Thursday, February 4, 2010


The aged Merlin waits deep in a rock for the right time to return. He carries with the secret of Nimue.
Merlin…but one version…
…Merlin thereafter became enamoured with Nimue, a young Lady of the Lake, and a beautiful maiden.  Merlin became so love-struck by her that he followed her to Benwick in France, forsaking King Arthur at the Battle of Humber (In which the High King was almost killed in a night ambush, saved only by his personal bodyguards).  During Merlin’s trip to Benwick, Merlin told Queen Elaine of Benwick that her son Lancelot would grow to become a great knight.  He also told her she’d survive to see him revenge the Ganis clan against King Claudas.

Merlin also took the time to teach Nimue magic, and showed her many great wonders around the Logres.  Nimue was glad for the instruction, but increasingly couldn’t stand Merlin’s overt lechery.  She was a beautiful maiden in her teens; he was in his sixties.  She was also afraid that he was a demon’s son.  Because of this, she paid particular attention when Merlin showed her a great stone in Cornwall that hid a mysterious and great wonder underneath it.  She let him go underneath the stone to show her more, then caused the stone to trap Merlin beneath it.  No matter what Merlin tried, he could not get out from beneath it.  And Nimue did not not wish to let him out either.

Nimue left Merlin trapped and all-but forgotten.  She eventually fell in love with and married Sir Pelleas, and little more was said of Merlin for a long while.  Yet others came across Merlin’s stone prison years later, including King Bagdemagus and Sir Gawaine.  Bagdemagus found him after Tor was chosen to the Round Table instead of him.  He had ridden out in search of adventure (to make him more famous and thereby a better candidate) when he encountered Merlin.  He tried to lift the stone, but to no avail.  Merlin told him to stop trying because only Nimue could free him.  A few years later, the encounter repeated itself with Gawaine.  Merlin bid Gawine carry his blessings to Arthur and Guenever, for he predicted no one would ever speak to him again.  No one knows whether anyone else before or since encountered Merlin or what activities he undertook during his imprisonment.  Near thirty years later, the candles at King Lot’s tomb went out as predicted, at the exact time when Galahad took the Siege Perilous.

There are some who say that Merlin did not die, but Nimue finally came back to take Merlin away, just as she did later for Arthur.  If such was the case, perhaps she reunited the High King with Merlin at Avalon.  Others say he was rescued from beneath the stone during the Grail Quest by Percival or perhaps Galahad himself.  But since neither of these knights returned from their Quest, no one will ever know for sure until they meet these noble knights, or the great magician himself, sometime in the hereafter…

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