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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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rec - the tower by astolat
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
First, a rec (I am contractually obligated to rec the writer that was one of the major reasons I was like "Oh my God Merlin, yes, please"):

The Tower by astolat - Merlin/Arthur, I know, new and strange, but also, I roll over and die for sexual manipulation and magical manipulation and combining those two is like teh equivalent of drowning me in delicious. The thing is, if you ever want to know the kink that is both my biggest squick and most dramatic bulletproof at the same time, it's a remix I wrote about Rodney McKay molesting John Sheppard's mind while in hologram form and okay this is not about me but is about my kinks. I haven't even feedbacked yet. I keep stopping and going Christ, Merlin because also, Merlin is not rational here and wow, who knew I had a very special button for that? Yes, shocking.



Okay, you may be surprised to see me long reccing this one, but this is because Merlin has never struck me as the most stable support for Camelot's future dominance of, by the way, half the fucking world according to Geoffrey (seriously, read and stare at a map of Arthur's empire. Alexander could have taken lessons). I love Merlin. I do not think he is a bad person. I think he has this neat little switch I like to call Override. Somehow along the way, the Override button was exclusively devoted to Arthur and so you know, in any decent complex sitch, where Arthur is anywhere in evidence, that button gets hit and Merlin kills everyone. You think I am joking. Watch the show.

The only way this works as a really terrifying device is that Merlin is actually a really good guy. He is. He like, saves puppies and stands up to bullies and worries about everyone and loves his mother. I can totally see him with a wonderful life of saving kittens and caring for old people and having like, ten kids with a good woman and bitterly protective of his friends and you know, never knowing that if he meets this bratty prince suddenly his worldview will skew in a very, very, very terrifying way. It's like someone thought dropping pure dynamite into nitroglycerin would be very stable and marvelous. This is like a really fucking bad idea or a gloriously good one. And this confirms what I have always thought of the Old Religion--they were reading Mallory and not Machiavelli and apparently didn't even know to check out Freud because they took this normal adolescent wizard with Amazing Cosmic Powers and no complicating loyalties and threw him at Arthur Pendragon of assholeness and bonus points of charisma, and said hey, have fun and make him king so we can be free again because there is no possible way you could possibly develop really strong feelings for an ultrahot asshole with a hidden core of honor who will one day be king and hey, would you like to be the one who dresses, undresses, bathes, and waits on him in highly intimate ways? That can't end in disaster!

Old Religion == never got laid, I swear to God.

So Merlin going nuts is not like, this huge stretch here. Merlin going nuts for Gaius--wow, who would have seen that coming? And having his Override hit when Arthur shows up sweaty and looking all "I am pretty and your destiny", well, no one could have seen that coming either.

So this story == oh my God yes.

Note: The only reason--and I mean, the only reason--that Uther and Mordred are alive is that in the first, Uther was not threatening Arthur directly or he would be dead and in the second, Mordred was screaming in his head for-freaking-ever and also, not a right-now threat.

Bonus: I honestly cannot figure out why the fuck the Druids did not find the fucking legendary super sorcerer of all time to bind his ass to them before dropping him into sexual confusion with Arthur. I mean, is it just me or who thought that giving Merlin absolutely no competing loyalties to anything but Arthur was a fantastic way to go about this?

(I have a theory on Arthur's eventual world conquests being much less about whee conquest and more about Merlin getting really paranoid and not liking there being like, any land anywhere that is not under his (Arthur's, same thing) direct control because of Arthur's tendency to try and die for things. It comes down to conversations that will probably go something like this: Merlin: Let's conquer Rome. Arthur: I think Britain is really enough... Merlin: Magical blowjob. Arthur: I'm surprisingly okay with conquering the world for sex. Merlin: How do you feel about Iceland? Arthur: Okay?)

ETA: I have a low grade fever and congestion just made an appearance. If this is readable, color me surprised. Also, still, oh my God love this.


Old Religion == never got laid, I swear to God.

Bwahahaha! See, I think it's more that the Old Religion likes a bit of chaos and bloodshed. The Old Religion isn't *nice* or *considerate*. I don't think it cares about whether or not people die, whether or not they're miserable; I think it only cares about Power.

(So, y'know, it's a meaner, crueler embodiment of Uther, basically.)

It's totally believable that putting Arthur and Merlin together just to watch if they'd possibly destroy the world was the Old Religion's idea of fun.

Merlin: Let's conquer Rome. Arthur: I think Britain is really enough... Merlin: Magical blowjob. Arthur: I'm surprisingly okay with conquering the world for sex. Merlin: How do you feel about Iceland? Arthur: Okay?


Hee!

*thoughtful* IT would make sense if the Dragon only represented one part of the Old Religion. I'm not sure, however, that the entire thing is so much Loki in mischief as a more beneficial, controlled chaos. Unlike with Arthur, I can see a world Merlin would build where all the magic was concentrated in his hands if he thought that anything less was an unacceptable threat to Arthur or their power. Granted, setting Mordred in opposition to Arthur (to break Merlin's hold on all the magic) would then make more sense.

ETA: I don't disagree, actually. I am wondering rather if the Old Religion just has a lot of competing--factions of itself, if you will. A pantheon.

Edited at 2009-02-26 10:36 pm (UTC)

(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
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*thoughtful* I actually agree with this a LOT more than I originally thought I would. If that makes any sense at all.

I love how, as you say, that Override switch of Merlin's is basically canon. The Old Religion had better hope that their agenda matches up with Arthur's best interests, because let me tell you, in a bet between them vs. Merlin, I'm betting on the dude with the ears every single damned time, if he's fighting on behalf of Arthur.

Heh, seriously, in about five years, bet you anything the nobility and such around Camelot are going to be all, "Arthur? Oh, he's wonderful, really quite reasonable, excellent man to have a pint with. But that wizard of his? That wizard is totally insane."

For me it works because Merlin's a really decent guy. That's what makes it so insane. It's not precisely he's you know, a sociopath. He's just that damn focused. It took me a while to reconcile him being like, this adorable, sweet, awesome guy with the many ways he kills people in pretty brutal ways.

The neat part is, I do think it somewhat extends to everyone he cares about, because he is so sure his powers need to be used, dammit. But Arthur hits him like a truck every time. It's not just like, a non-proportional reaction--it's a proactive non-proportional reaction. If Mordred didn't have the common sense to mentally assault Merlin, he'd be dead. And he really does not see this in himself at all as say, contradictory, which just makes me laugh.

The Old Religion had better hope that their agenda matches up with Arthur's best interests, because let me tell you, in a bet between them vs. Merlin, I'm betting on the dude with the ears every single damned time, if he's fighting on behalf of Arthur.

This, God this.

"Arthur? Oh, he's wonderful, really quite reasonable, excellent man to have a pint with. But that wizard of his? That wizard is totally insane."

I do feel bad for Lancelot when he starts his affair with Gwen. I do not see in this canon how he survives that.

...in any decent complex sitch, where Arthur is anywhere in evidence, that button gets hit and Merlin kills everyone. You think I am joking. Watch the show.

The only way this works as a really terrifying device is that Merlin is actually a really good guy.


YES. YES. THIS. This is what is the absolute, hands-down, most interesting thing to me about this show. Merlin really is a good kid. He's not even a good man yet - he's a good kid. And then the weird crazy avenging angel switch gets flipped, and he's got no problem magicking to death with extreme prejudice everything in range that's even remotely a threat - and it never really seems to back up on him. I wonder if it's a combination of the time period (hell, Arthur kills people all the time, it's his job) and of the position he finds himself in and of the way that he and Arthur are, in all seriousness, MFEO in a very basic and mythical way ,or what. It's just so interesting.

Interesting in that killing people wiht his magic doesn't--but more mild forms of using his magic for good *does*. Gwen and her dad for one during that outbreak. It's utterly fascinating.

I wonder if it's a combination of the time period (hell, Arthur kills people all the time, it's his job) and of the position he finds himself in and of the way that he and Arthur are, in all seriousness, MFEO in a very basic and mythical way ,or what. It's just so interesting.

That's what weirds me out about Arthur, too. He doesn't have, at least on screen, nearly the body count that Merlin does or for the same reasons. He loses his temper and kills someone and gets starvation brought on the land. Merlin--doesn't. I mean, as negative reinforcement goes, the training seems to be forcing Arthur to a higher level of ethics than Merlin. Granted, as king, he's going to need that, and if the framing is to create Merlin as literally his other half in being able to be the king's left hand of violence, then yeah, they're doing a bang-up job.

Yes, MFEO in a really terrifying way. Arthur being a fantastic king may be as much about him becoming a truly fantastic person as it is that Merlin is quietly wiping out everyone who might work contrary to that and likely with Arthur's backing. That's just terrifyingly awesome.

{breathes} Oh my God. You're totally right! Anything I can do to bribe you into writing a story in which Merlin's override button is hit insanely hard and uther lives to see it. oh man, that would be scary good. pretty please? whatever you want? {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} feel better, love!

I--have an idea? It'll have to wait for Sunday, but yeah, I'm thinking.

I think someone should write them co-dependent, and really kind of crazy. Because I like your interpritation a lot.

Kind of think they are already on tehir way there.

I ...can't tell from your post if I want to read the fic or not :~~(

You do. Really. Honestly.

I found your thoughts really interesting. I was thinking about this dynamic as a volatile relationship today. The fact is, you throw these two people together and assume they're going to like each other, and further assume they're going to develop the type of connection that inspires them to die for each other and create a destiny. The question is though, even two amazing people can get together and have a great fusion/harmony/vibe, whatever you want to call it. They can be completely dynamic together and still be volatile, violent, and utterly unstable. I really would love to see a fic where this relationship (whether presented as platonic or romantic) was totally turbulent--where they drew the world, the kingdom, and each other as casualties (but maybe still managed to conquer etc).

I feel like it would be interesting to see what happened if Arthur/Merlin didn't work as seamlessly together as they do--this is after all a magical patch-work. And even if you lean to the idea, like in Astolat's fic, where one of them is literally created for the other, it's still a bit of a hope and a prayer.

I have a theory. It is a theory unsupported by canon, but it is a theory, that Arthur's birth and Merlin's were built in parallel and created specifically to work together. Aka, the coin thing was very, very literal.

I'm mulling the volatility now. Because they are explosive, but I don't think they *can* work against each other, not universally.

*explosive joy* This, this, THIS. <333

I find it almost amusing that canon seems to be trying to play this off using the dragon, in that Merlin is only as loyal as the dragon tells him he needs to be. Yeah, okay, if that makes you feel better, guys.

God, I know. It's like, whatever helps you sleep at night, writers! Don't change a thing!

Hee! I own my love of Merlin's flexible ethics.

Yes, this. That's one of the reasons the slightly dark characterisation of Merlin in astolat's fic resonated so well with me: He is a honestly good guy who would save others even if it puts him in danger -- but Arthur. Merlin is powerful, way powerful, more so than any sorcerer we've seen so far and probably more powerful than any we will see. He would not use it to save & benefit himself, but he would totally do it for Arthur. He would do anything for Arthur, I think, is how deep his loyalty (and love) runs. And 1x13 shows, when somebody he loves is hurt, he can lose all rationality. It scares me to think what would happen if Arthur were killed (in battle, etc.); Merlin would probably level the whole world.

(I have a theory on Arthur's eventual world conquests being much less about whee conquest and more about Merlin getting really paranoid and not liking there being like, any land anywhere that is not under his (Arthur's, same thing) direct control because of Arthur's tendency to try and die for things. It comes down to conversations that will probably go something like this: Merlin: Let's conquer Rome. Arthur: I think Britain is really enough... Merlin: Magical blowjob. Arthur: I'm surprisingly okay with conquering the world for sex. Merlin: How do you feel about Iceland? Arthur: Okay?)

Yes. Please write this. Please?

It scares me to think what would happen if Arthur were killed (in battle, etc.); Merlin would probably level the whole world.

Yes, this. God, this.

I take a nap for THREE HOURS and you write, well, this, which is eloquent and pertinent and, as far as I can see, absolutely one hundred percent accurate.

I agree with, like, all of it. And I want the story that goes along with this:

Merlin: Let's conquer Rome.
Arthur: I think Britain is really enough...
Merlin: Magical blowjob.
Arthur: I'm surprisingly okay with conquering the world for sex.
Merlin: How do you feel about Iceland?
Arthur: Okay?)


[taps foot] Well?

Have you read my Merlin-kills-things story?

I've debated Merlin's darkness before and it's utterly fascinating. I love that he kills almost without thinking when Arthur is in danger. (also, Gaius in danger - the axe to the face? awesome)

Merlin getting really paranoid and not liking there being like, any land anywhere that is not under his (Arthur's, same thing) direct control because of Arthur's tendency to try and die for things.

I love this in astolat's Ofindan, that Merlin's, like, make Mercia part of a united Albion so I don't have to have another panic attack a couple of years from now when they come after us again. It's brilliant. (And, yeah, in that one Merlin would have taken out the Mercian army if Arthur hadn't ordered him not to. He is Arthur's own pet berserker.)

God, yes.
I'm not a fan of dark or dark-like fics, because... well, to be quite honest, I live and love fluffy, warm, snuggly fics, in which in order for the characters (whomever they may be) to realize they are in love, all sorts of hilariously cracktastic things happen and all ends well with blowjobs.
But this fic was... whoah.
Yeah, I know, I feel so eloquent today.
Anyway, you've totally nailed why this fic works so well, and the truth is that adorkable!Merlin, sane and happy as he is, has John-Sheppardian issues when it comes to loyalty, so he'll be ultra-nice to everyone and give the benefit of the doubt without second thought until someone hurts Arthur (or anyone Merlin loves) and then he becomes the Merlinator with his lightning powers of KILLYOUBITCH.
It's, quite honestly, awesome to see and specially fantastic to read because we get the NC17 parts, as well.

(Deleted comment)
Oooh... Usurpation fic. I'd read that! And, like. Actual on the page usurpation, not just implied.