This Merlin Episode Transcript provides a full dialogue log off Episode 01 of Season V “Arthur’s Bane – Part 1” of the BBC series Merlin.

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Transcript

KILGHARRAH (voice over)
In a land of myth and a time of magic, the destiny of a great kingdom rests on the shoulders of a young man. His name…Merlin.

[Merlin is running through the hallways and is searching in every room.]

MERLIN
Hello?!

MERLIN
Hello?!

MERLIN
Sorry.

[Runs up to Arthur]

ARTHUR
Well?

MERLIN (Panting heavily)
I’ve searched everywhere.

ARTHUR
Merlin, it’s not just me you’re keeping waiting.

MERLIN
How is it my fault!?

ARTHUR
The Queen can’t just disappear.

MERLIN
Well, where is she?

ARTHUR
That’s what I sent you to find out!

MERLIN
Do you know how big this castle is?

ARTHUR
Funnily enough, I do.

MERLIN
Then perhaps you should have a look.

ARTHUR
Merlin, is there anything you’re actually capable of doing?

MERLIN
Putting up with you.

ARTHUR
Oh, well…

GUINEVERE
Ahem

[Arthur looks up to see Guinevere on the stairs with Sefa following her]

ARTHUR
Guinevere.

GUINEVERE
I’m sorry I’m late.

ARTHUR
Late? Not at all. Plenty of time.

[Arthur and Guinevere enter the throne room side by side. Merlin and Sefa enter behind them, side by side]

ARTHUR
Noble Knights of Camelot, countrymen, friends. I welcome you to this meeting of the Round Table. For three long years, we have been blessed with peace and prosperity. But now, it seems a shadow has been cast across our lands.

[Shows Gwaine trudging through snow]

ARTHUR
Sir Gwaine set off for Ismere some six weeks ago. With him went three score of our finest men. There has been no word from them since.

[Zooms out to show Ismere in the distance. Percival and some other knights walk up beside Gwaine. Gwaine turns around when he hears a growling noise off in the distance.]

GWAINE
Run!

[Back to Camelot]

ARTHUR
At my request, Sir Elyan led a search party to the wastelands of the north. He found no trace of Gwaine or his men. It is as if they have vanished from the face of the Earth.

[OPENING CREDITS]

[Ismere throne room]

RUADAN
The last of the Camelot patrol?

MORGANA
How long before Arthur sends more?

RUADAN
Calm yourself. There’s nothing to worry about.

MORGANA
You’re wrong, we’re running out of time.

RUADAN
The prophecies do not lie. Arthur’s bane is real. Once it is known to us, his end is nigh.

MORGANA
So you keep saying, yet you cannot tell me what it is.

RUADAN
The Diamair will tell us. The Diamair is the key to all knowledge.

MORGANA
Then where is this key?

RUADAN
It is here, beneath your feet.

MORGANA
For three months we’ve been searching and what have we found? Nothing.

RUADAN
It is but a moment compared to the eternity of knowledge the key will bring.

MORGANA
If I find that you’ve lied to me…

RUADAN
Patience is the stepping stone to wisdom, Morgana.

MORGANA
You think I don’t know that after all I’ve been through? For two long years, I saw nothing but darkness. Patience and I are old friends.

[Gwaine is dragged into the room by some saxons]

GWAINE
Lady Morgana, we really have to stop meeting like this.

[One of the soldiers hits him]

MORGANA
You’re not looking so pretty now, are you, Sir Knight?

GWAINE
It would appear not.

MORGANA
Arthur should know not to send his men so far north.

GWAINE
Well, get on with it, then. Kill me.

MORGANA
I will. But first you’re going to have to help me find something.

[In Arthur’s Privy council]

ELYAN (pointing to the map set on the table)
We know Gwaine and his men crossed the pass, here, at Isulfor. But beyond that, there was no trace. The trail went cold.

ARTHUR
What of this story that the fortress of Ismere has been occupied once more?

ELYAN
I heard many rumours, Sire. All of them had one name in common… Morgana.

ARTHUR
Then we have no time to lose.

GAIUS
What if the rumours are true, Sire? You may be walking into a trap.

ARTHUR
The Knights of Camelot do not abandon their own.

GAIUS
Morgana knows that. She’ll be waiting for you.

ARTHUR
These men have fought for me, bled for me…

GUINEVERE
May I make a suggestion? What if you were to take a different route? Approach Ismere from the West.

ARTHUR
Through Annis’ lands?

GAIUS
It would certainly take Morgana by surprise.

ARTHUR
Would Annis grant safe passage to so many armed men?

LEON
I believe she would, Sire.

ARTHUR
Dispatch a rider immediately. We’ll follow at dawn. Remember, if we’re to succeed, no-one must know of our intentions.

[Merlin leaves the privy council. He bumps into Sefa who was carrying a plate of fruit.]

MERLIN
Sorry…

SEFA
It’s fine, really. I’m the one who should apologise.

MERLIN
What for?

SEFA
I keep getting you into trouble.

MERLIN
I’m used to it.

ARTHUR
Merlin!

MERLIN
You should hear him when he’s really angry.

ARTHUR
MERLIN!

MERLIN
Like now. If you need help with anything, let me know.

SEFA
Thank you.

MERLIN (to Arthur)
Do you really think Gwaine and Percival could still be alive?

ARTHUR
I have to find out. They’re Knights of the Round Table. It’s a bond we share.

MERLIN
I understand.

ARTHUR
If it was you who’d disappeared, Merlin, I wouldn’t bother.

[Underneath Ismere]

GWAINE
Did you find the others?

PERCIVAL
Every last one.

GWAINE
Do they know what we’re searching for?

PERCIVAL
Some kind of key.

GWAINE
The key to what?

PERCIVAL
I don’t know. But the men say Morgana’s obsessed. She won’t rest until she finds it.

GWAINE
Let’s hope we don’t succeed, then.

[In a gorge]

ARTHUR
The gorge marks the start of Annis’ lands.

ELYAN
It’s prime ambush territory.

ARTHUR
Take some men and follow the ridge line.

[Elyan leaves, and then returns]

ELYAN
There’s something you need to see.

[The knights make there way over to an abandoned camp]

LOCHRU (telepathically)
Emrys…

LOCHRU (telepathically)
Emrys…

[Merlin follows the voice into a cave where a nearly dead man is lying]

MERLIN
What happened to you? Who did this to your village?

LOCHRU
That it happened at all is all that matters. I have been haunted by this moment for many years… since long before you set foot on this Earth, Emrys, I have waited for its arrival with the sorrow in my heart. For even as Camelot flowers, so the seeds of her destruction are being sown. The prophets speak of Arthur’s bane. You would do well to fear it, for it stalks him like a ghost in the night. Unless you act quickly, Emrys, even you cannot alter the never-ending circle of his… fate.

[Lochru’s hand falls back to the water. Merlin then sees a vision in the water of Mordred walking to the injured Arthur. They cross swords, and then Mordred pierces his sword through Arthur’s body.]

ARTHUR
Is he alive?

[Upon seeing the look on Merlin’s face]

ARTHUR
What is it?

ARTHUR
Come on, Merlin – you’ve seen a dead body before. As soon as we’ve given these people a proper burial, we’re moving out.

[The Knights are sleeping, but Merlin is still awake. He leaves the campsite.]

MERLIN
O drakon, e male so ftengometta tesd’ hup’ anankes!

[He meets with Kilgarrah]

MERLIN
I need to know about a Druid symbol. A black spiral, within it a thin, yellow coil.

KILGHARRAH
It is the mark of a Vates. A Druid seer. Where did you encounter him?

MERLIN
On my journey here. He warned me of Arthur’s bane.

KILGHARRAH
His bane?

MERLIN
And then he showed me a battle. A terrible battle. Arthur was fighting for his life. I saw him wounded. I saw him fall.

KILGHARRAH
The Vates’ power of prophecy is unrivalled, even by a high priestess.

MERLIN
So this battle will come to pass?

KILGHARRAH
I do not know, young warlock, but one thing is certain… this was no chance meeting.

MERLIN
You think I should heed his warning?

KILGHARRAH
There was a time when the words of a vates were considered a gift.

MERLIN
Then why do they feel like a burden?

KILGHARRAH
A wise man is not cowed by knowledge, Merlin. Instead, he uses it to guide him.

MERLIN
How?

KILGARRAH

That is something only you can decide. But remember, the vates singled you out for a reason. Now, more than ever, it is you and you alone that can keep Arthur safe.

[The next morning, the knights, Merlin and Arthur continue their journey and arrive in Caerleon.]

ARTHUR
Queen Annis.

ANNIS
Arthur Pendragon.

ARTHUR
I am most grateful that you have allowed us safe passage through your kingdom.

ANNIS
We are allies, Arthur, and these are troubled times.

[Annis leads her guests to the dining hall.]

[Back in Camelot, Sefa is serving Guinevere dinner.]

GUINEVERE
I can’t eat this, I’m sorry.

SEFA
I’ll get you something else, my lady.

GUINEVERE
No. If you could just sit with me… Are you hungry?

[She puts some food in front of Sefa.]

GUINEVERE
Eat. Please. You’d think I’d be used to it by now… not knowing if he’ll return.

SEFA
You love him. I understand.

GUINEVERE
Do you have someone you worry about?

[Sefa nods.]

GUINEVERE
But not someone you can talk about.

SEFA
No, my lady. There’s no greater warrior than the King. He will return.

GUINEVERE
I know. You’re right.Thank you.

[The Knights, Annis and her court dine.]

ANNIS
What you saw at Asgorath is no surprise. Some months ago, Saxons began raiding our villages. They’re rounding up all the men they can find and taking them to Ismere.

ARTHUR
To raise an army?

ANNIS
People say Morgana is tearing the citadel apart.

ARTHUR
Why?

ANNIS
She must be searching for something. I dare not think what.

ARTHUR
Then my men may still be alive?

ANNIS
Yes. There is every chance.

[Merlin pours drink to their cups.]

ANNIS
I think it’s time for some entertainment. I would love to see your fool perform. Given all his failings, he must have some skills.

ARTHUR
You’d think so, wouldn’t you? (to Merlin) You heard the Queen – jump to it.

MERLIN
I’m not a fool.

ARTHUR
That’s debatable.

[Leon laughs]

MERLIN
And I don’t have any skills!

ARTHUR (now annoyed)
I know that. But we can’t refuse the Queen when she’s granted us safe passage, can we?

[Merlin uses a nonverbal spell. Merlin juggles with four eggs, then makes them dissapear. The crowd is entertained, while Arthur watches his performance with a weird look on his face.]

[Later that night]

ARTHUR
Where did you learn to juggle like that? Honestly, I didn’t even know you could catch.

MERLIN (Bitterly)
Yes, well, I have many talents. You’ve failed to notice them, that’s all.

ARTHUR
Come on, out with it. What’s wrong?

MERLIN
I’m not sure we should go to Ismere.

ARTHUR
Did you not hear Annis? My men are alive.

MERLIN
You don’t know that.

ARTHUR
Look, stick to juggling, Merlin. Leave the important things to me.

MERLIN
But…

[Arthur throws his boot at Merlin. Merlin doesn’t catch it and the boot falls to the floor.]

ARTHUR
Here. See, explain that.

MERLIN
I wish I could.

[Merlin takes the boot from the floor.]

[Camelot]

[Sefa leaves the city. Guinevere watches here from the window and smiles. Sefa then continues and goes to a fortress in the woods where Ruadan is praying.]

RUADAN
Crungon walo wide, cwoman woldagas, swylt eall fornom secgrofra wera, wurdon hyra wigsteal westen stapolas, brosnade burgsteall. Betend crungon hergas to hrusan. Forpon pas hofu dreorgiad, ond paes teaforgeapa tigelum sceaded hrostbeages hrof…

[Sefa walks towards him. Ruadan notices someone is approaching. His eyes glow and he appears behind Sefa a moment later, holding a blade next to her neck.]

SEFA
It’s me! It’s Sefa! I didn’t mean to frighten you.

RUADAN
Fear is in here. (he taps his chest) No one can make you feel fear. Do you understand?

RUADAN
You have something to tell me?

SEFA
Yes. Arthur has set out for Ismere.

RUADAN
As I expected.

SEFA
But he is approaching from the West, through Annis’ lands.

RUADAN
You’re sure?

SEFA
Certain.

RUADAN
When did he leave?

SEFA
Yesterday at dawn.

SEFA
Shall I come with you?

RUADAN
Your disappearance would create suspicion.

SEFA
What would you like me to do?

RUADAN
You have served your purpose for now.

[Ruadan walks away, then turns back towards Sefa.]

RUADAN
I hope they haven’t ill-treated you.

SEFA
They’ve been good to me, father.

RUADAN
They are Pendragons. They’re good for one thing only– death.

[Ruadan walks away, leaving Sefa behind. He then rides through the forest. ]

[Arthur and his men are leaving Caerleon. Annis is saying goodbye to them.]

ANNIS
Morgana has been devoured by hate. Be careful.

ARTHUR
I will.

ANNIS
Good allies are hard to find. I’d hate to lose one.

[Sefa and Guinevere are standing in front of a mirror. Sefa is leaving the room.]

GUINEVERE
Aren’t you forgetting something? My papers for the council?

SEFA
Of course.

GUINEVERE
Are you all right?

SEFA
Yes.

GUINEVERE
You don’t seem yourself today.

SEFA
I’m sorry.

GUINEVERE
Last night… I saw you leave the city.

SEFA (frightened that she has been discovered)
I, um…

GUINEVERE
Sefa, I may be the Queen, but you don’t have to hide your secrets from me.

SEFA
My lady?

GUINEVERE (sincerely)
Whoever he is, he’s lucky to have you.

SEFA (relieved)
Thank you, my lady. There are so many things to remember.

GUINEVERE
I know that better than anyone. You’re doing well. Honestly.

SEFA
Thank you, my lady.

[Sefa bows and leaves the room.]

[Ruadan arrives in Ismere. He goes to the throne room where Morgana sits.]

MORGANA
What is it? What’s wrong?

RUADAN
Arthur is riding for Ismere as we speak.

MORGANA
Impossible. I’ve had sentries posted on the border for weeks.

RUADAN
He’s approaching from the West – from Annis’ lands.

MORGANA
Why would he do that?

RUADAN
He means to surprise you. He will be on us in less than a day.

MORGANA (hardens)
Prepare for battle. We ride tonight.

[Arthur and his men are at camp. They are eating and having a good time. Arthur notices the upset Merlin sitting near the water and goes to him.]

ARTHUR
Merlin.

MERLIN
How can they laugh and joke?

[Arthur sits next to him.]

ARTHUR
Hmm?

MERLIN
Don’t they know what we will face in Ismere?

ARTHUR
Yeah, of course.

ARTHUR
But a warrior learns to enjoy each day as it comes.

MERLIN
Because he knows it might be his last.

ARTHUR
Why are you so upset?

MERLIN
Morgana is powerful. She’s dangerous.

ARTHUR
I know.

MERLIN
And you don’t care?

ARTHUR
Only about my men. They’re more than friends, more than brothers. No matter what lies ahead of me… I won’t abandon them, as I know they would not abandon me.

MERLIN
I understand. I wish I didn’t, but I do.

ARTHUR
Come and have some food.

[Arthur and Merlin go to the men. ]

[Morgana and the army of Saxons leave Ismere.]

[Arthur and his men are packing there things and getting ready to leave. They hear a horse neigh nearby and draw out their swords. As they look around, they see the army coming from the mist.]

MERLIN
We’re surrounded.

LEON
We can’t stay here.

[Arthur notices Morgana riding closer.]

ARTHUR
Run!

[The knights run, but are attacked by the Saxons and have to stand their ground. They then engage in a fierce battle. Sir Leon knocks down a Saxon soldier, and then has to face Ruadan. Ruadan kicks him against a stone with his foot. Leon approaches him and they fight again, until Ruadan hits him against the leg with his sword. Leon screams for pain. Arthur notices it. Ruadan hits Leon against the land with his foot. Arthur makes his way to Leon, defeating three Saxon warriors on the way. He then faces Ruadan and disarms him. Then he fights two Saxon warriors, while Ruadan approaches him again and hits him to the head, making Arthur fall to the ground. Ruadan then faces Elyan, while Merlin drags Arthur away from the battlefield. He puts Arthur lie agains a tree and notices two Saxons riding closer.]

MERLIN
*spell*

[A snake comes from the bushes and scares one of the horses of a Saxon. Merlin then flees with Arthur.]

[Arthur is laying on the ground, and Merlin is sitting next to him. Arthur groans and starts to wake up and sees Merlin looking at him.]

ARTHUR
What happened?

MERLIN
You don’t remember?

ARTHUR
Where are the others? Leon? Elyan?

MERLIN
There was nothing I could do. I had to get you to safety.

ARTHUR
What actually happened?

MERLIN
The usual – I saved your neck.

ARTHUR (not quite believing him)
You saved me?

MERLIN (trying to be joking, but sounding bitter)
Yes. And I can juggle. I keep telling you, I have MANY talents.

[Merlin helps Arthur up.]

ARTHUR (mutters)
So it would seem.

MERLIN
Come on.

[Under Ismere]

[The men, Gwaine and Percival are sleeping in the dungeons. Gwaine notices a strange blue light flickering nearby.]

GWAINE
Percival.

[He touches Percival’s hand with his hand.]

GWAINE
Percival.

[Percival awakes.]

PERCIVAL
What?

GWAINE
There’s something out there.

GWAINE
Did you see that?

PERCIVAL What’s that?

[Merlin and Arthur are walking in the wilderness]

MERLIN
Could we have a break?

ARTHUR
Long as it’s quick. I want to reach Ismere before dark.

MERLIN (Angrily)
Ismere? We are heading back to Camelot!

ARTHUR
Navigation’s not your strong point, is it? Camelot is south. The sun rises where?

MERLIN
In the east.

ARTHUR
And what have we been walking towards all day?

MERLIN
To our deaths! The two of us against Morgana, are you mad!?

ARTHUR
I told you – I’m going to rescue my men.

MERLIN
No.

ARTHUR
If you’re afraid… then go.

MERLIN
I’m worried about you.

ARTHUR (sort of annoyed) Right, well, I’ve tried sending you home. But if you’re not going to do as I ask, The least you can do is shut up. Come on!

[He starts to walk away]

MERLIN (calls after him)
You know, if Morgana doesn’t kill you, I will.

ARTHUR
Threatening a King is treason, Merlin.

MERLIN (mutters)
What about threatening an ass?

ARTHUR
I heard that!

[Camelot]

[Leon and Elyan stand before Guinevere and Gaius in the throne room]

LEON
We were ambushed. Morgana and a band of Saxons attacked us as we crossed the border into Ismere.

GUINEVERE
And what of Arthur?

ELYAN
I tried to protect him.

GUINEVERE
What are you saying?

ELYAN
We lost him in the battle. We don’t know what happened to him, (to Gaius) or Merlin.

GAIUS
How could Morgana have known? How could she have known that Arthur was approaching from that direction?

GUINEVERE
Someone betrayed us.

[That night, in the woods]

MERLIN
Arthur?

ARTHUR
Mmm.

MERLIN
I need to tell you something. The man… The old man in the village…

ARTHUR
Just think about something else, Merlin.

MERLIN
No, I need you to listen to me. Before he died… he tried to warn me… He told me that you were in danger and that the danger was close.

ARTHUR
He was dying, Merlin. Who knows what he was saying?

MERLIN
I think that he was a Druid seer.

ARTHUR
You expect me to listen to a sorcerer?

MERLIN
But why would he tell me that? He had no knowledge that I even knew you. We have to turn back.

ARTHUR
I can’t. Even if what he said were true, it makes no difference.

MERLIN
Arthur, without you, Camelot is nothing. All that we’ve worked so hard to create. Everything will be gone.

ARTHUR
Look, no matter what adversity we face, we stand for what is right. To betray our beliefs, Merlin, that is what would destroy everything we’ve strived for. I swear I’m going to rescue my men… or die trying.

MERLIN
Then I swear I will protect you or die at your side.

[Underneath Ismere, that same night]

GWAINE
It’s back.

[He gets up]

PERCIVAL
Where are you going?

GWAINE
Cover for me.

[Morning. Morgana sits on horsback not far above where Arthur and Merlin had been sleeping moments before]

MORGANA
Don’t just stand there. Find them! I don’t care how long it takes!

[Later, as Arthur and Merlin walked through the forest]

ARTHUR
If only we had a horse.

MERLIN
Or a pig.

ARTHUR
You can’t ride a pig!

MERLIN
No, but we could roast it with carrots, parsnips and apples.

ARTHUR
Merlin.

MERLIN
You’re right, we won’t waste those apples, we’ll put them in a pie.

ARTHUR
Stop it.

MERLIN
I have to eat something.

MERLIN
Rabbits!

[Merlin walks towards the two dead rabbits. Arthur realises it’s a trap and lunges to try and pull Merlin back]

ARTHUR
Merlin!

[They are both trapped in a net hanging in the airwith the two rabbits]

MERLIN
I got them!

Camelot

[Sefa is dragged before Guinevere in court]

SEFA
What have I done?

GUINEVERE
The night before Arthur set out for Ismere there was a meeting of the King’s Privy Council. Did you hear what was said?

SEFA
No, my lady.

GUINEVERE (doesn’t believe her)
And yet you were standing right outside the door.

SEFA
I was bringing your supper.

GUINEVERE
Later that night, where did you go?

SEFA
Nowhere.

GUINEVERE
Don’t make this hard on yourself. All I want is the truth. We both know you left the city through the southern gate.

[Sefa looks down]

GUINEVERE
Look at me. Do you deny it?

SEFA
No, my lady.

GUINEVERE
Who did you see? You can tell me.

SEFA
You wouldn’t understand.

GUINEVERE (angrily)
Who did you see?!

SEFA
My father. I saw my father.

GUINEVERE
And you told him what you’d heard?

SEFA (begs)
He only wants what’s rightfully his. Were he a physician or a warrior, his skills would be revered. But sorcery! He deserves respect like any man.

GUINEVERE (coldly)
Respect is to be earned! It cannot be bought with blood. Your treachery cost the lives of many good men.

SEFA
I didn’t mean to…

GUINEVERE
You have admitted your guilt. You leave me no choice, Sefa. By the laws of Camelot, I find you guilty of treason. I sentence you to death. Take her to the cells.

[Leon and Elyan exchange glances. Sefa is pulled away.]

[In the forest]

ARTHUR
If I could reach my sword… we’d be able to cut the rope.

MERLIN
Oh! Don’t put your knee there.

ARTHUR
Where?

MERLIN
There! Arrgh!

[The sword drops to the ground]

ARTHUR
MERLIN! God!

MERLIN
That was your fault. That was your fault!

ARTHUR
Great. Just great.

MERLIN
Where did the other rabbit go?

[Under Ismere]

EUCHDAG
Ic the thurhhaele thinu licsar. Ic the thurhhaele thinu licsar…

[In the morning]

[The traps falls to the ground, waking Merlin and Arthur to their indignant cries]

RAGNOR
I’m sorry. Did we wake you?

RAGNOR
Not so fast. The King of Camelot. You will fetch a handsome price. Alive or dead. Any last requests?

ARTHUR (from the ground)
Let my servant go. He doesn’t deserve to die like this.

MERLIN
If you’re going to kill him, you’ll have to kill me first.

ARTHUR
Merlin! Step aside.

MERLIN
You know I never do as I’m told.

MORDRED (appearing from behind them in the forest)
Stop! Shouldn’t we leave it to the Lady Morgana to decide their fate?

[Ragnor reluctantly agrees. Mordred helps Arthur to his feet. Merlin stares at Mordred with disbelief and mistrust.]

MORDRED
(to Arthur) You don’t remember me, do you? You saved my life once, many years ago.

MERLIN (flatly)
Mordred.

MORDRED
(smirks) Hello, Arthur.

Source: Merlin Wiki