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Date: 2010-04-27 02:13 am (UTC)
Sublime syllic,

Do you know that reading each installment of this is rather like having your eyes fitted for better glasses? It's not the most poetic comparison to make, but I mean that I see the world in which they live -- in all its wonderful complexity -- a little more clearly with each piece you post because you provide another wonderfully drawn character or another slice of a slightly different life.

Like [livejournal.com profile] arlad, I am very struck by the careful way in which you draw every characters -- from Merlin and Arthur, who have become my canon versions of the characters, to Gwen, Morgana and Gaius, to the smaller players, including Norvel and Ganieda, who are like old-fashioned miniatures with each detail so delicately and precisely drawn. You are an excellent world builder.

I think too that you handle the complexity of the world and the different alliances within it well. Both Ganieda and Norvel are wonderful insights into the world of the lower orders. Ganeida shows the strange intimacy of service with the very close connections between servant and master, particularly when they grow up in such close proximity to one another. It enables one to see why the showrunners chose to make Merlin Arthur's manservant; it's a position in which there is a certain degree of forced intimacy that their specific personalities and rapport take to a genuine affection and connection. On the other hand, however, you show its other side with Norvel, who appears to be a means of sweetening a deal and whose loyalty is not necessarily to the great lord he serves but to the man who is his more immediate patron and friend. I rather like that Norvel has little connection to or interest in high politics, not having been instructed in them or having been given little incentive to be interested in them. I wonder whether Merlin and Arthur will give him such a reason or whether the transformations brought about by Arthur's rule will succeed in being so radical that they are felt among those of Norvel's rank. You make me think very much about how much the change from one ruler to another might have mattered and how much might have continued away from the eyes and ears of Uther's court. Now, I think your Arthur will matter a good deal to a good many people, but I think he'll be exceptional in that. I also like Norvel because it seems his role is not unlike what Merlin's might have been had he been born into service and without magic (I agree with [livejournal.com profile] anevivi on that score, though it may not be what you'd intended).

I love Morgana at Arthur's side and as his formidable ally. She's quite the consigliere, isn't she?

I also like Merlin's simmering (uh, nearly boiling?) need to be near Arthur and how his exceptional position at Arthur's side ensures that he finds it very difficult to follow the rules that have been established for the context and would ensure that Merlin would have a clearer claim to his position than as the young king's favorite. He doesn't seem to know they apply and, in that, you highlight one of the problems attendant upon Arthur's inability to situate Merlin within the parameters of the world they know. I also like how the resentment, a resentment that does seem to be rooted in Arthur's response to Merlin's magic (How they do and do not know one another. Wow), at being forced away from Arthur and at his perception, which I do not think is an accurate one, that Arthur felt no need to contest the request to separate Merlin from him. I suspect he and Morgana are keeping their eyes on the longer game and the prize.

I look forward to the next.
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