Season 5 Episode 6

The Dark Tower

Aired Unknown Nov 10, 2012 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
72 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Following Gwen's disappearance from Camelot without a word, Merlin is certain that there can only be one person behind her kidnapping: Morgana.

Arthur is determined to rescue his Queen; however, it'll be all but an easy task since she is locked in the Dark Tower, a place that haunts the dreams of men.

King Arthur and his Knights embark themselves on a quest without equal: battling their way through a landscape filled with hidden dangers, deadly obstacles and magical beings.

As they reach their destination, Merlin's sense of dread reaches its limit. What twisted plan has Morgana in mind? And more importantly, what is the final test that awaits them in the tower?


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  • Promising development

    Sorry for my English, I am not a native speaker

    Merlin is starting to show Arthur abilities beyond being loyal and funny (and occasionally wise). In the first place, he promises Arthur that they will save Gwen. How can a skinny servant make such a promise? Is he more powerful than a group of warriors? In the second place, Arthur was completely amazed by the fact that Merlin knew the way through the forest. Moreover, he did not buy his servant's excuse. I liked that very much.

    Morgana brainwashes Gwen using mandrake roots. Maybe Morgouse brainwashed Morgana the same way. I really hope so. In that case, is the process reversible? Morgana is one of my favorite characters and it would make me happy if she found redemption in the end.

    I loved Morgana's weird mixture of evil and tenderness. When Gwen almost succumbs in the tower I was thinking "Come on, come on!" and in the final scene I was like "Yes!!!". Morgana hugging Gwen made my day. Other great moments:

    Funny moments:

    Sir Leon's scream almost gave me a heart attack.

    Sir Gawain dreaming "a cheese that tasted of apple pie". Merlin and Sir Leon looking at him when he asks if someone else had the same dream.

    Cute moments

    Arthur rubbing his eyes and laying his head on his hand when they stop to sleep after having realized that they have wasted an entire day going in circles.

    Arthur and Gwen spooning.

  • Where in the world is Merlin?????????

    I have had my dvr set since the first season, but there is nothing to record. Why is the show no longer airing in my area.I'm in Las Vegas NV. I love this show and miss it a lot!!!!
  • The Dark Tower

    The Dark Tower was a great episode of Merlin though it could have been better crafted. I really enjoyed watching because the story was generally good and exciting. The details are where the episode falls short because some of the scenarios or scenes don't exactly add up completely. I liked seeing Morgana try to break Gwen. Merlin tries his best to help and it seems that the Knights relied upon him to easily as they usually question him. The ending was crazy and unexpected. I look forward to watching how plots unfold in future episodes!!!!!moreless
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  • very disappointing unusual episode

    Well the title says it all. Weak production and story all the way. The forest characterthat came out of nowhere and gave merlin directions, the fact that merlin and the nights simply accepted the fact that merlin knew the way to the tower, iyan s death after fighting a sword, the whole episode feels out of perspective and unusually dull, witj much time wasted on the useless trip to the tower. The ending was ok and lets us await the next episode to see how it will play.moreless
Kelly Wenham

Kelly Wenham

Queen Mab

Guest Star

John Hurt

John Hurt

Voice of the Great Dragon

Recurring Role

Rupert Young

Rupert Young

Sir Leon

Recurring Role

Eoin Macken

Eoin Macken

Sir Gwaine

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

  • QUOTES (31)

    • (Gwen and Elyan are visiting their father's grave)
      Gwen: Even after all these years I still miss him.
      Sir Elyan: He was a good father. I'm glad we came.
      Gwen: So am I.

    • Sir Leon: (About Tom, Gwen and Elyan's father) I think he'd be proud.
      Gwen: Particularly of Elyan.
      Sir Elyan: Me?
      Gwen: Not just because you're a knight, but because of the man you've become.
      Sir Elyan: I don't think so.
      Sir Percival: She's right.
      Sir Gwaine: Absolutely.

    • Sir Gwaine: You're outstanding, especially when it comes to trying to sweet-talk the ladies, if nothing else.
      Sir Elyan: Don't listen to him.
      Sir Percival: No. Elyan loves only one woman.
      Gwen: Who?
      Sir Elyan: You.
      Gwen: Tell me, I'm your sister.
      Sir Gwaine: Did Arthur not say?
      Gwen: Arthur never tells me anything.
      Sir Elyan: But he told you who Gwaine's in love with?
      Gwen: Himself?
      (All laugh)

    • Morgana: (After knocking Gwen off her horse using magic) Sleep, my lady... for it could be some time before you do so again.

    • Arthur: What happened?
      Sir Elyan: We were riding, we came upon a nest of snakes.
      Arthur: (Looks around the room) Where's Guinevere? (No one speaks) Where is she?
      Sir Elyan: I told her to get away. She fled.
      (Arthur looks to Elyan and Gwaine and leaves. Merlin follows him)
      Merlin: Arthur?
      Arthur: We ride at dawn.

    • Gaius: This is no accident.
      Merlin: Sorcery?
      Gaius: There is dark magic coursing through their veins. By any right, they should be dead.
      Merlin: Then they were lucky.
      Gaius: I fear there's more to it than luck.

    • Arthur: I lost Guinevere once before.
      Merlin: You're not going to lose her. You're not. We will find her. I swear. We'll bring her home (Merlin holds his arm out and Arthur joins him in an arm shake)

    • Gwen: What do you want with me?
      Morgana: I thought we could play a little game.
      Gwen: A game?
      Morgana: To find out just how much Arthur loves you.
      Gwen: It won't work.
      Morgana: You underestimate his feelings.
      Gwen: He's not stupid.
      Morgana: We'll see.
      Gwen: He'll know you've taken me, he'll know it's a trap.
      Morgana: He will, but he'll still come.

    • Gwen: I don't want anything from you.
      Morgana: Just my crown (Offers her a skin of water) Drink it, you may need it.
      Gwen: Why?
      Morgana: I wouldn't be in such a hurry to know (Lets the water drop to the ground)

    • Arthur: (Arthur wants to press on searching for Gwen after dark) She can't be far.
      Merlin: I know. But we have to work together. We'll make camp, I'll get a fire going. In the morning we'll pick up her trail again. Come on.

    • Sir Elyan: If I'd stayed with her...
      Arthur: You saved Percival, you saved Leon.
      Sir Elyan: But not my own sister.
      Arthur: We can all blame ourselves.
      Sir Elyan: She raised me. You wouldn't understand.
      Arthur: I do.
      Sir Elyan: I don't know... what I'd be if it wasn't for her. I can't explain.
      Arthur: You don't have to.

    • Sir Leon: (About a dream he's had) A tower so dark it could swallow the sun.
      Arthur: The Dark Tower. It's a place where every young knight is taught to dread, and rightly so. It's where many have met their end.
      Merlin: I've never heard of it.
      Arthur: With good reason. It's said that the mere mention of it can bring doom to any of those who hear it.

    • Sir Gwaine: I was having a dream about eating a cheese that tasted of apple pie. Anyone else have that dream? (He laughs) You're all missing out.

    • (Sir Leon and Sir Percival have both had the same nightmare)
      Arthur: Why would they both have that dream?
      Merlin: The poison. It must still be coursing through their veins.
      Arthur: But the same dream?
      Merlin: Arthur, Morgana conjured those snakes. Leon and Percival would be dead if that was what she wanted.
      Arthur: So what are you saying?
      Merlin: She planted those visions in their minds. It's a trap. She's luring you to your doom.
      Arthur: The Tower. That's where she's taken Guinevere.

    • Arthur: I've decided to journey to the Dark Tower. It's my belief that Guinevere has been imprisoned there. I don't know what horrors will be waiting, so I'll travel alone.
      Sir Elyan: No.
      Arthur: I'm sorry, I've made my decision.
      Sir Elyan: You can't stop me, Arthur. She's my sister.
      Sir Percival: Nor me, Arthur, she's our queen.
      Sir Leon: And our friend.
      Sir Gwaine: She's a maiden in a tower. A damsel in distress. I was born for this moment.
      Arthur: You can turn back, Merlin.
      Merlin: I made you a promise, remember?

    • Arthur: The Dark Tower.
      Sir Gwaine: How do we get to it?
      Arthur: Through the Impenetrable Forest.
      Merlin: But it's...
      Sir Gwaine: ... impenetrable.
      Merlin: Exactly. We can't possibly get through that.
      Arthur: We must.

    • Arthur: We have gone round... in a circle. We have wasted an entire day!
      Sir Leon: Let's make camp for the night. Get some rest and think afresh in the morning.
      Merlin: (To Arthur) I made you a promise. Remember? We will bring her home.

    • Gwen: I don't know what cruel trick you're playing but I will not be broken by you.
      Morgana: I thought this would be nice. I know how lonely you must be, all by yourself in that room. At least you're not shackled... and there's daylight. You can move, you can see...
      Gwen: You expect me to be grateful?
      Morgana: I too have suffered, Gwen. I spent two years living in darkness. Spent two years chained to a wall at the bottom of a pit. You did not know.
      Gwen: (Gwen shakes her head)
      Morgana: I would have sold my soul for someone to show me kindness such as this.

    • Queen Mab: You have a mind's eye, Emrys, you must learn to trust in it for far greater challenges lie ahead.
      Merlin: When we reach the Dark Tower?
      Queen Mab: If.

    • Queen Mab: You must beware, Emrys. The Tower is not a real place. It is the heart's rest, the mind's deepest fear, the stillness in the hummingbird's eye.
      Merlin: Stop talking in riddles.
      Queen Mab: Then I shall talk in rhyme. Heed my words with due concern, for one of you will not return.

    • Merlin: We need to head North.
      Arthur: And which way is that, Merlin?
      Merlin: That way.
      Arthur: No, it's... (He can tell by the sun that Merlin is right) ..over there. How on earth would you know that?
      Merlin: Sense of smell. When the wind is from the North, you can smell the sea.
      Arthur: That's ridiculous.
      Merlin: Trust me. Just this once.

    • Gwen: Why are you doing this?
      Morgana: Because we're friends, we always were.
      Gwen: Leave me alone.
      Morgana: Gwen?
      Gwen: What are you trying to do to me?
      Morgana: I'm helping you. I'm looking after you. I want nothing from you. Well, if you change your mind, let me know.

    • Gwen: Don't look. You'll be all right. Don't look. You'll be all right (Sobs) Don't look. Don't look. You'll be all right.

    • (Gwen is having an illusion)
      Arthur: Guinevere?
      Gwen: Oh, Arthur! No. I know it's not you. I know it's not you. I know it's not you. I know it's not you.
      Arthur: Guinevere... look at me.
      Gwen: I know it's not you.
      Arthur: Please.
      Gwen: I know it's not you.
      Arthur: It's me. It's Arthur.
      Gwen: I know it's not you.
      Arthur: See? It's me. It's Arthur. You're safe now (He laughs mockingly)
      (Gwen screams)

    • (Gwen is sobbing after having had a distressful vision)
      Morgana: It's all right. It's all right. I'm here. I'm here. My darling, I was wrong to make you suffer. The mandrake root is cruel. It pierces the depths of your soul, twisting your unconscious into the very image of fear and dread. Gwen, you've been so courageous, but it was necessary. Gwen, you're not alone now. You need never be alone again. I am the only one you can trust. I am all you have left in the world. The others taunt you, hate you. Come... you need some rest, some proper rest.
      Gwen: No! Whatever twisted game you're playing, I want no part in it. I would rather stay here and die.

    • Merlin: Something's wrong. It's too easy.
      Arthur: Are you ever happy?

    • Sir Elyan: I'll go first. I'll push on.
      Arthur: No, Elyan!
      Sir Elyan: None of us would even be here if it wasn't for me. I have to do this.

    • (A magical sword is preventing Elyan from freeing Gwen)
      Gwen: It will not let you pass. Morgana has enchanted it to protect me. You can't free me, Elyan. Leave me here. Please.
      Sir Elyan: No!
      Gwen: You cannot overcome it. It will fight to the death!

    • Sir Elyan: (Mortally wounded after fighting to free his sister) For a moment... I didn't think I was going to win.
      Gwen: Father would be proud of you.
      Sir Elyan: And of you. So proud (He dies)

    • Merlin: I was warned one of us would not return.
      Gaius: It's not your fault, Merlin.
      Merlin: Elyan is dead.
      Gaius: The sword that Elyan fell prey to was surely intended for Arthur. Now he's safe and so is Gwen.

    • Gwen: Arthur thinks he's won. He has no idea.
      Morgana: Do you understand now who you can trust?
      Gwen: It is you, Morgana. It has only ever been you.
      Morgana: You're not one of them and you never will be.
      Gwen: You don't know how much I hate them. All of them.
      Morgana: You've done well to see past the lies to the real truth. You've an important part to play in the future. Together we will ensure the destruction of everything Arthur holds dear.

  • NOTES (8)

    • Also Known As:
      Germany: Der Dunkle Turm.
      Poland: Mroczna wieza.
      Portugal: A Torre Negra.

    • This episode is the darkest of the show and the producers never thought of going any further. Their guideline is thinking of things that would fit in a PG Hollywood film.

    • The producers decided to kill Elyan off to make the show a true reflection of reality: the band of knights had been together for two series up to this point and it didn't feel right that there hasn't been any casualty among them. Choosing Elyan and this episode made for interesting drama since they could turn and twist Gwen's grief.

    • The producers of the show were aware of some of the legends where Gwen stands on the opposite side to Arthur, and they were inspired on those to write the enchanted storyline in.

    • The Great Dragon does not appear in this episode, but John Hurt is credited for the voice-over at the beginning of it.

    • Broadcasts:
      10 November 2012 at 20:05–20:50 on BBC One.
      16 November 2012 at 17:00-17:45 on BBC Three.

    • Filming locations:
      -Château de Pierrefonds, Pierrefonds, Oise, France (Camelot).
      -Cardiff, Wales, UK (Studio sets).
      -Brecon Beacons, Wales, UK (Tom's grave).
      -Forest of Compiegne, Oise, France (Morgana ambushes Gwen and the knights).
      -Fforest Fawr, Cardiff, Wales, UK (Forest scenes).
      -Trefil Quarry, Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent, Brecon Beacons, Wales, UK (Barren landscape around Dark Tower).
      -Margam Country Park, Margam, Port Talbot, Wales, UK (The Impenetrable Forest).
      -River Wye, Axe Edge Moor, Derbyshire, England, UK (The ridge from where Arthur looks out).
      -Caerphilly Castle, Castle Street, Caerphilly, Mid Glamorgan, Wales, UK (The Dark Tower – Exterior).
      -Speech House Lake, Spruce Ride, Ruspidge, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England (Elyan's resting place).
      -Puzzlewood, Forest of Dean, Coleford, Gloucestershire (Morgana and Gwen's meeting, last scene).

    • International Air Dates:
      Australia: November 18, 2012 on Channel 10.
      Canada: February 9th, 2013 on Space.
      USA: February 8, 2013 on Syfy.
      Turkey: March 17, 2013 on CNBC-e.