*slides in* I heard a certain some here has a SATBK AU :D
WHY YES, YES I DO (and i’m tagging @benignmilitancy bc they wanted to hear this too). although now that I think about it it’s not so much an AU as much as it is “SatBK if the plot had been better written by being more accurate to Arthurian lore”.
you can’t reasonably expect the translators to know the full context of fate’s fantranslated history and what terms are commonly used among readers so it’s inevitable that some terms are going to be translated different from what we’re used to but also. do some context research. they could’ve just checked the wiki to realise eternal arms mastership really can’t be translated as “infinite military training” and still carry the same meaning of lancelot being able to wield anything no matter how much he loses his mind, making his arms mastership “eternal”. anyway we’re 6 hours into the game’s release so who knows what’s gonna get fixed later i’m just going to be vaguely annoyed by it for now
AU/Theory/Concept : Ezekiel is the son of Mordred, but doesn’t know it, and therefore the grandson of Morgana. The magic inherent in the bloodline is the reason he’s so “naturally talented”. [This is implying that Mordred also survived the Battle of Camlann, and is somehow immortal. Whether this is by magical means, like Morgana, or by the same means Lancelot and Galahad are immortal, is up to you.]
Merci pour votre addition sur ma poste de text! Une question, qu'est ce que c'est le "Kaamelott?".
I think I’d better answer in english. Kaamelott is basically one of the best french TV show ever made.
Idk if there is the whole series subtitled, but I think you could easily lay your hands on this quite easily, since a lot of French people try to make the series more famous internationally (I managed to get you a couple of episodes from the 1st season here and here).
So Kaamelott is about the King Arthur on his quest for the grail with his knights of the Round Table, but the whole kingdom is either way too dumb and/or too selfish. The french audience really likes it because it’s based on medieval fantasy but everyone speaks the “everyday french” with its rude expressions and swearing.
The show starts with funny sketch comedies, but tends to get longer and darker as we go along. But still with its way of speaking which is, I think, a real coup de maître.
In this show, you have the King Arthur, played by Alexandre Astier (who also write the story and make the music). He is the one who gets how things works, lead a real progressive politics (like trying to ban slavery and death penalty), do his best so that everything goes right, but is completely done being surrounded by idiots unable to get the Grail (to the point he slowly sink into depression).
You have his wife, the queen Guenièvre, who is a bit ludicrous and overly sentimental. Arthur hates her because he is with her by an arranged marriage but try at least to not be a complete asshole with her, and Guenièvre isn’t very amourous either since Arthur did not reach her expectations of what a king could be, but she tries to be interested into what Arthur’s doing without always understanding everything.
You have her father, Léodagan who is a real brute and is only concerned into war, and swear only by war machine (and spend a lot of the kingdom’s ressources into those).
And his wife who is of the same ilk
you also have Lancelot du Lac, as the elitist douchebag who gets shit done but on his own rules and think that Arthur should spend less efforts with the people who don’t worth it (according to Lancelot himself).
(I’m sorry, I didn’t manage to find a .gif corresponding to the character, but he appears on both video links I got you on the post).
there is Perceval le Gallois, the dumbest one of the whole Round Table but he seems to have a secret talent on math and also on aiming, Arthur may know it and that’s why he keep him with the other knights.
(this is a private joke, he says “c’est pas faux” (“true enough”) every time someone says a word he doesn’t understand to him, let’s just say he repeats this sentence a lot of time).
there also is Karadoc, Perceval’s best friend, an asexual glutton who is also a bit stupid and tends to get himself in trouble with his friend. They are working on technique such as fighting with vegetables.
and a last one, Bohort. Who would be a good and loyal knight if only he wasn’t afraid of literally everything. He like sophisticated stuff such as theatre and pastry, which does not fit for the knight life.
There is of course a lot of other colourful characters,
I just gave you the most present ones, I don’t have time to get everything plus avoiding eventual spoilers, the best thing is, in my opinion, to go watch this wonderful series and discover by yourself :).
After having slept a night on it and after reading larinahs awesome additions that sparked afew more thoughts of my own (see here), I am now feeling kind of tempted to remove the question mark, because after re-watching the episode again, I have to agree with her, that maybe this wasn’t accidental at all. Especially when keeping in mind that Robbie Thompson wrote the episodes, her and my metas/specs deal with most:
8x11 “LARP and the Real Girl”
9x11 “First Born”
9x18 “Meta Fiction”
Episode placement in seasons is the first thing I would like to talk about some more, because it might be a funny accident that it was the 11th episode of season 8 that may have foreshadowed what happened in the 11th episode of season 9, but it could have been a well-thought out decision as well (I am still leaning towards the first option, but we’ll see…). And on top of that funny co-incidence, one should keep in mind that 8x11 was about fairy magic. Fairies, who we know only target first born sons. Fairies, who we know kidnapped Dean, who is a first born. Dean, who takes on the mark of Cain in an episode called “First Born”. This thing alone has me losing my fucking shit over here… But wait, we are only getting started. Saying it again, buckle up, ladies and gentlemen, it’s going to be a crazy ride and like always these are just the crazy ideas my brain is dumping all over me. ;)
Let’s talk about the biggest parallel first (see the gifs above): the mark(s).
I actually find it kind of awesome that they even rhyme: Tree of Pain / Mark of Cain. Here is what Sam finds out about the mark in 8x11 (as far as it was possible for me to decipher it):
“The Tree of Pain is a symbol of Fairy Magic. It was used by the Ancient Celts for magic rituals and casting spells. The Tree of Pain is used as a hex to maim or kill the subject bearing the mark for the uninitiated. It symbolizes pain. Both physical and spiritual. For the initiated practitioners of Celtic Fairy Magic, the Tree of Pain is a powerful protection symbol that served to bind the tribe. The Tree of Pain symbol had been passed down to the Ancient Celts from cultural…” (and that’s where it breaks off)
Now, colour me crazy, but I think this is kind of a perfect description of the Mark of Cain as well (both in SPN lore as well as in relation to the biblical version). I think it is extremely fitting that the Tree of Pain has a duality to it the very same way the Mark of Cain has. A possible good notion and a very bad one. In terms of the MoC this would be being able to kill Abaddon as a plus and possibly getting turned into a knight of hell while doing so as a huge minus. Even more fitting though I find the description of the ToP as symbolizing physical as well as spiritual (emotional) pain. This has always been a pretty important aspect of SPN. Hurting on the inside manifesting itself through violent actions has been part of the season from the start. For example, Dean destroying the Impala in S2. In fact, one could argue, that it is the basis of the show given John’s inability to cope with the pain of Mary’s death set the boys on this path. And how fitting for Dean, especially in this season, where the true big bad is internal. This whole aspect screams Dean Winchester to me as loud as an audience at a rock concert asks for an encore. And finally the last bolded parts about the mark to those in the inner circle serving as a protection symbol (fitting to the biblical meaning of the MoC, that the mark served as some sort of protection as well) and also something that is binding the one carrying it to a tribe. The tribe in this case could be understood as the Knights of Hell (I personally feel very much reminded of the Death Eaters in Harry Potter, who all sport the same dark mark on their arm - a mark that burns and moves, when Lord Voldemorts calls out to them - nice parallel to Cain telling Dean to come to him, when he calls for him (which reminds me of this shot)). And just like the ToP, the MoC can be transferred. To someone, who’s worthy (though it still being up for debate what worthy means here, does it simply mean “being a killer” or does it also carry the notion of “looking out for your family”), which fits as well.
The next thing I’d like to talk about and which is much more spec rather than meta, is this line from 8x11:
“We were named to the queen’s honour guard in anticipation of the coming Battle of Kingdoms this weekend. He broke protocol, so I called Ed after game hours and accused him of cheating and then I challenged him to adool wands and swords in the morning. […] He was the Lancelot to my Merlin.[…]”
The interesting thing here is that they were called into the queen’s honour guard. Might that be what Abbadon wants as well? For Dean to join her team? As part of her honour guard (new recruit as a knight of hell)? Crowley clearly does want Dean on his team, that much is certain. Question is: Who will Dean choose in the end and will he be truly ~free in his decision? Will it be Abaddon? Or Crowley? Or neither of them?
Anyway, the far more interesting aspect here might be the other bolded parts. Because what do we have? Two good friends, usually playing for the same team - they are Lancelot and Merlin after all (and don’t even get me on the possible subtext in terms of Dean’s sexuality and of what nature his relationship to Cas is, here, because I find it rather interesting how Sam says: “They were… brothers in arms”) being set up against one another and in the end both dying. It kind of makes me remember how they have been visually setting up or at least alluding to Dean and Cas ending up on opposing teams (for that see here). Is this the fate Metatron has in mind for Dean and Cas? To re-create this story, in which one thought the other was betraying him (Jesus/judas vibes…). It’s impossible to say anything definite about it, but I sure as hell think it’s a possible reading.
Now, the Battle of Kingdoms was a huge thing in MoonDoor. And isn’t that similar to what we are heading towards as the seaosn draws to a close as well? A battle of kingdoms?
Take a look at the gif above. That is a map showing all the groups fighting one another over the “forever crown”. Four groups: Followers of the Moon, Warriors of Yesteryear, Elves, Shadow Orcs. Kind of similar to what we have in S9 as well, no?
There is Abbadon in one corner and Crowley in the other. Then there is Metatron and on the opposing side Cas. And who is right in the middle of it all? Right, the Winchesters. On which team will they fight? All in the same? Or will they choose not to play at all. This did the trick in “Pacman Fever” after all…
In this case it is interesting to note what Charlie says once she learns about what is going on:
“Dropping my sword, walking off the stage, bitches, have fun storming the castle.”
(“Drop the blade, Dean. It’s over. Magnus is dead.”)
Back then she already refused to play, but got pulled back in and even more so, she turned against the story Jerry had in mind and became the hero of the narrative.
I would love to see the same thing happening to Metatron. Him getting defeated with his own weapons. With pen and paper. And maybe a little more than that, but you get what I mean, right? :)
Charlie had to destroy the book (similar to how Harry had to destroy Tom Riddle’s diary in order to destroy all of the horcruxes Lord Voldemort created - might the Winchesters need to destroy all the tablets beyond repair as well, because while writing Metatron has left a piece of himself in those tablets?). Maybe that is what TFW will have to do with Metatron as well - he is “An entity of his word” after all, as he said quite arrogantly and possibly fatally for him. (BTW, when thinking about Mettaron writing and changing the rules, etc., I keep coming back to Dean’s lines of “Somebody changed the playbook, man. What right is wrong and what’s wrong is more wrong” and “What’s up is down and down is sideways”)
There are a couple of other nice shots - larinah mentioned this before in her post and I felt like gif-ing them - connecting the episodes and might give further hints on, who is standing on whose side or whether or not one might hurt the other while being under the influence, under a spell or however you want to call it.
In 8x11 we have Dean fighting with a shield showing Medusa.
In 9x16 “Blade Runners” we have this shot of Sam showing him with a painting of Medusa.
There are two ways of interpreting this. Either you could say Dean is the one keeping Sam save since he uses the shield of Medusa and saves him from getting beheaded (killed) or one could think Dean is too far gone and is actually the one to hurt Sam…
And since I am on the topic of interesting parallels. Remember how in 8x11 we had a prisoner exchange…
…that Metatron might have been drawing inspiration from?
Anyway… I need to find an ending, tie up all the loose ends (who am I kidding I won’t be able to), because this is ridiculously long already… So maybe it’s best to go back to the start and take a look at the thing that sparked this whole meta in the first place: the mark(s).
Especially the dual nature of the ToP and the MoC. It’s a protection symbol and a mark of death at the same time. Like Sam said: “Who gets marked, gets ganked." Will this be Dean’s fate as well? He sure sees the mark as a suicide mission, so he doesn’t really care either way, because he thinks he is poison. And that brings me to my last parallel for now (I actually think about doing a 3rd installment of this, because there are still a lot of things I was unable to fit in here without getting blown off track even more).
The second victim died because he was poisoned by Belladonna. Not, not the porn star (as Dean and Charlie has asked), but a plant/fruit. A plant/fruit with an interesting description and impact (aside from death). The "atropa belladonna” is named after the goddes Atropos, one of the three goddesses of destiny, the one to cut the thread of destiny. The one thing TFW always fought against. But this is not the most interesting part about this toxic plant. The plant or rather fruit causes the pupils to blow up. Do I have to say what that makes your eyes look like? Yes, almost completely black. I guess I don’t need to say anything more than…
But back to the episode. The problem for the doctors was, that they could tell by the symptoms and the outcome that it must have been belladonna, but they were unable to find any traces of it in the victim’s bloodstream. This imo fits perfectly with Dean. Dean, who thinks he is poison. But isn’t. He got poisoned as a child and now the mark is poisoning him as well, but when you look underneath all of the protective layers he accumulated over the years, you will find that he still is ~pure.
And since all of this takes place in MoonDoor and as a sort of last note, I might want to remind you of this line from 9x16 “Blade Runners”, that Magnus said:
“I am offering you the moon here, Dean.”
The moon, something that in 8x11 was an entire kingdom. So the question remains… “Dean Winchester: Handmaiden, Knight of Hell or King of the Damned” Indeed a Curious Case of Accidental Foreshadowing…
So yes, this small thing here, like larinah suggested, might have been a wonderful visual of foreshadowing…
(or how Arthur&Guinevere parallel CS & OQ, and how Lancelot&Guinevere parallel Emma & Regina)
So despite the rather dull episode it was very enlightening to see how Arthur’s & Guinevere “love story” was dissected and it was depicted as a farce that is maintained by magic & lies…so Arthur is so consumed by completing HIS task, HIS obsession, HIS desire for not been caught with the lie he’s told about Excalibur that he turns away from his wife. Just as Arthur was searching for the dagger, guyliner is searching/wanting to “fix” the Emma-DarkOne so that HIS Emma comes back, and his pursuit to kill the DarkOne became more important than believing in HIS so-called “happy ending”. Both of these men are pursuing what they consider “the greater good” not really taking into consideration the best interest of the women they supposedly care/love for, and at the heart of the matter they are driven by their own selfish motives. Arthur even refers to Guinevere as HIS PRECIOUS POSSESION…does that ring a bell?! Ugh, they even make the same reference to the pirate’s disgusting/stalky spying thing with the looking glass…
Furthermore, what’s also very relevant is when Guinevere tells Arthur how she wants something REAL, otherwise she will follow HER HEART….so she’s trying to be a dutiful wife and stay by his side; I don’t deny that she has feelings for him, but it’s not love, and at that moment she is willing to walk away from what could be considered a “perfect”/convenient relationship. I think this sheds light and references to why Emma couldn’t tell the pirate she “loved” him after they came back from the AU…as Guinevere she wants to TRY and stand by the her convenient pairing, but her heart is not truly invested (and this certainly applies to Regina and the thief as well). It’s worthwhile to note that regardless of how Arthur’s & Guinevere love story is told/portrayed, it is very clear & evident that THEY DO NOT SHARE TRUE LOVE, just like Emma & the pirate…
At the same time, Guinevere & Lancelot parallel Emma & Regina, the “forbidden” love that cannot be explained/accepted….a story of love that developed on its own, a relationship that depicts that actions speak louder than words and that it can’t be denied (Swan Queen anyone?!). Now this is very very revealing…we have already witnessed how Regina (despite her troublesome OOC moments because of the thief) is not turning her back on Emma, she doesn’t see the Dark One she sees Emma and her struggle with darkness. Lancelot saw Guinevere’s struggle to stand by Arthur, he had to keep his feelings at bay/ hidden and be the “friend” she needed at the moment. This could apply to both Emma & Regina - it makes me think of all the glances Emma throws Regina & thief, and how Regina has always been snarky/jealous when it comes to the pirate & Emma. The way Guinevere rushes to save Lancelot despite not knowing what could happen points to how Emma chose Regina over her supposed love interest to protect/save her (and yes the hetero couple got the kiss, but following this parallel the omission in Emma’s & Regina’s case is quite meaningful).
Lastly, and my personal fav, the fact Arthur used “magic” DUST to keep Guinevere to stay with him totally screamed pixie…the dust/magic is meant to control, to lie and deceit, FORCING Guinevere to stay with him despite her heart wanting something else. There are numerous reasons why we’ve established that Regina deserves better than the thief, and that she continues to put up with that cheating-useless-forest hobo because some magical dust said he was her soul mate. I would argue that Regina IS under the spell of the pixie/fairy dust just as Guinevere is with the magical dust…and they both will awaken from that spell when they get kissed by their respective TRUE LOVE’s…and I think we all know who they are…
One of the things that I love about fanon James-Lancelot is that everyone loves how he’s trigger-happy. Guns, guns, guns, guns. Shoots firsts, asks questions later, grins while doing it. He’s a gun puppy.
What if - Roxy chooses the poodle because it’s a gun dog. It’s a smart choice for a Kingsman-in-training, for an agent. What if the previous Lancelot also chose a poodle?
Something in Percival’s gut would curl up, hearing that his recruit chose the same dog as the previous Lancelot - he knows Roxy is good, is pretty sure she’s going to pass the tests and make the cuts and take up the Lancelot mantle - but there’s something about the fact - the dog - that makes it feel right.
(And it still hurts, because James is gone and he’s not coming back; Roxy can’t be a replacement for that. So it’s not right, it’s not okay that James is dead, but maybe it’s better. Maybe it starts to feel better.)
Roxy doesn’t know it, of course, that her choice in dog affects her sponsor so; she doesn’t hear until much later about the relationship between the previous Lancelot and Percival.
I honestly always expected Marian to die since last summer if OQ were to continue somehow, but you would think that for such a character they would try to give her a heroic death. Just having her dissolved like an afterthought just enrages me further.
YEAH. I mean there’s so much about this Zelena/Marian story that is horrific and racist and misogynistic (”our conflict is now that i’m gonna steal your man, sis!” and consent issues abound as well in this arc. what is this, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter? back to this?) but tbh I actually expectedsome of it after bts info. I did not expect it to be the absolute worst possible scenario they could choose.
I was actually stunned that they had let Marian survive 4a because of their track record with WOC and specifically WOC in love triangles, and even though she was treated in the most insulting way possible, I thought they might’ve been kinda-sorta listening to their critics? And then- even though she had an early departure- Ursula’s story with the QoD didn’t paint her as a villain but a sympathetic victim who’d been violated and empowered herself- a woman with a Disney Princess backstory!!- had nearly indicated a shift there. There were still insulting, gross tropes used, but they were less gross. Baby steps! But now it seems like Ursula was the exception to the rule, an accidental positive treatment from consistently racist writing.
While re-watching Once Upon a Time, I realized that I really didn’t like doing the individual episode posts. I was going to do a post at the end of each season for this, but watching on Netflix makes it kinda hard to distinguish between seasons, so I’m just gonna do my thoughts on the whole series.
• I watched this show for the first time in 2014 and I haven’t really watched it since. I didn’t realize how much I missed it.
• I forgot how funny the show is.
• I think the two episodes in season 2 where Uther marries the troll is my favorite.
• I thought the eye thing was so interesting. Like, I’ve never seen that before in any show or movie where characters have/use magic. I thought having magic character’s eyes glow when they used magic was really unique.
• A while back, there was this TV show on Shotine called Camelot. It starred Jamie Campbell Bower as Arthur. That show was my first experience with the Arthurian legend. I didn’t know hardly anything about the legend, but watching that show made me curious. So, that’s why I started watching Merlin. And of course, Once Upon a Time also features Arthur and Camelot in season 5. I love that all 3 shows feature completely different versions of the Arthurian legend. And I think that’s why I love that legend so much. Because no two versions are the same. I mean, it’s all the same characters: Arthur, Guinevere, Merlin, Lancelot, etc, but every version is so different. Although, I do think that this show (Merlin) is my favorite version.
Okay since the series finale is so fresh in my mind, I’ll talk about that.
• I would like to see a spin-off film of just the aftermath of Camelot after Arthur’s death. I don’t want a whole television series, just one movie. It would be about like Guinevere’s first year as Queen. Does magic get legalized? Does Merlin return to Camelot after Arthur’s death?
• I really wish Gwaine’s last words hadn’t been “I failed.”
• I’m glad the writers had Morgana die in the end. I think it was one thing to kill of Arthur, but if Morgana had lived that would’ve just made everything so much worse.
• The Arthurian legend was said to take place around the 6th century (500-599 CE). That was about 1,600 years ago. Even if Merlin did go back to Camelot, he still would’ve had to watch everyone there die overtime. Did Camelot fall after Guinevere’s death or did she have an heir? And that brings up a question that I’d like an answer to, but I also don’t: What if Guinevere was pregnant? What if Arthur got her pregnant some time before the battle?
I think, for me, the saddest part about the show wasn’t that Arthur died. It’s that Merlin had to live on. For 1,600 years he had to live on and watch the world change. I wonder what became of him after Camelot fell. What became of him after the Norman invasion in 1066? What became of him during the Dark Ages, the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution, the 20th and 21st centuries?
• Kilgarah mentioned that Arthur will return when Britain’s need is most great. I gotta be honest, I immediately thought of Brexit. Does that mean Arthur is going to return now? I wonder what he’d think of the world now? What about the Queen? Would it be like a Game of Thrones-type situation between Arthur and Elizabeth? Or would Elizabeth just be like, “it’s your rightful throne”?
I have unanswered questions.
Honestly, the last stuff about Arthur returning is just kind of a joke. But the stuff about Camelot immediately following Arthur’s death and the stuff about Guin’s reign…that I’m totally serious about. I guess that’s why fan fiction is for.
Are there any good fics like that? A fic about like the first few months of Guin’s reign after Arthur’s death? I’d like to read them.
Adam and Eddy said that their goal with the Camelot arc is to take things that are “iconic” in the King Arthur stories and put a Once spin on them. This series examines an iconic aspect of the Arthurian legends and then tries to imagine how it might be applied to Once Upon A Time. Track the tag “ouat in camelot” or use it to add your own thoughts and theories.
What’s Iconic About Her: Also called Niniane, Viviane and a dozen other names, she is most well known as Merlin’s unwilling girlfriend and jailer (not in a kinky way). The story goes that Merlin falls madly in love with her. How she feels changes with each version but they all agree that Merlin teaches her his magic secrets. Once she learns everything from him she traps him in something (cave, tomb, invisible tower, TREE) and moves on to bigger and better things (often Sir Pelleas; or Sir Not Appearing in this TV Show). Her motivations for trapping Merlin vary; hates King Arthur’s court, hates Merlin, just gets bored of Merlin, fell in love with someone else or she is a very jealous lover and doesn’t want anyone else to see him (so maybe a bit kinky).
Nimue also takes on the title of Lady of the Lake (not the same one that gives Excalibur or the same one that raised Lancelot) after the other is killed and in that role she is generally helpful. Even assisting in bearing Arthur away to Avalon. Writers can’t seem to decide if Nimue is evil, morally ambiguous, or a benevolent helper of knights. Her character gets so confused that some authors give up and split the character making one the seductress of Merlin and the other the noble Lady of the Lake.
How OUAT Might Spin Her: No doubt she will be a strong woman with magic of some kind. The casting call for Merlin said he put duty before his personal desires which smacks to me of a love affair gone sour. I think they will keep the love affair with Merlin but whether Nimue is an innocent victim or an evil cleavage wearing seductress will likely depend on if Merlin is good or evil (or maybe Nimue made him evil…)
What I WANT To See: I would love for Nimue to be tied to the past. She could be the original Apprentice that then became the original Dark One. I want her and Merlin to be in love. Together they fight the Darkness and she becomes a willing tether–like Emma. She then turns dark which causes Merlin to make a hard choice (try to kill her? trap her?). But it backfires and Merlin gets trapped instead. This would explain why he created the Dark One but then let it loose in the world. This could be paralleled with Emma and her family and Hook. With Merlin arguing for doing the hard thing that he wasn’t able to do; kill the woman he loved.
No matter what happens I am just really excited that we are getting Nimue!!
Galahad receives that phone call ten years too soon and finds Michelle Unwin a bloody, battered mess by the feet of a man too disgracefully drunk to notice the arrival of his guest.
There’s a little boy with the same blond hair as the Lancelot-that-wasn’t, blue in the face and frantically kicking at his abuser. Harry spies the gold medal grasped tightly still in one small hand.
“Simply unforgivable,” Harry says as he closes the door, and that’s plenty warning enough. really.
The man doesn’t get a chance to speak before an umbrella cracks down onto his skull, force enough to loosen his stranglehold—to disorientate. Harry catches him around the neck with the handle and yanks back with a violent crack.
In all but five seconds.
Eggsy drops to the ground in a heap, but Harry’s there to catch him when his legs give out on him.
“My name is Harry Hart. Do you remember me?” And Eggsy’s nodding tearfully, burying his face into Harry’s suit without thought. He’s clutching onto Harry’s jacket with one hand, the other holding valour close to his chest.
“Well,” Harry says softly, smoothing down the hair that’s matted with blood.
It’s not often Harry loses control so completely, but Merlin is mercifully silent on the other end, and the only other witness to this day won’t breathe a word, Harry’s sure.