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stargate, DanielJackson

Fic; Legend

Posted on 2015.09.13 at 14:38
Tags: ,
Title: Legend
Fandom: Merlin
Word Count: 720
Summary: Written for bleodswean's prompt-a-thon. More a stream of consciousness retelling of Camelot's tale than a story. Takes place post-series.


As the end credits for the final episode of ‘Merlin’ roll up the screen he flicks his fingers at the television to magically turn it off. He sighs, knowing he should savour this retelling; it’s the closest to the truth yet. But he was hoping this would finally be the time when the whole story could be told. He will savour later, first he wishes to wallow for a while. He picks up his bag; it’s time to journey to Avalon. He hasn’t made the trip for almost a decade and he feels it calling to him in his bones.

He travels on foot alone, not stopping to eat or wash or sleep, just as he used to a millennia ago. Merlin remembers well those months after Arthur’s death. He would repeatedly ride -without breaking for rest- to the site of Arthur’s grave, seeking him out, bidding him to awaken. Merlin had been so confused, his destiny was to help Arthur unite the realms and they had only just begun. He hadn’t known what he was supposed to do. It quickly grew into obsession, he would forgo all else, until eventually he refused to move from Avalon. He had sat solid on the riverbank, waiting.

It was Guinevere who came to him then. She told him an enemy was at the gates, that Camelot needed him, that she needed him. He had done the only thing he could do, he served. She had been the one to pull him back from the brink, help him, and show him no doctrine of destiny could hold them back. It was then he realised that she may be capable of carrying the mantle Arthur was supposed to. That she might just be able to bring the realms together. It was on that day that he pledged himself to her truly, he had done so already, but this was a different promise. A promise to do whatever it took to help her bring about a United Kingdom.


*


It was months before Merlin realised a startling truth. Arthur would have never been able to achieve what Guinevere could. Arthur had done a lot, laid a vital foundation, sowed the seeds, but he couldn’t see. He was wise but also far too brash, heart too loud over his head, even at the end. And he would never have been able to bring magic back into the fold. His first reaction, even with Merlin’s magic, had been denial and fear, whereas Guinevere’s had been immediate recognition and understanding. To truly bring the realms together they needed the druids and other magic users on their side. They needed someone whose instinct was not to flinch from magic but to embrace it.

He and Guinevere worked for years side by side, forging alliances slowly, carefully. With strength and passion and determination they persevered through what they were convinced were impossible ends. And they came out the other side. Magic was widely accepted and their land had finally known peace.


*


Merlin waves on a truck driver offering a ride and keeps walking. He needs the time to think. Merlin had told the tale in many incarnations through the centuries, the ones starring Arthur prevailed and the ones showcasing Guinevere fell by the wayside, unremembered. It was not just sexism alone, but also people wanting a tale of swords and fighting instead of tales of weeks on end locked in long, and often tedious, steely negotiations. He had thought with all the progress of the twenty first century, with its strides in equality and its swaying towards a taste for the intellectual as opposed to for brawn, that the true tale would finally be given life. It was not to come to pass. He supposed it had little to do with the truth anymore. The tale was of Arthur, he was a hero in peoples’ hearts, and no one wanted to let that go. Even now when almost all thought him fictional. In a way it no longer mattered, it had after all been a thousand years, but Merlin still wanted Guinevere to have some credit for the amazing feat she achieved.

He stands on the riverbank of Avalon, only then allowing himself to relish all he’s done. It has been a long thousand years. Perhaps it was time to tell that story instead.


Comments:


kick_galvanic, zagzagael, skull_theatre
bleodswean at 2015-09-13 17:14 (UTC) (Link)
YES YES YES!!!! This is a superb piece of thought and a wonderful bit of writing!!!

Is this original to you, J? I don't know the Merlin fandom at all - is it modern dress? Is it time traveling? I really want to see more of this world!! And this calm Merlin....I want to know how much of this is of your own creation!

I wrote a Merlin-inspired Harry Potter fic years ago -

http://archiveofourown.org/works/51787

I really enjoyed researching all of the literature and art that are so much fan-fiction/fandom of the Camelot story. It's rich and dense and really inspirational!
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2015-09-13 20:00 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, so glad you liked it :).

I don't know, I think a lot of it is mine and a lot of it isn't. Well, there's a five second scene at the very end of the last episode of Merlin where he's walking towards Avalon and a truck goes by, implying it's now the modern day. From what's said earlier in the ep that Merlin will always be. It implies that Merlin is immortal and thus still in existence nowadays. I took that five seconds and kind of ran with it :).

The notion that Guinevere was the one orchestrating the bringing together of the realms is mine. For me it makes the most sense out of an ending that was for me close to nonsensical: the entire series is about Arthur and Merlin's destiny being bringing together the realms, a job Arthur has pretty much only just begun when he dies and Merlin is told Arthur has done what he's supposed to. We know Guinevere is then the queen, so for me it makes the most sense that Arthur was the one to set things in motion but Guinevere be the one to drive it home.
kick_galvanic, zagzagael, skull_theatre
bleodswean at 2015-09-13 20:18 (UTC) (Link)
Well I think you need to/should elaborate on this. Grow this seed into a massive towering fic!!! There is SO MUCH here! And yes, yes, make it Guinevere-centric! I think you've got the right tone, the right "realization dawning" approach to this character. This could be a really, really strong NaNo piece!
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2015-09-16 18:28 (UTC) (Link)
I might go for it, but I don't think it will be for a while. I have other plans for nano ;).
perpetualdreamer
cazcatharsis at 2015-09-13 17:32 (UTC) (Link)
bunch of words strewn about, my asss :)

Merlin is one person who DID go forth and be the force of Awesome, and I don't know the fandom, but they never give us chicks the credit we deserve, so good on him for trying to :D
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2015-09-13 20:06 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you :).

Yes, Merlin really does bring the epic.

Guinevere never gets enough credit on the show, she's an absolutely astounding character, and they don't really do as much with her in the show as they could.
Direst Ryl
ryl at 2015-09-13 19:03 (UTC) (Link)
Oh I like this ending. Guinevere always got the short end of the stick in Arthurian legend, it's nice to see her finally coming into her own.
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2015-09-13 20:10 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, glad you liked it :).

Yeah, the show kind of follows the legend on that; Guinevere also kind of got the short end of the stick on the show in my opinion. And I think looking at both Guinevere's and Arthur's characterisations throughout the series, for me it's obvious Guinevere would be the far better ruler. I mean Arthur has his moments but he backslides with ridiculous frequency.
Murielle
murielle at 2015-09-15 20:08 (UTC) (Link)
I love it! I used to be totally into the Arthurian legend.

And YES Guinevere!

I'm enchanted by the image of Merlin walking down our roads, past and future.

I hope there is more. :-)
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2015-09-16 16:14 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, glad you liked it :)

I don't know if there'll be more, maybe sometime in the future.
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