Friday, May 5, 2017

Beautiful People: Parental Edition (Link-Up With Paper Fury and Further Up)

Cait at Paper Fury and Sky at Further Up and Further In have put together a fun set of questions for this month's Beautiful People link-up in honor of Mother's Day. It's been a long while since I sat down and filled out one of these posts, but this one was too good to let slip away! Today we're digging into Merlin Pendragon's relationships with his parents.

Be warned! Major spoilers are ahead for Albion Academy! Continue at your own risk if you haven't read the book yet. (If you have, proceed with delicious glee.)

1. Overall, how good is their relationship with their parents?

Merlin's relationship with his mother is strained at the start of Albion Academy because of her relationship with his sister, Kaya. As the story progresses, it becomes even more strained to the point of breaking when he learns that she's a sorceress who tried to seal his Second Sight. By the end of Albion Academy, Merlin is completely estranged from his mother and has no relationship with either of his fathers (being created magically from the blood of Merlin Ambrosius and Mordred, son of Arthur).

2. Do they know both their biological parents? If not, how do they cope with this loss/absence and how has it affected their life?

At the end of Albion Academy, Merlin has met one of his biological fathers, Mordred, whom Vivienne had transformed into a black dragon. He has never known Merlin Ambrosius, nor really any father, and the gap in his life shows up in small moments when he wishes he'd known his father. The most poignant of these is when he asks Vivienne whether his father would have been proud of him. Now that he knows his true origins, Merlin wishes to meet Ambrosius even more than before.

3. How did their parents meet?

Ambrosius and Vivienne met as children (well, Vivienne was a child in Fae terms) when he was living in the wilds of Wales and she was sneaking out of the Fae realm to see what humans were like. They both met Mordred when he arrived at Arthur's court to petition a place at the Round Table.

4. How would they feel if they were told “you’re turning out like your parent(s)”?

Depends on the parent. He would stoutly deny any relation between himself and Vivienne or Mordred (while secretly dreading the very real possibility that their heritage will determine his future). He would take any comparison to Ambrosius as a compliment, but doubt the veracity of such a comparison.

5. What were your character’s parents doing when they were your character’s age?

Ambrosius was learning magic from Taliesin and the Fae court, dodging death threats from warlords, and generally making a nuisance of himself. Vivienne was planning her future and dabbling in things best left alone. Mordred was being twisted by Morgause and plotting the death of his father's kingdom. You know, typical teenager stuff.

6. Is there something they adamantly disagree on?

Merlin deplores Vivienne's use of sorcery and her attitudes on mortals, Djinn, and other assorted groups of people. He hasn't really had a chance to disagree with Ambrosius or Mordred (yet), aside from disagreeing with Mordred's desire to kill him out of vengeance on Ambrosius and Vivienne.

7. What did the parent(s) find hardest about raising your character?

Vivienne found Merlin most difficult when he displayed apathy toward learning magic and affinity for anything mortal (like his Knower, Harry).

8. What’s their most vivid memory with their parental figure(s)?

Merlin's most vivid memory of Vivienne is the day she tried to kill Bryn and ensorcell him. His most vivid memory of Ambrosius is the memory the Oracle's Eye showed him of the day Vivienne placed Ambrosius in an enchanted sleep. His most vivid memory of Mordred is the night he, Mortimer, and Bryn discovered Mordred asleep in Albion Academy's basement and Mordred burned away Merlin's sight.

9. What was your character like as a baby/toddler?

To quote one of my favorite characters from Harry Potter, "Exceptionally ordinary."

10. Why and how did the parents choose your character’s name?

Vivienne named Merlin after his father, her first (and I'd argue, only) love. His middle name Marcellus she chose because of its Latin connection and her hope he would become a mighty warrior in her plans. She took the surname Pendragon while hiding with Merlin and Kaya because (although it's a very uncommon name) it fit with her cover story (that wasn't entirely untrue) that Merlin was a descendant of Ambrosius' and Arthur's bloodlines. Much of Merlin's name came from her desire to make him appear to be just another descendant while pushing him towards greatness.

If you have a character you'd like to fill out these questions for, head over to Paper Fury or Further Up and Further In to snag the questions and the shiny Beautiful People button seen above. Be sure to leave your link on one or both sites so others can see your answers.

Thanks for reading!


  1. He got his sight burned away by his father? :O Poor Merlin...

    1. To be fair, neither of them was aware of any relationship at the time.

      But yeah, poor Merlin is right.


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