The Beast of Winter

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Title: The Beast of Winter
Author(s): linaerys
Date(s): 21 November 2008
Length: 7,885 words
Genre: slash fanfiction
Fandom: Merlin
External Links: The Beast of Winter (Livejournal)
The Beast of Winter (AO3)

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The Beast of Winter is a Merlin/Arthur story by linaerys (~7,900 words). It was a runner-up in the 2008 Merlin/Arthur Fanfic Awards in the category 'Best Drama Fic'. A few days after posting The Beast of Winter the author posted a sequel called Springtime Promises; both stories can stand on their own.

Summary: Arthur fights a beast out of legend.

The long and cold winter nights are the time for bards to tell stories about the monsters and heroes of legend, but all too soon an evil that can't be killed stalks Camelot itself. Arthur must defeat the invisible beast that strikes in the dark and Merlin is right there by his side. In this story Arthur knows about Merlin's magic which he acknowledges by asking for Merlin's help:

“Look, you don’t have to tell me, but you did something. You always do something.” He looked suddenly into Merlin’s eyes. They were a deep blue in the dark of the room. “I need you,” he said.
Merlin couldn’t hide a grin at that. “You know, I think maybe you do,” he said.

The monster in The Beast of Winter is the Questing Beast from Arthurian Legend, however, the story was written before the last episode of the first series aired, which was the episode that also used the Questing Beast from legend, although in an entirely different way. In the Beast of Winter Merlin learns that the evil that causes the beast to rise is Arthur and Uther secretly lusting after Morgana who unknown to them happens to be Uther's daughter. Merlin and Arthur acting on their feelings (after the heat of battle) puts and end to that danger, at least for Arthur.

Recs and Reviews

  • "[Merlin/Arthur, possible Arthur/Morgana and/or Uther/Morgana] One of those amazing stories that takes elements of actual Arthurian legend and mixes them with what we have now. This story is plotty and had me completely enthralled once I got past the first few paragraphs."[1]
  • There are some fics that are just so very satisfying, no matter how much I read from this fandom. I loved everything about this fic--the characterization and dialogue, the lovely writing, but mostly the way it blended some of the previously established Arthurian legend [...] with a sort of monster of the week story. "Arthur fights a beast out of legend." is such a simple concept for the story, but it's so wonderfully paced and so fascinating to read and so deeply satisfying by the end that I just... it was a fantastic story."[2]
  • "There is a very surreal feeling to the fic, almost makes it feel like you are reading a dream. The fic successfully mixes elements from the show and other, darker elements from Arthurian legend."[3]


  1. ^ CRASH AND BURN: Fanfiction Recs. BBC's Merlin (2008) (Accessed 31October 2010)
  2. ^ tomomichi. [ Hanakimi, Merlin, REBORN! ], 08 December 2008. (Accessed 31October 2010)
  3. ^ Nozomi. Whispered Words - Slash Recommendations Datatabase. (Accessed 08 January 2011)