April, Jalil, David and Christopher are trapped in a world that shouldn’t exist. Myths are supposed to stay on the page. Merlin shouldn’t be fighting dragons. Galahad is in storybooks. Not in Everworld, in Everworld all their wildest myths and stories are living and breathing. Question is can our group stay that way as well?
This book ventures into Merlin and King Author myth territory. I really like the idea of the Arthur myths. I think they intrigue me because they are myths that have a touch of reality to them. No one knows for sure if they are true or not. We know that Zesus was a myth and that Loki never played tricks on people. But the Arthurian legends could be based on real people.
I liked in this story though that Arthur is not our main focus. Galahad is our focus in this one, which is interesting. We get to see a different character than people generally see in similar retellings. Merlin is prominent but not in a connection to Arthur. I liked that aspect.
I am enjoying the way the group is able to go back to the real world and make sense of what they are encountering. In this book Galahad and Gawain had similar memories of looking for the Holy Grail. Neither knew why, they just accepted it. They find out it is because our stories have them both in that role. I liked that we see this connection to the myth characters. They are influenced by their connections to our modern world.
I do enjoy the fact that we don’t just focus on typical mythologies in this series. While Loki and Zeus do play a part we also see people like Galahad and I know later elves. The lesser myths got carried along in the wake of the larger myths which is interesting. We are given a broader world and a more full world this way. It is all our stories connecting into one world.
I know that we are going to be getting Jalil’s POV next and eventually Senna’s. I am really interested in both of their stories. I remember that April, David and Christopher’s were pretty simple and predictable but the other two are a bit more of wild cards. I am really interested to see how they play into the larger picture.
This book was told from April’s POV and I had a bit of an issue with her. She is someone who is all talk but little action. She talks about wanting to not be the damsel that gets saved but then can’t take care of herself. She needs saving all the time.
She is hard to understand because she is constantly wanting Galahad to save her but she also sees that as annoying as well. She knows she needs to stand up for herself more but also realizes that isn’t easiest for her. I like how self-aware she is but I also want to see her use that self-awareness to actually start making a change for herself.
I like these stories. I love the plot and the characters are great. I am having more and more of an issue with the writing itself though. Not only is is choppy it is very repetitive. The same words or phrases are used over and over again. Sometimes right after one another. I know this adds emphasis but it does get tiresome.
Also I think this series may be where I got the habit of using synonyms too much. I found that when I write I tend to write something like “It was a beautiful, gorgeous day outside.” There is no need for both of those words, they tell the same thing. I see that happen a lot in this book. I know this book stuck with me when I was a teenager and I think that idea or habit in writing crept into my style a bit.
I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads. I am enjoying the series still. I am just curious to see April grow a bit more and have to not focus on some aspects of the writing too much.
“He was a legend….We didn’t know him, but we knew what he represented. He was good standing up against evil. He was the strong man defending the weak. He was brave when the odds were against him.” (pg. 161)
We learned all about Arthur, his past and his poor decisions in this episode. Arthur is supposed to be this great king, who cares about his kingdom and wants only good for his people. What we learn is that Arthur is selfish with little-to-no integrity left. The draw of power has taken another victim and Arthur is going to lose everything, just like all those who obsess over power have done.
I know the basics about the Arthurian legend and Camelot (I do have a mythology book that I will pull out and see if the legend is in there to learn more and maybe amend some of this later). What I know of the legend is that Arthur was supposed to be this great man who was prophesied to take the sword from the stone and become a great king. What is different about his legend is that he is a human just like the rest of us. Being human he is flawed and in the end his decisions lose him his wife and his kingdom.
It would appear that the writers are using the basics of the Arthurian legend. Arthur finds Excalibur and becomes obsessed with fixing it. He can’t concentrate on anything else in his life. He doesn’t work on building his kingdom or taking care of his relationship with his wife. As expected Guinevere starts feeling neglected and turns to Lancelot for comfort and support.
What is interesting about this is that Arthur is obsessed with fixing this sword but has no idea what will happen when he does. He assumes because of the prophecy that it will give him some ultimate power and he will be this powerful ruler with it by his side. But he doesn’t actually know anything about any of this. It could be the worst idea ever. This all could be an ultimate test.
Arthur is terrified that if the people find out his sword is not whole they will not trust or follow him. He is only a stable boy and to him the only thing making him king is the sword. But that is not what makes a ruler or a king. A king is made by the way he rules. He gains the trust of his people. They see him as someone who is compassionate and caring. They know he will protect them and take care of them. He makes fair decisions and is not selfish. Excalibur can not do any of that. Arthur has to be that man but he doesn’t understand that. He is too consumed by what the sword can possibly do for him.
A king need to be humble and have integrity which Arthur has none of. Camelot was not built over time with hard work and effort, no magic sand was used. Guienevere is not standing by his side because she loves and respects him, no she is under a spell. He used the sand to fix what he believes was broken. But what is truly broken is Arthur himself.
Arthur has built everything he has through magic, which we all know comes with a price. All of this is an illusion and illusions are not meant to last. They are there to be a smokescreen to set up for something else. They are to give an idea for a few moments but they eventually fade. Arthur cannot hold onto what he has created forever. Something is going to make all of this crash down around his ears and when it does fall he will be left all alone.
No one will care about him. He will go back to being that stable boy that no one cared about.
While Arthur is busy setting up his downfall Hook is trying to save Emma from her own collapse. Hook is doing exactly what I knew he had to do. He is taking care of Emma and making her see that she has to trust in him. Emma needs something to concentrate on other then the darkness inside of her.
Emma is having a struggle we all know well. She is so consumed with the problem before her that she can’t see any possible solution to what is going on. We have all done this. We allow our problems or one issue to consume us and we become blinded to the world around us. We can’t see or appreciate those who are trying to help us. The problem at hand becomes our world, it is all we can think about and concentrate on. Doing this only gives the issue that much more power over us and our actions.
Emma can’t force the darkness away because she is so paranoid about it. It is all she thinks about and sees in her world. Everywhere she looks and every actions she takes is with the awareness that the darkness exists. Because she is focused solely on that voice, the voice is always around.
What Hook does is take Emma for a horseback ride. He asks her to trust him and allow him to give her something else to think about and focus on. It works, when the ride is over, the voice is gone.
The problem is that Hook can’t always be around and they can’t always being riding around on horseback. But it is a good step forward. Emma just has to learn how to do this for herself. She has to be aware when the voices starts speaking and be able to push it away.
Unfortnately we see that she has no mastered this trick yet. In the present she is consumed by the darkness but I believe she can force it away again if she just remembers what Hook was trying to teach her.
“Broken Kingdom,” – Kay- Arthur wants to fix his kingdom, but what he doesn’t see is that he kingdom is not what is broken. It is Arthur himself and he can’t fix anything until he fixes himself.
“Love is a weapon.The most dangerous weapon of all,” – Darkness voice- We have heard this before on this show. Love can be a saving grace or a downfall. Arthur is using it to manipulate and hurt others and that is only going to end in his own ruin.
Is anyone left on Arthur’s side?
Is there anyone genuine in Arthur’s life?
Will Arthur cause the downfall of Camelot?
How and when will Emma lose complete control and accept the darkness?
Why does Emma stop trusting Hook?
Can Merida actually train Rumple to be brave?
What will rejoin Excalibur and the dagger?
Does the power of the rejoined parts depend on who is wielding it? Can it be put back together?
Did Merlin break it in the first place?
If so why? When will we see Merlin? Why is Merida in Arthur’s dungeon?
Did Arthur kidnap her brothers?
Will Lancelot be able to break the spell and save Guinevere and Camelot?
Is Lancelot the true king? Will anyone forgive Arthur when this all falls apart? Does Arthur play a role in Emma accepting her dark side?
This episode gave us a handful or realizations, a few from characters and a few for us as the audience. Charming realizes that just because they lost one battle with Emma’s darkness does not mean she is doomed. Hook realizes that Dark Swan is not his Emma and he has to stop seeing her as if she is. And we realized that Arthur has some dark plans and is not someone we can fully trust.
The episode starts with the group finding a toadstool in one of the spell books that will allow them to talk with Merlin. (Quick side note, that question mark Regina put in the book was that some subtle hint that she thought something would happen to them later?). Of course this toadstool is in a very dangerous land and Charming volunteers to go off to find it. Arthur asks to join him in his quest.
In the present we see that Charming is beyond frustrated at the situation the group currently finds themselves in. He is blaming himself for not having saved Emma from the darkness. He is feeling helpless.
The real reason for his frustration is seen in the flashback. Charming doesn’t want to be the man remembered for kissing awake a princess. He wants more for his legacy. He wants to bring change to the world. He feels like he is losing that side of himself. He is concentrating on what he has lost and how, instead of moving forward from those losses.
After Arthur and Charming, “lose,” the toadstool Arthur tells Charming that what makes them heroes is that they are brave enough to move forward even when they do experience a loss. They do not give up. Charming learned that in Camelot and he needs to remember it now in the present.
Yes, the group failed to save Emma from succumbing to the darkness inside of her. But they have not lost this battle yet. As we saw last episode the Emma we know is still in this dark version. We have not completely lost her.
Charming and the rest of the group have to stop concentrating on what they have lost and focus on saving the light that still lives inside of Emma. Charming does not remember what happened. He has no idea who is to blame for Emma taking control of her dark powers. No one knows what exactly happened and they have to stop blaming themselves. They have to move past that moment and figure out what they have to do now in this time to not fail again.
Arthur is another man intent on not failing people he cares about. Arthur showed his true colors in this episode. Arthur is not the humble and kind man he appears to be to the group. He has one face he shows the public while the other one is conniving and manipulating in order to get what he wants.
Arthur is not afraid to hurt anyone if it means that he saves his people and Camelot. He steals the toadstool from Charming. He poisons his squire in order to keep him from spewing his secrets to the group.
It is difficult to be able to have a real judgement of Arthur. Arthur has his blinders on. He does not trust our group. He does not trust anyone outside of Camelot. He will do anything to save his people which is a scary thought. No one will stand in his way.
Arthur believes what he is doing is right and what is needed to save Camelot. That is the scariest part about him right now,. He refuses to see that his choices are hurting other poeple. He does not think about what consequences his actions are going to have for anyone else. Nothing else matters at the moment and he is going to hurt someone beyond repair this way. He is going to lose Camelot because he is going to lose everyone’s trust. You can only manipulate a situation for so long this way until things fall apart. People are going to be afraid of him and he is going to fall apart in the process, scared of himself. Our group will understand his actions but they will not forgive those actions.
The other major character that has a waking moment in this episode is Hook. Emma brings Hook to her and tries to pretend that they can be the same as they were before she became Dark Swan. We all know she is manipulating him and he is not dumb enough to believe her. She tries to tell him that she is still the same woman he knew, that all she has lost is her fear. And she does have a point. She still has some of her same traits but that lack of fear is what is hurting her. She no longer fears consequences or her actions or decisions. She does whatever she wants without thinking twice and that scares everyone else.
Hook tries to pretend for a minute but he can’t. He can’t see Dark Swan as Emma. There is a poignant and important moment in this episode. When Emma asks Hook if he loves her he answers that he loved her and then calls her the Dark One.
This is a huge step for Hook. He has now drawn a line in the sand between himself and her. He will no longer pretend that she is the woman he loved and knew before. He is not blinded by his love. He will not let her play with his emotions.
He has to do this. He has to be able to separate himself in order to find a way to bring back his Emma. In the beginning he was so wrapped up in his emotions and desperation that he wasn’t thinking clearly. I said before that he had to find a way to tamper down his emotions in order to be any help to Emma.
This is one way for him to do that. He had to put the two women in two separate places. Now he can concentrate on bringing back the Emma he once knew. Saving Emma is gong to take some desperate measures and sacrifices and now he can clearly think about what all of that means and be able to take the necessary steps needed to save her.
“Word quest means to seek not to find. The seeking is what matters,” – Arthur – They are seeking a way to save Emma. They are going to go through trials and tribulations along the way. They are going to learn lessons and I think the combination of what they learn is going to be what saves Emma in the end.
What is Arthurs full plan?
What will recombining Excalibur and the dagger do for him?
Will it help or hurt?
How is Lancelot alive?
Is this man really Lancelot?
Why doesn’t Lancelot trust Arthur? What does he know?
The question mark in the book did Regina purposely put it there for a reason? Did she have a feeling something was not right about the whole situation?
Will Arhtur ever use the toadstool?
Can Emam really turn Rumple into a hero?
What would that even entail and mean?
Will Belle find Rumple and be able to still love him and help him?
What effect will Emma being The Dark One have on all her relationships when she is back to normal?
What will Rumple be like now?
Will Zelena’s baby be a rift between Robin and Regina?
Will Zelena be able to ever be in her child’s life?
Will allowing her in its life be a way to change her for the good?