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Thrones Star on Merlin

By April 23, 2012

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Liam Cunningham on the set of (I)Merlin(/i).

Liam Cunningham on the set of Merlin.


© BBC via Digital Spy

Merlin's cast of underage legends works best with a glowering adult or two.

Merlin, Arthur, Gwen, and Morgaine are all still in their salad days compared to the long cycles of lore associated with them, and they need grizzled foils to antagonize them from a position of stony grudges and long games, to complement the sympathetic veteran Gaius (Richard Wilson). For three seasons that role was accomplished by Anthony Head as King Uther, and then after the king's emotional passing came a very effective Nathaniel Parker as the scheming but lovesick Agravaine.

But Agravaine didn't survive finding out about Merlin's abilities by more than a few minutes, leaving vacancies in the gray-bristle-and-flinty-eyes department for the upcoming season 5, which started filming at the end of last month.

It's not yet clear if there will be a older season regular taking over from Parker full time--after all, season 5 will find the regulars themselves a little older and perhaps wiser (advance word says it will be set several years after the events of the fourth season, at the end of which King Arthur drew Excalibur from the stone and married Gwen). But one episode, for sure, will have grizzle aplenty, provided by Liam Cunningham, also known as Ser Davos Seaworth in Game of Thrones.

"We can confirm that... Liam Cunningham is going to appear in series five, along with returning guest stars Lindsay Duncan (Queen Annis) and Janet Montgomery (Princess Mithian)," the BBC said.

Details of season 5 are still emerging (the return of Mordred, but also older, has been announced; he'll be played by Alexander Vlahos). But Merlin creators Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy are already looking ahead: they've mentioned that they've been pondering how the series storylines could continue beyond the upcoming fifth run despite the original five-year plan.

"We've always planned five series, but it depends on how popular the show is," said the pair. "There's every possibility it could continue."
Tags: Merlin, Liam Cunningham
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