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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.

-- 

[00:13, EXT. BATTLEFIELD - DAY]

ARTHUR
Check for survivors. Seems their attackers headed north! Come on!

MERLIN
Do you think we should be going after them?

ARTHUR
You are such a girl's petticoat.

-- 

[00:46, INT. KING’S PALACE, THRONE ROOM]

GAIUS
Sire, how many more men are you going to lose in this quest?

UTHER
As many as it takes.

GAIUS
I need to speak to you as a friend.

UTHER
I have no time for friends.

GAIUS
Then I'll speak to you as your physician. This is madness. She has been missing for more than a year now. When are you going to stop?

UTHER
When Morgana is found.

--
[01:14, EXT. WOODS]

MERLIN
Ow.

ARTHUR
Is there something wrong with you?

MERLIN
I've been on a horse all day.

ARTHUR
Is your little bottom sore?

MERLIN
Yes. It's not as fat as yours.

ARTHUR
brow, you've got a lot of nerve for a wimp.

MERLIN
I may be a wimp, but at least I'm not a dollophead.

ARTHUR
There's no such word.

MERLIN
It's idiomatic.

ARTHUR
It's what?

MERLIN
You need to be more in touch with the people.

ARTHUR
Describe "dollop head".

MERLIN
In two words?

ARTHUR
Yeah.

MERLIN
Er...Prince Arthur.


[They find an abandoned camp and investigate. A Red Cape is shot with an arrow and bandits attack.]

ARTHUR
On me!


[A fight ensues. Merlin grabs a sword, but it's knocked out of his hands.]

MERLIN
Ecg geteoh þing to.


[The attacker's sword magnetises, metal tools attach to it and the bandit falls backwards. Merlin topples a tree on a second attacker. Merlin trips on his way to help Arthur. A bandit comes up behind Arthur. Merlin magically throws a spear at the bandit. Arthur looks around and sees Merlin still on the forest floor.]

ARTHUR
We're not playing hide and seek, Merlin!

MERLIN
Dollophead.


[The battle is won. Arthur hears a twig snap in the woods and investigates with caution. Morgana stumbles out of the fog.]

ARTHUR
Morgana.

OPENING CREDITS


--
[05:00, INT. KING’S PALACE, MORGANA’S CHAMBERS]

GAIUS
You need to rest.

GWEN
I'll stay with her.

GAIUS
Call me when she wakes, Guinevere.


--
[05:40, INT. KING’S PALACE, GRIFFIN STAIRCASE]

UTHER
How is she?

GAIUS
She'll be fine.

UTHER
There's nothing wrong with her?

GAIUS
Nothing physical.

UTHER
May I see her?

GAIUS
Best wait 'til morning.

UTHER
Yes, of course. Gaius, thank you.


--
[06:14, INT. KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN’S CHAMBERS]

MERLIN
Did you talk to her?

GAIUS
She's sleeping.

MERLIN
Did she say anything about me?

GAIUS
Nothing as yet.

MERLIN
Well, she's going to.

GAIUS
Does she know your secret, Merlin? Does she know you have magic?

MERLIN
No, she doesn't. No one does.

GAIUS
Good. Because if Uther finds out ...

MERLIN
She knows I tried to poison her, she knows that.

GAIUS
You had no choice. Camelot was dying. Morgana was the source of the enchantment. Either you poisoned her, or the kingdom fell.

MERLIN
But Uther won't know that. All she'll say is I tried to kill her.

GAIUS
We can't be sure, Merlin.

MERLIN
What do you think Uther will do to me?

GAIUS
Let's just wait and see what tomorrow brings.


--
[07:11, INT. KING’S PALACE, MERLIN’S CHAMBER]

GAIUS
Merlin. Arthur's requested your presence. In Morgana's chambers.


--
[07:34, INT. KING’S PALACE, MORGANA’S CHAMBERS]

MORGANA
I was kept in a cell for almost a year. I thought I'd go mad.

ARTHUR
How did you escape?

MORGANA
They moved me about a week ago. I don't know why. It may have been the patrol from Camelot.

ARTHUR
The patrol found you?

MORGANA
I thought I was gonna be free. But then I saw them killed. Every one of them cut down. But that night, the bandits were distracted by their spoils. I took my chance. When I saw you, I couldn't believe it.

[Morgana embraces Arthur.]

MORGANA I think I need to rest.

ARTHUR
Everything's gonna be alright. You're safe now.


[Arthur leaves. Merlin begins to follow him.]

MORGANA
Merlin. I want to speak to you. I know what you did. You tried to poison me.

MERLIN (nervously)
I didn't want to.

MORGANA
It's alright, Merlin. I understand. You were just trying to protect your friends, I would have done the same.

MERLIN
Really?

MORGANA
I was so naïve, Merlin. I don't think I really understood what I was doing. But, believe me, I have seen the evils in this world. I have seen firsthand what it is that Uther fights against. You don't know how much I regret everything that I've done. I just...hope that you can forgive me.

MERLIN
I am so sorry for everything you've been through. It's good to have you back.


--
[10:03, INT. KING’S PALACE, ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS]

ARTHUR
What are you looking so happy about?

MERLIN
The sun is shining, we found Morgana, and I have just finished all my chores.

ARTHUR
Hmm.

MERLIN
Er, do you have to go in there right now?

ARTHUR
Why?

MERLIN
Er, I just washed the floor.

ARTHUR
Don't worry, I won't slip over.

MERLIN
You really have no idea, do you?

ARTHUR
All you have to do is wipe it.

MERLIN
How would you know?

ARTHUR
I beg your pardon, Merlin?

MERLIN
It's just, you've never had to do it.

ARTHUR
Oh, I know how to use a cloth and bucket.

MERLIN
Oh, yeah.

ARTHUR
It's easy. Here, let me show you.


[Arthur takes the cloth from Merlin.]

ARTHUR
Hmm? Hmm.


[Arthur picks up the bucket, dips the cloth in it, and wipes Merlin's face with it.]

ARTHUR
Would you like me to show you how to use the bucket?

MERLIN
No.


[Arthur dumps the bucket of dirty water over Merlin's head and hits it before exiting.]


--
[11:21, INT. KING’S PALACE, THRONE ROOM]
[Morgana walks toward the dais where Sir Leon is giving Uther his report.]

SIR LEON
The grain stores are running low, but we're expecting supplies from the northern borders before the end of the week.

UTHER
That's enough. Leave us.


[Uther rushes to meet Morgana. He embraces her with tears of joy. She wipes his tears away with a handkerchief.]

UTHER
You should sit.

MORGANA
No, no. That's all I've done for the past year. Sit. And pray that you hadn't given up on me.

UTHER
Never.

MORGANA
I don't know why. I wouldn't blame you. You've done more for me than any guardian. You've always cared for me, loved me like I was your own daughter. And yet I've insulted you, defied you, hurt you. I don't know why you put up with me. But I promise, in the future I will show you the love and respect that you deserve. I will leave you to your council.


[Morgana walks back to the entrance, smirking.]


--
[13:00, EXT. KING’S PALACE, MAIN SQUARE]
[Morgana leaves the castle at night and rides to a cave guarded by the Bloodguard.]

MORGAUSE
My sister. How have you fared?

MORGANA
Camelot has welcomed back its daughter with open arms.

MORGAUSE
Uther does not suspect?

MORGANA
He laps up my lies like the snivelling dog that he is.

MORGAUSE
And the boy?

MORGANA
Merlin? He believes I've changed. And he's right. Soon he will see exactly how much.

MORGAUSE
You've done well. The tears of Uther Pendragon have only begun to fall.


[Morgause drops the handkerchief with Uther's tears into a giant cauldron filled with boiling mud and drops in a large root next. The root screams and Morgana flinches.]

MORGAUSE
The mandrake root is very special. Only those with magic can hear its cries. But for those without magic, the magic pierces the very recesses of the soul, twisting the unconscious into the very image of fear and dread. Uther Pendragon will find that his great kingdom counts for nothing, when he has lost his mind. Mid þæm wundorcræft þæs ealdan æwþ ic þe hate nime Utheres wopdropan ond þa gemengan mid his blod. Sy he under wittig ond deofol seocnes his heorte afylþ.


[Morgause's eye glow. She pulls out the muddy root and hands it to Morgana.]


--
[15:48, INT. KING’S PALACE, UTHER’S CHAMBERS]
[The mandrake root hangs under Uther's bed, dripping mud onto the floor.]

UTHER
How is Morgana?

GAIUS
She seems to have made a remarkable recovery, My Lord.

UTHER
She was always like that as a child. Very brave. She inherited much from her father.

GAIUS
Gorlois was a great man.

UTHER
Indeed. I trust she will be well enough to attend the feast.

GAIUS
I see no reason why not.

UTHER
Thank you, Gaius.


--
[16:21, EXT. TRAINING GROUNDS]
[Arthur fights two opponents while blindfolded.]

ARTHUR
Let's change weapons. What'd you think?

MERLIN
I've seen better.

ARTHUR
Course. Well, you are the expert at fighting with your eyes closed.

MERLIN
But you didn't see what I did when we rescued Morgana.

ARTHUR
Because you were hiding behind a tree.

MERLIN
No. I was not.

ARTHUR
I'm not going to use the blindfold, I'm just going to fight like Merlin here. (whimper) “I'm Merlin, don't hurt me.” Ready?


[Arthur fights with the two knights again. Merlin magically pulls the sword out of Arthur's grasp. Arthur gets hit in the stomach with a mace and falls face first into the mud.]


--
[17:30, INT. KING’S PALACE, HALL OF CEREMONIES]

UTHER
Standing here, seeing so many happy faces, seems almost like a dream. I can tell you, I have not felt like this in a long time.

ARTHUR
What, drunk?

UTHER
Drunk with happiness. I would have searched the entire world, the seas, the skies, the stars, for that smile. To have it stolen from me was like a blade to my heart. Morgana, there are no words. You mean more to me that you will ever know. To Lady Morgana.

COURT
To Lady Morgana.

UTHER
I need some air.


--
[18:51, EXT. KING’S PALACE, MAIN SQUARE]

UTHER
Who's that? Arthur?


[Uther walks to the well and looks inside. Ygraine grabs his arm and screams.]

YGRAINE
Please. Please!

UTHER
AHHHH!


[Uther continues screaming, curls up in the foetal position and rocks back and forth as guards run to check on him.]


--
[20:16, INT. KING’S PALACE, UTHER’S CHAMBERS]
[Arthur sets Uther down on the bed.]

MORGANA
Careful. Is he going to be alright?

GAIUS
He should sleep 'til morning.


-- [20:49, INT. KING’S PALACE, PHOENIX CORRIDOR]

ARTHUR
What could've made him like this?

GAIUS
I've no idea.

ARTHUR
Gaius, he was lying on the ground crying.

GAIUS
Exhaustion.

ARTHUR
Gaius. What aren't you telling me? What's wrong with him? Tell me.

GAIUS
When I found him, he was mumbling. Most of it was incoherent, but...

ARTHUR
What?

GAIUS
He kept mentioning your mother's name.

ARTHUR
He never talks about her.

GAIUS
He claimed that he saw her. In the well.

ARTHUR
Did the guards see him in this state?

GAIUS
I think you're worrying too much.

ARTHUR
If the people get to know about this...!

GAIUS
We say that he was ill, but now he's recovered.


--
[21:46, INT. MORGAUSE'S CAVE]

MORGANA
Already the rumours are spreading.

MORGAUSE
The mandrake's poison does its work well.

MORGANA
Soon all of Camelot will believe that their king is going mad.

MORGAUSE
And a kingdom without a king is ripe for the picking

MORGANA
When do you go to Cenred?

MORGAUSE
Tomorrow.

MORGANA
And he will do as we wish?

MORGAUSE
Cenred wishes only to please me.

MORGANA
Then your time with him has been well spent.


--
[22:15, EXT. KING’S PALACE, BATTLEMENTS]

GUARD
Lady Morgana.

MORGANA
I was just taking a stroll.


[The guard hears and sees the mud dripping from a new mandrake root that Morgause gave her.]

GUARD
What's that, My Lady?

MORGANA
Nothing.

GUARD
You're bleeding.

MORGAUSE
I'm fine, really.

GUARD
You're wounded.


[The guard opens Morgana's cloak and Morgana stabs him and the guard falls over the wall.]


--
[22:55, INT. KING’S PALACE, MORGANA’S CHAMBERS]

GWEN
My Lady.


[Morgana looks down at her muddy cloak and tosses it behind her bed. Gwen enters.]

GWEN
I saw the light, wanted to make sure you were alright.

MORGANA
I'm fine.

GWEN
You're still dressed.

MORGANA
I'll prepare myself for bed.

GWEN
You sure?

MORGANA
That will be all, Gwen.


--
[23:36, INT. CENRED'S CASTLE, THRONE ROOM - DAY]

CENRED
To what do I owe this pleasure?

MORGAUSE
If you will not leave your castle, then I must come to you.

CENRED
I see that you've lost none of your audacity.

MORGAUSE
I wish I could say the same. But I find the great King Cenred cowering in his chambers when he should've met me at the border. Perhaps he has lost his nerve. Perhaps he is a coward.


[One of Cenred's men draws a sword. Morgause throws him backwards with a look. Cenred's other men draw their swords. Cenred holds up a hand to stop them.]

CENRED
You are very beautiful when you're angry.

MORGAUSE
Is that why you continue to defy me?

CENRED
Well, you wouldn't like it if I made it easy for you.

MORGAUSE (laughs)


--
[24:59, INT. CENRED'S CASTLE, THRONE ROOM]
[Cenred pours Morgause a drink and sits down across from her.]

CENRED
I'm certain you've not come all this way just to drink, Morgause.

MORGAUSE
You know me well.

CENRED
Extremely well. And yet, somehow, we're still close.

MORGAUSE
I've come to talk to you about our old friend, Uther Pendragon.

CENRED
Yes. I have heard the sad news. He's finally lost his mind.

MORGAUSE
Camelot is weak, weaker than it's been for years. the kingdom is vulnerable, just as I promised.

CENRED
Yet it doesn't change the fact the citadel is still impregnable.

MORGAUSE
So, even without his wits, Uther is too strong for you.

CENRED
You're a woman of great courage, Morgause, but I don't think with my sword. An assault on Camelot cannot be undertaken lightly.

MORGAUSE
You forget. We have an ally in the court.

CENRED
That is no guarantee. Traitors blow like the wind.

MORGAUSE
Not this one. She can be relied upon until the end. You can be certain of that.

-- [26:01, INT. KING’S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER OF DOOM]

ARTHUR We've had reports that mercenaries are streaming into Cenred's kingdom.

UTHER Do we know why?

ARTHUR There is rumour that Cenred is amassing an army. I think we should send a patrol out to assess the situation.

[Uther stares past Arthur.]

ARTHUR
Father?


[Arthur turns to see what his father's staring at. The court looks back at Uther. Uther sees a small drowned boy standing in the council room, dripping water all over the floor. Uther stands up and points at the boy.]

UTHER
Leave me alone. Get out of here.

ARTHUR
Father, will you...

UTHER
I said get out! Get out! I'll have you hanged!


[Arthur and Sir Leon restrain Uther and drag him from the room.]

UTHER
You hanged! You...! You...!


--
[27:24, INT. KING’S PALACE, PHOENIX CORRIDOR]

MERLIN
There must be some explanation.

GAIUS
During the great purge, Uther drowned many he suspected of sorcery. And some, God help them, were children, killed for the magic they were born with. Maybe his conscience is playing tricks with him. Whatever it is, we can no longer hide this. A king's hold on his people's a very fragile thing, Merlin. If they start to lose faith in him, I fear for Camelot.


[Warning bells sound.]


--
[28:10, EXT. KING’S PALACE, BENEATH THE DRAWBRIDGE]


[Gaius, Sir Leon, and Merlin lean over the body of the guard Morgana stabbed.]

GAIUS
Take this man to my chambers. I need to speak to Arthur as a matter of urgency.


--
[28:18, INT. KING’S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER OF DOOM]

GAIUS
The sentry must've been attacked at some point during the night.

ARTHUR
Who could've done this?


[Gaius hands Arthur the dagger Morgana used to stab the guard.]

GAIUS
That is a sigil of the Bloodguard.

ARTHUR
The Bloodguard?

GAIUS
Warrior priests sworn to protect the high priestesses of the Old Religion.

ARTHUR
Surely they were wiped out during the Great Purge.

GAIUS
Not all of them.

ARTHUR
So you believe there is a traitor in Camelot.

GAIUS
It is possible, Sire. The sentry will be able to tell us soon enough.

ARTHUR
He's still alive?

GAIUS
Indeed.


--
[28:49, INT. KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN’S CHAMBERS]

MORGANA
Gaius? Merlin?


[Morgana looks through Gaius's shelves and takes a bottle of poison.]


--
[29:32, INT. KING’S PALACE, CORRIDOR]
[Gaius and Merlin walk toward the physician's chambers. Morgana comes out of hiding and leaves.]


--
[29:46, INT. KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN’S CHAMBERS]
[Merlin checks on the guard.]

MERLIN
Gaius. You said he was recovering.

GAIUS
I thought he was.

MERLIN
Then what happened? You don't think it's strange?

GAIUS
Very.


--
[30:30, INT. KING’S PALACE, UTHER’S CHAMBERS]
[Merlin places a potion bottle on Uther's bureau and pulls up Uther's blankets. Merlin hears mud dripping from the mandrake and looks down to see some mud goo on the floor. Morgana approaches and Merlin slips under the bed, bumping into the mandrake root. Morgana pulls off the root without looking and exits. Merlin follows Morgana through the lower town and into the woods.]


--
[32:52, EXT. WOODS]

MORGAUSE
Sorry you had to wait. There was much to discuss.

MORGANA
But your visit was successful?

MORGAUSE
Cenred's army ride for Camelot on my command.

MORGANA
There is nothing you cannot do.

MORGAUSE
It is you that gives me strength, sister. How goes the battle for Uther's mind?

MORGANA
When Cenred marches on Camelot, he will find a kingdom without a leader.

MORGAUSE
Finally we are ready.

MORGANA
Not quite. Merlin suspects me.

MORGAUSE
Has he told Arthur?

MORGANA
Not yet, but he will.

MORGAUSE
Well, then we must stop him.

MORGANA
That will not be difficult.

MORGAUSE
Why?

MORGANA
Because he's already here.


[Merlin comes out of hiding.]

MORGANA
Did you really think I was that stupid, Merlin?


[Merlin runs. He's chased and captured by the Bloodguard.]


--
[34:13, INT. KING’S PALACE, ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS]

GAIUS
How are you, Sire?

ARTHUR
It's not me who's sick.

GAIUS
It can't be easy to see your father this way.

ARTHUR
No. He's always been so strong. He lifted his kingdom from its knees, Gaius. To see him now...

GAIUS
I am sure that, over time, he will recover. But until then, we have to make plans, Arthur. We need you to assume control.

ARTHUR
That's ridiculous.

GAIUS
Camelot needs a leader. It falls to you. You must fulfil your role as regent. This is not just me talking. Members of the court have spoken.

ARTHUR
So now you've taken to whispering behind my back. What kind of treason is this?

GAIUS
It's for the good of the kingdom.

ARTHUR
I'm not going to usurp my father.

GAIUS
The palace is awash with rumours. The people are restless.

ARTHUR
I swore allegiance to my King, and as long as there is breath in his body, it is my duty to uphold that.

GAIUS
Arthur, please.

ARTHUR
You are giving up on my father. That is something I will never do.


--
[35:38, EXT. WOODS]
[Merlin wakes, bound in chains.]

MORGAUSE
You intrigue me, Merlin. Why does a lowly servant continue to risk everything for Arthur and for Camelot? You know the answer, but you're not telling me. Why? Come on. Time and again you put your life on the line. There must be a reason.

MERLIN
I believe in a fair and just land.

MORGAUSE
And you think Arthur will give you that?

MERLIN
I know it.

MORGAUSE
And then what? You think you'll be recognised, Merlin? Is that it? All this so, one day, you can be a serving boy to the King? No. There's something more. Something you're not telling me, isn't there?

MERLIN
I told you.

MORGAUSE
Well, you can take your secret to your grave. Weorc untoworpenlic.


[Merlin's chains glow and tighten from the magical binding.]

MORGAUSE
You chose to poison one of my own. You may regret that.


--
[37:15, INT. KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN’S CHAMBERS]

GAIUS
Merlin. You're going to be la...


[Gaius opens Merlin's door, but Merlin's bed hasn't been slept in.]


--
[37:33, EXT. WOODS]

MERLIN
Abricaþ benda.


[The chains glow, but don't break.]

MERLIN
Abricaþ benda!


[The chains glow, but don't break. Merlin takes a breath.]

MERLIN
Isen fæstnunga onlucan me!


[The chains glow, but Merlin's attempts to free himself fail. Merlin hears scorpions approach.]


--
[38:16, INT. KING’S PALACE, MORGANA’S CHAMBERS]

GAIUS
Have you seen Merlin?

GWEN
Not since yesterday.

MORGANA
Is there a problem?

GAIUS
I'm not sure.

MORGANA
What is it?

GAIUS
Merlin didn't come home last night.

MORGANA
That's not like him.

GAIUS
No.


--
[38:37, EXT. WOODS]

MERLIN
Min strengest miht hate þe tospringan!


[The chains glow, but Merlin's attempt to free himself fails. Scorpions draw nearer.]


--
[39:13, INT. KING’S PALACE, UTHER’S CHAMBERS]
[Arthur sits by his father's bedside. Morgana enters.]

ARTHUR
I need him to get better.

MORGANA
I know.

ARTHUR (sniffle)
I'm glad you're here.

MORGANA
I'll make sure he's looked after, don't worry.


--
[39:53, EXT. WOODS]

MERLIN
Awendaþ eft wansæliga neat! Forlætan me a...!


[Merlin's spells fend off a couple scorpions, but one stabs him in the back. Merlin throws the scorpion that stabbed him with a flash of his eyes.]

MERLIN
Ω δρακον, έάω μαλερός σοφόνους φθέγγομαι τείδε άναδικέω!


--
[40:56, EXT. COUNTRYSIDE]
[Cenred leads his army to Camelot.]


--
[41:13 INT. MORGAUSE'S CAVE]
[Morgause watches Cenred's army from her crystal.]


--
[41:18, EXT. WOODS]
[The scorpions continue to approach Merlin. The Great Dragon arrives and roasts a few before picking him up. Merlin faints from the poison sting as the Dragon flies off.]


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