Usually a story begins at the start, but I want to show you something.
Picture a muddy battlefield. Thousands and thousands of soldiers clog the ground, clashing their swords or stabbing or being stabbed or dying. Everyone is screaming. The air smells like an open heart. Look at that boy, twisted on the ground, his face smashed in from the horses’ hooves. He wanted to be a knight. He had a lover. His thoughts were just as wide and varied as yours or mine. But that didn’t matter to the war. It trampled him all the same. His name was Gareth, and this is his only part in the story.
But shouldn’t someone witness his death? It’s the least we can do.
I see that you’re uncomfortable now. You’re thinking about it, aren’t you? The wild interior lives of other people, the lives that get cut short by sword or dagger or arrow. Luckily, it will be over soon. There’s a calm forming in the chaos. As if by magic, the soldiers part like the Red Sea (about half these men are devout Christians. They’ll get the reference, don’t worry).
Look to the left. Do you see that man striding through the channel? Do you see his golden hair, his ice-chip eyes, his proud nose, his sharp stride? Do you see his helm hanging in his hand? His face gleams with sweat. Fighting is serious work. This man is important to the story, but no more important than Gareth. Please remember that.
Now look to the right. Do you see her? She’d be hard to miss. Her hair is literal fire. It licks and hisses down her back. But we’re here for someone else. Look behind her. No, there. Yes, that’s Merlin, wearing her green livery.
It wasn’t supposed to happen like this, but in thirty seconds, Arthur will see Merlin. Merlin will see Arthur. And one of them will kill the other.