MerlinEpisodes

The Once and Future Queen
Season 2 - Episode 2
The Once and Future Queen

King Odin wants Arthur dead. He commissions the deadly assassin Myror to do the deed. Meanwhile, Arthur is convinced that the other knights are going easy on him in jousts. He pretends to leave Camelot but, with Merlin's help, secretly returns and enters the jousting tournament. Much to Gwen's discomfort, Arthur hides out in her home. It quickly becomes clear that the prince won't be able to shake the habits of a lifetime as easily as he did his princely robes.

Arthur advances through joust after joust, Gwen cheering him on enthusiastically. He tells Merlin that he will reveal his identity if he wins the tournament. Meanwhile, Myror fails to find Arthur on his "mission" in the outlying lands, and arrives to continue the search in Camelot, leaving a trail of dead guards in his wake.

As Gwen and Arthur start to relax with each other, she sees a side to the prince that impresses her - the Arthur that wants to be respected for what he does, not who he is. But as Myror draws closer, suspicious of Merlin's odd behavior, Arthur's arrogance surfaces again, and Gwen starts to lose patience with her prince.

Arthur realizes Gwen has been tiptoeing around him and reprimands her. She snaps, giving Arthur a piece of her mind - his overtures about being an "ordinary man" mean nothing because he's rude and arrogant. Arthur's stunned and humbled. He apologizes earnestly, and offers to cook her dinner.

Which means, of course, that Merlin has to secretly fetch dinner. Myror deciphers Arthur's scheme and closes in with his crossbow just as Arthur and a delighted Gwen sit down to their meal. He's discovered by guards and chased through the streets of Camelot but he evades capture.

Arthur and Gwen's evening is ruined when she discovers he lied to her about the dinner. Kicking himself, Arthur reaches out, insisting he cares about her. The pair is surprised by their sudden frisson. They draw close...but the moment is interrupted by Merlin, warning that there's a price on Arthur's head.

Arthur prepares for the final joust, he and Gwen both privately bittersweet about the approaching end to their time together. Gwen gives Arthur a token for luck and he impulsively kisses her. They are both shocked, and struggle to process their feelings.

Arthur jousts, unaware that Myror is fighting in his opponent's place, a deadly blade attached to the end of his lance. Arthur gets badly injured. Gwen fears for his life but he ignores her pleas, determined to finish the fight. Just then, Merlin learns who Arthur is really fighting. Horrified, he uses magic to give Arthur a hand, saving the prince's life and sending Myror to his grave.

As Camelot goes wild for its new champion, Arthur turns down the chance to reveal his identity. Gwen is impressed by this new, humble prince. Arthur rides back into Camelot as if nothing has happened, but admits to Uther that his adventure taught him much. He discourages his father from seeking revenge on King Odin, proving just how much he truly has changed.

Arthur's pull towards Gwen is stronger than ever. Sad, he tries to explain to her why what happened between them can't continue. Gwen stops him - she understands. Arthur returns to his royal duties, but it's clear he's still deeply torn...and nothing will ever be the same again.

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