Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: Merlin

  1. #1
    TheCursedQuill
    Guest

    Merlin

    I was watching Disney's The Sword and the Stone the other day, and it got me thinking about Merlin.

    To start, I have this
    Quote Originally Posted by HP Lexicon
    A Charms specialist sometimes known as "The Prince of Enchanters;" Merlin is unquestionably the most famous wizard of all time (PS6, fw). Merlin was part of the Court of King Arthur (King Arthur once ruled the land that is now part of England). He believed that wizards should help Muggles and therefore created the Order of Merlin to support laws protecting and benefiting Muggles (fw).
    So we don't know too much, but we know enough. In the Disney version of Merlin, he is portrayed as an eccentric, senile wizard who can See into the future. Do you think Merlin was a Seer? Or was he only good at Charms?

    What do you think made Merlin such a great wizard? Do you think he invented any spells? Would he have ventured into other things like potions and herbology? Could he have found new uses for things, which is another reason why he is so great? And I just realised, from the Lexicon it only says he was the most famous wizard. Was he famous because he was powerful, or... because of something else?

    And what do you think his relationship to King Arthur was like? In Disney, he taught Arthur great educational skills and took on a fatherly role. Do you think this was the case? I don't know much about King Arthur, but I'm currently trying to find out more about him and his court and the Knights of the Round Table. What role would Merlin have played in the King's court?

    Merlin believed that wizards should help muggles. Does this mean with magic, or simply protecting them from magic? What kind of laws do you think he created to "benefit" muggles? Why do you think he was caring of muggles? Could King Arthur possibly have had something to do with it?

    And lastly, Merlin lived in Medieval times, now I'm not sure when King Arthur had his rule or if they've even stamped it down to a particular time, but the founders were around in about 1000AD (according to Lexicon). The Medieval Times end roughly around the 15th century, so do you think Merlin could have known the founders? Again, I'm not sure about Arthur's rule and such, so this might be completely impossible. But if he could, and did, know them, why didn't he teach at Hogwarts?

    I haven't fully thought about all of these questions, but I'd like to hear what everyone else has to think about Merlin! Thanks in advance for all of your input!

    -Sarah

  2. #2
    Rosi Zeller
    Guest
    I'm no expert on the Arthurian legend (reading a book about it right now, actually, but have only read about twenty pages so far), so I'll only answer what I do know ... or at least what wikipedia was willing to tell me.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCursedQuill
    And lastly, Merlin lived in Medieval times, now I'm not sure when King Arthur had his rule or if they've even stamped it down to a particular time, but the founders were around in about 1000AD (according to Lexicon). The Medieval Times end roughly around the 15th century, so do you think Merlin could have known the founders? Again, I'm not sure about Arthur's rule and such, so this might be completely impossible. But if he could, and did, know them, why didn't he teach at Hogwarts?
    King Arthur led the defence of Britain against the Saxon invaders in the early sixth century. As an extraordinary wizard, Merlin might have lived for quite a long time, but I would say anything further than the seventh century would be streching things way too far.

    So I'd say no way he knew the founders. He might have known the founders's great-great-great-(some more greats, probably)-grandparents, though ...

  3. #3
    Seventh Year Hufflepuff
    Am I in the Right House?
    AidaLuthien's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    The City
    Posts
    570
    I'm fairly bad at English history, so I don't know if it's plausible at all, but I really like the idea that the Founders and Merlin knew one another. That sounds like a plot bunny for someone. Maybe Merlin was in favor of a... what's the word, like a more paternalistic attitude towards Muggles as opposed to some of the Founders.

  4. #4
    'Til the end of the line Ravenclaw
    Unspeakable
    Kill the Spare
    ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Ganking demons
    Posts
    2,050
    I remember reading one fic where the Founders were all Merlin's children. I know, it seems far-fetched (considering they all have completely different names), but I suppose it is plausible that there is a link between the leading wizards/witches of the Founder Era and the wizard that is famous enough to be an epithet.

    I do, however, believe that Merlin's time would be more appropriately about 500 years before the Founders. The Founders have more of a significance to Hogwarts and those who attended, but Merlin would have more widespread legendary status due to the passage of times and the inevitable inflation of his accomplishments.
    Jess WritesJess DrabblesJess DuelsJess PoetsJess Draws



    Gorgeous banner by Dinny / Evora.


  5. #5
    Third Year Ravenclaw
    Bumper Cars in Gringotts

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    86
    Merlin could represent a different philosophy towards Muggles centuries before its time, given that he (presumably) acted as King Arthur's mentor and advisor. He could have been pushing for more Wizard-Muggle cooperation and integration to the point that he left wizard society completely, since even clueless Muggles have heard of him.
    There is shadow under this red rock,/ (Come in under the shadow of this red rock),/ And I will show you something
    different from either/ Your shadow at morning striding behind you/ Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;/

    I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

    DuelManSeven | DrabbleManSeven | DeadManStories | DeadManSounds

  6. #6
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
    Obliviate!
    Sapphire at Dawn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Here, there and everywhere
    Posts
    777
    I absolutely love Arthurian legend I've got so many books on it they don't fit in my bookshelf and take up two boxes under my bed...

    I'm reading a book in which the name of Merlin is actually a title carried by the chief Druid. In that book, the Merlin is the messenger of the old Pagan Gods, and the book is about the struggle of Avalon and Paganism against the growing influence of Christianity. The Merlin (in the beginning a bard called Talesein and is Arthur's grandfather) is a councillor the king and tries to get him to remember Avalon and respect it's people and their Gods and Goddesses, so Merlin in wizarding legend could have done the same sort of thing, but for wizardkind instead of the Pagans. He could have been a champion of wizards in Arthur's court, councelling him and advising him to remember the wizardfolk and not to have the Muggles hunt and persecute them. I think that he's more famous because he defended the wizards from the Muggles of the time and the Christianity that might have seen them killed off. I think he would be less famous if he'd just been the inventor of spells and such. Not to say that he wasn't skilled in magic, though.

    But Merlin wouldn't have known the Founders, as Jess said they came about five hundred years after Merlin and King Arthur would have been around.

    Sarah x


    Wonderful avvie by psijupiter. Totally brilliant and amazing banner by Julia/the opaleye!

  7. #7
    Fifth Year Ravenclaw
    Hatching Dragon's Eggs
    Northumbrian's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Northumberland
    Posts
    261

    We eat ham and jam and spamalot

    It’s interesting that the Lexicon says that Arthur “once ruled the land that is now part of England” so they could be talking about “Arthur of the Britons fighting off the Saxon invaders.” But the Saxon invasions started pretty much as soon as the Romans left. Then came the Vikings and the Danelaw and then the Normans.

    Morgan le Fey is mentioned somewhere (on a famous wizards card?) too, isn’t she? She was a witch, Arthurs older half sister, and the mother of Mordred (whose father was Arthur) The stories contain a lot of violence, infidelity, at least one incestuous relationship and the mass murder of hundreds of newborn baby boys by Good King Arthur (it didn’t work, mordred survived).

    But Arthur himself illegitimate, the son of Uther Pendragon and Lady Ygraine of Cornwall (Merlin helped Uther to sire the child by magically transforming Uther into the form of Ygraine’s husband (Gorlois, I think – my memory isn’t what it was). Most of the stories are not child friendly.

    If you want to find out more about Arthurian legend, good luck. I’d recommend Le Morte d’Arthur as one of the earliest written sources, but the myths conflict and have been added too over the centuries.

    Merlin was all sorts of things, in many stories he can change his appearance at will, so perhaps he’s a Metamorphmagus. If I remember right, in some of the Lancelot stories Merlin is the bad guy (But then Lancelot had an affair with the Queen and brought down the kindom, so it seems odd that he’s regarded as the perfect knight.

    Just remember that Merlin (and Arthur) are dark age legends rewritten a few hunrsed years later in the 11th and 12th centuries so simply find a version you like.

    Also, if we’re talking about a pre-conquest King of Wessex, or Mercia, or Northumbria, or Mercia we’re not talking about all of Englads, and the laws of chivalry (and of Heraldry) which are always associated with Arthur and his knights are a medieval, not a dark age, invention.

    Whatever else you read, read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, it’s a wonderful story.

    Neil

    First Competition Banner I've won. For: Killers

  8. #8
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
    Kill the Spare
    Equinox Chick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    using rare and complicated words
    Posts
    2,981
    Quote Originally Posted by Northumbrian
    But Arthur himself illegitimate, the son of Uther Pendragon and Lady Ygraine of Cornwall (Merlin helped Uther to sire the child by magically transforming Uther into the form of Ygraine’s husband (Gorlois, I think – my memory isn’t what it was). Most of the stories are not child friendly.
    Sheesh, now you tell me! I've just come back from watching my seven year old daughter in a play about Uther Pendragon and she was playing ... yes, Ygraine.

    Merlin/Lancelot. I was recently told that according to some legends, Lancelot is the son of the Lady of the Lake and when he orchestrates Lancelot's downfall, she takes revenge and that was how Merlin ended up trapped inside a wall for all eternity. Lancelot isn't really portrayed as the 'perfect' knight, but as a flawed one. Galahad was the pure one.

    (it's funny how my mind keeps drifting to Monty Python ...)

    The other thing mentioned was his Metamorphmagi ability, but wasn't Merlin also an Animagus - or am I thinking only of the Disney film.

    I do find the struggle mentioned between paganism and christianity interesting. If Merlin represents the old ways and Arthur the new (remember the knights went in search of the Holy Grail which was Christ's Cup) then that could be where the conflict beteen magical people and Muggles first emerged from.

    Side thought - if Morgan le Fey was a witch, and Arthur her brother wasn't: does that make her a Muggleborn, or perhaps Arthur a Squib?

    ~Carole~
    I'm a BARMAID. I write. I drabble. I duel. I poet. I'm a BADGER!!!

    Banner by minnabird

  9. #9
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
    Obliviate!
    Sapphire at Dawn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Here, there and everywhere
    Posts
    777
    Originally posted by Carole:
    I do find the struggle mentioned between paganism and christianity interesting. If Merlin represents the old ways and Arthur the new (remember the knights went in search of the Holy Grail which was Christ's Cup) then that could be where the conflict beteen magical people and Muggles first emerged from.
    That's an interesting idea, though in the book it's actually Guinevere introducing Christianity though Arthur. The cup is part of the Druid regalia (the same as the Celtic Hallows; the sword, the spear, the dish and the cup), and is inturpeted as Christ's Cup by the Knights who have grown too Christian to remember their Pagan faith.

    Originally posted by Carole:
    Side thought - if Morgan le Fey was a witch, and Arthur her brother wasn't: does that make her a Muggleborn, or perhaps Arthur a Squib?
    Arthur is the son of Igraine, who in some stories is sister to the Lady of the Lake. If this is the case and Igraine is also a witch, then Arthur could be seen as a Squib. But if Uther isn't a wizard would he be called one? I though Squibs had to have two magical parents. Igraine is also said to have other daughters, beside Morgan le Fay and Arthur, one of whom is mother to Mordred (this is generally in earlier works), though none of them are magical. It could be that Morgan le Fay is a Muggle-born. Morgan is also noted as having being taught magic by Merlin. Perhaps Merlin could give magic out, and that Morgan le Fay was the first Muggle-born, though if this was true, would he be so revered by a magical community to whom Muggle-borns are second class?

    I dug into my books (and Wikipedia) and found some other stuff on Merlin and his origins:

    The earliest mentions of Merlin as we picture him, are from Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Brittaniae. Before that, he was known by several different Welsh names which have nothing really to do with what he is known for now. In the beginning he was mainly dishing out prophecies and working his magic with Uther and Igraine; he doesn't come back afterwards to become one of Arthur's councillors.

    In later stories it's said that he's the child of a demon and a virgin and is an intended Antichrist, but he's baptised to prevent this. Here, he becomes a shape-shifter, transforming not only into animals, but other men as well (Animagus and human Transfiguration in the Potterverse?), and it's in these later ones that he becomes involved with Arthur himself. In these tales his prophetic skills are often put to one side or scaled down to emphasise the fact that he was a wizard and advisor to Arthur.

    In the Lancelot-Grail (or the Vulgate Cycle), he's rather evil and is said never to have done anything good in his life, and it's in that story that he gets trapped under a rock, or in a tree. He lusts after a huntress called Niviane (who is sometimes Lady of the Lake and Lancelot's mother) and she feels revolted and traps him. In other stories, Arthur gets annoyed and sick of him and chops off his head.

    Sarah x


    Wonderful avvie by psijupiter. Totally brilliant and amazing banner by Julia/the opaleye!

  10. #10
    Seventh Year Hufflepuff
    The Giant Spider is Hagrid's... Friend?!?
    minnabird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    720
    Hmm. I'm writing an Arthurian-era chapter on an ongoing story and I'm thinking I'm going to end up with some fairly bad historical inaccuracy. >.>

    But I have thought a good deal about Merlin, and I kind of thought of his treatment of Muggles as an extension of the code of chivalry, because isn't part of that protecting those weaker than you? I think that generally wizards see Muggles as weaker, and thus Merlin might see it as a wizard's duty not to mistreat and tyrannize Muggles but to protect them.

    A question, how does everyone else see the Order of Merlin? I thought of it as kind of a wizard Round Table, with laws of its own including, of course, Merlin's rules about not mistreating Muggles.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •