This Merlin Episode Transcript provides a full dialogue log off Episode 01 of Season III “The Sorcerer’s Shadow” of the BBC series Merlin.
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In a land of myth and a time of magic, the destiny of a great kingdom rests on the shoulders of a young boy. His name: Merlin.
[Gilli walking in the woods] Nollar: Your mother know you’re out here? What’s your name, boy?
Tindr: What’s in the bag?
Nollar: Where you headed?
Gilli: Camelot. To fight in the tournament.
[they laugh] Nollar: Is that what your pretty, new sword’s for?
Tindr: Let me see it.
[he takes the sword] Nollar: You ever seen this tournament? Believe me, a little boy like you’s got no chance. Especially without a sword. (laughs)
Gilli: Give it back.
Nollar: I’m doing you a favour! One day you’ll thank me!
Gilli: I said, give it back.
Nollar: I thought you were a fighter?! Well, here! I’ll show you how to fight. (spits) Good luck at the tournament.
[Nollar and Tindr leave laughing. Gilli pulls out a magic ring and his eyes glow] —
[Merlin and Arthur walking through the courtyard to the training grounds] Merlin: Did anyone think this tournament through? A contest open to all comers worth the price of a hundred gold coins. Hmm. I wonder what kind of people are going to turn up?
Arthur: It’s tradition, Merlin. The tournament’s been held every ten years for centuries. Nothing to worry about.
[a contestant chops a training dummy’s head off with an axe] Merlin: Tell me he can’t use that in the contest.
Arthur: He can use what he likes, it’s an open tournament.
Merlin: What about the (tsk) Knight’s Code?
Arthur: Counts for nothing. The only rule is: there are no rules.
[Nollar throws a hatchet into the target, just missing Merlin] Merlin: Yeah, you’re right. There’s nothing to worry about.
[Gilli enters Camelot and goes to the inn] Gilli: Excuse me? Hello?
Gilli: A room.
Evoric: I’m only taking competitors. Spectators have to stay outside the city walls.
Gilli: But I am a competitor.
Evoric: Of course you are.
[Gilli pulls out a letter] Gilli: Here.
[Evoric looks at it] Gilli: I’d like a room, please.
[Evoric pulls out a key] Evoric: You’ll have to share.
Evoric: Do you want a bed or not? And I’ll have my money now.
Evoric: Because you’ll be dead by sunset.
[Gilli goes to his room and puts the ring on] —
[Merlin is fixing Arthur’s armour in the armoury. Nollar and Tindr enter] Nollar: Why, if it’s not the Prince of Camelot.
Merlin: No, I’m his servant.
Nollar: I’ve always wanted a servant.
[stomps his boot on the bench next to Merlin
Nollar: Here. Clean them
Nollar: My boots. Hurry up.
[Merlin gets up and walks to the other side of the room. Nollar strikes him with his whip] Merlin: I’m looking for a cloth!
Nollar: I don’t care if you use your tongue! Clean ’em!
Gilli: Stay where you are.
Nollar: Oh, so you’ve decided to join us after all.
Gilli: I think you should put that down, sir.
[Nollar and Tindr laugh] Nollar: Did you hear that?
Tindr: Oh, I heard it alright.
Nollar: Why don’t you say it again?
Merlin: I’m sorry, this is my fault.
Nollar: I’m not hearing you.
Gilli: I’ve said what I had to say.
[Nollar turns as he snaps his whip and Gilli uses magic to grab a sword and get the whip. Nollar pulls a dagger] Merlin: Watch out!
[Gilli whips the dagger out of Nollar’s hand] Gilli: Now, get out.
[they leave] Gilli: Thanks for the warning.
Merlin: It’s me who should be grateful.
Gilli: It’s alright. I’ve already had a run in with those two.
Merlin: You have?
Gilli: Yeah, I know what it’s like to be picked on.
Merlin: Well, thanks again. I’m…
Merlin: …Merlin. That’s me.
Gilli: I’m Gilli.
[they shake hands. Merlin notices the ring] Arthur: MERLIN!
Merlin: Ugh, I got to go.
[Merlin serving the Pendragons at dinner] Morgana: Remind me how many times you’ve won this tournament, Uther.
Morgana: That’s a lot to live up to, Arthur.
Morgana: I remember your last victory. You were a master in the arena. It’s such a shame we won’t see you compete again.
Uther: Who says you won’t?
Morgana: I thought you said you were too old to take the field?
Uther: Not age that stops me. I’ll still prove a match for any man.
Arthur: Well, we won’t be finding out.
Uther: Why ever not?
Arthur: Because I don’t want you getting hurt.
[Uther laughs] Morgana: Do you think you could still win the crown?
Arthur: The kingdom needs him to rule, not to fight.
Uther: Do you think I can’t do both?
Morgana: Well, you’re not as young as you used to be. Besides, I need someone to keep me company in the stands.
Arthur: If you’ll excuse me, I need to prepare for the tournament. Merlin?
[Merlin puts down the pitcher and follows him out] Morgana: It is such a shame. It would’ve been good for the people to see you compete one last time. But still, Arthur’s probably right. You can’t do everything.
[crowds gathering at the tournament grounds. Arthur putting his armour on in his chambers] Merlin: How’re you feeling?
Merlin: You sure?
Merlin: ‘Cause last time this tournament was held, [whisper] three men died.
Merlin: That was just on the first day.
Arthur: Thanks for that, Merlin.
Merlin: And on that second day…
Arthur: Let’s just…get through the first.
Merlin: You’re right. ‘Cause that’s when most people die.
Arthur: Shut up.
[contenders waiting in the arena] Morgana: It is my pleasure to welcome you all to Camelot. This is a contest like no other. It is open to all comers. Including out reigning champion, the King. There are no rules, no weapons are banned. The last man standing takes the prize. Let the tournament begin.
[Gilli gets injured, but wins his match. Merlin sees the magic, but no one else does ] Gaius: Well, who’d’ve believed it.
[Gaius and Merlin approach Gilli] Gaius: That was a fine victory.
Gilli: Thank you.
Gaius: That’ll need treating.
Gilli: That’s alright.
Merlin: Gaius is the court physician.
Gilli: It’s just a nick, I’m fine.
[Gilli leaves] Merlin: He’s using magic.
Gaius: I suspected as much. The ring bears a mark of the Old Religion. Such rings are very rare, but they act as a conduit, a…a channel for magical powers.
Merlin: So he does have magic like me?
Gaius: He doesn’t have your powers, Merlin, but as to wield a ring such as that would need considerable gifts.
Merlin: Well, he’s braver than me, using magic in front of all those people.
Gaius: Brave or stupid. If Uther finds out, he’ll have him killed.
[Gilli heals his wound with the ring in a corridor] Gilli: Þurhhæle licsar min.
[two guards come after him, but he escapes, losing the ring on the floor] —
[Uther looks at the burn mark made in the door where Gilli cauterised his wound] Uther: Sorcery. It’s the only explanation.
Gaius: You mustn’t jump to conclusions, Sire.
Uther: What other explanation could there be? The guards report seeing a, an unnaturally bright light, its heat so intense they could feel it at the end of the corridor. These scorch marks would seem to support their story.
Gaius: But they appear to have been there for some time. Did the guards get a good look at this man?
Uther: No, it was too dark.
Gaius: Unfortunate. I can see no evidence of magic.
Uther: There’s a strange odour. How do you explain that?
Gaius: Well, it’s coming from the grain store there. It’s a alecost for the tavern. They use it in their brewing.
Gaius: Indeed, Sire. It imparts a special flavour.
Uther: Very well.
[Gaius and Merlin enter the Physician’s Chambers] Gaius: It’s clearly Gilli, judging by the scorch marks and the odour. There’s an old healing spell. It’s crude, but it works. You heat the skin to coagulate the blood and it cauterises the wound.
Merlin: His shoulder? Well, no wonder he didn’t want any treatment.
Gaius: You’ll have to talk to him before it’s too late.
[Merlin knocks on the door to Gilli’s room in The Rising Sun] Gilli: Who is it?
[Merlin steps in] Merlin: Merlin. Come to see how you are.
Gilli: It’s a lot better.
Merlin: Can I have a look?
Gilli: There’s nothing to see.
Merlin: The way you fought earlier, that was incredible.
Merlin: For someone your size to be able to beat a man like that. I’m sure a lot of people are going to think you’re using magic. I’m not going to tell anyone.
Gilli: I’m not using magic.
[Merlin holds up Gilli’s ring] Merlin: You don’t have to fear me. It bears the mark of the Old Religion. Where did you get it from?
Gilli: My father. He left it me.
Merlin: Did he have the same powers as you?
Gilli: He was a gifted man, but he would not touch magic. He vowed never to use it. He feared it, wouldn’t even let me talk about it.
Gilli: He was scared Uther would find out, that the King would discover he was a sorcerer. Even when he was attacked, he had three men on him, he still wouldn’t use this.
Merlin: Is that how he died?
Gilli: I’m not going to be like him.
Merlin: Because you want to be proud of who you are?
Gilli: Why all these questions?
Merlin: You remind me of someone I know.
Merlin: You saved my life, and I’m trying to save yours. You need to withdraw from the tournament.
Gilli: It’s an open competition. You’re supposed to be able to use whatever skills you have.
Merlin: Fighting skills, and you’re not a swordsman, or a gladiator. Fighting is not your talent. Magic is.
Gilli: Then why can’t I use it?
Merlin: Because it’s banned.
Gilli: Without magic, I’m a nobody. People think they can kick dirt in my face.
Merlin: You’re not a nobody! You’re special.
Gilli: Then let me prove that.
Merlin: If you continue to use magic here, you will be caught. Uther will have you executed.
[two other men enter the room and Gilli walks away from Merlin] —
[tournament. Uther and Arthur win their bouts. They meet in the Pendragon tent with Morgana] Uther: Have you seen who you are to face in the semi-final tomorrow? Ha. Might need to put in some practice.
Morgana: Well, the crowds are really looking forward to it. So am I. It should be quite a match.
[Arthur walks out, unhappy] —
[Nollar and Tindr approach Gilli] Nollar: Seems like you’re my next opponent.
Gilli: Excuse me.
[Nollar stops him] Gilli: Can you let me pass, please?
Nollar: No. ‘Cause I want you to help me decide which of these I’m going to kill you with. (laughs)
[Gilli enters the arena, salutes the crowd. Nollar runs in to attack him. Nollar gets him pressed against the stands where Tindr grabs him from behind and holds him] Tindr: Hello again.
[Gilli uses magic to throw Nollar, then escapes Tindr and kills Nollar] —
[Gilli sits in the armoury alone. Merlin approaches him] Gilli: I’ve never killed a man before. I just wanted to feel…what it was like to be…respected.
[Merlin sits next to him] Gilli: But this…I’m not a killer. This isn’t me.
Merlin: You need to withdraw.
Gilli: I’m going to.
[Gilli enters the tavern] Tavern Man: There he is!
[tavern cheers. Evoric hands Gilli a drink] Evoric: Drinks are on the house.
[tavern cheers] Tavern man: Hey Gilli! That’s my boy!
Tavern man: Three cheers for Gilli!
Tavern: Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray!
[Arthur sulks in his chamber while Merlin sharpens his sword] Arthur: What do I do, Merlin? If I fight my father tomorrow the way I can, I’ll show him up. I’ll humiliate him in front of his people. Or worse, I could wound him, even kill him.
Merlin: He’s not going to back down. He’s…determined to prove himself. You have to let him win.
Arthur: (sigh) You don’t have to put up with the gloating. Do you have any idea what it’s like to live with a man who constantly thinks he’s the best?
Merlin: Mmm. Must be irritating.
[Arthur waits for Uther to arrive in the arena. trumpets announce the King’s entrance] Arthur: Good luck.
Uther: And you. You’ll need it.
Arthur: Don’t be so sure, Father.
Uther: When I was your age, I conquered Camelot. I didn’t inherit this kingdom, I won it. One day you’ll be strong enough to take my crown, but not yet.
[they put on their helmets] Uther: Ready?
[Arthur takes his shield, Uther strikes, Arthur parries a little late] Uther: I thought you said you were ready?
[they fight] Arthur: Need a breather, Father?
[they fight again and Arthur pushes Uther to the ground] Arthur: Footwork. Always was your weakness.
[Uther swings frantically at Arthur as he gets up. He turns around and staggers, shakes off his shield and helmet. Arthur pauses, then removes his helmet. they fight, Uther sweating and panting heavily, Arthur ducks under Uther’s swing easily, then allows Uther to disarm him; Arthur falls to the ground. Uther smiles and offers Arthur his hand to help him up. Crowd cheers. Merlin meets Arthur on his way out of the arena] Merlin: Well done. It can’t been easy.
Arthur: If he wasn’t my father…
[walks off unhappily] Gaius: The King’s through to the final. You need to worry about who he might be facing next.
[Gilli’s back in the arena and uses magic to win again] Gaius: I thought you said the boy was going to withdraw?
Merlin: That’s what I thought.
Gaius: We’ll have to warn the King.
Gaius: Why are you protecting him?
Merlin: You know what Uther will do.
Gaius: Gilli is using magic for his own gain. It’s corrupting him, poisoning him.
Merlin: Just let me talk to him.
Gaius: I fear it’s too late.
Merlin: Gaius, please. You taught me what magic was for. You gave me the opportunity to be the person that I am today. I’ve had you to help me. Give me one more chance to talk to him.
Gaius: We’ll have to put an end to this. If he fights tomorrow, either his magic will be found out, or worse…the King will die.
[Merlin goes to the tavern] Gilli: Now, a lot of people have asked me, “How did he fall on his back?” I just tripped him like that. I mean, I’m strong, you don’t realise it.
[Gilli and Merlin enter Gilli’s guest room] Gilli: What’s this about?
Merlin: Your opponent. I thought you might like to know he is.
Gilli: Is he alright?
Merlin: Gaius thinks he’ll pull through, but…he might not have been so lucky.
Gilli: It could’ve been me that got injured.
Merlin: I thought you weren’t going to fight?!
Gilli: You’ve seen the way people are now. They’re showing me respect. And you don’t know what that’s like for me.
Merlin: I do.
Gilli: No. No, no one does.
[Merlin pauses, then closes the door, and whispers a spell into his hand.] Merlin: (whisper) Forbærnen.
[Merlin approaches Gilli with his clenched fist and opens it to reveal a mini flame] Merlin: It’s…lonely. To…be more powerful than any man you know and have to live like a shadow. To…be special and, and have to pretend you’re a fool. I know how it feels, I understand.
Gilli: Then you understand why I have to fight. If Uther is killed, so what? How many of our kind have dies at his hands? How many more will? It’s time those with magic fought back!
Gilli: You can’t tell me what to do!
Merlin: You need to learn to use your magic for good! That is its true purpose! It’s not meant for your own vanity!
Gilli: I’m not going to apologise for who I am! You can be a servant and, and pretend you’re less than them, but I’m not going to…
Merlin: No, that’s not what I do!
Gilli: No? You’re defending the King! Protecting a man that would have you dead!
Merlin: I’m protecting you!
Gilli: You’ve been pretending for so long now that you’ve actually forgotten who you are.
Merlin: That’s not true.
Gilli: Isn’t it?
Gilli: It’s time someone struck a blow for the likes of you and me. And if you’re too weak, then I will.
[Gilli leaves] —
[Merlin lies awake at night. He gets up and goes to the clearing near Camelot] Merlin: Ω δρακον, έάω μαλερός σοφόνους φθέγγομαι τείδε άναδικέω! *more dragonspeak*
Kilgharrah: I was beginning to hope you’d forgotten me.
Merlin: I don’t think so.
Kilgharrah: The problem is, young warlock, that you wish to talk, but you don’t wish to listen. The last time we met, you chose to ignore my advice and overrule me.
Merlin: I, I’m sorry.
Kilgharrah: A dragonlord should never abuse their power. What reason do you have to summon me this time?
Merlin: You are a creature of magic, and only a creature of magic could hope to understand. Uther is to fight a young sorcerer in the tournament tomorrow. Gaius wants me to prevent him from using magic, but if I do that, there is every chance he will die.
Kilgharrah: Your choice is a hard one, young warlock. Yet you, like I, must hold hope that Arthur will bring about a new age. An age where the likes of you and I are respected once again. If he sees his father killed through the use of magic, it will harden his mind forever.
Merlin: No. There, there must be some…other way.
Kilgharrah: To see one of your kin die is never an easy thing, but all great struggles demand sacrifice. I am sorry, young warlock. I wish I had some words to help you.
Merlin: Some choices are easy, some…stay with you forever.
[Kilgharrah sighs] —
[Uther getting ready in his chambers the morning of the final. Arthur enters] Arthur: I’ve come to wish you luck.
Uther: Against a boy?
Arthur: He’s reached the final.
Uther: Arthur, even you could beat him.
[Gilli looks at Merlin before entering the arena. Merlin shakes his head to not do it. Gilli raises his eye brows menacingly and enters with a smirk. Arthur watches from the throne as Uther and Gilli face each other. Uther salutes Gilli] Uther: For glory!
[Gillie salutes back] Gilli: For glory.
[they begin to fight. Gilli uses magic and Merlin counteracts with magic – Gilli exchanges looks with Merlin and attacks again. Gilli uses magic and Merlin counteracts with magic again. Gilli realises Merlin’s not going to let him hurt the King. Uther wins. Gilli walks off the field sadly] Merlin: I’m sorry.
[Gilli holds up his hand and keeps walking] —
[Merlin enters the tavern guest room while Gilli’s packing] Merlin: I didn’t have a choice.
Gilli: You did what you had to do. And you betrayed your kind.
Merlin: No, that was you. You betrayed us. You’d won, but you were going to kill the King anyway? There’s no honour in that. Come on, look inside yourself. You’re better than this. Magic is not meant for fighting. It’s not meant to bring you glory.
Gilli: I never understood my father. I thought that he was afraid of magic. But he wasn’t. He was afraid of what it can do, how it can corrupt. I know now that he was, he was strong. Well, he was stronger than me. I’m sorry.
Merlin: Now, I know it doesn’t seem like it now, but one day magic will be permitted once again. And when that day arrives, you’ll no longer have to hide who are. Your gifts will be recognised. We , we will be free. And who knows, maybe, maybe then our paths will cross again.
Gilli: I hope so.
Merlin: Oh, they will. We’re kin.
[Gilli holds out his hand. Merlin shakes it. Merlin watches Gilli leave from the battlements] —
[servants set the table for the Pendragons. Arthur is already at the table, Uther enters with Morgana on his arm] Uther: I thought the boy was going to kill me.
Morgana: So did I.
Uther: Then, suddenly, the old fighting spirit kicked in. I dug deep, found my strength, and the whole thing just began to flow. I felt at one with the sword.
[groans as he sits down] Uther: My feet moved instinctively.
Morgana: And now you’re champion once again. And maybe you can give Arthur some lessons.
Uther: It is I who learned a great deal from our fight.
Morgana: I can’t see what.
Uther: He’s a far better warrior than you think. It is Arthur who should’ve claimed the prize.
Morgana: But sadly he wasn’t good enough.
Uther: Because he threw the fight.
[Arthur chokes on his drink] Uther: That I might save face.
Arthur: You knew?
Uther: I have followed your progress with a sword since you were a boy. I know your abilities better than anyone. I am eternally grateful. I hope that, when you are King and have sons of your own, that they will afford you the same honour. Indeed, the most satisfying outcome of the tournament was that Arthur’s actions have shown me that he is now truly ready to be King.
[Uther raises his glass and the three toast] Gaius: I’m proud of you.
Merlin: Oh, I don’t deserve it.
Gaius: You’re being hard on yourself. Alright.
[Gaius takes his plate] Merlin: Er, wha-what are you doing?
Gaius: You said you didn’t deserve it.
Merlin: Gaius, I haven’t eaten.
Gaius: Pity. It’s delicious.
[Merlin tries to take the plate and Gaius slaps his hand] Gaius: (laughs) Alright.
[Gaius takes Merlin’s plate out of hiding] Merlin: (laughs) Thanks
Source: Transcribed Film and TV Scripts