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ARTHURIAN LEGEND

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Murielle Abou Karam

on 23 July 2015

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Transcript of ARTHURIAN LEGEND

THE ARTHURIAN LEGEND
The Legend of King Arthur grew from the struggle between the Celtic and Saxon Wars. It originated as early as the 12th century in Europe. The legend carries history and the border between fact and fiction over the years have blurred. The story follows the birth, upbringing, reign, guidance, kingdom and death of King Arthur. Sir Thomas Malory combined all tales in the 15th century into one epic titled "Le Morte D' Arthur" which became the definitive version of the story.

Since then the Arthurian Legend has been appropriated through time. The TV series
The Adventures of Merlin
and the Film
Avalon High
are two modern day appropriations of the King Arthur legend.
Social Commentary
The Characterisation of Arthur and What He Stands For
The Storyline
Context and Values
Both texts have been created in the 21st century. The values of this century have been portrayed in each of the texts, in differing ways...
Themes
Quest Conventions
AVALON HIGH
THE ADVENTURES OF
MERLIN
Allie Pennington is a transfer student at Avalon High. She is paired up with her future best friend Miles to research "The Order of the Bear". Allie's parents explain that the Order of the Bear is a group of people who believe that King Arthur will one day be reincarnated when he is needed to lead the world out of darkness. The forces of evil- lead by Arthur's evil step brother Mordred- will also be returning to spoil the revival of Camelot.
Mile's reluctantly tells Allie that he has visions of the future, and of a vision that revealed a hidden page in the book on "The Order of the Bear". They learn that the coming of Arthur is on the night of an eclipse and a meteor shower, the day of the big game. The book also warns of the coming of Mordred who intends to destroy Arthur. Allie and Miles examine the situation with Allie's parents. They suspect that Marco is Mordred, Miles is Merlin, Will is Arthur, Jen is Guinevere and Lance is Lancelot .
Allie confides in Mr Moore her European history teacher about her findings. Together Allie and Miles try to protect Will, believing he is the reincarnation of Arthur so that the forces of evil do not destroy him and ensure darkness reigns forever.
The series is centered on Merlin and his heroic journey. He is a young warlock, the last Dragonlord in existence, and the best friend and manservant of the future King Arthur Pendragon. Merlin is also a creature of the Old Religion. He is a teenager, learning to master his magical gift. Merlin is Gaius' ward. King Uther Pendragon's learned court physician, coaches Merlin's magical study, and warns him of Uther's strong aversion to magic. Merlin speaks to Kilgharrah, the only dragon left imprisoned deep in the castle, who tells him that he must protect Arthur in order to fulfil his destiny and ensure the coming of a great kingdom under Arthur's rule.
Due to this Merlin becomes squire to the noble but imprudent prince, Arthur.
At first Merlin dislikes Arthur but as the show progresses they develop a close friendship while Merlin secretly continues to save his life using magic.
They make enemies of Morgana and Mordred and in the final series of the show Merlin feels the weight of his destiny like never before as the ancient prophecies play out. He must save himself as Morgana comes not only to destroy the kingdom but also Emrys, before he can save his beloved Camelot and it's king.
“In a land of myth, and a time of magic, the
destiny of a Great Kingdom rests on the
shoulders of a young boy, his name;
Merlin.” — Kilgharrah's opening narration
Characters
THE ADVENTURES OF MERLIN
AVALON HIGH
THE ADVENTURES OF MERLIN
AVALON HIGH
The characteristaion of Arthur is altered to suit the context in which the series was filmed. Distinct features of the prince and later king of Camelot make him more likable and relatable, creating a hero better suited to the 21st century.
The character of Arthur is prophesied to become the great future king of Camelot and bring peace and justice to the land.
The features of an imminent great king are seen through Arthur. While initially he seems ignorant and conceited, as the series progresses and through his relationship with Merlin, Arthur radiates strength, compassion, independence, knowledge, confidence and chivalry.
He is the commander of the kingdom's knights who respect and believe in him. He defends the falsely accused before the king, and even secretly defies him occasionally. Additionally, he welcomes commoners Lancelot, Gwaine, Mordred and Percival as knights and even falls in love with Guinevere, a servant girl. Most importantly he comes to regard his servant Merlin as a close friend and confidant.
When Arthur finally comes to terms with his father's death (which was caused by magic) he promises to lift the ban on magic and respect magicians. Through Arthur's acceptance of magic the ordinary and unordinary can live in harmony throughout the land.
The Arthur in
Merlin
differs from the traditional Arthur in that he does not blindly believe in anything, where as he comes to his own conclusions about situations.
He also does not commit the act of incest which would be very disturbing to modern day audiences.

Although the character Arthur possess' the same values as
Merlin's
Arthur there is evidently many distinctions between the two, mostly seen through the difference in the gender and age of Arthur. In
Merlin,
Arthur is a grown man, whereas in Avalon High, a female teenager represents Arthur.
A female playing the role of Arthur is a change brought about by the time period the film was filmed in.
Allie Pennington is a typical teen. She is responsible for her age, compassionate, kind, composed (when not around Will), passionate and energetic.
These qualities are evident as she always stands up for what she believes in, not allowing Marco and Jen to tell her what to do when she believes it is wrong, she befriends Miles and encourages Will.
THE ADVENTURES OF MERLIN
Good vs. Evil
This is a major Quest theme occurring continuously throughout the series. Contrary to what King Uther believes, the battle of good and evil is between the forces that use magic for good and those using it for evil, rather than between the old religion and ordinary people. There are many accounts to prove this, for example when Merlin destroys Nimueh for her disloyalty in the 13th episode of season 1 titled "Le Morte d'Arthur."
Identity/ Deception
In a land where magic is outlawed ones true identity must be sacrificed for a counterfeit persona. This is most notably seen in Merlin as he hides behind a helpless, weak servant boy and later on disguises himself as an old warlock known as Emrys. There are also many characters throughout the series who appear to be other than what they are including Agravaine, Morgana and Mordred.
Relationships
There are many unusual friendships and romances formed in the series.
Most evidently seen between Merlin and Arthur's friendship and
Gwen and Arthur's relationship. The strong friendship formed
between the servant boy and the prince sprouts as early as the 4th episode
("The Poisoned Chalice") in season 1 when Arthur disobeys his
father's orders and goes out to save Merlin's life.


AVALON HIGH
Good vs. Evil
The forces of good and evil in this film are clear as Allie and
Miles are determined to protect Will in order to save Avalon.
During the science lab scene, Allie and Miles work together in order to ensure Will's safety. It is Allie's experiment that turns out to be tampered with though and this can be seen as a foreshadowing of future events.
Identity/Deception
The reincarnations of each of the citizens of Camelot are unknown even to the characters themselves. Allie though begins to identify her peers as they originally were due to their personalities, abilities and actions. She is wrong on two counts, about the true Mordred and Arthur. Mr Moore deceives Allie into trusting him and his true identity is only revealed at the climax of the film as the real Arthur (Allie) and Mordred go head to head.
Love and Trust
The love triangle formed by Will, Jen and Lance represents that of Arthur, Gwen and Lancelot. Allie also develops romantic feelings for Will. When Will is disheartened by the revelation of Jen and Lance's unfaithfulness, he only regains his trust and motivation through Allie, as he comes to love and trust her.




Motifs in
Merlin
Motifs in
Avalon High
Good vs. Evil
Identity/Deception
Myths and Legends
“Take heart, for when Albion's need is greatest, Arthur will rise again.”
— Kilgharrah to Merlin
“The story we have been a part of will live long in the minds of men.”
— Kilgharrah to Merlin
The Sword
Excalibur is repeatedly presented as a symbol of strength and power. In last episode in season 4 titled "The Sword in the Stone" displays the immense confidence it instills in the person who beholds it. The knights are also knighted through the bestowing of knighthood upon them by Arthur through the use of a sword.

Love Triangle
Arthur, Gwen and Lancelot are woven together by a love triangle. It is significant to Arthur's success and downfall and represents the power of love. Arthur eventually marries Gwen in season 4 in the episode titled "The Sword in the Stone".
The Round Table
In the episode titled "The Coming of Arthur" Arthur finds a round stone table in the ruins of an ancient castle, and gathers Merlin, Gwen, Gaius, Lancelot, Gwaine, Percival and Elyan, explaining that none of them would have survived without each other and they are equal in their cause.
Religious symbols
There are many religious allegory's throughout the series including, the Cup of Life, the Old Religion, the Isle of the blessed.
Myths and Legends
Throughout the movie Allie and Miles are reading a book on the Order of the Bear Legend. Allie's parents are also a source of knowledge of the legend and myth of King Arthur. Examples: The legend of the sword Excalibur "any sword, in King Arthur's hands becomes Excalibur".

The Sword
Excalibur appears at the end as a reassurance that Allie is the reincarnation of King Arthur. The toy sword turns into a gleaming metal one when in Allie's hands and fulfills the legend that "any sword, in King Arthur's hands becomes Excalibur."
The Round Table
After the battle against Mordred and his army the Allie and her new found friends gather around a round lunch table and are then transported into their time period to sit around the true Round Table. Different people of different social groups are all seated as equals.
Football Jersey
The jersey represents the uniting of a team and the knights of Avalon High, that is Allie or King Arthur's knights.
Visions
Allie and Miles experience reoccurring visions. This foreshadows future events and reiterates that they have special abilities.
Merlin
The Call to Adventure
Refusal of the Call
Supernatural Aid
Crossing the First Threshold
The Belly of the Whale
The Road of Trials
The Meeting with the Goddess
Temptation Away from the Path
Atonement with the Father
Apotheosis
The Ultimate Boon
The Refusal of the Return
The Magic Flight
Rescue from Without
Crossing the Return Threshold
Master of Two Worlds
Freedom to Live
The hero and the main protagonist of the series
Arthur's servant and Gaius' ward
Thought to be the greatest sorcerer to walk the earth
Has an alter-ego named "Dragoon the Great" or Emrys
Is destined to protect Arthur and saves his life on many occasions
“Without you Arthur will never succeed, without you there will be no Albion”— Kilgharrah to Merlin
MERLIN
PRINCE ARTHUR
PENDRAGON
Prince and Later king of Camelot
Commander of the kingdom's knights
Defies his father's harsh edicts continuously
Displays true leadership qualities
Welcomes commoners Lancelot, Gwaine, Mordred and Percival as knights
Falls in love with Gwen
Comes to regard his servant Merlin as a close friend
“There is something about you, Arthur Pendragon. Something which gives me hope for us all.”— Queen Annis to Arthur
MORGANA
Uther's ward and revealed to be his daughter
Initially a kind and empathetic young woman
Despises Uther because she realises he will never truly accept her due to her magical abilities
Corrupted by Morgause her evil half sister
Become's the shows primary antagonist
“Thank you, Merlin. I know now who I really am. And it isn't something to be scared of. Maybe one day people will come to see magic as a force for good.”— Morgana to Merlin
GUINEVERE
Initially Morgana's servant
Rises to become Queen of Camelot
Falls in love with Arthur
Gwen is popular among the people and strives to make Arthur more approachable to them
“All I know is that no one would sacrifice more for Camelot or for you than Gwen.”— Merlin to Arthur
KING UTHER PENDRAGON
Camelot's stubborn and hard- hearted king
Due to his past experiences with magic he ruthlessly enforces the kingdom's strict ban on sorcery
Shows his son tough love
Due to his brutal fight against magic he earns himself many enemies
Morgana's betrayal leaves him a broken man
“I pride myself as a fair and just king, but for the crime of sorcery there is but one sentence I can pass.”— Uther, before executing Thomas Collins
GAIUS
The court physician and Merlin's guardian
Was once a magician but has long since abandoned magic
Willing to help foster Merlin's talents
Comes to love Merlin as his own son
One of King Uther's closest advisors
A wise man with great experience
Becomes Gwen's mentor after she succeeds the throne
“You have taught me so much. Taught me who I am. Taught me the purpose for my skills. Taught me that magic should only be used for great deeds. But most of all, you have always taught me to do what is right.”— Merlin to Gaius
KNIGHTS OF THE
ROUND TABLE
Include Lancelot, Gwaine, Percival, Leon and Elyan
Are all loyal allies to king Arhtur Pendragon
Display chivalrous, knightly qualities
“He may not be of noble birth, but I can vouch that he has a noble heart”— Arthur on Gwaine
KILGHARRAH
Kilgharrah, or The Great Dragon, is a mighty and ancient dragon who was imprisoned and chained in a cave beneath Camelot by Uther Pendragon at the end of the Great Purge
Merlin's mentor and friend tells him of the prophecy regarding his hand in uniting the land of Albion with Arthur
He acted as a magical guide where Gaius' counsel would fail
Merlin reluctantly frees Kilgharrah to repay a debt
“I have lived over a thousand years, seen civilizations rise and fall”— Kilgharrah to Merlin
MORDRED
Mordred was a druid who formed a close bond with Morgana when she, Arthur and Merlin saved his life as a young boy
Arthur knights Mordred a knight of Camelot
Mordred's love interest Kara was killed by Arthur and this causes Mordred to turn on Arthur and ally with Morgana
Succeeds in mortally wounding Arthur
Arthur still retains the strength to kill him
“The prophecies speak of an alliance of Mordred and Morgana. United in evil.”— Kilgharrah to Merlin
ALLIE PENNINGTON
MILES
WILLIAM WAGNER
JENIFFER (JEN)
LANCE
MR. MOORE
MARCO CAMPBELL
A transfer student at Avalon High
She has many visions and dreams of knights and a battle throughout the film
She initially tries to protect Will the football quarterback at Avalon High because she believes he is the reincarnation of king Arthur
She is the true reincarnation of king Arthur
Is the reincarnation of Merlin
His visions become an aid to Allie when he realises his true potential
Becomes Allie's best friend
Is the unpopular shy student at Avalon high
Helps in initially trying to protect Will
Star quarterback and Captain of Avalon High's football team "The Knights"
Is practically the most popular guy at Avalon High
Dating Jen and is best mates with Lance
In the middle of a love triangle
Is thought to be king Arthur
Actually a knight of Camelot
Most popular girl at Avalon High
Is the "coolest girl in school" according to Lance
In a relationship with Will and has an affair with his best friend Lance, although she means well by not telling Will
The reincarnation of Guinevere
Thought to be Will's evil step brother
A bully at Avalon High
Mistaken for Mordred
Is a knight of Camelot also trying to protect Arthur
European History teacher at Avalon High
Deceives Allie into believing she can trust him
The true reincarnation of Mordred
Battles Allie, determined to destroy King Arthur
Will's best friend
The reincarnation of Lancelot
Is in a relationship with Jen while she is dating Will, forming a love triangle similar to that between King Arthur, Gwen and Lancelot
Arthur is born with a magical ability. Merlin's mother sends him to start a new life in Camelot in order to learn about the mystery of his own powerful magic.
The Great Dragon insists that Merlin is destined to use his gifts to protect Arthur, despite Merlin's disbelief. Merlin is later made Arthur's manservant and his journey begins.

“No young man, no matter how great, can know his destiny. He cannot glimpse his part in the great story that is about to unfold. Like everyone, he must live and learn. And so it will be for the young warlock arriving at the gates of Camelot. A boy that will, in time, father the legend. His name: Merlin.”
— The Great Dragon

Merlin is neither thrilled nor accepting of the path Kilgharrah says he is destined to take. Merlin is skeptic of his abilities.
Gaius is Merlin’s mentor and friend, and one of the few people who know of his magical abilities. Kilgharrah acts as a magical guide where Gaius' counsel would fail.
The fatal Questing Beast battle leaves Arthur dying. In an attempt to save Arthur, Merlin asks for help from Nimueh a High Priestess of the Old Religion. The Old Religion only cares for the restoration of balance to the world and due to this Nimueh cheats Merlin in their deal. Merlin returns to the Isle of the Blessed and destroys Nimueh.

In the 3rd episode of the 2nd season "The Nightmare Begins", Morgana, with the help of Merlin, is put out of her misery when she discovers she holds magical powers. Later on in the series the betrayal of Morgana and Kilgharrah's request to be released appear in an episode titled "The Witch's Quickening". In the last episode Merlin saves Camelot from being burnt to ashes by the Great Dragon by embracing his Dragon Lord abilities.
Merlin and Arthur embark on many adventures before saving the kingdom from the fury of a dragon, after it, for example in season 3 "The Eye of the Phoenix" Arthur embarks on a solitary quest to retrieve the Golden Trident from the Fisher King and prove himself worthy of the throne of Camelot, while Merlin tries to fulfill his duty and protect the future king of Camelot.
Merlin meets and loves Freya in season 2.
In season 1 "Le Morte D' Arthur" Gwen and Arthur's deep connection is revealed when Gwen tells Arthur that she believes he will not die, and will one day be a very great and wise king who will bring peace to Camelot.
Merlin is tempted to help Morgana in discovering her powers even though the dragon warned him that Morgana would benefit from not knowing the extent of her powers.
“Thank you, Merlin. I know now who I really am. And it isn't something to be scared of. Maybe one day people will come to see magic as a force for good.”
— Morgana to Merlin
Merlin apologises to Gaius for helping Morgana against Gaius' wishes and also reunites with his biological father Balinor in the last episode of season 2.
Morgause plotted to turn Arthur against Uther by revealing the truth about his birth. Arthur made a serious attempt to kill his father but was ultimately persuaded out of his rage by Merlin, after which his relationship with Uther recovered (season 2 "The Sins of the Father").
Avalon High
“You're the last dragonlord now. You alone carry the ancient gift. Deep within yourself, you must find the voice that you and Kilgharrah share, for your soul and his are brothers. When you speak to him as kin, he must obey your will.”
— Balinor to Merlin

When Merlin becomes the dragon lord he embraces his true identity and total ability.


THE ADVENTURES
OF MERLIN
AVALON HIGH
The Adventures of Merlin is a TV series by Julian Jones,
Jake Michie, Julian Murphy and Johnny Capps. It was broad-
cast between 20th September 2008 and 24th December
2012. The show was influenced by the U.S drama series
Smallville. The show is loosely based on the Arthurian legend
of the young wizard Merlin and his relationship with Arthur
Pendragon but differs from traditional versions in many ways.
The time period in which it was created, allowed for changes
in values on, for example, gender roles, social ranks and also
in dialect and dress, of it's context- medieval Europe.
The characters speak in a modern and informal way using
phrases that would not have existed in the era the series is
set in. Eg “Arthur, she's a troll!"
"She's not that bad.”
— Merlin and Arthur discuss Catrina.
Interesting fact:
Morgana is seen wearing high-heeled shoes, which
were not
invented until the 15th century.


Avalon High is a 2010 Disney Channel Original Movie. The movie is based on a young adult novel by Meg Cabot, published in 2005. The film also differs in many ways to the original Arthurian legend text due to the time period in which it was produced, the 21st century and it's context, in a high school.
Much like Merlin, Avalon High differs in values such as gender roles and popularity/social status.
Due to it's setting it appeals to a younger audience and therefore focuses on teenage dramas, the love triangle and self discovery.
Values in Merlin
Values in Avalon High
Gender Roles
Women in this series are seen in many positions of power such as Morgana and Nimueh, both high priestess' of the Old Religion. Gwen also becomes the Queen of Camelot when Arthur dies. The values of the time period it was produced in have been reflected through this as the discrimination between women and men that occurred during Medieval Europe would not have appealed to the audience.
Love
The love triangle between Arthur, Gwen and Lancelot also brings Arthur heart break and leads him astray. In the end Love brings the two together again and makes Arthur regain his full composure.

Social Status
The structure and etiquette of society has all been disregarded by Arthur in knighting commoners Lancelot, Gwaine, Percival, Leon, Elyan and Mordre. Also in marrying Guinevere Arthur goes against the social norm. Arthur is extremely unconventional talking back and insulting the future King of Camelot.
Equality in Gender Roles and Social Status
The conventional modern day high school social structure is evident in the film and yet it presents an interaction between the "popular" students and those inferior to them. In one instance the interaction is detrimental because of the unbalanced use of power and in another it is mutually enjoyed. This emphasises equality amongst different types of people and a breach of the established undesired order. Allie is also accepted as King Arthur by her peers and although Mr Moore is surprised by the revelation he still deems her a worthy opponent. All types of people, male, female, nerd and bully are seated at the round table and this embodies the value of equality.
Love
Love is expressed as a powerful feeling able to mend and break hearts. Jen and Lance share a love and form a love triangle with Will. Yet Will eventually expresses his fondness of Allie after he finds out about Jen.
Self Discovery/ Belief
When Miles finally accepts his powers and discovers the confidence to engage in conversation with others he becomes of great help to Allie in her battle against Mr Moore. Will also doubts himself and has trouble figuring out what his true passion is. He feels great pressure from his team mate and position as captain to win the football game. Allie helps Will regain his confidence and he wins the grand final.
The battle at Canaan between Morgana, Mordred, Merlin and Arthur.
"I cant lose him, he's my friend"- Merlin when talking to Kilgharrah about Arthur dying in season 5 "The Diamond of the Day- part 2"
Merlin feels grief and failure due to Arthur's death. He feels as though he cannot go on without him.
Mordred strikes Arthur and fatally wounds him. Merlin, on his way to the lake of Avalon with a dying Arthur, torn with grief, calls to Kilgharrah like all other times and the dragon carries them the rest of the way to the lake of Avalon.
At the lake's edge Kilgharrah tells a heartbroken Merlin that there is nothing he can do, but to have faith, as Arthur will one day rise again when Albion's need is greatest.
Merlin then throws Excalibur into the lake where it is caught by Freya's hand and drawn back under the water while he watches resignedly. Throwing the sword represents moving on.
The show ends in modern times, as a truck rushes by, and an aged Merlin, in shabby but modern attire, is seen walking past what was once the lake of Avalon, waiting for Arthur to rise as Kilgharrah told him he is destined to do.
Many times throughout the series Merlin and Arthur are successful in their journeys. For example: After the Merlin destroys Nimueh in "Le Morte D' Arthur" or the battle with Kilgharrah in "The Last Dragon Lord
The Call to Adventure
Refusal of the Call
Supernatural Aid
Crossing the First Threshold
The Belly of the Whale
The Road of Trials
The Meeting with the Goddess
Temptation Away from the Path
Atonement with the Father

Apotheosis
The Ultimate Boon
Refusal of the Return
The Magic Flight
Rescue from Without
Crossing the Return Threshold
Master of Two Worlds
Freedom to Live
Allie transfers to Avalon High. She is assigned the topic of the "Order of the Bear" by her teacher. She also has constant dreams and visions of a battle.
Allie tells Mr Moore that she finds it doubtful that there will be a reincarnation of King Arthur, after she finally accepts asking her parents about the topic.

Miles is also unsure of his powers and refuses to acknowledge them.
Miles aids Allie in protecting Will and through his visions and knowledge.
Allie and Miles begin their research on the Order of the Bear.
Allie witnesses Jen and Lance together suggesting a love affair.
Allie and Miles foresee a science lab hazard believing Marco caused it and try to protect Will from danger.
The football game, where Lance is briefly distracted by Jen which costs them the game tests Will's leadership and confidence.
Allie and Will meet at the water fountain as Allie takes her morning run before school.
Jen is a temptress in this case persuading Allie not to tell Will of the affair so that he does not lose the motivation to win the football final.
Allie, Miles and Will discover who they truly are the reincarnations of and that Marco is not the real Mordred. Allie also experiences atonement when she appreciates her fanatical parents.
Will goes through the apotheosis stage after he mistakes Allie revealing the truth to him as a metaphor and regains the courage to win the football game after he learns of Jen and Lance's affair.

Allie and Miles also experience apotheosis after they learn of their true nature or reincarnations.
Transported into their original time period, Allie (Arthur) goes head to head with Mr. Moore (Mordred); their armies battle in the background.
The group transports back to the stage where a police man comes to kick them out. Mr. Moore poorly attempts to frame Allie yet he sounds ridiculous to the policeman and is taken away by force.
Mr. Moore is last seen being taken away by the police, and Miles accepts that he's Merlin.
Back at the game, twelve seconds are left when Will returns. Allie and Miles return to the stands where her parents -having missed all the action- wonder if Arthur's return was just a story.
Before they go back to the game after the battle, Marco bows to Allie, "Her Highness." This enforces the idea that she is truly King Arthur's reincarnation.
The fierce group Allie, Will, Jen, Marco, Lance and Miles meet again at the Round Lunch Table and return to their time period as the people they were originally to be.
Will and Allie embrace after the football game win and Lance and Jen get together. Miles even finally has the courage to ask a girl out.
THE ADVENTURES OF MERLIN
AVALON HIGH
Women/ Gender Roles
Women in medieval Europe were submissive to men and seen as dependent on them. Their duties revolved around housekeeping, bearing and raising children. In this series women are put in powerful positions and are independent of men. Clear examples are Morgana, Morgause and Nimueh. This highlights the fact that women are equal to men and can be just as influential and dominant.
Use of Magic and Power
The good use of magic and the evil use of power is continuously contrasted throughout the series. It aims to highlight that power whether through magic or authority can be used to benefit or to detriment. The side that uses their magic/power for good is usually the triumphant side.
Destiny
The series comments extensively on destiny and whether we have a choice in what we pursue or whether our path is predestined. All the prophecies are fulfilled and yet we also see Merlin continuously exercising his freewill. For example, Kilgharrah warns Merlin of revealing to Morgana the extent of her powers yet he still decides to help her.
Race
Race is no issue in the series. Guinevere is of a darker skin colour and so is her brother Elyan yet both have been regarded as equals. Guinevere becomes Queen of Camelot with no mention of her race and Elyan is knighted and becomes one of the knights of the round table. Race causes no disturbance amongst people and this is a firm comment that one's race does not change the fact that they are human.
Class Structure/ Social Status
The class structure of Medieval Europe basically consisted of Royalty, the nobles, the working class, and the lower class made up of servants. People could not move up through the ranks easily at all. Yet despite this Arhtur insists on marrying Guinevere and she becomes Queen of Camelot. This emphasises that social ranks are invisible lines drawn by society that should not define a person and prevent them from pursuing their passions.
Women/ Gender Roles
Mr Moore taunts Allie before they battle, commenting on her gender and the fact that a girl cannot possibly be Arthur. Yet Allie is the true reincarnation of Arthur. The producers have speicifically done this with ease as there is nothing stopping a female from being a hero and possess heroic or legendary qualities.
Human Judgement/ Consequences of Actions
Allie assumes that because Marco is a bully, he is the "evil" step-brother of King Arthur, Mordred. Mr Moore also pins Allie as being the Lady of the Lake. Both these assumptions are proven wrong, sending the message that human judgement is fallible.
The consequences of Jen and Lance's actions bring undesirable consequences.
The producers are trying to communicate the fact that one should not be rash in making decisions.
Class Structure/ Social Status
The high school setting of the film includes it's common social structure: the jocks and cheerleaders or those that are "popular", the bullies and the shy, geeky, unpopular students. These groups are thought to rarely interact.
The characters of Will, Jen and Lance though welcome Allie, the new student and Miles the nerd, with open arms. Even Marco is eventually included within his step-brother's friendship group. The unlikely bunch unite at the round lunch table.
This highlights that all people are able to get along and that people should not be placed in, and defined by categories
Appearance/ Self Discovery
Allie is not presumed to be King Arthur, since typically the role is fulfilled by a male. Marco's appearance is also deceiving as it differs from his intentions. Another example of one's appearance contradicting their character is Mr Moore. This proves that people are not always who they appear to be.
Miles and Will throughout the film are trying to discover their true identity. The producers of the film have outlined the growth one experiences in high school and have focused on the acceptance of ones self and their peers.
Good Job today Merlin
You know I was kidding before right?
Allie thinking she needs to tell Will about the myth and Miles disagreeing
THE END! HOPE YOU ENJOYED IT
Full transcript