02x02 - The Once and Future Queen


"In a land of myth and a time of magic, the destiny of a great kingdom on the shoulders of a young boy. His name ... Merlin. "


Myror is a feared assassin who is well-known for his efficiency. King Odin has got to kill Arthur and has gotten away from his death.

Kelda (to King Odin ): My Lord, he is here.

Myror enters the room

King Odin : You are Myror? Legend has you are the most feared assassin in all the known lands. Tell me, are you as ruthless as they say you are? You would kill anyone?

Myror : I have killed many people. They are all the same to me.

King Odin : Are you prepared to kill royalty?

Myror : My Lord, you would be dead on the spot.

King Odin's knights unsheathe their swords. Myror kills two of them and spares another one's life.

King Odin (impressed) : I want you to kill the man who murdered my son. I want you to kill Arthur Pendragon.





Merlin : That has got to hurt.

Arthur : That's the point, Merlin. It's not a pillow fight. Fetch me another lance, will you? Why did you pull out, I was wide open? You could have unhorsed me.

Sir Leon : I was fearful that I might insult you, Sire.

Arthur : You had the advantage. You can not afford to hesitate.

Sir Leon : I would not have done it if I were facing a different opponent. You are the future King, My Lord.

Arthur : You jousted against me in the tournament last year. Are you saying you let me win?

Sir Leon : No, My Lord.

Arthur ( Looks over the jousters present): It does not matter who I am! I do not expect any special treatment from you, from any of you! Is that understood?


Arthur : How am I going to prove myself if my opponents are not trying their hardest?

Merlin : I'm sure it's not happening all the time.

Arthur : So it's happening some of the time?

Merlin : No I'm certain it is not.

Arthur : Now you're doing it! You're telling me exactly what you think I want to hear!

Merlin : Yes. Er ... no. Er ... what was the question?

Arthur : That just proves it. All my life I've been treated as if I'm special. I just want to be treated just like everyone else.

Merlin : Really?

Arthur : You have no idea how lucky you are.

Merlin (As he picks up Arthur's heavy armor from the floor): Well, anytime you want to swap places, just let me know.

Arthur : That's not a stupid idea.

Merlin : You're Prince Arthur. You can not change who you are.

Arthur : Yes I can.


Uther and Arthur eat dinner . Merlin is filling Uther's goblet with wine

Arthur : We've received reports that we have seen the forest near the northern borders.

Uther : What's the nature of this beast?

Arthur : It is said to have the body of a lion, the wings of an eagle, and the face of a bear. I believe it has been conjured by sorcery.

Merlin bursts out in laughter, knocking Uther's goblet. Arthur frowns at him.

Uther : Then we must destroy it.

Arthur : I'll leave for the northern borders in the morning.

Uther : But you'll miss the tournament.

Arthur : As much as I want to compete, my duty to Camelot comes first.

Uther : You are right, of course.


Arthur is in the woods with some guards. He has dismounted his horse

Arthur : I'll meet you here in four days. You must tell no one I've returned to Camelot.

The guards leave taking Arthur's horse with them. Merlin appears out of the woods

Arthur : You're late.

Merlin (panting ): Sorry. Gaius had me wa ... ing the floors. I could not ...

Arthur : What is that smell? Whose clothes are these?

Merlin : They're mine. I washed them specially. You sure this is a good idea?

Arthur : Seems pretending to be somebody else is the only way to get people to be honest with me. Grab my bag, will you?

Merlin : If you want to pass a peasant, you should probably carry your own bag.

Arthur : You're forgetting something, Merlin (throws the bag to Merlin) , no one will know it's my bag.

Merlin : There must be more ways to prove yourself.

Arthur: Shut up, Merlin.


Kelda is facing Uther

Kelda : I was there in person. Odin has a price on Prince Arthur's head.

Uther : Surely he would not dare.

Kelda : He's blinded by grief , My Lord. The assassin Myror has accepted the bounty.

Uther : I've heard of this Myror.

Kelda : I think he's heading for Camelot as we speak. I bring you this information at great risk to me.

Uther : Double the guards. I want this assassin intercepted before he reaches Camelot.


Myror waits to assassinate Arthur, but he suddenly realizes that he is not going to the north .


Merlin and Arthur enter Arthur's hood obscures his face.

Gwen ( curtsies ): My Lord.

Arthur : Guinevere. It's good of you to let me stay in your home.

Gwen : I'm happy to help.

Merlin (whispers ): Food.

Gwen : I'll prepare some food for you. ( whisper to Merlin) I can not believe you talked me into this!

Arthur (hushed) : You can not really expect me to stay here.

Merlin (hushed ): We need to keep you out of sight. We can trust Gwen to tell you who you are here.

Arthur (hushed) : I doubt anyone would believe it.

poleaxe (hushed ): You really can not go without your big pillow?

Arthur (hushed ): This will be fine. How are the preparations coming along? Have we found someone to play our knight in the tournament?

Merlin : Absolutely. He's a famer from one of the outlying villages, and no one will recognize him.

Arthur : But does he look the part?


Merlin, Arthur, and Gwen look William (the farmer) over .

Arthur (looks disappointed) : Great.

After Merlin has dressed up the peasant as a knight

Merlin (unrolls nobility seal) : From now on, you're Sir William of Daira.

Arthur puts his food away in disbelief

Merlin : Imagine you're really ... arrogant. Knights like to think they're so much better than everyone else.

Arthur : It's not arrogance. Ignore him, he's an idiot (Merlin gives him a look). A knight must behave with honor and nobility.

William starts pacing, his chin high

Arthur : That's ... better. You must convince everyone that you are born into a noble family.

William (to Merlin ): Polish my armor, boy.

Arthur (smiling) : Now you're gettin 'the hang of it.

William laughs

Arthur : That's a good point. (to Merlin) you need to polish our armor.

William : Yeah. (laughs)


Merlin flops onto his bed. He is exhausted. Gaius comes by the door and looks at him.

Gaius : Glad to see you're resting, Merlin. I take it that way you've got the energy to clean my leech tank.

Merlin : Ugh.


Gwen sweeps her house while Arthur finishes his drink.

Arthur : It's been a long day. I think I'll turn in for the night. Is this my bed?

Gwen (looks puzzled) : Of course. I hope you'll be comfortable.

Arthur : I'm sure I will be. Goodnight, Guinevere.

Gwen : Goodnight, My Lord.


Myror scales the wall into the castle. A guard spots him

Guard : Halt! Show yourself. What business do you have in the King's palace?

Myror : I came to seek an audience with ... er ... with Prince Arthur.

Guard : What's your name?

Myror : My name is Myror.

He kills the guard


Myror grabs a guard, Fyren, covering his mouth before releasing him.

Fyren : Why are you here?

Myror : Your information was wrong. Prince Arthur is traveling to the northern borders.

Fyren : The Prince left with them yesterday.

Myror : Then they must have separated. Perhaps he has returned to Camelot.

Fyren : Not that I've heard. His return would have been announced at short.

Myror : It would seem the Prince does not want to be found. Hmm.


Merlin and cloaked Arthur head to his tent. Uther walks into the booths and knights on horseback to stand before the King.

Arthur : Now, remember the plan. I'm competing in the tournament, but no one will know that it's me. All you have to do is accept the crowd at the end of the match. Act like you belong there and people will believe that you do.

Uther : Knights of the realm, welcome to Camelot. You've trained for this day for many years.

Merlin : Well, he has not fallen off his horse.

Uther (background ): ... our bravery, strength ...

Arthur : I guess that's something.

Uther: ... and your skill to the test. Today you will fight for glory and honor. For this is the ultimate test of courage. And it will be the measure of you as men. For the most skilful, the most fearless among you will emerge as a worthy champion.

William : They're ready for you, Sire.


The jousting tournament begins. Gwen cheers for Arthur's enthusiastically as he wins each match. Myror also watches. Arthur enters his tent and tosses William his helmet.

Arthur : You must go and acknowledge the crowd.

William : How do you do that?

Arthur : You wave, they cheer. It's not difficult. I do all the work, someone else gets all the praise.

Merlin : Know the feeling.

Arthur : When I win this tournament, I'll reveal my true identity, get the credit I deserve.

Merlin : Of course you will.

Arthur : Well do not just stand there. Help me off with my armor. And remember to polish it before tomorrow. The horse needs grooming. And do not forget to repair the broken spears.


Fyren is next to Myror in the stands .

Myror : Do you have news on the whereabouts of Prince Arthur?

Fyren : Everyone believes he is traveling to the northern borders, but I've discovered that Arthur's serving remains in Camelot.

Myror : Who is this servant?

Fyren : That's him.

Myror : Why is he working for another knight?


Merlin tries to sneak past Gaius to his room. Gaius turns and stares at him.

Merlin : Is this about the leech tank?

Gaius : How very perceptive of you, Merlin.

Merlin : I'll clean it tomorrow.

Gaius : And will that be before or after you've scrubbed the floors and done the laundry?


Gwen clears the table after dinner.

Gwen : From what I hear, the ladies of the court are quite impressed with Sir William. They think he's very handsome.

Arthur : Typical. He would not know a real knight if he whacked him round the head with his lance.

Gwen : Why are you doing this?

Arthur : I fear that people respect me just because of my title.

Gwen : I do not think that's true of everyone.

Arthur : Would you tell me if it were?

Gwen : No.

Arthur : When I'm competing with William, my title does not matter, nobody gives me any special treatment. So when I win this tournament ... if I win this tournament, it will be because I am sorry. I think I'll take a bath.

Gwen : That might be hard to see.

Arthur : Really? Er ... perhaps you could prepare me a bowl of hot water. I take it you have a bowl.

Gwen : I think I can manage a bowl. Just walk all the way down then, shall I?


Merlin is asleep on the floor, his hands still holding the brush and bucket. Gaius enters.

Gaius : Merlin, on your feet. Arthur may be away, but I'm not. And why is my tank still dirty? Where do you get the idea you can sit around all day doing nothing?

poleaxe: Wha ..? Do you think I sit around doing nothing ?! I arrived in Camelot! I'm too busy running around after Arthur! Do this, Merlin! Do that, Merlin! And when I'm not running around after Arthur, I'm doing chores for you! And if I'm not doing that, I'm fulfilling my destiny! Do you know how many times I've saved Arthur's life? I've lost count. Do I get any thanks? No. I have fought griffins, witches, er ... bandits, I have to be punched, poisoned, peeled with fruit, and all the while I really am, because if anyone finds out, Uther will have me executed ! Sometimes I feel like I'm being pulled in so many directions, I do not know which way to turn!

Gaius is speechless. Merlin leaves


Merlin : Sir Alinor has advanced to the final.


Arthur faces Sir Leon. Arthur wins and everyone rises to their feet cheering except Gwen.

Gaius : You're not impressed by this Sir William of Daira.

Gwen : I think he's an arrogant pig.


Arthur and William are waiting in the tent.

Merlin : Congratulations, you are in the end.

Arthur : Go on then. Your people await you. No one can say Sir Leon let me win this time.

Merlin : Sounds like the crowd've really taken to William.

Arthur : That will change when I reveal my identity.

Merlin : You really miss getting all the attention, do not you?

Arthur : Just go and water the horse, will you?


Merlin brings the horse to the water trough. Myror approaches him.

Myror : He's a fine horse. I see your master has advanced to the final. He's extremely skilled with a lance.

Merlin : He's doing well. Just one more match to go.

Myror : Tell me, what is he like to work for?

Merlin : Between you and me? He can be a bit of a prat.

Myror (laughs ): So you're no longer working for Prince Arthur?

Merlin : No. Yes, yes. Not right now. Arthur's away. I'm just ... helping out.

Myror : Well, I, erm, I wish your master luck in the final.

Merlin : Thanks.


Gwen sweeps the pantry where she's been sleeping when Arthur enters through the front door.

Arthur : Guinevere?

Gwen : Just a minute.

Arthur : Do you have a needle and threat. My shirt needs mending.

Gwen : Erm ...

Arthur : Is this where you sleep? Where's your bed?

Gwen : You're sleeping in it.

Arthur : Why did not you say something?

Gwen : How could I? You're Prince Arthur. Besides, you did not give me the chance. You just assumed the bed was yours.

Arthur : Well, how am I supposed to know if you do not tell me?

Gwen : You should not be told about yourself, you're not a child.

Arthur: Is there anything else you'd like to say to me? Please, I'd like to hear it. If there's something you want to say to me, do not let me stop you.

Gwen : You do not have any idea, do you?

Arthur : About what?

Gwen : About how rude and arrogant you can be! This is my home and you are my guest in it! I know you are used to more luxurious quarters, but that is not an excuse to be so rough! You claim titles do not matter to you, but you must be a prince and expect me to wait! Saying it means nothing if your actions betray you! Would you like to kill it and thank you so much in a while?! ... My Lord.

Arthur : Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Gwen : No, I think that's it.

: You're right. You have invited me to your home and I have behaved appallingly.

Gwen : I did not mean to make you feel bad.

Arthur : Oh, really?

Gwen : Well, perhaps a little.

Arthur : There's no excuse. I'll make it up to you. Tonight, I will make dinner for you.

Gwen (skeptical ): Are you going to cook me dinner?

Arthur : I most certainly am. Now

Gwen : A walk would be nice. Gwen : A walk would be nice.

Arthur : ... and your dinner will be ready when you return.


Merlin meets Gwen in the street as she walks away from her house.

Merlin : Where's Arthur?

Gwen : He's cooking me dinner.

Merlin : Arthur's cooking?


Merlin enters. Arthur is staring hopelessly at a raw chicken.

Arthur : Merlin! Thank God!

Merlin : Gwen says you're cooking.

Arthur : I need you to fetch me two dinners from the palace kitchens.

Merlin : So ... you're not cooking.

Arthur : No, but Gwen does not need to know that. As far as she is concerned, dinner will be prepared and cooked by me.

Merlin : You're trying to impress her?

Arthur : Do not be ridiculous, Merlin. And get me a decent shirt, will you? Your clothes are making it all over, it's like having fleas.


Myror snoops when Merlin comes in to get a shirt. Myror hides, ready to kill Merlin with a dagger, but Merlin leaves and Myror follows him out.


Arthur watches the window for Gwen while Merlin sets the table.

Arthur : She's coming. Quick, out the back way. Do something with this. Arthur tosses Merlin the raw chicken.

Merlin : Hope Gwen's impressed with your cooking. Merlin leaves and Arthur spins around as Gwen opens front the door.

Arthur : Guinevere. Perfect timing. Arthur pulls out her seat for her.

Gwen : Thank you. Myror watches from the window and preps a mini crossbow.

Gwen : This is delicious. Arthur : I'm glad you like it.


The night patrol interrupts Myror's assassination attempt

Guard : Halt! You! Stop right there!

Guard : Did you see him?

Myror escapes by hanging under the drawbridge.


Gaius enters the Gaius enters.

Merlin : Dinner's ready. What I said this morning ...

Gaius : It is I who should be apologizing to you. I have failed to appreciate just how heavy your burden must be.

Merlin : I should not have lost my temper with you.

Gaius : It's no wonder you're upset. There's so much resting on your young shoulders. Now that's Arthur's away, you must take time to enjoy yourself.

Merlin : What about the leech tank?

Gaius : Do not even think about the leech tank.

Merlin : Really?

Gaius : All this talk of leeches will be off us. Where'd that chicken come from?

(someone knocks at the door ) Come in!

Sir Leon : The King commands your presence immediately.


Uther, Gaius, Merlin, and Leon inspect the body of the guard Myror killed.

Uther : Can you determine a cause of death?

Gaius : His neck's been broken. There's a mark on the flesh. Whoever killed him exactly what he was doing.

Sir Leon : Earlier this evening, an intruder was spotted in the lower town.

Uther : Then I fear it's true, Odin has an assassin to kill Arthur.

Merlin : An assassin?

Uther : Have you any word from Arthur when he left for the northern borders?

Merlin : No. None.

Uther : With this murderer in Camelot, we must be thankful Arthur is not here. Search the entire town. I want the assassin found before Arthur returns.


Arthur and Gwen smile at dinner.

Arthur : So, do you have any more annoying clothes you wish to tell me about?

Gwen : No, none.

Arthur : There's something else, is not there? What is it?

Gwen : Well, the truth is ... you snore.

Arthur : I do not snore.

Gwen : You do. The first night you were here, I thought a pig had got into the house.

Arthur : So now I'm a pig. Thank you, Guinevere.

Gwen : I think I'm better talk. Gwen starts getting up to clear the table.

Arthur : I'll do that.

Gwen : Where did you get those plates?

Arthur: From ... the cupboard?

Gwen : They have the royal seal. They're from the palace kitchens. I've washed enough of them to know. I take it that's where our food also came from.

Arthur : Look, I can kill a chicken from a thousand paces, just do not ask me to cook it. That's what servants are for. I did not mean it like that.

Gwen : I'm not ashamed to be a servant. At least I'm not a liar.

Arthur : We had a nice meal together. What does it matter where it came from?

Gwen : Because I thought you'd show some humility! You'd like something for me even though I'm just a servant! A good king should respect his people, no matter who they are.

Arthur: Guinevere. I know I have much to learn. There are some things that I'm terrible at - cooking being one of them. But also, knowing what to say to someone I care about.

Merlin : Arthur, there's an assassin's in Camelot. He's here to kill you.


Merlin : The assassin killed a guard. Your father said Odin feels him.

Gwen : Why would Odin want you dead?

Arthur : Because I killed his son. Odin's his challenged me to a fight. I had no quarrel with him. I asked him to withdraw. Perhaps he felt he had to prove himself. I can still see his face. He looked so scared.

Gwen : You can not blame yourself.

Merlin : No one but we know where you are. If the assassin can not find you, he can not kill you.

Arthur : May I continue to stay here?

Gwen : Of course, for as long as you need.

Arthur : Thank you. I'll sleep on the floor tonight.

Gwen: No, have my bed. You need to be better for the tournament tomorrow.

Arthur : I'll not hear of it. Goodnight, Guinevere.

Gwen : Goodnight.

Arthur : Fetch the mattress from my quarters and bring it up here.

Merlin : How am I supposed to carry a mattress on my own?

Arthur : I do not know, strap it to your back.


Arthur prepares to leave

Arthur : One more match. The tournament will be over.

Gwen : You can go back to Prince Arthur. Erm ... I thought you might wear it ... for luck.

Arthur : Thank you.

Arthur kisses Gwen, then stands around awkwardly .

Arthur : I must go.


Myror watches Arthur meets Merlin in the street on his way to the tournament grounds, he follows them and sees Arthur with his double.


William : They're ready for you, Sire.

Myror watches Will hand Arthur the helmet. Myror sees two knights greet each other.

Knight : Sir Alinor, good luck in the final.


Myror attacks Sir Alinor in his tent, kiils him, dresses in his armor and disguises a deadly lance.


Arthur and Myror face each other on the race. Arthur gets hit with the deadly and Gwen stands up in shock, running out of the stands to him. Merlin sees the deadly point and heads after Myror. Gwen supports Arthur as they rush into the tent.

Arthur : His launches pierced my armor.

Gwen : You're losing too much blood. Gwen takes off the favor she gives him and holds against the wound.

Arthur : Do what you can. I have to be back on the race within five minutes or I forfeit the match.
Gwen : You can not possibly be, you're too badly injured! Arthur : I have never withdrawn from a match. I do not intend to start now.

Gwen: You would risk your life to protect your pride? You have nothing to prove. Least of all to me.

Arthur : I have everything to prove. To myself.


Merlin sees Myror in armor and the dead Sir Alinor. Arthur riding his horse motions to the launcher rack.

Arthur : You'll have to pass me my lance.

Gwen : This is madness! Arthur rides off and Merlin runs up to Gwen.

Merlin : Gwen! Where's Arthur?

Gwen : He's about to joust.

Merlin : He's jousting against the murderer. Merlin and Gwen rush to the race. Arthur and Myror tilt .

Merlin : Unbinde þé téage. Merlin uses magic to snap the girth on Myror's horse so Arthur unhorses / kills him. Merlin helps Arthur off the race.


William, Gwen, Merlin, and Arthur gather in the tent.

Merlin : You were jousting against the murderer. He killed Sir Alinor and took his place. The people are waiting for their champion. It's time to reveal yourself.

Arthur (to William ): You must go and collect the trophy.

Gwen : I thought this was going to be your moment of glory?

Arthur : Perhaps this is a time for humility. Merlin, Gwen, and cloaked Arthur laughing and smiling as William celebrates victory to wild applause .


Merlin goes to where Gaius has carted off Myror.

Gaius : Merlin, who is this man? Where's Sir Alinor?


Arthur stands before the court with a bandage sling over his bloody armor.

Arthur : The murderer attacked us as we returned to Camelot. I was injured while killing him.

Uther : Odin must be made to pay for his actions. We must strike back at him.

Arthur : Surely you understand the grievance he feels for the loss of his son? We should try to make peace with him. There's been enough bloodshed.

Uther : Perhaps you're right. How was the rest of your trip? Fruitful?

Arthur : Very. I learned a great deal. How was the tournament?

Uther : Excellent. We have a new champion, Sir William of Daira.

Arthur : I'm sorry I missed all the excitement.


The brokers exit into the corridor. Arthur checks to check that his father is not looking and turns to Gwen.

Arthur : Guinevere. * ahem * What happened while I was staying with you ... I'm afraid my father would never understand.

Gwen : You do not have to explain. Perhaps when you are King, things will be different.

Uther : Arthur?


Merlin cleans the leech tank. He has not noticed that he has leeches on his face

Merlin : This is horrible. This is so disgusting.

Gaius : Well, maybe you'll think twice about falling into the future. And Merlin, there's something on your face.

Merlin : Where?

Merlin freaks out on the leeches on his face and arms and Gaius laughs.