Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Okay, this may a little bit of a stretch for my theme. But this is Arthurian legend, and Le Morte D'Arthur is a major piece of literature in that realm. So there is some twisty side logic that creates a link. Besides, the reason I started watching MERLIN in the first place was because I had read somewhere that it was similar to Buffy The Vampire Slayer. And BUFFY is highly relevant here, I will eventually talk about it a great deal.
MERLIN isn't similar to BUFFY in content or character, this is an entirely different story. But having watched four seasons worth, I can see the comparison. It is a coming of age story, you're watching Merlin grapple with powers he has, through no fault of his own, and a lot of complicated issues regarding relationships and morality. I think it's pretty well written too, like BUFFY it has a lot of depth but tries to balance that with levity and wit.
I'm currently just ending the fourth season, one episode left to go. I've been much more aware of the overall character arcs this season, it's like watching a puzzle come together. Thinking back, I should have noticed it much earlier but maybe I wasn't in the right frame of mind then. It's brilliant, in my opinion, how all of these individual stories are building up into their payoff, which is the legend of Arthur and Merlin. They've taken two fantastic characters and made them real people with flaws and motivations, needs and weaknesses. It's becoming very clear how each point of their development is leading them into the men they're destined to be, and why they will make the choices they do. It's fascinating.
If you enjoy Arthurian legend as I do and like sci-fi/fantasy novels I would also recommend Fred Saberhagen's "Merlin's Bones." It's a different take on the story where time and space are twisted around, merging moments of the modern world with that of Merlin and Arthur. I first read it almost 20 years ago and it left a deep impression on me.