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Author(s): Moonythestrals
Date(s): Published November 6, 2008
Length: 11,600 words, 1:06:25 hours
Genre: slash fanfiction
Fandom: Merlin
External Links: MERLIN (Livejournal),
MERLIN (podfic)
Podbook cover by emptybackpack

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MERLIN is a Merlin/Arthur slash AU fanfic by moonythestrals, posted in two parts on November 6, 2008, while the first season was still being aired. It is approximately 11,600 words long and has the subtitle An Exercise in Script Writing by Two People Who Really Shouldn't Even Be Trying.

In MERLIN, the four young main characters are college students. Arthur takes the role of a frat boy studying business, while Merlin is an Engineering major. After some initial resistance they have to work together on a script for a 'Screenwriting Workshop' and decide to write about their mythological namesakes and even invent a dragon character based on the professor who gave them this task.

This fic was one of the first major Merlin AUs and contributed to the development of the college!AU trope in the fandom. Particularly it was one of the first stories to use the last name of John Hurt, the Great Dragon's voice actor, for the dragon character in the AU setting. Like many modern AUs it incorporated the use of emails and text messages into the story body.

Podbook back cover by emptybackpack

For a while MERLIN was the story everyone recommended as the 'must read' AU in the fandom until later that year Rageprufrock's Drastically Redefining Protocol started to take over that position with each new part that was posted. At the 2008 Merlin/Arthur Fanfic Awards MERLIN won first place in the categories 'Crack Fic', 'Humour Fic', and 'Other Male Characterisation (Will)' and was a runner-up in the categories 'Alternate Universe' and 'Overall Fic'.

Three weeks after the original story the author posted a sequel in the same universe, A Random Collection of Firsts. MERLIN and the sequel were later podficced by emptybackpack.[1] MERLIN has a length of 1:06:25 and A Random Collection of Firsts is 38:06 long.

Recs and Reviews

  • "This is completely fun and completely crazy. Arthur is a frat!boy (and thus somehow stupid), and Merlin is a bio-engineer. They're suppose to be writing a script for a creative writing assignement. It turns out to be MERLIN. Kind of... A lot of laughs ahead! I wasn't sure if I should rec the sequel, because there are some attitudes that are bothering me, but it's mostly a lot of fun, and some parts are really worth it, so I decided to go for it anyway. Enjoy!"[2]


  1. ^ emptybackpack. podfic: MERLIN & A Random Collection of Firsts, 01 March 2009, format: .mp3, .m4b. (Accessed 01 April 2010)
  2. ^ tama_abi. Holiday Rec #18 and #19, 03 August 2011. (Accessed 27 August 2011)