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Morgana Pendragon

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Morgana Pendragon, also known as Morgana, was the tritagonist-turned main antagonist on the BBC series Merlin. She is the daughter of Uther Pendragon and the half-sister of Arthur Pendragon and Morgause. Initially being an innocent ward of Uther who had spoken out against his actions, she eventually discovered she had magic. At the start of Season 3 onwards, she became the main antagonist of the series. 

She was portrayed by Irish actress Katie McGrath.

History

Season 1

Morgana started off being a very kind girl who was Uther's ward. However, unknown to her at the time she was actually his daughter and half-sister of Arthur. Morgana had a close friendship with her maidservant Gwen, Arthur and Merlin at this point in time.

Morgana eventually discovered that she had the gift of prophecy which was something that frightened her immensely. She sought the help of Gaius but this did nothing to stop her prophetic dreams. Morgana would also join in Merlin's adventures such as rescuing Camelot from a plague and meeting a young Druid boy named Mordred who she bonded instantly with.

Morgana showed resistance Uther's rule and disliked his hatred of magic. Uther eventually imprisoned her and executed Gwen's father driving her to plan his assassination. She stopped when Uther showed he cared for her when they visited her supposed birth father's grave together.

Season 2

Morgana started to panic after several events revealed that she does have magial powers that recently awakened. She confided this in Merlin which led the two of them to become closer. Merlin suggested that she visit the Druids but this plan didn't work when Arthur and his soldiers invaded the camp. She eventually accepted that magic could be used for good.

Morgana eventually met her half-sister Morgause after the latter defeated Arthur in a duel. Morgana tells her that she wants Uther dead and Morgause makes her the source of a sleeping plague without telling her. When Merlin learned about this, he tried to kill her reluctantly using poison; however, much to their surprise, Morgause showed up to save Morgana and took care of her for a year. Morgause then used this time to corrupt Morgana, turning her evil further.

It should be noted that even before Morgause corrupted her into the evil sorceress she later become, Morgana herself has become resentful on Uther since his crusade against magical beings or those whom possesses powers or knowledge of sorcery. And with her now revealed to have magic, Morgana's resent on Uther become hate, which contribute to her turned to the dark side and Morgause merely did the rest.

Season 3

Morgana returned to Camelot pretending that she still cared about her former friends. Her true feelings are eventually revealed and Morgana is scheming to overthrow Uther so she can have the throne, especially since she learned that Uther is her illegimate father when still in coma due to Merlin accidently causes her fall from the stairs. Merlin tried to help her see sense but she continued working with Morgause.

Morgana and Morgause eventually were able to take over Camelot using the army of King Cenred, who had offered his allegiance to their plight. Morgause killed Cenred after they acquired the Cup of Life, which made the army immortal. Morgana killed a large number of townspeople to force the knights to be loyal to her. Morgana was defeated by Merlin, Arthur and Gwen, causing her and a wounded Morgause to flee for the time being.

Season 4

A year later, Morgana desired revenge on Arthur and all of Camelot. She sacrificed her sister to the Underworld in order to release spirits on Camelot. Morgana then formed an alliance with Agravaine in hopes of destroying Camelot. Morgana killed Uther but would not be satisfied until Arthur was dead. Some of her schemes with Agravaine included attempting to kill Arthur in a duel, brainwashing Merlin and using him to kill Arthur and having Gwen exiled.

Morgana took over Camelot again with the help of a warlord named Helios and became queen. Her reign was very short because Merlin and Arthur overthrew her army. Morgana was wounded in battle after attempting to escape. She met a dragon named Aithusa who healed her injuries.

Season 5

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Morgana after she became evil.

Morgana then used magic on Gwen, turning her evil temporarily. She then ordered to Gwen to kill Arthur by putting poison in his food. Morgana did this so she could get throne and then planned on killing Gwen if the plan worked.

During the final battle against Morgana, Arthur was on the verge of death after being stabbed by her ally Mordred. Percival and Gwaine attempted to kill Morgana by stabbing her but she captured them. Morgana killed Gwaine and found where Arthur was heading. Morgana encountered Arthur and Merlin and attacked them. Morgana taunts them saying she can't be harmed by ordinary weapons.

Merlin then stabbed Morgana with Excalibur, which was forged with dragon's breath, causing her death.

Powers and Abilities

Morgana was shown to be a very powerful witch capable of performing feats such as telekinesis, mind control and necromancy. She also had the capability of seeing the future via prophetic dreams and was a skilled swordsman though Morgana preferred using magic in combat. For all her awesome power, Morgana was vastly inferior to Emrys in terms of magic during the majority of the series. She was rendered almost catatonic with fear by the very sight of him. However, in season 5 her magic grow in power that it was said that her magic might equal Emrys' power one day. Morgana had a high sense of self-preservation and was not above begging for her life or hiding behind others to achieve her ends.

Trivia

  • She is based on the witch of the same name in Arthurian legend.
  • In the TV series, Morgana is never known by her full name in the legend, "Morgana Le Fay".
  • In the legend, she was also known as "Morgan" or "Morgaine".
  • Morgana's actress, Katie McGrath almost didn't get the role of Morgana. Because she and co-star Colin Morgan (Merlin) are both Irish, the casting directors didn't want two actors with the same accent and they were ready to decline Katie if she couldn't do an English accent only Colin beat her to it and they both got their roles.

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