Reviews for No Other Way (Season 3 AU)
gaylelbf chapter 1 . 6/16
My favorite kind of reveal- Merlin courageously confessing in the hopes of convincing Arthur to legalize magic.
gaylelbf chapter 1 . 2/10
A beautiful love story! Well written.
Adele chapter 12 . 12/29/2017
Wishing Merlin and Morgana could get married and have kids and live happily ever after. There is also the question of the dragon.
Adele chapter 12 . 12/29/2017
I love this story you wrote
Marcus S. Lazarus chapter 12 . 11/22/2017
Interesting bit of work you have here.
While I feel that Morgana’s personal transformation in Season Three made a certain sense if we assume that Morgause focused on encouraging her negative feelings rather than allowing her to consider the moral complexities of a situation- Arthur’s been basically raised to regard all magic-users as tarred with the same brush, Merlin’s never gone after anyone using magic who hasn’t tried to use it against Camelot first- the idea of Morgana’s near-dependence on Morgause’s advice here is certainly handled well, to say nothing of the decision regarding their latest plan to ensure their own success.
Morgana’s ‘justification’ of her decision to emotionally manipulate Merlin like that while comparing it to her own poisoning experience makes a certain twisted sense, and it’s fascinating to see how Merlin is able to resist Morgana’s influence despite the spell even as he can’t completely ignore her ‘demands’ despite his knowledge of what’s being done to him (although I think that the revelation of Merlin’s magic was too quick).
By contrast, it was interesting to see the subtle clues of Morgause’s own efforts to influence Morgana to reinforce Morgause’s view of the world rather than Morgana’s own, and there’s something heartening to have the idea of external influence reinforced as Morgana settles for a more peaceful status quo rather than trying to continue her active vendetta after her escape.
The aftermath of Morgana’s takeover and the steps taken to establish peace with Camelot and her new realm both made sense, but I confess to feeling slightly cheated that everything worked out so simply. I could follow your reasoning for Morgana’s developing feelings for Merlin, but it just felt like the moment when Morgana realised that Merlin had magic was basically skimmed over, especially when considering the scale of the impact that epiphany would have on Morgana as she’s suddenly forced to re-evaluate everything she thought she knew about someone she’d essentially dismissed for so long.
In a nutshell, the overall theme of the story is good, and the beginning and the end made sense, but you should have drawn out the moment when Morgana learned Merlin’s secrets (she never really had any secrets from HIM) as it currently feels like you were just rushing to get to the bits you wanted to write about most.
JAIMOL chapter 12 . 3/6/2017
Great story.
Guest chapter 10 . 2/5/2017
Dreadfully twee and your Morgana is a nauseating piece of Mary Sueish self-insertion... but otherwise the characterisation is better than expected.
Guest chapter 4 . 1/6/2017
Not bad, if I try to ignore the Mary Sue you've turned Morgana into... the other characters are way better.
wryter501 chapter 12 . 12/9/2016
i love gwen's gift, but i love merlin's, too! and that sly offer of trading the books out when he visits again... but no, not fishing for invitations at all, not him... ;)

i also like the addition of the melisande moment. that morgana realizes that merlin had looked after the magic folks of camelot, as much as he could, and that melisande and morgana both know, the girl's father wasn't punished by arthur the way uther would have.
i like the idea of morgana as a gardener, too. getting her hands dirty, doing some hard work, reaping those simple but rich rewards of growing things...
(i don't think 'reckless' is the same thing as 'incautious', though... it may depend on, what is the point of what you're doing, and do you understand the mistake you made - to try at all, not only b/c it failed...) i really like morgana reliving the witchfinder episode, and the meaning that was there in others' actions.
(i also, wholeheartedly approve of merlin & morgana spending the day hanging out, doing stuff and talking, and not rushing for the bedroom... their relationship is more than sex, it's a real connection!) it's a gorgeous conversation they have at dinner, finally being /honest/, asking for and finding forgiveness. and both of them make some really great points that i hadn't considered before...
and it was very well done to come back to /true/ love, after the opening of the story with the love potion!... that she'd earned it rather than magicking it, which is always better! (whether it comes to lovers or kingdoms...)
wryter501 chapter 11 . 12/9/2016
ah, rolf. couldn't pick a worse time for it, honestly - even the people who agree with him in theory would resent him interrupting /this/ ceremony, even if just for propriety's sake!

that really is a great moment when merlin goes to face the three sorcerers, in so many ways. each to his own strength, each with full confidence in the other, no ordering or arguing... :)

ps, it is really twisted to want your loved one back so desperately that you're willing to put up with the undead-wraith-travesty that really /isn't/ that person...
wryter501 chapter 10 . 12/9/2016
i like their conversation about what next. no, morgana can't go back to camelot. if nothing else, those people of essetir that she's claimed deserve a decent ruler... and no, merlin can't leave arthur. at least, not permanently... but morgana doesn't seem to be the sort of woman to want a /husband/ anyway.
i also like the hint that morgana sat to watch them for a minute or two, the knights trying for the sword, and arthur's expression to see it, the way he and gwen behave with each other now...
and for arthur to know that only merlin's magic will free the sword, and that it's not just faith in himself as a leader, but the acceptance of magic's place in his kingdom, that it will symbolize...
(i will admit, merlin and morgana make a handsome couple standing together, when merlin is in his fully-grown-up-and-powerful mode, and maybe morgana's not dressed in fancy court wear...)

thing is, stopping uther was never merlin's job. not his destiny. maybe it wasn't anyone's. but trying to rush it, or trying to accomplish it by criminal means (murder), i gotta think, is never going to work when you're trying to create something better.
wryter501 chapter 9 . 12/8/2016
i really do love that moment of morgana seeing merlin again and realizing he's emrys. those young girls mooning over him like a celebrity and him not even noticing - but looking at morgana right away and her taking his prophetical status in stride.
(of course i like the intimacy... we all do. doesn't that go without saying? and the teasing afterward, too...)
but i also like merlin explaining why he didn't tell morgana. she /was/ too reckless, and she would have ruined everything for him. at some point, saying the wrong thing to the wrong person, and then arthur would have found out when he wasn't ready, etc... morgana would not have taken his cautions about alvarr or morgause or tauren, even if she did know about his magic.
and /perhaps/ looking back on it in hindsight, it could be classified as a mistake, but... idk. at the time, no. she had choices, too, like he said - she just made the wrong ones, and that's not on him.
it's also nice to see that she notices how much he's grown up. not that boy, anymore...
wryter501 chapter 8 . 12/8/2016
i love leon's reaction. i probably said that before. i love him being observant and yet privately deciding, merlin is loyal so i'm not going to get him in trouble...
i also, really love morgana getting a chance an objective and responsible training. b/c i cannot believe morgause really put her sister's best interests above her own ambitions... you know, ever. i like that objective opinion from someone like viviane, someone who knows, but has no emotion about the situation. who can give morgana a sense of something bigger and beyond just, a person's wants/desires/abilities.
i love her scolding morgana about her part in alvarr's scheme (do use your head, dearie), but then forgiving her and encouraging her to learn from mistakes... :)
and morgana comparing the mentorships of morgause and viviane, that also is very telling...

then again, really interesting that you put gaius' scene with uther, right after morgana's musing that the druids would never countenance murder as being what one with magic 'should do'. it's horrifying, yet practical... i suppose a physician like gaius has been accustomed to making such decisions his whole life (he did say to merlin during the question beast episode, say your goodbyes i'm going to make him a potion to hurry his death and ease the suffering)... and also, something merlin has done before, too. make a decision himself on the spur of the moment without time to discuss it in committee or even second-guess the morality of it... different times, different customs... (but i also think, it's much better to let the audience read between the lines, than to give gwen the suspicion, and thus the choice to say anything, or not...)
wryter501 chapter 7 . 12/8/2016
i like the added details, arthur had attacked that druid camp based upon a previous attack on a camelot patrol in the area - even though he attacked innocents, it wasn't /just because they're druids/...

yay for merlin's confession! and i really love arthur taking it so calmly. saying /that's/ what all that good luck that goes with merlin is...
i love gwen as the go-between, after merlin's confession. accepting and understanding both guys, making sure each is okay...

so uther would not have traded ygraine's life for an heir - but anyone else's life... yeah, pretty much.
i also like arthur following through on, what if i had killed my father. magic legalized, morgause welcomed at court - and catastrophe.
wryter501 chapter 6 . 12/8/2016
(am i repeating a lot of what i told you the first time i read this?... oh, well, i guess you don't mind!)

it's a good comparison to make, i think, arthur ruling vs. morgana ruling. arthur hasn't delegated his responsibility to someone else (or allowed anyone else that authority morgause seemed to have, under morgana), and he's honestly trying to pick the truth out of each situation, and be sympathetic to the people. morgana/morgause were lots more like uther - if its anti-magic, it's immediate imprisonment and execution. they not only didn't care about distribution of food, they annihilated at least one of the villages meant to produce it... he's doing the actual /work/ of ruling, not just declaiming and sweeping around in grand clothes...
i like arthur's distinction - no evidence of sorcery used against camelot.
and morgana in essetir. finally getting everything she ever wanted, and realizing it wasn't everything she thought it would be - ruling is no walk in the park if you care about doing it correctly or for any great length of time... and nothing to teach magical responsibility like trying to teach someone else...

i kind of like merlin being given an ultimatum - tell him. but it does detract slightly from merlin going to arthur on his own to say, i have magic...
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