And if our main character never got to move on, then how can we be expected to? The last shot of the show established that Merlin is still waiting. Merlin will always be waiting. And so we, the audience, will never be able to fully make our peace with the ending. It will never be okay. Every time we think of Merlin, it will be with that twist in our gut reminding us that Merlin’s story didn’t end happily – it didn’t end at all. [x]
[…] We survived the end of Harry Potter, Lost, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy, Lord of the Rings, and all of the other timeless classics. So why is Merlin, that fun little Saturday night family show on the BBC, so hard to get over? And it’s not just us! The entire Merlin fanbase, whether they loved or hated the finale, are still talking about it.
[…] Tragic endings are much harder to shake off, because you carry all of the characters’ regrets and what ifs around with you. What if Romeo and Juliet had just talked to each other like normal people? What if Rose had just shared that damn plank with Jack?
But even those endings are easier to get over than the ending of Merlin. Why? Because Merlin didn’t end.
In Romeo & Juliet, both characters die. It’s tragic, but they’re dead, the story is over. In Titanic, Rose is left on her own to grieve Jack’s death, but let’s get real, she knew him for like a week.
[…]Nothing good came of Arthur’s death, and Merlin was allowed no possible way out of his grief and regret – not even death, as the final scene strongly hinted that he’d indeed been waiting for all this time.
[…] Merlin, our protagonist, never got his reward for all those years of hardship. While he never wanted reward or recognition for what he did, that didn’t mean he didn’t deserve it – that the audience wasn’t expecting that payoff after having to watch him carry his secret for all these years. And after Arthur died, Merlin didn’t even get to walk away. He didn’t get to move on. Because the dragon’s final words, while meant to bring him hope, basically thwarted any hope of closure for Merlin.
[…] And if our main character – our window into the universe of the series – never got to move on, then how can we be expected to?
[…] The last shot of the show established that Merlin is still waiting. Merlin will always be waiting. And so we, the audience, who see the world through Merlin’s eyes, will never be able to fully make our peace with the ending. It will never be okay. Even now, when we’ve technically moved on, every time we think of Merlin, it will be with that twist in our gut reminding us that Merlin’s story didn’t end happily – it didn’t end at all.
[…] The way our feelings toward the finale changed was kind of similar to the 5 Stages of Loss and Grief, only instead of reaching the fifth and final step of acceptance, we’re kind of stuck somewhere in limbo between anger and depression.
[…] One of the key reasons why the finale will stay with us forever is because of how deeply it moved us.
A neatly wrapped up ending would have satisfied us for a day. This utter heartbreak will leave us miserable for years.
A very brilliant article about why it’s impossible to move on from Merlin’s finale. Read the whole thing here, it’s so true.