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In the end of episode 5x11 "The Drawing of the Dark", Mordred reveals Morgana that Emrys, whom she has been searching for long, lives in Camelot and is, in fact, our hero Merlin.

My question is: how does he know? Some thoughts:

  • The only people who know Merlin's identity are Gaius, Alator (who has known that from Gaius) and his disciple Finna (and Kilgharrah, but I don't think it matters here);
  • Alator refused to reveal Emrys' identity to Morgana, at the cost of his life;
  • Finna, when captured by Morgana (end of 5x10 "The Kindness of Strangers") kills herself before telling anything to Morgana;
  • Mordred knows that Merlin is a Sorcerer but, as he says while confronting Morgana in 5x09 "With All My Heart",

    MORGANA: [...] Where's Emrys?

    MORDRED: Emrys?

    MORGANA: You pretend you do not know of whom I speak?

    MORDRED: It is a name I've only heard of.

So my question is: how can Mordred, in the end of the episode, know Emrys' true name? When did he became aware of that?

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Mordred has known all along, going back to his very first appearance in season 1; in that episode:

  • He comes to Camelot and meets Merlin
  • He realizes that Merlin is "Emrys", a figure in the lore of his people (the druids):

    Mordred* [telepathically] Thank you, Emrys.

    Merlin: [telepathically] Emrys? Why do you call me that?

    Mordred [telepathically] Among my people, that is your name.

    Merlin Season 1 Episode 8: "The Beginning of the End"

Quite how he recognizes Merlin is never made entirely clear, but Kilgharrah later hints at some secret lore:

Merlin: How does the boy know who I am? I've never even met any Druids.

Kilgharrah: There is much written about you that you have yet to read.

Merlin Season 1 Episode 8: "The Beginning of the End"

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  • Damn! That was a long shot to remember! Thank you, my friend. – Cynical Sep 10 '16 at 16:05
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I dont know how he knows but i think powerful sorcerers and druids are able to sense he is emrys, as when arthur, merlin and gwaine got the cup of life from the druids (S3 E12) the leader of that group of druids knew he was emrys too. might be a cop-out but maybe its just their magic is particularly strong that they can sense it, like when merlin can sense magical objects or senses mordred.

My only other theory is like said above, that they knew enough of the druid prophecies to tell merlin was emrys. this would explain why morgana and morgause never knew he was emyrs, they didnt know the prophecies well enough. maybe Morgana didnt realise because she knew merlin for so long the she automatically rejected the idea so her mind overrode her magical ability and knowledge.

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Mordred knows who Emrys is because he is part of the druids and the druids call Merlin Emrys so that is what Mordred knows him by.

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  • That is what the accepted answer says, but it also provides some evidence. May I recommend you read out tour? – Gallifreyan Jul 2 '17 at 20:05
  • However, When Morgana first discovers her powers and talked about it with the druids, the bald guy didn't recognise Merlin as Emrys. – Nick Jan 4 '18 at 7:27

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