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Season 2 Episode 13

The Last Dragonlord

Aired Unknown Dec 19, 2009 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
245 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

The Great Dragon has been set free and fully enraged turns his violent hatred towards Camelot without pity.

The castle is crumbling down and Arthur and his men realize they won't be able to hold out for much longer. The only way to defeat the Dragon appears to be a Dragonlord, but Uther wiped them all out of the kingdom years ago. However, Gaius admits that there might be one of them alive and hiding.

The last Dragonlord becomes not only the only hope of future for Camelot but also a key to Merlin's own past. Will Arthur and Merlin manage to find Balinor in time to save the kingdom and persuade him to return to Camelot to save his enemy, Uther?moreless

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  • This episode almost brought tears to my eyes

    Watch it and you will understand. It is my favourite episode of Merlin, and I am sure it is right up there for most other Merlin fans too.
  • Tears and smiles

    The Last Dragonlord is definitely my favourite episode so far. Not only did Merlin find his father, but the actor (Colin Morgan) showed fantastic acting talent and the ability to express a vast variety of emotions. Superb.

    Merlin and Arthur's bromance is fascinating.
  • A episode with a bad development and a weak argument.

    All we knew that in this episode, Balinor was gonna be related to Merlin in some way. And well, It happened that he was Merlin father, oh no bad. But there is nothign more in this episodes, a new character that came and and fall in seconds, in absurds ways. There is no new history in this episode, we don't know nothing about Morgana and Morgouse, there are a lot of moments when Merlin could say to Arthur about his magic, and It's time for that. That Arthur become part of the Merlin secret.

    The only good things, but it had to be better show it, was that Uther needed magic to figth magic.moreless
  • A great season finale for a great season! This episode had everthing: good sword fights and action, great scenes between my favourite characters Arthur and Merlin, a lot of dramatic moments.moreless

    A great season finale for a great season! This episode had everthing: good sword fights and action, great scenes between my favourite characters Arthur and Merlin, a lot of dramatic moments. Colin Morgan gave an amazing performance. You just got carried away with his character. Great acting, incredible mimics! I also enjoyed the change in the interaction between Arthur and Merlin. For the first time we have Arthur concerned for Merlins state of mind all the way through the episode. Besides Arthur comes to realize that he enjoys Merlins company and that on some level they are friends. That is a major development. But because I enjoyed this development so much I started thinking why can't Merlin tell Arthur the truth about Balinor? It would be a relativley innocent secret shared among them. It just feels that the secrets between Arthur and Merlin are keep piling up and don't you think there will be a point of no return. A point where even if Merlin reveals his secret the rift between them is too big for Arthur to trust Merlin. After all, at this point Arthur actually does know almost nothing about Merlin. I think this is a bit unfair. Hasn't Arthur earned himself some trust by now?! Now we have to wait a very long time for the next season what is very cruel I must say! I am very curious about what Morgana will be up to. For the first time I will be looking forward about episodes concerning her. In the past I found the episodes about Morgana rather unintressting. So I am really happy the writers dared burning the bridge with her. It will be awesome to see her on the dark side.

    Also what will Merlin do when he needs help with magic? The great dragon is no longer available to help. How will that go?

    But besides all this Arthur has to learn some more about Merlin. It would be very dissapointing when they would fall back to their old routine. I am looking forward to a great new season 3!moreless
  • The last Dragon Lord is the only hope for Camelot

    This episode was excellent, the action and drama were in perfect balance. It was a perfect end to a good season and nice way to show the development Arthur and Merlin's friendship has had.

    For the First time the Series has shown the evil with which Uther persuade those with magic, it showed the deep scars that justifies why they want him dead and for once we saw a good character with magic who wants Uther dead for plausible reasons not just the torrent of Evil Witches and Warlocks who are more interested in killing anyone whether they side with Uther or not.

    The development of Arthur and Gwen's relationship has been slow and laboured but this episode showed it in a very nice way without resorting to a cliché.

    I do however have one small problem with the episode and the missed potential. Like I said before, this is the episode that fully showcases Uther's evil and the consequences of his actions. It would have had been better if the episode had at least another subplot with people starting to blame Uther or at least realising that magical beings both human and Fauna are simply fighting for their right. It should have shown Arthur's disapproval of his father's action and a small desire to know the truth behind magic.

    It should have saved as a small hint to the beginning of Arthur's eventual trust in the neutrality of magic and the faults of his father by making the dragon lord say his speech in front of him of how he was persecuted.

    Overall a great episode with just one missed opportunity. The emotional side of Merlin was perfectly shown here.moreless
Jonathan Coyne

Jonathan Coyne


Guest Star

Alexander Delamere

Alexander Delamere


Guest Star

John Lynch

John Lynch


Guest Star

John Hurt

John Hurt

Voice of the Great Dragon

Recurring Role

Rupert Young

Rupert Young

Sir Leon

Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (16)

    • During this episode Arthur saves Gwen's life, Balinor saves Merlin's and Merlin saves Arthur's.

    • Arthur calls Merlin 'a riddle'. Gaius had called Merlin the same thing in episode 1x08 The Beginning of the End.

    • When the episode begins, Camelot has been under the dragon's attack for 3 days. 49 men and 27 women have died and 18 women and children are unaccounted for. The castle is at the verge of collapse.

    • Dragons, contrary to other creatures of magic, are monsters immune to Merlin's powers. They can only be tamed by Dragonlords.

    • Balinor lives in Cenred's kingdom, beyond the forest of Merendra inside a cave to the foot of the Feorre mountain, in the border town of Engerd.

    • Camelot and Cenred's kingdom are at war, their peace treaty no longer holds.

    • The Dragonlords were men who could talk to the dragons and tame them. Uther thought that the art of the Dragonlord was too close to magic so he had them all slaughtered. However, Gaius helped Balinor escape.

    • The Great Dragon is known to have the name Kilgharrah.

    • Being a Dragonlord is a secret gift from the Old Religion that is only acquired as it is handed down from fathers to sons. Balinor, the last Dragonlord, is Merlin's father. When he dies, Merlin acquires the gift and becomes the last Dragonlord himself.

    • A dragon's heart is at their right side instead of at their left.

    • Goof: Arthur requests the help of a dozen Knights to fight the Great Dragon. However, 13 of them step up and stand in circle around them. Later on, when they are seen riding out of Camelot, there are only 9 Knights following him. Also, it is very clear that it is not Colin Morgan himself riding the horse but his stunt, who has longer hair than him.

    • Merlin rides out with Arthur and the Knights to fight the Dragon, however he is not provided with any kind of armour for such a dangerous mission. In episode 1x10 The Moment of Truth he wore a chainmail to fight Kanen's men.

    • It seems contradictory for the Great Dragon to try to kill Arthur once and again during this episode after he has been helping Merlin protect his life all along both series.

    • Both Merlin and The Great Dragon are the last of their kind.

    • The Great Dragon predicts that his path will cross Merlin's again.

    • The events that Merlin witnessed in the crystal of Neahtid during episode 2x11 The Witch's Quickening come true: the Great Dragon is free and turning his fury against Camelot which is on the verge of collapse and Merlin cries what is revealed to be the death of his father.

  • QUOTES (32)

    • (As they tend to wounded people as a consequence of the Great Dragon's attacks)
      Gwen: I don't think people can suffer a third night of this.
      Gaius: We must trust in Arthur.
      Gwen: I do. But even he has little chance.

    • (Merlin feels responsible for having freed the Great Dragon while Arthur and his knights risk their lives to fight him)
      Merlin: I'm sorry you're having to do this.
      Arthur: Why? You're not to blame.

    • (Merlin casts a spell and throws a lance to the Dragon)
      The Great Dragon: Do not imagine that your petty magic can harm me!
      Merlin: Why are you doing this? You're killing innocent people!

    • (Gwen is tending to Arthur's wounds after protecting her from the attack of the Great Dragon)
      Gwen: You shouldn't have risked your life.
      Arthur: I wasn't going to let anything happen to you.
      (She pulls her hand back from his wound but he grabs it and holds it against his chest, stroking her hand affectionately. Gaius looks on and smiles)..

    • Uther: There must be some way to rid ourselves of this aberration. Gaius?
      Gaius: We need a Dragonlord, Sire.
      Uther: You know very well that's not an option.
      Gaius: Sire, what if... there was indeed one last Dragonlord left?
      Uther: That's not possible.
      Gaius: But if there was?
      Uther: What are you saying?
      Gaius: It may be just rumour...
      Uther: Go on.
      Gaius: I'm not exactly sure, but I think his name is Balinor.

    • Arthur: I will not stand by and watch my men die when I had the chance to save them.
      Uther: I have given you my orders.
      Arthur: Do not make this a test of wills, Father.
      Uther: I am not talking to you as a father, I am talking to you as a King!
      Arthur: I will ride immediately.
      Uther: My concern is for you.
      Arthur: Mine is for Camelot.

    • Merlin: Who were the Dragonlords? Gaius?
      Gaius: There were once men who could talk to the dragons, tame them.
      Merlin: What happened to them?
      Gaius: Uther believed that the art of the Dragonlord was too close to magic, so he had them all rounded up... and slaughtered.
      Merlin: But one survived.(Pause) How did you know?
      Gaius: I helped him escape.

    • Gaius: I've always treated you as my son. But that is not what you are. The man you are going to look for... is your father.
      Merlin: My father...?
      Gaius: Yes.
      Merlin: He was a Dragonlord? Why did no-one ever tell me?
      Gaius: I've wanted to. Your mother feared it would be too dangerous.
      Merlin: I had a right to know.
      Gaius: She wanted to protect you.
      Merlin: No. I had a right to know.

    • Gaius: Merlin, whatever happens, you must not let Arthur know who this man is. Uther would view the son of a Dragonlord with the deepest suspicion.

    • Arthur: It pains me to admit it, but I do enjoy your surly retorts. In fact, it is probably your only redeemable feature.
      Merlin: Thanks.
      Arthur: There are loads of servants who can serve, but so few are capable of making a complete prat of themselves.

    • Arthur: What is it?
      Merlin: Nothing.
      Arthur: It's something. Tell me. All right, I know I'm a prince... so we can't be friends. But if I wasn't a prince...
      Merlin: What?
      Arthur: Well, then... I think we'd probably get on.
      Merlin: So?
      Arthur: So that means you can tell me.
      Merlin: That's true. But, you see, if you weren't a prince, I'd tell you to mind your own damn business.

    • Balinor: What do you want from me?
      Merlin: Are you Balinor? The Great Dragon is attacking Camelot.
      Balinor: His name is Kilgharrah.
      Merlin: We can't stop him. Only you, a Dragonlord, can.
      Balinor: He does not act blindly. He kills for a reason, vengeance. This is of Uther's making.

    • Balinor: Uther pursued me. He hunted me like an animal.
      Merlin: I know.
      Balinor: What d'you know about anybody's life, boy?! Uther asked me to use my power to bring the last dragon to Camelot. He said he wanted to make peace with it, but he did not. He lied to me. He betrayed me. And you want me to protect this man?
      Merlin: I want you to protect Camelot.
      Balinor: He killed every one of my kind, I alone escaped.

    • Balinor: There is a place called Ealdor.
      Merlin: Yes.
      Balinor: I had a life there. A woman... A good woman. Ealdor is beyond Uther's realm but still he pursued me. Why would he not let me be? What was it that I had done, that he wanted to destroy the life I'd built, abandon the woman I loved? He sent Knights to kill me. I was forced to come here... to this. So... I understand how Kilgharrah feels. He's lost every one of his kind, every one of his kin. You want to know how that feels? Look around, boy. Let Uther die. Let Camelot fall.

    • Merlin: You want everyone in Camelot to die?
      Balinor: Why should I care?
      Merlin: What if one of them was your son?
      Balinor: I don't have a son.
      Merlin: And if I told you...
      Arthur: (Comes around and interrupts the conversation) Merlin... Merlin... (Coughs)

    • Gaius: Are you missing Morgana?
      (Gwen smiles)
      Gaius: She's stronger than people think. I believe that, wherever she is, she'll be all right.
      Gwen: And Arthur?
      Gaius: You care a lot for him, don't you?
      Gwen: Everyone does.
      Gaius: I think he cares the same way about you. (Gwen looks down and smiles) It's all right, I won't tell anyone.
      Gwen: I know it can never be.
      Gaius: Well, the world is a strange place, Guinevere. Never underestimate the power of love. I've seen it change many things.

    • Balinor: I will not help Uther.
      Arthur: Then the people of Camelot are damned!
      Balinor: So be it.
      Arthur: Have you no conscience?
      Balinor: You should ask that question of your father.
      Merlin: And you are no better than him.

    • Arthur: I always thought that silence would be a blessing with you, but I find it just as irritating. You're a riddle, Merlin.
      Merlin: A riddle?
      Arthur: Yes, but I've got to quite like you.
      Merlin: Yeah?
      Arthur: Now I realise you're not as big a fool as you look.
      Merlin: Yeah. I feel the same. Now that I realise you're not as arrogant as you sound.

    • Balinor: You were right, Merlin. There are some in Camelot who risked their lives for me. I owe a debt that must be repaid.

    • Merlin: You spoke of Ealdor. You took refuge with a woman.
      Balinor: That was a long time ago.
      Merlin: I grew up there.
      Balinor: Ealdor?
      Merlin: Yes. I know the woman.
      Balinor: Hunith? She is still alive?
      Merlin: Yes. She's my mother.
      Balinor: Then she married (Bittersweet) That's good.
      Merlin: She never married. I'm your son.
      Balinor: I don't know what it is to have a son.
      Merlin: Or I a father.

    • Merlin: Why did you never return?
      Balinor: I thought her life would be better without me.
      Merlin: Why?
      Balinor: Uther wanted me dead. If he'd found me, he'd have killed me and your mother. I wanted her to be safe.
      Merlin: We could've come with you.
      Balinor: And what kind of life would you have had here?
      Merlin: We'd have been... happy.

    • Merlin: How did you become a Dragonlord?
      Balinor: You don't choose to become a Dragonlord, it's not something you're taught. It's a sacred gift. For thousands of years, it's been handed down from father to son. And that is what you must now become, Merlin.
      Merlin: I would like that.
      Balinor: Like all Dragonlords, you won't know for sure that you have that power until you face your first dragon.

    • (Balinor is mortally wounded after having saved Merlin's life)
      Balinor: When you face the Dragon... remember... be strong. A dragon's heart is on its right side, not its left.
      Merlin: (Crying) I can't do it alone.
      Balinor: Listen to me. You are my son. I've seen enough in you to know you will make me proud (He dies)

    • Arthur: All is not lost, Father. We have to fight the monster ourselves, so let us ride out and fight on our own terms on open ground, on horseback, where we can manoeuvre better.
      Uther: There is no point.
      Arthur: So what? We stand here and watch Camelot fall?
      Uther: You have my blessing.
      Arthur: I need a dozen Knights. Those who do not wish to fight can do so without stain on their character, for those brave enough to volunteer should know... the chances of returning are slim.
      (Several knights step up and stand in a circle around him)

    • Merlin: He said the Dragonlord's gift is passed from father to son.
      Gaius: That is true.
      Merlin: When I faced the Great Dragon... my magic was useless.
      Gaius: Your father wasn't dead. It's only then you can inherit his powers.
      Merlin: You think I am strong enough to stand up to him?
      Gaius: Only time will tell.

    • (Arthur has misunderstood the reasons behind Merlin's tears when Balinor was killed)
      Arthur: Merlin, if I die... please...
      Merlin: What?
      Arthur: The Dragonlord today. I saw you. One thing I tell all my young Knights... no man is worth your tears.
      Merlin: (Teasingly) Yeah. You're certainly not.

    • Arthur: What are you doing?
      Merlin: I'm coming with you.
      Arthur: Merlin, the chances are I'm going to die.
      Merlin: Yeah, you probably would if I wasn't there.
      Arthur: Right!
      Merlin: Do you know how many times I had to save your Royal backside?
      Arthur: Well, at least you've got your sense of humour back. Are you really going to face this dragon with me?
      Merlin: I'm not going to sit here and watch. I know it's hard for you to understand how I feel, but... well, I care a hell of a lot about that armour. I'm not going to let you mess it up.

    • (Merlin recalls Balinor's words before facing the Great Dragon)
      Balinor: You are the last Dragonlord now. You alone carry the ancient gift. Deep within yourself you must find the voice that you and Kilgharrah share, for your soul and his are brothers. When you speak to him as kin, he must obey your will.

    • The Great Dragon: I am the last of my kind, Merlin. Whatever wrongs I have done, do not make me responsible for the death of my noble breed.
      Merlin: Go! Leave! If you ever attack Camelot again, I will kill you. I have shown you mercy. Now you must do the same to others.
      The Great Dragon: Young warlock, what you have shown is what you will be. I will not forget your clemency. I'm sure our paths will cross again.

    • Arthur: (Comes around after Merlin has tamed the Great Dragon) What happened?
      Merlin: You dealt him a mortal blow.
      Arthur: He's gone?
      Merlin: Yeah. You did it.
      (Both laugh)

    • Gwen: (Runs to Arthur's encounter as he returns from fighting the Great Dragon and hugs him) I thought I'd lost you.

    • Merlin: I felt him there with me, Gaius.
      Gaius: He will always be with you.
      Merlin: I hope so.
      Gaius: Merlin, I know I can never compare with your father, but for what it's worth... you've still got me.
      Merlin: Well, I suppose I'll just have to make do.
      (Both smile)

  • NOTES (19)

    • According to Colin Morgan, he would have loved to keep the wooden dragon that Balinor carves for Merlin.

    • Since this episode is some 5 minutes longer than usual, time restrictions made its USA broadcast on Syfy had the scene where Merlin tells Arthur that he is going to fight the dragon with him cut out.

    • This episode is Johnny Capps' favourite from series 2.

    • According to David Davis, assistant script editor, the spell that Merlin uses to tame the Great Dragon means: 'I command you to stop this reign of terror. You have caused enough pain and suffering to these people. You must obey me and follow my will. For I have you under my power. You shall no longer bring death and destruction to this land'.

    • International Air Dates:
      Australia: July 18, 2010 on Ten.
      Canada: December 4th, 2010 on Space.
      France: March 28, 2010 on Canal + Family.
      Germany: March 9, 2011 on RTL.
      Italy: February 13, 2010 on Italia 1.
      Malaysia: February 28, 2010 on TV3.
      Poland: November 27, 2010 on Polsat.
      Spain: March 20, 2010 on Neox.
      Turkey: February 28, 2010 on CNBC-e.
      USA: July 2, 2010 on Syfy.

    • Also Known As:
      France: L'Attaque du Grand Dragon, meaning 'The Great Dragon's Attack'.
      Germany: Der Drachenmeister, meaning 'The Dragonlord'.
      Italy: L'Ultimo Signore dei Draghi, meaning The Last Lord of the Dragons.
      Poland: Ostatni Władca Smoków.
      Portugal: O Último Dragonlord.
      Spain: El Ultimo Rugido del Dragón, meaning The Last Roar of the Dragon.
      Ukraine: Останній Повелитель драконів.

    • According to Julian Murphy (executive producer) the Great Dragon is 60 feet high and across.

    • The battle with the Great Dragon was filmed in a big football pitch near Pierrefonds castle.

    • Gwen's house set was redressed into the tavern.

    • According to Colin Morgan, the scene where Balinor dies has been the hardest for him to act since it was very difficult for him to comprehend what losing a father means and to be able to bring something like that to the screen.

    • According to Colin Morgan, John Lynch was the favourite guest star he's worked with because they shared a lot of scenes together.

    • According to Ben Vanstone, one of the writers of the show, a series 2 wrap party was held on October 11th 2009, which was also Bradley James' 26th birthday.

    • A big area in France was cleared for fear of putting people in danger with the flaming crossbows that in the end didn't even reach six feet.

    • Filming locations:
      Château de Pierrefonds, Pierrefonds, Oise, France (Camelot).
      Cardiff, Wales, UK (Studio sets).
      Porth yr Ogof, Ystradfellte, Mid Glamorgan, South Wales, UK (Balinor's cave – Outside).
      Clearwell Caves, Forest of Dean Coleford, Gloucestershire, UK (Balinor's cave – Inside).
      Castell Coch forest, Tongwynlais, Cardiff, Wales, UK (Merlin and Arthur hide behind a fallen tree in Cenred's kingdom).

    • This episode is 5 minutes longer than usual.

    • Despite featured in the opening credits, Katie McGrath (Morgana) does not appear in this episode. This is the second episode she has no presence in after 2x09 The Lady of the Lake.

    • Broadcasts:
      Sat 19 Dec 2009 at 17:45-18:30 on BBC One.
      Mon 21 Dec 2009 at 19:00-19:45 on BBC Three.

    • The episode cliff-hangers introduced from series 2 on were written in because the broadcaster asked the producers to. They only refused to do it with the first series.

    • According to Colin Morgan, the best moment in Merlin is the dragon's attack on Camelot.