“In life you always have a choice. Sometimes it’s easier to think that you don’t.”
Gwen dispensing knowledge. Also, her friendship with Gaius is lovely and I missed it a lot in the later seasons, except for an episode here and there.
Well, here’s the thing. I like it.
I like that it’s dark, and twisted and wrong.
Do I think that it’s problematic that both main female characters (and basically only female characters) have been tortured and used and abused and are basically only plot devices? Yes. Yes, I do. But that’s for another discussion.
From a shipper’s POV, the story arc of Gwen and Morgana’s relationship (whether romantic or as a friendship) is interesting because it’s tragic. And so this turn of events just adds to that. Just adds to the twisted tale that unfolds between them.
Do I like, in the grand scheme of things, that Gwen was tortured, and driven mad? Not really. Though I do appreciate the darkness of it within the narrative. Would I have preferred she had chosen to betray Camelot, had done it of her own free will? Yes, absolutely.
The thing is, in my opinion, the writers didn’t write a complex character in Gwen. She has barely any flaws, she is always right, always just, always kind, always forgiving and compassionate, and barely faces any moral dilemmas, questions herself or makes mistakes. Therefore, only an enchantment/spell/brainwashing would make sense to explain her betrayal. Otherwise, it would never be believable.
I don’t mind the betrayal storyline, to be honest, I was expecting it with the whole Lancelot thing, and it didn’t really happened. This is just on par with the legends in general, and even then I’m sure they’ll fix the whole thing before the end.
But I like it. I just do. I like how twisted it is.
Enjoying a narrative, a storyline, wanting to see how it unfolds does not mean you approve of it in more realistic terms. Enjoying zombie fiction, does not mean you want zombies to be real, or approve of every single actions taken within said narrative. Enjoying crime dramas, does not mean you take pleasure in the murders of others, or find it entertaining in real life. Liking a villain in a fictional story, does not mean you condone their actions (i.e. liking Morgana does not mean you think it was right to torture Gwen, or enslave men, or kill, etc.)
Personally, I like villains and antagonists — cruel, or cold, or insane, etc. —- I like morally grey characters that struggle (like Merlin), flawed characters that make the wrong choices, but keep on trying. Brave ones that fail, then succeed. People who rises above the odds, etc. And sometimes I enjoy dark plot-lines, too.
And I like this particular narrative. I like this dark Gwen and the wrongness of her bond with Morgana. I want to know what happened to Morgana too. I want to know how they are going to save Gwen, if they are at all, and how Gwen will cope. I like this darkness. I just enjoy the narrative of it and Morgana and Gwen’s relationship as it spans the five series.