Portrayed By Keira Knightly
Lady of Affalohn
Nimue is the Lady of the Lake as well as Lady of Affolahn. She was born from the union of a human and fae, named Etain. She is currently under disguise by means of a glamour and working as Gwen's personal handmaid, Viviane. Her adopted son, Lancelot, whom she has resurrected after he was blighted is also in disguise working in Caerleon.
Nimue was born to the fae known as Etain. Etain is one of the original fae created by the gods before their banishment to Allutheria. Being born from such an ancient being Nimue possesses a great deal of magic and power despite having human blood. Her father is unknown to her as he meant little to nothing to her mother. Nimue's father was a simple fisherman that lived in a hut on the shores of Lake Lyndai. He would make an offering to the lake every day before going off into its waters to fish. His offerings did not go unnoticed by Etain who dwelled in Lyndai's waters. Etain entered the man's dreams and there she seduced him till finally underneath a full moon she lay with him on the shores of Lake Lyndai. The man seemingly soon left his home and had given Etain a child.
Etain gave birth to Nimue and instead of sending her to among humans as most fae often did with their half-fae children she chose to raise her on Affolahn with the Order of Fate. While Nimue was not full-blooded fae, Etain saw her daughter as her legacy. There was great power in Nimue and she wanted to make sure it was cultivated properly. Much to Nimue's chagrin this meant that her schooling in magic was limited to learning natural magic which was the base of all other magic. Due to Nimue's human blood she was deemed unfit to learn higher forms of magic. Through most of her life Nimue was taught to believe that her human blood was inferior to her fae blood. This was done to ensure that upon her death she would choose to become a full-blooded fae and not leave the world as a human.
When Nimue was fifteen she met Maleficent. She was walking along the shore of Lake Lyndai when the woman appeared to her. Maleficent attempted to persuade Nimue to leave the Isle of Affolahn and join her in the capitol of Fynnon by offering to teach her what her mother and the Order of Fate refused to. Nimue desired above many things the knowledge that was being kept from her. She wanted to know all she could about the magic she possessed. However, after a few more meetings Etain caught them and was able to persuade her daughter not to fall for Maleficent's tricks. Nimue chose to stay with Etain and unbeknownst to her made herself an enemy of Maleficent.
Nimue was seventeen when she married the Lord of Affolahn, Tiernan. She had grown to be quite beautiful and this caught the male fae's eye. Being half-fae she had only been allowed to learn the basic magics which were elemental. Anything higher than that remained hidden from her as she had human blood in her. The Order of Fate believed that humans were incapable of comprehending the great power of magic and so due to being part human Nimue could not learn all she may want to know about her power. With this in mind you can imagine how shocking it might be that the head of the Order of Fate would wish to wed a half-fae.
Tiernan, while wise and powerful, had a weakness for beautiful things. He wanted Nimue for himself as well as he believed she would be very powerful when she one day became a full-blooded fae. Nimue respected Tiernan, but she did not wish to marry him. However, it was her mother that convinced her the match was good. She was being honored in a way that no half-fae had ever been honored. Nimue also believed that if she became the female head of the Order of Fate they would allow her access to the vast libraries on the isle. So with this in mind she agreed. The vows that were said at their wedding were specifically designed by Etain who made them impossible to break unless all parties agreed to dissolve them. This would include the vow writer who would be Etain.
Nimue quickly discovered that she was wrong in thinking she would be allowed to continue her magical training. Tiernan allowed her access to a few higher level magic books, but nothing like she had hoped. Her training still remained stunted. Not only that, but the friendship between her and Tiernan had become somewhat poisoned. He would take his pleasure with her and then leave her bed as soon as he was sated. Nimue also became exceedingly difficult to control and she had a mind of her own that he had not seen. The council respected her, but would often brush what she said off only to come back to it later and decide it was a wise judgement.
Eventually Tiernan grew bored with Nimue and began to seek out others. One such person was Morgana Le Fay who had become friends with Nimue. Nimue did not mind at all as she was not in love with Tiernan and the two had become quite bitter toward each other. Soon it was discovered that Nimue was also barren and therefore could not produce Tiernan an heir. The Lord of Affolahn sought to set Nimue aside who also agreed it was for the best, but Etain did not agree and as the writer of the vows they needed her to agree to their dissolution. The only thing that could free them would be death at this point. Morgana later tried to kill Nimue so she could take her position as Lady of Affolahn. Nimue defeated her and the woman was banished from Affolahn.
After all of this Tiernan and Nimue both agreed that while in technicality they were still married they could seek partnership elsewhere. In their own hearts they were not married. This helped to mend their friendship somewhat even though still a good portion of the damage could not be undone.
Nimue, though barren, wanted children. She knew she would never have one of her own and so she sought out to adopt a child. The Lady of the Lake left Affolahn and came to a nearby village where she discovered a new born baby boy whose mother had been stricken by grief. According to the villagers the woman's husband had been killed while out hunting and the woman had never been the same. Nimue feeling sorry for both the mother and the child spelled the woman to forget the pain and to seek a new beginning for herself elsewhere. Nimue took the babe as her own and named him Lancelot.
Lancelot being human was not allowed to be raised on the Isle of Affolahn. So Nimue took to the hut that was on the edge of Lake Lyndai and raised her son with in its humble walls. She taught him to read, write, and swim all by the lake. Nimue never hid from her son his origins as she did not wish to lie to him. When he was ten though she knew that he would need human companionship. He was not allowed on the Isle of Affolahn and in many ways did not belong in the world of the Fae. She sent Lancelot to Caerleon where he could train to be a knight at a while it broke her heart to see her son go she knew it was for the best. He needed to be with other humans and live his life to the fullest.
Nimue would not see her son for several years. By that time he was a man fully grown and an anointed knight of Caerleon. She could not have been more proud of him.
Excalibur and Exile
Despite Etain's best efforts to ensure her daughter was more fae than human Nimue had started to notice humanity as not this weak foolish thing. Her son, Lancelot, had awakened her humanity in her and she felt the need to do more than sit by and watch them destroy each other. When Uther Pendragon died and Ga'leah was on the brink of all out total war Nimue told the Order of Fate that it was time for them to do something. They couldn't just let the humans destroy themselves. However, the Order of Fate disagreed and ordered Nimue not to interfere. Unable to obey Nimue had Excalibur forged and imbued it with magics at the time she did not understand. She was lucky that the magic did not back fire on her.
Once the sword was forged she threw herself into the lake with it and put herself under a deep slumber that she would only awaken from when the rightful heir to Caerleon came to retrieve it. Arthur Pendragon was the one to awaken her and as he came to the shore line of Lake Lyndai Nimue presented the sword by thrusting it from the water. Arthur did not see her, but she did see him.
Nimue was immediately reprimanded for her actions. Not only had she disobeyed the Order of Fate she had created a magic object and given it to a human. While she could not be stripped of her title due to her marriage vows she was asked to leave the Isle. Nimue agreed as she did not wish to reside with a council that was so arrogant they were blind to the world around them. With that she left and went to Caerleon under a disguise as a servant named Niniane.
Nimue soon after arriving in Caerleon met Arthur's grand vizier Merlin. Like Nimue he was half-fae. Merlin saw right through Nimue's glamour and this greatly impressed Nimue. She then decided to seek Merlin out as a tutor. Merlin and Nimue came to an arrangement that he would teach Nimue all she wanted to know and as payment Nimue would sleep with him. The two would meet in Merlin's chambers at night where Merlin would teach Nimue, assign homework, discuss the world around them, as well as Nimue teasing Merlin. The two while trying to use the other for their own personal benefits became very fond of each other.
One evening Merlin became fed up with Nimue's teasing and demanded that she pay forward at least a little. Nimue agreed and proceeded to remove her clothing and then tease Merlin by going back to her studies while nude. Eventually Merlin became fed up with Nimue's teasing and asked her to leave. The Lady of the Lake angry that she was being told what to do decided to give in to him and the two proceeded to sleep together. It was not soon after this that Nimue found herself falling in love with Merlin. This honestly frightened her as she did not like feeling vulnerable or as if Merlin had any draw or power over her. It also confused her as she did not think herself one to be capable of love.
However, after being called Merlin's whore and play thing by a noble woman of the court Nimue sought to end their agreement and leave Merlin's tutelage. She realized that she did not want to use him and she did not want him to use her. Nimue did not believe Merlin had feelings for her. When explaining this to Merlin he at first was angered thinking that she was leaving him because of a few stupid rumors. She explains to him that it is because of a war between her head and her heart that prevents her from continuing her tutelage and then she proceeds to tell him that she has feelings for him. The two admit to each other that they are in love with the other and proceed to consummate their love. Nimue continued her tutelage under Merlin but now as not only his student but his lover.
Due to the marriage vows between her and Tiernan, Merlin is unable to wed Nimue. The two have sought to change Etain's mind on the subject, but the fae won't budge on her decision.
Blight and Present
Three months before the opening of the site Nimue's adopted son Lancelot and Gwen have an affair. Gwen is charged with treason and adultry, but Lancelot gets away. At this time Nimue was under the disguise of Niniane. She was extremely upset when she heard of her son's part to play in the affair. Her son had betrayed his best friend as well as the High King. Nimue had known a good deal about the kidnapping of Gwen and the queen's state of mind leading up to the event. While she did not condone the queen's actions she could understand them, what she could not understand was where Lancelot fit into the whole situation. As far as she knew her son did not lust after his best friend's wife. Both parties were guilty, but Nimue viewed the punishment being posed to be harsh and stupid. Adultry was not an uncommon crime and often the way it was dealt with was either privately, with a dissolution of the couples marriage vows, exile from their home town, or a walk of shame. Death seemed a high price to pay for infidelity. While Nimue brought up these thoughts with Merlin and tried to push him to do more to see Gwen freed from prison the decision was made. Gwen would be burned for high treason.
On the day of Gwen's execution Lancelot returned, but he came back as part of the Blight with an army of walking starvation at his back. Nimue watched in horror as her son and his army attacked Caerleon. She tried to find Merlin, but there was so much chaos and death around her she was unable to find him. Instead she attempted to protect those around her that were unprotected from the monsters. During the battle she saw her son be killed by Gwen. When the battle was done, Nimue spirited the body of her son away. She removed the rotting flesh and took his bones back to Lake Lyndai where she searched for a way to restore her son. During these three months Nimue discovered the grail maiden Rapunzel whose blood could heal anything. Nimue trapped a man who was visiting her and disguised herself as him so that she could capture Rapunzel and use her blood to help restore her son. Though she is not proud of what she did, Nimue did almost drain Rapunzel of all of her blood. Three days after the ritual, Lancelot was restored however small pieces of his soul remained in the after life.
Since then Nimue returned with her son Lancelot to Caerleon. Both are under glamours and Nimue has taken the name Viviane. Lancelot has two glamours on him so that if one were to see through the first they would not see his true face but yet another glamour making it harder for someone with magic to detect him. Viviane took up the position of Gwen's hand maiden and quickly became her confidante and friend. She is currently working to help Gwen and Arthur restore their kingdom and cure Merlin of the blight.