The Disir are these three Old Religion priestesses who embody the Maiden, Mother and Crone aspects of the Goddess and they’ve found Arthur lacking and are judging him with the help of a druid who’s willing to sacrifice himself to deliver the message and an oversized novelty coin.
Arthur doesn’t take it seriously at first, but Merlin convinces him he should, so Arthur, Merlin and the knights go off to to meet with the Disir to find out what’s up. They act like entitled assholes, the Disir are unimpressed, weapons are drawn and one of the throws a magical spear/walking stick/staff/drop spindles at Arthur and Mordred jumps in front of Arthur to save him. He’s mortally wounded (with magic) so they bring him back to Camelot in hopes that Gaius can save him.
Merlin’s just fine with letting the kid die because of the vision he’s seen about Mordred killing Arthur. Arthur decides that he needs to go back and apologize to the Disir in an attempt to save Mordred’s life and brings Merlin with him. The Disir offer him the choice between restoring magic to Camelot and following the Old Ways, himself, and thereby saving Mordred or not. They give him until the n the morning to choose, and he and Merlin talk all night and Arthur pretty much begs Merlin for help. Now, you’d think this would be the place where Merlin says, absolutely – bring back the magic. But he doesn’t. He tells Arthur that magic has no place in Camelot even though it kills him to say it. But he believes that if the Disir get their way and magic is restored, Mordred will live to kill Arthur. So, to protect his BFF, he denies the one thing he truly wants.
The next morning, Arthur and Merlin return to the Disir to tell them he can’t do it, so they pass down their judgment and basically tell him he’s sealed his fate. Arthur and Merlin return to Camelot. Arthur is dejected and Merlin is depressed, but feeling like he’s made the only choice he could. As they ride into the courtyard, a completely healed Mordred races down the front steps, and Merlin knows he’s fucked up. The Disir’s judgment was to let Mordred live to kill Arthur.
Okay, the questions…
1.) If I’d written this episode… Honestly, I’m not sure about this one.
2.) The thing I loved/hated most about this episode. I really, really loved seeing tangible evidence of Arthur’s growth as a king and a person. And I also loved his interactions with Merlin. I also loved how Gwen is s fabulously strong king – perhaps even better than Arthur.
3.) Something you never noticed about this episode before. How non-violent a Medieval hazing is.
4.) Favorite costume. Giving it to Gwen’s blueish-purple dress this week.
5.) Here is some proof of some random head canon I’ve created.I didn’t create it, but Merthur forever. Merlin is willing to let someone die because he thinks it’ll save Arthur.
6.) What Merthur moment did Jess have the naughtiest thoughts about? She got the major feels over Merlin putting aside what he wants more than anything to save the life of the person he loves more than anything. Also Arthur noticing that Merlin hasn’t smiled in three days – that’s a big old “awwwwww” moment.
7.) What made Jen lose her shit – in a good or bad way? The continuing lack of explanation about what the new religion is.