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Fanfic Recs / Merlin (2008)

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Proof that the remaining 10% is worth revealing the magic for here:

These are recommendations made by tropers for Merlin (2008) fanfics, all of which have to be signed to stay on the page. After a few samples, you will be able to note the interests of the tropers recommending them, and judge whether you might be also interested in a certain 'fic.

Feel free to add a fanfic of your own to the list, but remember to use the template found herenote . Do warn when a fanfic may head into sexualnote  or non-canon territory. Some people just don't like it, and as we all know, Shipping is Serious Business.

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Reviews of fics are encouraged, but if you choose to write one, please make it substantive, and give specific details about what you liked / disliked in the fic. If you want to give a fic a thumbs-up without writing a full review, you can add your troper handle to the Recommendations Line. Please refrain from posting "Comments" or Conversation in the Main Page though; that goes in the discussion page.


Authors and Websites

Kitty-O

  • Recommended by inspibrain101
  • Has quite a few Merlin stories, both one shots and multichapter, genres spanning parodies, AUs, angst, a few hilariously blatant self-inserts, OC-Romances, and some surprising original flavor. No Slash.

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 OCs is also fleshed out in another long origins story. Definitely worth your time.
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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!

astolat

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • The author writes very well developed fics that are basically short stories. On a side note, the author doesn't shy away from romance or smut, so don't read if you're not into that.

Drag0nst0rm

  • Recommended by thebadplace
  • This author writes a lot of fun, short gen Merlin fics, as well as interesting AUs canon compliant explorations of less explored parts of the Merlin universe.

Dying to Return by Storm Dancer

  • Recommended by Jem 56, ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: When they try to hang him, he floats. They put him on the pyre at dawn. He doesn’t burn.
  • Commentary Fairly long. Beautifully written, with a wonderful sense of both suspense and humor.
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The-Bittersweet-Between-My-Teeth by paperclipbitch

  • Recommended by arianwen
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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 Magic 713
  • Status: Confirmed Discontinued
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: The unexpected side-effects of baby rabbits and flowers.
  • Commentary: Crack and humor.

Two For One by Greensilver

  • Recommended by Goodwrench
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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 Velociraptor 256
  • Status: Dormant
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Dormant
  • 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, Zephyr 7
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Dormant
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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 totally in character, it's just like a different 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 hints, though. aswell as a very rare, and great Morgana Gwaine and Merlin kind of triangle. well worth a read.

BEHEAD HIM by Myth Queen

  • Recommended by Fiwen9430
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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.

Beyond Recall by laurajslr

  • Recommended by" hpfan4ever
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: (Author's summary) After a terrible accident, Merlin is left with no memory of his time in Camelot. Separated from Arthur and all who could tell him who he is, Merlin tries to piece together his life and his loyalties. But loyalties can be influenced; lives can take very different paths to the ones they were destined for. And a lost sorcerer is a very powerful and useful weapon to have.
  • Comments: Great fic that portrays the depths of Arthur and Merlin's friendship.

The White Phoenix by MobBob

  • Recommended by Rustface
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: (Author's summary) AU Set during episode 1x09 "Excalibur". Before dueling Uther, Tristan De Bois had a son, Gowen. When Tristan died, Uther took Gowen on as a ward. Now that Tristan has returned, Gowen's loyalties are tested.
  • Comments: A well-written story with a complex character that avoids being a Marty Stu.

The Evil We Make by janne_d

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: So many dead by Uther's will if not his hands. He would pay a heavy price for that; Nimueh had sworn it by her blood and breath.

The Perfect Scry by DisaLanglois

  • Recommended by thebadplace
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: The world is falling into winter. Camelot is falling into war. Arthur will do anything he can to keep his kingdom safe, and he will use whatever weapons are at hand - but, to his horror, his decisions turn out to have severe consequences for Merlin. Naturally, Arthur decides that it is his duty to protect his loyal servant from the shocking truth... “Let me see if I’ve got this straight,” Lancelot said, beginning to grin. “You want to teach Merlin to use magic – without letting him notice that he’s using magic?” “He must not find out. If he finds out he has magic, he’ll – why are you laughing? This is no laughing matter, Lancelot!”

Clumsy Only Goes so Far by Drag0nst0rm

  • Recommended by thebadplace
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: The other servants see how Merlin's constantly injured. They jump to the natural conclusion.

Other Employment Opportunities by Drag0nst0rm

  • Recommended by thebadplace
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Looking back, it could have been worse. It takes Merlin's overactive imagination to figure out HOW it could have been worse, but it theoretically could have been.

Thrice for mine, and thrice for thine by DisaLanglois

  • Recommended by thebadplace
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Three ways Arthur finds out. Three ways Arthur does not find out.

A Practical Man by Drag0nst0rm

  • Recommended by thebadplace
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: It's one thing to fool the knights. After all, they get hit on the head a lot. It's another thing entirely to fool a rival kingdom's spymaster, who gets paid to notice things and who doesn't have any preconceived opinions on Merlin. It was never really a question of if Relius would notice. It was a question of what he would do about it.

Binding Magic by Drag0nst0rm

  • Recommended by thebadplace
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: When you put magic restraining cuffs on Magic himself you get exactly what you asked for. Which is not necessarily the same thing as what you wanted.

X Marks the Spot by Drag0nst0rm

  • Recommended by thebadplace
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Everyone is born with a neatly printed little name over their hearts. It's life's way of trying to warn them.

In A Name by StarlightInHerEyes22

  • Recommended by thebadplace
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: In the middle of some quest or another, Merlin, Arthur and the knights find themselves stuck in the middle of a shrine being told that, if they wish to proceed unharmed, they need only speak their true names and titles. Straight-forward enough, right? Wrong. Merlin really hates the Old Religion sometimes.

Allow One to 'See' by mollrach13

  • Recommended by thebadplace
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: When the King is attacked in his tent on patrol and falls into an unending sleep everyone is worried. What they don't know is that Arthur is fine. In fact he is standing right here next to them, watching them all fret over his prone body. To stave off the boredom whilst a cure is found Arthur takes to wandering the castle and soon discovered a hidden side of Camelot he never knew about. Or: Arthur's soul gets trapped outside his body and takes to following his servant around. He gets an interesting insight into Merlin, his servant's life and just how much Camelot needs the man.

These Ghosts Might Be Mine by PeaceHeather

  • Recommended by thebadplace
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Arthur is pretty sure he died, so why is he waking up in his own bed in Camelot, and how did he end up ten years in the past? And where the hell is Merlin?

The Cursed Spring by DisaLanglois

  • Recommended by thebadplace
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: There had been no warning. There had been no sudden crisis, or injury, or battle. They had ridden here, happy and healthy, and then Merlin had slipped, gently, quietly, by imperceptible degrees to … this.

Arthur Knows About Merlin's Magic by onceandfuturewarlock

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Synopsis: Golden Age AU fic series

Stories focused on romantic relationships between the cast.

Without Song by imperfectcircle

  • Recommended by Goodwrench, aimsme
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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.

Immortal and Imperishable by prettysailorsoldier

  • Recommended by Licyan
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairing: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: When Merlin first arrives in Camelot, he is certain of the destiny that awaits him: Clearing the throne of the Pendragon dynasty to make way for the Once and Future King. Working with Nimueh and a rebel band of druids, he is sent to infiltrate Camelot, working from the inside to overthrow those that will challenge the rise of Albion. He didn't count on becoming the manservant of the crown prince—or, worst of all, liking him—and, slowly, Merlin begins to wonder if the king he has been searching for is a lot closer than anyone believed.
  • Comments: A retelling of the show, with a twist. Features a more experienced Merlin but still manages to remain in character. Very well written.

The Beltane Cycle by astolat

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairing: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: There is a story that is not told in Ealdor anymore, not for many years now, a story about Beltane Eve.
  • Comments: An amazing series based on a what-if were Merlin has a different heritage.

The Golden Path by blacktail_chorus

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairing: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin, Gwen/Morgana
  • Synopsis: While Morgana is on the run after revealing herself as a sorceress, Arthur embarks on a quest for a blade rumored to be able to destroy the source of all magic—with Merlin, of course, in tow. On the road, a rash decision with unexpected consequences forces Arthur to confront a lifetime of prejudice against magic and decide how far he will go to make things right.
  • Comments: The fic actually starts on chapter 2, chapter 1 is the book cover.

Misrule by thehoyden

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairing: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: "Well," Morgana said, looking pleased, "Maybe Arthur won't actually throw the tourney this year."
  • Comments: A hilarious crack-fic based on some interesting traditions the author researched, but it's not too accurate, because the author remembers seeing pigeon sandwiches on the show.

So Are They All, All Honourable Men by seperis

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairing: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: Considering Arthur's future wife will be chosen less for compatibility than for her political value, Merlin may be the only marriage he'll have that won't end in bloodshed or a great deal of fortifying wine.
  • Comments: My favorite parts are the brief insights to Pendragon family's character.

Favorite by astolat

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairing: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: Arthur was tipped back against the wall, his mouth open for breath and staring at the small arrow-slit window over Merlin's head, trying to work out how it could possibly be that good with Merlin, of all people.
  • Comments: One of my favorites.

Tiercel by waldorph

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairing: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: Arthur is constantly at war.
  • Comments: This is stunning.

Past Imperfect by thehoyden

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairing: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: "You're being annoying, so no, I'd have to say this seems perfectly normal."
  • Comments: Not one of the usual time travel fics, and a very good read.

Empires Gleam by alacrity

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Pairing: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin, Gwen/Lancelot
  • Synopsis: Two years after Arthur's death, Merlin goes back to the beginning to save them all, whatever the cost. (AKA the great, big, wish-fulfilling, post-finale, fuck-it-fix-everything rewrite you always wanted.)
  • Comments: I'm pretty sure this fic was here before, but the rec got erased for some reason. Check out this incredible fic!

Reciprocation by astolat

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairing: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: He only meant to complain; you didn't take serving girls on hunting trips, and the alternative interpretation didn't even occur to him until Merlin said indignantly, "I'm not going to do that!"
  • Comments: I love that this fic takes time to discuss subjects like power dynamics and consent, and how that plays into relationships!

To Be Known by sometimesophie

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairing: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: So this is what it felt like to be normal. Merlin opens his eyes to the cool, shining metal of Arthur's unsheathed blade. "Sorcerer," Arthur spits.
  • Comments: One of the interesting things about this fic is the headcannon that magic makes its users interpret the world differently than the way a nonuser would.

Job Orientation by seperis

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairing: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: In the not so distant future, Merlin builds a tower. That's not suspicious at all.
  • Comments: I thought that the sequel about the sea serpent was pretty funny too.

The Weight of Words by waldorph

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairing: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: Arthur knows how to use words just as well as Merlin, and he knows about the magic.
  • Comments: There really aren't enough smart!arthur fics.

Made of Dreams and Bones by lady_ragnell

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairing: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: Arthur would have starved that first winter, if it weren’t for Hunith and her son. When Arthur is disinherited, he finds himself farming in Ealdor.
  • Comments: The premise is centered on the idea that destiny is just one of many options, due to free will, which is one of the many reasons why I recced it.

August by rageprufrock

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairing: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: Merlin looked uncertainly to Arthur. “Have you ever made bread?” he asked. / “How hard could it be?” Arthur said.
  • Comments: A well-written fic with lots of Hunith!

Millions of Peaches by Dira Sudis (dsudis)

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairing: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: "I know what this is, Merlin."
  • Comments: I adore how the author mixes in humor and suspense!

How to Untrain Your Dragon by Teumessian

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairing: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: Merlin has many secrets but Arthur sees more than anyone knows. This is the story of a prince and a dragon. A canon changeling!verse AU, deviating around season 2.
  • Comments: A feel-good fic that has two upcoming sequels.

Time-Travellers and Royal Dollopheads In Space by schweet_heart

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairing: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: Resurrected in the 21st Century, Arthur discovers that Merlin was on Doctor Who.

Not A Word by astolat

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairing: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: “Not a word,” Arthur said flatly.
  • Comments: Goblins spend some time in the spotlight.

Treason to Us by janne_d

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairing: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: Arthur finds out Merlin's secret - and he does not react well.

Don't Look by irish_orchard

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Pairing: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: It's a day long trek to the nearest village. The vegetable patch is beside the house, the cow and the chickens a short walk through the forest away. Merlin is better with the sheep, Arthur with the chickens, but he'd be better with the sheep too if he had magic. Peals of laughter ring through the cottage in the evenings, fires crackle in the hearth, one hums as he makes soup and the other whistles while washing dishes, and they argue about who has to milk the cow. But nightmares still slink into their thoughts. Faded reminders of an old life make them flinch, and all the while there are swords hidden under the bed and spell books in the floorboards.

and it shall set you free by schweet_heart

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairing: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: Merlin's secret is out in the open, and after months of preparation, Arthur is on the brink of lifting the ban on magic forever. But there is one last truth that remains to be shared between them, if only Arthur can bring himself to take the first step.

Sharing is Caring by platonic_boner

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairing: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: Arthur hadn't really given his soulmate much thought, until he beat a peasant with a broomstick and every blow hurt like he was hitting himself.

Clouds On The Horizon by Diana_Prallon

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairing: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: The Golden Age has arrived.It's been three years since King Arthur Pendragon legalised magic once again in Camelot. Side by side, magical and non-magical folk have worked to rebuilt the land that was torn in the war against magic just as the King and his sister try to heal the rift between themselves. In times of peace, Albions prospers. Prosperity, however, brings a new threat to the land, one that Camelot cannot face without the aid of its allies. Meanwhile, Arthur and Merlin have to figure out how to live with each other now that there are no more secrets between them.

Keep Calm and Carry On by chibirhm

  • Recommended by kph2pt0 and Twilight Shimmer
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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
  • Status: Complete
  • 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.

Loaded March by Footloose

  • Recommended by Licyan
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairings: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: Captain Arthur Pendragon has put together the best team of specialists that the SAS has ever seen, but when his superiors assign Lieutenant Merlin Emrys as his communications officer, Arthur does everything to make him feel unwelcome. Arthur's job is to protect and guide his team through dangerous missions, and he worries that he can't do that when the newest member has a mysterious background and acts suspicious when he thinks no one is looking.
  • Comments: Ridiculously long and equally good. The plot is original and complex, one of the best adaptation of magic to the modern days I have seen. Definitely worth the read.

Until We Meet Again by Mad Auntie Keith

  • Recommended by fruitstripegum
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairings: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: The Pendragon's are moving house- but a wrong turn will change Arthur's life forever. Merlin Spirited Away crossover AU with beautiful witches, fearsome dragons, and ominous shadows. Arthur has to do manual labour, Uther's a pig (literally), Kilgharrah's nicer than he wants you to think and Gaius is definitely not getting paid enough for all this nonsense.

Beary Happy by platonic_boner

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairings: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: Merlin just doesn’t understand that Arthur is a successful businessman who has long outgrown stuffed animals. Which Arthur definitely has. He’s just using this completely not adorable bear Merlin gave him as a pillow.

Reversal of Fortune by mad_poetics

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairings: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: Wherein Arthur is not the rich boss, and Merlin is not the assistant. (Modern au.)

The Crown of the Summer Court by astolat

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairings: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: "The king sent me to get you," Merlin said, with a tone that implied strongly that he wasn't rolling his eyes where Arthur could see, but just wait until his back was turned. "He said you're to get changed into formal clothes and meet him in the Great Hall, there's a delegation coming from the Summer Court."

Breathing Frost by You_Light_The_Sky

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairings: Arthur Pendragon/Merlin
  • Synopsis: Every year, on the winter solstice, anything Merlin crafts out of ice comes to life. But only for one night. One year, he builds a prince.

Crossover Fics

  • The Stuff Of Legend by Xanthiae
  • Recommended by The Enmity Of Ages 1994
  • Status: Ongoing
  • 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.
  • Warning: Dead Link.
    • Note: The FF.net links are dead. However, Xanthiae has moved to Archive of Our Own and is rewriting the series there. So far, she's working on "The Stuff of Legend."

Harry Potter and the Return of Merlin by luminare91

  • Recommended by gremlinsavoy
  • Status: Dormant
  • 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 and The Legacy of Salazar by Riddell Lee

  • Recommended by star trail
  • Status: Complete, Ongoing
  • 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.

Ancient Relics by Teen Muggle

  • Recommended by dragoria
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Merlin Emrys has been waiting thirteen hundred years for this moment to arrive. Can he fulfill the destiny that is required of him? Will Harry learn to trust this mysterious stranger? The fate of the Old Religion and the entire wizarding world depends entirely on them. AU for the last part of Deathly Hallows. Set after Series 4 but written before Series 5.
  • Comments: Stays true to character, manages to combine both types of magic seamlessly. Following both 'Martin' and Harry's perspectives keep the story moving quickly and entertainingly. Regular use of wizard sayings along the lines of "by Merlin's beard" keep the reader chuckling.

Lost in Camelot by RLD Flame-point Callie-co

  • Recommended by Marcus S Lazarus
  • Status: In-progress
  • Synopsis: A mysterious old man sends Bo and Kenzi hundreds of years into the past. Merlin and Arthur find them and take them to Camelot, where they must navigate a complex maze of medieval society, new romantic entanglements, and magical enemies while searching for a way home and learning some surprising truths about themselves. AU from early Season Two of Merlin and mid-Season Two of Lost Girl
  • Comments: An unconventional crossover with a unique pairing, for several reasons. The story justifies how Bo and Kenzi ended up in the past without pushing the issue too much, and then goes on to effectively explore how Bo falls for Merlin and Morgana despite her desire for monogamy, to say nothing of how Merlin and Morgana subtly come to acknowledge their deeper feelings for Bo and each other.

Men of Legend by hells_half_acre

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous, thebadplace
  • Status: Complete
  • Crossover with: Supernatural
  • Synopsis: When a sorcerer summons monsters from another world, Merlin must summon heroes from another world to help save Camelot. Meanwhile, Dean and Sam Winchester didn't even know they were summon-able.

Welcome to Storybrooke by lamerezouille

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Crossover with: Once Upon A Time
  • Synopsis: Arthur and Merlin have been on this American road trip for what seems to be forever when their car breaks down and they stumble on a weird little town.

Through the Looking Glass, Darkly by Netgirl_y2k

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Crossover with: Once Upon A Time
  • Synopsis: They're sitting together drinking wine the colour of blood, and Morgana thinks that what she'll miss most about the Enchanted Forest - even more than Regina's hit-and-miss companionship - is its comparative lack of subtlety.

Waking Up Merlin by MK_Yujji

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Crossover with: Supernatural
  • Synopsis: When demons steal Excalibur, the Winchester brothers need to recruit a little help getting it back.

Of Kings and Vampires by kickassanakin

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Crossover with: Supernatural
  • Synopsis: He wore chain mail - not as odd and outfit for the Eternal Hunt as you'd think - and a ragged, torn and cut-short cape that rippled scarlet into the wind. Benny tried to ignore the top half of a golden dragon on the cape, and that the other half of it had obviously been ripped off at some point. "Capes aren't such a good idea out here, friend," the vampire noted, putting his hands up in a gesture for peace.

A Shot in the Dark by cirdan

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Crossover with: Harry Potter
  • Synopsis: There's something strange about the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor and Harry is determined to figure out what it might be. A sixth year AU.

Know Thyself by MoiraiThanatoio

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Crossover with: Star Trek (2009)
  • Synopsis: An alien ritual wakes a part of Jim Kirk that no one could have foreseen.

Sunset Over Coruscant by Footloose

  • Recommended by ThisIsRidiculous
  • Status: Complete
  • Crossover with: Star Wars
  • Synopsis: Arthur Pendragon, war hero of the battle of Albion, fully expects that the Jedi High Council will do whatever they can to convince him to leave his galaxy and lead an army against the Sith. He doesn't expect them to stoop so low as to dangle a lure impossible for him to refuse.
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