Those Who Speak
is a three-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 a direct sequel to the earlier mini-series The Silent Grove
: Alistair, Isabela, and Varric continue their search for Alistair's Disappeared Dad
, which takes them to the Tevinter Imperium and the Qunari territory.
Like the previous series, the events of TWS
are not meant to override the player's personal canon
from the games but instead to complement it. The story is concluded in Until We Sleep
The comic series contains following tropes:
- Arc Words: "Manaveris Draconia" ("Long live the dragons!" in Tevinter).
- Art Evolution: Despite being created by the same people, the character designs look very different from the previous series.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Given how the most badass warriors get to lead the Qunari armies, it stands to reason that to make an alliance, you first have to beat the crap out of them.
- Back Stab: Isabela uses her rogue moves to save Alistair from a mook.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: Isabela and Alistair during the Tevinter ball, while Varric does it with Mae.
- Ballroom Blitz: Inverted: It's the heroes who interrupt the party by attacking Titus.
- Break Them by Talking: The Tamassran modus operandi during forced conversions. Isabela spends most of issue #2 on the receiving end of it.
- Call Back: The qunari are still after Isabela for what she did before Dragon Age II.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: Isabela and Alistair discuss why they don't get invited to parties a lot while mowing down some angry Tevinter ball attendees.
- Comic Book Fantasy Casting: According to David Gaider, Maevaris was modeled after the actress Mae West.
- Dances and Balls: Team Alistair visits a Tevinter ball in issue #1.
- Deadly Decadent Court: We get a glimpse of the Tevinter nobility in issue #1. It's not pretty.
- Fate Worse than Death: At least for Isabela. The qamek is used by the Qunari to turn people into viddath-bas, which seems to be non-mage equivalent of the Tranquil—or even worse.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Alistair has mostly gotten over his trust issues with Varric and Isabela (who themselves have been this since DA2).
- Given Name Reveal: Isabela's original name is finally revealed as Naishe.
- Guest Star Party Member: Magister Maevaris "Mae" Tilani joins Alistair as the party mage during the Tevinter ball.
- It's A Small World After All: Out of all the warriors under the Qun, they just had to choose the once-disgraced Sten who accompanied the Warden during the Blight as the new Arishok. Justified, really, considering the Arishok from DAII was the one who tasked him to find out about the Blight and he was the only survivor, and he potentially fought the Archdemon itself. And, who knows, maybe the cookies helped.
- Kick Chick: Isabela's secondary mode of attack (except her signature daggers) is kicking them in the face.
- Meaningful Name: Played With. All Qunari have meaningful names that indicate their origins and positions in the society. Meanwhile, Isabela's (admittedly fake) name has a meaning... but only for herself.
- The Men First: The first thing Isabela does after breaking free is to free Alistair and Varric—and then save her crew.
- Missing Mom: Isabela's mother wanted to join the Qun; Isabela didn't, so she sold her to an Antivan merchant.
- Mooning: The last panel of issue #1 features one of Isabela's crew doing this to the Qunari.
- My God, What Have I Done?: In the backtory, Isabela has had this reaction after "dumping" the shackled slaves she transported into the sea to get away from pursuit. She vowed to never transport slaves again after that.
- Noodle Incident: Varric mentions getting scars at Ostwick. Presumably, this involved Isabela.
- No Sell: Magister Aurelian Titus tries to Mind Control Alistair. Alistair's Templar training kicks in and Titus gets a face punch for his trouble.
- Statuesque Stunner: Rasaan.
- Switching P.O.V.: The previous mini-series was told mainly from Alistair's point of view; this one is mainly Isabela's. Varric gets his chance to shine in the last installment.
- Title Drop: "Those Who Speak" is a literal translation of "Tamassran", the quanri caste of priests, of whom Rasaan is a member.
- Token Evil Teammate: Kinda. Isabela has a thing for stabbing people nobody asked her to stab.
- Torture Chamber Episode: Issue #2 mostly concerns Rasaan trying to break the imprisoned Isabela.
- You Are The Translated Foreign Word: Alistair is seen as a basalit-an by the qunari—"an outsider worthy of respect"—which means he can remain alive and unconverted at the same time.