Proof that the remaining 10% is worth dying for here:
These are recommendations made by Tropers for Merlin, all of which have been signed. After a few samples, you will be able to judge whether you might be interested in the 'fic, based on who recommended it. No-name recommendations will be zapped. Nobody would back up the rec. Discussion of the recommendation is welcome on the discussion page. As such discussion is important, do remember to add the discussion page to the watchlist, if need be.
Starting off with an AU novelisation of Series 3, where Arthur finds out that Merlin has magic, this author has also written novelisations of Series 1 and 4, with work begun on 2. Each novelisation has sub-episodes and added/tweaked scenes, and they are really well thought out and often fill plot holes created in the series. The history of significant O Cs is also fleshed out in another long origins story. Definitely worth your time.
Ultra-Geek writes for several fandoms, but a good percentage of them are for Merlin. Mostly one-shots, though there is at least one multi-chapter and a set of 100 100-word drabbles. She writes very good comedy, and she appears to favor Percival and Gwaine.
Synopsis Future/AU/vampires. In which bloodlust doesn’t even make the top ten on Morgana’s list of Problems With Her (Not Quite) Life Right Now, Merlin is perpetually amused by, well, everything, and Mordred has decided to take part in Occupy Morgana’s Sofa. And, the thing about living forever isn’t the price; it’s the fact that ‘forever’ is, you know, forever.
Synopsis: Arthur starts behaving incredibly strangely, declaring his love for the last person Merlin would have imagined. Merlin seeks solace in the tavern. Chaos ensues.
Commentary: Crack!fics aren't usually my thing, but this one had me in stitches, especially the parts with Gwen and Merlin. The author hits the perfect balance between wit and nonsense, and the story itself is quite cute. You won't be sorry you read it :)
Synopsis: Three stubborn men, a beautiful and ambitious woman, and one vengeful dragon. Between them is the throne of Camelot, and the fate of humanity hangs in the balance. Love, betrayal, and ambition combine to change the course of the future. Starts in S 01 E 01.
Commentary: It is quite a well-written story. Think about how Camelot would be if you have Uther as a more ruthless king, Morgana being more manipulative than she was in the first series (basically series three Morgana in series one), and a dragon who's motives are not as pure as Merlin thinks.
Synopsis: When Uther woke up, everything seemed bigger than it should have been. Attempts to summon a servant ended in a series of pathetic meows. Attempt to get out of the bed... you know how they say that cats always land on their feet? They're lying.
Commentary: Catfic. The story where Uther finally gets what he deserves.
Synopsis: Morgana deals with unexpected dreams as she tends Morgause after her ousting from Camelot. Set after 3x13, relevant spoilers applying.
Commentary: An exquisitely crafted, angst-filled fic that fills in several Season 3 gaps in Morgana's character. It's surprisingly moving for the length and definitely worth a read — just be sure to have a tissue-box nearby, if you're That Sort Of Person.
Synopsis: Camelot's trapped in a badly written slash fanfiction, causing momentary gender-bending, plotbunny infestations, banjo-related love triangles, cannibalism, a punctuation purge and all fanfictiondom declaring war on one poor author who just can't splel.
Warnings: Though a bunch of different ships are mentioned, it's all crack, so most are being fondly teased.
Commentary: Getting a bit long at 122,922 words (and counting), but worth every hilarious sentence. Slashers and non-slasher alike think this story is pure hilarious genius. The style of writing, despite it being a crack!fic, simply screams that the author actually knows what he/she's doing.
Synopsis: "It's relatively easy to say no to a bunch of threats. But it's a lot harder to refuse the tortured cries of your manservant wafting through the bars."
Warnings: Character death, torture/violence (though not shown), potential Tear Jerker.
Commentary: It's very well-written; frightening and dark. There's not much hope at the end. It's depressing as all can be, but I love it. It's written in second person, but it's barely noticeable and only adds to the story.
Synopsis: A collection of stories about the goings on in Camelot as Arthur, Merlin and the knights set about rebuilding after Morgana's defeat. Banter and bromance.
Commentary: The dynamic of the friendships between Merlin, Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is absolutely perfect. Teasing, name-calling and the best banter ever. A lovely, light-hearted but realistic look at rebuilding Camelot. Also for an added bonus this story fits perfectly in canon during the year between the end of Season 3 and the beginning of Season 4.
Synopsis: Set after the end of s3. Their lives have been set out for them from the start. So is there any way to change their fates, would they even want to. Magic, love and friendship. M/M later on, some A/G. The future of Camelot is made here.
Commentary: this is a truly epic fanfic. the characters stay totaly in character, its just like a diffrent season 4. It is going to be split into three parts we are told, and this is just part one. So much has already happened, i have no idea where else it can go from here. There is not much shipping yet, but that must come later. Tons of hint though. aswell as a very rare, and great Morgana Gwaine and Merlin kind of trinagle. well worth a read.
Synopsis: Set about two years after the end of series four. Morgana's plan to kill Arthur and Merlin as children goes awry, leaving the King and warlock to deal with temporal paradox as well as their younger selves.
Commentary: Insanely long at 132,000 words - though it's so absorbing that you don't notice - this is the best exploration of Merlin and Arthur's friendship that I've read. It's both funny and moving, and follows through with series four's focus on Arthur's character development as he struggles with issues he'd thought resolved a long time ago. Just brilliant.
Synopsis: King Arthur is baffled when villages are suddenly reported empty. He sets out with his knights and faithful servant to investigate, but on the way, he finds what it means to lose a close friend, and faces horrors he has never before. Character whump level: *critical*
Commentary: Rated for whump, this is a well-plotted and well-written story. Don't give up until the end, no matter what the story throws at you; twists abound.
Synopsis : Merlin wakes up in the middle of the forest, alone, bleeding from a head wound. When he gets back to Camelot, he finds to his shock that he tried to kill Arthur last night. As everyone rushes to find out what really happened, Merlin has to face the possibility that he is now a threat to Arthur.
Commentary : An amazingly well-written piece, with everyone on character for the whole fic. Set in the break between S3 and S4, so it includes all the knights and Uther. The whambits are some of the best I have ever seen and the angst is delightfully realistic. Highly recommended.
Synopsis: Arthur is a prince tired of responsibility. Merlin is a chain-smoking medical student. Together, they turn England on its head.
Comments: Deftly mixes humour, a bit of angst, a tiny bit of politics, and a huge amount of love. Definitely worth the read- and the photomanips are a nice touch.
Seconded. Hype Aversion made me avoid this fic for months, but I finally caved and downloaded the podfic version. I spent the entire train ride grinning like an idiot. It's ridiculously charming, and despite the temporal relocation the dynamic between the characters feels like it's quite close to series canon to me. (Apart from, you know, the gay. Maybe.)
Synopsis: When Arthur’s mouth gets him in trouble with a psychotic faerie, it’s Merlin that has to save him from himself again. Will either of them be able to cope with Merlin’s new situation – and will they be able to reverse it?
Comments: Catfic and humor. For lovers of transformation stories.
Synopsis: Destiny says they go one way. They say they go another.
Comments: I have read most Merlin/Morgana fanfictions on fanfiction.net, and I have to say this is my favourite by far. It captures all the characters perfectly and spins the episodes really well to fit the overall plot of the story.
Synopsis: "To my great-nephew Arthur I bequeath Tintagel Distribution, wholly and without reserve, save for one condition. You must marry, and stay married, for a period of no less than six months. You're a wonderful businessman Arthur, but a full life needs love and companionship, not just a string of affairs. Settle down young Arthur, and your life will be the richer for it."
Comments: Modern AU. How Arthur ends up married to Merlin. Most modern stories in this fandom fall flat on their faces, but not this one.
Synopsis: "A Modern day Merlin AU set at the University of St Andrews, featuring teetotal kickboxers, secret wizards, magnificent bodyguards of various genders, irate fairies, imprisoned dragons, crumbling Gothic architecture, arrogant princes, adorable engineering students, stolen gold, magical doorways, attempted assassination, drunken students, shaving foam fights, embarrassing mornings after, The Hammer Dance, duty, responsibility, friendship and true love..."
Warnings: Slash, Arthur/Merlin, Gwen/Lancelot
Comments: This fic is what would happen if you set the show Merlin in the modern era. Brilliant.
Agreed: it had this firmly anti-royalist troper pretty much cheering for the Prince of Wales at the end. Quite an achievement.
Synopsis: In which Gwen’s passive-aggressive revenge leads to, amongst other things, Merlin making a new friend.
Warnings: Slash, Arthur/Merlin, slight Merlin/Will and Arthur/Lancelot, Gwen/Lancelot, character death, some violence.
Comments: Modern day AU which starts out as a fun, lighthearted read involving Merlin and Morgana bonding over mutual superpowers, develops a plot and gets surprisingly angsty at times. Ridiculously long (something like 87,000 words), but definitely worth it.
Synopsis: The Prince of Wales at his school. Merlin was sure it was all just a very bad joke.
Comments: Modern royalty AU with Arthur as the royal who actively gets a day job, and Merlin as an irreverent teacher with anti-monarchist tendency. The way the author weaves Merlin's position as Arthur's unofficial advisor in canon into the AU is interesting, and Arthur's sincere effort to be useful is moving.
Synopsis: A crossover between Merlin and the Harry Potter series during the time of the Marauders. A door in time opens in Hogwarts in the middle of the night and the Marauders (minus Pettigrew for unexplained reasons and plus Lily who was prefect on duty) walk through it, meeting Merlin and Arthur. What happens next will be the stuff of legend...
Comments: Very in character, and very well plotted, with the seeds of the sequel being sown early on, with several awesome moments, as well as some very funny ones. It now has one complete sequel and the first chapter of a third, The Stuff Of Myth and The Stuff Of Nightmares.
Synopsis: The moment Voldemort regained his body, the Old Religion cried out. For the first time in more than a thousand years, Merlin is called from the forward to right the balance once more. Disguised as a fifth year student, he must fight to stop Voldemort when it is not his destiny to do so.
Comments: Divergence from fifth year, with Merlin meeting the Golden Trio. Merlin constantly trying to hide his identity is still entertaining.
Synopsis: AR. Merlin has changed Camelot forever but while that part of his life is complete, destiny has a new task for him. Now he has to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, hide the fact that he's the Merlin, and defeat a Dark Lord that's messing with magic he knows nothing about.
Comments: This story starts from book 1 of the Harry Potter series, dumping Merlin into the world (where there isn't actually a Boy Who Lived) in the form of a child. It is amazingly well written and strays from the well-trodden path most fics take, which makes it an even better read. Saying anything more would be spoiling. Truly fantastic.