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Fanfic Recs: Merlin
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.


Authors and Websites

Alaia Skyhawk
  • Recommended by Fiwen9430
  • 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.

zahrawitha z
  • Recommended by Lorialet
  • She writes mostly reviews, but some of them (the ones of 2x05 and 2x10 as of now) are the characters talking about what they felt. It's hilarious !

Ultra-Geek
  • Recommended by Komodo Classic
  • 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.

The-Bittersweet-Between-My-Teeth by paperclipbitch
  • Recommended by arianwen
  • 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.
  • Commentary Crack, and sweet, and really sad.

A Very Hairy Situation by Redheaded Rapunzel
  • Recommended by Green Fyre
  • 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 :)

Clash of Sovereigns by Aulendil
  • Recommended by Magic713
  • 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.

The One Where Merlin Thinks Gaius Is A Zombie by mcgooglykins
  • Recommended by Goodwrench
  • Synopsis: The title is self-explanatory.
  • Commentary: Extremely funny. For zombie-ficcers.

I'm Gonna Burst Right Out of This World by kaizoku
  • Recommended by Goodwrench
  • Synopsis: The one where Merlin and Arthur raise hatchlings because it is Their Destiny.
  • Commentary: Dragon-crack. The breezy tone is great.

Uther's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by noelia_g
  • Recommended by Goodwrench
  • 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.

The One Where Gwen and Morgana (and Merlin) Save Arthur From Being Eaten By Bears by Netgirl_y2k
  • Recommended by Goodwrench
  • Synopsis: The unexpected side-effects of baby rabbits and flowers.
  • Commentary: Crack and humor.

Two For One by Greensilver
  • Recommended by Goodwrench
  • Synopsis: "Yes, fine, there's a lady in the lake and she has your sword."
  • Commentary: What's the difference between Arthurian myth and reality? Arthur and Merlin find out the hard way.

Am prionnsa, an t-amadan agus na meirlich by Kaz
  • Recommended by Goodwrench
  • Synopsis: In which there is a plethora of exceedingly incompetent bandits, Merlin flails, and Arthur fails at emotional comprehension.
  • Commentary: Despite the title, this story is in English. For readers who want a good story where Arthur discovers Merlin's magic.

Hearing Voices by magog_83
  • Recommended by chibiaries
  • Synopsis: "Merlin the pork chop starts humming."
  • Commentary: Delicious, delicious crack with well-written bantering between Arthur and Merlin.

Evil, Shady Dealings by The Deathly Marshmellows
  • Recommended by Velociraptor256
  • Synopsis: Some of the meetings that took place between Morgana and Morgause during Season 3.
  • Commentary: A really funny fic that affectionately pokes fun at the show and portrays a hilarious (and at times, strangely heartwarming) relationship between Morgana and Morgause.

I Dreamt I Dwelt In Marble Halls by Geoffrey F
  • Recommended by Jewel Maiden
  • 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.

Caught in a Slash by Poisoning Pigeonsinthe Park
  • Recommended by KITTYO
  • 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.

Sit In by Literaria
  • Recommended by Pickled Plums, The Corsair 20, Zephyr7
  • Synopsis: Merlin gets sent to the dungeons to be executed for sorcery again. The Knights, Arthur, and Gwen all come to keep him company.
  • Commentary: This is funny, sweet, and understated where the bonds between Merlin and his friends are celebrated and also pokes fun at Merlin's formulaic plotlines.

Cold Blood, Black Fire by Kitty O
  • Recommended by colaproduct
  • 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.

Watching the Girls Go By by One Wonders
  • Recommended by The Corsair 20
  • 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.

You Can't Fight Fate 1: Camelot by zantha19
  • Recommended by fairwhite
  • 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.

BEHEAD HIM by Myth Queen
  • Recommended by Fiwen9430
  • Synopsis: Uther discovers Merlin's magic, and a few other surprises. Arthur/Gwen and Merlin/Morgana.
  • Commentary: Pure crack, and the funniest Merlin fanfic I've ever read. The ending observations by Kilgarrah and Geoffrey make it that much funnier.

The Incredible Bouncing Knight by Ultra-Geek
  • Recommended by Fiwen9430
  • Synopsis: The real reason why Leon is often the only knight to survive when everyone else is killed.
  • Commentary: Could be read as crack, or as a legitimate reason for Leon's Plot Armour, told in a light-hearted way.

Onfindan by Astolat
  • Recommended by flyndragon
  • Synopsis: Arthur finds out that Merlin's magic, and Merlin and Arthur keep sneaking out of the kingdom to go battle magical creatures. Arthur/Merlin pairing.
  • Commentary: This the perfect non-angsty and awesome reveal fic. every character has a crowning moment of awesome and your eyes are glued to the screen until the last word.

Past and Present Danger by laurajslr
  • Recommended by lolapupsy
  • 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.

Of Slaves and Sorrow by Merlyn Pyndragon
  • Recommended by KITTYO
  • 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.

With Sufficient Thrust, Pigs Fly Just Fine by inktomi
  • Recommended by Veloren
  • Synopsis : Merlin locks himself into a cell, sneaks out to defenestrate sorcerers and has magical parties to celebrate. Arthur takes a while to catch on.
  • Commentary: Crackfic, no pairings. Possibly the least angsty "magic reveal" fic ever.

Hidden Motives by laurajslr
  • Recommended by hujwernoo
  • 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 wham bits are some of the best I have ever seen and the angst is delightfully realistic. Highly recommended.

Stories focused on romantic relationships between the cast.

Without Song by imperfectcircle
  • Recommended by Goodwrench, aimsme
  • Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
  • Synopsis: In which Arthur is envoy to a grieving family, and Merlin rides with him.
  • Comments: An unusually touching, angsty piece about magic gone wrong.

Breaking Point by tailor31415
  • Recommended by gyroscope
  • Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
  • Synopsis: Takes place after the Season 4 Finale. "Merlin finally gives up all hope of ever being accepted by Arthur for who he truly is. Warnings: Attempted Suicide and blood/violence"
  • Comments: An absolutely heart-wrenching, and rather graphic, portrayal of Merlin's feelings of invisibility around Arthur.

Drastically Redefining Protocol by glitterati
  • Recommended by aimsme, Lua
  • Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
  • 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.)

The Piast Predicament by Tierfal
  • Recommended by Goodwrench
  • Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
  • Synopsis: It is not entirely clear to Merlin which is a greater threat to his sanity, the monster or the prince.
  • Warnings: Slash
  • Comments: A great deal of fun.

The Truth is You by bigmamag
  • Recommended by Goodwrench, Aylis
  • Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
  • Synopsis: Arthur lies to a sorceress and gets slapped with a truth spell. Awkwardness ensues.
  • Warnings: Slash
  • Comments: Arthur finally has his chance to say what he thinks to everyone. Humor.

The Prince and his Catservant by Shadecat
  • Recommended by Goodwrench, Aylis
  • Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
  • 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?
  • Warnings: Slash
  • Comments: Catfic and humor. For lovers of transformation stories.

At Our Best When It's From the Hips
  • Recommended by Goodwrench
  • Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
  • Synopsis: Arthur and Merlin have an accidental encounter, then one not-quite so accidental.
  • Warnings: Slash. Very NC-17.
  • Comments: Simply outstanding writing.

The Lake by Chronicles
  • Recommended by Lyrical Enigma
  • Pairing: Merlin/Freya after her death
  • Synopsis: Merlin had never forgotten Freya... Which was why he did what he did every year.
  • Warnings: None, really, but it can become a Tear Jerker, depending on your viewpoint on the relationship.
  • Comments: Absolutely heartbreaking one-shot, beautifully written in its portrayal that true love doesn't end, even when one of them has died. To say more would spoil.

Throw Out the Script by Ediolon02
  • Recommended by Faded Echoes
  • Pairing: Merlin/Morgana
  • 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.

Keep Calm and Carry On by chibirhm
  • Recommended by kph2pt0 and Twilight Shimmer
  • Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
  • Synopsis: How Arthur Pendragon, Director of Communications for Prime Minister Gaius, and his assistant, Merlin Emrys, fell in love - a story in goldfish, cats, webcomics, cups of tea, and sharpies.
  • Comments: A hilariously funny Corporate AU.

Strangers on a Plane by Mad_Maudlin
  • Recommended by Goodwrench and bubbletea
  • Synopsis: It's bad enough that Arthur has to fly business class—why does he also have to sit next to this guy?
  • Warnings: Pre-slash
  • Comments: Modern AU in which Arthur and Merlin meet up by accident, and their reactions to each other are pretty amusing.

Lord Drake's Bequest by Pennyplainknits
  • Recommended by Goodwrench
  • 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."
  • Warnings: Slash
  • 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.

Pairing: Pendragon/Merlin by Anonymous
  • Recommended by Reebism, Across The Stars, The Corsair 20, Aylis
  • Synopsis: Pendragon is a BNF in the Starz: Camelot fandom. Merlin is a beta-reader who answers an anonymous request for a beta — and who happens to be Pendragon's biggest fan.
  • Warnings: Slash, Arthur/Merlin, Gwen/Lancelot
  • Comments: It works beautifully both as a story and as meta-commentary on fandom.
    • Seconded. This is a must-read.

The Student Prince by FayJay
  • Recommended by Across The Stars
  • Pairing: Arthur/Merlin, side Gwen/Lancelot
  • 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.
  • Now has its own page.

We're a Storm in Someone Else's Teacup by paperclipbitch.
  • Recommended by WhatAShame
  • Pairings: Arthur/Merlin, Gwen/Lancelot
  • 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.

The Lonely King by Cori Lannam.
  • Recommended by Musicalcroc
  • Pairings: Arthur/Merlin.
  • Synopsis: The Prince of Wales at his school. Merlin was sure it was all just a very bad joke.
  • Warnings: Slash.
  • 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.

Crossover Fics

  • The Stuff Of Legend by Xanthiae
  • Recommended by The Enmity Of Ages 1994
  • Pairings: Lily/James
  • 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.

Harry Potter and the Return of Merlin by luminare91
  • Recommended by gremlinsavoy
  • 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.

Only a Boy by Riddell Lee
  • Recommended by star trail
  • 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.


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