The Last Defender of Camelot (The Twilight Zone)
"The Last Defender of Camelot" is the second segment of the twenty-fourth episode of the first season (1985–86) of the American television series The Twilight Zone. It was based on the short story of the same name written by Roger Zelazny, and was adapted by George R. R. Martin.
|"The Last Defender of Camelot"|
|The Twilight Zone episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1|
|Directed by||Jeannot Szwarc|
|Written by||George R. R. Martin |
|Original air date||April 11, 1986|
London, 1986. An elderly gentleman packs his car to go on a trip and he is accosted by three young thugs. He turns the tables on them and forces one of the thugs whose name is Tom to reveal that a woman paid them to perpetrate the attack. The old man forces Tom to take him to the woman and they enter a fortune teller's shop, where a woman is sitting in the dark. The old man turns on a light over the woman's face and recognizes her as Morgan le Fay of legend and that she knows the elderly man is Lancelot. Merlin, she says, is hiding in a cave in Cornwall and Lancelot is planning to meet with him. She warns that Merlin is dangerous and is not to be trusted. She casts a spell that sends Lancelot and Tom to the cave entrance, where Lancelot enters alone.
Merlin questions Lancelot about the state of the world and then insists that they work together to place a king of Merlin's choosing on the throne. Lancelot explains that the world has changed; kings are mere figureheads and the people elect their own leaders now. He also tries to explain the modern dangers of war but Merlin remains unconvinced. Instead, he demonstrates his power by animating an empty suit of armor to make a champion. Drawn by the flashes of light emitted by Merlin's magical discharges, Tom enters the cave and joins Lancelot and Merlin. As they exit the cave, the setting has changed, and Merlin reveals they are now at Stonehenge. Merlin insists upon sacrificing Tom to completely restore his magic but Lancelot objects, insisting he will fight to defend Tom. Morgan le Fay then arrives, to Merlin's disgust.
Lancelot demands his armor and weapons to challenge the Hollow Knight for Tom's life. Merlin complies, summoning black armor, a sword and a shield bearing Lancelot's coat of arms. Donning the armor, Lancelot engages the Hollow Knight and eventually gains the upper hand. Seeing Lancelot has all but vanquished the Hollow Knight, Merlin attempts to interfere. Observing this, Morgan distracts Merlin by attacking him magically. Merlin retaliates by turning his staff on her, and Morgan le Fay is mortally wounded. But Morgan's attack on Merlin enables Lancelot to defeat the Hollow Knight. Undeterred from his purpose, Merlin then points his staff at Lancelot and attempts to destroy him but Lancelot blocks the attack with his shield. He then uses his sword and breaks Merlin's staff. Powerless without his staff, Merlin then insists that Lancelot kill him but Lancelot refuses. Merlin then succumbs to his advanced years and vanishes.
Very near death, Morgan le Fay instructs Lancelot and Tom to take a right at the fork to return to London, then expires in Lancelot's arms. As he and Tom approach the fork, Lancelot sees a beautiful castle in the distance decides to head there instead. Tom starts to continue the return trip to London, then follows Lancelot.
|“||Once upon a time, there was a realm of myth and magic—a high, bright dream that shimmered briefly and then was gone, leaving only memories and one ageless, weary, slightly tarnished hero who proved at last that wisdom and valor go hand in hand, on Earth, in Camelot, and...in the Twilight Zone.||”|