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KILGHARRAH
In a land of myth and a time of magic, the destiny of a great kingdom rests on the shoulders of a young man. His name: Merlin

--

[00:13, EXT. CAMELOT, MAIN SQUARE - DAY 1]
[The square is a hive of activity. A caravan of colourful carts is being unloaded by acrobats, dancers, jugglers, strong men, and jesters. An acrobat back flips into her partner's arms. Jugglers practice their routine, sending batons high into the air.]

--

[00:23, INT/EXT. KING'S PALACE, ARTHUR'S CHAMBERS / CAMELOT, MAIN SQUARE - DAY 1]
[Merlin and Arthur look down into the Main Square. Merlin's impressed, Arthur less so.]

MERLIN
Oh! Did you see that? hahahahah ARTHUR
It's a man throwing sticks in the air.

[Merlin takes in Arthur's mood.]

MERLIN
What's wrong?

[Arthur pulls a face.]

MERLIN
It's your birthday. A huge feast is being held in your honour. You've got dancers, jugglers and acrobats to entertain you. It must be a terrible burden.

ARTHUR
Perhaps I'm less easily impressed than you.

MERLIN
I'm really looking forward to it.

ARTHUR
Because you have the mind of a child.

[Arthur heads out.]

MERLIN (to himself)
And yet I'm still more intelligent than you.

[Arthur doesn't look round as he calls out...]

ARTHUR
I heard that.

[Merlin grins and exits.]

--
[00:56, INT. KING'S PALACE, BANQUET HALL - DAY 1]
[Two acrobats have set up a circular board, divided into brightly coloured segments. The Gleeman passes through the Banquet Hall, casting a critical eye over the preparations, checking everything is as it should be. He hears a sound and looks round to see objects flying out of a deep trunk.]

THE GLEEMAN
You have misplaced something Geldred?

[A head appears, peering out over the rim of the trunk. This is Geldred.]

GELDRED
Our special gift to the Prince. I cannot find it anywhere.

[Geldred starts to search again...]

THE GLEEMAN
Geldred...

[The Gleeman fixes him with a piercing stare. It is suddenly apparent that The Gleeman is a man to be feared. He pulls slim box from his tunic...]

THE GLEEMAN
I took the liberty of ensuring their safe passage myself.

[The Gleeman opens the box to reveal three sharp throwing daggers...]

THE GLEEMAN
We must make sure this is a celebration the young Prince will never forget.

[The Gleeman throws one of the knives through the air. It pierces the centre of the board with Terrifying precision.]

OPENING CREDITS

--
[01:55, INT. KING'S PALACE (UTHER'S CHAMBERS) - DAY 1]
[Uther appears weak and withdrawn. Reveal Arthur seated by him. Arthur launches into his usual routine...]

ARTHUR
The Court discussed the annual levy this morning. The council has suggested we raise it, but I feel the people are already overburdened...

UTHER
We should not talk about matters of court today.

[Arthur's surprised by Uther's response. Uther fixes Arthur with an emotional look. Arthur's increasingly concerned...]

ARTHUR
Father?

[Uther smiles softly...]

UTHER
You think I would ever forget that today is the anniversary of your birth?

[Arthur's both relieved and touched.]

UTHER
I take it there are plans for suitable celebrations this evening?

ARTHUR
A feast, and, erm, some entertainment. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow.

UTHER
Nonsense. You think I would miss my son's anniversary?

[Arthur's surprised and touched. Uther gives him a small smile.]

--
[02:43, INT. KING'S PALACE (BANQUET HALL) - NIGHT 1]
[The Banquet Hall is packed. Knights and courtiers are tucking into a feast. The Hall is filled with entertainment... Everyone's enjoying the show, wowed by the skills of the performers. Arthur takes in Uther smiling. He catches his eye. Uther raises his goblet. Arthur returns the gesture with a smile. He's thrilled to see his father in such good spirits... In the midst of the performers, stands The Gleeman. He bows at the end of the act. All eyes focus on The Gleeman as a hush descends over the Hall. The Gleeman looks out over the Hall.]

THE GLEEMAN
I require a volunteer...

[The Gleeman's steps forward and sets his eyes on Arthur...]

THE GLEEMAN
Prince Arthur. What better or more fitting occasion for you to demonstrate your legendary bravery?

[Arthur's caught out, put on the spot.]

THE GLEEMAN
Do you accept the challenge?

[Arthur feels the eyes of the courtiers and knights awaiting his decision. Arthur stands...]

ARTHUR
Of course.

[There's a round of applause as Arthur makes his way through the Hall. Merlin intercepts Arthur. They have a whispered exchange...]

MERLIN
Is this safe...?

ARTHUR
It's knife throwing, Merlin. Of course it's not safe. I could hardly refuse his challenge.

[Arthur sees that the eyes of the entire room are upon them and takes off his cloak and jacket, giving them to Merlin, making an excuse to cover the true nature of their exchange...]

[Arthur heads over to the circular board where The Gleeman waits for him. Arthur smiles at the crowd, reassuring. Arthur places himself against the board. The Gleeman and Geldred strap Arthur's ankles and wrists to the restraints on the board. Arthur shoots a slightly nervous glance at The Gleeman.]

THE GLEEMAN
Do not fear, my Lord. I never miss my target.

ARTHUR
Good. Glad to hear it.

[The Gleeman pulls out an apple and turns to Arthur...]

THE GLEEMAN
May I?

ARTHUR
What?

[Before Arthur can object, The Gleeman places the apple in Arthur's mouth. The Gleeman nods to Geldred. He gives the wheel a push and it starts to spin. The court makes "ooh" sounds. Arthur spins on the board. It makes him feel dizzy, and a little nauseous. Another dwarf presents the case of knives to The Gleeman. The Gleeman holds the blade up for the crowd to see. Without even stopping to take aim, The Gleeman suddenly turns and throws the knife at Arthur. It thuds into the board, centimeters from Arthur's face. A huge gasp goes up, followed by a round of applause. As he spins, Arthur eyes the knife warily. Uther is very impressed. Gwen lets out a breath and does a *facepalm*... The Gleeman takes the next knife from the case. The tension builds, and suddenly The Gleeman throws the knife. It flies through the air and thuds into the board on the other side of Arthur's head. Another round of applause. The Gleeman takes the final knife from the case. Gwen closes her eyes and turns her head away for a moment in relief. Uther applauds gleefully. The Gleeman waves the final knife at Uther. Uther nods permission for him to throw it. Gwen bites her nails and looks nervously toward Arthur. Arthur's eyes go wide as The Gleeman prepares to throw the final knife. Tension as he takes aim... Merlin looks on. He's poised, ready to intervene magically... We go into Merlin Time as The Gleeman throws the knife. It spins through the air in slow motion... We hear the blade slice into something not wood and the crowd gasps and holds its breath for a moment. The wheel slows to a stop and we see the knife stuck straight into the apple. The hall erupts in applause. Arthur opens his eyes. Gwen breathes a huge sigh of relief and joins the applause. Arthur sighs in relief as well. The Gleeman takes a bow and a circus man helps Arthur down from the Wheel of Death. Arthur tosses the apple and catches it, then shrugs back into his jacket with Merlin's help.]

ARTHUR
See, Merlin? Nothing to worry about.

[Arthur takes a bite of the apple. Merlin chuckles as Arthur saunters off. The Gleeman has a quiet word with Geldred...]

THE GLEEMAN (an aside)
In a few hours, the sedative on the apple will begin to take effect. The Prince will be defenceless. Then we will strike.

[The Gleeman and Geldred watch Arthur chewing the mouthful of apple as he celebrates with his knights.]

--
[05:25, INT. KING'S PALACE, ARTHUR'S CHAMBERS - NIGHT ]
[The door flies open. Arthur staggers in, followed by Merlin. The sedative is starting to take effect. Arthur's very drowsy and unsteady on his feet...]

MERLIN
You're telling me you weren't even a little bit scared?

ARTHUR
Of course I wasn't. I am a warrior. You learn to control your fear. To channel it...

[Arthur runs into a column, staggers. Merlin catches him, stops him from falling over. Athur rights himself and continues walking.]

MERLIN
You looked scared...

[Arthur starts to undress.]

ARTHUR
It's good to see my father enjoying himself.

[A worrying thought occurs]

ARTHUR
He looked a little quiet towards the end, though. Perhaps I should go and see him.

MERLIN
Are you sure that's a good idea? You can barely stand up.

ARTHUR
Are you saying I'm drunk?

MERLIN
No, I'm just saying I don't think you should be wandering around the palace.

ARTHUR
And why is that?

MERLIN
You're not wearing any trousers.

[Arthur looks down and sees that he is indeed not wearing trousers, then looks back at Merlin...]

ARTHUR
Good point.

[Arthur hitches up his trousers on his way out the door.]

--
[06:07, INT. KING'S PALACE, PHOENIX CORRIDOR - NIGHT 1]
[Arthur lets out an enormous yawn, struggling to keep his eyes open as he passes the two guards outside the doors to Uther's chambers. The Gleeman watches Arthur disappear round the corner as Arthur heads inside.]

--
[06:21, INT. KING'S PALACE (UTHER'S CHAMBERS) - NIGHT 1]
[Uther sits in his chair, sleeping peacefully. Arthur takes the goblet from his hand and puts it on the table. He sinks into a chair. He fights the tiredness he feels sweeping over him, but it's a losing battle.]

--
[06:40, INT. KING'S PALACE (PHOENIX CORRIDOR) - NIGHT 1]
[The Gleeman steps over the two guards that he just took out and draws one of their swords before heading inside.]

--
[06:48, INT. KING'S PALACE (UTHER'S CHAMBERS) - NIGHT 1]
[Arthur is drifting into sleep, struggling to focus on Uther. His head lolls. Behind Arthur, we see The Gleeman slip into the room. Arthur's oblivious... The Gleeman creeps toward Arthur, sword drawn. Arthur catches a glimpse of The Gleeman in the wine pitcher. Arthur draws his sword and parries the blow as The Gleeman strikes. Arthur spills out of the chair and staggers backwards. He's sleepy and disorientated, tries to call out, but his voice is weak...]

ARTHUR
Guards...! Guards!

[The Gleeman attacks. Arthur barely manages to fight off the attack. His sword is knocked out of his hand and thrown across the room. Arthur collapses to his knees. The Gleeman stands over Arthur.]

THE GLEEMAN
Goodbye, Arthur Pendragon.

[The Gleeman raises his sword, ready to strike. Arthur is powerless, fears this is the end. But as The Gleeman strikes, the blow is blocked by a sword. Arthur and The Gleeman sees Uther standing there, Arthur's sword in his hand...]

UTHER
It will take more than a coward like you to kill my son.

[The Gleeman strikes. Uther blocks the blow. They trade a series of ferocious blows. But The Gleeman is skilled and Uther rusty. Uther is beaten back, and only narrowly avoids being killed. Arthur tries to get to his feet to go to Uther's aid, but he's too drowsy, collapses back on the floor. Uther attacks, and again The Gleeman easily deflects the blows. He's cruelly toying with Uther, taunting him.]

THE GLEEMAN
Have you anything to say to your son before I kill him?

[Uther looks at Arthur, kneeling, helpless. Uther's paternal instincts kick in. He attacks with a new ferocity, taking The Gleeman by surprise. Uther rains blow after blow down on The Gleeman, forcing him back. The Gleeman's sword is knocked from his hand. Uther prepares to deliver a fatal blow. The Gleeman suddenly draws a knife, lunges at Uther. Uther thrusts his sword. Arthur looks on, hugely relieved. But Uther doesn't respond. He looks weak and confused. His legs buckle.]

ARTHUR
Father?

[Arthur realises something is very wrong. Arthur catches Uther as he sinks to the floor by the bed. Arthur's horrified to see blood staining Uther's robes. Both Arthur and Uther have to fight to stay conscious.]

ARTHUR
No... Guards!... I'll go get help...

[Arthur goes to stand...]

UTHER
Stay with me...

ARTHUR (to Uther)
I'm here, Father... (beat, calling out) Guards! Someone! We need help!

UTHER
It is my time...

ARTHUR
No... You can't die...

UTHER
I know you will make me proud, as you always have. You will be a great King...

ARTHUR
I'm not ready...

UTHER
You-- you've been ready for some time, Arthur...

ARTHUR
No. I need you...

UTHER
I know I've not been a...a good father. I put my duty to Camelot first. I'm sorry.

ARTHUR
Don't say that...

[Uther grips Arthur's hand with all his remaining strength. ]

UTHER
But know this one thing. I always loved you...

[With that, Uther's eyes slowly close as he loses consciousness. Arthur's horrified...]

ARTHUR
No... Father... Father!

[Arthur's appalled, but barely able to focus.]

ARTHUR
No...

--
[09:36, EXT. CAMELOT - DAY 2]
[The sun rises over Camelot.]

--
[09:39, INT. KING'S PALACE (UTHER'S CHAMBERS) - DAY 2]
[Gaius is tending to Uther. He's unconscious, very weak - close to death. Arthur and Gwen look on, deeply concerned. Arthur fixes Gaius with a desperate look...]

ARTHUR
Gaius. Can you treat him?

GAIUS
The blade has touched his heart. He's bleeding inside.

ARTHUR
There must be something... there must be something you can do. Please, Gaius.

[Gaius shakes his head.]

GAIUS
It is just a matter of time, I'm afraid. I'm sorry, Arthur.

[Arthur can't accept that. Arthur stares at Uther, struggling to accept that he is going to die.]

--
[10:07, INT. KING'S PALACE (COUNCIL CHAMBERS) - DAY 2]
[Sir Leon and Agravaine are reporting to Arthur, who just stares blankly, traumatised...]

AGRAVAINE
We traced the assassin to the town of Whenham. It's in Odin's land. It seems he hired him to kill you to avenge the death of his son.

[Arthur barely responds as he takes this in.]

SIR LEON
We believe he had an accomplice among the performers, but he has fled the city. We have doubled the guard, should there be another attempt on your life.

[Again, Arthur barely responds. Agravaine takes in Arthur's despondent mood. He places a comforting hand on Arthur's shoulder...]

AGRAVAINE
Everyone's thoughts are with you, Arthur. But, er, if there's anything I can do...

ARTHUR
Your support means a great deal to me. Thank you.

[Agravaine and Sir Leon head out, passing Merlin as he enters. Arthur immediately responds to Merlin's arrival...]

ARTHUR (to Merlin)
What news of my father?

MERLIN
There is no change.

[Arthur snaps.]

ARTHUR
Well, why isn't Gaius doing something, then?

[Merlin treads softly...]

MERLIN
Because there is nothing he can do.

[Arthur knows that's true, and that is what pains him.]

--
[10:54, EXT. FOREST - DAY 2]
[Agravaine rides through the forest...]

--
[11:00, INT. MORGANA'S HUT - DAY 2]
[Agravaine bursts through the door, taking Morgana by surprise. She instinctively spins, drawing a dagger and stands poised, ready to plunge it into Agravaine...]

AGRAVAINE
Now, is that any way to greet an old friend...?

[He gives a sly smile. Morgana lowers the dagger.]

MORGANA
I wasn't expecting you today...

AGRAVAINE
I had to see you. I bring good news. Better than we could have hoped for.

[Morgana reacts, curious.]

MORGANA
What is it?

AGRAVAINE
Uther has been mortally wounded. He's on his deathbed. Gaius says he only has days to live.

[Morgana smiles.]

MORGANA
I hope the image of my face haunts him. (a sudden thought occurs) How is Arthur?

AGRAVAINE
Devastated. Poor boy can't think straight.

[Morgana smiles at this news.]

MORGANA
Then we must strike while he' s vulnerable.

[Morgana turns, but Agravaine grabs her arm.]

AGRAVAINE
When Uther dies, the Kingdom will be weak.

[Morgana looks pointedly down at her arm in his grabs and Agravaine lets go.]

AGRAVAINE
We must choose our moments carefully. Who knows what opportunities the coming weeks will hold.

[They share an evil smile.]

--
[11:58, INT. KING'S PALACE (UTHER'S CHAMBERS) - DAY 2]
[Arthur holds a vigil beside Uther's bed. He just stands there, staring at Uther intensely. Gwen crosses over to the bed. She changes the dressing on Uther's wound through the following.]

ARTHUR
I appreciate your kindness, everything you're doing for him.

GWEN
I do it for you.

[Arthur's touched. It tips him over the edge. He looks away from Gwen. She is pained to see his hurt.]

GWEN
Oh, Arthur.

ARTHUR
I can't watch him die...There's still so much I want to say to him... He cannot die.

[Arthur exits, leaving Gwen deeply concerned for him.]

--
[12:46, INT/EXT. KING'S PALACE (ARTHUR'S CHAMBERS) / CAMELOT (MAIN SQUARE) - NIGHT 2]
[Townspeople hold a candle-lit vigil in the Main Square. Merlin stands at the window, staring down at them. Arthur enters, crosses over and looks out of the window...]

ARTHUR
What's going on?

MERLIN
It's a vigil for your Father. The people wish to share their grief.

[Arthur frowns, unsettled...]

ARTHUR
Why are they behaving like he's already dead when there's still life in his body?

MERLIN
They're preparing themselves for the worst.

[Arthur steels himself.]

ARTHUR
They can give up hope, but I won't.

MERLIN
I know. It's hard to accept, and I wish it wasn't so...There really is nothing that can be done.

[Arthur looks thoughtful, then...]

ARTHUR
There is a way to heal my father.

MERLIN
How?

[Arthur hesitates, then fixes Merlin with a poignant look.]

ARTHUR
With magic.

[Merlin's stunned as he takes this in.]

--
[13:56, INT. GAIUS' CHAMBERS - NIGHT 2]
[Merlin has just informed Gaius of Arthur's plan. Gaius looks concerned.

GAIUS
Arthur's planning on using magic?

MERLIN
He's desperate. He knows it's his only hope of healing Uther.

[Gaius fixes Merlin with a look.]

GAIUS
Merlin, please tell me you're not going to do this.

MERLIN
I'd be lying if I said 'no'.

GAIUS
You can't risk exposing yourself like this. It's too dangerous.

MERLIN
Arthur didn't recognise me last time when I was eighty years old. There's no reason why he should this time.

GAIUS
Need I remind you the last time you used an ageing spell, you nearly had yourself burnt at the stake.

MERLIN
It's worth the risk.

GAIUS
Do you think Uther is going to thank you for healing him with magic? He's more likely to have you hanged.

MERLIN
Uther will never change his attitude towards magic. I know that. But if Arthur allows it to be used to heal his father, his attitude will be changed forever. He will see that magic can be a force for good.

GAIUS
You of all people should know that the use of powerful magic is fraught with danger.

MERLIN
If it works, I won't have to hide any more.

GAIUS
And if it doesn't? I can't stand by and watch you do this Merlin.

MERLIN
Well, don't try and stop me, because...you can't.

[Tension Gaius and Merlin trade a poignant look...]

GAIUS
You're playing a dangerous game, Merlin.

MERLIN
I've been playing a dangerous game since the first time I set foot in Camelot. Maybe this is my chance to change that.

--
[15:15, INT. KING'S PALACE (ARTHUR'S CHAMBERS) - NIGHT 2]
[Merlin enters. Arthur's waiting impatiently.]

ARTHUR
Well? What did Gaius say? Did he have any information?

MERLIN
He didn't know much. But he has heard of a sorcerer. An old man. He lives in the Forest of Glaestig. Gaius thinks he may be able to help you.

ARTHUR
Will he lead me to him?

MERLIN
No, he's told me all that he knows. We will have to find him ourselves.

[Arthur takes this in and is suddenly daunted by the prospect of what he is about to do.]

ARTHUR
If you were me, it was your father, would you use magic to save his life?

[Merlin seizes the moment, looks Arthur in the eye.]

MERLIN
Yes, I would. I would do whatever it took.

[Arthur's persuaded.]

ARTHUR
Prepare the horses. Gather supplies. We ride at first light.

--
[16:21, INT. KING'S PALACE (AGRAVAINE'S CHAMBERS) - NIGHT 2]
[Agravaine is reading something. The door opens. Arthur enters.]

AGRAVAINE
Arthur. What news of your father's health?

ARTHUR
No improvement, I'm afraid.

[Arthur hesitates, unsure how to express what he needs to say. Agravaine detects Arthur's hesitation.]

AGRAVAINE
Something's on your mind.

ARTHUR
I didn't want to go behind your back. I have decided to use magic to heal my father.

[Agravaine's shocked - knows he must do what he can to dissuade him.]

AGRAVAINE
I would strongly advise against such a course of action.

ARTHUR
There is no other way...

AGRAVAINE
Magic caused your mother's death, Arthur. If you respect her memory, you cannot do this.

[Arthur's moved by the argument. He's torn...]

ARTHUR
Would you see my father die?

[Agravaine's put on the spot, but of course cannot reveal his true desires...]

AGRAVAINE
Perhaps it is his time.

[Arthur cannot accept that...]

ARTHUR
Look, I know we've both suffered because of magic, but I can't stand by and let my father die. My mind's made up.

--
[17:15, EXT. CHARCOAL-MAKER'S HUT - DAY 3]
[Merlin and Arthur ride up to a hut off the path (it is the same charcoal maker's hut we saw in episode 2). Arthur and Merlin dismount. Arthur eyes the hut curiously.]

ARTHUR
Are you sure this is the right place? It looks like a charcoal maker's hut.

MERLIN
The old man can hardly make a living practising magic. I think that a lot of sorcerers are in the charcoal business.

[Arthur doesn't look entirely convinced by this as he walks up to the front door. Merlin looks round, wondering how he's going to work the deception. Arthur realises Merlin hasn't followed him.]

ARTHUR
Are you joining me?

MERLIN
We don't want to overwhelm him. He probably doesn't get many visitors. I'll stay out here and watch the horses.

ARTHUR
I have never met anyone who is so scared so often. Scream like a big girl if there's any trouble.

MERLIN
Don't worry. You'll hear me.

[Arthur turns and knocks on the door.]

--
[18:11, INT. CHARCOAL-MAKER'S HUT - DAY 3]
[Arthur opens the door and peers in.]

ARTHUR
Hello...?

[Arthur looks round the hut. There's no one there.]

--
[18:24, EXT. CHARCOAL-MAKER'S HUT - DAY 3]
[Merlin's hurrying into the trees when Arthur re-emerges from the hut.]

ARTHUR
There's no one here. Are you sure this is the right place?

MERLIN
I'm absolutely certain of it. I'm sure he'll be back soon.

ARTHUR
Well, how d'you know when he'll be back?

MERLIN
He's a doddery old man. He can't have gone far. If you want his help, you'll have to just wait for him inside.

[Arthur suddenly takes in that Merlin was heading off into the trees.]

ARTHUR
Where are you sneaking off to?

[Merlin's put on the spot, thinks on his feet.]

MERLIN
I have to pee.

[Arthur's disturbed by the revelation.]

MERLIN
So unless you want to come and watch me, you should wait for him inside.

ARTHUR
Why would I want to watch you?

[Merlin gestures toward the hut. Merlin reacts, exasperated.]

MERLIN
There's the hut. I have to... Make yourself at home.

[Arthur eyes Merlin suspiciously, then turns and heads back inside the hut. Merlin hurries behind a tree, then focuses as he starts to incant the transformation spell...]

MERLIN
Miht dagena, bepecce me. Adeaglie pisne gast min freondum ond min feondum!

[Merlin's eyes glow.]

--
[19:16, INT. CHARCOAL-MAKER'S HUT - DAY 3]
[Arthur pokes around at a few dusty old bottles and pots on the table. In doing so, he knocks over a bottle, which in turn knocks a pot off the table. It falls to the floor and smashes. Arthur grimaces. Oops. He quickly kicks the pieces of broken pottery under the table to conceal them. Arthur tenses as the door opens. Arthur reacts, stunned as Old Merlin enters...]

ARTHUR
You.

[Old Merlin looks back at Arthur...]

OLD MERLIN
So we meet again, Arthur Pendragon.

[Arthur instinctively reaches for the hilt of his sword. Old Merlin reacts to the move...]

OLD MERLIN
You have come to kill me?

[Arthur eyes Old Merlin warily, uncertain how to proceed.]

ARTHUR
No. That wasn't my intention.

[Old Merlin walks forward and hears a crunch as he steps on some broken pot. He looks down at it. Arthur grimaces...]

ARTHUR
I broke a pot.

OLD MERLIN
You always were a clumsy fool.

[Old Merlin hands Arthur a broom.]

ARTHUR
Excuse me?

OLD MERLIN
So if you haven't come all this way to kill me, why have you come here? I take it you didn't come all this way just to smash my favourite pot?

ARTHUR
If I'd known who you were, I would not have come at all.

[Arthur begins to walk away. Seeing how difficult this is for Arthur, Old Merlin helps him out.]

OLD MERLIN
I thought you may have come to ask me to use magic to heal your father?

[Arthur's taken aback.]

ARTHUR
How did you know?

OLD MERLIN
I know more than you could possibly comprehend.

ARTHUR
Well, given your hatred for my father and everything he stands for, I've clearly had a wasted journey.

OLD MERLIN
Do not suppose that you know my mind.

[Arthur fixes Old Merlin with a desperate look.]

ARTHUR
Will you help me?

OLD MERLIN
You are asking me to save the life of a man that would have me executed.

ARTHUR
I know what I am asking of you, and you have no reason to help me. But... You're my father's only hope. I'll give you anything you ask for. Land, gold - name your price.

OLD MERLIN
I do not want your gold! All I have ever wanted is that people like me can live in peace. That those who practice magic are accepted, rather than hunted. That is all I ask.

[Arthur's unsure he can meet the demand.]

OLD MERLIN
That is the price. Your father's life.

[Arthur rises to the moment.]

ARTHUR
I give you my solemn word. When I am King, things will be different. You won't have to live in fear.

[Old Merlin takes this in, moved by the declaration.]

OLD MERLIN
Then I will help you.

[Arthur's suddenly filled with hope. Old Merlin beams and shakes Arthur's hand.]

ARTHUR
There's no time to waste. We must ride for Camelot immediately.

[Old Merlin's caught out.]

OLD MERLIN
Now?

ARTHUR
My father weakens by the hour.

[Old Merlin blusters, searching for an excuse.]

OLD MERLIN
But I have...no horse.

ARTHUR
You can use Merlin's. He'll just have to walk back.

[Old Merlin's outraged.]

OLD MERLIN
You would make your servant walk back to Camelot? I have a good mind not to help you.

ARTHUR
I don't care whose horse you use. We have to get to Camelot before it's too late.

OLD MERLIN (thinking on his feet)
First, I must gather some rare herbs. They are an essential part of the cure. I will come to Camelot at nightfall. If you want my help, that is how it needs to be.

[Arthur feels he can't push any further.]

ARTHUR
I will meet you at the lower gate outside the town... Give me your word you'll be there.

OLD MERLIN
You have my word.

[Old Merlin pauses as he attempts to figure out how to handle the transformation back into his youthful self without being caught.]

OLD MERLIN
Now just wait here one moment.

ARTHUR
Why?

OLD MERLIN
Questions. So many questions. For once in your life, would you just do what your told?

[Old Merlin hurries out the front door. Arthur feels chastised.]

ARTHUR
All right.

--
[23:00, EXT. CHARCOAL-MAKER'S HUT - DAY 3]
[Old Merlin emerges from the hut and hurries into the trees.]

--
[23:03, INT. CHARCOAL-MAKER'S HUT - DAY 3]
[Arthur sniffs at a cup, puts it down and almost drops it.]

--
[23:11, EXT. CHARCOAL-MAKER'S HUT - DAY 3]
[Old Merlin hides behind the same tree as before and takes out a vial of liquid... Arthur soon grows impatient of waiting. He emerges from the hut and looks round. There's no sign of Merlin, or Old Merlin.]

ARTHUR
Merlin...?

[Silence. A crack of twigs. Arthur grows uneasy and reaches for the hilt of his sword as he scans the trees. Merlin emerges from behind the tree, once again his youthful self. Arthur's suspicious.]

ARTHUR
What were you doing?

[Merlin's put on the spot.]

MERLIN
Peeing.

ARTHUR (disturbed)
You mean to say you were peeing all the time I was in there?

[Merlin's forced to nod.]

MERLIN
I really had to go.

ARTHUR
There is definitely something very wrong with you.

--
[23:57, EXT. CAMELOT]
[Arthur and Merlin ride back to Camelot.]

--
[24:02, INT. GAIUS' CHAMBERS - DAY 3]
[Merlin enters. Gaius is relieved to see him.]

GAIUS
Merlin. I was worried. I thought something had happened.

[Merlin starts to search the shelves, taking various books down.]

MERLIN
Well, apart from Arthur thinking there's something very wrong with my bladder, everything went to plan.

[Gaius looks on with concern.]

GAIUS
I take it that this means you're going through with it?

MERLIN
If I can heal Uther, Arthur has given me his word that when he is King, magic will no longer be outlawed. This could change everything.

GAIUS
And what if something goes wrong? What of Arthur's attitude to magic then?

[Merlin stops and looks at Gaius.]

MERLIN
I live with the risk of being exposed every day. If I don't take this opportunity, maybe I'll spend the rest of my life having to hide who I really am. Everyone's always telling me I have this great destiny. Maybe this is it. I have to try.

[Gaius can't bring himself to argue. Merlin gathers up the books and heads into his room. Gaius looks thoughtful as he stares after him.]

--
[24:39, INT. MORGANA'S HUT - DAY 3]
[Agravaine gives the news to Morgana.]

AGRAVAINE
Arthur has gone to consult with a sorcerer. He intends to use magic to heal Uther.

[A determined expression comes over Morgana's face.]

MORGANA
Then we must see to it that he fails.

[Open on a small fire. Morgana sits next to it. In her hands she holds a tiny silver charm. She casts it into the fire and she incants a spell.]

MORGANA
*spell*

[Suddenly, the flames flare, the firelight dances in her eyes. Agravaine looks on, in awe. Morgana takes a pair of tongs and pulls the charm from the raging fire. She turns to Agravaine and drops the charm into his hand. He instinctively reaches out and catches it, before realizing the danger of what he has just done. He reacts with surprise...]

AGRAVAINE
It's cold...

MORGANA
I have bound it to the left hand path.

[He looks at the charm, impressed.]

MORGANA
You must place the charm around Uther's neck.

AGRAVAINE
What will it do to him?

MORGANA
The force of any healing magic will be reversed, and magnified tenfold. By trying to cure his father,
Arthur will seal his fate.

[Agravaine looks grave as he takes this in.]

AGRAVAINE
Arthur will never forgive himself. He'll be destroyed.

MORGANA
And a broken Prince will make a terrible King.

[Agravaine smiles.]

--
[25:49, INT. GAIUS' CHAMBERS (MERLIN'S ROOM) - DAY 3]
[Merlin looks through several books at once, but fails to find what he's looking for. Merlin looks frustrated.]

MERLIN
I promised Arthur I could heal Uther and I can't even find the right spell.

GAIUS
That's because you're reading the wrong books. Here...

[Gaius holds out a small leather tome, which Merlin takes.]

GAIUS
Gwillem of Cambria was as mad as a coot, but there has never been a better healer.

[Merlin smiles. This means a lot to him. Merlin rushes out.]

MERLIN
Gaius. Thank you.

--
[26:07, INT. KING'S PALACE (UTHER'S CHAMBERS) - NIGHT 3]
[Gwen finishes tending to Uther and gasps when she turns to find standing there.]

AGRAVAINE
It was cold today. Perhaps it's a good idea to start a fire.

GWEN
Of course.

[Gwen leaves with the medicine tray. Agravaine waits until Gwen she leaves. He takes out the tiny silver charm, then quickly and carefully places the charm around Uther's neck. He ensures it is carefully tucked out of sight in Uther's robes.]

AGRAVAINE (sotto)
Finally, you will get all that you deserve, old friend.

[Agravaine looks down at Uther for a poignant beat, then heads out. Go out on Uther, lying in bed.]

--
[INT. GAIUS' CHAMBERS - NIGHT 3. UK. 44]
[Gaius reads the healing spell again.]

GAIUS
You must only four drops. Any more could be dangerous.

MERLIN
Let's hope I can remember the spell.

GAIUS
You must trust your abilities, Merlin.

ARTHUR (O.S.)
Merlin!?

[Gaius and Merlin exchange a worried look.]

MERLIN (low)
You have to get rid of him.

ARTHUR (O.S.)
Merlin!?

[Arthur enters. Gaius picks up the healing book, pretending to be in the middle of reading.]

GAIUS
Arthur...

ARTHUR
Gaius, have you seen my useless toad of a servant?

GAIUS
I'm afraid not.

ARTHUR
Well, where on earth is he?

[Gaius is put on the spot.]

GAIUS
Have you tried the tavern?

[Arthur's enraged.]

ARTHUR
The tavern. Of course. I'm going to make him wish he was never born.

[Arthur heads out and closes the door, revealing Merlin holding some herbs. He fixes Gaius with a look of outrage.]

MERLIN
Why did you tell him I was in the tavern?

GAIUS
It was the first thing that popped into my head.

MERLIN
Well, next time, go for the second, or the third thing that pops into your head. Just anywhere but the tavern.

[Merlin opens the door a crack and checks the corridor, then looks back at Gaius.]

GAIUS
Good luck, Merlin.

[Merlin and Gaius share a poignant look, then Merlin heads out.]

--
[27:35, EXT. CAMELOT (STREET) - NIGHT 3]
[Arthur waits impatiently by the lower gate. He hears a sound and turns round to see Old Merlin emerging from the darkness.]

ARTHUR
I'd started to think you weren't coming.

OLD MERLIN
I gave you my word. And here I am.

ARTHUR
Good. We must hurry.

[Arthur heads off, away from the palace, taking Old Merlin by surprise.]

OLD MERLIN
I am led to believe that the King's Palace is that way?

ARTHUR
I can hardly be seen walking through the main gate with a known sorcerer.

OLD MERLIN
So you are already going back on your word. You promised that I would no longer have to live in fear.

ARTHUR
You're forgetting that you're yet to heal my father. When you have, I'll give you all that I promised.

[Old Merlin takes this in. He nods. They head off.]

--
[28:19,, INT. CAMELOT (TUNNELS) - NIGHT 3]
[Arthur hurries through the dark, damp passage. He turns to see Old Merlin lagging behind and reacts with frustration. Arthur waits for Old Merlin to catch up. When he arrives, Old Merlin is out of breath.]

ARTHUR
Is this really as fast as you can walk?

OLD MERLIN
When you are as old as I, we will see how fast you can walk. I need to rest a moment.

ARTHUR
There's no time.

OLD MERLIN
Then perhaps you should carry me?

ARTHUR
Fine. If it means we get there quicker, I will carry you.

[Arthur turns.]

ARTHUR
Come on.

[Old Merlin hops onto his back. Arthur heads off. Old Merlin kicks him with his heels, as you would a horse. Arthur stops, outraged...]

ARTHUR
Did you just kick me?

OLD MERLIN
Now who's wasting time? Yha!

[Arthur staggers on, disgruntled. Old Merlin kicks Arthur again, enjoying himself...]

OLD MERLIN
Faster. Faster.

--
[29:04, INT. KING'S PALACE (GRIFFIN CORRIDOR) - NIGHT 3]
[Arthur approaches the guards outside Uther's chambers.]

ARTHUR
You're dismissed.

[The guards hesitate, surprised by the order.]

GUARD
But, Sire. We were instructed not to leave our post.

ARTHUR
And I said you are dismissed.

GUARD
Yes, my Lord.

[The guards head off. Arthur waits until they've disappeared round the corner, then clears his throat. Old Merlin hobbles out of the shadows. Arthur ushers Old Merlin into Uther's chambers, then follows him inside.

--
[29:27, INT. KING'S PALACE (UTHER'S CHAMBERS) - NIGHT 3]
[Uther lies in bed, barely breathing. Arthur grows increasingly anxious as he watches Old Merlin placing four drops of hogswart on Uther's lips. Old Merlin takes a branch of sage and holds it over Uther. Old Merlin psyches himself up. His eyes start to glow. Arthur cracks...]

ARTHUR
Wait!

[Old Merlin stands down, looks at Arthur.]

OLD MERLIN
Is something wrong?

ARTHUR
My father has taught me never to trust magic, and now I am using it to save him.

OLD MERLIN
Your own life has been saved using magic more times than you can possibly imagine.

ARTHUR
What on earth are you talking about?

[Old Merlin realises it would be dangerous to elaborate.]

OLD MERLIN
I merely mean to say that magic is all around you. It is woven into the very fabric of the world.

[Arthur's unsettled.]

ARTHUR
How can I be sure it's the right thing to do?

OLD MERLIN
I know you have suffered because of magic, as many have. But not all magic, and not all sorcerers are the same. I wish only to show you that magic can be used for good. I hope one day you'll see me in a different light.

[Arthur's moved by the argument. Arthur and Old Merlin trade stares for a poignant beat, then Arthur nods and steps back. Old Merlin turns to Uther, psyches himself up then holds up the sage branch. Old Merlin's eyes glow. The sage branch begins to smoke. Old Merlin wafts the incense over
Uther and begins to chant, with increasing intensity...]

OLD MERLIN
Efencume ætgædre, eala gastas cræftige: gestricie pis lic forod.

[Old Merlin completes the spell and his eyes glow. Silence. The tension rises as ARTHUR looks at Uther, desperately hoping to see some signs of life. For a moment, it looks like the spell has failed. Old Merlin grows anxious. Suddenly, Uther's eyes snap open. Arthur's thrilled.]

ARTHUR
Father... Father?

[Arthur and Uther clinch hands. Uther manages a weak smile.]

UTHER
Arthur...

[Arthur laughs in relief. Old Merlin allows himself a smile, overcome with relief. But as Uther looks up at Arthur, his expression suddenly contorts in pain. His breath starts to fail. Arthur reacts, alarmed.]

ARTHUR
What's happening!?

[Old Merlin's equally alarmed.]

OLD MERLIN
I don't know...

[Uther's fading fast.]

ARTHUR
Do something!

[Uther goes still. Old Merlin feels for a pulse. There isn't one. Old Merlin reels.]

OLD MERLIN
He's dead.

[Arthur struggles to accept this...]

ARTHUR
No... He can't be… (shaking Uther) Father... Father!?...

[Arthur realises the futility of his actions. He gives up, stares at Uther, his mind swimming. He suddenly turns on Old Merlin, more hurt and angry that we have ever seen him. All Old Merlin can do is look on, horrified.]

ARTHUR
What have you done?

OLD MERLIN
This was not supposed to happen.

ARTHUR
You gave me your word. You-- you have killed him... You killed him!

OLD MERLIN
No...

[Arthur draws his sword and advances on Old Merlin.]

ARTHUR
You'll die for what you've done!

[Old Merlin's eyes flash as he thrusts his hand out.]

OLD MERLIN
Hleap on bæc!

[Arthur flies backwards and falls to the floor, momentarily stunned. Old Merlin flees. Arthur takes a moment to come to his senses.]

--
[33:20, INT. KING'S PALACE (GRIFFIN CORRIDOR) – NIGHT 3]
[Old Merlin ducks behind a column, in shock from what just happened. He hears guards approaching, takes out a little bottle of potion and downs it.]

--
[33:37, INT. KING'S PALACE (UTHER'S CHAMBERS) - NIGHT 3]
[Gaius closes Uther's eyes. Merlin hurries in. He sees Gaius standing over the bed, and Arthur and Gwen looking on, traumatised. Merlin struggles to accept what he's seeing.]

GAIUS
I'm sorry, Arthur... The King is dead.

[Arthur is still unable to accept this, tears streaming down his face. Merlin looks on, horrified. Gaius covers Uther's face with the sheet.]

--
[34:14, INT. GAIUS' CHAMBERS - NIGHT 3]
[Merlin and Gaius enter Gaius' chambers.]

MERLIN
The spell was working. I'm sure of it. I did everything right. I don't know what happened.

GAIUS
I think I do.

[Gaius opens his hand to reveal the small silver charm.]

GAIUS
I found it round Uther's neck. It's been enchanted and such an enchantment would reverse the effects of your healing spell. Uther didn't stand a chance.

[Merlin suddenly suspects who is responsible.]

MERLIN
Morgana...

GAIUS
I believe so.

--
[35:08, INT. MORGANA'S HUT - DAY 4]
[Agravaine enters and finds Morgana curled up in bed. Morgana speaks before Agravaine can deliver his exciting news.]

MORGANA
Uther's dead, isn't he?

AGRAVAINE (confused)
How did you know?

[Morgana sits up.]

MORGANA
I felt it. I felt his pain.

[Agravaine's surprised by Morgana's muted reaction.]

AGRAVAINE
I thought Uther's death would be cause for celebration?

MORGANA
Arthur will replace him. There'll be no celebration until I take my place upon the throne.

AGRAVAINE
That might be sooner than you think. Arthur is young, untested. He will look to his trusted uncle for counsel. And I will ensure that he fails.

--
[36:01, INT. KING'S PALACE (ARTHUR'S CHAMBERS) - NIGHT 4]
[Arthur sits in a chair, staring into space, struggling to process his emotions. Merlin enters.]

MERLIN
I am so sorry.

[Arthur absorbs the sympathy. Merlin struggles to express what he's feeling.]

MERLIN
I... I should've... I wish that there was something I could have done.

ARTHUR
Merlin. No one but me is to blame for this.

MERLIN
You are not to blame. This isn't your fault.

ARTHUR
I'm entirely to blame. My father spent twenty years fighting magic. To think I knew better. I was so arrogant. That arrogance has cost my father his life.

MERLIN
You were only doing what you thought was right. I'm sure that that old sorcerer meant no harm. Perhaps the spell went wrong. Uther was dying. Maybe nothing could have saved him...

ARTHUR
We'll never know. All I know for sure is that I've lost both my parents to magic. It is pure evil. I'll never lose sight of that again.

[Someone knocks on the door. Arthur gets up resolutely and leaves.]

--
[38:01, INT. KING'S PALACE (THRONE ROOM) - NIGHT 4]
[Arthur enters the mighty room where Uther is lying in state. There is a raised dais in the centre of the space. Uther lies on it, surrounded by candles. Arthur begins the long, lonely walk to Uther's side. Merlin and Gaius close the doors. Arthur reaches the dais.]

--
[38:23, INT. KING'S PALACE (ANTE CHAMBER CORRIDOR) - NIGHT 4]
[Gaius sits down next to Merlin.]
GAIUS
We must leave him to mourn.

[Gaius takes in Merlin's shell shocked expression.]

GAIUS
Merlin..?

MERLIN
This is all my fault. I killed him.

GAIUS
You did not kill Uther. Morgana did. Uther's spirit died when she broke his heart.

[Merlin takes this in.]

GAIUS
We must look to the future. Uther's death will allow Arthur's progression to the throne. We must hope it brings peace and stability to the land.

MERLIN
Magic will still be outlawed.

[Gaius nods sadly.]

MERLIN
I've turned Arthur against it forever. He'll never know who I really am.

GAIUS
That time will come. I'm sure of it. Arthur will be under even more pressure now that he's King. He will need you more than ever.

[Merlin takes that in. He knows it's true.]

GAIUS
There's nothing more to be done. Let's go and have some supper.

MERLIN
I think I'll wait here.

[Gaius takes this in, touched by Merlin's devotion. Gaius heads off, leaving Merlin to wait with a heavy heart.]

--
[40:10, INT. KING'S PALACE (THRONE ROOM) - DAY 5]
[Arthur kisses Uther's forehead. Tears streak down Arthur's face.]

--
[40:28, INT. KING'S PALACE (ANTE CHAMBER) - DAY 5]
[Merlin sits on the floor against the stone railing. He stares at the wall opposite the doors. Arthur opens the doors and sunlight streams in through the windows.]

ARTHUR (O.S.)
Merlin?

[Merlin turns his head and sees Arthur standing over him. Arthur has dried his eyes. He is calm and composed, almost serene. They trade stares, Arthur looks at the light flooding in through the window - in a contemplative mood.]

ARTHUR
It is a new day.

[Merlin takes this in, then stands.]

ARTHUR
You been here all night?

MERLIN
I didn't want you to feel that you were alone.

ARTHUR (touched)
You're a loyal friend, Merlin.

[Merlin and Arthur trade a look, then Arthur closes the throne room doors and takes a breath.]

ARTHUR
You must be hungry?

MERLIN
Starving.

ARTHUR
Me too... Come on. You can make us some breakfast.

[Merlin and Arthur head up the spiral staircase.]

--
[41:35, EXT. CAMELOT - DAY 5]
[The sun shines over Camelot. The start of a beautiful day. Guards take their positions, villagers head up the palace steps, pages blow their trumptes.]
--
[41:49, INT. KING'S PALACE (THRONE ROOM) - DAY 6]
[The Throne Room is packed with courtiers who bow as Arthur walks toward the throne. An air of excitement and anticipation fills the room. We take in the presence of Merlin, Gaius, Gwen, Agravaine, Percival, Sir Leon, Gwaine and Elyan... Arthur kneels. Geoffrey of Monmouth stands next to him with the crown in his hands.]

GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH
Will you solemnly promise and swear to govern the Peoples of Camelot according to their respective laws and customs?

ARTHUR
I solemnly swear so to do.

GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH
Will you to your power cause Law and Justice, in Mercy, to be executed in all your judgments?

ARTHUR
I will.

GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH
Then by the sacred laws vested in me, I crown you Arthur, King of Camelot!

[Geoffrey of Monmouth places a crown upon Arthur's head. Arthur stands and looks out over the courtiers.]

AGRAVAINE
Long live the King!

[Everyone joins in the chant...]

ALL
Long live the King! Long live the King! Long live the King!

[Go out on the Knights of the Round Table...]

ALL
Long live the King!

[Gwen...]

ALL
Long live the King!

[Merlin...]

ALL
Long live the king! Long live the King!

[Merlin, shouting - proud, moved by the huge significance of the moment.]

MERLIN/ALL
Long live the King!



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