Season 4 Episode 5

His Father's Son

Aired Unknown Oct 29, 2011 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
225 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Not long after his coronation Arthur finds out for the first time what it's really like to be King. After incurring the wrath of the formidable Queen Annis, Arthur's skills as a ruler are put into test.

Camelot's new king is forced to find the strength to become the leader his people desperately need as the lives of thousands hang in the balance and depend only on his courage and judgement.


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  • Arthur's Episode!

    Contrary to most of the episodes, this episode centres around Arthur when he makes a big decision and has to bear the consequences. He does what he thinks is correct. This episode is not about Merlin but Arthur who has been recently crowned as the king of Camelot. Arthur does it well, he fights valiantly but at the end he shows mercy by sparing his opponent's life. The queen (forgive me I forgot her name) detects something special in Arthur, and therefore decides to make peace. Camelot has one less enemy now. This is a different episode, but still enjoyable.moreless
  • His Father's Son sets out to be a test for newly crowned King Arthur, yet was Uther Pendragon really so noble of a king to be copying from?


    This Review Contains Spoilers

    This episode isn't bad, and actually pretty decent, if you are a casual viewer who hasn't really followed the series over the past few years. If you know more about the series there's a lot of problems within the script and character portrayals. All the plot hooks provided in this episode lead the characters backward in development, or nowhere at all. The inconsistency of scripts is turning into an inside joke, and leaves an avid viewer frustrated. Each episode runs on the Las Vegas tagline "what happens here, stays here", meaning don't expect the plots to connect or even make sense beyond the one episode showcase.

    Overall, the episode feeds on the plot of Arthur makes a bunch of mistakes, then realizes where they have led. He then decides to set everything to rights, and does so. There's no lasting effects of Arthur's mistakes, although there might be one left on the viewer's who are still thinking "Arthur killed that guy (off-screen) ?!" Part of setting things to rights is Arthur doing a trail by combat to avoid war. Annis' champion looks like something from a bad He-Man cartoon, and after a close call, everything gets fixed up neatly. Impressed with Arthur, Queen Annis tells Morgana she is more Uther's daughter than she realizes, leaving the witch to wordlessly flee back into the countryside and ponder her fallen state, until she comes up with her next devious plan. That is the plot in a nutshell. It's simple, straightforward, but sadly incoherent when compared to actions or character development solidified in season one, when we are almost halfway through season four.

    One of the things that didn't sit right with me was Merlin's role in this episode. Merlin as the title character usually holds a lot of weight within the storyline. He usually is on top of things having the weight of the kingdom on his shoulders, solving issues that only his gifted magical abilities achieve. In this episode, Merlin has misplaced his usual insight. He seems to be playing the role of Arthur's Manservant without any hidden saving graces. While Morgana makes prevision to enchant Arthur's sword, to make certain he loses the fight, Merlin himself seems disillusioned and almost teary eyed about Arthur's single combat, as if he expects Arthur to die. He had no plans to ensure Arthur would survive the combat beforehand, then blinks a magic spell to save him as what seemed like an after thought when the fight doesn't go according to fairness. That's a huge downgrade from previous episodes/seasons where Merlin was challenged to come up with a ingenious way to save Arthur by magic.

    Arthur is the central character of this episode, and as a result, the storyline does him the most harm. Everything thrown at Arthur regarding the choice to kill and show 'strength' was already resolved in the first season, in the episode "The Labyrinth of Gedref". It seems like a rehash, devoid of real emotion or real character development. Arthur listens to ill-meaning Uncle Agravaine and kills a king thus starting a war. Since all of this is done off-screen it hardly seems like it happened at all, except that the characters keep harping on the fact that King Caerleon was killed by Arthur's hand. Uncle Agravaine then tells Arthur to break up with Gwen, as having a servant for a girlfriend doesn't befit a king. Arthur again goes along with this advice, rehashing a plotline already dealt with and resolved in the second and third seasons in episodes "The Once And Future Queen" and "Queen of Hearts". All these actions and behavior paint Arthur in a bad light. It seems inconceivable that any writer knowingly writing for the legendary character of King Arthur would drag him down this low.

    Arthur's progression throughout the series has always been to transform him from a selfish, arrogant, prat into the noble, honorable king. The trouble is, Arthur is now the king, yet he is falling short of being the type of king the early episodes always promised. No matter how insensitive Arthur might have acted at times in the series, there were always times the writer's chose to show the potential Arthur had to be King Arthur, the greatest king of legend. The series is taking an unexpected road, they have made Arthur 'king' in title alone, he is not yet living up to the type of standard set for being King Arthur, a standard set by the series itself. Camelot under Arthur as king is no different from Uther's kingdom, in fact, it seems far more unstable, as if hinging on the tide of destruction through the untested, and reckless behavior of Arthur. I just don't see how this fits. Too much has been built up about The Once and Future King and the type of destiny he had. I don't understand why the writer's are still lovesick on their idea of Arthur's mistakes almost leading to Camelot's undoing every week. In a forth season it seems like we should be past all that. Just take a look at Arthur, he's not a child, not a foolish teenager, so why isn't he growing up and being the king he once seemed headed to become?

    Gwen is another problem. Her entire role in this episode leaves nothing to be impressed with. Her reaction to Arthur's insensitive break up is to cry and beg that they can be 'together'. When Arthur refuses, Gwen throws out a 'be your own man, Arthur' then sinks quietly into the background to fulfill her thankless role of castle servant. The entire running plotline of Gwen always seeking out Arthur says nothing for Gwen as a character. As a servant she seems to have set her gaze a bit high in wanting the newly crowned king as her boyfriend. Arthur as the king would be more suited to try and court the servant girl, and seek her out against all odds, while Gwen should be more conscious of the social gap between them. A confusing writer blunder in the relationship, as far as I'm concerned.

    Personal feelings on the handling of this pairing aside, I think the real mistake in this episode comes from the end in which Arthur presents Gwen with some crushed wildflowers and makes a clumsy apology. Without any hesitation, Gwen readily accepts Arthur's apology. All is happy, lets have a kiss. If Gwen had any self-worth she would not have easily forgiven Arthur, after the appalling way he treated their break up. She would have backed away, explained she was not interested in reconciling, called him 'Sire', bowed and left the room. It would have served a good lesson for Arthur not to so easily win Gwen back, since he was the one he called off their courtship. Perhaps if Arthur had to prove his feelings for Gwen, win her back and have Gwen turn her attention to something beyond 'waiting to be queen', we would have the makings of an interesting pairing. As it stands, I'm not really impressed with the romantic side of Arthur and Gwen. I find their relationship too fickle, lacking real attachment, a love-story invented and sacrificed momentarily to suit whatever a script has in mind. Even when Gwen is made 'Queen Guinevere' I don't see the enduring effects it will have. She'll always in the girl at the castle, waiting for Arthur to kiss or break her heart. It just doesn't have lasting appeal to my sensibilities of what makes a good pairing.

    The knights are again background furniture. The only one who seems to have a decent part to play is Elyan, although why he was not affected by Arthur's treatment of his sister, I'll never know. The personality of Gwaine from season three is again greatly missed. This Gwaine doesn't even recall his father was a knight of King Caerleon and died at his hands. The writer's missed a good opportunity to make things personal for Gwaine, and just stuck him around the campfire with a random glance or line as the script called for. I seriously wish Gwaine hadn't been added as a regular, since he has been demoted from a character to a cardboard stand-up. It sad to see a character reduced so low. I just don't see the reason to have the knights, when they aren't respected or treated like actual members of the cast. It's very disappointing.

    Away from the flaws of story-telling and character actions, this episode has some uncharacteristic editing issues. The editing is choppy and actually laughable in places. Is it really necessary to bring a PG rated show down to G? In a storyline dealing with murderous execution, war and revenge, you would except the normal editing which implies these actions, cutting away neatly for the series' eating. I have always respected the editing done on Merlin and other BBC family viewing, however, in this episode everything was tamed and dumbed down to the point of stupidity.

    One other production oddity is the setting. Usually Merlin features a fairy tale setting where the kings/queens/princesses all dress in velvet and silk, and look like something taken straight from a story-book or Lord of The Rings and Narnia. Caerleon broke this mold, he hardly looked like a king. He was grabby, with the manners of a commoner, his queen, Annis wore furred robes and led a group of unwashed barbarians. The entire feel of Annis' kingdom was like an early Saxon or Celtic kingdom, it hardly fit with the series' usual setting. I'm not sure why this sudden jolting switch was included, except maybe the production of this episode wanted things to be gritty and earthy. Still, it's an odd combination that makes the episode seem misplaced when compared to others.

    As a whole, His Father's Son sets out to be a test for newly crowned King Arthur, yet was Uther Pendragon really so noble of a king to be copying from? In previous seasons, Arthur seemed pretty well set on what he did and didn't agree with regarding his father. Now he seems very hero-struck about his father's reign and easily led into error by his uncle. As advice, I would suggest the writer's re-look through the previous seasons and try to better connect the dots in the future.

    I'm left in a quandary when trying to rate "His Father's Son". Many aspects of this episode are a step up from some of missed opportunity filler episodes, and it has a few good scenes mixed in. It's watchable, fairly entertaining, and if you remove any gathered knowledge or know-how of the series and the characters, this ep can be viewed as a 'good' episode. However, if compared to previous storylines, previous episodes of previous seasons, it dims from 'good' to 'lackluster'. I suppose it could be said this episode is an okay mark to meet on most levels. If the series could just keep on a decent level and go up from here, it would be much more rewarding.moreless
  • His Father's Son. A turning point for Arthur?

    Really enjoyed this episode. The point being that Arthur struggled with his first real test as King by making dubious decisions and definately NOT acting like himself. I sensed he felt lost and unsure and that was the reason why he listened to all the bad advice Uncle Aggy was giving him.

    He pushed his best friend away and I do believe this part of Arthur's and Merlin's friendship needed to be explored. It eventually made Arthur actually realise that Merlin DOES give him good advice and despite Arthur being so cruel to him and saying some unkind things to Merlin, Merlin decided to stay loyal.

    Also his realtionship with his lover Guinevere was explored too. Despite his numerous promises of when he is king they can be together, he broke them with the aid of Uncle who convinced him he couldn't have both (Guinevere and the throne). I think as a prince he felt he had more freedom with his choices but soon realised that as a king it wasn't so easy. The breakup scene was hard to watch (both actors were brilliant especially Angel Coulby) however, just like with his friend Merlin, maybe it had to happen to make their relationship stronger.

    Although this story was a serious one it did have it's comedy moments. I particularly laughed when Arthur actually saw the man he was to fight, his expression was priceless. Also poor Merlin tripping up pass the tent as he followed Arthur. Finally Arthur giving Guinevere those flowers from under his pillow and telling her he found them at the side of the road,lol.

    All in all I really liked it and have re watched several times.moreless
  • Arthur makes his first big decision as King


    Enjoyable episode, though it still doesn't match up to the first 3 of this season. I enjoyed seeing Arthur trying to figure out how to be king, and his conflicting emotions on wether or not to be a king that rules with his mind 'like his father', or to rule with his heart.

    He learns the consequences of making a bad decision, and I believe this episode will lead him to trust the words of his friends more, despite their station.

    This episode was more for character development than furthering plot, but it was good, with a great guest star, and as always great acting from the cast.

  • His Father's Son

    His Father's Son was a great episode of Merlin though I don't think Arthur would have really gone along with his Uncles advice about taking a hard stance and killing in cold blood. Other than this the story was great, the characters were a little distant, and the plot moved slowly onward. Arthur's Uncle continues to wield influence and work with Morgana. It was great that Merlin could help Arthur when he was fighting for the Kingdom. Queen Annis was pretty forgiving as well. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!

Lindsay Duncan

Lindsay Duncan

Queen Annis

Guest Star

Steven Hartley

Steven Hartley


Guest Star

Nathaniel Parker

Nathaniel Parker


Recurring Role

Tom Hopper

Tom Hopper

Sir Percival

Recurring Role

Eoin Macken

Eoin Macken

Sir Gwaine

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Goof: The cut that Arthur inflicts to Derian's left cheek during their fight disappears shortly afterwards.

    • Goof: Gwen's house is bigger from the inside than from the outside. It is particularly noticeable when Arthur goes to visit her. Gwen takes a step back and stands by a wall to let him in. From the inside, there's more room and some pieces of furniture between the door frame and the wall.

    • Arthur can be seen wearing the blue cloak that he borrowed from Merlin in episode 2x02 The Once And Future Queen.

  • QUOTES (36)

    • (Merlin has acted as a bait to lead Caerleon and his men to a narrow pass. Once there, Merlin looks around)
      Caerleon: Trapped, are we?
      (Arrow whizzes and hit on one of Caerleon's men who drops to the ground)
      Merlin: That's the idea.

    • Agravaine: Your Majesty! Look what we have here.
      Arthur: He comes with us. I'll deal with prisoners when we get back to Camelot.
      Agravaine: I fear this is no ordinary prisoner, Your Highness (He tears a pendant off Caerleon's neck and offers it to Arthur)
      Arthur: Well, well...
      Merlin: What is it?
      Arthur: This, Merlin, is the royal crest of Caerleon (To Caerleon) Is it not... Your Highness?

    • Agravaine: Arthur, your father was a strong King. His enemies feared and respected that strength.
      Arthur: Are you saying I'm not worthy of that respect?
      Agravaine: No, Sire. Not at all. There isn't a citizen of Camelot who would not lay down their life for you. But your enemies, to the enemies of Camelot you are still untested as a King. You must send a clear message that any action against Camelot will be met without mercy.

    • Agravaine: I suggest that we force him to accept a treaty on our terms. He must withdraw his men from our land, return our territories to us. He must surrender Everwick.
      Arthur: He'd rather die than agree to such terms.
      Agravaine: Then you are left with no choice.
      Arthur: I can't just kill a man in cold blood.
      Agravaine: Arthur, you must do what you need to to assert your authority on this land.
      Arthur: There must be another way.
      Agravaine: There's no other way.

    • Arthur: My father was a great king, but I don't have his wisdom or his conviction. I can only follow his example, and do what he would have done.
      Merlin: You're going to draw up this treaty?
      Arthur: I have to show my strength, show that I'm worthy of my father's name.
      Merlin: Caerleon won't sign it. You know that?
      Arthur: Caerleon brought this upon himself.
      Merlin: Arthur, you've always shown mercy in battle. You've never sought to humiliate your enemy in this way. This isn't like you...
      Arthur: You have no idea what it is to make these decisions, decisions that will shape the future of this land...
      Merlin: Arthur...
      Arthur: ... so please stick to what you do know.

    • Caerleon: You expect me to sign this? To humiliate myself before you?
      Agravaine: You invaded our kingdom, took what did not belong to you.
      Caerleon: And if I do not sign?
      Agravaine: Then you will pay with your life.
      Caerleon: And who makes these terms?
      Arthur: Arthur Pendragon... King of Camelot.
      Caerleon: Very well. Then make it quick (Kneels down)
      Arthur: Think what you're doing, Caerleon. This treaty could seal a truce between us. There would be peace, like there was between your father and mine.
      Caerleon: I am not my father. And you are not Uther. Do you really have the guts to kill me?
      Arthur: You leave me no choice.
      Caerleon: You do not choose anything, boy. It is I who choose to die and I alone. Get on with it.
      Arthur: So be it.

    • Agravaine: Your resolve has already earned the respect of both the council and the people alike. Your father would have been proud of you.
      Arthur: Thank you, uncle. I don't know what I would have done without your support and counsel.

    • (About Caerleon's execution)
      Merlin: Can't have been easy having a man killed like that.
      Arthur: I had no choice. A show of strength was necessary.
      Merlin: Don't you think compassion can also show strength?
      Arthur: Not to the likes of Caerleon, no. No, an example had to be made for the good of the kingdom.
      Merlin: So you don't regret what you did.
      Arthur: My conscience is clean, Merlin, which is more than I can say for my room so just do your job, will you?
      Merlin: Look, I'm just saying, if there's something bothering you, you can talk to me. You shouldn't push your friends away, you know, not now, not when you need them most.
      Arthur: You're wrong, Merlin. I don't need anyone. I can't afford that luxury. The kingdom is my responsibility now and mine to bear alone. And you must learn to accept that.

    • Queen Annis: (Uncovering Caerleon's body) This... this is no battle wound. This is the work of cowards. Arthur will pay for this, by God. The whole of Camelot will pay for this.

    • Agravaine: I dare to hope that my advice has been of some use these past months.
      Arthur: Of course it has, you know that.
      Agravaine: There's something I wish to discuss. But... it is a delicate matter.
      Arthur: Yes.
      Agravaine: It concerns Guinevere.
      Arthur: What about her?
      Agravaine: She's a beautiful woman, Sire, and possessed of many fine qualities, I have no doubt. But she is a servant.
      Arthur: That doesn't matter to me.
      Agravaine: Nor to me, I assure you, no. It's your people that concern me.
      Arthur: Surely as king I can do as I see fit.
      Agravaine: No, Sire, you can not. You must do what's expected of you.

    • Agravaine: You must present yourself in an appropriate manner. The people, your people, do not wish to see their king with the daughter of a blacksmith.
      Arthur: This isn't a matter of state, this is a matter of the heart.
      Agravaine: You can not rule the kingdom with your heart, Arthur. Your father understood that. You didn't want to kill Caerleon, I know that. But you were strong. You didn't let those emotions cloud your judgement. You ruled with your head, like a strong king must.
      Arthur: Yes.
      Agravaine: Now you must show that strength again. Set aside personal feelings for the good of your kingdom.
      Arthur: Set aside my feelings for Guinevere.
      Agravaine: I'm afraid so.

    • (Arthur is furiously hitting a punching bag that Merlin is holding for him)
      Merlin: You seem tense.
      Arthur: What do you mean, tense?
      Merlin: You know, agitated, on edge, angry.
      Arthur: This is not anger, Merlin. This is controlled aggression.
      (The punching bag comes off and Merlin drops on his back to the ground under its weight)
      Merlin: Great, I'm glad we cleared that up.

    • Queen Annis: Morgana Pendragon. Stealing into my castle in the dead of night, you must have a death wish.
      Morgana: Sorry for the interruption, Your Majesty, but I've come on urgent business.
      Queen Annis: What business could you possibly have with me, witch?

    • Morgana: I come in the name of my father.
      Queen Annis: Is that so? When last I heard, you and he...
      Morgana: I speak not of Uther but of Gorlois.
      Queen Annis: Gorlois?
      Morgana: Uther is my father by blood alone. Gorlois raised me as a child, he made me who I am.
      Queen Annis: I remember him well. He was a good man, an honourable man.
      Morgana: He was, Your Highness, and his sole reward was death betrayed by his King.
      Queen Annis: Well, then... it seems we've both lost something at the hands of a Pendragon.

    • Morgana: (To Queen Annis) Your Highness, Uther was a curse upon this land, as is his son. I seek revenge for the wounds they have inflicted, as do you. If you'll accept it, I've come to offer my help.

    • Merlin: Off again? Another week in the wilderness? Eating weird animals, being eaten by weird animals. No hot water, no baths. This would be the last time either of us get to sleep in a proper bed.
      Arthur: I'm prepared to face all manner of horrors in this world but if you think I'm sharing this bed with you...
      Merlin: What? No, that's not what I meant.
      Arthur: Right, good, comfort to know.

    • Arthur: Guinevere, please believe me when I say that you've done nothing wrong. And that none of this has anything to do with you.
      Gwen: None of what? I don't understand.
      Arthur: Things have changed for me. With my father gone, it falls to me to rule this land.
      Gwen: I know what a responsibility that must be.
      Arthur: And now that I am king... it's no longer relevant what I may or may not want for myself. My only duty is to the people of this land. I will be judged by my actions, who I am seen with.
      Gwen: Are you ashamed to be seen with me?
      Arthur: No. No. But now that I'm king it's not appropriate.
      Gwen: I'm not appropriate?
      Arthur: It seems not.
      Gwen: Arthur... listen to yourself. This doesn't sound like the man I know. You've been talked into this, haven't you?
      Arthur: I haven't been talked into anything. I'm my own man, I make my own decisions.
      Gwen: (At the verge of tears, her voice breaking) And you decided we can't be together.
      Arthur: Yes.
      Gwen: I see.
      Arthur: I'm sorry, Guinevere. It's just the way it has to be (He turns to leave)
      Gwen: Arthur... don't let anyone tell you what to do. You said you are your own man. You've a good heart. Be true to it. Only then will you be the king you want to be.
      (He leaves and she sheds a tear)

    • (Gaius and Gwen watch Arthur and his men leave Camelot to face a battle)
      Gaius: Don't worry, Guinevere. He'll be back soon, I'm sure.
      Gwen: It's different this time though, isn't it? Arthur's King now. The fate of Camelot rests on his shoulders alone.
      Gaius: He's not alone, Gwen. You above all people should know that.
      Gwen: I do know that. But I'm not sure he does.

    • (Arthur is watching Merlin and the knights chat and laugh around the fire from his tent)
      Gwaine: Is he all right?
      Merlin: He's our king. If anything were to happen to any of us, he'd hold himself responsible.

    • Sir Elyan: We just want you to know there isn't a man among us who would not die for you. We've made our pledge and we wear the Pendragon crest with pride. Tomorrow, we fight in your name, Sire, for freedom and justice in this land.
      Arthur: Thank you, Elyan. Thank you all.
      (The knights leave)
      Merlin: They mean it, Sire, every word.
      Arthur: I never once questioned their loyalty. I do wonder if I deserve it.
      Merlin: No one could care more for their men than you do. To send them into battle is not a decision you would make lightly. They know that.
      Arthur: But was it the right decision?
      Merlin: If there was any other way out of this situation you would take it, but you must defend Camelot. You have no choice.
      Arthur: I had a choice... to let Caerleon live or die. I made the wrong decision. But now I've brought this war upon Camelot myself.
      Merlin: Arthur... no one is prepared to sacrifice more for the sake of this kingdom than you. Your decision was made in the best interests of Camelot.
      Arthur: Maybe. Now my men must pay for it with their lives.

    • (Arthur has been caught sneaking into Queen Annis' campsite)
      Queen Annis: What is the meaning of this?
      Arthur: Your Highness, I have come here to...
      (She slaps him)
      Arthur: Your Highness, I know you feel nothing but contempt for me. You feel I've done you a grievous wrong and you'd be right. I'm ashamed of what I did. It was cowardly, unjust and I am deeply sorry.
      Queen Annis: Sorry does not bring back my husband. Sorry does not give my people back their king.

    • Arthur: I want to call off the battle.
      Queen Annis: It's a little too late for that.
      Arthur: I don't propose a truce, but an alternative. I invoke the right of single combat... two champions settle this matter between them.
      Queen Annis: And why should I grant you this favour?
      Arthur: There has been bloodshed enough already, Your Highness. Many hundreds of lives will be saved this way.
      Queen Annis: And your terms?
      Arthur: If my man wins, you must withdraw your army.
      Queen Annis: And if mine is the victor?
      Arthur: Then half of all Camelot is yours.

    • (Merlin has been caught watching over Arthur)
      Merlin: Sorry about this.
      Queen Annis: You know him?
      Arthur: He's my servant. He must have followed me here. I… I knew nothing about it.
      Queen Annis: Kill him.
      Arthur: Wait! Please. Let him go. He's just... a simple-minded fool.
      Queen Annis: That is two favours you have asked me this night, Arthur Pendragon. Very well. You shall have your trial by combat. Announce your champion by noon tomorrow.
      Arthur: Thank you, Your Highness.
      Queen Annis: And take your fool with you.

    • Merlin: Simple-minded fool?
      Arthur: I was being kind, believe me. You almost got me killed in there.
      Merlin: Me? You seemed to be doing a good job yourself.
      Arthur: What's wrong with you? Why can you never just let me be?
      Merlin: I'm your friend. I was looking out for you.
      Arthur: I appreciate that, in your very confused way, you were only trying to help, but, please... don't do it again.

    • Sir Leon: Sire, we can win this battle. I know we can.
      Arthur: I don't doubt it. But at what cost? How many men would be slaughtered?
      Sir Elyan: What if we were to lose this trial? We can't give up our land.
      Arthur: That's the deal I've struck. I believe it to be fair and I'll stand by it.
      Agravaine: Well, then... all that remains, my Lord, is for you to choose your champion.
      Sir Percival: (Stepping up to volunteer) It would be a privilege, Sire.
      Sir Elyan: (Doing the same) Sire.
      Arthur: There can only be one choice... one choice which is just and honourable. This fight's mine.

    • Queen Annis: I don't like it. It must be a trick.
      Morgana: What concerns you, Your Highness?
      Queen Annis: Arthur. Why would he choose himself as the champion?
      Morgana: Because he's Arthur. He'll always risk his own life before those of his men. Trust me, it's no trick, Arthur will fight.
      Queen Annis: It's as if you were pleased, Morgana. Whatever else he is, Arthur is a great warrior. You have as much to lose as I if he wins. You desire the throne of Camelot, do you not?
      Morgana: I don't deny it. It's rightfully mine after all. Arthur will not win.
      Queen Annis: How can you possibly know that?
      Morgana: Because I have the power to ensure that he doesn't.
      Queen Annis: Then you must use it.

    • Morgana: (After enchanting his sword) Arthur is as good as dead.

    • Arthur: (Handing over his ring to Merlin) If this day should prove to be my last, give this to Guinevere. Tell her I'm sorry.

    • Merlin: Arthur, do you really think this is worth the risk? You're king now. Camelot needs you... alive.
      Arthur: I don't know what'll happen... but for the first time since I became king, I know in my heart I've made the right decision.
      Merlin: Well, whatever happens out there, um... (Looks away as he struggles to find the words)
      Arthur: You're not about to start crying on me, are you?
      Merlin: No. Just... good luck.
      Arthur: Thank you, old friend.
      (They shake hands)

    • Queen Annis: You have served my husband well, Derian. I know you will do the same for me.
      Morgana: And Derian... no pity. No quarter. Do not hesitate for one second. Arthur Pendragon must die.

    • (Arthur and Queen Annis' champion are fighting together)
      Morgana: This has gone on long enough. Time to turn the tide. I've enchanted Arthur's sword. It holds the weight of a thousand ages. No one could bear it for long.

    • Queen Annis: You are victorious, Arthur Pendragon. You may rest assured that I shall comply absolutely with the terms of our agreement. My army will be gone by nightfall.
      Arthur: Thank you, Your Highness.
      Queen Annis: Tell me something, you spared my champion, why?
      Arthur: Because it's not victory I seek... it is peace. I hope that today will mark a new beginning for our kingdoms.
      Queen Annis: There is something about you, Arthur Pendragon. Something which gives me hope for us all.

    • Queen Annis: It seems you did not have the power after all, Morgana. Arthur was made of sterner stuff than you imagined.
      Morgana: (Scoffs) There will be other opportunities, Your Highness. Next time, he won't be so lucky.
      Queen Annis: There won't be a next time. Not for me, anyway.
      Morgana: What are you talking about?
      Queen Annis: I believe I may have misjudged our young king.
      Morgana: Don't be taken in by his fine words!
      Queen Annis: It wasn't Arthur who mislead me, it was you. You are consumed by bitterness, Morgana. It spreads within you like a disease. In my grief I let you infect me with your hate.
      Morgana: That is untrue! Have you forgotten how Arthur killed your husband? Do you deny you sought revenge?
      Queen Annis: I sought revenge. But that does not mean it was the right thing to do.
      Morgana: (Scoffs) You are weak, Annis, as I thought you were. Go ahead. Make peace with Arthur, but I will not rest until all of Camelot bows before me.

    • Queen Annis: Morgana? You came to me in the name of Gorlois, but I fear you are more like Uther than you realise.

    • (Camelot citizens welcome Arthur and his men back with big cheers)
      Merlin: You're a hero.
      Arthur: Thank you, Merlin.
      Merlin: Not to me, to your people.
      Arthur: Right. You think different?
      Merlin: Maybe I know something they don't.
      Arthur: Which is?
      Merlin: You know... that you're a cabbage head.
      Arthur: Maybe. I should've listened to you, Merlin. Just this once, I think you were right. Even if you are the worst servant in the five kingdoms.
      (Merlin laughs)

    • Arthur: Gwen.
      Gwen: Sire.
      Arthur: (Retrieving some wild flowers from under a pillow and getting out of bed) These... are for you (Offers her the flowers and she takes them) They're not much, I know. I picked them by the side of a road.
      Gwen: Thank you, Sire. But I don't know what they're for.
      Arthur: To say I'm sorry, Guinevere.
      Gwen: You don't need to apologise. I understand why things have to be the way they are.
      Arthur: A good king should... respect the traditions of the past. As my father did.
      Gwen: I know that.
      Arthur: (Stepping closer to her) But a good king should also... be true to himself and do as he sees fit... and be seen with those who he cares for.
      Gwen: Even if they're not... appropriate?
      Arthur: (Pulls her closer to him and kisses her) Does that answer your question?
      Gwen: It's a start.
      (Both smile and kiss again).

  • NOTES (7)

    • According to executive producer Johnny Capps, Lindsay Duncan was chosen to play Queen Annis as they wanted an actress who could give the character a real heady weight of authority. He finds her performance 'absolutely brilliant'.

    • International Airdates:
      Australia: November 13, 2011 on Ten.
      Canada: February 5th, 2012 on Space.
      France: March 16th, 2012 on Canal + Family.
      Germany: February 1st, 2012 on Super RTL.
      Italy: September 14th, 2012 on Italia 1.
      Sweden: October 6th, 2012 on SVT2.
      Turkey: March 18, 2012 on CNBC-e.
      USA: February 3rd, 2012 on Syfy.

    • The actor who plays Derian is a Canadian professional wrestler (wrestling under the name 'Kurrgan') called Robert Maillet. He is 6'10''.

    • 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).

    • Filming locations:
      Château de Pierrefonds, Pierrefonds, Oise, France (Camelot).
      Cardiff, Wales, UK (Studio sets).
      Chepstow Castle, 1 Bridge Street, Chepstow, NP16 5, Wales, UK (Passageway where Morgana is detained when she sneaks into Queen's Annis castle).
      Trefil Quarry, Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent, Brecon Beacons, Wales, UK (Arthur and Derian's fighting place).

    • Also Known As:
      France: Le Fils De Son Père.
      Germany: Ganz der Vater? (meaning 'His Father's Son?').
      Italy: Figlio Di Suo Padre.
      Poland: Jaki Ojciec, Taki Syn (meaning 'Like Father, Like Son').
      Portugal: O Filho Do Pai.

    • Broadcasts:
      Sat 29 Oct 2011 at 20:10-20:55pm on BBC One and BBC HD.
      Fri 4 Nov 2011 at 19:45-20:30 on BBC Three.