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11 September 2010 @ 12:59 am
Don't you just 'love' it when the Merlin writers back themselves into complicated corners?  
Recent speculative spoilers have seemingly made the relationships in Camelot even more complicated (if that's at all possible).

Three facts that we know from Sins of the Father:

1. Morgana and Morgause are both considered to be of the House of Gorlois
2. Gaius thinks/knows that they're half sisters.
3. For some reason baby Morgause needed to be smuggled from Camelot for her own safety. Gaius feared what Uther would do if he didn't.

However fresh news has made this more 'interesting'. And whilst, at first, it seems designed to upset some shippers, all may not be as it seems.

From Richard Wilson's DS interview we know there's a secret about Morgana and Uther that even Gaius doesn't know.

Taken together, these pieces of information seem to cause big problems in how these two girls are related.

First possibility is that they have the same father and different mothers. The two candidates are:

This would tie in with them both being of the House of Gorlois and the fact that clearly Gaius believes that Gorlois is Morgana's father. Their different mothers in this scenario could be due to the fact that Gorlois's first wife (Morgause's mother) died and he remarried and they had Morgana. All is fine - Gaius would certainly be aware of this - except we have no obvious reason with that why Morgause needed to be smuggled out. This could be worked in if, in fact, Gorlois's first wife was Igraine and, like in the legends, Uther essentially 'stole' her (although perhaps here she went willingly). That would certainly explain why he wanted baby!Morgause out of the picture. If Igraine found out she was already pregnant after re-marrying Uther, it would be much easier for him if the baby was gone. Gaius could certainly know about this scenario BUT it doesn't explain what secret there could be between Morgana and Uther if it is regards their relationship as heavily hinted. It could possibly, however, be referring to the manner of her father's death and hence why he feels the need to look after her so much and why he seems uncomfortable when Gaius speaks of Gorlois - basic guilt. Lastly, there is a possibility that Morgana is Uther's niece, the daughter of his sister most likely. This can work with all the known fact, but it is obviously harder to have a secret about who the mother of someone is rather than the father.

Uther could be the father of both. It is extremely unlikely that Igraine was the mother of either of them because why on earth would that be hidden? Morgause being his illegitimate daughter would explain why she was smuggled out. And perhaps he gave his second illegitimate daughter (Morgana) to his best mate to bring up as his own. But this does beg the question how the hell does Gaius think they're related? Does he think they're both Gorlois's daughters (and did Uther actually have affairs with two different women who were married to Gorlois?!). Does he for some reason believe they're from the same mother - but who does he think the different father's are? He can know that Morgause is Uther's daughter, but clearly he does not know that Morgana is Uther's daughter if that is the case... This idea can work - just - but it is very complicated!

The other possibility is same mother:

Mrs Gorlois

Could be that she had an affair with Uther hence, they have different fathers. BUT Gaius would then think them to be sisters, not half sisters. Unless Gaius thinks she had an affair with someone else entirely. But again, that starts to get complicated and doesn't at all explain why Morgause had to be smuggled away (what problem, pre purge, could Uther have had with Gorlois's daughter?).

Turn it on its head a bit and it could be that Igraine had an affair with Gorlois, Morgause perhaps being a daughter from her first marriage. Could work pretty well actually. Would explain why Uther was keen for Morgause to not be around and also perhaps what the secret is (he found out and killed Gorlois). Gaius would have to at least know about their parentage and realise that Uther knows, but he would necessarily know about Uther's revenge.

Uther's Sister
Uther's sister perhaps bit of a loose woman (in terms of the era) and had affairs with two different men. Morgause gets rushed away to protect her reputation. The second time, Uther lies about who the mother is and gets his good friend Gorlois to step in (or maybe he's the father and the sister died in childbirth). Again though, this has the problem of how do we reconcile the fact that Gaius knows them to be half sisters yet Uther has kept a secret from him as regards Morgana.

There is also the potential that they are full sisters. For example, both daughters of Uther and some woman (Igraine? Gorlois's wife?) and for some reason Gaius thinks Uther is father of one of them and not the other. But that's a little crazy. Although with these writers...

The last possibility is that they're not related at all. Everyone who is in the know believes that they're half sisters, Gorlois's children by two different wives. But Uther secretly knows that he is Morgana's father. This works perfectly, but again though, what about Morgause made him want rid of her from birth?

tldr version: If the show doesn't intend to retcon entire scenes from series 2 then we know that Gauis believes Morgana and Morgause to be half sisters, presumably both daughters of Gorlois with different mothers, and that something about Morgause's parentage meant she was in danger of Uther having her killed. IF Uther is Morgana's father as heavily hinted, then it starts to become very difficult to reconcile all these fact. There is either going to have to be some very complex relationships and lies going on here, or they're going to have to throw last year's canon out of the window.

It works out much better if we eliminate the idea of Uther being Morgana's father and go with the idea that he killed her father, Gorlois.

Anyone's thoughts or comments would be thoroughly welcome because, as you can see, this is way complicated!
Current Mood: confusedconfused
shutupeccles: Doctor Whoshutupeccles on September 11th, 2010 12:11 am (UTC)
There had to be a serious betrayal to justify telling Uther the child was dead which suggests to me:
Morgause mother = Ygraine & no-one was aware of that until child was born & too greatly resembled Gorlois to be Uther's. Uther enraged, probably threatens baby Morgause in a temper. Gaius & Ygraine concost 'natural infant death' etc
doylefan22: Merlin - Morgause/Morgana forestdoylefan22 on September 11th, 2010 12:22 am (UTC)

And since Gaius knows about it and knows that Morgana and Morgause share one parent (which is highly unlikely to be Igraine!) then he must think Gorlois is father to both of them.

And if he isn't, they're not sisters at all.
(no subject) - shutupeccles on September 11th, 2010 02:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
liltipsyfyi: morgauseliltipsyfyi on September 11th, 2010 12:33 am (UTC)
oops I think I might've made this a reply and not a comment :P
My favourite theory is that Morgause is Igraine and Gorlois' daughter. Igraine could've had an affair with Gorlois, somehow Uther finds out and orders the child to be killed then Gauis smuggles her out. This could add to Morgana's theory that Uther delibratley tried to get Gorlois killed in battle even if it was (I'm assuming) years later.

As for Igraine, women who have had children before can become barren after due to complications or Nimueh's insult could've be directed at Uther's inability to have children.

How this effects Uther and Morgana's relationship well it could give more reason for Morgana to believe in Gorlois' murder, more suspicion around Gorlois and Uther's supposed friendship, she could question Morgause' real motives behind wanting Uther dead, hell maybe Morgana could empthasize with Uther. :/

If they make Morgana Uther's daughter I swear I'll throw the biggest bitch fit ever, mostly because it's as complicated as hell and contradicts almost everything we've been led to believe about Gorlois, Uther, Morgana and Morgause.
apollopriestesskoft2009 on September 11th, 2010 03:52 am (UTC)
Re: oops I think I might've made this a reply and not a comment :P
I find this confusing as well; and this show should never have been a family show, and if they want to do it justice they need to get over it and realize it's not a family story.

As for Morgana being Uther's daughter: well since I am a shipper, I say no way. If she is, then the direction and his behavior towards her would be pretty sick, as he is clearly in love with her, besotted w/her, similar to how I believe he was w/Igraine. The actors said Morgana/Arthur was dropped because it seemed a bit incestuous, and they wanted him w/Gwen, would be null and void. I believe she loves him as well, and that is what she yells at him all the time, and it is why she is so afraid to tell him her secret. But as we shippers know, Uther would not give a crap if he knew; he has KILLED for her, and it seems has once more. I mean really, she is STUNNING, the unofficial Queen of Camelot, and in s1 she acted like Arthur's mother (occasionally). Everyone one in the kingdom knows she is Uther's; clearly why no one has asked for her hand in marriage.

As for the Gorlois/Uther relationship: it is clearly not the one of legend, in which Uther steals her from Gorlois using the magic of Merlin. Morgaine le Fey is born from Gorlois, Arthur from Uther. I think that they have the same father, and Morgause was whisked out of the palace because somehow Gorlois slept with, and impregnated a Priestess of the old religion. Naturally Uther would want her dead, and Gorlois, if off at war, may never have known she existed. The bracelet was probably a gift to his lover. Then,at some point he was legitimately married (ie. for the strategic reasons which is why I don't get why Morgana has not been married off). and had Morgana,

But you know what? Don't forget Morgause ACTUALLY hesitated between taking the castle and saving Morgana.

I can' wait until tomorrow night!
Jandy the Gnome Whisperer: Merlin - Pratjandjsalmon on September 11th, 2010 12:43 am (UTC)
I was kinda thinking Morgause's mother was magic and perhaps baby Morgause got some of her traits (obviously) and thus she needed to be hidden from Uther. Gerlois has affair with fairy? Then Morgana is free to be Gerlois' daughter from his wife? Is it official that Morgana is Uther's daughter or is this speculation?
doylefan22: Merlin - Morgause candledoylefan22 on September 11th, 2010 09:14 am (UTC)
But that would mean that Morgause would've been born after the magical purge begun and SURELY we aren't meant to believe that she's both younger than Morgana and Arthur. Because Emilia is stunning but she's clearly the oldest of the three - not 20 years old!

And the Uther's daughter thing is speculation based upon some of what is in episode 1 and 2 and the fact that RW said there is a secret revealed about Morgana and Uther that even Gaius didn't know about.
(no subject) - jandjsalmon on September 11th, 2010 04:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
I'm feelin' younger, it's better than wiser: Merlin: Happy familymustbethursday3 on September 11th, 2010 12:44 am (UTC)
OMG my head
Wow, comprehensive spec - I like.

I don't want Uther to be Morgana's father, like you said it makes it complicated and also twisty - like they gave us a puzzle but not all the pieces... but I seem to have resigned myself to it already (sadly).

It works out much better if we eliminate the idea of Uther being Morgana's father and go with the idea that he killed her father, Gorlois.

I'd prefer that. Because it'd give her a REASON to kill him (as I think, at Morgana's hand, is the only fitting way for Uther's death to come), other than her believing that he wouldn't accept her (not that she's tried to tell him what she is).

I think if Uther did father Morgana than it's easier (plot and logic wise) for Morgause not to be biologically related to Morgana . . . but wait OKAY - Maybe Morgause is Gorlois's illegitimate child with a woman accused of sorcery and Gorlois asked Gaius to help save the child since they couldn't save the mother . . .

so in some respect Morgana's kind of an adoptive sibling?

IDK *headdesk*

...that explanation explains NOTHING. LOL.

*laughs* and OMG I have an icon that I've titled 'happy family' O_o

Edited at 2010-09-11 12:47 am (UTC)
liltipsyfyi: morganaliltipsyfyi on September 11th, 2010 01:08 am (UTC)
Re: OMG my head
I'd prefer that. Because it'd give her a REASON to kill him (as I think, at Morgana's hand, is the only fitting way for Uther's death to come), other than her believing that he wouldn't accept her (not that she's tried to tell him what she is).

I've always got the immpression that Morgana's main driving force behind wanting to kill Uther is the continueing genocide of magic/her people and that Uther's acceptance of her was more having to do with her lonelyness in the castle.
Re: OMG my head - mustbethursday3 on September 11th, 2010 01:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: OMG my head - liltipsyfyi on September 11th, 2010 01:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: OMG my head - doylefan22 on September 11th, 2010 09:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: OMG my head - doylefan22 on September 11th, 2010 09:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
angeliss_fgangeliss_fg on September 11th, 2010 02:05 am (UTC)
Oh wow, you've got me confused now!
What I think we should remember is that "Merlin" is meant to be a family show. How much detail would they be able to show about extramarital affairs and loose women and wife stealing and pregnancy to men other than their husbands and so on and so forth...

I know the original legends are rife with these sorts of stories, but it would have to be a plot where the writers would be able to gloss over the gory details and give it the prime time shine.

And yes, I'm aware that there are alot of people being killed in the show, but people always seem to prefer that their children watch people being murdered than watch people make love. A sign of the times hey?
doylefan22: Merlin - Morgause candledoylefan22 on September 11th, 2010 09:20 am (UTC)
Don't worry, I've confused myself too :D

I don't think the idea of extra martial affairs etc is too outlandish for the audience considering the other things shown pre-watershed and the fact that we're not going to actually see it as such. However, I don't know how they're going to simplify it enough for the audience.

Or, to be honest, if they're even going to bother explaining it at all. Maybe they're just going to make this revelation and hope we forget everything we learnt in 2x08.
pepperlandgirlpepperlandgirl4 on September 11th, 2010 03:32 am (UTC)
I think about this issue a lot, and I wonder how to reconcile Morgause's "I knew her (Ygraine) well." Was she lying to Arthur to lull him into a sense of security? Possibly, but she seemed genuine, and I think we were supposed to believe her. In that case, did Ygraine visit her after she was smuggled out? Could that indicate Morgause is Ygraine's daughter?

Another issue is that Morgause clearly knows Morgana is her half-sister, but that special fondness she has for her doesn't seem to extend to Arthur. That would seem they must share a father (Gorlois) and Morgause isn't related to Arthur at all. So then...why did Morgause know Ygraine?

It's frustrating. I want to figure this stuff out but I know that part of it is probably due to nothing more than lazy writing.
doylefan22: Merlin - Morgause/Arthurdoylefan22 on September 11th, 2010 09:22 am (UTC)
My assumption is that she knew Igraine well because she was her mother. A kind of spiritual bond.

Morgause seemed to show respect to Arthur but I still thinks he could be his half sister too. The lack of affection could simply be that he is the son of her enemy too and she doesn't think he needs her affection as Morgana does.

And lazy writing really irritates me. Some details will change in these sorts of series, granted. But you should know important stuff like this from the outset!
(Deleted comment)
doylefan22: Merlin - Morgause/Morgana forestdoylefan22 on September 11th, 2010 09:24 am (UTC)
That is certainly an interesting theory and one I haven't thought of. Still needs an explanation to why Morgause had to be smuggled out though. It can't be due to her magic since she was born pre-purge.
dame_margaretdame_margaret on September 11th, 2010 05:56 am (UTC)
I take the show at face value, in that 1) Morgause is Gorlois' elder daughter from his first marriage, 2) Morgana is the younger daughter from his second marriage, 3) Morgause and Morgana are half-sisters and not related to Arthur.

Here's my take on the situation:

GORLOIS was married twice. Wife #1 had Morgause and Wife #2 had Morgana. Both women died in childbirth. Both girls were born BEFORE Arthur. (Yes, I believe Morgana is older than Arthur.) When Igraine died birthing Arthur and Uther turned against all magic, Morgause had to be smuggled away because she was showing definite signs of being a witch. BUT, I don't think she was a baby in the sense of being a year old or younger. I think she was a toddler (five years old?) when she was taken away, and not having a mother, Morgause would probably remember Igraine. Morgana, on the other hand, was too young when Igraine died.

Now, where did Morgause get her magic? From her parents. I think Gorlois and his first wife had magic, which is why Morgause's gifts showed up so early in her life. Morgana's mother was not a witch, so she only inherited magic from one parent - her father. This is why her gifts took longer to manifest themselves.

Since Uther knew his dearest friend and best knight Gorlois was a wizard, he couldn't kill Gorlois outright. So he had to wait (maybe years) for the right situation where he could send Gorlois into battle and not give him support when he asked for it. Luckily, the wife was dead and their child had "died" too. I think Uther made the promise to Gorlois to look after Morgana, because he knew what he was going to eventually do and felt guilty about it.

Re: Morgause's "death." I think Morgause was really seriously ill, but recovered with Gaius' aid. She was taken away to safety by Gaius, but Uther was told she died.
doylefan22: Merlin - Morgause/Morgana forestdoylefan22 on September 11th, 2010 09:31 am (UTC)
I HOPE we can take it at face value. Although I do believe that Morgause can easily be half sister to Arthur too if Igraine is her mother. That, to me, supplies the only plausible explanation for her needing to be smuggled out and Uther told that she'd died.

I went back at checked the episode and Gaius specifically says that Morgause was taken to the priestesses shortly after her birth. And this was pre-purge (because there is no way she's younger than Morgana and Arthur) so it can't have been to do with her magic. Something about her heritage put her in danger from Uther.

Also, Morgana is older than Arthur as you presume. Two years apparently.
(Anonymous) on September 11th, 2010 06:22 am (UTC)
I think Morgause being Uther's illegitimate child fits better, but I am adaptable. Allow me to restate your three facts.

Morgana and Morgause have the same mother. The bracelet of the House of Gorlois can be obtained through marriage. Hence, Gorlois wife or sister or aunt is the mother of the two Mors.

Igraine is barren. She only conceived Arthur through magic.

Morgause tells Arthur that they are alike.

Morgause got bundled out of Camelot because she was an inconvenient birth. She was saved because Gaius swore an oath to someone. Someone other than Uther.

Richard Wilson hints that Morgana is Uther's daughter. There is a shot of Morgana wearing the crown of Camelot.

My (current) theory is as fallows.

So let's assume a magical chick called, umm, Isolde. She had a babe. The old religion foretold that this babe would be the doom of Uther so he ordered her killed off (think Oedipus Rex here). Isolde was sister to Igraine, so Igraine begged Gaius to spare the child. Isolde got married off to Gorlois who gave her the bracelet of the House of Gorlois.

Uther was infatuated with Gorlois' wife, Isolde and had an adulterous affair with her, leading to the birth of Morgana. Meanwhile, Igraine continued to see and protect Morgause, and may have even brought the infant Morgana around.

Uther married Igraine - I know Uther is one bad dude, but his grief over Igraine is too real. Morgana had to have been conceived before Uther's marriage to Igraine.

Arthur was born. Igraine died. Uther went psycho. This is when Morgause leaves Camelot, because her protector, Igraine is gone. Something happens to Isolde - killed for sorcery? conveniently dead? Two-year old Morgana is left with a grieving Gorlois. Eight years later, Uther does not send reinforcements to Gorlois, a noble brave man who was once married to a witch. Conveniently, Uther gets guardianship of his biological daughter. It is possible he doesn't realize Morgana is his daughter and not Gorlois until it gets pointed out by say, Morgause.

At any rate, Morgause has a vendetta against Uther but loves Morgana and despite hating Arthur for being heir to the throne, is somewhat constrained because he is Igraine's son.

Whaddya think?
doylefan22: Merlin - Morgause/Morgana forestdoylefan22 on September 11th, 2010 09:41 am (UTC)
The bracelet COULD be obtained through marriage absolutely. Although I think it's just as likely they had the same father as same mother.

Igraine not conceiving with Uther would be blamed on her regardless. No one is going to be accuse the king of firing blanks. She is also a potential mother for Morgause in that it could be explained that her earlier pregnancy/childbirth left her damaged and unable to conceive.

I definitely agree that it's her 'inconvenient birth' that meant that she was smuggled away, although whether that was via Uther or Igraine is debatable (and it doesn't have to mean Igraine had an affair if she was previous married before Uther decided he wanted her...)

Your theory is very good however - nice one! The only thing I would say is that Morgause is definitely gone from Camelot as a baby since Gaius said he took her shortly after her birth. Would the queen of Camelot be so easily about to sneak out and visit this child? That's the only slight sticking point. Also, I would have assumed Morgause's mother would have gone with her if she could but they could do a bit of 'meh' writing to get round that.

Also it does mean that Morgana is both cousin and half sister to Arthur which is just more brain explodey! :D

This is the only other plausible theory I've read though as to why Uther wanted rid of Morgause so much at birth.

EDIT: Also, just worked out that this makes Morgause Arthur's cousin too. Goodness know who her father is!

And Uther? You wanted an innocent baby dead, had an affair with your best mate's wife, knocked her up and then married her sister? You were quite the bastard even before you went psycho, weren't you? :D

Edited at 2010-09-11 09:49 am (UTC)
alkjaalkja on September 11th, 2010 12:22 pm (UTC)
I dearly hope the secret will turn out to be that Uther had Gorlois killed without any parentage shenanigans.

Regardless of what route they go down, they made a fundamental mistake when they decided to plan this as a family show, since it means they cannot fully explore the themes they're dealing with.
BingeB: Merlin lick herelcacbc on September 11th, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC)
Wow, confusing. Honestly, I've always maintained that Morgause is Arthur's sibling - I was surprised when it was revealed that she was Morgana's. After all, in the actual legends (or at least some of them) aren't Arthur and Morgause related? I can't remember.

I think Gorlois and Igraine had a child, maybe, and were together first, and like the legend, Uther stole her from him? Explains why Morgause is older than Arthur, and why she had to be sent away. And that means that Arthur and Morgana are both half-siblings to Morgause, but not directly related themselves - which I hope is true, because there was definate romantic vibes between them in the 1st series!! I really hope the writers have thought this through, because if it turns out Morgana and Arthur are biologically related, I don't think I'll be able to watch the 1st series the same away ever again :S
jinx24 on September 12th, 2010 11:54 am (UTC)
I *think* Morgana and Morgause are sisters in the legend, and Arthur is their half brother through Igraine
mattyroh07: headdeskmattyroh07 on September 12th, 2010 03:29 am (UTC)
I keep going back and forth on the whole "well, Uther took Igraine from Gorlois as per legend", most likely after Gorlois died, but that doesn't work because Gorlois died when Morgana was 10, ergo Morgause and Arthur would've had to have been born before that point.
I don't know, it's a whole muddle.
The closest I can come to anything is that Igraine and Morgause are sisters because Morgause said she knew Igraine well and they both have blonde hair (and that's the deciding factor in my world, apparently).
starry_laastarry_laa on September 13th, 2010 11:09 am (UTC)
I'm hedging on the theory that Igraine is the mother of Morgause, perhaps. Having Morgause- an extremely magical being- could have rendered her infertile, or perhaps a betrayal of Gorlois in some way could have done this.

I also like the theory that the secret between Morgana and Uther is to do with Gorlois' death. That man is pretty much an enigma atm!

And this is all very complicated indeed, but I liked your ideas! <3
Purpleyin/Hans: passionmissyvortexdv on September 21st, 2010 10:48 pm (UTC)
*brains hurts*