The song is about fate, embracing death and being mortal. This song is intertwined with Dragon Age: Origins completely. For one, it's the theme song of the game. For another, it's the entire theme of the game itself. Notice that everyone in the camp reacts to it with pensiveness, save Morrigan, who dismisses it. Morrigan wants to cheat fate and prevent you from sacrificing your life for a noble cause, the exact opposite of what the song preaches. During the entire game, the question of mortality comes up again and again - such as Zathrian's curse.
People think the song Leliana sings seems weird (which it does) especially with the musical instruments, bad lipsync and the voice difference. Maybe that's because the song we are hearing is the song Leliana is remembering instead of what she is singing.
One more thing about In Uthenera is that it is a song for the departed sung by a previously immortal race. So, on some level, it is not just the song for the departed, it's a lament for the entire elven race's lost immortality.
The symbol of Christianity is a cross, right? Because Jesus was crucified. Now, Andraste was instead burned at the stake. And the symbol of the Andrastian Chantry? A flaming sun!
While most dwarves have Scottish accents and also have a clan structure, the Dragon Age dwarves have American accents and some elements of democracy. While their society is far from egalitarian, they're the closest thing there is to a democracy in the setting. In fact, they may be modeled on the pre-revolution colonies, where wealthy families dominate a pseudo-democracy.
Flemeth as part of Morrigan's personal quest. When you run into her the first time, she's wearing regular clothes. The same is true for your second encounter, shortly after she saves you. But when you return to the Wilds to kill her, she's wearing a set of mage robes. She knew you were coming and had prepared for your arrival.
During a replay of the Dwarven Noble origins story, when you are about to enter Trian's room because King Endrin asked to summon him after the feast, it seems a little unnecessary that Trian's journal is lying there for you to see. And then, it makes perfect sense. His writings served as a warning all along! Awesome!
The official cover art for Dragon Age is a blood motif of a dragon, right? Okay, I get that, it's in the name. It's because the Big Bad is the archdemon and all that. Plus, there are lots of gore in the game so that makes sense too. And then it hit me like a rampaging ogre: the blood represents The Blight itself! The darkspawn blood, the blood that taints everyone, and that binds the darkspawn demons themselves to the archdemon. Not to mention the Grey Wardens themselves are joined this way: through blood! Wow. Then of course there are the blood mages, kept in line with the phylacteries (vials of blood), and you can taint Andraste's ashes with/drink dragon blood.
If you're feeling guilty about your decision to slay the Architect (thus keeping him from preventing any more future blights), remember: The Darkspawn are a parasitic race; they reproduce by preying on other people. There will never be peace with them and making sure they don't get any more intelligent is probably the best you can hope for.
Since their desire to create Broodmothers is implied to stem from their curse to act as a hive-mind army for the Archdemons and Old Gods, one can argue that their instinct to reproduce in such a way might be curbed or outright disappear if they regain their independent minds, as the Architect wishes. While thinking darkspawn are arguably more dangerous, it also might mean they could be reasoned with and/or become divided in their goals, thus preventing a future Blight of catastrophic magnitude, since not all of them will want to go to full-out war with the surface races now that they have a choice to choose otherwise and seek another life for themselves other than killing everything. At least one of the Disciples - the Messenger - even becomes helpful and overall good-natured on his own, if given the chance to live. So, there is potential for a mostly good outcome of allying with the Architect, it's the actual results that still remain unseen, thus it still could go either way.
Listen very closely to the Sloth Demon in the Circle Of Magi. His voice, combined with his putting the player to sleep and controlling dreams, makes the demon a pretty clear (and clever) expy of Freddy Krueger.
Why Alistair leaves you if you spare Loghain, and why you don't get a choice to spare Loghain if Alistair fights him. Throughout the game, despite his cheery demeanor, whenever Duncan and the other Wardens are brought up, Alistair invariably becomes sad and distant. It's quite clear that he loved his fellow Wardens, especially since they were the first family he'd ever really had and gave him a life he wanted to live outside the maddening, strict life of the Chantry. And Loghain took that away from him. That's why he follows the Warden around if the Warden is a monstrous, selfish, murdering asshole, and that's why he'll leave you even if he's your best friend (unless you do a damned good job convincing him otherwise). Throughout the whole adventure, deep down, Alistair has been carrying a deep-set hunger for revenge against Loghain for what he did. The best part is how marvelously understated this is. He doesn't go off into rants about vengeance or hatred, he doesn't make declarations of his intentions, and he doesn't talk to anyone about this bottled-up fury and hatred and pain he's carrying around. It only comes out when you bring up Duncan and the Wardens, and otherwise he keeps that incredibly bitter hatred for Loghain to himself. It may seem abrupt that he'll leave you if you spare Loghain, but that's just a result of the player not paying attention to what motivates Alistair. It makes an already-interesting character much deeper and more faceted. Which is why Alistair must be hardened in order to keep Loghain around and have him as King. Note that the ending will have Alistair's "angry" conversation with the Warden (if they survive), even if there was a 100 friendship rating.
Made all the more sad if you're romancing him, get him to stay and marry Anora, and ask him afterwards about the relationship; he comments that what happened with Loghain has tainted it for him and "there is no us". At first this just comes off cruel and almost childish until you realise that what happened has added your character to the long list of things Loghain took from Alistair... and now Alistair has to marry Loghain's daughter and probably see him every day. No wonder he's snide and angry for the rest of the game.
There's another element to this as well, and that is this: Riordan and Anora suggest making Loghain a Warden as his punishment for his crimes, in lieu of executing him. Alistair will never see being made a Warden as a punishment; for him, being a Grey Warden is an honor and the Wardens are his family, so to him, the suggestion of making Loghain a Warden is tantamount to asking Alistair to accept him as a brother and let him off scot-free for everything he did.
Leliana's tale about Flemeth off-handedly mentions that Flemeth can steal a woman's beauty through mirrors, and Morrigan's one piece of property as a child was a stolen mirror, later broken by Flemeth. These seem minor elements, a common superstition and a cruel lesson, respectively, until Witch Hunt, wherein Morrigan escapes through a magic mirror, implied to be bound to Flemeth's will...
Note that Riordan's surprise attack successfully crippled the Archdemon's wing, which is the only reason the damn thing hangs around the top of Fort Drakon waiting to be killed by you instead of just flying away from the city.
During the mage origin story, Uldred is described as the leader of the Libertarians, the faction of the Circle that believes that mages should be free to use their powers as they like rather than submitting to the oversight of the Templars. He's one of the few mages who is genuinely proud of his abilities. Which is perhaps what leaves him vulnerable to possession by a Pride Demon.
Want to know a way your character can be convinced to spare Loghain? This quote from Riordan will explain everything: "We aren't judges. Kinslayers, blood mages, traitors, rebels, carta thugs, common bandits: Anyone with the skill and the mettle to take up the sword against the darkspawn is welcome among us." All six of those examples represent each origin option in the game and how people would react to you negatively. Kinslayers represent the Dwarf Noble because you either killed your brother or were blamed for his death. Blood mages talks about the Magi because that is the most common accusation of an apostate in the DA universe, even if an apostate hates blood magic. Traitors represent the Human Noble because of the slanders Teryn Loghain and Arl Howe made regarding your family. Rebels would be best associated with a City Elf due to the stereotypes of elves being nothing but troublemakers. Carta thugs is the only justified example as if you were a Dwarf Commoner, you did work for the carta. As for common bandits and the Dalish Elf origin, many people who are completely ignorant about the Dalish, including elves, would assume that they are nothing more than glorified bandits who only kill humans. No matter what origin you play as, once you hear one of those examples, you realize that you are judging Loghain as much as people judged you before you became a Grey Warden.
Why does Bryce Cousland choose "Pup" of all things to be the affectionate nickname of the Human Noble Warden? It plays into how the Fereldans are all big on dogs.
Ser Jory has the lowest willpower of companions during the Wilds part of Ostagar. Pretty fitting considering his reactions to pretty much everything scary.
For a while after the Joining, Grey Wardens apparently experience ravenous hunger when it comes time to eat... so do the Darkspawn.
Sten is only allowed one specialization instead of two because Qunari believe that it's best to only do one specific thing, but to do it very well. Gameplay and Story Integration! Now if only he got an extra bonus for not taking a second one instead of just being locked out...
When you gain the Spirit Warrior specialization in Awakening, you can give it to Oghren, the dwarf, member of a race who has no connection to the fade, so how is he able to be connected to it? Easy, he's already been in it once, possibly twice, no other dwarf would be able to do that. (yes, I know it is possible that you didn't bring him along for that quest, or the first time, which can be handwaved away by saying that unless it has been stated that your party has been split up, storywise, your entire party took part in every quest once you got them)
Flemeth and Morrigan:
She deliberately raised Morrigan to be Stupid Evil. She can't afford her daughter having an alternative world view as she's going to possess that body one day with all the magic that comes with it.
On a related note, Morrigan has fairly underpowered starting spells, as well as the most underpowered of the mage specializations, shapeshifting. However, Flemeth sustains her existence by taking over the body of her latest "daughter" once the girl is old enough, a process that requires overcoming whatever resistance she might be able to muster. Of course she wouldn't want Morrigan's power to be optimized! Along the same lines, Morrigan may have chosen the shapeshifting specialization because, as Flemeth says, she's quite fond of the legends concerning Witches of the Wild. No matter how much Morrigan may like to pretend she's a Munchkin, she's really a role-player at heart - a dynamic that fits nicely with her Tsundere nature. Fittingly, the first sign of that nature is that Morrigan derides the legends concerning the Witches, only for Flemeth to confirm, less than five minutes later, that her daughter really enjoys those stories.
Plus, if you get into a romance with her, Morrigan—witty, dry-humored, quick-to-retort Morrigan—is completely at a loss if you ask her what she wants, to the point that you get the feeling that nobody has ever asked her that before. Which makes sense—not much point in giving a kid experience in making their own choices if you're going to Grand Theft Me them in a few years. They'll put up less resistance if they've got less personal interest. However, in a second bit of Fridge Brilliance, it didn't quite stick. Flemeth was apparently really bad at teaching that mentality (probably was really obvious about not practicing what she preached), because Morrigan favors personal power instead of the good of the group.
At first the idea of Thedas's humans and elves cremating their dead seemed like meaningless background fluff. After thinking about it, it seems to actually have a purpose. Humans and elves all have some connection to the Fade, even after death. Considering how many demons would be happy to take on a corpse and wreak havoc, it only makes sense that they'd start up a tradition of destroying the bodies of the dead to prevent such attacks. It's only the Andrastians who do this, supposedly since Andraste was burned, but getting rid of corpses might also be useful. The Dalish bury their dead and plant trees over the site.
If playing the Mage storyline when you encounter Uldred in the Circle Tower, you can pick options saying you aren't so different from him, to which he'll agree happily. The demon possessing Uldred is a Pride demon and what demon did you encounter trying to tempt you in your Harrowing? A Pride demon. Especially Fringe Brilliance if you're playing a morally ambiguous or evil character.
DLC Fridge Horrorand Fridge Brilliance from Leliana's Song. Leliana lies in a dark, dank dungeon after having been betrayed by her lover Marjolaine to a cruel Ferelden Officer. She is sobbing and crying. She never tells us what happened to her in that dungeon, and we assume it's run of the mill torture... until the corrupt officer makes a cruel remark to her later in the story about simply asking if she "wanted more men." Note, in the prison cutscene, where the blood stains are.
Why is Branka a Paragon of her Kind? Dwarves, apparently an honourable, noble people, have a dark side to them, one that can look very very nasty to an outsider. Dwarves also admire determinators like nobody's business, and Branka is one taken Up to Eleven.
Taking from the Qunari redesign, at first it seems a bit weird that natural born-hornless Qunari would be considered destined for greatness while the Tal-Vashoth who voluntarily remove their horns are scum of the earth to the Qun. But that's actually the whole point. Tal-Vashoth removing their horns is their way protesting the fatalist nature of the Qun, a philosophy that's no so big on the concept of people making their own choices about what they will to do. It's effectively saying Screw Destiny to the Qun because it symbolizes them choosing their own lot in life instead of it being fixed for them by an outside force.
When entering the phylactery chamber in the Circle of Magi, it's initially confusing as to why there is a room that was filled with mist and inexplicable bits of snow and ice in the corners. It seems oddly out of place. It's the mage equivalent of a refrigerator and the cold is to preserve the blood.
One would think that since Ferelden's more rough-and-ready and "barbarian"-like than its neighboring nations, that the attire of the nobility would consist of more practical leathers, tunics, and furs than their foppish bright colors and puffed sleeves. But Ferelden was occupied by Orlais for over a century before the game's story began. So it's easy to assume that the Orlesians influenced the nobles' fashion and changed it from something like this◊ to this◊. Much like how the Anglo-Saxons were influenced by being under Norman rule when William the Conquerer invaded.
In a playthrough where the Warden was Alistair's lover and Morrigan's friend, when trying to persuade Alistair to do the ritual with her, Morrigan acts very nonchalant about her request, even though she knew it must have been tearing up the Warden to have to convince the man she loved to sleep with another woman. She even offers some passive-agressive guilt, claiming if the Warden REALLY loved Alistair, she'd give him the chance to save his own life. This seemed contrary to how Morrigan acts after you befriend her, where she warms up to you considerably and seems fairly sympathetic to you from that point on. Yet in one scene she seems to regress back to her old self, only to swing back again when bidding you farewell at the gates of Denerim. So what's going on? Morrigan is wearing a mask for this scene. It is killing her to ask her only friend to do this, but she doesn't have a choice if she wants to save her life. She's shut off her emotions for this because she sees her feelings on the matter as less important than saving the Warden. She may have her own long-term plans concerning the god child, but it becomes fairly clear that her main motivation at this point in time is saving her friend. The official Dragon Age: The Revelation comic, which was cut content, shows exactly this.
It always seemed a little bit odd that Wynne would turn on you if you destroyed the Urn of Sacred Ashes as she never seemed to be overly devout, certainly not to Leliana levels. Then comes Dragon Age II when we see that joining with a Spirit of the Fade can have pronounced alterations on the mage's personality. So of course Wynne would try to kill/abandon you. You've just destroyed one of the most highly regarded holy relics in Thedas, and Wynne is joined with a spirit of Faith. The brilliance on that point kicks in even during the first game: Eamon's son, Connor, who is possessed by a desire demon, becomes completely different from his usual self. Also, in a moment of Fridge BrilliancemeetsWild Mass Guessing, if you defile the ashes, the two party members who immediately attack you, regardless of approval ratings, are Wynne and Leliana. Maybe the Cult of Andraste was right about their prophet being reborn - they just had the wrong entity.
There could also be an explanation for Wynne being so well adjusted for the majority of her possession when Anders loses it in the second game. Wynne is fundamentally good, but a devout Andrastian she is not. It could be that the slight juxtaposition is enough to keep Faith in line. Anders and Justice, meanwhile, are both obsessed in the pursuit of freeing the mages. They had a system of negative feedback that Wynne lacked.
Fridge Brilliance and Fridge Horror (at least from the Templars' perspective) in one: in the Mage's Circle quest, why is the Templar's Nightmare by far the most difficult section of the Fade to navigate? Because the Templars are obsessed with upholding the law and order of the Chantry. Spatial relations are probably the most well-ordered thing in the world; if even they prove unreliable, we have truly entered a Templar's nightmare.
Where Alistair presented the rose from Lothering...that that has to be the same rose that Leliana saw that made her think her vision was true. When Alistair gives the player that rose, he says pretty much the same thing that Leliana does when you ask her about her vision. "In the midst of darkness, there is still beauty." With that in mind, it makes tons of sense that they could end up as a couple in Darkspawn Chronicles.
Alistair gets mocked a lot for capitulating to his junior (the Warden). Seeing just about everyone in the party snipe at him at least once for being lower in the chain of command is funny, until you realise: Just about every origin character has been groomed to be a better leader than Alistair. The Cousland family is just beneath the royal family in terms of status and power, and there is the possibility that Lord/Lady Cousland would assume reign over Highever. Similarly, the dwarven noble is royalty in line for the throne. The dwarven commoner, having spent most of his/her life looking out for the family and fending for his/herself, would have excellent survival skills (and, depending on how you play, appears to be the dominant partner in the duo with Leske). The city elf is the child of the alienage elder, whilst the Dalish elf is of the warrior class, making both origins adept in survival and leadership. The mage origin doesn't have much going for it (comparatively), but from the character dialogue, it's clear you are supposed to be somewhat headstrong and exceptionally talented in magic. Now contrast Alistair, who's never had control over his life and had always been told what to do before Duncan came along. Poor guy.
On two occasions near the start of the game, you come across madmen ranting about the darkspawn, and it's only after you've finished the game that things start to make sense. The first is a soldier at Ostagar that was poisoned by darkspawn and is ranting about the horde that's bearing down on him and everyone's going to die. He has the Taint, just like the Wardens, and can actually sense the darkspawn! They sound like demented ramblings to us, but he's completely right. The second is a Chasind in Lothering ranting about how everyone's going to die, then points at you and announces that he can sense the darkness in you, you're a dark creature that's only the first of others. Wardens have the Taint, they carry darkspawn blood in their veins! Again, it sounds crazy but he's completely right.
Several bits of brilliance about Sten in light of all we've learned about the Qunari in Dragon Age II:
Sten is swift to join the Warden to atone for his failures. One of the key components of the Qun, however, is that it gives every Qunari purpose. The Warden's arrival and offer to take him along to fight the Blight gives him a new purpose that would be acceptable within the confines of his role in the Qun, which is why he is so quick to accept this. Aside from atoning for his failures and continuing his mission for the Arishok, the Warden offers him a chance to continue being a warrior and fulfilling his overall purpose.
Sten is so quiet around the others. The reason for this is elaborated on in the Codex. Aside from lacking respect for the others beyond immediate combat utility, he apparently doesn't command a full control of the common tongue in Ferelden. For the Qunari, not possessing mastery of a skill is shameful if displayed in front of others. Sten doesn't fully speak the local language, so he keeps quiet and is standoffish so he doesn't embarrass himself.
Sten's objections to the Warden straying from directly fighting the Blight, i.e. going to Haven, stem from not simply his role as a soldier but also because of your role as a Grey Warden. Wardens fight the Blight, and by moving away from fighting the Blight to perform other, seemingly unnecessary tasks, you are deviating from your role, which is a big no-no to the Qunari. Sten disapproves of helping Redcliffe because it's not your job to protect that village, it's your job to fight the Blight. Similarly, Sten disapproves of going to Haven because it's not your job to hunt down mystical cures.
Upon retrieving his sword, Sten's comments if the Warden isn't sure they aren't Ashkaari, which is a Qunari title meaning "One Who Seeks". While his tone indicates he's joking (and making a Stealth Pun that the Warden does a lot of seeking), its also possible he's expressing his new-found respect for the Warden. Being Ashkaari means having complete and utter understanding of one's role and purpose in life, thus having reached enlightenment, which is the goal of the Qun. While the Warden initially confused Sten with their seemingly erratic decisions, Sten now recognises the Warden's role as an Ashkaari of the Grey Wardens. This would also explain why after finding Asala, he voices his opinion but does not question the Warden's decision to go to Haven, since the Warden is following the demands of their role.
Lots of people complained about the decisions Alistair made in Darkspawn Chronicles, saying that they were out of character for Alistair, all-around good guy and idealistic hero. However, Alistair is a man who is afraid of leadership, lost, alone, forced to make decisions for himself that he hasn't been trained for and lacks the confidence to do so. And in such a scenario, who will Alistair have following him, belittling him, whispering poisonous lies in his ears while asserting her much stronger personality? No, many of the decisions made by Alistair do not fit him, but they perfectly fit Morrigan, who likely took over the group herself, using Alistair as her figurehead.
Also, consider what the lack of a Warden means for Alistair's mental state. Alistair repeatedly states that he hates to lead, preferring to follow another person's commands. This is why he defers to the Warden's leadership in spite of the fact he's technically the senior Warden. In Darkspawn Chronicles however, there is no one but Alistair to take up the responsibilities of leading the group. Alistair has to fit into a role he doesn't want, in addition to dealing with the grief of losing Duncan and the other Wardens at Ostagar. It's also likely that the Warden's friendship/love is part of what helps him heal and keeps him fundamentally the same good person. Taking all this into account, an Alistair without the Warden's support would likely become a much harsher and more ruthless person, much more likely to make the crueler choices if it means defeating the Blight.
It also makes sense that with Morrigan's influence, she would advise him to make choices that were more about strength, hence why he'd save the Anvil and side with the Werewolves, both of which are are good on the offensive. The problem is that this meant that Alistair's force had little in the way of defensive strategy which the Dalish Archers would have provided to take the flack off of the ground-forces. Similarly without recruiting Wynne, Alistair had no-one to keep his companions healthy and able to fight, instead relying on the sheer offensive power Morrigan provided to win battles. By not finding the Urn of Sacred Ashes and failing to save Arl Eamon, this meant the Redcliffe forces lost a brilliant tactician and general, which hurt his chances drastically. Without the Warden's presence Alistair became very ruthless, but this also meant there was no one to stop Alistair from being reckless.
The Guardian of Andraste's ashes never really spells out who he is, but the Codex, as always, gives a clue. The entry for Havard's Aegis talks about an old friend of Maferath and Andraste called Havard who swore to protect them. When Andraste was betrayed, he tried to protect her but was fatally wounded and left for dead. By sheer willpower he made it to where Andraste was executed, but when he touched the ashes, he was cured, and told that "the Maker shall never forget you so long as I remember." Then he gathered up the ashes and went back to what would be Ferelden. That's the Guardian!
One of the main problems of the DA universe is that entities from a higher plane of existence are merging with people, thereafter controlling their actions and influencing their decisions (a being called an Abomination in-universe). But then again... what does a player do when playing DA? We take over the main character, control her actions and influence her decisions. And we may not be from the Fade, but we definitely come from a "higher plane of existence". So, like it or not, that means each and every DA main character is a kind of abomination, and every player is a kind of demon.
It seems reasonable that Dorothea/Justinia would be named after Justinian and Theodora, the emperor and empress of Byzantine from 527-565, the former of whom is considered a saint by Orthodox Christians.
It seemed kinda odd that Mouse, a Pride demon, who should be the embodiment of said sin, was making himself the lowest of the low. But he wasn't showing off his own pride, he was trying to lead the Warden to a position of pride. It is mentioned in the Codex that demons aren't named after their own personality, but after the emotion they manipulate and exploit in others (eg Sloth demons are not necessarily lazy, they are so named because they foster slumber and apathy in their victims). Just as the sloth demon attacking the Circle of Mages seems to work quite hard to keep its victims complacent and asleep, a Pride demon need not actually have much of an ego, especially since it would probably be counter-productive; the easiest way to make someone feel pride is by making them feel superior, which would be difficult if you had your own massive ego chafing against any sign of humility.
There was something in this exchange between Alistair and Morrigan early on in the game, that is confusing on a first play-through, "What would you do if your mother died?" and Morrigan said back to him "Before, or after I stopped laughing." After completing Morrigan's quest, it's obvious she was talking about Flemeth being able to keep living by storing small amounts of her soul in an item.
If Zevran is with you when Master Ignacio offers you a quest, they will have a dialogue where Zevran will try to justify his failure to kill you, only for Ignacio to point out it was suicidal to even take this contract to begin with. It eventually turns out that not only was Zevran indeed the only one willing to take the contract, but he was indeed being suicidal.
When you first get Leliana as a part member, she has a unique amulet equiped called "Seeker's Circle". Who do we find out she has joined in the next game? The Seekers
The relative scarcity of Ogres compared to Hurlocks, Genlocks, or Shrieks makes sense when you consider how the Qunari defines gender roles. Very few Qunari women would have been captured, as they aren't on the front lines, so very few Broodmothers could be made.
More a Fridge for the series as a whole, but the Warden from most of the trailers is a warrior. In most of DA2's trailers, Hawke is a mage. And in DAI's trailers, the Inquisitor is a rogue. This makes sense for each of the characters and their respective games. DAO is a Fantasy Epic where you gather an army to combat a dark evil. The Warrior Hero is best suited for it, as is with other fantasy stories. The Mage/Templar conflict is full force in DA2, and making Hawke a mage only adds to the drama and tension. Finally, the Inquisitor is a rogue, leading a Shadowy Organization with a penchant for Taking the Third Option, best suited for rogues, who use stealth and cunning.
So why did Loghain approve of Howe's massacre of the Cousland household? He says that he believed that Cousland's were secretly in cahoots with the Orlesians, but it comes off as a pretty weak justification. When you play the Human Noble Origin and hear about the Cousland background you learn that Ferelden actually once campaigned for the Couslands to become the royal line and their leaders, with Bryce turning down the offer. With that in mind, if Loghain was going to have Cailan killed, that would've made Bryce Cousland his next biggest political threat. Bryce and Cailan being killed in such short succession was no coincidence.
Alistair thinks Duncan is coddling him, but in reality he's just keeping him safe because of his lineage. When you go into the Kokari Wilds, Alistair is in charge. That sounds like a strange thing to do for someone he was trying to go easy on. It seems like Duncan's plan was to gradually mold Alistair into a leader so he could take the throne in case anything happened to Cailen.
The Dark Ritual:
a.) The Archdemons can not be killed, because when the body is destroyed, the spirit of the Old God will just jump into the next soulless darkspawn nearby. b.) The Grey Wardens infect themselves with the darkspawn taint so when they destroy an archdemon, the Old God will try to possess them, and be destroyed when merging with the Grey Warden's soul. c.) Flemeth teaches Morrigan how to become pregnant with the child of a Grey Warden, so the Old God will successfully possess the unborn child, that does not yet have a soul. d.) Flemeth became what she is when she was possessed by a demon, but instead of destroying her mind, the demons powers became part of her. e.) Flemeth also extends her life by possessing the bodies of her daughters. The logical conclusion: Flemeth wants her granddaughter to be the body that holds the Old God. And since she absorbs demons that try to possess her, stealing the childs body would make her absorb the Old God spirit, turning herself into a god. And it would probably have worked if Morrigan hadn't found out that Flemeth steals the bodies of her daughters and ran away with the child.
Which also leaves the question, what does Morrigan want to do with it? Since she wouldn't have gotten herself pregnant by Alistair just to save Alistair's life, she specifically wanted a demon-god child instead of getting a normal one from another man.
Made even more terrifying given the realization this god-child can technically claim rights to the throne as Alistair did, if you had Alistair become King as well as perform the ritual with Morrigan. Not to mention, since Grey Wardens have pretty short lifespans as is, by the time the child becomes an adult, both Alistair and The Warden will be gone with Morrigan being the only person involved in the ritual left; it's most likely no one but she will know what this child actually is.
And if you didn't bother to do Morrigan's personal quest involving Flemeth... Well, let's just say things could potentially get even worse if the child ends up a female. (Even if you did do the quest, Morrigan explicitly says when she requests it of you that you probably won't kill Flemeth in any sort of permanent way, meaning that this is still a possible concern regardless.) There is another level to this if you believe the theory that Flemeth is one of the Old Gods of the Imperium. She doesn't want a new body. She wants one of her fellow siblings/gods to be there.
This sets in when you realize that becoming a Broodmother might very well have been the fate that awaited a female dwarven noble PC had Duncan not been around to rescue her. It gets even worse when you consider the fact this is a possible fate for ANY female PC you play, as in about thirty years she'll have to go on her Calling... When asked about this, the developers said that now that the Grey Wardens understand how Broodmothers are made, female Wardens are given the choice of ritual suicide at the end of their lives rather than risk being transformed in such a way. But some do still take the risk, believing they will kill enough darkspawn and die properly without being captured. We can only hope they are correct.
Caladrius, a late-game enemy blood mage, can use a blood ritual that sacrifices a room full of slaves to give himself...1 measly point of constitution (5 HP). Then you think about how much HP he has compared to almost anyone else in the game...
At some point in Dragon Age: Origins you learn how golems are created: A dwarf is put in an armor and then liquid Lyrium is poured into his eyes. That's creepy enough as it is, but once you get to thinking, you realize what this means: in every golem encountered in the game there's probably a dwarven body locked inside - and since golems don't need to eat...
Another implication is that the molten lyrium slowly liquefied the Dwarf inside and bound their spirit into the shell casing. And only then did Caridin start hammering away to further refine the outer shell casing. Considering that triggering a repressed memory of the process is implied to have caused Shale to kill Wilhelm, it's possible the screaming continued a long time after they awoke in their new form.
Granted, Caridin was a great inventor, even before he created the Anvil of the Void. Even so, after exhausting every other golem-making technique he could think of, sooner or later he decided to stick one of his fellow dwarves in a ten-foot tall suit of armor and pour liquid lyrium into the joints until the subject stopped screaming. Who does that? Who even thinks of trying it? Caridin seems like a really helpful and nice guy, but there's a reason why he's The Atoner.
While at Ostagar, if you talk with Ser Jory, he mentions his wife was left behind in Highever when he was accepted to join the Wardens. But as seen in the Human Noble origin, Arl Howe takes over the entire region of Highever by massacring everyone inside Castle Cousland. It's not made clear where exactly in Highever Jory's wife is when this takes place, but the implication can be chilling.
In the Human Noble's origin, your houseguest has an elven servant you can seduce. During the seduction, you can learn some facts about her, like how she has a daughter in the Denerim Alienage. When Howe's men attack they kill her. Later in the streets of the Alienage, the little girl is sitting saying how she's waiting for her mother to come back from Highever and there's no option to inform her. On the bright side, she'll probably be dying and joining her mother pretty soon.
Let's talk about the charming village of Haven. It's been pretty much cut off from the rest of Ferelden for centuries, to the point that most of the rest of the country is unaware of its existence, and they make it clear that outsiders are not welcome. It's also not a very large village. But they find a way to maintain the population... draw your own conclusions.
Broodmothers are made through forced exposure to the taint. They're not actually darkspawn - they are blighted elves/dwarves/humans/qunari, who progressively turn more and more into ghoulish versions of themselves. Eventually, the process reduces them to mere animal instinct, leading them to devolve into consuming the men and submitting to whatever horrific procedure makes them reproduce.
Every single person you can put on the throne of Ferelden seems to have fertility problems. Alistair and the younger Cousland of either gender are Wardens, and Anora hasn't had a child in five years of marriage (though Cailan could've been the one shooting blanks and Anora mentions he had mistresses, so the two of them probably didn't spend enough time trying to produce an heir and it's unknown if any of his lovers became pregnant either). There's a distinct possibility that the Succession Crisis has only been postponed.
When a character becomes a blood mage, willpower (which increases mana) is now their dump stat. This aligns nicely with the perception that the weak-willed are most attracted to blood magic.
There's an understated and genuinely awful one that you only understand if you've played through the Human Noble origin. If the Warden is taken captive during the "Rescue the Queen" quest, s/he wakes up in a cell in Fort Drakon. Just before s/he wakes, however, the 'camera' pans over the torture devices which have been used in the prison near the Warden's cell. Some dead bodies have been left, bloody and broken, on one of these, and if you've played the Human Noble origin, you might recognize them as Ser Gilmore (Teyrn Cousland's man-at-arms) and Mother Mallol (Castle Cousland's resident Chantry priestess). Imagine how the Human Noble feels at making that discovery - that these two people, whom s/he has known and loved all of his/her life, survived the castle sacking only to be dragged to Denerim and tortured to death.
In the Mage Origin, the soon-to-be Warden meets a Pride Demon, but doesn't actually have to fight it. As if turns out from Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening and Dragon Age II, though, that's for the very best- you encounter a Pride Demon and have to fight them in both, with your party at your disposal at both times, and it's still a tough boss-fight. Which begs for the question... what would have happened if the demon in the Harrowing hadn't just decided to settle for the young apprentice seeing through its cover? What are the chances that young mage about to be out of apprenticeship and armed with nothing more than a weaker staff aquired from a Spirit of Valor could have won an actual fight like that? True, the First Enchanter does say you have to use your wits, but think about it, this IS exactly what Mouse describes it to be: throwing hapless and helpless young mages to the demons with barely any means of protecting themselves. And this is what the Chantry has been doing. For centuries. IN EVERY SINGLE CIRCLE.