As “The Diamond of the Day” begins, a great battle rages on Camlann’s mighty plain. Merlin must face his moment of destiny: Can he find the strength to save the man he made a King, the Camelot they fought to build, and the brotherhood they shared?
Just as fantasy formed the basis of all 65 episodes, Colin Morgan has been the series’ constant heart as its titular warlock. (Despite many erroneous reports, Merlin is actually not a wizard.)
From his initial days as a naïve apprentice striving to understand and master his powers to the full-fledge greatest warlock to ever live, Merlin has grown before viewers’ eyes – as has Morgan in bringing the character to life.
“It’s been a great adventure, and I’ve learned so much,” Morgan says. “When we started, everything was new. It was my first real role, so everything seemed like a new experience: new lessons, new friends, new adventures. It wasn’t just Merlin coming into his own; I was growing up in front of the camera, too.”
There are a lot of parallels for the character and the show. As Merlin matured, so did the storylines. The darker, more adult stories went hand-in-hand with Merlin’s life lessons. No matter the peril, Merlin was the optimistic compass for the series.
“Merlin is hope,” says Morgan. “He’s the optimist in the story, the believer that there is a positive destiny for Arthur and Camelot. He knows it in his heart, and nothing will change that belief. He knows they can overcome the impossible, and Merlin faces a lot of impossible situations. That stays true to the very end.”
And the end is what viewers around the globe have been discussing. The final scene of the series was met with great intrigue in its initial airing in the U.K., staying faithful to the MERLIN tradition of unconventional telling in regard to the “once and future king” legend.
As producers/creators Johnny Capps and Julian Jones have stated, five was always the magic number of seasons for MERLIN.
“I really believe the show progressed quite naturally through its five years and really grew to a point where the fifth season was our best,” Morgan says. “It’s a very strong ending: powerful, emotional, fulfilling. I think fans will be very satisfied.”