Season 5 Episode 1

Arthur's Bane Part 1

Aired Unknown Oct 06, 2012 on BBC



  • Trivia

    • Goof: Ravens aren't night birds.

    • Goof: The dead animals in the trap are hares and not rabbits.

    • Goof: Merlin leaves Camelot on a light brown horse only to be seen riding a dark brown one for the rest of the episode.

    • The Druid symbol on Lochru's wrist and Ruadan's neck resembles the one seen in other Druids before (Freya's right arm, Mordred's chest and Iseldir's).

    • Queen Annis refers to Merlin as Arthur's 'fool'. In episode 4x05 His Father's Son, Arthur excused Merlin's reckless behavior in front of Annis by calling him 'a simple-minded fool'.
      Since that first and eventful meeting they have become allies.

    • Lochru is the sixth character who addresses Merlin as 'Emrys'. Mordred did so in episodes 1x08 The Beginning of the End, episode 2x03 The Nightmare Begins and 2x11 The Witch's Quickening, Taliesin in episode 3x05 The Crystal Cave, The Fisher King in episode 3x08 The Eye Of The Phoenix, Iseldir in episode 3x12 The Coming of Arthur Part 1 and 4x04 Aithusa and The Cailleach in episode 4x01 The Darkest Hour, Part 1.
      Morgana (4x01, 4x07), Alator of the Catha (4x07), Agravaine (4x07) and Gaius (4x07) have also referred to him as 'Emrys'.

    • A black spiral, within it a thin, yellow coil is the Druid symbol that marks a vates, a Druid seer. The vates' power of prophecy is unrivalled, even by a high priestess. There was a time when the words of a vates were considered a gift.

    • Morgana has occupied the fortress of Ismere in the Frozen Lands of the North. She is tearing the citadel apart searching for the Diamair, the key to all knowledge. In alliance with the Saxons, she has raided many villages recruiting men who work as slaves in search for the key.

    • Goof: In the scene where Arthur starts clapping for Merlin to perform for Queen Annis, he smiles widely when the camera is on him; however, he remains tight-lipped when the camera is on Merlin.

    • Goof: White tags can be seen inside one of Arthur's boots when he throws them to Merlin.

    • Goof: Tomatoes can be seen as part of Gwen's dinner. However, tomatoes were only known in Europe after Columbus brought them from America around 1498.

  • Quotes

    • Arthur: The Queen can't just disappear.
      Merlin: Well, where is she?
      Arthur: That's what I sent you to find out!
      Merlin: Do you know how big this castle is?
      Arthur: Funnily enough, I do.
      Merlin: Then perhaps you should have a look.

    • Arthur: Merlin, is there anything you're actually capable of doing?
      Merlin: Putting up with you.

    • Arthur: Noble Knights of Camelot, countrymen, friends, I welcome you to this meeting of the Round Table. For three long years, we have been blessed with peace and prosperity. But now, it seems a shadow has been cast across our lands. Sir Gwaine set off for Ismere some six weeks ago. With him went three score of our finest men. There has been no word from them since. At my request, Sir Elyan led a search party to the wastelands of the north. He found no trace of Gwaine or his men. It is as if they have vanished from the face of the Earth.

    • Ruadan: The prophecies do not lie. Arthur's bane is real. Once it is known to us,
      his end is nigh.
      Morgana: So you keep saying, yet you cannot tell me what it is.
      Ruadan: The Diamair will tell us. The Diamair is the key to all knowledge.
      Morgana: Then where is this key?
      Ruadan: It is here, beneath your feet.
      Morgana: For three months we've been searching and what have we found? Nothing.
      Ruadan: It is but a moment compared to the eternity of knowledge the key will bring.

    • Ruadan: Patience is the stepping stone to wisdom, Morgana.
      Morgana: You think I don't know that after all I've been through? For two long years, I saw nothing but darkness. Patience and I are old friends.

    • Sir Gwaine: (Gwaine has been made Morgana's prisoner and is thrown to her feet) Lady Morgana, we really have to stop meeting like this.
      Morgana: You're not looking so pretty now, are you, Sir Knight?
      Sir Gwaine: It would appear not.

    • Sir Elyan: We know Gwaine and his men crossed the pass, here, at Isulfor. But beyond that, there was no trace. The trail went cold.
      Arthur: What of this story that the fortress of Ismere has been occupied once more?
      Sir Elyan: I heard many rumours, Sire. All of them had one name in common... Morgana.

    • Gaius: What if the rumours are true, Sire? You may be walking into a trap.
      Arthur: The Knights of Camelot do not abandon their own.
      Gaius: Morgana knows that. She'll be waiting for you.
      Arthur: These men have fought for me, bled for me.

    • Sefa: I keep getting you into trouble.
      Merlin: I'm used to it.
      Arthur: (Calling from a distance) Merlin!
      Merlin: You should hear him when he's really angry.
      Arthur: (Louder and angrier) Merlin!
      Merlin: Like now.

    • Merlin: Do you really think Gwaine and Percival could still be alive?
      Arthur: I have to find out. They're Knights of the Round Table. It's a bond we share.
      Merlin: I understand.
      Arthur: If it was you who'd disappeared, Merlin, I wouldn't bother.

    • Sir Gwaine: Did you find the others?
      Sir Percival: Every last one.
      Sir Gwaine: Do they know what we're searching for?
      Sir Percival: Some kind of key.
      Sir Gwaine: The key to what?
      Sir Percival: I don't know. But the men say Morgana's obsessed. She won't rest until she finds it.
      Sir Gwaine: Let's hope we don't succeed, then.

    • Lochru: I have been haunted by this moment for many years... since long before you set foot on this Earth, Emrys, I have waited for its arrival with sorrow in my heart. For even as Camelot flowers, so the seeds of her destruction are being sown. The prophets speak of Arthur's bane. You would do well to fear it, for it stalks him like a ghost in the night. Unless you act quickly, Emrys, even you cannot alter the never-ending circle of his... fate.

    • Merlin: I need to know about a Druid symbol. A black spiral, within it a thin, yellow coil.
      The Great Dragon: It is the mark of a vates. A Druid seer. Where did you encounter him?
      Merlin: On my journey here. He warned me of Arthur's bane.
      The Great Dragon: His bane?
      Merlin: And then he showed me a battle. A terrible battle. Arthur was fighting for his life. I saw him wounded. I saw him fall.
      The Great Dragon: The vates' power of prophecy is unrivalled, even by a high priestess.
      Merlin: So this battle will come to pass?
      The Great Dragon: I do not know, young warlock, but one thing is certain... this was no chance meeting.
      Merlin: You think I should heed his warning?
      The Great Dragon: There was a time when the words of a vates were considered a gift.
      Merlin: Then why do they feel like a burden?
      The Great Dragon: A wise man is not cowed by knowledge, Merlin. Instead, he uses it to guide him.
      Merlin: How?
      The Great Dragon: That is something only you can decide. But remember, the vates singled you out for a reason. Now, more than ever, it is you and you alone that can keep Arthur safe.

    • Arthur: Queen Annis.
      Queen Annis: Arthur Pendragon.
      Arthur: I am most grateful that you have allowed us safe passage through your kingdom.
      Queen Annis: We are allies, Arthur and these are troubled times.

    • Gwen: (Visibly worried) I can't eat this, I'm sorry.
      Sefa: I'll get you something else, m'lady.
      Gwen: No. If you could just sit with me... are you hungry? Eat (Sefa hesitates, uncomfortable) Please. You'd think I'd be used to it by now... not knowing if he'll return.
      Sefa: You love him. I understand.

    • Queen Annis: What you saw at Asgorath is no surprise. Some months ago, Saxons began raiding our villages. They're rounding up all the men they can find and taking them to Ismere.
      Arthur: To raise an army?
      Queen Annis: People say Morgana is tearing the citadel apart.
      Arthur: Why?
      Queen Annis: She must be searching for something. I dare not think what.
      Arthur: Then my men may still be alive?
      Queen Annis: Yes. There is every chance.

    • Queen Annis: Annis I think it's time for some entertainment. I would love to see your fool perform. Given all his failings, he must have some skills.
      Arthur: You'd think so, wouldn't you? (To Merlin) You heard the Queen: jump to it.
      Merlin: I'm not a fool.
      Arthur: That's debatable.
      Merlin: And I don't have any skills!
      Arthur: I know that. But we can't refuse the Queen when she's granted us safe passage, can we?

    • Arthur: Where did you learn to juggle like that? Honestly, I didn't even know you could catch.
      Merlin: Yes, well, I have many talents. You've failed to notice them, that's all.

    • Merlin: I'm not sure we should go to Ismere.
      Arthur: Did you not hear Annis? My men are alive.
      Merlin: You don't know that.
      Arthur: Look, stick to juggling, Merlin. Leave the important things to me.
      Merlin: But...
      Arthur: Here (Throws his boots to Merlin, who fails to catch them) See, explain that.
      Merlin: I wish I could.

    • Sefa: I didn't mean to frighten you.
      Ruadan: (Pointing to his head) Fear is in here. No one can make you feel fear.

    • Ruadan: They are Pendragons. They're good for one thing only: death.

    • Queen Annis: Morgana has been devoured by hate. Be careful.
      Arthur: I will.
      Queen Annis: Good allies are hard to find. I'd hate to lose one.

    • Merlin: How can they laugh and joke? Don't they know what we will face in Ismere?
      Arthur: Yeah, of course. But a warrior learns to enjoy each day as it comes.
      Merlin: Because he knows it might be his last.
      Arthur: Why are you so upset?
      Merlin: Morgana is powerful. She's dangerous.
      Arthur: I know.
      Merlin: And you don't care?
      Arthur: Only about my men. They're more than friends, more than brothers. No matter what lies ahead of me... I won't abandon them, as I know they would not abandon me.
      Merlin: I understand. I wish I didn't, but I do.

    • Arthur: What happened?
      Merlin: You don't remember?
      Arthur: Where are the others? Leon? Elyan?
      Merlin: There was nothing I could do. I had to get you to safety.
      Arthur: (Laughs) What actually happened?
      Merlin: The usual: I saved your neck.
      Arthur: You saved me?
      Merlin: Yes. And I can juggle. I keep telling you, I have many talents.
      Arthur: So it would seem.

    • Merlin: Could we have a break?
      Arthur: As long as it's quick. I want to reach Ismere before dark.
      Merlin: Ismere? We are heading back to Camelot!
      Arthur: Navigation's not your strong point, is it? Camelot is south. The sun rises where?
      Merlin: In the east.
      Arthur: And what have we been walking towards all day?
      Merlin: To our deaths!

    • Merlin: The two of us against Morgana, are you mad?
      Arthur: I told you: I'm going to rescue my men.
      Merlin: No.
      Arthur: If you're afraid... then go.
      Merlin: I'm worried about you.
      Arthur: Right, well, I've tried sending you home. But if you're not going to
      do as I ask, the least you can do is shut up.
      Merlin: Come on! You know, if Morgana doesn't kill you, I will.
      Arthur: Threatening a King is treason, Merlin.
      Merlin: What about threatening an ass?
      Arthur: I heard that.

    • Sir Leon: We were ambushed. Morgana and a band of Saxons attacked us as we crossed the border into Ismere.
      Gwen: And what of Arthur?
      Sir Elyan: I tried to protect him.
      Gwen: What are you saying?
      Sir Elyan: We lost him in the battle. We don't know what happened to him, or Merlin.
      Gaius: How could Morgana have known? How could she have known that Arthur was approaching from that direction?
      Gwen: Someone betrayed us.

    • Merlin: I need to tell you something. The man... the old man in the village...
      Arthur: Just think about something else, Merlin.
      Merlin: No, I need you to listen to me. Before he died... he tried to warn me. He told me that you were in danger and that the danger was close.
      Arthur: He was dying, Merlin. Who knows what he was saying?
      Merlin: I think that he was a Druid seer.
      Arthur: You expect me to listen to a sorcerer?
      Merlin: But why would he tell me that? He had no knowledge that I even knew you. We have to turn back.
      Arthur: I can't. Even if what he said were true, it makes no difference.

    • Merlin: Arthur, without you, Camelot is nothing. All that we've worked so hard to create. Everything will be gone.
      Arthur: Look, no matter what adversity we face, we stand for what is right. To betray our beliefs, Merlin, that is what would destroy everything we've strived for. I swear I'm going to rescue my men... or die trying.
      Merlin: Then I swear I will protect you or die at your side.

    • Arthur: If only we had a horse.
      Merlin: Or a pig.
      Arthur: You can't ride a pig!
      Merlin: No, but we could roast it with carrots, parsnips and apples.
      Arthur: Merlin.
      Merlin: You're right, we won't waste those apples, we'll put them in a pie.

    • Sefa: (About Ruadan, her father) He only wants what's rightfully his. Were he a physician or a warrior, his skills would be revered. But sorcery! He deserves respect like any man.
      Gwen: Respect is to be earned! It cannot be bought with blood. Your treachery cost the lives of many good men.
      Sefa: I didn't mean to...
      Gwen: You have admitted your guilt. You leave me no choice, Sefa. By the laws of Camelot, I find you guilty of treason.
      Sefa: No!
      Gwen: I sentence you to death.

    • Ragnor: The King of Camelot. You will fetch a handsome price. Alive or dead. Any last requests?
      Arthur: Let my servant go. He doesn't deserve to die like this.
      Merlin: If you're going to kill him, you'll have to kill me first.
      Arthur: Merlin! Step aside.
      Merlin: You know I never do as I'm told.

    • Mordred: Shouldn't we leave it to the Lady Morgana to decide their fate?
      (Ragnor laughs)
      Mordred: (Helping Arthur off the floor) You don't remember me, do you? You saved my life once, many years ago.
      Merlin: Mordred.

  • Notes

    • Series 5 is the one with more green screen and post-production work.

    • Since for series 5 the cast and crew only filmed on location at Pierrefonds twice, scenes from 6 different episodes were shot at the same time.

    • According to the producers, this series gives Angel Coulby the opportunity to do show her acting credentials like never before in the show.

    • There was a conscious desire not to dramatize the establishing of the Round Table because it had already been done in episode 3x13 The Coming Of Arthur, Part 2.

    • The falling snow was added in post-production. It's trickier than it seems because some factors like the direction of the wind have to be taken into account.

    • The initial scenes with Merlin and Sefa were intentionally filmed in a flirty sort of way to play with the audience expectations. The producers considered bringing Sefa back later in the season but it wasn't easy to fit her back in and they dropped the idea.

    • Filming at Trefil quarry can be risky because rocks naturally fall and they had to be careful about it.

    • Julian Glover had to film in a very uncomfortable position. He was supposed to pull Colin Morgan towards him but in the end he pushed himself towards Colin.

    • Colin Morgan had four months to learn how to juggle and he did, but he got nervous while filming and didn't do it as brilliantly as it appears in screen (the editing helped a good deal). According to Justin Molotnikov, the episode director, that was the one occasion where he had seen Colin (who is otherwise very solid) the most nervous. A lot of boiled eggs were used during the scene and they had to keep boiling them as they went along. As a result, there was a funny smell on set afterwards.

    • Most of all the Old Religion signs and imagery used are real Celtic ones. On occasion, they've also borrowed some Norse ones.

    • Morgana was the hardest character to write differently this season so the producers decided to make her more extreme and damaged although here and there she still shows some glimpses of unhinged vulnerability.

    • The scene between Arthur and Merlin where Arthur says that a warrior learns to enjoy each day as it comes had to be reshoot because, due to his knowledge of Camlaan, Colin Morgan portrayed Merlin colouring it too negatively and it lost part of its emotion and warmth.

    • Two days were needed to shoot the battle in the sloop against Ruadan.

    • Liam Cunningham had a different fighting than any that has been seen on the show so far.

    • Colin Morgan add-libbed the "Where did the other rabbit go?" line.

    • The real scenes in the snow were filmed 6 inches down on it which brought about quite a lot of 'slip and fall' outtakes.

    • 2 different wolves were used: one in the studio and the other one on location in Wales. They were difficult animals to work with: they wouldn't run fast and they are hard to make look scary in an instant way.
      To make a wolf snarl and leap at camera, they tied a chicken leg to the end of the lens.

    • The producers of the show felt very lucky casting Alexander Vlahos as Mordred as in him they found somebody with a good deal of Asa Butterfield's quality and look and also a really good actor.

    • Julian Murphy and Justin Molotnikov recorded an audio commentary for this episode.

    • Also Known As:
      Germany: Arthurs Fluch Teil 1.
      Poland: Zguba Artura: czÄsc pierwsza.
      Portugal: A Ruína de Arthur Part 1 meaning 'Arthur's Ruin Part1'.

    • Eoin Macken was very happy with his series 3 costume but now that he has been given a lot more armour to wear, he feels a bit 'closed in'.

    • Starting series 5, the opening credits replace Anthony Head's sequence with one of Richard Wilson.

    • According to Richard Wilson, Gaius' wig is longer this season and needs seven minutes to be put on him. The new length was more a matter of improving the quality of the wig rather than reflecting the three years of time that has passed between the fourth and fifth seasons.

    • Colin Morgan learnt how to juggle for the scene where Merlin performs for Queen Annis.

    • Katie McGrath and Liam Cunningham had previously worked together in Northanger Abbey (2007), Liam as an actor and Katie in the costume department. She defines him as a lovely man with a melodious and gorgeous voice.

    • According to Alexander Vlahos, he took a lot into account Asa Butterfield's rendition of Mordred to prepare himself for the role. He put a lot of pressure on himself and watched as much as Asa Butterfield's work in the past series as he could to try and match some of his same qualities, not to put the rest of the cast off.

    • This episode's cliffhanger (the second part of the last scene, the bit with Mordred in) was shot three months after filming started (when they were about halfway through episode 5) and at a different location because they were waiting for Alexander Vlahos' hair to grow (he had a buzz cut when he auditioned for the character) so he would look a bit more like the young Mordred. The actor benefited from this decision as he had acquired a better understanding of who Mordred was by then.

    • According to Alexander Vlahos, he only watched about half of the first ever episode when Merlin first aired because he wasn't willing to stay in on a Saturday night. He tuned back in though from the series 3 closing two-parter on.

    • According to Ed Turner, Merlin Production Designer, the Round Table was commissioned to an outside contractor. It is 23ft wide and has 32 seats, all handmade. It comes in 18 pieces and takes about 6 hours to be put together. It was designed so that the grain in the wood would hide the joints.
      The Round Table had been painted the same day they filmed.

    • Gwen's off the shoulders red dress was made by Andrea Moon. The Queen's style will be marked by silks and velvets with an antique and embroidered trim, big sleeves, trains, jewelry, crowns and petticoats.

    • Both Morgana and Gwen's costumes include corsets which helps to give them the classic woman 'hourglass' shape.

    • Morgana's fur coat is supposed to be made out of one of the wolves pulling her sleigh but of course it's made of fake fur.

    • For the character of Merlin, the costume department has 20 complete Merlin outfits, 4 units of each color shirt (totalling 24 of them), 4 units of each scarf and several pairs of trousers.

    • According to Jane Spicer, Merlin costume designer, all costumes are made from scratch. The fabrics start as cream/white and are hand dyed to the show's color palette. All the trims are all vintage ones collected at Portobello Market.

    • According to Samantha Cousins, Merlin costume supervisor, 40 extra Camelot knights costumes needed to be made for the Round Table scene. In total, they have about 80 cloaks and some 100 sets of chain mail which is made out of aluminum (making it a lot lighter than it could be) in India.

    • This is the sixth time that a two parter episode is featured in Merlin (the first time being episode 2x05 Beauty and the Beast – Part One and episode 2x06 Beauty and the Beast – Part Two, the second being episode 3x01 The Tears Of Uther Pendragon Part 1 and episode 3x02 The Tears Of Uther Pendragon Part 2, the third time being episode 3x12 The Coming Of Arthur, Part 1 and episode 3x13 The Coming Of Arthur, Part 2 ,the fourth time being episode 4x01 The Darkest Hour, Part 1 and 4x02 The Darkest Hour, Part 2 and the fifth time being episode 4x12 The Sword In The Stone Part 1 and episode 4x13 The Sword In The Stone Part 2.
      Series 5 is the third one to begin and end with a two parter episode after series 3 and 4.

    • International Air Dates:
      Australia: October 14, 2012 on Channel 10.
      Canada: January 5th, 2013 on Space.
      Germany: February 13th, 2013 on RTL.
      Turkey: February 10, 2013 on CNBC-e.
      USA: January 4, 2013 on Syfy.

    • Broadcasts:
      6 October 2012 at 19:45–20:30 on BBC One.
      12 October 2012 at 19:15-20:00 on BBC Three.

    • Filming locations:
      -Château de Pierrefonds, Pierrefonds, Oise, France (Camelot).
      -Cardiff, Wales, UK (Studio sets).
      -Trefil Quarry, Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent, Brecon Beacons, Wales, UK (Frozen lands of the North).
      -Trefil Quarry, Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent, Brecon Beacons, Wales, UK (Arthur, Merlin and the knights arrive to Queen Annis' lands).
      -Caerphilly Castle, Castle Street, Caerphilly, Mid Glamorgan, Wales, UK (exterior scenes in and around Ismere's citadel).
      -Caerphlly Castle, Castle Street, Caerphilly, Mid Glamorgan, Wales, UK (Arthur, Merlin and the knights riding out from Queen Annis' castle).
      -Clearwell Caves, Forest of Dean, Coleford, Gloucestershire (mines under Ismere's citadel).
      -Cistercian abbey ruins at Margam Country Park, Margam, Port Talbot, Wales, UK (Sefa and Ruadan's meeting point).
      -River Wye, Axe Edge Moor, Derbyshire, England, UK (The ridge from where Queen Annis looks out as Arthur and his men ride away).

    • DVD Release Dates:
      Season 5, Volume 1 (episodes 1-6): November 26th, 2012.
      Season 5, Volume 2 (episodes 7-13): January 21st, 2012.
      Complete Season 5: January 21st, 2012.

  • Allusions