Arthurian legend is a conglomeration of stories told throughout the ages. Each new age/territory brings with it new takes on this popular legend. The wizard/prophet "Merlin" has a different historical name & plays a different role in each story he is mentioned in. The BBC TV series 'Merlin' adds its original take on the Arthurian legend for the modern age & follows a tradition by building upon the Arthurian legend for our time & for history. Thank you Merlin!
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
The 'Vilia' in Merlin S4 E2 "The Darkest Hour (pt.2)" & 'Vila/Vilia/Vilya' Slavic fairies/nymphs
Appearances History When the veil between the worlds was torn, the balance of the world was upset, and good spirits as well as bad roamed freely. A group of Vilia appeared to Lancelot at a river while he was trying to find a place to shelter him and Merlin from the Dorocha's attacks. They took the form of water bubbles floating in the air, and one of them informed the knight that his and Merlin's help would be needed at the Isle of the Blessed. They magically healed Merlin and promised Lancelot they would protect the two from the Dorocha during the night. In fact, they created a sphere of light that surrounded the lake (The Darkest Hour). It is possible that Freya, after her death, passed to the Spirit World and became a Vilia.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My theory about the Vilia / Vila , the between worlds state & Lancelot, by @EmrysDragonlord
“Vila, Wila, Wili, or Veela,
Slavic versions of nymphs, beautiful women who live in
meadows, ponds, oceans, trees, and clouds. . . They are female fairy-like
spirits who live in the wilderness and sometimes in the clouds. . .Believed to
be the spirits of women who had been frivolous in their lifetimes, they
now float between here and the afterlife. . . They have healing and
prophetic powers and are sometimes willing to help human beings.”–wikipedia (see
smaller typeface below)
of the Vilas are as beautiful as the rest of them, and one who hears them loses
all thoughts of food, drink or sleep, sometimes for days." In S4E2 when the Vilia
tell Lancelot that he is tired and must rest, Lancelot insists that he “must
find shelter,” (and in fact did not appear tired) after the Vilia began to heal
Merlin. Perhaps the Vilia’s inadvertent magic which “erases all thoughts of
food, drink, or sleep,” had some effect on Lancelot, though in this case the
Vila had not intended Lancelot to succumb to it. The Vilia, being fickle in
general, often leading men to dance with them until they drop or die terrible
deaths should the Vila fall in love with them, were not up to their usual
mischievousness, perhaps due to special a circumstances in this episode's story. The tear between the worlds created by
Morgana was apparently a terrible thing to the Vilia as well, it was their main
concern at the time they met Lancelot.
Their motives for helping the pair of travelers were driven by their
desire to repair the tear.
to Lancelot’s insistence that he “must find shelter,” the Vilia tell him that
they would protect Merlin and Lancelot through the night, and created a bubble
of light around them. Lancelot did not
protest or mistrust the Vilia; instead he only smiled and gazed in wonder at the
magical force field surrounding him. Because of the docile and unsuspecting way
Lancelot behaves in the scene with the Vilia, it is probable that the Vilia did
indeed use some type of magic to convince Lancelot to trust them without much
are cursed never to find their true love. If they do, that love will die a
terrible death.” -wikepedia (see smaller typeface below) The mythological definition of the Vila’s
state of existence as floating “between here and the afterlife,” and the
tearing of the “veil between the worlds of the living and the dead has created
a new world” -(the
Cailleach /the gatekeeper) means that the world that was created
when Morgana tore the veil was an extension of the world of the Vilia into the
natural world. If the voices/spirits of
the dead, the “Doraka” can come into the world of the living, or some form of
that world without becoming “alive” or “living creatures,” it follows that a
living person who walks through the veil to the “Doraka’s” side, will not actually “die” or make that person one of the “dead.” Therefore, I believe
Lancelot is not actually dead; whether or not my theory about the physics of
this mythical world is something the writers of Merlin share is another story…
I also just really don’t want Lancelot to be dead for good, but remember when
the producers said “Nobody really ‘dies’ in Merlin.” That’s a good sign!
If Lancelot is not dead,he's floating between here & the afterlife (just like the Vilia).It would not be unheard of in the world of Merlin, that he may even be in
the water with them; as per what happened to Freya aka. The Lady of the Lake. So if Lancelot does end up coming back, I'm
also guessing the Vilia will help him do this. If not, there is at least
a strong possibility he'll come back from the water & maybe it will be
Merlin's true love Freya, the Lady of the Lake that plays some part. Otherwise, assuming his return; water or no
water, it will have to do with magic and a place between life & death.
I think the only people / creatures from Merlin we know of so far, that
might have the ability to make him come back to the world of the living whether
they'd like to help or not are:
1) The Vilia 2) Freya aka. The Lady of the Lake 3) Merlin 4) Morgana 5) A Sidhe [see S1E7 "The Gates of
Avalon" & S3E5 "The Changeling"]
The Vila, Wila, Wili, or Veela are the Slavic versions of nymphs, who have power over storms, which they delight in sending down on lonely travelers. They live in meadows, ponds, oceans, trees, and clouds (cf. Leimakids, Limnades, Oceanids, Dryads, Nephele). They can appear as swans, horses, wolves, or beautiful women.
In Polish mythology, the Wiła (pronounced [ˈviwa]), and in South-Slavic mythology the Vila ([ˈviːla]), are believed to be female fairy-like spirits who live in the wilderness and sometimes in the clouds. They were believed to be the spirits of women who had been frivolous in their lifetimes and now floated between here and the afterlife. They sometimes appear as swans, snakes, horses, falcons, or wolves that they can shapeshiftinto, but usually they appear as beautiful maidens, naked or dressed in white with long flowing hair.
It is said that if even one of their hairs is plucked, the Wila will die, or be forced to change back to her true shape. A human may gain the control of a Wila by stealing feathers from her wings. Once she gets them back, however, she will disappear. (Compare Swan maiden andSelkie.)
The voices of the Wilas are as beautiful as the rest of them, and one who hears them loses all thoughts of food, drink or sleep, sometimes for days. Despite their feminine charms, however, the Wila are fierce warriors. The earth is said to shake when they do battle. They have healing and prophetic powers and are sometimes willing to help human beings. At other times they lure young men to dance with them, which according to their mood can be a very good or very bad thing for the man. They ride on horses or deer when they hunt with their bows and arrows and will kill any man who defies them or breaks his word. Fairy rings of deep thick grass are left where they have danced; these should never be trodden upon, as this brings bad luck.
Offerings for Wila consist of round cakes, ribbons, fresh fruits and vegetables or flowers left at sacred trees and wells and at fairy caves.
In Croatian folklore, the mythical Velebit mountain range is famous for its fairies, the most celebrated called Velebitska Vila or Vila Velebita("The Fairy of Velebit"). The Vila is described as being a good spirit, and is the patron of the Velebit mountain range, whose significance in Croatian culture has led to tales and songs of the Vila, the most popular one created in the 19th century titled Vila Velebita, which is still popular today.
Named vilas in the Serbian mythology are: Andresila, Andjelija, Angelina, Djurdja, Janja, Janjojka, Jelka, Jerina, Jerisavlja, Jovanka, Katarina, Kosa, Mandalina, Nadanojla and Ravijojla. Ravijojla is the best known of them, connected to Prince Marko, while Jerisavlja is considered to be their leader.
Western European References
In a love song titled Vilia, from "The Merry Widow" by Lehar and Ross, a hunter pines for Vilia, "the witch of the wood". Judika Illes also mentions the Vilia in her book, The Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells.
In some tales, the reason for abandoning their loves is a sad one. The Vilya are cursed never to find their true love. If they do, that love will die a terrible death.