antpower: (Merlin - labyrinth of gedref)
[personal profile] antpower
So, I've never really posted about this show. I don't even know if any of you guys watched it. I started watching it somewhere around the end of season 1, I think, when my flist seemed to be full of posts about how in love Merlin and Arthur were. "What's that?" I thought. "That's a bit creepy, Merlin is an old man!" But Merlin wasn't an old man, Merlin was a young magical creature with magical eyes and cheekbones and Arthur was the most beautiful man on the planet (except for maybe Aiba Masaki), and they were very prettily in love and so I watched every episode faithfully, even if sometimes the writing was a bit shit.

I never really got into Merlin fandom, because I never really took the show that seriously. However, I did read all the fic. Merlin, I think, has the best written fic of any fandom I've ever delved into. For the past four of five years I've read it constantly - when I'm procrastinating uni, all through the summer, whenever I feel sick or a bit shit and want something comforting, when I was doing that Arthurian history subject and could pretend I was actually studying, etc etc. It just became a thing, without me ever consciously deciding, and these characters became something important to me without me being aware.

I'd legitimately expected the writers to screw it up. I'd gotten incredibly frustrated at various points with Merlin's magic being a secret and the lack of consistency in Arthur's treatment of Merlin (one minute Merlin's the most important thing in Arthur's life, the next Arthur's sacking him or being a prick for comedic relief or plot device) and the horribly unconvincing way the Arthur/Guinevere romance was handled. And then it was announced that this was the last season and there were only like 4 episodes left and I thought there was no way that everything could be resolved adequately. But it was. It was perfect. Horrible, but perfect.

All through the final episode, with Arthur dying and Merlin trying to save him and the two making googly love love eyes at each other, I kept thinking that it would be all right, Merlin would somehow save him. I mean, there had been talk about a next season or movie sequels and stuff, so of course Arthur couldn't die. Even though Arthur always gets killed by Mordred at Camlann, I thought well maybe this time he won't. They only refer back to the legend when it suits them on this show, so this time Arthur will definitely be okay. He hasn't even conquered all of Britian or any of that jazz yet, he has heaps still to do.

He died, but he was all like "I think your magic is super cool, Merlin, and you are cool too and I love you" and all the loose plot threads were tied up and that's supposed to make it okay. He died and Merlin cried a lot and I cried a lot and it was very sad. He died and Gwaine died and everyone died but Merlin who has to live for 1000s of years in the future all by himself. That's not fair. That's mean and sad. It's Frodo-going-to-the-Grey-Havens level of sad. I don't know how many of you were around to witness my nervous collapse at Return of the King, but my distress is on a par with what I felt then. It's been a week and I still can't rewatch the episode because this time I will know about the dying death and the tears and the face-stroking and Arthur dying in Merlin's arms in advance and that might be too much.

Which is stupid, because he's a fictional Arthur, not even the real Arthur who is historically dubious and would've been dead for about 1500 years anyway. But I feel like my very good friend has died. My very good friend who was supposed to save the whole world and make a Kingdom of Summer for us all to live in but never got the chance because the writers were too busy writing episodes where Uther married a troll and Morgana tortured people for information that she just found out in the next episode anyway.

Anyway, it's not fair and I am sad.

I've started about three "Arthur comes back and is reunited with Merlin" fics, but I don't know if I will bother with any of them really. Except maybe the one where it's the future and they are in space and all the knights are robots.

But anyway, that's why I think it's bad to get too attached to fictional characters.

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