daughteroctober asked: I know I’m about to ask a terrible question but how would you go about rewriting Merlin so that the show’s cast and cinematography matches the storyline/writing. Would you rewrite it starting from a certain season like the end of season two? (my personal choice)
ah. sorry it took me so long. i’m kind of… fixated right now. BUT LET’S GO.
ideally i would start at the end of s1, but follow the general direction of s2, cos it’s the RIGHT direction, just horribly written. the great thing about bbc is that the season is short - you can be wonderfully precise and concise and tight with your writing, there doesn’t have to be any fillers. although capps doesn’t seem to think so. the tension would be relatively easier to maintain over a shorter span, so in bulletpoints:
- morgana hears kilgarrah’s voice in her head at the end of s1 - i’d take that and put it into the first ep (no time skip. lol fuck that shit) and morgana follows the voice in her dreams, down to the depths of the castle, and meets kilgarrah. kilgarrah tells her that the boy he had thought would unite albion had given up his chances more than once in order to protect arthur. kilgarrah offers her the choice to join him, confirming her fears about what she really is. she refuses at first.
- arthur and morgana’s relationship is fracturing; arthur realizes that there is something amiss with morgana - how did she know about sophia, how did she know about the attack in 1.13? (i refuse to write arthur as dumb as the writers do.) morgana, pushed to confrontation, begins to tell him how wrong his father is, how screwed up his policies are. she tells him that there is something wrong with her, she’s had suspicions - he cuts her off. he tells her that he doesn’t want to know, and she shouldn’t talk about it. he won’t be able to protect her if she does. morgana walks out. furious, she goes to kilgarrah and agrees to join him.
- arthur is increasingly suspicious and worried about morgana. he talks to gwen and tells her that he’s afraid that morgana may have been compromised, and asks her to look out for her, and tell him if she does anything strange. gwen, worried about morgana and terrified that she might lose her mistress to concerns of magic the same way she did her father, agrees.
- morgana begins to practice magic down in the vaults with kilgarrah, who coaches her and sees that she is loyal to her ideals first and foremost rather than being loyal to arthur. gwen starts to notice morgana disappearing, and tells arthur.
- at the same time, morgause arrives at camelot. she challenges arthur in order to win morgana’s hand at the ensuing banquet, where she confides in morgana that they are related and that uther has to be stopped. she tells morgana of the deal uther made with nimueh so that arthur can be conceived, and then leaves. morgana goes to arthur with good intentions - hoping that maybe he’d join her - and he goes off to seek more information from morgause. basically the plot of sins of the father happens, arthur comes back and confronts uther but is convinced that not only is morgause lying, but so is morgana. he tells her that she is meddling in dangerous business, and to stop lying to him. around the same time, he is getting closer to gwen.
- morgana is furious, and with morgause’s help, seeks out the rebel group headed by alvarr, to help her overthrow uther. when arthur has alvarr executed, she realizes that the tyrant has a tyrannical son, and decides that things has to change, once and for all, and the only way it can happen is if uther dies. she doesn’t want anyone else to die so avoids all out war - instead she goes to morgause with the idea of putting the sleeping spell in camelot, in the hopes that arthur will step up to the plate after uther’s death.
- merlin figures out it’s morgana whos plotting this. he poisons her while the castle is asleep, the skill breaks and morgause saves morgana, who wakes up and remembers what happened. she tells morgause that merlin has to die, and that she has a friend in camelot who would do the job for her. in camelot, arthur is organizing a nation wide manhunt for morgana. morgause sneaks back into camelot, and watches as arthur gives a speech about the dangers of magic, about how terrible it is and the cruelty of magic users; morgana is scrying all the time. morgause sneaks into the vaults and sets kilgarrah free. merlin talks his way out of it - promising to unite albion and bring back the old religion. morgause confronts uther - turns out that hse’s the daughter of ygraine by her earlier husband, and was sent out of the city to not challenge arthur’s claim to the throne. same with morgana. morgause tells him that she is going to erase him from history, then kills him in his throne.~end s2.
- only year jump i accept. morgana and morgause decide the best way to change camelot is from the inside out. morgana is sent to the isle of avalon to train in the arts of magic, and by the year’s end, she is a high priestess of avalon, and stumbles back into camelot.
- basically she spends half a season trying to convince him that magic can be used for good, before he does something unforgivable - he hauls in morgause for questioning, and then executes her for the abduction and abuse of morgana, then the murder of uther and the use of magic, and has her executed. morgana storms into his throne room, screaming and crying, and he tells her that he could very easily have had her killed along with morgause, that he knows, that he’d pretend not to if they carry on exactly as they have. he puts his hand on her throat - echo back to uther, and she decides that this is it. she goes to kilgarrah and tells him that arthur won’t ever allow magic back, but that another pendragon will. she rallies morgause’s old ally/lover - the king who wears all leather, can’t remember his name - and with his army and kilgarrah, takes over camelot and outs arthur. ~end s3
- s4 is basically arthur leading guerilla troops in camelot’s surroundings while morgana tries to route him out. morgana is alone and terrified because she realizes that the problem isn’t just the pendragons, but the system that they’ve put in place, that denies her existence. she becomes increasingly paranoid about the people around her, ordering mass executions of suspected harbourers and sympathizers, until finally her court deserts her, and arthur uses queen annis’s armies to take back camelot.
- arthur captures morgana but refuses to kill her. to tie himself to the people, he marries one of their own: gwen. morgana thinks that arthur has taken everything from her, and in a fit of rage, fights her way out of the dungeons, but suffers a mortal wound in the process and passes out in the woods. when she wakes up, she is in a small cottage, and mordred is smiling as she wakes. ~end s4.
- mordred and morgana join forces and rally all the priestesses of avalon. at the same time, lancelot finds his way back to camelot, and gwen, having never stopped loving him, falls into an affair that arthur finds out about early on, but doesn’t mention because he wants to keep the peace and he is political, more than anything. with the priestesses, morgana goes to the saxons, and invites them to invade. gwen decides that she is done being used as a political prop, no matter how much she loves arthur, and leaves with lancelot just as the saxons come down in their thousands, splitting the round table in the process. Morgana and the priestess approach from the south, while the saxons approach from the north, and arthur and his remaining men is trapped at camlann. they make a last stand, mordred kills arthur and arthur reveals that he’s known about merlin for years but considers it expedient to have a sorceror look after him. kilgarrah comes down, and reveals that arthur did unite albion - his death allowed the saxons to take over britain, and would lead in a few years, to a unified britain. morgana, having fulfilled her promise to kilgarrah and her fate, decides to take arthur to avalon where he can have peace, until he is needed to die for britain again. his purpose wasn’t in ruling, was never in ruling - his purpose was to die so that the land could have a symbol and a martyr; he was doomed from the start.