[to Gawain] Wondering at your good fortune that all your children look like me?
Arthur. This is not Rome's fight. It is not your fight. All these long years we've been together, the trials we've faced, the blood we've shed... What was it all for, if not for the reward of freedom? And now when we are so close! When it is finally within our grasp - look at me! Does it all count for nothing?
[voiceover] For two hundred years knights have fought and died for a land not our own. But on that day at Badon Hill, all who fought put our lives in service of a greater cause: Freedom. And as for the knights who gave their lives, their deaths were cause for neither mourning nor sadness. For they live forever, their names and deeds handed down from father to son, mother to daughter, in the legends of King Arthur and his knights.
O merciful God, I have such need of Your mercy now. Not for myself, but for my knights, for this is truly their hour of need. Deliver them from their trials ahead and I will pay You a thousand fold with any sacrifice You ask of me. And if in Your wisdom, You should determine that sacrifice must be my life for theirs; so that they can once again taste the freedom that is so long been denied to them, I will gladly make that covenant. My death will have a purpose. I ask no more than that.
What, that some men are born to be slaves? No, that isn't true.
Deeds in themselves are meaningless unless they are done for some higher purpose. We have waged a war to protect a Rome that doesn't exist. Is that the deed I am to be judged by?
Pelagius told me once there is no worse death than the end of hope.
You be my friend now and do not dissuade me. Seize the freedom you have earned and live it for the both of us. I cannot follow you, Lancelot. I now know that all the blood I have shed, all the lives I have taken have led me to this moment.
Knights! The gift of freedom is yours by right. But the home we seek resides not in some distant land. It's in us! And in our actions on this day! If this be our destiny, then so be it. But let history remember that as free men, we chose to make it so.
My brave knights, I have failed you! I neither took you off this island...nor shared your fate.
Let every man, woman, child bear witness that from this day, all Britons will be united in one common cause.
Lancelot: [voiceover] By 300 AD, the Roman Empire extended from Arabia to Britain. But they wanted more. More land. More peoples loyal and subservient to Rome. But no people so important as the powerful Sarmatians to the east. Thousands died on that field. And when the smoke cleared on the fourth day, the only Sarmatian soldiers left alive were members of the decimated but legendary cavalry. The Romans, impressed by their bravery and horsemanship, spared their lives. In exchange, these warriors were incorporated into the Roman military. Better they had died that day.
Young Lancelot: Father. They are here.
Lancelot: For the second part of the bargain they struck indebted not only themselves...
Lancelot's Father: The day has come.
Lancelot: ...but also their sons, and their sons, and so on, to serve the empire as knights. I was such a son
Arthur: Knights... Brothers and arms... Your courage has been testet beyond all limits.
Arthur: But I must ask you now for one further trial.
Arthur: We must leave on a final mission for Rome before our freedom can be granted. Above the wall, far north, there is a Roman family in need of rescue. They are trapped by Saxons. Our orders is to secure their safety.
Bors: Let the Romans take care of their own.
Gawain: Above the wall is Woad territory.
Galahad: Our duty to Rome, if it ever was a duty, is done. Our pact with Rome is done.
Bors: Every knight here has laid his life on the line for you. For you. And instead of freedom you want more blood? Our blood? You think more of Roman blood than you do of ours?
Arthur: Bors! These are our orders. We leave at first light, and when we return your freedom will be waiting for you. A freedom we can embrace with honour.
Bors: I'm a free man! I will choose my own fate!
Tristan: Yeah, yeah, we're all going to die someday. If it's a death from a Saxons hand that frightens you, stay home.
Galahad: Listen, if you're so eager to die, you can die right now! I've got something to live for!
Lancelot: Enough. Enough!
Dagonet: The Romans have broken their word. We have the word of Arthur. That is good enough. I'll prepare. Bors, are you coming?
Bors: OF COURSE I'M COMING! I CAN'T LET YOU GO ON YOUR OWN, YOU'LL ALL GET KILLED! I'M JUST SAYING WHAT YOU'RE ALL THINKING!
Merlin: So Rome is leaving. The Saxon is come. The world we have known and fought for is ended. Now we must make a new world.
Arthur: Your world, Merlin, not mine. I shall be in Rome.
Merlin: To find peace? The Saxon will come to Rome.
Arthur: My knights trust me not to betray them to their enemy!
Merlin: Rome was my enemy. Not Arthur. We have no fight between us now.
Arthur: You tell that to the knights you've killed before my eyes, whose bones are buried in this earth.
Merlin: We have all lost brothers-
Arthur: [furious] YOU KNOW NOTHING OF THE LOSS I SPEAK! Shall I help you remember? An attack on a village. The screams of an innocent woman [Arthur sees a flashback of his mother's death]...I ran to the burial mound of my father to free her, to kill you. [Arthur hold his sword to Merlin's throat] I feel the heat of that fire on my face even now.
Merlin: I did not wish her dead. She was of our blood...as are you.
Guinevere: If you were so determined to leave us to slaughter, why did you save so many? [Arthur slowly lowers his blade]
Merlin: My men are strong, but they have need of a true leader. They believe you can do anything. To defeat the Saxon, we need a master of war; why do you think I spared your life in the forest? That sword you carry is made of iron from this earth forged in the fires of Britain. It was love for your mother that freed the sword, not hatred of me. Love, Arthur.
Guinevere: It is your destiny.
Arthur: There is no destiny. There is only free will.
Merlin: And what of the free will of your knights? Did they die in vain?
Cerdic: Arthur. Wherever I go on this wretched island, I hear your name. Always half-whispered, as if you were a god. All I see is flesh and blood, no more god than the creature you're sitting on.
Arthur: Speak your terms, Saxon.
Cerdic: The Romans have left you. Who are you fighting for?
Arthur: I fight for a cause beyond Rome's or your understanding.
Cerdic: You come to beg a truce. You should be on your knees. [Arthur levels his sword at Cerdic's face]
Arthur: I came to see your face, so that I alone may find you on the battlefield. And it would be good for you to mark my face, Saxon, for the next time you see it, it will be the last thing you see on this earth!