One Hypable staff member shares their thoughts on the Merlin finale, examining the emotional conclusion of the Merlin and Arthur relationship and why BBC got it exactly right.

I feel like Merlin should have been prefaced with, “This is not a love story. This is a story about love,” 500 Days of Summer-style.

I never shipped Merthur. I fell for the Arthur/Gwen pairing the first time Arthur said “Guine-vere” in that way that he did, and I was happy to see them finally overcome the obstacles and get married. But romance was never really what Merlin was about, and I was always more keen on the medieval world, the complicated family ties, the camaraderie of the knights, and the downfall of Morgana. Merlin and Arthur’s friendship was great, but I never saw it as more than just another aspect of the show.

But then the finale happened, and I realised that I had been wrong. Because what the show’s send-off ended up being was not the epic, fast-paced battle I had anticipated, but rather a quietly personal, intimate string of scenes between the two main characters, with everyone else mainly sidelined or dispatched of without much fanfare (with the exception of Guinevere, who got a beautiful sendoff as she took the throne of Camelot) – and that was exactly how this story had to end.

Merlin The Diamond of the Day, Part 2 finale Colin MorganMerlin was never about Arthur and Gwen, or Morgana, or the knights. It wasn’t even about Arthur. All of that was important to the story, yes, and to the legend it was based on, but as enjoyable as those elements were, they were not the core of the show. BBC’s Merlin was, above all else, a story about Merlin’s feelings for Arthur: the friendship, the loyalty, the devotion – and yes, the love.

I am not going to psychoanalyse a fictional character and speculate about what Merlin may or may not have been feeling for Arthur at any given time – and anyway, I bet there are probably a lot of fans better suited to that particular task than I am. Let’s just all agree that he was feeling for Arthur in whatever capacity, and that this, ultimately, was what shaped his path and the direction of the show.

Merlin came to Camelot, met Arthur, and despised him. Merlin met the Great Dragon and thought, damn, I have to protect the idiot who hates me. And Merlin came to slowly realise that Arthur not only didn’t hate him, but needed him in his life. He needed his magic, yes, but Arthur never knew about that. From Arthur’s point of view, he just needed Merlin. Their destiny may have been written in stone, but their tentative friendship and grudging affection for each other had to come from themselves – and we watched them build that up for five frustrating seasons.

Merlin Arthur dies the diamond of the day finale bbcAlexander Vlahos described the finale as a “platonic love story” between Merlin and Arthur. And that is exactly what it was. The entire show was like a classic “will-they-won’t-they,” except rather than building towards some predictable final scene with loud, swelling music and a formulaic kiss in the rain, Merlin was building towards a far more complex conclusion; one which involved both men accepting the other for nothing less or more than what they were, and acknowledging that there was no one they would rather be with, at the end of all things.

And the final episode saw the culmination of that love story, and it was everything it needed to be and more. If this truly had been a romance, it would have been like the end of Casablanca, The Notebook and Pride and Prejudice all rolled into one – but it wasn’t a romance, it was something far more permanent and all-encompassing than that.

When all else had been stripped away, we were left with Merlin and Arthur. With Arthur dying in Merlin’s arms, looking into Merlin’s eyes, telling him to, “Just hold me.” And instead of goodbye, it was “thank you.” While there was a lot left unsaid between them, and a lot of things Arthur never got to do, he died peacefully in the arms of someone who loved him.

It was Merlin who would be left alone, just as he had always been, and therein lay the true tragedy. But the dragon brought him that small, tiny speck of hope which proved once and for all that Arthur was the only thing which ever truly mattered to Merlin: “This is not the end. Arthur will rise again.”

And so, thousands of years later, Merlin is still at Avalon. He is still waiting for Arthur. “I was born to serve you,” he had told him once, and so it would always be. “Stay with me,” he had begged, but Arthur hadn’t been able to. Instead, Merlin had stayed with Arthur.

Merlin Arthur The Diamond of the Day, Part 2 finale

This isn’t about shipping. It isn’t about romance and whether or not you see it. And if anyone is rolling their eyes thinking, “god, get over the Merthur already,” you’ve been watching the wrong show. There’s nothing to read into here, there’s no “head canon” or other fandom conjecture. There was only the raw, honest story which the Merlin writers were brave enough to tell exactly as it should be told, and which the actors handled with commendable grace and integrity.

The legend of King Arthur is one of the greatest stories ever told. And Merlin took that story and told it in an even better way. Because it was not just a story of Merlin and Arthur’s friendship, nor of knighthood and chivalry and magic and that romanticised, longed-for golden age of Britain.

This was a story of Merlin and Arthur’s relationship coming full circle. It was a story of their joint destiny, of the fact that even death could not separate them, and of the fact that they would always find each other. And there can be no greater story than that, nor one more worth telling.

Forget Romeo and Juliet. Forget Jack and Rose. Forget Frodo and Sam. Forget Buffy and Angel. Nothing, nothing will ever be as tragically, beautifully heartbreaking as Merlin and Arthur.

“You’re not going to say goodbye,” Merlin told him. “No, no,” Arthur replied. And neither of them ever did.

The upcoming 25th anniversary edition of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast includes a couple of first looks at next year’s live-action adaptation.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been a quarter of a century since the animated Beauty and the Beast hit movie theaters. To celebrate the occasion Disney is putting out an anniversary edition, and its special features section includes a treat: Our first look at Cogsworth and Lumière in the live-action installment, as well as a glimpse of a scene within Gaston’s tavern.

As confirmed by producer Jack Morrissey on Facebook, this photo of Cogsworth (played by Ian McKellen) and Lumière (Ewan McGregor) is concept art, but it gives us a sense of the style that director Bill Condon is shooting for:

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The upcoming 25th anniversary edition of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast includes a couple of first looks at next year’s live-action adaptation.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been a quarter of a century since the animated Beauty and the Beast hit movie theaters. To celebrate the occasion Disney is putting out an anniversary edition, and its special features section includes a treat: Our first look at Cogsworth and Lumière in the live-action installment, as well as a glimpse of a scene within Gaston’s tavern.

As confirmed by producer Jack Morrissey on Facebook, this photo of Cogsworth (played by Ian McKellen) and Lumière (Ewan McGregor) is concept art, but it gives us a sense of the style that director Bill Condon is shooting for:

cogsworth-lumiere-live-action-beauty-and-the-beast

While it’s nice to finally see a glimpse of a couple of the characters, a big question remains unanswered: How will these objects look once they have faces on them? (Cogsworth’s face might be hinted at in the center of the clock.)

Also on the Beauty and the Beast 25th Anniversary Edition is a shot from the the “Gaston” musical number. From left to right we see Alexis Loizon as Stanley, Josh Gad as LeFou (just over Gaston’s shoulder), and Luke Evans (with his back to the camera) as Gaston.

live-action-beauty-and-the-beast-gaston

Update: And here’s another look at the movie, courtesy of this person on Twitter — this time we get to see Dan Stevens as human Beast!

human-beast-dan-stevens

We’ll be curious to get our hands on the anniversary edition in September, because we expect we’ll see more from the new movie than the two stills above.

Disney released the first trailer for the live-action Beauty and the Beast in May. It was very much a teaser trailer, as it didn’t provide any looks at the characters — except Belle (Emma Watson), appearing through the glass casing protecting the film’s iconic rose.

In fact, the trailer’s first looks at the various settings (Namely the Beast’s castle) fell in line with the visual style we see in the above concept art.

Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens hit theaters March 17, 2017.

Apple — always one to push the boundaries by simplifying their products as much as possible — is reportedly looking to remove the all-important Home button in next year’s new iPhone.

Apple loves making their products as simple as possible. The iPod was a success because of how clean it looked compared to other MP3 players. With Apple TV, Steve Jobs bragged about how few buttons the device’s remote had.

But since 2007, every new iPhone has had the same number of physical buttons, switches, and ports: A ringer switch, a lock button, volume up/down buttons, a USB port, and a headphone jack.

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Apple — always one to push the boundaries by simplifying their products as much as possible — is reportedly looking to remove the all-important Home button in next year’s new iPhone.

Apple loves making their products as simple as possible. The iPod was a success because of how clean it looked compared to other MP3 players. With Apple TV, Steve Jobs bragged about how few buttons the device’s remote had.

But since 2007, every new iPhone has had the same number of physical buttons, switches, and ports: A ringer switch, a lock button, volume up/down buttons, a USB port, and a headphone jack.

That changes next month, when Apple is expected to announce that the iPhone 7 will be lacking a headphone jack. Instead, users will be listening to music via the Lightning port (which you currently use to charge and sync your iPhone).

And for 2017, Apple will reportedly go one step further by removing the Home button.

Ah, the Home button. It’s always been there for us — it’s our captain for navigating the iPhone. We use it to switch between apps, we use it to get to our Home screen, we use it to summon Siri, and we use it to read our finger print. Back in the “old days,” we used it to force quit apps when they froze on us.

In a new report, Bloomberg says Apple is planning to remove the Home button for the 2017 iPhone, which will presumably be called iPhone 7s. It’s billed as a “major redesign of the iPhone for 2017 that focuses more heavily on the display.”

Previous rumor mill reports have suggested that Apple will ditch the Home button in order to decrease the size of the top top and bottom bezels, thereby making the phone not as tall, or using the freed up space to add more screen.

Here’s a mock up of what that could look like, via TapSmart:

borderlessmockup1

What remains unclear is how users will be able to unlock and navigate their iPhone without the Home button. Reports have suggested that the whole screen will serve as a TouchID surface and a Home button (using the 3D Touch feature Apple launched last year).

Interestingly, next month’s release of iOS 10 will introduce a new way to unlock your iPhone: You’ll have to press down on the Home button to activate an unlocking. Previously, all you had to do was rest your finger on the Home button while your lock screen was awake.

Disney is making another live-action movie, and this time it’s James and the Giant Peach, to be developed by Director Sam Mendes.

To refresh your memory, James and the Giant Peach is the terrifying delightful children’s movie directed by Henry Selick and based off of the Roald Dahl story. It features nightmare-inducing adorable stop-motion animated bugs that helped James float away from his mean aunts in a — you guessed it — giant peach.

The original film was an interesting mix of live-action characters in the beginning and at the end, with stop-motion animated sequences throughout the middle.

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Disney is making another live-action movie, and this time it’s James and the Giant Peach, to be developed by Director Sam Mendes.

To refresh your memory, James and the Giant Peach is the terrifying delightful children’s movie directed by Henry Selick and based off of the Roald Dahl story. It features nightmare-inducing adorable stop-motion animated bugs that helped James float away from his mean aunts in a — you guessed it — giant peach.

The original film was an interesting mix of live-action characters in the beginning and at the end, with stop-motion animated sequences throughout the middle.

Now, according to Deadline, Disney is developing an all-live-action remake of the film. Nick Hornby will write the script, while Joe Roth is in negotiations to sign on as a producer.

If Mendes’ name sounds familiar, it’s because he directed the last two James Bond features, both Skyfall and Spectre, as well as 1999’s American Beauty.

You can check out the trailer for the horrifying original film below:

As of late, Disney has been announcing live-action versions of its properties left and right, including The Nutcracker (which has a huge cast of well-known actors), The Little Mermaid (with Lin-Manuel Miranda attached to help write the music), Beauty and the Beast (starring Emma Watson), and Cruella (starring Emma Stone), among others.

With the amount of remakes — especially in the live-action department — it’s no wonder James and the giant Peach is the latest to be announced.

Do you want to see a live-action ‘James and the Giant Peach’ movie?