Despite being foiled over and over again by Merlin and Arthur in her quest to control Camelot, Morgana again persists in her evil machinations for control. This time enlisting the help of a mortal enemy of the young king in the guise of Odin, the man who killed Uther Pendragon and whose son was killed by Arthur.Morgana’s found a new ally in Odin
Things start off in Nemeth as Odin and Morgana address the land’s king, Rodor, and his daughter, Princess Mithian. The obsessive sorceress has targeted the kingdom for its allegiance with Camelot. Odin is wary of the witchy woman and he questions her actions though he’s already cast his lot with her. She replies that his army is integral in her taking her rightful place as Camelot’s Queen but also providing Odin with the chance to have Arthur and “do with him as you wish.”
Morgana’s scheme is painfully simple and part of it hinges on Arthur’s desire to aid his friends and allies. She disguises herself as Hilda, Mithian’s handmaiden, and latches herself to the princess wherever she goes in the castle. As is often the case, Merlin’s suspicions are raised as he watches Mithian’s demeanor in the presence of her elderly handmaiden. After Mithian addresses the court, telling them of her and Hilda’s escape and having to leave her father behind in Nemeth, Arthur calls his knights to action and devises a plan of attack. It’s dangerous as can be: Arthur will be taking his most trusted knights whereas Odin commands an army. Alone in their chambers, Guinevere wants to know what is driving Arthur to partake in such a dangerous mission. Though he says it is helping his allies, perhaps a greater foundation (subconsciously at least) is how Morgana has dangled the carrot (Odin) before the mule (Arthur). Arthur has long since wished to avenge his father’s death and the opportunity of helping a friend seems as if it’s an afterthought.
Merlin’s nagging feeling refuse to abate and he tells Gaius of his suspicions. It’s beyond ridiculous for Gaius to brush off Merlin’s instincts in such a cavalier way with the young sorcerer has been right so many times in the past. As it is, despite Gaius’s explanations, Merlin refuses to let it go.
Behind the scenes, Mithian tries to escape from Morgana but is always foiled by the savvy sorceress, despite the latterMithian caught trying to escape
being taken to exhaustion by holding the aging spell for such an extended time. She nearly does escape the night before they are to depart, an escape that would have been successful had she pounded the sleeping Morgana in the head with a preferably large and hard object. Instead she slips the key out of Morgana’s hands and is free for some minutes before ‘Hilda’ catches up with her. Mithian’s bracelet is used as a searing punishment, burning into her flesh and dropping the princess to her knees. Gwen runs into them but Morgana talks her way out of it again though Gwen does look back, her face a mask of questions.
As the party gathers their things the next morning, Merlin suggests to Arthur a delay on their excursion but, per his usual, Arthur ignores the man who’s advice he knows is often right (fancy a common theme here, Camelot-ians?) On their ride to Nemeth, Merlin catches a glimpse of Mithian’s scorched wrist and her explanation doesn’t vibe in any way with Mithian’s earlier account of her escape. Merlin again tells Gaius about his unease though the older man still refuses to say “I believe you.” He returns to Arthur, telling him again that they should reconsider their journey and the young king’s response is a bit different than before. While he may chide Merlin (a bit too often, if you ask me) he’s come to love and respect his manservant. He puts Merlin in his position and asks his friend would he do the same. Despite all his suspicions, Merlin answers truthfully; he most likely would follow the same course. It does say something for the king that even in knowing his actions may not be right, doing what’s right trumps everything else. They are interrupted when ‘Hilda’ faints—Morgana’s body is wearing down from the strain put on her by the spell. When Gaius examines her, he’s shocked to find her blood pumps with the vigor of a person less than half the handmaiden’s age.
Though they are nearing the point of no return, Mithian once again tries her damnedest to warn Arthur. After ‘washing’ herself, she gives Merlin her water skin to fill; he abides and walks down to the stream. He’s nearly done with it when he glances over at a rock and see’s Morgana’s name carved in it. He rushes to Arthur but is cold-cocked by Morgana. She’s puts the Vader force grip to his throat and, ignoring his inexplicable inability to counter her attack, nearly snuff him out. When she hears the others searching for him, Morgana gives up her advantage though the damage has been done. Merlin’s out cold and unable to warn Arthur of the danger. Knowing they have little time, he leaves Gaius and Gwaine to watch over his friend and make their way to Nemeth.
As Gaius examines Merlin, he tells Gwaine the bump on the head should not have kept him out this long. When Gwaine steps away Gaius uses a bit of magic and it helps waken Merlin from his forced unconsciousness. He explains everything to the two men before he and Gwaine haul ass to try and catch the others before its too late.
But it is too late. Arthur and Percival enter the tomb with Mithian and the disguised Morgana (the other knights wait outside) and only when Odin and his troops pour out of the woodwork like ants does he realize Morgana’s deception. As Arthur faces death with the nobility he’s shown through the series, Merlin has sneaked his way into the chamber (Gwaine maneuvers his way into a position to free his fellow knights, who have also been surrounded). Just before Odin delivers the death blow, our scrappy wizard goes Rictor (for you X-Men fans) and causes an earthquake that does quite a bit more than rattle the tomb’s structure. As it falls down around them, Arthur, Percival, Mithian and her father flee and Merlin slams Morgana against a way, knocking her unconscious.Arthur and Odin face off
The small band tears through the forest with Odin’s men hot on their heels. They get cornered but instead of being overrun, Odin wants Arthur mano y mano. It’s no real contest as Camelot’s king makes short work of Odin but just as he is about to deliver the coup de grace, Merlin reminds Arthur about his dream of uniting the lands. It puts things into perspective and Arthur makes a plea to Odin for a truce. The elderly warrior at first refuses but Arthur’s conviction hits the mark and Odin finally agrees.
Back in Camelot, everyone is happy with the end result. Nemeth has been given back to Rodor, Mithian and Arthur are on good terms, and Camelot has received a new ally (in the loosest sense of the word) in Odin. Gwen expresses her pride in Arthur for how he handled the Odin situation but Arthur doesn’t take all the credit, instead giving most of it to Merlin. Despite the admissionhe begs Gwen to keep that to herself for if Merlin got wind of Arthur’s praise for him, well, the king wouldn’t hear the end of it. But Merlin has other things to worry about than basking in such an admission. Both he and Gaius are worried about Morgana’s burgeoning power. Gaius can only tell him that she’s still not as strong as Merlin but, of course, Merlin asks the one question we’re all wondering; what happen if she does become that powerful? Bad things, man. Bad things.
It’s quite interesting how “Another’s Sorrow” examines the concept of revenge from three differing perspectives. Both Arthur and Odin have reasons to hate one another; Uther’s death at the hands of Odin is the driving factor for Arthur taking on this journey while the death of Odin’s son by Arthur’s blade is the sole factor for him teaming up with Morgana. Behind both of them is the evil sorceress and her unyielding quest to obtain what is “rightfully” hers (powerful and delusional, quite the scary combination). Whereas nothing is able to quell Morgana’s thirst for vengeance, both Arthur and Odin are able to find a common ground, putting aside their anger and rage to build a better world. It’s the ultimate proof of why true evil can never win; it (in this case, Morgana) is too wrapped up in its own desires and selfishness to understand that, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. It’s a difficult lesson, no doubt, and despite Arthur’s naïveté when it comes to trusting others out of hand or his lunacy for not listening more to Merlin’s warnings, he does showcase the compassion and strength that it takes to become the creator of Albion.
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