Daegal was a boy that Morgana hired to lure Merlin away from Camelot. After she poisoned the warlock and left him for dead, Daegal had a change of heart and concocted an antidote to save him. He then accompanied Merlin back to Camelot, where he died helping him save Arthur from an assassin.
Little is known about Daegal's early life. His mother, a sorceress, was killed by Uther at some point in his childhood, and from that point on he was left to fend for himself. Nothing is known about his father, and he once told Merlin that he had no sister (The Hollow Queen).
Hired By Morgana
After their first attempt to assassinate Arthur failed, Morgana and Guinevere conspired to trick Sarrum of Amata into killing the King for them. In order to ensure that Merlin didn't interfere with their plans, they hired Daegal to lure him away from Camelot. The boy met with them only once and didn't know what they planned to do to Merlin, but was aware that they meant to kill Arthur.
When the time came to carry out their plan, Daegal snuck into Camelot after nightfall and made his way to the citadel. He was briefly stopped by a squad of Knights who were escorting the Queen, but managed to avert suspicion by claiming that he'd been out catching frogs. Guinevere supported his story and sent him on his way.
Daegal found Merlin in the palace kitchens preparing a bath for the Queen. Identifying himself as a Druid, he claimed that his younger sister was dying of a sweating sickness and he needed Merlin to come treat her. The warlock initially refused to help him and advised that he bring his sister to Gaius, but Daegal objected that it was too dangerous for their kind and begged Merlin to accompany him to the Valley of the Fallen Kings. Unable to turn him away, Merlin finally agreed and instructed Daegal to meet him at the entrance to the Darkling Woods at first light.
True to his word, Merlin met up with Daegal early the next morning and they started off on their journey. The warlock was very kind to the boy, sharing his breakfast with him, asking about his family, and insisting that they stop so he could treat his injured arm. Daegal was delighted but confused by his kindness, and at one point asked Merlin why he was doing so much for him. He explained that most people he'd met didn't care about him because he didn't matter, to which Merlin earnestly replied, "Don't ever think that. We all matter."
It took them most of the day to complete their journey. At one point they nearly ran into a patrol of bandits, and when Merlin realized the danger he tried to warn Daegal with his telepathy. The supposed Druid boy, however, failed to hear his warning, and he was forced to grab him and physically drag him to safety. This incident, together with the fact that Daegal had become increasingly somber as they neared their destination, made Merlin suspicious as to whether the boy had been entirely honest with him. His suspicions were confirmed when they arrived at the Valley and found no one there. Certain now that Daegal had been lying to him, Merlin angrily confronted the boy and demanded to know why he'd brought him there.
Before Daegal could answer, Morgana appeared and used her magic to knock Merlin unconscious. The witch complimented Daegal on a job well done and paid him the money she'd promised him, which the boy accepted with more than a little guilt. He then watched in horror as Morgana uncorked a bottle of poison and poured it down Merlin's throat, after which she kicked his body down the hill.
Satisfied that the warlock wouldn't be meddling in her plans again, Morgana threatened to use the last of the poison on Daegal if he told anyone what he'd seen. Though clearly uneasy about the part he'd played in Merlin's demise, the boy ultimately chose to heed her warnings and left soon after she did, abandoning Merlin to his fate (The Hollow Queen).
In the end, however, Daegal couldn't bring himself to leave Merlin to die and went back to help him the following day. He begged the warlock to tell him how to save him, and at Merlin's behest he gathered rue and yarrow and ground them into a tincture. Though the antidote initially appeared ineffective, sending the warlock into a fit of convulsions and then causing him to fall unconscious, when Merlin woke that night he appeared to be cured of the poison.
Greatly relieved, Daegal rushed to explain that he hadn't know what Morgana intended to do to him, but Merlin was unmoved. He told Daegal that he'd betrayed him, to which the boy contritely replied, "She offered me money. You know what it's like." Switching gears, Merlin asked him if he knew what Morgana was planning, and after a moment's hesitation Daegal admitted that he thought she meant to kill the King.
Determined to warn Arthur, Merlin immediately headed back to Camelot and Daegal decided to go with him. They soon stumbled upon a camp of bandits (likely the same ones from before) and tried to sneak around them, but because Merlin was limping due to an injury sustained when Morgana kicked him down the hill, the warlock wound up slipping and attracting their attention. As the bandits approached, Merlin told Daegal to run but the boy refused to abandon him. He tossed them the money that Morgana had given him, explaining that it was all that they had, but the bandits continued to advance until Merlin used his magic to attack their leader, which prompted the rest of the bandits to flee.
Daegal was amazed to learn that Merlin had magic and pelted him with questions as they hurried back to Camelot. Merlin explained that Gaius was the only other person who knew about his magic and admitted that if Arthur knew he'd probably have him hanged. Incredulous, Daegal asked why he helped the King when he knew he would have him killed, to which Merlin replied that Arthur was a good man at heart and he knew that one day he would bring about the world that his kind dreamed of.
Daegal appeared to admire Merlin's resolve and offered to help him. He bandaged the warlock's injured leg and made an effort to be more honest with him, explaining that everything he'd told him about his family had been true except for the bit about his sister; in reality, he didn't have a sister. His mother hadn't been a Druid, either, but she had had magic, and Uther had killed her for it. Sympathetic, Merlin apologized for his loss, then tested his leg to make sure he could walk on it. When he decided that it felt okay, he and Daegal continued their journey (The Hollow Queen).
When they finally reached Camelot, Merlin and Daegal made their way to the citadel and began searching for Arthur, who was signing a peace treaty with Sarrum of Amata. Before long Merlin noticed an open door that was ordinarily kept locked, and they hurriedly climbed a spiral staircase to a balcony overlooking the council chambers.
They found Albin, one of Sarrum's men, taking aim at Arthur with a crossbow. The assassin immediately turned the weapon on them and fired, then threw daggers at them when Merlin deflected the arrows with his magic. They dove for cover and Albin reclaimed his crossbow to take aim at Arthur once more, but as he prepared to fire Merlin used his magic to impale him with the spear that he'd been using as a walking stick. The impact threw off Albin's aim and caused him to hit Sarrum instead of Arthur, killing him instantly.
After making sure that Albin was dead and Arthur still alive, Merlin turned his attention to Daegal and was horrified to discover that the boy had been hit by one of the assassin's daggers. The knife was lodged in his stomach and there was nothing that could be done to save him. Aware of this, Merlin gently reassured Daegal that he'd saved Arthur and that he'd done something good, and comforted him as he died.
When he learned that Daegal was the one responsible for saving him from Sarrum's assassin, Arthur ordered Merlin to make sure that he received a decent burial. Merlin volunteered to do it himself, and he and Gaius buried the boy in the forest the following day (The Hollow Queen).
Daegal was a friendly and somewhat innocent boy with a habit of making poor choices. For example, he agreed to lure Merlin away from Camelot for Morgana because she offered him money. He didn't know what she intended to do with the warlock and was horrified when she tried to kill him, (though he did appear to know that she planned to kill the King). Decisions like this were probably not an isolated incident, as Daegal once told Merlin that he didn't think he'd done many good things in his life. As a result, Daegal fiercely wished to do something good and later gave his life to help Merlin save Arthur.
He was also compassionate and surprisingly loyal. Though Morgana threatened to use the last of her poison on him if he interfered with her plans, Daegal couldn't bring himself to abandon Merlin after all the kindness that the warlock had shown him and ultimately went back to save him. Later, when they were attacked by bandits and Merlin told him to run and save himself, Daegal refused and said, "I'm not going to leave you this time."
Skills and Abilities
Daegal didn't have many abilities to speak of. He had no apparent combat skills and the fact that he was unable to hear Merlin's telepathy seemed to imply that he couldn't use magic. However, Daegal did appear to have some knowledge of herbs. He was able to identify the plants that Merlin described to him as rue and yarrow, and later used them (under the warlock's instruction) to concoct an effective antidote for Morgana's poison.
Daegal also picked up a few other physician skills during the time he spent with Merlin, including how to properly treat and bandage a wound. The warlock was impressed by his efforts and implied that he thought that Daegal would make a good physician, at one point remarking, "See? I'm better. You've the gift."
- Daegal is the seventh character in the series to discover Merlin's magic, and the fourth to die at some point afterwards.
- Though Daegal's mother was a sorceress, it is unlikely that he had any magic himself, as he was unable to hear Merlin when he spoke to him telepathically.