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Uther and Arthur's exchange in Excalibur, when Uther tells his son without hesitation that he is the most important thing in his life.
In The Labyrinth of Gedref. "I had no idea you were so keen to die for me." Well, that whole scene really, especially when Arthur takes the poison for Merlin. Good thing that it's not actually poison.
In The Moment of Truth, when Morgana and Gwen both insist on coming with Merlin to try and save his village, because he's helped them so much since he arrived. Merlin tends to assume that he goes more or less unnoticed, despite having saved the whole city multiple times.
Not to mention the fact that Arthur, despite being unable to secure help from the royal army, proceeds to show up on his own to do what he can.
Actually, the entire episode, from Merlin being reunited with his mother at the beginning to the final shot of the OT 4 riding back to Camelot (which, due to recent plot developments, is a bit of a Tear Jerker).
I don't know why, but the exchange between Arthur and Uther in Le Morte d'Arthur, after Merlin secretly trades his life for Arthur's and brings him the water from the Cup of Life, struck me as sweet. "I think there's someone watching over me, keeping me from harm." Oh, Arthur, you have no idea.
In Lancelot and Guinevere - Arthur telling Morgana that he's going to rescue Gwen, and only refused to before because he couldn't disagree with his father in front of the court. And then Gwen and Morgana's reunion.
And in The Witchfinder - Merlin breaks down in court and tries to attack Aredian when Gaius is sentenced to death. Arthur restrains him and drags him towards the dungeons, saying he'll 'deal with him'. This turns out to mean that he'll let him visit Gaius, even though his father has forbidden it, so that he can say goodbye.
This one manages to be awesome and tear-jerking as well as heart-warming; when Morgause is about to start the spell to call up Igraine's spirit Arthur turns to Merlin and tells him that maybe magic in itself isn't necessarily a bad thing. The look of raw hope and disbelief on Merlin's face when he says: "do you really think that?" is heart-stopping.
The scene between Arthur and Merlin at the end of The Lady of the Lake, with the former lifting the latter's spirits. Never has a noogie made this troper smile so hard.
Also from that episode, most of Merlin's interactions with Freya were this, if not a Tear Jerker. Special mention goes to their First Kiss, and when he gives her a rose instead of a strawberry by mistake.
Well, she didn't ACTUALLY care in that moment. Not about him, at least...
Their every interaction in The Tears of Uther Pendragon is this. Somehow, even though you know Morgana is most likely faking the affection so she can carry out her plan of killing Arthur's father, one can't help but go "awww."
The Changeling has a few of these, particularly the scene between Merlin and Arthur right before the wedding. For just a moment, Merlin lets Arthur see a little bit of the part of himself he's been hiding. Colin Morgan acts the hell out of this scene.
Merlin: What's wrong?
Arthur: You wouldn't understand, Merlin. You have no idea what it's like to have a destiny you can't escape.
Merlin: Destinies... are troublesome things. You feel trapped. Like your whole life is being planned out for you, and you've got no control over anything, and sometimes you don't even know if the destiny decided is... really the best thing at all.
Also, when Arthur and Gwen part after their incredibly sweet moment at the end, you see him skipping up the last couple of stairs.
Merlin taking care of Gwen in The Castle of Fyrien.
Arthur's goodbye kiss to Gwen in The Eye of the Phoenix. It was perfect because it was so understated - no violins or slow motion this time, just a silent affirmation of the fact that she's his girl and they're in a relationship.
From that same episode, Merlin's conversation with the Fisher King. "When all seems lost, this will show you the way."
Even better when you realize that "this" is Freya. So lovely. :D
This conversation between Merlin and Gwaine in 3x08, as they go to find Arthur:
Merlin: Why do you want to do this?
Gwaine: Same reason as you. Help a friend.
Merlin: Arthur is lucky to have us.
Gwaine: (giving Merlin a meaningful look) Not Arthur.
If Arthur and Gwen's romantic picnic in the forest doesn't reduce you into a helpless puddle of squee, then nothing on earth will.
Also, Merlin telling Gwen that she looks lovely just before escorting her to the picnic.
At the end of episode 03x11 when Uther tells Arthur that he knew that he had let him win and just how much he appreciated it. Awwww... The look on Morgana's face afterward when she realizes her plan to get Uther killed has just made the father son relationship stronger is great too, especially after how bitchy she was to Gwen, the only one her former friends who she has no justification at all to be mean to, the last episode.
Also from the end of 03x11, Merlin's conversation with Gilli about the nature of magic and their future in Camelot. Merlin looked so happy.
It has just occured to this troper in regards to Merlin, Arthur and Gwen that at various points during the first three seasons, each one has given specific instructions to the second to "look after" the third. Something of a Tear Jerker when one considers Morgana: part of the reason she performed her Face-Heel Turn was because the Power Trio were looking out for each other, but not for her.
After the coup on Camelot, Arthur sends Gwain, Elyan and Gaius out to hide in the woods. He suggests that Merlin go with them, only for Merlin to reply: "Nah, I've already seen the woods."
In 3x13 when Merlin realizes that Freya is still alive. If the little boy happy look he gets on his face doesn't make you go "awww" then I don't know what will.
This troper does not even like the dragon, but the conversation from 3x13 was so much this:
Great Dragon: My allegiance has never been with the witch.
Merlin: I know. But is it with me?
Great Dragon: Yes, young warlock. It is with you.
When Arthur gathers his friends, allies and future wife around the Round Table and thanks them for their loyalty. Then when he asks for their aid in freeing Camelot, each of them thanks Arthur in turn for what he's done for them over the course of three seasons. Yeah, even Percival, the guy he's only known for ten minutes.
Except Merlin, who takes the opportunity to deliberately (but jokingly) ruin the mood, before standing up and grinning at Arthur. Which, in its own way, is even more cute.
The knighting ceremony that follows, especially the big proud grins on Merlin and Gwen's faces when Gwaine and Elyan are knighted.
When Lancelot tells Merlin that "you're the bravest of us all," and that it was him that Arthur should be knighting.
Lancelot's concern for Merlin in "The Darkest Hour". He tells Merlin that he shouldn't be with the knights, since he's no warrior and Merlin's magic doesn't work against the things they are fighting. His evident interest in his friend's well-being, and Merlin's insistence on staying to help Arthur, are both very endearing.
Also, the scene between the two of them at the beginning of the episode, concerning Arthur's stained shirt. Just... the hints, the adorable, knowing grins... it just reminds you that now that Lancelot is a knight, there's finally someone else in Camelot who knows his secret, and is completely accepting of it.
Also from "The Darkest Hour" where Percival sees three frightened children and realizes that his group has already moved ahead and the Dorocha are closing in. He can't carry the children and carry the torch at the same time. So what does he do? He picks up all three children and runs for it, essentially leaving himself defenseless against the Dorocha.
And when one of the Dorocha inevitably attacks him, Elyan arrives to save him, and the two of them return the children to safety.
Elyan: Couldn't let you have all the glory, could I?
Arthur's goodbye to Gwen is part this and part Tear Jerker, when you consider that she doesn't know he's planning to sacrifice himself to fix the veil.
Arthur: Smile for me.
Gwen: I can't.
Arthur: Do you remember the first time I kissed you?
At the Beginning of Part 2, Arthur's kindness and concern for the pale, dying Merlin as he sends him away with Lancelot. Especially squeezing his shoulder encouragingly as he leaves.
After he's healed from being hit by the Dorocha, Merlin's reunion with Arthur and the knights. Elyan and Percival hug him, Leon ruffles his hair, Gwaine embraces him, and Arthur just smiles at him for several seconds...patting him on the shoulder and affectionately pulling him back to the fire with the rest. True Companions indeed!
In The Wicked Day, Arthur finally acknowledges Merlin as "a loyal friend."
Though Uther has spent the past two episodes (technically an entire year counting the timeskip) in a Heroic BSOD over Morgana's betrayal, he refuses to miss his son's birthday celebration.
In "Aithusia," the knight's prank on Merlin is inavertently sweet because it actually seemed like Arthur would totally let Merlin go hungry. Its good to see development in their relationship.
Merlin's face when the dragon egg hatches.
Arthur calling Merlin "old friend" in His Father's Son, especially after Arthur pushing everyone away throughout the episode.
Merlin and Arthur finally hug in A Servant of Two Masters. Of course, it's sweeter because Arthur has just found out that Merlin is alive and actually instigates the hug.
The conversation Gaius and Arthur have at the end of The Secret Keeper. All the more heartwarming because someone was actually telling Arthur the truth for a change and because Gaius was also hinting at how much Merlin had done for him.
Gaius: I've known you since you were a nursling, Arthur. I love you far too much to betray you.
And earlier in the episode, Gwen comforting Merlin after Gaius is gone. The way she just squeezes his shoulder...
Also... Merlin finally getting an ally besides Gaius who a) knows the truth about him, b) understands what it feels like to be persecuted and c) appreciates him for what a Badass he is.
In Lamia, it's hard to decide what's more adorable: Merlin and Gwen's utter faith that Arthur is out looking for them, Arthur's ability to recognise Gwen's tunic from a tiny scrap she left behind for him, or Merlin and Gwen trying to protect each other moments before Arthur saves them both.
Earlier in the episode, Elyan standing up for Merlin when one of the villagers tells Gwen he needs a skilled physician, not a boy. It's nice to see that when they aren't Brainwashed and Crazy, the knights care for Merlin.
It all went to hell by the end of the episode, but Arthur's proposal to Gwen in Lancelot Du Lac was adorable, particularly Gwen's reaction: she's so overjoyed that she forgets to say yes!
In A Herald of the New Age, Arthur's speech at the Druid shrine and the spirit's last three words: "I forgive you."
A subtle one at the end of the episode. Merlin teasing Arthur about his sensitive emotional side, then quickly saying. "You meant it. Every word." in a tone that makes it clear he's testing the waters. When Arthur denies it, Merlin knows that this means he did, and brightens up immensely, requesting a hug. note Arthur ended the persecution on the druids and thus started the ball rolling towards magic being accepted.
This is an odd one, but did anyone else find it strangely sweet that Morgana instantly recognised Gwen's old dress from season 1?
The Hunter's Heart:
Arthur actively seeking Merlin's counsel for the first time.
"I don't know what to do. What should I do, Merlin?"
Arthur deciding Gwen is worth his kingdom.
Merlin's loyalty to Gwen, staying with her until she woke up after what was inarguably a totally shit day for her and the little hug.
Merlin and his mother reunite in Ealdor. Especially sweet for the audience considering Hunith hasn't been seen since the end of series 1.
The implication that Merlin had told Gwen to go to Ealdor, and that she was being looked after by Hunith.
Merlin gets a series-long CMOH in that he's always there for Arthur. Even the one time he lost faith in magic returning, he remained because his emotional support was important to him. You'd think a guy who'd been through so much emotional hell with no true end in sight would have at least broken down a bit, but Merlin hasn't, ever.
Merlin: I believe in you. I always have. *after finally telling Arthur of his destiny to rule Albion*
Arthurís proposal to Gwen at the end of the series 4 finale. everything in this scene is beautiful anyway, but its absolute simplicity compared to his elaborate previous declarations of love and proposals, as well as in light of recent events between them, makes it that much more incredibly sweet.
Gwen: I canít forgive myself.
Arthur: I donít care. I just donít ever want to lose you. *Squee-filledbeat* Will you marry me?
Oh come on? Nothing of Merlin disappearing so he can distract their pursuers long enough for the others to get away? Or Arthur running after him? And then desperately backpedaling to cover up why he did it.
Arthur: I came back for you because you're the only friend I have and I couldn't bear to lose you.
Arthur: (realizing what he's just said) No.
Oddly enough, one of the most heartwarming lines in the entire series comes in the second part of "Arthur's Bane" from the man who's destined to end Camelot's golden age. When Mordred tells Merlin, "The love that binds us is more important than the power we wield," you can see how much he really believes what he's saying, and just the slightest hint in Merlin's eyes that perhaps he believes him.
Debatable but in The Death Song of Uther Pendragon, Merlin lets Arthur go off to meet Uther in the otherworld against his better judgments. It is ultimately not a wise decision at all especially when the safety of the whole castle is at stake, but Merlin sympathizes with his friend in the pain of suddenly losing one's father.
If not that, then the constant support he gives Arthur(who is doubting his ability to rule the kingdom) certainly counts.
In The Disir, Arthur's respect for Merlin is exemplary; He notices Merlin is being unusually worrisome, asks whats wrong, and seems disappointed that Merlin won't tell him.
From The Dark Tower, Arthur wants to go to rescue Gwen alone, since it's likely that no one who comes on the quest will return. The Knights all tell him they're going with him, and that Gwen is their friend too.
Later, Merlin is trying to use his new ability to find a way out of the forest, and tells Arthur to trust him. Arthur is about to ignore him again, only for Elyan and Leon to stick up for him and ask Arthur to give him a chance. Percival also congratulates him at the end when he gets them out.
In A Lesson in Vengeance: Sir Leon swearing his allegiance to Guinevere and assuring her that he and the knights will support her claim to the throne should Arthur die. It's just a pity that Gwen isn't in her right mind at the time.
Tyr Seward and his mother's concern for each other, with Tyr only agreeing to keep silent if she is kept safe and his mother assuring the knights that he would never betray the king.
Merlin asking Gwaine to protect Arthur, and the huge smile on Gwaine's face when Merlin is pardoned.
In addition, Arthur did not doubt for a minute Merlin wasn't the one who poisoned him. True Companions indeed.
When the spell breaks in With All My Heart. Of course, YMMV since Arthur and Gwen only hugged and didn't kiss, but this troper found it sweeter as it wasn't so much a romantic moment as a "hold me" moment.
Arthur showing genuine gratitude toward Dolma and promising to remember that magic is neither good nor evil. After the Cruel Twist Ending of The Wicked Day, it's great to see a happy twist on it.
Finna telling Merlin that he will make a better place for all, and that she's glad to sacrifice her life for him. Likewise, Gaius tells Merlin, after having spent so many episodes arguing with him, that he is the only one who could have shouldered this much responsibility and that he will not fail.
The Great Dragon accepting his death. He's spent years as the Last of His Kind, and now the other member of his species has gone crazy. He's dying, but he knows that someone will remember the dragons as they were, and that is enough for him.
Gwen going to battle with Arthur. Gwaine wishing him luck on the way to the Crystal Cave. Gaius also wishing him luck before he sets out. Gwaine's sympathy towards Eira, even if it's poorly placed. Gwen's concern for Merlin. Arthur reacting to Merlin's message. Merlin's first thought after getting his powers back being to help Arthur. The episode is one big frenzy of heartwarming.
Merlin's huge smile when his magic returns.
Upon realising he's got his magic back, Merlin's first act isn't to blow up the cave wall or arm himself. He makes a butterfly.
The sight of Arthur and (a disenchanted) Guinevere asleep in bed. It's just the two of them, holding each other and resting peacefully, in what might well be their last night together.
Arthur finally realizing all Merlin's done for him. His last words: "I want to say something I've never said to you before. Thank you."
The implication that magic's no longer banned due to Merlin's actions in the final battle.
The quiet moment when Merlin's lighting the fire and Arthur silently gives his approval to use magic.
Merlin is still alive and waiting for Arthur's return.
When Percival hears Gwaine's screaming, he rips his way out of his restraints and runs to help him.
Guinevere figures out that Merlin has magic. And she's totally cool with it. Merlin need never fear to use magic in Camelot ever again.
The reason she figures it out is that she knows that Merlin would never abandon Arthur. Gwen's faith in Merlin is unshakable.
Behind the Scenes
This brief clip from behind-the-scenes. The main cast is struggling over a muddy incline, and Bradley keeps trying to grab Angel's hand so she doesn't fall over (she keeps missing it). But when the director yells "cut" all the men take off and leave Angel stranded at the top of the muddy slope...but Rupert Young doubles back and takes her hand to help her down. Aww. Sir Leon indeed.
Sadly Angel Coulby and Janet Montgomery did not interact in the episode in which they both appeared, but will be starring together in Dancing on the Edge. On her Twitter, Janet had this to say◊ about Angel. Aww.
Bradley James talking about how hard it was to film the scenes of Arthur physically abusing Merlin, sometimes even arguing with the director to downplay the violence.
In performing her final scene, Katie McGrath said that Colin Morgan did everything he could to make sure she didn't shoot it with complete strangers. They were originally supposed to shoot it together, but Colin got pulled away to do another scene. He organized it so that he could run back and forth between them. Because the main crew was shooting with Colin, it didn't look like Katie was going to get a "proper golden wrap" which is where everyone congratulates the actor and says goodbye to them. But on her last take, Colin ran over and refused to leave until everyone from the main unit came over to give Katie a proper sendoff.
The cast's congratulatory tweets to Colin after he wins the National Television Award for Best Actor.