Merlin (1998 film)

1998 television film directed by David Winning

Merlin is a 1998 film that was run as a 3 hour made-for-television special about the life of the wizard Merlin from the famous legend of King Arthur.

Directed by Steve Barron. Written by Edward Khmara with teleplay written by David Stevens and Peter Barnes.
The most magical adventure of all time. (taglines)


  • I knew I would never see her again.
  • I had won. I was trying to smile but it was the smile of desolution. Inside, I felt only the pity and the terror and the waste of it all. Everyone I had ever loved, and who ever loved me — all gone... all gone down...
  • They say that when you're unhappy, time slows to a crawl. On the other hand, when your happy ... my childhood must have been very happy, for it was over in a flash.
  • I'll kill you anyway I can, Vortigern...but I will kill you.
  • Only one tear was shed for Vortigern, and his pride had cast it away. He paid for it with his life.
  • Things fall apart, they say. Uther had betrayed me, killed Cornwall. But then, I'd betrayed Igraine by helping Uther seduce her. So the wheel of life turns - one betrayal leads to another and another. The innocent die. It haunted me for the rest of my life.
  • A reputation is like glass, once cracked it can never be repaired.
  • I was his tutor. I didn't teach him magic. I taught him ethics and morals. It is much more difficult, believe me.

Queen MabEdit

  • [announcing to minions] This is Merlin, who have come to save us, and bring the people back to the Old Ways!


  • And you can tell Her Royal High and Mighty Queen Mab that magic or no magic, if she harms you in any way, I'll have her guts for my boot laces.
  • Magic has no power over the human heart.
  • You've been sliding down the ladder of success so quickly these last few years you must have got splinters in your backside.
  • [to Queen Mab] You are so cold! If I would punch you in the heart I'd break my fist.

Lady of the LakeEdit

  • Good king. Bad king. You judge too easily Merlin. You will learn.
  • It’s human to make mistakes Merlin, and part of you is human, the best part.
  • My sister was right about one thing. When we are forgotten, we cease to exist.


  • Father Abbot: Faith is Supreme, of course. But love is even better.
  • King Arthur Pendragon: I don't know what I'll do or what I'll become. Only know what I am.
  • Frik: Handsome is as handsome does. What does that mean? I never really understood the phrase.
  • Vortigern: That is a mistake many of my enemies make. They think before they act. I act before I think.
  • Morgan Le Fay: Oh, you would think of the future, Merlin. Because the past is too painful.
  • Morgan Le Fay: Beauty is always only an illusion, Merlin. Didn't you know that?
  • Morgan Le Fay: You see, Merlin? You took my family away from me. Now, I have new one.
  • Mordred: Die, dear Auntie Mab? That's the last thing I should do.


Merlin: You killed her.
Queen Mab: No, I didn't.
Merlin: You killed her like you killed my real mother.
Queen Mab: No, I only let her die.

Merlin: I ask you to hold Excalibur for me, until a good man comes to take it from you.
Rock of Ages: Then I will be holding it forever...if not longer.

[After Arthur Pendragon's birth]
Merlin: At last. A good man, a good king. [With a crack of lightning, Mab appears]
Mab: You're easily fooled, Merlin. Uther fooled you when he killed his child is damned!
Merlin: The boy is mine!
Mab: He'll be his father's son! Because of him, the days of blood will go on and on...and out of it, the people will come back to me!
Merlin: I'll see you fade into NOTHING!
Mab: Poor Merlin. Wrong again...I'm winning.

King Arthur Pendragon: Merlin, what should I do?
Merlin: In the end, you must uphold the law.

Merlin: I'm thinking of the future here, Morgan.
Morgan Le Fay: Oh, you would think of the future, Merlin. Because the past is too painful

King Arthur Pendragon: I made a mistake that night with Morgan. But I can't believe that I'll be condemned for all eternity for one mistake.
Merlin: No, not by me. I'll never condemn you, Arthur.

Frik: And I can tell you from my experience, that elves are so short that when it rains, they're the last to know. [Morgan cackles; Frik laughs along] Because of their size. [drinks from goblet]
Queen Mab: [interrupts; disembodied] FRIK! [Frik jumps; looks at goblet; camera views face on goblet which Queen Mab takes form; whispering] Stop enjoying yourself and get on with it!
Frik: I've been thinking, Morgan, there might be a way in giving you what you want. Your son could be king.
Morgan Le Fay: Well how? If Arthur defeats Lord Lot, he could be king, and I can't marry him.
Frik: You don't have to marry him. You can just have his son.
Morgan Le Fay: We had the same mother.
Frik: [seductively] And underneath this charming and devilishly handsome exterior, I'm a crabby old gnome. [passionately kisses her]
Morgan Le Fay: You didn't have to seduce me to win me over. Like everyone else, I want the crown.
Frik: I like you, Morgan. You're a truthful young woman.
Morgan Le Fay: And I like you...whoever you are. [grabs his face and passionately kisses him]

Morgan Le Fay: The Old Ways have been good to me. They've given me a son, and made me beautiful.
Merlin: But beauty is only an illusion.
Morgan Le Fay: Beauty is always only an illusion, Merlin. Didn't you know that?

[Morgan lies dying after Mab uses her magic to make her fall on the stairs; magic fades, revealing Morgan's true form]
Morgan Le Fay: love. Am I still beautiful?
Frik: Beyond words, my love. Am I?
Morgan Le Fay: Oh, yes. Beyond words...

Mordred: Why didn't you kill him, Auntie Mab?
Queen Mab: Because that's what he wanted me to do.

Uther: You tricked me, Merlin!
Merlin: Come come, Uther. I'm a wizard, that's my business.

Merlin: There will be a child; a boy. I've seen him, Uther. He's mine.
Uther: What will you do with him?
Merlin: Teach him honor and goodness.
Uther: I can do that.
Merlin: Honor and goodness, the words stick in your throat. You choke on them just as you'll choke on your vomit in the end!

[At the Battle of Camlann]
Merlin: What are you doing here, Frik?
Frik: Betraying my principles. Indeed, I've always believed it better to be a coward for a second than dead for a lifetime...and yet here I am fighting, and fighting on the side of right, which is worse.

Mab: Sometimes...we can see into the future. This is you. As you will be.
Merlin: Will I grow that old?
Future Merlin: Have a care, young Merlin!
Merlin: Sorry sir.
Future Merlin: [chuckling] Oh, but you're right. Try and stay as young inside as you are now. That's another thing to watch out for, young Merlin. Don't start giving advice!


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