Episode 07: Review 1×03 The Mark of Nimueh

cover art in which Merlin wears a headset with microphone and holds up a finger to his lips as if to tell you to be quiet

In today’s episode, MissSnowfox and Momo talk about the third episode of BBC’s Merlin, “The Mark of Nimueh”.

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Merlin Olympics: Winter Games*
#Ressurection – a Merlin Fanthology
Reel Merlin has a mandatory check in coming up.

*It looks like they’re still not sure if the fest will run again. Watch their LJ for more news.


Merlin Wiki Episode 1×03


  • First aired 4 Oct 2008
  • 3 female characters (with lines)
    • 2 main cast (Gwen, Morgana)
    • 1 supporting cast (Nimueh)
  • 5 male characters (with lines)
    • 4 main cast (Arthur, Merlin, Gaius, Uther)
    • 1 supporting cast (Tom)
  • Enemy/Monster of the Week: Nimueh, Afanc
  • Arthur & Merlin kill 1 creature (Afanc)


The Afanc

  • Lake monster from Welsh mythology
  • Not entirely clear what the Afanc actually does, except look monstrous and thrash about when it’s clad it chains, which is a relatable reaction, tbh.
  • Several legends and stories around it
  • Some legends say that it was slain by King Arthur

4 thoughts on “Episode 07: Review 1×03 The Mark of Nimueh

  1. I agree with Momo: Merlin is what amounts to a baby; he is the Bambi of the magical world and he is stumbling around on his untrained legs without a single older deer/stag to show him what to do.

    Gaius failed him in this episode – as he has failed him in countless episodes.

    Gaius is supposed to be guiding him on his path and instead he reprimands Merlin for acting on a rash impulse when he never took the time to explain in the first place. Gaius is the “hoe, don’t do it” character, but he never takes the time to explain why; he just expects Merlin to listen without questioning him in the slightest.

    That isn’t going to work with Merlin.

    Gaius needs to be explicit from the beginning, and he never is. Merlin doesn’t seem to grasp the subtle cues he gets from Gaius and while that is frustrating, it is also understandable because he is so young, naive and eager to do something with himself and his magic. Merlin just wants to help people with his magic and he knows that he can. But Merlin sees each moment separately; he doesn’t see the sequence of events that single moment will cause. Merlin doesn’t see the ripple effect when he drops the metaphorical pebble into the lake and that makes him a rather dangerous character.

    But that danger is worsened around Gaius – who makes no attempt to rationalize his actions when speaking to Merlin.

    Something else that bothered me about the episode was the beautiful moment between Merlin and Gwen – when she realised that she’d never told people about her father feeling better and still Merlin knew. That moment was so warm and beautiful. Gwen had looked at him so softly, so wonderingly, and it would have been wonderful for that moment to be the one when where Gwen realised Merlin had saved her father. That Merlin had magic. That magic wasn’t what Uther kept claiming it was. That magic could be good. It would have been wonderful for Merlin to have a confidante that wasn’t Gaius or the conniving lizard beneath the castle.

    I doubt Gwen would have turned on him when she was captured – not on the man who’d saved her father. Who’d put himself at such risk to help them.

    I also shipped Merwen in season one and I still ship them now. I started shipping Merlin/Arthur/Gwen as a triad at some point and I can’t remember when that moment was. Actually, I also started shipping Merlin/Morgana/Gwen as a triad. Truthfully, I just want Merlin and Morgana to marry, and Arthur and Gwen to marry, and for Arthur and Morgana to share each other’s spouses while the four of them unite Albion and rule together. But I digress. LOL

    Angel’s acting was so raw in that episode. I loved it.

    Also, Momo, EXACTLY!!! Arthur was like “nah, bruh, you’re in love and it made you stupid. Now. Shut. Up.” *stares meaningfully*

    Re-watching that scene the other day, I wanted Arthur to find Merlin later and be like, “I appreciate your bravery, but you’re fucking stupid. Do you know what you’ve done?!?!? You can’t go around yelling, ‘it was me’: people might believe you at some point and then you’ll be dead. What good will that do?!?!”

    I also don’t understand how Arthur didn’t hear Merlin spouting his magical mumbo jumbo in the tunnels because Merlin was LOUD. JFC. Lmao. Ugh!!! Why did Arthur have to be so willfully obtuse/ignorant?!?!?!?

    Another thing: I love that long brown coat too. I lament its absence in the later seasons. I wish we could have seen a more vibrant and diverse wardrobe for Arthur. Like, I want to know how he’d have looked in greens and purples, etc, because men wore vibrant colours back then too. It wasn’t just red, blue, white, and some chainmail/armor.

    I’m looking forward to the next episode of Merlisten!!! I love this podcast!

  2. I’m just going to share a piece of useless information about Afanc here (that I already shared in private chat but let’s make it official 😀 ).

    And the useless information is that I’ve been calling Afanc ‘Miss July’ ever since I bought the official Merlin Season 1 calendar where Afanc occupies the July page. 😀

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