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Todd Jensen writes...

One question which I'll confess I've occasionally found myself asking about Arthur's quest for Merlin. Why does Arthur feel that he really needs Merlin by his side again? After all, in the traditional legends, he spent the majority of his reign without Merlin being there (Merlin's departure in the "Arthurian canon" took place almost directly after Arthur married Guinevere and set up the knights of the Round Table), and fared well enough on his own (not to mention that I don't think that Merlin could have seriously prevented the fall of Camelot even if he had been there, seeing that it was brought about through the one thing that his magic could not overcome, the human heart, as Macbeth pointed out in "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time"). Furthermore, at least some versions of the legend (including T. H. White and Roger Lancelyn Green) indicate that part of the reason why Merlin left Arthur's court (ultimately to wind up in the Crystal Cave) was because Arthur needed to stand on his own rather than constantly leaning on the wizard for help.

So why does Arthur feel that he still needs Merlin's help? (Admittedly, he does seem in a rather vulnerable situation at present, given that he's now in a world that's unfamiliar to him and very different from 6th century Britain - and he hasn't had the advantage that Macbeth had of being able to watch it change gradually and adjust accordingly - it's all been thrown upon him at once, just the way that it was on Goliath and his clan).

Greg responds...

Well, start with this. Merlin's a friend.

Do you really need any other reason?

Some of the other stuff you mentioned is good too.

Response recorded on September 06, 2001