01x09 - Excalibur

Episode 1.09 - Excalibur

INT. CAMELOT (BURIAL VAULTS) - NIGHT 1. FR. 1

A dark shadowy vault containing a number of ancient tombs,graced with ornately carved sculptures of their noble occupants. A shadow falls across a black tomb - carved with the outline of a mighty Knight in full armour, a sword lain across his body like a cross. Suddenly, in the darkness we see a woman, it’s NIMUEH... She stands over the tomb and runs her hands over it,whispering a terrifying spell.
NIMUEH: Gehyre me, wan cniht, awac!
As she utters the words her eyes burn into the stone casing. Suddenly, a crack rips across the lid.
NIMUEH: Beo strangra ond steacra, forbrec tha wanne...
The crack grows bigger in the tomb...
NIMUEH: Uparis; awrec Uther Pendragon!
CRASH! A hand clad in a black gauntlet smashes through the top of the tomb and reaches out towards the witch... A dark smile crosses her face...

INT. KING’S PALACE (GREAT HALL) - NIGHT 1. FR. 2

ARTHUR is knelt on an elaborately decorated woolsack before UTHER. The Prince is dressed in ceremonial robes, MERLIN stands proudly to one side. A STEWARD holds a cushion carrying a coronet and a gold rod. It’s the Prince’s investiture. All around there are DIGNITARIES present,including GAIUS and MORGANA. UTHER speaks quietly but formally to his son as he takes the rod and places it in ARTHUR’s hand...
UTHER: Do you solemnly promise and swear to govern the people of this Kingdom and it’s dominions according to the statutes, customs and laws laid down by your noble forebears?
ARTHUR: I do, Sire.
UTHER: Do you promise to exercise mercy and justice in your deeds and judgements?
ARTHUR: I do, Sire.
UTHER: And do you swear allegiance to Camelot for now and for as long as you live?
ARTHUR: I, Arthur Pendragon, do pledge life and limb to your service and to the protection of this kingdom and it’s peoples.
They both smile. UTHER places the crown upon his son’s head, he turns, addressing the room as well as ARTHUR, following the words of the ceremony.
UTHER: Now being of age and being the heir apparent, you shall hence-forth become Crown Prince of Camelot.
The CROWD cheer. MERLIN grins proudly to one side, next to him stands GWEN.
GWEN (in a low voice): So how does it feel to be servant to the Crown Prince of Camelot?
MERLIN (wry): Washing his royal socks will be even more of a privilege.
GWEN takes a sideways look at him.
GWEN: You’re proud of him really. Even though you complain about him constantly.
MERLIN: I am not.
GWEN: You are. I can see it in your face.
MERLIN: Those socks are very clean. Of course I’m proud of them.
GWEN laughs as ARTHUR soaks up the adulation. But the moment is interrupted by the sound of smashing glass.UTHER and ARTHUR turn to see... A KNIGHT on horseback rides an armoured steed at full tilt through the giant windows at the far end of the Great Hall. Glass showers over the assembled GUESTS as they scramble out of the way. His face is masked beneath his visor. His armour is an ominous black. He advances slowly, inexorably toward UTHER...
UTHER: What in the Devil’s name...?
Panicked GUESTS get out of the way as the horseman continues his relentless path toward the King...The Knights put their hands to their swords in expectation of trouble. The BLACK KNIGHT stops before UTHER and ARTHUR and throws down a huge metal gauntlet. A stunned UTHER stares at it... ARTHUR reacts, goes to pick up the gauntlet but before he reaches it, a young knight, SIR OWAIN, swoops and plucks the glove from the ground and holds it proudly aloft.
OWAIN: I, Sir Owain, accept your challenge.
A beat. The BLACK KNIGHT continues to focus on UTHER and ARTHUR, his expression is inhuman, unblinking, finally he turns toward SIR OWAIN.
BLACK KNIGHT: Single combat. Noon tomorrow. To the death.
UTHER’s white as a sheet, fixated by the crest on the KNIGHT’s helmet. GAIUS too stares intently at the KNIGHT, a flicker of recognition in his eyes.

INT. GAIUS’ CHAMBERS - NIGHT 1. UK. 3

GAIUS is preparing some routine remedies at his workbench. MERLIN watches, but his thoughts are still consumed by the evening’s events.
MERLIN: Have you ever seen this Black Knight before?
GAIUS stops his work for a moment.
GAIUS: I don’t believe so.
MERLIN: You didn’t recognise his crest?
GAIUS busies himself with his work again.
GAIUS (evasive): His crest?
MERLIN: Which house is it?
GAIUS: I’m not sure. I didn’t see it that clearly.
MERLIN: He’s not someone you’d forget in a hurry though.
GAIUS (busying himself): No.
MERLIN: So you don’t think he’s from round here?
GAIUS: That would seem likely.
MERLIN: But then what’s he doing here?
GAIUS turns to face him.
GAIUS: Merlin, your faith in my all-seeing knowledge is both touching and wholly misplaced. Maybe if you’ve finished your work for the day you could go to bed and leave me to finish mine.
MERLIN: Okay, I’m going.
He goes to his room. GAIUS continues with his preparations. A second later MERLIN pops out of his room again.
MERLIN: Gaius?
GAIUS (weary): Merlin.
MERLIN: Do you think Owain can beat him?
GAIUS: We will find out soon enough.
MERLIN leaves again. GAIUS looks after him, clearly more troubled by the night’s events than he’s letting on.

INT. KING’S PALACE (MORGANA’S CHAMBERS) / EXT. CAMELOT 4
(MAIN GATES) - NIGHT 1. UK / FR.

Looking out through the window we see... The BLACK KNIGHT standing motionless in perfect symmetry outside the gates of Camelot, planted in the ground next to him is a plain black standard.
GWEN (O.S.): What does he want?
She is cautiously standing a few steps back from the window, watching the menacing stranger camped outside the castle.
GWEN: Why would he issue such a challenge?
MORGANA is pacing nervously...
MORGANA (perturbed): And why did Owain of all people pick it up? Owain!
GWEN: I know.
MORGANA: He’s just a boy.
GWEN: He hates anyone saying that.
A guilty reaction on MORGANA’s face. She turns to leave the room.

INT. KING’S PALACE (ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS) / EXT. CAMELOT 5
(MAIN GATES) - NIGHT 1. UK / FR.

ARTHUR too stands at the window looking at the BLACK KNIGHT, he looks concerned. There’s a knock at the door. MORGANA enters.
MORGANA: You must stop Owain from fighting.
ARTHUR (annoyed - a sense that he also feels some guilt): It’s his damn fault. He shouldn’t have picked up the gauntlet!
MORGANA: So put an end to it.
ARTHUR: The challenge has been taken up.The fight cannot be stopped.
MORGANA: So fight in his place. Much as it pains me to say it, you’re the man for this job, not him.
ARTHUR: I can’t!
MORGANA: Why not?
ARTHUR: Owain picked up the gauntlet, Owain is the one who must fight. That is the Knight’s code. He knew that.
MORGANA: But he’s just a boy.
ARTHUR(a heavy sigh): I know.

INT. KING’S PALACE (HALL OF RECORDS) - NIGHT 1. UK. 6

GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH is anxiously examining a book of heraldry. He sees GAIUS enter.
GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH : Gaius! Thank God.
GAIUS: You know why I’m here?
GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH: The Black Knight.
GAIUS: So it is he?
GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH: You saw his crest.
GAIUS: Have you confirmed it?
He looks down at the book ...
GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH: It is the crest of Tristan de Bois.
GAIUS: And he’s the only Knight to ever have carried that crest?
GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH: According to the records.
GAIUS sighs, concerned, his fears confirmed. He turns to leave.

INT. KING’S PALACE (COUNCIL CHAMBERS) - NIGHT 1. UK. 7

UTHER is alone, he hears a noise at the door and reacts - fearful of what it might be. A moment, he moves toward his sword lying on a table. He rests his hand lightly on it and looks anxiously toward the door...
UTHER: Yes?
The door opens and in comes GAIUS
GAIUS: I’m sorry to disturb you, Sire.
UTHER tries to hide his anxiety.
UTHER: What is it?
GAIUS: The Knight, the stranger...
UTHER tenses again.
GAIUS: He bears the crest of Tristan de Bois.
UTHER (quietly): Yes.
GAIUS nods.
GAIUS: But he’s been dead for twenty years.
UTHER: I know. I killed him.
GAIUS: But how do you explain ...?
UTHER (short): Dead men do not return. Is that all?
GAIUS bows and leaves. UTHER sits alone in the empty room. Despite his denial, UTHER is a troubled man.

EXT. CAMELOT (MAIN GATES) - DAY 2. FR. 8

New born sunlight glints on the BLACK KNIGHT’s breastplate. He remains almost cemented to the ground. His standard flaps in the breeze, further underlining his superhuman stillness.
He does not appear to have moved all night.

INT. KING’S PALACE (ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS) - DAY 2. UK. 9

The slow beat of a distant drum. OWAIN is standing in the centre of the room. In contrast to the Black Knight, he fidgets about as MERLIN helps him on with his armour. In daylight he looks even more of a boy than he did the previous night. ARTHUR tries to focus him.
ARTHUR: Owain, you’ve never fought in mortal combat before, it’s different... it’s not like the training I’ve given you.
OWAIN (more fixated on adjusting a buckle): Yeah, I know...
ARTHUR: Listen to me. The problem is we’ve never seen him fight. You have to quickly get the measure of him.
OWAIN (bright, innocent): But I have the same advantage - he’s never seen me fight.
ARTHUR (unconvinced): True.
OWAIN: You’ve watched me.
ARTHUR: Yes...
OWAIN: And?
ARTHUR: And I know no one braver.
OWAIN smiles at MERLIN. MERLIN throws a glance at ARTHUR. He can sense his concern.
ARTHUR: Remember, all it takes to kill a man is one well aimed blow.
OWAIN thrusts his sword at an imaginary target. In a few years he will make a good Knight, but he’s still very much a colt, a lightweight. GWEN enters. OWAIN smiles.
GWEN: The Lady Morgana asked me to give you this token.
She holds up a ribbon. OWAIN is slightly overwhelmed, he looks at ARTHUR.
GWEN: She wishes you to wear it for luck.
OWAIN:You can thank her and tell her I shall wear it with pride, but... (he turns to Arthur) I won’t need luck.
We sense ARTHUR’s gut churning feeling of responsibility.

EXT. CAMELOT (TOURNAMENT GROUND) - DAY 2. FR. 10

A DRUMMER pounding a slow rhythm. A large CROWD waiting expectantly for the fight, dispersed amongst them are UTHER, GAIUS and MORGANA. The BLACK KNIGHT stands in the centre in his customary static pose. As UTHER enters the tournament ground and takes his seat, the KNIGHT turns to face him straight on. UTHER stares back at the KNIGHT. He looks deeply troubled. MERLIN and GWEN hurry to join the onlookers. Finally, SIR OWAIN strides out from the palace with ARTHUR at his side. For the first time, the young man’s nerves are apparent. He walks toward the waiting BLACK KNIGHT.
ARTHUR: Find the flow of the fight and try to control it.
OWAIN nods, now barely able to speak. He stops a sword distance from his foe. The DRUMMER’s beat quickens and intensifies echoing OWAIN’s heartbeat.
ARTHUR (to both fighters): The fight shall be to the Knights’rules... And to the death.
He looks at OWAIN. OWAIN puts on his helmet then lifts his sword, the BLACK KNIGHT reciprocates. As they face each other, for the first time, we appreciate the difference in scale between the two men. It’s David and Goliath.
ARTHUR: Let battle commence.
ARTHUR leaves the ground to take his seat by UTHER, he watches the fight intensely throughout. OWAIN doesn’t hesitate, he lunges at the BLACK KNIGHT. In one swift and easy move, the BLACK KNIGHT side steps and parries, forcing OWAIN to look slightly ridiculous. OWAIN readjusts himself and lunges again. The BLACK KNIGHT once more foils him with a deft move.
OWAIN (cont'd)
ARTHUR’s concern intensifies - the BLACK KNIGHT is clearly an accomplished swordsman. UTHER too looks concerned. The two fighters circle each other, suddenly the BLACK KNIGHT unleashes a series of blows. His style is unhurried, precise, clinical, devoid of emotion. All OWAIN can do is block and parry, he’s forced backward across the square unable to find a riposte...
GWEN: Come on, Owain!
ARTHUR (bellowing): One well aimed blow!
MERLIN watches on fearfully, impotent to help. The fight accelerates, blows rain down on young OWAIN. The BLACK KNIGHT is an awesome fighting machine, relentless, unstoppable... MERLIN’s eyes tighten... Suddenly we’re in MERLIN time: In slow motion we see OWAIN manage to unleash a single strike that pierces the BLACK KNIGHT’s breastplate... MERLIN reacts with joy.
MERLIN: Yes!
GAIUS gives him a puzzled glance... UTHER stands up - did he see the blow too? The fight continues at normal speed again, the BLACK KNIGHT shows no sign of injury. Instead, he reacts with a flurry of frenzied blows. As the final stroke lands, the CROWD react with audible horror... UTHER sits down in horrified realisation that OWAIN is dead. The drum stops. A silence. We see the ribbon, Owain’s good luck token, lying in the dirt, it flutters on the breeze... The CROWD is silent. ARTHUR hangs his head. MORGANA has tears in her eyes. The BLACK KNIGHT steps over OWAIN’s body and throws down his gauntlet again - it lands before the King.
BLACK KNIGHT: Who will take up my challenge?
ARTHUR makes to step forward but UTHER grabs him by the arm. ARTHUR flashes his father a quick look, and pulls himself from UTHER’s grip... But as he turns back to the gauntlet, SIR PELLINOR steps forward and swipes it from the ground.
SIR PELLINOR: I, Sir Pellinor, take up the challenge.
BLACK KNIGHT: Single combat. Dawn tomorrow.
The BLACK KNIGHT stares at UTHER... ARTHUR spins round to UTHER. UTHER brushes him aside and turns away. The BLACK KNIGHT starts to walk back toward the gates... MERLIN watches him, then glances at GAIUS.
MERLIN: Should we tend to his wounds?
GAIUS looks at him, confused.
MERLIN: He took a hit.
GAIUS: Owain didn’t land a blow.
MERLIN: I saw it. It pierced his breast plate.
GAIUS: Are you sure?
MERLIN (nods): My eyes are quicker than yours. They look at the Knight - He is walking purposefully with no hint of pain or impairment.
MERLIN: He should be dead.
GAIUS looks concerned.
GAIUS: Maybe he already is.

INT. KING’S PALACE (COUNCIL CHAMBERS) - DAY 2. UK. 11

ARTHUR angrily pursues UTHER as he enters the council chambers.
ARTHUR: Why did you stop me?
UTHER: We have to give our Knights the chance to prove themselves.
ARTHUR: Have you seen how this stranger fights?!
UTHER: And Sir Pellinor will be a match for him.
ARTHUR: He’s still not recovered from the wounds he suffered at Ethandun.
UTHER: I cannot help that.
ARTHUR (incredulous): So you send him to his death?
UTHER (angry, turning on Arthur - with finality): I didn’t send him anywhere. I am not to blame.

INT. KING’S PALACE (STAIRS TO BURIAL VAULTS)-NIGHT 2. FR. 12

Darkness. A door opens and two figures appear silhouetted against the light outside. In the half light we can see some stone steps descending toward us...
MERLIN: Are you sure we should be doing this?
GAIUS: You’re not scared, are you?
MERLIN: No, I love old crypts. (a beat) I wouldn’t be seen dead anywhere else.
Suddenly, the door they came through slams closed and the room is thrown into darkness.
MERLIN: What was that?
GAIUS: Must’ve been a gust of wind.
A beat. They can’t see and are unable to move.
GAIUS: We should’ve brought a torch.
MERLIN casts a spell...
MERLIN: Leohtbora.
....a flame flares - a flambeau on the wall lights itself. MERLIN takes it off the wall.
GAIUS: Handy!
MERLIN: Yes.
GAIUS: Except it means you’ll have to go first.
MERLIN frowns, then reluctantly takes the lead.

INT. KING’S PALACE (BURIAL VAULTS) - NIGHT 2. FR. 13

MERLIN and GAIUS are now in the vault itself. We recognise it from our opening. MERLIN sees various tombs ahead of him...
MERLIN: What are we looking for?
GAIUS: Move your light to the left.
MERLIN does as he’s told. The flickering torchlight creates all kinds of strange unnerving shadows.
GAIUS: There.
MERLIN shines the torchlight on the black tomb. They move toward it.
MERLIN (uneasy): We’re breaking into someone’s grave. As GAIUS reaches the tomb he stops
GAIUS: We’re too late... I think someone has already broken out. We see the top of the tomb has been smashed open with great force. Debris is lying across the floor...
GAIUS bends down to peer inside, the inside of the tomb is empty.

INT. GAIUS’ CHAMBERS - NIGHT 2. UK. 14

GAIUS and MERLIN return. GAIUS hurries to the shelves and removes a book ...
GAIUS: Tristan de Bois was the brother of Ygraine. Uther’s wife.
MERLIN: Arthur’s mother?
GAIUS nods.
GAIUS: Ygraine died in childbirth and he blamed Uther for her death. He came to the gates of Camelot and challenged him.
MERLIN (realising): To single combat?
GAIUS (nodding): And Uther won. With his last breath Tristan cursed Camelot to one day suffer his return...
MERLIN looks at him.
GAIUS: I thought it was just the ramblings of a dying man...
MERLIN: Men don’t just rise up from the dead though, no matter how angry they are.
GAIUS (consulting a book): My guess is we’re dealing with a wraith.
MERLIN: A wraith?
GAUIS: The spirit of a dead man conjured from the grave.
MERLIN: So this is the work of a sorceror?
GAIUS: Powerful magic can harness the grief and rage of a tormented soul and make it live again.
MERLIN: How do we stop it?
GAIUS (he looks up - a grim expression on his face): We can’t. Because it is no longer alive, no mortal weapon can kill it.
MERLIN: Surely there must be something...
GAIUS (shaking his head): Nothing can stop it until it has achieved what it came for.
MERLIN: And what’s that?
GAIUS: Revenge.
MERLIN: On Camelot?
GAIUS gives a slight nod.
MERLIN: What does that mean for Sir Pellinor?
GAIUS: I’m afraid it doesn’t look good.

EXT. CAMELOT (TOURNAMENT GROUND) - DAY 3. FR. 15

The sound of the drum, beating its slow, ominous rhythm. The BLACK KNIGHT stands in the centre of the tournament ground in readiness for battle. His darkness is even more striking now that he’s silhouetted against the sun. He stares at UTHER... UTHER is determined to hold his gaze. The eager CROWD has a nervous atmosphere. They cheer as SIR PELLINOR and ARTHUR enter the arena. The pair stop, ARTHUR focuses on SIR PELLINOR to give him his last instructions...
ARTHUR: You’ve seen him fight.
SIR PELLINOR (looking at the Black Knight): He’s good.
ARTHUR (forcing Sir Pellinor to look at him): Not as good as you. Are you listening to me?
SIR PELLINOR nods.
ARTHUR: See the sun is low in the sky.
SIR PELLINOR glances toward the sun...
ARTHUR: Keep it behind you.
He holds up his hand (in arm wrestling position). SIR PELLINOR reciprocates and clasps his hand.
SIR PELLINOR: For the love of Camelot.
ARTHUR: For the love of Camelot.
SIR PELLINOR and the BLACK KNIGHT exchange sword blows. SIR PELLINOR is an experienced fighter, he gives as good as he gets. He pushes the BLACK KNIGHT back with a series of lunges... The CROWD cheer for their hero. Amongst them we see UTHER, ARTHUR, MORGANA and GWEN. Standing to one side, viewing the fight from a different angle, we find MERLIN and GAIUS.
MERLIN: Maybe you were wrong.
GAIUS: I hope so.
The BLACK KNIGHT parries everything SIR PELLINOR throws at him, until finally SIR PELLINOR lands a blow which knocks the black knight’s sword to the ground. The BLACK KNIGHT is momentarily defenseless as PELLINOR thrusts his sword into his chest with what looks like a fatal blow - the crowd gasp and cheer as they see SIR PELLINOR’s sword penetrate the BLACK KNIGHT’s armour. SIR PELLINOR steps back, triumphant. But the BLACK KNIGHT doesn’t flinch. He retrieves his sword and responds with a series of crashing blows, that SIR PELLINOR struggles to block. The BLACK KNIGHT is unstoppable, a killing machine. He lands a fatal strike that coincides with a drum beat... We cut away to UTHER’s face, appalled by what he’s witnessed... The crowd look shocked. We go to GWEN and MORGANA.
GWEN: The sword went in - I’m sure of it.
MORGANA (worried): I saw it too.
The BLACK KNIGHT turns toward the King, starts to remove his gauntlet, but before he can throw it down … A gauntlet hits the ground at his feet. The BLACK KNIGHT looks up to see where it’s come from. He finds ARTHUR looking at him ...
ARTHUR: I will not see anymore of my men die. (a beat) I, Arthur Pendragon, take up the challenge.
A murmur amongst the CROWD.
BLACK KNIGHT: So be it.
ARTHUR (calling the shots): Single combat. Noon tomorrow.
GAIUS catches UTHER’s eye. He is white-faced with shock.

INT. KING’S PALACE (COUNCIL CHAMBERS) - DAY 3. UK. 16

ARTHUR, a determined look on his face, stands in front of UTHER.
UTHER: How could you be so stupid? I will revoke the challenge.
ARTHUR: No. (turning on his father) The Knights’ code must be upheld. That’s what you told me.
UTHER: This is different.
ARTHUR: Once a challenge is laid you cannot rescind it.
UTHER: You are the Crown Prince.
ARTHUR: There cannot be one rule for me and one for all the rest.
UTHER: I forbid you to fight
ARTHUR turns to face his father.
ARTHUR: You want me to prove myself worthy of the throne. I cannot do that by being a coward.
UTHER: No, Arthur, this will be your death!
ARTHUR (he walks to the door): I’m sorry you have so little faith in me, father.
UTHER: Arthur!
ARTHUR keeps walking. UTHER hangs his head in despair.

INT. GAIUS’ CHAMBERS - DAY 3. UK. 17

MERLIN and GAIUS discuss what to do.
MERLIN: You were right.
GAIUS: I wish I wasn’t.
MERLIN:If Arthur fights that thing, he’ll die.
GAIUS: He is Camelot’s greatest warrior. If anyone can defeat it, he can.
MERLIN: But you said yourself, no mortal weapon can kill it. Which means we have to find a way to defeat the wraith ourselves.
GAIUS: How do you propose to do that? He runs up the stairs to his room...
MERLIN: If no mortal sword will kill it...
He disappears into him room and comes back with his magic book.
MERLIN: Then I will have to. With mortal magic.
GAIUS: Merlin, it’s too dangerous...
MERLIN: We don’t have any choice.
GAIUS watches him turning the pages and quietly leaves the room.

INT. KING’S PALACE (COUNCIL CHAMBERS) - DAY 3. UK. 18

A troubled UTHER is pacing the room when GAIUS enters. UTHER stops and stares at him in trepidation, anticipating bad news.
GAIUS: Good evening, Sire.
UTHER: Gaius.
GAIUS: There is something of great urgency I must discuss with you.
UTHER: Then spit it out, man.
GAIUS: Tristan’s tomb is empty.
UTHER face ices over.
GAIUS: I believe he has been conjured from the dead.
UTHER is quiet for a moment, then resumes his pacing, his mind whirring.
UTHER: How is this possible?
GAIUS: I believe he is a wraith.
UTHER: A spirit?
GAIUS (nods): He has come to take vengeance for Ygraine’s death.
UTHER (guilty): It was magic that killed her. Not I.
GAIUS (gently): Nevertheless it was you he blamed.
GAIUS hesitates. He knows he must tread carefully.
GAIUS: You cannot allow Arthur to fight. No weapon forged by man can kill a wraith. It will stop at nothing until it has accomplished what it came for. Arthur cannot win, he will die.
UTHER: He will not listen to me.
GAIUS: Then you must tell him who the knight is...
UTHER: No.
GAIUS: You cannot hide the truth forever.
UTHER (angered): I am the King! You will not bid me what to do!
GAIUS (calm) That is your choice, sire; you tell him or let him go to his death.
UTHER (threatening): No one but you and I will ever know that secret.
GAIUS: The boy is of age, he should know.
UTHER: Never. (he draws a dagger) You made an oath, and I warn you not to break it.
They two men stand face to face for a moment. GAIUS is first to drop.
GAIUS: Very well, sire.
UTHER: Leave me.
GAIUS leaves the room. UTHER is clearly shaken by what he’s just heard.

INT. CAMELOT (MAIN GATES) - NIGHT 3. FR. 19

The dead of night. The BLACK KNIGHT stands impassive, framed against the towers of Camelot. MERLIN emerges from the shadows. Keeping to the shadow of the wall he slips along until the KNIGHT is in sight. The BLACK KNIGHT remains impassive, apparently oblivious to MERLIN’s presence.MERLIN holds his hand out in front of himself and starts to incant a spell.
MERLIN: Cume her fyrbryne.
MERLIN’s eyes flash and a flame appears from nowhere. The fire races across the ground, encircles the knight and engulfs him in a ball of flames. MERLIN waits, it looks like his magic has worked. But when the flames die down the BLACK KNIGHT is still standing, completely impassive. MERLIN stares at him in complete astonishment.

INT. KING’S PALACE (ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS) - NIGHT 3. UK. 20

ARTHUR is preparing for the fight, rehearsing moves with his sword in slow motion, replaying and adjusting the angle of his wrist or the arc of each swing. He’s a coiled spring, as anxious as we’ve seen him. MERLIN comes rushing in, frantic.
ARTHUR: Merlin... you know that conversation we had about knocking...
MERLIN: You have to pull out!
ARTHUR stops what he’s doing and turns to look at him.
ARTHUR: And why’s that, Merlin?
MERLIN: Because he’ll kill you.
ARTHUR: Why does everybody think that?
MERLIN: Because they’re right. Just pull out. You’re the crown prince. Noone wants you to die for some stupid challenge.
ARTHUR: I am not a coward.
MERLIN: I know that. I’ve stood there and watched you overcome every fear you’ve ever faced ...
ARTHUR: It’s what’s required of me, Merlin.
MERLIN: But you are more than that ... you are not merely a warrior, you are a prince. A future king. You have proved your courage, but you must prove your wisdom ...
ARTHUR: I cannot back down.
MERLIN (urgent): Please, Arthur, listen to me. This is no ordinary Knight you’re fighting. Look at him - he doesn’t eat, he doesn’t sleep ... He just stands there in total silence. Doesn’t that tell you something?
ARTHUR: No one is unbeatable!
MERLIN (looking back at him – desperate): If you fight him you will die.
ARTHUR: I cannot listen to this, Merlin.
He throws the door open for MERLIN.
MERLIN: I’m trying to warn you, Arthur.
ARTHUR: And I’m warning you, Merlin.
He swings his sword. MERLIN darts from the room. ARTHUR slams the door ...

INT. KING’S PALACE (COUNCIL CHAMBERS) - NIGHT 3. UK. 21

UTHER sits in the empty council chamber, a haunted figure. There’s a rattle at the window, he reacts, looks toward the sound, clearly expecting the wraith to appear at any moment... He turns back and is shocked to see someone standing in his room: NIMUEH. He stares at her fearfully, as if he’s seen a ghost.
UTHER(realising her involvement): I should’ve known.
NIMUEH (with sense of relish): It is more than I had hoped for,Uther. Soon Arthur will be slain. You will have sent him to hisdeath.
UTHER: You conjured this thing. Their deaths are at your hand.
NIMUEH: Always so righteous, never to blame...
UTHER (angry): Haven’t you had your fill of revenge?
NIMUEH: Haven’t you! You began this war when you threw me from the court and slaughtered all of my kind.
UTHER: You brought it on yourselves with the evil you practised.
NIMUEH (irked): I was your friend, Uther! You welcomed me here.
UTHER: And you betrayed that friendship!
NIMUEH: I did as you asked! I used the skills you so despise to give your barren wife the son you craved.
UTHER: Never speak of her that way! My wife was worth a thousand of you. And you took her from me.
NIMUEH: She died giving birth to your son! It was not my choice. That is the law of magic. To create a life there had to be a death, the balance of the world had to be repaid.
UTHER: You knew it would kill her!
NIMUEH: No, you’re wrong. If I had foreseen her death, and the terrible retribution you would seek... I would never have granted your wish.
UTHER: I wish you hadn’t.
NIMUEH: You wish you did not have a son? Well, that wish will come true tomorrow.
UTHER: I will not let you take him.
NIMUEH: That is your choice. (a faint smile) I have watched so many people I love die at your hands, Uther Pendragon. Now it is your turn.
A beat. There’s a rattle at the window and the candles flame and go out. When UTHER turns back, NIMUEH has gone.

INT. KING’S PALACE (HALL OF RECORDS) - NIGHT 3. UK. 22

The room is dark. MERLIN is looking through a book, dissatisfied with what he’s found. He begins searching the shelves again, he hears a noise, stops and listens. He waits, he clearly shouldn’t be there. He starts rummaging again... He knocks a book over, bends to pick it up and sees a pair of feet beside him. His eyes dart upward to see... GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH glaring at him.
GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH: How did you get in here?
MERLIN: The door was open.
GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH: No, I locked it.
MERLIN: Uh... Someone else must’ve opened it.
GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH: And you thought you’d come in and help yourself.
MERLIN: I was looking for a book. For Gaius...
GEOFFREY’s tone softens, he looks at the open book, seeing the contents...
MERLIN: He thinks the Black Knight is a wraith.
GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH: Then Arthur’s in grave peril.
MERLIN: Which is why I’m here. (beat) I need to find a weapon that will kill something that’s already dead.
GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH (a beat): I have read of such things, in the ancient chronicles.
MERLIN leaps up, excited.
MERLIN: What did they say?
GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH: Several fables speak of ancient swords...
MERLIN: That can kill the dead?
GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH: The fables speak of swords which can destroy anything - alive or dead.
MERLIN: Can you show me one of these fables?
GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH: Well let me think... He starts to search the shelves.
MERLIN: I’m sort of in a hurry...
GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH: You young people always are.
He continues searching as MERLIN follows his every move.
GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH: Here we are. The Chronicle of Beltain. Now let me see...
He starts to go through the pages as MERLIN waits impatiently.
GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH: Yes, here we go... (reading) And Sir Marhaus looked upon the great sword begotten in the dragon’s breath and found it passing good...
MERLIN: What did you say?
GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH: And Sir Marhaus...
MERLIN: Not about him... The dragon...
GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH: The sword begotten in the dragon’s breath...
He looks up from the book but MERLIN has already disappeared.
GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH: Always in a hurry.

INT. GWEN’S HOUSE - NIGHT 3 (UK.) 23

GWEN is busy with her chores, she hears a knock at the door and sees MERLIN.
GWEN (quickly removing her pinny): Merlin ... What’re you doing here?
MERLIN: Oh, I’ve come to ask a favour.
GWEN: Yes?
MERLIN: I don’t know how to ask it.
GWEN: Ask, Merlin, you know that I would grant you anything ...
MERLIN looks at her - slightly thrown.
GWEN: I mean not anything (a beat – backtracking) Obviously, not anything. What is it you want?
MERLIN: I need a sword, the strongest sword your father’s ever made.
GWEN: What for?
MERLIN: To save Arthur. I need you to help me.

INT. KING’S PALACE (ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS) / EXT. CAMELOT 24
(MAIN GATES) - NIGHT 3. UK/FR.

ARTHUR stands in the window alone, he stares out at the BLACK KNIGHT. We can sense his He hears a noise and quickly turns to the door. He finds MORGANA watching him.
MORGANA (for once showing her true emotions): I don’t want you to fight tomorrow.
ARTHUR stares at her, surprised by her conviction.
ARTHUR: Why not?
MORGANA (feeling some kind of premonition): I don’t know what it is ... Please - I’m warning you.
ARTHUR (smiling): You’re worried about me.
MORGANA: No. It’s not me. It’s your father. Can’t you see what you’re doing to him?
ARTHUR (doubtful): My father?
MORGANA: Obviously. He cares about you. (betraying her own emotions) He loves you, Arthur. He doesn’t want to lose you.
ARTHUR (recognising ): And I feel the same. But ... I have to do this.
A moment, they hold each other’s stare. Tears are forming in MORGANA’s eyes.
MORGANA: I understand.
She turns and goes. ARTHUR bows his head and sighs.

INT. GAIUS’ CHAMBERS - NIGHT 3. UK. 25

GAIUS is preparing for bed. A knock at the door. GAIUS goes to open it. He finds UTHER standing outside.
UTHER: Am I still welcome?
GAIUS: Have you come to shout at me?
UTHER: I’m sorry.
GAIUS leads him inside.
UTHER: You knew that one day, all this would come back to haunt me.
GAIUS: Not quite so literally.
UTHER: I should’ve listened to you. You told me no good would come of using witchcraft.
GAIUS: You wanted an heir. You thought it was the only way.
UTHER: Nimueh told me there would be a price.
GAIUS: You were not to know that the price you’d pay was Ygraine’s life.
UTHER winces at the memory.
UTHER: I cannot let Arthur die...
GAIUS: Then you must stop the fight.
UTHER: No... I will take his place.
GAIUS: You realise what you’re saying?
UTHER: Ygraine died for him and so must I.
GAIUS: Uther...
UTHER: I have no other choice.
GAIUS: There must be another way.
UTHER: No! My death will stop the wraith and Arthur will live. (he sets his eyes on Gaius) It means that you will be the only person left who knows the truth about Arthur’s birth. You must swear to me that you will keep your oath.
GAIUS (a moment – finally relenting): I will take it to my grave.
UTHER: You always were a good friend, despite my temper.
GAIUS: I always thought that would be the death of you.
UTHER (managing a smile): I must ask you one last favour...


INT. GWEN’S HOUSE - NIGHT 3. UK 26

GWEN returns to MERLIN carrying a sword ...
GWEN: My father’s been saving this. He’s always said this was the best sword he’s ever made.
She hands it to MERLIN, he examines it.
MERLIN: It’s beautiful.
GWEN (slight concern): He’ll kill me if he finds I’ve taken it.
MERLIN: It’s for the love of Camelot.
GWEN: Mmm ... Yes.

INT. KING’S PALACE (ARMOURY CORRIDOR) - NIGHT 3. FR. 27

MERLIN hurries through the castle. He carries the sword with him, wrapped and hidden inside a cloth blanket.

INT. KING’S PALACE (UNDERGROUND STAIRS) - NIGHT 3. FR. 28

MERLIN hurries his way down into the depths of the citadel.

INT. KING’S PALACE (CAVERN) - NIGHT 3. UK. 29

MERLIN steps out once more onto the lip of rock overlooking the great cavern. The GREAT DRAGON raises his eyes ...
GREAT DRAGON: Merlin!
MERLIN: D’you know why I’m here?
GREAT DRAGON: It may surprise you, Merlin, but my knowledge of your life is not universal.
MERLIN: It’s to do with Arthur, his life is in danger. He will die unless I can make a weapon that can kill the dead.
GREAT DRAGON: So what do you come to ask of me?
MERLIN bends down on one knee, places the wrapped sword on the ground and unrolls it … We see the finished sword for the first time. Even in its raw, un-enchanted state it has a simple beauty. MERLIN reaches down to pick it up, but it disappears before his eyes …
Instinctively, he looks down into the cavern and sees the sword hovering in the air before the GREAT DRAGON.
MERLIN: Will you burnish it to save Arthur?
The GREAT DRAGON considers this ...
GREAT DRAGON: That is your destiny, young warlock, not mine.
MERLIN: But if Arthur fights the wraith and dies Camelot will have no heir. I will have no destiny.
The DRAGON considers this.
GREAT DRAGON: A weapon forged with my assistance will have great power.
MERLIN: I know...
GREAT DRAGON (interrupting him): You do not know. You can only guess. You have not seen what I have seen. If you had perhaps you would not ask this of me.
MERLIN: What do you mean?
GREAT DRAGON: In the wrong hands this sword could do great evil. It must be wielded by Arthur and him alone.
MERLIN: I understand.
GREAT DRAGON: You must do more than understand. You must promise.
MERLIN nods.
MERLIN: I promise.The GREAT DRAGON exhales an almighty blast of fire ... The sword is temporarily lost within the inferno.When the flames recede we see the shining sword - the light flashes off it, almost blinding MERLIN. He turns his head away … And when he looks up again, he sees the sword has beenreturned to him. It is lying on the cloth blanket. MERLIN is captivated - it has a simple but majestic presence.
GREAT DRAGON: Heed my words ...
MERLIN stops and turns to the GREAT DRAGON ...
GREAT DRAGON: The sword was forged for Arthur and him alone.

INT. KING’S PALACE (CORRIDOR 1) / CAMELOT (MAIN GATES) -3 0 NIGHT 3. FR.

UTHER standing at the window, looking out at... The ominous unyielding figure of the BLACK KNIGHT standing before the gates of Camelot.

INT. KING’S PALACE (ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS) - NIGHT 3. FR. 31

ARTHUR is also standing at his window looking out through the curtains, he’s unable to sleep. He hears GAIUS’s voice outside his door.
GAIUS (O.S.): I’ve brought you something that might help you sleep.
GAIUS enters carrying a small phial.
ARTHUR: I’m fine. I don’t need it
GAIUS (he removes the cap from the phial): Here. It’ll relax you, it’ll take the edge off your nerves.
ARTHUR finally concedes and downs the liquid with a grimace.
ARTHUR: I wouldn’t drink it for pleasure.
GAIUS: Why don’t you sit down for a moment?
ARTHUR: Mind you... if you forget the taste... the effects are...
He plonks himself down on his bed, already succumbing to the sedation...
ARTHUR: Quite enjoyable.GAIUS: Lie back.
ARTHUR rests his head on his pillow.
GAIUS: How’re you feeling?
ARTHUR: Mmm...
GAIUS looks at ARTHUR a moment, waiting for him to drift off. Satisfied that ARTHUR’s asleep, he turns and walks quietly to the door. He gently removes the key from the doorlock....
GAIUS leaves ARTHUR’s room and locks the door behind him. He walks away along the corridor.

EXT. CAMELOT (TOURNAMENT GROUND) - DAY 4. FR. 32

Dawn. The BLACK KNIGHT stands, watched by a few TOWNSPEOPLE who are setting up for the fight. Amongst them we see the DRUMMER.

INT. KING’S PALACE (MORGANA’S CHAMBERS) - DAY 4. UK. 33

MORGANA is at her dressing table. She looks sick, she hasn’t slept. GWEN enters with her breakfast and lays it before her.
MORGANA: I’m not hungry.
GWEN: You must eat something.
MORGANA: I can’t.
We hear the drum beat start, MORGANA looks to the window.
MORGANA (shrugs – lifeless): If he dies, I fear for the future.
GWEN: Arthur will win. He will live to be King.
MORGANA: How can you be so sure?
GWEN: Merlin is looking out for him. He won’t let him die.
MORGANA smiles at GWEN’s sweet faith in Merlin but obviously doesn’t share it.

INT. KING’S PALACE (ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS) - DAY 4. UK. 34

The drum beats continue while a drugged ARTHUR sleeps, oblivious to the preparations for the fight that are going on outside.

INT. KING’S PALACE (ARMOURY) - DAY 4. FR. 35

A windowless room somewhere in the depths of the castle. The slow beat of the familiar drum continues outside as MERLIN readies Arthur's armour and finally unwraps the new sword from its blanket. It shimmers in the early morning light. He holds it in his hand. Suddenly, the door opens and MERLIN turns expecting to see ARTHUR, instead it’s UTHER that enters.
UTHER: That’s a fine blade.
MERLIN: It’s for Arthur.
UTHER: He won’t be needing it today.
MERLIN looks confused.
UTHER: I will be taking Arthur’s place.
MERLIN (realising that the sword is for Arthur only): But, Sire...
UTHER: Prepare me for battle.
MERLIN: But Arthur should be the one...
UTHER: No, the grievance is with me, the fight is mine.
MERLIN: I do not have your armour.
UTHER points to some armour placed nearby.
UTHER: This will do. It’s likely to make little difference.
MERLIN straps on a breast plate. UTHER seems in a trance - he’s a man on death row, coming to terms with his fate.
MERLIN: I’ll get you your sword.
UTHER: This one will be fine.
MERLIN looks horrified.
MERLIN: No, Sire... You don’t understand... that one was made specifically for Arthur.
UTHER examines it. The sword appears to dazzle almost unnaturally.
UTHER: Who made it?
MERLIN: Uh... Tom the Blacksmith.
UTHER: It’s worthy of a King.
MERLIN: You’d be better off with a sword you trusted.
UTHER slowly wields the sword...
UTHER: It has an almost perfect balance... Tom is not the Royal Swordsmith. I’m surprised Arthur went to him.
MERLIN: It was me.
UTHER looks at him.
MERLIN (he shrugs): I felt he needed a better sword.
UTHER (surprised - looking at Merlin anew): You do show him incredible loyalty.
MERLIN: It’s my job, Sire.
UTHER: But you go beyond the line duty.
MERLIN: Well... you could say there is a bond between us.
UTHER: I’m glad... (a beat) Look after him, will you.
He sets off for battle, taking the sword with him.

EXT. KING’S PALACE (DRAWBRIDGE/TOURNAMENT GROUND) – 36 DAY 4. FR.

UTHER walks under the drawbridge. The drum beat gets slowly louder as he approaches the tournament ground and the battle of his life.

EXT. CAMELOT (TOURNAMENT GROUND) - DAY 4. FR. 37

UTHER’s P.O.V: The bright light, the noise of a large fight crowd, a multitude of expectant faces and in the centre of the Tournament Ground the BLACK KNIGHT standing motionless and poised for battle... UTHER steps forward. Shock rumbles through the crowd, including MORGANA and GWEN in the stands and MERLIN and GAIUS at the side of the fighting area. The DRUMMER holds his monotonous rhythm. UTHER walks calmly through the crowd, but we sense his tension within. He arrives before the BLACK KNIGHT and stops inches from him, staring into his foe’s visor...
UTHER: You can have what you want – the father, not the son.
The BLACK KNIGHT stiffens and steps back withdrawing his sword. UTHER puts on his helmet. The SPECTATORS watch in hushed silence as UTHER and the BLACK KNIGHT circle one another.

INT. KING’S PALACE (ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS) - DAY 4. UK. 38

The drum can be heard outside the window. ARTHUR begins to stir, then grabs his head. The drug has left him with one hell of a hangover! He manages to stumble to the window. He reacts to what he sees...

EXT. CAMELOT (TOURNAMENT GROUND) - DAY 4. FR. 39

The battle is on. The new sword glints in the light as it hits the Black Knight’s blade for the first time. This is no ordinary sword. UTHER and the BLACK KNIGHT trade blows, two mighty gladiators engaged in ancient warfare as MORGANA, GWEN, MERLIN and GAIUS look on.

INT. KING’S PALACE (ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS) - DAY 4. UK. 40

ARTHUR rushes for the door and finds it locked. He kicks at it in vain - what the hell is going on?

EXT. CAMELOT (TOURNAMENT GROUND) - DAY 4. FR. 41

Swirling action as the BLACK KNIGHT slashes ruthlessly at UTHER. The King responds, parrying and countering with great skill, somehow managing to maintain his regal presence and command the fight... MERLIN watches the action intensely, reacting as the blows strike. But the BLACK KNIGHT’s assault is unrelenting. Suddenly, the sword is knocked from UTHER’s hand, it clatters across the cobbles. He is defenceless. He reaches for it, but the BLACK KNIGHT slices at his arm, striking a plate on his forearm...GAIUS and MERLIN react to this turn of events against the KING. UTHER reacts in pain, the BLACK KNIGHT closes in for the kill. UTHER now has only his shield with which to defend himself...In vain, he uses it to beat away the BLACK KNIGHT’s blows. It’s desperate heroic stuff...MORGANA, sat next to GWEN, looks on in horror.

INT. KING’S PALACE (ARTHUR’S CHAMBERS) - DAY 4. UK. 42

ARTHUR wedges a spear into the jamb and forces his door open. He runs from the room...

EXT. CAMELOT (TOURNAMENT GROUND) - DAY 4. FR. 43

UTHER continues to desperately defend himself with his battered shield, but the BLACK KNIGHT drives him towards the wooden barriers. UTHER appears doomed. We discover NIMUEH concealed in the crowd, she smiles anticipating UTHER’s demise. The BLACK KNIGHT makes a final lunge with all his might, but somehow UTHER steps out of the way. The sword buries itself in UTHER’s shield. UTHER hits the BLACK KNIGHT around the head, the KNIGHT’s helmet flies off to reveal the hideous wraith underneath. The CROWD’s shock turns to horror... Before the BLACK KNIGHT can remove his sword, UTHER has regained his weapon.
UTHER: Die a second time.
UTHER strikes home with the sword, straight into the KNIGHT’s breastplate. As he pulls the blade back, the wraith’s mouth opens, his final breath hitting UTHER, who stumbles back as the wraith starts to burn and then explodes in a cloud of dust. On MERLIN’s shocked face. The sword is all the dragon promised. The CROWD react... An exhausted UTHER looks down at the wraith's remains – an empty suit of armour...

INT. KING’S PALACE (COUNCIL CHAMBERS) - DAY 4. UK. 44

GAIUS dressing UTHER’s wounded arm.
UTHER (smiling - still unable to believe his good luck): I thought you said a wraith couldn’t be killed.
GAIUS: Yes, it was remarkable ...
He eyes the sword on the nearby table.
GAIUS: Was that a new sword?
UTHER: Best I’ve ever fought with.
GAIUS: May I have a look?
GAIUS examines the blade, looking at the runes.
UTHER: I was interested in those markings.
GAIUS: On one side it says “Take me up”, on the other “Cast me away”
UTHER: What does that mean?
GAIUS: Where did you get it?
UTHER: Merlin gave it me. It was forged for Arthur.
GAIUS reacts, but the conversation is interrupted by ARTHUR’s entrance. The prince doesn’t look happy.
GAIUS (to Uther as her he withdraws from the room): That should heal pretty quickly. I’ll redress it tomorrow.
UTHER: Thank you, Gaius. Thank you for everything.
GAIUS smiles and is gone.
ARTHUR (his anger surfacing): You had Gaius drug me ... I was meant to fight him.
UTHER:No ... You weren’t.
ARTHUR: The Knight’s code ...
UTHER (passionate): Be damned! I believed you would die. I could not take that risk. You are too precious to me. You are worth more to me than anything I know ... more than this entire Kingdom ... more than my own life.
ARTHUR is taken aback, it is the first time he has seen his father like this.
ARTHUR: I’ve always thought ... well ...
UTHER: What?
ARTHUR: That ... I was a disappointment to you.
UTHER: That is my fault, not yours ... You are my only son. (a smile) And I would not wish for another.
ARTHUR is unsure how to react.
ARTHUR: What I saw ... You fought pretty well.
UTHER: Thank you.
ARTHUR (preparing to head off): You should join us for training sometime. Looked like you needed some help on your footwork.
UTHER: I’ll give you some footwork. (offering to land a kick)
ARTHUR grins and moves swiftly away. UTHER smiles, pleased he’s had this opportunity with his son.

INT. GAIUS’ CHAMBERS - NIGHT 4. UK. 45

GAIUS and MERLIN are having supper. GAIUS looks at MERLIN. MERLIN tries to ignore him.
GAIUS: You know why I’m looking at you.
MERLIN: No.
GAIUS: Uther told me you gave him that sword today.
MERLIN says nothing.
GAIUS: It must be a sword of very great power to slay the dead. (a beat) Did you enchant it?
MERLIN: No... I didn’t.
GAIUS: Who did then?
MERLIN (he shakes his head): Wasn’t me.
GAIUS gives him a look.
GAIUS: Shame, it saved the King’s life, I’d have been proud of you.
MERLIN: Well ...
GAIUS: Never mind.
They share a look, MERLIN smiles.

INT. GAIUS’ CHAMBERS (MERLIN’S ROOM) - NIGHT 4. UK. 46

MERLIN is asleep. The room rumbles with the sound of the GREAT DRAGON’s voice...
GREAT DRAGON (V.O.) (a hint of indignation in his tone): Merlin! Merlin!
MERLIN wakes and listens... he knows he’s in trouble. He swings his legs out of bed and thinks for a moment, what is he going to say?

INT. KING’S PALACE (UNDERGROUND TUNNEL) - NIGHT 4. FR. 47

MERLIN returns the well worn route to the GREAT DRAGON, a sense of dread.

INT. KING’S PALACE (CAVERN) - NIGHT 4. UK. 48

He reaches the stone orifice and sees the GREAT DRAGON’s face loom toward it. The GREAT DRAGON stares at him...
GREAT DRAGON (seething): You have no idea what you have done.
MERLIN (nervous): I’m sorry. Uther just took the sword...
GREAT DRAGON: You have betrayed me.
MERLIN: He’s the King. I couldn’t stop him.
GREAT DRAGON: You counted the promise you made to me for nothing. That is something you will regret.
MERLIN: I couldn’t let him die...
GREAT DRAGON: You could. But yet you did not. And now he has the sword you begged from me.
MERLIN: I’ll get it back...
GREAT DRAGON: The sword is in the world. It cannot be unmade. But now a curse will forever lie upon it.
MERLIN: What do you mean?
GREAT DRAGON: The sword forged by Arthur is now destined to be used against him. It will bring about his doom.
MERLIN: What do you mean? Is Arthur going to die?
GREAT DRAGON: Everything dies, warlock, it is only the manner of death that is in question. Your actions have made that choice for Arthur. What’s done cannot be undone.
The GREAT DRAGON turns and is gone. A worried MERLIN stands there a moment, taking in what he’s heard.

INT. KING’S PALACE (ARMOURY) - DAY 5. FR. 49

MERLIN stares at the blade, shining in the early morning light. He takes it from it’s rack and wraps it in a bundle.

EXT. CAMELOT (DRAWBRIDGE) - DAY 5. FR. 50

Dawn. MERLIN leaves Camelot. He’s carrying a cloth bundle.

EXT. LAKE - DAY 5. UK. 51

The calm water of a vast lake. MERLIN takes out the sword, he takes one last look, thenthrows it into the lake... The swords hilt slowly sinks to the depths...

END OF EPISODE.