- List of Merlin characters
Note: All characters are listed in alphabetical order by their first name.
Aglain (portrayed by Colin Salmon) is a druid who lives in the Forest of Acestir. Morgana goes to look for the druids on Merlin's advice, wanting to find out the truth about her hidden magical powers. She is bitten by a giant scorpion, and Aglain saves her after the boy Mordred (with whom Morgana has a telepathic connection) warns that she is in danger. Aglain treats Morgana's injuries and later tells her that she does have a magical gift, but it will take her many years before she can understand these powers and learn to use them. He advises her that magic can be a force for good as well as evil. When Arthur and the Royal Guard attack the druids' camp, Aglain helps Morgana and Mordred escape, but is shot (presumably fatally) by Arthur's men.
Lord Agravaine (portrayed by Nathaniel Parker) is the brother of Ygraine Pendragon, Uther's wife and Arthur's mother. He comes to Camelot to support Arthur, after Morgana's betrayal which left Uther devastated and a shadow of his former self, unable to rule Camelot. On the surface, it seems he is willing to do all he can to support his family, however in truth, he holds Uther responsible for his sister's death many years before and would gladly see his demise, even to the extreme of secretly aiding Morgana in her evil quest to gain control over Camelot.
Alice (portrayed by Pauline Collins) was a sorceress from Camelot before the Great Purge, possessing a great natural power with a specialty for healing spells. After Gaius was appointed as court physician, she and Gaius became close friends due to their shared interests, the two even being engaged to be married. However, when Uther started the Great Purge, Gaius was forced to help Alice escape Camelot after striking her name from Uther's lists, remaining behind to avoid drawing attention to his role in her escape.
Years later, Alice returned to Camelot, but although Gaius was happy to be reunited with her, Merlin learned that she was under the influence of a manticore; Alice had summoned it in the hope that she could use its dark magic for good, but it had instead gained control of her and sought to use her relationship with Gaius to kill Uther. Despite the manticore's plan succeeding, Merlin and Gaius were able to cure Uther by killing the manticore. Gaius subsequently and secretly helps Alice escape the night before her execution.
Anhora (portrayed by Frank Finlay) is the guardian of the kingdom's unicorns. When Arthur kills one while hunting, Anhora tells him that a curse has been unleashed upon Camelot and cannot be lifted until Arthur makes amends. Anhora then sets various "tests" which Arthur fails when he kills the thief Evan for insulting his pride and honour. Merlin sees how agitated and desperate Arthur has become to protect his subjects so he goes to Anhora and asks if Arthur could have a second chance. Anhora tells Merlin to make Arthur go the Labyrinth of Gedref, a maze. Arthur goes, but unbeknownst to him, Merlin has followed. Anhora kidnaps Merlin, ensnaring him in vines. Arthur and Merlin find their way out of the maze to a table where sat are two chalices filled with a liquid. One of them is poisoned, the other one normal. Arthur and Merlin pour both liquids into one goblet, but, although Merlin believes that he should drink it as Arthur has more to offer the kingdom as a whole than he does, Arthur drinks the chalice by distracting Merlin. As it turns out, the poisoned chalice was simply laced with a harmless sleeping draught and Arthur will eventually recover. As he proved he was willing to die for Merlin, Arthur makes amends for the killing of the unicorn, prompting Anhora to restore the crops and water once again.
Aredian (portrayed by Charles Dance) was a freelance sorcerer hunter nicknamed "The Witchfinder", notorious for his effective methods. He was hired by Uther to search Camelot for sorcerers after a smoke manipulation spell, performed by Merlin, was witnessed and reported by a citizen. After interrogation of several suspects, he accuses Merlin of sorcery. Upon searching Gaius' workshop, he finds an enchanted bracelet which he intends to use as evidence for Merlin's guilt. However, in an attempt to protect Merlin, Gaius admits that the bracelet was an old keepsake of his. This results in Merlin's release and Gaius' conviction. After intense interrogation, Aredian blackmails Gaius into falsely confessing that he was the sorcerer, by promising to convict Merlin and Morgana of sorcery. Uther reluctantly sentences Gaius to death. After an emotional goodbye with Gaius, Merlin discovers that the bracelet was planted and that Aredian had orchestrated the whole event, meaning Aredian was in fact a conman. Merlin and Gwen gather and plant evidence of Aredian's crime to present to Uther and persuade Arthur to postpone Gaius' execution. After having his chambers searched and the evidence discovered, Aredian panics and, after attempting to resist arrest, falls out a window to his death.
Arthur Pendragon (portrayed by Bradley James) was the Crown Prince of Camelot, prophesied to become "the once and future king who will unite the land of Albion". When Arthur first met Merlin, they had a mutual dislike for each other, but they soon became fast friends and confide in each other. Merlin often gives Arthur advice and Arthur would do anything to help him. Arthur is often arrogant and headstrong, but has a good heart, even helped the druid boy Mordred escape Camelot against his father's orders, and drank what he thought was a deadly poison to save Merlin. Many people think that Arthur will be a good king. Arthur and Guinevere have mutual feelings for one another, but have to keep them hidden, as the law prohibits Arthur from marrying someone of common birth. After the death of Uther, Arthur became the new King of Camelot. He and Guinevere split up because he thinks that it will set a bad example to his people he then realises that they are meant to be together even if the people of Camelot don't think it's a good idea.
Aulfric (portrayed by Kenneth Cranham) arrived in Camelot after he and his daughter, Sophia, were rescued from bandits by Arthur. He and Sophia were secretly magical creatures known as Sidhe, but were banished from Avalon, the land of immortal life, because Aulfric killed another Sidhe. He was then forced to live as a mortal, but Sophia could return to Avalon if she sacrificed a mortal prince to the Sidhe elders. Merlin prevented them from killing Arthur, and instead killed Aulfric and Sophia using Sophia's magical staff.
King Bayard (portrayed by Clive Russell) is the ruler of the neighbouring kingdom of Mercia, with whom Uther signs a peace treaty. When Merlin is poisoned at the celebratory feast, Uther believes the poison was meant for Arthur, and has Bayard and his entire royal court thrown into the dungeons. Soldiers from Bayard's own kingdom are dispatched to start a war, but are stopped when Gaius tells Uther that the poisoning was the work of Nimueh.
Balinor (portrayed by John Lynch) was the last known "dragonlord", who have the power to tame dragons. He was also revealed to be Merlin's father, having hidden with Merlin's mother after his initial departure from Camelot before Uther's soldiers forced him to flee. He lived alone in a cave and didn't like anybody. When Merlin and Arthur found him, he refused to help them tame the Great Dragon, bitter at Uther's past treatment of him. After learning that Gaius was one of the people under threat, however, he was reminded of those in Camelot who had helped him, and agreed to return. Learning of his connection to Merlin, he taught Merlin about the power of the dragonlord, passed down to each descendant. During an attack by the knights of the ruler of the kingdom where Balinor had been hiding, Balinor sacrificed himself to save Merlin. With his death, Merlin is made the last remaining dragonlord in existence.
Lady Catrina (portrayed by Sarah Parish) is a noble of the House of Tregor. She was impersonated by a troll in the episodes "Beauty and the Beast" Parts One and Two. The troll created a potion that would temporarily allow her to take the form of Lady Catrina and, along with her servant Jonas, infiltrated Camelot in search of wealth and power. After enchanting Uther, causing him to fall in love with her, she marries him and becomes Queen of Camelot. Merlin and Gaius realize that she is an imposter when she rejects a tonic Gaius had prepared for her, because many years before, Gaius had diagnosed the true Lady Catrina with an incurable bone disease when she was a child. As the enchantment grew in power, she created a rift between Uther and Arthur, and eventually persuaded Uther to disinherit Arthur, leaving her next in line to the throne. Merlin discovers that the troll is taking potions to maintain the pretense and asks Gaius to replicate the potion without the magical effect. The troll takes the fake potion and her true form is exposed; however, her hold over Uther is so strong that he does not see her any differently even as all others are exposed to her true appearance. After visiting the Great Dragon, Merlin discovers that the only way to break the enchantment is to have Uther cry tears of "true remorse". Arthur takes a tincture to simulate death, and Gaius retrieves Uther, who weeps having believed his son committed suicide. The troll tries to pull Uther away but the enchantment is already broken, with the troll ultimately being killed by Arthur.
Cedric (portrayed by Mackenzie Crook) is a conman who sets out to usurp Merlin as Arthur's personal servant. He wants to gain access to Arthur's personal rooms and steal the keys to an underground burial chamber where Uther had discovered treasure. When Merlin uses magic to spear a wild boar that attacks Arthur during their hunting trip, Cedric takes credit for throwing the spear and is rewarded by being appointed to the royal household. He then lets Arthur's horses escape so that Merlin will be blamed. Arthur sends Merlin home for this mistake and appoints Cedric in his place, so Cedric takes the keys and goes down to rob the burial chamber. He attempts to steal the jewel set into the tomb of Cornelius Sigan, and is possessed by Sigan's spirit. Sigan's magic produces a terrifying monster that almost destroys Camelot but is stopped by a spell the Great Dragon gives to Merlin. Merlin refuses to abandon Arthur and join Sigan, so Sigan leaves Cedric's body in an attempt to possess Merlin's. It is unclear what happens to Cedric after this.
King Cenred (portrayed by Tom Ellis) is a friend of the witch Morgause and the ruler of a kingdom of the same name. After Morgause made Uther hallucinate causing doubt in his court fearing he went mad, she told Cenred that Uther was weak and without a leader Camelot was vulnerable and ripe. But Cenred was unsure, stating that even with Uther incapacitated, an assault on Camelot could not be taken lightly. Morgause informs him that she has an ally in the court. Cenred doubted that the ally was reliable and feared they might be a traitor. Morgause assured him that Morgana could be counted on until the end, convincing Cenred to take the fight to Camelot. He then gathered his forces, with mercenaries flooding into his kingdom. The invasion force was soon complete and he led his soldiers marching to the weakened kingdom of Camelot in their thousands. Cenred thinks so little of towns in the outlying regions of his kingdom that when Ealdor pleaded with him to help them fight Kanen's brigands he refused to send any troops despite his vast military force.
Cenred later sent men to capture Guinevere and her brother Elyan in an attempt to lure Arthur into a trap. Once again he was attempting to please Morgause, which provides further evidence that he was attracted to her. Arthur arrives in Cenred's kingdom along with Morgana, Merlin and Gwen (who Cenred released so that she could tell Arthur about her imprisoned brother). Cenred captured all of them and intended to torture Arthur for information about Camelot but Arthur and Merlin escaped before freeing Gwen and Elyan and going to search for Morgana. Morgana acted as a hostage and when Arthur attempted to rescue her, Cenred held a sword to her throat while Morgause attempted to kill Arthur with magic. Their plan was thwarted once more by Merlin, who sabotaged Morgause's spell causing an explosion which knocked out her and Cenred.
Cenred was involved in getting the Cup of Life for Morgause. He was betrayed by the sorceress who got one of his own men to turn against him, her use of the Cup in a ritual allowing her to control all of Cenred's soldiers. Cenred stabbed the warrior but because he was immortal the man overpowered and apparently killed him. Morgause seemed indifferent about his death or injury, indicating that she didn't really want to use the Cup to save his life.
King Cenred is a cautious man and even after Uther Pendragon was driven mad by Morgana he was still hesitant to attack Camelot. Arthur claimed that he was a coward and always had been, though Cenred retorted by saying that a coward was a survivor, indicating that he was not ashamed to be a coward, caring more about his life than about his pride. Cenred preferred to allow others to do the fighting for him watching the siege of Camelot rather than participating in it.
However, despite his cautious and perhaps even cowardly nature, Cenred also lacks patience, a flaw that was pointed out by Morgause. Cenred appears to have a fairly good relationship with Morgause complimenting her about her courage and he was eager to please her. This indicated he might be attracted to her. However he also claimed that he would rather fail Morgause than allow countless men to die needlessly. This showed that he does care about his men despite showing little concern for minor villages such as Ealdor. He has a deep hatred for Camelot, stating "no friend of Camelot is innocent". He was later betrayed by Morgause and killed after helping her take Camelot in season 3.
Cornelius Sigan (portrayed by Mackenzie Crook) was the greatest sorcerer Camelot has ever known. He was eventually executed for his use of evil magic, and cursed Camelot, swearing to return one day and destroy the city. His fabulous wealth was buried with him; Uther had the burial chamber excavated, unaware that the glowing jewel set into Sigan's tomb contained the sorcerer's soul waiting to avenge his death. Sigan's spirit possessed Cedric and unleashed a deadly creature in the shape of a raven (Sigan's name meaning "raven" in the language of the Old Religion). Merlin destroyed this creature using a spell the Great Dragon gave him, and was then asked to join his power to Sigan's. Despite Sigan attempting to convince Merlin that they could rule Camelot together, Merlin refused, stating that it was better to serve a good man than to rule with an evil one. In response, Sigan attempted to possess him, but Merlin was able to imprison his soul inside the jewel once again
Drea is a young woman who lived in the village of Howden. When her village was attacked by the Dorocha, she managed to flee to Camelot and tell Arthur what happened, as well as giving a vague description of the Dorocha
Edwin Muirden (portrayed by Julian Rhind-Tutt) is a sorcerer who goes to Camelot in the guise of a physician. His aim is to avenge the death of his sorcerer parents, who were executed during Uther's purge of magic from Camelot. His face was disfigured in his childhood because he tried to save his parents from being burned at the stake, and he was treated by Gaius. Edwin's parents were old friends of Gaius, but Gaius knew they had turned to dark magic, and could not bring himself to save them. Because of this, Edwin blamed Gaius for their deaths. After magically sending a beetle into Uther's ear to eat his brain and attempting to kill Gaius (after attempts to drive Gaius out of Camelot by setting him up to appear incompetent failed), Edwin is slain by Merlin in a magical duel. He tries to throw an axe at Merlin using magic but Merlin stops it and throws it back using his own magic and saves the king who Edwin had poisioned to get revenge.
Elena (portrayed by Georgia King) was a princess and daughter of Lord Godwyn, an old friend of Uther's. Unknown to anyone but her nurse, Grunhilde, Elena was actually a changeling child, having been possessed by a Sidhe in her infancy, the Sidhe causing various side-effects as it grew within Elena such as clumsiness or a habit of snorting when laughing. Knowing that Godwyn would seek to improve his kingdom's ties to Camelot with a marriage between Arthur and Elena, the Sidhe king intended that the Sidhe within Elena would awaken after her marriage, thus placing a Sidhe on the throne of Camelot. Fortunately, Merlin and Gaius learned the truth and were able to defeat Grunhilde and prepare a potion that would expel the Sidhe from Elena's body. Although Elena was still willing to go through with the marriage to Arthur at first for the sake of her father's wishes, when Arthur asked if she genuinely loved him, she confirmed that she had no such feelings for him, the two mutually concluding that they could not go through with the marriage if they were both there out of duty rather than love. At this time Arthur had mutual feelings for Gwen.
Sir Elyan (portrayed by Adetomiwa Edun) is the older brother of Gwen. They had no contact for four years. Gwen did not know whether he was dead or alive in this time. Elyan and Gwen were reunited when King Cenred kidnapped the two siblings to get to Arthur Pendragon as the young prince is in love with her. He is now back at Camelot taking over their father's blacksmith shop and living with his sister. During Morgana's subsequent takeover of Camelot, Elyan aided Merlin, Arthur and Gwaine in rescuing Gaius from Camelot before they retreated to a nearby cave. When Arthur asked the assembled group if they would join him in his attempt to retake Camelot, Elyan stated that he could do no less for Arthur after Arthur had risked his life to save him from Cenred despite Elyan being only a commoner. Arthur subsequently knighted Elyan in recognition of his loyalty to Camelot despite his lack of noble birth.
Ewan (portrayed by Keith Thorne) is a royal knight of Camelot. During the kingdom's annual sword-fighting tournament, he is bitten by the snakes on Knight Valiant's charmed shield. Gaius manages to procure an antidote, but Valiant finds out that Merlin had discovered his scheme. He sends his snakes after the injured Ewan and he is bitten again, this time fatally.
The Fisher King
The Fisher King (portrayed by Donald Sumpter) was the king of a nearby land that had been devastated by a plague. According to legend, the Fisher King was struck by a plague that spread to the rest of his land, destroying his people while leaving him immortal but permanently crippled, unable to take any action to halt what was happening to his lands. As part of a quest to prove his worthiness to be King, Arthur chose to undertake a quest to enter the realm of the Fisher King and recover his trident, unaware that Morgana had given him an 'Eye of the Phoenix', a gem that drained the wearer's life-energy. Fortunately, Merlin and Gwaine were able to follow him and remove the bracelet, Merlin subsequently coming face-to-face with the Fisher King when he was trapped in the King's throne room after a door closed behind him. As he faced Merlin, the still-alive Fisher King explained that the quest to his kingdom was actually for 'Emrys' rather than Arthur; the Fisher King's trident was nothing but a nice bauble, while the true treasure was water from the Lake of Avalon, which the Fisher King informed Merlin would be needed when Camelot's darkest hour came. In return for the water, the Fisher King asked that Merlin give him the Eye of the Phoenix, the Eye draining the Fisher King's last dregs of life and granting him the death he had sought for so long.
Freya (portrayed by Laura Donnelly) was a Druid girl who lived in a village near mountains and a lake. After killing the son of a sorceress out of self-defense, Freya was cursed to become a magical monster that resembled a large panther with bat-like wings on the stroke of midnight, with an insatiable desire to kill that she would be unable to control. Under unspecified circumstances, Freya was captured by the bounty hunter Halig and taken to Camelot, only to be freed by Merlin. Hiding Freya in the underground catacombs, Merlin brought her food and told her about his magic, the two being drawn together due to Merlin's relief at having someone who understood him and Freya's gratitude at meeting someone who didn't consider her a monster. Unfortunately, her curse resulted in the deaths of at least four people when she transformed during her two nights in Camelot, prompting an increased hunt for her. Merlin and Freya began to fall in love. Although Merlin had planned to leave Camelot with her, Freya attempted to escape on her own, not wanting Merlin to abandon his life for her, only to be cornered by Halig and Arthur's knights just before her transformation. Although she killed Halig, Arthur was able to mortally wound her beast form, the creature only escaping after Merlin caused a distraction by causing a gargoyle statue to fall over, creating a path for her to escape the knights and retreat down to the catacombs. Although beast-Freya appeared calmer around Merlin, calming down simply from the sight of him even when surrounded by the knights, the wound Freya had sustained proved to be fatal, staying alive only long enough for Merlin to take her to the nearby lake. As she died, she thanked Merlin for making her feel loved again, promising to repay his kindness one day. Merlin put her body on a boat and gave her a Viking-like funeral, clearly mourning his inability to save her.
It was revealed in Merlin: Secrets and Magic that Freya will somehow return and aid Merlin on his adventures. This came true in The Coming of Arthur, when a vision of Freya appeared to Merlin in the water that the Fisher King had given Merlin, informing him that the sword Excalibur was hidden in the Lake Of Avalon and that she would give it to him. Excalibur was the only weapon that could kill the immortal army of Morgana and Morgause's doing.
Gaius (portrayed by Richard Wilson) is Camelot's court physician and Merlin's guardian and mentor. He soon discovers that Merlin has magical powers and gives him a book of sorcery to study from in secret, warning him not to be caught using magic. Gaius himself used to practice sorcerery - a fact that Uther is aware of, although he is satisfied that Gaius has forsaken his old magical abilities. He knows that Merlin's destiny far surpasses his own and is also very familiar with the Great Dragon. He is often called upon to get Merlin out of trouble or to remind him not to be reckless with the use of magic. Although his magical abilities are limited when compared to Merlin's, his greater experience is nevertheless of great benefit to Merlin, as he learns how to control and refine his abilities, while his knowledge of other such topics as mythology and medicine commonly provide Merlin and his friends with vital information in dealing with the current threat.
Gaius also has a valued place in Uther's council, being one of the few people - if not the only one - who dares to speak out against Uther's actions on crucial occasions, although Uther's prejudice against magic commonly blinds him to Gaius's good advice. Uther has even shown a willingness to overlook his discoveries of past occasions where Gaius has disobeyed him, such as when Gaius revealed that he smuggled Morgana's half-sister, Morgause out of Camelot rather than allowing her to die, despite the fact that Uther would have killed anyone else who disobeyed him in such a manner. Although he has not used magic for years before Merlin's arrival in Camelot, Gaius has used spells since Merlin came into his life, such as using a spell to prepare an antidote when Merlin was poisoned and attempting to use magic to throw a weapon at Edwin Muirden (Although Edwin's magic proved more powerful than his), as well as occasionally assisting Merlin in treating injuries that can only be cured by magic. Even without magic, Gaius has shown exceptional talent as a physician, regularly treating injuries in the court, and even preparing a draught that precisely duplicates the taste of a troll potion without any access to the original recipe.
When Gaius was briefly possessed by a goblin, the goblin attempted to escape detection by accusing Merlin of sorcery- taking advantage of the fact that Merlin couldn't hurt him without hurting Gaius-, but this plan was threatened when Arthur and Gwen saw through the goblin's actions, recognising that Gaius would never take such pleasure in the idea of Merlin facing execution. Gwen even assisted Merlin in preparing a poison to 'kill' Gaius long enough to drive the goblin out of him so that Merlin could recapture it and an antidote to bring Gaius back, Gaius subsequently clearing Merlin of the charges the goblin had accused him of. On a later occasion, Gaius was briefly reunited with his old fiance, Alice, who had been forced to flee the kingdom due to Uther's prosecution of magic, but Merlin's discovery that she was under the influence of a manticore forced her to leave once again even after he and Gaius destroyed the manticore, although Gaius chose to stay behind in order to continue guiding Merlin. When Morgana and Morgause attempted to conquer Camelot with an immortal army, Gaius played an important role in the final confrontation, attacking- and possibly fatally wounding- Morgause to give Merlin time to empty the Cup of Life and deprive the sisters of their immortal army.
Geoffrey of Monmouth
Geoffrey of Monmouth (portrayed by Michael Cronin) is Uther's court genealogist, keeper of Camelot's Library and an old friend to Gaius. He provided the Camelot records to Gaius which revealed the true identity of Edwin Muirden. He also provided the book of legends to Merlin which gave Merlin the idea of the sword that could kill the undead Black Knight. He also holds a central position in great ceremonies of state, having presided over handfastings for both Uther and Arthur (the latter not having been completed), and the crowning of Morgana as Queen of Camelot as well as Arthur's own coronation as King.
Gilli (portrayed by Harry Melling) was a young man who attempted to participate in the tournament of Camelot, secretly using his magic to prevail in the tournament. When Merlin spoke with him about his use of magic, he explained that his father had been a sorceror himself, but had never used his magic out of fear. Gilli decides to compete in the tournament using his full range of skills, his magic being focused through a ring that his father had once possessed. Although Merlin attempted to convince Gilli to withdraw from the tournament before anyone got hurt. Gilli however refused to do so, even after he unintentionally killed his latest opponent, believe that killing Uther would be for the best for all their kind. Knowing that it would be impossible to convince Arthur to work to restore magic to Camelot if magic was used to kill his father, Merlin subtly aided Uther in the fight against Gilli by arranging for Gilli's sword to be stuck in Uther's shield, allowing Uther to prevail. When Merlin confronted Gilli about his attempt to kill Uther, even though he had been about to win the tournament, Gilli acknowledged that he had been wrong. Gilli recognised that his father had disdained magic not out of fear of his power, but out of fear of its ability to corrupt. Acknowledging the wisdom of Merlin's advice to keep his powers secret until the day came when magic would once again be welcomed in Camelot, Gilli departed the kingdom, leaving Merlin reflecting that the two would meet again when magic was once again permitted.
Great Dragon (voiced by John Hurt), also known as Kilgharrah, is a legendary dragon that is imprisoned in the caves by King Uther Pendragon. Twenty years prior to the events of the series, Uther had outlawed magic in Albion and killed every dragon (in Camelot) but one, whom he spared to serve as an example. Merlin looks for the voice that has been haunting him and it leads him to the Great Dragon. The mysterious Dragon becomes Merlin's mentor in magic, and tells him that Arthur is part of his destiny and if he does not follow it, then destiny will choose him. The Dragon is also on familiar terms with Gaius, although neither Merlin nor Gaius was initially aware that the other had met the Dragon. In the finale of the first series, the Great Dragon told Merlin that he was only thinking of his own freedom when helping Merlin, but because the Dragon's machinations nearly destroyed Merlin's mother, Merlin vows that it will never be freed from beneath Camelot. Merlin turned his back on the Dragon, but was later forced to return to the Dragon for aid in stopping Sigan, the Dragon teaching Merlin a spell of the ancient magic in return for Merlin's promise that he would free the Dragon in the future. This also revealed that Gaius was aware of Merlin's visits to the Dragon, recognizing that the two were creatures of the old magic.
Although the Dragon can appear callous, such as when he ordered Merlin not to help Morgana and Mordred based on his apparent knowledge of their future destinies, he has shown a certain compassion at times - such as when he apologized for his inability to help Merlin save Gaius from the Witchfinder-, with most of his inaction being dictated by his apparent concern about future events; he even sided with Merlin in freeing Uther from a troll's enchantment, despite the old magical ties between Dragon and troll, due to the potential consequences for Camelot if the troll's enchantment remained. He has also demonstrated a sense of humor, initially laughing upon learning of Uther and Arthur's magically-induced love for the ladies Catrina and Vivian respectively.
Upon gaining access to a crystal with the ability to see the future, Merlin sees a future where the Dragon will destroy Camelot once he is freed; although Gaius assures him that the future he saw may be one of many, Merlin is clearly haunted by the possibility of this future coming to pass. Nevertheless, upon helping Merlin one more time to defeat the deadly Knights of Medhir, the Dragon held the young warlock to his word and Merlin was forced to use his magic in combination with a sword of Medhir to break the chains holding him beneath Camelot. As Merlin looked on hopefully, the Great Dragon flew up in obvious rage, in the direction of Camelot, subsequently attacking the castle at night for the next three days in revenge for his imprisonment.
With no other way to save the kingdom - conventional weapons were useless against the Dragon, and even Merlin's magic proved ineffective - Uther was forced to agree with Gaius's suggestion that they call on the aid of the presumed-dead last dragonlord, Balinor, unaware that Merlin was Balinor's son. According to Balinor, the Great Dragon is known to all the deceased Dragonlords as Kilgharrah. After inheriting Balinor's power upon his father's death, Merlin was able to command the Dragon and, it is implied, gained the necessary magic to hurt him, but, instead of killing him, ordered the Dragon to leave Camelot. Noting that Merlin's clemency reflected what he would become in future, the Dragon agreed to this demand, although he speculates that his and Merlin's paths will cross again.
The Dragon returns at the beginning of the third series, saving a chained Merlin from several scorpion-like Serkets summoned by Morgause to kill him (as Merlin's magic was ineffective against the chains). After helping Merlin recover from the creatures' venom, the Dragon consoled Merlin's regret over his old disbelief of the dragon's warnings about Morgana by saying that Merlin had simply learned that trust was a double-edged sword. The Dragon subsequently gave Merlin a lift back to the outskirts of Camelot, Merlin thanking him for his aid before the Dragon departed again. Although the Dragon returned when Merlin asked him to teach Merlin how to cure Morgana after she sustained a fatal head injury, he made it clear that he disapproved of Merlin's decision, informing Merlin that this 'abuse' of his power would not be without consequences, and all the evil Morgana did in the future would be his own fault. Despite the harsh nature of this meeting, in their next encounter- when Merlin sought advice about what to do when dealing with a young boy who sought to prevail in a dangerous tournament with the use of magic, the boy being scheduled to face Uther in the next fight, the Dragon showed sympathy for Merlin's dilemma, reflecting that seeing another of their kind die was always hard, and recognised that Merlin could not allow Uther to die at the boy's hands due to the impact it would have on Arthur to see his father killed by the use of magic. When Morgana unleashed an immortal army on Camelot, Merlin asked the Dragon to take him to the Lake of Avalon to recover Excalibur to use it against the army, the Dragon assuring Merlin that he would always aid Merlin despite his apparent distaste at being used as a 'horse'.
The character is entirely original to the television series, not existing in any previous Arthurian legend, although there exist several tales of Merlin associating with dragons, particularly Dinas Emrys. Also, a clearly different 'Great Dragon' appears in the 1998 film, Merlin, to whom Nimueh is almost sacrificed.
Grunhilda (portrayed by Miriam Margoyles) was a pixie who served as the nanny to Princess Elena, a changeling child who had been 'implanted' with a Sidhe when she was an infant, knowing that Elena's father, Lord Godwyn, would eventually seek to strengthen the ties between his kingdom and Camelot with a marriage between Elena and Arthur, and seeking to place a Sidhe queen on Camelot's throne. Grunhilda's true nature was uncovered by Merlin and Gaius, Merlin subsequently destroying Grunhilda in a duel--although she was able to take an exceptional amount of damage from Merlin's staff, (the staff he had kept from "The Gates of Avalon",) before dying--while Gaius prepared a potion to expel the Sidhe from Elena.
She first notices Merlin when he stands up to Arthur when Arthur is taunting a servant. When she introduces herself she admits that she thinks Merlin is brave and a real hero, and it's the beginning of a crush that develops over series 1. "The Mark of Nimueh" Merlin makes her laugh and she admits that she likes that. She kisses him in "The Poisoned Chalice" however, Merlin only loves her platonically, and Series 2 sees them as good friends; Merlin seen to be a strong advocator in her blossoming relationship with Arthur. Merlin trusts her and often enlists her help in various ventures, most notably in Lancelot's quest to become a knight in "Lancelot", hiding Arthur in "The Once and Future Queen" and in saving Gaius in "The Witchfinder". Gwen is imperative in saving Arthur's life in "Sweet Dreams", and it is due to Merlin's convincing that she agrees to help. Due to Gwen's status she has a tendency to be subservient, but she is seen to not be afraid of standing up for her beliefs and speaking her mind; a trait admired by most around her, particularly Arthur.
She initially has little interaction with Prince Arthur and describes him as a bully, questioning the mind of whoever would marry such a person. However, following her father's death and her friendship with Merlin, Gwen's view of Arthur begins to change. Gwen has openly expressed her faith in Arthur's ability to triumph over the odds and lead the people into a new age of a peaceful Camelot. Most notably, she did so as she tended to an unconscious Arthur in the Series 1 finale. She became embarrassed however the following morning to find out that Arthur had heard what she had said. "The Once the Future Queen" again displays Gwen's ability to stand up to Arthur as when he stays at her house pretending to be a commoner, Gwen becomes aggravated when Arthur is nothing but rude to her. Affected, Arthur tries to be more considerate towards Gwen (offering to make dinner etc.), and ultimately kisses her before he goes to joust. Arthur explains at the end of the episode that his father would never approve of their relationship, something which Gwen understands.
In "Lancelot and Guinevere", Gwen is abducted, only to be reunited with her old flame, Lancelot. She states that he is everything right in the world and didn't know she could feel as strongly as she could for him. They share a kiss when it seems Lancelot will not return from fighting the bandits. When Arthur arrives to save Gwen, he realises that the flame between Gwen and Lancelot has been reignited, and he is hurt. Gwen appears to feel guilt over Arthur's obvious reaction. Lancelot guesses that Arthur loves Gwen and so he leaves at the end of the episode so they can be together. She returns to Camelot with Arthur and Merlin, where she is reunited with Morgana.
Gwen continues to be charmed and impressed by the changing nature of Arthur as the series continues, witnessing him blatantly defy his father's orders when told to impose unnecessary taxes. When she visits Arthur to thank him for his kindness, she finds him doubting his father's love for him. Gwen advises him that Uther cares greatly for him and that Arthur will become one day a great King. Gwen restores his confidence by telling Arthur he has a good heart and shouldn't change for anybody. Apart from Merlin at times, Gwen seems to be one of the only people who Arthur respects the opinion of. Despite past problems and outside interference, their relationship continues to flourish.
When other kings from rival kingdoms came to Camelot to sign a peace treaty, one of them brought his daughter Vivian. King Alined used magic to make Arthur and Vivian fall in love. Around this time, Gwen started to regain faith in Arthur's feelings for her, and was left heartbroken when she saw Arthur with Vivian. Gwen kissed Arthur to break the enchantment he was under. Arthur waited in Gwen's house for her, where he apologised for his enchanted actions and that she was the only woman he loved. Gwen accepted this, but also realises that she cannot be Arthur's queen. Arthur refuses to believe their relationship is impossible and promises things can change.
Towards the end of Series 2, Gwen and Arthur became slightly more comfortable around each other in public. When Arthur was injured trying to save her from the Great Dragon, they shared a tender moment in front of many (although Gaius was the only one who noticed) as Gwen saw to his wound. She tells Gaius when he notices her worry that they can never be, but Gaius comforts her by telling her to never underestimate the power of love. When Arthur returns from fighting at the end of the episode, Gwen runs to him and hugs him tightly. She whispers that she thought she'd lost Arthur, her open affection surprising him slightly. They embrace, not caring about Merlin and Gaius being there, and happily walk back to the castle together.
With Gwen's relationship with Morgana having cooled after Morgana's return to Camelot and her new allegiance to Morgause, Gwen has begun to spend more time with Merlin, assisting him when he was accused of sorcery while Gaius was possessed by a goblin. During a recent adventure where Gwen's estranged brother was captured by Cenred as a hostage to force her to lure Arthur into danger, the two appeared to begin a secret relationship, Arthur not-so-directly telling Gwen that he loved her, the two later kissing in private before Arthur departed on his quest to recover the trident of the Fisher King.
The "Queen of Hearts" episode is purely about Arthur's love for Gwen. Having had a vision of Gwen as Queen of Camelot, Morgana sets them up on a picnic outside Camelot only to bring Uther to catch them and banish Gwen from ever seeing Arthur. When Morgana realises this will not stop their relationship, she plants a bag under Arthur's pillow and suggests that Gwen has enchanted Arthur to make him act this way, prompting Uther to sentence Gwen to be burnt at the stake. Fortunately, Merlin is able to clear Gwen of this crime by using an aging spell to give himself the appearance of an elderly sorceror who enchanted both Gwen and Arthur to cause chaos in Camelot, the two subsequently agreeing to keep their feelings secret until Arthur is king and can change the laws that currently prevent them from being together.
During Morgana's subsequent conquest of Camelot, Gwen feigned continued loyalty to her mistress in order to wait for an opportunity to assist Arthur, eventually managing to sneak Sir Leon out of Camelot so that the two of them could join Arthur and his small band of knights. Although Gwen was briefly reunited with Lancelot, she now appears more secure in her relationship with Arthur, kissing him before he departed for the raid on Camelot, the two sharing another kiss in the courtyard after the battle when Gwen rode into Camelot alongside the new Knights of the Round Table.
Sir Gwaine (portrayed by Eoin Macken), based on Sir Gawaine, is the son of a knight who died in the service of his king either before Gwaine was born or when Gwaine was very young. Although Gwaine never met his father, he likes to think that he was a noble who treated his servants well, but generally held a low opinion of the nobility, believing that they saw the lower-classes as being there to do nothing more than serve them.
He met Arthur and Merlin when the two of them fought in a tavern brawl, commenting in the aftermath that he had joined the fight because he liked the odds. With Gwaine having been injured in the fight, Arthur had him brought to Camelot to treat his wounds. Although Gwaine appeared to be essentially a drunken flirt, running up at least one large tavern bill during his time in Camelot while flirting casually with Gwen, he demonstrated a strong opinion of right and wrong, stating that nobility should be defined by what they did rather than who they were by birth, as well as an exceptional ability at sword-fighting that impressed even Arthur. Although Gwaine faced execution when he fought with a thug who was posing as Sir Oswald to kill Arthur, Arthur's willingness to vouch for Gwaine's nobility of heart convinced Uther to lift the threat of execution to simple banishment, Gwaine admitting to Merlin before his departure that Arthur wasn't like other nobles, and commented to Gwen that he understood why she had turned him down after he heard her talking about Arthur.
Despite the threat of exile, Gwaine returned to infiltrate the melee the next day to assist Arthur in fighting the two thugs who sought to kill him, Arthur subsequently allowing Gwaine to claim victory in the melee even before he learned who Gwaine really was. With the thugs' true identites exposed, Gwaine was again permitted to leave Camelot rather than face execution, although Arthur apologised for Uther's actions and assured Gwaine that he had tried to convince Uther otherwise. Although Gwaine stated that he could not stay in Camelot to serve a man like Uther, he commented to Merlin as he departed that he and Arthur may fight together again.
Gwaine returned when Merlin sought his assistance when Arthur went on a quest to the realm of the Fisher King, Morgana having given Arthur an enchanted bracelet that would drain his life-energy and make him weak. When confronting the guardian of the entrance to the Fisher King's lands, the dwarf-guardian informed Gwaine that he represented the strength that the trio would require to succeed in their quest- Arthur representing courage and Merlin magic, although the other two were naturally unaware of Merlin's role in the quest- as they entered the Fisher King's realm. As Gwaine helped Arthur face the monsters in the kingdom, Merlin confronted the Fisher King prior to his death, Arthur subsequently claiming the King's trident. As Arthur and Merlin returned to Camelot, Gwaine parted company from them on the land's borders in accordance with Uther's decree, Arthur apologising to Gwaine about Uther's ruling even as Gwaine assured him that he understood.
Gwaine is reunited with Merlin and Arthur when they are captured by a slave-trader, Gwaine and Arthur staging a fight to give themselves a chance to escape (Although it was only due to Merlin's efforts that they escaped the tower anyway, Merlin using a spell to enhance a nearby torch so that it started a fire). Gwaine subsequently joined the two on their quest to recover the Cup of Life, but the Cup is lost during a subsequent attack by Cenred's forces. With Arthur wounded, Gwaine assisted Merlin in taking Arthur back to Camelot- most likely reasoning that Uther's decree can be ignored with his son's life on the line-, only to discover that Camelot has been sacked by Morgana and Morgause leading Cenred's now-immortal soldiers. During the subsequent raid on Camelot, Gwaine and his other allies are knighted by Arthur around the Round Table in recognition of their service to Camelot, Gwaine commenting before the battle that, even if they have no chance of victory, he wouldn't miss this fight for anything. He survives the battle, and is subsequently seen with the others dressed as a true knight of Camelot.
Helen of Mora
Lady Helen of Mora (portrayed by Eve Myles) was a famous singer who was on her way to Camelot to perform at King Uther's festival, until she was killed by Mary Collins using poppet magic. Collins then assumed Lady Helen's appearance in an attempt to kill Prince Arthur but Merlin saves his life by using magic and becomes his Man Servant.
Hunith (portrayed by Caroline Faber) is the mother of Merlin. She sends him to Camelot hoping that he will be able to develop his magical talents, but he soon discovers that the use of sorcery there is expressly forbidden and punishable with death. Hunith is Gaius' sister and so she wrote to him asking him to take care of her son. Merlin later returns to her when their village is attacked by raiders.She also appears in the last episode when Nimueh breaks a deal with Merlin to take his life and tries to take Hunith's instead. This fails when Merlin slays Nimueh with magic.
It is revealed in "The Last Dragonlord" that she cared for the fugitive dragonlord Balinor, who turns out to be Merlin's father.
Sir Lancelot (portrayed by Santiago Cabrera) is an outsider to the kingdom. When his family is killed by bandits, he vowed to become a skilled swordsman to fight tyranny. His main aim is to become a Knight of Camelot and serve the King. However, because he is not the son of a nobleman, he cannot legally become one. After saving Merlin's life from a Griffin in "Lancelot", Merlin promises to help him achieve his goal. Merlin forges a seal of nobility and introduces Lancelot to Gwen, who helps make him clothes suitable for a son of a Lord, and to Arthur who accepts that he is the son of a nobleman and puts him to the test. He passes and is knighted. King Uther, however, knows his 'father' and uncovers the lie. Lancelot is arrested for using a forged seal of nobility, but later released – Arthur allowing him to depart as he admits that Lancelot fights like a knight despite lacking any of the other necessary 'qualifications'. After he saves Arthur's life, King Uther considers restoring Lancelot's knighthood but Lancelot cannot bring himself to lie any more and leaves Camelot.
A mutual attraction is established between him and Gwen in series 1, but before a relationship blossoms, Lancelot departs Camelot. He returns in series 2 when Gwen is abducted. He seems ashamed of his situation as a swordsman for entertainment and appears to have lost hope that he will achieve anything better in life, but promises to rescue her. He regains some self-worth when Gwen tells him that "he is all that is right with the world" and admits that he thinks of her often. His reappearance causes jealousy in Prince Arthur who, whilst he may not admit it, is falling in love with Gwen.
Lancelot is very observant. In series 1, when he notices Merlin's sudden appearance and then the presence of magic, he puts two and two together, but he promises he will not reveal Merlin's magical abilities. In series 2, when Merlin uses magic he sees that Merlin "is up to his old tricks" and Merlin reminds him that "It's probably best you don't tell anyone about that." He also observes from Arthur's actions that he has feelings for Gwen, even though Merlin refuses to confirm it. Realising this, Lancelot refuses to come between them, saying his feelings do not matter, and leaves while Arthur and Gwen are sleeping.
Lancelot returned to Camelot when Merlin sent a message requesting his aid following Morgana and Morgause's attempted coup of the kingdom with an army of immortal soldiers, accompanied by his friend Percival. Despite the odds against them, Lancelot swore to stand beside Arthur in recognition of the lessons he had taught him about the honour involved in being a knight, informing Arthur that he believed in the world Arthur would create when he became king. Arthur subsequently knighted Lancelot, Percival and his other allies around the Round Table in recognition of their role in Camelot's defence. Lancelot subsequently accompanied Merlin when he went to destroy the Cup of Life and thus defeat the immortal army. Although he was injured by the soldiers in the fight, Lancelot survived the battle, and is later seen with the other Knights of the Round Table, having become a true knight of Camelot. In the second episode of the two-part opener of series 4, Lancelot sacrifies himself to save Arthur, as he had promised to Guinevere that he would put his life on the line saving Arthur. Guinevere is later being seen being comforted by Arthur as the memorial to Lancelot occurs. It has been announced by the show's creators that he will, however, return later in the season.
Sir Leon (portrayed by Rupert Young) is a knight of Camelot and something close to Arthur's second in command. He first appears as a jousting partner for Arthur in "The Once and Future Queen" but pulls away when the Prince is blinded by light. This causes Arthur to want to prove himself as a person, not just because he is Prince. Leon is later unhorsed jousting against 'Sir William' in the semifinals of the tournament.
In "The Last Dragonlord" he took control of Camelot's defence while Arthur was searching for Balinor. He is also the first knight to step forward at Arthur's request for a fighting force against the Dragon. During the battle he was either unhorsed by Kilgarrah's tail or caught in the flames, but nevertheless, he survived.
In "The Tears of Uther Pendragon (Part II), Sir Leon helps defend the castle against Cenred's army and engages in combat with one of the undead soldiers summoned by Morgana, but Merlin breaks the spell reanimating the undead soldier before Leon is killed.
In "The Coming of Arthur", he is the only survivor of Camelot's knights when they are massacred after King Cenred accused them of trespassing on his territory during a patrol. Leon is discovered by a party of druids, who find that he is close to death and revive him with water from the cup of life. On hearing Leon's story Uther realises that the legendary Cup of Life is in the druids' possession. Following Morgana's attempted coup of Camelot, Leon continues to defy her 'request' for him to recognise her authority until Gwen is able to help him escape, the two meeting Arthur in the cave he was using as his hiding-place. Leon subsequently joined Arthur's makeshift band of knights to launch a final attack on Camelot to rescue Uther, Merlin emptying the Cup of Life and defeating the immortal army while the knights rescued Uther. Leon subsequently returned to Camelot with his fellow 'Knights of the Round Table'.
Even now in series 4 he still remains faithful. Out of the knights he is Arthur's best friend, but only when Merlin isn`t there...
Merlin (referred to by druids and many magical beings as Emrys) (portrayed by Colin Morgan), the series' protagonist, is a young and remarkably talented magician who attempts to keep his powers a secret and is destined to become the greatest wizard in the world. He is also Arthur's servant, protector, and friend, despite the initial animosity between the two and his occasional annoyance as Arthur can be rude to him. He is compassionate and tries to see the good in all people, doing what he feels is just.
In the series beginning he is sent by his mother to Camelot and told that he must never reveal his magical abilities to anyone for fear of execution. Upon first meeting Arthur, Merlin can’t stand him, resulting in a fight breaking out in the market. He eventually discovers it is his mission in life to protect Arthur and through a series of adventures together they develop a friendship.
Mary Collins (portrayed by Eve Myles) was a sorceress and the antagonist of the episode "The Dragon's Call". After her son was executed for using magic, she threatened to kill Prince Arthur in revenge against the king. She killed Lady Helen, who was visiting Camelot to perform for Uther, and assumed Lady Helen's appearance. However, her true form could be revealed in any reflection. Her singing put the entire royal court into an enchanted sleep except Merlin, and he stopped her from killing Arthur by causing a chandelier to fall on her body. As everybody awoke, her true form was seen, and she threw a dagger at Arthur. Merlin saved him and Mary Collins died from her injuries.
Mordred (portrayed by Asa Butterfield) is a child apprenticed to a Druid. His master is executed on Uther's orders but Morgana and Merlin protect the boy. Morgana claims to feel an inexplicable link with the boy which drives her to keep him safe. The Great Dragon later tells Merlin that Mordred will one day kill Arthur. Mordred is telepathic and calls Merlin "Emrys" [the Welsh form of Ambrose or Ambrosius, meaning "Immortal"], claiming he knows who Merlin is and that they are "the same". Despite The Dragon's warning, Merlin eventually helps Arthur to escape with the boy and return him to the Druids. He returns again in episode 2.3 when Morgana goes in search of the Druids. By way of her telepathic connection to Mordred, he is able to sense that she has been stung by a giant scorpion and needs help. It is also shown that Mordred's magic is powerful enough to kill four or five armed soldiers with a single spell, and Merlin, who was also present, appears to show concern over this. He returns in "The Witch's Quickening" when he, allied with a group of renegades, seeks an ancient crystal with the ability to show the future to those who wield it, but he is forced to flee when the bandits are discovered. As he escapes, Merlin attempts to stop him by causing a branch to trip him up, but Mordred retaliates by impaling two knights in the back with spears, grimly informing Merlin that he will not forgive nor forget this. Mordred's trademarks are his icy blue glare and green cloak. It is presumed he was about 11 in "The Beginning of the End", and about 13 in both "The Nightmare Begins" and The "Witch's Quickening". It can be assumed Mordred will make future appearances as The Great Dragon had stated "The ancient prophecies speak of an alliance of Mordred and Morgana united in evil."
In Series 1, Morgana took a very active role in saving the life of a young druid boy when his master is killed and Uther sentences him to death for the way he was born. She stood up against her guardian and, with no regard to her place in the royal family or of her own personal safety, broke the boy out from the dungeons. She was however caught but she later apologised to Uther in aid of assisting Arthur to help the druid boy escape. She has also been loyal to Gwen, Arthur and Merlin assisting them when saving his village from bandits. Gwen and Morgana have been very close friends in the past but they began to drift apart in series 3. She discovered Arthur and Gwen were in love when he was forced to marry Princess Elena to which she began to take advantage of when Gwen was kidnapped along with her brother Elyan by Cenred's men to lure Arthur into a trap set by Morgana and Morgause. Morgana later had a dream a Gwen being crowned queen she accused her of witchcraft and enchanting Arthur so she would be executed but she was saved when Merlin used an aging spell to make it look like he was responsible for enchanting Arthur. Gwen discovered Morgana's secret when she told her coldly to get out and she spotted her talking to Morgause disguised as an old woman and she immediately informed Gaius.
In series 2 Morgana suffered a violent manifestation of her magical powers when she set her chambers alight by just looking at a candle, although, after training from her half-sister, Morgause, she learnt to control her powers more fully which have now grown stronger. When Merlin reluctantly poisoned Morgana to save Camelot under orders from The Great Dragon, Morgause rushed to her aid demanding Merlin tell her what he used so she could save her. However Merlin refused unless she stopped the Knights of Medhir. Morgause reluctantly agreed to do so but she was surrounded and fled with Morgana in her arms. Morgana was hurt by Merlin's betrayal and grew to hate him. Uther's cruel treatment to those with magic also caused her to hate him even more each day and she soon began a desire for revenge.
In season 3 it was revealed that she was Uther Pendragon's daughter through her mother Vivienne. She is the illegitimate daughter of Uther Pendragon, and half-sister of both Arthur Pendragon and the sorceress Morgause. Her mother is Vivienne, wife of her supposed father Gorlois, who is only mentioned once in the series, when Uther confesses to Gaius the true reason why Morgana cannot be allowed to die after Merlin accidentally causes her to fall fatally down a flight of stairs while trying to sneak out and meet Morgause. Despite her fatal condition she overheard Uther and Gaius's discussion. After being healed by Merlin with help by the reluctant Dragon, she told Morgause who was delighted because it meant Morgana had a rightful claim to the throne. However Morgana was enraged believing Uther cared more about his reputation than his own blood daughter. After Merlin destroyed the Cup Of Life and Gaius used his own magic to knock Morgause unconscious, a distraught Morgana cradled her in her arms. Being so distraught, she screamed so loud that it brought down the walls and shattered the windows of the hall and she disappeared with her half–sister in her arms. Morgause and Mordred are the only people Morgana seems to care about.
In Series 4, Morgana, a year later, continued her attempts in taking revenge on Camelot by summoning creatures known as the Dorocha and eventually played a major part in Uther's death by having an enchanted necklace planted around Uther's neck, causing any healing spell to do the opposite of healing. Morgana also learned of a sorcerer named Emrys but was unaware that he is Merlin and that Merlin had magic.
Morgause (portrayed by Emilia Fox) is Morgana's half-sister (they share a mother, who owned the magical bracelet given to Morgana by Morgause and who had an affair with Uther during the absence of Gorlois) who was smuggled out of Camelot by Gaius after her birth, as Uther would have had her drowned, (for reasons still unknown,) to be raised by the priestesses of the Old Religion, learning powerful magic during her time with them. Returning to Camelot many years later, she challenged and defeated Arthur in a duel, but promised to spare his life if he came to meet her later and accept her challenge. Having passed her test – willingly placing his head on a block while Morgause held an axe as though about to behead him – and proven his honour, Morgause summoned an apparition of what appeared to be Arthur's mother, which revealed that Uther had used magic to ensure Arthur's birth. Morgause had apparently hoped that this revelation would drive Arthur to kill Uther– her precise motives for desiring Uther's death are unknown at this time, beyond the obvious detail of Uther's hatred of magic– but Merlin was able to halt their fight by claiming that the apparation was nothing but a deception, despite the fact that Uther's death would have made his own life easier and the lie has only increased Arthur's own hatred of magic. Morgause seems furious that her plan had failed. Morgause, while in Camelot, seemed to immediately recognize Morgana and gave her the bracelet bearing Gorlois' house's crest (which is how Gaius identified her). After learning that Morgana suffered nightmares, Morgause visited her while she slept and cast a spell to help her sleep better, leaving her the bracelet belonging to their mother, which she has enchanted as a sleeping bracelet. It is seen again and mentioned in Goblin's Gold when Morgana approaches Gaius for a sleeping draught as the bracelet has been stolen and she cannot sleep. Morgana is often seen wearing it throughout the third series.
In her second appearance, Morgause intends to revive the deadly Knights of Medhir, and use them in her plans to destroy Uther. This plan includes casting a spell to put the whole of Camelot to sleep, using Morgana as its 'host', but she is forced to abandon this plan when Merlin- based on instructions from the Great Dragon- is forced to poison Morgana in order to break the spell, Merlin providing Morgause with the poison he used on Morgana so that she could be cured in exchange for Morgause abandoning the attack and ending the spell.
Morgause and Morgana returned in the third season, now allied together to destroy Uther. Although Morgana attempted to drive Uther insane with a mandrake spell that caused him to experience visions of those whose deaths he had caused, her treachery was uncovered by Merlin, only for him to be captured and interrogated by Morgause. When Morgause was unable to get any information out of Merlin beyond him informing her of his belief in a just Camelot under Arthur's reign, she bound him in enchanted chains and left him to die, only for Merlin to later escape with the aid of the Great Dragon. During the subsequent siege of Camelot, Morgause expressed confidence in Morgana's ability to wield her magic to raise the dead inside the castle, but was left shaken when the plan failed. However she remained loyal to her sister, and in "The Crystal Cave", she sent a message to Morgana asking her to meet with her. A few days later she came to Camelot to find out why Morgana did not come, and learnt that Uther is Morgana's father. She pleaded that Morgana would not do anything rash, but Morgana ignored her and attempted to kill Uther anyway. Since this discovery, Morgause's attempts at Uther's throne have focused more on eliminating Arthur in order to make Morgana the sole heir, such as revealing Arthur's relationship with Gwen or planting a life-draining bracelet on Arthur when he embarked on a dangerous quest, although she is still unaware of Merlin's role in the quest when he managed to save Arthur's life. Morgause has recently taken hold of Camelot by creating an army of immortal soldiers, dethroning Uther and witnessing Geoffrey being forced to crown Morgana queen. However, this coup is cut short when Arthur leads a small band of loyal knights to retake Camelot, Merlin throwing Morgause into a pillar when she attempts to attack Gaius (after he had stopped her before she could hurt Merlin more). Morgana's reaction to the discovery of her sister's body suggested she may have died, however later discussions between Merlin and Gaius seemed to suggest that she had in fact just been seriously injured, as had Morgana at the end of Series 2. This is further supported by Emilia Fox announcing she was doing another series of Merlin(in The Mail on Sunday print not online). Morgana is the only person Morgause cares about and she will stop at nothing unless concerning Morgana's well-being to destroy Camelot. At the start of series 4, she is shown to be dying and has Morgana use her as blood sacrifice to tear open a gate between the spirit and the physical worlds, in another plot to destroy Camelot.
Myror (portrayed by Adrian Lester) was an assassin/bounty hunter sent to kill Arthur by King Odin, whose son Arthur had killed in a duel. Arthur pretended to leave Camelot on a journey, with the plan of entering a fake "knight" into Camelot's jousting tournament and then taking his place in the final, so as to win by Arthur's own skill and not just because he was a prince. However, Myror deduced that Arthur had returned to Camelot, and soon tracked him to Gwen's house, where Arthur was staying. He was about to shoot Arthur but was interrupted when an armed guard passed by, looking for the assassin who had been sent after Arthur. When Myror discovered that Arthur had secretly entered the tournament, he killed Arthur's opponent and went to battle Arthur by himself. He injured Arthur with a blade hidden inside Myror's lance but Arthur returned to the field so as not to forfeit the tournament. Merlin found the body of the dead knight and worked out that it was Myror whom Arthur was fighting. Myror pulled out the blade again so Merlin used magic to cut a strap on his armour/saddle, distracting him so that Arthur could win, killing him. Arthur chose to let the fake "knight," who had secured Arthur's place in the final, take the glory. Continuing with his story that he had left Camelot before the tournament, he pretended to have killed Myror during an ambush on the way back.
Nimueh (portrayed by Michelle Ryan) is an antagonistic, yet beautiful witch. It is revealed in the episode "Excalibur" and through interviews with Michelle Ryan that Nimueh was once the personal witch of the Pendragon family, and was called upon to help Uther's queen conceive. She was forced to let Arthur's mother die in childbirth in order to protect the balance of life and death. As a result Uther banished her from Camelot, banned magic from the kingdom and swore to execute all those caught using sorcery. It is suggested that Nimueh's beautiful features are an illusion brought about by her powerful magic; she can change her appearance at will ("The Poison Chalice"), looking no older than the 21-year-old Arthur despite having been in service to his family long before his birth.
In the last episode of series 1, Nimueh offers to revive Arthur from a fatal magical wound but she informs Merlin that there will be a heavy price to pay. Merlin says he will give up his life to save Arthur's. However, Nimeuh makes no comment on the matter. Therefore it is not entirely certain but it can be fairly assumed that Merlin expected his life to be traded for Arthur's. But Nimueh instead takes the life of Merlin's mother. To stop Merlin from sacrificing himself again, Gaius goes in his place and Merlin becomes involved in a magical battle with Nimueh after refusing her offer to unite with him. He seemed to have killed her and since Gaius lived after the battle it is likely she is dead, but her character profile on the BBC website heavily implies that she will return in some form.
Sir Owain (portrayed by Kyle Redmond-Jones) was a royal knight of Camelot. He died while fighting the mysterious "Black Knight", who was in fact the reanimated form of Uther Pendragon's late brother-in-law Tristan De Bois, brought back as an immortal wraith by Nimueh's magic.
King Odin (portrayed by Fintan McKeown) is the ruler of a kingdom neighboring Camelot. Arthur killed his son in single combat; he did not have a quarrel with the boy, but the other prince would not back down from the challenge. In retaliation, Odin sent a professional assassin, Myror to Camelot to attempt to kill Arthur in the episode The Once and Future Queen. Myror took the place of Arthur's opponent in the joust, and Merlin had to use his magic to loosen the strap on his horse's saddle in order to save Arthur. Uther wanted to make war against him, but Arthur talked him out of it, saying Odin had been motivated by grief. In The Wicked Day, Odin sends The Gleeman to assassinate Arthur. He fails in this task, but succeeds in fatally injuring Uther.
King Olaf (portrayed by Mark Lewis Jones) is the ruler of a kingdom neighboring Camelot. Olaf has a daughter, Vivian, who along with Arthur, was enchanted by King Alined and Trickler so that they would fall in love and provoke Uther and Olaf to war. ('Sweet Dreams'). Olaf challenges Arthur to a fight to the death when he and Uther discover Arthur and Vivian kissing. Arthur is so distracted by the love spell, though, that he is nearly killed before Gwen arrives and breaks the spell with a kiss. Arthur disarms Olaf, but does not kill him, as that is not the way to make peace.
Sir Pellinor (portrayed by Sean Francis) was a royal knight of Camelot who died in mortal combat with the "Black Knight", really the undead Tristan de Bois.
Sir Percival (portrayed by Tom Hopper) is a friend of Lancelot who accompanied him after Merlin sent a message requesting Lancelot's aid after Morgana's takeover of Camelot. In a deleted scene, Lancelot revealed that "Cenred's men raided his village and killed his family" and as soon as he had heard Lancelot was going to Camelot to fight them he volunteered his services to help. Demonstrating great physical strength, Percival triggered a rockslide that saved Arthur and his allies from Morgause's attacking immortal knights, prompting Arthur to ask Percival to call him 'Arthur' rather than 'Your Highness' despite the fact that the two had only just met. Percival subsequently swore allegiance to Arthur in the subsequent attempt to retake Camelot, stating that Arthur's enemies were his enemies. In recognition of his bravery, Arthur knighted Percival as a knight of Camelot despite his lack of noble birth. Following the battle, Percival accompanied Gwen and the other Knights of the Round Table back to Camelot, the group now dressed in the cloaks and armour of true Knights of Camelot.
Rupert Young plays Sir Leon
Sophia (portrayed by Holliday Grainger) was a beautiful young woman who appeared in Camelot with her elderly father, Aulfric. Morgana had a terrifying dream of Arthur dying at Sophia's hands. It emerged that Sophia and Aulfric were Sidhe, magical creatures exiled from the land of eternal life. In order for Sophia to return, she had to sacrifice the soul of a mortal prince to the Sidhe elders. Sophia bewitched Arthur and nearly killed him, but was herself killed by Merlin using her own magical staff.
Taliesin (portrayed by Karl Johnson) was a seer over three centuries before the events of the show. Using the mysteries of the Crystal Cave, he was able to see the future in great depth. Although he died years ago, he appeared to Merlin- it was unspecified whether Taliesin had left a magical 'recording' of himself to pass on his message, had come forward in time from the past, or if this was merely his ghost- when Arthur was badly injured by an arrow, healing Arthur's wound and subsequently taking Merlin- whom he referred to as 'Emrys'- to the Crystal Cave, where he showed Merlin the crystals, explaining that only a few rare individuals are able to use the crystals to see the future. He claimed to have seen visions of Merlin during his lifetime, hinting at Merlin's great destiny in the future.
Tauren (portrayed by Cal Macaninch) was a sorcerer who led a gang of renegade wizards with the aim of bringing down Uther Pendragon. He enlisted the help of Gwen's father, Tom, to perform alchemy with the use of a magical stone but escaped when Tom was caught by the royal guards. He later conspired with Morgana to bring Uther to her father's grave where he could be killed by Tauren, Morgana angered at Uther's recent execution of Tom simply for participating in alchemy when he had no way of knowing what he was involved in, but Morgana had a change of heart as Uther apologised to her for ordering Tom's execution. Tauren then attacked Uther and was fatally wounded by Morgana.
Tom (portrayed by Keith Durham) was the father of Guinevere and Elyan. He worked as a blacksmith in Camelot. When Nimueh poisoned the city's water supply, he fell victim to the magical plague which had killed many others. Merlin cured him using magic, resulting in Gwen being blamed for causing the plague. She was arrested for witchcraft but later released, and joyfully reunited with her father. Tom made the sword which became Excalibur when the Great Dragon gave it magical powers for Arthur's use. He later became involved in a plot by a sorcerer, Tauren, to perform alchemy using the legendary Philosopher's Stone (referred to in dialogue as the "Mage Stone"). Tom was arrested and put on trial for treason in unwittingly assisting a known enemy of Camelot, because Uther believed that Tom was supplying weapons to Tauren. Morgana suspected that the trial was a formality and Uther planned to have Tom executed anyway just to make an example of him. He was then killed by soldiers after she helped him to escape from the dungeons.
Tristan De Bois (Black Knight)
Tristan De Bois (portrayed by Rick English and voiced by Christopher Fairbank) was Uther Pendragon's brother-in-law and Arthur's uncle. He blamed Uther for his sister's death in childbirth and was killed by Uther in a duel to the death. His final words swore vengeance on Uther. Nimueh later used necromancy to bring him back as an undead wraith, harnessing the power of De Bois's suffering while he was alive. This form of De Bois was also killed by Uther, using the sword Excalibur, which had been blessed by the Great Dragon and was intended for Arthur's use only (Uther had Gaius drug Arthur and took his place, forcing Merlin to dispose of the sword until the time came for Arthur to wield it himself).
Uther Pendragon (portrayed by Anthony Head) was the king of Camelot. He was, by many accounts, a competent King who took the throne of Camelot at a young age and is committed to defending and bettering his kingdom. Magic users in the program may fear and resent Uther's violent opposition to magic. Pendragon began to persecute magic-users after the death of his wife Queen Ygraine, which he blamed the sorceress Nimueh for. Magic users were killed at an alarming rate, but not wiped out. Vivienne, mother to Uther's daughter Morgana and sister to his Queen, Ygraine; her daughters Morgana and Morgause; and Uther's personal physician Gaius are four of the magic users to have survived his wrath. Despite this bloody political stance, Uther was a proud and deeply caring father, who was devastated by his daughter's betrayal and spent much time in mourning, barely taking any role in the affairs of the Kingdom. Judging by the violence of his mourning, he loved his wife deeply, despite his probable infidelity (resulting in the birth of his daughter). During a sword fight where he killed an assassin attempting to take Arthur's life when he visited his father he was mortally wounded by a dagger. Merlin, as his older self, attempted to save him with Arthur's consent, but Morgana ensured Uther's death with use of a necklace that reversed and amplified the effects of a healing charm. He died, leaving Arthur as King, though he blames himself and magic for his father's death.
Knight Valiant (portrayed by Will Mellor) was a knight who came to Camelot to battle in the annual sword-fighting tournament. Unknown to others, he had cheated by using a magical shield covered with painted snakes, which came to life at Valiant's command. He planned to kill Prince Arthur with the snakes, take the title of champion and win the heart of Morgana. However, his use of magic was revealed by Merlin and Arthur killed Knight Valiant in the finale of the tournament.
Lady Vivian (portrayed by Georgia Moffett) was the daughter of King Olaf, who came to Camelot with three other kings to sign a peace treaty. Taking advantage of her paranoid and almost insanely overprotective father, another king arranged for Arthur to be enchanted to fall in love with her, hoping that the subsequent duel between Arthur and Olaf when Olaf discovered this 'insult' to his wishes would result in the death of one and the subsequent declaration of war. But, Vivian did not love Arthur and was described as the only woman in the kigdom not to have a crush on him. So, the warmongering king had her enchanted as well, making her fall desperatley in love with Arthur. Although Merlin and Gwen were able to break Arthur's enchantment, Vivian apparently remained in love with Arthur as she departed Camelot; it is unknown if the spell will wear off over time or she will be forever smitten with the prince.
Vivienne is the absent mother of Morgana and Morgause and wife of Gorlois. Presumably before she was married, she became pregnant with a baby girl. She named the girl Morgause, gave her a bracelet bearing the mark of the house of Gorlois, then gave her to Gaius to smuggle out of Camelot. He then entrusted her to the High Priestesses of the Old Religion. She then resumed her life as normal, got married and, some years later, became pregnant with another girl. This girl was to be the heir to the house of Gorlois and was named Morgana. What Gorlois, however did not know was that the girl who was heir to his title was actually rightfully heir to another title as well. Vivienne knew this. Morgana was rightful second heir to the throne of Camelot. While Gorlois was away fighting for King Uther Pendragon, Vivienne grew lonely and then had a brief affair with Uther.
It therefore was realised by Morgana in Series 3, over 20 years later, that the girl realised her rights. She was not happy with Uther. But, when Gorlois died, Vivienne disappered leaving Morgana in the care of Uther. There were consequences, however, to her actions as when she disappered, she left her young daughter, Morgana, supposedly, an orphan. She has not been seen since, but has been mentioned in The Crystal Cave, when Morgana's true parentage was revealed.
William (portrayed by Joe Dempsie) was a childhood friend of Merlin. He had an extreme distrust for nobility because his father died in service to a royal army. When Prince Arthur came to defend Merlin's home village from raiders, William initially accused him of using the villagers as cannon fodder but eventually saw that Arthur was not afraid to risk his own life in battle. William died defending Arthur from being hit by a crossbow, fired by the leader of the defeated raiders. Arthur knew that magic had been used to drive the raiders away, and the dying William took responsibility for this in order to protect Merlin.
William of Daira
Sir William of Daira (portrayed by Alex Price) is knight who comes to Camelot for a jousting tournament. In the episode "The Once and Future Queen" Arthur plans to enter the tournament without any of the other competitors knowing who he is and consequently avoiding any special treatment. In truth, 'Sir William' is really a farmer from one of the outer villages. His purpose is to pretend to be a knight taking part in the tournament, when in reality Arthur will be jousting in his place. He does not look the part, despite Merlin and Gwen's best efforts, but manages to act the part after he is given advice on nobility and arrogance from Arthur. When Arthur wins the tournament, he lets the farmer posing as 'Sir William' take the glory, as Arthur feels it is a time for humility.
Ygraine Pendragon (portrayed by Alice Patten) was the wife of Uther Pendragon and mother of Arthur. She and Uther called upon Nimueh to help her conceive an heir to the throne, as a result of which Ygraine had to die in childbirth so as to preserve the natural balance of life and death. Her brother, Tristan De Bois, swore revenge on Uther and Nimueh later brought him back from the dead as a wraith in order to wreak vengeance. Her death also left Uther with a grudge against all magic, leading him to start his great purge and laws against magic. An apparation of Ygraine appears in "The Sins of the Father", in which Arthur learns the secret of his birth, claiming that Uther went to Nimueh without her knowledge and in full awareness of the price that would be paid for Arthur's birth, but given the presumably false nature of this vision this information is suspect at best.
Ygraine also appears in "The Tears of Uther Pendragon (Part 1)" as one of Uther's hallucinations, grabbing and hanging on to Uther's arm in a well.
Merlin (TV series) Series Main characters and Cast Supporting characters and CastUther Pendragon (Anthony Head) · Lancelot (Santiago Cabrera) · Gwaine (Eoin Macken) · Percival (Tom Hopper) · Leon (Rupert Young) · Elyan (Adetomiwa Edun) · The Cailleach (Gemma Jones) · Morgause (Emilia Fox) · King Cenred (Tom Ellis) · Nimueh (Michelle Ryan) · Geoffrey of Monmouth (Michael Cronin) · Mordred (Asa Butterfield) · Ygraine (Alice Patten) · Freya (Laura Donnelly) · Hunith (Caroline Faber) · Elena (Georgia King) · Alice (Pauline Collins) · Grunhilda (Miriam Margoyles) · Sophia (Holliday Grainger) Related articles
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