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Arrow leftSeries 4

Part OneEdit

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, INT. KING’S PALACE, KING ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS - NIGHT]
[Arthur dresses behind the screen.]

KING ARTHUR
What’s taking so long?

MERLIN
It’s the Feast of Beltane, the king must look kingly.

KING ARTHUR
I’m hardly going to look kingly in my undergarments, am I?

MERLIN
Have a little patience. Think of something pleasant.

KING ARTHUR
You in the stocks?

MERLIN
Wait one second...

[Merlin fiddles with something.]

KING ARTHUR
One?

[Arthur steps out from behind the screen and Merlin spins around, hiding something behind his back.]

KING ARTHUR
What have you got there?

MERLIN
Nothing. My hand.

[Merlin shows his right hand, then hides it behind his back.]

MERLIN
My other hand.

[Merlin shows his left hand, then hides it behind his back. Arthur walks forward dressed in everything but his trousers. He turns Merlin around and sees his belt in Merlin’s hands. He takes it.]

KING ARTHUR
Why are you putting another hole in this belt?

MERLIN
I was, er...enhancing it for comfort and ease of use.

KING ARTHUR
Are you saying I’m fat?

MERLIN
No! I’m saying that the... the belt is one hole shy of perfection.

KING ARTHUR
Ridiculous.

[Arthur tries to put the belt on over his chainmail. He cringes as he tries to squeeze it tight.]

KING ARTHUR
Come on.

[It won’t close.]

MERLIN
Don’t be too hard on yourself. A little extra padding goes with the job. What with all the feasts and banquets and ceremonies.

[Arthur gives up on the belt and hands it to Merlin.]

KING ARTHUR
All right, Merlin, do what you have to do. Not a word of this to anyone, understand?

MERLIN
Trust me, if there’s one thing I’m good at it’s keeping secrets.


--
[01:26, EXT. KING'S PALACE, SIEGE TUNNELS - NIGHT]
[Agravaine strikes a match, lights a smoke grenade and launches it at the feet of the sentries guarding the entrance to the siege tunnels. The guards cough and pass out. Agravaine steps past them and signals Morgana's troops with a torch. They signal back.]


--
[01:57, INT. KING'S PALACE, COUNCIL DINING CHAMBER - NIGHT]
[The dining room bustles with conversation as Arthur enters. He passes Gaius as he heads to the head of the table.]

KING ARTHUR
Have you seen Agravaine?

GAIUS
Er, no, sire. Not since this morning.

KING ARTHUR
Strange. He should be here by now.

[Arthur takes his place at the head of the table and Merlin arrives with a heaping plate of food.]

KING ARTHUR
Ah! My favourite. Herb crusted caper.

MERLIN
Easy now, we don’t want any more holes in that belt.

[Percival chokes on his wine as he sniggers.]

KING ARTHUR (forced)
Ha-ha.

MERLIN (to Gaius)
Wine?

[Gaius nods and Merlin pours him a glass.]

KING ARTHUR
Merlin.

[Arthur nods for him to lean in. Merlin steps closer and Arthur grabs the front of his shirt.]

KING ARTHUR
It’s a good job you don’t have anything of any actual importance to keep a secret, isn’t it?

--
[02:31, INT. KING'S PALACE, SIEGE TUNNELS - NIGHT]
[Agravaine exits the tunnels and looks for Morgana's army, worried that she's not there yet. His expression relaxes and he smiles when he sees the Southrons approaching. He leads them through the tunnels.]

--
[02:56, INT. KING'S PALACE, COUNCIL DINING CHAMBER - NIGHT]
[Arthur watches Sir Percival chatting up a lovely lady. He turns away, depressed.]

MERLIN
You all right?

KING ARTHUR
No one likes to be called fat, Merlin.

MERLIN
Sorry.

[Arthur looks around, continuing to mope.]

MERLIN
It's Gwen, isn't it?

KING ARTHUR
I look for her in the room; she’s not there… then I remember why.

--
[03:33, EXT. KING'S PALACE, CITY GATE - NIGHT]
[Southrons snap the necks of the sentries at the gate, then cover the lower town with lighter fluid. Agravaine drops a torch on it and the whole lower town goes up in flames. He smirks. Morgana watches from the hills, Helios at her side and the Southron army behind her.]

MORGANA
It's time.

OPENING CREDITS

--
[04:38, EXT. CAMELOT, LOWER TOWN - NIGHT]
[The townsfolk flee as knights attempt to put out the fires. Elyan shouts an order.]

SIR ELYAN
[...] We need more water. Now!

SIR LEON
Forget about the water.

SIR ELYAN
But if we can't--

[Leon grabs Elyan's arm and directs his attention to the arch where the Southron army is advancing.]

SIR ELYAN
How did they breach the gate?

SIR LEON
We can't worry about that now. Quickly, sound the alarm!

[The knights draw their swords.]

--
[05:03, INT. KING'S PALACE, COUNCIL DINING CHAMBER - NIGHT]
[Arthur stands in confusion as the warning bells sound and Gwaine enters.]

SIR GWAINE
Sire! We're under attack! They're within the city walls!

[Arthur takes off his cloak.]

KING ARTHUR
Merlin, get everyone to the inner chamber.

MERLIN
Yes, sire. Everyone follow me!

[Arthur jumps over the table and grabs a sword.]

KING ARTHUR
Gwaine, secure the armoury! Percival, with me!

--
[05:15, INT. KING'S PALACE, CORRIDOR - NIGHT]
[Elyan runs into Agravaine marching down the corridors with the Southrons.]

SIR ELYAN
This is your doing.

AGRAVAINE
Oh, stand aside. There's nothing you can do about it now.

[Elyan draws his sword.]

SIR ELYAN
I can kill you for the traitor that you are.

[Agravaine draws his sword.]

AGRAVAINE
Brave words, Elyan. And they shall be your last.

[Elyan is thrown backwards and falls to the floor unconscious. The Southrons step aside revealing Morgana behind them with a hand raised.]

MORGANA
We don't have time to play soldiers, Agravaine.

[Morgana marches past them and they follow.]

--
[Arthur leads the defensive through the corridors. Southrons pour into the main square.]

--
[05:57, INT. KING'S PALACE, INNER CHAMBER - NIGHT]
[Merlin and Gaius help the wounded.]

MERLIN
The lower town is lost. It's only a matter of time before they reach the citadel.

GAIUS
But how did this happen? How did they get in without being detected?

MERLIN
We knew Agravaine was planning something.

GAIUS
It seems your worst fears have been realised, Merlin.

[Merlin takes off.]

GAIUS
Merlin!

MERLIN
I've got to find Arthur!

--
[06:18, INT. KING'S PALACE, CORRIDORS - NIGHT]
[Arthur slices through Southrons on his way down the corridor. Merlin runs to find him.]

--
[06:39, EXT. CAMELOT, LOWER TOWN - NIGHT]
[Helios kills his way through the lower town.]

SIR LEON
We can't hold them for much longer! Lead the people to the woods! Retreat! Retreat!

--
[06:54, INT. KING'S PALACE, PHOENIX CORRIDOR - NIGHT]
[Arthur and his knights fights Southrons. Arthur kills the two attacking him, but a third takes down one of his knights and turns on Arthur, striking him in the ribs. Merlin arrives. Arthur elbows the attacker in the face and clutches his side as he runs down the corridor. Merlin intercepts him and pulls him around the corner. Arthur yells in pain.]

KING ARTHUR
Been hiding in the broom cupboard as usual, Merlin?

MERLIN
We need to get out of here!

[Merlin shoves Arthur down another corridor, then turns back to the Phoenix corridor as the Southrons run toward them.]

MERLIN
*spell*

[Merlin's eyes glow and the torch fires spring across the width of the corridor, blocking the Southrons as they cower back.]

--
[07:21, EXT. KING'S PALACE, COURTYARD CORRIDOR - NIGHT]
[Merlin and Arthur run down the corridor, Arthur still clutching his side.]

MERLIN
Are you all right?

KING ARTHUR
I'm fine.

[They stop against a column and Arthur grunts in pain.]

KING ARTHUR
Maybe a broken rib or two.

[Arthur peeks around the corner and sees Helios and Morgana leading the Southron army. His expression changes to shock when he sees Agravaine with them. He rests back against the column.]

KING ARTHUR
Agravaine.

[Arthur's anger rises and Merlin grabs him to stop him from launching out to face the entire Southron army alone.]

MERLIN (whisper)
No! It's no good! Arthur! There are too many of them. We can deal with your uncle later. All right?

[Arthur calms a little and Merlin lead him away.]

MERLIN (whisper)
Go.

--
[08:16, EXT. WOODS - NIGHT]
[Knights, guards, and townsfolk flee the city.]

SIR LEON
Quickly, this way! Go on! Quickly! Go on!

[Leon looks back at the burning city.]

--
[08:27, INT. KING'S PALACE, THRONE ROOM - NIGHT]
[Helios approaches Morgana who lounges on the throne alone.]

HELIOS
The city has fallen. Camelot is ours.

MORGANA (unimpressed)
And?

[Helios gives her a look. She rises from the throne.]

MORGANA
Taking Camelot was the easy part, Helios. I want Arthur. Where is he?

HELIOS
He's right here, my lady. In the palace. He's nowhere left to run.

[Morgana smiles. Helios smiles and laughs as Morgana stalks past him.]

--
[09:05, INT. KING'S PALACE, INNER CHAMBER - NIGHT]
[Gaius tends to Arthur.]

GAIUS
I can bind the ribcage, but even that would run the risk of puncturing a lung.

KING ARTHUR
Do whatever it takes, Gaius, just so long as I can swing a sword.

[Gwaine and Percival bar the doors.]

GAIUS
How do we stand?

SIR PERCIVAL
The citadel is overrun. We can't hold out much longer.

GAIUS
How long before they reach us?

SIR PERCIVAL
Minutes at best.

MERLIN
We can't wait for Arthur. If they find him, they'll kill him.

SIR PERCIVAL
We must get him to safety while we still can.

SIR GWAINE
Arthur would never abandon his people. He'd rather die.

MERLIN
Barricade the doors. Give us as much time as you can.

[Merlin and Gaius step aside.]

MERLIN
We need to get Arthur out of here whether he likes it or not. Give him some kind of potion, something to knock him out?

GAIUS
I don't have anything strong enough. In my chambers, perhaps, but the Southrons control the palace.

MERLIN
There must be something.

GAIUS
I'm sorry, Merlin. Maybe there's something you can do. Arthur won't go willingly. What if he was to lose his will?

MERLIN
Are you suggesting magic?

GAIUS
You'll do it?

MERLIN
I can try.

[Merlin steps behind Arthur and Gaius steps in front of him as Arthur leans back against the table.]

GAIUS
I'm sorry, sire, this is going to hurt.

KING ARTHUR
Just get on with it!

[Gaius presses his hands into Arthur's wound and Arthur howls in pain.]

MERLIN
*spell*

[Merlin's eyes glow and Arthur stirs weirdly. Gwaine and Percival rush up.]

MERLIN
We need to leave now, sire!

[Merlin looks at Gaius, waiting.]

ARTHUR THE SIMPLETON
Of course.

[Arthur stands up, slightly unsteady and the others look at each other. Merlin gives Gaius a shrug and Gwaine and Percival brush off their surprise.]

SIR PERCIVAL
Then let's go.

[Percival slings Arthur's arm around his neck and helps him out.]

SIR PERCIVAL
We'll use the postern gate.

[Merlin gathers Arthur's things. Gwaine stops as the walk out and offers his hand to Percival.]

SIR GWAINE
I'll keep them off your back as long as I can.

[Percival looks surprised for a moment, then grasps Gwaine's outstretched arm and exits with Arthur. Gaius just stands there.]

MERLIN
Gather your things, Gaius.

GAIUS
You go, Merlin. I'll just slow you down.

MERLIN
Gaius, no.

GAIUS
You must know it's for the best.

MERLIN
No, if you stay here--

SIR GWAINE
No time to argue. I'm sorry.

[Gwaine shoves Merlin toward the exit.]
GAIUS
Look after our king, Merlin.

[Merlin hesitates, then runs off. Gwaine and Gaius face the door. The Southrons burst in, Morgana in their midst. Gwaine allows his sword to be taken.]

GAIUS
It seems your victory is short-lived, Morgana.

[Morgana scowls and turns to the door.]

MORGANA
Prepare the horses! We're going on a hunt.

--
[11:38, EXT. WOODS - NIGHT]
[Percival support Arthur through the woods, Merlin at their side. They slow to a stop.]

ARTHUR THE SIMPLETON
Thank you, Percival.

MERLIN
Can you walk on your own?

ARTHUR THE SIMPLETON
Oh, yes. Just point me in the right direction.

[Footsteps approach.]

SIR PERCIVAL
Shh!

[Percival grabs someone.]

SIR PERCIVAL
Elyan.

SIR ELYAN
...on my account.

[They smile.]

SIR PERCIVAL
Is the way out of Camelot clear?

SIR ELYAN
As far as I can tell.

[They head off, while simpleton!Arthur lingers to watch Camelot burn. Merlin waits for him.]

MERLIN
Come on, Arthur.

[Merlin nods for Arthur to follow and he walks on slowly.]

--
[12:15, EXT. WOODS - NIGHT]

SIR PERCIVAL
They'll come after us. They know Arthur's still alive.

SIR ELYAN
Then we have to make it across the border, find sanctuary anywhere we can.

MERLIN
I know a place. Ealdor. It's beyond the White Mountain. Wait!

[They stop and Merlin turns back to listen. He hears hoof beats.]

MERLIN
Listen.

SIR PERCIVAL
Run!

[They run as Morgana, Agravaine, and the Southrons ride straight for them.]

MORGANA
*spell*

[Morgana's eyes glow and they're all thrown forward. Merlin and Elyan help Arthur to his feet and they keep running. Southrons pursue on foot.]

MERLIN
Where's Percival?

SIR ELYAN
We have to go!

[They reach a rock trench and Elyan stops.]

SIR ELYAN
Go!

[Arthur runs on. Elyan hands Merlin a sword.]

MERLIN
What about you?

SIR ELYAN
Don't worry about me. Go!

[Merlin runs off. Elyan steps into the trench opening and fights off the Southrons as they come one at a time.]

--
[13:30, EXT. WOODS - NIGHT]
[Merlin stops running and holds up a hand and simpleton!Arthur runs into him.]

ARTHUR THE SIMPLETON
Sorry! My fault.

[Merlin is surprised by this new development.]

MERLIN
Well, I think we're safe for now. But we need to find you some kind of disguise. You're too conspicuous in those clothes.

[Arthur looks down at his armour and red cape.]

ARTHUR THE SIMPLETON
Well, whatever you say. I'm entirely in your hands.

[Merlin stares at simpleton!Arthur for a moment and they continue on.]

--
[14:02, INT. KING'S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER - NIGHT]
[Morgana is curled up on the throne, smiling up at Helios as Agravaine enters.]

AGRAVAINE
All quarters of Camelot are now under our control. Some knights have fled to the woods, but those that did not escape are either in our dungeons or dead.

MORGANA
Very good.

[Agravaine smiles at Morgana, but it fades when he catches Helios's eye.]

MORGANA
Now [...] the people of Camelot welcome me as their queen?

AGRAVAINE
They will swear allegiance to no one but Arthur.

MORGANA
I expected no less. Burn their crops.

[Agravaine is clearly shocked.]

MORGANA
Let’s see how they feel when their children begin to starve.

HELIOS
And what of Arthur?

[Morgana nods and a couple of Southrons shove Elyan into the chamber. Helios nods and they shove him to his knees in front of Morgana.]

MORGANA
We'll find Arthur soon enough.

--
[15:00, EXT. WOODS, HUT - DAY]
[Merlin and Arthur find a hut with laundry hanging on the clothesline outside. Arthur hunches down over Merlin's shoulder.]

MERLIN
Perfect.

[Arthur nods like an imbecile behind him as Merlin tries to get up with Arthur squeezed in next to him. Merlin sits against a wall as Arthur changes.]

MERLIN
In your own time. Obviously.

ARTHUR THE SIMPLETON
Agh. Sorry, Merlin. Some of these things are a little on the tight side.

MERLIN
Beggars can't be choosers, sire.

ARTHUR THE SIMPLETON
No, you're right. Probably should learn to think before I speak, shouldn't I?

[Merlin smiles.]

MERLIN
It'd be a start.

ARTHUR THE SIMPLETON
Agh. All done.

[Arthur steps out from behind the wall for inspection. The trousers reach just below the knee, the sleeves barely reach past his elbows, and the shirt shows a large section of midriff. Merlin closes his eyes and laughs.]

MERLIN
Well, Arthur, what can I say? You look like a total turnip head.

ARTHUR THE SIMPLETON
Well, should I try something else? There's--there's plenty more here.

MERLIN
No. No. That-- that will do absolutely fine. Although, maybe I'll take that.

[Merlin takes the money pouch on Arthur's belt.]

ARTHUR THE SIMPLETON
My gooold.

MERLIN
Probably safer with me.

ARTHUR THE SIMPLETON
Of course.

[Merlin smiles a bit, then gives simpleton!Arthur a strange look.]

--
[16:09, INT. KING'S PALACE, COUNCIL TORTURE CHAMBER - DAY]
[Morgana holds out a small black snake.]

MORGANA
Do you know what this is? No? It's a Nathair in the mountains of Asgaard. Harmless enough most of the time, but with a little persuasion, it can cause a man pain beyond all imagining. So you have a choice. Tell me where Arthur is...

[Elyan smirks.]

MORGANA
Or sample the delights of my little friend here.

SIR ELYAN
I'll tell you nothing.

MORGANA
I was hoping you'd say that.

[Morgana holds up the snake.]

MORGANA
*spell*

[Morgana grabs Elyan. Helios and Agravaine watch as Morgana applies the snake and Elyan screams in agony. Later, Helios eats some chicken while he and Agravaine wait outside the torture chamber, listening to Elyan's screams. Agravaine is clearly disturbed.]

AGRAVAINE
Good God, will it never end?

HELIOS
What's wrong? Don't have the stomach for it?

[Helios smirks at Agravaine. Morgana exits the torture chamber.]

MORGANA
Arthur travels to Ealdor. You will leave without delay. And Agravaine, fail me again and you'll be taking Elyan's place.

[Agravaine shoots Helios a look. Helios smirks and walks off at Morgana's side.]

--
[17:34, INT. KING'S PALACE, DUNGEONS - DAY]
[Elyan is dragged to the same cell as Gaius and Gwaine. Gwaine catches Elyan as the Southrons drop him and lock the door.]

SIR GWAINE
What have they done to him?

GAIUS
This is the work of the Nathair serpent. He's been tortured to the limit of human endurance.

SIR GWAINE
Can you help him?

GAIUS
I'll do what I can.

--
[18:05, INT. KING'S PALACE, KING ARTHUR'S CHAMBERS - DAY]
[Morgana reads Arthur's documents. Agravaine enters.]

MORGANA
I thought I told you to leave at once.

AGRAVAINE
My men are all ready to depart.

MORGANA
Then what are you waiting for?

AGRAVAINE
I...

[Morgana looks at him with a confused scowl.]

AGRAVAINE
I just wanted to say goodbye.

MORGANA
Consider it done.

AGRAVAINE
And to ask you to take care.

MORGANA
Why? I have nothing to fear.

AGRAVAINE
Despite all that you have achieved, Morgana, you must remain cautious. There's danger at every turn. You can trust no one. Not even Helios.

[Morgana smiles and leans back.]

MORGANA
No one except you, is that it?

AGRAVAINE
I am your one true ally, my lady. I am your one true friend. I would do anything for you, you know that.

MORGANA
I am grateful for your loyalty, Agravaine. That is why I've entrusted this mission to you.

AGRAVAINE
I understand. Of course I do. I only wish it did not take me from your side where I can best protect you.

MORGANA
Find Arthur and you need never leave my side again.

[Agravaine bows.]

AGRAVAINE
My lady.

[Agravaine exits and Morgana sits back and considers their conversation. Agravaine leads the Southrons out of Camelot.]

--
[19:50, EXT. WOODS - DAY]
[Merlin senses something.]

MERLIN
Stop.

[Merlin listens, then turns to simpleton!Arthur and speaks slowly.]

MERLIN
Wait here.

[Simpleton Arthur nods and Merlin heads off. Arthur heads off in the other direction. Merlin catches sight of set of travellers breaking camp. Someone puts a sword at his back. It's a blonde woman.]

ISOLDE
Hello.

[She smiles. Isolde brings Merlin and Arthur to Tristan, who's sharpening a knife.]

ISOLDE
I found them lurking in the woods.

TRISTAN
See anything interesting?

MERLIN
No.

[Merlin and Arthur duck as Tristan throws the knife into the tree behind Merlin's head.]

TRISTAN
You want to watch where you stick your beak, boy.

MERLIN
I didn't see anything, I promise. We were just passing through.

ISOLDE
They've no horses, no supplies, nothing.

TRISTAN
Like to travel light, do you?

MERLIN
Something like that.

TRISTAN
So where're you headed?

MERLIN
North over the border.

TRISTAN
Lot's kingdom. He doesn't take kindly to strangers, I can tell you. Likes to decorate his fortress with their heads.

MERLIN
So why are you heading there?

TRISTAN
I have my reasons.

MERLIN
Right.

ARTHUR THE SIMPLETON
I agree with him.

TRISTAN
What's wrong with your friend?

MERLIN
He's a simpleton, he can't help it.

TRISTAN
Look after him, do you?

MERLIN
Without me, he wouldn't last a day.

[Simpleton Arthur nods. Tristan narrows his eyes at them suspiciously, then looks back at his wagon.]

TRISTAN
Very well, I suppose you can be on your way.

[Tristan retrieves his knife from the tree.]

MERLIN
Could we not come with you? I mean, I--I would be grateful for the company, to be honest.

[Arthur steps forward.]

ARTHUR THE SIMPLETON
I'm very annoying.

TRISTAN (scoffs)
I'm sorry.

MERLIN
Please?

TRISTAN
Don't push it, boy. You're lucky I let you go with your lives.

MERLIN
I could pay you.

[That catches their attention.]

MERLIN
With gold.

TRISTAN
Well, why didn't you say so before?

[Arthur smiles like an idiot. Merlin looks at him and simpleton!Arthur goes serious.]

--
[21:56, EXT. WOODS, HUT - DAY]
[Agravaine finds Arthur's discarded clothes.]

AGRAVAINE
What kind of coward would deny who he is? Men, this way! Can't have got far!

--
[22:14, EXT. WOODS - DAY]
[Merlin and Arthur travel with Tristan and Isolde.]

TRISTAN
We make camp here!

[Isolde smiles as Tristan helps her down from the wagon and he holds her in his arms.]

ISOLDE
Why, thank you.

TRISTAN
My pleasure.

[Arthur sticks a leg out of the wagon and Merlin shoves it back in. Later, Merlin helps them make camp. He opens a box and Isolde steps around the corner of the wagon.]

ISOLDE
That doesn't concern you.

MERLIN
I'm sorry. It's just, I recognize that smell. That is frankincense isn't it?

TRISTAN
What if it is?

MERLIN
Must be worth a fortune.

TRISTAN
It must be.

[They give each other a long look.]

MERLIN
You're smugglers.

ISOLDE
We prefer to think of it as free trade.

[Tristan chuckles.]

MERLIN
It's forbidden. By edict of the king, if you're caught, you could be killed.

TRISTAN
Caught? Tristan and Isolde? I don't think so. We're too quick and too smart for the halfwit king in Camelot.

[Tristan walks past Simpleto Arthur who is hugging a tree, tapping it with his knuckles with an ear pressed against the trunk.]

MERLIN
You don't say.

[Merlin goes to collect Arthur.]

--
[23:49, EXT. WOODS - NIGHT]
[Merlin and Arthur sit by their own campfire.]

MERLIN
More soup?

ARTHUR THE SIMPLETON
Yes, please.

[Merlin ladles some soup for Arthur.]

ARTHUR THE SIMPLETON
Thank you.

[Arthur lifts the bowl to his lips.]

MERLIN
A please and a thank you all the same time? That's amazing.

ARTHUR THE SIMPLETON
Is it?

MERLIN (nods)
Mm. Well, let's just say manners are not your strong point.

ARTHUR THE SIMPLETON
Really?

[Merlin nods.]

ARTHUR THE SIMPLETON
In what way?

MERLIN
Rude. Thoughtless. Insensitive. And that's when you're in a good mood.

ARTHUR THE SIMPLETON
Sorry to hear that.

MERLIN
I don't think you realise how hard I work for you. I know you're the king, but it would be nice if you could do one small think for yourself as a, erm...gesture. Mark of respect.

ARTHUR THE SIMPLETON
Sorry to have been a disappointment, Merlin. I'll try harder in future.

MERLIN
Oh, I look forward to that. On the other hand, why wait?

[Merlin drops his soup bowl on top of the one Arthur is holding.]

MERLIN
That pot will need rinsing out as well.

ARTHUR THE SIMPLETON
Of course.

MERLIN
And when you're done with that, the horses need a rubdown, too.

ARTHUR THE SIMPLETON
My pleasure.

[Merlin watches simpleton!Arthur as he gets up and takes the stewpot.]

MERLIN
Over there.

[Merlin points. Arthur walks over the bushes and falls over, crashing down with a clatter. Merlin smiles and lies down.]

MERLIN
You all right?

ARTHUR THE SIMPLETON
Yeah.

[Arthur gets up and continues on.]

--
[25:30, EXT. WOODS - NIGHT]
[Agravaine rides through the woods, the Southrons bearing torches behind him on foot.]

--
[25:53, EXT. WOODS, CAMP - MORNING]
[Arthur walks through the camp while everyone's asleep. He walks up to Merlin and gives him a few small kicks to wake him.]

ARTHUR (low)
You better have a damn good explanation for this, Merlin.

[Merlin stares at him.]

ARTHUR
Fine. Then I'll just carry on kicking you.

[Arthur kicks Merlin some more and Merlin scrambles to his feet.]

MERLIN
Arthur.

[Merlin looks into Arthur's face.]

MERLIN
You're back.

ARTHUR
What do you mean "I'm back"? You're talking gibberish.

MERLIN
Listen to me, please. Camelot is lost. You were injured in an attack, you passed out. I had to get you out of there.

[Arthur is stunned as he remembers.]

ARTHUR
Where are we now?

MERLIN
We're heading north to a safe haven, to Ealdor. Hopefully the knights will meet us there.

[Arthur looks around the camp.]

ARTHUR
Who are these people?

MERLIN
They're, er...smugglers.

ARTHUR
Smugglers?!

MERLIN
Shhh!

ARTHUR
All right, let's assume, for one moment, you know what you're doing. It doesn't explain why I look like a village idiot.

MERLIN
It's the perfect disguise. No one would ever suspect you of being, you know...who you are.

ARTHUR
I'm sorry, Merlin. I am not going around looking like this.

MERLIN
You have to. You got to keep in character.

ARTHUR
Character? What character?

TRISTAN
You.

[Merlin turns around.]

TRISTAN
We leave as soon as the horses are watered. Explain it to the simpleton, would you?

[Arthur looks at Merlin and Merlin smiles sheepishly. Merlin carries the sword as he and Arthur walk toward the wagon. Arthur takes the sword back and Tristan and Isolde look up.]

TRISTAN
Simpleton.

MERLIN
He's talking to you.

ARTHUR
I don't answer to that name.

MERLIN
In character, remember?

[Tristan looks down at the sword.]

TRISTAN
Impressive piece.

ARTHUR (pirate)
Thank you, sir.

TRISTAN
May I?

[Arthur lets Tristan take the sword. He examines the blade.]

TRISTAN (scoffs)
Magnificent. The only place you find workmanship of this quality is the royal forge of Camelot.

[Tristan puts the sword to Arthur's throat.]

TRISTAN
Tell me, how did you come by it?

MERLIN
I won it in a card game. Gave it to him as a present. Won't be parted from it. Makes him feel safe.

[Tristan narrows his eyes suspiciously. Arthur nods stupidly and Tristan hands the sword back to him.]

TRISTAN
I hope for your sake that's true.

[Arthur takes the sword like he doesn't know how to hold it.]

TRISTAN
I'd hate to think that I was riding with a knight of Camelot.

[Arthur hugs the sword to his chest.]

ARTHUR (pirate)
Aye.

[Isolde giggles.]

ISOLDE
Knight of Camelot? Look at him.

[Merlin chuckles. Arthur pretends not to know how to put the sword in his belt.]

TRISTAN
You're right. Their knights may be stupid, but they're not that stupid.

[Arthur puts on a big smiles and chuckles with the rest of them as Merlin tussles his hair.]

MERLIN
Pack your things, simpleton!

[Arthur grabs Merlin's arm.]

ARTHUR (smiling)
Call me that again and I'll run you through.

MERLIN
Don't worry, sire, I'm sure you won't have to keep it up for too much longer.

ARTHUR
How long?!

[The man walking past them gets shot with an arrow. They turn and see Southrons charging the camp. Arthur grabs Merlin to duck out of the way. An arrow lands in the tree next to Arthur's head and they run to take cover behind the wagon with Tristan and Isolde. Arthur takes charge.]

ARTHUR
Head for those trees, we'll cover you.

[Tristan and Isolde exchange a confused look.]

ARTHUR
Do you want to live or not?

[Tristan steps forward to question Arthur, but Isolde grabs his arm and they run off.]

[Arthur and Merlin fire crossbows at the Southrons through the wagon. Merlin tosses Arthur another bolt and reloads his own crossbow.]

MERLIN
Now what?

ARTHUR
Now it's our turn.

MERLIN
Who's going to cover us?

ARTHUR
Don't be a simpleton, Merlin.

[They take aim and hit another two Southrons, but more keep coming. Arthur grabs the sword from the wagon and they run off. They take cover behind a fallen tree with Tristan and Isolde. Agravaine directs the Southrons by the wagon.]

ISOLDE
They haven't found the cargo.

TRISTAN
They will. Besides, they weren't after the cargo. They were after you. Who the hell are you?

ARTHUR
My name is Arthur Pendragon.

TRISTAN
The king of Camelot!

ARTHUR
At least I was.

TRISTAN
I've lost everything I've worked for for some good for nothing king!

ARTHUR
That's quite something coming from a smuggler.

TRISTAN
Well, I wouldn't have to be a smuggler if it wasn't for your damn taxes, would I?!

ARTHUR
Those taxes help protect the people of this land.

TRISTAN
My people are dead. You call that protection?

MERLIN
Excuse me, sorry to interrupt, but...

[Merlin directs their attention to the Southrons charging them from behind. Arthur and Tristan charge the Southrons and fight side by side. Isolde fights more Southrons. One elbows her in the head and slashes her sword arm, kicking her to the ground. The Southron poises for the final blow, but crumples as Arthur stabs him in the back. Tristan runs to Isolde and holds her. Arthur and Merlin watch empathetically.]

TRISTAN (whisper)
Isolde. We had a deal. Partners for life, remember?

ISOLDE
When have I not kept my promises?

[Tristan kisses her forehead.]

ARTHUR
We need to keep moving. There'll be more coming soon.

TRISTAN
Then go. There's nothing stopping you.

[Arthur rolls his eyes.]

MERLIN
Come with us to Ealdor. You'll be safe there.

TRISTAN
I'm choosy about the company I keep.

ISOLDE
He saved my life, Tristan. Thank you.

TRISTAN
None of this would've happened if it wasn't for them.

[Isolde sighs at his stubbornness.]

ARTHUR
She's injured. She needs shelter and rest.

[Tristan sighs, looks at Arthur, then back at Isolde. Isolde nods.]

TRISTAN
Very well. But know this, Arthur Pendragon, I do this for her. You and your kind bring nothing but misery to this land.

--
[31:30, INT. KING'S PALACE, DUNGEONS - DAY]
[Morgana arrives outside Elyan, Gwaine, and Gaius's cell with a few Southrons.]

GAIUS
Have you come to gloat, my lady?

MORGANA
Is that any way to treat an old friend? I'll forgive you. After all, you're not looking your best.

SIR GWAINE
Can't you see he's starving? We all are.

MORGANA
Of course you are. You killed so many of my men. I'll have the kitchen prepare you a feast.

[Gwaine steps forward, but Elyan grabs his arm and shakes his head. Gwaine steps up to the gate more slowly, chains dragging as he walks. Morgana raises an eyebrow.]

SIR GWAINE
I think not of myself, but of Gaius. He can't survive long without food.

[Morgana smiles and steps close to the bars.]

MORGANA
Aw, Gwaine, so handsome, so selfless. Of course you shall have some supper...as long as you're prepared to sing for it.

[Morgana smirks and steps away as the guards open the door and drag him out.]

--
[32:51, EXT. WOODS, BORDER STREAM - DAY]

ARTHUR
This marks the border between Camelot and Lot's kingdom.

MERLIN
Ealdor lies at the far side of that valley. Maybe half a day on foot.

ARTHUR
We'll rest here for the night. There's no way Agravaine could've tracked us through those mountains.

MERLIN
I'll make a fire, we must keep Isolde warm.

[Tristan lets Isolde go as Merlin puts her arm around his neck and helps her to a campsite. Arthur holds out a water flask to Tristan.]

ARTHUR
Here, you should drink up.

[Tristan walks on.]

TRISTAN
I'll get my own.

--
[33:18, INT. KING'S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER - NIGHT]
[Southrons shove Gwaine into the middle of a fight circle where Morgana stands. She smiles at their rowdy enjoyment.]

MORGANA
Behold! A knight of Camelot, famed as the greatest knights in five kingdoms.

[Morgana grabs Gwaine's face.]

MORGANA
Let's see if that fame's deserved, shall we?

[Gwaine scoffs with a smile and glares at her as she walks to sit her throne. A Southron brings out a couple of weapons.]

--
[33:57, EXT. WOODS, CAMPFIRE - NIGHT]
[Tristan and Isolde sleep in each other's arms, propped up against a tree trunk. Merlin and Arthur sit by the fire.]

ARTHUR
You knew. You knew Agravaine was betraying me.

MERLIN
I couldn't be sure. But then, I did have my suspicions.

ARTHUR
I feel like such a fool. I put such trust in him. All this time I was blind to his treachery as I was to Morgana's.

MERLIN
You were deceived, Arthur. That could happen to anyone.

ARTHUR
Yet it keeps happening to me. I cared about these people. I...don't understand. What have I don't wrong? Why do they hate me?

MERLIN
No, they don't hate you. They just...crave your power for themselves.

ARTHUR
Perhaps. Would they still want that power if I was the king my people deserve? Maybe Tristan's right--

MERLIN
Tristan was angry and...

[Merlin looks over at them sleeping.]

MERLIN
...afraid. He needed to blame someone, but it's not you that's to blame.

[Merlin looks at Tristan and shakes his head.]

ARTHUR
You seem very sure about all this.

MERLIN
All I know is that, for your many faults, you are honest and brave and truehearted, and one day you will be the greatest king this land has ever known.

[Arthur smiles a little.]

ARTHUR
Well...good to know I have the support of my servant at least.

MERLIN
I'm not alone. Believe me.

--
[35:48, INT. KING'S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER - NIGHT]
[Gwaine fights one of the Southrons. Gwaine disarms one of the man's weapons.]

SIR GWAINE
That all you have? You promised a decent fight.

[The Southron pulls out another weapon from his belt and disarms Gwaine.]

SIR GWAINE
You're a very angry man, I can see that. Must be hard being so ugly. Children crying, women screaming. Come on.

[Completely unarmed, Gwaine knocks the Southron to the ground. The Southron gets up with one weapon left. Gwaine climbs on his back and punches him in the stomach. The Southron rams Gwaine into a column, but Gwaine gets off, punches the Southron and kicks him against the column. Gwaine picks up the mace and knocks him out with it in the now silent council chamber. Morgana stands, clapping slowly.]

MORGANA
Congratulations, Sir Knight. And admirable display. You've earned your reward.

[She indicates to someone and they toss a half-loaf of bread at his feet.]

MORGANA
But you're going to half to do better if you want some more.

[The Southrons chuckle darkly and Helios motions for two more warriors to step forward. The chanting begins again as Gwaine prepares for their attack.]

--
[37:36, EXT. EALDOR - DAY]
[Tristan supports Isolde and the four travellers enter the village. Hunith catches sight of Merlin and runs to hug him, huge smiles on their faces.]

MERLIN
Mother.

HUNITH
Welcome home, Merlin.

--
[38:06, INT. HOUSE - NIGHT]
[Merlin checks on Isolde sleeping on the bed while Tristan and Arthur eat.]

MERLIN
Cleaned the wound. There's no sign of infection. So as long as she gets plenty of rest, she'll be fine.

TRISTAN
Thank you, Merlin, for everything you've done for her.

[Merlin nods and leaves.]

ARTHUR
I'm sorry I brought this...misfortune upon you.

TRISTAN
Well, I may have lost my cargo, but I still have my beloved Isolde.

ARTHUR
Then you're richer than you know.

[Tristan considers Arthur and then looks at Isolde. Arthur watches them sadly.]

--
[38:52, EXT. WOODS - NIGHT]
[Agravaine and the Southrons sneak through the woods around Ealdor.]

AGRAVAINE
Spread out. Ensure the village is surrounded. No one must escape.

--
[39:08, EXT. EALDOR - NIGHT]
[Merlin walks with his mother.]

HUNITH
It's good to have you home, Merlin.

MERLIN
I'm so sorry it's been so long.

HUNITH
I understand how it is, your life in Camelot. I worry about you sometimes. The dangers you must face.

MERLIN
Mother, I don't want you to worry.

HUNITH
I can't help it. It's what mothers do.

MERLIN
Well, we are safe here. All of us.

[Merlin looks at something.]

MERLIN
How's she been?

HUNITH
As well as can be expected, but, erm...a broken heart takes time to mend.

[They regard Gwen through a crack in the door as she stands there sadly. They continue walking. Gwen steps forward.]

--
[39:44, INT. EALDOR, HOUSE - NIGHT]
[Gwen dressed Arthur's wounded ribs. He wakes and realises someone's there. He lifts his head when he recognises her. She waits sadly for his response.]

ARTHUR (breathless)
Guinevere.

[Gwen smiles sadly.]

GWEN
Hello, Arthur.

[Arthur sits up on his elbows.]

ARTHUR
What are you doing here?

[Gwen shrugs her shoulders and shakes her head.]

GWEN
It's as good a place as any.

[Arthur stares at her.]

GWEN
I've missed you.

ARTHUR
And I you.

[Gwen smiles bitter sweetly. Arthur sits up and Gwen waits until he holds out arm to hug her. She leans forward and they embrace each other tightly.]

--
[40:51, EXT. EALDOR - NIGHT]
[Merlin and Hunith hear screams as they sit talking. Merlin stands and sees the Southrons' torches surrounding the village.]

MERLIN
Agravaine. He's found us.

--
[41:08, INT. EALDOR, HOUSE - NIGHT]
[Merlin, Arthur, Tristan, Isolde, and Guinevere watch as Agravaine and the Southrons harass the villagers. Arthur is dressed in chainmail and Gwen is wearing furs.]

TRISTAN
Any suggestions?

MERLIN
Round the back.

[Merlin waits for them to leave, then his eyes glow and he sets a cart rolling toward Agravaine.]

MERLIN
Bæl on bryne!

[Merlin's eyes glow and inside the cart goes up in flames. Agravaine and the Southrons dash out of the way just in time, but Agravaine looks up to see Arthur's party escaping.]

AGRAVAINE
There! Get them!

--
[41:46, EXT. WOODS - NIGHT]
[Southrons chase Arthur's party through the woods. Tristan supports Isolde as they go.]

Part TwoEdit

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.

--
[01:28, EXT. WOODS - NIGHT]
[Southrons chase Arthur's party through the woods. Tristan supports Isolde as they go. Arthur's party approaches the mouth of cave tunnels.]

MERLIN
I’ll cover our tracks, you keep going!

[Merlin turns away from the others as they head into the caves.]

MERLIN (dragontongue)
Ω δρακον, *dragonspeak*

[Merlin sees the Southrons approaching and Kilgharrah isn't arriving, so he heads for the caves. Agravaine hears the dragon's roar and looks up. Kilgharrah swoops down on them.]

AGRAVAINE
Take cover!

[Kilgharrah flame roasts most of the Southrons as Agravaine tries to run.]

--
[02:23, INT. MOUNTAIN TUNNELS - NIGHT]
[Merlin catches up to the others in the cave.]

ARTHUR
Did you lose them?

MERLIN
It's safe.

ARTHUR
You sure?

MERLIN
Do I look like an idiot?

ARTHUR
Yes.

MERLIN
Doesn't change, does it?

ARTHUR
Which way now?

[Merlin looks around uncertainly.]

ARTHUR
I thought you said you grew up in these tunnels.

MERLIN
I did. Just-- it could be that way.

ARTHUR
Or it could be that way.

MERLIN
Yes.

ARTHUR
That's very reassuring.

--
[02:45, EXT. WOODS - NIGHT]
[Agravaine and a few of his men come out of hiding to look out over the field of crispy Southrons. Kilgharrah roars again and comes back for another pass.]

AGRAVAINE
Run!

[Agravaine and the remaining Southrons run into the mountain tunnels, followed by a stream of fire. They escape unscathed.]

OPENING CREDITS

--
[03:07, INT. MOUNTAIN TUNNELS - NIGHT]
[Arthur and Merlin lead their party through the caves.]

TRISTAN
So you know Arthur?

GWEN
I was a servant in Camelot.

TRISTAN
To Arthur?

GWEN
No.

TRISTAN
So why are you here?

GWEN
He's my king.

TRISTAN
I can't say I've detected many kingly qualities so far.

[Arthur is upset as he overhear this.]

GWEN
Well, maybe you don't know him.

--
[03:33, INT. MOUNTAIN TUNNELS - NIGHT]
[Agravaine and his men pursue Arthur's party. Agravaine hears something.]

AGRAVAINE
Shh!

[They stop to listen and hear some pebbles move.]

AGRAVAINE (mouths)
That way.

--
[03:33, INT. MOUNTAIN TUNNELS - NIGHT]
[Arthur's party stops and turns as they hear movement behind them.]

ARTHUR
I thought you said we'd lost them.

MERLIN
I thought I had.

TRISTAN
It won't take long for them to catch us.

MERLIN
I'll got back.

[Merlin heads back through the tunnel.]

ARTHUR
What are you gonna do?

MERLIN
Create a diversion.

[Arthur stops Merlin.]

ARTHUR
It's too risky.

MERLIN
I know these tunnels and Agravaine doesn't. You keep going.

[Merlin hands Arthur his torch.]

ARTHUR
Merlin...don't do anything stupid.

MERLIN
Me?

[Arthur looks after Merlin, hesitant to leave him behind, then follows the others. Merlin sidles along the tunnel wall as he hears the Southrons approach. He takes a breath and then steps around the corner to face them.]

MERLIN
OH, HELLO!

[Agravaine and his men run after Merlin. Merlin runs into a dead end.]

AGRAVAINE
Merlin. Merlin?

[Trapped, Merlin turns to face Agravaine.]

AGRAVAINE
Where's Arthur?

[Merlin shakes his head slightly.]

MERLIN
Be careful.

[Agravaine is confused.]

AGRAVAINE
What are you talking about? Where's Arthur?

[Merlin shifts his weight almost sadly, not really wanting to hurt them.]

AGRAVAINE
Tell me. Now. Or I'll have to kill you.

[Merlin shakes his head sadly.]

MERLIN
I don't think so.

[Agravaine steps toward Merlin. Merlin throws all of them back with a flash of his eyes. He takes a few steps forward and Agravaine wakes, gasping. Agravaine looks at Merlin and sits up. Merlin looks down, then raises his head nobly to look Agravaine in the eyes.]

AGRAVAINE
You have magic.

MERLIN
I was born with it.

[Agravaine gets up, then something occurs to him...]

AGRAVAINE
So it's you. You're Emrys.

MERLIN
That is what the druids call me.

AGRAVAINE
And you've been at court all this time, eh? At Arthur's side. (chuckles) How you've managed to deceive him. I am impressed, Merlin. Perhaps we're more alike than you think.

[Agravaine holds a hand out to Merlin, but Merlin raises his hand to strike with magic and Agravaine pauses, smile fading. Agravaine gestures submission and Merlin lowers his hand. Agravaine whips out a knife with his other hand to attack Merlin, but Merlin raises both hands and blasts Agravaine backwards with a flash of his eyes. Agravaine goes still as he hits the ground, eyes open. He lies dead whether from the spell, the fall, or his own knife stabbing him in the back as he landed on it. Merlin takes deep breaths and steps forward to look down at the men he just killed. He turns with a scowl and continues through the tunnels.]

--
[07:00, INT. MOUNTAIN TUNNELS - NIGHT]
[Arthur slows to a stop and turns around.]

TRISTAN
What are you doing?

ARTHUR
Shh!

[Arthur listens and they hear rocks moving. Arthur looks up.]

ARTHUR
Merlin.

TRISTAN
He knows the tunnels. He'll find his way.

ARTHUR
I'm going back.

[Arthur walks past Tristan, Gwen, and Isolde and Tristan watches in confusion.]

TRISTAN
For a servant?

GWEN
You're wrong about him.

--
[07:26, INT. MOUNTAIN TUNNELS - NIGHT]
[Arthur approaches a corner and prepares to attack the approaching figure.]

ARTHUR
Merlin!

[Arthur straightens up.]

ARTHUR
Where have you been?

MERLIN
Were you worried about me?

ARTHUR (lying)
No. I was making sure we weren't being followed.

MERLIN
You came back to look for me.

ARTHUR
All right, it's true. I came back because you’re the only friend I have and I couldn’t bear to lose you.

MERLIN
Really?

[Arthur turns around and walks off...]

ARTHUR
Don't be stupid.

[Merlin smiles and follows.]

--
[08:04, EXT. MOUNTAIN - DAY]
[Arthur's party emerges on the other side of the mountain. Tristan supports Isolde, and Arthur clutches his wounded ribs.]

TRISTAN
So, where now?

ARTHUR
To the plains beyond the mountains.

TRISTAN
You sure? That's Lot's kingdom. He's no friend of the Pendragons.

GWEN
Well, maybe we could find somewhere here. A house where we could rest.

TRISTAN
We're fugitives, a danger to anyone who harbours us.

MERLIN
He's right. We must travel back towards Camelot.

ARTHUR
No, we need to keep going.

MERLIN
If we hold up in the Forest of Essetir, we'll be safe at least for a while.

ARTHUR
No.

MERLIN
If anyone has survived this battle, that's where they'll be hiding.

TRISTAN
I know which I'd do. You're the king, Arthur. You're our leader...

ARTHUR
All right. Forest of Essetir it is.

[Tristan smirks and they walk down the mountain path.]

--
[08:54, EXT. KING'S PALACE, MAIN SQUARE - DAY]
[Southron troops march into the square.]

--
[08:58, INT. KING'S PALACE, DUNGEONS - DAY]
[Gwaine is slumped in a corner, manacles on his wrists. Elyan tends to Gaius who is lying on the bed, pale and weak.]

SIR ELYAN
Come on, Gaius, hold fast.

[Guards open the cell. One restrains Elyan while the other picks up Gwaine and escorts him out.]

SIR GWAINE
Don't worry, at least we get to eat.

[Elyan grabs the bars as the Southron locks the cell door.]

--
[09:24, INT. KING'S PALACE, COUNCIL FIGHTING CHAMBER - DAY]
[Morgana unlocks Gwaine's manacles.]

MORGANA
So, you have another chance to sing for your supper. I thought I might make it a little harder this time.

SIR GWAINE
Seems fair.

MORGANA
Oh, but you can't fight with your bare hands.

[Morgana hands Gwaine a wooden dagger.]

MORGANA
Never mind. You're a knight of Camelot. You'll be fine.

[Morgana struts to her throne and the Southrons begin to cheer as a couple mercenaries enter the circle to fight Gwaine.]

SIR GWAINE
What the hell.

[Gwaine sinks into a fighter's stance.]

--
[10:02, EXT. FOREST OF ESSETIR - DAY]
[Isolde sharpens her knife while Gwen and Merlin set up a campfire and Tristan and Arthur collect more wood.]

TRISTAN
Well, well, well, look at you. First you go back to rescue your servant, now you're getting your hands dirty. But then again, why shouldn't you? You're just like everyone else. There's nothing special about you, is there?

ARTHUR
Well, maybe you're right. Maybe I don't deserve to be king.

TRISTAN
Well, that's all right, 'cause you're not. Not anymore.

[Tristan struts off while Arthur tries to cope with that fact. Gwen watches Arthur sulk off into the woods and gets up to go talk to him. Arthur tosses the wood aside.]

GWEN
Arthur?

[Arthur keeps walking and Gwen jogs up to him and touches his arm.]

GWEN
Arthur...

[Arthur stops and spins around.]

ARTHUR
Don't.

[Gwen pulls back.]

ARTHUR
What happened in Ealdor was a moment's weakness.

[Gwen flinches.]

ARTHUR
What you did to me... Everything I cherished between us, everything we had, it’s gone. That’ll never change.

GWEN
I'm sorry.

[Gwen walks back to the campfire tearfully.]

--
[11:21, INT. KING'S PALACE, DUNGEONS - NIGHT]
[Gwaine stumbles into the cell and Morgana stands in the doorway with a half loaf of bread.]

MORGANA
Enjoy your supper.

[Morgana tosses the bread into the cell.]

MORGANA
I fear it'll be your last.

[Morgana exits and the Southrons lock the cell door. Elyan gives some bread to Gaius.]

SIR ELYAN
You need to eat.

GAIUS
Whether I eat or not, I'm not long for this world.

SIR ELYAN
Come on, Gaius.

GAIUS
I'm a physician, Elyan. I've spent my days watching the cycle of life. If there’s one thing I’m not afraid of, it’s death. Don't waste your food. If Gwaine has to fight again, he'll need all the strength he can get.

[Elyan leaves the bread with Gaius.]

--
[12:28, EXT. FOREST OF ESSETIR - NIGHT]
[Arthur lounges against a tree by the fire, arms crossed, brooding.]

MERLIN
Come on, I'll take watch.

[Merlin sits down against the tree. Arthur continues brooding.]

MERLIN
Arthur, what's the matter? Don't listen to Tristan, he doesn't know you.

ARTHUR
I trusted the wrong people.

MERLIN (shakes head)
They betrayed you. That wasn't your fault.

ARTHUR
No. I was a fool. I misjudged everyone...my uncle...Morgana. Every decision I've made has been wrong.

MERLIN
You are being too hard on yourself.

ARTHUR
I should be more discerning, wise...a statesman, a king. Tristan's right, there's nothing special about me. I'm just like everyone else.

MERLIN
You're not. You're a worthy king.

ARTHUR
I'm good with a sword. That's all.

MERLIN
Your people love you.

ARTHUR
Most of them are dead. Thanks to me.

MERLIN
No, most of them escaped. They'll be here in the forest, I'm sure of that.

ARTHUR
Well, if they are, they'll have to find themselves a new king.

[Arthur gets up and walks away.]

MERLIN
Arthur... Arthur!

--
[14:00, EXT. FOREST OF ESSETIR, CLEARING - NIGHT]
[Merlin runs through the forest.]

MERLIN Ω δρακον, έάω μαλερός σοφόνους φθέγγομαι τείδε άναδικέω!

[The Great Dragon meets Merlin in a clearing. Kilgharrah smiles down on him.]

MERLIN
Well, thank you. You saved us all.

KILGHARRAH
The land of Albion and the future we have all fought for was in peril.

[Merlin sighs.]

KILGHARRAH
What is troubling you, young warlock?

MERLIN
It's Arthur. He's lost the will to fight. He feels he's failed his people; he believes he no longer deserves to be king.

KILGHARRAH
The fate of Camelot rests in your hands, young warlock, for you and you alone can restore the king's faith.

MERLIN
How?

KILGHARRAH
You must make him believe that he can be king once more.

[Merlin mulls that over.]

KILGHARRAH
I wish I could be of more help, Merlin.

MERLIN
No...I know how. The people who fled Camelot, do you know where they're hiding?

KILGHARRAH
I am a dragon. I can cover many leagues in the blink of an eye. They shouldn't be too hard to find.

MERLIN
Then we have no time to lose.

--
[15:28, EXT. FOREST OF ESSETIR - DAY]
[Merlin wakes Arthur.]

ARTHUR
What?

MERLIN
There's something I need to show you.

[Merlin walks off. Arthur grabs his sword and follows.]

ARTHUR
This had better be good because this really isn't the time for one of your ridiculous games.

MERLIN
I was thinking about last night and how you were saying how you'd given up all hope, how you were a poor leader and a shoddy king.

ARTHUR
"Shoddy"?

MERLIN
All right, "shabby."

ARTHUR
Thanks.

MERLIN
Well, it reminded me of a tale Gaius once told me.

ARTHUR
Merlin, I'm really not interested in your favourite bedtime stories.

MERLIN
For once in your life, just...listen.

[Arthur holds his hands up in defeat.]

MERLIN
Many years ago, before the birth of the five kingdoms, this land was in an endless cycle of bloodshed and war, but one man was determined to end all that. He gathered together the elders of each tribe and drew up plans for the lands to be divided. Each would respect the others' boundaries, and drew it over the land as they saw fit. That man was Camelot's first king, ancestor to all that followed, including you, Arthur.

ARTHUR
Bruta.

MERLIN
You know the story.

ARTHUR
Yes, ever child in Camelot does. Can I go back to bed now?

MERLIN
No. Because there's another part of the story that you haven't heard.

ARTHUR
Really?

MERLIN
When Bruta was on his deathbed, he asked to be taken deep into the forest. There, with the last of his strength, he thrust his sword into a rock. If his lineage was ever questioned, this would form a test. Only a true king of Camelot could pull the weapon free.

[Arthur stops.]

ARTHUR
Are you making this up?

MERLIN
Of course not.

[Merlin keeps walking and Arthur can't sort out if he's lying. Arthur follows.]

ARTHUR
All right. If it's true, why haven't I heard this story?

MERLIN
Well, history isn't really your strong point, is it?

ARTHUR
And where is this rock?

MERLIN
Oh, it was lost many years ago during the Great Purge, but...I've managed to find it.

ARTHUR
I've never heard so much rubbish in my entire life.

MERLIN
Are you calling Gaius a liar?

ARTHUR
No, I'm calling you an idiot.

MERLIN
What's that then?

[Arthur follows Merlin's line of sight. Arthur's stunned by the sight of the sword in the stone. They walk closer and Arthur is surprised again as a crowd of knights and peasants appear out of the forest, Sir Leon and Sir Percival among them. Merlin smiles. Arthur glances back at him and sees Merlin's proud expression.]

ARTHUR
What the hell are you playing at?

MERLIN
I'm proving that you are their leader and their king.

ARTHUR
That sword is stuck fast in solid stone.

MERLIN
And you're going to pull it out.

ARTHUR
Merlin, it's impossible.

MERLIN
Arthur, you're the true king of Camelot.

[Arthur glances back at the crowd of people surrounding the sword in the stone.]

ARTHUR
Do you want me to look like a fool?

MERLIN
No, I'm going to make you see that Tristan's wrong; you aren't just anyone, you are special. You and you alone can draw out that sword.

[Arthur debates, then draws his sword and sticks it in the ground.]

ARTHUR
You better be right about this.

[Arthur approaches the stone slowly. He looks up at the crowd hesitantly, then places both hands on the hilt. He tries to pull it up, but the sword doesn't budge.]

MERLIN
You have to believe, Arthur.

[Arthur shakes with the effort, but the sword doesn't move. Merlin looks at the crowd as Arthur struggles.]

MERLIN
You're destined to be Albion's greatest king.

[Arthur lets go of the sword.]

MERLIN
Nothing, not even this stone can stand in your way.

[Arthur looks at the sword and repositions himself. He places one hand on the sword hilt and closes his eyes. Merlin watches him.]

MERLIN
Have faith.

[Arthur lifts his chin, willing himself to believe. Merlin's eyes glow and the stone released the sword. Arthur pulls it out and stares at it, amazed. Arthur's people watch in awe.]

SIR LEON
Long live the king!

ALL
Long live the king! Long live the king! Long live the king! Long live the king! Long live the king!

--
[20:57, EXT/INT. KING'S PALACE, DRAWBRIDGE GATE/CORRIDOR - DAY]

HELIOS
When they arrived there, the ground itself was still on fire. They'd all been slaughtered, every last one of them.

MORGANA
And Agravaine?

HELIOS
Dead.

MORGANA
There's only one person who could've done this; only one man who could command a dragon. This is the work of Emrys.

--
[21:24, EXT. FOREST OF ESSETIR - DAY]
[Arthur walks with Leon, Percival, Merlin, and Gwen.]

KING ARTHUR
What about the drawbridge?

SIR LEON
Well manned.

SIR PERCIVAL
As are the northern gates.

KING ARTHUR
The battlements on the south side?

SIR PERCIVAL
Arthur, even if we can get inside, she has an army.

KING ARTHUR
And we have, what? A few hundred?

SIR PERCIVAL
And they still outnumber us.

KING ARTHUR
Yeah, but only three to one.

[Leon chuckles.]

ISOLDE
And do you think they'll fight?

SIR LEON
Well, they'll fight for Arthur.

KING ARTHUR
It's not me they have to fight for. It's for Camelot.

SIR LEON
No, Arthur. It is you that people love, and you that they will lay down their lives for. I know that I would ride into the mouth of hell for you.

SIR PERCIVAL
And I.

[Isolde looks at Tristan, who is surprised.]

MERLIN
And I.

[Tristan is won over by the loyalty of Arthur's men. Arthur draws Excalibur.]

KING ARTHUR
Into the mouth of hell it is.

[They follow Arthur and Tristan watches Arthur in admiration.]

--
[22:18, EXT. FOREST OF ESSETIR - NIGHT]
[Isolde tends to her wounded arm. Gwen passes her, carrying some blankets. Gwen sees Tristan give Isolde a bouquet of flowers.]

ISOLDE
What's this for?

[Tristan shrugs "Just because" and Isolde catches Gwen's forlorn expression. Gwen watches Arthur sadly as Isolde approaches her.]

ISOLDE
Never give up hope. Love is stronger than anything.

[Gwen scoffs with a smile.]

ISOLDE
Believe me.

[Gwen smiles sadly at her kindness and glances back at Arthur. Merlin jogs up to Arthur.]

MERLIN
You all right?

KING ARTHUR
Yes.

MERLIN
Do you think there are too many of them?

KING ARTHUR
Southrons are men like you and me. Men we can fight. But Morgana...

[Arthur shakes his head.]

KING ARTHUR
Her power is so great and we've got nothing to answer it with.

MERLIN
I never finished Gaius's story.

KING ARTHUR
Not now, Merlin, please.

MERLIN
Will you just listen?

[Merlin puts his hands on his hips and Arthur lowers his head in acquiescence.]

MERLIN
When the sword was thrust into the stone, the ancient king foretold that one day it would be freed again at a time when Camelot needed it most. The man who freed it would unite the land of Albion and rule over the greatest kingdom the world has ever known. That man is you, Arthur.

[Arthur's brow furrows and Merlin smiles.]

KING ARTHUR
You're making this up.

MERLIN
Why would I do that? Your head's already as big as your waist. I believe it, though. And I believe in you. I always have.

[Arthur looks at Excalibur and considers what Merlin said.]

--
[24:08, EXT. FOREST OF ESSETIR - NIGHT]
[Merlin plots by a campfire. A light bulb goes on and he smiles and scrambles to his feet.]

--
[24:17, EXT. CAMELOT - NIGHT]
[Merlin hides as Southrons patrol outside the city. He crosses over to a tunnel grate and raises a hand to it.]

MERLIN Tospringe.

[The lock bursts and the gate swings open.]

--
[24:31, INT. KING'S PALACE, CORRIDORS - NIGHT]

MERLIN ... min freondum ond min feondum.

[There's a flash of light and Old Merlin walks down the corridor.]

MORGANA
You must send emissaries to Lot's kingdom. I'll suffer a war before Arthur's captured.

[Morgana turns a corner stops in her tracks as she catches a glimpse of Old Merlin before he runs off.]

MORGANA
It's him! It's Emrys, he's here!

HELIOS
Guards!

[Helios and the Southrons pursue Old Merlin while Morgana stands there terrified. The warning bell sounds as Old Merlin sneaks around the palace. A guard steps out of an alcove behind Old Merlin and he takes out the guard with a flick of his hand without even turning to look.]

--
[25:02, INT. KING'S PALACE, MORGANA'S (ARTHUR'S) CHAMBERS - NIGHT]
[Old Merlin enchants an effigy.]

OLD MERLIN Ontende eallne þæs drycræftes hire awæge!

[The poppet's head bursts into flames and Old Merlin smiles and laughs as the spell whispers magic.]

--
[25:20, INT. KING'S PALACE, CORRIDORS - NIGHT]
[Old Merlin unbuckles the belt of the Southron he knocked out.]

--
[25:27, INT. KING'S PALACE,WROUGHT IRON STAIRWAY - NIGHT]
[Helios and his men run down toward the dungeons as another hooded Southron figure walks up the stairs. It's Merlin back to his young self.]

--
[25:35, INT. KING'S PALACE, MORGANA'S (ARTHUR'S) CHAMBERS - NIGHT]
[Helios and Morgana enter her chambers.]

HELIOS
..searched everywhere. He fled Morgana; he trembled at the sight of you.

MORGANA (panicked)
Then why was he here? Why does he choose to taunt me like this?!

HELIOS
We must hold our nerve. Maybe you should get some sleep.

[Morgana nods and walks towards the bed.]

MORGANA
Make sure there are guards on the door.

[Helios nods and exits. Still unsettled, Morgana lies down. She relaxes and falls asleep, Merlin's effigy whispering magic as it hangs under the bed.]

--
[26:29, EXT. FOREST OF ESSETIR - DAY]
[Merlin stares off into space. Arthur snaps his fingers in front of Merlin's face.]

KING ARTHUR
Wakey, wakey. You look like you've been up half the night.

MERLIN
I was. Couldn't sleep.

KING ARTHUR
I thought you said you had faith in me?

MERLIN
Whatever gave you that idea?

[Arthur shrugs with a smile. Later, Arthur gives orders to Leon and Percival, then sees Tristan and Isolde trying to catch his eye. Arthur approaches them.]

KING ARTHUR
This is where we say goodbye.

TRISTAN
Arthur, all my life I've shied away from other people's wars, and despised the power and wealth that kings buy with the lives of men, but you've shown yourself to be different.

ISOLDE
You've shown us that you fight for what is right and fair, and for that reason, we would like to fight at your side.

[Arthur is speechless in surprise.]

KING ARTHUR
I'd be honoured to have you at my side.

[Isolde nods.]

KING ARTHUR
We'll stand together as equals.

--
[27:41, EXT. FOREST OF ESSETIR - DAY]
[Arthur gazes at Excalibur as Gwen approaches from behind.]

GWEN
Arthur.

[Arthur turns around.]

GWEN
If anything happens to us, I want you to know...

KING ARTHUR
Guinevere--

GWEN
I understand why you can't forgive me. But I never once stopped loving you. Never once.

[Gwen walks on and Arthur considers her words.]

--
[28:06, EXT. FOREST/CAMELOT - DAY]
[The knights of Camelot arm themselves. Arthur stands at their front. He lifts Excalibur and swings it forward as he steps forward, signalling them to move out. Red capes file towards the castle walls. Sir Leon leads one group, they take out the sentries on the wall with crossbows and head in. Sir Percival, Tristan, and Isolde take out another set of guards on another gate and wave in more knights. Arthur fights another set of Southrons and Merlin and Gwen make sure they're dead after they roll down the hill.]

--
[29:35, EXT. KING'S PALACE, MAIN SQUARE/COURTYARD CORRIDOR - DAY]
[Sir Percival splits from Tristan and Isolde.]

--
[29:42, INT. KING'S PALACE - DAY]
[Warning bells sound as Sir Leon leads knights through the palace. Arthur charges through the palace tunnels while Leon's party charges up the Griffin staircase. Arthur takes out a guard in the Phoenix corridor, then holds his wounded ribs as he continues on.]

--
[30:01, INT. KING'S PALACE, MORGANA'S (ARTHUR'S) CHAMBERS - DAY]
[Helios bursts into Morgana's chambers and she gets out of bed.]

HELIOS
It seems we have company.

MORGANA
Emrys?

HELIOS
Arthur.

[Morgana relaxes and smiles.]

MORGANA
My dear brother... we must welcome him home.

[Helios smirks.]

HELIOS
Shall we?

[Morgana smirks and they exit. The effigy continues to whisper magic from under Morgana's bed.]

--
[30:25, INT. KING'S PALACE, CORRIDOR - DAY]
[Tristan and Isolde hide behind columns. They jump out and attack some Southrons together.]

--
[30:36, INT. KING'S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER - DAY]
[Morgana and Helios wait in the council chamber while the mercenaries file out into the corridors.]

HELIOS
It is as we expected; he is making his way here. He should be with us soon.

MORGANA
And we'll be waiting.

--
[30:47, INT. KING'S PALACE, DUGEONS/CORRIDORS - DAY]
[Sir Percival's party fights their way through the dungeons. Sir Leon leads another party, Arthur makes his way through the palace on his own. Gwaine and Elyan go to the bars as they hear the commotion from their cell. Sir Percival arrives.]

SIR GWAINE
Come on, boys. What's taking you so long?

[Sir Leon tosses Percival the keys and he opens the cell. Percival and Elyan grasp arms.]

SIR PERCIVAL
You all right?

SIR ELYAN
I've been locked up with Gwaine for a week.

[Leon supports Gwaine out of the cell while Percival goes to Gaius, who's lying weakly on the bed.]

SIR PERCIVAL
Gaius. Come on.

[Percival and Elyan help Gaius up.]

--
[31:44, INT. KING'S PALACE, COUNCIL ROOM CORRIDOR - DAY]
[Arthur rounds the corner with Tristan, Isolde, Merlin, and Gwen to find five Southrons standing guard.]

KING ARTHUR
One each. Pick your man. On me!

[Arthur charges the front man, and strikes him. The mercenaries stumbles towards Gwen and she knocks him out with her sword.]

--
[31:58, INT. KING'S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER - DAY]
[Morgana and Helios wait by the throne, listening to the fighting outside.]

MORGANA
I'm going to enjoy this.

--
[32:05, INT. KING'S PALACE, COUNCIL ROOM CORRIDOR - DAY]
[Arthur's party takes out the rest of the guards.]

ISOLDE
Whatever happened to the idea of finding a bit of land and settling down?

[Arthur walks over toward Merlin and looks at Excalibur.]

KING ARTHUR
You know, this thing's not bad.

MERLIN
Thought you might like it.

[They prepare to enter the council chamber.]

KING ARTHUR
Ready?

ALL
For the love of Camelot!

[They charge into the council chamber, but stop short when they find only Morgana lounging on the throne, Helios standing it.]

MORGANA
Welcome, dear brother. It's been far too long.

[Morgana gets up and walks toward him.]

MORGANA
I apologise if you had a difficult reception. It's hard to know who to trust these days.

[Morgana stops in the middle and Arthur approaches her slowly. He raises Excalibur with an open hand to show he's not attacking her, and she watches his warily until he places the sword in his belt. He meets her in the middle.]

KING ARTHUR (softly)
What happened to you Morgana?

[Morgana looks him in the eye almost regretfully, the hurt plain on both their faces and in their voices.]

KING ARTHUR (softly)
I thought we were friends

MORGANA (softly)
As did I.

[Morgana's voice hardens.]

MORGANA
But alas, we were both wrong.

KING ARTHUR
You can't blame me for my father's sins.

MORGANA
It's a little late for that. You’ve made it perfectly clear how you feel about me and my kind. You're not as different from Uther as you'd like to think.

KING ARTHUR
Nor are you.

[Morgana becomes angry and backs away.]

MORGANA
I’m going to enjoy killing you, Arthur Pendragon. Not even Emrys can save you now.

[Arthur draws Excalibur. Morgana smirks.]

MORGANA
Your blades cannot stop me.

[Merlin braces himself.]

MORGANA Hleap on bæc.

[Nothing happens except the sound of the effigy's whispers. Morgana is confused and Arthur watches her reaction, still waiting for her attack. Morgana tries the spell again, raising her hand for strength.]

MORGANA (scared) Hleap on bæc!

[Merlin seems to be absorbing Morgana's magic with the effigy's whispers. Both Morgana and Arthur realise that her magic's not working.]

KING ARTHUR
Not so powerful now, my lady.

[Helios pulls Morgana behind him as she panics. Morgana runs off.]

KING ARTHUR
After her!

[Gwen and Merlin chase after Morgana. Southrons enter the council chamber from behind, fended off by Tristan and Isolde, while Arthur takes on Helios. Arthur clutches his wounded ribs while they fight.]

--
[34:35, INT. KING'S PALACE, CORRIDORS - DAY]
[Morgana takes out some knights of Camelot with a sword as she makes her way through the corridors. Merlin follows. A knight of Camelot strikes Morgana from behind as he jumps out from behind a column. She takes him out, but not without sustaining a deadly wound in her side first.]

--
[35:10, INT. KING'S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER - DAY]
[Arthur struggles to fight Helios with his wounds. Helios knocks him down and disarms Arthur. Helios raises his sword for the final blow, but Isolde stabs him in the back. Helios sweeps around and slices Isolde as he falls down dead. Arthur realises what happened as Isolde turns to Tristan with a tragic look on her face. She drops her sword and falls to her knees. Arthur and Tristan go to help her.]

--
[36:09, INT. KING'S PALACE, CORRIDORS - DAY]
[Gwen turns a corner cautiously, still in pursuit of Morgana. Morgana rounds the corner at the other end and Gwen crouches into a fighting stance. Morgana approaches and they fight.]

GWEN
What did I do to make you hate me so much?

MORGANA
It's not what you did, it's what you're destined to do! I'm sorry, Gwen, but I can never let that happen!

[Morgana disarms Gwen. She steps forward to kill Gwen, but she's blown backward. Part of the ceiling collapses with the blast. The glow in Merlin's eyes dies out. Merlin approaches Gwen.]

MERLIN
You all right?

GWEN
Yes.

[Merlin steps forward to find Morgana in the rubble smoke.]

GWEN
What happened?

[The smoke clears and Morgana is gone.]

MERLIN
I don't know.

[Gwen and Merlin return to the council chamber.]

--
[37:28, INT. KING'S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER - DAY]
[Tristan holds Isolde in his arms as she dies.]

ISOLDE
I'm sorry.

TRISTAN
Shhh.

[Gwen and Merlin enter.]

ISOLDE
Our dreams...

TRISTAN
Isolde, don't.

[Arthur leans against a column, eyes bloodshot as he watches them.]

ISOLDE
I wish...

TRISTAN
I wish, too.

ISOLDE
Hold me.

[Tristan puts an arm around her shoulders and she dies. He cradles her face in his hand and kisses her, then hold her body as he cries. Arthur swallows hard and looks up at Gwen. She looks up and they hold each other's gaze.]

--
[38:32, INT. KING'S PALACE, ARTHUR'S CHAMBERS - DAY]
[Gwen sets a fallen chair upright in Arthur's chambers, which seems to have been trashed during the attack. Arthur enters.]

GWEN
It will take some time.

KING ARTHUR
Well, Merlin can take care of it.

[Arthur smiles and Gwen smiles back. Her smile fades as she steps forward.]

GWEN
If you want me to go, to return to Ealdor...

KING ARTHUR
I want you to stay.

[Gwen waits uncertainly as Arthur steps forward.]

KING ARTHUR
Guinevere...

GWEN
You don't have to say anything.

KING ARTHUR
Whatever's happened between us...

GWEN
Please, Arthur, I can't forgive myself.

KING ARTHUR
I don't care.

[Arthur steps up in front of her and Gwen waits.]

KING ARTHUR
I just don’t ever want to lose you.

[Gwen smiles a little. Arthur considers her for a moment and then takes her hands. She waits hopefully.]

KING ARTHUR
Will you marry me?

[Gwen smiles.]

GWEN
Yes.

[Arthur begins to smile.]

GWEN
Yes, with all my heart.

[Arthur and Guinevere step into each other's arms and kiss passionately.]

--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, THRONE ROOM - DAY]
[The doors open to reveal Guinevere dressed in a rich, purple and gold gown, walking down the aisle between the knights and courtiers of Camelot. Guinevere kneels on the dais before Arthur. Arthur smiles down at her. A man brings the queen's crown to Arthur on a pillow and he takes it. Elyan, Gaius, and Merlin stand in the front row. Merlin is dressed in richer clothes. Gwaine and Leon stand behind them.]

KING ARTHUR
By the sacred laws vested in me, I crown you...Guinevere...Queen of Camelot.

[Arthur crowns her and she smiles up at him. Arthur takes her hands, her engagement ring on her first finger, and she steps up on the dais. They kiss wholeheartedly and Guinevere smiles as they part. Arthur holds her hand and turns them to face their subjects.]

KING ARTHUR
Long live the queen!

ALL
Long live the queen! Long live the queen! Long live the queen! Long live the queen! Long live the queen!

--
[EXT. FOREST - DAY]
[Morgana stumbles through the forest, clutching her wounded side. She falls and goes unconscious. Wings sweep overhead and Aithusa lands next to her. Aithusa breathes healing magic on her and she wakes. She looks at the little white dragon in wonder as Aithusa watches her and then flies away.]

Merlin Will Return



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