Comic Book: The Silent Grove
The Silent Grove is a six-issue comic book mini-series set in the Dragon Age universe, written by David Gaider, the lead writer of the games, and published in 2012 by the Dark Horse Comics. It is set after Dragon Age II and follows Alistair (a party member from Dragon Age: Origins), Isabela, and Varric (two party members from the second game) on their journey to discover the fate of Alistair's supposedly late father.The comic book is part of the so-called "BioWare canon", as it is not meant to override the player's personal canon from the games (e.g. by having Alistair live, even though it is possible for him to die in Origins). The story was continued in the sequel mini-series Those Who Speak and Until We Sleep.
The comic series contains following tropes:
- The Alcatraz: The Crow prison Velabanchel.
- Call Back:
- Deal with the Devil:
- Yavana reveals that King Maric made one with Flemeth: he restores his kingdom but has to turn himself over to Yavana afterwards.
- Later, Varric and Isabela make one with Yavana to get emergency healing before going to free Alistair. The price is later revealed to be their help in capturing and interrogating Claudio.
- The Dragons Come Back: Yavana explains that the eponymous Silent Grove was built after the fall of the (dragon-worshiping) Tevinter Imperium by people who realized that humans will hunt the dragons (whose blood is somehow "the blood of the world") to extinction unless they have a safe hiding place. When exactly that happened, Yavana called all the remaining dragons to the Grove, where they entered hibernation in the Hall of the Sleepers. She managed to awaken a few lesser ones but only the blood of King Calenhad could awaken the great ones, like the Queen of Dragons, who was awakened by King Maric (Calenhad's descendant and Alistair's father). Now Yavana wants Alistair to awaken the rest of the dragons... but he kills her instead. Not so much because he is opposed to the idea of the dragons returning, he just doesn't like how she and Flemeth manipulated him and his dad. So this trope is ultimately defied... for now.
- Driving Question: What happened to King Maric?
- Eye Scream: Yavana's method of summoning the recently departed spirit apparently involves stabbing the corpse in the eye with her staff.
- Faustian Rebellion: Preemptive example: Yavana tries to make a deal with Alistair like she did with his father—he kills her instead.
- Friends All Along: Claudio Valisti is introduced with a detail of guards responding to Team Alistair triggering an alarm but is soon revealed as Alistair's contact in Antiva. They are not really friends, though.
- Grappling-Hook Pistol: Varric's Bianca can do this, too.
- I Am What I Am: Alistair finally embraces his kingship after Yavana tries to temp him with the possibility of giving it up.
- Involuntary Suicide Mechanism: Claudio cannot reveal the name of his master without immediately getting burned to a crisp. Even if he is already dead.
- Malevolent Architecture: The Crow Archives are a "dragon's creche"—a building designed specifically to kill anyone who isn't allowed to access it. Good thing Alistair has two rogues with him when he visits.
- Noodle Incident:
- While getting a beating, Isabela claims she hasn't had that much fun since "Anselmo's bachelor party".
- A variation: Alistair claims that he fought three High Dragons before in issue #3. However, in Origins, there is only one actual High Dragon and two more (Flemeth and the Archdemon) are things that take a High Dragon form, which leaves several questions open.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Team Alistair. But Alistair lampshades that he missed the "facing death with wrong people at his side" part, so it's cool with him.
- Reluctant Ruler: Alistair claims he is a bad king, but Isabela points out that only a good king would say that about himself.
- Sequel Hook: The comic ends with Team Alistair no closer to their goal, but they have a name: Aurelian Titus.
- Switching P.O.V.: The first mini-series focuses on Alistair, the later ones would be told from his companion's points of view.
- Take Me Instead: Alistair voluntarily surrenders to Claudio to bargain freedom for Varric and Isabela. He even instructs them to receive their payment from Bann Teagan in Ferelden. They have none of that.
- Time of Myths: Yavana references the time when dragons ruled the skies and there was no Veil: a time period that doesn't exist in the official chronology of Thedas so far.
- Trick-and-Follow Ploy: Claudio tails Team Alistair to find a way through the swamps to the Silent Grove.
- Wretched Hive: The Antiva City.
- You Shall Not Pass: Subverted: Isabela and Varric decide to stay behind to hold off the enemies while Alistair searches Velabanchel, but quickly decide it's not their style and go kiting instead.