Magic & Mayhem: Colin Morgan Talks Season 4 of Merlin

I was wondering if Merlin obviously believes in his destiny and Arthur’s destiny and like you said he’s willing to do anything to make those happen. But at this point does Arthur believe in his own destiny to that extent as well?

Yeah it’s a good point actually. That’s one of the huge things of this season is that Arthur’s raising a lot of belief in himself. He’s listening a lot and gaining a lot of advice from his uncle. Uther at the beginning of the series is really a shadow of himself. He’s really gone a little bit mad. He’s not in his right mind at all. And so the responsibilities fall to Arthur to really make big decisions.

But he’s not confident in himself at all. I don’t think he feels ready. He doesn’t feel that he can make these decisions alone. He wants to make his father proud and not so difficult to do at such a young age. And Merlin’s trying to be there for him. Merlin’s trying to make him see that things are right. But Arthur has a stronger bond with his family, his uncle over his friend.

That’s a difficult thing for Merlin to try and overcome because he knows that regardless of circumstances situation Merlin needs to be where Arthur’s uncle is and that’s by his side being his most trusted advisor. And that’s a big, big challenge for Merlin this season is to try and get Arthur to accept him as well.


We’ve also seen throughout the series other knights like Lancelot and so forth that eventually become the Knights of the Roundtable kind of drift through the series. Is there going to be a point where Merlin maybe realizes that he needs to start kind of positioning or gathering these other knights around Arthur?

Yes that’s a big thing. I guess it comes to a point whenever you want Arthur to have his strong bond of knights. What’s good about this season as well is we’re really seeing that very, very strongly and knight quests that Arthur and Merlin go on together or used to go on together by themselves they’re not accompanied by a whole gang of knights.

Lancelot, Percival, Leon, Elyan, Gwaine – they all come along. So there’s actually a real camaraderie and band of brothers feel to a lot of the episodes this year. So you’re definitely seeing the Knights of the Roundtable take information already and without Merlin’s influence so and so that’s pretty exciting to see that happening.


The season finale is shaping up to be pretty epic and pretty heart-wrenching. So exactly how much should I expect to cry on Christmas Eve?

I think there might be some tears of joy to be honest. There’s some pretty iconic moments happening in the season finale of season four. It’s huge epic moments in terms of visually of what you’re going to see is iconic if you can imagine. The finale’s called the Sword in the Stone so you can guess.

But also then in a way that I think’s very surprising. And also there’s a bit of a cliffhanger I think which people will be very intrigued by. I was certainly intrigued by. I think it’s the most intriguing ending we’ve probably ever had for a season. And that leaves sort of a lot of questions for where we’re going to go in season five. So we’ve come to a really nice conclusion but at the end it’s kind of thrown up in the air a bit as well. So that – maybe I think probably just tease you enough as I can without saying too much.


But I also had a question about the magic reveal which I’m sure you’re sick of answering questions about. But when do you think it becomes imperative that Merlin has to reveal his magic to Arthur? Like at what point does it become that their relationship can’t survive once he’s been lying for so long?

Yes I think it needs to come to the point Merlin needs to be absolutely 100% sure that at this stage, if Merlin was to say that he had magic he would no doubt be either executed or exiled for his betrayal, for his abuse and for his ability not to be trusted. And that would be a big problem.

Merlin is the one thing that’s keeping him focused on his path for the destiny is the fact that he’s just regarded as a servant. So he can act secretly and he can do that. The minute that he comes out that he has magic is a huge risk so he would be stupid to do it at that stage. Arthur needs to not be Uther basically. And once signs of change are shown, once it looks like Arthur won’t be a reincarnation of Uther as a king, that’s the time – that’s when Merlin can then do it. You’re definitely seeing a progression of that and the groundwork of that in season four.


My question since everybody’s asked such wonderful questions has to do with the fact that Merlin has put so much into making, you know, the hopes of the future being Arthur. And now we have Uther mad. Knowing children of people who have Alzheimer’s are somewhat worried about, you know, if that’s going to be their fate too, I wonder if Merlin worries at all of like father like son if Arthur could, you know, turn out to be not such a great bet or whether he just thinks it’s magic and if he could get to – get Uther in some way he could cure him?

Yes it’s a big thing. I think Merlin’s got a lot of fears. Of course he wants Arthur to be the best king that he can be. But so many factors are taken into consideration, the fact that Arthur’s got so little confidence in himself, the fact that he wants to do his father proud, that his father is just losing a grip on reality and the effect that that has on a son and then again it’s a hard thing to watch. It’s a hard thing to go through. And no doubt Arthur probably has those fears for himself as well.

I think Merlin’s pretty steadfast and pretty confident in his belief in Arthur that he’s always believed he’ll be the greatest king. He’s always believed he’s got the qualities. His qualities just need to be encouraged and they need to be pushed to the foreground, not buried underneath and bad decisions and bad advice which is exactly what Agravaine is doing.

So it’s really imperative that Merlin fights through and battles through and stays strong for Arthur even if Arthur’s feeling at his most weakest. And certainly and Uther going down the path he’s going down, it’s not encouraging and it’s not good. So, you know, Merlin does get a chance to redeem things there. And he does take his chance for Uther which is a really interesting decision I think to make that if Uther can some way be healed or cured by magic then Arthur will believe in magic and trust in it and see it as a force for good. That’s something that’s brought very early on in the series. And it’s a really it’s a great opportunity and Merlin takes advantage of it.


So just a little fun quickie question. With Merlin wielding the sword the, you know, the magical sword really sort of for the first time in an effective way, did he have time? Did he have fun with it? Did he think wow, this is something I’d love to be able to do more of or what?

Yes, I mean I think he was very lucky not to have the sword ws Excaliber because I think with a normal sword he doesn’t handle it so well.

And but yes, certainly I think possibly me as Colin enjoyed it a lot more than me as Merlin because I think sort of sword fighting is something that was great. But I have to make it look a little bit clumsy and a little bit, you know, Elyan to me, but realistically, you know, magic is Merlin’s talent and he should probably stick to that.


It seems to me that your character Merlin is smarter let’s say than Arthur or is it just that he has more information and that – or that he has magic? Which do you think it is?

Maybe a little bit a combination of all. I think Merlin’s in the know in terms of what (unintelligible) where Arthur’s going that – and what must take (unintelligible) for Arthur to be in that position (unintelligible) that position of that perfect king. But also the slightness of Merlin (unintelligible) magic and with Arthur never fully realizing that he’s got out of a situation because of Merlin and because Merlin’s been there. And yet Arthur he, you know, regards him as the (kind of) the servant, the one that’s kind of there just to carry the luggage I suppose to actually carry the weight of the situation. The humor comes in the fact that Merlin’s the one who probably has the biggest problem of them all. And as an audience member we’re clued into that.

But those in the world of Camelot just, you know, Merlin is not Merlin. He is just Merlin, you know. And it’s – and that’s an interesting thing I think for an audience to watch. And it hopefully doesn’t make the other characters look too dumbed down or anything.

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