The Mirror, The Sword and The Shield by aelora - Merlin (TV) [Archive of Our Own]
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
Fic rec! BBC Merlin, 62K, Canon era set between Season 1 and 2, with Merthur.
Summary: There are a few things about having killed Nimueh that buzz through Merlin’s mind, his magic’s new behavior for one, and Arthur tries to puzzle out just what has Merlin behaving so off. It almost seems a moot point though, when Nimueh returns from the dead hell bent on using Uther to get revenge on Merlin.
Comments: Kay, a few conceptual things that I really, really liked here. One is the idea that Merlin and Arthur aren’t the only ones with a destiny. Nimueh here plays a role more akin to her myth counterparts - the woman who brings down Merlin - and the fates seem determined to allow her to play her part as they don’t let a pesky thing like death get in the way. The other thing is the highlight on Merlin’s new power over “life and death”. How easy it is to control that line, how simple it would be for Merlin to use that power with little thought. The potential of what he can do, and the emotional/moral cost of that weaves throughout the whole fic. I love how aelora has it not as just a personal struggle for Merlin, but also as a relationship one between Merlin and Arthur and how it effects things to the climax and beyond. Great, great story that really needs more love from ya’ll.