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Merlin Club S02E12 “The Fires of Idirsholas” or “It’s all downhill from here, Morgana.”

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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: Morgause raises an army of supernatural warriors called the knights of Madea or something. I don’t know how it’s spelled. They’re not all middle-aged men in latex granny suits, though, which is good. She puts Morgana under a spell that’s kind of a reverse Sleeping Beauty deal; everyone in Camelot comes down with a sickness that puts them to sleep, except Morgana. Only Merlin and Arthur are left with the ability to fight for Camelot, and the Dragon tells Merlin that in order to stop the plague and save the kingdom, he has to kill Morgana. And for once, Merlin takes the dragon’s advice. He poisons Morgana, and Morgause rushes to aid her dying sister. She magics them both away, and though Camelot is saved, Morgana is gone. Merlin ends up finally setting the dragon free, which, judging by all the scenes of fire and carnage in the preview of the next episode, probably turns out fine.

If I had written this episode, I would have changed: This is where things start to go very wrong for me. Morgause loves her sister, right? So why did she put her under a spell that would make her a target? Merlin has to fight hard– and come up with some shoddy exposition– to get Arthur to believe that it’s a coincidence that Morgana didn’t fall ill. Morgause either didn’t think this one through, or she just doesn’t give a shit what happens to her sister.

I’m willing to bet it’s the latter, unfortunately, because when Morgana returns in the next season, I think she’s gone through the Dark Tower, a spell we see in season five. And I think this happens at the hands of her sister.

The thing I loved most about this episode: After all the shit we’ve seen him pull through the past two seasons, it’s nice to see Uther getting dragged around like a sack of flour. I hope they hit his head a bunch. Uther, I mean. Obviously I would never want anything bad to happen to Anthony Head. I don’t know why I even bothered to clarify that. Do you guys even know me at all?!

The thing I hated most about this episode: It’s a small nit to pick, but I’ve always hated how once Morgana is working with her sister, her makeup gets more dramatic. Morgana always looks basically bare-faced and dewy, but once she starts siding with Morgause, she’s got thicker eyeliner and darker lipstick. It’s part of a cultural equation of female beauty with evil that is bizarre and gross.

Something I never noticed before: How fucking pushy Merlin is with the poison. I remembered him giving Morgana the wineskin and being like, “here, have a drink,” but he keeps bringing it up when there are way more problems than thirst going on.

Another thing I noticed was Katie McGrath’s amazing acting in the scene where Arthur gives her a sword to guard the unconscious king. I used to think, “God, why doesn’t she just cut off his fucking head and be done with it?” Looking closer at the scene, I now realize that she considers it.

Favorite Costume: I’m so frustrated with my internet speed right now, because I can’t screencap it, but Morgause looks like such a fucking badass with her cape and armor, leading a legion of undead warriors into Camelot.

Here is proof of some random headcanon I created: My headcanon here concerns Morgana (I think we can safely say who my favorite character is, okay?). I feel like the spell that Morgause casts on her is the beginning of her inexplicable personality 180. Morgana before season three wants justice. She’s not fueled by hatred or greed until after Morgause takes her away, which also leads me to believe that Morgause pulled a Dark Tower on her.

What object would Bronwyn steal from this episode? Nothing I could get a picture of. Thanks, internet, for sucking exactly when it’s least convenient.

What Merthur moment did Jess have the naughtiest thoughts about? When Arthur is willing to risk his own life to save Merlin in the woods.

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 on Monday as we watch S02E13, “The Last Dragonlord” at 8pm EST on the hashtag #MerlinClub.



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  1. Completely agree with your theories on Morgana and the change she undergoes.

    I never noticed just HOW pushy he was with the poisoned water. I vaguely remembered her refusing and him offering again. But yeah, he is all but dumping it down her throat. Subtle, young warlock, subtle.

    July 11, 2014
  2. Until rewatching this episode, I hadn’t seen clearly the 180 – and yeah, I think that’s all Morgause’s doing. Even in this episode, she doesn’t seem entirely comfortable with out everything is going down – like she didn’t think justice would play out like this. But the spell, combined with being (rightfully) pissed that Merlin tried to kill her, and The Dark Tower-ing, Morgana didn’t have a chance. Thanks, Morgause. (And also Gaius for years of gaslighting bullshit.)

    July 11, 2014
  3. Whiskers

    Speaking of tiny nits to pick…the quick rundown has been stuck at episode eight for the last four episodes. I love reading these, even though I’ve not watched Merlin, but the editor in me goes *NOOOWHYYYYY* every time I see that. 😉

    July 11, 2014
  4. Speaking of Anthony Head: Are you watching “Dominion” on SyFy? It’s the most bizarre thing to hear him doing an American accent.

    July 13, 2014
  5. liz

    ‘It’s part of a cultural equation of female beauty with evil that is bizarre and gross.’ – I think it’s more like equating female sexuality-crudely represented by the use of certain clothes and makeup-with evil. I got really annoyed watching Ghostbusters, which I usually think of as a fun film, when I noticed that when Sigourney Weaver gets possessed, it’s signified by a dramatic and inexplicable change of hair/outfit/makeup. The same thing happens in Charmed etc whenever any of them get possessed (far too frequently, cos they really ran out of plots on that programme. ..) Sexy women in non fantasy shows are often ‘bad girls’, set up in opposition to the healthy’girl next door’ type. It gets irritating after a while. Makes me feel like watching Skins or Misfits on a loop.

    July 15, 2014
  6. Bryn

    Hi, Jenny! While browsing the dark corners of the internet for resources for a Fantasy Writing class I’m teaching in August, I came across a music video that I thought you might find interesting.

    The artist is Heather Dale, and the song is “Prodigal Son.” The story behind it is that it’s Morgan le Fey’s tirade against Arthur. This being the Internet, someone made a fanvid of this song with “Merlin.”

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go back to binge-listening “Mordred’s Lullaby” and thinking about my life choices.

    Have a good one!

    July 17, 2014
  7. […] all lazy and smug… Bron’s Merlin Club: The Fires of IdirsholasPost Jen’s Merlin Club: The Fires of Idirsholas Post Next week, 7/14 at 8pm EST, we wrap up season two with The Last Dragonlord. Get your tissues […]

    February 12, 2018

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