Merlin finale review: The Diamond Of The Day (Part 2)

Review Dave Adamson 24 Dec 2012 - 21:00

Merlin's fantastic journey concludes in an eventful, and fitting finale. Here's Dave's review...

This review contains spoilers.

5.13 The Diamond of the Day (Part 2)

Here it is, the last ever episode recap of this week's Merlin:

With the battle in full flow, Merlin drives back Morgana's forces, whilst Mordred stalks the knights, seeking Arthur. Even with the help of Aithusa, Morgana is unable to drive home her advantage, and the sight of Emrys is enough to drive her into a rage, before Merlin renders her unconscious. 

With Mordred driving his blade into Arthur, and a valiant show of strength allowing Arthur to kill Mordred, the King is close to death, but removed from the battlefield by Merlin, whilst Gwen tends to the wounded and the enemy force is driven back. 

As the two friends exchange words, with the King wounded and the wizard back to his youthful state, Merlin finally reveals the truth. It's a long time coming and Merlin's revelation, with tears in his eyes, stuns Arthur, who demands that his loyal servant leave him. 

With the threat once again quashed, life returns to normal in Camelot, though there is no sign of Arthur. Gwen's anguish leads the knights to continue searching and the revelation that Gaius is also missing is a puzzle. 

Gaius, it turns out, is searching for Merlin who, despite Arthur's command, has remained with the now unconscious King. Except, of course, the King is feigning and reveals his fear to Gaius, only to discover that the physician knew all along as he counsels the King on his true need for Merlin. 

Defeated, Morgana mourns the loss of Mordred, declaring that she will have her revenge, punishing her mercenaries when they declare they have been unable to find the King.  

Still distrustful of Merlin, Arthur relies on Gaius to pass the Royal Seal to Gwen; bestowing leadership upon her in the event of his death. Merlin, meanwhile, will lead the King to Avalon, the only place that can overcome the deadly magic of Mordred's blade. 

With Gwaine's wanton woman, still a spy for Morgana, sending word to Morgana, the spy is apprehended by Gwaine and Gwen, having furnished her with a lie. She will go to her death, whilst Gwaine and Percival set out to deal with the Morgana's six mercenaries in bloody fashion before confronting Morgana, who overcomes them both, but not before Percival drives a blade through her back.  

Seemingly unaffected by the wound, Morgana has the two Knights strung up, exposing Gwaine to the Nathair. Her focus is clearly on Gwaine as she underestimates Percival's strength and he escapes, though he is too late to stop Gwaine succumbing and the Knight dies in his arms. 

With Arthur weakening, Merlin must use subterfuge and trickery to get the King to his destination, unaware of Morgana's approach. When she finally catches up with them both, Morgana looks set to kill both the King and Merlin, but is killed by Merlin's own blade - also forged from the breath of a dragon. 

With no horses, Arthur tells Merlin that it is too late and tells him that he knows that Merlin was working for the Kingdom of Camelot, before he slips away in his servants hands. In fury, Merlin calls upon the Grand Dragon, asking him to carry them to Avalon. The dragon warns Merlin that there is nothing he can do, calling Arthur the Once and Future King and that when Camelot's need is greatest, Arthur will rise again. 

Casting Excalibur back into the lake, Merlin places the King upon a funeral boat, ready to send him across the lake to his final resting place. 

The King is dead... Long live the Queen as we discover that, in the future, Merlin still walks the Earth.  

It's been a rollercoaster of a series, with some truly disappointing episodes and humour that, at time, was a disastrous misstep, especially in the first season. With series four and five, Merlin really hit its stride, with darker, more grown-up story telling that benefitted from a later time slot and the departure of the played-for-laughs Robin Hood series from our screens. 

In effect, Merlin had big shoes to fill – it was the series that ran when Doctor Who, which had also developed a more grown-up feel in the past few years, wasn't on our screen. 

With series five, it filled those shoes admirably. Each episode has been an achievement in storytelling, with few stories that didn't drive forward the overall story arc. The humour returned but wasn't overdone, the relationship between Merlin and Arthur grew, and the introduction of the Knights of the Round Table, while underused, increased an already impressive cast. 

The final episode of Merlin plays heavily on Arthur and Merlin's friendship, shattered in a single moment of honesty, with Arthur struggling to understand his servant's revelation, whilst Merlin continues to tend to the injured King. Colin Morgan and Bradley James are at their best in some of the most dramatic scenes that this series has seen - Merlin's confession and conviction are embodied by a stunning performance by Morgan and the tangible disappointment in James' performance. 

After five series of variable screen time, Richard Wilson has a pivotal part to play as he links the characters together, revealing his pivotal role to both Arthur and Gwen and offering counsel to both. Despite being, far too often, relegated to a bit part, Wilson remains a presence in Merlin and that is true of this final story. 

Many nods to the history of the series are given – Gwen returns to the medical room and servant status as she tends to the wounded, before taking control of the Kingdom; Arthur reflects on his history with Merlin, realising that he has done more for the King than he thought; Gaius offers the counsel that one would expect of the King's physician; and the Grand Dragon makes his final proclamation, bringing the legend to a close. 

Merlin was never everyone's cup of tea.  It doesn't stick rigidly to Arthurian legend, nor historical context. Ultimately, however, it doesn't matter. This series has been mostly entertaining and really came into its own when Katie McGrath was allowed to spread her wings and turn truly evil; and she's truly evil in this episode, without being over-the-top. 

By the end of the series, a new legend is being written, lives have been lost, the bad guys are defeated and the future looks bright for Camelot. 

There are plenty of stories to be told and, who knows, films, TV specials and miniseries are all potential options for what has been a fantastic journey.

Read Dave's review of the previous episode, The Diamond of the Day (Part 1), here.

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I seriously want to know what happened in Camelot after Gwen became Queen. And did Merlin return to Camelot afterwards or wander away?

You're right, it didn't really stick to the legend that much throughout the series, but I seriously admire it's conviction to sticking to the legend in it's final hour.
Everyone with any knowledge of Arthurian legend knows that Mordred is the one who kills Arthur (indeed at the battle of Camlann) or at least mortally wounds him, but I don't think anyone would have predicted that a saturday evening family (lets face it, originally aimed at kids) show would follow through on the threat to kill one of it's main characters.
Bravo Merlin, for sticking to your guns when it mattered most. Series 5 was essential viewing in my household and indeed series 4 & 5 show an incredible turnaround for a show that in it's infant years was dismissable and silly and eventually turned into an incredibly entertaining and mature piece of storytelling.
You will be sincerely missed, but what a way to say goodbye.

Still I'm not sure what the Dragon meant when he mentioned the "Once and Future King". The way I see it, he meant that the legend of the greatest king of Albion would live on. What do you think?

I don't know about you guys, but I'm taking that scene of 21st Century Hobo Merlin as proof that he eventually becomes the Face of Boe and there's nothing you can do to stop me.

Well, it's a pretty common phrase associated with the Arthurian legends. I always just took it to mean that King Arthur will eventually return one day when England needs him, like the show said.

England needs him? No No No, it's when Albion needs him! The Celts. The Saxons are the English, the ones they are fighting against. That's the whole idea of the Arthurian legend, the ways of the Celts (nowdays the Welsh/Irish etc and standing up against the Anglo Saxons (English). England didn't exist at the time of Arthur.

Yes, in the legend Arthur dies at an older age I believe. Kilgara did not use those words lightly though. He did it to give Merlin hope. He could not do anything at the moment but in time Arthur will rise again. He is not really dead. That is why Merlin sent him off in the Avalon where the Shee is etc. The Once and Future King...Arthur still has a long way to go...

We may find out in the film. I believe when Arthur returns, so will Merlin

I would love for this to be made into a movie. Also.. I found it interesting that merlin telling arthur he had magic reminded me of when i came out to my parents! And Morgan hit it out of the park. With the pent up emotion. Just wish the finale were longer.

Whats this about a film??!!?

True (distinguishing Albion from England). Concerning 'English' though, it's now though that English people actually get most of their DNA from the ancient people of Britain (Celtic if you like although that's a cultural rather than racial term) than the Anglo-Saxon invaders.

I enjoyed this last episode. I think it's a shame that they didn't deal more with Morgana's reaction to finding out Merlin is a sorceror too. The whole reason why she originally felt uncomfortable in Uther's court was the attitude towards magic and her own blossoming in that area. I'd have thought finding out that Merlin (who was a friend of hers in the old days, albeit a distant one) secretly had the power all along, and is the most powerful of them all could have been great potential for more drama. But instead she just saw him as the enemy and became the cold hearted villain.

I'm glad we saw some genuine remorse from her at Mordred's grave though. It's nice to see a bit more complexity to her. Oh, and she went a bit Darth Vadery with her lackies in this episode, didn't she?

A good episode, but I am a bit disappointed in the series finale. Merlin tried his best to protect Arthur in order to unite Albion and bring magic back to the land. Arthur's death (or sleep) made it feel like Merlin failed. If Arthur had lived they could have implied that Camelot’s golden age would begin from then on, with Arthur and Merlin working together
side by side. That would have been a more satisfying ending.

wow what a disapointing last ever episode, i was expecting so much more but for me it was a massive massive let down, my ideal last episode would have been for the battle to rage for half an hour of the episode then to have merlin swoop down finally showing and unleashing all his magic (the guy desearves at least one balls out, fury, rageing, no holds bar'd magic spell), riding the dragon and sweep away morgana's forces then a showdown with morgana showing everyone he was a sorceror and a hero and saving the day, throw in arthur defeating mordrid, accepting merlin etc perfect ... instead we get mordrid killed ever so easily (no realisation of merlins vision then!) a wound to arthurs chest when clearly he is stabbed in the stomach, the pathetic death of morgana, gawain confiding in a woman hes shagging and discovering shes betrayed him all within 2 episodes bah! gaius amazingly discovering merllin and arthur in the forest somehow, merlin going from old merlin to young merlin with no explanation, merlin telling arthur he had magic when he easily could have covered it up like every other episode (there was no need to tell arthur he had magic.. no compulsion) and then a flash forward to the present ... why? this episode could have been so much more, but instead it felt rushed, disjointed and lacking in real ambition .... ive loved every season and nearly every episode of merlin .. but not this one!

Disappointed.

This season five needs a do-over. The last two episodes being the worst of it.

The acting was great, but the scripts were bad. It felt rushed. Forced. There are so many loose ends and it's left as a frayed mess. The scripts and the filming were bad. Yes it's dark with the plot but can you please film in a way that we can see it without hurting our eyes?

Gwaine's fate? Not believable. The sudden cut to Gwen as Queen? It falls flat. It really does. If Colin Morgan and Bradley James were not so stellar at acting, this would have fallen so flat - the sound of groans would be heard from across the world.. without the need of the internet!

Where's the detail? What a waste of a magic reveal! What a waste of a good series!

Seriously, someone needs to get slapped for this.

Whoa, whoa, whoa... Can someone please answer this: Does the series finale mean the series final? No more Merlin? EVER?! :` (

Yeah, that's it, it's over. That's the end of the myth.

I'm pretty happy with that ending. Whilst there wasn't nearly enough magic in it for my tastes, and Morgana's demise was very dull - stabbing? The two most powerful magic users of all time face off and he just stabs her? Really? The revelation and Arthur dying were pretty well done, and Gwaine's death was quite a nice touch too.

I'm still surprised the BBC had the bottle to pull it off at all.

Goodbye and farewell... I for one will miss the show as I think it managed to develop from Saturday teatime fluff into a geek show of some substance. Sure, it may have gone down a little bit of a creative cul-de-sac in this last season but perhaps that's why everyone's calling it day. Go out on a relative high rather than just keep repeating the formula or trying everyone's patience. I'm just wondering how on earth I'll get my Katie McGrath fix now..? Katie love... Game of Thrones... hint, hint... Game of Thrones... although maybe the gig as the next Smashing Pumpkins bassist?

True, true. If Arthur were saved by Merlin, then we'd all be satisfied and all that, but this is what happened in the legend (myth or not).

Legends say that Guinevere ruled the kingdom, but not too long. She didn't succeed in keeping Camelot stable, so the kingdom had fallen apart... Soon after that, Camelot had just become a once-great kingdom.

Well, fantasy is usually considered unrealistic, so Gwaine's fate doesn't take much belief and everything else I agree with

I wished that when Arthur and Merlin were together going to Avalon they would have discussed more of what Merlin had done. And about him being a dragon Lord etc. And for Arthur to say at the last Thank you my brother. As for the very end that is a series I'd like to see for Arthur and Merlin to come back in the future. But not as the old Merlin. Would be a great series I think. Better than all this reality made up crap they have on now. I will miss Merlin very very much. I haven't found one show that will replace it yet. So So Sad. But as they say. It was GREAT while it lasted. I wished it was like NCIS and lasted 10yrs and beyond. Going to go cry now. Not a happy camper here.

Even though the Arthurian legend wasn't always followed, the least that could have happened is let Arthur live - remember what the dragon was saying all the time Merlin went to him for help - that Arthur is the true king to restore the land of Albion. We didn't get to even see albion - a land of peace which we were waiting for. They should have revisited the first episode to see what the initial values of the series were.

The last episode was empty - there wasn't much of a battle or anything and no future to be seen. I agree that it fell flat - Camelot was left with nothing - a friend says it looks like the directors ran out of money.

Personally i think that this is what should have happened:

1. merlin in his true form rides of to the battle on the dragon so that arthur sees him and he saves everyone - shows that he rally is the greatest sorcerer on the earth. Of course arthur won't warm up at first but will get used to it.

2. there is a battle between merlin and morgana involving magic - merlin wins

3. morgana escapes and arthur is wounded so merlin has to take him to avalon like the show however this time he saves arthur and morgana is defeated

4. arthur and merlin return to camelot - merlin can be knighted or remain a servant as he wishes

5. there is a flash forward showing the great peaceful albion and arthurs little heirs running around camelot

^This.

Exec. producer Johnny Capps mentioned sometime earlier this year there would be three Merlin films.

My belief was that he went back and served under the Queen, eventually taking on the role of court physician from Gaius when he eventually passed away. After that? Who knows. A sorcerer went travelling..

I can't say the episode wasn't good; 'cause really, it was. One of the better in this season. I mean, I'm a bit disappointed, you see 'cause I'd hoped that even though I hated that Merlin had to end, I'd hoped to sit here, when the episode was over, with a feeling of... closure. But I didn't.

It feels like I'm missing something, and, like 'Lady of the Lake' has pointed out, it kind of feels like Merlin lost. And the whole dragon thing - completely unnecessary. It just didn't feel like Merlin to not at least honor Morgana's body by burying her or covering her up with something. Maybe it was to show that the war had changed him, but like he said in the same episode: "I'm still me."

I feel like the writers tried to make it look like Merlin had lost everything and became this heartless thing; forgetting his personality, his joking, caring, selfless personality in the process.

I know that it's trying to stay true to the legend and that I'm just being a whiny, girly fan, but I'd wish that we'd at least get a better explanation to the whole 'Once and Future King'-thing.

And besides the whole rush thing, which I feel has already been spoken of, I feel like the episode left me wanting more. And that's not what a finale is supposed to do. Sure, you're supposed to be sad that it's over and all, but you're not supposed to be sitting thinking: 'And now what?'

You're supposed to lean back, let out a deep sigh and say out loud: "Wow. Holy sh*t. They'll never be able to top that."

And I didn't. I litteraly yelled at my screen: "What? No! You can't end it here!"

Yeah, there are no great loose ends like a villain running around in the forest or anything likewise, but it just feels like we're missing something. Like Merlin (the show) finished fifteen minutes too early.

And sorry, I know a lot of people loved it, but I, for one, didn't like the whole Merlin-walking-alone-in-modern-times-thing. I for once don't have an argument, I just didn't.

So yeah, missing feeling of closure and a sense of unfulfilled or failed prophecy.

Now please, I didn't mean to insult anyone or start a discussion. Just putting my opinion out there. You can't write if you agree or not, but I'm not going to get into a discussion with anyone. This is just my opinion.

Now, I did enjoy this, though I was genuinely surprised to see the death of Arthur. Since the writers have pretty much ignored Arthurian canon, it would not have harmed to see the birth of the golden age of Camelot and Albion, as someone has said. Gwen and the Knights of the Round Table? Well, maybe; we'll just have to imagine that one. The court of King Arthur, err, without Arthur - that's what we got, at least by inferrence.

A powerful priestess of the Old Religion versus the greatest sorcerer, born of and from the Earth, should not have resolved with the priestess dying like that, and so easily; I recall we may have heard a distant rumble of thunder too. Lame. OK, OK - Merlin has a dragon blade and she may not have realised that, so it works on that level. But again, the palpable lack of magic, even at the last.

Throughout the series, Excalibur has not really featured in any major way; there seemed little sense of the king's magical sword, wielded by a mighty arm, etc etc. It's the whole problem of failing to make more of the Arthurian mythology, distorted or not. Which is why when they do make a story point of it, returning Excalibur to the lake, it has little impact.

Arthur himself? Again, he just hasn't matured enough as the figure of the king. We've seen the young king, decent enough, trying to unite the kingdom, having some success, but really not much has happened. There's trouble, so he rides out and resolves it, invariably with Merlin secretly using magic. That's it. That's pretty much all it's ever been. Even when Uther was around, it was the same formula. Aside from a handful of genuinely high points in the five years.

And the inevitable Once and Future King - far from legend, it is Arthur's destiny, so the dragon says. So Merlin is biding his time over the centuries, and we get to see Glastonbury, or some such, then and now with the nice sight gag of Merlin in the present day, presumably checking on the tor every so often. Really quite a sad moment. What I find more sad is the fact that right there, in that moment, is what could have been the root of a truly original series, and the start of something we have not seen before. Much as I regret the passing of Merlin, and for all the writers have said about it being planned from the start, I still believe this was one monumental missed opportunity.

I have to agree with your wished for last episode synopsis. All through Merlin, they've been going on about how there would be a golden age when Arthur came to the throne, implying that magic would be allowed back in Camelot and everything would be hunky dory. Instead Arthur dies after only a few years on the throne where he has esentially changed nothing since Uther's days. No-one else finds out about Merlin's magic during this last episode although it's hinted that Gwen realises, Arthur having done nothing very much during his reign will be forgotten, what a waste when it could have been so good. You also have to feel for all those poor souls who believed that Merlin would make a difference to Arthur and gave their lives to protect him, yet essentially ended up with nothing.

Good acting by all the cast though even if it wasn't how I wanted it to end.

The emotion was good, the episode not so much. I was expecting a huge battle to dominate the episode but Merlin just zapped the threats away. Mordred being killed in the first 10 minutes was dissapointing, i cannot help feel there should have been a series with Mordred as the main villain.
The image of Merlin strolling through a modern village with lorries passing by was just odd, maybe the plan for the rumoured films is Arthur returning in the modern world but it would be a huge change.

Cheers for all the Merlin reviews Dave. Enjoyed reading them.

BBC announces the making of more Merlin episodes due to public demands..and then I woke up!

They wanted to stick with the legends... fine. They wanted to keep Arthur's fate as it's remembered... fine.

But did they have to air it on CHRISTMAS EVE?!!!!!!

It was a movie. It was called Excalibur. Released back in the 80s, and it was very very good. Dark and grim and very acurate to the legend. I watched the last episode last night with everyone else in the family, and everyone felt it was flat. So It all panned out as I said it would months ago, Arthur finds out in the last episode Merlin has magic, and then he dies. Pathetic, and predictable. Typical light Bbc dumbed down stuff. It was not bad, but not brilliant the whole thing. But this is what people want and watch, so thats what we will continue to get. I wonder what the next crap filler project will be for 2013? Dick Turpin? Hercules etc etc we will have to wait and see. Wish they would not bother, and keep the money for dr who.

That has got to be the worst episode of the whole 5 series. We waited with baited breath for the scenes where Merlin came clean and expected clever, witty dialogue. We expected Arthur to realise his fathers error and embrace magic back into the kingdom and the promise of a united Albion.

Yes, I know the legend and the fact that it never happened, however so much of the original story was changed I had hoped we would see the 'happy ending' that the legend deserved.

Alas it was not to be and the story fizzled out into a bit of a borefest. I have also heard the rumours of a series if films, surely though this is now impossible as the last we saw of Merlin he was dressed as a tramp and dodging lorries.

Such a shame, what a waste.

I have to say Isabelle, you should have been on the writing team. I would have preferred your version over the poor effort yesterday

Dissapointing end, the show deserved much better.

I actually liked it until we saw Modern Merlin. That threw the entire thing off.

yep it was a missed opportunity. They made the same formula over five seasons. Then Merlin reveals his magic in the last episode, like I thought they would do, months ago. I have seen only part of one episode this season, and last nights, and it was as I expected it to be. And For it to be that predictable is a bit pathetic. They should have stopped making it when Arthur got to be king. About two seasons ago. Then they could have gone back to it in about five or six years and finished off the legend when everyone was a bit more mature. That would have been a brave and clever thing to do. Oh well. I hope they give this sort of thing a rest for a while now. Robin Hood was lightweight, then Merlin...whats next I wonder? Probably nothing as the BBC has cut the money for everything, and would rather pay managers, hangers on and build empires of studios than make programs.

Well, I want to see Collin Morgan and Bradley James on the big screen, not some old 1980's movie. And at a time when Merlin can really be Merlin. I always thought that once Merlin could use his powers in full force it'd make for even more interesting stories and events. I think I can speak for most non-historians when I say this is what we all wanted to see.

It would have been too obvious, of course, it would have been far too straightforward a magical happenstance, for Arthur to actually reappear while Merlin was revisiting Avalon. The Old Religion was way twistier than that. Merlin returned more as a matter of comfort. Of reassurance. In this ever–changing world, the sight of an untouched Avalon was almost his one remaining touchstone. There had been times in the past when he’d felt on the verge of madness, and all it had taken was the sight of eternal Avalon to recall him to a sense of himself. Sometimes he had camped there on the shore for weeks, despite knowing it was almost the last place he needed to be, simply for the sake of drinking in the peace and the certainty.

He walked along the edge of the narrow road that day, as the traffic tore past him more unruly than dragons. He felt good, and strong, and true, and so he barely gave the Isle of Avalon a glance. It was enough to know that it was there, to feel its slumbering power. He walked on steadily, until he reached a meeting of paths that had become a crossroads, and an inn which had become a settlement and was now a town. The inn had changed of course, and yet remained the same in essentials. These days there were shining cars parked outside instead of tethered horses. Inside, the barrel of apple cider still provided a welcome answer to his thirst.

He downed half his pint glass while the cider was at its crispest, while standing at the bar, and then he put down the glass and looked around, forever curious. Forever engaged.

And that’s when he saw him.

I am so glad they stuck to the culture of the myth and had Arthur pass over. I would have felt cheated any other way. The excellent acting from James and Morgan has been the true constant over the five series and I will miss them enormously. I've been stockpiling on Arthurian stuff since they announced this would end and I read a hugely entertaining book called Searching for Arthur by Donna Hoise which has a take on what happens after Avalon. So the myths will endure.

More importantly what is Colin Morgan in next? I can't bear the thought of not seeing him on my tv!

Ha, yes, I've been (admittedly, mostly jokingly) meaning to write up a queer theory reading of Merlin for years. Maybe I'll actually get round to it one of these days.

IIRC, they're producing a Three Musketeers series to start in 2014.

obviously colin morgan was incredible but i think bradley james was amazing too, when he shunned merlin it broke my heart a little :(

Oh lord - now you mention it, I can just see another lightweight version of a classic concept to fill our Saturday evenings. That may be unfair, and indeed it may be quite watchable. But somehow I suspect all the criticisms of Merlin, not least the endless formula, will hold sway. But still, doubtless I'll give it a chance.

Sadly, I fear that is all very true. Merlin contained the roots of a truly great series, and the finale contained the germs of what could have been some seriously edgy and radical fantasy to take the Saturday evening slot - as dark or light as you like, the concept is sitting there screaming for anyone to pick up and run with it. It's a shame when serious viewers and informed fans know what something could have been, and more, have a pretty good idea how to get there.

After watching Merlin for 5 years I like others believe the final was a little rushed. However I did enjoy it and do think that the BBC purposely left it open, for maybe 1 -2
or maybe more Christmas specials. For instance; the boat carrying Arthurs body
never set alight (maybe he was resurrected once the sword was returned). Also
Merlin was not at the castle when Arthur was pronounced dead, they only had the
kings ring to prove this, witch was given to the queen by gaius earlier in the show. We never saw the golden age and I also believe that the queen could have been pregnant (their last night together and “the king will be re-born”). The last clip with modern
Merlin told me something different: He looked frustrated almost as if to say there was
more to the story. It might be wishful thinking, but I would find it VERY hard to believe that after the success in viewings, that the BBC would not make future specials, especially when the director stated earlier this year that there will be a film or 2. // also i would like to state that all thou they didn’t always stick with the Arthurian legend, it was legend non the less, so in my eyes the BBC could play the future of Merlin anyway possible due to the fact it is for the moment fiction.

I heard that too. What I dont want is Doctor Who to suffer, lack of episodes and split seasons etc while they make another Robin Hood / Merlin type series in The Three Musketeers. If that happens I am tearing up my Tv license and will just download what I Want for free and to hell with them.

Bradley James, Colin Morgan and Katie McGrath absolutely made this episode because of their really impressive acting, but the whole episode was unsatisfying....as was series 5 really. The entire premise of the show, the premise the audience has gone along with since the beginning, is that this show is Arthur and Merlin, 'before they were famous'; and that Merlin is working towards a united Albion and a golden age where magic is accepted by Arthur. To have the magic reveal in this episode followed swiftly by Arthur's death was just such a wasted opportunity. Bradley James did I thought a fantastic job of reacting to the magic reveal but it would have been SO much better if he could have had a few episodes to run the gamut of the emotions, rather than a few minutes, when he was also having to act 'dying at the same time'! And the audience have that basic premise kind of snatched away leaving an emptiness rather than a satisfactory conclusion.
I think the cast were real quality but the writing of this series was just 'off'. But a brilliant show over the last few years, much loved and will be much missed in our house. If they put yet another cop show on in it's place I will throw my TV away!!!

I know you do. Ok I get it fair enough. Merlin writers have ripped everyone off to a degree for years. But everyone kept watching it. why ? Probably because morgan and james were so good. But the whole thing was spun out for too long and they did not have the budget to show magic and so much in the tv show. Anyway have you seen Excalibur? I know its an "old 80s movie" but it is pretty damn good, and the sort of thing people on here love to talk about. It focuses more on arthur and goes through the legend properly. You might not like it though as Merlin is a weird old man! Well compared to colin morgan he is, but it is a very good film, wonder if anyone else on here agrees with me or will back me up? I watched it a few weeks ago and it still looks amazing. They dont make films like that anymore.....

great finale

Personally, I was very happy with the ending. If I had had my way, Arthur would have survived, magic would be accepted and everything would be 'la di da' in Albion - but I am so GLAD the ending was how it was. It was extremely well-crafted emotionally (Colin Morgan and Bradley James did such a wonderful job that the thought of their final scene still makes me want to cry) and the ending was fitting to the Arthurian Legend. I know it hasn't been stuck to throughout the whole saga, but I think by tying the stoy off in a similar way, the writers were trying to make more of a connection between the two, which I thought was realistic. (Let's face it, whether they stuck to the Legend or altered it, people would still complain)
I do agree that there should have been a more spectacular ending for Morgana, however; I had been waiting for a huge battle between her and Merlin, so thought the fact that 'she just got stabbed and died' was a bit of an anti-climax.

On the other hand, the actual ending, with modern-day Merlin remaining a guard over Avalon, was, to me, actually kind of beautiful. The thought of Merlin waiting over a thousand years for Arthur to awaken just shows the strength of their friendship and Merlin's loyalty. This thought is just too heart-warming for me to criticise!
It's never been flawless, and undoubtedly some episodes have been better than others, but I am going to miss Merlin so much - I've loved it ever since the beginning. I was distraught when I learned the show was ending, but I truly felt they ended on a high - exciting, understated and emotional, to me TDOTD part 2 wonderfully rounded off a series that so many people have worked diligently on for four years.

It's conviction to sticking to the legend, you say? Let me remind you that in the legend Merlin dies too.

I'm rather surprised by how many people didn't like the ending. I really did like it. I think the reveal was done very well and that it was a great ending to a great series. I do have a sense of closure with it.

However, I do also feel very, very disappointed that what we were waiting for, the empire Arthur was 'destined' to build alongside Merlin, free to use magic, never happened. Through all 5 series, Merlin and the dragon kept on harping on about the great kingdom Arthur was destined to build. I mean what, did the writers just forget about that or something? I feel like we missed out on the best bit. Merlin was just going from strength to strength as a show; I don't think many people who have missed it if they had ended it after series 1 or 2, but now, it's become really great. It was the wrong time to end it and the potential for the show to be at its best was never given to us. I hope the talks of a movie are true, and these talks MUST include Arthur.

But still, I really liked this episode and I wasn't disappointed by it, but rather the fact that that was it. It would be like Harry Potter ending without Harry or Voldemort ever having their big confrontation, or the current Doctor Who ending without 'the question' et al ever being mentioned again, or Lost ending without ever bothering to answer any of the question (oh, wait). You get the idea. The entirety of Merlin built up to the thing that never happened, and that's a real shame.

I don't see why a new series, whatever it maybe, would have any effect on Doctor Who's production. But then at least the BBC is willing to make series like this. Are you old enough to remember the 90s? All we had in the vein of fantasy/adventure was the excellent BUGS but NOTHING else.

"This series has been mostly entertaining and really came into its own
when Katie McGrath was allowed to spread her wings and turn truly evil" Again Dave or another Reviewer here on Den Thinking that Katie was the Show sorry her story line should have ended at end of season 4. then bring her back like they did and have Villian Batton Passed to Mordred who was a good Charecter. i am sorry to say as a fan i was tired of the Evil Morgana it was played out to long. granted thats my opinion. Loved Merlin it was a special show and will have a place in the histories of shows that just !%$^!%& their fans with lame and Crap Endings. (Quantum Leap, Sliders, Roswell, 24, the list could go on a long time) they really had the final 3 eps to do a brilliant and amazing 3 part Finale. it really did not feel like a 2 parter tons of wasted scenes that the Writers were pulling Crap out of Hats trying to find a Rabbit or Epic finish. sorry i am upset. Merlin was a special show not perfect by any means but it was unique and rare for TV today that it inspired you to Care. it was a special show that had you in Cheers and Tears. i look forward to see if we get specials that show us anything we as fans were cheated i would have loved to see just a couple mins at the end a montage of the next decade of Camelot. i felt Gwen was going to have a Son named Arthur also we got nothing other than Merlin walking the roads in the Future. he walks Among us i feel Merlin will show up in the 3rd season of Sherlock for sure...........................

FOR THE LOVE OF CAMELOT!!!!!!!!!!!!

DAN

PS Sorry i got on my soap box just loved this show it deserved a better finish. i mean the fight with Arthur and Mordred was a Cop Out. only Topped by Merlin killing Morgana without any magic. i think they broke the rope to throw bodies around. shame could been a epic battle i would have sent $100 to help with special effects even. lastly why not call the Dragon right way i would have loved to see Arthur chat with the dragon and then have Arthur get back to Camelot to die buy the piece of Blade 10 years later or something. don't get me started on a blade that is unbreakable brakes off in a fight!!!!!! to stupid that was a writers brain Fart................

Slapped Stupid Mate Someone Needs to taste Boot Leather for this Turd!!!!!

Ameni agree with everything you said it was a Train Wreck on Epic Proportions lame and sad to just slap the fans with this

like i told a friend last night all they had to do was have Gaius tell Merlin he does not know when Arthur will die but since its magic from a unbreakable blade (hate that lame cop-out) or have Merlin do magic that can only slow the death not stop it but they could have gone back to Camelot he could have lived 5-10 years still dies by the wound from Mordred. saves the legend. in the end it was like watching Titanic you really knew it was sinking but i kept watching. i loved the show and will still smile thinking about its Potential

Very Well Said thanks For Sharing

I was waiting for Merlin finally got the respect he deserve and that never happened. I got mixed feeling with the finally. For one, was great Arthur finally became aware of Merlin's importants and let him know how much he really appreciate him. But, somehow it feel like, if they knew all the time this was the season finale, they should develop the story through the Merlin's revelations and acceptance from everyone especially Arthur. I used to enjoy this serie to much so I'm going to miss it.

I am a bit confused. I have only seen the clips on Youtube. The last episode will air in Australia in a couple weeks. I was really disappointed with the ending and it doesen't make sense to me. I believe the dragon says to Merlin that Arthur will come back. So we see Merlin in present day England still alive and waiting...seems all wrong to me. The legend kept saying, or so I thought, that Arthur will bring back Albion and peace will reign between people who have magic and people who don't. Arthur is dead and Albion never came. What happens to Merlin after Arthur is cremeated on the lake? I would have thought Merlin goes back to Camelot and back to Gaius, helping him with healing people. Like I say, I am confused and disappointed. I am not disappointed with the whole show, just mainly the ending, its all completely wrong to me.

What a disappointment. I've been watching in the US and I just saw the series finale of Season 5. The united kingdom of Albion? When did that happen? Just another one of the foretold prophecies that didn't come true in this show? But Arthur dying did? I think I can speak for most of the fans, that yes, Arthur should have died BUT AFTER he united Albion and created the great kingdom they were supposed to create together, with Merlin, accepting Magic. Not jumping to present day England. What was that?! A complete copout. Great acting, but horrific ending. Truly disappointing.

I guess now Gwen knows that merlins magic saved camelot it would be her that would make the big change we all wanted to see.

Sad but Arthurs last words were the only recognition and gratitude he could give Merlin........"Thank You".

Although I don't think there would be any children...I was under the impression Gwen couldn't bear children.

Ah, does he really? I didn't know that. I admit that I don't know the legend in too much detail to be honest, just the very basic bare bones story. He doesn't die at camlann though does he?

I think, in the story and how they end it there is only a chance of a film about Merlin journey after that = without Arthure,

Because Merlin got old and he is still waiting for Arthure.

Agree! Excalibur is a brilliant, brilliant film! In fact this series of Merlin has given me a strong wish to see it again to get that 'proper' look at the legend in terms of Arthur and Merlin working together, which we were sadly missing at the end of Merlin. And Arthurs death done better too, not just a very dead arthur but that scene of the avalon goddesses\ priestesses taking him to avalon...more ambiguity, more hope....gawd I am turning into a bit of a geek here. But the movie is a must watch. And the best score ever!

I personally think that the ending was quite a disappointment. Everything felt too rushed, and the writing was a let down. The only thing that carried the episode was great acting from Colin Morgan, Angel Coulby and Katie Mcgrath.

The war part of the episode was sloppy at best. It was skimmed over with unsatisfactory action scenes and overall failed to impress. The end of the war was actually quite sudden. I think it would have been better if it focused a lot more on how Merlin won the war (there could be big scenes on him defeating and killing hundreds of soldiers etc). I was also looking forward to a dragon fight, in which Kilgharrah kills Aithusa.

I was so relieved that there finally was a reveal part in this episode, but it didn't feel right. I think it was mostly because there was no reason for Merlin to reveal his identity. Basically it felt forced, and thus I felt that it wasn't enough to satisfy the anticipation felt by fans who have waited for five long seasons for this moment to come. Colin's performance was extraordinary, and at that moment, Bradley's performance was passable.

I really do like Bradley James, and perhaps part of the reason that I was disappointed in his performance was due to the writing, but his scenes in the episode had such potential, and sadly it was not realised. It fell flat. Others may differ, but in my opinion, he was way too accepting and too calm. Where's his anger, his feeling of betrayal? They would have made his journey to acceptance a lot more moving. Also, other than the part where Merlin reveals his magic, there was barely any sign of pain besides him lying down, sitting down and wincing occasionally. There was a piece of metal in his body slowly making it's way up through his flesh and organs to his heart, and there he was, getting his words out with no difficulty.

I do love Morgana's performance though, and Gwen's. Katie and Angel were awesome.

The real kick in the (virtual) nuts though, was that I never even came close to shedding a tear during this episode. (I was bawling like a baby in the Doctor Who Christmas special. Really crying my eyes out. Not really relevant, but just saying.....) However, not a drop was shed in this case, not even in Arthur's death. I think the main reason was that I really didn't think that he would die. When he did, I expected Merlin to magically bring him back to life. Face it. While this series took a dark turn in season 4 and 5, it still is meant for young teens and children. Almost every episode managed to end with a "happy every after" feel. There was no blood, no gore, and a very heavy emphasis on friendship and honor. We all expected Arthur to live, and unite Albion with Merlin on his side. While it may have been meant as an unexpected twist (which it was), it didn't shock the audience so much as disappoint them. The writers should have given the people what they wanted instead of killing Arthur in an effort to appear less predictable. (I don't know much about Arthurian legend, and maybe Arthur was supposed to die all along so as to stick to the legend, in which case I have wrongly insulted the writers, but either way i thought the ending was just bad..... )

The cut to where Gwen was Queen was sudden, and the part where old Merlin walks past the lake was even worse. Frankly I don't know what to make of it, other than it being really sad (because Merlin had to grow old just waiting for his friend to return from the dead). Now that I think of it, it's heartbreaking, because Merlin justs walks past without even glancing at it. It seems to me that he lost all hope of ever seeing his friend again.

Oh and the death(?) of Gwain. That was unnecessary. I know there are casualties in war, and perhaps that scene was supposed to show that, but if I wanted to see main characters get killed unexpectedly, I would just re-read A Song of Ice and Fire.

I apologize for such a tedious comment, and for any grammatical errors, and if I offended anyone. It's just that I love this series, and can't stand the ending. If you've read this entire comment, I applaud your patience. Have a nice day.

there could be another series set in the present day. Merlin the tramp finds Arthur doing doing some kind of mundane millennial job, they team up to...maybe fight crime.

Mixed feelings about the finale. Nice that we had a reveal, but I think it came too late. I wish the reveal had come at the end of S4. Super acting from Colin and Bradley. Ultimately, it's just a TV show - but so often I forget that and long for my version of perfection. But that's what fanfiction is for! And that's what I love most about Merlin: it made my imagination sing. So maybe the show wasn't perfect, but it had such very wonderful moments. Don't you wish you could have - or be - the kind of friends that are Merlin and Arthur? Love grew in unlikely places - among many characters. And that's why I watched every week! That was the show at it's best.

Exactly 'the entirety of merlin built up to the thing that never happened'. Sums up the frustration and wrongness of the ending for me.

Or, they could have skipped the whole avalon bit. A specific line about healing arthur was something about nothing less powerful than a dragon being able to heal him. So, merlin is less powerful than dragons, fine. But there are still two dragons in existence, both who have to come when he calls and do what he says, and have the power to heal Arthur. I mean, who else noticed that little flaw?

Isabelle to be honest, I wish that you had been on the writing team. The ending has left me unfullfilled, unhappy, unsatisfied you name it. These guys have managed to make me feel terrible even though the acting was brilliant. I just feel I did not get any closure.

Clearly the BBC has a cunning plan. As Arthur is the "once and future king" clearly he is coming back in Mad Merlin, a post apocalyptic wasteland (set in Merthyr Tydfil) in the year 2020.

Just quickly adding my two cents to say that I loved the last ep. Merlin and Arthur's relationship has always been the heart of the show, and what made fall in love with it, so I'm glad it was the focus of the finale. Colin and Bradley were incredible in those scenes. I do wish the reveal had happened earlier in the series, but I think they did an amazing job with the time they had to wrap it up. It did make me cry and that is not a bad thing.

Many readers seem to forget the budgetary constraints of a television production compared to what's often available in a feature length movie. Rarely is there a pile of money waiting to be used in a series finale so expecting a great many special effects is the true fantasy. Also remember, the focus of many of the people working on the production... in its final weeks... is future employment - more than a slight distraction.

It was nice... while it lasted.

THIS WAS THE F***ING WORST EPISODE I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE, AND I AM A HUUUUUUUUGE MERLIN FAN!!!!!! WHAT WAS THAT??????? Let's list ALL the ways the episode sucked:
1. No magic battle between margana and merlin (what the hell? We were all waiting for this)

2. The prophecy that morgana saw where emrys defeats her on the battlefield never even came true

3. Gwaine dies for absolutely no reason

4. A one second battle between mordred and arthur (wasn't the whole season leading up to this?)

5. Arthur deciding merlin should be dead right when his magic is revealed

6. The dragon being like, "Sucks for you, sorry. I should have told you that your destiny was a crap a while ago."
7. No witty banter

8. No proof that the united, freedom of magic, land of albion ever even happens
9. The worst moment of the whole thing: Hobo Merlin walking around the lake thousands of years later. WHAT?!?!?! Not only is this just super, super depressing, but the show never explained that merlin was immortal

Alternate Ending 1: Emrys comes riding into the battle on a dragon. Emrys kills morgana in the battlefield in an epic, magical fight. The battle between mordred and arthur lasts longer than it takes for me to blink. Gwaine lives. (Percival or Leon could die). Merlin calls the dragon right when he finds arthur and they fly to avalon. Somehow, the dragon exchanges his life for Arthur's (the dragon is supposed to be sick anyway) and the balance of the world is restored. A flash forward to a united, magical land of albion where everybody's happy. In my mind, this is what happens.

Alternate Ending 2: Same as alt. ending 1, except Merlin can heal arthur for a certain period of time (like ten years). During this time, arthur creates a magical land of albion and everyone is happy. Merlin becomes a court adviser. Then, after ten years, Merlin carries Arthur (who knows he's going to die) to Avalon, and they have a very heartfelt scene (with banter) before Merlin sends him off. The Once and Future King that the dragon talked about can still be the same. NO OLD MERLIN WALKING AROUND A LAKE FOR A THOUSAND YEARS.

I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL NEVER WATCH THIS EPISODE AGAIN.

anyone else wonder when arthur was supposed to have brought back magic and united all of albion? he certainly didn't do it in the show! which is why i didn't think he'd actually die. destiny unfulfilled much? unless they're implying 21st century merlin is waiting for arthur to return to actually fulfill that prophecy

yes well, i'm fairly certain in the legend merlin practiced magic and arthur knew about it, the whole point of THIS show was that it was outlawed, and they added the bit about magic being returned to the land by arthur. he never did. nor did he unite albion. i'm sad arthur died, but it would've been ok IF merlin's destiny had actually been fulfilled as the writers wrote it on this show

totally agree completly. Clearly they had to hurry it up and finish which is a shame, and gwaines death was not needed, and arthurs...arthurs was...well put it simply 5 series of merlin doing the impossible to save arthur and on the final episode he couldnt lift him into a boat soon enough....far too rushed, need to make specials or movies set either right after his 'death' or inbetween series 4 and 5.

my only critism with this is that arthur was to rise again in camelots greatest time on need....well camelot had alread fallen centuries before modern day when gwen lost the kingdom. The flashforward was clearly a quick kill to snuff any future series possibilities. The only thing left is possibly a special or film set right after series 5 but then james and katie wouldn't be in iit and they glue it together, so we're lokoing at them set inbetween series 4 and 5 cos arthur couldnt return in modern day, whats he going to do end the war in the middle east, no that would be too politcal and ruin the spice that is the medieval setting..time can onl tell

spot on. correct about the modern day ending, correct about the death of gwaine, and correct about the death of morganna and correct about the acting. the programe has no gore because its supposed to be for the family, what kind of family show has teh main hero after spending 5 series doing the unimaginable to always sumhow save arthur then gives up on the final episode, it basically tells all the kids, that the hero dies and merlin and gwaine both failed. You all complain about sticking to the legend-try leaning to stick to the theme of the acctual show instead of letting the hero's all fail and everone be in grieving on CHRISTMAS EVE!!!!!!! i hope to god they make a special or movies to fix this rushed ending. at least its taught me not to rush anything in life.

the ending could be a set up for their movie trilogy set right after the last show. it may appear rushed but perhaps it wasnt...hear me out.
1- if arthur died merlin would have probably not done his funeral without gwen and the knights being present.
2- when merlin put him out on his boat it is traditionall for them to set the boat on fire. -see other knights funerals.
3- merlin was not present at gwens coronation even though percival was-surly since percivalwas seen tracking morgan to avalon and he knew arthur and merlin were heading to avalon he'd have followed and found merlin and returned with him to camelot yet merlin was not present...curious...
4- its possible that merlin ignored the dragon and made him help him anyway (for 5 series merlin has never quit why would he now?) and put arthur on the boat sending out to be cured in the lake(hence why he never set it on fire which he would have done had it have been a funeral)
5-on the note of gwaine, there was no clarification that he had died, percival just left him, would he have left him with no scene of a grave, or mention of his death?
6- bbc wanted it summed up so they make it out aurthur died for good (merlin seen in modern day) but they do movies and show arthur was cured, and returns with merlin to camelot, enter movie plots. HOWEVER even if im right, no excuse for showing gwaine and merlin FAILING to save arthur which was the point of the series and letting kids all see their hero die and everyone cry on CHRISTMAS EVE. they better have movies or at least a special soon to make up for this. callum out thank you. feel free to reply ty.

Disappointment was the last thing I felt with the final episode of Merlin - a show I remember laughing at (not in a good way) during the very first episode some five years ago. I was shocked, even crushed, with the way this final chapter dealt with the myriad of loose ends that remained going into The Diamond of the Day part 2. I adore Merlin, but its time had come - there is really only so many times Camelot can be threatened and saved by Merlin whilst Arthur remains oblivious to his magic.

A magic reveal was always going to signal the end of the series because the fear and hatred of magic, and its illegality, was at the heart of the whole programme. However rushed the last episode was - and I admit the deaths of Mordred and Morgana were very much underplayed - it was a far better alternative than drawing it out into a sixth series. The deaths of key characters, however brief were a masterclass in acting from the cast however, Eoin Macken as Gwaine in particular really made the most out of his time on-screen. Now we come to the crux of the whole series - the relationship between Merlin and Arthur - which is epitomized in this last episode, with the magic reveal being particularly satisfying after waiting for five series to see it played out. Yes of course I wanted it to come sooner - who didn't? All those times Arthur called Merlin an idiot, the innumerable times Arthur commented that there was something about Merlin that wasn't quite right - but to do so before now would have negated the whole point of the show - that Merlin was a sorcerer right at the heart of the outlawing of magic. Taking this into account the magic reveal - done 7 minutes in - got as much screen time as it was ever going to get.

Now, some people wish that the BBC had ended it with Arthur alive, Merlin victorious, and Morgana having been killed (or even worse simply 'missing') as has been the case for the last 4 series. But really, how much more satisfying would that have been? It was certainly have been dull and incredibly predictable. In other words the furthest thing from satisfying you can get. Yes it would have been 'nice' to end the series that way, but this is a show which has changed (thankfully) from being mainly aimed at younger audiences, to end on 'nice' would have been a betrayal of the entire series.

No it doesn't stick directly to the myth - but there has been a slow progression towards it, i.e. the introduction of the round table. In the myth Arthur is killed at the battle of Camlann by Mordred. We have been told that it is going to happen through Merlin's visions, yet I always expected it to work out otherwise.

I am SO glad that it didn't.

Some people have pointed out that in the myth Merlin 'dies' which is not strictly true. In myth he either vanishes after Arthur's death, or is trapped in a cave by Morgana, unable to use his magic to escape. In fact my only real problem with this last episode is how it ended, after the traumatic scene of Arthur's death the truck rushing past was both jarring and unwelcome. Personally I don't see the point in it, as a modern day Merlin just sounds so contrite.

In conclusion this is an ending which made me sit staring at the television in utter astonishment - as I'm sure it did many others. And isn't that just wonderful? It has succeeded it achieving something beyond what Series 1 offered - it has delivered a truly appropriate ending to a series which has evolved into something far darker than the spirit in which it began.

I think the writers have wasted the potential of such brilliant actors. Actually, the only reason I actually stuck to this show so much was because of the talent. If Merlin, Arthur and the rest of the characters were played by less-capable people, I think this wouldn't have succeeded. In my opinion, this show is a good example of when good actors can actually make mediocre scripts look decent.

I want to see more of Bradley, Angel, Katie, the others, and most of all (my absolute fave), the amazing Colin Morgan.

I agree with you about the modern ending. I think when you have a character like Arthur dead you have to show that its not in vain, and the writers should have shown that the lands of Albion were united, magic was accepted and maybe Guinevere was pregnant before he died, or something like that.
Even if Arthur was to rise again in the modern day world what is there for a medieval king to do?

It's simple people. Merlin could have just called on THE DRAGON to air-lift Arthur straight into the Avalon as soon as Gaius arrived with the herbs. A whole bunch of trees around is no excuse for the dragon not to be able to make a smooth landing... Merlin could easily knock off those trees with magic! lol

Also in most of the legends Mordred is Arturs incest baby with Morgause who is also his half sister in the legends via a relationship his mother had. So seeing as the programme messed around so thoroughly with the legend including killing Arthur at far to young an ange I don't see why they couldn't have had him live in this telling of the tale.

The BBC's Merlin was a twist on legend. So many things were different to the myth, so I was really expecting an alternate ending. If there was a timeskip in the final episode with Merlin fulfilling his destiny, followed by Arthur's death, I would have been ok with that (like Jess said below).

i love your thoughts i have been saying now for 48 hours your theory about Merlin healing Arthur just for 5-10 years then he still dies at the hands of Mordred so the prophecy is still complete and the world is OK. still mad about how they screwed the fans

Nope, Gaius said it would take a power as ancient as the dragons.

Totally agree with you, especially your second last paragraph. The end to an amazing series should be spectacular, and it shouldn't feel rushed and empty. If only Steven Moffat wrote the script.

I agree, especially with the part about Arthur dealing with Merlin's magic. It would have been so much fun if we could see Arthur in Camelot, slowly adjusting to the fact that Merlin was a sorcerer. I would have loved to see the reactions of the rest of the knights as well, as they learn to view Merlin not as a clumsy serving boy but as a really cool badass sorcerer who could totally kick their butts. It kinda sucks as well that throughout the series, it is Merlin's fate to unite Albion with Arthur, and Albion was part of the the reason why Merlin was so devoted to Arthur, and yet Arthur gets killed. Also we did not get to see a Camelot where magic was accepted, and Merlin was accepted as who he was and did not have to hide. There's just so much more that I want to see but never will. *sigh*

The ending was laughable and totally out of context - what was supposed to be an impressive twist in the tale was only subterfuge for a poorly planned end to a series.

The premise of the show is based upon a destiny of peace and magic being restored to the realm under Arthur's leadership, with Merlin doing everything in his power to ensure this comes to pass. The fact that the prophecy doesn't come to pass as originally foretold by the dragon actually does makes sense: Merlin defied the seer and dragons' warnings to kill Mordred; he strayed from destiny and paid the ultimate price with his best friend's life and possibly the future of the realm. However, in his final scene, the dragon would have us believe otherwise and that everything will be fine yet there is little evidence left to suggest otherwise. Merlin's future purpose becomes unclear as does the future of magic - he is give no recognition by Gwen after Arthur's death. The promised peace is also called into question because Gwen's role was never foretold in the prophecies. She clearly bears no heirs since she is not pregnant therefore the future emergence of another Arthur within the lineage is clearly impossible. Instead we are forced to swallow a scene which suggests that the writers take its audience for a bunch of bafoons: a decrepit Merlin "hobo", seemingly wandering without purpose. He does not even look out across the lake in expectation of the "future king" and understandably so - clearly there is nothing to wait for in an era/land where Arthur and magic have no place - Merlin is the butt of a cosmic joke (as are we it seems). What is the purpose of the final scene if there is nothing to wait for? I can only think it is to show Merlin being punished for his sins by being relegated to a modern day purgatory when surely it was enough for him and us to endure his friend dying in his arms! The scene served no sensible purpose except to add confusion to an already confusing last episode. If the entire premise of the storyline becomes nullified by Arthur's death, then a more appropriate conclusion is required - not one which throws out 6 seasons of dedication by Merlin and his audience for a nonsensical "twist". There are many scenes which could have been cut in lieu of a more appropriate storyline, none of which really made sense or added any weight to the story eg. Gwaine and Percival trying to deceive Morgana and kill her, Gaius giving the ring to Gwen prematurely so she could say she knew Arthur was still alive etc.

The ending I propose doesn't require saccharine predictability and also provides a suitable alternative to the original premise:

Merlin pleads with the dragon for a solution. He reveals that the one old enough to know such powerful magic is the spirit or lady of the lake for she is as old as the earth utself. She grants Merlin the knowledge to cast the spell for only he is powerful and pure enough of heart to unleash it. The catch however is that it requires the summoning and use of all remaining magic in the world. The dragon is happy for this to come to pass because he is almost at his end and it also brings a satisfying end to the tortured white dragon who perhaps flies in to join his brother. Merlin realises that he will also die in the process because he, as his father said, is magic to the core of his being. He makes the sacrifice gladly. This would also give purpose to Percival travelling to the lake for he would bear witness to the events and carry a restored Arthur back to Camelot. This alternate ending gives credence to the idea that our fate is not set in stone and that we make our own destinies, defying the initial premise of the storyline with a more acceptable result - not one requiring us to see the future unfold with Arthur and Merlin ruling side by side or one where we are left wondering about the future of magic since we are left with an even playing field; Arthur has his round table of knights to keep peace without the interference of magic in the future. His lineage is ensured with Gwen at his side for his "future" kings to maintain peace and justice. It also lends itself to the idea that friendship and love trump magic and famous destinies: Merlin gave his life and future hope of openly practised magic up for his friend. One could even throw in a cut scene of the modern day road panning out over the lake to the island where Merlin gave his life with celestial lighting falling upon a close-up of dragon-shaped "rocks" and the accustomed "Merlin" dragon whisper which marked the end of every episode.

Merlin is immortal in some of the legends. He does not die in all. Some he is even captured but is still an immortal.

I do not think Merlin got old. I think he spelled himself old. He has the power to do so.

But...the face of boe is Jack Harkness. I mean, he had however many children so...uh ho. I now ship Merlin/Jack Harkness.

The show had to end or it would follow with a new series of Merlin went banana for listening to a dragon that's probably drunk for the whole series.

You want a wacky script do you? I'll give you one:

Arthur died, Merlin went back, served Queen Gwen as advisor. Gwen died after accidentally releasing the old Pendragon king from the spirit world. Uther began the spirit king of Camelot, killed old dragon. Merlin upset, jumped on young dragon and fled. Round and round merlin flew around the globe, trying to figure out if the old dragon was on crack. 1500 years later, young dragon passed away. Merlin continue the same journey, on foot, towards the 21st century. Had at some point considered George Lucas as a prophet.

Disappointed, he went into a magical sleep. Awaken in 24th century. Befriended and "borrowed" Captain Picard's Starship Enterprise, heading out of all 4 quadrants, into a galaxy far far and away, seeking the once and future king Arthur based on an ancient scroll presumably written by someone by the name "Luke Skywalker".

i looked up the isle of avalon after the episode... in glastonbury... and was surprised to see that the myth was followed pretty closely. i'm glad i didn't know about that part of the myth before because it would've spoiled that you-know-who died. lolz

i was thinking he was either old... or maybe he was born again and just disguising himself as an old man.. they were hinting that maybe now was another time where albion needed arthur? that was my thought. i so want prince william and kate to name one of their kids arthur. that would be epic.

well albion did have peace because morgana was killed.
and i'm hoping that gwen was preggers.
and i'm sure magic will be allowed with gwen on the throne. hopefully merlin will be at her side.

"It doesn't stick rigidly to Arthurian legend..."

Which is mostly no more authentic than the Hitler Diaries, as it was concocted by the 11th Century equivalent of Dan Brown.

"...nor historical context."

Of which there is precious little.

No, Merlin did got old. That's the point of them showing a truck passing by Merlin.

They didn't even follow the legend correctly so why the ending?? WHY WHY WHY WHY??? At least show what happens in Camelot after that. Damn. It's like all this destiny talk is pointless because Arthur dies according to the prophecy Merlin saw anyway..

^ OMG this so much. In the end only Arthur and Gwen knows about Merlin's help...Poor Merlin forever been regarded as an idiot and weakling by the knights..Although I have to disagree that Arthur done nothing as a king. He stopped Morgana (though that was Merlin but whatever) so Camelot gain peace.

Ah me too. I thought after Arthur dies they'll show what happen to Camelot but no...

I must be the only person who liked the ending. Sure a happy ending would have left me with more satisfaction short term but I'be never been one for cliches, I prefer the knowledge we have been given. For me it was really Kilgharrah's final words that made this, it's so much more exciting because they've left an opening for Arthur to return in a totally different time, in our time.

It makes you reflect on what our society has become and how we could all use people like Arthur and Merlin. I feel a certain level of satisfaction in knowing that Arthur will always return to earth with Merlin at his side to restore the human race to glory and save it from it's own gluttony and greed.

It also leaves huge potential for further exploration of idea of a once and future King. A man who didn't just live once with a beautiful wife and many children but a man who will always return. We wouldn't have gotten that if we had received the usual happy ending.

Worst ending ever.

The last 2 seasons were also uneventful and rather slow paced. Last episode was just rushed and they could have done so much more with how Merlin revealed his abilities.

Its just so disappointing when you invest your time watching a show for over 4 years, only to be left feeling ripped off by the lack of thought put into wrapping it up. Now some people are going to argue that you can't please everyone, blah blah blah,... But come on, you don't need to put a survey out there to establish it was a lame way to wrap it up, and I am sure that over 80% of people feel like that.

Forget about creative story telling and just go with common sense next time.
- Aimless killings of key characters = bad ( I know that game of thrones pulls that off but...)
- Merlin revealing his abilities to Arthur < 20 minutes = bad

Could have so easily been an epic finish.

The ending ruined the show for me. Arthur dies. Merlin is a total failure and goes off to be alone forever. Why would they have Gaius tell Gwen that Arthur was in good hands? He wasn't. Why didn't the dragon save Arthur? Gwen has to rule alone. Her and Arthur barely got to be together. What about Merlin's mom? The ending just fell apart. All they had to do was: 1) the dragon saves Arthur 2) Arthur and Merlin ride the dragon back to Camelot 3) everyone sees the dragon, but then see Arthur and Merlin jump off 4) Arthur tells everyone about Merlin and how magic isn't evil, only some who use it for evil. 5) end with Arthur and the knights at the round table and we see Merlin sitting at Arthurs side. Arthur then says this is a new beginning. The ending the writers made was garbage. Every season, Merlin was told to protect Arthur because one day he and Merlin would rule together and bring about change. The bad ending made the whole show pointless. I loved this show so much, but the ending ruined it. Now I'll never watch it again. Bad move writers. This was a family show? All this shows kids is no matter what you do, how hard you try, evil always wins in the end, so why bother. One man can't make a difference.

Oh that would have been such a better ending. After I watched this I was just like why? Plus nobody really finds out about his magic. Merlin's just still the servant instead of like this amazing sorcerer to other people. It would have been so amazing to have everybody see him as a magician. I kinda liked the earlier seasons better, just not season 5, thought it went downhill but that might have just been me. Oh and again why kill Arthur? That was just so sad, and on Christmas eve. I also thought Colin Morgan said the ending was supposed to be good. :( You totally should have written the last episode or even the whole of the season. Although of course I love Colin's acting as usual.

Oh really? I hadnt though so, but when had it showed that?

But they dont even show magic as now being allowed. Gwen's probably going to still have it outlawed and nothing will change. (except the kings dead)

Tbh, I was never overly keen on Merlin. I watched the odd episode. I found the thing I liked most about it was John Hurt (Alien fanboi) voicing the dragon. I will however give it credit, where it's due. Most of the stories I watched made coherent sense, and their was some emotional attachment unlike a certain other show I could mention, which is aimed at the same general audience as Merlin. Perhaps the bbc have missed a trick here, and should have cancelled the other show instead, allowing them to keep Merlin. This other show is way past it's sell by date, even though it used to be my fave show of all time. Merlin had so many more avenues to explore, so many more years left in it's life cycle.

I was expecting the end with "long live the king" instead so our hero Merlin failed

I think they have a lot of ways to prolongue this show
Arthur rises again with help of the women of the lake so he lives
Morgana saved by her's Dragon
Gwain saved by that allien spirit from the cave or taken back to camelot and saved by Gaius

They rushed to end it i reckon they were tired and maybe run out of budget,which i doubt that show like this can have financial problems i bet many people will raise money just this show to continue

To be honest I feel cheated - everybody knows Arthur dies at Mordred's hands in the legends, but they referenced it so many times it seemed there had to be a twist, particularly as Arthur had only reigned for a few years and had done nothing to turn him into a legend

They could've killed off Morgana and Mordred could've escaped to torment Arthur for years to come before they eventually killed each other, but oh no we see a prophecy of him dying a few weeks before, in part one everyone expects him to die, they go to Camlann, and what actually happens?...he dies, pretty weak writing if you ask me - what was all the 'once and future king' business? Why was it so important to save Arthur for a few years just for one battle where Merlin did most of the work?

The writers claim this was the culmination of their grand plan and finished on a ratings high, but frankly they don't seem to have achieved much except for a well-acted, episodic adventure show with the occasional reference to key elements of the Arthurian legend, the show's overall story doesn't seem to go anywhere and a lot of the threads running through the show since the first episode are left hanging (at least I suppose you could call it realistic...)

I feel like it was pointless watching the series just to come to this ending. We don't see any of that glorious kingdom they babbled on about. So the whole point was just to kill Morgana and the Saxons? When Merlin even said that it was his fault that Morgana turned to evil in the first place? That on top of the other errors, the world seemed to be better off without Merlin. I guess the glorious kingdom they fought so hard for was summed up with the determined expression on Guinevere's face...NOT. This ended up being one big soap opera that they could have kept going for ages with silly sidetracks but instead pulled the plug and while doing so, made the last 5 years in complete vain. I love the actors, I love the characters, but why put them through one huge, pointless dance? I have an idea... a Merlin REBOOT! They already did it for Spider-Man, why not Merlin? Same actors, LESS writers. Just to clarify, none of these feelings really came into me until now. I was a big, big fan. I'm not left with wanting MORE, I'm left with wanting SOMETHING ELSE.

Haha someone should make a parody of her lynching Merlin for not saving Arthur and then proceeding to become a new version of Uther with a new purge.

If they decide to make a followup show like that, then I would be satisfied. Same Merlin and Arthur, but in our time.

If they took one more episode to show Camelot, it would have been good.

You hit it on the head. I hope they all have fantastic careers.

It didn't have to be a "nice" or happy ending. In fact, it was nice in a way, but it wasn't executed or fleshed out properly, therefore kicking us right in the scrotum after five years.

Unless my memory is off, there weren't many good duels at all in the entire series EXCEPT the one between Uther and Arthur, which was absolutely amazing, but that wasn't even magic. They were all telekinetic pushes which 9 times out of 10 would knock the person out and that was the end of it. Not to mention that people should have died 200 times but instead were left simply unconscious. We finally see some crazy lightning bolts and some more dragon-interaction, then before we can bust our 5 year old nut, she gets up and walks away. This reminded me of Star Wars: Revenge of The Sith with Anakin's descent into darkness being in the blink of an eye. Had they fleshed it out better, no one would have been disappointed. Is a five minute battle against Mace Windu with Anakin starting to use dark powers too much to ask? And why the hell would you cut out a 15 second scene of Yoda landing on Dagobah? You don't think people can sit for an extra minute? Jeez

Agreed. Looking back, it seems there was no real plan for the five seasons, and no canon, whether it be actual Arthurian mythology, or mythology invented for the series; either way, define it, and stick to it. They didn't. Which is why there was little emphasis on the young king on a mission, the great sword Excalibur, the Lady in the Lake, and so on. No direction, no development, and ultimately because of it, a sloppy and disappointing finale. Oh, I watched it and enjoyed it for what it was, and the acting was fine as ever. Providing their client, the BBC, was happy, the production team can view it as a success.

Nevertheless, acting and production value aside, which generally was always high, the whole thing, with hindsight, never had much of a path to tread. It floundered from one jolly romp to the next, not much happened, rarely did we move forward. The death of Uther, Arthur marrying the serving girl, the evolution of Morgana, and the reveal of Merlin as a sorceror, should all have been done by the end of series two, at the latest. Then we get three series that develop Arthur and Merlin, the uniting of Albion, the fight against Morgana, and ultimately the great battle at Camlann, but years later, with an older king, so there is a sense of achievement. And if they are going to play the destiny card, with 'the once and future king', then it has to start developing somewhere earlier in the series, and the audience has to be aware that they also are going to have to deal with it.

As the return of Arthur is not something we ever really see in these tales, wouldn't the finale have been a fine place to do this? And on Christmas Eve - not the surprising and pointless death of a favourite main character, and the sorceror made to look a bit of a loser, but a tale of the return of the king. Or seeing as it's the end of the whole series, Arthur survives Camlann and yes, hurrah, we do get to see the jolly world of Camelot with the ageing king and the great sorceror in a united Albion; a few sight gags, choice dialogue and kids running about could have told us that it worked out pretty well.

I do believe the writers never had much of a story to work with all along, or rather they had a wealth of material, from Arthurian mythology, but didn't know what to do with it. Even the big stuff they did use - the sword in the stone, the marriage of Arthur and Gwen, the Lady in the Lake, King Pellen and more - just fell flat. King Pellen, in fairness was a good story, and the death of Uther wasn't bad, but there's little threading, no journey; just thrashing from one jolly romp to the next, and a finale which clearly revealed they were stuck for ideas.

I posted here already, but it's been nagging at me all along - these production companies and writers are handed these commissions and budgets, doubtless on the premise of a really good concept, only to fumble around for years and then let it slip out of their hands. Sad.

Epic FAIL: Merlin doesn't cash in his Dragon ride chip until after Arthur is dead. I would have used it right after speaking to Gaius.

I agree with other people's comments. I have been such a huge fan of Merlin since the beginning and still am (acting, costumes, sets have been fantastic). However I am devastated and left completely unfulfilled by the rushed ending of series 5. In fact, by the whole of series 5 which I spent waiting for the reveal, and then some forward movement in the relationship between Arthur and Merlin and the development of the great Kingdom of Camelot. As a result I have decided the only thing to do is to rewrite the ending how I would like to see it! In fact, it would not be an ending, as Arthur would live and be able to fulfull his destiny and Merlin would get a chance to fultull his too. Since I sat down to write it, ideas have been whirling around my head, some based on ideas from here and I wonder how the writers could have got the storyline so wrong!

I am going to miss it so much....

'The Once & Future King' is a famous novel by T.H White about King Arthur. It is partially based on Thomas Mallory's 'L'Morte D'Arthur' and between them they are the main sources of inspiration for most modern Arthurian dramas.

In Mallory's work Arthur's tombstone is described as showing the inscription "Here lies Arthur, king once, and king to be."

The Once & Future King was the favourite novel of Professor Xavier in the X-Men comics and he is seen teaching an English Literature class on that novel in the second X-Men film.

I feel there is a vague possibility, just a small one, that you may have missed the sarcasm in that earlier comment...

The allies went through 2 world wars. Maybe they could have somehow brought Arthur back during one of these periods?

I felt sorry for Merlin. Wandering for so long & not knowing when or if Arthur was returning. He long outlived all those that he had loved or had loved him. I thought his fate was far worse than Arthur's. I didn't hate the ending, but it sort of felt sad & unfullfilling.

Uh, and this is a bit late, but in the second-last sentence I just made a teeny mistake that my OCD can't handle:
*can

Correct, the most told version of the Arthurian legend is Le Mort D' Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory. Which John Boorman took mostly from in his excellent telling of the Arthurian legends in the movie Excalibur. Lets not forget about Gwen and Lancelot which was touched on early in the Merlin series but Lancelot was gone and the storyline with him

I hated this finale, Arthur and Mordreds sword fight was underwhelming, Merlin and Morgana should have had an actual magical battle, Arthur should have lived. And a gripe i have with the overall season Aithusa should have been adult because i have been waiting since season 1 for the legendary Dragon battle between the welsh and saxon. I think a red dragon should have been discovered to still be alive, Kilgarrah is killed by Aithusa, so the Red dragon kills Aithusa in a massive brawl. They were leading into this, but apparently they forgot about it. What happened to Aithusa anyway? Being welsh myself i am utterly disapointed that our greatest legend has not yet been adapted to film or TV.

I for one really disliked the ending. After reading some comments lets start by stating, The series did not follow the myth thus any reference to that is mute.

The entire series long we (the viewers) have been told that Arthur would be the Great King, whom would unban magic and rule as a golden age, that this wasn't shown at all is in my opinion together with the lack in magic battle between Morgana and Merlin with the untimely death of Arthur the greatest disappointments of the final.

I honestly thought the last season was doing great, However I would have liked a few things different and that the final progressed as such:
First, Mordred's druid girlfriend shouldn't have been killed in Camelot but rather should have been killed by Morgana and then framed Camelot for it. Causing Mordred to believe her and reach a same set-up, this would be more inline with his character as he tried and tried again to believe in Arthur, thus continuing the story as it did.
Final episode, Battle continued, a short skirmish between Mordred and Arthur.. after fatal stabbings on both parties Mordred would have been told/realized he was betrayed by Morgana.. After realizing Morgana's betrayal he'd do some kind of grand gesture towards Arthur, a bad example would be with his last power saves Arthur from a rock slide which would have crushed him, upon which he dies.
Merlin would carry Arthur off, after which he would reveal his secret by battling it out with Morgana seconds after telling Arthur the truth.
Epic magic battle between the two magi's after which Merlin used magic to let the Excalibur fly into Morgana's back. after short talk with a terrified Arthur whom is trying to grasp the entire situation that just unfolded Merlin calls for the dragon. Whom takes them both off to safety and at Avalon he'd be healed.. during their journey the viewer would have been shown the transformation of Arthur as we saw it, which was splendid.

Several weeks later; Arthur reinstated the dead Mordred as a good knight again for he's loyalty in the end and in the past before he was twisted by Morgana.

Arthur whom finally realized everything and accepted Merlin he unban's magic and publicly appoints Merlin as the kings/court's magician.

Then zoom out, entire narrator's voice stating that this ushered in a new era of peace and prosperity making it a golden age, Arthur lived long and had children etc.
Back in the court many years later, we see a truly older Merlin and older Arthur, Arthur releaves himself of Excalibur placing it at the king's seat at the round table with a scroll.

We then hear his voice saying that Merlin had helped him prolong his life and that he was truly happy, the land was safe and prosperous and it was time for him and Merlin to leave, But when the land was in its hour of greatest need they would return.

Meanwhile while this is being narrated we would see them together then set off for Avalon together either by boat or by dragon. If dragon then as he flew past the screen with them on his back, just after his tail flew by 5 second delay and end screen.

This is honestly how I expected things to go like half way in the season, and this is especially how I wished they ended a series which I spent time on and followed for 5 years..

all of you should become writers, all i wanted was to see more epic magic, the dragon tell a better ending and if arthur was so tired why not take the heavy armor off i mean he can barely walk and merlin is struggling. also i love how horses appear out of no where for them.

also merlin is all alone in the future thats sad

Extremely disappointing Series Finale. Please bring back Arthur soon !

oh wow! awesome! late reply is late, but thanks!

Honestly dissapointed with the ending of Merlin... Arthur dies, Gwain & most of the Knights die & Merlins hard work ended him up as a hobo... the producers should've made Gwenavaire pregnant with a son, who eventually becomes king & Merlin becomes Gwen's advisor, she lets back magic( evntually everyone appreciates Merlins hard work)...

I have only just watched the finale of Merlin. I was surprised how affected I was – I have genuinely experienced a few days of mild grief which is an odd experience for a fictional TV programme.

I think the reason is the excellent acting of the two male leads combined with the fact that the writers displayed the sadness far too much and uncessarily.

I have no problem with sadness in programmes but it’s best accompanied by a sense of redemption and/or closure neither of which I felt was achieved. Think of The Shawshank Redemption as an example of how to do it well.

I didn’t mind the small plot holes or continuity issues but the sense of sadness at the end was overwhelming instead of appropriately balanced.

I think that in the final scene with Merlin in modern times that were trying to convey his love for Arthur, the hope of Arthur’s return (because Merlin and Arthur are linked and if Merlin is alive then there’s hope for Arthur) and a sense that the mission has in fact been achieved because Arthur has not had to return to re-unite the kingdoms again. They were also trying to convey the hope of magic in the world.

However, what most viewers received is a sense of sadness as we realise that Merlin has been alive for 1000+ years and has seen all the people he’s known and loved come and go with no pending sense of Arthur’s return. Also he’s know alive in a world where his kind of magic is even less accepted than before. Even if Arthur did return everyone he’s known and loved will have been long gone too (other than Merlin).

They also misjudged Arthur’s death which was uncessary for the plot. Throughout we were promised that he would bring Albion to the land and yet he dies just at the dawn of that age. In the most traditional view of the legend he dies as an older man, having experienced bad times but also Albion.

Therefore, we are left with Merlin having partly influenced the rise of Morgana and Mordred, having failed to save Arthur and wandering the earth without his friends and Arthur having died before he sees Albion leaving Gwen and the Knights to build the kingdom without him. This is not the ending to the series that most fans would have wanted.

I do console myself with the possibility that all the characters have been talking together in the spirit world so that Merlin hasn't been that lonely (after he did meet Balinor as a spirit) and also that Arthur has in fact returned (maybe more than once) before we see Merlin in the last scene.

Given that the aim of the series was to achieve Albion within the plot lines and to be a type of Smallvile programme in terms of it’s aim then it was uncessary for Arthur to die (after all I don’t recall Smallville killing Superman off before he became the public superhero).

A better ending in my opinion would have been to remove that final scene and for Arthur to have been saved, return to Camelot to make a noble speece about building Albion, for magic to have been made legal and to enjoy the reactions of the other characters now that they know who Merlin is.

I would have counterbalanced this by a scene in which we see that Morded has not been fatally wanted and he telepathically says to Merlin that he will return in the future to seek his vengeance (to which Merlin replies ‘not yet’ and turns to join his smiling friends). By doing this we would have had a happy ending and a time of Albion all tempered by the knowledge that it’s not over. That would have given viewers a sense of closure.

At the least there should be a Christmas special or film to finish off the loose ends.

Great acting let down by average writing at the end.

We join numerous other viewers and fans of this show who felt highly DISAPPOINTED about the "Merlin" series ending. Several things came to my mind:

1. The creators and writers of "Merlin" apparently forgot what their show is really all about - the early years of Camelot.

The series should have ended with the 5 important characters ( Merlin, Arthur, Gwen, Morgana and Mordred) still alive and properly positioned for the middle and later years of the Camelot saga. It would have made better sense to kill off Richard Wilson as Gaius to serve as the important milestone formally ending this series in the same manner that Obi Wan Kenobi's death was crucial in the first Star Wars movie and Professor Dumbledore's death was significant near the end of the Harry Potter saga. The death of his beloved elderly mentor and friend would also have signified the young Merlin's graduation into full adult maturity and responsibilities as a warrior-wizard.

2. Morgana's final demise by simply being killed by Merlin with a simple sword thrust of Excalibur was surprisingly anti-climactic and quite unsatisfying, especially when you compare it to the memorable death of her predecessor, the pagan witch Nimue who literally exploded after a lengthy magic battle with the hero at the end of season 1.

3. Mordred's transformation from good guy to bad guy was obviously rushed, sadly incomplete and thoroughly unconvincing mainly because the writers clearly failed to erase the strong memory of this character as the lost and frightened little Druid boy whom Arthur and his father Uther were hunting down in the first and second season of the show. Mordred finally ended up being the most sympathetic character in the series by default. ( And what was the meaning or significance of his enigmatic smile upon his death at Arthur's hands?? )

4. The tragic events of Camelot's demise and King Arthur's fall during the two-part episode can be directly traced and attributed to Merlin's epic failure or foolish inability to properly deal with the dangerous situation involving the tragic love story of Mordred and Kara. If only he only allowed the young lovers to safely escape from Camelot, the end of Arthur's reign might have been postponed later for several years or decades. If only.

5. The ultimate fates of the remaining 3 important characters appear to be very depressing, pathetic and even pointless. Arthur is dead, Gwen is a lonely widowed queen who rules over the remainder of a Camelot in decline, permanently separated from the man she loves (compare that to Mordred who is at least reunited with Kara in death), and Merlin is doomed to walk the earth forever as a crazy-eyed homeless vagrant.

Compared to this pathetic series finale, the blackout non-ending of The Sopranos and the Moldavian wedding massacre season finale of Dynasty were much better and preferable.

I agree with alot of people here. I will not keep repeating things that have already been said. Though I would like to tell everyone this:

Merlin was not on television in my country, so I have all the seasons on my pc. Usually when I watch downloaded series, and they end, I am at peace and I can delete them happily. All the Merlin seasons are still on my pc, and I get this deep feeling of grief in my stomach when I see them in my list. I did not delete them, and when I see them there in the list something deep inside of me wants to cry. I was so consumed by the series, that now this feeling of incompleteness still lingers. It's like I haven't deleted them because my brain tells me there should be a season 6. Like this was not really the end. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Please everyone, join merlin2return on facebook. We need the numbers to bring Merlin back. Join the cause.

we love merlin alot.we are from sri lanka.we hope colin would visit sri lanka oneday.

I like this fantasy TV Series.

I would like to see King Arthur try to settle in to modern day times!!!!

I have to disagree. These are my thoughts:

While I agree that Morgana's death was a little rushed and there should have been a battle between Morgana and Merlin, I think the your ending would be a little cheesy. All through the series we had this build up that Arthur would die, so I would have been disappointed if he had lived. I think it is great that the writers had the courage to kill off Arthur. If they hadn't it would have been nothing like the legend whatsoever. I know that Merlin hasn't always followed the legend, but it has always loosely been followed, and this would have been changing it too far. We all know that Camlaan (is that how you spell it?) is where Arthur dies, so why change it? I feel like this series made the show more adult, and if Arthur had lived it would have remained childish. I'm not saying the finale didn't make me sad (I was heartbroken, lol) but isn't that good? A good story makes you feel for the characters, and that is what it did for me.
I kind of agree that Arthur didn't make Albion like he was supposed to, but actually he kind of did. He realised how wrong he was and apologised to Merlin, which showed that he realised magic was good. He then left Gwen to let magic back into the kingdom. Even while he was alive, he made Camelot a more just kingdom, even though magic was still outlawed.

Like I said, I kind of agree Morgana's end was rushed, but then again, in a way it honoured the show, because it brought Excalibur back and showed that Excalibur was vitally important. Merlin created it ages ago, and never really realised how important it would become. Perhaps Merlin and Morgana could have had a battle before he stabbed her? This would have been a better end to her character, but I blame that on the time limit (they are only allowed 45 minutes for the story). I would have liked a Morgana redemption, though.

Arthur and Gwen having kids at the end would have again been too cheesy, and would have left me disappointed after the Arthur's death build up. The writers did something that actually shocked viewers (killing Arthur) which I wasn't expecting. I thought they would just get around his death somehow. This is good storytelling, right?

Maybe if, after Arthur's death, Gwen had announced she was pregnant with Arthur's child, this would have been better. In some ways, Arthur would live on.

Anyway, I thought Merlin's end was a fitting ending overall. This is just my opinion.

Yeah, I agree with you on the Steven Moffat thing. Although I liked the finale, If Steven Moffat had written it it would have been amazing! :)

I just watched the final episode on the station which carried it in Canada. Obviously targeted toward a younger audience when it premiered, I found the production well done for a tv series and featured strong acting. I thought the finale was good from the standpoint it was dramatic. Disappointing from the standpoint Arthur and merlin didn't fullfil their role in Camelot's golden age. Maybe the story doesn't end here. It ends with merlin walking across the water from Avalon in modern times. If I could, I would continue the scene with merlin coming across two kids skipping rocks across the water. One of the kids says if he had magic, he could skip it further. The other kid scoffs at his assertion and says there's no such thing as magic. Merlin hears this and informs the kids that maybe magic does exist. And maybe this water was witness to the greatest magic. The kid scoffs at the crazy old man's muse and proceeds to throw another rock as merlin walks on. Except merlin pauses and with a whisper, the kid rock skips and skips and skips....clear across the water. And then we have a flashback...to Arthurs awakening. When he and merlin are reunited in Camelot's time of need and did rule during Camelot's golden age! Seeing an old merlin wander the modern day would be better if we knew he didn't fail not only his destiny as a sorcerer but as a hope of all people, to find a true friend.

I just watched the final episode on the station which carried it in Canada. Obviously targeted toward a younger audience when it premiered, I found the production well done for a tv series and featured strong acting. I thought the finale was good from the standpoint it was dramatic. Disappointing from the standpoint Arthur and merlin didn't fullfil their role in Camelot's golden age. Maybe the story doesn't end here. It ends with merlin walking across the water from Avalon in modern times. If I could, I would continue the scene with merlin coming across two kids skipping rocks across the water. One of the kids says if he had magic, he could skip it further. The other kid scoffs at his assertion and says there's no such thing as magic. Merlin hears this and informs the kids that maybe magic does exist. And maybe this water was witness to the greatest magic. The kid scoffs at the crazy old man's muse and proceeds to throw another rock as merlin walks on. Except merlin pauses and with a whisper, the kid rock skips and skips and skips....clear across the water. And then we have a flashback...to Arthurs awakening. When he and merlin are reunited in Camelot's time of need and did rule during Camelot's golden age! Seeing an old merlin wander the modern day would be better if we knew he didn't fail not only his destiny as a sorcerer but as a hope of all people, to find a true friend.

You hit it spot on... I'm sooooo pissed off from that ending.. I literally watched season 5 episodes 3-13 in one night... The ending leaves you wanting.

awww...i love your ending!

i totally agree

Technically they did make a great kingdom. Camelot was at peace at last but I agree that they did not show magic being allowed into the kingdom. That was a massive let down.

It is hinted when Gwen is brainwashed into allying with Morgana that she is barren. She tells Sir leon " Arthur has no other family to succeed him." I

I loved it but there was no happy ending :( merlin and arthur were so cute together ♥

you just made my day after watching the ending

i really liked the series and i thought the last episode was a good episode till the last 7 - 10 min .. that's when you realize the episode is not gonna go down the way you wan't it to .. all the seasons building up to the grand finale .. to the future of Camelot .. to Albion and the golden age .. but instead you get a king dying, a Merlin that never dies (sadly walking the earth still waiting for his master .. reminds me of abandoned pets :( ..) and no albion no glimpse of the future at all :/ .. i really loved the series just till the end ... it's a well acted and good end ..it's just not good enough to fill in the blanks and the question that it generated .. plus it didn't fulfill the things it was supposed to .. :/

i couldnt agree more with you, i knew that the end would be awful so after the middle of the 2nd season, i watched the 2 last episodes of the 5th. It started so cool, the first 2 episodes made me watch that serie desperately but then i started getting bored and magic never bored me. Anyway thank god there is still the Once upon a time serie xD

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