Tournaments in the Middle Ages

We watched as our favorite heroes Prince Arthur, Sir Gwaine, Sir Lancelot, and others compete in tournaments to prove their superiority on the games. Tournaments in real life were often as deadly as the show portrays when thugs time and time again try to kill Prince Arthur in the duels and melees.

Knights wore their armour as if they were going to war, and it makes sense, considering many knights died fighting in the competitions they proudly took part in. Many times in melee fights, participants would gang up against a disliked competitor and injure or even kill him. Other times, men would use tournaments to cover up a murder.

It’s true, though, that to a knight, winning a tournament was held as the highest honor, but not everyone held that opinion. Church officials didn’t approve of the tournaments that knights took part in, and often refused to offer a proper Christian burial for anyone who died from competing in tournaments. I wonder, does God forgive a man who wins a crown through the war games he’s played?

Series 6 – Morgana’s Story Continues (Hypothetically)

Morgana’s final breath is taken. Her soul sinks not to the place of the dead, but to a dark domain where sorcerers are gifted with immortality. She falls upon a wizard, standing at a bridge that curls across hills and passes the lonely horizon.

WIZARD: Look beyond me and view a castle on a hill. Reach it, and you will be resurrected to a second chance, a conqueror. Do not reach it, and you will be left wandering the land until the final judgment.

MORGANA:  What do you mean, ‘final judgment’?

WIZARD: There you will receive dues for your life.

Pictures taken from,, and , edited by @bbcmerlinjunkie.

The Queen’s Podcast – #5

Two years prior to the death of Arthur, the Great Wizard gave Lady Isabella strict orders to preserve the best years of King Arthur’s life, when he reigned. Isabella was gifted the echo stone: the power to capture her voice and forever keep it locked away until Camelot needed the resolve left in the good times.

Isabella’s secret is her life- but can she keep it, despite her sometimes careless tendency to flee trouble in the strangest of ways?

Episode #5

~Lady Isabella’s Confession~

“A lovely day for a walk in the woods” turns into a risky mistake when a knight follows Lady Isabella to discover what she does when she treks into the forest alone. Will Isabella’s concern for her old friend Morgana get her into trouble at the castle?

The Real Gaius

Gaius the court physician is very much an accurate picture of medieval doctors.

In the year 1215 AD, being a doctor was officially acknowledged as a professional class in Europe. Guilds, like medical school today, were formed to help educate students.

There were two different types of doctors: the apothecary who mixed and dispersed drugs, and the physician who went to the guild, gaining knowledge on how to treat patients, later finding work among the rich people. What makes Gaius so incredible is the fact that he worked as an apothecary AND a physician at different times in the Merlin TV show. He is very smart and valuable to having working in the castle of Camelot.

Before science, many doctors used astrology to answer the questions sick people had. “Why am I sick?” a patient might ask, and the doctor would answer with the wisdom of the stars.

They also used procedures such as bleeding patients as a way to balance the fluids inside their body. Remember the leech tanks Merlin had to clean? That really was a common pet doctors kept for their treatments!

The books we all remember Gaius reading was another way medieval doctors found their diagnoses. Think about the great philosophers Plato and Aristotle… some of these same authors we read about today mentored physicians in their line of work.

The Queen’s Podcast – #4

Two years prior to the death of Arthur, the Great Wizard gave Lady Isabella strict orders to preserve the best years of King Arthur’s life, when he reigned. Isabella was gifted the echo stone: the power to capture her voice and forever keep it locked away until Camelot needed the resolve left in the good times.

The subtext in Lady Isabella’s stories is the fear of her secret revealing. Can she keep her true motive hidden, though the inhabitants of Camelot become more aware of her presence, and more dependent on her participation in the daily happenings? …who is Lady Isabella, exactly? Listen to Episode #4 for more clues.

Episode #4


Lady Isabella, being asked by Merlin to be a companion to Gaius on a trip to a wounded community, with Percival escorts Gaius through the not-so-spooky, spooky forest. The group stumbles upon a dangerous predicament, soon finding the trouble comes from nothing else: sorcery. Panic hits Lady Isabella as she flees for her life, nearly revealing too much in the process to her unsuspecting allies.

Merlin Series 1: Episode 2 “Valiant”

Fanfiction written by @bbcmerlinjunkie


MERLIN watches ARTHUR training with a few other KNIGHTS. ARTHUR is sword fighting, readying himself for the tournament which will happen within the week.

MORGANA and GWEN approaches, MORGANA dressed in clothes to fight in, holding a dulled training sword. ARTHUR doesn’t notice her approaching, but MERLIN does.

MERLIN: (to Arthur) A challenger.

ARTHUR doesn’t even look MORGANA’s way.

MORGANA: I hope you’re ready for a real fight. You won’t stand a chance.

ARTHUR: Lady Morgana. That’s nice of you to come cheer me on in my practice sessions, but it’s not necessary.

MORGANA: Hardly. I’m here to test your fighting skills.

GWEN steps up beside MERLIN, ready to watch the confrontation. ARTHUR is still fighting the KNIGHT.

GWEN: Hello, Merlin.

MERLIN: (acknowledgement)

MERLIN shifts to give GWEN space. ARTHUR’s current fight breaks up as he turns to look at MORGANA. The KNIGHT he was fighting with retreats, respectful.

ARTHUR: Wait, Morgana. What are you doing?

MORGANA: You know King Uther won’t let me fight. I figured I can just beat the victor before he even wins. That’ll make me the true champion.

ARTHUR: Thanks for the vote of confidence, but you can’t just come out here ready to fight and expect to win. Do you even know how to use the sword?

MORGANA: (to Gwen) He’s just afraid that I’m going to beat him at his own game.

ARTHUR: No, that’s not true. Battle’s no place for a lady.

GWEN: (looks at Morgana, expectantly)

ARTHUR turns to MERLIN and motions for him to follow. He starts to walk to another part of the field. MORGANA follows.

ARTHUR: (to Merlin) Just ignore her. She’ll go away.

MORGANA: Ignore me at your own risk. I’m not going anywhere until you fight me.

GWEN: (to Merlin) Morgana is an excellent sword bearer.

MERLIN approaches ARTHUR who is blatantly avoiding MORGANA.

MERLIN: (to Arthur quietly) You’re not intimidated.

ARTHUR: (exchanges a look with Merlin)

MERLIN: (quoting Arthur) ‘How’s your mace work coming along?’ You said to me.

MERLIN: (defending Morgana) It seems she has listened.

MERLIN: (whispers) Go easy.

ARTHUR finally gives in. He turns to face MORGANA and twirls his sword, showing off, but seems bothered at the turn of events.

ARTHUR: Fine. But don’t cry when it hurts.

MORGANA: You’ll be the one crying.

ARTHUR and MORGANA begin to fight, but it’s obvious that MORGANA is skilled. Their swords clink several times before MORGANA starts attacking harder. Her strength takes ARTHUR off guard, and she begins to push him back. All he can do is defend himself.

MERLIN: (to Gwen) Whoa! That’s not what I was expecting.

Another one of MORGANA’s hits slam ARTHUR hard.

MERLIN: I didn’t see that coming!

GWEN: (admittedly) It’s because of her father. She was his sparring partner.

MERLIN: Can Arthur compete?

MORGANA: (to Arthur) You’re not even trying.

ARTHUR: Morgana! Calm down. You don’t want to kill me; you’re just testing my strength, remember?

MORGANA continues attacking heavily, sure of herself. There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that she’ll win the fight. Several KNIGHTS draw near to the battle, trying to find a break where they can defend their prince.

One KNIGHT takes the initiative to stop the fight; holding a shield, he rams harshly into MORGANA, shoving her with the shield to make her fall down. Another KNIGHT quickly comes over to ARTHUR to check on him, while GWEN rushes to assist MORGANA.

ARTHUR: I’m fine.

ARTHUR steps over to MORGANA to help her up.

ARTHUR: You were good.

MORGANA refuses ARTHUR’s help, her pride hurt. GWEN helps her up instead, and she gratefully takes her friend’s help.

MORGANA: You’re a fraud! You couldn’t accept defeat, could you?

ARTHUR: You were coming at me too forcefully. I couldn’t fight back like that.

MORGANA: That wasn’t fair!

MORGANA starts to leave, offended. ARTHUR is obviously sorry for what happened.

ARTHUR: Morgana!

MORGANA turns to meet ARTHUR’s call with a hurt gaze.

MORGANA: Don’t expect an applaud from me on the day of the tournament. I’ll be rooting for someone with more propriety and honor.

Merlin: The Power Pose

Merlin has a POWER POSE from Series 1-5: his arm extended and his fingers outstretched. It gives me CHILLS as he spews foreign magical phrases like “Onluc scrin” when the goblin box slips open, or how about “Ástríce” when the firey spark is thrust at Nimueh? The most amazing part about it is that Colin Morgan, the star actor, knew just when to pose and how to pose differently; whether directed by the ones behind the camera or he made it up himself, the POWER POSE transformed Merlin into the man of magic and might; it gave him authority despite being the meek and lowly manservant who roamed around the castle day after day, disciplined to achieve every boot wipe and armor polish from his good friend and slavedriver, Arthur.

His POWER POSE was the most extraordinary cinematic for me, when it comes to Merlin’s posturing and angling.