Arthurian Myths And Legends Vs. Bbc Merlin

1510 words - 7 pages

As legends and myths are retold throughout the ages, stories begin to differ. This remains true for Arthurian myths and legends. The BBC Merlin series is bound to differ much more, considering it is a five season television series aimed towards teenagers and young adults who grew up or are growing up in the 90’s and the 21st century. It’s a show aimed towards the people who are trying to figure out life, and what they want to do for a living, to the people who are struggling to fit into society. With this in mind, what did BBC alter and what remained the same between most of the Arthurian legends and BBC Merlin? Many of the differences to be found were in the characters themselves.
One of the first differences is Merlin himself. First, Merlin tends to be much older than Arthur, but in BBC Merlin he is only three to four years younger than Arthur. Due to this change, Merlin isn’t Arthur’s mentor and advisor as he normally is, but instead he is the prince’s manservant. In the series, Merlin uses an aging spell to disguise himself, and it makes him appear almost eighty years older. This disguise, Dragoon the Great, is similar to the Merlin in most of the myths. Second, who the story revolves around is something anyone could figure out by looking at the names. ‘Arthurian legend’ has Arthur in it, and most of the legends revolve around him as king in his efforts to unite Britain against the Anglo-Saxons. The same can be said about ‘Merlin’, whose title is literally the same as whose side of the story it is. Third, his relationships with a few people have been altered, including Morgana Pendragon, or Morgan le Fey in the fables, and Uthur. In some tales, Merlin and Uthur are actually on good terms, possibly even friends. In contrast, the Merlin and Uthur in the BBC series have a relationship that you’d imagine of a king and his son’s manservant. Then there is Merlin and Morgana’s relationship. In the series, it began as friendship before Morgana finds out about her own magic and becomes Merlin’s enemy. In the myths however, Merlin is often her father and or tutor. In these fables, she still usually becomes Merlin’s enemy later. There is an abundance of differences between the Merlin in the show and the Merlin in the legends.
Another difference between the series and the tales is Arthur Pendragon. The first change about him was his birth. In some of the parables, when Arthur is born, Merlin steals him away from Ygraine and has a less wealthy family raise him so that he can mature away from political matters. This is not true in all cases, but it is in some. On the other hand, in the show, Ygraine dies giving birth to Arthur, and he grows up as Prince of Camelot, without a mother. The manner of his birth is also altered. Often, Merlin assists Uthur in finding Ygraine, and that is it. However, in the series Ygraine cannot conceive, leading to Uthur turning to magic. Magic has a price though, for if you want to give a life, one must be taken away in...

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