I AM POSTING THIS WHOLE POST BECAUSE IT IS THE BEST POST AND IT MAKES ME SO HAPPY :((((
In case you haven’t heard all about it, Colin Morgan landed the part of Ariel in Shakespeare’s The Tempest and opening night at the Globe was this week. Everyone was excited because Colin + theater = more win than one fanperson is capable of handling on a regular basis but then yesterday shit. hit. the. fan.
Bradley James had been in Los Angeles looking for a job or learning how to surf or soul searching or something (no one is really sure) and had even been spotted this past Saturday by several good Keysmash friends who were out to lunch. (That’s a story for another post…the pictures are AMAZING. I would have thrown my Caesar salad up all over his golden face.) But Tuesday. TUESDAY. Bradley popped up in London AT THE GLOBE. He flew all the way from California to see Colin perform on opening night and thousands of shipper hearts exploded in sparkly pure Brolin love. It was beautiful.
Now, I’m not a huge RPF shipper. I think it’s fun to talk about and I’ll sure as shit read the fic, but I don’t honestly care one way or the other who is banging who in real life. None of my business and I’ve come to learn that shipping real people only ends in heartbreak, obsessive compulsive disorder, and not leaving the house for four days after seeing pictures of one half of the ship out with his or her actual, RL significant other. But I have such a soft spot in my heart for Bradley and Colin that even though I don’t honestly believe anything boyfriendy is going on there, I still can’t help but get all googly eyed over the fact that Bradders went so far out of his way to support his buddy (mate? idk I’m not British enough for this post) like that.
My Merlin friends and I have been discussing everything in an email thread (subject: “Brolin Sex Riot”) and someone made the point that they’re actors. They get new roles all the time. It’s pretty unusual that someone would fly all the way across the country to attend opening night of a play his ex-co-star is in that’s running for several months. If nothing else, clearly they are amazing friends and that makes me really happy.
Of course the squee’ing and flailing is boatloads of fun, but the best part of all this for me is that it’s reinvigorated the Merlin fandom. Since the series ended in December, the fandom has been a bit down on itself. It was a very bittersweet finale for a much-loved series and even a few of the actors seemed to take issue with the way it was handled. I wasn’t sure that anything would ever really spark the fandom into a tizzy again, but I’m so happy that I was wrong! My tumblr dash has been full of set pics from the play, old Merlin edits are making the rounds again, and new edits are popping up all over the place. People are writing again! Twitter has been absolutely mad with talk and speculation. I smile every time I get a new email from someone keysmashing over reviews and articles or rumors involving who was where and with who and what happened and OMG IS THAT A HICKEY?!
It’s fandom at its finest—no drama, epic fellowship and amazing creativity. And it’s proof that fandoms never really “die,” you know?
I’m lucky to be a part of a wonderful group of Merlin fans who are going to be meeting in London in August to see the play and do some Arthurian sight-seeing (and probably a lot of drinking) and I could not be more excited. A few of us were able to spend time together at Comic Con last year and I still can’t believe that we’re going to get a chance to do it again this summer, with an even bigger group of people. We have tickets to sit together for a matinee performance and then most of us have tickets to see it again throughout the week. I’m sure there will be lots of stage door lurking, pub crawling, and me screaming “FOR THE LOVE OF CAMELOT” on top of Welsh hillsides.
It’s been a great week for the Merlin fandom, not just because we’ve had so much excitement and out-of-control-feels, but because I think it’s renewed our faith in our fandom. It’s reminded us that we’re still here, the fandom is never going away, and that our boys are not only working on some really great projects, but still supporting and loving each other.
What a wonderful and timely fandom group hug.