Arthurian legend fans will be handsomely rewarded for their three-year wait when the epic season finale of MERLIN premieres Friday, April 8 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy.
Entitled “The Coming of Arthur, Part 2,” the episode presents the first glimpses of many iconic characters, moments and items in the centuries-old legend. From an appearance of the Lady of the Lake, the return of Lancelot and the introduction of Percival to the first appearance of the Round Table and the initial wielding of Excalibur, fans will be thrilled with this all-encompassing episode that ties together loose strings for the season, and leaves open the door for seasons to come.
In the episode, written by series co-creator and executive producer Julian Jones, new Queen Morgana begins a reign of terror over the innocent citizens of Camelot. With Morgause’s immortal army at her command, it seems there is no hope for Uther, who must watch his Kingdom crumble under the unimaginable cruelty of his own daughter.
Meanwhile, on the outskirts of Camelot, Arthur regains his strength and, with Gwaine, Lancelot, Elyan and Percival at his side, plans a brave counter attack. But Merlin knows that even Arthur cannot vanquish an immortal foe. Only one weapon can fell these evil powers: a sword forged with the fiery breathe of a dragon – and that blade rests within the mysterious Lake of Avalon. Thus, the weight of the kingdom rests on Merlin’s shoulders.
Colin Morgan, who plays the title character, knows this episode provides the quintessential experience for fans of the Arthurian legend, and believes the devoted fanbase of the series MERLIN (which airs in more than 180 countries) will be thrilled by the presentation.
“When we think ‘Arthurian legend,’ images immediately pop into your head that are so rich in history and imagination that the very thought of them conjures up excitement,” Morgan explains. “The MERLIN season finale spares no expense in indulging in the icons of what makes the legend one of the most enduring of all time.
“It’s so enthralling to see these icons manifest themselves on screen and in our series. The writers and producers have always aimed to tell the legends in new and unexpected ways, but there are some sections of the legend that are so classic that their elemental appearance is enough. They appear and take shape in abundance at the close of season three, leaving the gates wide open for our characters to take their place in history.”
One of the “unexpected” ways MERLIN writers have presented the tale is that it is Merlin himself who initially wields Excalibur. Morgan, whose character Merlin must constantly present a clumsy, un-heroic version of himself to hide his obvious prowess, truly enjoyed stepping up his fencing skills in battle with the legendary sword.
“It’s every boy’s dream to delve into swordplay, and the most famous blade of all must surely be Excalibur, so it’s a bit of a privilege and a hell of a lot of fun to get the chance to fight with it,” Morgan says. “In Season One, we saw how Excalibur was forged and where it lay sleeping, awaiting it’s time. But when Excalibur is woken, again in an unexpected way, Merlin is the one who wields it, for only when Arthur becomes king will he wield the sword. This is tricky for Merlin, but great for Colin!
“I love getting to do sword work when I get the chance, even though I’m not allowed to look too cool when doing it – Merlin’s true talent is his magic after all. I still get to do the training and the practice. I doubt I’ll get many more opportunities like that as the series goes on, but as short-lived as it was, I loved it.”
MERLIN will be ever-present on Syfy this Friday, April 8, the network offering a day-long marathon of the series’ third season episodes starting at 8:00 a.m. ET/PT.