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Look around. In this circle, we're all equals. You're not fighting because someone's ordering you to, you're fighting for so much more than that.
Arthur on his speech to Ealdor[src]

The Battle of Ealdor was an armed conflict between the villagers of Ealdor and the brigands of Kanen's raiding party.

The battle was precipitated by weeks of attacks by Kanen's raiders, who took food that the villagers needed to survive. The residents of Ealdor petitioned their king Cenred for aid, but he felt the outlying village unworthy of his attention. Hunith then travelled to Camelot, where her son served as the manservant to the Prince, and appealed to King Uther Pendragon for help. Uther sympathised with the plight of Ealdor, but refused to send troops because sending armed forces into the neighbouring and would constitute an act of war that would upset the delicate, hard-earned peace between Camelot and Essetir.

Merlin chose to return home with his mother to do what he could, accompanied by Morgana and her handmaid Guinevere; shortly before arriving in Ealdor, they were joined by Arthur. Upon arriving at the village, they broke up a raid in progress, and just barely prevented Kanen from killing Matthew. As the raiders fled, Kanen swore revenge. Arthur thus spent the next day training the men of the village to fight, and assigned Matthew to organise sentry duties; Matthew was later killed on patrol, with a note reading "Make the most of this day. It will be your last." pinned to his back with an arrow.

By that night, the women of Ealdor, spurred on by an ardent Gwen, had vowed to fight as well, and Arthur delivered an impassioned speech to hearten the villagers. The next morning, the residents awaited Kanen's attack, which began when his raiders burst from the treeline and sacked the village. Guinevere deployed a hidden wall of barbed sticks that cordoned off the attackers, and Merlin and Morgana lit a blaze that further limited the movement of the raiders. As the battle progressed and it became clear there were too many raiders for the villagers to defeat, Merlin conjured a cyclone that drove off many of the raiders, turning the tide of the battle.

With most of his raiders dead or fleeing, Kanen attacked Arthur directly; the two fought, and Arthur ultimately ran Kanen through. As Kanen lay dying, he managed to shoot a crossbow bolt at Arthur, but William leapt in front of the attack and was dealt a fatal wound. Kanen died seconds later, and Will was moved into a stable where he took credit for the magical whirlwind in order to protect Merlin's secret from Arthur. Will died shortly afterward, and was laid to rest on a funeral pyre (The Moment of Truth).

Important figures[]


Merlin is the main character of the show. Merlin grew up in Ealdor with his Mother and needed to help her. Morgana, Arthur and Guinevere came along to help as an act of friendship and repayment for what Merlin had done for them.

Hunith left for Camelot to represent her village to ask Uther for help. He was sympathetic, but was unable to send knights or guards as it would signal war between the kingdoms and risk Camelot and its army. She proves to be a good fighter, managing to take down many of Kanen's bandits using a broom and a cane.

Morgana is a skilled swordswoman, possibly able to match Arthur, who made the decision to stand alongside Merlin and Hunith to defend the village. She did it to repay Merlin for what he had done for her in the past, believing he needed all the help he could get.

Gwen was one of Merlin's closest friends. Having saved her life and her father's life in the past, repaying Merlin by trying to help his village out (as Merlin would do the same for her) was a must.

Arthur really wanted to help Merlin, but implied he couldn't do anything about it, having no men. Merlin had told him he may not be returning to Camelot again, to which Arthur responded he'd do the same in such a situation. Arthur later met up with Merlin where he was camping with Morgana and Guinevere, and then led the battle for Ealdor.

William was Merlin's best friend from the past, and one of very few people who knew his secret. He was extremely reluctant to join the battle for Ealdor, believing it was all about glory and they were walking to their death, but was later convinced Arthur was really trying to help and came into the battle mid-way. He managed to save Merlin's and later Arthur's life (despite his distrust of nobility) but this came at a cost of his own life.

Matthew was a resident of Ealdor, and one of the men killed by Kanen before the battle. A note was left through an arrow in his back which read, "Make the most of this day, it will be your last". He held back the rations which angered Kanen.


Kanen was the ruthless leader of the brigands, who terrorised villages in Cenred's kingdom/Essetir. He showed no mercy or sympathy and was very greedy and selfish. He was later killed in combat by Arthur. He made one last strike before he died, which was blocked by William, who died afterwards.

  • Brigands

The brigands were masked men that looked a lot like highwaymen, or common thieves. They hid their faces. There were no brigands other than Kanen who were identified. After Merlin's whirlwind spell attack, many of the brigands fled, with the villagers still chasing them.


Behind the scenes[]


Colin Morgan - Blue Peter on set of BBC's Merlin

See also[]