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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.

-- 

[INT. MORGAUSE’S ENCHANTED FORTRESS – DAY]
[Morgause watches Arthur through a magic crystal in her Enchanted Fortress.]

MORGAUSE
Hider eft funde. On þisse ne middangeard. Arthur Pendragon, a great destiny awaits you. The battle for your soul is about to begin.


--
[OPENING CREDITS]


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, HALL OF CEREMONIES – NIGHT]

UTHER
Arise Sir Vidor, Knight of Camelot. Arise Sir Caradoc, Knight of Camelot.

UTHER
You have been accorded a great honour. But with that honour comes great responsibility. From this day forth, you are sworn to live by the knights' code. You have pledged to conduct yourselves with nobility, honour, and respect. Your word is your sacred bond. You will find no one who better embodies these values than my son, Arthur. Follow his example, and you will prove yourselves worthy of your title.


[The entire court turns to the door at the sound of sword fighting outside. A knight enters. The newly made knights of Camelot draw their swords as the knight approaches. Arthur steps forward and the knight drops gauntlet in front of Arthur, who picks it up.]

ARTHUR
I accept your challenge. If I'm to face you in combat, do me the courtesy of revealing your identity.


[The knight removes the helmet to reveal a wealth of long blonde tresses. The Knight is a woman.]

MORGAUSE
My name is Morgause.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER – NIGHT]
[Uther and Arthur consult Geoffrey of Monmouth.]

GEOFFREY
I've searched the records going back more than 300 years. I could find nothing to say a woman cannot issue a challenge.

UTHER
There must be some way to put a stop to this.

GEOFFREY
According to the Knight's Rules, it appears her challenge is perfectly valid.

ARTHUR
It seems there's nothing we can do.

UTHER
We don't know anything about this woman! I will not let you face her in combat!

ARTHUR
I accepted the challenge. If I refuse to fight, it'll be seen as an act of cowardice.

UTHER
She killed five guards. You should not underestimate her. ARTHUR I cannot demand that my knights uphold the code, then be seen to break it myself. I must face her tomorrow.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, MORGANA’S CHAMBERS – NIGHT]
[Morgana watches Morgause practicing in the Square.]

GWEN
Who is she? Why would she challenge Arthur? It seems no one's ever heard of her.

MORGANA
I feel as if I've met her somewhere before.

GWEN
Really? Where could you know her from?

MORGANA
I don't know.


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

MERLIN
Do you know why she challenged you?

ARTHUR
I'm the King's son. Perhaps she believed she will prove herself.

MERLIN
Yeah, but you don't want to fight her, do you?

ARTHUR
I have no choice. If I refuse to fight her, I'm a coward. If I kill her, what am I then? What is it?

MERLIN
You've never faced a woman in combat. What if you hesitate? She could use that to her advantage.

ARTHUR
You think she's going to defeat me.

MERLIN
I'm just saying. You need to be cautious, because it sounds like she's pretty handy with a sword.

ARTHUR
Since when do you know anything about combat? I need you to take a message to Morgause for me. If I'm seen to do it, it could be viewed as cowardice. You must persuade her to withdraw her challenge.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, MORGAUSE'S GUEST CHAMBERS – NIGHT]
[Merlin enters. Morgause corners him with a sword.]

MORGAUSE
What do you want?

MERLIN
I have a message from Prince Arthur. He wants you to withdraw your challenge. Arthur has no desire to fight you. Now, if you withdraw, he will grant you safe passage through the kingdom. Leave now, while you still can.

MORGAUSE
If Arthur has no desire to fight me, perhaps he should withdraw.

MERLIN
No. He'll, he'll never do that. It's not in him to withdraw.

MORGAUSE
Then we have that in common.

MERLIN
If you fight him, he will have to treat you as he does any other opponent. It won't matter that you're a woman.

MORGAUSE
I do not ask for special treatment.

MERLIN
Arthur has no quarrel with you. Why would you challenge him?

MORGAUSE
My reasons are not your concern.

MERLIN
Don't put Arthur in a position where he's forced to kill you.

MORGAUSE
Who's to say Arthur's life won't rest in my hands?


--
[EXT. TOURNAMENT GROUNDS – DAY]
[Uther enters. Merlin prepares Arthur for the fight.]

MERLIN
You gave her a chance to withdraw. Whatever happens, you are not to blame.


--
[EXT. TOURNAMENT GROUNDS – DAY]
[Arthur enters. Morgause is waiting.]

UTHER
The fight is by the Knights' Rules. And to the death.

ARTHUR
I'm offering you a final chance to withdraw. I suggest you take it. Then you leave me no choice.


[They fight. Arthur catches Morgause in the arm, but allows her to pick up her sword. She disarms him and presses her sword to his chest.]

MORGAUSE
Make me a promise and I will spare your life.

ARTHUR
What is it you ask?

MORGAUSE
Come to me three days hence and accept the challenge I set to you.

ARTHUR
And the nature of this challenge?

MORGAUSE
That is for me to decide. Do I have your word that you will accept, no matter what?

ARTHUR
You have my word.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, MORGAUSE’S GUEST CHAMBERS – NIGHT]
[Gaius tends to Morgause's wounded arm.]

GAIUS
You're fortunate the wound isn't too deep. You seems familiar. Have you visited Camelot in the past?

MORGAUSE
I was here many years ago. I was just a baby at the time. I doubt you'd remember me. I'm grateful for your help.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS – NIGHT]
[Arthur is slumped over the table.]

MERLIN
It could've been worse.

ARTHUR
How, exactly, could it have been worse?

MERLIN
You could be dead.

ARTHUR
At least I wouldn't have to face everyone. I've never felt so humiliated in my entire life. I was defeated by a girl.

MERLIN
It's actually quite funny when you think about it. Or not.

ARTHUR
No. It's like you said. I was hindered because I was fighting a woman. I was worried I was going to hurt her. That's why she won.

MERLIN
You didn't look hindered... I'll stop talking now.

-- [INT. KING’S PALACE, MORGAUSE’S GUEST CHAMBERS – NIGHT] [Morgana knocks on the door and enters.]

MORGANA I didn't mean to intrude. I wanted to introduce myself. I'm the Lady Morgana.

MORGAUSE I know who you are.

MORGANA How is your arm? You were wounded.

MORGAUSE It'll heal soon enough. You look tired.

MORGANA I haven't been sleeping.

MORGAUSE I know for myself how troubling that can be.

MORGANA Could it be that we've met somewhere before?

MORGAUSE (shakes head) I'm glad we have met now.

MORGANA That's a beautiful bracelet.

MORGAUSE It was a gift. From my mother. Please, I would like you to have it. It's a healing bracelet. It will help you sleep.

MORGANA I couldn't. You must be tired. I will leave you to rest.

MORGAUSE I hope you will remember me fondly.

-- [INT. KING’S PALACE, MORGANA’S CHAMBERS – NIGHT] [Morgana stirs restlessly in her sleep. Morgause watches her and hold up bracelet.]

MORGAUSE Gefultuma híe þæt heo onslæpe.

[Morgause places bracelet at the end of Morgana's bed. Morgana stops twitching.]

-- [EXT. KING’S PALACE, GATE – DAY] [Morgause prepares her horse for travel. Arthur leads his horse out of the drawbridge gate and stops.]

ARTHUR Congratulations on your victory. You're a skilful swordsman. Woman. Swords... swordswoman.

[Morgause walks over to his horse.]

MORGAUSE You have a beautiful horse.

[Arthur looks at his horse and Morgause's eyes glow.]

MORGAUSE I shall expect to see you three days hence.

ARTHUR How will I find you?

MORGAUSE When the time comes, you will know your way.

ARTHUR If I don't show up it might be because I don't know where I'm going.

MORGAUSE The path you must follow will become clear to you.

[She mounts her horse.]

MORGAUSE I should thank you for allowing me to retrieve my sword.

ARTHUR I'm starting to wish I hadn't.

MORGAUSE You showed yourself to be a man of honour. You inherited that trait from your mother.

ARTHUR You knew my mother?

MORGAUSE I knew her very well.

ARTHUR Wait!

-- [INT. KING’S PALACE, MORGANA’S CHAMBERS – DAY] [Gwen tries to shake Morgana awake.]

GWEN Morgana. Morgana. Morgana.

MORGANA I was fast asleep.

GWEN It's nearly midday.

MORGANA I can't remember the last time I slept so well.

GWEN I'll fetch you some clothes.

[Morgana finds the magic bracelet.]


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

UTHER And what is to be the nature of this challenge?

ARTHUR She didn't say. But I gave her my word that I would accept it no matter what

UTHER You should never have made such a promise. You have no idea what she might ask of you.

ARTHUR She had her sword to my chest. I had no choice. Morgause said that she knew my mother.

UTHER She told you this? Obviously she's lying. She's playing on your affections for your mother to lure you into a trap       .

ARTHUR That makes no sense. She spared my life.

UTHER It confirms my suspicions. I believe Morgause is an enchantress. How else could she have defeated you?

ARTHUR I don't believe she was using magic.

UTHER And you would know for certain if she were? Under no circumstances will you go to meet her, or accept this challenge.

ARTHUR I gave her my word!

UTHER I don't care what was said to her. You will remain in Camelot.

ARTHUR I want to hear what she knows about my mother.

UTHER She knows nothing. She is lying. You will not go to her. I forbid it.

ARTHUR So I am to break my word?

UTHER Escort my son to his chambers. Under no circumstances will he be allowed to leave.

ARTHUR You're confining me to my chambers?

UTHER I am protecting you from your own foolishness!

-- [INT. KING’S PALACE, ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS – DAY] [Merlin walks to Arthur's Chambers, confused to see the guards before he enters.]

MERLIN Why are the guards outside the door?

ARTHUR My father has confined me to my chambers and has forbidden me from accepting Morgause's challenge.

MERLIN Well, maybe he's got a point. You, you don't know what she might've asked you to do.

ARTHUR I gave her my word.

MERLIN So, I take it we're going anyway.

ARTHUR You're smarter than you look. Gather some supplies, we leave tonight. Oh, and Merlin ...find a way to get me out of here.

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

GAIUS How's Arthur?

MERLIN You mean after being defeated by a girl in front of the whole of Camelot? I've seen him happier.

GAIUS I think you're enjoying this, Merlin.

MERLIN Maybe a little.

[Merlin sees rope and pretends to grind something for Gaius while sneaking the rope under his clothes.]

MERLIN (whisper) Ic þé geháta, searubunden.

-- [INT. KING’S PALACE, ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS – NIGHT] [Merlin enters. Arthur is now dressed in chainmail.]

MERLIN I got the supplies.

ARTHUR Merlin, is it my imagination, or are you getting fat?

[Merlin lifts his shirt to reveal the rope wrapped around his torso.]

-- [INT. KING’S PALACE, ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS – NIGHT] [Merlin prepares to anchor Arthur as he climbs out the window.]

ARTHUR Are you sure you're strong enough to hold me?

MERLIN Yeah. I'm stronger than I look.

[Arthur slides halfway down.]

ARTHUR What are you doing? Lower the rope!

MERLIN There is no more rope! I don't know if I can hold on much longer!

ARTHUR Merlin, do not let go of the ro...

[The rope slips and Arthur falls face first into a pile of dung.]

-- [EXT. FOREST – NIGHT] [Merlin and Arthur ride through the woods.]

MERLIN Which way? Do you actually know where we're going?

ARTHUR It's this way. Come on. What is wrong with this horse? It's even dumber than you, Merlin!

MERLIN Where are you going? I thought you said it was left?

ARTHUR It's not me! It's the horse! Morgause told me. When the time comes, you'll know your way.

MERLIN So the horse knows where we're going. Great.

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

GAIUS Come on, Merlin. Merlin?

[Merlin's Chamber is empty.]

-- [INT. KING’S PALACE, CORRIDOR/ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS – DAY] [Gaius and Uther march to Arthur's Chambers. Uther sees the open window.]

UTHER You've been guarding an empty room. Send out a search party! Find Arthur and bring him back to Camelot! Do you have any idea what Morgause might want with Arthur?

GAIUS I'm afraid I don't.

-- [EXT. FOREST – DAY] [Merlin and Arthur ride through the woods.]

MERLIN What if Morgause challenges you to do something you don't want to do?

ARTHUR I'm not expecting it to be easy, Merlin. That's why it's called a challenge.

MERLIN So you'd do anything she asks of you?

ARTHUR I gave her my word. It's a question of honour.

MERLIN What if she challenges you to do something even less honourable than breaking your word?

ARTHUR Will you stop rabbitting on? We're in Odin's territory. We could be attacked at any second.

MERLIN
I just think it's strange to agree to do something when you don't know what it is.

ARTHUR
One more word out of you, Merlin, and you'll be taking the challenge in my place.


[They're attacked by Odin's men.]

MERLIN
Gar onbærne.


[Arthur finishes off other attackers.]

ARTHUR
Don't worry, Merlin. I'll deal with this, you lie there, make yourself comfortable.

MERLIN
Maybe we should turn back. The woods could be full of Odin's men.

ARTHUR
You can go back if you want to, I won't stop you.

MERLIN
You don't know anything about Morgause! You don't know what she's gonna ask you to do! We don't even know where we're going, we're following a horse!

ARTHUR
Morgause said she knew my mother.


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

MORGANA
Gaius, come in.

GAIUS
Good day, my dear. I brought you your sleeping draught.

MORGANA
I could've saved you the trouble. I had the best night's sleep I can remember.

GAIUS
No nightmares?

MORGANA
I can't tell you what a relief it is. I only wish I could thank Morgause for her gift.

GAIUS
Morgause gave you that bracelet?

MORGANA
She told me it would help me sleep. She spoke the truth. Gaius, what is it?

GAIUS
Nothing. I'm merely surprised that it's so effective.

MORGANA
I feel as if I somehow know Morgause.

GAIUS
I don't see how. But I'm pleased you're feeling better.


--
[EXT. FOREST, CAMP – NIGHT]
[Merlin and Arthur sit at a campfire.]

MERLIN
What was your mother like?

ARTHUR
I never knew her. She died before I opened my eyes.

MERLIN
I'm sorry.

ARTHUR
I barely know anything about her.

MERLIN
Can't you ask your father?

ARTHUR
He refuses to talk about her. It must be too painful for him. Sometimes it's as if she never even existed. I still have a sense of her. Almost as though she's part of me.

MERLIN
That's the same with my father. I never knew him. And my mother's barely spoken of him. I've got this...vague memory. It's probably just my imagination.

ARTHUR
I'd do anything for even the vaguest memory.

MERLIN
Is that why you're so determined to find Morgause? To see what she knows about your mother?

ARTHUR
Is that so wrong?

MERLIN
No.

ARTHUR
I should get some rest.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER – NIGHT]
[Gaius enters. Uther is eating.]

GAIUS
My Lord, I must speak with you. It concerns Morgause.

UTHER
What is it?

GAIUS
While I was treating her wound, I noticed that she wore a bracelet.

UTHER
Go on.

GAIUS
And it bore the mark of one of the Great Houses, the Great House of Gorlois. There is only one person, other than Morgana, who would have cause to wear such a bracelet. That is, a half sister.

UTHER
I was led to believe that the child had died.

GAIUS
The child lived, My Lord. She was smuggled out of Camelot shortly after her birth.

UTHER
How do you know this?

GAIUS
It was I who entrusted the child to the High Priestesses of the Old Religion.

UTHER
You should've told me, Gaius.

GAIUS
I had sworn a solemn oath, My Lord. I'm only breaking it now because I fear what Morgause might do.

UTHER
Does Morgana know?

GAIUS
I don't believe so.

UTHER
Morgana must never find out she has a half sister. I will not have her loyalties divided.

GAIUS
Of course. The High Priestesses will have trained Morgause from birth. Her magic will be powerful.

UTHER
Then we must hope the search party finds Arthur before he reaches her.


--
[EXT. LAKE – DAY]
[Merlin and Arthur come to a lake with a waterfall.]

MERLIN
It seems your horse has brought us to a dead end.


[Arthur’s horse walks forward to the water.]

ARTHUR
Now where's he going?

MERLIN
I think you're going to get wet.

ARTHUR
You don't say.

MERLIN
Arthur?


[Merlin nudges his horse to follow them into the lake.]


--
[EXT. MORGAUSE’S ENCHANTED FORTRESS – DAY]
[Merlin enters a tunnel behind the waterfall and emerges from a wood to find Arthur staring up at a the Enchanted Castle.]

MERLIN
Where are we?

ARTHUR
I don't know.

MERLIN
If we weren't sure Morgause was a sorcerer before, we can be certain of it now.

ARTHUR
That must've been how she defeated me. She was using magic.

MERLIN
Hmm, it didn't look like she was.

ARTHUR
And what would you know about magic, Merlin?

MERLIN
Nothing.


[They dismount and enter into a chamber empty except for a block of wood with an axe.]

ARTHUR
Now what?

MERLIN
Maybe we should ask the horse. Well, there's no one here.

MORGAUSE
You kept your promise.

ARTHUR
What is the nature of the challenge you wish to set me?

MORGAUSE
Place your head on the block.


[Morgause picks up the axe.]

MORGAUSE
You gave me your word that you would do anything I asked.

MERLIN Arthur, don't.

[Arthur kneels to place his head on the block.]

MERLIN What are you doing? I won't let you do this!

ARTHUR Stay out of this, Merlin!

[Morgause begins to swing the axe, then puts it down.]

MORGAUSE
You have shown that you are truly a man of your word, Arthur Pendragon, and for that I will grant you one wish. Tell me what it is that your heart most desires.

ARTHUR
You said you knew my mother. Tell me all that you know about her.

MORGAUSE
Perhaps you would like to see her.

ARTHUR
I want that more than anything.

MORGAUSE
As you wish.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER – DAY]
[Sir Leon and other knights stand before Uther.]

SIR LEON
The search party were unable to pick up a trail. There is no sign of Prince Arthur anywhere.

UTHER
Redouble your efforts. Send riders to the outlying villages. I want my son found!

SIR LEON
Yes, My Lord.


[The knights leave.]

UTHER
It chills me to think what Morgause has planned for Arthur.

GAIUS
Had she chosen to , she already could have killed him. I believe she has some other purpose in mind.

UTHER
Morgause told Arthur that she knew his mother.

GAIUS
She knew Ygraine?

UTHER
I don't know! Perhaps it's a lie. She knew that it would tempt Arthur to go to her.

GAIUS
You think that Morgause knows the true circumstances to Arthur's birth?

UTHER I fear that more than anything.


--
[INT. MORGAUSE’S ENCHANTED FORTRESS – DAY]
[Merlin and Arthur wait for Morgause to prepare her spell.]

MERLIN
Are you sure you want to do this?

ARTHUR
If you were granted the same opportunity, would you not want to meet your father?

MERLIN
Uther won't forgive you if he finds out you've collaborated with a sorcerer.

ARTHUR
What if my father's attitude to magic is wrong?

MERLIN
You really think that?

ARTHUR
Perhaps it's not as simple as he would have us believe. Morgause is a sorcerer, she has caused us no harm. Surely not everyone who practices magic can be evil.

MERLIN
We don't actually know why she's doing this.

MORGAUSE
It is time. Close your eyes. Arásae mid min miclan mihte þín suna to helpe. Hider eft funde on þisse ne middangeard þín suna w'æs.

YGRAINE
Arthur.


[Arthur opens his eyes.]

YGRAINE
Arthur.

ARTHUR
Mother.

YGRAINE
My son.


[Ygraine goes to Arthur and hugs him.]

YGRAINE
When I last held you, you were a tiny baby. I remember your eyes. You were staring up at me. Those few seconds I held you were the most precious of my life.

ARTHUR
I'm so sorry.

YGRAINE
You have nothing to be sorry for.

ARTHUR
It was my birth that caused you to die.

YGRAINE
No, you are not to blame.

ARTHUR
I cannot bear the thought that you died because of me.

YGRAINE
Do not think that. It is your father who should carry the guilt for what happened.

ARTHUR
What do you mean?

YGRAINE
It is not important. What matters is that you lived.

ARTHUR
Why should my father feel guilty?

YGRAINE
It is better left in the past.

ARTHUR
You cannot leave me with more questions. Please.

YGRAINE
Your father, he was desperate for an heir. Without a son, the Pendragon dynasty would come to an end. But I could not conceive.

ARTHUR
But how was I born? Tell me.

YGRAINE
Your father betrayed me. He went to the sorceress Nimueh and asked for her help in conceiving a child... You were born of magic.

ARTHUR
That's not true.

YGRAINE
I'm sorry, Arthur. Your father has deceived you as he deceived me. To create a life, a life must be taken. Your father knew that.

ARTHUR
No.

YGRAINE
He sacrificed my life so the Pendragon dynasty could continue. It makes you no less my son, nor me any less proud of you. Now I see you, I would have given my life willingly. Do not let this knowledge change you.


[Arthur looks back up and Ygraine is gone.]

ARTHUR
No! Bring her back!

MORGAUSE
I cannot. Once the doorway is closed, it is closed forever. I am truly sorry that your learnt of your mother's fate in this way. I can only imagine how it must feel to discover your father is responsible for her death. It is an unforgivable betrayal.


[Morgause leaves.]

MERLIN
Are you alright? Arthur?

ARTHUR
Fetch the horses. We're returning to Camelot.


--
[EXT. KING’S PALACE, MAIN SQUARE – DAY]
[Merlin and Arthur return to Camelot. Arthur dismounts in the square and grabs the sword from his horse before walking up the steps into the castle.]

MERLIN
What are you going to do?


[Arthur keeps walking. Gaius comes up to Merlin.]

GAIUS
Merlin. I'm relieved to see you're safe. Where's Arthur?


[Merlin walks around Gaius to face the wall of the Courtyard Corridor.]

MERLIN
Arthur was born of magic. Wasn't he? Uther used magic.

GAIUS
Merlin...

MERLIN
All those people he's executed...he's as guilty as they are. He sacrificed Arthur's mother! He as good as murdered her! People should know the truth about what he's done. How could you not tell me?

GAIUS
I feared what Arthur would do if he ever found out.

MERLIN
Oh, he's found out now.

[Merlin runs up the steps into the palace.]


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER – DAY]
[Uther's looks over some papers with Sir Leon when Arthur enters.]

UTHER
Arthur. Where have you been? I have had search parties out looking for you. Arthur?

ARTHUR
I know...what you did to my mother.

UTHER
Leave us. No one is to enter.

[Sir Leon exits and closes the doors.]

UTHER
What are you talking about?

ARTHUR
You were so desperate for an heir, you were prepared to use magic.

UTHER
Did Morgause tell you this? She's lying.

ARTHUR
My mother is dead because of your selfishness and arrogance. Her blood is on your hands.

UTHER
No. That's not true. But Morgause would have you believe that.


ARTHUR This is what fuels your hatred for those who practice magic. Rather than blame yourself for what you did, you blame them.

UTHER
You would believe a sorcerer's lies over the word of your own father? I can only think that Morgause has enchanted you.

ARTHUR
You hunted her kind like animals! How many hundreds have you condemned to death to ease your guilt?

UTHER
Those who practice magic will stop at nothing to destroy us! I have only done what is necessary to protect this kingdom!

ARTHUR
You speak of honour and nobility! You're nothing but a hypocrite and a liar!

UTHER
I am your king, and your father. You will show me some respect!


[Arthur throws his gauntlet at Uther's feet.]

UTHER
Have you lost your mind?

ARTHUR
Pick it up.

UTHER
Arthur, I implore you, think about what you're doing.

ARTHUR
Pick it up.

UTHER
I will not fight you.


[Arthur draws his sword.]

ARTHUR
If you choose not to defend yourself, I will strike you down where you stand.

UTHER
You are my son. You will not strike an unarmed man.

ARTHUR
I no longer think of myself as your son.

UTHER
Then strike me down.


[Arthur strikes, but Uther parries.]

UTHER
I don't want to fight you.


[They fight.]

UTHER
Arthur, stop this!

[Merlin runs up the Wrought Iron Stairway, meanwhile Arthur and Uther fight. Merlin runs through the Criss-cross Corridor. Merlin reaches the door to the Council Chamber, but Leon blocks him.]

SIR LEON
The King has forbidden anyone to enter!

MERLIN
They're going to kill each other!


[The Pendragons fight. Arthur disarms Uther and is about to strike, but Merlin opens the doors.]

MERLIN
Arthur! Don't! I know you don't want to do this!

ARTHUR
My mother is dead because of him!

MERLIN
Killing your father won't bring her back. You've lost one parent. Do you really want to lose another?

UTHER
Listen to him, Arthur.

MERLIN
Arthur, please, put the sword down.

ARTHUR
You heard what my mother said! After everything he has done, do you believe he deserves to live?! He executes those who use magic, and yet he has used it himself! You have caused so much suffering and pain! I will put an end to that!


[Gaius enters.]

MERLIN
Morgause is lying! She's an enchantress. She tricked you. That was not your mother you saw. That was an illusion. Everything...everything your mother said to you...those were Morgause's words.

ARTHUR
You don't know that!

MERLIN
This has been her plan all along! To turn you against your father. And if you kill him, the kingdom will be destroyed! This is what she wants!

UTHER
Listen to him, he's speaking the truth.

ARTHUR
Swear to me it isn't true! You are not responsible for my mother's death! Give me your word!

UTHER
I swear on my life, I loved your mother. There isn't a day passes that I don't wish that she were still alive. I could never have done anything to hurt her.


[Arthur drops his sword and falls to his knee, slumping against his father's chair.]

UTHER
My son, you mean more to me than...than anything.

ARTHUR
I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

UTHER
You are not to blame.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS – NIGHT]
[Arthur stares out the window. Merlin enters.]

ARTHUR
I am indebted to you, Merlin. I had become...confused. It is once again clear to me that those who practice magic are evil and dangerous. And that is thanks to you.

MERLIN
...Glad I could help.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN’S CHAMBERS – NIGHT]
[Merlin enters. Uther is waiting.]

MERLIN
My Lord.

UTHER
I wanted to thank you in person for your actions yesterday. You are a loyal servant to Arthur. I am most grateful.

MERLIN
I was just doing my duty.

UTHER
You've proven yourself to be a trusted ally in the fight against magic.

MERLIN
Me?

UTHER
Those who practice magic will seek to exploit Arthur's inexperience. They will attempt to corrupt him. We must be extra vigilant.

MERLIN
I will keep my eyes peeled.

UTHER
I know you will.

UTHER
If you ever speak of what happened between myself and Arthur to another living soul, I will have you hanged.

MERLIN
Right, of course. Yes, My Lord.


[Uther exits. Gaius enters.]

GAIUS
Was that Uther I saw just leaving?

MERLIN
Yeah. He just popped in to say hello.

GAIUS
Merlin, what did he want?

MERLIN
He wanted to thank me for being a trusted ally in the fight against magic.

GAIUS
How you've managed to keep that head on your shoulders is a mystery beyond our greatest minds. Uther should be grateful. Your life would've been easier and safer if you'd let him die. You must have been tempted.

MERLIN
Maybe for a moment. But Arthur wouldn't have been able to forgive himself if he'd gone through with it. It would have destroyed him.

GAIUS
I'm proud of you, Merlin.

MERLIN
Arthur's thanking me, Uther's grateful, you're proud. I've never been this popular.

GAIUS
I'm almost certain it won't last.

MERLIN
Just let me enjoy the moment.


--
[INT. MORGAUSE’S ENCHANTED FORTRESS – NIGHT]
[Morgause crystal gazes.]

MORGAUSE
ætíe mé þá þé ic séce.


[Morgause sees Arthur and Uther sitting down laughing with one another. Cue angry!Morgause.]

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