Sunday, July 31, 2011

Just a nice photo of Merlin's Colin Morgan & Bradley James from SDCC 2011

photo by @lightstarangel via flickr

Camelot - Pierrefonds Castle

Picture from gallery

picture from

Camelot first appeared in 12th-century French romances. The castle is mentioned for the first time in Chrétien de Troyes' poem Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart, dating to the 1170s.  Camelot eventually came to be described as the fantastic capital of Arthur's realm and a symbol of the Arthurian world. The stories locate it somewhere in Britain and sometimes associate it with real cities, though more usually its precise location is not revealed. The image of Camelot has been recreated time and again throughout the ages, most recently through the BBC series Merlin.  It is fitting that since the idea of Camelot was originally born in France, that the #Merlin set of Camelot is filmed at Pierrefonds castle in France. 

The Château de Pierrefonds castle in France includes most of the characteristics of defensive military architecture from the Middle Ages, though it underwent a major restoration in the 19th century. . .  Originally built in the 12th century. In 1392, king Charles VI  gave it to his brother Louis, Duke of Orléans (from 1393-1407) who had it rebuilt by the court architect. . . March 1617, the castle was besieged and taken by troops sent by Richelieu. Its demolition was started, but not carried through to the end because of the enormity of the task. The exterior works were razed, the roofs destroyed and holes made in the towers and curtain walls. . . The castle remained a ruin for more than two centuries. Napoleon I bought it in 1810 for less than 3,000 francs. During the 19th century, with the rediscovery of the architectural heritage of the Middle Ages, it became a "romantic ruin": in August 1832, Louis-Philippe gave a banquet there on the occasion of the marriage of his. Among other artists, Corot depicted the ruins in several works between 1834 and 1866. The Château de Pierrefonds has been classified as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1848.
Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (later Napoleon III of France) he asked Viollet-le-Duc in 1857  to undertake its restoration to create an imperial residence, so the castle was to be entirely rebuilt. The works stopped in 1885. The departure of Napoléon III had halted the reconstruction and, through lack of money, the decoration of rooms was unfinished. Inside, Viollet-le-Duc produced more a work of invention than restoration. He imagined how the castle ought to have been, rather than basing his work on the strict history of the building. On the other hand, the exterior showed his excellent knowledge of the military architecture of the 14th century. The castle has often been used as a location for filming including les Visiteurs, and The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc. The castle also serves as Camelot for the BBC series Merlin.


The Chateau de Pierrefonds 1869 Pierre Justin Ouvrie

Violette-le-Duc's restoration project for Napolean: Pierrefonds.

Pierrefonds antique photo

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lady of the Lake, introduced as "Freya" in Merlin, played by Laura Donnelly

photo credit:
"Laura Donnelly is an actress from Northern Ireland. She grew up in Belfast, where she studied drama at Rathmore Grammar School. She then moved to Glasgow to train at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. After graduating in 2004, she had a series of roles in the theatre in Ireland and Scotland before moving to London to pursue work in TV and film." -Laura Donnelly Facebook site

Historically:  "Nimue, sometimes called Nineve, Vivien,The Lady of the Lake or Niniane,is best known as the woman who seals Merlin in a cave or a tree. . . While most interpretations of Nimue's role in the stories of Camelot put her in a negative light, Caitlin and John Matthews see Nimue as a woman who studies under Merlin because he sees her as a gifted student. During the time she is with Merlin, they become lovers. . . The Matthews go to describe Nimue as a Priestess of Avalon."

Video stills from Merlin Season 3 Episode 13 The Coming of Arthur 2

In BBC's Merlin, Freya is discovered by Meriln as a Druid girl trapped in a bounty hunder's cage (2nd Season Episode 9 "The Lady of the Lake.")  She has a curse that condemns her to repeatedly turn into a man-killing beast, and this affliction torments her as she does not want to kill and can not stop herself.  At first, Merlin thinks it is the secret of her having magic that torments her and tries to cheer her up by showing her the good side of magic.  It is only later, when Arthur and his men attack her after her latest kill, that Merlin follows the beast to Freya's hiding place where she turns human again but is mortally wounded.  Just before she dies, Freya swears she will repay Merlin someday.  Merlin sends her funeral pire afloat across the lake where he had earlier deposited Excalibur for safe keeping.  In the last episode of season 3, he sees Freya in the waters of Avalon given to him by the Fisher King.  She tells him the time is now for her to repay him & her arm is seen shooting Excalibur up from beneath the waters of the lake in the iconic image of Excalibur we know so well.  Merlin uses it to save Camelot from the immortal army and when he is done, deposits it in a stone as in the 2nd iconic image of Excalibur.  I am sure we will see Freya again....

Freya & Merlin

KSiteTV interview w/ Merlin's Colin Morgan, Bradley James, & Katie McGrath

Photo by @lightstarangel via flickr

Photo by @lightstarangel via flickr

Photo by @lightstarangel via flickr

Friday, July 29, 2011


"Scrying" is the ancient art of looking into a crystal ball, crystal point, glass ball, mirror, or water for information or prophecy; and it is still pacticed today. Historically, namely in Arthurian Legend, Merlin was most known for his gift of prophesy; but in the BBC take on Arthurian legend and the history of Merlin, Morgana is the natural prophet, having prophetic visions in her sleep; while Merlin "scries" with a crystal from the Crystal Cave to get prophetic visions.

"The Crystal Ball" by John William Waterhouse (1902, oil on canvas)

Video still from Merlin 2008-2009 Season 2 Episode 11 "The Witch's Quickening"

Merlin San Diego Comic Con Panel 2011 + Bloopers

Thursday, July 28, 2011

 paleontology: Though the term "Dragon" is not recognized by paleontologists.  "Dracorex," discovered 2004 is an actual dinosaur genus.

South Dakota  
Dracorex facial reconstruction with skin. - Indianapolis Children's Museum

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cravat Trivia - Merlin's Neck Scarf

Bandanna Cravat

Cravat: A band or scarf worn around the neck. Merlin wears a red or blue Cravat around his neck. History of the Cravat: It originated in Croatia in the 17th century. King Louis XIV was the 1st Frenchman to wear it and after he did, the fashion trend quickly spread throughout Europe. The English were the 1st to wear colored Cravats. The Cravat is worn mainly for fashion; not to be confused with the Western Bandanna which, like the Mideastern Keffiyeh neck wrap, was (in the wild west) originally worn to protect the mouth and eyes from blown dust and sand. Nowadays it is still used maintly for functional purposes: covering up bad hair; as a headband; or as a hankerchief. :)

How to wear a Cravat:

1. Fold a bandana or square scarf in half to form a triangle.
2. Place the long edge along your neck with the triangle pointing downward.
3. Wrap the ends around your neck then knot in front, under the triangle.

Merlin Season 4 Comic-Con San Diego 2011 Exclusive: Producers Johnny Capps and Julian Jones by

Merlin Season 4 Comic-Con San Deigo 2011 Exclusive: Colin Morgan by

Merlin Season 4 Comic-Con San Diego 2011 Exclusive: Bradley James by

Comic Con France 2011 - Bradley James and Colin Morgan by

Comic Con 2011 - Bradley James and Colin Morgan... by 3xcusemyfrench

Merlin Season 4 Comic-Con San Diego 2011 Exclusive: Anthony Head by

Merlin Season 4 Comic-Con San Diego 2011 Exclusive: Katie McGrath by