Gadarene

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Fanfiction
Title: Gadarene
Author(s): unpossible
Date(s): 15 March 2012 - 25 April 2012
Length: 76,830 words
Genre: slash fanfiction
Fandom: Merlin
External Links: Gadarene (AO3)

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Gadarene is a Merlin/Arthur Canon AU by unpossible. It was written as a WIP on the Archive of Our Own.

Summary:

“You’re the Prince?” Merlin says, eyeing him. He hesitates, then says, defiant, “The Mad Prince of Camelot.”
Arthur doesn’t move. There’s quiet for a long time, then he says it. “I am.”
“You don’t seem mad,” he says.
The smile wells up from somewhere deep, and very sad. “Well, Merlin,” he says, “give me time.”

The story is marked as part of a series (Magical Bloody Sex Assassin) and the other parts are snippets from the POV of a few minor characters, fitting into the story like episode tags.

Recs and Reviews

Brilliantly plotted, beautifully written, and utterly poignant, this fic is a Canon AU in which Uther died long before Merlin came to Camelot, and Agravaine took over the throne. One of the best fics I’ve read in long time.[1]
Arthur is the Mad Prince of Camelot and Merlin is a new slave brought to the kingdom. Arthur takes Merlin as his own and their adventure begins in this beautifully written story. There's court intrigue and treason and danger at every turn. Merlin doesn't know who to trust and neither does Arthur. It's riveting.[2]
So I'm usually not one for rec'ing things but this story just captured my heart! The last chapter got updated an hour or so ago, so it's no longer a WIP and I can rec away!!! This is the second story by this author that I've read, and both are fantastic! [...] It's such an enjoyable read - it's a canon AU and there are so many twists and turns, it's truly brilliant! The characters, while true to canon each have their own little quirks that make them amazing! I particularly love Arthur in it, he's so noble, so just and so selfless - it's beautiful. The language, the dialogue, the imagery, the world-building, everything about this fic is fantastic! It's HOT, clever and funny and in parts, really heart breaking! Well worth a read if you haven't already found it![3]
In a world just slightly removed from canon, Arthur is the "Mad Prince" of Camelot, suffering occasional and inexplicable bouts of insanity. Because of this, and with Uther dead, Agravaine rules as Camelot's regent, and Arthur chafes at his uncle's unjust and enslaving reign. When he sees the most recent conquests dragged into the castle, he does what little he can, and demands the dark-haired man with the big ears as his own tribute.

Merlin, horribly treated by his captors and prevented from using magic by manacles of cold-iron, doesn't know what to make of this so-called Mad Prince that demanded him and now treats him as his less-than-wanted servant.

Long and intricately plotted, the story follows both Arthur and Merlin's points-of-view in turn as they deal with court intrigue, external threats to the kingdom, the unjust ruler and his lackeys, surprises, secrets, and a slow-building trust and eventual relationship between the two (Merlin and Arthur, not the ruler and lackeys, natch).

There are several mysterious elements, including the nature and cause of Arthur's madness and what has happened to Morgana and Gwen. Nearly every important character of Merlin makes an appearance, including small appearances by Hunith and Balinor (which I particularly enjoyed), and the various knights.

There is a thoroughly satisfying resolution, and I felt like cheering at the end.

Definitely mind the warnings. In particular, there is both off-page and explicit mentions of rape as well as the dubious consent of sex inside a master/slave relationship, though the second issue is handled with thoughtfulness, a slow-build up, and great care by the author.

Lastly, there are several side-story follow up fics that are currently works-in-progress that may be worth checking out (found in the Magical Bloody Sex Assassin series post), that flesh out some of the side characters. However, the main story is epic-length and can stand on it's own.[4]

References

  1. i-canz-kill-dragon in Fuck Yeah Merlin Fanfic. Gadarene [WIP], 29 March 2012. (Accessed 25 April 2012)
  2. Brunettepet. AO3 Rec, 26 April 2012. (Accessed 26 April 2012)
  3. tambear13. Story rec!, 25 April 2012. (Accessed 25 April 2012))
  4. jenna_marianne in epic_recs. Gadarene by unpossible (NC-17), 03 May 2012. (Accessed 04 May 2012)