|Relationships:||father-figure to Merlin, advisor and friend to Uther|
|Other:|| former sorcerer|
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Gaius is Merlin's enigmatic father-substitute on the BBC show Merlin. He is one of the six main characters and, as official Court Physician, holds the trust and confidence of King Uther. He is responsible for the health of the royal family, including that of the Lady Morgana, whom he suspects of having magic. But it is his relationship with Merlin which is central to his role and screentime on the show.
Gaius is the first person in Camelot privy to Merlin's secret. As we move further into the series, we realize that Gaius knows a good deal about Merlin's past and has his own much weaker magic, which he supposedly stopped using during the purge of magic users that followed Arthur's birth.
He is played by Richard Wilson.
Faces of Gaius
There appear to be several interpretations of Gaius and his role in Camelot. One major interpretation stems from his affections for Merlin and his fears for the other young people on the show, while another probably comes from his mysterious past and involvement in the death of many magic users during the purge. A third appears primarily caused by the wig and Richard Wilson's famous eyebrow.
Gaius the Father-Figure
Gaius's main role in the show is to provide exposition and a parental figure for Merlin to rebel against and reconcile with. Therefore, some fans choose to accept Gaius as a healer and caretaker, an authority figure without the same potential for harm that Uther brings.
Some of these fans see Gaius as someone with a morally dubious past who is attempting to atone for his mistakes. Some of these fans view Merlin's entrance into Gaius's life as a turning point. Certainly the show gives us ample evidence that Gaius places Merlin's safety above his own; twice he has tried to sacrifice himself to save Merlin's life.
Some fans posited the existence of an underground railroad for magical children run by Gaius before 2x08 aired to somewhat confirm these suspicions. This theory has since taken on more credibility, though it's still not a common theme in fanworks.
Gaius the Murderer
This version of Gaius comes from his murky past. Episodes 1x06 (Edwin), 1x13 (Nimueh), 2x07 (Witchfinder), and 2x08 (Morgause) make it clear that Gaius and Uther share a long history, including one where Gaius appears to have helped Uther during the purge. Though we know that Gaius saved the lives of two children (Edwin and Morgause), Edwin blames him for the death of his parents, and Nimueh calls him a traitor.
Some fans, especially those who see Uther as the primary antagonist and as a murderer, view Gaius as an accomplice who sold out his own people to save his skin. Some argue he should have died in episode 1x13 instead of Nimueh. Others interpret his actions during the purge as a necessary evil, where he had to allow some to die in order to save others. Without further canon evidence, this debate is likely to continue.
A somewhat overlapping group of fans are concerned about the way in which Gaius failed to inform Morgana of her powers in season 1 and episode 2x03. Some see his provision of sleeping draughts to her as a form of drugging and dislike the implications of drugging a woman to keep her unaware of her power.
Ceiling!Gaius is the phrase used at asthebrowarches to describe a third fan interpretation of Gaius, mostly used as crack but sometimes put forth seriously. This is a sexually domineering Gaius who may or may not use magic or other means to control his (usually younger) sexual partners. The use of the term "Ceiling!" connects this Gaius to the idea of Ceiling!Cat, a cat macro character who sees all in a god-like but ultimately lulzy fashion. This invokes a humorous form of mastermind.
This version of Gaius appears in THE DOCTOR IS IN and An Act in Verses, An Exercise in Form by C. Gaius as crack, and in Not His and This Oath And Covenant as a serious suggestion. (Warning: these links take you to stories that may include graphic non-consensual sex.)
Genderbending and Gaius
Though genderbending in fanworks usually affects the four younger main characters, one of the most influential crack!fics involving Gaius is Of Cabbages and Kings, a multi-author mpreg fic in which Gaius is carrying Uther's baby. It includes a manip sequence prologue.
On a slightly more realistic note, there is also at least one well-known prompt at the kink meme that suggests:
Gaius/Uther, genderbending Gaius is FtM transexual, and came to Camelot to live as a man.
(Because clearly that's why he wears Kaftans.)
Pairings with Gaius
- Gaius/Arthur? (one scene in 1x09)
The only Gaius-centric community on Livejournal is asthebrowarches. However, Gaius-related fanworks do appear sporadically in other places. The LJ community merlinity includes a focus on the Gaius/Merlin or Gaius&Merlin relationship.
Gaius in Fanart
Gaius appears in both serious and humorous art, as both his current age and his younger self. Some examples include:
- Hierophant Tarot Card by Pianeko (Jan 28, 2010)
- Past!pic, Gaius & Morgause by Frigg (Mar 20, 2010)
- Pre-series OT4 by varlyns_gambit (Jan 5, 2010)
- Spell gone wrong! by Phoq (Sept 13, 2009)
- Untitled Gaius & Geoffrey chibis by Frigg (Nov 7, 2009)
Gaius in Fanfic
Gaius often appears as a secondary character in fanfiction written within the show's original setting. In modern AUs, he may or may not appear, often being mentioned as Merlin's uncle, boss, or a friend of the family. Sometimes he remains a physician in modern AUs, as in Drastically Redefining Protocol.
When he is a main character, Gaius's platonic relationship with Merlin or another younger main character, or that relationship may be made sexual. Gaius/Uther is a commonly mentioned pairing, though actual fanworks for it remain somewhat rare. Gaius has also been paired with other members of the first generation, including Hunith, Nimueh, and Geoffrey.
Some examples include:
- The Heart that Made a Family by Harlequin, a Gaius/Geoffrey fic set in the modern day, with the two older men acting as foster parents for many of the younger characters.
- Ember Day by riventhorn, a delightful fic about Gaius cooking for Merlin, with a more authentic medieval setting than the show itself.
- The shape of letters and names by glim, a few gorgeous moments between Gaius and Merlin, set after the end of season one.
- Seven Steps by Harlequin, a long Gaius/Merlin fic set in the present day, with Merlin as an art student and Gaius as a temporary resident at a Pendragon Care home.
- Sage by Harlequin, in which Gaius rediscovers Camelot's old physic garden - and Merlin finally makes plain his feelings for Gaius.
- Awakening by Harlequin, in which Merlin's sexual awakening draws all those who truly love him to his side: Arthur, Gaius and Gwaine.
Gaius in Fanvids
- Ghost Story by Solanyxe (Gaius/Uther, Feb 11, 2009)
- You Raise Me Up by Chayiana (Gaius+Merlin, Oct 18, 2009)