Merthur meta (sort of)
I feel like, in the end, the creators came out with Merlin and Arthur being in love in a way that was like, “Yeah, they’re in love, but we’re not gonna shove it in people’s faces.”
When Julian Murphy said, “well he’s dying, the man he loves is dying, so he’s holding him,” why would Katie go, “you maybe just confirmed what a lot of people thought”? Confirmed what? That Arthur loved Merlin? If she meant it in a platonic way, basically everyone already knew that. There didn’t need to be any "confirming"!!!!
Okay then, what about romantic love? Now if you think of it that way, suddenly the conversation makes a lot more sense. This is why I firmly believe Julian and Katie were talking about romantic love in that commentary, and why Merthur truly is canon, regardless of whether anyone thinks they “queerbaited” us or not.
That also explains why the BBC did this:
"There’s much to recommend about this… but it’s the droll, sweet love story between Merlin and Arthur that compels…"
Like literally, why would they call it a love story in the summary?!?! Can you just imagine if someone didn’t know anything about “Merlin” and they saw this at the store? They’d automatically assume it was a canon gay pairing (I know I would!) Again, this feels like the creators coming out and saying, “Yup guys, they’re in love, but we’re gonna be subtle about this.” Literally, anyone could’ve picked up that boxed set and then would assume that Merlin and Arthur were gay. But did the BBC care? Nope, because they’ve already told us Merlin and Arthur were in love. There’s no more denying it. They didn’t deny it.
Who cares if in the end Merthur didn’t get a kiss, or declared their undying love for each other outright? It’s basically been confirmed (indirectly and subtly but confirmed all the less) that Merlin and Arthur would have worked out their love for each other in their next life. Having been told that they were, in fact, in love, could we actually expect any less? We all know they’ll meet again, and Merlin would have had a thousand freaking years to process exactly how he felt about Arthur. The creators gave that to us as a last parting gift, so I think we should embrace it. It’s the last thing we’ll ever get from them, and it’s huge. The only question now is, which one of the modern day fanfics actually happened to them? ;)
In conclusion: MERTHUR IS FUCKING CANON, BITCHES!