Following the shocking news that Merlin’s fifth season would be its last, we have issued a response to the way the BBC handled this announcement.

Dear BBC,

How have you been? We haven’t spoken since last night, and we kind of feel like we left it on a bitter note – but what did you expect? Five years, we devoted to you. Five years of laughter, tears, fights, frustration, and yeah, there were some secrets. But we made it work, didn’t we? We had some good times.

It’s not that you’re leaving us. That is upsetting, yes, but not for the reasons you might think. The fact that Merlin is ending after five great seasons is not at all unexpected, and we totally get that the show is reaching its natural conclusion. As they say, all good things must come to an end, and we all know it’s better to end something wonderful on a high note than to string us along when your heart isn’t really in it anymore.

But after five years, we deserved better than this. Sure, we saw the warning signs, but there was still hope. Hope for a future together with movies and magic, and you shouldn’t have led us on this way if you knew that this was the end.

Getting word that your favorite show is ending for good a mere five episodes before it’s big finale? Well, that’s just kind of like abruptly being dumped by a boyfriend you were completely head over heels in love with – via text message. Or status update, for all your friends to see and pity, but you don’t even notice it’s there until the morning after. It kind of makes you feel like you were always the person who loved them more, especially since they didn’t even have the decency to break it off up front and face to face.

Merlin is a facebook break-up

What saddens us most is not that the end is near, rather that we feel we haven’t had a proper chance to prepare. We as a fandom haven’t had time to process, haven’t had time to accept it. We haven’t had time to TRULY understand and figure out how to say goodbye to a show that we have become so emotionally invested in – to characters who are noble, brave, and loyal – characters we’ve all come to know and love.

Maybe it would have been different if we had been told up front from the very first episode of season 5 that Merlin would see its end for good in this season’s two-part series finale. Sure, when the time came, we still would have been sad to say goodbye to the world of Camelot you’ve created over the past five years, but the point of the matter is, we would have had 13 episodes to get used to the idea – a proper amount of time to accept and understand and figure out how to let go in our own way.

This is what ABC did with Lost. It’s what Fox is doing with Fringe. We don’t mean to compare what we share to the love between other networks and their viewerships, but you need to understand why we feel so jilted. When you build up a relationship with someone, you expect that they communicate with you. Surely the secrets between Arthur and Merlin have shown us all that secrecy is a Bad Thing?

We can’t help but feel like you might have known all along that season 5 would be Merlin’s last. After all, the showrunners have been hinting as much for a while, even while telling us to stay optimistic about a sixth season. But if you knew all along, why keep it a secret for this long? Why wait for season 5 to be well over its midway point to let us know? Truth be told, we feel a bit cheated and strung along.

The shocking news that Merlin is ending automatically brings to mind a series of questions and concerns:

Can the show and all its character arcs be wrapped up in a mere five episodes?

In the interest of full disclosure, we’re having trouble believing that it can at the moment. Right now we’ve got Morgana and Gwen in the middle of another plot against Camelot, which will need at least another episode to resolve. We’ve got Merlin spiraling down a pit of depression and anger, and Arthur still needs to learn about his magic. Then there’s the prophecy with Mordred, and the dragons, and oh yeah, uniting all of Albion!

Will Merlin’s big magic reveal get the attention and credit it deserves?

We sure hope so. Considering the show has always been about Merlin’s secret and Arthur finding out, we hope that this crucial part of the story isn’t rushed, or brushed over via a flashforward or a montage. And don’t forget that Morgana still needs to realise that Merlin is Emrys, too!

Will we see a shift in Arthur’s character? One that makes us believe that he has truly accepted the idea of magic and therefore Merlin?

Again, hard to imagine considering that we have been led to believe that as of where he stands in episode 8, Arthur still seems to have a long way to go before he is at a place where magic can once again reign free in Camelot. But this is what the show has been building towards for five years, isn’t it?

What about destiny?

The series can basically end one of two ways: either Arthur dies, or he doesn’t. It’s not for us to say which way would be best, because (surprise!) we didn’t write the show, but ultimately this will determine whether Merlin ends happily or if we’re going to be left very depressed come Christmas. But before Arthur’s big Mordred confrontation, surely he needs to become the great king everyone’s telling him to be and which for whatever reason he isn’t yet? This brings us back to our first question. Five episodes. How?

Will there be a movie?

We still don’t know! The comments made by the actors make it very evident that they have bowed out already, and aren’t expecting to return to the series. But you did talk about re-boots, and there still needs to be some kind of announcement about that. Surely?

But hey. When all is said and done, we still love you, Merlin. You’ll always have a special place in our hearts. Now though, that place will be tinged with bitterness, and that is such a shame. We feel like this could have been handled with a lot more care for a truly wonderful, devoted fan base who was ready to stand behind you until the very end – if you’d let them. Hopefully the writers were given enough notice about the show’s impending end to wrap it all up satisfactorily, but if they knew, why couldn’t we have known? Why not give us time to prepare? It still doesn’t make sense.

And considering they were beginning to plan out a movie trilogy, we can’t help but worry about the amount of story that will be left to tell. Again, unless the story gets wrapped up with a montage. Please don’t do a montage. Seriously, we’re begging you– it would break our hearts and at this point, that’s really saying something.

Goodbye. It’s been fun, and we’re not gonna lie, we were kind of hoping we could be together forever. Good luck with all of your future endeavors – put your keys under the doormat when you leave, and don’t try to call. There’s this cute guy down the street called the Doctor who has been very reliable through this trying time, and we’ll be needing his shoulder to cry on.

Excuse us while we go put “Someone Like You” on a loop and reflect on whether we’ll ever be able to trust and love again.

20 Frodo and Bilbo Baggins quotes to sweep you off your feet

Alive or dead dragons, I wouldn't dare laugh at either.

11:30 am EDT, September 22, 2016

It’s Hobbit Day, aka Frodo and Bilbo Baggins’ birthday! To celebrate, we’ve got the wittiest, wisest, and best Frodo and Bilbo quotes from all four books.

Best Frodo and Bilbo quotes:

  1. “We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can’t think what anybody sees in them.”
    – Bilbo, The Hobbit, An Unexpected Party
  2. Frodo: “‘Frodo wouldn’t have got far without Sam, would he, dad?'”
    Sam: “Now, Mr. Frodo, you shouldn’t make fun. I was serious.”
    Frodo: “So was I.”
    – Frodo and Sam, The Two Towers, The Stairs of Cirith Ungol
  3. “Victory after all, I suppose! Well, it seems a very gloomy business.”
    – Bilbo, The Hobbit, The Return Journey
  4. frodo-baggins-sam-quotes

  5. “I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam.”
    – Frodo, The Return of the King, Mount Doom
  6. “Farewell, King under the Mountain! This is a bitter adventure, if it must end so; and not a mountain of gold can amend it. Yet I am glad that I have shared in your perils – that has been more than any Baggins deserves.”
    – Bilbo, The Hobbit, The Return Journey
  7. “Short cuts make delays, but inns make longer ones.”
    – Frodo, The Fellowship of the Ring, A Short Cut to Mushrooms
  8. “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
    – Bilbo, The Fellowship of the Ring, A Long Expected Party
  9. “There is no real going back. Though I may come to the Shire it will not seem the same; for I shall not be the same. I am wounded with knife, sting, and tooth, and a long burden. Where shall I find rest?”
    – Frodo, The Return of the King, Homeward Bound
  10. the-hobbit-bilbo-baggins-quotes-dragons

Read full article

It’s Hobbit Day, aka Frodo and Bilbo Baggins’ birthday! To celebrate, we’ve got the wittiest, wisest, and best Frodo and Bilbo quotes from all four books.

Best Frodo and Bilbo quotes:

  1. “We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can’t think what anybody sees in them.”
    – Bilbo, The Hobbit, An Unexpected Party
  2. Frodo: “‘Frodo wouldn’t have got far without Sam, would he, dad?'”
    Sam: “Now, Mr. Frodo, you shouldn’t make fun. I was serious.”
    Frodo: “So was I.”
    – Frodo and Sam, The Two Towers, The Stairs of Cirith Ungol
  3. “Victory after all, I suppose! Well, it seems a very gloomy business.”
    – Bilbo, The Hobbit, The Return Journey
  4. frodo-baggins-sam-quotes

  5. “I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam.”
    – Frodo, The Return of the King, Mount Doom
  6. “Farewell, King under the Mountain! This is a bitter adventure, if it must end so; and not a mountain of gold can amend it. Yet I am glad that I have shared in your perils – that has been more than any Baggins deserves.”
    – Bilbo, The Hobbit, The Return Journey
  7. “Short cuts make delays, but inns make longer ones.”
    – Frodo, The Fellowship of the Ring, A Short Cut to Mushrooms
  8. “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
    – Bilbo, The Fellowship of the Ring, A Long Expected Party
  9. “There is no real going back. Though I may come to the Shire it will not seem the same; for I shall not be the same. I am wounded with knife, sting, and tooth, and a long burden. Where shall I find rest?”
    – Frodo, The Return of the King, Homeward Bound
  10. the-hobbit-bilbo-baggins-quotes-dragons

  11. “Never laugh at live dragons, Bilbo you fool!”
    – Bilbo to himself, The Hobbit, Inside Information
  12. “Yes, you have seen a thing or two since you last peeped out of a looking-glass.”
    – Frodo to himself, The Fellowship of the Ring, Many Meetings
  13. “Bother burgling and everything to do with it! I wish I was at home in my nice hole by the fire, with the kettle just beginning to sing!”
    – Bilbo, The Hobbit, Roast Mutton
  14. “It is useless to meet revenge with revenge: it will heal nothing.”
    – Frodo, The Return of the King, The Scouring of the Shire
  15. “‘It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,” he used to say. ‘You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no telling where you might be swept off to.'”
    – Frodo quoting Bilbo, The Fellowship of the Ring, Three is Company
  16. lotr-frodo-baggins-quotes-i-will-take-the-ring

  17. “I will take the Ring, though I do not know the way.”
    – Frodo, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Council of Elrond
  18. “So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their ending!”
    – Bilbo, The Hobbit, The Return Journey
  19. “I can manage it. I must.”
    – Frodo, The Return of the King, Mount Doom
  20. “Sorry! I don’t want any adventures, thank you. Not today. Good morning! But please come to tea – any time you like! Why not tomorrow? Come tomorrow! Good-bye!”
    – Bilbo, The Hobbit, An Unexpected Party
  21. “It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them.”
    – Frodo, The Return of the King, The Grey Havens
  22. bilbo-baggins-quotes-wander-are-lost

  23. “All that is gold does not glitter,
    Not all those who wander are lost.”
    – Bilbo, The Fellowship of the Ring, Strider
  24. “I should like to leave the Shire, if I could – though there have been times when I thought the inhabitants too stupid and dull for words, and have felt that an earthquake or an invasion of dragons might be good for them. But I don’t feel like that now. I feel that as long as the Shire lies behind, safe and comfortable, I shall find wandering more bearable: I shall know that somewhere there is a firm foothold, even if my feet cannot stand there again.”
    – Frodo, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Shadow of the Past

Tell us your favorite Frodo and Bilbo quotes in the comments!

With one reason for every inning of America’s pastime, here’s why you’ve got to watch Pitch — the story of Ginny Baker, the first female major league baseball player.

1. Ginny is a badass

It sounds tropey, but it’s true. Kylie Bunbury’s Ginny Baker is everything you could want in such a singular protagonist. Confident and strong, yet vulnerable in her impassivity, Ginny’s physical and emotional capabilities are quickly established — and just as quickly challenged.

Ginny humanizes the superhuman aura that surrounds high-level athletes, while never losing the essential strength that makes her a great ballplayer, and a badass character.

Read full article

With one reason for every inning of America’s pastime, here’s why you’ve got to watch Pitch — the story of Ginny Baker, the first female major league baseball player.

1. Ginny is a badass

It sounds tropey, but it’s true. Kylie Bunbury’s Ginny Baker is everything you could want in such a singular protagonist. Confident and strong, yet vulnerable in her impassivity, Ginny’s physical and emotional capabilities are quickly established — and just as quickly challenged.

Ginny humanizes the superhuman aura that surrounds high-level athletes, while never losing the essential strength that makes her a great ballplayer, and a badass character.

2. It’s a baseball TV show!

While there have been a handful of baseball-related television shows in the past (and CBS tried to launch a series based on A League of Their Own back in 1993), the sport has mostly been colonized by film. But baseball is its own long-form story, stretching out almost daily for 162 games a year. A week-by-week look into the evolving narrative of a baseball season just screams TV, and Pitch is ready to deliver.

3. Ginny isn’t a ‘smurfette’

Ginny Baker steps into a world so thoroughly dominated by men that it would have been easy to cast her as the only significant female in the series. Pitch deftly avoids that trap, supporting Ginny with her firecracker agent Amelia Slater (Ali Larter) and a strong friendship with her teammate’s wife Evelyn (Meagan Holder). Pitch isn’t just about girl power, but it’s got plenty to offer.

4. It’s an inside look at professional sports

It’s tempting, as fans, to reduce the sport we love to what happens on the field, restricting the narrative to the winners (and losers), but Pitch dives into the business around baseball, from the vise-like pressure of media attention to the front office politics that are so often shrouded in mystery.

Slick general manager Oscar Arguella (Mark Consuelos) covers the ground between team manager Al Luongo (Dan Lauria) and the Padre’s owner, while players carefully observe the shifting values of their team. Winning, Pitch makes clear, is as much a product of what happens off the diamond as on it.

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5. It’s got drama

Pitch does more than use baseball as a backdrop (this isn’t Moneyball writ small), but it’s not just concerned with balls, bats, and cleats. Professionalism only goes so far where major social change is concerned, and the Padres clubhouse quickly becomes a source of tension between Ginny and many of her teammates. That’s in addition to the family drama Ginny brings with her — which, trust us, is a lot more intense than it seems.

6. The music is amazing

Forget “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Opening with a pulse-pounding synth violin, the music of Pitch takes off into a realm of unique, intense, and captivating tunes. Even if Ginny’s badassery doesn’t inspire you to get off your couch, the show’s music just might.

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7. It’s really diverse!

Pitch boasts a diverse cast of characters, reflecting the reality of modern baseball, as well as… well, reality. Ginny herself is African-American, and half the main cast is made up of people of color. It doesn’t seem like race will be a central subject in Pitch, but the show’s makeup is a valuable addition to a television landscape that values representation.

8. It’s deeply psychological

For a show about sports, and therefore, about physical bodies, Pitch takes its time to consider what goes on inside the heads of athletes under pressure. From the fishbowl scrutiny of a stadium full of fans, to the grueling mental toll of becoming the best, Pitch cares as much about what’s going on inside Ginny’s head as what’s going on with her arm.

9. ‘Pitch’ lets us imagine, “What if?”

As it stands today, Pitch is not a realistic series. There are little to no avenues for women to grow in professional baseball; though girls can play Little League, those who wish to pursue the sport are usually shunted to softball.

But Pitch invites us to imagine an unrestricted future for women in baseball. What if a girl had enough talent and grit to make it? What if the system let her through? What if she used finesse instead to succeed in a sport of brute strength?

It’s not a reality yet. But maybe someday life will imitate this truly groundbreaking art.

Pitch premieres tonight at 9:00 p.m. on Fox.

What are you excited to see in ‘Pitch’?

Finally, J.K. Rowling is here to give you the definitive answer to the age old Harry Potter fan question: What is your Patronus?

We got a Hogwarts House quiz. Then we got another Hogwarts House quiz. Then we found our Ilvermorny house, and now — at last — J.K. Rowling’s official Patronus quiz is live on Pottermore.

Note that the quiz parameters are very strictly defined: The quiz itself is timed, and you can only take it once (per account). So make sure you’re ready before you start! Good luck.

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Finally, J.K. Rowling is here to give you the definitive answer to the age old Harry Potter fan question: What is your Patronus?

We got a Hogwarts House quiz. Then we got another Hogwarts House quiz. Then we found our Ilvermorny house, and now — at last — J.K. Rowling’s official Patronus quiz is live on Pottermore.

Note that the quiz parameters are very strictly defined: The quiz itself is timed, and you can only take it once (per account). So make sure you’re ready before you start! Good luck.

When J.K. Rowling took the test a while back, her answer was a pine marten. I actually got this result as well! But apparently, Jo is allowed to take the quiz multiple times (which, you know, fair enough, she did make up this quiz + everything else we’re obsessing about), and this time she got a heron. Anyone else get a heron like Jo?

The quiz results seem to vary greatly. We’re not sure exactly how many different results there are, but other fans are reporting a wide variety of animals lynxes, chow dogs, wildcats, white and chestnut stallions, dolphins, leopards, St Bernard dogs, orangutans, tortoiseshell cats, foxes, weasels… you name it, this quiz has it! Unfortunately Pottermore doesn’t give any information about what these animals represent, though we are to imagine they somehow connect to our happiest memories.

In a press release, Pottermore says there’s more to come about “[the Patronus spell] and its outcomes.” In addition, they’ve confirmed there are magical creatures in the quiz, but they’re rare.

The quiz is very fun, and different from anything else we’ve tried on Pottermore so far. Instead of simply answering questions it’s all very intuitive, as you journey through a forest, and encouraging words (that we like to imagine are from Professor Lupin) about your progress in casting the spell.

Some people will find that the process is relatively straightforward, while others might be prompted to answer a few more questions before they get their final result.

Take the quiz right now, and come back here to share your results in the comments!

What is a Patronus?

In the Harry Potter series, the Patronus is a wispy creature that emerges from a witch or wizard’s wand when they cast the “Expecto Patronum” charm.

The creature serves as a manifestation of your happiest memory, and is summoned to ward off evil forces. It’s very hard to produce a Patronus, and it was therefore very remarkable when Harry learned to do it in his third year, when he used it to save Sirius Black from the Dementors.

Harry Potter’s Patronus is a stag, which was his father James’ Animagus form (the animal he turned into when he transformed). Lily Evans’ Patronus was a doe, which fit perfectly with James’ stag — but as Severus Snape loved Lily, too, his Patronus was also a doe.

In fifth year, Harry taught the Patronus charm to the members of Dumbledore’s Army. Hermione’s was an otter, Ron’s was a Jack Russell terrier, Ginny’s was a horse, Luna’s was a hare, and Cho’s was a swan. Clearly, there are as many different results to the Patronus quiz as there are variations of the charm in the Wizarding World.

Not satisfied with your quiz result?

If J.K. Rowling’s own Patronus quiz didn’t give you the answer you wanted, well… that’s canon for you, right? But we’ve still got a fun alternative: Find out which of these bizarre creatures is your true Patronus, and compare the results!