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Freya1i
Freya
Also Known As: The Bastet
The Lady of The Lake
The Druid Girl
Biographical Information
Race: Spirit (currently)
Human (formerly)
Gender: Female
Family: Unknown †
Statistics
Affiliation: Druids
Merlin
Camelot
Enemies: Halig
Uther Pendragon
Behind the Scenes
Portrayer: Laura Donnelly
List of Appearances: The Lady of the Lake
The Coming of Arthur
The Diamond of the Day (cameo)
You really don't realize how special you are, do you?
Merlin to Freya[src]

Freya was a Druid girl who fell in love with Merlin, who she met when he helped her to escape from the bounty hunter Halig. She later died on the shores of the Lake of Avalon, after which she became the Lady of the Lake.

BiographyEdit

Early LifeEdit

Little is known about Freya's early life. She once told Merlin that she had grown up in a beautiful place next to a lake surrounded by mountains and wild flowers. She lived there until her family died under unspecified circumstances.

At some point in her life Freya accidentally killed a man in self defense. When the man's mother (a sorceress) learned what she'd done, she cursed Freya to kill forevermore. The curse forced Freya to transform into a Bastet every night at midnight, and while in its form she was subject to an uncontrollable desire to kill. The consequences of her curse eventually caused the Druids to cast her out of their camp, despite the fact that it went against everything they believed in to turn away anyone in need of care.

It is unknown if Freya was born a Druid, or if she entered the lifestyle sometime after the death of her family (The Lady of the Lake).

Meeting MerlinEdit

I'm Merlin, by the way."
"I'm Freya.
Merlin and Freya[src]
Freya meets Merlin

Merlin first sees Freya.

Sometime after she was cast out of the Druid's camp, Freya was captured by the bounty hunter Halig and taken to Camelot. Halig intended to turn her over to Uther for money, as the king was known to offer a handsome reward for anyone with magic.

Before he could do so, however, Freya's plight was discovered by the young warlock Merlin. He used his magic to free her from her chains and the cage Halig had imprisoned her in, after which he took her to the catacombs beneath the city, where he knew she would be safe. Though somewhat suspicious of Merlin at first (as she didn't understand why he had helped her), Freya accepted his explanation that it could have just as easily been him in that cage and seemed to warm to him a bit as a result, accepting his jacket when he offered it and telling him her name.

Merlin spent the next two days smuggling food and candles to Freya, who had to remain hidden in the tunnels. They grew steadily closer during this time, bonding over their statuses as outcasts and outsiders and sharing anecdotes about their childhood homes. Though more reserved than Merlin, who was thrilled to have someone he could be himself around, Freya soon came to trust him and gradually opened up about her past and her problems, at one point even mentioning her feelings of being cursed. In response, Merlin - who assumed she was talking about her magic - tried to help her see that magic could be a gift by making candle flames dance in the air for her, which made Freya smile.

But even as her friendship with Merlin deepened, Freya still had her secrets. Her curse continued to plague her, forcing her to leave the tunnels and kill two peasants. She was visibly sad when Merlin visited her the next day, and barely registered the wheel of bread he'd brought for her to eat. However, she began to cheer up a bit when he asked her what she wanted to go with it. She told him that she wanted strawberries, and after a moment's hesitation he gave it a shot, but wound up conjuring her a rose instead. Though not the strawberries she'd asked for, Freya was clearly delighted with the gift and accepted it tenderly, asking him why he was so good to her. When Merlin replied that he liked her, that he could be himself around her and that they didn't have to hide anything from one another, Freya tried once more to tell him about her curse.

2012-06-15 0901

Merlin and Freya's first kiss.

Before she could do so, however, the moment was interrupted by the arrival of Halig, who suspected Merlin of harboring her and had followed him to the tunnels in search of her. Though they ultimately managed to avoid detection, Freya was deeply distressed by the incident, as she couldn't bear to wind up back in a cage. Merlin reassured her by repeating his earlier promise to look after her no matter what, and was surprised that she didn't seem to realize how special she was. Touched, Freya was similarly surprised (and grateful) to realize that he wasn't afraid of her. Oblivious of her curse and still under the impression that she was referring to her magic, Merlin told her that being different was nothing to be scared of, and the two shared a kiss (The Lady of the Lake).

Escape From Camelot Edit

Then we'll go somewhere no one knows us. Somewhere far away. You haven't given me your answer."
"I want that more than anything.
Merlin and Freya[src]
Merlin hiding with Freya

Merlin and Freya in the catacombs.

Shortly after their close call with Halig, Merlin began devising a plan to get Freya out of Camelot. He decided that he would find some new clothes for her, and thus disguised she could leave the city without notice. His plans saddened Freya, who had enjoyed their time together and would miss him. When she told him so, however, Merlin surprised her by announcing that he was going with her. Freya initially objected to the idea, as she felt that he had a good life in Camelot and couldn't ask him to sacrifice it for her, but soon appeared to warm to the idea and happily agreed to Merlin's plan.

Deep down, however, Freya knew that her curse made any chance of a life together an impossibility, and became more and more convinced that Merlin would be better off without her. Though she maintained her outward agreement to Merlin's plan, she resolved to leave Camelot on her own. She left the tunnels while he was out gathering the last of their supplies and hid until nightfall, at which time she attempted to leave the city under cover of darkness. It wasn't long, however, before she found herself cornered by a patrol led by Arthur and Halig. Knowing that her curse would soon be upon her, Freya begged them to let her go, but it was too late. The clocks began to chime midnight, and she was forced to enter her Bastet form.

Unable to control herself, Freya killed Halig and attacked Arthur and his men, the former of whom managed to fight her off, badly injuring her in the process. Howling in pain, Freya retreated to the main square with the knights close behind. It was at this point that Merlin arrived, having discovered her disappearance and come running when he heard the warning bells. He stared at the scene in horror, at one point locking eyes with Freya, who gazed at him sadly as the knights moved in for the kill. Desperate to save her, Merlin used his magic to send a stone gargoyle toppling from a wall. It distracted the knights long enough for Freya to escape, and Merlin quickly ran after her (The Lady of the Lake).

DeathEdit

There must be something I can do, some way to save you."
"You've already saved me. You made me feel loved.
Merlin and Freya[src]
Merlin209 1923

Merlin mourns Freya at the Lake of Avalon.

Merlin followed Freya back to their hiding place in the catacombs. Though still in her Bastet form, she made no move to attack him, instead appearing gentle and calm. When the effects of the curse began to wear off, Freya retreated deeper into the tunnels, where she regained her human form, naked, badly injured, and crying. As Merlin covered her with his jacket, she tearfully explained what had happened to her, how she had once killed a man in self defense and been cursed by his mother in retaliation, forcing her to kill forevermore.

Knowing that her wound was too serious to heal, Freya asked Merlin to leave her. Instead, he dressed her in the gown he'd stolen for her from Morgana's wardrobe and carried her to the Lake of Avalon, which he knew would remind her of the childhood home she'd spoken of so fondly. Pleased that he'd remembered, Freya seemed to be at peace with her fate. Though he hadn't been able to heal her, she assured Merlin that he'd already saved her, that he'd made her feel loved, and with her last breath promised him that one day she would repay his kindness. She died seconds later in Merlin's arms.

Heartbroken, Merlin placed her body in a boat lined with ferns and pushed it out onto the lake. When it was some distance away, he used his magic to set it aflame, giving her a Viking funeral. He watched the boat burn for a moment, and then returned to Camelot (The Lady of the Lake).

The Lady of the LakeEdit

I swore that one day I would repay you. Now is the moment.
Freya to Merlin[src]
2012-06-15 0825-0

Freya appears to Merlin in the water.

A little over a year later, when Merlin accompanied Arthur on his quest to recover the Fisher King's trident, the Fisher King gave him a glass vial containing water from the Lake of Avalon. He warned him that Albion's time of need was near and that Merlin alone could save her, but that he would need help, and that the water would provide that help (The Eye of the Phoenix).

When Morgause and Morgana conquered Camelot with their immortal army, Merlin took the vial with him when he, Arthur, and their allies went into hiding. He experimented with the water using his magic and various spells, but to no avail. Whatever help the water could provide remained a mystery, and he eventually dozed off with the vial still in hand.

Sometime later, Merlin was startled awake by the sound of Gwaine getting up in the night, and in his surprise the vial slipped from his fingers and shattered on the cave floor. Horrified, Merlin watched helplessly as the water began to trickle away. Much to his surprise, however, breaking the glass had freed Albion's last hope rather than destroyed it. The water took on an ethereal glow and formed a small puddle in a crevice of rock. An image then formed in the water, and Merlin watched in shock and delight as it was revealed to be Freya.

As Merlin struggled to comprehend this turn of events, Freya told him that she'd missed him, and gently deflected his questions by saying that they didn't have long. She explained that the Cup of Life had not only made Morgana's army immortal but transformed them into the living dead, and there was only one thing that could slay that which was already dead: the sword Excalibur, which Merlin had hidden at the bottom of the Lake of Avalon. She urged him to come to the lake, where she would give him the sword herself.

Merlin313 0987

Freya hands Excalibur to Merlin.

The next day, Merlin asked the dragon Kilgharrah to take him to the Lake of Avalon. He took a small boat out to the middle of the lake, anxiously scanning the waves for any sign of Freya. After a moment the sword Excalibur emerged from the water, held in Freya's hand, and Merlin smiled (The Coming of Arthur).

Roughly four years later, after Arthur died while en route to the Lake of Avalon, Merlin returned Excalibur to Freya's care. Somber and grieved, he cast the sword into the lake and watched as Freya caught it in her hand and drew it back under the water (The Diamond of the Day). There is also the idea that it was Arthur who caught the sword because the arm looks male and muscular.

PersonalityEdit

Did you think I wasn't coming? But I promised you I would."
"I scare most people away.
Merlin and Freya[src]
2012-06-15 0859-0

Merlin gives Freya a red rose.

At the time that Merlin met her, Freya was a sad and nervous girl who had spent most of her life on the run. She was guarded and somewhat defensive at first, and didn't understand why Merlin would help her when he didn't even know her. She later told him that she couldn't always trust people. She also seemed rather skittish and fearful, flinching away from Merlin both when he offered her his jacket and when he woke her by placing a hand on her shoulder.

As they got to know each other, however, Freya began to exhibit a more soft-spoken and sweet personality. She appeared to enjoy Merlin's attempts to make her smile and was deeply grateful for all the things he was doing for her. She proved to be quite selfless, willingly giving up her dream of a life with Merlin because she believed he would have a better life in Camelot than he would forever on the run with her. It was because of this belief that she attempted to escape Camelot on her own, a move which ultimately cost her her life. She was also very loyal, and later returned from the dead in order to keep a promise she'd made to Merlin.

Freya was deeply traumatized by her curse (both physically and emotionally) and hated herself for what it made her do, at one point referring to herself as a monster. Though she had no control over what she did as a Bastet, she was deeply ashamed of her actions while in its form and clearly mourned the people she killed. Her intense self loathing was one of the reasons that she fell so quickly for Merlin, who not only didn't fear her, but understood her feelings about being different and frequently told her how special she was. Freya was deeply grateful to him for this; one of the last things she said to him before her death was that he'd already saved her, just by making her feel loved.

As a Bastet, Freya was a murderous monster that slaughtered at least five people during her time in Camelot, including the bounty hunter Halig. Though usually unable to control herself while in its form, it is worth noting that she did not attack Merlin when he approached her, though whether this was because her love for him allowed her to resist the curse or because she had already killed that night is unknown.

AbilitiesEdit

These wounds could only have been inflicted by a beast of considerable size.
Gaius, examining Freya's victims[src]
Bastet

Freya in her Bastet form.

As a Druid, it is highly likely that Freya had the ability to use magic, though it is unknown how powerful she was. It's possible that she used magic to defend herself from the man who attacked her, and - as she stated once that she hadn't meant to kill him - that she had been unable (or hadn't known how) to control her powers.

In revenge for the death of her son, the mother of the man Freya killed placed a curse on her. The curse forced her to transform into a Bastet every night at the stroke of midnight, and while in its form she was subject to an uncontrollable desire to kill. Freya appeared to be quite strong in this form, capable of inflicting lethal wounds with her teeth and claws, and also had the ability to fly.

Interestingly, Freya was one of only a few Druids in the series who never used telepathy, (though it should be noted that her refusal to answer Merlin's question about whether she was born a Druid leaves it largely up to speculation as to how long she was in that lifestyle before they cast her out). However, the fact that she was never shown using telepathy does not mean that she didn't have the ability to, as even seemingly untalented Druids (such as Kara, who repeatedly urged Mordred to use his magic to defend them instead of using her own) and magic users who were not of Druid birth (such as Merlin and Morgana) were able to freely communicate in this way.

At some point after her death Freya became the Lady of the Lake, which granted her the ability to return from the dead in spirit form. Though how she accomplished this was never explored in the series, it is possible that it had something to do with the magical properties of the Lake of Avalon, which served as a gateway to the world of Avalon, the land of eternal youth. Whether Freya can be considered immortal because of her ability to exist in spirit form is unknown.

NameEdit

  • Freya is a female name of Scandinavian origin meaning "noblewoman" or "lady".
    • It likely originated from Freyja, the Norse goddess of love, war, and death.
    • Other spellings include Freja, Freyah, Freyja, Fraya, Fray, Fraja, Frayah, Frehah, Freia, Freiah, Freyra, and Freyrah.
  • Given the Nordic ancestry of her name, Freya (or her family) might have come from Danelaw (East Anglia), which originated from Viking expansion.

AppearancesEdit

Series 2
The Lady of the Lake
Series 3
The Eye of the Phoenix (Mentioned indirectly)
The Coming of Arthur: Part Two (Appears as a ghost or spirit)
Series 5
The Drawing of the Dark (Mentioned indirectly)
The Diamond of the Day: Part One[1] (Appears in crystals) (cameo)
The Diamond of the Day: Part Two (cameo)

In The LegendEdit

Pyle240-1-
Freya is most likely based on the character of the Lady of the Lake in Arthurian Legend. (Though in most stories the Lady of the Lake is given the name Viviane, Nimueh, or some variation thereof, in the series the name Nimueh was used for another (villainous) sorceress who briefly caught Merlin's eye, and the Lady of the Lake was instead given the name of a goddess from Norse mythology.)

Like Freya, the Lady of the Lake was Merlin's lover and provided a sword for Arthur in his time of need. (However, in most tellings the romance between her and Merlin was a one-sided affair wherein Merlin was in love with her. In more than one tale she actually falls in love with and marries a Knight of the Round Table.) Also, in some legends the Lady of the Lake dies and later returns from the dead to help Camelot, though in these tellings she dies after she is beheaded by a Knight of the Round Table she blamed for her brother's death rather than because she was cursed.

The Lady of the Lake plays many other roles in Arthurian Legend, including trapping Merlin in the Crystal Cave. (In the series, however, it is Morgana who does this, and the only connection Freya has to the scene is that her arm is shown in a flashback scene within one of the crystals.) Also, at the end of most Arthurian legends, Sir Bedivere (after betraying him three times) throws Arthur's sword back into the lake, where it is snatched up by the hand of the Lady of the Lake and brought back under the water. In the series, it is Merlin who returns the sword to the lake after Arthur's death, and Freya catches it in her hand and draws it back under the water.

Norse MythologyEdit

08400-1-
Freya (traditionally spelt Freyja) was the Norse goddess of love, beauty, fertility, sexual desire, gold, sorcery, war, and death. She was the daughter of Njord, the twin sister of Freyr, and the mother of Hnoss and Gersemi by her husband Od. Because her husband was frequently absent, Freya cried tears of red gold for him and searched for him under assumed names. Like the rest of her family, Freya was a member of the Vanir tribe of deities. She was also the owner of the necklace Brisingamen and rode in a chariot pulled by two cats.

Freya (along with the Valkyrie) held dominion over all the dead. They collected the souls of heroes killed in battle, giving them comfort and serving as a guide and companion to them on their journey. The Valkyries would take one half of the dead to Valhalla, which was ruled by the god Odin, while the other half would dwell with Freya in the heavenly field Folkvangr. When Freya and the Valkryie rode forth on their mission, their armour was said to create the beautiful flickering light known as the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights.[2]

Many songs today praise her. Example: [3]

TriviaEdit

  • Though Freya is clearly based on the Lady of the Lake, she was never referred to by this name in the series.
  • Freya is one of only a few Druids in the series who has never referred to Merlin as Emrys, or spoken to him telepathically.
  • Lancelot, Elyan, and even Arthur were all given funerals very similar to the one Freya was given at the end of 2x09.
  • Some fans have claimed that when Merlin puts Freya into the boat at the end of 2x09, which he then uses magic to push out onto the lake and set on fire, it appears that she is still breathing. It is unknown if this was a production error or if it had something to do with how she returned in 3x13.
  • Freya is not the only character in the series to be given a name from Norse mythology instead of Arthurian Legend (Odin was another), but she is the only major character from Arthurian Legend (as the Lady of the Lake) whose name was changed to that of a Norse god/goddess.
  • Freya was a fan favorite (along with Mordred and Alvarr) to return in series 5. However, the only one of these three to return was Mordred.
  • Before the premiere of series 5, when the first low quality trailer was uploaded to Youtube, a number of fans mistook a short clip of Mithian for Freya. This resulted in a rumour that she would be returning within the first few episodes of series 5, which was ultimately proven false when a clearer shot of the clip was released, revealing that it was Mithian, not Freya.
  • Because the actress chosen to play Queen Mab (Kelly Wenham) in series 5 bears a slight resemblance to Laura Donnelly (Freya's actress), and because Mab was the sister of the Lady of the Lake in the 1998 miniseries Merlin, some fans speculated that Queen Mab would be Freya's sister, despite the fact that Freya's family were all said to have died. However, Queen Mab turned out to be a small fairy-like creature and has no proven connection to Freya whatsoever. (Also, in costume, she looks nothing like Laura Donnelly.)
  • Freya's role in 2x09 seems to be indirectly referenced in 5x11, when Mordred asks Merlin if he "wouldn't do the same, for the woman he loved." However, it is never remotely implied that Mordred actually knows anything about Freya.
  • Because only Freya's arm appears at the end of series 5 (and this was her character's sole appearance in the last two series), some fans speculated that it was Arthur's hand, not Freya's, who caught Excalibur when Merlin returned it to the lake. However, there is no supporting basis for this in either the context of the show or in the legend, and the writers have reportedly confirmed that it is indeed Freya who catches the sword.
    • The confusion was likely due to them supposedly using a male diver's hand for the scene.

GalleryEdit



References Edit

  1. Freya_flashback.png
  2. goddessgift.com — The Goddess Freya
  3. popular song on youtube (Freya by Kellianna)
Series 2 Enemies
The Curse of Cornelius Sigan: Cedric † • Cornelius Sigan † • Living Gargoyles
The Once and Future Queen: King OdinMyror
The Nightmare Begins: SerketsUther Pendragon
Lancelot and Guinevere: KendrickHengistWilddeoren
Beauty and the Beast: Troll † • Lady Catrina (indirect) † • JonasUther Pendragon (indirect) †
The Witchfinder: AredianUther Pendragon
The Sins of the Father: Morgause † • King OdinUther Pendragon
The Lady of the Lake: HaligFreya (indirect) †
Sweet Dreams: King AlinedTricklerLady Vivian (indirect) • King Olaf
The Witch's Quickening: AlvarrMorgana † • Mordred † • EnmyriaKilgharrah
The Fires of Idirsholas: Morgause † • Morgana † • Knights of MedhirKilgharrah
The Last Dragonlord: KilgharrahAsgerd

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