The Trouble With Unicorns

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Title: The Trouble With Unicorns
Author(s): astolat
Date(s): 20 January 2009
Length: 2,800 words, 16:05 min
Genre: slash fanfiction
Fandom: Merlin
External Links: The Trouble With Unicorns (author site)
The Trouble With Unicorns (AO3)
The Trouble With Unicorns (audiobook)

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audiobook cover by cybel

The Trouble With Unicorns is a Merlin/Arthur story by astolat (~2,800 words).

Summary: "If you'd been lectured by my father for four hours on your thirteenth birthday about all the many disasters that occur to a realm when you muddy the succession with bastards, you wouldn't have been very quick to dive into bed with the nearest servant girl, either," Arthur muttered.

The story features virgin!Arthur and is an episode tag for 1.11, the episode with the unicorn.

smallearthcat podficced the story[1] and cybel turned it into an audiobook. Length: 16:05 min.

Recs and Reviews

"Arthur lost a bet to Morgana and can’t lose his virginity, very cute and funny."[2]
"Oh, this! Virginal Arthur is wonderful, especially when he's a virgin for such a stupid (and Arthur-like) reason. But there is an unforeseen loophole, which qualifies Merlin. I know I say it a lot, but this story makes me overlook a fic quality I don't usually like — that is, that of all (or most) of the main characters being gay, in the case of Merlin often meaning that Gwen and Morgana form an opposite pair to Merlin and Arthur. Nonetheless, it seems almost reasonable enough here, and offers up some amusement, so I looked past it and onto the sexy parts. I think this story is particularly clever for clearly getting across a lot of things without saying them explicitly."[3]
"Merlin discovers how Arthur got close enough to kill the unicorn. [...] This is a cute little story that's just about getting the guys to have sex. And why not?"[4]
I sometimes wonder how creative a fandom has to be to come up with so many (legitimate) reasons to get Arthur and Merlin to do it. I really thoroughly enjoyed this one. Especially the part where Morgana had Arthur by the proverbial balls till Merlin cleared the air with some not-so-well-known truths that she’s been keeping from Arthur.[5]


  1. Merlin podfic - The Trouble With Unicorns, 06 April 2010. (Accessed 08 August 2010)
  2. paraka. Merlin Fic Recs, 23 September 2009. (Accessed 08 August 2010)
  3. je_suis_loser. Recs: Merlin/Arthur. (Accessed 08 August 2010)
  4. Madrigal's Merlin Recommendations, 11 December 2010. (Accessed 27 August 2011)
  5. merthurecs. The Trouble With Unicorns, 28 June 2012. (Accessed 28 June 2012)