|Relationships:||Elinor (mother), Fergus (father), Harris (brother), Hubert (brother), Hamish (brother), Angus (pet), Maudy (ally), The witch (acquaintance)|
|Fandom:||Brave, Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons, Once Upon a Time (TV series)|
|Other:||Voiced by Kelly MacDonald, Portrayed by Amy Manson (OUAT)|
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Merida is the protagonist of the Disney Pixar film Brave. She has a cult popularity among Disney fans for being unlike their more typical princesses, and this is partly inspired by the fact that she refuses to marry, a trope that was previously unheard of.
Merida appears as the Queen in Once Upon a Time in Season 5. She fails to save her father in the southerners' invasion and with the clans losing faith in her because of it, she sets out to save her brothers. However, instead she is discovered by the newly turned Dark One Emma Swan. Later she ends up trapped in Storybrooke, turning into a bear to help Mr. Gold turn into a hero.
Merida is usually shipped in a crossover, due to her express lack of interest in the provided canonical suitors. The most popular crossover would be the Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons and its many variations, featuring characters from Rise of the Guardians, Brave, Tangled, How to Train Your Dragon, and many others, including Frozen (which is sometimes substituted into the title, i.e. Rise of the Brave Frozen Dragons or similar).
Because of this crossover, Merida has been exposed to a wide variety of non-canon relationships, both hetero and homosexual.
The controversy surrounding Merida's sexuality has invited many homosexual ships, with some of the most popular including Rapunzel from Tangled, and Astrid from How to Train Your Dragon. Hetero ships involving Merida include Jack Frost from Rise of the Guardians among others.
Due to Merida's inclusion in Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons as well as traditional Disney, she has many ships, including:
With her appearance on the Once Upon a Time television show, various other pairings have appeared, including:
- Merida/Lord Macintosh (aka Young Macintosh from the film)
- Merida/Red Riding Hood
- Merida/Emma Swan
There have been a few controversial points of discussion regarding Merida. The most prominent would be the long standing theory that Merida could be a lesbian due to her refusal to marry. While this is understandable on both sides of the argument, with some parents not wanting their daughters exposed to a lesbian princess due to misguided fears that they may be 'negatively influenced', and other fans wanting to see more representation in Disney. Of course, the most feasible explanation for a fifteen year old girl not wanting to be forced into an arranged marriage is tautological; most fifteen year old girls would not want to be married.
Another prominent controversy is about Merida's image. Disney's official artwork for Merida has been changed many times, with many of the 'sexier' renditions being scorned by fans for contradicting everything Merida stood for, as well as looking little like her.
Royal Weddings and Falling Snow by Salmon_Pink, an OUAT based story where Merida pretends to marry Mulan in order to save the kingdom of Arendelle from an evil curse. The problem is, Mulan has found herself falling for Merida despite pretences.
Queen Merida and the Nightmare King by vifetoile, a story featuring one of the more popular Disney-based ships, Hiccup/Merida. When Hiccup fails to return from a trip to the north, Merida seeks him out herself. Featuring Jack Skellington of The Nightmare Before Christmas.