The mysterious Julius Borden arrives in Camelot with news of a magical secret that threatens to change the landscape of the kingdom forever. He has located the final part of the key to the tomb of Ashkanar, an ancient mausoleum which holds a very special treasure: the last remaining dragon's egg. Merlin is understandably drawn in by Borden's news, and promises to help him. But just who is the enigmatic stranger and, more importantly, what does he really want with the egg?
Short Description BBC One
Below is the recap of this episode, which may contain spoilers if you have not seen it yet!
A stranger sneaks into a cave with sleeping people at night. His intention is clear. He is looking for something. Quickly though he does find a box containing a metallic object with Druid runes on it. A similar piece he already possess and when he holds the two pieces at their ends to each other they become one. Upon turning around he notices that the Druids have all awoken staring at him. He runs only to be caught at a descent.
Iseldir asks him to return what he has stolen telling him it was not worth to risk anyone's life for it. The stranger sees no sense. It had cost twenty years of his life to get it, he claims. Iseldir once more tries to reason saying that he will never find the third part of the Triskellion and thus it would be absolutely useless. The stranger disagrees. He already knows where that part is and jumping over the descent manages to escape. The following day he approaches Camelot.
At night, Merlin is already asleep, the stranger knocks at Gaius' door. Apparently Gaius and the stranger know each other. Upon the loud knocking Merlin wakes up and overhears the conversation the stranger and Gaius have. It is obvious that Gaius has no love for the stranger and Merlin learns the stranger had left Gaius in serious trouble years ago when he had fled from Camelot and certain execution leaving Gaius in need of explanation to king Uther. The stranger shows Gaius the two pieces of the Triskellion of Ashkanar he has already found.
Gaius can only confirm the two pieces to be legit and he also knows about the legend the stranger does know about, too. Ashkanar hid a dragon's egg in a tomb and the completed Triskellion is the key to get in. Gaius realises that one piece is still missing denying to help the stranger to get the third and last piece the stranger believes to be at the vaults of Camelot where it has lain safe and secure for the past 400 years.
The stranger tries to convince Gaius to change his mind but Gaius does not want the dragon to hatch because he believes in Arthur and the future kingdom he is about to build. The stranger begs Gaius to think about it and when he has made a decision to come to him to the tavern in the lower town. He also assures Gaius that despite having caused trouble to him before, he was now a changed man.
When the stranger has left Merlin wants to know about him, the legend and whether there is truly the possibility for another dragon to be roaming the earth making Kilgharrah not the last of his kind after all.
Gaius explains that Julius Borden was once his pupil. Merlin does not understand why Gaius has not helped him. It was the chance to save one more dragon. Borden was not a man to be trusted, that Borden was prone to dishonesty even when he was a young man, Gaius says but confirms that the Triskellion is the real thing.
Merlin accuses Gaius that he simply does not want the dragon to live. Despite Gaius trying to convince Merlin about Borden's flaws and the nagging feeling that Borden has non honourable motives to wanting the egg, the thought of another dragon roaming the realm does not leave Merlin. He needs more advice.
At night, when Gaius has fallen asleep, Merlin steels away to meet with the Great Dragon which is happy at the prospect of not being the last of his kind. Kilgharrah knew about the egg but believed it would never be found. Now he begs Merlin to retrieve the egg. Merlin is torn because he wants to help Kilgharrah but also does not want to dismiss Gaius' forbiddance to interfere.
Kilgharrah reminds Merlin that he was a dragon lord, a gift that was passed down to him from his father who had given up everything in his life to save Kilgharrah. He asks Merlin what his father would say to him if Merlin does not help. The Great Dragon begs Merlin in his father's name to do anything in his power to rescue the egg. And Merlin gives Kilgharrah his promise.
When returning to Camelot at dawn Merlin stops by at the Rising Sun to pay Borden a visit. Quickly Merlin realises that Borden is a suspicious man. Despite him insuring that he wants to help him, Borden believes Merlin to be only a young lad wanting to go on an adventure. Merlin explains, that he is a friend of Gaius and had overheard the talk between the two of them. He wants to see a dragon's egg and he wants to come with Borden. He also knew a lot about dragons because he has read all about them.
Borden throws Merlin out of his room but stops when Merlin uses his last resort in telling him that without him Borden would never be able to enter the vaults of Camelot. Borden wants to know how a simple man like Merlin could do that and Merlin tells Borden that he is King Arthur's personal servant.
It is still morning and Arthur is asleep in his chambers when Merlin sneaks in to look for the key to Camelot's vault but he fails miserably when Arthur awakens. Not short of an excuse Merlin manages to not being caught by Arthur and on his way out he sees the key on Arthur's belt. Quick-minded he grabs the clothes, including the belt declaring that those needs washing. Almost out of the door Arthur asks Merlin to give him the belt since he needed it today.
Merlin gets his next chance in stealing the key during a meeting of Arthur with members of the council. Standing in the back he uses magic to have Arthur's trousers drop only to jump at him proclaiming he wants to help. In the originating scuffle Merlin is able to get the key leaving an embarrassed Arthur behind.
At night Merlin lets Borden into the castle through a side entrance. Merlin gives the key to Borden and waits outside the hallway leading to the vaults leaving Borden to the task to get passed the guards and open the last gate with the key which Borden assures would not be a problem to him. It takes Borden only a short while to find the case that contains the last missing piece to complete the Triskellion. Just like he did at the Druids' cave he holds the third piece to the already two connected and the Triskellion becomes one.
Upon his return Merlin leads Borden safely out of the Castle once more through the side entrance while minding the guards. Borden returns the key to Merlin and asks him how good he was at lying. While Merlin still muses about him being a not so good liar Borden knocks him out stating that now Merlin better had to be and leaves.
The following morning Merlin awakes lying still in the side entrance door. Merlin hurries to Arthur's chambers to put the key back before Arthur misses it and he is found out. The key is back just in time before Arthur awakens and the alarm bells start to chime. The break-in was discovered and Agravaine notices that whoever it was must have had a key since the lock was not damaged.
Arthur thinks it's strange that despite all of the treasures lying around only one thing was stolen. He asks what was in that case and Gaius replies with the truth: One third of a Triskellion that is part of a key to the tomb of Ashkanar where a dragon's egg is hid.
Gaius knows very well that Merlin must have been part of the theft and Merlin is appalled that Gaius tells everything about the dragon's egg to Agravaine and Arthur. Agravaine also tells Arthur that a dragon's egg can live up to a thousand years and still be able to hatch.
Arthur realises that his father's work to rid the world of the monsters would be undone and decides to hunt down the intruder and destroy the dragon's egg.
Gaius is furious that Merlin was so stupid to help Borden. The dragon's egg would have been save for another four hundred years if Merlin had not intervened. Now Arthur is after it to destroy it. Merlin hopes that Borden gets there first and once more Gaius opens his eyes that Borden certainly does not want the dragon to hatch and if what his true intentions with the poor creature really are.
Merlin joins Arthur and the knights in their pursuit of Borden. They follow his hoof tracks and Merlin spots smoke where Borden must have made camp. But upon arrival Borden is already gone with the knights assuming that he has only a couple of hours of lead. Then the track vanishes and it's becoming too dark to see. Arthur decides to make camp. Merlin on the other hand tries his best to keep the knights moving. To no avail.
After having served Arthur and the knights the food he has cooked Merlin is mercilessly teased by them into doing more chores like feeding the horses. While doing so Merlin has the nagging feeling they are not alone. During the night Merlin wakes up to his name Emrys being called. Following the voice he eventually meets Iseldir and his circle of druids.
Iseldir knows about Merlin's quest and tells him that Borden has only a three hour lead and the direction he went to. He also warns Merlin to be wary since the legend tells a tale only the druids know about. Ashkanar was a wise man and the Triskellion is not just a key to open up the tomb but also a trap. Iseldir's last words of cryptic advice to Merlin are: Only if the way ahead seems impossible will you have found it.
The next day Arthur and the knights approach another abandoned camp of Borden only this time they cannot find any more tracks to follow him. Merlin suggests to go east because he can sense that that is the direction Borden must have gone. Arthur makes fun of him until Elyan indeed finds something that points to Borden having gone east. The direction leads them to a dead end with an entrance to a cave.
Insisting that that is the way Borden took supported by a human footprint in the mud they enter the cave at which ends in an exit through a waterfall. It is no wonder that nobody has ever found the tomb before they realise. Having arrived on the other side they quickly spot the tower and hurry to reach it.
Borden is not stupid. He knows he's being followed and traps Arthur's party at a gulch in the forest. Percival is hit by an arrow into the leg and Borden keeps firing with his crossbow until Merlin snatches his crossbow away with his magic and destroying it. When Arthur arrives at the position Borden was firing from Borden is gone. Arthur is wary Borden might have placed other traps and despite Merlin hurrying ahead Arthur forces him to hold back. He does not want to risk the lives of his men and orders to make camp to continue at dawn.
Once more Merlin prepares the knights' dinner but this time they are not alone. Borden observes them and in an unwatched moment laces Merlin's stew with a poisonous mushroom. Again Arthur and the knights keep Merlin busy with chores so he does not manage to eat. When returning from collecting fire wood Arthur and every of the knights is asleep.
First Merlin thinks it is another teasing attack until he finds the mushroom in the empty pot. Quickly he realises that Arthur and the knights cannot breathe and heals all of them with his magic. With Arthur and the knights still out Merlin has no other choice than to follow Borden on his own.
Merlin reaches Borden just when he put the Triskellion into its lock to open the tomb. The druids were right, the Triskellion opens the tomb but also unleashes a gas onto Borden making him unconscious. Merlin uses his magic to exhaust the gas and proceeds to find the dragon's egg.
Just when the dragon's egg is in Merlin's reach to grab it Borden appears promising to grant Merlin a half share if he gave the egg to him. Merlin is not interested in the bargain and Borden tries to explain to him how powerful the two of them could become if they had a dragon at their command. Merlin still says now. A dragon must be unshackled and roam free. Borden tries to get the egg with force yelling at Merlin what a serving boy would know about these things.
I am the last dragon lord and I am warning you: Leave this egg alone. For a brief moment Borden shows fear before attacking Merlin. Merlin uses his magic to defeat him and quickly grabs the egg to bring it to safety.
Upon the egg leaving its place on the pillar the tomb tower starts to crumble and Merlin must hurry to get out alive. He is able to hide the egg in his bag before Arthur and the knights show up. Merlin tells them that the tomb is a trap and that Borden has set it off burying himself and the egg once and for all.
Back at Camelot Gaius questions Merlin whether he really was not able to save the egg, well knowing that Merlin cannot lie to him without him noticing it. Eventually Merlin gives up and shows the egg to Gaius. Merlin apologises to Gaius but Gaius advises him to think things through before he acts. Ashkanar, he says, did just that. It is now down to Merlin to decide what to do with the egg. And it is clear to Merlin that the egg must go where it belongs.
During the night Merlin meets once more with the Great Dragon wondering whether the egg is still alive. Kilgharrah reassures Merlin that a dragon's egg can live for more than a thousand years. Delighted that Kilgharrah is no longer the last of his kind Merlin asks him when the young dragon will hatch and learns that only a dragon lord can call a young dragon into the world by giving it a name.
This solemn duty now falls to Merlin and he summons the little dragon by the name of Aithusa. When the dragon hatches Kilgharrah explains to Merlin that a white dragon is indeed a rare thing and fitting. Because in the dragon tongue Merlin had named the dragon after the light of the sun. Kilgharrah further explains that no dragon birth is without meaning. Sometimes it was hard to see that meaning but this time it seems obvious. Aithusa bodes well for Albion, for Merlin and Arthur and the land they both will build together.