Tears to Tiara – 13
Suspecting that Gaius will launch an attack soon, Arawn knows that they need allies to face the threat. He decides to seek out the Brigantes tribe which Ogam reveals has a blood connection to their own tribe. The night before they set out, Arawn finds Riannon troubled, and he advises her to listen to her inner voice. The next day, the group begins their journey and eventually finds themselves surrounded by Brigantes archers. The person who comes forth to represent the Brigantes is none other than Taliesin, and he refuses to let Arawn’s group through. He reveals that the head of the Brigantes is actually dead, and there’s no new leader because of a cursed prophecy.
Since they’re at an impasse, Arawn proposes each sending a representative so that they can settle this, and Arthur volunteers to go up against Taliesin. Arawn ups the ante by betting his own life on Arthur, but Arthur is still conflicted because he doesn’t want to fight Taliesin when Taliesin is injured. He goes off on his own for a moment before finally returning, ready to fight. The sword battle is fierce, and Taliesin is quite skilled, but Arawn and Ogam notice something about Arthur. It’s not until after Taliesin wins that he realizes as well that Arthur had earlier dislocated his own shoulder so that he could fight on equal terms. Arthur’s subsequent speech inspires the other Brigantes to gather around them in support, and Arawn decides that they should withdraw for now because they managed to make some progress.
I found this episode to be rather slow. I’m glad that Arthur got some more character development (Taliesin as well – what is it with normally restrained characters suddenly becoming so emotional/crazy-eyed?), and it’s good to finally get some indication about who the little girl in the OP and ED might be, but this episode just seemed to drag on and on with all of the dialogue, and it culminated in a sword fight that was way too brief. It felt like a lot of what they said wasn’t very important (though I bet that curse will pop up again), and they could have gotten to the same conclusion a lot quicker without losing out on much. So all in all, I didn’t enjoy this episode very much, and I hope that the next one will pick up the pace a little.