The Lake of Avalon is a gateway to the world of Avalon, the home of the immortal Sidhe. It is the only known gateway to the fallen outside of the Pool of Nemhain, and is the final resting place of Freya, Lancelot, Elyan, and Arthur Pendragon.
After Aulfric and his daughter Sophia were exiled from Avalon as punishment for his killing another Sidhe, Aulfric attempted to win back Sophia's immortality by sacrificing Arthur Pendragon. However, their plan was thwarted by Merlin, who seized Sophia's staff and used it to kill her and her father before the ritual was complete (The Gates of Avalon).
When Kilgharrah learned that Uther had wielded the magical sword Excalibur, he ordered Merlin to hide it in a place where no mortal man would ever find it. Merlin later threw the sword into the Lake of Avalon, where it remained for the next three years (Excalibur).
Merlin carried Freya to the lake after she was mortally wounded by Arthur. The setting comforted Freya, as it reminded her of her childhood home, and her final moments were spent on its shores (The Lady of the Lake).
When Merlin followed Arthur on a quest to recover the Fisher King's trident, the Fisher King gave him a glass vial containing water from the Lake of Avalon. The King warned him that Albion's time of need was near and that the water would provide Merlin the help he needed to save her (The Eye of the Phoenix).
After 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 contacted Freya's spirit through its waters and learned that he could use the sword Excalibur to destroy the immortal soldiers.
The next day, Merlin asked Kilgharrah to take him to the lake. Freya retrieved Excalibur from its resting place and returned it to him, thus providing him with the help he and Arthur needed to retake Camelot (The Coming of Arthur).
After Morgana directed the Shade Lancelot to commit suicide, Merlin took his body to the Lake of Avalon. He placed it in a boat and used his magic to free Lancelot's soul from Morgana's influence. The spell restored Lancelot to his true self and revived him for a brief moment, which he used to thank Merlin before passing away. Merlin set the boat adrift and used his magic to burn it (Lancelot du Lac).
Elyan was given a similar funeral roughly three years later after he died rescuing Gwen from the Dark Tower. With the entire court of Camelot in attendance, the boat containing Elyan's body was set adrift on the lake. A knight then fired a flaming arrow into the boat, setting it alight (The Dark Tower).
When Arthur was mortally wounded in the Battle of Camlann, Merlin took him to the Lake of Avalon to be healed by the Sidhe. Their journey was interrupted by Morgana, however, and Arthur died before they reached their destination.
Devastated, Merlin cast Excalibur back into the lake, where Freya caught it and drew it back under the water. Merlin then placed Arthur's body in a boat and set it adrift on the lake (The Diamond of the Day).
- Avalon is derived from the Latin Insula Avallonis (cognate with the Welsh Ynys Afallon) which literally means "the isle of fruit [or apple] trees".
- Series 1
- The Gates of Avalon
- Series 2
- The Lady of the Lake
- Series 3
- The Changeling
- The Eye of the Phoenix (Mentioned only)
- The Coming of Arthur: Part 2
- Series 4
- Lancelot du Lac
- Series 5
- The Dark Tower
- The Diamond of the Day: Part 2
In The Legend
Avalon (also known as the Isle of the Blessed) was an island in Arthurian Legend. First appearing in Geoffrey of Monmouth's 1136 pseudo-historical account Historia Regum Britanniae, it was the place where Arthur's sword Excalibur was forged and where Arthur was taken after the Battle of Camlann.
Even in its earliest appearances, Avalon was strongly associated with mystical practices and figures. Morgan le Fay, for example, was portrayed in Geoffrey of Monmouth's 1150 work Vita Merlini as the chief of nine magical sisters who dwelt on the island, all of them skilled in healing.
Despite both of the terms "Avalon" and the "Isle of the Blessed" often being used to refer to the same island in Celtic mythology, in the series the terms have been used for separate locations. Avalon is a lake in Camelot, while the Isle of the Blessed is a lake island near the Great Seas of Meredor.
Interestingly, the Isle of the Blessed/Avalon was thought to be located in the ocean as well, with Geoffrey of Monmouth writing in Vita Merlini that a sea voyage was needed to reach Avalon.