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.

Barnes & Noble has announced that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is already a gigantic hit. In fact, it’s the most pre-ordered book since Deathly Hallows.

It’s been 9 years since J.K. Rowling publsihed Deathly Hallows in the summer of 2007, but Harry Potter fans are evidently still eager for more stories from the Wizarding World. In a press release on Monday, the biggest book chain in the United States revealed that they haven’t seen pre-orders this huge since the last Harry Potter book.

deathly-hallows-book-cover

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is Barnes & Noble’s most pre-ordered book since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and we expect it to be our biggest selling book of the year,” said Mary Amicucci, Chief Merchandising Officer at Barnes & Noble in a press release. “To guarantee that our customers get the new Harry Potter book as quickly as possible, Barnes & Noble is the only national retailer that’s guaranteeing delivery of the book on August 1, for both online and ship-to-home pre-orders placed by noon ET on Friday, July 29. Our booksellers are also preparing to host big crowds for our signature Midnight Magic parties on July 30.”

If you’ve passed by a brick and mortar Barnes & Noble in the past few months you’ve probably seen the heavy promotion they’ve been doing. Headers that state “HARRY POTTER IS BACK” will clearly entice people to pre-order.


HARRY POTTER IS BACK! (Spotted at a Barnes & Noble) #harrypotterforever #harrypotter

A photo posted by Hypable.com (@hypable) on

In a report from the Wall Street Journal earlier this month we learned that Scholastic was printing 4.5 million copies of “the eighth story” for the United States and Canada. This is a far cry from the 12 million printed for Deathly Hallows, but still a very large print run for a book in modern times. (Also worth noting: Many readers have switched to eBooks in the years since Deathly Hallows.)

It’s nice to see that Harry Potter fans haven’t lost their interest in the series. Perhaps the success will inspire J.K. Rowling to continue writing within Harry’s world?

The book has also been a huge success on Amazon. The Cursed Child has sat at the top of the online retailer’s bestseller list for months.

Hypable will have lots of coverage surrounding The Cursed Child once it’s released this weekend. Stay tuned! AHHHH!

Sherlock finally made it to Hall H at Comic-Con and the creative team brought a few surprises. Steven Moffatt, Sue Vertue, Mark Gatiss, Amanda Abbington, and Benedict Cumberbatch were on hand to the thrill of fans.

Benedict Cumberbatch and crew definitely know how to work a crowd. Here are the top highlights of the panel that played to a crowd of thousands.

1. Season 4

They are currently two weeks from finishing Sherlock season 4. Cumberbatch said that “a lot comes home to roost this season… it’s ballsy.”

They have 26 pages to film this Tuesday. Cumberbatch states that the monologues are very challenging and take a lot of work.

As for actors’ favorite lines this season:

Gatiss: “Sherlock.”

Abington: Not a line but a beckoning gesture.

Cumberbatch: Can’t say.

Key names for next season (change from doing key words):

  • Moffat: Smith
  • Gatiss: Thatcher
  • Vertue: Sherinford

2. Keeping the show fresh

By not making as many episodes, the creators feel they actually keep the quality. They joked that under normal standards they’ve actually made about half a season of a standard TV show, or 13 episodes.

There are no plans for any other Victorian Era shows. Moffat feels that it would be less interesting if the mind palace returned there.

3. Learning curves and drugs

Gatiss stated that with 90-minute episodes you “really have to put [Sherlock and Watson] through the ringer.” Moffat added that because of this, Watson has to evolve. Watson can’t keep being amazed by Sherlock. As for Sherlock, “he can’t be the weird scary amoral man we met in the first episode… geniuses learn… he has to learn.”

Sherlock’s drug addiction comes back when he is not working. It’s hinted that the addiction will be a bigger issue this season than in the past.

4. The coat and the hair

There is apparently a big debate every year over changing the iconic coat. Sue Vertue wants to change it, and Steven Moffat wants to keep it. Benedict Cumberbatch dove into the debate stating, “I’m quite hung up on the coat…. but sometimes it has to come off.” The audience reaction was predictable.

Cumberbatch joked that he loved playing Sherlock in the Victorian era because of the slicked back hair. In the modern era it takes forever for his hair to get done. On a serious note, he loved the more straight-laced, clipped version of Sherlock.

5. First ‘Sherlock’ season 4 trailer

The teaser trailer featured this phrase over and over: “Something’s coming. It may be Moriarity, maybe not.” Literally every character we know and love looks like they are scared, angry, or worried on an epic scale.

One of the best moments is Mrs. Hudson saying with supreme venom to Mycroft, “Get out of my house you reptile.” Watch below:

6. Improv and family

There is actually, according to Cumberbatch, very little improvisation on set. It’s about how to do what’s there, and not messing with the script. He firmly believes that what is there is what is needed for the show.

Cumberbatch genuinely loves having his mom and dad play his TV mom and dad. Every now and then he can see his mother struggle to call him “Sherlock” and not “Ben.”

7. Mary in the know

Abbington didn’t know she was an assassin until well into the last season. When she found out, she told partner Martin Freeman, “My God, [the fans] are going to hate me.” Despite this, she loves the flawed characters of the series.

8. When will the series return?

No date was given for either the BBC release date or the PBS release date. We only know that it will premiere in 2017.

9. The dog photo

According to Cumberbatch the dog (depicted above) was a nightmare. “The dog wouldn’t fucking move,” he said. The companion was supposed to drag Sherlock all over London, but the dog didn’t like people, concrete, crowds… really anything about an urban setting.

Moffat and Gatiss resorted to writing a new scene on the spot to account for the lack of the dog’s interest in roaming. According to Gatiss all it did was drool on the concrete.

10. Future seasons?

Touching on the future of the series, Moffat stated, “Why is everybody assuming they survive season 4?” Gatiss joked, “We’re skipping season 5 and doing season 6.”

Moffat clarified that — contrary to recent reports — he never said that this season would be the last one (He’s right: All he said was the schedules of Cumberbatch and Freeman are only getting more difficult to work with). Gatiss added that they want to do more seasons, and they hope that they are able to.

Sherlock will be back in 2017. What do you think of the first season 4 trailer?

Marvel presented at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday evening and offered new looks at Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and more.

“We only want to come to Hall H when we have a lot to show you,” teased Marvel’s Kevin Feige at the start of the panel. Indeed, they had a ton to offer — including news of a new Marvel theme park attraction!

Everything we’ve learned at Marvel’s SDCC panel

  1. Marvel kicked off their panel with a new logo and updated fanfare by composer Michael Giacchino.

  2. Black Panther had some casting news to share: Lupita N’yongo will be playing one of the guards at Wakanda named Nakia. Meanwhile, Michael B. Jordan will be playing Erik Killmonger. We also received brand new casting news: Danai Gurira has joined the movie — She’ll play Okoye, head of Dora Milaje! Finally, a new logo for the film was revealed:

    black-panther-logo-sdcc-2016

  3. Thor: Ragnarok unveiled a behind-the-scenes look at the new film which included a look at Cate Blanchett as Hela. They also showed a documentary-style clip (think The Office) explaining where Hulk and Thor were during the events of Captain America: Civil War! In it, Thor had a tiny bed for Mjolnir and a crime board that tried to connect the Infinity Stones and discover their purpose. There is also mugshot of Loki. Like Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok had a new logo to show off with a retro looking subtitle:

    thor-ragnorak-new-logo-sdcc-2016

  4. Doctor Strange’s portion of the panel kicked off with a smoke and laser show to introduce Benedict Cumberbatch.

    Tilda Swinton was also at the panel and spoke about the Ancient One. “The truth is, anyone can be The Ancient One,” she said. A clip from Doctor Strange was also showed in which Steven Strange meets Tilda’s character (It won’t be online).

  5. Thankfully, a brand new and wholly epic Doctor Strange trailer was released. Watch below:

    A new poster was also unveiled:

    doctor-strange-sdcc-poster

  6. Next up was Spider-Man: Homecoming. Director Jon Watts described the film as a high school movie about a 15-year-old Peter Parker who’s in the 10th grade. A new clip was unveiled and had a strong John Hughes vibe — Peter Parker is just your average high schooler trying to get through the day. There was also this great moment:

  7. Next up: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which kicks off a few months after the first movie. The entire cast was there to introduce a new scene in which a very adorable Baby Groot helps Yondu and Rocket break out of prison. Baby Groot even has a little outfit! Adorably, the Ravengers — who captured Yondu and Rocket — refuse to hurt Baby Groot because of how cute he is.

    This movie got a new logo as well.

    guardians-of-the-galaxy-sequel-new-logo

  8. Speaking of Marvel’s space dramedy, the studio also confirmed rumors of a Guardians of the Galaxy theme park attraction. It’s called Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! and debuts Summer 2017 at Disneyland’s California Adventure theme park. Sadly, it’s replacing the classic Tower of Terror ride. Check out a behind the scenes video of the attraction:

  9. Marvel ended their panel by confirming that Brie Larson will play Captain Marvel, as was previously rumored. She took the stage to say hi to the adoring audience, and participated in a giant Marvel selfie:

All in all, Marvel had a ton to share. What do you think of all the developments?