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King Uther Pendragon
Voice of the Great Dragon
Bloodguards are warrior priests sworn to protect the High Priestesses of the Old Religion. Even though most were wiped out during the Great Purge, some still survived.
This is the second time that Merlin makes use of his dragonlord power. He previously used it in episode 2x13 The Last Dragonlord.
Uther's bedroom looks nothing like his room in episode 1x06 A Remedy to Cure All Ills.
Goof: A rudimentary type of mop can be seen on Arthur's chamber in the scene where Merlin is washing the floor. However, the mop as such is a way later 19th century invention.
The tears of Uther Pendragon have so far been used two times in magical context. First time it was to break the Troll's enchantment of Uther in episode 2x06 Beauty and the Beast - Part Two and for the second time in this episode for quite the opposite purpose: to enchant Uther.
Goof: Despite several other people stay at Uther's room for longer than Merlin, especially Arthur, it is only Merlin who hears the dripping from the mandrake.
Goof: It is day time when Merlin is poisoned by the Serkets and calls for the help of the Dragon; however, it's night time when the dragon arrives and even though Merlin is weakened and surrounded by Serkets, they don't seem to have attacked him again since Merlin is still conscious and hanging on.
Goof: Both Morgana and Morgause rest their hands on the cauldron when Morgause first enchants the mandrake root even though its content is boiling.
Goof: Arthur is not standing close enough to the mud patch to fall on it. Also, after he fells, his face gets covered in mud but his hair doesn't get muddy at all.
Goof: The man that falls off the battlements is not the same one Morgana stabs. The first has rather short hair and a beard. The later has longer hair and no bear. It is actually Andreas Petrides, the stunts coordinator, who does the stunt for the falling guard.
Footage from episode episode 2x13 The Last Dragonlord is used in the scene where the dragon exhales fire on the Serkets (the corresponding scene in 2x13 being the one where the dragon exhales fires on Arthur and his knights when they fight him on the castle battlements.)
It is the second time that the Serkets appear in the show. They were first shown in episode 2x03 The Nightmare Begins.
Both Morgana (2x03) and Merlin (3x01) are stung by them and healed with magic (Morgana by the Druid Aglain and Merlin by the Great Dragon).
(Merlin, Arthur and his men find a Camelot patrol defeated and the men dead)
Arthur: Seems their attackers headed north. Come on.
Merlin: Do you think we should be going after them?
Arthur: You are such a girl's petticoat.
Gaius: Sire, how many more men are you going to lose in this quest?
Uther: As many as it takes.
Gaius: I need to speak to you as a friend.
Uther: I have no time for friends.
Gaius: Then I'll speak to you as your physician. This is madness. She has been missing for more than a year now. When are you going to stop?
Uther: When Morgana is found.
Arthur: Is there something wrong with you?
Merlin: Yeah, I've been on a horse all day.
Arthur: Is your little bottom sore?
Merlin: Yes. It's not as fat as yours.
Arthur: (Laughs) You know, you've got a lot of nerve... for a wimp.
Merlin: I may be a wimp, but at least I'm not a dollop-head.
Arthur: There's no such word.
Merlin: It's idiomatic.
Arthur: It's what?
Merlin: You need to be more in touch with the people.
Arthur: Describe dollop-head.
Merlin: In two words?
Merlin: Erm... Prince Arthur.
Merlin: She knows I tried to poison her. She knows that.
Gaius: You had no choice. Camelot was dying. Morgana was the source of the enchantment. Either you poisoned her or the kingdom fell.
Merlin: Uther won't know that. All she'll say is I tried to kill her.
Gaius: We can't be sure, Merlin.
Merlin: What do you think Uther will do to me?
Gaius: Let's just wait and see what tomorrow brings.
Morgana: I was kept in a cell for almost a year. I thought I'd go mad.
Arthur: How did you escape?
Morgana: They moved me about a week ago. I don't know why. It may have been the patrol from Camelot.
Arthur: The patrol found you?
Morgana: (Nods) I thought I was going to be free. But then I saw them killed. Every one of them cut down. But that night the bandits were distracted by their spoils. I took my chance. When I saw you, I couldn't believe it.
Morgana: I know what you did. You tried to poison me.
Merlin: I... I didn't want to.
Morgana: It's all right, Merlin. I understand. You were just trying to protect your friends. I would've done the same.
Morgana: I was so naive, Merlin. I don't think I really understood what I was doing. But, believe me, I have seen the evils in this world. I have seen first-hand what it is that Uther fights against. You don't know how much I regret everything that I've done. I just... hope that you can forgive me.
Merlin: I am so sorry for everything you've been through. It's good to have you back.
Merlin: Do you have to go in there right now?
Merlin: I just washed the floor.
Arthur: Don't worry. I won't slip over.
Merlin: You really have no idea, do you?
Arthur: All you have to do is wipe it.
Merlin: How would you know?
Arthur: I beg your pardon, Merlin.
Merlin: It's just you've never had to do it.
Arthur: Oh, I know how to use a cloth and bucket.
Merlin: (Chuckles) Oh, yeah.
Arthur: It's easy. Here. Let me show you. Hmm? (Dips the cloth in water and wipes Merlin's face with it as he hums to himself) Would you like me to show you
how to use the bucket?
(Arthur empties the bucket on Merlin's head)
Uther: You should sit.
Morgana: No, no. That's all I've done for the past year, sit... and pray that you hadn't given up on me.
Uther: Oh, never.
Morgana: I don't know why. I wouldn't blame you. You've done more for me than any guardian. You've always cared for me, loved me like I was your own daughter. And yet I've insulted you, defied you, hurt you. I don't know why you put up with me. (Uther laughs and caresses her cheek) And I promise that in the future I will show you the love and respect that you deserve.
Morgause: My sister. How have you fared?
Morgana: Camelot has welcomed back its daughter with open arms.
Morgause: Uther does not suspect?
Morgana: He laps up my lies like the snivelling dog he is.
Morgause: And the boy?
Morgana: Merlin. He believes I've changed. And he's right. Soon he will see exactly how much (She gives Morgause the handkerchief impregnated with Uther's tears)
Morgause: You've done well. The tears of Uther Pendragon have only begun to fall (She dromps the handkerchief into a cauldron)
Morgause: The mandrake root is very special. Only those with magic can hear its cries. But for those without magic, the mandrake pierces the very recesses of the soul, twisting the unconscious into the very image of fear and dread. Uther Pendragon will find that his great kingdom counts for nothing when he has lost his mind.
(Arthur fights his men blindfolded)
Arthur: What do you think?
Merlin: I've seen better.
Arthur: Of course. Well, you are the expert at fighting with your eyes closed.
Merlin: You didn't see what I did when we rescued Morgana.
Arthur: Because you were hiding behind a tree.
Merlin: No, I was not.
Uther: Standing here, seeing so many happy faces, it seems almost like a dream. I can tell you I have not felt like this in a long time.
Arthur: What, drunk?
Uther: Drunk with happiness (He hits Arthur playfully). I would've searched the entire world: the seas, the skies, the stars... for that smile (Morgana smiles) To have it stolen from me was like a blade to my heart. Morgana, there are no words. You mean more to me than you will ever know. To the Lady Morgana!
(They hug, Morgana showing disgust)
Arthur: What could've made him like this?
Gaius: I've no idea.
Arthur: Gaius, he was lying on the ground crying.
Arthur: Gaius. What aren't you telling me? What's wrong with him? Tell me.
Gaius: When I found him, he was mumbling. Most of it was incoherent but...
Gaius: He kept mentioning your mother's name.
Arthur: He never talks about her.
Gaius: He claimed that he saw her. In the well.
Morgana: Soon all of Camelot will believe that their king is going mad.
Morgause: And a kingdom without a king is ripe for the picking.
Morgana: When do you go to Cenred?
Morgana: And he will do as we wish?
Morgause: Cenred wishes only to please me.
Morgana: Then your time with him has been well spent.
Gwen: I saw the light. I wanted to make sure you were all right.
Morgana: I'm fine.
Gwen: You're still dressed.
Morgana: I'll prepare myself for bed.
Gwen: Are you sure?
Morgana: That will be all, Gwen.
Morgause: If you will not leave your castle then I must come to you.
Cenred: I see that you've lost none of your audacity.
Morgause: I wish I could say the same. But I find the great King Cenred cowering in his chambers when he should have met me at the border. Perhaps he has lost his nerve. Perhaps he is a coward.
(One of Cenred's men attemps to attack Morgause but she throws him up in the air using magic. Cenred orders his men to stop)
Cenred: You are very beautiful when you're angry.
Morgause: Is that why you continue to defy me?
Cenred: You wouldn't like it if I made it easy for you.
Morgause: You know me well.
Cenred: Extremely well. And yet somehow we're still close.
Morgause: I've come to talk to you about our old friend. Uther Pendragon.
Cenred: Yes, I've heard the sad news. He's finally lost his mind.
Morgause: Camelot is weak, weaker than it's been for years. The kingdom is vulnerable, just as I promised.
Cenred: Yet it doesn't change the fact that the citadel is still impregnable.
Morgause: So, even without his wits, Uther is too strong for you.
Cenred: You're a woman of great courage, Morgause, but I don't think with my sword. An assault on Camelot cannot be undertaken lightly.
Morgause: You forget, we have an ally in the court.
(After Uther has the vision of the sodden boy)
Gaius: During the Great Purge, Uther drowned many he suspected of sorcery. And some, God help them, were children killed for the magic they were born with. Maybe his conscience is playing tricks with him. Whatever it is, we can no longer hide this. A king's hold on his people's a very fragile thing, Merlin. If they start to lose faith in him, I fear for Camelot.
(After Arthur is informed about the attack on a Camelot guard)
Arthur: Who could've done this?
Gaius: (Showing him a dagger) That is the sigil of the Bloodguard.
Arthur: The Bloodguard?
Gaius: Warrior Priests sworn to protect the High Priestesses of the Old Religion.
Arthur: Surely they were wiped out during the Great Purge?
Gaius: Not all of them.
Arthur: So, you believe there's a traitor in Camelot?
Gaius: It is possible, Sire.
(Merlin notices the guard that Morgana has poisoned is dead)
Merlin: You said he was recovering.
Gaius: I thought he was.
Merlin: Then what happened? You don't think it's strange?
Morgause: Cenred's army ride for Camelot on my command.
Morgana: There is nothing you cannot do.
Morgause: It is you that gives me strength, sister. How goes the battle for Uther's mind?
Morgana: When Cenred marches on Camelot, he will find a kingdom without a leader.
Morgana: Merlin suspects me.
Morgause: Has he told Arthur?
Morgana: Not yet, but he will.
Morgause: Then we must stop him.
Morgana: That will not be difficult.
Morgana: Because he's already here! (Merlin shows himself) Did you really I was that stupid, Merlin? (Merlin runs for his life)
Gaius: It can't be easy to see your father this way.
Arthur: No. He's always been so strong. He lifted this kingdom from its knees, Gaius. To see him now...
Gaius: I'm sure that, over time, he will recover. But until then, we have to make plans, Arthur. We need you to assume control.
Arthur: That's ridiculous.
Gaius: Camelot needs a leader. It falls to you. You must fulfil your role as Regent. This is not just me talking. Members of the court have spoken.
Arthur: So now you've taken to whispering behind my back? What kind of treason is this?
Gaius: It is for the good of the kingdom.
Arthur: I'm not going to usurp my father.
Gaius: The palace is awash with rumours. The people are restless.
Arthur: I swore allegiance to my king, and as long as there is breath in his body it is my duty to uphold that.
Gaius: Arthur, please...
Arhtur: You are giving up on my father. That is something I will never do.
Morgause: You intrigue me, Merlin. Why does a lowly servant continue to risk everything for Arthur and for Camelot? You know the answer, but you're not telling me. Why? Come on, time and again you put your life on the line. There must be a reason.
Merlin: I believe in a fair and just land.
Morgause: And you think Arthur will give you that?
Merlin: I know it.
Morgause: And then what? You think you'll be recognised, Merlin? Is that it? All this so one day you can be a serving boy to the king. No, there's something more. Something you're not telling me, isn't there?
Merlin: I've told you.
Morgause: Well, you can take your secret to your grave (Casts a spells to turn the chains that kept Merlin prisoner magical) You chose to poison one of my own. You may regret that.
Gaius: Have you seen Merlin?
Gwen: Not since yesterday.
Morgana: Is there a problem?
Gaius: I'm not sure.
Morgana: What is it?
Gaius: Merlin didn't come home last night.
Morgana: That's not like him.
(She smirks after Gaius leaves and she is not seen).
Arthur: (Sitting by Uther's bed and at the verge of tears) I need him to get better.
Morgana: I know.
Arthur: (Putting his arm around Morgana's waist and pulling her closer for comfort) I'm glad you're here.
Morgana: (Pretending to care) I'll make sure he's looked after, don't worry.
According to Dale McCready, Director of Photography, a crane operated by four people was used in the scene where the dragon comes to Merlin's rescue to offer the point of view of the flying dragon as he approaches.
To simulate the aftermath of Merlin smashing the Serket that stings him against a rock, fake debris was put on top of it and then blasted away by means of compressed air.
According to Andy Adams (SFX), in the scene where Merlin is attacked and makes stuff fly towards his attacker's sword they started with everything stuck to the sword and filmed in reverse pulling everything off the sword. The objects had a string attached to them and there were people pulling from each item. It took countless takes to get it right.
The fight after Morgana is found takes some two pages on the script but it took a whole day to be filmed.
In order to make the forest where Morgana is found look dark and gloomy, SFX people generated artificial mist but the sky was so bright and blue than Photography people had to work extra hard to create the spooky look.
International Air Dates:
Australia: Sunday, May 8 on Channel Ten.
Canada: January 14, 2011 on Space.
France: March 6, 2011 on Canal + Family.
Germany: March 23, 2011 on RTL.
Italy: March 29, 2011 on Italia 1.
Poland: March 5, 2011 on Polsat.
Russia: January 21, 2011 on TV3.
Spain: January 8, 2011 on Antena 3 Neox.
Turkey: January 9, 2011 on CNBC-e.
USA: January 7, 2011 on Syfy.
Katie McGrath filmed some scenes wearing Ygraine's dress that weren't used in the final cut of the episode.
Tom Ellis hadn't watched a lot of the show before he got the role of Cenred but he loved it ever since as a great show he can watch with the whole family.
Tom Ellis loved his leather Cenred costume which he defined as the best one he's worn for any production. It was tailor-made for him and so tight that he could barely move in it. It was so tight that he couldn't lift his arms up enough to pull out the two swords he carries at his back. For a later episode, they had them half pulled out so he could reach up and grab one. The women on set, per Katie McGrath, whole-heartedly approved his tight costume.
According to Tom Ellis, he had a blast playing a nasty bad guy who gave him the chance to do everything he ever wanted to do as a kid. He declares portraying Cenred to be the most fun he's had on a tv set.
Tom Ellis was nervous about having to ride a horse since it was quite a while since he had last ridden one. Cenred's black horse is called 'Mr P' and they got on well from the get go. According to Tom, it made him look a better rider than he is.
Cenred is Bradley James' favourite villain.
The initial scenes from this episode were filmed on early March at the Forest of Dean at dawn (starting 5am) in freezing cold. According to Bradley James, it was the coldest he's ever been while filming and he couldn't stop shivering, Arthur's costume enhancing the thermal sensation. According to Colin Morgan it was hard to keep focused in the cold, wet and windy weather so he had a lot of trouble getting his lines out. Several takes were needed because no one could understand what he was saying, while the extras were drenched and lying on the ground.
Bradley James makes up the hand gestures he uses with his knights.
The actor who first attacks Arthur at the beginning of the episode right before Morgana is found has previously performed in episode 1x05 Lancelot as Lancelot in the scene where he takes the initial test against Arthur and fails quickly, in episode 2x12 The Fires of Idirsholas as a Knight of Medhir and he appears several other times during this episode as well.
In the scene where Morgana is found, Katie McGrath couldn't see anything because it was pitch black. They were supposed to reshoot it but they didn't have the time.
Close ups of Arthur and Morgana talking in her room when she is right back in Camelot were filmed but never used; they decided to use Merlin's point of view instead.
The mandrake root prop was named as 'Manny'.
The arm that raises from the well and grabs Uther was Katie McGrath's. She needed to have Ygraine's (Arthur's) ring taped to her finger so it wouldn't fall because it was too big for her. Arthur has inherited his ring from his mother (Bradley James confirms in the audio commentary that his ring is the same ring that Ygraine can be wearing both in this episode and episode 2x08 The Sins of the Father).
Bradley James had so much fun in the scene where Arthur mocks Merlin's fighting that he didn't even realize they were filming.
The scene where Morgana and Morgause meet in the woods and the scene where Merlin is held captive with the magical chains were filmed very early in the morning under really cold weather.
The Serkets scene was filmed in the same location (Puzzlewood) as the druid camp in episode 2x03 The Nightmare Begins.
Bradley James was genuinely blindfolded in the training scene.
Tom Ellis had a hard time saying the word 'impregnable'.
This is the second time that a two part episode is featured in Merlin (the first time being episodes 2x05 Beauty and the Beast – Part One and episode 2x06 Beauty and the Beast – Part Two). This time, both episodes were scripted by the same writer.
DVD Release Dates:
Season 3, Volume 1 (episodes 1-6): November 15th, 2010.
Season 3, Volume 2: (episodes 7-13): January 24th, 2011.
Complete Season 3: January 24th, 2011.
The room in which Morgause and Cenred meet is the Council Chamber set redressed.
The same technology that was used in The Lord of the Rings movies is applied to the scene where Cenred's army advances towards Camelot.
Bradley James' trousers ripped in the scene where he leans forward to grab the bucket.
BBC press office release didn't include Angel Coulby in the credits for this episode.
Katie McGrath had dirt mixed with moisturiser rubbed into her face to give her the desired distressed look when she is found in the forest.
Château de Pierrefonds, Pierrefonds, Oise, France (Camelot).
Cardiff, Wales, UK (Studio sets).
Puzzlewood, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England, UK (forest where Morgana is found and where she later meets with Morgause and forest where Merlin is left at the mercy of the Serkets).
Clements End, Gloucestershire, England, UK (Merlin and Arthur ride through a forest as they look for Morgana).
Trefil Quarry, Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent, Brecon Beacons, Wales, UK (Valley where Arthur and Merlin find the fallen Camelot knights and Cenred's army marching towards Camelot).
Dragon International Film Studios, Cardiff, Wales, UK (Exterior shots of Cenred's castle).
Also Known As:
France: Le Poison De La Mandragore, première partie, meaning 'The Poison of the Mandrake, part 1'.
Germany: Die Tränen des Königs, Teil 1, meaning 'The Tears of the King, part 1'.
Italy: Le Lacrime di Uther Pendragon 1
Poland: Łzy Uthera Pendragona (część 1).
Portugal: As Lágrimas de Uther Pendragon Part. 1.
This episode, together with episode 3x02 The Tears Of Uther Pendragon Part 2, was screened during a special preview at BFI Southbank on September 5th, 2010.
According to the show executive producers, the episodes had only been finished the day before.
Sat 11 Sept 2010 at 19:25-20:10 on BBC One.
Mon 13 Sept 2010 at 19:00-19:45 on BBC Three.
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