Recap: Merlin S 01 E 13 Le Mortd Arthur
Le Morte d'Arthur
Arthur, Merlin and a group of knights are hunting in the forest (the bright red cloaks provide great camouflage) when they hear the sounds of an animal up ahead. Though Merlin fumbles in his attempt to pass Arthur his spear, Arthur offers him some reassurance at the strange sounds coming from the trees ahead of them. As the knights spread out, a bizarre creature leaps out of the forest in front of them.It has the head of a snake and the body of what looks like a snow leopard. The hunting party take one look at it and bravely run away. Merlin trips over and Arthur doubles back to yank him to his feet. At a safe distance, they look around and discover that Sir Bedivere is missing Ė his screams echo through the forest as the creature finishes him off.In the council chamber, Gaius informs the court that the creature sounds like a Questing Beast, said to foreshadow a time of great upheaval. Uther seems uneasy at this, and orders Arthur to ride out with his knights to kill it. As soon as Arthur has left, Gaius tells Uther that the last time a Questing Beast was spotted, it was the night Queen Igraine died. But Uther is stubborn: he believes that heís conquered the Old Religion and that Arthur will destroy the beast.Down in the physicianís quarters, Gaius is passing on his warnings to Merlin. He tells Merlin that the Questing Beast carries the power of life and death. One bite will kill a man, and there is no cure.At night, Morgana has a terrible nightmare of the Questing Beast, the Dragonís fire, Merlin screaming in grief, and Arthur lying injured in his bed. Morgana wakes up screaming in a cold sweat, unsure where she is until Gwen calms her.The following morning, Arthur speaks to his men in the castle square, assuring them that theyíll be successful in killing the beast. Heís interrupted by Morgana rushing hysterically down the front steps and begging him not to go. Merlin escorts her back up the stairs and into the arms of the waiting guards, but seems to have taken her warning a lot more seriously than Arthur has.Arthur, Merlin and his knights carefully stalk through the misty forest, finding the Questing Beastís paw prints and following them into a cave. Merlin carries a flaming torch and the knights have drawn their swords as they head into the darkness and split up down the various passages.Arthur hears the sound of hissing, but as they turn, the Questing Beast rises up behind them. Arthur pushes Merlin out of the way and begins to wave his sword at it while Merlin climbs a precipice. The Beast strikes out at Arthur and throws him across the cave, but Merlin distracts it by waving his torch. He uses magic to levitate the sword and ignite it with blue flames before sending it into the Questing Beastís heart. It dies and Merlin rushes to Arthur, realizing with horror that Arthur is bleeding.The scene cuts to Gaiusís chambers where Arthur is laid down on the table. Gaius orders them to fetch the king, and Merlin rushes for his magical book.
- Gaius: The King'll be here any moment!Merlin: He can't die. It is my destiny to protect him. We haven't done all the things we're meant to do.Gaius: That is a lament of old men.Merlin: Gaius, he's my friend.Gaius: Then save him.
- Dragon: You do not know how to save him.Merlin: But you can tell me how?Dragon: Perhaps. It will not be easy.Merlin: I will do anything.Dragon: Anything?Merlin: Please, just tell me what I have to do!Dragon: Very well. The Questing Beast is a creature conjured by the powers of the Old Religion. You must use the same ancient magic to save him.Merlin: But the Old Religion died out centuries ago.Dragon: The Old Religion is the magic of the Earth itself. It is the essence which binds all things together. It will last long beyond the time of men.Merlin: But how can that help me save Arthur?Dragon: You must find those who still serve it. Those who hold dominion over life and death.Merlin: Where?Dragon: Go to the place that men call the Isle of the Blessed, where the power of the ancients can still be felt. There you will discover Arthur's salvation.Merlin: Thank you. Thank you.Dragon: And Merlin, the young Pendragon must live, no matter what the cost.
- Gwen: You're not going to die, Arthur. I'm telling you. Because I know that one day you will be King. A greater king than you father could ever be. It's what keeps me going. You are going to live to be the man I've seen inside you, Arthur. I can see a Camelot that is fair and just. I can see a king that the people will love and be proud to call their sovereign. For the love of Camelot, you have to live.
- Merlin: You.Nimueh: Do you know who I am?Merlin: Nimueh. You can't be who the dragon meant.Nimueh: And why is that?Merlin: You tried to kill me.Nimueh: Before I understood your importance.Merlin: And Arthur.Nimueh: Arthur was never destined to die at my hand, and now it seems I will be his salvation.Merlin: So you know what I've come to ask?Nimueh: Yes.Merlin: Will you do it?Nimueh: I do not have the power to mirror life itself and yet give nothing in return.Merlin: I know that a price will be asked.Nimueh: To save a life, there must be a death. The balance of the world must be restored.Merlin: I willingly give my life for Arthur's.Nimueh: How brave you are, Merlin. If only it were that simple.Merlin: What do you mean?Nimueh: Once you enter into this bargain, it cannot be undone.Merlin: Whatever I have to do, I will do. His life is worth a hundred of mine.
- Nimueh: The bargain is struck. I hope it pleases you.
- Uther: I thought we'd lost you.Arthur: Don't worry, Father, I'm not going to die. I think there's someone watching over me, keeping me from harm.Uther: Maybe you're right. On your long journey to become King, you will need a guardian angel. I shall inform the court that their Prince lives.
- Merlin: Did you know my mother would die?Dragon: I knew the price would be a heavy one.Merlin: But you sent me anyway.Dragon: We need Arthur to live.Merlin: I'm not one of you!Dragon: We are both creatures of the Old Religion. It is the source of your power.Merlin: What's that supposed to mean?Dragon: Your destiny is to protect the young Pendragon until he claims his crown. And when he does, magic can be returned to the realm. Only then will I be free.Merlin: Oh. So that's all you cared about? I thought you were my friend.Dragon: I am more than that, Merlin. I am your kin.Merlin: No. The only family I have is my mother, and you had me murder her.Dragon: Her life has not been taken in vain. We will achieve great things together, you and I.Merlin: You will never be released! For what you've done, I'll make sure you never see the light.
- Merlin: I need to talk to you.Arthur: You still haven't got it yet, have you? I decide when we need to talk.Merlin: Not today.Arthur: I sometimes wonder if you know who I am.Merlin: Oh, I know who you are.Arthur: Good.Merlin: You're a prat. And a royal one.Arthur: Are you ever going to change, Merlin?Merlin: No, you'd get bored. But promise me this, if you get another servant, don't get a bootlicker.Arthur: If this is you trying to leave your job...Merlin: No. I'm happy to be your servant. Till the day I die.Arthur: Sometimes I think I know you, Merlin. Other times...Merlin: Well, I know you. And you're a great warrior. One day, you'll be a great king.Arthur: That's very kind of you.Merlin: But you must learn to listen as well as you fight.Arthur: Any other pointers?Merlin: No. That's it. Just...don't be a prat.
- Gwen: I've tried to make her feel comfortable.Merlin: You have such a good heart, Gwen. Don't ever lose that.
- Gaius: Dear Merlin, My life is already near to its end. There has, for the most part, been very little purpose to it, very little that will be remembered. In contrast, Merlin, your life is destined for greatness. Live by the tenets I have taught you, and I believe you will, in time, become the greatest warlock ever. To have known you has been my greatest pleasure, and to sacrifice myself for you is but an honour. You are and always will be the son I never had.
- Nimueh: I never thought I'd see you here again.Gaius: My Lady.Nimueh: It's a long time since you called me that.Gaius: I come to ask for your help.Nimueh: As you did once before for Uther? You did not like the outcome.Gaius: I offer a chance for you to atone for the death of his wife.Nimueh: I have saved the life of her son. What more do you ask for?Gaius: That this time, you take a just price. Merlin intends to offer his life for his mother's. I want you to take mine in his place.Nimueh: With all my powers of prediction, I could never have foretold this. Gaius the hero. Why should I grant your wish? You stood and watched as our friends burned in the Great Purge. You are nothing but a traitor.Gaius: Merlin is the one man who can bring magic back to this land. At Arthur's side, he can help forge a new kingdom. A world of peace and beauty that we can only dream of.Nimueh: And you're willing to give your life, Gaius, for the future they will bring? I'm waiting. Are you ready to die, Gaius? Gaius?Gaius: For Merlin I will give my life.
- Gaius: Merlin.Merlin: Gaius. Gaius. Gaius, you're alive!Gaius: What did you do?Merlin: Nimueh's dead. The balance of the world has been restored.Gaius: You amaze me. You've mastered the power of life and death itself. We'll make a great warlock of you yet.Merlin: So you believe in me now?Gaius: Well, I would do if...if you could stop this blasted rain.
- Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: When Arthur and the knights first come across the Questing Beast.
- Balancing Death's Books: If Arthur lives, someone must die to take his place.
- Big "NO!": Merlin. Twice!
- Bolt of Divine Retribution
- Call Back: Merlin warns Arthur against being a prat, as he did in the first episode. Likewise, Morgana looks out of the same window she did in the first episode.
- The Cassandra: Morgana
- Converse with the Unconscious: Guinevere to Arthur. Though he's not quite as unconscious as she thinks.
- Decoy Antagonist: The Questing Beast is set up to be the Monster of the Week but is dealt with before the ten-minute mark.
- Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Nimueh's sole purpose for attacking Merlin's mother rather than just killing some random person he wouldn't even know is to mock him about his powerlessness in the matter. Bad, bad, BAD idea.
- Exact Words: Subverted. Merlin makes it very clear that his life is to be exchanged for Arthur's, but since he's immortal he still doesn't get his way.
- Florence Nightingale Effect: The first overtly shippy moment between Arthur and Gwen has shades of this.
- Halfway Plot Switch: What starts out as Arthur's hunt to kill the Questing Beast ends with Merlin fighting for Gaius's life on the Isle of the Blessed.
- Mythology Gag: The episode title is a reference to Le Morte D Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory, the definitive medieval English retelling/compilation of the Arthurian legends.
- Redemption in the Rain: Merlin and Gaius.
- Ship Tease: Gwen and Arthur, so hard.
- Skyward Scream: Merlin's Big "NO!"
- Pietŗ Plagiarism: When Uther carries Arthur across the courtyard.
- We Can Rule Together: The Dragon tries a variant of this on Merlin claiming they will achieve "great things together", in an attempt to calm him down. It doesn't work