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Zoomed in a lesson in vengeance










KILGARRAH: 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.

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[Arthur, Gwen and Merlin are going for a picnic.]

ARTHUR: This is nice isn't it? Just the two of us.

GWEN: Well, three of us.

ARTHUR: Merlin? Merlin doesn't count.

MERLIN: I don't count? Not here. Not actually speaking right now.

ARTHUR: Aren't you impressed that I remembered our anniversary?

GWEN: But you didn't remember. I reminded you over a month ago.

ARTHUR: Yes…but I remembered that it was today…today.

GWEN: Ah!

MERLIN: Actually, I did.

ARTHUR: Shut up, Merlin!

[Gwen and Merlin laugh.]

MERLIN: [Laughing] I did!

[A bomb scares Arthur's horse which rears up and then runs the other way. The girth snaps making him fall off. Bandits come out of the trees and attack Arthur.]

MERLIN: Arthur!

[Arthur starts to fight the bandits. Merlin dismounts his horse. One of the bandits is about to hurt Arthur, but Merlin makes his sword magically fly out of his hands. Arthur kills the last bandit.]

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OPENING CREDITS

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[KING’S PALACE- PHYSICIAN’S CHAMBERS]

[Gaius, Arthur, Gwen and Merlin are in Gaius' chambers tending to Arthur's wound.]

GAIUS: You’re very fortunate, sire. A fall like that you could have broken your neck.

ARTHUR: But the men that attacked us, have they been questioned?

GAIUS: I'm sorry, sire, the wounds were fatal. We were unable to learn anything from them.

MERLIN: We know one thing- it can't have been a coincidence that they were there.

[Leon walks in.]

LEON: Sire, we recovered your saddle from the forest trail. The girth has been unpicked and re-stitched. It was designed to break sire.

ARTHUR: It appears, Merlin, on this single solitary occasion, maybe you're right.

---------------

[KING’S PALACE – ROYAL STABLES]

[Tyr Seward is tending to the horses, when Gwaine and some other knights walk up to him.]

TYR: Afternoon, sir knights! Horses are shod and watered as requested.

GWAINE: You're Tyr Seward?

TYR: I am Sir Gwaine. You know I am.

GWAINE: Stable hand to the King?

TYR: That is my honour, yes.

[Gwaine nods to the other knights and they apprehend him.]

TYR: Is the King not pleased with my work? Have I done something wrong?

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[KING’S PALACE- LOWER TOWN- SEWARD’S HOME]

[Leon enters Tyr Sewards' house.]

LEON: Gelda Seward? Mother of Tyr Seward?

GELDA: Yes.

LEON: And you live here with your son?

GELDA: Is he in some kind of trouble?

LEON: He's been arrested under suspicion of treason.

GELDA: No! No that can't be. You've made a mistake. My Tyr's as loyal as to the King as you are.

[Percival finds the thread that was used to restitched the girth.]

PERCIVAL: Here.

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[KING’S PALACE- COUNCIL CHAMBERS]

[Tyr Seward stands before the royal court in the council chambers]

LEON: The thread we found at the boy's home matches that used to sabotage your saddle, Sire.

ARTHUR: Who put you up to this Tyr?

TYR: No one, no one's put me up to anything Sire.

ARTHUR: You're saying you acted alone? Had no help? No accomplice?

TYR: I don't know anything about these things you're talking about. I've done nothing Sire, save look after your horse and tack like I always do.

ARTHUR: The evidence is staring you in the face. You can't deny it. 

TYR: Sire, I swear on my mother's life....

ARTHUR: Just give me their name. Why protect them? They can't help you now. Just give me their name.

TYR: I have no name. There's no name to give.

ARTHUR: Then you leave me no choice! Though it saddens me greatly to do so I must charge you with treason. Is there anything further you'd like to say?

TYR: You're my king, sire. I'd never do anything to hurt you. Never. 

ARTHUR: Tyr Seward, by the power vested in me I hereby sentence you to death.

[Merlin and Arthur are walking in the hallway.]

MERLIN: How long have you known Tyr?

ARTHUR: He's been in my service since he was a boy.

MERLIN: Do you really think he could be capable of this treason?

ARTHUR: What I think is irrelevant. The facts speak for themselves.

MERLIN: Arthur, to sentence him to death?

ARTHUR: The law is the law, Merlin. Whether I like it or not.

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[KING’S PALACE- PHYSICIAN’S CHAMBERS]

[Gaius and Merlin are in Gaius' chambers.]

MERLIN: Why would Tyr want Arthur dead? It makes no sense. 

GAIUS: Perhaps he harbored some grudge, some festering resentment.

MERLIN: What grudge could he bear? He loved his work. He was deeply proud of it. And Arthur respected him, I know he did. He always treated him fairly and well. 

GAIUS: Merlin, it's not always possible to know what's in the mind of another man.

MERLIN: Maybe so, but Arthur was right about one thing Tyr could not have done this alone. Someone else is involved and unless we find out who they are. What's to stop them from trying it again?

[Gaius hands him a bowl of soup. Merlin runs out of Gaius' chambers.]

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[KING’S PALACE- ROYAL CHAMBERS]

[Arthur is fiddling with a string as Gwen walks in.]

GWEN: Arthur. I know you were fond of Tyr, but you had no choice. He was guilty. 

ARTHUR: Tyr Seward is a simple man. He can’t have planned this assassination himself.

GWEN: Well, I know that's what you would like to think. We all would. But, as hard as it is to accept, even a great, and honorable king has enemies within his walls. Very often the last person you would suspect. Tyr is just such a person.

ARTHUR: No, you're right. I suppose experience should have taught me that by now.

GWEN: The important thing is he didn't succeed. I've already lost my brother I couldn't bear to lose you too.

ARTHUR: I'm here, Guinevere. I always will be. I'll never leave you, I promise you that.

[Gwen kisses Arthur's hand.]

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[KING’S PALACE- DUNGEONS]

[Merlin is shown visiting Tyr in his cell. Merlin hands Tyr the bowl of soup.]

MERLIN: I thought you might like some food. [Merlin sits next to Tyr after the guard closes the door.] Cooking is not Gaius's strong point as you know.

TYR: Well, at least it's not their turnip stew. Thank you, Merlin.

MERLIN: I'd like to help you Tyr. If I can.

TYR: You heard the king. No one can help me now.

MERLIN: I know you Tyr. Whatever you did, I don't believe you meant any harm.

TYR: I didn't do anything. On my honour, I didn't.

MERLIN: But something happened, didn't it?

TYR: No.

MERLIN: Tyr, please, I know you're not to blame, just tell me what happened. 

TYR: No! They...

MERLIN: Who?

[Tyr sets the bowl. Merlin turns to make sure that no guard can hear him. Tyr moves closer.]

TYR: This was a few days back. One of the horses came down with colic so I had sleep in the stable to watch over him. 

MERLIN: Go on, it's alright.

TYR: That night, I was woke up by a sound. There was someone there, going over the king’s saddle. I knew it wasn't right. I tried to get away and warn someone, but they saw me. They told me if I so much as whispered a word of what I'd seen… they'd take my mother. They'd take her and they'd cut her throat. 

MERLIN: Who was it?

TYR: I can't! 

MERLIN: Tyr, please tell me. This is the only chance you have. You'll be hanged if you don't. 

TYR: And they'll kill my mother if I do.

MERLIN: Tyr. I can help you.

TYR: No. If it means me dying instead of her then so be it. I'd rather die.

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[KING’S PALACE- ROYAL CHAMBERS]

[Merlin, Arthur and Gwen are in the royal chambers.]

ARTHUR: You went to the cells to see Tyr.

MERLIN: Yes.

ARTHUR: We've been over this before, we know what he said. The evidence doesn't lie.

MERLIN: No one denies the crime sire, but the only part that Tyr played was to see it done.

ARTHUR: He told you this.

MERLIN: Five minutes ago.

ARTHUR: Then who was it?

MERLIN: He won’t say, he's too frightened. They threatened him. 

ARTHUR: I must speak with him, at once.

[Arthur walks around Gwen to the door. Merlin turns to follow.]

GWEN: Arthur surely it can wait. Gaius told you to rest, let your injuries heal.

ARTHUR: I'll be fine Guinevere. I just want to hear what he has to say.

[Arthur has opened the door.]

GWEN: And you shall. [Arthur pauses at the door.]But Tyr has said everything he is willing to say for now. He's clearly frightened and unsure of what to do-don't push him. Let him think it over and maybe after a night in the cells he'll be prepared to say more.

[Merlin looks between Gwen and Arthur. Arthur takes a moment to decide on what to do. He shuts the door.]

ARTHUR: As always, Guinevere, you're right.

[Arthur walks past Gwen to the table by the window. Gwen and Merlin share a glance before she turns to follow Arthur. Merlin looks at her as she goes.]

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[KING’S PALACE- PHYSICIAN’S CHAMBERS]

[Merlin and Gaius are eating supper.]

MERLIN: Have you noticed anything about Gwen of late?

GAIUS: Nothing unusual. Why?

MERLIN: I'm not sure exactly. 

GAIUS: Something she’s said? Something she's done?

MERLIN: No. It's nothing in particular. It just seems to me that ever since she returned from the Dark Tower she hasn't been quite herself.

GAIUS: Why is that so surprising? She lost her only brother. Elyan was all the family she had. And grief changes people, Merlin.

MERLIN: I know that. I do, but...

GAIUS: Besides, we can only guess at what Morgana put her through.

MERLIN: That’s what worries me.

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[KING’S PALACE- DUNGEONS]

[Gwen places a burning piece of cloth in a grate that makes the guards pass out so she can go down to the prison cells.]

GWEN: Tyr. 

TYR: What are you doing here?

GWEN: Nothing to worry about. I just want to talk.

TYR: I've said nothing.

GWEN: Shhhh. Come closer.[Tyr gets up and walks to the door.] We don’t want to be heard, do we? [He shakes his head.]

TYR: I’ve told no names. I’ve not mentioned you to anyone.

GWEN: I believe you.

TYR: My mother’s safe? You’ve not harmed her?

GWEN: Your mother is alive and well. She’s not the problem. You are.

TYR: Me?

GWEN: You see, Tyr, it’s not what you haven’t said. It’s what you may yet say.

[Gwen pulls the dagger from behind her back.]

TYR: Don’t…

[She stabs him with the dagger. He falls to the floor.]

GWEN: Understand?

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[KING’S PALACE- DUNGEONS]

[Gaius examines Tyr. Arthur is knelt next to Gaius. Merlin looks on. Percival is standing out in the doorway to the cell.]

GAIUS: The blade punctured his heart.  He suffered very little, I’m glad to say.

ARTHUR: You’ve spoken to the night patrols?

PERCIVAL: They saw nothing unusual, sire.

[Leon walks up with the cloth that Gwen had placed.]

'ARTHUR:' What about the guards? Why didn’t they raise the alarm?

LEON: Sire. We found this in a grate in the guard room.

[Gaius takes it and smells it.]

GAIUS: Clary wort. A powerful soporific, sire.

[Arthur is still knelt next to Tyr’s body. He shakes his head.]

ARTHUR: I’ve been a fool. [He stands up. Merlin is examining the door frame.] I should have spoken to him when I had the chance.

MERLIN: Arthur.

ARTHUR: What?

MERLIN: Whoever did this was no stranger to Camelot. They knew the Citadel inside out.

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[FOREST]

[Gwen runs her hand over a vine that is on a tree and smiles. She turns and walks to where Morgana is waiting for her.]

MORGANA: Guinevere.

GWEN: The plan failed. Arthur lives.

MORGANA: Does he suspect you?

GWEN: Not yet. But the stable hand saw me. He was going to tell them everything.

MORGANA: Was? You have some good news then?

GWEN: I did what had to be done.

MORGANA: With Tyr gone you have to find someone else to take the fall. When Arthur dies you have to be beyond all suspicion. You must have support of the knights only with their allegiance will your path to the throne be clear.

GWEN: But what good is all this? Arthur’s still alive.

MORGANA: For now. By tonight you’ll have everything you need to finish the job.

GWEN: Arthur’s doubled the guard, and there are patrols night and day. I can’t risk leaving…

MORGANA: Gwen. Gwen. It is I that will come to you.

[Gwen gives her a look. A horses whinnies in the distance. A patrol approaches.]

MORGANA: Go!

[Gwen pulls her hood up and runs off. Morgana walks the other way. Gwaine turns his horse and goes the way that Gwen went. Morgana pulls him off his horse with magic. Gwen makes it out of the woods and back outside of Camelot walls. She turns and looks back. Gwen straightens her cloak and hair and walks calmly back to the castle. ]

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[KING’S PALACE- CORRIDOR]

[Merlin is walking the opposite way from her. Gwen walks through a doorway. Merlin hears her and turns around.]

MERLIN: Gwen? [She stops and turns around to face him. They walk toward each other.]I’ve been looking for you everywhere. Arthur’s been beside himself with worry.

GWEN: Well, there was no need to worry; I was just walking in the meadow. Since Elyan died…sometimes I just need time to myself.

MERLIN: I understand, but you should be careful. A patrol was attacked in the woods only an hour ago.

GWEN: [tries to act surprised.] Oh I had no idea. Ah Thank you, Merlin. I’ll be more careful next time.

[She walks away. Merlin looks after her with a concerned look on his face or one of suspicion.]

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[KING’S PALACE- ROYAL CHAMBERS]

[Gaius is looking Gwaine over. Merlin and Arthur are looking on.]

GAIUS: No broken bones, I’m glad to say.

ARTHUR: Anything else you remember?

GWAINE: Nothing. One minute I was pursuing them through the trees. The next I was flat on the ground.

ARTHUR: You’re sure it was sorcery?

GWAINE: Without a doubt. Powerful, too.

MERLIN: Morgana?

GWAINE: It’s possible. But why was she there?

MERLIN: Maybe she was meeting someone.

ARTHUR: Why would she come so close to the Citadel?

MERLIN: Maybe she had to. Maybe whoever she was meeting was here in Camelot.

[Gwaine and Gaius share a glance.]

ARTHUR: Well, until we have more to go on this is idle speculation. [He looks at Gaius and Merlin.] Gaius, Merlin- see what you can find in the woods. Perhaps there’s something we overlooked.

GWAINE: I’ll go with them. [He starts to stands up. Gaius stops him.]

GAIUS: You’ll do no such thing. You’ll rest, Gwaine. Physician’s orders.

[Gaius gets up and leaves as Merlin walks around the table. Gwen is watching through the glass outside in the hall. Arthur leaves. Merlin sits next to Gwaine.]

MERLIN: I don’t think this is over.

GWAINE: What do you mean?

MERLIN: Well, whoever’s responsible for the attack on Arthur’s life, what’s to stop them from trying again?

[Gwen is still outside listening the conversation between Gwaine and Merlin.]

GWAINE: They haven’t a chance, the Citadel’s on full alert. Every entrance, every exit’s being watched. Trust me, Arthur’s safe as long as he remains in Camelot.

MERLIN: That’s just it, what if he’s not safe here? What if Camelot’s the most dangerous place that he could be?  Who could have access to the stables, who could of known the layout of the cells? Who knew that Tyr would do anything to protect his mother? You need to stay close to Arthur, and do whatever you can to protect him.

GWAINE: You have my word on it, Merlin.

[They nod to each other and Merlin grabs Gaius’s bag and leaves.]

[FOREST]

[Morgana walks along a path to a hut that is in the middle of some trees. There is a man sitting at a desk. She opens the door and enters. He looks up to see who it is.

SINDRI: Who are you?

MORGANA: It matters not who I am, but what I want and whether you can give it to me.

SINDRI: And what is it that you want?

MORGANA: A tincture. With the power to kill. Not just to kill, but to do so slowly and with the utmost pain.

SINDRI: Very particular, what you seek.

MORGANA: It has a very particular purpose. [He looks up at her from a paper that he looking over.] Well? Do you possess such a thing?

SINDRI: I do. [He gets up and walks to a shelf that is next to her. He pulls two vials off the shelf.] Here.

MORGANA: What are they?

SINDRI: Valerian. Two drops will render the victim unconscious. And Henbane. A single drop administered through the ear. Their death will be as prolonged and as unpleasant as could wish for. [Morgana goes to reach for them.] Ah, these are…uncommon things. Hard to come by, hard to prepare…

[Morgana hands him some gold and takes the vials.]

SINDRI: [He counts the gold.] Very generous, my lady, more than enough to buy my wares. But not my silence.

[Morgana turns and tosses more coins on the floor. He bends down and picks up the coins.]

KING’S PALACE- ROYAL CHAMBERS]

[Arthur is sitting at the table thinking. Gwen stands a bit of a ways back. She walks toward him.]

GWEN: Arthur, are you all right?

ARTHUR: What if Merlin’s right? What if Morgana did attack the patrol?

GWEN: Morgana?

ARTHUR: She wants me dead. What better way of achieving that than conspiring with an ally with in Camelot? An ally who she couldn’t risk meeting within these walls?

GWEN: Who?

ARTHUR: Whoever killed Tyr.

GWEN: But that doesn’t make sense. If you’re the target, why kill Tyr?

ARTHUR: To protect their identity.

GWEN: Perhaps.

ARTHUR: Tyr’s killer had an intimate knowledge of the palace. Whoever they were, they must be known to me, and they must be here as we speak.

[Gwen comes to sit in the chair next to Arthur.]

GWEN: If what you say is true, they must be found quickly.

ARTHUR: And if they’re not and strike again?

GWEN: I will not let that happen. I would lay down my life to protect you. [She grabs his hand.] You’ll find them Arthur. You and I together.

---------------

[FOREST]

[Merlin and Gaius are looking in the woods to see if they can find anything. Merlin sees the vine that Gwen was touching before.]

MERLIN: Gaius! [Merlin looks at the vine when Gaius is closer. Gaius goes to examine it.]

GAIUS: Yes, that’s certainly not natural.

MERLIN: It was Morgana, I’m sure of it. [He walks off in the direction that Gwen went running to.]

GAIUS: Are you sure we’re in the right place?

[There’s a piece of cloth on a branch.]

MERLIN: Gwaine said he spotted them somewhere around here.

GAIUS: There. On that branch. [Gaius picks up the cloth.

MERLIN: It’s not much to go on, is it? [He takes the cloth from Gaius.]

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[KING’S PALACE- PHYSICIAN’S CHAMBERS]

[Gaius examines the cloth through a magnifying glass.]

GAIUS: Raw imported silk. Traders ask a small fortune for it. Whoever that belongs to is extremely wealthy. [Merlin takes the glass and cloth from Gaius. He looks at it.]

MERLIN: What is that? Some kind of embroidery?

GAIUS: Indeed. Woven threads of silver and gold. Only those of the highest rank can afford such a thing. [Merlin puts the magnifying glass down on the table. He looks at the cloth closer and recognizes it. He takes off running.] GAIUS: Merlin? Where are you going now? ---------------

[KING’S PALACE- ROYAL CHAMBERS]

[Merlin is looking through Gwen’s clothes trying to find the dress that matches the cloth. He pulls a dress off its hanger to look at it closer. He puts the cloth next to it, it doesn’t match. He sticks his head back in the wardrobe to look.]

ARTHUR: Merlin? [Merlin pulls back, turns around and sees Arthur.] Would you care to explain exactly what it is that you’re doing?

MERLIN: I was just checking for holes.

ARTHUR: Holes?

[Merlin puts his arm through one of the sleeves.]

ARTHUR: Yes. That’s where the hand goes.

MERLIN: Granted. But look… [He pulls his hand out and puts his other hand in the other sleeve.]

ARTHUR: Hm. That, I believe, is where the other hand goes.

MERLIN: Right. Yeah,  I’m just saying that you can’t be too careful. A lady’s modesty is at stake, after all.

[He pulls his arm out and puts the dress away.]

ARTHUR: Is it now? Merlin, I would strongly recommend that you start showing a little less interest in Guinevere’s clothing and a little more interest in mine.

[Arthur picks up the laundry basket and holds it out to Merlin. He can smell before he takes a hold of the basket.]

MERLIN: I think I prefer Gwen’s.

ARTHUR: I’m going to do everything in my power to try and forget that you ever just said that. [He shoves the basket in Merlin’s chest.] I suggest you do the same.

---------------

[KING’S PALACE- LOWER TOWN]

[Gwen is walking through the town. She nods to some knights that walk past her. She stops at a vendor that sells cloth. An old lady is standing there. Gwen touches one of the silk scarfs. The old lady turns around and grabs her hand. Gwen gasps then realizes that it’s Morgana.]

MORGANA: Just a few drops will ease your troubles, my dear. Do you understand?

[Some knights stop next to them and talk to a woman that is sitting in a chair.]

GWEN: Yes. [She glances at the knights.] Come on.

MORGANA: Are you prepared? Have you found someone to take the fall?

GWEN: Don’t worry. I have someone in mind.

[Morgana leaves.]

--------------

[KING’S PALACE- CORRIDOR]

[Merlin walks down the corridor to the kitchen to use the washing bin. He steps pass a knight. As he passes a door, Gwen steps through it behind him. They don’t see each other.]

[Gwen walks to the Royal Chambers.]

--------------

[KING’S PALACE- ROYAL CHAMBERS]

[Arthur is preparing to eat dinner. Gwen enters as the servant finishes pouring Arthur’s wine.]

ARTHUR: Guinevere. I was beginning to wonder where you were.

GWEN: Sorry, I had some business to attend to in town.

[The servant leaves.]

ARTHUR: I hope you have an appetite.

GWEN: Mmm. And a thirst.

[Arthur stands up to get the pitcher as she sits down. While his back is turned she pours some valerian in his drink.]

ARTHUR: What took you into town?

GWEN: Oh, just delivering supplies to those most in need.

[He pours her a drink.]

ARTHUR: Your kindness never ceases to amaze me.

[She takes a sip and stares at his goblet.]

----------

KING’S PALACE- KITCHENS]

[Merlin is washing Arthur’s clothes. He wrings a shirt out and then drops it back in the water. He throws another piece of laundry into the water. He goes to pick up a dumpling.]

AUDREY: Keep your grubby hands off my dumplings! [She smacks his hand with her spoon.][Merlin pulls out the rest of the clothes; the last piece is a silver dress. He drops the rest of the clothes back in the basket. He reaches for the piece of cloth that they found. He puts it next to the dress. It matches! He takes off running.]

---------------

[KING’S PALACE- ROYAL CHAMBERS]

[Arthur goes to take a sip of his wine and stops.]

ARTHUR: You know, now that I think of it, we never got to have our little celebration, did we?

GWEN: Yes, why was that?

ARTHUR: To us.

[They clink goblets. Arthur takes a sip of wine. He starts to feel the effect of the valerian. Gwen watches him.][Merlin runs down a corridor, opens a door and continues running.][Arthur starting to feel worse. He closes his eyes and slumps over in his chair. Gwen grabs the henbane and opens it. Merlin slides around the corner and still keeps on running. Gwen pours a drop of the henbane in Arthur’s ear. She recorks it and smirks.][Merlin runs up and bursts into the room, he sees Arthur slouched over and Gwen nowhere to be found.]

[Arthur is now on the bed. Gaius is examining him. Gwen stands on the other side of the bed facing Gaius with the knights and Merlin behind her.]

GAIUS: All the evidence suggests that the King has been poisoned.  

GWEN: You’re certain, Gaius?

GAIUS: Quite certain. The sweating, the corruption of the skin, the traces of tincture around the ear. They all point to the use of henbane.

GWEN: [Acting upset.] Is there no hope?

GAIUS: The poison is a deadly one, my lady. [Merlin watches like a hawk from behind a bedpost.]  There may be a way to arrest its course but I cannot guarantee it.

GWEN: One thing I know for certain. That whoever did this lives among us. Whoever did this has betrayed us all. [She turns to look at the knights then back again.] Someone who is free to roam the Citadel as they please, someone who has access to the King’s stables, [Merlin thinks he can tell where this is going.]  the King’s prison, even the King’s food. There is only one I know of… [She turns around and looks at him.] Merlin. [He stares at her.]

--------------

[KING’S PALACE- DUNGEONS]

[Merlin is thrown in a cell.]

--------------

[KING’S PALACE- STAIRCASE]

[Gwen is looking out the window. Gaius walks up behind her. She turns to look at him then back to the window faking being upset. Gaius can tell that Gwen is different.]

GWEN: How is Arthur?

GAIUS: There is no change.

[Gwen turns and walks down a step toward Gaius.]

GWEN: I know how you much feel-about Merlin. You must believe me when I say how sorry I am. But the evidence against him is overwhelming.

GAIUS: You did what you had to do, Guinevere. You had no choice. I understand that.

GWEN: Thank you. Is there no hope, Gaius? None at all?

GAIUS: I will not lie to you. Arthur’s time is nearly upon him. But until the King draws his last breath, there is always hope.  [He leaves. Gwen turns back to the window. When Gaius is gone she smiles.]

-------------------

[KING’S PALACE- DUNGEONS]

[Gaius visits Merlin.]

GAIUS: You were right, Merlin. Whatever Morgana did in the Dark Tower, she’s taken control over Gwen and used her to get to Arthur.

MERLIN: Can you save him?

GAIUS: The poison is too strong, too virulent. [A door opens somewhere.] Your magic is his only hope.

MERLIN: You need to get me out of here somehow.

---------------------

[KING’S PALACE- ROYAL CHAMBERS]

[Gwen is sitting next to the bed. Sir Leon is standing behind her.]

GWEN: You promised you’d never leave me, Arthur. You promised. He’s our strength, our heart. How can I live without him? How can any of us live without him?

LEON: Because we must. [He steps toward her and sits in another chair beside her.] My lady. If Arthur is to die we will lose more than that. The kingdom will lose its King.

GWEN: While Arthur lives, there is still a King of Camelot.

LEON: But when the time comes, and it…and it will surely come soon, we need to be prepared. If we do not have a leader and a guide…Camelot and all the kingdom will be vulnerable. Everything Arthur worked so hard to achieve will be threatened.

GWEN: But who could wear his crown? He has no family to succeed him. And who among us is…worthy of such a thing?

LEON: You are, my lady.

[Gwen turns to look at him.]

GWEN: Me?

LEON: You are as close to family as Arthur has. No one can deny your wisdom, your compassion and your loyalty. I am certain that were Arthur able to this decision, he would choose you. 

GWEN: I don’t know what to say.

LEON: I realize that this is a great responsibility, but you will not be alone. I guarantee you, myself and all the knights will stand by you. Now and forever.

GWEN: Thank you, Leon. I am lucky indeed to have such friends. [She puts her hand over his. Gwen turns back to looking at Arthur. She smirks.]

-------------

[KING’S PALACE- DUNGEONS]

[Gaius lowers a potion ties to a string into Merlin’s cell. Merlin sees it and stands up. He looks at it and gives a small laugh. He looks up at Gaius and takes the potion with a grin. There are two guards playing dice when Old Merlin walks up. They stand and draw their swords when they see him.]

GUARD 1: Who are you?

OLD MERLIN: What kind of a damn fool question is that? I am who I am and I am who I was and I am who I will always be.

GUARD1: That’s no answer.

OLD MERLIN: What other answer is there? It’s the only answer worth giving.

GUARD1: What are you doing here?

OLD MERLIN: Incredible. You follow one idiot question with another. [He points toward the cells.] I’m visiting the cells, as you perfectly well know.

GUARD1: No, you’re not. Not unless we say so, you’re not.

OLD MERLIN: But you already said so. Only ten minutes ago you said so. You said so and I do so!

GUARD1: No, we didn’t.

OLD MERLIN: What on earth is wrong with you? Something interesting in your tea, is there? It’s hardly any wonder your prisoners are being murdered if you can’t even remember who you’re letting in and who you’re letting out. You let me in! And I thank you for that. And now, apparently I have to let myself out. Ah! Goodbye!

[Old Merlin leaves and the guards look at each other.]

--------------

[KING’S PALACE- KITCHENS]

[Merlin tries to find somewhere to take the potion to turn himself young again. Just as he about to drink the potion Audrey catches him.]

AUDREY: You! What are you doing in my kitchen?

OLD MERLIN: Nothing.

AUDREY: Nothing means mischief in my book.

OLD MERLIN: Well you’ve been reading the wrong book.

AUDREY: And mischief means theft.

OLD MERLIN: No, it doesn’t.

AUDREY: And theft means my pies!

OLD MERLIN: Your pies? Why on earth would anyone want to steal your godforsaken pies?

AUDREY: My pies are the talk of Camelot.

OLD MERLIN: Oh yes, indeed they are. The crust like rusted iron, a filling like last year’s horse dung, and the smell, oh yes, just like the guardhouses latrine!

AUDREY: Nobody insults my pies and gets away with it!

OLD MERLIN: Oh I’m sorry, should I speak instead of your poisonous flans? Like vomit, curding in the noon day sun. Or your dumplings! The king himself likened them to freshly lain frogspawn, wrapped in a pig snot.

AUDREY: What would you know about the king and my dumplings?

OLD MERLIN: Oh good grief. [He knocks her out with a pan using his magic.] Should have done that years ago. [He steps over her and leaves. He takes the potion while walking down a corridor. Merlin sees two guards outside of a door. He makes a candle holder on the wall loose. The guards start to go to investigate. Gwaine and some other knights come from the other end of the corridor, they see Merlin’s shadow.]

GWAINE: You there!

[Merlin takes off running. Gwaine and the others follow.]

KNIGHT: You! Halt!

[Merlin goes down a dark corridor. Gwaine follows, Mordred grabs a torch from its holder and follows. Merlin goes down the staircase.]

KNIGHT: There! This way!

[Merlin goes out the door to the main square and slams the door behind him. He goes down the stairs and jumps over the side and hides.] [Gwaine, Mordred and other guards come out.]

GWAINE: He’s gone. We’ve lost him!

MORDRED: Inform the men we have an intruder. Put the Citadel on high alert. [He makes a gesture for one of the men to leave. Warning bells sound. Guards start searching and shout orders to each other. Merlin watches from his hiding place. Leon runs across the square and stops in the middle, still in Merlin’s sight. Mordred and Percival join him. Merlin looks at the Royal Chamber’s window, knowing that that is the only way in.]

MERLIN: Faerblaed waw! [All the fires go out. The knights look around at each other.]

PERCIVAL: That was no wind. That was sorcery.

LEON: Light the braziers. Search the courtyard.

[Merlin is scaling the wall to the chambers.]

---------------

[KING’S PALACE- ROYAL CHAMBERS]

[Merlin quietly opens the window and climbs in, closing it behind him. Gwaine enters the room.]

GWAINE: Are you all right?

GWEN: Yes.

GWAINE: You haven’t seen anything? Heard anything?

GWEN: Nothing. Why?

GWAINE: There’s an intruder within our walls.

GWEN: Here? In the Citadel?

GWAINE: Yes, my lady. We last saw them in the Main Square, then we lost sight of them.

[Gaius looks behind him at the curtains.]

GAIUS: My lady, you may be in danger. Gwaine will take you to the guest chambers. He’ll ensure no harm comes to you there.

GWEN: Why would anyone wish me harm? [Merlin stands up behind the curtain.]

GAIUS: You’re to be our leader, Gwen. You are Camelot’s future. Do you imagine our enemies don’t want you dead?

GWEN: I can’t leave Arthur, not now.

GAIUS: Gwen, I promise, if there is any change. I’ll fetch you at once. [Merlin peeks around at Arthur.]

GWAINE: Gaius is right. Come, my lady. You’re not safe here. [Gwaine and Gwen leave the room. Gaius turns towards the curtains.]

GAIUS: How on earth did you get in here? [Merlin pushes the curtain aside.]

MERLIN: Don’t even ask. [He makes his way to the bed.] How is he?

GAIUS: His heart is nearly stopped. I fear he’s close to death.

[Merlin puts his hand on Arthur’s chest.]

MERLIN: The sickness is so deep in him. I don’t know if I have the power to bring him back.

GAIUS: You can do this, Merlin.

[Merlin straightens up, wipes his face and takes a few breaths. He places his hands on Arthur’s chest.]

MERLIN: Ic the thurhaele thinu licsar mid thamsundorcraeft thaere ealdan ae!

[Merlin backs away so Gaius can step forward to check Arthur. Gaius feels for a pulse. He turns to look at Merlin. Merlin starts to cry. Arthur moves and makes a face and mumbles.]

ARTHUR: Gaius… [Arthur rolls over.][Merlin breathes a sigh of relief.]

GAIUS: Merlin…Well done, Merlin! [Gaius gives him a hug.] Well done. You’d better get back to the cells before you’re missed.

MERLIN: There are guards on every floor and every stairwell. How can I get back down there?

GAIUS: Well the same way you came up, obviously.

MERLIN: Obviously. [Merlin turns toward the window and Gaius makes a shoo motion. Merlin opens the window.]

---------------

[KING’S PALACE-DUNGEONS]

[Merlin’s door opens. He’s asleep on the bed. Gaius and Gwaine are standing there.]

GAIUS: Morning, Merlin. [Merlin looks up at them.]

GWAINE: If you’ve got a moment, the King would like a word.

[Merlin scratches his head and smiles.]

------------------

[KING’S PALACE- ROYAL CHAMBERS]

[Arthur is sitting at the table reading a piece of paper. Someone knocks on the door that is already open and Merlin steps into the room.]

ARTHUR: Merlin! This is one of the two…possibly three moments in my life where I’ve actually been glad to see you.

MERLIN: That’s my thoughts exactly, Sire. How’re you feeling?

ARTHUR: Like death. Well, death warmed up, at least.

MERLIN: I can imagine.

ARTHUR: Hm. Well it seems like we’ve both been through something of an ordeal. [He gestures toward to the chair.]

MERLIN: It wasn’t so bad, really. Once you get use to the eternal night and the rats, and the moldy pillows, [Merlin sits down.] living with a bucket of your own…

ARTHUR: Merlin. I’m sorry about what happened to you. Truly. Soon as I heard, I told them it couldn’t have been you who poisoned me. I had the cook confirm your alibi.

MERLIN: Thank you.

ARTHUR: I also told them you simply weren’t bright enough to organize an assassination attempt.

MERLIN: That’s very thoughtful.

ARTHUR: You’re welcome. 

MERLIN: Arthur…

ARTHUR: Hmm

MERLIN: There is something I need to talk to you about.

ARTHUR: Sorry, Merlin, another time. They’re waiting for me in the council chambers. [Arthur gets up and walks to the door.] Thanks to Guinevere, some new evidence has to come to light. [He leaves. Merlin wonders what it could be.]

---------------

[KING’S PALACE- COUNCIL CHAMBERS]

[Arthur stands before the people. Gwen at his left hand, and Merlin to the right next to a column. Sindri stands before him.]

ARTHUR: The Queen found these vials in my chambers. They bear, as you can see a distinctive mark. Thanks to her tireless effort, she has been able to trace them. [Arthur walks toward Sindri and holds the vial up in front of him.] This is your mark, is it not?

SINDRI: It is my mark, yes.

ARTHUR: And what does this vial contain?

SINDRI: It…it’s valerian, sire.  

ARTHUR: What does it do?

SINDRI: It renders the subject unconscious.

ARTHUR: [He holds up the second vial.] This one?

SINDRI: Henbane. It’s poison, my lord.

ARTHUR: A lethal poison. And it is only thanks to the great skill of my physician that I am still alive.

SINDRI: I’m sorry, my lord. I…I supplied it, I must confess. But I did not know that it was intended for you. In truth, I was..um.. was too afraid to ask.

ARTHUR: Too afraid to ask who?

SINDRI: She who…procured it.

ARTHUR: And did you recognize this woman?

SINDRI: Well, I cannot say for certain but I believed it to be Morgana Pendragon.  

[Arthur nods and the guards take him away. Arthur walks back to the throne.]

ARTHUR: Because of the Queen’s diligence, the truth has been uncovered. [Arthur takes Gwen’s hand and leads her forward.] Each and every one of us owes her a great debt. Long live the Queen.

[Gwen stands in front of room smiling while everyone shouts. She turns in a circle and nods her head a few times.]

ALL: Long live the Queen! Long live the Queen! Long live the Queen! Long live the Queen! Long live the Queen!

[She looks at Merlin. He stares at her showing nothing.

ALL: Long live the Queen! Long live the Queen! Long live the Queen…

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