Merlin (Merlin character)
|Name:||Merlin, Emrys, Dragoon the Great|
|Occupation:||Servant, powerful sorcerer|
|Relationships:||manservant and friend to Arthur, like a son to Gaius, friend to Gwen, son of Hunith and Balinor (deceased)|
|Other:|| Portrayed by actor Colin Morgan.|
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Merlin is the title character of the TV series Merlin.
In the show, contrary to most Arthurian legend, Merlin is a young man, approximately the same age as Arthur. Merlin is a sorcerer of unusual power, though he is forced to hide his magic after arriving in Camelot, where magic is banned. He becomes manservant to the Prince, Arthur, and despite early conflict, they become very close friends. This relationship has been the subject of much speculation of homo-erotic subtext, which has contributed to the popularity of the Merlin/Arthur pairing.
Merlin also has significant relationships with his mother, Hunith, and Gaius, who acts as his mentor and substitute father-figure and is one of the only people to know of Merlin's magic. Merlin has a close friendship with Gwen, and this was given a romantic element in season one, though that all but disappeared with the introduction of Arthur/Gwen in season two. Merlin and Morgana also share a friendship at the beginning of the show, strengthened by Merlin's empathy of her situation as a magic user, though this relationship was complicated by Morgana's gradual betrayal of Camelot and the end of season two, where Merlin poisons her.
As the title character, Merlin is a very common character in all forms of fanworks, and a key figure in many gen and relationship based works. The most common pairing featuring his character is Merlin/Arthur, followed by Merlin/Morgana and other pairings.
In modern AUs, common surnames given to Merlin are Emrys, Emerson (both playing on the name given to Merlin by the Druids), Ambrose, Myrddin, or Wyllt (historical names and surnames for Merlin). In fanfiction, the reveal of his magic often goes hand in hand with the reveal of his feelings for Arthur. Fanon has it that everything he does for Arthur isn't just because Arthur is going to be a great king, it's because Merlin is secretly in love with him. Their destiny is to unite Albion together and their love is so great that they share life after life in each new reincarnation because they will always find each other. This is also one of the reasons for the popularity of AUs.