Morgan (formerly known as Morgan Pendragon, name stripped) is the daughter of the late Uther Pendragon, the half-sister of King Arthur Pendragon. She is also a very powerful witch. Beautiful, crafty and ruthlessly ambitious, Morgan is excessively fascinated by the dark forces of her witchcraft.
At some point during her childhood, Morgan's Mother was brutally murdered at the hands of her father, Uther Pendragon. While the details of her mother's death remain a mystery, Morgan believes that Uther killed her mother so that he could marry his mistress, Igraine (Although, Morgan's certainty of this version of events may suggest that she was either a witness to her mother's murder, later witnessed the event through magick or was led to believe this while at the nunnery). Because of this, Morgan developed a deep hatred toward her father and her step-mother, unbeknownst to Morgan, Uther had planned to murder her as well, however he was persuaded by Igraine to banish her instead.
For the following fifteen years, Morgan was raised in a nunnery across the sea, it was here that Morgan came to meet a nun named Sybil, whom she initially despised, however, at some point in time, Morgan and Sybil became friends, and Sybil began to teach Morgan how to practice magick. According to Sybil, even though she had converted to the Catholic Church, as a means to keep dark forces at bay, she remained a loyal participant in a Pagan ritual that occurred once every ten years.
While the details of the ceremony remain unknown, it is said that the ritual revolves around the sacrifice of a Chosen One. Sybil implied that the children in the orphanage where put through a series of tests and whatever child passed would be offered to the Gods as a gift. If appeased, the Gods would bless the community with bountiful crops and prosperity, however, if the ritual failed, the Gods would punish them by allowing dark forces to ravage the land. While it is unknown if the child that was chosen for the ritual was murdered remains unknown, according to Sybil, the Chosen One was "sacrificed" to the Gods, however, according to Merlin, there are many connotations to the term "sacrifice", and does not always mean "death" or "murder". While it was never explicitly stated, many have come to believe that Morgan was the Chosen One during her stay in the nunnery. In which case, the children were not killed, as Morgan was still alive.
After the arrival of an unsuspecting visitor, King Uther is surprised to discover the return of his daughter, Morgan, whom had traveled across the seas to offer Uther her forgiveness for banishing her fifteen years before. Disinterested in her forgiveness, Uther violently rejects his daughter and evicts her once again. Later that night, Morgan transfigures herself into the form of her childhood image and successfully poisons Uther. As the only child of Uther, Morgan intended to take the kingdom for herself as she saw it was rightfully hers. However, her plans suffer a setback when she learns that Merlin had secretly hid the existence of her half-brother, Arthur Pendragon. However, after the arrival of her former teacher, Sybil, Morgan reluctantly accepts her help to become queen. After countless failed attempts to undermined Arthur and his champions, Sybil suggests that Morgan take another approach to take the throne: loyalty. Morgan proceeds to earn the trust of the nation by secretly ordering attacks on homes and villages of Britain, in which she would blame Arthur for the attacks and prove herself as the true leader by solving their problems.
After Morgan discovers that she can transform herself into the image of her step-mother, Igraine, Morgan infiltrates Camelot and causes chaos within the castle by revealing everyone’s darkest secrets. When Morgan returns home, she commands an army of soldiers to attack the villagers of Bardon Pass. Knowing that Arthur will be there, she commands her soldiers to kill him and retrieve his sword.
Believing Arthur to be dead, Morgan prepares for her coronation. However, before she is officially crowned as the Queen of Britain, Morgan is alarmed to discover that Arthur is alive and well. She is even more horrified to know that Arthur has discovered her true ambitions as he reveals her secrets to the country of how she cheated, lied and murdered to become Queen. However, just before Arthur can sentence Morgan to death for treason, Sybil intervenes by taking blame. Sybil examples to Arthur that she was the one who initiated the attack on Bardon Pass and that Morgan was innocent. Knowing this to be a lie, Arthur returns from Sybil's execution only to punish Morgan by taking away her surname and validating her as an enemy of Britain. Overwhelmed with animosity and despair, Morgan unavailingly retorts Arthur by reminding him that she will always remain the true heir of of the throne as she is the daughter of Uther Pendragon and that he is merely his unwanted bastard.
Broken and defeated, Morgan visits Sybil's grave only to apologize that she couldn't save her. As she begs for forgiveness and asks her what she should do, Morgan is able to hear Sybil’s voice in the wind telling her that in order to become Queen, she must give birth to a King (echoing Igraine's words to Morgan from earlier on in Season 1). Later that night, Morgan tricks Arthur into having sex with her by transfiguring herself into Guinevere, Arthur's one true love. Shortly after Arthur and Morgan make love, Morgan leaves his chambers hoping to be pregnant.
Appearance and Personality
Morgan Pendragon is well-known for her beautifully long brown hair and ocean-blue eyes that are often outlined by dark mascara. Although she appears innocently kind and loving, creator Chris Chibnall once described Morgan as "poisonous honey"; seemingly sweet, but entirely deadly.
Morgan is one of the darkest and most powerful witches who lived during the Dark Ages of Britain. While the extent of her powers remain unknown, Morgan is believed to have exceeded many of the sorcerers who came before her, although her powers still paled in comparison to those of Merlin.
Among her many achievements, Morgan is notably known for her communion with dark spirits. Morgan has on a number of occasions summoned these spirits as a means to divine information about her path and whether or not there was a better way of doing something. Morgan was also a very talented shape-shifter who was able to take the form of anyone she desired. However these dark powers she possessed took a great toll on Morgan's body, causing her to spew dangerous amounts of blood and suffer great pain each time she changed forms.
She was also apparently able to teleport, as seen in The Long Night.
- After Arthur Pendragon stripped Morgan of her surname "Pendragon", it can be assumed that she changed her named from Morgan Pendragon to Morgan Le Fay, as she is commonly referred to in Arthurian mythology.
- Going off Arthurian Mythology, some fans speculate that Uther’s murder of her mother, as well as his abusive nature towards her, is due to Morgan having been the result of an affair, as in the mythology, Uther Pendragon was not the father of Morgan Le Fay (ironically her mother was Igraine, the mother of King Arthur).
- Morgan, as portrayed on the show, is a composite character of two women from Arthurian Mythology: Morgause and Morgan Le Fay.
- The idea of Morgan being Mordred’s mother originated from the 1981 movie Excalibur, so as to avoid having to portray both of King Arthur’s sisters. In the Arthurian Mythology, Morgause was the mother of Mordred by King Lot, and it was Mordred’s own ambition, rather than his mother’s scheming that led him to attempt to seize Arthur’s throne. It was until Thomas Mallory’s Le Morte D’Arthur that the idea of Arthur being the father of Mordred arose, but the conception arose out of Morgause and Arthur’s ignorance of of their status of being half-siblings, rather than selfish scheming of Morgause, and once again, Mordred‘s downfall was caused by his own desire to be King rather than that of his mother’s.
- Morgan Le Fay, as portrayed by both the show and modern media overall, has very little in common with the Morgan Le Fay of Arthurian Mythology. Viewers who are familiar with the Arthurian Mythology would notice that Morgan has little in common with the figure of Morgan Le Fay, aside from being a sorceress and having an antagonistic nature towards King Arthur. In her earliest appearance in Geoffrey of Monmouth‘s works, Morgan is the eldest of the nine faery sisters who rescue Arthur from the Battle of Camlann to be healed in Avalon. After this, a slightly more villainous Morgan arises, here Morgan is unhappily married to King Urien by her stepfather Uther, and so begins an affair. Soon afterwards, she is caught with her lover by Queen Guinevere who outs her to everyone. Leaving Camelot in disgrace, Morgan seeks out Merlin (in the Vulgate he is portrayed as a half-demon, rather than the mysterious druidic fae entity of Welsh legend) to learn the art of sorcery. In Merlin, Morgan finds both a generous and willing teacher, as well as a lifelong friend and lover. Once she finished her education under Merlin’s tutelage, Morgan is granted the moniker 'la fée' (the fairy) due to her great knowledge. In any case, having finished her studies under Merlin, Morgan begins scheming her vengeance as she tries to undermine virtue and achieve Guinevere's downfall whenever she can. Rather than simply wishing for Arthur’s throne like modern media suggests, in the Arthurian mythos, the reasons for her initial hatred of him are never fully explained other than just an extreme antipathy towards the perfect goodness of which he symbolises. After a long and varied career (during which at one point, Merlin enabled Morgan’s escape from Arthur’s wrath) Morgan ceases troubling Arthur and vanishes for a long time, and Arthur assumes her to be dead. But one day, he wanders into Morgan's remote castle while on a hunting trip, and they meet and instantly reconcile with each other. It’s here that Morgan reveals the true nature of Guinevere and Lancelot’s relationship. After Arthur is gravely wounded in the Battle of Camlann, Morgan completes her redemption by ferrying Arthur to Avalon to be healed.
|Main: Arthur Pendragon • Morgan Pendragon • Merlin • Guinevere • Kay • Igraine Pendragon • Leontes • Gawain • Vivian • Sybil|