With Morgana at the helm of a vast Southron army, a deadly net is closing in around Camelot. When the sorceress strikes, the ferocity of her attack forces everyone to run for their lives - even Arthur. But Morgana will not let him escape that easily. And so begins a chilling hunt...
Morgana and Helios have successfully captured Camelot, and Merlin and Arthur are outlaws on the run. Trapped in Ealdor with a ruthless army closing in, their situation becomes desperate. Arthur must take control before
Camelot is lost forever, but faced with Agravaine's betrayal and the strength of Morgana's force, the young King has lost his conviction. Only Merlin can restore his faith, and only an extraordinary act can prove to the King that he was born to rule. Will the young warlock convince Arthur before his dreams of Albion fall to pieces?
While Arthur celebrates Beltaine in Camelot, Agravaine uses the siege tunnels under the castle with which he's able to have some of the Southron enter the citadel. Agravaine also signals to Morgana and Helios that it is finally time for the High Priestess and the warlord to attack Camelot. Morgana's army attack and burn down many parts of the kingdom while the Knights of Camelot attempt to protect the kingdom. Arthur is then alerted of the attack, while enjoying the feast and he orders everyone to leave while he goes into battle. Merlin, who is helping Gaius treat the wounded, decides to protect Arthur.
Arthur is wounded during the battle after killing many soldiers but Merlin arrives in time and distracts the soldiers with his magic, allowing both of them to escape. As they hide, Arthur looks out and sees Agravaine walking through the courtyard with Morgana, Helios and the army marching into the citadel, finally discovering his uncle's treachery. Enraged at Agravaine's betrayal, Arthur attempts to fight his uncle but Merlin talks him out of it as there are too many soldiers and Arthur is wounded. When Morgana finally captures Camelot, the Knights of Camelot, including Sir Leon, evacuate the citizens and escape from the kingdom while Merlin and Gaius tend to Arthur's wound. Gaius tells Merlin that they need to evacuate Arthur from the kingdom to Ealdor but since Arthur is willing to die to protect Camelot, Merlin enchants Arthur, making him confused and easily controlled. He agrees to leave the kingdom and go to Ealdor. While Merlin and Arthur leave with Percival, Gaius remains behind with Gwaine to distract Morgana, however as Morgana enters, she has Gaius and Gwaine captured and goes to hunt down Arthur.
Elyan joins Arthur, Merlin and Percival as they escape the kingdom but Morgana eventually catches up to them and uses her magic to knock them over, separating Percival from Arthur, Merlin and Elyan. As Percival has disappeared, Merlin and Arthur continue while Elyan fends of Morgana's soldiers and is later captured. Merlin orders the enchanted Arthur to change his clothes and disguise into a villager as they continue their journey to Ealdor. However, along the way they are captured by some smugglers led by Tristan and Isolde but they allow the disguised Arthur (whom Merlin introduces as a 'simpleton') and Merlin to stay when Merlin tells them that they are heading for Ealdor. Meanwhile, Morgana returns to Camelot and uses a Nathair to torture Elyan who is forced to tell her that Arthur is heading for Ealdor. Morgana then tells Agravaine to go to Ealdor and capture Arthur while imprisoning Elyan with Gaius and Gwaine. During the night, Arthur, under his enchantment, tells Merlin that he finds it hard to be polite to Merlin and that he still has much to learn, to which Merlin tells him to clear their belongings.
The next day, Arthur is free from Merlin's enchantment and demands to know where they are and why he is dressed as a villager. Merlin tells him that Camelot has fallen and that he had to disguise him to prevent his true identity from being revealed to Morgana's men. They come across a smuggler's caravan led by Tristan and Isolde and Arthur, when introduced to them, continues pretending to be a 'simpleton' under Merlin's supervision. However, when Agravaine catches up and ambushes them, he reveals his true identity to Tristan and Isolde. As they escape the ambush, Tristan reveals that the taxes Arthur enforced was the reason why he and Isolde had to become smugglers, making it hard for Arthur to help them. However, when Arthur saves Isolde's life , Tristan reluctantly allows Arthur to join them but only does it for Isolde who is grateful to Arthur for saving her. As they camp, Arthur laments over Agravaine's betrayal, saying that he had been blind to his treachery as he was to Morgana's but Merlin comforts him, saying that people only hate him as they are hungry for power.
Meanwhile, in Camelot, Gwaine is forced to fight a man to get food for Gaius, who is starving, but when he wins, Morgana only gives him a piece of bread and tells him that he has to fight more men to get more food. Arthur, Merlin, Tristan and Isolde eventually arrive in Ealdor where Merlin is reunited with his mother, Hunith. Arthur is also reunited with Gwen, who has been staying in Ealdor since Arthur had her exiled for her apparent betrayal. Gwen tells Arthur that she has missed him and Arthur says that he has also missed her, and they embrace each other. Arthur later apologises to Tristan for the taxes he gave which caused him and Isolde to become smugglers, as well as the loss of his cargo during Agravaine's ambush but Tristan says that he while he has lost his cargo, he still has Isolde. Agravaine later arrives in Ealdor with his men, forcing Arthur, Merlin, Gwen, Tristan and Isolde to escape while Agravaine orders his men to pursue them.
The episode continues where Part 1 left off with Arthur, Gwen, Isolde, Tristan, and Merlin are running though the woods to escape from Agravaine and his men. Merlin stays back to cover their tracks, even though once the others are gone he calls the Great Dragon who comes and breathes fire on the troops of Agravaine, killing them. Merlin returns to his friends and leads the group through some caves. However, Agravaine follows them and Merlin goes back leading him away form the others. Merlin is cornered and Agravaine threatens to kill him. Merlin uses magic to repel the men. Only Agravaine recovers and realizes Merlin has magic and that he is Emrys. When he tries to kill Merlin, Merlin uses magic again to blast Agravaine back onto some rocks, killing him. Meanwhile, Arthur goes back to search for Merlin and finds him returning. They make it out of the cave and have to decide where to go next.
Tristan still shows resentment towards Arthur and he decides to head back towards Camelot to the Forest of Ascetir. Back in Camelot, Gaius, Sir Elyan and Sir Gwaine are locked up in a cell and are starving. Morgana makes Gwaine fight for food again with a short wooden sword against many fighters. Tristan continues to poke at Arthur convincing him he is no one special and that doesn't deserve to be king. Gwen attempts to talk to Arthur, but he cannot bring himself to forgive her, saying that their reunion in Ealdor was merely "a moment of weakness". Gwaine is thrown back into the cell and is given a small loaf of mouldy bread. Morgana sneers and tells Gwaine to enjoy his meal, and that it will probably be his last, implying that she would make the next battle even more unfair. The three are all starving, Gwaine also worn from fighting, and Gaius weakening by the moment.
Arthur and Merlin talk - Arthur doubts himself and his decisions and thinks that he is just like anyone else. Merlin calls the Great Dragon to ask for advice on how to help Arthur believe he can be king. Merlin figures out a way by himself. The next morning, Merlin wakes Arthur up and leads him through the forest, telling him a story that supposedly Gaius told him. The story is about the first King of Camelot, who placed a sword in a stone before he died. He tells Arthur he found the stone and at first, Arthur doesn't believe him but then he sees Excalibur in the rock. All the survivors of Camelot appear and surround the clearing. Arthur doesn't think he can pull the sword from the rock, but Merlin keeps telling him to believe and that he is special. At first, he tries but can't pull it out. He tries again, Merlin telling him that he is meant to pull the sword from the rock, and that he has to believe he is destined to be Albion's greatest King. When he sees Arthur starting to truly believe in himself, Merlin uses his magic to unseal Excalibur from the stone. Morgana learns that Agravaine and his men dead, and she is convinced that Emrys is responsible, believing that only he could command a dragon.
With the knights, Sir Leon, Sir Percival and his people back at his side, Arthur returns to being himself as King. Even though they are outnumbered, Arthur decides to fight, and Sir Leon tells Arthur that everyone is fighting for him not just for Camelot. Tristan watches and starts to have a change of heart. When Isolde catches Gwen looking at Arthur, she tells her to never give up hope, and that love is stronger than anything. Arthur confides in Merlin that Morgana's powers greatly tilt the odds in the enemy's favour. Merlin tells Arthur the rest of the story and that he has always believed in Arthur that he would unite the Land of Albion and would rule over the greatest kingdom the world had ever known.
He then leaves him to think about what he said. Merlin sneaks into Camelot that night and transforms into Dragoon the Great and lights a straw doll on fire and hangs it under Morgana's bed with an enchantment. Having been spotted by Morgana, Merlin is chased by some guards but transforms back and disguises himself in some stolen clothing from a slain guard and escapes. This unsettles Morgana, but she goes to sleep. The next morning, everyone is preparing to leave - Isolde and Tristan forgive Arthur and decide to fight with them since Arthur showed them that he fights for what is right and fair. The people head to Camelot where they try to go unnoticed for as long as possible. They fight their way through many guards and men. Sir Percival frees Gwaine and Elyan who then help Gaius.
Arthur, Merlin, Gwen, Isolde, and Tristan confront Morgana and Helios in the throne room.Arthur and Morgana finally face each other. Arthur wants to know why she has changed so much for the worse, but Morgana bitterly retorts that he is no different from Uther and should pay for his crimes. Morgana attempts to kill them with her magic, but Merlin's enchantment nullifies her powers and she flees, perturbed. Merlin and Gwen pursue her while Helios and other guards attack the others. Morgana is wounded as she tries to escape but later engages Gwen in a duel and easily defeats her.
Before Morgana can kill Gwen, Merlin uses his magic to blast her back, which causes some stone and rubble to fall on her. When the dust clears, Morgana is gone. Arthur fights Helios while Tristan and Isolde fight the others. Arthur is injured and gets knocked down. Helios is about to kill him when Isolde stabs Helios from behind, but she gets stabbed in the stomach. Tristan holds her as she dies. Arthur comes into his chambers where Gwen is tidying up. She says she will leave if he wants her to, but Arthur tells her to stay. Gwen says she can never forgive herself but Arthur says that he doesn't care and never wants to lose her again, finally forgiving her. He asks her to marry him, and she says yes with all her heart. Later, everyone is gathered in the great hall and Arthur crowns Guinevere, Queen of Camelot. They share a kiss and ascend to their thrones as Merlin, Gaius, and everyone else proudly watch.
Meanwhile, Morgana is seen stumbling through the woods and collapses on the ground, seemingly at her end. However, Aithusa, the white dragon, arrives and uses its breath to heal Morgana, who is grateful for the first time in a long while. The season ends as Aithusa flies away.
- Colin Morgan as Merlin
- Bradley James as King Arthur
- Katie McGrath as Morgana
- Richard Wilson as Gaius
- Nathaniel Parker as Agravaine
- Angel Coulby as Guinevere
- Rupert Young as Sir Leon
- Eoin Macken as Sir Gwaine
- John Hurt as the Voice of the Great Dragon (Part 2 only)
- Tom Hopper as Sir Percival
- Adetomiwa Edun as Sir Elyan
- Terence Maynard as Helios
- Caroline Faber as Hunith (Part 1 only)
Release & Reception
- Part One: 17th December 2011.
- Part Two: 24th December 2011.
- The last episode, The Sword in the Stone: Part Two, marks the first time an episode of Merlin has been originally broadcast on December 24, Christmas Eve. Unlike the revived Doctor Who, which has annual Christmas specials on December 25, Merlin has never had an episode on Christmas Day nor an official Christmas special.
- Footage from The Tears of Uther Pendragon and The Coming of Arthur are shown in this episode, a scene when Leon is fighting, which is identical to the scene in The Tears of Uther Pendragon, a scene shows Leon battling one from Morgana's immortal army in The Coming of Arthur, and another scene from The Coming of Arthur when Arthur defeats one of Cenred's army.
- The scene where Guinevere is crowned queen comes to pass, except there are several changes to what happened in Morgana's dream in Queen of Hearts to what really happened in The Sword in the Stone. Though the future could have been slightly changed as Morgana only saw one possible future.
- This is the fifth two-parter in Merlin, after Beauty and the Beast, The Tears of Uther Pendragon, The Coming of Arthur, and The Darkest Hour.
- Ealdor and Merlin's mother Hunith both reappear in Part One.
- Agravaine's betrayal is finally revealed to Arthur and everyone else oblivious to his true nature.
- After The Coming of Arthur, this is the second time Morgana has taken Camelot, however while her first reign was official, this one was not.
- Dragoon the Great makes another appearance.
- Aithusa appears and is healing Morgana.
- Part 2 marks Morgana's final attempt to stop Gwen becoming Queen. At the end of the episode, Gwen is married to Arthur and is crowned Queen of Camelot, hence Morgana's vision becomes true. It is unknown what her reaction was when she realised this. Although Morgana's vision of Guinevere becoming Queen came true, the vision differed from the reality in a few details, such as how Gwen was dressed and the crown that Arthur is wearing.
- When Arthur pulls the sword from the stone, it resembles when Link obtains the Master Sword in the many Legend of Zelda games
- Characters: Tristan, Isolde, Hunith, Helios, Dragoon the Great
- Locations: Ealdor, Forest of Ascetir
- Magic: Elemental Magic (Fire spell)
- Creatures: The Great Dragon, Aithusa, Nathair
- Objects: Excalibur
|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|