The Camelot Knights stumble across a ghostly shrine deep in the forest, its eerie atmosphere betraying a dark history better left undisturbed.
By ignoring Merlin's warning, Elyan's actions spark a chain of events more frightening than anyone could possibly have imagined.
Can a grievous wrong be put right before past demons change the future forever?moreless
In the time of the Old Religion shrines were built shrines to appease restless spirits and bring rest to tormented souls that were so badly wronged they could not find peace in the other world. A spirit craving peace and wishing to find the place in the other world that was denied to him due to the unjust nature of his death can only be righted by the atonement of the perpetrator. By the use of ancient rituals the ground was healed but since the magic that binds the earth is delicate and is easily undone ribbons and flags were hung around the shrines as a warning.
Goof: Gaius wears glasses even though they weren't commonly used until the 13th century.
Sir Elyan: Who drank all my water?
Arthur: I believe you have your answer.
Sir Percival: What is this place?
Merlin: This is a shrine. In the time of the old religion, they built shrines like this to appease restless spirits. We shouldn't be here.
Merlin: Are you all right?
Arthur: What do you mean?
Merlin: You're very quiet. You didn't say a word on the way home.
Arthur: It's called thinking, Merlin. You should really try it some time.
Merlin: What's that?
Sir Gwaine: Salt. Pour it in a circle at the foot of your bed. Helps to protect you from evil spirits.
Merlin: Really? Does that work?
Sir Gwaine: Absolutely! And if it doesn't Gaius can always put it on his supper.
Merlin: Very funny.
Gaius: Anyone who disturbs the resting place, risks releasing the spirit. You must promise me you will never return to that place.
Merlin: Don't worry. I have no intention of going back there. And for once, I'm not lying to you.
Sir Gwaine: We missed you at the tavern earlier. Percival broke Sir Brennis' wrist arm-wrestling.
Possessed Sir Elyan: Sounds like fun.
Sir Gwaine: Not for Sir Brennis.
(Arthur has fallen asleep on his table, his head resting on a plate. Merlin comes in and smashes some pots, waking him up. Arthur has food all over his face and hair)
Merlin: Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you.
Arthur: You didn't scare me. I was asleep. Why have you got that stupid smile on your face?
Merlin: It's nothing. Why were you sleeping with your head on the table?
Arthur: I fell asleep while I was reading.
Merlin: What were you reading?
Arthur: (Looks around and realizes that there's nothing he could have been reading) I am the King of Camelot. I do not have to answer to the likes of you.
Merlin: You're in a good mood. You obviously got out of the wrong side of the table (Laughs) The wrong side of the bed... but you slept on the table, so...
Arthur: It's extremely clever and funny, Merlin. There are no limits to your wit.
Sir Gwaine: (To Arthur) What's that in your hair?
Merlin: It's stew.
Sir Leon: Why have you got stew in your hair?
Merlin: Because he was reading.
Sir Gwaine: All this training. When are we going to see some real action?
(About Possessed Elyan)
Sir Leon: Why doesn't he speak?
Gaius: I don't know. It's strange.
Sir Gwaine: It's like he lost his mind.
Gaius: When I want your medical opinion Gwaine, I'll ask for it.
Sir Gwaine: It would be better if Arthur didn't know of this.
Gaius: Why do you want to keep it from Arthur?
Sir Gwaine: Elyan hasn't been himself recently. He hasn't said anything, but he's clearly upset about his sister's banishment.
Gaius: It must have been hard to see that happen to Gwen.
Sir Gwaine: We don't want Arthur to think Elyan's loyalties are divided.
Gaius: The King doesn't have to know about every accident that happens in Camelot.
Sir Gwaine: Thank you, Gaius.
Merlin: Would you like me to make up the bed, Sire or will you be sleeping on the table again? (Arthur keeps quiet, lost in thought) Is this about Gwen? We all miss her. You more than anyone...
Arthur: You can go now.
Arthur: Get out!
Merlin: (To Gaius) I am done trying to be nice to Arthur. I cook, I clean, I'm always there for him, not to mention saving his life more times than I care to remember. Do I get any thanks? No. All he ever does is shout at me. Now you're ignoring me. Great. I might as well not even exist. My name's Merlin. Don't worry, I'm not even here.
Gaius: Did Elyan disturb anything yesterday at the shrine?
Merlin: I'm not sure.
Gaius: I need you to be sure, Merlin.
Merlin: He may have done. I warned them. You know they don't listen.
Gaius: I'm sorry, Merlin. It's just that I am deeply concerned for Elyan. He hasn't spoken a word since he regained consciousness and I can find no physical symptoms to explain it. The only thing I could find was a pile of salt at the foot of his bed.
Merlin: Oh, no.
Gaius: Merlin, what is it?
Merlin: He's trying to ward off an evil spirit.
Gaius: With a pile of salt. That's utter nonsense.
Merlin: Elyan believes it to be true.
Gaius: Then I fear that Elyan may have disturbed the spirit at the shrine.
Merlin: What? What will that do to him?
Gaius: I dread to think what horror it might unleash.
Gaius: You must tell Arthur what happened at the shrine. You must tell him that Elyan is possessed.
Merlin: I'm not sure he'll believe me. Not in his mood.
Gaius: You must make him believe you.
Possessed Sir Elyan: What do you want from me?
Druid boy: I want you to bring me peace. You must right the wrong that was done to me.
Possessed Sir Elyan: How? What should I do?
Druid boy: It's easy. You must kill the King.
(Possessed Sir Elyan nods)
Agravaine: Elyan is a friend to some of you... but that friendship ended when he tried to kill the King. Do not let him escape. Go find him!
Merlin: What happened?
Arthur: Elyan, he attacked me.
Merlin: I think he's possessed.
Arthur: What do you mean possessed?
Merlin: He may have disturbed a spirit at the shrine. I think that spirit is possessing him. Why else would he attack you?
Arthur: When we catch him, I intend to ask him that very question.
Sir Gwaine: I never thought I'd see the day we'd be hunting one of our own.
Sir Leon: I just can't understand why would Elyan attack Arthur?
Sir Percival: What would you do if your sister had been banished from Camelot?
Sir Gwaine: My sister is an evil, old toad, so I would be eternally grateful.
Sir Leon: Elyan, we don't want to hurt you.
Sir Gwaine: Put the knife down.
Sir Percival: Why don't we all just put our weapons down and sort this out like friends.
Possessed Sir Elyan: I had to do it...
Sir Percival: Of course you did. We understand. We're your friends...
(Possessed Elyan puts the knife down and Percival slaps him unconscious)
Agravaine: Elyan must be tried and punished in accordance with our laws.
Arthur: But that would mean putting him to death.
Agravaine: Well, so be it. You can't afford to show favouritism.
Arthur: What if Elyan wasn't acting of his own volition?
Agravaine: What do you mean?
Arthur: Merlin believes that Elyan has been possessed by some kind of spirit.
Agravaine: Oh, I have no doubt he is just trying to protect his friend.
Merlin: Why else would Elyan attack Arthur?
Agravaine: His motive is obvious. He seeks revenge! You banished his sister from Camelot!
Merlin: I know Elyan. And no matter what he feels about his sister, he would never attack Arthur.
Agravaine: Arthur, you must see, all this talk of possession, and spirits. It is just a ruse to save Elyan's neck.
Arthur: Well what if it is true? I'd be executing an innocent man. More than that, I'd be executing a friend.
Agravaine: You cannot be seen to allow someone to try and kill you and then escape punishment. You will appear weak! That puts the whole of Camelot in peril.
Arthur: Leave me. Both of you.
Merlin: Agravaine is pushing for Elyan's execution.
Gaius: Arthur may have no choice but to sentence Elyan to death.
Merlin: We can't allow that to happen.
Gaius: What do you propose we do, Merlin?
Merlin: There must be a way of ridding Elyan of the spirit that possesses him.
Gaius: It would require very powerful magic.
Merlin: Then I must master it if I am to save Elyan's life.
Gaius: And you intend to expel the spirit in the cells, under the noses of the guards?
Merlin: Of course not. First we need to break Elyan out of the cells. Did I miss out that part?
(Gaius laughs nervously)
Possessed Sir Elyan: You know, Merlin, you're much braver than you look.
Merlin: Are you calling me a coward?
Possessed Sir Elyan: I'm saying there's not many people with the courage to break someone out of the cells.
Merlin: I had to do it. They were going to execute you. I know that you would never hurt Arthur. Not of your own volition.
Merlin: (Declining a drink of water) I had some earlier. If I have too much, I need to pee all the time. Ask Arthur. I'm always peeing.
Merlin: There was a presence there. I could sense it.
Gaius: It was Elyan who was supposed to be knocked out. Not you, Merlin.
Merlin: I must find Arthur. Elyan could make another attempt on his life.
Gaius: This shrine. Do you think you could find it again?
Merlin: I'm not sure I want to. You said I was never to go there again.
Gaius: We have to find out all we can about this spirit. Unless we know what we're dealing with, we won't be able to help Elyan, or Arthur.
Merlin: (Gasps, sniffles and wipes tears from his eyes after having had a vision of the Druids' fate in the well) Something terrible happened here.
Gaius: These runes are in the Druid tongue. I also found this. There are crossbow bolts scattered all around.
Merlin: This was Uther's doing, wasn't it? It is revenge for Uther's crime that the spirit seeks.
Arthur: Merlin! Good of you to join me. Perhaps I should fill you in on all that's been happening while you've been... that's a good question. What the hell have you been doing?
Merlin: I was...
Arthur: Choose your next words carefully. They may be your last.
Merlin: I was searching in the woods for some herbs for Gaius, very rare herbs and hard to find actually... and I got lost.
Arthur: You mean to tell me that you've been wandering around in the woods all night?
Arthur: What happened to your head?
Merlin: I... I tripped over a root. And I hit my head on a tree and knocked myself out.
Arthur: Well, after wandering around in the woods all night, knocking yourself out, you must be hungry?
Merlin: I'm starving.
Arthur: Pull up a chair. Tuck in.
Merlin: Oh, thanks very much I am actually... you're joking.
(After possessed Elyan has tried to kill Arthur twice)
Arthur: Why are you doing this?
Possessed Sir Elyan: (In the Druid boy's voice) I must avenge my death.
(They start fighting)
Arthur: What have you done to Elyan? Don't make me kill you. I don't want to kill you.
(Arthur defeats him)
Merlin: (Breaking into the room) Stop! That is not the Elyan we know!
Agravaine: The palace is secure. No one is able to get in or out. We're searching the Lower Town even as I speak. Fear not, my lord. Elyan will be hunted down, and slain. I will see to it personally.
Arthur: Thank you, Uncle.
Arthur: What do you know about this shrine, Gaius?
Gaius: I believe the site was once a Druid camp. There is evidence that the camp was attacked. Your father was relentless in his persecution of the Druids. Many died. I believe it is one of those tormented souls that now possesses Elyan.
Arthur: And that is why he seeks his revenge?
Gaius: The spirit craves peace. He wishes to find his proper place in the other world but the unjust nature of his death has denied him that.
Arthur: Is there anything that can be done to change this?
Gaius: In Druid lore, only the atonement of the perpetrator can bring the spirit peace.
Merlin: Uther's dead. He can't atone for what he did.
Arthur: What about Elyan?
Gaius: Elyan is no longer the man you knew. The spirit has a hold over him that may be too powerful to break. All we can hope is that he is found before he has a chance to enact his revenge.
Arthur: And if we do find him?
Gaius: Then I fear you have no choice but to kill him.
Merlin: It is not your fault. You can't be held responsible for everything your father did.
Arthur: That will be all Merlin, thank you.
Merlin: Are you sure you don't want me to stay?
Arthur: I think I'm going to get an early night.
Merlin: I'm pretty tired too, what with having spent the night in the woods.
Arthur: No one said anything about you getting an early night. In fact, you can make up for your little escapade by polishing my armour.
Merlin: Fancy meeting you here.
Arthur: What the hell are you creeping around in the woods?
Merlin: I'm following you. What the hell are you creeping around in the woods?
Arthur: Something I should have done a long time ago.
Merlin: Elyan could be out here. Do you know how dangerous that is?
Arthur: I have to face him. Feel free to go back to Camelot any time you like (Merlin stays) You're not going back then?
Merlin: I thought I might tag along. Don't want you getting lost and scared.
Merlin: Are you sure you want to do this? Maybe we should wait until it's light... (Arthur ignores him) ...or we could do it now, whatever it is that we're doing, in the dark when it's incredibly scary and dangerous.
(Arthur puts his sword away)
Merlin: Is that a good idea? We might be needing it.
Arthur: I'm not sure a sword will be much use against a spirit.
Merlin: What about against Elyan?
Arthur: Everything Gaius said about this place was right. Except for one thing. It wasn't my father that led the raid on the Druid camp. I did.
(Possessed Sir Elyan): (In the Druid boy's voice) My blood is on your hands. I cannot rest because of what you did.
Arthur: I know. I am responsible for what happened to you and for all the violence that happened here. When I led the attack on your camp I was young and inexperienced. I was desperate to prove myself, to my men, to my... father. I told the men to spare the women and children but I know that some of them ignored the order. There was so much happening. I wanted to stop it. I froze. I didn't know what to do. I... I... I can still hear their screams... I cannot right this wrong. Nothing I can ever do will change the horrors that happened that day. But, I can promise that now I am King I will do everything that I can to prevent anything like this from ever happening again! From this day forth the Druid people will be treated with the respect they deserve! I give you my word! (Elyan unseathes his sword) I am truly sorry for what happened to you! (Gasps and pants as Elyan brings his sword closer to him. Finally, he drops it and the sword clatters on the ground).
(Possessed Sir Elyan): (In the Druid boy's voice) I forgive you. (They hug and the Druid boy's spirit leaves Elyan's body )
Merlin: That was incredibly moving. What you said at the shrine.
Arthur: As long as Elyan's going to be all right, it served its purpose.
Merlin: It wasn't just about Elyan, was it? You meant it. I know you did.
Arthur: Does this have a point, Merlin?
Merlin: I don't think I've ever seen you cry before, not like that. You had tears running down your cheeks. It's nice to see this new, sensitive, emotional side to you. It suits you.
Arthur: Shut up, Merlin.
Merlin: I really thought you'd changed.
Arthur: Then you're as stupid as you are ugly.
Merlin: So there's no chance we could have a hug?
(Arthur chases after Merlin, annoyed)
This is Bradley James' favourite season 4 episode because it raises questions that can't get solved by Merlin doing a magic spell and setting everything alright again. He enjoyes that this fact makes people able to relate to other personal struggles which is easier than relating to someone with magic.
The well was a fake one made out of polyestirene and Adetomiwa Edun broke a piece of it while leaning over.
Arthur's chambers are redressed into the armory for this episode.
Warm water was constantly dripped on top of the Druid boy and Adetomiwa Edun to fake the water effect.
A piece of rubber floor was used in the scenes where Elyan is knocked to the ground.
Even though he was fine not blinking at all during rehearsals for his 'possessed' scenes, Adetomiwa Edun's eyes would water when the cameras started rolling.
The lump of wood that Elyan uses to knock Merlin out was a rubber prop.
Some of the scenes with Merlin looking inside the well when he and Gaius visit the shrine couldn't be filmed at the Forest of Dean so a rig filled with water was set up in the car park of the studios at Cardiff. Branches were placed at the back and above Merlin to make it match the forest scenes as much as possible.
Initially the scene where Elyan kills the guard was to be included in the episode but the director thought it'd be more interesting to discover the guard's body from Merlin's point of view.
The scene where Arthur confronts Merlin about having spent the night away was the very last one of the whole series 4 to be filmed.
The fight between Arthur and Elyan in the Council room was shot in two different days: with and without Colin Morgan who had a busier schedule.
Adetomiwa Edun was instructed not to blink at all in the last scene with Arthur to make Elyan as unreadable as possible and his reaction to Arthur's apology as unexpected as possible.
International Air Dates:
Australia: December 18th, 2011 on Ten.
Canada: March 11th, 2012 on Space.
France: April 6th, 2012 on Canal + Family.
Germany: March 7th, 2012 on Super RTL.
Italy: September 21st, 2012 on Italia 1.
Sweden: November 10th, 2012 on SVT2.
Turkey: April 22, 2012 on CNBC-e.
USA: March 9th, 2012 on Syfy.
According to Adetomiwa Edun he loved filming the scenes in the forest but it could get as low as 10C. Despite warm water was poured on him, the shooting took place in October and he had a hard time coping as he is quite sensitive to the cold.
Adetomiwa Edun and Jeremy Webb (episode director) recorded an audio commentary for this episode.
Despite featured in the opening credits, Katie McGrath and Angel Coulby do not appear in this episode.
It is the sixth time that Katie isn't featured in an episode after 2x09 The Lady Of The Lake, 2x13 The Last Dragonlord, 3x09 Love In The Time Of Dragons, 4x04 Aithusa and 4x08 Lamia and the fourth time for Angel after 3x09 Love In The Time Of Dragons, 3x11 The Sorcerer's Shadow and 4x04 Aithusa.
The Great Dragon does not appear in this episode, but John Hurt is credited (for the voice-over at the beginning of the opening credits).
Also Known As:
France: Une Âme Tourmentée (meaning 'A Tormented Soul').
Germany: Der Druidenschrein (meaning 'The Druid Shrine').
Italy: L'annuncio Di Una Nuova Era (meaning 'The Announcement Of A New Age').
Poland: Zwiastun nowych czasów.
Portugal: O Arauto De Uma Nova Era.
Sat 3 Dec 2011 at 20:00-20:45pm on BBC One and BBC HD.
Fri 9 Dec 2011 at 19:45-20:30 on BBC Three.
Château de Pierrefonds, Pierrefonds, Oise, France (Camelot).
Cardiff, Wales, UK (Studio sets).
Puzzlewood, Forest of Dean, Coleford, Gloucestershire (Shrine).
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