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What elements of Arthurian Legend are adopted in Harry Potter?

I'm trying to provide a decent answer, but the question got closed under my nose so I can't post it... :(

I don't mind locking and/or protecting it to prevent random spam, but please re-open.

I posted my proposed answer below.

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    It's a good answer DVK, to a bad question. And you've got more than enough rep that we're not doing you wrong by putting in an obstacle to this one. – John O Apr 1 '13 at 15:26
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    @JohnO: That's not the point. Hindering people from answering (which yes, happened to me too a couple times) is just not a productive thing to do on a Q/A site. – bitmask Apr 1 '13 at 15:33
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    @JohnO - if you're admitting that your answer or train of thought would be different if the same ideas came from lower rep user, you are clearly violating the spirit of StackExchange. You should consider merits of posts, not users. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Apr 1 '13 at 15:36
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    @DVK Somewhere out there, is a beautifully-written and clever response to every question, even those rightfully closed as spam. We shouldn't keep such questions open though, just because someone was about to post one of those answers. As to whether I might be more lenient on a low-rep user, I can't say with certainty. Someone can smack me on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper though if I do it and it seems warranted. Is that good enough? – John O Apr 1 '13 at 15:44
  • @bitmask Are you seriously advocating never closing any questions? – user1027 Apr 1 '13 at 15:50
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    @Keen: I'm not. I'm advocating closing borderline questions too quickly. – bitmask Apr 1 '13 at 15:53
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    @bitmask This question as originally posted was asking something weird, along the lines of: Since "Merlin" was in both the BBC's Merlin and Harry Potter, did knights fight dragons historically in Harry Potter, like they did in Merlin? (I'd've VTC'd as Not Constructive, but was hurrying to work and had posted a comment to try and get the OP to clean it up) – Izkata Apr 2 '13 at 1:59
  • @DVK in my opinion, and from my experience requests to reopen questions are best served by stating what in the question makes it worthwhile to the Q&A community. A good, heck, even a great answer cannot redeem a bad question, and if you think your answer clarifies the question, an edit would probably be better. – AncientSwordRage Apr 2 '13 at 6:30
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    @Pureferret - "A good, heck, even a great answer cannot redeem a bad question" - tell that to people on SE podcast. The repeatedly stated otherwise (re: SO) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Apr 2 '13 at 14:23
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    Ok, perhaps I should restate it as "A good, heck, even a great answer cannot be a reason to reopen a bad question, without first editing the question." You can get good/worthwhile answers to some bad answers, but, especially in this case, without editing the question you're often answering the question 'as inferred' not 'as written'. – AncientSwordRage Apr 2 '13 at 14:44
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The question's been edited to be about Harry Potter's Merlin compared to the Arthurian Legend Merlin. It is now reopened.

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It has previously been discussed in the infamous "Timelord" thread here, cross universe posts are only valid if there is a reason to suspect they are in the same universe. A specific example was mentioned of crossing Twilight Werewolfs with Harry Potter Werewolfs, they don't have anything in common, there is no reason to suspect they do, and should just be banned.

As to the specific question mentioned, there is absolutely no reason to suspect that a Harry Potter Merlin has anything to do with the Merlin from the myth. You yourself in your answer came to that same conclusion, although it was somewhat elegantly put. Merlin has a hundred different stories, and one cannot suspect that all of them are connected together. In the case where a character commonly used in mythology is adopted by a specific universe in a way that is different, it makes no sense to directly compare that character to the entire history of the subject.

However, there is some good material in this question. I've decided to edit it, and re-open it, based off of a more realistic question. See the question for my edit.

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    The question was asking if the Harry Potter Merlin was related to the UK TV series Merlin. The details the body of the question had were references to the Merlin TV series. – user1027 Apr 1 '13 at 15:48
  • Great edit Sir (even if it renders my beautiful answer mostly moot :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Apr 1 '13 at 16:15
  • @DVK: Have to make you have a bit of fun, re-writing your answer;-) – PearsonArtPhoto Apr 2 '13 at 0:47
  • @PearsonArtPhoto - LOL... it's not the effort to rewrite, its the loss of nice wording that is now... not applicable. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Apr 2 '13 at 0:49
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Does this mean that talking dragons and the former rivalry between wizards and knights used to exist in the potterverse?

No, you can not make that assumption based on shared Merlin.

Potterverse and Merlin-TV-show-verse are not the same. Why?


  1. Merlin is a common mythological/fictional character, and is "free to use", since there is no copyright on him due to centuries-old works introducing him.

    As such, any work of fiction can include Merlin as a character or part of the universe, independently of each other.

    Merely the fact that Merlin exists in two works of fiction does NOT make them identical universes - absent specific proof - it merely implies that they both happen on Earth, on which a person (wizard or Magician) named Merlin existed.

    • Wikipedia lists tons of works that mention Merlin

    • So does TVTropes.

    • Or, if you truly wish to have a comprehensive look at Arthuriana in fiction, for a slightly more extensive list, we have 126-page-long "The Arturian Legend in Literature" book (by Keith Busby, Roger Dalrympl), now on 22d volume.


  2. This means that for the universe to be shared, it must be explicitly be stated to be shared by two creators, (as opposed to merely including common elements of Arthuriana).

    Is that the case? No. As per 100% of what JKR ever stated in her interviews/FAQs/web sites/podcasts (I searched), she never mentioned that there are any tie-ins with the show.

    Neither does Merlin Wiki page, nor any page of BBC's Merlin site that I ever saw mention JKR/Potterverse.

    Neither are there any fictional-detail tie-ins aside from Arthuriana (which as we established in #1, is not enough to establish a common Universe).


  3. So... what about the original question?

    Does this mean that talking dragons and the former rivalry between wizards and knights used to exist in the potterverse?

    • As per established asnswer on SFF (" Were there any talking dragons in Harry Potter world? ") , there seems to be NO canon information indicating that Potterverse dragons can talk.

    • There definitely WAS a rivalry between wizards and muggles (knights included), which was a common feature of Medieval Eath history. A canon example of such was Sir Nick being nearly-beheaded, which was surely NOT the work of a peasant.

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I agree with Keen's comment on the original question. Just because you composed a good answer does not make the question valid (and a good portion of your answer is devoted to why the question is based off of some fairly broad logical leaps).

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  • @Beoffey - you gotta ask your self one question... is the internet better off WITH my asnwer, or not? If the former, the question should be reopened to allow that answer. You can close it later :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Apr 1 '13 at 15:20
  • BTW, that comment wasn't my personal theory - there were MANY instances on SE podcast where Joel very explicitly justified formerly posted crappy-by-now-standards questions (some very similar in nature to this one) as being worth existing merely because they generated good answers. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Apr 1 '13 at 15:21
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    @DVK Despite your answer being thorough, no, I do not feel the internet is better off with your answer, simply because I can't imagine anyone stumbling across that question and being interested enough to read your answer. – Beofett Apr 1 '13 at 15:22
  • If I was interested enough to WRITE it after reading the Q, that seems enough of assurance that at least someone would be interested in reading it, eh? – DVK-on-Ahch-To Apr 1 '13 at 15:29
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    @DVK I think PearsonArtPhoto has hit it right on the head: instead of (or in addition to) composing an answer, editing to improve the question was a better choice. – Beofett Apr 1 '13 at 16:13

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