Yeah but it gets to a point where him keeping the secret became ridiculous. Especially after Uther's death. Arthur wouldn't sentence him and I think Merlin knew that. It just became easier to lie and do everything by himself - since everyone around him was like YOU are the saviour, Merlin, you solve this shit. Also, remember how Arthur reacted? "You're not a sorcerer, I would know!" because they were so close, Arthur assumed he'd know about such a thing.
mouna also had another sorta-post about this that i replied to
aithuzah said: i always think that if he hadn’t been forced into lies by fear & circumstance, Merlin would b such an honest & genuine person. but instead it becomes a part of him & he has so few ppl to confide in he starts relying only on himself & trusts no one :c
basically yeah, i agree with you. if Merlin had told Arthur sooner in the series (before he was on his damn deathbed), things might have turned out a lot better.
but there are so many emotional factors that go into keeping a secret, esp one that’s both deadly and integral to his entire being, plus everyone telling him that he has to keep it hidden basically his entire life and only having a handful of people who know, only 2 or 3 at a time usually (before someone fucking dies)–
that’s why there are sooooooo many magic reveal fics out there. it’s an incredibly complex problem emotionally on both sides.
from Merlin’s side of it, even though it def MAKES SENSE for him to reveal himself after a point, it’s still scary as shit?? and an ingrained instinct after years and years of keeping that secret. not to mention that it would inevitably change every aspect of his life and relationships with every person he cares about.
like u mentioned that line with Arthur–Merlin KNOWS Arthur trusts him absolutely, and he knows that telling him would shatter that trust. it could take years to build it again, and even then, it would never be the same. it might end up better, but there’s always the risk that things would become so much worse, and Merlin would lose everything.
no amount of logic is going to change how fucking terrifying that would be tbh