MERLIN CLUB: With All My Heart

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MERLIN CLUB: WITH ALL MY HEART
Or The One with “The Gangly Boy” I Lust After…So Much

Bare recap, this week…

Arthur finds out Gwen is under Morgana’s power and acting with her against him. Merlin promises that they’ll find a way to save her – though later he wonders why the hell he promised that because he has no clue how to do such a thing. After conferring with Encyclopedia Gauis, he goes off to visit old spider eyes – aka The Dochraid.

He goes as Dragoon and eventually gets her to tell him how to get Gwen back to being Gwen. She’s not too happy with him because she’s definiteley Team Morgana. As he leaves, she tries to kill him but he ends up killing her (or does he?). He goes back to Camelot and tells Arthur the plan – not an easy one, involving bringing her to a remote place – the Cauldron of Something or Other – getting her to into the pool on her own, and having a sorcerer perform a ritual. Arthur is hesitant to break his own laws, but his love for Gwen wins out, especially when Gaius informs him the sorcerer he’s chosen is a woman and can be trusted.

So Merlin and Arthur drug Gwen and off they go. The Dochraid, who is NOT dead, manages to get a message to Morgana. Who is mighty pissed and unwilling to give up Evil!Gwen. She enlists the help of poor Aithusa and sets off after them.

While the boys are travelling, Merlin falls off a freaking cliff and is knocked out. Arthur, of course, goes after his boyfriend manservant and ends up falling himsef and his arm is pinned by rocks. Luckily for them, Mordred was all suspicoius and followed them. He saves the day. Though Merlin doesn’t see it that way, but we all know how he feels about Mordred.

The next day, they are nearly at their destination, and BAM Dragon Attack!!!!! They hide and Merlin tells them to go ahead of him. Mordred tries to stop him, but Merlin’s having none of that. And confronts Aithusa…full on Dragonlord mode…and sends the dragon away. Morgana shows up, but so does Mordred. Morgana throws them with magic – because that’s what magic is reduced to here. Mordred is knocked out and Merlin leaves him and goes after Arthur, who nearly goes back for his knight. Merlin convinces him that Mordred gave them a chance and they have to take it if they want to save Gwen.

At the cauldron, Merlin says he’ll go get the sorcerer…and uses magic to become an old woman sorcerer…The Dolma. While he’s doing that, Mordred shows up – he kinda kicked some magical ass with Morgana and kept Merlin’s secret (that he’s Emrys, the one Morgana fears most). Gwen wakes up and argues with Arthur, saying she never loved him, but he manages to break through the magic gripping her and gets her to wade into the water on her own. Dolma!Merlin performs the spell, and Gwen is Gwen again. Yay.

There’s sassiness on Dolma!Merlin’s part when Arthur nearly leaves without Merlin. On the trip back to Camelot, Mordred tells Merlin that Arthur is lucky – to have Merlin protecting and looking after him. He says he knows it was Merlin’s magic that saved Gwen. He again promises to keep Merlin’s secret, and says he wants what is best for Camelot as much as Merlin does.

If I’d written this episode, I would have changed… This is more irksome than anything, but Arthur is hesitant to have a sorcerer’s help with this, and Gaius says that this time is different, because the sorcerer is a woman. HOW IS THAT DIFFERENT? HOW IS THAT EASIER FOR ARTHUR TO ACCEPT?? He’s had female sorcerers after him before – the sorcerer from the very first episode, Nimueh, Morgause, Morgana… I just don’t get how it being a woman is a selling point is all. I think it would have been better just to have Arthur be desperate enough to do it. That fits the great love story they’re trying to tell. 

Thing(s) I loved about this episode

  • Betrayed!Arthur. I love me some pain and Bradley James plays it well.
  • Merlin as Dragoon. Dear lord, people, his voice. *THUD* Before as Dragoon, he’s had this exaggerated “old person” voice, but here, it’s all deep and gravelling and oh so lovely. My theory is that it’s because when he’s been Dragoon before he exaggerated it because he was around people who knew him and he didn’t want to risk recognition, but here, he didn’t have to do that. And I wholeheartedly approve.
  • Dragonlord!Merlin – you are not surprised by this, I know
  • Mordred. These episodes kill me with Mordred, because I know what’s coming. I like Mordred, dammit. And he just wants Merlin – Emrys, the most powerful of his kind, who he basically hero-worships – to like him!

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  • Dolma!Merlin – this is a freaking hoot. Colin Morgan is brilliant here.
  • How utterly UNslick Arthur, Merlin and Gaius are when drugging Gwen

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Thing(s) I hated about this episode—The thing mentioned above. And this is not just a Merlin issue – we see this in A LOT of shows/movies – but for all that is holy and good, make sure the person you “kill” is dead, FFS! 

Something I never noticed about this episode before—Got nothing here this week. 

Proof of some head canon I’ve created—Nothing this week, other than the obvious and constant Merthur subtext 😉

Favorite costume—Okay, I have to go with the freaking Dolma. Because, come on!

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What would Bron steal from Camelot in this episode? Morgana’s ensemble, including her gloves and necklace. I’m kinda cheating here because I’m fairly certain this is her fave cosume of the week, but I’m doing it. 

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What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? A good way? I’ll just leave this here…because we sooooo agree on this. 

Bron’s Take on “With All My Heart” | Jen’s Take on “With All My Heart”

Next week 3/23 at 8pm EST, we’ll be watching S05E10 “The Kindness of Strangers”. We’ll be on Twitter with the hastag #MerlinClub

January Photo Writing Prompt – Merlin’s Cave

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As I mentioned in my 2015 goals post, some new things are happening on the blog in the coming year. This is one of them! The first Monday of every month, a wonderful bunch of ladies and I will be posting a photo along with a flashfiction peice inspired by that photo.

This month’s photo sent my mind immediately running to a character I’ve already written–and am still writing. Merlin from my Albion’s Circle series. So, I just went with it…

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MERLIN’S CAVE

I flipped up the collar of my coat and ducked my head. More out of habit than actual need. I didn’t really feel the frigid wind or the bitter cold. I didn’t feel much of anything. Hadn’t in a long, long time.

Which was why I was here. I needed to remember, needed to see their faces again, needed to feel.

The stones and gravel crunched under my boots as I made my way to the mouth of the cave. I hadn’t been here in… I chuckled softly—a humorless sound lost in the howling gusts. I hadn’t felt the need to come here in several lives. I hadn’t felt the need because it’d been so long since I’d been alone. Well, and truly alone. In all the lives I’d lived, in all the centuries since Camelot, there had been many years spent on my own, but not like this. Usually, at the end of it all, when the battle was over, I had someone there. Arthur or Galahad or one of the others standing by my side. There to help shoulder the burden, to balance the darkness inside me with their light, to remind me of what I was fighting for every life, to remind me it was all worth it.

But this life, there was no one. They were lost. And it was my fault. I’d done what needed to be done to stop Mordred, but I couldn’t stop. I clenched my jaw as images of fire and destruction and the sounds of screaming played in my head. I hadn’t stopped until everyone was gone.

I paused at the cave’s entrance and took a deep breath, the cold air burning my lungs. My magic throbbed inside me, pushing against my skin painfully. I hadn’t accessed it, hadn’t let it out, since the last battle ten years ago, and it was not happy.

I walked slowly inside, eyes adjusting to the change in light, and forced myself to continue deeper. When the darkness became too much, I lifted my trembling hand…and let it hover in the air. Fear and uncertainty overwhelmed me as my power jumped and vibrated, desperate to get out, to be used. It’d been too long. I didn’t know if I could wield it with any control.

Don’t be silly, Merlin. It’s a part of you. Trust it.

I closed my eyes as her voice sounded in my head. Oh, I knew it wasn’t really her voice. I hadn’t heard that since Camelot, but it’d always, always be her I heard when I needed a swift kick in the ass.

I inhaled deeply and loosened the decade-old hold I’d kept on my magic. Lights flickered through the cavern. Wild and erratic at first, all over the place. Then, they all converged and a large orb glowed, suspended near the roof of the cave, illuminating the large space.

I swayed on my feet, lightheaded and intoxicated as my power flowed out. It danced around the room before coming back, twining around me, embracing me, comforting me. My eyes stung as my gaze settled on the frosted cavern wall before me. What I’d etched into the stone all those years ago was barely visible, but I knew it was there. Power swelled and crackled in the air as bright lines appeared on the wall. I laughed, the sounded echoing, as the images I’d created were re-carved before my eyes. My magic was bringing them back without my even having to directing it.

I stepped forward and lifted my fingers to trace along the line of Arthur’s crown as I studied his face. Arthur Pendragon. King of Camelot, High King of all of Albion. The greatest of us all. My best friend.

My throat tightened, and I swallowed with difficulty. I made my way slowly down the length of the way, the orb of light following me so I could make out all the faces staring back at me. Lancelot and Guinevere, Gawain, Morgana, Percival, Erek and Owain. I stopped in front of Galahad, smiling at his cheeky grin even as I fought against the pain weighing down on me. And knew it was going to crush me. Destroy me the moment I took another step.

The orb moved past me, and Galahad’s face fell into shadow as the light concentrated, centered on what I avoided…and what I wanted to see more than anything. And of course, my magic knew that. I could feel it pulling, drawing me to stand before…well, her.

Annwyl.

I traced the lines of her face, imagined the warmth of her skin even as the frozen stone scraped the pad of my finger. And, suddenly, anger surged. The years that separated us, the guilt of not saving her, the utter grief of losing her time after time choked me. I slammed my fists against the wall, and it cracked—fissures crept outward, obscuring her likeness. Immediately, the fractures flared brightly then knit back together.

“I miss you,” I whispered, pressing my fingers to her lips. “I’ll find you.”

I turned away and stumbled to the large boulder in the center of the cavern. As I sat, I forced myself to look at Annwyl’s face again, even though it hurt. I deserved that. I deserved every ounce of pain and torment.

“I promise. The next life, I’ll find you. Just…just wait for me, this time. Please, wait for me.”

Make sure to check out what fabulousness the photo inspired from the other ladies. 🙂 
Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Jessica De La Rosa | Kayleigh Jones | Kris Norris