On the Dragons Breath (a tale of Merlin Book 1)

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In fury, Merlin calls upon the Grand Dragon, asking him to carry them to Avalon. The dragon warns Merlin that there is nothing he can do, calling Arthur the Once and Future King and that when Camelot's need is greatest, Arthur will rise again. Casting Excalibur back into the lake, Merlin places the King upon a funeral boat, ready to send him across the lake to his final resting place.

The King is dead Long live the Queen as we discover that, in the future, Merlin still walks the Earth. It's been a rollercoaster of a series, with some truly disappointing episodes and humour that, at time, was a disastrous misstep, especially in the first season. With series four and five, Merlin really hit its stride, with darker, more grown-up story telling that benefitted from a later time slot and the departure of the played-for-laughs Robin Hood series from our screens. In effect, Merlin had big shoes to fill — it was the series that ran when Doctor Who , which had also developed a more grown-up feel in the past few years, wasn't on our screen.

With series five, it filled those shoes admirably. Each episode has been an achievement in storytelling, with few stories that didn't drive forward the overall story arc. The humour returned but wasn't overdone, the relationship between Merlin and Arthur grew, and the introduction of the Knights of the Round Table, while underused, increased an already impressive cast. The final episode of Merlin plays heavily on Arthur and Merlin's friendship, shattered in a single moment of honesty, with Arthur struggling to understand his servant's revelation, whilst Merlin continues to tend to the injured King.

Colin Morgan and Bradley James are at their best in some of the most dramatic scenes that this series has seen - Merlin's confession and conviction are embodied by a stunning performance by Morgan and the tangible disappointment in James' performance. After five series of variable screen time, Richard Wilson has a pivotal part to play as he links the characters together, revealing his pivotal role to both Arthur and Gwen and offering counsel to both.

Despite being, far too often, relegated to a bit part, Wilson remains a presence in Merlin and that is true of this final story. Many nods to the history of the series are given — Gwen returns to the medical room and servant status as she tends to the wounded, before taking control of the Kingdom; Arthur reflects on his history with Merlin, realising that he has done more for the King than he thought; Gaius offers the counsel that one would expect of the King's physician; and the Grand Dragon makes his final proclamation, bringing the legend to a close.

Merlin was never everyone's cup of tea. It doesn't stick rigidly to Arthurian legend, nor historical context. Ultimately, however, it doesn't matter. This series has been mostly entertaining and really came into its own when Katie McGrath was allowed to spread her wings and turn truly evil; and she's truly evil in this episode, without being over-the-top. By the end of the series, a new legend is being written, lives have been lost, the bad guys are defeated and the future looks bright for Camelot.

There are plenty of stories to be told and, who knows, films, TV specials and miniseries are all potential options for what has been a fantastic journey. View the discussion thread. Sign up for our daily newsletter Newsletter. Here's Dave's review In his romance about King Arthur, Thomas Malory creates a situation similar to that in Geoffrey's chronicle.

The Duke of Cornwall is summoned to Uther and is asked to bring his wife, Igrayne. When they arrive, the king sees Igrayne and "desired to have lyen by her" 3. However, Igrayne is a good and loyal wife and declines his offers. Malory differs from Geoffrey in that Igrayne asks Gorlois for an immediate departure from court before she is dishonored. Malory's representation depicts Igrayne as a virtuous woman concerned about her honor.

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The Duke and Uther fall into great dissension over his departure, which results in a war between the two. Igrayne is kept in the castle of Tyntagil where it is thought she will be safe from the King's advances. Merlin also plays a key role in Malory's version as he transforms Uther into the appearance of the Duke. However, in this story, he requests that the child the two conceive that night be given to him. Uther agrees and enters the castle to satisfy his lust. In Malory's account, the Duke is killed three hours before Arthur is conceived, making him a legitimate child.

After the birth of Arthur, Uther asks Igrayne, now his wife, who the father of the child was. She replies that a man who looked like her dead husband came to her and got her with child. The child is given over to Merlin and after the death of Uther, Igrayne only surfaces once more in the story. Igrayne reveals that Arthur and Morgause are brother and sister after Arthur has already slept with Morgause. There is little mention of love within Malory's story.

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On the Dragon's Breath book. Read reviews from world's largest community for readers. Merlin, King Arthur, the mad witch and me – Jack. Merlin, King Arthur, the mad witch and me – Jack. Jack is our 20th Century hero who travels through the five books of this series starting age 9 in Book 1 through .

Uther does tell Igrayne that he loves her no matter what when he asks her about the origins of their son, Arthur. Igrayne, however, says nothing about love to either one of her husbands. It is unknown if she even cared very much for Uther. John W. Oxford: At the Clarendon Press, Hughes's tragic play takes place after King Arthur departs for France and leaves his kingdom under the command of Mordred. Mordred has taken his queen and plans to replace Arthur as the ruler of Great Britain. The interesting thing about this play is the appearance of the ghost of Gorlois, the slain Duke of Cornwall and former husband of Igerna.

He gives a kind of prologue in the opening of the play, relating the events that took place before Arthur's birth that will now lead to his downfall. He says that since the "shamefull lust" 1. His speeches seem to convey that since Uther Pendragon committed so great a sin in killing this Duke and taking his wife, Arthur's life will forever be cursed.

This original sin that resulted in the birth of Arthur finally comes back to him in his confrontation with Mordred. The final battle between the two takes place in Cornwall where Uther Pendragon finally achieved his goal of possessing Igerna. Mordred is killed only after having mortally wounded Arthur. The tale of Uther and Igerna is important to the overall argument of this play, which is that sins will not be forgotten. Idylls of the King. London: Penguin Books, Tennyson offers a different story about Arthur's origins in Idylls of the King. Arthur's legitimacy is questioned in the story of "The Coming of Arthur" by Tennyson.

He is said to be the son of Uther Pendragon, but some do not believe he is the rightful king. Uther sees Ygerne, wife of Gorlois, and "cast upon her eyes of love" line Gorlois and Ygerne leave Uther's court immediately causing Uther to wage war against Gorlois and, eventually, killing him. Ygerne is forced to marry Uther and several months later, Uther dies.

As soon as Arthur came into the family, he was taken away to be reared by Merlin. Bellicent, Arthur's sister, is questioned about her younger brother. Bellicent makes the point that she, her mother, her father, and Uther were all dark while Arthur is quite fair. She also recounts a tale that claims that while Uther was dying, he desired an heir. That night, Merlin sees a ship with the shape of dragon wings in the sky. He can see bright shining people onboard as the sea begins to rise and fall. The great waves crash onto the shore until the ninth one plunges down in flames.

From the flames is born a naked baby that Merlin picks up and declares is Uther's heir. Arthur is supposedly this child who was mystically born to be king. The works of Thomas Malory are the basis for this retelling of the legend of King Arthur. At an Easter celebration, King Uther Pendragon sees the beautiful Igraine and falls in love with her.


She, however, is married to the Duke of Cornwall, Gorlois. When Gorlois is killed in a battle against the Saxons, Uther takes the opportunity to pursue Igraine, but his efforts fail, as he cannot reach her in Tintagil. The sorcerer Merlin comes to his aid when Uther promises to give his first-born son to him. Uther marries Igraine and together they have a child named Arthur. Arthur is given over to Merlin and shortly thereafter, his father, Uther is slain in battle. Uther and Igraine. New York: A. Knopf, Deeping's novel takes a different approach than Geoffrey of Monmouth to the story of Uther Pendragon and Igraine.

Igraine meets Uther, who calls himself Pelleas, after she must leave the abbey Avangel when it is burned down by the Saxons. Igraine shows an immense amount of bravery and pride in her flight from Avangel with the other nuns and novices of the convent. She leads the women into the forest and even holds off the heathens with a bow and arrow so that the other women may escape. She is caught, stripped naked, and tied to a tree. Her cries for help bring the wandering knight, Pelleas to her aid.

Together they ride to Winchester and, in the course of their travels, the two fall in love. However, Pelleas is under the impression that Igraine is a nun. The evening before they reach Winchester, Igraine confesses her love for Pelleas. She plans on revealing in the morning that she is only a novice. Pelleas, fearful of her breaking her vows, leaves as she sleeps. Igraine makes her way to Winchester where she lives with her uncle, Radamanth.

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She catches the eye of the notorious Gorlois of Cornwall and he vows to make her his wife. Turned off by his selfish and proud manner, Igraine refuses his advances while she discovers that her knight Pelleas just might be the soon-to-be king, Uther. After a violent confrontation with Gorlois, Igraine flees Winchester in search of Uther. Gorlois gives chase until he discovers her hiding place. In quite a departure from the story told by Geoffrey of Monmouth, Gorlois uses the magic of Merlin to take on the guise of Pelleas to trick Igraine into marrying him.

He is successful and Igraine is hidden away from the view of all men. Igraine's hate for Gorlois increases throughout the year they are married and she takes every chance to tell her husband how much she wants him dead. The war against the Saxons gives Igraine the opportunity to flee her husband and finally set eyes on Uther and recognize him as Pelleas. Uther employs Merlin to decipher his visions and in the process discovers that Igraine was not a nun.

Merlin tells him of her whereabouts and he leaves at once to meet her. It is a sad welcome when he learns of the trickery that befell Igraine. Once again, he wishes to protect her honor and leaves. Gorlois finds his wife and observes the exchange between his king and his wife and assumes she must be unfaithful. Still, he will not kill her or let her go. He is determined to break her yet. Igraine is imprisoned in Tintagel and suffers extreme physical and psychological torture. However, she will not bend to Gorlois' will and remains true to her heart and love. Word reaches Uther about the treatment of Igraine and he decides to serve his heart instead of his God.

He and Gorlois fight under honorable terms and Uther kills Gorlois. Igraine has already escaped her imprisonment and is not in Tintagel when Uther arrives. Searching for her, Uther hears that she has gone mad. When he finally finds her asleep by a pond, he waits until the dawn awakens her to speak. Igraine feels as if she has just woken from a horrible nightmare and that all that was so horrible has passed. She then asks Uther if she may now be his wife.

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Deeping makes much of the love that exists between the two. Both continually think of the other and try to remain true to their love. The Birth of Arthur Uther and Igraine. Choral Drama: The Libretto. London: W. Reeves, Merlin orchestrates the coming together of Uther and Igraine in Boughton's choral drama.

He keeps Gorlois away long enough for the conception and convinces Igraine of her duty to bring Arthur into the world. The story begins with Uther watching the tower at Tintagel as he waits for the chance to storm the castle and finally take Igraine. His patience at an end, Uther implores Ulfius for help. Ulfius seeks out the magician Merlin who is said to be spurned from the devil.

Merlin agrees to help Uther satiate his desires if he will promise to give Igraine's first-born son to him. He speaks to the storms and seas that guide him in his magical arts. He says, "So shall the greatest love give us the Hero" 9. As Merlin meets with Uther, Igraine sits in Tintagel speaking to Brastias of the emptiness of her heart. Gorlois prefers war over her affection and she does not know if she loves him anymore.

Merlin comes to Igraine and tells her she will bear a child of great importance, but not to her husband, Gorlois. Merlin and the will of the world which speaks to her through Merlin reveal to Igraine that she feels love for Uther. When Uther comes to her and confesses his love for her. Igraine replies, "Nay, Uther, twas thyself thou loved'st!

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The two embrace and Arthur is conceived that night. King Arthur and His Knights. New York: Blue Ribbon Books, Uther Pendragon, brother of Aurelius, takes over the kingship when his brother dies and fights the Saxon invasion of Great Britain. In celebration of his victories, he invites all of his noblemen for a celebration at Eastertide.

It is there that he meets Igerna, wife of Gorlois the Duke of Cornwall. Uther falls in love with Igerna. Fortunately for him, Gorlois is slain in battle and he can try to marry Igerna. However, Igerna is shut up in Tintagil and cannot be reached. Uther turns to Merlin for help and the magician agrees to assist his king on one condition. Merlin wants the first-born son of Igerna and Uther. Uther agrees and successfully marries Igerna. Together, they make Arthur who is taken by Merlin to be raised by Sir Ector.

The Once and Future King. New York: Ace Books, Queen Morgause sits below the bedroom of her young boys who are telling stories while she works her magic arts. The young Gawaine, Aggravaine, Gareth, and Gaheris tell the story of the disgracing of their granny, Igraine.

Each takes turns telling the well-known story of Uther Pendragon, Merlin, and the trickery used to defile the Countess of Cornwall. Uther Pendragon, his advances spurned by Igraine, besieges the castles of the Earl of Cornwall. He uses the necromancy of Merlin to disguise himself as Igraine's husband and is able to enter Tintagil.

The Earl of Cornwall is killed and "the chaste and beautiful Igraine" is imprisoned by Uther and forced into marriage. Gawaine is the most adamant about fighting against the Pendragons, especially the young Arthur Pendragon, for the wrong committed against their family. It seems as though this moment of storytelling foreshadows the events that lead to Arthur's ruin. John Boorman. Warner Home Video, Uther has Excalibur, the sword of power, and is recognized as the King of Britain. However, at the celebration for this truce, Uther causes a scene when he lewdly stares at the Duke's wife, Igraine.

As he watches her seductive dance, Uther declares that he must have her. The peace between the two men quickly crumbles and Uther besieges the Duke's castles. He can wait no longer and requests Merlin to help him possess Igraine. Merlin agrees to help if he can have the child that will be conceived that night.

Merlin calls on "the Dragon" to fill the night with his foggy breath and transform Uther into the likeness of the Duke of Cornwall. The Duke, chasing after Uther's retreating troops, storms Uther's camp. He is thrown from his horse and pierced by spears. A young Morgana awakes and cries out that her father is dead. At that moment, Uther appears and Igraine is fooled by his appearance. However, Morgana watches with suspicious eyes as the man lies with her mother. Later on, Igraine gives birth to a child conceived with a man she thought was her husband. Merlin takes the child as Igraine screams at Uther to run after him.

Uther relents and rushes off to find Merlin. He is ambushed by men loyal to the Duke and is wounded. Before dying, he plunges Excalibur into a stone. It is proclaimed that only the true king will be able to release the sword from the stone. The Mists of Avalon. New York: Ballantine, Bradley's account of the Arthurian saga is the most original of the Arthurian stories.

It is told from the perspective of Arthur's half sister Morgaine, daughter of Igraine and Gorlois. Through her abilities as a Seer, she can tell of things that happened even when she was not present. Igraine was given to Gorlois in marriage for political reasons and she is very unhappy with her life in Cornwall. She misses her home and her only comfort is her daughter Morgaine. An unexpected visit from Viviane is the beginning of her relationship with Uther Pendragon.

Viviane informs her that the future of Avalon lies with Uther and the child the two will make. Igraine accompanies her husband to see Aurelius, brother of Uther, who is dying and needs to figure out who will rule after his death.

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It is there that Igraine first meets Uther. The two realize that they feel a strong to pull to one another and Igraine's dreams reveal that they were lovers in a former life. Gorlois is unhappy with the attention Uther is giving his wife and departs suddenly while withdrawing his support for Uther to be king. Uther is chosen to replace Aurelius and now fights against Gorlois who will not recognize him as king. Uther uses Taliesin to gain access to Tintagel and Igraine. Igraine can see through the disguise and welcomes him into her home and bed.

While the two consummate their love, Gorlois is killed in a siege on his camp. After their marriage, Igraine spends the rest of Uther's life doting on him and ignoring everything else in her life. Her love for him is so great that she even neglects her two children, Arthur and Morgan.

After his death, Igraine joins a convent and she dies with only Gwenyfhar at her side. Arthur: King of Britain. Plymouth, MI: Tome Press, Michael Fraley, writer and illustrator of this comic book, uses the chronicle of Geoffrey of Monmouth as the basis of the story of King Arthur. Uther Pendragon assembles all of his barons and knights to celebrate his coronation.

The peaceful gathering is interrupted when Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall, abruptly leaves the court. Uther calls after him and orders him to stay. Gorlois refuses to remain so the king can continue making advances towards Ygerne, his wife. He storms out and Uther swears to punish him for the insult. Ygerne is frightened and does not wish for her husband to leave her. Gorlois tells her he must leave so that she will be safer. There seems to be a great amount of love and respect between the two. When Uther receives word that Gorlois has left Ygerne only in Cornwall he surrounds the castles and waits.

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Uther feels he cannot wait any longer to be with Ygerne and asks for the assistance of his friend Ulfin. Merlin is brought to Uther by Ulfin and says that he can help. He will transform Uther so that he appears to be Gorlois. Uther's disguise fools the guards and Ygerne. Meanwhile, Uther's troops are restless and decide to storm the camp of Gorlois.

The Duke is one the first to die and messengers travel quickly to Cornwall to deliver the sad news. Uther is saddened by the loss of such a great warrior, but still takes Gorlois's land and marries Ygerne. The comic book mentions that not much is known about Ygerne's reaction to any of this, but "we can imagine that Gorlois' death was a shadow that followed them all of their days. Uther, the Half Dead King. New York: Nantier, Beal, Minoustchine, This comic book follows the story of Uther and Igraine found in Geoffrey of Monmouth's chronicle.

Uther is poisoned and dying as he reflects on his life -- from his flight from Vortigern to his possessing of Ygrain. After his brother dies fighting off the Saxons, Uther becomes king. He receives much advice from Merlin, most of which he ignores. He upsets Gorlois, his best warrior and nobleman when he stares lustfully at Gorlois's wife, Ygrain. Merlin tries to tell him to put his mind towards uniting Britain and being a good ruler, but all Uther can think about is how to get Ygrain.

Merlin finally relents and helps him, thinking that he could still use Uther as a vessel to make the right king. He uses his magic to give Uther the appearance of Gorlois and Uther goes to Ygrain. Once Gorlois is dead, Uther marries Ygrain and she is pregnant with a child she believes is Gorlois's, but she feels no love for it.

As Merlin speaks to Uther about the future, Uther keeps thinking about the past. Merlin is frustrated with Uther and leaves him as Uther drinks from a pond. Uther is poisoned, but he stills fights against Octa, a Saxon invader, and is killed in his weakened state. Merlin reflects that Uther was too caught up in the past when only the future matters. However, Merlin knows there will be another king.

Neil Mandt. Crystal Sky International, Young Arthur is taken from his father, Uther Pendragon, and brought to the 20th century for protection against the evil Morgana. Morgana betrays Uther and joins the dark warriors in a war against the King.