“Nimue” | Once Upon A Time
We’re always the biggest fans of the guest stars that leave us wanting to keep their characters forever. Elliot Knight was the perfect choice for Once Upon A Time’s Merlin and “Nimue” gave him ample opportunities to showcase a full range of emotions masterfully.
“Nimue” highlights Merlin’s rise and fall, but it’s Elliot Knight’s work as an actor that makes each moment feel authentic. Merlin’s good — genuinely good for the sake of respecting the gifts that were given to him a time he was most desperate. Knight exhibits a great deal of wisdom through the distinct warmth in his voice cobbled equitably with weariness in his posture — revealing all throughout his scenes in present-day Camelot that Merlin’s been through a lot. Yet, none of this would be as expressive if Knight didn’t play Merlin (500 years ago) with the gratitude and tenderness he delivered. We could see just how deep his love for Nimue ran and how desperate he was to do everything in his power to live a happy life with her.
You felt each of Merlin’s emotions, and when he fought for Nimue’s soul — Knight made it so agony was echoed through his voice. And the childlike heartbreak he wore in his expressiveness as he saw Nimue again crushed us. It was so clear in that moment that he not only hasn’t stopped loving her, but the wounds her choice left behind have continued to ache him all these years. It’s where the weariness in his physicality comes from. They’ve left him broken and incomplete with the disbelief that this could’ve happened to the woman he would’ve given up everything for. Knight projects the terrors that have seized him from the moment Nimue took on the darkness remarkably.
Knight embodies Merlin marvelously — he’s such a compelling character to watch, and we can’t be the only ones who think so.