recognition for what he did, that didn’t mean he didn’t deserve it – that the audience wasn’t expecting that payoff after having to watch him carry his secret for all these years.

And after Arthur died, Merlin didn’t even get to walk away. He didn’t get to move on. Because the dragon’s final words, while meant to bring him hope, basically thwarted any hope of closure for Merlin.

He knew that one day Arthur would return, which meant that whatever else he did, he always had to keep on waiting – seemingly forever, as the flash forward indicated. The writers practically left their main character in a state of suspense, in a torturous purgatory, where he could never find true peace because his watch had not yet ended.

And if our main character – our window into the universe of the series – never got to move on, then how can we be expected to?


3. Like Merlin, we are all still waiting

Merlin still waiting

As if it isn’t painful enough to know that Merlin has been waiting for Arthur for 2,000+ years already (and we really hope he found himself a hobby!), that final shot was the nail in our collective coffin of doom: after all this time, Arthur has still not returned. And it doesn’t look like he’s about to.

Not even after thousands of years do the writers take pity on Merlin and set him free. That final shot was like a punch in the gut to the audience, because for all the dragon’s promises, Arthur still did not return.

If Arthur had returned in that final scene, or if there had been one single hint that Merlin’s wait was over, that would have been enough. But by establishing that Merlin is still out there, is still waiting, the writers made sure that we would never stop waiting either.

Those clever, cruel, masterful writers, who recognised that hope (even such a feeble, depressing one) is harder to let go of than grief, and who knew exactly how to leave their viewers at their maximum level of devastation. On Christmas Eve, no less. This is, in our opinion, ultimate proof that the BBC is run by a cult of evil geniuses.

The last shot of the show established that Merlin is still waiting. Merlin will always be waiting. And so we, the audience, who see the world through Merlin’s eyes, will never be able to fully make our peace with the ending. It will never be okay. Even now, when we’ve technically moved on, every time we think of Merlin, it will be with that twist in our gut reminding us that Merlin’s story didn’t end happily – it didn’t end at all.


4. The Unanswered Questions

Merlin finale Gwen on the throne

The length of Merlin’s wait was far from the only question which the finale left unanswered. The very final shot (before the flash forward) showed us Guinevere being crowned as Queen of Camelot, with Leon standing by her side and Percival and Gaius in the crowd.

There was no sign of Merlin.

Ever since the finale, the fandom has been debating whether he would have returned to Camelot after Arthur’s death – some fans believe it would be too painful for him to go back now that Arthur (arguably the person he had made the focus of his existence) was gone, while others argue that he’d obviously go back for Gaius and Gwen. But they deliberately left that up to interpretation in the show.

As for Gwen, at least we can make up a happy ending for her. She may have lost the love of her life (both, actually, since Lancelot died as well), but hey, she still had Leon! We have fully embraced the theory that she and Leon eventually got married and had dozens of babies, because you know what? Someone had to have a happy ending!

But whatever happened at Camelot, we know that eventually, the golden age had to end, and the kingdom had to fall apart. But how did the fall of Camelot come about? Was that during Gwen’s rule, or after she died?

If Merlin ever went back, where did he go after all his friends had passed on? Did he make new friends? Did he find love? Could he ever attach himself to people, knowing that he would only lose them like he’d lost everyone else he’d ever loved?

And did he age? In the final scene, we saw him as an old man, but the final episode established that he was now able to change into his Dragoon form at will. We choose to believe that, like Nimueh, Merlin could still maintain his youthful appearance if he wanted to. Because, after all, he promised Arthur that he wouldn’t ever change. And when (damn it) Arthur returns, the world will be different – surely Arthur will need at least one thing to have remained as he remembers it.

Unless we get answers to these questions from Capps and Murphy themselves, we’ll always be haunted by the what ifs. But we almost don’t want to know– we don’t think we could take any more heartbreak!


5. The Finale Feels Keep on Changing

Merlin finale feelings

As with all conclusions to beloved series, some fans accepted Merlin’s finale for what it was while others flat out hated it right from the get-go. But we suspect if you’re anything like us, you might have gone through a few different feelings before settling on the restless one we can only describe as ‘still not over it’.

If you’ve listened to our reaction episodes on Hypable’s Merlin podcast, Talks of Camelot, you’ll know that our initial reaction episode (which we recorded right after experiencing the finale for the first time) was drastically different from the much more structured episode we released a few weeks later after we’d had time to settle down and process exactly what it was the writers and showrunners had left us with.

We suspect that our initial elated feelings of love for the finale itself had much more to do with the adrenaline caused by knowing that the final episode of Merlin didn’t turn out to be the complete and utter train wreck it could have been. And okay, we’re not going to lie, we were probably a bit blinded by the fact that at the end of the day, what the writers gave us in that final episode was one last epic journey with Merlin and Arthur by each other’s sides. And really, who isn’t a sucker for that?

But after the adrenaline faded, after we got past the wonderful moments of friendship between our two leading men and began to process what the finale left us without? Well, that’s when we realized that while being tragically beautiful in every sense of the phrase, Merlin’s finale was just downright heartbreaking. Because at the end of the day, Merlin is still waiting for Arthur, and we as the audience have no way of knowing if his wait will ever end.

The way our feelings toward the finale changed was kind of similar to the 5 Stages of Loss and Grief, only instead of reaching the fifth and final step of acceptance, we’re kind of stuck somewhere in limbo between anger and depression. Perhaps someday we’ll figure out a way to get to that final step, but until then, we suspect we’ll continue to be hung up on Merlin – similar to the way one would be hung up on an ex after a breakup.

However, we still maintain that the finale was tragically beautiful, and we love the show for daring to end on such a deeply emotional note.

One of the key reasons why the finale will stay with us forever is because of how deeply it moved us. (If it hadn’t, we wouldn’t have cared enough to write this article in the first place.)

A neatly wrapped up ending would have satisfied us for a day. This utter heartbreak will leave us miserable for years.

And we can’t say we blame the writers for wanting to leave a lasting impression.

Why do you think the Merlin series finale is so hard to get over? Let us know in the comments below!

  • dillonmays

    Sadly, I am over it. I was only upset for a few weeks. It really was good, but I have stronger attachments to other shows even if I had watched this one from the beginning.

  • Kathleen3591

    The finale was so disappointing…….

  • shannon2470

    Just watched the finale last night and I don’t feel any closure. I don’t understand why we should believe that Arthur returns. In history and fiction there is only one Arthur, plus he is mortal with no magic or special powers, so again why should I feel like he is going to return. I am happy that the magic reveal went well and that Arthur understood why Merlin could never tell him and that they parted as friends. But my heart still breaks for Merlin.

    • artorius

      Because his return is part of his legend: “Some men say in many parts of England that King Arthur is not dead, but had by the will of our Lord Jesu into another place; and men say that he shall come again, and he shall win the holy cross.” Le morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory

  • http://ravenclaw1991.tumblr.com/ ravenclaw1991

    In a way I’m over it, but also, I’m not sure I’ll ever be over it. Its one of those things put away in my mind that has affected me in ways I don’t really get. Its just like the end of Harry Potter in that respect. It became a huge part of me so its just something that will always make me sad.. If that makes any sense. I had the comment formed in my mind but as I typed it, it didn’t look as coherent.


    Just looking at the photo of Merlin crying makes my heart break again. Colin Morgan is so amazing! I want him back on my TV screen as soon as possible.

    • Taylor Davis

      Hey! If you want more Merlin check out the More Merlin Worldwide project. Join in to keep the magic alive. http://www.moremerlin.com. Check out the youtube video and join in!

  • Laura Gammert

    I felt that Gwen didn’t closure. That is what bothered me the most. They loved each other and she should of got to say good-bye.

    • snowcat60

      Yes, Gwen should have been able to say goodbye to Arthur, but really, many people never get that chance, and besides Arthur was a warrior at war. What bothers me, is what did happen to Gwen after Arthur dies, in the series and even in the legend. Its an unanswered question.

  • Steph Crandall

    I had just gotten into Merlin maybe a month ago, and spent days just watching on Netflix. I was hooked. So when I got to the finale I was super upset =( I really enjoyed the finale series’ story line and where they were going. What made me kind of upset was that Arthur FINALLY got to see the real Merlin, but by then it was too late. I desperately want that relationship to grow.

    • Taylor Davis

      I hope that you join the More Merlin OFFICIAL Worldwide project. http://www.moremerlin.com We want to bring back Merlin and we want to work together. I hope you join!

    • http://www.myfieldofvision.net/ Ed Dzitko

      Seems to me, after all the promise of a different world, we were cheated on seeing Merlin and Arthur together, post revelation.

  • Laura Luptania

    Great article, sums up everything I think and felt (and still feel) about the finale. Every time I think about it, there’s that little twist in the gut and ache in the chest. And then you guys wrote this: “We choose to believe that, like Nimueh, Merlin could still maintain his youthful appearance if he wanted to. Because, after all, he promised Arthur that he wouldn’t ever change.” and I’ve been washed over with sadness all over again :C Oh my heart!

    • Taylor Davis

      Hey! If you want more Merlin check out the More Merlin Worldwide project. Join in to keep the magic alive. http://www.moremerlin.com

      • http://hypable.com Selina

        It looks like a great campaign! But please stop replying to every comment with the link, we’ll have to start marking it as spam.

  • Rogue Gnosis

    Merlin was magic. As corny as it could be, it touched even hardened hearts around the world with universal themes of loyalty, justice and seemingly never-ending battle and balance between good and evil. While Morgan may deny his powers, as any wizard would, as an actor he truly embodied the kind of magic that we all hope is possible in our daily lives. He lived like a monk in the background. His life was devote in service to a cause and calling greater than his own. And the influence that he had a mere “serving boy” is proof of the magic we can all work in our lives no matter what our station. And from a purely gay perspective, because I am, it was so nice to see two presumably “straight” men, or at least characters, have a healthy open-hearted onscreen relationship that wasn’t about anything more or less than the power of true friendship to cross social divides and change society in the process. Kudos again to all of the producers and actors. You have created a classic series that will indeed live long in the hearts and minds of generations to come. Needless to say, we hope you are at least considering an Arthurian Resurrection, and that in it Merlin’s present-day powers included shape shifting back into the affable, magical young man that he still is. I look forward to sharing the series with all of the children in my life for the rest of my life. Thank you again Merlin cast and crew!

  • Hermy Delorro

    Well, all the reasons you said are true. And I’d like to add Gwaine’s tragedy in the explanation. I’ll never be able to get over his death. And I’m still wondering about Merlin learning about that.

  • Slythermint

    The Merlin finale was absolutely everything it ought to have been. It ended on a note of hope. Hope for the future, hope for Merlin, hope for a good world. The finale was a beautiful tale of Merlin and Arthur finally getting to show themselves to each other, entirely, and accepting everything. I was not left wanting (not to say I wasn’t upset!), and I was not left with the idea that it ended horribly and where-is-my-sixth-season-I-want-it-now feelings. Given the stuff the writers have made us put up with over the years (especially in fourth season), this was an incredible piece of writing, and I would not trade the finale for anything.

    • SilentLady

      Nooooooooo! The ending sucked big-time. It completely ruined it for me. It doesn’t answer anything. So many questions and regrets and sadness… Poor Merlin, alone and sad for how many thousands of years

  • Dianna Ecarius

    The finale left me heartbroken and angry. After being a faithful viewer for 5 years, I feel we were all left hanging waiting for an ending that never came. Did magic ever come back to Camelot? Does Merlin need to suffer with regret the rest of his life? Merlin and the viewers deserve better. Please bring the show, or a movie, back to resolve the many unanswered questions and give Merlin the peace he deserves. Please join our campaign on Twitter at MoreMerlin@twitter.com.

  • CopiCo

    I still can’t forget the last episode. I didn’t expect I would cry, but I did. It’s been 5 months and I still think about it. I have loved many films, series and characters but I haven’t suffered such great loss as in the case of Merlin. I simply can’t get over it. I’m not sure if my sadness is caused by the fact that it was the last episode and the end of their adventures, or the way they decided to finish it. Maybe it would’ve been easier to get over it if there had been the well-worn happy ending.

    • Nimueh123

      It is simply because we were cheated out of all the things we had been promised for such a long time.
      A Golden Age brought about by Arthur and Merlin.
      Merlin being recognized for who he was and appreciated by everyone.
      Merlin becoming the most powerful sorcerer ever.
      I could go on, but sigh. It hurts.

    • snowcat60

      I have all the series on dvd but I haven’t been able to watch any of it since I saw the ending in December. I’m in the US and couldn’t even watch the syfy episodes.on TV. Even reading this article, though I agree with it, upsets me and causes the tears to flow yet again almost 6 months later. I have to say I miss the show so much but cannot bear to watch Arthur die again. In the meantime I have read Mary Stewart’s 4 books on Merlin and Arthur and they are excellent — I would highly recommend them as reading for all Merlin fans. Even in her last book about King Arthur, Arthur’s death is a tragedy and an unfortunate twist of fate. She researched all the legends and then wrote her version of the story.

      • Nimueh123

        Hello there! :)
        I had to laugh. (well, more smirked considering the topic) because I just made exactly the same comment about watching old episodes before I saw yours!
        I also have not been able to watch any earlier episodes because it hurts too much. To know that Arthur will die and Merlin will fail saving him in the end utterly spoils it.
        I have rewatched the two final episodes a lot though, Thought it might help. It has a little, but most of my grief management is done through writing fanfiction these days!

        • snowcat60

          are you blogging your fanfiction? Could I read some?

          • Nimueh123

            *big grin* Wasn’t exactly trying to flog it. It does help me, I must say. I cannot let the characters go yet….

            I am on fanfiction.net. If you put my screen name (Nimueh123) into the search, it should come up. I am on my fourth story now. They are all quite different, I guess, but deal with all my niggles with season 5.

      • Taylor Davis

        I understand completely. If you want more Merlin I hope you join the More Merlin Worldwide project! http://www.moremerlin.com We’d like everyone to join in and be a part of a great movement. If you’d like to join be sure to like/subscribe to the facebook, youtube and More Merlin Official video!
        More Merlin!

  • CColvin

    It was very hard to watch, really heartrending. I would like to think that, since we didn’t see it, that Merlin did go back to Camelot and see Gaius, and meet up with Queen Gwen, maybe be in her service. He might have thought that Arthur would have wanted it that way, since Arthur said that he wanted Merlin to be himself. And the Queen knew that Merlin has magic. But, yes, I think Merlin would always have wanted the return of Arthur. I loved this show from the very beginning, and it always annoyed me that they thought of it only as a kids show. I am in NY so they hardly even wrote about it here. Damn frustrating. It is better then all these negative shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad, with bad guys as heroes. Merlin was wonderful, and you got to hand it to the actors, Colin and Bradley, man did they ever do a great job. Love to them and it will haunt us for a long time.

    • Taylor Davis

      I cried so hard at the ending. I do hope you join in the More Merlin Worldwide project!

      • CColvin

        Let me know where the More Merlin project can be found and I will.

        • Guest

          Hi CColvin. The ‘More Merlin’ campaign is brilliant however there is a bigger campaign called: ‘Merlin – Join if you want to bring merlin back’ that involves more actions and is more likely to have better recognition.

          They’re main pain is on facebook however they also have a website:


          They also have twitter:


          There is currently 8,721 members. We should all the do the actions which are both on the facebook page and the website.

          2-4 members are aware of this campaign and we are also in contact with the head of drama at BBC, and the main cast of Merlin. :)

          Please join us!!


          • CColvin

            I have subscribed, thank you for the link.

        • Becky Salamone

          Hi CColvin. The ‘More Merlin’ campaign is brilliant however there is a bigger campaign called: ‘Merlin – Join if you want to bring merlin back’ that involves more actions and is more likely to have better recognition.

          They’re main page is on facebook however they also have a website:


          They also have twitter:


          There is currently 8,721 members. We should all the do the actions which are both on the facebook page and the website.

          2-4 members are aware of this campaign and we are also in contact with the head of drama at BBC, and the main cast of Merlin. :)

          Please join us!!


          • http://hypable.com Selina

            Hey Becky,
            It is not necessary to promote your campaign on every comment here. Please stop posting the same content or we’ll have to start labeling it spam. (You can link to your campaign, it looks great, just don’t be too repetitive about it.)

        • Taylor Davis

          Hi CColvin. As you can see another project is trying to get your attention. Honestly, I’m not going to beg you to join or put down any other project. I’d really like you to join ours. http://www.moremerlin.com. Check out the facebook, youtube and make sure to subscribe. We’re like a big family there and we don’t ask for any money for anything. We’re just trying to bring back our beloved show, and we’re growing more everyday!

          I hope you join and help keep the magic alive!

  • Yakushiji Tenzen

    For the briefest moment I thought Arthur might live in this version, and he could live a happy a glorious life with Gwen. But all the versions are the same. Arthur always dies, I’m sad and happy that they stayed faithful, but I thought it would’ve taken a different turn seeing as how they changed a lot in the Arthurian legend. Morgana outlives Mordred whaa? With the amount of times that Morgana was knocked around, you’d think she’d be dead just from the sheer amount of concussions she must’ve got. lol

  • Nimueh123

    My goodness, you do sum this up beautifully. You could not be more correct in everything you say.
    I cannot believe I still have not got over the finale – a couple of weeks ago I realized for the first time, similar to you, that I probably never will. Unless, for no reason at all and completely out of the blue, they would do some kind of continuation of the show (I know it is not going to happen). Only this would release us from all the pain and hurt we feel each time when we see anything Merlin related.

    Your point about Merlin – as the only character- never really achieving anything in the end (well, not a lot, if you think about) is the one which makes my heart ache the most. He soooo deserved a reveal with Arthur having proper time to digest the news and appreciate his talents. He deserved to see a real Golden Age he had helped to bring about. And he deserved to be recognized by ALL of them for who he was.
    We were never allowed to see those things. I will never forgive the two Js for cheating us out of all these things – things they had promised us since season 1!

    • Taylor Davis

      I hope you join the More Merlin Worldwide Project!

    • issy5209

      I know exactly how you feel. The ending was rushed, the writing haphazard. There is no closure and no hope (Remember Capps, Murphy and Jones believe that the final scene gives us hope – boy did they that one wrong!)

      We never saw anything that we’d been promised since season 1, and I will not ever forgive the J’s for cheating us out of those things.
      6 months later, and I still can’t watch any of it.

      • Nimueh123

        Yeah, that is the worst of it – that I cannot even enjoy looking back at the good times, rewatching old episodes etc.
        The knowledge of Arthur dying and all of Merlin’s efforts being in vain in the end just spoils it totally for me.
        Well, writing fanfiction and changing all the bits I did not like, helped a little bit, at least!

        • finalerewrite

          Consolations beckons a@ fanfiction.org

          • Nimueh123

            *big grin* Just realized I misunderstood your comment. Sorry.for the first mail.
            What would we do without fanfiction though.)

      • SilentLady

        Amen. I’m heartbroken. Those were some serious broken promises. At the end (the bit with Merlin clutching a very dead Arthur) I kept waiting for him to do something, save the story at he last second… so dissapointing.
        Merlin deserves better than that

  • Dianna Ecarius

    Hi would you do this promo of our video- WE WANT MORE MERLIN” OFFICIAL VIDEO! It’s here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lM2xOcXDDu8&feature=youtu.be
    We are aiming for 3 million views in 10 days. so if you want Merlin back, please go view, like and share!
    For a promo on our facebook page to your page, please?

    and here are the pages to go to–



  • Jessie

    I’m in the US and I watched it online along with the UK. My mom and sister watched it this past weekend when it came out.
    Anytime any of my friends bring up Merlin everyone just gets quiet because IT’S SO UPSETTING.

  • vrevels

    I began watching the show 4 years ago because it was described as
    “before Merlin and Arthur were legends”. So, for me “Merlin” ended at
    the end of series 3 with Arthur forming the Round Table. I still watched
    all five seasons, but I wasn’t invested as much (I barely remember any
    of the episodes from 4 and 5) because although the acting and production
    of the show were excellent, the story-telling just didn’t engage me and
    the characters of Merlin and Arthur seemed to stop developing as
    interesting characters.

    But this article does bring up some
    interesting points as to why people still feel unfulfilled. It was
    brilliant how it ended with so many questions unanswered. If the stories
    from series 4 and 5 had been better in leading up to the finale, then I
    probably would’ve been upset, too. I’ve only rewatched “The Disir” and
    the last episode and haven’t rewatched any of the rest of series 5
    because the story-telling was so weak.

    Do I regret ever watching all of Merlin? Never. I have been happy to be a Merlin fan.

  • artorius

    I would like to thank the authors of this really beautiful article, written by true fans you put word on my feelings and it’s good to be understood.

    Concerning the end, I’m not upset or frustrated but I’m still really sad uncomfortably sad about it. Some things are unforgettable like how Merlin sacrifed himself for his best friend (let’s remember “The disir”), he believed in Arthur and in the restoring of magic, That’s why I’m still bitter about it because Merlin didn’t really fulfilled his destiny no matter how hard he tried during the seasons, he was fighting for something right and he didn’t succeed.

    But I think this is why the show is so great, we had funny times in the beginning and everything went darker we grew up with it. We learnt about loyalty and trust and love and friendship. So yes in the legend Morded kill Arthur and Merlin is waiting for him. But I like to think that one day he will come back (after all he is the once and FUTUR king) and his best friend will be there for him.

  • arthorius

    I would like to thank the authors of this really beautiful article, written by true fans you put word on my feelings and it’s good to be understood.

    Concerning the end, I’m not upset or frustrated but I’m still really sad uncomfortably sad about it. Some things are unforgettable like how Merlin sacrifed himself for his best friend (let’s remember “The disir”), he believed in Arthur and in the restoring of magic, That’s why I’m still bitter about it because Merlin didn’t really fulfilled his destiny no matter how hard he tried during the seasons, he was fighting for something right and he didn’t succeed.

    But I think this is why the show is so great, we had funny times in the beginning and everything went darker we grew up with it. We learnt about loyalty and trust and love and friendship. So yes in the legend Morded kill Arthur and Merlin is waiting for him. But I like to think that one day he will come back (after all he is the once and FUTUR king) and his best friend will be there for him.

  • Kaela Talley

    This finale just stomped my heart into little pieces for these exact reasons. I just can’t get over Merlin WAITING. He’s just stuck, because he knows when his best friend comes back he will need Merlin, but 2,000 years… man, that’s some Doctor Who shit.

    • Maria Wang

      Yea, at least when Rory waited for 2000 years, the universe rebooted….

  • Maria Wang

    well that was depressing…. :(

    • Kaela Talley

      Except that people still keep posting horrible depressing gifs all over tumblr.

  • jyoung253

    The Merlin finale was broadcast in the U.S. this past Friday. I knew Arthur was facing certain death and thought I was ready for that scene. I was not. Merlin’s anguish at not being able to save Arthur was heart-wrenching. I tear up thinking about the scene where he sets Arthur afloat in death. I was heartened by the dragon’s prophesy that Arthur would return, and when Merlin cast Excalibur into the lake we were led to believe that it was Arthur’s “spirit” (?) that caught the sword. Yet Merlin was left to wait for Arthur’s return. How cruel is that!

    I liked that the characters didn’t take themselves too seriously — even Uther eventually revealed a humorous side.The relationship between Merlin and Arthur was fun to watch. One of my favorite episodes was when Arthur took a blow to the head and temporarily lost his memory. Though mourning the demise of fictional characters may not be rational, many of us do so. We become invested in the characters of our favorite TV series, books and movies. It is hard to let go. Sorry for rambling!

  • Victoria

    I didn’t finish reading your article. As far as I could tell, it was all about Merlin. Yeah, that was sad but some of us are mourning Arthur.

    • http://hypable.com Selina

      Thing about Arthur though is that, arguably, he was the only character who had a happy ending: he went out fighting, like a proper knight. He died knowing that his kingdom had been saved, that Morgana had been stopped. He knew he’d left his kingdom in the capable hands of Gwen, someone he loves and trusts completely, and he got to make peace with Merlin, dying in his arms, no regrets. All things considered, he died happy. Arthur’s story was so completely, neatly wrapped up, I feel like I can make my peace with it. Merlin was the one who had to live forever with the what ifs.

      • Victoria

        Yeah, no.

        The show failed both Merlin and Arthur. Don’t forget that for 41/2 seasons Arthur was prophesied to be Camelot’s greatest king, to unite Albion and to bring magic back to the land. We’re still waiting for Arthur’s great destiny.

        • http://hypable.com Selina

          Very true, but that doesn’t invalidate my point. You have to remember that from Arthur’s perspective, he wasn’t a “great and legendary king.” He didn’t have a destiny. He had a kingdom, a wife, and a family of knights (and Merlin obviously), and all he’d EVER wanted was to do right by them. He had his five years of peace, even if we didn’t see those. He united lands, he BEGAN to create that ultimate Albion he always wanted. And being the man he was, he wanted nothing more than to die defending Camelot and his people, securing the future he dreamed of even if he wouldn’t be there to see it.

          So yeah, I’m sure he’d have liked to live until he was 70, have a million babies with Gwen and name them all Merlin, but what I love about Arthur is that he was never that selfish. For him, his own life was a small price to pay for the peace he believed it brought (when he told Merlin, “you brought peace at last,” he was just so HAPPY about it.

          The way I see it (and obviously this is just my reading, but I just wanted to explain my POV), the finale was all about Arthur tying up all his loose ends. Rather than dying quickly in battle, uncertain and afraid, he got to first pass on his seal to Gwen (passing on the responsibility, giving her his legacy), then see the threat Morgana posed to his kingdom be eliminated, and finally make his peace with Merlin and die in his arms, telling him (almost) everything he wanted to.

          As an Arthur fan, this makes me very happy, and even though he died, it makes me smile to remember how peaceful his end was. As a Merlin fan? I am DEVASTATED. Because he’s the one left alone now, with the grief and the loneliness and the waiting.

          Anyway, essay. I absolutely agree with you that WE are all still waiting for Arthur’s story to be tied up, but in terms of the character himself, I think he died in the best way he possibly could have.

          • finalerewrite

            Couldn’t agree with you more. Arthur had closure, and we are at piece with his passing as well. But Merlins…Never! His only possible closure here would be to die at Arthur’s side, and it would bring us consolation …

  • Carolyn Dickerson

    Great article, very well writtin. The only thing I could add is that they if they had to end it was it really necessary to bring the hope of a future Arthur so far forward. I hate the idea of it being revived one day so far into the future. Not the Merlin I would want to see. I am hoping for a rewrite and this group is doing something about it. Check this out and LIKE the video. WE WANT MORE MERLIN OFFICIAL VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lM2xOcXDDu8&feature=youtu.be Go for 3m views/! View/LIKE/Subscribe #WeWantMoreMerlin

  • Ric-D

    People think a tragedy has to be meaningless, but that’s not so. A properly done tragedy provides the audience with a way to reaffirm life. Merlin does exactly this. The part of the tragedy in the finale that gives us this reaffirmation is the bond Merlin and Arthur form during their scenes and dialog. It redeems the tragedy by giving Merlin everything he has wanted (Arthur’s love) and by giving Arthur everything he has ever wanted (Albion, plus Merlin’s love) as well. By coming together in an act of free will Merlin and Arthur make a mockery of fate’s decree.

    Viewers have to follow the scenes and dialog closely to realize this. Some will never figure out just what Arthur and Merlin achieved in those scenes. For other fans, the feelings revealed between the two will not help those fans get through the tragedy and towards the reaffirmation. However, that is is what the love story is meant to do. If people don’t buy into the love story, they won’t experience the catharsis a well done classical tragedy always provides. And again, Merlin is a very well done tragedy.

    The producers took a lot of risks in attempting this sort of redemptive tragedy, which is rarely seen on television or even in cinema. But with Colin Morgan’s acting power and the chemistry he and Bradley James brought to their characters, they would have been fools not to try it. To me and countless other viewers, they succeeded brilliantly.

    • finalerewrite

      Of course, the tragedy here is truly magnificent! And we were actually quite prepared for it from the beginning of this season. But at the price of condemning Merlin to endless, purposeless life of misery, loneliness, never ending pain of his failure and subsequent loss? Never ending waste of his beautiful qualities -magic, compassion, kindness, wit, humbleness, devotion and nobility of spirit. And wickedly rubbing it in with him still here, still suffering in our days? Let’s just think of it not as intentional cruelty of the authors, but as an overlook on their part, as they bask in the exultation of this tragedy they were so proud of.
      Of course, Arthur had to die. But in the same vain Merlin shouldn’t be left alive either. They were called 2 sides of one coin, Merlin vowed to protect Arthur till the end and die at his side. And it wouldn’t spoil the tragedy either.

      • Ric-D

        Hi finalewriter –

        What you’re talking about is a normal tragedy, which is how you see Merlin. My point is that Merlin is a classical tragedy as I described it. Sooner or later everyone is going to recognize that fact although, at the moment, people’s emotions are clouding their understanding of those final scenes.

        I cannot agree with one point of yours: We were not prepared at all for the finale. Nobody knew for certain that it would end as a (classical) tragedy until we actually saw it. Nobody knew Merlin and Arthur’s relationship would culminate in a love story — until we actually saw it. It’s the surprise of the ending that’s the source of all the controversy.

        Your description of the final scene is subjective, as is everyone’s. You’re describing the “price” Merlin paid in highly emotional terms that the scene itself does not support. We cannot know from what we see that Merlin’s life really is miserable, lonely or painful. To me he looked purposeful and content. Colin Morgan, in his latest interview, has stressed that the finale went exactly the way it should, and that we are meant to understand Merlin as being optimistic and hopeful at the end.

        I’m sorry you see the producers as “basking” in some intentional cruelty inflicted on the viewers. This imputes a particularly wicked intent upon the people who created Merlin, and I don’t think anyone at that show would ever have thought up such a thing. However, in classical tragedy it is true that the protagonist must indeed suffer. Only by experiencing the suffering can the audience achieve the whole point of this kind of tragedy, which is ultimately to see the protagonist’s life — and thus their own lives, too — as both meaningful and worthwhile; in other words, to experience through it a sense of cleansing. I disagree with you that the producers “overlooked” anything. Nothing could be more obvious now than that every word of dialog and every scene were thought out, shot, composed and edited at a highly sophisticated level of detail.

        I see your point that if Arthur died, Merlin should have, too. That would have been Merlin’s first choice. And you’re right, that wouldn’t have spoiled the tragedy — it may even have made the catharsis more effective. But for Merlin to learn his destiny lies elsewhere is a significant factor in the finale. Every one of us has imagined how we would like to have finished it. In the end, though, we have to trust that if the actors and producers got us through 63 astounding episodes, they weren’t likely to screw up that last two. The finale is indeed of a piece with the rest of the story. It will just take time to see that.

        • llrufin

          Bottom line is that promises were not kept. We never got to see the promised prosperous Camelot. A Camelot where Merlin could reveal his magic, a Camelot where magic was accepted again. I feel cheated from seeing Merlin grow old helping Arthur build that Camelot.

          • Taya

            I agree with both of you on a lot of points. The ending is beautifully tragic in a way most stories could never achieve. However, I wasn’t completely satisfied with it being an end for Merlin. To me, Merlin was laid back with a kick ass story. I could have fun watching it and laugh but still find myself on the edge of my seat at other times. I felt like with the kind of show it was that it should have ended on a happier note. Maybe even just left out that finale scene where you see just how long Merlin has been waiting for his dear friend to return. I also agree with Ilrufin that it was so unfair to build up this story that promised to turn Albion into a fair kingdom, where magic would be accepted once more and Merlin wouldn’t have to hide ever again. But then to destroy that promise. Sure you can argue that Gwen understood that the sorcerer was Merlin and that she would bring back the ways of the old religion, but without showing us Merlin being respected as a great sorcerer, we will never get that satisfaction.

  • Anesha

    This article pretty much sums up everything I’m feeling. Merlin was my favourite (and I mean it) TV series and watching it end, knowing there would be no more episodes to look forward to left me depressed. Over the span of 5 months, I’ve slowly let go and decided to accept reality. And the one about Leon & Gwen getting married; I thought so too! But thinking of that sometimes just makes me even more sad because Arthur left her no heir. (which is another doozy to think about, cause he must have been sterile or the birth control way back when, if it existed was extremely effective)
    Well, I guess every Merlin fan out there is heartbroken because really, all Merlin did was for Arthur so I would have deemed it more fit if he died after fulfilling his destiny rather than Arthur, cause Merlin’s job was to keep Arthur alive! My heart aches every time I look at my posters. I’m going to see the Merlin panel at the Supanova expo in Sydney in a few weeks and when I see Bradley James, I’m gonna run up to him and squeal, “ARTHUR! YOU’RE ALIVEEEEEEEEE!” ;)
    Anyway, great piece guys!

  • arthurian fan

    No matter how many times I read the books and hear the legends, I keep wishing there was a better ending, but alas, Arthur dies and Merlin lives on

  • sad

    I invested 5 years loving Merlin and now that the show had finally come to where it all was to begin: the round table, Merlin at the side of his King, instead of the beginning of the great golden age of unity we were promised, we got death and sadness.

  • Hylndgal

    Loved your article. I need to read it again. But I must say that your last paragraph hit it “right on”. Like “Highlander” (the series & movies), I’ll NEVER get over it. They’re just too good to let go of and it’s SO sad that we have NO control of what shows we want to keep seeing.

  • Olga

    100% on the point, dear writers!

    I still can’t get my head around the fact that
    the writers chose to end such a sweet, endearingly silly show like this, on a Christmas
    day, no less! How wantonly cruel one have to be? What was it – sadism towards
    the audience that made the creators successful? Ambition to become ‘Game of
    Thrones 0.2: As Much Doom’n’Gloom, But Less Tits: We Are British’?

    I’ve always been too level-headed and
    cynical to get emotional about not-very-highbrow entertainment like this, but Merlin’s
    ending left me with seemingly never-ending tugging pain (courtesy of it’s 2 stars,
    young master Morgan blossoming into the new Day-Lewis, and Bradley who showed remarkable
    depth in the final scenes, once given material to work with, not just prancing
    in peek-a-boo shirts being a bullying cad with a heart of gold). It haunts me like
    Lolita ending – that bit when Humbert keeps telling how he’s sure that young
    Dolores is going to live happily into her late 90s, how he hopes that she’ll
    love her kid, yet there’s a twist in the book’s preface kindly informing us
    that the poor girl met agonising end at 17, in remote northern settling
    delivering a stillborn baby.

    I wouldn’t mind Arthur dying – ‘it’s in the
    book!’, but it should have been death of mature, accomplished ruler who brought
    his kingdom into the golden age, who lived, and suffered, and achieved
    greatness, and fell from grace in the end. Not the death of a young lad who
    merely ‘had a great potential, but, alas…’. Murphy and Jones kept telling it’s
    a story of young wannabies. Well, congrats, sirs – from wannabies in s1 to
    never-weres in s5.

    Oh, yes, and since not ALL children were
    weeping by mid-finale, how about killing that lovable Gwaine chap? And make it
    as pointless as possible. And make sure he died thinking that he had failed. Doom’n’Gloom,
    remember? BIG way.

    I’m surprised the initial finale draft didn’t
    include the lovely tidbits like these (would look perfect to go with immortal
    heartbroken Merlin):

    - Gwen spent 7 months of widowhood grieving
    for Arthur and vomiting her internal organs out before delivering triplets. Pity
    that poor Gaius broke his hip rushing to the royal ob/gyn suite, so dainty
    Percival-assisted birth went awfully pear-shaped, and the poor mites died one
    by one within 3 days, followed by Mum who was taken away by puerperal fever. But
    not before she watched them ALL die, mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

    - Our lovable little Merlin returned to Ealdor
    after wandering aimlessly around Avalon lake for months, just in time for his
    Mum’s funeral – the poor woman died from nitrate poisoning after eating
    anachronistic tomatoes. Merlin’s been living, overwhelmed with pain, guilt and
    heartbreak, for centuries. There were times when he was able to find
    love/friendship/affection again, but he was to outlive all his friends, spouses
    and progeny, the lucky chap! By 12th century he was so thoroughly depressed
    that the only way to deal with pain was re-writing his own story. That’s how the
    legend of the great King and his trusted wise advisor Merlin came about. THAT
    Arthur ruled long enough to bring the golden age and unite Albion,
    and THAT Merlin was respected and accepted, and he succeeded in protecting
    Arthur, and THAT Guinevere was a bit of a hussy, but she did like snogging
    random male totty anyway, didn’t she?

    Probably there wasn’t enough screen time
    for ‘Doom’n’Gloom 4 ALL, Merry Christmas, yo!’

    As for the slashy reptile, I can imagine
    his and Merly’s chat post-‘sending Arthur to marinate among Avalon’s fauna’

    - But wwwwhat about this destiny thingy you
    were babbling about
    so much, Mr Dragon? That 2 sides of one coin bizniz, united Albion,
    2 lives entwined and stuff. Were you even, like, for realzzz?

    - Nah, I just wanted you two pretty things to
    snog. But nooo, you never obliged old Kilgharra, never once. Such gratitude! No
    boy-snogging, not even one puny goat for your old scaly pal to chew on! Get out
    now, young warlock, I need to practice my Quentin Crisp voice for Drama Club.

    In conclusion: best wishes and all the
    praise in the world for the lovely cast. NO love for the showrunners

    /rant over

    • Nimueh123

      Thanks for making me giggle over this. So well said!

      • Olga

        Awww, ta! Giggles* help when dealing with deliberate,
        unnecessary cruelty that BBC unleashed upon the world under the code name ‘Merlin

        *See also: kittens play-fighting and Mr
        Morgan’s dimples

    • maldru

      I think it’s also worth mentioning old Kingarra’s torturous passing of rare form of cancer, that all of Merlin’s magic couldn’t cure. Crippled Aithussa didn’t survive the measles outbreak, fading in ailing Kingharra’s hands (talons). Both sent off on the flaming boats ,respectively, by so deliciously tearful Merlin .

      • Olga

        You know what? I think the Doom’n'Gloomarama could be partly explained by one of 4 J’s missus telling ‘That wee lad cries so prettily! MAKE HIM CRY MORE!’.

  • Heather Ostrom

    okay so let me start off , with i started watching merlin from the beginning , and at that time i was only watching it because there was nothing else on , and i thought it was only okay at that time, but as the series went i found my self liking the show more and more, and then it was my favorite show, so when i found out that there was only going to be one more season left, i was truthfully very upset didnt want the show to end so the last season i thought every show was great up until the last episode, i feel as though the producers and writters just gave up on the last episode, i was so pissed about the so called battle between merlin and morgana, morgana says eww i push you back, merlin says oh ya i stab you with the dragons breath knife oh your dead, and with gwen they couldnt let her grief over the death of arthur ? first before they said the king is dead long life the queen . anyways i could keep going on about all the wrong i think they did in the finale, but i wont, i will say thought there was only to things i thought they did right in it, and that is the bromance between arthur and merlin, and the begging battle scene. and ending in these notes i will say that i will not be watching any more bbc shows unless they do a continuation on merlin and arthur …….

  • Becky Salamone

    I’m still not over it, I don’t think I ever will be. I can’t believe all that happened in the final episode. Our hearts were broken in just 45 minutes.

    5 years we were waiting for Merlin to reveal his magic, for Arthur and Merlin to unite their kingdom of Camelot.

    And look what we got. Just a huge punch in the face.
    We need different producers and writers, I’m afraid. It’s disappointed so many fans it’s unbelievable. Come on BBC, please listen to us and help us!

    It has to come back, for at least another series.

    If you want to do some actions to help bring it back please visit this page on facebook:


    or their website:


  • Ryne42

    I think part of the reason is because technically, Merlin never fulfilled his destiny at all. Sure, he came into his power at the end… but Arthur died after a very, very short rule in which he really didn’t accomplish anything that would earn him a place in history as the greatest king ever. Magic was still banned, sorcerers were still discriminated against, and most of all, Merlin was still hiding the secret he’d been keeping for ten years because he didn’t think Arthur was in a place to accept it. He thought his best friend would kill him for his magic after 10 years of loyalty and unbelievable sacrifice. That doesn’t sound like the actions of a king who would rule over the Golden Age – and Arthur never did, because the Golden Age never came, or arrived during Gwen’s rule. It’s my belief that Gwen was the one who lifted the magic ban, but again, that means it wasn’t Arthur at all, and so all Merlin’s sacrifice in Arthur’s name was pretty much pointless. And that just makes it so much worse.

    • Nimueh123

      Sooo true!

      I have no idea how supposedly top notch writers were not able to come up with anything better. Season 5 was a real let down in every respect.
      I had also expected more of the Merlin/Mordred story because they advertised it so extensively before season 5. But Alex Vlahos ended up being totally underused.

  • finalerewrite

    Great, Great, GREAT review!!! I should’ve written it!! Agree with each and every word!!!
    Thank you!

  • Nina

    Excellent article. Five months after the end, my utter fury has turned into utter repulsion. I cannot watch a single episode of Merlin anymore, and that coming from a fan that had this show as her anti-depressant of sorts. The finale ruined all my enjoyment. Knowing that neither Merlin nor Arthur reach the greatness of legends, that Arthur dies 4 years into his rule (!!!) and Merlin just withers waiting and waiting, well… there’s no point, is there? No victory, no catharsis, nothing. -shakes head-

  • Former Merlin Fan

    You’re not over it because it was a total letdown. The one thing that was promised, since the very first episode, was Albion – a united kingdom where those with magic would be treated fairly. A golden age. In this telling of the story, that did not
    happen on Arthur’s watch. He didn’t do it. “Sorry kid, but you’re down at the one yard line.” Sure, there was “peace” because Morgana was dead and there were no immediate threats. But that’s not a united kingdom. And Arthur did not lift the ban on magic. The writers need to understand that conclusions like that, which
    deliver on years-long, consistent themes and promises, can’t be left to
    one-line summations by a dragon. Just because he says Merlin and Arthur fulfilled
    their destinies doesn’t make it so.

    In a word, it was lame. Morgana’s death was unbelievably lame. The
    dragon’s “just trust me on this” testimony that everything promised had
    come to pass was lame. And the way we are left to guess what Merlin did
    after shoving Arthur off to Avalon was exceedingly lame. Writers, we
    are not stupid. That was what we Americans call a punt. The message
    the writers conveyed through their sloth: “Well, it would take more than
    20 seconds, and, well, we don’t know how to transition him from ‘kid by
    the lake’ to [any other status] to ‘old man in modern England. And we
    really want to show him as ‘old man in modern England,’ so we’ll just
    cut straight to that after a pointless scene where Gwen is acknowledged
    as queen.”

    It lacked imagination, it lacked creativity, it lacked any sense at
    all that Merlin was “the greatest wizard ever” (c’mon — Nimueh gets a
    fireball from the skies, and Morgana get stabbed in the belly????), it
    lacked a sensible transition to the final shot, and it lacked, lacked,
    lacked payoff on any of the promises the shows creators made. Oh, but
    it had pathos out the ears. The other message, loud and clear: “We
    don’t really care if people feel satisfied that they invested so much
    time in this show. We just want them to cry at the ending.”

    This series stopped delivering on its promises after Season 3, so I
    shouldn’t be surprised. We knew Arthur would die, so don’t hear me
    saying that I “wanted a happy ending.” What a good story, as opposed to
    a hack-job, is satisfying closure of its major themes. Hated as it
    was, even the Sopranos finale had that. Merlin? Not even a little.

    • Olga


      it lacked, lacked, lacked payoff on any of
      the promises the shows creators made. Oh, but it had pathos out the ears. The other message, loud and clear: “We don’t really care if people feel satisfied
      that they invested so much time in this show. We just want them to cry
      at the ending.”

      Yep, so true. The ‘Lost’ effect. The showrunners probably thought: “Hey, if they could do it with Lost and weren’t lynched… Presto chango, we’re sorted!”.

      And it even wasn’t bloody Lost, no need to solve all those mysteries heaped upon that poor island through the years.
      It was simple, fluffy little gem – just cut the ‘Haven’t you heard about our Gwen, Art? She’s a BAD queen now!’ drag, replace Camlann with Mount
      Badon battle mid-season, followed
      by magic reveal with all the pathos they needed, Merlin’s ascent from endlessly
      mocked Baldrick to powerful advisor. Give the viewers at least ep or two of
      fast-forwarded golden age, with Morgana/Mordred threat looming over the
      kingdom, resulting in Camlann. Then immortal Merlin guarding his king’s resting
      place wouldn’t look so awfully hopeless, lost and out of place. After all, in legends
      he *was* trapped in time and space (cave/tree).

      And I feel so terribly sad for the kiddies
      who watched this sword and sorcery fairy tale and had to witness that epic, adult
      tragedy in the final ep. There was no need to spoon-feed them another happy
      ending, just something more than ‘everything was in vain, life is shit no
      matter what, and the mostest lovable character imaginable is punished for his selfless devotion by 1,500 years of immortality drenched in guilt and loss’.

      BBC opted for sanitised, ‘THINK OF THE
      CHILDREN!!!11!’ version of the legend, excluding any hint at siblings incest, Arthur’s birth being a result of magic-masked rape, Merlin himself (a cambion, no less!) a much more flawed/darker figure than the picture of bright-eyed, bushy-tailed innocence in the show. For god’s sake, even ‘High King of Albion cuckolded by wife and best mate’ epic was turned into ‘young kingling’s bit of a rough was brainwashed into kissing her zombified ex after her hen party. Once’.

      So why there was a need for such an epic,
      hopeless, fruitless tragedy in the end? Grown men wept (trust me on this), I
      could only imagine what it did to young children.

      Since when ‘think of the children’ policy includes
      ‘Give ‘em gut-wrenching feeling of lost and failure and lingering close-ups of
      weeping people torn apart by agonising death. With agonising death being a better fate. BUT NO BLOOD ON SWORDS EXTRACTED OUT OF DEAD BODIES, for Chrissake! it’s a kids-friendly wholesome Christmas entertainment’.

  • Sharon

    Great article. It helped me understand why I was so upset with the ending. I saw the finale a couple of days ago, and I’m still upset. There were two destinies that ran through the story — Arthur’s death at Mordred’s hand, and Merlin’s as protector of Arthur as he helped him rule in the Golden Age. The writers chose the darker ending, and this seems out of character with the rest of the series. Merlin always prevailed in saving Arthur, but then at the most crucial time, he can’t save him. So what was the point of all that came earlier? They don’t get to share the Golden Age together after all, and Merlin is left to feel that he has failed. He is now destined to live many lifetimes waiting for his friend/king to return. That seems like a cruel punishment for his loyalty and efforts to always protect Arthur. He and we deserved better. The writers could have chosen the more “family friendly” option and allowed Arthur to live and rule with Merlin’s help and just ended it with their triumphant return to Camelot. Not as dramatic, but more like the show has gone in the past. That being said, I have never seen such a moving ending, and it was fitting that we now saw Arthur’s acceptance of Merlin for who he really is. The friendship and love between them was fully revealed and very gratifying. So I loved and hated this ending at the same time. I was ready for the series to end, but not quite like this. It was a great run, and I have rarely enjoyed a TV show so much. The actors were fantastic, especially Colin Morgan. I lost track of it after season 1, but then found seasons 2 and 3 on dvd and the remaining seasons on SYFY, and I’m so glad I did. I’ve always loved the stories of Arthur, and this was such a good twist on those. Thank you to all involved and well done!

  • Pavies

    It is an excellent article. Completely coincides with what we have felt.

    During these five months, seen again and again the episodes from seasons 1-4, analyzing the promises, the prophecies and the mistakes made by Merlin, I going from feelings of joy to see the initial chapters anger and pain remember the end of a series. I do not see how you can overcome this agony, the emptiness of an end is not completed. Inside I’m still waiting like Merlin, but I see how to overcome the tragic end. I just hope that the writers give signs of great imagination and publish a book of this story, with an ending beyond the presented in the last chapter of Merlin, give us peace of mind and complete.

    Regarding the BBC, Capps and Murphy, definitely have a pact with the devil. They have shown that they do not care and psychological damage they have left on the fans, just at Christmas.



  • elpNM

    No, I still cant get over Merlin. I purchased all the seasons and watch them over and over. I was so angry at SYFY for suspending the last few episodes that I ordered Season 5 and had my family all over to watch the last episodes. I still watch the last one over and over just looking for something that gives me hope that it will be back.
    It’s still painful but I love Arthur and Merlin so much. Come back Merlin & Arthur!

  • SnazzyO

    Well said. Thanks for putting into words my feelings.

  • Herring

    It’s probably only 1500 years or so assuming it was a dark-ages setting – or perhaps even less as the producers always claimed it wasn’t historical. Maybe industrialisation came early to the land-of-dragons.

    Or maybe I’m fooling myself.

    I really, really wish that Arthur hadn’t died. They subverted the legends successfully all the way through and it would have been the perfect twist if Merlin had saved Arthur and they’d gone back to restore magic and enjoy Arthur’s golden age. It would have been far more in keeping with the tone of the show.

    But it is what it is. I nearly didn’t watch this in the first place because Arthurian legends never end well. Dammit. Never again!

  • nnyan

    I really love the entire King Author story, I typically can’t get enough of it. But try as much as I could I just could not like Merlin. I honestly was surprised it lasted as long as it did. After I stopped watching this (end of 2nd season) I did try again in the last season and was able to walk away from this show without a second thought (until now that is…what show are we talking about again?)

  • Julie

    I finally managed to watch the series finale, and I was deeply satisfied with the way they chose to end it. They played fast and loose with the Arthurian legends in so many ways, but if they had let Arthur live and return to Gwen and live happily ever after, it would have been a scandal. Arthur HAD to die and be shipped off to the Isle of Avalon to await the time when he is truly needed again. I thought Merlin should return to the crystal cave, but the image of him wandering and waiting for thousands of years was also a good end for him. I applaud the show’s creators for having the courage to not Disney-fy the ending!

  • Stephanie

    I have yet to finish the series, and I did not read this entire article because of spoilers, but in my limited view of what is going to happen, the series ends much too abruptly, and with way too many unanswered questions to not have a revival. I might die from all the unresolved questions and plots!

  • JH

    Hi. I agree with most of your post. I still can’t even watch any merlin as it all feels like its leading to this epic fail.

    My problem wasn’t that Arthur died but it was that he never did what he was meant to do. Im sorry but a three year gap is not enough especially since Arthurs golden age was meant to include magic reyurning. Merlin being the legendary sorrcerror and as they nagged on and on about Arthur uniting the Kingdoms of Albion.
    None of this happened instead we got a sh*** finale filled with death, disapointment and plotholes ( Im sorry but we saw lake of Avalon plenty of times before finale and it never looked like it did in finale.
    Morgana’s death was dissapointing I was waiting for the help me emrys scene and a redemption but no we got a scene of her going mad and supposedly “a high preistess can’t be hurt by a mortal sword” dorry but last year she was a high preistess and I recall her being stabbed. I really wanted Mordred to like yell at Arthur saying he murdered Kara (I think her name was. Bur no instead we get a quick death witj no suspense.
    Also how was that a christmas special like it was same length as usual…maybe it was so special as it ruined our christmas.
    Anyway sorry I got into a rant I can’t help it when talking about merlin. I just wish they had stuck to original stuff merlin and arthur before they were famous rather then trying to jump ahead and finish it.
    The other thing I will never understand is season 1 arthur saves druid (person with magic) mordred. Season 5 he all of a sudden he doesn’t know mordred has magic . Seriously if hes that dumb he shouldn’t be king. Anyway my opinion is that gwen was pregnant with a reborn arthur

  • Jess

    Wrong! Merlin hasn’t been waiting for “2000+”. Legends were set in the 6th Century. So it’s actually more or less 1500 years. (Fanfic writer. Did a story on Merlin’s journey through the ages. I know. And it bugs me when people get it wrong) And btw, I’m over it. Watching Sherlock. Just happened to click on the wrong fav. button and had a nose.

  • llrufin

    Beautifully put. I’m still devastated from the season finale. I guess I had higher hopes for Merlin and Arthur. I was so looking forward to having Arthur publicly recognize Merlin and allow magic again. I wish they would give us closure. Maybe a movie or another season? I will miss this show and the characters dearly.

  • Gawain Gone?!! No!!

    The show could not have ended any other way. To change the ending and have Arthur survive would have been a betrayal of the legend and original story. It was perfect, plus something extra.

    • Nimueh123

      The show could have ended on a note of hope, to say the least.
      Arthur did not have to die so young – He did not, according to the legend. There was no need to kill him off right there and then. That he would die eventually by Mordred’s hand – fine. But not before he had actually become the Once and Future King. Not before he and Merlin had built Albion. etc. etc.
      And if not that, they could have given Merlin some more closure, at least.
      Anyway. It is all done and dusted now and whatever will happen, we will be stuck with that finale.

  • Lysalice

    We deserved to see Arthur accept the fact that magic is good, make Merlin his official second in command, come back to Camelot and live his happy ever after with Guinevere! Arthur and Merlin were supposed to create Albion together! Instead, Arthur dies, Merlin keeps on waiting, the kingdom will probably fall apart because 1) let’s not forget that in that era women weren’t really allowed to have any power so Guinevere would probably not have stayed queen alone for a long time AND2) nobody saw Arthur actually saying that magic and Merlin were awesome. They might simply assume Merlin killed Arthur and wants the throne for himself like Morgana did!
    7 months after that finale and I am still not ok with it, not ok at ALL. Except if they announce that they’ll make a series about when Arthur actually comes back (like your Merlin reniewed spin off idea) where everybody comes back in our era and that actually is when Albion is created and we discover that magic and dragons still exist! Now THAT would be awesome!

  • GrumpyGranny

    Seven months after the finale aired in the UK how do I feel? Gutted. I know the viewing figures for the last episode were high, well, they would be! We wanted to know how they would draw everything to a conclusion. Was it a satisfactory conclusion? Not to me. Not to a lot of fans. But I’d be interested in finding out exactly how many fans WERE satisfied (albeit not happy). I guess there’s no real way to tell – they are all over the world in 183 countries and some are only just catching series 4!

    Yes, yes, we know the actors have ‘moved on’ and yes, we should support them in their new ventures – but how can we look at the cast members in their interviews and not see the sadness in their eyes? :(

    Why is it so difficult for the BBC, Shine and the Actors to understand that Merlin did NOT ‘end on a high’? Apparently ‘ending on a high’ translates as ‘leaving the fans wanting more’. Now Shine are trying to fob people off by saying they are currently in the very early stages of development of a potential spin off series which may mean more adventures from Camelot in a new and different form. Well, if the original cast aren’t in it I can’t see the point.

    • Nimueh123

      Exactly! to your last point – A Camelot ‘spin off’ without Colin and Bradley??? Forget it!

  • Nikki

    I… did not see it at all that way. There was a finale, and it was complete. Aurther and Merlin were supposed to unite the kingdoms with their actions. Well, we may not have seen it, but I think it was definitely implied that they did. You know, with going to the future in which future Merlin lives in the United Kingdom? Idk, that is how it seemed to me.

  • Thetoaster

    i think that the series was even more tragic if you watched it in a period of more than a month, and actually sort of grew upon this. I thought that the ending was very tragic to know that he’s still waiting, but its not much different from any of the other interpretations of the Arthurian legends.From that i will agree that BBC is run my evil geniuses.

  • Erin

    Man, I almost regret reading this. I think I was okay with the ending at some point, thinking I was alone in my grief over it (because a lot of people loved it when it aired, which made me just want to forget about it even more). To know that others felt as I did about it makes me sad all over again. I actually really resent ever watching Merlin in a way. I thought it was pretty mediocre, and I was perfectly fine with that because I really loved Arthur and Merlin (really amazing performances by those actors for something that really didn’t warrant it) until it ripped my heart out and stomped on it at the end. Plus an added punch in the ribcage. Oh, and on Christmas Eve, no less. I think I spent most of the day pretty lackluster and like an hour crying in the middle of the night feeling completely freaking retarded (it’s just a show, for Christ’s sake). I had to make my brother watch the two-part finale, having to explain all the necessary details because he’d never seen any of it, just so I could get some sympathy from somebody in real life about feeling so shitty over a show. (He was more obliging than I likely would have been. And completely agreed with me about how stupid and utterly twisted the ending was!) I mostly try not to think about Merlin at all anymore, I’ve tried to wipe it from my mind, because it actually still hurts to think about. A show. A stupid kids show, with probably some of the laziest writing I’ve ever seen. I mean, sorry, but Shakespeare? You’re allowed to hurt me. BBC Merlin? No. You didn’t have the right, because you kind of sucked most of the way through, even if you had some good points, and you’re just another series in a whole huge pile of mediocre crap that will be forgotten in 25 years. You didn’t have a right to make me feel like shit on Christmas, you damn bastard. Oh, and between that and Downton Abbey, I will never, NEVER watch another BBC show on or around a holiday ever again. Evil geniuses? That, but mostly just evil.

  • Son OF The *MAGIC*

    Join us at http://www.facebook.com/moremerlin and help The king live once more. We can’t move on till the end has been rewritten

  • Catherine York

    I had hoped that now that Morgana is finally out of the picture, Arthur will finally get to rule the way he needs to without the constant threat of her. He and Gwen have barely started their lives together! And as wonderful it is that Merlin got to open up, they didn’t get any time to share in his gift.

    I also HATE that they had to go and bring up Kilgara’s mortality. Even without Arthur, Merlin would have Kilgara. I had hoped.

  • Esther York

    My 39 year old daughter feels this totally sums up her grief. I didn’t go so deeply, choosing to think of the end, with Merlin in the future , just a symbol of the legend remaining forever, not the futility behind it. Now I can understand why she felt so deeply.

  • Vinicius Borges Soares Borges

    Output has yet to change this end, a suggestion? Start another season, Merlin passing by the truck, he looks back to the tower, with a big smile get the idea. The idea would be that when the boat was in Arthur, Merlin did not burn it, the boat went to the banks of the old island AVALON, The Sidhe lead to the tower and be healed. After a while he would return to Camelot there began the season again, or Gleneve could be pregnant and give continuity, or the dragon would arrive on the island and gave his heart to saving Arthur. While it is every time the same story with happy ending, we humans will never want an end was pathetic as the death of Arthur, we will always want an ending in which everything right because in the dream and travel history and what is best, because in reality we live in a cruel world.

  • Vinicius Borges Soares Borges


  • reve

    they had to make an everlasting impression. it’s only fitting of the original legend itself!
    perfect analysis. I cried over Merlin all over again. 8 months and the pain hasn’t faded in the slightest bit.

  • Jay

    Every night for a while now I’ve been watching Merlin and I absolutely loved it. I always thought there would be a happy ending where Arthur would discover Merlin’s secret and they and Camelot would forever live in peace (after Morgona was defeated) because of what the prophecy promised: that one day they would build a great kingdom. I never actually thought Arthur would die, and in the last episode, it was so heartbreaking when I knew Arthur was dying. Still, I had faith he would live on, but the ending really broke my heart and let me down. I can’t believe that so many years later, he still hasn’t returned, Merlin will never get over it, and the kingdom will never be the same. It was the worst possible way to end the series…

  • Merlinsraven

    I hated the ending from the get go. I still hate it. I have no idea what the writers were thinking. Actually, the whole fifth season was a complete waste of time. It was never really well written to begin with, but the last season was the worst. So poorly written, so many plot holes, so many unanswered questions, so much reliance on the same old, tired plot mechanics. The characters barely grew or completely changed overnight, only to change back in the next episode. One big hot mess of terrible, terrible writing. I will never forgive them for destroying their own show. I will never buy “it was always going to be just five seasons” rationalization. It sucked and they got cancelled. I will never watch another show that has any of the writers from Merlin involved in any way.
    Then, I was thoroughly incensed all over again, when I found out they aired the last episode on Christmas Eve. It makes me think that they were angry and decided to take it out on Merlin fans. It’s not heart ache or tragedy that ruined Merlin. It’s disappointment in the writers of the show. It’s shock at how incredibly incompetent they turned out to be.

  • Kelly

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpCpthM93ME This video helped me to get over it.. it helps..

  • Loriane

    I agree with a lot of points you mentioned here. Me too I was left disappointed and angry, but now that I think about it, I believe it made me realize that the Golden Age of Albion is today. Sure, we may think it isn’t because of what happens in the world but the magic is everywhere around us, we just need to observe it. Merlin is with us and there’s an Arthur inside all of us.

    • https://twitter.com/JassyPugh Jasmine P

      I agree with you. The epilogue would have been much better (and easier to come to terms with) if they stuck with the modern day theme but had Merlin bump into Bradley James dressed in modern clothing walking down the street as well..

  • Susan

    Merlin is hard to get over because of that train wreck of an ending where the lazy writers gave in to gay baiting and paid no attention to the 5 years of story they had told. The writing throughout the show was lazy, depended on the same old tropes, the characters really didn’t develop, said and did things they never would have said, especially in season 5. The writers thought they’d go for edgy and deep, killing off characters left and right, for no reason whatsoever. The were desperate, had no idea what to do with what they had and should never be trusted with a show again.

  • Mercy Pattarettu

    First of all, great article! I just watched the season finale today and this really helped me figure out why I am so confused about my emotions. I am honestly not sure if I liked the season finale or not. The whole point of the show was for Merlin to help Arthur realize that not all magic was bad, and for it to not be banned or shunned anymore in Camelot. Yes, Merlin was partially searching for Arthur’s approval but that wasn’t his ultimate goal! Why did so many people had to die in this last episode? Mordrid, Gwaine, Morgana, that blonde girl, and even Arthur? So the good guys and the bad guys die. And Morgana’s death should have been more epic. I mean, they have been trying to kill her for so long, and it was as simple as dying with a mystical sword? When that happened, all I could think about was the office depot button that says “That Was Easy”. When Merlin throws the sword into the water, who’s hand grabs it? Can anyone guess and help me out? That semi truck confused me until I read this. So I guess Merlin has everlasting life but Arthur never comes back. So would it even matter if it’s so many years from then? Gwen and all the knights of Camelot are dead now. So is everyone with magic except for Merlin. It was really sad for Gwen. She already all her biological family, now Arthur too? messed up. She could have at least shown she was pregnant or have shown her and Arthur had a baby so at least a part of him lives on. They could have at least given us a glimmer of hope. Hmm. That is all. I think. lol.

  • Sophia

    This literally says everything I thought about the finale. Although my initial reaction when it first aired was rage against the writers and the BBC in general. Which I still haven’t entirely gotten over.

    Every time I think of Merlin now it is with a wince of pain. I used to love to rewatch old episodes, but now it’s too painful knowing how it all ends.

    I sound melodramatic and pathetic even to myself, but I guess my genuine PTSD shows the mad and cruel genius of the creators of this show.

  • http://www.myfieldofvision.net/ Ed Dzitko

    I think you hit it right for me in numbers 2 and 4. I felt cheated by Arthur’s death, and I don’t think we were able to see the world Merlin kept promising those with magic. I would have liked to have seen Arthur and Merlin in Camelot after Merlin revealed himself. short of that, I was truly hoping for a reunion with Gais and Gwen after after Arthur’s death.

  • Brittany Smith

    Great article, and accurate. I would have added something about Morgana though. I was pissed that there was no character redemption, or at least a “sorry”. Her character development just went down the toilet in season 3, picked up a little in season 4, and then fans were left with empty foreshadowing in season 5. I hate to believe that Merlin and Arthur would just LEAVE her on the ground. That was equally as depressing to me as Merlin failing at his destiny.

  • Jade Carol Lau

    I haven’t seen the finale yet. I actually read by accident that Arthur dies at the end, so I had to find out if it was worth watching it to the end. Because I hate it when a finale leaves me feeling empty, and after reading this article I’m almost certain it will, so I don’t feel like watching it anymore. I was already sick of the way Merlin was treated, and sick of the hardships he went through for Arthur, and never got any recognition for it. I only kept watching because I thought this would eventually end, but from what this article says, this is not the case, so I’m done with it.

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  • RJ

    It is hard to get over because those people were are friends and we cared for them, the show was so well done that week in and week out we got closer and closer to the characters. The show did exactly what entertainment should do. (Puts you in another place and state of mind) remove you from the reality that is. They did a great job at that, and as mentioned above…that has been transferred into real life…and are friends are NOT OK…no peace of mind.

    I understand the whole “leave it on a HIGH note” thing. But now that they have heard the outcry for more…they NEED to get off their bottoms and get to work- ANY THING ELSE WOULD BE SELFISH AND UNAPPRECIATIVE in my opinion- and I would be ashamed if I was Capps and Murphey …because the fans and cast MADE them and helped them with their careers as well. They OWE it to the fans to get the “DEAL” put together and start writing. They have absolutely NO RISK in bringing the show back -and everything to gain.

    I urge Mr Capps and Mr Murphey to do the right thing,

    Also I have read (not knowing if this is true) that Bradley and Colin would not return..they are just being smart negotiators (they will return given the right deal) they will not ever be involved with anything so “special” again in their careers.

    No disrespect meant to anyone mentioned- But com on guys- DO THE RIGHT THING!

    Rj Split


  • Helenawesomesauceness

    So true about the bravery of the ending – I watched it way after my friends did when they told me it was just plain awful, but I’m so glad I caved and watched it. It leftme feeling more satisfied than any other series I’ve ever watched. Merlin’s overall storyline never wavered in quality or suspense, and this finale was so much more than it could have been – this was a truly inspired and exquisitely touching ending, not just a cheeseball romance. I will remember this series for my entire life because the conclusion was so much bolder and more cinematic. Also, there is such charm to the whole conceit of Merlin that I will definitely rewatch the series again and again, perhaps one day with my own kids. Merlin ended on a high, and I will eternally be thankful for it! :D

    Having said all of this -, more series would definitely be a go for me too XD!

  • Yasantha Kalum

    We should hope Merlin Returns`

  • Elaine J

    Yes, I am shamelessly seeking hope before I erase my 5th season DVR episodes as well as earlier ones I can no longer bear to watch. The series opened to a celebration of 20 years of the reign of Uther and ended after only 3 years of Arthur’s. Classic tragedy? It feels like a train wreck! After brilliantly averting the Lancelot and Mithian alienation of affection issues, and promising a fair, just society for which Alator and others gave their lives I expected more from the writing/producing team. From a business point of view it is hard to understand why the executives would compromise sales. It is no longer my intention to buy the whole series on DVD as I did with the “Lord of the Rings” and “The Legend of the Seeker”. Classic? A Pyhrric victory at best.

  • Shannon Nicole Porter

    I completely agree with everything in the article. My husband and I just watched the finale on Netflix last night and we were so disappointed in this lack of closure we both feel, with not knowing at least a little bit more about what happened to our favorite characters. I found the death of Morgana to be almost anti-climactic, with Arthur’s death a complete and utter blow to the gut since I was certain beyond all doubt that Merlin would use his magic to save the day yet again. Please oh please bring back just one more little season!!

  • james

    I want to tell that i loved this show so much but in the end it was the worst episodes that i have ever seen tell me why you end this show like that really now!! if i am right to this the most of the fans of merlin we have quiestions about what happen in all the history of merlin we have saw that merlin and arthur will create the new kingdom but we dont see that we saw that the Arthur die why??? what happen in the end with the camelot and with guen???

  • BlackBritReaper

    A U.S. version needs to be created and during the first season Merlin is found out to be a wizard by Arthur but keeps his secret. A 2 part season finale shows Arthur becoming king while finding out that he is born from magic. The next few seasons show Merlin becoming stronger while he and Arthur bring about a Golden Age of Magic.

  • Caley

    This Finale episode just drips Spinoff! Or Movie! Or another season! But we all know that not going to happen. Im just so frustrated! How could they do that to us!!!!!

  • Nayomi

    I agree with everything that was said in this article, there are many pages and Merlin groups that are trying to get Merlin back to our screens, i think we would stand a better chance if each group teamed up though. I miss Merlin more than i can ever say, and this article has somehow helped me to understand why i cant seem to get over the ending. Thank you. Long Live Camelot….

  • Courtyadig

    I am 20 years old &I cried over that ending for like 2 days. Not cause Arthur died but I felt so betrayed! What kind of ending was that?? They lure us in with Arthur &Merlin amazing destiny, to bring peace to the lands, between man n sorcerer &live in a time of Albion. Then it hardly even comes true. Arthur wasn’t even king that long and there was no peace while he was king. The time of.peace was achieved once Morgana was dead. &You never find out if magic was accepted. How did Gwen feel? Where was Merlin? Here’s another reason you can’t get over it. Where was the epic Merlin VS Morgana? I thought they were going to have an epic magic battle. He just stabs her with a sword after a short confirmation. Even though Morgana died, it’s like she still won. She brought an end to Arthur’s rein like she always wanted to.
    You’re definitely right I am not going to get over this. I don’t even know what to watch. What show out there is awesome as Merlin? Help.

    • Annie McCormick Bonner

      “Even though Morgana died, it’s like she still won. ”
      That is an absolutely brilliant observation.

  • ray

    im so pissed its over. I want more

  • Beibicris

    I just think they should make another series !!! … I dont think that should have been the end !! It was just horrible and unexpected !!! BBC !!!!!!!!!!!! make another series !

  • Jmac

    I just watched all the episodes from beginning to end on Netflix. I was addicted to it, it was so much drama, you did not know what was coming next. Last night, I had to see the ending episode, and I was so depressed. I wish there was more to look forward to. But, now it seems like it’s all just confusing to me. Why is Merlin alone? Did this new kingdom never come about? Just makes me sad, because I looked so forward to this show- the cast was awesome!

  • Joao Aurelio

    Yes, i cant get it over with and from time to time used to check on Merlin news. The movie by Warner based upon “The lost years of Merlin” would content me at the moment, just want more Merlin.

    If Merlin gets secluded and watches humans by a far, remainning in us for his wisdom and companionship towards Arthur, then that’s how magic will fade away, almost. He will still play his tricks before human ignorance that cant see. As that he is immortal, he’s part of the earth bounded to men (teaching and open their eyes) as Arthur is the King whose ideals, strength, charisma, righteousness are the example to all rulers and countries. So Merlin isnt waiting for Arthur, he will always be in the men with same ideals and spirit. Last frame was Merlin still guarding our world from the everchanging forces. helping the new arthurs.

    So i think Merlin shouldnt go back to live with people… Still, lot’s of questions. ‘Tis supposed to be time for the christianism left by the Saxons that we dont know where they end up since it was all so about Morgana. Will Gwen embrance magic?? Sons??

  • …..

    i still miss it i hoped for a 6th season but i guess one day it will be gone, i will always keep Merlin in my heart and am great full for being on this journey with all these great actors. but still when i think about it a part of me feels sad. :(

  • powerstaark

    The Diamond of the Day was an insult to the fans, the cast and the show itself. It brought no closure to the series. There were so many loose ends; Aithusa ended up being useful for only one thing and that was enchanting Mordred’s sword, Arthur died without uniting Albion, Guinevere is left ruling without any of her loved ones and there was no hint of her being pregnant, and worst of all, Merlin was left to live for centuries, watching all his loved ones die whilst waiting for a man who was barely competent in his own time and would therefore be utterly useless in modern society. It’s not that I dislike Arthur, I just think he wasn’t very bright and for all his charisma and fighting skill, he was ultimately a less noteworthy king than his father was; Camelot was actually barely any different with him on the throne than when Uther was alive. For all his flaws, Uther did somewhat manage to bring a Golden Age, even if it was one without magic, due to the twenty years of peace following the Great Purge, but Arthur completely failed in his destiny, as did Merlin.

    And it’s not just that the writers crapped on their own storyline, but that they did so in such a rushed, anticlimactic fashion. Although I recall Arthur’s “One well aimed blow” advice from Series 1 it was still pitiful to see such a great warrior get struck down with only two blows even if he did take Mordred down with him. Morgana’s death was even more pitiful – while I’m pleased that Katy McGrath and Colin Morgan showed some initiative by coming up with the idea of Merlin stabbing her together, it would have been so much more impressive if they’d done a proper magical duel. They could have had Morgana shooting lightning at Merlin, Darth Sidious style, and Merlin absorbing it with Excalibur and then stabbing her before going through the rest of the scene as Colin and Katy suggested. Or better yet they could have left Excalibur out completely and done an epic, pull out all the stops, Harry Potter verses Lord Voldemort style duel.

    And they even killed Gwaine for no reason whatsoever. Julian Jones wrote a pitiful finale to a show that did have some crappy storylines (for gods sake Season 4 was just Season 3 all over again except Uther died and Agravaine was the spy instead of Morgana), but was overall an enjoyable piece of television if only because the actors and actresses were brilliant, especially Colin Morgan, Bradley James and Katy McGrath. It’s been over a year since Merlin ended and in all that time I have not watched a single episode because the ending was so miserable.

  • Diana Prallon

    Stil. Not. Over.
    (before the finale I used to tell people “you can handle it, you handled Doomsday – or Journey’s End, or The End of Time, or insert here the appropriate top comparison for the person. Now I say – well, you can handle it; it’s not like it’s Diamond of the Day all over again.)

  • sadface

    thousands of years… or 1 and a half. Felt like it was really rushed to me. “oh we didn’t get renewed lets shove the rest of the story into an hour.”

  • Annie McCormick Bonner

    The Merlin finale was unsatisfying because the writers seemed to forget many of their key promises from the beginning of the show. Merlin was supposed to help Arthur “unite the land of Albion”, for one thing. But on a deeper level, the show began with the premise of being a “prequel” to the King Arthur tales that we all know. There was a promise, sometimes spoken and sometimes unspoken, that watching Merlin would show us how this impossible open friendship between a king and a magician would come about. The reason the show began so strongly is because the Camelot in the first episode is a ridiculously far cry from the Camelot of legend, and Arthur is neither noble nor just. The audacity of those extreme circumstances made us want to laugh and intrigued us. How could these characters ever get from these circumstances to the ones we know must come later? I watched for years because there was a glorious promise that one day Arthur and Merlin would reach their golden years of adventures together, and all of the other glorious Arthurian legends could take place thereafter. We expected this because it had been promised in the very premise of the show. But alas, the writers seemed to change their minds about the premise of the show when it came time for a final season.

    The perfect place for Merlin to reveal his secret to Arthur would have been in the final moments of series 4. In fact, it is very likely that a reveal was actually shot for the end of that season. Everything in series 4 strongly foreshadowed a reveal. We even had a practice run when Merlin demonstrated his magic to Gilli in a mid-series-4 episode. In the interim between series 4 and 5 the actors from the show seemed convinced that fans would be very pleased with the end of series 4, but whatever the actors were talking about never materialized. Apparently at the last moment, a decision must have been made to cancel the magic reveal, and instead we ended series 4 with the “Morgana and the white dragon” business, which seemed and even actually looked like it had been quickly improvised shortly before the series 4 finale air date.

    This was a mistake. It was unfaithful writing. It was unfaithful to abandon the foreshadowing written into almost every episode in series 4. It is painful to say it, but this was when BBC’s Merlin jumped the shark.

    If that original ending of series 4 exists, and if it were completed and released, fans might be able to feel differently about the whole run of the show. Perhaps they would feel more inclined to watch the best episodes over and over again. (Whereas now, as things stand, past episodes suffer, because we know there is nothing ahead worth hoping for after all). Without a fulfillment of the promise of a more triumphant (or at least voluntary) reveal, the audience remains unsatisfied.

  • Julie Hagen Hage

    It’s exactly how I feel now..! I saw the last episode for 30 min ago (got hooked and saw it on netflix every day) and it feels like my heart is broken and I just can’t stop crying! The worst thing is that Merlin looks like he’s still waiting, never went back for Gwen and Gaius and he didn’t even get an ending, any peace or grow an even stronger friendship with Arthur… After all he had done, and when Arthur finally got to know Merlin’s secret and that Arthur’s reaction was not bad at all! And what about Gwen.. Oh my, the last look in her face when they said “The king is dead”… I’m angry and sad and I must say that (even if, yes, it is in some ways beautiful and it gave such big impression and memory because of the ending, and I love the last time we got with Merlin and Arthur together) I really don’t like the ending at all! All I hope and wish for is a proper ending that gives more answers and HOPEFULLY are a happy ending. I got shocked when I saw the trailer passed by and to know how long Merlin had waited…! It’s torture, and I can’t stop feeling some of what he may have felt.. I keep on thinking: “It cant be true!”. And I keep on wishing for a happy ending with more answers…. I’m heartbroken.

  • Paulette Andria Hamilton

    i just watched the series on netflix, and I must say yes i cried at the ending but I believe its something in the British writers DNA not to give the audience a happy ending to its main character Merlin and I despise shows that do open to interpretation non ending. great article though.

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