TELEVISION: Two-part season premiere of Merlin concludes this week on Syfy Channel

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For years, Merlin has known one immutable fact: He was born to serve Arthur and protect the future of Camelot.  But in “Arthur’s Bane, Part 2,” the conclusion of a two-part season premiere of MERLIN, the certainty of that knowledge may be in doubt.

Last week, MERLIN saw the biggest season-premiere audience in the series’ history on Syfy, with more than 1.6 million people watching the start of MERLIN’s fifth and final season.

As “Arthur’s Bane, Part 2″ begins on Friday, Jan. 11, at 10 p.m. ET/PT Friday on Syfy, both Merlin and his king have been captured by henchmen working for Morgana – single-minded in her determination to find the mysterious “Diamair.”  Among their captors is Mordred – the Druid first encountered as a boy, now a man whose destiny Merlin knows: Arthur will die at Mordred’s hand.

Is Mordred, in fact, Arthur’s bane?  Or could the prophecy be wrong? Could there be another danger threatening Arthur?

Mordred

As  the episode progresses, Mordred’s allegiances are called into question, and his magical (and secret) nature stands in strong parallel to Merlin’s own life.  This comparison between Merlin’s magical nature and Mordred’s resonate throughout the episode – and this final season of MERLIN.

“Because of the significance of what having magic means, the gravitas of that, it makes sense Merlin has never said anything to Arthur,” said Bradley James, who plays King Arthur.  “I don’t think it’s ever been about Merlin lying to Arthur – I think it’s been about the safety of Merlin, not to mention the safety of the kingdom.”

Ice-Jump
But now, years after Arthur helped spare his life under the rule of Arthur’s father, the former King Uther, Mordred has returned … and with him comes the uncertainty of whether he can be trusted.

“Alexander Vlahos is just extraordinary,” says Colin Morgan, who plays the title role of Merlin. “He’s come into the series very late in the game, but brought with him a completely realized character.  Alex really understands who Mordred is – and its exciting to see what he does with the character all throughout this final season.”

Gwen

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MERLIN fans will be able to discover for themselves just what “Arthur’s Bane” refers to when this all-new episode debuts Friday, Jan. 11, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, only on Syfy.