Magic & Mayhem: Colin Morgan Talks Season 4 of Merlin

I also wanted to ask you about Merlin’s relationship with Gaius in season four. Maybe you could tell us a little bit about that and also what’s it been like working with Richard Wilson in the series?

Richard Wilson is an absolute gentleman. You speak to anybody on set or any of the cast members and they will have nothing but praise for him. He is a pleasure to work with and an honor. The relationship between Merlin and Gaius is one that I love hugely. I think it’s fantastic and what’s great there’s an episode this season which takes the two of them away from each other for a while.

It’s really interesting to see how Merlin reacts when Gaius is not around because maybe you don’t realize how much he needed him until he’s gone. And it’s a really interesting episode about their relationship and the love that they have for each other. My guess at some point Merlin is going to lose Gaius and he’s not going to be around forever. And it’s just a taste of what that will look like and how it will be like.

That really, you know, at the minute Gaius is the only one that really Merlin can confide in. So if Gaius wasn’t around it – life becomes even more lonely. So it’s a really good relationship; it’s a father-son relationship. Merlin wants a father relationship and it’s always been missing in his life. Gaius and him are very much a sort of surrogate father and son.

 

One of the mantras I guess for season four is magic and more magic. Will we see Merlin’s powers kind of evolve a little more this season?

We do quite a bit. He’s I think one of the big things is the power of his words in this season and understanding that magic is good for a lot of things but sometimes you’ve got to talk to your friends and you got to understand what they’re going through and think more and use things more wisely.

I think from previous seasons we’ve seen him use magic very sporadically and very instinctually. And although it is his instinct sometimes he needs to put the brakes on and say hold on, what’s best for me, what’s best for Arthur? What’s best for the kingdom? And those are questions. He’s becoming up a lot wiser now. He’s becoming a lot more clued in to when he should use his logic and how he should so that’s something that’s really, really interesting.

 

And have you heard anything about season five? I know you’re going to start shooting in a little while.

Season 5, we know nothing about it. They keep things so secret from us for quite a while. We only find out really like three episodes at a time. So when we started season four, I only knew episodes one, two and three. And then once we finish shooting those we get four, five and six. So I know nothing about season five. I only know that season four ends on such an intriguing note that they cannot do a fifth season and you’d have a lot of very upset people if we ended on that on a cliffhanger.

 

You were talking a little bit about how things are going to be changing and getting darker this season. And I’m pretty interested, really interested about Merlin’s relationship with Morgana this season. Has Merlin had any regrets as far as when Morgana really needed him he really kind of turned his back on her?

Yes, yes. I mean it’s a difficult call because Merlin has tried a lot to show her the right path. And it became very clear early on that he was told that Morgana would be his downfall and his doom and would be the one who is in direct opposition to all his goals and his destiny. That’s been his most important thing about his focus as difficult as it is or has been he’s had to put so much aside, you know, for the future of his kind and if that means sacrificing her or anyone, as ruthless as it is, that’s what he signed up for when he came to Camelot. That was the deal.

It says a lot about him as a character the fact that sometimes your emotions have to be shoved aside and you’ve got to do that. And Morgana is definitely beyond redemption. She has chosen that path. As far as Merlin’s concerned she’s had her chances. I think you try to build a boundary in what you’re definitely going to get burned and I think Merlin’s stopped building the fire now and he’s ready to just really just put it out. And he’s very focused on that this season. And Morgana has dreamed up a huge spear of this figure called Emrys who is what Merlin is known as among the Druids.

She has an image of Emrys as old Merlin so throughout the season whenever Merlin changes into old Merlin she has this terrible, terrible fear of him. And he doesn’t quite understand it but of course it’s great from his point of view because we don’t often get to see Morgana in such a state of distress. She certainly as ruthless as she is she has a huge fear of Emrys as well. And that’s a real strong subplot throughout the whole season too.

 

There’s going to be confrontation obviously between Merlin and Morgana. Can you talk about shooting some of those scenes with Katie?

What’s great is we get the mix so as old Merlin it’s fun because as Merlin gets the opportunity to use magic openly to say what he’s really thinking and the interaction between Morgana and the old Merlin is a confrontation that takes place which is now pretty epic.

Between Merlin as himself and Morgana there’s such a history there of it’s everything of betrayal, of hope, of love, of friendship. It’s very, very complicated. And so when they come to a head in this season as they do on a number of occasions it’s fueled with such a back story of complications that it’s sort of charged with electricity. The only problem is Merlin can’t use his magic at this stage and it’s hugely frustrating. But we see him pushed to the brink and we see him in a variety of situations where he overcomes that fact. And we think this a lot powerful wizard that he’s going to become.

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