Modern AU

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Tropes and genres
Related tropes/genresHistorical AU, Mundane AU, All Human AU, Earth AU
See alsoAlternate Universe
Related articles on Fanlore.

A Modern AU is a fanwork which moves characters from a historical (or pseudo-historical) fandom into a modern setting.

Trope Conventions

It can also be applied to characters whose canon is in the distant future, giving them a current setting, often without the technology the original fiction possesses.

In the case of canons with supernatural elements, or superheroes, a modern AU often places characters in a world where they don't have access to their magic or powers. Thus there is some overlap between Modern AUs, and Mundane AUs, also known as No Powers AUs. Depending on the age of characters in canon, is some fandoms Modern AUs are also High School AUs and College AUs.


This trope is popular in heavy speculative fiction fandoms such as Star Wars.

Modern AU Heavy Fandoms

  • Assassin's Creed canon spans thousands of years of from prehistory to modern day; fans often transplant the historical characters forward in time, often into coffeeshop AUs or school AUs, or just generic modern-day plots. AC modern AUs may star characters from one time period, or characters from multiple time periods (e.g. Desmond, Altaïr, and Ezio being siblings).
  • Attack On Titan fandom has many modern AUs which also often place the main cast in high school or college. Despite the AOT canon not taking place in the past, modern reincarnation fics are somewhat common.
  • Dishonored - While the canon is not set in any past historical period, but actually in a different world altogether, it is common for fans to use the term "Modern AU" in this fandom anyway.
  • Game of Thrones is set in a fictional universe, with a historical setting. Modern AUs often relocate characters from Westeros to America, as well as placing them in a modern setting. A much smaller number of works are set in Modern Westeros. Modern AUs are very popular, and College AUs are common.
  • The Magnificent Seven fandom probably has as many stories set in the present day as in the old west of its canon. Especially popular is the ATF shared universe in which the gunslingers are ATF agents.
  • In Merlin fandom modern AUs are incredibly popular, including High School AUs, College AUs, Reincarnation fics, Business Heir AUs, Modern Royal Family AUs, Modern Military AUs, and everything else that works as a setting for a modern day Merlin/Arthur romance.
  • Modern AUs are quite popular in Phantom of the Opera fandom. They are often used as an opportunity to create a convincingly well-adjusted (due to the modern medicine and attitudes) Phantom and fluffier Phantom/Christine relationship.
  • Pride and Prejudice fandom probably has more contemporary fanfiction than canon era, a trend only increased by recent contemporary rewritings such as Bridget Jones's Diary & The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess fandom has the Uber genre which mostly consists of Modern Xena/Gabrielle AUs.
  • The 100 fandom modern AUs are incredibly popular, especially High School AUs and College AUs.

Example Fanworks


untitled, Archived version by LiliemmFandom: ITDate: 29 June 2018Length: 500px × 613pxMedium: FanartStatus: CompleteGenre: Modern AU, Ring
ReddieForLove wrote: a gorgeous commission by @Liliemm - depicts a scene from my fic - heaven isn’t too far away, Archived version (Reddie)

Fanfiction and Podfic

Attack on Titan

Les Miserables


Merlin (TV series)

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015 film)

The Untamed

The Witcher

Xena: Warrior Princess

Archives & Fannish Links