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(Morgana's First Conquest of Camelot)
(Guinevere Pendragon)
 
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|image = [[File:merlin5-5.jpg|250px]]
 
|image = [[File:merlin5-5.jpg|250px]]
 
|aka =
 
|aka =
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>
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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>
 
|race = [[Warlock]]<br>[[Dragonlord]]
 
|race = [[Warlock]]<br>[[Dragonlord]]
 
|gender = Male
 
|gender = Male
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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}}
 
{{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}}
 
[[File:Merlin3-3.gif|thumb|left|220x220px|Merlin uses his [[magic]] to heal [[Tom]].]]
 
[[File:Merlin3-3.gif|thumb|left|220x220px|Merlin uses his [[magic]] to heal [[Tom]].]]
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.
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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|magic poultice]] to cure [[Gwen|Guinevere's]] father of a [[Plague in Camelot|mysterious plague]] that had 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.
   
 
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]]'').
 
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]]'').
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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}}
 
{{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}}
 
[[File:Merlin479.jpg|thumb|220px|left|Merlin, [[Arthur]] and [[Gwaine]] search for the [[Cup of Life]].]]
 
[[File:Merlin479.jpg|thumb|220px|left|Merlin, [[Arthur]] and [[Gwaine]] search for the [[Cup of Life]].]]
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, after which Gwaine decided to join Merlin and Arthur on their quest.
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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.
   
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 capture. They later retreated to the safety of the woods after witnessing [[Morgana]] crowned Queen of Camelot.
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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.
   
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 commanded the dragon [[Kilgharrah]] to take him to the lake and was given the sword by Freya, though only her arm emerged from the water.
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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.
   
Soon after Merlin returned to the cave, he and his allies met up with [[Gwen]] and [[Sir Leon]], who had managed to escape from Camelot, but had also accidentally led Morgause and the immortal soldiers to their hiding place. Fortunately, the group was saved by the timely arrival of [[Lancelot]] and his friend [[Percival]], who helped them to 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 and knighted Gwaine, Elyan, Percival, and Lancelot after they volunteered to accompany him.
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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.
   
Merlin uses the sword to destroy the soldiers that stand in their way and has almost made it to the Cup of Life before Morgause intervenes. 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.
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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.
   
 
[[File:Merlin313 2740.jpg|thumb|220px|Merlin places [[Excalibur]] in the stone.]]
 
[[File:Merlin313 2740.jpg|thumb|220px|Merlin places [[Excalibur]] in the stone.]]
A devastated Morgana rushes into the room and cradles her unconscious sister. Merlin tells Morgana that it is over but Morgana tells him that it has just begun and uses her magic to bring the room crashing down on them. Gaius later states that there was no sign of either her or Morgause in the rubble, meaning that they must have escaped. Merlin later places Excalibur in a stone in the woods where no "mortal man" can wield it (''[[The Coming of Arthur]]'').
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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 ===
{{Quote|What is the life of a servant compared to that of a prince?|Merlin to [[Arthur]]|The Darkest Hour}}
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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}}
[[File:786.jpg|thumb|left|220px|Merlin is attacked by the [[Dorocha]].]]
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[[File:Vlcsnap-2012-03-02-11h58m02s17.png|thumb|left|220px|Merlin is attacked by the [[Dorocha]].]]
Though [[Camelot]] experiences another year of peace after [[Morgana]] is overthrown, the peace is interrupted during the [[Samhain|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|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 of the Round Table|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|220px|[[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.
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[[File:402 pm.jpg|thumb|220px|[[Percival]] carries a badly injured Merlin.]]
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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.
   
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. While camping at an abandoned fortress, 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.
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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.
   
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.
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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.
   
 
[[File:Merlin Cailleach face-off s04e02.png|thumb|220px|left|Merlin confronts the [[The Cailleach|Cailleach]].]]
 
[[File:Merlin Cailleach face-off s04e02.png|thumb|220px|left|Merlin confronts the [[The Cailleach|Cailleach]].]]
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 tear.
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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.
   
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 she should never learn the truth that he has magic and that he is Emrys (''[[The Darkest Hour]]'').
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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===
{{Quote|I've been playing a dangerous game since the first time I set foot in Camelot. Maybe this is my chance to change that.|Merlin to [[Gaius]]|The Wicked Day}}
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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}}
 
[[File:722.jpg|thumb|220px|Merlin [[Glamour|disguises]] himself as [[Dragoon the Great]] to save [[Uther]].]]
 
[[File:722.jpg|thumb|220px|Merlin [[Glamour|disguises]] himself as [[Dragoon the Great]] to save [[Uther]].]]
When [[Uther]] is mortally wounded by an [[The Gleeman|assassin]] 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.
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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.
   
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 [[Morgana's Enchanted Pendant|necklace]] to [[Dark Magic|repel healing spells]], which [[Agravaine]] plants around Uther's neck.
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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]]'').
   
Merlin casts a [[Healing Spells|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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=== 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.
   
[[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 of 'Long Live the King' (''[[The Wicked Day]]'').
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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.
   
=== The Dragon Egg ===
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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.
{{Quote|I am the last Dragonlord, and I am warning you, leave this egg alone.|Merlin to [[Julius Borden]]|Aithusa (episode)}}
 
[[File:Merlin smoke.jpeg|thumb|left|220px|Merlin enters the [[Tomb of Ashkanar]].]]
 
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 [[Kilgharrah]] of this matter, Merlin promises the Great Dragon that he will fulfill 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.
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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.
   
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.
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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.
   
By taking the 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". Kilgharrah says that he believes a white dragon "bodes well for [[Albion]]" (''[[Aithusa (episode)|Aithusa]]'').
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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]]'').
   
===Caerleon vs. Camelot===
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===War With Caerleon===
 
{{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}}
 
{{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}}
[[File:Merlin-knight.jpg|thumb|220px|left|Merlin as a [[Knight of Camelot]].]]
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[[File:Merlin-knight.jpg|thumb|220px|right|Merlin disguised as a [[Knight of Camelot]].]]
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.
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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.
   
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.
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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.
   
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]]'').
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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]]'').
   
 
===Under Morgana's Control===
 
===Under Morgana's Control===
{{Quote|You must kill Arthur Pendragon.|[[Morgana]] to Merlin|A Servant of Two Masters}}
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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}}
[[File:4-realbion.jpg|thumb|220px|[[Morgana]] inserts [[Fomorroh|the snake]] into Merlin's neck.]]
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[[File:Cap-00029.jpeg|thumb|220px|left|[[Morgana]] holds Merlin captive in [[Morgana's Hovel|her hovel]].]]
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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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.
   
[[File:Muddymerlin.jpg|thumb|220px|left|Merlin is found by [[Arthur]].]]
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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.
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. 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 [[High Priestess|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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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.
   
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.
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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.
   
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 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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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 ===
 
{{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|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}}
[[File:Merlin354.png|thumb|220px|left|Merlin, worried about [[Gaius]].]]
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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. In reality, 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.
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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.
   
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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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.
   
[[File:731.jpg|thumb|220px|[[Alator]] bows to Merlin.]]
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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.
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]]'').
 
   
===The Lamia===
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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]]'').
{{Quote|There's something at work here that I don't understand.|Merlin to [[Gwen]] and [[John Howden]]|Lamia}}
 
[[File:Merlin358.png|thumb|left|220px|Merlin is sent to another village as a physician by [[Gaius]].]]
 
After finding out that the village of Longstead was struck with a mysterious illness, Merlin ventures out along with [[Gwen]] and the other [[Knights of the Round Table|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.
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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.
   
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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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.
   
=== Guinevere's Exile ===
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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]]'').
{{Quote|I want to think everything's alright, that we really have Lancelot back.|Merlin to [[Gaius]]|Lancelot du Lac}}
 
[[File:409_1.jpg|thumb|220px|Merlin and [[Arthur]], shocked by [[Lancelot|Lancelot's]] return.]]
 
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 [[Guinevere's Enchanted Bracelet|bracelet]] that would make her [[Love Spell|fall in love]] with him. Merlin eventually finds out with [[Gaius]] that Lancelot is a [[Shade]] 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 stays 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.
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=== Lancelot's Return and Guinevere's Exile ===
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{{Quote|I think that someone has raised Lancelot from the dead.|Merlin and [[Gaius]]|Lancelot du Lac}}
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[[File:M4x09LancelotMerlin.jpg|thumb|left|220px|Merlin releases [[Lancelot]] from [[Morgana|Morgana's]] control.]]
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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.
   
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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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.
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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.
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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===
 
{{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|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}}
[[File:Merlin360.jpg|thumb|220px|[[Arthur]] uses Merlin as a training dummy.]]
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[[File:Merlin_in_Shrine.png|thumb|220px|Merlin investigates the [[Druid Shrine]].]]
Soon after, [[Arthur]], Merlin and the [[Knights of the Round Table|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 [[Shrine Boy|ghost boy]] who gives him the task of killing the King.
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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]].
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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.
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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]]'').
   
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.
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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.
   
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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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.
   
===Arrival of Princess Mithian and Guinevere's Return ===
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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.
{{Quote|Because...you're Arthur. You're noble. You're the once and future king.|Merlin to [[Arthur]]|The Hunter's Heart}}
 
[[File:Merlin507.jpg|thumb|left|220px|[[Mithian]] talks to Merlin about [[Arthur]].]]
 
Merlin is soon heard of [[Arthur|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|Morgana's]] plans to seize control of [[Camelot]] with [[Agravaine|Agravaine's]] help.
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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.
   
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]]'').
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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]]'').
   
 
===Morgana's Second Conquest of Camelot===
 
===Morgana's Second Conquest of Camelot===
{{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]]|The Sword in the Stone}}
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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}}
[[File:Merlin kills Agravaine.png|thumb|220px|Merlin uses his [[magic]] to kill [[Agravaine]].]]
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[[File:413_2.jpg|thumb|220px|Merlin instructs [[Arthur]] to pull [[Excalibur|the sword]] from the stone.]]
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.
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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.
   
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
+
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.
   
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.
+
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.
   
As the group flees into the caves, Merlin calls 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.
+
[[File:Merlin kills Agravaine.png|thumb|220px|left|Merlin uses his [[magic]] to kill [[Agravaine]].]]
  +
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.
   
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.
+
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.
   
[[File:Merlin655.jpg|thumb|220px|left|Merlin at [[Guinevere|Guinevere's]] coronation.]]
+
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]].
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]]'').
+
[[File:Merlin_arthur_guinevere_tristan_isolde.jpg|thumb|220px|right|Merlin, [[Arthur]], and their allies arrive at the throne room.]]
  +
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.
   
===Premonition of Arthur's Death ===
+
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]]'').
{{Quote|The prophets speak of Arthur's bane.|[[Lochru]] to Merlin|Arthur's Bane}}
 
[[File:Ab6.jpg|thumb|220px|Merlin saves [[Arthur]] with [[magic]].]]
 
Three years later after [[Guinevere|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|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 [[Ismere]], but Arthur says he cannot abandon his men.
+
=== Arthur's Bane ===
  +
{{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}}
  +
[[File:Ab6.jpg|thumb|220px|left|Merlin saves [[Arthur]] with his [[magic]].]]
  +
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.
   
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 familiar figure emerges and spares their lives.
+
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.
   
Much to Arthur's surprise Merlin reveals the man who spared their lives to be [[Mordred]], who insists on bringing them to Morgana instead of killing them. On the way to Ismere Merlin and Arthur argue and Arthur is hit by [[Ragnor]], the leader of the troop of [[Saxons]], who tells them to move faster.
+
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.
   
[[File:Ab2-4.jpg|thumb|220px|left|[[Mordred]] speaks with Merlin.]]
+
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.
Near the [[Fortress of Ismere]], the Saxons, along with their prisoners, rest for the night. While Ragnor and Mordred sit by the fire, Merlin observes them from his places near the sleeping Arthur and distanced from the other prisoners. Mordred tries to convince Ragnor to give the prisoners some food, but is ignored.
 
   
As the new day dawns, Mordred approaches Merlin and gives him some bread. Merlin then asks him why he is acting like this, and Mordred explains that he does it because he owes a debt to Arthur. He also confronts Merlin about not fearing him, assuring Merlin that [["Keep the magic secret."|his secret]] is safe with him. When Merlin asks what Morgana is looking for in Ismere, Mordred reveals to him that she wants to find the [[Diamair]], the key to all knowledge.
+
[[File:Ab2-4.jpg|thumb|220px|right|[[Mordred]] tries to convince Merlin of his friendship.]]
  +
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.
   
When they continue their journey to Ismere, an apparently exhausted Arthur falls down and Merlin beseeches Ragnor to stop. Annoyed, Ragnor threateningly drags Arthur up and Merlin offers to help Arthur. When Ragnor leaves, it is revealed that this was merely a ruse for Arthur to stealthily steal Ragnor's dagger. As the group continue their journey towards the fortress, Merlin makes goods fall off a wagon. This makes Ragnor even more angry and he attacks Merlin, trying to kill him. Arthur fights back, taking on Ragnor and several of his men. Arthur and Merlin take a few weapons from the wagon and escape.
+
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.
   
As the Saxons are approaching quickly, they have to jump over a large gorge in the icy landscape to escape. Arthur jumps first and Merlin, after a few moments of hesitation, follows. Arthur shoots the approaching Saxons with the crossbow, while Merlin uses an axe to break some of the icy ground near him, widening the ravine. As Mordred nears the opposite side, the ground falls off, making it impossible for him to jump to the other side. Arthur aims at him with the crossbow, but decides to spare his life.
+
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.
   
When Merlin and Arthur finally arrive at the fortress, they use the garbage shaft to get inside. Then they use a wagon to get to the dungeons where the [[Knights of Camelot|Knights]] are working and go to find them. In the dungeons, Arthur and Merlin find Percival, who tells them that Gwaine hasn't been seen for a few days.
+
[[File:Ab2-7.jpg|thumb|220px|left|[[Aithusa]] tries to attack Merlin.]]
  +
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.
   
[[File:Arthur Merlin Gwaine.jpg|thumb|220px|left|Merlin and [[Arthur]] find [[Gwaine]].]]
+
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.
When they find him, Merlin and Arthur see the [[Euchdag]], who had healed Gwaine, as she disappeared, shying away from them. The three make their way back to find the other knights, but are soon attacked by [[Aithusa]]. All of them escape, as Aithusa is breathing fire at them. Merlin tells Arthur to get Gwaine to Percival, while he will lure the [[dragon]] the other way.
 
   
He soon finds Aithusa and recognizes her. She breathes fire at him, but he protects himself with a [[Merlin's Spells|spell]]. He asks her what happened to her and realises that she cannot speak. He then hears Arthur calling for him and [[Dragonlord|commands]] the dragon to leave. Merlin goes back to look for Arthur, but, when he finds him, he is attacked by Morgana, who slams him against a wall.
+
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.
   
As Morgana prepares to kill Arthur, Mordred stabs her and saves Arthur. Merlin then falls unconscious but is later healed by the Diamair. The Diamair tells him that Morgana will never find what she is searching for and Merlin realises that she herself is what Morgana is after, the Diamair, the Key to all Knowledge. Merlin asks what [[Arthur's Bane]] is, and the Diamair says that it is Arthur himself.
+
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]]'').
   
Back in [[Camelot]] Mordred is knighted by Arthur. Merlin then confronts him, asking him why he saved Arthur. Mordred responds that the love that binds them together is stronger than the power they wield, which is something Morgana had forgotten.
+
=== The Return of Uther ===
  +
{{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}}
  +
[[File:Merlin1282.png|thumb|220px|right|[[Gaius]] gives Merlin and [[Arthur]] a [[potion]] that allows them to see [[Uther|Uther's]] [[spirit]].]]
  +
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.
   
When [[Gaius]] and Merlin have dinner, Merlin tells him that Mordred troubles him and that the [[Great Dragon]] had said Arthur would be killed by a [[Druid]], leaving out that the Great Dragon had believed Mordred to be that Druid and that the last time he had seen Mordred before the incident in Ismere, they had parted on bad terms, with Mordred threatening never to forget it. Gaius tells him it is not certain that it is actually Mordred that will kill Arthur. Merlin says that he feels the Great Trial for [[Albion]] has begun (''[[Arthur's Bane]]'').
+
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.
   
===The Return of Uther ===
+
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.
{{Quote|You've caused enough harm. You don't belong here. You must return to the other world. |Merlin to [[Uther|Uther's]] [[spirit]]|The Death Song of Uther Pendragon}}
 
While Merlin and [[Arthur]] out hunting they come across a village where the execution of a [[sorceress]] is taking place. Arthur ordered the villagers to release the [[Valdis|old woman]] as she had not had a fair trial. Moments before the old woman dies she thanks Arthur for sparing her and gives him the [[The Horn of Cathbhadh|Horn of Cathbhadh]] saying that it has the power to summon the dead. [[Gaius]] warns Arthur about the great dangers which came when [[Spirit|spirits]] were called. That night Arthur celebrates his anniversary since assuming the throne of [[Camelot]], however he is depressed as it marks the anniversary of [[Uther|Uther's]] death.
 
   
The next morning Merlin is told by Arthur that they are going somewhere and to not a breathe a word of it to anyone. The eventually reach the Great Stone of Nemeton where the Horn of Cathbhadh is to be used. Merlin waits as Arthur contacts his father in the spirit world. That night Arthur confides in Merlin about his father's negative views. Merlin reassures the King saying that his has always done what believes to be right and that his subjects respect him.
+
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.
   
Back in Camelot, during a meeting of the [[Royal Round Table|Round Table]] a candelabra falls unexpectedly, breaking the round table. Later on that night, [[Percival]] is injured by a falling axe and visits Gaius for treatment. He tells Gaius and Merlin that he sensed that someone was there just before the attack. Gaius, realising that something is wrong, asks Merlin who tells Gaius that Arthur used the Horn. Gaius tells Merlin that if Arthur looked back as he was leaving through the veil Uther's spirit would be released. At once Merlin tells Arthur that he believes Uther's spirit is responsible for breaking the round table and injuring Percival as they represent the things Uther didn't stand for. Arthur does not accept this and tells Merlin to leave. 
+
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]]'').
   
Later that night as [[Gwen]] is walking through the castle, she senses someone there as windows open and wind blows through. Suddenly she is attacked by an invisible force and eventually knocked out in a burning room. Merlin then finds Gwen unconscious and takes her to Gaius who says that she is lucky to have survived. Arthur is still shocked to believe that his father would do such a thing, but works with Merlin to send Uther back to the [[Spirit World]] (''[[The Tears of Uther Pendragon]]'').
+
=== Rescuing King Rodor ===
  +
{{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}}
  +
[[File:Merlin_and_gwaine.JPG|thumb|220px|left|[[Gwaine]] and Merlin spy on [[Odin]] and his men.]]
  +
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.
   
===Fight Against Odin ===
+
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.
{{Quote| There's something not quite right with Mithian.|Merlin to [[Gaius]]|Another's Sorrow}}
 
[[File:Rt8q0359q34.jpg|thumb|220px|left|Merlin is injured by [[Morgana]].]]
 
When [[Morgana]] and [[Odin]] form an alliance, Merlin and the knights of [[Camelot]] set out with [[Arthur]] to rescue [[Mithian|Princess Mithian's]] father and the kingdom of [[Nemeth]]. When Mithian tries to warn Merlin that Morgana was forcing her to lead the knights into a trap, Morgana catches him before he is able to get to Arthur. She then nearly chokes him to death using [[magic]].
 
   
When Merlin is brought to [[Gaius]] unconscious, Arthur tells [[Gwaine]] to stay with Gaius and Merlin while he takes the others to rescue [[King Rodor]]. Gwaine is clearly concerned for Merlin, and is glad to stay with him. A while later Gaius tells Gwaine that Merlin was getting cold, and that he needs more firewood. Gwaine, eager to help, rushes off immediately. Meanwhile, Gaius uses a [[spell]] to heal Merlin. When Gwaine returns, Merlin is awake. The two hurry to Arthur's aid.
+
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.
   
When Merlin and Gwaine arrive at the tomb where King Rodor is being held, Arthur and his men have already been captured. Merlin goes into the tomb to rescue Arthur and [[Percival]], while Gwaine stays outside to help the rest of the knights. Merlin enters the tomb and interferes with magic, knocking Morgana unconscious and escaping with Arthur (''[[Another's Sorrow]]'').
+
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]]'').
   
 
===The Choice ===
 
===The Choice ===
{{Quote|There can be no place for magic in Camelot.|Merlin to [[Arthur]]|The Disir}}
+
{{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}}
When three soothsayers from the court of the Disir pass judgement on Arthur for rejecting the Old Religion, the young king sets out with Merlin, Mordred and a handful of knights to a sacred grove to demand an explanation.
+
[[File:The_disir2.jpg|thumb|220px|right|Merlin, [[Arthur]], and the [[Knights of the Round Table|Knights]] meet with the [[The Disir (Court)|Disir]].]]
But when Arthur refuses to appease the Disir, his patrol comes under attack and Mordred is critically wounded. Wanting to save the young druid, Arthur must make a difficult decision - accept magic back in Camelot or condemn Mordred to die.  
+
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.
   
Arthur then decides to travel back to the Disir and ask for their mercy on Mordred. He travels alone with Merlin. When they arrive back at the cave, Arthur apologises to the Disir and asks them to have mercy on Mordred. They tell him to accept the Old Religion, but he refuses so. The Disir tell him to choose wisely, and give him until dawn to decide. At night, while at a campfire, Arthur asks for Merlin's advice. Not wanting Mordred to survive for Arthur's sake, Merlin tells him that "There is no place for magic in Camelot" (''[[The Disir]]'').
+
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.
  +
  +
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.
  +
  +
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]]'').
   
 
===The Dark Tower ===
 
===The Dark Tower ===
{{Quote|We will find her. I swear. We'll bring her home.|Merlin to [[Arthur]] about [[Gwen]]|The Dark Tower}}
+
{{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}}
[[File:Merlin_&_Mab.png|thumb|220px|Merlin talks with [[Mab|Queen Mab]].]]
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[[File:Merlin_&_Mab.png|thumb|220px|left|Merlin speaks with [[Mab|Queen Mab]].]]
When [[Guinevere]] is captured by [[Morgana]], Merlin sets out with [[Arthur]] and the [[Knights of the Round Table]] to rescue her. Merlin makes a promise to Arthur that they will find Gwen. During the entire journey, Arthur is increasingly discouraged, but Merlin was consistently reminds him of his promise.  
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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.
   
At the camp, during the night, Merlin senses the presence of [[Mab]]. He follows it, where he meets the impish Queen, who knows he is Emrys, who is the spirit of the place they are within and every place that brings despair to the hearts of men. Mab speaks in riddles, much to Merlin's annoyance, and tells him the way ahead is the opposite way they think. She also tells him someone will not come back alive, then vanishes before Merlin can ask more questions.
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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.
   
The sun casts upon the forest and the knights continue traveling. Arthur says they need to find a clearing. Merlin says for them to head north and tells him which way north is, and he and [[Elyan]] convince Arthur to give Merlin a chance. Merlin leads the way by using his [[magic]] to visualise the path ahead. They exit the forest and now have direct view of the tower, which lays in a desolate piece of flat land ahead.  
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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.
   
The knights enter the doorway of the [[Dark Tower]], and draw their swords. They climb the same staircase Morgana and Gwen did earlier, encountering several skeletons on the way. As they climb the staircase Merlin spots Arthur and tell him something is wrong- venturing the tower appears too easy. As usual, Arthur rebuts by telling Merlin he is never pleased. The knights enter a room filled with booby traps- traps which set off darts. [[Percival]] is stricken by a dart and Merlin stops Another which almost strikes Arthur in the head. Elyan rushes ahead of everyone into the next room where Gwen is being held.
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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]]'').
   
By the time that Merlin and the other knights arrive, Elyan is dead. Elyan's body is burned at the same lake Lancelot and Freya were burned. Merlin tells Gaius he was warned one would not return, and [[Gaius]] says the blade that pierced Elyan would've most certainly been intended for Arthur (''[[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.
   
===Gwen's betrayal  ===
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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.
{{Quote|Have you noticed anything about Gwen at late?|Merlin to [[Gaius]]|A Lesson in Vengeance}}
 
[[File:Merlin1345.jpg|thumb|220px|left|Merlin escapes from the dungeon disguised as [[Dragoon]].]]
 
Darkness steals into the very heart of [[Camelot]], as [[Morgana]] and her puppet Queen hatch a sinister plan to murder [[Arthur]], but when stable hand [[Tyr Seward]] becomes caught in the crossfire, he threatens to ruin everything. He is then set up to be seen as guilty for the attempt on the King's life, and is sentenced to death. 
 
   
As they leave the meeting, Merlin tries to persuade Arthur to reconsider his decision, but he refuses. He then discusses with [[Gaius]] that he does not understand Arthur's decision and that he thinks someone else was involved. Merlin then visits Tyr in prison, and brings him some food to eat. As Merlin asks Tyr how he could have done this. Tyr explains that it was not him that caused the King to fall from his horse but someone else. Tyr is hesitant in naming the person who was messing the saddle, as they promised harm to his mother. Merlin explains that everything will be fine and for him to say who he saw. Soon Merlin suspicions are confirmed as he discovers that it was indeed the enchanted [[Guinevere|Queen Guinevere]] who was plotting against Arthur.
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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.
   
Guinevere poisons Arthur as they are dining and blames it on Merlin who is then arrested by the guards. In prison Merlin uses his [[magic]] to break out and saves Arthur and returns back to his cell. [[Sindri]] is then brought before Arthur who questions him about the poison and Sindri reveals Morgana bought them from him and is taken away. Arthur then commends Gwen for finding out about Sindri and the entire court chants Long Live The Queen while Merlin watches Gwen with a suspicious gaze (''[[A Lesson in Vengeance]]'').
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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]]'').
   
===Lead into a trap===
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===Led Into a Trap===
 
{{Quote|Merlin has meddled in my plans once too often.|[[Morgana]] to [[Daegal]]|The Hollow Queen}}
 
{{Quote|Merlin has meddled in my plans once too often.|[[Morgana]] to [[Daegal]]|The Hollow Queen}}
[[File:Merlin-508-d.jpg|thumb|220px|Merlin dying from [[Morgana|Morgana's]] poison.]]
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[[File:Vlcsnap-2012-11-25-01h39m57s46.png|thumb|220px|left|[[Morgana]] poisons Merlin.]]
When Merlin agrees to help a young [[Druid]] boy, [[Daegal]], he has no choice but to leave [[Camelot]] on a dangerous mission. With the citadel distracted by the visit of the fearsome [[Sarrum]] of Amata, it seems that no one will notice his absence. Merlin and Daegal travel through the woods. Noticing Daegal's arm wound, Merlin cares for it. Daegal is astonished by Merlin's proficiency, but Merlin waves it off, crediting [[Gaius]]. He asks after Daegal's family and learns that Daegal is an orphan. Merlin asks if Daegal's mother was a Druid as well, and Daegal nods. They continue on their way. 
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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.
   
Merlin and Daegal continue to traipse through the forest. Daegal returns an apple that Merlin gave him, claiming he doesn't want it. They continue on but Merlin notices some bandits creeping nearby. He calls out telepathically to Daegal, but Daegal continues on, about to walk right into the bandits' eyesight. Merlin lunges and grabs Daegal, dragging him into hiding just as the bandits pass by. Daegal thanks Merlin for saving his life, but Merlin says he's not safe yet: the sooner they reach Daegal's sister, the better.
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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.
   
Too late does Merlin realise that Deagal is not who he claims to be, and that he is helping [[Morgana]]. Morgana knocks Merlin to the ground with [[magic]], then gives him a dose of agonizing poison. A while later Merlin is dealing with the agonizing poison Morgana gave him. He coughs up foam and bleeds black blood from sores. His attempts at magic fail, and he passes into unconsciousness. Merlin continues to suffer terribly. Daegal returns and shakes him awake, giving him water. He begs Merlin to tell him how to heal him. Merlin tells him to gather some herbs and grind them into a tincture, quickly. Daegal does so and administers the antidote to Merlin, but Merlin convulses and then goes limp.
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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.
   
Once Merlin is able to walk, with the help of Deagal, they head towards Camelot to save [[Arthur]] from Morgana and [[Guinevere|Guinevere's]] plan to kill him. Merlin and Daegal reach Camelot. As they search for Arthur, Merlin notices the unlocked door; the pair climbs the stairs and interrupts the assassin, who is aiming a crossbow at Arthur. The man lets fly some arrows at Merlin and Daegal, which Merlin deflects. The man begins to throw knives at them, but Merlin's leg gives out and he trips as he dodges. Merlin uses his magic to hurl an arrow at the assassin, throwing off his aim and causing an arrow to the Sarrum instead of Arthur.
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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.
   
Merlin looks back and sees that one of the assassin's knives is embedded in Daegal's chest. Merlin stays by his side as Daegal dies, having finally done something good in his life. That night, Merlin served dinner for Arthur and Guinevere. Arthur asks Merlin about his girl, saying that Guinevere told him that Merlin was seeing someone. Merlin looks at Guinevere, who merely smiles. Later, Merlin and Gaius bury Daegal. As they walk away from his grave, the two decide they need to do something about Guinevere (''[[The Hollow Queen]]'').
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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.
   
===Restoring Guinevere ===
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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.
{{Quote|She's not the Gwen you love. She has fallen pray to her dark and powerful magic.|Merlin to [[Arthur]]|With All My Heart}}
 
The warlock is determined to break Morgana's twisted control over Gwen. But it will be no easy task, even for Merlin, as only the most powerful magic can save the Queen - and the high priestess will not give up her puppet without a fight. 
 
   
When Merlin brings Arthur to watch as Gwen meets Morgana in the woods to plot against him, Arthur is shocked. The two agree that they must find a way to bring Gwen back from Morgana's spell.  
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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]]'').
   
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 [http://merlin.wikia.com/wiki/The_Triple_Goddess 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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=== 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.
   
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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The next day, Merlin [[Ageing spell|disguised]] himself as [[Dragoon]] and sought advice from an ally of Morgana's called the [[Dochraid]]. She initially refused to speak with him, but soon changed her mind after Merlin threatened her with [[Excalibur]]. The Dochraid explained that Gwen was a victim of the [[Mandrake root|Teine Diaga]], an ancient ritual wherein a [[High Priestess]] used unimaginable terror to bind a victim's will to her own. To be freed from this control, Gwen would have to be cleansed by the [[Triple Goddess|White Goddess]] at the Cauldron of Arianrhod, but the ritual would only work if she entered the water of her own free will. If she were tricked or forced in any way, her soul would be lost forever.
   
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 Dragonlord powers to cause Aithusa to flee however just as he and Mordred are leaving they are ambushed by Morgana. 
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Merlin relayed this information to [[Gaius]] and they conspired with Arthur to drug Gwen and smuggle her out of Camelot, after which Merlin and Arthur took her by horseback to the Cauldron of Arianrhod. The terrain became too steep for the horses as they neared the lake and they were forced to continue on foot. During their journey, Merlin fell from a cliff and was knocked unconscious and Arthur also fell while trying to climb down to help him, his arm becoming pinned beneath a rock. Fortunately, [[Mordred]] had secretly followed them from Camelot and came to their rescue.
   
Once the trio arrives at the lake, Merlin leaves Arthur and dresses up as a woman and uses magic to disguise [[File:Merlinoldlady.jpg|thumb|left|201px|Merlin as an old woman]]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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Arthur explained to Mordred why they were taking Gwen to the Cauldron and he decided to accompany them. As they neared the lake the next day they were ambushed by Morgana and [[Aithusa]]. Worried that Gwen would wake up before they reached their destination, Merlin sent Arthur ahead with her, then used his [[Dragonlords magic|Dragonlord powers]] to order Aithusa away. With the dragon gone, he and Mordred tried to flee, but Morgana attacked them with [[magic]] and Mordred was knocked unconscious. Focused on his mission, Merlin left him behind.
   
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After meeting up with Arthur at the lake, Merlin used magic to [[Glamour|disguise]] himself as a [[sorceress]] called the [[Dolma]]. He then returned to Arthur, Gwen, and Mordred (who had managed to escape from Morgana) and explained what would have to be done for the queen to be restored to her normal self. When he was certain that Arthur understood the risks, he used his magic to wake Gwen from her slumber, then summoned the White Goddess to heal her after Arthur had convinced her to enter the Cauldron.
   
===<span style="line-height:1.3em;">Journey with Finna </span>===
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Later, after Gwen had been successfully freed from Morgana's enchantment, Merlin asked Arthur to remember that it was magic that had saved his wife and that there was no evil in sorcery, only in the hearts of men. He then departed from the group and returned to his normal appearance, after which he and the others returned to Camelot (''[[With All My Heart]]'').
<span style="line-height:1.3em;">{{Quote|You must not trust the druid boy!|[[Finna]] to Merlin|The Kindness of Strangers}}</span>
 
Merlin met an old women 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. 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 he is dying himself of old age (''[http://merlin.wikia.com/wiki/The_Kindness_of_Strangers The Kindness of Strangers]'').
 
   
===Bringing out Mordred's dark side ===
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===Journey With Finna===
{{Quote|This time you have gone too far. You will pay Merlin.|[[Mordred]] to Merlin|The Drawing of the Dark}}
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{{Quote|For hundreds of years the Catha have guarded their ancient knowledge. But now the time has come to pass it on to you, Emrys.|[[Finna]] to Merlin|The Kindness of Strangers}}
When Mordred allows a druid, [[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. 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's side and tells her the truth about Merlin--that he is Emrys, and the evil that has been foretold is starting (''[http://merlin.wikia.com/wiki/The_Drawing_of_the_Dark The Drawing of the Dark]'').
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[[File:Kilgharrah-26.jpg|thumb|right|220px|Merlin thanks [[Kilgharrah]] for coming to his rescue.]]
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While on a picnic with [[Arthur]] and [[Gwen]], Merlin discovered a tree with an odd symbol etched on its side. Arthur dismissed the blemish as stags marking their territory, but Merlin suspected that [[magic]] was the real cause, especially after he found a medallion abandoned on the ground nearby.
   
===Losing his magic ===
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Later, back in [[Camelot]], Arthur received word that [[Morgana]] had attacked the city of [[Helva]], one of the few places where magic was practiced freely. Curious as to why she would attack her own, Merlin returned to the picnic site to look around. He found an abandoned carriage and some papers that [[Gaius]] later identified as belonging to their friend [[Alator]] of the [[Catha]], which led them to suspect that Morgana was hunting the priest in order to force him to tell her Emrys's true identity.
{{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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The next day, while picking flowers for Arthur to give to Gwen, Merlin was approached by a mysterious woman named [[Finna]] who warned him that Arthur's enemies were closer than he realized. She begged him to meet her at the temple of Earu that night and instructed him to come alone or not at all. Though Gaius was suspicious of Finna, Merlin decided to trust her and met with her at the temple that evening. She introduced herself as a friend of Alator and explained that he had entrusted her with a warning for Merlin.
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Unfortunately, Gaius, worried that Finna was a spy sent by Morgana, had gone to the king and told him that a [[sorceress]] had been seen near the temple. Their meeting was consequently ambushed by the [[Knights of Camelot]] before Finna could relay Alator's message. Merlin instructed Finna to flee, promising to find her later, then used his magic to create a wall of fire between him and the Knights to cover his own escape.
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Determined to find out why she would risk her life for him, Merlin returned to Camelot for a sword and some supplies and set out to find Finna. He located her the next day, but unfortunately Morgana had learned from Alator that Finna knew Emrys's identity and had ordered her men to find and capture her. They caught up with Finna soon after Merlin did, and though they managed to fight them off, Merlin was badly injured when an arrow struck him in the side.
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With Morgana and the rest of her men closing in, Finna helped Merlin to an abandoned watchtower where they could hide. She gave him a small scroll containing Alator's message and instructed him not to trust the [[Druid]] boy, [[Mordred]], then sent him on ahead while she held off Morgana. Merlin escaped to the tower roof and collapsed from his injury. He [[Dragonlords magic|called]] [[Kilgharrah]] to save him and woke the next day in a meadow, where he found that his wound had been healed and that the dragon himself was dying of old age. Later, back in Camelot, Merlin and Gaius discovered that Alator's message was a prophecy predicting that Arthur would died at [[Camlann]] (''[[The Kindness of Strangers]]'').
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=== Mordred's Betrayal ===
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{{Quote|This time you've gone too far. You'll pay, Merlin.|[[Mordred]] to Merlin|The Drawing of the Dark}}
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[[File:You_ll_pay_Merlin.PNG|thumb|left|220px|[[Mordred]] accuses Merlin of betraying his trust.]]
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While on their way home from a hunting trip, Merlin, [[Arthur]], and the [[Knights of the Round Table|Knights]] found a [[Camelot]] patrol that had been attacked by [[Saxons]]. Arthur ordered everyone to search for survivors and Merlin saw [[Mordred]] allowing a cloaked figure to escape.
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Worried about [[The Kindness of Strangers|Finna's warning]], Merlin told [[Gaius]] what he'd seen and concluded that Mordred was not to be trusted. Gaius tried to point out that Mordred had been a loyal knight and become good friends with Arthur, but Merlin replied that they had all been beguiled by him and that he wouldn't make the same mistake.
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Merlin later confronted Mordred and learned that the person he was protecting wasn't a Saxon, but an injured [[Druid]] girl named [[Kara]]. He begged Merlin not to tell Arthur about her and Merlin promised that he wouldn't. Unfortunately, Arthur later discovered Mordred's tracks while he and Merlin were on a patrol. Though Merlin tried to divert his attention, the king insisted on following his trail. Kara revealed herself when they reached her hiding place and tried to kill Arthur with a dagger. Merlin stopped her with his [[magic]] and she was subsequently arrested.
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Mordred was furious with Merlin for his apparent betrayal and swore that he'd pay. However, he later learned at Kara's trial that it was his own carelessness that had led Arthur to her. After she was sentenced to death, Merlin and Mordred separately approached Arthur and tried to convince him to spare Kara's life. But though he sympathized with Mordred, Arthur remained adamant that the law must be upheld.
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After Arthur refused their appeals, Merlin went looking for Mordred and discovered that he was planning to break Kara out of prison and run away with her. Worried about what Mordred would do if he left Camelot on bad terms with Arthur, Merlin told the king what Mordred was doing and joined him and the Knights in recapturing the fugitives. However, he realized afterwards that his actions had only made things worse. He tried to remedy his mistake by convincing Arthur to give Kara another chance to repent of her crimes (which he hoped would appease Mordred), but she rejected their offer and was executed the following morning.
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Grief-stricken and furious, Mordred used his magic to blast the doors off his cell and escaped. He went to [[Morgana]] and pledged his allegiance to her cause, then exacted his revenge by revealing that her sworn enemy, Emrys, was in Camelot, and that Merlin was his true identity (''[[The Drawing of the Dark]]'').
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===Losing His Magic ===
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{{Quote|But now we know the war can be won. For Arthur is nothing without Emrys and Emrys is nothing without magic.|[[Morgana]] to [[Mordred]]|The Diamond of the Day}}
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[[File:Balinor_and_Merlin2.PNG|thumb|right|220px|Merlin, trapped inside the [[Crystal Cave]].]]
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While Merlin was out at the tavern with [[Arthur]] and the [[Knights of the Round Table|Knights]], one of [[Morgana|Morgana's]] men snuck into his and [[Gaius|Gaius's]] chambers and hid a box beneath his bed. The box contained a [[Gean Canach]], a creature of the [[Old Religion]] said to devour the [[magic]] of others. The creature attacked Merlin when he returned home and though Gaius quickly killed it with a shovel, Merlin regained consciousness later to find that his magic was gone.
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That same night, Morgana, [[Mordred]], and their [[Saxons|Saxon]] army launched an attack on Fort Stowell, declaring war on [[Camelot]] in the process. Arthur called a meeting of the [[Royal Round Table|Round Table]] to discuss their response and decided to make their stand at [[Camlann]] instead of the citadel in order to minimize civilian casualties. Recognizing the place from the [[The Kindness of Strangers|prophecy about Arthur's death]], Merlin became desperate to protect the king and decided to go to the [[Crystal Cave]], the birthplace of magic itself, to see if there was any hope of restoring his magic.
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Because he'd be powerless to defend himself if he ran into trouble, Merlin asked [[Gwaine]] to accompany him as far as the [[Valley of the Fallen Kings]]. Unfortunately, the knight told his lover, [[Eira]], about their errand, unaware that she was a spy for Morgana. As a result, Morgana was waiting for Merlin when he arrived at the Cave and created a rockfall to trap him inside. Alone, injured, and unable to escape, Merlin followed a mysterious light deeper into the Cave, but fainted before he reached its source.
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Merlin was later roused by the [[spirit]] of his father [[Balinor]], who encouraged him not to give up hope and told him to rest, promising that he would awaken into the light. Merlin did as he asked and woke sometime later to find that his injuries had been healed and his magic restored. He tested the latter by creating a butterfly, then used the crystals to observe and warn Arthur about Morgana's plans.
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Balinor then sent Merlin to the heart of the Crystal Cave, where his true self would be revealed to him. Taking his advice, Merlin bid his father farewell and followed the light deeper into the Cave. He later emerged from the Cave in the form of [[Dragoon the Great]] and headed to Camlann to join the fight against Morgana (''[[The Diamond of the Day]]'').
   
 
===Revealing His Magic===
 
===Revealing His Magic===
{{Quote|I am a sorcerer. I have magic.|Merlin to [[Arthur]]|The Diamond of the Day}}
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{{Quote|I am a sorcerer. I have magic.|Merlin to [[Arthur]]|The Diamond of the Day}}
[[File:Merlin513-000788.jpg|thumb|Merlin reveals his magic to Arthur.]]
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[[File:Merlin513-000788.jpg|thumb|left|220px|Merlin reveals his [[magic]] to [[Arthur]].]]
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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Merlin, disguised as [[Dragoon the Great]], arrived at [[Camlann]] to find that [[Morgana]] and her army of [[Saxons]] were winning the [[Battle of Camlann|battle]] against [[Camelot]] with the combined might of her [[magic]] and her dragon ally [[Aithusa]]. He quickly turned the tide by decimating her troops with [[Lightning spell|lightning]] and using his [[Dragonlords magic|Dragonlord powers]] to send Aithusa away. However, he failed to stop [[Mordred]] from mortally wounding [[Arthur]].
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As the Saxons retreated and Camelot's army pursued, Merlin carried the unconscious king from the battlefield and set up camp in the forest. When Arthur woke that night, Merlin tearfully revealed his magic to him and apologized for failing to prevent Mordred's [[destiny]]. Arthur didn't believe him at first, but Merlin proved that he was telling the truth by conjuring a dragon made out of sparks, leaving Arthur angry and betrayed.
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[[Gaius]] later joined them and examined Arthur's wound. He explained that the blade Mordred had stabbed him with had been forged in a dragon's breath and that its point was traveling toward Arthur's heart. The only hope they had of saving his life was for Merlin to take him to the [[Lake of Avalon]] and ask the [[Sidhe]] to heal him. During their journey, Merlin used his magic to protect them from Morgana's Saxons and continued to serve the king as he always had, which eventually led Arthur to understand and accept his talents.
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As they neared the lake, Merlin and Arthur were confronted by Morgana. Merlin killed her with [[Excalibur]], but not before she'd spooked their horses and left them stranded. Though Arthur appeared to be at peace with his death, bidding Merlin an emotional farewell and thanking him for everything he'd done, Merlin refused to give up and summoned [[Kilgharrah]] to fly them the rest of the way to the lake. Unfortunately, it was too late; Arthur was already dead when they arrived.
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[[File:Old_merlin.png|thumb|right|220px|An elderly Merlin waits for [[Arthur]] in the modern world.]]
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Heartbroken, Merlin was certain that he'd failed his destiny, but Kilgharrah comforted him by revealing that when [[Albion|Albion's]] need was greatest, Arthur would rise again. After the dragon left, Merlin cast Excalibur into the lake and watched as it was caught in the hand of his old love, [[Freya]], who drew it back under the water. He then placed Arthur's body in a boat and used his magic to set it adrift.
   
===Future===
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Many centuries later, Merlin lives as an elderly vagabond in the modern world, waiting for Arthur to return (''[[The Diamond of the Day]]'').
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 ==
{{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}}
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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]] to Merlin|The Coming of Arthur}}
[[File:Merlin232.jpg|thumb|200px|Merlin talks to [[Kilgharrah]]]]
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[[File:Merlin1512.jpg|thumb|left|220px|Merlin often visited the [[The Royal Library|library]] to find solutions to his problems.]]
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.
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Merlin was portrayed as being kind, caring, compassionate, brave, heroic, protective, intelligent, optimistic, and wise. When he first arrived in [[Camelot]], he could be naive, outspoken, and slightly foolish, as shown in his first meeting with [[Arthur]], and often acted impulsively without thinking of the consequences (''[[The Dragon's Call]]'').
   
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.
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Merlin showed exceptional talent and potential in his [[magic|magical]] abilities and was eager to further his education in spite of the risks associated with practicing magic. He could be careless with his powers and initially depended on them to solve every problem, a habit that created trouble for himself and others on several occasions (''[[The Mark of Nimueh]]'', ''[[Lancelot (episode)|Lancelot]]''). Sometimes he used his magic for selfish or frivolous reasons, such as fighting Arthur in the marketplace or softening his workload (''[[The Dragon's Call]]'', ''[[Valiant (episode)|Valiant]]'', ''[[The Once and Future Queen]]'').
   
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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As Merlin got older, however, he learned to rely on his wits as well as his magic and to use his powers for the benefit of others. At first he tended to seek advice from mentors such as [[Gaius]] or the [[Great Dragon]], but over time he became more independent, conducting his own research and figuring out his own solutions. Combined with his cunning, intelligence, and observational skills, these traits made Merlin a formidable amateur detective (''[[The Witchfinder]]'', ''[[Goblin's Gold]]'', ''[[The Secret Sharer]]'', ''[[Lancelot du Lac]]'').
[[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 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.
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[[File:Merlin371.png|thumb|right|220px|Merlin uses his [[magic]] to trick [[Geoffrey]].]]
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A mischievous soul, Merlin often used his magic to play tricks and create distractions (''[[Goblin's Gold]]'', ''[[Love in the Time of Dragons]]'', ''[[Aithusa]]''). Occasionally his humour was portrayed as dry or sarcastic, especially when he was disguised as [[Dragoon the Great]] (''[[Queen of Hearts]]'', ''[[A Servant of Two Masters]]'', ''[[A Lesson in Vengeance]]'').
   
[[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.
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Merlin often used humour to endure Arthur's teasing and frequently engaged him in verbal sparring. He was fond of creating unique insults for the prince, referring to him as such things as a "clotpoll" and a "dollophead" on several occasions. When Arthur asked him to define the latter, Merlin cheekily replied that Arthur ''was'' the definition of the word (''[[The Tears of Uther Pendragon]]'').
   
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]]'')
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Merlin was very selfless. He regularly risked his life for his loved ones and was willing to sacrifice himself for Arthur on numerous occasions. However, his selfless nature sometimes impaired his sense of duty, as did his concern with fairness. For example, though his survival was imperative to the future of [[Albion]], when [[Gwen]] was arrested for sorcery that Merlin had done, he tried to confess that he was the one responsible even though it would mean his own execution (''[[The Mark of Nimueh]]''). Merlin also had a habit of trying to see good in everyone, which Kilgharrah once warned him could prove to be his undoing (''[[The Tears of Uther Pendragon]]'').
   
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Though initially rash, impatient, and somewhat bumbling in his attempts to help people, as Merlin got older he learned from his mistakes and became surprisingly wise. Examples of his wisdom include guiding a young [[sorcerer]] named [[Gilli]] and preventing him from killing [[Uther]] (''[[The Sorcerer's Shadow]]''); convincing Arthur to fight back against [[Morgana]] and her [[immortal army]] (''[[The Coming of Arthur]]''); and restoring Arthur's faith in his ability to rule (''[[The Sword in the Stone]]'').
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[[File:Merlin's Lightning Spell.gif|thumb|left|220px|Merlin strikes [[Nimueh]] with [[lightning spell|lightning]].]]
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However, there was also a darker side to Merlin's personality. He would go to extreme measures to protect his friends and was forced to kill his enemies an alarming number of times. Examples include [[Mary Collins]] and [[Edwin Muirden]], who he killed in defense of his loved ones, and [[Grunhilda]] and the [[Sidhe Elder]], who were killed in combat (''[[The Dragon's Call]]'', ''[[A Remedy to Cure All Ills]]'', ''[[The Changeling]]'').
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Some of the more notable displays of Merlin's darker side were when he used the [[power over life and death]] to strike down [[Nimueh]] and trade her life for Gaius's (''[[Le Morte d'Arthur]]''); when he poisoned Morgana to save Camelot (''[[The Fires of Idirsholas]]''); and when he killed [[Agravaine]] after he discovered his magic (''[[The Sword in the Stone]]'').
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Merlin often appeared indifferent to those he killed and could sometimes be cold and calculating towards his enemies, such as when he [[Animal Control Spells|used a snake]] to scare Morgana's horse or disabled her powers to overthrow her (''[[The Castle of Fyrien]]'', ''[[The Sword in the Stone]]''). However, this brutality was only ever directed towards his enemies; he never harmed anyone who wasn't a threat to the safety of either himself or his loved ones. He was devastated when he had to poison Morgana and sometimes tried to convince his enemies to abandon their dark paths, only resorting to violence when they refused.
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[[File:Vlcsnap-2012-04-24-17h33m33s40.png|thumb|right|220px|Merlin sometimes wondered if his [[magic]] made him a monster.]]
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Merlin was also shown to struggle with feelings of isolation and loneliness. He longed for recognition and considered his magic to be a cornerstone of his identity, implying more than once that unless someone knew his secret, they didn't truly know him (''[[The Moment of Truth]]'', ''[[The Wicked Day]]''). He sometimes expressed sadness and confusion about having been born with magic when he wasn't allowed to use it and wondered at times if it made him a monster (''[[The Dragon's Call]]'', ''[[The Lady of the Lake]]'').
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These feelings continued to plague Merlin as he grew older. He became increasingly somber and weighed down by his [[destiny]] to the point that even Arthur noticed how unhappy he was (''[[The Disir]]''). He also became colder and more ruthless towards his enemies, such as when he berated Arthur for sparing [[Mordred]] despite the fact that he'd been kind to them and no longer posed a threat (''[[Arthur's Bane]]''). Later, after Mordred became a [[Knight of Camelot]], Merlin constantly gave him the cold shoulder and refused to believe that he meant no harm, an attitude which directly contributed to Mordred's betrayal (''[[The Drawing of the Dark]]'').
   
 
==Relationships==
 
==Relationships==
 
=== Arthur Pendragon ===
 
=== Arthur Pendragon ===
 
{{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}}
 
{{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]]
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[[File:Merlin 201 5.png|thumb|left|220px|Merlin helps [[Arthur]] with his armour.]]
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>
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Merlin originally had an antagonistic relationship with [[Arthur]]. He believed him to be nothing more than an arrogant bully and even said that he'd help anyone who wanted to kill him. However, this changed after he found out that they were linked by [[destiny]] and he decided to save Arthur from [[Mary Collins|Mary Collins's]] attack. Merlin was later appointed Arthur's manservant as a "reward" for saving his life (''[[The Dragon's Call]]'').
   
[[File:204 am.jpg|thumb|200px|Merlin and [[Arthur]] on a mission]]
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Though in time they came to be as close as brothers, Merlin and Arthur's relationship initially remained somewhat hostile. Merlin took great pleasure in insulting and playing tricks on Arthur, who was often annoyed by Merlin's insolence and inexperience as a servant. They were also divided by their differences in class. Arthur frequently used his status as prince to rebuff Merlin's claims of friendship and to tease and abuse him for laughs, such as when he gave him massive amounts of chores to complete or poured water over him (''[[Valiant]]'', ''[[The Lady of the Lake]]'').
   
<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>
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Despite their differences, however, Merlin and Arthur quickly developed a grudging affection for one another. They were willing to risk (or even sacrifice) their lives for each other very soon in their friendship, even it it meant acting against the advice or orders of others (''[[The Poisoned Chalice]]'', ''[[The Labyrinth of Gedref]]'', ''[[Le Morte d'Arthur]]'', ''[[The Darkest Hour]]''). They also soon became attuned to one another's emotions. Merlin was particularly adept at deciphering Arthur's thoughts and feelings, and though Arthur tended to be more oblivious, he frequently noticed when Merlin was upset and often tried to cheer him up (''[[The Lady of the Lake]]'', ''[[The Last Dragonlord]]'', ''[[Love in the Time of Dragons]]'', ''[[The Disir]]'').
   
<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]]'').
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[[File:110 11.png|thumb|220px|Merlin's [[magic|secret]] was the biggest obstacle in his friendship with [[Arthur]].]]
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Merlin's secrets proved to be one of the biggest obstacles in their friendship. He found it difficult to confide in Arthur because he could not tell him about his [[magic]], and was forced to hide or downplay many important events in his life, such as the reason he left [[Ealdor]], [[Freya|Freya's]] death, [[Morgana|Morgana's]] downfall, and [[Balinor|Balinor's]] death (''[[The Moment of Truth]]'', ''[[The Lady of the Lake]]'', ''[[The Fires of Idirsholas]]'', ''[[The Last Dragonlord]]'').
   
[[File:Merlin560.jpg|thumb|left|200px|The king and The warlock on a journey]]
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Arthur, on the other hand, trusted Merlin with most of his secrets, such as his plan to enter a jousting tournament in disguise (''[[The Once and Future Queen]]'') and his feelings for [[Gwen]] (''[[Lancelot and Guinevere]]''), and included him in many of his secret missions, such as his meeting with [[Morgause]] (''[[The Sins of the Father]]''), his search for the last [[Dragonlord]] (''[[The Last Dragonlord]]''), and the quest for the [[Cup of Life]] (''[[The Coming of Arthur]]'').
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.
 
   
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.
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As time went on, Merlin gradually began to take on the role of Arthur's unofficial advisor. Arthur noted Merlin's wisdom on several occasions (usually in a rather indirect way) and sought his counsel on a number of subjects. Some were highly important, such as the right thing to do morally and politically, and some were more trivial, such as how to express his feelings towards women (''[[The Changeling]]'', ''[[Sweet Dreams]]''). Merlin was also one of only a handful of commoners invited to sit at the [[Royal Round Table|Round Table]], showing that Arthur respected him as much as his [[Knights of the Round Table|most trusted knights]], and [[Mithian|Princess Mithian]] once noted that Arthur valued Merlin's opinion above almost all others (''[[The Coming of Arthur]]'', ''[[The Hunter's Heart]]'').
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[[File:Merlin1436.png|thumb|left|220px|Merlin gradually became one of [[Arthur|Arthur's]] most trusted advisors.]]
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When [[Uther]] was mortally wounded by an assassin, Merlin tried to use his influence to convince Arthur that magic could be used for good. Unfortunately, his plan to [[Healing spells|heal]] the king backfired and killed him instead, leading Arthur to conclude that magic was pure evil. Certain that he'd turned Arthur against magic forever, Merlin was devastated and worried that Arthur would never know who he really was (''[[The Wicked Day]]'').
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In the wake of his father's death, Arthur came to rely more and more on the counsel of his uncle [[Agravaine]], who was secretly allied with Morgana and did everything he could to undermine Merlin's influence. Arthur frequently chose to follow his uncle's advice over Merlin's and refused to believe Merlin when he tried to tell him about Agravaine's treachery (''[[His Father's Son]]'', ''[[The Secret Sharer]]'', ''[[The Hunter's Heart]]'').
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Despite Agravaine's interference, however, Merlin and Arthur continued to grow closer. Arthur openly called Merlin his friend on several occasions, found the thought of him dying to be unbearable when he was attacked by the [[Dorocha]] and captured by Morgana's mercenaries, and even hugged him when he found him safe in the forest (''[[The Darkest Hour]]'', ''[[The Wicked Day]]'', ''[[A Servant of Two Masters]]'', ''[[The Secret Sharer]]'', ''[[The Sword in the Stone]]''). Later, after Camelot was captured by Morgana and [[Helios]], Merlin restored Arthur's faith in his ability to rule by using his magic to help him pull [[Excalibur]] from [[The Coming of Arthur|the stone he'd lodged it in]], which he'd told Arthur only the true King of Camelot could do (''[[The Sword in the Stone]]'').
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[[File:Arthur's dead body.PNG|thumb|right|220px|[[Arthur]] used his final moments to thank Merlin for everything he'd done for him.]]
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Merlin finally revealed his magic after Arthur was mortally by [[Mordred]] in the [[Battle of Camlann]]. Angry and betrayed, Arthur initially wanted nothing more to do with Merlin, but changed his mind when he learned that his only hope of survival was for Merlin to take him to [[Lake of Avalon]] and ask the [[Sidhe]] to heal him.
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Arthur carefully observed Merlin during their journey, and after seeing how he used his magic for good, he gradually came to understand and accept his talents. Unfortunately, an encounter with Morgana prevented them from reaching the lake in time to save his life. He used his final moments to thank Merlin for everything he'd done for him and later died in his arms. Heartbroken, Merlin sent Arthur's body to Avalon and spent the rest of his life waiting for him to return (''[[The Diamond of the Day]]'').
   
 
=== Gaius ===
 
=== Gaius ===
{{Quote|You are more than a father to me.|Merlin, to [[Gaius]]|A Remedy to Cure All Ills}}
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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]]]]
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[[File:Merlin347.png|thumb|220px|left|Merlin and his mentor, [[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]]'').
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[[Gaius]] was Merlin's friend and mentor and one of the few people who knew about his [[magic]]. In fact, the main reason [[Hunith]] sent Merlin to live with Gaius was so he could help him with his powers. Gaius was initially reluctant because magic was banned in [[Camelot]], but soon came around to the idea and gave Merlin a [[Gaius' Grimoire|spell book]] to help him learn about his gifts (''[[The Dragon's Call]]'').
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Gaius quickly grew to love Merlin like a son and was willing to sacrifice his life for him on several occasions. When he discovered that Merlin was planning to [[Power of Life and Death|trade his life]] for his mother's, Gaius went to [[Nimueh]] ahead of him and bartered his own life instead (''[[Le Morte d'Arthur]]''). Gaius also tried to take the blame when Merlin was accused of sorcery and was nearly burned at the stake as a result (''[[The Witchfinder]]'').
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Likewise, Merlin thought of Gaius as the father he'd never had and frequently used his magic to protect him. He saved his life by killing [[Edwin Muirden]], revived him by striking down Nimueh and trading her life for his, and exposed [[Aredian]] as a fraud to save him from being burned at the stake (''[[A Remedy to Cure All Ills]]'', ''[[Le Morte d'Arthur]]'', ''[[The Witchfinder]]''). Merlin also saved Gaius from being possessed by a [[Goblin]] by poisoning him. He administered the antidote as soon as the Goblin had been captured and Gaius felt no resentment toward him for what he'd done (''[[Goblin's Gold]]'').
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Though usually very understanding of one another, Merlin and Gaius did have a few arguments over the years. One such incident concerned Gaius's former fiancée [[Alice]]. When Merlin discovered that she was being controlled by a [[Manticore]] in a plot to kill the king, Gaius refused to believe him and accused him of not wanting him to be happy. After he was proven correct, however, Gaius apologized for his behavior and together they were able to save both [[Uther]] and Alice (''[[Love in the Time of Dragons]]'').
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[[File:407_2.jpg|thumb|220px|right|Merlin comforts [[Gaius]] after rescuing him from [[Morgana]].]]
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As Merlin got older, he became more independent and less reliant on Gaius's advice, at times even outright rejecting it. For example, when Uther was mortally wounded by an assassin, Merlin ignored Gaius's warnings that his plan to [[healing spells|heal]] him could backfire (''[[The Wicked Day]]''). He also ignored Gaius when he tried to tell him that his former student, [[Julius Borden]], was not to be trusted (''[[Aithusa (episode)|Aithusa]]'').
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However, Merlin still deeply cared for Gaius and continued to depend on him as both a friend and confidant. When Gaius was kidnapped by [[Alator]] of the [[Catha]], who had been hired by [[Morgana]] to torture Gaius into revealing Emrys's true identity, Merlin defended him from accusations of treason and stopped at nothing to find him. He later forgave Gaius for telling his secret to Alator and assured him that he was just happy he was alive (''[[The Secret Sharer]]'').
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Gaius, for his part, often expressed pride in the man Merlin was becoming and continued to look after him to the best of his ability. He frequently covered for him when [[Arthur]] noticed his absence and even used magic to heal him when he was badly injured during the rescue of [[King Rodor]] (''[[Another's Sorrow]]''). He was also uneasy when Merlin decided to meet with [[Finna]] and tried to protect him by convincing Arthur to apprehend her, though this ultimately proved to be a mistake (''[[The Kindness of Strangers]]''). The last thing Gaius said to Merlin was that he'd have his favorite meal waiting for him when he returned home (''[[The Diamond of the Day]]'').
   
 
=== Morgana Pendragon ===
 
=== Morgana Pendragon ===
{{quote|She is the darkness to your light, the hatred to your love.|[[Kilgharrah]] to Merlin|The Tears of Uther Pendragon}}
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{{quote|She is the darkness to your light, the hatred to your love.|[[Kilgharrah]] to Merlin about [[Morgana]]|The Tears of Uther Pendragon}}
[[File:Merlin Morgan McGrath-thumb-550x367-19079.jpg|thumb|200px|Merlin and [[Morgana]], after the [[Afanc]]'s defeat]]
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[[File:Merlin112 0355.jpg|thumb|220px|left|Merlin and [[Morgana]] worry about [[Gwen]].]]
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.
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Merlin and [[Morgana]] initially had a friendly relationship. Morgana was one of the few people who sympathized with the plight of [[magic]]-users and Merlin appeared smitten with her at first sight, though his crush gradually faded away over time (''[[The Dragon's Call]]''). They first became friends when [[Camelot]] was stricken by a [[Plague in Camelot|magical plague]]. After [[Gwen]] was mistakenly arrested as the culprit, Merlin and Morgana worked together to prove her innocence by finding the [[Afanc|true source]] of the illness (''[[The Mark of Nimueh]]'').
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They appeared to grow closer while harbouring the [[Druid]] boy [[Mordred]] from [[Uther]], who intended to execute him. As they worked together to return him to his people, Morgana told Merlin that she disagreed with the king's feelings about magic, which seemed to give Merlin hope (''[[The Beginning of the End]]''). She later volunteered to help save Merlin's home village of [[Ealdor]] when it was threatened by bandits (''[[The Moment of Truth]]'').
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However, after Morgana attempted to have Uther assassinated, Merlin appeared to lose trust in her and their friendship became more distant (''[[To Kill the King]]''). This became apparent when Morgana's magic began to reveal itself. Though he empathized with her situation and wanted to help, Merlin ultimately decided not to tell her his secret. He did, however, advise her to seek out the Druids, who reassured her that her magic was nothing to fear and could be used as a force for good, and after she returned from their camp, he promised that her secret was safe with him (''[[The Nightmare Begins]]'').
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[[File:Morgana Dies.jpg|thumb|220px|right|Merlin holds [[Morgana]] after poisoning her.]]
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Their friendship took another downturn when Morgana allied herself with [[Alvarr]] and Mordred in a plot against Camelot. Aware of her treachery, but unsure of how to deal with it, Merlin went to [[Kilgharrah]] for advice and learned that Mordred and Morgana were [[Destiny|destined]] to form an alliance of evil against Camelot (''[[The Witch's Quickening]]'').
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After Morgana agreed to help [[Morgause]] bring about Uther's downfall, Merlin poisoned her in order to force Morgause to call off her attack. Morgana was deeply betrayed by Merlin's actions and resisted his attempts to comfort her while she was dying. She was ultimately saved by Morgause, who [[Teleportation Spell|teleported]] her away from Camelot (''[[The Fires of Idirsholas]]'').
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When Morgana returned to Camelot one year later, Merlin was terrified that she'd tell Uther about how he had poisoned her. Much to his surprise, however, Morgana told him that she understood why he'd done it and asked him to forgive her for betraying Camelot. Unfortunately, Morgana's change of heart was nothing but a ploy to divert suspicion and she later led him into a trap so Morgause could kill him. After Merlin managed to escape, Morgana threatened to tell Uther about his attempt on her life if he told anyone what he knew (''[[The Tears of Uther Pendragon]]'').
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Though they were now enemies, Merlin empathized with Morgana at first and was sad for how hateful she'd become. He tried to reason with her when she summoned an army of [[Undead Skeletons|undead skeletons]] to conquer Camelot and when she, Morgause, and [[Cenred]] kidnapped Elyan to lure Gwen and [[Arthur]] into a trap. However, she rejected his pleas on both occasions (''[[The Tears of Uther Pendragon]]'', ''[[The Castle of Fyrien]]''). Merlin also used magic to heal her fatal skull fracture, though he likely did this out of compassion for her loved ones more so than for Morgana herself (''[[The Crystal Cave]]'').
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As time went on, however, Merlin grew to be more ruthless towards Morgana. He caused the ceiling to collapse on top of her during the [[Great Battle for Camelot]] and caused her horse to throw her during the mission to rescue [[Elyan]] (''[[The Tears of Uther Pendragon]]'', ''[[The Castle of Fyrien]]''). Morgana was equally ruthless towards Merlin. She appeared gleeful when he was sentenced to death after being framed for a [[Goblin|Goblin's]] sorcery and left him to possibly burn to death after her [[Stunning Spells|stunning spell]] not only knocked him unconscious, but toppled a candle that lit the room on fire (''[[Goblin's Gold]]'', ''[[The Crystal Cave]]'').
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[[File:4-realbion.jpg|thumb|220px|left|[[Morgana]] tortures Merlin by inserting a [[Fomorroh]] into his neck.]]
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Morgana began to loathe Merlin after he destroyed her [[immortal army]] and injured her sister Morgause, forcing them to flee Camelot (''[[The Coming of Arthur]]''). They met again roughly one year later when Merlin captured by her men. [[Agravaine]] wanted to kill him, but Morgana had Merlin taken to her hovel instead, as she believed that he might prove useful.
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Morgana seemed merciful at first, cleaning his wounds and asking about his loyalty to Arthur. However, she later tortured Merlin by inserting a [[Fomorroh]] into his neck that allowed her to control his mind and force him to kill Arthur. Luckily, [[Gaius]] and Gwen managed to neutralize the snake before her plan could succeed. Merlin later returned to her hovel disguised as [[Dragoon]] and [[Duel between Emrys and Morgana|defeated Morgana in a duel]], after which he regained control over his mind by destroying the Fomorroh (''[[A Servant of Two Masters]]'').
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Prior to this encounter, Morgana had learned that an old sorcerer called Emrys was her doom, though she was unaware that Emrys and Merlin were one and the same (''[[The Darkest Hour]]''). After recognizing Dragoon as the sorcerer from her vision, Morgana became determined to uncover his identity. She hired [[Alator]] of the [[Catha]] to kidnap and torture [[Gaius]], who she was certain had the information she sought. Merlin eventually tracked them down and tried to rescue his friend, but Morgana cornered him and threatened him with a knife. Before she could kill him, however, she was knocked out by Alator, who turned on her after learning Emrys's identity from Gaius (''[[The Secret Sharer]]'').
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Morgana's treatment of Merlin became even harsher after her three year imprisonment by [[Sarrum]] of [[Amata]]. She badly injured him by throwing him into a wall when he and Arthur rescued Camelot's knights from her fortress in [[Ismere]] and nearly choked him to death during the rescue of [[King Rodor]] (''[[Arthur's Bane]]'', ''[[Another's Sorrow]]''). She also tricked Merlin into leaving Camelot so she could poison him and prevent him from interfering with her plan to kill Arthur. When asked by [[Daegal|her accomplice]] why she'd gone to such lengths, she replied that Merlin had meddled in her plans once too often (''[[The Hollow Queen]]'').
   
[[File:Merlin296.png|thumb|200px|left|Morgana asks Merlin about [[Sophia]]]]
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[[File:Vlcsnap-2012-12-25-03h56m58s204.png|thumb|220px|right|Merlin holds [[Morgana]] as she dies.]]
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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Morgana also renewed her search for Emrys's identity after Merlin thwarted her plan to force an enchanted Gwen to kill Arthur. She tracked down Alator and his servant [[Finna]] intending to torture the information out of them, but ultimately learned the truth of his identity from Mordred (''[[The Kindness of Strangers]]'', ''[[The Drawing of the Dark]]'').
   
[[File:Morgana Dies.jpg|thumb|200px|A poisoned Morgana in Merlin's hug]]
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Though stunned by the news, Morgana quickly put together a plan to [[Gean Canach|remove]] Merlin's magic and declare war on Camelot. When she learned that Merlin hoped to restore his powers in the [[Crystal Cave]], she ambushed him there and trapped him inside. Despite Morgana's efforts, however, Merlin succeeded in restoring his magic and freed himself in time to decimate her army during the [[Battle of Camlann]], though he failed to prevent Arthur from being mortally wounded.
However, he still persuaded Kilgharrah to give him a spell to heal Morgana after he seriously injured her by accident. It is more likely that he healed Morgana because he was unable to bear seeing Uther and Arthur in distress when she was dying, but he was remorseful at what he did to her. When Merlin defeated Morgause, Morgana began to loathe Merlin immensely. When Merlin told her the battle was over, she tells him, raging, that it had just begun. She then used magic to bring the room down with her screams before escaping with Morgause. In [[Series 4]], Morgana eventually learned of a sorcerer called Emrys but was still unaware that he was Merlin and that Merlin had magic. Merlin and Morgana met for the first time since she had fled Camelot when he was kidnapped by mercenaries and taken to her. Morgana was seemingly merciful towards him and cleaned his wound, but she later tortured him by inserting a Fomorroh snake in his neck to have him at her command. Her plans to brainwash him into killing Arthur fell to pieces when Gaius and Gwen intervened. Merlin and Morgana soon met again when she cornered him after he went in search for Gaius. She threatened him with a slow and painful death but was quickly stopped by Alator. Although Merlin was increasingly angry at the trouble Morgana had caused, he found himself unable to kill her, maybe due to the memories he had from when they were friends (''[[A Servant of Two Masters]]'').
 
   
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.
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Desperate for revenge, Morgana attacked Merlin and Arthur as they traveled to the [[Lake of Avalon]]. Merlin confronted her with [[Excalibur]] and said that he blamed himself for what she'd become, but now it had to end. Undaunted, Morgana made no move to defend herself and allowed him to run her through, but much to her surprise, her powers failed to protect her. As she gasped in shock and pain, Merlin revealed that the sword had been forged in a dragon's breath and was one of the few things capable of killing a [[High Priestess]]. Morgana died seconds later in his arms (''[[The Diamond of the Day]]'').
   
 
=== Guinevere Pendragon ===
 
=== Guinevere Pendragon ===
 
{{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]]|To Kill A King}}
[[File:Merlin101 1042.jpg|thumb|200px|left|[[Gwen]] and Merlin meet for the first time]]
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[[File:Gwen and Merlin.png|thumb|220px|left|Merlin and [[Guinevere]]]]
[[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.
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[[Gwen]] was one of Merlin's best friends and the first that he made in [[Camelot]]. They first met when Gwen commended him for standing up to [[Arthur]]. They quickly bonded over their mutual dislike of the prince, and later over their mutual desire to protect him and Camelot after the three became friends (''[[The Dragon's Call]]'').
   
[[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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Gwen was very helpful to Merlin when he was learning to be a servant. She taught him about armour and was supportive of his plan to help [[Lancelot]] become a knight, as she shared his belief that commoners deserved the same opportunities as noblemen (''[[Valiant (episode)|Valiant]]'', ''[[Lancelot (episode)|Lancelot]]''). Gwen also allowed Merlin to take her father's [[Excalibur|strongest sword]] to help Arthur defeat the [[Tristan de Bois|Black Knight]] and volunteered to protect his [[Ealdor|village]] from raiders (''[[Excalibur (episode)|Excalibur]]'', ''[[The Moment of Truth]]'').
   
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.
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Merlin, in return, was deeply loyal to Gwen. He risked his life to prove her innocence when she was accused of creating a [[Plague in Camelot|magical plague]], gave her comfort and a place to stay after [[Tom|her father]] was executed for sorcery, and accompanied Arthur to rescue her when she was kidnapped by bandits (''[[The Mark of Nimueh]]'', ''[[To Kill the King]]'', ''[[Lancelot and Guinevere]]''). She was often the first person Merlin turned to for help or advice, such as when he struggled to prove [[Gaius|Gaius's]] innocence or needed her help to free Arthur from an [[Love Spell|enchantment]] (''[[The Witchfinder]]'', ''[[Sweet Dreams]]''). He was even willing to reveal his [[magic]] to her when they were attacked by a [[Lamia]], but Arthur intervened before he could do so (''[[Lamia (episode)|Lamia]]'').
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Gwen initially had a crush on him and even kissed him once after he nearly died (''[[The Poisoned Chalice]]''). However, Merlin was never truly aware of her feelings and they gradually faded away as she became more interested in Arthur. Merlin was one of the first to learn of their romance and was very happy for them (''[[Lancelot and Guinevere]]''). He worked hard to keep their relationship going by finding ways to give them time together and encouraging them when they felt disheartened by the obstacles they faced (''[[Sweet Dreams]]'', ''[[Goblin's Gold]]'', ''[[The Castle of Fyrien]]'', ''[[Queen of Hearts]]'').
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Merlin was devastated when Gwen was exiled for her affair with Lancelot, but remained loyal to her and tried to help her as best he could. After he discovered that Gwen had been [[Glamour|magically transformed]] into a deer, he tried to protect her from Arthur and [[Mithian|Mithian's]] hunting party, healed her injuries after she was wounded, and watched over her until she regained consciousness. Gwen was delighted to see Merlin and greeted him with a hug, but refused to return to Camelot with him, as she felt she deserved her banishment. She later sought refuge with his mother [[Hunith]] in Ealdor (''[[Lancelot du Lac]]'', ''[[The Hunter's Heart]]'', ''[[The Sword in the Stone]]'').
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[[File:Merlin1922.png|thumb|220px|[[Gwen]] and Merlin often sought out each other for comfort and advice.]]
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When Gwen and Arthur were married after the [[Morgana's Second Reign|second recapture of Camelot]], Merlin stood proudly with the rest of the court as she was crowned their long awaited Queen. Their relationship seemed to become more professional at this point, but Merlin still deeply cared for Gwen, as shown when he rescued her from a fire in the kitchens and freed her from [[Morgana|Morgana's]] enchantment (''[[The Sword in the Stone]]'', ''[[The Death Song of Uther Pendragon]]'', ''[[With All My Heart]]'').
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Gwen also continued to care deeply for Merlin. She was concerned when he chose to go on a mysterious errand instead of accompanying Arthur to [[Camlann]], but trusted that he would only have left his side for a matter of the utmost importance. Later, after witnessing a mysterious sorcerer strike down Morgana's army during the [[Battle of Camlann]], Gwen questioned Gaius about the sorcerer's identity and correctly deduced that it was Merlin. She was both comforted and pleased by the news (''[[The Diamond of the Day]]'').
   
 
=== Kilgharrah ===
 
=== Kilgharrah ===
 
{{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 about [[Kilgharrah]]}}
[[File:Merlin 213 5.png|thumb|200px|left|The Dragon bows to the last Dragonlord]]
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[[File:Merlin 213 5.png|thumb|220px|left|The [[dragon]] bows to the last [[Dragonlord]].]]
[[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>
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[[Kilgharrah]], also known as the Great Dragon was one of the few who knew of Merlin's [[magic]] and the 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 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.
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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 (''[[Le Morte d'Arthur]]'').
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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, and continued to seek his aid when he needed it. 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]] (''[[The Curse of Cornelius Sigan]]'', ''[[The Witchfinder]]'').
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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]]'').
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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]]'').
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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 ===
 
{{Quote|What are you planning? And don't even think about lying. I know you too well.|[[Lancelot]] to Merlin|The Coming of Arthur}}
 
{{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]]
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[[File:Lancelot merlin.jpg|thumb|220px|[[Lancelot]] and 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.
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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.
   
[[File:Merlinlancelot.jpg|thumb|200px|The duo searches for the Cup Of Life]]
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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 (episode)|Lancelot]]'').
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.
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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 (''[[Lancelot and Guinevere]]'').
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[[File:Merlinlancelot.jpg|thumb|220px|The duo searches for the [[Cup of Life]].]]
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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 (''[[The Coming of Arthur]]'').
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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 (''[[The Darkest Hour]]'').
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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 du Lac]]'').
   
 
=== Uther Pendragon ===
 
=== Uther Pendragon ===
 
{{Quote|You, Uther Pendragon, are a stupid, arrogant, old tyrant!|Merlin (disguised as [[Dragoon the Great]])|Queen of Hearts}}
 
{{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]]
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[[File:Merlinuther.jpg|thumb|220px|left|[[Uther]] and Merlin]]
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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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.
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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.
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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.
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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. However, he 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.
   
 
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]]'').
 
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]]'').
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=== Freya ===
 
=== 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}}
 
{{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]]
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[[File:Vlcsnap-2012-03-25-23h20m51s65.png|thumb|220px|Freya]]
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.
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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.
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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.
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In the early morning, Merlin carried her to 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 (''[[The Lady of the Lake]]'').
   
 
[[File:Imagesfw.jpeg|thumb|200px|left|Freya sees Merlin again]]
 
[[File:Imagesfw.jpeg|thumb|200px|left|Freya sees Merlin again]]
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===Gwaine===
 
===Gwaine===
 
{{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}}
 
{{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]]
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[[File:Gwainemerlin.jpg|thumb|220px|[[Gwaine]] and Merlin]]
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.
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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]]'').
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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.
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They worked together to find Arthur and helped him retrieve the Golden Trident. When Merlin 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]]'').
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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 (''[[The Coming of Arthur]]'').
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[[File:Merlingwaine.jpg|220px|left|thumb|[[Gwaine]] and Merlin decide to save [[Gaius]].]]
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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 (''[[The Secret Sharer]]'', ''[[Lamia]]'').
   
 
=== William ===
 
=== William ===
 
{{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, you're going to be servant to a great King.|[[William|Will]] to Merlin|The Moment of Truth}}
[[File:William and Merlin.png|thumb|200px|Merlin and his best friend William in Ealdor]]
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[[File:William and Merlin.png|thumb|220px|Merlin is reunited with 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 (''[[The Moment of Truth]]'').
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Merlin was close friends with [[William]], a young man from [[Ealdor]], and apart from [[Hunith|Merlin's mother]], William was only person from his village to know about his [[magic]].
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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.
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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|The Witch's Quickening|[[File:Mordred_quote.ogg|noicon]]}}
 
{{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. 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.
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[[File:Merlinmordred.jpg|thumb|220px|left|Merlin hides [[Mordred]] in [[Morgana|Morgana's]] chambers.]]
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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, though he was unaware why Mordred called him that until the [[Great Dragon]] told him that it was one of his names.
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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 (''[[The Beginning of the End]]'').
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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 (''[[The Nightmare Begins]]'', ''[[The Witch's Quickening]]'').
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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 (''[[Arthur's Bane]]'').
   
 
=== 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|220px|Merlin and [[Sir Leon]] in a mission.]]
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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 returned to the group after being injured (''[[The Darkest Hour]]'').
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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]]]]
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[[File:Merlinelyan2.jpg|thumb|220px|left|Merlin and [[Elyan]].]]
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.
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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 (''[[The Coming of Arthur]]'').
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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 (''[[Lamia]]'').
   
 
=== Hunith ===
 
=== Hunith ===
 
{{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 about [[Hunith]]|Le Morte d'Arthur|}}
[[File:Hunith and merlin.png|thumb|200px|Merlin and his mother]]
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[[File:Hunith and merlin.png|thumb|220px|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.
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Merlin was very close to his mother, [[Hunith]]. He put her safety and happiness above not only his own life, but [[Arthur|Arthur's]] life, and therefore the fate of [[Albion]] (''[[Le Morte d'Arthur]]'').
  +
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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 (''[[The Moment of Truth]]''). 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]] (''[[Le Morte d'Arthur]]'').
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Hunith and her village was the first place Merlin thought to take Arthur after [[Morgana]] seized [[Camelot]] and they briefly sought refuge there (''[[The Sword in the Stone]]'').
   
 
=== Balinor ===
 
=== Balinor ===
 
{{Quote|Oh, my son. I've seen enough in you to know that you will make me proud.|[[Balinor]] to Merlin|The Last Dragonlord}}
 
{{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]]
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]].
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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]] (''[[The Last Dragonlord]]'', ''[[Gwaine (episode)|Gwaine]]'').
   
 
===Gilli===
 
===Gilli===
Line 956: Line 970:
 
* Out of all the characters, Merlin gets injured the most, the second-most injured character being Arthur.
 
* 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'.
* 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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* 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. There are exceptions, however, such as [[Gaius]] and [[Lancelot]].
 
* In the Italian version of the series his name was translated as Merlino.
 
* In the Italian version of the series his name was translated as Merlino.
   
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Latest revision as of 23:27, September 21, 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).

Capture2012-04-15-14h43m52s241

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]
Merlin3-3

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 magic poultice to cure Guinevere's father of a mysterious plague that had 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.

Merlin&#039;s light

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.

Enchantment Weapons

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).

107 2

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]
108

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).

Merlin110 1830

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).

111 6

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).

Tauren vs Merlin

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.

Merlin and Nimueh

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]
Merlin201 1643

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]
Merlin1594

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, 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.

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.

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).

Enter Morgause Edit

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[src]
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Merlin polishes Arthur's armour before the duel.

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.

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 enchanted it to lead him to her before she'd left Camelot) and at one point were attacked by Odin's men.

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 his father and they continued on with their journey.

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.

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.

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.

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).

Falling in Love Edit

I don't think you understand. I've never known anyone like you.
Merlin to Freya[src]
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Merlin and Freya's first kiss.

While returning home with Gaius after visiting one of his patients, Merlin spotted a young Druid girl chained in a 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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Merlin mourns Freya at the Lake of Avalon.

Instead, Merlin dressed her in the gown he'd stolen for her from 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.

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).

Arthur Enchanted Edit

Why would he want Arthur to fall in love with Vivian?”
”An advance by Arthur would be a sure-fire way to ruin the peace conference. Maybe Alined wants war.
Merlin and Gaius[src]
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Merlin tries to get Vivian out of Arthur's chambers.

When King Alined and his 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".

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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).

Morgana's Fall Edit

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[src]
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Merlin can see the future in the Crystal of Neahtid.

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 ancient prophesies spoke of an evil alliance between Mordred and Morgana and warned Merlin that this union must be stopped, whatever the cost.

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.

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.

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.

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 his promise and set him free (The Witch's Quickening).

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Merlin and Morgana drag Uther down the corridor.

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.

They returned to Camelot to find everyone trapped in a state of unbreakable slumber; only Morgana was unaffected by the 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.

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.

Unsure of what to do, Merlin decided to go to the Great Dragon for advice. Angry that Merlin had 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 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.

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 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.