Welcome to the official Once Upon a Time recap for Season 5, Episode 7 “Nimue” (original airdate November 8, 2015). The secret of how Excalibur was placed in the stone is revealed. Merlin did so to control a certain entity’s reign of terror. See all the events that led to this action in the Magical Moments recap below.
A Magical Meeting: A thousand years before the age of Arthur, Merlin (Elliot Knight) traversed the desert where he was permitted to drink from the Holy Grail. This turn of events is what gave him magic. Two hundred years ago, a beautiful woman’s village was burned down by a masked man, Vortigan. She was the sole survivor. Her name is Nimue (Caroline Ford).
He Would Do Anything for Love: When Merlin drank from the Holy Grail, it gave him immortality. He now wants to forge the enchanted chalice into a sword to cut away this gift so he and Nimue can grow old together.
The Dark One Rises: A visit to Nimue’s village shows it in ruins. It’s obvious the Dark One was questing for the Holy Grail. A short time later, Merlin uses magic to turn the chalice into Excalibur. After he does, Vortigan arrives. Nimue tries to fight him, but she’s not strong enough. Vortigan kills her. Or does he?
Past and Present Collide: In the past, Nimue drank from the Holy Grail to achieve immortality. She took the heart of Vortigan and crushed it. After that, she became the first Dark One. She broke Excalibur and left a devastated Merlin behind. Now the first Dark One is forcing the newest Dark One to kill Merlin.
Fight the Power: Merlin lets Arthur know that Emma has passed her test. He wants him to turn over the sword. Arthur refuses to do so. He orders Merlin to make the heroes disappear from his Castle. In present day Storybrooke, both Rumplestiltskin and Nimue tempt Emma to forge the dagger with the sword. Can she resist?
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More Once Upon a Time Extras
The Heroes Lose Their Memories Again|They arrive back with no memory of what happened.|Sneezy and Sleepy enter Granny's Diner to find the heroes back from Fairy Tale Land six weeks later. David (Josh Dallas) and Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) come to realize they have no recollection of what happened. Emma (Jennifer Morrison) appears fully transformed into the Dark One and informs them they will be punished. From the Once Upon a Time season 5 premiere episode, "The Dark Swan."