Show summary:

It's the conclusion of the Lancelot story, and we'll immediately pick up after last week's fairly cheap cliffhanger ending. He'll finally see the end of his quest... Either by plummeting to the choppy waters below...or by the lions on the other side of the sword...or the castle full of people who want to kill him on the other side of the lions.

The creature is a passive-aggressive gnome who just wants to date you or steal your child. It really does not care, which is fairly problematic.


The episode

The Lady of the Lake:

This is such a bizarre, incredibly important character that I don't think I'll ever quite understand her. Viviane will return, though, since I might just have her fulfill the other Lady of the Lake duties. There's a lot of room for artistic license here since the narrative gaps are more like chasms.

Anyway, here are the different elements of the Merlin/Viviane story from the earlier accounts:

The French Vulgate

  • Viviane being twelve years old
  • Merlin taught her almost everything he knew
  • Merlin leaving just before the training was complete
  • This was the Viviane that raised Lancelot
  • She eventually trapped him in a cave, though she hung around for a few days to keep him company before leaving him to die.
  • This was the one where he was so in love with her that he taught her the spell despite knowing that she would immediately use it to imprison him.

The Post-Vulgate Merlin Continuation

  • The Lady of the Lake is a much older (than twelve) noble woman
  • Merlin follows her during the day and watches her in her room at night
  • She gets fed up with this, and tries to seduce the young man. She succeeds, but demands to know how to put people to sleep and how to seal something forever. As I mentioned last week, she used this to seal herself off to protect herself from Merlin's more aggressive advances and put Merlin to sleep every night. She learned everything over time, doing this nightly.
  • She seals him in the lover's cave.
  • All of this happened just after Uther conceived Arthur. This version doesn't fit with our narrative (or any modern Merlin narratives) for obvious reason (e.g. The siege of Carleon, the May Day Massacre, etc).

Malory's Morte d' Arthur:

Nimue was the lady of the lake who raised Lancelot and imprisoned Merlin. He was aggressive in his pursuit of her, and she got fed up with it. She learned the spell from him and imprisoned him under a rock. All this was handled in one paragraph and there are virtually no details. I used this as the general framework and filled in the details from the other versions.

Idylls of the King:

Viviane is a vile evil seductress who Merlin tries to resist, but he cannot. The Lady of the Lake is another Lady and a separate character who gives Arthur Excalibur and raises Lancelot. This also includes the ridiculous "I-wish-I-could-resist-your-love-but-I-can't-so-here-is-how-to-kill-me" Merlin.

Starting with Tennyson (Idylls of the King) onward, it seems like many people take my Arthurian fanfiction approach. If you think about it, most of Arthurian legend seems to be a type of fanfiction that certain writers (Cretian de Troyes, whoever wrote the French Vulgate and Post-Vulgate...heck, even Geoffrey of Monmouth to some extent) just made up that got accepted as canon later on.


  • Two characters have implied sex, but I literally say, "X saw Y in the bed, and X joined Y." That's it.
  • One character kisses another and slowly lowers him or her down onto a bed. That's it.
  • One character loses an arm and is slowly, though not super-graphically, beheaded.



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