http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/merlin-characters-4_6604.jpg
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This page features a listing of the main characters of ''Series/{{Merlin}}''.

Merlin's individual character folder is so large that he needed to have his own subpage.

* Characters/MerlinTheCharacter

The main character page for the series is [[Characters/{{Merlin}} here]]. For other characters other than the main cast, go [[Characters/MerlinOthers here]].

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[[folder: Arthur Pendragon]]
![[spoiler:King]] Arthur Pendragon (Creator/BradleyJames)

[-'''Gaius''' "He is a future king. People expect so much of him. He's under a lot of pressure."-]

[[quoteright:280:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/arthur-01_5657.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.
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* AbortedDeclarationOfLove: Arthur seems to be on the verge of telling Guinevere that he loves her in the series three finale. However, she interrupts him after he makes the mistake of saying "if I never see you again..." which only compels her to insist that they will meet again.
* ActionHero: Combat is his main way of solving problem. Too bad he's in a series where the most dangerous enemies are manipulative and subtle.
* AdaptationalAngstUpgrade: Arthur has serious DaddyIssues and issues with everyone lying to him and betraying him, including his own best friend, Merlin.
* AdaptationalBadass: Arthur in the show series comes off as more badass, strong and tough than his Arthurian legend counterpart.
* AdiposeRex: As of the end of Series 4 Arthur seems to be heading down this path. Thankfully - [[spoiler: or not, due to him dying?]] - it is stopped before it becomes too bad... though it does require an extra hole in his belt for "extra comfort and ease of use".
* AggressiveCategorism: In the beginning Arthur was rather prejudiced, bigoted and judgemental. [[CharacterDevelopment He changed as the series progressed, mostly thanks to Merlin.]]
* AerithAndBob: Arthur and Merlin. While Arthur's name sounds rather normal and is considered to be quite common, the name Merlin is somewhat exotic and unique sounding by comparison.
* AlwaysSecondBest: Feels this way about Lancelot. Arthur believes that Lancelot is "the better man" in everything from their skills in combat to how Guinevere feels about them.
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: In regards to Lancelot again. And for good reason.
* AnchoredShip: With Gwen for a while.
* AnguishedDeclarationOfLove: To Merlin about Guinevere.
* AnimalMotifs: Arthur's last name ''Pendragon'' means '''Chief Dragon''' or '''Head Dragon'''.
* AnnoyingYoungerSibling: In series one, Morgana considers Arthur to be this.
* AntiHero: Arthur could be classified as a [[Analysis/AntiHero Type II or Type III]].
* ARealManIsAKiller: Arthur describes himself as "the ultimate killing machine" and this is in no way an InformedAbility. In fact, it's almost disconcerting to see him kill another man (albeit one who was trying to kill him) without a moment's hesitation in the very second episode of the show.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Uther's education philosophy. Arthur has to prove his worth as Crown Prince through tournaments and military leadership.
* AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: With Merlin and Morgana, sort of.
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Pendragon is a pretty cool and unique name.
* AwesomeMomentOfCrowning: When Arthur is crowned King in 4x03.
* {{Badass}}: He's ''King Arthur''.
** BadassBoast: When Arthur's loved ones are ever threatened, he won't hesitate to threaten you.
** BadassCape: Comes with being the Prince (and later, King) of Camelot.
** BadassInCharge: Arthur becomes the King Of Camelot in season four after his father, Uther, dies.
** BadassInDistress: ''All the time.'' So much that it is a RunningGag in the series.
** BadassLongcoat: Arthur is constantly seen wearing one.
** BadassNormal: Arthur has no superhuman abilities and is completely human, yet he can still kick major ass and is a very skilled fighter and warrior.
** CulturedBadass: Arthur is from royalty and enjoys all of the finer things in life that come along with it.
** HeartbrokenBadass: Has faced some heartbreak and problems with love.
* 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.
* BashBrothers: With Merlin.
* BattleCouple: With Gwen, [[spoiler: before and after he and Gwen become King and Queen of Camelot.]]
* BecauseDestinySaysSo: Arthur is destined to be the greatest king Albion has ever known.
** Also destined to unite the five kingdoms back into the great land of Albion, rule as High King with the most powerful warlock ever (Merlin) and free the magical people.
** ProphecyTwist: [[spoiler: He dies before he could achieve ''any'' of those. It's his Queen Guinevere who brings about a golden age]].
* BerserkButton: He reacts badly to any perceived slight against his honor or integrity. Likewise, threatening his father (Uther), his servant (Merlin), his half sister (Morgana), or ''especially'' his beloved (Gwen) is a surefire way of getting killed by a very angry King.
* TheBerserker: Arthur seems to be always willing to throw himself into a battle, regardless of the consequences and dangers. Thankfully, he has Merlin watching his back and saving him constantly.
* BigBrotherInstinct: Towards Merlin.
* BigBrotherMentor: To Merlin, although Lancelot and Gwaine probably fit the bill better. Also to [[spoiler:Mordred]] in 5x05.
* BigDamnHeroes: Often alongside Merlin, albeit, most of the time without Arthur's knowledge.
* BigGood: Except for his prejudice against magic (and YMMV on the extent to which he actually hates magic), Arthur stands for honour, chivalry, and compassion. His dreams and idealism are arguably what reign Merlin in when the latter is on the verge of [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope jumping off the slippery slope]]. Arthur's also the one Morgana considers her main rival and seeks to destroy, and the prophesied great king that Merlin bets everything on. He is the opposite of [[EvilSorcerer Morgana]], who is the BigBad.
* BloodKnight: Arthur loves fighting and defending his kingdom. He believes that it is a part of his duty to do so.
* BoisterousBruiser: Arthur goes hunting or travels for quests with gusto, especially in the beginning of the series.
* BrainsAndBrawn: Arthur is the Brawn to Merlin's Brains. While Arthur is more of a fighter and a warrior, Merlin relies more on strategy, his brains, his intelligence and manipulation tactics in order to fight the enemy.
* BrokenPedestal: Arthur is a huge WellDoneSonGuy who's basically spent his entire life having it hammered into him that whatever he does, his father Uther does it better. After about three years of ruling as king, he gets a chance to contact Uther from the otheworld, who immediately [[{{Jerkass}} reams him out on all the]] [[SarcasmMode "stupid"]] [[{{Jerkass}} decisions he's made to bring equality to the land.]] Arthur's heartbroken, and accidentally lets Uther's spirit free, who proceeds to wreck the Round Table, attack Percival with an ax, and attempt to set Guinevere on fire. Arthur's in denial for a lot of this, but he finally breaks and realizes just how terrible a man his father was.
* BrokenTears: When his father dies, and when confronted with the ghost of a boy who died in a raid led by him.
* BromanticFoil: To Merlin, of course.
* BrotherSisterIncest: With Morgana. The show started out heavily hinting at a Arthur/Morgana pairing in series 1. Then as series 2 started, all of the build-up was dropped and the pairing was completely ignored. Then in series 3, Arthur and Morgana were revealed to be half-brother and -sister. [[FunnyAneurysmMoment Which makes all their interaction in series 1 look]] [[{{Squick}} rather strange]] in retrospect.
** Although this could have been GettingCrapPastTheRadar. WordOfGod said they backed off rather suddenly on this ship to start the Arthur/Gwen ship, but in hindsight, touching on a relationship with Arthur and Morgana way before they confirmed the two shared a father was probably the only way to show their legendary incestuous relationship on a family show.
* BrutalHonesty: Sometimes Arthur can be too blunt and harsh, especially towards Merlin. Luckily, Merlin is just as sarcastic and blunt as well, so it equates to constant SnarkToSnarkCombat between Arthur and Merlin.
* CainAndAbel: With Morgana. In terms of roles, Arthur is the Abel (the BigGood) to Morgana's Cain (the BigBad). It doesn't help that Morgana spent much of her time plotting against Arthur and trying to kill him. See SiblingYinYang.
* CallingTheOldManOut: Especially in "The Sins of the Father".
** [[spoiler: In "The Death Song of Uther Pendragon", when confronted by Uther's vengeful ghost]].
* CantLiveWithThemCantLiveWithoutThem: His relationship with Merlin. Though it may seem that Arthur constantly picks on Merlin and teases him, it has been proven and shown that without Merlin, Arthur really doesn't function all that well, if not, ''at all''. Hell, Arthur can't even ''get dressed'' without Merlin.
* CannotSpitItOut: His feelings for Gwen. He's also infamous for frequently giving backhanded compliments to Merlin instead of acknowledging the guy's wisdom.
* CannotTalkToWomen: After asking [[RomanticFalseLead Princess Mithian]] out for a picnic lunch, he mutters to himself: "I've never been much good at this." Something of an InformedFlaw, as he never ''really'' seems that uneasy around the likes of Morgana, Guinevere, or any other visiting princess.
* CatchPhrase: "Shut up, Merlin."
* TheChainsOfCommanding: He is willing to try his best to be a better ruler, but is haunted by his inability to make good judgements about people. He has also complained about the burden of expectations placed on him.
* ChickMagnet
** Although this is kind of an InformedAttribute, {{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: ''The'' Chosen One of the series. He has Merlin and Guinevere, who are chosen ones by their own rights one way or another, to protect and guide him.
* ChronicHeroSyndrome: Arthur has the constant need to save people as much as possible.
* TheComicallySerious: In comic relief moments.
* CommonalityConnection: With Merlin. Originally, when Arthur first met Merlin, Arthur thinks of Merlin as a silly, incompetent, foolish and stupid peasant. But eventually, Arthur comes to realize just how important Merlin is to him as the series progresses. On the outside, Arthur and Merlin don't share anything in common in terms of backgrounds, personalities, upbringings and outlooks, but what they do share in common is the same destiny.
* CompetitionFreak: Arthur is really competitive by nature.
* ConflictingLoyalty: Arthur has moments where he butts heads with Uther, usually when the latter is being too harsh, accusing an obviously innocent person of witchcraft, or not taking good enough care of the people of Camelot.
* CoolCrown: He's probably meant to have this but ends up getting the short end of the stick. Whilst Uther wore a simple but respectable looking circlet, Prince Arthur had something that looked like a shiny metal head-band. In a FlashForward, Arthur was seen wearing Uther's crown, but when he finally became King himself, he switched to a giant gold crown with fleur-de-lis spikes on it, which most people thought looked a little bit like the Burger King crown.
* CoolSword: {{Excalibur}}.
* TheCorruptible: Arthur is probably the most corruptible character in the entire series. It's mostly because Arthur is too easily trusting and naive in regards to others and their intentions.
* CorruptTheCutie: Arthur has been corrupted or deceived by almost every single person who was close to him. He is often the victim of much corruption from various characters (such as Agravaine and Morgana, for example).
* CostumePorn: Arthur wears highly impressive armour.
* CrazyJealousGuy: Arthur doesn't appreciate Guinevere having close friendships with any other males (except Merlin) and becomes a GreenEyedMonster every time she seems particularly fond of any one other than him. When he catches her and Lancelot in an embrace, he attacks Lancelot and would have killed him had Guinevere not thrown herself between them.
* TheCynic: Subverted. Arthur was this in the beginning, the opposite of Merlin, who was TheIdealist. Later on, Arthur became [[CharacterDevelopment much more idealistic and hopeful]] while Merlin became [[JadeColoredGlasses much more pragmatic, realistic and cynical in his thinking.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: Definitely has his witty and humorous moments throughout the series. Most of them are with [[PluckyComicRelief Merlin]].
* DecoyProtagonist: Arguably. Despite five seasons worth of prophesies stating that he will lift the ban on magic, unite the kingdoms and rule over the Golden Age of Albion, [[spoiler:he never does. He dies before achieving any of it and it's implied in the finale (confirmed by WordOfGod in [[http://herocomplex.latimes.com/tv/merlin-co-creator-julian-murphy-on-series-emotional-conclusion/#/26 this interview]]) that it'll be Guinevere who does all those things.]]
* [[DefrostingIceQueen Defrosting Ice Prince/Defrosting Ice King]]: Due to the influence of Merlin and Gwen, Arthur goes from an arrogant, entitled, impulsive young noble to a much kinder, humble, and understanding leader.
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: Arthur can be sexist and elitist at times.
* DesignatedVictim: In almost every single episode, Merlin always has to save Arthur from many enemies and dangers. It's a RunningGag in the series.
* TheDeterminator: Most of the time, Arthur is rather determined and doesn't quit when he really wants something.
* {{Deuteragonist}}: To Merlin's [[{{Protagonist}} protagonist]].
* DistressedDude: In almost every single episode. He's the target of dozens of assassination attempts, and is regularly poisoned, shot, knocked out, hypnotized, held prisoner, and put under enchantments.
* DoesNotKnowHowToSayThanks: Arthur is never that good with expressing gratitude and appreciation towards others, notably Merlin. [[spoiler: This is up until the series finale when Arthur's final words to Merlin before he dies is '''THANK YOU.''']]
* DoesNotLikeShoes: Attention is never explicitly called to it, but he frequently goes barefoot when he's in his own chambers.
* DontYouDarePityMe: Arthur hates it when others feel sorry for him.
* DoomedByCanon: [[spoiler: It was pretty much expected that Arthur would end up dying at the end of the series. And he does.]]
* TheDragon: To his father, especially in the eyes of Camelot's enemies.
* 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.
* DumbMuscle: Unfortunately, for someone expected to be a wise ruler, perceptiveness isn't his strong point.
* TheDutifulSon: To his own detriment even.
* EmotionalBruiser: Becomes more of this thanks to Merlin and Gwen. Arthur became more comfortable with opening up and expressing his feelings and vulnerability.
* EmotionallyTongueTied: Especially in the beginning. Arthur always had issues with expressing his feelings. This changes later on though, thanks to both Merlin and Gwen.
* EvenTheGuysWantHim: King Alined admits to being a bit attracted to him.
* {{Expy}}: Of [[Series/{{Smallville}} Pete Ross]].
* ExtremeDoormat: Sometimes Arthur seemed this way in regards to Uther, much to Arthur's detriment. He had a tendency to follow his father and his orders blindly due to Arthur's strong desire to please his father.
* 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.
* FatalFlaw: He just can't help trusting the wrong people. It's endearing, but also immensely frustrating.
* {{Flanderization}}: He started out as an arrogant prat, but he was also observant, intelligent and quick-thinking, and wasn't afraid to defy his father. In later seasons, he was given crippling Daddy Issues, would dismiss Merlin at every opportunity, and was utterly oblivious to magic even when it was happening right before his eyes. To add insult to injury, it became a RunningGag that he wasn't even able to dress himself. It's actually quite shocking to go back and watch him in the first seasons, in which he immediately takes Merlin's word that a magic-user is on the loose in the ''second'' episode, and for him to correctly identify a small hurricane as magical in the ''tenth''.
* 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.
** Agravaine exploits his insecurities and desires to please his father to manipulate him into potentially disastrous decisions.
* 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."''']]
* {{Foil}}: To Lancelot. Lancelot's presence highlighted both Arthur's faults and his virtues. On the one hand, when Arthur realizes that there may be something between Lance/Gwen he pulls a massive sulk and makes an off-handed comment that he's only there because Morgana begged him; whilst Lancelot graciously admits defeat and bows out of the Love Triangle before there's any more trouble. On the other hand, the fact that Lancelot leaves in the middle of the night without even saying goodbye highlights Arthur's honesty with Gwen when he tells her that nothing can ever happen between them.
** Also to Merlin. Their backgrounds, upbringings, outlooks and personalities are entirely different.
* ForGreatJustice: Basically Arthur's motto regarding his duty to Camelot and Albion.
* FreudianExcuse: It's clear that many of Arthur's emotional and psychological issues and insecurities stem from the fact that he was raised by an emotionally distant and abusive father (Uther). It didn't help that Arthur was completely motherless growing up (thanks to Uther, of course).
* FreudianTrio: In the trio of himself, Merlin and Gwen, Arthur is TheMcCoy/Id (Arrogant, aggressive, impulsive, is driven by his emotions, usually puts the individual before the bigger picture to Arthur's) to Merlin's TheSpock/Superego (Calm, secretive, logical, intelligent, has made at least one Sadistic Choice in which he sacrificed a dear friend in order to save a greater number of people) and Gwen's TheKirk/Ego (TheHeart, motherly, nurturing, adored by both men as a LoveInterest/[[LikeBrotherAndSister Sister Figure]]). See TheMcCoy.
** In the PowerTrio of himself (Courage), Merlin (Magic) and Gwaine (Strength), Arthur is TheSpock/Superego (Stoic, serious, strategic, noble, courageous) to Merlin's TheKirk/Ego (Balanced, neutral, peacemaker, the mediator between the opposing personalities of Arthur and Gwaine, friends with both Arthur and Gwaine) and Gwaine's TheMcCoy/Id (Fun-loving, roguish, carefree, rebellious, daredevil).
* FriendlyRivalry: With Gwaine.
* FriendshipDenial: With Merlin in the beginning. Merlin would often acknowledge Arthur as his friend, but Arthur would often deny this and say that he is just his servant. Subverted now that Arthur has frequently addressed Merlin as his friend later on in the series.
* FriendshipMoment: Most, if not all of them, are with Merlin.
* GenreBlindness: When Arthur claims something, you know it is not true.
* GivingSomeoneThePointerFinger: To Merlin, often.
* GoodColorsEvilColors: Arthur often wears the colours Red and Gold.
* GoodIsNotDumb: If there was a trope named Genre Blind Is Not Dumb, 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.
* TheGoodKing: What he is expected to be.
* GreenEyedMonster: A couple of times, when Lancelot or Gwaine look particularly friendly with Gwen.
* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold
* HairTriggerTemper: In the beginning. An indication of his maturity throughout the series is the frequency of his temper tantrum, especially towards Merlin.
* HardHead: Arthur getting knocked out is both RunningGag and a convenient way to keep Merlin's magic from him.
* HappilyMarried: To Gwen [[spoiler: until Arthur's death at the end of the series.]]
* HeroAntagonist: Arthur occasionally lapses into this. While he's undoubtedly a good guy, he has been raised from birth to be distrustful of magic and will not hestitate to arrest anyone caught using it, even though the penalty is death. What seperates him from Uther is that he does this not out of maliciousness, but because [[MyMasterRightOrWrong it is his Father's law]] and he's honour bound to obey it.
* HeroesPreferSwords: Arthur always uses one, even though he's shown to be quite handy with a mace.
* 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.
** Has a HUGE one in the series finale, when he discovers that the one person he trusts the most, his best friend (Merlin), is in fact a sorcerer and that Merlin had been lying to him for the whole time.
* HeroicSacrifice: Drinks the (supposedly) poison for Merlin in ''The Labyrinth of Gedref''. Later, he intends to sacrifice himself to close the veil between the living and undead worlds in ''The Darkest Hour'', and [[TakeMeInstead offers his life for Mordred's]] in ''The Disir''.
* HeterosexualLifePartners[=/=]HoYay: With Merlin.
* HiddenDepths: He first appears as a spoilt royal JerkJock but as Merlin gets to know him better, his insecurities about his own worth as a leader and his genuine strong sense of honour surface.
* HiddenHeartOfGold: Arthur came off as arrogant and self-centred but underneath his JerkassFacade is a pure heart.
* HomoeroticSubtext: With Merlin OH SO MUCH.
* HonorBeforeReason: Merlin frequently has to intercede before Arthur's 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
* {{Hunk}}
* IWorkAlone: Due to his father's influence, he believes that as a leader, he cannot afford to rely on anyone, especially emotionally. Merlin, Gwen and the knights prove him wrong.
* [[IceQueen Ice Prince or Ice King]]: He's very aloof, stoic, and averse to expressing his emotions originally (when he doesn't throw temper tantrums). Merlin and Gwen's influence manages to change that.
* IconicOutfit: [[TwentyFourHourArmor Mail shirt]] with the Pendragon red cape.
* TheIdealist
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice:[[spoiler: How Mordred kills him]]
* ImprobableAimingSkills
* InadequateInheritor: Believes himself to be this throughout series 1. In series 5, Uther[[spoiler:'s ghost]] appears to tell him so.
* IncestSubtext: [[spoiler:Now that Morgana has been revealed to be his half-sister, their [[{{UST}} relationship]] in series 1 seems like this.]]
* InferioritySuperiorityComplex: His {{Jerkass}} behaviour near the start of the series is quickly put down to his FreudianExcuse of having a very demanding and emotionally-distant father, and it's clear in his insecurity with Guinevere, Merlin, Morgana, and Lancelot that he doesn't consider himself worthy of their affection or friendship, even as he takes them all for granted. Merlin and Gwen have to give him many pep talks about believing in himself instead of following his father's examples during his HeroicBSOD moments.
* 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, chivalrous Once and Future King]].
* InnocentlyInsensitive: He doesn't realize that it is rude to refuse Hunith's breakfast in ''The Moment of Truth'' and his stay inconveniences Gwen in ''The Once and Future Queen''. Gwen calls him out on both cases.
* IntergenerationalFriendship: With Gaius.
* InterspeciesFriendship: With Merlin. Merlin is a warlock and a Dragon Lord with magical abilities and Arthur is a human.
* IHaveNoIdeaWhatImDoing: Arthur wasn't entirely sure that his plan to smear himself in Gaia berries to confuse the Wilderen would be successful. Merlin is not hugely pleased when he finds out.
** Arthur also gets a moment of this when his father starts dying.
** Arthur in 4x11 when faced with marriage to a lovely princess or seeking out the woman that (he thinks) betrayed him, tells Merlin that he has no idea what to do.
* ILoveYouBecauseICantControlYou: Arthur begins to fall for Guinevere after she calls him out on his rude behaviour and he realizes that she's the only one who doesn't just tell him what he wants to hear.
** Also the reason why Arthur and Merlin get along so well.
* InSeriesNickname: Merlin calls Arthur "Clotpole" or "Dollophead". Arthur is never amused by this.
* ItsAllAboutMe: Originally, Arthur was very entitled and self-centered even if he genuinely cares for the people of Camelot. He started to display humility as the series progressed though.
* ItsAllMyFault: It says something about Arthur that when he is betrayed by his loved ones, the first question he asks is "Where did I go wrong?"
* ItSucksToBeTheChosenOne: He complains about his life being planned out for him and the resulting expectations several times. Also, being the chosen one for him means he suffers from countless betrayals from people he loves.
* {{Jerkass}}: Initially. And hints of this remain in his treatment of Merlin throughout the series.
** JerkJock: His first appearance, complete with bullying the scrawny Merlin.
** JerkassFacade
** JerkWithAHeartOfGold
* KickTheDog: In one episode, Arthur went to go get a flower to cure Merlin against his father's orders. As soon as he came back, his own father imprisoned him for disobeying orders. Arthur didn't care if he stayed in prison for days or weeks, as long as the flower got to Merlin. He even begged his father to at least deliver the flower. Uther simply crushed the flower in front of Arthur, told him to get another servant and dropped the flower just out of Arthur's reach.
* [[spoiler:KilledOffForReal:]] As of ''The Diamond of the Day Part 2''.
** [[spoiler:KingInTheMountain: He's resting in Avalon.]]
* KingArthur
* KnightInShiningArmor
* KnightKnaveAndSquire: Arthur is The Knight to Merlin's The Squire and Gwaine's The Knave. They are also the trio of Courage (Arthur), Magic (Merlin) and Strength (Gwaine).
* KingIncognito: Pulls this in ''The Once and Future Queen'' and ''Gwaine''.
* [[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.]]
* TheLeader: Arthur is a blend of Type III and Type IV.
* 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.
* LongLostSibling: To Morgana. He is her paternal half brother.
* LoveHurts
* LoveRedeems
* LoveTriangle: Arthur/Gwen/Lancelot. [[spoiler: Arthur wins.]]
* MagicFeather: Amusingly, Excalibur serves as one for him.
* MagneticHero: His biggest asset as a leader is his ability to inspire respect and loyalty in other people.
* MagneticPlotDevice
* MalignedMixedMarriage: Arthur and Gwen are essentially this trope because [[UptownGirl Arthur is royalty while Gwen is a servant girl]] and King Uther won't hear of a romance between them. Though Arthur is white and Gwen is mixed-race, race is not a factor in Uther's disapproval.
* 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.
* MasterSwordsman: Arthur is the best swordsman in Camelot.
* 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."
* MartyrWithoutACause: Arthur is willing to die or sacrifice his life even when it isn't a wise thing.
* TheMcCoy/'''Id''' (FreudianTrio): In the trio between himself, Merlin and Gwen, Arthur is TheMcCoy/Id (arrogant, aggressive, impulsive, HotBlooded) to Merlin's TheSpock/Superego (calm, logical, intelligent, TheChessmaster) and Gwen's TheKirk/Ego (motherly, nurturing, sensitive, TheChick). See FreudianTrio.
** In the PowerTrio of himself (''Courage''), Merlin (''Magic'') and Gwaine (''Strength''), Arthur is TheSpock/Supergego (stoic, strategic, noble, KnightInShiningArmor) to Merlin's TheKirk/Ego (balanced, neutral, peacemaker between Arthur and Gwaine, TheHeart) and Gwaine's TheMcCoy/Id (fun loving, roguish, rebellious, PluckyComicRelief).
* MeaningfulName: The name ''Arthur'' means ''noble''. However, it also means ''bear''.
** His last name ''Pendragon'' means ''Head Dragon'' or ''Chief Dragon''.
* 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..[[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment 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.
* ModestRoyalty: Even though Arthur can appear arrogant, Arthur doesn't always believe that he is worthy of his position as leader and King of Camelot. Merlin and Guinevere have to constantly remind Arthur that he is worthy of his position.
* MoralityPet: To Merlin. As a contrast to Morgana, who doesn't use her power for anyone else, Merlin's loyalty to Arthur designates the warlock as the "good" guy.
* MrFanservice: With his endless shirtless scenes, he's a treat for anyone who appreciates male beauty.
* MuggleBestFriend: To Merlin.
* [[MyNameIsInigoMontoya My Name Is Arthur Pendragon]]
* 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.
* NamedWeapons: The infamous ''Excalibur'', the sword that is basically created especially for him. However, the name only appears as title for an episode and is never mentioned by the characters.
* NiceToTheWaiter: Arthur flip-flops with this in regard to Merlin. While he clearly assumes he's the superior and constantly insults and berates Merlin while Merlin's trying to do his job, he has shown that he cares about the common people and occasionally shows Merlin some measure of affection and respect.
** He's also willing to risk his life to protect or save Merlin without a second thought.
* 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.
* NobleMaleRoguishMale: Arthur is the Noble Male to Merlin's Roguish Male. While Arthur is very noble and chivalrous, Merlin is more careless and is willing to use underhanded means from time to time to accomplish his goals or mission.
* 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 prophecized to be the Once and Future King who will bring back magic but also because he has become a friend.
* OddCouple: With Merlin.
* OddFriendship: With Merlin again.
* 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}}.
* OfficialCouple: With Gwen. [[spoiler: At the end of season four, they get married and become the RulingCouple of Camelot.]]
* 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.]]
* OppositesAttract: In regards to his romance with Gwen. While Gwen was a poor servant, Arthur is a wealthy royal.
* OverlordJr: Arthur qualifies completely. A bit of a WellDoneSonGuy, extremely loyal to his father, although he increasingly questions his most hardline policies, particularly on magic (which is logical, because Uther's stance on that particular matter is heavily irrational).
* PinballProtagonist: Happens a lot to Arthur, particularly in the later seasons.
** In one notable example is in ''The Eye of the Phoenix'', Arthur has a vision that instructs him to seek out the Trident in the lands of the Fisher King. He wanders all the way to the Perilous Lands where he's promptly knocked unconscious by a spirit-destroying bracelet given to him by Morgana. Merlin follows in his wake, meets the FisherKing, retrieves the true MacGuffin (the trident is useless) and is told that the entire journey was for ''his'' benefit. Arthur was just the catalyst for getting him there, and one can't help but wonder why the vision wasn't just sent to Merlin in the first place.
* ThePowerOfTrust: ArbitrarySkepticism to Merlin's claims aside, he's the most trusting person in the whole cast and that makes him sympathetic and earns him incredibly loyal knights. On the flip side, unfortunately for him, just about every loved one in his life betrays him one way or another.
* PrinceCharming: Especially to visiting ladies.
* ThePromise: "When I am King, I promise you; things will be different. We can be together."
* TheProudElite: In the beginning. He becomes less arrogant as the series progressed.
* 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.
* RageBreakingPoint: When Arthur confronts Gwen about kissing Lancelot on the night before their wedding. He starts out speaking quietly and calmly, listing reasons for her behavior. When she doesn't agree with any of them he completely loses it, starts yelling, and grabs her by the shoulders. Almost immediately, though, the rage subsides and he apologizes.
* RatedMForManly
* RealMenGetShot: In ''The Fires Of Idirsholas'', Arthur is almost delighted by the fact that Merlin has sustained his "first battle wound!"
* RealMenHateAffection: He prefers to show fondness for Merlin and Morgana through backhanded compliments and snarking contests.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Arthur is a fair and just king, significantly more fair and just than his father, Uther.
* RedBaron: The King Of Camelot, Courage, The Once And Future King.
* RedOniBlueOni: Arthur is the Red to Merlin's Blue. Arthur is more hot-blooded, impulsive and passionate, while Merlin is more practical, logical and intelligent.
* [[spoiler: ResurrectiveImmortality: When Albion needs him.]]
* RichInDollarsPoorInSense: Arthur in the episode "The Once and Future Queen", when he's staying with Gwen. He says he'd like to take a bath, she tells him that might be hard as she doesn't own a bathtub, and he just stares at her, speechless.
* RichSuitorPoorSuitor: In regards to the love triangle between himself, Gwen and Lancelot. While Arthur is a wealthy royal (Rich Suitor), Lancelot is a poor commoner (Poor Suitor).
* RiskingTheKing: He usually jumps head first into dangers, to Merlin and Gwen's distress.
* RoyalBlood: Arthur comes from a family of royalty in which is father (Uther) is the King of Camelot. [[spoiler: Once Uther died, Arthur became King.]]
* RoyalBrat: Basically Arthur's middle name.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: The series shows him to be not only the Camelot's heir apparent, but also the day-to-day commander of the kingdom's armed forces. He not only leads them in battle, but also recruits the knights and oversees their training. He also seems to be the closest thing that the kingdom has to a sheriff or chief of police. If any "crime" occurs, it's usually Arthur that's sent to investigate.
* RulingCouple: With Queen Guinevere since season four. [[spoiler: Subverted since Arthur dies at the end of the series.]]
* SacrificedBasicSkillForAwesomeTraining: Arthur is unable to dress himself without the help of his manservant, 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.[[note]]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![[/note]]
* ScarilyCompetentTracker
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Arthur is the Manly Man to Merlin's Sensitive Guy.
** Also the Manly Man to Lancelot's Sensitive Guy.
* ShirtlessScene: A LOT.
* SiblingYinYang: With Morgana. They have opposing personalities and outlooks.
* SlapSlapKiss: With Morgana.
* SnarkToSnarkCombat: Often with Merlin.
* SpiritedCompetitor
* TheSpock/'''Superego''' (FreudianTrio): In the PowerTrio of himself (''Courage''), Merlin (''Magic'') and Gwaine (''Strength''), Arthur is TheSpock/Superego (serious, noble, honourable, TheStoic, TheStrategist, KnightInShiningArmor) to Merlin's TheKirk/Ego (balanced, neutral, peacemaker between the opposing personalities of Arthur and Gwaine, friends with both Arthur and Gwaine, TakeAThirdOption, TheHeart, TheConscience) and Gwaine's TheMcCoy/Id (fun loving, roguish, rebellious, LoveableRogue, KnightInSourArmor, PluckyComicRelief).
* SpoiledBrat: So much. Especially in the beginning.
* StayWithMeUntilIDie: [[spoiler: Arthur tells Merlin in the series finale before he knows he's about to die for Merlin to stay with him and hold him.]]
* TheStoic: Arthur didn't show all that much emotion early on in the series. Merlin and Gwen's influence manages to change that quite dramatically.
* 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.
* SwordAndSorcerer: Arthur is the Sword to Merlin's Sorcerer.
* TheseHandsHaveKilled: ''The Herald of a New Age'' reveals that he has done pretty horrible things in the past before Merlin arrives in Camelot.
* ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks: Chucks one at a cockatrice.
* TragicBromance: With Merlin. [[spoiler: Arthur dies at the end of the series while Merlin stays with him.]]
* TragicHero: Arthur grew up trying to please an emotionally distant father. Most of the people he trusts betray him one way or another for different reasons. All his efforts to be a good king turn out to be not enough and Camelot is repeatedly threatened because of his tendency to blindly trust the wrong person.
* TraumaCongaLine: The end of series 3 and series 4 are not kind to him. Morgana usurps the throne of Camelot, leaving his father a broken shell. His father later dies under circumstances that he blames himself for. Guinevere apparently cheats on him with Lancelot. To top it all, it turns out his uncle Agravaine has been betraying him all along. He's in such a bad HeroicBSOD that Merlin has to find a MagicFeather for him to regain faith in himself.
* {{Tsundere}}: Arthur is '''Type A''', primarily towards Merlin.
* TwentyFourHourArmour: It's not very consistent, but sometimes he can wear his armour at the oddest times, including to banquets and other casual celebrations.
* UndyingLoyalty: To Camelot and Albion.
* TheUnfavorite: It seemed as though Uther favoured Morgana over him. Uther was more tough on Arthur than he was towards Morgana.
* UnfitForGreatness: Sometimes Arthur believes that he is not a worthy king or leader. He needs many pep talks from others, primarily Merlin and Gwen, in order to believe that he is a worthy king and leader of Camelot. In the season four finale, Arthur loses all hope in himself that he is worthy of being the King of Camelot, even agreeing with Tristan that there is nothing special about him that grants him worthy of his power and position. It takes [[HopeBringer Merlin]] getting Arthur to pull [[CoolSword Excalibur]] out of a stone for Arthur to believe and have faith in himself again.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: With Gwen. It's resolved by the end of series four when [[spoiler: they get married]].
* UnwittingMuggleFriend: For the whole series, Arthur was completely unaware and in the dark about Merlin being a powerful warlock who possessed magic. Merlin kept his secret from Arthur out of fear that Arthur would banish him or execute him. This is now subverted [[spoiler: in the series finale, when Merlin FINALLY reveals the truth to Arthur that he is a powerful sorcerer. Much to Merlin's surprise, Arthur comes to accept Merlin and his magic, despite being extremely shocked and disgusted at first.]]
* UptownGirl: A GenderFlipped case for 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, usually accompanied with throwing things on his side.
* WalkingShirtlessScene: Arthur has plenty of them throughout the series, that it's too many to count.
* WarriorPrince
* WasItAllALie: [[spoiler: After Merlin comes clean to him about having magic, he questions everything he knows about Merlin.]]
---> [[spoiler: '''Arthur''': So you're not an idiot. It's all a lie]]
* WeUsedToBeFriends: In regards to Morgana, after she did a FaceHeelTurn.
* WeaponOfChoice: [[CaptainObvious Excalibur]], though it does not actually happen until the end of Series 4.
* WeaponTwirling
* WellDoneSonGuy: Growing out of his desire to please his father is a big part of his characterisation.
* [[WillTheyOrWontThey Will They Or Won't They]]: Arthur and Gwen. Their budding relationship constantly grows strained because of their different social classes.
** The magic reveal subplot with Merlin has shades of this too.
* WithFriendsLikeThese: Merlin.
* WouldntHitAGirl: Unlike [[CombatPragmatist Merlin]] or Uther.
* WrongGenreSavvy: Seems to get this no matter which direction he swings in. He either thinks he's the protagonist out to slay the monster or that he's a worthless excuse for a ruler. The guy doesn't seem to get SupportingLeader.
* YoungAndInCharge
* YouAreBetterThanYouThinkYouAre: It's hinted that Arthur, despite his arrogance, suffers from low self-esteem thanks to the high expectations of his father. It's usually Merlin and Guinevere who provide the moral support needed for him to really embrace his role as a leader and future king.
[[/folder]]

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

[[quoteright:280:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/morgana-01_6920.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.
* ActionFashionista: Morgana loves fashion plus she's an ActionGirl to boot.
* 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. It's repeatedly shown that compared to Merlin, she's basically an ant.
* AffablyEvil: Morgana appeared this way to everyone, including to Merlin, Arthur, Uther, and Gwen, during the beginning of season three. She appeared to be polite and nice to everyone's faces, primarily Uther and Gwen. However, Morgana had already slipped over to the dark side. She became full-on evil in the later part of season three onwards.
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: She seemed particularly interested in both Valiant in season one and Alvarr in season two.
* AloofDarkHairedGirl
* AlphaBitch: Oh so much.
* AmbitionIsEvil: Morgana's thirst for power and to become Queen of Camelot and gain entitlement to the throne at any cost, including trying to kill her own half brother (Arthur) and turning against her own former best friend (Gwen), is nothing but pure evil. Morgana's hunger for power turned out to be her ultimate downfall.
* AntagonisticOffspring: To Uther.
* AntiHero: Pre-MoralEventHorizon. Morgana could be classified as PragmaticHero and UnscrupulousHero.
* AntiVillain: Morgana could be classified as a WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds r WellIntentionedExtremist. 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).
* ArchEnemy: To Merlin (though she doesn't fully understand to what extent until the very end).
* AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: With Arthur, although the specifics of this trope don't apply due to their mostly [[LikeBrotherandSister siblingly]] relationship.
* AxeCrazy: Definitely becomes this season four onwards albeit in a rather cold and manipulative way.
* {{Badass}}: Morgana is an extremely powerful witch.
** BadassBoast: Morgana has a huge ego and has zero problem with using her powers to try to intimidate others.
** [[BadassCape Badass Cloak]]: Morgana is often seen wearing one, especially after she does a FaceHeelTurn.
** BadassNormal: Before she discovered that she was a witch who possessed magical abilities.
*** EmpoweredBadassNormal: After Morgana gained her magical abilities. Not only did Morgana become a powerful witch and High Priestess, but she is also a master swordswoman and highly skilled in combat, skills which she possessed before she gained any of her magic.
** BadassPrincess: Morgana comes from RoyalBlood.
** BadassInCharge: Briefly at the end of season three and in season four. She became Queen of Camelot after deposing Uther.
* 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: Morgana suffers from nightmares, mostly about something bad that is going to happen to others in the future.
* BastardBastard: Morgana is the illegitimate daughter of King Uther and a woman named Vivienne.
* BatmanGambit: Toward's every character in the series, primarily to Arthur, Merlin and Gwen. Morgana often used manipulation (primarily with the use of magic) in order to cause harm to others.
* TheBeautifulElite: Especially in season's one and two. Not to mention that Morgana does come from RoyalBlood, although that was unknown in the first few seasons.
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: Eventually {{subverted}}.
* BeautyIsBad: From season three onwards after Morgana did a FaceHeelTurn.
* BecameTheirOwnAntithesis: She went through many personality changes after series 2. You can find almost no similarities between her former self and her new self. Morgana was at first a confident, brave, and always compassionate young woman, who didn't judge any differences between magicians and non-magicians. After she discovers she has magical powers and would thus be hunted by Uther and shunned in Camelot, she becomes insecure and paranoid. Her feelings of isolation and lack of self-worth make her more self-focused. She slowly begins seeing everyone in Camelot as an enemy and reinterprets her relationships with them. After a betrayal, she begins to feel justified in her fear and considers all non-magic users in Camelot as worthless and cruel enemies who deserve to die. She then uses her insight into their inner lives to trap them, manipulate their minds, and ruin their romantic plot lines.
* BigBad: In series four and onwards. She is the opposite of [[TheGoodKing Arthur]], the BigGood.
** [[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.
* BirdsOfAFeather: With Merlin, Mordred and Morgause. All have the gift of magic, although Morgana is originally unaware of that Merlin has magic.
* BlackCloak: In series 4, complete with [[InTheHood hood]].
* BlingOfWar: Morgana's "action gear" involves a shiny metal corset of some kind. Unless she were shot directly in the stomach, it's utterly impractical.
* BondVillainStupidity: Where do we even start?
* [[RingOfPower Bracelet Of Power]]: Morgana wears a special bracelet which was given to her by her half sister Morgause. The bracelet has magical power.
* BrainyBrunette: Of the MagnificentBitch type.
* 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: Although she has become evil, everything had gone wrong for Morgana. It is probably the biggest reason why Morgana did a FaceHeelTurn to begin with.
* ButtMonkey: Even before her HeelFaceTurn, the writers did not seem to like her.
** CorruptTheCutie: She became evil after her half sister Morgause started to manipulate her over to the dark side.
** KillTheCutie (in that order): She is killed [[spoiler: by Merlin in the series finale after he stabs her with a sword in dragons breath.]]
* 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]].
* BrotherSisterIncest: With Arthur. In the first season, there was hints of Arthur/Morgan pairing, but in the third season, it was discovered that Arthur is her half brother due to the fact that she and Arthur share the same father, Uther.
** Which is interesting, considering that in the original Arthurian legend, Arthur and Morgana have an unknown to them incestuous relationship.
* CainAndAbel: With Arthur. In terms of roles, Morgana is the Cain (the BigBad) to Arthur's Abel (the BigGood). She spends most of her time plotting to bring Arthur down and has made many attempts to kill him and make him suffer. And it seems as though she doesn't even care even after learning that he's her half brother. It's a far fall from when she actively ''defended'' him in 1x07. See SiblingYinYang.
* 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 [[DesignatedHero Arthur]].
* CatapultNightmare: Plenty. They get worse as the series goes on.
* TheChessmaster: Morgana has no problem using and manipulating people to get what she wants.
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: Morgana will never hesitate to backstab and deceive everyone, including her own half brother (Arthur). This eventually becomes her biggest downfall.
* ChronicVillainy: Morgana cannot stop committing evil acts.
* 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: Morgana is always lying.
* CostumePorn: Morgana's entire wardrobe, including dresses that wouldn't look too out of place at a cocktail party.
* ConvenientComa: She ends up in at least three of these over the course of the series.
* 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.
* CoolCrown: [[spoiler: At the end of season three, when she is briefly crowned Queen of Camelot.]]
* TheCorrupter: Could be to every character on the show. But mostly to Gwen in season five. Also, to Merlin, when she tried to [[BrainwashedAndCrazy brainwash]] him into killing Arthur at any cost in season four.
* TheCorruptible: It could be argued that Morgana was easily swayed over to the dark side because of how broken, fragile and vulnerable she was emotionally, psychologically and mentally. Darkness had already existed inside of her but it could be that a combination of psychological and mental issues, a dysfunctional family (being a Pendragon), the people she surrounded herself with (bad influences such as Morgause, Agravaine and even Uther) and the people who had somewhat of an influence on her turning evil (such as Merlin's betrayal, Uther not publicly acknowledging Morgana as his long lost daughter, etc), is most likely what caused her to be so corruptible and what was able to let the darkness fully consume her to the point where she was filled with nothing but anger, hatred, jealousy and vengefulness on the inside.
* CuteAndPsycho: She was getting there in series 4, but seems to have fully crossed into this in series 5.
* DaddysLittleVillain: To Uther of course.
* DarkAndTroubledPast
* TheDarkChick: The opposite of Gwen, who is TheChick.
* DarkIsEvil: Morgana started dressing like Bellatrix Lestrange in season four. In season five, she strays from the Bellatrix look, but continues to wear black from head to toe.
* DarkMagicalGirl: Morgana practices black magic.
* DarkMessiah: The Dochraid prophesies that Morgana will bring back the Old Religion to the land. A contrast to Merlin, who is the prophecised [[MessianicArchetype sorcerer who will guide Albion into a Golden Age]].
* TheDarkSide: Morgana becomes evil and does a FaceHeelTurn in season three. She becomes darker and darker as the series progresses, so much that she is no longer recognizable to the character she was in season's one and two.
* 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.
* DeadpanSnarker: Before she had her FaceHeelTurn, she had her witty and humorous moments.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Only to revert back into an IceQueen in series 3.
* TheDeterminator: Morgana will do anything, '''anything''', to gain access to the throne of Camelot, including killing people, causing destruction, and betraying and backstabbing others (like Arthur). Hell, she has started wars due to her determination to get what she wants. Morgana is probably one of the most determined characters in the entire series, probably up there with Merlin.
* DiminishingVillainThreat: The more Morgana tries to kill Arthur, the less threatening she becomes.
* 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: Morgana has the ability to see the future.
* 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''.
* DrivenToMadness: Morgana being betrayed by Merlin at the end of season two and watching Uther, her father, endlessly execute her kind (magic users) as well as deny being her father to the public caused her (who already has a host of psychological and mental issues to start with) to become obsessive, sociopathic and insane.
* DrivenToVillainy: Many factors contributed to Morgana doing a FaceHeelTurn.
* DrunkWithPower: After Morgana discovered that she had magic and became very powerful, she used her powerful magical abilities to destroy Camelot and bring down Arthur.
* DysfunctionJunction: Morgana is a highly dysfunctional individual. Her upbringing and her family (the Pendragons) are the most dysfunctional royal family ever.
* EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette: Morgana has very dark hair with extremely pale complexion. It is very noticeable, especially when she wears black clothing.
* EntryPimp: Her entry is nearly twice as long as any other character's, including the one that the show is named after!
* ErmineCapeEffect: Well, Morgana is royalty after all.
* EtTuBrute: She ''did not'' take Merlin's betrayal or Uther [[spoiler:not publicly recognizing her as his biological daughter]] well...
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: Although Morgana is evil with bad intentions, it is clear that she cared for a few select group of people such as Morgause, Mordred, and Aithusa.
* 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.]]
* EvilCounterpart: To Merlin. See {{Foil}}.
* 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.]]
* EvilGloating: There was never a time when Morgana didn't gloat about how powerful she was and how she would defeat Emrys and become Queen of Camelot one day.
* EvilIsPetty: Sure, her animosity toward Uther and Merlin is justified, but her treatment of Gwen is just catty and mean.
* EvilMakeover: As of series four, Morgana wears a [[WomanInBlack gothic black dress]] and green eye-shadow with dark eyeliner, as well as having wild hair.
* EvilMentor: To Mordred and Aithusa, sort of.
* EvilPlan: To destroy Uther, bring down both Arthur and Gwen, defeat Emrys (Merlin) and [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen rule Camelot as Queen]]. [[spoiler: She fails.]]
* [[EvilSorcerer Evil Sorceress]]
* EvilWearsBlack
* ExcessiveEvilEyeshadow
** MakeUpIsEvil
* {{Expy}}: Of [[Series/{{Smallville}} Lex Luthor]].
* FaceHeelTurn: In season three onwards.
* 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.]]
* {{Foil}}: To Merlin. She's consistently referred to as "witch" in parallel to Merlin's "warlock". They both have great power and live in loneliness because of it, and are both prophesied to bring magic back. However, she's more unforgiving of non-magical people's fears and mistrusts than Merlin, and are more inclined to take out her resentment on them. As the Great Dragon puts it, she's the darkness to his light, the hatred to his love. She is also the DarkMessiah to Merlin's MessianicArchetype. She's also a noble as opposed to Merlin's commoner background.
** Also to Gwen, for many of the same reasons as Merlin.
* ForegoneConclusion: Morgana becoming evil (or at least becoming an enemy of Camelot and its people).
* FreudianExcuse: There are various and understandable reasons as to why Morgana did a FaceHeelTurn. Some of them include her dysfunctional upbringing, watching Uther (her own father) consistently persecute and execute those of her kind (magic users), having to hide her identity as a witch within Camelot out of fear of being executed, suffering from psychological, emotional and mental issues, and also being betrayed by both Uther and Merlin.
* FromNobodyToNightmare: Averted. It's not that Morgana was nobody, it's that Morgana goes from being a "normal" King's Ward into one of the most powerful and most dangerous characters in the entire series. Most of this has to do with the fact that Morgana became completely [[TheCorruptible corruptible]] and let power, jealousy, anger and greed take over her and her motivations.
* TheGift: When Morgana finally accepts her magical powers, sometime between seasons three and four, she becomes a High Priestess after one year of training. She eventually becomes a serious threat to Merlin, who is the most powerful Warlock in history. She is a skilled swordswoman and is always able to get her hands on an army.
* GirlyBruiser: Morgana is very feminine but she's a rather capable fighter and is pretty handy with a sword.
* GirlWithPsychoWeapon: Inverted. More like Psycho Girl With Weapon. It's not that the weapon Morgana often has on her (mostly a sword or a knife) is psycho, it's that Morgana is psycho.
* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen: [[spoiler: Morgana was crowned Queen of Camelot in one of the final two episodes of season three. Also, she was momentarily Queen in season four.]]
* GoodColorsEvilColors: When Morgana was still good in the first two seasons, she wore lighter colours such as blue, purple and green. However, after Morgana did a FaceHeelTurn, she started to wear much darker colours, specifically black.
* 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
* GreenEyedMonster: Morgana is strongly driven by envy, jealousy and revenge.
* HairTropes
** BraidsOfAction: Whenever she has time to prepare for a fight, her hair is put back in a braid.
** ExpositoryHairstyleChange: Morgana's hair style change is vert noticeable after she does a FaceHeelTurn.
** GoodHairEvilHair: Morgana's hair changed rather dramatically between the time she was "good" and when she became bad. Morgana's FaceHeelTurn takes her from shiny, flowing tresses to a bird's nest of messy hair that seems to include dreadlocks.
** HairDecorations: Morgana sometimes wore various decorations in her hair such as tiara's, clips, barrettes in the earlier seasons.
** LongHairIsFeminine
** MultiColouredHair: In series 4, she inexplicably has green streaks in her hair.
** WildHair: In season's four and five.
* 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]].
* HeelFaceDoorSlam: At the end of the second season, Morgana is unknowingly the source of an enchantment that has put everyone in Camelot to sleep. The only way to break the enchantment is to kill the source (the source being Morgana) - so Merlin poisons her. Throughout that season, Morgana had been teetering between good and evil but this act of betrayal (Merlin's betrayal against her) acts as a catalyst. So when she returns a year later, her half sister Morgause has corrupted her completely. Then in a season three episode, Morgana discovers that she is King Uther's birth daughter. When he refuses to acknowledge her, it's a pretty definitive door slam for Morgana.
* 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.
* IceQueen: Morgana is cold, icy, selfish and sociopathic.
* 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.
* ImpracticallyFancyOutfit
* 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.
* ItsAllAboutMe: Morgana is extremely selfish, self-centred and narcissistic. She is also very envious, jealous and thirsty for power. She will do anything and everything in order to get what she wants, even kill innocent people and seek to destroy her own family (Uther and Arthur).
* 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?".
* KickingAssInAllHerFinery: She does come from royalty after all.
* [[spoiler:KilledOffForReal:]] After multiple attempts [[spoiler: by Merlin with the immortal blade ''Excalibur'' in the series finale.]]
* 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!"
* [[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.
* LittleDeadRidingHood: Morgana narrowly avoids this fate in ''The Nightmare Begins'' after escaping to the forest in a bright red hooded cloak.
* LongLostRelative: She is revealed to be Morgause's [[spoiler:''and'' Arthur's]] half-sister.
* [[ThePresidentsDaughter The King's Ward]]: Her position makes some people like Alvar and Morgause seek her out for their attempts to bring down Camelot.
* [[MementoMacGuffin Memento [=MacGuffin=]]]: The bracelet she received from Morgause to help her sleep.
* MagicIsEvil: At least when Morgana uses magic.
** BlackMagic: Morgana often practiced dark magic, as opposed to Merlin, who practiced [[WhiteMagic good magic]].
* MagicKnight: Morgana knew how to use a sword effectively before she ever discovered that she had magic.
* [[MagneticHero Magnetic Villain]]: Morgana not only had the support of Morgause, Agravaine, Aithusa, Modred and many other magic users, but she also has an entire army (The Saxons) which strongly outnumbered Camelot's army (Arthur's army) by 5 to 1 supporting her and her cause. She is the opposite of Merlin, who is a MagneticHero.
* 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''.
* [[MasterSwordsman Master Swordswoman]]: Morgana has been shown to very capable and effective in sword fighting.
* TheMentallyDisturbed: You could definitely make a case for Morgana.
* MistreatmentInducedBetrayal: [[spoiler: She began turning against Camelot when she discovered that she has magic and feared for her life. Merlin's poisoning her clinches it.]]
* 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).
* MsFanservice: Some of Morgana's outfits have been somewhat revealing.
* 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}}gana.
* NiceGirl: Was this before her FaceHeelTurn.
* NoSympathyBetweenMooks: Morgana even treated her own allies and people who were on her side badly, most notably Agravaine.
* NotAsYouKnowThem: Her return in series 3.
* NotQuiteDead: Many times in the series, but most notably after Merlin poisoned her in season two.
* 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.]]
* TheOjou: In the earlier seasons, before she did a FaceHeelTurn. See ProperLady.
* [[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.
* PetTheDog: Has a genuine bond with Aithusa.
* PimpedOutDress
* PluckyGirl: Before her FaceHeelTurn.
* 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: In season three she is driven entirely by hate, some of it understandable (toward Uther and Merlin) and some of it inexplicable (the writers never give us a reason why she suddenly loathes Arthur and Guinevere).
* ProperLady: Primarily in the earlier seasons when she was King Uther's ward before she did a FaceHeelTurn.
* ProudBeauty: At times, especially in the earliest episodes.
* PsychoticSmirk: Morgana gives these all of the time.
* [[PsychopathicManChild Psychopathic Woman Child]]: Morgana displays traits of entitlement, selfishness and brattiness. At times, she displays immaturity, especially when it comes to feeling that she is entitled to the throne of Camelot. Morgana can come off rather bratty and immature and she throws temper tantrums whenever she doesn't get her way.
* PurpleIsPowerful: Morgana wears a lot of purple, which strongly reflects her coming from RoyalBlood as well as being a powerful witch and high priestess.
* PutThemAllOutOfMyMisery: At this point, she seemingly just wants to make everyone suffer.
* RavenHairIvorySkin: The contrast of Morgana's very dark hair and pale skin is even more noticeable in the later seasons.
* RebelliousPrincess
* RequisiteRoyalRegalia
* TheResenter: Of Arthur and Guinevere for their positions in Camelot and their addherence to Uther's anti-magic policy.
** She also has a strong resentment against Merlin for poisoning her in season two. In fact, it could be argued that Merlin's betrayal is what cause Morgana to do a full on FaceHeelTurn.
* RichBitch: She comes from royalty after all.
* RivalTurnedEvil: Morgana became this towards Merlin, Arthur and Gwen in season three onwards.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: What she's been doing for the past two series.
* RomanticTwoGirlFriendship: With Gwen and Morgause.
* RoyalBrat: Especially after she did a FaceHeelTurn.
* RoyalBlood: Morgana is the daughter of Uther, who was the former King of Camelot.
* RoyallyScrewedUp: Morgana could be the Trope Codifier. She is the illegitimate daughter of King Uther. Morgana hates Uther but ironically, [[LikeFatherLikeSon shares many traits in common with him]]. Morgana also has [[TheMentallyDisturbed many psychological, emotional and mental issues]].
* SaltAndPepper: With Gwen. Morgana was the King's Ward, while Gwen was Morgana's maid-servant. While Morgana is passionate, high-strung and easily corrupted, Gwen is much more down-to-earth, practical and calm. Morgana is also wealthy and comes from RoyalBlood, while Gwen is a poor commoner.
* SameCharacterButDifferent: The abrupt switch in her personality between series 2 and 3.
* 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.
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveSupernaturalPowers: Morgana possesses magic. Therefore, she believes that she is able to do whatever she wants because she is a powerful witch. Morgana often tries to use her strength and power of magic to intimidate others.
* [[{{Seers}} Seer]]
* SelfFulfillingProphecy: Which leads to her FaceHeelTurn.
* SelfMadeOrphan: Her mother and the man she looked to as a father and believed for a long time was her father were already dead, but she gave Agravaine the amulet to kill the wounded Uther-her birth father.
* 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.
* SiblingYinYang: With Arthur. They are opposites in regards to personalities and outlooks.
* 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.
* [[TheSnarkKnight The Snark Queen]]: Morgana won't hesitate to use sarcasm.
* TheSociopath: Morgana definitely displays traits of sociopathy.
* SpoiledSweet: Appeared this way before she turned bad in season three.
* SpiritedYoungLady: In seasons 1 and 2 before her FaceHeelTurn
* TheStarscream: Morgana beginning in Series 3 becomes this to Uther.
** In Series 4, this ends up repeatedly being [[FatalFlaw her downfall]], seeking allies to take control of Camelot, but whom end up abandoning her after realising her ChronicBackstabbingDisorder.
* StartOfDarkness: It could be argued that Morgana started to become evil after Merlin poisoned her in season two. [[spoiler: In the series finale, Merlin even admitted that he blames himself for Morgana turning evil and into a villain.]]
* StayInTheKitchen: In Series 1-3, while she's a high-ranking noble, her role in Camelot as the King's Ward is basically to show up at functions and look glamourous, and she doesn't have much actual power (compared to [[spoiler: Guinevere later on who actively takes part in ruling]]). Arthur has made some disparaging comments that she should just comb her hair or whatever a girl of her station does all day.
* StylishProtectionGear
* SugaryMalice: She's good at this one.
* SupernaturalGoldEyes: Like Merlin, when she uses magic.
* ThoseTwoBadGuys: With Morgause and later Agravaine.
* TookALevelInBadass: After she discovered that she had magic and found Morgause, she stopped being afraid and began to use her power purposefully.
* TookALevelInJerkass:
* TraitorShot: Gets dozens and dozens. And dozens.
* TragicVillain
* TroubledAbuser: All her interactions with Guinevere post series 3.
* TrueCompanions: Was this with Merlin, Gwen and Arthur before her FaceHeelTurn.
* TheUnfettered: Morgana is extremely ruthless in her actions. She doesn't have any guilt or remorse for her actions or hurting others.
* UnkemptBeauty: In season's four and five. Morgana went from wearing fancy dresses and looking like royalty in the earlier seasons to wearing black gothic clothing with wild, untameable hair in the later seasons.
* UnlimitedWardrobe: Before season four. When Morgana was the King's ward in season's one to three, she had a variation of different outfits and dresses. After she turned bad in season three, her wardrobe became less vibrant and became more limited.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: With Merlin, Morgause, Gwen and Arthur.
* UnstoppableRage: Morgana has it towards Uther, Gwen and Arthur. She has anger towards Merlin to a lesser extent.
* 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 she's not really trying to impress anyone.
* TheVamp
* VillainousBreakdown: Morgana has one when she finds her sister Morgause gravely injured in 3x13.
* VillainousBSOD: See VillainousBreakdown.
* VillainCorner: Towards the end of season two, Morgana was already started to do a Face by joining forces with [[LongLostSibling Morgause]]. Morgana became increasingly darker and more evil after Merlin poisoned her. It could be argued that Merlin poisoning Morgana and betraying her caused Morgana to do a complete FaceHeelTurn.
* VillainousBreakdown: At the end of season three, when she finds Morgause gravely injured. She [[BigNo screams so loud in devastation]] that she literally brings the walls down with her magic.
* 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.
* WhiteStallion: When she was still on Camelot's side.
* WickedCultured: Morgana comes from royalty, therefore, she was raised cultured and was surrounded by all of the finer things in life.
* WildCard: In series 2.
* WildHair: In series 4 and onward.
* WitchSpecies
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity
* WomanInBlack: As of series 4, all part of the general theme that DarkIsEvil.
* WomanInWhite: Sometimes in series 2 and 3, highlighting her vulnerability.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: Morgana wants nothing but to bring Camelot, Uther and Arthur down. She is willing to do so at any cost. Although, if you look at Morgana's story, you can understand why she became evil or turned against Uther and Camelot. Morgana has always yearned to be accepted in Camelot as a magic user. However, watching her father, Uther, endless persecute and execute people of her kind has made her disdain and hatred for Uther and Camelot grow as time goes on. So, while Morgana doing evil things against Arthur, Uther and Camelot may be wrong on all levels, it is understandable why Morgana did turn against all of them at the same time.
* 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.
* YouCouldHaveUsedYourPowersForGood: What Merlin tells Morgana in season three after she did a FaceHeelTurn.
* 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]] (Creator/AngelCoulby)

[[quoteright:280:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/guinevere-pendragon_2115.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.]]
----

* ActionGirl: Gwen is highly capable of defending herself and can use a sword quite effectively.
** ActionFashionista: Gwen becomes one [[spoiler: after she becomes Queen of Camelot in season four.]]
** ActionSurvivor: She was this before she became more active in missions, plans and battles later on in the series.
* AdaptationalAngstUpgrade: Gwen is given a RagsToRiches storyline by becoming the wife of King Arthur later on in the series.
* {{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: With Arthur. 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.
** Now averted, as the two are married.
* AnguishedDeclarationOfLove: With both Lancelot and Arthur.
* AllLoveIsUnrequited: Gwen had feelings for Merlin in season one which were unreciprocated.
* AwesomeMomentOfCrowning: Gwen is crowned Queen of Camelot in the season four finale.
* {{Badass}}: Both before and after Gwen becomes Queen. Gwen has shown and proven over the course of the series that she is highly capable of defending not only herself, but others as well. She also never hesitates to throw herself into danger or into a battle.
** BadassInCharge: When Gwen becomes Queen of Camelot. In fact, Gwen TookALevelInBadass after she became Queen.
** BadassNormal: Gwen is completely human and therefore, she has no abilities whatsoever, yet she is highly capable of defending herself and others when the time calls for it.
** [[BadassPrincess Badass Queen]]: In season four, Gwen becomes Queen of Camelot when she marries King Arthur.
** HeartbrokenBadass: Gwen has gone through a lot of hardships and pain in the name of love and romance and she hasn't had the best of luck in the love department. Especially in regards to her male suitors, Arthur and Lancelot.
** TookALevelInBadass: After Gwen became Queen.
* BatmanGambit: Pulls one off in 5.02 by gambling on Ruadan's PapaWolf instincts.
* BattleCouple: With Arthur, especially before she becomes Queen, but also after as well.
* BeautyMark: Of the nice kind. They are especially noticeable in close up shots.
* 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.
** DO NOT mess with Merlin.
-->'''Gwen in 4x08:''' "GET AWAY FROM HIM!"
** Don't harm her younger brother, Elyan.
** Messing with the love of her life, Arthur, isn't a good idea either.
* BettyAndVeronica: Gwen is the Archie to Arthur's Betty and Lancelot's Veronica. She chooses Arthur.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: In 5.01, [[spoiler: she sentences her servant Sefa to ''death''.]]
* BigSisterInstinct: Towards Merlin and Elyan. She is highly protective of both of them. Merlin is even one of her BerserkButton's.
* BirdsOfAFeather: With Merlin. Both come from poor or commoner backgrounds. They both originally couldn't stand Arthur and thought that he was a bully, although both of their opinions of Arthur gradually change over the course of the series (Merlin develops a strong and intense friendship with Arthur; Gwen falls in love with Arthur). Both are servants to someone of status, nobility and wealth. Merlin is the personal man-servant of Arthur, the Prince of Camelot; Gwen is the maid-servant of Lady Morgana, the King's Ward). Also, Merlin and Gwen both share TheHeart role on the show. Merlin represents the male emotional aspect of the series, while Gwen is the female centrepiece of the series. Both Gwen and Merlin are advisors to Arthur and guide him to do the right thing as much as possible. Both Merlin and Gwen are compassionate, humble, kind, friendly and understanding in personality. It is no wonder that Merlin and Gwen "clicked" from the very beginning since they share so many traits in common.
* BlackBestFriend: To both Morgana and Merlin. However, this is subverted with Morgana since Morgana did a FaceHeelTurn in season three.
* {{Brainwashed}}: [[spoiler: Post the events of 5.06. 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.
** ManipulativeBitch: Almost as manipulative as Morgana.
** 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: What helps to break the enchantment, with the help of Merlin [[DisguisedInDrag disguised as a woman]], Dolma]].
* BrainyBrunette: Gwen is quite smart, pragmatic and logical.
* BreakTheCutie: In ''Lancelot du Lac'', in which she is enchanted into betraying Arthur by Morgana, is banished from Camelot and none of her friends are there to see her off except Merlin. Not even her own brother wants to see her. The cherry on top? Only the audience and the villains know she was enchanted, so she believes everything is her fault. This isn't so much Break the Cutie as smash her to bits, stomp on the pieces, and grind them to dust. As if that isn't enough, she gets enchanted AGAIN by Morgana to kill Arthur and was probably tormented a bit while she was held captive.
* BrokenBird: At various points in the series. Most notably in season one, when Uther has Gwen's father, Tom, executed even though he was innocent; in season four, when Arthur banishes Gwen from Camelot; and also in season five when her brother Elyan unexpectedly dies. Gwen has lost all of her family and after her brother died, she was corrupted by Morgana.
* BrownEyes: One of her physical defining features.
* ButNotTooBlack: Gwen is portrayed by bi-racial actress AngelCoulby.
* CassandraTruth: Guinevere spends a lot of time in series 5 warning Arthur about the dangers inherent in him constantly riding out on missions. He never listens.
* {{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.
* TheChick: She is the feminine centrepiece of the series. The opposite of Morgana, who is TheDarkChick.
* CleavageWindow: Sometimes, from Season 2 onward.
* CloserToEarth: She is one of the few minority characters on the show.
* TheConscience: She's the moral compass of the show. With Arthur being morally compromised early on due to his allegiance to Uther and Morgana and Merlin going the slippery slope, she embodies honesty, principles and goodness.
* CoolBigSis: To Elyan.
* CoolCrown: Gets one at the end of the season four finale. Guinevere is lucky enough to wear a very elaborate, but still elegant-looking silver crown adorned with jewels.
* CorruptTheCutie: In season five, by Morgana.
* TheCutie: Primarily in season's 1 and 2.
* 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]]''.]]
* DiggingYourselfDeeper
* 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. [[note]] In order, they are: Morgana, Sophia, Guinevere, Vivian, Elena, Mithian[[/note]]
* ErmineCapeEffect: Gwen's wardrobe changed drastically after she became Queen. She was seen wearing royal clothing.
* [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses Everything Is Better With Queens]]: Averted. Guinevere, of royal blood in most of the legends, is reimagined as a commoner and servant. In fact, she and Arthur seemed to have almost swapped roles as traditionally Arthur was raised as a commoner.
* {{Expy}}: Of [[Series/{{Smallville}} Chloe Sullivan]].
* TheFace: Gwen is more diplomatic in her approaches socially. See TheHeart.
* 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 unconspicuous 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 her defense, what Morgana did was a curse and before that Morgana went off with someone who was not what they seemed.
** In 4x03, she told Arthur in a deleted scene that she was mistrustful of magic and blames 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]].
* FanServicePack: [[http://oi39.tinypic.com/2lwm890.jpg See for yourself]]. She starts out as a commoner, with the associated plain clothes and modest appearance but becomes ProgressivelyPrettier as the show goes on.
* TheFettered: Gwen strongly believes in laws and following the rules. She is all about doing the right thing as much as possible.
* ForcefulKiss: To Arthur in 2x10 in order to break him out of an enchantment.
* FreudianTrio: In the trio of herself, Merlin and Arthur, Gwen is TheKirk or Ego (TheHeart, motherly, nurturing, loved by both Arthur and Merlin as a LoveInterest/[[LikeBrotherAndSister Sister Figure]] to Merlin's TheSpock or Superego (Calm, secretive, logical, intelligent, has made at least one SadisticChoice in which he sacrificed a dear friend in order to save a greater number of people) and Arthur's TheMcCoy or Id (Arrogant, aggressive, impulsive, is driven by his emotions, usually puts the individual before the bigger picture to Arthur's). See TheKirk.
* 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: When Gwen was still a maid servant. This changed [[spoiler: after Gwen became Queen.]]
* GoodIsNotDumb: She's easily the most observant character in the show and knows how to talk people into action.
* 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.]]
* GracefulLadiesLikePurple: Gwen wears a lot of purple dresses, especially when she becomes Queen. Gwen was seen wearing purple colours while she was a servant as well.
* GuileHero: Check out the CrowningMomentOfAwesome page; most of her entries involve her simply TALKING to people, using a blend of logic and guile to convince them to act according to her wishes.
* HairTropes:
** ExpositoryHairstyleChange: Her hair goes from practical buns to long, loose curls as she rises in status.
** FlowerInHerHair: What she normally wears as a hair decoration.
** HairDecorations: Usually a FlowerInHerHair.
** LongHairIsFeminine: Her hair is long and curly.
** QuirkyCurls: In series 1 and 2.
** RegalRinglets: In series 5.
** MessyHair: In series 1.
* HappilyMarried: To Arthur in series 5.
* TheHeart: Gwen shares this role with [[TheProtagonist Merlin]].
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Morgana. [[spoiler:This starts to deteriorate in series three.]]
* TheHighQueen: As of the end of series four. [[spoiler: This is even more true in the series finale considering that Gwen became the sole ruler of Camelot after King Arthur dies. In fact, the very last words of the entire series are '''"Long Live The Queen!"''', as cried by everyone present in the throne room.]]
* HonestAdvisor: Together with Merlin to Arthur.
* HotConsort: For King Arthur.
* HourglassPlot: With Morgana, essentially taking her place as the most powerful woman in Camelot.
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: With Arthur.
* ImpossiblyCoolClothes: After Gwen becomes Queen.
* InSeriesNickname: Her full name is Guinevere but almost everyone calls her Gwen, except Arthur. Arthur always calls Gwen by her full name "Guinevere".
* InterClassRomance: With Arthur. Gwen was a poor servant/maid and Arthur is a rich noble. This is now subverted after Gwen married Arthur and became Queen.
* IntergenerationalFriendship: With Gaius.
* InterspeciesFriendship: With Merlin. Merlin is a warlock and a Dragon Lord; Gwen is a human.
* 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.
* KickingAssInAllHerFinery: Especially when she becomes Queen.
* TheKirk/'''Ego''' (FreudianTrio): In the trio between herself, Arthur and Merlin, Gwen is TheKirk/Ego (motherly, nurturing, sensitive, TheChick) to Arthur's TheMcCoy/Id (arrogant, aggressive, impulsive, HotBlooded) and Merlin's TheSpock/Superego (calm, logical, intelligent, TheChessmaster). See FreudianTrio.
* LadyAndKnight: Played remarkably straight with Lancelot and Guinevere, even though they aren't a lady or a knight when the show begins. However, Lancelot always makes a point of referring to Gwen as "my lady" and by the end of the third series he's been permanently knighted and by the end of the fourth season, she is "my lady" as she's Queen!
** There's a little of this with Gwen and Gwaine as well.
* LadyInRed: A Queen, Gwen wore a lot of red dresses.
* LadyOfWar: To a lesser extent than Morgana. Mostly after Gwen becomes Queen at the end of season four.
* 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.
* LivingMacGuffin: There is nobody that wouldn't risk their life for Gwen if she is kidnapped, gone missing or is in trouble of some sort. Merlin, Arthur, Lancelot and the rest of the Knights would all come searching for her and risk their lives in order to find her without even a second thought.
* TheLoad: DependingOnTheWriter. On one hand, her quick mind has proven useful on several occasions, on the other, she's still a relatively small and untrained peasant girl who often winds up being a DistressedDamsel.
* 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. 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. [[spoiler: To top it all, Gwen has to assume power at the cost of Arthur's death.]]
* LoveTriangle: At the centre of the most famous one of all (between herself, Arthur and Lancelot). [[spoiler: Gwen chooses Arthur.]]
* MalignedMixedMarriage: Arthur and Gwen are essentially this trope because [[UptownGirl Arthur is royalty while Gwen is a servant girl]] and King Uther won't hear of a romance between them. Though Arthur is white and Gwen is mixed-race, race is not a factor in Uther's disapproval.
* MamaBear: Gwen is VERY protective of those she loves and cares about and will go to far lengths to protect them as much as possible.
** It turns out that messing with [[PlatonicLifePartners Merlin]] will turn the [[BewareTheNiceOnes usually mild mannered]] Gwen into one of these.
-->Gwen to the Lamia in 4x08: '''GET AWAY FROM HIM!!!'''
** If you ever betray Arthur while he's on a rescue mission, [[spoiler: she'll order your ''execution.'']]
* MartialPacifist: Guinevere dislikes violence and could under no circumstances be described as an ActionGirl (though she wields a sword on a couple of occasions, she's clearly not that good at it, and she remains the only main character to have never taken a life). However, she embodies the SilkHidingSteel trope, and at the beginning of series four, she witnesses the city gates being closed on refugees flocking to Camelot to escape the evil spirits invading the kingdom. She, a female servant, confronts the council of noble-born men, and using nothing but common sense and her own understanding of human nature, convinces all of them that their wisest choice of action is to re-open the gates and allow people to seek refuge in the city. They comply.
* MissingMom: The whereabouts of Gwen's mother are unknown. It is possible that she is deceased.
* 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.
* MoralityChain[=/=]MoralityPet: Serves as this for Arthur.
* MsFanservice: Especially in the later seasons.
* MuggleBestFriend: To Merlin. While Merlin is a powerful sorcerer with magical abilities, Gwen i s a regular human.
* MythologyGag: She gets Arthur's conventional characterization in Arthurian legend: commoner to [[spoiler: ruler of the realm]], marriage to a royal, [[spoiler: leader of the kingdom to a Golden Age of justice and chivalry.]]
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: After Arthur witnesses her and Lancelot kissing the night before her and Arthur's wedding. Made all the worse because only the audience knows that she was under a spell the entire time and she actually believes that she willingly betrayed Arthur even if she doesn't understand why.
* 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.
* TheNeedsOfTheMany: She often gives wise advice to Arthur and/or the Council on this principle.
* NeverASelfMadeWoman: The kingdom'd never benefit from Gwen's wise rule had Arthur not fallen in love with her.
* NiceGirl: Very much so. She becomes more struct after she becomes Queen, yet she still remains generally good and kind hearted.
* 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."''
* OccultDetective: Occasionally, with Merlin before she became Queen.
* OfficialCouple: With Arthur. [[spoiler: At the end of season four, Gwen marries Arthur and she and Arthur become the RulingCouple of Camelot.]]
* TheOjou: Especially when she was a maid-servant.
* OnlyOneName: Subverted. Before she married Arthur, Gwen's last name was unknown.
* OppositesAttract: Gwen is a poor servant and Arthur is a wealthy royal. They come from completely different backgrounds and social statuses.
* 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.
* PimpedOutDress: Gwen gets a rather dramatic clothes upgrade after she becomes Queen at the end of season four. She starts to wear much fancier dresses in comparison to the plain dresses she wore when she was a maid and a servant.
* PluckyGirl: Gwen is very positive, optimistic, spirited and upbeat. She tries to believe the best in everyone and in everything, much like Merlin.
* [[PoliticallyActivePrincess Politically Active Queen]]
* ThePollyanna: Although she's also remarkably pragmatic.
* [[PragmaticHero Pragmatic Heroine]]: Gwen is incredibly pragmatic and logical in her thinking, especially when [[spoiler: she became Queen in season four]].
* ProgressivelyPrettier: It's not that Gwen wasn't pretty before, but after Gwen became Queen in season four, her physical appearance and her wardrobe took a turn for the better.
* PromotionToParent: Elyan says of her: "she raised me."
* ProperLady: Especially as Queen. Even as a maid, she was very polite and courteous.
* RaceLift: In the Arthurian legends, Guinevere is Caucasian. But on the show, Guinevere is not.
* RagsToRiches: Gwen went from being Morgana's maid to being the Queen of Camelot.
* RagsToRoyalty: See RagsToRiches.
* TheReliableOne: Gwen is highly dependable and trustworthy. She is always there for her friends at a time of need. Even Merlin can be seen depending on Gwen from time to time.
* RequisiteRoyalRegalia: After Gwen became Queen of Camelot.
* RichSuitorPoorSuitor: Their social classes aren't played into the LoveTriangle, but Arthur (rich suitor) and Lancelot (poor suitor) for Gwen.
* RomanticTwoGirlFriendship: With Morgana. They could also count as HeterosexualLifePartners, before Morgana's FaceHeelTurn in season three.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: The first episode that showcases her as Queen makes a point of demonstrating how active she is: she gives advice at a council meeting, she rules the kingdom in her husband's absence, and she ferrets out a traitor that was leaking information to her enemies.
* RulingCouple: With King Arthur in season four and five.
* SaltAndPepper: With Morgana. Gwen worked as Morgana's maid-servant while Morgana was the Kings Ward, and where Morgana is passionate, high-strung and easily corrupted, Gwen is down-to-earth, practical and calm.
* SatelliteCharacter: Gwen really has no real CharacterArc of her own, at least not one that isn't connected to her relationships with Morgana, Arthur or Merlin. She does have a father and a brother, but the former was killed off and she barely interacts with the latter. That said, it's also an example of TropesAreNotBad, as her relationships with Merlin, Arthur and Morgana make up a significant part of the show.
* SatelliteLoveInterest: She is often accused of being "just a love interest" by detractors, and though it's true that most of her screen-time does indeed centre on her relationship with Arthur, the ultimate purpose of her CharacterArc was to become Queen of Camelot -- and it's unclear how her cynics expected this to happen ''without'' a relationship with Arthur arising (as you may have guessed, a lot of DieForOurShip was at work here). Her CharacterDevelopment involved a significant boost in confidence brought about by Arthur's love for her, and many of her strongest scenes [[note]]outsmarting the Witchfinder, freeing Sir Leon, confronting Agravaine, withstanding Morgana, trapping Ruadan[[/note]] occurred when Arthur was completely absent. And by the end of the series, [[spoiler:she assumes control over Camelot after Arthur's death]] with confirmation by WordOfGod that she successfully ruled over the Golden Age [[spoiler:in his stead]]. She could be described as a case of a SatelliteLoveInterest in the sense that she's NeverASelfMadeWoman, '''but''' her character was given plenty of personal development and independent power as a ''direct result'' of her role as Arthur's LoveInterest.
* 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: Gwen started out as shy, introverted and a bout on the timid side, although she eventually 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: Gwen was a kind, caring, and shy castle maid who takes pride in her work. If necessary, Gwen is a capable fighter and can hold her own in battle reasonably well. More importantly, she's the firm moral compass of the series and the connection to common people of Arthur (Merlin is also the other connection to common people of Arthur as well).
* SpiritedYoungLady: Especially before she became Queen.
* StarcrossedLovers: With Lancelot. [[spoiler: Her marriage to Arthur ends tragically short too because of his early death.]]
* [[StayInTheKitchen Stay In The Castle]]: Guinevere's job as Queen is to maintain control in Camelot while Arthur is away.
* SupportingLeader: To Arthur's TheLeader when she becomes Queen. While Arthur leads most of the battles, missions and plans, Gwen will step in whenever Arthur is unavailable in any way.
* TheStrategist: At times.
* TextileWorkIsFeminine: Several time it's mentioned that she's an excellent seamstress. [[InformedAbility That said, we don't ever get to see her doing any sewing]].
* TheyFightCrime: She's teamed up with Merlin on more than one occasion to solve the MysteryOfTheWeek.
* TookALevelInBadass: Definitely seems to be the case in series 5 after [[spoiler: becoming High Queen]].
* TrueBlueFemininity: Many of her dresses are blue; particularly in series 4.
* {{Tsundere}}: She is a Type B, primarily towards Arthur in the earlier seasons.
* 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. [[spoiler: More importantly, by the very end, ''she'' is implied to be the monarch who will repeal the oppression on magic users and brings Camelot to the golden age instead of Arthur, who merely paves the way and is ultimately killed off.]]
** Interestingly, in "The Hunter's Heart, Merlin does say that it is Arthur's "fate" to marry Gwen, but it's unclear if Merlin is referencing an actual prophecy or just voicing his own opinion.
* 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.
* WhiteStallion: In ''The Dark Tower''.
* 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 finally married at the end of series four.
* WomenAreWiser
* 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 (Creator/AnthonyHead)

[[quoteright:280:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/uther-pendragon_7142.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.
** In Series One, he had them both imprisoned in the dungeon for nothing more than calling him out on his tynrincal nature.
* AcheyScars: He has an old battle wound in his side that he sometimes complains about.
* ActionDad: Uther was always involved in whatever is happening with Arthur and within Camelot.
* AdultsAreUseless
* AggressiveCategorism
* 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 III with a bit of Type I as well.]]
* ASinisterClue: He wields sword and pen with his left hand.
* {{Badass}}
** BadassBoast
** BadassCape
** BadassInCharge: Subverted, [[spoiler: since Arthur became king in season four after Uther died.]]
** BadassNormal
** BadassLongcoat
* [[spoiler:BackFromTheDead]]: Temporarily, in 5x03.
* BerserkButton: Threatening or hurting either of his children (Arthur and Morgana) is a sure way of getting the King very angry.
** Also, the subject of magic under any circumstances.
* BlackAndGreyMorality: Uther hunts down anyone related to magic, even healers, even children. He's a cruel dictator. Getting rid of him would be a good thing. However the villains trying to kill him, Morgana and Morgause, have some evil tendencies in a Well-Intentioned Extremist way. They will kill others, but only if they have to to get to Uther or Arthur later.
* BrokenPedestal: Arthur gradually comes to realize that his father is not the infallible father/king that he initially believed him to be.
* BullyingADragon: Had Kilgharrah locked away in his dungeons for twenty years with magic chains to serve as an example what would happen to all magic creatures. When Kilgharrah got out in Series 2, he nearly burned Camelot to the ground as revenge.
* CoolCrown: Let's just say that Uther's crown was so much better then Arthur's crown.
* 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: [[spoiler: He wanted an heir but his wife was barren. Nimueh cured his wife's sterility but to keep the balance of life and death she died in childbirth]] and for this he has mounted a genocidal campaign against ''all'' magic users. Particularly disproportionate if [[UnreliableNarrator Nimueh]] is telling the truth that [[spoiler: she didn't know it would be Ygraine that would die]]
* DotingParent: To Morgana, but only ''after'' she returns from her year-long absence. Before that, he could be quite distant.
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: Uther may be ruthless and cold, but there is no doubt that he loves his children (Arthur and Morgana).
* {{Expy}}: Of [[Series/{{Smallville}} Lionel Luthor]].
* FantasticRacism: Uther is strongly opposed to magic and magic users. He that magic was a nothing but a source for evil and that all people who practice magic are the root of all the evil and damage within Camelot.
* [[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.]]
* TheGoodKing: Uther believed himself to be a fair and just king, despite being completely against magic and the magical people.
* 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}}: He is a deliberate and fascinating example. After [[spoiler: enlisting the help of a sorceress in order for his barren wife to conceive]], he set about killing and terrorising everyone who practised sorcery (even those who did so for perfectly innocent reasons) even though [[NeverMyFault he had no one to blame for his wife's death except himself]]. He had the Great Dragon imprisoned with '''enchanted''' chains in his dungeon. The real kicker is when Morgana gets sick in series 3, and he actually coerces Gaius into using magic to save her. You'd think this act of blatant hypocrisy would make him decide to ease up on the sorcerers a bit from then on, but you'd be wrong...
** Later on in series 3, there was a sorcerer going around healing people miraculously who was [[spoiler: Gaius's former lover]]. Uther wanted Gaius to see if sorcery was involved in the healings and it is implied he would have executed whoever did it. The fact that he was willing to use magic to miraculously heal Morgana is made even more hypocritical because of that in retrospect.
** The reason he hates magic in the first place is because he made a deal with a sorceress to concieve a son with his barren wife. Furthermore, he describes his deceased wife as "my soul" and yet we later find out that he had an affair with his best friend's wife, and that (as he says to his son) "I know about the temptations of serving girls."
* ItsAllAboutMe: He bans and allows magic use as he wants it. There's also a subtle hint that he defines loyalty to Camelot as loyalty to himself, as evidenced in the Great Purge.
* {{Jerkass}}
** 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.
* MasterSwordsman
* MrFanservice
* NeverMyFault: He completely denies his responsibility in his wife's death, and taking his anger and sorrow on Nimueh and other magic users.
* NiceJobBreakingItHerod: Inverted. Uther's genocide of the dragonlords actually causes the birth of Merlin, who is destined to undo all his work.
* NobleDemon: Uther might be a genocidal tyrant but he's also a loving parent and a brave warrior who will put himself in harm's way to protect his kingdom.
* OverprotectiveDad: Uther is shown to be overprotective of both Arthur and Morgana at times.
* 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''.
* ParentalFavoritism: Uther seemed to show a favouritism towards Morgana over Arthur.
* ParentalSubstitute: For Morgana. [[spoiler: At least, it seems this way until it is revealed that she actually ''is'' his illegitimate daughter.]]
* ThePatriarch
* 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.
* {{Pride}}: Aside from his blind hatred of magic this causes or makes worse the problems in the series. He places the word of the nobility above anyone else, cannot stand to look bad due to self-image, jumps to conclusions and hardly listens to anyone since he thinks he is always right, and only changes his mind when publicly presented with irrefutable evidence. He tries to avoid apologizing when he is wrong and can barely spit one out trying to place blame on others all due to his pride.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: It's heavily implied that he was this in his youth. He does prove himself quite handy with a sword.
* TheseHandsHaveKilled: He clearly suffers from a guilty conscience when faced with the apparitions of his deceased wife and the children he drowned.
* TooDumbToLive: To the point that you start to wonder how he and Arthur managed to stay alive until Merlin arrived.
* 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.
* VetinariJobSecurity: Of a sort, the only real reason Merlin prevents anyone from killing him is he is needed as a placeholder until Arthur is ready to take over and prevent another worse king/threat from taking over.
* 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 (RichardWilson)

[-"I'd give my life for you, Merlin."-]

[[quoteright:280:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gaius_8619.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.
----

* AdultFear: Merlin is like a son to him and he constantly lives in fear that Merlin'll get himself killed one way or another. He also witnesses Merlin becoming increasingly world-weary and ruthless.
* AnachronismStew: Gaius' medical knowledge is far too advanced for the time period of the series.
* AppliedPhlebotinum
* 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".
* TheAtoner: It's impiled taking Merlin under his wing is his way to make up for his inaction during the Great Purge.
* {{Badass}}: He definitely has his moments.
** BadassGrandpa: [[spoiler: Gaius takes on a Dorocha without even flinching in order to save Gwen]].
** RetiredBadass: Gaius may have given up practicing magic, but he still has it in him.
* BerserkButton: Hurt or threaten Merlin in any way and Gaius will go off on you.
* BigDamnHeroes: Saves Merlin from Morgause in 3x13.
* BrickJoke: Gaius constantly telling Arthur that Merlin is in the tavern when he disappears to do his magical thing.
* BrokenMasquerade: In series 3, Uther indirectly admits he knows Gaius was a sorcerer in the past, when he asks him to do anything, even magical to save Morgana.
* CategoryTraitor: A lot of magic users like the Dragon and Nimueh hold Gaius to be one, since he became Uther's court pyschian, and turned a blind eye to the deaths of magic users.
* CanonForeigner: You won't find any Gaius in [[KingArthur Arthurian legends]] as 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.
* TheConsigliere: He is Uther's most trusted adviser and maybe the closest thing he has to a friend and tries to be the voice of reason to Uther's arrogance and prejudices. Unfortunately, Uther rarely bothers to listen let alone heed his advice.
* 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
* DefectorFromDecadence: One possible interpetation for turing his back on the Old Religion. In the first episode he claimed that people were using magic for the wrong reasons and it was throwing the natural order of things into chaos. When confronted by Edwin Muirden over the fact he did nothing to stop his parents execution, Gaius claims they were practicing dark magic.
* DemotedToExtra: In series four and five, he is given virtually nothing to do except [[MrExposition provide exposition]] and exist as a [[TheConfidant sounding board]] to Merlin. True, that was always his role, but he was also given several character-centric episodes in the past. This was not necessarily a bad thing, as the introduction of the knights of the Round Table at the end of series three meant that the show was juggling LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters, and one of the themes of the season was passing on the torch to the younger generation.
* DirtyCoward: It's heavily implied during the Great Purge, that although he helped certain people like Balinor and Alice escape Uther's prosecution, for the most part he sided with Uther in order to save his own skin (and might have given names as well, Uther mentions he's asked Gaius to do things he found difficult) as he watched countless witches and wizards be burned at the stake and did nothing. The Dragon cynically mentions that "turning a blind eye" is Gaius' talent in Series One.
* {{Expy}}: Of [[Series/{{Smallville}} Jonathan Kent]].
* FascinatingEyebrow: To a memetic level.
* 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.
* LivingEmotionalCrutch: To Merlin. Except for the Great Dragon, he's the only one Merlin can confide in about what is going on and occasionally rants to. It's probable that he's never killed off for real because the chance that Merlin would completely [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope go to the dark side like Morgana]] is too great.
* TheMasquerade: He's a retired magician.
** Becomes a BrokenMasquerade in 2x07, as it's revealed that Uther always knew.
* TheMedic
* TheMentor: To Merlin about the use of magic.
* MentorOccupationalHazard: Almost dies [[RuleOfThree three]] times.
* [[EvilMentor Morally Ambiguous Mentor]]: He's accused by Nimueh of betraying fellow magic users during the Great Purge. On screen, he's focused on maintaining the status quo (more specifically, Merlin's safety) to the exclusion of ''everything'' else. Merlin arguably picks up deception and secrecy from him.
* MrExposition
* TheObiWan: To Merlin. Gauis not only serves as a parental figure to Merlin but he is also mentors and guides Merlin on how to use his magic usefully and wisely.
* OccultDetective: Often alongside Merlin.
* 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
* OnlyOneName
* PapaWolf: Endanger Merlin in any way, Gaius will make you pay one way or the other. He is very protective of Merlin and is very much a parental figure to him.
** Also rather protective of Gwen but not to the same extent of Merlin of course.
* ParentalSubstitute: For Merlin.
** To a lesser extent, Gwen as well.
* SecretKeeper: the only character in the core cast knows about Merlin's magic.
* 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]]