JILL WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN.
When this story first started, their friendship was just so precious and adorable that I literally would not have been able to stop smiling if I tried, but now I'm at the end, and I'm just absolutely devastated. I'm just honestly reeling (in the best way possible) from the change in tone from beginning to end, and so now I shall proceed to attempt to coherently put my thoughts into words. Because that ending left me completely speechless, let me tell you, and right now my mind has become a pile of blubbering gibberish.
So I guess I'm going to start from the beginning, which is definitely the happier portion of this tale. I loved how they spent two days on a "hunt" while hunting nothing. That sounds like such a Merlin and Arthur thing to do. And then the fact that Merlin teased Arthur so casually about Gwen's handkerchief (LIKE A TRUE FRIEND WOULD <3) just made my heart swell, I was just so delighted with their banter. There are so many hilarious lines that Arthur yells at Merlin throughout this story, so I'm going to just list them all at the end haha.
Then the entire section in the cave, after they accidentally land themselves into the trap, is just heartbreaking. It starts off with a humorous tone (four out of my five favorite Arthur quotes below come from this beginning scene in the cave hahaha), and I was again smiling at their ridiculous bickering, but then Mordecai comes in. I'm unsure of whether he's a significant plot point in the Merlin show, or if he's an original character of yours (I really need to start watching the rest of Merlin), but either way, he was sufficiently creepy, and I absolutely hate what he did to Arthur.
Your depiction of the friendship between Arthur and Merlin is, as always, absolutely perfect, and it really tugged on my heartstrings to see Merlin sacrifice so much of himself to save his prince, even though he knew (or thought) that Arthur would likely hate him for using his magic. And being inside Arthur's brain as he watched Merlin wear himself down was equally touching, with Arthur's own thoughts of sacrificing himself so that Merlin wouldn't have to go through this.
I really loved the open-endedness of the ending, too. <3
My favorite lines:
- "This is treason!" I love how freaking dramatic Arthur is, like, he's so embarrassed and amused by Merlin stealing Gwen's handkerchief.
- "Merlin, I swear if you're dead, I'll kill you!" This one's self-explanatory lmao.
- "Are your wits addled?" What I love is that Arthur says this almost entirely unironically.
- "I'll have you in the stocks for a week if you stick me with it, or heave it right past." So. Dramatic. Lmao.
- "You can procure me another one when we get out of here." I completely lost it at this one. This one is literally the funniest thing ever, I was practically crying tears from laughing.
Beautiful as always, Jill!
Eva, how do I even respond to this review? You've just left me speechless with your kind and amazing words! I'm in awe here, that you liked this so much, that you bought into the change in tone from funny beginning to tragic end, and that you felt I had them in character. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
I had a lot of fun writing Merlin getting to tease Arthur, and them being in a situation where Arthur could take it like a brother and a friend instead of a prince who has to put on an outward apperance. It almost broke my heart, knowing that I was giving them this one last moment before it all goes to heck. But I'm very glad you enjoyed it.
And that you liked the Arthur lines! I also had a lot of fun with those! Arthur can be so snarky, and I loved writing it.
Mordecai came from my own messed up head. I'm glad he worked in the story for you, though, even though he did awful things.
Again, thank you for loving their friendship. That is my favorite part of Merlin - the wonderful friendship between these two, and Merlin's incredible selflessness. He's just so GOOD.
Thanks so much for reading and leaving such an amazing review! As usual!
Saw a post of yours in the forums about this story needing a little love so I thought I'd come by and give it a read :)
I loved Merlin when it was running on BBC and watched it avidly waiting for reach episode, each season! Arthur and Merlin were a truly unique and wonderful pair and I still cherish thier bromance which I heard transcended into the lives of the actors who played them. What a wonderful thing that is huh?
Coming to your wonderfully written story I have to say... I loved it! It felt like a moment from the show that never made it onto the screen. It was so perfectly in sync with the atmostphere, the theme and the plot of the series and the characters were perfectly written that it didn't feel even the least big out of sorts. It actually made me nostalgic for the series I once loved so much! Thank you!
This is the first Merlin fanfic I read and wow, you certainly did a wonderful job with it. I loved the ending they created for the series, as heartbreaking and tragic and devastating as it was, I felt so drawn to it. And I felt so terribly sad for the aged Merlin wondering modern England awaiting the return of Arthur who was more than anything Merlin's closest friend. So of course I asked myself, what would have happened if things had switched. What would happen if Merlin had sacrificed everything and pushed himself over the edge in a situation he could have saved Arthur, because Merlin undoubtedly would.
With your story I finally got to see that happen. And I loved the scene, the description and the heartbreaking devotion Merlin has for Arthur that you wrote here. It was every bit as beautiful and tragic as the original ending. And it was beautifully written, I could see every detail of it in my mind.
I'm not even upset about the story ending where it did. And I completely understand about the ending coming to you before there was a middle or beginning... :)
The only and very minor thing I'd like to point out just so it doesnt distract from the story is that 'Okay' was not a word that would have been used in the Authurian timeline. Just a heads up :)
You have written a very beautiful piece of work here and you should be very proud of it :) And I thank you for bringing so many wonderful nostaglic memories of Arthur and Merlin back to me.
Best of luck in case you wish to expand this!
You are lovely! Thanks so much! And I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond to this amazingly kind review.
I agree. I LOVE the friendship between Merlin and Arthur, it's my absolute favorite part. And it does warm my heart that the actors are such good friends as well.
Telling me it felt like a moment from the show is the ultimate compliment! Thank you!
Me, I'm not such a fan of the ending of the show. I felt heartbroken of course, but I also felt let down. That we didnt' get our promised Albion and return of magic and Merlin and Arthur working together to make the greatest kingdom ever. It broke my heart.
However, you comparing this story to the ending of the show is very, VERY flattering. Thank you!
As for using the word "okay" I had a little debate about this before I started writing Merlin fanfiction. I know it wasn't used during medieval times. But the show is actually rather awful at some historical details. Being pretty big into history, I always have this war. Stay historically acurate or match the sort of hodgepodge feel of the show. After hearing them actually use the word on the show, I decided to let this one slide. Thanks so much for trying to help me out with this, though.
Thank you again for such a wonderful review! It made my day!