History Characters / Merlin

17th Apr '15 2:07:45 PM StFan
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The characters of the Creator/{{BBC}}1 series ''{{Series/Merlin}}''. There are spoilers through to season 5!

[[index]]
* [[Characters/MerlinTheCharacter The Character]]: Merlin. Yes, he has enough tropes to fit his own page with a folder for every letter of the alphabet.
* [[Characters/MerlinMainCast Main Cast]]: The rest of them, anyway—Arthur, Gwen, Morgana, Uther, Gaius.
* [[Characters/MerlinOthers Other Characters]]: Characters introduced in seasons 1-4, other villains and minor characters.
[[/index]]

to:

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/merlin-characters-3_3049.jpg
----

The characters of the Creator/{{BBC}}1 series ''{{Series/Merlin}}''. There are spoilers through to season 5!

[[index]]
* [[Characters/MerlinTheCharacter The Character]]: Merlin. Yes, he has enough tropes to fit his own page with a folder for every letter of the alphabet.
* [[Characters/MerlinMainCast Main Cast]]: The rest of them, anyway—Arthur, Gwen, Morgana, Uther, Gaius.
* [[Characters/MerlinOthers Other Characters]]: Characters introduced in seasons 1-4, other villains and minor characters.
[[/index]]
[[redirect:Characters/{{Merlin2008}}]]
25th Apr '14 5:31:30 AM LongLiveHumour
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The characters of the BBC1 series ''{{Series/Merlin}}''. There are spoilers through to season 5!

to:

The characters of the BBC1 Creator/{{BBC}}1 series ''{{Series/Merlin}}''. There are spoilers through to season 5!
5th Jan '14 12:48:49 PM SomeoneElse17
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* [[Characters/MerlinMainCast Main Cast]]: Merlin, Arthur, Gwen, Morgana, Uther, Gaius.

to:

* [[Characters/MerlinTheCharacter The Character]]: Merlin. Yes, he has enough tropes to fit his own page with a folder for every letter of the alphabet.
* [[Characters/MerlinMainCast Main Cast]]: Merlin, Arthur, The rest of them, anyway—Arthur, Gwen, Morgana, Uther, Gaius.
30th Sep '13 8:59:46 AM merlinxchick
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The characters of the BBC1 series ''{{Series/Merlin}}'':

There are spoilers through to season 5!

to:

The characters of the BBC1 series ''{{Series/Merlin}}'':

''{{Series/Merlin}}''. There are spoilers through to season 5!
17th Jun '13 1:14:45 PM Spidergirlx
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17th Jun '13 1:11:09 PM Spidergirlx
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17th Jun '13 12:57:45 PM Spidergirlx
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Spoilers through season 5!

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Spoilers There are spoilers through to season 5!
19th Feb '13 5:30:03 AM lu127
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19th Feb '13 5:27:09 AM lu127
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Note to editors: See the SpoilerPolicy before blanking ''everything'' out.

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[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Merlin]]
!Merlin (ColinMorgan)

[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/MerlinTheFirstWizardBadass_6122.jpg]]


The titular character, Merlin must protect Arthur -- who will one day become king of Camelot and unite the lands of Albion -- while keeping his magic a secret.

* {{Adorkable}}
* TheAlcoholic: Subverted. Merlin isn't actually one, but due to Gaius' spur of the moment lie he was in the Tavern in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E10QueenOfHearts}} Queen Of Hearts]]'', Arthur is seemingly convinced that most of Merlin's odd behaviour is a result of his spending too much time in the local Tavern or any reason anytime he can't be found.
* AlmightyJanitor: His magical prowess aside, by Season 4, he is allowed to listen in in state council meetings and Arthur turns to him for advices. He's still officially just a servant.
* AntiHero: Type III. Too good to slip into type IV, but his truly horrendous body count doesn't seem to bother him at all.
* TheArchmage: He's destined to become the most powerful sorcerer to ever exist. [[spoiler: And he does, in the finale.]]
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Merlin. Interesting name, right? If you think Merlin is a cool name, try Emrys.
* {{Badass}}: Can slide into BadassBookworm at times, as Merlin has a tendency to gather his knowledge from books, most of the time. Also, he's one of the [[SmartGuy wisest characters]] in the show, despite his goofy attitude.
* BadassAbnormal: Merlin has got special powers.
* BadassAdorable: Merlin may look cute and dorky, but he can kick anyone's ass (or better yet, kill anyone) in an instant without hesitation.
* BadassBookworm: Merlin is incredibly smart, intelligent and book smart.
* BadassNickname: In a sense, "Emrys". The Druids hold this name in reverence, and it strikes fear into Morgana's heart every time she hears it.
* BadassBoast: Gives quite a few when he's [[BadassBystander forced to act]].
--> '''Merlin''': I am the ''last'' Dragon-Lord...
* FutureBadass: According to the Dragons and the Druids, the arrival of "Emrys" has long been prophecised.
* BadLiar: An odd example. He's ''very'' good at keeping his powers secret, but the excuses he comes up with to cover for his behaviour grow increasingly bizarre as time goes by.
* BavarianFireDrill / RefugeInAudacity: Whenever Merlin gets caught in a compromising position, cue him descending into increasingly ludicrous and outlandish explanation for what he's supposedly doing. It's clear no-one buys it for a second, but they simply can't be bothered to find out the ''real'' reason.
** Whenever masquerading as the elderly "Dragoon", he takes this to even ''more'' absurd levels.
* BecauseDestinySaysSo: Sort of played with in Merlin's case. Merlin's destiny is to protect Prince Arthur and guide him to the throne of king.
** He is also destined to become the greatest sorcerer ever and also, the most powerful sorcerer in the world.
** Merlin is destined to use his abilities and powers to free the magical people and revive the Old Religion to coexist with the New Religion.
** He is destined to stand at King Arthur's side as a partner, as he reunites all the kingdoms of the land back into Albion, which would call forth an era of both peace and prosperity.
* BecameTheirOwnAntithesis: Starts out as an impulsive, clueless teenager who is easily fooled and manipulated by the Dragon. By the end of series 4, he's clearly found his place as Arthur's advisor, spends the finale organizing everything that goes on (except, notably, Arthur and Gwen's reconciliation) in a scheme worthy of a MagnificentBastard, is one of the most GenreSavvy characters, and not only does the Dragon respect him, he obeys him. Probably the closest you can get to this trope without having a FaceHeelTurn.
* BecomingTheMask: Merlin's initial motivation to protect Arthur is only that Arthur's prophecised to be the one who will bring magic back. By Season 5, he'd forego a chance to let magic return to ensure that Arthur'll live albeit with serious struggles. It's also become disturbingly easy for him to speak of magic as a threat to Camelot.
* BeneathNotice
* BerserkButton: Endanger any of his loved ones -- especially his mother Hunith -- and you better get scared.
* TheBeastmaster: He commands dragons and wyverns. He's also commanded a snake to attack Morgana once.
* BewareTheNiceOnes
* BigDamnHeroes
* {{Bishonen}}: Merlin is fragile looking with somewhat soft facial features.
* BlowYouAway: Gaius calls Merlin's magic "elemental". Thus far, he favors wind and fire.
* BreakTheCutie: Merlin goes through endless pain, tragedy and hardships. The boy never catches a break.
* BullyingADragon: When he is in his Dragoon disguise, the knights attack him even when they know that he is a sorcerer. This trope is also played quite literally: as a Dragon Lord, Merlin is the one doing the bullying towards Dragons and Wyverns.
* BumblingSidekick: To Arthur. A {{subversion}} as even though he has the occasional clumsy moment, he's more competent and quick-thinking than Arthur ever gives him credit for.
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Merlin is (to everyone else) a CloudCuckoolander with serious mental issues who wanders around the castle at night, has a tendency to mumble complete nonsense to himself for no good reason, [[SubvertedTrope and a horrible manservant]]. However, [[DoubleSubversion the emotional support he gives Arthur is invaluable, and he's Arthur's best advisor, even if it's unofficial and Arthur will never admit it.]]
* ButtMonkey: So much that he is TheWoobie.
* CannotSpitItOut: His ability to use magic.
* CantHoldHisLiquor: Never seen onscreen, but according to Gaius "one whiff from a barmaid's apron and you're singing like a sailor".
* TheCaretaker: To Freya.
** The Druids see Merlin as this, intrusting the Cup of Life to his protection and later Excalibur.
* CelibateHero: Merlin doesn't do the romance thing that much.
* TheChessmaster: In ''Sword And The Stone Part II'', where he orchestrates Arthur drawing the sword from the stone so that it will restore Arthur's faith in him being king and rally the people at the same time. And then he removes Morgana's powers to even the fight so Camelot can win. He's come a long way from the easily fooled teenager in Series 1.
* ChewToy: Too {{Adorkable}} not to become this.
* ChronicHeroSyndrome
* TheChooserOfTheOne: He orchestrated the entire retrieval of the sword in the stone. A bit of a subversion in that Arthur is already TheChosenOne, but it was Merlin that brought it to light.
** As the last Dragon-Lord, he has the solemn duty to name Dragons into existence and hatch them from their eggs.
* CloudCuckoolander: While his actions generally make sense to the audience, to everyone else he comes across as utterly bizarre. But he's right enough of the time that some people still take him seriously.
* TheConfidant: Whenever a character needs someone to talk to, he's always the obvious choice. Even guest characters are much more inclined to talk to him than anyone else. Arthur even invokes this trope in a few episodes by sending him in to talk to people who aren't speaking to anyone else.
* ConflictingLoyalty
* ConstantlyCurious
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass
* CoolOldGuy: When masquerading as the 80-year-old sorcerer "Dragoon".
* CountryMouse: At least at first.
* CourtMage: Subverted. He takes care of magical threats, negotiates with other magic users, and if magic is needed he provides it. But no one aside from Gaius and Lancelot know this is the case.
* CursedWithAwesome: Merlin is blessed and born with a variety of different powers due to being a warlock.
* DeadpanSnarker
* DesperatelyLookingForAPurposeInLife: Only in the first episode. Then the Dragon informs him of his destiny.
* {{Dojikko}}: [[GenderFlip Gender-flipped]]. Merlin can be rather clumsy at times.
* DoomMagnet: Merlin can never ever catch a break.
* DisappearedDad: [[spoiler:Until 2x13. Then, he died.]]
* TheDogWasTheMastermind: Played with considering that the entire audience already ''knows'' Merlin's true power, but InUniverse, the likes of Arthur and Morgana will inevitably be gobsmacked when TheReveal finally happens.
* DragonRider: For relatively practical reasons.
* TheDreaded: As of Series 4, Morgana is frequently haunted by terrifying nightmares of "Emrys", standing over her, seemingly all-powerful and berating her for all the death she's caused.
* ExpositoryHairstyleChange: He has a different hairstyle starting Series 3. This is also the series where he begins acting as Arthur's advisor.
* EyeColorChange: Merlin's eyes turn brownish-gold when he uses magic.
* FakeBrit: Colin Morgan is from [[StrokeCountry Armagh]].
* FunctionalMagic
* GoalInLife: To reinstate magic in the kingdom and to protect Arthur long enough for him to fulfil his destiny (and by proxy, protect Arthur's family members, particularly his father and his wife).
* TheGoodChancellor: Bonus points for qualifying without even having rank.
* GoodIsNotSoft: He's one of the sweetest characters on the show, but that compassion does not always extend to his enemies. To put it flatly, go near his friends, and you will die. If you threaten him, he won't worry about killing you, either.
* HalfHumanHybrid: Merlin is the son of a human mother (Hunith) and a Dragonlord father (Balinor). Technically, he is a creature of the Old Religion.
* TheHero: Merlin's main role in the series. He is the protectorate of the kingdom of Camelot and all of its inhabitants, especially of Arthur.
* TheHerosJourney: Merlin's entire purpose in the entire series.
* HeroicSelfDeprecation: Merlin constantly saves others without asking for anything in return. He is selfless and humble.
* [[spoiler: HesBack: At the end of "Diamond of the Day Part 1", when he regains his powers once more.]]
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Arthur. Though the [[YaoiFangirl fangirls]] tend to disagree...
* HonestAdvisor: To Arthur, though subverted in that he seldom tells Arthur the full extent of the deal, especially when magic is involved.
* HumbleHero: Is a highly powerful warlock who saves lives all of the time, yet Merlin doesn't yearn for power. Instead, he would rather be a servant boy than to be the most powerful being ever.
* HurtingHero
* InstantExpert: At casting certain spells. Some can be slightly more difficult though.
* IHaveManyNames: Emrys, among others, according to Mordred and the Great Dragon. Somewhat [[InvertedTrope inverted]] as Merlin himself is unaware of most of them.
** He has also given himself a name for his SecretIdentity as an old man: "Dragoon"
* IJustWantToBeNormal: Subverted. Merlin, despite having played with this in his earlier years, has ultimately rejected it, embraced his powers as a gift and accepted his destiny to save the kingdom in secret until magic becomes legal.
* [[IKnowYoureInThereSomewhereFight "I Know You're In There Somewhere" Fight]]: Merlin tries this on [[spoiler:Morgana]] in 3x02. [[spoiler:It doesn't work.]]
* ItSucksToBeTheChosenOne: Although the trope does apply to Arthur, it applies to Merlin so much more. Merlin has to keep his abilities a secret within a land that condemns magic and views magic as evil. At times, Merlin feels like an outsider and an alien.
* JadeColoredGlasses: He has become noticeably pragmatic and jaded during the course of the series. By season 5, he has advised Arthur to abandon the quest to rescue the captured knights and to shoot a defenseless man. It's played for laughs but he is completely unenthusiastic to investigate the scream of a woman in 5x03, a remarkable change from a young man who is [[ChronicHeroSyndrome eager to help]] in the beginning.
---->'''Gaius:''' What happened to the young boy who came into my chambers just a few years ago?
---->'''Merlin:''' He grew up, and learnt the meaning of duty.
* LargeHam: When in his "Dragoon" disguise.
* LastOfHisKind: Merlin's father is revealed to be the Last of the Dragon-Lords, Mages who possessed the ability to command and bend Dragons to their will. Upon his father's death, Merlin inherited the gift and the responsibility of being the Last Dragon-Lord.
* LimitedWardrobe
* TheLoad: A quite noticeable subversion and inversion. Arthur seems to consider Merlin this...however, Merlin would get the problem solved a lot faster if Arthur and the Knights weren't along for the ride. At best, Merlin has to tolerate them while finding a way around them, at worst they end up worsening the problem.
* LovableNerd: Merlin is dorky and adorable.
* LoveHurts: His relationship with Freya, TheGwenStacy.
* MagneticHero: Merlin is definitely this. He befriends nearly everyone he meets.
* MainCharacter: Merlin is the character in which the show focuses on.
* MartyrWithoutACause: Merlin is constantly willing to trade his life in order to save others. He often offers himself up to be sacrificed without hesitation, especially if it is someone that he loves and cares about (examples include Arthur, Gaius, his mother, etc).
* TheMasquerade
* MeaningfulName: Merlin's name means "sea fortress" in Welsh.
* MoralityTropes:
** IDidWhatIHadToDo / KillTheOnesYouLove / ShootTheDog: Merlin poisons Morgana -- who was unaware that she was the vessel of the Knights of Medhir -- because [[IDidWhatIHadToDo he did what he had to do]] in order to save Camelot, but at the price of killing his friend and someone he cared about. Many fans, while praising the acting of Colin and Katie, did not agree with Merlin's actions.
*** It's actually lampshaded in a hilarious [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4Ik_sSRo58&feature=related commentary in 2x12]] between Colin and Katie discussing Merlin's eventual decision to kill Morgana, with Colin trying to defend himself.
---->'''Katie [=McGrath=]:''' You do everything to not kill anyone else. The Dragon says kill [Morgana], and you're like "all right."
---->'''Colin Morgan:''' [[CrowningMomentOfFunny No, I kill loads of people. I kill at least one person an episode.]]
* MotorMouth: At times. Sometimes when Merlin gets talking, he just can't stop. Hence Arthur's catch phrase of "Shut up, Merlin."
* MrFanservice: Is the first one on the show to get a ShirtlessScene. When they figured out that the fangirls really went for his Adorkable nature, it turned into fanservice.
* MuggingTheMonster: All the freaking time. If you want to survive in the world of Merlin, please do not attack the scrawny guy on the ground who has clearly never had a day of combat training in his life. Odds are that a spear will fly out of nowhere and stab you.
* MyCountryRightOrWrong: Substitute "country" for "kingdom" and "future king."
** MyMasterRightOrWrong: Averted. Merlin often has to protect Arthur from ''[[HonourBeforeReason himself]]''.
* NaiveNewcomer: In the beginning, to the land of Camelot. Merlin leaves his childhood in Ealdor for Camelot.
* NiceGuy
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: 2x12 has a double whammy: he releases the Great Dragon and poisons Lady Morgana. The former allows the dragon to finally take revenge on Camelot and King Uther, while the latter is a huge reason behind [[spoiler:Morgana's [[FaceHeelTurn face heel turn.]]]]
** 4x03 [[spoiler: In disguise, he accidentally kills King Uther with magic and in front of Arthur: Arthur has now lost both his parents to magic ''and he knows''.]]
** 5x05 [[spoiler: When the Disir told Arthur they'll save Mordred if he bring back magic, Merlin told him magic has no place in Camelot hoping to ScrewDestiny. Result: the Disir heal Mordred as a punishment so he will, in time, play his part in Arthur's death. Merlin's mistake basically condemns Arthur to ''die'']].
* NotSoDifferent: To Morgana, obvious considering she is traditionally his ShadowArchetype.
** Best shown in 5x02 when Arthur calls Morgana out on [[BecameTheirOwnAntithesis being virtually unrecognisable anymore]], and in 5x05 when Gaius notes that Merlin has gotten a much [[TookALevelInJerkass darker]] personality from the innocent boy he first met, both respond to the criticism with;
--> '''Merlin / Morgana''': [[SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids I grew up]].
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Often happened unintentionally in Series 1. Nowadays, he actively exploits it.
* ObliviousToLove: Merlin was completely oblivious to Gwen having a crush on him.
* [[spoiler: OneManArmy: As "Diamond of the Day" can attest, you do ''not'' want to be on the receiving end when Merlin decides to fully unleash his power. In a [[CurbStompBattle matter of minutes]], he single-handedly manages to [[ShockAndAwe obliterate]] most of Morgana's army and send the rest scurrying into full retreat. To give some perspective, before the battle, Morgana's army outnumbered Camelot's nearly 5-to-1 and was told to contain ''thousands'' of men. Oh, and he finishes it off with taking down Morgana, who is the closest next to him in power, with one shot.]]
* OvershadowedByAwesome: Mentioned frequently, in that Merlin ''knows'' he's the most powerful person in any given situation, but will always be considered a lowly servant in amongst all the kings, princes and knights.
* PapaWolf: A non-parental example, but he is ''fiercely'' protective of Arthur and Gwen.
* ParentalAbandonment: Didn't know his father or where he was [[spoiler: until 2x13, then he died afterwards.]]
* PerpetualPoverty: Merlin is far from rich and financially, he and his mother struggled.
* PlayAlongPrisoner: Camelot's cells have no defense against magic, which means that whenever he's in there, he can leave whenever he wants.
* PlayingWithFire: As with BlowYouAway, Merlin's elemental powers are usually based in fire or air.
* PowerIncontinence: Notably averted. All other magic users have their powers go out of their control, but Merlin was using magic on purpose since before he could talk.
* PowerMakesYourVoiceDeep: When he's speaking the dragon tongue, his voice is notably deeper.
* ProfessionalButtKisser: As Arthur's servant, he's ''supposed'' to be this.
** SarcasticDevotee: What he ''actually'' is to Arthur.
* {{Protagonist}}: The story centres on Merlin, his heroic journey and his relationships with other characters.
* {{Protectorate}}: Of Camelot. Especially Arthur.
* RantInducingSlight: Gives a memorable one in 2x02.
* [[spoiler:ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: In the DistantFinale, he's clearly lived through the centuries.]]
* RedOniBlueOni: Merlin is the Blue to Arthur's Red.
* ScarfOfAsskicking: After 4 seasons of uncontested scarf-badassery, Merlin finally meets his match when Mordred reappears with an even bigger, more awesome scarf.
* ScrewDestiny: He wants to prevent the whole 'Mordred killing Arthur' thing.
* SecretKeeper: He's the only one who knows about Lancelot's feelings for Gwen. He also grudgingly keeps quiet about [[spoiler: Mordred's magic]].
* SelfFulfillingProphecy: His actions against [[spoiler:Mordred and Morgana]], at the guiding of the Dragon, are significant factors in driving both to become the very evil the Dragon predicted in the first place.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Merlin is the Sensitive Guy to Arthur's Manly Man.
* ServileSnarker: Occasionally.
* ShipperOnDeck: He ships Arthur/Gwen, probably more than they do themselves.
* ShockAndAwe: Uses lightning to blow up Nimueh. [[spoiler:Also against the entire Saxon army in the finale.]] It seems to be his go-to magic for serious battles.
* SimplemindedWisdom: Arthur credits him with this.
* SingleTargetSexuality: The closest he's come to having a relationship other than Freya was some very mild flirting with Sefa over five years since her last appearance. Even in the finale, when [[spoiler: her arm grabs Excalibur]], he has a brief LongingLook.
* TheSmartGuy: He's definitely this (especially when compared to Arthur), as he is one of the wisest characters. From the cast's commentaries, [[ColinMorgan the actor]] is described to be this in RealLife, as well.
* TheSnarkKnight
* TheSoCalledCoward: According to Arthur.
* SquishyWizard: Goes from this to MagicKnight as the show goes on.
* StepfordSmiler: Sometimes. In 2x08, he manages a genuine smile while fighting back tears.
-->'''Arthur''': It has become clear to me that those who practice magic are evil and dangerous. And that is thanks to you.
-->'''Merlin''': Glad I could help.
* SupernaturalGoldEyes: When using magic.
* TeamChef
* TenderTears: Merlin really cries so pretty.
* TheoryTunnelvision: His attitude towards Mordred in season 5. He is hellbent on believing that Mordred will cause Arthur's death, even if there are reasons to give the guy the benefits of the doubt as Gaius points out.
* {{Trickster}} combined with TricksterMentor at times, when Arthur starts seeking his advice, due to his witty, carefree and joking attitude. Merlin apparently possesses this trait in all the legends, as well.
** Particularly when masquerading as the elderly "Dragoon", he seemingly revels in this role.
* TokenEvilTeammate: Double subversion. The Knights of the Round Table consider magic evil, which would make Merlin this. It's not, so there's the first subversion. The second is that no one knows this.
* TookALevelInBadass: Never too noticeably, but when you go from breaking a chandelier to summoning a god, you can tell he's leveled up.
* TranquilFury: If Merlin is yelling at you, trying to hit you, or insulting you, you're completely safe. If Merlin has no expression on his face at all and you've just pushed his BerserkButton, ask for five minutes to set your affairs in order and then submit quietly to your doom.
* TrueCompanions: With Arthur.
* UnderestimatingBadassery: ''Everyone'' does this to Merlin, except maybe Lancelot and Gaius (who know his secret) and Guinevere, who has teamed up with him in several dangerous situations.
* UnderstandingBoyfriend: To Freya. Not every guy can accept that you're a giant winged panther.
* UndyingLoyalty: He will never turn his back on his friends. [[spoiler: To the point where he's still alive, hanging in there after centuries, just so he can be there when Arthur returns.]]
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: Will.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: With Morgana.
* VerbalBackspace: When Merlin suggests disguising Uther as a woman...er, a ''servant''.
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Arthur.
* WakeUpGoToSchoolSaveTheWorld
* WalkTheEarth: His ultimate fate in the end of the series.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Over the course of the series, Merlin has been forced to do numerous morally questionable things and has either directly or indirectly killed a ''lot'' of people along the way, simply because his destiny is to protect Arthur.
* WhatTheHellHero: He's been called out by Arthur (5x02), and Gaius (5x05) for his ruthlessness towards Mordred.
* WhenHeSmiles: Merlin has a goofy grin that is both adorable and quite beautiful at the same time.
* WhiteMagic: The type of magic that Merlin practices.
* WiseBeyondTheirYears: The Euchdag commends him on this in 5x02.
* WithFriendsLikeThese: Arthur.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatPerks: Merlin uses his magic to do chores, and occassionally humiliate Arthur when he's getting on his nerves.
* WizardBeard: When disguised as Dragoon.
* WizardClassic: Subverted most of the time as he's just a young man, but played straight when he's in disguise as Dragoon, who has a long white beard and robe.
* WouldHitAGirl: He's never actually ''hit'' a girl - but he's dropped a chandelier on one, blown up at least two more, electrocuted a third with a lightening bolt, poisoned Morgana before later causing a roof to collapse over her head and then throwing a snake at her, and hurled Morgause into a pillar so hard that she was left disfigured and dying slowly over the course of the following year.
* WouldHurtAChild: While he never lay a finger on Mordred, he used magic to prevent the kid from escaping some knights who were going to kill him.
* YankTheDogsChain: Something good happened to Merlin? Open up the Tearjerker page, cause he's not going to be happy long. Especially apparent in Series 2, where he [[spoiler: gets a chance to show Arthur the truth, falls in love, and meets his father]], only for it all to go horribly wrong.
* YesMan: To Arthur more often than not. Arthur even calls him out on it a couple of times.
* YouCantFightFate: He's constantly finding this out the hard way, starting from the very first episode in which he rejects the idea of Arthur being his destiny, only to instinctively save his life and thereby become his manservant as a "reward".
* YouHaveToBelieveMe: His usual line of argument, though no one ever believes it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Arthur Pendragon]]
![[spoiler:King]] Arthur Pendragon (Bradley James)

[[quoteright:278:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Arthur-S1A_4248.jpg]]

The prince of Camelot, Arthur starts out as a JerkAss but ends up developing a HiddenHeartOfGold thanks to his gradual strong friendship with Merlin, Morgana's guidance, and his inevitable and budding romance with Gwen.

* AnchoredShip: Arthur and Gwen. Since series 2, although both know of their mutual feelings for each other, they've refused to upgrade their relationship because of, among other things, their different social classes.
* AntiHero: Type III
* AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: With Merlin and Morgana... sort of.
* BadBoss: To Merlin, though it's played for laughs.
* BadLiar: When he contemplates using [[spoiler: the horn that can resurrect dead people]], it is obvious that he is hiding something. However, he can pull rank on Merlin to end all questions.
* BadassInDistress: ''All the time''. Most of the time he doesn't even realize it.
* BadassLongcoat
* BadassNormal
* BerserkButton: He reacts badly to any perceived slight against his honor or integrity. Likewise, threatening his servant, foster sister, or ''especially'' his beloved is a surefire way of getting killed by a very angry prince.
* BigBrotherMentor: To [[spoiler:Mordred]] in 5x05.
* BigDamnHeroes
* CallingTheOldManOut: Especially in "The Sins of the Father".
** [[spoiler: In "The Death Song of Uther Pendragon", when confronted by Uther's vengeful ghost]].
* CannotSpitItOut: His feelings for Gwen.
* CatchPhrase: "Shut up, Merlin."
* ChickMagnet
** Although this is kind of lampshaded in the ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E02Valiant}} Valiant]]'' [=DVD=] commentary for the scene where Merlin mentions that Arthur "gets all the girls":
-->'''Bradley James:''' All the girls? Morgana? That one girl who's my adopted sister? Oh yeah, he gets all the girls, he does. Look, they're surrounding him! Argh! Someone get a stick to beat them off with!
* TheChosenOne
* ChronicHeroSyndrome
* {{Deuteragonist}}
* DoesNotLikeShoes: Attention is never explicitly called to it, but he frequently goes barefoot when he's in his own chambers.
* DramaticallyMissingThePoint: He seeks to make a kingdom that is fair and just. However, he fails to notice that the people who need fairness and justice the most are the magic-users, and continues to persecute them.
* TheDutifulSon
* MrFanservice
* EvenTheGuysWantHim
* FamedInStory: Not just because he's the ruler of Camelot, but because his destiny is already known to the likes of the dragons, the druids, and other magical beings.
* FlawExploitation: It didn't take long for Morgana to pick up on Arthur's love for Guinevere and use it to her own advantage on at least two separate occasions.
* FlirtyStepSiblings: Arthur and Morgana are kind of like this during series 1 since Uther is the guardian of Morgana, and she is like a daughter to him. It is almost as if Uther adopted Morgana, which would make Arthur and Morgana like step-siblings. [[spoiler:As it turns out, they're half-siblings.]]
* [[spoiler:FamousLastWords: "Thank you."]]
* GivingSomeoneThePointerFinger: To Merlin, often.
* GoodIsNotDumb: If there was a trope named GenreBlindIsNotDumb, he would be this. Best demonstrated in these two lines from ''The Coming of Arthur''. Justified in that most of his smarter moments stem from being a tactician, which makes sense since he leads an elite army.
-->'''Arthur''': The best place for this cup is the [[CardboardPrison vaults of Camelot]]
-->'''Arthur''':*stops and looks around worryingly* ItsQuietTooQuiet.
* GreenEyedMonster: A couple of times, when Lancelot or Gwaine look particularly friendly with Gwen.
* HeroicBSOD: 2x08; 3x13.
** 4x09 has such a huge one that he spends ''the next three episodes'' drifting in and out of this state. And then his uncle betrays him, and he breaks down so badly in 4x13 that he feels he must AbdicateTheThrone because he was such a horrible leader. Let's face it, if it weren't for Merlin, Arthur wouldn't just be dead a thousand times over, he'd be insane.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Merlin.
* HonorBeforeReason: Merlin frequently has to intercede before Arthur sense of honour gets him killed.
* HorribleJudgeOfCharacter: Honour? Chivalry? Bravery? Arthur has those qualities honed to perfection! Being capable of noticing if someone is ObviouslyEvil? Yeah... he might need to work on that some more?!
* HotBlooded
* TheIdealist
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice:[[spoiler: How Mordred kills him]]
* ImprobableAimingSkills
* IncestSubtext: [[spoiler:Now that Morgana has been revealed to be his half-sister, their [[{{UST}} relationship]] in series 1 seems like this.]]
* InfinityPlusOneSword: ''Excalibur'', due to being forged in Dragon's breath.
* InnocentBigot: He distrusts and hates magic users, but honestly doesn't know any better.
** Unlike his father, it seems more to be that Arthur doesn't ''care'' about magic, [[NobleBigot as long as it stays out of Camelot.]]
* InnocentBlueEyes: Matching his HairOfGoldHeartOfGold, fitting [[KnightInShiningArmor the honourable, chivalric Once and Future King]].
* JerkAss
* JerkassFacade
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold
* [[spoiler:KilledOffForReal:]] As of ''The Diamond of the Day Part 2''.
* KnightInShiningArmor
* [[LastGirlWins Last Guy Wins]]: Arthur may have known Gwen [[FirstGirlWins longer]] than her other two love interests, but he was the last to be introduced as a potential love interest for Gwen in 1x10 (though the ship was teased upon in 1x01 and 1x05). [[ForegoneConclusion Then again, it's not much of a surprise.]]
* [[spoiler: LastRequest: Not to be left alone. And Merlin doesn't, living up to the present day waiting for him to return.]]
* LikeBrotherAndSister: Arthur and Morgana become this in series 2.
** And then they became [[spoiler:ACTUAL brother and sister. Well, half at least.]]
* LikeFatherLikeSon: Merlin (and Gwen's) entire purpose is to ensure that this ''doesn't'' happen. However, Arthur and Uther ''are'' similiar in a lot of ways.
* LoveHurts
* LoveRedeems
* LoveTriangle: Arthur/Gwen/Lancelot.
* MagneticHero: His biggest asset as a leader is his ability to inspire respect and loyalty in other people.
* ManlyMenCanHunt: At least six episodes and one deleted scene involve him out hunting in the forest with Merlin or his knights, in fact it's a crucial part of ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E11TheLabyrinthOfGedref}} The Labyrinth of Gedref]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E11TheHuntersHeart}} The Hunter's Heart]]''.
** And occasionally played for laughs:
---->'''Arthur:''' After [[spoiler: Sophia]] left, I wanted to take my mind off things. So, I went for a hunt.
---->'''Morgana:''' And killing things mends a broken heart?
---->'''Arthur:''' [[RuleOfFunny No, but it's good fun.]]
* MasterOfDelusion: He ''still'' doesn't suspect Merlin of magic. Not even a little bit.
* MarryForLove: He's determined to do this, and even manages to make it sound like a politically sensible idea: "I'll be a much better king for the strength and support of a woman I love."
* MasterSwordsman: Said to be the best swordsman in Camelot.
* TheMenFirst: He is unwilling to risk his knights' lives, and can go to great lengths for them.
* TheMillstone: Aside from the problems he has caused himself, how many times has Arthur's general refusal to listen to Merlin, follow common sense, or even consider that someone ObviouslyEvil is...well..[[DepartmentOfRedundacyDepartment evil]]... made the problem worse? He gets better throughout the show, but still refuses to believe he is WrongGenreSavvy.
* MissingMom. She's long dead... and it's Uther's fault.
* MuggleBestFriend: To Merlin.
* MurderTheHypotenuse: Arthur's first reaction when he sees [[spoiler:Lancelot kissing Guinevere]].
* MySignificanceSenseIsTingling: Can tell there's something about Merlin, looks worried after realizing the boy he liberated is Mordred, and guessing from the musical cue, can sense the importance of Excalibur. However, he always thinks ItsProbablyNothing, so this is pretty much useless.
* NoGuyWantsAnAmazon: It's subtle, but it's there, with Arthur getting rather stand-offish at the sight of any ActionGirl (or at least surprised by the activities [[TomboyPrincess Tom Boys]]). He instead prefers the feminine and nurturing Guinevere, whose appeal lies in her forthrightness and/or supportiveness. He ''has'' congratulated Gwen on her bravery in combat, but it's clear that he prefers her to stay well out of such situations.
* NobleBigot: While Arthur was raised to hate magic, it's seems he actually merely distrusts it. Several episodes imply that he only hunts down sorcerers because it's the law and personally, he doesn't ''care'' about magic as long as it stays out of Camelot.
* NobodyCallsMeChicken: Never explicitly, but the best way to get Arthur to do something is to insult his bravery.
* NotAMorningPerson
* TheNotLoveInterest: To Merlin, who will go to extreme lengths for him not only because he is prophesized to be the Once and Future King who will bring back magic but also because he has become a friend.
* OedipusComplex: In the episode ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E08SinsOfTheFather}} Sins of the Father]]'', Arthur meets the (young and beautiful) ghost of his mother, whose words inspire him to gallop straight home and nearly commit {{patricide}}.
* OnlyMostlyDead: In several episodes, he's on the verge of dying. [[spoiler: And it's true to the legend about coming back when the world needs him the most.]]
* ThePromise: "When I am King, I promise you; things will be different. We can be together."
* PuppetKing: Sadly, he comes across as this in series 4, spending the entire thirteen episodes being manipulated by Agravaine or blind-sided by Merlin. The only clean victory he gets (without any secret help from Merlin) is freeing the spirit of the Druid boy. Everything else, including his retrieval of ExcaliburInTheStone, is in some way organised and controlled by Merlin.
* SelectiveObliviousness: Not counting not knowing Merlin has magic, Arthur seems to have rewired his brain to ignore everything that Merlin does competently to the point where it seems like he's consciously unaware he's doing it. This actually gets pointed out to him in ''With All My Heart'', and he's ''still unable to grasp the idea''.
--> '''Merlin''': Without Merlin, your queen would still be lost.
--> '''Arthur''': Not sure that's true.[[hottip:*:Let's see, what did Merlin do to free Gwen again? Oh, yeah, he figured out she was brainwashed and found a way to cure her!]]
* ScarilyCompetentTracker
* ShirtlessScene: A LOT.
* SlapSlapKiss: With Morgana.
* SpiritedCompetitor
* TheStrategist
* SubmissiveBadass: To Guinevere. Though she's half his size, there's a definite theme of Gwen being the more dominant one whenever they get physical (tackling him in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E01TheCurseOfCorneliusSigan}} The Curse of Cornelius Sigan]]'', pushing him into a tent pole to kiss him in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E10SweetDreams}} Sweet Dreams]]'' and topping during their makeout session in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E10QueenOfHearts}} Queen Of Hearts]]'').
* SugarAndIcePersonality: He maintains a stoic demeanour when in front of his father, the court and his knights, but relaxes considerably when he's alone with Merlin, and is quite the big softie when it comes to Guinevere.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: How he acknowledges Merlin's wisdom without having to actually admit Merlin's right. Examples include?
--> It's turns out Merlin's not always entirely stupid.
--> It appears on this single solitary occasion you might have been right.
--> I should have listened to you, Merlin. For once, you were right.
* ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks: Chucks one at a cockatrice.
* TwentyFourHourArmour: It's not very consistent, but sometimes he can wear his armour at the oddest times, including to banquets and other casual celebrations.
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: To Morgana.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: With Gwen.
* [[BettyAndVeronica Veronica]]: To Lancelot's [[BettyAndVeronica Betty]].
** Debatable.
* VagueAge: Out of all the young cast, it's generally accepted that he was twenty-one in the first series, thus making him twenty-nine by the fifth.
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Merlin.
* WarriorPrince
* WeaponOfChoice: [[CaptainObvious Excalibur]].
* WeaponTwirling
* WellDoneSonGuy
* [[WillTheyOrWontThey Will They Or Won't They]]: Arthur and Gwen. Their budding relationship constantly grows strained because of their different social classes.
* WithFriendsLikeThese: Merlin.
* YoungAndInCharge
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Lady Morgana]]
!Lady Morgana [[spoiler:Pendragon]] (KatieMcGrath)

[[quoteright:291:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Untitled_5_7984.jpg]]

[-"What if... magic isn't something you choose? What if it chooses you?"-]

Morgana is the beautiful ward of Uther who suffers from premonitions in her dreams, unaware that she is in fact, a seer. She is close to her maidservant Gwen. Her strong sense of justice often clashes with Uther's rules and judgement.

In series 2, Morgana discovers that she is a seer, but fears what Uther may do if he finds out she has magic. She also briefly befriends the sorceress Morgause, unaware that Morgause is her half-sister. However, Morgana's growing resentment towards Uther and his treatment of those who use magic inevitably leads to her FaceHeelTurn. When she is used as a catalyst for a spell under Camelot, Merlin is forced to poison her. Morgause rescues Morgana, and it is implied that she can save her life.

In series 3, [[spoiler:Morgana has been recovered and returned to Camelot, but she is firmly set on the DarkSide, pretending to be the "loving ward" while she secretly plots with Morgause for the downfall of Uther and Camelot.]]

* ActionGirl[=/=]DarkActionGirl: In season 1/2 and season 3 respectively. As well as the last episode of season 4.
* AGodAmI: Well, not god as far as we know, but she certainly doesn't consider herself on the level of {{Muggles}}, and even treats her own kind with contempt if she has no use for them.
--> '''Morgana''': I am more powerful than you could ever imagine.
** AlwaysSecondBest: However, it becomes apparent in Series 4 that despite her massive ego, the mere mention of "[[TheDreaded Emrys]]" is enough to reduce to her a nervous wreck.
* AntagonisticOffspring: To Uther.
* AntiHero: Pre-MoralEventHorizon.
* AntiVillain: Afterwards, she goes from a qualmless and often emotionless WellIntentionedExtremist traumatized by her experiences and mostly seeing things in their light to a more thoughtful and calculative but also more human and confused antagonist, with a slight episode of SanitySlippage (thus being technically a type III for anyone who sees her as a villain and doesn't choose the popular AlternateCharacterInterpretation).
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Seems particularly interested and intrigued by Alvarr in 2x11.
* ArchEnemy: To Merlin (though she doesn't fully understand to what extent yet).
* AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: With Arthur, although the specifics of this trope don't apply due to their mostly [[LikeBrotherandSister siblingly]] relationship.
* BadassPrincess
* BadBoss: Consistently treats Agravaine poorly and is very quick to insult and blame him when things go wrong, even though he has [[HypercompetentSidekick been of enormous help]] to her at great personal risk.
* BadDreams
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: Eventually {{subverted}}.
* BecameTheirOwnAntithesis: She went through many personality changes after series 2. You can find almost no similarities between her former self and her new self.
* BigBad: Series 4 onwards.
** [[spoiler: May be in a BigBadDuumvirate with Mordred come series 5, if the leaked info is any indication.]]
* BitchInSheepsClothing: In the first episode of series 3 alone, Morgana's killed a knight, plotted with Morgause for the downfall of Uther and Camelot, while making numerous Psychotic Smirks to pretty much let us know she's way into TheDarkSide.
* BigNo: In 3x13, after [[spoiler:Morgause is gravely injured]]; she literally brings the roof down.
* BlackCloak: In series 4, complete with [[InTheHood hood]].
* BondVillainStupidity: Where do we even start?
* BraidsOfAction: Whenever she has time to prepare for a fight, her hair is put back in a braid.
* BrattyTeenageDaughter: Practically an {{inversion}}. She could be quite bratty in the first series (understandably so, given her status) when she was merely Uther's ward, but by the time her true parentage is revealed, she had moved from "bratty" to "homicidal".
* BreakTheCutie
** CorruptTheCutie
** KillTheCutie (in that order)
* BrokenBird: Morgana's resentment towards Uther's hatred for magic and those who use magic led to her FaceHeelTurn, so much that Merlin sympathizes with her in 3x02 and even tries to pull a [[IKnowYoureInThereSomewhereFight "I Know You're In There Somewhere" Fight]].
* CainAndAbel: Now that she's trying to kill Arthur. Even after learning that he's her brother. It's a far fall from when she actively ''defended'' him in 1x07.
* TheCaligula: Her short stints as Queen of Camelot didn't seem to involve anything except demanding that the people accept her as their ruler, killing them when they refused, and burning their crops just to drive the point home.
** Indeed, it often appears that Morgana seems to be under the delusion that by taking the throne of Camelot, everyone will automatically bow down and worship her as their new Queen. Thus her plans always spectacularly fail to take into account exactly ''why'' everyone has such UndyingLoyalty towards [[TheGoodKing Arthur]].
* CatapultNightmare: Plenty. They get worse as the series goes on.
* ClaspYourHandsIfYouDeceive: A couple of times in series three.
* CleavageWindow: Most of her outfits.
* ComplexityAddiction: Hoo boy. Nearly every single one of Morgana's plans falls under this trope.
* ConflictingLoyalty: Ended by series 3.
* ConsummateLiar
* CoolBigSis: To Arthur. At least in series 1. Ironically, neither of them knew it at the time, and when they both finally realize [[spoiler:that she ''is'' his big sister]], she's already tried to kill him several times.
* CuteAndPsycho: She was getting there in series 4, but seems to have fully crossed into this in series 5.
* DarkMagicalGirl
* DarkMessiah: The Dochraid prophesies that she will bring back the Old Religion to the land.
* TheDarkSideWillMakeYouForget: She starts out with the best of intentions, (her first act of treason is to avenge the death of her best friend's father), but her fear and tendency to take everything personally eventually leads to violence and genocide.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Only to revert back into an IceQueen in series 3.
* DoesNotLikeMen: An unusual case. In the first two series she was portrayed as friendly and flirty toward men, but as she falls further into evil she becomes less and less interested, to the point where she appears practically {{asexual}} in her complete lack of awareness of them.
* DoubleAgent: In series 3.
* DreamingOfThingsToCome
* DrivenByEnvy: This seems to be the source of her new-found hatred toward Guinevere, considering that her former serving maid is destined to be Queen of Camelot - a position that Morgana believes is ''hers''.
* DrivenToVillainy
* EntryPimp: Her entry is nearly twice as long as any other character's, including the one that the show is named after!
* EtTuBrute: She ''did not'' take Merlin's betrayal or Uther [[spoiler:not publicly recognizing her as his biological daughter]] well...
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: {{Averted}}; she is always known as Lady Morgana and apparently has not been awarded the title of Princess, even though she has been Uther's ward since early childhood [[spoiler: and is secretly his daughter.]]
* EvilFeelsGood: Justified. After becoming a sorceress, the only time she doesn't feel terrified and alone is when she's associating with the bad guys. Although she subverts it with [[spoiler: Uther's death. Agravaine expects her to rejoice, but she's in a TroubledFetalPosition and wondering why she feels so empty.]]
* EvilIsPetty: Sure, her animosity toward Uther and Merlin is justified, but her treatment of Gwen is just catty and mean.
* ExcessiveEvilEyeshadow
* FakeBrit: [[KatieMcGrath Katie [=McGrath=]]] is from Dublin in real life. Unlike Colin Morgan she mostly [[NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent keeps her Irish accent.]]
* FallenHero
* FalseFriend: Towards Merlin, and later towards Arthur, Gwen, and (in a daughterly manner) Uther.
* FauxAffablyEvil: If need be, she can put on a show of courtly breeding and etiquette.
* FauxActionGirl: She is presented as a feisty girl with a sword, but she never accomplishes anything. Read [[http://zahrawithaz.livejournal.com/1893.html this.]]
* FlirtyStepSiblings: Arthur and Morgana are kind of like this during series 1 since Uther is the guardian of Morgana, and she is like a daughter to him. It is almost as if Uther adopted Morgana, which would make Arthur and Morgana like stepsiblings.
** As of 3x05, Arthur and Morgana fall into [[spoiler:BrotherSisterIncest]], given that [[spoiler:they share the same father.]]
* ForegoneConclusion: Morgana becoming evil (or at least becoming an enemy of Camelot and its people).
* GoodGirlGoneBad
* GoMadFromTheIsolation: For two years in between series 4 and 5, Morgana and Aithusa were locked at the bottom of a well away from the sun. It seems to have shattered nearly every remnant of sanity she had left.
* GracefulLadiesLikePurple: She gets no less than four purple dresses over the course of the first three series, two of silk and two of velvet: [[http://oi47.tinypic.com/hv79xi.jpg one]], [[http://oi46.tinypic.com/riywya.jpg two]], [[http://oi46.tinypic.com/1114bk9.jpg three]], [[http://oi48.tinypic.com/10f3vx1.jpg four]] which denote her status as the king's ward, as well as the fact that...
** SupernaturalIsPurple
* GreenEyes
* HardHead: Holds the record for being knocked unconscious more than any other character on the show, which is saying something. What do you expect? She's Merlin's equivalent of [[{{Smallville}} Lex Luthor]].
* HeroicBSOD: Kate [=McGrath=] said that Morgana sort of "shuts down" in 2x12 as she realizes her role in Morgause's plot.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Gwen. This starts to deteriorate in Season 3. Also, with Morgause.
* [[HighPriest High Priestess]]: Becomes one after [[spoiler:Morgause's]] death.
* HotWitch
* HourglassPlot: With Guinevere. The two essentially switch positions over the course of the show.
* IllGirl: Quite often, notably in ''A Remedy To Cure All Ills'', ''The Crystal Cave'' and the beginning/end of ''A Servant of Two Masters''/''The Secret Sharer''. And that's not even counting her on-going nightmares that Gaius is continually trying to suppress with various tonics.
* InTheHood: Is often wearing one when she's up to no good.
* InternalizedCategorism: Morgana explicitly tells Uther that she hated herself for years after realizing that she had magic, having been brought up for a significant portion of her life by a man who claimed that it was evil and executed anyone who possessed it. It almost becomes a SelfFulfillingProphecy: having taken in Uther's teaching that magic was evil, she subconsciously believes that having embraced her magical side, she ''has'' to act evil.
* IrrationalHatred: The sheer, inexplicable vehemence with which she plots Guinevere's death is difficult to grasp. Granted, she feels as though Gwen is usurping her position as Queen of Camelot, but that she so quickly leaps to the betrayal and attempted murder of her once-closest friend with no remorse whatsoever is rather jarring. Of course, she also plots Arthur's death, but for whatever reason, she takes Guinevere's existence that much more ''personally''.
** Probably due to the fact that Gwen, like everyone else, thought that magic was evil, and thus would likely have feared her had she known about her powers. See Gwen's entry in FantasticRacism.
* JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope: Has shades of this through the first two series, attempting to kill Uther at least twice because of her hatred towards him. By the third series, she's long since become a BitchInSheepsClothing and crossed the MoralEventHorizon. By the fourth, the Morgana who'd rather die than see a child hurt in series 1 (Mordred), callously reacts to the news of innocents death with an expression of "So?".
* [[spoiler:KilledOffForReal:]] After multiple attempts.
* KnifeNut: She carries a knife with her at all times during the course of series four.
* LackOfEmpathy: This was actually telegraphed fairly early on. Though she's sympathetic when Gwen's father dies, the end of the episode suggests that she was channelling her own grief for [[ItsAllAboutMe her father's death all along]]. Likewise, whilst she was still in her "good phase", she refused to return to Camelot when she heard that hostages would be killed if the druids did not release her (Uther having mistakeningly believed she was kidnapped). By the third series, she responds to Merlin's plea that women and children are dying with the word: "Good!"
* LadyInRed
* LadyOfBlackMagic
* [[LastOfHisKind Last Of Her Kind]]: She is the last High Priestess of the Old Religion.
* LetsGetDangerous: 1x10 and 2x04.
* LightFeminineAndDarkFeminine: Dark obviously, though with less emphasis on sexuality (in the later series) than the trope usually implies.
* LikeBrotherAndSister / PlatonicLifePartners: Arthur and Morgana become this in Season 2 [[spoiler:and are revealed to be half-siblings in Season 3.]]
* [[LikeFatherLikeSon Like Father Like Daughter]]: The great irony of her character.
* LongLostRelative: She is revealed to be Morgause's [[spoiler:''and'' Arthur's]] half-sister.
* [[ThePresidentsDaughter The King's Ward]]
* [[MementoMacGuffin Memento [=MacGuffin=]]]: The bracelet she received from Morgause to help her sleep.
* MsFanservice
* MakingASplash: Whereas Merlin's powers seem to be based on [[BlowYouAway air]] and [[PlayingWithFire fire]], Morgana is often connected with water, most obviously in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E01TheTearsOfUtherPendragonPartI}} The Tears of Uther Pendragon]]'' in which the damp mandrake root conjures up visions of drowned murder victims.
* MamaBear: Morgana's strong attachment towards Mordred causes her to become very protective of him and a willingness to do anything for him in order to keep him from harm's way.
* ManipulativeBitch: Even when she was good, she was ''very'' adept at getting people to do what she wanted them to. See her manipulation of Arthur throughout ''The Beginning of the End'' and Uther in ''To Kill The King''.
* TheMentallyDisturbed: You could definitely make a case for Morgana.
* MistreatmentInducedBetrayal
* MonsterSobStory
* MoralityPet: Is more or less one for Uther, and is definitely one for Morgause. [[spoiler:Aithusa becomes one for her in series 5.]]
* MoreThanMindControl: Being under Morgause's guidance for an entire year must have made her the way she is in series 3.
* MotiveDecay: At some point her goals shift from ridding Camelot of a tyrannical king (justifiable) to killing [[spoiler:her half-brother]] and becoming queen herself (not so much).
* MultiColouredHair: In series 4, she inexplicably has green streaks in her hair.
* MurderIsTheBestSolution: Though she keeps changing her mind on this. Usually she goes straight for the kill when she ''shouldn't'' and relies on [[ComplexityAddiction overly complicated plans]] when she should just be killing.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: NamesToRunAwayFrom/{{Mor}}
* NotAsYouKnowThem: Her return in series 3.
* NotSoDifferent: Annis calls her on her similarities to Uther, despite her hatred of him.
* OfCorsetsSexy: In series 4 her black outfit is fitted with a laced-up corset.
* OffingTheOffspring: She's terrified of Uther for exactly this reason.
* OffscreenTeleportation: She's a master of this after going evil. If the camera drifts away from her for more than a few seconds, she's gone.
* OhCrap: Morgana in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E06AServantOfTwoMasters}} A Servant Of Two Masters]]'' upon seeing the 80-year-old disguised Merlin, having had visions of him as "Emrys" and foreseeing that [[TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou he will stand over her]] on a corpse-littered battlefield, [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech admonishing her for her misdeeds.]] Occurs again for "The Sword in The Stone, Part II".
** In "Diamond of the Day Part 2", the [[SmugSnake smug expression]] on her face turning to rapid horror after Merlin reveals [[spoiler: that the sword he ran her through with was actually ''[[InfinityPlusOneSword Excalibur]]'', a weapon forged in Dragon's breath. In other words, a weapon that ''can'' actually kill her.]]
* [[OrcusOnHisThrone Orcus On Her Throne]]: In series 4 Morgana spends a lot of time sitting in her hovel, waiting for other characters to bring her news of what she's ordered them to do.
* ParentalAbandonment: Her father died ten years ago, and her mother's whereabouts are unknown. [[spoiler:But as it turns out, Uther is her biological father and kept it secret all along.]]
* ParentalSubstitute: Of sorts, towards Mordred.
* PimpedOutDress
* PluckyGirl
* PoliticallyActivePrincess: Both before and after her FaceHeelTurn. Prior to it, would often stick up for the rights of magic-users, afterwards she tries to topple the Pendragon dynasty.
* ThePowerOfHate
* PutThemAllOutOfMyMisery: At this point, she seemingly just wants to make everyone suffer.
* RebelliousPrincess
* TheResenter: Of Arthur and Guinevere for their positions in Camelot and their addherence to Uther's anti-magic policy.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: What she's been doing for the past two series.
* RomanticTwoGirlFriendship: With Gwen and Morgause.
* SanitySlippage: By series 5, her desire to rule Camelot seems to be the only thing keeping her even remotely grounded. He's so lost in her hatred that the mere mention of failure to kill Arthur sets her off.
* [[{{Seers}} Seer]]
* SelfFulfillingProphecy: Which leads to her FaceHeelTurn.
* ShadowArchetype: To Merlin.
* ShipperOnDeck: Morgana became a bit of a shipper of Merlin/Gwen in 1x03 and 1x04.
* ShowSomeLeg: Morgana devises this plan in order for Gwen and her to escape from bandits in 2x04.
* SlapSlapKiss: With Arthur.
* SmugSnake
* SmugSuper: When she doesn't have to hide her magic, she's not shy about lording it over non-magic users.
* SugaryMalice: She's good at this one.
* SupernaturalGoldEyes: Like Merlin, when she uses magic.
* ThoseTwoBadGuys: With Morgause and later Agravaine.
* TraitorShot: Gets dozens and dozens. And dozens.
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: To Arthur.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: With Merlin, Morgause, Gwen and Arthur.
* UsedToBeASweetKid: Arthur invokes this explicitly in 5x02 when he reminds her that she used to be so kind and compassionate as a child. Her response? "I grew up."
* VainSorceress: {{Subverted}}, as the more powerful and evil she gets, the less interested she becomes in maintaining her appearance. Though she's still beautiful, her messy hair and dark make-up suggest she's not really trying to impress anyone.
* WellExcuseMePrincess: In series 1.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Along with Morgause. Given Uther's treatment of those with magic, her shift in alignment is understandable and [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation her side may even have the moral high-ground over Uther]], but like Uther, she uses some ruthless tactics to achieve her end.
* WeUsedToBeFriends: To Merlin, Arthur and Gwen. In fact, she says these exact words to Gwen in ''The Hunter's Heart''.
* [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway What Kind Of Lame Power Is Precognitive Dreaming Anyway?]]: Though she has dreams of the future, she can't control them, barely understands them, and has never achieved anything worthwhile at first with her foreknowledge of events to come.
* WildCard: In series 2.
* WildHair: In series 4 and onward.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity
* WomanInBlack: As of series 4, all part of the general theme that DarkIsEvil.
* WomanInWhite: Sometimes in series 2 and 3, highlighting her vulnerability.
* WoundedGazelleGambit: Occasionally. She gets really good at almost fooling everyone.
* YouAreWhatYouHate: As several characters point out to her in series four, Morgana has become just like Uther.
* YouKilledMyFather: A surprisingly low-key take on this trope in which Morgana accuses Uther of indirectly killing Gorlois by not sending troops to his aid.
* YoureNotMyFather: Morgana indirectly says this of Uther, telling a neighbouring Queen that it was Gorlois that raised her, and who she thus considers her true father.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Guinevere (Gwen)]]
![[spoiler:Queen]] Guinevere [Gwen] [[spoiler:Pendragon]] (AngelCoulby)

[[quoteright:297:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Untitled_4_2907.jpg]]

[-'''Merlin''': "You have such a good heart, Gwen. Don't ever lose that."-]

Guinevere -- nicknamed Gwen -- was the maidservant of Morgana and a good friend of Merlin's. She is a hardworking and kindhearted, young woman who is often awkward and shy when it comes to romance. [[spoiler: As of the finale, she is queen regnant of Camelot.]]

* {{Adorkable}}: More so in series 1, but she does retain a bit of it when it comes to denying or hiding her feelings for Arthur.
* AnchoredShip: Arthur and Gwen. Since series 2, although both know of their mutual feelings for each other, they've refused to upgrade their relationship because of, among other things, their different social classes.
** [[spoiler:Now averted, as the two are married.]]
* AngelCoulby
* BadassDamsel
* BatmanGambit: Pulls one off in 5x02 by gambling on Ruadan's PapaWolf instincts.
* BeautyMark: Of the nice kind.
* BerserkButton: None of her own, but notable considering she is almost everyone ''else's'' berserk button. Mess with her, and there'll be a wave of very angry warlocks, princes and knights out to get you.
** She gets one in 4x08, namely Merlin.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: In 5x01, [[spoiler: she sentences her servant to ''death''.]]
* {{Brainwashed}}: [[spoiler: post the events of 5x06. And all the resultant tropes]]
** DangerouslyGenreSavvy: The only good parts of the plans (i.e., getting Merlin out of the way, actually making good excuses) are hers. This seems to be her only character trait remaining...
** FaceHeelTurn: an involuntary variant.
** StockholmSyndrome: Morgana invokes this by torturing her into thinking all her loved ones hate her, and then offering comfort and help, thus allowing a...
** SymbioticPossession: It is explained that her behavior is due to Morgana taking over her will and replacing her will with her own, which causes the following behaviors...
*** DecoyDamsel: Puts on quite the show of helplessness to manipulate her enemies.
*** FemmeFatale: She definitely acts more coquettish than usual when under Morgana's power. Arthur and the knights are completely wrapped around her little finger.
*** ObviouslyEvil: [[SubvertedTrope But only to the audience]].
*** PsychoticSmirk: Again, only the audience sees it.
** ThePowerOfLove: [[spoiler:Breaks the enchantment]].
* BreakTheCutie
* BrownEyes
* {{Chickification}}: In Season 2, Gwen's role is pretty much just TheHeart and Arthur's LoveInterest.
** Rectified in Season 3.
* CharacterDevelopment: From shy, stuttering maid to regal, confident queen.
* CleavageWindow: Sometimes, from Season 2 onward.
* CloserToEarth
* TheConscience
* CrypticConversation: In [[spoiler: "Diamond of the Day Part 2"]], she has this type of conversation with Gaius, [[spoiler: confirming her suspicion that Merlin was indeed the Sorcerer that [[CurbStompBattle turned the tide]] at the Battle of Camlann in Camelot's favour.]]
--> '''[[spoiler: Gwen]]''': [[spoiler: The Sorcerer in the battle, you knew who he was?]]
--> '''[[spoiler: Gaius]]''': [[spoiler: *''{{Beat}}''* [[CrypticallyUnhelpfulAnswer Yes]].]]
--> '''[[spoiler: Gwen]]''': [[spoiler: Do ''I'' know him? [[IKnowYouKnowIKnow Please Gaius, answer me honestly?]]]]
--> '''[[spoiler: Gaius]]''': [[spoiler: ''[[MathematiciansAnswer Yes]]''.]]
* DistressedDamsel: A couple of times, but [[MemeticMutation not nearly as often as you'd think]]. It's probably because the (very few) Gwen-centric episodes ''do'' [[NeverLiveItDown involve her in considerable distress]].
* DoggedNiceGirl / UnrequitedLove: Towards Merlin in Season 1.
* DudeMagnet: ZigZaggingTrope. This is something of a MemeticMutation due to her reputation in the source material. In this version, [[ForegoneConclusion Arthur and Lancelot]] have fallen in love with her, and Gwaine and Helios have shown brief interest (however, both are characterized as being womanizers; in their case, it's not so much that Gwen is special so much that Gwen is ''there''). The trope was {{subverted}} with Merlin, who shows [[ObliviousToLove no romantic interest in her at all]], despite her obvious crush. If you're keeping track at home, ''Arthur'' has been romantically linked with more women than Gwen has with other men. [[hottip:*: In order, they are: Morgana, Sophia, Guinevere, Vivian, Elena, Mithian]]
* FantasticRacism: Subverted and PlayedWith. She doesn't hate magicians, unlike Uther, but like him, she is afraid of magic and tries to punish people who use it. It leads to several uncospicuous KickTheDog moments.
** She tells Gaius what happened with Morgana after she used magic in front of her, [[LesCollaborateurs an act that could have gotten her mistress imprisoned]], even if she was declared the King's ward [[spoiler:and had all along actually been his daughter]].
** In 4x03, she told Arthur in a deleted scene that she was mistrustful of magic and blaims it for a tragedy which befell on her father, hoping that he won't use magic to heal his father (which is the equivalent of [[ToBeLawfulOrGood choosing lawful over good]]).
** In 5x01, she sounded very angry (and had a frightening look on her face), just a short moment after learning that Sefa (her maid)'s father was a sorcerer, before [[spoiler: pretending to sentence her to death while actually working to save her and getting her father, TheManBehindTheMan, emprisonned in her place]], an uncharacteristically harsh gambit [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman which she doesn't seem to regret]].
** Even though it would simply make her a NobleBigot, it is still a strain on the theory that she has no character flaws and is unrealistic.
* FanServicePack: [[http://oi39.tinypic.com/2lwm890.jpg See for yourself]]...
* ForcefulKiss: To Arthur in 2x10 in order to break him out of an enchantment.
* GenreSavvy: Realizes [[spoiler: her servant]] is a traitor pretty quickly. It usually takes Pendragons either an episode or an entire season to figure these things out. She also catches on to Morgana's StockholmSyndrome attempt in Series 5, [[spoiler:but unfortunately Morgana had time on her side and it worked anyway]].
* GirlFriday: Can be this at times to Merlin, especially when they're teaming up to solve mysteries.
* GirlNextDoor
* GoodIsNotSoft: [[spoiler: After discovering her maid leaked information to her father, tipping off Morgana's forces about Arthur's plan of rescue, cue Gwen swiftly sentencing the maid to death for committing treason. Even Sir Elyan appears shocked at the ease of which she declares this. However, it turned out to be a ruse to invoke a PapaWolf response from her father, who Gwen considered the actual threat. She just needed it to be convincing. It was a gamble, but it worked.]]
* HairTropes:
** ExpositoryHairstyleChange: Her hair goes from practical buns to long, loose curls as she rises in status.
** HairDecorations - usually a FlowerInHerHair.
** LongHairIsFeminine
** QuirkyCurls: Series 1 and 2.
** RegalRinglets: Series 5
** MessyHair: In series 1
* HappilyMarried: To Arthur in series 5.
* TheHeart
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Morgana. [[spoiler:This starts to deteriorate in series 3.]]
* [[spoiler:TheHighQueen]]: As of the end of series 4. This is even more true at the end of series 5 considering [[spoiler:she became the sole ruler of Camelot]]. In fact, the very last words of the entire series are [[spoiler:"long live the queen!"]], as cried by everyone present in the throne room.
* HotConsort
* HourglassPlot: With Morgana, essentially taking her place as the most powerful woman in Camelot.
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: With Arthur.
* IWillWaitForYou: At the conclusion of ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E10QueenOfHearts}} Queen Of Hearts]]'', she promises to wait for Arthur to become King, at which point they can marry.
* LetsGetDangerous: 1x10, 2x04 and 5x01.
* LikeBrotherAndSister / PlatonicLifePartners: Gwen eventually becomes this with Merlin in series 2.
* LightFeminineAndDarkFeminine: Light to Morgana's dark.
** In ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E11TheHuntersHeart}} The Hunter's Heart]]'' she is the dark to Mithian's light.
* LimitedWardrobe: In the first series she (understandably) only had two outfits.
* LoveHurts: The poor girl never catches a break -- her feelings for Merlin are unrequited, her brief romance with Lancelot abruptly ends when he leaves Camelot, only to return and their romance is rekindled until Lancelot leaves again after noticing Arthur's and Gwen's feelings for each other, leaving Gwen upset, and her budding relationship with Arthur constantly becomes strained because of their social classes. [[spoiler: Once she and Arthur become stable, she is enchanted into cheating on him with [[BackFromTheDead Lancelot]] - the kicker being only the audience and the bad guys know - and banished from Camelot forever.]]
* LoveTriangle: At the centre of the most famous one of all.
* MamaBear:
** It turns out that messing with [[PlatonicLifePartners Merlin]] will turn the [[BewareTheNiceOnes usually mild mannered]] Gwen into one of these. '''GET AWAY FROM HIM!!!'''
** If you ever betray Arthur while he's on a rescue mission, [[spoiler: she'll order your ''execution.'']]
* ModestRoyalty: Though she gets a significant upgrade in clothing, she only ever wears minimal jewellery (just earrings and her wedding band). This is in stark contrast to Morgana of the first two seasons, who was often decked out in necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings.
* MuggleBestFriend: To Merlin.
* NamingConventions: At the start of the show, she was invariably referred to as Gwen as a reflection of her status as a {{maid}}. This changed as the series went on (in particular, her [[LoveInterest Love Interests]] usually called her by her full name), and by series 5, she's consistently called Guinevere to reflect her higher status.
* NiceGirl
* NinjaMaid: In ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E10TheMomentOfTruth}} The Moment of Truth]]'' at least.
* NonActionSnarker: She might not be able to sword-fight an opponent into submission, but she's sassed quite a few bigger, stronger, more powerful people in her time.
--> ''"I don't expect someone like YOU to understand that."''
* OfCorsetsSexy: Wears them as outerwear in series 2 and 3. She seems to be wearing them as underwear in series 4.
* TheOneThatGotAway: She is this to Lancelot.
* ParentalAbandonment: Her father was executed at Uther's hand, and her mother's whereabouts are unknown.
* PluckyGirl
* [[PoliticallyActivePrincess Politically Active Queen]]
* ThePollyanna
* ProgressivelyPrettier
* PromotionToParent: Elyan says of her: "she raised me."
* ProperLady
* RagsToRiches
* TheReliableOne
* RichSuitorPoorSuitor: Their social classes aren't played into the LoveTriangle, but Arthur (rich suitor) and Lancelot (poor suitor) for Gwen.
* RomanticTwoGirlFriendship: With Morgana.
* RulingCouple: With Arthur.
* SecondLove: As Gwen realizes her feelings for Merlin are unrequited in 1x05, she finds a brief romance with Lancelot.
* [[spoiler: SecretSecretKeeper: Reveals in the finale that she knows about Merlin's magic. When she put it together is unknown, but as Merlin never found out she knew in the finale.]]
* ShrinkingViolet: Though she grows out of it.
* SheCleansUpNicely: Gwen's new look in Season 2. Not that she needed it, though.
* SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan: What attracted Gwen to all her three love interests.
* SilkHidingSteel: A kind castle maid who takes pride in her work. If neccesary, she can fight reasonably well.
* StarcrossedLovers: With Lancelot.
* [[StayInTheKitchen Stay In The Castle]]: Guinevere's job as Queen is to maintain control in Camelot while Arthur is away.
* TheStrategist: At times.
* TheyFightCrime: She's teamed up with Merlin on more than one occasion to solve the MysteryOfTheWeek.
* TookALevelInBadass: Defintely seems to be the case in series 5 after [[spoiler: becoming High Queen]].
* TrueBlueFemininity: Many of her dresses are blue; particularly in series 4.
* TheUnchosenOne: Unlike Arthur, Merlin, Morgana and Mordred, who all have their destinies outlined by various prophesies and portentous words by the Dragon, Guinevere becomes Queen because Arthur loves her. Other than Morgana’s dreams, she is not mentioned in any prophesy.
* UnfazedEveryman: She's seen Merlin get up to some truly bizarre things over the years, but seldom reacts with anything more than a bemused smile.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: With Arthur and Lancelot. Her supposed crush on Merlin is more or less abandoned between series 1 and 2.
* WhenSheSmiles: So very much.
* WhoopiEpiphanySpeech: Gives one to Merlin, which encompasses the moral standing of the show, [[JustEatGilligan outlining why Uther can't just be killed]].
* [[WillTheyOrWontThey Will They Or Won't They]]: Arthur and Gwen. Their budding relationship constantly grows strained because of their different social classes.
** TheyDo: They are [[spoiler:finally married at the end of series four]].
* WomenAreWiser
* [[spoiler: TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask: She has to act as regent of Camelot when Arthur heads into danger, and it is not easy for her.]]
* YourCheatingHeart: [[spoiler:{{Averted}}, despite the legendary expectations. She's faithful to Arthur, and [[KissingUnderTheInfluence kisses Lancelot only when under a spell]]]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Uther Pendragon]]
!Uther Pendragon (Anthony Head)

[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Uther_965.jpg]]

Uther Pendragon is the ruthless king of Camelot who has outlawed magic within the kingdom. Often his hatred for magic blinds him from his tyrant-like nature, but he nevertheless believes what he is doing for Camelot is right. While Uther does not often show it, he does strongly care about his son Arthur and his ward Morgana, as well as acknowledging loyalty from his subjects e.g. Gaius and Merlin (occasionally).

* [[AbusiveParents Abusive Father]]: In many ways, at various points, to both Arthur and Morgana.
* AcheyScars: He has an old battle wound in his side that he sometimes complains about.
* AdultsAreUseless
* TheAlcoholic: Subtly implied, as Uther is frequently seen with a goblet in hand. Though given the calamities that often nearly spell the end of Camelot, you can understand why his reaction would be INeedAFreakingDrink.
* AntiVillain: [[SlidingScaleOfAntiVillains Type 3 with a bit of Type 1 as well.]]
* BadassNormal
* BadassLongcoat
* [[spoiler:BackFromTheDead]]: Temporarily, in 5x03.
* BloodOnTheseHands: He clearly suffers from a guilty conscience when faced with the apparitions of his deceased wife and the children he drowned.
* BrokenPedestal: Arthur gradually comes to realize that his father is not the infallible father/king that he initially believed him to be.
* CreateYourOwnVillain: Uther certainly played a large part in how Morgana turned out.
* DespairEventHorizon: [[spoiler:When he realizes the depths of his daughter's hatred for him]].
* DisproportionateRetribution
* DotingParent: To Morgana, but only ''after'' she returns from her year-long absence. Before that, he could be quite distant.
* MrFanservice
* [[spoiler:FinalSpeech]]: He manages [[spoiler:a few last words to Arthur before slipping into a coma that he awakens from only very briefly]].
* FreudianExcuse: His extreme hatred of magic comes from the circumstances of Arthur's birth: [[spoiler: Uther was desperate for an heir. His wife couldn't conceive, so he asked Nimueh to help him have a son. She didn't tell him, however, that giving life by magic requires the taking of a life to keep the balance. Arthur was born, but Uther's wife dies.]]
* HeWhoFightsMonsters
* HeyItsThatGuy: King [[RepoTheGeneticOpera Nathan]] [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Giles]] Pendragon.
* HeroicBSOD: Is rendered catatonic after [[spoiler: Morgana betrays him in the third series finale. One year later, he's still a shell of the man he once was, leaving Arthur ruling the land in his stead]].
* {{Hypocrite}}
* {{Jerkass}}
* JerkassHasAPoint: His extremist stance toward magic would be considerably less understandable if not for the fact that nearly ''every'' magic-user in the series who isn't named Merlin turns out to be evil -- and not in the "we're desperate and fighting for our lives" sense, but full-on murderous sadism and smirking villainy.
** Unfortunate FridgeLogic implies that the crazy villains were the only ones to survive his great purge, thanks to their paranoia and justified fear of the king. The less dangerous magic users wouldn't have expected for a just king to slaughter them all.
** Or that they were DrivenToVillainy.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: On every issue except magic, though there is rather more Jerk than Gold. Notably he is very sympathetic to Merlin's mother when Ealdor is being attacked and expresses a desire to see the JerkAss who's doing it wiped off the face of the earth.
* JudgeJuryAndExecutioner: There is apparently some sort of court system in Camelot (people speak of getting "fair trials") but when it comes down to it, Uther can demand whatever sentencing he likes on whoever he deems guilty.
* KickTheDog: Just about every episode.
* [[spoiler: KilledOffForReal]]
* KnightTemplar / KnightTemplarParent
* [[LikeASonToMe Like A Daughter To Me]]: Morgana. [[spoiler:Quite literally.]]
* LoveMakesYouEvil: He hates magic so much, because it caused a death of his beloved wife.
* PapaWolf: Is very protective of Arthur and Morgana when it comes to life-threatening situations (usually Arthur) or kidnapping attempts (usually Morgana).
** We all knew that once Aredian [[WhatAnIdiot pulled a knife on Morgana]] in 2x07 (in front of Merlin, Arthur, and ''Uther'', no less) that he wasn't going to leave Camelot ''alive''.
* ParentalSubstitute: For Morgana. [[spoiler: At least, it seems this way until it is revealed that she actually ''is'' his illegitimate daughter.]]
* PetTheDog: At the end of ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E09Excalibur}} Excalibur]]''. It's obvious that Uther loves his children, and speaks of his late wife as "my soul." He's also fond of Gaius, and ''can'' be made to see reason on several issues.
* TroubledSympatheticBigot: His hatred of magic stems from his grief and guilt over his wife's death (troubled), he dearly loves both his children (sympathetic) and yet he is utterly ruthless and hypocritical when it comes to eradicating those that practice magic (bigot).
* RoyallyScrewedUp
* UpperClassTwit: Sometimes.
* VillainProtagonist
* VillainousBSOD: Suffers a nasty one once Morgana brings to light how much she truly hates him in 3x13
* WellIntentionedExtremist: He is convinced that magic is evil and threatens Camelot.
* WhatTheHellHero: Uther gets this A LOT.
** But only sometimes to his face.
* WouldHurtAChild: Has ordered the deaths of children in the past (via drowning) as well as the attempted execution of Mordred.
* WouldHitAGirl: Has no problem with this. He's attacked both Morgana and Guinevere.
* YouAreGrounded: To his children, several times. He's not adverse to shutting them in the dungeons either.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Gaius]]
!Gaius (Richard Wilson)

[[quoteright:288:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s01e00_01_gaius_288x352_5452.jpg]]

The court physician, Gaius took Merlin under his care in his arrival to Camelot. He attempts to voice reason to Uther's judgement and ideals, but often gets rebuffed until his suspicions are proven correct.

* AsYouKnow: Gaius is the KING of this trope. How many hundreds of time have we heard him say some variation of: "you/he/she can't use magic or you'll be killed" or "we can't tell anyone about Morgana/Agravaine/any other obvious villain because they'd never believe us".
* BadassGrandpa: [[spoiler: Gaius takes on a Dorocha without even flinching in order to save Gwen]].
* BigDamnHeroes: Saves Merlin from Morgause in 3x13.
* CanonForeigner: You won't find any Gaius in [[KingArthur Arthurian legends]], he was created specifically for the show.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: In the first handful of episodes, he was a typical AbsentMindedProfessor who couldn't keep track of what day it was, accidentally set his bench on fire, and whose (egregious) EstablishingCharacterMoment was falling off a ladder. Later he became a much more astute mentor with FeetOfClay.
* TheConfidant: To Merlin and Uther, and occasionally to Guinevere and Morgana (in the early years) as well.
* CoolOldGuy
* CourtMage: Several episodes imply that Gaius was the CourtMage before sorcery was outlawed in Camelot. One can infer that he was spared during the purge due to his loyalty to Uther, his skill as a physician and because his knowledge of sorcery meant he was invaluable at identifying any magical threats to the kingdom.
* DeadpanSnarker
* DemotedToExtra: In series 4, with the exception of one episode. Even more so in series 5, where pretty much every scene and all of his dialogue is either plot-relevant exposition or warnings to be careful.
* FascinatingEyebrow
* FingerlessGloves: He's seldom seen without them.
* IgnoredExpert: He had perhaps a 50% success rate in convincing Uther of dangerous magical circumstances.
* IntergenerationalFriendship: With Arthur and particularly Guinevere (Merlin falls into the LikeASonToMe category).
* LikeASonToMe: Merlin.
* TheMasquerade: He's a retired magician.
** Becomes a BrokenMasquerade in 2x07, as it's revealed that Uther always knew.
* TheMedic
* TheMentor
* MentorOccupationalHazard: Almost dies [[RuleOfThree three]] times.
* OhCrap: In ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E10QueenOfHearts}} Queen Of Hearts]]'' he is asked to identify a poultice as magical. After confirming it, he asks where it was found and is told: "Arthur's bedroom." He looks over at [[spoiler:a smirking Morgana]] and realizes that he's just [[spoiler:condemned Guinevere]].
* OldRetainer
* ParentalSubstitute: For Merlin.
** To a lesser extent, Gwen as well.
* RetiredBadass: He may have given up practicing magic, but he still has it in him.
* SecretKeeper
* ShipperOnDeck: From the looks of 2x13, he approves of Arthur/Gwen.
* TeamDad: To Merlin and Gwen especially, but also Arthur and Morgana (though he [[spoiler:messed up spectacularly in that case]]).
* YouJustToldMe: A variation in which he forces Merlin to reveal his powers by tipping a bucket of water over. Merlin automatically freezes it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Characters Introduced in Season 1]]

!The Great Dragon: Kilgharrah (John Hurt)

[[quoteright:256:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bigger_dragon_9908.jpg]]

The last of the dragons who was captured during the time of the Great Purge and imprisoned in the dungeons under Camelot as an example of Uther's victory over magic. With an extensive knowledge of future events, the dragon introduces Merlin to his destiny and provides guidance over the course of his life.

* AndroclesLion: {{Inverted}}
* AntiVillain: Until his HeelFaceTurn, as he has ''very'' good reason to despise Uther.
* BecauseDestinySaysSo: Practically his motto.
* BigBad: The final episode of series two.
* BigDamnHeroes: [[spoiler:Comes to Merlin's rescue in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E01TheTearsOfUtherPendragonPartI}} The Tears of Uther Pendragon Part I]]'', then again in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E02TheDarkestHourPartII}} The Darkest Hour Part II]]''.]]
* DemotedToExtra: In Series 5. [[spoiler: With good reason, as he is dying of old age.]]
* EccentricMentor
* FanNickname: [[HoYay Slash Dragon]].
* GiantFlyer
* HeelFaceTurn
* ItHasBeenAnHonor: In ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E02TheDarkestHourPartII}} The Darkest Hour Part II]]'' this is his reaction to Merlin stating that he’s going to sacrifice himself to seal off the spirit world. You can clearly hear the fondness and grief in his voice at the notion of Merlin dying, but it’s also obvious that Kilgharrah is incredibly proud of Merlin’s conviction and good nature.
* LastOfHisKind: [[spoiler:Not anymore due to the hatching of Aithusa.]]
* ManipulativeBastard
* [[EvilMentor Morally Ambiguous Mentor]]
* MrExposition
* NoNameGiven: For the first two series at least. In the last episode of series 2, he was identified as "Kilgharrah" for the first time.
* OmniscientMoralityLicense: He's advised/ordered Merlin to do some ''incredibly'' dodgy stuff, including letting a child die and killing a terrified woman.
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: Talkative and controlled by Dragonlords.
* SapientSteed: Whenever Merlin hitches a ride.
* [[spoiler:SecretlyDying: Although the secret's out in The Kindness of Strangers.]]
* TreacherousAdvisor
* WhatTheHellHero: In ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E05TheCrystalCave}} The Crystal Cave]]'' he’s enraged at the fact that Merlin forces him to divulge a spell to heal Morgana by using his Dragonlord powers, considering it a serious breach of trust.
* WouldHurtAChild: At least by omission: he tries to prevent Merlin from saving Mordred, when Mordred was a little kid and still ''very'' innocent.

!Nimueh (Michelle Ryan)

[-"I have watched so many people I love die at your hands, Uther Pendragon. Now it is your turn."-]

[[quoteright:203:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Nimeuh_1210.jpg]]

The sorceress who cast the spell that allowed Uther and Igraine to conceive Arthur. After Igraine died in childbirth as per the conditions of the magic, it served as a catalyst for Uther's hatred of magic and the massacre that followed. Throughout the first season, Nimueh works against Uther from a distance in order to undermine his rule. She appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E03TheMarkOfNimueh}} The Mark of Nimueh]]'', ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E04ThePoisonedChalice}} The Poisoned Chalice]]'', ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E09Excalibur}} Excalibur]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E13LeMortdArthur}} Le Mort d'Arthur]]''.

* ArcVillain: She's only had a role in series 1.
* BestServedCold
* BigBad: Of series 1.
* DealWithTheDevil: Merlin makes a deal with her in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E13LeMortdArthur}} Le Mort d'Arthur]]''.
* DecoyDamsel: In ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E04ThePoisonedChalice}} The Poisoned Chalice]]''.
* [[EvilSorcerer Evil Sorceress]]
* [[HeyItsThatGuy Hey It's That Girl]]: After she dies, she [[Recap/DoctorWhoNSS4E15PlanetOfTheDead ends up on a sandy world with David Tennant]].
** Also recognizable to UK soap fans as [[EastEnders Zoe Slater]].
** She's also [[{{Jekyll}} Dr. Jackman's]] assistant.
* [[HighPriest High Priestess]]: Of the Old Religion.
* HotWitch
* InTheHood: In ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E09Excalibur}} Excalibur]]''.
* LadyInRed
* MsFanservice
* KilledOffForReal
* OlderThanTheyLook
* PlayingWithFire: She throws a fireball in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E13LeMortdArthur}} Le Mort d'Arthur]]''.
* PoisonIsEvil
* SeenItAll: Her response when Gaius comes to her to offer his life in exchange for Merlin's.
* StarterVillain
* TamperingWithFoodAndDrink: {{Inverted}} in the ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E04ThePoisonedChalice}} The Poisoned Chalice]]'', in that it is the ''chalice'' that is poisoned, not the drink.
* UnknownRival: Though she is a formidable opponent, most of her evil plans are done from a distance, and Prince Arthur never discovers who she truly is after she pulls a DecoyDamsel on him. She interacts only once with King Uther (who would be her major foe) but then dies in the season finale without having any sort of confrontation with either Uther or Arthur. In fact, it's unclear whether they even know that she's dead.
* WaterSourceTampering: In ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E03TheMarkOfNimueh}} The Mark of Nimueh]]'' to create a MysticalPlague.
* WeCanRuleTogether: She tries this with Merlin. It doesn't work.
* TheVamp

!Lancelot (Santiago Cabrera)

[[quoteright:235:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/34-4-1_9996.jpg]]

[-"I would die for you one hundred times over. Live for me, or everything that I am has been for nothing."-]

A commoner who desires to become a knight of Camelot. He shares a brief romance with Gwen and becomes one of Merlin's long-term [[SecretKeeper Secret Keepers]]. He appeared in the first, second, third and fourth series.

* AllLoveIsUnrequited
* BackForTheFinale
* [[BettyAndVeronica Betty]]: To Arthur's [[BettyAndVeronica Veronica]].
* BigDamnHeroes: With Percival.
* BrownEyes
* [[spoiler:CameBackWrong]]: [[spoiler:Deliberately so on Morgana's part.]]
* CatchPhrase: In the three episodes named after him he utters the phrase: "My name is Lancelot". In all three cases, it's his first line of the episode.
* ConflictingLoyalty: Always between what he wants and what he thinks he deserves. In his first appearance it was between becoming a knight of Camelot and staying true to his ideals by not taking credit for something Merlin achieved; in later episodes it exists between his fealty to Arthur and his desire for Guinevere.
* DidNotGetTheGirl
** EverythingButTheGirl
* [[spoiler:DyingAsYourself: When he dies the second time, he thanks Merlin for freeing him from Morgana's spell.]]
* [[spoiler:EvilCostumeSwitch]]: When he [[spoiler:comes BackFromTheDead as Morgana's UnwittingPawn, he's dressed in black. It's a wonder the good guys didn't notice...]]
* FailedASpotCheck: He did ''not'', which is the reason he is aware of Merlin’s magic. He clearly overheard Merlin’s incantation that helped him kill the Griffin. Worthy of noticing that he has been the ''only'' character to come to this logical conclusion.
** GenreSavvy
* {{Foil}}: To Arthur.
* [[spoiler:GoOutWithASmile: Twice, even.]]
* [[spoiler: HeroicSacrifice]]
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Merlin. It helps that they both think the world of each other.
* HeyItsThatGuy: [[Series/{{Heroes}} Issac Mendez]] is Lancelot.
* HonorBeforeReason: Rejects the offer of becoming a real knight of Camelot in favor of first being true to himself.
* IGaveMyWord: In ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E01TheDarkestHourPartI}} The Darkest Hour]]'' he promises Gwen that he'll protect Arthur, no matter what. [[spoiler: He sacrifices himself to uphold the promise]].
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: Leaves in Season 2 after realizing that Arthur is in love with Gwen, and he doesn't want to come in between them.
** And again in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E01TheDarkestHourPartI}} The Darkest Hour]]'' in which he [[spoiler:sacrifices himself]] to preserve the Arthur/Gwen relationship.

* [[spoiler:KilledOffForReal: The writers have confirmed that his story arc is finished, and he won't return to life again. HesDeadJim.]]
* KnightInShiningArmor
* LongingLook: His expression of choice whenever in the vicinity of Guinevere.
* MrFanservice
* NiceGuy: Is he ever. Perhaps the nicest person in the entire series.
* PermaStubble
* PuppyDogEyes
* RescueRomance: Played straight and then {{subverted}} in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E04LancelotAndGuinevere}} Lancelot and Guinevere]]''. The two of them bond extremely quickly due to the life-or-death situation they find themselves in, but it is actually Arthur who ends up saving ''both'' of them.
* TheRival
* RomanticFalseLead: His reappearance causes some conflict to the Arthur/Gwen romance.
* RomanticRunnerUp
* [[spoiler:SacrificialLion]]
* ScarsAreForever: Subverted. In 2x04 he's given a scar on his cheek which has disappeared by his next appearance in series 3.
* SecretKeeper: One of only two regular characters that knows Merlin's secret.
* SelfMadeMan: Born a commoner.
** SelfProclaimedKnight
* [[spoiler:SoullessShell]]: In 4x09
* SpannerInTheWorks: To Arthur and Guinevere's relationship.
* StarcrossedLovers: With Gwen.
* TallDarkAndHandsome
* WhiteStallion

!Mordred (Asa Butterfield/Alexander Vlahos)

[-"My name is Mordred."-]

[[quoteright:229:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Senza_titolo-3_7351.jpg]]

Mordred is a young Druid boy who Morgana grows instantly attached to. According to the Great Dragon, Mordred will one day kill Arthur. Merlin's desire to help Mordred becomes heavily strained because of this. Also, another prophecy states that [[spoiler:Mordred and Morgana will be united in evil]]. He appears in the first, second and fifth series.

* {{Adorkable}}: When the older knights tease him.
* AmbiguouslyEvil
* BecauseYouWereNiceToMe: This is most likely the cause of Mordred's loyalty towards Morgana.
** He also wants to save Arthur 'cause Arthur saved him when he was a child.
* BigBad: Eventually.
* BigBrotherWorship: Towards Arthur. Ironic, considering Mordred is his son in the legends.
* BrokenPedestal: All the time. He idolized Merlin, who's like the magic world's greatest rockstar, and he keeps trying to kill him for no reason. He has a special bond with Morgana, who was sweet and caring, and she became a vengeful woman driven by hate. He worships Arthur, and he [[spoiler:has his beloved hanged]]. He considers the knights friends, and they [[spoiler:let him down when he needed them the most]].
* ChildMage
* ChildProdigy
* ChildrenForcedToKill
* CreepyBlueEyes: His unblinking gray-blue eyes when he is a child can be quite unsettling.
* CreepyChild
* DarkAndTroubledPast: His father was killed; he was injured and sentenced to death; he saw his [[DoomedHometown village destroyed]]; he was hunted down and forced to kill and after the TimeSkip he said he learned to keep a low profile to not be burned to the stake or sold out. Also, considering how clueless he is about the Old Relogion, he probably didn't meet other sorcerers after leaving Alvarr.
* DeliberatelyCuteChild
* DesignatedVillain: ''[[invoked]]'' He is prophesied to be the one who will kill Arthur. When he was still a child and apparently did no harm, the Great Dragon bluntly told Merlin to leave him to his death. Later Merlin himself adopts the belief that Mordred will be up to no good.
* TheDreaded: To Merlin, who believes that he'll one day kill Arthur.
* EnfanteTerrible
* EvilSorcerer: A very young one.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: He will someday kill Arthur.
** Right now there is a proper vision of him killing/wounding Arthur.
* FreudianExcuse: Mordred's storyline starts with him seriously injured by Camelot's guards and his father executed by Uther; then he is imprisoned and sentenced to death. He returned to his people only to have his mentor killed, his village destroyed by Arthur and he's forced to leave Morgana to save himself. After that he's openly hostile to the Pendragon, plus his caretaker is [[ManipulativeBastard Alvarr]]; then Merlin, someone he considers sort of an ally, sides with Camelot instead. Three episodes, and he already has a hell of a FreudianExcuse for the day he will be the BigBad.
** And now [[spoiler:the girl he loved gets killed at Arthur's order]].
* FromNobodyToNightmare: In his first appearance he was just a helpless kid. With each subsequent episode he displays considerably more power, until he returns as an adult, and is one of the few villains who not only unnerves Merlin, but genuinely terrifies him.
* HeartwarmingOrphan: {{Subverted}}. He did have traces of it at the start, but at the same time he was ''also'' a CreepyChild from Day One.
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: Though he's supposedly destined to kill Arthur, his loyalties are hard to determine, especially when he [[spoiler:turns on Morgana and stabs her InTheBack, saving Arthur's life in the process.]]
** [[spoiler:He has a FaceHeelTurn in 5x11]].
* HeyItsThatGuy: As a child he was [[TheBoyInTheStripedPyjamas Bruno]] and [[NannyMcphee Norman]].
* HiddenAgendaVillain: No one is quite sure what he's up to (if anything), least of all Merlin.
* IKnowYourTrueName: He constantly (but telepathically) refers to Merlin as "Emrys"; in fact, he's the first person in the show to mention that name to Merlin.
* InnocentBlueEyes: When he first appears.
** CreepyBlueEyes: Every other time.
* InnocenceLost: Probably [[BecauseDestinySaysSo because destiny says so]]: he has to [[BigBad kill Arthur]], so a lot happens to make him change from a [[TheWoobie scared little boy]] to a [[EnfanteTerrible vindictive kid]].
* [[spoiler:KilledOffForReal:]] As of ''The Diamond of the Day Part 2.''
* [[LittleMissBadass Little Mister Badass]]: As demonstrated when he kicked the asses of a bunch of Camelot's guards with his magic in 2x03 and 2x11.
* MagicKnight: In 5x01, we see a prophetic vision of Mordred on the battlefield, wearing chainmail and wielding a {{BFS}}.
* MysteriousPast: Particularly in the [[TimeSkip Time Skips]]. How'd he go from Iseldir's care to Aglaine's care to Alvarr's care to working with bandits?
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: NamesToRunAwayFrom/{{Mor}}[[TheDreaded dred]]
* NowLetMeCarryYou: Mordred is glad to take care of an injured Morgana, in thanks for her previously caring for him.
* OracularUrchin: It would seem so, as Alvarr says Mordred is the only one powerful enough to use the Crystal of Neahtid. Considering even ''Merlin'' had trouble with it, this would suggest great power indeed.
* TheOtherDarrin: He's been recast as [[http://ontd-merlin.livejournal.com/378554.html 23 year old Alexander Vlahos]].
* ParentalAbandonment: His father died and his mother was [[MissingMom never mentioned in the first place]].
* ParentalSubstitute: Not very lucky with them: the first one was killed by Camelot's knights and the second was a ManipulativeBastard who wants to use him and Morgana to bring Uther down.
* PuppyDogEyes: Oddly, teen-Mordred seems a puppy who's trying to be loved much more than [[CreepyChild child-Mordred]].
* PutOnABus: Unfortunately, Asa Butterfield (Mordred) won't be in Season 3 and 4 because of scheduled filming conflicts. He ran off into the forest at the end of season two and hasn't been seen since.
** TheBusCameBack: He's been recast for series five.
* ReformedButRejected: Seems the case with Merlin: since his returning Mordred has done anything evil or wrong, [[spoiler:he actually saved Arthur life ''twice'', one almost dying in the process]], but Merlin doesn't trust him and basically wants him dead.
* RuleOfThree: Has appeared three times in the first two seasons.
** With the recasting he is in three seasons.
* TheRunaway
* ScarfOfAssKicking: And it's ''bigger than Merlin's''.
* SchiffOneLiner / WhamLine: 1x08 when he reveals his identity -- the above quote.
* TheSociopath: A budding example.
* SonicScream
* StartOfDarkness: In 2x03 Mordred is forced to kill some soldiers in self-defense, but shows absolutely no remorse.
* TheTeamWannabe: Looks like Mordred really wants to be part of ''something'', and he's trying really hard to gain Merlin's trust and friendship.
* {{Telepathy}}: Has contacted several characters -- including Merlin and Morgana -- with his thoughts.
* ThisIsUnforgivable: When Merlin attempts to prevent Mordred from escaping the Camelot knights in 2x11, Mordred ends up killing the knights and warning Merlin telepathically that he will not forgive Merlin nor will he forget this betrayal.
** Looks like he did forgive him, though: some things he said seems to imply that Mordred considers his old attitude a result of being a child, not fully understanding what was going on and all the implications.
*** Harming his beloved is an entirely different thing.
* TimeShiftedActor: Thanks to the [[TimeSkip Time Skips]] between seasons, it's been seven years since Mordred was last seen, thus allowing Alexander Vlahos to step in as an older version of the same character.
* TroublingUnchildlikeBehavior: Merlin is shocked when he witnesses Mordred killing several knights with a SonicScream - even worse is the kid's reaction - he looks around at the bodies with a small smile and casually runs away.
* TheVoiceless: Played straight in 1x08, where Morgana start to wonder if he's too afraid to speak or he can't. In later episodes Mordred is more verbal, but still seems to prefer telepathy over voice.
* WildCard: Season 5. [[spoiler: Stabs Morgana in the back, joins the knights, shows kindness to the prisoners, doesn't use his magic, and doesn't reveal Merlin's identity to either Arthur or Morgana.]] So far, the show's doing a very good job not letting us know if he's heel or face.
* WiseBeyondTheirYears: Or so it would seem.
* YouAreNotAlone: He tries this on Merlin ''and'' Morgana in 5x02, only to be cold-shouldered by Merlin and on the receiving end of a crazy rant from Morgana. One gets the sense that he [[spoiler:chose Arthur]] not just because [[IOweYouMyLife I Owe Him My Life]] but because he doesn't fully trust the only other two magic-users on the show.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Characters Introduced in Season 2]]

!Sir Leon (Rupert Young)

[[quoteright:224:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Leonknight_1597.jpg]]

A Knight of Camelot seen throughout series 2 and made a semi-regular in the third, fourth and fifth series.

* AscendedExtra
* BackStory: Is linked with Gwen. We find out at the end of season 3 that her mother was a maid in his family's household, and [[LikeBrotherAndSister the two of them grew up together]].
* BadassNormal: It really shines in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E02TheTearsOfUtherPendragonPartII}} The Tears of Uther Pendragon]]''.
* BearerOfBadNews: It's usually his job to inform people that evil forces are advancing on Camelot.
* CanonForeigner: On account of him starting as a BitCharacter and becoming an AscendedExtra thanks to the actor's popularity among the rest of the cast, Sir Leon is the only knight of the Round Table that has no basis in Arthurian legend.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: In one of his first appearances (''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E07TheWitchfinder}} The Witchfinder]]'') he is shown tearing apart Gaius's study in an attempt to find evidence of magic, smashing bottles and overturning tables. It's difficult to imagine the later, more gentler, Leon doing such a thing.
** Though in fairness, it was during a WitchHunt that [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness left tensions running high]]. After all, if he hadn't have searched ''everything'' and it later turned out that Gaius ''was'' a sorcerer, Leon could have been burnt at the stake as a collaborator.
* ChildhoodFriends: With Guinevere.
* DisguisedInDrag
* KnightInShiningArmor
* TheLancer: To Arthur.
* NumberTwo: He seems to be this to Arthur among the Knights.
* MauveShirt
* OlderAndWiser: Among the Knights. And it shows, as he is often calm, collected and sensible.
* RomanceOnTheSet: There are persistent rumors that he's dating AngelCoulby.
* ShirtlessScene: Which cemented his position as a major cast member.

!Morgause (EmiliaFox)

[[quoteright:213:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/20-2_3968.jpg]]

[-"Arthur Pendragon, a great destiny awaits you. The battle for your soul is about to begin."-]

A mysterious sorceress who has a connection to Morgana, Morgause desires the doom of Uther and Camelot. She appears in the second, third and fourth series.

* ActionGirl: So much that she can best ''Arthur'' in a duel.
** DarkActionGirl
* TheBaroness: The Rosa Klebb type.
* BigBad: Season 3, after being built up some during Season 2.
* BigSisterInstinct / CoolBigSis: Towards Morgana. Seriously, what sister would [[spoiler:give you a kingdom to reign over?]]
* BlondesAreEvil
* BreakoutVillain: She was only going to be around for a couple of episodes until the writers released how important she was to Morgana's StoryArc.
* BrownEyes
* ChainmailBikini: Averted. She gears up for combat appropriately.
* EnemyMine / FireForgedFriends: Morgause and Cenred seem to be allies over their mutual hatred for Uther.
* [[EvilSorcerer Evil Sorceress]]
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Morgana.
* [[HighPriest High Priestess]]: Of the Old Religion.
* HotWitch
* KickTheDog: Putting a spell on Morgana to make her the vessel to summon the Knights of Medhir in order to destroy Camelot ''without'' telling Morgana probably wasn't Morgause's best idea in the world...
* [[spoiler: KilledOffForReal: By ''Morgana'' in the series 4 premier. It's a MercyKill, with Morgause's full consent.]]
* [[KnightTemplarBigBrother Knight Templar Big Sister]]
* LadyInRed
* LongLostRelative
* MsFanservice
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: NamesToRunAwayFrom/{{Mor}}
* OnlyMostlyDead: [[spoiler:Apparently killed in the season 3 finale, but she comes back in season 4. Given her mutated face, it's clear that she and Morgana went to extreme lengths to keep her alive.]]
* PetTheDog: In spite of her plot to murder Uther, Morgause does find time to reunite with her half-sister Morgana and give her a bracelet that would help her sleep. [[spoiler:And help her take over Camelot...]]
* TheReveal: She is Morgana's [[LongLostRelative half]]-[[SeparatedAtBirth sister]]. Though it's not totally clear through which parent they're related, popular FanWank is that they share a mother: Vivienne.
* RomanticTwoGirlFriendship: With Morgana.
* SamusIsAGirl: Her {{Badass}} debut.
* SupernaturalGoldEyes: When using magic.
* ThanatosGambit: [[spoiler:She ensures that her death furthers Morgana's cause]].
* UnkemptBeauty: When fully armored. Otherwise, she seems to take time to style her hair and also dress very nicely.
* VillainsNeverLie: Everything she tells/shows Arthur about his mother is the truth, and it's ''Merlin'' that has to coax Arthur back into believing the lies surrounding the circumstances of his birth.
* WellIntentionedExtremist

!Freya (Laura Donnelly)

[[quoteright:213:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/13-2_6426.jpg]]

[-"You already saved me. You made me feel loved."-]

Freya is a young Druid woman with a dark secret who Merlin protects from captivity. They develop a strong bond in the process. Freya becomes Merlin's first love. She appears in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E09TheLadyOfTheLake}} The Lady of the Lake]]'', ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E13TheComingOfArthurPartII}} The Coming of Arthur Part II]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E13TheDiamondOfTheDayPartII}} The Diamond of the Day Part II]].'' [[hottip:*:Or at least her arm does]]

* BackForTheFinale
* BirdsOfAFeather: Merlin is able to develop such a strong bond with newcomer Freya because of the fact that they are both born of magic and must keep it a secret. In the process, they fall in love.
* BreakTheCutie
** KillTheCutie
* BrokenBird
* BrownEyes
* [[ChekhovsGunman Chekhov's Gunman]]: She [[spoiler:returns at the end of Season 3 in order to deliver Excalibur into Merlin's hands so that he can defeat the immortal army.]]
* DiedInYourArmsTonight
* DistressedDamsel
* TheDulcineaEffect
* EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette
* EnigmaticEmpoweringEntity: In her second appearance.
* GiantFlyer: In her winged panther form.
* TheGwenStacy
* InvoluntaryShapeshifting: [[spoiler:She transforms into a giant winged panther at the stroke of midnight.]]
* {{Kuudere}}: Arguably.
* LadyInRed
** LittleDeadRidingHood
* LoveRedeems: She's not ''evil'', but Freya says that Merlin's love for her saved her in more than one way.
* MeaningfulName: Even though "Freya" isn´t one of the names given to the Lady of the Lake in the Arthurian legend, her name is Old Norse for "Lady", and alludes to Freyja, a goddess associated with love who rules over the fields of Fólkvangr, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avalon ''where half of those that die in battle go upon death]].''
* MysteriousWaif
* OneShotCharacter: Though, it is implied that Freya will one day return as the Lady of the Lake in future to help Merlin for helping her.
** [[spoiler:Freya appeared in the final episode of Season 3, at least somewhat.]]
* PainfulTransformation
* ReallyBigCat
** PantheraAwesome
* TheQuietOne
* UnkemptBeauty
* WeHardlyKnewYe

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Characters Introduced in Season 3]]

!Cenred (Tom Ellis)

[[quoteright:223:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Cenred-merlin-on-bbc-16891208-1600-12001211_2858.jpg]]

The ruler of the rivaling kingdom of Cenred (named after himself), Cenred seeks the downfall of Uther and Camelot by becoming an accomplice of Morgause's. He appears in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E01TheTearsOfUtherPendragonPartI}} The Tears of Uther Pendragon Part I]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E02TheTearsOfUtherPendragonPartII}} II]]'', ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E07TheCastleOfFyrien}} The Castle of Fyrien]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E12TheComingOfArthurPartI}} The Coming of Arthur Part I]]''.

* CurtainsMatchTheWindow
* EarlyBirdCameo: Was first mentioned in ''1x10''.
* EnemyMine / FireForgedFriends: Morgause and Cenred seem to be allies over their mutual hatred for Uther.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: He refuses to let his army die and withdraws the battle against Camelot once he realizes they can't win.
* [[spoiler:KilledOffForReal]]
* OhCrap: [[spoiler: When he realizes Morgause is going to kill him, and there's nothing he can do about it]]
* ShipTease: There seems to be ''something'' going on between Cenred and Morgause. According to Morgause, Cenred only wishes to please her.
-->'''Cenred:''' You are very beautiful when you're angry.
-->'''Morgause:''' Is that why you continue to defy me?
-->'''Cenred:''' You wouldn't like it if I made it easy for you.
** And this:
--->'''Morgause''': Of course you do. After all, you stand to gain much from Arthur's death.
--->'''Cenred''': I don't deny it. But I'm rich and powerful already. I do this only to please you.
--->'''Morgause''': (with a seductive look) Is that so? Then please me.
* TallDarkAndHandsome
* TallDarkAndSnarky
* TheUnfought: He barely interacts with any of the good guys, and is ultimately [[spoiler:killed by Morgause]]. (He does briefly get in a SwordFight with Arthur, but it's in a DeletedScene for ''The Castle of Fyrien'' and occurs off-screen).
* [[spoiler: YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness]]

!Gwaine (Eoin Macken)

[[quoteright:200:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gwaineagain-1-1_9559.jpg]]

[-"If there's one thing that I learned from my father's life is that titles don't mean anything. It's what's inside that counts".-]

A man who saves Arthur during a brawl at a town tavern, Gwaine is given hospitality at Camelot until his injuries heal. He resents nobles and is secretly the son of a knight. He helps Merlin in protecting Arthur from danger during the melee. He is a future [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gawain Knight of the Round Table]]. He appears in the third, fourth and fifth series.

* TheAlcoholic: Though not, by any means, in a bad way. Most of the time.
* BackForTheFinale
* BadassNormal: So, so badass.
* BigBrotherInstinct: Seems to have adopted this stance toward Merlin and Elyan, the youngest of the new knights.
* BigDamnHeroes: [[RuleOfThree Three times]] no less.
* TheCharmer: Flirts with Gwen in a playful manner, but when he notices Gwen's feelings for Arthur, the two remain good friends. In fact, their "friendliness" is enough to rile Arthur's [[GreenEyedMonster jealousy]] (and Merlin's amusement of said jealousy).
* DeadpanSnarker
* DisappearedDad: Which gives Merlin and Gwaine something to [[BirdsOfAFeather bond]] [[NotSoDifferent about]].
* DualWielding: And he makes it Badass.
* GuestStarPartyMember: Throughout series three, before becoming a regular recurring character in series four.
* HairFlip: Reached MemeticMutation status by the end of his first episode.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: He's often seen with Percival, the two implied to have become close friends.
* HiddenDepths
* HonorBeforeReason: Refuses to expose his identity as the son of a knight out of his resentment towards nobles -- when Gwaine's father, a knight, died, Gwaine and his mother were left penniless, and the king in their land refused to give them any compensation. Gwaine would later change his opinion of Arthur after Arthur defends him.
* [[spoiler:KilledOffForReal:]] As of ''The Diamond of the Day Part 2.''
* KingIncognito: Gwaine isn't royalty, but secretly comes from a noble family, seeing as his father was a knight.
* KnightInSourArmor: A minor example. His friendship with Merlin seems to be wearing down his cynicism.
* LoveableRogue
* ManHug: Gives one to Merlin in 3x08, being the first one to hug Merlin.
** And again in 4x02 when [[spoiler: Merlin comes back, healed and alive after the Dorocha attack.]]
* MasterSwordsman
* MrFanservice
* OddFriendship: With Merlin. The two seem to have absolutely nothing in common, but bond fairly quickly.
* PermaStubble
* PluckyComicRelief
* ShirtlessScene: At least three in his introductory episode ([[SarcasmMode oddly enough]], titled ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E04Gwaine}} Gwaine]]'') -- and if he is wearing a shirt, the collar of said shirt is at least hanging open enough to give the audience [[MrFanservice something to look at...]]
* TheSlacker: Even after becoming a Knight of Camelot, he's the one most likely to be goofing off.
* TallDarkAndHandsome

!Elyan (Adetomiwa Edun)

[[quoteright:227:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Elyan_5600.jpg]]

[-'''Gwen''': "He's just one of those people, never settled down, never thinks about the future, just follows his heart wherever it leads him".-]

Guinevere's estranged brother and only sibling. He appears in the third, fourth and fifth series.

* [[AloofOlderBrother Aloof Younger Brother]]: Often away traveling from one place to another and never even visited Gwen when their father died.
* AnAxeToGrind
* BackForTheFinale
* BadassNormal
* BlackDudeDiesFirst: {{Averted}}.
* DeadpanSnarker: On seeing the ruined castle that Arthur has brought them to, he comments: "It's gotta be better than that cave."
* [[spoiler:DeathInTheLimelight: "The Dark Tower".]]
* DemonicPossession: In 4x10
* InTheHood
* ISeeDeadPeople: In 4x10
* LongLostSibling
* MrFanservice
* NowLetMeCarryYou: He pledges his fealty to Arthur in repayment for the rescue Arthur undertakes in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E07TheCastleOfFyrien}} The Castle of Fyrien]]''.
* RaceLift: The legendary Elyan was known as "Elyan the White". In the series, he's played by a black actor. Granted, "the White" would have referred to his pure soul, but it's still pretty funny.
* RememberTheNewGuy
* ShipperOnDeck: At the very least, he certainly isn't ''opposed'' to his sister dating the Prince of Camelot, judging by the smile on his face when they kiss at the end of ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E13TheComingOfArthurPartII}} The Coming of Arthur Part II]]''.
* TokenMinority

!Percival (Tom Hopper)

[[quoteright:215:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/MER15550-1840-718-404-100-1_2090.jpg]]

[-"Your enemies are my enemies."-]

A warrior who arrives with Lancelot in order to help Arthur and his loyalists take back Camelot. Having showed up in the very last episode of the third season, we learn very little about him. He appeared in the third, fourth and fifth series.

* AdaptationalBadass: In the original legends he is the epitome of GoodIsDumb and IdiotHero; here, he is the strong, silent type and more than capable of holding his own.
* BadassNormal: Bordering on SuperStrength.
* BigDamnHeroes: With Lancelot.
* BruiserWithASoftCenter
* DogPileOfDoom: Though he throws it off pretty quickly.
* EleventhHourRanger
* EvenTheGuysWantHim: Bradley James has freely admitted to having a man-crush on Tom Hopper.
* FriendToAllChildren: His EstablishingCharacterMoment in the first episode of season 4 is to endanger his own life to save three frightened children by carrying them all to safety in his arms.
* GentleGiant
* HeterosexualLifePartners: He's often seen with Gwaine, the two implied to have become close friends.
* LastEpisodeNewCharacter
* OneHeadTaller: He towers over the rest of the characters.
* PietaPlagiarism: In 4x02 he carries Merlin in this manner.
* ShirtlessScene: He finally gets [[WalkingShirtlessScene an extended one]] in 5x01 and 5x02.
* SleevesAreForWimps: He's got them in the featured picture, but most of the time his armour is sleeveless, the better to show off Tom Hopper's rather extraordinary biceps.
* TheQuietOne
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: A mild one, since it's the last episode, but Percival is last seen tracking Arthur and Merlin. He's back at [[spoiler: Gwen's coronation, though]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Characters Introduced in Season 4]]

! Lord Agravaine de Bois (NathanielParker)

[[quoteright:199:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Agravaineblackclothes_pic_9130_9699.jpg]]

[-'''Gaius''': "I suspect he's not as virtuous as he seems."-]

Arthur's uncle on his mother's side, Agravaine has been helping his nephew run the kingdom during Uther's sickness. It soon becomes clear that he's not a man to be trusted. He appears only in the fourth series.

* AffablyEvil
* AllLoveIsUnrequited: He seems to have a thing for Morgana. She couldn't care less.
* AristocratsAreEvil: Played ''very'' straight.
* BitchInSheepsClothing
* BlackCloak
* BridalCarry: Carries Morgana like this when he finds her injured in the forest in 4x05.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: He wears black, as does [[spoiler: Morgana]]. That pretty much sums it up.
* ConsummateLiar: He can look his nephew in the eye and swear on his dead sister's life that he isn't betraying him. (He is).
* CreepyUncle
* DarkIsEvil
* DevilInPlainSight
* DirtyOldMan: Seems to be creepily fascinated by both Morgana and Guinevere, and enjoys standing behind their chairs with his hands close to their necks. Overlaps with FoeYay and {{UST}}, especially in Morgana's case.
* EvilChancellor
* EvilIsNotWellLit: He is first introduced stepping out of the shadows.
* EvilUncle
* HandsomeLech: A sinister version.
* HeyItsThatGuy: Hey, it's InspectorLynley!
* HiddenAgendaVillain: He wants to sabotage Arthur's reign, but as of yet, we're not really sure ''why''. Unless his hatred of Uther extends to Arthur by proxy.
** A DeletedScene reveals that he's [[spoiler:in love with Morgana]].
* HiddenDepths: The end of 4x06 reveals that his feelings for Morgana run deeper than than we'd been led to expect.
* HypercompetentSidekick: Agravine is much more capable that Morgana as a manipulator and user of XanatosSpeedChess. In fact, if it where not for devotion towards Morgana, he would be a much better villain.
* {{Jerkass}}
* [[spoiler:KarmicDeath]]: Especially since no one really cares that [[spoiler:he's dead]].
* [[spoiler: KilledOffForReal]]
* LoveMartyr: His devotion to Morgana is rather inexplicable considering she holds him in utter contempt.
* TheMole
* ObviouslyEvil: Painfully so.
* OhCrap: [[http://oi48.tinypic.com/15fof8l.jpg A fairly priceless one]] when Gwaine catches him about to slit Gaius's throat.
* TreacherousAdvisor
* PromotionToOpeningTitles: As of 4x04 [[spoiler: after Uther's death in 4x03]], he's credited as a main cast member.
* RegentForLife: Played with. Though Arthur is more or less running Camelot, he appoints his uncle regent in his absence.
* RememberTheNewGuy
* RewardedAsATraitorDeserves: [[spoiler:Dies unmourned and unburied in an underground cavern]].
* ShooOutTheNewGuy: After being introduced at the start of series 4 and [[PromotionToOpeningTitles promoted to the opening titles]] in episode 3, he's written out permanently at the end of that same season without really doing anything particularly memorable or important during his run. Even [[spoiler:his death scene is all about Merlin]].
* {{Slimeball}}
* ThickerThanWater: Arthur's reason for trusting him so implicitly.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity
* WhatMeasureIsAMook: His PlotArmour eventually fails him, and he [[spoiler:is killed]] alongside a bunch of FacelessMooks.
* XanatosSpeedChess: Especially throughout 4x6.

! The White Dragon: Aithusa

[[quoteright:211:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/big_dragon_3903.jpg]]

[-"The white dragon bodes well for Albion, for you and Arthur, and for the land you will build together."-]

A white baby dragon that Merlin hatches from a long-dormant egg, and said to be a good omen for the coming Golden Age of Arthur's reign. The events of the series four finale throw this into some doubt. He appears in the fourth and fifth series.

* AmbiguousGender: At his birth Kilgharrah identifies Aithusa as a "he", yet latest interviews with the cast refer to the dragon as a "she". It's either a RetCon or a GenderFlip.
* CharacterTitle: The episode in which he first appears is named after him.
* ChekhovsGunman: Appears in the very last scene of series four in order to save Morgana's life.
* CoolPet: To Morgana.
* CutenessProximity: Merlin is moved to tears.
* DiabolusExNihilo: In the series four finale.
* EggMacGuffin
* EvilAlbino: Apparently, though in his first appearance Kilgharrah comments on the auspiciousness of [[HeroicAlbino his whiteness]].
* GoMadFromTheIsolation: Not as much insane as very severely rattled, but at an attempt to attack Merlin and an inability to speak seem to indicate he's not all there.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons
* KickTheDog: [[spoiler:By all appearances, he went through a lot of crap between series 4 and 5. He's emaciated, limping, and can't talk (either because he was never taught or because of some injury). He seems pretty loyal to Morgana, so it seems unlikely that she's responsible.]]
** Finally explained in 5x08. [[spoiler: He was trapped in a oubliette with Morgana for over 2 years and was left horribly crippled when he eventually outgrew his prison. According to his captor, his screams were even ''worse'' than Morgana's.]]
* LivingEmotionalCrutch: To Morgana. As of series 5, Aithusa seems to be the only thing keeping her tenuously sane.
* MeaningfulName: Means "light of the sun" in the language of dragons.
** IronicName: [[spoiler: Due to Morgana being captured, he spent the first two years of his life trapped in a dark pit]].
* OutsideContextVillain: No one yet knows why he chose to heal Morgana. [[spoiler:And since he can't talk, he'll never be able to tell.]]
* RidiculouslyCuteCritter
** Though by series 5, he's UglyCute at best.
* ThereIsAnother: His birth means that Kilgharrah is no longer TheLastOfHisKind.
* TheVoiceless: Because apparently he's never learnt to speak.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic: When Aithusa first hatches, Kilgharrah says that he's a good omen for the future of Albion. A few years later, this "good omen" is sick and malnourished, perhaps to indicate that [[spoiler:Arthur's death is imminent]].
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Merlin banishes Aithusa in the GrandFinale, never to be seen or mentioned again for the rest of the episode.


! Helios (Terence Maynard)

[[quoteright:211:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/6400530697_b802a70d97_o-1_1768.jpg]]

[-"Were you expecting something different? Perhaps campfires and raw meat."-]

A womanizing warlord that Morgana enlists in her crusade against Camelot and whose army attacks it at the end of series four. He appears in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E11TheHuntersHeart}} The Hunter's Heart]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E12TheSwordInTheStonePartI}} The Sword in the Stone Part I]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E13TheSwordInTheStonePartII}} II]]''.

* AffablyEvil
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking
* BadassNormal
* BaldOfAwesome
* BarbarianTribe: {{Subverted}}. When he wants to, he can be borderline WickedCultured.
* BatheHerAndBringHerToMe: Implied between Helios and Guinevere.
* TheBrute
* TheDragon: Seems to become this towards Morgana. Agravaine is GenreSavvy enough to note that there is a big possibility that he's much more a DragonWithAnAgenda. Then again, Agravaine may just be worried that he'll get replaced.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Although his intentions toward Guinevere were hardly pure, he avoids the RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil trope. Instead he seemed genuinely interested in her BackStory and lets her go without a fuss when she tells him that she's tired.
* EvilOverlord
* ItAmusedMe: Unlike Morgana's PsychoticSmirk or Agravine's SmugSmiler attitude when things are going their way, Helios' smiles and chuckles are more of genuine amusement. There are hints of him being a bit of a {{Troll}}.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Helios is an AffablyEvil version of this.
* TakingYouWithMe: [[spoiler: Gets killed by Isolde, but uses his last energy to kill her in turn before dying.]]
* TheSavageSouth: His mercenaries are referred to as "Southrons".
* ScaryBlackMan
* TheUnfettered: Devoted to Morgana in this sense, although we don't see much of him, and gives her his army. When [[spoiler: she ends up not being able to use magic]] he calmly steps in to defend her without panicking or running.
* WeHardlyKnewYe

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Minor Characters]]

! Geoffrey of Monmouth (Michael Cronin)

[[quoteright:213:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/geoffofmonmouth_8674.jpg]]

Camelot's court genealogist, though he also works as a librarian, is a member of the royal council, and officiates over weddings and coronations. He appeared in the first four series, but not the fifth.

* AwesomeMomentOfCrowning: He's usually present, considering he's the one who officiates over them.
* BigOlEyebrows
* BitCharacter
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome
* CoolOldGuy
* ErmineCapeEffect
* LiteraryAgentHypothesis: His name suggests that this could be possible, as well as explaining why several aspects of typical Arthurian legends have changed so drastically (he's not being very accurate).
* MrExposition: Usually when Gaius is unavailable for some reason.
* MythologyGag: Geoffrey of Monmouth was real person; a 12th century bishop who was one of the earliest writers of tales of King Arthur and his father Uther.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure
* SpookySilentLibrary: He works in one.

! Parents of the Main Cast

!! Hunith (Caroline Faber)

[[quoteright:198:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/250px-299m1-1_5034.jpg]]

[-"It is every mother's fate to think her child is special, and yet I would give my life that Merlin were not so."-]

Merlin's mother, who sends her only son to Camelot at the start of the series in the hopes that he will learn to control his magical abilities under the guidance of her (much) [[WordOfGod older brother Gaius]]. She appears in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E01TheDragonsCall}} The Dragon's Call]]'', ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E10TheMomentOfTruth}} The Moment of Truth]]'', ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E13LeMortdArthur}} Le Mort d'Arthur]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E12TheSwordInTheStonePartI}} The Sword in the Stone Part I]]''.

* AbsurdlyYouthfulMother
* ActionMom
* BackForTheFinale: In series four.
* BerserkButton: To Merlin. Nothing gets him more riled or dangerous than if someone threatens his mother.
* BringHelpBack: In 1x10.
* GiveHimANormalLife: {{Inverted}}. Though she wants this for Merlin, she knows that he's exceptionally gifted. Rather than hide him away in Ealdor she sends him to Camelot to get tutelage for his abilities.
* [[GoodParents Good Parent]]
* HotMom
* LetsGetDangerous: When her village is attacked by bandits, she insists that she's going to fight or die trying.
* OpenMindedParent
* SeparatedAtBirthCasting: It's easy enough to buy her as Merlin's mother.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: On two occasions she disappears abruptly from the episode; first when she falls sick (we're told that she recovers, but it happens off-screen) and second when mercenaries attack Ealdor at the end of series four (Merlin, Arthur and Gwen lead the attackers into the forest, and we're just left to assume that they left Hunith and the other villagers alone).

!! Queen Ygraine Pendragon (Alice Patten)

[[quoteright:213:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Igraine_4922.jpg]]

[-"He sacrificed my life so the Pendragon dynasty could continue. It makes you no less my son, nor me any less proud of you."-]

Arthur's mother, Agravaine's sister, the late wife of Uther, and the former Queen of Camelot. She appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E08SinsOfTheFather}} Sins of the Father]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E01TheTearsOfUtherPendragonPartI}} The Tears of Uther Pendragon Part I]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E02TheTearsOfUtherPendragonPartII}} II]]''.

* BackFromTheDead: Very temporarily.
* BalancingDeathsBooks: The cause of her death; in order to conceive Arthur, Ygraine was doomed to die in giving birth to him.
* DeadPersonConversation: Thanks to Morgause's spell, Ygraine appears to Arthur to tell him the truth of his birth.
* DeathByChildbirth
* DeceasedParentsAreTheBest: Arthur idolizes his mother; so much that he even attacks his father when he finds out that he (Uther) is the cause of her death.
* HotMom
* TheLostLenore: To Uther, whose death triggered his hatred of magic.
* MysteriousParent
* PlotTriggeringDeath: Her death is the reason for the Great Purge, which informs practically everything that follows.
* PosthumousCharacter
* PresentAbsence
* SacrificialLamb
* StrongFamilyResemblance: The casting nailed this one. Arthur is the spitting image of his mother.
* WomanInWhite

!! Balinor (John Lynch)

[[quoteright:208:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/this_oneBalinor_6767.jpg]]

[-"You don't choose to become a Dragonlord. It's not something you're taught. It's a sacred gift. For thousands of years it's been handed down from father to son."-]

Merlin's father and the last of the Dragonlords. In his youth he helped subdue the Great Dragon before Uther betrayed him and tried to have him executed. With Gaius's help he escaped to Ealdor where he was taken in by Hunith, only for Uther's men pursue him into the wilderness. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E13TheLastDragonlord}} The Last Dragonlord]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E12TheDiamondOfTheDayPartI}} The Diamond of the Day Part I]]''.

* BadassLongcoat
* BeardOfSorrow
* ChangedMyMindKid
* FinalSpeech: He manages to impart some last words to Merlin about the nature of dragons.
* HealingHands
* TheHermit
* KilledOffForReal
* TheLastOfHisKind: At least until he dies, at which point Merlin inherits his powers.
* LineageComesFromTheFather
* LukeYouAreMyFather: Merlin has to tell Balinor that he's his son. He had no idea that Hunith was even pregnant when he left Ealdor.
* NegatedMomentOfAwesome: His entire episode leads up to him deciding to return to Camelot to stop Kilgharrah with his Dragonlord abilities. Then he dies before he gets there.
* TakingTheBullet: For Merlin
* WeHardlyKnewYe

!! Tom (David Durham)

[-"We're on the up now. Things are going to be different."-]

Guinevere's father, the local blacksmith. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E03TheMarkOfNimueh}} The Mark of Nimueh]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E12ToKillTheKing}} To Kill The King]]''.

* BlackGuyDiesFirst: {{Averted}} and then played straight. He survives his first appearance, only to be killed by castle guards in his second.
* TheBlacksmith
* ForgottenFallenFriend: Notable for its {{aversion}}. Plenty of other far more important characters have fallen prey to this trope, but despite dying in series 1, Tom is consistently mentioned all the way into series 5.
* KilledOffForReal
* MysticalPlague: But is healed by Merlin.
* SacrificialLion: The first reoccuring character to get killed off.
* SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome
* UnwittingPawn: To Tauren, who was using his blacksmithing skills to experiment with alchemy.

!! Vivienne

Morgana and Morgause's mother. Very little is known about her beyond the fact that she was married to Gorlois and had an affair with King Uther (which resulted in Morgana).

* GoodAdulteryBadAdultery: It's unclear whether she suffered any consequences from her dalliance with Uther.
* MementoMacGuffin: The bracelet that Morgause gives to Morgana when they first meet belonged to Vivienne.
* MissingMom
* MysteriousParent
* PosthumousCharacter
* ShoutOut: Her name pops up frequently in Arthurian mythology, usually in connection to the Lady of the Lake.
* UnknownCharacter: We know nothing about her except her relationships to other characters.
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: She gave birth to ''Morgana''!

! Kings, Queens, Princesses, and Other Assorted Royals

!! King Bayard (Clive Russell)

[[quoteright:169:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bayard11_1470.bmp]]

The King of Mercia. He is falsely accused of trying to poison Arthur as part of an EvilPlan devised by Nimueh. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E04ThePoisonedChalice}} The Poisoned Chalice]]''.

* ClearMyName
* ColourCodedArmies: He and the knights of Mercia wear blue, to contrast with the red-cloaked men of Camelot.
* FlatCharacter
* {{Frameup}}: Thanks to Nimueh
* HeyItsThatGuy: Clive Russell also played Lancelot's father in ''Film/KingArthur'' and Morgana's father Gorlois in ''TheMistsOfAvalon''. Guess he likes ArthurianLegend...
* HonourBeforeReason: He's prepared to drink from a (supposedly) poisoned goblet in order to prove his own innocence.
* TheGoodKing
* OneShotCharacter
* PeaceConference
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure
* UnwittingPawn: Nimeuh uses his gesture of presenting matching goblets to Uther and Arthur against him.

!! King Odin (Fintan [=McKeown=])

[[quoteright:168:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ODIN_8393.bmp]]

[-"I want you to kill the man who murdered my son. I want you to kill Arthur Pendragon."-]

The King of a land refered to only as "Odin's Kingdom". He has a vendetta against Arthur after his son was killed in a duel. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E02TheOnceAndFutureQueen}} The Once And Future Queen]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E04AnothersSorrow}} Another's Sorrow]]''.

* TheBusCameBack: In one of the most surprising displays of [[ContinuityNod Continuity]] this show has ever done, Odin returns ''forty-one'' episodes after he was last seen to finish off a StoryArc that had lay dormant for three seasons.
* CycleOfRevenge: Arthur attempts to stop this when Uther demands retribution from Odin after his attempt on Arthur's life. It doesn't appeared to have worked.
** A truce is finally agreed upon in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E04AnothersSorrow}} Another's Sorrow]]''.
* DuelToTheDeath: How his son was killed.
* FeudingFamilies: With the Pendragons.
* ItsPersonal: {{Subverted}} in that it's the ''villain'' who wants revenge on the ''hero''.
* MisplacedRetribution: Perhaps. We know very little about what really happened between Arthur and Odin's son, save that the latter ended up dead at the former's hands.
* RevengeMyopia: Odin wants Arthur dead because he killed his son; but Arthur claims that he was just defending himself.
* SmallRoleBigImpact: He's been on-screen for about two minutes back in series 2. In series 4 he sends an assassin to kill Arthur, who ends up fatally wounding Uther instead. He's also been mentioned frequently throughout the series.
** He returns in series 5 for an expanded role.
* SympatheticMurderer
* YouKilledMyFather: {{Inverted}}. This is a father seeking revenge for his son.

!! King Alined (David Schofield)

[[quoteright:209:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/alined_9120.bmp]]

[-"If Olaf kills Arthur, then Uther will start a war. If Arthur kills Olaf, then ''his'' men will start a war. We cannot lose!"-]

The ruler of one of the Five Kingdoms. He comes to Camelot as part of a PeaceConference, determined to stir up enough trouble to drive the kingdoms back into war. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E10SweetDreams}} Sweet Dreams]]''.

* AmbiguouslyGay: He admits that he finds Arthur attractive, and there's rather a lot of SubText with his court jester.
* BadBoss: To Trickler
* BatmanGambit: He orders his jester to place Arthur and Lady Vivian under a LovePotion, betting that the fallout from various factions will inevitably lead to war.
* {{Chessmaster}}: If it hadn't been for Guinevere's TrueLovesKiss, he would have gotten exactly what he wanted.
* ChessMotif: He demonstrates his plans to Trickler using a chess set.
* DiplomaticImmunity
* FauxAffablyEvil
* KarmaHoudini: He doesn't get what he wants, but he still leaves Camelot scott-free.
* HeyItsThatGuy: [[PiratesOfTheCaribbean Mercer!]]
* ManipulativeBastard
* TheMatchmaker: Only in the sense that he wants Arthur and Vivian together in order to make trouble.
* PretextForWar

!! King Olaf (Mark Lewis Jones)

[[quoteright:210:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/olaff_9792.bmp]]

[-'''Alined''': "Olaf is the most overprotective buffoon I've ever met. It would surely end the peace talks if anyone were to lay a finger on his daughter."-]

The ruler of one of the Five Kingdoms and father to Lady Vivian. He unknowingly [[UnwittingPawn plays into the hands of King Alined]] when his protectiveness of Vivian leads him to challenge Arthur to a duel, having been led to believe she's been seduced by him. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E10SweetDreams}} Sweet Dreams]]''.

* BoisterousBruiser
* BruiserWithASoftCenter
* DuelToTheDeath: Challenges Arthur to one.
* EasilyForgiven: After spending the entire episode rampaging over his daughter's virtue, Arthur brings their duel to a close and Olaf becomes entirely amiable.
* FlawExploitation: His protectiveness of Vivian is exploited by King Alined.
* HairTriggerTemper
* MyGirlIsNotASlut: In front of everyone, he calls Vivian "an innocent girl!" His daughter's reaction to this indicates that she's probably ''not''.
* OverprotectiveDad
* PapaWolf
* ThrowingDownTheGauntlet: Literally.
* UnwittingPawn
* YouAreGrounded: A variation. Vivian is being taken home, presumably for good.

!! Lady Vivian (GeorgiaMoffett)

[[quoteright:188:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/VivianSD_7874.jpg]]

[-"''I'' am not ''most'' of your guests."-]

Lady Vivian is the bratty daughter of King Olaf. Accompanying him to the peace talks hosted at Camelot, she becomes the target of a love spell in an attempt to disrupt the proceedings by playing on the emotions of her OverprotectiveDad. She appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E10SweetDreams}} Sweet Dreams]]''.

* AlphaBitch
* BlondesAreEvil: Or at least quite spoiled.
* BeautyIsBad: As noted by Arthur, she's very beautiful but her manners are appalling.
* BrattyTeenageDaughter
* DaddysGirl
* TheDitz: Whilst under a spell.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Oddly {{averted}}. Despite her father being a king, she's only ever referred to as a lady.
* GeorgiaMoffett
* IKissYourHand: Uther does this on greeting her.
* KissingUnderTheInfluence
* LargeHam
* LovePotion: Is the (permanent) victim of one.
* MissingMom
* RichBitch
* RoyalBrat
* SickeningSweethearts: With Arthur
* SpoiledBrat
* StrongFamilyResemblance: InformedAttribute. When she arrives in Camelot, Uther tells Vivian she looks just like her mother. Since we never see her, we just have to take his word for it.
* TemporaryScrappy
* WellExcuseMePrincess
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Last we see of her, she's being carted off by her father. For all we know, [[FridgeHorror she's still under the love spell, pining for Arthur]].
* WomanInWhite

!! Princess Elena (Georgia King)

[[quoteright:209:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Elenapic_5917.jpg]]

[-"I'm not the perfect princess, am I?"-]

The Princess of Gawant and daughter of Lord Godwyn. Unbeknownst to her, she was possessed by a Sidhe fairy whilst just a baby, causing her to grow up with a variety of embarrassing traits and peculiarities. She appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E06TheChangeling}} The Changeling]]''.

* {{Adorkable}}
* AllGirlsLikePonies
* ArrangedMarriage: Godwyn and Uther organise one between her and Arthur.
* BadDreams: A side-effect of the Sidhe inside her.
* BizarreTasteInFood: She eats live frogs and seems to thoroughly enjoy it.
* BondingOverMissingParents: She and Arthur do this over their [[MissingMom Missing Moms]].
* ChangelingTale
* CuteClumsyGirl
* DaddysGirl
* DisposableFiance: Of the "Let's Call The Whole Thing Off" variety.
* DoesNotLikeShoes: Has to be told to put them on, she does so begrudgingly.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Her father is Lord Godwyn, but she gets the rank of princess.
* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold
* IKissYourHand: Arthur does this as they farewell each other.
* JabbaTableManners: Another Sidhe side-effect.
* MeaningfulName: {{Averted}}. Sure it ''sounds'' a lot like Elaine, but she never meets Lancelot.
* MessyHair
* SheCleansUpNicely: Once the pesky Sidhe is gone.
* TomboyPrincess: {{Subversion}}. All her tomboyish qualities are brought on by the Sidhe living inside her. Once it's gone, she's more like a PrincessClassic.
** Though she has a genuine love of horseback riding, which was never a Sidhe trait.
* UnwittingPawn: To the Sidhe.

!! Lord Godwyn (Simon Williams)

[-"Maybe it's time things changed."-]

The ruler of Gawant and father of Princess Elena. Due to his old friendship with Uther, the two have organised an ArrangedMarriage between their children. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E06TheChangeling}} The Changeling]]''.

* CoolOldGuy
* DotingParent
* ManHug: With Uther
* NiceGuy
* OpenMindedParent

!! King Caerleon (Steven Hartley)

[-"You did not choose anything, boy. It is I who choose to die, and I alone".-]

The King of Caerleon. After being caught trespassing in Camelot's territory he is caught and beheaded by Arthur. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E05HisFathersSon}} His Father's Son]]''.

* BitPartBadGuy
* FaceDeathWithDignity
* HonourBeforeReason: Faced with a choice between signing a peace treaty and getting his head cut off, he chooses death.
* IdiotBall: He practically grabs Arthur's sword and cuts his own head off.
* KingIncognito: For a while, at least until Agravaine notices his medallion.
* OffWithHisHead

!! Queen Annis (Lindsay Duncan)

[[quoteright:211:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/AnnisQ_6614.jpg]]

[-"There is something about you Arthur Pendragon. Something that gives me hope for us all."-]

The Queen of Caerleon. After her husband is executed at Arthur's hands, she is goaded by Morgana into seeking revenge. She appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E05HisFathersSon}} His Father's Son]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E01ArthursBanePartI}} Arthur's Bane Part I]]''.

* ArmorPiercingSlap: She gives not one but ''two'' to Arthur.
* ApronMatron
* BloodKnight: GenderFlipped and {{subverted}} when Arthur convinces her to declare peace.
* TheCameo: Appears briefly in 5x01 to grant safe passage to Arthur and his knights.
* [[CrusadingWidower Crusading Widow]]
* ErmineCapeEffect
* EvilMatriarch: {{Subverted}} despite first appearances (and surprisingly, given the show's track record with evil female characters ''and'' the fact that she shares her name with an evil spirit of English folklore).
* FieryRedhead
* TheHighQueen
* LadyOfWar
* ModestRoyalty
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Played with.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Delivers a particularly brutal one to Morgana, when she calmly points out that she's NotSoDifferent from Uther. All things considered, it's a miracle that Annis left that tent alive, and this was probably only down to the fact that she unsettled Morgana so profoundly.
* ProudWarriorRace
* WidowWoman: Thanks to Arthur.

!! Princess Mithian (Janet Montgomery)

[[quoteright:208:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/592px-Mithian_s5_2_5121.jpg]]

[-"I would give up my own kingdom to be so loved."-]

The Princess of Nemeth. She comes to Camelot in order to wed Arthur as part of a peace settlement between their kingdoms. Though she finds herself genuinely falling for Arthur, he breaks off the engagement on realizing that his heart still lies with Guinevere. She appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E11TheHuntersHeart}} The Hunter's Heart]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E04AnothersSorrow}} Another's Sorrow]]''.

* AllLoveIsUnrequited: Even by the end of ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E04AnothersSorrow}} Another's Sorrow]]'', it appears that she still has a little bit of a crush on Arthur.
* AmicableExes: With Arthur.
* BeautyEqualsGoodness
* BigEntrance: She certainly makes an impression when she first arrives in Camelot.
* BirdsOfAFeather: With Arthur, a deliberate contrast to the OppositesAttract relationship he has with Guinevere.
* BridalCarry: Leon carries her like this when [[{{Fainting}} she faints]] outside the castle.
* BurpingContest: With Arthur, or though she ''thinks'', even though it's actually Merlin deliberately trying to embarrass the two of them with magic.
* CostumePorn: Her gold and white gowns.
* DieForOurShip: ''[[invoked]]'' Merlin takes an irrational dislike to Mithian simply because he ships Arthur/Guinevere. He's notably much nicer to her when she returns to Camelot three years ''after'' Arthur and Gwen are safely married.
* DisposableFiance
* DistressedDamsel: In 5x04.
** DecoyDamsel: Though she's coerced into it by Morgana.
* DramaticUnmask: Or rather, "unveil".
* ErmineCapeEffect: She's wearing a ''massive'' white fur coat for her arrival and departure scenes.
* {{Fainting}}: Of exhaustion in 5x04.
* HoneyTrap: In 5x04, though more in the capacity of a DistressedDamsel than a FemmeFatale.
* HourglassPlot: A slight one with Guinevere. They completely switch roles between ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E11TheHuntersHeart}} The Hunter's Heart]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E04AnothersSorrow}} Another's Sorrow]]''.
* ImpracticallyFancyOutfit: She travels in a white fur coat and goes hunting in a gold silk dress.
* MinorFlawMajorBreakup: Mithian's flaw is that she isn't Guinevere. In breaking off their engagement, Arthur ends up giving her the disputed lands between their kingdoms in order to avoid war.
* NiceGirl
* NiceToTheWaiter: Somewhat ironically considering Merlin often complains about his treatment at the hands of nobles - but when this one ''is'' actually nice to him, [[DieForOurShip he's too busy giving her the cold shoulder to appreciate it]].
** She's not just doing it for Arthur, either; she's just as nice to Merlin when she comes back in 5x04 and is visibly upset when her attempt to warn him about Morgana gets him nearly killed.
* PoliticallyActivePrincess
* PrincessClassic: She looks, sounds and behaves like the quintessential fairytale princess, with one striking {{subversion}}: she [[DidNotGetTheGirl Does Not Get The Guy]].
* PrincessesRule: There's no sign or mention of her parents, yet she's a princess and not a queen.
** Though her second appearance expands on her background and reveals that she does in fact have a father.
* RavenHairIvorySkin: At least in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E04AnothersSorrow}} Another's Sorrow]]'', in which Mithian's hair seems to be several shades darker than it was in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E11TheHuntersHeart}} The Hunter's Heart]]''.
* RequisiteRoyalRegalia: She wears a coronet throughout ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E11TheHuntersHeart}} The Hunter's Heart]]''.
* RomanticFalseLead
* RomanticRunnerUp
* PerfectlyArrangedMarriage: {{Subverted}}. She and Arthur would be perfect for each other, were it not for the simple fact that he's in love with someone else.
* PrettyInMink: Wore [[http://www.addictedtomedia.net/2012/03/tv-review-merlin-hunters-heart.html a long white fur coat]] when she arrived in Camelot.
* ProperLady
* SpoiledSweet
* UnknownRival: She and Guinevere never meet.
** They do eventually meet in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E04AnothersSorrow}} Another's Sorrow]]'', but although Mithian can now put a name and face to the mystery woman that she was passed over for, it's unclear if Guinevere knows whether Mithian is anything other than a visiting princess in need of help.
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: Narrowly {{averted}}. In a bid to impress Arthur, she shoots a young deer in the forest. Unbeknownst to her, the deer is actually Guinevere under an enchantment.
* WomanInWhite: In her first scene she wears a [[PrettyInMink white fur coat]] and sheer white veil, designating her role as a prospective bride.
* WomanScorned: {{Subverted}}. Despite the snub, she remains on good terms with Camelot. In fact, she seems rather moved by Arthur's devotion to Guinevere - see her page quote.
* WrongGenreSavvy: She knows she's in a love story, but doesn't realize that it's not hers. As such, she spends the first half of ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E11TheHuntersHeart}} The Hunter's Heart]]'' acting like (and being treated as) the sole [[LoveInterest Romantic Love Interest]], only to eventually learn she was the RomanticFalseLead all along. Exit stage left.

!! King Rodor (James Fox)

[[quoteright:185:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/RODOR_9679.bmp]]

[-"Don't look so surprised. I commanded an army in my time."-]

The King of Nemeth and father of Princess Mithian. When his kingdom is invaded by King Odin, he's held hostage and used as bait to lure Arthur into a trap. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E04AnothersSorrow}} Another's Sorrow]]''.

* BadassGrandpa
* CoolOldGuy
* DistressedDude
* TheGoodKing
* [[IHaveYourWife I Have Your Father]]: Morgana uses this ploy on Mithian.
* IWillOnlySlowYouDown: Though the unanimous response is "not a chance".
* LivingMacGuffin: What his role amounts to.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure
* StillGotIt: A variation; see his quote.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Other Villains]]

! Mary Collins (EveMyles)

[[quoteright:171:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/MaryMerlin_2534.jpg]]

[-"I promise you, before these celebrations are over, you will share my tears."-]

A witch whose son is executed at Uther's behest. She decides to take her revenge by assassinating Prince Arthur, disguising herself as a singer due to arrive in Camelot. She appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E01TheDragonsCall}} The Dragon's Call]]''.

* ActingForTwo: Eve Myles played the elderly witch and the young woman she disguises herself as.
* CobwebJungle: Creates one when she casts her final spell.
* ColourFailure: What happens to her victims.
* CompellingVoice
* EveMyles
* EvilDiva
* FallingChandelierOfDoom
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Her forty-five minute appearance is Morgana's entire StoryArc in a nutshell, right down to her motivation (revenge), the focus of her anger (Uther and therefore Arthur by proxy) and the magical implements she uses (glamour, a whirlwind and a VoodooDoll).
* GlamourFailure: Whenever she steps in front of a mirror, her reflection is of her true self.
* LifeDrinker
* MagicMusic: Her song puts the court to sleep.
* MamaBear
* TheMirrorShowsYourTrueSelf
* NoNameGiven: [[AllThereInTheManual Except in the credits]].
* RevengeByProxy: She goes after Arthur in revenge for her own son's death.
* StarterVillain: The very first foe that Merlin has to face.

! Edwin Muirden (Julian Rhind-Tutt)

[[quoteright:193:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Edwin_8776.bmp]]

[-"I want my face to be the last face you ever see. You took my childhood from me. And now finally, I take my parents' revenge."-]

A physician whose parents were burnt at the stake at Uther's command and who returns to Camelot years later to seek his revenge. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E06ARemedyToCureAllIlls}} A Remedy To Cure All Ills]]''.

* AnAxeToGrind: He telekenetically throws one at Merlin.
* BestServedCold
* {{Blackmail}}: He gets rid of Gaius by threatening to reveal Merlin's secret.
* CreepyLongFingers: There's an emphasis on his hands; before we ever see his face, we see his hands creeping like a spider across his desk.
* CreepyPhysical
* DeadlyDoctor: He gains Uther's trust by anonymously sending flowers to Morgana with a deadly beetle concealed inside, and then healing her from the near-fatal haemorrhage it causes.
* DeathBySecretIdentity
* FriendToBugs
* GoodScarsEvilScars: The evil kind.
* InTheHood
* ManipulativeBastard
* MeaningfulName: Edwin Muir was the author of [[http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/merlin/ this Merlin-centric poem]], one which also lent the title to the two-part GrandFinale.
* PlayingWithFire: Creates a circle of fire around Gaius.
* {{Revenge}}
* SecretKeeper: To Merlin, very briefly.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity
* WeCanRuleTogether: Tries this on Merlin.

! Sophia (Holliday Grainger)

[[quoteright:196:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/SophiaMerlin_8982.bmp]]

[-"For a moment, I felt what it would be like to die a mortal death."-]

The daughter of a renegade Sidhe, Sophia is desperate to gain immortality and return to Avalon by offering up Arthur as a human sacrifice to her people. She appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E07TheGatesOfAvalon}} The Gates Of Avalon]]''.

* BeautyIsBad
* BigNo: Before she dies.
* BitchInSheepsClothing
* BoomStick: Her staff.
* DecoyDamsel: She and her father get themselves into Camelot by staging a RescueRomance.
* TheFairFolk
* FemmeFatale
* GoldAndWhiteAreDivine
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Merlin uses her own staff to destroy her.
* IKissYourHand: Arthur when he first meets her.
* KissOfDeath
* MindManipulation
* RedEyesTakeWarning
* TheVamp: There doesn't seem to be any ''particular'' need to seduce Arthur (since she ends up hypnotizing him), but she does it anyway.
* UngratefulBastard: When Arthur saves her from a stray bolt from a crossbow, she's not remotely grateful - only bitter that she needed rescuing in the first place.
* YourHeadAsplode: Merlin blows her up. [[MoralDissonance It's a bit disconcerting]].

! Aulfic (Kenneth Cranham)

[[quoteright:209:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Aulfic_7595.bmp]]

[-"It is my fate to live a mortal life."-]

A member of the Sidhe who was exiled from Avalon, Aulfric promises his people the blood of Prince Arthur if they agree to return immortality to his daughter. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E07TheGatesOfAvalon}} The Gates Of Avalon]]''.

* AsYouKnow: He relates the plan to his daughter (which she knew perfectly well) in order to fill the audience in to what they're doing.
* BeardOfEvil
* BoomStick: His staff.
* TheFairFolk
* EvilLaugh
* TheExile
* LargeHam
* OverprotectiveDad
* PetTheDog: It's clear by the end that everything he's done has been to save his daughter's life, and is prepared to sacrifice himself in the process.
* RedEyesTakeWarning
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: The bandits that he pays to stage an attack on himself and his daughter. After Arthur dispatches them, Aulfric kills the sole survivor.
* YourHeadAsplode

! Tristan de Bois (Rick English/Christopher Fairbank)

[[quoteright:245:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Tristanwraith_7882.jpg]]

[-"Who will take up my challenge?"-]

Queen Ygraine's brother, who blamed Uther for her death and challenged him to a duel. Though he was killed, he swore with his dying breath that he would return to Camelot to have his revenge. Years later, Nimueh resurrects him so that he might fulfil this vow. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E09Excalibur}} Excalibur]]''.

* AnimateDead
* BackFromTheDead
* BigEntrance: He leaps on horseback through a stained glass window whilst Arthur is undergoing a ceremony to become crown prince.
** DynamicEntry
* BlackKnight
* {{Curse}}
* DramaticUnmask: Or "unhelmeting".
* DuelToTheDeath
* TheFaceless: Until TheReveal at the end of the episode.
* ForgottenFallenFriend: Three seasons later, Agravaine never once brings up the subject of his dead brother.
* ImplacableMan
* OurZombiesAreDifferent
* {{Revenge}}
* ShoutOut: His role is highly reminiscent of ''[[SirGawainAndTheGreenKnight The Green Knight]]'' in Arthurian Legend.
* ThrowingDownTheGauntlet
* UndeathAlwaysEnds

! Catrina (Sarah Parish)

[[quoteright:182:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cat_3928.bmp]]

[-"Uther's so stupid, so blinded by pretty things. Already he falls for me. It's only a matter of time before he is completely under my control."-]

A hideous troll that takes on the visage of an old friend of Uther in order to seduce him. On becoming Queen of Camelot, she uses her newfound power to accumulate her deepest desires: riches and dung. She appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E05BeautyAndTheBeastPartI}} Beauty and the Beast Part I]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E06BeautyAndTheBeastPartII}} II]]''.

* AlienBlood
* BeautyIsBad
* BitchInSheepsClothing
* ElephantInTheLivingRoom: Once she reverts back into her true form, and everyone but Uther can clearly see it.
* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen
* HypnoTrinket: How she controls Uther.
* ImpostorForgotOneDetail: Gaius suspects her because the real Catrina had a rare bone condition.
* LovePotion
* MayDecemberRomance: With Uther.
* OurTrollsAreDifferent

! Aredian (Charles Dance)

[[quoteright:173:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/aradien_8359.bmp]]

[-"It's all around us, the foul stench of sorcery. It's infected your great city like a contagion."-]

A [[TheWitchHunter Witch Finder]], who comes to Camelot at Uther's invitation in order to root out any witches or wizards in the kingdom. Due to Charles Dance's performance, he ended up being one of the show's most memorable [[OneShotCharacter One Shot Villains]]. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E07TheWitchfinder}} The Witchfinder]]''.

* BadassLongcoat
* DisneyVillainDeath: He trips backwards and falls out of a high window.
* TheDreaded
* FalseConfession: He extracts them from his victims.
* {{Frameup}}: Of Gaius.
* FramingTheGuiltyParty
* ManipulativeBastard
* NiceHat
* TheWitchHunter

! Alvarr (Joseph Mawle)

[[quoteright:209:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Alvarr_5043.jpg]]

[-"To be an enemy of Camelot is no crime."-]

The leader of a group of Druids that desires the downfall of Uther and who manipulates Morgana (and Mordred) into joining his cause. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E11TheWitchsQuickening}} The Witch's Quickening]]''.

* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: He works this angle on Morgana.
* AlmostKiss: With Morgana. Later he kisses her on the cheek.
* BattleCouple: With his girlfriend, Enmyria.
* BecomingTheMask: Though he's clearly playing Morgana at first, director Alice Troughton (on the DVDCommentary) insists that Alvarr was genuine about his feelings for her by the end of the episode (though KatieMcGrath didn't seem quite as convinced).
* GreyAndGreyMorality: He's genuinely devoted to his cause, and seems legitimate in his fondess for Enmyria and Mordred, but is obviously not above manipulating everyone for his own ends.
* HandsomeLech
* ManipulativeBastard
* ParentalSubstitute: To Mordred.
* PlayingPossum: What he's doing the first time we see him.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Or possible ShooOutTheNewGuy considering Alvarr is set up as a fairly important figure in the conflict between Druids and Camelot, but is never seen or refered to again.

! Julius Borden (James Callis)

[[quoteright:186:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/brd_5497.bmp]]

An old pupil of Gaius who left his tutelage under murky circumstances. Since then, he gradually collected the three pieces of a golden triskelion that is said to open the Tomb of Askanar where the final dragon egg was hidden centuries ago.

* AffablyEvil
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Not that we learn much about it.
* DeceptiveDisciple: To Gaius.
* LeftForDead: Merlin leaves him to die in a CollapsingLair.
* ManipulativeBastard
* NeverFoundTheBody
* PermaStubble
* SufferTheSlings
* TamperingWithFoodAndDrink: He uses a slingshot to fire a satchet of poison into the knight's cooking pot.

! Lamia (Charlenne [=McKenna=])

[[quoteright:175:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ThisLamia_937.bmp]]

[-'''Gaius''': "They could control the mind of a man, suck the life from him with a single embrace."-]

A creature of dark magic, created by the High Priestesses of the Old Religion as a weapon against the Ancient Kings by mingling the blood of a girl and a serpent together. She appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E08Lamia}} Lamia]]''.

* AdaptationalVillainy: In the myths, not all lamia were evil.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: Her powers render the Knights as this.
* BitchInSheepsClothing
* CharacterTitle
* CharmPerson
* EldritchAbomination: Lamia's true form.
* DecoyDamsel
* GoneHorriblyRight: The Priestesses made the lamias as a weapon, only to lose control of them.
* OneGenderRace
* ShapeshiftingSeducer
* {{Succubus}}
* SupernaturalIsPurple
* TheVamp
* VoluntaryTransformation
* WoundedGazelleGambit

! Kara (Alexandra Dowling)

[[quoteright:193:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kara_9814.bmp]]

[-"It is not a crime to fight for your freedom. It is not a crime to fight for the right to be who you are."-]

A druid girl who joins forces with Morgana in order to destroy Camelot and free her people. After trying to assassinate Arthur she is sentenced to death, but her history with Mordred complicates matters. She appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E11TheDrawingOfTheDark}} The Drawing of the Dark]]''.

* ChildhoodFriendRomance: With Mordred.
* DefiantToTheEnd: She refuses to repent of her crimes against Camelot, and on both occasions in which Arthur sentences her to death, she rejoices in his own impending doom.
* DisposableWoman: Ultimately, she's used as the reason for Mordred turning against Arthur and Merlin.
* FaceDeathWithDignity
* GreyAndGreyMorality: She honestly believes that Arthur is a tyrant and that what she's doing is right.
* HeadbuttOfLove: With Mordred.
* HonorBeforeReason: She choses to die rather than repent of actions that she doesn't believe are crimes.
* IKissYourHand: She kisses Mordred's hand before going to her death.
* InTheHood
* KnifeNut
* LastSecondChance: Arthur offers her one. She rejects it.
* PlotTriggeringDeath: It begins the DisasterDominoes that lead into the two-part GrandFinale.
* PublicExecution
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Gives one to Arthur, reminding him of his maltreatment of her people.
* SmallRoleBigImpact
* WoundedGazelleGambit: To get close enough to Arthur.
* WellIntentionedExtremist
* YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters: How she sees herself.
** WouldNotShootACivilian: Heavily averted. She considers ''everyone'' in Camelot to be a legitimate target and has no remorse over killing them. Arthur, a firm believer in TheLawsAndCustomsOfWar considers this to be unforgiveable.
*** Though technically she never actually harms a civilian. She helps attack a convoy of soldiers that was delivering weapons to Camelot, and later kills a castle guard that was preventing her escape. See GreyAndGreyMorality.

! Eira

A devious woman (yeah, another one) who is sent by Morgana to infiltrate Camelot as a spy, using her feminine wiles and a show of helplessness to gather information. She appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E12TheDiamondOfTheDayPartI}} The Diamond of the Day Part I]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E13TheDiamondOfTheDayPartII}} II]]''.

* BeautyIsBad
* BitchInSheepsClothing
* BlondesAreEvil
* DecoyDamsel
* HoneyTrap
* InnocentBlueEyes: Which she uses to great effect.
* LastEpisodeNewCharacter
* MataHari
* RescueRomance: With Gwaine. {{Subverted}}.
* TheVamp

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Other Allies]]

! Will (Joe Dempsie)

[[quoteright:178:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/will_1826.bmp]]

[-"Are you telling me you'd rather keep your magic a secret for Arthur's sake than use it to protect your friends and family?"-]

Merlin's ChildhoodFriend who remains in Ealdor after Merlin travels to Camelot. He participates in the battle against the local warlord Kanen to defend his home. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E10TheMomentOfTruth}} The Moment of Truth]]''.

* BackToBackBadasses: With Merlin
* ChangedMyMindKid
* ChildhoodFriends: With Merlin
* TheComplainerIsAlwaysWrong
* ForgottenFallenFriend: He's never mentioned again after his one and only episode.
* HeroicSacrifice
* ManHug: With Merlin
* MuggleBestFriend
* SacrificialLamb
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere
* SecretKeeper
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: In the platonic sense. (Maybe).

! Alice (Pauline Collins)

[[quoteright:196:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/alice_2263.bmp]]

[-'''Gaius''': "Alice is the kindest and most compassionate person I've ever known."-]

A gifted healer who suppliments her natural talent with magic. She and Gaius were once engaged to be married before the Great Purge forced her to flee Camelot. She appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E09LoveInTheTimeOfDragons}} Love In The Time of Dragons]]''.

* BittersweetEnding: She escapes with her life, but she and Gaius are parted - presumably for good.
* CuteWitch: So what if she's over sixty? Look at her! She's still adorable.
* HealingHands
* InformedAbility: Gaius states that she's more powerful and naturally gifted than he is, but she spends the entire episode under the thrall of the Manticore. Furthermore, all her renowned healing abilities happen off-screen.
* TheMedic
* MindControlEyes
* NewOldFlame: To Gaius.
* PetMonstrosity: The Manticore
* DecemberDecemberRomance: With Gaius

! Gilli (Harry Melling)

[[quoteright:209:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/GILLI_428.bmp]]

[-"I'm not going to apologize for who I am!"-]

A young man with a RingOfPower who arrives in Camelot in search of honour and glory. After befriending Merlin, he goes through a surprisingly complex StoryArc over the course of his single episode appearance. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E11TheSorcerersShadow}} The Sorcerer's Shadow]]''.

* ARealManIsAKiller: Suffers from this delusion. When he actually goes through with killing someone, he finds it's not at all to his liking.
* BrokenPedestal: {{Inverted}} in regards to his father. He begins by remembering him as a weak man who never used his abilities to their full extent, but eventually comes to a fuller understanding of how he lived his life.
* CastingGag: Harry Melling is best known as playing a magic-fearing Muggle in the ''HarryPotter'' films.
* DudeWheresMyRespect
* {{Foil}}: To Merlin
* IJustWantToBeSpecial
* ItsAllAboutMe: ZigZaggingTrope. He makes plenty of decisions over the course of the episode, both selfish and unselfish.
* MagicRing
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: After killing Nollar.
* SecretKeeper: To Merlin.
* TearsOfRemorse: When Merlin demonstrates his magical powers to him.
* WhipItGood: In defending Merlin from bullies.

! Alator (Gary Lewis)

A HighPriest of the Catha, a sect of wizards who specialize in mind control and psychic torture. Alator is hired by Morgana to seek out the identity of the mysterious "Emrys." He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E07TheSecretSharer}} The Secret Sharer]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E10TheKindnessOfStrangers}} The Kindness of Strangers]]''.

* TheAtoner: He refers to his days as a torturer as "not something to be proud of" in his second appearance.
* BadassLongRobe
* BaldOfAwesome
* TheBusCameBack: He returns in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E10TheKindnessOfStrangers}} The Kindness of Strangers]]''...
** BackForTheDead: ... only to be killed by Morgana.
* DefiantToTheEnd
* EvilSorcerer: {{Subverted}}
* FaceDeathWithDignity: Morgana, despite all her efforts, never does manage to break him and he tells her to her face that no matter what she does, she will never find Emrys and he will pass to the other world happy in the knowledge that she will be defeated no matter what she does.
* HeelFaceTurn: Sort of. He's actually a fairly neutral chracter, though we're initally led to believe that he's an EvilSorcerer in league with Morgana. On finding out that Merlin is the mysterious Emrys, he declares his loyalty to him.
* HighPriest
* KneelBeforeFrodo: Or in this case, Merlin.
* MagicStaff
* NeckSnap: How Morgana kills him.
* NotAfraidToDie: Explicitly so.
* PlayingWithFire
* PurpleIsPowerful: He wears purple robes.
** SupernaturalIsPurple
* SecretKeeper: One of the few who discovers Merlin's secret and survives to keep it ([[BackForTheDead at least until his second appearance]]).
* SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome
* SurprisinglySuddenDeath
* TortureTechnician: Morgana hires him to extract information from Gaius.
* ViolentGlaswegian
* WarriorMonk
* WeWillMeetAgain: To Merlin. {{Inverted}} in that he doesn't mean it as a threat. And then {{subverted}} considering they never do.
* [[WhenSheSmiles When He Smiles]]: In a DeletedScene he bids farewell to Merlin and gives him a completely unexpected (and lovely) smile.
* YouAreNotAlone: Says this to Merlin.

! Tristan and Isolde (Ben Daniels and Miranda Raison)

[[quoteright:216:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/35-1_6632.jpg]]

[-"Caught? Tristan and Isolde? I don't think so. We're too quick and too smart for the halfwit king in Camelot."-]

A pair of smugglers (and lovers) who don't think highly of Camelot or its King, but who decide to throw in their lot with Arthur after he and Merlin save Isolde's life. They appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E12TheSwordInTheStonePartI}} The Sword in the Stone Part I]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E13TheSwordInTheStonePartII}} II]]''.

* ActionGirl: Isolde fluctuates between this and a FauxActionGirl before being [[spoiler:KilledOffForReal]].
* BackToBackBadasses: See picture.
* BadassLongcoat: Tristan
* BattleCouple
* BetaCouple: They serve as the catalyst for getting Arthur and Gwen back together..
* [[CheshireCatGrin Cheshire Cat Grins]]
* TheCynic: Tristan
* [[EleventhHourRanger Eleventh Hour Rangers]]
* {{Expy}}: According to writer Julian Jones, they are based on ''MrAndMrsSmith''.
* GoodBadGirl: Isolde
* [[LovableRogue Lovable Rogues]]: They give this vibe.
* MayDecemberRomance: No onscreen ages are given but Tristan certainly ''looks'' considerably older than Isolde (in real life there is a 16 year age gap between Ben Daniels and Miranda Raison.)
* Literature/TristanAndIseult: InNameOnly
* UglyGuyHotWife: Comparatively speaking.
* [[spoiler: VasquezAlwaysDies]]: Isolde


[[/folder]]

----

to:

Note to editors: See the SpoilerPolicy before blanking ''everything'' out.

----

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Merlin]]
!Merlin (ColinMorgan)

[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/MerlinTheFirstWizardBadass_6122.jpg]]


The titular character, Merlin must protect Arthur -- who will one day become king of Camelot and unite the lands of Albion -- while keeping his magic a secret.

[[index]]

* {{Adorkable}}
* TheAlcoholic: Subverted. Merlin isn't actually one, but due to Gaius' spur of the moment lie he was in the Tavern in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E10QueenOfHearts}} Queen Of Hearts]]'', Arthur is seemingly convinced that most of Merlin's odd behaviour is a result of his spending too much time in the local Tavern or any reason anytime he can't be found.
* AlmightyJanitor: His magical prowess aside, by Season 4, he is allowed to listen in in state council meetings and Arthur turns to him for advices. He's still officially just a servant.
* AntiHero: Type III. Too good to slip into type IV, but his truly horrendous body count doesn't seem to bother him at all.
* TheArchmage: He's destined to become the most powerful sorcerer to ever exist. [[spoiler: And he does, in the finale.]]
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Merlin. Interesting name, right? If you think Merlin is a cool name, try Emrys.
* {{Badass}}: Can slide into BadassBookworm at times, as Merlin has a tendency to gather his knowledge from books, most of the time. Also, he's one of the [[SmartGuy wisest characters]] in the show, despite his goofy attitude.
* BadassAbnormal: Merlin has got special powers.
* BadassAdorable: Merlin may look cute and dorky, but he can kick anyone's ass (or better yet, kill anyone) in an instant without hesitation.
* BadassBookworm: Merlin is incredibly smart, intelligent and book smart.
* BadassNickname: In a sense, "Emrys". The Druids hold this name in reverence, and it strikes fear into Morgana's heart every time she hears it.
* BadassBoast: Gives quite a few when he's [[BadassBystander forced to act]].
--> '''Merlin''': I am the ''last'' Dragon-Lord...
* FutureBadass: According to the Dragons and the Druids, the arrival of "Emrys" has long been prophecised.
* BadLiar: An odd example. He's ''very'' good at keeping his powers secret, but the excuses he comes up with to cover for his behaviour grow increasingly bizarre as time goes by.
* BavarianFireDrill / RefugeInAudacity: Whenever Merlin gets caught in a compromising position, cue him descending into increasingly ludicrous and outlandish explanation for what he's supposedly doing. It's clear no-one buys it for a second, but they simply can't be bothered to find out the ''real'' reason.
** Whenever masquerading as the elderly "Dragoon", he takes this to even ''more'' absurd levels.
* BecauseDestinySaysSo: Sort of played with in Merlin's case. Merlin's destiny is to protect Prince Arthur and guide him to the throne of king.
** He is also destined to become the greatest sorcerer ever and also, the most powerful sorcerer in the world.
** Merlin is destined to use his abilities and powers to free the magical people and revive the Old Religion to coexist with the New Religion.
** He is destined to stand at King Arthur's side as a partner, as he reunites all the kingdoms of the land back into Albion, which would call forth an era of both peace and prosperity.
* BecameTheirOwnAntithesis: Starts out as an impulsive, clueless teenager who is easily fooled and manipulated by the Dragon. By the end of series 4, he's clearly found his place as Arthur's advisor, spends the finale organizing everything that goes on (except, notably, Arthur and Gwen's reconciliation) in a scheme worthy of a MagnificentBastard, is one of the most GenreSavvy characters, and not only does the Dragon respect him, he obeys him. Probably the closest you can get to this trope without having a FaceHeelTurn.
* BecomingTheMask: Merlin's initial motivation to protect Arthur is only that Arthur's prophecised to be the one who will bring magic back. By Season 5, he'd forego a chance to let magic return to ensure that Arthur'll live albeit with serious struggles. It's also become disturbingly easy for him to speak of magic as a threat to Camelot.
* BeneathNotice
* BerserkButton: Endanger any of his loved ones -- especially his mother Hunith -- and you better get scared.
* TheBeastmaster: He commands dragons and wyverns. He's also commanded a snake to attack Morgana once.
* BewareTheNiceOnes
* BigDamnHeroes
* {{Bishonen}}: Merlin is fragile looking with somewhat soft facial features.
* BlowYouAway: Gaius calls Merlin's magic "elemental". Thus far, he favors wind and fire.
* BreakTheCutie: Merlin goes through endless pain, tragedy and hardships. The boy never catches a break.
* BullyingADragon: When he is in his Dragoon disguise, the knights attack him even when they know that he is a sorcerer. This trope is also played quite literally: as a Dragon Lord, Merlin is the one doing the bullying towards Dragons and Wyverns.
* BumblingSidekick: To Arthur. A {{subversion}} as even though he has the occasional clumsy moment, he's more competent and quick-thinking than Arthur ever gives him credit for.
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Merlin is (to everyone else) a CloudCuckoolander with serious mental issues who wanders around the castle at night, has a tendency to mumble complete nonsense to himself for no good reason, [[SubvertedTrope and a horrible manservant]]. However, [[DoubleSubversion the emotional support he gives Arthur is invaluable, and he's Arthur's best advisor, even if it's unofficial and Arthur will never admit it.]]
* ButtMonkey: So much that he is TheWoobie.
* CannotSpitItOut: His ability to use magic.
* CantHoldHisLiquor: Never seen onscreen, but according to Gaius "one whiff from a barmaid's apron and you're singing like a sailor".
* TheCaretaker: To Freya.
** The Druids see Merlin as this, intrusting the Cup of Life to his protection and later Excalibur.
* CelibateHero: Merlin doesn't do the romance thing that much.
* TheChessmaster: In ''Sword And The Stone Part II'', where he orchestrates Arthur drawing the sword from the stone so that it will restore Arthur's faith in him being king and rally the people at the same time. And then he removes Morgana's powers to even the fight so Camelot can win. He's come a long way from the easily fooled teenager in Series 1.
* ChewToy: Too {{Adorkable}} not to become this.
* ChronicHeroSyndrome
* TheChooserOfTheOne: He orchestrated the entire retrieval of the sword in the stone. A bit of a subversion in that Arthur is already TheChosenOne, but it was Merlin that brought it to light.
** As the last Dragon-Lord, he has the solemn duty to name Dragons into existence and hatch them from their eggs.
* CloudCuckoolander: While his actions generally make sense to the audience, to everyone else he comes across as utterly bizarre. But he's right enough of the time that some people still take him seriously.
* TheConfidant: Whenever a character needs someone to talk to, he's always the obvious choice. Even guest characters are much more inclined to talk to him than anyone else. Arthur even invokes this trope in a few episodes by sending him in to talk to people who aren't speaking to anyone else.
* ConflictingLoyalty
* ConstantlyCurious
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass
* CoolOldGuy: When masquerading as the 80-year-old sorcerer "Dragoon".
* CountryMouse: At least at first.
* CourtMage: Subverted. He takes care of magical threats, negotiates with other magic users, and if magic is needed he provides it. But no one aside from Gaius and Lancelot know this is the case.
* CursedWithAwesome: Merlin is blessed and born with a variety of different powers due to being a warlock.
* DeadpanSnarker
* DesperatelyLookingForAPurposeInLife: Only in the first episode. Then the Dragon informs him of his destiny.
* {{Dojikko}}: [[GenderFlip Gender-flipped]]. Merlin can be rather clumsy at times.
* DoomMagnet: Merlin can never ever catch a break.
* DisappearedDad: [[spoiler:Until 2x13. Then, he died.]]
* TheDogWasTheMastermind: Played with considering that the entire audience already ''knows'' Merlin's true power, but InUniverse, the likes of Arthur and Morgana will inevitably be gobsmacked when TheReveal finally happens.
* DragonRider: For relatively practical reasons.
* TheDreaded: As of Series 4, Morgana is frequently haunted by terrifying nightmares of "Emrys", standing over her, seemingly all-powerful and berating her for all the death she's caused.
* ExpositoryHairstyleChange: He has a different hairstyle starting Series 3. This is also the series where he begins acting as Arthur's advisor.
* EyeColorChange: Merlin's eyes turn brownish-gold when he uses magic.
* FakeBrit: Colin Morgan is from [[StrokeCountry Armagh]].
* FunctionalMagic
* GoalInLife: To reinstate magic in the kingdom and to protect Arthur long enough for him to fulfil his destiny (and by proxy, protect Arthur's family members, particularly his father and his wife).
* TheGoodChancellor: Bonus points for qualifying without even having rank.
* GoodIsNotSoft: He's one of the sweetest characters on the show, but that compassion does not always extend to his enemies. To put it flatly, go near his friends, and you will die. If you threaten him, he won't worry about killing you, either.
* HalfHumanHybrid: Merlin is the son of a human mother (Hunith) and a Dragonlord father (Balinor). Technically, he is a creature of the Old Religion.
* TheHero: Merlin's main role in the series. He is the protectorate of the kingdom of Camelot and all of its inhabitants, especially of Arthur.
* TheHerosJourney: Merlin's entire purpose in the entire series.
* HeroicSelfDeprecation: Merlin constantly saves others without asking for anything in return. He is selfless and humble.
* [[spoiler: HesBack: At the end of "Diamond of the Day Part 1", when he regains his powers once more.]]
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Arthur. Though the [[YaoiFangirl fangirls]] tend to disagree...
* HonestAdvisor: To Arthur, though subverted in that he seldom tells Arthur the full extent of the deal, especially when magic is involved.
* HumbleHero: Is a highly powerful warlock who saves lives all of the time, yet Merlin doesn't yearn for power. Instead, he would rather be a servant boy than to be the most powerful being ever.
* HurtingHero
* InstantExpert: At casting certain spells. Some can be slightly more difficult though.
* IHaveManyNames: Emrys, among others, according to Mordred and the Great Dragon. Somewhat [[InvertedTrope inverted]] as Merlin himself is unaware of most of them.
** He has also given himself a name for his SecretIdentity as an old man: "Dragoon"
* IJustWantToBeNormal: Subverted. Merlin, despite having played with this in his earlier years, has ultimately rejected it, embraced his powers as a gift and accepted his destiny to save the kingdom in secret until magic becomes legal.
* [[IKnowYoureInThereSomewhereFight "I Know You're In There Somewhere" Fight]]: Merlin tries this on [[spoiler:Morgana]] in 3x02. [[spoiler:It doesn't work.]]
* ItSucksToBeTheChosenOne: Although the trope does apply to Arthur, it applies to Merlin so much more. Merlin has to keep his abilities a secret within a land that condemns magic and views magic as evil. At times, Merlin feels like an outsider and an alien.
* JadeColoredGlasses: He has become noticeably pragmatic and jaded during the course of the series. By season 5, he has advised Arthur to abandon the quest to rescue the captured knights and to shoot a defenseless man. It's played for laughs but he is completely unenthusiastic to investigate the scream of a woman in 5x03, a remarkable change from a young man who is [[ChronicHeroSyndrome eager to help]] in the beginning.
---->'''Gaius:''' What happened to the young boy who came into my chambers just a few years ago?
---->'''Merlin:''' He grew up, and learnt the meaning of duty.
* LargeHam: When in his "Dragoon" disguise.
* LastOfHisKind: Merlin's father is revealed to be the Last of the Dragon-Lords, Mages who possessed the ability to command and bend Dragons to their will. Upon his father's death, Merlin inherited the gift and the responsibility of being the Last Dragon-Lord.
* LimitedWardrobe
* TheLoad: A quite noticeable subversion and inversion. Arthur seems to consider Merlin this...however, Merlin would get the problem solved a lot faster if Arthur and the Knights weren't along for the ride. At best, Merlin has to tolerate them while finding a way around them, at worst they end up worsening the problem.
* LovableNerd: Merlin is dorky and adorable.
* LoveHurts: His relationship with Freya, TheGwenStacy.
* MagneticHero: Merlin is definitely this. He befriends nearly everyone he meets.
* MainCharacter: Merlin is the character in which the show focuses on.
* MartyrWithoutACause: Merlin is constantly willing to trade his life in order to save others. He often offers himself up to be sacrificed without hesitation, especially if it is someone that he loves and cares about (examples include Arthur, Gaius, his mother, etc).
* TheMasquerade
* MeaningfulName: Merlin's name means "sea fortress" in Welsh.
* MoralityTropes:
** IDidWhatIHadToDo / KillTheOnesYouLove / ShootTheDog: Merlin poisons Morgana -- who was unaware that she was the vessel of the Knights of Medhir -- because [[IDidWhatIHadToDo he did what he had to do]] in order to save Camelot, but at the price of killing his friend and someone he cared about. Many fans, while praising the acting of Colin and Katie, did not agree with Merlin's actions.
*** It's actually lampshaded in a hilarious [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4Ik_sSRo58&feature=related commentary in 2x12]] between Colin and Katie discussing Merlin's eventual decision to kill Morgana, with Colin trying to defend himself.
---->'''Katie [=McGrath=]:''' You do everything to not kill anyone else. The Dragon says kill [Morgana], and you're like "all right."
---->'''Colin Morgan:''' [[CrowningMomentOfFunny No, I kill loads of people. I kill at least one person an episode.]]
* MotorMouth: At times. Sometimes when Merlin gets talking, he just can't stop. Hence Arthur's catch phrase of "Shut up, Merlin."
* MrFanservice: Is the first one on the show to get a ShirtlessScene. When they figured out that the fangirls really went for his Adorkable nature, it turned into fanservice.
* MuggingTheMonster: All the freaking time. If you want to survive in the world of Merlin, please do not attack the scrawny guy on the ground who has clearly never had a day of combat training in his life. Odds are that a spear will fly out of nowhere and stab you.
* MyCountryRightOrWrong: Substitute "country" for "kingdom" and "future king."
** MyMasterRightOrWrong: Averted. Merlin often has to protect Arthur from ''[[HonourBeforeReason himself]]''.
* NaiveNewcomer: In the beginning, to the land of Camelot. Merlin leaves his childhood in Ealdor for Camelot.
* NiceGuy
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: 2x12 has a double whammy: he releases the Great Dragon and poisons Lady Morgana. The former allows the dragon to finally take revenge on Camelot and King Uther, while the latter is a huge reason behind [[spoiler:Morgana's [[FaceHeelTurn face heel turn.]]]]
** 4x03 [[spoiler: In disguise, he accidentally kills King Uther with magic and in front of Arthur: Arthur has now lost both his parents to magic ''and he knows''.]]
** 5x05 [[spoiler: When the Disir told Arthur they'll save Mordred if he bring back magic, Merlin told him magic has no place in Camelot hoping to ScrewDestiny. Result: the Disir heal Mordred as a punishment so he will, in time, play his part in Arthur's death. Merlin's mistake basically condemns Arthur to ''die'']].
* NotSoDifferent: To Morgana, obvious considering she is traditionally his ShadowArchetype.
** Best shown in 5x02 when Arthur calls Morgana out on [[BecameTheirOwnAntithesis being virtually unrecognisable anymore]], and in 5x05 when Gaius notes that Merlin has gotten a much [[TookALevelInJerkass darker]] personality from the innocent boy he first met, both respond to the criticism with;
--> '''Merlin / Morgana''': [[SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids I grew up]].
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Often happened unintentionally in Series 1. Nowadays, he actively exploits it.
* ObliviousToLove: Merlin was completely oblivious to Gwen having a crush on him.
* [[spoiler: OneManArmy: As "Diamond of the Day" can attest, you do ''not'' want to be on the receiving end when Merlin decides to fully unleash his power. In a [[CurbStompBattle matter of minutes]], he single-handedly manages to [[ShockAndAwe obliterate]] most of Morgana's army and send the rest scurrying into full retreat. To give some perspective, before the battle, Morgana's army outnumbered Camelot's nearly 5-to-1 and was told to contain ''thousands'' of men. Oh, and he finishes it off with taking down Morgana, who is the closest next to him in power, with one shot.]]
* OvershadowedByAwesome: Mentioned frequently, in that Merlin ''knows'' he's the most powerful person in any given situation, but will always be considered a lowly servant in amongst all the kings, princes and knights.
* PapaWolf: A non-parental example, but he is ''fiercely'' protective of Arthur and Gwen.
* ParentalAbandonment: Didn't know his father or where he was [[spoiler: until 2x13, then he died afterwards.]]
* PerpetualPoverty: Merlin is far from rich and financially, he and his mother struggled.
* PlayAlongPrisoner: Camelot's cells have no defense against magic, which means that whenever he's in there, he can leave whenever he wants.
* PlayingWithFire: As with BlowYouAway, Merlin's elemental powers are usually based in fire or air.
* PowerIncontinence: Notably averted. All other magic users have their powers go out of their control, but Merlin was using magic on purpose since before he could talk.
* PowerMakesYourVoiceDeep: When he's speaking the dragon tongue, his voice is notably deeper.
* ProfessionalButtKisser: As Arthur's servant, he's ''supposed'' to be this.
** SarcasticDevotee: What he ''actually'' is to Arthur.
* {{Protagonist}}: The story centres on Merlin, his heroic journey and his relationships with other characters.
* {{Protectorate}}: Of Camelot. Especially Arthur.
* RantInducingSlight: Gives a memorable one in 2x02.
* [[spoiler:ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: In the DistantFinale, he's clearly lived through the centuries.]]
* RedOniBlueOni: Merlin is the Blue to Arthur's Red.
* ScarfOfAsskicking: After 4 seasons of uncontested scarf-badassery, Merlin finally meets his match when Mordred reappears with an even bigger, more awesome scarf.
* ScrewDestiny: He wants to prevent the whole 'Mordred killing Arthur' thing.
* SecretKeeper: He's the only one who knows about Lancelot's feelings for Gwen. He also grudgingly keeps quiet about [[spoiler: Mordred's magic]].
* SelfFulfillingProphecy: His actions against [[spoiler:Mordred and Morgana]], at the guiding of the Dragon, are significant factors in driving both to become the very evil the Dragon predicted in the first place.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Merlin is the Sensitive Guy to Arthur's Manly Man.
* ServileSnarker: Occasionally.
* ShipperOnDeck: He ships Arthur/Gwen, probably more than they do themselves.
* ShockAndAwe: Uses lightning to blow up Nimueh. [[spoiler:Also against the entire Saxon army in the finale.]] It seems to be his go-to magic for serious battles.
* SimplemindedWisdom: Arthur credits him with this.
* SingleTargetSexuality: The closest he's come to having a relationship other than Freya was some very mild flirting with Sefa over five years since her last appearance. Even in the finale, when [[spoiler: her arm grabs Excalibur]], he has a brief LongingLook.
* TheSmartGuy: He's definitely this (especially when compared to Arthur), as he is one of the wisest characters. From the cast's commentaries, [[ColinMorgan the actor]] is described to be this in RealLife, as well.
* TheSnarkKnight
* TheSoCalledCoward: According to Arthur.
* SquishyWizard: Goes from this to MagicKnight as the show goes on.
* StepfordSmiler: Sometimes. In 2x08, he manages a genuine smile while fighting back tears.
-->'''Arthur''': It has become clear to me that those who practice magic are evil and dangerous. And that is thanks to you.
-->'''Merlin''': Glad I could help.
* SupernaturalGoldEyes: When using magic.
* TeamChef
* TenderTears: Merlin really cries so pretty.
* TheoryTunnelvision: His attitude towards Mordred in season 5. He is hellbent on believing that Mordred will cause Arthur's death, even if there are reasons to give the guy the benefits of the doubt as Gaius points out.
* {{Trickster}} combined with TricksterMentor at times, when Arthur starts seeking his advice, due to his witty, carefree and joking attitude. Merlin apparently possesses this trait in all the legends, as well.
** Particularly when masquerading as the elderly "Dragoon", he seemingly revels in this role.
* TokenEvilTeammate: Double subversion. The Knights of the Round Table consider magic evil, which would make Merlin this. It's not, so there's the first subversion. The second is that no one knows this.
* TookALevelInBadass: Never too noticeably, but when you go from breaking a chandelier to summoning a god, you can tell he's leveled up.
* TranquilFury: If Merlin is yelling at you, trying to hit you, or insulting you, you're completely safe. If Merlin has no expression on his face at all and you've just pushed his BerserkButton, ask for five minutes to set your affairs in order and then submit quietly to your doom.
* TrueCompanions: With Arthur.
* UnderestimatingBadassery: ''Everyone'' does this to Merlin, except maybe Lancelot and Gaius (who know his secret) and Guinevere, who has teamed up with him in several dangerous situations.
* UnderstandingBoyfriend: To Freya. Not every guy can accept that you're a giant winged panther.
* UndyingLoyalty: He will never turn his back on his friends. [[spoiler: To the point where he's still alive, hanging in there after centuries, just so he can be there when Arthur returns.]]
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: Will.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: With Morgana.
* VerbalBackspace: When Merlin suggests disguising Uther as a woman...er, a ''servant''.
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Arthur.
* WakeUpGoToSchoolSaveTheWorld
* WalkTheEarth: His ultimate fate in the end of the series.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Over the course of the series, Merlin has been forced to do numerous morally questionable things and has either directly or indirectly killed a ''lot'' of people along the way, simply because his destiny is to protect Arthur.
* WhatTheHellHero: He's been called out by Arthur (5x02), and Gaius (5x05) for his ruthlessness towards Mordred.
* WhenHeSmiles: Merlin has a goofy grin that is both adorable and quite beautiful at the same time.
* WhiteMagic: The type of magic that Merlin practices.
* WiseBeyondTheirYears: The Euchdag commends him on this in 5x02.
* WithFriendsLikeThese: Arthur.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatPerks: Merlin uses his magic to do chores, and occassionally humiliate Arthur when he's getting on his nerves.
* WizardBeard: When disguised as Dragoon.
* WizardClassic: Subverted most of the time as he's just a young man, but played straight when he's in disguise as Dragoon, who has a long white beard and robe.
* WouldHitAGirl: He's never actually ''hit'' a girl - but he's dropped a chandelier on one, blown up at least two more, electrocuted a third with a lightening bolt, poisoned Morgana before later causing a roof to collapse over her head and then throwing a snake at her, and hurled Morgause into a pillar so hard that she was left disfigured and dying slowly over the course of the following year.
* WouldHurtAChild: While he never lay a finger on Mordred, he used magic to prevent the kid from escaping some knights who were going to kill him.
* YankTheDogsChain: Something good happened to Merlin? Open up the Tearjerker page, cause he's not going to be happy long. Especially apparent in Series 2, where he [[spoiler: gets a chance to show Arthur the truth, falls in love, and meets his father]], only for it all to go horribly wrong.
* YesMan: To Arthur more often than not. Arthur even calls him out on it a couple of times.
* YouCantFightFate: He's constantly finding this out the hard way, starting from the very first episode in which he rejects the idea of Arthur being his destiny, only to instinctively save his life and thereby become his manservant as a "reward".
* YouHaveToBelieveMe: His usual line of argument, though no one ever believes it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Arthur Pendragon]]
![[spoiler:King]] Arthur Pendragon (Bradley James)

[[quoteright:278:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Arthur-S1A_4248.jpg]]

The prince of Camelot, Arthur starts out as a JerkAss but ends up developing a HiddenHeartOfGold thanks to his gradual strong friendship with Merlin, Morgana's guidance, and his inevitable and budding romance with Gwen.

* AnchoredShip: Arthur and Gwen. Since series 2, although both know of their mutual feelings for each other, they've refused to upgrade their relationship because of, among other things, their different social classes.
* AntiHero: Type III
* AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: With Merlin and Morgana... sort of.
* BadBoss: To Merlin, though it's played for laughs.
* BadLiar: When he contemplates using [[spoiler: the horn that can resurrect dead people]], it is obvious that he is hiding something. However, he can pull rank on Merlin to end all questions.
* BadassInDistress: ''All the time''. Most of the time he doesn't even realize it.
* BadassLongcoat
* BadassNormal
* BerserkButton: He reacts badly to any perceived slight against his honor or integrity. Likewise, threatening his servant, foster sister, or ''especially'' his beloved is a surefire way of getting killed by a very angry prince.
* BigBrotherMentor: To [[spoiler:Mordred]] in 5x05.
* BigDamnHeroes
* CallingTheOldManOut: Especially in "The Sins of the Father".
** [[spoiler: In "The Death Song of Uther Pendragon", when confronted by Uther's vengeful ghost]].
* CannotSpitItOut: His feelings for Gwen.
* CatchPhrase: "Shut up, Merlin."
* ChickMagnet
** Although this is kind of lampshaded in the ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E02Valiant}} Valiant]]'' [=DVD=] commentary for the scene where Merlin mentions that Arthur "gets all the girls":
-->'''Bradley James:''' All the girls? Morgana? That one girl who's my adopted sister? Oh yeah, he gets all the girls, he does. Look, they're surrounding him! Argh! Someone get a stick to beat them off with!
* TheChosenOne
* ChronicHeroSyndrome
* {{Deuteragonist}}
* DoesNotLikeShoes: Attention is never explicitly called to it, but he frequently goes barefoot when he's in his own chambers.
* DramaticallyMissingThePoint: He seeks to make a kingdom that is fair and just. However, he fails to notice that the people who need fairness and justice the most are the magic-users, and continues to persecute them.
* TheDutifulSon
* MrFanservice
* EvenTheGuysWantHim
* FamedInStory: Not just because he's the ruler of Camelot, but because his destiny is already known to the likes of the dragons, the druids, and other magical beings.
* FlawExploitation: It didn't take long for Morgana to pick up on Arthur's love for Guinevere and use it to her own advantage on at least two separate occasions.
* FlirtyStepSiblings: Arthur and Morgana are kind of like this during series 1 since Uther is the guardian of Morgana, and she is like a daughter to him. It is almost as if Uther adopted Morgana, which would make Arthur and Morgana like step-siblings. [[spoiler:As it turns out, they're half-siblings.]]
* [[spoiler:FamousLastWords: "Thank you."]]
* GivingSomeoneThePointerFinger: To Merlin, often.
* GoodIsNotDumb: If there was a trope named GenreBlindIsNotDumb, he would be this. Best demonstrated in these two lines from ''The Coming of Arthur''. Justified in that most of his smarter moments stem from being a tactician, which makes sense since he leads an elite army.
-->'''Arthur''': The best place for this cup is the [[CardboardPrison vaults of Camelot]]
-->'''Arthur''':*stops and looks around worryingly* ItsQuietTooQuiet.
* GreenEyedMonster: A couple of times, when Lancelot or Gwaine look particularly friendly with Gwen.
* HeroicBSOD: 2x08; 3x13.
** 4x09 has such a huge one that he spends ''the next three episodes'' drifting in and out of this state. And then his uncle betrays him, and he breaks down so badly in 4x13 that he feels he must AbdicateTheThrone because he was such a horrible leader. Let's face it, if it weren't for Merlin, Arthur wouldn't just be dead a thousand times over, he'd be insane.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Merlin.
* HonorBeforeReason: Merlin frequently has to intercede before Arthur sense of honour gets him killed.
* HorribleJudgeOfCharacter: Honour? Chivalry? Bravery? Arthur has those qualities honed to perfection! Being capable of noticing if someone is ObviouslyEvil? Yeah... he might need to work on that some more?!
* HotBlooded
* TheIdealist
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice:[[spoiler: How Mordred kills him]]
* ImprobableAimingSkills
* IncestSubtext: [[spoiler:Now that Morgana has been revealed to be his half-sister, their [[{{UST}} relationship]] in series 1 seems like this.]]
* InfinityPlusOneSword: ''Excalibur'', due to being forged in Dragon's breath.
* InnocentBigot: He distrusts and hates magic users, but honestly doesn't know any better.
** Unlike his father, it seems more to be that Arthur doesn't ''care'' about magic, [[NobleBigot as long as it stays out of Camelot.]]
* InnocentBlueEyes: Matching his HairOfGoldHeartOfGold, fitting [[KnightInShiningArmor the honourable, chivalric Once and Future King]].
* JerkAss
* JerkassFacade
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold
* [[spoiler:KilledOffForReal:]] As of ''The Diamond of the Day Part 2''.
* KnightInShiningArmor
* [[LastGirlWins Last Guy Wins]]: Arthur may have known Gwen [[FirstGirlWins longer]] than her other two love interests, but he was the last to be introduced as a potential love interest for Gwen in 1x10 (though the ship was teased upon in 1x01 and 1x05). [[ForegoneConclusion Then again, it's not much of a surprise.]]
* [[spoiler: LastRequest: Not to be left alone. And Merlin doesn't, living up to the present day waiting for him to return.]]
* LikeBrotherAndSister: Arthur and Morgana become this in series 2.
** And then they became [[spoiler:ACTUAL brother and sister. Well, half at least.]]
* LikeFatherLikeSon: Merlin (and Gwen's) entire purpose is to ensure that this ''doesn't'' happen. However, Arthur and Uther ''are'' similiar in a lot of ways.
* LoveHurts
* LoveRedeems
* LoveTriangle: Arthur/Gwen/Lancelot.
* MagneticHero: His biggest asset as a leader is his ability to inspire respect and loyalty in other people.
* ManlyMenCanHunt: At least six episodes and one deleted scene involve him out hunting in the forest with Merlin or his knights, in fact it's a crucial part of ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E11TheLabyrinthOfGedref}} The Labyrinth of Gedref]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E11TheHuntersHeart}} The Hunter's Heart]]''.
** And occasionally played for laughs:
---->'''Arthur:''' After [[spoiler: Sophia]] left, I wanted to take my mind off things. So, I went for a hunt.
---->'''Morgana:''' And killing things mends a broken heart?
---->'''Arthur:''' [[RuleOfFunny No, but it's good fun.]]
* MasterOfDelusion: He ''still'' doesn't suspect Merlin of magic. Not even a little bit.
* MarryForLove: He's determined to do this, and even manages to make it sound like a politically sensible idea: "I'll be a much better king for the strength and support of a woman I love."
* MasterSwordsman: Said to be the best swordsman in Camelot.
* TheMenFirst: He is unwilling to risk his knights' lives, and can go to great lengths for them.
* TheMillstone: Aside from the problems he has caused himself, how many times has Arthur's general refusal to listen to Merlin, follow common sense, or even consider that someone ObviouslyEvil is...well..[[DepartmentOfRedundacyDepartment evil]]... made the problem worse? He gets better throughout the show, but still refuses to believe he is WrongGenreSavvy.
* MissingMom. She's long dead... and it's Uther's fault.
* MuggleBestFriend: To Merlin.
* MurderTheHypotenuse: Arthur's first reaction when he sees [[spoiler:Lancelot kissing Guinevere]].
* MySignificanceSenseIsTingling: Can tell there's something about Merlin, looks worried after realizing the boy he liberated is Mordred, and guessing from the musical cue, can sense the importance of Excalibur. However, he always thinks ItsProbablyNothing, so this is pretty much useless.
* NoGuyWantsAnAmazon: It's subtle, but it's there, with Arthur getting rather stand-offish at the sight of any ActionGirl (or at least surprised by the activities [[TomboyPrincess Tom Boys]]). He instead prefers the feminine and nurturing Guinevere, whose appeal lies in her forthrightness and/or supportiveness. He ''has'' congratulated Gwen on her bravery in combat, but it's clear that he prefers her to stay well out of such situations.
* NobleBigot: While Arthur was raised to hate magic, it's seems he actually merely distrusts it. Several episodes imply that he only hunts down sorcerers because it's the law and personally, he doesn't ''care'' about magic as long as it stays out of Camelot.
* NobodyCallsMeChicken: Never explicitly, but the best way to get Arthur to do something is to insult his bravery.
* NotAMorningPerson
* TheNotLoveInterest: To Merlin, who will go to extreme lengths for him not only because he is prophesized to be the Once and Future King who will bring back magic but also because he has become a friend.
* OedipusComplex: In the episode ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E08SinsOfTheFather}} Sins of the Father]]'', Arthur meets the (young and beautiful) ghost of his mother, whose words inspire him to gallop straight home and nearly commit {{patricide}}.
* OnlyMostlyDead: In several episodes, he's on the verge of dying. [[spoiler: And it's true to the legend about coming back when the world needs him the most.]]
* ThePromise: "When I am King, I promise you; things will be different. We can be together."
* PuppetKing: Sadly, he comes across as this in series 4, spending the entire thirteen episodes being manipulated by Agravaine or blind-sided by Merlin. The only clean victory he gets (without any secret help from Merlin) is freeing the spirit of the Druid boy. Everything else, including his retrieval of ExcaliburInTheStone, is in some way organised and controlled by Merlin.
* SelectiveObliviousness: Not counting not knowing Merlin has magic, Arthur seems to have rewired his brain to ignore everything that Merlin does competently to the point where it seems like he's consciously unaware he's doing it. This actually gets pointed out to him in ''With All My Heart'', and he's ''still unable to grasp the idea''.
--> '''Merlin''': Without Merlin, your queen would still be lost.
--> '''Arthur''': Not sure that's true.[[hottip:*:Let's see, what did Merlin do to free Gwen again? Oh, yeah, he figured out she was brainwashed and found a way to cure her!]]
* ScarilyCompetentTracker
* ShirtlessScene: A LOT.
* SlapSlapKiss: With Morgana.
* SpiritedCompetitor
* TheStrategist
* SubmissiveBadass: To Guinevere. Though she's half his size, there's a definite theme of Gwen being the more dominant one whenever they get physical (tackling him in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E01TheCurseOfCorneliusSigan}} The Curse of Cornelius Sigan]]'', pushing him into a tent pole to kiss him in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E10SweetDreams}} Sweet Dreams]]'' and topping during their makeout session in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E10QueenOfHearts}} Queen Of Hearts]]'').
* SugarAndIcePersonality: He maintains a stoic demeanour when in front of his father, the court and his knights, but relaxes considerably when he's alone with Merlin, and is quite the big softie when it comes to Guinevere.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: How he acknowledges Merlin's wisdom without having to actually admit Merlin's right. Examples include?
--> It's turns out Merlin's not always entirely stupid.
--> It appears on this single solitary occasion you might have been right.
--> I should have listened to you, Merlin. For once, you were right.
* ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks: Chucks one at a cockatrice.
* TwentyFourHourArmour: It's not very consistent, but sometimes he can wear his armour at the oddest times, including to banquets and other casual celebrations.
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: To Morgana.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: With Gwen.
* [[BettyAndVeronica Veronica]]: To Lancelot's [[BettyAndVeronica Betty]].
** Debatable.
* VagueAge: Out of all the young cast, it's generally accepted that he was twenty-one in the first series, thus making him twenty-nine by the fifth.
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Merlin.
* WarriorPrince
* WeaponOfChoice: [[CaptainObvious Excalibur]].
* WeaponTwirling
* WellDoneSonGuy
* [[WillTheyOrWontThey Will They Or Won't They]]: Arthur and Gwen. Their budding relationship constantly grows strained because of their different social classes.
* WithFriendsLikeThese: Merlin.
* YoungAndInCharge
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Lady Morgana]]
!Lady Morgana [[spoiler:Pendragon]] (KatieMcGrath)

[[quoteright:291:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Untitled_5_7984.jpg]]

[-"What if... magic isn't something you choose? What if it chooses you?"-]

Morgana is the beautiful ward of Uther who suffers from premonitions in her dreams, unaware that she is in fact, a seer. She is close to her maidservant Gwen. Her strong sense of justice often clashes with Uther's rules and judgement.

In series 2, Morgana discovers that she is a seer, but fears what Uther may do if he finds out she has magic. She also briefly befriends the sorceress Morgause, unaware that Morgause is her half-sister. However, Morgana's growing resentment towards Uther and his treatment of those who use magic inevitably leads to her FaceHeelTurn. When she is used as a catalyst for a spell under Camelot, Merlin is forced to poison her. Morgause rescues Morgana, and it is implied that she can save her life.

In series 3, [[spoiler:Morgana has been recovered and returned to Camelot, but she is firmly set on the DarkSide, pretending to be the "loving ward" while she secretly plots with Morgause for the downfall of Uther and Camelot.]]

* ActionGirl[=/=]DarkActionGirl: In season 1/2 and season 3 respectively. As well as the last episode of season 4.
* AGodAmI: Well, not god as far as we know, but she certainly doesn't consider herself on the level of {{Muggles}}, and even treats her own kind with contempt if she has no use for them.
--> '''Morgana''': I am more powerful than you could ever imagine.
** AlwaysSecondBest: However, it becomes apparent in Series 4 that despite her massive ego, the mere mention of "[[TheDreaded Emrys]]" is enough to reduce to her a nervous wreck.
* AntagonisticOffspring: To Uther.
* AntiHero: Pre-MoralEventHorizon.
* AntiVillain: Afterwards, she goes from a qualmless and often emotionless WellIntentionedExtremist traumatized by her experiences and mostly seeing things in their light to a more thoughtful and calculative but also more human and confused antagonist, with a slight episode of SanitySlippage (thus being technically a type III for anyone who sees her as a villain and doesn't choose the popular AlternateCharacterInterpretation).
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Seems particularly interested and intrigued by Alvarr in 2x11.
* ArchEnemy: To Merlin (though she doesn't fully understand to what extent yet).
* AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: With Arthur, although the specifics of this trope don't apply due to their mostly [[LikeBrotherandSister siblingly]] relationship.
* BadassPrincess
* BadBoss: Consistently treats Agravaine poorly and is very quick to insult and blame him when things go wrong, even though he has [[HypercompetentSidekick been of enormous help]] to her at great personal risk.
* BadDreams
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: Eventually {{subverted}}.
* BecameTheirOwnAntithesis: She went through many personality changes after series 2. You can find almost no similarities between her former self and her new self.
* BigBad: Series 4 onwards.
** [[spoiler: May be in a BigBadDuumvirate with Mordred come series 5, if the leaked info is any indication.]]
* BitchInSheepsClothing: In the first episode of series 3 alone, Morgana's killed a knight, plotted with Morgause for the downfall of Uther and Camelot, while making numerous Psychotic Smirks to pretty much let us know she's way into TheDarkSide.
* BigNo: In 3x13, after [[spoiler:Morgause is gravely injured]]; she literally brings the roof down.
* BlackCloak: In series 4, complete with [[InTheHood hood]].
* BondVillainStupidity: Where do we even start?
* BraidsOfAction: Whenever she has time to prepare for a fight, her hair is put back in a braid.
* BrattyTeenageDaughter: Practically an {{inversion}}. She could be quite bratty in the first series (understandably so, given her status) when she was merely Uther's ward, but by the time her true parentage is revealed, she had moved from "bratty" to "homicidal".
* BreakTheCutie
** CorruptTheCutie
** KillTheCutie (in that order)
* BrokenBird: Morgana's resentment towards Uther's hatred for magic and those who use magic led to her FaceHeelTurn, so much that Merlin sympathizes with her in 3x02 and even tries to pull a [[IKnowYoureInThereSomewhereFight "I Know You're In There Somewhere" Fight]].
* CainAndAbel: Now that she's trying to kill Arthur. Even after learning that he's her brother. It's a far fall from when she actively ''defended'' him in 1x07.
* TheCaligula: Her short stints as Queen of Camelot didn't seem to involve anything except demanding that the people accept her as their ruler, killing them when they refused, and burning their crops just to drive the point home.
** Indeed, it often appears that Morgana seems to be under the delusion that by taking the throne of Camelot, everyone will automatically bow down and worship her as their new Queen. Thus her plans always spectacularly fail to take into account exactly ''why'' everyone has such UndyingLoyalty towards [[TheGoodKing Arthur]].
* CatapultNightmare: Plenty. They get worse as the series goes on.
* ClaspYourHandsIfYouDeceive: A couple of times in series three.
* CleavageWindow: Most of her outfits.
* ComplexityAddiction: Hoo boy. Nearly every single one of Morgana's plans falls under this trope.
* ConflictingLoyalty: Ended by series 3.
* ConsummateLiar
* CoolBigSis: To Arthur. At least in series 1. Ironically, neither of them knew it at the time, and when they both finally realize [[spoiler:that she ''is'' his big sister]], she's already tried to kill him several times.
* CuteAndPsycho: She was getting there in series 4, but seems to have fully crossed into this in series 5.
* DarkMagicalGirl
* DarkMessiah: The Dochraid prophesies that she will bring back the Old Religion to the land.
* TheDarkSideWillMakeYouForget: She starts out with the best of intentions, (her first act of treason is to avenge the death of her best friend's father), but her fear and tendency to take everything personally eventually leads to violence and genocide.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Only to revert back into an IceQueen in series 3.
* DoesNotLikeMen: An unusual case. In the first two series she was portrayed as friendly and flirty toward men, but as she falls further into evil she becomes less and less interested, to the point where she appears practically {{asexual}} in her complete lack of awareness of them.
* DoubleAgent: In series 3.
* DreamingOfThingsToCome
* DrivenByEnvy: This seems to be the source of her new-found hatred toward Guinevere, considering that her former serving maid is destined to be Queen of Camelot - a position that Morgana believes is ''hers''.
* DrivenToVillainy
* EntryPimp: Her entry is nearly twice as long as any other character's, including the one that the show is named after!
* EtTuBrute: She ''did not'' take Merlin's betrayal or Uther [[spoiler:not publicly recognizing her as his biological daughter]] well...
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: {{Averted}}; she is always known as Lady Morgana and apparently has not been awarded the title of Princess, even though she has been Uther's ward since early childhood [[spoiler: and is secretly his daughter.]]
* EvilFeelsGood: Justified. After becoming a sorceress, the only time she doesn't feel terrified and alone is when she's associating with the bad guys. Although she subverts it with [[spoiler: Uther's death. Agravaine expects her to rejoice, but she's in a TroubledFetalPosition and wondering why she feels so empty.]]
* EvilIsPetty: Sure, her animosity toward Uther and Merlin is justified, but her treatment of Gwen is just catty and mean.
* ExcessiveEvilEyeshadow
* FakeBrit: [[KatieMcGrath Katie [=McGrath=]]] is from Dublin in real life. Unlike Colin Morgan she mostly [[NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent keeps her Irish accent.]]
* FallenHero
* FalseFriend: Towards Merlin, and later towards Arthur, Gwen, and (in a daughterly manner) Uther.
* FauxAffablyEvil: If need be, she can put on a show of courtly breeding and etiquette.
* FauxActionGirl: She is presented as a feisty girl with a sword, but she never accomplishes anything. Read [[http://zahrawithaz.livejournal.com/1893.html this.]]
* FlirtyStepSiblings: Arthur and Morgana are kind of like this during series 1 since Uther is the guardian of Morgana, and she is like a daughter to him. It is almost as if Uther adopted Morgana, which would make Arthur and Morgana like stepsiblings.
** As of 3x05, Arthur and Morgana fall into [[spoiler:BrotherSisterIncest]], given that [[spoiler:they share the same father.]]
* ForegoneConclusion: Morgana becoming evil (or at least becoming an enemy of Camelot and its people).
* GoodGirlGoneBad
* GoMadFromTheIsolation: For two years in between series 4 and 5, Morgana and Aithusa were locked at the bottom of a well away from the sun. It seems to have shattered nearly every remnant of sanity she had left.
* GracefulLadiesLikePurple: She gets no less than four purple dresses over the course of the first three series, two of silk and two of velvet: [[http://oi47.tinypic.com/hv79xi.jpg one]], [[http://oi46.tinypic.com/riywya.jpg two]], [[http://oi46.tinypic.com/1114bk9.jpg three]], [[http://oi48.tinypic.com/10f3vx1.jpg four]] which denote her status as the king's ward, as well as the fact that...
** SupernaturalIsPurple
* GreenEyes
* HardHead: Holds the record for being knocked unconscious more than any other character on the show, which is saying something. What do you expect? She's Merlin's equivalent of [[{{Smallville}} Lex Luthor]].
* HeroicBSOD: Kate [=McGrath=] said that Morgana sort of "shuts down" in 2x12 as she realizes her role in Morgause's plot.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Gwen. This starts to deteriorate in Season 3. Also, with Morgause.
* [[HighPriest High Priestess]]: Becomes one after [[spoiler:Morgause's]] death.
* HotWitch
* HourglassPlot: With Guinevere. The two essentially switch positions over the course of the show.
* IllGirl: Quite often, notably in ''A Remedy To Cure All Ills'', ''The Crystal Cave'' and the beginning/end of ''A Servant of Two Masters''/''The Secret Sharer''. And that's not even counting her on-going nightmares that Gaius is continually trying to suppress with various tonics.
* InTheHood: Is often wearing one when she's up to no good.
* InternalizedCategorism: Morgana explicitly tells Uther that she hated herself for years after realizing that she had magic, having been brought up for a significant portion of her life by a man who claimed that it was evil and executed anyone who possessed it. It almost becomes a SelfFulfillingProphecy: having taken in Uther's teaching that magic was evil, she subconsciously believes that having embraced her magical side, she ''has'' to act evil.
* IrrationalHatred: The sheer, inexplicable vehemence with which she plots Guinevere's death is difficult to grasp. Granted, she feels as though Gwen is usurping her position as Queen of Camelot, but that she so quickly leaps to the betrayal and attempted murder of her once-closest friend with no remorse whatsoever is rather jarring. Of course, she also plots Arthur's death, but for whatever reason, she takes Guinevere's existence that much more ''personally''.
** Probably due to the fact that Gwen, like everyone else, thought that magic was evil, and thus would likely have feared her had she known about her powers. See Gwen's entry in FantasticRacism.
* JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope: Has shades of this through the first two series, attempting to kill Uther at least twice because of her hatred towards him. By the third series, she's long since become a BitchInSheepsClothing and crossed the MoralEventHorizon. By the fourth, the Morgana who'd rather die than see a child hurt in series 1 (Mordred), callously reacts to the news of innocents death with an expression of "So?".
* [[spoiler:KilledOffForReal:]] After multiple attempts.
* KnifeNut: She carries a knife with her at all times during the course of series four.
* LackOfEmpathy: This was actually telegraphed fairly early on. Though she's sympathetic when Gwen's father dies, the end of the episode suggests that she was channelling her own grief for [[ItsAllAboutMe her father's death all along]]. Likewise, whilst she was still in her "good phase", she refused to return to Camelot when she heard that hostages would be killed if the druids did not release her (Uther having mistakeningly believed she was kidnapped). By the third series, she responds to Merlin's plea that women and children are dying with the word: "Good!"
* LadyInRed
* LadyOfBlackMagic
* [[LastOfHisKind Last Of Her Kind]]: She is the last High Priestess of the Old Religion.
* LetsGetDangerous: 1x10 and 2x04.
* LightFeminineAndDarkFeminine: Dark obviously, though with less emphasis on sexuality (in the later series) than the trope usually implies.
* LikeBrotherAndSister / PlatonicLifePartners: Arthur and Morgana become this in Season 2 [[spoiler:and are revealed to be half-siblings in Season 3.]]
* [[LikeFatherLikeSon Like Father Like Daughter]]: The great irony of her character.
* LongLostRelative: She is revealed to be Morgause's [[spoiler:''and'' Arthur's]] half-sister.
* [[ThePresidentsDaughter The King's Ward]]
* [[MementoMacGuffin Memento [=MacGuffin=]]]: The bracelet she received from Morgause to help her sleep.
* MsFanservice
* MakingASplash: Whereas Merlin's powers seem to be based on [[BlowYouAway air]] and [[PlayingWithFire fire]], Morgana is often connected with water, most obviously in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E01TheTearsOfUtherPendragonPartI}} The Tears of Uther Pendragon]]'' in which the damp mandrake root conjures up visions of drowned murder victims.
* MamaBear: Morgana's strong attachment towards Mordred causes her to become very protective of him and a willingness to do anything for him in order to keep him from harm's way.
* ManipulativeBitch: Even when she was good, she was ''very'' adept at getting people to do what she wanted them to. See her manipulation of Arthur throughout ''The Beginning of the End'' and Uther in ''To Kill The King''.
* TheMentallyDisturbed: You could definitely make a case for Morgana.
* MistreatmentInducedBetrayal
* MonsterSobStory
* MoralityPet: Is more or less one for Uther, and is definitely one for Morgause. [[spoiler:Aithusa becomes one for her in series 5.]]
* MoreThanMindControl: Being under Morgause's guidance for an entire year must have made her the way she is in series 3.
* MotiveDecay: At some point her goals shift from ridding Camelot of a tyrannical king (justifiable) to killing [[spoiler:her half-brother]] and becoming queen herself (not so much).
* MultiColouredHair: In series 4, she inexplicably has green streaks in her hair.
* MurderIsTheBestSolution: Though she keeps changing her mind on this. Usually she goes straight for the kill when she ''shouldn't'' and relies on [[ComplexityAddiction overly complicated plans]] when she should just be killing.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: NamesToRunAwayFrom/{{Mor}}
* NotAsYouKnowThem: Her return in series 3.
* NotSoDifferent: Annis calls her on her similarities to Uther, despite her hatred of him.
* OfCorsetsSexy: In series 4 her black outfit is fitted with a laced-up corset.
* OffingTheOffspring: She's terrified of Uther for exactly this reason.
* OffscreenTeleportation: She's a master of this after going evil. If the camera drifts away from her for more than a few seconds, she's gone.
* OhCrap: Morgana in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E06AServantOfTwoMasters}} A Servant Of Two Masters]]'' upon seeing the 80-year-old disguised Merlin, having had visions of him as "Emrys" and foreseeing that [[TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou he will stand over her]] on a corpse-littered battlefield, [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech admonishing her for her misdeeds.]] Occurs again for "The Sword in The Stone, Part II".
** In "Diamond of the Day Part 2", the [[SmugSnake smug expression]] on her face turning to rapid horror after Merlin reveals [[spoiler: that the sword he ran her through with was actually ''[[InfinityPlusOneSword Excalibur]]'', a weapon forged in Dragon's breath. In other words, a weapon that ''can'' actually kill her.]]
* [[OrcusOnHisThrone Orcus On Her Throne]]: In series 4 Morgana spends a lot of time sitting in her hovel, waiting for other characters to bring her news of what she's ordered them to do.
* ParentalAbandonment: Her father died ten years ago, and her mother's whereabouts are unknown. [[spoiler:But as it turns out, Uther is her biological father and kept it secret all along.]]
* ParentalSubstitute: Of sorts, towards Mordred.
* PimpedOutDress
* PluckyGirl
* PoliticallyActivePrincess: Both before and after her FaceHeelTurn. Prior to it, would often stick up for the rights of magic-users, afterwards she tries to topple the Pendragon dynasty.
* ThePowerOfHate
* PutThemAllOutOfMyMisery: At this point, she seemingly just wants to make everyone suffer.
* RebelliousPrincess
* TheResenter: Of Arthur and Guinevere for their positions in Camelot and their addherence to Uther's anti-magic policy.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: What she's been doing for the past two series.
* RomanticTwoGirlFriendship: With Gwen and Morgause.
* SanitySlippage: By series 5, her desire to rule Camelot seems to be the only thing keeping her even remotely grounded. He's so lost in her hatred that the mere mention of failure to kill Arthur sets her off.
* [[{{Seers}} Seer]]
* SelfFulfillingProphecy: Which leads to her FaceHeelTurn.
* ShadowArchetype: To Merlin.
* ShipperOnDeck: Morgana became a bit of a shipper of Merlin/Gwen in 1x03 and 1x04.
* ShowSomeLeg: Morgana devises this plan in order for Gwen and her to escape from bandits in 2x04.
* SlapSlapKiss: With Arthur.
* SmugSnake
* SmugSuper: When she doesn't have to hide her magic, she's not shy about lording it over non-magic users.
* SugaryMalice: She's good at this one.
* SupernaturalGoldEyes: Like Merlin, when she uses magic.
* ThoseTwoBadGuys: With Morgause and later Agravaine.
* TraitorShot: Gets dozens and dozens. And dozens.
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: To Arthur.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: With Merlin, Morgause, Gwen and Arthur.
* UsedToBeASweetKid: Arthur invokes this explicitly in 5x02 when he reminds her that she used to be so kind and compassionate as a child. Her response? "I grew up."
* VainSorceress: {{Subverted}}, as the more powerful and evil she gets, the less interested she becomes in maintaining her appearance. Though she's still beautiful, her messy hair and dark make-up suggest she's not really trying to impress anyone.
* WellExcuseMePrincess: In series 1.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Along with Morgause. Given Uther's treatment of those with magic, her shift in alignment is understandable and [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation her side may even have the moral high-ground over Uther]], but like Uther, she uses some ruthless tactics to achieve her end.
* WeUsedToBeFriends: To Merlin, Arthur and Gwen. In fact, she says these exact words to Gwen in ''The Hunter's Heart''.
* [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway What Kind Of Lame Power Is Precognitive Dreaming Anyway?]]: Though she has dreams of the future, she can't control them, barely understands them, and has never achieved anything worthwhile at first with her foreknowledge of events to come.
* WildCard: In series 2.
* WildHair: In series 4 and onward.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity
* WomanInBlack: As of series 4, all part of the general theme that DarkIsEvil.
* WomanInWhite: Sometimes in series 2 and 3, highlighting her vulnerability.
* WoundedGazelleGambit: Occasionally. She gets really good at almost fooling everyone.
* YouAreWhatYouHate: As several characters point out to her in series four, Morgana has become just like Uther.
* YouKilledMyFather: A surprisingly low-key take on this trope in which Morgana accuses Uther of indirectly killing Gorlois by not sending troops to his aid.
* YoureNotMyFather: Morgana indirectly says this of Uther, telling a neighbouring Queen that it was Gorlois that raised her, and who she thus considers her true father.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Guinevere (Gwen)]]
![[spoiler:Queen]] Guinevere [Gwen] [[spoiler:Pendragon]] (AngelCoulby)

[[quoteright:297:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Untitled_4_2907.jpg]]

[-'''Merlin''': "You have such a good heart, Gwen. Don't ever lose that."-]

Guinevere -- nicknamed Gwen -- was the maidservant of Morgana and a good friend of Merlin's. She is a hardworking and kindhearted, young woman who is often awkward and shy when it comes to romance. [[spoiler: As of the finale, she is queen regnant of Camelot.]]

* {{Adorkable}}: More so in series 1, but she does retain a bit of it when it comes to denying or hiding her feelings for Arthur.
* AnchoredShip: Arthur and Gwen. Since series 2, although both know of their mutual feelings for each other, they've refused to upgrade their relationship because of, among other things, their different social classes.
** [[spoiler:Now averted, as the two are married.]]
* AngelCoulby
* BadassDamsel
* BatmanGambit: Pulls one off in 5x02 by gambling on Ruadan's PapaWolf instincts.
* BeautyMark: Of the nice kind.
* BerserkButton: None of her own, but notable considering she is almost everyone ''else's'' berserk button. Mess with her, and there'll be a wave of very angry warlocks, princes and knights out to get you.
** She gets one in 4x08, namely Merlin.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: In 5x01, [[spoiler: she sentences her servant to ''death''.]]
* {{Brainwashed}}: [[spoiler: post the events of 5x06. And all the resultant tropes]]
** DangerouslyGenreSavvy: The only good parts of the plans (i.e., getting Merlin out of the way, actually making good excuses) are hers. This seems to be her only character trait remaining...
** FaceHeelTurn: an involuntary variant.
** StockholmSyndrome: Morgana invokes this by torturing her into thinking all her loved ones hate her, and then offering comfort and help, thus allowing a...
** SymbioticPossession: It is explained that her behavior is due to Morgana taking over her will and replacing her will with her own, which causes the following behaviors...
*** DecoyDamsel: Puts on quite the show of helplessness to manipulate her enemies.
*** FemmeFatale: She definitely acts more coquettish than usual when under Morgana's power. Arthur and the knights are completely wrapped around her little finger.
*** ObviouslyEvil: [[SubvertedTrope But only to the audience]].
*** PsychoticSmirk: Again, only the audience sees it.
** ThePowerOfLove: [[spoiler:Breaks the enchantment]].
* BreakTheCutie
* BrownEyes
* {{Chickification}}: In Season 2, Gwen's role is pretty much just TheHeart and Arthur's LoveInterest.
** Rectified in Season 3.
* CharacterDevelopment: From shy, stuttering maid to regal, confident queen.
* CleavageWindow: Sometimes, from Season 2 onward.
* CloserToEarth
* TheConscience
* CrypticConversation: In [[spoiler: "Diamond of the Day Part 2"]], she has this type of conversation with Gaius, [[spoiler: confirming her suspicion that Merlin was indeed the Sorcerer that [[CurbStompBattle turned the tide]] at the Battle of Camlann in Camelot's favour.]]
--> '''[[spoiler: Gwen]]''': [[spoiler: The Sorcerer in the battle, you knew who he was?]]
--> '''[[spoiler: Gaius]]''': [[spoiler: *''{{Beat}}''* [[CrypticallyUnhelpfulAnswer Yes]].]]
--> '''[[spoiler: Gwen]]''': [[spoiler: Do ''I'' know him? [[IKnowYouKnowIKnow Please Gaius, answer me honestly?]]]]
--> '''[[spoiler: Gaius]]''': [[spoiler: ''[[MathematiciansAnswer Yes]]''.]]
* DistressedDamsel: A couple of times, but [[MemeticMutation not nearly as often as you'd think]]. It's probably because the (very few) Gwen-centric episodes ''do'' [[NeverLiveItDown involve her in considerable distress]].
* DoggedNiceGirl / UnrequitedLove: Towards Merlin in Season 1.
* DudeMagnet: ZigZaggingTrope. This is something of a MemeticMutation due to her reputation in the source material. In this version, [[ForegoneConclusion Arthur and Lancelot]] have fallen in love with her, and Gwaine and Helios have shown brief interest (however, both are characterized as being womanizers; in their case, it's not so much that Gwen is special so much that Gwen is ''there''). The trope was {{subverted}} with Merlin, who shows [[ObliviousToLove no romantic interest in her at all]], despite her obvious crush. If you're keeping track at home, ''Arthur'' has been romantically linked with more women than Gwen has with other men. [[hottip:*: In order, they are: Morgana, Sophia, Guinevere, Vivian, Elena, Mithian]]
* FantasticRacism: Subverted and PlayedWith. She doesn't hate magicians, unlike Uther, but like him, she is afraid of magic and tries to punish people who use it. It leads to several uncospicuous KickTheDog moments.
** She tells Gaius what happened with Morgana after she used magic in front of her, [[LesCollaborateurs an act that could have gotten her mistress imprisoned]], even if she was declared the King's ward [[spoiler:and had all along actually been his daughter]].
** In 4x03, she told Arthur in a deleted scene that she was mistrustful of magic and blaims it for a tragedy which befell on her father, hoping that he won't use magic to heal his father (which is the equivalent of [[ToBeLawfulOrGood choosing lawful over good]]).
** In 5x01, she sounded very angry (and had a frightening look on her face), just a short moment after learning that Sefa (her maid)'s father was a sorcerer, before [[spoiler: pretending to sentence her to death while actually working to save her and getting her father, TheManBehindTheMan, emprisonned in her place]], an uncharacteristically harsh gambit [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman which she doesn't seem to regret]].
** Even though it would simply make her a NobleBigot, it is still a strain on the theory that she has no character flaws and is unrealistic.
* FanServicePack: [[http://oi39.tinypic.com/2lwm890.jpg See for yourself]]...
* ForcefulKiss: To Arthur in 2x10 in order to break him out of an enchantment.
* GenreSavvy: Realizes [[spoiler: her servant]] is a traitor pretty quickly. It usually takes Pendragons either an episode or an entire season to figure these things out. She also catches on to Morgana's StockholmSyndrome attempt in Series 5, [[spoiler:but unfortunately Morgana had time on her side and it worked anyway]].
* GirlFriday: Can be this at times to Merlin, especially when they're teaming up to solve mysteries.
* GirlNextDoor
* GoodIsNotSoft: [[spoiler: After discovering her maid leaked information to her father, tipping off Morgana's forces about Arthur's plan of rescue, cue Gwen swiftly sentencing the maid to death for committing treason. Even Sir Elyan appears shocked at the ease of which she declares this. However, it turned out to be a ruse to invoke a PapaWolf response from her father, who Gwen considered the actual threat. She just needed it to be convincing. It was a gamble, but it worked.]]
* HairTropes:
** ExpositoryHairstyleChange: Her hair goes from practical buns to long, loose curls as she rises in status.
** HairDecorations - usually a FlowerInHerHair.
** LongHairIsFeminine
** QuirkyCurls: Series 1 and 2.
** RegalRinglets: Series 5
** MessyHair: In series 1
* HappilyMarried: To Arthur in series 5.
* TheHeart
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Morgana. [[spoiler:This starts to deteriorate in series 3.]]
* [[spoiler:TheHighQueen]]: As of the end of series 4. This is even more true at the end of series 5 considering [[spoiler:she became the sole ruler of Camelot]]. In fact, the very last words of the entire series are [[spoiler:"long live the queen!"]], as cried by everyone present in the throne room.
* HotConsort
* HourglassPlot: With Morgana, essentially taking her place as the most powerful woman in Camelot.
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: With Arthur.
* IWillWaitForYou: At the conclusion of ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E10QueenOfHearts}} Queen Of Hearts]]'', she promises to wait for Arthur to become King, at which point they can marry.
* LetsGetDangerous: 1x10, 2x04 and 5x01.
* LikeBrotherAndSister / PlatonicLifePartners: Gwen eventually becomes this with Merlin in series 2.
* LightFeminineAndDarkFeminine: Light to Morgana's dark.
** In ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E11TheHuntersHeart}} The Hunter's Heart]]'' she is the dark to Mithian's light.
* LimitedWardrobe: In the first series she (understandably) only had two outfits.
* LoveHurts: The poor girl never catches a break -- her feelings for Merlin are unrequited, her brief romance with Lancelot abruptly ends when he leaves Camelot, only to return and their romance is rekindled until Lancelot leaves again after noticing Arthur's and Gwen's feelings for each other, leaving Gwen upset, and her budding relationship with Arthur constantly becomes strained because of their social classes. [[spoiler: Once she and Arthur become stable, she is enchanted into cheating on him with [[BackFromTheDead Lancelot]] - the kicker being only the audience and the bad guys know - and banished from Camelot forever.]]
* LoveTriangle: At the centre of the most famous one of all.
* MamaBear:
** It turns out that messing with [[PlatonicLifePartners Merlin]] will turn the [[BewareTheNiceOnes usually mild mannered]] Gwen into one of these. '''GET AWAY FROM HIM!!!'''
** If you ever betray Arthur while he's on a rescue mission, [[spoiler: she'll order your ''execution.'']]
* ModestRoyalty: Though she gets a significant upgrade in clothing, she only ever wears minimal jewellery (just earrings and her wedding band). This is in stark contrast to Morgana of the first two seasons, who was often decked out in necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings.
* MuggleBestFriend: To Merlin.
* NamingConventions: At the start of the show, she was invariably referred to as Gwen as a reflection of her status as a {{maid}}. This changed as the series went on (in particular, her [[LoveInterest Love Interests]] usually called her by her full name), and by series 5, she's consistently called Guinevere to reflect her higher status.
* NiceGirl
* NinjaMaid: In ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E10TheMomentOfTruth}} The Moment of Truth]]'' at least.
* NonActionSnarker: She might not be able to sword-fight an opponent into submission, but she's sassed quite a few bigger, stronger, more powerful people in her time.
--> ''"I don't expect someone like YOU to understand that."''
* OfCorsetsSexy: Wears them as outerwear in series 2 and 3. She seems to be wearing them as underwear in series 4.
* TheOneThatGotAway: She is this to Lancelot.
* ParentalAbandonment: Her father was executed at Uther's hand, and her mother's whereabouts are unknown.
* PluckyGirl
* [[PoliticallyActivePrincess Politically Active Queen]]
* ThePollyanna
* ProgressivelyPrettier
* PromotionToParent: Elyan says of her: "she raised me."
* ProperLady
* RagsToRiches
* TheReliableOne
* RichSuitorPoorSuitor: Their social classes aren't played into the LoveTriangle, but Arthur (rich suitor) and Lancelot (poor suitor) for Gwen.
* RomanticTwoGirlFriendship: With Morgana.
* RulingCouple: With Arthur.
* SecondLove: As Gwen realizes her feelings for Merlin are unrequited in 1x05, she finds a brief romance with Lancelot.
* [[spoiler: SecretSecretKeeper: Reveals in the finale that she knows about Merlin's magic. When she put it together is unknown, but as Merlin never found out she knew in the finale.]]
* ShrinkingViolet: Though she grows out of it.
* SheCleansUpNicely: Gwen's new look in Season 2. Not that she needed it, though.
* SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan: What attracted Gwen to all her three love interests.
* SilkHidingSteel: A kind castle maid who takes pride in her work. If neccesary, she can fight reasonably well.
* StarcrossedLovers: With Lancelot.
* [[StayInTheKitchen Stay In The Castle]]: Guinevere's job as Queen is to maintain control in Camelot while Arthur is away.
* TheStrategist: At times.
* TheyFightCrime: She's teamed up with Merlin on more than one occasion to solve the MysteryOfTheWeek.
* TookALevelInBadass: Defintely seems to be the case in series 5 after [[spoiler: becoming High Queen]].
* TrueBlueFemininity: Many of her dresses are blue; particularly in series 4.
* TheUnchosenOne: Unlike Arthur, Merlin, Morgana and Mordred, who all have their destinies outlined by various prophesies and portentous words by the Dragon, Guinevere becomes Queen because Arthur loves her. Other than Morgana’s dreams, she is not mentioned in any prophesy.
* UnfazedEveryman: She's seen Merlin get up to some truly bizarre things over the years, but seldom reacts with anything more than a bemused smile.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: With Arthur and Lancelot. Her supposed crush on Merlin is more or less abandoned between series 1 and 2.
* WhenSheSmiles: So very much.
* WhoopiEpiphanySpeech: Gives one to Merlin, which encompasses the moral standing of the show, [[JustEatGilligan outlining why Uther can't just be killed]].
* [[WillTheyOrWontThey Will They Or Won't They]]: Arthur and Gwen. Their budding relationship constantly grows strained because of their different social classes.
** TheyDo: They are [[spoiler:finally married at the end of series four]].
* WomenAreWiser
* [[spoiler: TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask: She has to act as regent of Camelot when Arthur heads into danger, and it is not easy for her.]]
* YourCheatingHeart: [[spoiler:{{Averted}}, despite the legendary expectations. She's faithful to Arthur, and [[KissingUnderTheInfluence kisses Lancelot only when under a spell]]]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Uther Pendragon]]
!Uther Pendragon (Anthony Head)

[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Uther_965.jpg]]

Uther Pendragon is the ruthless king of Camelot who has outlawed magic within the kingdom. Often his hatred for magic blinds him from his tyrant-like nature, but he nevertheless believes what he is doing for Camelot is right. While Uther does not often show it, he does strongly care about his son Arthur and his ward Morgana, as well as acknowledging loyalty from his subjects e.g. Gaius and Merlin (occasionally).

* [[AbusiveParents Abusive Father]]: In many ways, at various points, to both Arthur and Morgana.
* AcheyScars: He has an old battle wound in his side that he sometimes complains about.
* AdultsAreUseless
* TheAlcoholic: Subtly implied, as Uther is frequently seen with a goblet in hand. Though given the calamities that often nearly spell the end of Camelot, you can understand why his reaction would be INeedAFreakingDrink.
* AntiVillain: [[SlidingScaleOfAntiVillains Type 3 with a bit of Type 1 as well.]]
* BadassNormal
* BadassLongcoat
* [[spoiler:BackFromTheDead]]: Temporarily, in 5x03.
* BloodOnTheseHands: He clearly suffers from a guilty conscience when faced with the apparitions of his deceased wife and the children he drowned.
* BrokenPedestal: Arthur gradually comes to realize that his father is not the infallible father/king that he initially believed him to be.
* CreateYourOwnVillain: Uther certainly played a large part in how Morgana turned out.
* DespairEventHorizon: [[spoiler:When he realizes the depths of his daughter's hatred for him]].
* DisproportionateRetribution
* DotingParent: To Morgana, but only ''after'' she returns from her year-long absence. Before that, he could be quite distant.
* MrFanservice
* [[spoiler:FinalSpeech]]: He manages [[spoiler:a few last words to Arthur before slipping into a coma that he awakens from only very briefly]].
* FreudianExcuse: His extreme hatred of magic comes from the circumstances of Arthur's birth: [[spoiler: Uther was desperate for an heir. His wife couldn't conceive, so he asked Nimueh to help him have a son. She didn't tell him, however, that giving life by magic requires the taking of a life to keep the balance. Arthur was born, but Uther's wife dies.]]
* HeWhoFightsMonsters
* HeyItsThatGuy: King [[RepoTheGeneticOpera Nathan]] [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Giles]] Pendragon.
* HeroicBSOD: Is rendered catatonic after [[spoiler: Morgana betrays him in the third series finale. One year later, he's still a shell of the man he once was, leaving Arthur ruling the land in his stead]].
* {{Hypocrite}}
* {{Jerkass}}
* JerkassHasAPoint: His extremist stance toward magic would be considerably less understandable if not for the fact that nearly ''every'' magic-user in the series who isn't named Merlin turns out to be evil -- and not in the "we're desperate and fighting for our lives" sense, but full-on murderous sadism and smirking villainy.
** Unfortunate FridgeLogic implies that the crazy villains were the only ones to survive his great purge, thanks to their paranoia and justified fear of the king. The less dangerous magic users wouldn't have expected for a just king to slaughter them all.
** Or that they were DrivenToVillainy.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: On every issue except magic, though there is rather more Jerk than Gold. Notably he is very sympathetic to Merlin's mother when Ealdor is being attacked and expresses a desire to see the JerkAss who's doing it wiped off the face of the earth.
* JudgeJuryAndExecutioner: There is apparently some sort of court system in Camelot (people speak of getting "fair trials") but when it comes down to it, Uther can demand whatever sentencing he likes on whoever he deems guilty.
* KickTheDog: Just about every episode.
* [[spoiler: KilledOffForReal]]
* KnightTemplar / KnightTemplarParent
* [[LikeASonToMe Like A Daughter To Me]]: Morgana. [[spoiler:Quite literally.]]
* LoveMakesYouEvil: He hates magic so much, because it caused a death of his beloved wife.
* PapaWolf: Is very protective of Arthur and Morgana when it comes to life-threatening situations (usually Arthur) or kidnapping attempts (usually Morgana).
** We all knew that once Aredian [[WhatAnIdiot pulled a knife on Morgana]] in 2x07 (in front of
[[Characters/MerlinMainCast Main Cast]]: Merlin, Arthur, and ''Uther'', no less) that he wasn't going to leave Camelot ''alive''.
* ParentalSubstitute: For Morgana. [[spoiler: At least, it seems this way until it is revealed that she actually ''is'' his illegitimate daughter.]]
* PetTheDog: At the end of ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E09Excalibur}} Excalibur]]''. It's obvious that Uther loves his children, and speaks of his late wife as "my soul." He's also fond of Gaius, and ''can'' be made to see reason on several issues.
* TroubledSympatheticBigot: His hatred of magic stems from his grief and guilt over his wife's death (troubled), he dearly loves both his children (sympathetic) and yet he is utterly ruthless and hypocritical when it comes to eradicating those that practice magic (bigot).
* RoyallyScrewedUp
* UpperClassTwit: Sometimes.
* VillainProtagonist
* VillainousBSOD: Suffers a nasty one once Morgana brings to light how much she truly hates him in 3x13
* WellIntentionedExtremist: He is convinced that magic is evil and threatens Camelot.
* WhatTheHellHero: Uther gets this A LOT.
** But only sometimes to his face.
* WouldHurtAChild: Has ordered the deaths of children in the past (via drowning) as well as the attempted execution of Mordred.
* WouldHitAGirl: Has no problem with this. He's attacked both Morgana and Guinevere.
* YouAreGrounded: To his children, several times. He's not adverse to shutting them in the dungeons either.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Gaius]]
!Gaius (Richard Wilson)

[[quoteright:288:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s01e00_01_gaius_288x352_5452.jpg]]

The court physician, Gaius took Merlin under his care in his arrival to Camelot. He attempts to voice reason to Uther's judgement and ideals, but often gets rebuffed until his suspicions are proven correct.

* AsYouKnow: Gaius is the KING of this trope. How many hundreds of time have we heard him say some variation of: "you/he/she can't use magic or you'll be killed" or "we can't tell anyone about Morgana/Agravaine/any other obvious villain because they'd never believe us".
* BadassGrandpa: [[spoiler: Gaius takes on a Dorocha without even flinching in order to save Gwen]].
* BigDamnHeroes: Saves Merlin from Morgause in 3x13.
* CanonForeigner: You won't find any Gaius in [[KingArthur Arthurian legends]], he was created specifically for the show.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: In the first handful of episodes, he was a typical AbsentMindedProfessor who couldn't keep track of what day it was, accidentally set his bench on fire, and whose (egregious) EstablishingCharacterMoment was falling off a ladder. Later he became a much more astute mentor with FeetOfClay.
* TheConfidant: To Merlin and Uther, and occasionally to Guinevere and Morgana (in the early years) as well.
* CoolOldGuy
* CourtMage: Several episodes imply that Gaius was the CourtMage before sorcery was outlawed in Camelot. One can infer that he was spared during the purge due to his loyalty to Uther, his skill as a physician and because his knowledge of sorcery meant he was invaluable at identifying any magical threats to the kingdom.
* DeadpanSnarker
* DemotedToExtra: In series 4, with the exception of one episode. Even more so in series 5, where pretty much every scene and all of his dialogue is either plot-relevant exposition or warnings to be careful.
* FascinatingEyebrow
* FingerlessGloves: He's seldom seen without them.
* IgnoredExpert: He had perhaps a 50% success rate in convincing Uther of dangerous magical circumstances.
* IntergenerationalFriendship: With Arthur and particularly Guinevere (Merlin falls into the LikeASonToMe category).
* LikeASonToMe: Merlin.
* TheMasquerade: He's a retired magician.
** Becomes a BrokenMasquerade in 2x07, as it's revealed that Uther always knew.
* TheMedic
* TheMentor
* MentorOccupationalHazard: Almost dies [[RuleOfThree three]] times.
* OhCrap: In ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E10QueenOfHearts}} Queen Of Hearts]]'' he is asked to identify a poultice as magical. After confirming it, he asks where it was found and is told: "Arthur's bedroom." He looks over at [[spoiler:a smirking Morgana]] and realizes that he's just [[spoiler:condemned Guinevere]].
* OldRetainer
* ParentalSubstitute: For Merlin.
** To a lesser extent, Gwen as well.
* RetiredBadass: He may have given up practicing magic, but he still has it in him.
* SecretKeeper
* ShipperOnDeck: From the looks of 2x13, he approves of Arthur/Gwen.
* TeamDad: To Merlin and Gwen especially, but also Arthur and Morgana (though he [[spoiler:messed up spectacularly in that case]]).
* YouJustToldMe: A variation in which he forces Merlin to reveal his powers by tipping a bucket of water over. Merlin automatically freezes it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Characters Introduced in Season 1]]

!The Great Dragon: Kilgharrah (John Hurt)

[[quoteright:256:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bigger_dragon_9908.jpg]]

The last of the dragons who was captured during the time of the Great Purge and imprisoned in the dungeons under Camelot as an example of Uther's victory over magic. With an extensive knowledge of future events, the dragon introduces Merlin to his destiny and provides guidance over the course of his life.

* AndroclesLion: {{Inverted}}
* AntiVillain: Until his HeelFaceTurn, as he has ''very'' good reason to despise Uther.
* BecauseDestinySaysSo: Practically his motto.
* BigBad: The final episode of series two.
* BigDamnHeroes: [[spoiler:Comes to Merlin's rescue in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E01TheTearsOfUtherPendragonPartI}} The Tears of Uther Pendragon Part I]]'', then again in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E02TheDarkestHourPartII}} The Darkest Hour Part II]]''.]]
* DemotedToExtra: In Series 5. [[spoiler: With good reason, as he is dying of old age.]]
* EccentricMentor
* FanNickname: [[HoYay Slash Dragon]].
* GiantFlyer
* HeelFaceTurn
* ItHasBeenAnHonor: In ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E02TheDarkestHourPartII}} The Darkest Hour Part II]]'' this is his reaction to Merlin stating that he’s going to sacrifice himself to seal off the spirit world. You can clearly hear the fondness and grief in his voice at the notion of Merlin dying, but it’s also obvious that Kilgharrah is incredibly proud of Merlin’s conviction and good nature.
* LastOfHisKind: [[spoiler:Not anymore due to the hatching of Aithusa.]]
* ManipulativeBastard
* [[EvilMentor Morally Ambiguous Mentor]]
* MrExposition
* NoNameGiven: For the first two series at least. In the last episode of series 2, he was identified as "Kilgharrah" for the first time.
* OmniscientMoralityLicense: He's advised/ordered Merlin to do some ''incredibly'' dodgy stuff, including letting a child die and killing a terrified woman.
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: Talkative and controlled by Dragonlords.
* SapientSteed: Whenever Merlin hitches a ride.
* [[spoiler:SecretlyDying: Although the secret's out in The Kindness of Strangers.]]
* TreacherousAdvisor
* WhatTheHellHero: In ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E05TheCrystalCave}} The Crystal Cave]]'' he’s enraged at the fact that Merlin forces him to divulge a spell to heal Morgana by using his Dragonlord powers, considering it a serious breach of trust.
* WouldHurtAChild: At least by omission: he tries to prevent Merlin from saving Mordred, when Mordred was a little kid and still ''very'' innocent.

!Nimueh (Michelle Ryan)

[-"I have watched so many people I love die at your hands, Uther Pendragon. Now it is your turn."-]

[[quoteright:203:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Nimeuh_1210.jpg]]

The sorceress who cast the spell that allowed Uther and Igraine to conceive Arthur. After Igraine died in childbirth as per the conditions of the magic, it served as a catalyst for Uther's hatred of magic and the massacre that followed. Throughout the first season, Nimueh works against Uther from a distance in order to undermine his rule. She appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E03TheMarkOfNimueh}} The Mark of Nimueh]]'', ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E04ThePoisonedChalice}} The Poisoned Chalice]]'', ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E09Excalibur}} Excalibur]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E13LeMortdArthur}} Le Mort d'Arthur]]''.

* ArcVillain: She's only had a role in series 1.
* BestServedCold
* BigBad: Of series 1.
* DealWithTheDevil: Merlin makes a deal with her in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E13LeMortdArthur}} Le Mort d'Arthur]]''.
* DecoyDamsel: In ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E04ThePoisonedChalice}} The Poisoned Chalice]]''.
* [[EvilSorcerer Evil Sorceress]]
* [[HeyItsThatGuy Hey It's That Girl]]: After she dies, she [[Recap/DoctorWhoNSS4E15PlanetOfTheDead ends up on a sandy world with David Tennant]].
** Also recognizable to UK soap fans as [[EastEnders Zoe Slater]].
** She's also [[{{Jekyll}} Dr. Jackman's]] assistant.
* [[HighPriest High Priestess]]: Of the Old Religion.
* HotWitch
* InTheHood: In ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E09Excalibur}} Excalibur]]''.
* LadyInRed
* MsFanservice
* KilledOffForReal
* OlderThanTheyLook
* PlayingWithFire: She throws a fireball in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E13LeMortdArthur}} Le Mort d'Arthur]]''.
* PoisonIsEvil
* SeenItAll: Her response when Gaius comes to her to offer his life in exchange for Merlin's.
* StarterVillain
* TamperingWithFoodAndDrink: {{Inverted}} in the ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E04ThePoisonedChalice}} The Poisoned Chalice]]'', in that it is the ''chalice'' that is poisoned, not the drink.
* UnknownRival: Though she is a formidable opponent, most of her evil plans are done from a distance, and Prince Arthur never discovers who she truly is after she pulls a DecoyDamsel on him. She interacts only once with King Uther (who would be her major foe) but then dies in the season finale without having any sort of confrontation with either Uther or Arthur. In fact, it's unclear whether they even know that she's dead.
* WaterSourceTampering: In ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E03TheMarkOfNimueh}} The Mark of Nimueh]]'' to create a MysticalPlague.
* WeCanRuleTogether: She tries this with Merlin. It doesn't work.
* TheVamp

!Lancelot (Santiago Cabrera)

[[quoteright:235:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/34-4-1_9996.jpg]]

[-"I would die for you one hundred times over. Live for me, or everything that I am has been for nothing."-]

A commoner who desires to become a knight of Camelot. He shares a brief romance with Gwen and becomes one of Merlin's long-term [[SecretKeeper Secret Keepers]]. He appeared in the first, second, third and fourth series.

* AllLoveIsUnrequited
* BackForTheFinale
* [[BettyAndVeronica Betty]]: To Arthur's [[BettyAndVeronica Veronica]].
* BigDamnHeroes: With Percival.
* BrownEyes
* [[spoiler:CameBackWrong]]: [[spoiler:Deliberately so on Morgana's part.]]
* CatchPhrase: In the three episodes named after him he utters the phrase: "My name is Lancelot". In all three cases, it's his first line of the episode.
* ConflictingLoyalty: Always between what he wants and what he thinks he deserves. In his first appearance it was between becoming a knight of Camelot and staying true to his ideals by not taking credit for something Merlin achieved; in later episodes it exists between his fealty to Arthur and his desire for Guinevere.
* DidNotGetTheGirl
** EverythingButTheGirl
* [[spoiler:DyingAsYourself: When he dies the second time, he thanks Merlin for freeing him from Morgana's spell.]]
* [[spoiler:EvilCostumeSwitch]]: When he [[spoiler:comes BackFromTheDead as Morgana's UnwittingPawn, he's dressed in black. It's a wonder the good guys didn't notice...]]
* FailedASpotCheck: He did ''not'', which is the reason he is aware of Merlin’s magic. He clearly overheard Merlin’s incantation that helped him kill the Griffin. Worthy of noticing that he has been the ''only'' character to come to this logical conclusion.
** GenreSavvy
* {{Foil}}: To Arthur.
* [[spoiler:GoOutWithASmile: Twice, even.]]
* [[spoiler: HeroicSacrifice]]
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Merlin. It helps that they both think the world of each other.
* HeyItsThatGuy: [[Series/{{Heroes}} Issac Mendez]] is Lancelot.
* HonorBeforeReason: Rejects the offer of becoming a real knight of Camelot in favor of first being true to himself.
* IGaveMyWord: In ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E01TheDarkestHourPartI}} The Darkest Hour]]'' he promises Gwen that he'll protect Arthur, no matter what. [[spoiler: He sacrifices himself to uphold the promise]].
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: Leaves in Season 2 after realizing that Arthur is in love with
Gwen, and he doesn't want to come in between them.
** And again in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E01TheDarkestHourPartI}} The Darkest Hour]]'' in which he [[spoiler:sacrifices himself]] to preserve the Arthur/Gwen relationship.

* [[spoiler:KilledOffForReal: The writers have confirmed that his story arc is finished, and he won't return to life again. HesDeadJim.]]
* KnightInShiningArmor
* LongingLook: His expression of choice whenever in the vicinity of Guinevere.
* MrFanservice
* NiceGuy: Is he ever. Perhaps the nicest person in the entire series.
* PermaStubble
* PuppyDogEyes
* RescueRomance: Played straight and then {{subverted}} in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E04LancelotAndGuinevere}} Lancelot and Guinevere]]''. The two of them bond extremely quickly due to the life-or-death situation they find themselves in, but it is actually Arthur who ends up saving ''both'' of them.
* TheRival
* RomanticFalseLead: His reappearance causes some conflict to the Arthur/Gwen romance.
* RomanticRunnerUp
* [[spoiler:SacrificialLion]]
* ScarsAreForever: Subverted. In 2x04 he's given a scar on his cheek which has disappeared by his next appearance in series 3.
* SecretKeeper: One of only two regular characters that knows Merlin's secret.
* SelfMadeMan: Born a commoner.
** SelfProclaimedKnight
* [[spoiler:SoullessShell]]: In 4x09
* SpannerInTheWorks: To Arthur and Guinevere's relationship.
* StarcrossedLovers: With Gwen.
* TallDarkAndHandsome
* WhiteStallion

!Mordred (Asa Butterfield/Alexander Vlahos)

[-"My name is Mordred."-]

[[quoteright:229:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Senza_titolo-3_7351.jpg]]

Mordred is a young Druid boy who Morgana grows instantly attached to. According to the Great Dragon, Mordred will one day kill Arthur. Merlin's desire to help Mordred becomes heavily strained because of this. Also, another prophecy states that [[spoiler:Mordred and Morgana will be united in evil]]. He appears in the first, second and fifth series.

* {{Adorkable}}: When the older knights tease him.
* AmbiguouslyEvil
* BecauseYouWereNiceToMe: This is most likely the cause of Mordred's loyalty towards Morgana.
** He also wants to save Arthur 'cause Arthur saved him when he was a child.
* BigBad: Eventually.
* BigBrotherWorship: Towards Arthur. Ironic, considering Mordred is his son in the legends.
* BrokenPedestal: All the time. He idolized Merlin, who's like the magic world's greatest rockstar, and he keeps trying to kill him for no reason. He has a special bond with
Morgana, who was sweet and caring, and she became a vengeful woman driven by hate. He worships Arthur, and he [[spoiler:has his beloved hanged]]. He considers the knights friends, and they [[spoiler:let him down when he needed them the most]].
Uther, Gaius.
* ChildMage
* ChildProdigy
* ChildrenForcedToKill
* CreepyBlueEyes: His unblinking gray-blue eyes when he is a child can be quite unsettling.
* CreepyChild
* DarkAndTroubledPast: His father was killed; he was injured and sentenced to death; he saw his [[DoomedHometown village destroyed]]; he was hunted down and forced to kill and after the TimeSkip he said he learned to keep a low profile to not be burned to the stake or sold out. Also, considering how clueless he is about the Old Relogion, he probably didn't meet
[[Characters/MerlinOthers Other Characters]]: Characters introduced in seasons 1-4, other sorcerers after leaving Alvarr.
* DeliberatelyCuteChild
* DesignatedVillain: ''[[invoked]]'' He is prophesied to be the one who will kill Arthur. When he was still a child and apparently did no harm, the Great Dragon bluntly told Merlin to leave him to his death. Later Merlin himself adopts the belief that Mordred will be up to no good.
* TheDreaded: To Merlin, who believes that he'll one day kill Arthur.
* EnfanteTerrible
* EvilSorcerer: A very young one.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: He will someday kill Arthur.
** Right now there is a proper vision of him killing/wounding Arthur.
* FreudianExcuse: Mordred's storyline starts with him seriously injured by Camelot's guards and his father executed by Uther; then he is imprisoned and sentenced to death. He returned to his people only to have his mentor killed, his village destroyed by Arthur and he's forced to leave Morgana to save himself. After that he's openly hostile to the Pendragon, plus his caretaker is [[ManipulativeBastard Alvarr]]; then Merlin, someone he considers sort of an ally, sides with Camelot instead. Three episodes, and he already has a hell of a FreudianExcuse for the day he will be the BigBad.
** And now [[spoiler:the girl he loved gets killed at Arthur's order]].
* FromNobodyToNightmare: In his first appearance he was just a helpless kid. With each subsequent episode he displays considerably more power, until he returns as an adult, and is one of the few
villains who not only unnerves Merlin, but genuinely terrifies him.
* HeartwarmingOrphan: {{Subverted}}. He did have traces of it at the start, but at the same time he was ''also'' a CreepyChild from Day One.
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: Though he's supposedly destined to kill Arthur, his loyalties are hard to determine, especially when he [[spoiler:turns on Morgana
and stabs her InTheBack, saving Arthur's life in the process.]]
** [[spoiler:He has a FaceHeelTurn in 5x11]].
* HeyItsThatGuy: As a child he was [[TheBoyInTheStripedPyjamas Bruno]] and [[NannyMcphee Norman]].
* HiddenAgendaVillain: No one is quite sure what he's up to (if anything), least of all Merlin.
* IKnowYourTrueName: He constantly (but telepathically) refers to Merlin as "Emrys"; in fact, he's the first person in the show to mention that name to Merlin.
* InnocentBlueEyes: When he first appears.
** CreepyBlueEyes: Every other time.
* InnocenceLost: Probably [[BecauseDestinySaysSo because destiny says so]]: he has to [[BigBad kill Arthur]], so a lot happens to make him change from a [[TheWoobie scared little boy]] to a [[EnfanteTerrible vindictive kid]].
* [[spoiler:KilledOffForReal:]] As of ''The Diamond of the Day Part 2.''
* [[LittleMissBadass Little Mister Badass]]: As demonstrated when he kicked the asses of a bunch of Camelot's guards with his magic in 2x03 and 2x11.
* MagicKnight: In 5x01, we see a prophetic vision of Mordred on the battlefield, wearing chainmail and wielding a {{BFS}}.
* MysteriousPast: Particularly in the [[TimeSkip Time Skips]]. How'd he go from Iseldir's care to Aglaine's care to Alvarr's care to working with bandits?
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: NamesToRunAwayFrom/{{Mor}}[[TheDreaded dred]]
* NowLetMeCarryYou: Mordred is glad to take care of an injured Morgana, in thanks for her previously caring for him.
* OracularUrchin: It would seem so, as Alvarr says Mordred is the only one powerful enough to use the Crystal of Neahtid. Considering even ''Merlin'' had trouble with it, this would suggest great power indeed.
* TheOtherDarrin: He's been recast as [[http://ontd-merlin.livejournal.com/378554.html 23 year old Alexander Vlahos]].
* ParentalAbandonment: His father died and his mother was [[MissingMom never mentioned in the first place]].
* ParentalSubstitute: Not very lucky with them: the first one was killed by Camelot's knights and the second was a ManipulativeBastard who wants to use him and Morgana to bring Uther down.
* PuppyDogEyes: Oddly, teen-Mordred seems a puppy who's trying to be loved much more than [[CreepyChild child-Mordred]].
* PutOnABus: Unfortunately, Asa Butterfield (Mordred) won't be in Season 3 and 4 because of scheduled filming conflicts. He ran off into the forest at the end of season two and hasn't been seen since.
** TheBusCameBack: He's been recast for series five.
* ReformedButRejected: Seems the case with Merlin: since his returning Mordred has done anything evil or wrong, [[spoiler:he actually saved Arthur life ''twice'', one almost dying in the process]], but Merlin doesn't trust him and basically wants him dead.
* RuleOfThree: Has appeared three times in the first two seasons.
** With the recasting he is in three seasons.
* TheRunaway
* ScarfOfAssKicking: And it's ''bigger than Merlin's''.
* SchiffOneLiner / WhamLine: 1x08 when he reveals his identity -- the above quote.
* TheSociopath: A budding example.
* SonicScream
* StartOfDarkness: In 2x03 Mordred is forced to kill some soldiers in self-defense, but shows absolutely no remorse.
* TheTeamWannabe: Looks like Mordred really wants to be part of ''something'', and he's trying really hard to gain Merlin's trust and friendship.
* {{Telepathy}}: Has contacted several characters -- including Merlin and Morgana -- with his thoughts.
* ThisIsUnforgivable: When Merlin attempts to prevent Mordred from escaping the Camelot knights in 2x11, Mordred ends up killing the knights and warning Merlin telepathically that he will not forgive Merlin nor will he forget this betrayal.
** Looks like he did forgive him, though: some things he said seems to imply that Mordred considers his old attitude a result of being a child, not fully understanding what was going on and all the implications.
*** Harming his beloved is an entirely different thing.
* TimeShiftedActor: Thanks to the [[TimeSkip Time Skips]] between seasons, it's been seven years since Mordred was last seen, thus allowing Alexander Vlahos to step in as an older version of the same character.
* TroublingUnchildlikeBehavior: Merlin is shocked when he witnesses Mordred killing several knights with a SonicScream - even worse is the kid's reaction - he looks around at the bodies with a small smile and casually runs away.
* TheVoiceless: Played straight in 1x08, where Morgana start to wonder if he's too afraid to speak or he can't. In later episodes Mordred is more verbal, but still seems to prefer telepathy over voice.
* WildCard: Season 5. [[spoiler: Stabs Morgana in the back, joins the knights, shows kindness to the prisoners, doesn't use his magic, and doesn't reveal Merlin's identity to either Arthur or Morgana.]] So far, the show's doing a very good job not letting us know if he's heel or face.
* WiseBeyondTheirYears: Or so it would seem.
* YouAreNotAlone: He tries this on Merlin ''and'' Morgana in 5x02, only to be cold-shouldered by Merlin and on the receiving end of a crazy rant from Morgana. One gets the sense that he [[spoiler:chose Arthur]] not just because [[IOweYouMyLife I Owe Him My Life]] but because he doesn't fully trust the only other two magic-users on the show.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Characters Introduced in Season 2]]

!Sir Leon (Rupert Young)

[[quoteright:224:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Leonknight_1597.jpg]]

A Knight of Camelot seen throughout series 2 and made a semi-regular in the third, fourth and fifth series.

* AscendedExtra
* BackStory: Is linked with Gwen. We find out at the end of season 3 that her mother was a maid in his family's household, and [[LikeBrotherAndSister the two of them grew up together]].
* BadassNormal: It really shines in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E02TheTearsOfUtherPendragonPartII}} The Tears of Uther Pendragon]]''.
* BearerOfBadNews: It's usually his job to inform people that evil forces are advancing on Camelot.
* CanonForeigner: On account of him starting as a BitCharacter and becoming an AscendedExtra thanks to the actor's popularity among the rest of the cast, Sir Leon is the only knight of the Round Table that has no basis in Arthurian legend.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: In one of his first appearances (''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E07TheWitchfinder}} The Witchfinder]]'') he is shown tearing apart Gaius's study in an attempt to find evidence of magic, smashing bottles and overturning tables. It's difficult to imagine the later, more gentler, Leon doing such a thing.
** Though in fairness, it was during a WitchHunt that [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness left tensions running high]]. After all, if he hadn't have searched ''everything'' and it later turned out that Gaius ''was'' a sorcerer, Leon could have been burnt at the stake as a collaborator.
* ChildhoodFriends: With Guinevere.
* DisguisedInDrag
* KnightInShiningArmor
* TheLancer: To Arthur.
* NumberTwo: He seems to be this to Arthur among the Knights.
* MauveShirt
* OlderAndWiser: Among the Knights. And it shows, as he is often calm, collected and sensible.
* RomanceOnTheSet: There are persistent rumors that he's dating AngelCoulby.
* ShirtlessScene: Which cemented his position as a major cast member.

!Morgause (EmiliaFox)

[[quoteright:213:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/20-2_3968.jpg]]

[-"Arthur Pendragon, a great destiny awaits you. The battle for your soul is about to begin."-]

A mysterious sorceress who has a connection to Morgana, Morgause desires the doom of Uther and Camelot. She appears in the second, third and fourth series.

* ActionGirl: So much that she can best ''Arthur'' in a duel.
** DarkActionGirl
* TheBaroness: The Rosa Klebb type.
* BigBad: Season 3, after being built up some during Season 2.
* BigSisterInstinct / CoolBigSis: Towards Morgana. Seriously, what sister would [[spoiler:give you a kingdom to reign over?]]
* BlondesAreEvil
* BreakoutVillain: She was only going to be around for a couple of episodes until the writers released how important she was to Morgana's StoryArc.
* BrownEyes
* ChainmailBikini: Averted. She gears up for combat appropriately.
* EnemyMine / FireForgedFriends: Morgause and Cenred seem to be allies over their mutual hatred for Uther.
* [[EvilSorcerer Evil Sorceress]]
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Morgana.
* [[HighPriest High Priestess]]: Of the Old Religion.
* HotWitch
* KickTheDog: Putting a spell on Morgana to make her the vessel to summon the Knights of Medhir in order to destroy Camelot ''without'' telling Morgana probably wasn't Morgause's best idea in the world...
* [[spoiler: KilledOffForReal: By ''Morgana'' in the series 4 premier. It's a MercyKill, with Morgause's full consent.]]
* [[KnightTemplarBigBrother Knight Templar Big Sister]]
* LadyInRed
* LongLostRelative
* MsFanservice
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: NamesToRunAwayFrom/{{Mor}}
* OnlyMostlyDead: [[spoiler:Apparently killed in the season 3 finale, but she comes back in season 4. Given her mutated face, it's clear that she and Morgana went to extreme lengths to keep her alive.]]
* PetTheDog: In spite of her plot to murder Uther, Morgause does find time to reunite with her half-sister Morgana and give her a bracelet that would help her sleep. [[spoiler:And help her take over Camelot...]]
* TheReveal: She is Morgana's [[LongLostRelative half]]-[[SeparatedAtBirth sister]]. Though it's not totally clear through which parent they're related, popular FanWank is that they share a mother: Vivienne.
* RomanticTwoGirlFriendship: With Morgana.
* SamusIsAGirl: Her {{Badass}} debut.
* SupernaturalGoldEyes: When using magic.
* ThanatosGambit: [[spoiler:She ensures that her death furthers Morgana's cause]].
* UnkemptBeauty: When fully armored. Otherwise, she seems to take time to style her hair and also dress very nicely.
* VillainsNeverLie: Everything she tells/shows Arthur about his mother is the truth, and it's ''Merlin'' that has to coax Arthur back into believing the lies surrounding the circumstances of his birth.
* WellIntentionedExtremist

!Freya (Laura Donnelly)

[[quoteright:213:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/13-2_6426.jpg]]

[-"You already saved me. You made me feel loved."-]

Freya is a young Druid woman with a dark secret who Merlin protects from captivity. They develop a strong bond in the process. Freya becomes Merlin's first love. She appears in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E09TheLadyOfTheLake}} The Lady of the Lake]]'', ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E13TheComingOfArthurPartII}} The Coming of Arthur Part II]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E13TheDiamondOfTheDayPartII}} The Diamond of the Day Part II]].'' [[hottip:*:Or at least her arm does]]

* BackForTheFinale
* BirdsOfAFeather: Merlin is able to develop such a strong bond with newcomer Freya because of the fact that they are both born of magic and must keep it a secret. In the process, they fall in love.
* BreakTheCutie
** KillTheCutie
* BrokenBird
* BrownEyes
* [[ChekhovsGunman Chekhov's Gunman]]: She [[spoiler:returns at the end of Season 3 in order to deliver Excalibur into Merlin's hands so that he can defeat the immortal army.]]
* DiedInYourArmsTonight
* DistressedDamsel
* TheDulcineaEffect
* EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette
* EnigmaticEmpoweringEntity: In her second appearance.
* GiantFlyer: In her winged panther form.
* TheGwenStacy
* InvoluntaryShapeshifting: [[spoiler:She transforms into a giant winged panther at the stroke of midnight.]]
* {{Kuudere}}: Arguably.
* LadyInRed
** LittleDeadRidingHood
* LoveRedeems: She's not ''evil'', but Freya says that Merlin's love for her saved her in more than one way.
* MeaningfulName: Even though "Freya" isn´t one of the names given to the Lady of the Lake in the Arthurian legend, her name is Old Norse for "Lady", and alludes to Freyja, a goddess associated with love who rules over the fields of Fólkvangr, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avalon ''where half of those that die in battle go upon death]].''
* MysteriousWaif
* OneShotCharacter: Though, it is implied that Freya will one day return as the Lady of the Lake in future to help Merlin for helping her.
** [[spoiler:Freya appeared in the final episode of Season 3, at least somewhat.]]
* PainfulTransformation
* ReallyBigCat
** PantheraAwesome
* TheQuietOne
* UnkemptBeauty
* WeHardlyKnewYe

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Characters Introduced in Season 3]]

!Cenred (Tom Ellis)

[[quoteright:223:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Cenred-merlin-on-bbc-16891208-1600-12001211_2858.jpg]]

The ruler of the rivaling kingdom of Cenred (named after himself), Cenred seeks the downfall of Uther and Camelot by becoming an accomplice of Morgause's. He appears in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E01TheTearsOfUtherPendragonPartI}} The Tears of Uther Pendragon Part I]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E02TheTearsOfUtherPendragonPartII}} II]]'', ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E07TheCastleOfFyrien}} The Castle of Fyrien]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E12TheComingOfArthurPartI}} The Coming of Arthur Part I]]''.

* CurtainsMatchTheWindow
* EarlyBirdCameo: Was first mentioned in ''1x10''.
* EnemyMine / FireForgedFriends: Morgause and Cenred seem to be allies over their mutual hatred for Uther.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: He refuses to let his army die and withdraws the battle against Camelot once he realizes they can't win.
* [[spoiler:KilledOffForReal]]
* OhCrap: [[spoiler: When he realizes Morgause is going to kill him, and there's nothing he can do about it]]
* ShipTease: There seems to be ''something'' going on between Cenred and Morgause. According to Morgause, Cenred only wishes to please her.
-->'''Cenred:''' You are very beautiful when you're angry.
-->'''Morgause:''' Is that why you continue to defy me?
-->'''Cenred:''' You wouldn't like it if I made it easy for you.
** And this:
--->'''Morgause''': Of course you do. After all, you stand to gain much from Arthur's death.
--->'''Cenred''': I don't deny it. But I'm rich and powerful already. I do this only to please you.
--->'''Morgause''': (with a seductive look) Is that so? Then please me.
* TallDarkAndHandsome
* TallDarkAndSnarky
* TheUnfought: He barely interacts with any of the good guys, and is ultimately [[spoiler:killed by Morgause]]. (He does briefly get in a SwordFight with Arthur, but it's in a DeletedScene for ''The Castle of Fyrien'' and occurs off-screen).
* [[spoiler: YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness]]

!Gwaine (Eoin Macken)

[[quoteright:200:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gwaineagain-1-1_9559.jpg]]

[-"If there's one thing that I learned from my father's life is that titles don't mean anything. It's what's inside that counts".-]

A man who saves Arthur during a brawl at a town tavern, Gwaine is given hospitality at Camelot until his injuries heal. He resents nobles and is secretly the son of a knight. He helps Merlin in protecting Arthur from danger during the melee. He is a future [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gawain Knight of the Round Table]]. He appears in the third, fourth and fifth series.

* TheAlcoholic: Though not, by any means, in a bad way. Most of the time.
* BackForTheFinale
* BadassNormal: So, so badass.
* BigBrotherInstinct: Seems to have adopted this stance toward Merlin and Elyan, the youngest of the new knights.
* BigDamnHeroes: [[RuleOfThree Three times]] no less.
* TheCharmer: Flirts with Gwen in a playful manner, but when he notices Gwen's feelings for Arthur, the two remain good friends. In fact, their "friendliness" is enough to rile Arthur's [[GreenEyedMonster jealousy]] (and Merlin's amusement of said jealousy).
* DeadpanSnarker
* DisappearedDad: Which gives Merlin and Gwaine something to [[BirdsOfAFeather bond]] [[NotSoDifferent about]].
* DualWielding: And he makes it Badass.
* GuestStarPartyMember: Throughout series three, before becoming a regular recurring character in series four.
* HairFlip: Reached MemeticMutation status by the end of his first episode.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: He's often seen with Percival, the two implied to have become close friends.
* HiddenDepths
* HonorBeforeReason: Refuses to expose his identity as the son of a knight out of his resentment towards nobles -- when Gwaine's father, a knight, died, Gwaine and his mother were left penniless, and the king in their land refused to give them any compensation. Gwaine would later change his opinion of Arthur after Arthur defends him.
* [[spoiler:KilledOffForReal:]] As of ''The Diamond of the Day Part 2.''
* KingIncognito: Gwaine isn't royalty, but secretly comes from a noble family, seeing as his father was a knight.
* KnightInSourArmor: A
minor example. His friendship with Merlin seems to be wearing down his cynicism.
* LoveableRogue
* ManHug: Gives one to Merlin in 3x08, being the first one to hug Merlin.
** And again in 4x02 when [[spoiler: Merlin comes back, healed and alive after the Dorocha attack.]]
* MasterSwordsman
* MrFanservice
* OddFriendship: With Merlin. The two seem to have absolutely nothing in common, but bond fairly quickly.
* PermaStubble
* PluckyComicRelief
* ShirtlessScene: At least three in his introductory episode ([[SarcasmMode oddly enough]], titled ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E04Gwaine}} Gwaine]]'') -- and if he is wearing a shirt, the collar of said shirt is at least hanging open enough to give the audience [[MrFanservice something to look at...]]
* TheSlacker: Even after becoming a Knight of Camelot, he's the one most likely to be goofing off.
* TallDarkAndHandsome

!Elyan (Adetomiwa Edun)

[[quoteright:227:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Elyan_5600.jpg]]

[-'''Gwen''': "He's just one of those people, never settled down, never thinks about the future, just follows his heart wherever it leads him".-]

Guinevere's estranged brother and only sibling. He appears in the third, fourth and fifth series.

* [[AloofOlderBrother Aloof Younger Brother]]: Often away traveling from one place to another and never even visited Gwen when their father died.
* AnAxeToGrind
* BackForTheFinale
* BadassNormal
* BlackDudeDiesFirst: {{Averted}}.
* DeadpanSnarker: On seeing the ruined castle that Arthur has brought them to, he comments: "It's gotta be better than that cave."
* [[spoiler:DeathInTheLimelight: "The Dark Tower".]]
* DemonicPossession: In 4x10
* InTheHood
* ISeeDeadPeople: In 4x10
* LongLostSibling
* MrFanservice
* NowLetMeCarryYou: He pledges his fealty to Arthur in repayment for the rescue Arthur undertakes in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E07TheCastleOfFyrien}} The Castle of Fyrien]]''.
* RaceLift: The legendary Elyan was known as "Elyan the White". In the series, he's played by a black actor. Granted, "the White" would have referred to his pure soul, but it's still pretty funny.
* RememberTheNewGuy
* ShipperOnDeck: At the very least, he certainly isn't ''opposed'' to his sister dating the Prince of Camelot, judging by the smile on his face when they kiss at the end of ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E13TheComingOfArthurPartII}} The Coming of Arthur Part II]]''.
* TokenMinority

!Percival (Tom Hopper)

[[quoteright:215:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/MER15550-1840-718-404-100-1_2090.jpg]]

[-"Your enemies are my enemies."-]

A warrior who arrives with Lancelot in order to help Arthur and his loyalists take back Camelot. Having showed up in the very last episode of the third season, we learn very little about him. He appeared in the third, fourth and fifth series.

* AdaptationalBadass: In the original legends he is the epitome of GoodIsDumb and IdiotHero; here, he is the strong, silent type and more than capable of holding his own.
* BadassNormal: Bordering on SuperStrength.
* BigDamnHeroes: With Lancelot.
* BruiserWithASoftCenter
* DogPileOfDoom: Though he throws it off pretty quickly.
* EleventhHourRanger
* EvenTheGuysWantHim: Bradley James has freely admitted to having a man-crush on Tom Hopper.
* FriendToAllChildren: His EstablishingCharacterMoment in the first episode of season 4 is to endanger his own life to save three frightened children by carrying them all to safety in his arms.
* GentleGiant
* HeterosexualLifePartners: He's often seen with Gwaine, the two implied to have become close friends.
* LastEpisodeNewCharacter
* OneHeadTaller: He towers over the rest of the
characters.
* PietaPlagiarism: In 4x02 he carries Merlin in this manner.
* ShirtlessScene: He finally gets [[WalkingShirtlessScene an extended one]] in 5x01 and 5x02.
* SleevesAreForWimps: He's got them in the featured picture, but most of the time his armour is sleeveless, the better to show off Tom Hopper's rather extraordinary biceps.
* TheQuietOne
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: A mild one, since it's the last episode, but Percival is last seen tracking Arthur and Merlin. He's back at [[spoiler: Gwen's coronation, though]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Characters Introduced in Season 4]]

! Lord Agravaine de Bois (NathanielParker)

[[quoteright:199:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Agravaineblackclothes_pic_9130_9699.jpg]]

[-'''Gaius''': "I suspect he's not as virtuous as he seems."-]

Arthur's uncle on his mother's side, Agravaine has been helping his nephew run the kingdom during Uther's sickness. It soon becomes clear that he's not a man to be trusted. He appears only in the fourth series.

* AffablyEvil
* AllLoveIsUnrequited: He seems to have a thing for Morgana. She couldn't care less.
* AristocratsAreEvil: Played ''very'' straight.
* BitchInSheepsClothing
* BlackCloak
* BridalCarry: Carries Morgana like this when he finds her injured in the forest in 4x05.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: He wears black, as does [[spoiler: Morgana]]. That pretty much sums it up.
* ConsummateLiar: He can look his nephew in the eye and swear on his dead sister's life that he isn't betraying him. (He is).
* CreepyUncle
* DarkIsEvil
* DevilInPlainSight
* DirtyOldMan: Seems to be creepily fascinated by both Morgana and Guinevere, and enjoys standing behind their chairs with his hands close to their necks. Overlaps with FoeYay and {{UST}}, especially in Morgana's case.
* EvilChancellor
* EvilIsNotWellLit: He is first introduced stepping out of the shadows.
* EvilUncle
* HandsomeLech: A sinister version.
* HeyItsThatGuy: Hey, it's InspectorLynley!
* HiddenAgendaVillain: He wants to sabotage Arthur's reign, but as of yet, we're not really sure ''why''. Unless his hatred of Uther extends to Arthur by proxy.
** A DeletedScene reveals that he's [[spoiler:in love with Morgana]].
* HiddenDepths: The end of 4x06 reveals that his feelings for Morgana run deeper than than we'd been led to expect.
* HypercompetentSidekick: Agravine is much more capable that Morgana as a manipulator and user of XanatosSpeedChess. In fact, if it where not for devotion towards Morgana, he would be a much better villain.
* {{Jerkass}}
* [[spoiler:KarmicDeath]]: Especially since no one really cares that [[spoiler:he's dead]].
* [[spoiler: KilledOffForReal]]
* LoveMartyr: His devotion to Morgana is rather inexplicable considering she holds him in utter contempt.
* TheMole
* ObviouslyEvil: Painfully so.
* OhCrap: [[http://oi48.tinypic.com/15fof8l.jpg A fairly priceless one]] when Gwaine catches him about to slit Gaius's throat.
* TreacherousAdvisor
* PromotionToOpeningTitles: As of 4x04 [[spoiler: after Uther's death in 4x03]], he's credited as a main cast member.
* RegentForLife: Played with. Though Arthur is more or less running Camelot, he appoints his uncle regent in his absence.
* RememberTheNewGuy
* RewardedAsATraitorDeserves: [[spoiler:Dies unmourned and unburied in an underground cavern]].
* ShooOutTheNewGuy: After being introduced at the start of series 4 and [[PromotionToOpeningTitles promoted to the opening titles]] in episode 3, he's written out permanently at the end of that same season without really doing anything particularly memorable or important during his run. Even [[spoiler:his death scene is all about Merlin]].
* {{Slimeball}}
* ThickerThanWater: Arthur's reason for trusting him so implicitly.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity
* WhatMeasureIsAMook: His PlotArmour eventually fails him, and he [[spoiler:is killed]] alongside a bunch of FacelessMooks.
* XanatosSpeedChess: Especially throughout 4x6.

! The White Dragon: Aithusa

[[quoteright:211:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/big_dragon_3903.jpg]]

[-"The white dragon bodes well for Albion, for you and Arthur, and for the land you will build together."-]

A white baby dragon that Merlin hatches from a long-dormant egg, and said to be a good omen for the coming Golden Age of Arthur's reign. The events of the series four finale throw this into some doubt. He appears in the fourth and fifth series.

* AmbiguousGender: At his birth Kilgharrah identifies Aithusa as a "he", yet latest interviews with the cast refer to the dragon as a "she". It's either a RetCon or a GenderFlip.
* CharacterTitle: The episode in which he first appears is named after him.
* ChekhovsGunman: Appears in the very last scene of series four in order to save Morgana's life.
* CoolPet: To Morgana.
* CutenessProximity: Merlin is moved to tears.
* DiabolusExNihilo: In the series four finale.
* EggMacGuffin
* EvilAlbino: Apparently, though in his first appearance Kilgharrah comments on the auspiciousness of [[HeroicAlbino his whiteness]].
* GoMadFromTheIsolation: Not as much insane as very severely rattled, but at an attempt to attack Merlin and an inability to speak seem to indicate he's not all there.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons
* KickTheDog: [[spoiler:By all appearances, he went through a lot of crap between series 4 and 5. He's emaciated, limping, and can't talk (either because he was never taught or because of some injury). He seems pretty loyal to Morgana, so it seems unlikely that she's responsible.]]
** Finally explained in 5x08. [[spoiler: He was trapped in a oubliette with Morgana for over 2 years and was left horribly crippled when he eventually outgrew his prison. According to his captor, his screams were even ''worse'' than Morgana's.]]
* LivingEmotionalCrutch: To Morgana. As of series 5, Aithusa seems to be the only thing keeping her tenuously sane.
* MeaningfulName: Means "light of the sun" in the language of dragons.
** IronicName: [[spoiler: Due to Morgana being captured, he spent the first two years of his life trapped in a dark pit]].
* OutsideContextVillain: No one yet knows why he chose to heal Morgana. [[spoiler:And since he can't talk, he'll never be able to tell.]]
* RidiculouslyCuteCritter
** Though by series 5, he's UglyCute at best.
* ThereIsAnother: His birth means that Kilgharrah is no longer TheLastOfHisKind.
* TheVoiceless: Because apparently he's never learnt to speak.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic: When Aithusa first hatches, Kilgharrah says that he's a good omen for the future of Albion. A few years later, this "good omen" is sick and malnourished, perhaps to indicate that [[spoiler:Arthur's death is imminent]].
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Merlin banishes Aithusa in the GrandFinale, never to be seen or mentioned again for the rest of the episode.


! Helios (Terence Maynard)

[[quoteright:211:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/6400530697_b802a70d97_o-1_1768.jpg]]

[-"Were you expecting something different? Perhaps campfires and raw meat."-]

A womanizing warlord that Morgana enlists in her crusade against Camelot and whose army attacks it at the end of series four. He appears in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E11TheHuntersHeart}} The Hunter's Heart]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E12TheSwordInTheStonePartI}} The Sword in the Stone Part I]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E13TheSwordInTheStonePartII}} II]]''.

* AffablyEvil
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking
* BadassNormal
* BaldOfAwesome
* BarbarianTribe: {{Subverted}}. When he wants to, he can be borderline WickedCultured.
* BatheHerAndBringHerToMe: Implied between Helios and Guinevere.
* TheBrute
* TheDragon: Seems to become this towards Morgana. Agravaine is GenreSavvy enough to note that there is a big possibility that he's much more a DragonWithAnAgenda. Then again, Agravaine may just be worried that he'll get replaced.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Although his intentions toward Guinevere were hardly pure, he avoids the RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil trope. Instead he seemed genuinely interested in her BackStory and lets her go without a fuss when she tells him that she's tired.
* EvilOverlord
* ItAmusedMe: Unlike Morgana's PsychoticSmirk or Agravine's SmugSmiler attitude when things are going their way, Helios' smiles and chuckles are more of genuine amusement. There are hints of him being a bit of a {{Troll}}.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Helios is an AffablyEvil version of this.
* TakingYouWithMe: [[spoiler: Gets killed by Isolde, but uses his last energy to kill her in turn before dying.]]
* TheSavageSouth: His mercenaries are referred to as "Southrons".
* ScaryBlackMan
* TheUnfettered: Devoted to Morgana in this sense, although we don't see much of him, and gives her his army. When [[spoiler: she ends up not being able to use magic]] he calmly steps in to defend her without panicking or running.
* WeHardlyKnewYe

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Minor Characters]]

! Geoffrey of Monmouth (Michael Cronin)

[[quoteright:213:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/geoffofmonmouth_8674.jpg]]

Camelot's court genealogist, though he also works as a librarian, is a member of the royal council, and officiates over weddings and coronations. He appeared in the first four series, but not the fifth.

* AwesomeMomentOfCrowning: He's usually present, considering he's the one who officiates over them.
* BigOlEyebrows
* BitCharacter
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome
* CoolOldGuy
* ErmineCapeEffect
* LiteraryAgentHypothesis: His name suggests that this could be possible, as well as explaining why several aspects of typical Arthurian legends have changed so drastically (he's not being very accurate).
* MrExposition: Usually when Gaius is unavailable for some reason.
* MythologyGag: Geoffrey of Monmouth was real person; a 12th century bishop who was one of the earliest writers of tales of King Arthur and his father Uther.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure
* SpookySilentLibrary: He works in one.

! Parents of the Main Cast

!! Hunith (Caroline Faber)

[[quoteright:198:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/250px-299m1-1_5034.jpg]]

[-"It is every mother's fate to think her child is special, and yet I would give my life that Merlin were not so."-]

Merlin's mother, who sends her only son to Camelot at the start of the series in the hopes that he will learn to control his magical abilities under the guidance of her (much) [[WordOfGod older brother Gaius]]. She appears in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E01TheDragonsCall}} The Dragon's Call]]'', ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E10TheMomentOfTruth}} The Moment of Truth]]'', ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E13LeMortdArthur}} Le Mort d'Arthur]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E12TheSwordInTheStonePartI}} The Sword in the Stone Part I]]''.

* AbsurdlyYouthfulMother
* ActionMom
* BackForTheFinale: In series four.
* BerserkButton: To Merlin. Nothing gets him more riled or dangerous than if someone threatens his mother.
* BringHelpBack: In 1x10.
* GiveHimANormalLife: {{Inverted}}. Though she wants this for Merlin, she knows that he's exceptionally gifted. Rather than hide him away in Ealdor she sends him to Camelot to get tutelage for his abilities.
* [[GoodParents Good Parent]]
* HotMom
* LetsGetDangerous: When her village is attacked by bandits, she insists that she's going to fight or die trying.
* OpenMindedParent
* SeparatedAtBirthCasting: It's easy enough to buy her as Merlin's mother.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: On two occasions she disappears abruptly from the episode; first when she falls sick (we're told that she recovers, but it happens off-screen) and second when mercenaries attack Ealdor at the end of series four (Merlin, Arthur and Gwen lead the attackers into the forest, and we're just left to assume that they left Hunith and the other villagers alone).

!! Queen Ygraine Pendragon (Alice Patten)

[[quoteright:213:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Igraine_4922.jpg]]

[-"He sacrificed my life so the Pendragon dynasty could continue. It makes you no less my son, nor me any less proud of you."-]

Arthur's mother, Agravaine's sister, the late wife of Uther, and the former Queen of Camelot. She appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E08SinsOfTheFather}} Sins of the Father]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E01TheTearsOfUtherPendragonPartI}} The Tears of Uther Pendragon Part I]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E02TheTearsOfUtherPendragonPartII}} II]]''.

* BackFromTheDead: Very temporarily.
* BalancingDeathsBooks: The cause of her death; in order to conceive Arthur, Ygraine was doomed to die in giving birth to him.
* DeadPersonConversation: Thanks to Morgause's spell, Ygraine appears to Arthur to tell him the truth of his birth.
* DeathByChildbirth
* DeceasedParentsAreTheBest: Arthur idolizes his mother; so much that he even attacks his father when he finds out that he (Uther) is the cause of her death.
* HotMom
* TheLostLenore: To Uther, whose death triggered his hatred of magic.
* MysteriousParent
* PlotTriggeringDeath: Her death is the reason for the Great Purge, which informs practically everything that follows.
* PosthumousCharacter
* PresentAbsence
* SacrificialLamb
* StrongFamilyResemblance: The casting nailed this one. Arthur is the spitting image of his mother.
* WomanInWhite

!! Balinor (John Lynch)

[[quoteright:208:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/this_oneBalinor_6767.jpg]]

[-"You don't choose to become a Dragonlord. It's not something you're taught. It's a sacred gift. For thousands of years it's been handed down from father to son."-]

Merlin's father and the last of the Dragonlords. In his youth he helped subdue the Great Dragon before Uther betrayed him and tried to have him executed. With Gaius's help he escaped to Ealdor where he was taken in by Hunith, only for Uther's men pursue him into the wilderness. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E13TheLastDragonlord}} The Last Dragonlord]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E12TheDiamondOfTheDayPartI}} The Diamond of the Day Part I]]''.

* BadassLongcoat
* BeardOfSorrow
* ChangedMyMindKid
* FinalSpeech: He manages to impart some last words to Merlin about the nature of dragons.
* HealingHands
* TheHermit
* KilledOffForReal
* TheLastOfHisKind: At least until he dies, at which point Merlin inherits his powers.
* LineageComesFromTheFather
* LukeYouAreMyFather: Merlin has to tell Balinor that he's his son. He had no idea that Hunith was even pregnant when he left Ealdor.
* NegatedMomentOfAwesome: His entire episode leads up to him deciding to return to Camelot to stop Kilgharrah with his Dragonlord abilities. Then he dies before he gets there.
* TakingTheBullet: For Merlin
* WeHardlyKnewYe

!! Tom (David Durham)

[-"We're on the up now. Things are going to be different."-]

Guinevere's father, the local blacksmith. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E03TheMarkOfNimueh}} The Mark of Nimueh]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E12ToKillTheKing}} To Kill The King]]''.

* BlackGuyDiesFirst: {{Averted}} and then played straight. He survives his first appearance, only to be killed by castle guards in his second.
* TheBlacksmith
* ForgottenFallenFriend: Notable for its {{aversion}}. Plenty of other far more important characters have fallen prey to this trope, but despite dying in series 1, Tom is consistently mentioned all the way into series 5.
* KilledOffForReal
* MysticalPlague: But is healed by Merlin.
* SacrificialLion: The first reoccuring character to get killed off.
* SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome
* UnwittingPawn: To Tauren, who was using his blacksmithing skills to experiment with alchemy.

!! Vivienne

Morgana and Morgause's mother. Very little is known about her beyond the fact that she was married to Gorlois and had an affair with King Uther (which resulted in Morgana).

* GoodAdulteryBadAdultery: It's unclear whether she suffered any consequences from her dalliance with Uther.
* MementoMacGuffin: The bracelet that Morgause gives to Morgana when they first meet belonged to Vivienne.
* MissingMom
* MysteriousParent
* PosthumousCharacter
* ShoutOut: Her name pops up frequently in Arthurian mythology, usually in connection to the Lady of the Lake.
* UnknownCharacter: We know nothing about her except her relationships to other characters.
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: She gave birth to ''Morgana''!

! Kings, Queens, Princesses, and Other Assorted Royals

!! King Bayard (Clive Russell)

[[quoteright:169:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bayard11_1470.bmp]]

The King of Mercia. He is falsely accused of trying to poison Arthur as part of an EvilPlan devised by Nimueh. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E04ThePoisonedChalice}} The Poisoned Chalice]]''.

* ClearMyName
* ColourCodedArmies: He and the knights of Mercia wear blue, to contrast with the red-cloaked men of Camelot.
* FlatCharacter
* {{Frameup}}: Thanks to Nimueh
* HeyItsThatGuy: Clive Russell also played Lancelot's father in ''Film/KingArthur'' and Morgana's father Gorlois in ''TheMistsOfAvalon''. Guess he likes ArthurianLegend...
* HonourBeforeReason: He's prepared to drink from a (supposedly) poisoned goblet in order to prove his own innocence.
* TheGoodKing
* OneShotCharacter
* PeaceConference
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure
* UnwittingPawn: Nimeuh uses his gesture of presenting matching goblets to Uther and Arthur against him.

!! King Odin (Fintan [=McKeown=])

[[quoteright:168:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ODIN_8393.bmp]]

[-"I want you to kill the man who murdered my son. I want you to kill Arthur Pendragon."-]

The King of a land refered to only as "Odin's Kingdom". He has a vendetta against Arthur after his son was killed in a duel. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E02TheOnceAndFutureQueen}} The Once And Future Queen]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E04AnothersSorrow}} Another's Sorrow]]''.

* TheBusCameBack: In one of the most surprising displays of [[ContinuityNod Continuity]] this show has ever done, Odin returns ''forty-one'' episodes after he was last seen to finish off a StoryArc that had lay dormant for three seasons.
* CycleOfRevenge: Arthur attempts to stop this when Uther demands retribution from Odin after his attempt on Arthur's life. It doesn't appeared to have worked.
** A truce is finally agreed upon in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E04AnothersSorrow}} Another's Sorrow]]''.
* DuelToTheDeath: How his son was killed.
* FeudingFamilies: With the Pendragons.
* ItsPersonal: {{Subverted}} in that it's the ''villain'' who wants revenge on the ''hero''.
* MisplacedRetribution: Perhaps. We know very little about what really happened between Arthur and Odin's son, save that the latter ended up dead at the former's hands.
* RevengeMyopia: Odin wants Arthur dead because he killed his son; but Arthur claims that he was just defending himself.
* SmallRoleBigImpact: He's been on-screen for about two minutes back in series 2. In series 4 he sends an assassin to kill Arthur, who ends up fatally wounding Uther instead. He's also been mentioned frequently throughout the series.
** He returns in series 5 for an expanded role.
* SympatheticMurderer
* YouKilledMyFather: {{Inverted}}. This is a father seeking revenge for his son.

!! King Alined (David Schofield)

[[quoteright:209:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/alined_9120.bmp]]

[-"If Olaf kills Arthur, then Uther will start a war. If Arthur kills Olaf, then ''his'' men will start a war. We cannot lose!"-]

The ruler of one of the Five Kingdoms. He comes to Camelot as part of a PeaceConference, determined to stir up enough trouble to drive the kingdoms back into war. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E10SweetDreams}} Sweet Dreams]]''.

* AmbiguouslyGay: He admits that he finds Arthur attractive, and there's rather a lot of SubText with his court jester.
* BadBoss: To Trickler
* BatmanGambit: He orders his jester to place Arthur and Lady Vivian under a LovePotion, betting that the fallout from various factions will inevitably lead to war.
* {{Chessmaster}}: If it hadn't been for Guinevere's TrueLovesKiss, he would have gotten exactly what he wanted.
* ChessMotif: He demonstrates his plans to Trickler using a chess set.
* DiplomaticImmunity
* FauxAffablyEvil
* KarmaHoudini: He doesn't get what he wants, but he still leaves Camelot scott-free.
* HeyItsThatGuy: [[PiratesOfTheCaribbean Mercer!]]
* ManipulativeBastard
* TheMatchmaker: Only in the sense that he wants Arthur and Vivian together in order to make trouble.
* PretextForWar

!! King Olaf (Mark Lewis Jones)

[[quoteright:210:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/olaff_9792.bmp]]

[-'''Alined''': "Olaf is the most overprotective buffoon I've ever met. It would surely end the peace talks if anyone were to lay a finger on his daughter."-]

The ruler of one of the Five Kingdoms and father to Lady Vivian. He unknowingly [[UnwittingPawn plays into the hands of King Alined]] when his protectiveness of Vivian leads him to challenge Arthur to a duel, having been led to believe she's been seduced by him. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E10SweetDreams}} Sweet Dreams]]''.

* BoisterousBruiser
* BruiserWithASoftCenter
* DuelToTheDeath: Challenges Arthur to one.
* EasilyForgiven: After spending the entire episode rampaging over his daughter's virtue, Arthur brings their duel to a close and Olaf becomes entirely amiable.
* FlawExploitation: His protectiveness of Vivian is exploited by King Alined.
* HairTriggerTemper
* MyGirlIsNotASlut: In front of everyone, he calls Vivian "an innocent girl!" His daughter's reaction to this indicates that she's probably ''not''.
* OverprotectiveDad
* PapaWolf
* ThrowingDownTheGauntlet: Literally.
* UnwittingPawn
* YouAreGrounded: A variation. Vivian is being taken home, presumably for good.

!! Lady Vivian (GeorgiaMoffett)

[[quoteright:188:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/VivianSD_7874.jpg]]

[-"''I'' am not ''most'' of your guests."-]

Lady Vivian is the bratty daughter of King Olaf. Accompanying him to the peace talks hosted at Camelot, she becomes the target of a love spell in an attempt to disrupt the proceedings by playing on the emotions of her OverprotectiveDad. She appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E10SweetDreams}} Sweet Dreams]]''.

* AlphaBitch
* BlondesAreEvil: Or at least quite spoiled.
* BeautyIsBad: As noted by Arthur, she's very beautiful but her manners are appalling.
* BrattyTeenageDaughter
* DaddysGirl
* TheDitz: Whilst under a spell.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Oddly {{averted}}. Despite her father being a king, she's only ever referred to as a lady.
* GeorgiaMoffett
* IKissYourHand: Uther does this on greeting her.
* KissingUnderTheInfluence
* LargeHam
* LovePotion: Is the (permanent) victim of one.
* MissingMom
* RichBitch
* RoyalBrat
* SickeningSweethearts: With Arthur
* SpoiledBrat
* StrongFamilyResemblance: InformedAttribute. When she arrives in Camelot, Uther tells Vivian she looks just like her mother. Since we never see her, we just have to take his word for it.
* TemporaryScrappy
* WellExcuseMePrincess
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Last we see of her, she's being carted off by her father. For all we know, [[FridgeHorror she's still under the love spell, pining for Arthur]].
* WomanInWhite

!! Princess Elena (Georgia King)

[[quoteright:209:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Elenapic_5917.jpg]]

[-"I'm not the perfect princess, am I?"-]

The Princess of Gawant and daughter of Lord Godwyn. Unbeknownst to her, she was possessed by a Sidhe fairy whilst just a baby, causing her to grow up with a variety of embarrassing traits and peculiarities. She appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E06TheChangeling}} The Changeling]]''.

* {{Adorkable}}
* AllGirlsLikePonies
* ArrangedMarriage: Godwyn and Uther organise one between her and Arthur.
* BadDreams: A side-effect of the Sidhe inside her.
* BizarreTasteInFood: She eats live frogs and seems to thoroughly enjoy it.
* BondingOverMissingParents: She and Arthur do this over their [[MissingMom Missing Moms]].
* ChangelingTale
* CuteClumsyGirl
* DaddysGirl
* DisposableFiance: Of the "Let's Call The Whole Thing Off" variety.
* DoesNotLikeShoes: Has to be told to put them on, she does so begrudgingly.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Her father is Lord Godwyn, but she gets the rank of princess.
* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold
* IKissYourHand: Arthur does this as they farewell each other.
* JabbaTableManners: Another Sidhe side-effect.
* MeaningfulName: {{Averted}}. Sure it ''sounds'' a lot like Elaine, but she never meets Lancelot.
* MessyHair
* SheCleansUpNicely: Once the pesky Sidhe is gone.
* TomboyPrincess: {{Subversion}}. All her tomboyish qualities are brought on by the Sidhe living inside her. Once it's gone, she's more like a PrincessClassic.
** Though she has a genuine love of horseback riding, which was never a Sidhe trait.
* UnwittingPawn: To the Sidhe.

!! Lord Godwyn (Simon Williams)

[-"Maybe it's time things changed."-]

The ruler of Gawant and father of Princess Elena. Due to his old friendship with Uther, the two have organised an ArrangedMarriage between their children. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E06TheChangeling}} The Changeling]]''.

* CoolOldGuy
* DotingParent
* ManHug: With Uther
* NiceGuy
* OpenMindedParent

!! King Caerleon (Steven Hartley)

[-"You did not choose anything, boy. It is I who choose to die, and I alone".-]

The King of Caerleon. After being caught trespassing in Camelot's territory he is caught and beheaded by Arthur. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E05HisFathersSon}} His Father's Son]]''.

* BitPartBadGuy
* FaceDeathWithDignity
* HonourBeforeReason: Faced with a choice between signing a peace treaty and getting his head cut off, he chooses death.
* IdiotBall: He practically grabs Arthur's sword and cuts his own head off.
* KingIncognito: For a while, at least until Agravaine notices his medallion.
* OffWithHisHead

!! Queen Annis (Lindsay Duncan)

[[quoteright:211:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/AnnisQ_6614.jpg]]

[-"There is something about you Arthur Pendragon. Something that gives me hope for us all."-]

The Queen of Caerleon. After her husband is executed at Arthur's hands, she is goaded by Morgana into seeking revenge. She appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E05HisFathersSon}} His Father's Son]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E01ArthursBanePartI}} Arthur's Bane Part I]]''.

* ArmorPiercingSlap: She gives not one but ''two'' to Arthur.
* ApronMatron
* BloodKnight: GenderFlipped and {{subverted}} when Arthur convinces her to declare peace.
* TheCameo: Appears briefly in 5x01 to grant safe passage to Arthur and his knights.
* [[CrusadingWidower Crusading Widow]]
* ErmineCapeEffect
* EvilMatriarch: {{Subverted}} despite first appearances (and surprisingly, given the show's track record with evil female characters ''and'' the fact that she shares her name with an evil spirit of English folklore).
* FieryRedhead
* TheHighQueen
* LadyOfWar
* ModestRoyalty
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Played with.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Delivers a particularly brutal one to Morgana, when she calmly points out that she's NotSoDifferent from Uther. All things considered, it's a miracle that Annis left that tent alive, and this was probably only down to the fact that she unsettled Morgana so profoundly.
* ProudWarriorRace
* WidowWoman: Thanks to Arthur.

!! Princess Mithian (Janet Montgomery)

[[quoteright:208:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/592px-Mithian_s5_2_5121.jpg]]

[-"I would give up my own kingdom to be so loved."-]

The Princess of Nemeth. She comes to Camelot in order to wed Arthur as part of a peace settlement between their kingdoms. Though she finds herself genuinely falling for Arthur, he breaks off the engagement on realizing that his heart still lies with Guinevere. She appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E11TheHuntersHeart}} The Hunter's Heart]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E04AnothersSorrow}} Another's Sorrow]]''.

* AllLoveIsUnrequited: Even by the end of ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E04AnothersSorrow}} Another's Sorrow]]'', it appears that she still has a little bit of a crush on Arthur.
* AmicableExes: With Arthur.
* BeautyEqualsGoodness
* BigEntrance: She certainly makes an impression when she first arrives in Camelot.
* BirdsOfAFeather: With Arthur, a deliberate contrast to the OppositesAttract relationship he has with Guinevere.
* BridalCarry: Leon carries her like this when [[{{Fainting}} she faints]] outside the castle.
* BurpingContest: With Arthur, or though she ''thinks'', even though it's actually Merlin deliberately trying to embarrass the two of them with magic.
* CostumePorn: Her gold and white gowns.
* DieForOurShip: ''[[invoked]]'' Merlin takes an irrational dislike to Mithian simply because he ships Arthur/Guinevere. He's notably much nicer to her when she returns to Camelot three years ''after'' Arthur and Gwen are safely married.
* DisposableFiance
* DistressedDamsel: In 5x04.
** DecoyDamsel: Though she's coerced into it by Morgana.
* DramaticUnmask: Or rather, "unveil".
* ErmineCapeEffect: She's wearing a ''massive'' white fur coat for her arrival and departure scenes.
* {{Fainting}}: Of exhaustion in 5x04.
* HoneyTrap: In 5x04, though more in the capacity of a DistressedDamsel than a FemmeFatale.
* HourglassPlot: A slight one with Guinevere. They completely switch roles between ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E11TheHuntersHeart}} The Hunter's Heart]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E04AnothersSorrow}} Another's Sorrow]]''.
* ImpracticallyFancyOutfit: She travels in a white fur coat and goes hunting in a gold silk dress.
* MinorFlawMajorBreakup: Mithian's flaw is that she isn't Guinevere. In breaking off their engagement, Arthur ends up giving her the disputed lands between their kingdoms in order to avoid war.
* NiceGirl
* NiceToTheWaiter: Somewhat ironically considering Merlin often complains about his treatment at the hands of nobles - but when this one ''is'' actually nice to him, [[DieForOurShip he's too busy giving her the cold shoulder to appreciate it]].
** She's not just doing it for Arthur, either; she's just as nice to Merlin when she comes back in 5x04 and is visibly upset when her attempt to warn him about Morgana gets him nearly killed.
* PoliticallyActivePrincess
* PrincessClassic: She looks, sounds and behaves like the quintessential fairytale princess, with one striking {{subversion}}: she [[DidNotGetTheGirl Does Not Get The Guy]].
* PrincessesRule: There's no sign or mention of her parents, yet she's a princess and not a queen.
** Though her second appearance expands on her background and reveals that she does in fact have a father.
* RavenHairIvorySkin: At least in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E04AnothersSorrow}} Another's Sorrow]]'', in which Mithian's hair seems to be several shades darker than it was in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E11TheHuntersHeart}} The Hunter's Heart]]''.
* RequisiteRoyalRegalia: She wears a coronet throughout ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E11TheHuntersHeart}} The Hunter's Heart]]''.
* RomanticFalseLead
* RomanticRunnerUp
* PerfectlyArrangedMarriage: {{Subverted}}. She and Arthur would be perfect for each other, were it not for the simple fact that he's in love with someone else.
* PrettyInMink: Wore [[http://www.addictedtomedia.net/2012/03/tv-review-merlin-hunters-heart.html a long white fur coat]] when she arrived in Camelot.
* ProperLady
* SpoiledSweet
* UnknownRival: She and Guinevere never meet.
** They do eventually meet in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E04AnothersSorrow}} Another's Sorrow]]'', but although Mithian can now put a name and face to the mystery woman that she was passed over for, it's unclear if Guinevere knows whether Mithian is anything other than a visiting princess in need of help.
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: Narrowly {{averted}}. In a bid to impress Arthur, she shoots a young deer in the forest. Unbeknownst to her, the deer is actually Guinevere under an enchantment.
* WomanInWhite: In her first scene she wears a [[PrettyInMink white fur coat]] and sheer white veil, designating her role as a prospective bride.
* WomanScorned: {{Subverted}}. Despite the snub, she remains on good terms with Camelot. In fact, she seems rather moved by Arthur's devotion to Guinevere - see her page quote.
* WrongGenreSavvy: She knows she's in a love story, but doesn't realize that it's not hers. As such, she spends the first half of ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E11TheHuntersHeart}} The Hunter's Heart]]'' acting like (and being treated as) the sole [[LoveInterest Romantic Love Interest]], only to eventually learn she was the RomanticFalseLead all along. Exit stage left.

!! King Rodor (James Fox)

[[quoteright:185:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/RODOR_9679.bmp]]

[-"Don't look so surprised. I commanded an army in my time."-]

The King of Nemeth and father of Princess Mithian. When his kingdom is invaded by King Odin, he's held hostage and used as bait to lure Arthur into a trap. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E04AnothersSorrow}} Another's Sorrow]]''.

* BadassGrandpa
* CoolOldGuy
* DistressedDude
* TheGoodKing
* [[IHaveYourWife I Have Your Father]]: Morgana uses this ploy on Mithian.
* IWillOnlySlowYouDown: Though the unanimous response is "not a chance".
* LivingMacGuffin: What his role amounts to.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure
* StillGotIt: A variation; see his quote.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Other Villains]]

! Mary Collins (EveMyles)

[[quoteright:171:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/MaryMerlin_2534.jpg]]

[-"I promise you, before these celebrations are over, you will share my tears."-]

A witch whose son is executed at Uther's behest. She decides to take her revenge by assassinating Prince Arthur, disguising herself as a singer due to arrive in Camelot. She appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E01TheDragonsCall}} The Dragon's Call]]''.

* ActingForTwo: Eve Myles played the elderly witch and the young woman she disguises herself as.
* CobwebJungle: Creates one when she casts her final spell.
* ColourFailure: What happens to her victims.
* CompellingVoice
* EveMyles
* EvilDiva
* FallingChandelierOfDoom
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Her forty-five minute appearance is Morgana's entire StoryArc in a nutshell, right down to her motivation (revenge), the focus of her anger (Uther and therefore Arthur by proxy) and the magical implements she uses (glamour, a whirlwind and a VoodooDoll).
* GlamourFailure: Whenever she steps in front of a mirror, her reflection is of her true self.
* LifeDrinker
* MagicMusic: Her song puts the court to sleep.
* MamaBear
* TheMirrorShowsYourTrueSelf
* NoNameGiven: [[AllThereInTheManual Except in the credits]].
* RevengeByProxy: She goes after Arthur in revenge for her own son's death.
* StarterVillain: The very first foe that Merlin has to face.

! Edwin Muirden (Julian Rhind-Tutt)

[[quoteright:193:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Edwin_8776.bmp]]

[-"I want my face to be the last face you ever see. You took my childhood from me. And now finally, I take my parents' revenge."-]

A physician whose parents were burnt at the stake at Uther's command and who returns to Camelot years later to seek his revenge. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E06ARemedyToCureAllIlls}} A Remedy To Cure All Ills]]''.

* AnAxeToGrind: He telekenetically throws one at Merlin.
* BestServedCold
* {{Blackmail}}: He gets rid of Gaius by threatening to reveal Merlin's secret.
* CreepyLongFingers: There's an emphasis on his hands; before we ever see his face, we see his hands creeping like a spider across his desk.
* CreepyPhysical
* DeadlyDoctor: He gains Uther's trust by anonymously sending flowers to Morgana with a deadly beetle concealed inside, and then healing her from the near-fatal haemorrhage it causes.
* DeathBySecretIdentity
* FriendToBugs
* GoodScarsEvilScars: The evil kind.
* InTheHood
* ManipulativeBastard
* MeaningfulName: Edwin Muir was the author of [[http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/merlin/ this Merlin-centric poem]], one which also lent the title to the two-part GrandFinale.
* PlayingWithFire: Creates a circle of fire around Gaius.
* {{Revenge}}
* SecretKeeper: To Merlin, very briefly.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity
* WeCanRuleTogether: Tries this on Merlin.

! Sophia (Holliday Grainger)

[[quoteright:196:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/SophiaMerlin_8982.bmp]]

[-"For a moment, I felt what it would be like to die a mortal death."-]

The daughter of a renegade Sidhe, Sophia is desperate to gain immortality and return to Avalon by offering up Arthur as a human sacrifice to her people. She appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E07TheGatesOfAvalon}} The Gates Of Avalon]]''.

* BeautyIsBad
* BigNo: Before she dies.
* BitchInSheepsClothing
* BoomStick: Her staff.
* DecoyDamsel: She and her father get themselves into Camelot by staging a RescueRomance.
* TheFairFolk
* FemmeFatale
* GoldAndWhiteAreDivine
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Merlin uses her own staff to destroy her.
* IKissYourHand: Arthur when he first meets her.
* KissOfDeath
* MindManipulation
* RedEyesTakeWarning
* TheVamp: There doesn't seem to be any ''particular'' need to seduce Arthur (since she ends up hypnotizing him), but she does it anyway.
* UngratefulBastard: When Arthur saves her from a stray bolt from a crossbow, she's not remotely grateful - only bitter that she needed rescuing in the first place.
* YourHeadAsplode: Merlin blows her up. [[MoralDissonance It's a bit disconcerting]].

! Aulfic (Kenneth Cranham)

[[quoteright:209:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Aulfic_7595.bmp]]

[-"It is my fate to live a mortal life."-]

A member of the Sidhe who was exiled from Avalon, Aulfric promises his people the blood of Prince Arthur if they agree to return immortality to his daughter. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E07TheGatesOfAvalon}} The Gates Of Avalon]]''.

* AsYouKnow: He relates the plan to his daughter (which she knew perfectly well) in order to fill the audience in to what they're doing.
* BeardOfEvil
* BoomStick: His staff.
* TheFairFolk
* EvilLaugh
* TheExile
* LargeHam
* OverprotectiveDad
* PetTheDog: It's clear by the end that everything he's done has been to save his daughter's life, and is prepared to sacrifice himself in the process.
* RedEyesTakeWarning
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: The bandits that he pays to stage an attack on himself and his daughter. After Arthur dispatches them, Aulfric kills the sole survivor.
* YourHeadAsplode

! Tristan de Bois (Rick English/Christopher Fairbank)

[[quoteright:245:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Tristanwraith_7882.jpg]]

[-"Who will take up my challenge?"-]

Queen Ygraine's brother, who blamed Uther for her death and challenged him to a duel. Though he was killed, he swore with his dying breath that he would return to Camelot to have his revenge. Years later, Nimueh resurrects him so that he might fulfil this vow. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E09Excalibur}} Excalibur]]''.

* AnimateDead
* BackFromTheDead
* BigEntrance: He leaps on horseback through a stained glass window whilst Arthur is undergoing a ceremony to become crown prince.
** DynamicEntry
* BlackKnight
* {{Curse}}
* DramaticUnmask: Or "unhelmeting".
* DuelToTheDeath
* TheFaceless: Until TheReveal at the end of the episode.
* ForgottenFallenFriend: Three seasons later, Agravaine never once brings up the subject of his dead brother.
* ImplacableMan
* OurZombiesAreDifferent
* {{Revenge}}
* ShoutOut: His role is highly reminiscent of ''[[SirGawainAndTheGreenKnight The Green Knight]]'' in Arthurian Legend.
* ThrowingDownTheGauntlet
* UndeathAlwaysEnds

! Catrina (Sarah Parish)

[[quoteright:182:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cat_3928.bmp]]

[-"Uther's so stupid, so blinded by pretty things. Already he falls for me. It's only a matter of time before he is completely under my control."-]

A hideous troll that takes on the visage of an old friend of Uther in order to seduce him. On becoming Queen of Camelot, she uses her newfound power to accumulate her deepest desires: riches and dung. She appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E05BeautyAndTheBeastPartI}} Beauty and the Beast Part I]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E06BeautyAndTheBeastPartII}} II]]''.

* AlienBlood
* BeautyIsBad
* BitchInSheepsClothing
* ElephantInTheLivingRoom: Once she reverts back into her true form, and everyone but Uther can clearly see it.
* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen
* HypnoTrinket: How she controls Uther.
* ImpostorForgotOneDetail: Gaius suspects her because the real Catrina had a rare bone condition.
* LovePotion
* MayDecemberRomance: With Uther.
* OurTrollsAreDifferent

! Aredian (Charles Dance)

[[quoteright:173:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/aradien_8359.bmp]]

[-"It's all around us, the foul stench of sorcery. It's infected your great city like a contagion."-]

A [[TheWitchHunter Witch Finder]], who comes to Camelot at Uther's invitation in order to root out any witches or wizards in the kingdom. Due to Charles Dance's performance, he ended up being one of the show's most memorable [[OneShotCharacter One Shot Villains]]. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E07TheWitchfinder}} The Witchfinder]]''.

* BadassLongcoat
* DisneyVillainDeath: He trips backwards and falls out of a high window.
* TheDreaded
* FalseConfession: He extracts them from his victims.
* {{Frameup}}: Of Gaius.
* FramingTheGuiltyParty
* ManipulativeBastard
* NiceHat
* TheWitchHunter

! Alvarr (Joseph Mawle)

[[quoteright:209:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Alvarr_5043.jpg]]

[-"To be an enemy of Camelot is no crime."-]

The leader of a group of Druids that desires the downfall of Uther and who manipulates Morgana (and Mordred) into joining his cause. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS02E11TheWitchsQuickening}} The Witch's Quickening]]''.

* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: He works this angle on Morgana.
* AlmostKiss: With Morgana. Later he kisses her on the cheek.
* BattleCouple: With his girlfriend, Enmyria.
* BecomingTheMask: Though he's clearly playing Morgana at first, director Alice Troughton (on the DVDCommentary) insists that Alvarr was genuine about his feelings for her by the end of the episode (though KatieMcGrath didn't seem quite as convinced).
* GreyAndGreyMorality: He's genuinely devoted to his cause, and seems legitimate in his fondess for Enmyria and Mordred, but is obviously not above manipulating everyone for his own ends.
* HandsomeLech
* ManipulativeBastard
* ParentalSubstitute: To Mordred.
* PlayingPossum: What he's doing the first time we see him.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Or possible ShooOutTheNewGuy considering Alvarr is set up as a fairly important figure in the conflict between Druids and Camelot, but is never seen or refered to again.

! Julius Borden (James Callis)

[[quoteright:186:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/brd_5497.bmp]]

An old pupil of Gaius who left his tutelage under murky circumstances. Since then, he gradually collected the three pieces of a golden triskelion that is said to open the Tomb of Askanar where the final dragon egg was hidden centuries ago.

* AffablyEvil
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Not that we learn much about it.
* DeceptiveDisciple: To Gaius.
* LeftForDead: Merlin leaves him to die in a CollapsingLair.
* ManipulativeBastard
* NeverFoundTheBody
* PermaStubble
* SufferTheSlings
* TamperingWithFoodAndDrink: He uses a slingshot to fire a satchet of poison into the knight's cooking pot.

! Lamia (Charlenne [=McKenna=])

[[quoteright:175:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ThisLamia_937.bmp]]

[-'''Gaius''': "They could control the mind of a man, suck the life from him with a single embrace."-]

A creature of dark magic, created by the High Priestesses of the Old Religion as a weapon against the Ancient Kings by mingling the blood of a girl and a serpent together. She appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E08Lamia}} Lamia]]''.

* AdaptationalVillainy: In the myths, not all lamia were evil.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: Her powers render the Knights as this.
* BitchInSheepsClothing
* CharacterTitle
* CharmPerson
* EldritchAbomination: Lamia's true form.
* DecoyDamsel
* GoneHorriblyRight: The Priestesses made the lamias as a weapon, only to lose control of them.
* OneGenderRace
* ShapeshiftingSeducer
* {{Succubus}}
* SupernaturalIsPurple
* TheVamp
* VoluntaryTransformation
* WoundedGazelleGambit

! Kara (Alexandra Dowling)

[[quoteright:193:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kara_9814.bmp]]

[-"It is not a crime to fight for your freedom. It is not a crime to fight for the right to be who you are."-]

A druid girl who joins forces with Morgana in order to destroy Camelot and free her people. After trying to assassinate Arthur she is sentenced to death, but her history with Mordred complicates matters. She appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E11TheDrawingOfTheDark}} The Drawing of the Dark]]''.

* ChildhoodFriendRomance: With Mordred.
* DefiantToTheEnd: She refuses to repent of her crimes against Camelot, and on both occasions in which Arthur sentences her to death, she rejoices in his own impending doom.
* DisposableWoman: Ultimately, she's used as the reason for Mordred turning against Arthur and Merlin.
* FaceDeathWithDignity
* GreyAndGreyMorality: She honestly believes that Arthur is a tyrant and that what she's doing is right.
* HeadbuttOfLove: With Mordred.
* HonorBeforeReason: She choses to die rather than repent of actions that she doesn't believe are crimes.
* IKissYourHand: She kisses Mordred's hand before going to her death.
* InTheHood
* KnifeNut
* LastSecondChance: Arthur offers her one. She rejects it.
* PlotTriggeringDeath: It begins the DisasterDominoes that lead into the two-part GrandFinale.
* PublicExecution
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Gives one to Arthur, reminding him of his maltreatment of her people.
* SmallRoleBigImpact
* WoundedGazelleGambit: To get close enough to Arthur.
* WellIntentionedExtremist
* YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters: How she sees herself.
** WouldNotShootACivilian: Heavily averted. She considers ''everyone'' in Camelot to be a legitimate target and has no remorse over killing them. Arthur, a firm believer in TheLawsAndCustomsOfWar considers this to be unforgiveable.
*** Though technically she never actually harms a civilian. She helps attack a convoy of soldiers that was delivering weapons to Camelot, and later kills a castle guard that was preventing her escape. See GreyAndGreyMorality.

! Eira

A devious woman (yeah, another one) who is sent by Morgana to infiltrate Camelot as a spy, using her feminine wiles and a show of helplessness to gather information. She appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E12TheDiamondOfTheDayPartI}} The Diamond of the Day Part I]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E13TheDiamondOfTheDayPartII}} II]]''.

* BeautyIsBad
* BitchInSheepsClothing
* BlondesAreEvil
* DecoyDamsel
* HoneyTrap
* InnocentBlueEyes: Which she uses to great effect.
* LastEpisodeNewCharacter
* MataHari
* RescueRomance: With Gwaine. {{Subverted}}.
* TheVamp

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Other Allies]]

! Will (Joe Dempsie)

[[quoteright:178:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/will_1826.bmp]]

[-"Are you telling me you'd rather keep your magic a secret for Arthur's sake than use it to protect your friends and family?"-]

Merlin's ChildhoodFriend who remains in Ealdor after Merlin travels to Camelot. He participates in the battle against the local warlord Kanen to defend his home. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS01E10TheMomentOfTruth}} The Moment of Truth]]''.

* BackToBackBadasses: With Merlin
* ChangedMyMindKid
* ChildhoodFriends: With Merlin
* TheComplainerIsAlwaysWrong
* ForgottenFallenFriend: He's never mentioned again after his one and only episode.
* HeroicSacrifice
* ManHug: With Merlin
* MuggleBestFriend
* SacrificialLamb
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere
* SecretKeeper
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: In the platonic sense. (Maybe).

! Alice (Pauline Collins)

[[quoteright:196:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/alice_2263.bmp]]

[-'''Gaius''': "Alice is the kindest and most compassionate person I've ever known."-]

A gifted healer who suppliments her natural talent with magic. She and Gaius were once engaged to be married before the Great Purge forced her to flee Camelot. She appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E09LoveInTheTimeOfDragons}} Love In The Time of Dragons]]''.

* BittersweetEnding: She escapes with her life, but she and Gaius are parted - presumably for good.
* CuteWitch: So what if she's over sixty? Look at her! She's still adorable.
* HealingHands
* InformedAbility: Gaius states that she's more powerful and naturally gifted than he is, but she spends the entire episode under the thrall of the Manticore. Furthermore, all her renowned healing abilities happen off-screen.
* TheMedic
* MindControlEyes
* NewOldFlame: To Gaius.
* PetMonstrosity: The Manticore
* DecemberDecemberRomance: With Gaius

! Gilli (Harry Melling)

[[quoteright:209:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/GILLI_428.bmp]]

[-"I'm not going to apologize for who I am!"-]

A young man with a RingOfPower who arrives in Camelot in search of honour and glory. After befriending Merlin, he goes through a surprisingly complex StoryArc over the course of his single episode appearance. He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS03E11TheSorcerersShadow}} The Sorcerer's Shadow]]''.

* ARealManIsAKiller: Suffers from this delusion. When he actually goes through with killing someone, he finds it's not at all to his liking.
* BrokenPedestal: {{Inverted}} in regards to his father. He begins by remembering him as a weak man who never used his abilities to their full extent, but eventually comes to a fuller understanding of how he lived his life.
* CastingGag: Harry Melling is best known as playing a magic-fearing Muggle in the ''HarryPotter'' films.
* DudeWheresMyRespect
* {{Foil}}: To Merlin
* IJustWantToBeSpecial
* ItsAllAboutMe: ZigZaggingTrope. He makes plenty of decisions over the course of the episode, both selfish and unselfish.
* MagicRing
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: After killing Nollar.
* SecretKeeper: To Merlin.
* TearsOfRemorse: When Merlin demonstrates his magical powers to him.
* WhipItGood: In defending Merlin from bullies.

! Alator (Gary Lewis)

A HighPriest of the Catha, a sect of wizards who specialize in mind control and psychic torture. Alator is hired by Morgana to seek out the identity of the mysterious "Emrys." He appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E07TheSecretSharer}} The Secret Sharer]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E10TheKindnessOfStrangers}} The Kindness of Strangers]]''.

* TheAtoner: He refers to his days as a torturer as "not something to be proud of" in his second appearance.
* BadassLongRobe
* BaldOfAwesome
* TheBusCameBack: He returns in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS05E10TheKindnessOfStrangers}} The Kindness of Strangers]]''...
** BackForTheDead: ... only to be killed by Morgana.
* DefiantToTheEnd
* EvilSorcerer: {{Subverted}}
* FaceDeathWithDignity: Morgana, despite all her efforts, never does manage to break him and he tells her to her face that no matter what she does, she will never find Emrys and he will pass to the other world happy in the knowledge that she will be defeated no matter what she does.
* HeelFaceTurn: Sort of. He's actually a fairly neutral chracter, though we're initally led to believe that he's an EvilSorcerer in league with Morgana. On finding out that Merlin is the mysterious Emrys, he declares his loyalty to him.
* HighPriest
* KneelBeforeFrodo: Or in this case, Merlin.
* MagicStaff
* NeckSnap: How Morgana kills him.
* NotAfraidToDie: Explicitly so.
* PlayingWithFire
* PurpleIsPowerful: He wears purple robes.
** SupernaturalIsPurple
* SecretKeeper: One of the few who discovers Merlin's secret and survives to keep it ([[BackForTheDead at least until his second appearance]]).
* SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome
* SurprisinglySuddenDeath
* TortureTechnician: Morgana hires him to extract information from Gaius.
* ViolentGlaswegian
* WarriorMonk
* WeWillMeetAgain: To Merlin. {{Inverted}} in that he doesn't mean it as a threat. And then {{subverted}} considering they never do.
* [[WhenSheSmiles When He Smiles]]: In a DeletedScene he bids farewell to Merlin and gives him a completely unexpected (and lovely) smile.
* YouAreNotAlone: Says this to Merlin.

! Tristan and Isolde (Ben Daniels and Miranda Raison)

[[quoteright:216:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/35-1_6632.jpg]]

[-"Caught? Tristan and Isolde? I don't think so. We're too quick and too smart for the halfwit king in Camelot."-]

A pair of smugglers (and lovers) who don't think highly of Camelot or its King, but who decide to throw in their lot with Arthur after he and Merlin save Isolde's life. They appeared in ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E12TheSwordInTheStonePartI}} The Sword in the Stone Part I]]'' and ''[[{{Recap/MerlinS04E13TheSwordInTheStonePartII}} II]]''.

* ActionGirl: Isolde fluctuates between this and a FauxActionGirl before being [[spoiler:KilledOffForReal]].
* BackToBackBadasses: See picture.
* BadassLongcoat: Tristan
* BattleCouple
* BetaCouple: They serve as the catalyst for getting Arthur and Gwen back together..
* [[CheshireCatGrin Cheshire Cat Grins]]
* TheCynic: Tristan
* [[EleventhHourRanger Eleventh Hour Rangers]]
* {{Expy}}: According to writer Julian Jones, they are based on ''MrAndMrsSmith''.
* GoodBadGirl: Isolde
* [[LovableRogue Lovable Rogues]]: They give this vibe.
* MayDecemberRomance: No onscreen ages are given but Tristan certainly ''looks'' considerably older than Isolde (in real life there is a 16 year age gap between Ben Daniels and Miranda Raison.)
* Literature/TristanAndIseult: InNameOnly
* UglyGuyHotWife: Comparatively speaking.
* [[spoiler: VasquezAlwaysDies]]: Isolde


[[/folder]]

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[[/index]]
18th Feb '13 10:09:19 PM capricornchick23
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* HalfHumanHybrid: Merlin is the son of a human mother (Hunith) and a Dragonlord father (Balinor). Technically, he is a creature of the Old Religion.



* HeroicSelfDeprication: Merlin constantly saves others without asking for anything in return. He is selfless and humble.

to:

* HeroicSelfDeprication: HeroicSelfDeprecation: Merlin constantly saves others without asking for anything in return. He is selfless and humble.


Added DiffLines:

* HumbleHero: Is a highly powerful warlock who saves lives all of the time, yet Merlin doesn't yearn for power. Instead, he would rather be a servant boy than to be the most powerful being ever.


Added DiffLines:

* IJustWantToBeNormal: Subverted. Merlin, despite having played with this in his earlier years, has ultimately rejected it, embraced his powers as a gift and accepted his destiny to save the kingdom in secret until magic becomes legal.


Added DiffLines:

* ItSucksToBeTheChosenOne: Although the trope does apply to Arthur, it applies to Merlin so much more. Merlin has to keep his abilities a secret within a land that condemns magic and views magic as evil. At times, Merlin feels like an outsider and an alien.


Added DiffLines:

* MartyrWithoutACause: Merlin is constantly willing to trade his life in order to save others. He often offers himself up to be sacrificed without hesitation, especially if it is someone that he loves and cares about (examples include Arthur, Gaius, his mother, etc).


Added DiffLines:

* NaiveNewcomer: In the beginning, to the land of Camelot. Merlin leaves his childhood in Ealdor for Camelot.


Added DiffLines:

* PerpetualPoverty: Merlin is far from rich and financially, he and his mother struggled.


Added DiffLines:

* WhiteMagic: The type of magic that Merlin practices.
This list shows the last 10 events of 952. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Characters.Merlin