In the last episode everyone got married. Now Ygerne breaks the news of her pregnancy to Uther…
It was the morning after the wedding. Ygerne sat by the window of the throne room, sewing, while Uther conferred with Merlin nearby.
Uther descended from his throne to take a turn about the room, easing the stiffness from his knees. Ygerne seized her moment, “My lord?”
“Yes, my love,” the king smiled at her.
“May I have a word with you in private?”
“Of course.” With a low voice he dismissed Merlin. “Now what may I do for you?”
“Nothing,” said Ygerne mechanically. “I just wanted to tell you that I’m pregnant.”
Uther’s face lit up, “Ygerne, that is wonderful news!”
Ygerne managed a feeble smile, “Yes, indeed, my lord.”
“I am to have a son and heir! I love you, Ygerne!” He bent and kissed her on the mouth. Ygerne returned the caress as well as she was able.
“Congratulations, my king and queen.” A smooth voice made them break apart. “I foresaw this joy for you.”
“Merlin!” the king cried. “Of course you did.”
Ygerne looked upon the magician with bitter dislike. She could not stand the weasel cunning of the man, especially as he had helped to deceive her.
“But I have some bad news,” he continued. “My king and queen, you will not like what I am about to say, but I have foreseen the future.”
The king’s face went still. “Well, go on.”
“You are indeed to give birth to a son, my queen, who will come to reign and be one of the most glorious kings England will ever have. But…I must break it to you, King Uther, that you do not have many years left. If you keep the boy with you, there will be much strife and bloodshed over the succession, years of civil war due to his youth. He may even be assassinated. If you will give the child to me, soon after his birth, and tell no-one he is your son, I swear before God, and by the good of this land, that I will keep him safe from enemies, and see that he has the training fit for a king. I will make sure he comes to the succession at the proper time, and I will be with him as he rules.”
Ygerne hung her head in numb horror. The words of the king and his magician came from very far away.
“And this is what you believe, Merlin?”
“This is what I have foreseen as the most likely future.”
“Then I agree, Merlin. You are my most faithful advisor and I trust you.”
Spots danced before Ygerne’s eyes. Without even asking her they were giving away her baby?
“My lord,” she managed in a high, tinny voice. “You would take my child from me the moment it is born?”
“I am sorry, Ygerne, but you heard Merlin. It is best, for his own safety and for the good of this land,” said Uther.
“You may visit him, my queen,” surprisingly Merlin intervened, “and I will see to it that you are kept informed of his progress. But no-one must know of his existence. This is imperative.”
“Not even your daughters, wife,” the king echoed. He and Merlin left the room together, speaking in low voices.
Tears blurred Ygerne’s sight and she threw down her sewing. Was it really for the good of her son – if it really was a boy – to bar him from his true family? She had no faith in Merlin’s supposed gift of prophecy.
Until her pregnancy showed, Ygerne occupied herself with visiting her daughters; helping Elaine adjust to her new role as queen and mistress of a large household. Elaine was incredibly quiet, but she had a new dignity and courage about her. They shared their joy over another baby, for Morgawse was pregnant as well, and then prayed for one for Elaine.
A few months later she was only able to hold her baby boy, Arthur, for a week before Merlin took him away by night, to the house of one of Uther’s knights, a very respectable man named Sir Ector.
Ygerne strained her eyes after the hooded and cloaked magician as he rode away, catching the last glimpse of her son. One day, she vowed, one day after Uther is dead, they will not keep my son from me. He will meet his real family. He will know who his mother is.