The Isle of the Blessed is a small lake island located beyond the White Mountains and northeast of the Great Seas of Meredor. It is said to be the centre of the Old Religion and the focus of its powers.
Time of the Old Religion
In the time of the Old Religion, the Isle of the Blessed was inhabited by the High Priestesses of the Triple Goddess and their protectors, the Blood Guard. They looked after many magical artifacts, including the Cup of Life and the Rowan Staff (Le Morte d'Arthur, The Tears of Uther Pendragon).
Bargaining With Nimueh
After Arthur was bitten by the Questing Beast, Kilgharrah advised Merlin to go to Nimueh on the Isle of the Blessed. She agreed to help save Arthur's life, but explained that another life would have to be given in return. Merlin offered his own life in exchange and Nimueh gave him a vial of water from the Cup of Life, which she claimed would cure Arthur.
Nimueh tricked Merlin, however, and took his mother's life instead. Determined to save her, Merlin returned to the island to exchange his life for Hunith's, but Gaius got there before him and bartered his own life instead. Merlin blamed Nimueh for his death and attacked her with his magic.
The ensuing duel ended when Nimueh struck him in the chest with an explosive fireball, seemingly killing him. As she walked away, however, Merlin recovered and struck her with lightning. He then used the power over life and death to trade Nimueh's life for Gaius's, restoring him to full health (Le Morte d'Arthur).
Though Merlin assumed that the Cup of Life was destroyed along with Nimueh, he later discovered that the Cup had endured and fallen into the possession of a clan of Druids in Cenred's kingdom (The Coming of Arthur).
Releasing the Dorocha
One year after their failed invasion of Camelot, Morgause and Morgana sailed to the Isle of the Blessed. At the stroke of midnight on Samhain's Eve, Morgana tore the veil between the worlds by sacrificing Morgause, releasing the Dorocha and summoning the Cailleach.
The Dorocha terrorized Camelot for several days, killing hundreds of its citizens. Arthur eventually decided to banish them back into the Spirit World by offering himself as a sacrifice. When he, Merlin, and the Knights of the Round Table arrived at the island, they found that it was infested with Wyverns. Merlin ordered them away with his Dragonlord powers, but when more arrived the knights decided to split up. Leon, Elyan, and Percival stayed behind to hold off the Wyverns while Arthur, Merlin, Gwaine, and Lancelot faced the Cailleach.
Arthur tried to offer his life to heal the veil, but Merlin knocked him out with a stunning spell and offered his own life instead. The Cailleach refused, however, and told him that his time among men was not over yet. As Merlin tried to figure out what she meant, Lancelot approached the veil and stepped inside. His sacrifice healed the tear and banished the Dorocha from Camelot (The Darkest Hour).
- Series 1
- Le Morte d'Arthur
- Series 3
- The Tears of Uther Pendragon: Part Two (Mentioned only)
- The Crystal Cave (Appears in crystals)
- The Coming of Arthur: Part One (Mentioned only)
- Series 4
- The Darkest Hour
- The Secret Sharer (Mentioned only)
- Lancelot du Lac (Mentioned only)
- Series 5
- The Death Song of Uther Pendragon (Mentioned only)
- Nimueh, Morgause, and Lancelot all died on the Isle of the Blessed (Le Morte d'Arthur, The Darkest Hour).
- Nimueh's Cave may be located on the island. However, this was never confirmed within the series (The Mark of Nimueh, The Poisoned Chalice).
- According to Morgause, a Rowan tree grows at the very heart of the island. Only the High Priestesses and their Blood Guard have ever set eyes on it (The Tears of Uther Pendragon).
- In Series 1, the Isle of the Blessed was a rather small isle with a few ruined buildings. In Series 4, however, the ruins had become a city or castle with several different buildings and towers. It also gained a ferryman and Wyverns (Le Morte d'Arthur, The Darkest Hour).
- In a series 4 deleted scene, Morgause revealed that she was taken to the island as a child and raised there before it fell into ruin during the Great Purge (The Darkest Hour).
- According to Gaius, the Isle of the Blessed is the focus of the Old Religion's powers. However, both he and the Disir later stated that the Caerlanrigh as the heart of the Old Religion and the centre of its powers (Le Morte d'Arthur, The Disir).
In the Legend
In Geoffrey of Monmouth's 1150 work Vita Merlini, Avalon was ruled by Morgan le Fay. She was the chief of nine sisters, all of them skilled in healing. In the series, the Isle of the Blessed was home to the High Priestesses of the Triple Goddess, nine powerful sorceresses dedicated to serving the Old Religion.
Geoffrey's work also indicated that a sea voyage was required to reach Avalon. In the series, the Isle of the Blessed is a lake island located near the Great Seas of Meredor.