It's funny Arthur named the angry soldier his least favorite dog's name. Leon and Gaius reminded me of the series and I smiled. It's great you mentioned about Gaius's and Uther's feeling, which make us feel sympathy towards them.
The blind fold situation hit greatly, Jill! Readers including me imagine many things as a blind Arthur and felt like experiencing all his sufferings. Then, oh, you let Merlin enter this timing! I almost shed tears. Poor Merlin. He seems to have been tortured and lost his voice? I hope he was just pretending. At least Arthur could apologize to Merlin and they could be friends again though the circumstances were too severe for them to endure.
Jill, how could you let Arthur suffer for his loss like this? It’s so merciless for him to regret what he had done to Merlin in such a miserable state as a Prince of Pendragon. At the same time, I really enjoyed Merlin fandom you created. You spared much space for Arthur’s agony, regret and realization that Merlin was the best friend he had ever got in his life. This spot, " tearing up his insides and pushing moisture to the corners of his covered eyes." move our hearts.
I might have mistaken the situation or summary you informed us. I thought Merlin was blind after attack. You set Arthur blindfolded, right? If so, I hope Merlin might be alive with full of magical power inside him and his eyesight is safe, he might have been seriously injured though.
One more question left, Sir Einar apparently has a strong grudge against Arthur or Uther Pendragon. Why did he decide to carry Arthur unharmed? Was just loyalty to his king? Except the kingdom Uther Pendragon reigns, what mighty kingdom did you create for this story?
In about 340 words, you loaded with lots of Arthur’s worries, cares and outbursts for his friend Merlin. It touches our heartstrings. Arthur couldn’t eat anything concerning about Merlin’s safty. It also moves us to sympathize with him.
What a merciless villain he was. Did he really kill Merlin? I doubt that. Or worse. I’m sure he let him alive but did any harm on him. Arthur will know eventually.
And he was informed his friend was killed. What is the true purpose of the bad guy? It seems his brother was killed by Arthur. Lying and taunting Arthur might be a part of his revenge.
The first words before this chapter, “Sadly enough, the most painful goodbyes are the ones that are left unsaid and never explained.” is so impressive thinking over Arthur’s situation. I’m afraid that Merlin is suffering from tremendous pains right now after the last blow while Arthur is a captive in the dark.
Hi, Jill. Finally I came back! Sorry for late coming back caused by mostly strange tropical weather these days. Autumn arrived. It’s the best season for reading!!
I like this sentence, “He had to play the part of prince, not friend, if they were going to get out of this alive.” It’s cool that Arthur behaved in that way to save Merlin. The messenger’s words, “your reputation as a just and fair man proceeds you, Prince Arthur. He may be just a servant, but even the life of a servant has meaning in your eyes” show Arthur has a kind heart. I like it, too.
I got thrilled when Merlin escaped the villain’s hands once and expected he might use his magic. Oh, no. Well, I feel like I predicted what was coming next. It’s not going to be that easy.
I also like these: “Arthur knew what he'd been trained to do in this situation, what he should do. Knew without a doubt what his father would do. And he also knew with just as much certainty that he couldn't do it.” Uther Pendragon would never rescue his servant. But Arthur does.
Oh, you prepared the scene after that. I missed this. Powerful magic. I like this spot: “A sudden surge of pure power, hot and alive and uncontrollable, welled up inside of the warlock.”
Wait, Jill, the villain didn’t do that so early? I remembered the cruel scene from “Outlander”. Is that the moment he lost his eyesight???
Hey, Jill! I'm sorry I couldn't continue onto chapter two like you requested, but I love Merlin and I hope you'll forgive me for reviewing C1 as well. <3 I promise I'll review C2 if you request again and Lotte doesn't beat me to it!
I really, really loved this. I could actually see it playing out in my mind, as though I was watching an actual episode. You captured the dynamic between Arthur and Merlin so, so perfectly, and you also did an excellent job of characterizing each of them as individuals. Their characters shone through exactly as they did in the show, which gives you a really solid starting point to build the story.
I loved the way you depicted Merlin. I immediately felt so much sympathy for him, and you really brought home both how undignified and physically painful the stocks are and how much emotional betrayal can hurt just as much. Merlin is trying so, so hard to help Arthur, and being unappreciated and called a liar hurts - and never so much as when you feel like you're friends and the inherent power dynamic comes roaring back. I'm curious to see whether Merlin forgives Arthur, and how quickly.
And as much as I loved Merlin... I loved Arthur, even though he's very clearly in the wrong here. He's prideful and impetuous in a way that's perfectly congruous with what we see early on in the show. He's so convinced that he's Right and cannot possibly be Wrong that he never bothers to think about alternative explanations - for example, that he misplaced it rather than Merlin stealing it. But he is Prince Arthur of Camelot! He would never misplace something! Merlin must have stolen it!
It's interesting, though - I'm curious to see how and when Arthur apologizes, but I don't have any doubt that he will. You've captured Arthur so well here, and given Arthur's character, it's clear that this will be eating him up inside and he won't be able to just let it go. Arthur feels what he feels, and he acts on it - sometimes that means that he's petty, but it can also mean that he's good.
Amazing job, Jill!
Hi Jill!!! You requested that I read this (and I also wanted to anyway) in my review thread so here I am! I elected to read a few chapters in to get a better feel for how you were writing this before passing judgment on it.
So first off, I absolutely LOVE your choice of writing style here! The flipping between Arthur's internal swirl and Merlin's internal swirl, each of them thinking the worst of the other...oh the torture!!! I'm actually not very well-versed in Merlin fanfic -- I also got a rather late start with the series, and never relaly got into fic once I'd finished the series (probs because of all of the dying in the last season, but you know how it is), but this really makes me want to read more!
You've done a great job with keeping both Merlin & Arthur in line with their characters at this point in the show, so that's a big help!! I agree that they are in that sort-of-friends, sort-of-still-awkward-master-and-servant thing so your writing exemplifies that beautifully! The choice of opening scene too makes me reminisce to the opening bits of the series (oh how things were simpler then) which was a nice touch. From the summary and from what I've read so far, you've got these two in for a wild ride with a mad king, and I'm very excited to see where it goes. Also, I sure do hope the fake messenger character makes a reappearance!
I'll be reading further on (and reviewing as I go) when I have some more free time next week. This is so well done, and don't be discouraged by a lack of readership--this series is not super well-known nor as long-lasting as others, but the fandom is very supportive of its fanfic authors! I'll be a true fan for sure. :)
Loved this idea, and I can't wait to see where your exemplary writing takes Arthur and Merlin! :)
I hope you don't mind me taking up your review request. I love Merlin and like you I was actually really late in finding the series too. I only started watching it last year, but I really feel in love with it. So I had to snag this story, because this just seemed like something I would love.
And I have to say, I absolutely loved this first chapter. You capture the characters and the description so well that it really felt like I was watching the show again. In fact, I kind of feel like watching the show again now, because I'd forgotten just how interesting the relationship between Merlin and Arthur is. There's so much stuff there (like magic, their status, their personalities etc.), and you just captured the complexity of their relationship so well. Again, it really just made me feel like I was watching the show, and that's not an easy thing to do.
I really like that you write from both Merlin and Arthur's perspectives. It allows us to see their conflict from both sides, and I think with Arthur, he doesn't always show what he actually feels because his pride can sometimes get in the way, so hearing his thoughts allow us to see what he actually feels. And I think you really just got his character right. He's stubborn and it'll be interesting to see if he can swallow his pride and apologize for his mistake.
And I also have to say that the whole point with a first chapter is to make the reader want to continue reading the story, and this chapter really did that. I don't usually do this because I don't usually have the time for it, but between the last paragraph of this review and this one, I went on to read the next three chapters right away (I'm gonna come back sometime later and leave a review for them as well), because I really think this is an interesting story.
So you said in your review request that you wanted to hear what people think of it. I really loved it. It's without a doubt the best Merlin fanfic I've read, and I'm definitely gonna try to come back and read more of it later. It really just brought back my love for the series, and since I actually have a few hours off today, I'm gonna take that time to go watch Merlin again. So thank you for requesting this story! I absolutely loved it!
Why would I EVER mind? I was honored and thrilled! And this is such an amazing review! It made me smile so much.
It is always so nice to find a fellow Merlin fan. They seem to be a bit few and far between on this site, so knowing you love the show and reading fic for it made my day. And are you like me, wishing you could have been watching it during it's hey-day and absorbing all the magic?
Aww....thank you. I was trying hard to write a first chapter that would grab people and make them want to come back. And I was so worried about writing these characters for the first time. They are such dynamic characters and I wanted to do them justice.
Hehehe - I made you watch the show again. So, did you? And was it as fun the second time around?
And yes, there is SO much to their relationship - master and servant, prince and subject, lawmaker and lawbreaker, friends, almost brothers... This is was draws me to these characters. Well, and the fact that Merlin is just SO amazing and such a long-suffering characters. Oh, and it probably doesn't hurt that they are both dang cute.
I enjoy switching back and forth between POVs in a story, and I adore both these boys and so wanted the chance to be inside both their heads. I'm glad you liked it!
Again, I'm blushing - so happy you think I did well with the characters!
OH! You read more? WOW!! THANK YOU!!! I'm so happy!!! REALLY happy!!
Thanks again! This was an amazing review!
Hi, Jill. I felt like reading your Arthur and Merlin tonight, so I came back.
The first sentences expressed Merlin's emotion very well. I remembered Arthur's awkwardness in the previous chapter. Oh, then he asked Merlin for that outing to apologize him? How sweet. (but I've read to the end before I wrote this review, No! How could you do that? Merlin was kidnapped before Arthur had a chance to say sorry to him?!!!)
Arthur's pride as a prince prevented him from telling his honest feeling that he was sorry. oh? Morgana had been missing? I wondered if she knew the secret of her birth and ran away from Uther. Will she enter later?
We readers understand how Arthur was getting to feel Merlin as a best friend. I could imagine visually Merlin's facial expression reading the spot where he kept staring at the mane of his mare holding the reins.
I felt impatient at Arthur's hesitation trying to say the best words. It was simple! Say the word, "Sorry"!
Agh, poor Merlin. He had two disadvantages: 1 he was a servant. 2. What if Uther found he was magical. "Uther burned children alive for having a spark of magic." So horrible!
I really imagined Arthur would apologize Merlin during lunch time! I love the description, "The smell of fresh air and green things growing hit Arthur as they passed through the last city gates and he breathed deeply with relief. He might be a prince, born to privilege and rank, but there was something about the forest that called to his soul."
No! Though I was informed at the forums, was he abducted so early?
Hi Kenny! Thanks so much for coming back! That's so cool!
Oh, I'm glad you think I'm expressing Merlin well. That's going to be very important later on, so I'm glad you think it's working.
And yes, isn't Arthur just the king of awkward, especially if it's something that has to do with his pride or humbling himself just a little.
How could I do that? Because I'm evil.
Yes, Arthur's pride - it's a stumbling block for sure.
As for Morgana missing - this is canon. I've set this during the break between seasons 2 and 3. It's implied that Morgana is "missing" for almost a year there. In reality, she's been wisked away by Morgause and is learning to hate Camelot and Arthur and Uther.
Hopefully, before the end of this story, Arthur will be able to admit Merlin is his friend.
And yes, poor Merlin. He is stuck with some very big disadvantages isn't he. Things we in the modern world would never think of.
And he's not abducted...just being held at knifepoint right now.
Thanks again for reading! Love getting your reviews!
Jill, I love this. The memory when I enjoyed watching the TV drama came back, reading your splendid description like, Merlin enduring the punishment, which was entirely misunderstanding. The scene kids threw rotten projectiles against Merlin is super. You captured the stubborn prince Arthur's temper very well. And I'm very impressed when I read Leon's expression. Writing the fair senior kinght, Leon is a good point, which made Arthur more immature in this story.
Arthur's Cloak pin! A nice plot. I remembered Anne of Green Gables. The incident showed how Merlin felt disappointed and got angry against Arthur and you explained the background about Merlin and Arthur for the readers who don't know about the TV drama well. We can imagine Arthur will be kinder or care about Merlin from here, I can't wait to see what you are preparing next. :) Kenny
Thank you so much! It made my day to get this review, and I'm so happy you enjoyed this little walk down memory lane.
I was pretty mean to Merlin in this chapter, wasn't I. I'm glad you still enjoyed it, and didn't get too mad at that stubborn prince. And it was really fun to bring Leon into it for a bit, as most of this story will take place away from the castle and so I don't get to play with those extra characters much.
AH! You are the FIRST person to catch my little Anne nod here. That's exactly where I got my inspriation from, and so points to you for seeing it!
Let's hope Arthur will be kinder to him, right? Merlin certainly deserves an appology at least.
Thanks again! This was great!