Characters: Dragon Age II – Non-Playable Characters
This page is for listing the tropes related to Non Playable Characters
who are found in Dragon Age II
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A Templar Seeker who interrogates Varric about the Champion.
- Action Girl: As you can see from the Anime, she can take down an Ogre single-handedly.
- She also kills numerous blood mages and a couple dragons throughout the movie, along with beating down several templars.
- Bad Ass: Much more apparent in Dawn of the Seeker, where her Establishing Character Moment has her cutting down Blood Mages like they were nothing and finishing off a drake with a dagger.
- Boyish Short Hair: Given that she's ostensibly a soldier, she presumably finds long hair to be somewhat impractical.
- Character Development: Despite only being a part of the framing device, Cassandra seems to mellow out as Varric tells the story. In the beginning, she's rude and nasty, even threatening Varric with a near-Groin Attack by plunging a knife through a book on his lap. By the end, she's quite willing to hear out Varric's story, and even lets him go without incident.
- Furthermore, Cassandra and Varric apparently teamed up after the events of the second game, having been confirmed to appear in Inquisition as companions of the Inquisitor.
- Initially, she assumes that Hawke was the Big Bad and responsible for instigating the Mage-Templar War, but because of Varric's tale, realises instead they were a heroic figure, who simply tried to do the best they could with an already bad situation. By the end, she realises that Kirkwall was a ticking time bomb, one that was way out of control to begin with.
- In Dawn of the Seeker, she initially hates mages because of her Dark and Troubled Past, but slowly learns to grow out of it and realises they are people, too. That said, her prejudice isn't completely gone by II, since her initial assumption was that Mage Hawke was an apostate dissident who intentionally sowed discontent to bring down the Chantry.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Maybe not so much as the Chantry in general, but some of the ideas the Seekers have about the events of the game are a bit... out there.
- Dark Is Not Evil: She's basically part of Thedas' equivalent of the Spanish Inquisition, wears all black, and is extremely grouchy... and she's also trying to stop a major war from breaking out for entirely selfless reasons.
- Decoy Protagonist: Cassandra can be arguably considered the protagonist of the Framing Device set in the present, attempting to learn the truth of Hawke's tale as told via Varric's recollections.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Over the course of the Varric's tale, she becomes less irritable, softer-spoken and in the end, even decides to let Varric go.
- Dual Wielding: Favours this style of combat in Dawn of the Seeker.
- Foe Yay: Invoked. Varric insinuates she develops a crush on a male Hawke after a point in his story. She denies it.
- Particularly if male Hawke is a Mage, since Cassandra is technically on the other side of the Mage-Templar conflict.
- Freudian Excuse: As Dawn of the Seeker shows, she hates mages (and blood mages in particular) because maleficars killed her brother.
- General Ripper: She initially assumes that Hawke is the mastermind of the war that's about to tear the world apart and that everything that has led up to this point was all part of his/her Evil Plan. However...
- Good Is Not Nice: While she's initially portrayed as antagonistic to Varric and implied to want to bring Hawke to justice, she's revealed to actually be trying to prevent the Mage-Templar war and wants to recruit Hawke to help stop the fighting.
- Great Big Book of Everything: Her book, as shown in the above image. It apparently contains character portraits of Hawke's companions, (presumably) Varric's exaggerated version of Hawke's tale, as well as images of Flemeth, Morrigan, and for some reason, Shale chasing pigeons...
- Groin Attack: Comes close to doing this to Varric Tethras during the introduction when she shoves a dagger through a book to get him to start talking about the Champion of Kirkwall.
- Hero of Another Story: She is the main character of Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker.
- Hero-Worshipper: Varric implies that Cassandra is being swept up in Hawke's legend. She'll deny it (and Varric's belief she's developing a crush) if it's male Hawke, but with female Hawke she will admit she has respect for a woman who built herself up from nothing.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Even though she's kind of a bitch to Varric in the beginning, it turns out that she's trying to prevent the Mage-Templar war.
- Hot-Blooded: Her initial reaction to Varric throwing out Blatant Lies at her is to pull a knife on him and threaten him with a Groin Attack.
- Internal Affairs: The job of a Seeker is essentially to keep an eye on the Templars and ensure they do not abuse their powers and/or stray from the will of the Chantry. The events of the game serve to indicate how bad things can get when the Seekers drop the ball.
- Magic Skirt: Wears this in Dawn of the Seeker.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Despite being essentially part of the Chantry's Inquisition, she does seem quite willing to hear Varric out, even if what he has to say doesn't put some parts of the Chantry in a very good light.
- The Reveal: Finding out that she's working with Leliana in the last scene of the game.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: She is both a member of the Nevarran royal family and a Templar Seeker.
- Throw the Book at Them: Does this to Varric to get him to start talking.
- Tsundere: Especially if Hawke is male, as Varric will imply that she has a crush on him. Which she promptly denies.
- She also has this relationship with Regalyan in Dawn of the Seeker.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Between narrations she adamantly tries to pin the blame of all the events of the game on a Big Bad. There is none. Varric even says that Meredith, corrupted by the Artifact of Doom, was irrelevant.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Her Dawn of the Seeker outfit.
Grand Cleric Elthina
"We will never have peace unless we try to understand one another."
The Grand Cleric of Kirkwall. She is the only authority that both sides of the Mage-Templar divide respect. Her presence in the city is the only thing that has stopped tensions from boiling over.
- Badass Pacifist: Elthina is able to look Orsino and Meredith in the eyes and basically tell them to go to their rooms. They will comply.
- Big Good: The only person keeping Meredith and Orsino from straight-up murdering each other. Once she's gone, all hell breaks loose.
- Good Is Not Dumb: Even if you side with Petrice and don't speak out against her claims against the Qunari, Elthina sees right through it. Whether you agree with her actions (or lack thereof) in the rest of the game, this moment certainly cements she is no fool.
- Good Shepherd: Cares deeply for the people of Kirkwall and will not abandon them, even if it means assassination.
- Head-in-the-Sand Management: A very sympathetic example, but she is increasingly characterized by her passivity in the face of a situation that requires proactive leadership. Her inaction leads to the Templars turning Kirkwall into a draconian police state, and radicalizes the mages, already frustrated by the status quo and perceiving her passivity as tacit approval.
- The Mentor: To Sebastian.
- Morality Chain: To Meredith, Orsino and Sebastian, as once she dies he forgets the lessons of peace and forgiveness she taught him and swears vengeance on Anders.
- Neutrality Backlash: Her insistence on remaining neutral eventually gets her killed.
- Non Answer: If you question her about Petrice and Varnell abusing her seal, she gives an extremely uninformative response and promises to step in "when it's time." In this case, "when it's time" apparently means "too late".
- Not Afraid to Die: Will not leave Kirkwall and abandon her flock, even as things start to get really bad and Sebastian and even the other branches of the Chantry warn her of the danger of staying.
- Parental Abandonment: Was adopted by the Chantry after her parents passed away due to illness.
- Parental Substitute: Again, to Sebastian.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Willing to listen to Hawke despite the fanatical rantings of Sister Petrice and is opposed to violence against the Qunari despite their mass conversions. She's also one of the very few powerful people in the Chantry willing to give consideration to the mages.
- While certainly one of the most levelheaded leaders in Kirkwall, she could actually be seen as a subversion; while she will hear out both sides of an issue, she does very little to soothe tensions, fostering more anger and resentment all around and pushing things closer to the boiling point.
- Team Mom: By Sebastian's account, she's "like a mother to everyone in the Chantry".
- The Plot Reaper: One of the only people in Kirkwall that could keep Orsino and Meredith from trying to kill each other. Then Anders went and blew up the Chantry with her in it.
- Unflinching Walk: When a Qunari assassin kills Mother Petrice right behind her, she doesn't even blink, except to pause and tell Hawke to inform the Viscount.
"My order will soon realize the Qunari presence is more than a test of faith - it is an open challenge. But for now, I must act on my own."
A seemingly benign Chantry priestess who is working to have the Qunari removed from Kirkwall so they don't interfere with Chantry rule.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Even if she gets her comeuppance, Kirkwall eventually comes to war with the Qunari, which ends with them leaving: exactly what she wanted.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: A pious Chantry priestess on the surface, but a dangerous fundamentalist underneath.
- Blatant Lies: She thinks she's good at this whole fibbing thing but, with the application of a bit of common sense, it turns out that she's really not.
- Blondes are Evil: Very, very evil.
- The Chessmaster: Thinks of herself as one, attempting to use Hawke as an Unwitting Pawn to further her plan to eradicate the Qunari "heathens". Hawke, already suspicious of her motives to begin with, quickly puts the pieces together.
- Corrupt Church: She's been spreading suspicion of the Qunari using her lectures, in and out of Chantry services. Many of the listeners end up her rather violent followers later, spurred by promises of "earning their place at the Maker's side".
- Deceptive Disciple: If she survives Act II, dialogue in Act III indicates that she's planning to instigate a schism in the Chantry to regain power, against Elthina.
- Devil in Plain Sight: Openly flaunts the fact that no-one would believe a mercenary like Hawke over a Chantry priest.
- The Fundamentalist / Sinister Minister: One of the worst examples thus far in the series.
- Gray Eyes: Cold and unfeeling ones, to contrast with Elthina's.
- Karmic Death: If you side against her. She's denounced by Elthina and then killed by a qunari.
- Karma Houdini: Possibly subverted. If you side with her, she gets no serious comeuppance beyond a stern lecture from Elthina and a demotion. However, it's possible that she was killed in the Chantry explosion. Granted, that would be overkill on karma's part, but take what you can get.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Fans cheered when Sister Petrice was shot in the head by a Qunari.
- Knight Templar: A different flavor than the actual Templars, and directed at a different place. The real moment that cemented it was killing Seamus for being "corrupted" by the Qun and using false information about the incident to try to start a holy war.
- Manipulative Bitch: Although not as much as she'd like to believe she is.
- Oh Crap: If you side against her, you can expose how much of a colossal bitch she is before Grand Cleric Elthina. Her expression afterwards reeks of this trope.
- Obviously Evil: There's no way any player mistook her for a good person.
- Smug Snake: It's obvious she considers herself a Magnificent Bitch, and even more obvious that she doesn't have the chops.
- Though when you first meet her, she admits she's new to the whole chessmaster thing.
- It's actually possible for her to succeed in her plans... but only if Hawke decides to work with her. Considering that Petrice goes out of her way to antagonize Hawke early on... yeah, she didn't think this through.
- Too Dumb to Live: When you first meet her she walks down an alley with a bunch of thugs. Subverted, in that she was testing the skill of her rescuers.
- Underestimating Badassery: When you first meet her, she hires you fully expecting you to die to advance her agenda. When you get back, after killing a squad of Qunari, she makes the... questionable decision the outright tell you this, expecting you to just disappear in Lowtown. Years later, after you're made nobility and you've made a name for yourself, she's still largely dismissive of you and expects you to play right into her hands.
- Unreliable Expositor: It quickly becomes obvious during "Shepherding Wolves" that her information isn't entirely accurate and the other party members point this out repeatedly. By the end of the quest, it's revealed she set up the whole ambush to further her own cause, and much of what she told you was entirely fabricated. Unfortunately, her quest is one that must be completed to continue the game, so she can't be ignored.
- Villainous Breakdown: Right in front of the Grand Cleric, no less. Oops.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Although it's possible to subvert said publicity.
Knight-Commander Meredith Stannard
"Cold corpses speak louder than abstract freedoms, do they not?"
Leader of the Kirkwall Templars. Since the current Viscount only holds power due to the support of the Templars, this makes her a very influential woman. Voiced by Jean Gilpin.
- Artifact of Doom: Her lyrium broadsword.
- And Your Little Dog Too: During the Final Battle, Meredith may grab your Love Interest, stab him/her, and taunt Hawke about it.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Quoth David Gaider: "Meredith is not to be fucked with."
- Ax-Crazy: Mostly in Act III.
- Badass: The Final Battle consists of her versus your ENTIRE team plus Cullen and (potentially) Donnic, Nathaniel and Zevran, and for all intents and purposes she is WINNING. The only reason she actually goes down is because she overdoses on the power from her Lyrium sword, leaving her Taken for Granite.
- Big Bad: About as close that the game gets to having one given its Grey and Gray Morality and Evil Versus Evil conclusion. The Kirkwall Templars were always powerful, but before her "reforms" they had leeway in carrying out their duties (e.g Malcolm and Maurevar). Meredith puts an end to that, leading to both sides radicalizing.
- Big Damn Heroes: How she first meets Hawke - pulling the party out of the fire as things start to look bad.
- Blondes are Evil: Although she's not evil to begin with.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Briefly seen at the beginning of Act I and occasionally mentioned. It's not until the end of Act II she starts gaining significance.
- Church Militant: In addition to her belief that Mages are dangerous, Meredith is a strongly religious woman. Her faith is such that the Grand Cleric is pretty much the only person in Kirkwall she will listen to.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Turns on Hawke in the endgame on both paths out of an insane conviction that Hawke is somehow behind the entire conflict.
- If Hawke is a Mage, it's implied she's under the delusion that they've used Blood Magic to enthrall her fellow Templars against her. When Cullen, her loyal second-in-command, informs her that to get to Hawke she'll have to go through them, it only serves to convince her further.
- Control Freak: Was like this to begin with, which only got worst with her Sanity Slippage.
- Cool Sword: Her lyrium broadsword.
- Ignored Epiphany: During the final battle with her, she openly wonders if she's doing the wrong thing by fighting against the mages. She then blows it off with her next line of dialogue, and goes straight back to fighting.
- Iron Lady: Varric calls her such at one point.
- Jerkass: Few people, if any, genuinely like her, and even fewer support her out of anything but fear.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Before she takes control of Kirkwall, she's implied to be one of the more lenient knight-commanders as she doesn't oppress the mages at every turn, mostly because she's got much bigger fish to fry. She even admits to Orsino that she knows not all mages are villains, and when you tell her that Emile de Launcet was lying about being a blood mage, she laughs it off. If you're playing a Mage Hawke, she basically shrugs off the fact that you can use magic so that you can both protect the city. Unfortunately, this doesn't last.
- Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: In Act III
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope
- Knight Templar: One doesn't become Knight-Commander in the Templar Order by being anything less.
- Lady of War: Subverted. Her first on-screen action is a Big Damn Heroes Back Stab that saves Hawke's life... but then she decapitates the attacker with a BFS. Grace and elegance be damned.
- Light Is Not Good: During the final battle, she claims that the Maker will smile on her actions.
- Madness Mantra: As she finally loses it during the final battle, she starts quoting the Chant of Light.
- Make an Example of Them: Should you turn over Grace and the other Starkhaven apostates, Thrask will tell you Meredith has three of them executed at random, "to teach them a lesson." And this is still Act I, years before the idol.
- Not So Different / Foil: Her backstory actually resembles that of a non-mage Hawke, from the mage younger sibling to being a Self-Made Woman. Particularly noticeable if a non-Mage Hawke chooses the Templar ending, where they ascend to the Viscountcy, much like Meredith had assumed power after Dumar's death.
- One-Winged Angel: Subverted. She tries...
- Pet the Dog: Siding with Meredith and working with her in Act III shows us a human side to her. If Emile de Launcet is convinced to surrender without incident, she thinks of executing him, but his father pleads that he was merely an idiot. Hawke can comment that he said he was a blood mage just to impress girls. Meredith laughs, and simply imprisons him.
- Properly Paranoid: She might seem unhinged, seeing blood mages and abominations right and left. Then again, seemingly half of all the mages you meet in the story are maleficars and/or blood mages, including two of your party members and even First Enchanter Orsino! Of course, acting on her paranoia led to the situation becoming exactly what she was paranoid about: it's outright stated by Anders that the Mage Underground, which was mostly composed of apostates using otherwise legal magic, was completely destroyed by her by Act III. Whoever was not made Tranquil was probably a blood mage, because it was the only way to survive an encounter with a Templar brigade.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Blessed are those who stand before the corrupt and the wicked and DO! NOT! FALTER!"
- Rabid Cop: Her natural inclination.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: A side effect of the Red Lyrium Idol
- Regent for Life: After Viscount Dumar's death, Meredith takes control of Kirkwall. She soon begins using her power to crack down harder on mages, causing further tension between mages and templars. She refuses to consider appointing a proper successor, claiming that as long as evil exists, Kirkwall needs its Templars more than it needs a new viscount.
- It's implied that another reason she refuses to do so is because many of the nobles want Hawke to take the job.
- Sanity Slippage: At the end of the game.
- Sarcasm-Blind: Her interaction with Snarky!Hawke - she's either totally sarcasm-blind or is refusing to play along no matter what; e.g., a glib comment about her armor gets a confused "I do not wear this armor for the way it looks."
- Self Made Woman: Rose from next to nothing to become Knight-Commander, as well as de-facto ruler in Kirkwall in the power-vacuum caused by the murder of the Viscount.
- Slave to PR: She claims to be this when invoking the Rite of Annulment, claiming that the people of Kirkwall will want blood in retaliation for the destruction of the Chantry. Ultimately, though, she reveals that she is pursuing her own agenda, as the destruction of the Kirkwall Circle is not enough to satisfy her sense of "justice."
- Taken for Granite: Is frozen into a statue due after overtaxing the Lyrium Idol by trying to go One-Winged Angel
- Tautological Templar: Is fully convinced she, not Hawke, is the true hero of the story and this justifies her actions.
- Ungrateful Bitch: Even if you support the Templars, Meredith still tries to kill you.
- Villainous Breakdown: During the final breakdown.
- Villainous Rescue: She is introduced saving Hawke from a Qunari Saarebas.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Averted. She has many opportunities to achieve her goals without extremism — or at least acting on it. By the ending, it's clear she's in it for the bloodbath. She's a one-woman example of how extremism erodes well-intentioned aims.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer: A great deal of her problems stem from either her unwillingness or her inability to negotiate, and her belief that using harsh measures at all times will address the problems surrounding her.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: A side-effect of Red Lyrium exposure.
- With Us or Against Us: As the conflict with the mages becomes more dire, she becomes convinced that anyone who doesn't completely support her is either a blood mage or a blood mage thrall.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: As mentioned above, Meredith seems to be under the impression that she's The Hero.
- You Monster!: The first diplomatic dialogue option when confronting Meredith before the Final Boss Battle in the mage campaign of The Last Straw.
"Mages cannot be treated like people! They are not like you and me."
A returning character from Origins, where he was one of the surviving Templars of the Circle tower massacre. Sent to Kirkwall due to his newfound radical view on mages, he is now Meredith's second in command, and your primary contact in the Templar allegiance. Eventually gets freaked out by her increasing brutality, and turns on her
"The Circle is a sanctuary, not a prison! If you kill these people, I will see you disciplined by the Divine herself!"
A Templar who has been stationed in Kirkwall since before Meredith came to power. While he is loyal to the order, he has doubts about Meredith's harsh methods.
- Anti-Villain: He orders the kidnapping of Hawke's lover or sibling, in order to convince them to join his rebellion against Meredith. Hawke can respond by pointing out that they might have done so if he had just asked!
- Covert Pervert: Surprisingly, he can be found at the Blooming Rose.
- Defector from Decadence: He rebels against Meredith once he decides that she has gone too far in containing the mages.
- Heel Face Door Slam: Grace kills him before he gets the chance to negotiate with Hawke.
- My God, What Have I Done?: His reaction if he helps kill Ser Karras.
- Odd Friendship: Varric's short story indicates he comes to the Hanged Man every once in a while for a few drinks and a card game
- Also could be seen to have one with a Mage Hawke.
- Outliving One's Offspring
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Subverted later on, as he becomes an Anti-Villain.
- Redemption Equals Death: He finally realises he's gone to far and tries to negotiate with Hawke, but Grace kills him.
- The President's Daughter: Tasks Hawke with rescuing some escaped mages who've been targeted by slavers, one of whom is his daughter, Olivia. Unfortunately, she resorts to Blood Magic and becomes an abomination, forcing the party to kill her.
"Be strong, my love..."
Templar and Aveline's husband. He and his wife join the Hawke family when they flee Lothering. He has been infected with the Blight, and prior to escaping Lothering, must be mercy killed.
Ser Otto Alrik
A sadistic Templar whom Hawke and their companions encounter in the quest "Dissent", although they witness his handiwork in "Tranquility".
''"Huh. "Retired." Sounds better than "burned-out husk of a templar begging for coins in the chokedamp."
A former Templar who helps runaway mages flee the city.
- Defector from Decadence: He leaves the Mage-Templar alliance against Meredith in Act III because he realizes some of the mages were using Blood Magic the moment they felt backed into a corner. After that, he sort of saw the writing on the wall.
- Fantastic Drug: Shown to be a lyrium addict. His getting back in good graces with Meredith to become a Templar is basically just to feed his addictions.
- Glory Days: Samson laments that he used to be a good Templar back when he was with the Order.
- Old Friend: He and Thrask were friends back when they were both in the Order.
- Only in It for the Money: He'll help smuggle mages out of Kirkwall... but only the ones that can pay, because he needs to get his hands on more lyrium. Though it is implied he does sympathize with them (the whole reason he was kicked out of the Templars was that he was caught delivering a letter from a Circle mage to their lover).
- Pet the Dog: You can choose whether or not to request that Samson rejoin the Order.
- Underground Railroad: Not part of the more organized efforts by certain Kirkwall residents to sneak mages out of the city, as far as we know, but he does give information or safe passage to some of the young people who have recently discovered their powers and are trying to flee before the Templars find them. For a price, of course.
First Enchanter Orsino
"Blood magic, where do you NOT see blood magic? My people cannot sneeze without you accusing us of corruption!"
The First Enchanter of the Kirkwall Circle of Magi.
- Ambiguously Evil: Orsino was clearly involved in some pretty shady stuff, like working with Quentin, harboring blood mages, and being one himself. However, his motives as well his exact actions are left so ambiguous that it's hard to really put a label on him.
- The Archmage: One of the youngest First Enchanters in the history of the Kirkwall Circle.
- Badass Bookworm: You don't get to be First Enchanter without being one of these.
- Blood Magic: He resorts to it in the endgame after the casualties pile too high for him to bear.
- Broken Pedestal: May become one to Bethany if she joins the Circle and Hawke takes the Templar path. She's still horrified at having to kill him, and blames Meredith for driving him into a corner. If you side with the mages, he only briefly mentions Quentin and Bethany's reaction is much shorter.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Concept artist Matt Rhodes went full-on "Disney villain" in his design to contrast Meredith's "heroic" look. "He looks like a vampire but is a pretty nice guy."
- Despair Event Horizon: He reaches it in the mage endgame when most of his mages get killed.
Orsino: Why don't they just drown us as infants? Why wait? Why give us the illusion of hope?
- Detachment Combat: In his Harvester form
- Dirty Old Man: Hints of this if the right dialogue is chosen.
Hawke: So I shouldn't slit my wrists and dance naked under the moonlight just to fit in?
Orsino: Well, if that's what you intend, perhaps I'll join you after all.
- A Father to His Men: Deconstructed. His willingness to protect his charges from Templar scrutiny means he is more likely to let transgressions slide. Then again, his opposite number in the Templars is Meredith...and when he sees so many of them die, he snaps and turns himself into a monster.
- Foe Yay: Silly!Hawke can call him and Meredith on it.
Hawke: The way you two carry on, people will talk.
- Foreshadowing: Hawke assumes his face in Feynriel's "Pride" dream before you meet him in person.
- In the lair of Quentin, you find letters for him about getting him reference materials signed "O", meaning that Orsino is at least partly responsible for killing Hawke's mother.
- His Staff of Violation has a three-headed snake/dragon motif. A similar design is seen in the form of statues scattered throughout a Blood Mage hideout in Origins, plus one under Vigil's Keep in Awakening.
- He Who Fights Monsters / Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: After suffering a Despair Event Horizon at all the dead Mages
- Laughing Mad: In the Templar ending.
- One-Man Army: The man annihilates a platoon of Qunari by himself at the end of Act II.
- One-Winged Angel: He turns himself into a Harvester.
- The Rival: To Meredith
- Schrödinger's Gun: In the mage ending, he offhandedly admits that he indeed knew of Quentin's experiments, but is clearly repulsed by them and only used Quentin's findings to turn into a Harvester out of desperation. In the Templar ending, he is much more forthcoming when admitting the connection between himself and Quentin, claiming he kept the killer's existence a secret in order to avoid provoking Meredith and adding to the anti-mage fervor. It's possible a sense of guilt led him to downplay his involvement in the mage ending, while his anger and slipping sanity in the Templar ending resulted in a more embittered account.
- Silver Fox: He's fairly easy on the eyes before he turns into a Harvester.
- Stupid Sacrifice: Going One-Winged Angel in the Mage path just meant the Champion had to waste time killing him.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: If you side with him in the end, he all but says this trope's name aloud right before using blood magic to turn into a Harvester.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Orsino is introduced to the player at the tail end of Act II and only has a handful of scenes in Act III. Prior to that, he's not even mentioned, except in Feynriel's Fade dream.
- We Need a Distraction: His plan during the Act II climax, in his own words. If Hawke chooses his side, he draws enemy attention and leaves fewer mooks to stand in your way.
- Younger than They Look: Apparently the youngest First Enchanter elected in the history of the Circle. Either all the rest of them were tremendously old upon assuming their positions, or contending with Meredith has really aged him.
"I have done the impossible. I have touched the face of the Maker and lived."
A maleficar Serial Killer
who preys on Kirkwall's female populace.
- Ax-Crazy: One look at his absolutely demented expression should be enough to tell you the kind of guy this man is.
- Blood Magic: A very unique and unsettling use of it compared to most, since his plan is to revive his dead wife by killing women and magically sew them together into a new body for her soul to possess.
- Calling Card: Prior to kidnapping his victim, he sends them a bouquet of white lilies.
- Chekhov's Gunman:
- Quentin's handiwork is the subject of an early sidequest.
- Chekhov's Boomerang: In the endgame, it's not only revealed that Quentin and Orsino worked together in some capacity, but Orsino uses Quentin's magic to go One-Winged Angel.
- The Dragon: To Orsino...sort of. Maybe. It's complicated.
- A God Am I: Listen to his rant when Hawke catches up to him. He's got delusions of grandeur up the wazoo.
- Ignored Epiphany: During a Codex entry written by Quentin, he wonders if he is doing the right thing and if he should just surrender and be killed when someone inevitably finds him. He brushes it off, figuring he already too far gone and if he was doing the wrong thing, the Maker would have smote him long ago.
- Love Makes You A Crazy And Evil Sorcerer: He clearly misses his wife and lover her dearly, but his grief turned him into a murderer willing to pervert life itself to bring her back.
- Mad Scientist: In his lair, you can find notes scattered about detailing his research and experimentation.
- Necromantic: As if being a mere Necromancer wasn't enough, he's willing to spend the rest of his life with a zombie version of his wife.
- We Can Rule Together: To Gascard. You can convince him to not accept, though Varric won't let him make a choice.
An apostate who escaped from the Starkhaven Circle thanks to her blood mage lover - who Hawke kills shortly before meeting her. Surely that won't sour the relationship...
- Blood Magic: Early on she claims she doesn't practice it, but in Act 3 she gives up the act and uses it to turn into an Abomination.
- Irrational Hatred: Of Hawke, should Hawke let her go at the end of the "Act of Mercy" quest she still shows up and kidnaps someone close to Hawke, refusing to let them then go and tries to kill Hawke. Part of this is due to her blaming Hawke for killing Decimus (despite it being self-defence) and her failure to escape the Templars.
- Love Makes You Evil: Again, she was faking the opposite of this the first time Hawke meets her.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: If you insist on taking her back to the Circle, she reluctantly tells her fellow escapees to stand down rather than throw their lives away.
- Obviously Evil: Let us count the ways. A crazed Blood Mage who forces Hawke to kill him was her lover. She immediately asks you to murder one of the only decent Templars around so she can escape. Despite your best efforts to help her escape, she gets herself caught and bitterly blames Hawke for it when you meet her in the Gallows. Surely there's no way this can possibly come back to haunt you?
- Revenge by Proxy:: She never forgives Hawke for Decimus's death, and attempts this with a hostage Hawke cares about.
- Tattooed Crook: Inked and untrustworthy.
- Ungrateful Bastard: She somehow convinces herself that her own failure to escape the Templars is Hawke's fault.
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- If you hand her over to the Templars.
- Invokes this if Hawke is a Mage, accusing them of being a Templar puppet and betraying their own kind. Hawke can counter that they're not the one using blood magic to murder people.
An "apostitute" who works at the Blooming Rose.
"You don't know what it's like! We're locked in our cells all day, no light, no air! The Templars...ask things of us."
A hapless apostate from Starkhaven who seems to end up in the worst situations regularly.
- Blood Magic: He's got some at least, judging by how he wakes up a hostage held under a spell later in the game. He never uses it to summon demons or attack others like the others as far as we can tell though.
- Butt Monkey: Seriously, this guy is a pretty benign mage, but he always ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time. He gets involved in an escape from the Starkhaven Circle, only to panic and turn himself in when Decimus uses blood magic. After six years of abuse in the Gallows, he latches onto Thrask's plan out of desperation, only for that to blow up in his face as well. And after all that, Hawke can still sell the poor guy out to Cullen.
- Rape as Drama: If you let Ser Karras live in Act I, some lines in Act II imply he's sexually abusing Alain and threatening to make him Tranquil if he tells anyone. If you kill Karras, the above quote from "Best Served Cold" still doesn't change.
- Token Good Teammate: Of the apostate group that Decimus and Grace lead.
A half-elven boy who's been dodging the attention of the Circle even as his magical powers grow harder and harder to disguise, making him the target of the Kirkwall Templars... and a gang of slavers... and several demons
The Keeper of the Sabrae clan, newly settled by Sundermount to flee the Blight in Ferelden. The Dalish Warden of the first game came from her clan, as did the unfortunate Tamlen.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: Claims to have been aware of Hawke's arrival in Kirkwall long in advance. Of course, it's entirely possible that Flemeth informed her that she'd be sending someone during the Noodle Incident which caused Marethari to have an undisclosed debt to her.
- Figure It Out Yourself: When it comes to Merrill, she expects Hawke to do what she would do without properly informing her/him of the truth behind the Eluvian.
- Hope Spot: Do enough damage to the pride demon and Marethari will turn back to normal, expressing disbelief that the party decided to Take a Third Option by simply being strong enough to kill the demon itself. This is a lie and falling for it will result in the fight resuming and Merrill getting stabbed for letting her guard down.
- Idiot Ball: Yes, she's a wise and benevolent leader for the Dalish, but in Act III it's revealed that she knew that a demon was manipulating Merrill into trying to restore the Eluvian and, no, it never occurred to her to explain it. Doubles up as an Out of Character moment when you consider how much unrelated stuff she does share with Hawke.
- Although, she doesn't share this with Hawke either. If she simply explained to Hawke why she wants to keep Merrill out of harm's way, it'd have been nipped in the bud very early on. While you could argue that she might not have trusted Hawke as a Shemlen, you'd think that after befriending Merrill, sending Feynriel to the Dalish in Act I and after "Night Terrors" in Act II, she'd realise that Hawke is a friend to the Dalish.
- Team Mom: To the whole clan, especially Merrill.
The head maleficar in the quest "Enemies Among Us"
A Tevinter mage in training and Fenris's sister, who is working for Danarius in order to recapture him
- Armor Piercing Lecture: To her brother if she survives, regarding how he fought for the lyrium markings and wanted them, in direct opposition to how he's regarded them for the entire game.
- Deal with the Devil: Not literally (for once) - Danarius offered her an escape from whatever "free" elves live with in the Imperium. All she had to do was lure her brother into a trap.
- Killed Off for Real: A possible ending.
- Long Lost Sibling: Fenris's sister.
"I am here to satisfy a demand you cannot understand."
The leader of the Qunari army. He appeared in the "Destiny" trailer as Hawke's opponent.
- Anti-Villain: Firmly a Well-Intentioned Extremist. The Arishok spends majority of the game bothering no one. He and his Qunari occupy a district for three years simply to retrieve back an artifact Isabela stole from them. It's not until extremists provoke him one too many times that he finally lashes back.
- Badass: If you pay attention in the extended version of the Destiny trailer, you can see that the staircase behind the Arishok is literally carpeted with all the guards that he had to fight through, apparently alone and without suffering so much as a scratch.
- Dual Wielding: Dual-wields a longsword and an ax.
- Duel Boss: Hawke can choose to challenge him to a Combat by Champion. Either that or fight him and his guards with your party members.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Arishok is not his name, it is his title/rank. Qunari names are more akin to social security numbers, and they go by their titles in everyday life.
- Foregone Conclusion: The Destiny trailer reveals that you'll have to fight him.
- Honesty Is the Best Policy: One way to gain his respect is by being honest with him and not lying or trying to cover up things. He himself makes no effort to hide how he feels about the city and its people, and that its corruption may force him to make a drastic change. Although, he doesn't reveal the real reason they've arrived is to reclaim the relic Isabela stole.
- Knight Templar: In a sense, but not the same as the rest of them. Every day he's in Kirkwall he sees the corruption, depravity, weakness, chaos, and foolishness that spits in the face of the Qun. Eventually he decides to do something about it.
- Lawful Stupid: He even cops to it if you call him out.
- Lightning Bruiser: The guy is big, he hits hard, and he hits fast.
- Marathon Boss: He also has plenty of HP and health potions. If you duel him, prepare for a slog on anything above Easy.
- Never Trust a Trailer: The Arishok is featured extensively in all marketing for the game, making it seem as if he's the Big Bad. While important to the story, he has nothing to do with the game's final act.
- Not So Different: Combined with Worthy Opponent, this is very explicitly spelled out as the relationship between him and Hawke. Even if you don't get the achievement and his respect, he still acknowledges this.
- Not So Stoic: Generally acts calm and reserved, beneath which lies a terrible rage that really shows when unbridled.
- Obviously Evil: Deconstructed. Almost everybody hates the Qunari and makes them out to be monsters because of their reputation for being militaristic heathens. Because of this, the Arishok and his followers get the blame for almost everything from destroying culture to deception and murder, no matter how much the Arishok tries to make it clear that converting Kirkwall to the Qun is the last thing on his mind. Well, until he decides he's taken enough crap from Kirkwall and launches a full-scale invasion, thus turning him into the antagonist many accused him of being.
- One-Handed Zweihänder: He dual-wields a claymore and a two-handed battleaxe; not that surprising given he's pretty darn huge even by qunari standards. Interestingly, his in-game model is a Rogue rather than a Warrior - by his standards, his weapons are daggers.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Implied and then outright stated to everyone, the only person in Kirkwall he believes is worthy enough to defeat him is Hawke.
- Orcus on His Throne: For three years he and his people mostly keep to themselves in their corner of the docks. He turns out to be a subversion, as he spent most of the four years he was stuck in Kirkwall searching for the relic Isabela stole and on the side, planning his takeover after he became fed up with the corruption of the city.
"Ketojan" is the name given to a Saarebas, a Qunari mage, by Sister Petrice.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: If you slay the Arvaarad, he will commit suicide rather than risk the possibility that he has been corrupted by demons, as is demanded by the Qun.
- Blood Magic: Not outright stated, but the "precious thing" he gives Hawke before he immolates himself is a Blood Magic boosting accessory.
- Eye Scream: The blood stains on his mask imply something... unpleasant.
- Though averted if you look closely; he does still have eyes behind his mask.
- Body Horror: His lips are sewn shut and sealed through some sort of magic.
I know what I am. I don't need to belabor it.
A minor character and Tal'Vashoth, Maraas leaves the Qun to take up life as a mercenary.
Lord Viscount Marlowe Dumar
"I am losing my sense of how to balance this nightmare."
The Viscount of Kirkwall is appointed after the death of Lord Viscount Perrin Threnhold at the hands of the Templars. During his reign, the Templar Order has grown extremely powerful in Kirkwall, and have become the center of Chantry strength in eastern Thedas, holding their Circle of Magi in a terrifying, iron grip.
- Apparently Powerless Puppetmaster: He starts out as this...
- Authority in Name Only: ...then gets reduced to this. See below.
- Big Good: In Act II.
- Decapitation Presentation: The Arishok calmly throws his severed head down a flight of stairs.
- Despair Event Horizon: He crosses it when Saemus dies. Sadly, he never recovers, leaving the city vulnerable to the Qunari. "What hope for this city, when we fail our own so completely?"
- Killed Off for Real: He is killed during the Qunari invasion of Kirkwall. May also count as Oh, and X Dies given that the Destiny trailer and the introductory sequence both strongly indicate it.
- Our Viscounts Are Different: Viscount Focus Group, mainly. Also Viscount Personable and Viscount Target.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Along with the Grand Cleric, Dumar is one of the few politically powerful players (for a given definition of powerful) in Kirkwall who doesn't seem bent on starting a full-scale war.
- Slave to PR: A good man at heart, but afraid of taking any decisive action for fear of assassination by one of the extremist Kirkwall factions.
- Trailers Always Spoil: The Destiny trailer shows him being killed by the Arishok.
- Trauma Conga Line: Not as much as some of the other characters, but he gets one. He's powerless to do anything about problems he knows full well are coming but is still held responsible for them, his son runs away to join the Qunari, is rescued, then kidnapped again and murdered by a Chantry priestess to provoke a war with the Qunari, and when that war finally happens, he gets executed by the Arishok even though he had little if anything to do with it. His life more or less goes downhill from the start of the game onwards.
The son of the viscount, Seamus is rebellious and idealistic in his political views. He is also very sympathetic to the Qunari, making him something of a controversial figure.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: Nonetheless, in conversations with him it's clear that Dumar loves his son despite their disagreements.
"Aveline? You're a beautiful sight. I mean, uh, I was on patrol and they came out of nowhere..."
A member of the Kirkwall city guard. Aveline's Love Interest
and potential second husband, starting in Act II.
- Aloof Ally: Donnic and Hawke's relationship, implied to be due to tension caused by Hawke being the "other wo/man" in Aveline's life. Even if Hawke indicates in dialogue s/he thinks of Donnic highly, Act III indicates the two never became close friends or socialise with each other unless it's via Aveline.
- Likewise, he will only join in the final battle at your side if Aveline is present.
- Amazon Chaser: Self-described; he clearly has the hots for Aveline from his very first appearance, and he explicitly states when he thinks Lady Hawke is hitting on him that he prefers women with "backbone."
- On the other hand, Donnic will think a male Hawke is trying to use him as a go between/matchmaker to Aveline and states that he doesn't like someone without backbone... when in fact Aveline was the one who's trying to do exactly that!
- Badass: As the situation in Kirkwall has deteriorated, by Act III, Donnic's patrols are frequently ambushed, leaving him fighting for his life at least twice a week! Donnic then mentions that he actually asked for the most dangerous patrols, since as one of most capable fighters, they'd lose a lot more guards if he wasn't there!
- Badass Normal: As normal as the setting gets; no magic, no legendary weapons and armor, only as much martial training as Aveline introduces to the guard, and faces throngs of gangsters on what he considers to be a good day. He gets a Distressed Dude moment when Aveline rescues him in Act I, but after that he's a dedicated asskicker.
- He helps out in the Final Battle, if Aveline is in your active party.
Varric's brother, who leads an expedition to the Deep Roads that Hawke joins as a partner.
- Ambition Is Evil: Compare his behavior to that of his brother, who is content to hang out in the Hanged Man all day with a drink, some cards, and a few friends.
- Ax-Crazy: In Act II, as a result of the Lyrium Idol.
- Bad Boss: He punches a henchman who gives him bad news.
- Cain to Varric's Abel
- Foreshadowing: He's essentially a look at things to come with Meredith.
- Impoverished Patrician: Unlike Varric, who was born on the surface (and is extremely happy there), Bartrand was born in Orzammar before House Tethras was exiled in disgrace. Having grown up in such a Deadly Decadent Court, it goes a long way to explain why he's such an arrogant jerk. It's also mostly his job to deal with the Merchant Guilds, which Varric says would make anyone a paranoid asshole.
- Jerkass: His introduction ends with him insulting Hawke, insults Leandra before the Deep Roads Expedition sets off and his reaction to being told that a cave-in has blocked their path, is to punch the Scout in the face.
- Kick the Dog: If he was bad before, he only gets worse after he takes the Idol, where his first act is to lock his own brother and business partner in the Thaig. He also murders half of his henchmen in insane experiments, by force feeding them Lyrium.
- My God, What Have I Done?: If Anders comes along on the "Family Matters" quest and temporarily snaps him out of his insanity, Bartrand is horrified at what he's done and asks Varric to ensure that House Tethras doesn't fall with him.
- Self-Made Man: Took ever the Tethras family business after the death of their father.
- Villainous Breakdown: Due to becoming obsessed with the Idol.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity / Sanity Slippage: The idol that he takes drives him horribly insane, yet gives him unusual powers.
"We stand upon the precipice of change. The world fears the inevitable plummet into the abyss. Watch for that moment... and when it comes, do not hesitate to leap. It is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly."
A returning character from Origins
, who rescues the Hawkes from darkspawn in Lothering, and asks them to deliver a package to the Dalish for her in exchange. Voiced by Kate Mulgrew.
- Evil Matriarch:
Flemeth: [Morrigan] is a girl who thinks she knows what is what better than I, or anyone. Ha ha! And why not? I raised her to be as she is, I cannot expect her to be less.
Hawke: I'm not sure whether she's your daughter or your enemy.
Flemeth: Neither is she...
- Foe Yay: In-universe, she admits she really enjoys dealing with Snarky!Hawke;
Flemeth: Oh you I like!
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: It's possible that she was playing this straight with the Warden-Commander in Origins, where she appeared as a harmless old woman, but the two forms Hawke sees are both pretty scary. She even does a bit of Lampshade Hanging after Hawke assumes that the badass witch-queen version is her Shapeshifter Default Form.
- Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have: Her character model certainly got in upgrade from crazy old wild woman, though she still does look old. May just be an art upgrade coupled with actually taking care of hair.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: We still know absolutely nothing about what her overall goal is.
- Horned Hairdo: Her hair is wrapped up into a set of horns. Dragonish looking ones.
- Humanoid Abomination:
- Explicitly stated when she appears. Aveline describes her as a "Witch of the Wilds", and Bethany muses that she's an apostate, but anyone who's played Witch Hunt will know that she's neither. Fenris also notes that he has seen many blood mages, demons, and abominations while in Tevinter... but Flemeth is none of those things.
- Even Anders is immediately tuned into the fact that she is neither abomination, demon, or mage, and the man shares a mind and memories of a spirit who has been around for Maker only knows how long. That's really saying something.
- Inexplicably Awesome: So far, anyway. No one, including her own daughter, has a clear answer to the question "What the heck is she?"
- Hyper Awareness: Flemeth's cryptic dialogue implies that, much like the Warden before them, she is perfectly aware of Hawke's destiny and their role in shaping the face of Thedas forever.
Flemeth: Is it chance...or fate? I can never decide...
- I Have Many Names: She says this to Hawke after being asked who she is. One of the names she lists is "an old hag who talks too much."
- If I Wanted You Dead...: "Let me? If I wished you harm, I daresay you could not stop me."
- I Gave My Word: The reason Hawke kept his/her promise to give the Amulet to the Dalish Elves, since they owed her a favour. Flemeth appears to be pleasantly surprised by this, having half-expected Hawke to simply flog it to the first merchant they saw.
Snarky!Hawke: No one wanted to buy it. Maybe because there was a witch inside?
- Memetic Badass: In-universe. The Dalish Elves know that if Asha'bellanar summons you, there's no question about it, you go. May the Creators help you if you at all keep her waiting or attempt to screw her around.
- Me's a Crowd: We only see one of her at a time, but she considers bodies "limiting things" and says "must I be in only one place?" Considering the number of people who want to kill her, this is a good idea.
- Pet the Dog: Her interaction with Hawke. Dialogue with Marethari and Merrill implies that she's slightly more inclined to give these moments to the Dalish, due to them having the correct amount of fear and respect towards her.
- Pragmatic Villainy: When Aveline mentions the legends claim that the Witch of the Wilds steals children.
Flemeth: Bah! As if I didn't have anything better to do!
- Staying Alive: Morrigan makes it quite apparent in the first game that Flemeth was not killed by the Warden. It turns out she kept a contingency via the amulet she gave to Hawke.
- Stop Worshipping Me: Although she commands a lot of respect and fear amongst the Dalish, she makes a point to let Merrill know she doesn't have to keep bowing before her. She even chastises the Dalish for bending their knees too willingly.
- Supernatural Gold Eyes: Despite her new form, she retains them.
- Sequel Hook: Literally everything about Flemeth, her origins, her plans, her motives, and where the hell she went goes unexplained, despite considerable lead up in dialogue during the Witch Hunt DLC. Her obviously immense power and the sheer amount of knowledge she carries imply her goals and motives are vastly more complicated then we've seen so far, all clearly leading up to something...but what, exactly, that is has yet to be revealed.
- Trickster Mentor: Exhibits some of the traits of this trope, particularly in her advice for Hawke, Bethany/Carver, and Merrill.
- Villainous Rescue: How she saves both the Warden and Hawke.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: In both Origins and II, she can be seen turning into a High Dragon. Although she will point out to a snarky Hawke that for all he/she knows she really is a dragon and the old woman is the shifted form.
- What the Hell Are You?: Fenris has this reaction, saying that he has met many abominations, demons and blood mages before - but she is none of those things. Anders is more worried that Justice has no idea what she is either.
A living corpse with a loud, echoing voice hidden in the underbelly of Kirkwall. He is the mysterious merchant who runs The Black Emporium, which houses many powerful but expensive items. One of its most important features is providing easy access to rare items, such as Maker's Sigh. Voiced by Nicholas Boulton.