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Transcript of Arthurian Legend
Appropriations of the Legend
The Adventures of Merlin
Avalon High - Characterisation of Arthur
Merlin - Characterisation of Arthur
The Legend of King Arthur
The Legend of King Arthur centres around the King of Camelot, Arthur Pendragon, a Medieval hero.
The Arthurian Legend includes the life and times of King Arthur of Camelot, a hero that led Britain out of the barbaric Anglo-Saxon invasion.
A collection of stories have been written about the legendary King Arthur and this time period.
Merlin - Storyline
Avalon High - Themes
Merlin - Themes
Avalon High - Motifs
Merlin - Motifs
A British television programme focusing on the adventures of Merlin, a young warlock destined to guide and protect the young prince, and soon-to-be King, Arthur Pendragon.
Upon arrival in Camelot, Merlin discovers that the King, Uther Pendragon, has outlawed magic from the Kingdom.
With the help of Gaius, the court physician, Merlin must find a way to keep his magic a secret, while also fulfilling his destiny to protect the conceited prince.
Colin Morgan as Merlin
Bradley James as Arthur Pendragon
John Hurt as The Great Dragon (Kilgharrah)
Anthony Head as Uther Pendragon
Alexander Vlahos and Asa Butterfield as Mordred
Katie McGrath as Morgana Pendragon
Angel Coulby as Guinevere
The Knights of the Round Table
Richard Wilson as Gaius
Merlin is the protagonist of the series.
A young warlock with a great destiny to protect the Once and Future King, Arthur Pendragon.
Also has an alter-ego named 'Emrys', who appears through the help of an ageing spell.
Arthur is the prince (season 1-3) and later King (season 4-5) of Camelot, and the head of the Knights of Camelot.
He is a compassionate man who wishes to bring equality to his kingdom: he marries Guinevere, a serving girl, and befriends his manservant, Merlin.
Morgana begins as Uther's kind ward, but later turns to evil ways upon the discovery of her magical abilities. Morgana begins her siege to take her rightful place on the throne of Camelot at the commencement of Season 3, hence beginning the war for Camelot.
A young servant to the Lady Morgana, who later rises to become Queen of Camelot alongside King Arthur
The court physician and guardian to Merlin. Gaius aids Merlin countless times along the course of the series. Gaius had previously studied and taken part in the Old Religion prior to the Great Purge.
Uther is a tough and stubborn King, who has been blinded from the truth in his fight against magic.
A Druid boy, who is later appointed as a Knight by King Arthur. He joins forces with Morgana, and becomes Arthur's ultimate doom.
A mysterious dragon who provides knowledge and guidance to Merlin many times.
A mixture of noble and ordinary men knighted by King Arthur.
Appearance vs. Reality: There are many occurrences when a character does not turn out to be whom they appeared to be. For example, Agravaine, Morgana, Mordred, and Lady Katrina. This is also connected to the concept of disguise, which is seen through Emrys, Merlin's alter-ego, who appears once Merlin has taken an ageing potion.
Good vs. Evil: A common theme apparent in hero's quests. This is the driving force for Arthur. He is determined to be rid of all the evil that threatens to invade Camelot's walls. This is seen in Season 2, Episode 12 ('The Fires of Idirsholas'), when Arthur is prepared to risk his life in order to defeat the Knights of Medhir.
Friendship/Loyalty: This is apparent in the strong bond formed between Arthur and Merlin throughout the progression of the series. They exchange harmless banter, and also look out for one another.
Merlin and Arthur's Friendship
Crest of Camelot: This is seen many times throughout the series, and has become a clear identifying factor of King Arthur, the Knights of Camelot, and even Camelot itself.
Swords: A sword distinguishes the strength and power of a person, as it is mainly seen wielded by knights or men of high power.
Music: The soundtrack of Merlin has become a known thing, causing a situation to be predicted by the audience when there is a repetition with the music, creating a dramatic irony.
Love Triangle: The epic love triangle between Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot is a major factor of the Legend, and was given a place in Merlin.
Merlin - Quest Conventions
Call To Adventure
In the very first episode of Merlin ('The Dragon's Call') the Great Dragon, Kilgharrah, informs Merlin of his destiny to protect the Once and Future King, Arthur Pendragon.
"Without you, Arthur will not succeed. Without you, there will be no Albion."
Merlin refuses to believe the Dragon and attempts to deny his destiny to protect Arthur.
"No. No, you've got this wrong. If anyone wants to go kill him, they can go ahead. In fact, I'll give them a hand." (Season 1, Ep1 'The Dragon's Call')
Merlin is provided with many aid's throughout the series, however, the two main characters who aid him are Gaius and the Great Dragon.
"Everything that's good and right about magic, I've learnt from you. I'd be lost without you Gaius." (Season 2, Ep3 'The Nightmare Begins')
Crossing the First Threshold
In Season 1, Episode 1, Merlin gives into his destiny after he saves Arthur from being killed by the witch, Mary. He is then appointed as Arthur's man servant by Uther as a "reward".
Merlin faces many battles and creatures while protecting Arthur, such as Nimueh, the Questing Beast, the Great Dragon and many more.
Belly of the Whale
Road of Trials
Merlin faces the risk of his magic being revealed countless times throughout the series. An example of this is in Season 2, Episode 7 ('The Witchfinder'), when a witchfinder suspects Merlin of having magical abilities.
"The facts point to one person, and one person alone: the boy, Merlin!"
Merlin's true love is the cursed Druid girl, Freya, whom he harbors in Camelot.
"You're not on your own anymore. I'm going to look after you. I've never known anyone like you." (Season 2, Ep9 'The Lady of the Lake')
Meeting with the Goddess
Woman as Temptress
Merlin's main temptress in the series is Morgana, which can be seen in Season 2, Ep3 ('The Nightmare Begins'), when Merlin is tempted into helping her discover her magic, despite the warnings he received from Gaius and the Great Dragon.
Merlin experiences his ultimate atonement with his father, Balinor, in Season 2, Ep13 ('The Last Dragonlord'). Merlin can also be seen experiencing some atonement with Gaius at times throughout the series.
In Season 5, Episode 12 ('The Diamond of the Day: Part 1'), Merlin loses hope in himself after losing his magic. After a much needed talk with his father, Merlin regains his hope and magic, before returning to aid Arthur at Camlann.
Merlin's major battle in the series was the moment he killed Morgana in Season 5, Ep13 ('The Diamond of the Day: Part 2')
Merlin is rewarded with immortality as he awaits Arthur's return.
"Take heart, for when Albion's need is greatest Arthur will rise again." (Season 5, Ep13 'The Diamond of the Day: Part 2')
Merlin - Context and Values
The Adventures of Merlin is a BBC One fantasy-adventure television programme, created by Julian Jones, Jake Michie, Julian Murphy and Johnny Capps.
It is set in the Middle Ages, but created in a Modern Context.
The series was broadcast on BBC One between 20 September 2008 and 24 December 2012.
Courage: This is shown quite a lot throughout Merlin by many characters, but especially by Arthur. In Season 3, Ep8 ('The Eye of the Pheonix'), Grettir (the guarder of the bridge) refers to Bradley as 'courage', proving that Arthur is known to be courageous.
Love: This is seen to be a very important factor to many characters. Arthur was prepared to deny his right to the throne because of his love for Guinevere.
Equality: This value has been incorporated through the use of the Round Table, which first makes an appearance in Season 3, Episode 13 ('The Coming of Arthur: Part 2'). Arthur wishes to bring equality to Camelot, and attempts to do so with the Round Table, where everyone is considered equal and has a say.
Merlin - Social Commentary
Race: As Merlin was created within a modern context, it is not unusual to see that Guinevere is portrayed as a woman of colour. Due to it being created recently, it would be more accepted to be seen by the audience. Guinevere is also accepted by the people of Camelot, and is welcomed by them with open arms when she takes the throne as Queen.
Appearance: The character Merlin has shown that appearance does not matter in the long run, as it is much more than just body size that matters in the end. Merlin would be considered as the strongest character in the series, but not by his body strength, but through his magic which is more powerful than any other person or thing.
Women: Women are seen as being stronger and more powerful in Merlin, than they are in other adaptations. They have been given a bigger and more important role. Examples of strong women in Merlin include Guinevere, Morgana and Morgause, who have shown that they are capable of great things without the help of men. This is suitable in this context as women are now considered to be equal to men in the modern times.
Avalon High follows the story of Allie Pennington, the daughter of two medieval literature scholars, who transfers to a new high school called 'Avalon High'.
As Allie gets closer to her new classmates, she begins to experience visions of King Arthur. Suspecting that the prophecy is true and King Arthur will be reincarnated, Allie and her new friend Miles set out to stop the reincarnation of Mordred before it's too late.
Britt Robertson as Allie Pennington
Joey Pollari as Miles
Devan Graye as Marco
Molly C. Quinn as Jennifer
Steve Valentine as Mr Moore
Christopher Tavarez as Lance
Gregg Sulkin as Will
Appearance vs. Reality: In Avalon High, a few characters appear to be much different from what they truly are. These characters include Marco and Mr Moore. These two characters instead appear to be what the other actually is: Mr Moore is Mordred, and Marco is the good guy.
Good vs. Evil: This common theme appears in Avalon High quite clearly, as Allie is determined to make sure the reincarnation of Arthur is not defeated by Mordred.
Revenge: Mr Moore, the reincarnation of Mordred, made it very apparent by the end of the movie that he had wanted to take revenge on the reincarnation of Arthur.
Excalibur: This famous sword made an appearance in the Disney Channel movie in one of the final scenes of the film. Allie picks up a plastic sword to defend herself against Mr Moore, and upon her touch, the plastic sword magically turns into the Excalibur, revealing that she is the true reincarnation of King Arthur.
Love Triangle: A twist on the love triangle between Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot is apparent in the film Avalon High. Will's girlfriend Jen, and best friend Lance are found having an affair by Allie, the reincarnation of Arthur. She must hold the burden of knowing the truth on her shoulders while also having to keep it from Will.
Round Table: This makes an appearance in the film in the final scene, which pictures the cast sitting at a round table, while dressed up as their counterparts .
Avalon High - Quest Conventions
Call To Adventure
Allie is aided by her parents (medieval literature scholars) and by Miles at times, through his psychic visions.
Road of Trials
Allie has to deal with the burden of knowing about Lance and Jen's affair, while also not being able to tell Will about it.
Allie, Will and Miles experience atonement with Marco once they find out that he is a part of the Order of the Bear and is, in reality, helping them.
Crossing the First Threshold
Allie and Miles are informed about the Order of the Bear by Allie's parents, who also provide them with the 'Journal of the Order of the Bear'.
Allie, Will, Miles and Marco safely return to the game, while Mr Moore is detained.
Allie convinces Will to return to the game by telling him that he is King Arthur. Will takes this as a metaphor.
Man as Temptor
Allie's temptor would be Marco, as he tempts her to not tell Will about Jen and Lance's affair through the use of a threat.
Allie does not have any real refusal in the film.
Allie witnesses Will's best friend, Lance, and his girlfriend, Jen, having an affair.
Belly of the Whale
Allie meets Will while on her usual running route, and the two immediately feel a connection to each other, as though they have already met.
Meeting with the God
Allie's teacher, Mr Moore, assigns the class a task and pairs Allie up with Miles.
Avalon High - Context and Values
This Disney Channel Original Movie directed by Stuart Gillard is set and created within a modern context.
Unlike Merlin, Avalon High follows the adventures of young high school students and their discovering of the reincarnation of the King Arthur story.
Avalon High has been created for a young audience, hence explaining its lack of violence and the elimination of the death scene. These had to be taken away or changed in order to suit the different context and audience.
Thank you for watching, and I hope you enjoyed my presentation!
By Angela Tannoury
Love: This value has been depicted in the film by incorporating the relationship between Jen and Lance (Lancelot and Guinevere), and between Will and Allie (King Arthur). Although, these do not exactly follow the relationships of the original legend, instead they have included an original twist on the relationships.
Equality: This value has been incorporated in the film through the use of the Round Table, which appears in the final scene. In this scene, the cast is sitting at a round table dressed up as their counterparts.
Avalon High - Social Commentary
Women: Much like Merlin, Avalon High portrays women at a much higher status than they used to be on before. Avalon High's protagonist is, in fact, a female who turns out to be the reincarnation of Arthur. Allie Pennington was portrayed as the strongest individual in the film, as she was given the part with the most power. Due to Avalon High being created within a modern context, it has shown that women now have a higher place in society.
Appearance: Similar to the character Merlin, Miles (the reincarnation of Merlin) does not focus on his appearance or social skills. Instead he allows his intelligence and magical abilities to define who he is. He may not seem like it, but Miles may be the strongest character in the film. His magic and psychic abilities allow him to posses a power that no other character has access too.
In the early stages of BBC One's Merlin, Arthur Pendragon is perceived as a soiled, young prince who carries out his father's harsh commands, from first glance. However, upon a closer look, it is seen that Arthur is, in fact, a kind and compassionate man who only wishes to do the best for the people of Camelot. He attempts to go against his father's wishes numerous times in order to protect the people he cares about, and the things he thinks to be right. For example, in Season 3, Ep10 ('Queen of Hearts'), Arthur showed that he was prepared to do anything to be with Guinevere, even if it meant giving up his right to the throne of Camelot.
Arthur is a compassionate, kind, caring, forgiving and loyal man who tires to see the best in everyone, no matter their social status or rank.
In the Disney Channel Original Movie, Avalon High, it is revealed that the reincarnation of King Arthur is, in fact, a female. Allie Pennington is the modern day reincarnation of Arthur Pendragon. She demonstrates similar attributes to the original King Arthur: she's kind, caring, easy to get along with, just, fair and believes in equality for all. These attributes are all expressed in the film through Allie's character.
Allie reveals in the movie that she would like to become a lawyer one day, as she does not like it when people do something they know is wrong. This is similar to King Arthur, as he was a just and fair leader who wanted the best for the people of his Kingdom.