Friday, October 18, 2019

AUs I Wish Were Real: Movie & TV Edition

Hey'a, everyone! So, like many people, I really enjoy the concept of AUs. I think that a well-executed or well-conceived AU demonstrates how well people know particular characters (which is why I like to come up with AUs of my own stories as a character development exercise), and sometimes you can use AUs from a particular fandom as a jumping-off point for a completely new story. Plus, sometimes it's just fun to imagine how a story would be different if a particular thing changed. Today, I thought I'd talk about some of my favorite AU concepts, both ones I've come up with on my own and ones I've seen elsewhere.

AUs I Wish Were Real

  1. A Merlin AU in which Merlin, Arthur, Morgana, and Gwen all have magic and are just running around trying increasingly desperate methods to hide it from one another, Uither, and everyone else. Eventually, Gwen finds out about everyone else because she's actually not completely oblivious (unlike the Pendragons), but she may or may not actually tell anyone. Gaius knows, probably, but everyone makes him swear not to tell anyone else. And at least one of the knights figure it out, but watching these four idiots run around trying to figure out how to solve Camelot's problem of the week without letting anyone figure out how they're doing these increasingly impossible things is amazing entertainment, so whoever knows just quietly helps hide it from Uither and has a good laugh over it.
  2. An Avatar: The Last Airbender AU in which the elements are controlled via dance instead of martial arts-esque moves and so every time there's a fight, it's basically a dance battle with bonus element-throwing. This AU comes about entirely because 90% of Zuko's fighting moves look like breakdancing as it is, so they barely have to change anything there. And, let's face it, watching Zuko and Aang have a dance battle every couple episodes for two seasons would be hilarious.
  3. A Marvel AU in which people actually communicate during Civil War, realize "Ok, many of us are overreacting" and proceed to work through their differences and not break up the team. Bonus points if this gives Tony enough energy to actually think about how he handles his sort-of-mentorship with Peter and gets his act enough together to be a proper mentor, thereby making all the IronDad headcanons more reasonable. (Seriously, though: I love IronDad headcanons and short fics on Tumblr, but there's so little grounding for them in the actual show that they feel more like AUs themselves.) Double bonus points if this leads to any variation on this post; triple bonus points if it leads to a variation on this one.
  4. Another Merlin AU: Merlin, instead of being a peasant from some town I don't remember, is Arthur's half-brother. He still acts as some kind of attendant to Arthur, because he's more or less illegitimate and it's inconvenient to have a half-brother lounging around with no actual job, but it's less "servant" and more "advisor and future steward" or something similar. He still has magic, which he uses to get himself and Arthur in and out of trouble, but in this case Arthur figures it out early on and is thus much less hostile to magic in general. (Arthur still struggles with reconciling his father's attitude and his own knowlede, but yeah.) And, of course, the various villains try to pin stuff on Merlin, implicating that he's trying to clear his way to the throne, but Arthur, at least, knows better. 
    From Instagram. Click for the original post.
  5. I feel really bad for wanting this, but: an Avatar: The Last Airbender AU in which Aang doesn't survive the hundred years and, through a series of undefined events, Zuko ends up being the Avatar. I am a big fan of "the person you were looking for was you all along" plotlines, at least when done well. And Avatar!Zuko would be a goldmine for both really interesting internal conflict and comedy not based in secondhand embarrassment. I did actually find one fic that follows this premise, but it had Zuko figure it out too close to the start of the fic, and also the writing quality wasn't great, so I ended up not reading more than a chapter. Tragic. (That said, I may end up taking this AU concept and reworking it into an original story, so, yeah. We'll see what happens.)
Do you enjoy reading and imagining AU concepts? What are some of your favorites? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)


  1. Oh dang, that last one is a killer! If you come up with a series of your own that follows the same premise, you can bet I'd be game for it! I also really like the one where Merlin, Arther, Morgana, and Gwen all have magic. It would be pretty great!

    1. A lot of people seem to like that last one, which is great. If I decide to write something along those lines, I'll definitely let y'all know.
      Thanks for commenting!

  2. I love the perspective on this. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I really love it, Thanks for sharing! Looking forward for more!


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