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You're the last Dragonlord now. You alone carry the ancient gift. Deep within yourself, you must find the voice that you and Kilgharrah share, for your soul and his are brothers. When you speak to him as kin, he must obey your will.
Balinor to Merlin

The Last Dragonlord is the thirteenth and final episode of the second series of Merlin, which was first broadcast on the 19th of December 2009.

It marks the first appearance and death of Balinor, the Great Dragon's revenge on Camelot, and Merlin's inheritance of his Dragonlord powers.


The Great Dragon is finally free. Full of rage, he attacks Camelot with pitiless intensity. The citadel is crumbling and Arthur's men cannot hold out much longer, but only a Dragonlord can command a dragon and Uther wiped them all out years ago. Or did he? Gaius admits one such man could still be alive and in hiding.

The last Dragonlord is the key to Merlin's own past as well as the future of Camelot, but will Arthur and Merlin find Balinor in time to save the kingdom?



The Dragon's attack on Camelot.

With the Great Dragon liberated, Camelot falls victim to his vengeful attacks. Arthur and his men patrol the city while Gaius and Gwen attend to the injured. Gwen worries that the attacks are too powerful even for Arthur to overcome, but Gaius asks her to have faith in him.

As Arthur and his men take their posts armed with flaming crossbows, Merlin apologises. Arthur rejects it, saying it's not his fault the Dragon is free. As the Dragon flies over the city, he gives the order to fire. As they do, the Dragon showers them with flames.

Realising that there is no clean water remaining in the treatment zone, Gwen goes against Gaius' wishes and ventures outside to fetch more. By doing so, Gwen puts herself directly in the Dragon's firing line. Arthur rushes to save her, but as they both run for cover Arthur is struck down by the Dragon. Merlin ignites a spear and hurls it at the Dragon, but it simply bounces off. The Dragon taunts Merlin and flies away without giving him a reason for the attacks.

Tending to Arthur's wound back within the castle walls, Gwen tells him that he shouldn't have risked his life. Arthur replies that he wasn't going to let anything happen to her and holds her hand to his heart, with Gaius smiling on. Merlin returns unharmed, but quite defeated.

Balinor's Cave

Merlin searches for Balinor's Cave.

The following morning, Arthur relays the level of destruction caused by the Dragon to Uther. Gaius says that only a Dragonlord can end the attacks, and one named Balinor may still be alive. Arthur offers to find Balinor on his own despite Uther's protests and departs with Merlin.

According to Gaius, the Dragonlords were men who could tame the Dragons. Uther believed their art was too close to magic and therefore had them slaughtered during the Great Purge. Gaius reveals to Merlin that Balinor is in fact Merlin's father, and that Gaius had helped him escape death all those years before. Overcome, Merlin sets off with Arthur after receiving advice from Gaius to keep his relationship to Balinor secret.

Arthur and Merlin ride to Balinor's last known whereabouts: the village of Engerd in Cenred's Kingdom. There, they learn that Balinor has become a hermit living in a cave in the Feorre Mountains. While riding to the cave, Arthur's wound becomes infected and he passes out, leaving Merlin to lead the way.

Merlin eventually finds Balinor and asks for his help to heal Arthur. Merlin tries to keep Arthur's identity secret by claiming that he's a knight named Lancelot, but Balinor sees through his lies and deduces that he is really the Prince of Camelot.

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Balinor heals Arthur's wound.

While Arthur sleeps, Merlin tries to learn more about his father and get him to join them in Camelot. Balinor, still unaware he has a son, refuses to help Camelot because of what he and the Dragon (whom he knows as Kilgharrah) suffered at the hands of Uther.

As Camelot continues to crumble, Gaius comforts Gwen. He assures her Morgana is alright wherever she is and reveals that he has noticed the mutual feelings between herself and Arthur. Gaius tells Gwen to never underestimate the power of love, re-instilling hope that the two can be together.

When he wakes the next morning, Arthur is amazed at his recovery and tries to persuade Balinor to help them, but the Dragonlord refuses and bids him farewell. While Arthur prepares to leave, Merlin makes one last effort to gain Balinor's help by mentioning Gaius' name, whom Balinor states is a good man. However, Arthur's constant calls for Merlin prevents him from telling Balinor anything else, so Merlin leaves.

In the forest, Arthur and Merlin trade playful insults until they are alerted to a noise. It turns out to be Balinor, who has decided to join them in the fight because he feels indebted to Gaius for saving his life. Later, while he and Balinor are alone collecting firewood, Merlin is finally able to tell him that he is his son.

Balinor mortaly wounded

Merlin uses his magic to protect a mortally wounded Balinor.

As they prepare to return to Camelot the next morning, the group is attacked by Cenred's soldiers and Balinor dies protecting Merlin. He imparts words of wisdom to Merlin and says that his son will make him proud.

Devastated, Merlin continues with Arthur on their journey and eventually return to Camelot safe. Resigned to the fact that the last Dragonlord is dead, Arthur tells his father that he and his knights will fight the Dragon on their own.

Later, in Gaius' chambers, Merlin mourns the death of his father. He tells Gaius what had happened in the forest and of what his father had told him. Gaius reveals that Merlin has inherited the power of the Dragonlord, and time will tell if he is strong enough to harness it.

As he prepares Arthur for war, Merlin asks Arthur to be careful in battle and decides to join him in the fight. Arthur tries to dissuade him, but Merlin insists and together they lead the knights out of the castle towards the final battle.

Arthur and Merlin lead the knights out of the castle towards the final battle. The Dragon swiftly dispatches the knights, leaving Arthur and Merlin to face him on their own. Armed with a spear, Arthur survives a fireball and stabs the Dragon. Enraged, the Dragon recoils and sends Arthur to the ground, unconscious.

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Kilgharrah bows to Merlin's will.

Merlin, hearing the words of his father, commands the Dragon to stop his attack. He picks up a spear to kill the Dragon, but chooses to spare his life instead and orders him to leave and never attack Camelot again. Grateful, Kilgharrah promises never to forget Merlin's clemency and flies away.

When Arthur comes to, Merlin tells him that he, Arthur, killed the Dragon, causing Arthur to laugh out of relief. The fight over, Arthur and Merlin return to the castle. Gwen runs into Arthur's arms, relieved to not have lost him, and as they hug Gaius expresses to Merlin his pride. As Arthur and Gwen leave, a triumphant Gaius and Merlin walk back inside.


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast


  • This episode marks the first appearance of Balinor.
  • This episode marks the Great Dragon's revenge on Camelot.
  • This episode marks Merlin inheriting his Dragonlord powers and becoming the last Dragonlord.
  • Merlin uses the same enchantment he used to kill the Griffin and Questing Beast against the Dragon.
  • Uther states that Camelot's treaty with Cenred's Kingdom no longer holds and that they are at war.
  • It is revealed that Uther had the Dragonlords rounded up and slaughtered during the Great Purge.
  • Gaius tells Merlin that he helped Balinor escape from Camelot, and that he lived with Hunith in Ealdor until the Knights of Camelot forced him to flee.
  • Merlin learns that Balinor is his father.
  • Gaius tries to comfort Gwen about Morgana's kidnapping.
  • Gaius tells Gwen he is aware of her and Arthur's feelings for each other.
  • Merlin uses Lancelot's name while trying to hide Arthur's true identity from Balinor.
  • Balinor reveals that the Great Dragon's name is Kilgharrah, and that Uther once tricked him into using his Dragonlord powers to help capture him.
  • Merlin informs Balinor that Hunith is his mother, that she never married, and that he is his son.
  • Kilgharrah is grateful when Merlin spares his life and promises not to forget his clemency.
  • To protect his secret, Merlin tells Arthur that he (Arthur) killed the Dragon.

Behind the Scenes

  • At the May 2010 London Expo Press Conference, Johnny Capps revealed the episode's original ending had Merlin and Arthur finding Morgana in the council chambers.
  • The battle scene against the Great Dragon was shot in the football field near the castle of Pierrefonds .[1]
  • A translation of the words Merlin uses against the Great Dragon at the end of the episode:
    • "I order you to put an end to this reign of terror, you have caused enough pain and suffering to this people, you must obey me and follow my will, for I have you under my power. You will no longer bring death and destruction to this land. ""[1]

Production Errors

  • Sir Leon survives the battle with the Dragon, but is not shown returning to Camelot with Arthur and Merlin.
  • During the fight with the Dragon, it's pouring rain in the close-ups of Merlin, but not raining in other shots.


  • This is Colin Morgan's favorite episode.
  • This is the second episode not to feature Morgana, after The Lady of the Lake.
  • This episode is 5 minutes longer than the others, marking it the longest episode in the series.
  • Balinor is the third person to die in Merlin's arms, after his friend William and his lover Freya.
  • Colin Morgan would have liked to keep the wooden dragon that Balinor makes for Merlin.[1]


To view the The Last Dragonlord gallery, click here.


View the transcript here.

See Also


Series 2
The Curse of Cornelius Sigan  • The Once and Future Queen  • The Nightmare Begins  • Lancelot and Guinevere  • Beauty and the Beast  • The Witchfinder  • The Sins of the Father  • The Lady of the Lake  • Sweet Dreams  • The Witch's Quickening  • The Fires of Idirsholas  • The Last Dragonlord

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