IconMoveProtect IconOUAT IconLocation IconCamelot IconS5 IconS7

King Arthur: Now then... If you'll all follow me.
Emma Swan: Where?
King Arthur: Why Camelot, of course.
King Arthur and Emma Swan src

Camelot Castle, originally a single tower known as Merlin's Tower, is a Camelot location on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the first episode of the fifth season.

Camelot Castle is based on the castle from Arthurian Legend. It is also based on Merlin's tower, and is an allusion to Sir Ector's castle from the Disney film The Sword in the Stone.


Before First Curse

Once he pulls Excalibur from the stone, Arthur is proclaimed king of Camelot. Sometime after this, he confides in Guinevere about Excalibur missing its tip and that he must find it and restore Excalibur. He later discovers that the missing tip is the Dark One's dagger. ("The Dark Swan", "The Price")

Arthur becomes consumed in his quest to find the dagger, much to Guinevere's dismay. After she and Lancelot return from their own journey to find he dagger, Arthur sees them together and goes to confronts her, believing the two of them are having an affair. She admits travelling with Lancelot and attempts to lie about having retrieved the dagger, but comes clean and reveals she instead found enchanted sand that can make anything broken appear whole. Arthur berates her suggestion at using the sand to make Excalibur appear whole, and she realizes that while consumed with his desire to find the dagger, he cannot give her the love that she wants. Guinevere forces Arthur into an ultimatum to choose between her and his quest, to which he steals the sand from her and throws a handful on her. With the sand's magic restoring their broken relationship, she decides to stay and support his quest. Satisfied, Arthur decides to fix Camelot and throws more sand out of the window of Merlin's tower, which magically forms Camelot's castle. ("The Broken Kingdom")

Before Third Curse

Upon arriving to the Enchanted Forest, King Arthur and his knights find Emma and the other Storybrooke inhabitants as prophesied by Merlin. He then leads the group to Camelot's castle to take them to Merlin. ("The Dark Swan")

Sometime after parting ways from Emma, Merida makes the mistake of stealing a boat that belongs to King Arthur and ends up imprisoned in the castle dungeons. ("The Bear and the Bow")

After Emma and the others arrive into the castle, Arthur introduces them to his Queen, Guinevere, before announcing a ball will be held in their honor. Arthur leads them to a large tree in the courtyard, noting that Merlin is trapped inside and asking which one of them is the savior. Emma moves to speak up, but Regina uses the Dark One Dagger to silence her before claiming the title in her place, not wanting Emma's identity as the Dark One to be revealed. While browsing Merlin's tower, Emma confronts Regina for taking her place without her consent, but Regina explains her reasons and promises to free Emma from the Darkness with Merlin's help once he is freed from the tree. Emma thanks her twice; once under the dagger's influence, the second of her own free will. Later, Regina returns to Merlin's tree with Robin Hood when she is gifted a purple necklace by Percival, who states that it's from Arthur who wishes for her to wear it at the ball. That night, Regina refuses to attend the ball, offering instead to take care of baby Neal, as she does not know how to dance and is not confident in making people believe that she is the Savior. David and Mary Margaret insist on teaching her how to waltz, and after magically changing into a white gown, she practices with David, not knowing that Percival is using the necklace to spy on her. ("The Price")

Before to the ball begins, Emma and Mary Margaret are introduced to the attendees, and then Regina is formally introduced as the savior. During the ball, Belle sits to the side, cautiously watching over the magical rose. Leroy approaches, stating that he sees hope in that rose as every petal remaining is another chance to save Mr. Gold, to which Belle thanks him for his support and asks for a dance. Meanwhile, Mary Margaret notices Henry standing to the sidelines eyeing a girl his age and brings this to David's attention. He walks over to Henry and prompts him to introduce himself to her. Henry takes two drinks and begins speaking with the girl, who introduces herself as Violet. He shows her his iPod, stating it was a gift from the savior, Regina, when he saved everyone after they were trapped in an alternate universe, and shows her a song on it. As Regina and Robin enjoy their dance, Percival interrupts to request a dance with her. After Robin leaves, Percival tells her the story of a boy who returned to his massacred village, where he met an angel of death who smiled at him. When he finishes speaking, Regina realizes he is talking about her, and it was his village she destroyed long ago. He moves to kill her with a sword, but Robin intervenes and is stabbed instead. David finishes off Percival before he and the others move Robin to a private room. Regina attempts to heal Robin with magic, but as Percival's sword was enchanted to kill her, her magic is ineffective. She begs Emma to save Robin, and Emma eventually agrees, healing him with her dark magic. However, Emma never asked Regina for a price for the magic, leaving the deed unpaid. Afterwards, Regina reveals her identity to Arthur, who states that Camelot is a place of second chances and forgives her and accepts her as the savior, as he believes that she healed Robin. ("The Price")

As Regina searches in Merlin's tower for a spell to free Merlin from the tree, Arthur comes in to check on her progress. After getting inspired by Mary Margaret, she remembers reading about a magical toadstool called the Crimson Crown that allows conversation through magical barriers, enabling them to communicate with Merlin inside the tree. Arthur believes that the toadstool is located in Brocéliande, the Forest of Eternal Night, and David insists on going to retrieve it with Arthur willing to accompany him. Than night, despite having seemingly lost the toadstool, Arthur knights David as a Knight of the Round Table and gives him the Siege Perilous seat. Meanwhile, after leaving the celebrations to calm a crying baby Neal, Mary Margaret confronts a shadowy figure who reveals himself to be Lancelot. Dismissing her questions about how he has managed to survive, Lancelot instead tells her that Arthur is a villain and Camelot is not all what it seems to be. Later, Arthur secretly reveals to Guinevere that he secretly stole the toadstool from David in order to protect their kingdom. ("Siege Perilous")

That night in the castle, after David has been knighted, he is summoned by Arthur, who asks for his help finding Excalibur's broken blade so he can purge all darkness for good. An apparition of Rumplestiltskin coaxes Emma into stealing the Dark One's dagger from Regina's room, and he urges her to use her dark magic to dispel the protection spell on it. Emma resists, and when he continues to push her, she hurls a fireball at him, which almost hits a passing Hook. Later, Hook brings Emma to her family, who are unsure how to help her as she copes with fighting the darkness in her head. David suggests Arthur can help if they give him the dagger, but Mary Margaret rules this out by explaining Lancelot's warning. After Henry and Hook take Emma to recuperate elsewhere, David and Mary Margaret settle their differing views on Arthur by agreeing they need to test him to see if he can be trusted. As part of the plan, David comes clean to Arthur about Emma being the Dark One and pretends to give him the dagger before feigning surprise about Mary Margaret taking the weapon without his notice. Arthur then leaves the castle to track Mary Margaret, who meets up with Lancelot and knowingly leads Arthur to the Vault of the Dark One, where David ambushes him. Before the trio can take the captured king back to the castle, Guinevere and some knights arrive to free Arthur. Guinevere puts both David and Mary Margaret under the influence of enchanted sand, which prompts them into believing they can help Emma by giving the dagger to Arthur. The couple return to the castle and convince Regina of this. Lancelot is taken prisoner and thrown into the castle dungeons, where he finds an ally in Merida. ("The Broken Kingdom")

After Regina learns from Emma about Arthur's actual plans with the dagger, the two women stay in Merlin's tower to figure out how to restore Merlin to human form. Emma explains her ability to see memories in dreamcatchers, which is how she learned that the first Dark One turned Merlin into a tree by stealing a tear he shed from having a broken heart. Since the same kind of tear is needed to bring back Merlin, Regina provides this ingredient by reliving the memory of her mother killing Daniel. ("Dreamcatcher")

Alongside David, Hook, and Belle, Merlin breaks into the castle dungeons to free Lancelot. They also free Merida, who escapes with them. ("The Bear and the Bow")

While Emma and Merlin are away getting the Flame of Prometheus, the others receive unlikely help from Zelena to gain access into the castle through a secret passage. Mary Margaret stays behind to guard Zelena as the rest of them head in to steal Excalibur from Arthur. After Zelena tricks Mary Margaret into dropping her guard, she knocks the short-haired woman out and goes into the castle. Arthur is cornered in the Round Table room by David, Hook, Robin, and Regina, but the foursome are forced to lower their weapons when Zelena barges in with Mary Margaret as her captive. As Arthur's accomplice, Zelena helps him tether Merlin to the dagger, giving him the power to summon the sorcerer to him. Once Merlin is present, Arthur makes him render the heroes powerless and then teleport them out of the castle. ("Nimue")

After being defeated by the heroes, Zelena teleports herself and Arthur back into the castle, before they go to DunBroch in search of an enchanted helm that can influence people into fighting for their cause. ("The Bear King")

Arthur later returns to his castle. In the Round Table room, he notices Excalibur has somehow been magically restored to its stone. When Guinevere sees large purple clouds of smoke descending upon Camelot, she calls her husband's attention to the strange phenomenon, which he recognizes as dark magic. Soon, the purple smoke engulfs all of Camelot, sending Arthur, Guinevere and the other residents in the castle to another realm. ("Broken Heart")



On-Screen Notes

Production Notes


Props Notes

Set Dressing

  • In Arthurian heraldry, King Arthur's coat of arms is depicted as three or (yellow) crowns against an azure or gules (blue or red) background (in thirteenth century manuscripts), or thirteen crowns against an azure background (in later texts).[16] On the show, King Arthur's coat of arms is a single yellow crown surrounded by four yellow sea-wyverns against a red background[17] (note that there is also a version with a red crown and red sea-wyverns against a yellow background).[18] A sea-wyvern is a legendary creature with a dragon's head and wings, a reptilian body, two legs, and a fish tail. It is the sea-dwelling variant of the creature known as a wyvern. ("The Dark Swan" et al.)
  • The seats around the Round Table carry black and white versions of the coats of arms of King Arthur and his knights. While a few are original to the show, others are taken or adapted directly from Arthurian heraldry:
    • Sir Kay's coat of arms from the legend,[20] which shows two keys back to back;[16] even though Sir Kay has a different coat of arms on the show.[21] ("The Price")
    • Sir Percival's coat of arms from the legend,[20] which is fenced with crosses[16] However, on Once Upon a Time, Percival's actual coat of arms (a lightning bolt against a red and blue background)[22] is from the cover of the band's double live album Steal Your Face (1976). ("The Price")
    • A modified version of Sir Beloberis' (an obscure knight from Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur[23]) coat of arms.[20] The original version is semy (covered with small objects, spaced in a regular pattern) of crescents crest with three bends (a band running from the bearer's right side corner of the shield to the bearer's left side).[24] The show's version has fewer crescents, there are no bends, and a sword has been added. ("The Price")
    • A modified version of Sir Lionel's crest.[25] In legend, it is semy of molets (stars with straight-sided rays) of six (or five) points, three bends.[24] The show's version has only four mulets and no bends, and additional motifs have been added. ("Siege Perilous")
    • A slightly modified version of Bagdemagus' coat of arms.[26] The original contains three sinister (left) gloves fingers upward.[24] The shows version contains dexter (right) gloves instead. ("Nimue")
    • A modified version of King Claudas' crest. While the original shows a single pine tree,[24] the show's version contains two different trees.[26] ("Nimue")
  • The skull of a saber-toothed cat is lying on the table in Merlin's tower.[27] The same skull can be seen in the tower when Merlin tethers Nimue to the Dark One Dagger hundreds of years earlier.[28] ("Siege Perilous", "Nimue")
  • A chest covered in rust is sitting on a shelf in Merlin's Tower.[29] It has the same design as the silver chest used by the Evil Queen to store Rocinante's heart in "The Thing You Love Most",[30] a chest which Regina later retains in the Mayor's office.[31] ("Siege Perilous")


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


  1. File:504Title.png
  2. File:504ThrowingTheSand.png
  3. InstagramIcon vfxsup (Craig Clarke). November 14, 2015.  "#OnceUponATime" (archive copy) (photograph)
  4. The King's Castle: File:104Waltz.png
    King Xavier's Castle: File:216RoyalCourt.png
    Prince Eric's Castle: File:306Waltz2.png
    Camelot Castle: File:502BallBegins.png
    Prince's Castle: File:701Ball.png
  5. King Xavier's Castle: File:216AllHailRegina.png
    Prince Eric's Castle: File:306Arrival.png
    Camelot Castle: File:502BallBegins.png
  6. Camelot Castle:
    The King's Castle:
    Prince's Castle: File:701Ball.png
  7. Camelot Castle:
    King's Castle:
    Prince's Castle:
  8. File:502PercivalIsDead.png
  9. File:615ForThe.png
  10. 10.0 10.1 File:503TalkToHim.png
  11. Stanford University Libraries' copy of Foxe's Book of Martyrs, p. 392. Facsimile by Google Books.
  12. File:503TalkToHim.png
  13. File:505FirstWeNeed.png
  14. Stanford University Libraries' copy of Foxe's Book of Martyrs, pp. 654 - 655. Facsimile by Google Books.
  15. File:507WhatsThePlan.png
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2
  17. File:501IntoTheCastle.png
  18. File:501ItsOtherHalf.png
  19. File:615INeedAnAnswer.png
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 File:502PercivalIsDead.png
  21. File:501AllTheRealms.png
  22. File:501WatchingKay.png
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3
  25. File:503SlidesOpenDoor.png
  26. 26.0 26.1 File:507NothingInHere.png
  27. File:503IntoAFinger.png
  28. File:507HerSpirit.png
  29. File:503MagicIsDark.png
  30. File:102CalledYouHere.png
  31. File:102Desk.png
  32. File:716IAssureYou.png

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.