And then I go on long-winded rants about how none of the characterizations make sense, the plots are poorly constructed, and what the fuck is this dialogue? I mean really. It’s fucked. Everything is fucked. Read the books.
‘Well, Wart,’ said Merlyn, ‘here we are – or were – again. How nice you look in your crown. I was not allowed to tell you before, or since, but your father was, or will be, King Uther Pendragon, and it was I myself, disguised as a beggar, who first carried you to Sir Ector’s castle, in your golden swaddling bands. I know all about your birth and parentage and who gave you your real name. I know the sorrows before you, and the joys, and how there will never again be anybody who dares to call you by the friendly name of Wart. In future it will be your glorious doom to take up the burden and to enjoy the nobility of your proper title: so now I shall crave the privilege of being the very first of your subjects to address you with it – as my dear liege lord, King Arthur.’
‘Will you stay with me for a long time?’ asked the Wart, not understanding much of this.
‘Yes, Wart,’ said Merlyn. ‘Or rather, as I should say (or is it have said?), Yes, King Arthur.’
Ragnar showing mercy to Floki, with no hesitation, because Athelstan asked him to is the ultimate proof that Ragnar’s baptism was not simply for show. Because that baptism was never about Christ or choosing one faith over another for Ragnar. It was always about choosing Athelstan. Ragnar’s love for Athelstan is tantamount to faith, it is a religion in and of itself, and when your God walks into your home in the middle of the night and washes your feet, as his disciple, the one who swore to follow him whenever he goes, you have no choice but to do as he commands.
You may reach out to touch him, and like that he will be gone, but his words will still echo in your mind for years to come. Mercy. You will show mercy because he asked you to. You will show mercy because your love for him is the purest thing in you have ever known. His presence in life was always a blessing, it only seems right he should continue to bless you from beyond the grave.
Rod Serling during his final interview, March, 1975. Mr. Serling, of Twilight Zone fame, died on June 28, 1975.
When's the last time you cried?
Oh, Jeez, I don't remember.
Do you cry often?
Infrequently. But the urge is there.
The urge is there?
Frequently. But because I'm a Western-cultured man who subscribes to the ancient saw that men do not cry, I don't cry either. I'll go to a movie, for example, and not infrequently something triggers the urge to weep, but I don't allow myself. I think before I die, just for the hell of it, one night I'll spend an entire night weeping, and I'll draw up a list of things that will motivate it. I'm now weeping for the following reasons: chronologically, for all the shit that's out there that I should have wept at and didn't.