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This article contains canon information corresponding to the Tales of Arcadia franchise. That means all information in this article is true and has appeared/been validated officialy on-screen.
Are you the Trollhunter? I expected you to be taller. Yes, much taller...and older. Just how old are you? Ten?
―Merlin to Jim just after waking up from his hundred years of slumber in "For the Glory of Merlin"

Merlin is a legendary wizard who is known for his might and power. He is the original creator of the Amulet of Daylight, which became passed down in the Troll society for thousands of years.

History

Biography

It is said that Merlin had mentored and aided Arthur Pendragon in taking his rightful place as ruler of Camelot. He also had an apprentice, a young woman by the name of Morgan Le Fay, and together they experimented with all sorts of magic, Merlin not realizing that his pupil was turning towards a dark path.

It is uncertain what happened, but before long Morgana betrayed her former mentor, he took her left hand and used it to craft the Amulet of Daylight to help the Trolls in their struggle against Gunmar the Black and his army of Gumm-Gumms.

Merlin was present during the Battle of Killahead, dueling against his former student while the Trolls, led by Deya the Deliverer, fought Gunmar and his forces. Expending much of his magical powers, Merlin imprisoned Morgana and then retreated to his Tomb where he fell into a deep sleep, waiting for the day he would be needed again.

However, he did not realize that while he slumbered, Morgana remained awake and spent the next thousands of years plotting her revenge and ultimate conquest.

Part Two (Trollhunters) 

Merlin appears to Jim as an illusion created by Unkar the Unfortunate, where Draal becomes Trollhunter in Jim's place, to convince Jim why he is destined to be a Trollhunter. Once the illusion progresses to the point where Draal fails to prevent Gunmar's escape from the Darklands, Jim finally ignores Unkar's pleas to think of himself, at which Merlin appears, pleased at the boy finally understanding the lesson he was trying to convey. Jim soon realized Merlin's identity when he revealed his connection to the amulet. After insisting that Jim kneel before him, Merlin stated that of all the creatures on Earth, he chose Jim as his Trollhunter and reminds him that in the real world, Gunmar is loose and Heartstone Trollmarket is in danger.

Part Three (Trollhunters)

Merlin's Tomb

Gunmar, accompanied by Angor Rot and Draal the Deadly (still under Gunmar's control) journeyed to find Merlin's Tomb to obtain the Staff of Avalon in his plan to bring about the Eternal Night. Jim, Claire, Toby, Blinky, and AAARRRGGHH!!! tried to stop them but it ended with Gunmar successfully claiming the staff and Draal's death.

As the caves of Merlin's Tomb began to fracture, the heroes tried to find a way to escape. When they came upon the true tomb of Merlin and found the wizard himself, who awoke, having never been dead, to begin with.

Merlin, using an illusion spell, reveals he was there during the Battle of Killahead Bridge, fighting against Morgana, against whom he used most of his magic in order to imprison her and most importantly, her goal of bringing about the Eternal Night. Afterwards, with a flood bearing down on them, Merlin is show the shattered pieces of his amulet, which Jim was forced to smash to get to the stone disk inside to use the Gyre to reach his tomb. Despite his lack of magic, Merlin is able to piece it back together with one of Claire's hairclips, enabling Jim to armor up and use the Sword of Daylight to part the flood. He then tells Jim that he's capable of so much more. Afterwards, they escape the tomb and portal back to Arcadia, where Merlin is amazed by the changes and advancements of the modern world.

Jim's "True" Destiny

While he gets settled into the Lake Residence, Merlin sends Jim, Claire, Toby, Blinky, and AAARRRGGGHH!!! out to find a list of ingredients, some of which he uses to craft suits of armor for Claire and Toby (albeit using Jim's Vespa).

He later reveals to the kids that he wants Morgana to be freed in order to not only end her threat forever, but also in hopes of regaining all of his magical powers. He comes to odds with Jim, whom Merlin easily defeats in a clash before subduing the young Trollhunter and revealing the ingredients he sent them out to collect weren't just so he could craft more armor, but also to make some kind of mysterious concoction.

Later, he has an honest yet tense conversation with Jim, revealing that Jim is not strong enough to defeat Gunmar even with the Sword of Eclipse, but he can be...if Jim becomes something more than human. He explains that the potion is meant to transform Jim, to make him half human and half troll, to increase his abilities. Although there is great tension between them, Merlin tells Jim that the choice is his of whether to use the potion or not, but also warns him that the transformation will be permanent and while half of Jim will stay the same the other half will change forever. That night, Jim starts to feel reluctant and scared about changing into a troll. He goes into the bathroom and pours the potion into the bathtub. While the others try to convince him not to go with the transformation, Jim begins to reflect on everything that has happened since he got the amulet. After thinking it over for a while, Jim goes into the tub, where he begins to transform into a troll.

When Jim becomes his new self, he begins to enjoy his new enhanced strength, stamina, and speed. However, he also realizes that since he is not human anymore, he can't go out into the sun, eat human food, or go to school with his friends. Jim becomes extremely depressed and begins to have an identity and existential crisis. The others become greatly concerned and chew Merlin out for convincing Jim to change his form. 

Merlin, Barbara, Blinky, AAARRRGGGHHH!!!, Claire, and Toby go to the rooftop of the school to comfort Jim in this big change in his life. They explain to him that while he may look different and has lost half of his humanity, they still love and care for him, and he is the same person on the inside. Merlin then commends them for their loyalty and declares to prepare for the Eternal Night, which will happen at sunrise. 

The Eternal Night War

As soon as the day comes, Merlin comes up with a plan to kill Morgana before the Eternal Night begins: he and Jim will infiltrate Trollmarket and attack her before she can gain full power. Blinky believes that it is a bad idea because while they are attacking Morgana, Angor, and Gunmar will be free to attack all of Arcadia. Jim stops the argument by saying that Toby and Claire will clear the Arcadia square (where everyone in town will be for the Battle of the Bands contest), while Merlin and AAARRRGGGHHH!!! go to Trollmarket to stop Morgana. Jim has to stay home until night falls, otherwise, he's likely to be burned to crisp. 

As soon as the Eternal Night begins, Jim watches the sun being blocked and is ready to fight Angor and Gunmar. Merlin and AAARRRGGGHHH!!! go to Trollmarket to find Morgana, only to encounter her minions. With the help of the spirits of the past Trollhunters, they manage to defeat the Gumm Gumms. 

With the Trollmarket gone, Merlin senses another Hearthstone somewhere in New Jersey, so he has the trolls come with him to find their new home. While Jim and Claire tag along, Toby and AAARRRGGHHH!!! stay behind to protect Arcadia in case more evil villains arrive. 

Physical Appearance

Merlin is an old wizard with the stereotypical white beard and eyebrows. He appears to wear armor that looks just like Jim Lake’s but differs in the regard that it is colored green. After he regains his lost magic, his armor now has white linings.

Personality

Merlin is a wise, yet a rather eccentric wizard, even somewhat flirting with Clarie, a 16-year-old girl. He has a tendency to make sarcastic comments to the people around him, especially Blinky and he is easily amazed by the wonders of the modern world. He easily gets on the gang’s nerves. Despite his eccentric ways, Merlin is very competent in battle and is amazing at magic spells and hexes. He also did appear to show a little sympathy for Jim when he saw him mourning over Draal's sacrifice.

There is a dark side to Merlin, an arrogance to him where he believes his many years of experience means that he knows better and that any who disagree with him are just ignorant or too young to understand his jaded views and less than forthcoming methods, as he showed in a very tense heart-to-heart he had with Jim, in whom Merlin saw perhaps a younger and more optimistic version of himself. He claims he once had faith as pure as Jim's, but became jaded and harsh in his views, but also left a great decision in Jim's hands (although it can be argued that he manipulated Jim into doing so). There's also the fact that he has trouble improvising at times when his long-term plans go sideways due to his own failure to foresee certain changes in circumstances, such as Morgana rendering his Staff of Avalon useless or that a Trollhunter's abilities would be worthless against a wizard like her.

Powers & Abilities

Magic

Renowned by both humans and trolls as the greatest wielder of magic to ever live, Merlin is a wizard of great legend. His knowledge of mystic lore and skill in wielding magic can only be challenged by his former pupil Morgana. The color of his magic is bright green.

While making the Amulet of Daylight, he was able to create fire and levitate objects with the wave of his hand.

Merlin is among the most powerful beings in the series. However, after his duel against Morgana in the Battle of Killahead, he lost much of his magic and went into a slumber in case he was ever needed again. Even so, after waking up, he is still capable of some impressive magicks which he calls parlor tricks, such as making an illusion to illustrate the role he played in the Battle of Killahead, moving objects without touching them, locking doors with a flick of his fingers, conjuring a sword, and so on. After the Eternal Night War, he seems to have regained his magic after Morgana's banishment into the Shadow Realm.

Precognition

Merlin also has the gift of seeing the future, although it is not always an exact science and he mainly gets his visions wrong. He was able to foresee the arrival of Jim and his friends to his tomb 200 years before it happened.

Immortality

Like Morgana, Merlin is immortal as he lived (as well as slept) for hundred of years without aging or even dying.

Craftsmanship

Besides his mastery of magic, Merlin is skilled in craftsmanship and blacksmithing, evident by his creation of the Trollhunter's Amulet of Daylight, the Trollhunter Armor, the Sword of Daylight, and later new suits of armor he crafted for Claire and Toby out of the parts of Jim's Vespa. It can also be said that he is an architect, evident by his lair and tomb beholding all manner of traps and mechanisms.

Much of his work involves magic, such as how his tomb undid any foreign magicks that entered (such as the mind-control of Gunmar's Decimaar blade over Draal).

Alchemist

Merlin is also a skilled alchemist and potion-maker, as he made an elixir potion that would transform Jim into a human-troll hybrid.

Swordsmanship

Even without his magic, Merlin is a true warrior and swordsman, wielding a sword of his own making to easily out-duel Jim, a skilled swordsman himself, to the point where it is clear the wizard was toying with him.

Equipment

Staff of Avalon

The Staff of Avalon is Merlin's most powerful relic and his chief weapon, which he built himself to channel the arcane energies of the universe itself. During his battle with Morgana, he uses it to trap her for thousands of years (costing him most of his magic in the process). He also placed a safeguard within his relic to prevent the wrong hands from releasing Morgana, as only human hands who can speak Troll can wield the staff. Changelings can loophole this safeguard as they can switch from fully troll to fully human, as well as speak Troll fluently in both forms.

Sword

Merlin can conjure his own sword with his magic. Unlike Jim's sword, Merlin's is more thin and light.

Relationships

Morgana

"All those centuries you locked me away, what did you think I was doing? Let me show you how strong I am now." -Morgana to Merlin during their confrontation in "The Eternal Knight: Part 1"

Morgana was once Merlin's apprentice. It's currently unknown what their true backstory was before Morgana's betrayal. However, when Morgana begins to go down a dark path, he takes her left hand to create the Amulet of Daylight, which turns Morgana spiteful towards her former master and his own Trollhunters. During the Battle of Killahead Bridge, he traps Morgana underneath Heartstone Trollmarket for hundreds of years, expending most of his magic, and falls into a deep slumber within his tomb. Unaware to him, Morgana remained awake as she plotted her revenge to kill Merlin, his followers, and bring forth the Eternal Night.

When Morgana steals most of Merlin's magic, she brutally and mercilessly attacks and mocks him for his impulsiveness before she appears before the Trollhunters to kill Jim and his friends.

Jim Lake Jr.

"I once had a heart as pure as yours, I believe. In my rest, I saw a way to finally end this stalemate. To win this war, I must have a champion with a foot in both worlds." -Merlin to Jim in "A House Divided"

Jim had an awkward first impression when he finally meets the wizard who crafted his amulet. When Merlin prevents Jim from saving his mother, he accuses him of just wanting his magic back and that he doesn't care about the world. During a tense argument, Merlin confines that he cares, but he knows that Jim can't end the war with the Eclipse Blade and his humanity alone, but he needed to be more than a simple human. He creates a potion that would transform Jim into a human-troll hybrid, but he warns him that the effects are permanent, leaving him with the hardest choice in his hands.

In "For the Glory of Merlin", Merlin did show an ounce of sympathy for Jim when he saw him mourning over Draal's death. He even assists Jim in escorting the trolls to a new heartstone in New Jersey after stopping the Eternal Night.

Blinky Galadrigal

At first, like other trolls, Blinky idolized Merlin. However, when Merlin confesses that he's only helping because he wants to kill Morgana and regain his magic, he begins to view the old wizard in a negative light, even demanding AAARRRGGHH!!! to harm him. Blinky also becomes quite displeased with Merlin when he made Jim permanently turn himself into a human-troll hybrid. While they were planning a battle strategy in "The Eternal Knight: Part 1", Blinky and Merlin argue about who to attack first and who Jim should assist.

Merlin criticizes Blinky's large vocabulary and poet-like words, which annoys Blinky. However, it is clear that they hold no personal animosity towards each other since they share the same enemies.

Episode Appearances

Trollhunters Part 2
"Escape from the Darklands"
Absent
"Skullcrusher"
Absent
"Grand Theft Otto"
Absent
"KanjigAAARRRGGHH!!!"
Absent
"Homecoming"
Absent
"Hiss Hiss, Bang Bang"
Absent
"Hero with a Thousand Faces"
Absent
"Just Add Water"
Absent
"Creepslayerz"
Absent
"The Reckless Club"
Absent
"Unbecoming"
Appears
"Mistrial and Error"
Absent
"In the Hall of the Gumm-Gumm King"
Absent
Trollhunters Part 3
"A Night Patroll"
Absent
"Arcadia's Most Wanted"
Absent
"Bad Coffee"
Absent
"So I'm Dating a Sorceress"
Absent
"The Exorcism of Claire Nunez"
Absent
"Parental Guidance"
Absent
"The Oath"
Appears
"For the Glory of Merlin"
Appears
"In Good Hands"
Appears
"A House Divided"
Appears
"Jimhunters"
Appears
"The Eternal Knight: Part 1"
Appears
"The Eternal Knight: Part 2"
Appears
3 Below Part 1
"Terra Incognita Part One"
Absent
"Terra Incognita Part Two"
Absent
"Mind Over Matter"
Absent
"Beetle Mania"
Absent
"Collision Course"
Absent
"D'aja Vu"
Absent
"Flying the Coop"
Absent
"Party Crashers"
Cameo
"Lightning in a Bottle"
Cameo
"The Arcadian Job"
Absent
"Truth Be Told"
Absent
"Last Night on Earth"
Absent
"Bad Omen"
Absent

Trivia

  • Merlin is confirmed to star in the upcoming series Wizards, the conclusion to the Tales of Arcadia trilogy. [1]
  • Merlin is based on the wizard of the same name from the King Arthur folklore.

Gallery

Tales of Arcadia logo
Arcadia Oaks-pedia has a collection of images and media related to Merlin which can be found at Merlin/Gallery.

References

  1. http://www.animationscoop.com/trollhunters-interview-marc-guggenheim-from-epic-to-epic-mas-grande/