~ I got to hang out with a lovely bunch of fellow Merlin fans including gnimaerd (and Katie the Gender Confused Walrus),shantirosa (who the more I talk to her, the more I think we might have been separated at fandom birth) andla_esmeralda_ (who I tried to soothe with my theories about Morgana and Gwen). There were many more as well but I forgot all the LJ names - please don't be offended, I am really rubbish with names. You were all lovely! *big hugs*
~ The costume people were there and they had bits you can try on. My and shantirosa tried on two Camelot knights cloaks and tried to look noble for one photo. For the other, I suggested we look like a dragon was coming to get us - since we were red coats and therefore that was likely to be our fate. Apparently it kind of ended up like I was trying to protect shantirosa 's boobs though :D
~ The cast were lovely. I told Tony it was a pleasure to meet him after watching him for so many years. He was all 'I wish young women wouldn't say things like that to me, it makes me feel old!'. Chatted to Richard about how I'm always half convinced he's going to die in every finale because of the drama it would cause. He laughed and said he comes close again this year. Colin was really pleased that I was impressed about how well he hid his accent - he always thinks it shows through at some points. I lamented with Angel about her no being in the promo shots. Said we were going to do a sweep stake about how many scene in the episodes one and two she'd be in. She advised me not to guess too high. Bradley was quite adorably grumpy. I said we couldn't see his fight demo from behind a pillar and he joked we didn't miss much. He was very friendly though.
~ I may be thoroughly enamoured with Katie McGrath. She is SO incredibly stunning and so very, very sweet. She absolutely loved my plushie!Morgana. She basically had a squee attack when I showed her and said it was adorable and really good. I said the hair wasn't quite finished and still looked like dreads - she laughed and said she's totally work the dreads. She told me I had to show the costume ladies. In the Q&A, she grinned and did a little wave at me and the plushie. I asked a question about whether 'evil' was too strong a word to describe Morgana, explaining things as briefly as I could (probably not briefly enough - sorry people!). She gave me this huge beaming grin and said 'Oh I like you' and then agreed with everything I'd said, basically saying that evil is a point of view and Morgana's actions aren't necessarily right but totally justified. Interestingly, the producers didn't seem to want to answer that question at all. I got the strongest feeling that it was something she'd brought up with them before and she was pleased the fans saw it her way.
And now on to the spoilers:
I'm not going to go in depth but...
~ Arthur and Merlin still have thoroughly antagonistic brotherly relationship. Definitely a love/hate thing.
~ Bradley does the best faces.
~ The start of the episode does seem to be going to great pains to make Morgana seem evil, but she brings it back a bit in the second part with a small moment of hesitation before accepting her job to help bring Camelot down from the inside. She also gives a very impassioned speech to Merlin about how alone and terrified she's been and how she has to fight to stay alive. Katie does the evil smirk so well but they really insisted on her using it at any possible opportunity!
~ Morgause is so epic. She flits seamlessly between red dressed sorceress and kick arse knight in armour. She uses Cendred by flirting with him and seemingly really intimidating him at the same time. But her affection is totally reserved for Morgana. They know they're sisters by this point and Morgause clearly adores her. She cared for her, she wants revenge against Merlin for hurting her and she believes in and totally trusts her. Morgana clearly returns this affection and she completely looks up to Morgause. It's a very well done relationship. Their chemistry is insanely good.
~ Gwen doesn't really get much to do unfortunately, only be in the background and have one scene of giving Arthur advice. I hope she's used for more than this.
~ Sir Leon on the other hand got close ups AND his own slowmo.
~ The show also seemed to be at great pains to make Uther seem sympathetic at the start - his love for Morgana and how overjoyed he was to have her back got many 'awwws'. Thing is they kind of ruined this when they showed the visions he was having of all the dead children he'd drowned...
~ The dragon basically told Merlin he wouldn't have come to him unless he really had to which was quite funny.
~ The Arthur/Morgana interaction was finally back. They had some very sweet scenes with them comforting each other and hugging. It was so nice to see after the travesty of last year.
~ Although I do think there was a rather heavy handed signing of the fact that Morgana is going to be revealed as Uther's daughter at some point. Which is a bit lame imo. And certainly not what they intended in the first season.
~ A lot of the argument so far as regards why Merlin keeps Uther alive is that because Arthur isn't ready to rule yet. This episode totally dismisses that.
After the episode they had the series trailer too. Much of which was very good (lots of the guest stars include Lancelot and Gawain). The best part though? MORGANA SITTING ON A THRONE WITH A CROWN!
After the fun we hung around to see if the cast would come out so Katie would sign gnimaerd walrus like she said she would. Unfortunately security were very keen to throw us out :( We did get to wave at Colin as he left though and he had quite a laugh waving back at us. We then went on and finally got food and had a good old natter and giggle before heading home.
All in all a quite brilliant day. *hugs to all who were there*