In their wars with the Ancient Kings, the High Priestesses of the Old Religion combined the blood of a girl with the blood of a serpent's, creating fearsome and powerful monsters who were able to kill with a single touch. The Lamia were extremely powerful, but proved to be more dangerous than their creators imagined; the High Priestesses lost control of them and the Lamia continued to kill, unwilling to stop.
Centuries later, slave traders catch one Lamia and are transporting her to be sold. However, her influence over them is too great, and fights start amongst them. Fearing she enchanted them, the slave traders try to kill her. However, the Lamia proves more deadly than its captors were prepared for, and she kills them all, except one.
She goes to the village of Longstead, and begins preying on its inhabitants. Three villagers become its victims. Fearing an unknown illness, the wife of the village elder goes to Camelot to ask for help. She approaches Gwen, who tells Arthur. After consulting with Gaius, Arthur sends Merlin as the substitute physician, with Gwen and the Knights of Camelot to fix the problem.
The Lamia is later caught by bandits, and rescued by the Knights when they leave the village to go back to Camelot. However, she soon starts to exert her power over them, making them very protective over her and increasingly aggressive. Her first victim among them is Sir Elyan.
Instead of going back to Camelot, she forces them to travel to a castle to the East that she knew of. Afterwards, the Lamia picks them off, one by one. First is Gwaine, followed by Percival. Leon sees Percival fall because of the Lamia. He attacks, but the Lamia easily defeats him with magic.
Merlin sees the Lamia after Leon and the two of them duel fiercely. Lamia successfully attacks Merlin with her telekinetic abilities, but he fights back and is able to wound her with his sword. She changes to her true form and attacks again. Powerless, Merlin runs and makes it back to Gwen, who hears the commotion. When Merlin is at the creature's mercy, she rushes in and uses a sword to try to kill the creature. Whilst fatally wounded, the monster survives and attacks Gwen. But before the creature can make a kill, Arthur (who was following their trail after they went missing) kills the Lamia by thrusting his sword into its back (Lamia).
Bred to kill, the Lamia was bloodthirsty, arrogant, sadistic, powerful, manipulative, intelligent, merciless, and seemingly uncaring of what became of her victims. She seemed to find pleasure in forcing others to fight over her, manipulating the men in order to ensnare them. She was also capable of using her magical influence and creating a believable facade of a scared and traumatised girl to gain sympathy, remain undetected and stir up trouble among her chosen targets. However, it is unknown if those are characteristics of her own personality or if her kind was created by the High Priestesses to exhibit these qualities. It is known that the High Priestesses created the Lamia as a weapon and lost control of them, but it is unclear if all Lamia are evil.
Created by a High Priestess, the Lamia was a tremendously powerful creature. She was able to control men's minds, and influence them. Her enchantment made male targets aggressive to the point of attacking each other, regardless of prior friendship or loyalty, as shown by the disharmony among the Knights of Camelot. It also evoked possessive, jealous responses among them and bred an irrationality that prevented them from seeing reason. However, the Lamia's influence did not appear to reach to females of any kind or males with magical ability, since neither Gwen nor Merlin were affected by her.
The Lamia's kiss was also shown to be deadly as it drained the life force out of the recipient and its effects did not have an easy remedy since Merlin was unable to cure the victims, even when with the help of magic. When the Lamia absorbed the life force of a man, her eyes would glow green and take a snake-like appearance.
As well as her influence over men, the Lamia was capable of remarkably strong offensive magic. She was able to send a man flying through the air without the use of a verbal spell. She was also extremely adept at telekinesis as shown how she overpowers Sir Leon with such ease. She also demonstrated awareness of other magical entities, possibly as a defence mechanism, as she was immediately hostile towards Merlin when in close proximity with him.
The Lamia was a shapeshifter as she was able to transform from a humanoid girl into a huge beast with many tentacles. This form possessed immense physical strength making it capable of charging through a pile of boulders, as well as high endurance, being able to survive a sword being impaled through the chest. However, it was unable to survive a second assault to the vertebrae with a thrown spear.
The earliest reference to "Lamia" comes from Ancient Greek mythology. In these tales, Lamia was once a beautiful queen who came to be a demon who ate children, possibly even her own. She was often described in a serpentine manner, sometimes depicted as having either a snake body below her waist, a distorted, snake-like face, or a body with the skin of a snake. Some versions of the ancient myth say she was cursed to never shut her eyes, so she would always be forced to face the death of her children. Other versions say she was blessed with the ability to remove her eyes, so she would be able to forget the sight of the death of her children and would be able to tell prophesy. Over time, the myth evolved and later tales described the lamiae (the plural form of lamia) as beautifully alluring vampire/succubus-like monsters that fed on the blood of young men they had seduced. One scholar, Leinweber, noted that "By the time of Apuleius [c. 125 - c. 180], not only were Lamia characteristics liberally mixed into popular notions of sorcery, but at some level the very names were interchangeable."(Leinweber 1994:78) The tale in its modern version describes the Lamia with many of the same characteristics as the original myth (gluttony, bloodlust, and a serpentine appearance), only adding slovenliness and stupidity to the traits a Lamia would possess. In some versions, a Lamia is an extremely magical ogress similar to Baba-Yaga who is somehow crucial to a hero's quest. In other tales, the lamiae are simply a race of half-human, half-snake mythical creatures with a lot of power.
- Lamia is one of the few characters with an episode named after her. (Others being Valiant, Lancelot, Guinevere, Gwaine, and Aithusa. Other episodes that mention a character, indirectly or directly are: The Mark of Nimueh (Nimueh), The Curse of Cornelius Sigan (Cornelius Sigan), The Once and Future Queen (Gwen), Le Morte d'Arthur (Arthur), The Witchfinder (Aredian), The Sins of the Father (Uther), The Lady of the Lake (Freya), The Witch's Quickening (Morgana), The Last Dragonlord (Merlin), Gwaine (Gwaine ) The Changeling (Princess Elena), Queen of Hearts (Morgana), The Sorcerer's Shadow (Gilli), The Coming of Arthur (also Arthur), His Father's Son (Arthur, Uther's son), The Secret Sharer (Alator of Catha), A Servant of Two Masters (Merlin again), Lancelot du Lac (Lancelot), The Hunter's Heart (Gwen, Arthur's love), and Arthur's Bane (Mordred).
- The only male characters not affected by the Lamia were Merlin because of his magic, Gaius because he wasn't on the journey with the others, and Arthur because he was forced to remain in Camelot.
- The Lamia's true form has a total of 14 tentacles and two tails.
|Series 4 Enemies|
|The Darkest Hour: Morgana • Morgause • The Dorocha • The Cailleach • Agravaine • Wilddeoren • Wyvern|
The Wicked Day: King Odin • Morgana • Agravaine • The Gleeman • Geldred
Aithusa: Julius Borden • King Odin
His Father's Son: Morgana • Agravaine • Queen Annis • King Caerleon • Derian
A Servant of Two Masters: Morgana • Agravaine • Fomorroh • Merlin (indirect)
The Secret Sharer: Morgana • Agravaine • Alator • Orn
Lamia: Lamia • Agravaine
Lancelot du Lac: Morgana • Lancelot (Shade) • Agravaine • Dochraid
A Herald of the New Age: Shrine Boy • Elyan (indirect)
The Hunter's Heart: Morgana • Agravaine • Helios
The Sword in the Stone: Morgana • Agravaine • Helios • Aithusa • Nathair