Why do you think Merlin and Arthur from Merlin BBC are so popular?
Because it's a genuine love story.
Whether or not you think they're in love (they are) it's about two people who find themselves in each other’s lives, two people who, at first, thought they had absolutely nothing in common
only to forge such an extraordinary connection with each other that they can’t fathom the other not being by their side
like this is a significant scene
not just because Arthur goes back for Merlin, not just because he admits he couldn’t bear to lose Merlin in a brief moment of vulnerability before going back to good-naturedly berating him, but because he says that Merlin is his only friend. This doesn’t mean that he doesn’t get along with his knights or doesn’t admire his knights or doesn’t have affection for his knights but there is still an inherent distance between him and them because of who he is and the role and the title he has that he just doesn’t feel with Merlin and Merlin is of an even lower station than the knights but that doesn’t matter
like it’s a story about sheer mutual devotion
and I think that speaks to people, I mean it did for me and I didn’t expect to be as invested in them as I became but I like a great love story and I like that there are details that make up their love story, it’s not generic, they have their Merthurisms
that is evident to other people
as is their devotion
Merlin knows that Arthur likes his sass and what’s more, he keeps it up because Arthur likes it
Arthur knows something is going on with Merlin if he isn’t talkative or sarcastic
Arthur counts the days he doesn’t see Merlin smile
Merlin waits in the rain to give Arthur wordless support
Arthur will berate Merlin
Merlin will never give Arthur the satisfaction of letting him know he’s impressed even though he is
because this is what they do.
And to have these moments and these scenes with the kind of chemistry Colin and Bradley have
which really brings to life this story?
It’s no wonder they’re so popular.
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Say what you want about BBC Merlin, but none of the actors had to go as hard as they did with their performances. It was a show for kids, the CGI was shite, and on Robin Hood (which was the series before Merlin) no one except Richard Armitage bothered to act as seriously.
But the fact that they did is what makes it so popular, what makes it endure, what pushes it and its characters and ships up the list in the fandom metrics each year. The actors took it seriously, they left an amazing legacy, particularly Colin Morgan and Bradley James. Even the devastation of the ending couldn’t break the fandom apart because it was sad, but it was so well done you almost didn’t mind. And that’s why a show which ended eight years ago is still so strong in the hearts of so many people.
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