Hype Podcast

Hype’s ‘Merlin’ Special #2 – Valiant & The Mark of Nimueh

Hosted by Selina Wilken, Pamela Gocobachi

February 5, 2018

Join the ladies of Hype Podcast as we take a deep dive into Merlin 1×02 “Valiant” and 1×03 “The Mark of Nimueh.”

If you like what you hear, consider supporting Hype Podcast on Patreon with $2 a month for even more pop culture content and special features, including Merlin-related bonus discussions.

Welcome to the second episode of our Merlin rewatch! If you’ve been following along on our weekly regular show, you’ll know taking a deep dive into BBC’s beloved Arthurian Legend series (just like we’ve done with Gilmore Girls and The 100 is something we’ve been wanting to do for awhile.

As with our past rewatch specials, we want to remind you that despite the fact that Selina and Pam have both already seen the series in full, all of our episodes will be spoiler free! That means if you’re watching along for the first time with us, we we won’t be discussing anything that happens past the episode(s) we’re highlighting in each installment of our Merlin rewatch series.

You can listen to our previous episode discussion, for the series pilot “The Dragon’s Call,” right here.

1×02 “Valiant”:
– How did we feel about this episode when it first aired 10 (!) years ago?
– How did it work as a follow-up to the premiere?
– Legend vs show: Knight Valiant in Arthurian Legends
– What a weird plan
– The tournament is a lot of fun
– Does Arthur train all his servants, or just Merlin?
– Arthur seems willing to listen to servants when Uther is not
– Even though he’s angry at being humiliated, Arthur believes Merlin the whole time, even heading into the final battle and presumably his death knowing that the shield is magic
– Uther and Arthur’s ideas of what constitutes a ‘good’ knight are very different
– Plot hole: couldn’t Gaius have just told Uther about the poison and confirmed it was magic? Since this is exactly what he does in the next episode…
– Would Uther’s snobbery/pride/inability to admit his own mistakes actually overrule his obsessive quest to eradicate magic? Do we really believe he wouldn’t jump at any chance to catch a saucerer, especially since actual evidence exists that magic is involved?
– Arthur and Morgana’s will they/won’t they is heating up
– Morgana “saving” Arthur: a cute moment, but ‘saving’ is a bit of an overstatement, no?
– Fun facts!
– Favorite scenes
– Favorite quotes

1×03 “The Mark of Nimueh”
– Three episodes in – are we hooked?
– This feels like a significant episode in terms of the series overall
– Legend vs Show: Nimueh and the Afanc in Arthurian Legends
– How does Nimueh work as a villain?
– Does she have a past with Uther and Gaius?
– We get more info on how magic works in the show: Gaius describes Nimueh magic as being “of the darkest kind,” says magic ‘corrupts’ but also that “it’s neither good nor bad. It’s how you use it.”
– Merlin almost seems like he has withdrawal symptoms after being told he can’t use magic to help the victims
– While Uther is clearly insane, he IS also trying to save his people
– Angel Coulby is amazing in this episode
– Guinvere gives Merlin AND Morgana flowers…
– Everyone is convinced that Merlin is in love with Gwen. So is he?
– Tom and Gwen’s relationship
– Merlin tries to sacrifice himself for Gwen; Arthur stops Merlin from taking Gwen’s place
– It’s hard to believe Arthur and Gwen can ever become ‘Arthur and Guinevere’ from the legends
– Finally Morgana gets involved with the action (even if just to come along and scream, but it’s a start)
– Morgana and Gwen’s friendship is established: Morgana has complete belief in Gwen’s innocence
– Defeating the afanc with elemental magic = air and fire can defeat earth and water
– Do the Merlin foursome correspond to the four elements?
– TThe dragon says Merthur is “two sides of the same coin”
– Arthur’s views on magic in this episode is surprisingly fair and sensible
– Favorite scenes
– Favorite lines

We round off as always with listener feedback. If you have any thoughts about these episodes, or on the next two episodes of season 1, “The Poisoned Chalice” and “Lancelot,” sent them our way! Leave a comment on this post, email [email protected], or tweet us @hypableHYPE. Have longer thoughts? Shoot us an email at [email protected]!

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