Before Dawn (Merlin story)

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Title: Before Dawn
Author(s): lolafeist
Date(s): 30 October 2011
Length: ~17,000 words
Genre: slash
Fandom: Merlin
External Links: Before Dawn (LiveJournal)
Before Dawn (AO3)
Fanart: Merlin Bound (deviantArt)
Fanart: Riding Kilgharrah (deviantArt)

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Riding Kilgharrah (2011) by itzcoatl, illustration for Before Dawn.

Before Dawn is a Merlin/Arthur Canon AU by lolafeist. The author's notes say that this fic started as a discarded attempt during Summer Pornathon.[1]

Summary: When Arthur stops his father's men from abusing a Druid captive, he sets into motion a chain of events that will bring him face to face with his destiny.

itzcoatl made two illustrations for the story. Merlin Bound shows a bruised and captured Merlin, bound to a tree, and Riding Kilgharrah shows Merlin and Arthur riding on the back of the Great Dragon.

Recs and Reviews

  • "This is a dark version of Camelot, where we first meet Merlin as a captive of Uther's army. I love the reversals in this version, and Merlin as someone who has always embraced his power, and the changes we see in Arthur as he saves Merlin from his fate and finds his own. Dark, tho. But hopeful; [...]"[2]
  • "Regarding the Warnings: Please read the warnings on this fic. In the first part of this fic, there are some definitely uncomfortable bits that highlight Merlin's vulnerability [...] it's so well worth it just to see how both Merlin and Arthur grow from that first very unpleasant meeting. The fic is much more than the sum of the warnings: I love this AU. It has Uther as a warlord, not yet having captured Camelot. Arthur is 16(ish) on his first campaign with his father and overwhelmed by the brutality of it all, particularly the way his father's men treat one captive in particular. In the events that follow, the reader (and eventually Merlin) can see Arthur's heart and how he is a different man than his father. The humanity he learns in his adventure with Merlin (even though they are both young and hot headed and stubborn) prepare him to be the one to bring forth a new world."[3]


  1. ^ lolafeist. [Fic] Before Dawn (R), 30 October 2011. (Accessed 05 November 2011)
  2. ^ destina. Tuesday at 7PM, you say? Must be time for Merlin recs!, 01 November 2011. (Accessed 05 November 2011)
  3. ^ marguerite_26. Merlin Recs, 03 November 2011. (Accessed 05 November 2011)