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So I was watching Merlin and taking notes to post and was going to make it through the whole first season, and that didn't happen, so to move the damn thing from in progress to done folder here's my notes edited for spelling only.

Here lies a long post about my thought about Merlin now that I have finished watching it. (There will be nothing from Episode 1 and little from episode 2 because I started to do this after I watched those to episodes)

*Arthur is not a complete jackass thoughts:

There is a woman that I fallow who does a lot of meta, mostly in the form of ranting about stupid things people do in fic's or doing recs. Something that she ranted about in the Merlin fandom (which I have no personal experience in because I actually have managed to keep myself from interacting with the Merlin fandom before finishing the source material, so I can't say if this is a true assessment or if she just managed to find the tiny percentage of bad fic all in a row) is first making Merlin weak, which I just laugh at as completely baseless and just bad writing, and Arthur as not just a prat but an abusive bully. And the thing about this is I can see why some people might write him like that. He is arrogant & annoying and some people might have a hard time separating that from abusive behavior (I'm reminded of a line from Futurama Leela talking to someone about the rest of the gang "their not evil, but I must warn you they are jerks"), others might just exaggerate his behavior without thinking about.

So because of that I started making list of actions that I thought show that while he was a little arrogant and annoying he isn't abusive (Many of these could be used as Arthur/Merlin shipping prof. While that's not what I'm going for (and because of that I probably missed some shipping prof) you can take it that way or you can just take it as Arthur caring about someone who isn't himself and who happens to be Merlin.) :

(Episode 2 "Valiant")
-He believed Merlin about knight Valient. He had absolutely no reason other to believe Merlin other then faith in Merlin himself. And as we see later he would be risking looking like a fool in front of his Father and the entire kingdom. Something no person, let alone a proud prince, would want to do.

(Episode 3 "The Mark of Nimueh")
-He takes no pleasure in the various measures that the king makes him take part in to find the sorcerer, (I would like to point out how mostly the were good measures, and really the worst complaint that I can come up with is that he should have used more tack in going about his search.

-He looks uncomfortable with the entire proceeding of arresting Gwen.

-He argues for Gwen. I would like to bring up a parallel to racism, since in this world I think it can be argued that hatred of magic is up there with the hatred that is felt by racist (sexist, homophobic) people in our own world. Its hard being brought up in a racist (sexist, homophobic ect.) household and not some kind of racist thought or actions, even if its only something unconscious like clutching your valuables a little closer as a POC (Person of Color) walks by you without thinking. Braking that Habit is hard.

Now think about how hard it is to break that habit and go and stand up to the person who taught it to you. And for Arthur he has to stand up to someone who has not just power over him, but power over the entire country that he lives in. Uther could find away to punish those that Arthur has let close; like the idea of having a whipping boy, only instead of a lashing he could have them banished or killed.

And I would like to point out here that before Merlin, Arthur seemed to have the gang that we seen him with when he meet Merlin, who he no doubt interacted with but they seemed to be interchangeable. Any able-bodied male who could fight would do. The only person he might have let close to him is Morgana. We're not really given any idea of how close they are presently, how close they used to be, if the used to be more close and now are less or if they used to be less close and now are more. But Morgana is the only other person he interacted with who had the same status as him at the vary less they would interact some based on that. Morgana at least seems to have had Gwen for some time and is able to do "girl chat" type interaction with. Arthur didn't have a manservant that Merlin bumped out. Now given his status Arthur would have a manservant and most likely just recently lost his. But Merlin and Gwen are the type of servants that are on par with executive secretaries for presents and prime ministers. They are the type of person that has been working with you for a long time and you don't replace them easily. The fact that Arthur was without suggest that either something had just happened to have to get rid of his last one. Death would be the kindest event, there would be grief at the passing but no real anguish. Anything else would be an action that was a betrayal of Arthur or of the monarchy which should have left Arthur bitter and untrusting, but of we see Arthur putting a great deal of trust into Merlin in the second episode.

-Despite not knowing what the hell is up with Merlin, Arthur defends him when he confesses, just as Morgana tried to defend Gwen.

-Going along with Merlin and Morgana even though they definitely do not tell him everything about their plan.

(Episode 4 "The Poisoned Chalice")
-Arthur has way to much fun playing dress up on Merlin. The funny hat certainly helped but.... The action is playful, not mean. And the thing is its taking pleasure in something that is going to happen anyways, not something that he concocted to make Merlin look silly.

-Arthur cares about Merlin's well being, as soon as Merlin starts struggling to breath he turns in concern, and he is the first person to reach Merlin when he collapses. Also he 1) objected when his father said that if there was no poison then the other king could do as he wished to Merlin and 2) volunteered to drink from the goblet instead of Merlin. Culture point: Arthur would have been trained not to act in such a manner, and in fact would have been trained to hand over the cup to someone else for testing as soon as the idea of it being tampered with came into play. Servants are expendable, he's the second most important person in the kingdom (after the king of course.)

-After only a moments pause Arthur expresses the idea of going after what Gaius needs to cure Merlin

-He goes through a great deal of trouble to save one manservant

(Episode 6 "A Remedy to Cure All Ills")
- arguing so emotionally to use the physician for Morgana

-Maybe it's because the BBC produces 'Merlin' and I'm always willing to give them more credit then I am (most) American media in regards to sexist/racist/homophobic/etc. what ever the word is that I'm looking for but while it's possible to see Arthur's constant telling of Morgana to be careful and/or stay back or his action toward seemingly) damsels in distress as if not sexist still buying into a sexist idea I don't.

Arthur has proven himself several times to be the best fighter in the land. He has constantly been trained in both physical and strategic combat. Morgana no doubt has some training, but even ignoring a sexist gender divide in the raising of the two of them it would not have been nearly as much as Arthur. The other situations appear to be someone in need of help at least fighting with, if not fighting for, the person that he stumbles upon. I can see him acting in the same manner if it was a child, or a man with the same level of distress as any damsel in distress that he happens upon. The only person that he should be telling to stay back that he doesn't seem to is Merlin; who even without slashy subtext he has a close relationship with. So his actions are that of a concerned...What are Arthur and Morgana exactly? and/or of someone who definitely knows that they are a better fighter then whoever they stumble upon.

-Unlike Uther, Arthur is willing to see more then one side, to at least consider different angles.

-Merlin is every bit the character that is constantly saying bad things about the person they like and would deny ferociously having any positive feeling for the person at all until they are forced to confront their feeling. Arthur is the character that slowly starts to recognize the good qualities in the person that they like until one day they have a realization (or somebody forces one at them) that they like the person. The next thought being 'now what the fuck am I supposed to do now, they don't even like me non-romantically'. They both come complete with the behavior of flirting with other people, that they don't particularly mean out side of 'oh look pretty person, what do you do with a pretty person? you flirt with them'

-I would describe Merlin as a cheeky little bugger, "I am only one side of the coin. The bright side obviously.", insulting Arthur when he first meets him and not taking it back when he found out who Arthur was. Things like this is why I believe that Merlin is not a weak character, and instead is a very strong character. (harking back to the fact that apparently part of fandom likes to show Merlin as weak and Arthur as abusive.)

-I really like Morgana. Given the constraints of this being a historical piece and the proper place of women...blah, blah, blah, she is a very dynamic character who has been given a chance to be multifaceted. For that matter so has Gwen.

-(In Episode 4 "The Poisoned Chalice") Having Merlin call out for Arthur while he is sick, really? I mean I love it but... Wow

-What's with Nimueh hair always looking like she just got out of the shower.

-I find it interesting that, out side of gendered pronouns, the show makes no difference between various words for one who can preform magic. At one point referring to a person as a sorceress the next an enchantress. I wonder if that is a part of all magic being seen as bad in Camelot and so it doesn't really matter what one calls it, even if in that universe reality and removed from the view of king Uther there is a difference between witch, sorceress, enchantress, etc..

-I like that they put the idea of Gwen/Lancelot out there in case they just want to go with that or if they eventually want to go with the love triangle between those two and Arthur. (or just to show that adult human beings can be attracted to other adult human beings)

-why is it that some of the fight/action scenes seem good and the others are totally pathetic?

-There's a whole lot of people on their knees...

-I haven't really said much about episode 5 "Lancelot", which is not to say that I don't like it, but that it's mostly about A character that's not a main one (Yet) so it's like a nice side story that I can listen to but don't have to pay that hard of attention to.

-so much of what Uther does wrong, or when he allows something wrong to happen comes from the fact that he is so rigid in his belief system and is unwilling to question or change it, no matter what.

-I think they did a good job creating the physical gryffin, even if they didn't really do much with it.

-It's weird, having recently spent several hours meta-ing about Harry Potter and dipping my toe in HP fandom were one of the big ideas is choice over destiny no matter how set in stone your destiny may feel, to watch Merlin where destiny is spoken of as if one does not have a choice but to fulfill it.

-Of all people Lancelot is the first to guess Merlin's secret

-I do wonder about Morgana and Arthur's relationship. Because there are several scenes where they act like siblings, but there are also several scenes where people say something about them getting together. And yes I know that at least up to this point the only thing that has been reveal is that Morgana is Uthers ward. What I'm wondering about is how they were socialized and how they see themselves.


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