Season 2 Episode 1

The Curse of Cornelius Sigan

Aired Unknown Sep 19, 2009 on BBC
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Episode Summary

In the dark tunnels beneath Camelot an ancient tomb is discovered, filled with treasure. Gaius begs the King to seal it shut again, fearing the tomb belongs to Cornelius Sigan, an evil sorcerer who cursed Camelot and swore to one day return and destroy the city. But Uther is too taken with the treasure to listen, insisting Sigan is just a fairytale.

Meanwhile, new servant Cedric muscles in on Merlin's position as Arthur's right-hand man and turns the prince against his loyal friend. Merlin is convinced the slippery newcomer is up to something and he's right: Cedric is a conman and a thief who's after the magnificent jewel found at the heart of the tomb. Little does Cedric know, his precious prize is more dangerous than he could possibly imagine.

Camelot has never been more vulnerable but how can Merlin make things right when, thanks to Cedric, he might have lost Arthur's friendship for good? Merlin faces the prospect of turning to the creature he swore he'd never trust again: The Great Dragon.moreless

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Mackenzie Crook

Mackenzie Crook


Guest Star

Simon Nehan

Simon Nehan


Guest Star

Luke Neal

Luke Neal

Sir Geraint

Guest Star

John Hurt

John Hurt

Voice of the Great Dragon

Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (26)

    • The same footage is used in the two scenes where Arthur puts his keys inside a drawer.

    • As Cedric turns more evil, his hair and clothes turn darker trying to imitate the external looks of a raven, since Cornelius' soul has possessed him, and Sigan's crest was a raven.

    • Goof: Arthur is hurt by the gargoyle on his right side but he is shown bleeding from his left side.

    • Goof: Cedric tells Arthur that he'll fix the saddle girth but he hardly touches it.

    • Goof: Cedric was a beater in the hunting expedition so he was carrying a beating stick. He couldn't have possibly killed the wild boar himself without stealing one of the knights' lances.

    • Goof: When Sigan (in the body of Cedric) brings the gargoyles back to life it is late at night and most people in the palace are sleeping already. However, the market is still a busy place with lots of peasants walking around.

    • The Great Dragon's exhales into Merlin's mind the most powerful knowledge known to sorcerers.

    • Despite in episode 1x13 Le Morte d'Arthur Merlin told the Great Dragon that he wouldn't see him again, the boy is forced to go to him once more. This time the Great Dragon asks for something in return and Merlin promises that he will free him one day in return for the spell that will prevent Camelot from falling in the hands of Sigan.

    • Goof: When the miner first enters into Sigan's tomb and starts exploring around, his torch throws light over the treasures piled on the ground as he walks along them, and the rest of the tomb is kept in darkness. However, when he puts the torch up, all the tomb is lighted, even the objects on the ground.

    • There's an inn in Camelot named 'The Rising Sun'.

    • Goof: When Merlin is cleaning the stables the horses are neighing. However, the movement of their bodies (they don't move at all) is not consisting with the sound they are producing.

    • Goof: When Arthur locks the tomb there are 2 keys in a key ring; however, when he places them inside his drawer, there is no key ring.

    • Merlin saves Arthur's life killing the wild boar in the forest and also Gaius' one getting a plate in the way of the arrow thrown by the tomb trap.

    • Goof: Cedric first releases a white horse, then a dark brown one and then a lighter brown one. However, the horses are seen running out of the stable in the reserve order to the one they've been released. Also, another white horse appears out of nowhere.

    • Goof: Merlin's shirt is much more dirty when he arrives to his chamber than when Arthur finds him sleeping in the stables.

    • Goof: Cedric is not properly covering his nose when he makes the tomb guards fall asleep with one of his sleep inducing magic balls.

    • Goof: We learn that Arthur keeps the keys of the tomb in a locked drawer at the right side of the bed. However, in episode 1x12 To Kill the King he keeps all his keys in an unlocked chest of drawers to the left side of his bed.

    • Goof: When Cedric removes the heart from Sigan's tomb, he is standing on the trap for grave robbers but it doesn't shot him an arrow as it did before with the miner and Gaius.

    • Goof: Gwen drags Arthur out of the gargoyle's reach with extreme facility even though he is wearing his chain mail and his armour, which would make him even heavier.

    • Goof: When Merlin is on the cell, he only notices about the racket and the chaos going on outside a good while after it's started.

    • Gwen saves Arthur's life protecting him from the attack of the gargoyle.

    • Goof: Arthur is being bandaged wth his chainmail on to stop the bleeding of his wound.

    • Gaius has known for all this time that Merlin has been seeking the advice of the Great Dragon.

    • Goof: When Merlin kills off the gargoyle that is about to kill Arthur and it breaks into small stones, those are clearly fake as they bounce and roll around and on top of Arthur.

    • Goof: Arthur can be seen laying unconscious with his right leg flexed and his left one stretched after Merlin saves him from the attack of the gargoyle. However, when Gaius comes out of the castle, Arthur has his right leg stretched and his left one flexed.

    • Goof: Gaius wears glasses, even though they weren't commonly used until the 13th century.

  • QUOTES (21)

    • Arthur: (Ignoring Merlin has just saved Gaius' life) Were you born clumsy or do you work at it?
      Merlin: It's just one of my many gifts.

    • Uther: You see Gaius, I was right. There is treasure to be found under Camelot. Which of my predecessors do I have to thank for all this? Gaius?
      Gaius: Erm... I'd have to look into it, sire.

    • Cedric: It's an honour to be of service to the Prince.
      Arthur: An honour. Do you hear that, Merlin?
      Cedric: Allow me the honour of brushing your clothes down.
      Arthur: (Mouths to Merlin) The honour.
      Cedric: Is there anything else I can do for you, Sire?
      Arthur: Well, you can give Merlin here a kick up the backside.
      Cedric: I wouldn't wish to deprive you of the pleasure, Sir.
      Arthur: What's your name?
      Cedric: Cedric. I've come to Camelot in search of work.

    • (Cedric takes the credit after Merlin kills the wild boar using magic)
      Arthur: You've just saved my life.
      Cedric: Honestly, sire, it was nothing.
      Arthur: I shall be forever indebted to you. You must be rewarded.
      Cedric: No, no. I couldn't possibly...
      Arthur: Come on. What do you wish for?
      Cedric: I desire only one thing, sire.
      Arthur: Anything.
      Cedric: A position in the royal household.
      Arthur: Good. Consider it done.

    • Gaius: He was the most powerful sorcerer to have lived.
      Merlin: Really?
      Gaius: You didn't grow up in Camelot, but for those of us that did, Cornelius Sigan was a figure of nightmare.
      Merlin: Why?
      Gaius: Sigan's Pass. He could change day into night. Turn the tides, and legend has it, his spells helped to build Camelot itself.
      Merlin: What happened?
      Gaius: In the end, he grew too powerful and the king at that time ordered his execution.
      Merlin: If he's dead, why are you so worried?
      Gaius: Sigan couldn't bear the thought that his wealth and power would die with him, so he became obsessed with finding a way to defeat death itself.
      Merlin: You think he might have succeeded?
      Gaius: Let's hope not. For all our sakes.

    • Uther: Gaius. What is it you want?
      Gaius: To seal up the burial chamber and all its contents.
      Uther: Don't be ridiculous.
      Gaius: The insignia on this ring belongs to Cornelius Sigan. I believe it to be his tomb. In the old religion the name Sigan means 'raven'.
      Uther: No wonder the riches are so great.
      Gaius: Then you're aware of the legend, sire.
      Uther: Yes. I've always enjoyed the tale of the... arrogant sorcerer who came to an untimely end.
      Gaius: According to the story, Sigan cursed Camelot. He said he would one day return and raze the city to the ground.
      Uther: Gaius, you have long been my ally in the war against sorcery. You, more than anyone, should not give into these irrational fears.

    • Arthur: (Having the breakfast Cedric has brought him already) Is that lunch?
      Merlin: No, it's breakfast.
      Arthur: This is lovely, Cedric.
      Merlin: Is there anything else that you need doing, Sire?
      Arthur: No, I think Cedric's got it all covered.
      Cedric: Oh, I regret, Sire, there is one thing I've failed to do, erm... muck out your horses.
      Arthur: (To Merlin) Off you go.
      Cedric: I'll get the door for you.

    • Gaius: What was this dream about?
      Morgana: A bird.
      Gaius: What kind of bird?
      Morgana: A raven.
      Gaius: A raven?
      Morgana: It was terrifying, Gaius. What do you think it means?
      Gaius: Probably nothing.
      Morgana: It's happening again, isn't it?
      Gaius: Morgana, one raven certainly doesn't mean that your nightmares are returning. Are you taking the sleeping draughts I prepared for you?
      (She nods)
      Gaius: I'll get Gwen to give you something stronger.
      Morgana: Like a blow to the head? I'm sure she wants to.

    • (After Cedric makes Merlin fall asleep in the stables using a magic sleep-inducing ball)
      Merlin: Can't you see what he's trying to do? He's trying to get rid of me and if you weren't such a clotpole you'd see that.
      Arthur: A what?
      Cedric: Clotpole. He said clotpole.
      Arthur: He can look after me tonight. You can go home and think about whether you want to be my servant or not.

    • Merlin: I just want Arthur to trust me. And to see me for who I really am.
      Gaius: One day he will.
      Merlin: When? Everything I do is for him and he just thinks I'm an idiot.
      Gaius: Not everyone thinks you're an idiot.

    • Gaius: Camelot is in grave peril. I've translated the inscription. 'He who breaks my heart completes my work.'
      Merlin: What does it mean?
      Gaius: Do you remember the stone in the tomb, how it glowed?
      Merlin: I've never seen a jewel like it.
      Gaius: That's because it's not a jewel. It's the soul of Cornelius Sigan.
      Merlin: You think he's alive?
      Gaius: His soul is. But in order to truly live, a soul needs a body.
      Merlin: So if the stone is removed from its setting... then the heart is broken and the soul released?
      Gaius: That's what I fear.

    • Merlin: Cedric... is possessed by an evil spirit.
      Arthur: What?
      Merlin: He tried to steal the jewel. But it wasn't a jewel. It was the soul of an ancient sorcerer, Sigan.
      Arthur: Merlin, have you been on the cider?
      Merlin: Please... listen to me. Camelot is in mortal danger. Sigan is using Cedric's body to take his revenge.
      Arthur: This nonsense isn't helping you keep your job.
      Merlin: You are not listening to me!
      Arthur: If you're going to shout anyway... Cedric! Will you escort Merlin from the palace?
      (Merlin starts a fight with Cedric)
      Arthur: Merlin! You've gone too far this time, Merlin. You can spend a few days cooling off in the cells. Guards!
      Merlin: He's going to destroy Camelot!

    • Uther: Have you seen what's happening?
      Gaius: It is as I warned you, Sire.
      Uther: This cannot be Sigan.
      Gaius: It is his revenge. He's come back from the dead.
      Uther: Then he will die again.
      Gaius: You do not understand, Sire. You can't kill a man who has conquered mortality.
      Uther: Don't tell me what cannot be done. Camelot will not fall to a sorcerer while I am king.

    • (After Gwen drags Arthur out of the reach of the gargoyle)
      Arthur: Guinevere?
      Gwen: Sire.
      Arthur: That thing could have killed you.
      Gwen: (Gwen sees the gargoyle coming back) And it still might. (She pushes Arthur to the ground, falling on top of him) Sorry, sire.
      Arthur: No, my pleasure.
      (She helps him into the palace)
      Gwen: I'll get you something to stop the bleeding.
      Arthur: Guinevere. I wanted to say... just, erm... you always surprise me.
      Gwen: Is that it, Sire?
      Arthur: That's it. Oh, and, erm... thank you.

    • Uther: Have we driven the creatures out?
      Arthur: They have control of the lower town. The market has been all but destroyed.
      Uther: How many dead?
      Arthur: Too many to number.
      Uther: I'm sealing the citadel.
      Arthur: You can't!
      Uther: I have no choice. I have to protect those who have a chance. If I don't, we will all fall. Where are you going?
      Arthur: There are people trapped on the drawbridge. I'm not leaving them to die.
      Uther: It's suicide!
      Arthur: It's my duty to Camelot, and to myself.

    • Merlin: I have to help Arthur.
      Gaius: Merlin, Sigan's power is way beyond yours.
      Merlin: I don't have a choice.
      Gaius: But Sigan is immortal and you are not. If you face him, he'll destroy you.
      Merlin: There must be a way.
      Gaius: There is only one alive who is old enough to give us the answers we need.
      Merlin: What do you mean?
      Gaius: The Great Dragon.
      Merlin: You knew, then, that I used to visit him?
      Gaius: Yes, Merlin, of course I knew. You're a creature of magic, just as he is. I hoped that he could help you.
      Merlin: He helps no-one but himself.
      Gaius: For Arthur's sake, you must go to him now.
      Merlin: I can't.
      Gaius: We have no choice.

    • The Great Dragon: To defeat Sigan, you will need a spell more powerful than anything you know.
      Merlin: Please. I have to try.
      The Great Dragon: Very well, but you must give me something in return.
      Merlin: What?
      The Great Dragon: A promise.
      Merlin: A promise?
      The Great Dragon: That one day you will free me.
      Merlin: If I release you, what will you do?
      The Great Dragon: That is not your concern.
      Merlin: I don't trust you.
      The Great Dragon: Nevertheless, you must promise, or Camelot will fall.
      Merlin: I promise. Now, please, give me the spell.
      The Great Dragon: Close your eyes and open your mind. Few men have ever been gifted such knowledge. Use it wisely.
      Merlin: I will.
      The Great Dragon: You made a promise, young warlock. And one day... I shall keep you to it.

    • Cedric/Sigan: Who would have believed it? You, a sorcerer. And a powerful one.
      Merlin: I won't let you hurt him.
      Cedric/Sigan: And you're going to stop me?
      Merlin: I'll stop you.
      Cedric/Sigan: He does not deserve your loyalty. He treats you like a slave.
      Merlin: That's not true!
      Cedric/Sigan: He cast you aside without a moment's thought...
      Merlin: It doesn't matter.
      Cedric/Sigan: But it must hurt so much. To be so put upon, so overlooked, when all the while you have such power.
      Merlin: That's the way it has to be.
      Cedric/Sigan: Does it?

    • Cedric/Sigan: You are young, Merlin. Look inside yourself, you have yet to discover your true power. I can help you. Think, Merlin, to have the world appreciate your greatness. To have Arthur know you for what you are.
      Merlin: That can never be.
      Cedric/Sigan: It can. If you join me. Together we can rule over this land. Arthur will tremble at your voice. He will kneel at your feet.
      Merlin: I don't want that.
      Cedric/Sigan: You'd rather be a servant?
      Merlin: Better to serve a good man than to rule with an evil one.
      Cedric/Sigan: So be it. If you will not join me, I will become you and your power will be harnessed to my will.

    • Uther: We must learn our lessons from these terrible events, Gaius.
      Gaius: Indeed, Sire.
      Uther: They prove beyond doubt that I was right. Magic is evil, it is our greatest threat. I have grown complacent, Gaius.
      Gaius: I wouldn't say that, Sire.
      Uther: We must renew our efforts. We must ensure that all sorcerers and their followers are eradicated from this Kingdom.
      Gaius: Of course, Sire.

    • Gaius: You know you won't get any thanks, Merlin.
      Merlin: I'm not a complete idiot.
      Gaius: (Serves him some food) There you go. It's not much. But you deserve something.
      (Knock on door)
      Arthur: I've come to see Merlin. I've not forgotten about your lazy, insolent ways, or the fact that you called me a clotpole, but I do have to admit that there was some truth in your accusations against Cedric.
      Merlin: Does this mean you're admitting that on this occasion I was right?
      Arthur: Not exactly, no. It means that I have a knighthood to bestow first thing tomorrow and no-one to clean my armour (Empties the contents of a bag on the table Merlin is dining at)
      Merlin: All that?
      Arthur: Yep!
      (Arthur leaves)
      Gaius: Clotpole?
      (Merlin and Gaius laugh)

  • NOTES (50)


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