Tears to Tiara – 17
While the battle continues on outside, Arawn remains unconscious in bed despite the fact that his wound should have already healed. Unbeknownst to everyone, Arawn is seeing visions of Myrddin who reminds him of the past and why the elves fought alongside him. It makes Arawn question if he was mistaken in what he did, but he then sees a vision of Primula and Pwyll who tell him that he wasn’t, and they urge him to wake up. They show him visions of how everyone is fighting hard and trying their best right now, causing Arawn to realize his own patheticness, and Pwyll reminds him of how he invoked his trust. The battle meanwhile winds down for the night, but Gaius’s massive battering ram has finally arrived to destroy the castle gate. During a break in the fighting, Gaius confides to his subordinate that he’s planning on becoming the next Emperor after this is all over, and he proceeds to kill the spy who was working for the Senate. Gaius’s reasoning is that he can create a better and more tolerant country.
By this point, Arthur has reached the forest where Taliesin and his tribe reside. Arthur wants to go see the Brigantes chief to ask for help, but Taliesin once again stands in his way. Taliesin observes that Arthur has changed since they last met, so Arthur explains that he finally realized how stupid he was up to now with all the vows and laws. The lesson he should have learned from his own people is that they’re all irreplaceable friends, and he now wants to repay them by saving them, making particular note of Arawn who called him a friend. Arthur’s determination to fight for his friends reminds Taliesin of Pwyll, and, as the leader of the Brigantes, he summons his forces and throws his support behind Arthur. While Arthur leads these men toward Avalon, back at the castle, Riannon has had to retreat her forces to the inner wall because the enemy battering ram has successfully broken through the main gate.
I was hoping this episode would be a lot better than it actually ended up being. It’s still not bad of course (as usual, the fighting was nice), but I was rather disappointed at how prolonged Arthur’s revelation was about the whole friends thing because it’s so stupidly obvious. And having Taliesin gather an entire army like that in 30 seconds by just calling out for them was laughable in a what-the-hell sort of way. It would have been more believable if he had used magic to summon an army of mythical creatures or something. His men don’t exactly constitute an overwhelming force either compared to Gaius’s army, so I have a hard time envisioning them doing anything like a heroic charge to save the day a la the cavalry in the LOTR movie version of Helm’s Deep. Then again, they might not need to defeat the entire army. I suspect that if they just killed Gaius, then his men would give up and the battle would be over. The fact that Gaius revealed his lofty goals of making the Empire better only makes me think that he’s now that much more likely to die. The preview shows Arthur fighting with him, so maybe that is what happens, thought I’m sure Arawn reappearing will be critical too.