We take a look back at some of Merlin‘s best guest stars…
John Lynch as Balinor
Merlin’s estranged father and the last surviving dragon lord, Balinor came in and out of Merlin’s life in the final episode of the Series 2. Hunted by Uther and living as a recluse in a remote cave, he is sought out after Merlin frees the Great Dragon and it begins to exact its revenge on Camelot.
John Lynch (Spooks, Silent Witness) portrays Balinor as tough and grizzled, resentful of Uther’s persecution of his kind. He’s a healer too, and tends to Arthurs wounds. Sadly, he’s killed in a fight with one of King Cenred’s men before any real father/son bonding can take place.
Charles Dance as Aredian
Called in by Uther to root out sorcery in Camelot after Merlin is careless, the determined and remorseless Aredian is a Witchfinder in the Series 2 episode of the same name, who will stop at nothing to get his result.
Played by esteemed actor of stage and screen, Charles Dance (Game of Thrones), he is determined to find the evidence required and, when it is not forthcoming, he is not above a little trickery to achieve his ends.
With himself, Gaius and Morgana in danger of discovery, Merlin has to expose Aredian’s trickery and discredit him before he can reveal expose the magical secrets at the heart of Camelot.
Santaigo Cabrera as Lancelot
The bravest and most noble knight of Camelot, Lancelot appeared in each of Merlin’s four series.
Despite smouldering good looks that turned Gwen’s head and a way with his sword that impressed Arthur, it’s Merlin who becomes his best friend. The knight is one of the few to share Merlin’s magical secret, and gave his life to save both Arthur and Merlin.
Santiago Cabrera is better known to many as Isaac Mendez, the prophetic comic book artist who featured in the first season of Heroes.
Michelle Ryan as Nimueh
Played by former EastEnders actress, and one time Bionic Woman, Michelle Ryan, Nimueh was Merlin’s first ‘big bad’ and appeared in four episodes.
Scene-stealing and oozing villainy, the evil sorceress made various attempts on Camelot in her grudge against Uther including poisoning the water supply, bewitching Arthur and sending him to his death and even raising Uther’s brother-in-law from the dead.
Ultimately, in the Series 1 finale Le Morte d’Arthur, she is killed when bested by Merlin in a magical confrontation on the Isle of the Blessed.
Lindsay Duncan as Queen Annis
Tough as nails and out for revenge, Queen Annis presented the first challenge to Arthur as King. Having executed her husband, Camelot incurs her wrath and, egged on by Morgana, she amasses her troops for all out war.
Agreeing to Arthur’s request for one-to-one combat, rather than a full battle, she stands her forces down when Arthur bests her champion and spares his life.
Lindsay Duncan has worked extensively in television, with a list of major drama series to her name, including Doctor Who’s The Waters of Mars and the first episode of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror series.
Who has been your favourite guest star in Merlin? Let us know below…