Episode 21: Review 1×08 The Beginning of the End

cover art in which Merlin wears a headset with microphone and holds up a finger to his lips as if to tell you to be quiet

In today’s episode, MissSnowfox and Momo talk about the eighth episode of BBC’s Merlin, “The Beginning of the End.”

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Find the stream or download options for this episode below the cut.

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the King’s Chambers – an explicit Merthur [exclusively bottom!Merlin] discord server
Merlin-Forever Top 10 Rewatch
Merlin Canon Claiming Open
Camelot Remix Masterlist


Episode 1×08 on Merlin Wiki
Episode 14: Mordred
Episode 19: Gaius & Uther


  • First aired 8 Nov 2008
  • 2 female characters (with lines)
    • 2 main cast (Gwen, Morgana)
  • 7 male characters (with lines)
    • 4 main cast (Arthur, Merlin, Gaius, Uther)
    • 3 supporting cast (Cerdan, Mordred, Iseldir)
  • Enemy/Monster of the Week: Merlin’s self-doubts
  • Merlin & Arthur kill no one

2 thoughts on “Episode 21: Review 1×08 The Beginning of the End

  1. Hello! I thought the points raised on Mordred’s character from the most recent episode review were quite interesting, particularly the whole moral conundrum that Merlin is presented with so early on in the series. As someone who believes in determinism and adores Modred’s character, I would have loved to see an alternate ending where he uses his magic for good and collaborates with Merlin and Arthur. There are soo many moments in the show that highlight Mordred’s potential for good and how he always had the best intentions (especially his views on Arthur and of magic in Camelot in season 5) so I definitely feel like this pathway could have been possible. That being said, the lore of the show is heavily fatalistic and I don’t think there was any way an exploration of this side of Mordred could be shown without either breaking the rules of the universe that had already been set and/or ignoring the legends. Because of the prophecy, from a utilitarian view, Merlin should have at least tried to kill Modred during 1×08, but I think it’s interesting to note Merlin’s own personal code of ethics and how even though he certainly becomes a utilitarian later on in the series (note how he wishes to indirectly kill Mordred in “Arthur’s Bane: Part 2′), in season 1 Merlin is more of a value ethicist and places importance on Mordred’s life for the sake of him simply being a human, despite the fate he knows to come true. This could also be because it’s still pretty early on in the series and Merlin believes that he has enough agency to change destiny, whereas, by the time we reach season 5, Merlin has become more cynical in this belief, and thus his more cold reaction to Mordred’s return. I’ve gotten way off topic but I think it’s pretty interesting how characters in the show view the certainty of events within the universe and how this affects their moral philosophies and actions. Thanks for making such a fun and analytical platform to discuss Merlin 🙂 I look forward to future episodes x

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