Season 5 Episode 8

The Hollow Queen

Aired Unknown Nov 24, 2012 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
61 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


When Merlin decides to take a young Druid boy under his wing, he is forced to leave Camelot on a dangerous mission, trusting that no one will notice his absence since the citadel is distracted by the visit of the fearsome Sarrum of Amata.

However, Merlin soon begins to suspect that there might be more to Daegal than meets the eye and realizes with horror that he might have made a terrible mistake for a man as ruthless as the Sarrum shouldn't ever be trusted.

Will Merlin be able to set things right before it's too late?


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  • The Epic Exit

    This entire series is amazing, I love how well they connect each episode to the next. Merlin walking slow mo as the episode ended with extreme seriousness as he plans on what to do next. That was priceless. The rest of the story was good too :D.
  • The Hollow Queen

    The Hollow Queen was a superb and dark episode of Merlin. I really enjoyed watching because there was a lot of great character and plot development. It was interesting to see how far Gwen would go and how loyal to Morgana she really is. I liked seeing Merlin try to help a boy who was in trouble and it ended up being a bigger experience for both of them. The last few scenes with the assassin were pretty cool. I also liked the ending. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • How many ways can you find to kill of one king?

    I can't help but feel bored by the new episodes. It doesn't make all THAT much sense for Gwen to suddenly hate Arthur, the time in the tower might have made her mistrust him or question whether her escape was real and sympathize more with Morgana, but the hatred is not convincing and still very much unexplained. The plot is getting VERY repititive and predictable. Try to kill Arthur, Merlin gets in the way. Rinse and repeat forever. I also don't like this trend of characters dying just because they don't have any specific relevance for the plot. So they don't want to expand the cast, fine. But still this is getting ridiculous and non-believable. Out of the sheer NUMBER of positive characters associated with magic and/or knowing about Merlin's there ought to be one to stay alive and live quietly somewhere else. Only the bad guys live on it seems, in case they need someone else with a grudge. Also Merlin constantly feeding and tending to the Druid boy was overdone and cheesy and unneccessary. Arthur comes across as a moron, who is easily manipulated and doesn't challenge other people's plans and opinions other than to create some problems for Merlin.

    I liked the previous seasons better as there was more variety to the episodes and plottwists. This "traitor in our midst" thing is getting old. Morgana leading a revolution would be interesting, trying to give herself a public image and challenge Arthur for her legal right to the throne. Someone new joining the group to add at least SOME new side plots to keep the viewer entertained while the necessary schmoop of the main plot gets furthered...

    After watching this episode in particular I feel just vastly bored and dissappointed.moreless
  • A clever title goes here!

    Not really a fan of where this series is going! They seem to keep repeating storylines - someone helps Merlin, they find out about his magic, they die. Then Merlin doesn't get credited for his magic. I thought some of the scenes were cringe-inducing and deviated from what was previously set in canon, such as Arthur not being able to get dressed on his own even though he has done so many times before. Time is running out for this show and I will be so disappointed if it ends without a magic reveal. I didn't enjoy much about this episode at all and it's my least favourite of the season so far.moreless
  • Morgana's story needs to excel... and soon!

    The amount of pity I have for Morgana out weighs my interest in her storyline. For nearly three years this woman has tried to destroy Arthur, and has failed at every attempted. Will this cycle of revenge ever end? I favoured last season because he lines between villain and hero were blurred even more. Arthur's Uncle was very good, although he was Morgana's weakness. I would love to see more villain's in the show. I though perhaps Merlin might find a love interest.

    The Queen is brilliant at play the doting wife one minute and then a poisonous snake the next. I am intrigued as to how this will end. But knowing Merlin nothing serious will happen.moreless
John Shrapnel

John Shrapnel

The Sarrum

Guest Star

Matthew Clancy

Matthew Clancy


Guest Star

Mitch Benn

Mitch Benn


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)

    • Goof: In the scene where Merlin is bandaging Daegal's arm, the bandage Merlin puts on Daegal's arm is knotted/positioned differently in front shots and back shots.

    • Goof: In the scene where Merlin breaks into convulsions, he can be seen holding Daegal's hand against his chest with his left hand in the long shots and his right one in the close ups.

    • This is the second time in which Mordred (Alexander Vlahos) has no lines in an episode after 5x06 The Dark Tower.

    • The Sarrum does have a reputation of taking joy in impaling men, women and children and for having a fondness for assassinating his friends. Even Uther feared him.
      It is The Sarrum who captured Morgana and kept her like an animal, using her only weakness (Aithusa) to prevent her from using magic against him. Her love for the dragon caused her to suffer more than she ever imagined possible but she managed to escape due to a lapse on the Sarrum's part.
      Captivity time in a small pit made Aithusa grow deformed, becoming crippled and twisted and crying in heartbreaking agony.

    • Guillyflowers are Gwen's favourite.

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

    • Goof: Gwen inserts a key on a keyhole to lock a door but the key doesn't turn.

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

    • This episode features a previously seen scene (Morgana and Aithusa's captivity) from episode 5x02 Arthur's Bane Part 2.

    • This is the first time in which Sir Gwaine (Eoin Macken) does not appear in an episode since the Round Table was formed in episode 3x13 The Coming of Arthur Part 2 and the second time for Sir Percival (Tom Hopper) after episode 4x07 The Secret Sharer.

  • QUOTES (36)

    • Sir Leon: Stop! Show yourself.
      Gwen: Oh, he's just a boy.
      Sir Leon: Out here in the middle of the night?
      Gwen: There's no need for your sword. Come. Where are you going?
      Daegal: Been catching frogs.
      Sir Leon: Frogs?
      Gwen: It's a full moon, Leon. We used to do it (To Daegal) Come on, you should be in bed. Off you go.

    • Gwen: (Finding their bed decorated with garlands of flowers) Oh, Arthur, that is so sweet. You've gone to all this trouble. And gillyflowers, my favourite. You remembered.
      Arthur: Mm-hm.
      Gwen: (Embracing him) Have you missed me?
      Arthur: Merlin, erm... it's late. You should probably get some sleep.
      Gwen: Thank you, Sire.
      Arthur: Oh, Merlin, before you go, I'd love a hot bath.
      Gwen: Certainly, my Lady.
      Arthur: (She giggles as Arthur picks her up in his arms and carries her to their bed).

    • Merlin: Who are you?
      Daegal: My name is Daegal.
      Merlin: How did you get in here?
      Daegal: It wasn't difficult.
      Merlin: Really? Get out.
      Daegal: Please, it's my sister, she's sick. She needs a Physician.
      Merlin: Then bring her to Gaius.
      Daegal: I can't (Shows a Druid symbol on his wrist) It's too dangerous for our kind. I need you to come with me. She needs your help or she will die.

    • Gaius: You don't even know who this boy is!
      Merlin: He's a Druid.
      Gaius: He broke into the castle like a thief.
      Merlin: How else was he going to reach me?
      Gaius: And to journey to the Valley of the Fallen Kings, Merlin... it's a den of murderers, cut-throats...
      Merlin: It is dangerous.
      Gaius: It's a long way north of dangerous!
      Merlin: What am I supposed to do, let this girl die?

    • Daegal: Won't you get in trouble?
      Merlin: No.
      Daegal: But you're the King's servant.
      Merlin: Arthur won't even notice I'm gone.

    • Arthur: Merlin!
      Gwen: What is it?
      Arthur: I can't find my comb.
      Gwen: Have you looked?
      Arthur: Everywhere.
      Gwen: (Gwen finds it on a bedside table)
      Arthur: It must have been under something.
      Gwen: Your nose.
      Arthur: You just have this way of seeing things.
      Gwen: Yes, two of them. They're called eyes.
      Arthur: And very beautiful they are, too.
      Gwen: Don't try and get out of this.
      Arthur: Out of what?
      Gwen: How hopeless you are.
      Arthur: I am, I'm hopelessly in love.

    • Gaius: He's gone in pursuit of a young agrimonia.
      Arthur: A what?
      Gaius: Agrimonia, Sire. A noble but shy plant, not easy to find. It could take him all day.
      Arthur: All day?
      Gaius: It is invaluable, Sire. Its properties open up both the liver and the spleen.
      Arthur: He's in the tavern, isn't he?
      Gaius: No, Sire!
      Arthur: Well, when he's finished opening up his liver and his spleen, tell him he has exactly one hour to sober up and get to my chambers.

    • Daegal: Gaius taught you well. You're lucky to have him.
      Merlin: I am.

    • (Merlin hasn't returned yet)
      Arthur: How am I meant to get dressed?
      Gaius: Well, surely that's not too difficult, Sire.
      Arthur: Really? You think you can do it? Right,come on then, Gaius (He removes his shirt, bends down and stretches his arms in front of him). Shirt. Quickly.
      (Gaius picks a white garment from the screen and helps Arthur into it)
      Arthur: What are you doing?
      Gaius: It's stuck.
      Arthur: It can't be.
      Gaius: It's too small!
      (The garment rips)
      Arthur: It's Guinevere's night dress.

    • Daegal: Why are you being like this? People I've met, they're...not like you. They don't care. I don't matter.
      Merlin: Don't ever think that. We all matter.

    • Arthur: (About The Sarrum of Amata) We do share one thing: our hatred for Morgana.

    • Gaius: Given the Sarrum's reputation, are you certain it's wise to seek an alliance?
      Arthur: If we're to achieve peace in the five kingdoms, we've got little choice. I don't agree with his regime, Gaius, but dealing with him may be the only way of achieving our aims.
      Gaius: You're right, of course. You are becoming a true statesman, Arthur. I hope you realise that.

    • Arthur: I'll tell you this, Gaius: the Sarrum wouldn't put up with an idle-brained servant like Merlin.

    • Merlin: (Using telepathy) Daegal! Bandits! Get down! (Reaches out for him and puts him to safety)
      Daegal: What are you doing?
      Merlin: Sush! Didn't you hear me?
      Daegal: No. Thank you. You saved my life.

    • The Sarrum: The last time I met you, you were ten years old. Uther held a tournament in your honour.
      Arthur: I fight my own tournaments now.
      The Sarrum: Well, we shall enjoy putting you to the test.

    • Morgana: You've done well. I knew it wouldn't be difficult. Merlin has a weakness for outcasts, especially Druids.
      Daegal: Why are you doing this?
      Morgana: Because Merlin has meddled in my plans once too often (Pours some poison in Merlin's mouth) The agony you feel... you'll be glad when death comes.
      Daegal: Are you really going to kill the King?
      Morgana: Hold your tongue. Not a word of this to anyone. You're forgetting I still have a few drops left.

    • The Sarrum: Such a shame. All that power, all that beauty, abandoned and forgotten in a living grave.
      Arthur: You're a harsh judge, Lord Sarrum.
      The Sarrum: When it comes to sorcery, we must be merciless. I was not merciless enough. Morgana escaped.

    • Gwen: What of Merlin?
      Morgana: He's gone to his death, along with everything he knows.

    • Morgana: (To Gwen) We must act quickly. We cannot afford an alliance between Amata and Camelot. It will put the throne beyond my reach forever.

    • Morgana: What is troubling you?
      Gwen: The Sarrum. Are we right to enlist such a man? Is there not another way?
      Morgana: Do you not see how perfect this plan is? The Sarrum's reputation precedes him. There's no deadlier assassin in the Five Kingdoms. Arthur will not stand a chance.
      Gwen: Are you sure he'll agree?
      Morgana: You're forgetting how well I know this man. For two years, his was the only voice I heard. I know the Sarrum, I know his lust for power. He will not refuse your offer. He will think he can control you but he will reckon without me.
      Gwen: And once Arthur is dead?
      Morgana: The knights will turn on your guest and make you their queen. But you must promise me something. You must make sure the Sarrum's last moments are filled with agony.
      Gwen: It will be my pleasure.

    • (Gwen is helping Arthur getting dressed)
      Arthur: You're much better at this than Gaius.
      Gwen: I was a servant, remember?
      Arthur: You were always more than that.

    • Arthur: I want Merlin back. Where is he?
      Gwen: You mustn't be hard on him.
      Arthur: I am a bit worried. You don't think something's happened to him, do you?
      Gwen: He's probably overworked. Maybe you just once let him enjoy himself.
      Arthur: You're right.

    • Gwen: Your man showed great skill to beat my husband.
      The Sarrum: The men of Amata are born with swords in their hands.
      Gwen: I can't help but believe that Camelot would benefit from a leader like you. You should have let him die.
      The Sarrum: I must have misheard you.
      Gwen: I don't think so.
      The Sarrum: You're not happy with your husband?
      Gwen: I'd be happy if he died tomorrow. If someone could make that happen, I would ensure that they were richly rewarded.

    • Merlin: You came back... why?
      Daegal: I couldn't leave you to die.
      Merlin: It's too late.
      Daegal: No, I can help. You're a Physician. You tell me what to do.

    • Gaius: Merlin... I haven't seen him since yesterday morning.
      Gwen: Oh, dear. I do hope there isn't anything wrong.
      Gaius: I was wondering perhaps if we should send out a search party.
      Gwen: I'm sure there's no need just yet, especially with the Sarrum here. Given his reputation, I think it best we keep the garrison at full strength.

    • Gwen: I have a simple proposition, one that would be mutually beneficial. You kill Arthur, I assume the throne and, in gratitude, give over one third of Camelot's lands to Amata.
      The Sarrum: You think the people will accept this?
      Gwen: Without a king, I will insist that it's a necessary price for our protection.
      The Sarrum: And the Knights?
      Gwen: They will remain loyal to me. They'll do whatever I say.
      The Sarrum: How do we kill him? The king is surrounded by armed guards at all times.
      Gwen: Guards who answer to me. You appoint the assassin, I will deliver the means.

    • Daegal: You have to believe me. I did not know what Morgana intended.
      Merlin: You betrayed me.
      Daegal: She offered me money. You've seen what it's like.
      Merlin: Do you know what Morgana's planning?
      Daegal: No. I met the lady Morgana and the Queen only once.
      Merlin: I don't believe you. Please, whatever you know...
      Daegal: I think they mean to kill the king.

    • Gerin: You don't even have a sword!
      Merlin: I don't need one (Blasts him away using his magic)

    • The Sarrum: (To Albin) Arthur will be dead by sundown and then... all that stands in our way is a serving girl who plays at being a Queen.

    • Daegal: You have magic, Merlin.
      Merlin: Yes.
      Daegal: And you live in Camelot? Does anyone know?
      Merlin: Only Gaius.
      Daegal: Not Arthur?
      Merlin: No. If he ever found out, he'd probably hang me.
      Daegal: But you still help him?
      Merlin: I have to. It's my job.
      Daegal: When he would kill you?
      Merlin: In his heart, he is a good man. And I know that one day he'll bring about a world we all dream of.
      Daegal: It must be hard.

    • Gwen: What's happened?
      Arthur: Merlin's gone missing.
      Gwen: Oh, I knew I should have said something. Arthur, I feel terrible. This is my fault. I know where Merlin is.
      Arthur: Where?
      Gwen: I shouldn't say. I promised him I wouldn't, but... he's gone to visit someone.
      Arthur: Who?
      Gwen: He's not in danger. He's seeing a girl.
      Arthur: Merlin?
      Gwen: Gaius, I'm sorry but there is no reason to worry.
      Arthur: Except for the poor girl.

    • (Daegal has taken care of Merlin's leg wound)
      Merlin: You've done well.
      Daegal: Really? I don't think I've done many good things in my life.
      Merlin: Well, you've done something good now.

    • Merlin: The gift.
      Daegal: Must be from my mother.
      Merlin: So that bit was true?
      Daegal: It was all true, except about my sister.
      Merlin: She isn't sick?
      Daegal: I don't have a sister.
      Merlin: And you're mother... she wasn't a Druid?
      Daegal: No, but she was like you. She had magic... and Uther killed her for it.

    • Daegal: Did I save Arthur?
      Merlin: Yeah.
      Daegal: Did I do something good?
      (Merlin nods)
      Daegal: Finally, eh? (Dies)
      Merlin: You did.

    • Arthur: I still can't believe how lucky I was. I owe that boy my life and I don't know who he was or where he's from. We need to make sure we give him a decent burial.
      Merlin: I'll do that. If you'll allow me the time.
      Arthur: Oh, so you can go and visit that girl again.
      Merlin: What?
      Arthur: Girl.
      Merlin: I don't have one.
      Arthur: That's not what Guinevere tells me. So, why don't you tell us all about her?
      Merlin: Right.

    • (After burying Daegal)
      Merlin: His life had hardly begun. It can't go on, Gaius.
      Gaius: Gwen?
      Merlin: We have to do something about her.
      Gaius: Yes, but the question is what?

  • NOTES (13)