* AlasPoorScrappy:
** Carver, if he survives the DeathByOriginStory, can get one of these later.
** [[spoiler: And in a much more contentious example, Anders, if you choose to execute him. Regardless of fan reception, it was clearly designed to give his death drama.]]
* AlternateAesopInterpretation: Occurs in-universe at the end of Merrill's personal quest. Hawke can either tell her [[EvilIsNotAToy she was stupid]] for thinking she could ever use blood magic safely, or that [[AllOfTheOtherReindeer everyone else was stupid]] for interfering with her life - [[spoiler: especially Marethari.]]
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation:
** Because it's [[LowFantasy lower fantasy than its predecessor]], the game forces the player to re-evaluate preconceptions built up by playing as the Warden, such as the fate of mages, the rightness of the Chantry, etc. Hawke having an apostate sister, or being one him/herself, gives the player a distinctly different starting perspective than, say, the Human Noble Warden.
** Anders. Is he a tragic hero, a hypocritical asshole, or some combination of the two? [[spoiler:At best, he's a revolutionary fighting against injustice. At worst, he's a terrorist who killed dozens of innocent people to kickstart a world war.]]
** Merrill. Is she a careful, courageous researcher, fighting against prejudice and misunderstanding to discover the lost secrets of a dying race? Or is she a foolish blood mage whose pride prevents her from seeing risks until they harm the ones she loves?
** Grand Cleric Elthina. Was she the only thing keeping the mage/Templar conflict stable, or did her refusal to take a side make things worse? The question is also applicable to the Chantry/Qunari conflict in Act II. Either the appearance of violent zealots was an inevitable consequence of the sustained Qunari presence in the city, or the deterioration of so many members of her church is an indication that she's dangerously out-of-touch with the rest of Kirkwall.
** [[spoiler: Orsino]] is either a good man who did horrible things out of desperation, or a BitchInSheepsClothing. Further complicated by him acting differently depending on which ending you take. Then there's his involvement with [[spoiler: Quentin]].
** Meredith: A crazed KnightTemplar, a WellIntentionedExtremist, or a ProperlyParanoid woman who was right all along?
** Sebastian: A [[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething Royal Who Actually Does Something]] or a spoiled prince who'll try to get others to do his dirty work more often than not?
** An in-universe case: If Hawke is Anders' rival, Justice eventually gets referred to as Vengeance. If Hawke supports Anders' decisions, they keep calling him Justice.
** Even Snarky!Hawke falls prey to this. Are they just an unambiguously [[BigGood heroic]] figure that had no desire for power, or a RichIdiotWithNoDayJob whose continued refusal to take a position of authority meant they were content to sit back and watch while Meredith practically turned Kirkwall into a police-state?
** Alternatively, is Hawke's continuing reticence to lead simply because every time they're forced into authority, such as during the flight from Lothering, the Deep Roads expedition and the hunt for Quentin, they end up losing those closest to them? From Hawke's point of view, if they can't even run a mine without their workers getting repeatedly attacked by monsters, how are they supposed to manage running a ''city''?
** Marethari - was she trying to [[spoiler: save Merrill from a fatal mistake]], or was she [[spoiler: denying Merrill her agency ''and'' endangering her clan by keeping them in one place for years]]? For that matter, [[spoiler: there's an argument that Audacity was always at least as interested in her as Merrill - they both heard its call the first time.]] While Marethari never shows intolerance towards humans like many other Dalish, nonetheless, was Hawke being a Shemlen and an outsider the reason that she repeatedly failed to give them critical information, which would have better helped steer Merrill away from her dangerous path?
** After what we learn in Inquisition, the [[spoiler: Pride Demon in Merrill's quest]]. Was it always a [[spoiler: demon manipulating Merrill into granting it its freedom]], or was it a [[spoiler: spirit of wisdom, warped into a demon by Marethari's perceptions and refusal to admit she might be wrong]]?
* AssPull: [[spoiler:Orsino and Meredith]] turning on you, even if you side with one of them, as a result of a ConflictBall, likely due to the game being rushed.
* BaseBreakingCharacter: The companions in general (with the exception of Varric who is beloved by the fandom). To be more specific:
** People are debating whether or not Anders is the most compelling character in the game and a tragic figure that's developed from his previous incarnation, or a complete jackass. Or both.
** Carver's SiblingRivalry with Hawke either gives him depth that Bethany lacked, or makes him an annoying whiner.
*** Whether he joins the Templars or Grey Wardens tends on respective playthroughs tends to affect this. If he joins the former, Carver's JerkAss tendencies become more pronounced and he behaves more antagonistically towards Hawke. If he joins the Wardens, he becomes far more of a JerkWithAHeartOfGold and grows past his SiblingRivalry with Hawke. Templar Carver tends to be TheScrappy for most players while Warden Carver tends to be considered as having been RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap
*** When factoring in Legacy, most players tend to agree that Carver has been [[RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap rescued from his Base Breakering Character status]], citing his newfound maturity (particularly as a warden, but even as a templar he qualifies), depth, and understanding of his father and siblings. It helps that Carver is the one who attempts to bury the hatchet. On the other hand, this DLC did just about nothing to affect Bethany's popularity whatsoever.
** Similarly, Bethany is either completely generic and flat as a character, or a refreshingly well-adjusted [[OnlySaneMan Only Sane Woman]] in a cast of ridiculously dysfunctional people. As with Carver, it depends on how much the player enjoys a DysfunctionJunction.
** Isabela is either a walking SugarWiki/{{Funny Moment|s}} with a secret heart of gold or a {{Designated Hero}}ine whose actions got a lot of innocent people killed, and who engages in some extremely Not Okay banter with Fenris.
*** She's also either a [[EthicalSlut confident, strong, sex-positive woman]], or an [[SlutShaming STD factory on legs]].
** Fenris is either a compelling character that shows the darkest of what a minority has to face or has a huge stick up his butt for every single thing that has something to do with magic to the point of being the Templars viewpoint version of Anders. Not as severe as Anders though because at least he's willing to accept Bethany and a Mage Hawke and is more self aware about it.
** Aveline is either the perfect StraightMan to almost all of the other party members and Snarky!Hawke or someone who doesn't really fit well to the overall story of the game and should have left early.
** Tallis. This boils down to how much one likes FeliciaDay and her involvement in MOTA, as well as how much one likes the Qunari. Many found her character fascinating and felt that Day gave a really compelling performance. Others were annoyed that she succeeds in her goals, irrespective of whether Hawke is anti-Qunari, feel her dialogue has a motable tinge of [[CantArgueWithElves "Can't argue with Qunari!"]] to it (for example, a Mage!Hawke can't bring up Saarabas), and argue that MOTA feels like "Dragon Age starring FeliciaDay (with Hawke and Co. tagging along)"; thus they deemed her to be veering on Canon Sue status.
** Merrill, especially as time has gone on. There's a good-sized faction of fans angry with Bioware for taking a no-nonsense, hard-nosed female authority figure in ''[=DA1=]'' and turning her into a {{Moe}} BunnyEarsLawyer {{Cloudcuckoolander}}, straight down to substantial physical changes to make her look ''far'' younger than her previous appearance. Others argue that she's a hugely important component of the story, as while other characters might provide "comic relief", nearly all the rest of it is of the bitter, ironic kind; Merrill is the only one who can provide legitimate ''levity'' thanks to her dogged innocence. They also point out that the game desperately needs a character like her to provide Hawke a different perspective on things. (Which leads the other side of the base wondering why Creator/BioWare couldn't have written a new character for the levity instead of rewriting a pre-existing hard-nosed female authority figure for the role.)
*** There's a pretty significant hatedom that perceives Merrill as a clueless, arrogant, ditzy, stubborn idiot who excels at screwing up (particularly how she handles [[spoiler:the Eluvian, which can ultimately lead to her ''entire tribe dying'' for what is, essentially, reclaiming tradition for tradition's sake)]]. Her attitude towards blood magic and ''especially'' demons fuels this side's hatred even more. On the flip side, her fans tend to find her more clueless and ditzy moments [[TheCutie sweet, funny, and endearing]], and believe that acting ditzy doesn't make her any [[GeniusDitz less intelligent]] or [[BunnyEarsLawyer capable]] at [[BadassBookworm what she does]]. And while most would agree Merrill can be too prideful for her own good, her fans believe that she has a strong grasp on the dangers of [[spoiler: the Eluvian]], blood magic, and demons, and what trips her up is other characters constantly undermining and sabotaging her efforts and then blaming her for them not working out ([[spoiler:particularly Marethari ''choosing'' to let the demon possess her behind Merrill's back, and then Merrill getting blamed for said choice]]); she may have too much confidence in her abilities, but her issue stems from other characters not having enough confidence in her abilities.
** Sebastian, unlike most of the examples, has to do with both his status as a DLC party member as well as his characterizations. While Creator/BioWare has a good track record for well liked DLC party members such as [[VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins Shale]], [[VideoGame/MassEffect2 Kasumi, Zaeed]], and [[VideoGame/MassEffect3 Javik]], many people feel that Sebastian doesn't really fit well into the overall dynamic and some feel that he shouldn't even be in the game at all, let alone worth the money to use him. Those who don't really mind the DLC party member part are also torn between whether they like him for being a nice religious guy who doesn't try to convert people by preaching or a blatant hypocrite who is well aware of the faults of the Chantry and yet doesn't do anything about it...and ''absolutely'' tries to convert people by preaching. [[spoiler:His decision to try and raise an army against Kirkwall if you spare Anders is also hotly debated.]]
* BrokenBase: The sequel makes heavy changes from ''Origins'', which is a far more traditional Creator/BioWare game. In-fighting is vicious and common, in just about every discussion about the game.
* CompleteMonster: [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Ser Otto Alrik]] is a high-ranking Templar who's infamous for his habit of illegally conducting the right of Tranquility on unwilling mages. Forever cut off from the spirit world, known as the Fade, Tranquil mages have undergone the spiritual equivalent of a lobotomy and are left as {{Empty Shell}}s for the rest of their lives. Not content with the way things currently are, Alrik's dream is to initiate the [[FinalSolution Tranquil Solution]], a plan where every mage is forcibly made Tranquil, regardless of age or ability. When this plan was turned down by [[KnightTemplar Knight-Commander Meredith]] for [[EvenEvilHasStandards being too extreme]], Alrik began taking steps to carry out his plan in secret, turning mages Tranquil such as he did with Andersís first love, Karl. Also, in the mission ''Dissent'', while pursuing a female apostate named Ella, Alrik heavily implies that heíll use the Right of Tranquility to turn her into his willing SexSlave, with the added implication that he frequently does this. This is proven in an overheard conversation between a newly made Tranquil mage and her former lover. In response to her lover trying to break through to her, the Tranquil mage emotionlessly responds, "I am Ser Alrik's now."
* ContestedSequel: While the game received positive reviews upon release, with critics praising the companions' CharacterDevelopment, new gameplay changes, and a generally tighter story which deconstructed a ''lot'' of usual Creator/BioWare Tropes many fans criticized the environments for being smaller, less detailed and [[CopyAndPasteEnvironments very repetitive]]. This criticism was largely aimed at EA by detractors, believing they rushed out the sequel in a very short development cycle.[[note]]From start to finish, ''Dragon Age II'' hit the stores in just under 18 months. ''Origins'', meanwhile, had taken over ''four years'', and ''Inquisition'' for ''three''.[[/note]] Furthermore the finale remained largely the same regardless of player choices, and thus didn't really offer much in the way of closure. Several returning characters from previous ''Dragon Age'' games, particularly Anders, also have markedly different personalities. Is it a worthy entry into the DA franchise, an okay but obviously rushed game, a disappointing, lackluster experience with a few good ideas shining through here and there, or the herald of the beginning of the end for all of [=BioWare=]? [[FlameWar There but for the grace of the Maker go you, gentle troper.]]
* CriticalDissonance: An example where critics, primarily major ones with previews and review copies, have higher recorded scores than the recorded scores of customers. On Metacritic, ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' has scores ranging from 79 to 82. Its user scores? Range from 3.9 to 4.4.
** Although this, like the infamous ''{{VideoGame/Spore}}'' debacle, should be taken with a grain of salt - the PC version of this title was Origin-exclusive, which would garner negative reviews based on ''that'' more than the game itself.
* [[SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic Crowning Music of Awesome]]: The song that plays in the ''Destiny'' trailer, especially the chorus.
** On a different note, the music from the credits - including a [[TearJerker tearjerking remix]] of Music/FlorenceAndTheMachine's "I'm Not Calling You a Liar."
* DarknessInducedAudienceApathy: Some people who played the game complained that the [[spoiler: conflict between the mages and Templars]] resulted in this.
* DemonicSpiders:
** Enemy assassins have disproportionately large hitpoint bars and vanish off-screen during battle, reappearing only to backstab the member of your team with the lowest armor or health value for massive damage only to return to stealth immediately after. This means that, at best, the player has a seconds-long window to whittle down a large amount of health while dealing with whatever other backup they brought with them and places frail members at exceptional risk.
** Enemy mages, while not as versatile as before, are still a large pain with dangerous area of effect attacks that can easily wipe out a party in seconds if they do not move out of their substantial range. The mages themselves are still relatively [[SquishyWizard frail]] compared to warriors, but get around this by either covering themselves in an impenetrable shield for ten seconds at a time (at least they can't do anything while in that shield), or seemingly teleporting themselves to a random point on the battlefield to evade. Of special note are Blood Mages, Saarebas, and Arcane Horrors - three foes that you'll have to eliminate as soon as possible if you hope to win a battle.
*** Let's talk more about the Qunari mages, or Saarebas. The Qun should ''really'' take more pride in its mages, since they can '''KICK YOUR ASS TO PAR VOLLEN AND BACK'''. Not only do they take a ridiculous amount of damage, but they have a lightning ball spell that they can spam and essentially down your party within five seconds if you're not careful. Also, they can teleport, which is [[RealityWarper impossible according to in-game lore on the limitations of magic.]]
** While the Rage Demons of ''Origins'' were mostly minor foes with crippling weaknesses to [[KillItWithIce ice spells]], including the ever popular [[GameBreaker Cone of Cold]], their successors have become ''[[TookALevelInBadass far]]'' more dangerous. They're extremely resilient to most attacks, can dive into the ground for sneak attacks, are next to impossible to stun, and deliberately target the party members with either the least armor or lowest health, making them one of the biggest threats on the battlefield whenever they appear.
** Revenants are just as deadly in this game as they were in ''Origins''. Worse, they often appear alongside Arcane Horrors and have a nasty tendency of pulling you away from them, giving the Horrors time to cast their party killing spells.
** More literally, poison spiders on Nightmare. Their stun poison attack lets them wipe out anyone in 1v1 combat unless you can stop that. And the biggest problem is that they always spawn at least 2, usually 3, at a time. Definitely a contender for the toughest non-boss enemy in the game, at least on nightmare.
** ''Legacy'' brings back the older darkspawn and other cave dwelling monsters to give them a ''serious'' boost.
*** Genlocks, who were originally just smaller darkspawn infantry (barring powerful ones like the Forgemaster), return as apelike berserkers that aren't so bad on their own. Their Alpha cousins, on the other hand, are large menacing creatures that carry spiked shields that almost completely nullify head-on damage. Getting behind them is easier said than done as they have surprisingly quick charge attacks that do massive damage and send most characters flying. To make it worse, the areas where they're found are full of identical spiked shields as background pieces that allow them to ambush the player.
*** Hurlock Alphas return as hideous, three meter tall giants with massive axes capable of easily sending an entire party flying in one sweep. Worse, they actually seem to buff and coordinate other darkspawn into a much more dangerous force.
*** Deepstalkers remain much like their ''Origins'' counterparts, except for a few details: their spit attacks are fast, plentiful, and they can ''hurt''. They appear in swarms and can easily pick off your least powerful party member through sheer firepower before you finally rip through them all.
** The Ghasts in ''Mark of the Assassin''. Just as bad as Deepstalkers, they also throw buffers and mages into the mix as well.
* DesignatedHero: The Dwarven Noble Warden from the optional backstory is definitely this. He exiled Alistair to become a wandering, bitter drunk, sent Loghain to his death against the Archdemon, and was utterly ruthless in dealing with the Blight. Despite all signs pointing to him being an incredible asshole, he's still considered "The Hero of Ferelden."
** Arguably, Leandra. The game paints Gamlen as being wrong for things like charging rent to Leandra and putting Hawke and his/her sibling into servitude... except that if it wasn't for Gamlen, Hawke wouldn't have gotten into Kirkwall, period, and he's asking Leandra, who is sitting around doing nothing, to be decent enough to help pay for food and the like. It's hard to view Gamlen as being completely in the wrong, especially when you learn that Gamlen remained TheUnFavorite even as he cared for his parents in their declining health while Leandra was living comfortably with her husband and children in Lothering.
* DesignatedVillain: It's funny how Hawke starts out as the bad guy to Cassandra, no matter how heroic the player chooses to play him/her. As a result, this trope may ensue. Of course, there's also the option of playing an absolute {{Jerkass}} instead...
* DieForOurShip: There's a very vocal minority that can't stand the idea of Isabela and Fenris hooking up, even though it only happens if you don't romance either of them yourself. There are even some who claim to have [[spoiler: handed her over to the Arishok]] just for that - which ignores Fenris flat-out stating that he would never have done such a thing himself.
* EnsembleDarkhorse:
** Minor character Lilley from the "Inside Job" sidequest (who only has a few lines of dialogue and [[spoiler:gets killed off halfway through the quest]]) has somehow endeared herself to a lot of fans, some of whom go as far as to suggest she should've been made a permanent party member. This is probably all thanks to a surprisingly powerful performance from Alix Wilton Regan, though her being a good-looking ActionGirl likely helped a lot, too.
** Athenril seems to have attracted a similar following, probably for much the same reasons, and the fact that she's one of the elves people will hold up as a sign that the new elf design is good.
** Ketojan. He really gave the feeling that he would be a party member, which meant his fate left a lot of players very disappointed.
** Cullen, a returning fan favourite from ''Origins''.
* FanPreferredCouple: Those who don't romance Merrill usually pair her with Carver, who flirts with her during the game.
* FoeYay:
** Aveline and Isabela.
** [[http://littleclaypot.tumblr.com/post/4809447189/i-have-died-and-gone-to-heaven "Fenders."]] Fenris and Anders is becoming more prevalent as well, despite their obvious vitriol. Adds a whole new layer of meaning to the term "[[IncrediblyLamePun fender-]][[UnusualEuphemism bender]]."
** Merrill/Fenris is also surprisingly prevalent in the fandom, for similar reasons.
** Orsino/Meredith is quite a popular pairing among fans, which is probably helped by Snarky!Hawke jokingly shipping them in-universe during a heated argument between the two.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment:
** If Varric is in the party when Dougal offers to front you the cash to get in on the Deep Roads expedition, when you mention that Bartrand won't like it if Dougal is involved, Varric will say, quote, "He'd lose his mind. Not that it wouldn't be funny to watch." Yeah... not so funny to someone who's already done a playthrough and knows what happens to Bartrand after the Deep Roads...
** One of the "Bone Pit" sidequests has Hawke convincing the miners to go back to work. One of the miners doesn't want to go back after the dragon attack. He drunkenly says "What if something else comes, like uh... ''bigger'' dragons?" [[FromBadToWorse Cue Act III...]]
* GameBreaker: Has its own page [[GameBreaker/DragonAge here]].
* GoodBadBugs:
** If all but one of your party is laid out on the floor and the game goes to a cutscene, when the gameplay resumes they'll be back on their feet with full health and mana or stamina bars, and no injuries.
** A glitch can give Rogue!Hawke a whopping 35 defense score per point of Cunning, making him/her nearly untouchable by normal attacks.
** Using the maker's sigh potions basically resets your character's talents, attributes and specialties. Occasionally, drinking it will cause a glitch to happen, and it's possible to keep your specialties, meaning you can unlock a third one. This has been patched out.
** In the final boss fight, the boss will repeatedly paralyze all combatants to go on monologues... but if you've invested into Hawke and Aveline's defensive skills, and have her in your active party, she'll be immune, and proceed to smack around the boss. It's as if someone asked: "[[WhyDontYouJustShootHim Why don't you just hit 'em?]]" This can actually cause a glitch with the post game autosave. If the boss isn't allowed to complete its stun-cycle at least once the autosave may be saved incorrectly and when you load you will be stuck in a wall listening to the final battle dialog until the game crashes.
** It's possible for the Arishok to throw Hawke through the door and into the adjoining room where he can't get at Hawke. If you're playing a mage, the battle presumably goes down in history as Hawke running out of the room, barring the door, then sending in fireballs through the keyhole until the Arishok collapsed.
** In the ''Legacy'' DLC, there's an exploit that potentially allows all twelve of the potential Hawke's Key bonuses to be put on it instead of the player having to choose a maximum of three. See [[http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/The_Hawke%27s_Key here]] for directions. The results, [[InfinityPlusOneSword especially if the player waited until late in the main game]] are [[GameBreaker just as powerful as it sounds]].
* HarsherInHindsight:
** [[spoiler:Anders' destruction of the Chantry]] feels worse following the 2011 Norway attacks, whose perpetrator [[spoiler:is also named Anders, and called himself a Templar to boot. They look quite similar as well.]]
** Anders' personal story arc is kicked off by having to MercyKill an old friend and lover who's been made Tranquil. In the following game, we learn [[spoiler:that the Rite of Tranquility can be ''permanently'' reversed]].
* HilariousInHindsight:
** Fenris's wolf motif seems highly appropriate now that Creator/GideonEmery has been cast as the werewolf Deucalion on ''Series/TeenWolf''.
** Following the season 6 ''Series/GameOfThrones'' finale, fans of both franchises (of which there are many, due to the influence of ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' on ''Franchise/DragonAge''), immediately picked up on the similarities between [[spoiler:Anders' bombing of the Chantry and Cersei's bombing of the Great Sept]]. Since both of the characters are blond-haired, the phrase "way to go Blondie" became [[http://quesoconmermelada.tumblr.com/post/146538566291/someone-had-to quite the relevant statement]] for the events of the show.
* IncestYayShipping: Hawke and Bethany. Owners of the PC version can even mod Merrill to have Bethany's appearance. There are plenty of fanfictions shipping Hawke with Bethany (or sometimes Carver too).
* InternetBackdraft: Opinions about the game's quality are highly varied. In addition, debating whether or not the [[spoiler:Rite of Annulment was justified and the fates of any surviving mages]] will get heated very quickly.
* JerkassWoobie:
** Carver, if he lives so long. The more terrible things happen to him, the more of a jerk he becomes.
** Anders and Justice are this too, individually or combined. Though Anders still genuinely seems like a selfless, caring person (even on occasion to Merrill), it's often undermined by his more callous/cruel remarks to people with differing opinions about mages. Of particular note is his taunting Aveline about her dead husband, and being delighted if you choose to hand Fenris [[spoiler: over to Danarius]].
** Bethany becomes this over the course of the story, but how far the game takes it depends on her fate. It's far less noticeable if she's forced to join the Circle, for example, but even then she's cold and sharp towards Hawke in later Acts. Warden Bethany, however is even more bitter and cold towards not just Hawke, but almost all the former party members. This is more noticeable during the DLC, in which she provides some scathing remarks, which she then retracts in frustration. It's a cruel counterpoint to Act I's sweet, kind, gentle Bethany.
** Fenris. He gets Woobie points for his slave background, but the resulting hatred of mages makes him wholly unsympathetic towards them. He even asserts that Merrill's a monster while she's in mourning (see above). On the other hand, it's hard not to feel bad for him when you find out that [[spoiler:he competed for the chance to be used as the subject of his master's ritual, not for his own sake, but to free his mother and sister from slavery... only for his sister to eventually turn him in to his former master in order to become his apprentice]].
** Gamlen Amell comes off as an unpleasant dick to pretty much everyone, even his own family; but when you find out a bit more about his life, it's hard not to find some pity for him. Despite him staying by his dying parents' side and caring for them, they still seemed to favor Leandra over him and barely left him anything in their will, then a series of bad investments and decisions resulted in him living in squalor and cost him the woman he loved, and then he [[spoiler:loses his beloved sister to a SerialKiller]]. At least it's possible to grant him something of a happy ending by [[spoiler:reuniting him with his long-lost daughter]].
* LauncherOfAThousandShips: Fenris, being shipped with [[RomanceSidequest both female and male Hawke]], [[FoeYay Anders, Merrill]], [[OddFriendship Sebastian]], [[FriendsWithBenefits Isabela]], and sometimes [[ShipsThatPassInTheNight Zevran, and even Dorian]].
* MemeticMutation:
** [[http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/141/index/3056179/1 Male Hawke's]] BadassBeard instantly was gravitated towards as Hawke's primarily personality characteristic.
** "Goddamnit, Anders!" is also a frequent one.
** "Press a button and something awesome happens" (one of the devs used the line in a preview in summary of the new combat system) is popular among detractors of the game.
** You forgot Cassandra? Bullshit!!!
* MightyWhitey[=/=]WhiteMansBurden: Especially as time goes on, more and more fans are raising eyebrows at the implications that Hawke, a human (Western European FantasyCounterpartCulture) is treated (both in-universe and out) as having more authority over whether the Eluvian should or shouldn't, can or cannot be repaired by Merrill, an actual elf (whose Dalish culture has rather tribal undertones) and [[BadassBookworm highly educated Keeper's First]] who's done extensive research into a relic of her own people's history. [[note]]While Keeper Marethari tries to discourage Merrill's mission too, there is a sizable AlternativeCharacterInterpretation that she tries to stop Merrill out of pride that Merrill might be right rather than legitimate knowledge on the subject. It doesn't help that Merrill reveals that she's done her research on the Eluvian, while Marethari refused to even look at her research before saying, "No."[[/note]] The fact that Morrigan, a human mage, successfully repaired an Eluvian in the previous Witch Hunt DLC and still has a working Eluvian in DAI, with no characters questioning her abilities as they do Merrill, leads to even more potential implications about (Western-European counterpart) human characters knowing what's best for elves (who have shades of many real-world colonized cultures) and how to work elven technology better than the elves themselves. In fairness, much of Hawke's (and the player's) potential objections to Merrill repairing the Eluvian are centered around practical and ethical concerns over the [[BloodMagic specific methods]] Merrill is employing to do it, as well as legitimate fear for Merrill's own safety (and the safety of those around her). Merrill will also [[WhatTheHellHero call Hawke out]] if (s)he declines to give her the Arulin'Holm, pointing out that (s)he is effectively stealing an important historical Elven artifact. Similarly, Solas can chew out Morrigan in DAI for her somewhat entitled attitude towards Elven culture simply for knowing all the myths.
* {{Moe}}: Merrill. Besides having the regular enormous elf eyes, she also possesses the quintessential "cute and adorable" trait associated with {{Moe}} girls. As a bonus, she's clumsy and absent-minded.
* MoralEventHorizon:
** Some fans' reactions to [[spoiler:Anders ''nuking'' Kirkwall's Chantry in order to start a war between mages and Templars have been disgust and horror]].
** Meredith wastes no time crossing the line herself [[spoiler:when she uses Anders's aforementioned destruction of the Chantry as an excuse to invoke the Rite of Annulment against a Circle to which Anders never belonged. The fact that it's completely legal makes this an In-Universe Moral Event Horizon for the Chantry and the Templars in the eyes of Circle mages throughout Thedas. Half of them rebel on the spot when they find out what she did and the rest follow within a year - all of which was exactly what Anders planned.]]
** [[spoiler: Orsino]] either crosses it when he reveals that he was working together with Quentin and covered him up or when he defiles the corpses of his fellow mages (or, depending on who you side with, even sacrifices them himself) to become a Harvester.
** A lot of the bad things Hawke can do can have ''some'' justification. However, there's no justification for [[spoiler:selling Fenris back into slavery to Danarius, even though he's been your trusted companion and potentially friend/lover for '''7 years''']]. ''Every member'' of your party calls you out on it (with the exception of Anders, who cheers you on).
** Mother Petrice crosses it when she murders [[spoiler:Seamus Dumar]], frames Hawke for it, and tries to use the whole affair to spark a war with the Qunari. When told that her actions will lead to a massacre on both sides, she brushes off the excess of blood which is and will be on her hands as though it's meaningless.
** The Arishok's decision to [[spoiler: attack Kirkwall. Lots of the people are killed, such as the Circle mages and the Viscount, and absolutely none of them did anything to deserve it.]] Hawke has the option of telling him that regardless of whether or not he had legitimate grievances, he went too far by responding that way.
* MostAnnoyingSound: Mage!Hawke shouting "I need mana!" in combat. Particularly annoying if he/she is a blood mage, since that means that he/she ''doesn't'' need mana at all.
** The pain sounds of hostile Mabari are ''very loud'', and may potentially be a bit heartwrenching, depending on how you feel about [[ShootTheDog killing dogs]] (even if in self-defense).
* {{Narm}}: [[WhamEpisode Yes, it is shocking]] when [[spoiler: Anders nukes the Chantry at the end of Act III]]. It is however ''impossible'' to take the situation seriously after Sebastian's BigNo.
* OneSceneWonder: Flemeth only makes two major appearances, once in the prologue after Hawke defeats the Ogre that killed Carver/Bethany and then near the end of Merrill's recruitment quest after being summoned from her amulet. However, Kate Mulgrew's performance makes those scenes quite memorable.
* OneTrueThreesome: Two major ones:
** Hawke, Fenris and Isabela: Two potential love interests who have a canon attraction that turns into FriendsWithBenefits (and possibly more) near the end of the game. It also neatly avoids the ShipToShipCombat issues.
** Hawke, Merrill and Isabela: Merrill and Isabela are already close friends and [[ShipperOnDeck ship each other with Hawke]] depending on romance paths.
* PlayerPunch: A plenty.
** [[spoiler: Leandra's death at the hands of Quentin.]]
** Bethany or Carver [[spoiler: being conscripted into either the Circle or the Templars if you leave them in Kirkwall during the Deep Roads expedition, or becoming Grey Wardens after being infected by the taint, or dying of the taint if you don't bring Anders, or dying at the hands of the Ogre in Lothering. Getting the Hawke estate back rings hollow because they aren't there with you. See above for why it gets even lonelier.]]
** [[spoiler: Anders blowing up the Chantry. Especially if you're in a romance with him.]]
** [[spoiler: If you help Merrill with all her quests with the mirror, you end up having to kill the possessed Keeper Marethari. And unless you choose the counter-intuitive 'I assume responsibility' dialogue option when confronting the clan, you also have to slaughter ''the entire clan''. This includes people like Feynriel's mother, Arianni, Paivel the story teller, and Master Ilen the craftsman. It's especially horrifying if you played as a Dalish Warden in ''Origins''.]]
* RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap: Before the game's release, many fans weren't thrilled about the fact that the game had a new player character, Hawke, in place of the Grey Warden from the previous game. The "Destiny" trailer went a very long way towards reconciling people to the idea.
** Carver, as of ''Legacy''.
** The entire game, as of ''Legacy'', and to a lesser extent, ''Mark of the Assassin''. The DLC corrects some of the blunders of the game (like repeating dungeons and waves of annoying enemies), whilst keeping and expanding on the good stuff (like the Hawke family).
** Before its cancellation led it to being [[WhatCouldHaveBeen held back]] for the third game, many at Bioware have suggested that the ''Exalted Marches'' expansion would have been a further attempt [[AuthorsSavingThrow to do this]].
* ShipsThatPassInTheNight: Bethany/Alistair is quite popular for some reason. This is sort of strange considering what the reaction was to Alistair/Leliana being suggested in ''Darkspawn Chronicles.''
* TheScrappy: Anders easily has one of the largest hatedoms of any character in the franchise: His ''Awakening'' fans hate his character shift from lovable womanizer to angsty rebel, his decision to blow up the Chantry and the fact that by Act 3, he is hostile to nearly everyone aside from a friendly Hawke and Varric.
* ScrappyMechanic:
** Trying to avoid friendly fire on Nightmare difficulty is an exercise in frustration due to your cursor automatically centering itself on enemies that it approaches closely as you try to cast your abilities. We hope you didn't want to cast area-of-effect stuff against enemies engaged with the melee member(s) of your party! It's even worse than the first game because you can't zoom out the camera as much anymore to swing it around and try to find some spot on the ground to hit enemies while avoiding allies and the automatic-targeting on enemies.
** Enemies spawning mid-fight (at worst, ''behind'' your party to leave its squishies ridiculously easy targets [[TrialAndErrorGameplay unless you knew that would happen beforehand]]) a lot isn't a popular choice of gameplay.
* {{Squick}}: Some of Isabela's sexual remarks, which is lampshaded in-universe.
* StoicWoobie: Ketojan, and any other Saarebas by extension. Tranquil as well, particularly [[spoiler: Karl]].
* StrawmanHasAPoint:
** Despite what you may feel about Meredith's methods, [[spoiler: she is in fact correct that a great deal of the Circle mages are indeed practicing blood magic. This includes First Enchanter Orsino, who turns himself into an abomination and attacks Hawke, even if you choose to protect him.]]
** Since it still wasn't all of the Circle mages this goes both ways. Orsino isn't off-base when he tells Meredith:
--->Blood magic! Where do you ''not'' see blood magic?! My people cannot ''sneeze'' without you accusing them of corruption!
** If you read [[http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Codex_entry:_The_Enigma_of_Kirkwall the "Enigma of Kirkwall" entries]], you'll discover that the Tevinter magi specifically built Kirkwall as a giant amplifier for blood magic through use of the city's architecture and secretly sacrificing thousands of slaves. [[spoiler: The ritual sacrifice probably contributed to the weak Veil in Kirkwall (as stated in the codex), making communication with Fade demons a lot easier. No wonder so many Circle mages turn to blood magic; they're practically compelled to do so.]] This point is expanded on with a Codex entry you find for ''Legacy'' which explicitly states that is why Kirkwall suffers a great deal of abominations/possessions.
** As mentioned in DesignatedHero above, the game paints Gamlen as being completely in the wrong for ''everything'', yet he does make some valid points. Leandra and Bethany/Carver act like he's selling Hawke and Sibling into slavery when he suggests a year of indentured servitude in exchange for passage into into the city, yet he's not wrong when he says the family fortune ''is'' gone (however it went), this ''is'' their only option, and also that the large influx of unskilled immigrant labor into the city would make jobs very limited, so "think of it as having a job waiting for you once you get in." Sure enough...[[note]]a year later most Blight refugees are toiling away in dead-end poverty ''at best'', whereas the connections and reputation that Hawke gains from a year running with the gang/mercenary company ensures that s/he leaves with better job offers (such as being offered an equal partnership in Varric's and Bartrand's business venture) than most Kirkwall natives could dream.[[/note]] While Gamlen is wrong for having stolen and gambled his sister's inheritance away, he still makes a point that Leandra ''chose'' to leave the fortune behind years ago. Finally, the game treats Gamlen asking Leandra for rent as a very unreasonable request, yet by the time he asks she's been sitting in his house doing nothing (neither chores nor job-hunting) for ''over a year'', so it's perfectly reasonable for him to ask her to pitch in if she has no intention of moving out.
* TakeThatScrappy: The PartyBanter in the [=DLCs=] has quite a few jabs at the expense of [[ButtMonkey Carver and Anders]].
** Particularly ironic in regards to Carver, as most players agree that ''Legacy'' has [[RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap rescued him from the scrappy heap]].
* ThatOneBoss:
** The Rock Wraith provides the most frustration for players.
** [[spoiler: The Arishok]] has titanic defenses, nasty combo attacks, and hits harder than anything you've come across in the game so far - ''and he drinks healing potions''. A ''lot'' of your duel will likely be spent dodging him around the pillars and running for your life.
*** [[spoiler: The battle with the Arishok]] is slightly less difficult if you have the (free) ''Black Emporium'' DLC, because your faithful mabari can be summoned to keep [[spoiler: the Arishok]] off your back while you scamper off to catch your breath.
*** If you didn't pick the right options to get the single combat, the fight includes such notable things as ''two'' Saarebas mages and a veritable horde of lesser qunari to back up [[spoiler:the Arishok]].
** Corypheus of ''Legacy'' proves to be much tougher than either of the others.
** The Pride Demon backed up by a Blood Mage and a horde of Shades on the Docks in "The Last Straw." Many people find that fight to be the toughest of the whole finale and cite it as a reason for [[spoiler:sparing Anders, since he's the only healer at that point if Hawke isn't a mage]].
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks:
** The second game makes changes to the dialogue wheel, predefined character with a voice, combat, and many other mechanics. This crops up as a complaint due to that. This is reflected in the reviews for the game, which range from "best RPG combat ever" and "refreshingly original narrative" to "dull and unnecessary gameplay changes" or "unfocused and inferior story." Most reviews seem to strike somewhere between the middle, though this still puts the game lower than ''Origins''.
** The DA:O rogue was something of a SkillGate character, but complaints from players who couldn't get the hang of them were numerous enough to remake them into another flavor of fighter. It didn't help that the [[ArtificialStupidity AI didn't provide a good example of how to use them]]. As a YMMV, the changes could be as much an improvement, as the rogue can now be played as another flavor of fighter, and lockpicking/traps cost no additional skill investment.
** Relatedly, this change severely limited the Warrior class as well. BowAndSwordInAccord warriors were one of the best builds in Awakening, but now the class doesn't even have access to archery abilities.
** There are clashing opinions over various changes from ''Origins'', particularly over character redesigns. Many were also displeased with how many ''Origins'' characters look with the new graphics engine. Especially worth noting are how the changes to the elves necessitated an alteration to Zevran's look, and that not everyone was happy about the Qunari getting horns.
** Another common complaint is that it doesn't focus on the characters enough, when the substantial focus is actually about Hawke's relationship with their companions over the course of ''seven years'', completely missing the point that unlike the first game, we get an indication that these people have a life ''outside'' of the main character.
*** The main criticism with this is that the player ''never sees'' said life outside the main character when the rule of good storytelling is often considered "Show, don't tell." That said, most players who complain about this path are often ones who choose to befriend the characters rather than rival them (the former encourages them to maintain their current outlook, while the latter challenges it and pushes them to change)
* TrueArtIsAngsty: This game is a poster child for this mentality, and many felt the writing veered into overdone melodrama.
* UglyCute: Some have commented that the ghasts invoke this trope.
* UncannyValley:
** Those eyelids weren't made to be animated. And the eyebrows may look pleasant and harmless at rest, but more they come to life, the more they ''lurch''. Nostrils seem to have been problematic as well. On the bright side, the eyes no longer have quite has much the dead-eyed stare from Origins.
** Dwarves, with the exception of Varric. Their eyes look like they're made of acrylic, like something that a taxidermist attached to their faces after he was done stuffing them.
** Possibly the worst aspect - female fingers. Regardless of how attractive they might be, all women have hands of an old crone.
* UnintentionallyUnsympathetic: A criticism of the game's writing is that characters from both the Mages and Templars are made out to be evil or insane so often that Creator/BioWare's attempt to create two morally gray antagonistic factions becomes a case of EvilVersusEvil instead.
* VindicatedByHistory: To a very slight extent following the release of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition.'' Some of the people unhappy with DAI now praise this game's tighter story, which was clearly setting up some of the plot elements in the sequel.
** This is also the case with the Friendship/Rivalry approval system. Many players complain that DAI used the old approval system whereas Dragon Age 2 provided a system in which a player could disagree with their companions and still gain benefits.
* SugarWiki/VisualEffectsOfAwesome:
** When Aveline's husband Wesley is dying from the darkspawn taint, [[NightmareFuel his face slowly becomes more and more gaunt, pale and his eyes begin to sink into his head.]] Also, the veins in his neck and face become dark and pronounced as the taint spreads through his body.
** Also noticeable to tragic degree on Bethany if you take her to the Deep Roads. Makes you wonder why no one realized she was tainted sooner though. Oddly enough, the visual effects of the taint aren't present on Carver if he becomes infected.
** Any fire you see is very nicely done, particularly considering how hard it is to make CGI fire look good.
** Electricity also looks very good, especially when used in conjunction with Elemental Weapons, a mage talent that channels the elemental power of their staff to all the weapons of all party members. Seeing everyone's weapons coated in pure lightning while sparks fly all over the battlefield is a sight to behold, especially during nighttime battles.
** The eyes are just gorgeous, especially compared to the dull ones of ''Origins''
* {{Wangst}}:
** Almost all of Anders' conversations and banters, as well as all of his quests, revolve around the plight of mages. Though it comes from an understandable place, the degree of championing changes as the series goes on--he browbeats everyone in the beginning, and gets progressively angrier and more introverted as it continues.
-->'''Anders:''' That's unfortunate. Hating someone just because they're a mage is a shameful thing.
-->'''Carver:''' I don't hate you because you're a mage. I hate you because you won't ''shut up'' about it.
** Similarly, Fenris can't seem to go longer than half of a conversation without mentioning slavery/evil mages/Tevinter. Not that it isn't somewhat justified, given [[DarkAndTroubledPast his background]], but some of his lines about it go a bit over the top.
--->'''Fenris''': I escaped a land of dark magic only to have it haunt me at every turn. It is a plague burned into my flesh and my soul.
** In-universe, this is the main reason that Carver isn't overly popular in the party, as he comes off as rather whiny for reasons that are much more small-scale and even downright petty compared to the rest of the group and their problems. He mostly gets over it later in the game though.
* WhatAnIdiot:
** Pol. [[spoiler: Apparently, a few bits of gossip about meek, gentle Merrill is enough to get him to run away from her and right into the jaws of a varterral that killed three of his fellows.]]
** Emile de Launcet. He squanders the money his mother gives him to escape Kirkwall on drinks at the Hanged Man. He also falsely and publicly claims to be a Blood Mage because he thinks it'll help him get laid. Even [[KnightTemplar Meredith]] dismisses him as a threat when she hears this.
** [[spoiler: Orsino.]] Besides his [[spoiler: association with Quentin, who killed Hawke's mother]], his reaction [[DespairEventHorizon to the deaths of so many mages at the hands of the templars]], which would have garnered public sympathy for the mages, was to prove Meredith right by [[spoiler: turning himself into a Harvester and attacking Hawke and company]].
* TheWoobie: It's almost easier to list those who ''aren't'' Woobies.
** Hawke him/herself may be the crowner. Just try going through the game without wanting to give them a hug at some point. [[spoiler: The best case scenario involves one sibling dead, their mother dead, him/herself vanishing from their new home at Kirkwall, and their other sibling as well as all their companions (save their love interest) driven from their side. The ''best case scenario.'']]
** Anders. Went from snarky comic relief to a paranoid and angsty nutcase. Life has not been good to him. His rudeness to various people, particularly Merrill, gradually edges him towards JerkassWoobie before [[spoiler: diving straight into WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds with his little [[EarthShatteringKaboom stunt]] at the Chantry]].
** Justice too - he started out as a fairly [[KnightInShiningArmour benevolent spirit]] whose worst fear was to become a demon. In ''Awakening'', he's friendly and in awe of everything in the world. In ''Dragon Age II,'' his personality is warped even further than that of Anders, and gets [[JerkassWoobie progressively worse]] during the game as he becomes the very thing he feared the most.
** Carver. [[spoiler: The brother of a dead apostate sister has quite a chip on his shoulder having to protect his surviving apostate sibling, while proving that as the only warrior in the family that he isn't a burden. He's either forced into being a Warden and hates how he was always bailed out by his apostate sibling, or he joins the Templars and expresses how badly he wants to kill his only living connection left to prove something. Regardless of his choice, Carver just feels like he has no control over his own life.]]
** Merrill. When you consider how the Dalish treat their entire tribe like family, the way they ostracize her seems exceedingly harsh. Her reaction to [[spoiler: Pol's death]] was heart-wrenching, and her next personal quest includes a PlayerPunch. Fenris and Anders also say some ''incredibly'' cruel things to her from time to time.
** Bethany. [[spoiler: For one, she's an apostate, so her entire childhood was spent constantly on the lookout for Templars. Then, either she or her twin brother dies at the hands of an ogre. If she survives, and is taken to the Deep Roads, she's infected by the taint. Unless Anders is there, she dies. If he ''is'' there, then she undergoes the Joining. It's a harsh life and totally destroys any innocence she has left. But if you leave her with Leandra, she's discovered by Cullen and is forced into the Circle, because otherwise her family will suffer reprisals for harboring an apostate. Either way, you don't see her again until the endgame (unless you have the DLC and bring her along). It gets a little better if you're pro-Mage and she joins the Circle. You get to free her from her bondage to the Circle and she isn't guaranteed a miserable life and a miserable death before she hits fifty.]]
*** She also clearly feels a great deal of guilt over the fact that her family spent most of their lives moving around Ferelden to protect her from the Templars. She feels like a burden and wonders aloud to Hawke if it wouldn't have been better for everyone if she had gone to the Circle long ago.
** Leandra Hawke. She's a grieving widow to start, and then one of her children gets killed in the beginning of the game. Later, she learns that her brother [[spoiler: stole her inheritance. Another of her children either dies or must spend the rest of his/her life in the Circle of Magi, the Templars, or the Grey Wardens. To top it all off, she's kidnapped by Quentin and put through an AndIMustScream moment]].
** Even Gamlen has some Woobie qualities. Though he's to blame for gambling the family fortune away, you have to feel bad for him when you hear about how he nursed his ill parents in their dying days, only to have their last words be of Leandra, and leave all their money to her. He resents his sister due to this for quite a while (as a mirror to Carver/Hawke), before becoming utterly distraught and miserable when [[spoiler: she's murdered]]. The one high point of his story is that you can [[spoiler: unite him with a daughter he never knew he had.]]
** The orphans under Evelina's care. First, they have to flee to Kirkwall's slums to eke out a living after their parents are killed in the Blight. Then they have to watch their surrogate mother be taken away by the Templars when she tries to appeal to the Circle for help. When she returns years later, she's become an insane abomination. Finally, they have to watch helplessly as Hawke and company slay her, leaving them alone to an uncertain future.
** Might as well add the remaining party members into the Woobie category - Aveline's main source of Woobieness is that her husband dies in the prologue (with either her or Hawke dealing the killing blow), but she's also clearly scarred from the events in Ostagar, and in Act III has to deal with [[spoiler: Jeven trying to spread insubordination among her guardsmen]]. Then there's Sebastian, whose backstory is that his whole family was killed off by assassins ([[spoiler: sent by his family's friends, no less]]), and in the game's finale [[spoiler: his mother figure, Elthina, is blown up by Anders]]. Isabela's backstory reveals [[spoiler: that she was sold by her mother in exchange for a goat, and lived as her husband's property until Zevran killed him. Since then she's lived a pretty rough life as a pirate, and even notes when Merrill is feeling jealous of the 'excitement' that she shouldn't want Isabela's life, because she's a 'good person and deserves better'. If Izzy returns during the fight with the Qunari in Act II, Hawke can also hand her over to the Arishok so that she can be taken back with them for punishment]]. Lastly there's Varric, who's had to put up with Bartrand's {{Jerkass}}ery for a ''long'' time, is [[spoiler: betrayed by him in the Deep Roads, and then either has to kill Bartrand or spend the rest of his days looking after him now that his brother's completely insane]].
** Fenris is either this or a JerkassWoobie. Even when he's romanced, he finds that he isn't ready for a relationship after [[spoiler: he has sex with Hawke and momentarily remembers everything about his past life, before losing the memories again]]. He can even tell Hawke at this point that it's a more upsetting event than it probably appears from the outside, and no matter how much it pains him to do it, he ''has'' to leave, and he feels foolish for thinking that he could have this shot of happiness with Hawke. [[spoiler: Staying loyal to him and getting back together with him has him reveal that if he could go back to that night, he would have stayed, and that he absolutely regrets the break-up.]]
* WoobieFamily: The Hawkes. Malcolm Hawke spent his life on the run as an apostate mage, his wife Leandra was disowned by her noble family for eloping with him, then he died shortly before the Fifth Blight destroyed everything he left to her and their three children. One of said children was then killed by the Darkspawn in front of their mother and siblings, another ([[StoryBranching potentially]]) died from [[ThePlague the Taint]], their mother [[spoiler:was turned into a zombie by a deranged mage and had to be put down by her eldest child]], and the eldest child became the world's premier CosmicPlaything, when their attempts to take care of their dysfunctional friends and family brought about several cataclysmic events that shook Thedas to the core.
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