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KILGHARRAH
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.


--
[EXT. KING’S PALACE, BATTLEMENTS – DAY]
[Arthur and Uther watch from the battlements as kings arrive with their entourages.]

ARTHUR
Father, we're not going into battle, you don't have to look so somber.

UTHER
Never before have the rulers of the five kingdoms come together in this way. Never before have we all worked towards the same aim, towards peace. If these talks are successful, Camelot will enter a new era of prosperity. If they fail, we will almost certainly be at war.


--
[EXT. KING’S PALACE, MAIN SQUARE – DAY]
[Alined drops his cloak on the ground as he dismounts in the Square.]

KING ALINED
Boy! Is it too much to ask that you might anticipate my needs?

TRICKLER
No, Master. I was just...

KING ALINED
Stop whinging.

TRICKLER
Sorry, Master.

UTHER
Alined, you are most welcome on this momentous occasion.

[They grasp arms.]

KING ALINED
Momentous? Let us hope so.

OPENING CREDITS


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, ALINED’S GUEST CHAMBERS – DAY]
[Alined watching Olaf's party arrive in the Square from his guest quarters.]

KING ALINED
Uther may think that we are gathered here for peace, but that is far from my mind.

TRICKLER
Am I to take it that Lady Vivian is part of our plan? She is very lovely.

KING ALINED
Don't let her father hear you say that. Not if you value your head.

TRICKLER
Oh, indeed, I do. It is my prettiest feature.

KING ALINED
Olaf is the most overprotective buffoon I've ever met. It would surely end the peace talks if anyone were to lay a finger on her.

TRICKLER
But nobody in their right mind would... do that.

KING ALINED
But Arthur won't be in his right mind, will he?


--
[EXT. KING’S PALACE, MAIN SQUARE – DAY]
[Olaf approaches Uther.]

KING OLAF
What kind of welcome is this? You have us hanging around like the last swallows of summer.

UTHER
You are welcome, indeed, Olaf.

KING OLAF
May I present my daughter, the Lady Vivian.

UTHER
Lady Vivian. How like your mother you are.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, VIVIAN’S GUEST CHAMBERS – DAY]
[Arthur escorts Vivian to her guest chambers.]

ARTHUR
I hope everything is to your satisfaction.

LADY VIVIAN
It is... adequate.

ARTHUR
Most of our guests are extremely happy here. I'm sure you will be, too.

LADY VIVIAN
Hm. I am not most of your guests.

ARTHUR
In...deed.


[Gwen enters.]

ARTHUR
Well, er, may I present Guinevere. She'll be looking after you for the duration of your stay. You'll want for nothing. She is truly one of Camelot's finest.

LADY VIVIAN (giggle)
Then I fear for Camelot.

[Arthur and Gwen look shocked at Vivians rudeness]
--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, OUTSIDE VIVIAN’S GUEST CHAMBERS – DAY]
[Arthur and Gwen pause as they exit and close the door behind them. They look at each other and laugh.]

ARTHUR
Good luck with that one.

GWEN
Mmm.


[Arthur stares at her for a bit before she notices. Arthur remembers himself and starts to leave.]

ARTHUR
I need to prepare for the feast.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS – NIGHT]
[Merlin's brushes down Arthur's jacket while Arthur dresses behind a screen.]

ARTHUR
Merlin, what kind of impression do you think this gives?


[Arthur wiggles his thumb through a hole in his sleeve.]

MERLIN
That we have moths?

ARTHUR
Fetch me another.

MERLIN
And who might you be trying to impress, Sire?

ARTHUR
Well, let me see. Perhaps the five kings sitting in the banquet hall below.

MERLIN
Oh. Not the King's daughter, then? The Lady Vivian, she is very beautiful.

ARTHUR
Anyone trying to impress the Lady Vivian does so at extreme peril. Olaf'd have their head in a vat of hot oil before they'd have a chance to say hello. Besides, she's not my type. She may be beautiful, but she's incredibly rude. You should've heard what she said to Gwen.

MERLIN
Anyone insulting Gwen should do so at extreme peril.

ARTHUR
What?

MERLIN
Nothing. I just know how you feel about her, that's all. That is, if your feelings haven't changed, as I presume they haven't.

ARTHUR
I do have my own vat of hot oil, you know.

MERLIN (laughs)
You're blushing!

ARTHUR
No I'm not.

MERLIN
What's wrong with Gwen?

ARTHUR
Nothing.

MERLIN
I think she's very worthy of your love.

ARTHUR
Indeed, were it so.

MERLIN
Which...it is.

ARTHUR
Merlin.

MERLIN
Yes, Arthur?

ARTHUR
Get out.

MERLIN
Yes, Sire.


[Merlin smiles and leaves.]


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, BANQUET HALL – NIGHT]
[Trickler breathes fire.]

TRICKLER
But it is not enough to please just the gentlemen of the court. Now I have a spectacle for the ladies.


[Trickler produces butterflies out of nowhere.]

UTHER
It is skill, indeed.

KING ALINED
We aim to please.

TRICKLER (gasp)
But what is this? Lady Vivian.


[Trickler puts his hand by her ear and pulls it back to reveal a butterfly on his hand.]

TRICKLER
It has mistaken you for a beautiful flower.


[Trickler looks down at his hand, revealing that he's taken a lock of her hair.]


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, ALINED’S GUEST CHAMBERS – DAY]
[Trickler creates a potion with Vivian's hair.]

TRICKLER
... læfe he híe þonne he áwæcaþ. Biþ his hyht þæt he her seón mote ána oftíe þonne ealle mán.

KING ALINED
Sleep well, Prince Arthur. When you wake, may your thoughts be only of Vivian.


[Trickler sneaks into Arthur's Chambers and pours eye drops on him while he sleeps.]

TRICKLER
Héo hæfþ þín heorte.


[Trickler places Vivian's lock of hair under Arthur's pillow.]

TRICKLER
Sweet dreams.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS – DAY]
[Arthur stares out his window at Lady Vivian scolding a servant in the Square.]

MERLIN
Good morning, Sire!

ARTHUR
Never have you been more right, Merlin. It is the sunniest, the most fragrant, the most beautiful morning I've ever seen in my life.

MERLIN
You're dressed.

ARTHUR
I am the future King of Camelot, I do have some skills, you know.

MERLIN
Indeed, you are very skilled at getting people to do things for you.

ARTHUR
That is your job. But today my job is to woo.

MERLIN
To what?

ARTHUR
To woo. I wish to make a proclamation of love.

MERLIN
Really? I thought you wanted to keep your feelings secret?

ARTHUR
Why would I want to do that? By the end of today I will have won my lady.

MERLIN
Right. Well, what will you tell your father?

ARTHUR
What does my father matter?

MERLIN
Well, that's one way of approaching things.

ARTHUR
So, I need your help in expressing my feelings.

MERLIN
Of course.


[Arthur waits for Merlin to say something. Merlin waits uncertainly for Arthur to explain.]

ARTHUR
How to express my feelings.

MERLIN
Oh, I see. Erm. Feelings.

ARTHUR
Feelings.

MERLIN
Girls.

ARTHUR
Girls.

MERLIN
Flowers?

ARTHUR
Excellent. Find some. Perhaps you should also send a note.

MERLIN
Brilliant idea.

ARTHUR
Something moving. Something from the heart. Something...you'll think of something.


--
[EXT/INT. GWEN’S HOUSE – DAY]
[Merlin approaches Gwen's door with flowers and knocks before going in.]

MERLIN
Gwen? Gwen?


[Gwen isn't home, so Merlin places flowers on the table and remembers to pull out the note.]

MERLIN
"The barriers that keep us apart are nothing compared to the power of true love. - Arthur"


[Merlin mulls over his own brilliance before placing the note carefully next to the flowers.]


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER OF DOOM – DAY]
[The kings gather for peace talks.]

UTHER
Your demands are noted and will be taken into consideration in due course. In the meantime, is there anyone else who has any other comments about the northern territories?


[Merlin enters and gets Arthur's attention.]

KING OLAF
Well, may I just point out that...


--
[EXT. KING’S PALACE, COURTYARD CORRIDOR – DAY]
[Arthur talks with Merlin.]

ARTHUR
Did you do it?

MERLIN
I left them in her room. I thought that was better than a public display.

ARTHUR
You're sure she got them?

MERLIN
I'm sure she will get them.

ARTHUR
Good. All we can do now is wait.


[Arthur sees Gwen and Vivian walking down the other end of the corridor.]

ARTHUR
Oh, but heaven has blessed me. She's even more beautiful than before, don't you agree?

MERLIN
Yeah. Erm...I'm surprised to hear you talk so openly.

ARTHUR
Nonsense. I want to tell the world. I want to shout it across the kingdom.

MERLIN
Are you sure that's a good idea? I understand your feelings, but other people may object.

ARTHUR
Object? To what?

MERLIN
Well, you're the future King of Camelot and she's just a lowly serving girl. Albeit, a very nice serving girl...


[Arthur slaps Merlin.]

MERLIN
Ah!

ARTHUR
Lady Vivian's of royal blood, a future queen. I will have your head if I hear such insolence again.


[Arthur storms off.]

MERLIN
Lady Vivian... Oh, no!


--
[INT. GWEN’S HOUSE – DAY]
[Merlin bursts in. Gwen quickly covers up the note she's reading, the flowers are in a vase.]

GWEN
Merlin, can't you knock?

MERLIN
Rats.

GWEN
What?

MERLIN
Big. Hairy. Sharp teeth. Er...yeah, definitely under here.


[Merlin ducks under the table. Gwen peeks under the table.]

GWEN
Are you feeling alright?

MERLIN
Me? Never better. You?

GWEN
I'm having a very surprising day.

MERLIN
Really?

GWEN
You know one of those occasions when you've lost all hope and then, out of the blue, something happens to restore your faith?

MERLIN
Sort of.

GWEN
Well, that's what's happened to me today.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN'S CHAMBERS – NIGHT]

MERLIN
I may have caused a problem. Although it wasn't entirely my doing.

GAIUS
What now, Merlin?

MERLIN
Arthur's in love.

GAIUS
And how did you cause that?

MERLIN
That bit isn't my fault, the other bit is. Oh, I can't tell you about that bit.

GAIUS
Clear as mud.

MERLIN
Arthur's completely besotted, he can't concentrate on anything. All he thinks about, all he talks about is...is the Lady Vivian.

GAIUS
The Lady Vivian? How could that have happened so suddenly?

MERLIN
I don't know. Something doesn't feel right. Only yesterday he dismissed her as rude.

GAIUS
If Arthur professes his love for Vivian, Olaf will be furious. Surely, Arthur knows that?


[Merlin sighs and nods.]

MERLIN
See, he said it was his job to woo his lady by the end of the day.

GAIUS
And it's your job to stop him.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, VIVIAN’S GUEST CHAMBERS – NIGHT]
[Arthur stands outside with a platter and a rose. He takes a breath before knocking.]

LADY VIVIAN
Who is it?

ARTHUR
It is destiny, my love! Destiny and chicken!


[Vivian opens the door.]

ARTHUR
What a beautiful combination, eh?


[Vivian closes the door in his face and begins to walk away. Arthur opens the door.]

ARTHUR
The beans are a little cold, but the meat is very good.

LADY VIVIAN
Go away.

ARTHUR
My love, I do not know what I've done to offend you.

LADY VIVIAN
Your love?! Not now, nor ever!

ARTHUR
Come now.

LADY VIVIAN
My father will kill you if he finds you here.

ARTHUR
Your father does not worry me.

LADY VIVIAN
You won't be saying that when he's running at you with a knife in his hand. I've seen it before.

ARTHUR
Really?

LADY VIVIAN
Yes.


[She shuts the doors again.]

ARTHUR
Just five minutes! *knocks*

MERLIN
My Lord, I don't think your advances are welcome.

LADY VIVIAN (muffled)
Go away! And take your chicken with you!

ARTHUR
Don't know what gives you that impression.


[Arthur shoves the tray at Merlin. Trickler sees them leave.]


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, ALINED’S GUEST CHAMBERS – NIGHT]
[Alined pounds the table with his fists.]

KING ALINED
Diet?! Every woman in the land is attracted to this boy! I'm almost attracted to him myself.


[Trickler giggles, but stops when he sees Alined’s expression.]

TRICKLER
Oh. Not Lady Vivian, My Lord.

KING ALINED
We have until the end of tomorrow to scupper these talks. I need war. Do you understand?

TRICKLER
Oh, oh, yes, I do. I do.

KING ALINED
Peace will make me poor, and you know what happens to poor kings. They can't afford castles, or knights, or jesters.

TRICKLER
Oh, but Master...

KING ALINED
Enough. There will be time for snivelling when the axe is over your head. Now there is work to be done.

TRICKLER
Yes. Yes.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS – NIGHT]
[Arthur sulks in bed.]

ARTHUR
Go on, Merlin. Say it.

MERLIN
What?

ARTHUR
You do not think I should pursue my love.

MERLIN
Well, seeing as you asked, I think a number of things stand in the way of a happy union between you and the Lady Vivian. Her bloodthirsty father, for one.

ARTHUR
Her complete lack of interest for another.

MERLIN
Might it be worthwhile returning to your old love? Although, I have my reservations about that as well.

ARTHUR
What are you talking about, Merlin? I don't have an old love.


[Arthur finds Vivian's hair under his pillow.]

ARTHUR
What on earth? You really need to start paying attention to the details.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN’S CHAMBERS – NIGHT]
[Gaius inspects the lock of hair.]

MERLIN
I knew something wasn't right.

GAIUS
Arthur's enchanted.

MERLIN
I should have realised he had magic. No one can make butterflies appear from thin air.

GAIUS
Trickler?

MERLIN
Why would he want Arthur to fall in love with Vivian?

GAIUS
An advance by Arthur would be a sure-fire way to ruin the peace conference. Maybe Alined wants war.

MERLIN
Without creating it himself.

GAIUS
It's the sort of cowardly behaviour you would expect from him. Cowardly, but clever.

MERLIN
We need to find a way of turning Arthur back to normal.

GAIUS
Before it's too late.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS – NIGHT]
[Trickler takes a scissors to Arthur's hair. Arthur turns in his sleep, cradling Trickler's arm.]

ARTHUR
Mmm. Lady Vivian, my love.


[Trickler mouths "my love, Vivian" and rolls his eyes while extracting his arm. Trickler places lock of Arthur's under Vivian's pillow and pours a drop of potion into her eye.]


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN’S CHAMBERS – DAY]
[Merlin sleeps on a pile of books.]

GAIUS
Breakfast.

MERLIN
There are over 636 love spells in these books, and over 150 of them involve a lock of hair.

GAIUS
Is there no way we can narrow them down a bit?

MERLIN
I have. Look. If I choose this one and it's wrong, Arthur will end up as a toad. And if this one's wrong, Vivian will lose all her hair.

GAIUS
Olaf might not declare war for that, but she certainly would.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, CORRIDOR – DAY]
[Trickler watches Gwen walking down the corridor with a breakfast tray.]

TRICKLER
Flíeh hrǽgl.


[The rug pulls out from under Gwen. She trips and squeals as the tray goes flying.]

TRICKLER
Oops.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, VIVIAN’S GUEST CHAMBERS – DAY]
[Vivian opens her door and Trickler presents her with a food platter.]

TRICKLER
Gwen has been detained. I thought you might appreciate breakfast.

LADY VIVIAN
Oh, thank you. How kind. I'm so happy this morning, I could almost forget to eat. Oh, well that looks wonderful. Really wonderful.

TRICKLER
Pray, My Lady. What has caused such happiness?

LADY VIVIAN
I cannot tell, so do not ask.

TRICKLER
Intriguing. You know, another meaning of jester is "keeper of secrets."

LADY VIVIAN
Really?

TRICKLER
No. (giggle)

LADY VIVIAN (giggle)
Oh, Trickler, you mustn't tell. Not a soul. Especially not my father.

TRICKLER
Go on.

LADY VIVIAN
I am in love! (giggle)

TRICKLER (gasp)
How wonderful! With me?


[Vivian giggles for a moment, then grimaces at the thought.]

LADY VIVIAN
Ugh. With a man more courageous than a lion, stronger than an ox, and so perfectly formed it is as if he has been sculpted by the gods themselves.

TRICKLER
But it must be me.

LADY VIVIAN
Oh, just to speak his name brings me pleasure, indeed! *giggle*

TRICKLER
Then speak it you should.

LADY VIVIAN
Arthur. (giggle) There, I've said it! My heart belongs to Arthur!

TRICKLER
Excellent.

LADY VIVIAN (giggle)
In fact, I'm gonna tell him now.

TRICKLER
Oh, a brilliant idea!

LADY VIVIAN
Where is Gwen? I must dress.

TRICKLER
But you look so beautiful, My Lady.


[He turns her towards the mirror.]

TRICKLER
How could he refuse you like this?

LADY VIVIAN
In my nightgown?

TRICKLER
Why not?


[Vivian turns and puffs out her chest.]

LADY VIVIAN
Hm.


--
[EXT. KING’S PALACE, MAIN SQUARE – DAY]
[Gwen walks past Arthur. He pets his horse absentmindedly while he mopes.]

GWEN
What is it, Arthur? You look like you have something on your mind.

ARTHUR (sigh)
You read me like a book. I've made a fool of myself, that's all. That's everything.

GWEN
I'm that is not true.

ARTHUR
You have a good heart, Guinevere, but I'm afraid it is. I have made a gesture, but it was not well received.

GWEN
You sure?

ARTHUR
Pretty sure.

GWEN
Then you are wrong.

ARTHUR
You are very close to the lady in question.


[Gwen lets out a puff of laughter.]

GWEN
Your token was much appreciated. But the situation is delicate, and it is not always easy to express what is really in one's heart.

ARTHUR
You think there's hope?

GWEN
There is always hope.

ARTHUR
If only I had some way of knowing.

GWEN
Indeed, My Lord.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS – DAY]
[Someone knocks on Arthur's door. Merlin answers.]

LADY VIVIAN
I wish to see Arthur. Your master. My Lord.

MERLIN
Your what?

LADY VIVIAN
My heart's delight.

MERLIN
Oh, no.

LADY VIVIAN
Where is he?

MERLIN
He's not here, which is a very good thing, I believe!

LADY VIVIAN
Then I shall wait.

MERLIN
I don't think that's a good idea. You...You're not even dressed.

LADY VIVIAN
My love does not care what I wear, only that I am near. Now fetch him.

MERLIN
I cannot.

LADY VIVIAN
You will.

MERLIN
Shan't.

LADY VIVIAN
As he commands you, I command you!

MERLIN
I am asking you to leave.

LADY VIVIAN
I want my love. I need my love. I want to see him now.


[Vivian climbs onto Arthur's bed, smells his pillow, and buries her face in his sheets.]


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER OF DOOM – DAY]

UTHER
Moving on to our final point for discussion...


[Trickler whispers to a servant by the door, who goes to Olaf.]

UTHER
The boundaries of the eastern territories.

KING OLAF
This is a point that I am willing to concede.

UTHER
Well, that is very good news.

SERVANT (whisper)

Excuse me, Sire.

KING OLAF (to Uther) One moment.

SERVANT
I heard your daughter is...

KING OLAF
WHAT!


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS – DAY]
[Lady Vivian arranges herself on Arthur's bed.]

KING OLAF(distant)
Where is he?!

MERLIN
What's that?


[Merlin peeks out into the corridor and sees Arthur coming.]

MERLIN
Oh, no.


[Merlin looks the other way and sees Olaf coming.]

MERLIN
Oh, no!


[Merlin ducks back inside and runs to Vivian.]

MERLIN
OK, you need to go!

LADY VIVIAN
You cannot keep us apart. It's written in the stars. Vivian and Arthur. A love for all time. A love stronger than time. A love...

MERLIN
Stop! Swefe nu!


[Vivian is knocked out. Arthur enters just as Merlin closes the wardrobe.]

ARTHUR
Why are you hanging around with a bad smell? It's me who needs to bathe. I'm not going to win my love stinking like an old kipper.

MERLIN
No, My Lord.

KING OLAF
Where is he?! I know she's in here, Arthur! Hand her over! Or feel my wrath!

ARTHUR
What's he talking about?

TRICKLER
She wasn't even dressed.

ARTHUR
If I have dishonoured you in some way, then, by all means, provide me with proof and I'll face the consequences.

KING OLAF
Trickler here has told me that the Lady Vivian is in your chambers.

ARTHUR
If only that were true.


[Olaf grabs the front of Arthur's shirt with both hands.]

MERLIN
If only that were true you would not look so foolish.


[Olaf lets him go.]

KING OLAF
Search the room! You better hope I don't find her.

MERLIN
Behæpse fæst.


[The wardrobe door locks. Trickler goes to it and tries to open it.]

MERLIN
That hasn't opened in years.


[Olaf grabs Trickler.]

KING OLAF
You buffoon! You made an idiot out of me!


[Olaf shoves Trickler who scurries out of the room. Olaf turns to Arthur.]

KING OLAF
I am, er, so terribly sorry, Arthur, to have disturbed you. I...I do hope that you will forgive me.


[Arthur waves at the apology.]

KING OLAF
Check on the Lady Vivian! And remain outside her room!


[Olaf and guards exit.]

ARTHUR
If only the Lady Vivian were in my room. How delightful that would be. Eh, Merlin? Merlin? Merlin?


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, VIVIAN’S GUEST CHAMBERS – DAY]
[Merlin flops Vivian onto her own guest bed.]


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, ALINED’S GUEST CHAMBERS – DAY]
[Trickler reports to Alined.]

TRICKLER
It's that meddlesome Merlin. He's onto us, My Lord. There was nothing I could do. You-you-you do understand, Master? Say you forgive your boy.

KING ALINED
You have a matter of hours before the peace treaty is signed.

TRICKLER
Th--th--that is time enough, Master. Time enough.

KING ALINED
It's less time than you've had already, and you haven't managed it so far.

TRICKLER
But the enchantment is strong, My Lord. Sooner or later, the two will be drawn together.


[Alined grabs Trickler's face.]

KING ALINED
For the sake of your prettiest feature, you had better believe that to be the case.

-- [INT. KING’S PALACE, ARTHUR’S CORRIDOR – DAY] [Gwen slips a note under Arthur's door and leaves with a smile.]


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER OF DOOM – NIGHT]

UTHER
This is, indeed, a momentous day for the five kingdoms. This peace treaty's been long in the making, but I know you must all be keen to return to your families, so we will make preparation for the signing ceremony immediately. I am pleased, friends. Very pleased.

KING ALINED
As are we all.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN’S CHAMBERS – NIGHT]
[Merlin snaps a book shut.]

MERLIN
That's it! I've got it!

GAIUS
Are you sure? You're not going to turn Arthur into a hunchback camel or a horny-eyed toad?

MERLIN
I'll, er, save that for another day.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS – NIGHT]
[Arthur opens Gwen's note in his chambers.]

ARTHUR
"A second chance. Sunset. I'll await your presence."


--
[INT. GWEN’S HOUSE – NIGHT]
[Gwen prepares for Arthur's visit.]


--
[INT/EXT. KING’S PALACE, CORRIDOR/MAIN SQUARE/VIVIAN’S GUEST CHAMBERS – NIGHT]
[Arthur walks down the Red Ribbon Corridor with a rose, sees guards, hides the rose, and looks for another way to sneak into Vivian's chambers. Ends up scaling the wall in the Square and falling in through the window with the mangled red rose in his mouth.]

ARTHUR (sigh)
At last.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS – DAY]
[Merlin searches the palace. He pokes his head in Arthur chambers.]

MERLIN
Arthur? Arthur!


--
[INT. GWEN’S HOUSE – NIGHT]
[Gwen waits for Arthur.]


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, BANQUET HALL – NIGHT]
[The kings and court wait for Arthur at the treaty signing in the Hall of Ceremonies.]

KNIGHT (to Uther)
I cannot find Arthur.

KING ALINED
Is there a problem Uther?

UTHER
No, not at all. Arthur's just running a little late, that's all.

KING ALINED
As is the Lady Vivian.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, VIVIAN’S GUEST CHAMBERS – NIGHT]
[Arthur sits next to Vivian as she wakes.]

LADY VIVIAN
My love!

ARTHUR
Always. Forever.


[They launch at each other, kissing furiously. Merlin runs in.]

MERLIN
Abuge áglǽccræft.


[Nothing happens.]

MERLIN
Abuge áglǽccræft.


[Nothing happens.]

MERLIN
Abuge áglǽccræft.


[Nothing happens. Olaf storms in followed by Alined, Uther, and Trickler.]

KING OLAF
I knew it!

MERLIN
I don't believe it.

LADY VIVIAN
Father! We've got something to tell you.

UTHER
Arthur!


[Olaf throws his glove at the foot of the bed.]

LADY VIVIAN
Father!

KING OLAF
You once said that if you ever truly offended my honour, then you would happily pay the price. What say you now, Prince Arthur?

ARTHUR
How have I offended your honour? Surely not with my love alone?!

KING OLAF
Love?! You don't know the first thing about love! You're taking advantage of an innocent girl!

LADY VIVIAN
Father.

UTHER
Arthur!

ARTHUR
I assure you, my feelings for your daughter are as real as they are strong.

KING OLAF
Unhand her, or suffer the consequences. Is this really worth risking your life for?

LADY VIVIAN
Arthur?

ARTHUR
Indeed, it is. I would rather die than deny my feelings. I love your daughter with all my heart.


[Arthur kisses Vivian and picks up the glove.]


--
[INT. GWEN’S HOUSE – NIGHT]
[Gwen sadly blows out the last candle, removing her shawl.]


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS – DAY]

UTHER
It's no good. I've spoken to Olaf, he will not rescind the challenge. He says his honour has been tainted. He demands recompense.

ARTHUR
You didn't have to do that, Father.

UTHER
The fight is to the death. What did you think you were doing?

ARTHUR
You cannot help who you fall in love with.

UTHER
You do realise that your actions threaten the peace talks, and that it may yet bring war to Camelot?

ARTHUR
I am happy to fight for what I believe in.


[Uther turns to Merlin.]

UTHER
What's happened to him?

ARTHUR
Lady Vivian. Nothing more. And yet, who could wish for more?


[Uther throws up his hands and leaves.]


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN'S CHAMBERS – DAY]

MERLIN
I don't understand it. Trickler's magic is strong, but surely it can't be stronger than mine?

GAIUS
These love potions are strange things.

MERLIN
We need to go to Uther.

GAIUS
No.

MERLIN
It's a fight to the death!

GAIUS
If Uther realises that one of the kings is using magic, there will certainly be a war. The only way out of this situation is to unenchant Arthur. And unenchant him fast.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, MORGANA’S CHAMBERS – DAY]
[Morgana watches the lower town from her window as people make their way to the tournament grounds. Gwen enters to collect the laundry.]

GWEN
Anything interesting?

MORGANA
Haven't you heard? Arthur was discovered in Lady Vivian's chambers.

GWEN
What?

MORGANA
King Olaf has demanded recompense. They are to fight to the death. All for the love of a woman. And Lady Vivian at that. You look more shocked than I did.

GWEN
It is very surprising.

MORGANA
Well, I don't know why he couldn't control his feelings.

GWEN
Indeed. I will miss the tourney, if you don't mind. There's so much to organise here.

MORGANA
But of course.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, CORRIDOR – DAY]
[Gwen passes Arthur and Merlin in the corridor.]

ARTHUR
Ah, Guinevere! You will wish me luck?

GWEN
Will I?

ARTHUR
Haven't you heard?

GWEN
Oh, yes. I've heard. Though sadly not from your lips. I wish you could've been more honest with me, Arthur.

ARTHUR
What is she talking about?

MERLIN
No idea.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, ALINED’S GUEST CHAMBERS – DAY]
[Trickler brings King Alined his crown.]

TRICKLER
You are pleased, My Lord? Do I get to keep my fingers?

KING ALINED
Trickler, I shall cast your fingers in gold. I could not have wished for more.

TRICKLER
I told you I would not fail you, My Lord.

KING ALINED
If Olaf kills Arthur, then Uther will start a war. If Arthur kills Olaf, then his men will start a war. (laughs) We cannot lose!


--
[EXT. TOURNAMENT GROUNDS – DAY]

UTHER
King Olaf has demanded recompense. And by the ancient laws of Camelot, the matter will be settled by a tourney with three stages. The weapons chosen are quarterstaff, mace, and sword. The fight will be by the Knights' Rules, and to the death. Are we all clear?


[Arthur starts out doing well, but stops to gaze at Vivian. Olaf takes Arthur out at the knees, and later breaks Arthur's quarterstaff, catching Arthur in the ribs.]


--
[INT. TOURNAMENT GROUNDS, ARTHUR’S TENT – DAY]
[Gaius inspects Arthur in the tent.]

GAIUS
One of your ribs is broken, Sire.

ARTHUR
Nothing can hurt me today. I'm invincible. Love really can conquer all, Gaius. It's true.

GAIUS (whisper to Merlin)
This can't go on. The fight's not fair. Arthur's head's in the clouds.

MERLIN (whisper)
I don't know what to do.

GAIUS (whisper)
Then find someone who does.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, DRAGON’S CAVE – DAY]

KILGHARRAH (laughs)
This is magic indeed.

MERLIN
Everything I have tried has failed.

KILGHARRAH
From what you tell me, the spell has captured his heart.

MERLIN
And his heart is controlling his brain.

KILGHARRAH
There is no magic that can break this enchantment.

MERLIN
There must be.

KILGHARRAH
It has too great a hold.

MERLIN
I cannot let Arthur die.

KILGHARRAH
Patience, young warlock. The solution lies in a force greater than you or I can understand, a force that has puzzled many minds...

MERLIN
Please, I have very little time.

KILGHARRAH
...a force...

MERLIN
Just tell me!


[Kilgharrah laughs some more.]

KILGHARRAH
Why, it is the greatest force of all: love.

MERLIN
Love?

KILGHARRAH
You must find the person Arthur truly loves.

MERLIN
And then what?

KILGHARRAH
One kiss from her will break the enchantment, and he will desire Vivian no more.


[Merlin sighs, nods, and leaves in a hurry.]


--
[INT/EXT. TOURNAMENT GROUNDS, ARTHUR’S TENT – DAY]
[Arthur prepares for the next bout.]

GAIUS
Are you sure you can carry on, Sire?

ARTHUR
As long as I have Vivian to gaze at, I can conquer the world. Besides, the mace is my forte. You'll see.


[Arthur being pummelled by Olaf in the arena.]


--
[INT. GWEN’S HOUSE – DAY]
[Merlin bursts into Gwen's house without knocking while she's staring out the window.]

GWEN
Rats again, Merlin?

MERLIN
What? No. No, erm...I, I need your help. Arthur needs your help.

GWEN
I do not think that Arthur needs me.

MERLIN
Gwen, don't worry. I know.

GWEN
You know what?

MERLIN
Everything. Anyone who spends five minutes with you can see how you feel about each other. Look, I do not have a lot of time to explain, so you are gonna have to trust me. Arthur does love you.

GWEN
No he doesn't.

MERLIN
If you don't trust me, trust your feelings.

GWEN (scoff) I'm never trusting my feelings again.

MERLIN
He's enchanted!

GWEN
Yes, with Lady Vivian! I can see that!

MERLIN
No, I mean literally enchanted with magic, potions, love juice! None of his feelings are genuine!

GWEN
How can you be sure? When I saw him, his feelings seemed real enough.

MERLIN
Gwen, none of his feelings for Vivian are real. But if you do not break the spell, his death will be. Search your heart. You know who he loves.


--
[EXT/INT. TOURNAMENT GROUNDS, ARTHUR’S TENT – DAY]
[Olaf continues to pummel Arthur. He's about to finish Arthur with his mace when the gong is rung. Gwen strides purposefully towards Arthur's tent, pausing to take a deep breath before passing Gaius on her way inside.]

ARTHUR
Ah! Have you finally come to wish me good luck? 'Cause I really don't think I need it anymore.

GWEN
No, Arthur. I have not come to wish you luck.

ARTHUR
Well, honestly, that's rather rude.

GWEN
Then let me make amends.


[Gwen pins Arthur up against the tent pole and kisses him. He looks confused for a moment before closing his eyes and kissing her back. They put their arms around each other as Arthur dips her. They pull apart and Arthur cringes at his newly discovered injuries.]

ARTHUR
What am I doing?

GWEN (whisper)
You're in a fight. To the death. You're losing.

ARTHUR
But...

GWEN (whisper)
There's no time to explain. Just...live for me, Arthur. That's all I ask right now.

-- [EXT. TOURNAMENT GROUNDS – DAY] [Arthur approaches arena with Merlin. Arthur sees Gwen climb into the stands.]

ARTHUR Merlin, if anything should happen to me, look after Gwen. The world may think she is just a servant, dispensable, but...she's not dispensable to me.


[Merlin smiles and hands Arthur his helmet. Arthur and Olaf fight. Arthur cringes in pain, but catches sight of Gwen and pushes past the pain. Olaf knocks Arthur to the ground, but Arthur flips Olaf, disarming him. Arthur stands above him, poised to strike, then lowers his sword.]

ARTHUR
This is no way to achieve peace!


[Arthur offers Olaf a hand to help him up. The crowd cheers. Arthur nods to Gwen. Gwen smiles.]


--
[INT. GWEN’S HOUSE – DAY]
[Gwen enters her house to find a note and a red rose on her kitchen table. Arthur's waits in the corner.]

ARTHUR
I thought I'd better deliver it myself this time. I'm sorry...for...what I put you through.

GWEN
No. You have nothing to apologise for. I, too, have caused my fair share of hurt.

ARTHUR
You must believe that my feelings for...Vivian...were not real. I have never loved another.

GWEN
One day you will. One day you will find your real princess. One day you will be King of Camelot. And I cannot be your queen.

ARTHUR
You don't know that.

GWEN
I am as sure of that as you are.

ARTHUR
Things may change.

GWEN
Well, until they do...*bows* My Lord.


[Arthur leaves. Gwen turns around and sighs.]


-- [EXT. KING’S PALACE, COURTYARD CORRIDOR – DAY] [Uther walks down the corridor with Olaf.]

KING OLAF
Your boy has a very wise head on his shoulders.

UTHER
Yeah.

KING OLAF
I doubt he gets that from you.

UTHER
Ha. I hope these events will not harm our peace treaty.

KING OLAF
Oh, I believe that Vivian was as much to blame as Arthur.


[Vivian wiping her eyes as she descends the palace steps with another lady.]

KING OLAF
I'll take her away from temptation. She's far too young to encounter such things. Yes, I go in peace.

UTHER
I'm very pleased to hear that.


[Alined tugs on Trickler's manacle chains in the Square.]

KING ALINED
This is more than you deserve, boy. You will run all the way home.

TRICKLER
That's not possible, Master.

KING ALINED
Make it possible.

UTHER
Why so cross Alined?

ARTHUR
Anyone would think you didn't want peace!

KING ALINED
But of course I do. Peace? Love it.

UTHER
Well, you may return any time to view the treaty.

KING ALINED
You're very kind.


[Alined nudges his horse to walk, dragging Trickler behind him. teary eyed Vivian walks by escorted by her father.]

LADY VIVIAN
We may return, too?

UTHER
You're always welcome.

LADY VIVIAN
My heart will remain, and I hope to join it soon.


[Arthur gives an uncomfortable nod and wave before turning to walk inside with Merlin.]

ARTHUR
Not too soon.

MERLIN
No. Might conflict with your one true love.

ARTHUR
My what?

MERLIN
You heard me. I have proof.

ARTHUR
Proof?

MERLIN
You kissed her. In the tent.

ARTHUR
Merlin.

MERLIN
Yes?

ARTHUR
What happened in the tent.

MERLIN
Mm-hmm?

ARTHUR
Speak of it again and I'll kill you.

MERLIN
Okay.


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