Although a fictional legend, much confusion and myth still surrounds the Wizard Merlin. This can be attributed to the way the writer included him in the History of the Kings of Britain. The inclusion of Merlin made it seem like he was a real character that also played a big part in Britain’s history and monarchy.
Geoffrey of Monmouth, the writer who has been given most of the credit for the creation of Merlin, did a great job in creating such a classic character. Merlin is portrayed as being a servant of God and a son of the devil. The character came as a result of several historical narrations.
According to one of the legends, Vertigan, a British King, wanted to erect a tower, but to do that he was told he had to sacrifice a child who didn’t have a father. The blood of the child would prevent the tower from crumbling like it had done several times before. Merlin, being the child, convinces Vertigan that the tower doesn’t need human blood because it harbors two dragons who keep fighting, said to be representing the struggle between the invading Saxons and the native Celtic Britons. The only way for it to remain standing is if Merlin becomes in charge of both the tower and the kingdom. Although Geoffrey didn’t talk about Merlin being Arthur’s tutor, the revisions that stem from the original one portrayed him as such. This role has become the most popular one for Merlin in the modern world.
Merlin’s ending has also had different variations with some narrating that he had been enclosed in a tomb and others saying he died in a forest.
The confusion about Merlin being fictional or real has often led to the question “where was Merlin buried?” Some of the possible sites include:
One of the tales about Merlin shows that he was trapped by an enchantress inside a riverbank tree in Drumelzier. This stems from a narration that portrays Merlin as a wild being that was converted to Christianity through baptism by Saint Kentigern. It is believed that Merlin predicted the three deaths he would succumb to, and the prophesy came true. It is a large area that covers various settlements such as Stanhope and Wrae among others. The Drumelzier castle is located close to the Tweed River and Tinnis castle is also close by. It has many geographical sites that have become major tourist attractions.
This forest is believed to harbor Merlin’s tomb since it has many spots that were used in the Arthurian legend. The forest doesn’t just play an important historical role but it also adds great value to Brittany where it is located. It remains one of the denser forests that is under royal protection. This is because it has been one of the most coveted places for construction.
Also known as Merlin’s fort, this site has been under scrutiny as the burial site for a long time. It is one of the oldest cities in Wales and it is believed that one of the caves there served as Merlin’s birthplace. It is also believed that there is a tree named Merlin’s oak where Merlin was entrapped.
A prophecy states that when this tree falls, it will cause destruction in all of Carmarthen. When Merlin’s Oak shall tumble down, then shall fall Carmarthen Town. The town, however, remains a rich town that has many resources and rejuvanted sites such as parks and other tourist attraction sites such as the Carmarthen castle.
Another theory is that Merlin was buried in Marlborough mound in Wiltshire. The site, which lies in Marlborough college has been a source of speculation with many wondering if it truly was the burial site of Merlin. The speculation led to research being done to specify how long it has been in existence. It is believed to be over 4000 years old making it a great historical asset. It is still under study and more is expected to unravel as the Marlborough college history students continue to explore the site.
Modern depictions of Merlin in poems, plays, and novels has continued to vary with some depicting him as a villain while others showing him to be playful or appear as a cameo.
He remains the most talked-about Arthurian character, even though his existence is still shrouded in mystery. While every writer wants to give a direction towards where Merlin was buried, no one has provided evidence to support their claims. Each location above has a root in some narration and even though they don’t have evidence linking them to Merlin, they are still amazing historical treasures.