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Recap: Merlin S 05 E 13 The Diamond Of The Day Part II

The Diamond of the Day Part II

And after that cliffhanger from last time, the episode opens exactly where we left off: in the middle of a huge battle, with Merlin riding to the rescue. The Knights and Saxons fight, with Arthur and Mordred putting their dragon-forged swords to good use. Gwen and Gaius are back in the tents, treating knights when one stumbles in, followed by a Saxon. Gwen kills him, but it's clear they're being pushed back. Soon enough, reinforcements arrive on both sides: the rest of the Saxon army, Aithusa and Merlin.

Merlin starts using lightning against the troops, causing a full retreat. He blasts Morgana too and banishes Aithusa. Gwen notices the man on the cliff, and Gaius tells her he's someone truly remarkable and that he deserves their gratitude. Gwen looks thoughtful.

Meanwhile, Arthur is wandering through what's left of Saxons and comes across Mordred, who wastes no time in fulfilling the prophecy: he stabs Arthur, and Arthur falls. Mordred takes a moment to check, and Arthur leaps up and stabs him. Mordred collapses, a creepy smile on his dying face. Merlin comes down to look for Arthur, and picks him up and carries him away.

Arthur wakes up at a camp Merlin set up, and even if he tries to laugh the pain off, it's plain that he's going to die. Merlin, sobbing hard, apologizes for failing to avert the prophecy. Arthur asks him what he's talking about. Merlin continues talking, saying that he drove off the army. Arthur tells him that that wasn't him, it was the sorcerer. Merlin tells him the truthnote , and Arthur refuses to believe him. Merlin turns to the fire, muttering a spell and causing a dragon to appear in the sparks. Arthur tells Merlin to leave him alone to think for a moment.

Back at the castle, Gwen is searching for Arthur. Leon tells her that three patrols have not found him, and then reveals that Gaius is missing too. Gwen puts two and two together and assumes Gaius is tending to Arthur.

An assumption that turns out to be correct when we cut to Gaius tending Arthur. Merlin goes off to find some supplies and Arthur tells Gaius about Merlin's magic, only to realize that it's no surprise to Gaius. Gaius tells Arthur that Merlin is not just a sorcerer, but the greatest one who ever lived, and he's the only chance he's got. Later, he talks to Merlin, telling him there's still a shard of the sword in his body, and in order for him to heal, he needs magic of equal age: that of the Sidhe. Merlin decides to take him to Avalon, and Arthur gives his seal to Gaius, telling him to give it to Gwen so that she can assume the throne.

Meanwhile, Morgana has buried Mordred, telling him she will get revenge for him. She force-chokes one of her soldiers to death for bringing her the bad news, and sets her final plan in motion, waiting for information from her mole on Arthur's location.

Back at the castle, Gaius passes the sad news on to Gwen, who is distressed but accepts that Avalon's the only way to save Arthur. Eira asks Gwaine where Arthur is, and he tells her. She's later caught by Gwen after sending the last bit of raven post this season, and Gwen reveals that she's sent Morgana the wrong location. Eira pleads for Gwaine to help her, but to no avail.

Arthur and Merlin are traveling to Avalon when two Saxon soldiers catch up to them. Merlin puts on a ruse of being attacked by Camelot knights and asks for their help, but they figure out the truth. Merlin kills them, causing Arthur to note that he's lied to him this whole time. Merlin doesn't respond.

Later that night, Merlin is lighting the fire. Arthur asks him why he doesn't use magic, and Merlin says it's just habit. Arthur gives him the go-ahead, and he lights it and takes off Arthur's boots, saying they need drying. The next morning, Merlin's prepared breakfast and starts feeding it to Arthur. Arthur asks him why he's still behaving like a servant, and Merlin says it's his destiny to serve Arthur. Both remember their first fight, and Arthur accuses him of cheating when he reveals that he used magic in the fight. Merlin then tells him the other reason: that Arthur's his friend and he doesn't want to lose him. Arthur's quiet.

Back at Camelot, Gwen calls Gaius to the Round Table. She then asks him if he knew who the sorcerer in the battle was. Gaius tells her yes, and Gwen asks if it's someone she knows with a smile on her face. Gaius confirms her suspicions in the same vague way, and she notes that Arthur's in the best care he could be. That's right, after five seasons, Gwen has finally guessed the truth.

Gwen executes Eira for her treason, and Gwaine swears revenge on Morgana. Percival accompanies him, riding to where they sent Morgana.

Merlin and Arthur talk, with Arthur asking him why he didn't tell him. Merlin answers with the obvious: Arthur would have killed him. Arthur isn't sure that he would have done so, and Merlin tells him he wanted to spare him the choice. Arthur is surprised with this decree of loyalty, and Merlin tells him that he's happy with his destiny to serve Arthur, and he wouldn't change a thing.

Meanwhile, Gwaine and Percival attack Morgana's entourage, killing all the Saxons. Gwaine goes behind her, causing her to turn around...and letting Percival get a blade to her back. She cries out in pain... and then recovers, knocking out both of them. She's a High Priestess after all, and no mortal blade can kill her. She ties up Percival and brings out her Nathair to torture Gwaine. Percival hears Gwaine screaming, and rips his way out of his restraints, running to Gwaine's side. Gwaine tells him that Morgana's heading toward Avalon, and dies in Percival's arms, Percival quietly mourning him.

Merlin is riding with Arthur, and uses his mind's eye to see the path ahead, manuevering them out of the Saxon's way. He then covers their tracks and distracts the soldiers, causing Arthur to note that he's not an idiot, and ask why he never attempted to take credit. Merlin tells him that's not why he does it, and goes on his way. Later that night, Arthur apologizes for how he treated Merlin in the past, and makes no secret of the fact that he thinks he won't survive to Albion. He tries to allay the tension by joking he'll give Merlin two days off. Merlin laughs, but knows him too well to buy it.

Morgana heads out on their trail, and finds Merlin, knocking him out and gloating to Arthur about how he's won the battle but lost the war. Merlin grabs Excalibur, and she tells him that no weapon forged by man can kill her. Unfortunately for her, Excalibur was forged in a dragon's breath, and Merlin kills her with it. Arthur notes she's finally peaceful with regret in his voice.

They keep going, until they reach a field and Arthur finally collapses. Arthur's dying, even if Merlin refuses to accept it. He uses his last words to thank Merlin for all he's done, and finally dies. Merlin, desperate, calls the dragon, and Kilgharrah arrives to take them both to Avalon. Merlin mourns both his friend and his failure, and Kilgharrah told him that he hasn't failed: Arthur will return when he is needed once more. Merlin throws Excalibur into the lake, and a hand reaches up and grabs it. He puts Arthur on a boat, and sends it towards the isle of Avalon, saying his final goodbye.

Back at Camelot, it appears that they've accepted the truth. Leon announces Arthur's death, and everyone, including a still mourning Percival, chants their praise to their new queen regnant as Merlin's theme plays with vocals, strings, and all. Guinevere holds Arthur's seal in her hands, looking devastated - but also resolute as "long live the Queen!" echoes around the hall.

We cut back to the isle of Avalon, and a lorry flies past down a modern road. Merlin, aged either naturally or by magic, is walking down the road as he did in the beginning of the series. He looks out hopefully towards the isle, and then keeps walking, still waiting for Arthur's return.

Tropes

  • Action Girl: Guinevere, briefly.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Guinevere gets made Queen Regnant of Camelot to replace Arthur at his request.
  • Back for the Finale: Freya. Or at least her arm.
  • Back from the Dead: It doesn't actually happen, merely is predicted to. Arthur is the Once and Future King, and even though he dies today, he'll come back again when he's truly needed. It'll be a while.
  • Bad Boss: Morgana force-chokes one of her soldiers to death for failing to find Arthur. It wasn't even the guy who reported the failure in the first place.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: As you'd expect, Camlann is one.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Oh yeah... Merlin comes complete in Emrys disguise and tears apart the enemy soldiers. He even takes out Morgana afterwards and continues through the battle.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Gwaine and Arthur die, but Camelot will go on, Morgana is dead, Guinevere is Queen, and Arthur is destined to return eventually.
    • Though some might still consider it a Downer Ending.
    • The Distant Finale counts as well: everyone in Merlin's life has died, but Arthur may yet return.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Merlin and Guinevere, each in their own ways, are utterly terrifying when a) pissed off, and b) in possession of the power to destroy their enemies.
  • Book Ends: The series ends just as it began, Merlin traveling on a road.
  • Call Back: Arthur and Merlin both hark back to their first fight. "You cheated."
    • If you're paying attention, the same words Merlin uses to banish Aithusa are the ones he used on Kilgharrah in The Last Dragonlord.
  • Combat Medic: Guinevere is yelling for bandages when the fight enters the medical tent. She takes out the Saxon about to kill a Camelot knight.
  • Composite Character: Merlin takes on the role that is usually allocated to Bedivere in the legends when he throws Excalibur back to the Lady in the Lake.
  • Continuity Snarl: Morgana's death looks nothing like the one she foresaw in The Darkest Hour. It's not even a matter of details; the writers clearly changed their minds at some point as to when and how she would finally die.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Gwaine dies in Percival's arms; Arthur dies in Merlin's arms.
  • Distant Finale: The final scene takes place in the modern day by the lake of Avalon and reveals that Merlin really is immortal, though he is now (probably) legitimately old instead of magically disguised.
  • Dragon Rider: Near the end of the episode, Merlin and a dying Arthur ride on Kilgharrah in a last-ditch attempt to reach the Lake of Avalon and save Arthur's life.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Morgana. Were you expecting a huge, no holds barred, magical battle between herself and Merlin? Sorry, he just sneaks up on her and stabs her with Excalibur.
    • Also Gwaine, who wasn't given the dignity of dying in battle, but of torture wounds sustained at Morgana's hands. And to top it off, he dies thinking that he's betrayed Arthur's location.
  • Due to the Dead: Morgana takes the time to bury Mordred and mark his grave.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Finally averted, when Arthur gives Merlin the credit he deserves, no denial or last-minute jibes whatsoever.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: All things considered, the magical people can be counted as this trope, as magic's implied to no longer be banned and Merlin's involvement in the final battle is well-known. Well, no one knows who it was, but they knew who helped them.
  • Famous Last Words: "Thank you." Which coincidentally or not, were also Lancelot's Famous Last Words back in series 4.
  • Final Battle
  • Foregone Conclusion: It's quite an accurate depiction of the final battle in mythology, down to Arthur being taken to Avalon but unable to be saved.
  • Genre Savvy: Gwen actually puts two and two together about Merlin, making her the first and only character to ever figure out the secret intuitively.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Mordred. A deranged, creepy smile, but a smile.
  • Grand Finale
  • Heroic Resolve: Percival is having trouble with the ropes. Gwaine screams. Percival rips his way out and runs to him.
  • Hope Spot: When Merlin and Gwen believe Arthur can be saved by taking him to the Sidhe.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: So Mordred says to Arthur when he mortally wounds him. Specifically: "you left me no choice."
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Played very straight. Merlin is almost unable to reveal his magic to a dying Arthur because he's crying so hard. The line in the promo is even recorded.
  • Internal Reveal: Merlin finally reveals his magic to Arthur.
  • Karmic Death: Morgana is killed by the same type of weapon that killed Arthur. Merlin even rubs it in that she's not the only one with a dragon-flame forged blade.
  • Kill 'em All: Of all the main and recurring characters, only five are left standing by the end: Merlin, Guinevere, Gaius, Leon and Percival. If you count the Distant Finale, then everyone is dead except Merlin. If you want some amusement, you'll note that the only ones to survive are the commoners, with the exception of Leon.
  • Killed Off for Real: Mordred, Gwaine, Morgana and Arthur all meet their end in this episode.
  • Left Hanging: One of the many plots throughout the show (to the point of being a Series Goal) has been for Merlin to convince Arthur to legalize magic and let those who possess it live in freedom and peace. Arthur dies before this happens, and there's no clear answer as to whether it will happen during Guinevere's reign instead.
    • Word of God later confirmed that Gwen did lift the ban on magic after this.
  • Mugging the Monster: Two Saxon soldiers learn why you don't anger Merlin. Especially when he's protecting Arthur.
  • No Man of Woman Born: Morgana boasts that she can't be killed by any weapon forged by man, neatly explaining how she's managed to walk off so many swords to the gut and other fatal wounds. Unfortunately for her, she wasn't counting on Excalibur.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Arthur finally realises Merlin has been doing this all along.
    "So you're not an idiot. That was another lie."
  • Playing Possum: Mordred stabs Arthur, who falls to the ground. When he moves in to inspect his work, Arthur hops back up and returns the favor.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: Arthur, when he's sure he's going to die, tells Merlin to hold him until he does.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Gwaine and Percival decide to go after Morgana alone, even though she could kill them both with a glance. To their credit, they very nearly succeed, only being foiled by the No Man of Woman Born stipulation above.
  • Say My Name: "Emrys!" Merlin just zaps her unconscious and continues owning the Saxons.
  • Scream Discretion Shot: When Gwaine is tortured by Morgana's Nathair, we hear it from Percival's perspective.
  • Shock and Awe: Merlin's Big Damn Heroes moment includes lots and lots of this.
  • Stupid Sacrifice: Great plan, Gwaine.
  • Super Strength: Emrys carries Arthur (in full armour) from the battle ground. Later (as Merlin) he can only drag him around.
  • Taking You with Me: True to the original legends, Mordred mortally wounds Arthur but is killed in turn.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Morgana has spent the last two seasons absolutely dreading her predicted defeat at the hands of Emrys. Hell, she was afraid to face him when he had no magic at all. So naturally, she chooses to grow a pair when Merlin has her at sword-point and has regained his power, bragging about how she can't die by mortal weapons. She basically let him stab her.
    • But recall that when she foresaw her own death at Emrys's hands, it looked nothing like that: Merlin was in his old man guise, and they were on the battlefield. She only made the same mistake that Merlin's always made in this respect: averted one path that leads to a certain end, only to have the same end reach her by way of another. May double as fridge brilliance.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Morgana's been unstable for a good long time, but the events of this episode completely destroyed whatever she had holding her together.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: So, did Merlin ever go back to Camelot after Arthur died?
    • We never did find out what the deal with Aithusa was, and no more than two minutes into the episode, he flies away, never to be seen again.
    • Although Percival is last seen at Camelot, there is an odd sequence of events leading up to it: after Gwaine dies, stating with his final breath that Morgana is on her way to Avalon, Percival is seen tracking footprints in the forest. It suggests he's going after them, but this plot-thread is seemingly abandoned.
    • Merlin takes Excalibur back to the Lady of the Lake for safe-keeping, but what about Mordred's sword? That was also forged in the dragon's breath, and perhaps filled with dark magic, making it potentially even more dangerous in the wrong hands than Excalibur.
  • Where Does She Get All Those Magical Monsters?: Despite having ridden miles out from home on very short notice to kill Arthur, Morgana yet again happens to have a useful critter-in-a-box handy as an interrogation device.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Perks: When Merlin is trying to start a fire with a couple rocks, Arthur asks why he doesn't just use magic, since it's no longer a secret. Merlin admits it's a habit then lights it.
  • The X of Y
  • Two-Part Episode
  • You Are Not Alone: Merlin never leaves Arthur alone as he is dying. Percival runs to Gwaine's side so he doesn't have to die alone. Leon stands beside Guinevere in solidarity when she is declared Queen Regnant.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Kilgharrah tells Merlin that some lives were written before they ever began.

Merlin S 05 E 12 The Diamond Of The Day Part IRecap/Merlin    

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