Characters: Dragon Age: Origins – Non-Playable Characters
NPCs from Dragon Age: Origins
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"From here, you two are on your own. Remember, you are both Grey Wardens. I expect you to be worthy of that title."
Voiced by: Peter Reneday
The Warden-Commander responding to the growing threat in Ferelden and Team Dad
to Alistair, Duncan is the one who recruits the PC. He has been a Grey Warden for quite a while now and commands great respect. He also seems to have connections everywhere in Ferelden.
- Ambiguously Brown: Word of God is that his father was Fereldan and his mother a Rivaini.
- Apologetic Attacker: Tells Jory "I'm sorry" even as he guts him like a fish.
- Badass: You know that giant ogre that you fight as one of the first few bosses?, the one that it takes a party of four to take down?, Duncan takes down one of those solo. While suffering from some broken ribs and possibly internal bleeding after being smacked across the battlefield by said Ogre.
- Badass Beard: Merrill lampshades it in Dragon Age II, remembering thinking a squirrel had attached itself to his chin.
- But Thou Must: Thanks to the Right of Conscription, you can't refuse being a Grey Warden. Tough titty if you don't want to be one.
- The Chooser of The One: No matter your Origin, he will pick you to be a Grey Warden.
- Cool Old Guy: Even Daveth admits it.
Daveth: Alright for an old bugger. He's faster than he looks, too.
- Death by Origin Story: Inevitably he dies at Ostagar.
- Defiant to the End: Mortally wounded, he still manages to perform a flying take-down of an Ogre and his reaction to the Hurlock charging at him with an axe is to throw it a withering Death Glare. Even in death, Duncan is a badass.
- A Father to His Men: According to Riordan, Duncan couldn't help having a soft spot for his recruits.
- For Want of a Nail: He IS the nail that determines which playable character ends up as the Grey Warden.
- From a Certain Point of View: He tells the Dalish elf that there's nothing s/he can do for Tamlen. This is true, but you find out only near the endgame, where you encounter a very much alive Tamlen trying to resist his transformation into a shriek. You only assumed that he was dead.
- Good Is Not Nice: While he does seem cold and detached, he makes it clear he will do anything to save Ferelden from the Blight and saves your life in most of the origins. That doesn't mean he won't withhold information concerning the lethality of the Joining or stab Jory when he panics and tries to back out. While Jory had indeed drawn his sword, he did so while backing away from Duncan. Duncan is nicely summed up by the Warden when discussing him with Alistair.
- I Did What I Had to Do: He's quite open about his subscription to the policy of "the Grey Wardens do what they must." Poor, stupid Jory.
- Never Found the Body: Word of God is that he's dead, but the Warden never found his body during Return to Ostagar.
- Parental Substitute: For Alistair.
- The Obi-Wan: For you in particular. Best shown in the Human Noble origin where he's able to fight his way through Howe's men to a dying Bryce Cousland all by himself.
- Obi-Wan Moment: He closes his eyes before he is killed by a Darkspawn in Ostagar.
- Recruiters Always Lie: Not directly, but withholding vital, very unpleasant information about the Wardens is a low blow.
- Satisfied Street Rat: When he was younger.
- Schrödinger's Gun: No matter what origin you get, you get recruited into the Grey Wardens by the same guy. Each origin displays that the only reason your chosen Warden is The Hero is because Duncan happened to be recruiting in your area. The five other possibilities are left to suffer their fates.
- Screw You, Elves!: Well, screw you dwarves, but yes. Delivers a rather stealth one in the Dwarf Commoner Origin, after the entire Proving Arena erupts in outrage that a mere Casteless with no formal training had just beaten veterans of countless Darkspawn campaigns. Duncan politely questions that wasn't the entire point of the Proving to find the best warrior in Orzammar?
Proving Master: This wo/man is no Warrior, they are Casteless! Rejected by the Ancestors, his/her very footsteps pollute the Stone! S/he has no place here!
Duncan: Except as your Champion...
- The Stoic:
- Duncan seldom ever shows emotion, and remains cool and aloof for the entire time you're associated with him. Alistair says that Duncan does let his hair down with other Wardens, however.
- Certain humorous dialogue options when talking to him will occasionally make him chuckle, such as the Warden's comment that before the Joining and Battle of Ostagar, some dinner might be nice first.
- In the magi origin, you can also get him to rather ardently claim that he wishes the Chantry would see the potential that mages had to help against the Darkspawn. This is the closest he gets to a Not So Stoic moment.
- Team Dad: To all his recruits, but particularly Alistair.
"It warms my heart to see such courage."
Voiced by: Stephane Cornicord
A Grey Warden from Orlais, Riordan has known Duncan for a while.
- Black Speech: As a Senior Warden, he's capable of understanding the Archdemon and is able to "listen in" to spy on the horde. It's implied the Archdemon may have become aware of this, and deliberately leads Riordan to believe the horde plans to attack Recliffe when the real target is Denerim.
- Combat Pragmatist: A pragmatic strategist, more like it. Despite the torture to which he was subjected, he's willing to recruit Loghain as a Grey Warden.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Attempts to perform a flying takedown of the Archdemon with a Blade Brake. While his attack ultimately doesn't kill the Archdemon, he does manage to cripple it badly enough that it's forced to land.
- Eleventh Hour Ranger: Shows up quite late into the game and gets killed off just as the finale really gets going to make it more dramatic.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Inevitably.
- Obi-Wan Moment: Which is his Dying Moment of Awesome, by the way.
- Supporting Leader: When he tries to go beyond this and kill the Archdemon himself, he suffers a Disney Villain Death despite being a good guy. He does manage to force the dragon into a fight the PC has a chance of winning, however.
- Suicide by Cop: With his Calling swiftly drawing near, his rather foolish decision to perform a flying takedown of the Archdemon may have been born out a desire to die as a hero, with his humanity fully intact and partaking in one last glorious battle, instead of just one more anonymous corpse to be forgotten in the Deep Roads.
- Taking You with Me: Has no problem with being the one to sacrifice their life to slay the Archdemon, particularly since he's already rapidly approaching his Calling.
- Violation of Common Sense: He splits with the other Wardens and goes on his own to a high point. From there, he jumps onto a flying dragon in a city full of ballistae and an entire army. Was there no other way to bring the Archdemon down?
- Your Days Are Numbered: Admits that he's rapidly approaching his Calling.
"There is no glory in this!"
Voiced by: Mark Healy
A warrior of Redcliffe, whom Duncan met in Highever. He was recruited into the Grey Wardens alongside the PC. He is a nice guy, but he suffers from mild cowardice.
"Maybe you'll die. Maybe we'll all die. One thing's for sure: everyone will die if nobody stops the darkspawn."
Voiced by: James Daniel Wilson
An ex-cutpurse who was conscripted by Duncan to escape execution for his crimes. One of the three Grey Warden recruits, alongside the PC.
"So the Maker told you that, did he? Short-sighted men have forbidden my research, not any god. Enough."
Voiced by: Martin Jarvis
A Grey Warden under the command of Sophia Dryden, Avernus tried to help her defend Soldier's Peak, the Fereldan headquarters of the Wardens, from a siege by the merciless King Arland two hundred years before the events of the game. His experiments with blood magic and resistance to the taint have enabled him to extend his lifetime far beyond its normal length, but his dealings with Fade demons had terrible repercussions for his Warden brethren.
- Age Without Youth: A combination of the taint and blood magic has extended his life by centuries, though he mentions that he will not live much longer when he is met.
- The Atoner: A dark take, considering that all he did was for the purpose of closing the rift in the Veil.
- Bald of Evil: Bald due to his age, but how evil he is will be up to the Warden.
- Blood Magic: Used to keep him alive so long.
- Enemy Mine: If you intend to kill him for his experiments and demon summoning, you can make it clear that you are only allied wih him until all the demons are banished from Soldier's Peak.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: As he finds out when summoning a lot of demons.
- Evil Sorcerer: Anti-Villain variety.
- Face Death with Dignity: He'll accept your killing him as justice or vengeance.
- Flat Earth Atheist: Disagrees with blood magic's immorality, claiming that men banned it, not a god.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Looks pretty normal in the flashbacks, although that was over two centuries ago.
- Mad Scientist: Conducted experiments on his fellow Grey Wardens in order to increase the power of the Warden's blood taint.
- Morality Chain: The Warden can become one for him, sparing his life and allowing him to continue his experiments, under the provision that they be conducted in an ethical manner. If so, it's revealed in Dragon Age II that he keeps his end of the bargain and has made several breakthroughs in the intervening years.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Tore the Veil, leading to everyone at Soldier's Peak (except himself) being killed by demons, instead of by King Arland's soldiers.
- Pet the Dog: His interactions with Levi, apologising for not having any proof for him of his grandmother's heroics.
- Pride: His major flaw. One of the demons he summons even takes him to task for foolishly believing himself powerful enough to control them, having simply manipulated him into getting them across the Veil.
- Really 700 Years Old: He's over 200 years old by the time of the game.
- Tell Me About My Father: He provides some exposition to Levi about Sophia's heroism. He also has additional dialogue with the Human Noble, mentioning that several members of the Cousland family were executed by King Arland for taking part in the rebellion.
- Undying Loyalty: While he has no love for the demon now wearing her face, he nonetheless continues to hold Sophia Dryden's memory in high esteem, and makes it clear to Levi that even though she was forced to do some questionable things near the end, she was the hero his family believe her to be.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He did what he did to fight against a tyrant.
"I will inspire the Wardens, and Arland will rue the day he spared my life."
Voiced by: Stephanie Wolfe
Commander of the Grey Wardens roughly two hundred years before the events of the game. Sophia was a noblewoman who was a rival with King Arland for the throne; he intended to execute her, but her popularity with her fellow nobles made it a risky prospect so he sentenced her to become a Grey Warden instead. Charismatic, intelligent, and ruthless when necessary, she rose quickly through the ranks to the top post, then led the Wardens in an effort to oust the tyrannical Arland. She and many of her men died when Soldier's Peak was besieged.
- Action Girl: Leader of the Grey Warden's of Soldier's Peak against King Arland.
- Action Mom: Implied; since she is Levi Dryden's great-great-grandmother, she must have had at least one son.
- Ambiguous Situation: Was she merely possessed, or did she make a deal with the demon?
- Broken Pedestal: Levi ultimately comes to see Sophia as less heroic than he thought.
- Combat Pragmatist: As is typical for a Grey Warden, since they're permitted to use any advantage in battle.
- Good Is Not Nice: Willingly allowed Avernus to summon demons.
- Magnetic Hero: Very charismatic, enough to inspire her Wardens to defy their usual neutrality and rebel against the king.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Summoning demons to help stave off King Arland's men, only to find that it hastened her own men's demise as the demons swiftly turned on them next. Likewise, due to leading said failed rebellion against King Arland, the Grey Wardens were exiled from Ferelden for the next two hundred years. As of the time of the game, they've only been allowed back in the country for about twenty years.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: King Arland intended to execute her, but her popularity with the nobles meant she was sentenced to join the Wardens. Unfortunately, the Joining didn't kill her as he'd hoped and she ended up becoming Warden-Commander, eventually leading the Wardens and Fereldan forces in a rebellion against him.
- The Paragon Always Rebels: Avernus describes her as the best of the Grey Wardens in Ferelden. She was "brave, charismatic, fiery" but dragged most of her Wardens down with her when their rebellion failed.
- Posthumous Character: Sophia herself is long dead. Her corpse is animated by a demon.
- Rebel Leader: Lead a rebellion against Arland when he proved to be mad.
- Rousing Speech: In one of the ghostly flashbacks, she's seen giving a beauty to her starving men, urging them not to give up.
- Spell My Name with a "The" / Third-Person Person: The demon in her body refers to itself as "This One" and its host as "The Dryden".
- The Undead: Her corpse is possessed by an unspecified demon, possibly Desire or Pride.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: She did what she had to do to fight against a tyrant.
Teyrn Loghain Mac Tir
Voiced by: Simon Templeman
A hero throughout Ferelden, Loghain is the general of the army brought to fight the Darkspawn at Ostagar. His plans, however, are a little different from what King Cailan expects.
- All There in the Manual: His character is much, much better understood once one has read The Stolen Throne and The Calling.
- Anti-Villain: He's not nearly as one-dimensionally evil as he seems at first. In his mind, he's a Well-Intentioned Extremist with most of his actions being Necessarily Evil in order to protect Ferelden, the country he loves and has served all his life.
- The Atoner:
- Base Breaker: A textbook in-universe example. The country is deeply divided on the subject of his character and his stewardship of Ferelden. Many find it difficult to reconcile the hero who helped free them from oppression from the despot whose corrupt regime has created so much injustice in the land.
- Berserk Button: Take Loghain with you to Ostagar in the Return to Ostagar DLC, and he blows up when he reads those letters between Cailan and the Orlesian Empress Celene, which seem to indicate that he was going to dump Anora to marry Celene to unite Ferelden with Orlais. The dialogue between him and Wynne becomes even more heated, especially when Wynne's arguments become weak, realizing that the Strawman Has a Point.
Loghain: [roaring] The cheating bastard!!!
Wynne: Watch your mouth, Loghain Mac Tir, unless you have forgotten the company you now keep!
Loghain: It's not my company I worry about, madam, but my former son-in-law's! Do you see the familiar tone with which the empress writes him, as if my daughter were not already his wife?
Wynne: Cailan loved Anora with every ounce of his heart. It was plain for all to see. The only thing that ever stood between them was you.
Loghain: Are you blind, old woman? The plot is plain as day within this letter! Love or no, Cailan was going to cast my daughter aside and wed himself to that bitch, Celene. In a single vow, Orlais would claim all that they could never win by war! And what would Ferelden gain? Our fool of a king could strut about and call himself an emperor.
Wynne: And what of peace? Would it not bring us that, at least?
Loghain: Peace? I would have thought your age might have granted more wisdom, madam. Peace just means fighting someone else's enemies in someone else's war for someone else's reasons.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Loghain would be a legitimate Big Bad if the Archdemon wasn't in the game; as it is, he's a genuine threat, but not the main one.
- Co-Dragons: Howe and Cauthrien are this to him.
- Cool Old Guy: He mellows into one if he's still alive during Awakening.
- Deadpan Snarker: Not surprising, considering that many of the nobles resent the fact that a farmer's son was elevated above them all.
- Devil in Plain Sight: The first minute you lay eyes on this guy, you just know he's up to no good, but no one else sees it.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Whether being executed or killing the Archdemon, you're always reminded the man was and still can be a hero.
- Easily Forgiven: Subverted. If you spare him, Alistair leaves the party and Loghain refuses to believe that you spared him out of mercy.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Black hair, almost sickly pale skin... no wonder some fans suggested Alan Rickman as a possible live-action candidate.
- Eleventh Hour Ranger: If he joins your party. Unfortunately, by the time he's a part of your team, you have precious little time to spend with him.
- Enemy Mine: Subverted. To be of use to the Wardens, Loghain must become one himself.
- Et Tu, Brute?: Even though his support erodes by the moment, Loghain is defiant throughout the Landsmeet. But when Anora speaks out against him, it seems to take the wind out of his sails momentarily.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: He's fully aware his daughter is the one running the show, his handpicked lieutenant (and leader of his elites) is Cauthrien, and he knows the female Warden belongs at Ostagar. His attitude towards elves is hazier, though he's personally witnessed Dalish archery.
You're pretty for a Grey Warden. Don't let anyone tell you that you don't belong. The first Warden Maric brought to Ferelden was a woman. Best warrior I've ever seen.
- Evil Plan: One that is spectacularly thwarted at every turn, and had frankly gone totally off-script before that.
Loghain : [sarcastic] Fine. I confess: It was entirely my idea that Uldred consort with demons. I had a dastardly scheme in which the utter destruction of Ferelden's best weapon would benefit me, personally.
- Face Death with Dignity: If you choose to execute him, he does this. However, if Alistair is the one to face him in the duel, he's killed before he really has the chance to choose a way to face the inevitable.
- Fallen Hero: He gave up everything to restore Ferelden, and as a result began to resent the very people he won it for.
- Fantastic Racism:
- Hates Orlais since they invaded his homeland. And killed his dog. And raped his mother while forcing him and his father to watch. This leads to some nasty banter with Leliana on his part.
- Loghain publicly has this for the reason he betrayed Cailan. He voices doubt in the Landsmeet that the Orlesian soldiers which were expected to come over their borders would simply leave after the Blight is finished.
- He's more subtle about it than a lot of other Fereldans, but he's also clearly bigoted against elves. If you call him on conspiring with a Tevinter magister to sell the elves in the Alienage into slavery, he'll try to justify it with his usual "I Did What I Had to Do to save Ferelden" line, neatly glossing over the fact that the elves are Fereldans, too. That said, he also makes it a point to say after being recruited that his goal, while not ideal on the slavery front (understatement), was to replenish the nation's coffers. He says that by the time of the Warden's intervention, the coffers were 1/3 of the way full and a few dozen Elves had indeed been shipped off, but he would've made it a point once the army was fully supplied and the war chest filled completely to supply the rest of the Elves in the Alienage so they could defend themselves. He's not nearly as racist as one might think, and taking solely the Landsmeet dialogue as being indicative of his stance isn't fair to his character. Granted, you have to pick the right options to hear this.
- Fatal Flaw: Pride. He let his heroic reputation get to his head and expected all of Ferelden to Kneel Before Zod.
- Figure It Out Yourself: If Loghain is a party member, and you decide not to take him with you to defeat the Archdemon, he wonders why you spared his life if you had no intention of forcing him to kill the Archdemon as an alternative to self-sacrifice. One of your answers is that someday he'll realize why. If you choose the Heroic Sacrifice, it's doubly poignant.
- Freudian Excuse: He hates Orlais because Orlesian soldiers made him watch as they raped and murdered his mother. There's also a major element of Green-Eyed Monster regarding Loghain's relationship to Maric. Loghain lost his one true love to King Maric out of duty.
- General Ripper: His paranoia over the Orlesians is the cause of his betrayal.
- Glorious Leader: Loghain has a damn good hold on Denerim's populace thanks to being the Hero of River Dane. This is averted in the rest of Ferelden, which is less impressed by his tyrannical leadership. Even in the case of Denerim, his hold is maintained less by his own personal magnetism (of which there is little), and more due to Arl Howe's army investing the city.
- Guide Dang It: It's difficult to have Loghain join but keep Alistair on the throne without some quick research.
- The Heavy: His actions drive 90% of the plot.
- Heel Face Door Slam: If you choose to kill him at the Landsmeet after Riordan suggests making him a Warden.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: While being The Lancer to Cailan, he's the one who single-handedly manages the war effort with his "boring" strategies. And while not nearly to the same degree, he was this to Maric, as well, though you'd never know it from hearing him talk about the guy.
- During the Landsmeet, Loghain accusing Eamon of bringing Alistair forward just to put a puppet king on the throne to gain power would hold more weight if Loghain himself hadn't locked Anora away for increasingly questioning and disapproving of his decisions, thus reducing her to a puppet queen for his own regency.
- Loghain froths in moral outrage at the mere mention of Orlais due to its subjugation of Ferelden, ("How fortunate Maric did not live to see his son ready to hand Ferelden over to those who enslaved us for a century" and "Which of you stood against the Orlesian emperor when his troops flattened your fields and raped your wives?!") and uses it to justify most of his in-game actions, but if an Elven Warden spares him and later at Camp calls him out on selling alienage elves into slavery, he is dismissive at best, contemptuous at worst.
Loghain: "Honestly, elf, do you think that among all my crimes is the one that keeps me up at night? It's a bit egotistical of you, don't you think?"
- I Did What I Had to Do: He justifies his more horrific actions with this argument. For example, he claims that he abandoned Cailan because it was impossible to save him without taking too many casualties to fight the darkspawn. Which isn't entirely inaccurate, as the horde was still pouring out of the Wilds when the beacon was lit — and it wasn't lit at the right moment for two reasons: a delay and the aforementioned "they're still coming" thing when the idea was to surround all of the Darkspawn after they'd stormed the field. You can even see how far the horde stretches from the bridge. And he did try to keep Cailan off of the field, repeatedly.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: When Arl Howe presents the assassin he hired to kill the Grey Wardens, Loghain can be seen draining his chalice.
- I Want Grandkids: If the Warden's married to Anora and Loghain's still alive in Awakening, he pesters the Warden about when he and Anora are going to have an heir.
- Informed Ability: His legendary tactical genius. Apparently, he pretty much won the Fereldan rebellion against Orlais single-handedly, and background characters throughout the game will be heard to remark on all the military victories he wins against the Bannorn in the civil war. The only tactical move the player will actually see him make, however, is his decision to abandon Cailan at Ostagar, a move that nearly destroys the nation.
- It Has Been an Honor: Should Loghain be the one to kill the Archdemon one of the parting words you can give Loghain is, "For what it's worth, I salute you."
- Alternatively, if you don't take him with you, you can have this exchange:
You need to stay here. And live. Loghain: (pensive)
I see... (beat)
Then let me say it has been an honor to fight at your side, however briefly.
- It's Personal: Orlais invaded his homeland, true, but he has a far more personal Freudian Excuse for being the way he is.
- Jerkass Has a Point: In Return to Ostagar, he's completely dismissive of the idea of peace with Orlais, declaring that peace just means "fighting someone else's enemies in someone else's war for someone else's reasons." Cue The Masked Empire, where it's revealed that the only reason Empress Celene wanted to marry Cailen is so she could add Ferelden's military strength to her empire in order to drive back Nevarra and give Tevinter pause.
- Kneel Before Zod: He demands this of the Bannorn. Teagan tells him to get stuffed, and a civil war breaks out as a result.
- Large Ham: This man isn't ashamed at making a spectacle out of everything at the Landsmeet.
- Laser-Guided Karma: If Loghain is a Warden, he's sent to Orlais by the Wardens. To his credit, Loghain is more intrigued than upset.
- Love Hurts: He gave up the woman he loved because he knew she would be a good queen, and although he married someone else (Anora's mother) later on, it is mentioned that he lives apart from his family and rarely sees them. As Maric notes, "we are all running from something."
- The Lancer: Was one to Maric, then to Cailan. If recruited, he more or less takes over this role from Alistair.
- Meaningful Name: Mac Tir, in modern Irish, translates roughly to "son of the land", which is apt given his patriotism. He's also the son of a farmer.
- Doubles as an Invoked Trope, seeing as he was given the surname by King Maric.
- Milking the Giant Cow: Surprisingly, in battle: he seems to like the Rally move (which requires this along with a Skyward Scream) a little too much.
- Necessarily Evil: It's quite obvious that he realizes that what he's doing is wrong and evil, but he feels it is necessary to protect Ferelden.
- Not So Different: Loghain and the Grey Wardens (Duncan in particular) in their singleminded Combat Pragmatism, Loghain against Orlais and Duncan against darkspawn, the difference being, of course, Orlais is complex while darkspawn, especially during a Blight, have only one goal in mind.
- Nouveau Riche: Despite being one of the most powerful noblemen in Ferelden, he's common-born, and has very little respect for Fereldan political tradition (or, indeed, the law) as a result, having never been raised in that culture. Therefore, as a result, the royal court under his regency becomes a tyrannical den of corruption and abuse.
- No, You: If you accuse Loghain of being the one responsible for dividing Fereldan after he does so to Eamon at the start of the Landsmeet.
Loghain: You divide our nation and weaken our efforts against the Blight with your selfish ambitions to the throne.
The Warden: You're the one who divided Fereldan.
Loghain: I was not talking to you.
- Papa Wolf:
- In one of the possible outcomes of the Landsmeet, the last thing he does before getting executed at the hands of the Grey Warden is to console Anora. In another outcome, when Shale questions Loghain as to whether he would have killed Anora to take the throne of Ferelden (as Loghain previously claimed that he would do anything to protect Ferelden), Loghain replies that he would not have done so even if he had known what he knows now. Also in Awakening, if Loghain is alive and the (imported) Grey Warden is married to Anora, Loghain tells him to take good care of her or otherwise he'll be back anytime from Orlais.
- In the Return to Ostagar DLC, it's implied that part of the reason he betrayed Cailan was because Cailan was callously going to divorce his daughter because it was feared she was barren, and already was planning to marry the Empress of Orlais.
- Paper Tiger: It's pretty clear he's not the political powerhouse he might portray himself as. Highever is openly rioting against him, Redcliffe and nearly the entire Bannorn is warring against him, and according to Bodahn, the Darkspawn burn down Gwaren, his own fief, leaving him with Denerim under his military ocupation and Amaranthine, which Awakening reveals was increasingly divided because of what Arl Howe did. Actually losing to him at the Landsmeet pretty much requires the Warden to actively avoid the political sidequests, or for them to go out of their way to be a jerk to people they're trying to win over.
- Pet the Dog: Literally, if you have him join your party. He ends up getting along very, very well with Dog, and even shares a story about a mabari he once owned.
- Precision F-Strike: In Return to Ostagar, after finding Cailan's correspondence, he calls him a "cheating bastard" and the Empress of Orlais a "bitch."
- Quickly Demoted Leader: Up until the Landsmeet, he's the one leading Ferelden's defense and managing the entire war effort. The Warden goes from outlaw to taking over his job within a single battle.
- Right for the Wrong Reasons: It's heavily implied that he thought Cailan was using a false "Blight" as a smokescreen to gather Orlesian forces inside Ferelden, allowing their former oppressors to annex the country once more. He was only partially correct. Cailan really was attempting to forge an alliance with Empress Celene, but he wasn't planning to enact a coup with Orlesian forces at Ostagar and the Blight was very much real. Similarly, his suspicions about the Wardens were incorrect as they had nothing to do with Cailan's plans. His belief that the Wardens were traitors was presumably fostered due to their failed rebellion against King Arland, two centuries earlier, which - given his constant allusions to their Order's exile - seems very likely.
- Redemption Equals Death: He can sacrifice himself to destroy the Archdemon. Anora will invoke this after he does so, saying that all of his crimes were absolved by his sacrifice for the good of Ferelden. The epilogue says a statue of him will be erected by Anora outside the Orlesian Embassy of Denerim. It will become a popular landmark, and Loghain will be remembered for his heroism instead of his mistakes.
- Reformed, but Rejected: If he joins, no one is particularly fond of him, and Alistair leaves.
- The Strategist: A military planner of great renown, having acted as a commander and planning campaigns for the kings Theirin since before Ferelden independence.
- Tall, Dark and Snarky: Especially visible if you recruit him.
- Tragic Hero: Can be interpreted this way, especially if you consider his backstory.
- The Uriah Gambit: Loghain orders his forces to retreat instead of flanking the darkspawn as had been planned. This results in the deaths of both his king and all but two of Ferelden's Grey Wardens. And how does he get away with this? By spreading the word that the Wardens egregiously misled the King, leaving many blaming the Wardens for Cailan's death. Even after his defeat he insists this was the correct move, and that all attacking would have achieved was to get his own men killed as well.
- Villainous Breakdown: If he loses at the Landsmeet, he accuses all of the Bannorn of treason.
- Villain Decay: At the beginning of the game, he's the dictator hunting down Wardens and political enemies like dogs across the country. By the end of the game, his association with Howe and the Warden's efforts have destroyed his credibility, and his grasp of Ferelden is tenuous at best. He's a fairly easy mid-level enemy to defeat in combat. Should you choose to kill him, he ends up getting unceremoniously beheaded in front of the entire Landsmeet.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Played with. Yeah, he's a war hero and while his personal reputation might not take a terrible hit immediately, his regime is hated. Highever and Redcliffe both hate him, the first because of his endorsement of Arl Howe, and the second because of his abandoning the king. Amaranthine is divided between those who dislike Howe, and by extension, Loghain, and those who are loyal. His heavy-handed political Epic Fail means that, effectively, the entire Bannorn opposes him. And Bodahn suggests that Gwaren, his own fief, may have fallen to the darkspawn. By the end of the game, he has only one true supporter at the Landsmeet, and Arl Howe is able to kidnap his daughter, the Queen, and hold her hostage. The Warden has to almost be trying to the lose the Landsmeet, and even then, Loghain and Anora are only saved by a sudden, last-minute endorsement by the Warden.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Maric.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: In his eyes, leaving Cailan and the Wardens to die at Ostagar was the best way to put an end to a second possible Orlesian invasion.
- What an Idiot: The in-universe reaction to his war against the Grey Wardens. Warden-Constable Blackwall of Orlais, in his private correspondence, is taken aback by Loghain's stupidity, noting that the Grey Wardens will let Ferelden be destroyed if the only reason for Loghain's proscription of them is that they are from Orlais.
- Worthy Opponent: He acknowledges the Warden as this if he is defeated in the vote at the Landsmeet.
Loghain: 'A man is made by the quality of his enemies.' Maric told me that once. I wonder if it's more a compliment to you or me.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Justified by his backstory as recounted by the tie-in novels. Every time he decided to forego the normal train of logic between problem and solution and decide that it was all an Orlesian plot, he was invariably right. It's no great wonder that he immediately jumped to the same conclusion about the Grey Wardens, especially considering they had already been exiled from Ferelden once before for betraying the King and requested reinforcements from their Orlesian contingent.
King Cailan Theirin
Voiced by: Peter Bramhill
The current monarch of Ferelden, a young and idealistic man, if rather foolish. He wants a battle that will be remembered by history, and he gets it... just not the way he expected.
- A Father to His Men: At Ostagar, it's mentioned that he spends a lot of the time drinking and talking with the troops, often without his bodyguards. It apparently drives Loghain up the wall.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Alistair's party banter with Wynne describes him as such.
Alistair: Maric and Cailan had come to Redcliffe to visit the Arl. I was very young then. We were introduced. I believe I said, "Greetings, Your Highness." He said, "Ooh! Swords!" and ran off to the armory.
- Boisterous Bruiser: He's pretty boastful about how kick-ass he and the Wardens are.
- Death by Origin Story: Killed by an Ogre at the Battle of Ostagar.
- Dumb Blonde: "What's that you say, Loghain? Strategy against the overwhelming darkspawn horde? Boring! Besides, the sheer awesomeness of my Infinity+1 Sword and the Grey Wardens is far more than enough against these beasties!" (Paraphrased)
- Fake Ultimate Hero: He fancies himself a real hero, but as Loghain points out Cailan isn't all that is thinks he is.
- Glory Hound: His motivation for the battle is a quest for personal glory.
- Heroes Love Dogs: Ostagar apparently stinks of dogs because he brought all of his kennels with him. During the battle, he noticeably winces and turns not to look, when one of the Mabari charging the darkspawn gets impaled on a Hurlock's sword.
- Hidden Depths:
- There are a few subtle hints that a lot of his behavior is an act and that he is a much more canny and humble leader than he appears - rather, he acts like he does because a King is expected to act the way he does, and in the face of an army of darkspawn you kind of want to inspire confidence in your men rather than terrifying them by letting on just how screwed they might be if things don't work according to plan.
- Given his love of legendary battles and military history, one could easily infer that Cailan is actually very well-read and this is part of the reason he's annoyed at Loghain for sticking to more traditional, "boring" strategies, instead of trying new tactics to combat the Horde.
- It's implied that Cailan wishes to increase foreign ties with Orzammar, as upon meeting the Dwarf Noble, he mentions having witnessed a Proving during his last royal visit and expresses the desire to learn more about Dwarven culture. He also seems similarly interested in learning more about the Dalish.
- Furthermore, he expresses interest to find out what the Alienages are like, something his advisors and guards wish him not to know. When the City Elf gives him the blunt response, "I killed an Arl's son for raping my friend", he's visibly taken aback and appears rather disturbed to discover that conditions are that bad and that the Elven population are being taken advantage of.
- An example of Cailan appearing to be more intelligent and politically savvy than he appears is his insistence that Alistair join the Warden in lighting the beacon at the Tower of Ishal. As the closest thing to an actual heir to the throne if Cailan falls in battle, he wants Alistair to be as far away from the front lines as possible, a surprisingly smart move on his part.
- Leeroy Jenkins: It doesn't help that he openly mocks the suggestion he's "over-confident" either.
- Nice Guy: May not be the most brightest tool in the shed, but he's friendly to just about everyone, no matter what their background.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: He doesn't succeed, but it's the thought that counts.
- Sheltered Aristocrat: Despite being a sheltered buffoon, he genuinely wants to govern well. He assures the Human Noble he'll eliminate the traitorous Arl Howe once the darkspawn are defeated, and his shock at what happened when the City Elf confronts him with the truth of what's been happening in the Alienage is genuine.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Averted, for the most part. Cailan and his half-brother are actually pretty similar in their nonchalant approach to things, their coming off as idiots to those around them, their willingness to discard formality for friendship, and their bravery in the face of adversity. Alistair definitely acts a lot like Cailan a few times after he ascends the throne, because even if he doesn't really want the job, you will remember who is king. The main difference between them is that Cailan thinks of himself as a Warrior Prince, while Alistair, who doesn't, actually is one. In fact, Anora comments that she's wary of marrying Alistair because he resembles Cailan way too much.
- Warrior Prince: King, but either way he's not one even if he thinks otherwise.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: He almost overlaps with The Fool, with his estimation of the coming battle. He's something of an Ascended Fanboy of the Grey Wardens who Jumped at the Call and then doesn't take things seriously enough.
- Wrong Genre Savvy:
- He believes that he is the protagonist of a more idealistic fantasy story. He gets proven wrong when he dies only a few hours into the game.
- His plan was hoping that the Wardens would push the Blight back at Ostagar, giving Ferelden enough fame to allow a permanent alliance with Orlais without being screwed over by the Orlesians. Apparently no one ever taught him to keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
- Your Cheating Heart: According to Anora, Cailan had "discreet" affairs during their marriage. Loghain takes his letters to Celene as proof he was planning to drop Anora for her. Word of God is that Cailan was planning to divorce Anora after the battle of Ostagar.
Queen Anora Theirin (nee Mac Tir)
"We have been given the gift of freedom by our forebears. Let us not squander it."
Voiced by: Mika Simmons
The current Queen of Ferelden, wife (then widow) of Cailan. She is the true power behind the throne, taking after her father, Loghain.
- Arranged Marriage: It's mentioned that Cailan and Anora were betrothed from a very early age, on account of their fathers' friendship. One way to resolve the Landsmeet can be that you arrange her second marriage, either to a male Human Noble Warden or to Alistair.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: Averted. Although she's beautiful, and she does genuinely care about her country, she's also scheming and manipulative. She's nobody's supportive cheerleader; she will turn on anyone if necessary to further her goals, including you.
- Better The Devil You Know: Her supporters support her because she's a known quantity, whereas Alistair is new. Her one unwavering supporter, Ceorlic, says as much at the Gnawed Noble Tavern.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: As many of the spoiler'd material here attests. You can even call her a bitch to her face if you're leaning towards crowning Alistair right before the momentous decision.
- Blondes are Evil: Anora isn't as outright evil as some characters, but she can be every bit as ruthless as Bhelen when protecting her position.
- The Chessmaster: She's just as clever and manipulative as her father, if not moreso.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Betrays her father to you, and then quite possibly betrays you back to him. No matter what risks you took for her sake, unless you promise to support her for queen she will cheerfully backstab you at the Landsmeet. Even if you promise to support her for queen, if you announce ahead of time your intention to have Loghain executed, she may turn on you to save her father. And of course, if you let her speak up for you to Ser Cauthrien, she'll immediately claim that you were kidnapping her. She did warn you, but it still feels like a punch.
- Daddy's Girl: The two most important things in her life are her country and her father, and she'll do what she must to protect both of them. If anyone else had tried what Loghain did, she'd have had them drawn and quartered within the hour. If her proposed King (either the Warden or Alistair) kills Loghain, she'll immediately call off the agreement. If she's Queen and unmarried, the epilogue states she refuses all of her suitors, because none of them live up to her standard: her father.
- Damsel in Distress: At a certain point late in the game. Subverted, however, in that she was not actually in as much danger as she claims, and played this role to gain the Warden's sympathies. Double Subverted in that Arl Howe was not only willing to kill Anora, but seemingly eager to do so — the queen wasn't nearly as in control of the situation as either she or her father later claim.
- Expy: Her backstory is similar to that of Edith of Wessex (being the daughter of a man who rose through the ranks on merit and was married off to the king to cement his position) but, interestingly, if left to rule, she becomes much more similar to Harold Godwinson (a ruler in their own right, who hadn't a drop of royal blood but was the most qualified for the job, and is much more politically savvy than their father). Considering the Godwinson family was wiped out by the Norman invasion, this can even be taken as a Take That to the Orlesians. Not to mention her resemblance - in both appearance and personality - to a certain former Ukrainian Prime Minister...
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Subverted. Anora plays the stereotype of the virtuous fair-haired princess for all it's worth, but while she's not outright evil, she's not exactly pure or innocent either.
- Hot Consort: To Cailan and potentially Alistair. Inverted if she marries the Human Noble Warden, who acts as her consort.
- Inspired By: With her political manuevering against rivals for the throne, refusal to marry once she becomes sole ruler, and patronage of education and the arts, she's pretty clearly based on a number of historical female rulers, particularly Elizabeth I of England and Catherine the Great of Russia.
- In the Blood: Like her father, she seeks to protect Ferelden at all costs and believes that she and Loghain are the only two people capable of doing so.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: Her inability to get pregnant and sire an heir by her thirtieth year has led to many rumours that she's possibly barren, while more superstitious nobles believe it's the Maker's punishment for having a commoner for a Queen.
- Manipulative Bastard: Even if you decide she's the best candidate for the throne, you're likely to end up feeling this way about her.
- Missing Mom: Loghain refers to his "late wife" if selected for Morrigan's ritual; nothing else about her is ever known.
- Morality Pet: Loghain does love his daughter, though he doesn't show it often.
- Opportunistic Bastard: Queen Anora will manipulate or backstab anyone so long as it satisfies her two goals: remaining in power and securing the physical safety of her father, Loghain. Being a choice-based game, there are a number of options for how Anora will react if certain decisions are made. Should the Player Character, the Warden, decide to back her at the Landsmeet, she will turn against her father, the regent, to secure power for herself. However, should the Warden decide to back Alistair instead, she will betray the Warden and side with her father, despite the fact Loghain had arranged her husband's death, conducted numerous evil actions, and doing so risked a civil war in Ferelden even as the Archdemon led the Darkspawn to Rape, Pillage, and Burn the country. In order to preserve her political power, Anora will also go through with political marriages, such as she will to a Noble Human Grey Warden, seeing him as a popular figure. She'd even go so far as to marry Alistair, the bastard brother of her beloved, late husband, the very same man she'd also order executed for being a threat to her in another possible play through where she rules alone. Anora has no master plan to get her way and few scruples, she'll simply latch on to anyone who is most likely to give her the power she wants and do as they ask in return.
- Rescue Romance: Except with minimal romance. And hardly any need for the "rescue." A male Human Noble Warden can convince the Queen to marry him after rescuing her, as part of a deal to aid her in gaining the throne - although he will have to take the initiative to make her stick to her deal. If the player then exports this save to Awakening, Anora will have a cameo, and is shown to care a little more for the protagonist. Interestingly, her only objection to a proposition from a male Human Mage Warden is that while she's willing to entertain the notion, she knows that the other nobles would never accept a Mage on the throne.
- Ungrateful Bastard: No matter what route you take in rescuing her from Arl Howe, she has shades of this.
- If the Warden reveals her identity to Ser Cauthrien, she immediately claims they were kidnapping her instead, before fleeing the battle.
- If the Warden allows themselves to get captured to ensure she escapes undetected, it's implied that her demanding that Eamon order a rescue attempt is less to do with gratitude, but because the Warden is politically useful and would give her enemies pause.
- Furthermore, if Alistair was present during the rescue and subsequent capture, she makes it perfectly clear to everyone that she wants only the Warden to be rescued, preferring to let Alistair simply rot in Fort Drakon to eliminate the threat he poses to her continued reign. Queen or not, Arl Eamon makes it very clear that he's not amused.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: If she does not end up on the throne, her ultimate fate remains unknown. She's last seen at the Landsmeet, where Alistair orders her locked in the tower until after the battle. It's likely, since Alistair even admits that her usefulness was only as a potential replacement if he fell in battle, that she was executed to prevent potentially rebellious nobles from allying with her - if she even survived the Battle of Denerim in the first place.
- The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Something of a subversion. Anora likes to pretend that she's this, but one gets the impression that the mask is her true personality.
Arl Rendon Howe
"I think of the King as much as he thinks at all."
The best friend of Teyrn Bryce Cousland (the human noble PC's father) right up until he kills him along with almost his entire family. Afterwards, he is appointed the Arl of Denerim. He later serves as an advisor to Loghain and carries out his more atrocious orders.
- And There Was Much Rejoicing: His eldest child Nathaniel seems to be the only one saddened by his death, and after his sister Delilah reveals the full extent of his crimes, understands why she doesn't miss him.
- Arch-Enemy: Becomes this to the Human Noble.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: And Howe!
- Arranged Marriage: Subverted: he seems very eager to pass on the message that his daughter Delilah/his son Thomas appears very taken with the young Cousland, going on about his prowess as a warrior/being smitten with her after seeing her at a Denerim fair. Then comes The Untwist... A Human Noble male can later run into Delilah, and discover that she thought he was stuck up and never really liked him.
- Bears Are Bad News: Amaranthine's logo is a bear.
- The Butcher: Is referred to as "the Butcher of Denerim" in Dragon Age II.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: To nobles that disagree with him.
- Disappeared Dad: According to the Codex and Brother Aldous, Tarleton Howe died during the war with Orlais, having allied himself with the Orlesians during the occupation. He was subsequently hanged when the Couslands joined the rebellion and retook Harper's Ford.
- Nathaniel, however, claims that his grandfather left to become a Grey Warden and was never heard from again, presumably having died during the Joining. It's not been confirmed whether this is a retcon or a mistake on the writer's part. Another interpretation is that this was Rendon's grandfather, as Nathaniel gives his name as being Padric Howe.
- The Dragon: To Loghain.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: Despite being a huge racist, Howe seems to have no qualms about who he hires to do his dirty work.
- Entitled Bastard: He seems to have been after the Highever Teyrnir from the get-go, since for some reason he thinks it's rightfully his. His last words (as you gut him like a fish) are, "I deserved more."
- Et Tu, Brute?: Murders not only his best friend, but also nearly the entirety of his best friend's family and household.
- Eviler than Thou: He has Vaughan imprisoned and tortured. No, it's not because Vaughan is a serial rapist, it's because Howe usurped his arling and proved even worse than Vaughan, purging the same alienage that the deposed arl used to kidnap women from.
- Face-Heel Turn: Not that it comes as much of a surprise.
- Famous Last Words: "Maker spit on you... I deserved more..."
- Fantastic Racism:
- If a City Elf Warden confronts him for what he did to the Alienage, he dismisses it as "culling the herd."
- He absolutely hates anyone who isn't Fereldan. Part of his deluded belief that the Couslands are "traitors" is due to Bryce Cousland being on friendly terms with Orlesian nobles despite fighting them during Maric's rebellion, while he accuses Fergus Cousland of selling out Highever and Fereldan independence by marrying an "Antivan whore" and siring an heir with foreign blood.
- Freudian Excuse: According to Awakening, his dad (or possibly grandfather, see above) left to become a Grey Warden and was never heard from again, and his very wealthy in-laws frequently complained about his family's comparative lack of success.
- Genre Savvy:
Warden: After this, I'll kill your wife and daughter, too.
Howe: Isn't that precious? Is this where I lament the monster I helped create?
- Green-Eyed Monster: His reason for killing the Couslands.
- Hate Sink: The Archdemon may be the Big Bad but it is too alien a foe to despise, while Loghain is too complex a villain, and can even become a good guy. Howe-ever, Arl Howe is a Smug Snake motivated by nothing but ambition and spends most of the game kicking puppies by carrying out Loghain's most despicable orders. And that's not even counting the It's Personal angle with the City Elf and especially the Human Noble. He's so hateful and greedy a person that no one, not even friends or family, are sad to hear when the Warden kills him.
- For all his talk about the Couslands being secret collaborators with Orlais, it's worth noting that his own father collaborated with Orlais during their occupation and was subsequently hanged.
- Howe murders the Couslands out of jealousy, desiring their lands for his own. In the end, the Human Noble's brother, Fergus Cousland returns to his rightful place as Teyrn of Highever and Howe's lands are given to the Couslands in reparation, whilst Amaranthine is gifted to the Wardens. To add further insult to injury, if the Warden is the Human Noble, they will become the new Arl/essa.
- It's All About Me: See Famous Last Words.
- Jerkass: Why he's disliked by most other nobles.
- Kick the Dog: He ordered the crackdown on the Alienage after the elf riots (triggered by the events of the City Elf origin but happen regardless of what origin the Grey Warden comes from) to "put the elves in their place." He's also the one to hire assassins to kill the last two Grey Wardens, as well as taunting the Human Noble about how his/her parents died. Lampshaded by Arl Eamon if the Grey Warden is a Human Noble, describing Howe as "the sort of man to go around and kick stray dogs."
- The Lancer: Was one to Bryce Cousland, though he's The Starscream by the time of the game.
- Like Father, Like Son: His father was a traitor, too.
- Motive Rant: He can have an impressive one when the Human Noble confronts him late in the game, revealing that he felt inferior to Bryce Cousland and was jealous of his successes. Not to mention Loghain's motivation is shared: fear and hatred of the Orlesians.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: His reason for turning against the Couslands.
- Poisonous Friend: To Loghain. To illustrate, at one point he plans on convincing Loghain to murder Loghain's own daughter for being an inconvenience. When it came to Bryce Cousland, he was plenty poisonous, but he was never a friend.
- Psycho Supporter: Unlike Loghain, who's a Well-Intentioned Extremist who believes I Did What I Had to Do, Howe is in it purely for the power, wealth and that he's been given free rein to run around and kick as many dogs as he likes.
- Sadist: It shouldn't be surprising considering his actions against the Cousland family and Denerim Alienage. In fact, he's so fond of inflicting pain on others that he sleeps in the bedroom right next to the dungeon where he inflicts Cold-Blooded Torture on prisoners.
- Smug Snake: One of the most malicious characters in the entire game.
- The Starscream: Deconstructed. Killing his best friend, sworn liege lord (the Howes were vassals of the Couslands), and one of the most beloved men in the entire country made him a hated figure all over Ferelden. His loyalty to Loghain brings him great power and wealth, but his support of the regime destabilizes it, and one of the easiest ways to defeat Loghain at the Landsmeet is to exploit Howe's status as his weakest link.
- Stay in the Kitchen: His greeting of the female Human Noble Warden has sexist undertones, although he's just as dismissive to a male Human Noble.
Howe: [upon facing down the female Human Noble] Well, look what we have here! Bryce Cousland's little spitfire, still playing the man!
- Torture Cellar: There's a rather extensive one in the Arl of Denerim's estate, although it was there before he took residence. Still, he chose the room next to the entrance of the dungeon as his bedchamber. As Oghren puts it, he apparently "liked to nip down for a spot of torture before bedtime."
- Tranquil Fury: After the Human Noble's Shut Up, Hannibal!.
- Villainous Breakdown: If the Warden is a Human Noble he has a very surprisingly subtle one (given who voices him), when s/he throws back the taunts he gives by telling him that all the pain he has inflicted upon him/her has only made him/her stronger.
Howe: There it is, right there. That damned look in the eye that marked every Cousland success that held me back. It seems you have made something of yourself after all. Your father would be proud. I, on the other hand, want you dead more than ever.
- Would Hurt a Child: Children are not spared when he betrays the Couslands.
- Would You Like to Hear How They Died?: Gives this to the Human Noble about his/her parents.
- 0% Approval Rating: There isn't a single nobleman in the country who supports him willingly.
"Some of us know what honor and loyalty are."
Voiced by: Alyx Wilton Regan
A high-ranking knight of Ferelden, Cauthrien is the commander of King Maric's Shield, Loghain's personal corps of elite soldiers. She is first seen at the battle of Ostagar, relaying somewhat disbelievingly Loghain's order to retreat from the battle, and later serves as his right hand woman. Once the gathering of the members of the Landsmeet begins, Ser Cauthrien and her soldiers will attempt to arrest the Warden after s/he breaks Anora out of Arl Howe's estate, and if she's not defeated there, she will confront the party again upon entering the Royal Palace for the Landsmeet.
- Action Girl: Both her fights are extremely difficult, and she's tougher than Loghain.
- Anti-Villain: An honorable woman, she is bothered by the evil acts Loghain commits, but continues to serve him out of both loyalty and a sense that what he does is necessary to protect Ferelden.
- Big Damn Heroes: Her the codex entry reveals that she first met Loghain whilst saving his life from a group of bandits.
- Birds of a Feather: Like Loghain, she was originally a farmer, who nonetheless rose to become one of the highest ranking members of Ferelden's military.
- BFS: She wields the Summer Sword, one of the game's best greatswords.
- Dark Action Girl: Subverted.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: Said to be a member of the elite military unit known as Maric's Shield.
- Flat "What.": Her reaction when Loghain orders the retreat at Ostagar.
- High Heel-Face Turn: Can be convinced to stand down at the Landsmeet if you make her admit that Loghain is not the man she once served.
- Lady of War: Soft-spoken, graceful, and one of the most powerful bosses in the entire game, with an equally powerful greatsword to match.
- Morality Pet: Players who have Persauded her to let them pass without fighting at the Landsmeet often spare Loghain because she begged them to show him mercy.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: She can be persuaded otherwise.
- Noble Top Enforcer: For Loghain.
- Save the Villain: With a high Persuasion score, she'll beg you to save Loghain from himself.
- Skippable Boss:
- With a high enough persuasion or intimidation score, you can avoid the second fight with her, which is handy because she can be pretty tough.
- You can also skip the first fight if you surrender peacefully without revealing Anora's identity. She admits to being impressed by the tactic, and lets the rest of your party go unharmed.
- Strong as They Need to Be: When she's first encountered, Cauthrien is made a Hopeless Boss Fight in order to increase the chances of the Warden getting captured so the player can experience a very funny side-quest that involves freeing their Warden. With the need for it passed, she's downgraded to a more reasonable difficulty in her second encounter.
- Talking Your Way Out: As noted above, it's possible to avoid a fight if you've got the points in coercion.
- Undying Loyalty: Despite Loghain's crimes she remains loyal to him to the end, to the point that she'll desperately try to justify them. Confront her about Loghain allowing the Tevinter to enslave the elves in the Alienage, and she'll protest weakly that they had to fund the nation somehow.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Her initial reaction when Loghain orders her to sound the retreat during Ostagar.
- Worthy Opponent: She expresses regret that she's forced to kill you if you opt to fight her.
- Yes-Man: The way she tries to justifies Loghain's actions slips into this, especially when she defends the reputation and position of people like Arl Howe, to whom she owes no loyalty, simply because he is a part of the regime in Denerim.
Arl Eamon Guerrin
"Must we sacrifice everything good about our nation to save it?"
Voiced by: Graham McTavish
The Arl of Redcliffe and King Cailan's favorite uncle; he was the brother of Cailan's late mother, Queen Rowan.
- Big Good: Although you're the one rallying the troops and slaying the darkspawn, it's Eamon's idea to call the Landsmeet, and it's his support that makes you a threat to Loghain in a political sense. He's also the source of one of the major components of your army.
- The Chessmaster: His plain to catch Loghian off guard at the Landsmeet demonstrates this.
- Doting Parent: Adores his son Connor.
- The Good Chancellor: Becomes this to Alistair, if he's made king, unless the Warden takes the post him/herself (or becomes Alistair's queen), noting that the throne is in good hands. He also was apparently one of these to his nephew Cailan during his reign.
- Evil Chancellor: Loghain accuses him of this, suggesting that Eamon's real goal in putting Alistair onto the throne is to have a Puppet King who'll let him pull all the strings, which he claims he tried with Cailan. Of course, the man making the claim was Cailan's Evil Chancellor and The Starscream, so this claim is suspect.
- Happily Married: To Islode, an Orleasian woman.
- Ill Boy: For the first third of the game at least. He's been poisoned and is dying. Finding the magical cure for his condition is one of the four main quest lines which must be completed prior to the Landsmeet.
- Parental Substitute: To Alistair.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: One of the few in Ferelden, which is why his word carries so much weight in the Landsmeet.
- Supporting Leader: It's his aid that will allow the Warden to mount a final strike against Loghain politically.
- What Does She See in Him?: In-universe, nearly everyone seems to wonder why he married Isolde, seeing as she's Orlesian and displays many of the more negative traits commonly associated with that nation. According to Alistair, however, it was/is a genuine love match.
Bann Teagan Guerrin
"The Bannorn will not bow to you simply because you demand it!"
Voiced by: Timothy Watson
Brother of Arl Eamon and the late Queen Rowan, Teagan is currently in charge of the defense of Redcliffe against the mysterious evil pouring out of the castle, where his family may or may not still be alive.
- Ambadassador: In The Masked Empire he serves as Ferelden's ambassador to Orlais, post-blight. He also duels the imperial champion, with feathers.
- Almighty Janitor: He's a bann, a lesser noble, but he's seen as a political threat to Loghain. This is partly due to him being the brother of Arl Eamon and the former queen, and partly due to the fact that he has no problem speaking his mind in public forum, regardless of whose feathers he ruffles.
- Badass: Directly after Ostagar, he turns up to the Landsmeet in full armour and ready for a fight, and calls Loghain out in front of every noble assembled, accusing him of leaving King Cailan to die.
- The Cameo: In Dragon Age II, he shows up either as King Alistair's traveling companion and "sort-of uncle" or persuading alcoholic Alistair to come back to Ferelden to make a fresh start. He also appears at the party in Mark of the Assassin, along with Isolde.
- Deadpan Snarker: Not the same degree as, say Alistair, but he has his moments. See the quote under Honorary Uncle.
- Honorary Uncle: To Alistair, as he's technically only his uncle-by-marriage.
Alistair: And this is Teagan, my uncle. Sort of.
Teagan: I'm actually Teagan, I'm only "sort of" his uncle.
- The Lancer: Serves this role towards Eamon and the Warden.
- Large Ham: Only during the time that demon-possessed Connor used him as his jester.
Teagan: No-ho-ho-hobody tells him what to do! NOBODYYYYY!!!! Haa-haa-haa-haaaaa!
- Mr. Fanservice: Aided by the fact that he seems to have some interest in a female Warden of any race.
- The Pornomancer: Many in the fandom believe him to be this, due to his (suspiciously) close relationship with Isolde, his unashamedly hitting on female Wardens of any race, and his epilogue slide having him end up with either Bella or Kaitlyn from Redcliffe. Not that the latter stops him flirting with a female Hawke during his cameo during the Mark of the Assassin DLC for Dragon Age II, before being interrupted by Isolde. The second game has Dummied Out dialogue where he compares Hawke to "someone I hold dear, though I never had the courage to say that to her."
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Despite the undead attacking each night, he absolutely refuses to abandon the villagers in Redcliffe. His role in the battle is to serve as the last line of defense for the women, children, elderly and injured civilians taking refuge in the Chantry.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: When Loghain claims to be doing everything for the good of Ferelden and gets appointed Regent.
Teagan: The Bannorn will not bow to you simply because you demand it!
- Supporting Leader: During the Redcliffe quest. Subverted when he willingly chooses to enter the castle with Isolde to act as a diversion and give the Warden a chance to fight the monsters off.
Arlessa Isolde Guerrin
"For the one who delivers the Sacred Ashes of Our Lady will have the esteem of Redliffe, and all the riches it is in my power to grant."
Voiced by: Louisa Patikas
Wife to Arl Eamon and mother to Connor, Isolde married her husband despite her own Orlesian heritage.
"I feel like I'm sleeping, but I guess I'm not."
Voiced by: Michael Curtis Parsons
The young son of Arl Eamon.
- Arc Villain: For the Arl of Redcliffe quest. The demon is terrorizing the citizens of Redcliffe with nightly zombie attacks, and possessed Connor.
- Corrupt the Cutie: Not much else can happen when you are possessed by a demon.
- The Caligula: The demon passes time by making the people of Redcliffe it's playthings.
- Child Mage: Too young to cast even minor spells but still capable of tearing the Veil - a perfect target for a demon.
- Creepy Child: When the demon is in control.
- Demonic Possession:
- With three possible solutions. One, you kill him. Two, you use blood magic to kill the demon in the Fade (and kill his mother in the process). Three, you use the Circle's lyrium to go into the Fade instead. Choices two and three make it possible to coerce the demon into granting you stuff. However, even if you end the possession, Connor will never be the same as before, even though he doesn't remember the event. Eamon notices that Connor is different, leading to fan speculation that you failed to kill the demon, but other conversations reveal that that is simply how this particular strategy of getting rid of a demon works.
- Wynne mentions that even mages saved from possession are forever changed by the experience of having their souls and those of demons fused together. Add to that the fact that Connor was sometimes implied to be awake while all the horror was going on, and it's not too surprising that the kid doesn't really act as perky as he used to.
- Evil Sounds Deep: When the demon's in control.
- For the Evulz: Seems like this particular demon likes to torment people when it gets bored.
- Jekyll & Hyde: Connor is Jekyll, desperate but human. The Demon is Hyde, controlling and monstrous.
- Kill the Cutie: One option to stopping the demon is killing Connor.
- Superpowerful Genetics: Inherited magic from Isolde's side of the family, who have produced several mages.
- Walking Spoiler: Thanks to his role in the Arl of Redcliffe quest being hidden from you from Isolde.
"We are Couslands, and we do what must be done."
Voiced by: Richard Laing
Father of the Human Noble PC, and Teyrn of Highever.
- The Ace: The Cousland family is a family of aces, and Rendon Howe hates that about them.
- Action Survivor: In his backstory, alongside Arl Howe, he survives a Curb-Stomp Battle against the Orlesians at White River, from which only fifty rebels escaped.
- Affectionate Nickname: Refers to his younger son/daughter as "Pup."
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Second in rank only to King Cailan; when introduced, he is preparing to lead Highever's armies against the darkspawn.
- Benevolent Boss: Iona admits it's not only strange to see a noble employ so many elven servants in one place, but to actually treat them well is nearly unheard of. Likewise, the Highever Alienage is said to be vastly more pleasant, prosperous and well-maintained than its Denerim counterpart.
- Berserk Button: The only time he ever raises his voice is when Howe insults King Cailan.
- Big Good: The Cousland family have been this to Ferelden for centuries, and Bryce is no exception.
- Bolivian Army Ending: Ultimatley left to face Howe's men with his wife at the end of the Human Noble origin.
- Doting Parent: He loves his family more than anything, and it's implied that his younger child is his particular pet.
- Et Tu, Brute?: He is betrayed and murdered by Rendon Howe, his best friend. It's implied that their friendship blinded him to Howe's darker side, because almost every other noble thinks Howe is a Jerkass.
- Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Heavily averted in the case of the Female Noble. Unlike other nobles in Ferelden, he seems to have no problem with his daughter studying combat training, regularly competing in local tournaments, and being a better swordsman than the majority of the castle guards. He's even open to the idea of her becoming a Grey Warden, although he wants to wait to talk about it until after he gets back from Ostagar.
- Happily Married: To his wife Eleanor. Possibly a Perfectly Arranged Marriage, though this is never stated.
- Idiot Ball: He's a sharp and reasonable man, but has a blind spot when it comes to Rendon Howe. It gets him killed. It's actually somewhat surprising that such a good man was best friends with possibly one of the most monstrous men in Ferelden.
- Presumably this was because he let his idealism get the better of him, hoping that his wartime friendship with Howe could end centuries of bitterness and feuding between their two families. He never considered that Howe might fall prey to the same jealousy that had plagued previous generations.
- Magnetic Hero: Immensely popular amongst the nobility. It's said that many would have preferred him as king over Cailan, according to Dairren.
- Modest Royalty: One of the most down-to-earth nobles in the entire game.
- Nice to the Waiter: His good treatment of his elven staff and the Highever Alienage is apparently well-known.
- Not so Above It All: His wife believes that between her husband, her son(s) and her grandson, it's like living with a pack of small boys. (If the Warden is female, she concludes this observation by saying, "Thankfully, I have a daughter.")
- Offered the Crown: It's rumoured that the Bannorn would have preferred to appoint him king over Cailan, but being an ardent royalist, he politely refused when the Landsmeet put his name forward.
- Papa Wolf: If the PC tells Duncan that s/he has no interest in becoming a Grey Warden during their initial conversation, he responds to Duncan's persistence by stepping (completely unarmed, mind you) between the two of them and letting Duncan know, in no uncertain terms, that his pup isn't going to do anything s/he doesn't want to do.
- If they do show interest, he does the same thing, politely-but-firmly pointing out he's not got so many children that he wishes to see them all run off to battle. He implies that it'd take Duncan invoking the Right of Conscription before he'd even consider agreeing. However, the PC can discuss it with him again later, during the final family reunion before Fergus departs, and he promises that if his beloved "pup" is really interested in the possibility, they can look into it when he comes back.
- Principality: The Codex reveals that the Teyrnir of Highever is actually an semi-autonomous protectorate of Ferelden. The Couslands don't use princely titles, but they could probably get away with it if they chose. Even without them, they are the highest-ranked nobles in the entire kingdom.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Just look at how he treats his elven servants for a clue.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Alongside his eldest son, was preparing to personally lead Highever's forces to join the army gathered at Ostagar.
- So Proud of You: He can have a conversation like this with the Human Noble PC during the scene where the whole family is gathered to say goodbye to Fergus. His ghost appears later, during the Gauntlet, and says this outright while urging his child to let go of his/her guilt.
- Undying Loyalty: He's an ardent royalist and supporter of King Cailan. This is ironic because his ancestor Elethea was one of the primary foes of King Calenhad. She only reluctantly agreed to Kneel Before Zod after his forces defeated hers in battle, and he allowed the Couslands to retain their lands and authority in exchange for their support. But four hundred years of good governance by most of the Theirins has made the Teyrns of Highever very loyal.
"I'm no Orlesian wallflower - give me a sword and I'll use it!"
Voiced by: Deborah Moore
Mother of the Human Noble PC, she plays a major role in the attack on Highever Castle.
- Action Mom: As quoted above, she is no Orlesian wallflower, and doesn't hesitate to grab a bow and fight back when the castle is invaded.
- Archer Archetype: She's presented as an Archer for the Human Noble's party.
- Bolivian Army Ending: No matter what you say, Eleanor Cousland will not abandon her husband.
- Deadpan Snarker: As much as she tries to hide it, she comes off as this when sufficiently exasperated by her children and husband.
- Doting Parent: She loves her children, her daughter-in-law, and her grandson very dearly.
- Happily Married: To her husband Bryce. Possibly a Perfectly Arranged Marriage, though this is never stated.
- I Want Grandkids: She laments how difficult it's been to find an acceptable husband for a female PC, as she wants more grandchildren.
- Mama Bear: As per the above. Her reaction to finding her grandson (the PC's nephew) dead is to get even more angry.
- Retired Badass: By her own admission, she used to be quite the warrior herself, and soon proves that she still is.
"Well, off I go! So many darkspawn to behead, so little time."
Voiced by: Shawn Dingwall
Brother of the Human Noble PC, heir to the teyrnir of Highever.
- Aloof Big Brother: Averted. It's clearly indicated that the relationship between the big brother and the little brother/sister is affectionate and close, with Fergus even remarking that it would be "fun" if they could go off to war together and fight side by side.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Dialogue in Awakening indicates the he's serving as a general in addition to being the Teyrn of Highever.
- Big Brother Worship: From the younger sibling, optionally.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Fergus like bragging about his combat prowess
- Doting Parent: To his son Oren, whom he is happy to indulge his heroic fantasies with.
- Happily Married: To his Antivan wife Oriana.
- Irony: The first time the player talks to Fergus is when he is saying goodbye to his beloved wife and son, since he himself is going to leave to go fight darkspawn. Fergus' wife Oriana's heart is disquiet, since by going off to battle Fergus is putting himself in danger. As it turns out...it's not Fergus who dies, it's his wife and son who stay behind! Fergus, meanwhile, actually survives the Ostagar massacre and shows up at the very end of the game.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Leads a contingent of Highever's forces to fight in the army at Ostagar. Dialogue in Awakening indicates that in addition to being Teyrn of Highever, he goes on to serve as a General in Ferelden's army.
- So Proud of You: Says it to his younger sibling at the coronation, since their parents can't.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: He's last seen scouting in the Korcari Wilds shortly before the Battle of Ostagar, causing many to assume he perished on the battlefield. He later appears at the coronation, revealing that he was left for dead after his party was ambushed, before being rescued and nursed back to health by friendly Chasind Wilders.
Bann Vaughan Kendels
"You can't do this to me! I'll have you all flayed!"
Voiced by: Nicholas Boulton
Son of Urien, Arl of Denerim, Vaughan and his posse burst into the Alienage to get some "female guests" for their "private party" in the City Elf origin.
Residents of Denerim
"Andraste's Ass, you'd think I'd learn some social graces."
Voiced by: Beth Graham
Cousin of the City Elf PC, Shianni is to be a bridesmaid at the upcoming wedding. Unfortunately, things go awry when a human nobleman arrives with his posse.
- Badass Normal: Shianni is a perfectly ordinary elf woman with a fiery spirit but no combat training of note. She will willingly help the Grey Warden fight an army. Had circumstances been different, it seems entirely possible that she, rather than a City Elf protagonist, could have been recruited as a Grey Warden and done well in her own right.
- Break the Cutie: Poor Shianni!
- Defrosting Ice Queen: She can come across pretty cold to a non-City Elf Warden when they're finally allowed into the Alienage, although she mellows if she recognizes the Warden as being the one who freed Soris from Howe's dungeon. After the Warden stops the Tevinter slavers, she apologizes.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Says that as far as the others in the Alienage know, Vaughan just "roughed [her] up a bit". She's fine with that, as she doesn't want them to start treating her like some fragile doll.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl:
- Definitely comes across as one;
Shianni: Do you know what today is?
Warden: Judging by your breath, it's get drunk before noon day.
- And this later bit of dialogue.
Warden: You'll look for any excuse to get drunk.
Shianni: Who needs an excuse to get drunk?
- Becomes harsher in hindsight when you realise this is what likely motivated her to think bottling Vaughan was a good idea.
- Hero-Worshipper: Towards the City Elf Warden.
- The Not-Love Interest: Pretty much fills this function to the Male City Elf in the Origin and even a little post-Origin. Her dialogue actually comes across as more intimate than the woman the Warden was supposed to marry, despite the fact that Shianni is supposedly one of your cousins. The fact that the Warden had only just met his prospective bride might at least explain some of that.
- Rank Up:
- One epilogue reveals she eventually came to lead the Alienage Elves as a popular, if outspoken, Elder.
- Alternatively, if the City Elf Warden puts her name forward as Bann, she serves the role admirably for many years, until she tragically gets murdered by a human bigot, leading to a massive riot breaking out in the city.
- Rape as Drama: She is the only "guest" of Bann Vaughan to be raped before you get to her. It's implied that his friends took turns as well...
- Took a Level in Badass: She can be persuaded to help fight the darkspawn that invade the Alienage in the finale. If the player's a City Elf, she volunteers.
"You've been my hero since we were kids, it's just official now."
Voiced by: Josh Rubinow
Another cousin of the City Elf PC. The two were scheduled to have an arranged double wedding
when Bann Vaughan came and... crashed the ceremony. He goes with the PC to save the kidnapped women.
- Butt Monkey: Poor guy just can't catch a break no matter what happens. If he's not imprisoned for his involvement of the (attempted) murder of Vaughn, then he'll be blamed for the purge of the Alienage afterward and be ostracized by his own people.
- Cowardly Lion: During the City Elf's rescue/escape attempt, he feels better about hiding from Vaughn than confronting him.
- Hero-Worshipper: Has shades of this towards the City Elf.
- Interspecies Romance: In his epilogue (City Elf PC only), he marries a human woman and has many children with her.
- Non-Action Guy: When breaking out the Female City Elf, both Soris and the two guards are fully aware he's not skilled enough to fight them, so he immediately slides the sword over to his cousin instead. Cue the guards' laughter quickly dying, with them shortly after.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: His ending if the player is a City Elf is honestly fairly happy, considering the rest of his appearances in-game haven't been.
- Took a Level in Badass: The PC seems to be the only elf in the Alienage who has actually been trained in combat, but Soris still does his job accompanying them storming the Arl's estate.
"Oh, Leliana, do you even know why you excelled in the arts I taught you? It's because you loved the game, you loved the power it gave you."
An Orlesian Bard and Leliana's former friend/lover and mentor. She is a key figure in Leliana's past.
- Arc Villain: Of the DLC Leliana's Song.
- Archenemy: To Leliana.
- Artificial Stupidity: Her "Captivating Song" ability continually stuns everyone in the immediate vicinity, making it quite lethal when there's backup around to take care of the damage-dealing part of combat. If you fight her, it's quite possible to lure her away from her lackeys, and she continues to sing the song even as you whale her to death at your leisure.
- Bi the Way: The Leliana's Song DLC makes it very evident that Marjolaine swings both ways.
- Broken Pedestal: She taught Leliana all she knew about the game before betraying her.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Uses this to distract a guard in Leliana's Song
- Evil Counterpart: To Leliana, obviously.
- Evil Former Friend: Used to be Leliana's best friend and lover until she ultimately betrayed her.
- French Jerk: Or the Orlesian equivalent thereof.
- It's All About Me: She's convinced that, even after years, she's still Leliana's top priority. It doesn't occur to her that she might be less important than a Blight ravaging the country.
- Karma Houdini: If the Warden convinces Leliana not to fight her, Marjolaine will get away with her crimes scot-free.
- Manipulative Bastard: Obvious enough in the base game, but Leliana's Song takes it into overdrive.
- Not So Different: She insists Leliana is just like her. You are given the option of convincing Leliana either way.
- Skippable Boss: You can persuade her to go away and never bother Leliana again instead of fighting her if you wish.
- Smug Snake: Very narcissistic, arrogant and cruel.
- Treacherous Advisor: Became one to Leliana over the course of Leiana's Song.
- The Unfettered: Unlike Leliana, she has absolutely no scruples whatsoever. Which says something when you consider that even though Leliana admits she was a bard and assassin, she utterly refused to get involved in political espionage.
Wade and Herren
Herren: A year to make one suit or armor is too much.
Wade: That was once! And you never let me hear the end of it!
One of the greatest blacksmiths in Ferelden, Wade is an obsessive perfectionist whose attention to detail nearly forced him into destitution. Herren is a skilled merchant and the manager of Wade's shop; under his guidance, Wade's armor shop has become a profitable enterprise. However, Wade has a tendency to ignore his commissioned orders if a customer approaches him with materials of superior quality, much to Herren's chagrin. In the Darkspawn Chronicles
DLC, Herren is a Desire Demon, although since the DLC takes place in an Alternate Universe
, this is not canon. The two return in Awakening
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Wade will drop everything when he finds something interesting to craft.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Though they clearly care about one another, Wade is unhappy that Herren doesn't respect his artistry, while Herren gets angry when Wade doesn't charge for his work.
- Cloud Cuckoo Landers Minder: Herren, who openly admits that his forcing Wade to actually charge for his services is the only reason he still has a business, a roof over his head and food to eat!
- Deadpan Snarker: Herren.
- Large Ham: Wade.
- Like an Old Married Couple: With good reason.
- Lost Forever: Don't have Wade complete a second set of drakescale armor if you ever want to shop with them again.
- Nice to the Waiter: Despite Herren eventually banning the Warden from the store, they show up again in Awakening to open up shop in Vigil's Keep. According to Wade, the money they were given by the crown had a lot to do with their decision.
- Another interpretation is that Herren realised that without the Warden's trade they were losing a lot of business, since the Warden's high status in Fereldan society ensured a lot of free promotion for Wade's craftsmanship. Alternatively, since we saw the darkspawn do a lot of damage to the market district during the Battle of Denerim, it's very possible that their shop was destroyed.
- Oh Crap: Herren, whenever the Warden brings Wade something rare that he will drop everything in the store to craft instead. Eventually, Herren outright bans the Warden from his store.
- Pitbull Dates Puppy: Partially subverted - Herren is usually the pit bull, and Wade usually is the puppy, but Wade will override Herren's business decisions if he thinks a client's order is sufficiently interesting or unique.
- Straight Man: Herren.
- Talker and Doer: Herren and Wade, respectively.
- Ultimate Blacksmith: Wade. He provides/forges you the best armor in Origins, and the Infinity+1 Sword in Awakening.
- The Wonka: Wade.
Brother Ferdinand Genitivi
"There was a passage in one of the books I read... how some of Andraste's followers gave their lives to the fire, to become Her eternal guardians. Isn't that beautiful?"
Voiced by: Jason Singer
A Brother of the Andrastian Chantry who lives in the Market District of Denerim, Genitivi is one of the Chantry's foremost scholars and the in-universe author of a great many of the entries in the codex relating to the history, culture, and folklore of Ferelden. He's not encountered in the flesh until relatively late in the game, but once the Warden does meet him, he plays a major part in the search for the Urn of Sacred Ashes, on which he is a renowned expert.
- Absent-Minded Professor: Gets distracted easily when inside the Temple housing the Urn of Sacred Ashes.
- Already Undone for You: Given that he's a not much good in a fight, it may seem like something of a mystery how Genitivi manages to get as close to the location of the Urn as he does, since the Warden has to deal with all manner of difficulties in reaching him. Truth is, he only gets there because the Cultists kidnap him and drag him to Haven to be sacrificed.
- Deadpan Snarker: He makes a few quips here or there about politics and Haven.
- Gentleman and a Scholar: He lightens the mood for just about anything, even his own leg injury.
- Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: Genitivi wants to essentially turn Andraste's Ashes into a tourist attraction. One of your options is to throw a dagger into his forehead.
- The Munchausen: He has a reputation as a teller of tall tales, or at the very least a serial exaggerator, but in regards to the Urn he's telling the truth.
- Non-Action Guy: As he says himself, he's a scholar, not a fighter.
- Renaissance Man: Judging from the excerpts of his writings you get to read, he's an expert on Ferelden's history, art, literature, religion, and culture, if not more.
- Walking the Earth: In his travels he's covered the length and breadth of Thedas, and even spent time in Orzammar to study the culture of the dwarves. He's also had some (limited) interaction with the Qunari whilst he was in Rivain, though he admits he wasn't able to study them closely.
"Who in the Maker's name are you?"
Voiced by: Belinda Cornish
A laundress in Denerim. Visiting and meeting her is vital to Alistair's character development.
- Babies Make Everything Better: Subverted. A baby, as far as Goldanna is concerned, is what made her life hell.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Goldanna was orphaned as a child and has had to make her own way ever since. The circumstances of her being orphaned have left her quite jaded.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Though she seems like a bitch on the surface, she's really more The Woobie; with a high enough persuasion skill you can open a line of dialogue that reveals her to be more tired and jaded by her life than anything, and not wholly opposed to having a relationship with her brother.
- Disappeared Dad: It's never stated who her father is, or if she even knows.
- Gold Digger: She can be interpreted this way; the Warden can even remark to Alistair that "It seems like all she wants is your money." Somewhat justified, since she's had to scrape for every cent she's ever earned and has an erroneous view of what sort of life he's led in the meantime.
- Long-Lost Relative: Alistair's long lost sister.
- Missing Mom: She was cut loose from the Arl of Redcliffe's estate after the death of her mother.
- Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: She's related to the bastard son of Maric.
- Textile Work Is Feminine: She runs a laundry service to support her family.
- Too Many Babies: Implied; she remarks that she has "five mouths to feed," although whether this means that she has five children or if she's including her husband and herself in the count is unclear. Either way, though, she seems to have a rough time keeping food on the table.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Her fate during and after the Battle of Denerim is never revealed.
- Widow Woman: Suggested by Alistair's offhand remark, when he first asks to go and visit her, that "I think she's remarried."
"I said beat down, not kill. Let me make that really clear. Not on fire, or exploded, or Maker knows whatever type of grisly death you can dream up. ...Sorry, used to giving orders to my boys."
Voiced by: Mark Hildreth
The chief of the guards on the Market Place of Denerim. He provides the Warden with minor quests to help improve the security in Denerim.
- Bullying a Dragon: Defied; He flat out admits to the Warden that, even if he did believe Loghain's story, he would still not bother trying to arrest him/her, seeing how he has no chance and his men are incompetent cowards. When he witness mercenaries actually attempting to assault the Warden, he is amazed by their idiocy.
Kylon: "And people actually voluntarily attack you? Are they just stupid?"
- Deadpan Snarker: He delivers some quite enjoyable snarks about the idiocy of his bastard men.
Kylon: "If I send some of my men here, one of them might get, Maker forbid that, hurt, and I would have to explain his noble father being a guard actually is dangerous."
- Genre Savvy: He is both aware of the fact he is Surrounded by Idiots and the Warden is a One-Man Army, and as such know better than to provoke him/her.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He makes it quite clear he doesn't believe Loghain's version of what happened in Ostagar.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Due to his job not being taken seriously by the nobility, his men are almost all bastard sons of nobles who were sent here to have a safe job and as such are untrained and irresponsible. To say this annoys him would be putting it lightly.
A Rivaini pirate captain who can be found at The Pearl in Denerim.For more info, see Dragon Age II – Companions.
An Antivan merchant working on the Denerim marketplace. He actually is an agent of the Antivan Crows, who can offer the Warden to work for him in exchange of an arrangement.
- Affably Evil: Despite being an assassin, he is undeniably polite toward the Warden, unless provoked.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: The target he gives you to assassinate include two of Arl Howe's men, including one who kidnapped a child. He also implies at the end of the questline that all the targets actually were more or less connected to either Loghain or Howe.
- Noble Demon: Should you complete his questline, he will reward you and leave without backstabbing, promising the Crows won't be after you anymore safe for Taliesen and offering you an invitation to Antiva should you ever consider a career in their ranks. You actually have the option to express surprise about not being double-crossed.
- Pragmatic Villainy: The reason he decides to approach the Warden; after Zevran's failed attempt to murder him, he decides it's best to have such a fearsome person as an allie rather than a foe.
- Spy Speak: He expresses entirely this way when giving quest to ensure nobody catches then.
King Endrin Aeducan
"Denial of the traditions of our people does not qualify as a political technicality."
Voiced by: Richard McGonagle
The King of Orzammar on the eve of the Fifth Blight, Endrin has ruled for over 40 years and is widely regarded the most respected King in four generations. But while Orzammar is in the middle of a much needed reprieve from the threat of the darkspawn, the machinations of Dwarven politics do not rest and are often far more deadly.
- Dead Guy Junior: The male Dwarf Noble can potentially father a son with one of two casteless women during the origin story. Upon his return from exile, he gets to meet said son and choose his name; one of the options available is to name him Endrin. Similarly, Bhelen's child with Rica Brosca is mentioned to have been named Endrin as well.
- The Good King: The reason he's one of the most respected monarchs in generations.
- Heroic BSOD: The death of Trian, the exile of his second child and his realization of the extent of Bhelen's ambition takes a heavy toll on him and ends up leading to his death. Although, some suspect poison may have been involved somewhere.
- Parental Favoritism: The Dwarf Noble seems to be the child upon whom he lavishes the most praise.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Often comes across as this. Despite his grief at Trian's death and his other child standing over the body, he's still willing to hear his child's side of the story first.
- So Proud of You: Tells the Dwarf Noble this during the ceremony announcing them as new Commander of Orzammar's Army. After their return from exile, the Dwarf Noble can find a letter written before his death, where he repeats this sentiment and admits his guilt at being forced to send them to the death into the Deep Roads, despite their possible innocence, as it was the only way to prevent a scandal in the Assembly.
- Spare To The Throne: He was the second son of King Angsar, but ascended to the throne when after the death of his elder brother.
- Succession Crisis: His suspicious death, after Bhelen's sudden rise to prominence, leads to an all-out civil war.
- The Uriah Gambit: Supposedly, Endrin convinced his older brother to fight in a Proving against a convicted murderer and provided said opponent with a poisoned blade. At least, according to Bhelen.
"I know I will never be loved in Orzammar, but I will rule. Nothing, not even treacherous kin, will stop me from claiming my right."
Voiced by: Zach Hanks
The eldest of the three Aeducan siblings, and the direct heir to Orzammar's throne. Despite his status, he isn't very popular due to his poor attitude.
- 0% Approval Rating: Let's just say that the only reason he's in line for the throne is because he's the eldest sibling. And it's quite likely he was going to be passed over in favor of the middle child anyway.
- Dead Guy Junior: The male Dwarf Noble can potentially father a son with one of two casteless women during the origin story. Upon his return from exile, he gets to meet said son and choose his name; if he was merely framed for Trian's murder rather than actually committing it, one of the options available is to name the boy Trian.
- Drop the Hammer: Trian's Hammer is used by Bhelen, and later gifted to a Warden (of any race) who puts Bhelen on the throne.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Even if you decide not to have him killed as per Bhelen's suggestion, he winds up dead anyway.
- Green-Eyed Monster: His journal notes his jealousy at their getting an entire Glory Proving dedicated to them upon receiving a military command, something he never got when he received his.
- Hidden Depths: . His journal reveals that he greatly respects Gorim for his Undying Loyalty to the family, and mentions caring about keeping the relations between houses strong. He doesn't seem to quite get why Jaylia Helmi wants to be courted when he considers their marriage a foregone conclusion, but he conscientiously notes her favorite color.
- Jerkass: According to Bhelen, he once told a legless boy to essentially suck it up and deal with it.
- Prince Charmless: In comparison to Bhelen and the Dwarf Noble.
- The Resenter: Towards his middle sibling, who is their father's favorite child and far more popular with the people, and therefore more likely to inherit the throne than he is.
- Royal Brat: Clearly seems to believe that being heir to the throne entitles him to push everyone around.
- Unwitting Pawn: Of Bhelen.
"We need absolute unity to fight against the fulcrum of true evil."
The cunning and intelligent third Prince of Orzammar, and younger brother to the Dwarf Noble PC. He wishes to become king so that he may end Orzammar's isolationism, but his succession is unlikely, since eldest brother Trian is the acknowledged crown prince, while the Dwarf Noble PC is far more popular with the people. Of course, if a tragic "accident" were to befall his siblings...
- Affably Evil: He can be charming and polite in conversation, and he does have many progressive views on civil rights and foreign policy, but it's equally clear that he's utterly ruthless and calculating.
- Always Someone Better: The Dwarf Noble player character can tell Bhelen that they finally realize that Bhelen was only following the unwritten rules of dwarven politics and simply "playing the game," and admit that Bhelen is the only one of the three siblings who is really suited to a political life. Bhelen naturally approves.
- Ambition Is Evil: Subverted. He either kills Trian and frames their middle sibling for the act, or actually cons the middle child into doing the deed; either way, Trian is dead and the Dwarf Noble PC is exiled to the Deep Roads. It is also implied that he poisoned his father, King Endrin. He is eager to kill off any competitor to the throne and kicks the dog anytime something gets in his way. But if he gets the throne, it can be said that he becomes a strong king and empowers Orzammar economically, recovers some of the thaigs lost to the darkspawn in certain circumstances, and gives the casteless greater rights.
- Arc Villain: Of the Paragon of her Kind quest. Bhelen is single handily responsible for the chaos in Orzammar that the Warden must quell by helping it crown a new king.
- Evil Prince: This trope fits Bhelen to a 'T', although he turns out to be a skilled, albeit ruthless ruler..
- The Extremist Was Right: If he's elected king, he eases discrimination against the casteless and makes it easier for Orzammar to trade with outside world.
- It's All About Me: He takes it poorly if you elect Harrowmont and attacks the assembly in a rage.
- Kick the Dog: If you elect him king and use that save as a base for a Dragon Age II game, Harrowmont's last surviving relative is found in Kirkwall. He's fleeing assassins Bhelen sent after him and mentions that Bhelen systematically exterminated his entire house because Lord Harrowmont opposed him.
- Like Father, Like Son: He believes his father used similar underhanded methods to remove his own elder brother.
- Manipulative Bastard: See Not-So-Harmless Villain below.
- Nice to the Waiter:
- While he's ruthless towards anyone who is a threat to his ambitions, he's also one of the only nobles who actually treats the casteless as people, to the point of marrying one for love. If he becomes king he also grants more rights to the casteless.
- The tradition of "noble hunting", raising in status by having a child of a higher caste, clearly disgusts him. If the Warden is his brother and sires a child from such an encounter, he will admit the child into the family only grudgingly.
- Not Me This Time: If confronted about it by a dwarven noble Warden, he denies having poisoned their father; whether or not he's being honest is anyone's guess.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: In the Dwarf Noble origin, he seems to be a bit of an idiot. Then he tricks you into/frames you for killing Trian.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: He pretends to be a bit of a playboy and a buffoon, if Trian's regard for his youngest sibling is any indication.
- Overly Narrow Superlative: If the Dwarf Noble PC is female, she can have a conversation with Bhelen in which he affectionately refers to her as "my favorite sister." She is, of course, his only sister. (It makes a little more sense when the PC is male and therefore "my favorite brother.")
- Pet the Dog: Some that aren't very apparent, unless you play the Dwarf Commoner origin. In the Commoner origin, your sister Rica mentions that not only has she met a noble, but that he's also very kind to her and has agreed to move her and her family out of Dust Town. When you return to Orzammar, this man is revealed to be Bhelen. This is also foreshadowed by an awed beggar mentioning that he was in Dust Town and smiled at her. His Pet the Dog tendencies are much less clear in other origins, but there is some dialogue around the city which says Bhelen's in a relationship with/engaged to marry a casteless.
- Pyrrhic Victory: If the Dwarf Noble decides to make him King. Bhelen has his eldest brother murdered, (supposedly) has his father poisoned and gets his remaining sibling exiled, all to claim the throne for himself. Unfortunately, his exiled sibling comes back as a Grey Warden, still commands respect from the people of Orzammar and, instead of getting revenge, is ultimately the person to whom Bhelen owes his throne. Even worse, while Bhelen gets to be King, his sibling ends up being declared a Paragon.
- The Unfettered: Is willing to do almost anything to achieve his goals, no matter how distasteful.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He sees ruthlessness as the only way to strong-arm a regressive ruling class into submission in order to save their society from a slow lingering death. And if chosen as king, he does.
Lord Pyral Harrowmont
"Your father made me swear on his deathbed that you would not succeed him."
The best friend and confidant of King Endrin Aeducan. At Endrin's request, he tries to claim the throne to stop Bhelen's schemes.
- Creepy Monotone: At times.
- Honor Before Reason: He follows Orzammar's laws and traditions to the letter. So he doesn't resist if King Bhelen has him executed.
- Laser-Guided Karma: If a falsely accused Dwarf Noble Warden gets him his kingship.
- Not Quite The Right Thing: If chosen as king, he means well, but will turn out to be ineffectual and traditional. Harrowmont passes several isolation- and seclusion-related bills to placate the noble caste and causes further stagnation in Dwarven society.
- Not so Above It All: Due to desperation to keep Bhelen off the throne, Pyral resorts to some underhanded tactics in the election, trying to bribe at least two houses for their votes in the Assembly; what's more, he's trying to bribe both of them with the same piece of land.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: In the Dwarf Noble origin; he's shown to be a very kind man who wants what's best for king and kingdom alike, and does his best to help the doomed PC.
- Again to the Warden upon reaching Orzammar, refusing to stoop to Bhelen's underhanded tactics and instead requesting the Warden only do tasks that are to the letter of Dwarven law and honour.
- Troubled Sympathetic Bigot: Hates the casteless, but otherwise appears as a sympathetic character.
- Unexpected Successor: Endrin appointed Harrowmont as his successor on his deathbed over his own son. But given that said son practically killed both his siblings and basically caused Endrin to die of grief... Harrowmont himself claims he never wanted to be king, but runs since Endrin wished it so.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He is polite, honorable, friendly, loyal, and trustworthy. And he is so prejudiced against the casteless you couldn't even call him a Noble Bigot with a Badge.
"Dwarven crafts! Fine dwarven crafts! Direct from Orzammar! You won't find better."
The second of the Dwarven Noble PC.
Voiced by: Helen Wilson
The only Paragon in four generations, Branka was a master smith who invented a new kind of smokeless fuel that allowed Orzammar to increase its production level by a third and ended many diseases related to it. She also happens to be Oghren's wife, who left him two years ago to search the Deep Roads for an artifact that she was convinced could restore the glory of the Dwarven Kingdom. Whichever candidate for the throne the PC supports, Branka's vote is the final push they need to take the throne... assuming she can be found.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Implied to be one of the reasons she married Oghren.
- Badass Bookworm: In addition to her intellect, she's also a good fighter with a sword and shield.
- The Blacksmith: A master smith and most gifted individual since Caridin over a thousand years ago. Her discovery of a smokeless fire, ensuring that miners could work in safety and reducing deaths from "Black Lung" by two-thirds, made the Assembly raise her to Paragon status. Even so, she falls short of being considered the Ultimate Blacksmith, due to having to heavily rely on surviving fragments of Caridin's research in her attempt to rediscover the secret to creating Golems, rather than recreate it independently.
- Brainy Brunette: The only current Paragon has dark brown hair.
- Broken Pedestal: Let's just say that by the time you actually meet her, you'll find yourself wondering why the dwarves revere her as a Paragon.
- Depraved Bisexual: Apparently. Well, except that this was her only humanizing factor, which she cheerfully discarded when she was made to choose between relationship and obsession.
- The Determinator: Insanely so when it comes to the Anvil. She has no problem in sacrificing anything and everything to get there.
- Even Evil Has Standards: In Golems of Amgarrak, it's revealed that she knew about what was going on in the titular Thaig, but either found it too inhumane or too dangerous to consider using.
- Girlish Pigtails: Inverted to hell and back. Branka is tough, driven, and rather insane.
- Insufferable Genius: She wasn't very social to begin with.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: It's implied that she was originally somewhat stable, though eccentric; but eventually she became so obsessed with finding the Anvil that by the time of the game's story, it's literally the only thing she cares about anymore.
- If she succeeds in getting it, there are two very bad possibilities in the epilogue. Under King Harrowmont, she will eventually get volunteers refused to her, which causes her to kidnap people from the surface in raids to create more golems; this kicks off a war with Ferelden, whose forces besiege Orzammar and the dwarves have to seal its gates. Under King Bhelen, she will eventually refuse to create golems only for him, having him ban the use of the Anvil. Bhelen's soldiers attempt to besiege Branka's fortress in the Deep Roads to enforce the decree. They do not succeed after years of the siege, and Branka's stronghold remains locked up tight with golems manning its gates.
- The Lad-ette: She's an interesting take on this trope, but even Oghren says that she was barely more of a woman than him.
- Meaningful Name: Branka is a form of the Slavic name Branislava, which almost literally means 'defender of glory'. Perhaps unintentional is the other meaning: the word branka means 'goal' (at least when one is referring to soccer).
- My God, What Have I Done?: After siding with her, the Warden can convince her that she has truly gone mad and that the Anvil of the Void is an Artifact of Doom. If persuaded, she'll not only destroy it but jumps into lava soon afterwards.
- The Paragon Always Rebels: An almost literal example.
- Psycho Lesbian: An interesting inversion. Coldly condemning her lesbian lover to A Fate Worse Than Death to further her goal of acquiring the Anvil of the Void is part of what makes her a monster.
- Tsundere: From Oghren's conversations, it's quite clear that Branka alternated between "loving and caring" to "violently beating people up" with regularity.
Oghren: Truth is, I don't know. She was almost crazier than when we were married, it looked like.
Shale: Almost? It is exaggerating, surely.
Oghren: Branka was always a bit twitchy. There was that day she took her forging hammer to my head for misplacing her tongs... ah, good times.
Shale: I am finding the nature of its relationship to this Branka difficult to imagine.
Oghren: Make-up sex. She really knew how to polish the old anvil, if you take my meaning! [whistles] Paragon! [laughs]
Shale: I am done imagining, now.
- Villain Override: She turns some of the golems to her side in the fight against her.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Her seeking of the Anvil of the Void is to ensure the dwarves can build an army to wage war against the darkspawn, retake territory, and rebuild their empire. The way she sees it, no price is too high for that. A particularly ruthless or desperate Warden may agree, possibly when prompted by Zevran.
"That's why they hate us... that's why they need us. That's why they take us.... that's why they feed us."
Voiced by: Wendy Braun
Hespith is the commander of Branka's troops as well as the Paragon's former lover. When Branka disappeared into the Deep Roads along with her entire House, Hespith went with her, and she's presumed lost by the people of Orzammar. She turns up near the end of the Warden's search for the Anvil of the Void, however, offering some helpful information about Branka as well as what became of the rest of the house.
"I can only imagine the horrible things he's made you do."
Voiced by: Corri English
Sister of the Dwarf Commoner PC, Rica was forced into noble-hunting by the crime lord Beraht, while her sibling does Beraht's dirty work to pay off the debts from the lessons to make her act like a noble lady.
- Babies Ever After: After the Dwarf Commoner origin story, she gives birth to Bhelen's son Endrin and becomes an official royal concubine. Given that Bhelen does apparently actually love her, she's as close to being queen as anyone in Orzammar can get. According to the town criers he intends to marry her as well.
- The Cameo: Briefly appears during the Dwarf Noble origin, where she mistakes their footsteps for Bhelen coming to visit her.
- Cool Big Sis: She's the elder sibling, and her younger brother/sister can be played as genuinely adoring her.
- Girl Next Door: Very much. The toolset even describes her as this, word for word.
- Gold Digger: Not that as a casteless dwarf she has much choice about it.
- High-Class Call Girl: The crime lord Beraht spared no expense on fine dresses, music and vocal lessons, all so Rica could snag a promising noble, get pregnant and ascend them out of Dust Town.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: She's been forced into the role of concubine out of necessity more than choice.
- Morality Pet: Possibly to a Dwarf Commoner PC. Definitely to Bhelen.
- Parental Abandonment: Their father left the family, causing their mother to take to drinking shortly afterwards.
- Parental Substitute: Forcing Rica to become this to her younger sibling.
- Rags to Riches: Orzammar criers announce that Prince Bhelen actually intends to marry her
- Selective Obliviousness: Says that if her sibling ignores what Beraht forces her to do, she'll pretend to ignore all the times they've come back from a job, covered head-to-toe in blood.
- Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: She's the key to Beraht becoming a Noble.
- Team Mom: Has been forced to take on this role, since her mother spends most of the day stuck in a bottle.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Compared to the Female Dwarf Commoner, who works for Beraht as Hired Muscle, while Rica is a High-Class Call Girl.
"Could everyone who isn't about to die please turn around for a moment? This may be unpleasant. Thank you."
Best friend of the Dwarf Commoner PC, Leske works with the PC as one of Beraht's casteless thugs.
- Boisterous Bruiser: He's more this about the Dwarf Commoner warden than himself.
- Deadpan Snarker: His conversations can be a good source of witty banter between him and the PC.
- Face-Heel Turn: By the time the Dwarf Commoner returns to Orzammar, Leske has sided with Jariva.
- Genre Savvy: He gives a pretty good speech about how Your Princess Is in Another Castle if you announce your intention to take over the Carta after killing Beraht, pointing out that he has a powerful family and many connections, as well as the fact that his death left a power vacuum they couldn't possibly fill. In retrospect, this also makes him Dangerously Genre Savvy.
- Locked In The Dungeon: If the PC is any origin other than the Dwarf Commoner, this is where he will be found during the invasion of Jarvia's hideout.
- Loveable Rogue: His cheerful, devil-may-care attitude, enthusiasm for his job and tendency to flirt with virtually every woman he encounters (including a female Dwarf Commoner) as well as his encouraging you to join the Grey Wardens when Duncan offers you to make him a rather archetypical one. This is subverted later in the game, however, when he willingly betrays you in order to secure his position as Jarvia's lover and second-in-command and doesn't express a hint of remorse.
- My Sister Is Off Limits: A possible reaction to his open lust for your sister.
- Professional Butt-Kisser: Leske pretty much has no spine or even an honest desire to take charge of his own life in the Carta, instead willingly kowtowing to Beraht and later Jarvia.
- Those Two Guys: If the Dwarf Commoner is male.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Possibly, depending on dialogue choices.
"You keep your head down and say 'aye' to any job I decide is low enough for scum like you."
The leader of the Carta, one of Orzammar's largest crime syndicates. He dreams of becoming a noble and moving to the Diamond Quarter. The Dwarf Commoner PC and his/her sister, Rica, are forced to work for him due to their Casteless status.
- Ambition Is Evil: Dreams of becoming a noble and moving to the Diamond Quarter
- The Mafia: He certainly runs the Carta like one.
- Self-Made Man: His lack of brand, shop and ability to provide a legitimate pass to the Commons imply that he's likely a member of the Merchant Caste. However, his dreams of becoming a Noble are hampered due to his well-known connections to Dust Town and role in the Carta.
- Starter Villain: For the Dwarf Commoner.
- Villain with Good Publicity: It's stated a few times that he has "good friends" in the upper Castes.
"Well, you picked the wrong side, stranger. It doesn't matter who's king, as long as there's a queen!"
Voiced by: Salli Saffioti
Beraht's second-in-command and rumored lover, who takes over the Carta after his death. Like him, she cultivates allies among the people of Orzammar, both common and noble, which makes it difficult for the authorities to act against her. Both Bhelen and Harrowmont will ask the Warden to eliminate her in order to curry favor with the assembly.
- Benevolent Boss: It's hinted she does care to some extent about her men (at least probably more than Berath). If you chose a different origin than the Dwarf Commoner, it’s possible to make her lose her cool by taunting her about how you just slaughtered her whole Carta.
- Combat Pragmatism: When you finally meet and fight her in person, she faces you surrounded by several of her henchmen, including several archers, in a closed room full of traps and spends half the fight in stealth mode.
- Depraved Bisexual: Was in a relationship with Beraht before he died, and still in the Carta.
- Gayngster: If the PC is a female Warden of any race, Jarvia specifically tells her goons to kill the entire party, "but leave the pretty one - I have plans for her." (The male Warden is "the mouthy one.")
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: She's strongly hinted to intend to do this with the Warden, regardless of the Warden's gender.
- Justified Criminal: Many of the people of Dust Town consider her one, to the point that they'll attack the Warden for killing her.
- The Mafia: Takes over as the boss after Beraht's death.
- Villain with Good Publicity: As with her boss, she's got lots of connections, and is actually fairly well-liked among the inhabitants of Dust Town, because she looks after them. At least, she's liked by the ones that aren't cowering in fear at the mere mention of her. After she's killed by the Warden, a group of them attempt to avenge her death.
"The Anvil of the Void allowed me to forge a man of stone and steel, and because of it I was made into a Paragon."
Voiced by: David Lodge
An ancient dwarven smith of legendary skill and one of Orzammar's most famous Paragons, Caridin was the creator of the Golems. At the time of Origins
, his home thaig has long since fallen to the Darkspawn and everyone assumes the discoveries he made are Lost Forever
, but Branka is fascinated by his research and goes into the Deep Roads in an attempt to recover it.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: Was turned into a golem after attempting to destroy his research.
- Artifact of Doom: In his opinion, this is what the Anvil of the Void is.
- Fate Worse than Death: He only realized that being turned into a golem was this when he was turned into a golem himself.
- Forging Scene: If you choose to side with him, he forges a crown for the new king of Orzammar for you.
- Forgotten First Meeting: Caridin was responsible for the creation of Shale. In her former life as Shayle of House Cadash, she was one of his closest friends and staunchest allies.
- Golem: Was sentenced to go under the hammer himself.
- Human Resources: He discovers that as powerful as the Anvil of the Void is, it can't create life from scratch - meaning he has to use dwarves to make golems.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: Not exactly, because he can and will once the Anvil of the Void is destroyed. But prior to that he won't, because he can't destroy the Anvil himself and is unwilling to risk allowing it to fall into the wrong hands.
- Knight In Sour Armour: Due to his creation of the Golems. After being forcibly turned into a Steel Golem, a rather literal example.
- Modest Royalty: Despite becoming a Paragon and being able to found his own house, he chose to remain in his ancestral home in Ortan Thaig. Furthermore, when chosen to smith the crown for the King of Orzammar, he uses the crest of House Ortan instead of his own.
- My God, What Have I Done?: He eventually came to view his research this way.
- Pet the Dog: Designed the fortress of Bownammar to serve as a headquarters and mausoleum for the Legion of Dead, in recognition of their sacrifices to safeguard the Dwarven Empire from the darkspawn.
- Skippable Boss: Though if you don't fight him, you'll have to fight Branka instead.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: At first, though he later came to regret his creation of the Golems.
- Ultimate Blacksmith: Could seriously be a contender for the ultimate one in the history of Thedas.
"It's my claim, not yours! Crunch your bones!"
Ruck is a young Dwarf who was stranded in the Deep Roads for five years. Like anyone abandoned there, he's grown deformed and half-mad from consuming darkspawn flesh, likely in the early stages of ghoulification. However, he is willing to trade with you, and is essentially a store in the middle of the Dark Roads.
- Anything But That!: He begs you to tell his mother he's dead. He doesn't want her to see him like that. His mother is enough of a Mama Bear that she'll rush to the Deep Roads to seek him out if you tell her he's alive.
No Filda! No mother! No warm blanket and stew and pillow and soft words! Ruck doesn't deserve good memories! No, no, NO
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: When you ask to trade with him, he'll tell you that you don't have to pay him for his wares...but you do.
- My Significance Sense Is Tingling: He's likely undergoing ghoulification from eating darkspawn flesh, since he can sense the Taint within the Warden.
- Talkative Loon: He never stops jabbering to himself.
- That Man Is Dead: Ruck firmly believes this about himself.
- Third-Person Person: Ruck refers to himself as such.
A dwarven merchant whom the Warden and his companions rescue on the Imperial Highway outside of Lothering, Bodahn and his adopted son Sandal thereafter travel with the party, providing a ready source of supplies as well as enchanting services.For more info, see Recurring Dragon Age Characters.
The adopted son of the dwarven merchant Bodahn Feddic. Sandal is...special, to say the least, as he is lyrium-addled. However, he has a unique and natural talent when it comes to enchanting, displaying skill that surpasses that of even grandmasters. He follows the party along with his father and the two offer their services in the party camp.For more info, see Recurring Dragon Age Characters.
A young girl of the Smith Caste, who wishes to study in the Circle of Magi.For more info, see Dragon Age: Inquisition.
The Circle of Magi
First Enchanter Irving
"We should seize moments of levity, especially in troubled times."
The First Enchanter of the Circle of Magi, Irving is a prominent and powerful mage who tries to compromise with the Templars and ensure that both sides of the conflict receive fair judgment.
- The Archmage: The oldest and most powerfeul mage in the Fereldan Cirlce.
- Badass Baritone: It's Steve Blum, after all.
- Badass Beard: An indicator of how long he's lived in the Circle teaching others.
- Badass Bookworm: His office is also his personal library of magic and forbidden knowledge.
- Badass Grandpa: "Maker, I'm too old for this." Doesn't impede his badassitude one bit.
- Berserk Button: He is not happy when the Demon in Connor's mind tries to make a deal.
- Black Magic: He dabbles in the Hex line from the Entropy tree.
- Cool Old Guy: He's very kind and friendly to his apprentices.
- Creepy Monotone: He speaks in a heavy, gargled hagger.
- Deadpan Snarker: Mainly towards Greagoir. Also when he snarkily wonders who thought it was a good idea to put the Circle of Magi in a tower with so many stairs, given the age of some of the Mages (including him).
- Guest Star Party Member: If he's the one to confront Connor Guerrin's demon.
- The Obi-Wan: Is this to the Mage Warden. Irving gives some good last minute advice before the Harrowing and later does as much as he can to defend you to Greagoir. It's implied numerous times that Irving took on the Mage Warden as his personal apprentice; apparently he talks up a storm about his star pupil to others, as Duncan recognises you pretty much immediately, Wynne has heard about your "remarkable self-confidence," and even Loghain has heard of you and concedes it's impressive to be so well regarded by the First Enchanter at such a young age. Whether he lives or dies is entirely up to you, though. In the novels' canon, he lives past the events of the sequel.
- The Stoic: No matter the situation, he's very nonchalant about it.
- Parental Substitute: It's implied that the Mage Warden regards him as such.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: When the Warden tells him about Connor's possession, Irving immediately gathers a group of mages and heads forth to Castle Redcliffe.
- Shock and Awe: Favors using Lightning spells from the Primal School of Magic.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: If he's chosen to go into the Fade to save Connor, he gives a very satisfying one to the demon.
Do you think me a FOOL?!
- So Proud of You: To the Mage Warden after they defeat the Archdemon. Irving says he never imagined the day when people would be celebrating in the street and singing the praises of a mage as their national hero.
- Squishy Wizard: Like most mages you can play as, he doesn't have much health or armor.
- To Be Lawful or Good: Lawful. While he genuinely cares for the mages in his charge, he firmly believes that performing the Rite of Tranquility on Jowan is the best course given the evidence that he's a Maleficar. Turns out he's right.
- Trap Master: Favors using the Glyph spells, a series of magical traps that enemies set off when stepped on, from the creation tree.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Apparently, he and Knight-Commander Greagoir aren't entirely unfriendly, despite their frequently clashing opinions. Their reunion after the mages are saved is genuinely warm, though Irving jokes that they'll be at each other's throats again before too long.
- Wizard Classic: Complete with a traditional Wizard Beard.
"It is the innocent folk of Ferelden who matter. I would lay down my life, and the life of any mage, to protect them."
Voiced by: Brian George
Leader of the Templars in the Circle tower. Greagoir is unpopular with most of the mages for his strict and uncompromising attitude, but is not entirely unmovable. Wynne says that he is not an unreasonable man.
- By-the-Book Cop: A law abiding Templar.
- Da Chief: To Cullen, should the player side with the mages.
- Enemy Mine: With the Mage Warden. He's the first to protest when Duncan recruits you to save you from execution if you have helped Jowan, but will still cooperate with you to deal with the crisis when you come back.
- Jerkass Has a Point: He behaves rather unlikable toward mages in the Mage Origins, and attempts to have Jowan made a Tranquil due to believing he is a Blood Mage; essentially, he is the main reason players will usually chose to help Jowan escape. Turns out Jowan is a Blood Mage, so his accusations were at least founded
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He supports the Chantry's hard-line stance against magic and keeps the mages locked up in the Tower where he can keep an eye on them, but he's not so unreasonable as to persist with the Annulment once given the all-clear, and much of what he does is out of a sense of duty to his position.
- Knight Templar: Subverted, as until the Grey Warden arrives, what was going on in the Circle tower more than justifies his actions. He's willing to let the Warden take a shot at possibly finding survivors inside the tower, though he thinks it's a suicide run. Also, he's willing to draw back his order to exterminate the Circle of Magi once the Grey Warden successfully neutralizes the threat and saves Irving.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Especially if you compare him to Knight-Commander Meredith.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Irving.
"You don't care about mages, you just bow to the Chantry's every whim!"
Voiced by: Desmond Askew
The best friend of the Mage PC, Jowan is an apprentice who is highly anxious about getting to his Harrowing. He and a Chantry initiate, Lily, are in a secret relationship and wish to elope - a sentiment which is reinforced when Lily finds an order to make Jowan Tranquil, as he is suspected of being a Blood Mage. Desperate, they enlist the Mage PC's help.
"You wish me to sneak around?!"
A Chantry initiate working in the Circle Tower. She is in love with Jowan, despite the fact that intimacy between Mages and Chantry members is forbidden.
- A Fate Worse Than Death: The Aeonar is not a pleasant place to be sent to...at all.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Thanks the Warden for risking everything to help her and Jowan escape the Circle, and later attempting to spare her from being sent to Aenoar by claiming responsibility for her actions.
- Guest Star Party Member: During the circle mage origin, same as Jowan.
- My God, What Have I Done?: When she learns that Jowan lied to her and really is a Blood Mage, she is horrified that she helped him and willingly accepts being sentenced to Aeonar.
- Naughty Nuns: As a Chantry initiate, she's sworn to a vow of celibacy, which she violates by getting involved with Jowan.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With Jowan.
- What the Hell, Hero?: She's not happy when she learns of Jowan's deceit.
"You are a thorn in my side, and I must remove you before you fester!"
Voiced by: Barry Dennen
One of the mages of the Circle sent to help the army at Ostagar.
- Arc Villain: For the Broken Circle quest, as his plan to turn as many mages as he can into abominations is what causes the Templars to lock the tower down and seek the Right of Annulment on the Fereldan Circle.
- Bald of Evil: As seen in the above image.
- Chekhov's Gunman: He has one line during your time in Ostagar; you will hardly suspect, on your first playthrough, that he will show up later in such a horrifying manner. Indeed, his presence in Ostagar is so minimal that many players don't necessarily recognize him when they reach the Circle during their first playthrough.
- He is also spoken of at some length during the Mage Origin during the discussion of the mage fraternities, hinting that he's going to be a problem later in the game.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Both blood magic and, according to Niall, demonology.
- Demonic Possession: Let's himself become a vessel for a Pride Demon.
- Evil Is Hammy: During Ostagar, he sounds reserved and calm, if worried about the battle. After his possession, he drops all subtlety and starts living it up in his evil.
- Evil Teacher: At least, he's supposed to be a teacher. Wynne mentions he's thus far refused to mentor any apprentices.
- Fatal Flaw: Pride. Judging by Wynne's comments about him, Uldred's overconfidence and arrogance about his own abilities made him easy pickings for the Pride Demon to possess him.
- Large Ham: Only after becoming an abomination.
- Mook Maker: He will keep turning his captive mages into Abominations until there are none left, including Irving.
- More Than Mind Control: To the point where it's impossible to tell how much of what he's spewing is his own opinion and how much is the demon's.
- Obviously Evil: According to Wynne.
- One-Winged Angel: Takes on the form of a demon when the Warden fights him.
- Teacher's Pet: Mockingly refers to the Mage Warden as this.
- Villain Has a Point: At Ostagar, he suggests that the contingent of Mages at Ostagar use their offensive magic to combat the darkspawn and help support the troops. Despite this being a reasonable suggestion and one even shared by Duncan in the Mage Origin, he's quickly silenced by the Revered Mother of the Chantry, who refuses to trust soldiers' lives to magic.
A young Templar at the Circle tower, Cullen harbors a long-standing infatuation with the female Mage PC, despite knowing of the impossibility of this sentiment.For more info, see Recurring Dragon Age Characters.
Brecilian Forest Residents
"I am Zathrian, the keeper of this clan, its guide, and preserver of our ancient lore."
Voiced by: Tim Russ
The keeper of the Dalish clan from which the Warden seeks aid. His clan is under attack by a pack of werewolves led by a beast called Witherfang.
- Bald of Evil: He looks like an elven Lex Luthor.
- Blood Magic: He created Witherfang and the werewolf curse using his own blood as a catalyst for the ritual (granting him immortality as long as the curse is active as a bonus).
- Dying as Yourself: The Warden can convince him to let go of his rage and end the curse.
- Fantastic Racism: He hates humans. More specifically, he hates the human tribe that used to live in the forest. He's polite enough to a human Warden.
- Immortality Immorality: He can't die of natural causes as long as the werewolf curse exists.
- Papa Wolf:
- His apprentice, Lanaya, relates a story of how he slaughtered a group of bandits who murdered one of his clan's scouts.
- This is also the reason why he unleashes the curse on humans - they destroyed his children. His son was beaten to death and his daughter was raped and committed suicide when she learned that she was pregnant.
- Redemption Equals Death: If he releases the curse.
- Replacement Goldfish: There's an implication that he sees Lanaya as this for his deceased daughter, since he found her being forced to serve as "servant" for a group of bandits with the heavy implication that they sexually abused her.
- Revenge Before Reason: He refuses to lift the werewolf curse even after it's pointed out to him that all he's doing anymore is punishing the descendants of the men who killed his family.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Why he unleashed the curse and lets it continue.
- The Stoic: Not openly emotional unless the topic shifts to his family, then he becomes Not So Stoic
- Treacherous Questgiver: It's clear he wasn't being forward about the entire situation once you meet The Lady of the Forest.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: The Warden can convince him that his long life has only succeeded in making him more angry.
Witherfang /the Lady of the Forest
The werewolf responsible for the curse that is afflicting Zathrian's clan.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Of the Brecilian forest.
- Arc Villain: Of the Nature of the Beast quest. Witherfang's infecting the Dalish camp with the werewolf curse is keeping them from aiding the Warden during the Blight. after The Reveal, Zatherian turn out to be the real villain.
- Black Eyes of Evil: Not evil and probably nicer than Zathrian, but her eyes are the same as those of a Desire demon. It's possible that she was one a very, very long time ago - though this is unlikely, since both she and Zathrian explicitly state she was the spirit of the Brecilian forest, and she claims that she was not sentient until Zathrian came along.
- Death Seeker: The Lady knows that ending the curse would end her existence as a sapient being, but wants Zathrian to do it anyway.
The Lady of the Forest: You are my maker, Zathrian. You gave me form and consciousness where none existed. I have known pain and love, hope and fear, all the joy that is life. Yet of all things, I desire nothing more than an end. I beg you, maker, put an end to me... we beg you... have mercy.
- Friend to All Living Things: As the Lady of the Forest, she's able to calm the werewolves and reduce their suffering, and even helps them take names and identities for themselves. In return, the werewolves are violently protective of her.
- Godiva Hair: As the Lady of the Forest. Though interestingly enough, she doesn't actually appear to have nipples judging by her hair falling a bit short. Then again, why would she?
- Jekyll & Hyde: Witherfang is a violent, male wolf whereas the Lady is calm, female and humanoid.
- Nature Spirit: The Lady's appearance is basically that of a dryad.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: While the other werewolves are bipedal and considerably hairier, Witherfang has the appearance of an actual white wolf.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Provided that the Warden is respectful during their parley.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Both a dryad and a wolf. Both are expressions of her true self.
The Grand Oak
"Hrrrrm... what manner of beast be thee that comes before this elder tree?"
A sentient oak tree that dwells in the West Brecilian Forest, the Grand Oak holds the key to passing through the barriers that guard the heart of the forest, and thus stands in the way of the Warden's pursuit of the beast Witherfang. He speaks entirely in rhyme
and, unlike other walking trees in the forest, does not attack the Warden on sight.
Voiced by: Chris Edgerly
Fellow hunter of the Dalish Elf PC, Tamlen is seen last when he and the PC discover a strange mirror in undead-infested ruins.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: To the female Dalish Elf - "Always... loved you...
- Chekhov M.I.A.: Assumed dead after the Dalish origin, but shows up late in the game as a Darkspawn.
- Curiosity Is a Crapshoot: He's downright suicidal, something the PC does naturally get plenty of chances to lampshade along with his lack of Genre Savvy.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Falls victim to Blight corruption before he could confess his feeling to a female warden.
- Fantastic Racism: While none of the Dalish are very fond of humans, he's easily the most vocal of them, openly expressing contempt for the "shemlen" and scolding you if you let the humans go at the beginning of the origin without at least demanding to know what they were doing in the forest in the first place.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: If what's seen of him is any indication. Extremely hostile to shemlen, rather nice and easygoing toward the PC.
- Tempting Fate: "I just want to look around. How dangerous could it be?"
- Tragic Monster: Unlike the PC, who survives the taint by becoming a Grey Warden, Tamlen becomes a shriek and begs the PC to kill him.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: Big time towards the female Dalish Elf.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Between him and a female PC who has expressed interest, according to the rest of the clan. In fact, when the Warden tells him that she likes him, he literally tells her they can talk about it later at camp. Although they do eventually talk about it at a camp, it's probably not how he intended it...
- Was Once a Man: Was once an elf, now a Darkspawn ghoul.
The legendary Witch of the Wilds, mother of Morrigan and fear of Chasind tribes everywhere. She is apparently centuries old and loves
cryptic hints.For more info, see Recurring Dragon Age Characters
The Mad Hermit
“Ask a question and you'll get a question, but give an answer and you'll receive the same! Oh, I do so love to trade!”
The Mad Hermit is a deranged apostate who lives in the East Brecilian Forest.
- Bigger on the Inside: He apparently constructed a tower in the Brecilian Forest which has since mysteriously disappeared. It is implied that he has shrunk said tower and placed it in the tree trunk, and thus resides in one within the other.
- Blood Magic: The Hermit is a Blood Mage hiding from the Chantry.
- Chain of Deals: Part of dealing with him consists of several trades for items with items you obtain as sidequest rewards.
- Conspiracy Theorist: He believes the trees are out to get him and that "they" sent the Warden as part of some conspiracy.
- Flunky Boss: He will be aided by 2 shades in his boss fight.
- No Fair Cheating: "No fair, bringing mages to a guessing game!"
- Skippable Boss: In the Brecilian Forest, the Grand Oak and the Mad Hermit will each try to get you to kill the other to settle their dispute over the Grand Oak's acorn. You could kill one of them... or you could just trade the Hermit one of the items you picked up from various sidequests earlier in the level for the acorn.
"Sarcasm is beneath us both, my dear Warden."
A Tevinter magister who has recently set up shop in the Denerim Alienage, supposedly to provide a magical cure to the Blight sickness afflicting its citizenry.
- Bad Boss: He'll use blood magic to siphon the health of his own minions to heal himself in battle.
- Bad Samaritan: He's a slaver, a practice not outlawed in Tevinter.
- Blood Magic: He uses it in battle. Also uses it in his offer to the Warden should the Warden agree to it.
- Deal with the Devil: If defeated in combat, he will offer to use his power to augment the Warden's health in exchange for his life. And the lives of the elven captives, whose blood will power the spell.
- Evil Is Hammy: A slaver with a flair for the dramatic.
- Evil Sorcerer: He's a magister of Tevinter, and a blood mage.
- Faux Affably Evil: He is unfailingly polite to the Warden at all times.
- Only in It for the Money: He is perfectly willing to pull up stakes and leave... provided he can still turn a profit at the end of the day.
- Reliable Traitor: He is only too eager to turn over evidence against Loghain if it means he can get out with his skin (and his money) intact.
- Sissy Villain: Noticeable when he's reduced to a simpering wimp after his defeat.
- Skippable Boss: You can pay him 100 gold in order to get the slaver documents needed to implicate Loghain, but lose the elven slaves.
- Smug Snake: Acts Wicked Cultured when you first meet him, but begs for his life after his boss fight.
"No, don't touch that door!"
Voiced by: Matthew Ashforde
"Weylon" is the loyal assistant of Brother Genitivi. In reality this guy's a Dragon Cult plant meant to lead anyone who tries to find Genitivi off his trail, by any means necessary.
- Bad Liar: If the Warden's Cunning is high enough, they can point out the inconsistencies in "Weylon's" story and provoke him into attacking.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Is one of, if not the only mage in the game who will fight you with his bare hands.
- Berserk Button: This Weylon will also attack if the Warden insists on entering the closed back room of the house.
- Dead Person Impersonation: This guy murdered the real Weylon and took his place.
- Squishy Wizard: In addition to having no real armor, he's outnumbered by the Warden's party.
- Treacherous Quest Giver: When you first meet, he suggests you go to The Spoiled Princess in Lake Calenhad to find any clues for Genitivi's whereabouts. Turns out it's really directions to an ambush of Dragon Cultists.
"We find outsiders... disruptive. They bring others, and before long, Haven is changed. We will go to any lengths to prevent that."
The revered father of the Haven Chantry.
"All of us stumble through the darkness, before being found and shown the light. Perhaps through Andraste's mercy, her greatest enemy will become her greatest champion."
Voiced by: Douglas Weston
The leader of the dragon-worshipping cult known as the Disciples of Andraste, Kolgrim is encountered in a ruined Tevinter temple high in the Frostback Mountains rumored to be the final resting place of the prophetess herself. Despite the violent nature
of the group he leads, and the fact that by the time the Warden encounters him s/he will have slaughtered many of its members, he doesn't attack on sight, and depending on the player's choices he can even end up giving the Warden a reward for rendering him a certain service.
The leader of the armies of darkspawn invading Ferelden. As long as he lives, the Blight will continue forever. His true identity is Urthemiel, the Tevinter god of beauty.
- Big Bad: Of the Blight.
- Bigger Bad: He leads the Darkspawn and therefore kicks the plot in motion, but Loghain serves as the most significant antagonist for the majority of the game until Urthemiel attacks the surface.
- Black Speech: How he communicates with the other darkspawn.
- Body Surf: The Archdemon can do this among the darkspawn, which is why it's necessary for a Grey Warden to either perform Morrigan's ritual or make a Heroic Sacrifice in order to kill it.
- For the Evulz: In the Return to Ostagar DLC, the darkspawn are shown to have moved King Cailan's body from the valley and mockingly crucified it from atop the bridge. Considering the individual in question, the effort involved and the fact that darkspawn usually desecrate corpses were they lay, this seems far too calculated not have been done deliberately by the Archdemon.
- Fluffy the Terrible: It's the former Old God of Beauty.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: The Architect's attempt to turn him into a Disciple to free all darkspawn from the Old Gods at once resulted in the very Blight he sought to avoid.
- Grand Theft Me: If slain, he can transmit his soul to the nearest darkspawn or the Grey Warden who killed him. Doing so to the former causes it to transform the darkspawn's body into one resembling its previous one. Doing so to the latter kills them both.
- It Can Think: Hinted at several times.
- Without the Archdemon intentionally steering the horde to do so, it seems highly fortuitous otherwise that they just happened to break through to the surface in the middle of the Korcari Wilds, the perfect place to mass the horde for some time before being detected.
- After their shared nightmare and the attack on the camp, Alistair speculates that the Archdemon was watching them and personally sent the Shrieks after them to eliminate the only real threats to him in the whole of Ferelden.
- Riordan later expresses disbelief that the Archdemon was seemingly aware of his listening in via the Taint, feinting an attack on Redcliffe to divert forces away from Denerim, the true target.
- The non-canonical Darkspawn Chronicles similarly features the Archdemon proving to be highly tactical on the battlefield.
- Nightmare Fuel: An in-universe example. One of the side effects of the taint is that the Warden and Alistair both see the Archdemon frequently in their dreams, including a particularly terrifying dream in which it appears to also see them.
- Our Dragons Are Different: In fact, according to the official Dragon Age wiki, the Archdemon is neither a dragon nor a darkspawn - and for this reason, weapons and runes which have advantages over either species do not give advantages over it.
- Sequential Boss: Has four distinct phases, one for each 25% of his health.
- Taking You with Me: He can't be killed without the Grey Warden who delivers the final blow dying too.
- Tragic Monster: Read his codex once you've visited the Dead Trenches and discover what he once was.
- The Unintelligible: Like most other darkspawn, he communicates in roars and shrieks. Alistair claims that Grey Wardens are eventually able to interpret at least some of his roars in their dreams. The Darkspawn Chronicles DLC allows the player to finally understand his screeching. He's quite tactical.
, hideous monster that dwells in an abandoned dwarven fortress in the Deep Roads, the Broodmother stands in the way of the Warden's search for the lost Paragon Branka.
- Body Horror: Read the Codex description of the transformation process. Yikes.
- Combat Tentacles: Her boss fight involves using these to slam your party members away.
- Eldritch Abomination: A giant fat pink blob monster with multiple breasts and tentacles.
- Fan Disservice: If you didn't throw up a little when she started fondling one of her many breasts... you have a stronger stomach than most.
- Fate Worse than Death: The process of becoming a broodmother is presented as one.
- For Want of a Nail: One can imagine the Fridge Horror would hit the Female Dwarf Noble particularly hard, when she realizes that if Duncan hadn't rescued her from the Deep Roads, that Broodmother could have very well been her.
- Flunky Boss: Gives birth to Darkspawn in the middle of her boss fight.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Part of the process of her transformation involved being forced by the darkspawn to feed on her fellow dwarves - including her own husband. Who was alive at the time.
- Mook Maker: The purpose of all Broodmothers is to birth more Darkspawn.
- Mother of a Thousand Young: As the name implies.
- Viral Transformation: Normally short dwarves change into these fat hulking monsters.
- Was Once a Man: All Broodmothers were once normal women.