Lord Agravaine de Bois was the older brother of Ygraine, the younger brother of Tristan de Bois, and the brother-in-law of Uther Pendragon. He was also the maternal uncle of Arthur Pendragon. When Ygraine and Tristan died, Agravaine blamed Uther for their deaths and formed an alliance with Morgana to bring Camelot's downfall whilst playing the role of a trusted adviser to Arthur. He later helped Morgana to overthrow Camelot again but was eventually killed by Merlin who had been thwarting both his and Morgana's plans. After his death, Arthur, with Merlin's help, recaptured Camelot from Morgana. It was also after his death that he became the uncle-in-law of Queen Guinevere of Camelot through his nephew's marriage.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Early Life
- 1.2 The Darkest Hour
- 1.3 Plotting Against Guinevere
- 1.4 Uther's Demise
- 1.5 The Stolen Triskelion
- 1.6 Plotting Against Arthur
- 1.7 Capturing Merlin
- 1.8 Kidnapping Gaius
- 1.9 The Lamia
- 1.10 Lancelot's Return
- 1.11 The Troubled Spirit
- 1.12 The Siege Tunnels
- 1.13 The Overthrowal of Camelot
- 1.14 Discovering Emrys and Death
- 2 Personality
- 3 Relationships
- 4 Abilities
- 5 In the Legend
- 6 Near-Death Experiences
- 7 Trivia
- 8 Gallery
Agravaine was the brother of Tristan de Bois and Queen Ygraine, King Uther's wife. His sister died after Uther went to the sorceress Nimueh and made her use magic to conceive a child, Arthur. The price for conceiving a child using magic was her own life. One of the reasons he allied with Morgana was most likely because of her death and the fact that Arthur was the result of her death. His other sibling, a brother called Tristan was also angry at his sister's death and was killed by Uther when he tried to avenge her. Having lost two siblings, Agravaine hated both Uther and Arthur and probably believed that they had no right to rule Camelot. Agravaine sided with Morgana many years later to probably take his revenge on them and to assist her in taking the throne.
The Darkest Hour
Agravaine arrived in Camelot when Uther's capacity to rule was utterly broken by Morgana's betrayal. There, he became a valued adviser to Arthur during his time of need when great responsibilities now fell to the young prince. After a year had passed, Arthur had complete trust in Agravaine and was grateful for his uncle's advice and input.
However, Arthur was unaware that Agravaine was secretly in league with Morgana. After Arthur rode out to the Isle of the Blessed to seal the veil with his own life, Agravaine rode out to a small forest hut where Morgana was revealed to be waiting for him. He reported that Camelot was on its knees and that Arthur intended to repair the veil by sacrificing himself. When Morgana mentioned Emrys, unaware that he was Merlin, Agravaine assured her that their plans would go as intended and that she would be able to re-establish herself back onto Camelot's throne once again as its 'rightful heir' (The Darkest Hour).
Plotting Against Guinevere
Gwen then immediately stepped in and persuaded Agravaine to reopen the gate to which he reluctantly agreed. Agravaine met Morgana, telling her about Gwen. Morgana then planned to kill her to prevent her vision of Gwen becoming Queen from coming true. Agravaine diverted Gwen's attention while Morgana entered Camelot through a secret tunnel. Morgana knocked Gwen unconscious but Gaius later found Gwen. Meanwhile the Dorocha were defeated when Lancelot sacrificed himself to heal the veil. Morgana was enraged her plans failed and told Agravaine of her belief Emrys thwarted them. Morgana told Agravaine to help her find Emrys and kill him. Agravaine went to Gaius's chambers and asked Gaius if he knew Emrys but Gaius pretended he didn't know (The Darkest Hour).
When Uther was fatally injured by the Gleeman, whose intention was to kill Arthur. Arthur then resorted to magic to heal his father. When Agravaine learned of this, he rushed to inform Morgana, who gave him a necklace that will reverse any healing spell used on its wearer and then magnify it tenfold.
After planting the necklace around Uther's neck, Agravaine coldly told the unconscious Uther that he would finally get what he deserved but did not mention any reason. Naturally, because of the necklace, Uther was killed. Arthur then blamed the sorcerer (who was actually Merlin in disguise) for his father's death. He then vowed to always despise magic, saying that he "lost both his parents to magic". Meanwhile, Agravaine went to tell Morgana that Uther was dead but she told him that she already knew as she felt him die. Agravaine later watched as Arthur was crowned King of Camelot (The Wicked Day).
The Stolen Triskelion
When Julius Borden (with the help of Merlin) broke into the vaults of Camelot to steal a part of a Triskelion, Agravaine helped Arthur investigate this event. Agravaine suggested, due to no tampering of the front gate, that the offender used a key (Aithusa).
Plotting Against Arthur
Following the death of Uther, Caerleon began raiding Camelot. During one of these raids, he was eventually led into a trap and captured by Arthur and his men. Following Agravaine's advice, Arthur tried to force him to sign a treaty. He refused, and Arthur ordered him killed. His body was returned to his kingdom. This event led to the brief war between Camelot and his land, led by Caerleon's wife Queen Annis.
After Agravaine told Arthur that he cannot be seen with Guinevere and deemed her inappropriate, Arthur sneaked out on the night before he left for the battle to see her and tell her that their relationship must end.
A heartbroken Gwen told Arthur to listen to his heart in order to become the king he really wants to be. Agravaine later gave Arthur's sword to Morgana and she enchanted it to make it too heavy for Arthur to carry. However, despite the fact that Arthur's sword was heavy, their plan to kill him failed when Merlin used magic to help Arthur defeat Derían but the champion was spared to make peace with Annis (His Father's Son).
Agravaine later captured Merlin after he got injured by a soldier. When he brought the unconscious Merlin to Morgana, he wanted to kill him. Morgana stopped him, saying Merlin will be useful as he could kill Arthur while under her control. Morgana then enchanted Merlin to kill Arthur by putting a Fomorroh snake inside Merlin's neck. However, Gaius and Gwen noticed Merlin's strange behaviour and thwarted Merlin's attempts to kill Arthur by knocking Merlin unconscious and paralysing the snake. Merlin, disguised as Emrys, travelled to Morgana's to find the mother snake and while there engaged Morgana in a magical duel and defeated her. Morgana's defeat allowed old Merlin to destroy the Fomorroh. Afterwards Agravaine found Morgana lying unconscious in the woods and carried her to safety (A Servant of Two Masters).
Morgana recovered inside her hut from her duel with the disguised Merlin. After telling Agravaine that Emrys attacked her and that he destroyed the Fomorroh, Agravaine told her that someone was telling Emrys everything about them. He suspected that it was Gaius as he was the only one in Camelot who knew of the Fomorroh. Determined to learn who Emrys is, Morgana went in search of Alator of the Catha, a priest and warrior. In the meantime, Agravaine persuaded Arthur that Gaius was the traitor in Camelot. Taking Agravaine's advice, Arthur questioned Gaius and his views of magic but when Gaius told them nothing they let him go. Morgana found Alator and asked him to abduct Gaius in exchange for her healing bracelet. Alator accepted and abducted Gaius from his chambers with the help of Agravaine. Agravaine then placed evidences of Gaius's supposed betrayal in his room to prove Gaius' motives to the King. In the morning Agravaine told Arthur that Gaius was last seen running away and many of his possessions are gone. Merlin immediately suspected Agravaine and informed Arthur of his suspicions but Arthur refused to listen. Merlin later found evidence in Agravaine's chambers as to where Gaius is, so he and Gwaine rode out to rescue to Gaius.
Agravaine rode out and warned Morgana that Merlin was on to them. Morgana and Agravaine arrive and Morgana told Agravaine to kill Gaius while she dealt with Merlin and Gwaine. Gwaine found Agravaine about to kill Gaius. However Agravaine lied, saying he was saving him, and the two hurried back to Camelot with the unconscious Gaius. After Merlin, Gwaine and Agravaine returned to Camelot with Gaius, Agravaine told Arthur that he misjudged Gaius and that they owe both him and Merlin an apology for suspecting him (The Secret Sharer).
When a Lamia was tormenting villages within Camelot. Merlin, Gwen, and the knights went to their aid. But they were soon woed by the Lamia herself headed towards "her castle". Arthur, Agravaine, Gaius, and several others went to help rescue them. However Agravaine, instead of helping, was deliberately covering their tracks in hope that Arthur would call off the mission. But eventually, they were found and the Lamia was slain (Lamia).
When Agravaine learned that Arthur planned to marry Gwen, he told Morgana who then raised a shade of Lancelot from the dead. Morgana and Agravaine then encouraged Lancelot, who was under Morgana's control, to make Gwen fall in love with him again with help of an enchanted bracelet. Lancelot succeeded in making Gwen fall in love with him and when Arthur caught them kissing, he had them locked up in the dungeons after a fierce battle with Lancelot. After Arthur banished Gwen from Camelot, Agravaine gave an order to Lancelot from Morgana so that he would kill himself (Lancelot du Lac).
The Troubled Spirit
When Elyan was possessed by a Shrine Boy, he made several attempt to kill Arthur. Agravaine urged the knights to slay Elyan when they found him, however, they spared him and threw him in prison. Agravaine was pushing Arthur to execute Elyan, but before Arthur could make judgement, Merlin helped Elyan escape. Soon after, Elyan was freed of the spirit (A Herald of the New Age).
The Siege Tunnels
Agravaine was later ordered by Morgana, who had now formed an alliance with Helios, to get a map of Camelot's siege tunnels so that they would attack Camelot. Agravaine had a young man called Eoghan, the mapmaker's apprentice, to do the task for him; however, the man failed and Agravaine murdered him, forcing him to do it himself. Agravaine succeeded in getting the plans himself and gave them to Morgana who then made a magical copy of the plans to prevent Arthur from realising they had been taken (The Hunter's Heart).
The Overthrowal of Camelot
After Agravaine gave the map to Morgana, it was now time for them to overthrow Camelot. Agravaine had the important task of giving the signal to Morgana's army and opening the main gates of Camelot for the attackers. Agravaine, with Morgana, Helios and Morgana's army marched through to the castle. The Knights of Camelot were forced to flee or to surrender. When Merlin and Arthur were escaping, Arthur finally discovered that Agravaine was the traitor and was filled with rage and promised Agravaine would pay. The following morning, the whole of Camelot was now under Morgana's rule. Morgana was prepared to do anything to break the citizens' morale, even things that Agravaine didn't personally agree with.
After Morgana tortured Elyan for information on Arthur's whereabouts, Agravaine was tasked to find and capture Arthur. Agravaine knew that if failed this time he would surely be at Morgana's mercy, so this spurred him on to capture Arthur. He managed to pick up the trail of Arthur very quickly and had managed to track Arthur and Merlin to Merlin's home, Ealdor. Agravaine and his large army surrounded and assaulted Ealdor, determined to capture Arthur. Arthur and Merlin managed to escape the town but Agravaine spotted them and chased them into the forest (The Sword in the Stone).
Discovering Emrys and Death
Agravaine and his men tracked Arthur and his friends as they fled Ealdor, and so Merlin summoned the dragon Kilgharrah to wipe out Agravaine's army. However, Agravaine survived and followed Arthur's party into a cave, which prompted Merlin to go back and intercept Agravaine to keep him away from Arthur. Agravaine cornered Merlin in the cavern and Agravaine threatened to kill him, resulting in Merlin using magic to throw Agravaine and his men back.
Agravaine realised Merlin possessed magic and worked out Merlin was Emrys, and was the one responsible for his and Morgana's repeated failures. Laughing incredulously at Merlin's continued and flawless deception of Arthur, Agravaine commented he and Merlin were not so different and extended a hand to him, but Merlin rejected Agravaine's outstretched hand. In response, Agravaine attempted to kill Merlin, but Merlin magically threw Agravaine against the rocks, breaking his neck, and killing him (The Sword in the Stone).
Agravaine was shown to be manipulative, bitter, vengeful, intelligent and treacherous. He could also appear warm and friendly, able to hide his true nature from everyone in Camelot apart from Merlin and Gaius, just as Morgana had done in her last years in Camelot. Agravaine was vehemently against both Uther and Arthur, probably blaming the former for the deaths of both his siblings and the latter for Ygraine's death when he was born. Agravaine's bitterness towards Uther and Arthur caused him to join Morgana when she turned against them, seeking to take his revenge and to help her take over Camelot, believing she would be a better ruler than Arthur and Uther. In addition to his Machiavellian nature, Agravaine was also sharp and quick-witted, able to lie his way out of several dangerous situations where his true loyalties were almost exposed, such as lying to Gwaine to prevent being accused of trying to kill Gaius and convincing Arthur he was not the traitor in Camelot.
Despite his darker nature, Agravaine appeared capable of genuine emotional attachment. Although it is unknown how close Agravaine and his siblings were, his grief over their deaths presumably caused him to turn against Camelot. Agravaine seemed unaware his attempts to kill Arthur dishonoured his sister's memory. He was consistently loyal to Morgana and seemed to care for her. Upon finding her unconscious in the woods after her duel with Merlin, he took her to safety and watched over her while she recovered. He also professed his deep loyalty for her despite her frequently-shown lack of affection for him and her repeated threats against him. Agravaine was also less willing to cause innocent people to suffer, evidently uncomfortable with Elyan's torture and hesitant to carry out the order Morgana gave for the people's crops to be burned. Despite this, he ordered the castle's gates closed when the Dorocha attacked Camelot, willing to leave Camelot's people outside and sacrifice them to the Dorocha. In this case, however, Guinevere believed his actions were done out of fear rather than indifference to the people's well-being.
Agravaine was fervently loyal to Morgana and wanted to help her achieve her goal to become Queen of Camelot. He constantly met with her to make plans to destroy Uther and Arthur and was her primary source of information for the inner workings of Camelot. Agravaine offered Morgana assistance, friendship and comfort, despite his sentiments being largely unreciprocated. He was shown to care a great deal about her, displaying serious concern for her when he found her unconscious and constantly assuring her of his loyalty. Their relationship was distinctly unequal since Morgana was evidently more dominant, treating Agravaine much as she would a servant. He was unwilling to protest this and accepted her harsh treatment, remaining unfailingly loyal to her even when she insulted him and threatened him with torture. Agravaine claimed to be her only true ally and warned her of trusting anyone else. Morgana appeared to acknowledge this and expressed her gratitude for his loyalty. Morgana trusted him to a certain extent as she placed the burden of thwarting Arthur on his shoulders.
The two sometimes parodied a formal, courtly relationship with Morgana, at times referring to Agravaine as "my Lord" while he called her "my Lady". Nonetheless, though Agravaine seemed to genuinely care for Morgana, he received very little affection on her part. It is revealed in a deleted scene that Agravaine professed his love to Morgana, yet she rejected him. However, when Morgana asked Helios about Agravaine's well-being and discovered his death, she was visibly distressed, either due to grief or fear of Emrys.
Agravaine despised Uther Pendragon. It is assumed that he blamed Uther for the deaths of both Ygraine and Tristan. Agravaine formed an alliance with Morgana many years later to take his revenge on Uther. He eventually indirectly killed him by planting an enchanted necklace around his neck to repel healing spells when he was mortally wounded. Just before he left Uther to die from the enchantment he sarcastically called Uther "old friend" which could possibly imply that he was once friends with Uther before Ygraine and Tristan died. However, the reasons for his hate still remain unknown.
Agravaine initially seemed to be loyal to Arthur but was actually working to have him killed as he wanted Morgana to rule Camelot instead. It is presumed the reason he wanted Arthur dead was because he partly blamed him for the death of Ygraine as his birth caused her death. As a part of his plans in bringing Arthur's downfall, he tried to manipulate Arthur to Arthur's disadvantage, despite failing to have him killed. Arthur, on the other hand, trusted Agravaine greatly and valued his advice.
Arthur began to suspect Agravaine when he was ambushed in the woods, but Agravaine deflected his suspicions to Gaius. Agravaine said he could not bear to betray Arthur as Arthur was the only thing Agravaine has belonging to Ygraine. However, this was a lie as he still plotted against Arthur and did not care - or perhaps did not realise - that in doing so, he betrayed not only Arthur but Ygraine as well.
Arthur finally discovered Agravaine's treachery when Morgana captured Camelot for the second time. Arthur was shocked and angered by this discovery, but Merlin stopped him before he could attack his uncle. Arthur later lamented over his uncle's betrayal, saying he had been a fool to trust Agravaine the way he trusted Morgana. Although he learned of Agravaine's treachery, Arthur never confronted his uncle directly and remained unaware of Agravaine's eventual death at the hands of Merlin.
Agravaine most likely had a close relationship with his sister Ygraine as her death might have been the main reason why he plotted against Uther and Arthur. He stated that he had promised Ygraine to stay by Arthur's side, but due to his loyalty to Morgana, this was either a lie or a broken promise. It is possible that his resentment towards Arthur may have blinded him to the fact that he was actually dishonouring Ygraine's memory.
Tristan de Bois
Agravaine was Tristan's brother. Tristan blamed Uther for Ygraine's death and attempted to have him killed. After Tristan was killed by Uther in a combat to the death, Agravaine joined Morgana many years later and with her help, caused Uther's death which Tristan couldn't do, probably granting his wish and avenging Tristan's death.
Agravaine never cared about Gaius. He helped Morgana use him to discover Emrys' identity. He was willing to murder Gaius to prevent the information Gaius possessed from getting into the wrong hands. However he managed to fool Gwaine into thinking that he was merely helping Gaius and helped Gwaine bring Gaius back to Camelot in order to keep his true nature hidden. Gaius, along with Merlin and Gwen, was one of the only people who were aware of Agravaine's true nature as he suspected Agravaine when he had the gate to Camelot closed and when Agravaine asked him about Emrys. However, until his true nature was finally revealed, Gaius told Merlin that they could not tell Arthur about Agravaine's treachery as he trusted his uncle greatly.
Although Agravaine did not have much interaction with Merlin, he trusted him on one occasion to give a dagger to Arthur as a gift mainly to get Merlin out of the way so Gaius could be kidnapped (The Secret Sharer). He cared little for Merlin as he attempted to kill him when he was captured on an earlier occasion. This time he was stopped by Morgana who wanted to use Merlin as a pawn to kill Arthur (A Servant of Two Masters). Agravaine always helped Morgana to find the unknown sorcerer Emrys but was unaware Emrys was Merlin. Merlin was aware of Agravaine's true nature after he overheard Agravaine asking Gaius about Emrys, however, as Arthur trusted Agravaine, he was unable to tell Arthur his uncle's true nature as he lacked proof (The Darkest Hour: Part Two). After Morgana overthrew Camelot, Agravaine discovered Merlin possessed magical abilities, which led Agravaine to realize Merlin was Emrys (The Sword in the Stone: Part Two). After discovering this, Agravaine attempted to manipulate Merlin to join him, then tried to kill Merlin with a knife, but Merlin stopped his attack and killed Agravaine in return.
Although he never openly displayed his abilities in combat, it can be assumed Agravaine was skilled with a sword as he carried a sword and dagger. Agravaine skillfully killed a man who had betrayed his orders, by stabbing him across the stomach, before he could even react, with ease, then as the man bent over and clenched his stomach, Agravaine knocked him out with a single blow, which let the man die slowly from the fatal stab. He was even confident that he can defeat Elyan, who was an elite knight of Camelot, however neither managed to get to the fight, as Morgana disabled Elyan before they could fight. He also attempted to kill Merlin, throwing a knife accurately towards him, which Merlin only survived due to his magic.
Agravaine possesses no kind of magical ability, although it was revealed he keeps books about sorcery in a locked chest underneath his bed, and his alliance with Morgana showed he was willing to work with sorcerers even if he did not show any talent in this field himself, implying he has enough knowledge to be confident that he can deal with Morgana should she betray him. Agravaine was resilient; when Merlin attacked him and his men with magic, Agravaine was the only survivor and recovered remarkably quickly, although Merlin's next magical attack killed him.
Agravaine is also a very good actor; he had fooled (almost) everyone into thinking he supported Arthur until his true identity was revealed when the Southrons took over Camelot. Like Morgana the previous year, all but Gaius and Merlin are oblivious to Agravaine's behaviour (because he slipped up by asking if they knew anyone called Emrys). Arthur briefly contemplated the possibility Agravaine was the traitor until Agravaine transferred the blame to Gaius. Agravaine is an excellent liar and good at interrogating; for example, he knows Gaius is lying but doesn't know Gaius was protecting Merlin. How Arthur reacted after learning Gaius was not the traitor as Agravaine claimed is unknown, but Agravaine managed to conceal his true agenda once again. When Morgana conquered Camelot, Agravaine showed his true loyalties when he walked alongside Morgana, not realizing Arthur would find out he was the traitor.
In contrast to the legends, Agravaine is Arthur's uncle, whereas in the legends, he is portrayed as his nephew. Sir Agravaine was the second son of King Lot of Orkney and Queen Morgause, his wife. In his youth, he came to the Court of King Arthur with his brothers and fought in the Saxon Wars, where he liberated the prisoners on the Hill of Wretches. He was rewarded with a knighthood and welcomed into the Order of the Round Table. He managed to put himself about a bit in search of adventure. However, although a very handsome man and a competent knight with sword and axe, he was said to be a most disagreeable character: being described as envious, unsympathetic, hateful and disposed to evil. This view seems to have been largely due to his central role in the movement topose the torrid affair between Queen Guinevere and Sir Lancelot. In some texts, it is Agravaine, rather than Mordred, who emerged as the chief conspirator and he was only finally killed when Lancelot rescued the Queen from the stake. In the French romances Agravaine tries twice to expose Lancelot and the Queen and the second time he is successful. It is worth noting that he does it out of hatred for Lancelot rather than out of loyalty to Arthur. However, Agravaine may be misrepresented. When Gawain was accused of treachery by Guigambresil, it was his brother Agravaine who persuaded him not to respond too hastily and even offered to fight on his brother's behalf. Throughout, his actions seem to have been motivated by family loyalty. His desire to harm Sir Lancelot and his participation in the murder of Sir Lamorak is quite understandable when one considers that their family was responsible for the death of Agravaine's father. He must have had a more pleasing side to his character, for he won over the Lady Florée (or Laurel) - a niece of the King of Scotland - at a Camelot Tournament and married her. Sir Agravaine was killed by Sir Lancelot some time during the latter's conflict with Arthur.
- Series 4
- The Secret Sharer: Agravaine was nearly killed by Gwaine after he nearly discovered that he was the traitor in Camelot.
- The Sword in the Stone: Part Two: He was nearly killed by the Great Dragon's flames when the dragon was pursuing him and the Southrons in Ealdor.
- In a deleted scene, Agravaine revealed that he had confessed his "undying love" for Morgana, possibly showing that he had romantic feelings for her.
- Agravaine discovered that Merlin is Emrys shortly before his death in the final episode of Series 4.
- He is the second-to-last main character to encounter The Great Dragon, after Merlin (The Dragon's Call), Arthur and Gwen (The Last Dragonlord), and Lancelot (The Darkest Hour: Part Two). Uther and Gaius had known Kilgharrah for at least 20 years. This leaves Morgana as the last character to not encounter Kilgharrah.
- It is not mentioned in any episodes that his family name is "de Bois", but we can infer that it is his surname because that is the family name of his brother and his sister.
- Agravaine is one of the four people who indirectly killed Uther, the other three being Morgana, The Gleeman, and Merlin (who did not know he was doing it at the time).
- According to Arthur, Agravaine can do a jig.
- Agravaine's surname means the "wood" in French.
|Series 4 Enemies|
|The Darkest Hour: Morgana • Morgause • The Dorocha • The Cailleach • Agravaine • Wilddeoren • Wyvern|
The Wicked Day: King Odin • Morgana • Agravaine • The Gleeman • Geldred
Aithusa: Julius Borden • King Odin
His Father's Son: Morgana • Agravaine • Queen Annis • King Caerleon • Derian
A Servant of Two Masters: Morgana • Agravaine • Fomorroh • Merlin (indirect)
The Secret Sharer: Morgana • Agravaine • Alator of the Catha • Orn
Lamia: Lamia • Agravaine
Lancelot du Lac: Morgana • Lancelot (Shade) • Agravaine • Dochraid
A Herald of the New Age: Shrine Boy • Elyan (indirect)
The Hunter's Heart: Morgana • Agravaine • Helios
The Sword in the Stone: Morgana • Agravaine • Helios • Aithusa • Nathair