Merlin Wiki
Merlin Wiki

This article is about the creature Lamia. To see the article on the episode: Lamia

The creatures they created had ferocious powers. They could control the mind of a man, suck the life from him with a single embrace.

A Lamia is a creature of magic, created by the High Priestesses by mingling the blood of a girl and that of a serpent together.


In their wars with the Ancient Kings, the High Priestesses of the Old Religion combined the blood of a girl with a serpent's, creating fearsome and powerful monsters who were able to kill with a single touch. However, the Lamia 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.

The Lamia in its fearsome form.

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 aggressive and more violent. 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 Lamia easily defeats him with magic.

Merlin sees the Lamia after Leon and is able to wound her with his sword. She changes to her true form and attacks again. Merlin runs and makes it back to Gwen, who hears the commotion. She uses a sword to try to kill the creature. Arthur (who was following their trail after they went missing) kills the Lamia with a spear to the back (Lamia).


Bred to kill, the Lamia was arrogant, sadistic, 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 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.

Lamia uses telekinesis to make a sword move

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 strong offensive magic. She was able to send a man flying through the air without the use of a verbal spell. 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.

In Mythology

Lamia (first version) by John William Waterhouse (1905); note the snakeskin wrapped around her arm and waist and the scale-like pattern to the skirt of her tunic.

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 much power.


A 17th century depiction of Lamia from Edward Topsell's The History of Four-Footed Beasts.


Series 4 Enemies
The Darkest Hour: MorganaMorgauseThe DorochaThe CailleachAgravaineWilddeorenWyvern
The Wicked Day: King OdinMorganaAgravaineThe GleemanGeldred
Aithusa: Julius BordenKing Odin
His Father's Son: MorganaAgravaineQueen AnnisKing CaerleonDerian
A Servant of Two Masters: MorganaAgravaineFomorrohMerlin (indirect)
The Secret Sharer: MorganaAgravaineAlator of the CathaOrn
Lamia: LamiaAgravaine
Lancelot du Lac: MorganaLancelot (Shade) •  AgravaineDochraid
A Herald of the New Age: Shrine BoyElyan (indirect)
The Hunter's Heart: MorganaAgravaineHelios
The Sword in the Stone: MorganaAgravaineHeliosAithusaNathair