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Transcript:The Hunter's Heart

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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 man. His name... Merlin.

---

[00:13, EXT. VILLAGE - DAY]
[Gwen works in her yard wearing the red servant girl's dress she wore four years earlier. She pauses to catch her breath and fingers her engagement ring on the string around her neck. She hears horses' hooves and villagers begin to run and shriek, trying to escape the raiders riding into town. Gwen ducks behind the wall around her yard. A Southron bandit knocks over a stand in the street and Gwen runs off. She turns a corner and finds her path blocked by a dismounted Southron. She tries to back up, but falls backwards and is quickly surrounded by Southrons. The dismounted Southron raises his sword to strike. He's stopped by their leader, Helios.]

HELIOS
Wait.

[Gwen recoils as Helios leans over to get a better look at her.]

HELIOS
There's still some pleasure to be had here.

OPENING CREDITS

--
[01:40, INT. KING'S PALACE, PHOENIX CORRIDOR - DAY]
[Merlin follows Arthur, talking quickly and incessantly.]

MERLIN
I'm not saying it's inappropriate. I mean, you're the king and I'm not, and of course it's your choice, there's no doubt about that. It could hardly be my choice, could it? What with me not being the king. But, nevertheless, I do feel I have to say something because, strictly speaking, these clothes are only supposed to--

ARTHUR
Merlin.

MERLIN
Yes, my lord.

KING ARTHUR
Could you do something for me?

MERLIN
Of course. Absolutely. Not a problem, whatever needs doing.

KING ARTHUR
Could you...please...shut up.

[Arthur continues walking. Merlin pauses for a beat then continues talking.]

MERLIN
Yes, I can do that. Of course I can. That's not a prob--

KING ARTHUR (from distance)
Now.

[Irritated, Merlin follows.]

--
[02:08, INT. KING'S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER - DAY]
[Arthur walks to the front of the room and faces his court. Merlin stands next to Gaius.]

KING ARTHUR
My lords, fellow Knights, gentlemen...as you are all aware, Camelot's claim to the lands of Gedref has long been in dispute. Today I can announce that, after many months of confidential negotiations, the kingdoms of Nemeth and Camelot have reached an agreement.

[There's some murmuring among the court.]

KING ARTHUR
There's nothing to fear. It is a fair and honourable agreement that benefits two great kingdoms. Furthermore, our friendship will be cemented by a union that cannot be broken. My hand in marriage to Her Royal Highness, Princess Mithian.

[There's some more murmuring and the court begins to applaud. Gaius sees Merlin staring slack-jawed at Arthur.]

GAIUS
Smile.

[Merlin shakes his head.]

MERLIN
He can't mean that.

GAIUS
And clap. Smile and clap.

[Merlin immediately puts on a big fake smile and claps.]

--
[03:02, INT. KING'S PALACE, PHOENIX CORRIDOR - DAY]
[Merlin follows Arthur back down the corridor.]

MERLIN
How come I didn't know any of this? How come you didn't say anything?

KING ARTHUR
That's what "confidential" means, Merlin. Keeping it from blabbermouths like you.

MERLIN
You can't do this.

KING ARTHUR
No, you're right, I can't. Oh, wait a second...I'm the king, so I can.

MERLIN
Surely it's a little bit...

KING ARTHUR (sharply)
A bit what?

MERLIN
Soon?

[Arthur feigns ignorance, but is clearly angry and upset.]

KING ARTHUR
What do you mean?

MERLIN
Erm, well--

KING ARTHUR
You mean Guinevere. I told you not to mention her name again.

MERLIN
Which is why I didn't.

KING ARTHUR
How many times do I have to tell you? Guinevere made her choice. She betrayed me. Now she must take the consequences.

MERLIN
But--

KING ARTHUR
But what?

MERLIN
Nothing.

KING ARTHUR
That's right. Nothing.

[Arthur turns to leave.]

MERLIN
Except that you still love her.

[Arthur stops in the doorway, Merlin glares at his back. Arthur pauses for a moment, then turns around and marches angrily toward Merlin.]

KING ARTHUR
You ever say anything like that again and I swear you'll join her in exile forever.

[They glare at each other and Arthur leaves.]

--
[04:04, INT. KING'S PALACE, SCROLL VAULT, NIGHT]
[A servant puts some scrolls away and locks them up tight. The servant locks the door as he exits and walks down the corridor.]

AGRAVAINE
Eoghan.

[The servant jumps, startled as Agravaine steps out of the shadows.]

EOGHAN
My lord.

AGRAVAINE
Have you what I asked for?

EOGHAN
I, erm...it was not so easy as I thought.

AGRAVAINE
I hope you haven't forgotten how much I've done for you.

EOGHAN
No. No, of course not, my lord.

AGRAVAINE
Or how simple it would be for a man in my position to have you arrested. I should hate to see such young life wasted.

EOGHAN
I cannot do it. I cannot betray my master's trust, my lord. I'm sorry.

AGRAVAINE
You'd rather betray mine. Mm?

[Agravaine fakes a chuckle.]

AGRAVAINE
Of course, I understand. You swore loyalty to your master. It's commendable!

[Eoghan sighs in surprised relief.]

AGRAVAINE
Now, come. Neither you, nor I, will say anything about it.

[Agravaine stabs Eoghan in the stomach. Eoghan coughs in pain and Agravaine knocks him out with the butt of the knife.]

AGRAVAINE
Particularly you!

[Agravaine takes Eoghan's legs and drags him off.]

--
[05:20, Agravaine rides through the woods.]

--
[05:23, INT. MORGANA'S HOVEL - DAY]
[Agravaine enters.]

MORGANA
You're late. You have the plans?

AGRAVAINE
There have been some unexpected developments.

MORGANA
I hope you're not going to tell me you've failed me once again.

AGRAVAINE
I'm sure there'll be the other opportunities in the future.


MORGANA
Camelot grows in power every day, Agravaine. If we don't act now, there will be no future. Particularly for you.

AGRAVAINE
It is not easy, my lady. Plans for the siege tunnels have always been very well protected.

MORGANA
And yet you assured me you could bring them to me. Or were you exaggerating?

AGRAVAINE
No. Not at all. It will take time--

MORGANA
Enough!

[Morgana takes a moment and sighs.]

MORGANA
A man of your standing can go wherever he pleases, Agravaine.

AGRAVAINE
You're not suggesting I take the risk myself?

[She tilts her head.]

AGRAVAINE
But...if I should be caught...

MORGANA
Mm. Best not to be caught, then.

--
[06:31, INT. HELIOS'S TUNNELS - DAY]
[Guards stand watch outside the caves. A servant fixes Gwen's veil for her new harem outfit.]

HELIOS
I was not mistaken.

[Gwen stands and the servant steps back.]

HELIOS
The filth of the pigsty cannot disguise true beauty.

[Helios bows.]

HELIOS
Helios. I'm only sorry we had to meet under such circumstances.

[Gwen curtsies.]

GWEN
Guinevere. I suppose I must thank you for my life. The villagers were not so lucky.

HELIOS
These are difficult times, I need new recruits. The youth of today are not always...enthusiastic. Who are you? From what family do you come?

GWEN
I am no one.

HELIOS
I find that hard to believe.

GWEN
Nevertheless, it is true.

HELIOS
No matter. I'm not concerned with where a person comes from, only with what they can become. Would you do me the honour of dining with me?

[Gwen isn't happy with the idea, but puts on a smile and curtsies.]

--
[07:45, EXT. KING'S PALACE, MAIN SQUARE - DAY]
[An assembly gathers for the arrival of Princess Mithian. An armed guard precedes her. Arthur wears his crown. The party halts.]

KING ARTHUR
Knights of Nemeth, Camelot welcomes you and extends the hand of friendship.

[The guards in front move aside and allow the princess to approach, Arthur steps down from the stairs, taking a breath as he prepares to meet his future bride. Princess Mithian raises her veil and Arthur's jaw drops, stunned by her beauty, and she smiles a little. Merlin raises his eyebrows at her loveliness. Arthur collects himself and steps forward as a guard helps her dismount.]

KING ARTHUR
Princess Mithian, you are most welcome.

PRINCESS MITHIAN
Thank you, Your Highness. I have heard much about you, and you are more handsome in person than reports suggested.

[Arthur isn't sure how to handle the compliment.]

KING ARTHUR
Erm...

PRINCESS MITHIAN
Are we to stay in this chill all day?

KING ARTHUR (confused)
Forgive me.

[Arthur takes her hand and faces his welcoming committee.]

KING ARTHUR
Tomorrow there will be a great feast to welcome our worthy friends.

[The knights, councilmen and courtiers applaud and smile. Merlin's smile fades.]

--
[09:35, INT. HELIOS'S TUNNELS, DINING CHAMBER - NIGHT]
[Helios leads Gwen into a dining chamber of sorts. A lavish meal is set on a low table surrounded by rich cushions and candlelight. Gwen is shocked.]

HELIOS
Were you expecting something different? Perhaps campfires and raw meat.

GWEN
I'm not sure what I was expecting.

HELIOS
Please, sit. I want to know all about you.

[Gwen sits on a cushion.]

GWEN
There's not much to tell.

HELIOS
Except how a beautiful woman ended up swilling out the pigs in the middle of nowhere.

GWEN
It's a long story.

[Helios sits opposite her.]

HELIOS
I have all night.

--
[10:15, EXT. KING'S PALACE, MOAT - NIGHT]
[Agravaine dumps Eoghan's body and places a note in Eoghan's jacket before sneaking off.]

--
[10:36, INT. HELIOS'S TUNNELS - NIGHT]

GWEN
Once they killed my family, I knew they would come after me. I had no choice but to flee. I travelled many months before I found someone willing to take me in. Helping with the pigs seemed a fair price for such charity.

HELIOS
You have suffered much for one so young. Now those days are truly behind you.

[One of Helios's men clears his throat as he enters.]

HELIOS' SERVANT
My lord.

HELIOS
I said we were not to be disturbed.

HELIOS' SERVANT
The Lady Morgana requests an audience.

[Gwen starts at the sound of Morgana's name.]

HELIOS
She's here?

[The servant nods.]

HELIOS
Make her welcome. Tell her I will see her right away.

[Gwen is stunned.]

HELIOS
Are you all right?

GWEN
Yes, of course.

HELIOS
You don't mind if someone joins us?

GWEN
I had thought we'd be alone.

HELIOS
It'll take but a few moments.

GWEN
I should retire.

HELIOS
There's no need.

GWEN
I'm very tired.

[She gets up. Helios stands up, too.]

HELIOS
But we have barely begun to know each other.

GWEN
I'm sure there will be time enough. Thank you for your kindness.

HELIOS
Until the next time, then.

[Gwen puts on a smile and curtsies. She pulls the veil over her face as she leaves. Morgana doesn't even glance at her as they pass each other in the tunnel. Gwen lowers the veil and breathes a sigh of relief. Morgana enters the dining chamber.]

MORGANA
You have company. You never change, Helios.

HELIOS
Do you have the plans?

MORGANA
Not yet.

HELIOS
That was our agreement, Morgana. Without them, any attack on Camelot would be suicidal--

MORGANA
Well, I hear your force is not yet up to strength.

HELIOS
Preparations are nearly complete.

MORGANA
But not quite yet.

HELIOS
Are you doubting me?

MORGANA
No more than you me.

[Helios smiles in acceptance.]

HELIOS
I am sure we understand each other perfectly. Come...

[Helios pours a drink.]

HELIOS
You must be thirsty after your ride.

[Helios hands her the drink.]

HELIOS
You are welcome to stay.

[Morgana smiles at his attempt to charm her.]

MORGANA
Take care not to get too distracted, Helios. There's still much to do. Once I'm crowned queen of Camelot, you may indulge yourself all you wish.

HELIOS
I may keep you to your word.

MORGANA
I'll look forward to it.

--
[13:21, EXT. KING'S PALACE, MOAT - DAY]
[Leon shows Agravaine the body he dumped.]

SIR LEON
I thought you should see for yourself, my lord, as soon as possible.

AGRAVAINE
You did the right thing, Sir Leon. Oh, what a shame.

[Agravaine looks up.]

AGRAVAINE
Poor boy must've lost his footing on that wall.

SIR LEON
And so I thought. The wall has a high parapet, it couldn't have been an accident.

AGRAVAINE
But he was drunk.

SIR LEON
Possibly, but there's no smell of intoxication.

AGRAVAINE
We only have one recourse. We must ask Gaius to examine the body. See if he can use his expertise to tell us what happened to the unfortunate boy.

SIR LEON
I shall send for him at once.

[Leon walks off and Agravaine smirks at the body.]

--
[13:56, INT. KING'S PALACE, PHYSICIAN'S CHAMBERS - DAY]
[Merlin is sulking at the breakfast table, poking at his food.]

GAIUS
You going to sulk all day?

MERLIN
Not sulking.

GAIUS
You haven't said a word this morning.

MERLIN
I'm thinking.

GAIUS
You know how bad that is for you.

[Merlin sighs.]

MERLIN
It is Arthur's fate to marry Gwen.

GAIUS
If that's the case, then he will.

MERLIN
But am I supposed to do anything about it?

GAIUS
You don't think that's a little arrogant?

MERLIN
Yes! ...and no. I don't know. I don't know what to do anymore.

GAIUS
You could start by eating your porridge.

[An urgent knock at the door. Leon enters.]

SIR LEON
Gaius, I have a message from Lord Agravaine. He requires your presence.

--
[14:49, EXT. KING'S PALACE, MOAT - DAY]

GAIUS
Poor boy's broken his neck. You can see the bruising just here.

AGRAVAINE
Must be from the fall.

GAIUS
Possibly. But from such a height, one would expect more injuries. There isn't so much as a graze, never mind any broken bones.

AGRAVAINE
What are you saying, Gaius?

GAIUS
I'm not sure. Not yet.

[Gaius turns Eoghan's body over.]

GAIUS
Something here in his tunic.

[Gaius pulls out the note Agravaine planted and reads it.]

GAIUS
It's a letter from Odin's court.

AGRAVAINE
Let me see.

[Agravaine grabs it and pretends to read it.]

AGRAVAINE
I must tell the king at once.

--
[15:26, INT. KING'S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER - DAY]
[Arthur reads the fake note.]

AGRAVAINE
Young Eoghan was the mapmaker's apprentice. He was a good lad from a decent family.

KING ARTHUR
Yet willing to sell his country's secrets for a few pieces of gold.

AGRAVAINE
And of course, he did have access to the city's most sensitive plans.

KING ARTHUR
The location of the siege tunnels.

AGRAVAINE
I fear so, my lord. And I don't need to tell you what an enemy could do with such plans.

KING ARTHUR
Was anything else found alongside this letter?

AGRAVAINE
No, sire.

KING ARTHUR
Then it's possible the boy succeeded in his mission and was murdered for his pains. I need to check the vaults.

AGRAVAINE
Yes, of course.

--
[15:58, INT. KING'S PALACE, SCROLL VAULTS - DAY]

AGRAVAINE
No sign of a forced entry.

KING ARTHUR
Boy would've had full access. There's no need to break the locks.

AGRAVAINE
A complete inventory will be necessary, my lord. With your permission, I'll start right away.

KING ARTHUR
Meanwhile, double the guard and bring in the mapmaker. It's possible the boy wasn't acting alone.

[Agravaine smirks as Arthur leaves him in the scroll vault alone.]

--
[16:18, INT. MORGANA'S HOVEL - NIGHT]
[Agravaine hands the siege tunnel map to Morgana.]

MORGANA
I hope you're not going to disappoint me once more, Agravaine.

AGRAVAINE
Plans to the siege tunnels of Camelot, as good as a key to the great gates.

[Morgana unrolls the map.]

MORGANA
But a good deal more deadly. *spell*

[Morgana's eyes flash and the map glows like fire. Morgana rolls the map up, revealing a newly made duplicate underneath.]

MORGANA
You've done well, Agravaine. Finally.

--
[16:51, INT. KING'S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER DINING HALL - NIGHT]
[The court dines on a feast. Arthur chats with Princess Mithian at the head of the table. Merlin isn't pleased to find them smiling and laughing together. He casually strolls to the head of the table to interrupt them.]

MERLIN
Would you like more soup, sire?

KING ARTHUR
No, thanks.

[Arthur turns back to Mithian.]

MERLIN
You sure?

[Arthur leans forward and lowers his voice.]

KING ARTHUR
Merlin, you've asked me that three times now. Will you just...

[Arthur makes a frustrated "go away " face and Merlin leaves. Mithian puts a hand on Arthur's arm.]

PRINCESS MITHIAN
You were saying?

KING ARTHUR
I...was very surprised.

[Merlin's eyes glow as he walks away and Arthur's hand flips a spoonful of soup onto his chainmail.]

PRINCESS MITHIAN
Oh.

KING ARTHUR
Er...sorry, I, earm...

[Arthur begins to stand to clean himself up, but Mithian puts down her goblet and wipes Arthur's chainmail with her napkin.]

PRINCESS MITHIAN
No harm done.

[She chuckles at the situation and Arthur regards her warmly. They share a poignant look and Merlin rolls his eyes. Agravaine approaches them and disrupts the moment.]

AGRAVAINE
The vaults are secure, my lord, and, er...there were no plans missing.

KING ARTHUR
Thank you for performing your duties with such haste, Uncle. Now you have to make up for lost time. We're to have dancing and I hear that your jig used to be something to behold.

AGRAVAINE
Er..."used" is the word, sire. A--alas I am not as nimble as I once was.

KING ARTHUR
Nonsense.

AGRAVAINE
I do feel that dancing is best performed in youth and appreciated in age.

[Arthur and Mithian chuckle and shake their heads as Agravaine departs hastily.]

--
[18:19, INT. KING'S PALACE, PHOENIX CORRIDOR - NIGHT]
[Arthur walks Mithian to her chambers.]

KING ARTHUR
I'm afraid the Festival of Istara will soon be upon us.

PRINCESS MITHIAN
Should I be worried?

KING ARTHUR
It's a tradition in Camelot to have a hunt that day, but Merlin can arrange a tour of the city.

PRINCESS MITHIAN
A tour?

KING ARTHUR
Some of the buildings go back many centuries.

PRINCESS MITHIAN
Arthur, I love hunting.

[Arthur stops, surprised.]

KING ARTHUR
Really?

[Mithian stops and faces him.]

PRINCESS MITHIAN
Really. I believe these are my chambers.

KING ARTHUR (nods)
Of course.

PRINCESS MITHIAN
Well then I bid you good night, sire.

[Mithian holds out her hand. Arthur takes and kisses it gallantly.]

KING ARTHUR
Goodnight, Princess.

[They regard each other for a moment. The pause continues and Mithian glances down at their hands.]

PRINCESS MITHIAN
If I may...?

[Arthur inclines his head, asking for the end of her question. Mithian nods down at her hand and Arthur realises and lets it go. He clears his throat.]

KING ARTHUR
Sorry.

[She turns to leave.]

KING ARTHUR
Mithian.

[She stops and turns around.]

PRINCESS MITHIAN
Yes, my lord?

KING ARTHUR
I was...thinking, perhaps...

PRINCESS MITHIAN
Yes?

KING ARTHUR
You...might like some breakfast.

PRINCESS MITHIAN (confused)
Breakfast?

KING ARTHUR
Tomorrow. With me.

[Mithian begins to smile as if to hold in her laughter.]

KING ARTHUR
A picnic, er, somewhere. Nice. Somewhere nice.

PRINCESS MITHIAN
I look forward to it.

[Mithian smiles as she turns into her room. Arthur smiles, somewhat relieved. Then shakes his head at his own botched invitation attempt.]

KING ARTHUR
Breakfast. I...rubbish thing to say.

[He walks off mumbling to himself.]

--
[19:59, INT. HELIOS'S TUNNELS, DINING CHAMBER - DAY]
[Morgana arrives at the caves and dismounts. Helios opens the siege tunnel map.]

HELIOS
Where did you get this?

MORGANA
The source is impeccable.

[Gwen peers out from behind a rock, listening to their conversation.]

HELIOS
If I'm to risk my men against Camelot, I need more than impeccable, Morgana.

MORGANA
The king's uncle and most trusted advisor, Lord Agravaine. I doubt you'd find a source more impeccable than that.

[Gwen pulls herself up on a jutting rock to see them through the entrance crack.]

HELIOS
Then it is only a matter of time. I will send word the moment our forces are at full strength.

MORGANA
Don't delay. The treaty of Nemeth will be sealed within days.

HELIOS
It will be soon.

[The rock that Gwen is standing on breaks off and she stumbles backwards. Morgana and Helios hear it and Gwen's retreating footsteps.]

MORGANA
Someone's listening.

[They rush out of the room in search of the spy.]

MORGANA
Did you see who it was?

HELIOS
Not for sure. Seal the camp! Account for everyone!

[Southrons run through the tunnels. Helios checks Gwen's sleeping chamber followed by Morgana.]

HELIOS
Any sign?

HELIOS'S SERVANT
She's taken nothing.

MORGANA
Who is this woman?

HELIOS
A serving wench I recently acquired, no more. Check the river.

[Morgana looks down and recognizes the red servant girl's dress folded up on the bed. She smiles and picks it up.]

MORGANA
Does this woman have a name?

HELIOS
Guinevere.

[Morgana scowls.]

MORGANA
Your appetite has betrayed you. She's no serving wench. We must find her now!

--
[21:20, EXT. FOREST - DAY]
[Gwen runs through the woods, chased by the Southrons. She rushes down towards the river, looks back for a moment and then steps down into the water. Southrons run down to the river and continue running along its bank. They pass and Gwen surfaces from the water.]

--
[21:51, EXT. CAMELOT, FOREST RIDGE - DAY]
[Arthur leads Mithian by the hand to an outlook in the forest. Merlin carries all of the food, blankets, and pillows.]

KING ARTHUR
How about here? What do you think?

PRINCESS MITHIAN
Well, the view is certainly spectacular.

KING ARTHUR
Yes.

[Merlin collapses to the ground as he puts down all of the picnic gear. Arthur crouches down.]

KING ARTHUR
Ground isn't really smooth, is it? It's a bit bumpy.

[Arthur gets up and walks left a few paces.]

KING ARTHUR
Ah, what about over here?

[Mithian looks down at Merlin who is rolling his eyes.]

KING ARTHUR
Ah, yes, this is much better. Merlin.

[Mithian joins Arthur. Merlin picks up all the gear and hauls it over a few paces. He puts it down. Arthur looks at him and takes a breath.]

KING ARTHUR
Perfect. Perfect.

[Merlin sets all of the gear down on the ground and rubs his shoulder.]

KING ARTHUR
Yet, is the view really as good?

PRINCESS MITHIAN
Arthur...

KING ARTHUR
You prefer the original. Right, then. Merlin!

[Arthur walks briskly back to the original spot.]

PRINCESS MITHIAN
Don't be so mean.

KING ARTHUR
He doesn't mind, do you, Merlin?

[Merlin shakes his head with a stiff smile.]

MERLIN
No.

KING ARTHUR
Besides, he needs building up. Look at him.

PRINCESS MITHIAN
Enough. Thank you, Merlin. I'll do the rest.

[Merlin picks up all of the picnic gear and Mithian carries the picnic basket back to the original spot.]

--
[Arthur and Mithian lounge on pillows, drinking from goblets. Mithian giggles and Merlin shoots a disgusted look at the pair of them from his spot against a tree trunk. Merlin's eyes glow and Arthur belches. Mithian's laughter fades, and Arthur looks at her in embarrassment.]

KING ARTHUR
I'm sorry, I, ahem, really don't know what came over me. I...

[Arthur shifts awkwardly. Merlin's eyes glow again and Arthur belches. Mithian looks at him curiously and Arthur tries to cope with his embarrassment, shaking his head.]

KING ARTHUR
I don't know what to say.

[Mithian belches loud and long and finishes with a smile. Arthur is taken by surprise and they laugh. Merlin nods his head and mouths something like "Oh, well, yeah, that's just great."]

--
[23:31, EXT. FOREST - NIGHT]
[Morgana rides up to Helios in the woods.]

HELIOS
The trail has gone cold, we should call off the search until morning.

MORGANA
No, that woman must be found. I'll search all night if necessary.

HELIOS
She could be anywhere by now.

MORGANA
There's only one place she'll go. To Camelot and to Arthur. Gather your men.

[Helios whistles and his men return.]

--
[23:54, EXT. FOREST, CAMPFIRE - NIGHT]
[Gwen huddles near a campfire she built, still drying out from her swim. She fingers her engagement ring on the necklace and starts at every noise.]

--
[24:22, INT. KING'S PALACE, PHYSICIAN'S CHAMBERS - DAY]
[Merlin emerges from his room as Gaius pours over Eoghan's supposed note from Odin.]

MERLIN
I don't know why I bother. I should just leave him to it, let him make his own mistakes, see how he gets on without me. I should resign.

[Gaius is too absorbed to pay attention.]

MERLIN
I said, "I should resign."

GAIUS (starting at the parchment)
Quite so.

MERLIN
Gaius, you're supposed to say, "No, no he needs you even if he doesn't realise it."

GAIUS (examining the parchment)
Something's not quite right here.

MERLIN
Exactly.

GAIUS (to himself)
I can't put my finger on it.

MERLIN
I have to go hunting. I hate hunting.

[Merlin puts on his jacket and heads for the door.]

MERLIN (sarcastic)
Thanks, Gaius, you really made me feel a whole lot better.

[Merlin slams the door shut on his way out and Gaius looks up.]

--
[24:53, EXT. KING'S PALACE, MAIN SQUARE - DAY]
[Knights, servants, and guards prepare for the hunt. Arthur mounts his horse.]

--
[25:01, INT. KING'S PALACE, PHOENIX CORRIDOR - DAY]
[Mithian catches up with Merlin as he trudges miserably through the castle.]

PRINCESS MITHIAN
You're not a fan of hunting?

[Merlin stops and turns and Mithian waits expectantly.]

MERLIN
What sport is it when one side has dogs and spears and crossbows and the other nothing?

PRINCESS MITHIAN
Not much of a fan of me, either, are you?

[Merlin seems surprised.]

PRINCESS MITHIAN
Come on, Merlin, I'd have to be a fool not to notice.

MERLIN
I'm sorry if I caused offence.

PRINCESS MITHIAN
I'm sure you have, er, good reasons. One thing I've learned since being here is that Arthur values your opinion above almost all others.

MERLIN
Oh.

[Merlin pretends to scoff, but smiles.]

PRINCESS MITHIAN
Even if he'd be the last person to admit it.]

MERLIN
You can say that again.

[Merlin is beginning to thaw a little towards her.]

PRINCESS MITHIAN
I like him, Merlin. I really do. I didn't expect to, but...well, he's a loveable person, isn't he? Underneath it all. All I ask is that you give me a chance. Can you do that?

[Merlin nods.]

MERLIN
Yeah.

[Merlin smiles with a nod and Mithian smiles back.]

PRINCESS MITHIAN
Thank you.

--
[26:17, EXT. FOREST - DAY]
[Morgana rides through the woods in pursuit of Gwen. She stops and sees smoke from Gwen's campfire rising in the distance.]

--
[26:33, EXT. FOREST, CAMPFIRE - DAY]
[Gwen wakes at the sound of a horse whinny. She gets up and begins to run. She passes a tree and snaps one of its branches in her rush. Morgana continues and stops to look for any signs. She spots the snapped twig and heads off in that direction. Gwen runs full tilt now as Morgana gallops through the woods. Gwen falls, but gets up quickly and keeps going. Morgana catches up and cuts her off.]

MORGANA
Gwen. Nice to see you again. Oh, you've forgotten. I've hunted these woods since I was a child.

GWEN
Leave me alone. You've already done enough harm.

MORGANA
You misjudge me. We were friends once, were we not?

[Gwen scoffs.]

MORGANA
I only wish to help. The path to Camelot is that way.

[Morgana points.]

GWEN
You think I'd ever trust you again?

MORGANA
Mm, true, I might be lying. But perhaps not.

GWEN
I know these woods, too.

[Gwen runs off.]

MORGANA
Truth is, it doesn't matter which way you go.

[Morgana's eyes glow and Gwen screams as Morgana throws her into a tree. Gwen falls to the ground, unconscious.]

--
[28:11, EXT. FOREST - DAY]
[Hunting horns sound as Arthur and Mithian's party make their way through the woods.]

--
[28:27, EXT. FOREST - DAY]
Morgana glowers down at Gwen and snatches the engagement ring necklace off of Gwen's neck. She starts as she hears the hunting horn. She looks down at Gwen, smirks, and drops the ring.]

MORGANA
You wish to see your beloved Arthur again? And so you shall. Nu bebiede ic þe þæt þu lætest þine flæsc sclice gelic nysse. Wyrþ deor!

[Morgana's eyes glow and a golden shimmer glows over Gwen's body. Morgana leaves with a smirk.]

--
[29:06, EXT. FOREST - DAY]
[Merlin walks alongside Arthur and Mithian's horses.]

MERLIN
Maybe we should call it a day.

KING ARTHUR
Nonsense. We've barely begun.

MERLIN
Not much point in hunting if there's nothing to hunt, is there?

KING ARTHUR
Well, we could always give you a five minute head start, Merlin.

[Mithian smiles at Arthur's joke.]

SIR LEON
Deer!

[They chase after a doe running through the woods. Merlin slows to a walk and separates from the group. He spots the doe and it looks at him. He senses something and hears Gwen's weeping. The doe reflected in his eye forms into a tearful Gwen as his eyes glow. He realises what's happened and sees Gwen's running reflection as the doe passes by a small puddle. The hunting party passes by Merlin and he comes to his senses and chases after them.]

SIR LEON
Beauty.

[Leon aims, but gives up when he notices Arthur next to him.]

SIR LEON
Sire, she's yours.

[Arthur aims and the doe stops and looks at him. Arthur shoots and Merlin's eyes glow. The bolt misses and Arthur gives his crossbow a confused look.]

PRINCESS MITHIAN
I thought you were a good shot, my lord.

[Mithian aims and fires.]

PRINCESS MITHIAN
Gold sovereign says she's hit.

[They urge their horses forward. Merlin runs through the woods searching for Gwen while the rest of the party searches for traces of the doe.]

SIR LEON
Deer tracks.

KING ARTHUR
Ah. It can't have gone far.

[Merlin looks worriedly around the woods while Arthur searches for more deer tracks. Arthur sees something shiny on the forest floor and crouches down to pick it up. It's Gwen's engagement ring on the necklace and he recognises it.]

PRINCESS MITHIAN
Have you found the trail? My lord?

[Arthur stares at the ring, completely lost in it.]

PRINCESS MITHIAN
My lord?

[Arthur looks up at Merlin, trying to process the pain of this shock. Merlin breathes heavily and continues to roam his eyes around the woods worried for Gwen. Mithian looks at Merlin and back to Arthur, sensing something's wrong.]

PRINCESS MITHIAN
My lord?

[Arthur stares off into the woods, breathing heavily in his emotion.]

KING ARTHUR
There'll be no more sport today.

[Arthur gets up and walks past Mithian, lost in his own head.]

PRINCESS MITHIAN
I didn't take you for a poor loser. Sire?

[She looks back at Merlin, trying to sort out Arthur's dark mood.]

--
[32:21, EXT. FOREST - NIGHT]
[Merlin rides into the woods searching for Gwen.]

MERLIN
Gwen! Gwen! Gwen!

[Merlin dismounts and goes searching for her on foot.]

MERLIN
Gwen?

[He spots something.]

MERLIN
Gwen? Gwen?

[He finds her lying unconscious, shaking from cold and shock, a crossbow bolt in her leg. Merlin pulls out the arrow and places his hand over the wound.]

MERLIN
Ic hæle þina þrowunga.

[His eyes glow. He places a hand on her shoulder and eventually she sighs and stops shaking, relaxing into sleep.]

--
[33:35, EXT. FOREST - DAY]
[Merlin sits with Gwen as she sleeps. She wakes.]

GWEN
Merlin!

MERLIN
How are you, Gwen?

GWEN
I'm all right!

[She hugs him happily.]

GWEN
I think. What are you doing here?

MERLIN
You were injured.

GWEN
Oh, yes, I remember now. Where's Morgana?

MERLIN
She was here?

[Gwen nods.]

GWEN
She enchanted me. She and the Southrons and Helios, they're planning to attack Camelot.

MERLIN
They'd never succeed. They must know that.

GWEN
They have help. Agravaine gave them plans of the siege tunnels under the citadel.

MERLIN
Agravaine?

[Gwen nods.]

MERLIN
We must tell Arthur.

[They hear something nearby.]

GWEN (whisper)
What's that?

[The sound of hoof beats draws near. Merlin gets up to check and sees three knights riding through the woods. Merlin smiles a little.]

MERLIN
It's a Camelot patrol. They can lend you a horse.

GWEN
No.

MERLIN
But Gwen--

GWEN
Please, Merlin.

[She grabs his hand to stop him.]

GWEN
I can never see Arthur again.

MERLIN
He wants to see you.

GWEN (shakes her head)
It cannot be. Not after I betrayed him.

[Merlin stares at Gwen.]

GWEN
You go. Tell him of the danger.

MERLIN
Gwen, if you stay here--

GWEN
I have what I deserve.

[Merlin tries to grab her hand and pull her with him.]

GWEN
Go! Hurry.

[She nods to him.]

GWEN
Go.

[Merlin looks at her with a furrowed brow and then heads off.]

--
[35:00, INT. KING'S PALACE, ARTHUR'S CHAMBERS - DAY]
[Arthur broods in his room, fingering Gwen's engagement ring. Merlin bursts in.]

MERLIN
Sire, I need to talk to you.

KING ARTHUR
I told you I didn't want to be disturbed.

MERLIN
Sire, it is important. Very important.

KING ARTHUR
You defy me? You defy your king?

MERLIN
Yes, I do. You know I would not do so unless the situation was grave.

[Arthur puts the ring on a table and grabs his gloves to follow Merlin out.]

--
[35:30, INT. KING'S PALACE, PHOENIX CORRIDOR - DAY]
[Arthur marches through the castle with Merlin.]

KING ARTHUR
The idea is preposterous! I've known my uncle since I was a child! I refuse to believe that he would ever betray Camelot!

--
[35:37, INT. KING'S PALACE, SCROLL VAULT - DAY]
[Arthur unlocks the cabinet with the siege scroll map.]

KING ARTHUR
Plans for the siege tunnels are kept here.

[Arthur opens the cabinet and feels around the back for a while. Merlin's confidence builds and his irritation rises. Then Arthur pulls out the map. Merlin is confused. Agravaine enters as Arthur opens the scroll.]

MERLIN
I don't understand.

[Arthur puts the scroll away.]

AGRAVAINE
I came as soon as I could, my lord. Is there a problem/

KING ARTHUR
No, Uncle, not at all. I'm sorry to have inconvenienced you.

MERLIN
Can we please--

KING ARTHUR
One more word out of you and I swear to God I will send you into exile.

[Merlin looks at Agravaine and Agravaine smirks at him.]

--
[36:27, INT. KING'S PALACE, ARTHUR'S CHAMBERS - DAY]
[Arthur sits on the end of his bed, fully dressed in his chainmail, fingering Gwen's engagement ring. A door opens and Merlin enters.]

MERLIN
Have you not slept, sire?

[Arthur doesn't move. Merlin stands dutifully, arms folded in front of him.]

MERLIN
Is there anything you need?

KING ARTHUR
How can I love someone who's betrayed me? It doesn't make any sense. And how can I make myself love another? Tell me that.

MERLIN
If there is nothing else that you require, perhaps I could--

KING ARTHUR
I don't know what to do. I have no idea...what to do.

[Merlin watches Arthur struggle and Arthur looks at him.]

KING ARTHUR
What should I do, Merlin?

MERLIN
All I know, my lord, is that no one would sacrifice more for Camelot or you than Gwen.

KING ARTHUR
And if that were so?

MERLIN
You must do what your heart tells you, sire.

KING ARTHUR
What if I don't know what that is?

MERLIN
I think you do.

[Arthur looks down at Gwen's ring and plays with it as he thinks.]

MERLIN
Is there anything else, sire?

KING ARTHUR
You may go.

[Merlin bows and walks off.]

KING ARTHUR
Thank you, Merlin.

[Merlin looks back as he exits.]

--
[38:28, EXT. KING'S PALACE, MAIN SQUARE - DAY]
[Princess Mithian's escort waits for her in the square as she descends the steps. Arthur faces the square as she passes him without a word.]

KING ARTHUR
Princess.

[She stops, but doesn't turn around as she puts on her riding gloves.]

KING ARTHUR
Forgive me.

[She turns to face him.]

PRINCESS MITHIAN
The time for words is over, sire.

KING ARTHUR
I understand. And it is for this reason that I hereby offer you and your descendents all the disputed lands of Gedref.

PRINCESS MITHIAN
You would give up your ancient claims?

KING ARTHUR
I have no desire for war. Or to grieve you any more than I already have.

PRINCESS MITHIAN
Such an offer cannot be rushed into.

KING ARTHUR
I've had my scribes draw up an agreement.

[He pulls out a scroll.]

KING ARTHUR
If you're happy with the terms, I'll sign forthwith.

PRINCESS MITHIAN
And if I refuse?

KING ARTHUR
It's all I can offer. I do so most humbly.

[He bows his head and looks down, then looks her in the eye and holds out the scroll, waiting for her response. She considers him for a moment and then takes the scroll.]

PRINCESS MITHIAN
Tell me...who is it that trumps a princess?

KING ARTHUR
No one.

[Arthur thinks for a moment.]

KING ARTHUR
And everyone.

[Mithian's mood lightens.]

PRINCESS MITHIAN
What great family is she from?

KING ARTHUR
None. She's the daughter of a blacksmith.

PRINCESS MITHIAN
And for her you would risk your kingship? Your kingdom?

KING ARTHUR
Without her, they're worth nothing to me.

[Mithian considers this and looks down.]

PRINCESS MITHIAN
Hm.

[Merlin watches Mithian's reaction.]

PRINCESS MITHIAN
I would give up my own kingdom to be so loved. Farewell, Arthur.

[Arthur smiles a little.]

KING ARTHUR
Farewell, Princess.

[Mithian gives him a small smile back and turns away with a bittersweet look.]

--
[40:40, INT. KING'S PALACE, ARTHUR'S CHAMBERS - NIGHT]
[Merlin prepares Arthur's bed as Arthur stares out the window, lost in thought. He turns suddenly to Merlin.]

KING ARTHUR
Have I been a fool?

[Merlin looks up.]

KING ARTHUR
To give up so much for a woman who betrayed me? A woman who I might not even see again?

MERLIN
You will see her again. You did the right thing, my lord. As I knew you would.

KING ARTHUR
And how could you be so sure?

MERLIN
Because...you're Arthur. You're noble. You're the once and future king.

KING ARTHUR
Doomed to be a bachelor.

[Merlin chuckles.]

KING ARTHUR
What's the point of loving someone who cannot be found?

MERLIN
Gwen will be found. You will find each other.

KING ARTHUR
Are you really wise, Merlin, or just a pratting fool? I can no longer tell.

[Merlin takes a couple steps and knocks over the chamber pot, then looks up at Arthur.]

KING ARTHUR
As if there was ever any doubt.



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