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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Merlin


I love this BBC series.  It is based on the legends of Camelot and the magic of the old religion.  King Uther is in power and his son Arthur Pendragon is a brave knight.  Uther is played by Anthony Head who starred in Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Giles. Arthur's servant is the future magnificent magician Merlin.  Merlin goes to every length possible to hide his magic as magic is banned in Camelot and is punishable by death.  King Uther has a terrible fear of the art and holds it evil. 

King Uther's ward is however the Lady Morgana.  Morgana is Morgan le Fay who in Welsh folktales is associated with Avalon or the "Isle of Apples".  How lovely, I am becoming totally enchanted!  There is dispute about Morgana's character, was she a seductive villainess or a powerful healer?  Arthur and Morgana are said to have had the same mother; the Lady Igraine.  Le Fay is an ancient word for fairy and Morgan is the Breton for water nymph.

The Lady Morgana, Kaitie McGrath

In this series Guinevere is also a servant in Camelot.  Mordred (the Lady Morgana's nephew?) is a young druid boy.  Merlin, played by Colin Morgan, frequently has chats with a dragon whom he has promised to free in time.  The dragon is voiced by the actor John Hurt.  Each epsiode deals with some aspect of the old legends in a fresh way. 

Morgana could also be associated with the celtic goddess the Morrigan who I think is a triple goddess and associated with the Cailleach.  The Morrigan can be an old woman, a bird (raven/crow) or a mist.  She is associated with death and incarnation.  From the Morrigan one can gain wisdom knowing that trials and suffering can be overcome.  Some scholars totally dismiss any connection between the Welsh Morgan and the Irish Morrigan ( Mor: great and rigan: queen).  You can see Merlin on BBC 1 every Saturday night at 7.30.
Morrigan by Louis Le Brocquy



2 comments:

  1. I think this is one of my very fave shows right now, though it is hard to get it in the US since i dont have a TV and have to rip it. I love all the unique twists to the story though, not your same old Arthur/Merlin tale.

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  2. Thanks for the comment patience :)

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