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{{Spoiler Alert}}
 
 
{{Character Infobox
 
{{Character Infobox
|image = [[File:4.jpg|250px]]
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|image = [[File:merlin5-5.jpg|250px]]
|name = [[File:Merlin nameplate.png|250px]]
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|aka =
|aka = Emrys<br /><!--
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Emrys <small>(by the [[Druids]])</small><br>Young [[Warlock]] <small>(by [[Kilgharrah]])</small><br>The Last [[Dragonlord]]<br>[[Magic]] <small>(by [[Grettir]])</small><br>[[Dragoon the Great]] <small>(Disguise)</small><br>The Most Powerful [[Sorcerer]] to Ever Live<br>The Greatest Sorcerer to Ever Walk the Earth<br>Bog Man <small>(by [[Gwaine]])</small><br>Master <small>(by [[Finna]])</small><br>[[Dolma]] <small>(Disguise)</small>
-->Young [[Warlock]]<br /><!--
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|race = [[Warlock]]<br>[[Dragonlord]]
-->The Last [[Dragonlord]] <br /><!--
 
-->[[Magic]] <br /><!--
 
-->Dragoon The Great<br /><!--
 
-->The Sorcerer
 
The Most Powerful Sorcerer To Ever Live
 
|race = Possibly Half-Human Half-Magical Creature of The [[Old Religion]]
 
 
|gender = Male
 
|gender = Male
|family = [[Balinor]] (Father) †<br /><!--
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|family = [[Hunith]] <small>(mother)</small><br>[[Balinor]] <small>(father)</small><br>[[Gaius]] <small>(maternal uncle/guardian)</small><br>[[Balinor's Father]] † <small>(paternal grandfather)</small><br>[[Balinor's Grandfather]] † <small>(paternal great-grandfather)</small>
-->[[Hunith]] (Mother)<br /><!--
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|affiliation = <div class="toccolours mw-collapsible mw-collapsed" style="width:150px; background-color:none; border:none">
-->[[Balinor's father|Merlin's Grandfather]] (Grandfather) †<br /><!--
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<div class="mw-collapsible-content">
-->[[Balinor's grandfather|Merlin's Great-Grandfather]] (Great-Grandfather)
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* [[Arthur Pendragon]] †
|affiliation = [[Arthur Pendragon]]<br>[[Gaius]]<br>[[Camelot]]<br>[[Guinevere Pendragon]]<br> The [[Knights of Camelot]]<br>The [[Knights of the Round Table]]<br>[[Aithusa]] ?<br>[[Kilgharrah]]<br>The [[Druids]]<br>[[Freya]] (Spirit )<br>[[Balinor]] †<br>[[Hunith]]<br>[[Alator|Alator of the Catha]]
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* [[Guinevere Pendragon]]
|enemies = [[Uther Pendragon]] †
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* [[Morgana Pendragon]] † <small>(formerly)</small>
[[Morgana Pendragon]]<br>[[Mordred]] ?<br>[[Nimueh]] †<br>[[Morgause]] †<br>[[Agravaine de Bois]] †<br>[[Alvarr]]<br>[[Helios]] †<br>[[Cenred]] †<br>[[Sidhe Elder]] †<br>[[Mary Collins]] †<br>[[Valiant]] †<br>[[Edwin Muirden]] †<br>[[Sophia]] †<br>[[Aulfric]] †<br>[[Tristan de Bois]] †<br>[[Kanen]] †<br>[[Tauren]] †<br>[[Cedric]]<br>[[Cornelius Sigan]] †<br>[[Odin]]<br>[[Myror]] †<br>[[Hengist]] †<br>[[Kendrick]] †<br>[[Troll (Catrina)]] †<br>[[Jonas]] †<br>[[Aredian]] †<br>[[Halig]] †<br>[[Alined]]<br>[[Trickler]]<br>[[Enmyria]] †<br>[[Knights of Medhir]] †<br>[[Dagr]] †<br>[[Ebor]] †<br>[[Grunhilda]] †<br>[[Nollar]] †<br>[[Tindr]]<br>[[Jarl]] †<br>[[The Cailleach]]<br>[[The Gleeman]] †<br>[[Julius Borden]] †<br>[[Caerleon]] †<br>[[Lamia]] †<br>[[Lancelot (Shade)]] †
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* [[Hunith]]
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* [[Gaius]]
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* [[Kilgharrah]]
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* [[Camelot]]
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* [[Knights of Camelot]]
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* The [[Druids]]
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* [[Lancelot]] †
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* [[Iseldir]]
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* [[Freya]] †
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* [[Balinor]] †
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* [[Gwaine]] †
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* [[Gilli]]
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* [[Knights of the Round Table]]
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* The [[Vilia]]
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* [[Aithusa]] <small>(formerly)</small>
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* [[Alator]] †
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* [[Mithian]]
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* [[Tristan]]
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* [[Isolde]] †
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* [[Mordred]] † <small>(formerly)</small>
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* [[Daegal]] †
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* [[Finna]] †
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<div></div>
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|enemies = <div class="toccolours mw-collapsible mw-collapsed" style="width:150px; background-color:none; border:none">
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<div class="mw-collapsible-content">
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* [[Uther Pendragon]] †
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* [[Morgana Pendragon]] †
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* [[Mordred]] †
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* [[Morgause]] †
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* [[Agravaine de Bois]] †
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* [[Nimueh]] †
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* [[Mary Collins]] †
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* [[Valiant]] †
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* [[Edwin Muirden]] †
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* [[Aulfric]] †
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* [[Sophia]] †
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* [[Tristan de Bois]] †
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* [[Kanen]] †
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* [[Tauren]] †
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* [[Cedric]] †
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* [[Cornelius Sigan]] †
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* [[Odin]] <small>(formerly)</small>
  +
* [[Myror]] †
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* [[Hengist]] †
  +
* [[Kendrick]] †
  +
* [[Troll (Catrina)]] †
  +
* [[Jonas]]
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* [[Aredian]] †
  +
* [[Halig]] †
  +
* [[Alined]]
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* [[Trickler]]
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* [[Alvarr]]
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* [[Knights of Medhir]]
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* [[Cenred]] †
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* The [[Goblin]]
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* [[Dagr]] †
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* [[Ebor]] †
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* [[Grunhilda]] †
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* [[Sidhe Elder]] †
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* [[Tindr]]
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* [[Nollar]] †
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* [[Jarl]] †
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* [[Immortal Army]] †
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* [[The Cailleach]]
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* [[The Gleeman]] †
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* [[Julius Borden]] †
  +
* [[Caerleon]] †
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* [[Lamia]] †
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* [[Lancelot (Shade)]] †
  +
* [[Helios]] †
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* The [[Saxons]]
  +
* [[Ragnor]]
  +
* The [[Disir]]
  +
* The [[Dochraid]]
  +
* [[Beroun]] †
  +
</div></div>
 
|portrayer = [[Colin Morgan]]
 
|portrayer = [[Colin Morgan]]
|appearances = All}} {{Quote|I put my life in your hands every day, Merlin, as do Arthur and Gwen and all of Camelot, though they may not know it. You're the one who holds the fate of this kingdom in the balance.|[[Gaius]]}}
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|appearances = 65 episodes}}
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{{Quote|I put my life in your hands every day, Merlin, as do Arthur and Gwen and all of Camelot, though they may not know it. You're the one who holds the fate of this kingdom in the balance.|[[Gaius]] to Merlin|Lamia}}
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'''Merlin''' (also called '''Emrys''') is the hero and protagonist of the series. He is a [[warlock]], the last [[Dragonlord]] in existence, the only son of [[Hunith]] and [[Balinor]], [[Gaius|Gaius's]] ward and apprentice, and the best friend and [[servant|manservant]] of the late [[Arthur|King Arthur]]. He is also a [[Creatures of Magic|creature]] of the [[Old Religion]].
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After leaving his [[Ealdor|childhood home]] for [[Camelot]], Merlin became the manservant of Prince Arthur. From then on, Merlin began to protect and guide Arthur on his journey to the throne; according to the [[Great Dragon]], it was his [[destiny]] to do so. Merlin was also destined to become the greatest and most powerful [[sorcerer]] to ever live; to use his powers to free people of [[magic]] and unite the [[Old Religion|Old Ways]] with the new; and to help Arthur reunite the kingdoms of the land into [[Albion]] and create an era of peace and prosperity.
   
'''Merlin''' is a young [[warlock]], the last [[Dragonlord]] in existence, the only son of [[Hunith]] and [[Balinor]], [[Gaius]]'s ward and apprentice, and the best friend and [[servant|manservant]] of [[Arthur Pendragon]]. Having left his childhood in [[Ealdor]] for [[Camelot]], Merlin became the manservant of the [[Prince]] of [[Camelot]], [[Arthur Pendragon]], with whom he eventually became extremely close friends. From then on, acting on the prophecy of the Great Dragon, [[Kilgharrah]], Merlin began his duty to protect and guide Arthur on his way to the throne. Merlin is destined to become the greatest and most powerful sorcerer to ever live, and to use his powers to free the magical people and revive the [[Old Religion]] to coexist with the New Religion. He is also destined to stand at Arthur's side as an advisor and partner, as he reunites all the kingdoms of the land back into [[Albion]], calling forth an era of peace and prosperity.
 
 
==Biography==
 
==Biography==
 
=== Early Life ===
 
=== Early Life ===
[[File:Merlin101_0051.jpg|thumb|left|210px|Merlin arrives in [[Camelot]]]]Merlin was born in [[Ealdor]], a small outlying village in [[Lot|Lot's Kingdom]]. His mother is [[Hunith]] and his father was [[Balinor]]. [[Gaius]] helped [[Balinor]], a Dragonlord, escape from [[Uther]]'s [[the Great Purge|persecution of magic]] and hid him with Hunith. The two fell in love, but Uther soon discovered Balinor's hiding place and sent knights to arrest him. Balinor was forced to flee and leave Hunith behind. Whether she knew before or after his departure, Hunith discovered she was pregnant and later gave birth to Merlin. Merlin wouldn't see his father until many years later. Merlin was born with [[magic]]. According to [[The Great Dragon]], Merlin's birth has been prophesied by many cultures. For example, [[Druids|the Druids]] refer to him as "Emrys" (meaning immortal), which is first used by [[Mordred]] (''[[The Beginning of the End]]''). The Dragon states that it's Merlin's destiny to protect [[Arthur Pendragon]] and aid him in uniting the kingdoms of [[Albion]] and returning magic to the land.
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Merlin was born to [[Hunith]] and [[Balinor]] in [[Ealdor]], a small outlying village in the kingdom of [[Essetir]]. Near the end of the [[the Great Purge|Great Purge]], [[Gaius]] had helped Balinor, a [[Dragonlord]], escape the slaughter of his people and arranged for him to stay with Hunith. The two fell in love, but [[Uther]] eventually discovered Balinor's whereabouts and sent men to arrest him. Balinor was forced to flee Ealdor and left Hunith behind, unaware that she was pregnant with his son (''[[The Last Dragonlord]]'').
   
=== Arriving in Camelot ===
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Unlike most [[sorcerers]], Merlin was born with the ability to use [[magic]]. According to the [[The Great Dragon|Great Dragon]], Merlin's birth had been prophesied by many cultures. The [[Druids]], for example, referred to him as "Emrys" (''[[The Beginning of the End]]'').
   
{{Quote|Without you Arthur will never succeed, without you there will be no Albion|Kilgharrah to Merlin}}
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Life could be difficult in a village as small and isolated as Ealdor. Food was scarce and everyone was expected to pitch in and help with the harvest. Merlin had one friend growing up, [[William]], who was aware of his magic. At some point in their childhood Will convinced Merlin to use his magic to fell a tree, a stunt which nearly flattened [[Simmons|Old Man Simmons]] (''[[The Moment of Truth]]'').
   
When he was eighteen his mother sent him to her friend Gaius for help controlling his magic. Upon his arrival in Camelot, Merlin saved Gaius from a fatal fall off a balcony in his chambers. He gave Merlin a magic spell book in order to advance his skills, but advised Merlin to hide his powers as the king, [[Uther Pendragon]], has made all forms of magic illegal.
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=== Finding a Purpose ===
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{{Quote|Without you, Arthur will never succeed. Without you, there will be no Albion.|[[Kilgharrah]] to Merlin|The Dragon's Call}}
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[[File:Merlin101 0051.jpg|thumb|left|220x220px|Merlin when he first arrives in [[Camelot]].]]
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When Merlin was in his late teens, [[Hunith]] grew worried by how at odds he was with the people of [[Ealdor]] and decided to send him to live with [[Gaius]] in [[Camelot]]. She hoped that the elderly physician would be able to teach him to control his [[magic]] and help him find a purpose for his gifts.
   
During his first week in Camelot, Merlin heard a voice calling him. Within a few days, he had followed the voice to the dungeons of the castle and discovered [[The Great Dragon]]. The dragon told Merlin that he is destined for great things, and that he will aid Arthur in his destiny to become king. Throughout the series, the dragon frequently gave Merlin advice, although Merlin rarely understood it at first as the advice was usually in riddles.
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Soon after he arrived in Camelot, Merlin saved Gaius from a fatal fall from a balcony in his chambers. The physician was intrigued by his instinctive use of magic, at one point declaring it to be impossible, but nevertheless discouraged him from using it. The king, [[Uther Pendragon]], had [[Great Purge|outlawed]] all forms of magic twenty years ago, and anyone caught breaking this law was sentenced to death.
   
As well as being Gaius' ward and apprentice, Merlin became Arthur's manservant after he saved him from being impaled by a dagger thrown by [[Mary Collins]] (''[[The Dragon's Call]]'').
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Merlin spent his first few days in Camelot helping Gaius while the physician tried to find some paid work for him. He soon found a new friend in the [[Morgana|Lady Morgana's]] maidservant, [[Guinevere]], and an enemy in [[Arthur|Prince Arthur Pendragon]]. After one of their altercations escalated into a mace fight that Merlin tried to win with his magic, Gaius grew impatient with his carelessness and advised him to control himself. Merlin, however, angrily protested that he didn't want to. Without magic he was a nobody and always would be, and he would rather die than not be able to use it.
   
Although the pair shared an antagonistic relationship at first the two quickly began to trust each other. Merlin also befriended Guinevere, known as "[[Gwen]]", [[Morgana]]'s maidservant, and later Morgana herself.
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That night, Merlin was awakened by a voice calling his name. He followed it to the dungeons beneath the castle, where he discovered the [[Great Dragon]]. The dragon told Merlin that he was [[destiny|destined]] for great things, and that he would aid Arthur in his destiny to become the Once and Future King and unite the land of [[Albion]]. Skeptical, Merlin informed the dragon that Arthur was an idiot, but dragon merely replied that perhaps it was his destiny to change that.
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The dragon's words had an impact on Merlin, who had been searching for a purpose since he arrived in Camelot. As such, when [[sorceress]] [[Mary Collins]] tried to avenge [[Thomas Collins|her son's]] execution by killing Arthur, Merlin didn't hesitated to use his magic to save the prince's life. As a reward for his actions, Uther appointed him as Arthur's personal manservant (''[[The Dragon's Call]]'').
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[[File:Capture2012-04-15-14h43m52s241.png|thumb|right|220x220px|Merlin helps [[Arthur]] prepare for the [[Tournament of Camelot|tournament]].]]
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Merlin was far from thrilled with his new position. He didn't know anything about being a servant and Arthur was often impatient with his attempts to learn, especially when they prevented him from concentrating on his performance in [[Tournament of Camelot|Camelot's annual tournament]]. However, the tension between the boys began to lessen as Merlin got the hang of his new duties.
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After [[Ewan|Sir Ewan]] suffered a snakebite while fighting [[Knight Valiant]] in the tournament, Merlin discovered that Valiant was using an [[Serpent Shield|enchanted shield]] to cheat. Knowing that the King would never believe a servant over a knight, Merlin and Gaius came up with a plan to cure Ewan so that he could testify before the court. Merlin obtained a sample of the venom for Gaius by decapitating one of the snakes on Valiant's shield, then went to inform Arthur, who was going to face the knight in the tournament finals.
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The prince was skeptical of Merlin's story at first, but ultimately chose to believe him after he swore that he was telling the truth. Arthur requested an audience with his father and publicly accused Valiant of sorcery, but after Ewan was found dead (having been attacked by another of Valiant's snakes) their case against him fell apart. Arthur was forced to recant his accusation and apologize to Valiant. Angry and humiliated, he later fired Merlin from his service.
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Merlin was deeply upset by Arthur's actions and decided that it couldn't be his destiny to protect someone who hated him. When he told the dragon as much, however, the creature merely replied that the half cannot truly hate that which makes it whole and that this was not the end, but the beginning. Initially, Merlin was not comforted by the dragon's words, but after Gwen encouraged him to pursue the truth, he decided to expose Valiant's treachery by letting everyone see the snakes for themselves.
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He searched the [[Gaius' Grimoire|spell book]] that Gaius had given him for a [[spell]] that would [[Animation Spell|bring inanimate objects to life]], then spent the night practicing it on a statue of a dog. He perfected it by morning and rushed to the tournament grounds, where Arthur and Valiant had already begun fighting. Merlin watched the fight from afar at first, then, after the knight disarmed the prince, he incanted the spell and brought the snakes on the shield to life, exposing Valiant before all of Camelot. He was later rehired as Arthur's servant (''[[Valiant]]'').
   
 
=== Early Adventures ===
 
=== Early Adventures ===
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{{Quote|One day, Merlin. One day."<br>"One day what?"<br>"One day, people won't believe what an idiot you were.|[[Gaius]] and Merlin|The Mark of Nimueh}}
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[[File:Merlin3-3.gif|thumb|left|220x220px|Merlin uses his [[magic]] to heal [[Tom]].]]
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When not working as [[Arthur|Arthur's]] servant, Merlin would frequently use his [[magic]] to help people, often without thinking of the consequences. On one such occasion, he used a [[poultice|magical poultice]] to cure [[Gwen|Gwen's]] father of a [[Plague in Camelot|mysterious plague]] that stricken the people of [[Camelot]]. His attempt to help soon backfired, however, when [[Tom|Tom's]] sudden recovery led [[Uther]] to believe that Gwen was a [[sorceress]] and therefore the source of the disease.
   
{{Quote|If it comes to a choice between me saving peoples lives and revealing who I really am, there is no choice"<br>"You can't let Arthur know about your gift|Merlin and Hunith discuss Merlin's secret}}
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Devastated by this turn of events, Merlin tried to stop Gwen's execution by confessing to what he'd done. When that failed, he and [[Gaius]] went to the reservoir and discovered that the plague was being caused by an [[Afanc]] in the water supply. Merlin confronted it with Arthur and [[Morgana]] and used a [[Elemental Magic|combination of fire and wind]] to kill the creature. His actions proved Gwen innocent and she was released from prison (''[[The Mark of Nimueh]]'').
   
[[File:Merlin3-3.gif|frame|[[Merlin]] heals [[Tom]]]]Merlin frequently used his magic to help others, sometimes even without thinking of the consequences. When the life of Gwen's father, Tom, is threatened by a strange plague that is spreading in Camelot, Merlin uses his magic to heal him, an action which subsequently leads Uther to assume that [[Gwen]] healed her father with witchcraft and to believe she caused the plague in the first place (''[[The Mark of Nimueh]]'').
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Merlin's attempt to help also had unforeseen consequences for himself. It brought him to the attention of the sorceress [[Nimueh]], who was responsible for conjuring the Afanc. Seeking revenge for his interference, Nimueh snuck into Camelot disguised as a maid in [[Bayard|Lord Bayard's]] employ and informed Merlin that her master had laced Arthur's goblet with poison.
   
[[File:Merlin287.png|thumb|left|200px|[[Merlin]], about to drink from the cup]]
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Merlin immediately ran to warn Arthur, but Bayard was deeply offended by his accusations and Uther decided to settle the matter by commanding Merlin to drink from the cup himself. Ignoring Arthur's protests, Merlin did as he was asked and collapsed moments later, proving that the goblet was poisoned. Gaius later discovered the petal of a [[Mortaeus flower]] stuck to the inside of the cup and determined that an antidote could only be made from the leaves of that same flower. If Merlin did not receive the antidote in three or four days, he would surely die.
Merlin also uses his magic to help a swordsman named [[Lancelot (character)|Lancelot]] by using his powers to forge a false seal of nobility that would enable him to join the [[Knights of Camelot]]. He uses his powers again to enchant Lancelot's lance to aid him in killing a [[Griffin]]. Through doing so, he enables Lancelot to discover that Merlin had magic (''[[Lancelot (episode)|Lancelot]]''). However, Lancelot leaves Camelot because Arthur disagrees that he should have his knighthood taken away since his seal of nobility was false. Uther wished to have him banished, so father and son argued, Lancelot bade them farewell because he couldn't stand the fact he had caused a rift between the King and the Prince. Merlin, watching him leave, forsees that they will meet again.
 
   
Merlin also uses his powers to save King Uther from being killed by one of [[Edwin Muirden]]'s beetles, despite the risk of his powers being discovered (''[[A Remedy to Cure All Ills]]'').
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[[File:Merlin%27s_light.JPG|thumb|right|220x220px|Merlin conjures a [[Light Spell|magical light]] to guide [[Arthur]] to safety.]]
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Upon hearing this, Arthur defied his father's orders and rode out to the [[Forest of Balor]] to find the flower. He ran into Nimueh along the way, who led him into a trap and then left him to die. Though unconscious and a long distance away, Merlin subconsciously sensed Arthur's plight and sent a [[Light Spell|magical light]] to guide him to safety.
   
[[File:Merlin110_1830.jpg|thumb|200px|Merlin creates a large whirlwind that wipes out his enemies]]
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When Arthur returned to Camelot with the flower, he was arrested and taken to the dungeons for disobeying his father's orders. Fortunately, Gwen managed to retrieve the flower and brought it to Gaius, who completed the antidote and saved Merlin's life (''[[The Poisoned Chalice]]'').
He takes this risk again when his home village is attacked by raiders and he raises a wind in front of Arthur in order to help them win the fight. However his friend [[William|Will]], who is fatally wounded during the battle, takes the blame for the magic before he died (''[[The Moment of Truth]]'').
 
   
Despite hiding his own powers, Merlin's magic has also helped expose witches and warlocks with more sinister motives. He managed to expose [[Valiant (character)|Knight Valiant]]'s magical [[Serpent Shield]] during the final match of a sword tournament, saving Arthur's life (''[[Valiant (episode)|Valiant]]''). Merlin frequently, also, has to make life altering choices, often dealing with the Dragon's advice to him. The first of two notable examples occur when he has to choose whether to help Mordred escape from Camelot or to allow him to be caught and killed; Merlin ultimately chooses the former when Mordred begs him for help (''[[The Beginning of the End]]'').
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Merlin next used his magic to help a swordsman named [[Lancelot]], who wanted to become a knight but was prohibited by the First Code of Camelot, which decreed that only men of noble blood could serve as knights. Wanting to repay Lancelot for saving him from a [[Griffin]], Merlin used his magic to forge a fake seal of nobility and talked Arthur into letting him try out for the knights. With some help from Guinevere, who provided clothes and armour to help Lancelot look the part, the ruse succeeded and Lancelot was made a [[Knight of Camelot]].
   
The second is after Uther has [[Tom|Gwen's father]] executed and Morgana plots with the rogue sorcerer, [[Tauren]], to kill Uther and the Dragon advises him to do nothing. Despite his intense dislike of Uther because of his persecution against his kind, Merlin refuses to believe that it is right to kill him. He ultimately chooses to save him when Gwen states that she wouldn't kill him because that would make her no better than Uther himself (''[[To Kill the King]]'').
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However, this plan also backfired in the end. After Uther discovered that his seal was a forgery, Lancelot was stripped of his knighthood and thrown in jail. Horrified by this turn of events, Merlin apologized to Lancelot for making him lie, but the swordsman insisted that he wasn't to blame. He told Merlin that it had been his choice to go through with the plan and that the punishment was his alone to bear.
   
[[File:Merlin_and_Nimueh.jpg|thumb|left|250px|Merlin and Nimueh face off]]
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[[File:Enchantment_Weapons.gif|thumb|left|220x220px|Merlin [[Enchantments|enchants]] [[Lancelot|Lancelot's]] spear.]]
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Later, when Arthur rode out with a company of knights to fight the Griffin, Merlin and Lancelot (who had been released from prison by Arthur) set out to follow them. Merlin [[Enchantment to Strengthen Mortal Weapons|enchanted]] Lancelot's spear to give him the power to kill the Griffin, and in doing so revealed his magic to his new friend.
   
After an encounter with a [[Questing Beast]], Arthur and Merlin go on a hunt for it. Merlin kills it, but Arthur is bitten by it during the hunt. Knowing that a bite from a Questing Beast meant death, Merlin goes to the Dragon. The Dragon tells him to travel to the [[Isle of the Blessed]] and accept the heavy price that he would have to pay to the priestess of the [[Old Religion]] he would find there, in order to save Arthur's life. Once he arrives at the Island, Merlin once again encounters the enchantress [[Nimueh]]. He is told that to save Arthur's life, he has to sacrifice another. Merlin chooses to sacrifice his own, and Nimueh gives him a vial of water from the [[Cup of Life]] that would revive Arthur. Unknown to Merlin, the life that is taken is not his. Instead, his mother becomes ill with a terrible sicknessness that would kill her. Merlin goes to the Dragon and accuses him of tricking him. The Dragon says his own life is too valuable to waste, since he has to protect Arthur until he claims the throne, at which time the Dragon will be freed. Realizing that is all the Dragon ever cared about, Merlin turns his back on the Dragon, vowing to never allow him to be released for what he has done. Merlin intends to once again visit Nimueh to bargain his own life for his mother's, but Gaius beats him to it, and sacrifices his life for Hunith, who later recovers from the illness. Merlin blames Nimueh for Gaius' death, and attacks her. Nimueh easily overpowers him in a [[Duel between Merlin and Nimueh|magical battle]] and seemingly kills him. However, as she turns her back to him, Merlin rises up and and uses magical lightning to strike her down, killing her. He then uses the power of life and death to revive Gaius, using Nimueh's death as payment. Meanwhile, the Dragon is at terrible rage over Merlin's desertion and furiously calls Merlin's name (which appears to have been heard by Morgana) (''[[Le Morte d'Arthur]]'').
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Lancelot promised to keep Merlin's secret, but refused to take credit for killing the Griffin when he knew that Merlin was truly responsible. As such, he decided to leave Camelot with the hope that fate would one day grant him another chance to become a Knight of Camelot. As he watched Lancelot ride away, Merlin hoped that they would meet again one day (''[[Lancelot (episode)|Lancelot]]'').
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After Morgana was stricken with a mysterious illness, sorcerer [[Edwin Muirden]] secretly used magic to cure her and quietly set out to undermine Gaius. Merlin was delighted when Edwin encouraged him to use his magic and offered to teach him about it, but was deeply upset when Edwin replaced Gaius as court physician.
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When he discovered that Edwin had used [[Elanthia Beetle|Elanthia beetles]] to cause Morgana's illness and was going to use them to kill Uther, Gaius confronted Edwin with the truth. The sorcerer used his magic to surround Gaius with [[Fire spell|fire]], intending to kill him, but Merlin arrived and used his own magic to kill Edwin before he could succeed. He later used his magic to save Uther from Edwin's beetle despite the risk of his powers being discovered (''[[A Remedy to Cure All Ills]]'').
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[[File:107_2.jpeg|thumb|right|220x220px|Merlin rescues [[Arthur]] from the [[Lake of Avalon|Lake]].]]
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Merlin also used his magic to save Arthur when the exiled [[Sidhe]] [[Aulfric]] and his daughter [[Sophia]] enchanted him and tried to sacrifice him to the [[Sidhe Elder]]. After his attempt to confront them directly failed, he chased them to the [[Lake of Avalon]] and arrived just in time to see Sophia use her magic to force Arthur under the water.
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Merlin quickly seized Sophia's abandoned [[Sidhe Staff|staff]] and used it to kill her and her father, then dove into the lake and pulled Arthur to the surface. Later, back in Camelot, he and Gaius explained Arthur's lapse in memory by telling him that he'd tried to elope with Sophia the night before and Merlin had been forced to knock him out with a lump of wood in order to bring him back home (''[[The Gates of Avalon]]'').
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=== Difficult Decisions ===
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{{Quote|If it comes to a choice between saving people's lives and revealing who I really am, there is no choice.”<br>“You can't let Arthur know about your gift.|Merlin and [[Hunith]] discuss his secret|The Moment of Truth}}
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[[File:108.jpg|thumb|left|220x220px|Merlin and [[Mordred]] hide in [[Morgana|Morgana's]] chambers.]]
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Merlin was also faced with a number of life altering choices after he came to [[Camelot]]. When he and [[Morgana]] conspired to save [[Mordred]] from capture and execution, the [[Great Dragon]] advised him not to protect the boy because he was [[Destiny|destined]] to kill [[Arthur]].
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The dragon's prediction forced Merlin to choose between helping the [[Druid]] boy escape and allowing him to be captured and killed. Though the latter choice would ensure that Mordred's destiny never came to pass, Merlin ultimately chose the former after the boy begged him for help (''[[The Beginning of the End]]'').
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When Arthur challenged the [[wraith]] of [[Tristan de Bois]] to a duel, Merlin asked the Great Dragon to burnish a sword so that it would have the power to kill the undead. The dragon was reluctant at first, but ultimately agreed to grant his request if Merlin would promise that the sword would be wielded by Arthur, and Arthur alone.
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Unbeknownst to Merlin, however, [[Uther]] and [[Gaius]] had carried out their own plan to save Arthur's life by conspiring to drug him. Merlin tried to keep his promise by suggesting that Uther would be better off with his own sword for the duel, but the king would not be dissuaded from using [[Excalibur]], and with its aid he successfully defeated the wraith.
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The dragon was furious when he learned that Merlin had failed to stop Uther from wielding the sword and ordered him to take it far away from Camelot, to a place where no mortal man could ever find it. Merlin later retrieved the sword from the armoury and cast it into the [[Lake of Avalon]] (''[[Excalibur (episode)|Excalibur]]'').
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[[File:Merlin110 1830.jpg|thumb|220px|Merlin creates a [[Whirlwind Spell|whirlwind]] that wipes out his enemies.]]
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Merlin also had a difficult choice to make when Arthur, [[Gwen]], and Morgana helped him to defend [[Ealdor]] from bandits. Though Arthur immediately set to work training the villagers to defend themselves, it soon became apparent that they weren't warrior material. Gwen and Morgana in particular were certain that they had little hope of holding off [[Kanen]] and his men.
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Merlin's childhood friend [[William|Will]] shared their opinion and believed that Merlin should use his [[magic]] to defend the village. When Merlin objected that revealing his powers would mean leaving Camelot for good, Will accused him of caring more about Arthur's opinion than about protecting his friends and family. He said that he was abandoning them. Upset by his words, Merlin began to wonder if maybe he should reveal his magic if it meant saving everyone.
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In the end, Merlin decided that if Arthur didn't accept him for who he truly was, then he wasn't the friend he'd hoped he was. He summoned a [[Whirlwind Spell|whirlwind]] during the battle in full view of Arthur and used it to attack the bandits, forcing them to flee. Afterwards, Arthur demanded to know which of them had used magic, but before Merlin could confess, Will (who had been fatally injured) chose to protect Merlin's secret by taking the blame himself (''[[The Moment of Truth]]'').
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[[File:111_6.jpg|thumb|left|220x220px|[[Arthur]] and Merlin try to solve [[Anhora|Anhora's]] puzzle.]]
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When Arthur unleashed a [[Curse of the Unicorn|curse]] upon Camelot by killing a [[unicorn]], Merlin tried to help the prince lift the curse by helping him pass the tests that [[Anhora]], the Keeper of the Unicorns, gave him. The prince passed the first test but failed the second, after which Camelot lost the last of its supplies.
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Aware of how desperate Arthur was to end his people's suffering, Merlin went in search of Anhora and asked him to give Arthur another chance. After Merlin told him that he trusted Arthur with his life, Anhora chose to grant his request and instructed him to send Arthur to the [[Labyrinth of Gedref (maze)|Labyrinth of Gedref]], where he would be given a final test.
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Though Arthur told him to stay in Camelot, Merlin followed him to the Labyrinth but lost track of him in the maze. He was eventually captured by Anhora, but intended to use him as part of Arthur's test. Once Arthur had joined them, the Keeper gave them a puzzle to solve. They were each given a goblet, one of which contained a deadly poison and the other a harmless liquid. The liquid from both goblets had to be drunk, but each of them was only allowed to drink from one goblet.
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Merlin eventually solved the puzzle and suggested that they pour all the liquid into one goblet. That way, they could be sure it was poisoned, all the liquid could be drunk, and it would be from a single goblet. He intended to drink the poison himself, as he believed Arthur's life to be more important than his own, but before he could do so, Arthur distracted him and then drank from the goblet instead. Horrified, Merlin could do nothing but watch as the prince collapsed.
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Much to Merlin's relief, however, Anhora revealed that the goblet had only contained a [[sleeping draught]] and that Arthur would recover shortly. By sacrificing his life for Merlin's, Arthur had proven himself to be pure of heart and had passed his final test. As such, the curse would be lifted (''[[The Labyrinth of Gedref]]'').
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[[File:Tauren_vs_Merlin.jpg|thumb|right|220x220px|Merlin duels [[Tauren]] with his [[Sidhe Staff|staff]].]]
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Merlin was faced with another difficult choice after Uther had [[Tom|Gwen's father]] executed for treason. When he overheard Morgana and [[Tauren]], a rogue [[sorcerer]], plotting to assassinate the king, Merlin went to the Great Dragon for advice on what he should do. Much to his surprise, however, the dragon advised him to do nothing, as only Uther's death would free Camelot from tyranny and allow magic to return to the land.
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The dragon's words left Merlin conflicted about whether or not he should save Uther. However, after a conversation with Gwen reaffirmed his initial conviction that allowing the king to die would be the same as murder, Merlin chose to put aside his personal dislike of Uther and rushed to save him from Morgana's scheme (''[[To Kill the King]]'').
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=== A Life For A Life ===
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{{Quote|The High Priests have the power to mirror life and death, but there will be a price to pay. They will demand a life in return.|[[Gaius]] to Merlin|Le Morte d'Arthur}}
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[[File:Merlin%27s_impact_on_the_Questing_Beast.png|thumb|left|220x220px|Merlin uses his [[magic]] to kill the [[Questing Beast]].]]
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After the [[Questing Beast]] was seen in [[Camelot]], Merlin accompanied [[Arthur]] on a patrol to search for it. Merlin was able to use his [[magic]] to kill the Beast, but not before Arthur had been bitten.
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Aware that the Questing Beasts's bite meant certain death, Merlin tried to use magic to heal Arthur. When that failed, he went to the [[Great Dragon]], who instructed him to travel to the [[Isle of the Blessed]]. There he would find a servant of the [[Old Religion]] who had the power to save Arthur, but there would be a price to pay in return.
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When Merlin arrived at the Isle of the Blessed, he discovered that the [[High Priestess]] the dragon had sent him to was none other than [[Nimueh]]. She agreed to save Arthur's life, but explained that someone else's life would have to given in return. After Merlin chose to sacrifice his own, Nimueh gave him a vial of water from the [[Cup of Life]] that would revive Arthur from the Questing Beast's venom. Unbeknownst to Merlin, however, Nimueh had not taken his life, but [[Hunith|his mother's]]. She was stricken with a terrible illness and collapsed soon after she arrived in Camelot.
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Grief-stricken and angry, Merlin went to the dragon and accused him of tricking him. The dragon replied that he had only known that the price would be a heavy one, and he'd sent Merlin anyway because they both needed Arthur to live. Only when he was king could magic return to the land and the dragon be set free. Realizing that his freedom was all that the dragon had ever cared about, Merlin angrily vowed that he would ensure he was never released for what he'd done.
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[[File:Merlin and Nimueh.jpg|thumb|right|220x220px|Merlin and [[Nimueh]] face off.]]
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Desperate to save his mother, Merlin returned to the Isle of the Blessed intending to bargain his life for hers. Before he could do so, however, [[Gaius]] bartered his life for Hunith's instead. Horrified, Merlin blamed Nimueh and attacked her with his magic.
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The ensuing [[Duel between Merlin and Nimueh|duel]] ended when Nimueh struck him in the chest with a [[Fire spell|fireball]], seemingly killing him. As she walked away, however, Merlin recovered and struck her down with [[Lightning spell|magical lightning]]. He then harnessed the [[power over life and death]] and revived Gaius, using Nimueh's life as payment (''[[Le Morte d'Arthur]]'').
   
 
=== Cornelius Sigan's Return ===
 
=== Cornelius Sigan's Return ===
[[File:Merlin201_1643.jpg|thumb|right|200px|Cornelius Sigan and Merlin]]
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{{Quote|I just want Arthur to trust me. And to see me for who I really am.|Merlin to [[Gaius]]|The Curse of Cornelius Sigan}}
{{Quote|I just want Arthur to trust me and to see me for who I really am|Merlin to Gaius}}
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[[File:Merlin201 1643.jpg|thumb|left|220x220px|Merlin defends [[Arthur]] from [[Cornelius Sigan]].]]
During the time a buried treasure is unearthed, a con-artist named [[Cedric]] attempts to muscle in on Merlin's position as Arthur's manservant, which he succeeds in doing for a time. When the spirit of [[Cornelius Sigan]] possesses Cedric and threatens to destroy Camelot, Merlin revokes his vow and returns to the Dragon for help. He promises to free the Dragon if he helps Merlin defeat Sigan, and the Dragon complies by giving him the spell he needs to defeat the evil sorcerer. When [[File:Merlin472.png|thumb|200px|left|Merlin emerges victorious]]Sigan realizes how powerful Merlin is, he offers Merlin a chance to join him, saying that Arthur doesn't deserve his loyalty. Although he appears to be tempted by this offer, Merlin refuses and seals Sigan's spirit away again, using the knowledge that the Great Dragon has given him. Arthur also gives Merlin his position back after Cedric's betrayal is exposed (''[[The Curse of Cornelius Sigan]]'').
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After an ancient tomb filled with treasure was discovered beneath the citadel, a con-artist named [[Cedric]] began muscling in on Merlin's position as [[Arthur|Arthur's]] manservant. He eventually succeeded in turning the prince against Merlin by making it appear that he'd let Arthur's horses run off, which left the young warlock more angry and depressed than ever that Arthur couldn't see him for who he really was.
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Soon afterward, the [[spirit]] of legendary [[sorcerer]] [[Cornelius Sigan]] possessed Cedric and summoned an army of [[Gargoyle|animated gargoyles]] to destroy [[Camelot]]. Because Sigan was immortal, Merlin was forced to go to the [[Great Dragon]] for help. The dragon informed him that to defeat Sigan he would need a [[spell]] more powerful than anything he knew, but refused to give it to Merlin unless he promised to free him. After a moment's hesitation, Merlin agreed.
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When Sigan realized how powerful Merlin was, he tried to persuade the young warlock to join him by telling him that Arthur didn't deserve his loyalty. He reminded Merlin that Arthur treated him like a slave and had cast him aside without a moment's thought. Though tempted by the offer, Merlin ultimately decided that it was better to serve a good man than to rule with an evil one and used the dragon's spell to seal Sigan's spirit back inside the [[Cornelius Sigan's Jewel|enchanted jewel]] it had escaped from. Arthur later gave Merlin his manservant position back after Cedric's treachery was exposed (''[[The Curse of Cornelius Sigan]]'').
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=== Arthur Incognito ===
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{{Quote|You're Prince Arthur. You can't change who you are."<br>"Yes, I can...|Merlin and [[Arthur]]|The Once and Future Queen}}
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[[File:Merlin1594.png|thumb|right|220x220px|Merlin tries to keep an eye on [[Sir William of Deira|Sir William]] during the tournament.]]
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When [[Arthur]] decided to prove that he could win [[Camelot|Camelot's]] annual jousting tournament without being given special treatment, Merlin convinced [[Gwen]] to let the prince stay at her house. He also hired a farmer from an outlying village to pose as Arthur's cover identity, [[Sir William of Deira]].
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Arthur was expecting Merlin to attend to all of his usual duties during the tournament. However, because the rest of the court was under the impression that the prince was away on a patrol, [[Gaius]] was expecting Merlin to help out with their household chores as well. Merlin was ultimately forced to use his [[magic]] to get all the work done, and at one point ranted at Gaius when the physician accused him of slacking off.
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When Merlin learned that [[King Odin]] had sent an [[Myror|assassin]] to kill Arthur, he immediately rushed to Gwen's house to inform the prince of the danger. Later, at the tournament finals, he discovered the assassin had killed Arthur's opponent, [[Sir Alynor]], and taken his place in the competition. Though the assassin managed to badly injure the prince with a blade hidden inside his lance, Merlin was able to incapacitate him by using his magic to break the strap on his saddle, which allowed Arthur to defeat and (unintentionally) kill him.
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Though the court at large never learned of Arthur's deception during the tournament, Gaius figured it out after he discovered the assassin dead in Alynor's armour and was displeased that Merlin hadn't told him. He later forced Merlin to complete the chores he'd let Merlin out of after his earlier rant, including cleaning out the leech tank (''[[The Once and Future Queen]]'').
   
 
=== Helping Morgana ===
 
=== Helping Morgana ===
[[File:Merlin203_1665.jpg|thumb|200px|Merlin helps Morgana get away from Uther's men]]
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{{Quote|What about the Druids? They help people like you.|Merlin to [[Morgana]]|The Nightmare Begins}}
{{Quote|I now know who I really am and it isn't something to be scared of. Maybe one day people will come to see magic as a force for good.|Morgana to Merlin}}
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[[File:Merlin687.jpg|thumb|left|220x220px|Merlin summons a cloud of mist to help [[Morgana]] escape.]]
When Morgana's magic begins to reveal itself, she is terrified. Merlin wants to help her, but Gaius refuses to tell Morgana the truth and the Dragon refuses to help Merlin do anything that would help Morgana, saying it would be best if she never knows the full extent of her powers. But Merlin refuses to abandon Morgana and advises that she visit the [[Druid]]s to get help with her powers. Unfortunately, Morgana's disappearance leads Uther to believe she has been kidnapped and he, consequently, orders for everyone who is under suspicion of having anything to do with magic to be arrested and executed unless she is returned. Merlin immediately goes after Morgana and tries to convince her to return to Camelot, but an army, led by Arthur, raids the camp, forcing Merlin to use magic to protect the Druids. Morgana is found and returned to Camelot, but she is no longer afraid of her magic and thanks Merlin for what he did. Arthur, meanwhile, thinks Merlin has fallen for Morgana and advises him to not pursue his feelings for her since Uther would "have his head" for it (''[[The Nightmare Begins]]'').
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When [[Morgana|Morgana's]] [[magic]] began to reveal itself, Merlin wanted to help her but both [[Gaius]] and the [[Great Dragon]] advised him not to get involved. The dragon in particular was adamant that Morgana could not be trusted and told Merlin that it would be better if she never knew the full extent of her powers. However, Merlin refused to abandon her and advised her to seek out the [[Druids]], as they were known to help people like her.
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Morgana took his advice and snuck out of the castle that very night. Unfortunately, her disappearance led [[Uther]] to believe that she'd been kidnapped and he consequently proclaimed that all prisoners suspected of magic would be executed unless she was returned to [[Camelot]]. When Merlin learned of this, he rushed to the Druid camp and told Morgana what had happened, but she refused to return to Camelot with him.
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Soon afterward, [[Arthur]] and a patrol of knights arrived and launched an attack on the camp. Merlin tried to help Morgana and the others escape by using his magic to create a cloud of mist that disoriented Arthur and his men. But though he and [[Mordred]] (who was also at the camp) managed to get away in the confusion, Morgana was unable to get very far with her leg wound and was soon recovered by Arthur and the knights.
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Later, back in Camelot, Merlin assured Morgana that she could trust him and promised that he wouldn't tell anyone about her magic. He ran into Arthur as he was leaving her chambers, who (under the mistaken impression that Merlin had fallen in love with Morgana) warned him not to pursue his feelings for his own safety. He also reminded him that someone of his class couldn't even be friends with Morgana, let alone anything else (''[[The Nightmare Begins]]'').
   
 
=== Rescuing Gwen ===
 
=== Rescuing Gwen ===
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{{Quote|I suppose you and Arthur are going after Gwen."<br>"Gaius, don't even think about telling me not to go. There's nothing you can say that will stop me.|[[Gaius]] and Merlin|Lancelot and Guinevere}}
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[[File:Merlin1629.png|thumb|right|220x220px|Merlin finds [[Hengist|Hengist's]] ransom note.]]
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When [[Gwen]] was kidnapped and held hostage by bandits who believed her to be the [[Lady Morgana]], Merlin and [[Arthur]] disobeyed [[Uther|Uther's]] orders and set out to rescue her. The prince was unusually impatient and reckless throughout their journey (at one point he even insisted that they take a shortcut through tunnels that he knew to be infested with [[Wilddeoren]]), which puzzled Merlin until he figured out that Arthur had fallen in love with Gwen.
   
{{Quote|Gaius, don't even think about telling me not to go because there is nothing you can say that will stop me.|Merlin to Gaius}}
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Merlin was both amused and delighted by this and wasted no time in teasing Arthur about it. Much to his surprise, however, his joking challenge for Arthur to admit his feelings resulted not in mutual teasing, but in a frustrated confession that nothing could ever happen between him and Gwen. He lamented that his father wouldn't even let him rescue a servant, let alone marry one. Serious now, Merlin told Arthur that he could change that when he was king, and tried to cheer him up by assuring him that Gwen would wait for him if she truly returned his feelings.
   
When Gwen was kidnapped by bandits who believed her to be Morgana, Merlin and Arthur set out to rescue her. During they're journey, Merlin noticed Arthur's odd behaviour, and managed to get Arthur to confess that he was in love with Gwen. Arthur insisted that nothing could ever happen between Gwen and himself, namely because of his father, but Merlin said that could change when he became king and that Gwen would wait for him if she returned his feelings. Merlin and Arthur arrived at the bandits' hideout in time to save Gwen and Lancelot, who had also arrived to rescue her, from being killed. During the return home, both Merlin and Arthur noticed that Lancelot and Gwen had feelings for each other, but after Lancelot learned of Arthur's feelings for Gwen from Merlin, he decided to leave so he wouldn't come between Arthur and Gwen (''[[Lancelot and Guinevere]]'').
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Merlin and Arthur infiltrated [[Hengist|Hengist's]] hideout just in time to save Gwen and [[Lancelot]] (who had also tried to rescue Gwen) from being eaten by Wilddeoren. During their escape, both Merlin and Arthur noticed that Gwen and Lancelot had developed feelings for each other, which left Arthur heartbroken. However, when Lancelot learned that Arthur had also had feelings for Gwen, he decided to leave the group so that he wouldn't come between them. Before he left he asked Merlin to tell Gwen that she had changed his life forever, but that some things could not be (''[[Lancelot and Guinevere]]'').
   
 
=== Troll Queen ===
 
=== Troll Queen ===
[[File:Merlin413.png|thumb|left|200px|Merlin and [[Jonas]]]]
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{{Quote|You're going to tell Uther that his lady friend's a troll?|Merlin to [[Gaius]]|Beauty and the Beast}}
{{Quote|Arthur, she's a troll!"<br>"She's not that bad.|Merlin and Arthur discuss [[Catrina]]}}
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[[File:Merlin1649.png|thumb|left|220x220px|Merlin meets the [[Lady Catrina]].]]
A while later, a troll disguised as [[Lady Catrina]] comes to Camelot. Unlike many of Uther's guests she and her servant [[Jonas]] are very kind to Merlin. Gaius becomes suspicious of the Lady Catrina and Merlin discovers that her servant has a tail. Merlin then uses a mirror from Arthur's chambers to spy on the Lady Catrina and sees that she is actually a troll. Merlin attempts to tell Arthur, but the prince takes it as a joke. To ensure her marriage to Uther, Lady Catrina enchants him with a necklace. Uther does exactly as she wishes and the couple is getting married the following morning. Jonas catches Merlin spying on the Lady Catrina and attempts to use magic to reveal her true form, so they set a trap to capture him.
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When a [[troll]] disguised as the [[Lady Catrina]] arrived in [[Camelot]], Merlin was assigned to attend to her. Unlike most of [[Uther|Uther's]] guests Catrina was very kind to Merlin, but the warlock became suspicious of her after [[Gaius]] told him that she was supposed to be suffering from an incurable bone and he discovered that her manservant, [[Jonas]], had a tail. He later used a mirror to spy on her from [[Arthur|Arthur's]] chambers and discovered her [[Catrina (Troll)|true form]].
   
[[File:Merlin433.png|thumb|200px|Merlin hides under Arthur's bed]]
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Soon afterwards, Catrina used a necklace to [[Enchantments|enchant]] Uther into [[Love Spell|falling in love]] with her. When they announced their marriage plans to the court, Merlin tried to use the [[Spell of Revelation]] to reveal Catrina's true form, but she was able to resist its effects. He then tried to convince Arthur that his soon-to-be-stepmother was a troll, but the prince laughed at his claim and refused to believe him. Catrina and Jonas then conspired to trap Merlin in the catacombs beneath the castle. It took Merlin most of the night to perfect the [[spell]] he needed to escape, and by the time he broke free it was too late to stop the wedding.
Lady Catrina then imprisons Merlin in the dungeons underground using a rock wall too powerful for Merlin to break. During the wedding, Merlin eventually breaks the rocks apart but is too late to stop Catrina. After becoming Queen of Camelot, Catrina begins to undermine Arthur. She convinces Uther that Arthur is a disappointment and, eventually, becomes heir to the throne. On the day of her coronation, Merlin and Gaius switch her potion with a fake potion, which does not allow her disguise to last as the real potion would have. The troll is revealed to all of Camelot, however Uther is still enchanted and does not see Catrina for who she really is. Merlin goes to the Great Dragon, who, through fits of laughter, tells Merlin that Uther has to cry tears of true remorse for the enchantment to be broken. Merlin and Gaius then feign Arthur's death by convincing him to drink a poison and the enchantment is broken. Merlin iss rushing back to Arthur with the antidote when he iss hit on the head with a pot by Jonas. The antidote spills and Merlin uses his neckerchief to soak up the antidote and revives Arthur by wringing the damp neckerchief over Arthur's mouth. With the help of Merlin's magic, Arthur kills the troll.
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In order to prevent any further interference, Queen Catrina accused Merlin of stealing her royal seal and forced him to become a fugitive. After he and Gaius left a false trail to make his pursuers think he was headed for the northern borders, Merlin began spying on Catrina and discovered that she was using a [[potion]] to maintain her disguise. He convinced Gaius to create a potion that looked and tasted exactly the same, then replaced Catrina's potion with the fake one. Because it contained no [[troll magic]], the fake potion had no effect and Catrina's troll form was exposed during her coronation.
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[[File:Merlin433.png|thumb|220x220px|Merlin hides under [[Arthur|Arthur's]] bed.]]
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However, because Uther was still enchanted he was unable to see his bride for what she truly was. With no further options, Merlin went to the [[Great Dragon]] to find out how the break the enchantment, and through fits of laughter, the dragon informed him that Uther would have to cry tears of true remorse.
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To this end, Merlin and Gaius convinced Arthur to fake his death by drinking poison. After the discovery of his son's death caused Uther to cry, the enchantment was broken and he was able to see Catrina for what she really was. Meanwhile, Merlin (despite interference from Jonas) was able to give Arthur the antidote and used his [[magic]] to help the prince kill the troll (''[[Beauty and the Beast]]'').
   
 
=== The Witchfinder ===
 
=== The Witchfinder ===
[[File:Merlin577.png|thumb|200px|left|The young warlock creates a unicorn with his magic]]
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{{Quote|I did a stupid thing. A stupid, stupid thing. And now Gaius is going to die for it.|Merlin to [[Kilgharrah]]|The Witchfinder}}
{{Quote|I won't sacrifice a friend to save myself"<br>"Bravely spoken, but Gaius is already doomed|Merlin and Kilgharrah}}
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[[File:Merlin577.png|thumb|220x220px|left|Merlin uses his [[magic]] to conjure a horse out of smoke.]]
One day, Merlin is gathering wood in the forest when he sees a pillar of smoke rising nearby. For his own entertainment, he uses magic to temporarily turn the smoke into the shape of a horse. A nearby peasant, a young woman named Catheryn, witnesses the magic and, fearing for her life, informs Uther of what she has seen. Uther, determined to wipe out the last traces of magic in Camelot, he sends for [[Aredian]], a feared witchfinder. When Aredian starts searching the kingdom for sorcerers, he comes across a magical amulet in Merlin and Gaius' house. Merlin is publicly accused of being a sorcerer, but Gaius takes the blame in order to protect Merlin. Distressed over what he caused, Merlin goes to the Great Dragon for advise. But the Dragon, in genuine regret, can't help him because he doesn't know how to do so in this matter. Merlin later visits Gaius in the dungeons and both come to realize that the amulet that was found belonged to neither of them. Merlin then discovers that Aredian would plant false evidence of magic wherever he is called in order to further his own profits. Merlin then takes revenge upon Aredian by exposing his treachery as well as framing him for being a sorcerer, which ultimately results in the Witchfinder's death. Gaius is also released after he was found to be innocent (''[[The Witchfinder]]'').
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While collecting wood in the forest, Merlin took a break and amused himself by using [[magic]] to mold a nearby plume of smoke into the shape of a horse. Unfortunately, a peasant woman witnessed the incident and rushed to inform the king of what she'd seen. Determined to stamp out the last traces of magic in [[Camelot]], [[Uther]] sent for [[Aredian]], the Witchfinder, and hired him to find the [[sorcerer]] responsible.
   
===Falling in Love===
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Because he'd been named as a witness to the magic in the woods, Aredian insisted on questioning Merlin and quickly identified him as a suspect. He accused him of sorcery before the entire court and then conducted a search of his and [[Gaius|Gaius's]] chambers. During the search, a magic amulet was discovered hidden inside a jar of powder. Aredian was delighted by the find and planned to inform Uther immediately, but before he could do so, Gaius stepped forward and claimed that the amulet was his in order to protect Merlin.
{{Quote|With you, I can just be who I am."|Merlin to [[Freya]]}}
 
[[File:Merlin_Freya.jpg|thumb|200px|Merlin with [[Freya]].]]
 
Merlin meets his first and only true love, a druid named [[Freya]], while returning home late one night with Gaius after a visit with one of Gaius' patients. He first lays eyes on her as she huddles in the cage of a bounty hunter named [[Halig]], who parked his wagon outside of a tavern. Merlin instantly sees in Freya a kindred spirit with whom he could connect and identifies with her being trapped in the cage. Later in the night, Merlin sneaks back out to the wagon and helps Freya escape. He hides her in the tunnels beneath Camelot, where he brings her food and clothing. Finally, Merlin has met someone who is like him, a person with whom he could be free to be himself. Warmed by Merlin's kindness, Freya is soon won over and they fall in love. Unfortunately, Merlin and Freya are not quite the same, for Freya is cursed. She had once accidentally killed a man while defending herself. The mother of that man was a witch and the woman vengefully cursed Freya to kill forevermore. This curse turns Freya into a [[Bastet]], a winged and bloodthirsty black panther, at the stakes of midnight every night. The two nights that Freya is in Camelot, she transforms into the Bastet and goes on a rampage, killing both times.
 
   
[[File:Merlin209_1923.jpg|thumb|left|200px|Merlin embraces Freya before sending her to [[Avalon]]]]
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Horrified by what his carelessness had caused, Merlin went to the [[Great Dragon]] for advice on what he should do. He wanted to confess and save Gaius from execution, but the dragon talked him out of it by pointing out that if he were to die, then he would endanger the lives of all those who relied upon him. The dragon had no alternatives to offer, however, and told Merlin with genuine regret that he didn't know how to help him out of this situation. He apologized to Merlin, then flew away.
Despite this, Merlin still loves her and shows his unconditional love for her by rescuing her from Arthur and his men when, in Bastet form, she is backed into a corner. Merlin causes a stone gargoyle to fall, creating a diversion, while Freya escapes. Returning to the tunnels, Freya, the Bastet, is calm before Merlin, showing that their connection was stronger than the witch's curse. Sadly though, it is too late, for Freya has already been mortally wounded by Arthur. Early in the morning, Merlin carries Freya to a [[Sword Lake|nearby lake]], where she dies after telling him she will repay him someday for loving her an treating her with kindness despite her curse (''[[The Lady of the Lake]]'').
 
   
===Morgana's Fall===
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Soon afterwards, Aredian blackmailed Gaius into confessing to sorcery by threatening to go after Merlin and [[Morgana]]. Enraged, Merlin tried to attack the Witchfinder but was dragged from the room by [[Arthur]], who took him to visit Gaius in the dungeons. During their conversation, they realized that the amulet didn't belong to either of them and Merlin began to theorize that Aredian had planted it in their chambers.
[[File:Merlin112.jpg|thumb|200px|Merlin sees the future in the crystal.]]
 
{{Quote|Morgana stole the crystal?"<br>"I'm certain of it|Gaius and Merlin}}
 
A sorcerer named [[Alvarr]] comes to Camelot with the intention of stealing a crystal that can tell the past, present, and future if wielded by the right person. He also enlists Mordred into his group of bandits, supposing that Mordred would be able use the crystal. Merlin and Arthur later find that the crystal has been stolen and Merlin comes to believe that Morgana is behind it. He follows her and sees that he is right. He goes to the Great Dragon, who tells Merlin his reason for advising him not to trust Mordred and Morgana: an ancient prophecy speaks of an evil alliance between the two. The Dragon advises Merlin that the alliance has to be prevented, whatever the cost. Merlin later ends up leading a number of Camelot's guards to the bandit camp, using his ability to hear Mordred's telepathic voice to guide him. When he tries to prevent Mordred's escape, the young druid simply kills the guards that were after him and telepathically tells Merlin that he won't forgive or forget his actions. Morgana, meanwhile, frees Alvarr from Camelot's dungeons.
 
   
[[File:Merlin451.png|thumb|left|200px|Arthur and Merlin retun to Camelot]]
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Aided by [[Gwen]], Merlin began his own investigation and discovered that Aredian would plant false evidence of magic wherever he was called in order to further his profits. After Gwen talked Arthur into stopping Gaius's execution, Merlin presented their evidence to the court and tricked Aredian into agreeing to a search of his chambers. Unbeknownst to the Witchfinder, however, Merlin had used his magic to plant false evidence of his own and frame Aredian as a sorcerer, which ultimately resulted in the Witchfinder's death (''[[The Witchfinder]]'').
Also during this time, Merlin gets hold of the crystal and sees a future where the Dragon attacks Camelot once he is freed. While Gaius tells him that it is merely one of many possible futures, Merlin is clearly shaken from seeing this vision. That night, Merlin is haunted by the Dragon's telepathic calls for him to honour his promise (''[[The Witch's Quickening]]''). Morgana continues her descent into darkness when she later sides with Morgause when she returns with the [[Knights of Medhir]] and puts all of Camelot to sleep in an attempt to destroy the noble kingdom. At first unsuspecting, Merlin lies to Arthur to keep Morgana's magic secret, and tries to comfort her when she seems flustered, to which she replies that he is "a good friend."
 
   
[[File:Merlin212_1698.jpg|thumb|200px|[[Morgause]] finds [[Morgana]], poisoned by Merlin]] Merlin later goes to the Great Dragon, who informs him that Morgana is the vessel that sustains the sleeping spell with her life, unbeknownst to her, and that her death is the only thing that can end the spell. When Morgana and Merlin are alone, he reluctantly tricks her into drinking hemlock, a form of poison. As Morgana begins to die, she realizes what Merlin has done but can not speak. She then falls unconscious as she struggles against the poison in Merlin's arms. Morgause discovers them and demands that Merlin tells her the poison he used so that she can save Morgana's life. Merlin refuses to do so unless she stops the Knights of Medir. Morgause obliges and Merlin shows her the hemlock. She then takes her half-sister away before anyone can stop her, leaving Merlin believing that Morgana is dead for good. That night, he returns to the Great Dragon and finally fulfills his oath by setting him free, but setting him free was only the beginning (''[[The Fires of Idirsholas]]'').
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=== Enter Morgause ===
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{{Quote|This has been her plan all along! To turn you against your father. And if you kill him, the kingdom will be destroyed! This is what she wants!|Merlin to [[Arthur]] about [[Morgause]]|The Sins of the Father}}
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[[File:Merlin1731.jpg|thumb|220x220px|right|Merlin polishes [[Arthur|Arthur's]] armour before the duel.]]
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After the [[sorceress]] [[Morgause]] challenged [[Arthur]] to a duel, the prince accepted but later sent Merlin to ask her to withdraw; he had no desire to kill a woman in combat, but was too proud to withdraw himself. Morgause refused his offer and later emerged the victor in their duel, but agreed to spare his life if he would promise to meet her outside of [[Camelot]] in three days time and accept whatever challenge she set to him.
   
===Release of the Great Dragon===
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[[Uther]] forbid Arthur from keeping his promise and ordered that he be confined to his chambers. However, Merlin was able to help Arthur escape by lowering him out of the window with a length of rope, and they set off together to find Morgause. They faced a number of complications during their journey; they had to rely on Arthur's horse to show them the way (as Morgause had [[Enchantments|enchanted]] it to lead him to her before she'd left Camelot) and at one point were attacked by [[Odin|Odin's]] men.
[[File:Merlin127.jpg|thumb|left|200px|The Dragon bows to the last Dragonlord]]
 
{{Quote|I'm your son|Merlin to Ballinor}}
 
Merlin's worries about what the Great Dragon would do once free are justified as the creature proceeds to attack Camelot and kill many innocent people. Merlin attempts to stop the Dragon himself, but his magic is ineffective. Merlin later learns that only certain people, known as Dragonlords, could control and kill a dragon and that all the Dragonlords were killed as part of Uther's Great Purge. But, according to Gaius, one Dragonlord known as [[Balinor]] still lives by himself far away from Camelot. Before Merlin sets out with Arthur to find Balinor, Gaius tells him that Balinor is Merlin's father. A noticeably shaken Merlin then travels with Arthur to find Balinor and persuade him to help Camelot rid itself of the Dragon. [[File:Merlin&Balinor.jpg|thumb|200px|Merlin & Balinor]] After Balinor heals Arthur of his wounds from a previous battle with the Dragon, Merlin reveals to him that he is his son. It is soon after this that Balinor reveals that Dragonlords pass on their powers down the generations from father to son when the father dies and carves a wooden dragon for Merlin. Unfortunately, the three of them are ambushed by enemy Knights and Balinor is fatally wounded in the ensuing battle. Merlin is heartbroken at this and Arthur deduces that Camelot is now doomed. However, when the two return to Camelot, Merlin realises that he has now inherited all of Balinor's powers as a Dragonlord and is able to stop the Dragon once and for all. He decides to go with Arthur into battle. The Dragon decimates Arthur's men in this battle and Arthur himself is knocked out by a blow from the Dragon, leaving Merlin on his own to face the beast. Merlin then speaks in a language that appears to stop the Dragon attacking ro him. Merlin then commands the Dragon to leave Camelot for good and never return. The Dragon agrees to do so, but says as a parting message that he will not forget how Merlin spared him and that he is sure that they will one day meet again. Once Arthur regains consciousness, Merlin tells him that Arthur dealt the Dragon a fatal blow, to avoid revealing his Dragonlord heritage (''[[The Last Dragonlord]]'').
 
   
===Morgana's Return===
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After the latter incident, Merlin tried to talk Arthur into returning to Camelot, but the prince refused. Merlin was irritated at first, but began to understand when Arthur explained that Morgause claimed to have known his mother. He confessed that he barely knew anything about; she'd died when he was born and his father never spoke of her. Empathetic, Merlin confessed to a similar situation regarding [[Balinor|his father]] and they continued on with their journey.
[[File:Merlinmorgana1.jpg|thumb|200px|left|Merlin fighting Morgana]]
 
{{Quote|Morgana's summoned an army of the dead, there everywhere!|Merlin to Gaius}}
 
In the year [[Morgana]] has been missing, Merlin appears to have been worried about finding Morgana and what she may do to him. Not only that, but his powers seem to have increased. When Morgana is finally found, he begins to worry that Morgana will tell Uther that he poisoned her and he would be executed. However, when Morgana speaks to him, she tells him that she forgives him for what he did and that she would have done the same to save her friends. This makes Merlin cheer up significantly, until he finds the magic mandrake under Uther's bed and realizes that Morgana is still up to no good. He follows her into the forest, unaware that she knows of his presence (''[[The Tears of Uther Pendragon]]''). After Morgana and Morgause leave him to be killed by [[Serket|serkets]], Merlin calls to [[Kilgharrah]] in the Dragon language and the Great Dragon rescues him. After Merlin recovers, he returns to Camelot to try and stop Morgana, Morgause, and [[Cenred|King Cenred]]. Morgana is shocked and puzzled when she sees Merlin alive and well the following day and viciously warns him that, if he speaks a word of her betrayal, she woill tell Uther that Merlin poisoned her. Meanwhile, Arthur has become irritated by Merlin's constant disappearances and odd behaviour, turning his own chambers into a giant mess in the single day that Merlin is trapped by Morgause. Despite this, he reluctantly admits that Merlin sometimes displays "wisdom" when Merlin consoles him before the battle. [[File:Merlin302_2196.jpg|thumb|200px|Merlin fights a skeleton summoned by Morgana]] During the siege of Camelot, Merlin discovers that Morgana resurrected the dead to attack Camelot from within. Merlin pleads with his former friend to stop what she is doing, but Morgana cries that he does not understand what it is like to be an outsider and to be ashamed of her magic. At this speech, Merlin appears to consider revealing his true identity, but eventually tells her that he believes her gift was to be used for good. Unconvinced, Morgana tells him that "there is no other way" and proceeds to [[Duel between Merlin and Morgana|attack him]] as he attempts to reach the staff she is using to bring the dead to life. Merlin is easily disarmed twice by Morgana's superior swordplay, but he manages to bring part of the roof down on her by using his magic. He then uses his sword to break the staff. However, Morgana survives and later claims that it was she who destroyed the staff and saved Camelot. She and Merlin then glare at each other while Uther praises Morgana for her deed. After this incident, Merlin's relationship with [[Morgana]] remaines hostile. When Merlin's secret is briefly exposed by a [[Goblin]]-possessed Gaius, she gives him a look of delight when Uther sentences him to death. When Gaius is returned to normal and Merlin is pardoned, she is clearly irritated because he once again escaped death (''[[Goblin's Gold]]'').
 
   
===A New Friend and An Inconvenient Future===
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Eventually, Merlin and Arthur arrived at Morgause's castle. Merlin was apprehensive when she revealed that Arthur's challenge was for him to place his head on a chopping block (literally) and urged him not to do it, but Arthur ignored him and did as Morgause asked. Because the prince kept his word even as she picked up an axe and prepared to kill him with it, the sorceress agreed to grant Arthur a wish and used her [[magic]] to show him his mother.
[[File:Merlin304_0404.jpg|thumb|200px|left|[[Gwaine]] meets Merlin]]
 
{{Quote|There's only one person I know who can do that|Merlin on Gwaine}}
 
Merlin later meets and befriends a man called [[Gwaine (character)|Gwaine]] who helps Arthur and Merlin in a tavern brawl. He and Arthur take the injured Gwaine back to Camelot, but Gwaine is later arrested by Uther for assaulting a pair of knights, who were actually on a mission to kill Arthur. Arthur persuades Uther to merely banish Gwaine, but Gwaine later returns to save Arthur from the two knights that wanted to kill him. Merlin notes that Gwaine has an unusual fighting style and is thus able to recognize him even while he is in armour (''[[Gwaine (episode)|Gwaine]]'').
 
   
[[File:Merlin305_0522.jpg|thumb|200px|Merlin and [[Taliesin]]]] At some point after meeting Gwaine, Merlin accidentally causes Morgana to nearly kill Uther after foreseeing the future in the crystal cave (he also sees an image of himself as an old man with long white hair and a beard and an image of Morgana as Queen of Camelot, however these prophecies will not come true until a later date). In an attempt to prevent that future from happening, he actually causes it to happen. Merlin accidentally seriously wounds Morgana by making her fall down a flight of stairs. He then overhears Uther telling Gaius that he is Morgana's father. Merlin calls [[Kilgharrah]] to provide him with a way to heal Morgana, but once she recovers, Morgana attempts to murder Uther in his sleep. Merlin saves the king by using magic to smash his window, waking him up and forcing Morgana to abandon her assassination attempt (''[[The Crystal Cave]]'').
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After [[Ygraine]] revealed that Uther had sacrificed her life so that the sorceress [[Nimueh]] could help them conceive an heir, Arthur sought to avenge his mother's death by challenging his father to a duel. When he realized what Arthur was going to do, Merlin rushed to stop him and arrived just as the prince was about to strike his father down.
   
[[File:Merlin478.jpg|thumb|200px|left|Merlin with [[Gwaine]] and [[Arthur]] in the background]]
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Desperate to stop Arthur from doing something that would destroy him, Merlin convinced Arthur that Morgause had lied to him in order to turn him against his father, and that it hadn't been his mother he'd talked to, but an illusion speaking Morgause's words. After Uther swore to him that what Morgause had said wasn't true, Arthur relented and father and son broke down in tears.
   
===The Trio Reunited===
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In the aftermath of the incident, Uther personally thanked Merlin for his actions and told him that he had proven himself a trusted ally in the fight against magic. He also informed Merlin that he would have him hanged if he ever spoke of what had happened between him and Arthur to another living soul, leaving Merlin bemused (''[[The Sins of the Father]]'').
{{Quote|If worn too long Arthur will die|Gaius and Merlin}}
 
   
Merlin is later reunited with Gwaine, who helps him find Arthur, who is slowly having his strength drained by Morgana's Eye of the Phoenix. During this foretold quest, which is apparently his, instead of Arthur's, Merlin is known as "Magic" for obvious reasons, with Gwaine as "Strength", and Arthur as "Courage." Merlin uses his Dragonlord ability to save the unconscious Arthur from a pair of [[Wyvern]] and later encounters [[The Fisher King|the Fisher King]]. The Fisher King gives him water from the Lake of Avalon, foreboding dark times ahead in which Merlin will need all the help he can get. He then asks Merlin to kill him as a favor in exchange for the boon, for he has lived far beyond his natural lifespan, waiting for the arrival of The Once and Future King, whose age is now dawning, and since he is unable to die without Merlin's help. Arthur, meanwhile, retrieves the Fisher King's Golden Trident and they say goodbye to Gwaine before returning to Camelot (''[[The Eye of the Phoenix]]'').
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=== Falling in Love ===
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{{Quote|I don't think you understand. I've never known anyone like you.|Merlin to [[Freya]]|The Lady of the Lake}}
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[[File:2012-06-15_0901.png|thumb|left|220x220px|Merlin and [[Freya|Freya's]] first kiss.]]
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While returning home with [[Gaius]] after visiting one of his patients, Merlin spotted a young [[Druid]] girl chained in a [[Halig|bounty hunter's]] cage. Visibly drawn to her, he insisted that there must be something they could do to help her, but Gaius urged him not to get involved.
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Later that night, after Gaius was asleep, Merlin snuck back to the wagon and used his [[magic]] to help the girl escape. He took her to the catacombs beneath the city, where he knew she would be safe. The girl, who identified herself as [[Freya]], was suspicious of him at first (as she didn't understand why he would help her), but warmed to him a bit after he explained that it could have just as easily been him in that cage.
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Merlin spent the next two days smuggling food and candles to Freya, who had to stay hidden in the catacombs. Elated to finally have someone with whom he was free to be himself, Merlin freely shared his feelings about how special he thought Freya was and how he'd never known anyone like her. Though more reserved, Freya returned his feelings and, warmed by his kindness, gradually became more open and trusting. They soon fell in love and decided to run away together.
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Unfortunately, he and Freya were not as similar as Merlin believed; unbeknownst to him, Freya was cursed. She had once accidentally killed a man in self defense and his mother, a [[sorceress]], had cursed her to kill forevermore. The curse forced Freya to become a [[Bastet]] every night at midnight and subjected her to an uncontrollable desire to kill; she killed four people during the two nights that she spent in [[Camelot]].
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Certain that Merlin would hate her when he learned the truth (and that he would be better off without her), Freya tried to leave Camelot without him. However, Merlin continued to love her in spite of her curse and went looking for her when he discovered that she was gone. He eventually found her - injured and in Bastet form - being cornered by [[Arthur]] and his men. Desperate to save her, Merlin used his magic to cause a stone gargoyle to topple from a nearby wall, distracting the knights long enough for Freya to escape.
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Merlin followed Freya back to their hiding place in the catacombs. Though still in her Bastet form, Freya made no move to attack him and responded to his attempts to comfort her with only gentle growls. The curse soon began to wear off and Freya returned to her human form. As Merlin assured her that he didn't hate her for what she'd done, Freya tearfully explained how she'd been cursed and, knowing that her wound was too serious to heal, asked him to leave her.
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[[File:Merlin209 1923.jpg|thumb|right|220x220px|Merlin mourns [[Freya]] at the [[Lake of Avalon]].]]
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Instead, Merlin dressed her in the gown he'd stolen for her from [[Morgana|Morgana's]] wardrobe and carried her to the [[Lake of Avalon]]. Grateful for how he'd tried to help her and for how he'd made her feel loved, with her dying breath Freya promised Merlin that she would one day repay his kindness.
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After Freya died, a heartbroken Merlin placed her body in a boat and used his magic to set it aflame, giving her a Viking funeral. Later, back in Camelot, Gaius consoled Merlin for his loss while Arthur, aware that he was upset but not knowing why, tried to cheer him up with a bit of friendly banter (''[[The Lady of the Lake]]'').
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=== Arthur Enchanted ===
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{{Quote|Why would he want Arthur to fall in love with Vivian?”<br>”An advance by Arthur would be a sure-fire way to ruin the peace conference. Maybe Alined wants war.|Merlin and [[Gaius]]|Sweet Dreams}}
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[[File:Merlin1591.png|thumb|left|220x220px|Merlin tries to get [[Vivian]] out of [[Arthur|Arthur's]] chambers.]]
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When [[King Alined]] and his [[Sorcerer|magical]] jester [[Trickler]] tried to sabotage the peace talks by enchanting [[Arthur]] to fall in love with the [[Lady Vivian]], it didn't take long for Merlin to notice the prince's odd behavior: he showed up for work to find Arthur already dressed, inordinately cheerful, and determined to profess his love for "his lady".
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Naturally assuming that Arthur was talking about [[Gwen]], Merlin was puzzled by his change of heart (as he had previously insisted on keeping his love for her a secret) but agreed to help him express his feelings by taking her a bouquet of flowers. However, it soon became clear that it wasn't Gwen that Arthur was in love with, but Vivian. Horrified, Merlin rushed back to Gwen's house to retrieve the flowers, but it was too late; Gwen had already found them and was delighted by the gift.
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Though confused by Arthur's sudden infatuation, Merlin was too busy trying to keep him away from Vivian to investigate. However, he soon realized that the prince had been enchanted when he found a lock of Vivian's hair beneath his pillow. Merlin immediately began researching ways to break the enchantment, but with over 636 [[Love Spell|love spells]] to choose from he wasn't sure which to pick, and things became even more complicated when Trickler enchanted Vivian to fall in love with Arthur.
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After Arthur was caught in Vivian's chambers, an enraged [[King Olaf]] challenged him to a duel as recompense. The first round of the fight was disastrous for the prince, who was too distracted by Vivian to fight well. Fearing that Arthur would die if he didn't find a way to break the enchantment, Merlin went to the [[Great Dragon]] for advice and found that the [[spell]] could only be broken by a kiss from the person that Arthur truly loved.
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Realizing that Gwen was that person, Merlin rushed to her house and asked for her help. She refused at first, as she was upset that Arthur had stood her up the night before and no longer believed that he loved her, but her resolve began to waver when Merlin explained that Arthur had been enchanted. Though initially skeptical of the claim, Gwen nevertheless went to the tournament grounds and kissed Arthur while he was preparing for the final round of the duel. Her kiss broke the enchantment and returned him to his right mind, allowing him to win the fight.
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After the peace talks were completed, both Merlin and Arthur were present to see the visit dignitaries off. Merlin took great delight in teasing Arthur about Gwen being his "one true love" and smugly pointed out that he had the incident in the tent as proof. Arthur didn't deny it, but informed Merlin that if he ever spoke of the incident again he'd kill him, to which Merlin cheerfully acquiesced (''[[Sweet Dreams]]'').
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=== Morgana's Fall ===
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{{Quote|I have warned you about her in the past, but you have failed to take heed. She is dangerous! And now she has chosen to turn her back on her own.|[[Kilgharrah]] to Merlin about [[Morgana]]|The Fires of Idirsholas}}
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[[File:Merlin112.jpg|thumb|200px|Merlin can [[Seer|see the future]] in the [[Crystal of Neahtid]].]]
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After he learned that [[Mordred]] and the [[sorcerer]] [[Alvarr]] had enlisted [[Morgana]] to steal the [[Crystal of Neahtid]], Merlin went to the [[Great Dragon]] for information about the Crystal. The dragon informed him that the Crystal contained great knowledge, including knowledge of the future. He also revealed that the [[Destiny|ancient prophesies]] spoke of an evil alliance between Mordred and Morgana and warned Merlin that this union must be stopped, whatever the cost.
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Merlin later followed Morgana to Alvarr's camp. He saw her give the Crystal to Alvarr and eavesdropped as the sorcerer explained his plans for it: he hoped that Mordred would be able to master the Crystal and use it to strike down [[Uther]] and all who served him.
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After Merlin told him what he'd seen, [[Gaius]] went to Uther claiming that an anonymous informer had told him that the Crystal had been stolen by a band of renegade sorcerers led by Alvarr. When the king sent [[Arthur]] and his men to investigate, Merlin went with them and was able to guide them to Alvarr's camp by following the sound of Mordred's [[telepathy]].
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They arrived at the camp to find an ambush waiting for them; Morgana had ridden out ahead of them and warned Alvarr that they were coming. In the battle that followed, Merlin tried to stop Mordred from escaping by using his [[magic]] to trip him with a tree root. However, the young [[Druid]] boy was able to his own magic to kill the knights pursuing him. Before running to safety, Mordred telepathically informed Merlin that he would neither forgive nor forget what he'd done.
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After Alvarr and his men were arrested and the Crystal had been recovered, Arthur ordered Merlin to guard it while he and the other knights rested. Merlin was oddly transfixed by the Crystal and was unable to resist its pull. He looked into its depths and was horrified to see a vision of the Great Dragon attacking Camelot. Shaken and horrified by what he'd seen, Merlin later ignored the dragon's cries for him to honour [[The Curse of Cornelius Sigan|his promise]] and set him free (''[[The Witch's Quickening]]'').
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[[File:Merlin1806.png|thumb|left|220px|Merlin and [[Morgana]] drag [[Uther]] down the corridor.]]
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When word reached Uther that smoke had been seen rising from [[Idirsholas]], he tried to set the peoples' minds at ease by sending Arthur and his men to investigate. They were ambushed at the citadel by the [[Knights of Medhir]], a group of seven undead [[Knights of Camelot]] who had been seduced by a sorceress three hundred years ago. Only Merlin and Arthur managed to escape.
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They returned to [[Camelot]] to find everyone trapped in a state of [[Sleeping Enchantment|unbreakable slumber]]; only Morgana was unaffected by the [[Enchantments|enchantment]]. Merlin initially assumed that her magic was protecting her from the [[spell]] and assured her that he would keep her secret. He led Arthur to believe that her mysterious immunity was due to a [[potion]] that Gaius had given her before he'd fallen asleep and tried to comfort her when she seemed flustered.
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Merlin became suspicious, however, when the spell began to affect him as well as Arthur; if Morgana's magic was really what was keeping her safe, then his should be doing the same for him. Later, after they discovered that the Knights of Medhir invaded the castle, he noticed that Morgana wasn't surprised to learn that [[Morgause]] was leading them, and that the Knights themselves refused to attack her.
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Unsure of what to do, Merlin decided to go to the Great Dragon for advice. Angry that Merlin had [[The Witch's Quickening|failed to release him]], the dragon initially refused to offer him any assistance and ignored his assurances that he would honour his promise. He changed his mind, however, when Merlin swore on [[Hunith|his mother's]] life. Convinced that this was an oath he could trust, the dragon informed him that the enchantment could only be lifted by eradicating its source: the Lady Morgana. Only her death would bring the spell to an end.
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Though horrified by the idea of murdering Morgana, Merlin was forced to accept that he had no other choice when the Knights cornered them in the council chambers and Arthur went out to fight them on his own. Knowing that both he and Arthur would soon succumb to the spell if he didn't do something, Merlin secretly poured a bottle of [[Hemlock poisoning|hemlock poison]] into a water skin and tricked Morgana into drinking it. As the poison took effect, Merlin tearfully tried to hold Morgana as she choked, and she eventually fell unconscious in his arms.
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[[File:Merlin212 1698.jpg|thumb|220px|[[Morgause]] discovers that Merlin poisoned [[Morgana]].]]
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Telepathically sensing her sister's distress, Morgause rushed to her aid, blasting the doors open to get to her. She demanded that Merlin tell her the name of the poison he'd used, but Merlin refused to do so unless she called off the Knights. After a moment's hesitation, Morgause did as he asked.
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As Merlin handed Morgause the poison, the people of Camelot began to awaken from their slumber, indicating that the enchantment had been broken. Morgause quickly used magic to escape with Morgana before anyone could stop her, leaving Merlin with the belief that Morgana was truly dead.
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In the aftermath of Morgause's attack, Merlin was deeply troubled by what he'd done as well as by what he was about to do. After assuring Gaius that he was all right, he retrieved a sword that he'd stolen from one of the Knights of Medhir and went to honour his promise to the Great Dragon. Before releasing him, he asked the dragon to promise that he wouldn't harm Camelot, but the dragon merely replied that he believed that there had been enough bargains. Merlin then used the sword to break the chains that held the dragon captive, fulfilling his oath and setting him free (''[[The Fires of Idirsholas]]'').
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=== The Last Dragonlord ===
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{{Quote|You're the last Dragonlord now. You alone carry the ancient gift.|[[Balinor]] to Merlin|The Last Dragonlord}}
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[[File:Merlin&Balinor.jpg|thumb|left|220px|[[Balinor]] teaches Merlin about being a [[Dragonlord]].]]
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Just as Merlin feared, the [[Great Dragon]] chose to avenge his imprisonment and the slaughter of his kind by attacking [[Camelot]]. Horrified by the deaths of many innocent people, Merlin tried to stop the dragon himself but his [[magic]] proved ineffective.
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He later learned from [[Gaius]] that only the [[Dragonlords]] had the ability to command [[Dragon|Dragons]]. The Dragonlords had all been rounded up and slaughtered during the [[Great Purge]], but according to Gaius one had managed to escape: a man named [[Balinor]], who was said to live somewhere in [[Cenred|Cenred's]] kingdom. Believing him to be their last hope, Merlin and a wounded [[Arthur]] set out to find Balinor and persuade him to help them.
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Before they left Camelot, Gaius also revealed that Balinor was Merlin's father and advised him to keep it a secret from Arthur, as [[Uther]] would view the son of a Dragonlord with the deepest suspicion. Shaken by the revelation and blaming himself for the dragon's attack, Merlin was noticeably quiet during their journey. When they stopped at a tavern for the night, Arthur tried to convince him to tell him what was wrong, but Merlin was able to deflect his questions by claiming that he was worried about everyone at home.
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After they learned that Balinor was living in isolation in a cave, Merlin and Arthur set out to find him. Arthur succumbed to his infected wound during the search and fell unconscious, leaving Merlin to lead the way. Eventually, he found Balinor and convinced him to heal Arthur. While the prince slept, Merlin tried to learn more about his father and to persuade him to help Camelot. Balinor, however, refused to help because of what he and the dragon (whom he knew as Kilgharrah) had suffered at the hands of Uther.
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The next morning, Arthur made his own attempt to persuade Balinor to help them. When the Dragonlord replied that he wouldn't help Uther, Merlin angrily remarked that he was no better than him and that Gaius must have been wrong about the nobility of Dragonlords. Mentioning Gaius caught Balinor's attention, but Arthur's constant calls for him prevented Merlin from elaborating. He decided that there was no point in talking further and left with Arthur.
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Fortunately, his words reminded Balinor that there were some in Camelot who had risked their lives for him, and he owed them a debt that needed to be repaid. He followed the two boys and agreed to return to Camelot with them. Later, while they collected firewood together, Merlin finally revealed to Balinor that he was his son. That night, while Arthur slept, they talked about [[Hunith]] and what it meant to be a Dragonlord, and Balinor carved a small wooden dragon which he later gave to Merlin.
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[[File:Merlin 213 5.png|thumb|right|220px|[[Kilgharrah]] bows to the last [[Dragonlord]].]]
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Unfortunately, they were ambushed by Cenred's men the next morning and Balinor was killed in the ensuing battle. Merlin was devastated by this and certain that Camelot was doomed. When he said as much to Gaius, however, the physician revealed that Merlin had inherited his father's gifts upon his death. As the last Dragonlord, it was now his responsibility to rid Camelot of the Great Dragon.
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In light of this, Merlin decided to accompany Arthur and his men when they rode out to confront Kilgharrah. The dragon decimated the knights and knocked out Arthur with a single blow, but before he could do any more damage, Merlin (hearing his father's words) was able to harness his [[Dragonlords magic|Dragonlord powers]] and command the dragon to stop his attack. He then commanded him to leave Camelot and never return.
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Grateful to Merlin for sparing his life, Kilgharrah agreed to honor his command. He promised that he would not forget Merlin's clemency and said that he was sure their paths would cross again, then flew away. Arthur regained consciousness soon afterward and Merlin led him to believe that he (Arthur) had successfully killed the dragon. They then returned to the castle together, where they were greeted by a relieved [[Gwen]] and Gaius (''[[The Last Dragonlord]]'').
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=== Morgana's Return ===
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{{Quote|Morgana is in league with Morgause. She's plotting against Uther.|Merlin to [[Gaius]]|The Tears of Uther Pendragon}}
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[[File:Merlin1858.jpg|thumb|220px|left|[[Morgause]] binds Merlin with [[Enchantments|enchanted]] chains.]]
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During the year that [[Morgana]] was missing, Merlin often accompanied [[Arthur]] and his knights on patrols to search for her. Because he believed her to be dead, Merlin was shocked when they found her alive and well and was terrified that she would tell [[Uther]] that he'd [[The Fires of Idirsholas|poisoned her]]. However, Morgana later reassured him that she understood why he'd done it and said that she would have done the same to save her friends.
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Her forgiveness cheered Merlin up considerably, but his mood soon grew somber again when Uther appeared to go mad. After he saw Morgana retrieve a [[mandrake root]] from beneath the king's bed, Merlin realized that she was still plotting against [[Camelot]] and followed her into the forest, where he observed her meeting up with [[Morgause]]. Unfortunately, Morgana was aware of his presence and he was soon captured and knocked unconscious by the [[Blood Guard]].
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Merlin woke to find himself in chains and Morgause waiting to confront him. She wanted to know why a lowly servant such as himself would continually risk his life for Arthur and Camelot, but seemed to lose interest when Merlin deflected her questions by stating that he believed in a fair and just land. Declaring that Merlin could take his secret to the grave, Morgause placed an enchantment on the chains that bound him and left him to be killed by [[Serkets]].
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After his attempts to free himself with [[magic]] failed and he was stung by a Serket, Merlin used his [[Dragonlords magic|Dragonlord powers]] to call [[Kilgharrah]] to rescue him. The dragon carried him to safety, used an enchantment to heal him of the Serket's venom, and freed him of Morgause's chains. Later, when Merlin lamented that he hadn't heeded Kilgharrah's warnings about Morgana, the dragon tried to console him by pointing out that he'd done what he felt was right, but also warned Merlin that his determination to see goodness in people would be his undoing.
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Once Merlin had sufficiently recovered, he asked Kilgharrah to fly him back to Camelot. He told [[Gaius]] what he'd learned about Morgana and they destroyed the mandrake root she'd hidden beneath Uther's bed, breaking the enchantment and restoring his sanity. Later, after Morgana discovered Merlin's survival, she threatened to tell Uther about his attempt to poison her if he told anyone about her betrayal.
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After it was discovered that [[Cenred|Cenred's]] army was marching on Camelot, Arthur (who was acting as regent while his father was indisposed) ordered the city to prepare for a siege. Merlin helped out by gathering provisions and tried to reassure Arthur that he'd made the right choice. He told Arthur that he trusted in his [[destiny]] and that it was his fate to be the greatest king that Camelot had ever known. Touched by Merlin's faith in him, Arthur voiced a grudging respect for his wisdom.
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[[File:Merlin302 2196.jpg|thumb|220px|Merlin fights with a [[Undead Skeletons|skeletal soldier]].]]
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During the [[Great Battle for Camelot]], Merlin was responsible for escorting the wounded to the infirmary and helping Gaius treat them. They tried to keep an eye on Morgana while they worked, but she managed to slip away in the confusion and used the [[Rowan Staff]] to summon an army of [[Undead Skeletons|undead skeletons]] to attack Camelot from within.
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As the battle grew worse, Merlin confronted Morgana in the burial vaults and begged her to stop the attack. When she refused and said that Uther's hatred for her and her kind gave her no reason to feel any differently about him, he tried to make her see that she of all people could change the king's mind and told her that he believed her gifts were meant to be used for good. Morgana, unconvinced, snapped that because Merlin didn't have magic he couldn't hope to understand how she felt and insisted that there was no other way.
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Accepting that she wasn't going to listen, Merlin tried to seize the Rowan Staff and Morgana responded by [[Duel between Merlin and Morgana|attacking him]]. She managed to disarm Merlin twice in the ensuing duel, but Merlin ultimately emerged the victor after he used his magic to cause part of the ceiling to collapse on her head, knocking her out cold. He quickly retrieved his sword and used it (and his magic) to slice the Rowan Staff in half, breaking the enchantment and reducing the skeletal soldiers to dust.
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Destroying the staff created a magical shockwave that knocked Merlin unconscious. When he finally woke, he rushed to tell Arthur what Morgana had done, but it was too late. Morgana had beaten him to it and taken credit for destroying the Rowan Staff. Later, at a ceremony recognizing her bravery and that of all those who had died in the battle, Merlin and Morgana glared at one another while Uther gave a speech instructing everyone in Camelot to remain vigilant and stand firm against the dark forces of magic (''[[The Tears of Uther Pendragon]]'').
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=== Releasing the Goblin ===
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{{Quote|It seems you've unleashed a Goblin.|[[Gaius]] to Merlin|Goblin's Gold}}
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[[File:Merlin389.png|thumb|220px|left|Merlin discovers that [[Gaius]] has been possessed by the [[Goblin]].]]
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When Merlin accidentally released a mischievous [[Goblin]] from a secret chamber in the castle library, he and [[Gaius]] rushed to recapture it before [[Uther]] found out. Merlin took some gold from [[Arthur|Arthur's]] chambers and they used it to lure the Goblin into a trap, but unfortunately the Goblin was able to escape by transforming itself into a ball of light and entering Gaius's body, possessing him.
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When Merlin finally realized what had happened, he tried to reason with the Goblin and convince it to leave Gaius's body. After this failed, Merlin threatened to kill the Goblin if it harmed his friend, revealing his [[magic]] in the process. The Goblin, however, was unfazed by his threats and taunted him by pointing out that he couldn't hurt it without also hurting Gaius. It later used its knowledge of Merlin's magic to frame him for its recent pranks.
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After the Goblin (as Gaius) informed Uther that it had found a book of sorcery in Merlin's room, Merlin was arrested and sentenced to death. Fortunately, Merlin was able to use his magic to escape from prison before his execution and sought refuge at [[Gwen|Gwen's]] house. After explaining the situation to her, he began searching for a way to free Gaius from the Goblin's control and discovered that if they temporarily killed Gaius, then the Goblin would be forced to leave his body or else die with him. Once it was out, they could trap it inside the lead-lined box that Merlin had initially found it in.
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Merlin and Gwen put their plan into action by pouring poison over the gold coins in the Goblin's treasure chest, which the creature had a habit of licking. When the poison began to take effect it realized that it was dying, the Goblin exited Gaius and Merlin began to chase it around the chamber. Eventually, the Goblin transformed itself into a ball of light and flew into Merlin's mouth in an attempt to possess him. Before it could do so, however, Merlin was able to spit it into the lead-lined box and trap the Goblin inside.
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Meanwhile, Gwen was supposed to administer the antidote to Gaius as soon the Goblin had left him, but in its in rush to leave the physician's body, the Goblin had knocked the bottle out of her hand it had gotten mixed up with a dozen other potions on the floor. Fortunately, Merlin and Gwen were able to locate the right one before the poison proved fatal and Gaius made a full recovery. Later, after the situation had been explained to Uther, Merlin was pardoned for the Goblin's crimes and the box containing the creature was sealed away in the castle vaults (''[[Goblin's Gold]]'').
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=== Meeting Gwaine ===
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{{Quote|Why did you help us?"<br>"Your chances looked between slim and none. I, er... I guess I just kind of liked the look of those odds.|Merlin and [[Gwaine]]|Gwaine (episode)}}
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[[File:Merlin304 0404.jpg|thumb|220px|right|[[Gwaine]] introduces himself to Merlin.]]
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Merlin and [[Arthur]] first met [[Gwaine]] when he was injured helping them in a tavern brawl. They took him back to [[Camelot]] to recover and Arthur instructed Merlin and [[Gaius]] to ensure that Gwaine be given anything he needed.
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Gwaine wound up causing quite a bit of trouble during his stay in Camelot, including racking up a bill at the local tavern that he knew he had no money to pay. Despite this, however, he and Merlin got along very well and quickly became friends, bonding over the loss of their respective fathers and their desires to have known them better.
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In addition to keeping an eye on Gwaine, Merlin was also kept busy attending to [[Sir Oswald|Sirs Oswald]] and [[Sir Ethan|Ethan]], a pair of visiting knights participating in Camelot's annual [[Mêlée]]. After discovering that they planned to use [[Stulorne Blades]] to kill Arthur during the competition, Merlin snuck into their chambers to steal one of the swords as evidence. He became distracted by the [[Blood Crystals|mysterious crystals]] that the knights wore around their necks, and a closer look revealed that Oswald and Ethan were actually [[Dagr]] and [[Ebor]] (the two thugs from the tavern brawl) in disguise.
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Unfortunately, the fake knights discovered Merlin before his investigation was complete. They were furious to find him sneaking around their chambers and immediately moved to attack him. Luckily, Gwaine, who had grown worried when Merlin hadn't returned from his errand, arrived just in time to intervene. He easily fought off the thugs with his superior swordsmanship, but was arrested by [[Sir Leon]] for breaking the Knight's Code and subsequently banished from Camelot.
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With Gwaine gone, it was up to Merlin to protect Arthur during the Mêlée. He used his [[magic]] to knock one of the thugs from their horse, but they quickly recovered and resumed their attack on the prince. Fortunately, Gwaine had secretly entered the Mêlée disguised as a knight and was able to help Arthur defeat his would-be assassins. However, [[Uther]] still refused to lift his banishment, and though Merlin later tried to persuade him to stay, Gwaine was adamant that he could never serve under a man like Uther and decided to try his luck in [[Mercia]] instead (''[[Gwaine (episode)|Gwaine]]'').
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=== The Crystal Cave ===
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{{Quote|I had to stop the future. I had to stop Morgana killing Uther. I didn't mean to do it like this.|Merlin to [[Gaius]]|The Crystal Cave}}
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[[File:Merlin305 0522.jpg|thumb|220px|left|[[Taliesin]] shows Merlin the [[Crystal Cave]].]]
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After Arthur was badly wounded by bandits in the [[Valley of the Fallen Kings]], Merlin tried to heal him with his [[magic]], but failed. Fortunately, as the prince appeared to be nearing death, an old [[sorcerer]] named [[Taliesin]] appeared and used his magic to heal him. He then took Merlin to the nearby [[Crystal Cave]], the place where magic began.
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Taliesin explained to Merlin that the crystals contained knowledge of the future and instructed him to look into them, assuring him that much would be revealed if he did. Merlin initially refused, as the [[The Witch's Quickening|last time he'd looked into the future]] he'd seen terrible things, but Taliesin coaxed him into it by suggesting that there was a reason he'd been brought there at that moment in time and only the crystals could tell him what it was.
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Merlin saw a number of visions in the crystals, including one of [[Morgana]] murdering [[Uther]]. Later, back in [[Camelot]], he attempted to prevent this future from coming to pass, but nearly killed Morgana in the process by accidentally knocking her down a flight of stairs. [[Gaius]] did everything he could to help her, but her skull was fractured and she wasn't expected to survive. Unable to accept this, Uther privately begged Gaius to use magic to save her and confessed that Morgana was actually his daughter, a revelation which shocked the eavesdropping Merlin.
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Unable to watch everyone's grief, Merlin summoned [[Kilgharrah]] and asked him to help save Morgana. When the dragon refused, he used his [[Dragonlords magic|Dragonlord powers]] to command him to help anyway. Later, Merlin discovered that Morgana had also overheard Uther's confession and was going to kill him for failing to acknowledge her. Realizing that injuring her hadn't prevented his vision after all, he rushed to stop her and eventually succeeded by using his magic to shatter a window in Uther's bedroom, waking him up and forcing Morgana to abandon her assassination attempt (''[[The Crystal Cave]]'').
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=== The Changeling ===
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{{Quote|Merlin, Lord Godwyn is one of Uther's dearest friends. Accusing him of having a Sidhe for a daughter and a pixie for a nurse is not something that can be undertaken lightly.|[[Gaius]] to Merlin|The Changeling}}
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[[File:Merlin920.jpg|thumb|220px|right|Merlin collects ingredients for [[Gaius|Gaius's]] [[potion]].]]
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When [[Godwyn|Lord Godwyn]] and his daughter, [[Princess Elena]], visited [[Camelot]], [[Uther]] revealed that she and [[Arthur]] were to marry in order to form an alliance between their kingdoms. Merlin was amused by this turn of events and enjoyed teasing Arthur about it, but soon realized that something was wrong when he spotted Elena's nurse, [[Grunhilda]], catching flies with her tongue.
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After further investigation revealed that Grunhilda was actually a [[pixie]] and that Elena was (unknowingly) a [[changeling]], Merlin and [[Gaius]] realized that a union between her and Arthur would give the [[Sidhe]] control over the throne of Camelot. In order to prevent this, they decided to concoct a [[potion]] that would free Elena of the Sidhe that was possessing her. Merlin was tasked with collecting the ingredients for this potion, including an extremely rare Dropwort flower that only grew in marshy, boggy terrain.
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Unfortunately, Grunhilda discovered that Merlin knew about Elena and rushed to inform the Sidhe. Determined to stop him from interfering in their plans, the [[Sidhe Elder]] tried to kill Merlin that night. Merlin managed to escape the attack and destroy the Elder with his [[Sidhe Staff|magical staff]], but accidentally broke the potion bottle in the process. Fortunately, Gaius was able to prepare another one while Merlin devised a plan to lure Grunhilda away from Elena.
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After locking the pixie in the castle vaults, Merlin and Gaius retrieved the potion and Merlin's staff from their chambers and went to find Elena. However, Grunhilda soon escaped from her prison and attempted to attack them, forcing Merlin to reduce her to dust with his magical staff. He then entered Elena's chambers and made her drink the potion, forcing the Sidhe out of her and allowing Merlin to destroy it with his staff.
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Later, Merlin helped Arthur prepare for his wedding. When he realized how upset the prince was about having to marry Elena, Merlin tried to comfort Arthur by sympathizing with his worries about having a destiny that he couldn't escape. He advised Arthur that an unhappy king would not make for a stronger kingdom and said that though he may be destined to rule Camelot, he had a choice as to how he did it. Recognizing the truth of Merlin's words, Arthur admitted to Elena that he did not love her and they mutually decided to call off the wedding (''[[The Changeling]]'').
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=== Rescuing Elyan ===
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{{Quote|Well, Arthur can't sacrifice himself for Gwen's brother."<br>"No, of course not. We're going to rescue him instead.|[[Gaius]] and Merlin|The Castle of Fyrien}}
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[[File:Merlin147.jpg|thumb|220px|left|[[Arthur]] explains his plan to rescue [[Elyan]] to Merlin, [[Gwen]], and [[Morgana]].]]
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When [[Gwen]] failed to show up for work one morning, [[Arthur]] became worried and sent Merlin to her house to see if anything was wrong. The place appeared to be empty and unusually messy when Merlin arrived, and he soon discovered a rag abandoned on the floor. After determining that it had been coated with a very strong drug, he showed the rag to Arthur and they quickly concluded that Gwen had been kidnapped.
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Though Arthur was able to persuade [[Uther]] to send out a search party, no trace of Gwen was found until Merlin accidentally bumped into her the next morning. He was initially relieved to see that she was okay, but soon realized that something was wrong when he noticed that her wrists were badly bruised. Overwhelmed, Gwen tearfully explained that [[Cenred|Cenred's]] men had kidnapped her and taken her to a strange castle, where she discovered that her brother [[Elyan]] was also being held captive. She told Merlin that Cenred had threatened to kill Elyan if she didn't bring Arthur to him within the week.
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When Arthur learned what had happened, he deduced that Elyan was being held at the [[Castle of Fyrien]] and decided that he, Merlin, Gwen, and [[Morgana]] would form a rescue party. Merlin was dismayed by Morgana's inclusion (as he suspected that she was involved in Cenred's scheme) and tried to convince Arthur that it was a bad idea to let her come along. When this failed, he tried to appeal to Morgana by reminding her that Gwen and Arthur cared for her and she had no reason to harm them, but Morgana, unmoved, merely replied that he would do well to stay out of things that did not concern him.
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Determined to stop her from sabotaging Arthur's rescue plan, the next day Merlin used his [[magic]] to [[Animal Control Spells|summon a snake]] to scare Morgana's horse, causing it to throw her. However, though Morgana injured her ankle in the fall, Merlin's attempt to leave her behind failed when she insisted that she could go on. Later, after the group arrived at the Castle and tried to sneak in through a network of secret tunnels, Morgana used a [[Morgause's Ring|magic ring]] to alert [[Morgause]] and Cenred to their location, which resulted in their capture.
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Fortunately, Merlin and Arthur were able to escape and rescue Gwen and Elyan. Arthur then separated from the group to search for Morgana (who Morgause and Cenred were pretending to hold hostage) and ordered Merlin to guard the others, but Merlin decided to follow him instead. He caught up just as Morgause was attempting to kill the prince by [[Fire Spell|conjuring a column of fire]] and quickly used his own magic to cause her spell to backfire. The resulting explosion caused the ceiling to collapse on Morgause and Cenred, knocking them unconscious and allowing Merlin, Arthur, and Morgana to escape (''[[The Castle of Fyrien]]'').
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===Quest to the Perilous Land===
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{{Quote|For this is not Arthur's quest, it is yours. Arthur thinks the prize is the trident. But the real prize is something far greater.|[[The Fisher King]] to Merlin|The Eye of the Phoenix}}
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[[File:Merlin497.jpg|thumb|220px|right|Merlin, [[Arthur]], and [[Gwaine]] search for the [[Fisher King|Fisher King's]] [[Golden Trident|trident]].]]
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When the time came to prove himself worthy of the throne of [[Camelot]], [[Arthur]] chose to embark on a quest to find the [[Fisher King|Fisher King's]] [[Golden Trident]]. Because it was tradition for such quests to be completed alone and unaided, Arthur ordered Merlin to stay behind. However, the warlock was later forced to follow him after he discovered that [[Morgana]] was attempting to use an [[Phoenix Eye|Eye of the Phoenix]] to drain the prince's life force.
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Knowing that he would need help to save Arthur, Merlin recruited his friend [[Gwaine]] to ride with him to the [[Perilous Lands]]. They were given access to the realm by [[Grettir]], the Bridgekeeper, who referred to Arthur and Gwaine as "Courage" and "Strength" and addressed Merlin as "Magic". Before he allowed them to enter, Grettir took Merlin aside and informed him that the Fisher King had waited many years for his arrival. He then advised him not to deny the King what he wished, and to remember that nothing was as it seemed.
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After a night spent camping in the wilderness, Merlin and Gwaine were able to track Arthur to the Fisher King's castle, where Merlin found him about to be attacked by a pair of [[Wyvern|Wyverns]]. He quickly used his [[Dragonlord]] abilities to order the creatures away, and also took the opportunity to remove the Eye of the Phoenix from Arthur's wrist. Later, when he met the Fisher King and promised to grant him an end to his suffering, he used the crystal to give him the death he craved.
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Before he died, the Fisher King warned Merlin that [[Albion|Albion's]] time of need was near and that he alone could save her. To this end, he gave Merlin a [[Avalon Vial|glass vial]] containing water from the [[Lake of Avalon]], which he said would provide the help he would need. Soon after the Fisher King's death, Arthur and Gwaine reunited with Merlin (who had been separated from them by a trap door) and located the Golden Trident, after which Arthur and Merlin returned to [[Camelot]] while Gwaine, who was still banished from the kingdom, elected to travel south (''[[The Eye of the Phoenix]]'').
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===Alice and the Manticore===
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{{Quote|Alice is up to something, and whatever it is, it isn't good.|Merlin to [[Gaius]]|Love in the Time of Dragons}}
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[[File:Images_(95).jpg|thumb|220px|left|Merlin and [[Gaius]] battle the [[Manticore]].]]
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When [[Uther]] learned of a physician in the Lower Town that was offering miracle cures, he suspected that [[magic]] was involved and sent [[Gaius]] and Merlin to investigate. They spoke with the local innkeeper and discovered that the physician had healed him using a [[Sorcerer's Chime|totem]] and a [[Potion|magical potion]], but when they later reported their findings to the king, Gaius lied and told him that the innkeeper had been cured with a natural remedy.
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Merlin was pleased by Gaius's actions and told him that he was glad he'd protected the innkeeper. Much to his surprise, however, Gaius denied having lied about anything and tried to convince him that neither the potion nor the totem had been enchanted. Later that night, Merlin woke to find Gaius sneaking out of their chambers and followed him to a house in the Lower Town owned by a woman named [[Alice]]. He watched as she greeted Gaius with a hug and invited him inside, then quietly returned to the castle.
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The next morning, Merlin admitted that he'd followed Gaius to Alice's house and asked him who she was. He learned that she and Gaius had been friends and lovers many years ago and had even been engaged to be married, but had been forced to part ways during the [[Great Purge]] when Alice fled [[Camelot]] and Gaius stayed behind. Now that she was back, Gaius felt that they'd been given a second chance. Merlin was pleased for his mentor and did what he could to support his romance, even agreeing to give up his room when Gaius invited Alice to stay with them for a while.
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Unfortunately, Merlin soon discovered that Alice had other, darker reasons for returning to Camelot when he overheard her plotting with a strange creature to poison [[Uther]]. He tried to tell Gaius what he'd seen, but the physician dismissed his story when he was unable to find the creature Alice had been talking to. Determined to prove that he was telling the truth, Merlin researched the creature in the castle library and eventually identified it as a [[Manticore]], an ancient creature that was said to reside in [[Spirit World|another world]].
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Soon afterwards, Uther's medicine was discovered to have been poisoned. Merlin tried once more to convince Gaius that Alice was involved, but when the physician refused to listen, he was forced to take his suspicions to [[Arthur]], who wasted no time in ordering Alice's arrest. However, Merlin later discovered that, while Alice had used the Manticore's venom to poison the king, she had not been working with the creature of her own free will. Horrified, Merlin apologized to Gaius and told him what he'd learned, and together they decided to cure Uther by killing the Manticore.
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In order to kill the creature, Merlin would have to summon the Manticore, then keep it at bay while Gaius used [[magic]] to destroy the box that served as its portal to the Spirit World. Their plan was successful and the Manticore was destroyed. Later, after a fully recovered Uther refused to pardon Alice for her part in the attempt to assassinate him, Gaius helped her to escape from Camelot before she could be executed (''[[Love in the Time of Dragons]]'').
   
 
=== A Prophecy Come True ===
 
=== A Prophecy Come True ===
[[File:Merlin310_2289.jpg|thumb|200px|[[Merlin]] in his guise of [[Dragoon the Great]], having used an ageing spell.]]
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{{Quote|If we cannot expose the true sorcerer, then we must invent one.|Merlin to [[Gaius]]|Queen of Hearts}}
{{Quote|If we cannot expose the true sorcerer, then we must invent one|Merlin to Gaius}}
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[[File:Merlin310 2289.jpg|right|thumb|220px|Merlin uses an [[ageing spell]] to disguise himself as [[Dragoon the Great]].]]
Later, Merlin creates a disguise in the shape of the same man he saw in the Crystal in order to save Guinevere from being executed. Guinevere was accused by Morgana as having placed a spell on Arthur to love her, as Morgana was having nightmares of Gwen becoming queen. Since Merlin hasn't been able to reveal to Uther that Morgana used magic and so he decides to create a sorcerer of his own. In the disguise of an old man, Merlin thwarts Morgana's plan and saves Gwen but is nearly executed himself. He escapes, taking a potion Gaius prepared, and transforms back into himself before Arthur and his knights can find him. Arthur thinks that Merlin spent time in the tavern due to a lie told to him by Gaius (''[[Queen of Hearts]]'').
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After [[Morgana]] had a [[Seer|prophetic dream]] about [[Gwen]] being crowned Queen of [[Camelot]], [[Morgause]] advised her to do everything in her power to prevent it from coming to pass. Morgana decided to sabotage Gwen and [[Arthur|Arthur's]] relationship by causing [[Uther]] to find out about it, then hid a [[Poultice|magic poultice]] in Arthur's room and led the king to believe that his son had been [[Love Spells|enchanted]]. Unable to prove her innocence, Gwen was swiftly arrested and sentenced to death.
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Determined to save Gwen from execution, but knowing that Uther would never believe Morgana was responsible for planting the poultice, Merlin decided that if he couldn't expose the real [[sorcerer]], then he'd have to invent one. He used an [[ageing spell]] to disguise himself as an eighty-year-old man he later dubbed [[Dragoon the Great]] and snuck into Arthur's chambers, where the prince caught him hiding another poultice under his pillow. Merlin managed to escape, but unfortunately the aeging spell proved to be too powerful for him to remove on his own, and he was consequently captured and sentenced to burn at the stake in Gwen's place.
   
[[File:Merlin482.png|thumb|200px|left|Merlin explains the good use of [[magic]] to [[Gilli]]]]
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Fortunately, [[Gaius]] was able to concoct a [[potion]] to reverse the spell's effects. He slipped it to Merlin as he was being led to his execution, after which the young warlock used his [[magic]] to set the waiting pyre ablaze. In the confusion that followed, Merlin was able to escape into the castle and use the potion to break the spell. By the time Arthur and his men caught up with him, he had returned to his normal form and was able to explain Dragoon's disappearance by claiming that he'd run right past him, a lie that Arthur believed because Gaius had explained Merlin's earlier absence by telling him that he was spending the day in the tavern (''[[Queen of Hearts]]'').
   
 
=== Guiding a Sorcerer ===
 
=== Guiding a Sorcerer ===
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{{Quote|You need to learn to use your magic for good! That is its true purpose! It's not meant for your own vanity!|Merlin to [[Gilli]]|The Sorcerer's Shadow}}
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[[File:311_flame.jpeg|thumb|220px|left|Merlin reveals his [[magic]] to [[Gilli]].]]
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While readying [[Arthur|Arthur's]] armour for the [[Decennial Tournament]], Merlin was threatened by a pair of thugs who wanted him to attend to their things instead. He was extricated from the situation by a young man named [[Gilli]], who the two thugs had targeted earlier in the day. Merlin and [[Gaius]] later saw Gilli fighting in the tournament and discovered that he was a [[sorcerer]] using a [[Gilli's Ring|magic ring]] to enhance his combat skills.
   
{{Quote|It's lonely to be more powerful than any man you know and have to live like a shadow. To be special and have to pretend your a fool. I know how it feels, I understand.|Merlin to Gilli}}
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Afraid that Gilli's secret would be discovered if he continued to use his [[magic]] to fight, Merlin tried to convince him to withdraw from the tournament, but Gilli refused. He claimed that without magic he was nobody and that he needed to use it to prove he was special. He also told Merlin about his father, a sorcerer who had vowed never to use his magic because he feared what would happen if [[Uther]] found out, and said that he wouldn't be like him. However, Gilli later changed his mind after he killed his opponent in the next round. Horrified by what he'd done, he realized that Merlin was right and decided to withdraw.
   
Merlin later encounters a sorcerer named [[Gilli]] when a tournament is taking place in Camelot. After meeting him, Merlin immediately notices that Gilli uses magic to help him defeat his first opponent. Fearing that Gilli will get exposed for using magic and that he will get corrupted by his powers, Merlin tells Gilli to withdraw from the tournament but Gilli tells him that he wants to use his magic so that he achieves glory and that his father was afraid of magic. Gilli then chooses to withdraw when he [[File:Merlin483.png|thumb|200px|[[Merlin]] promises [[Gilli]] they will meet again]]unintentionally kills a thug named [[Nollar]], but when everyone shows him respect, he again changes his mind and chooses not to withdraw. Merlin later confronts Gilli about his decision and reveals his magic to him. Gilli argues that Merlin has hiddee his gift for a long time and that someone with magic should strike Uther as he had many people who had magic executed. Merlin, when learning that Arthur's heart would be hardened against magic if he witnessed Uther die at its hand, foils Gilli's attempt to kill Uther. Merlin tells Gilli that using magic to fight and to achieve glory iss not the right way to use his power, making Gilli realize that his father was only afraid of the power magic has to corrupt and not magic itself. After Gilli apologises for his actions, Merlin comments that they will meet again before Gilli leaves (''[[The Sorcerer's Shadow]]'').
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Unfortunately, Gilli soon had a change of heart when everyone began to show him the respect he craved and he decided not to withdraw from the tournament after all. He won his next match (seriously injuring his opponent in the process) and was slated to face Uther in the finals. Merlin was upset by this and tried once more to persuade Gilli to withdraw, even going so far as to reveal his own magic to show that he understood how he felt. However, his actions ultimately backfired when Gilli, angry that Merlin appeared to be defending the king, accused him of forgetting who he was and declared that it was time people with magic fought back.
   
=== Rise of Morgana ===
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[[File:Merlin483.png|thumb|220px|Merlin promises [[Gilli]] that they will meet again.]]
[[File:Merlin479.jpg|thumb|200px|left|Merlin, [[Arthur]] and [[Gwaine]]]]
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At his wit's end, Merlin summoned [[Kilgharrah]] and asked for his advice. The dragon sympathized with his plight and noted that it was never an easy thing to see one's kin die, but ultimately reminded Merlin that if Arthur were to see his father killed through the use of magic, it would harden his mind toward it forever. Recognizing the truth of his words, Merlin decided to use his own magic to counteract Gilli's during the finals, costing him the win and saving Uther's life.
{{Quote|Actually we're on a quest."<br>"We're looking for the cup of life."<br>"What part of the word 'secret' do you not understand?|Arthur and Merlin}}
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Merlin's vision of Morgana becoming Queen also comes true. While he and Arthur search for the [[Cup of Life]], meeting their friend [[Gwaine (character)|Gwaine]] during the mission, Morgause and Cenred are also attempting to find the Cup. Merlin accidentally lets the Cup fall into enemy hands (literally) and Morgause creates an army of immortal soldiers. Merlin, Gwaine and Arthur return to Camelot and find [[Elyan]] and [[Gaius]], the only two known people who have not been captured, wounded or killed by Morgause's immortal army. Despite being told to go with Gaius, Merlin stays with Arthur, who for once appears grateful towards him. They then witness Morgana being crowned Queen of Camelot, just as Merlin foresaw in the Crystal Cave. Merlin and Arthur join the rest of the group in the forest and Merlin takes the water [[The Fisher King|the Fisher King]] gave him and uses it to contact his deceased lover [[Freya]]. Merlin is delighted to see Freya again, having contacted her by accident and Freya tells him that she missed him. She tells him to go to the [[Lake of Avalon|the Lake of Avalon]] to fetch the sword [[Excalibur (Sword)|Excalibur]]. Merlin calls [[Kilgharrah]], who carries him to the lake and Freya gives Merlin the sword, though only her arm emerges from the lake. Merlin and his friends later meet [[Guinevere]] and Sir [[Leon]] who managed to escape Camelot though they accidentally bring a group of Morgause's immortal soldiers with them. Fortunately their lives are saved by the arrival of [[Lancelot (character)|Lancelot]] and [[Percival]] who cause an avalanche allowing the group to escape. Wielding Excalibur, Merlin joina [[Arthur Pendragon|Arthur]], [[Gwaine (character)|Gwaine]], [[Elyan]], Lancelot and Percival in their mission to bring an end to Morgana's rule. Merlin usea the sword to destroy the soldiers that stand in their way and has almost made it to the Cup of Life before [[Morgause]] intervenes.[[File:Merlin313_2740.jpg|thumb|200px|Merlin pulls the sword in the stone]] Fortunately Gaius arrives in time to attack Morgause with magic, dazing her and protecting Merlin. Before she can recover, Merlin smashes her into a pillar with his magic, seriously injuring her. Merlin then empties the Cup of the Knights blood, destroying the immortal army. A devastated Morgana rushes into the room and cradles her unconscious sister just as Morgause did for her when Merlin poisoned her. Merlin tells Morgana that it is over but Morgana tells him that it has just begun and uses magic to bring the room crashing down on them. Gaius later states that there was no sign of her or Morgause in the rubble, meaning that they must have escaped. Finally Merlin places Excalibur in a stone in the forest where no "mortal man" can wield it (''[[The Coming of Arthur]]'').
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Gilli was initially angry with Merlin for interfering and accused him of betraying their kind. Much to his surprise, however, Merlin replied that Gilli was the real traitor, as he'd acted dishonourably by using his magic for his own glory. Ashamed, Gilli finally realized that it hadn't been magic his father had been afraid of, but the power it had to corrupt the weak. He apologized to Merlin for his behavior and told him that he hoped they'd meet again someday, to which Merlin replied that he was sure that they would. He later watched from the battlements as Gilli departed [[Camelot]] in peace (''[[The Sorcerer's Shadow]]'').
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=== Morgana's First Conquest of Camelot ===
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{{Quote|Morgana has the Cup of Life. If I can find it and empty it of the blood within, then the army will be destroyed, and Morgana will be powerless.|Merlin to [[Lancelot]]|The Coming of Arthur}}
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[[File:Merlin479.jpg|thumb|220px|left|Merlin, [[Arthur]] and [[Gwaine]] search for the [[Cup of Life]].]]
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After [[Sir Leon]] returned to court claiming that the [[Druids]] had healed him with the [[Cup of Life]], [[Uther]] decided to send [[Arthur]] (and Merlin) on a quest to retrieve it before their enemy, [[King Cenred]], learned of its location. They were captured by the slave trader [[Jarl]] soon after entering Cenred's kingdom and were unexpectedly reunited with their friend [[Gwaine]], who was also being held prisoner. The three were later able to escape together and Gwaine decided to join Merlin and Arthur on their quest.
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They recovered the Cup from the Druids, but were ambushed by Cenred's men on their way back to Camelot. Arthur was injured in the attack and Merlin was unable to keep the Cup from falling into enemy hands. Cenred's ally [[Morgause]] later used it to make his army [[Immortal Army|immortal]], then killed him and used the army to conquer Camelot. Merlin, Arthur, and Gwaine returned to find that Uther and the rest of the court had been taken prisoner and that only [[Gaius]] and [[Elyan]] had managed to escape. They later retreated to the safety of the woods after witnessing [[Morgana]] crowned Queen of Camelot.
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The group spent the next week hiding in a cave while they figured out what to do about the immortal army. Merlin used the [[Avalon Vial]] to contact his deceased lover [[Freya]], who told him that the Cup of Life had transformed Morgana's army into the living dead and reminded him that the only thing with the power to slay the undead was the sword [[Excalibur]], which Merlin had hidden at the bottom of the [[Lake of Avalon]]. Merlin later commanded the dragon [[Kilgharrah]] to carry him to the lake and was given the sword by Freya, though only her arm emerged from the water.
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Soon after Merlin returned to the cave, he and the rest of the group met up with [[Gwen]] and Leon. The pair had managed to escape from Camelot, but had accidentally led Morgause and a squad of immortal soldiers to Arthur's hiding place in the process. Fortunately, the group was saved by the timely arrival of [[Lancelot]] and his friend [[Percival]], who helped them escape by using a small avalanche to block the soldiers' path. The group then traveled to the [[Castle of the Ancient Kings]], where Arthur revealed his plan to rescue his father. Merlin was among those who volunteered to accompany him on his mission and was later present when the the prince knighted Gwaine, Elyan, Percival, and Lancelot for their loyalty.
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Unbeknownst to Arthur, however, Merlin and Lancelot were planning to split off from the group after they reached the castle to find and empty the Cup of Life. Armed with the sword Excalibur, they battled their way to the throne room and destroyed any immortal soldiers that stood in their way. However, Lancelot was injured and Morgause intervened before Merlin could reach the Cup. Fortunately, Gaius arrived and saved Merlin by attacking Morgause with magic. Merlin was then able to use his own magic to smash her into a pillar, seriously injuring her, before using Excalibur to empty the Cup of the army's blood, destroying the immortal soldiers.
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[[File:Merlin313 2740.jpg|thumb|220px|Merlin places [[Excalibur]] in the stone.]]
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It was at this point that Morgana arrived. Horrified by Morgause's injuries, she rushed into the room and cradled her unconscious sister. Merlin confronted Morgana and told her that her reign was over, but she angrily replied that it had only just begun. She then used her magic to bring the room crashing down around them, but fortunately Merlin, Lancelot, and Gaius were able to escape without injury. Merlin later placed Excalibur in a stone in the woods, where no mortal man could wield it (''[[The Coming of Arthur]]'').
   
 
=== The Darkest Hour ===
 
=== The Darkest Hour ===
[[File:786.jpg|thumb|left|200px|Merlin is attacked by the [[Dorocha]]]]
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{{Quote|So, Emrys, you choose to challenge me after all. Will you give yourself to the spirits to save your prince?|[[The Cailleach]] to Merlin|The Darkest Hour}}
{{Quote|What is the life of a servant compared to that of a prince?|Merlin to Arthur}}
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[[File:786.jpg|thumb|left|220px|Merlin is attacked by the [[Dorocha]].]]
Though Camelot experiences another year of peace after Morgana is overthrown, this peace is interrupted during the [[Samhain]] Eve celebration. As a result of Morgana's blood sacrifice on the Isle of the Blessed, Merlin is greeted with shock as a [[The Cailleach|mysterious woman]] appears during Arthur's toast to the king.
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One year after [[Morgana]] attempted to conquer [[Camelot]], the court was holding a feast to celebrate [[Samhain|Samhain's Eve]] when Merlin had a vision of a mysterious old woman, causing him to faint. Later that night, after Merlin had recovered, he told [[Gaius]] what he'd seen and the physician concluded that the woman in his vision was likely the [[The Cailleach|Cailleach]], the Gatekeeper to the [[Spirit World]]. Gaius was unsure why she had appeared to Merlin, but feared that it might mean trouble for Camelot.
   
As she calls out to Merlin, calling him Emrys, he faints prompting treatment by Gaius. When Merlin recovers, he explains to Gaius what happened. Gaius concluded that the woman Merlin saw is the Cailleach, gatekeeper to the spirit world. Although Gaius is unsure as to why the Cailleach would appear to Merlin, he speculates that trouble is coming to Camelot once again. This speculation proves to be correct as there begin to be reports of villages being attacked by [[Dorocha|unknown assailants]] with no one being left alive. Once Arthur gets word that this was occurring, he rides out with his knights and Merlin to investigate. Once they arrive at a village, Merlin encounters a strange wispy creature that somehow disable his magic and is almost killed.
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The next day, [[Arthur]] began receiving reports of strange, faceless beings attacking nearby villages. Merlin accompanied him and the [[Knights of the Round Table]] when they rode out to investigate and discovered that the attacks were the work of the [[Dorocha]], ghostly voices of the dead that Morgana had unleashed by tearing the [[veil between the worlds]]. Ordinary weapons could not kill them and Merlin was unable to use his [[magic]] in their presence. Fortunately, [[Lancelot]] was able to chase the Dorocha away from Merlin with a torch before they could harm him.
   
[[File:402_pm.jpg|thumb|200px|[[Percival]] carries an unconscious [[Merlin]]]]
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The attacks soon spread to the rest of Camelot, plunging the kingdom into chaos as frightened villagers flocked to the city for protection. Unable to use his magic, Merlin kept busy by helping Gaius tend to the wounded when he wasn't serving Arthur. He was later present when Gaius informed Arthur of his suspicions that the veil had been torn and that he would have to journey to the [[Isle of the Blessed]] and perform a [[Blood Sacrifice|blood sacrifice]] to repair it. Knowing that Arthur would choose to sacrifice himself to save the kingdom, Merlin resolved to protect him by sacrificing himself in his place.
However, Lancelot manages to drive the creature away using his torch before it can do so. Upon returning to Camelot, Merlin finds it in an uproar. The supernatural creatures, identified as the Dorocha, have begun to launch attacks on the castle and many are killed. He confides in Gaius and confesses that his magic has no effect on the creatures. After the attack, Gaius informs Arthur that the Dorocha can not be killed through conventional means but that the veil from which they came must be sealed with another blood sacrifice. Arthur then designates himself to be the next sacrifice so that the veil might be closed. Unable to forsake his destiny, Merlin becomes determined to take Arthur's place as the sacrifice despite Gaius' protests. Arthur once again rides out with Merlin and his knights to the Isle of the Blessed to repair the damage to the torn veil. On the way, Lancelot attempts to convince Merlin that the undertaking they are performing is too dangerous. Merlin replies that his duty is to protect Arthur as Lancelot's duty is to protect Camelot. Upon arriving at the Isle of the Blessed, Arthur and Merlin are attacked by a Dorocha and are forced to seek refuge inside the catacombs. After a friendly exchange, another Dorocha manages to find them. Before Arthur can confront it, Merlin pushes Arthur out of the way and takes the full brunt of the Dorocha's attack. When the knights rejoin Arthur, they discover that Merlin is apparently dead. Merlin survives the attack but becomes gravely ill and has to be taken by Lancelot back to Camelot. However along the journey, [[Vilia]], who are spirits of the brooks and streams help them and heal Merlin from the sickness. Merlin then rides back with Lancelot to help Arthur. Along the way, they are attacked by a Dorocha but Merlin summons Kilgharrah to repel the Dorocha with his fire. Kilgharrah then tells them that the Dorocha cannot be allowed to remain in the living world and that a sacrifice will be demanded by the Cailleach to defeat them.
 
   
[[File:Merlin_Cailleach_face-off_s04e02.png|thumb|200px|left|Merlin confronts [[The Cailleach]]]]
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[[File:402 pm.jpg|thumb|220px|[[Percival]] carries a badly injured Merlin.]]
After rejoining Arthur and the others, they continue the journey to the isle of the Blessed. Merlin offers to be sacrificed instead of Arthur but the Cailleach says it can not happen. Before Merlin can stop him, Lancelot walks into the veil and heals the rip. After a funeral is held for Lancelot, Merlin and Gaius learn that Morgana is aware of his identity as Emrys. Gaius then tells Merlin that he suspects Arthur's uncle [[Agravaine de Bois|Agravaine]], who has supported Arthur after Uther was broken by Morgana's betrayal, is loyal to Morgana before warning Merlin that Morgana should never learn the truth that he has magic and that he is Emrys (''[[The Darkest Hour]]'').
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Merlin, Arthur, and the Knights set out for the Isle of the Blessed the next morning. Lancelot didn't think it was wise for Merlin to come along, as he was worried that the warlock would get hurt without his magic to protect himself. When he told Merlin as much, however, the warlock merely replied that it was his duty to protect Arthur, just as it was Lancelot's duty to protect Camelot.
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The group later made camp at the abandoned fortress of Daobeth, where Merlin and Arthur were attacked by a Dorocha while they collected firewood. They evaded the creature and hid within the fortress, but the Dorocha pursued them and Arthur eventually decided to meet its attack head on. Before he could do so, however, Merlin pushed him out of the way and took the brunt of the Dorocha's attack himself. It was a this point that the Knights (who had been searching the fortress for them) arrived and chased the creature away with a torch.
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Though Merlin's magic allowed him to survive the attack, he was badly injured and appeared to be slowly dying. As such, it was decided that Lancelot would take him back to Camelot while Arthur and the other Knights completed their quest. Fortunately, Merlin and Lancelot encountered the [[Vilia]], benevolent spirits of the lakes and streams, during their journey and they were able to heal the warlock with their magic. The spirits also conjured magical lights to keep him and Lancelot safe from the Dorocha during the night.
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The next morning, Merlin and Lancelot rode out to catch up to Arthur and the others. They took shelter in a cabin in the woods, where they stayed up talking and drinking late into the night. When they eventually fell asleep their fire burned low, leaving them vulnerable to the Dorocha. Fortunately, Merlin was able to sense the creatures approaching and woke Lancelot in time for them to escape. However, the Dorocha continued to chase them, so he [[Dragonlords magic|summoned]] the [[Great Dragon]] to repel the ghosts with his fire.
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[[File:Merlin Cailleach face-off s04e02.png|thumb|220px|left|Merlin confronts the [[The Cailleach|Cailleach]].]]
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Merlin thanked Kilgharrah for his help and introduced him to Lancelot, then explained their errand to the Isle of the Blessed. The dragon confirmed that the Cailleach would demand a sacrifice before she would repair the veil and tried to convince Merlin not to offer himself in Arthur's place, but the warlock would not be dissuaded. Touched by his loyalty, the dragon told Merlin that he would miss him before he flew away.
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Merlin and Lancelot rejoined Arthur and the others and completed their journey to the Isle of the Blessed. After discovering the island was guarded by [[Wyvern|Wyverns]], [[Leon]], [[Percival]], and [[Elyan]] stayed behind to hold them off while Merlin, Arthur, Gwaine, and Lancelot confronted the Cailleach. Gwaine and Arthur were quickly knocked out and Merlin stepped forward to offer himself as a sacrifice, but the Cailleach refused and told him that his time among men was not yet over. Confused, Merlin turned to the veil and saw Lancelot walking toward the edge. He could only stare in horror as the knight smiled at him, then stepped through the veil and vanished.
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Back in Camelot, Merlin attended Lancelot's memorial alongside the rest of the court. Later, while mourning his friend in the privacy of his room, he overheard Arthur's uncle [[Agravaine]] ask Gaius about the identity of the sorcerer Emrys, which led them to suspect that the nobleman might be in league with Morgana (''[[The Darkest Hour]]'').
   
 
===The Once and Future King===
 
===The Once and Future King===
When Uther is mortally wounded by an [[The Gleeman|assasin]] when protecting Arthur, Merlin sees this as a chance to return magic back to Camelot because Arthur plans to use magic to save Uther. Merlin returns to his [[Old Merlin (disguise)|old man]] disguise to help him convince Arthur. Merlin gains Arthur's trust with help of his disguise and goes to Uther's chambers with Arthur. However, Morgana learns of Arthur's plans and enchants a necklace to repel healing spells which Agravaine plants around Uther's neck. Merlin casts a healing spell but due to the necklace, it backfires and Uther dies. An enraged Arthur blames the disguised Merlin for Uther's death but Merlin knocks him unconscious to prevent Arthur from attacking him and transforms back into himself.
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{{Quote|Magic will still be outlawed. I've turned Arthur against it forever. He'll never know who I really am.|Merlin to [[Gaius]]|The Wicked Day}}
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[[File:722.jpg|thumb|220px|Merlin [[Glamour|disguises]] himself as [[Dragoon the Great]] to save [[Uther]].]]
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After [[Uther]] was mortally wounded protecting his son from [[The Gleeman|an assassin]], Merlin decided to show [[Arthur]] that [[magic]] could be used for good by using it to heal the king. Ignoring [[Gaius|Gaius's]] warnings that his plan could backfire, Merlin met with the prince disguised as [[Dragoon the Great]] and agreed to heal Uther if Arthur would promise to legalize magic when he was king.
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Though initially hesitant, Arthur accepted the terms and Merlin arranged to heal Uther later that evening. Unfortunately, Arthur's uncle [[Agravaine|Lord Agravaine]] told [[Morgana]] of their plan and the witch gave him an [[Morgana's Enchanted Pendant|enchanted pendant]] to place around the king's neck. The pendant caused Merlin's [[Healing Spells|healing spell]] to [[Dark Magic|backfire]], killing Uther instead of saving him. Enraged, Arthur tried to attack Merlin, but the warlock was able to use his magic to knock him unconscious. He then fled the room and returned to his usual form.
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After Gaius showed him the necklace and they realized what Morgana had done, Merlin tried to convince Arthur that his father's death was an accident. Arthur, however, was certain this own arrogance was to blame. He told Merlin that magic was pure evil and that he would never lose sight of that again now that he'd lost both his parents to magic. Heartbroken, Merlin spent the night sitting vigil while the prince mourned his father. He later watched as Arthur was crowned King of Camelot and joined the rest of the court in chanting, "Long live the King!" (''[[The Wicked Day]]'').
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=== Quest For The Dragon Egg ===
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{{Quote|I am the last Dragonlord. And I am warning you. Leave this egg alone.|Merlin to [[Julius Borden]]|Aithusa (episode)}}
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[[File:Merlin-404-egg.jpg|thumb|left|220px|Merlin rescues the last [[dragon egg]].]]
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When [[Gaius|Gaius's]] former pupil [[Julius Borden]] returned to [[Camelot]], he sought out his old mentor and told him of his plan to recover the last [[dragon egg]]. Though Gaius refused to get involved, Merlin overheard their conversation and became determined to help. He summoned [[Kilgharrah]] to confirm that the egg truly existed, then promised to fulfill his duty as a [[Dragonlord]] by finding it and helping the Great Dragon preserve his kind.
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After he tracked down Borden and convinced him to let him help, Merlin stole [[Arthur|Arthur's]] key to the vaults so Julius could retrieve the final piece of the [[Triskelion]], the key to the [[Tomb of Ashkanar]]. Unfortunately, Borden betrayed Merlin by knocking him unconscious and taking the completed Triskelion, leaving him to take the blame for its theft. Luckily, Merlin recovered and returned the keys to the vault to Arthur before the theft was discovered.
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Gaius was furious with Merlin for trusting Borden and told him he feared to think what his former student would do with the egg when he found it. To make matters worse, Arthur had decided that he and the [[Knights of the Round Table]] would embark on a quest to destroy the egg before Borden could use it against them. Determined to make up for his mistake by protecting the egg, Merlin accompanied them on their journey and was later contacted by the [[Druids]], who told him that Borden had stolen a piece of the Triskelion from their camp and warned him that the Tomb was filled with traps.
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Throughout the quest, Arthur and the Knights amused themselves by playing a joke on Merlin wherein they pretended to eat all the food he'd prepared for them, leaving nothing for him. Though their prank annoyed Merlin, who was focused on getting to the dragon egg before Borden did, it ultimately saved him from harm when Borden poisoned their stew. Merlin used his [[magic]] to [[Healing Spells|heal]] the Knights, then left them to recover while he completed their journey alone.
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Upon entering the Tomb, Merlin soon found his way to an inner chamber that housed the dragon egg. He confronted and defeated Borden (unmasking himself as the last Dragonlord in the process) and rescued the egg, but when he removed it from its pedestal, he triggered a trap that caused the Tomb to collapse. Merlin escaped without injury to either himself or the egg, but Borden was killed in the collapse and buried in the rubble.
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Later, back in Camelot, Merlin showed the egg to Gaius, then presented it to Kilgharrah. He used his [[Dragonlords magic|Dragonlord powers]] to summon the hatchling from its egg by naming it [[Aithusa]], which meant "light of the sun". Pleased that he was no longer the last of his kind, Kilgharrah told Merlin that no dragon's birth was without meaning and sometimes that meaning was hard to see. However, he decided to believe that the white dragon's birth boded well for [[Albion]] (''[[Aithusa (episode)|Aithusa]]'').
   
[[File:722.jpg|thumb|200px|Merlin disguises as Dragoon to save [[Uther]]]]
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===War With Caerleon===
Gaius later shows Merlin the necklace and Merlin realizes what Morgana did. Arthur then tells Merlin that he lost both his parents due to magic and that he sees it as pure evil. Merlin blames himself for Uther's death and worries that his magic will never be revealed to Arthur but Gaius reassures him that Arthur will soon learn of his magic and that he is not to blame for Uther's death. Merlin then watches as Arthur is crowned King of Camelot, despite being heartbroken at his failure and chants 'Long Live the King' (''[[The Wicked Day]]'').
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{{Quote|I had a choice to let Caerleon live or die. I made the wrong decision. And now I've brought this war upon Camelot myself.|[[Arthur]] to Merlin|His Father's Son}}
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[[File:Merlin-knight.jpg|thumb|220px|right|Merlin disguised as a [[Knight of Camelot]].]]
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After a [[Caerleon (kingdom)|Caerleon]] raiding party was spotted within [[Camelot]], Merlin was disguised as a [[Knight of Camelot]] and given the task of leading the men into an ambush. When [[King Caerleon]] himself was found among the prisoners, [[Agravaine|Lord Agravaine]] advised [[Arthur]] to prove his strength to the surrounding kingdoms by killing his enemy. Though Merlin counseled him to show mercy instead, Arthur ultimately chose to follow his uncle's advice and killed the king.
   
=== The Dragon Egg ===
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His actions enraged Caerleon's wife, [[Queen Annis]], who consequently declared war on Camelot. Merlin accompanied Arthur and his army to the battle site and later followed him when he snuck out to meet Annis in secret. His captured nearly ruined negotiations between the two rulers, but they eventually agreed that a battle between two champions would decide their conflict rather than the deaths of thousands of innocents. Arthur was very upset with Merlin for eavesdropping and his inability to leave things be, ignoring the warlock's protests that he was just trying to look out for him as a friend.
[[File:Merlin_smoke.jpeg|thumb|left|200px|Merlin in the tomb of Aithusa's egg]]
 
{{Quote|I am the last Dragonlord and I warn you leave this egg alone|Merlin to Julius Borden}}
 
When the mysterious [[Julius Borden]] visits [[Gaius]] telling Gaius of his plan to bring forth a new dragon into the world, Merlin is gravitated to help him. After telling [[Great Dragon|Kilgharrah]] of this matter, Merlin promises the Great Dragon that he will fulfil his duties as a Dragonlord and rescue the egg. Merlin steals Arthur's key to the vaults in order for Julius to enter and retrieve the final piece if the [[Triskelion]] which is the key to the [[Tomb of Ashkanar]] which contains the last remaining dragon's egg. Julius however betrays Merlin by knocking him unconscious after he unites the Triskelion. Gaius is furious at Merlin for helping Julius despite his warnings. Merlin, Arthur and the [[Knights of the Round Table]] embark on a journey to stop Julius Borden before he gets to the egg. Julius manages to hurt Sir Percival by shooting him with an arrow and later poisons the knights by shooting a poultice into their stew, but they are saved by Merlin. With the knights unconscious, Merlin continues the journey to the Tomb of Ashkanar alone and manages to save the dragon egg. By taking the[[Video:Merlin S4 04.04 Aithusa - The summoning of Aithusa|thumb|right|200px|The summoning of Aithusa]] egg, the tomb comes tumbling and Julius dies in the rubble. After showing Gaius the egg, he takes the egg to Kilgharrah and is told to use his dragonlord power and name the young dragon in order to summon it from the egg. Merlin names the white dragon [[Aithusa]], meaning the "light of the sun" (''[[Aithusa (episode)|Aithusa]]''). Kilgharrah says that a white dragon "bodes well for Albion".
 
   
===Caerleon vs. Camelot===
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After he decided to fight as Camelot's champion himself, Arthur entrusted Merlin with a ring that he requested be given to [[Gwen]] if he died. Merlin later watched the duel from the ridge along with the rest of Camelot's army. When [[Morgana]] (who was secretly in league with Annis) attempted to sabotage the match by activating an [[Enchantments|enchantment]] she'd placed on Arthur's sword, Merlin quickly used his [[magic]] to counteract her efforts. With his help, Arthur was able to gain the upper hand and defeat Caerleon's champion, [[Derian]], but chose to spare his life and make peace with Annis rather than kill him. Later, as they returned to Camelot, Arthur admitted to Merlin that he should've listened to him earlier, even if he was "the worst servant in the five kingdoms" (''[[His Father's Son]]'').
[[File:Merlin-knight.jpg|thumb|200px|left|Merlin as a knight]]
 
When Arthur is faced with a difficult decision to kill King Caerleon, Merlin advises Arthur not to do so, as it is unlikely for Arthur to not show mercy. Arthur, however, listens to Agravaine, who tells him to kill Caerleon. Caerleon's wife, Queen Annis, orders war upon Camelot because of Arthur's actions. Merlin travels with Arthur, the other knights and Camelot's army to go to war. Arthur sneaks out one night to meet with Queen Annis and proposes an agreement; that one champion from Camelot and one from Caerleon will fight to the death to avoid the deaths of thousands of innocents. Merlin is found eavesdropping, and is ordered executed, but Arthur saves him and the two go back to the campsite. Arthur questions Merlin's inability to leave things alone, and Merlin says he is Arthur's friend. Before the fight, Arthur gives Merlin a ring and requests that he give it to Gwen if he dies. Morgana, meanwhile, has enchanted Arthur's sword to allow it to malfunction during the match. Her plan is thwarted by Merlin, who makes Annis’ champion's sword fall, allowing Arthur the advantage to kill him and win. Arthur, however, spares his life and agrees to be with peace with Annis. He and Merlin return to Camelot, where Arthur is considered a hero and admits to Merlin he should have listened to him at the beginning, despite the fact that he is "one of the worst servants in the five kingdoms" (''[[His Father's Son]]'').
 
   
 
===Under Morgana's Control===
 
===Under Morgana's Control===
[[File:4-realbion.jpg|thumb|200px|Morgana inserts the snake into Merlin's neck]]
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{{Quote|One thought that will be your life's work. You will not be able to rest until it's done. And that one thought is simple: You must kill Arthur Pendragon.|[[Morgana]] to Merlin|A Servant of Two Masters}}
While out with Arthur and the other knights, Merlin is ambushed and injured, and he and Arthur are forced to spend the night in the forest, where Arthur confesses that Merlin is brave. The next morning, Merlin's condition is worse. He is more pale, and can't move willingly. Arthur attempts to carry Merlin to safety, but they are ambushed by mercenaries again. To protect Arthur, Merlin sacrifices himself by allowing rocks to fall, trapping him with the mercenaries and separating him from Arthur. Merlin is brought to Morgana, who takes him to her hut and binds him by his wrists to the ceiling.
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[[File:Cap-00029.jpeg|thumb|220px|left|[[Morgana]] holds Merlin captive in [[Morgana's Hovel|her hovel]].]]
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When Merlin, [[Arthur]], and the [[Knights of the Round Table|Knights]] were traveling through the [[Valley of the Fallen Kings]], Merlin was badly injured and he and Arthur became separated from the others. They were able to evade the mercenaries by spending the night in the forest, but were ultimately discovered the next morning. To protect Arthur from capture, Merlin used his [[magic]] to cause a rockslide, preventing the mercenaries from reaching the king, but trapping himself with them in the process.
   
Although Merlin tells her he will die happy knowing that Arthur is safe, Morgana reassures him that he won't die just yet, and that she won't make it easy. Arthur attempts repeatedly to search for Merlin and refuses to believe that he is truly gone. Morgana, meanwhile, tends to Merlin's wounds while questioning his loyalty to Arthur. [[File:Muddymerlin.jpg|thumb|200px|left|Merlin is found by [[Arthur]]]]Merlin replies by saying she will never understand loyalty, and Morgana retaliates by stating she has nobody to be loyal to. She then uses a spell to put Merlin to sleep. When he wakes later, Morgana conjures the Fomorroh, a snake with multiple heads, and explains to Merlin that Priestesses of the Old Religion used them to take over one's mind; she then orders him to kill Arthur and inserts one of the snakes in his neck. Arthur and Gwaine venture out to look for Merlin, and find him in bog.
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The mercenaries captured Merlin and took him to [[Morgana]], who decided to heal his injuries and hold him prisoner in [[Morgana's Hovel|her hovel]]. She used her magic to knock him out and later conjured a [[Fomorroh]], a snake with multiple heads that [[High Priestesses]] had once used to control people's minds. Morgana inserted one of these snakes into Merlin's neck and ordered him to kill Arthur Pendragon; the thought would consume him and he would be unable to rest until it was done. She then abandoned Merlin in a nearby bog, where he woke with no memory of what had occurred.
   
They bring him back to Camelot, and Merlin acts oddly towards Gaius and Gwen, and attempts several times to kill Arthur, all failed or prevented by Gwen. When Gwen knocks him out and takes him to Gaius, Gaius paralyses the snake. Merlin gains freedom with his own mind for an amount of time before Gaius tells him that he needs to kill the mother snake in order to be fully free from Morgana. Merlin disguises himself as Dragoon, and after witnessing Agravaine leaving Morgana’s hut, attempts to take the jar of Fomorroh and flee, but Morgana stops him. A[[Video:Merlin - Morgana and Emrys|thumb|200px|Morgana and Emrys]] small battle ensues and Merlin manages to knock Morgana unconscious. After destroying the Fomorroh, he goes back to Camelot, where Gaius removes the remains of the snake. Arthur, who is increasingly angry at Merlin for his absence, orders him to be trained by George, a very dull servant, as punishment (''[[A Servant of Two Masters]]'').
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Merlin was soon found by Arthur and [[Gwaine]] and taken back to [[Camelot]]. His odd behavior soon attracted the attention of [[Gaius]] and [[Gwen]], as did his frequent attempts to kill Arthur. He tried to poison Arthur's food, rigged a crossbow trap in his wardrobe, and put acid in his bathwater. Fortunately, Gwen and Gaius (and his own clumsiness) prevented him from succeeding. Gaius examined Merlin to find the cause of his strange behavior and discovered the Fomorroh in his neck. He helped Merlin regain control over his mind by paralyzing the snake with a potion, but said that he would have to kill the mother snake in order to be truly free of Morgana's influence.
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[[File:Merlin%27s_Whirlwind_spell.gif|thumb|220px|right|Merlin defeats [[Morgana]] with a [[whirlwind spell]].]]
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Disguised as [[Dragoon]], Merlin traveled to Morgana's hovel and arrived just as she and [[Agravaine]] were leaving. He snuck inside and soon found the Fomorroh, but Morgana returned before he could escape with it. Merlin won the [[Duel between Emrys and Morgana|ensuing duel]] by knocking her out with a [[whirlwind spell]], after which he destroyed the mother snake in a small fire.
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Later, back at Camelot, Gaius removed the remaining snake from his neck and Arthur, oblivious as to what had happened, rebuked him for his two day absence and assigned [[George]], the incredibly dull servant who had waited on him while Merlin was away, to teach him how to be a proper manservant as punishment (''[[A Servant of Two Masters]]'').
   
 
=== Rescuing Gaius ===
 
=== Rescuing Gaius ===
[[File:Merlin354.png|thumb|200px|left|Worried about [[Gaius]]]]
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{{Quote|I know everyone thinks he's a traitor, but he's not. He's been abducted, Gwaine. He may even be dead.|Merlin to [[Gwaine]] about [[Gaius]]|The Secret Sharer}}
{{Quote|He would not leave without saying goodbye to me|Merlin to Arthur}}
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[[File:731.jpg|thumb|220px|left|[[Alator]] pledges his allegiance to Merlin.]]
Later Merlin and Gwaine race to rescue Gaius who Agravaine has managed to convince Arthur was the traitor. Inreality Gaius has been abducted by [[Alator]], a Catha and priest of the old Religion, who Morgana has enlisted the services of to find the location and identity of Emrys. Splitting up, Merlin is confronted by Morgana who gleefully threatens Merlin with death, unaware that she has Emrys at her mercy when Alator arrives. She asks if Alator has discovered Emrys’ identity. The sorcerer approaches Merlin confirming he has. When Morgana asks for a name Alator tells her she shall never know and blasts her away from the pair with magic. Fearful at first of the Sorcerer; Alator tells Merlin he does know who he is and then bows before Merlin.
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After recovering from a [[Duel between Emrys and Morgana|duel with a mysterious old sorcerer]], [[Morgana]] was convinced that her opponent had been her [[Seer|prophesied]] enemy Emrys and became obsessed with discovering his identity. She hired [[Alator]] of the [[Catha]] to kidnap and question [[Gaius]], who she believed to be in league with the [[Dragoon|old sorcerer]], and had [[Agravaine]] hide a spell book in the physician's chambers to convince [[Arthur]] that he was a traitor and had left [[Camelot]] of his own accord.
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But though Arthur was willing to accept Gaius's guilt, Merlin refused to believe that his mentor was a traitor and decided to search Agravaine's chambers for proof. He found a small chest of spell books hidden beneath the nobleman's bed and a pair of boots covered in reddish soil. [[Gwaine]] later identified the soil as iron ore, a rare mineral found only in the mines at the ridge of Kemeray, and he and Merlin rode out to search the place.
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They split up when they came to a fork in the tunnel and Merlin soon crossed paths with Morgana, who used her [[magic]] to knock him off his feet and gleefully threatened him with death. When Alator arrived, she mockingly introduced Merlin to him and asked if he had discovered Emrys's identity. The [[sorcerer]] slowly approached Merlin and confirmed that he knew both who and where Emrys was, but shocked Morgana by refusing to tell her. Instead, he knocked her out by blasting her into a wall with his magic, then turned and introduced himself to Merlin.
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Though initially wary of him, Merlin soon warmed to Alator when he explained that he and others of their kind knew of his [[destiny]] and would gladly give their lives to help him achieve it. They parted ways as friends and Merlin returned to Camelot, where he was reunited with Gaius. Merlin wanted to tell Arthur about Agravaine's treachery, but Gaius advised against it. He pointed out that they had no evidence and that the king was unlikely to believe them over his uncle, which convinced Merlin to keep quiet for the time being (''[[The Secret Sharer]]'').
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===Lamia===
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{{Quote|The Knights are like brothers. Yet, they fight and quarrel like foes? It started the moment we found her.|Merlin to [[Gwen]] about [[Lamia]]|Lamia}}
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[[File:408_1.jpg|thumb|right|220px|[[Gwen]], Merlin, and the [[Knights of the Round Table|Knights]] rescue [[Lamia]] from bandits.]]
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When the village of Longstead was stricken with a mysterious illness, Merlin was sent with [[Gwen]] and the [[Knights of the Round Table|Knights]] to provide treatment and investigate the cause. He did all he could, even using his [[magic]] at one point, but his treatments proved ineffective and he began to suspect that sorcery was involved. The group decided to return to [[Camelot]] to inform [[Arthur]] of their suspicions and return later with [[Gaius]], who had remained at the citadel to treat an outbreak of sweating sickness.
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They encountered a group of bandits along the trail and rescued a young woman named [[Lamia]], who was being held captive. Though grateful to the Knights for saving her, Lamia was distrustful of Merlin and coldly refused his help. Her attitude made Merlin suspicious of her, especially after she began to exert a strange control over the Knights; they grew increasingly possessive of her and aggressive towards each other, Gwen, and Merlin. They also began to forget the purpose of their journey, concerned only with doing whatever Lamia asked of them.
   
[[File:731.jpg|thumb|200px|[[Alator]] bows in front of Merlin]]He tells the young warlock he knows of the burden of hiding what they truly are, that he and the other survivors of his order know of the great prophecy involving Merlin and Arthur, and that they and other surviving magic users believe in the world Merlin will one day create. Should Merlin ever require his or his order's services Alator and the other priests would be ready to aid him. Back in Camelot Merlin is glad Gaius is safe but both men know they need to find a way to expose Agravaine quickly for everyone's sake (''[[The Secret Sharer]]'').
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Gwen began to share Merlin's suspicions after [[Elyan]] fell ill and collapsed while standing guard. She and Merlin tried to argue that he should be taken to Gaius for treatment, but the Knights decided to follow Lamia's suggestion and take him to a nearby castle instead. Soon after they arrived, Lamia disappeared from the group and transformed into a monstrous, tentacled creature. She hunted down the Knights one by one, causing them to fall ill with the same affliction as Elyan and the people of Longstead, and Merlin was unable to stop her with his magic. Fortunately, he and the others were saved by the arrival of Arthur, who had tracked them down with a search party after they failed to return to Camelot (''[[Lamia (episode)|Lamia]]'').
   
===The Lamia===
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=== Lancelot's Return and Guinevere's Exile ===
[[File:Merlin358.png|thumb|left|200px|Merlin is sent to another village as a physician by [[Gaius]]]]
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{{Quote|I think that someone has raised Lancelot from the dead.|Merlin and [[Gaius]]|Lancelot du Lac}}
{{Quote|There's something at work here, that I don't understand|Merlin to Gwen and John}}
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[[File:M4x09LancelotMerlin.jpg|thumb|left|220px|Merlin releases [[Lancelot]] from [[Morgana|Morgana's]] control.]]
Among finding out that the village of Longstrong was struck with a mysterious illness, Merlin ventures out along with Gwen and the other knights to fix the problem, with Merlin serving as a substitute for Gaius. He attempts to use magic to heal the three victims but to no avail, and soon decides with the knights to return to Camelot for Gaius. While returning they encountered bandits, and after defeating them, they save a young woman named Lamia. Lamia is cold towards Merlin and refuses his help several times, not even allowing him to touch her. Lamia begins to take over the knight's minds to make them more aggressive towards each other, and this makes them turn against Merlin and Gwen on several occasions. Lamia strikes Sir Elyan, and while Merlin and Gwen tell the knights that they have to bring him back to Camelot, Lamia manipulates their minds again to make them follow her into an abandoned castle. There, she strikes each knight one by one and attempts to kill Merlin, but he is quickly saved by Gwen and later Arthur (''[[Lamia (episode)|Lamia]]'').
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When [[Arthur]] held a jousting tournament to celebrate his engagement to [[Guinevere]], [[Lancelot]] shocked everyone by revealing that he'd survived [[veil between the worlds|the veil]] and made his way home to [[Camelot]]. Though overjoyed by his friend's return, Merlin became suspicious when he learned that Lancelot had no memory of his [[magic]]. He later used [[necromancy]] to determine that Lancelot was actually a [[Shade]] and theorized that he had most likely been resurrected by [[Morgana]] to harm Arthur.
   
=== Guinevere's Exile ===
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Much to Merlin's surprise, however, the [[Lancelot (Shade)|Shade Lancelot]] chose not to kill Arthur when he was matched against him in the tournament. Confused by this turn of events, Merlin started spying on Lancelot and later witnessed him inform [[Agravaine|Lord Agravaine]] that he was going to meet Gwen in the council chambers. He attempted to incapacitate Lancelot with a [[Stunning spells|stunning spell]], but the Shade caught him off guard and knocked him out instead.
   
{{Quote|I want to think everything's alright, that we really have Lancelot back|Merlin to Gaius}}
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By the time Merlin regained consciousness, Lancelot had met up with Gwen in the council chambers and they kissed just as Agravaine arrived with Arthur. Hurt and enraged, the king attacked Lancelot with his sword. They dueled until Merlin arrived and disarmed the Shade with his magic, after which Gwen threw herself between them and begged them to stop. Arthur had her and Lancelot arrested and imprisoned for their betrayal, and though he ultimately chose to spare Gwen's life, he banished her from the kingdom under pain of death.
   
When Arthur proposes to Gwen, everybody is happy about the engagement and celebrates by means of jousting. Lancelot, however, returns from the dead, much to everybody's bewilderment, and Merlin grows suspicious. Morgana, however, has previously resurrected Lancelot and ordered him to present Gwen with a bracelet that would make her fall in love with him. Merlin eventually finds out with Gaius that Lancelot is a shade of his former self and suspects that he wants to harm Arthur. Lancelot and Gwen (under the bracelet's influence) meet in the council chambers, where they share a kiss. Arthur catches them in the act by Agravaine and both are imprisoned. Arthur spares Gwen's life but orders her exiled from Camelot forever. Merlin tries to persuade Arthur to lift the sentence, suggesting that Agravaine was merely manipulating him but Arthur stayes true to his word, stating that although he may one day be able to forgive her, he will never again be able to trust her. Meanwhile, Lancelot kills himself by Morgana's orders and is given a proper burial by Merlin. Merlin briefly resurrects Lancelot, to which he thanks Merlin. Merlin then casts his coffin away in the water before burning the body (''[[Lancelot Du Lac]]'').
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Merlin later went to Arthur and tried to persuade him to life his sentence, but the king was adamant that he could never trust Gwen again and that her leaving was for the best. Soon afterward, they received word that Lancelot had committed suicide. When Arthur ordered that the former knight be given a proper burial, Merlin took his body to the [[Lake of Avalon]]. He used his magic to free Lancelot's soul from Morgana's influence, unexpectedly bringing him back to life for a moment, then pushed his body out onto the lake and set it aflame (''[[Lancelot Du Lac]]'').
   
 
===Elyan Possessed===
 
===Elyan Possessed===
[[File:Merlin360.jpg|thumb|200px|Arthur uses Merlin as a training Dummy.]]
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{{Quote|He may have disturbed a spirit at the shrine. I think that spirit's possessing him.|Merlin to [[Arthur]] about [[Elyan]]|A Herald of the New Age}}
{{Quote|For once I'm not lying to you|Merlin to Gaius}}
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[[File:Merlin_in_Shrine.png|thumb|220px|Merlin investigates the [[Druid Shrine]].]]
Soon after, Arthur, Merlin and the Knights go on a patrol around the forest where they come across a strange Druid Shrine. Merlin warns all of them to not disturb the shrine, but Elyan ignores Merlin's warnings and disturbs water from a well in the Shrine. He is soon haunted by a dripping wet ghost boy who gives him the task of killing the King. Elyan's first attempt goes wrong, and he is imprisoned. Merlin plans to break Elyan out of prison so he can use magic to get rid of the ghost, but the plan goes wrong and Elyan knocks Merlin out and escapes. Merlin later awakes with a bruise and goes to Gaius. The two travel back to the shrine to investigate and Merlin hears cries and screams coming from the well. They conclude that the shrine was a place where Uther had slaughtered many innocent Druids. Elyan attempts to kill Arthur once more, but Merlin intrudes and convinces Arthur to spare Elyan's life. Merlin later catches Arthur sneaking into the woods in the middle of the night and follows him. It is revealed that Arthur, and not Uther, had sent for the soldiers to slaughter the innocent Druids. He begs forgiveness from the spirit, and is forgiven. Elyan returns to normal and Arthur later sees to it that Druids are respected and never again harmed in any way (''[[A Herald of the New Age]]'').
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Merlin was on patrol with [[Arthur]] and the [[Knights of the Round Table|Knights]] when they stumbled across a [[Druid Shrine]]. Sensing that the place was cursed, he warned the others not to touch anything and advised that they return to [[Camelot]]. Soon afterward, [[Elyan]] began to act strangely; he lost control during a training exercise, got in a fight with [[Gwaine]], and attempted to assassinate Arthur, leading Merlin and [[Gaius]] to theorize that he was being [[Possession|possessed]].
   
===Arrival of Princess Mithian and Guinevere's Return ===
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After Elyan was arrested for the assassination attempt, [[Agravaine]] advised Arthur to have him executed as a show of strength. Merlin decided to break Elyan out of prison and use his [[magic]] to exorcise the [[Shrine Boy|spirit]] from him, but Elyan knocked him out and escaped before he could do so. Later, after he regained consciousness, Merlin and Gaius traveled to the Druid Shrine to learn more about the spirit they were dealing with. His magic allowed him to hear screams and sounds of a battle from a nearby well and they concluded that the [[Druids]] had been attacked and killed by [[Uther|Uther's]] men.
[[File:Merlin507.jpg|thumb|left|200px|Mithian talks to Merlin]]
 
{{Quote|Because...you're Arthur. You're noble. You're the once and future king.|Merlin to Arthur}}
 
Merlin is soon heard of Arthur's intention to marry [[Mithian|Princess Mithian]] and is shocked and upset. After he claims that Arthur still loves Gwen, Arthur threatens him with exile, and Merlin shows coldness towards Mithian upon her arrival and repeatedly foils Arthur's dates with her. Mithian soon notices Merlin's unwelcoming behaviour and confronts him kindly about it, even asking permission if she can have a chance on Arthur, as she knows Merlin's opinion is valued most by the king. Soon, Arthur and Mithian, along with Merlin, go on a hunting trip where Merlin discovers Gwen after he sees a deer with her reflection. He tries to stop Arthur and Mithian from hitting her, but Gwen is hit by an arrow to the leg. Merlin later visits her and heals her, and she later tells him about Helios' and Morgana's plans to seize control of Camelot with Agravaine's help. Merlin reports this to Arthur but to no avail and the king threatens him with exile yet again. Arthur later asks for Merlin's assistance in a delicate matter, questioning why he still loves Gwen after her betrayal. Merlin says he should listen to his heart, and Arthur soon scraps his plans to marry Mithian. He later thanks Merlin for his assistance (''[[The Hunter's Heart]]'').
 
   
===Morgana Captures Camelot===
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Soon after they returned to the castle, Elyan made another attempt on Arthur's life. Merlin intervened and convinced the king to spare Elyan's life, allowing him to escape. He later accompanied Arthur to the Druid Shrine and was present when he confronted the spirit possessing Elyan. Much to his surprise, Arthur revealed that it was he, not Uther, who had led the raid on the Druid camp. He begged forgiveness from the spirit, who accepted his promise that the Druid people would be treated with respect and released Elyan from his control (''[[A Herald of the New Age]]'').
{{Quote|All I know is that for your many faults you are honest and brave and true hearted and one day you will be the greatest King this land has ever known|Merlin to Arthur}}
 
   
During the feast of Beltain, [[Agravaine]] assists [[Morgana]] in her attack on Camelot. This unpredicted attack forces Merlin and Arthur to flee. Merlin, realizing Arthur will not leave his people, casts an enchantment on the King in order to change his wit. Merlin, [[Arthur]], [[Elyan]] and [[Percival]] flee, leaving [[Gaius]] and others behind. On the way Percival goes missing and Elyan is captured. Merlin and the confused Arthur continue on their journey until they reach a small hut (seen in [[The Darkest Hour]] Part 2 and [[The Wicked Day]]). Here, Merlin advises Arthur to disguise himself and the witless Arthur does as he is told. Later, the pair is found by the leaders of a gang of Smugglers - [[Tristan]] and [[Isolde]]. Tristan and Isolde allow Merlin and Arthur to travel with them in exchange for gold. However, they do not know Arthur was the King of Camelot.
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=== The Hunter's Heart ===
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{{Quote|It is Arthur's fate to marry Gwen. But am I supposed to do anything about it?|Merlin to [[Gaius]]|The Hunter's Heart}}
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[[File:493-Evangeline.jpg|thumb|left|220px|Merlin uses [[magic]] to [[Healing spells|heal]] [[Gwen|Gwen's]] arrow wound.]]
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When [[Arthur]] announced his intentions to marry [[Mithian|Princess Mithian]] of [[Nemeth]], Merlin objected to his plan and tried to talk him out if it by bringing up his feelings for [[Gwen]]. Arthur replied that she chose to betray him and now must live with the consequences, and when Merlin insisted that he still loved her he became angry and threatened him with exile if he ever said anything like that again.
   
[[File:Merlin_kills_Agravaine.png|thumb|200px|Merlin kills Agravaine]]A day later Arthur regains his wit and the camp is attacked by Agravaine and his men. As they flee, Tristan and Isolde discovered who Arthur truly is. With Isolde injured Merlin, Arthur, and Tristan take her to [[Ealdor]] where Merlin is reunited with his mother Hunith. [[Guinevere]] is also reunited with Arthur as she was living in Ealdor. Agravaine's army soon reaches Ealdor and Merlin, Arthur, Tristan, Isolde, and Guinevere quickly leave Ealdor. As the group flees into the caves, Merlin calles Kilgarrah to come and help. However, Agravaine and a small number of men make it into the caves. This forces Merlin, despite Arthur's protests, to go back and stop Agravaine from catching up with them. He faces him, where Agravaine threatens him to reveal where Arthur is. When Merlin refuses, he reveals his magic to Agravaine before killing him. He goes back to a relieved Arthur, leaving the caves and into the forest. While taking cover, it becomes apparent that Arthur has lost hope in himself, telling Merlin he thinks of himself as a bad king and has lost the support of his people. Desperate to find a way to convince him otherwise, Merlin goes to the [[Kilgharrah|Great Dragon]] for help. Following the advice of Kilgharrah, Merlin goes out in search for the survivors of Camelot in the forests and gathers them to watch Arthur pull [[Excalibur (sword)|Excalibur]] out of the stone. He casts a spell on Morgana while disguised as "Dragoon the Great" that will temporarily block her powers.
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Certain that Arthur was [[Destiny|destined]] to marry Gwen but unsure what to do about it, Merlin treated Mithian coldly at first and repeatedly used his [[magic]] to sabotage her dates with Arthur. However, though she was aware that Merlin didn't like her, Mithian quietly accepted that he had his own reasons for his behavior and continued to treat him kindly. She eventually confronted him in private and asked that he give her a chance, as she truly liked Arthur and knew that he valued Merlin's opinion above almost all others.
   
[[File:Merlin655.jpg|thumb|200px|left|Merlin at Gwen's coronation]]
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Merlin later accompanied Arthur and Mithian on a hunting trip and discovered that Gwen had been [[Glamour|transformed]] into a deer. He tried to help her, but Mithian's arrow struck her in the leg and she fled. Merlin returned to the forest that night to search for Gwen and found her unconscious, but back in her human form. He [[Healing spells|healed]] her with his magic and watched over her until she woke the following morning.
The following morning, he tells Arthur a story about Excalibur, that a great king once put it there, casting a spell that will only allow the true king of Camelot to pull the sword out of the stone. Arthur grasps the sword as his people look on, and pulls it out with the help of Merlin's magic. His faith is restored and so they go on to lead a great army against Morgana to reclaim Camelot. He, Arthur, Isolde, Guinevere, and Tristan make it to the throne room where Morgana lies in wait with [[Helios]]. Morgana flees when she realises she can't use magic, chased by Merlin and Guinevere. Merlin uses magic to save the life of Guinevere but Morgana has disappeared by the time he comes to look for her. Merlin returns to the throne room, witnessing the death of Isolde. In the end, he is on the front row standing by Gaius as he is present to proudly witness the crowning of Guinevere as the [[Queen of Camelot]] (''[[The Sword in the Stone]]'').
 
   
===Witnessing Arthur's Death===
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Gwen quickly informed Merlin that [[Agravaine]] had given [[Morgana]] and her ally [[Helios]] plans to the siege tunnels beneath the citadel and they were using them to plot an attack on [[Camelot]]. She refused to return to the castle with him, claiming that she deserved her banishment, so Merlin relayed her report to Arthur by himself and successfully convinced him to investigate. Unfortunately, Agravaine had already returned the plans to the vault. Angered by his repeated accusations against his uncle, Arthur once again threatened Merlin with exile if he said anything more.
[[File:Ab6.jpg|thumb|200px|Merlin saves Arthur with magic.]]
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Three years later after Guinevere's crowning, although Merlin enjoys a time of prosperity and peace, he still sees the signs of an ominous future. Gwaine, Percival and a big number of Arthur's soldiers have gone missing, and Merlin learns that Morgana has to do something with it. While searching for them, Merlin finds a dying druid seer named [[Lochru]], who tells him that he would do well to fear Arthur's Bane, and then shows Merlin a battle between Arthur and Mordred, where Arthur meets his demise. After this, Merlin warns Arthur repeatedly not to go to Ishmair, but Arthur says he cannot abandon his men. After the group of knights is assaulted by [[Ruadan]], Morgana and their men, Merlin uses magic and saves Arthur, along with himself. Being hungry, however, he lures Arthur and himself in a trap, and soon they are discovered by Morgana's men, and about to be killed, but a [[Mordred|familiar figure]] emerges and spares their lives.
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Later that evening, Arthur revealed that he still loved Gwen despite her betrayal and asked Merlin what he should do about it. Merlin replied that no one would do more for Camelot or him than Gwen and advised Arthur to do what his heart told him, which prompted him to break off his engagement to Mithian. She was disappointed but respected his decision, and after Arthur offered to cede the disputed lands of [[Gedref]] to her kingdom as recompense, they parted as friends (''[[The Hunter's Heart]]'').
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===Morgana's Second Conquest of Camelot===
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{{Quote|The fate of Camelot rests in your hands, young warlock, for you and you alone can restore the king's faith.|[[Kilgharrah]] to Merlin|The Sword in the Stone}}
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[[File:413_2.jpg|thumb|220px|Merlin instructs [[Arthur]] to pull [[Excalibur|the sword]] from the stone.]]
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Merlin was serving [[Arthur]] at the Feast of Beltain when [[Agravaine]] helped [[Morgana]] and [[Helios]] launch their attack on [[Camelot]], forcing its citizens to flee. Knowing that Arthur would never willingly abandon his people, Merlin placed an [[Enchantments|enchantment]] on his mind that confused him and made him easier to control. They then escaped into the forest with [[Percival]] and [[Elyan]], leaving [[Gwaine]] and [[Gaius]] behind to hold up their pursuers.
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They decided to seek sanctuary across the border in Merlin's home village of [[Ealdor]], but unfortunately Morgana and her soldiers pursued them into the woods. Percival went missing after she attacked them with her [[magic]] and Elyan was captured ensuring that Merlin and Arthur escaped. They eventually reached a place of safety and Merlin instructed Arthur (who was still enchanted) to disguise himself as a peasant so he'd look less conspicuous to anyone they encountered while traveling.
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They later ran into a gang of smugglers led by [[Tristan]] and [[Isolde]], who agreed to let Merlin and Arthur travel with them in exchange for gold. Unfortunately, the smugglers discovered Arthur's true identity the next morning when their camp was attacked by Agravaine and his men. Angered by the loss of his cargo and the revelation that he'd been harboring the King of Camelot, Tristian initially wanted nothing more to do with them, but agreed to accompany them to Ealdor after Isolde was injured so that she could receive proper care.
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[[File:Merlin kills Agravaine.png|thumb|220px|left|Merlin uses his [[magic]] to kill [[Agravaine]].]]
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Upon arriving at the village, Merlin was reunited with his mother [[Hunith]] and Arthur discovered that [[Gwen]] had been living there since her banishment. Gwen later decided to join their group after Agravaine and his men attacked Ealdor, forcing her, Merlin, Arthur, Tristan, and Isolde to flee to some nearby caves.
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Though Merlin called the [[Great Dragon]] to attack their pursuers, Agravaine and a small party of [[Southrons]] managed to follow them into the caves. Ignoring Arthur's protests, Merlin doubled back and attempted to lead their enemies away from the group but was soon cornered by Agravaine, who demanded that he tell him where Arthur was. Merlin refused, and was ultimately forced to kill him and his men with his magic when they tried to attack him. He then returned to Arthur and the others and led them out of the caves.
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They took cover in the [[Forest of Ascetir]], where Arthur later confided in Merlin that he felt he'd failed his people and no longer deserved to be king. Determined to convince him otherwise, Merlin went to the Great Dragon for advice and was told that he would have to restore Arthur's faith in himself. He accomplished this by searching the forest for survivors of Morgana's attack and gathering them together to watch Arthur pull the sword [[Excalibur]] from the stone [[The Coming of Arthur|he'd hidden it in]].
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[[File:Merlin_arthur_guinevere_tristan_isolde.jpg|thumb|220px|right|Merlin, [[Arthur]], and their allies arrive at the throne room.]]
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With Arthur's faith restored, he, Merlin, and the surviving Knights of Camelot began planning to retake the kingdom from Morgana. Knowing that her magic would put their side at a disadvantage, Merlin snuck into the castle disguised as [[Dragoon the Great]] and cast a [[spell]] that would temporarily block Morgana's powers, then returned to the camp before anyone had noticed his absence.
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The next morning, Arthur and his allies put their plan into action. The knights fought off the Southrons and freed their prisoners while Merlin, Arthur, Gwen, Tristan, and Isolde battled their way to the throne room. They found Morgana and Helios waiting for them, but the witch quickly fled when she realized that she couldn't use her magic. Gwen pursued her and Merlin followed, arriving just in time to stop Morgana from killing her. Unfortunately, the witch vanished before they could apprehend her, and Gwen and Merlin returned to the throne room to find that Isolde had been killed fighting Helios. Later, after the kingdom had recovered, Merlin was among those present who witnessed Guinevere crowned [[Queen of Camelot]] (''[[The Sword in the Stone]]'').
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=== Arthur's Bane ===
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{{Quote|The prophets speak of Arthur's bane. You would do well to fear it, for it stalks him like a ghost in the night. Unless you act quickly, Emrys, even you cannot alter the never-ending circle of his fate.|[[Lochru]] to Merlin|Arthur's Bane}}
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[[File:Ab6.jpg|thumb|220px|left|Merlin saves [[Arthur]] with his [[magic]].]]
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Three years after [[Guinevere|Guinevere's]] coronation, a patrol of sixty knights led by [[Gwaine]] and [[Percival]] disappeared while traveling through [[Ismere]]. After a search party failed to turn any leads besides a rumor that [[Morgana]] was occupying the [[Fortress of Ismere]], [[Arthur]] began to suspect that she was holding the knights hostage and decided to lead a rescue party to investigate.
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They decided to catch Morgana by surprise by entering Ismere from the west, through their ally [[Annis|Queen Annis's]] lands. On the way there, the rescue party discovered the remains of a village, the inhabitants of which had been slaughtered. While searching for survivors, Merlin found a [[Druid]] [[Seer]] named [[Lochru]] who used his final moments to show him a vision of the king dying in battle. Merlin was deeply disturbed by this encounter and repeatedly tried to talk Arthur out of going to Ismere, but the king was determined not to abandon his men.
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Soon after crossing the border into Ismere, the rescue party was ambushed by a group of [[Saxons]] led by Morgana and her ally [[Ruadan]]. Arthur was knocked unconscious during the fight and Merlin dragged him from the battlefield and used his [[magic]] to keep them both safe. Unfortunately, Merlin's precautions caused them to become separated from the rest of the rescue party and they were forced to continue the journey on their own.
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Their situation became even worse after Merlin's hunger led them into a trap and caused them to be captured by slavers. [[Ragnor]], the leader of the bandits, recognized Arthur and wanted to kill him to collect a bounty, but was persuaded not to by one of his men, who pointed out that Morgana would want to decide their fate herself. Much to Arthur's surprise (and Merlin's dismay), that man was revealed to be [[Mordred]], the young Druid boy they'd [[The Beginning of the End|helped escape from Camelot]] several years earlier.
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[[File:Ab2-4.jpg|thumb|220px|right|[[Mordred]] tries to convince Merlin of his friendship.]]
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Because he believed that he owed Arthur a debt, Mordred tried to treat him and Merlin with kindness. He gave them food, promised Merlin that he wouldn't reveal his secret, and explained that Morgana was searching for the [[Diamair]], the key to all knowledge. However, Merlin continued to view him with suspicion. He knew that Mordred was [[Destiny|destined]] to kill Arthur and refused to believe that he meant them no harm.
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When they neared the Fortress of Ismere, Merlin and Arthur managed to escape their captors after stealing a dagger and several other weapons. They evaded their pursuers by jumping across a gap in the ice, after which Merlin used an axe to break the ice and widen the gap while Arthur picked off the bandits with a crossbow. He chose to spare Mordred, however, which angered Merlin, who insisted that he should have killed him when he had the chance.
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Upon arriving at the Fortress, they used a garbage shaft to sneak inside, then disguised themselves as Saxons to search for the missing Knights. They found them in the dungeons, where Morgana was forcing them to work as miners. Arthur gave Percival a sword and instructed him to free the others, then he and Merlin ventured deeper into the caves to search for Gwaine, who Percival said had been missing for several days. They found him safe in the company of the [[Euchdag]], but unfortunately their reunion was cut short by the arrival of a dragon that chased them deeper into the caves.
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[[File:Ab2-7.jpg|thumb|220px|left|[[Aithusa]] tries to attack Merlin.]]
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Merlin recognized the dragon as [[Aithusa]] and told Arthur to get Gwaine to safety while he lured it away from them. Horrified by its crippled state, he [[Dragonlords magic|commanded]] Aithusa to tell him what had happened to it, but soon realized that the young dragon was unable to speak.
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When he heard Arthur calling for him, Merlin commanded Aithusa to leave him before they were discovered, then doubled back to search for the king. He found him cornered by Mordred and Morgana, the latter of whom quickly incapacitated Merlin by using her magic to slam him against a wall. Unable to focus because of his injuries, Merlin could only watch as Morgana prepared to kill Arthur. Much to everyone's surprise, however, Mordred stabbed her in the back before she could do so. He then escorted the injured king to safety, leaving both Merlin and Morgana behind.
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Merlin passed out after they left and woke sometime later to find that Morgana was gone and that his injuries had been healed by the Euchdag. She assured him that Morgana had not found the Diamair and that she never wound, which led Merlin to realize that the Euchdag was the key to all knowledge that Morgana had been searching for. Before she left, he asked her who Arthur's bane was if it wasn't Mordred and was surprised to learn that it was Arthur himself.
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Later, back in [[Camelot]], Merlin was present when Arthur knighted Mordred. He confronted Mordred afterward and asked him why he'd chosen to save Arthur, to which he replied that Arthur had been right about the love that bound them being stronger than the power they wield, and that Morgana had forgotten that. Despite his answer, however, Merlin remained distrustful of him and later told [[Gaius]] that he felt that [[Albion|Albion's]] great trial had begun (''[[Arthur's Bane]]'').
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=== The Return of Uther ===
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{{Quote|We must force Uther's spirit to return to the other world before he does any more harm.|[[Gaius]] to Merlin and [[Arthur]]|The Death Song of Uther Pendragon}}
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[[File:Merlin1282.png|thumb|220px|right|[[Gaius]] gives Merlin and [[Arthur]] a [[potion]] that allows them to see [[Uther|Uther's]] [[spirit]].]]
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While out hunting, Merlin and [[Arthur]] came across a village where an [[Valdis|old woman]] was about to be executed for sorcery. After determining that she hadn't received a fair trial, Arthur ordered that she be released and he and Merlin took her away from the village.
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They made camp in the forest and Merlin tried to treat her injuries, but it soon became clear that she wouldn't last the night. Before she died, the woman thanked Arthur for his kindness and gave him the [[The Horn of Cathbhadh|Horn of Cathbhadh]], a [[magic|magical]] artifact with the power to summon the [[Spirit|spirits]] of the dead.
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The next day, the court of [[Camelot]] celebrated the anniversary of Arthur's coronation, which was also the anniversary of [[Uther|Uther's]] death. Depressed, Arthur decided to go with Merlin to the [[Great Stones of Nemeton]], where he used the Horn to contact his father in the [[spirit world]]. Unfortunately, their reunion was not the happy occasion he expected. Arthur later confided in Merlin that his father was unhappy with the way he was running the kingdom and the warlock assured him that he'd always done what he believed to be right and that his people respected him.
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Shortly after Merlin and Arthur returned to Camelot, strange things began happening around the castle. A meeting of the [[Royal Round Table|Round Table]] was interrupted by a falling candelabra and doors opening and closing by themselves, and [[Percival]] was later injured by a falling axe in the armoury. Troubled by these occurrences, Merlin told [[Gaius]] what Arthur had done and the physician concluded that he had accidentally released Uther's spirit into the living world. Merlin went to Arthur and told him about their theory, but the king refused to believe that his father would do such things. He soon changed his mind, however, after [[Gwen]] was nearly killed, and decided to help Merlin send Uther back to the spirit world.
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They took a [[potion]] from Gaius that would allow them to see Uther's spiritual form and began searching the castle for him, eventually locating Uther in the throne room. After Arthur was knocked unconscious, Merlin confronted the ghostly king himself and wound up revealing his magic. Enraged, Uther attacked Merlin and eventually cornered him in the armoury. Fortunately, Arthur arrived and used the Horn of Cathbhadh to send his father back to the spirit world before he could kill Merlin or reveal his secret (''[[The Tears of Uther Pendragon]]'').
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=== Rescuing King Rodor ===
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{{Quote|Odin is a plague on this land. I can't just stand by and let him murder Mithian's father as he murdered my own.|[[Arthur]] to Merlin|Another's Sorrow}}
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[[File:Merlin_and_gwaine.JPG|thumb|220px|left|[[Gwaine]] and Merlin spy on [[Odin]] and his men.]]
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When [[Morgana]] formed an alliance with [[King Odin]] to conquer the kingdom of [[Nemeth]], [[Princess|Princess Mithian]] and her handmaiden Hilda escaped to the safety of [[Camelot]]. After she recovered from her ordeal, Mithian told Arthur what had happened and explained that her father, [[King Rodor]], had escaped with her, but had been badly injured and was now in danger of being captured. Remembering how Odin had [[The Wicked Day|caused the death]] of his own [[Uther|father]], Arthur agreed to help and quickly organized a rescue party.
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Though Merlin also wanted to help Mithian, he couldn't help but notice that she wasn't acting like herself and that there were some discrepancies in her story. Concerned, he tried to advise Arthur to postpone their mission for a few days until they had more facts, but the king was convinced that any delay would result in Rodor's death. As such, the rescue party (Merlin included) set out the following morning. They planned to spend the night in the Forest of Gedref and then proceed on to the tomb of King Leath, where Mithian said that her father was hiding.
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As they prepared to cross the border into Nemeth, Mithian attempted to warn Merlin that Hilda was actually Morgana [[Glamour|in disguise]]. Unfortunately, the witch figured out what she was trying to do and nearly killed Merlin to stop him from telling Arthur. With Merlin unconscious and unable to go on, Arthur ordered [[Gaius]] and [[Gwaine]] to stay with him while he and the others rescued King Rodor. Later, after they'd gone, Gaius sent Gwaine to collect firewood, then used [[magic]] to heal Merlin's injuries. By the time Gwaine got back, Merlin had recovered enough to insist that they go after Arthur, who he was certain was walking into a trap.
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When they arrived ate the tomb, they found that the rescue party had already been captured. Leaving Gwaine outside to free the Knights, Merlin entered the tomb in search of Arthur. He discovered that Morgana and Odin were preparing to execute Arthur and quickly interfered with his magic, knocking Morgana unconscious and allowing the others to escape. Merlin was later present when Arthur defeated Odin in a duel, after which he encouraged Arthur to spare Odin's life and put an end to their feud (''[[Another's Sorrow]]'').
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===The Choice ===
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{{Quote|So what should we do? Accept magic? Or let Mordred die?"<br>"There can be no place for magic in Camelot.|[[Arthur]] and Merlin|The Disir}}
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[[File:The_disir2.jpg|thumb|220px|right|Merlin, [[Arthur]], and the [[Knights of the Round Table|Knights]] meet with the [[The Disir (Court)|Disir]].]]
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After [[Arthur|Arthur's]] friend [[Sir Ranulf]] was killed by the [[sorcerer]] [[Osgar]], he, Merlin, [[Mordred]], and the [[Knights of the Round Table|Knights]] set out to apprehend him. They tracked Osgar to the Forest of Brechfa, where he was mortally wounded after attacking [[Gwaine]] and [[Elyan]]. As he lay dying, the sorcerer used his final moments to inform Arthur that the [[The Disir (Court)|Disir]] had passed judgement upon him for rejecting the [[Old Religion]] and told him to redeem himself before it was too late.
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Merlin later accompanied Arthur, Mordred, and a handful of knights when they met with the Disir. The court explained that they were messengers of the [[Triple Goddess]], who had been angered by Arthur's persecution and demanded that he reinstate the Old Religion or face her judgment. When he refused to comply, the Disir attacked the patrol and Mordred was critically wounded, forcing them to return to [[Camelot]]. Upon examining Mordred, [[Gaius]] determined that only [[magic]] could save his life and asked Merlin to heal him. The warlock refused, however, as he didn't want to be responsible for saving the man who was [[Destiny|destined]] to kill Arthur.
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Unable to change Merlin's mind, Gaius informed Arthur that nothing more could be done. The king refused to lose hope, however, and insisted that he and Merlin return to the Disir and ask that they spare Mordred. The Disir responded to his plea with an ultimatum: embrace the Old Religion, or Camelot's destruction would be assured. They gave Arthur until dawn to decide.
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Torn between his distrust of sorcery and his desire to save Mordred, Arthur asked Merlin for advice and the warlock, not wanting Mordred to live for Arthur's sake, reluctantly replied that there could be no place for magic in Camelot. The Disir were disappointed with Arthur's choice and he and Merlin returned to Camelot expecting to find Mordred dead. Much to their surprise, however, the knight had miraculously recovered, and a horrified Merlin realized that his survival was their punishment; Mordred was free to play his part in Arthur's death and there was nothing he could do to stop it (''[[The Disir]]'').
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===The Dark Tower ===
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{{Quote|It's a trap. She is luring you to your doom."<br>"And the Tower? That's where she's taken Guinevere.|Merlin and [[Arthur]] about [[Morgana]]|The Dark Tower}}
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[[File:Merlin_&_Mab.png|thumb|220px|left|Merlin speaks with [[Mab|Queen Mab]].]]
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When [[Gwen]] was kidnapped by [[Morgana]], Merlin, [[Arthur]], and the [[Knights of the Round Table]] set out to rescue her. They found her horse abandoned in the woods, as well as a trail leading east that they followed until nightfall. Frustrated by their lack of progress, Arthur initially wanted to keep searching, but Merlin persuaded him to let them set up camp before they lost the trail in the dark.
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Later that night, [[Percival]] and [[Leon]] had nightmares about a mysterious tower. Because both knights had been bitten by Morgana's [[Animal control spells|magical snakes]] during the kidnapping and the venom was still in their veins, Merlin and Arthur theorized that she had planted the dreams in their minds to lure Arthur to the [[Dark Tower]], where she was probably holding Gwen prisoner. Determined to rescue his wife, but unwilling to lead his men into what was likely a trap, Arthur decided to journey to the Tower alone, but Merlin and the Knights insisted on going with him.
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The first obstacle in their path was the Impenetrable Forest. They spent most of the day trying to hack their way through it, but eventually realized that they were going in circles and decided to set up camp for the night. Later, while Arthur and the Knights slept, Merlin sensed the presence of the [[Mab|Queen Mab]], who introduced herself as the [[spirit]] of the Forest and all other places of despair. Speaking in riddles and rhyme, she told Merlin how to escape the Forest and warned him that one of his group would not return, but vanished before he could ask which one.
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The next day, Merlin decided to take Mab's advice and convinced Arthur and the Knights that he could lead them to the Dark Tower. Using his [[magic]] to visualize the path ahead, he successfully led the group out of the Forest to a barren plain. They spent the rest of the day crossing the flatland, dealing with both a blistering sun and blistering feet along the way, and arrived at the Tower later that evening.
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Upon entering the Tower, they followed a staircase to a room filled with booby traps. The flagstones on the floor reacted to pressure and set off arrows, wounding Percival's leg and nearly hitting Arthur in the head. Using his sword to test the stones before stepping on them, [[Elyan]] made his way across the room and Merlin and the others quickly followed. Elyan refused to wait for them, however, and rushed ahead to rescue his sister.
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Elyan rescued Gwen before Merlin and the others caught up to him, but was killed by Morgana's [[Enchantments|enchanted]] sword in the process. His funeral was later held at the [[Lake of Avalon]], where Merlin told [[Gaius]] that he'd been warned one would not return. Sensing Merlin's guilt, Gaius tried to comfort him by pointing out that the blade that killed Elyan had likely been meant for Arthur, and now both he and Gwen were safe (''[[The Dark Tower]]'').
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===Gwen's Betrayal  ===
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{{Quote|Whatever Morgana did in the Dark Tower, she's taken control over Gwen and used her to get to Arthur.|[[Gaius]] to Merlin|A Lesson in Vengeance}}
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[[File:Merlin_healing_arthur.JPG|thumb|220px|right|Merlin uses his [[magic]] to [[Healing spells|heal]] [[Arthur]].]]
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While out riding with [[Guinevere]] on their anniversary, [[Arthur]] was ambushed by bandits in an assassination attempt. He escaped with minor injuries and immediately began an investigation. It was soon discovered that his saddle girth had been tampered with by his stable hand, [[Tyr Seward]], who was subsequently arrested and sentenced to death.
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Though all evidence pointed to Tyr, Merlin wasn't convinced of his guilt and began to suspect that someone else was involved. He later went to visit Tyr in the dungeons and the stable hand confessed that he hadn't tampered with the king's saddle, but had seen the person who had. He refused to say who that person was, however, because they'd threatened the life of his mother. Merlin told Arthur what he'd learned and he decided to speak with Tyr, but Guinevere persuaded him to wait until morning and Tyr was later found murdered in his cell.
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Later that day, [[Gwaine]] was injured when his patrol was attacked near the castle. Merlin and [[Gaius]] decided to investigate and found a scrap of Gwen's dress at the scene, which led them to suspect that [[Morgana]] had [[Enchantments|enchanted]] her to kill Arthur during her stay at the [[Dark Tower]]. Their hunch was later proven correct when Gwen poisoned Arthur and framed Merlin, who was immediately arrested and imprisoned for the crime.
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Fortunately, Gaius smuggled a [[potion]] to Merlin that allowed him to escape from the dungeons disguised as [[Dragoon the Great]]. He snuck into Arthur's chambers and used his [[magic]] to [[Healing spells|heal]] him, then returned to his cell before anyone noticed he was gone. Arthur made a full recovery and ordered Merlin's release as soon as he learned of his arrest. Before Merlin could tell him about Gwen, however, he discovered that she'd already covered her tracks by pretending to find the poison she'd used on Arthur and tracing it to an apothecary named [[Sindri]], who confessed that he'd sold it to Morgana (''[[A Lesson in Vengeance]]'').
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===Led Into a Trap===
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{{Quote|Merlin has meddled in my plans once too often.|[[Morgana]] to [[Daegal]]|The Hollow Queen}}
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[[File:Vlcsnap-2012-11-25-01h39m57s46.png|thumb|220px|left|[[Morgana]] poisons Merlin.]]
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The night before [[Sarrum]] of [[Amata]] was due to arrive in [[Camelot]], a [[Druid]] boy named [[Daegal]] went to Merlin and begged him to treat his deathly ill sister. Though initially hesitant, Merlin agreed to help and accompanied the boy to the [[Valley of the Fallen Kings]]. He tried to look after Daegal as they traveled, sharing his breakfast with him, treating his injured arm, and asking after his family, which was how he learned that Daegal was an orphan and that his mother had also been a Druid.
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At one point in their journey they stumbled across a group of bandits. Merlin tried to warn Daegal with [[telepathy]], but the boy failed to hear him and he was forced to drag him to safety. When they later arrived in the Valley to find no one there, Merlin confronted Daegal about the incident and learned that he'd lied about being a Druid. Before Daegal could explain why he'd led him there, however, [[Morgana]] appeared and knocked Merlin unconscious with her [[magic]]. She threw Daegal a bag of coins as payment for leading Merlin into her trap, then poured a bottle of poison down the warlock's throat and kicked his body down the hill.
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Merlin regained consciousness sometime later when the poison had begun taking effect. He started to foam at the mouth and developed sores that bled black blood. He also discovered that his leg had been injured in the fall from the ledge. He tried to use magic to [[Healing spells|heal himself]], but his attempt failed and he lost consciousness. He woke sometime later when Daegal returned and told him that he couldn't leave him to die. Deciding to trust him, Merlin explained to Daegal how to concoct the antidote he needed, then drank the tincture when he finished preparing it.
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The antidote caused Merlin to convulse and lose consciousness, but when he finally woke he appeared to be cured of the poison. Daegal explained that [[Gwen]] and Morgana were planning to kill [[Arthur]] and they rushed back to Camelot to warn him. They ran into bandits along the way and Daegal tried to use Morgana's money to get them to leave them alone, but the bandits weren't interested and Merlin was forced to scare them away with his magic.
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[[File:Tumblr_me0lh0coYu1rcta4so6_r1_1280-0.png|thumb|220px|right|Merlin comforts [[Daegal]] as he dies.]]
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When they finally reached the castle, Merlin and Daegal began searching for Arthur and Merlin noticed an opened door that was ordinarily kept locked. They climbed a staircase to a balcony overlooking the council chambers (where Arthur was signing a peace treaty with Sarrum of Amata) and discovered an [[Albin|assassin]] aiming a crossbow at Arthur.
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The assassin immediately turned his weapon on them and fired, then threw daggers at them when Merlin deflected the arrows with his magic. As they dove for cover, the assassin reclaimed his crossbow and took aim at Arthur again, but as he prepared to fire, Merlin used his magic to impale him with a spear that he had been using as a walking stick. The impact threw off the assassin's aim and caused him to hit Sarrum instead of Arthur, killing him instantly.
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After making sure that Arthur was still alive, Merlin turned his attention to Daegal and was horrified to discover that he'd been hit by one of the assassin's daggers. The knife was lodged in the boy's stomach and there was nothing that could be done to save him. Aware of this, Merlin gently reassured Daegal that he'd done the right thing, comforting him as he died. Merlin and [[Gaius]] later buried the boy in the forest and decided that something needed to be done about Gwen before she and Morgana made another attempt on Arthur's life (''[[The Hollow Queen]]'').
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=== Restoring Guinevere ===
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{{Quote|She's not the Gwen you love. She has fallen prey to a dark and powerful magic.|Merlin to [[Arthur]]|With All My Heart}}
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[[File:Dolma2.jpg|thumb|left|220px|Merlin disguises himself as the [[Dolma]].]]
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Determined to break [[Morgana|Morgana's]] hold over [[Gwen]], Merlin brought [[Arthur]] to the forest to witness the women conspiring against [[Camelot]]. Shocked and horrified by the betrayal, Arthur immediately moved to attack the witch, but Merlin stopped him by pointing out that Morgana was too powerful to take on alone. He explained that Guinevere had been enchanted to act against him and promised that they would find a way to bring back the woman Arthur loved.  
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Merlin goes disguised as [[Dragoon]] to see the [[Dochraid]], who recognizes him as Emrys. She tells him that he must take Gwen to the Cauldron of Arianrhod and there use all his powers to summon the [[Triple Goddess]] herself. The waters of the Cauldron held the Goddess' powers and only their touch could heal her, but Gwen would have had to enter the lake willingly; if she were tricked, forced or beguiled, she would fall into the abyss and be lost forever. 
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Merlin relays this information to [[Gaius]] who says that they must tell Arthur which they do and they conspire to drug Gwen using belladonna which Merlin and Arthur are forced to taste then while Gwen and Arthur are dining they slip the belladonna in to Gwen's drink and knock her out.
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They then leave [[Camelot]] to go to the Lake to free Gwen. However on the way they fall from a cliff and Merlin is badly injured and unconscious. Arthur tries to help but is unable to move because his arm is stuck under a rock. [[Mordred]] then appears, saves them and journeys on with them to the Lake however while they are just near the Lake they are ambushed by Morgana and [[Aithusa]] which forces them to retreat. Merlin tells Arthur to leave which he does and uses his [[Dragonlords magic|Dragonlord powers]] to cause Aithusa to flee however just as he and Mordred are leaving they are ambushed by Morgana. 
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Once the trio arrives at the lake, Merlin leaves Arthur and dresses up as a woman and uses magic to disguise himself as an old woman called [[Dolma]] and visit Arthur saying she has taken Merlin, an that he will not return him until the queen is restored to herself. After a rather humourous conversation, Gwen wakes up, and with Merlin/Dolma's help, Arthur is able to reach the part of Gwen's heart that remains pure, she walks into the lake and is healed by the White Goddess (''[[With All My Heart]]'').
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===Journey With Finna===
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{{Quote|You must not trust the druid boy!|[[Finna]] to Merlin|The Kindness of Strangers}}
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Merlin met an old woman named [[Finna]] who [[Gaius]] suspects is with [[Morgana]], but she is actually an ally of [[Alator]], who is later killed by Morgana. The two of them are pursued by Morgana and Merlin gets badly injured from an arrow in his side.
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They later escape to a tower where [[Morgana |Morgana]] finds them, and Finna says she will hold them off for Merlin. Her last words to him are a warning not to trust the druid boy, [[Mordred]]. Merlin escapes to the top of the tower where he falls from his injury. In his weak breath he calls [[Kilgharrah]] to save him but later finds that the dragon himself is dying of old age (''[[The Kindness of Strangers]]'').
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=== Mordred's Betrayal ===
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{{Quote|This time you have gone too far. You will pay Merlin.|[[Mordred]] to Merlin|The Drawing of the Dark}}
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When [[Mordred]] allows a [[Druid]] girl, [[Kara]], to escape from the knights, he helps her with her leg wound and asks Merlin to promise not to tell [[Arthur]] about her, but in the end, Merlin must do what he knows is right and he goes against his word, leading to the girl's arrest.
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Mordred, now with a strong hatred for Merlin, gets her out of prison but is caught again because of Merlin. After Kara is executed, Mordred escapes and goes to [[Morgana|Morgana's]] side and tells her the truth about Merlin - that he is Emrys, and the evil that has been foretold is starting (''[[The Drawing of the Dark]]'').
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===Losing his magic ===
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{{Quote|Arthur is nothing without Emrys and Emrys is nothing without magic.|[[Morgana]] to [[Mordred]]|The Diamond of the Day}}
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Morgana has a creature of the old religion that can take a man's magic away from them, she uses this creature on Merlin before the final battle of the Saxons against Camelot. Once the final battle for Camelot has begun, Merlin must go to the Crystal Cave to restore his magic. Merlin is accompanied by [[Gwaine]] to the cave where he see's the spirit of his father and eventually restore's his magic and heads to the plains of Camlann as [[Dragoon the Great]] (''[http://merlin.wikia.com/wiki/The_Diamond_of_the_Day The Diamond of the Day: Part One]'').
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===Revealing His Magic===
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{{Quote|I am a sorcerer. I have magic.|Merlin to [[Arthur]]|The Diamond of the Day}}
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[[File:Merlin513-000788.jpg|thumb|Merlin reveals his magic to Arthur.]]
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I<span style="line-height:1.3em;">n the final battle for Camelot, Merlin appears as Dragoon the Great and protects Arthur and the knights of Camelot. Using his power as a Dragonlord, he sends Aithusa away from the field and transports the mortally wounded Arthur to safety. When Arthur awakes in the forest, Merlin reveals his magic to the king. At first, Arthur does not believe him but when Merlin proves it to be so Arthur feels betrayed. As the two travel to the lake of Avalon Arthur comes to realize that Merlin uses his magic for good. When they are very near the lake, Morgana attacks, but Merlin kills her with his sword forged by the dragon's breath. Arthur watches as Morgana falls to the ground and dies. The two are now reconciled...but they are too slow getting to the lake of Avalon and Arthur dies. Merlin calls on Kilgharrah to take him to the lake but Kilgharrah says that there is nothing Merlin can do. He states that one day when Albion is in need, Arthur will rise again. He says that its been a privilege to know the young warlock, and that the story that Merlin and Kilgharrah have lived will live long in the minds of men. Merlin sends Arthur's body away on a boat and throws Excalibur, to see it caught by the hand of his old love, [[Freya]] (''[[The Diamond of the Day|The Diamond of the Day: Part Two]]'').</span>
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===Future===
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Many centuries later, Merlin still lives in the modern world, wearing the appearance of a vagabond, very old Emrys, waiting for the day that Arthur will return.
   
 
== Personality ==
 
== Personality ==
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{{Quote|You know, Merlin? You're the one Arthur should knight. You're the bravest of us all, and he doesn't even know it.|[[Lancelot]]|The Coming of Arthur}}
 
[[File:Merlin232.jpg|thumb|200px|Merlin talks to [[Kilgharrah]]]]
 
[[File:Merlin232.jpg|thumb|200px|Merlin talks to [[Kilgharrah]]]]
{{Quote|You know, Merlin? You're the one Arthur should knight. You're the bravest of us all, and he doesn't even know it.|Lancelot}}
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Merlin is portrayed as being selfless, heroic, protective, honourable, noble, brave, modest, empathetic, kind, caring, optimistic, compassionate, intelligent, and wise. In the beginning, he is also seen to be rather naive and idealistic. He shows exceptional talent and potential in his magical abilities and his enthusiasm to further his education despite the risks carried with using magic. He can be outspoken and slightly foolish, as with his first meeting with Arthur. He does at times use his magical abilities for himself, as when he fought Arthur in the market place (''[[The Dragon's Call]]'') and to soften his workload (''[[Valiant (episode)|Valiant]]''). However, as Merlin gets older, he uses his abilities rarely for himself and mostly for the benifit of others. He also has a very good, quirky sense of humour, enduring Arthur's frequent teasing and frequently engaging in verbal sparring with him; he was capable of coming up with insults on the spot, notably calling Arthur a clotpoll on more than one occasion and when Arthur asked him to describe it, Merlin claimed that Arthur ''was ''the description of the word. Occasionally Merlin's humour is portrayed as dry or sarcastic, especially when he is in disguise as [[Dragoon the Great]]. Although Arthur constantly told Merlin that he was an idiot, Merlin was more intelligent than he appeared, as noted by Gaius. He also developed some of his mentors cunning, as shown when he frightened Morgana in order to send her to her bed in the disguise of Dragoon. This allowed him to block her magic before Arthur confronted her in Camelot.
 
Merlin is portrayed as being brave, honourable, modest, compassionate and wise. He shows exceptional talent and potential in his magical abilities and his enthusiasm to further his education despite the risks carried with using magic. He can be outspoken and slightly foolish, as with his first meeting with Arthur. He does at times use his magical abilities for himself, as when he fought Arthur in the market place (''[[The Dragon's Call]]'') and to soften his workload (''[[Valiant (episode)|Valiant]]''). However, as Merlin gets older, he uses his abilities rarely for himself and mostly for the benifit of others. He also has a good sense of humour, enduring Arthur's frequent teasing and frequently engaging in verbal sparring with him; he was capable of coming up with insults on the spot, notably calling Arthur a "clotpoll" on more than one occasion and when Arthur asked him to describe it, Merlin claimed that Arthur ''was ''the description of the word. Occasionally Merlin's humour is portrayed as dry or sarcastic, especially when he is in disguise as [[Dragoon the Great]]. Although Arthur constantly tells Merlin that he's an idiot, Merlin is more intelligent than he appears, as noted by Gaius. He also developed some of his mentors cunning, as shown when he frightened Morgana in order to send her to her bed in the disguise of Dragoon. This allowed him to block her magic before Arthur confronted her in Camelot.
 
   
Merlin used to be naïve; he appeared unaware that Gwen had romantic feelings for him (or doesn't feel the same way), telling anyone who asks that they are just friends (''[[Lancelot (episode)|Lancelot]]''). He is also very selfless; when Gwen is sentenced to death for witchcraft he confesses that it was him who cured Gwen's father with magic, despite the fact it would have cost him his life (''[[The Mark of Nimueh]]''). Also, after he had been poisoned by [[Nimueh]], he sent a [[Guiding light|light]] to guide Arthur out of the caves beyond the [[Forest of Balor]] and advised him not to take the ''[[Mortaeus flower|Mortaeus]]'' flower despite the fact that without it he would die (''[[The Poisoned Chalice]]''). He later offered to give his life in return for Arthur's on several occasions (''[[The Labyrinth of Gedref]]'', ''[[Le Morte d'Arthur]], [[The Darkest Hour]])''. This selfless nature often impairs his equally strong sense of duty; more than once he has put his life on the line to save a loved one even though his survival is imperative to the future of Albion. As manifested also by his attempt to save Gwen from execution by admitting the truth that he had been the one to use magic to heal Gwen's father, Merlin is very concerned with fairness. He does not want anyone else to suffer punishment for his own actions. Merlin becomes guilt-ridden whenever somebody takes the blame, either knowingly or ignorantly, for something Merlin, himself, did, as Gwen and Gaius both have, and becomes determined to clear the name of the innocent individual no matter what it takes to do so.
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Merlin used to be impulsive, reckless and naive: he appeared completely oblivious and unaware that Gwen had romantic feelings for him (or doesn't feel the same way), telling anyone who asks that they are just friends (''[[Lancelot (episode)|Lancelot]]''). He is also very selfless; when Gwen is sentenced to death for witchcraft he confesses that it was him who cured Gwen's father with magic, despite the fact it would have cost him his life (''[[The Mark of Nimueh]]''). Also, after he had been poisoned by [[Nimueh]], he sent a [[Guiding light|light]] to guide Arthur out of the caves beyond the [[Forest of Balor]] and advised him not to take the ''[[Mortaeus flower|Mortaeus]]'' flower despite the fact that without it he would die (''[[The Poisoned Chalice]]''). He later offered to give his life in return for Arthur's on several occasions (''[[The Labyrinth of Gedref]]'', ''[[Le Morte d'Arthur]], [[The Darkest Hour]])''. This selfless nature often impairs his equally strong sense of duty; more than once he has put his life on the line to save a loved one even though his survival is imperative to the future of Albion. As manifested also by his attempt to save Gwen from execution by admitting the truth that he had been the one to use magic to heal Gwen's father, Merlin is very concerned with fairness. He does not want anyone else to suffer punishment for his own actions. Merlin becomes guilt-ridden whenever somebody takes the blame, either knowingly or ignorantly, for something Merlin, himself, did, as Gwen and Gaius both have, and becomes determined to clear the name of the innocent individual no matter what it takes to do so.
   
Kilgharrah also noted that Merlin had a habit of attempting to see good in everyone and warned him that this could prove to be his undoing. Even after Morgana turned against Camelot, Merlin pleaded with her not to help bring down the kingdom, pointing out that there were innocent people living there. He also tried to make Morgana realize that people did care about her and that she was being selfish and evil, because she was working against the very people that cared for her.
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Kilgharrah also noted that Merlin had a habit of attempting to see good in everyone and warned him that this could prove to be his undoing. Even after Morgana turned against Camelot, Merlin pleaded with her not to help bring down the kingdom, pointing out that there were innocent people living there. He also tried to make Morgana realize that people did care about her and that she was being selfish and evil, because she was working against the very people that cared for her.
 
[[File:Series-2-publicity-image-merlin-on-bbc-7859166-2560-1706.jpg|thumb|left|200px|Merlin in [[Camelot]]]]
 
[[File:Series-2-publicity-image-merlin-on-bbc-7859166-2560-1706.jpg|thumb|left|200px|Merlin in [[Camelot]]]]
   
Merlin's time in Camelot has made him very wise and Arthur has noted his wisdom on at least two occasions. Most of the time, however, Arthur thought he was an "idiot," loyal and good-hearted, but foolish, overprotective, and sometimes weak. Merlin's wisdom was also shown when he guided a sorcerer named [[Gilli]] to prevent him from killing Uther. Merlin often called Arthur names that most servants would never call a prince such as "Dollop Head", "Clotpole", or "Prat", showing that he was unafraid of insulting people of a higher class than himself and that considered Arthur as a person and not just a [[Prince|prince]]. He has also insulted Uther, calling him a "stupid, arrogant old tyrant", though it should be noted that he was disguised as an old man at the time and was thus unrecognisable. Merlin, also, has shown a keen sense of observation, being able to recognise Gwaine even while he was in armour because of his unusual fighting style.
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Merlin's time in Camelot has made him very wise and Arthur has noted his wisdom on several occasions. Most of the time, however, Arthur states he was an "idiot," loyal and good-hearted, but foolish, overprotective, and sometimes weak. Merlin's wisdom was also shown when he guided a sorcerer named [[Gilli]] to prevent him from killing Uther. Merlin often called Arthur names that most servants would never call a prince such as "Dollop Head", "Clotpole", or "Prat", showing that he was unafraid of insulting people of a higher class than himself and that considered Arthur as a person and not just a [[prince]]. He has also insulted Uther, calling him a "stupid, arrogant old tyrant", though it should be noted that he was disguised as an old man at the time and was thus unrecognisable. Merlin, also, has shown a keen sense of observation, being able to recognise Gwaine even while he was in armour because of his unusual fighting style.
   
[[File:Merlin_(26).png|thumb|200px|Merlin's bitterness]]Nonetheless, there is also a darker side to Merlin's personality. He will go to extreme measures to protect those he cares about, even if it means killing enemies. Merlin has been forced to directly kill people an alarmingly high number of times in order to protect others, such as [http://merlin.wikia.com/wiki/Mary_Collins Mary Collins] (''[http://merlin.wikia.com/wiki/The_Dragon%27s_Call The Dragon's Call]''), [http://merlin.wikia.com/wiki/Edwin_Muirden Edwin Muirden] ([[A Remedy to Cure All Ills]]), [http://merlin.wikia.com/wiki/Sophia Sophia] and her father [http://merlin.wikia.com/wiki/Aulfric Aulfric] (''[http://merlin.wikia.com/wiki/The_Gates_of_Avalon The Gates of Avalon]''), and Tauren's henchmen (''[[To Kill the King]]''), and [http://merlin.wikia.com/wiki/Nimueh Nimueh] ([[Le Morte d'Arthur]]). He has also directly killed others while in combat, such as the [[Sidhe elder]], another [[Sidhe]], [[Grunhilda]], ([[The Changeling]]), The most notable displays of Merlin's darker side were shown when he killed Nimueh because he believed she had killed Gaius, when he poisoned his close friend Morgana because he saw no other option to save Camelot, and when he killed Agravaine after the man discovered his magic. Merlin was normally indifferent towards those he killed and he has rarely showed remorse, although poisoning Morgana was an exception because she was once his close friend. In addition to killing people, Merlin sometimes showed a cold, cruel, and sadistic demeanor towards people he disliked, such as when he used a snake to scare Morgana's horse (''[[The Castle of Fyrien]]''), and when he disabled her powers while overthrowing her (''[[The Sword in the Stone|The Sword in the Stone: Part 2]]''). However, Merlin's brutality is only ever directed at his enemies and he has never harmed anyone who wasn't a threat, occasionally trying to talk to them and convince them to change prior to turning his brutality onto them if he is unable to peacefully persuade them to abandon their dark path. This darker side of his personality is probably part of the reason that so many people fear Emrys, as Merlin is often known by other magical beings.
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[[File:Merlin (26).png|thumb|200px|Merlin's bitterness]]Nonetheless, there is also a darker side to Merlin's personality. He will go to extreme measures to protect those he cares about, even if it means killing enemies. Merlin has been forced to directly kill people an alarmingly high number of times in order to protect others, such as [http://merlin.wikia.com/wiki/Mary_Collins Mary Collins] (''[http://merlin.wikia.com/wiki/The_Dragon%27s_Call The Dragon's Call]''), [http://merlin.wikia.com/wiki/Edwin_Muirden Edwin Muirden] (''[[A Remedy to Cure All Ills]]''), [http://merlin.wikia.com/wiki/Sophia Sophia] and her father [http://merlin.wikia.com/wiki/Aulfric Aulfric] (''[http://merlin.wikia.com/wiki/The_Gates_of_Avalon The Gates of Avalon]''), and Tauren's henchmen (''[[To Kill the King]]''), and [http://merlin.wikia.com/wiki/Nimueh Nimueh] (''[[Le Morte d'Arthur]]''). He has also directly killed others while in combat, such as the [[Sidhe elder]], another [[Sidhe]], [[Grunhilda]], ([[The Changeling]]), The most notable displays of Merlin's darker side were shown when he killed Nimueh because he believed she had killed Gaius, when he poisoned his close friend Morgana because he saw no other option to save Camelot, and when he killed Agravaine after the man discovered his magic. Merlin was normally indifferent towards those he killed and he has rarely showed remorse, although poisoning Morgana was an exception because she was once his close friend. In addition to killing people, Merlin sometimes showed a cold, cruel, and sadistic demeanor towards his enemies, such as when he used a snake to scare Morgana's horse (''[[The Castle of Fyrien]]''), and when he disabled her powers while overthrowing her (''[[The Sword in the Stone|The Sword in the Stone: Part 2]]''). However, Merlin's brutality is only ever directed at his enemies and he has never harmed anyone who wasn't a threat, occasionally trying to talk to them and convince them to change prior to turning his brutality onto them if he is unable to peacefully persuade them to abandon their dark path. This darker side of his personality is probably part of the reason that so many people fear Emrys, as Merlin is often known by other magical beings.
   
==Relationships==
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Later in his life, Merlin was also shown to be a hypocrite since he automatically thought Mordred was up to no good simply because Mordred was trying to protect someone he cared about. Gaius noted that if Merlin was in Mordred's position, he would do exactly the same thing. Mordred attempted to smuggle his love interest, Kara, out of Camelot but Merlin told Arthur despite the fact that he had intended to do exactly the same thing with his own lover Freya several years earlier. (''[[The Drawing of the Dark]]'')
   
=== Arthur ===
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==Relationships==
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=== Arthur Pendragon ===
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{{Quote|You belong at Arthur's side. I've seen how much he needs you. How much you need him. You're like two sides of the same coin.|[[Hunith]] to Merlin|The Moment of Truth}}
 
[[File:Merlin206.jpg|thumb|left|200px|Merlin and [[Arthur]] laughing]]
 
[[File:Merlin206.jpg|thumb|left|200px|Merlin and [[Arthur]] laughing]]
{{Quote|You belong at Arthur's side. I've seen how much he needs you. How much you need him. You're like two sides of the same coin.|Hunith to Merlin|The Moment of Truth}}
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Merlin originally had an antagonistic relationship with [[Arthur Pendragon|Arthur]], seeing him as nothing more than an arrogant bully and even saying that he'd help anyone who wanted to kill him. However, this changed quickly once he found out they were linked by destiny. Merlin became Arthur's manservant after saving his life for the first time. They have since become as close as brothers, and they constantly insult and bicker with each other. Arthur regularly threatens Merlin when Merlin treats him with disrespect, but Merlin remains unafraid of him and takes great pleasure in making fun of Arthur. Arthur in turn often abuses Merlin for laughs, such as giving him massive loads of chores to complete and notably pouring water on him several times.<span style="line-height:1.3em;">Nevertheless, he admitted that some of his actions were "a bit unfair" when he tried to cheer Merlin up, unaware that it was the loss of </span>[[Freya]]<span style="line-height:1.3em;"> and not his pranks that was upsetting Merlin (</span>''[[The Lady of the Lake]]''<span style="line-height:1.3em;">). </span>
Merlin originally had an antagonistic relationship with [[Arthur Pendragon|Arthur]], seeing him as nothing more than an arrogant bully and even saying that he'd help anyone who wanted to kill him. However, this changed quickly once he found out they were linked by destiny. Merlin became Arthur's manservant after saving his life for the first time. They have since become as close as brothers, and they constantly insult and bicker with each other. Arthur regularly threatens Merlin when Merlin treats him with disrespect, but Merlin remains unafraid of him and takes great pleasure in making fun of Arthur. Arthur in turn often abuses Merlin for laughs, such as giving him massive loads of chores to complete and notably pouring water on him several times.
 
   
[[File:204_am.jpg|thumb|200px|Merlin and [[Arthur]] on a mission]]
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[[File:204 am.jpg|thumb|200px|Merlin and [[Arthur]] on a mission]]
   
Nevertheless, he admitted that some of his actions were "a bit unfair" when he tried to cheer Merlin up, unaware that it was the loss of [[Freya]] and not his pranks that was upsetting Merlin (''[[The Lady of the Lake]]''). There are also things that impede their relationship and make it difficult for them to be proper friends to one another. Firstly, they are separated by their differences in status. As a prince, Arthur is expected to treat those of lower class, like servants, with less respect than those of a higher class. They are not supposed to see each other as equals and so this causes problems in their friendship. There is also the issue that Merlin has hard time confiding in Arthur, as he couldn't speak of some of the biggest upheavals of his life despite Arthur's urging (leaving Ealdor, his magic, Freya's death, his father's death, Morgana's fall) due to the fact they might raise suspicions of his magic. Arthur, on the other hand, seems to trust Merlin with most of his secrets, including disguising himself to fight as another knight in a jousting tournament (''[[The Once and Future Queen]]''), his feelings for Gwen, and his many secret missions such as helping Mordred and going to see Morgause (''[[The Beginning of the End]], [[The Sins of the Father]]'').
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<span style="line-height:1.3em;">Their relationship is marked by a keen awareness of their differences in status. As a prince, Arthur is expected to treat those of lower class, like servants, with less respect than those of a higher class. Merlin and Arthur are not supposed to see each other as equals. They often forget to treat each other with inequality; shifting between these two dynamics strains their relationship.</span>
   
[[File:Merlin560.jpg|thumb|left|200px|The king and the warlock on a journey]]
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<span style="line-height:1.3em;">Beyond mere status, </span>Merlin's secrets quickly become the biggest impediments of a proper friendship between him and Arthur. Merlin has hard time confiding in Arthur, as he cannot speak of some of the biggest upheavals of his life despite Arthur's urging (leaving Ealdor, his magic, Freya's death, his father's death, Morgana's fall) due to the fact they might raise suspicions of his magic. Arthur, on the other hand, seems to trust Merlin with most of his secrets, including disguising himself to fight as another knight in a jousting tournament (''[[The Once and Future Queen]]''), his feelings for Gwen, and his many secret missions such as helping Mordred and going to see Morgause (''[[The Beginning of the End]], [[The Sins of the Father]]'').
Despite such constraints and differences, Merlin and Arthur have proven loyal to each other and to their friends. From the outset, knowing that he must protect Arthur for his "destiny," Merlin had been willing to sacrifice his life for Arthur ( ''[[The Poisoned Chalice]], [[The Labyrinth of Gedref]], [[Le Morte d'Arthur]], [[The Last Dragonlord]], [[The Darkest Hour]]''). Morgause notes this remarkable feature as she threatened him, but Merlin refused to say a word about it (''[[The Tears of Uther Pendragon]]''). Merlin had repeatedly claimed that he believed in Arthur's future to be a great king and rule Camelot with justice. For this, he is willing to disguise himself as a servant and secretly save Arthur's life for no credit. Arthur, in return, had proven that he had no second thoughts about risking himself when Merlin's life was in danger, in spite of his father's disapproval and orders (''[[The Poisoned Chalice]], [[The Moment of Truth]], [[The Labyrinth of Gedref]]''). Merlin now considers Arthur a friend regardless of position and uses this to advise him which in turn Arthur respects and is grateful for. Arthur has sought Merlin's council on a broad range of subjects, from the truth of his birth, the right thing to do politically, how to express his feelings toward women and which shirt to wear to a banquet. Several times he has expressed admiration for Merlin's wisdom, though each time in a rather indirect fashion.
 
   
Arthur also allowed Merlin to sit at the round table, showing that he respected and trusted him as much as his most trusted knights. Apart from Gwen, he was probably the only other person of his class who had a real influence on the prince. In Series 4, Merlin and Arthur became closer and Arthur admitted that Merlin was a brave man. Merlin then risked his life by sacrificing himself to protect Arthur again. Arthur planned to return Merlin to Camelot so that Gaius could cure him but Lancelot offered to take him. When Uther was mortally wounded by an assassin, Arthur planned to use magic to save him and Merlin saw this as a chance to convince Arthur to return magic back to Camelot. Merlin, however failed to save Uther and was [[File:Merlin268.png|thumb|200px|Merlin and [[Arthur]] gradually became friends]]forced to escape. Before Arthur was crowned king, he finally called Merlin his friend, showing how close he had become to Merlin despite their differences. Arthur even hugged Merlin after finding him in the forest when he was kidnapped by Morgana, which is a notable display of affection since Arthur was unwilling to hug him when Merlin helped him prove to his father that his wife was a troll ([[A Servant of Two Masters]], [[Beauty and the Beast|Beauty and the Beast - Part Two]]). Later, when Camelot was recaptured by Morgana and Helios, Arthur lost his faith and believed himself unworthy of the role as King. Merlin helped restore his faith by convincing Arthur to draw Excalibur out of the rock Merlin had forced it into. Merlin and Arthur soon overthrew Morgana.
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[[File:Merlin560.jpg|thumb|left|200px|The king and The warlock on a journey]]
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Despite such constraints and differences, Merlin and Arthur have proven loyal to each other and to their friends. From the outset, knowing that he must protect Arthur for his "destiny," Merlin had been willing to sacrifice his life for Arthur ( ''[[The Poisoned Chalice]], [[The Labyrinth of Gedref]], [[Le Morte d'Arthur]], [[The Last Dragonlord]], [[The Darkest Hour]]''). Morgause notes this remarkable feature as she threatened him, but Merlin refused to say a word about it (''[[The Tears of Uther Pendragon]]''). Merlin had repeatedly claimed that he believed in Arthur's future to be a great king and rule Camelot with justice. For this, he is willing to disguise himself as a servant and secretly save Arthur's life for no credit. Arthur, in return, had proven that he had no second thoughts about risking himself when Merlin's life was in danger, in spite of his father's disapproval and orders (''[[The Poisoned Chalice]], [[The Moment of Truth]], [[The Labyrinth of Gedref]]''). Also, when Merlin was dying after getting attacked by the Dorocha, Arthur was noticeably distressed. (''[[The Darkest Hour]]''). Merlin came to consider Arthur a friend regardless of position and uses this to advise him, which in turn Arthur respects and is grateful for. Arthur has sought Merlin's council on a broad range of subjects, from the truth of his birth, the right thing to do politically, how to express his feelings toward women and which shirt to wear to a banquet. Several times he has expressed admiration for Merlin's wisdom, though each time in a rather indirect fashion.
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Arthur also allowed Merlin to sit at the Round Table, showing that he respected and trusted him as much as his most trusted knights. Apart from Gwen, he was probably the only other person of his class who had a real influence on the prince. In Series 4, Merlin and Arthur became closer and Arthur admitted that Merlin was a brave man. Merlin then risked his life by sacrificing himself to protect Arthur again. Arthur planned to return Merlin to Camelot so that Gaius could cure him but Lancelot offered to take him. When Uther was mortally wounded by an assassin, Arthur planned to use magic to save him and Merlin saw this as a chance to convince Arthur to return magic back to Camelot. Merlin, however failed to save Uther and was [[File:Merlin1436.png|thumb|200px|Merlin and [[Arthur]] gradually became friends]]forced to escape. Before Arthur was crowned king, he finally called Merlin his friend, showing how close he had become to Merlin despite their differences. Arthur even hugged Merlin after finding him in the forest when he was kidnapped by Morgana, which is a notable display of affection since Arthur was unwilling to hug him when Merlin helped him prove to his father that his wife was a troll (''[[A Servant of Two Masters]], [[Beauty and the Beast|Beauty and the Beast - Part Two]]''). Later, when Camelot was recaptured by Morgana and Helios, Arthur lost his faith and believed himself unworthy of the role as King. Merlin helped restore his faith by convincing Arthur to draw Excalibur out of the rock Merlin had forced it into. Together, Merlin and Arthur soon overthrew Morgana.
   
 
=== Gaius ===
 
=== Gaius ===
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{{Quote|You are more than a father to me.|Merlin, to [[Gaius]]|A Remedy to Cure All Ills}}
 
[[File:Merlin347.png|thumb|200px|left|Merlin and his mentor, [[Gaius]]]]
 
[[File:Merlin347.png|thumb|200px|left|Merlin and his mentor, [[Gaius]]]]
{{Quote|You are more than a father to me.|Merlin, to [[Gaius]]}}
 
 
Merlin is very close to [[Gaius]] and considers him as the father he never really knew. His mother sent him to live with Gaius in the hopes that he could help him with his powers. Although magic has been banned and Gaius respects the law, he gave Merlin a spell book to study from in order to increase his magical skills. Gaius loves Merlin like a son and is willing to sacrifice his life for him which has been shown at least twice. One time was when he travelled to the Isle of the Blessed to save Merlin's mother Hunith at the cost of his own life (though he was saved when Merlin managed to kill the powerful sorceress Nimueh) and another time when he took blame for sorcery to protect Merlin and was almost burned at the stake as a result. When Gaius was possessed by a Goblin, Merlin and Gwen poisoned him to get the Goblin out of his body but managed to give him an antidote before he died. While waiting for Gaius to recover Merlin called him a "stubborn old goat". Unlike Morgana, Gaius felt no resentment towards Merlin for poisoning him and their relationship remained as close as ever (''[[Goblin's Gold]]''). However, Gaius and Merlin did have a falling out when Gaius' old fiancée Alice returned to Camelot. Gaius didn't believe that she was slave to a manticore and thought that Merlin simply didn't want to see him happy, but after he was proved right, Gaius apologised and they were back to normal again (''[[Love in the Time of Dragons]]'').
 
Merlin is very close to [[Gaius]] and considers him as the father he never really knew. His mother sent him to live with Gaius in the hopes that he could help him with his powers. Although magic has been banned and Gaius respects the law, he gave Merlin a spell book to study from in order to increase his magical skills. Gaius loves Merlin like a son and is willing to sacrifice his life for him which has been shown at least twice. One time was when he travelled to the Isle of the Blessed to save Merlin's mother Hunith at the cost of his own life (though he was saved when Merlin managed to kill the powerful sorceress Nimueh) and another time when he took blame for sorcery to protect Merlin and was almost burned at the stake as a result. When Gaius was possessed by a Goblin, Merlin and Gwen poisoned him to get the Goblin out of his body but managed to give him an antidote before he died. While waiting for Gaius to recover Merlin called him a "stubborn old goat". Unlike Morgana, Gaius felt no resentment towards Merlin for poisoning him and their relationship remained as close as ever (''[[Goblin's Gold]]''). However, Gaius and Merlin did have a falling out when Gaius' old fiancée Alice returned to Camelot. Gaius didn't believe that she was slave to a manticore and thought that Merlin simply didn't want to see him happy, but after he was proved right, Gaius apologised and they were back to normal again (''[[Love in the Time of Dragons]]'').
   
=== Morgana ===
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=== Morgana Pendragon ===
[[File:Merlin_Morgan_McGrath-thumb-550x367-19079.jpg|thumb|200px|Merlin and [[Morgana]], after the [[Afanc]]'s defeat]]
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{{quote|She is the darkness to your light, the hatred to your love.|[[Kilgharrah]] to Merlin|The Tears of Uther Pendragon}}
{{quote|She is the darkness to your light, the hatred to your love.|The Great Dragon, to Merlin}}
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[[File:Merlin Morgan McGrath-thumb-550x367-19079.jpg|thumb|200px|Merlin and [[Morgana]], after the [[Afanc]]'s defeat]]
When Merlin first saw [[Morgana]], Uther's ward, he appeared to be smitten with her, and they became friends when they needed to work together to cure Camelot of a magical plague and prove Gwen wasn't the one who had caused it. They appeared to grow closer when they were harbouring Mordred from Uther's guards. However, their friendship appeared to have taken a downturn in the aftermath of Morgana's attempt on Uther's life. Merlin had distanced himself from her, and appeared to be less sympathetic towards her. By the time Morgana's magic began to reveal itself, Merlin's attitude towards Morgana had become friendly once again. Merlin, despite being advised not to do so, helped confirm to Morgana that she had magic and that it was not something to fear. Merlin's actions during this time led Arthur to believe that he had fallen in love with Morgana.
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When Merlin first saw [[Morgana Pendragon|Morgana]], Uther's ward, he appeared to be smitten with her, and they became friends when they needed to work together to cure Camelot of a magical plague and prove Gwen wasn't the one who had caused it. They appeared to grow closer when they were harbouring Mordred from Uther's guards. However, their friendship appeared to have taken a downturn in the aftermath of Morgana's attempt on Uther's life. Merlin had distanced himself from her, and appeared to be less sympathetic towards her. By the time Morgana's magic began to reveal itself, Merlin's attitude towards Morgana had become friendly once again. Merlin, despite being advised not to do so, helped confirm to Morgana that she had magic and that it was not something to fear. Merlin's actions during this time led Arthur to believe that he had fallen in love with Morgana.
   
[[File:Merlin296.png|thumb|200px|left|Morgana asks [[Merlin]] about [[Sophia]]]]
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[[File:Merlin296.png|thumb|200px|left|Morgana asks Merlin about [[Sophia]]]]
 
However, Merlin later learned from [[Kilgharrah]] that Morgana was destined to ally with Mordred and become an enemy of Camelot. Morgana later sided with her sister Morgause to bring down Uther, and Merlin poisoned her to get Morgause to stop. While Merlin told Morgana that he was sorry, she had turned against him for trying to kill her and their friendship thus ended. When she returned to Camelot, Morgana tried to get Merlin to forgive her for what she did, but she later led him into a trap, so that Morgause could attempt to kill him. It should be noted, however, that Morgana had not told Uther that Merlin poisoned her, even though Uther would have believed her with no evidence and executed Merlin without hesitation if told. Why she hasn't attempted to have Merlin executed is unknown, but it was possible that she still remembered the friendship they once shared. Another speculation as to why she did not tell Uther is because she would much rather kill him herself, or let Morgause kill him, for what he tried to do to her. Merlin felt sad about Morgana's betrayal but even though she had tried to kill him at first he didn't hate her. He also tried to reason with Morgana when he found her summoning an army of skeletons. Gradually, however, Merlin grew darker and more aggressive towards Morgana, using magic to cause a snake to scare her horse and was indifferent when she claimed she'd hurt her ankle.
 
However, Merlin later learned from [[Kilgharrah]] that Morgana was destined to ally with Mordred and become an enemy of Camelot. Morgana later sided with her sister Morgause to bring down Uther, and Merlin poisoned her to get Morgause to stop. While Merlin told Morgana that he was sorry, she had turned against him for trying to kill her and their friendship thus ended. When she returned to Camelot, Morgana tried to get Merlin to forgive her for what she did, but she later led him into a trap, so that Morgause could attempt to kill him. It should be noted, however, that Morgana had not told Uther that Merlin poisoned her, even though Uther would have believed her with no evidence and executed Merlin without hesitation if told. Why she hasn't attempted to have Merlin executed is unknown, but it was possible that she still remembered the friendship they once shared. Another speculation as to why she did not tell Uther is because she would much rather kill him herself, or let Morgause kill him, for what he tried to do to her. Merlin felt sad about Morgana's betrayal but even though she had tried to kill him at first he didn't hate her. He also tried to reason with Morgana when he found her summoning an army of skeletons. Gradually, however, Merlin grew darker and more aggressive towards Morgana, using magic to cause a snake to scare her horse and was indifferent when she claimed she'd hurt her ankle.
   
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While Arthur is Merlin's perfect counterpart, balancing him out, Morgana is his foil, his dark side. Kilgharrah has told Merlin more than once that his and Morgana's destinies are intertwined, and that they are both alike and totally opposite.
 
While Arthur is Merlin's perfect counterpart, balancing him out, Morgana is his foil, his dark side. Kilgharrah has told Merlin more than once that his and Morgana's destinies are intertwined, and that they are both alike and totally opposite.
   
=== Guinevere ===
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=== Guinevere Pendragon ===
[[File:Merlin101_1042.jpg|thumb|200px|left|[[Gwen]] and [[Merlin]] meet for the first time]]
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{{Quote|You have such a good heart, Gwen. Don't ever lose that.|Merlin to [[Gwen]]|To Kill A King}}
{{Quote|You have such a good heart, Gwen. Don't ever lose that.|Merlin to Gwen}}
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[[File:Merlin101 1042.jpg|thumb|200px|left|[[Gwen]] and Merlin meet for the first time]]
[[Gwen]] became one of Merlin's first friends in Camelot when she told him that she was glad he stood up to Arthur. They became fast friends, initially bonding over a mutual dislike for Arthur, and eventually over their mutual desire to protect him and Camelot. More than once Merlin has been willing to sacrifice himself for Gwen's well-being, and she is often the first person to offer Merlin help and trust in difficult situations (''[[The Witchfinder]], [[Lancelot]], [[Sweet Dreams]]''). During the first few years of their relationship, Gwen had a crush on Merlin that he never really became aware of. However, when she kissed him after saving him from the brink of death, Merlin responded that it was "more than fine." Eventually all romantic feelings boiled down to deep, sincere friendship.
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[[Guinevere Pendragon|Gwen]] became one of Merlin's first friends in Camelot when she told him that she was glad he stood up to Arthur. They became fast friends, initially bonding over a mutual dislike for Arthur, and eventually over their mutual desire to protect him and Camelot. More than once Merlin has been willing to sacrifice himself for Gwen's well-being, and she is often the first person to offer Merlin help and trust in difficult situations (''[[The Witchfinder]], [[Lancelot]], [[Sweet Dreams]]''). During the first few years of their relationship, Gwen had a crush on Merlin that he never really became aware of. However, when she kissed him after saving him from the brink of death, Merlin responded that it was "more than fine." Eventually all romantic feelings boiled down to deep, sincere friendship.
   
[[File:Gwen_and_Merlin.png|thumb|200px|Guinevere and Merlin]]Merlin is one of very first few people who knew about Gwen and Arthur love. He was very happy for them and worked very hard to keep their relationship going, finding ways to give them time together and encouraging them when they feel disheartened by the obstacles facing them. Merlin is the only person Gwen really talks to about her and Arthur's relationship (''[[Sweet Dreams]], [[Goblin's Gold]], [[The Castle of Fyrien]]'') and he has even teased her about it. Merlin proudly watched as Arthur and Gwen finally get married after the second recapture of Camelot. He, along with Gaius and Elyan watched on proudly as Arthur crowned Gwen as Camelot long awaited Queen.
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[[File:Gwen and Merlin.png|thumb|200px|Guinevere and Merlin]]Merlin is one of very first few people who knew about Gwen and Arthur love. He was very happy for them and worked very hard to keep their relationship going, finding ways to give them time together and encouraging them when they feel disheartened by the obstacles facing them. Merlin is the only person Gwen really talks to about her and Arthur's relationship (''[[Sweet Dreams]], [[Goblin's Gold]], [[The Castle of Fyrien]]'') and he has even teased her about it. Merlin proudly watched as Arthur and Gwen finally get married after the second recapture of Camelot. He, along with Gaius and Elyan watched on proudly as Arthur crowned Gwen as Camelot's long awaited Queen.
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While Gwen is queen they have a more professional relationship then when they were both servants. Merlin still very much cares for Gwen. This is shown when he rescued her from a fire that Uther trapped her in.
   
 
=== Kilgharrah ===
 
=== Kilgharrah ===
[[File:Merlin127.jpg|thumb|200px|left|The Dragon bows to the last Dragonlord]]
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{{Quote|Your soul and his are brothers. When you speak to him as kin, he must obey your will.|[[Balinor]] to Merlin about [[Kilgharrah]]}}
{{Quote|Your soul and his are brothers. When you speak to him as kin, he must obey your will.|Balinor, to Merlin, on Kilgharrah}}
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[[File:Merlin 213 5.png|thumb|200px|left|The Dragon bows to the last Dragonlord]]
[[Kilgharrah]], also known as the Great Dragon was the one who informed Merlin of his destiny. Whenever Merlin didn't know what to do, particularly when it involved magic, he turned to the Great Dragon for advice or outright assistance. The Dragon acts as a mentor to Merlin, even though most of the time he doesn't do as the Dragon advises him. Merlin actually considered the Dragon a friend but when he discovered the Dragon only cared about his own freedom and had tricked him into sacrificing his mother, Merlin turned his back on him, vowing to never allow him to be released (''[[Le Morte d'Arthur]]''). Merlin returned to the Dragon when he needed help defeating the spirit of Cornelius Sigan. The Dragon agreed to help him, on the condition that Merlin promised to one day free him, which he reluctantly agreed to do. Merlin appears to have regained some level of trust in the Dragon, and continues to seek his aid when he needs it.
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[[Kilgharrah]], also known as the Great Dragon was <span style="line-height:1.3em;">one of the lucky few who knew of Merlin's magic and t</span><span style="line-height:1.3em;">he one who informed Merlin of his destiny with Arthur. Whenever Merlin didn't know what to do, particularly when it involved magic, he turned to Kilgharrah for advice or outright assistance. Kilgharrah acts as a mentor to Merlin, even though he didn't do what Kilgharrah would advise him to do at first. Merlin actually considered Kilgharrah a friend but when he discovered Kilgharrah only cared about his own freedom and had tricked him into sacrificing his mother, Merlin turned his back on him, vowing to never allow him to be released (</span>''[[Le Morte d'Arthur]]''<span style="line-height:1.3em;">). Merlin returned to Kilgharrah when he needed help defeating the spirit of Cornelius Sigan. Kilgharrah agreed to help him, on the condition that Merlin promised to one day free him, which he reluctantly agreed to do. Merlin eventually learned to have regained some level of trust in Kilgharrah, </span><span style="line-height:1.3em;">and continued to seek his aid when he needed it</span><span style="line-height:1.3em;">.</span>
   
The Dragon appears to be quite fond of Merlin and he has proven that he can care about more than his own freedom, as he felt genuinely sorry for Merlin when he told him he was unable to help Merlin save Gaius. Merlin later released the Great Dragon, who proceeded to lay waste to Camelot as revenge for his imprisonment and his species' near-eradication. Merlin, who inherited the powers of a Dragonlord, managed to get the Dragon under his control, but chose to spare him instead of kill him. The Dragon was grateful for Merlin's choice to not kill him, noting that this clemency reflected what he would become in future, and departed after telling him he was sure they would meet again. Merlin learned Kilgharrah's true name from his father Balinor and shortly before he used his Dragonlord powers to stop the Dragon, he heard his father's voice which told him that he and Kilgharrah were spiritual brothers (''[[The Last Dragonlord]]''). Since releasing him, Merlin used his Dragonlord power to call Kilgharrah whenever he needed him. However Kilgharrah seemed to feel that Merlin was taking him for granted. On one occasion Kilgharrah was angry when Merlin forced him to help him heal Morgana but they soon reconciled (''[[The Crystal Cave]]''). Nevertheless Merlin still valued Kilgharrah's advice and rode him on two occasions, Kilgharrah also commiserating with his dilemma when Merlin was faced with the possibility of killing another magic-user in order to protect Uther (''[[The Sorcerer's Shadow]]'').
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Kilgharrah appears to be quite fond of Merlin and he has proven that he can care about more than his own freedom, as he felt genuinely sorry for Merlin when he told him he was unable to help Merlin save Gaius. Merlin later released Kilgharrah, who proceeded to lay waste to Camelot as revenge for his imprisonment and his species' near-eradication. Merlin, who inherited the powers of a Dragonlord, managed to get Kilgharrah under his control, but chose to spare him instead of kill him. Kilgharrah was grateful for Merlin's choice to not kill him, noting that this clemency reflected what he would become in future, and departed after telling him he was sure they would meet again. Merlin learned Kilgharrah's true name from his father Balinor and shortly before he used his Dragonlord powers to stop Kilgharrah, he heard his father's voice which told him that he and Kilgharrah were spiritual brothers (''[[The Last Dragonlord]]''). Since releasing him, Merlin used his Dragonlord power to call Kilgharrah whenever he needed him. However Kilgharrah seemed to feel that Merlin was taking him for granted sometimes. On one occasion Kilgharrah was angry when Merlin forced him to help him heal Morgana but they soon reconciled (''[[The Crystal Cave]]''). Nevertheless Merlin still valued Kilgharrah's advice and rode him on three occasions, Kilgharrah also commiserating with his dilemma when Merlin was faced with the possibility of killing another magic-user in order to protect Uther (''[[The Sorcerer's Shadow]]''). After Merlin inherited Dragonlord powers and released Kilgharrah, he and Kilgharrah became very close and trusted each other a lot more. Merlin valued Kilgharrah's advice a lot more as well and would take heed in his warnings, listening to what had to be done, instead of ignoring them like he used too.
   
 
=== Lancelot ===
 
=== Lancelot ===
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{{Quote|What are you planning? And don't even think about lying. I know you too well.|[[Lancelot]] to Merlin|The Coming of Arthur}}
 
[[File:Lancelot merlin.jpg|thumb|200px|[[Lancelot]] and Merlin]]
 
[[File:Lancelot merlin.jpg|thumb|200px|[[Lancelot]] and Merlin]]
{{Quote|What are you planning? And don't even think about lying. I know you too well.|Lancelot, to Merlin}}
 
 
Merlin and [[Lancelot (character)|Lancelot]] were close friends; so close that Lancelot was the only one able to tell Merlin was planning something when Arthur planned to rescue his father from Morgana and Morgause. He was the only [[Knights of Camelot|Knight of Camelot]] to have learned about Merlin's magic. They first met when Lancelot saved him from a [[Griffin]], and the two quickly became friends. Merlin helped Lancelot join the Knights of Camelot by using his magic to create a fake seal of nobility, though Lancelot later had to leave because it was found that he was truly not of noble birth. Lancelot returned to fight the Griffin, and Merlin enchanted his spear to allow him to kill it. Although this act could have reinstated Lancelot as a knight, he declined because he knew Merlin was the one responsible and left after promising to keep his magic secret. Lancelot and Merlin met again whilst rescuing Gwen. After the rescue, it was Merlin who informed Lancelot of Arthur and Gwen's feelings and the only one who said goodbye when Lancelot left because he didn't want to risk coming in between the future King and Queen.
 
Merlin and [[Lancelot (character)|Lancelot]] were close friends; so close that Lancelot was the only one able to tell Merlin was planning something when Arthur planned to rescue his father from Morgana and Morgause. He was the only [[Knights of Camelot|Knight of Camelot]] to have learned about Merlin's magic. They first met when Lancelot saved him from a [[Griffin]], and the two quickly became friends. Merlin helped Lancelot join the Knights of Camelot by using his magic to create a fake seal of nobility, though Lancelot later had to leave because it was found that he was truly not of noble birth. Lancelot returned to fight the Griffin, and Merlin enchanted his spear to allow him to kill it. Although this act could have reinstated Lancelot as a knight, he declined because he knew Merlin was the one responsible and left after promising to keep his magic secret. Lancelot and Merlin met again whilst rescuing Gwen. After the rescue, it was Merlin who informed Lancelot of Arthur and Gwen's feelings and the only one who said goodbye when Lancelot left because he didn't want to risk coming in between the future King and Queen.
   
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Lancelot returned again to save Camelot with Percival at Merlin's request. The night before storming Camelot, Lancelot knew Merlin enough to realise he had an ulterior motive and sets about being the one responsible for Merlin succeeding. He led Arthur to believe that he and Merlin would silence the warning bell, when in actuality they were searching for the Cup of Life. They made a good fighting team and successfully reached their goal, although Lancelot was wounded in battle. Lancelot later sacrificed his life to save Merlin, Arthur and Camelot to defeat the Dorocha and to prevent Merlin and Arthur from sacrificing themselves. Merlin was devastated at Lancelot's death and mourned his death along with Arthur, Gwen and everyone else. Lancelot was later resurrected by Morgana and Merlin grew suspicious of his sudden return, later discovering that he was a [[shade]] who returned to prevent Arthur from marring Gwen. Lancelot then kissed Gwen, who had been enchanted by Morgana, betraying Arthur before killing himself under an order from Morgana. Merlin managed to free Lancelot's soul from Morgana's control, bringing him back to life for a moment to thank Merlin before dying again, devastating Merlin. Merlin was the last person Lancelot saw before he died on both occasions, showing that their relationship was very close.
 
Lancelot returned again to save Camelot with Percival at Merlin's request. The night before storming Camelot, Lancelot knew Merlin enough to realise he had an ulterior motive and sets about being the one responsible for Merlin succeeding. He led Arthur to believe that he and Merlin would silence the warning bell, when in actuality they were searching for the Cup of Life. They made a good fighting team and successfully reached their goal, although Lancelot was wounded in battle. Lancelot later sacrificed his life to save Merlin, Arthur and Camelot to defeat the Dorocha and to prevent Merlin and Arthur from sacrificing themselves. Merlin was devastated at Lancelot's death and mourned his death along with Arthur, Gwen and everyone else. Lancelot was later resurrected by Morgana and Merlin grew suspicious of his sudden return, later discovering that he was a [[shade]] who returned to prevent Arthur from marring Gwen. Lancelot then kissed Gwen, who had been enchanted by Morgana, betraying Arthur before killing himself under an order from Morgana. Merlin managed to free Lancelot's soul from Morgana's control, bringing him back to life for a moment to thank Merlin before dying again, devastating Merlin. Merlin was the last person Lancelot saw before he died on both occasions, showing that their relationship was very close.
   
=== Uther ===
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=== Uther Pendragon ===
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{{Quote|You, Uther Pendragon, are a stupid, arrogant, old tyrant!|Merlin (disguised as [[Dragoon the Great]])|Queen of Hearts}}
 
[[File:Merlinuther.jpg|thumb|200px|left|[[Uther]] and Merlin]]
 
[[File:Merlinuther.jpg|thumb|200px|left|[[Uther]] and Merlin]]
{{Quote|You, Uther Pendragon, are a stupid, arrogant, old tyrant!|Merlin (disguised as Dragoon the Great)}}
 
 
Merlin disliked King [[Uther Pendragon]] because of his views of and persecution of magic but sometimes also felt compassion for him. When he saw him grieving and crying because Morgana was fatally wounded, Merlin could not stand seeing his friends' and also Uther's desperation which made him heal Morgana. He had been tempted on several occasions to allow Uther to die when his life was in danger but also saved him on other occasions without hesitation, obviously sometimes due to his personal morals and at other times due to compassion his sense for justice. He also knew that Arthur was not yet ready to assume the throne, and needed his father's guidance. Although he was polite to Uther most of the time, Merlin got the opportunity to secretly show his dislike towards Uther when he was disguised as an old man, even criticising him and his actions. Uther was unaware of Merlin's dislike of him and had shown to be grateful to him for looking after Arthur. However, whenever Merlin's life was in danger, Uther was indifferent and sometimes believed that Arthur's life was more important than Merlin's as he was the future king while Merlin was just a servant. Despite his dislike of Uther's actions, Merlin obviously did not think of Uther as an evil man and saw the difference between him and Morgana. Therefore he always put Uther's life over Morgana's when she started to plot against the king, tried to drive him insane and tried to kill him several times. Only later, when Uther was mortally wounded by an assassin, Merlin was willing to save Uther's life only because saw this as a chance to make Arthur return magic to Camelot, even though he had had the chance to save Uther before Arthur decided to use magic. This time Merlin was willing to watch Uther die despite his usual compassion and Arthur's despair, showing and unsual coldness towards a defeated and desroyed man who was no threat to him or anyone anymore. Merlin failed to save Uther due to Morgana's interference, and grieved Arthur's intensified aversion to magic more than the fact that his best friend lost his father and that an emotionally destroyed and helpless Uther had suffered a painful death.
 
Merlin disliked King [[Uther Pendragon]] because of his views of and persecution of magic but sometimes also felt compassion for him. When he saw him grieving and crying because Morgana was fatally wounded, Merlin could not stand seeing his friends' and also Uther's desperation which made him heal Morgana. He had been tempted on several occasions to allow Uther to die when his life was in danger but also saved him on other occasions without hesitation, obviously sometimes due to his personal morals and at other times due to compassion his sense for justice. He also knew that Arthur was not yet ready to assume the throne, and needed his father's guidance. Although he was polite to Uther most of the time, Merlin got the opportunity to secretly show his dislike towards Uther when he was disguised as an old man, even criticising him and his actions. Uther was unaware of Merlin's dislike of him and had shown to be grateful to him for looking after Arthur. However, whenever Merlin's life was in danger, Uther was indifferent and sometimes believed that Arthur's life was more important than Merlin's as he was the future king while Merlin was just a servant. Despite his dislike of Uther's actions, Merlin obviously did not think of Uther as an evil man and saw the difference between him and Morgana. Therefore he always put Uther's life over Morgana's when she started to plot against the king, tried to drive him insane and tried to kill him several times. Only later, when Uther was mortally wounded by an assassin, Merlin was willing to save Uther's life only because saw this as a chance to make Arthur return magic to Camelot, even though he had had the chance to save Uther before Arthur decided to use magic. This time Merlin was willing to watch Uther die despite his usual compassion and Arthur's despair, showing and unsual coldness towards a defeated and desroyed man who was no threat to him or anyone anymore. Merlin failed to save Uther due to Morgana's interference, and grieved Arthur's intensified aversion to magic more than the fact that his best friend lost his father and that an emotionally destroyed and helpless Uther had suffered a painful death.
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A few years later, Arthur becomes in possession of a horn that, when blowed into, it opens a rift, allowing him to go into the Spirit World and visit Uther's ghost. As he leaves, Arthur accidently releases Uther's spirit. Roughly a day later, Arthur confronts Uther and Uther tries to kill Arthur so that Arthur can't do anymore "harm" to Camelot. However, Merlin arrives and stops Uther, revealing his magic to Uther. This makes Uther desperate to kill Merlin. He doesn't succeed as Arthur trapped him into the spirit world again (''[[The Death Song of Uther Pendragon]]'').
   
 
=== Freya ===
 
=== Freya ===
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{{Quote|With you I can just be who I am. We don't have to hide anything. We don't have to worry.|Merlin to [[Freya]]|The Lady of the Lake}}
 
[[File:Vlcsnap-2012-03-25-23h20m51s65.png|thumb|200px|Freya]]
 
[[File:Vlcsnap-2012-03-25-23h20m51s65.png|thumb|200px|Freya]]
{{Quote|With you I can just be who I am. We don't have to hide anything. We don't have to worry.|Merlin, to Freya|The Lady of the Lake}}
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Merlin was drawn to [[Freya]] from the moment he saw her. In the short time he knew her, he developed a very strong relationship with [[Freya|her]], falling in love during his visits to bring her food and candles while he harbored her in safety from the bounty hunter's search through Camelot. He promised to protect her and love her. Merlin cared about her so much that he was willing to abandon Camelot, along with [[Gaius]], [[Morgana]], [[Gwen]], [[Arthur]], and his [[destiny]], just so that he could be with her. Though Freya originally agreed to Merlin's plan to leave Camelot together, she had decided to slip away while he was gathering supplies because she could not bear the thought of endangering him or killing him when she succumed to her curse. Every night at midnight she was cursed to become a monstrous creature called a [[bastet]]. Sadly, Freya was fatally wounded by Arthur while in her beast form. Merlin followed her in her retreat. A bastet would typically attack any human nearby, but Freya, even in bastet form was able to recognise Merlin and allowed him to pet her head without attacking him, possibly manifesting her own love for Merlin. In the early morning, Merlin carried her to a nearby lake, possibly the [[Lake of Avalon]], where she died after promising to someday return the favour of being loved and treated with gentleness despite her beastly curse. Merlin honoured Freya beautifully by giving her a proper water-burial. He lovingly placed her body, surrounded by ferns and other wild plants, into a small boat and sent it floating into the middle of the lake. Once the boat was a good distance away from the shore, Merlin magically set it alight, tears in his golden eyes as he did so. As he watched it burn, Merlin cried over the loss of the girl he loved (''[[The Lady of the Lake]]''). Despite his grief Merlin did not blame Arthur for killing her, as he still remained a faithful friend to the prince.
Merlin was drawn to [[Freya]] from the moment he saw her. In the short time he knew her, he developed a very strong relationship with [[Freya|her]], falling in love during his visits to bring her food and candles while he harbored her in safety from the bounty hunter's search through Camelot. He promised to protect her and love her. Merlin cared about her so much that he was willing to abandon Camelot, along with [[Gaius]], [[Morgana]], [[Gwen]], [[Arthur]], and his [[destiny]], just so that he could be with her. Though Freya originally agreed to Merlin's plan to leave Camelot together, she had decided to slip away while he was gathering supplies because she could not bear the thought of endangering him or killing him when she succumed to her curse. Every midnight she was cursed to become a monstrous creature called a [[bastet]]. Sadly, Freya was fatally wounded by Arthur while in her beast form. Merlin followed her in her retreat. A bastet would typically attack any human nearby, but Freya, even in bastet form was able to recognise Merlin and allowed him to pet her head without attacking him, possibly manifesting her own love for Merlin. In the early morning, Merlin carried her to a nearby lake, possibly the [[Lake of Avalon]], where she died after promising to someday return the favour of being loved and treated with gentleness despite her beastly curse. Merlin honoured Freya beautifully by giving her a proper water-burial. He lovingly placed her body, surrounded by ferns and other wild plants, into a small boat and sent it floating into the middle of the lake. Once the boat was a good distance away from the shore, Merlin magically set it alight, tears in his golden eyes as he did so. As he watched it burn, Merlin cried over the loss of the girl he loved. Despite his grief Merlin did not blame Arthur for killing her, as he still remained a faithful friend to the prince.
 
   
 
[[File:Imagesfw.jpeg|thumb|200px|left|Freya sees Merlin again]]
 
[[File:Imagesfw.jpeg|thumb|200px|left|Freya sees Merlin again]]
Merlin later used the water given to him by [[The Fisher King|the Fisher King]] to contact Freya, who had become the Lady of the Lake. Whether this means she is alive, dead, or somewhere in between is unknown. Merlin was surprised and delighted to see her and Freya told him that she'd missed him. She fulfilled her promise by giving him the sword [[Excalibur (Sword)|Excalibur]] which he wielded against Morgause's immortal knights.
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Merlin later used the water given to him by [[the Fisher King]] to contact Freya, who had become the Lady of the Lake. Whether this means she is alive, dead, or somewhere in between is unknown. Merlin was surprised and delighted to see her and Freya told him that she'd missed him. She fulfilled her promise by giving him the sword [[Excalibur (Sword)|Excalibur]] which he wielded against Morgause's immortal knights (''[[The Coming of Arthur|The Coming of Arthur Part Two]]'').
   
 
Freya is notable for being the only person that Merlin has fallen in love with since he only loved Gwen as a friend and his crush on Morgana, which never turned into a romantic relationship, no longer exists because Morgana has turned evil.
 
Freya is notable for being the only person that Merlin has fallen in love with since he only loved Gwen as a friend and his crush on Morgana, which never turned into a romantic relationship, no longer exists because Morgana has turned evil.
   
 
===Gwaine===
 
===Gwaine===
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{{Quote|You know what I like about Merlin? He never expects any praise. All these things he does just for the good of doing them.|[[Gwaine]] to [[Arthur]]|A Servant of Two Masters}}
 
[[File:Gwainemerlin.jpg|thumb|200px|[[Gwaine]] and Merlin]]
 
[[File:Gwainemerlin.jpg|thumb|200px|[[Gwaine]] and Merlin]]
{{Quote|You know what I like about Merlin? He never expects any praise. All these things he does just for the good of doing them.|Gwaine|A Servant of Two Masters}}
 
 
Merlin and [[Gwaine (character)|Gwaine]] have a close friendship. They first met after Gwaine helped him Arthur and him in a tavern brawl. Later, Merlin learnt Gwaine was the son of a knight and tried to persuade him to join the Knights of Camelot, but Gwaine refused because he, like Merlin, disliked Uther Pendragon. In a short space of time, Merlin got to know Gwaine well enough to recognise him even while he was in armour due to his unusual fighting style (''[[Gwaine]]''). Merlin later searched for Gwaine in order to ask him for assistance in helping Arthur find the Golden Trident. Just as he had when they first met, he found his friend engaged in a tavern brawl. Gwaine decided to help Merlin with Arthur's quest, stating it was because he wanted to help his only friend - Merlin. They worked together to find Arthur and helped him retrieve the Golden Trident. When Merlin [[File:Merlingwaine.jpg|200px|left|thumb|[[Gwaine]] and Merlin decide to save [[Gaius]]]]accidentally stood on a trap, Gwaine saved him by pushing him out the way of a heavy slab of concrete and separating them both. When they were reunited, Gwaine appeared delighted to see that Merlin was unharmed, giving him a hug (''[[The Eye of the Phoenix]]''). Gwaine returns once more in the series finale. Merlin shows implicit trust towards Gwaine, informing him of Arthur and Merlin's quest to find the Cup of Life despite Arthur's protests, and Gwaine helps them out when there doesn't appear to be any chance of success. After Morgana's first victory over Camelot, Gwaine was knighted. He is loyal to Arthur and is still a close friend of Merlin although sometimes he playfully teases and abuses him. When Gaius was kidnapped Gwaine went to see if Merlin was alright and joined him on his mission to rescue Gaius from Morgana's clutches. Additionally Gwaine was the only knight who was not openly hostile towards Merlin when they were being controlled by the Lamia, showing that he was closer to Merlin than Percival, Elyan and Leon were. Merlin has not yet told Gwaine about his powers, though it is likely that he will be the next knight of Camelot to discover them.
 
Merlin and [[Gwaine (character)|Gwaine]] have a close friendship. They first met after Gwaine helped him Arthur and him in a tavern brawl. Later, Merlin learnt Gwaine was the son of a knight and tried to persuade him to join the Knights of Camelot, but Gwaine refused because he, like Merlin, disliked Uther Pendragon. In a short space of time, Merlin got to know Gwaine well enough to recognise him even while he was in armour due to his unusual fighting style (''[[Gwaine]]''). Merlin later searched for Gwaine in order to ask him for assistance in helping Arthur find the Golden Trident. Just as he had when they first met, he found his friend engaged in a tavern brawl. Gwaine decided to help Merlin with Arthur's quest, stating it was because he wanted to help his only friend - Merlin. They worked together to find Arthur and helped him retrieve the Golden Trident. When Merlin [[File:Merlingwaine.jpg|200px|left|thumb|[[Gwaine]] and Merlin decide to save [[Gaius]]]]accidentally stood on a trap, Gwaine saved him by pushing him out the way of a heavy slab of concrete and separating them both. When they were reunited, Gwaine appeared delighted to see that Merlin was unharmed, giving him a hug (''[[The Eye of the Phoenix]]''). Gwaine returns once more in the series finale. Merlin shows implicit trust towards Gwaine, informing him of Arthur and Merlin's quest to find the Cup of Life despite Arthur's protests, and Gwaine helps them out when there doesn't appear to be any chance of success. After Morgana's first victory over Camelot, Gwaine was knighted. He is loyal to Arthur and is still a close friend of Merlin although sometimes he playfully teases and abuses him. When Gaius was kidnapped Gwaine went to see if Merlin was alright and joined him on his mission to rescue Gaius from Morgana's clutches. Additionally Gwaine was the only knight who was not openly hostile towards Merlin when they were being controlled by the Lamia, showing that he was closer to Merlin than Percival, Elyan and Leon were. Merlin has not yet told Gwaine about his powers, though it is likely that he will be the next knight of Camelot to discover them.
   
=== Will ===
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=== William ===
[[File:William_and_Merlin.png|thumb|200px|Merlin and his best friend William in Ealdor]]
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{{Quote|You're a good man, Merlin. A great man. And one day, you're going to be servant to a great King.|[[William|Will]] to Merlin|The Moment of Truth}}
{{Quote|You're a good man Merlin, a great man and one day your going to be servant to a great King|[[William|Will]] to Merlin}}
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[[File:William and Merlin.png|thumb|200px|Merlin and his best friend William in Ealdor]]
Merlin was close friends with [[William]], a young man from his village, and apart from Merlin's mother William was only person from his village to know about his magic. At first Merlin and Will had opposite opinions of Arthur and Will even planned to leave Ealdor before a group of bandits arrived, but later changed his mind. William sacrificed himself to save the life of Arthur Pendragon and claimed to be the one who used magic against the bandits, so Merlin would be off the hook. When Will was killed by Kanen, Merlin was upset. Even after Will died Merlin claimed that he was still a close friend.
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Merlin was close friends with [[William]], a young man from his village, and apart from Merlin's mother William was only person from his village to know about his magic. At first Merlin and Will had opposite opinions of Arthur and Will even planned to leave Ealdor before a group of bandits arrived, but later changed his mind. William sacrificed himself to save the life of Arthur Pendragon and claimed to be the one who used magic against the bandits, so Merlin would be off the hook. When Will was killed by Kanen, Merlin was upset. Even after Will died Merlin claimed that he was still a close friend (''[[The Moment of Truth]]'').
   
 
=== Mordred ===
 
=== Mordred ===
{{Quote|I shall never forgive this Emrys and I shall never forget|Mordred to Merlin}}
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{{Quote|I shall never forgive this Emrys, and I shall never forget...|[[Mordred]] to Merlin|The Witch's Quickening|[[File:Mordred_quote.ogg|noicon]]}}
Merlin was the one who found the druid boy [[Mordred]] when he was in Camelot after his father got captured. It was from Mordred that Merlin learned his other name – Emrys which was the name Mordred called him but he was [[File:Merlinmordred.jpg|thumb|200px|left|Merlin and Mordred in Morgana's chambers]]unaware why Mordred called him that until the Great Dragon told him that it was one of his names. Merlin hid Mordred along with Morgana, who developed a bond with him, until Mordred was fit enough to return to his people. However Merlin learned that Mordred was destined to kill Arthur and was doubtful about whether to save Mordred or not but eventually chose to save him. Merlin, however grew suspicious of Mordred because of this and when Mordred blasted some knights away from him when the Druid camp was ambushed. Merlin also learned that Mordred was destined to form an evil alliance with Morgana and this led to Merlin finally betraying Mordred by attempting to stop him escaping when he formed an alliance with Alvarr but Mordred retaliated by killing two knights. From that moment Mordred now resented Merlin for his betrayal and swore that he would never forgive or forget him for what he did, before escaping. It is presumed that Mordred still holds a grudge Merlin for almost getting him killed by Arthur's men which is yet to be explained.
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Merlin was the one who found the druid boy [[Mordred]] when he was in Camelot after his father got captured. It was from Mordred that Merlin learned his other name – Emrys which was the name Mordred called him but he was [[File:Merlinmordred.jpg|thumb|200px|left|Merlin and Mordred in Morgana's chambers]]unaware why Mordred called him that until the Great Dragon told him that it was one of his names. Merlin hid Mordred along with Morgana, who developed a bond with him, until Mordred was fit enough to return to his people. However Merlin learned that Mordred was destined to kill Arthur and was doubtful about whether to save Mordred or not but eventually chose to save him. Merlin, however grew suspicious of Mordred because of this and when Mordred blasted some knights away from him when the Druid camp was ambushed. Merlin also learned that Mordred was destined to form an evil alliance with Morgana and this led to Merlin finally betraying Mordred by attempting to stop him escaping when he formed an alliance with Alvarr but Mordred retaliated by killing two knights. From that moment Mordred now resented Merlin for his betrayal and swore that he would never forgive or forget him for what he did, before escaping. Eight years after the incident in which almost had Mordred killed by Arthur's men, Merlin and Arthur are reunited with a now teenage/adult Mordred who saves them from the hands of both Morgana and her men. Merlin becomes frightened by Mordred's reppearance and fears for Arthur's life after seeing a vision of Mordred, in league with the Saxons killing Arthur. When Mordred questions Merlin later about why Merlin is so scared of him, Merlin reminds him of what happened all those years earlier but Mordred reassures him that what happened in the past is long forgotten and that he no longer holds a grudge against him for what happened. It is unknown whether this is the truth or a lie.
   
 
=== Leon ===
 
=== Leon ===
[[File:Merlin_and_Leon.png|thumb|200px|Merlin and [[Sir Leon]] in a mission]]At first Merlin had little interaction with Leon, until Arthur created the Knights of the Round Table, after which Merlin and Sir Leon appeared to develop a friendship. This was shown by Leon's cheerful greeting when Merlin was found alive after being captured. Along with Arthur and the other knights, Leon enjoys playing practical jokes on Merlin, which he largely takes in good humour.(''[[Aithusa (episode)|Aithusa]]'') Leon trusted Merlin greatly and knew that Merlin often got frustrated with Arthur; however this caused him to think that Merlin was joking when he said he wanted to kill Arthur while he was being controlled by Morgana. ([[A Servant of Two Masters]])
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[[File:Merlin and Leon.png|thumb|200px|Merlin and [[Sir Leon]] in a mission]]At first Merlin had little interaction with Leon, until Arthur created the Knights of the Round Table, after which Merlin and Sir Leon appeared to develop a friendship. This was shown by Leon's cheerful greeting when Merlin was found alive after being captured. Along with Arthur and the other knights, Leon enjoys playing practical jokes on Merlin, which he largely takes in good humour.(''[[Aithusa (episode)|Aithusa]]'') Leon trusted Merlin greatly and knew that Merlin often got frustrated with Arthur; however this caused him to think that Merlin was joking when he said he wanted to kill Arthur while he was being controlled by Morgana. (''[[A Servant of Two Masters]]'')
   
 
=== Elyan ===
 
=== Elyan ===
 
[[File:Merlinelyan2.jpg|thumb|200px|left|Merlin and [[Elyan]]]]
 
[[File:Merlinelyan2.jpg|thumb|200px|left|Merlin and [[Elyan]]]]
Elyan first met Merlin when Arthur went to rescue him (''[[The Castle of Fyrien]]''). When Elyan became a Knight of Camelot Merlin had a lot more interaction with him. When Elyan accompanied Merlin, Arthur and Gwen to help a village that was in distress after an attack by the Lamia, Elyan stood up for Merlin when the head of the village didn't think Merlin could heal the sick and injured.
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Elyan first met Merlin when Arthur went to rescue him from Cenred (''[[The Castle of Fyrien]]''). When Elyan became a Knight of Camelot, Merlin had a lot more interaction with him. Elyan accompanied Merlin and Gwen to help a village that was in distress after an attack by the Lamia. Elyan stood up for Merlin when the head of the village didn't think Merlin could heal the sick and injured.
   
 
=== Hunith ===
 
=== Hunith ===
[[File:Hunith_and_merlin.png|thumb|200px|Merlin and his mother]]
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{{Quote|Her life means more to you than your own.|[[Kilgharrah]] to Merlin about [[Hunith]]|Le Morte d'Arthur|}}
{{Quote|Her life means more to you than your own.|Kilgharrah to Merlin, on Hunith}}
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[[File:Hunith and merlin.png|thumb|200px|Merlin and his mother]]
 
Merlin was very close to his mother, [[Hunith]]. He put her safety and happiness above his own life, Arthur's life, and therefore the fate of Albion. When his mother's village was threatened, he went immediately to help her and even told Arthur he would remain there as his duty was to his mother beyond all others. He also demonstrated his love for Hunith by offering his own life instead of hers to save Arthur, furious that he had been deceived by Kilgharrah and Nimueh. Hunith and her village was the first place Merlin thought to take Arthur after Morgana seized Camelot and briefly sought refuge there.
 
Merlin was very close to his mother, [[Hunith]]. He put her safety and happiness above his own life, Arthur's life, and therefore the fate of Albion. When his mother's village was threatened, he went immediately to help her and even told Arthur he would remain there as his duty was to his mother beyond all others. He also demonstrated his love for Hunith by offering his own life instead of hers to save Arthur, furious that he had been deceived by Kilgharrah and Nimueh. Hunith and her village was the first place Merlin thought to take Arthur after Morgana seized Camelot and briefly sought refuge there.
   
 
=== Balinor ===
 
=== Balinor ===
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{{Quote|Oh, my son. I've seen enough in you to know that you will make me proud.|[[Balinor]] to Merlin|The Last Dragonlord}}
 
[[File:47-2-.jpg|thumb|200px|left|Father and son, both dragonlords]]
 
[[File:47-2-.jpg|thumb|200px|left|Father and son, both dragonlords]]
{{Quote|I just wish I'd got to know him better. So much he could have taught me.|Merlin on Ballinor}}
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The Dragonlord, [[Balinor]], was Merlin's father. Merlin grew up with no memory of him since he and Hunith separated before Merlin was born, due to the fact that Uther was hunting him. Merlin sought him out when the Great Dragon was released and attacked Camelot. While Balinor at first refused to help Camelot, he was eventually persuaded to change his mind, due to Merlin mentioning Gaius, who had helped him escape Camelot when Uther had first started hunting him. However, he gave his life for Merlin's after finding out he was his son and was fatally wounded by a patrol of enemy soldiers before he could do so. Before dying, Balinor told Merlin that he was proud of him. Merlin was devastated when his father died. Even after Balinor died, Merlin heard his voice shortly before he managed to stop Kilgharrah from destroying Camelot. Merlin continued to remember his father, keeping one of Balinor's carvings as a memento of the brief time they spent together and mentioning him to [[Gwaine (character)|Gwaine]].
The Dragonlord [[Balinor]] was Merlin's father. Merlin grew up with no memory of him since he and Hunith separated before he was born, because Uther was hunting him. Merlin sought him out when the Great Dragon was released and attacked Camelot. While Balinor at first refused to help Camelot, he was eventually persuaded to change his mind, due to Merlin mentioning Gaius, who had helped him escape Camelot when Uther had first started hunting him. However, he gave his life for Merlin's after finding out he was his son and was fatally wounded by a patrol of enemy soldiers before he could do so. Before dying, Balinor told Merlin that he was proud of him. Merlin was devastated when his father died. Even after Balinor died, Merlin heard his voice shortly before he managed to stop Kilgharrah from destroying Camelot. Merlin continued to remember his father, keeping one of Balinor's carvings as a memento of the brief time they spent together and mentioning him to [[Gwaine (character)|Gwaine]].
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===Gilli===
 
===Gilli===
[[File:Gilli.png|thumb|200px|Gilli, Merlin `s Warlock Friend ]]
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{{Quote|Maybe then our paths will cross again."<br>"I hope so."<br>"Oh, they will. We're kin.|Merlin and Gilli|The Sorcerer's Shadow}}
[[Gilli]] is a friend of Merlin he felt vunerable when he could not use his magic freely. He had a huge hatred for Uther ever since his father was excecuted, however, that hatred almost caused him to kill Uther, forcing Merlin to stop him. However, he proved to be a good man when he protected Merlin from the two thugs Nollar and Tindr. When he realised that his father was not afraid of magic as he thought, Gilli forgave Merlin for preventing him kill Uther, and accepted that magic would one day be permitted again and that their paths would cross again one day.
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[[File:Gilli.png|thumb|200px|Gilli, Merlin's Warlock Friend]]
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[[Gilli]] is a friend of Merlin. He felt vulnerable when he could not use his magic freely. He had a huge hatred for Uther ever since his father was executed, however, that hatred almost caused him to kill Uther, forcing Merlin to stop him. However, he proved to be a good man when he protected Merlin from the two thugs Nollar and Tindr. When he realised that his father was not afraid of magic as he thought, Gilli forgave Merlin for preventing him kill Uther, and accepted that magic would one day be permitted again and that their paths would cross again one day.
   
 
===Alator===
 
===Alator===
[[File:S04e07_alator_grab_446x251.jpg|thumb|200px|left|Alator, an ally of Merlin]]
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[[File:S04e07 alator grab 446x251.jpg|thumb|200px|left|Alator, an ally of Merlin]]
 
[[Alator]] protected Merlin from Morgana and told the young sorcerer that he was honoured to be in his presence and would gladly die for him if necessary. Apparently Alator did not know of Emrys before Morgana asked him to find out who he was because he switched sides after he learned who Emrys was. Presumably he originally thought that Emrys was not an important sorcerer, merely one who was an enemy of Morgana, and it was only after Gaius revealed his identity that he realised Emrys was actually destined to be the most powerful sorcerer who had ever lived. He had heard of the destined Albion but didn't seem to have heard the name Emrys previously - it was afterall the name used by the druids who are very secretive.
 
[[Alator]] protected Merlin from Morgana and told the young sorcerer that he was honoured to be in his presence and would gladly die for him if necessary. Apparently Alator did not know of Emrys before Morgana asked him to find out who he was because he switched sides after he learned who Emrys was. Presumably he originally thought that Emrys was not an important sorcerer, merely one who was an enemy of Morgana, and it was only after Gaius revealed his identity that he realised Emrys was actually destined to be the most powerful sorcerer who had ever lived. He had heard of the destined Albion but didn't seem to have heard the name Emrys previously - it was afterall the name used by the druids who are very secretive.
   
 
===The Druids===
 
===The Druids===
 
[[File:Druids.jpg|thumb|200px|The Druids, Allies of Merlin]]
 
[[File:Druids.jpg|thumb|200px|The Druids, Allies of Merlin]]
The [[Druid]]s are allies of Merlin. Druids of a certain level of authority all seem to know at least of Merlin and seemingly are at least partially aware of his destiny, as all Druid Leaders so far encountered have called him Emrys and recognised him on sight. Most of these Druids have also hinted at knowledge of his future. As Arthur left, he telepathically contacted Merlin, referring to him by his name by the Druids, Emrys, informing him that he was now the Cup's caretaker. As they camp during the night, Merlin hears a voice inside his head calling to him and it leads him to the Druids. The [[Iseldir]] tell Merlin that Borden has stolen the keys parts from them and that the way to the tomb is at a place which appears to be a dead end. They also warn him that the key is also a trap, as is the tomb itself.
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The [[Druid]]s are allies of Merlin. Druids of a certain level of authority all seem to know at least of Merlin and seemingly are at least partially aware of his destiny, as all Druid Leaders so far encountered have called him Emrys and recognised him on sight. Most of these Druids have also hinted at knowledge of his future. They have also helped Merlin on several occasions. For example, after [[Iseldir]] gave Arthur the Cup of Life, he telepathically contacted Merlin, referring to him by his name by the Druids, Emrys, informing him that he was now the Cup's caretaker. And when the Knights of Camelot are going to the Tomb of Ashkanar, Iselder helps him once more. As the Knights camp during the night, Merlin hears a voice inside his head calling to him and it leads him to the Druids. Iseldir tells Merlin that Borden has stolen the keys parts from them and that the way to the tomb is at a place which appears to be a dead end. He also warns him that the key is also a trap, as is the tomb itself.
   
 
== Abilities ==
 
== Abilities ==
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===Magical Abilities===
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{{Quote|Magic isn't just a part of me. It is me. It's who I am.|Merlin to [[Lancelot]]|The Darkest Hour}}
 
[[File:Merlin197.jpg|thumb|left|200px|Merlin's eyes glow when using [[magic]]]]
 
[[File:Merlin197.jpg|thumb|left|200px|Merlin's eyes glow when using [[magic]]]]
{{Quote|Magic isn't just a part of me. It is me. It's who I am.|Merlin}}
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Merlin's magical abilities go far beyond that of normal sorcerers. For most, [[magic]] needs to be studied and perfected for many years, but Merlin's magic developed from birth with no training (''[[The Dragon's Call]]''). Merlin is able to learn magic at an incredibly fast rate, learning in less than one year enough to take out numerous opponents with many more decades of learning than him; by two years in [[Camelot]], he has mastered enough control of his abilities to use magic in a fight when surrounded by soldiers of Camelot without anybody noticing what he is doing (''[[The Tears of Uther Pendragon]]''), by three years his powers had grown to the point where he could defeat four elite knights of Camelot with relative ease (''[[A Servant of Two Masters]]''). Merlin is one of the most powerful creatures in the world of magic more powerful than any other sorcerer like Morgana, Morgause or Mordred.Only deities like the Cailleach or dragons of great power like Kilgharrah are able to overpower him(although that is not certain since Merlin can command Kilgharah to do his bidding). His instinctive abilities include the ability to [[Time magic|slow down]] an object's movement (possibly extending to slowing time itself) and the ability to move objects by [[telekinesis]] (''[[A Remedy to Cure All Ills]]''). This ability is used without spells and can enhance incantations (''[[The Gates of Avalon]]''). His magic powers have greatly increased over the period of three years to the point where he can now use blasts of telekinetic energy to push enemies away either with an incantation (''[[The Fires of Idirsholas]]'') or non-verbally (''[[The Last Dragonlord]]''). The power of his blasts is capable of incapacitating,wounding or even killing enemies without having to hit them in a wall or some other surface, just through direct damage caused by the kinetic power of his spell. His telekinesis can also have a wide range like a wave, hitting as many as seven men simultaneously, once killing six opponents directly and momentarily stunning another.
Merlin's magical abilities go far beyond that of normal sorcerers. For most, [[magic]] needs to be studied and perfected for many years, but Merlin's magic developed from birth with no training (''[[The Dragon's Call]]''). Merlin is able to learn magic at an incredibly fast rate, learning in less than one year enough to take out numerous opponents with many more decades of learning than him; by two years in [[Camelot]], he has mastered enough control of his abilities to use magic in a fight when surrounded by soldiers of Camelot without anybody noticing what he is doing (''[[The Tears of Uther Pendragon]]''), by three years his powers had grown to the point where he could defeat four elite knights of Camelot with relative ease (''[[A Servant of Two Masters]]''). His instinctive abilities include the ability to [[Time magic|slow down]] an object's movement (possibly extending to slowing time itself) and the ability to move objects by [[telekinesis]] (''[[A Remedy to Cure All Ills]]''). This ability is used without spells and can enhance incantations (''[[The Gates of Avalon]]''). His magic powers have greatly increased over the period of three years to the point where he can now use blasts of telekinetic energy to push enemies away either with an incantation (''[[The Fires of Idirsholas]]'') or non-verbally (''[[The Last Dragonlord]]''). The power of his blasts is capable of incapacitating,wounding or even killing enemies without having to hit them in a wall or some other surface, just through direct damage caused by the kinetic power of his spell. His telekinesis can also have a wide range like a wave, hitting as many as seven men simultaneously, once killing six opponents directly and momentarily stunning another.
 
   
Merlin can also use [[Telepathy|telepathy]] to contact other people with magical abilities, (''[[The Beginning of the End]]'') as well as learn magic through telepathy. Merlin could sense powerful magic, such as the [[Mage Stone]] and the [[Cup of Life]]. He could also sense the presence of the spirit that was possessing Elyan, and its presence in the shrine. He was even able to sense Gwen when she was turned into a deer (''[[The Hunter's Heart]]'').
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Merlin can also use [[telepathy]] to contact other people with magical abilities, (''[[The Beginning of the End]]'') as well as learn magic through telepathy. Merlin could sense powerful magic, such as the [[Mage Stone]] and the [[Cup of Life]]. He could also sense the presence of the spirit that was possessing Elyan, and its presence in the shrine. He was even able to sense Gwen when she was turned into a deer (''[[The Hunter's Heart]]'').
   
Merlin even mastered the [[Power over Life and Death|power over life and death]], which he achieved after only two encounters with it (''[[Le Morte d'Arthur]]''). He shows great aptitude in the use of elemental spells, especially fire, using it against [[Tristan De Bois]]' wraith, heating enemies weapons so they can no longer hold them, throwing a wave of fire against Cendred's men possibly killing many of them, causing an explosion in order to escape from Arthur and the soldiers of Camelot when he, as Dragoon, was to be executed and also conjuring a small flame in his palm to show Gilli his magic. He can also manipulate wind using it to destroy an [[Afanc]] by combining it with fire, or to create and control a whirlwind like he did in Ealdor and conjure lightning which he used to destroy Nimueh. He can also throw blasts of raw magical power, through the use of Sophia's Sidhe staff. Later, he learns to throw a similar blast of magical power with his bare hands (''[[Le Morte d'Arthur]]''). The power of these blasts seems capable of killing enemies instantly unless they can deflect them such as Nimueh or if they have a natural resilience to magical attacks such as a pixie. He also shows the ability to use powerful forms of magic instinctively when his emotions are heightened, and perform spells correctly either non verbally or without proper preparation, something few sorcerers are capable of.
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Merlin even mastered the [[Power over Life and Death|power over life and death]], which he achieved after only two encounters with it (''[[Le Morte d'Arthur]]''). He shows great aptitude in the use of elemental spells, especially fire, using it against [[Tristan De Bois]]' wraith, heating enemies weapons so they can no longer hold them, throwing a wave of fire against Cendred's men possibly killing many of them, causing an explosion in order to escape from Arthur and the soldiers of Camelot when he, as Dragoon, was to be executed and also conjuring a small flame in his palm to show Gilli his magic. He can also manipulate wind using it to destroy an [[Afanc]] by combining it with fire, or to create and control a whirlwind like he did in Ealdor and conjure lightning which he used to destroy Nimueh. He can also throw blasts of raw magical power, through the use of Sophia's Sidhe staff. Later, he learns to throw a similar blast of magical power with his bare hands (''[[Le Morte d'Arthur]]''). The power of these blasts seems capable of killing enemies instantly unless they can deflect them such as Nimueh or if they have a natural resilience to magical attacks such as a pixie. He also shows the ability to use powerful forms of magic instinctively when his emotions are heightened, and perform spells correctly either non verbally or without proper preparation, something few sorcerers are capable of. Merlin's greatest display of power was when he used lightning to decimate the Saxon army and knock out Morgana (''[[The Diamond of the Day]]'').
   
Merlin is also skilled in defensive magic, capable of forming a magical shield that held against the Great Dragon's fire, again indicating his great magical power as Dragons are immensely powerful magical creatures. It should also be noted that he had not inherited his fathers Dragonlord powers at the time because he inherited the ability after [[Balinor]] died (''[[Le Morte d'Arthur]], [[The Last Dragonlord]]''). Merlin also possesses considerable natural magical resilience, even surviving the force of his own killing spell when it was reflected due to the power of [[Tauren]]'s mage stone, and many other magical attacks that were meant to kill him (''[[To Kill the King]]''). He was also able to survive the[[File:ImagesCAVD7GYZ.jpg|thumb]] touch of the Dorocha, although he was still greatly injured and would have probably died, if the [[Vilia]] hadn't saved him (''[[The Darkest Hour]]'') Merlin is also able to wield the Crystal of Neahtid and the crystals in the [[Crystal Cave]] to great effect. Although it has never been mentioned, all the events Merlin sees in these crystals always come to pass (''[[The Witch's Quickening]], [[The Crystal Cave]]''). Though Gaius repeatedly tells Merlin that the events he sees may not occur, so far they have. This suggests that Merlin's ability to wield these crystals, and therefore see the future, is much greater than anyone suspects. He has also on one occasion preformed a [[necromancy]] spell to reveal the true nature of [[Lancelot]], who was resurrected as a Shade (''[[Lancelot Du Lac]]'').
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Merlin is also skilled in defensive magic, capable of forming a magical shield that held against the Great Dragon's fire, again indicating his great magical power as Dragons are immensely powerful magical creatures. It should also be noted that he had not inherited his fathers Dragonlord powers at the time because he inherited the ability after [[Balinor]] died (''[[Le Morte d'Arthur]], [[The Last Dragonlord]]''). [[File:ImagesCAVD7GYZ.jpg|thumb]] Merlin is also able to wield the Crystal of Neahtid and the crystals in the [[Crystal Cave]] to great effect. Although it has never been mentioned, all the events Merlin sees in these crystals always come to pass (''[[The Witch's Quickening]], [[The Crystal Cave]]''). Though Gaius repeatedly tells Merlin that the events he sees may not occur, so far they have. This suggests that Merlin's ability to wield these crystals, and therefore see the future, is much greater than anyone suspects. He has also on one occasion preformed a [[necromancy]] spell to reveal the true nature of [[Lancelot]], who was resurrected as a Shade (''[[Lancelot Du Lac]]'').
 
Merlin also has that magic that can influence other creatures other than [[dragon]]s and [[wyvern]]s. He once ordered a snake to scare Morgana's horse (''[[The Castle of Fyrien]]''). He also had a brief moment with a unicorn (''[[The Labyrinth of Gedref (episode)|The Labyrinth of Gedref]]''), turned a dog statue into an actual dog, revealed the snakes that were on Valiant's shield (''[[Valiant (episode)|Valiant]]''), was able to summon a frog from the Witchfinder's mouth (''[[The Witchfinder]]''), and had an understanding with Freya when she was in the form of a bastet, although in this case it is possible that Freya simply loved him too much to attack him rather than being influenced by magic (''[[The Lady of the Lake]]'').
 
   
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Merlin also has that magic that can influence other creatures other than [[dragon]]s and [[wyvern]]s. He once ordered a snake to scare Morgana's horse (''[[The Castle of Fyrien]]''). He also had a brief moment with a unicorn (''[[The Labyrinth of Gedref (episode)|The Labyrinth of Gedref]]''), turned a dog statue into an actual dog, revealed the snakes that were on Valiant's shield (''[[Valiant (episode)|Valiant]]''), was able to summon a frog from the Witchfinder's mouth (''[[The Witchfinder]]''), and had an understanding with Freya when she was in the form of a bastet, although in this case it is possible that Freya simply loved him too much to attack him rather than being influenced by magic (''[[The Lady of the Lake]]'').
 
Though not strictly an ability, it is stated that Merlin is a [[Creatures of magic|Creature of magic]] (his father is revealed as a [[Dragonlord]] – spiritual brothers to Dragons) and as it is unknown how closely Dragonlords are related to Dragons, thus possibly makes Merlin half human, and half magical Creature of the [[Old Religion]]. Due to his status as the Last Dragonlord (as the powers of a Dragonlord are only passed on when the previous Dragonlord in their family line – in this case his father – is dead) he begins to realise even more new abilities and powers. He is shown forcing multiple enemies backwards with a dragonlike roar, similar to Mordred's screaming (''[[The Tears of Uther Pendragon|The Tears of Uther Pendragon Part One]]''). He is also able to command any Dragon, including their cousins the [[Wyvern]], to do anything he wishes by speaking to them in their language even if they are a long distance away.
 
Though not strictly an ability, it is stated that Merlin is a [[Creatures of magic|Creature of magic]] (his father is revealed as a [[Dragonlord]] – spiritual brothers to Dragons) and as it is unknown how closely Dragonlords are related to Dragons, thus possibly makes Merlin half human, and half magical Creature of the [[Old Religion]]. Due to his status as the Last Dragonlord (as the powers of a Dragonlord are only passed on when the previous Dragonlord in their family line – in this case his father – is dead) he begins to realise even more new abilities and powers. He is shown forcing multiple enemies backwards with a dragonlike roar, similar to Mordred's screaming (''[[The Tears of Uther Pendragon|The Tears of Uther Pendragon Part One]]''). He is also able to command any Dragon, including their cousins the [[Wyvern]], to do anything he wishes by speaking to them in their language even if they are a long distance away.
   
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[[File:Merlin spear spell1.gif|frame|Merlin uses [[magic]] to throw a spear]]Merlin is skilled in magical combat as he defended himself from other people with magic and even killed people with magic. The people who Merlin has killed while fighting with magic include Edwin Muirden, Nimueh and the Sidhe Elder. It should be noted that Nimueh was a very powerful and skilled sorceress and had more experience with magic which further contributes to Merlin's skill and power. Merlin even fought against Tauren and Morgause with magic, although Tauren overpowered Merlin with the Mage Stone while Merlin only defeated Morgause with the help of Gaius. It should be noted that Morgause caught him off guard, making it unclear about whether she could have defeated Merlin in direct combat. Merlin was also able to outmatch a [[Goblin]] in a brief fight but could not kill it because it possessed Gaius (''[[Goblin's Gold]]''). At one point he also fights most of the [[Knights of the Round Table]] at once, and easily defeats all of them. He later engaged Morgana in a magical duel, despite being physically and magically weakened by having aged his body as a disguise. Merlin, possessing much greater experience and magical power, was thus able to overpower her but with great difficulty (''[[A Servant of Two Masters]]''). Merlin also defended himself against a [[Lamia (creature)|Lamia]] with magic and possibly would have killed it if Arthur hadn't impaled it with a spear (''[[Lamia (episode)|Lamia]]'').
   
[[File:Merlin_spear_spell1.gif|frame|[[Merlin]] uses [[magic]] to throw a spear]]Merlin was skilled in magical combat as he defended himself from other people with magic and even killed people with magic. The people who Merlin has killed while fighting with magic include Edwin Muirden, Nimueh and the Sidhe Elder. It should be noted that Nimueh was a very powerful and skilled sorceress and had more experience with magic which further contributes to Merlin's skill and power. Merlin even fought against Tauren and Morgause with magic, although Tauren overpowered Merlin with the Mage Stone while Merlin only defeated Morgause with the help of Gaius. It should be noted that Morgause caught him off guard, making it unclear about whether she could have defeated Merlin in direct combat. Merlin was also able to outmatch a [[Goblin]] in a brief fight but could not kill it because it possessed Gaius (''[[Goblin's Gold]]''). At one point he also fights most of the [[Knights of the Round Table]] at once, and easily defeats all of them. He later engaged Morgana in a magical duel, despite being physically weakened by having aged his body as a disguise. While their powers were nearly evenly matched, Merlin possessed much greater experience in using magic in combat, while Morgana was accustomed to using magic indirectly, and was thus able to overpower her (''[[A Servant of Two Masters]]''). Merlin also defended himself against a [[Lamia (creature)|Lamia]] with magic and possibly would have killed it if Arthur hadn't impaled it with a spear (''[[Lamia (episode)|Lamia]]'').
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===Extreme Magical Resilience===
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Merlin also possesses considerable natural magical resilience, even surviving the force of his own killing spell when it was reflected due to the power of [[Tauren]]'s mage stone, and many other magical attacks that were meant to kill him (''[[To Kill the King]]''). He was also able to survive the touch of the Dorocha, although he was still greatly injured and would have probably died, if the [[Vilia]] hadn't saved him (''[[The Darkest Hour]]'').
   
Merlin was also a skilled swordsman which he learned from Arthur. At first he was a clumsy and unskilled swordsman but over time his swordsmanship improved to a point where he was able to defend himself against some of the men that raided his village, killing a few (''[[The Moment of Truth]]''). His sword skills are shown again during the siege of Camelot where he is able to hold his own against both a skeleton warrior and at least temporarily fend off Morgana, though he was disarmed twice by the latter. Although it should be noted that Merlin's main goal was not to defeat Morgana but to get past her to destroy the [[Rowan Staff]]. Merlin was also quite agile, being able to avoid being killed by Morgana even without his sword (''[[The Tears of Uther Pendragon]]''). He later became fully confident with a sword when fighting against Morgana and Morgause's immortal army, managing to kill several of them whilst wielding [[Excalibur (Sword)|Excalibur]] (''[[The Coming of Arthur]]''). Merlin could also use a crossbow and he and Arthur covered Tristan and Isolde while they were running away during Agravaine's attack in their camp.
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===Immortality===
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As confirmed by [[Balinor]], creatures born with magic, like Merlin and Morgana Pendragon cannot die, unless they are stabbed through the heart by a sword forged in a dragon's breath. It is the only magical weapon that can permanently kill them; another possible reason why Merlin is till alive in modern days is that he discovered or created an immortality spell that stop him from aging, or keeps him from dying from his age. If so, he may not have discovered or created this immortality spell until he was 80 years old.
   
Following three years of helping Gaius, Merlin had learned some knowledge of medicine, enough for Gaius to recommend him going in his place to help a village with an illness, when he was unable to go (''[[Lamia (episode)|Lamia]]''). However, while he did have knowledge of medicine and was skilled in many types of magic, Merlin at first did not have much talent of [[Healing Spells|healing spells]] as he failed several times to heal Arthur with magic, although he did save Gwen's father and Morgana by using healing spells. Gradually, however, his talent with healing magic grew as he was able to save Arthur and the knights of the Round table when their food was poisoned and later saved Gwen when she was wounded by an arrow.
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===Proficient Swordsman===
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Merlin is also a somewhat skilled swordsman, which he learned from Arthur. At first he was clumsy and unskilled, but over time, his swordsmanship improved to a point where he was able to defend himself against some of the men that raided his village, killing a few (''[[The Moment of Truth]]''). His sword skills are shown again during the siege of Camelot where he is able to hold his own against both a skeleton warrior and at least temporarily fend off Morgana, though he was disarmed twice by the latter. Although it should be noted that Merlin's main goal was not to defeat Morgana but to get past her to destroy the [[Rowan Staff]]. Merlin was also quite agile, being able to avoid being killed by Morgana even without his sword (''[[The Tears of Uther Pendragon]]''). He later became fully confident with a sword when fighting against Morgana and Morgause's immortal army, managing to kill several of them whilst wielding [[Excalibur (Sword)|Excalibur]] (''[[The Coming of Arthur]]'').
   
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===Expert Crossbowman===
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Merlin could also use a crossbow and he and Arthur covered Tristan and Isolde while they were running away during Agravaine's attack in their camp.
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===Skilled Physician===
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Following six years of helping Gaius, Merlin had learned some knowledge of medicine, enough for Gaius to recommend him going in his place to help a village with an illness, when he was unable to go (''[[Lamia (episode)|Lamia]]'') and even Mordred noted that he was a skilled physician (''[[The Disir]]'' ). However, while he did have knowledge of medicine and was skilled in many types of magic, Merlin at first did not have much talent of [[Healing Spells|healing spells]] as he failed several times to heal Arthur with magic, although he did save Gwen's father and Morgana by using healing spells. Gradually, however, his talent with healing magic grew as he was able to save Arthur and the knights of the Round table when their food was poisoned and later saved Gwen when she was wounded by an arrow.
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===Other Abilities===
 
In addition to his magical abilities and sword skills, Merlin was extremely talented at keeping secrets, being able to hide his magical abilities from everyone in Camelot excluding Gaius. Arthur once said he couldn't keep a secret if his life depended on it and Merlin retorted that he would be surprised though Arthur didn't realise what this meant. There were times when Merlin was framed of using magic and when his secret was almost exposed but Merlin managed to convince people that he was innocent. People who currently know of Merlin's magic are Gaius, Hunith, Balinor, Kilgharrah, Will, Aithusa, Lancelot, Freya, Grettir, Alator and Gilli although Lancelot, Freya, Balinor, and Will are dead. Surprisingly, Merlin proved to be a very incompetent assassin, and when [[Morgana]] bewitched him into attempting to murder [[Arthur]], all his attempts failed, though that was more by luck than lack of skill (''[[A Servant of Two Masters]]'').
 
In addition to his magical abilities and sword skills, Merlin was extremely talented at keeping secrets, being able to hide his magical abilities from everyone in Camelot excluding Gaius. Arthur once said he couldn't keep a secret if his life depended on it and Merlin retorted that he would be surprised though Arthur didn't realise what this meant. There were times when Merlin was framed of using magic and when his secret was almost exposed but Merlin managed to convince people that he was innocent. People who currently know of Merlin's magic are Gaius, Hunith, Balinor, Kilgharrah, Will, Aithusa, Lancelot, Freya, Grettir, Alator and Gilli although Lancelot, Freya, Balinor, and Will are dead. Surprisingly, Merlin proved to be a very incompetent assassin, and when [[Morgana]] bewitched him into attempting to murder [[Arthur]], all his attempts failed, though that was more by luck than lack of skill (''[[A Servant of Two Masters]]'').
   
 
== Beliefs in the Old Religion ==
 
== Beliefs in the Old Religion ==
 
 
It is hinted though out the series that Merlin worships some form of a polytheistic religion (''[[Le Morte d'Arthur]]''). In King Cenred's kingdom, where Merlin is from, the outer regions still appear to follow the Old Religion as far as worshipping the gods. In a scene in Series 1, Merlin tells his mother that "The gods will look after me," when he was talking to his mother when she was ill shortly before he went after [[Gaius]] to the [[Isle of the blessed|Isle of the Blessed]] (''[[Le Morte d'Arthur]]''). In the legends, King Arthur, as a majority of kings within the British Isles at the time were, was Christian. Nonetheless he was clearly more tolerant towards the pagan religions as Merlin is frequently referred to as being a druid.
 
It is hinted though out the series that Merlin worships some form of a polytheistic religion (''[[Le Morte d'Arthur]]''). In King Cenred's kingdom, where Merlin is from, the outer regions still appear to follow the Old Religion as far as worshipping the gods. In a scene in Series 1, Merlin tells his mother that "The gods will look after me," when he was talking to his mother when she was ill shortly before he went after [[Gaius]] to the [[Isle of the blessed|Isle of the Blessed]] (''[[Le Morte d'Arthur]]''). In the legends, King Arthur, as a majority of kings within the British Isles at the time were, was Christian. Nonetheless he was clearly more tolerant towards the pagan religions as Merlin is frequently referred to as being a druid.
   
 
It is Merlin's destiny to recall the Old Religion from hiding and unite it in peace with the New World. This implies that he is really partial towards neither, and just believes in his right to practice magic.
 
It is Merlin's destiny to recall the Old Religion from hiding and unite it in peace with the New World. This implies that he is really partial towards neither, and just believes in his right to practice magic.
   
==[[Variations from the Myth|In the Legend]]==
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==In the Legend==
Merlin is based on the famous wizard '''[[wikipedia:Merlin|of the same name]]''', advisor to [[wikipedia:King Arthur|King Arthur]] in t[[File:ImagesCAPVHREN.jpg|thumb]]he [[wikipedia:Matter of Britain|Arthurian legends]]. Merlin is said to have been the child of a Demetian princess who was impregnated by a demon, specifically an incubus. Other legends state his father was a fairy, an angel or the devil. He was feared from a young age by many people who believed him to be the son of a devil due to the fact he had no known mortal father. However, he was baptised at birth, and blessed by God with the ability to see the future. He is credited at having been present at Arthur's birth. He predicted Arthur's greatness and became his tutor and trusted advisor, ultimately aiding him in becoming King by helping him to win wars against the kings who opposed his succession. Merlin was enchanted and trapped in a cave after stealing all his magical knowledge by the [[wikipedia:Lady of the Lake|Lady of the Lake]]. Other minor legends attribute his death to [[wikipedia:Morgan le Fay|Morgan le Fay]] who, after seducing him and was his lover, turned herself into an oak tree and buried him. Merlin's death was a leading cause in Arthur's ultimate downfall, as the King lacked his protector and advisor.
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[[File:ImagesCAPVHREN.jpg|right]]Merlin is based on the famous wizard '''[[wikipedia:Merlin|of the same name]]''', adviser to [[wikipedia:King Arthur|King Arthur]] in the [[wikipedia:Matter of Britain|Arthurian legends]]. Merlin is said to have been the child of a Demetian princess who was impregnated by a demon, specifically an incubus. Other legends state his father was a fairy, an angel or the devil. He was feared from a young age by many people who believed him to be the son of a devil due to the fact he had no known mortal father. However, he was baptized at birth, and blessed by God with the ability to see the future. He is credited at having been present at Arthur's birth. He predicted Arthur's greatness and became his tutor and trusted adviser, ultimately aiding him in becoming King by helping him to win wars against the kings who opposed his succession. Merlin was enchanted and trapped in a cave by the [[wikipedia:Lady of the Lake|Lady of the Lake]] after she stole all his magical knowledge from him. Other minor legends attribute his death to [[wikipedia:Morgan le Fay|Morgan le Fay]] who, after seducing him and was his lover, turned herself into an oak tree and buried him. Merlin's death was a leading cause in Arthur's ultimate downfall, as the King lacked his protector and adviser.
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==Name==
 
==Name==
The name Merlin is of Welsh origin, and the meaning is "sea fortress".
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* Merlin is a masculine name of Welsh origin. The meaning of the name is "sea fortress" or "of the sea fortress".
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* Other spellings of Merlin include Merle, Merl, Meryl, Murl, Murle, Merlen, Merlinn, Merlyn, Merlynn, and Merlino.
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* Merlin's real name, Emrys, means "immortal".
   
== Trivia ==
 
   
* In [[Series 4]] the opening monologue by [[John Hurt]] changes from ''young boy'' to ''young man'', seeing as Merlin has grown a few years. He was 18 when he first arrived in Camelot meaning that Arthur is 3 years older than him.
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== Trivia ==
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* In ''[[Series 4]]'' the opening monologue by [[John Hurt]] changes from ''young boy'' to ''young man. ''In Camelot men come of age at 21 meaning he was 17-18 when he first arrived in Camelot and that Arthur is around 3 years older than him.[[File:Merlin_Series_1_Episode_1_Script_Scene.png|thumb|''The Dragon's Call'' original script]]
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* The original script of the [[The Dragon's Call|first episode]] stated that Morgana is around Merlin's age, as it said: "She is about the same age as MERLIN, but her obvious sophistication makes her seem slightly older".
 
* Merlin was able to move items with his mind before he could talk.
 
* Merlin was able to move items with his mind before he could talk.
* If [[Colin Morgan]] could change one thing about Merlin, it would have been Merlin trying to revive Arthur so much.
 
 
* Hundreds of men auditioned for the part of Merlin. The producers were imperative to come up with an actor with a broad range acting, who was able to do drama, comedy and to act in front of a green screen. They also wanted someone likeable, so the audience would tune in again after the first episode.
 
* Hundreds of men auditioned for the part of Merlin. The producers were imperative to come up with an actor with a broad range acting, who was able to do drama, comedy and to act in front of a green screen. They also wanted someone likeable, so the audience would tune in again after the first episode.
* Before auditioning for the role of Merlin, Colin Morgan was sent the scenes for Arthur by mistake. He didn't get the whole script so he prepared those assuming they wanted to see him for the role of the prince. It was only right before for the audition that he got the scenes for Merlin so he only had about 5 minutes to read over them. He ended up getting the role.
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* Before auditioning for the role of Merlin, Colin Morgan was sent the script for Arthur by mistake. He didn't get the whole script so he prepared those assuming they wanted to see him for the role of the prince. It was only right before for the audition that he got the scenes for Merlin so he only had about 5 minutes to read over them. He ended up getting the role.{{Cite}}
* Merlin and Arthur's relationship is that of deep friendship.
 
 
* Merlin is the only male besides Gaius and Sir Leon (who was already a knight), whom Arthur did not knight in "Coming of Arthur".
 
* Merlin is the only male besides Gaius and Sir Leon (who was already a knight), whom Arthur did not knight in "Coming of Arthur".
* When Merlin first met Morgana he was infatuated with her however these feelings soon passed, seeing her as more of a friend. This is seen with his interest in [[Nimueh ]] in her disguise as Cara in ''[http://merlin.wikia.com/wiki/The_Poisoned_Chalice The Poisoned Chalice]'' ([[Series 1]]).
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* When Merlin first met Morgana he was infatuated with her however these feelings soon passed, seeing her as more of a friend. This is seen with his interest in [[Nimueh]] in her disguise as Cara in ''[[The Poisoned Chalice]]'' (''[[Series 1]]'').
 
* In order to keep his role as Merlin, Colin is ordered to stay out of the sun and wear strong sunblock because the character of Merlin must stay pale.
 
* In order to keep his role as Merlin, Colin is ordered to stay out of the sun and wear strong sunblock because the character of Merlin must stay pale.
* Colin joked that he wouldn't have to shave as often for [[Series 5]] in order to show Merlin ageing into the old man of legend. We know from a set picture of Colin (as Merlin) that Merlin will be the same as ever and that Colin has had to shave so that Merlin doesn't age much physically in the upcoming season.
 
 
* Merlin's [[druid]] name comes from his name in welsh Myrddin [[Emrys]].
 
* Merlin's [[druid]] name comes from his name in welsh Myrddin [[Emrys]].
* Out of all the characters, Merlin gets injured the most. The second-most injured character being Arthur.
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* Out of all the characters, Merlin gets injured the most, the second-most injured character being Arthur.
 
* Merlin's druid name, '[[Emrys]]' means 'immortal'.
 
* Merlin's druid name, '[[Emrys]]' means 'immortal'.
* [[Angel Coulby]] who plays [[ Guinevere|Queen Guinevere]] stated in an interview, Gwen's friendship with Merlin will change very little but went on to say that on occasion he will address her formally.
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* It is interesting to note that most non-magical characters who find out that Merlin has magic end up dead in the exact same episode.
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* In the Italian version of the series his name was translated as Merlino.
   
 
== Memorable Quotes==
 
== Memorable Quotes==
Line 368: Line 386:
 
*''"I have fought griffins, witches, bandits, I have been punched, poisoned, pelted with fruit and all the while I have to hide who I really am because if anyone finds out Uther will have me executed, sometimes I feel as though I'm being pulled in so many directions I don't know which way to turn!!" ''to [[Gaius]].
 
*''"I have fought griffins, witches, bandits, I have been punched, poisoned, pelted with fruit and all the while I have to hide who I really am because if anyone finds out Uther will have me executed, sometimes I feel as though I'm being pulled in so many directions I don't know which way to turn!!" ''to [[Gaius]].
 
*"''Arthur's thanking me, Uther's grateful, you're proud, I've never been this popular."'' to [[Gaius]].
 
*"''Arthur's thanking me, Uther's grateful, you're proud, I've never been this popular."'' to [[Gaius]].
  +
*"''Being different's nothing to be scared of.''" to [[Freya]].
 
*''"I willingly give my life for Arthur's." ''to [[Nimueh]].
 
*''"I willingly give my life for Arthur's." ''to [[Nimueh]].
 
*''"People should marry for love, not convenience. And if Uther thinks an unhappy king makes for a stronger kingdom, then he's wrong because you may be destined to rule Camelot but you have a choice... as to how you do it."'' to [[Arthur]].
 
*''"People should marry for love, not convenience. And if Uther thinks an unhappy king makes for a stronger kingdom, then he's wrong because you may be destined to rule Camelot but you have a choice... as to how you do it."'' to [[Arthur]].
Line 373: Line 392:
 
*''"And you, I have heard how you...mistreat your servants, they do everything for you but do they ever get any thanks? No! You're a spoilt arrogant brat with the brains of a donkey and the face...of a toad."'' to [[Arthur]] as [[Dragoon the Great]].
 
*''"And you, I have heard how you...mistreat your servants, they do everything for you but do they ever get any thanks? No! You're a spoilt arrogant brat with the brains of a donkey and the face...of a toad."'' to [[Arthur]] as [[Dragoon the Great]].
 
*"''It doesn't have to be like this. We can find another way." ''to [[Morgana]].
 
*"''It doesn't have to be like this. We can find another way." ''to [[Morgana]].
*''"Oh, but they do concern me, cause they're my friends too. And I'll do whatever it takes to protect them" ''to[[ Morgana]]
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*''"Oh, but they do concern me, cause they're my friends too. And I'll do whatever it takes to protect them" ''to [[Morgana]]
 
*''"I believe in a fair and just land."'' to [[Morgause]]
 
*''"I believe in a fair and just land."'' to [[Morgause]]
 
*''"Then I swear I will protect you or die at your side." ''to [[Arthur]]
 
*''"Then I swear I will protect you or die at your side." ''to [[Arthur]]
  +
*''"I feel that the die is cast...and that, for good or ill, Albion's great trial has begun." ''to [[Gaius]]
  +
*''"We all matter."'' to [[Daegal]]
  +
*''"I am a sorcerer. I have magic." to[[Arthur Pendragon| Arthur]] ''
  +
*''"I was born to serve you Arthur and I'm proud of that and I wouldn't change a thing." ''to [[Arthur]]
  +
*<span style="line-height:16.890625px;"> ''"Oh! Oh, what's that Wilddeoren eating? It's all right. It's just Merlin."'' to </span>[[Arthur]]
   
 
==Gallery==
 
==Gallery==
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<gallery>
 
<gallery>
 
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</gallery>
 
</gallery>
 
}}
 
}}
   
== See Also ==
+
== See also ==
* [[Dragoon the Great (Disguise)]]
+
*[[Dragoon the Great|Dragoon the Great (Disguise)]]
 
* [[Fan Art#Merlin|Merlin fan art]]
 
* [[Fan Art#Merlin|Merlin fan art]]
   
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
 
[[wikipedia:Merlin|Merlin]] at [[wikipedia:|wikipedia]]
 
[[wikipedia:Merlin|Merlin]] at [[wikipedia:|wikipedia]]
  +
  +
[[es:Merlín]]
  +
[[de:Merlin]]
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[[fr:Merlin]]
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[[it:Merlino]]
 
[[Category:Main Protagonists]]
 
[[Category:Main Protagonists]]
 
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[[Category:Recurring Characters]]
 
[[Category:Main Protagonists]]
 
[[Category:Male Characters]]
 
[[Category:Old Religion]]
 
[[Category:Residents of Camelot]]
 
[[Category:Sorcerers]]
 
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[[Category:Minor Antagonists]]
 
[[Category:Camelot-Essetir War]]
 
[[Category:Non-Verbal Sorcerers]]
 
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[[Category:Magic]]
 
[[Category:Attempted to kill Arthur]]
 
[[Category:Camelot-Caerleon War]]
 
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Latest revision as of 23:23, June 1, 2020

I put my life in your hands every day, Merlin, as do Arthur and Gwen and all of Camelot, though they may not know it. You're the one who holds the fate of this kingdom in the balance.
Gaius to Merlin[src]

Merlin (also called Emrys) is the hero and protagonist of the series. He is a warlock, the last Dragonlord in existence, the only son of Hunith and Balinor, Gaius's ward and apprentice, and the best friend and manservant of the late King Arthur. He is also a creature of the Old Religion.

After leaving his childhood home for Camelot, Merlin became the manservant of Prince Arthur. From then on, Merlin began to protect and guide Arthur on his journey to the throne; according to the Great Dragon, it was his destiny to do so. Merlin was also destined to become the greatest and most powerful sorcerer to ever live; to use his powers to free people of magic and unite the Old Ways with the new; and to help Arthur reunite the kingdoms of the land into Albion and create an era of peace and prosperity.

BiographyEdit

Early Life Edit

Merlin was born to Hunith and Balinor in Ealdor, a small outlying village in the kingdom of Essetir. Near the end of the Great Purge, Gaius had helped Balinor, a Dragonlord, escape the slaughter of his people and arranged for him to stay with Hunith. The two fell in love, but Uther eventually discovered Balinor's whereabouts and sent men to arrest him. Balinor was forced to flee Ealdor and left Hunith behind, unaware that she was pregnant with his son (The Last Dragonlord).

Unlike most sorcerers, Merlin was born with the ability to use magic. According to the Great Dragon, Merlin's birth had been prophesied by many cultures. The Druids, for example, referred to him as "Emrys" (The Beginning of the End).

Life could be difficult in a village as small and isolated as Ealdor. Food was scarce and everyone was expected to pitch in and help with the harvest. Merlin had one friend growing up, William, who was aware of his magic. At some point in their childhood Will convinced Merlin to use his magic to fell a tree, a stunt which nearly flattened Old Man Simmons (The Moment of Truth).

Finding a Purpose Edit

Without you, Arthur will never succeed. Without you, there will be no Albion.
Kilgharrah to Merlin[src]
Merlin101 0051

Merlin when he first arrives in Camelot.

When Merlin was in his late teens, Hunith grew worried by how at odds he was with the people of Ealdor and decided to send him to live with Gaius in Camelot. She hoped that the elderly physician would be able to teach him to control his magic and help him find a purpose for his gifts.

Soon after he arrived in Camelot, Merlin saved Gaius from a fatal fall from a balcony in his chambers. The physician was intrigued by his instinctive use of magic, at one point declaring it to be impossible, but nevertheless discouraged him from using it. The king, Uther Pendragon, had outlawed all forms of magic twenty years ago, and anyone caught breaking this law was sentenced to death.

Merlin spent his first few days in Camelot helping Gaius while the physician tried to find some paid work for him. He soon found a new friend in the Lady Morgana's maidservant, Guinevere, and an enemy in Prince Arthur Pendragon. After one of their altercations escalated into a mace fight that Merlin tried to win with his magic, Gaius grew impatient with his carelessness and advised him to control himself. Merlin, however, angrily protested that he didn't want to. Without magic he was a nobody and always would be, and he would rather die than not be able to use it.

That night, Merlin was awakened by a voice calling his name. He followed it to the dungeons beneath the castle, where he discovered the Great Dragon. The dragon told Merlin that he was destined for great things, and that he would aid Arthur in his destiny to become the Once and Future King and unite the land of Albion. Skeptical, Merlin informed the dragon that Arthur was an idiot, but dragon merely replied that perhaps it was his destiny to change that.

The dragon's words had an impact on Merlin, who had been searching for a purpose since he arrived in Camelot. As such, when sorceress Mary Collins tried to avenge her son's execution by killing Arthur, Merlin didn't hesitated to use his magic to save the prince's life. As a reward for his actions, Uther appointed him as Arthur's personal manservant (The Dragon's Call).

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Merlin helps Arthur prepare for the tournament.

Merlin was far from thrilled with his new position. He didn't know anything about being a servant and Arthur was often impatient with his attempts to learn, especially when they prevented him from concentrating on his performance in Camelot's annual tournament. However, the tension between the boys began to lessen as Merlin got the hang of his new duties.

After Sir Ewan suffered a snakebite while fighting Knight Valiant in the tournament, Merlin discovered that Valiant was using an enchanted shield to cheat. Knowing that the King would never believe a servant over a knight, Merlin and Gaius came up with a plan to cure Ewan so that he could testify before the court. Merlin obtained a sample of the venom for Gaius by decapitating one of the snakes on Valiant's shield, then went to inform Arthur, who was going to face the knight in the tournament finals.

The prince was skeptical of Merlin's story at first, but ultimately chose to believe him after he swore that he was telling the truth. Arthur requested an audience with his father and publicly accused Valiant of sorcery, but after Ewan was found dead (having been attacked by another of Valiant's snakes) their case against him fell apart. Arthur was forced to recant his accusation and apologize to Valiant. Angry and humiliated, he later fired Merlin from his service.

Merlin was deeply upset by Arthur's actions and decided that it couldn't be his destiny to protect someone who hated him. When he told the dragon as much, however, the creature merely replied that the half cannot truly hate that which makes it whole and that this was not the end, but the beginning. Initially, Merlin was not comforted by the dragon's words, but after Gwen encouraged him to pursue the truth, he decided to expose Valiant's treachery by letting everyone see the snakes for themselves.

He searched the spell book that Gaius had given him for a spell that would bring inanimate objects to life, then spent the night practicing it on a statue of a dog. He perfected it by morning and rushed to the tournament grounds, where Arthur and Valiant had already begun fighting. Merlin watched the fight from afar at first, then, after the knight disarmed the prince, he incanted the spell and brought the snakes on the shield to life, exposing Valiant before all of Camelot. He was later rehired as Arthur's servant (Valiant).

Early Adventures Edit

One day, Merlin. One day."
"One day what?"
"One day, people won't believe what an idiot you were.
Gaius and Merlin[src]
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Merlin uses his magic to heal Tom.

When not working as Arthur's servant, Merlin would frequently use his magic to help people, often without thinking of the consequences. On one such occasion, he used a magical poultice to cure Gwen's father of a mysterious plague that stricken the people of Camelot. His attempt to help soon backfired, however, when Tom's sudden recovery led Uther to believe that Gwen was a sorceress and therefore the source of the disease.

Devastated by this turn of events, Merlin tried to stop Gwen's execution by confessing to what he'd done. When that failed, he and Gaius went to the reservoir and discovered that the plague was being caused by an Afanc in the water supply. Merlin confronted it with Arthur and Morgana and used a combination of fire and wind to kill the creature. His actions proved Gwen innocent and she was released from prison (The Mark of Nimueh).

Merlin's attempt to help also had unforeseen consequences for himself. It brought him to the attention of the sorceress Nimueh, who was responsible for conjuring the Afanc. Seeking revenge for his interference, Nimueh snuck into Camelot disguised as a maid in Lord Bayard's employ and informed Merlin that her master had laced Arthur's goblet with poison.

Merlin immediately ran to warn Arthur, but Bayard was deeply offended by his accusations and Uther decided to settle the matter by commanding Merlin to drink from the cup himself. Ignoring Arthur's protests, Merlin did as he was asked and collapsed moments later, proving that the goblet was poisoned. Gaius later discovered the petal of a Mortaeus flower stuck to the inside of the cup and determined that an antidote could only be made from the leaves of that same flower. If Merlin did not receive the antidote in three or four days, he would surely die.

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Merlin conjures a magical light to guide Arthur to safety.

Upon hearing this, Arthur defied his father's orders and rode out to the Forest of Balor to find the flower. He ran into Nimueh along the way, who led him into a trap and then left him to die. Though unconscious and a long distance away, Merlin subconsciously sensed Arthur's plight and sent a magical light to guide him to safety.

When Arthur returned to Camelot with the flower, he was arrested and taken to the dungeons for disobeying his father's orders. Fortunately, Gwen managed to retrieve the flower and brought it to Gaius, who completed the antidote and saved Merlin's life (The Poisoned Chalice).

Merlin next used his magic to help a swordsman named Lancelot, who wanted to become a knight but was prohibited by the First Code of Camelot, which decreed that only men of noble blood could serve as knights. Wanting to repay Lancelot for saving him from a Griffin, Merlin used his magic to forge a fake seal of nobility and talked Arthur into letting him try out for the knights. With some help from Guinevere, who provided clothes and armour to help Lancelot look the part, the ruse succeeded and Lancelot was made a Knight of Camelot.

However, this plan also backfired in the end. After Uther discovered that his seal was a forgery, Lancelot was stripped of his knighthood and thrown in jail. Horrified by this turn of events, Merlin apologized to Lancelot for making him lie, but the swordsman insisted that he wasn't to blame. He told Merlin that it had been his choice to go through with the plan and that the punishment was his alone to bear.

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Merlin enchants Lancelot's spear.

Later, when Arthur rode out with a company of knights to fight the Griffin, Merlin and Lancelot (who had been released from prison by Arthur) set out to follow them. Merlin enchanted Lancelot's spear to give him the power to kill the Griffin, and in doing so revealed his magic to his new friend.

Lancelot promised to keep Merlin's secret, but refused to take credit for killing the Griffin when he knew that Merlin was truly responsible. As such, he decided to leave Camelot with the hope that fate would one day grant him another chance to become a Knight of Camelot. As he watched Lancelot ride away, Merlin hoped that they would meet again one day (Lancelot).

After Morgana was stricken with a mysterious illness, sorcerer Edwin Muirden secretly used magic to cure her and quietly set out to undermine Gaius. Merlin was delighted when Edwin encouraged him to use his magic and offered to teach him about it, but was deeply upset when Edwin replaced Gaius as court physician.

When he discovered that Edwin had used Elanthia beetles to cause Morgana's illness and was going to use them to kill Uther, Gaius confronted Edwin with the truth. The sorcerer used his magic to surround Gaius with fire, intending to kill him, but Merlin arrived and used his own magic to kill Edwin before he could succeed. He later used his magic to save Uther from Edwin's beetle despite the risk of his powers being discovered (A Remedy to Cure All Ills).

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Merlin rescues Arthur from the Lake.

Merlin also used his magic to save Arthur when the exiled Sidhe Aulfric and his daughter Sophia enchanted him and tried to sacrifice him to the Sidhe Elder. After his attempt to confront them directly failed, he chased them to the Lake of Avalon and arrived just in time to see Sophia use her magic to force Arthur under the water.

Merlin quickly seized Sophia's abandoned staff and used it to kill her and her father, then dove into the lake and pulled Arthur to the surface. Later, back in Camelot, he and Gaius explained Arthur's lapse in memory by telling him that he'd tried to elope with Sophia the night before and Merlin had been forced to knock him out with a lump of wood in order to bring him back home (The Gates of Avalon).

Difficult Decisions Edit

If it comes to a choice between saving people's lives and revealing who I really am, there is no choice.”
“You can't let Arthur know about your gift.
Merlin and Hunith discuss his secret[src]
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Merlin and Mordred hide in Morgana's chambers.

Merlin was also faced with a number of life altering choices after he came to Camelot. When he and Morgana conspired to save Mordred from capture and execution, the Great Dragon advised him not to protect the boy because he was destined to kill Arthur.

The dragon's prediction forced Merlin to choose between helping the Druid boy escape and allowing him to be captured and killed. Though the latter choice would ensure that Mordred's destiny never came to pass, Merlin ultimately chose the former after the boy begged him for help (The Beginning of the End).

When Arthur challenged the wraith of Tristan de Bois to a duel, Merlin asked the Great Dragon to burnish a sword so that it would have the power to kill the undead. The dragon was reluctant at first, but ultimately agreed to grant his request if Merlin would promise that the sword would be wielded by Arthur, and Arthur alone.

Unbeknownst to Merlin, however, Uther and Gaius had carried out their own plan to save Arthur's life by conspiring to drug him. Merlin tried to keep his promise by suggesting that Uther would be better off with his own sword for the duel, but the king would not be dissuaded from using Excalibur, and with its aid he successfully defeated the wraith.

The dragon was furious when he learned that Merlin had failed to stop Uther from wielding the sword and ordered him to take it far away from Camelot, to a place where no mortal man could ever find it. Merlin later retrieved the sword from the armoury and cast it into the Lake of Avalon (Excalibur).

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Merlin creates a whirlwind that wipes out his enemies.

Merlin also had a difficult choice to make when Arthur, Gwen, and Morgana helped him to defend Ealdor from bandits. Though Arthur immediately set to work training the villagers to defend themselves, it soon became apparent that they weren't warrior material. Gwen and Morgana in particular were certain that they had little hope of holding off Kanen and his men.

Merlin's childhood friend Will shared their opinion and believed that Merlin should use his magic to defend the village. When Merlin objected that revealing his powers would mean leaving Camelot for good, Will accused him of caring more about Arthur's opinion than about protecting his friends and family. He said that he was abandoning them. Upset by his words, Merlin began to wonder if maybe he should reveal his magic if it meant saving everyone.

In the end, Merlin decided that if Arthur didn't accept him for who he truly was, then he wasn't the friend he'd hoped he was. He summoned a whirlwind during the battle in full view of Arthur and used it to attack the bandits, forcing them to flee. Afterwards, Arthur demanded to know which of them had used magic, but before Merlin could confess, Will (who had been fatally injured) chose to protect Merlin's secret by taking the blame himself (The Moment of Truth).

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Arthur and Merlin try to solve Anhora's puzzle.

When Arthur unleashed a curse upon Camelot by killing a unicorn, Merlin tried to help the prince lift the curse by helping him pass the tests that Anhora, the Keeper of the Unicorns, gave him. The prince passed the first test but failed the second, after which Camelot lost the last of its supplies.

Aware of how desperate Arthur was to end his people's suffering, Merlin went in search of Anhora and asked him to give Arthur another chance. After Merlin told him that he trusted Arthur with his life, Anhora chose to grant his request and instructed him to send Arthur to the Labyrinth of Gedref, where he would be given a final test.

Though Arthur told him to stay in Camelot, Merlin followed him to the Labyrinth but lost track of him in the maze. He was eventually captured by Anhora, but intended to use him as part of Arthur's test. Once Arthur had joined them, the Keeper gave them a puzzle to solve. They were each given a goblet, one of which contained a deadly poison and the other a harmless liquid. The liquid from both goblets had to be drunk, but each of them was only allowed to drink from one goblet.

Merlin eventually solved the puzzle and suggested that they pour all the liquid into one goblet. That way, they could be sure it was poisoned, all the liquid could be drunk, and it would be from a single goblet. He intended to drink the poison himself, as he believed Arthur's life to be more important than his own, but before he could do so, Arthur distracted him and then drank from the goblet instead. Horrified, Merlin could do nothing but watch as the prince collapsed.

Much to Merlin's relief, however, Anhora revealed that the goblet had only contained a sleeping draught and that Arthur would recover shortly. By sacrificing his life for Merlin's, Arthur had proven himself to be pure of heart and had passed his final test. As such, the curse would be lifted (The Labyrinth of Gedref).

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Merlin duels Tauren with his staff.

Merlin was faced with another difficult choice after Uther had Gwen's father executed for treason. When he overheard Morgana and Tauren, a rogue sorcerer, plotting to assassinate the king, Merlin went to the Great Dragon for advice on what he should do. Much to his surprise, however, the dragon advised him to do nothing, as only Uther's death would free Camelot from tyranny and allow magic to return to the land.

The dragon's words left Merlin conflicted about whether or not he should save Uther. However, after a conversation with Gwen reaffirmed his initial conviction that allowing the king to die would be the same as murder, Merlin chose to put aside his personal dislike of Uther and rushed to save him from Morgana's scheme (To Kill the King).

A Life For A Life Edit

The High Priests have the power to mirror life and death, but there will be a price to pay. They will demand a life in return.
Gaius to Merlin[src]
Merlin&#039;s impact on the Questing Beast

Merlin uses his magic to kill the Questing Beast.

After the Questing Beast was seen in Camelot, Merlin accompanied Arthur on a patrol to search for it. Merlin was able to use his magic to kill the Beast, but not before Arthur had been bitten.

Aware that the Questing Beasts's bite meant certain death, Merlin tried to use magic to heal Arthur. When that failed, he went to the Great Dragon, who instructed him to travel to the Isle of the Blessed. There he would find a servant of the Old Religion who had the power to save Arthur, but there would be a price to pay in return.

When Merlin arrived at the Isle of the Blessed, he discovered that the High Priestess the dragon had sent him to was none other than Nimueh. She agreed to save Arthur's life, but explained that someone else's life would have to given in return. After Merlin chose to sacrifice his own, Nimueh gave him a vial of water from the Cup of Life that would revive Arthur from the Questing Beast's venom. Unbeknownst to Merlin, however, Nimueh had not taken his life, but his mother's. She was stricken with a terrible illness and collapsed soon after she arrived in Camelot.

Grief-stricken and angry, Merlin went to the dragon and accused him of tricking him. The dragon replied that he had only known that the price would be a heavy one, and he'd sent Merlin anyway because they both needed Arthur to live. Only when he was king could magic return to the land and the dragon be set free. Realizing that his freedom was all that the dragon had ever cared about, Merlin angrily vowed that he would ensure he was never released for what he'd done.

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Merlin and Nimueh face off.

Desperate to save his mother, Merlin returned to the Isle of the Blessed intending to bargain his life for hers. Before he could do so, however, Gaius bartered his life for Hunith's instead. Horrified, Merlin blamed Nimueh and attacked her with his magic.

The ensuing duel ended when Nimueh struck him in the chest with a fireball, seemingly killing him. As she walked away, however, Merlin recovered and struck her down with magical lightning. He then harnessed the power over life and death and revived Gaius, using Nimueh's life as payment (Le Morte d'Arthur).

Cornelius Sigan's Return Edit

I just want Arthur to trust me. And to see me for who I really am.
Merlin to Gaius[src]
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Merlin defends Arthur from Cornelius Sigan.

After an ancient tomb filled with treasure was discovered beneath the citadel, a con-artist named Cedric began muscling in on Merlin's position as Arthur's manservant. He eventually succeeded in turning the prince against Merlin by making it appear that he'd let Arthur's horses run off, which left the young warlock more angry and depressed than ever that Arthur couldn't see him for who he really was.

Soon afterward, the spirit of legendary sorcerer Cornelius Sigan possessed Cedric and summoned an army of animated gargoyles to destroy Camelot. Because Sigan was immortal, Merlin was forced to go to the Great Dragon for help. The dragon informed him that to defeat Sigan he would need a spell more powerful than anything he knew, but refused to give it to Merlin unless he promised to free him. After a moment's hesitation, Merlin agreed.

When Sigan realized how powerful Merlin was, he tried to persuade the young warlock to join him by telling him that Arthur didn't deserve his loyalty. He reminded Merlin that Arthur treated him like a slave and had cast him aside without a moment's thought. Though tempted by the offer, Merlin ultimately decided that it was better to serve a good man than to rule with an evil one and used the dragon's spell to seal Sigan's spirit back inside the enchanted jewel it had escaped from. Arthur later gave Merlin his manservant position back after Cedric's treachery was exposed (The Curse of Cornelius Sigan).

Arthur Incognito Edit

You're Prince Arthur. You can't change who you are."
"Yes, I can...
Merlin and Arthur[src]
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Merlin tries to keep an eye on Sir William during the tournament.

When Arthur decided to prove that he could win Camelot's annual jousting tournament without being given special treatment, Merlin convinced Gwen to let the prince stay at her house. He also hired a farmer from an outlying village to pose as Arthur's cover identity, Sir William of Deira.

Arthur was expecting Merlin to attend to all of his usual duties during the tournament. However, because the rest of the court was under the impression that the prince was away on a patrol, Gaius was expecting Merlin to help out with their household chores as well. Merlin was ultimately forced to use his magic to get all the work done, and at one point ranted at Gaius when the physician accused him of slacking off.

When Merlin learned that King Odin had sent an assassin to kill Arthur, he immediately rushed to Gwen's house to inform the prince of the danger. Later, at the tournament finals, he discovered the assassin had killed Arthur's opponent, Sir Alynor, and taken his place in the competition. Though the assassin managed to badly injure the prince with a blade hidden inside his lance, Merlin was able to incapacitate him by using his magic to break the strap on his saddle, which allowed Arthur to defeat and (unintentionally) kill him.

Though the court at large never learned of Arthur's deception during the tournament, Gaius figured it out after he discovered the assassin dead in Alynor's armour and was displeased that Merlin hadn't told him. He later forced Merlin to complete the chores he'd let Merlin out of after his earlier rant, including cleaning out the leech tank (The Once and Future Queen).

Helping Morgana Edit

What about the Druids? They help people like you.
Merlin to Morgana[src]
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Merlin summons a cloud of mist to help Morgana escape.

When Morgana's magic began to reveal itself, Merlin wanted to help her but both Gaius and the Great Dragon advised him not to get involved. The dragon in particular was adamant that Morgana could not be trusted and told Merlin that it would be better if she never knew the full extent of her powers. However, Merlin refused to abandon her and advised her to seek out the Druids, as they were known to help people like her.

Morgana took his advice and snuck out of the castle that very night. Unfortunately, her disappearance led Uther to believe that she'd been kidnapped and he consequently proclaimed that all prisoners suspected of magic would be executed unless she was returned to Camelot. When Merlin learned of this, he rushed to the Druid camp and told Morgana what had happened, but she refused to return to Camelot with him.

Soon afterward, Arthur and a patrol of knights arrived and launched an attack on the camp. Merlin tried to help Morgana and the others escape by using his magic to create a cloud of mist that disoriented Arthur and his men. But though he and Mordred (who was also at the camp) managed to get away in the confusion, Morgana was unable to get very far with her leg wound and was soon recovered by Arthur and the knights.

Later, back in Camelot, Merlin assured Morgana that she could trust him and promised that he wouldn't tell anyone about her magic. He ran into Arthur as he was leaving her chambers, who (under the mistaken impression that Merlin had fallen in love with Morgana) warned him not to pursue his feelings for his own safety. He also reminded him that someone of his class couldn't even be friends with Morgana, let alone anything else (The Nightmare Begins).

Rescuing Gwen Edit

I suppose you and Arthur are going after Gwen."
"Gaius, don't even think about telling me not to go. There's nothing you can say that will stop me.
Gaius and Merlin[src]
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Merlin finds Hengist's ransom note.

When Gwen was kidnapped and held hostage by bandits who believed her to be the Lady Morgana, Merlin and Arthur disobeyed Uther's orders and set out to rescue her. The prince was unusually impatient and reckless throughout their journey (at one point he even insisted that they take a shortcut through tunnels that he knew to be infested with Wilddeoren), which puzzled Merlin until he figured out that Arthur had fallen in love with Gwen.

Merlin was both amused and delighted by this and wasted no time in teasing Arthur about it. Much to his surprise, however, his joking challenge for Arthur to admit his feelings resulted not in mutual teasing, but in a frustrated confession that nothing could ever happen between him and Gwen. He lamented that his father wouldn't even let him rescue a servant, let alone marry one. Serious now, Merlin told Arthur that he could change that when he was king, and tried to cheer him up by assuring him that Gwen would wait for him if she truly returned his feelings.

Merlin and Arthur infiltrated Hengist's hideout just in time to save Gwen and Lancelot (who had also tried to rescue Gwen) from being eaten by Wilddeoren. During their escape, both Merlin and Arthur noticed that Gwen and Lancelot had developed feelings for each other, which left Arthur heartbroken. However, when Lancelot learned that Arthur had also had feelings for Gwen, he decided to leave the group so that he wouldn't come between them. Before he left he asked Merlin to tell Gwen that she had changed his life forever, but that some things could not be (Lancelot and Guinevere).

Troll Queen Edit

You're going to tell Uther that his lady friend's a troll?
Merlin to Gaius[src]
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Merlin meets the Lady Catrina.

When a troll disguised as the Lady Catrina arrived in Camelot, Merlin was assigned to attend to her. Unlike most of Uther's guests Catrina was very kind to Merlin, but the warlock became suspicious of her after Gaius told him that she was supposed to be suffering from an incurable bone and he discovered that her manservant, Jonas, had a tail. He later used a mirror to spy on her from Arthur's chambers and discovered her true form.

Soon afterwards, Catrina used a necklace to enchant Uther into falling in love with her. When they announced their marriage plans to the court, Merlin tried to use the Spell of Revelation to reveal Catrina's true form, but she was able to resist its effects. He then tried to convince Arthur that his soon-to-be-stepmother was a troll, but the prince laughed at his claim and refused to believe him. Catrina and Jonas then conspired to trap Merlin in the catacombs beneath the castle. It took Merlin most of the night to perfect the spell he needed to escape, and by the time he broke free it was too late to stop the wedding.

In order to prevent any further interference, Queen Catrina accused Merlin of stealing her royal seal and forced him to become a fugitive. After he and Gaius left a false trail to make his pursuers think he was headed for the northern borders, Merlin began spying on Catrina and discovered that she was using a potion to maintain her disguise. He convinced Gaius to create a potion that looked and tasted exactly the same, then replaced Catrina's potion with the fake one. Because it contained no troll magic, the fake potion had no effect and Catrina's troll form was exposed during her coronation.

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Merlin hides under Arthur's bed.

However, because Uther was still enchanted he was unable to see his bride for what she truly was. With no further options, Merlin went to the Great Dragon to find out how the break the enchantment, and through fits of laughter, the dragon informed him that Uther would have to cry tears of true remorse.

To this end, Merlin and Gaius convinced Arthur to fake his death by drinking poison. After the discovery of his son's death caused Uther to cry, the enchantment was broken and he was able to see Catrina for what she really was. Meanwhile, Merlin (despite interference from Jonas) was able to give Arthur the antidote and used his magic to help the prince kill the troll (Beauty and the Beast).

The Witchfinder Edit

I did a stupid thing. A stupid, stupid thing. And now Gaius is going to die for it.
Merlin to Kilgharrah[src]
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Merlin uses his magic to conjure a horse out of smoke.

While collecting wood in the forest, Merlin took a break and amused himself by using magic to mold a nearby plume of smoke into the shape of a horse. Unfortunately, a peasant woman witnessed the incident and rushed to inform the king of what she'd seen. Determined to stamp out the last traces of magic in Camelot, Uther sent for Aredian, the Witchfinder, and hired him to find the sorcerer responsible.

Because he'd been named as a witness to the magic in the woods, Aredian insisted on questioning Merlin and quickly identified him as a suspect. He accused him of sorcery before the entire court and then conducted a search of his and Gaius's chambers. During the search, a magic amulet was discovered hidden inside a jar of powder. Aredian was delighted by the find and planned to inform Uther immediately, but before he could do so, Gaius stepped forward and claimed that the amulet was his in order to protect Merlin.

Horrified by what his carelessness had caused, Merlin went to the Great Dragon for advice on what he should do. He wanted to confess and save Gaius from execution, but the dragon talked him out of it by pointing out that if he were to die, then he would endanger the lives of all those who relied upon him. The dragon had no alternatives to offer, however, a