What’s in a name?

Well, more specifically what’s in the name of the little village, Ealdor, that Merlin comes from in the BBC TV Series?


Quite a lot actually if you happen to type it into the Old English to English translator and press go:

ealdor Strong Masculine Nounelder parent head of a family author source pl ancestors civil or religious authority an elder chief governor leader master lord prince king source a primitive that from which something is derived
ealdor Singular Plural
Nominative
(the/that se) ealdor (the/those þá) ealdoras
Accusative
(the/that þone) ealdor (the/those þá) ealdoras
Genitive
(the/that þæs) ealdores (the/those þára) ealdora
Dative
(the/that þæm) ealdore (the/those þæm) ealdorum
ealdor Strong Neuter Noun(f?) 2 life the vital parts of the body 2 age old age eternity on ealdre tó ealdre for ever always áwa tó ealdre tó wídan ealdre for ever and ever these expressions are used not only with regard to the duration of life but also in general for an unlimited period of time independently or with the addition of á áwa etc.
ealdor Singular Plural
Nominative
(the/that þæt) ealdor (the/those þá) ealdor
Accusative
(the/that þæt) ealdor (the/those þá) ealdor
Genitive
(the/that þæs) ealdores (the/those þára) ealdora
Dative
(the/that þæm) ealdore (the/those þæm) ealdorum

I have to say that these made my skin tingle when I read them, given the myths about Merlin and the way his early years are portrayed in the show. Is it simply coincidence that the writers picked the word or did they deliberately search for one with such meanings? If it was deliberate it suggests a level of research that is not apparent in other parts of the show – potatoes in medieval times anyone?.

I’d love to know your thoughts on the ‘coincidence’ and if you’ve found any other such obscure but fitting things in the show.

4 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. “Merlin” is loaded with symbolic meanings – one thing is the old english which I believe to be intentional, the writers have had help from experts on old english. There are loads of other symbolic / spiritual meanings and parallels that I'm not always sure is intentional. The viewers receive that from the show which they need to see, I believe. To me, the “two sides of the coin” (Merlin/Arthur) represents the masculine / feminine side in all of us. The outer mundane side and the inner spiritual side. The two have to find a balance where one of them doesn't need to be “hidden”, that is the way we evolve as humans and as spiritual beings. Only when the outer strength and the inner heart is combined can the “kingdom of Albion” emerge. When spirit and matter is combined, soul and personality. So – only when “magic is allowed”.. when the spirit is set free to flow into matter and into the actions of the personality, the “new kingdom” will be created. The struggle and development is taking place, often through the process of loss, within both Merlin (developing his skill to use his powers and “magic” for good) and Arthur (combining his strength with his heart). And it is represented in the relationship between Merlin (magic/spirit) and Arthur (matter/personality) (Merlin/”magic”/spirit as the catalyst for the process in Arthur). I often wonder if that is the deeper reason why so many people want the two of them to get together.. In a symbolic sense that is the deeper meaning of it, and it could take form as a physical union, though it is not necessary for the process to take place.

    There are loads more.. so go on exploring 🙂
    Best regards

    spiritofmerlin (on twitter)

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  2. And of course: Merlins name “Emrys” means “immortal”.. the immortal part of us: Spirit.
    In general in the series.. – if “magic” is replaced by “spiritual”, a lot of the deeper meaning of the story reveals itself.

    Spiritofmerlin

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  3. Merlin is on over there, Series 4 has just started I think and you should be able to get the rest on Netflix if you use that surface. As for that 'cable channel series' it made it's way over here – I agree with the … my thoughts on the cast are probably better left unsaid.

    I'm glad you're enjoying these titbits – I find the old languages so interesting and I enjoy sharing the random things I find XD

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