Episode 22: Love to Hate “Legends”

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, momo and MissSnowFox are joined by R & Sofia to talk about how well BBC adapted the Arthurian legends.

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To stream or download the episode, and to find all relevant links, click the read more button. This episode is 01h 51m long. Unfortunately, the audio is occasionally a bit busy with background noise and/or a high pitched sound that momo was unable to filter out. We apologise for any listening discomfort this may cause.

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jlsdrawings’ Merthur charms
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Resources & Mentioned Fanworks

Archaeologist_D’s comment on episode 02
Merlisten Character Analysis: Morgana
Merlisten Character Analysis: Gwen
Merlisten Character Analysis: Lancelot

Excalibur (1981) | Trailer
Sofia’s YouTube channel
Le Morte d’Arthur
Lavinia Collins
Gawaine and the Green Knight – a Graphic novel by Emily Cheeseman
Beltane Cycle by astolat, Podfic by FayJay
Pendragon by Seperis, Podfic by Dodificus
Loss, and the Finding by Shine, Podfic by Dodificus
The Hunt by novemberlite, Podfic by Erica Schall
the arthurian legend, edited by estaaaas
Camelot Merlin style, edited by estaaaas
Arthur Pendragon the legend, edited by estaaaas
The Arthurian Legend Morgan Le Fay, edited by MadrigalP
Arthur/Morgana – our love is like a sin, edited by Tigerlily536

9 thoughts on “Episode 22: Love to Hate “Legends”

  1. Hey there.
    Okay, I was happy that Christianity wasn’t mentioned at all in the show. I know that Arthurian legend is rife with it but the passing mention of the old religion vs the new was good enough. It would have brought a vastly different take by bringing religion, especially Christianity, into it and created controversy with the show with viewers and the BBC. I certainly would have looked at it differently. I think most of the tv/movies for Arthurian legend already deal enough with Christianity. This was a refreshing change.
    As for Welsh people being mysterious, I would say that Wales is very mysterious. I love their country with hidden valleys and craggy peaks and it’s so beautiful. Love hiking there.
    What you didn’t talk about was that Cornwall was also heavily featured in Arthurian legend. A lot of the legend locations are there including Arthur’s birthplace. But that’s okay. You talked about a lot of things.
    Recs – The Mary Stewart books are amazing. Crystal Cave, Hollow Hills, The last Enchantment, The Wicked Day. Notice that the show runners used 2 of the titles in their episodes. Wicked Day treats Mordred kindly until the end and I felt like how they treated Mordred in the show was somewhat taken from this book.

  2. I had to stop once or twice while I was listening, so maybe I missed it somehow, but I waited for the mention of the actual “Sword in the Stone Legend,” which had an “interesting” twist in the bbc series. And by twist I mean Merlin came up with the story. I would have loved to know what you thought about this 🙂
    If you actually talked about it, ignore me xD

  3. An AMAZING Arthurian retelling is the TA Barron series: The Lost Years of Merlin. Arthur’s not in it, so it’s actually the story of “Merlin before he was famous” and it is…. so good/

  4. I do love the amazing Merthur scenes that finale offers, but I really hate that the finale happened at that time. Arthur was in his early thirties. He was not supposed to die for decades.

    It’s probably this stupid mindset that stories with happy endings are somehow inferior to stories with tragic endings. Like they were thinking that if they decided to let Arthur and Merlin live happily ever after (or at least until Camlann happens much more later), it would make the show’s ending suck or something.

    And so instead of giving us an amazing story about Arthur finding his way to magic and Merlin finally free of the burden of lies, they give us this half-cooked rushed tragedy.

    I understand the cast that a lot of them were probably kinda relieved that the ending was this final, so there would be no pressure on them for continuing filming for additional seasons that might happen if the window was left open.

  5. It’s not really a legend stuff, but all the talks about gays in Camelot made me think of a book that I came across a few years ago (a friend of mine was doing the official translation into Czech language). It’s “Mordred, Bastard Son” by Douglas Clegg and this is the summary:

    “In this ambitious reimagining of Camelot, Mordred, the traditional villain of Arthurian legend, emerges as a heroic and romantic figure, torn between his powerful mother’s desire for revenge against Arthur, his own conflicted feelings toward the father who abandoned him, and his passionate coming of age into first love…with the enemy of his tribe.”

    And yes, it is gay. Plus Mordred isn’t a bad guy.

    I haven’t read it yet, so I can’t say if it’s good or not, but looking at the reviews, it seems it shouldn’t be entirely bad. And there should be a sequel.

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