It was once in possession of Merlin, who used its property of showing the truth, whether of past, present or future. The legend in Daventry is that the mirror was first found in a cave beneath the earth, next to the crystal coffin of a great necromancer who was thought to be Merlin himself. Since it was obtained by Daventry, no evil would harm the kingdom since it had the power to foresee the future and events occuring in faraway places, so the King always knew what to expect and was always prepared.
It had served the Kings and Queens of Daventry for over 200-400 years. Unfortunately, the mirror was stolen from King Edward and Queen Maylie by a sorcerer, and the thief hid it in in a cave guarded by a fire-breathing dragon. The sorcerer had approached the couple and had asked for the mirror in payment to help them have kids. However, it was a sham, and the sorcerer got away. King Edward had spent years trying to recover the mirror. Countless people had searched for it both in Daventry and elsewhere. Years, later Edward sent Graham to hunt for the mirror along with the other great treasures of Daventry. Graham was able to reach the dragon by climbing down a well and dousing the dragon's flame. The magic mirror was the first of the three treasures he recovered.
The mirror continued to help Graham and his family, whenever King Graham looked into his magic mirror, he saw visions of adventures yet to come...for him, for his children, and for Daventry, the land he loved so much. Through it Graham saw the spirit of King Edward council him. Graham used the mirror while he was searching for a wife; it was within its mahogany frame that he first saw the image of Valanice, imprisoned in a the Crystal Tower. Alexander also used it to find his true love, Cassima. Genesta also used it to communicate with Rosella.
On the night Alexander was kidnapped, for some bearer of black magic (likely Manannan) had cast a cloud of darkness upon its face... It could provide no answers, not even a clue in finding the lost prince or stopping the Three-headed Dragon that was ravaging the land. After the dragon was slain, the cloud of darkness was lifted from the mirror.
Graham and a Daventry Official saw the oncoming of the cataclysm through the mirror. Connor was able to communicate with Lucreto through the mirror, but it seemed to be largely blackened with swirling dark fog and smoke. Later Graham and the official saw the Kingdom restored through the mirror when they got their forms back.
Features and traitsEdit
The magic mirror is framed with ornately carved mahogany wood and is polished to a high sheen, and is priceless. The wood also appears to be covered in gold gilding. The mirror shimmers with its own magical light.
The mirror has its own personality and voice, and is able to speak (as it did for Graham to tell him about the imprisoned princess Valanice), but sometimes others speak through it. But sometimes it simply shows images and let's the viewer decide what to do with that information (as was the case with image of Cassima and the stars he viewed), or when Connor briefly spied upon Lucreto in the mirror.
The enchanted mirror has the ability to foretell the future to its beholder. It also is said to be able to tell the truth, whether past, present or future.
King Edward and the rulers before him used it mostly to keep Daventry prosperous, to foretell the weather for planting and harvest, or to foretell enemy movements, but King Edward and Queen Maylie did use it at least once to look upon the image of Daventry's next king.
The mirror has appeared with or has had many different frames. Although its unclear if this is part of its magical nature, or if its been modified over time. See Mirror artwork.
While the mirror is probably the most useful of the treasures, its unclear how easy it is to use... and its not known if it willingly shows visions at any time. From the examples we have seen of its use, it seems to activate on its own (or perhaps by outside forces) to show a vision rather than people controlling it directly. The 'mirror wise' can be asked and sometimes it does answer. This is why previous kings and queens of Daventry were able to keep track of the weather using the mirror
However, it also seems to be susceptible to dark magic at which point it either becomes dark or extremely clouded. Users of dark magic have been known to intentionally blacken or cloud the mirror to prevent Daventry's leaders from finding a solution. This has occurred 2-3 times in known history (Alexander's kidnapping until his return, the Floating Castle incident, and during the Cataclysm)
Under normal conditions it acts like a regular clear mirror reflecting the image of the person or persons looking into it.
- During Edward's reign the mirror was kept in the king and queen's chambers.
- During Graham's reign it was kept both in either one of the castle's two throne rooms and the king's chambers.
- With the Shield of Achille there is no need to predict enemy movements as Daventry cannot lose against the armies.
- In the original game, the treasures can be picked up in any order (though Edward suggests the order of Mirror, Shield, and finally Chest). The KQ1 Hintbook following' Edward's ordering, puts it in the order of Mirror, Shield, and Chest. In the remake, the mirror and the chest of gold can be picked up in any order (the shield was the last item to be picked up). The Official Book of King's Quest (3rd Edition) put it in the order of Mirror, Chest, and finally Shield. According to the King's Quest Companion the mirror was the first item he picked up (the Chest of Gold was the last) following the order of Edward's command from the original game.
- The mirror resembles a normal mirror reflecting the viewer and the room behind them when its not in use. However it usually clouds shortly before it gives a vision or prophecy. Evil magic users can also cloud or blacken it to make useless.
- If the rumors are true that Crispin actually is Merlin in disguise, this this mirror once belonged to him.
Behind the scenesEdit
The name, Merlin's Mirror first originated out of official The King's Quest Companion. It was later mentioned in KQVI and VII hintbooks, and King's Questions. It is known as the 'magic mirror' in KQ1 original. In KQ1SCI it is known as the 'Magic Mirror'.
The idea of Merlin's mirror appears in several books (so its not exactly clear what the original source Peter Spear took inspiration from): A few examples include the The Faerie Queen by Edmund Spenser written in 1590s (and is probably one of the earliest sources). In the story a charactter's father has a mirror obtained from Merlin that would show what ever the person desired to see, and show all things truly, including showing the future, past or present. The daughter used it to see her future husband. There is also a sci-fi retelling of the Arthurian legend called Merlin's Mirror by Andre Norton that was written in 1987. She apparently had based the idea off of an older Arthurian reference she had read. In recent years the idea of his mirror has reappeared in T.A. Barron's Lost Mirror of Merlin/The Mirror of Fate (froom 1999/2011).
Sierra's King's Quest I Hintbook places the order of finding the treasures as Mirror, Shield, and then Chest. This is the same order given in the King's Quest Companion's novelization. It's also the same order that Edward tasks Graham to find the treasures
The manual for KQ4 implies that it was Manannan that was the evil wizard who likely cast the spell on the mirror, for he was watching the dragon as it made its journey to Daventry, where it committed the destruction. However, it never states that for certain.
King's Quest: Adventures of Graham seemingly appears to make the Magic Mirror the last treasure Graham recovered, as he says the well was the last place he looked. One argument for making the mirror the last treasure would be that had he found it first, it may have allowed him to find the other two. This is probably the reasoning why it was the first treasure to be stolen from Edward as well, as it likely would have helped him track down the other two. It's also the reason why the mirror is usually 'blacked' out by magic most of the times a major threat approaches Daventry, otherwise they would know how to overcome it. However, simply because the mirror might show clues or details of what is happening, or where something or somebody is located, it does not always interpreted correctly by those viewing it (see Edward assuming the view of Graham in the mirror was actually their own son, which lead to them giving up the treasure in the first place).
However, the mirrors ability to see future and future events does cause some plot holes, such as in the example in KQ1SCI, when it states the newly crowned King Graham used the mirror to view the future, see his future wife, and the children they would have, and his children's adventures. If he had actually forseen all those events, then he would have had the chance to prevent them from happening.
Of course its possible he saw if he didn't let his son be kidnapped, there would have been no one capable of rescuing his kingdom from the Three-Headed Dragon that would appear later on, and rescue his daughter (it might explain that he had no choice but to give the virgin maidens and his daughter to be sacrificed until his son could return). Of course this causes issues with KQ3 in which he clearly didn't know anything about where his son was located, and the mirror was blackened to prevent him from seeing anything that would save the kingdom. For more information, see Dimension#More KQ1 remake questions.
It's abilities are said include showing the past, present and future. In the games and related prologue material, its largely only shown present and future events.
Adventures of GrahamEdit
In King's Quest: Adventures of Graham, see Magic Mirror (KQGS) Graham uses it as a tool to tell the stories of his life to his daughter Gwendolyn (infact it is made to be part of the interface, including his inventory interface). It is kept in his bedroom at this point, as he lays in his bed, feeble and near the end of his life. Note: As one of the elements of the game's story is that Graham might be embellishing his stories, this might contradict the 'never tell a lie' rule of the mirror from the original lore, but the new game is a reimagining, not necessarily maintaining everything from the original universe.
Magic Mirror (unofficial)Edit
- ↑ KQC3E, 239
- ↑ KQC, 3rd Edition, pg
- ↑ KQC, 2nd Edition, pg 487
- ↑ KQC, 2nd Edition 487
- ↑ KQC, 2nd Edition, pg 487
- ↑ Narrator (KQ1SCI): "And thus ended Sir Graham's great quest for the lost treasures of Daventry. Despite the loss of their beloved King Edward, the people of Daventry grew happy and prosperous and flourished for years to come. And whenever King Graham looked into his magic mirror, he saw visions of adventures yet to come...for him, for his children, and for Daventry, the land he loved so much."
- ↑ KQC, 2nd Edition, pg 488
- ↑ KQ4 Manual, pg:Even with its power of prophecy, the Magic Mirror could provide no answers, not even a clue, for some bearer of black magic had cast a cloud of darkness upon its face...
- ↑ Graham (KQ3): "That was once a magic mirror, son. But, on the night you disappeared from your cradle, it clouded up; and has remained that way ever since."
- ↑ The King's Appeal
- ↑ KQC, 2nd Edition, pg 487
- ↑ https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=CpWNAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA340&lpg=PA340&dq=merlin%27s+mirror,+which+shows+all+things+truly&source=bl&ots=y_s1gKsIaM&sig=3xjMUChpvBnLwVln4vxxZs97V9U&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjb58e25vbMAhVBC8AKHYUQDwcQ6AEIHTAA#v=onepage&q=merlin%27s%20mirror%2C%20which%20shows%20all%20things%20truly&f=false
- ↑ http://www.sparknotes.com/poetry/fqueen/section6.rhtml
- ↑ http://d.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/text/interview-with-andre-norton