As the line between love and hate has now been obliterated in Morgana’s blood-thirty quest to rule Camelot, all that really stands between her and the throne is the wizard Merlin. With her arch-nemesis lurking in the shadows awaiting her next move, and as the 4th season opens, Morgana moves swiftly to reclaim the throne after losing it so abruptly at the end of the 3rd season. Taking a few minutes to talk exclusively about what is going on with the nastiest sorceress in Arthurian history, Katie McGrath gleefully shared what she loves most about Morgana and what is going on in Morgana’s head as she scrambles to secure her destiny.
At the end of last season, we last saw Morgana as she was overthrown as the usurper of the throne. Does she now realize that she’ll never be accepted as ruler of Camelot, or does she want to continue to pursue the throne and the crown by any means necessary this next season?
KATIE: Morgana is not a girl who is ever, ever, ever going to give up. She is committed to what she has to do. She believes that it is her right and her destiny to rule Camelot. As Uther’s eldest child, she is not about to let it go — particularly as she doesn’t believe Arthur is fit to be king anyway.
Determined young woman! What would be the one overriding emotion that compels her throughout this next season?
KATIE: Revenge. She is committed. She is blinkered in everything she does. She believes in everything she does and she is determine to get there. She is not like in other seasons when she was more compassionate, more understanding, and had more emotions for other people. Right now, she is pure anger and pure hatred. She is hurt and she wants revenge for people like her, who were destroyed and persecuted.
Do you think she is allowing any room for redemption?
KATIE: I think ultimately Morgana is going to have to answer for everything she has done. I think, it may not happen by the end of Season 4. It will happen at the end of the story, for every story needs a villain — not a victim. You need somebody who is the foil to Merlin — the darkness to his light — you need the other side of the coin. That’s what makes people heroes — how they react to the villain. So you don’t necessarily want to see her being good. You want to see the battle go on longer — it’s what makes the series interesting and dynamic.
Will there be a change in the relationship between Morgana and Morgause this next season? Will they be stronger as sisters or will jealousies arise?
KATIE: I think they will be stronger than ever. I think Morgana will never let go, no matter what happens between the two of them.
So they are going to be the evil duo?
KATIE: Well, never say never. That may be, but you’ll have to tune in and watch.
There is going to be a new character introduced, Agravaine, who is the uncle of Arthur. Can you talk a bit about his role and what Morgana may be scheming?
KATIE: Agravaine, as we discover early on, is Arthur’s uncle on his maternal side. Without giving too much away, he’s not everything as he seems. He has a role to play that ends up having quite a lot to do with Morgana — and if you imagine what role Morgana has played, that might be a hint at what role Agravaine might play.
Sounds intriguing! So as Morgana is rising more into her power is she stepping away from the physical fight scenes, or will she be just as bad-ass as she was last season?
KATIE: The thing about her is she doesn’t need a sword anymore. With the mere flick of her wrist, the mere crook of her finger, she can send people flying. So why would she wield a sword when she doesn’t have to?
Powerful woman. That must be a lot of fun to portray.
KATIE: You may see Morgana with a sword, and you may see Guinevere with a sword, and you may see a confrontation between them with swords. So there!
Are we going to be seeing a change in the Gwen and Morgana relationship, from mentor-mentee and friends to something more antagonistic?
KATIE: Absolutely! There is no way with what Morgana has done that their relationship can be saved. You have to remember that Morgana believes she should be queen, so where does that leave Guinevere? Morgana can see the future and she knows what’s going to happen and what does that mean? They can’t. It’s heartbreaking, but upcoming there was some good stuff to film actually.
Do you think Morgana is actually willing to kill these people that she once loved, or is she going to draw a line and simply throw them out of power?
KATIE: There is no line for Morgana. She has moved so far past the line, there is no line.
Do you feel like she’s crossed the line into lunacy, kind of like Uther, or does she still have her wits about her?
KATIE: I think she’s very controlled. I just think she’s blinkered. She sees the end, but she doesn’t see the damage she is wreaking on the way. Ironically, I think she is more like Uther than Arthur is. She is more his daughter than Arthur is like him. But she’s not mad. She has not hit lunacy. She’s just so completely committed. She’s completely obsessed with what she has to do that she cannot see any other way.
She does resemble Uther quite a bit in that way, which is fabulous. I know that you finished the fourth season and are starting work on the fifth season. So what, for you as an actress, is the most challenging and rewarding thing to do right now?
KATIE: What’s amazing about Morgana is trying to trying to find the balance between not making her too arch and not making her sympathetic, yet playing her so that people can understand what she is trying to do. I don’t think people should have to agree with how she is, but I hope that they can kind of see the three years that it has taken to get her where she is and understand why she is doing it without necessarily agreeing with it. So that’s been the challenge for me.
Is that a fun thing for you to do, to try to portray her as more sympathetic, or do you just love being as bad as possible in the character?
KATIE: I love being as bad as possible! You’ve got to love a bad girl. Look “Gone With the Wind,” Scarlett O’Hara — total bad girl, but you love her.
So you’re thinking, “I’m going to be the baddest bad-ass woman on television right now — and it’s going to be the most epic thing ever!”
KATIE: Damn right! That’s what I’m thinking. [Laughter]
For the fans, maybe you could comment on what it is like to work with so many hot men on the show. I mean, now with the Knights of the Round Table, it is kind of incredible.
KATIE: You know what’s amazing? It’s disappointing, but I’ve been working with them so long, I don’t see it. They’re like my brothers. You see them in the morning, you see them being goofy — they just become like your brothers, you’ve spent so much time with them. I don’t want to spoil the mystique for anybody, but after all this time, it’s hard to see them as anything else. [Laughter]
And none of these hot, beautiful men are going to be turning Morgana’s eyes?
KATIE: I think she’s far too committed to world domination to be thinking about her love-life at this point. Maybe in time that will change, but for right now, I think it is all about ruling, not about loving for Morgana.
To see what chaos and hell on Earth Morgana has planned for Camelot, be sure to tune in for the 4th season premiere of MERLIN on Friday, January 6th at 10PM on Syfy.
Tiffany Vogt is the Senior West Coast Editor, contributing as a columnist and entertainment reporter to TheTVaddict.com. She has a great love for television and firmly believes that entertainment is a world of wondrous adventures that deserves to be shared and explored – she invites you to join her. Please feel free to contact Tiffany at Tiffany_Vogt_2000@yahoo.com or follow her at on Twitter (@TVWatchtower).