Morgana, utterly convinced that Alator of the Catha is the key to knowing where to find Emrys, leads a terrifying manhunt in pursuit of her old foe.
Merlin has never found himself in more danger. Is he to trust the mysterious Finna when she offers to help him or will he find himself cornered without escape?moreless
Voice of the Great Dragon
Goof: When the knights are goofing around with a helmet in the armoury, Arthur pulls Mordred aside to confide him a mission. However, later on both Mordred and Sir Leon are actually involved in the mission.
Kilgharrah is noticeably darker in colour than when series first began. In the first episode he is a dull gold, however he now appears a dull grey. By looking closely it can be told that his colour has been draining steadily for the past five seasons. This may be the result of age.
Goof: Merlin, Arthur and Gwen ride different horses when they arrive to the picnic and when they are back to Camelot.
Goof: Merlin rides a dark horse to the spot where he found the pin. However, as he is searching the woods, a different (lighter) horse can be seen.
Goof: The scroll that Finna holds in her hand is bigger and is tied with a different rope than the one that she attaches to the raven.
Goof: Merlin doesn't bleed out of his arrow wound.
Alator of the Catha comes from Helva in Odin's land where magic is practiced freely. The Catha are trained from birth to master all physical pain and they can resist physical torture by separating their mind from their body. For hundreds of years the Catha have guarded their ancient knowledge waiting for the right time to pass it on to Emrys since he is the only one who can carry their hopes into the great battle.
The Nathair serpent can cause the most exquisite pain not in the body of the victim but in their very soul. The snake was previously featured in episode 4x12 The Sword in the Stone Part 1.
Before the time of the Great Purge girls would be chosen at birth for the priesthood. They'd be taken away from their families and brought up as initiates in the Old Religion. Few succeeded to become High Priestesses for ordinary gifts were not enough. Only those possessed of exceptional magical power could ever hope to be one of The Nine. Those who failed were called the Bendrui and are practiced in potent magic.
In the old days there was a punishment born of powerful magic known as Ragaid, the ultimate warning from the High Priestess to her enemies. It made the victim's skin grow across their face until they were suffocated.
Finna and The Great Dragon are the ninth and tenth characters who address Merlin as 'Emrys'. Mordred did so in episodes 1x08 The Beginning of the End, episode 2x03 The Nightmare Begins, episode 2x11 The Witch's Quickening, episode 5x01 Arthur's Bane Part 1 and episode 5x02 Arthur's Bane Part 2, 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, The Cailleach in episode 4x01 The Darkest Hour, Part 1, Lochru in episode 5x01 Arthur's Bane Part 1, The Euchdag in episode 5x02 Arthur's Bane Part 2 and Queen Mab in 5x06 The Dark Tower.
Morgana (4x01, 4x07, 5x10), Alator of the Catha (4x07, 5x10), Agravaine (4x07) and Gaius (4x07, 5x10) have also referred to him as 'Emrys'.
This episode is the fifth time in which Arthur is referred to as The Once and Future King (by Finna). The Great Dragon did so in 1x01 The Dragon's Call, The Fisher King in 3x08 The Eye Of The Phoenix, Merlin in 4x11 The Hunter's Heart and Osgar in 5x05 The Disir.
Morgana: I was hoping for more of a challenge. There was a time when the name Alator struck fear even into the most courageous. Your skill as a torturer was unparalleled, did you know that?
Alator: That was nothing to be proud of.
Morgana: What was it you used to say? The victim always talks... eventually.
Alator: What do you want from me?
Morgana: I would have thought that was obvious. I want you to tell me where Emrys is...
Alator: I told you before... never.
Morgana: I was rather hoping you'd say that...
Arthur: Sometimes I forget how beautiful Camelot is. But never how beautiful my Queen is.
Merlin: (Gwen laughs and Merlin snorts)
Arthur: Was that you, Merlin?
Merlin: It was the horse.
Arthur: Because if you were mocking your King...
Merlin: I wasn't. I wouldn't.
Arthur: ...there's a special punishment reserved for such impudence.
(Merlin looks worried)
Arthur: (Laughs) You're too easy, Merlin. Every time.
Merlin: I haven't seen him this happy in a long time.
Gwen: Yes, he has changed, hasn't he?
Merlin: Yeah... I think he has.
Arthur: (Hitting him with a water skin) Sorry! Fill that up will you, Merlin?
Merlin: Perhaps he's not totally changed.
Arthur: I think my dog can catch better than you.
Merlin: Possibly because you treat him better.
Merlin: Something happened here.
Arthur: Stags marking their territory.
Merlin: No. This was caused by magic.
Arthur: Who knows about hunting, me or you? It's rutting season... half the trees in the forest will look like that.
Merlin: Why would Morgana attack Helva?
Arthur: She must have her reasons.
Merlin: That's one of the few places where magic is practised freely. Why would she attack her own?
Merlin: Something terrible happened there, Gaius. Something only the strongest magic could do. I could feel it.
Gaius: You're not suggesting Morgana is within Camelot's borders?
Merlin: Who else could it be?
Gaius: Don't go, Merlin, not on your own.
Merlin: I'll be fine.
Gaius: Take someone with you at least.
Merlin: If it is Morgana... then it won't make any difference who I take, will it?
Gaius: Alator. That's why Morgana attacked Helva. Alator was the prize she was after.
Merlin: But why risk so much for one man?
Gaius: There can only be one reason... to have him reveal who Emrys is.
Merlin: Alator would never betray me.
Gaius: Not willingly. But Morgana will use every power she has to break him. And even Cathas cannot resist forever.
Alator: You're wasting your time, Morgana. I will not tell you who Emrys is.
Morgana: Now we both know that's not true. Otherwise, why would I have spared your life?
Arthur: I'm going to surprise her: breakfast in bed.
Merlin: Oh. What a lovely thought.
Arthur: Where are you going?
Merlin: You don't need me, do you?
Arthur: I can't get very well go and get the breakfast, can I? What if she wakes and... panics?
Arthur: Just go and get it, all right? Merlin. Flowers. Don't forget the flowers.
Merlin: Of course. The personal touch. Nice.
Arthur: (Holding a tray with Gwen's breakfast) Good morning.
Merlin: That is so sweet.
Arthur: It's nothing (A noise can be heard) Who's there? Merlin! What do you think you're doing in the Royal chambers?
Merlin: I thought, um... I thought I heard voices.
Arthur: Maybe next time you'd be good enough to knock.
Merlin: Yes, Sire.
Gwen: (Aware that he has brought the breakfast in) Merlin. Thank you.
Arthur: My idea.
Merlin: She said Arthur's enemies were closer than I thought. Now, who else could she mean but Mordred?
Gaius: If she meant Mordred, why not say so?
Merlin: We were interrupted.
Gaius: She's drawing you in, Merlin. It's a trap. She knew your real name. There's only one explanation for that. Alator told Morgana who you really are and she has sent this woman to lure you to her.
Gaius: If something happened to you, we would all be lost!
Merlin: But if she can truly help me protect Arthur from Mordred and I refuse to go, would all not be lost then, too?
Gaius: It was I who told Alator of your true identity.
Merlin: You had no choice.
Gaius: And I cannot let that destroy you.
Merlin: You know I'd never do anything to hurt you, Gaius.
Finna: It is an honour to meet you, Emrys.
Merlin: How did you know my name?
Finna: From my master, Alator of the Catha. He sends you greetings. But also a warning. The great battle nears, the fate of Camelot rests in the balance. Only you, great Emrys, can ensure the triumph of the Once and Future King.
Arthur: You saw her but you lost her?
Mordred: She used magic, Sire.
Arthur: Even so there were how many of you? Six? Against one old woman.
Sir Leon: There were two of them, Sire.
Arthur: Oh, well that explains it!
Gaius: I told Arthur because I was worried about you, Merlin.
Merlin: She was working for Alator, not Morgana.
Gaius: How was I to know that?
Merlin: Because I told you.
Gaius: I acted like a foolish old man.
Merlin: No, never that (Hugs him).
Alator: I shall pass to the other world happy in the knowledge that you will never find Emrys. He is your destiny, Morgana, and he is your doom.
Morgana: (Reading Finna's letter) Do not fear, Alator. I have found Emrys. Our sacred mission continues. Your faithful servant, Finna.
You poor fool, Alator. Undone by a few scribbled words. Find this Finna. Bring her to me, alive. I will break her, Alator. Break her like a twig. How does it feel to know all your resistance was for nothing? Enjoy your other world (Kills him).
Sir Percival: This is hardly the time or place to be gathering herbs.
Merlin: You were grateful enough for them when Gaius cured your palsy.
Sir Percival: It wasn't palsy.
Merlin: I was being polite.
Mordred: Good morning. Though technically, I think it's still night.
Merlin: I was just...
Mordred: Relieving yourself?
Mordred: And you always put your boots on to do that, do you?
Merlin: I don't like splinters.
Mordred: You weren't collecting herbs either, were you? You don't have to explain yourself to me, Merlin. If you're willing to risk your life, it must be important.
Finna: When you've spent a lifetime running, you know all the places to hide.
Merlin: Running from... Arthur?
Finna: And from his father before him.
Merlin: It won't always be like this. Things will be better.
Finna: That is why I was sent... to help you make it so.
Merlin: Why are you doing this for me?
Finna: Without you, Emrys, Arthur cannot build the new world we all long for.
Finna: For hundreds of years the Catha have guarded their ancient knowledge. But now the time has come to pass it on to you, Emrys. For only you can carry their hopes into the great battle itself.
Merlin: How can I do that?
Finna: (Giving him a little box) Here. Guard it carefully. It will help you in the dark days to come.
Finna: (To Merlin) There is something else. Something Alator himself wanted me
to tell you. Don't make the same mistake as Arthur... do not trust the Druid boy.
Finna: If Morgana sees us together she will know who you are. That must never happen.
Merlin: Finna, please...
Finna: It is my destiny, Emrys, to serve you until the end. I could wish for nothing more.
Morgana: Finna... at last. I'm impressed. At your age, it's very spirited.
Finna: Stay away!
Morgana: But with age also comes wisdom. It's over. Tell me who Emrys is.
Finna: Never (She kills herself)
Merlin: For a second there I thought you weren't coming.
The Great Dragon: I would never forsake you, young Warlock.
Merlin: Your wing...
The Great Dragon: I am tired, Emrys, that is all. But I shall serve you as long as I have the strength.
Merlin: If you are ill I can heal you.
The Great Dragon: There are some things even a warlock as great as you cannot overcome. I am old, Emrys, my time has almost come.
The Great Dragon: It is the cycle of life, no more, no less.
Merlin: What will I do without you?
The Great Dragon: You will remember me.
Merlin: Will I see you again?
(The Great Dragon flies away)
Gaius: (Reading the Catha's message) Let loose the hounds of war. Let the dread fire of the Last Priestess rain down from angry skies, for brother will slaughter brother, for friend will murder friend, as the great horn sounds a cold dawn at Camlann. The prophets do not lie. There, Arthur will meet his end, upon that mighty plain.
Merlin: So many have suffered so that I may hear this...
Gaius: I think I know what's going through your mind, Merlin. That your destiny is almost too much for one man to bear.
Merlin: You... you always did know me best, Gaius.
Gaius: Be assured of one thing. There was never anyone more capable than you, Merlin. You will not fail.
Arthur: (About a man who has suffered a terrible death at the hands of Morgana) Why was this knight chosen? What had he done?
Gaius: He had done nothing, except be a knight of Camelot. It is a warning, Sire. A warning to the whole kingdom. Morgana has declared war.
Also Known As:
Poland: Dobroc nieznajomych.
Portugal: A Bondade de Estranhos.
According to Bradley James tossing the helmet around in the armoury wasn't an easy task because of the many columns that are part of the set.
Arthur pulls Mordred aside to confide him a mission which is made just for the sake of dramatic purposes because later on, both Mordred and Sir Leon are actually involved in the mission.
Rupert Young's nephew paid him a visit on set the day he turned 4 years old. The boy was very excited to meet Colin Morgan and he enjoyed tremendously witnessing how the fire scene in the woods was filmed. It required several takes and when they were filming it for the third time he shouted "and cut there" before the director had the chance to do it.
According to Bradley James the one disappointment of the show for him was not to see enough into the lives of the knights.
Bradley James found it quite freaky to stare at the knight whose skin had grown across his face at the end of the episode.
8 December 2012 at 19:55-20:40 on BBC One.
14 December 2012 at 19:00-19:45 on BBC Three.
-Château de Pierrefonds, Pierrefonds, Oise, France (Camelot).
-Cardiff, Wales, UK (Studio sets).
-Forest of Compiegne, Oise, France (Camelot forest).
-Cistercian abbey ruins at Margam Country Park, Margam, Port Talbot, Wales, UK (Old Temple of Erui).
-Caerphilly Castle, Castle Street, Caerphilly, Mid Glamorgan, Wales, UK (Old watchtower).
International Air Dates:
Australia: December 9, 2012 on Channel 10.
Canada: March 9th, 2013 on Space.
USA: May 10, 2013 on Syfy.
Turkey: April 14, 2013 on CNBC-e.
The episode title, The Kindness Of Strangers, is an allusion to a line by Blanche Dubois in Tennessee William's play A Streetcar Named Desire (which ran - and continues to run - on Desire Street in New Orlenas, Louisiana, where the play is set): "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers." It is undoubtably the most famous line in the play and one of the most famous in the history of the American Stage.
Finna: (To Merlin) Only you great Emrys can ensure the triumph of the Once and Future King.
It is a reference to the supposed inscription over King Arthur's grave: "HIC IACET ARTHURUS REX QUONDAM REXQUE FUTURUS" (Here lies Arthur, the once and future king).
Also, T.H. White wrote an Arthurian fantasy novel published in 1958 and entitled The Once and Future King.
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