From Fan History Wiki
This article is about the television series, Merlin. For other uses, please see Merlin (Disambiguation).
Merlin is a British television series which began airing on BBC One in September of 2008. It is loosely based around the Arthurian legends and tells the story of the wizard Merlin and his friendship as a youth with Prince Arthur. As it is intended primarily as a "Young Adventure" series, its mythology differs significantly from traditional versions of the Camelot tales and it has been compared by some to a Smallville-style "high school AU".
Almost immediately after its launch, the show has begun to garner a growing fandom base, including a very large following for the Merlin/Arthur slash pairing, although other ships are gaining in popularity as well.
Merlin fandom is very active on LiveJournal, where a great number of communities were created within the first weeks of the show's broadcast, some even before the series began to air. A number of fans migrated to this fandom community from other popular LiveJournal-heavy fandoms such as Smallville and Stargate: Atlantis, the latter of which happened to be nearing the end of its run at the same time. The usual host of LJ media fandom communities quickly evolved for the show, including those for capslock, macros, drabbles, icons, Secret Santa exchanges and every popular specific pairing. In contrast, very little fannish activity has been found to date on Yahoogroups or other mailing list services, nor on messageboards. How the fandom will evolve now that the show has been renewed for a second series remains to be seen.
The main cast features:
- Colin Morgan as Merlin
- Bradley James as Prince Arthur
- Richard Wilson as Gaius
- Anthony Stewart Head as Uther Pendragon
- Angel Coulby as Guinevere (Gwen)
- Katie McGrath as Morgana
- John Hurt as the voice of the The Great Dragon
- Michelle Ryan as Nimueh
The series begins with Merlin's arrival in Camelot, where he discovers that the king, Uther Pendragon, has outlawed the practice of magic and imprisoned the last dragon. But Merlin's great abilities with magic lead him to becoming the apprentice of Gaius, the court physician who used to be a sorcerer. Merlin also learns from The Last Dragon of his destiny in protecting Prince Arthur.
Below is a list of terms and their definitions that are used in this fan community.
This section needs more information.
The following are some of the most popular ships in Merlin fandom:
Below is a partial timeline of events that took place in this fan community.
- On March 17, 2008, the LiveJournal community merlinbbc was created. This was the first Merlin community on the service, created well before the series began airing. Other communities which would be created before the launch of the show included merlinfic, colinmorganfans, merlinslash, and merlin_tv.
- On September 20, 2008, the first episode of series one of Merlin, The Dragon's Call, aired on BBC One.
- On September 21, 2008, the day after the first episode aired, the LiveJournal community merlinxarthur was created for Merlin/Arthur slash. This would grow to become the largest Merlin community on the service, although numerous communities would rapidly spring up all throughout September, October, November and December of 2008.
- On October 4, 2008, the third episode of series one of Merlin, The Mark of Nimueh, aired on BBC One.
- On October 11, 2008, the fourth episode of series one of Merlin, The Poisoned Chalice, aired on BBC One.
- On October 25, 2008, the sixth episode of series one of Merlin, A Remedy to Cure All Ills, aired on BBC One.
- On November 1, 2008, the seventh episode of series one of Merlin, The Gates of Avalon, aired on BBC One.
- On November 8, 2008, the eighth episode of series one of Merlin, The Beginning of the End, aired on BBC One.
- On November 17, 2008, the Merlin Fanfiction Archive went live. It hosts both RPF and FPF fiction based around the series.
- On November 22, 2008, the tenth episode of series one of Merlin, The Moment of Truth, aired on BBC One.
- On November 29, 2008, the eleventh episode of series one of Merlin, The Labyrinth of Gedref, aired on BBC One.
- On December 6, 2008, the twelfth episode of series one of Merlin, To Kill the King, aired on BBC One.
- On December 13, 2008, the thirteenth episode of series one of Merlin, Le Morte d'Arthur, aired on BBC One.
- On December 15, 2008, Merlin began airing in Italy on Italia 1. The BBC also confirmed that the show would be renewed for a second series.
- On December 25, 2008, the Yuletide archive opened and featured 24 stories based on Merlin, making it one of the most popular "obscure" fandoms for the year's exchange.
- On May 3, 2009, Merlin premiered on Australian tv network Ten. rating sixth overall, after the Logies and the news
- On June 21, 2009, Merlin premiered on the U.S. tv network NBC. It did not do particularly well in the ratings, coming in second in its timeslot behind a rerun of The Simpsons.
Race and gender issues in Merlin
- In early January through February of 2009, there was some discussion and debate on LiveJournal regarding the way issues of race and gender on the series are treated. Specifically, there was criticism of the way women who practiced magic were generally treated as "evil" whereas the male characters who did were heroic. Also raised was the point that the only character of color on the series so far was in a servant position. These points were raised to question whether fandom should embrace the series or not. In response, many argued that fandoms often followed shows with questionable race, gender and overall "quality" issues, and that individuals did not want the fandom "moral police" telling them which shows they should or should not be "allowed" to become fannish about.,,,
Merlin fandom is well established on LiveJournal, with numerous communities devoted to every type of fan activity, pairing, character, and actor focused on the show. The largest community as of July 2009 is merlinxarthur for Merlin/Arthur slash. This community grew from 1,905 members in January 2009 to over 3200 by July 2009. The next largest communities are those devoted to general discussion, all slash pairings, and Merlin RPF, all of which have over 1,000 members as of July 2009.
- See List of Merlin LiveJournal communities for more information.
This section needs more information.
Apparently popular themes in Merlin fan-fiction include AUs placing the characters in high school or college settings, removing the fantasy elements of the series. This section needs more information.
See also Category:Merlin fans.
See also Merlin LiveJournal community size.
- As of January 17, 2009, the Merlin BBC Facebook community had 2,225 members. The two largest Merlin LiveJournal communities as of this date, merlinxarthur and merlin_tv, had 1,905 and 1,031 members, respectively.,  The MerlinBBC mailing list had only 4 members. The Merlin Fanfiction Archive had 82 stories and 810 registered users.
- As of July 1, 2009, the Merlin BBC Facebook community had 2,792 members. The two largest Merlin LiveJournal communities as of this date, merlinxarthur and merlin_tv, had 3,282 and 1,599 members, respectively.,  The MerlinBBC mailing list had only 4 members. The Merlin Fanfiction Archive had 185 stories and 1871 registered users. There were 1,068 Merlin stories at FanFiction.Net.
- Merlin: FanWorksFinder
- Merlin TV SHOW FANSITE: Merlin TV SHOW FANSITE
- Merlin's Keep: Merlin TV Series Fansite
- Official BBC website
- Merlin @ IMDB
- Merlin Fanfiction Archive
- Merlin Meta: On Morgana, Merlin, and Class by zahrawithaz. Originally posted on December 15, 2009.
Below is a partial list of articles and academic sources to help you continue to learn about this community.
This section needs more information.