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Episode 1: The Curse of Cornelius Sigan

Written by: Julian Jones

Directed by: David Moore

In a land of Myth and a time of Magic, the destiny of a great kingdom rests on the shoulders of a young boy. His name? Merlin.

Season 2 opens with the camera moving quickly through the dungeons of Camelot, to caves beneath the city, where some villagers are excavating something. One of the men breaks through a wall with his pick to reveal a chamber, holding a sarcophagus of some sort.

The scene changes to show Arthur’s chambers. It is night and Arthur is in bed, but awake, due to the loud banging noise, caused by the excavation. He calls for Merlin, and when the call goes unheeded, he gets out of bed and calls again. Merlin runs into his master’s chambers, and Arthur orders him to go down to the workers and tell them to stop work. Merlin protests, saying they are working under the orders of the king, Arthur counters that Merlin is under his. Unable to say anything to this, Merlin moves to do Arthur’s bidding.

Meanwhile, under Camelot, the men investigate the uncovered tomb, which is laden with gold and jewels. One of the men moves closer to the sarcophagus, stepping on a stone that lightly descends into the ground. A whooshing noise is heard, and the other men in the tomb who had what the man approach the sarcophagus look horrified.

Merlin arrives to see all the villagers fleeing the uncovered chamber. Instead of following them, he makes his way into the chamber, torch in hand. Merlin enters and sees the sarcophagus, which has a large blue stone on it. Merlin trips forward a little bit, and sees a man kneeling before the sarcophagus. He tries to grab the man’s attention, but as he shakes his shoulder, the man falls to the ground, revealing his fate. The man’s face a mottled blue- grey colour, his eyes are black, and his mouth slightly open. The credits roll.

Gaius and Merlin are now in the tomb, Merlin is inspecting the body, while Gaius is uneasily looking at the sarcophagus- where the blue stone, which is roughly heart-shaped, is glowing slightly. Gaius is too distracted to answer Merlin’s questions around the possible cause of death of the man. A soft whisper is heard through the chambers and Merlin stands from his kneeling position. He asks Gaius whether he knows who the sarcophagus belongs to, to which Gaius answers that he is not sure. Gaius stares at a stone raven that is above the sarcophagus as Merlin asks if the tomb could be cursed, and he and Gaius exchange glances. Gaius steps forward to have a closer look, when a dart shoots from the stone raven’s mouth aimed directly at Gaius. Merlin uses his magic to shield Gaius with a metal jewel encrusted plate. Gaius shakily thanks Merlin for saving his life, and the plate drops the the ground and Merlin chases after it. It stops just at Uther’s feet, as Uther has just entered with Arthur. Uther calls Merlin an idiot, and Arthur asks Merlin if he was born that clumsy, or if he works on it; Merlin snarks back that it is one of his many gifts. Uther gleefully surveys the tomb, relishing the riches the room beholds – he asks Gaius which of his ancestors had bestowed him with such wealth. Gaius again states that he does not know, and Uther notices the dead body. He asks what happened, and Gaius answers that it seems that he set off a booby trap , which Arthur deduces was set up to deter grave robbers. Uther states that Arthur is now in charge of guarding the tomb.

Scene change to show a tavern, where a foofy-haired (woo, hairdryers in Camelot!), wild eyed man is questioning one of the villagers who was excavating the tomb. The villager tells the foofy-haired, wild-eyed man about the jewel on the sarcophagus, and makes a fist to show how big it was. The foofy-haired, wild eyed man asks how to get into the tomb, the villager says that it’s all locked up – and laughs when foofy-haired, wild eyed man asks who has the keys. Foofy (short for foofy-haired , wild eyed man, because they still haven’t given the audience a name, and ‘foofy-haired, wild eyed man’, while fun to type, is just too long) hands the villager a pouch of money, but warns him that the tavern is full of thieves, and to put the pouch in his jacket pocket. The villager does so and surveys the place for would be robbers, unsuspecting of Foofy slipping his hand into the villagers jacket pocket and taking back the pouch of money. The villager returns his attention to Foofy, and tells him that only the prince has the keys to the excavation site, but, he keeps them in his chambers, and the only other person allowed in there is the prince’s servant. Back in Camelot, Arthur is going through the motions of locking up the gate to the excavation site, and going to his room and placing the keys in the drawer next to his bed.

The next day, Foofy sits in the courtyard of Camelot, watching Arthur and Merlin, who are preparing to go on a hunting trip. Merlin gets on all fours near Arthur’s horse, to act as a human foot stool. Foofy sits up straighter and stares more intently at the two. As he does so, the strap of Arthur’s saddle comes loose, and Arthur slides to the ground, his horse galloping off without him. As Arthur berates Merlin, Foofy has run after Arthur’s horse and led him back to where Arthur and Merlin stand. He offers to secure the saddle properly. Arthur thanks him, and Foofy states that it is an honour to be of service to the Prince. Arthur looks smug and turns to Merlin, asking if he heard that. Foofy carries on, asking for the honour of brushing Arthur’s clothes down, and pulls out a brush to do so. Merlin watches on, looking affronted, while Arthur whispers “the honour” at him. When Foofy asks if there is anything else he can do for him, Arthur answers that he could give Merlin a kick up the backside, to which Foofy counters that he would allow Arthur that honour. Impressed, Arthur asks for Foofy’s name, which he reveals is Cedric, and that he is in Camelot to look for work. Arthur bids him to come with them on the hunt, as they need more beaters. Merlin picks up a ‘beater’ and thrusts it at Cedric (aka Foofy), cheerily saying “oops!” as it slams into his stomach.

In his workroom, Gaius inspects a stone ring with the insignia of a raven on it that was uncovered in the tomb. He peruses a book in front of him, finding a picture of the insignia with the name “Sigan” written underneath it. He goes back to the tomb, and looks closer at a sceptre, and the ancient inscription on it.

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