King Arthur Pendragon is the only son and child of Uther Pendragon and Ygraine de Bois, the husband of Queen Guinevere, brother-in-law to Sir Elyan, the son-in-law to Thomas, the half-brother of Morgana, the nephew of Tristan de Bois and Agravaine de Bois and the current King of Camelot. Arthur was initially seen as a spoilt and arrogant bully but eventually matured and became best friends with the young sorcerer Merlin, his manservant, who was destined to protect and guide him until he became a great king. Arthur tended to have different opinions regarding his father's policies and hatred towards magic which caused him to challenge Uther frequently. He finally became king when Uther died of a fatal injury he received protecting Arthur from an assassin. Arthur is destined to reunite the five kingdoms back into annexation of the five kindgdoms of Albion and rule it as the Once and Future High King, calling forth an era of peace and prosperity.
Arthur was born in Camelot to Uther and Ygraine Pendragon with help of magic by the sorceress Nimueh. Ygraine was barren and incapable of giving birth so Uther, who was desperate for her to conceive an heir, went to Nimueh and persuaded her to use her magic to help Ygraine . However, as Nimueh used the power over life and death for Arthur to be born, a sacrifice had to be made for a life to given and Ygraine died in the process after Arthur was born. As a result her death, Uther despised magic and had its practitioners excecuted but kept the true nature of her death secret from Arthur. Arthur also had a half-sister named Morgana, who was born from an affair Uther had with her mother Vivienne some time before or after Ygraine's death. Arthur grew up with Morgana but remained unaware of her true paternity.
Arthur first encounters Merlin while he is doing target practice with his friends and bullying the servant who is carrying the target. Merlin, unaware of Arthur's identity, stands up to him. Arthur has Merlin thrown in prison and subsequently into the stocks. They later fight again in town where Merlin uses his magic to try and get the better of Arthur. Later, at a feast celebrating twenty years since magic was banished from Camelot, Mary Collins takes the guise of Lady Helen with the intent of killing Arthur as revenge for Uther killing her own son. Using his magic, Merlin manages to save Arthur and, in return, Uther makes Merlin Arthur's manservant (The Dragon's Call). At first the two of them want nothing to do with one another but quickly become close friends, though Arthur remains ignorant of Merlin's powers for a very long time due to consequences which could occur if he finds out.
Early Adventures with Merlin
Arthur frequently finds himself in danger and, though he does not often realise it, is 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 sacrificed by a young Sidhe named Sophia after she enchanted him into believing he was in love with her (The Gates of Avalon). Arthur sometimes avoids taking blame for things. He allows Merlin to be sent to the stocks twice when he abandons his duties to see Sophia and once more when he forces Merlin to lie about where he was (The Gates of Avalon). Arthur aids other characters when they need it. He travels to the Forest of Balor to retrieve an antidote when Merlin is poisoned by Nimueh despite the fact he is putting his life in danger and going against his father's orders to let Merlin die.
Through this experience he is nearly killed by giant spiders and is 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 speaks out for the druid boy Mordred when he is being pursued by Uther. He later helps Merlin and Morgana Pendragon sneak Mordred out of Camelot after they are caught the first time and return him to his people (The Beginning of the End). When Nimueh brings his uncle Tristan de Bois, "The Black Knight", back to life Arthur attempts twice to challenge him only for the gauntlet to be picked up by Sir Owain and then Sir Pellinore. After Pellinore is killed Arthur throws down his own gauntlet and challenges Tristan. However Uther has Gaius drug Arthur and fights Tristan himself with a sword intended for Arthur given to him by Merlin (Excalibur).
Arthur later helps Merlin's home village, Ealdor, to fight against a brigand named Kanen. He helps train the villagers in combat, helps them prepare a battleplan, and then fights in battle alongside them. Origianlly he would only let men fight, however he eventually lets the women fight after he is reproached by Gwen a moment that sparks their closer involvement. He is nearly killed by Kanen himself, but a man named William jumps in front and takes the blow, killing himself (The Moment of Truth).
Camelot is cursed with lack of food and water after Arthur kills a unicorn. He refuses to admit that it is his fault and only comes to terms with it after he fails the second test, supposedly leaving Camelot without food forever. When Merlin asks the keeper of the unicorns, Anhora to give Arthur a second chance he finds himself a part of the test. When Arthur demonstrates he is willing to give his life for another person the curse is lifted as he proves that he is "pure of heart" like a unicorn (The Labyrinth of Gedref).
Around the time of Tauren's threat, Guinevere's father is killed by Uther's men. Before his death, Arthur insists to his father to spare his life, nevertheless Uther ignores him. An angry Morgana, gets herself locked up in the stocks for threatening Uther after Tom's death, a day later, Arthur sets her free. Arthur later visits Guinevere and apologises to her about her father's death and states that he is willing to help if needed (To Kill the King).
Bitten by the Questing BeastOn a quest to kill the Questing Beast Arthur is bitten by it and is on his deathbed. While Gwen and Gaius nurse him in Camelot, Merlin travels to the Isle of the Blessed to offer his own life to Nimueh to save Arthur since the law of magic insists that for one life to be spared, another must be taken. When Merlin gives Arthur water from the Cup of Life, he recovers, soon finding the energy to flirt with Gwen, teasing her about what she said to him whilst he was unconscious. When it is revealed that it is Hunith's life that Nimueh intended to take through the means of a terrible illness, Merlin decides to return to Nimueh to offer his life for hers. Before he leaves he teases Arthur about being a prat, but then grows solemn and tells Arthur he is a great warrior and will become a great king, though he also advises Arthur to learn to listen as well as he fights (Le Morte d'Arthur).
Relationship with GuinevereArthur comes to believe that the Knights of Camelot are allowing him to win at jousting due to his status as a prince and begins to question his own skills. As a result, Arthur decides to disguise his identity in an upcoming tournament so he will be able to have fair fights with the other competitors. He leads everyone to believe that he will be away from Camelot during the tournament, but in reality secretly goes to live with Gwen in her house. Despite initial disharmony, he and Gwen come to understand one another more through their brief cohabitation which ultimately leads to the two sharing a kiss before the final joust. Arthur emerges victorious in the tournament but he later sadly tells Gwen that he could not be with her because his father would not approve.
When Morgana's magic begins to reveal itself, Arthur is clueless to what is really going on. Arthur notices Merlin's constant attempts to comfort Morgana, and comes to believe Merlin has fallen in love with her. After Morgana is returned to Camelot from the Druids, Arthur corners Merlin and, despite his own mismatched relationship with Gwen, advises Merlin to stick to women of his own status because Uther would "have his head" for trying to woo Morgana Pendragon. Gwen is later kidnapped by a group of bandits whose intention was to capture Morgana, but Morgana escaped them leaving them with Gwen. Therefore, the bandits decide to ransom Gwen in her place. Uther refuses to do anything, so, on Morgana's urgent request, Arthur and Merlin leave on their own. Arthur's behaviour arouses Merlin's suspicion, however, and Arthur eventually confesses that he is in love with Gwen. But he also says that nothing could ever happen between them because his father will never allow it. Merlin says that he can change that when he becomes king and assures him that Gwen will wait for him if she feals the same way.
Arthur and Merlin eventually arrive at the bandits' hideout where they find that Gwen and Lancelot, who attempted to free Gwen, are going to be killed. They manage to stop the attempted execution and free the two. On the journey back to Camelot, Arthur notices that Gwen and Lancelot have feelings for each other and becomes jealous. Lancelot leaves after he finds out about Arthur's feelings for Gwen, deciding that he will not allow himself to come between them. Despite Lancelot's departure and Gwen's safe return, Arthur is left troubled. As time goes on, Arthur and Gwen continue their relationship though it remains largely unspoken between the pair. Both are reluctant to talk together about their honest feelings and tend to be somewhat awkward with one another. (Lancelot and Guinevere).
When Uther marries Lady Catrina (who is actually a troll in disguise) Arthur at first attempts to be supportive although he is clearly shocked by his father's hasty nuptials. He tells a doubtful Merlin that Uther is happy and that is all that mattered. Merlin is later falsely accused of theft by the new queen and Arthur warns him that Uther is after him, thus giving him time to escape capture. Uther, under the magical influence of his new wife, expresses doubt that Arthur possesses the abilities to be a strong king of Camelot. Arthur is bewildered by his father’s change in opinion regarding his capabilities, unaware that Uther has been enchanted by Catrina, and starts to doubt himself.
He disagrees with Uther’s new taxations, arguing that the people of Camelot can not afford it and will starve if they are forced to pay any more. He returns tax money to the peasants in the town and intervenes when he sees guards punishing a peasant who has not paid his tax. The people look on him in gratitude, among them Guinevere, though he does not spot her in the crowd. Arthur soon goes to Uther and refuses to carry out his orders any further, deeming them unfair and believing he can be both King and friend to the people of Camelot. He comments to Uther that they are servants to Camelot’s people just as much as Camelot’s people are servants to them. Uther disagrees and Arthur leaves, confused by Uther’s changed attitude. Arthur is pleasantly surprised when Gwen comes to his private chambers to thank him for his kindness towards the people of Camelot. He confides in her, allowing her to see his growing doubts over what kind of king he should and can be, thanks to Uther’s unkind words. She disagrees with him and tells him that they both know his doubts are unfounded.
She also reassures him when he questions Uther’s love for him. She tells him that he has a kind heart that ought never to change to please anyone, which seems to touch him. They end their conversation when Sir Leon summons Arthur to his father, though he and Gwen appear to have started to regain the closeness they shared before Lancelot came between them. Uther then informs Arthur that he is disinherited, leaving Catrina the sole heir to the throne. Shocked and upset, Arthur storms out, utterly confused. Having initially doubted Merlin when he told him Catrina was a troll, Arthur soon begins to accept that his father was put under a spell. Merlin proves himself right by blocking Catrina's passage to a private room when she begins to transform into her troll form, leading to an incredulous confrontation between Arthur, Morgana and Uther, the latter of whom is utterly oblivious to the truth. Arthur therefore agrees to Merlin and Gaius’ plan to bring down the new Queen of Camelot. He drinks a potion that will bring him to the brink of death so that Uther will cry tears of regret over his treatment of Arthur, since this is the only way to break the powerful troll magic. They are successful and Arthur subsequently kills the troll. He does not hold a grudge against Uther and teases his father about marrying and sleeping in the same bed as a troll. He also thanks Merlin for his help and they share a brief half-hug handshake.
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 Pendragon 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 is challenged and defeated in a sword-fight by a woman named Morgause. As Morgause has Arthur at her mercy, he is spared only on the condition that he agrees to come to her and accept another challenge. As she is leaving, she tells Arthur that she knows something about his mother. This arouses the prince's curiosity, and he decides to go and visit her. After having to break out of Camelot with Merlin's help, they journey to Morgause's castle.
Once there, she challenges him to put his head on a chopping block so she can kill him. Though hesitant, Arthur does so, and Morgause says this is a test of his character. As his reward for passing, Morgause uses her magic to summon the apparition of his deceased mother, allowing him to meet her for the first time. From his mother, Arthur learns partly 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. Although Uther did not forsee this, Ygraine or the illusion of Ygraine falsly claims that Uther sacrificed her willingly. Arthur is horrified by this, and interpretes Uther's anti-magic laws and the Great Purge as the result of Uther being unable to blame himself for Ygraine's death.Furious, Arthur returns to Camelot and confronts the king. Arthur then challenges him to mortal combat, something about he gives his father no choice but to accept. Uther does not accept but has to defend himself against Arthur's frantic attacks. Arthur eventually disarms his father, but before he can kill him, Uther assures Arthur that he loved Ygraine and could have never done anything to hurt her. Still unconvinced, Arthur keaps threatening his father, but Merlin manages to convince him that Morgause tricked him. This encounter appears to have deepened Arthur's own hatred of magic (The Sins of the Father).
When a Druid girl called Freya escaped from a bounty hunter named Halig, Halig warns Uther of what damage that the girl can do, so Uther helps Halig find Freya. Around Camelot, there are residents being killed at night by a creature called a "Bastet", which is actually Freya in her cursed form. Later, Halig finds Merlin, who is "acting suspiciously", and attempts to interrogate him, but Arthur steps in and stops him. One night, Arthur, Halig and the Knights of Camelot attempt the recapture of the girl, but she transforms into the Bastet, kills Halig, but is fatally wounded by Arthur in self defence. Merlin stops the Bastet from killing Arthur, but Arthur cannot see as he is knocked out after a final blow from the Bastet. Freya tragically dies, and Arthur notices Merlin acting suspiciously upset, although he does not question it (The Lady of the Lake).
Lady VivianWhen Arthur is put under a spell to fall in love with a princess named Vivian, only Gwen can break the spell as she is Arthur's true love. Gwen has never been vocal about her true feelings for Arthur, but when he is put under enchantment Gwen shows that she really is in love with him. She tells him she finds it difficult to express what is truly in her heart. After their problems with Lancelot, Arthur now knows that Gwen loves him as much as he loves her. Gwen also acknowledges the pain she causes him with Lancelot. She still thinks she can never be his queen, Arthur does not agree and hopes that they can marry when he becomes king. They both know that they will never be allowed to marry whilst Uther is king, but Merlin believes Arthur can change that once he becomes king (Sweet Dreams).
A ruthless sorcerer named Alvarr, while preparing a rebelion againist Uther, seeks the help of Mordred and Morgana to help him steal and wield the Crystal of Neahtid. However, Merlin helps thwart their plan by having Gaius warn King Uther about Alvarr's hideout. Uther has Arthur and the Knights of Camelot raid the camp and steal back the crystal. It results in a battle, Camelot, led by Arthur, defeats Alvarr and his bandits. Mordred flee and Alvarr is captured (The Witch's Quickening).
Invasion of the Knights of Medhir
When Arthur and Merlin go to investigate the fires of the castle of Idirsholas, Morgause has put a spell on Morgana to make everyone in Camelot fall asleep, so the Knights of Medhir can simply ride in and conquer Camelot. But Arthur and Merlin come back to Camelot before their arrival, they aid Uther, and find Morgana. They fight the knights, but they can't be defeated. Without Arthur knowing, Merlin bargains with Morgause for Morgana's life, which destroys the Knights of Medhir, just as Arthur bargs into the room and sees Morgause escape with Morgana, before he can save her (The Fires of Idirsholas).
Revenge of the Great Dragon
Arthur is later forced, along with his knights to defend Camelot from The Great Dragon who is freed by Merlin (though Arthur doesn't know it) and attacks Camelot every night as revenge for his imprisonment and the near extinction of his kind. After realising that the Dragon is too powerful for them to defeat, Arthur and Merlin go on a mission to find Balinor, a Dragonlord and (unknown to Arthur) Merlin's father. They find Balinor who at first refuses to return to Camelot, believing that it is perfectly fair that The Great Dragon should have revenge for everything Uther has done to him. Balinor is eventually convinced to return when he realizes that Gaius, whom he owes a life debt, is in danger. Arthur tells him he will be rewarded but Balinor replies that he seeks no reward. Unfortunately the Dragonlord is fatally injured by an enemy king's knights and dies in Merlin's arms. Arthur watches but can't understand why Merlin is so upset as he still doesn't know Balinor is Merlin's father. Arthur and Merlin arrive back at Camelot and report the death of the last Dragonlord. Then they go out with Arthur's knights to make one last attempt to kill The Great Dragon. The Dragon presumably kills all of Arthur's knights but Arthur rolls under a stream of fire and manages to land a blow on the Dragon with his sword. The Dragon retaliates by smashing him with one of its huge front legs, knocking him unconscious. Merlin, who gained the powers of a Dragonlord thanks to his father, banishes the Dragon from Camelot and then tells Arthur that the wound he gave the Dragon was fatal.
Return of MorganaOn the orders of his persistent and relentless father, Arthur, Merlin and the knights of Camelot spend almost a year searching for Morgana. One day whilst looking for her in a forest, Merlin asks Arthur if what they are doing is a good idea, but Arthur as usual disregards him. They soon find a deserted camp in a forest, and it isn't before long they are attacked by the bandits occupying the camp. After a short battle, they are victorious.
In the battle's aftermath, they see one final figure approaching; as they get closer, the group sees that it is a bloodied and dishevelled Morgana, shocking Arthur and Merlin. After she sleeps Morgana tells Arthur about her year, and 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 asks to speak to Merlin. In Arthur's chambers, Arthur notices Merlin being very cheerful and wonders why, Merlin replies because Morgana is back.
When Arthur goes to train, Merlin makes Arthur lose his sword, and he is 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 outside. He sees something in the well, terrifying him. Arthur asks Gaius what may have made Uther go mad. Gaius says he has no idea, but he tells him that when he found Uther, he was crying, calling out Ygraine's name. Arthur and Sir Leon catch wind that mercenaries are flooding into Cenred's kingdom; they fear he is raising an army and inform Uther, but he does not listen due to seeing hallucinations. All of a sudden, the warning bells sound; the body of a wounded sentry has been found. Gaius tells Arthur that the knife used to injure the man is marked with the sigil of the Blood Guard, an order of warrior priests who protect the High Priestesses of the Old Religion.
The Great Battle for Camelot
Arthur states that the guard is still alive and will soon identify his attacker, but he is soon killed. Uther is still weak from the ordeal and unfit to rule. The following day, a patrol of Camelot knights, led by Sir Leon discover Cenred's army and race back to alert Arthur, who finally takes charge of the city from the weakened Uther. Leon reports that Cenred's army numbered at least 20000, outnumbering Camelot's forces two to one. Gaius suggests they negotiate with Cenred, if only to buy them time to prepare, but Arthur, knowing Cenred will not be easily satisfied, orders Camelot to prepare for a siege, insisting that the castle has never been taken, thereby giving them the advantage. He also orders that the people of Camelot's outlying villages take shelter within the city. When Leon argues they will be leaving behind their homes and livestock, Arthur replies at least they will have their lives. As night falls and Cenred's army surrounds the city, Merlin helps Arthur into his armour; as he does so, Merlin for the first time speaks openly about Arthur's destiny to be Camelot's greatest king and assurs him that the victory he will win will be remembered forever. Arthur seems touched by Merlin's faith in him and shows a grudging respect for Merlin's wisdom, though he is quick to disguise it with his usual abrasiveness. At the urging of Morgause, Cenred begins the attack; as catapults bombarded Camelot, Cenred's army breaks through the city gates and battle erupts in the streets. Arthur and his men defend the walls and barricades, holding Cenred's men from advancing, and Uther, ignoring the advice of Gaius, Leon and Arthur, dons armor and joins the battle, fighting against the invaders. Arthur pulls him back despite his protests that he will not let Camelot fall, a crossbow bolt hits him in the leg. With their king injured and Cenred's men overrunning the barricades, Arthur orders a retreat back to the castle, leaving the lower town to the attackers.
As Cenred's men advance on the retreating Camelot soldiers, Merlin assists Arthur by using magic to block their path with fire. As the knights of Camelot fight a desperate battle to keep Cenred's men from breaking into the castle, to their horror; skeleton warriors begin to emerge from the castle and attack Camelot's army from behind. Arthur, Merlin, Leon and a number of knights try to hold the skeletons off, but their weapons can't kill the undead warriors, only slow them down. As Arthur and his men fight a losing battle on two fronts to hold off Cenred's men and the undead, Arthur insists that they must evacuate Uther, but Gaius replies that with the lower town lost, there is no way to escape; this is now a fight to the death. Eventually, the army of the dead suddenly return to a truly dead status. In the battle's aftermath, Merlin tries to tell Arthur something, but Morgana has gotten there ahead of him, having told Uther and Arthur that she destroyed the staff and stopped the skeletons. After Camelot is safe, Arthur demands that Merlin attend to his chores (The Tears of Uther Pendragon).
Gaius PossessedWhen Gaius is possessed by a goblin, Arthur is forced to arrest Merlin for apparently using magic, though while he does this he avoids looking Merlin in the eye. He also looks shocked when he hears that Merlin will be executed, presumably because he will have thought, since Merlin saved his life on many occasions, Uther will go easier on him. The next day, Arthur grows suspicious of Gaius' strange behaviour when he speaks out of turn in council. He tricks Gaius into saying he will be glad to see Merlin hang, and to keep Arthur quiet, the Goblin casts a spell on Arthur to give him the ears and voice of a donkey. Gwen and Merlin are the only two people to know about this, and when he sees her after Merlin has undone all the Goblin's work, he tells Gwen that he thinks it is best to forget the events of the last few days. However, Merlin left Arthur with a donkey's laugh for one extra day (Goblin's Gold).
Arthur meets a man named Gwaine around the time of Camelot's Mêlée, he meets him in a tavern brawl when Arthur encounters a thug named Dagr. Gwaine helps Arthur and at one instance, saves his life. But in the brawl, Gwaine is knocked out, so Arthur and Merlin aids him by taking him back to Camelot with them. At Camelot, Gwaine stirs up a lot of trouble, significantly, Gwaine eats for dozen pickled eggs, to which Arthur has to pay for. Meanwhile, Dagr and Ebor are plotting their revenge for the tavern incident. The seek the help of a sorcerer named Cylferth, to help them transform into two knights. Dagr and Ebor kill Sir Ethan and Sir Oswald before arriving in Camelot disguised as those two. Arthur later attends an audience with the king after Gwaine attacks Sir Oswald (Dagr), Gwaine is set to be executed, but Arthur steps in and states that Gwaine has a "noble heart", furthermore Uther only banishes Gwaine from Camelot. In the mêlée, Arthur is forced to fight the two disuised thugs whom wield Stulorne Blades to fight. But Gwaine returns and helps Arthur defeat the two knights, killing the thugs. Uther, as he is stubborn, still inforce to banishment on Gwaine, despite the knights' true nature being revealed (Gwaine).
After being shot by bandits and later healed by Taliesin, Arthur returns from the Valley of Kings with Merlin, who, unbeknownst to Arthur, have seen a vision of Morgana killing the king in the Crystal Cave with a bejewelled dagger. Therefore, when Arthur tells him he got Morgana a dagger for her birthday, Merlin is greatly panicked until it is revealed that the dagger Arthur got is plain, unlike that in Merlin's vision. To cover up his surprise, Merlin remarks that he thought girls prefer 'pretty things', which however leads Arthur to change his dagger to the one in Merlin's vision. As a result, in yet another attempt to prevent the future, Merlin causes Morgana's accident and fetches Arthur, who brings Morgana to Gaius where it is revealed that her head injuries are fatal. Arthur is devastated by the knowledge that Morgana will die, commenting he would give up his throne to allow her to live, and is later seen taking out his violent rage on a training dummy. Seeing Arthur's grief at Morgana's worsening condition add to Merlin's dilemma on whether to allow Morgana to die to prevent her dark future or to save her and ultimately help persuade him to use magic to heal her (The Crystal Cave).
When the royal family of Gawant pay a visit to Camelot, Arthur is pressured by Uther into marrying Lord Godwyn's daughter, Elena. Unknowingly, Elena is a part of a Sidhe-Queen plot controlled by her Pixie maid Grunhilda, she is a Changeling, one who is slowly becoming a Sidhe. Arthur reluctantly plans his marriage with Elena, while trying to keep his true love happy, Guinevere. Arthur goes out horse riding with Elena, and on this journey, they discuss a lot about their childhood, but on some occasions, one particularly when Arthur gives her flowers, she sneezes on him. When they arrive back in Camelot, she gives him an awkward, unwanted hug. Arthur, sadly proposes to Elena, while unhappily telling Gwen that their relationship has to end. Merlin handles the Sidhe-Queen plot and makes dispose of the Changeling inside Elena. Minutes prior to his marriage, Merlin and Arthur discuss about the wedding. Merlin tells Arthur that he should go with his heart, which is what he does as he interrupts Geoffrey of Monmouth during their marriage, cancelling it. Just as the family of Gawant departs, Arthur notices something different about Elena, he sees a more mature side to her. She tells him that one day she hopes they'llfind their true loves. Later, Arthur encounters Gwen and states that he is still a "single man", and reviving their fast-developing relationship (The Changeling).
Arthur learns from Morgana that Gwen had gone missing, not knowing it was a trap to lure him. When Gwen shows up, he tells Arthur and Merlin about Cenred holding her brother Elyan captive in hopes that Arthur would risk everything for Gwen. Before they leave, Arthur makes an excuse to Uther, which would not leave the king suspicious. Before Arthur can leave with Merlin and Gwen, Morgana insists that she come along too as she is "worried" about her maid. They try to breach the Castle of Fyrien, where they were captured easily by Cenred's men. Arthur was imprisioned with Merlin, who both escaped from their cell and found Gwen and Elyan. Arthur, not being able to leave Morgana behind, went on to search for her telling the other to head for Camelot and not wait for him. Arthur was surprised to find Morgause was present, while Cenred held a knife to Morgana's throat. Morgause then sent a Wall of Fire at Arthur, but it mysteriously exploded to her own dismay, knocking everybody in the hall out. He then carries an "injured" Morgana to the horses where Gwen and Elyan wait. They are later attacked by Cenred's bandits, where Arthur is amazed at Elyan's swordsman skills. They arrive at Camelot, where Gwen thanks Arthur for saving her brother. Arther then tells her that is what he would do for someone he loves. (The Castle of Fyrien)
The Golden TridentTo prove his worthiness to become King of Camelot, Arthur was sent on a quest to retrieve the Golden Trident of the Fisher King, alone and unaided. Unaware of what it was, he was given a Phoenix Eye by Morgana, who pretended it was a gift for good luck, hiding the fact that the bracelet actually consumed the life force of its bearer. Travelling alone to the Perilous Lands, his energy was therefore slowly sapped. Upon meeting Grettir, the dwarf warlock who guarded the bridge to the Fisher King's kingdom, Arthur was confused when he referred to him as "Courage" and asked where "Strength" and "Magic" were, and was troubled when told he would need "Magic" more than he knew since he did not condone its use. Grettir noticed the Phoenix Eye on Arthur's wrist and at once knew its true nature, but did not warn Arthur of its harmful effects.
Fighting his way to the Fisher King's tower, he was attacked by two Wyverns whilst the remainder of his life force was consumed. After being found and revived by Merlin and Gwaine he was angered, feeling that since they had helped him, his quest was meaningless, though he continued to search for the trident. After being separated from Merlin in the Fisher King's 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 deliberately lost a one-on-one sword fight with his father out of respect, allowing Uther to keep his title as Camelot's best warrior. Uther was aware that Arthur had lost the duel on purpose and was grateful for it, calling it a mark of his readiness to be king and stating his hope that his own children would show him the same respect.
Alice poisoning Uther
When the Manticore possesses Alice and forces her to make an attempt on the king's life. Alice poisons Uther, which results in her being locked up by Arthur. Arthur begs her to save him but she continues to blame the Manticore. But in the end, Merlin and Gaius are the ones who saved Uther (Love in the Time of Dragons).
Exposed Relationship with Guinevere
Once Morgana had a vision of the Coronation of Queen Guinevere, she acts immediately by, with Morgause, planning to split Arthur and Guinevere's relationship. Morgana persuades both Guinevere and Arthur to have confidence in themselves so they can romantically meet in the woods. Merlin indirectly helps Arthur and Gwen prepare for their secret meeting in the woods. Morgana then stirs up trouble when she asks Uther to go on a ride. Morgana, instead of going on a casual ride, takes Uther to where Arthur and Gwen have met. Arthur and Gwen flirt with each other, they then engage in a kiss, but they do just as Uther and Morgana arrives.
Once back in Camelot, Uther laughs and thinks this romance is hilarious, but it must not continue. Arthur argues with his father but he stubbornly does not change his mind.
Morgana then explains to Uther that this relationship appears to be rather 'sudden', and tells him that it indicates the possibility of Arthur being under an enchantment by Guinevere. Uther then acts by searching Arthur's chambers, they find a Poultice, which Gwen apparently planted there. Arthur denies that she put it there and attempts to explain that his feelings for Guinevere are genuine, however Uther believes that he is saying that under the enchantment. After Guinevere's interrogation, Uther sentences Guinevere to death assuming the enchantment will die with her. Arthur vows that he will never forgive him if he does as such, but Uther does not listen to any word coming from him as they are 'enchanted'.
Shortly before Guinevere's execution, Arthur finds an old man planting another poultice under his pillow. He claims to be 'Dragoon the Great'. He then 'turns himself in', 'proving' that Guinevere is entirely innocent. Uther reluctantly sentences him to death, replacing Guinevere. However, shortly before his execution he uses magic to free himself from the guards' grasp and storms off. Arthur chases him, but instead 'finds Merlin' instead of the old man. Arthur and Gwen later told each other that their relationship must be postponed until Arthur becomes king (Queen of Hearts).
At Camelot's Decennial Tournament, Arthur's father, Uther, made a surprise entry into the tournament. Arthur's eagerness for victory of this tournament weakened as he didn't want the kingdom to misjudge his father if he beat him. Both Arthur and Uther fought their way to the semi-final where they were forced to fight each other for a position in the final. In his duel with Uther, Arthur was easily on top of the duel, but he deliberately lost for the sake of his father's reputation. Arthur then watched his father defeat Gilli to claim the prize of 100 gold pieces. Uther then acknowledged to Arthur and Morgana that Arthur most definitely would have beat him and he is fully ready to become king (The Sorcerer's Shadow).
Discovering Morgana's Betrayal
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 druids and retrieved the cup off them, but lost it as 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 Pendragon’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 sister's 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 as 'if the King was free, then Morgana will never command the peoples loyalty' and the remaining 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 due to Morgana's betrayal, 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.
The Darkest Hour
Over a year after Morgana left the castle, peace was restored to Camelot, although Arthur became regent of the kingdom since Uther was utterly broken by Morgana's betrayal and no longer fit to rule. Arthur had his uncle, Agravaine, become his chief advisor, unaware that his true loyalties lay with Morgana. Meanwhile, Morgana attempted to make Camelot fall by tearing open the veil between the living world and the spirit world, thus summoning dangerous creatures known as the Dorocha. The Dorocha began to strike people down at night throughout Camelot and were immune to all but fire and light. Arthur, desperate to resolve the crisis, learned from Gaius that the only way to defeat the Dorocha would be to make a blood sacrifice on the altar in the Isle of the Blessed to repair the veil and seal the Dorocha in the spirit world. Arthur therefore planned to sacrifice himself and bade farewell to his father and Gwen before leaving with Merlin and the knights.
However, en route to the Isle of the Blessed, the group were attacked by Dorocha and Merlin threw himself in Arthur's path to protect him and was grievously injured in doing so. Though Merlin was still alive after the attack, he was dying from his wound and was in no fit state to travel. Arthur planned to return Merlin to Camelot so that Gaius would cure him, but Sir Leon and Lancelot expressed the need to continue the their quest before more were killed by the Dorocha. Lancelot then offered to take Merlin back to Gaius while Arthur and the other knights continued to the Isle of the Blessed, cutting through a cave infested with Wilddeoren and narrowly escaping them. Lancelot then returned with Merlin, who had been healed by the Vilia, and they continued the journey to the Isle of the Blessed. Once they arrived, Arthur and the group were attacked by Wyvern but with Merlin, Elyan and Percival's help they escaped. Arthur and the others then encountered the Cailleach who demanded a blood sacrifice to seal the rift between the worlds. Arthur told her that he would sacrifice himself, but before he could do so, Merlin knocked him unconscious with his magic. Merlin then offered to take Arthur's place as a sacrifice, only to be told it was not yet his time to die, and while he was distracted Lancelot stepped through the veil and became the needed sacrifice. When returning to Camelot, a funeral was held for Lancelot and Arthur expressed that Lancelot was among the the noblest of all knights. Gwen tearfully told him that Lancelot sacrificed himself to fulfil the promise of protecting Arthur at all costs which she had asked of him before he had left (The Darkest Hour).
A New King
When actors came to Camelot for Arthur's birthday they drugged the prince so that they would be able to kill him on orders from Odin as revenge for Arthur killing his son. This is the second time Odin has tried to do this. With Arthur drugged, he was not able to fight and was saved by his father however the king was mortally wounded. Desperate not to lose his father Arthur went looking for Dragoon to help him with magic, not knowing that it was in fact Merlin. Arthur agreed to lift the ban on magic if his father was saved. However, Morgana learnt of this plot and planted a necklace that reversed the effects of the healing magic, resulting in Uther's death and Arthur's heart hardening against magic even further. Arthur was then crowned King of Camelot (The Wicked Day).
Hunting for the Dragon's Egg
Arthur was later informed that a Dragon's Egg had been stolen, but was unaware that Merlin aided the thief, Julius Borden (only to be betrayed). Believing dragons should be extinct, Arthur, along with the knights and Merlin, journeyed on a quest to find the traitor and destroy the egg. He and the knights were later poisoned after Borden spiked their food, but Merlin cured them and pursued Borden himself. Merlin eventually knocked Borden out, gained hold of the egg and escaped the tomb as it collapsed (leaving Borden for dead), and told Arthur that the egg had perished with the tomb, something he believed.
At War With CaerleonUpon the discovery and capture of King Caerleon in Camelot's territory, Arthur was told by Agravaine that he should offer an ultimatum to Caerleon - either accept the terms of a severe treaty or be put to death. Arthur, having succeeded to the throne only recently and keen to assert his authority, was swayed by Agravaine's advice. Merlin tried to convince Arthur otherwise, telling him it was unlike him not to show mercy towards a defeated enemy, but Arthur ultimately ignored him and presented Caerleon with the treaty, knowing that he could not accept the terms. Arthur then killed Caerleon in cold blood, causing his wife, Queen Annis, to declare war upon Camelot. Morgana went to Annis's court and offered allegiance, seeking to destroy Arthur and seize the throne of Camelot. Arthur was later convinced under Agravaine's advice to end his relationship with Gwen, stating that her low status as a servant rendered their relationship inappropriate now he was King of Camelot.
The next morning, Camelot set out for battle, and Arthur was overtaken by serious doubts about his course of action, knowing that the conflict could have been avoided. Seeing the loyalty and willingness of his men to die for him, Arthur was prompted to visit Queen Annis late at night, seeking to prevent the impending war and bloodshed. Annis apprehended Arthur, striking him, but eventually agreed to hear him out. Arthur pleaded with her to concede the right to single combat between two champions from each side instead of a full out war between the two armies, accepting responsibility for the unjust killing of Caerleon. Merlin was caught eavesdropping and Arthur saved him from being killed, but he later questioned Merlin's inability to leave things be, to which Merlin replied that he was Arthur's friend. Arthur put himself forwards to be the champion for Camelot at once, despite his knights' protests, claiming that the whole situation was the result of his own error of judgement and therefore none of his men but he ought to risk his life for it. Annis was initially suspicious of his decision, but Morgana sardonically reassured her that to offer his own life was well within Arthur's character, and so Annis accepted the terms. The two champions set out to fight, Morgana concealed among the enemy ranks. During the battle, in which Arthur and Caerleon's champion are reasonably matched, Morgana enchanted Arthur's sword to vastly increase its weight, making it virtually unusable. Caerleon's champion immediately took the upper hand, but Merlin intervened to allow Arthur to snatch the victory. Arthur defeated the champion but did not kill him, having learnt his lesson about mercy. Annis approached him and the two made peace, with Annis commenting that she had misjudged Arthur and that he offered hope to them all as king. Arthur then returned to Camelot where he retracted his earlier words to Gwen and reinstated their relationship.
Merlin KidnappedWhile on an excursion with the Knights of Camelot and Merlin, Arthur was ambushed by mercenaries and leaving Merlin wounded. Arthur and Merlin were then separated from the rest of the knights and were forced to spend the night in the forest. The next morning, Arthur carried Merlin in an attempt to escape, but they were once again ambushed by the mercenaries. Merlin sacrificed his own safety to protect Arthur by using magic to cause a rockfall, blocking the mercenaries' route to Arthur but trapping himself with them in the process. Arthur, yelling out Merlin's name but powerless to help, went on to organise search parties for his friend though Agravaine informed him that Merlin was most certainly gone. Arthur was then by Leon that there was a traitor in Camelot giving away their secrets. The next morning he was introduced to a new manservant, George, who was infinitely more efficient and competent as a servant than Merlin, but Arthur, fond of Merlin and disliking the change, quickly rebuffed him. Arthur continued to search for Merlin in the morning with Gwaine, eventually stumbling across him in the woods. They returned to Camelot, unaware that Merlin had been held captive by Morgana who had inserted a Fomorroh leaving Merlin with the sole intent of trying to kill Arthur. Arthur, however, remained oblivious to Merlin's clumsy attempts to assassinate him and confronted Agravaine, asking if he was the traitor but believing him when he claimed he was not. Arthur continued to be unaware of Merlin's attempts on his life, leaving Gaius and Gwen to have to knock Merlin out in order to paralyse the Fomorroh and give Merlin back his mind so he could kill the beast. Arthur, however, believed that Merlin had been spending time in the tavern in his absence and therefore ordered him to be trained by George, the manservant Arthur dubbed utterly "boring".
Arthur continued to be concerned by the presence of a traitor among his inner circle. Agravaine and Morgana schemed to use the opportunity to be rid of Gaius, planting doubts in Arthur's head about his loyalty. Arthur therefore decided to allow Agravaine to question Gaius about his views on magic and whether he knew more about the sorcerer, Dragoon the Great, who had 'killed' Uther Pendragon. Though Arthur was unhappy at treating Gaius in this way, he sensed that Gaius was hiding something. When news of Gaius' disappearance reached him Arthur took it as evidence that Gaius was the traitor and was now fleeing because of it. Arthur, though he showed sympathy and understanding to a deeply upset Merlin, argued with him when he suggested that Agravaine was not to be trusted. However, when it became clear that Gaius had been kidnapped and was not the traitor in Camelot, Arthur went to him and apologised profusely. He also asked Gaius why he had not told the truth about Dragoon the Great, to which Gaius answered that he had been protecting him from Arthur's punishment since he had truly tried to save Uther. Arthur accepted this explanation and seemed to have calmed over the situation, no longer as wrathful towards Dragoon the Great.
The Lamia Crisis
When Gwen's old friend Mary to Camelot asking for the King's aid as her hometown of Longstead was being ravaged by an incurable disease, Arthur felt honour-bound to help and sent Merlin, Gwen and a detachment of his knights to investigate. After a few days Arthur became worried when his friends did not return and decided to lead a group himself to investigate, taking Gaius and Agravaine with him. Arthur grew even more concerned when Gaius informs him that a Lamia might be on the loose. The King was therefore determined to save his friends, ignoring Agravaine's objections. After a long search, Arthur arrived at the castle to which the Lamia had lured her victims, just in time to kill it and save Merlin and Gwen from their fate. Back in Camelot, Arthur expressed his admiration for Gwen's courage during the ordeal.
Prompted by the incident with the Lamia, Arthur decided it was time to propose to Gwen. When he told the news to his uncle, Agravaine seemingly respected Arthur's choice but notified Morgana soon afterwards. Determined not to be usurped as Queen of Camelot by her former maidservant, Morgana planned to break up the pair and disgrace Gwen, thus preventing the marriage. She resurrected the shade of Sir Lancelot and used him to trap Gwen into adultery, with Agravaine ensuring Arthur caught Lancelot and Gwen in an embrace. All goes according to plan for Morgana and, in blind fury, Arthur attacked Lancelot, both coming close to killing one another. Their fight was only halted when Gwen begged them to stop. Arthur then had both imprisoned to await his jurisdiction, and the shade Lancelot killed himself on Morgana's orders while in the dungeon. Arthur interpreted this as being due to Lancelot's nobility and great sense of right and wrong, commenting that he had been a man of honour "in all ways but one". He then banished Gwen from Camelot forever, no longer trusting her nor wanting to see her on a daily basis in the castle. Merlin attempted to plead on Gwen's behalf, but Arthur, though deeply grieved by the idea of banishing her, did not change his mind.
On a routine excursion with his most trusted knights, Merlin and Arthur stumbled upon a Druid shrine, erected for the spirit of a person condemned to an unjust death. Merlin was quickly disturbed by the strange presence lingering, and so warned the others that the shrine was an ominous place in which they ought not to linger. The group soon departed, but unbeknownst to the others Elyan remained, drawn in by a small well due to his thirst. Taking a drink, Elyan unwittingly disturbed the spirit, which latched onto him as he returned to Camelot. Meanwhile, Arthur appeared preoccupied with intermittent periods of melancholy, presumably due to his choice to banish Gwen. Elyan suffered increasingly with the spirit's presence and ultimately ended up possessed entirely by the young Druid boy, who appeared deathly pale and dripping wet. The spirit was in his state of unrest due to his unfair death, and therefore demanded that Elyan kill the King to avenge him. Elyan, under the spirit's influence, subsequently made an attempt on Arthur's life, charging into his rooms at night and engaging in combat.
However, Arthur's superior swordsmanship prevented Elyan from carrying out the murder, and Elyan fled as the guards arrived. Agravaine arranged search parties and demanded that Arthur sentence Elyan to death upon capture, which Merlin contested due to the fact that he believed Elyan not to be acting of his own accord. This left Arthur conflicted and questioning the just course of action.When Elyan was captured and imprisoned by the Knights of Camelot, Merlin planned to exorcise the spirit and so broke him out of the dungeons, planning to sedate him. However, the spirit warned Elyan and so he knocked Merlin out and was once again out to claim Arthur's life. Arthur was therefore put under heavy guard. Gaius confirmed Elyan's possession upon seeing a circle of salt at the foot of Elyan's bed, which had been his attempt to ward off evil spirits. Gaius presumed the spirit's death had been due to Uther's actions during the Great Purge, and that his hold on Elyan would be too strong to break. He therefore suggested that Arthur had no choice but to put Elyan to death. However, Arthur knew otherwise and, in the dead of night, crept from Camelot, only to be tailed by Merlin. Arthur allowed Merlin to accompany him to the site of the Druid shrine. Once there, Arthur summoned the spirit and, throwing his sword aside and on his knees, beseeched the spirit to listen. Arthur explained that it had not been Uther who had caused the boy's death, but rather he himself. With great remorse, Arthur spoke of the raid he had led when he was young and inexperienced and desperate for approval, and how he had known some of his men had disobeyed his command to spare the women and children. In a rare moment of complete vulnerability, Arthur said he was still haunted by the memory, and swore that in the future the Druid people would be treated with the respect they deserved. The spirit, accepting Arthur's sincere remorse, embraced and forgave him, at last able to find peace.
Princess MithianAt some point Arthur had entered into negotiations with the kingdom of Nemeth regarding disputed claims on the lands of Gedref. To cement a settlement, he agreed to marry the Princess Mithian of Nemeth, thus securing a friendship between their kingdoms. Mithian arrived in Camelot some days before their due marriage and made an immediate impression on Arthur, who was visibly struck by her beauty. The two got along well from the off, spending the feast together and forming an easy rapport despite Merlin's attempts to intervene and cause potentially awkward situations for Arthur. Arthur seemed somewhat nervous in Mithian's company, though she seemed very poised and gracefully overlooked his clumsier antics. The two went on a breakfast picnic where they were shown to have much in common, seemingly making a good match. Sometime later, Mithian went on a hunting trip with Arthur, Merlin and various other knights. When Merlin caused Arthur's shot to miss, Mithian instead fired her crossbow and shot what was presumed to be a deer, but was actually an enchanted Gwen who had been transformed by Morgana. Despite his good relations with Mithian, when Arthur found the ring he had given to Gwen while searching for the injured deer, he found he could not relinquish his old feelings for her. He therefore called off the marriage to Mithian, offending and slighting her in the process, but he also gave up Camelot's claim to the disputed lands as recompense. Mithian, asking who it was that could trump a princess, learned of Arthur's attachment to Gwen and reacted generously, commenting that decisions should not be made hastily, and returned to her own kingdom (The Hunter's Heart).
Morgana's Second ConquestDuring the feast of Beltane, Camelot was attacked by Morgana and Helios’ army with the help of Agravaine, thus revealing the latter's treachery. Entering through the siege tunnels, the invaders toppled the lower town immediately and quickly managed to seize most of the city, forcing Arthur, Merlin, Elyan and Percival to flee, leaving the others behind. The knights put up a brief fight but were forced further and further back, leaving Arthur injured and confined to a small room which would soon be reached by Morgana's men. Knowing Arthur would not leave his people but recognising that he would be killed if he stayed in Camelot, Merlin cast an enchantment on Arthur to cause him to lose his wit, thus making him utterly compliant to Merlin's instruction. Morgana, having taken over the throne room and hell-bent on capturing Arthur, set off in pursuit of the King's party, catching up with them on horseback. However, the Knights and Merlin managed to keep Arthur safe, but in the process Percival disappeared and Elyan was captured by Morgana's men. Merlin and the enchanted Arthur therefore continued on their journey to the safe haven of Ealdor. Along the way, Merlin advised Arthur to change his clothing as he was immediately identifiable in his armour and royal insignia. Arthur therefore donned the clothing of a peasant farmer. As they continued, the pair encountered a gang of smugglers led by Tristan and Isolde. Tristan allowed Merlin and Arthur to travel alongside them in exchange for gold, unaware of Arthur's true identity as King of Camelot. Merlin, persuading everyone that Arthur was a mere simpleton, took advantage of Arthur's compliant state and persuaded him to do the chores he would usually make Merlin do. However, the next morning, the spell wore off, leaving a furious Arthur demanding an explanation. Merlin informed Arthur about the whole situation and how Tristan and Isolde thought he was a 'simpleton'. Arthur, reflecting on Agravaine and Morgana's treachery, asked why the people he cared about continued to betray him, brooding on whether it was his own failure as a king. Merlin refuted this, stating that they merely sought his power. When Agravaine's troops ambushed the smugglers, Arthur abandoned his simpleton guise and fought to protect them all, saving an injured Isolde's life in the process.Arthur, Merlin, Tristan and Isolde fled, finally arriving at Ealdor to the welcome of Merlin's mother. While in Ealdor, Arthur was reunited with a heartbroken Gwen who had been residing there in her exile. However, Agravaine soon reached Ealdor and so they were forced to flee once again (The Sword in the Stone).
Arthur, Merlin, Gwen, Tristan and Isolde fled into a cave near Ealdor. Knowing that Agravaine would follow, Merlin went back to distract Agravaine in a bid to protect Arthur, despite his protests. Arthur, growing worried about Merlin, went back to try and find him and encountered him after he had dealt with Agravaine.The group set up camp in the nearby forest, where Arthur, steeped in self-doubt, commented that he thought of himself as a worthless king without the support of his people. In an attempt to convince him otherwise, Merlin went into the forest and found Camelot's survivors, among whom were Percival and Leon. Hoping to restore Arthur's faith, Merlin told him the story of the sword Excalibur, which could only be pulled from the stone by a true King of Camelot. With a great crowd gathered around the stone, Arthur struggled to remove the sword with Merlin quietly telling him to have faith. After some trouble, Arthur finally pulled Excalibur out with ease and his faith in himself as a king was restored. Shortly after, Arthur launched a counter-attack on Morgana to reclaim Camelot. Arthur and his followers fought their way into the castle, making their way to the throne room in which Morgana and Helios were waiting. Arthur and Morgana had their first highly tense confrontation since she left Camelot, with Arthur commenting sadly that he had thought they were friends, to which Morgana, conflicted, replied "as did I". However, bitterness returned and Morgana accused Arthur of being too much like his father in his treatment of magic, to which Arthur responded that she too resembled Uther in her cruelty. Morgana then attempted to use magic to attack them, but Merlin had placed a spell on her to inhibit her powers. Helios therefore pushed Morgana back and took up arms, his soldiers entering the throne room to attack. Morgana fled, chased by Guinevere and Merlin, while Arthur engaged with Helios. Arthur was defeated and about to be killed by Helios, but Isolde stabbed him from behind to protect Arthur. However, Isolde was fatally wounded in return by Helios while Morgana escaped Camelot. With Camelot reclaimed and his throne once again secure, Arthur was restored as King of Camelot. Seeing the tragedy of Tristan and Isolde, Arthur confessed to Gwen his feelings for her, expressing that he could not be apart from her. He therefore asked her to marry him and she accepted. Some time after, Arthur had Guinevere crowned Queen of Camelot (The Sword in the Stone).
Searching for His Men
Three years after Guinevere's crowning, Camelot has been enjoying peace and prosperity. However, the warning bells sound, as Gwaine, along with Percival and some of Arthur's men, vanish and reports about their fate all involve the name of Morgana. Although Arthur admits that Morgana is very dangerous, he is determined to find his men, who mean to him more than brothers. Merlin, though, having foreseen the future involving Arthur's death, tells him to go back because he has a bad feeling, but Arthur doesn't listen to him.
He spends some time in Queen Annis' kingdom, and is surprised when he sees Merlin has some skills as a juggler. Some time later, alghouth he planned to ambush Morgana, Arthur ends up being ambushed by her men, but he fights bravely, defeating a number of them. However, he is injured by Ruadan, Morgana's ally, and Merlin uses magic to get him to safety. After he wakes up, Arthur tries to secretly move on, without Morgan and her men finding him, but after Merlin walks into a trap, both him and Arthur, who ran to save him, end up trapped.
Morgana's men,namely Ragnor, find them, and Arthur asks from Ragnor to let his servant go. Merlin, however, says that he will have to be killed first in order for Ragnor to get to Arthur. However, a young man arrives and tells Ragnor that Morgana will have to decide their fate. As that man helps Arthur get up, he tells him that he was once saved by him; Merlin reveals his name, Mordred,much to Arthur's surprise and confusion. (Arthur's Bane).
On the anniversary of Uther's death, Arthur misses his father more then ever. Luckily, he comes into the posession of the Horn Of Cathbhadh, which can summon spirits of the dead. Against better judgement, Arthur uses the Horn to summon his father. Uther reveals that he has been watching his son from the afterlife and is appalled by all of Arthur's decisions since becoming king. Uther believes that Arthur has become weak and will destroy his legacy. The former king sends his son away nonetheless for fear that he will be trapped in the spirit world. With a final glance Arthur bids his father farewell. This act, however, allows Uther to escape the land of the dead and return to the living world. Soon after, Uther's vengeful phantom begins haunting the castle. He damages the Round Table and almost kills Percival and Guinevere. With some help from Gaius, Merlin and Arthur are able to see Uther's ghost and confront him. Merlin reaveals his magic to an enraged Uther, who then attempts to kill the young warlock. He is prevented from doing so by Arthur. Though Arthur admits to loving and respecting his father, he says that Uther had his chance to rule but now it's his son's turn to be king. Arthur blows the Horn again and sent Uther back to the other side before he can reveal Merlin's magic.
PersonalityArthur is portrayed as being highly courageous, honourable, dutiful and just. Having matured and succeeded to the throne as King of Camelot, Arthur is no longer shown as the spoilt and self-serving character he once was, and is far more bound by the kingly responsibilities he must fulfill. Where once he was somewhat juvenile and described by Gwen as a "rough, tough, save the world" kind of person (The Dragon's Call), his progression from boyish prince to adult king have seen a maturation in his personality.
Arthur's fairness is a particularly noteworthy element of his character. Always portrayed as seeking to do the right thing, Arthur is at times conflicted when presented with difficult moral dilemmas, such as being torn between loyalty to his father and protection of the innocent. Arthur considers his decisions very deeply and is never happy to be the reason others suffer, as shown by his offer to fight one-on-one to avoid war with Queen Annis and his offer to sacrifice himself to repair the veil. Arthur takes counsel from his trusted friends, family and advisors, among those Merlin, formerly Agravaine, Gwen and formerly Morgana, and is shown to be more lenient in his policies than his father. Arthur is very brave and willing to take risks even at the cost of his own safety, such as being willing to give his own life to save Merlin's (The Poisoned Chalice), Gwen's (Lancelot and Guinevere) and Camelot's as a whole (The Darkest Hour). During his father's lifetime he was also willing to act against his father's decisions, particularly when reasoned with by Morgana Pendragon (The Mark of Nimueh, The Poisoned Chalice, Lancelot et al). Arthur has a great love for the people of Camelot, frequently acting to ensure their safety and wellbeing, and was stricken when he realised a curse had fallen upon them because of his actions (The Labyrinth of Gedref). He was also unwilling to allow other people sacrifice themselves for him to fix problems he himself had caused (The Poisoned Chalice, The Labyrinth of Gedref, The Darkest Hour, et al).
Arthur is a talented and charismatic leader, capable of inspiring great loyalty in people, though at times he doubts whether or not he deserves such devotion. However, since he would never ask his men to do anything he would not do himself, loyalty is generally forthcoming. Many characters have remarked on Arthur's good nature, including Morgana, who named him "a better man" than his father and Queen Annis, who felt Arthur inspired hope. The lengths Arthur goes to for the sake of people he cares about or is indebted to allow him to reap great loyalty in return from people in all walks of life. Arthur is adept at hiding his true feelings, having been accustomed to carrying out orders that he disagreed with for his father. He also finds it somewhat difficult to express himself emotionally, leading to initial difficulties the progression of his relationship with Guinevere and an awkward start with his one-time betrothed, Princess Mithian. As a result, open expressions of adoration were uncharacteristic and usually signs of enchantment (The Gates of Avalon, Sweet Dreams). At times, Arthur is shown to reveal deeper emotion, such as when seeking forgiveness from the Shrine Boy, after which Merlin commented he had never seen Arthur cry before.
Arthur still retains some of the boyish elements of his personality, particularly regarding Merlin, whom he frequently teases and joins his knights in playing practical jokes on. He also seems to lack patience with Merlin and continually remarks on his servant's apparent incompetence, though at times Arthur also reveals sharper insight and comments that Merlin seems somehow "wise". Arthur does however have a habit of ignoring Merlin's advice and acting of his own - or Agravaine's - accord, sometimes heatedly telling him to be silent.Unlike his father, Arthur was more capable of letting go of the past. He had a less extreme attitude towards sorcery and was prepared to accept that not all sorcerers were as evil as his father claimed, even assisting Morgana in saving a Druid boy's life. He grew to deeply distrust magic after Morgause caused him to nearly kill his father, but gradually returned to his old neutrality and unlike Uther he showed signs of believing that magic could be used for good as well as evil, even going so far as to seek magical intervention to save his father's life (The Wicked Day). However, when this backfired and Uther died seemingly because of Dragoon the Great, Arthur deeply regretted giving magic a chance and denounced it as pure evil. However after Gaius told him that Uther was already dying and that Dragoon really had done his best to save him, Arthur softened though he was still wary of magic and has not lifted the ban on sorcery (The Secret Sharer). Later, Arthur revealed that some time ago, he led a raid on a Druid village, inadvertently causing a boy's death which meant that his spirit possessed Elyan. Arthur, deeply remorseful to the point of weeping, swore to treat the Druids with respect in the future, progressing his more moderate policy towards magic-users. (A Herald of the New Age)
Despite his good nature, Arthur also has a hot temper and can at times become violent and aggressive, particularly when loved ones are threatened. This was especially shown when he learned the truth of his mother's death, when he believed Morgana was dying, when his father was dying and when he saw Gwen kissing Lancelot. In each of these cases Arthur flew into a rage and reacted violently, though stopped short of ever actually killing someone out of anger, usually because someone else intervened before he went too far.
Another negative aspect of Arthur is that he's still a very fickle and uncertain man who does not seem to have a straight opinion about magic. He also accidentally betrayed his father's memory by often blaming him for the law on magic, even though Arthur could change the law since he was now the true king of Camelot. Nonetheless he did admit that he had led the attack on the druid camp which resulted in the death of a young boy who returned as an angry spirit. (A Herald of the New Age, The Sword in the Stone)
MerlinOn their first meeting, Arthur and Merlin got off on the wrong foot. Merlin, not knowing who he was, stood up for a servant Arthur was bullying, and the two then had a brief tussle. Nonetheless, from early on Arthur acknowledged that Merlin was "an idiot", but a "brave one". To both their chagrin, Uther appointed Merlin as Arthur's manservant as a 'reward', which led to Arthur considering him an incompetent and insolent servant, though they quickly developed a grudging affection for one another. 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 often Arthur remained unaware of Merlin's secret intervention. They frequently bickered and played tricks on each other, though they rarely truly fell out. Arthur saying "shut up, Merlin" whenever the latter pointed out inconvenient truths or made poor attempts at humour became something of a catchphrase. He also often called Merlin an "idiot" and scolded him for being seemingly thick and clumsy, but at the same time seemed to be aware that there was far more to him beyond his 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. Princess Mithian also stated that during her stay in Camelot she noticed that Arthur valued Merlin's advice above all others (The Hunter's Heart). Arthur entrusted Merlin with most of his secret activities and missions, and often required his 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, who seemed highly in tune with his true nature and emotions. However, Arthur in turn was predominantly highly unsuccessful in 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 behaviour. 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", "dollophead", and a "clotpole," as well as "supercilious" and "patronising." Arthur in reality trusted and appreciated Merlin, although he had sometimes confessed that he thought that Merlin was hiding something. Arthur refused to believe that Merlin was a sorcerer, reacting with incredulity and doubt whenever he was accused of it, 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). However, though Arthur trusted Merlin, he would still often side with his family members and higher-ranked advisers over him, refusing to believe Merlin informing him of Agravaine's treachery (The Hunter's Heart), and would flat-out tell him to be silent when he pushed too far. Arthur and Merlin, though they would deny it, were close to the extent where Merlin was often one of the few able to reach him when others could not. However, Merlin continued to hide his powers from Arthur, knowing that it was too dangerous to reveal it after the time spent together. Despite Merlin's status as a servant, Arthur displayed great trust in him and appreciated his opinion and wisdom, sometimes even enough to uncharacteristically thank him for it (The Tears of Uther Pendragon, The Changeling, The Coming of Arthur – Part 2). However, Arthur was still well aware of his status as prince and was angry at Merlin when he and Gwaine came to help him on his quest for the Golden Trident, though this anger did not last long and he ended up appreciative of the assistance (The Eye of the Phoenix). 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 how Arthur valued him on the same level as his most trusted knights, and even commented that he was somehow "wise" on at least two occasions. In spite of this appreciation for Merlin's virtues, however, Arthur made sure to continue reaffirming his status as a manservant by constantly setting him endless chores (The Coming of Arthur – Part 2). Before Arthur was crowned king, he finally called Merlin his friend, showing how close he had become to Merlin despite their differences. Arthur even hugged Merlin after finding him in the forest when he was kidnapped by Morgana, which is a notable display of affection since Arthur was unwilling to hug him when Merlin helped him prove to his father that his wife was a troll (A Servant of Two Masters, Beauty and the Beast – Part Two).
Bradley James has confirmed in an interview that Arthur is well ready to find out that Merlin is a sorcerer.
Morgana PendragonMorgana and Arthur grew up together in the court of Camelot and for many years their relationship was strong. On the surface they seemed like siblings, teasing one another mercilessly and trading sarcastic comments, but there was also a much deeper connection between them. Morgana proved to be Arthur's advisor and moral compass early on as she was the only one who could get him to confront and defy his father by doing what he knew in his heart was right. Despite being raised together almost as siblings, Arthur and Morgana developed romantic feelings for one another at some point. Whenever any of the knights charmed Morgana it irked Arthur, while he openly accused her of being jealous when she tried to dissuade him from pursuing Sophia. They shared a number of tender moments where it was clear that the love they had for each other went much deeper than attraction, and the prophetic dreams that terrified Morgana most were ones of Arthur's death (The Gates of Avalon, Le Morte d'Arthur).
Each time she would desperately try to save him and prevent her prophecies from being realised, on one occasion running to plead with him in front of the assembled knights when she knew he would not return safely from a quest. And just as Morgana was fiercely protective of Arthur, he in turn did everything in his power to keep her safe and happy. He defended her interests against his father, securing her release from the dungeons (To Kill the King) and agreeing to defy Uther and smuggle Mordred out of Camelot solely for her sake. However, Arthur's sudden interest in Guinevere caused his relationship with Morgana to suffer. Caught up in his new romantic problems, he failed to realise that Morgana was struggling with something serious and unintentionally left her even more isolated as she wrestled with her growing magic. When she was "kidnapped" by the druids, however, Arthur mounted a rescue and brought her back safely to Camelot, although he did not realise this was not what she wanted. The more he became infatuated with Gwen, the more his relationship with Morgana shifted towards that of brother and sister, while when Uther married Catrina, the two were horrified to discover their new stepmother was a troll.Morgana grew more defensive and less open with Arthur, for instance believing her magic to be the reason she was immune to the sleeping plague while feeling unable to risk telling him the truth. Although Arthur undoubtedly loved and cared for Morgana, she recognised that his position would be one of severe conflict due to his inherited suspicion of magic and therefore could not seek his help. After Morgause disappeared with Morgana, Arthur demonstrated his devotion to her by spending a year searching for her, feeling that he had failed to protect her. Finding her stumbling through the forest on one such patrol, with great relief Arthur brought her back to Camelot where he tenderly listened to her recount her escape and promised her that she was safe now. When Uther fell ill and Arthur was faced with the burden of ruling, he sought comfort from Morgana, embracing her and telling her how glad he was that she was there with him. Unbeknownst to Arthur, Morgana was, in fact, responsible for Uther's decline, and she continued to plot against the king in secret.
When Merlin inadvertently caused a fatal head wound in Morgana in an attempt to stop her from killing Uther, Arthur was utterly grief-stricken at the thought of losing her, ironically telling Merlin he would "sacrifice [his] place on the throne for her to see another sunrise" (The Crystal Cave). For a time, Morgana's hatred was directed solely at Uther, and largely she showed no animosity towards Arthur, but after the discovery that Uther was her father, Morgause pointed out that Arthur was all that stood between Morgana and the crown, despite her being illegitimate and unrecognised. After this, Morgana began to plot against her half-sibling while he remained a doting brother, even risking his life to go back into Cenred's stronghold to rescue her, unaware that it was a trap to get him killed (The Castle of Fyrien). It was not until Morgause's army overtook Camelot and Morgana crowned herself queen that Arthur learned of her treachery and her true paternity. Arthur reeled in the face of this knowledge and spent a whole week struggling with it, only recovering when Merlin rallied him to take back his kingdom from her Arthur lamented that he had known Morgana all his life and could not understand her betrayal, but in the end led his knights against her to take back Camelot.Over a year after he learned of her treachery, Morgana was now fully estranged from Arthur, plotting against him and bringing about Uther's death from afar which resulted in Arthur being crowned King of Camelot. Morgana therefore continued in her attempts to take Arthur's throne, eventually succeeding in conquering Camelot once again. Her first confrontation with Arthur since leaving came when he stormed the castle to take back the kingdom (The Sword in the Stone). The reunion was visibly tense with Morgana's expression conflicted as Arthur lamented that he "thought we were friends", to which she replied "as did I" with an element of regret at the deterioration of their relationship. However, the two could not reconcile and Morgana accused Arthur of being too much like his father, leading Arthur to remark that she too resembled Uther more than she realised.
Guinevere PendragonArthur'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 other's 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 father's wishes. He proclaimed to Merlin how thinking about her "hurt" because he knew they could not be together, and 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 Arthur's 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 demeanour, 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 went 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 than happy to forget the recent events that had occurred (Goblin's Gold). He showed his jealousy of Gwaine when he saw him flirting with Gwen (Gwaine). They were a comfort to each other when Morgana was badly injured (The Crystal Cave). When Uther tried to force Arthur into marriage, the prince was adamant that he wouldn't marry Princess Elena because he didn't love her. Both he and Gwen were distressed at the thought, and they both had their 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 wouldn't have to worry about being scared as she has him, which made her smile. When Gwen told him that if anything happened to him she would never forgive herself, Arthur reassured her that it wouldn't. They shared a tender moment in the woods and almost kissed, but Morgana interrupted them.Arthur made Gwen promise to ride for Camelot when he feared she would die, but Gwen disobeyed 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 "It's what you do when you love someone". Before he left on his quest for the Fisher King's Trident Gwen went to visit him to make sure that he'd be safe. He reassured 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 to him and he offers her a place at the Round Table. Though he leaves her with Gaius to prepare for treating 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. Following Arthur being made king, Arthur and Gwens relationship became more openly known. Arthur temporarily ended their relationship, following the advice of Agravaine, who told him that as king he had to apply to certain standards.
However, following his realisation of the mistakes he had made, after ending the war with Queen Annis, he went home and apologised to Gwen. Eventually Arthur decided to marry Gwen, and after proposing, he held a great tournament to celebrate, and show his affection. However, upon Lancelot's return, and Morgana's love spell, Gwen was strongly drawn towards with him, and ended up kissing him in the royal court. Where Arthur, led by Agravaine, caught them. Angered and heart broken Arthur had Gwen thrown in the dungeon for disloyalty, but decided not to execute her. Instead he had her exiled, although he admitted to Merlin he still loved her and he would likely soon find a way to forgive her. However, he now felt he could never trust her again (Lancelot Du Lac). Despite her betrayal, Arthur greatly missed Gwen and although he briefly developed feelings for Princess Mithian, Arthur continued to love Gwen. Arthur was later reunited with Gwen when Morgana overthrew Camelot again. Although he was initially happy to see her, Arthur still remembered her betrayal and coldly rejected her. However, he allowed Gwen to join him when he recaptured Camelot from Morgana. He finally forgave her when Isolde, a smuggler who they encountered, died in the arms of her lover, Tristan, realising that he could not lose Gwen forever. He then married Gwen and crowned her Queen of Camelot.
Three years after Gwen's crowning, Arthur is happily married to Gwen as their reign has started the golden age of Camelot. However, when Gwaine Percival and their men go missing, Arthur is forced to leave Gwen to rule Camelot alone in his absence (Arthur's Bane). When Arthur calls upon Uther's spirit, Arthur defends his wife and says that he married Gwen for love and later when Uther criticises Gwen by saying that she had no idea what it took to be Queen, Arthur bites back by saying that Gwen is strong and beloved by the people of Camelot. Both these occasions show that Arthur is not only protective of his queen but he has also grown into his role as a husband (The Death Song of Uther Pendragon).
Uther PendragonUther and his son had a somewhat turbulent relationship by the time Arthur was old enough to start questioning his father's decisions. Uther frequently scolded Arthur and treated him harshly, demanding a lot from him. Despite this, however, Arthur was the most important thing in the King's life since his wife Ygraine died, and the two shared a close bond. Believing Arthur was about to die, 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", which Uther denied and asserted that he was extremely proud of his son. Yet the two were often at odds with each other, since Uther, as a more experienced and heavy-handed king, frequently chose only to do what was for the greater good of the kingdom even if it caused others to suffer. Arthur on the other hand was far more reluctant to cause anyone harm and abhorred unjust punishment. Though they often fell out over this, for the most part Arthur obeyed his father and was more conscious of his duty to his father than Morgana Pendragon, who pushed the limits of her favour with Uther much further. Since Morgana was very dear to Arthur, at times he would defy his father for her sake, such as smuggling Mordred back to the Druids and getting her out of the dungeons (The Beginning of the End, To Kill the King). On less serious occasions, Arthur and Uther behaved like a normal, affectionate 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 – Part One). Uther also seemed amused when Arthur proclaimed his love for Sophia, entertained by his son's display of puppy love.
Arthur and Uther frequently clashed over Arthur's romantic life, such as when he disagreed with his father regarding his arranged marriage to Elena, claiming he could not marry someone he did not love. This further exhibited the differences between father and son since Uther was solely concerned with the political good of the kingdom while Arthur felt he would be a better king with the support of a woman he loved. Uther later found out about his relationship with Guinevere and was furious with him for considering such a low-born woman. Still, Arthur genuinely loved his father and was devastated when he was driven mad (The Tears of Uther Pendragon). When Camelot was invaded by immortal soldiers, Arthur attempted to find his father despite the fact that he was injured and the soldiers were immortal. Despite the difficulties of their relationship, Arthur and Uther were largely all one another had with the addition of Morgana, who was revealed to be blood-related to both. However, when Arthur discovered that Uther had caused the death of his mother, albeit accidentally, he tried to kill him and was only stopped by Merlin who told him that it was a lie, despite it being at least partially 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. When Uther was emotionally broken due to Morgana's betrayal, Arthur was worried that Uther would not recover but he took over Camelot as regent, and put up on a brave face to Uther by spending time with him in his chambers. When Uther was wounded by an assassin, such was the extent of Arthur's desperation to save him that he was willing to seek magic to save him. Yet Uther's own hatred of magic meant that Arthur was deeply conflicted over the matter, but ultimately decided that saving Uther was worth it and went to get a sorcerer (who was Merlin in disguise) to help him. However, Arthur told his uncle Agravaine, who was loyal to Morgana, of his decision, which resulted in Uther's death when Morgana gave him an enchanted necklace to repel healing spells. Arthur was devastated and guilty when his father died, feeling he had betrayed his father in using magic and caused his death. Despite this Arthur had a tendency to blame Uther for things that Arthur could change, most notably the law on magic; despite telling Morgana that she couldn't blame him for their fathers sins, he has still not lifted the ban on magic.
Three years after Arthur became king, Arthur sulks at the dinner held in celebration of his coronation. After he and Merlin rescue an elderly witch from being burned at the stake, he is rewarded with the Horn of Cathbhadh and decides to summon his father's spirit to him. While speaking to his father, Arthur is shocked and appalled at his father's disapproval of everything he had achieved since becoming King. Arthur is quick to fire back at Uther when he criticises Arthur for knighting commoners and marrying a servant girl. Arthur tells Uther angrily that his knights are brave and loyal and would never betray him and that he married Gwen for love rather then matters of state which Uther greatly disapproves of. When Uther's spirit causes mayhem in Camelot, Arthur is quick to deny to this for even though he still loved his father even if he did say cruel things to him but soon realises that Merlin was right. When Uther once again critises Gwen by saying that she had no idea what it took to be Queen, Arthur was quick to fire again by saying that Gwen was strong and loved by the people of Camelot. It was after this that Uther knocked Arthur out and fought with Merlin and discovered his magic. When Arthur awoke he was quick to reblow the horn and Uther was summoned back to the spirit world before the late king was able to expose Merlin's long kept secret.
GwaineGwaine proved his courage and selflessness when he saved Arthur and Merlin on their first meeting and as a result was badly injured. However, Gwaine was prejudiced against those of noble birth and claimed he would not have saved Arthur had he known he was a prince. Gwaine recklessly built up a large bill at another tavern, which Arthur grudgingly paid, reprimanding Gwaine and Merlin by ordering them to clean the boots of the entire army. Arthur, however, knew of Gwaine's good nature and defended him when he was accused of assault by two imposters disguised as knights, yet was unable to prevent his banishment. Arthur's honesty and fairness made enough of an impression on Gwaine for him to grow to like him enough to come to his aid in the melée, which meant he had saved Arthur's life twice, though still had to leave Camelot much to Arthur's regret (Gwaine). Gwaine again proved his loyalty and care for Arthur by accompanying Merlin to come to Arthur's aid on his quest to find the Fisher King's trident. On completing the quest, Arthur, recognising the great help Gwaine had given him, thanked him, commenting that he would remember what he had done for him. Gwaine then stated that he would return to Camelot when it was ruled by a "half-decent king". Arthur later rewarded Gwaine's bravery, loyalty and skill by knighting him, considering him one of his closest and most trusted knights.
LancelotArthur first met Lancelot when he wanted to become a Knight of Camelot. Arthur was willing to let Lancelot become a knight even though it was revealed that Lancelot lacked noble birth and was a commoner. However, after killing a griffin with Merlin's help, Lancelot declined when he was offered a chance to become a knight again. Arthur, though respecting Lancelot as a good man and brave fighter, found that Gwen came between them since she had had a brief relationship with him and Arthur had developed feelings for her. However, such was Lancelot's loyalty and conscience that he chose to leave on discovering this, promising never to come between them. Despite this, Lancelot returned on Merlin's request to help them again when they were almost captured by an immortal army. Lancelot saved them before they were captured by triggering a rockfall along with his friend Percival. Arthur was grateful that Lancelot saved them and he finally made Lancelot a Knight of Camelot. After Lancelot died to sacrifice himself to defeat the Dorocha, Arthur was heartbroken and expressed that Lancelot was one of the most noble and brave knights Camelot had ever had. Arthur, however, was led to believe Lancelot, who had been resurrected as a shade, had stolen Gwen from him and had him thrown in a prison cell after fighting with him. In spite of this, Arthur still considered Lancelot a good man and showed respect for him when he committed suicide, thinking he had done it due to his guilt. Arthur ordered for him to have a proper burial, calling him a man of honour in "all ways but one".
GaiusArthur respected Gaius' counsel and skill as a physician and and stopped him from being executed by the witchfinder Aredian. At first he refused to 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 had done (Goblin's Gold). When Gaius was framed by Agravaine, Arthur reluctantly went along with his uncle's accusations of Gaius being the traitor in Camelot, but because of his personal ties to Gaius he allowed him to 'flee', unaware that he had actually been kidnapped. When Gaius returned Agravaine claimed that he had made a mistake and Arthur apologised to the physician, at which point Gaius expressed his deep affection for Arthur (The Secret Sharer).
Agravaine de Bois
Arthur's maternal uncle, Agravaine, arrived in Camelot to advise and guide Arthur when he took over as regent after Uther's mental deterioration left him unfit to rule. Arthur, inexperienced as a ruler, trusted Agravaine greatly and was grateful for the support he gave him. However, unbeknownst to Arthur, Agravaine was in fact loyal to Morgana and plotting with her to bring about Arthur and Camelot's downfall, meaning all along Agravaine was passing on Camelot's secrets and giving Arthur advice that was in Morgana's interests. Arthur, on the other hand, was firmly loyal to Agravaine and defended him when Merlin suggested that he was untrustworthy, growing angry at the insult to his uncle. However, at one point Arthur himself became suspicious of Agravaine when he discovered there was a traitor among his inner circle, but allowed himself to be persuaded otherwise. It was not until Morgana captured Camelot for the second time that Arthur learned Agravaine's true nature, spotting him entering the citadel at her side. Upon discovering Agravaine's true loyalties, Arthur was briefly consumed with rage and about to charge at his uncle before Merlin stopped him. Arthur was later filled with melancholy on reflection of his family members' betrayals and started questioning himself, wondering if it was his fault that two of the people he had loved and cared about had betrayed him.
Ygraine PendragonArthur's mother Queen Ygraine died when he was born as a result of Nimueh's creating a life at the cost of another, and so he grew up without his mother but always had a great respect and admiration for her. However, Arthur was kept unaware of Uther's role in seeking Nimueh and did not know that because he was conceived, Ygraine had to die. Arthur finally met her, or at least a version of her, some twenty years later when she returned as a spirit summoned by Morgause. Though this Ygraine was part of Morgause's plan to turn Arthur against his father, the two spoke and embraced one another for the first time, Arthur evidently deeply emotional at meeting his mother at last. A guilt-stricken Arthur apologised for causing her death in childbirth, which led to Ygraine explaining the real circumstances of his birth, shfiting the blame onto Uther as planned by Morgause. Ygraine also told him she was very proud of him and would willingly give her life for him again. To what extent the representation of Ygraine Arthur met was accurate remained unclear.
Sir Leon is Arthur's second in command and his right hand man among the Knights of Camelot. Leon is very loyal to Arthur and Arthur trusted him greatly though after the discovery of a traitor in Camelot, who was actually Agravaine, Arthur briefly grew to distrust all his knights, including Leon, but quickly regained his trust in all of them, saying he would vouch for each and every one of them.
Though it is unknown whether Arthur and Elyan knew each other prior to Merlin's arrival in Camelot, it is seen what the two have a good friendship. When Morgana and Morgause took over Camelot for the first time, Elyan joined Arthur, Merlin and various others in exile before Gwen and Leon joined them and helped formed what would later be known as the Knights of the Round Table after being knighted by Arthur. While Elyan was one of the more sensible of the knights (along with Lancelot) of the group, Arthur never viewed Elyan differently because he was Gwen's brother. When Elyan was possessed by the Shrine Boy, Arthur, like the rest of the knights was confused to why Elyan would suddenly attack him for no reason. When it was said by Agravaine that Elyan wanted revenge on Arthur for exiling Gwen, Arthur defended his friend saying that Gwen's exile wasn't the reason, which he doesn't mention directly. After Arthur with the help of Merlin, Gwen and new friends Tristan and Isolde overthrew Morgana for the second time, Elyan was amongst the crowd when Arthur, having recently finally married Gwen, crowned her as Camelot's new Queen.
AbilitiesArthur is 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 a Cockatrice (The Poisoned Chalice). Many people considered him to be the greatest warrior in the history of Camelot.
Only three known people have been able to defeat Arthur in combat, Lancelot, Morgause and Helios though it has been suggested that Morgana Pendragon may have beaten him too, though this is unconfirmed as Arthur said "that never happened" (possibly out of embarrassment) 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) Also, even after receiving a sword blow that broke a few of his ribs, Arthur was still able to defeat his attacker. (The Sword in the Stone)
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 unconscious at the time (The Poisoned Chalice). This link was also shown when Arthur was bitten by a Questing Beast because when Merlin went to the Isle of the Blessed to save Arthur's life, Arthur sensed that Merlin was danger as he became a bit agitated even though he was unconscious similar to when Merlin was poisoned (Le Morte d'Arthur).
Since he met Merlin, Arthur has had the distinction of fighting against many creatures of magic, both alone and aided by his knights or by Merlin. He held off a Griffin, animated gargoyles, undead skeletons, the dragon Kilgharrah and two Wyverns. He also killed a Cockatrice single-handedly and slew a Troll with help from Merlin, and later a Lamia.
- Series 1
- The Dragon's Call: When Mary Collins made an attempt on his life to avenge her son after swearing revenge on Uther.
- Valiant: When Valiant entered the Tournament of Camelot with a magical Serpent Shield, he nearly killed Arthur in a duel.
- The Mark of Nimueh: He was nearly killed by the Afanc when he pursued the magical creature, to try and stop the plague in Camelot.
- The Poisoned Chalice: He was nearly killed in the Caves of Balor after Nimueh left him to be killed by the Balorian spiders.
- Lancelot: When he and his Knights went out riding with lances to make an attempt on killing the Griffin, he was nearly killed by it.
- The Gates of Avalon: Sophia and Aulfric attempted to sacrafice Arthur to open the gateways of Avalon so Sophia could become a Sidhe again, and live an immortal life.
- The Labyrinth of Gedref: When he was nearly killed by Evan in a duel.
- Le Morte d'Arthur: When he was bitten by the Questing Beast, it condemed him to a slow and painful experience which nearly resulted in his death.
- Series 2
- The Curse of Cornelius Sigan: When he was nearly killed by a boar.
- The Once and Future Queen: He was nearly killed by Myror in the Jousting Tournament.
- Lancelot and Guinevere: When he was nearly killed by Wilddeoren in Hengist's Fortress.
- Beauty and the Beast: Part Two: Merlin, Gaius and Arthur worked together to "kill" Arthur so that Uther could cry and reveal the Troll's true identity to the king.
- The Sins of the Father: When Arthur and Merlin were travelling to Morgause's Fortress, they came across several of Odin's men.
- Sweet Dreams: When an enchanted Arthur was challenged to a duel, he fought King Olaf in three rounds.
- The Witch's Quickening: During the Battle for the Crystal of Neahtid, Arthur was nearly killed by Alvarr and his bandits.
- The Fires of Idirsholas: When Morgause and her Knights of Medhir invaded a sleeping Camelot, Arthur forced to fight these seven knights single-handedly.
- The Last Dragonlord: When the Great Dragon was unchained, he razed Camelot, and on numerous occasions, Arthur was nearly killed by the beast.
- Series 3
- The Tears of Uther Pendragon: Part One: On their hunt for Morgana, Arthur, Merlin and his Knights were nearly killed by bandits.
- The Tears of Uther Pendragon: Part Two: During the Great Battle for Camelot he was nearly killed by Cenred's men on numerous occasions.
- Gwaine: In a Tavern Brawl, Arthur was nearly killed by Dagr ad his thugs.
- The Crystal Cave: When Arthur was being chased by mercenaries in the Valley of the Fallen Kings, he was "fatally" wounded.
- The Castle of Fyrien: Arthur was nearly killed by Morgause's fire spell in the Castle of Fyrien.
- The Eye of the Phoenix: When Arthur's energy was being consumed by a Phoenix eye, he struggle to fight bandits.
- The Coming of Arthur: Part One: Arthur was nearly killed by Cenred's men when they were in possession of the Cup of Life.
- The Coming of Arthur: Part Two: When Arthur was nearly killed by Morgana's men once they located where he was hiding.
- Series 4
- The Darkest Hour: On numerous occasions, Arthur was nearly killed by Dorocha, Wilddeoren and Wyverns.
- The Wicked Day: Arthur was almost killed by the assassin, The Gleeman.
- His Father's Son: In Arthur's duel with Derían, he was nearly killed by the weight of his sword.
- A Servant of Two Masters: When Arthur, Merlin and his Knights were being chased by the mercenaries, he was nearly slaughtered.
- Lancelot du Lac: When Arthur was nearly killed in his duel with the Shade Lancelot.
- A Herald of the New Age: On numerous occasions, Arthur was nearly killed by the possessed Elyan.
- The Sword in the Stone When, on several occasions, he was nearly slain by Southrons during Morgana's second reign.
- Arthur's Bane: Nearly killed by Morgana's army
- He was nearly killed by Ragnor
- Nearly killed by Aithusa
- Nearly killed by Morgana
- The Death Song of Uther Pendragon: Uther nearly killed him
- Another's Sorrow: Morgana and Odin nearly killed him
- The Disir: Nearly killed by Niede, Atorloppe, and Befelen
- "We ride at dawn." - Arthur's favourite sentence.
- "God, have mercy." - Upon seeing Morgana Pendragon
- "Sometimes I think I know you, Merlin. Other times..." - to Merlin
- "You are nothing but a hypocrite and a liar!" - to Uther
- "Come on then. I warn you, I've been trained to kill since birth."
- "Put the sword down, Merlin, you look ridiculous." - to Merlin
- "You don't have a dog and fetch the stick yourself. No offence, Merlin." - to Merlin
- "You know me, Merlin, I never listen to you." - to Merlin
- "Guinevere, I... want you to know that your job is safe and that your home is yours for life. I guarantee you that. I know that under the circumstances, it's not much but, erm... anything you want, anything you need, all you have to do is ask. I am sorry." - to Guinevere
- "Stick to girls who are more... how can I put it... on your level. She can't be your friend, let alone anything else." - to Merlin about Morgana Pendragon
- "I don't imagine anyone loving you like that either" - to Morgana Pendragon
- "Father, please, I can't allow this. This is madness! There's no way *Merlin* is a sorcerer!" - to Uther about Merlin
- "She's a troll! A giant...grey...stinking! Troll." - to Uther
- "What happened to you Morgana? I thought we were friends." - to Morgana Pendragon
- "I swear I'm going to risk you my men, or die trying." - to Merlin
- "He has all the makings of a fine knight. Don't you think?" - to Merlin about Mordred
- Arthur is of Latin and Celtic origin, and the meaning is "Bear".
- Pendragon is of Welsh origin, and the meaning is "Head Dragon" or "Chief Dragon".
- Before Bradley James was chosen to play Arthur, Ben Mansfield auditioned for the role, he was spotted by the casting director for Primeval and was later cast as Captain Becker.
- Under the influence of Merlin's spell, it is shown that Arthur is a tree-hugger (The Sword in the Stone).
- Arthur is the only character to almost always call wife Guinevere, by her actual name while he has called her 'Gwen' on a few occasions.
|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 †
|Kings of Albion|
|Arthur Pendragon † • Uther Pendragon † • Godwyn • Bayard • Helios † • Lot • Cenred † • Caerleon † • Odin • Olaf • Fisher King † • Bruta † • Alined • Rodor