Queen of Hearts
Season 3 - Episode 10
Queen of Hearts

Morgana dreams of a jubilant celebration as Arthur crowns his new queen, Guinevere. To test her vision, Morgana probes Gwen on her true feelings about Arthur. When Gwen admits they are strong, Morgana is encouraging. Later that day, Arthur finds Morgana waiting for him. At first, he denies his feelings for Gwen, but quickly relents. Morgana flatters his sentiment and goads the young Prince to spend time with Gwen, and Uther need never find out.

Encouraged, Arthur asks Merlin to ask Gwen to spend the day with him. Gwen, however, has her doubts - what if someone saw them? Merlin convinces her, saying  Arthur is never happier than when he is with her.

The next day, Morgana follows as Merlin leads Gwen to a waiting Arthur. Merlin leaves them to enjoy a tender picnic together, Morgana watching on. Gwen tries to offer food to the Prince, but her service is rejected: she is not there to be his servant. Arthur and Gwen finish their meal, and move into a passionate embrace. Their kiss is cut short, though, as Uther and Morgana gallop into the glade and catch them red-handed. Uther is shocked, but teases his son - he's familiar with the temptations of serving girls.

Arthur is relieved, but Uther follows by insisting he must never see Guinevere again. Arthur cannot hide his feelings any longer: He loves Gwen. Uther is appalled by such an outburst and becomes grave - not only must Arthur never see her again, but she shall be banished from the city.

Morgana arrives at Arthur's chambers to offer sympathy, and Arthur admits he plans to leave Camelot with Gwen. Morgana realises she cannot allow this to happen, and plants a poultice in Arthur's room. She will use Uther's hatred of sorcery to end their relationship once and for all.

Taken by the idea Arthur is enchanted, the King searches Arthur's room and the poultice is quickly found. Reminded of his dealings with her father, Uther demands for Gwen's immediate arrest. Arthur arrives in the Council Chambers to see Uther slapping Gwen for her impudence in defending herself. His father pronounces judgement: Gwen must be burnt at the stake. As she is dragged away, Gwen is shocked to see Morgana smiling.

Delivering a message from Arthur, Merlin asks Gwen if she has any idea who might have planted the poultice. Reluctantly, she admits she suspects Morgana. Troubled, Merlin comes up with a plan to make Uther believe another sorcerer was involved. He will use magic to disguise himself and deliberately get caught planting another, identical poultice.

Having cast the spell, Old Merlin deliberately allows Arthur to see him before entering the Prince's chambers. As he positions the charm, Arthur intercepts him. Panicking, Old Merlin tells Arthur he is Dragoon the Great. Realising he might be discovered, Merlin uses magic to escape, hoping to incant the spell in time to return to his normal self. Hiding from Arthur and the guards he tries once, twice, but nothing happens.

Old Merlin is taken to the Council Chambers and confesses. Reluctantly, Uther agrees to release Gwen and instead place Dragoon on the pyre. As Gwen is released, Old Merlin takes her place in the cells. Gaius comes to visit him, and Merlin admits he will die unless an antidote can be made. Gaius leaves to work on the potion.

Merlin is led into the square just as his mentor finally achieves the right concoction. Gaius manages to slip the vial to Old Merlin as he is led towards the pyre. Desperate, he uses magic to set the pyre alight and, in the chaos, runs into the castle, turning back into his normal self just in time.

Gwen and her mistress share an awkward embrace, but neither trusts the other. Later, as Gwen walks through the Palace, Arthur pulls her to one side.  They mustn't be seen together but that does not change his feelings for her. Both are sad they must be apart for now, but hopeful that the day when they can be together will come.

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