Hello. My name is Bella and I am a Merthur addict. Rather than attempting to remedy this addiction of mine, I am instead going to impose it on the rest of you by giving you a list of my favourite Merlin/Arthur fanfics and thereby getting you all just as addicted as I am. So, cheers, and I hope you enjoy.
The Two Fics That You Should Read Above All Others:
The Student Prince: Modern AU; This is just one of those fics where you sit back after reading it and wonder what you’re going to do with your life now. Takes place in St. Andrews university where Arthur is the Prince of Wales and Merlin is an undercover warlock who turns out to be his roommate and Gwen is adorable and Morgana is classy and the Great Dragon discovers Justin Bieber. Just read it. Please. It is an extremely long fic, but it’s totally worth it.
The Good Times are Killing Me: Modern AU; Arthur and Merlin have broken up but need to still pretend to be together for one more night so that they don’t hurt their friends on Christmas. Angst galore. This was the first fic that made me feel so much pain that I actually went and cried into my pillow. But there is a happy ending so there is that.
The Ones That I Love Dearly And Often Reread:
The Crown of the Summer Court: Canonverse; The King of the Elves has just passed away and they come to Camelot to hold their trials for the new king. The only catch is, one of the candidates is a certain Merlin Emrys. This is actually one of my absolute favourites of all time and I think I have most of it memorized. Most creative idea for a magic reveal I’ve ever seen.
Tournament of All Magicks: Canonverse; There is a tournament being held for a competition of magic and Merlin’s been invited. Gaius forbids him to go but of course, when does Merlin ever listen to Gaius? The only thing he didn’t forsee was that Arthur would tag along. And this takes the prize for the second best magic reveal fic I’ve read. Great portrayal of the extent of Merlin’s power and how Arthur and Merlin’s relationship is affected by the revelation.
Coming of Age: Canonverse; Arthur’s coming of age ceremony is a three day trip into the woods with a bunch of men. When Merlin came along, he didn’t have any idea that he was walking into far more nudity and sex than he had ever experienced. Perfect fic is perfect. There’s the Meriln/Arthur banter, there’s the sex, there’s the love, there’s the happy ending, everything is beautiful.
Bucket Up, All For Luck: Canonverse; Set after the Coming of Arthur Part II and a very realistic approach to getting Merlin and Arthur together. It takes all the knights, Gwen, and even Uther to get these two stubborn idiots together. And it’s in twelve parts but it is so worth it.
At Least It Would Seem That We Don’t: Modern AU; Arthur and Merlin are brothers. Angst fic. There isn’t much I can say for a summary, so I’ll just warn you that there is incest and a lot of it, but this is one of the well written fics I’ve ever read. Superbly written.
In Love With My Radio: Modern AU; Merlin forms a crush on a certain person on the radio named Penn, who doesn’t reveal his actually identity. After getting completely drunk one night and throwing his drink in some man’s face, Merlin finds this mysterious is out to get revenge on some guy that he calls ‘bar guy’. So adorable this fic I swear. It is kind of long, but it’s full of adorableness.
Five Days in New York: Modern AU; Five scenes of Merlin and Arthur’s relationship starting from present day to the first day of their move to New York. I’m not quite sure what to say about this except that it’s an overdose of fluff and love and everything that’s right in the world.
And Then They Kiss: Modern AU; Companion piece to Five Days in New York. Five kisses in Merlin and Arthur’s relationship and the one that started it all. I cried when I read this because this is quite literally all that I want from life.
Coffeeshop Muffins: Modern AU; Merlin and Arthur are the perfect couple, the one that old ladies coo at and the one that gets free muffins at coffeshops. The only catch is, they’re not actually a couple. Oh, and ignore the alternate ending, no one cares about that.
Neither Fish Nor Fowl: Canonverse; Arthur wants to court his Court Sorcerer but has no idea how to go about doing so, especially since Merlin seems to be growing more and more withdrawn from him as the days go by. This fic has the perfect medley of angst and humour and it made me laugh and want to cry at the same time and it’s beautiful, even if the ending is a bit sudden.
In Time of Trial: Canonverse; Uther is slowly driven mad by a horrible influence and seeks to kill his own son. Merlin saves him in the nick of time and takes him away to the druids where they build up their own army. I love this, I love the characterization of Arthur and Merlin’s relationship, of Uther’s regret and insanity, and the building romance of it all.
We’re a Storm in Somebody Else’s Teacup: Modern AU; Merlin goes to a group of people with the same type of magical abilities as he does and makes friends with Morgana. There isn’t an adequate summary for how exquisitely well written this fic is. I love Morgana’s characterization and I love how Arthur slowly falls for Merlin and I love everyone in this bar okay. My only complaint would be that there’s not enough Merlin/Arthur love in there, but really, the plot is fantastic. Just read it, you won’t regret it.
The Quality of Mercy: Canonverse; Now this fic is a bit different. It’s from Uther’s point of view and goes through Uther’s perception of Merlin and Arthur’s relationship and Uther’s discovery of Merlin’s magic and this is, hands down, the best characterization of Uther that I have ever seen. I really love reading this one.
Possibly Maybe I’m Falling For You: Modern AU; Another royalty fic. Morgana dares Arthur to work for a semester at a coffee shop and live like a uni student. Turns out Merlin is a frequent visitor there and there are a shitload of Star Wars and Star Trek references. Also fluff. It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die.
In Want of a Wife: Canonverse; Merlin finds out Uther intends for Arthur to marry soon and freaks out. Slow establishment of their building relationship and Arthur is insecure and Merlin is oblivious and it’s all just wonderful.
An Eternity to Realize Our Dreams: Magic, vengance, strife and destiny collide in Camelot. Nothing out of the ordinary, right? This is a very intense depiction of the dangers that Camelot faces and how Merlin defends it. Some of the most exquisite writing ever and it’s just so lovely it’s all so lovely.
Lord Drake’s Bequest: Modern AU; Arthur’s recently deceased uncle has left a thriving company for Arthur in his will. The only catch is, Arthur has to be married to be able to take over the company. And who better to marry than his best friend, Merlin?
No Business Like Show Business: Modern AU; Merlin and Arthur are the voices for a couple of gay dragons in a cartoon show. They fall in love through post it notes but random events keep making them unable to actually meet. Schmoop.
The Fandom Classics:
Drastically Redefining Protocol: Modern AU; What can I say, I’m a sucker for modern royalty fics. Arthur is a prince and Merlin works at a hospital. They meet in a closet. Literally. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Drastically Redefining Protocol Sequels: Modern AU; Equally as good as, and in my opinion, even better than the original story. A series of epilogues to Drastically Redefining Protocol, following Arthur and Merlin’s engagement, married life, and children.
Accidental Memory In The Case Of Death: Modern AU; Reincarnation fic where Merlin and Arthur, reincarnated as Emory and Tony, find themselves drawn to each other for no discernible reasons and start having dreams of their past together. I’m not as big of a fan of this as everyone else seems to be, but I do simply adore the Merlin and Arthur flashback scenes, that’s what made this fic worth reading for me.
Light of Arthur: Canonverse; A strange darkness is spreading across Albion and Arthur and Merlin set out on a quest to find it.
Communications in Binary: Modern AU; Merlin and Arthur are college roommates; Arthur takes forever to come to terms with his feelings for Merlin and even longer to tell him and it’s all just adorable and you just want to ruffle the hair on their heads and squeal like a little five year old.
Accidental Memory in Case of Death: Modern AU; Reincarnation fic. I’m not the biggest fan of this fic personally, but I think it’s definitely well written and worth a read. Reincarnated Merlin and Arthur have discovered each other but they also need to rediscover their past and come to terms with it.
World Enough and Time: Modern AU; Have you heard the entire Merlin fandom complaining about ‘fucking Beijing’ or how their hearts were just shattered by the ‘Assassin AU’ fic? Well, this is the one. It is just so expertly crafted and full of angst and sexual tension and pain and lust and everything is beautiful and everything hurts with this fic. Everything.
Not In This Land Alone: Modern AU; Arthur is the King of Wales and Merlin, a new worked at Buckingham Palace, becomes involved in saving him from a plot to overthrow the monarch,
Arcane Asylum: Modern AU; Uther placed a ban on magic and sent all sorcerers to high security prisons. His son Arthur is framed for magic and sent to the prison where a certain wizard named Merlin takes him under his wing. Again, not the biggest fan of this fic but it does have some very admirable qualities to it and it’s definitely worth reading at least once.
Other Lovely Reads:
Thaw: Canonverse; He wasn’t breathing. He just wasn’t. Arthur freaks out when Merlin gets injured.
Natural Selection: Modern AU; Morgana, Gwen, and Lancelot set Arthur up on a bunch of truly awful blind dates in which Merlin is the waiter for all of them. Madness ensues. Seriously, it’s hilarious.
August: Canonverse; Merlin and Arthur go on a trip to visit Hunith in Ealdor.
Inside the Pendragon Institute: Modern AU; Merlin is the new junior conservator at a museum. Arthur is the vice curator.
Outside the Pendragon Institute: Modern AU; Sequel to Inside the Pendragon Institute; Established relationship fluff and how some people seek to keep Arthur and Merlin apart.
The Blizzard: Canonverse; It’s snowing in Camelot and that only means one thing: fluff
On That Last Night: Modern AU; Merlin has been in love with Arthur throughout university and on the last night, he decides he has to do something about it. Turns out he’s not the only one with that idea.
Politics and How to Avoid Talking About It: Canonverse; Arthur may be king now but that in no way meant that Merlin was suddenly interested in hearing about Camelot’s politics. Le fluffy fluff.
Camelot’s Sweethearts: Modern AU; Arthur is a movie star and Merlin is his P.A. What happens when the P.A. is desperately in love with his boss?
Keep Calm and Carry On: Modern AU; Arthur works for the Prime Minister and Merlin is his secretary. Workplace relationship fluff. It’s adorable, really.
Four Ways that Arthur Fails at Courting Merlin and One Way He Doesn’t: Canonverse; This is pretty self explanatory, yeah? Humour and light fluff.
The Art of Polishing Swords: Canonverse; For all their rambunctiousness, the Knights of Camelot kind of suck at understanding euphemisms and all decide that they too want Merlin to polish their swords the way he polishes Arthur’s.
Merlin Didn’t Remember: Canonverse; When Merlin and Morgana’s magic was discovered, they fled Camelot and didn’t return until Arthur’s coronation when the ban was lifted. Only problem is, Merlin doesn’t remember Arthur. And Morgana is pregnant with Merlin’s child. Angst galore. There is no happy ending. Heartbreak is a very likely side effect of this fic.
They Would Always Get There Eventually: Canonverse; Merlin is discovered unconscious in Lancelot’s bed. In the rush to wake him up, Arthur discovers a great deal of things that were previously hidden from him.
Kiss Me When My Lips Are Thin: Modern AU; High schoolers Merlin and Arthur are in love and this is some truly cavity-causing fluff that I read when I need a pick-me-up.
I Love You- I Know: Modern AU; Quoting Star Wars is never romantic. Ever.
If I Knew What I Was Doing: Modern AU; Merlin found the ring weeks before Arthur actually proposed.
Of Fate and Fireflies: Canonverse; Sometimes destiny needs to take a little control in order to get too extremely stubborn people to accept their fates together.
Love, Toast, and Post-It Notes: Modern AU; Merlin and Arthur are roommates. And then they fall in love. The end.
The New Tutor: Modern AU; Arthur’s magical son Mordred needs a new tutor. Enter the magical Merlin. Only hitch is, neither parties know about the other’s magic.
Not Quite Mary Poppins: Modern AU; Merlin is a nanny. Only he’s not girly at all. Seriously.
Not Quite Mrs. Banks Either: Modern AU; Sequel to Not Quite Mary Poppins. Fluff galore.
That One Where the Dragon is a Marriage Counselor Apparently: Canonverse; Merlin and Arthur like to subject the Great Dragon to random bouts of their bickering and expect him to resolve it. Poor Khilgharrah.
Favorite: Canonverse; Merlin is Arthur’s favorite, a word which here means ‘the official person who Arthur has sex with a lot.’
Not Quite a Mediterranean Sunset : Modern AU; Merlin and Arthur as an old married couple, literally. Insert squee here. Just an old couple of men still very much in love reminiscing about the past.
The Prat’s in Love: Canonverse; Magic reveal fic which sort of happens out of nowhere.
The Nurse’s Visitor: Modern AU; Arthur is forced to make periodic visits to his father’s hospital. He hates them, until he finds a certain nurse which attracts his attention.
Setting Down the Lines: Canonverse; Arthur as King and Merlin as sorcerer, future fic, just some random fluff in the lives of our boys.
Keeping Up Appearances: Canonverse; Merlin and Arthur have to pretend to be married for Elena’s sake. Not that they mind too much.
Hard Day, Dear?: Modern AU; There’s a grumpy and overworked Merlin, a wonderful and darling boyfriend Arthur, fluffiness, massages, sex, and an ‘I love you’ note. What more could anyone want?
Different Perception: Canonverse; Merlin and Arthur’s interaction from everyone else’s point of view.
Rivers Till I Reach You: Canonverse; Angst. It’s hard for Merlin to adjust to normal life after the vast amount of power he harnesses during battle.
Everywhere We Touch: Canonverse; Arthur returns home after a long trip. Merlin’s naked in bed. It’s quite an agreeable situation, really.
Cause There’s No Choice in the End: Canonverse; Waging a war against a magical army is tough, even for Arthur’s army.
A Lever and a Place to Stand: Modern AU; Arthur gives Merlin a place to stay while he’s being hunted for having magic.
Happy Merlin Holidays: Modern AU; High school Merlin and Arthur, the winter dance is coming up, a ridiculous amount of fluff ensues.
Roses By Any Other Name: Modern AU; Arthur visits a coffee shop in the morning every day where there’s a sort of lovely barista, Merlin.
Sense Memory: Canonverse; Merlin is numb, so very numb. He can’t feel anything until Arthur takes it upon himself to make Merlin feel again.
Touch: Canonverse; Merlin can’t take it anymore. Arthur needs to stop touching him. Now. Before something bad happens. And that something bad is a lot of fluff which is really not so bad in retrospect for us readers.
A Scandalous Friendship: Modern AU; When Arthur’s father, the Duke of Sussex, tells him he must marry, his best friend Merlin is devestated. Arthur isn’t too happy about it either. But his plans to marry his friend Morgana are put in jepordy by the return of an old enemy
Honestly Merlin: Canonverse; In which Merlin turns into a blubbering drunk and tells Arthur that he loves him.
In Vino- Something or the Other: Canonverse; Once again, Merlin is a reckless drunk and says some things he probably shouldn’t have.
Drugstore Flowers: Modern AU; Merlin gets seriously confused when he starts receiving gifts from a secret admirer that’s maybe not so secret and not so subtle either.
Rumors, Boys, and Swords: Canonverse; Leon’s perception of Arthur and Merlin’s relationship. Short and sweet.
Contentment: Modern AU; Just a random drabble of fluffy fluff.
The One Where Arthur Auditions For a Play: Modern AU; I’m quite sure this doesn’t need any other explanation.
Just One of Those Things: Modern AU; Merlin and Arthur hook up for a one night stands and then the relationship starts to progress to something more. It’s so beautiful.
Hit Them With a Shoe: Canonverse; Merlin’s magic starts doing things for Arthur without Merlin’s consent. You could say it has a bit of a crush on him.
To You I Pledge: Canonverse; Merlin lays his life on the line to save Arthur yet again, only this time there are witnesses, lots of them. Only Arthur prevents him going to the headman’s axe straight away, but Arthur alone cannot save him. That is up to both of them.
Love Is a Grave Mental Disease: Modern AU; Merlin is getting so sick of Valentine’s Day. Really. He is. Especially when everyone’s taking bets on when Arthur’s going to propose to him.
That One Where Merlin Accidentally Cuts Himself and Arthur is an Overprotective Darling: Canonverse; I’m fairly sure the title says it all.
The Boy Next Door: Modern AU; Merlin and Arthur are neighbours and keep making up ridiculous excuses to go see one another because they both can’t admit their attraction to the other.
That One Where One of Them Dies: Canonverse; This is one of those one shots that make you feel like you’re slow dancing in a burning room, burning and sweet at the same time.
That One Where Merlin and Arthur Broke Up and This Isn’t the Best Fic but Elena is Adorable: Modern AU; Merlin and Arthur broke up and Arthur’s now dating Elena. Of course they get back together, not that it’s described much in the fic but I love Elena’s characterization.
It’s Not the End of the World (But You Can See it From Here): Modern AU; Apocalypse fic. Angst. Merlin and Arthur are very much in love but Merlin breaks it off because he can’t keep being Arthur’s secret. Only a few days later, they find out that the world is about to end anyways.
The Pendragon Guide to How Not to Date: Modern AU; Another one where Arthur goes on a series of awful blind dates, only Merlin is the bartender instead of the waiter.
Camelot: A Romance With Roller-Coasters: Merlin works at Camelot Theme Park where the boss’s son Arthur comes to work as well. Prattiness and a lot of sex ensues.
So Hard to Find Good Help: Canonverse; Arthur has no idea what to do with an actually competent servant.
The Interesting Reads:
I’m Only Sleeping: Modern AU; Merlin is a comatose patient and Arthur is his doctor. He keeps talking to Merlin and telling him everything. What happens when Merlin wakes up and remembers Arthur? This is by far one of the most fascinating reincarnation fics I’ve come across, and also one of the only work in progress fics that I’m reccing because I love the establishment of it and I really need the author to update soon so that I can see what happens next ugh it’s killing me.
Wrong Avalon: Modern AU; Doctor Who/Merlin crossover. Arthur has been cast centuries into the future, invisible to everyone until a certain mad man with a box and a ginger and her husband show up and help him get back to his sorcerer.
Merlispn: Modern AU; Supernatural/Merlin crossover. Merlin and Arthur show up in Boston with no idea where the hell they are and what they’re doing there. They run into Sam and Dean. This is a WIP but it’s still beautifully written and so entertaining to read.
Yule and Yours: Canonverse; This last fic is the only fic in this list that’s not strictly Arthur/Merlin. The reason I’m reccing it is because it’s an actual OT4 fic, with established relationships between literally all four of them: Arthur, Merlin, Gwen, and Morgana. And this is a fic of the four of them sitting with their children and reminiscing the past. It’s actually quite interesting.