Role Reversal (Merlin)

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Trope · Genre
Related: Mirror Universe
See Also: Arthur Conquers Ealdor, Modern Royal Family AU, Winter in Camelot

Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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The Cover of The Wheel's Always Turning shows Arthur as a servant.

Role Reversal is a trope in Merlin fandom where Merlin and Arthur switch roles, either because they are undercover and no one is supposed to know that Arthur is the prince, or because of magic that transfers one or both of them to a Canon AU reality or they are born in that reality to begin with.

Usually the role reversal means that Arthur is (or has to pretend to be) a servant while Merlin is (or pretends to be) the Crown Prince, but sometimes it's the magic that is switched. In these stories Arthur learns what it means to be a sorcerer and Merlin has to get along without magic.

Story Examples

  • A Mile In Someone Else's Shoes, or, How Merlin Got His Groove Back - Merlin wakes up one morning to find his magic gone. Arthur wakes up one morning to find that he has magic.
  • Next Time, I Will Remember This And I Will Say 'No'‎ - Arthur and Merlin pretend to be each other in order for Arthur to escape a possible marriage.
  • Seven Magpies - Arthur experiences in a mirror world what it's like to be Merlin's servant.
  • The Sorcerer and the King - Merlin's death is only the beginning; with no-one to protect the kingdom, Camelot falls to an enemy sorcerer and Arthur is forced to serve in the court that he once ruled. When an escape attempt goes horribly wrong, Arthur is rescued by someone he never expected to see again -- and it's their destiny to put things right.
  • vengeance built me hastily - AU where Merlin is the prince and Arthur is the servant. Uther and his followers are a group of dissenters in a kingdom where magic rules, and Arthur becomes Merlin's servant by saving him from an assassination attempt he was meant to carry out.[1]

Vid Examples

  • I save you - Arthur is a warlock and it's his destiny to protect Merlin, the Crown Prince of Camelot.


  1. ^ mandarmon in merlin_finders. Old Merlin/Arthur fic where Merlin is the prince?, 20 March 2011. (Accessed 20 March 2011)