|The Hunter's Heart|
|Starring:|| Colin Morgan|
|Enemy:|| Morgana |
|Broadcast:||10 December 2011|
|Previous Story:||A Herald of the New Age|
|Following Story:||The Sword in the Stone|
Morgana finds a powerful ally in the Southron warlord Helios as the drama continues. Together they hatch the perfect plan to force Camelot to its knees... With the Kingdom - and Arthur - preoccupied by the arrival of the beautiful Princess Mithian, it falls to an absent friend to raise the alarm. But with past wounds still raw, can love really conquer all when Guinevere returns? Or is a deadly arrow destined to fly straight into the heart of Camelot?
PlotEditGwen, who has been taken in by a small village to look after the pigs following her exile, is hesitantly shovelling hay, when the village is suddenly raided by the Southrons- men in dark robes on horses, looking for recruits. The men are led by the warlord Helios. With no help in sight, and all the other villagers being captured and killed by the Southrons, Gwen is caught with ease. One raider is about to kill her when Helios stops her, claiming there's still "pleasure" to be had here. Helios clearly fancies Gwen, and questions what someone like her is doing there.
Meanwhile, Arthur organises an assembly and announces to the council and the Knights of Camelot that Camelot and a neighbouring kingdom have reached an accord over a dispute of land, and he's going to marry a princess of the kingdom, Princess Mithian, as a part of the deal. Merlin confronts Arthur afterwards, making his feelings clear that it should be Gwen he's marrying. Arthur threatens Merlin with exile if he mentions it again, with Merlin responding that he believes Arthur still loves Gwen.
That night, Agravaine meets with a young man called Eoghan, who he has bribed to obtain some well secured siege plans from the siege tunnels in the vaults of Camelot. The man returns to Agravaine and tells him it wasn't so easy, and by stealing the plans he would be disobeying his master. Agravaine tells him he'd rather disobey him and tells him how someone of his position could so easily have him arrested. He then murders the man without warning, stabbing him in the stomach and breaking his neck, before dragging him out in front of a castle wall to make it look like he's fallen. Agravaine rides off to meet Morgana, who is disappointed he hasn't obtained the plans upon his arrival. Morgana states to Agravaine there will certainly be no future if they keep on letting Camelot grow stronger each day.
Gwen, in the hands of the warlord Helios, realizes Helios is a charming individual with a liking for women such as herself, in spite of his ruthless tactics. Helios tells Gwen he has all night for her to tell him about herself. While she mentions her real name, she does not tell him she was almost ready to marry King Arthur, to prevent being killed. Things go well until a guard disrupts Helios. Helios is annoyed, saying he wanted to be alone, but the guard says the Lady Morgana has arrived. Gwen is instantly shocked at this and Helios asks her what's wrong, to which she replies she's fine, and she thought they were meant to be alone. Helios says it will only be a moment. Gwen says she is tired and needs to retire, and thanks Helios for the night. She conceals her face and passed the Lady Morgana who enters the room without even glancing at the disguised Gwen. Morgana notes Helios' appetite has not changed. It turns out they're old friends, and Helios has a liking for Morgana. It's currently unknown whether this is personal or just a part of Helios' nature. Helios and Morgana begin discussing their plans to lay siege to Camelot, with Helios extending his offer for Morgana to stay.
At Camelot, princess Mithian arrives, and meets the smitten Arthur. Mithian notes how Arthur is more handsome than he's been talked about. Arthur announces a feast to honour the new accord reached between the kingdoms. Merlin and Gaius speak about Gwen and Arthur marrying over supper. Merlin says he doesn't know what to do anymore. Gaius says if it's their fate to marry, then it will happen. Merlin doesn't know if he should get involved anymore, as he can't seem to do anything about it. The pair discuss whether getting involved could be an arrogant thing to do. Gaius is then called upon to investigate the death of the young boy killed by Agravaine. It appears to be a fatal accident or suicide, but Gaius isn't convinced when he finds a letter concerning Odin. Agravaine delivers the letter to Arthur without haste, and requests access to the siege tunnels. Arthur grants this access, as well as asking Agravaine to double the guard, to which Agravaine slyly smiles as Arthur walks away.
Agravaine delivers the plans to Morgana, having succeeded. Morgana uses a photocopying spell on the plans, so Agravaine can return them to make it appear as if they haven't been stolen by him. Morgana delivers the plan to Helios, and reveals Agravaine's involvement, while Gwen listens on to it. She makes a move, but Helios and Morgana hear her. She flees, and escapes into the forest. Morgana discovers who it is after seeing Gwen's dress, and demands they search all night for her.
The great feast now in action, Merlin serves soup to Arthur at the table while he's with Mithian, and uses magic to make the soup spill onto Arthur to embarrass him. Mithian isn't convinced against him at all. Mithian and Arthur agree to a picnic the following day. As they're setting up for the picnic, Arthur teases Merlin by making him carry the equipment back and forth as he's settling for the right spot. While Arthur is getting to know Mithian at the picnic, Merlin, his back but not his head faced to them, uses magic to make Arthur look foolish, but fails to put Arthur off Mithian. Even when Merlin uses a burping spell, this in fact encourages Mithian to burp as well, bringing their affections closer.
Mithian later approaches Merlin, prior to their hunting trip (Mithian announces she loves hunting much to Arthur's amazement) announcing she has noticed he clearly doesn't like her and says she really likes Arthur, and if he could please just give her a chance. Merlin apologises for any offence and quietly agrees.Gwen, who has just spent the night in the forest, is awoken by the sound of a horse Morgana is riding to hunt down Gwen. She has used the smoke of the fire Gwen set up overnight as a signal to find Gwen. Gwen runs but is outwitted by Morgana who uses a broken twig to lead herself straight to Gwen. Morgana teases Gwen, saying they used to be friends and she's just trying to help. Gwen, whose loyalty for Morgana clearly disappeared a long time ago, says she has done enough harm and she won't trust Morgana again, and runs away from Morgana, hoping she'll leave her alone. Morgana indistinctly says it doesn't matter where Gwen goes, and uses her magic to throw Gwen into a tree, knocking her unconscious. Morgana stands over Gwen and uses an enchantment on her, that temporarily transforms her into a deer. She says she will let Gwen see her beloved Arthur again, and leaves as Arthur, Mithian, Merlin, and the other hunters arrive. They discuss turning back as there isn't much prey, and Arthur jokes saying he'll give Merlin a five minute start.
Leon spots the deer. Merlin stares into the deer's eyes and realises it's really an enchanted Gwen. He sees through the deer's eyes and in the reflection of a puddle as it runs. Arthur aims his crossbow at the deer, and shoots it with the perfect shot, until Merlin's magic puts the arrow off course. Following the failed shot, Arthur blames the crossbow, as Mithian shoots the deer herself, to which Merlin doesn't get the chance to intervene. Gwen disappears as they search for the deer. While searching, Arthur finds and holds the ring he gave to Gwen, and suddenly his feelings come back for her. He calls off the hunt to which Mithian calls Arthur a sore loser.
Merlin comes back to the forest on the horse in the middle of that same night and calls for Gwen. He eventually finds her, mostly unconscious and injured, and removes the arrow, before healing her with magic. Gwen awakens the next morning, having recovered, and is overjoyed to see Merlin. She tells him about Morgana, worrying she's still there, and shares her knowledge of the plan Helios and Morgana have hatched to strike down Camelot, plus the involvement of Agravaine, to which Merlin isn't surprised as he had already known this fact since he overheard Agravaine talking to Gaius about Emrys.
Merlin urges Gwen return to Camelot with him as they spot the Camelot patrol, but Gwen says she cannot face Arthur again after what she did, even when Merlin says he wants her back. Merlin returns to Camelot alone and tries to tell Arthur of the plan, without telling him of Gwen. Arthur goes to the siege tunnels with Merlin and reaches into the hole where the plan is kept, only to find it. Agravaine then arrives as "quickly as he could", but is dismissed by Arthur who doesn't tell him of Merlin's accusations to prevent any conflict. Agravaine leaves the room, slyly glancing at Merlin as he does so. Merlin is astonished, and Arthur threatens Merlin with exile again.
Merlin later visits Arthur in his room again, when Arthur is playing with Gwen's engagement ring, and Arthur asks Merlin how he can love someone who has betrayed him. Merlin tells Arthur to do what he feels is right, pushing Arthur to continue to love Gwen and convincing her of the loyalty she offers, after all he is the 'Once and future king', and 'will always do the right thing'.
The following morning Mithian makes off from Camelot after Arthur has agreed to give up all the land to compensate for not engaging with Mithian to preserve any of the relationship he can with the princess and the neighbouring kingdoms. Mithian asks who it is Arthur has given up so much for, and he tells her it is the blacksmith's daughter, to which she admits she too would give up much for such love.
- Merlin - Colin Morgan
- King Arthur - Bradley James
- Gaius - Richard Wilson
- Agravaine - Nathaniel Parker
- Guinevere - Angel Coulby
- Morgana - Katie McGrath
- Sir Leon - Rupert Young
- Sir Gwaine - Eoin Macken
- Sir Elyan - Adetomiwa Edun
- Sir Percival - Tom Hopper
- Helios - Terence Maynard
- Princess Mithian - Janet Montgomery
It broadcasted on 10 December 2011.
- It is the show's 50th episode.
- Arthur was frequently shot from a right angle throughout this episode as Bradley James had a swollen cheek from dental surgery. It's best seen in the goodbye scene to Princess Mithian.
- This episode marks Morgana's fourth attempt of stopping Gwen becoming Queen. It is also the second last time she tries to do this as Gwen becomes Queen at the end of the next two parter.
|The Darkest Hour • The Wicked Day • Aithusa • His Father's Son • A Servant of Two Masters • The Secret Sharer • Lamia • Lancelot du Lac • A Herald of the New Age • The Hunter's Heart • The Sword in the Stone|