Tears to Tiara – 18
As Gaius and his forces advance on the inner walls of Avalon, unbeknownst to them, Arthur has joined his forces with Ogam’s and is coming to the rescue. They arrive just as Gaius reaches the final gate, and Arthur announces his return to Arawn, citing what he’s learned. To everyone’s surprise, Arawn then appears with a bang by breaking through the final gate himself and taking out the enemy’s battering ram in the process. Arawn’s reappearance rallies his forces, so Gaius tries to motivate his men as well, and he personally charges with sword drawn at Arawn and Riannon. Not taking any action himself, Arawn trusts Arthur enough to let him stop Gaius’s blade. Since Gaius is focused on defeating him to end all this, Arawn makes it a point to say that things won’t change and that his goal is still Regulus.
Gaius doesn’t truly understand this until after he fights with Arthur a bit more, and he recalls that the other meaning of Regulus is “little king.” This causes him to realize that Arawn’s goal is actually to raise Arthur to be king. Given that, Gaius turns his full attention to defeating Arthur, but he’s unable to do so, and Arthur gets the killing blow. As he dies, Gaius requests that the lives of his men be spared, and Arthur agrees. Gaius also asks them to find a more tolerant free world in his place, and when Arthur questions if he’s qualified to do that, Arawn tells him that he’s already walking down the right path. Unbeknownst to all of them, around this same time, the Empire’s Senate gets attacked by someone clad in white who reveals that the emperor is dead.
In terms of action and fight choreography, this episode was quite entertaining. Gaius fighting Arthur in particular was great because of Gaius’s speed despite wielding a massive sword, and he seemed to have such an upper hand early on that I was a little disappointed to see him leave himself so open to an easy killing blow. Morgan and Octavia were a lot of fun to watch as well, though I was curious about why they had that close-up shot of the necklace halfway through the episode. It just seemed out of place. In any case, I was also happy to see Arawn finally reappear with his usual swagger, which has sorely been missed because I’m still not a big fan of Arthur. I guess all the little king stuff means that his goal is for Arthur to be something like Pwyll’s successor, and that in turn makes me think that Arawn is going to die or go to sleep again at the end of this series, leaving everything to a mature Arthur.
Anyway, now that Gaius is out of the way, the story appears to be turning towards the final arc with that guy in white as the main villain. It’s sad to see all the action coming to an end for the time being, and next week looks to be focused on character development for some of the side characters.