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Old 16-04-2012, 11:19
MikeAP001
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Sounds perfect to me. I would love a 6th series but I do think some shows (e.g. Life on mars) are stronger for having a definite ending and not dragging on past their time.

Not a chance that Arthur will kill Merlin. There would be a whole generation of children (and some adults) in counselling!

Don't worry you're not the only (tweenage) fangirl I've been trying to get my head round Arthurian legend for years and only bits of it have stuck. There's too many versions for a start!
Actually, Avi8's idea is similar to what James wanted regarding Arthur's story. And, continuing with a Season 6 or more would be doable IF the producers looked at thing from the perspective of a "BOOK of Merlin" instead of stringing out story lines beyond their life. For instance:

The First BOOK OF MERLIN would have these "chapters":

Chapter 1-3: Arthur from Prat Prince to Prince Regent
(S01-03). Theme: Merlin's story in helping to prepare Arthur to one day be king and less of a Prat.
Chapter 4-5: Artorious Rex, his Queen, his KORT and his kingdom (S04-05). Theme: Merlin's story in helping Arthur become a good king, secure his kingdom, make alliances, and eventually form Albion.

And this could be transitioned into a SECOND BOOK by having Arthur "banish" Merlin toward the end of S05 or stage his death so that Merlin might one day return when it's safe in the five kingdoms for him or otherwise have Arthur be complicit in having Merlin and others use magic to safeguard the fledgling united kingdom of Albion without the knowledge of most people. Think of Arthur as Commissioner Gordon to Merlin's Batman.

The Second BOOK OF Merlin could have "chapters" regarding The Tales of Albion in which Merlin goes from Manservant to Magician, the Warlock becomes a Wizard, etc. So, Merlin gets called on Quests with Arthur and his knights and we see how Merlin grows into the Merlin of Legend.
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Old 16-04-2012, 12:22
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The first major raid by Saxons was a three pronged attack by Saxons from the east, Picts from Scotland and Scots from Ulster in 367ad. The saxon shore forts were adapted from the forts of Carausius and Allectus 289-296 but saxons had been settling in small numbers before that. But the big settlements took place after the romans left and arthur is mentioned in one account of the battle of Mount Badon sometime between 497-517 so that could feature in a new series.
Absolutely yes, historically it's believed to have been over a period of around three hundred years with the invitation, by Vortigern, of Hengist and Horsa to come and settle the Saxon Shore being dated sometime around 447AD.
Although I'm not usually a Wikipedia fan, this Timeline of the Settlement of Briton is actually pretty good and ties in well with one of my books on Anglo-Saxon Britain, the author of which escapes me atm but might be the one edited by James Campbell.
The Battle of Badon has a number of dates, depending on the source:
Suggested dates for the Battle of Badon
Sources[4] Date
Annales Cambriae 516
Bede 493
Higham c.430 - c.440
Snyder c.485
M.Wood 490s
Morris 494 - 497
Dumville c.500
I.Wood c.485 - c.520

Which makes everything open to interpretation which is why, I think, the mythology of the Arthurian story has never stopped fascinating, no-one's ever been able to completely discount a historical basis for the legend.

But that is my point exactly. My use of the word "famous" was just lazy writing. They have now encroached on the legends - the pulling of the sword from the stone, the Lancelot/Guinivere love affair, the crowning of Arthur. So they can no longer say they are telling the pre-story.
Yes, but none of those stories have followed the legend, which I suspect is why they've done it as they have. They are inspired by the Arthurian mythology, they're not slavishly following it so they can still claim that their characters are in the time before they became legends They encroached on the legends in series one, they had Excalibur, the Lady in the Lake, Lancelot etc. They've always used existing legends and mythologies, they've just twisted what they've done with them.

I seriously do not see a magic reveal until this show is about to end, it's just not the way they're writing the scripts and a show where Arthur knows about Merlin's magic brings a whole load of issues which I don't really think they want to get into. As I said before, how many times can Arthur have a dilemma over whether or not he gets Merlin to just magically wipe out the latest threat to Camelot?
They make take the route that Arthur knows but Merlin doesn't know he knows, which could still have the comedic aspect of their relationship but they'd have to do that very carefully to avoid it becoming a farce.
Arthur discovering Merlin has magic is going to be the ultimate climax for this show, in my opinion anyway, in the same way as Clark Kent becoming "Superman" was for Smallville. It didn't happen until the last series of that show (series 10 for them) and the rest of the final series was all about how people dealt with him assuming that legendary character.

I'm not sure having Arthur discovering Merlin's magic and feeling hurt, betrayed, angry etc, is something they're going to be able to do at all well, given the lack of time they spent on his reaction to discovering Agravaine was the traitor in Camelot. Bradley's a great action actor and he's really good at feeding off the Knights and off Colin for the comedic aspects of Arthur and Merlin's relationship. He's also done dramatic stuff well with Morgana and Gwen and with other female guests. I'm just not sure how much they'd be able to change the dynamic of Arthur and Merlin's relationship without it affecting the nature of the show in a negative way.

Still, I remain to be convinced rather than outright not wanting them to try it. I wouldn't be upset if they never reveal Merlin's magic, or they only reveal it as the series climax, I would be apprehensive about them doing it before then but would have an open mind as to how they'd go about it.
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Old 16-04-2012, 14:29
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Yeah but you outed yourself as 22 the other day Lowri. I'm quite a bit older Oh to be 22 and to be able to admit out loud in real life that you fancy the pants off Bradley James and for it not to appear positively criminal!
Actually, I fancy the pants off Colin Morgan Not sure this counts as real life though
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Old 16-04-2012, 15:51
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Actually, I fancy the pants off Colin Morgan Not sure this counts as real life though
Nah, this isn't real life. That's why I can admit to fancying Bradley.

Colin is nice too, but he brings out the mother in me rather than anything more ... er...... raunchy
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Old 16-04-2012, 17:14
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The French interview with Bradley was considered unreliable because of English being translated into French and back into English. Someone who translated it for one of the fan sites says that he stated s5 'could' possibly be the last.
Well, that might be but this site had the link to the article someplace. Though it's been changed since last time. The site's in French and it can be very spoilery:


The producers have heavily hinted that the reveal will happen this year. But that was earlier last year, before they started chatting about a series 6 so...
Yes. But, if the reports are true and James is tired of seeing Arthur being dim, then maybe Arthur will learn of Merlin's secret bit earlier than at the very end.


IMO, the idea of a movie is a bit of a pipe dream. A TV movie, maybe, but they'd be hard pressed to get enough finance for a full feature film. A big studio is likely to insist they change the cast for better known names for a start.
Which is why the producers were talking about a different cast (mostly) from the TV series:

Spoiler
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Old 16-04-2012, 17:50
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Another one here who believes that Arthur should know the secret and turn the tables on Merlin. I've been bleating on about it for umpteen posts and so just in case the producers do read these forums then let him know!

I was hoping that the "great ending" to the series 4 finale was going to be Arthur calling Merlin "Dragoon" (or thanking him for saving him from the questing beast in S01EP13) and the final shot would be the look on Merlin's face. That ending would have left fans begging for more! Yes, the baby dragon saving Morgana was a surprise but, not as good as the ending I had envisaged.
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Old 16-04-2012, 21:39
MikeAP001
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Another one here who believes that Arthur should know the secret and turn the tables on Merlin. I've been bleating on about it for umpteen posts and so just in case the producers do read these forums then let him know!
According to one actor on the show, AE: "Look, Iím sure you know that the show is influenced by fan feedback. So I mean, if the fans are interested in some sort of love interest, weíll get them."

It's from a interview that showed on Feb. 2012. You can read about it here:

http://eoin-macken.com/clique-clack-interview/#more-496

The cast and crew on the show visit some forums and in the past they've made a comment or two or dropped in. Some have even commented on being disturbed by some of the fanfic stories and art about Merlin and Arthur.

It's just that hopefully, this isn't one of those forums! Here we can be free to express our ideas even if it means ruining a Merlin story line... by figuring out what the story lines should be.
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Old 17-04-2012, 11:35
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Just watched the CBBC version of "The lady in the lake", which has that beautifully sad scene by the lake, however, they didn't show Merlin setting fire to the boat. To convince myself I hadn't imagined it, I found the clip on YT and it turns out that the whole scene had several little (a few seconds) bits removed. What's the point of that?
I was quite happy with the cut versions before (better than nothing) but they don't seem to know what they're doing (none of the scene by the lake was inappropriate). I have therefore decided to watch the other episodes on YT. I feel a bit of a hypocrite because I've always complained about illegal uploads (and the fact that if it was doctor who, it would have been taken down months ago) but I'm now worried about what I might be missing and I need my Merlin fix!

Don't know why you all need to know this, I'm just baffled by the need for haphazard editing! Although, the joins were seemless so the work is at least high standard!
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Old 17-04-2012, 12:20
Avi8
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Just watched the CBBC version of "The lady in the lake", which has that beautifully sad scene by the lake, however, they didn't show Merlin setting fire to the boat. To convince myself I hadn't imagined it, I found the clip on YT and it turns out that the whole scene had several little (a few seconds) bits removed. What's the point of that?
I was quite happy with the cut versions before (better than nothing) but they don't seem to know what they're doing (none of the scene by the lake was inappropriate). I have therefore decided to watch the other episodes on YT. I feel a bit of a hypocrite because I've always complained about illegal uploads (and the fact that if it was doctor who, it would have been taken down months ago) but I'm now worried about what I might be missing and I need my Merlin fix!

Don't know why you all need to know this, I'm just baffled by the need for haphazard editing! Although, the joins were seemless so the work is at least high standard!
I caught a bit of Series 2 Ep 2 on the CBBC channel a few weeks back (need I say it, the one with The First Kiss) and the entire kiss was cut out! So one minute you had G and A leaning towards one another, and the next, Arthur is clearing his throat, looking slightly shocked and rushing from the room!! Madness!!! I know they have to cut scenes to fit the time constraints, but some might argue the First Kiss was pretty integral to the episode.

I have all 4 series on dvd (brag) and watch them on my laptop, but if I don't have them available, I never have a problem finding what I want on YT. Some really funny compilation videos too.
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Old 17-04-2012, 20:01
Cadiva
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Just watched the CBBC version of "The lady in the lake", which has that beautifully sad scene by the lake, however, they didn't show Merlin setting fire to the boat. To convince myself I hadn't imagined it, I found the clip on YT and it turns out that the whole scene had several little (a few seconds) bits removed. What's the point of that?
I was quite happy with the cut versions before (better than nothing) but they don't seem to know what they're doing (none of the scene by the lake was inappropriate). I have therefore decided to watch the other episodes on YT. I feel a bit of a hypocrite because I've always complained about illegal uploads (and the fact that if it was doctor who, it would have been taken down months ago) but I'm now worried about what I might be missing and I need my Merlin fix!

Don't know why you all need to know this, I'm just baffled by the need for haphazard editing! Although, the joins were seemless so the work is at least high standard!
I suspect they've taken it out because having to explain to an six-year-old why Merlin's just set fire to someone might be a tad too much for CBBC
Same with the kissing, ridiculous as that rule is, anything that's cut is because it's got to meet the different standards/regulations for children's TV. I believe CBBC's target audience is 6 to 12 and while the older end of that age range is okay with the sort of things which are cut, the younger probably isn't.
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Old 18-04-2012, 15:02
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I suspect they've taken it out because having to explain to an six-year-old why Merlin's just set fire to someone might be a tad too much for CBBC
Same with the kissing, ridiculous as that rule is, anything that's cut is because it's got to meet the different standards/regulations for children's TV. I believe CBBC's target audience is 6 to 12 and while the older end of that age range is okay with the sort of things which are cut, the younger probably isn't.
Ok, I can appreciate those two, but IIRC, they cut out about 3 seconds of Merlin crying and a couple of words that Freya said. Nothing important but they added the scene. I've caught up on a couple more of series 3 on YT, it's been so long since I've seen those episodes and it doesn't seem like the (C)BBC are going to show them any time soon.

I've just picked up Mary Stewarts Merlin trilogy and I was wondering if any of you knowledgeable people had any experience of it? Can it be used to expand my knowledge, or has she been as loose with the "facts" as the BBC? I notice there are authors notes at the back which seem to suggest some decent research went into them.
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Old 18-04-2012, 15:23
Avi8
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I've just picked up Mary Stewarts Merlin trilogy and I was wondering if any of you knowledgeable people had any experience of it? Can it be used to expand my knowledge, or has she been as loose with the "facts" as the BBC? I notice there are authors notes at the back which seem to suggest some decent research went into them.
OK, well, until someone more knowledgeable comes along, I can give you my take on the Mary Stewart trilogy. I read it decades ago and loved it (but did not like a fourth book of hers which goes into Mordred's story). I picked up the first part of the trilogy to have a sentimental re-read recently and, apart from one or two favourite scenes, was quite bored by it. If I recall correctly, the magic isn't really magic - in other words, Merlin is very clever and has a mathematical knowledge of things that is beyond others, hence he appears magical to them when he is actually being scientific, although he does have visions, which would count as magical, I guess. Arthur is depicted as a warlord and doesn't feature fully until book 3 (I think). As long as you don't mind this, you will probably get something out of it. It does go into the Saxons and Dark Ages history a bit. Not a very happy ending.... I am not sure how you can worry about the author being "loose" with the facts - what facts?! That said, Mary Stewart's trilogy has always been well regarded I think, which suggests it is worth reading.
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Old 18-04-2012, 15:37
Lowri
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OK, well, until someone more knowledgeable comes along, I can give you my take on the Mary Stewart trilogy. I read it decades ago and loved it (but did not like a fourth book of hers which goes into Mordred's story). I picked up the first part of the trilogy to have a sentimental re-read recently and, apart from one or two favourite scenes, was quite bored by it. If I recall correctly, the magic isn't really magic - in other words, Merlin is very clever and has a mathematical knowledge of things that is beyond others, hence he appears magical to them when he is actually being scientific, although he does have visions, which would count as magical, I guess. Arthur is depicted as a warlord and doesn't feature fully until book 3 (I think). As long as you don't mind this, you will probably get something out of it. It does go into the Saxons and Dark Ages history a bit. Not a very happy ending.... I am not sure how you can worry about the author being "loose" with the facts - what facts?! That said, Mary Stewart's trilogy has always been well regarded I think, which suggests it is worth reading.
Oh, I like happy endings! I did put "facts" in inverted commas, it's one of the difficulties about Arthurian legend that there are so many versions. I suppose I just wanted to see if it followed any of the accepted versions or not. As opposed to Merlin which takes familiar names and events and messes around with them (e.g. google says Agravaine was Arthur's nephew, not uncle). I'm not saying this is a bad thing at all, just one of many retellings.
To put it another way, I have learnt about Greek Gods from Percy Jackson because, although it's obviously been played around with a bit, I know enough of the legends to identify what Riordan has completely made up.
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Old 18-04-2012, 16:09
Avi8
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The book of "facts" that my knowledge is based on is one I read as a child: Roger Lancelyn Green's "King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Ar...he_Round_Table
It is that book that I think of as being the true story, though of course, I realise there is no such thing, or perhaps I should say no one source.
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Old 18-04-2012, 16:13
Lowri
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The book of "facts" that my knowledge is based on is one I read as a child: Roger Lancelyn Green's "King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Ar...he_Round_Table
It is that book that I think of as being the true story, though of course, I realise there is no such thing, or perhaps I should say no one source.
Ooh, that looks good. I remember being read some of the legends at primary school and they seemed nice and straightforward. Not at all like some of the detailed adult books on the subject I've tried to read. Perhaps that's the book that was used, I'll definitely look into it, although I'm soon going to be buried under all the books I want to read!
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Old 18-04-2012, 17:49
Avi8
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Well, I don't claim to be any sort of expert, and I am sure there are other good versions, but that was my starting point, and most of what I know about the legends - as opposed to other versions which depict Arthur more as an historical figure - comes from that book. You got a birthday coming up? You could have a very long wish list!
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Old 18-04-2012, 18:11
Lowri
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Well, I don't claim to be any sort of expert, and I am sure there are other good versions, but that was my starting point, and most of what I know about the legends - as opposed to other versions which depict Arthur more as an historical figure - comes from that book. You got a birthday coming up? You could have a very long wish list!
No birthday yet, but I do have a library card and well stocked local library
A book aimed more at children will be a much better starting point for me than the complex ones I've got off project gutenberg. Reading those is a bit like trying to run before you can walk, half of them don't even use English as I know it!
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Old 18-04-2012, 21:33
Cadiva
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Ok, I can appreciate those two, but IIRC, they cut out about 3 seconds of Merlin crying and a couple of words that Freya said. Nothing important but they added the scene. I've caught up on a couple more of series 3 on YT, it's been so long since I've seen those episodes and it doesn't seem like the (C)BBC are going to show them any time soon.

I've just picked up Mary Stewarts Merlin trilogy and I was wondering if any of you knowledgeable people had any experience of it? Can it be used to expand my knowledge, or has she been as loose with the "facts" as the BBC? I notice there are authors notes at the back which seem to suggest some decent research went into them.
Hers is one of the better fictional series but it is still fiction so she still interprets things in her own way. It's more "historically" set, ie it's placed in a time frame and she uses real life verified events around which to set her story.
Her depiction of Merlin is one of the best, in my opinion, and her Arthur follows the Briton warlord legend rather than the "medieval style" king. However, if you think the women in the BBC Merlin aren't fully fleshed out, be warned that Stewart's women do tend to fall into one of three categories: Saint/Martyr, whore/slut or witch.
Also, without going into spoilers, she uses a specific version of the Merlin legends which actually places him firmly in the royal circle and not as a magical figure outside of it.

I must also defend the BBC's version of Merlin, from the beginning they have said they were not slavishly following the most often used legends, so that is why in this we have Agravaine as Arthur's uncle. What his actual relationship with Arthur is depends on which version of the legends you read. If Morgause exists as a separate figure to Morgaine/Morgan le Fay, then Agravainne is her son, and Arthur's cousin, along with Gawaine, Gareth, Gaheris and Mordred (through a relationship with Arthur) and she is Arthur's aunt, a sister of Morgan (also known as Anna), Elaine and (in some versions) Ygraine and Vivienne. Where Morgause doesn't exist and has been merged into Morgaine, then Agravaine is Arthur's nephew

The best thing to do is to remove any preconceived ideas of who is who and where they fit because, for the majority of the major characters, there are multiple origin stories. I have been doing my website to try and put some of the more commonly used legends for each of the characters that appear in the BBC's Merlin but I only have so much free time so it's not anywhere near complete yet.

I read it decades ago and loved it (but did not like a fourth book of hers which goes into Mordred's story). I picked up the first part of the trilogy to have a sentimental re-read recently and, apart from one or two favourite scenes, was quite bored by it.
That's a common reaction. I think, personally, that it's a book which is amazing when you're a teenager but once you're an adult, you start to see the flaws in how she's decided to depict some of the other characters outside of Merlin himself.

The book of "facts" that my knowledge is based on is one I read as a child: Roger Lancelyn Green's "King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Ar...he_Round_Table
It is that book that I think of as being the true story, though of course, I realise there is no such thing, or perhaps I should say no one source.
His is basically the same as Malory, only written for younger readers

Fictional series: Stephen Lawhead's Pendragon Cycle, Bernard Cornwell's Arthurian trilogy, Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon (and associated novels) are the best with Bradley's looking at the legends from a female perspective.
Rosemary Sutcliffe's The Sword at Sunset is the best version of the Arthurian myth where he's the Romano British general fighting to preserve a way of life against the invading Saxon hordes. In a similar vein is Jack Whyte's The Camulod Chronicles.
The Once and Future King, by T H White, is what Walt Disney used to base his The Sword in the Stone on and is a wonderful book, not strictly for children but very definitely on the lighter side and, of course, the granddaddy of them all is Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, which is pretty much what most conventional legends are based off.

This list on Goodreads is a good place to start for Arthurian fiction. For factual books on Arthur and Merlin etc, then that's a lot more complicated. There's just so many it's impossible to pick a definitive one.
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Old 18-04-2012, 21:51
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@Cadiva - thanks for all the info. Your website looks like it will be brilliant once it's finished, just the sort of thing I need!
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Old 18-04-2012, 21:58
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@Cadiva - thanks for all the info. Your website looks like it will be brilliant once it's finished, just the sort of thing I need!
If you've got any specific questions, please do ask. I wouldn't go so far as to call myself an "authority" on the Arthurian legends and mythologies but I have an extensive collection of both fiction and factual books on the subject and have read loads more I don't own.
If I hadn't become a journalist I would have gone to university and studied this period in history along with the Arthurian legends
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Old 18-04-2012, 23:03
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I can second Bernard Cornwell's Warlord trilogy. I read the three books in quick succession and I cannot tell you how much I cried when I finished them - though I was crying for the fictional character Cornwell has narrating the novels, rather than for any of the legendary characters. His Merlin is a totally different character again - very old and irrascible, but utterly endearing. Again though, Cornwell is very much telling a story about a warlord, rather than the usual legend. I love that sort of blood and guts book, but if might not be to the taste of everyone who is a Merlin (tv series) fan.

I have had Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur since I was a teenager but never got round to reading it.

Cadiva, can you say a bit more about Stephen Lawhead's Pendragon Cycle. What sort of genre is it closest to?
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Old 19-04-2012, 00:43
Cadiva
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Lawhead's Pendragon Cycle is fantasy fiction, but it's reality based, it uses the traditional Welsh and other Celtic mythology as its base, along with a bit of fudging to add in Atlantis in the first book in the series - Taliesin. It sets up the whole saga and is about the Welsh bard of the same name and Charis, a bull dancer from the mythical lost city of Atlantis.
He writes "historically", using real places, real events, real people etc, so his books firmly establish the characters as belonging to the Britain of the later part of the Roman occupation and beyond.
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Old 02-05-2012, 16:22
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Wasn't sure where to put this, but I was googling Merlin and came across this very bizarre photoshoot: http://www.lady.co.uk/style/fashion/...-vintage-style so thought I'd share. It shows a rather lovely Colin (didn't recognose him to start with) and Katie, aka Morgana. You have to do quite a lot of scrolling first.

I'm particularly liking photo 3...
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Old 02-05-2012, 17:06
Cadiva
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Oh my God, he looks incredible in the vintage evening suit.

http://www.lady.co.uk/images/content...r23-02-590.jpg
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Old 02-05-2012, 17:16
Lowri
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Oh my God, he looks incredible in the vintage evening suit.

http://www.lady.co.uk/images/content...r23-02-590.jpg
Yep, that's the one!
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