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Excalibur (Sword)

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Excalibur
Also known as: The Great Sword
The Sword of Justice
The Sword of Power
Type: A sword, inscribed with writing "Take me up" and "Cast me away".
Place of origin: Camelot (made by Tom the Blacksmith)
The Great Dragon (forged in his breath)
Appearances: Excalibur
The Coming of Arthur: Part Two
The Darkest Hour: Part One (appears in vision)
The Sword in the Stone: Part Two
Arthur's Bane: Part Two
With All My Heart
The Diamond of the Day
There, with the last of his strength, he thrust his sword into a rock. If his lineage was ever questioned, this would form a test. Only a true king of Camelot could pull the weapon free.
Merlin describes Excalibur[src]

Excalibur is the finest sword ever crafted by the blacksmith Tom, father of Guinevere, and burnished in the breath of the Great Dragon at the request of Merlin. It has the power to slay anything, mortal or magical, living or undead. It was originally forged for Arthur Pendragon, and disastrous consequences can result if it is wielded by anyone other than him.

HistoryEdit

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Kilgharrah breathing onto Excalibur to give the sword magical abilities.

Creation and ConcealmentEdit

When Merlin seeks a weapon that can kill Tristan de Bois, Ygraine's brother and a wraith, he goes to Geoffrey of Monmouth to get information on how to kill a dead person. Geoffrey reads from the Chronicles of Beltane, which tells of "the sword begotten in the dragon's breath, and found it passing good." It is odd that he wasn't surprised when Merlin told him he was looking for a weapon that can kill the dead, as making such a weapon would require magic, unless the librarian was much like Uther who didn't believe in myth. After that, Merlin asks Gwen for the best sword that her father has, and she privately gives him a weapon that her father has created. He then takes it to the Dragon to have the sword imbued with power.

Excalibur at the bottom of the Lake of Avalon

Excalibur in the lake of Avalon

Though hesitant at first, the Dragon agrees to forge the blade. However he makes Merlin promise that only Arthur Pendragon will wield the sword, as it was made for him and him alone. However, on the day of the duel it is Uther Pendragon, not Arthur, who wields the sword against Tristan de Bois . The King defeats the wraith, calling the weapon the finest he has ever used. The Dragon is furious when he learns that Uther handled the sword, and orders Merlin to take it far away to a place where no mortal man may ever find it. Merlin then throws the sword into the Lake of Avalon (Excalibur).

Morgana's ReignEdit

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Freya gives Excalibur to Merlin.

After accidently destroying the Avalon vial given to him by The Fisher King, Merlin is able to contact Freya, whose image can be seen in the water. She informs him that only Excalibur could destroy Morgause's immortal army. Merlin then travelled to the Lake of Avalon where Freya gave him the sword.

He used the sword to kill several soldiers and to finally slash the Cup of Life from its stand, causing the blood in it to spill and the immortal army to be destroyed. As the Dragon told Merlin that the sword must not be allowed to fall into the wrong hands and asked him to place it where no one would wield it, Merlin used his magic to thrust the Excalibur into a large stone. Only Arthur is able to pull to sword out, him being destined to be greatest king of Albion. (The Coming of Arthur).

To Its Rightful OwnerEdit

Merlin - The Sword in the Stone01:08

Merlin - The Sword in the Stone

Merlin puts the sword in the stone.

Following Morgana's second conquest of Camelot, and Tristan's negative views on nobles, Arthur had lost the will to continue and had come to the conclusion he didn't deserve to be king. Following advice from the Great Dragon, Merlin got all the survivors together, and led Arthur to the stone which he had put the sword into. Along the way, he told Arthur the story of his ancestor, the first King of Camelot, and then added his own bit: when the king had died, he thrust his sword into the stone so that if his lineage was ever questioned, only his heir could remove it. After some prompting, Arthur tried to remove it but failed at first. Then Merlin told him had to believe that he was destined to be the greatest King ever. On his final try, now sure that Arthur did believe in himself, Merlin unfused the sword and it came out to Arthur. This was witnessed by the survivors from Camelot who has surrounded the clearing. He then used it during the Second Battle of Camelot, and killed dozens of enemies (The Sword in the Stone).

Knighting MordredEdit

Excalibur was only seen for a brief moment, Arthur uses it to make Mordred a knight of camelot (Arthur's Bane: Part Two).

Confronting the DochraidEdit

To protect himself when meeting the Dochraid, Merlin (disguised as Dragoon The Great) wielded Excalibur due to its magical properties. Merlin used the sword to slash the Dochraid when she became aggressive and hostile towards him, and convinced her at sword point to divulge how to rid Morgana's control over Queen Guinevere (With All My Heart)

Battle at CamlannEdit

Arthur later on used the Sword at the Battle of Camlann and it was probably given to him by Merlin. Arthur used the sword  and took down many invading Saxons, however when he faced Mordred he was fatally wounded; although he used the sword to kill Mordred in turn. Merlin later used the sword to kill Morgana as she was a High Priestess, only an immortal weapon could kill her. Merlin finally cast Excalibur back onto the Lake of Avalon after Arthur has died, where it was caught by Freya.

AbilitiesEdit

Excalibur has the power to kill anything, mortal or magical, living or undead, and it gives those who wield it amazing fighting skills. However it does not guarantee victory against superior swordsmen as was evident in the outcome of the battle between Arthur Pendragon and Helios during Arthur's second liberation of Camelot. For it's fatal power to work it must wound the enemy.

In The LegendEdit

In some of the earliest versions of the legend (such as Geoffrey of Monmouth's), the sword is called Caliburn. The name later morphs into Excalibur. Initially, Excalibur was the same sword that Arthur pulled from the Stone to assert his rightful place as heir to Uther Pendragon and King of Britain. In later legend, the Sword in the Stone and Excalibur became differentiated. The Sword in the Stone became identified with Arthur's peace-sword Clarent, while Excalibur, his war-sword, was given to him during his reign as king by the Lady of the Lake. In these legends, Arthur instructs a knight, either Griflet or Bedivere, to deliver the sword back to the Lake upon his death. The Dragon ordering Merlin to dispose of the sword, and Merlin choosing to throw the weapon into a Lake, mirrors the legends.

Arthur pulling the sword out of the stone02:08

Arthur pulling the sword out of the stone

Arthur tries to pull Excalibur out

In the legends, Merlin places Excalibur in an anvil on a stone, and says that whoever pulled out the sword would be the rightful King of Britain. People from all over the land try to do it, but none can. At a tournament, serving as his adoptive brother Kay's squire, Arthur pulls Excalibur from the anvil and gives it to Kay as a replacement for the sword that was stolen. Kay tries to take credit for the sword, but none believe him, and with Merlin's help Arthur becomes king.

In another telling, the sword in the stone and Excalibur are different blades. Excalibur is given to Arthur from the Lady of the Lake after he loses his first one. Excalibur is crafted only for Arthur in Avalon, and with it he is invincible, and he also gets a scabbard that keeps him from being wounded as long as he wore it, which Morgan Le Fay steals from Arthur, resulting in him being fatally wounded in the Battle of Camlann.

AppearancesEdit

Series 1
Excalibur
Series 3
The Coming of Arthur: Part Two
Series 4
The Darkest Hour: Part One (Appears in visions)
The Sword in the Stone: Part Two
Series 5
Arthur's Bane: Part Two
With All My Heart
The Diamond of the Day: Part Two

TriviaEdit

  • Excalibur is never referred to by name though its identity is made clear by the inscriptions it bore: "take me up" on one side of the blade and "cast me away" on the other.
  • Excalibur has been used by three different people: the first was Uther in Excalibur, the second was Merlin in The Coming of Arthur and the third one its rightful owner, Arthur in The Sword in the Stone and The Diamond of the Day.
  • Merlin, Gaius, Kilgharrah, Gwen and Uther are the only other characters who know of the sword's existence before it is pulled from the stone by Arthur.
  • Excalibur is often described as a flaming sword when used in combat. Morgana set a sword meant to be used by Arthur on fire in an episode of Series 4, making a reference to that part of the legend (His Father's Son).
  • Excalibur also appeared in Morgana's dream of Emrys (The Darkest Hour: Part One).
  • Morgana uses Aithusa to forge a second "Excalibur" (The Diamond of the Day: Part One) This could be a reference to her making a "false Excalibur" to bring about Arthur's downfall in the legends.

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