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Merlin Club S03E08, “The Eye of The Phoenix” or “It’s never about you, Arthur.”

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Merlin club is a weekly feature in which Jessica Jarman, Bronwyn Green, and myself gather at 8pm EST to watch an episode of the amazing BBC series Merlin, starring Colin Morgan and literally nobody else I care about except Colin Morgan.

Okay, I lie. A lot of other really cool people are in it, too.

Anyway, we watch the show, we tweet to the hashtag #MerlinClub, and on Fridays we share our thoughts about the episode we watched earlier in the week.

So, here’s a quick rundown of episode eight: Arthur has to prove he’s worthy of being king, so it’s basically just business as usual in Camelot. He has to go on a quest to find the Fisher King’s trident, and he has to do it all alone, or else it won’t count. Morgana gives him a bracelet as a token of good luck, but it has been ensorcelled to sap his energy as the quest draws on. Merlin goes after him to rescue him, and picks up Gwain along the way, and of course when they get to the place where the Fisher King lives is, the entire quest was about Merlin because EVERYTHING IS ALWAYS ABOUT MERLIN ALL THE TIME.

If I had written this episode, I would have changed: Why can’t the quest, just one time, be about Arthur, and not just about getting Merlin to where his personal story arc is?

The thing I loved most about this episode: This is the episode where Gwen really puts together that Morgana has gone evil. Remember that aside from Merlin, who saw Morgana engaging in evil shenanigans, and Gaius, who learned of her evil shenanigans via Merlin, Gwen is the first person to figure out that Morgana is evil just from putting two and two together. Gwen is the smartest person in the whole show.

The thing I hated most about this episode: You have Warwick Davis. Warwick Davis, from Star Wars, Harry Potter, Willow, The 10th Kingdom, etc. And you use him for the guy guarding the bridge? Why not give him something meatier? I would have cast him as the Fisher King. Not that Maester Luwin wasn’t good, but man. It could have been Warwick who got all those awesome lines.

Something I never noticed before:  As they approach the castle of the Fisher King, Merlin and Gwain notice some dragon-like things flying around. Gwain tells Merlin that these things are Wyvern. Okay, but… Merlin is the last Dragon Lord. Why didn’t he already know that? And yes, I know that he’s a brand new Dragon Lord and he’s never received any training, but he knew how to instinctively command a dragon, right? You’d think becoming the last Dragon Lord would have imbued him with some of this knowledge.

Favorite Costume: The Fisher King. He looks like the expensive decoration at the Halloween store

fisher king

Here is proof of some random headcanon I created: 

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 10.25.44 PM


Sitting romantically by the fire, aye? DOOOOOOING IIIIIIT.

What object would Bronwyn steal from this episode? 

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 10.29.02 PM

Water from Avalon.

What Merthur moment did Jess have the naughtiest thoughts about? I have a feeling that she had more Merlin/Gwaine feels about this one.

Check out Jessica Jarman’s take on the episode here

Check out Bronwyn Green’s take on the episode here

That’s it for this week. Join us next week for S03E09, “Love in The Time of Dragons” Monday,  8pm EST on the hashtag #MerlinClub.



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  1. OMG! YES! Warwick Davis should have been the Fisher King!

    I love when you guys both pick the same thing for me. My tastes are obvious, it seems.

    September 26, 2014
  2. Irene

    Jennyyyyyy… Is it “Gwain” or “Gwen”??? Or are they two different People???

    September 26, 2014
  3. Jon

    Please excuse the folk-law pedantry but as I understand it Wyvern are normally portrayed as bipedal thus distinguishing them from the quadrupedal dragons. I recall this episode failed to draw that distinction.

    September 26, 2014
    • BB

      Yes, thank you. That bugged me because I have never seen a wyvern depicted as being a quadruped. I was quite confused when they called them wyverns because, those aren’t wyverns, they’re just small-ish dragons.
      Also wyverns generally have some kind of venomous bard or stinger on their tail, which dragons do not.

      Dragons can be depicted with any number of legs(2, 4, none), but wyverns always have two legs.

      September 28, 2014
  4. TayciBear

    You know what I disliked about this episode? That Arthur didn’t figure out that Merlin was Magic. Doesn’t he even say at one point that Gwaine must be Strength. His obliviousness to Merlins magic is infuriating.

    September 26, 2014
  5. BB

    Admittedly, when I first watched the episode, I thought the bridge guardian was going to end up being the Fisher King.

    September 28, 2014

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