Merlin series 4 episode 13 review: The Sword In The Stone Part 2 (2023)


So then: what was the finale to Merlin's terrific series 4 like? Here's Dave's review...

This review contains spoilers.

4.13 The Sword In The Stone Part 2

As always, I’ll start with the recap. And after last week’s explosive finale, our heroes are trapped, surrounded by Agravaine and his army, Gwen and Arthur have been reunited and Merlin has some choices to make.

However, before we get there, we have some running to do. Yes, there’s more running in this episode as the heroes have no choice but to flee into the forest whilst Agravaine burns things.


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Merlin isn’t adverse to using his magic to protect his friends and, after far too long an absence, the dragon returns, affording Merlin and company the opportunity to escape from the forest into some nearby caves, whilst Agravaine flees from the fiery onslaught.

(Video) Merlin 4x13: "The Sword in The Stone" Part 2 | FINALE REACTION!!

Whilst Tristan is questioning Gwen about her relationship with Arthur, Merlin sets out to protect his friends once more, doubling back to intercept Agravaine as he enters the tunnels. Sadly, for Merlin, he takes a wrong turn and Agravaine corners the young wizard. Rapidly rendering his attackers unconscious, Merlin seems to get the upper hand until Agravaine recovers, identifying Merlin as Emrys. With little choice, and realising that his secret is in even greater danger, Merlin takes extreme measures.

Back in Camelot, Gaius isn’t looking particularly healthy, despite Elyan’s best attempts to help him. Thankfully, Gwaine is now Morgana’s favourite plaything and, gifting him a wooden sword, she plans to make him fight for more food. As if the wooden sword isn’t bad enough, he also has to fight with no shirt on.

Tristan is needling Arthur, pointing out his shortcomings and his lack of standing in society. Even Gwen can’t reassure Arthur as he’s still hurting from her betrayal and makes his position clear, sending the poor girl away. All this has put him in a very dark mood as he decides he’s trusted the wrong people and isn’t worthy of being a king.

Merlin is at a loss as to how to help his master and races deeper into the forest, calling upon the dragon once again. He needs advice and all the dragon can tell him is that the fate of Camelot rests in Merlin’s hands. Merlin’s got a plan that involves waking Arthur up in early hours and taking him into the forest.

Recounting the history of the Kings of Camelot, Merlin reveals that the first king buried his own sword into a stone. All Arthur has to do is pull the sword out of the stone and he’ll be the best king ever. Arthur’s got reservations, but Merlin is confident and Arthur goes forward, spurred on by the timely appearance of his entire retinue of knights.


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So, with everyone looking, Arthur grasps the sword and pulls… only to find it doesn’t move. All he has to do is believe, but it seems Arthur has performance anxiety. Merlin’s words finally work and Arthur tears the sword out of the stone, with additional help from Merlin.

With renewed confidence, Arthur plans the fight of his life, with his army at his side. Arthur isn’t worried about the men he has to fight, but the power of Morgana; thankfully, Merlin has more of the story of the sword to tell, this time explaining that the man who pulls it from the stone will be the greatest king ever known. Arthur’s not convinced by the story, though Merlin revealing he’s always believed in Arthur may help him with the whole confidence thing.

Helios reports back to Morgana, explaining that all her forces, including Agravaine are dead. Realising that the only man capable of commanding a dragon is Emrys, she’s a bit nervous, moreso when Merlin sneaks into the castle and disguises himself as Emrys, allowing Morgana to catch sight of him. Even with Helios on his tracks, there’s no stopping Emrys as he brazenly uses magic before returning to his younger self and disguising himself as a guard. Morgana is scared and completely unaware that Merlin has secreted an enchanted corn doll under her bed.

With Tristan and Isolde choosing to fight alongside Arthur, the sneak attack sees the knights storm the castle. Helios alerts Morgana, who coldly offers to welcome Arthur home. With Tristan and Isolde in the mix, the knights of Camelot fight a vicious battle to secure the castle. Percival rescues Gwaine and Elyan, whilst Arthur fights alongside Gwen and Merlin.


Finally, Morgana and Arthur come face to face. Morgana tries her magic, but discovers that it’s no longer in her command, leaving her to flea whilst Helios and his men fight Arthur, Tristan and Isolde. A brief fight ensures, whilst Merlin and Gwen go after Morgana, in which Arthur is nearly bested by Helios. Isolde manages to defeat the great warlord, though suffers a fatal wound the attempt.

Also injured in her attempts to escape, Morgan retreats to her quarters only to be discovered by Gwen. Morgana hates Gwen because of what she’s destined to be and nearly kills the servant, however Merlin is on hand to knock Morgana unconscious by causing part of the ceiling to collapse. Before he can explain what happened to the dazed and confused Gwen, Morgana vanishes.


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Mourning the loss of Isolde, Tristan is distraught as he sees her pass away in his arms. Gwen is putting Arthur’s bedroom back together. Merlin can sort it out, Arthur says, before telling Gwen she can stay as he doesn’t want to lose her again. This time, they’re going to get married and nothing will stop them. Finally, the king has his queen.

Morgana is not going to be happy! With the dragon Aithusa making a reappearance, we can be sure that Morgana will be back and even more dangerous than ever.

Take a moment to catch your breath, then.

If last week’s story was a bit shallow in places, this week’s is like swimming in the deep end. From the start to the very end, there’s enough action and drama in the episode to fill every minute of the story, though the siege of the castle does seem to happen a bit too quickly.

There’s plenty of dialogue on the side of good, but the bad guys seem to think actions matter more than words. If there was one downside to all this action, it’s that there’s far too much running and far too little combat; the sword fight scenes have improved dramatically over the series and we get yet another tantalising look at knights fighting for their lives that really deserved to be much, much longer.

The cast, as always, are superb right across the board. There really isn’t a weak cast member, even if some of them don’t seem to get much in the way of dialogue. Tom Hopper finally gets the opportunity to look aggressive as he cuts through all and sundry, whilst series five.


(Video) Merlin Season 5 Episode 13 | You've lied to me all this time

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Colin Morgan’s turn to the dark side, as he kills off Agravaine and his men, is suitably cold, without turning him into Anakin Skywalker. He steals the show, as always, alongside Katie McGrath, Angel Coulby and Bradley James.

Once again, some plot threads are cast aside – Percival returns, though no mention is really made as to his whereabouts; Gaius survives despite being close to death; and, it isn’t really explained whether or not Merlin was telling the truth about the sword in the stone as, the last time we saw Excalibur (it isn’t named as such in this story) was when it was thrown into the lake and not buried in a piece of rock.

Why couldn’t the story get a longer run time than forty three minutes? With an extra fifteen minutes, more could have been made of the moment when Arthur and Morgana meet again, as it’s an exchange that finishes far too quickly considering the history of both characters. More time could have been spent on the siege of the castle as it deserved to be the set-piece of this story.

That said, Julian Jones manages to finish series four the same way that that he started it: on a high and leaving us with even higher expectations for what is to come.

Merlin will return… and it can’t be soon enough.

Read our review of the last episode, here.

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What happened in Merlin Season 4 Episode 13? ›

Percival rescues Gwaine and Elyan, whilst Arthur fights alongside Gwen and Merlin. Finally, Morgana and Arthur come face to face. Morgana tries her magic, but discovers that it's no longer in her command, leaving her to flea whilst Helios and his men fight Arthur, Tristan and Isolde.

Who catches the Sword at the end of Merlin? ›

Arthur grasps the sword and pulls, at first nothing, Merlin says he has to believe and he is destined to be the greatest king of the realm, not even this stone can stand in his way. Arthur re-grabs the sword and pulls it from the stone, with the magical assistance of Merlin.

What did Merlin do in sword in the stone? ›

Arthur is wounded during the battle after killing many soldiers but Merlin arrives in time and distracts the soldiers with his magic, allowing both of them to escape.

What episode of Merlin does Arthur pull the Sword from the stone? ›

"Merlin" The Sword in the Stone: Part One (TV Episode 2011) - IMDb.

What is the scariest Merlin episode? ›

The Number 1 scariest moment in Merlin has to be the Dorocha in 'The Darkest Hour: Part 1'. The Dorocha are spirits from beyond the veil of the two worlds; the dead and the living. So basically they're ghosts and, as we said earlier, ghosts are scary, so countless ghosts are just horrifying.

Who married Merlin? ›

OccupationProphet, magician, bard, advisor, warrior, others (depending on the source)
Significant otherLady of the Lake, Morgan le Fay, Sebile (romance tradition)
8 more rows

Who was Merlin's lover in Merlin? ›

Merlin is in love with the Lady of the Lake despite his age, and every time she comes he promises to teach her magic in exchange for her love. Every time this happens, she binds him in the tree by using magical thread which the Norns had at one time taught her how to spin.

What happens after Arthur pulls the sword from the stone? ›

Arthur, having pulled the sword from the stone, was crowned the King. This myth is one of the central tales of Arthurian legends.

Why did Merlin turn into stone? ›

As it turned out, Galand's Commandment of Truth, which turned anybody to stone should they lie to him, turns Merlin in a statue to horror of Arthur. The Deadly Sins were believed to have been killed by Galand, when in reality, his memories were altered by Gowther's Invasion.

Who removed the sword from the stone? ›

Excalibur, in Arthurian legend, King Arthur's sword. As a boy, Arthur alone was able to draw the sword out of a stone in which it had been magically fixed.

What is the moral of the sword in the stone? ›

The Sword in the Stone Moral for Kids

The story of King Arthur teaches all of us that if your actions are right and you have the right intentions, evil and dark powers can not stop you from bringing the light back. You just have to believe in yourself and help others along the way.

Why does Arthur have to pull the sword from the stone a second time? ›

Arthur still had to prove himself by pulling the sword out of the stone a second time. Freeing the sword showed everyone that the throne was his birthright.

How did Arthur get the sword out of the stone? ›

Some believe that The Excalibur was the same sword that Arthur pulled out of the stone to claim his right to the throne of Britain. However, the more popular belief is that Arthur received The Excalibur from the enchanted Lady of the Lake, after he broke his original sword, known as Caliburn, in a battle.

Did Arthur pull the sword from the stone or was it given by the Lady of the Lake? ›

King Arthur is given the great sword Excalibur by the Lady of Lake. In combat with another knight Arthur breaks the sword that he pulled from the stone. Merlin takes him to a lake where a hand rises from the water holding Excalibur, the sword that the Lady of the Lake has been keeping for him.

Who is the most powerful witch in Merlin? ›

As the last High Priestess of the Old Religion, Morgana held immense power. Merlin himself once stated that Morgana has everything to one day become as strong as him. Her blind hatred for her former brother ultimately leads to her death at the hands of her archenemy, Merlin.

Who is the most powerful in Merlin? ›

  • Kilgarah.
  • Morgana (let's not forget that only a blade forged from a fire's breath can kill her. I believe this is far above being a dragonborn.)
  • Merlin.
  • Cornelius.
  • Medhir/Alator.
  • Morgause.
  • Nimue.
  • Mordred/The Goblin.
Oct 1, 2019

Why does Merlin turn old? ›

Old Merlin, otherwise known as Emrys, is Merlin's alter ego. The young warlock uses an aging spell to transform himself into an old man and must take a potion to transform back to his young self. Gaius is the only one to know Old Merlin's true identity.

Why can't Red Shoes look at Merlin? ›

Merlin is the leader of the F7, a group that combats monsters and beasts on Fairy Tale Island. However, after Merlin and his comrades accidentally mistake the Fairy Princess for a witch and attack her, they are cursed to become green dwarfs whenever people look at them.

Why doesn't Merlin age? ›

Merlin loves knowledge above all else. Because of her desire to learn everything, she suspended her own age to have all the time in the world to study and learn everything. For that reason she regularly takes excitement whenever she has the potential to learn anything she does not know about.

What episode is Merlin evil? ›

The Wicked Day is the third episode of the fourth series of Merlin which was first broadcast on the 15th of October 2011.

Who is Merlin's twin sister? ›

The novel is the second in The Lost Queen trilogy that follows the story of Lailoken—who through legend becomes “Merlin” —and, more importantly, his twin sister, Languoreth, who was erased by patriarchal history but is resurrected by Pike.

What is Merlin's real name? ›

Merlin's real name, in Welsh, is Myrddin Wyllt Emrys. The ancient jewellery, talismans, and symbols seen in the series were based on artifacts on show in Jorvik Viking Centre in York.

Why is Merlin called Emrys? ›

Mordred as a young boy keeps calling Merlin "Emrys", which is actually Merlin's name as a Celtic druid and sorcerer. In Welsh, Merlin's full real name is actually Myrddin Wynn Emrys. Myrddin is his first name, Wynn is his family name and Emrys is his druid name.

Who was Merlin's first love? ›

In The Legend

Like Freya, the Lady of the Lake was Merlin's lover and provided a sword for Arthur in his time of need. (However, in most tellings the romance between her and Merlin was a one-sided affair wherein Merlin was in love with her.

Did Merlin have a daughter? ›

When Nimue and Merlin meet in the fifth episode, she asks the wizard why her mother instructed her to bring him the sword. By the end, viewers learn that not only did he and her mother have a relationship, but Nimue is actually Merlin's daughter.

Who is Merlin's son? ›

Balinor also told Merlin the Dragon's true name, Kilgharrah. During their time together, Merlin revealed to Balinor that he was his son, a revelation that shocked him.

Who killed Arthur's uncle in Merlin? ›

In series 4, Uther is wounded during an assassination attempt on Arthur. Merlin tries to heal him but due to Morgana's meddling, the spell instead kills him.

What happened to the sword after Arthur died? ›

Answer and Explanation: In Arthurian legends, Excalibur is returned to the Lady of the Lake after King Arthur's death. When he is dying, Arthur tells one of his knights, often Bedivere, to throw the sword back into the lake.

How old was King Arthur when he died? ›

Answer and Explanation: It is unknown exactly how old King Arthur was when he died. Most estimations place him between 35 and 50, while some are closer to 75.

How did Merlin get immortality? ›

Merlin's magic was so powerful he was able to achieve immortality as shown in The Diamond of the Day as he was capable of living forever as he was still alive even in modern times. His immortality may be because of his powerful magic or his destiny that ties him with the return of Arthur.

How did Merlin get so powerful? ›

And on renouncing the demons, he is also given powers from God: his ability to see the future comes from God. So, Merlin ends up with powers from both demons and from God. He is basically all-powerful as a result. He can see everything in the past, everything in the present, and everything in the future.

What animals does Merlin turn himself into in the sword in the stone? ›

The Sword in the Stone (1963)

After convincing Sir Ector, Wart's adoptive father, to stay in his castle in Wart's care, Merlin uses his powers as a wizard to transform both himself and Wart into animals such as fish or squirrels to teach the boy lessons about life.

Who is the villain sword in the stone? ›

Madam Mim, sometimes also named Mad Madam Mim, is the main antagonist of Disney's 18th full-length animated feature film The Sword in the Stone, which was based on the novel of the same name by the late T. H. White.

Is there a secret to pulling the sword from the stone? ›

If you want to be more likely to pull the sword from the stone, here is what you need to do: Place your hands on the side handles of the sword, and keep your feet on the ground, not on the stone. Then, pull up the sword. This is the most likely way to have the sword lift when you try.

What are the 4 swords of power? ›

He first found Joyeuse, then Excalibur and Durendal . At the end of The Sorceress, he finally obtains Clarent, the last of the swords necessary to create leygates and ley lines. When the Four Swords are combined, in the order of Clarent, Joyeuse, Durendal and finally Excalibur, they create the Hook of Aether.

Who put the sword in the stone and why was it placed there? ›

Merlin put the sword in the stone, in order to ensure the proper King ruled Britain. After Arthur's father, Uther, died, the nobles of Britain began disputing the right of succession. To ease their fears, Merlin erected a great sword stuck inside an anvil set atop a stone.

What is the problem in the sword in the stone? ›

The central conflict of The Sword in the Stone is an internal one which takes place in Arthur's mind, who is commonly known as the "Wart." This conflict involves the Wart's struggle to become a man; to become knowledgeable, intellectual, and mature.

What is the sword that makes you tell the truth? ›

It was said that, with Fragarach at their throat, no one could move or tell a lie, thus the name "Answerer". The sword was also said to place the wind at the user's command and could cut through any shield or wall, and that it inflicted piercing wounds from which no man could recover.

Why did the Lady of the Lake give Arthur a sword? ›

In Malory's version, the unnamed Lady of the Lake gives King Arthur the famed Excalibur sword at a lake in exchange for an unspecified promise he must later fulfill. Later, Nymue becomes one of King Arthur's key advisers, and it is she who is reunited with the magical weapon when he becomes fatally wounded.

Did Merlin help Arthur pull the sword? ›

He fought many Saxons with it and later used it to kill Mordred, though not before being mortally wounded himself. Merlin later retrieved Excalibur from the battlefield along with Arthur and took it with them on their journey to the Lake of Avalon, where he hoped the Sidhe would heal Arthur.

What does Excalibur symbolize? ›

Excalibur is a legendary sword, in the mythology of Great Britain. It was owned by King Arthur. The sword and its name have become very widespread in popular culture, and are used in fiction and films. Excalibur is a symbol of divine kingship and great power.

Who catches the sword at the end of Merlin? ›

Arthur grasps the sword and pulls, at first nothing, Merlin says he has to believe and he is destined to be the greatest king of the realm, not even this stone can stand in his way. Arthur re-grabs the sword and pulls it from the stone, with the magical assistance of Merlin.

Why couldn t anyone pull out the sword from the stone except Arthur? ›

“Whoso pulleth out this sword from this stone, is right wise King born of all England.” The sword was magic, Merlin explained, and only he who was fit to rule England could pull it from the stone.

Does Arthur get his sword back? ›

1240-1250 CE) Arthur presents Gawain with Excalibur who then loans it to Lancelot for his defense of Guinevere. Gawain then returns the sword to Arthur for his final battle with Mordred and, afterwards, it must be returned to the Lady of the Lake.

Was anyone other than Arthur able to pull the sword from the stone? ›

1200, Arthur obtained the British throne by pulling a sword from an anvil sitting atop a stone that appeared in a churchyard on Christmas Eve. In this account, as foretold by Merlin, the act could not be performed except by "the true king", meaning the divinely appointed king or true heir of Uther Pendragon.

What happens if you pull the sword out of the stone in England? ›

If you pull the sword from the stone, you become king/queen. The zero conditional refers to general facts or truths.

Why did Agravaine betray Arthur? ›

Agravaine most likely had a close relationship with his sister Ygraine as her death might have been the main reason why he plotted against Uther and Arthur. He stated that he had promised Ygraine to stay by Arthur's side, but due to his loyalty to Morgana, this was either a lie or a broken promise.

What did Merlin do with the dragon egg? ›

Merlin used his powers to summon Aithusa from its egg by giving the Dragon a name. However, Aithusa later saved and bonded with Merlin's arch-enemy, Morgana, for reasons unknown.

Why was Elyan killed off in Merlin? ›

Elyan's death was a heroic and noble moment in the series. He was determined to save his sister, Gwen, from the clutches of Morgana. He was in the company of his fellow knights when he decided to go ahead on his own.

Why is the dragon locked up in Merlin? ›

But both Kilgharrah and Balinor were betrayed, and Uther never intended to make peace with the dragon. Instead of killing him, however, Uther imprisoned Kilgharrah beneath the castle in a cave, where he was to stand as an example to all magical beings what would happen to them.

Why is Arthur evil now? ›

As a result of the destruction of his kingdom and seeing the pointless death that the other races and their gods have left in their wake for purely selfish and prejudiced reasons, along with the newfound power of Chaos at his control, these have all taken a great impact on him and how he views the world.

Who was responsible for Arthur's death? ›

Arthur is mortally wounded by his brother-son, Mordred, who stabs him in the head with his sword.

Who was Arthur's illegitimate child? ›

In Malory's Morte d'Arthur, Mordred is the illegitimate son of Arthur and Morgause. When Arthur, who is unaware that she is related to him when they sleep together, learns that he has had a child by his half-sister, he attempts to kill Mordred by condemning all the children born on May Day to be set adrift on the sea.

What was Merlin's secret? ›

Merlin's Secret reopens the debate involving the diffusionist proposal of the non-Aryan (East African, Egyptian, North African, and Near Eastern) origins of early Britons who inhabited the British Isles from the Neolithic period to the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons.

Is Morgana a dragon lord? ›

And Morgana wasn't “in command of” the dragon; she befriended it and suffered for years on its behalf. She had earned Aithusa's loyalty. Aithusa was too little to realise that Morgana was her master's enemy and therefore, she followed Morgana's wishes willingly. This doesn't make Morgana a dragonlord.

What does Freya turn into Merlin? ›

Freya was a Druid girl who fell in love with Merlin, who she met when he helped her to escape from the bounty hunter Halig. She later died on the shores of the Lake of Avalon, after which she became the Lady of the Lake.

Is Gaius dead in Merlin? ›

It seemed that Gaius actually did die but Merlin arrived and, enraged by the death of his friend and mentor, slew Nimueh. In killing Nimueh, Merlin restored balance to the world, mastering the power of life and death and reviving Gaius.

Who betrayed Merlin? ›

The wizard creates a green gem out of one of Nimue's tears which, upon dissolving in her mouth, causes her to remember the history between Merlin and herself. Nimue is horrified at how she betrayed Merlin, but Merlin forgives her.

Who is Merlin's girlfriend? ›

Significant otherLady of the Lake, Morgan le Fay, Sebile (romance tradition)
Home"Esplumoir Merlin", British woods
8 more rows

Why didn t Merlin call the dragon sooner? ›

Why didn't Merlin summon the Dragon earlier? Merlin knew that he had only 2 days until Arthur will die. The loss of the horses can't be seen as the reason why they didn't arrive Avalon in time, because Arthur died only minutes after the horses stampeded.

Did Morgana love Merlin? ›

She loves Merlin because when she is with him she doesn't feel alone.


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