THE FIRES OF IDIRSHOLAS
Brought to you by OBS Staff Member Karolina
The episode begins with a view of a ruined castle (it’s not raining or stormy, though, Verushka!!). Within the ruined walls there is a familiar voice enchanting a spell as Morgause is seen to walk between what appears to be metal and stone figures. There is a fire pit in the middle of the circle they make. as Morgause comes to the end of her incantation (which finishes with the words ‘Uther Pendragon’), the fires begin to move, and Morgause smiles.
In an audience with Uther stands a herder from the northern plains – he states that three nights back they had camped at the foot of Idirsholas (to which Uther scoffs that he would have chosen somewhere else) and tells the court that he saw smoke from a fire raising from the citadel. It is revealed by Gaius that there is a legend that states that when the fires of Idirsholas burn, the Knights of Medhir will ride again. Uther orders the farmer (Joseph) to be housed for the night, and for Arthur to investigate what is happening at Idirsholas. Arthur tries to pass it off as superstitious nonsense, but Uther is adamant. Merlin questions Gaius on this myth as the enter their room. Gaius tells him that 300 years prior, a sorceress, Medhir, had enchanted 7 of Camelot’s knights to do her bidding – wrecking havoc wherever they went – pillaging and killing. They only stopped when Medhir herself was killed – the knights turned to stone. The fire burning again would suggest that someone has power over the knights.
As Arthur, Merlin and the knights of Camelot ride out to investigate what is happening at Idirsholas, Morgana enters her room to find the window open. On the windowsill sits a little box with a note inside. It requests she leave the castle at sundown. Gwen enters and she and Morgana have a very stilted conversation, obviously the tension from the previous episode still very much alive.
On the road, Arthur teases Merlin over his apprehension, asking if he had been listening to Gaius’ ‘bedtime stories’ again. Merlin in a foreboding way states that he hopes that is all they are.
It is nightfall, and Morgana sneaks out of Camelot and into the surrounding forest, only to meet Morgause there. They begin to speak as old friends (or, sisters who have known each other for their lifetime) might -and Morgana once again thanks Morgause for the bracelet that now allows her to sleep (a gift from Morgause’s – and Morgana’s – mother, given to Morgana in the episode Sins of the Father). When they start to speak of Morgana’s happiness, she confides in Morgause that she is sick of pretending to be Uther’s dutiful and loving ward, when she hates him. Morgause asks if she had an opportunity to kill Uther, would she take it – Morgana states that she did once have the task of being his assassin ( 1.11 – To Kill The King). She did not because she believed that he cared for her, but know she knows he only cares for himself. As the conversation progresses – Morgause tells her sister that she underestimates her importance , and tells her to pick a side; Uther’s, or Morgause’s. As Morgana aligns herself with Morgause, Morgause smiles, tells her she couldn’t know how happy Morgana has made her, and sends Morgana to sleep via a spell. Morgause circles Morgana, chanting, and Morgana suddenly wakes back in the castle, being greeted by an unnaturally sleepy Gwen.
Uther has fallen ill with a fever; inflicted by a ‘sleeping sickness’, and is being tended to by Gaius and Sir Leon. As Merlin and Arthur and the knights approach Idirsholas and the day goes on – it becomes obvious that it is not only the King who has taken ill; Both Gwen and Gaius are beginning to succumb to this ‘sleeping sickness’.
Read the rest of the recap and join in the discussion on this episode HERE
Emilia Fox as Morgause
I have to say, this is one of my top episodes – even though there are niggling points. I love that Merlin is trying so hard to save Morgana, and coming up with good ideas to save Uther throughout, and it is very evident that he is struggling with the choices he has to make. This episode works well with the previous one, there’s continuity. Merlin and Arthur are relying on each other a lot – Arthur shows quite a lot of concern for Merlin – with the knights, the wound, and when he doesn’t know where Merlin is when he is off talking to the Dragon. Both Merlin and Arthur’s love for their parental figures was very much in play (and their guidance or input – or lack thereof – was very evident as well) – as well as both their dedication to Camelot. Merlin’s decision shocked me the first time I saw this episode – I really wasn’t expecting it. I love Emilia Fox as Morgause.
Okay – Morgana. I really don’t like what happened to her this season. She has been almost non existant , and when she has been around, she has been either petrified or used as a pawn for Uther, Alvarr, Mordred or Morgause! She’s coming off as naive and gullible.
Also – what I found REALLY interesting? The way Arthur let Merlin lie to him – Arthur even gave Merlin questions to flesh out the lies for Morgana and why she wasn’t affected by the spell. Merlin was with Arthur the whole time – there is no way he could know what Gaius did or didn’t do. Why did Arthur do that? I have my own thoughts…
The Dragon. Oh, the Dragon. I don’t actually know how I feel about Merlin releasing him – especially after the events of this episode.
I loved how Colin Morgan played Merlin in this , too – the look of contempt at Morgana when she says that the knight didn’t attack because she is a woman – the way he interacted with Bradley James (as always- [and Bradley James was fabulous as well]) – and the nuances of the decisions Merlin had to make in this episode.
What did you think of ‘Fires of Idirsholas’?