Seers are individuals with the ability to see the future. Some Seers are able to foresee the future in their dreams, while others can see visions through other means, such as Scrying.
Types of Foresight Edit
Gift of Prophecy EditSeers with the gift of prophecy are able to see visions of the future in their dreams. According to Gaius, it is an innate ability which cannot be learned; those that have it are born that way. It also appears to be involuntary.
Morgana Pendragon possesses this ability. She believed her dreams to be little more than nightmares at first, an idea which Gaius encouraged because the gift of prophecy was too close to the work of magic in Uther's eyes.
Some of Morgana's more noteworthy visions include:
- Sophia attempting to kill Arthur in The Gates of Avalon.
- Arthur being attacked by the Questing Beast in Le Morte d'Arthur.
- Guinevere being crowned Queen of Camelot in Queen of Hearts.
- The Battle of Camlann in The Darkest Hour.
Morgause may also be able to see the future in her dreams, as she once told Morgana that she, too, suffered from nightmares. However, it's possible that she was referring to normal dreams, without the prophetic element (The Sins of the Father).
Scrying is a magical practice that allows a Seer to see visions in reflective surfaces such as water or crystal. It can be used to view events in the past, present, or future.
It is unknown whether scrying is an ability possessed only by Seers or a skill that any gifted sorcerer can learn. However, it was once stated that the future is hidden to all but a very few, which may imply that only certain people are capable of seeing the future under any circumstances (The Crystal Cave).
It is also unknown whether scrying is a practice that all Seers are capable of, or an innate ability similar to the gift of prophecy.
Merlin was able to see visions in both the Crystal of Neahtid and the crystals of Crystal Cave (The Witch's Quickening, The Crystal Cave, The Diamond of the Day). He also saw a vision of Arthur's death in a pool of water (Arthur's Bane).
The Druids also had knowledge of prophecies and seemed to be aware of Merlin's destiny.
The Fisher King was aware of many future events. He knew that Merlin would one day journey to the Perilous Lands and awaited his arrival for hundreds of years. When the day finally came, he told Merlin that Albion's time of need was near and gave him the Avalon Vial to help him in that dark hour (The Eye of the Phoenix).
With his dying breaths, the Seer Lochru warned Merlin to beware of Arthur's bane. Kilgharrah later identified him as a Vates, a Druid Seer whose power of prophecy was unrivaled, even by a High Priestess (Arthur's Bane).
When Arthur, Merlin, and the Knights of the Round Table set out to rescue Gwen from the Dark Tower, Mab warned Merlin that one of their number would not return. Her prediction was later proven correct when Elyan was killed by Morgana's enchanted sword (The Dark Tower).
For hundreds of years, the Catha guarded an ancient prophecy foretelling the Battle of Camlann. When the great battle drew near, Alator instructed Finna to deliver the prophecy to Merlin. He also entrusted her with a personal message for the warlock advising him not to trust Mordred (The Kindness of Strangers).
Potential Consequences Edit
Though useful, the power of foresight is not always helpful or harmless. It has been shown that more often than not, the very people who have visions are the ones who cause them to come true. For example, Merlin made his own vision come to pass during the events of The Crystal Cave.
According to Gaius, the future is yet unshaped and there is nothing on earth that can know every possible future (The Witch's Quickening). Similarly, Morgause once told Morgana that there are many futures, some shrouded in mist and others clear as cut glass (Queen of Hearts).
However, some possible futures are stronger than others. When the enchantment on Morgana's healing bracelet failed to stop her visions about Gwen becoming Queen, Morgause warned her that it was a prophecy too powerful to ignore and advised her to do anything in her power to prevent it from coming true (Queen of Hearts). In the end, however, Morgana was the one who indirectly made her vision come to pass by setting off a chain of events that began when she enchanted Gwen to betray Arthur with Lancelot (Lancelot du Lac, The Sword in the Stone).
|Morgana Pendragon||†||Could see the future in her dreams.|
|Morgause||†||Often used crystals to scry ongoing events.|
|Merlin||Alive||Could see visions in the Crystal of Neahtid and the crystals of Crystal Cave.|
|Kilgharrah||Alive||Knowledge of prophecies and future events.|
|Taliesin||†||Could see visions of the future in the crystals of Crystal Cave.|
|Lochru||†||Gift of prophecy.|
- There are enchantments that can prevent a Seer from dreaming, such as the one that Morgause placed on Morgana's healing bracelet. However, these enchantments cannot stop prophecies.
- Under certain circumstances, it is possible for non-magical people to have visions. Arthur, for example, was able to transcend his body so that a quest would be revealed to him (The Eye of the Phoenix).
- In many legends, the ability to see the future was Merlin's chief ability while Morgan le Fay was a skilled healer. The show appears to have reversed this: Morgana is able to see the future in her dreams, while Merlin is the ward and apprentice of Camelot's court physician.