borealgrove: (Just Hold Me)
[personal profile] borealgrove
I did end up finishing my Merlin rewatch this afternoon, and the ending was nearly as devastating to watch as the first time I watched it the whole way through. I made myself a cocoon out of my bathrobe and sat in front of the TV to cry intermittently for a good hour while my partner gently poked fun at me about it (though it should be noted that by the end of Diamond of the Day pt.2 he was fully engaged in the plot and said that was such a good series, why didn't they ever continue it?). Ah, BBC Merlin. You were and continue to be a good egg.

I'll put a few remarks under a cut, just in case.

I have to start by saying wow. The Merlin/Arthur relationship in Diamond of the Day, both parts, is pretty strongly evident. I wish I had the time and the inclination to point all of them out, but I'm sure some other amazing person has already done so. I've been reading [ this tumblr post ] over a few times to cope.

Arthur upset that Merlin won't come with him to Camlann, focusing on Merlin's absence even with Gwen along--Merlin speaking to him in a dream, and him waking up saying Merlin's name and jumping straight to action. Merlin says some of the same encouraging things to Arthur that Gwen did before, but until that dream, Arthur seems to be kind of uncertain of himself, missing something.

The parallel between Mordred doing whatever he could to save Kara's life and failing, and Merlin literally devoting his life to Arthur, and failing to save him. There is no way that the writers did not mean to draw that parallel, as Mordred plainly asks Merlin if he wouldn't do the same thing for the woman he loved, and we all know damn well there isn't one. A woman, anyway.

The scene where Merlin confesses that he has magic once again reduced me to tears... Colin's performance is so damn good, I felt every inch of that pain, longing, and fear. Everything about it felt like he was also admitting he loved Arthur.

A while after that scene, they have one sitting on a fallen tree trunk together, and though I knew there would be no kiss, my brain kept chiming in to say this is what a dramatic kiss scene looks like. Thanks brain. I know. That prolonged eye contact and framing was deliberate.

Arthur, with his dying breath, wanting to tell Merlin something he never has before. Asking Merlin to "just hold" him. All of these cues are classic tragic romantic death scene things. Everything was screaming I love you. Deliberate. And, as has been pointed out a long time ago, that really was what was being said in the scene. The audio was cut out. The lip movements don't match. "Thank you"? Arthur has given him a meaningful thank you before.


When all is said and done, my impressions are thus:

- Gwen was always more in love with Lancelot, and like Merlin, the person she loved more than anyone died tragically
- Gwen loved Arthur, but not in the same way she was in love with Lancelot -- her reactions to Lancelot's death and to Arthur's death were very different... which is not to discount all of the experience she had in between the two, all of the responsibility she gained... but the reactions they filmed for her were very different.
- The tragic, emotional, my-love-has-just-died crying scene was given to Merlin
- Gwen seems happy, or at least comforted to know that Merlin was with Arthur at the end, when Gaius gives her the news; not envious, not bitter, not sad, but happy that Arthur could have Merlin with him in the end. She genuinely loved Arthur... but did not desperately wish she could have been with him in his last moments.
- Arthur loved Gwen, but he always, always defers to Merlin. He is always preoccupied with Merlin, and at least half the scenes (at night or otherwise) in Arthur's room are between Merlin and Arthur, with or without Gwen present. Merlin takes up a lot of space in Arthur's life, and even with Gwen there, Arthur still prioritizes Merlin.
- I would also like to point out that Arthur is his true self around Merlin, not Gwen; he is completely relaxed and a bit of an ass around Merlin, but always more polite and gracious around Gwen. I would say the same for Gwen--she was her true self around Lancelot, not quite to the same extent around Arthur.

This last bit doesn't even need to be under a cut, because it's not a spoiler of any kind :

- Merlin's entire life revolves around Arthur, no joke, actual fact, I literally don't know how else to put this lol

Anyway. FEELS.

After going through that emotional upheaval, I sat down and got some actual writing done--1K in total so far together, a larger chunk going towards FS because I'd like to get that next chapter out of the way first. But I completed a scene for my ACBB fic and I am very pleased with it. I am so excited to keep writing this thing--it'll be a little gem of a thing if I pull it off! Though I have to say, I'm not sure if the story as a whole will end up being long enough to submit to ACBB once complete. Oh well! It'll be however long it needs to be to make sense, and that's all I can do about that.

BACK TO WORK, self. BACK TO WORK.

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