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I can see you no longer need my validation. Remember when I told you that magic is mastery over life? Nine hundred years you've guarded this realm. You've disrupted time, freed ancient beasts, fought to save one life at the risk of countless others because you believed every life was precious. And still... despite such relentless hardships, you managed to protect those dearest to you. My, Hisirdoux, what a life you've lived. What a wizard you've become.
―Merlin to his apprentice, Douxie, in the borders of afterlife[src]

Merlin was one of the main stars in the Tales of Arcadia franchise, serving as the deuteragonist of Wizards, a major character in Part Three of Trollhunters, and a cameo character in Part One of 3Below.

He was a legendary wizard who was Morgana and Douxie's master, founder of the Guardians of Arcadia, former advisor/mentor of King Arthur, the original creator of the Amulet of Daylight, and the patron of the Trollhunters.

History

Main article: Merlin/History

Physical Description

In designing Merlin, we wanted to make a wizard that had power and that's why we have him in very strong armor, rooted in technology.
―The Team at Headless Studio[src]

Merlin is an old wizard with the stereotypical white beard and black eyebrows. He has blue eyes and white hair with a silver skullcap on his head.

His armor is a green suit of knight's armor, complete with a breastplate (the chest area), pauldrons (the shoulder areas), vambraces (the forearm areas), cuisses (the thigh areas), poleyns (the knee areas), greaves (the leg areas), and sabatons (the feet areas) with green trimmings (white when in full power). Underneath the armor, there is a gray inner layer. There is also a white diamond encrusted on his breastplate.

The color of Merlin's magic is lime green.

Personality

You weren't perfect, old man... but at least you tried.
―Douxie about Merlin[src]

Merlin was a wise, yet eccentric wizard, even somewhat flirting with Claire, a 16-year-old girl. He has a tendency to make sarcastic remarks to the people around him, especially Blinky, and can easily get on the gang's nerves, as well as offend them very often.

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 debated 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 (albeit this is mostly because Merlin was asleep while Morgana was awake) or that a Trollhunter's abilities would be worthless against a wizard like her.

Despite his arrogance and eccentric ways, Merlin is easily amazed by the wonders and technologies of the modern world, very competent in battle as he truly fights for the greater good of the world, and is proficient at magic spells and hexes. He also did appear to display an ounce of sympathy for Jim when he saw him mourning over Draal's death. Merlin is also capable of showing concern for his friends, including his champions (even if he doesn't always show it). When Galahad sacrifices himself to push the Arcane Order's fortress away from Camelot, Merlin was clearly devastated.

In the border of the afterlife, Merlin finally acknowledges just how proud he was of his apprentice, Douxie, and that he no longer needs his validation to make his own path as a great master wizard. Merlin then enters the Light Realm to rest in peace and make amends with Morgana, knowing that his time is over and he must leave Douxie behind so that he and the Guardians of Arcadia may carry on and look after the Age of Man.

Powers & Abilities

Powers

  • Magically Enhanced Physiology: Merlin is among the most powerful beings in the series, as his magic enhances his physiology beyond that of an average human.
    • Enhanced Strength: Merlin is clearly strong enough to overcome Jim, as well as lift him into the air and throw him several feet away with one hand, knocking over a table in the process. He was even able to hurtle his sword through Jim’s door enough to completely barricade it when Jim tries to escape.
    • Supernatural Endurance: Merlin is able to endure almost anything, more so than a human and a troll. When he lost his magic, he could still endure many attacks, yet was clearly worn out when in battle. He was barely even able to stand against Angor Rot (a magically-enhanced troll) when he ambushes him. It's clear that he regained his endurance after returning to full power.
      • Invulnerability: Despite losing most of his magic, Merlin has shown some form of invulnerability as he withstood many of Morgana's attacks, but he clearly showed agony when she completely overwhelms him.
    • Enhanced Reflexes: Despite his old age, Merlin reacts much faster than the average human. He was able to catch one of Jim's glaives without even looking.
  • Magic: Renowned by both humans and trolls as the greatest wielder of magic to ever live, Merlin is a wizard of great legend, known for his might and power. His knowledge of mystic lore and skill in wielding magic can only be challenged by his former pupil, Morgana. However, after his duel against Morgana in the Battle of Killahead, he lost much of his magic and went into a deep slumber. Even so, after waking up, he is still capable of some impressive magicks which he calls mere parlor tricks. After the Eternal Night War, Merlin manages to regain his lost magic, though he still requires his staff to easily access and channel his full power.
    • Spell Casting: As a wizard, Merlin is able to cast thousands of magic spells, due to years of studying ancient art.
      • Eternal Night Subduing Spell: After regaining his magic, Merlin was able to end the Eternal Night at the last minute before it could reach full scale.
    • Magic Attacks: As a highly experienced wizard, Merlin is able to use his magic for various offensive attacks and defenses
      • Magic Blasts: Merlin is able to fire continuous blasts of green magic. At his full power, his blasts are strong enough to blast the Arcane Order's fortress out of the air.
    • Magic Absorption: Merlin was able to briefly absorb a little bit of Morgana's magic, albeit not enough to do serious damage to her.
    • Flight: Like Morgana, Merlin is capable of levitating and flying at great speeds. However, when he lost most of his magic, he was unable to even levitate himself (though he eventually regains this ability after Morgana's defeat).
    • Telekinesis: Merlin is able to move things without touching them, even locking doors with the flick of his fingers. While crafting the Amulet of Daylight, he is able to levitate the amulet's pieces by waving his hands.
    • Illusion: Merlin is able to make a window to the past so he could illustrate the role he played in the Battle of Killahead. Even while he was asleep, he was also able to create/show Jim an alternate reality where he never found the amulet.
    • Teleportation (apparently): Merlin once disappeared without a trace after he brewed Jim's potion.
    • Pyrokinesis: While making the Amulet of Daylight, he was shown able to light up some fire with a wave of his hand.
    • Sword Conjuring: Like Jim, Merlin is able to create his own sword with his magic.
    • Precognition: Merlin has the gift of seeing the future, although he admits that 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.
    • Astral Projection: Like Morgana, Merlin can appear to anyone in spirit form, as he does with Jim and Douxie.
    • Immortality: Like Morgana, Merlin is an ancient immortal wizard as he lived (as well as slept) for hundred of years without even dying. Likely, he also cannot be killed by any mortal weapons. He can, however, be seriously injured by anything that's magically-influenced, like the enchanted vines Morgana uses to stab him, wounding him gravely. He also vaporizes to soot when when is impaled by a corrupted Excalibur.

Abilities

  • Swordsmanship: Despite his relatively old age, Merlin is a true warrior and swordsman, even without his magic. He can wield a sword of his own making and easily out-duel Jim (who is a skilled swordsman himself) to the point where it is clear that the wizard was toying with him.
  • 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. He was also capable of concocting a magical Cradlestone that would help NotEnrique safely transport all of the Changeling Familiars out of the Darklands.
  • Skillful Orator: Despite his eccentric and rather jerky attitude, Merlin appears to be a skillful speaker, though it's completely debatable if he does this to help those see reason more clearly and/or to get them to agree with his plans. He was able to convince Jim to take a potion that changed him permanently into a human/troll hybrid, as it was the only way to stop Gunmar, Angor Rot and Morgana, and prove Jim that if he remains human, he could potentially risk the survival of the worlds (which in the novel, The Felled, proved to be the point after all).

Weaknesses

  • Magic Depletion: Despite the almost-limitless power of his magic, if Merlin expends almost all of his magic at once, he'll be left virtually powerless and incapable of performing feats beyond simple parlor tricks until he regains full strength.
    • Lack of Magic (formerly): After the Battle of Killahead Bridge, Merlin sacrificed most of his magic to confine Morgana. Therefore, he was not as powerful as he was years ago as he was only capable of casting minor "parlor tricks". Later on, however, after Team Trollhunters managed to trap Morgana in the Shadow Realm, he regains all of his lost magic his former apprentice took from him.
  • Impulsiveness: One of Merlin's quirks is that he has a tendency of not thinking his plans thoroughly enough. As Gunmar admitted, Merlin may have had centuries to devise his plans, but he never considered that Morgana would remain awake after being imprisoned for years. He never even stopped to realize that she could absorb his staff's magic enough to render it completely useless and use them as her own. Gunmar and even Morgana call him out on how impulsive he really is, even if they were just mocking him.
  • Excalibur: Despite his immortality, Merlin is highly vulnerable to the enchanted sword (mostly when it's corrupted by dark magic).

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). It's implied that it's the only relic that is powerful enough to free Morgana from her prison. He also placed a safeguard within his relic: only human hands who can speak in a trollish tongue can wield it. Changelings can override this safeguard as they can speak Trollish fluently in both forms. It is destroyed on Douxie's command in order to obtain the Genesis Seals.
  • Broadsword: Merlin can conjure his own sword with his magic. Unlike Jim's sword, Merlin's is thinner and lighter.
  • Armor: Merlin is always seen in his armor, which protects him whenever he's in any sort of combat.

Relationships

Main article: Merlin/Relationships

Quotes

Main article: Merlin/Quotes

Episode Appearances

Trollhunters

Trollhunters Part 1
"Becoming: Part 1"
Absent
"Becoming: Part 2"
Absent
"Wherefore Art Thou, Trollhunter?"
Mentioned
"Gnome Your Enemy"
Absent
"Waka Chaka!"
Absent
"Win Lose or Draal"
Absent
"To Catch a Changeling"
Absent
"Adventures in Trollsitting"
Absent
"Bittersweet Sixteen"
Absent
"Young Atlas"
Absent
"Recipe for Disaster"
Absent
"Claire and Present Danger"
Absent
"The Battle of Two Bridges"
Absent
"Return of the Trollhunter"
Absent
"Mudslinging"
Mentioned
"Roaming Fees May Apply"
Absent
"Blinky's Day Out"
Absent
"The Shattered King"
Absent
"Airheads"
Absent
"Where Is My Mind?"
Absent
"Party Monster"
Absent
"It's About Time"
Mentioned
"Wingmen"
Absent
"Angor Management"
Absent
"A Night to Remember"
Absent
"Something Rotten This Way Comes"
Mentioned
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"
Mentioned
"Just Add Water"
Absent
"Creepslayerz"
Absent
"The Reckless Club"
Absent
"Unbecoming"
Voice
"Mistrial and Error"
Mentioned
"In the Hall of the Gumm-Gumm King"
Absent
Trollhunters Part 3
"Night Patroll"
Absent
"Arcadia's Most Wanted"
Absent
"Bad Coffee"
Absent
"So I'm Dating a Sorceress"
Mentioned
"The Exorcism of Claire Nunez"
Mentioned
"Parental Guidance"
Voice
"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

3Below

3Below 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

Wizards

Wizards Part 1
"Spellbound"
Appears
"History in the Making"
Appears
"Witch Hunt"
Appears
"Lady of the Lake"
Appears
"Battle Royale"
Appears
"Killahead, Part One"
Appears
"Killahead, Part Two"
Appears
"Wizard Underground"
Appears
"Dragon's Den"
Appears
"Our Final Act"
Appears

Trivia

  • According to Aaron Waltke on his Twitter page, Merlin has great distaste and some sort of complicated relationship with dark magic, ones which his former apprentice, Morgana, used when she follows a dark path and betrays him.
  • Merlin is the only main star of the franchise to be killed off permanently.
  • Merlin is based on the wizard of the same name from the Arthurian folklore.
    • He is the second DreamWorks character to be based off of him. The first being Mr. Merlin from Shrek the Third.

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. Race to Trollmarket
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