Character: Guinevere ("Gwen")
Pairings Included in Manifesto: Gwen/Arthur, Gwen/Lancelot
Blurb: Guinevere, or Gwen as she is most often referred to as, is in many ways one of the most fascinating characters of the BBC series Merlin. The show has rather made a name for itself for providing its own unique spin on the Arthurian Legends, and their treatment of Guinevere is no exception. Her change and growth as a character over the course of the series has been lovely. She began as a meek and humble maid, often stumbling and tripping over her words when she became nervous, and over time has grown into a confident, well-spoken young woman, a true future queen of legend.
Her relationships with Arthur Pendragon and Lancelot are both equally fascinating in their own ways, though I'm afraid that my own partiality for Gwen/Arthur is rather obvious in the fic recs listed below. Gwen and Arthur have often grown together over the series, both as a couple and as individuals, and the love between them feels strong and steady. In contrast, Gwen's relationship with Lancelot has a wild sense to it, a grand passion that never fully fades, even when they choose paths that take them far away from each other. Perhaps because even as they do this, there is always the unspoken promise of meeting again, that they'll find their way back to one another, that their time is still to come.
Fic Rec #1: These Moments, Again and Again
Pairing: Gwen/Arthur, Gwen/Lancelot
Why This Must Be Read: A short ficlet that brings to life Camelot's infamous love triangle. arobynsung portrays the love Gwen feels for both Arthur and Lancelot beautifully, never placing one above the other, but instead doing justice to both. A bittersweet little fic.
Fic Rec #2 All His Worldly Goods For This
Pairing: Gwen/Arthur, Gwen/Lancelot
Why This Must Be Read: A real Merlin-ized version of the love triangle. You really get the feeling that Gwen loves both Arthur and Lancelot, and that they're all in a big mess that they can't get out of. Gwen's love is beautiful, as is the portrayal of the events surrounding the big reveAnother, unrelated, treat in this fic is the portrayal of Mordred, but I'll leave you to see the details of it for yourself.
Fic Rec #3: Hindsight is 20/20
Pairing: Gwen/Arthur, past Elena/Arthur and Vivian/Arthur
Why This Must Be Read: A great modern AU where Gwen has absolutely no patience for one of Arthur's ex-girlfriends. The two of them are great, and you really get a sense of how much his relationship with Gwen has matured Arthur.
Fic Rec #4: Of Fire and Starlight
Why This Must Be Read: An excellent AU of 3x10 Queen of Hearts where Gwen is forced to go on the run from Uther for supposedly using magic to enchant Arthur. The love between the two is beautiful, and you really get the feeling that they're at the cusp of a new age.
Fic Rec #5: What Good Does It Do (Love Enough, Hate Enough)
Pairing: Gwen/Arthur, minor Merlin/Morgana
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13, character death (not Gwen or Arthur)
Why This Must Be Read: Another AU story, this one featuring an alternative of how Morgana's true allegiances come to light to everyone in Camelot. Gwen and Arthur are both battered with revelation after revelation, from friend and foe alike, and yet still are able to draw strength and solace from each other. This story is one of my favorites.
Fic Rec #6: The Blacksmith
Why This Must Be Read: Set shortly after the end of the third series, Gwen reorganizes her father's forge. Tassos has done great work here, portraying the sense of brokenness left in the wake of Morgana's brief reign, and it even reflects in Gwen and Arthur's relationship. The world around them is changing, they are changing, and sometimes it's a bit difficult to keep up with it. All the same, they do their best, falling back on the love that still sustains them. A beautiful moment.
Fic Rec #7: Turn and Face the Strange
Rating/Warning(s): R, for light sexual content
Why This Must Be Read: A very recent, lovely post-series 3 fic where Gwen has to accustom herself to the changes in her life after Camelot is retaken, and she and Arthur slowly prepare for their future together. Oh, and she tries not to strangle the knights for their constant ribbing about when Arthur is going to marry her. Very adorable and sweet.
Fic Rec #8: Kingsword
Why This Must Be Read: An excellent future story where Arthur brings Excalibur home and shows it off to Gwen. Naturally, she recognizes it and remembers its origins. A lovely moment between the two.
Fic Rec #9: Lady in Waiting
Why This Must Be Read: A gorgeous story featuring the early days of Gwen's time as queen. Arthur doesn't appear physically in the story, though Gwen's love for him permeates the entire fic. We see Gwen's strength and how she pours it into building a new world, a better one than the one she spent her youth in, and see her grow into something greater than a queen -- a legend.
Fic Rec #10: Sex, Slavery, and the Right to Rule
Rating/Warning(s): NC-17, for sexual content
Why This Must Be Read: A fic that is equal parts hot and hilarious. Plus, watching Gwen save the day? Is pure gold.