Cursed season 1, episode 1 recap – what happened in “Nimue”?

By Daniel Hart
Published: July 17, 2020 (Last updated: February 7, 2024)
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Netflix series Cursed season 1, episode 1 - Nimue


The pilot episode is a satisfactory opener that brings familiar themes and tales.

This recap of Netflix series Cursed season 1, episode 1, “Nimue” contain significant spoilers.

Access all episode recaps.

How does Cursed season 1, episode 1, “Nimue” open?

Episode 1 opens with text on the screen about a story that has become lost — “The Sword of Power” and the young woman who wielded it and they called her a “demon sorceress saviour”. The story continues to state before Arthur the King, the sword chose a Queen. The next scene shows Nimue head to the woods and she takes in the nature. She hears whispers saying, “Save them. Death is not the end of Fey Queen”. A hunter nearby kills a deer and mocks Nimue for her father leaving her. Nimue starts choking the man in anger with her powers and her mother Lenore stops her. Nimue is frustrated at being called a witch and a demon. Episode 1 opens with a repressed, angry Nimue who is not willing to play ball.

The New Summoner

Nimue attends a ceremony to celebrate Agatha’s death. As Nimue’s mother Lenore bellows her speech, the fires swirl and the moon turns black — Lenore asks for a new Summoner. The fire embers circle Nimue and the Sky Folk say it cannot be her because she’s a Dark God but the mother claims The Hidden have chosen — Nimue is the new Summoner. Nimue expresses that she doesn’t want it and walks off. Nimue decides to leave and Pym says she will go with her. There’s plenty of rebellion in the pilot to give you a feel of what type of character Nimue is.

The Red Paladins

The scene sidetracks to a village being burned down by men in red. The Sky Folk discuss that The Red Paladins are moving north and their village is in their path. Lenore expresses that the king will not help and they are on their own — “No friends of the Fey serve Uther Pendragon”.

Has Merlin lost his magic

We are then introduced to Merlin in a pub. A few men ask him for the money he owes but Merlin is disgusted, asking the men to tell Lord Gray River that he’s insulted by their “paltry show of force”. The men immediately fear him and walk off. A woman nearby suggests that Merlin has lost his magic.

I want rain, Merlin

The king is provided with an update that the people blame mostly him for the drought. Merlin enters the king’s hall and the king questions where the rain is. When Merlin talks about Shadow Lords that could help, the king becomes restless and demands rain. The weather is clearly not in his favor.

Meeting Arthur

At the midway point of Cursed season 1, episode 1, Nimue and Pym head to the shore. The ship Nimue wanted to depart on is not there. According to a villager, the Brass Shield left a day before and it won’t return for another 6 months. Pym claims her life is not so bad. Nothing wrong with some positivity, clearly.

Nearby, Nimue seems entranced by a man singing who has gathered a crowd. Pym claims the man fancies her. The man introduces himself and asks if she wants an ale — he’s called Arthur. Nimue and Pym join him for a drink. A man wants to play a game with dice who joins the table and Nimue want to play with bets — she uses her powers to win. The man asks Nimue to roll again for more money. She wins again. The man accuses of “witching her” and then his chair collapses. Nimue and Pym flee the pub.

You Fey ain’t bad.

Reaching the woods, Nimue and Pym hide. Arthur joins them. Eventually, the coast is clear. Arthur tells Nimue she hasn’t met the Fey before but that she doesn’t seem intimidating and asks if she’d like to join him at night for a campfire and wine. It’s evident that Arthur is suggesting romance late into the night. Nimue practices her swordplay on Arthur while they undoubtedly flirt. Suddenly, Nimue has visions and she has a fit; the visions showed a sword and suggestions of drowning. Merlin wakes up from a dream and looks at the same sword in a book.

The Red Paladins have arrived

The next morning, Nimue and Pym sneak away from the camp and Pym wants all the gossip — I find it strange that the fit is not mentioned but regardless, we move. Nimue says she had a vision and then a horse on fire rides past them. The Red Paladins have arrived at her village and Nimue is worried her mother is in danger and rides towards the chaos — she is quickly knocked off her horse. Pym is carried away and Nimue navigates through the chaos as The Red Paladins continue to destroy everything.

Nimue finds a hiding spot for Squirrel and asks him to hide in the Iron Woods. Squirrel runs off and Nimue is captured. A man named Carden who is leading the charge tells her this is why they need to be strong. He asks his men to put Nimue in the fire to show her true form but then arrows hit the men that were holding her. Nimue flees to the temple to find her mother.

How does Cursed season 1, episode 1 end?

She finds her mother severely injured on the floor. Her mother tells Nimue to take something to Merlin — it’s a sword that is wrapped. Nimue’s mother is then killed by a Red Paladin and Nimue runs off in emotional anguish. Meanwhile, Merlin is enamored by the storms and he looks up at the red sky. The king is pleased that the drought is over and as he celebrates by drinking the rain, he realizes it is blood. This is clearly not the type of rain he asked for.

As Nimue flees, she is chased by wolves which she has to fight off, surrounded by them on a rock. Merlin is hit by lightning at the castle and his naked body now has the sword symbol engraved on his back. Nimue takes the sword her mother gave her and she lifts it in the air and feels its power. She uses the sword to kill the wolves and blood splatters all over the screen. The pilot episode is a satisfactory opener that brings familiar themes and tales.

Additional points
  • In the king’s castle, Merlin notices a room of dead birds and seems irked.

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