Arthur Pendragon was born in Camelot to Uther Pendragon and Ygraine de Bois. Ygraine was barren, so Uther asked the sorceress Nimueh to use her magic so that she would conceive the son he so desperately wanted. However, in order for one life to be given, another must be taken, and as a result Arthur's mother died in childbirth. (Excalibur) He is also the half brother of Morgana. Uther is very protective of Arthur and is set on teaching him the way of being a king. However, Arthur rarely sees eye-to-eye with his father's policies and beliefs, leading him to challenge him frequently. He is in love with Guinevere, although only a few people know about the two of them.
Arthur first met Merlin when he was doing target practice with his friends and bullying his servant who was carrying the target. Merlin, unaware of who Arthur was, stood up to him. Arthur had Merlin thrown in prison and subsequently into the stocks. They had another fight in town where Merlin used his magic to try and get the better of Arthur.
Later at a feast a witch named Mary Collins took the guise of Lady Helen with the intent of killing Arthur. Using his magic, Merlin managed to save Arthur and, in return, Uther made Merlin Arthur's manservant. (The Dragon's Call) At first two of them wanted to get on each other but quickly became close friends though Arthur is unaware of Merlin's magic.
Early adventures with Merlin
Arthur frequently found himself under threat one way or another and was, unwittingly, rescued by Merlin on several occasions. These have included drinking a poisoned chalice that was supposedly for Arthur (The Poisoned Chalice) and saving him from being killed by a young sidhe named Sophia after she enchanted him into believing he was in love with her. (The Gates of Avalon)
Arthur sometimes avoided taking blame for things. He allowed Merlin to be sent to the stocks twice when he abandoned his duties to see Sophia and once more when he forced Merlin to lie about where he had been. (The Gates of Avalon)
Arthur aided other characters when they needed it. He traveled to the Forest of Balor to retrieve an antidote when Merlin was poisoned by Nimueh despite the fact he was putting his life in danger and going against his father's orders to let Merlin die. Through his experience he was nearly killed by giant spiders and was locked in the dungeons by his father for disobeying him, only getting the antidote to Merlin through the quick thinking of Gwen. (The Poisoned Chalice)
Arthur also spoke out for the druid boy Mordred when he was being pursued by Uther. He later helped Merlin and Morgana sneak Mordred out of Camelot after they were caught the first time and returned him to his people. (The Beginning of the End)
When Nimueh brought his uncle Tristan de Bois, "The Black Knight", back to life Arthur attempted twice to challenge him only for the gauntlet to be picked up by Sir Owain and then Sir Pellinore. After Pellinore was killed Arthur threw down his own gauntlet and challenged Tristan. However Uther had Gaius drug Arthur and fought Tristan himself with a sword intended for Arthur given to him by Merlin. (Excalibur)
Arthur traveled with Merlin, Gwen and Morgana to Ealdor to aid Merlin's village against a group of bandits let by Kanen and trained the men of the village to fight. However he only let the women fight after he was reproached by Gwen - a moment that sparks their closer involvement. (The Moment of Truth)
Camelot was cursed with lack of food and water after Arthur killed a unicorn. He refused to admit that it was his fault and only came to terms with it after he failed the second test, supposedly leaving Camelot without food forever. When Merlin asked the keeper of the unicorns, Anhora to give Arthur a second chance he found himself a part of the test. When Arthur demonstrated he was willing to give his life for another person the curse was lifted as he proved that he was "pure of heart" like a unicorn. (The Labyrinth of Gedref)
Bitten by the Questing Beast
Arthur was later bitten by the Questing Beast and was on the verge of death. While Gwen nursed him back in Camelot Merlin traveled to the Isle of the Blessed to offer his own life to Nimueh to save Arthur since the law of magic insists that there be a life for a life. When Merlin gave Arthur water from the Cup of Life, he recovered, soon finding the energy to flirt with Gwen, teasing her about what she said to him whilst he was unconscious. When it was revealed that it was Hunith's life that Nimueh intended to take through the means of a terrible illness, Merlin decided to return to Nimueh to offer his life for hers. Before he left he teased Arthur about being a prat but then turned serious and told Arthur he was a great warrior and would become a great king though he also advised Arthur "to learn to listen as well as he fights." (Le Morte d'Arthur).
However on his return to the island Merlin found that Gaius had offered himself in his place. Enraged with grief at the death of his friend, Merlin used his magic to kill Nimueh. Weeping, he embraced Gaius and found that the life of Nimueh had balanced the scales and Gaius was still alive.
Relationship with Guinevere
Arthur came to believe that the knights of Camelot were allowing him to win at jousting and wondered about his own skills. When a jousting tournament was coming up, Arthur decided to disguise himself so no one would go easy on him. He acted like he would be away from Camelot during the tournament, but in reality he was secretly living with Gwen. During this time, he and Gwen grew closer which ultimately led to the two sharing a kiss before the final joust, cementing their feelings for each other. Arthur emerged victorious in the tournament. But he later sadly told Gwen that he couldn't be with her because his father wouldn't approve.
When Morgana's magic began to reveal itself, Arthur was clueless to what was really going on. Arthur noticed Merlin's constant attempts to comfort Morgana, and came to believe Merlin had fallen in love with her. After Morgana was returned to Camelot from the Druids, Arthur cornered Merlin and, despite the fact that he is in love with Gwen, advised Merlin to stick to girls on his level because Uther would "have his head" for trying to woo Morgana.
Gwen was later kidnapped by a group of bandits; they had taken her for Morgana had escaped them and they intended to ransom Gwen in her place. Uther refused to do anything, so Arthur and Merlin left on their own. Arthur's behavior aroused Merlin's suspicion, and Arthur eventually confessed that he was in love with Gwen. But he also said that nothing could ever happen between them because his father would never allow it. Merlin said that he could change that when he becomes king, and assured him that Gwen would wait for him if she felt the same way.
Arthur and Merlin eventually arrived at the bandits hideout, where they found that Gwen and Lancelot (who had attempted to free Gwen) were going to be killed. They managed to stop the attempted execution and freed the two. On the journey back to Camelot, Arthur noticed that Gwen and Lancelot had feelings for each other and became jealous. Lancelot left after he found out about Gwen and Arthur's feelings for each other, deciding that he wouldn't come between them. Despite Lancelot's departure and Gwen's safe return, Arthur's heart was broken.
Throughout the second series their love for each other grew though it remained largely unspoken between the pair. Their main problem (apart from the class difference) was that they were reluctant to talk to each other about their relationship. After Arthur was enchanted he realized that Gwen was in love with him, so he went to her house and told her he loved her too, Gwen then apologized to Arthur about what happened with Lancelot, Arthur seemed to be able to forgive her. The conversation ended when they disagreed about their future, Gwen was adamant that although she loved him, he would one day love someone else (as she could never be his Queen). Arthur disagreed and thinks that once he becomes King he will have the freedom to Marry her. Although they disagreed, the air between them was cleared as a result of this conversation.
In season 3, their love becomes a bit more obvious. The episode where there love is shown the most is Queen of Hearts. They finally give into their feelings and admit their love for each other. Uther and Morgana find them laying down and kissing on a blanket in the woods, and Uther forbids them from seeing each other, and later banishes Gwen. Morgana tricks him into believing Gwen has enchanted Arthur, and Arthur must save her before her execution. Merlin pretends to be an 80 year old sorcerer and lies and says he enchanted them both, though he knows that and Uther lifts all charges from Gwen. Arthur and Gwen are both positive that their love is real and that the old man was lying, which was really Merlin lying about the whole thing.
When Uther married Lady Catrina (who was actually a troll in disguise) Arthur tried to be supportive although he was clearly shocked by his father's hasty nuptials. He told a doubtful Merlin that Uther was happy and that was all that mattered. Merlin was soon falsely accused of theft by the new Queen and Arthur warned him that Uther was after him, giving Merlin time to escape capture. Uther (influenced by his new wife) expressed doubt that Arthur possessed the abilities to be a strong King of Camelot. Arthur was bewildered by his father’s opinions (unaware as he was that Uther had been enchanted) and started to doubt himself. He disagreed with Uther’s new taxing laws, arguing that the people of Camelot couldn't afford it, and would starve if they were forced to pay any more. He gave back peasants tax money in the town, and intervened when he saw guards punishing a peasant who hadn’t paid his tax. The people looked at him in gratitude and Gwen smiled at him proudly, though he did not spot her in the crowd.
He soon went to Uther and refused to carry out his orders any more, deeming them unfair. He thought he can be both King and friend to the citizens of Camelot, and told Uther that they were servants to Camelot’s people, just as much as Camelot’s people were servants to them. Uther disagreed and Arthur left confused by Uther’s changed attitude.
Arthur was pleasantly surprised when Gwen came to his private chambers to thank him for his kindness towards the people of Camelot. He opened up to her, allowing her to see his growing doubts over what kind of King he should and could be, thanks to Uther’s unkind words. She disagreed with him and told him that they both knew his doubts were unfounded, she also reassured him when he questioned Uther’s love for him. Gwen, sensing his insecurity was open in her admiration and respect for him, she told him that he had a kind heart and he must never change for anyone. Arthur seemed touched by her words, he managed a small smile by the end of their conversation, showing that they had started to regain the closeness they shared before Lancelot came between them. His talk with Gwen was interrupted by Sir Leon who brought him to his father.
Uther told Arthur he was disinherited. Lady Catrina was now the sole heir to the throne. Shocked and upset Arthur stormed out.
Arthur soon agreed to Merlin and Gaius’ plan to bring down the new Queen of Camelot - he initially doubted Merlin, when he was told Katrina was a troll, but now knew the truth and realized that his father had been put under a spell. He drank a potion that would bring him to the brink of death so that Uther would cry tears of regret over his treatment of Arthur – this was the only way to break the powerful troll magic. They were successful and Arthur killed the troll. He did not hold a grudge against Uther and teased his father about being married to and sleeping in the same bed as a troll. He also thanked Merlin for his help and they shared an awkward half hug/handshake before rushing away from each other in opposite directions embarrassed.
When the Witchfinder, Aredian, came to Camelot, Arthur did not take a liking to him but under his father's orders he was put at the Witchfinder's services. When Merlin was accused of sorcery, Arthur was shocked and didn't believe it, and when Gaius said it was him, Arthur protected Merlin and gave him a few moments with Gaius. When Merlin and Gwen tried to prove Gaius was innocent, they nearly arrived too late but Gwen convinced Arthur to stop Aredian from burning Gaius at the stake. He then convinced his father with Merlin and Gwen that the Witchfinder was guilty. Aredian tried to escape by taking Morgana hostage but Merlin used magic to make Aredian's knife burn forcing him to drop it. Aredian then fell out of a window to his death while Arthur and Uther watched.
Arthur was challenged and defeated in a sword-fight by a woman named Morgause. As Morgause had Arthur at her mercy, he was spared only on the condition that he agreed to come to her and accept another challenge. As she was leaving, she told Arthur that she knew something about his mother. This aroused the prince's curiosity, and he decided to go and visit her. After having to break out of Camelot with Merlin's help, they journeyed to Morgause's castle. Once there, she challenged him to put his head on a chopping block so she could kill him. Though hesitant, Arthur did so, and Morgause said this had been a test of his character. As his reward for passing, Morgause used her magic to summon the apparation of his deceased mother, allowing him to meet her for the first time.
From his mother, Arthur learned the truth about his birth: Uther wanted an heir, but Ygraine was unable to conceive. Therefore, Uther turned to Nimueh for help, and she used her magic to create him, but Ygraine had to die because of this. Arthur was horrified by this, and realized that Uther's anti-magic laws and the Great Purge were the result of Uther being unable to blame himself for Ygraine's death.
Furious, Arthur returned to Camelot and confronted the King. Arthur then challenged him to mortal combat, something that he gave his father no choice but to accept. Arthur eventually disarmed his father, but before he could kill him, Merlin managed to convince him that Morgause had tricked him. This encounter appears to have deepened Arthur's own hatred of magic.
The One He Loves
When Arthur was put under a spell to fall in love with a Princess named Vivian (Sweet Dreams) only Gwen could break the spell as she was Arthur's true love.
Gwen had never been vocal about her true feelings for Arthur, when he was put under enchantment Gwen showed that she really was in love with him. She told him she found it difficult to express what was truly in her heart. After their problems with Lancelot, Arthur now knew that Gwen loved him as much as he loved her. Gwen also acknowledged the pain she caused him with Lancelot. She still thought she could never be his Queen, Arthur did not agree and hoped that they could marry when he became King. They both know that they would never be allowed to marry whilst Uther is king, but Merlin believes Arthur can change that once he becomes king.
Revenge of The Great Dragon
Arthur was later forced, along with his knights to defend Camelot from The Great Dragon who was freed by Merlin (though Arthur didn't know it) and attacked Camelot every night as revenge for his imprisonment and the near extinction of his kind. After realizing that the Dragon was too powerful for them to defeat, Arthur and Merlin went on a mission to find Balinor, a Dragonlord and (unknown to Arthur) Merlin's father.
They found Balinor who at first refused to return to Camelot, believing that it was perfectly fair that The Great Dragon should have revenge for everything Uther had done to him. Balinor was eventually convinced to return when he realized that Gaius, whom he owed a life debt, was in danger. Arthur told him he would be rewarded but Balinor replied that he seeked no reward. Unfortunately the Dragonlord was fatally injured by an enemy kings knights and died in Merlin's arms. Arthur watched but couldn't understand why Merlin was so upset as he still didn't know Balinor was Merlin's father.
Arthur and Merlin arrived back at Camelot and reported the death of the last Dragonlord. Then they went out with Arthur's knights to make one last attempt to kill The Great Dragon. The Dragon presumably killed all of Arthur's knights but Arthur rolled under a stream of fire and managed to land a blow on the Dragon with his sword. The Dragon retaliated by smashing him with one of its huge front legs, knocking him unconscious. Merlin, who had gained the powers of a Dragonlord thanks to his father, banished the Dragon from Camelot and then told Arthur that the wound he had given the Dragon was fatal.
Return of Morgana
On the orders of his persistent and relentless father, Arthur, Merlin and the Knights of Camelot spent almost a year searching for Morgana. One day whilst looking for her in a forest, Merlin asked Arthur if what they were doing was a good idea, due to what he did to her, but Arthur as usual disregarded him. They soon found a deserted camp in a forest, and it wasn't not before long they were attacked by the bandits occupying the camp. After a short battle (in which Merlin used magic to save himself and Arthur several times), they were victorius. In the battle's aftermath, they saw one final figure approaching; as they got closer, the group see that it was a bloodied and dishevelled Morgana, shocking Arthur and Merlin. After she slept Morgana is telling Arthur about her year, on how she lived in a cave for the entire time. They share a passionate hug, and Morgana notices Merlin standing there. Just as Arthur and Merlin leave, Morgana asked to speak to Merlin. She told Merlin how she understands why he tried to poison her, and that she would have done the same if it came to it. She forgives Merlin, and he worries a bit less.
In Arthur's chambers, Arthur noticed Merlin was very cheerful and wondered why, Merlin replied because Morgana was back. Arthur was just about to walk across the room, but Merlin didn't wish to as he had just washed the floor. Arthur wondered why that was such a problem, as Merlin had a simple job to do. However, in the end, Merlin ended up with a bucket of water on his head. Later on, Arthur was out training, whilst blindfolded. Merlin, of course, winded him up, and he does the same, mocking his seeming hiding at the bandit camp. As Arthur trained some more, Merlin made Arthur lose his sword, and he was hit in the chest with a small mace and left lying face down in the mud, much to Merlin's amusement.
At a party celebrating Morgana's return, Uther went outside. He saw a something in the well, terrifing him. Arthur asked Gaius what may have made Uther go mad. Gaius said he had no idea, but he told him that when he found Uther, he was crying, calling out Ygraine's name. Arthur and Sir Leon caught wind that mercenaries were flooding into Cenred's kingdom; they feared he was raising an army and informed Uther. Suddenly, Uther saw a dripping wet boy, one of the many child sorcerers he had drowned during the Great Purge, but nobody but him could see him. He shouted at the boy to leave, and everybody believed he was going mad. He was taken out of the chamber by Arthur and Leon and taken to his room. All of a sudden, the warning bells sounded; the body of the a wounded sentry had been found. Gaius told Arthur that the knife used to injure the man was marked with the sigil of the Blood Guard, an order of warrior priests who protected the High Priestesses of the Old Religion; Gaius voiced his fear that there was a traitor in Camelot (who was Morgana). He also stated that the man is still alive and would soon identify his attacker, however Morgana finished the job and poisoned him.
The next day, Arthur was angry at Merlin for not showing up to work. Merlin had in fact been chained up by Morgause and left to die at the hands of Serkets. Merlin used his powers as a Dragonlord and call out to Kilgharrah, who saved him. On returning to Camelot, Merlin burnt the mandrake root causing Uther's insanity, therefore breaking the enchantment. However, Uther was still weak from recovery and unfit to rule.The following day, a patrol of Camelot knights, led by Sir Leon discovered Cenred's army and raced back to alert Arthur, who finally took charge of the city from the weakened Uther. Leon reported that Cenred's army numbered at least 20,000, outnumbering Camelot's forces two to one. Gaius suggested they negotiate with Cenred, if only to buy them time to prepare, but Arthur, knowing Cenred would not be easily satisfied, ordered Camelot to prepare for a siege, insisting that the castle had never been taken, thereby giving them the advantage. He also ordered that the people of Camelot's outlying villages take shelter within the city, when Leon argued they'd be leaving behind their homes and livestock, Arthur replied at least they'd have their lives. With Cenred's army only hours away, preperation began in full; weapons and armour were distributed, barricades and defences were erected and the knights of Camelot prepared for battle. As night fell and Cenred's army surrounded the city, Merlin helped Arthur into his armour; as he did so, Merlin for the first time spoke openly about Arthur's destiny to be Camelot's greatest king and assured him that the victory he would win would be remembered forever. Arthur seemed touched by Merlin's faith in him and shown a grudging respect for Merlin's wisdom, though he was quick to disguise it with his usual abrasiveness.
At the urging of Morgause, Cenred began the attack; as catapults bombarded Camelot, Cenred's army broke through the city gates and battle erupted in the streets. Arthur and his men defended the walls and barricades, holding Cenred's men from advancing, and Uther, ignoring the advice of Gaius, Leon and Arthur, donned armour and joined the battle, fighting against the invaders. Arthur pulled him back despite his protests that he would let Camelot fall, a crossbow bolt hit him in the leg. With their king injured and Cenred's men overruning the barricades, Arthur ordered a retreat back to the castle, leaving the lower town to the attackers. As Cenred's men advanced on the retreating Camelot soldiers, Merlin assisted Arthur by using magic to block their path with fire. Despite Gaius' attempts to keep an eye on Morgana, she went down to the crypts with the hawthorn staff given to her by Morgause where she drived the staff into the stone floor, awaking the dead.
As the Knights of Camelot fought a desperate battle to keep Cenred's men from breaking into the castle, to their horror; skeleton warriors began to emerge from the castle and attack Camelot's army from behind. Arthur, Merlin, Leon and a number of knights tried to hold the skeletons off, but their weapons couldn't killed the undead warriors, only slow them down. As Arthur and his men fought a losing battle on two fronts to hold off Cenred's men and the undead, Arthur insisted that they must evacuate Uther, but Gaius replied that with the lower town lost, there was no way to escape; this was now a fight to the death. Eventually, the army of the dead suddenly returned to a truly dead status, as a result of Merlin destroying the hawthorn staff Morgana had used to cause the enchantment.
In the battle's aftermath, Merlin tried to tell Arthur what happened in the crypt, but Morgana had gotten there ahead of him, having told Uther and Arthur that she destroyed the staff and stopped the skeletons. After Camelot was safe, Arthur demanded that Merlin attend to his chores.
When Gaius was possessed by a goblin, Arthur was forced to arrest Merlin for apparently using magic, though while he did this he avoided looking Merlin in the eye. He also looked shocked when he heard that Merlin would be executed, presumably because he would have thought, since Merlin had saved his life on many occasions, Uther would go easier on him. The next day, Arthur grew suspicious of Gaius' strange behaviour when he spoke out of turn in council. He tricked Gaius into saying he would be glad to see Merlin hang, and to keep Arthur quiet, the Goblin cast a spell on Arthur to give him the ears and voice of a donkey. Gwen and Merlin were the only two people to know about this, and when he saw her after Merlin had undone all the Goblin's work, he told Gwen that he thought it best to forget the events of the last few days. However, Merlin had left Arthur with a donkey's laugh for one extra day. (Goblin's Gold).
The Princess' Birthday
After being shot by bandits, and later healed by Taliesin, Arthur returned from the valley of kings with Merlin (who, unbeknown to Arthur, had seen a Morgana kill the king in the Crystal Cave). He told Merlin he had gotten Morgana a dagger for her birthday, which greatly panicked Merlin. However, the dagger Arthur had bought was plain, unlike that in Merlin's vision. To cover up his surprise, Merlin said he thought girls preferred 'pretty things,' unknowingly inspiring Arthur to buy the dagger he'd seen Morgana use. He was later put in great distress by Morgana's fatal condition, and seen violently and blindly attacking a training dummy.
To prove his worthiness to become king, Arthur is sent on a quest to retrieve the Trident of the Fisher King, alone and unaided. Unaware of the danger, he is given a Pheonix Eye by Morgana, a bracelet the consumes the life force of any who wear it. Travelling alone to the Perilous Lands, his energy is slowly sapped. Meeting the bridge keeper, who guarded the way to the Fisher Kings lands, he was confused when the keeper referred to him as "Courage", asking where "Strength" and "Magic" were, and troubled when told he would need "Magic" more than he knew, since he did not condone its use. Fighting his way to the Fisher King's tower, he was attacked by two Wyvern, whilst the last of his life was consumed. After being found and revived by Merlin and Gwaine he was angered as he felt, since they had helped him, his quest was meaningless, though he continued looking for the trident. After being separated from Merlin in the Fisher Kings throne room, he took the Trident from where the King had dropped it and brought it back to his father. Morgana was shocked to see he had made it back alive, though Gwen and Uther were greatly relieved.
Arthur later intentionally loses a duel with his father allowing Uther to keep his title as Camelot's best warrior. Uther realised that Arthur had lost the duel on purpose and was grateful for it.
Discovering Morgana's treachery
Arthur and Merlin later went on a search for the Cup of Life and once again met up with Gwaine. A slave trader forced him to duel with Gwaine but thanks to Merlin's magic all three of them escaped. They found the Cup but lost it and it literally fell into the hands of one of King Cenred's warriors. Arthur meanwhile was wounded by a poisoned arrow.
When they returned to Camelot, Arthur, who still hadn't recovered from his injury despite Merlin's use of magic, met Elyan in Guinevere's house. He, Merlin, Gwaine and Elyan infiltrated Camelot, which had been taken over by Cenred's now immortal army. Sending Gwaine and Elyan to find Uther and Gwen, Arthur and Merlin went to Gaius' chambers to find a cure for his injured leg. Gaius was revealed to be hiding in a cupboard and Arthur told him to give him something to keep him going before leaving to find his father. He watched in horror as Morgana's treachery was revealed by Morgause and he, Merlin and a captive Uther, were forced to watch as Morgana was crowned Queen of Camelot.
Devastated by his half sisters betrayal, Arthur spent a week brooding on Morgana's treachery while Merlin sent word to Lancelot, requesting aid. When Gwen and Sir Leon arrived, Arthur was delighted to see Gwen but they had accidentally led Morgause's immortal knights right to them. Percival and Lancelot arrived in time to stop the knights, causing a rock slide that allowed the group to escape. Arthur later uncovered the Round Table and knighted Elyan, Gwaine, Lancelot and Percival.
With the help of his allies, Arthur infiltrated Camelot and freed his father and the knights from prison. Morgause's army discovered them and they ended up fighting for their lives but the army was destroyed when Merlin poured blood out of the Cup of Life. Morgana fled, taking a wounded Morgause with her.
The next day, Arthur discussed Camelot's recovery with Merlin, who said that, with Uther in his emotionally unstable state, Arthur may have to become a Regent King. When the Knights of the Round Table returned with Gwen, he pulled her off her horse and kissed her for the world to see.
At first Arthur was considered a spoiled and self-serving bully. He was described by Gwen as a "rough, tough, save the world" type of guy. (The Dragon's Call) He and Merlin began at odds but Arthur quickly became attached to Merlin and valued his company despite the fact his opinion of Merlin's competence was originally low. Under Merlin's influence, Arthur dropped his bullying ways and became a much nicer person, though still innocently narcissistic.
He is very brave and was willing to take risks, such as putting his life at risk to save Merlin (The Poisoned Chalice) and Gwen (Lancelot and Guinevere) and will also speak out against what he considered injustice even if it means to defying his father. (The Mark of Nimueh, The Poisoned Chalice, Lancelot et al) He has a great love for the people of Camelot, and was devastated when he realised a curse had fallen upon them because of his actions. (The Labyrinth of Gedref) Arthur is also a lot more caring than he puts across.
Arthur is a talented and charismatic leader, capable of inspiring great loyaly in people, usually without even realising it. At the very least, this is because he would never ask them to do anything he would not do himself, and because of the lengths he will go to for people he cares about or is indebted to. This causes deep loyalty in return, from peasants, like Elyan, to nobles like Gwaine and Sir Leon.
Arthur is very good at hiding his true feelings, carrying out orders that he disagrees with for his father, and even though he is in love with Gwen and had spoken about her passionately in the past, he has never let her know just how deep his feelings for her were. Until he told her, she had no idea of the strength of his love, believing that he saw her as little more than a servant.(Sweet Dreams) Although he frequently teases and insults Merlin the two of them have become very close (though they hide it behind insults and banter) and Arthur is often grateful for his company. Nevertheless Arthur's patience was frequently tested by Merlin's apparent incompetence.
Arthur was raised to hate magic but unlike his father he has a more neutral veiw on sorcery and was prepared to accept that sorcerers were not as evil as his father claimed. He grew to hate magic after Morgause caused him to nearly kill his father but gradually started to go back to his old neutrality and unlike Uther he was beginning to learn that magic could be used for good as well as evil.
When Arthur first met Merlin they disliked each other; Merlin even claimed that he had hated him, thinking he was pompous and arrogant. Arthur in turn considered Merlin a horrid servant, though they quickly grew as close as brothers. Very soon in their friendship, they were openly willing to risk their lives against the advice and orders of others, even knowingly sacrificing for the other (The Poisoned Chalice). They had also saved each other from peril numerous times, though oftentimes Arthur is unaware of Merlin's secret deeds. They frequently bickered and pulled pranks on each other, though they rarely truly fell out. Arthur frequently said "Shut up, Merlin" whenever the latter pointed out inconvenient truths or made poor attempts at humor. He also often called Merlin an "idiot" and scolded him for being seemingly thick and clumsy, but sometimes seemed to be aware that there was much more behind Merlin's happy-go-lucky personality.
Although Arthur frequently teased and abused Merlin, occasionally claiming they could not be friends as he was a servant, the two of them become very close and Arthur was often grateful for Merlin's company, loyalty, help and advice. Arthur entrusted Merlin with most of his secret doings and missions, and often required the latter's help (The Gates of Avalon, The Beginning of the End, Le Morte d'Arthur, Lancelot and Guinevere). The rest of Arthur's secrets, particularly his romantic feelings, could easily be deciphered by Merlin. However, Arthur in turn was horrible at guessing Merlin's intentions, believing him to be in love with Gwen, Morgana and even Lady Catrina as a result of Merlin's many secret investigations and odd behavior.
Merlin was also one of the only people besides Gwen who could, despite the class divide, reprimand Arthur when he was being unfair or arrogant, and tell him truthfully what he was thinking without fear of severe punishment. He had often insulted Arthur, calling him a "prat" and a "clotpole," as well as "supercilious" and "patronizing." Arthur in reality trusted and appreciated Merlin, although he had sometimes confessed that he thought that Merlin was hiding something. However, Arthur refused to believe that Merlin was a sorcerer (having grown up being taught that magic was evil) and saved Merlin from the suspicions of Uther several times by making up stories (The Mark of Nimueh, 'The Witchfinder, 'Goblin's Gold). Although Arthur did not always immediately believe Merlin's warnings, he defended and rescued his friend even when he had doubts himself (The Labyrinth of Gedref, Beauty and the Beast).
By series three, Arthur and Merlin considered each other friends when it came to important matters, and Merlin is able to reach the prince during times of crisis when no-one else can. However, Merlin had not told Arthur of his powers as of yet. Arthur listens to Merlin and appreciates his opinion and wisdom, sometimes even enough to thank him for it (The Tears of Uther Pendragon, The Changeling, The Coming of Arthur Part 2). Arthur was still well aware of his status as prince and was slightly angry at Merlin when he and Gwaine came to help him on his quest for the Golden Trident although this anger did not last long. (The Eye of the Phoenix) He also gave some friendly advice to Merlin after he had realised he had fallen out with Gaius, and even playfully slapped him on the shoulder in an attempt to cheer him up. (Love in the Time of Dragons) Before the retaking of Camelot, Merlin was able to shake Arthur out of his despair and inspire him to continue, leading to the retaking of Camelot from Morgana. Merlin was offered a place at the round table, showing Arthur values him as much as his most trusted knights, and even noted that he was wise on at least two occasions. After the battle, Arthur, unsurprisingly, orders Merlin to clean his boots, but he also listens to Merlins suggestions about the future and punches him on the arm in a friendly gesture. (The Coming of Arthur Part 2)
Arthur and Morgana were raised together after Morgana's supposed father Gorlois died and Uther made her his ward. They deeply cared and looked out for one another, although they frequently bickered and teased one another. Unknown to them, Uther was Morgana's real father through an affair with Gorlois' wife Vivienne, making Arthur and Morgana half siblings.
When Gwen stated that not many women are born to be queens but some are, she was referring to Morgana, as the royal court believed Morgana would one day be Arthur's Queen. Arthur and Morgana appeared to be attracted to each other in the first series on top of their sibling-like rivalry, unaware that they were related. Arthur often teased Morgana about being jealous of his courtship with others, though he himself displayed discontent when she temporarily paid special attention to Knight Valiant (Valiant).
On multiple occasions when Morgana believed Arthur's life to be in danger due to her prophetic gifts, she was desperate and determined to keep him safe (The Gates of Avalon, Excalibur). Arthur was in return always concerned for Morgana's wellbeing, despite later falling in love with Gwen. He was keen to come to Morgana's aid even if it meant disobeying Uther (The Beginning of the End, To Kill the King). Arthur was devastated when Morgana was seemingly kidnapped by Morgause, blaming himself for the incident.
For a long time, Arthur was unaware that his secret half-sister had turned against Camelot, but eventually learned that Morgana was a traitor when he witnessed her being crowned Queen. He also learned that Morgana was his half-sister which made the revelation even worse. These revelations caused him to be despondant till he was shaken out of it by Merlin, and he had no contact with her during the battle. His feelings for her now are unknown, but are likely, at the very least, unfriendly.
Arthur's relationship with Guinevere has been difficult and slow burning. Arthur became gentle and kind in his dealings with Gwen, he listened to her opinions and didn't react with anger when she reprimanded him. (The Moment of Truth, The Once and Future Queen) Arthur cared about her deeply and they enjoy being in each others company. With Gwen, it became clear that despite his faults and hard demeanour, he was capable of deep love, risking his life to save her,(Lancelot and Guinevere) against his fathers wishes. He proclaimed to Merlin how thinking about her "hurt" because he knew they could not be together, he didn't know what he'd do if anything happened to her, he went on to tell Merlin that he cared about her more than anybody else, leaving Merlin shocked at Arthurs' openness, and saddened by his unlucky situation. Arthur is a lot more caring when it comes to Gwen. When it became clear she had feelings for Lancelot too, he reverted back to his hard demeanor, telling harsh lies and pushing Gwen away, though when she was gone it appeared he was quite heartbroken. Their relationship was fixed when Gwen freed him from a love spell, though they still could not publicly act on their feelings.
Unlike most people Arthur usually called Gwen by her full name.
At the beginning of series 3, the development of their relationship was at a stand still because of the search for Morgana, but when Uther went mad, Gwen went to see and support Arthur before he is off to battle. Gwen stated that she trusted him more then any man but still calls him sire, even though Arthur told her that she didn't have to. He did however feel more confident after her visit.
Later Arthur was turned into a donkey which only Gwen saw. This embarrassed him and after the goblin had been detained they were both more then happy to forget the recent events that had occured. (Goblin's Gold) He showed to be jealous of Gwaine when he saw him flirting with Gwen. (Gwaine) They were a comfort to eachother when Morgana was badly injured. (The Crystal Cave)
When Uther tried to force Arthur into marriage the prince was adament that he wouldn't marry Princess Elena because he didn't love her. Both him and Gwen were distressed at the thought, and they both had they're first heart-to-heart about the future. Arthur didn't fully realise how much Gwen loved him until this but she couldn't stop the marriage as she was a servant. In the end Arthur couldn't go through with it, much to his, Gwen's and Elena's relief and they both shared a moment on the stairs after the ceremony.
Arthur was also willing to risk his life for her and her brother. Riding to the castle where an enemy king Cenred was waiting, Arthur publicly told her that she wouldnt have to worry about being scared as she has him, which made her smile. Gwen told him that if anything happened to him she would never forgive herself, Arthur reasured her that it wouldn't. They shared a tender moment in the woods and almost kissed, but Morgana had interrupted them. Arthur made Gwen promise to ride for Camelot when he feared she would die, but Gwen broke this and waited for him outside to make sure he was safe which surprised Arthur. At the end of their adventure she thanked him for saving her brother and he replied "Its what you do when you love someone".
Before he left on his quest for the Golden Trident Gwen went to visit him to make sure that he'd be safe, for her. He reasured her and kissed her goodbye. She was greatly relieved when he returned seemingly unharmed.
When Camelot is taken by Morgana, Arthur is driven by the hope of reaching Gwen and his father, even when he learns the Citadel has been taken and both are likely dead. He is delighted when she escapes to come him and he offers her a place at the round table. Though he leaves her with Gaius to prepare for caring for the wounded, he openly admits their relationship, saying he doesn't care who sees in case he never comes back. After the battle, he reunites with her, kissing her in front of all his knights.
It is highly speculated that they will marry towards the end of Series 4 or beggining of Series 5
Uther frequently scolds Arthur and orders him about but despite this Arthur is the most important thing in the kings life since Ygraine died. When believing Arthur's life to be at its end, Uther once said that, to him, Arthur was worth "more than this entire kingdom and certainly more than my own life" (Excalibur). Arthur had often felt the need to prove himself to his father, believing that he was a "huge disappointment," to which Uther denied and asserted that he was extremely proud of his son. The two were often at odds with each other, as Uther was prone to consider only doing what was for the greater good of the kingdom while Arthur resented letting any of his people suffer. Though they often fell out, for the most part Arthur obeyed his father and was more conscious of his duty to his father than Morgana, who pushed the limits of her favour with Uther much further. On less serious occasions, Arthur and Uther behaved like normal father and son, such as when Uther feigned kicking Arthur for doubting his "footwork" and when Arthur expressed childish disgust at the sight of his father courting Lady Catrina (Excalibur, Beauty and the Beast).
Arthur didn't know about Uther's shocking secret about him being Morgana's half-brother. (The Crystal Cave) He disagreed with his father when it came to his arraged marriage to Elena, and said he could not marry someone he didn't love. Uther says he can, and he will. When Arthur did not marry her, Uther was furious, but Arthur told him he'd be a better king with the support and strength of the woman he loved. Still, Arthur genuinely loved his father and was devastated when he was driven mad. (The Tears of Uther Pendragon). Uther later found out about his relationship with Guinevere and was furious with him for loving a servant girl. When Camelot was invaded by immortal soldiers, Arthur attempted to find his father despite the fact that he was injured and the soldiers couldn't die. Despite the difficulties of their relationship, Arthur and Uther deeply loved each other. However, when Arthur discovered that Uther had caused the death of his mother, albeit accidentally, he actually tried to kill him and was only stopped by Merlin who told him that it was a lie, although it was the truth (The Sins of the Father). When Morgana revealed her true parentage, Arthur was devastated by the knowledge that Uther had lied to him his entire life. Eventually, with Merlin's encouragement, he decided to return to Camelot and was willing to die in order to rescue Uther.
Gwaine helped Arthur and Merlin at the tavern when they were in danger, as a result Gwaine was badly injured. Arthur requested that he be sent to Camelot to be cared for after he saved his life. Gwaine states that if he knew Arthur was a prince he wouldn't have helped to save him. Once healed, Gwaine starts causing trouble at another tavern when he doesn't pay for his drinks and 4 dozen pickled eggs. Arthur pays, but makes him and Merlin clean the boots for the entire army. Arthur sticks up for Gwaine when he assulted two 'knights' but he is still banished from Camelot. However, Gwaine grew to like Arthur enough to help him in the Meleé. Once Arthur realises who he is he says 'I should have known, no-one fights like you do'. Even though he saved Arthur's life twice, he still had to leave Camelot and Arthur is genuinely sorry. Before leaving, Arthur spots Gwaine flirting with Guinevere and becomes jealous. (Gwaine)
When Arthur searches for the Golden Trident, Merlin goes to Gwaine to help save Arthur. In the task, he was Strength. On completing the Quest, Arthur thanks Gwaine, and tells him he'd remember what he did for him. Gwaine also showed that he wasn't afraid of criticizing Arthur's father, saying that he'd come back when Camelot had a half decent king. They later met while they were prisoners of Jarl and Arthur and Gwaine were forced to fight each other but thanks to Merlin's magic they were able to escape. Despite still being banned from the kingdom, Gwaine returned to Camelot with Arthur and Merlin when it was invaded by an immortal army, and was knighted by Arthur.
Arthur respected Gaius as a physician and stopped him from being executed by the evil witchfinder Aredian. At first he didn't believe that Gaius was, or ever had been, a sorcerer. Arthur knew Gaius well enough to realise that a goblin was controlling his body when the goblin said it was looking forward to Merlin's execution; the Gaius Arthur knew would never have wanted Merlin to be executed no matter what he'd done.
Arthur's mother Queen Ygraine died when he was born, so he grew up without his mother but always had a great respect and admiration for her. Arthur finally met her 20 years later when she returned as a spirit brought by Morgause and for the first time mother and son hugged happy when they saw each other. Arthur apologized for causing her death, but she tells him the real circumstances of his birth. Ygraine also tells him that she is very proud of him and would willingly give her life for him again.
Arthur was an expert sword fighter as he has demonstrated on many occasions. He was the champion sword fighter in Camelot (Valiant) and is head of the Knights of Camelot. (Lancelot) Arthur was a swift and precise swordsman, and was known to dart out of the way of his opponents attacks, but he was by no means lacking in physical strength either, able to ward off blows from strong and aggressive opponents such as Valiant on several occasions. Arthur's proficiency with a sword allowed him to fight several opponents at once. He was also capable of throwing the weapon accurately as proven when he was attacked by Cockatrice. (The Poisoned Chalice) Only two known people have been able to defeat Arthur in combat, Lancelot and Morgause though it has been suggested that Morgana may have beaten him too, though this is unconfirmed as Arthur said "that never happened" when Morgana mentioned it. (The Moment of Truth)
Arthur has been shown to be extremely resilient, as even when his life force was drained by the Eye of the Phoenix. He was able to journey to the realm of The Fisher King, kill two bandits who preyed on him in his sleep and fend off against two Wyvern. (The Eye of the Phoenix)
In addition Arthur was skilled with a mace though this was not his preferred weapon. He was also capable of throwing knives accurately even when he was throwing them at a moving target. (The Dragon's Call). In addition Arthur was very skilled with a lance, and his skill with the weapon even impressed the assassin Myror. (The Once and Future Queen)
Arthur was also an excellent leader and a talented strategist. Many people felt that he could become a great king.
He has also been shown to be aware when Merlin is putting his life in danger for him. They appear to have some kind of psychic link as Merlin was able to summon a light to guide Arthur to safety when Arthur went to find the cure to a deadly poison even though Merlin was both seriously ill and asleep at the time. (The Poisoned Chalice)
Since he met Merlin, Arthur has the distinction of fighting against many creatures of magic, both alone and aided by his Knights. He held off a Griffin, animated Gargoyles, undead Skeletons, the Dragon Kilgharrah and two Wyvern. He also killed a Cockatrice single handed and slew a Troll with help from Merlin.
King Arthur is the central figure of the Matter of Britain, a collection of legends concerning the Celtic and legendary history of Great Britain, especially those focused on Arthur and the knights of the Round Table. He was married to Guinevere.
The Arthur of historical-legend was born the son of Uther Pendragon and Lady Igraine; he was taken away at birth by Merlin Ambrosius, who became his tutor, and was raised by Ector and his son Kay, who became Arthur's most trusted knights. Arthur only took his rightful place as king after he was given Excalibur by the Lady of the Lake (although some adaptions of the tale say Arthur withdrew the sword from a stone).
His greatest enemy was his half-sister, Morgan le Fay. Arthur ultimately killed and was killed by Medraut (Mordred), who was altenately his nephew or his son, at the Battle of Camlann in 537 CE. Arthur is also the central character in Edmund Spenser's unfinished epic poem The Faerie Queene, in which his destiny in the otherworldy faerylond would appear to be to consumate his love with Gloriana, the titular Fairy Queen. He appears in every book of the poem, often saving the other heroes. Although in book II, he reads up on the history of England up to Uther (and codedly, of the future of England up until Elizabeth in the Rolles of Elfin Emperours), it is unclear to what extent he is aware of his future as the legendary King of England.
|Kingdom of Camelot|
| Queen: Guinevere Pendragon|
Court Physician: Gaius
Keeper of the Royal Library: Geoffrey of Monmouth
Knights: Sir Leon • Sir Percival • Sir Brennis • Sir Cador • Sir Geraint
Other Allies: Merlin • Annis • Odin • Rodor • Mithian • Godwyn • Bayard • Elena • Alined • The Diamair • Vivian • Olaf
Former Allies: Morgana Pendragon † • Nimueh † • Cedric † ? • Cornelius Sigan † • Tristan de Bois † • Lady Catrina † • Edwin Muirden † • Uther Pendragon † • Agravaine de Bois †• Sefa• Mordred †