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Merlin is a British fantasy drama that follows the adventure of Merlin and Prince Arthur as young teenagers as they protect Camelot. The show remained popular on Tumblr through its run and continued its popularity after the show’s finale in 2012.
Merlin is a very powerful sorcerer, but King Uther (Anthony Head) of Camelot has outlawed any kind of magic. Merlin (Colin Morgan) leaves his small village and his mother behind to live with Camelot’s court physician, Gaius (Richard Wilson), thinking it will be easier to hide his abilities in a large community than a small one. After saving Prince Arthur’s (Bradley James) life, Merlin becomes his personal servant. Though they initially clash, the two soon form a close, yet contentious friendship since Merlin must constantly use magic to protect Arthur but must also keep his abilities a secret. Throughout the series Arthur grows closer to a castle maid, Gwen (Angel Coulby), organizes a group of knights, and fights with his father the King, while Arthur learns from the last living dragon that he is destined to help Arthur make Camelot great.
The show was created by Johnny Capps, Julian Jones, Jake Michie, and Julian Murphy. It premiered on BBC One on September 20th, 2008, and its season finale aired on December 24th, 2012 after five season and 65 episodes. The series’ first season was aired on NBC in the US, but moved to SyFy for its second season.
Merlin earned a score of 7.9 on IMDB and a rating of 59 on Metacritic. The series was nominated for two BAFTA awards, winning one for Best Visual Effects in 2011.It was also nominated for a Saturn Award in 2013 for Best Youth-Oriented Series on Television.
As of March 2014, Merlin’s official Twitter account has over 100,000 followers and its Facebook page has over 1.2 million likes. All five seasons are available to watch for free on Hulu and for subscribers on Netflix.
There are numerous fan-run Tumblr blogs dedicated to the Merlin fandom, including merlin-gifs, whywelovemerlin, and merlinconfessions. As of March 2014, there are over 17,000 Merlin fanfiction submissions on Fanfic.net and more than 61,000 fan art submissions for the show on DeviantArt.
The most popular ship for fans of Merlin is Merther (Merlin and Arthur). Though shippers create fan fiction and art to express the ship, it’s also popular to take GIFs from the show that seem to suggest a romantic relationship between the two characters and hold it up as proof the relationship is canon. Fan fiction community Merthur Haven is dedicated to fics about the pairing, as well as several Tumblr blogs such as oh-merthur and fyeahbrolinandmerthur.
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