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You'd do well, Merlin, to stay out of things that do not concern you.
Morgana to Merlin

The Castle of Fyrien is the seventh episode of the third series of Merlin which was first broadcast on the 23rd of October 2010. It marks the first appearance of Elyan, the third appearance of Cenred and also the first attempt of Morgana Pendragon on Arthur's life.


Gwen finds herself with an impossible dilemma when she is forced to choose between Arthur and her estranged brother, Elyan. With one of them certain to die at Cenred's hand, who will Gwen choose? The love of her life, or her only sibling?

Loyalties are tested to the limit and friendships are thrown to the fore as Arthur, Merlin and Gwen work together to try and find a way out of the situation. But with Morgana and Morgause doing all that they can to scupper their three enemies' plan, can good conquer evil, or will Gwen lose another of those she loves?


Gwen talks to Merlin about her experience

After putting out Morgana's bedside light, a tired Gwen makes her way back to her house. Just as she removes her cloak, a man appears from behind the screen. With nothing better at her disposal, she arms herself with a metal poker, only for another man to grab her from behind, holding a cloth to her face, her struggles quickly ceasing as the drug renders her unconscious. Morgana watches as they take her away on horseback.

The next morning, Arthur complains as Merlin awakes him with his usual greeting of "Rise and shine!". Not impressing Arthur with any of his alternatives, Merlin makes a hasty retreat as Arthur throws a pot at him.

At breakfast, Uther notices that Morgana is troubled and she reveals that Gwen did not turn up for work that morning. Uther is nonchalant, but Arthur seems more worried while Morgana secretly smirks when no one is watching. Outside Arthur is visibly upset and asks Merlin to go to Gwen's house and find out what is wrong. 

Merlin finds her house empty, his confusion increases as he spots her cloak laid upon her bed and the poker resting on the table from where she had dropped it.  Suddenly a rag on the floor catches his eye. Taking a careful sniff he coughs, the drug very strong. He worries as he realizes she must have been taken.

Morgause opens the panel to a cell door revealing a young man within. Cenred informs Morgause the prisoner was exactly where Morgana said he'd be.

Gwen is brought, bound, to Cenred, and is surprised when he cuts he ropes. She is confused as another prisoner is brought into the room, a hood concealing their face and shocked when it is removed revealing her brother, Elyan. Still in their embrace, Cenred refuses to tell them his intentions for the time being. Elyan tells Gwen of his similar kidnapping from his forge, unbeknownst to them they are being watched by Morgause and Cenred.

Morgana, Arthur and Merlin

Merlin shows Arthur the rag he found at Gwen's house. He doesn't believe it to be important, but as Merlin persists that he smell it, Arthur breathes it in deeply, enough for the drug to take slight effect. Merlin manages to magically move a chair behind Arthur as he falls. Once he comes to moments later, Merlin implies the drug must have been used to knock Gwen unconscious.

Cenred finally reveals his plan to Gwen, stating that if she doesn't bring him Arthur within a week, he will kill Elyan. Arthur informs his father of his belief that Gwen was kidnapped, wishing to send out a search party. Uther disapproves, but eventually agrees to send the guards to search the lower town for the day as she is Morgana's maid. Despite Arthur's arguments, he refuses to use anymore resources.

The next morning, Gwen is back, tidying Morgana's chambers. Morgana acts surprised and relieved as Gwen invents a story about being unwell. 

Rounding a corner in the hallway, Merlin suddenly bumps into Gwen and is relieved that she is safe, however he soon realizes something is amiss when he notices the rope burns on her wrists and her terrified expression. Unable to continue acting as Merlin worriedly questions her, she begins to cry as her ordeal and current situation comes back to her.

Back in her home, Gwen tells Merlin of Cenred's demands and he convinces her to tell Arthur. Arthur immediately decides upon a rescue mission to save Elyan who he is sure is held at the Castle of Fyrien.

During the night Morgana visits Morgause and tells her that their plan is coming together, that Arthur has chosen to rescue Elyan. Morgause tells Morgana when Arthur goes to rescue him, they will kill Arthur and Morgana will become the sole heir to the throne of Camelot.

The Castle

The next morning, Arthur uses the excuse of having to find silk for two dresses that he owes Morgana after losing a bet. Uther, amused, allows him to travel.

Merlin tells Gaius of his suspicions about Morgana's role in the kidnapping. Gaius knows Arthur can't risk being captured for Gwen's brother, but Merlin assures him he'll look after him. Although slightly skeptical, Gaius bids farewell.

Merlin is dismayed to find Morgana is accompanying them on the trip but Arthur points out she would be more capable of defending him in the event of an attack. Merlin is far from surprised to hear that she insisted.

Wanting some time alone with Gwen once they had found a place to set out camp, Arthur tried to subtly get rid of Merlin, but eventually had to spell it out a bit more before succeeding, then moves to help Gwen unload her bags.

Meanwhile, having been sent out after Morgana by Arthur, Merlin tries to remind her of how much Arthur and Gwen care about her. Morgana, however, only warns Merlin to stay out of things. Merlin states that he'll do anything to protect them. After dropping her pile of firewood at his feet, Morgana stalks off back in the direction of the camp.

Along the way, Arthur and Gwen share a moment when Gwen reveals to Arthur her worry of losing her brother. Showing her love for her brother, she says "That's what you do when you love someone", implying she would help him even if getting captured was his fault. 

That night, Morgana visits Morgause again, who gives her a magical ring which, when placed by the entrance will help guide Cenred's men to it.

The next day, Merlin tries to stop Morgana from coming with them by making a snake scare her horse, causing her horse to throw Morgana and she hurts her ankle when falling, but his attempt to leave Morgana behind fails.

Morgana watches Merlin's expression, clearly amused

Merlin, believing Morgana is up to something, tries to convince Arthur of taking another route, believing she had already revealed their alternative route to Morgause. Arthur, however, believes the maze beneath the castle to be their only hope of a successful entrance.

As the others go into the entrance, Morgana waits before setting the magical ring down before quickly following as it releases an orange smoke to signal the entrance.  

Inside, Merlin tries to keep an eye on Morgana. Soon the four hear Cenred's guards approaching, Gwen believing her scream at the discovery of a skeleton being the cause of their knowledge of the groups whereabouts. Cenred's men soon capture them and take them up into the Castle of Fyrien.

After Morgana pretends to be captured, she is reunited with Morgause and Cenred, who is under Morgause's spell and would do anything to please her. Meanwhile Arthur, Merlin and Gwen are held in the castle's cells. Arthur and Merlin escape from their cell through a clever plan and teamwork. Once Gwen and Elyan are saved, Arthur returns for Morgana.

Upon hearing their captives have escaped, Morgana plays the role of an innocent victim about to be killed by Cenred. Morgause then conjures a column of fire to kill Arthur, however Merlin returns and reflects the fire creating a magical explosion which knocks Morgause and Cenred unconscious, allowing Arthur and Merlin to escape with Morgana. While escaping, Merlin forcibly drags Morgana, who struggles partially due to her injured ankle but mostly to do with wanting to check if Morgause was alright. Merlin, however refuses to leave her behind. In the end, Arthur is forced to carry Morgana outside, much to her frustration, before they return to Camelot with Gwen and Elyan.

On the way back to Camelot, Morgana tells Arthur she was interrogated for information and Arthur once again stresses Camelot was built on trust and it will "never be defeated". 

Later on, in Arthur's chambers, Gwen once again thanks him for his help in saving her brother, saying "he means more to me than you will ever know". Arthur replies "It's like you said, Guinevere, that's what you do when you love someone". Arthur and Gwen exchange smiles as Gwen exits his chambers.


Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]



View the transcript here.

Release & Reception[]

Air date : 23 October 2010. 6.82 million viewers.

See also[]

Series 3
The Tears of Uther Pendragon  • Goblin's Gold  • Gwaine  • The Crystal Cave  • The Changeling  • The Castle of Fyrien  • The Eye of the Phoenix  • Love in the Time of Dragons  • Queen of Hearts  • The Sorcerer's Shadow  • The Coming of Arthur
Interactive quest: The Quest for Morgana
Mini-episode: Merlin in Need special
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