Merlin is a major character in War of Magic. He is a great sorceror and was once the advisor of Arthur Pendragon. He was good friends with Arthur and fell in love with his half-sister, Morgana le Fay. However he was unable to stop Arthur's death at the hands of Mordred. He prefers to keep his past a secret. He is also known as Emrys.
Merlin was taken as a hostage by the Saxons as a young boy, first demonstrating his powers when Lludd, the king at the time, ordered him to be killed by two of the Saxons. They both threw spears at him, which he managed to stop in mid-air with just a motion of his hands and deflect them back where they came from, skewering the two saxons before he caused a dense fog to appear and escape while Lludd could not see through the fog. Eventually, his sister, Nimue, was killed in battle by one of Lludd's men. After Lludd was slain by Merlin of of revenge, he retreated to the forest where he lived for over a year, and Vortigern took the crown. Vortigern later tried to build a fortress at Dinas Emrys, not known by this name then. But every time he tried to build it, the fortress collapsed again. Vortigern's advisor told him to seek out a boy born of magic, telling him that the answer would be learnt from him. His knights would eventually find a teenaged Merlin, who discovered a white wyvern, which was Vortigern's family crest, and a red dragon were battling under the hill, where King Lludd had trapped them. He used his magic once again to bring down the cavern they were in, freeing them, where they battled and the red dragon won. Vortigern told Merlin that his crest was a white wyvern, so Merlin told him that it was just a coincidence. But the young druid knew better, so he searched for someone with a red dragon as their crest, so that person could kill Vortigern and free the land of his tyranny. It was not long before he found Uther Pendragon and convinced him to fight Vortigern. Merlin went to the red dragon and asked him to burnish two swords in his breath, as such a sword carries great power. Thus, the swords Excalibur and Clarent were created. Merlin gave Excalibur to Uther, and kept Clarent as his own sword. The battle between Uther and Vortigern was not really a battle or war, but single combat between the two of them. Uther, even with Excalibur, was losing, so Merlin helped him out. He blasted Vortigern back into a rock, and Uther stabbed him. Uther's reign then begun. Only then did Merlin realize he had made a mistake. He secretly took both Excalibur, whose power had been abused, and Uther's newborn son, Arthur Pendragon, knowing he could not be raised properly by Uther, in the night and left his kingdom. He plunged Excaliber into a stone in a cave high up on a mountain, and raised Arthur in the forest, far from Uther until it was time for him to take the throne. He took Arthur to the cave and told him that only a rightful king to pull it out, as Arthur did. Arthur then went to the castle and became king. Shortly after, Merlin came as well, running into Morgana le Fay. She recognised him and asked if they had met, to which Merlin responded that he was glad that she remembered him, telling her that his real name was "Merlin". Merlin and Morgana grew close. Arthur grew as a great king, treating everyone as equals, until Morgause le Fay came to the newly built kingdom of Camelot. She was Arthur's half-sister, as was Morgana le Fay, who she disguised herself as. Just like Arthur's mother, Igraine, Morgause and Morgana had magic, though only Morgana used it rightfully. Morgause and her son, Mordred, declared war on Arthur. So, Arthur and all his knights: Lancelot, Gawain, Percival etc., fought Morgause, Mordred, and their army at the mighty plain of Camlann. Merlin of course came, as did Morgana, both siding with Arthur, and Merlin fought Mordred, wounding him with Clarent, but was injured by his opponant. When he woke, Arthur and Mordred were fighting each-other. Arthur stabbed Mordred with Excalibur, but Mordred managed to mortally wound Arthur with Glathar. More warriors surrounded Merlin and Morgana, but Merlin yelled in anguish from Arthur being fatally injured, and the surrounding warriors were blasted backward by Merlin's power, emitted in the cry of saddness. Mordred tried to kill the oblivious Merlin with Excalibur, which was still in his chest, but Morgana blasted the sword out of his hand. Merlin and Morgana took Arthur to the Lake of Avalon to be healed, but he was too close to death for either to be able to save him, and he soon succumbed to his wound and died. Morgana prepared his funerary boat, and Merlin threw Excalibur back into the lake, where it was caught by The Lady of the Lake the spirit of Nimue. Merlin and Morgana simultaniously used a spell to make the boat float across the lake. The two then told Arthur's wife, Guinevere and the rest of Camelot of the king's death. Merlin and Morgana left and were never again seen near the kingdom. Both lived on, waiting for the re-awakening of the Once and Future King, Arthur.
- Merlin shows great skill as a swordsman.
- Merlin is an extremely powerful sorceror, able to beat even the very skilled and powerful, Morgause, in a battle.
- He has some ability of scrying water, and can control the images shown to him which takes extreme power.
- He is able to speak to others with magic through telepathy, even if he cannot see the person.