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    Dorian Pavus
Voiced by: Ramon Tikaram

"I'm here to set things right. Also? To look dashing. That part's less difficult."

Dorian is an extraordinarily talented Tevinter mage from the well-established and respected Altus-class House Pavus. He opposes everything that his homeland stands for and is on a crusade to reform the Imperium. He is a romance option for a male Inquisitor of any race.

Written by David Gaider.

  • The Ace: He's a good-looking, clever, talented mage from a society that values magic above all, and was born into a prestigious family.
  • Agent Peacock:
    • He's openly gay, values aesthetics, wears eyeliner, is described as fashion-conscious by the writers, and is one of the most talented mages in all the Imperium. Fitting, as his last name is "Pavus" (Latin for Peacock).
    • One of his party banters with Varric has him pestering the dwarf to declare who the best-dressed mage in the Inquisition is. Varric isn't dumb enough to answer.
  • The Alcoholic/Drowning My Sorrows: He mentions drinking and being drunk more than any of the other companions, and the game heavily implies that drinking is a coping mechanism for him. It's hinted that he picked it up from his mother. He's never actually shown being inebriated, however.
    Dorian: At any rate, time to drink myself into a stupor. It's been that sort of day.
  • Alcoholic Parent: He implies that his mother was a Lady Drunk.
  • All Gays Are Promiscuous: Subverted. At first Dorian appears flippant and takes a casual approach to sex if you bed him as a male Inquisitor. However, the reality is that his snarky behavior is a coping mechanism which he uses to hide his insecurities, and in fact he desires nothing more than a committed, monogamous relationship with a man he loves. Of course, since he's of noble birth and was pressured to marry and continue the Pavus bloodline from an early age, Dorian had practically zero chance of finding such a relationship in his homeland. Consequently, if a male Inquisitor who has already begun another character's romance tries to initiate one with Dorian, Dorian refuses.
  • Ambadassador: In Trespasser, he is not only a full-on Magister, he's also a Tevinter ambassador.
  • Anger Born of Worry:
    • Tends to snap at a romanced Inquisitor when he's frightened for them.
    • He also does this for an Inquisitor with whom he has become close friends. After the events in the Fade during the Adamant quest (especially if he wasn't in the active party at the time), he snaps and snarks his way through the conversation before getting to the point and asking if the Inquisitor is all right. If the Inquisitor brushes it off and insists they're fine, his approval takes a small hit.
    • He gets another moment if the Inquisitor drinks from the Well of Sorrows.
  • The Archmage: After Halward is killed by assassins, Dorian takes his place on the Magisterium.
  • Arranged Marriage: He narrowly escaped one with a sharp-tongued woman named Livia Herathinos. Dorian suspects that she's as happy to have avoided it as he is.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: If he begins a relationship with Iron Bull, his Tsundere nature makes it difficult to discern at first whether he sees any possible long-term potential or if it's just a physical thing. But once the Big Bad is defeated and the question of whether he intends to return to his home country arises:
    Dorian: I'm thinking of sticking around...for a while.
    Inquisitor: Would that have anything to do with Iron Bull?
    Dorian: It might. You know how it is.
    • Three years later (as of the Trespasser DLC), they're still going strong.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: He's a rather idealistic and noble soul, but he has no problem with using necromancy.
  • Badass Bookworm: His preferred spot in Skyhold is the library, and he occasionally complains that the selection and organization aren't up to his standards.
  • Badass Gay: He doesn't let the discrimination he faces in his homeland for being gay stop him from being a badass.
  • Badass Mustache: He's a skilled mage and he has a rather awesome 'stache.
  • Battle Couple: With a male Inquisitor, or he can form one half of one with Iron Bull.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: His potential relationship with Iron Bull in a nutshell, which makes sense as their people have been at war for centuries. Your first indication that they're about ready to get it on is this exchange:
    Iron Bull: Quite the stink-eye you've got going, Dorian.
    Dorian: You stand there, flexing your muscles, huffing like some beast of burden with no thought save conquest.
    Iron Bull: That's right. These big muscled hands could tear those robes off while you struggled, helpless in my grip. I'd pin you down, and as you gripped my horns, I. Would. Conquer. You.
    Dorian: Uh. What?
    Iron Bull: Oh. Is that not where we're going?
  • Berserk Button: He hates the Venatori, seeing them as the embodiment of everything wrong with Tevinter. His personal sidequest consists of tracking down several Venatori agents and killing them all. Each time you kill one, Dorian greatly approves.
  • Blue Blood: House Pavus is an "Altus" house, which can trace its lineage back to the ancient dreamer priests of the Old Gods of Tevinter.
  • Brainwashed: Narrowly avoided it. His father was planning to forcibly change his sexuality through a blood magic ritual, which was a large part of the reason why Dorian left Tevinter.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • Alexius, and his country in general. He also lost any admiration he had for his father when he tried to use blood magic (something his father taught him was a crutch for the weak) to make him straight.
    • He still believes that his country can do great things, but he is fully aware that it has moved the wrong way for that to happen.
    • The pedestal is shattered even further after he finds out about the Elder One's identity, since it proves that ancient Tevinter magisters really were responsible for the darkspawn appearing in Thedas. People are taught differently in Tevinter, and while Dorian didn't quite believe everything, he still hoped there was a grain of truth in what he was taught.
  • Bullet Time: Dorian's Focus Ability is Haste, which substantially slows the rest of the world while the party continues to act normally.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: His personal quest is all about confronting his father for trying to make him straight through Blood Magic. You can convince him to either reconcile with his father or to completely cut him out of his life.
  • Casual Kink: Though it would appear to be a part of his sex life he considers optional, he is no stranger to bondage, a tidbit he will casually drop when trying to convince the Inquisitor he can be trusted.
    Dorian: How about this: let me help and you can hang me later, if you wish. I look good in rope.
    • This might also be seen in his relationship with the Iron Bull:
    Iron Bull: (helping Varric "write" their relationship) Love is all starlight and gentle blushes. Passion leaves your fingers sore from clawing the sheets.
    Dorian: You could at least have had the courtesy to use the bedposts.
    Iron Bull: Hey, don't top from the bottom.
  • The Charmer: His confidence comes at least partly from the high stature of his bloodline.
  • Commonality Connection:
    • He and Solas discover that they share a passion for obscure, half-forgotten magic and ancient artifacts.
    • He and Cassandra both come from privileged backgrounds and could have lived out their lives without any obligations beyond getting married. They both rebelled at the Idle Rich lifestyle and waves of uninteresting suitors. They're also both Badass Bookworms, although Cassandra's choice of reading material isn't quite to his tastes.
  • Cultural Cringe: Painfully aware of the problems with the Tevinter Imperium, though he still thinks it has enough redeeming qualities to be worth saving. At one point he will attempt to apologize to Solas for what Tevinter did to Arlathan. Solas rejects this, pointing out that Arlathan was an empire no better or worse than Tevinter. He also claims that if Dorian really feels bad about what Tevinter did or didn't do, he should be trying to solve the present-day problems in the Imperium like slavery. Otherwise, any apologies he gave would be hollow. At the end of the game, Dorian may make plans to do just that.
  • Cure Your Gays: Thankfully Dorian managed to avoid going through this, since it's a very dark example of the trope; his father was planning to rewire his brain using blood magic so that he would be straight, even though there was a high chance that such a ritual would have lobotomised him. When Dorian discovered the plan, he was so enraged and hurt he turned his back on his family more or less for good. In a subversion, his father doesn't view his son's homosexuality as morally wrong, just an obstacle. It's implied that, had Dorian had a brother who could have continued the bloodline, his being gay would be no issue.
  • Dark Is Not Evil/Light Is Good: As an extremely nice and idealistic Necromancer who dresses primarily in white, he fits both tropes.
  • Dating Catwoman: If neither are romanced, he and Iron Bull can begin a relationship, despite the fact that their people are at war with each other.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Not in the game. David Gaider, after his departure from Bioware, wrote a short story in which Dorian has a final confrontation with the ghost of his dead father. Gaider describes it as "purely fanfiction," but many Dorian fans consider it canon given the source.
  • Deadpan Snarker: His wit is described as being sharper than any blade.
  • Declaration of Protection: During "In Hushed Whispers," he'll make one to reassure the Herald if they express unease in the Bad Future.
    Dorian: I'm here. I'll protect you.
  • Defector from Decadence: He caught wind of something nasty the magisters were planning and promptly defected from Tevinter.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Growing up in Tevinter as a member of the nobility meant growing up with slaves. For most of his life he didn't really see anything wrong with it as a result, though that's starting to change.
  • Double-Edged Answer: His response if asked whether mages really rule the Imperium. "Yes... and no." He then goes on to clarify that while the aristocracy does consist entirely of mages, simply being a mage doesn't guarantee you status; there are even plenty of mage slaves.
  • Eating the Eye Candy:
    • If the Inquisitor is male, his approval is very high and you've flirted at least once, Dorian will offhandedly comment that he could watch you walk around Skyhold all day.
    • During a game of Wicked Grace, Dorian is perfectly happy to watch Cullen's walk of shame back to the barracks, as he bet all of his clothes against a hand with Josephine.
    • A romanced Iron Bull will constantly offer to flex for him.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: He doesn't like that Varric gives him the nickname Sparkler... until he comes to the conclusion that it's actually clever.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Invokes it perfectly in Redcliffe when noting the typical attitude of his more villainously inclined countrymen.
    Dorian: It's the same old story: "Let's play with magic we don't understand, it'll make us incredibly powerful!"
  • Evil Laugh: When Sera asks why he doesn't do this, he explains that you're not allowed until you get your Magister License.
  • Evil Mentor: He was trained by Gereon Alexius, Magister of the Tevinter Imperium and an agent of the Venatori. Subverted, however, in that Alexius isn't really evil - just maddened by grief. He lost his wife to a darkspawn attack, and his only child was infected with the Blight in the same event. His entire motivation in joining Corypheus is to save his son, and Corypheus lured him with false promises of assistance.
  • Foil: To Vivienne. Both are mages who come from very high society in two very haughty nations, both are very fashion-conscious and unapologetically confident in their talent. However, Vivienne seems to only be in it for her own advancement, while Dorian honestly wants to make a better world simply because it's the right thing to do, even if it puts him at odds with the society that bore him. Dorian was also born in a society where mages are the de facto power (and even is the son of one such elite mage), while Vivienne had to claw her way to the upper echelons of a society that distrusts mages.
  • Forbidden Fruit: His potential relationship with Iron Bull is made of this, as Bull himself calls out, which apparently instigates their first hook-up soon after:
    Iron Bull: I'm just saying, Dorian. You have this picture of the Qunari in your mind. Like you see us as this forbidden, terrible thing, and you're inclined to do the forbidden...
    Iron Bull: All I'm saying is, you ever want to explore that, my door's always open.
  • Friendless Background: Dorian describes himself as a social outcast in Tevinter and a un-romanced Dorian with high approval will on more than one occasion refer to the inquisitor as his "best and only friend." Downplayed, as he and Felix clearly cared for each other, and he seems to be on good terms with Maevaris, and many of the Inquisition party members.
  • Gay Best Friend: To a friendly Inquisitor, male or female.
  • Gay Option: For male Inquisitors of any race. Also potentially for Iron Bull, if neither is romanced.
  • Gayngst: He's gotten over it, but the Tevinter Imperium is all about perfection, with a focus on the strongest magical bloodline, and being gay meant he refused to sire an heir or partake in an Arranged Marriage to the opposite sex, which led to a rift between him and his family, not to mention Tevinter culture in general. This is part of the reason why he's so cynical about his homeland.
  • Guilty Pleasures: Played for Drama in that if the two get together, this his how Dorian sees his relationship with the Iron Bull. Bull doesn't put up with it, which causes some problems early in the relationship. Dorian eventually gets over it.
    • In a lighter vein, Fereldan beer.
  • Has a Type: Though romanceable by men of any race and capable of being perfectly happy with them, you may notice a...pattern with the traits he remarks on in other men, never mind his whole potential relationship with Iron Bull:
    Dorian: (speaking to a Qunari Inquisitor) I also have an appreciation for an entire people who are so...muscular.
    Dorian: (if the Inquisitor has romanced Blackwall) Blackwall? Hmm, he does seem...quite the man...There's just a whole lot of him. Burly. Must be warm by the fire. Good on you.
    Dorian: (discussing upcoming travel arrangements) Maybe a sea voyage? I could get captured by burly Qunari pirates! That would be fun.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Variant. He's not surprised that the Inquisitor wants to sleep with him, but he is surprised if they want to risk their political and social standing to stay with him.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: After his personal quest.
  • I'll Take That as a Compliment: When Sera asks if there are more non-scary Tevinters who keep their magic to themselves.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Dorian to his former betrothed, much to his parents' frustration. Also to a female Inquisitor, particularly one who flirts with him but doesn't realize he's gay till he spells it out for her (to which she can respond he led her on). If they have high relationship values when she finds out, he may describe her as being the one woman he considers "amazing above all others," and can even sympathetically observe that "In another life" he would have been glad to pursue a romance with her.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Downplayed. There are moments when he, as a very high-status Altus in a Magocracy, is shown to be somewhat blind to how racism affects elves and slaves. He's not too blind, though; he wouldn't be a companion if he was truly insulated from how corrupt Tevinter is.
    • In party banter, Dorian boasts to Solas of all the marvelous things spirits "can be made to do" when they're summoned and bound in Tevinter, including being forced to serve drinks and perform tricks at parties. Dorian is then taken aback when Solas (the Fade-walking apostate who befriends spirits) is disgusted instead of impressed, and compares it to slavery.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Though he practically oozes self-confidence in regards to his looks and intelligence, he's surprisingly insecure when it comes to relationships. He mentions his lack of suitability as a partner several times, and offers the Inquisitor many opportunities to break off the relationship. His society's contempt for homosexuality has left its mark.
  • Insistent Terminology: One thing that annoys him is how the Southerners use the term "Magister" for any mage from Tevinter. As he clarifies, while he is a mage from Tevinter, this does not make him a Magister, which is a rank all on its own rather than just being any Tevinter mage as commonly thought by "Southern barbarians". In fact, he is an Altus, though he does become a Magister by the Trespasser DLC after inheriting it from his father, who was assassinated.
  • Insufferable Genius: Has a massive ego regarding his skills and appearance.
  • Internal Reformist: In the epilogue of Trespasser, Dorian makes good on his plans to return home and fix Tevinter, forming the new Lucerni faction alongside Maevaris Tilani.
  • Kissing Cousins: After checking through some family records, it turns out that the Human Inquisitor is a very distant cousin of his (so distant that it's pretty much a formality at this point). House Trevelyan was once a branch family of House Pavus that settled in Ostwick. If you like, the Inquisitor can respond by asking if this means they can still flirt. He assures you that you're good to go by about three Ages.
  • Lie Back and Think of England: How his parents wanted him to overcome his Incompatible Orientation regarding his Arranged Marriage (so he could sire an heir for them), but something that Dorian refuses to do.
  • Like Brother and Sister: His relationship with a female Inquisitor who maxes out their friendship is basically this. There is a great deal of affection in their interactions, and when she returns from the Fade, he's one of the only companions to ask if she is all right, rather than needing to be comforted in some way.
  • Like Parent, Like Spouse: Even without the Incompatible Orientation issue, what little Dorian says about his mother and his betrothed implies he was heading in this direction.
  • Love Cannot Overcome: A familial version of the trope gets discussed with Cole, in which "love isn't enough" to stop him from being angry at his family's violent homophobia and attempts to change him with blood magic - it's up to the player if this continues to be the case. Also played straight in a romantic sense if he has a relationship with The Iron Bull and Bull betrays the party Tresspasser - his love cannot overcome Qunari teachings, similar to an Inquisitor in the same situation.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage:
    • Comes up if he's romanced by the Inquisitor. Regardless of race or even personal beliefs, the Inquisitor comes to embody the ideals of the Southern Chantry, and is essentially its de facto leader in the absence of a Divine. The Southern Chantry historically has a very negative view of Tevinter, whom they blame for the death of their prophet Andraste, and is also a land where mages rule. Therefore, Mother Giselle cautions the Inquisitor about the public perception of the Inquisition should it be revealed that a Tevinter mage is romantically involved with the Inquisitor. Notably, the stigma the Inquisitor and Dorian face as a couple has almost nothing to do with their same-sex relationship, but is solely because of Dorian's nationality and magical abilities, since Thedas generally has a very tolerant attitude towards homosexuality (it's usually considered a curiosity but not immoral).
    • And if he's not romanced by the Inquisitor and the Inquisitor isn't in a romance with Iron Bull, they might end up together, even though Tevinter and the Qunari have been at war for centuries. Although they don't face any stigma from the Inquisition (unless you're playing a Jerkass Inquisitor), they are both obviously aware of how taboo their relationship is in the eyes of their respective peoples.
  • Man in White: Highlights his status as a pariah, given that The World of Thedas describes Tevinter fashion as generally quite dark.
  • Meaningful Name: "Pavus" is Latin for peacock. There appears to be a vanity theme, which is fitting given his cocky behaviour and pride in his magic.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Dorian is one of the first men in the series to have a shot of his backside on display if romanced.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Has this opinion when dealing with any Magisters (or any of his countrymen for that matter) allied with the Venatori.
  • My Beloved Smother: He alludes to this if he's brought to the Winter Palace. It's so much like the parties back in Tevinter that he expects his mother to materialize and drag him off by his ear. He expresses the belief that she doesn't quite grasp that he grew past the age of five.
  • My Country Tis of Thee That I Sting: Dorian had always despised the falseness of the magocracy, but the conspiracy he discovered among the magisters was the tipping point that caused him to separate himself from Tevinter entirely.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: When you approach the apostate stronghold in the Hinterlands.
    Dorian: Do you feel that? My magic sensing nose is tingling.
    Sera: Bullshit.
    Dorian: It can also sense gullible morons.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Stands out as the first Tevinter mage in the franchise to not participate in the Tevinter system. He even calls Alexius out for "acting just like the cliche villains any outsider expects us to be".
  • Necromancer: His specialization.
  • Nice Guy: Alongside Krem and Felix, Dorian is one of the very first Tevinter characters who can honestly be described as this. Despite being a Tevinter and a necromancer (not to mention being an Insufferable Genius about his skills and more than a little vain at times), he's a noble soul who honestly wants to help the Inquisition. He refuses to participate in the Tevinter system; he wants to reform it, to save his homeland from itself. While he gets exasperated that others think him nefarious due to his background, in private conversations, he patiently tries to overcome misconceptions about the Imperium.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Dorian has apparently been fascinated by necromancy since a very early age. He tells Cassandra of a trip he once took to Nevarra with his parents, and how badly he wanted to visit a necropolis. He is disappointed when Cassandra describes what they're really like.
  • Odd Couple: With The Iron Bull, if neither of them are romanced and they are brought together in the party often enough. Dorian expects Bull to put him in chains or sew his mouth shut, as that's what Qunari do to their mages. The Bull replies that he buys a person dinner before tying them up.
  • Odd Friendship:
    • With Cullen, who is an ex-Templar. They play chess together.
    • With Cole, who is a Spirit of Compassion and possible demon.
    • With Sera, who dislikes mages and nobles, while he is both.
  • The One That Got Away: Cole implies that Dorian has one of these in his past.
    Cole: Rilenius, skin tan like fine whiskey, cheekbones shaded, lips curl when he smiles. He would have said yes.
    Dorian: I'll... thank you not to do that again, please.
  • Only Child Syndrome: Dorian's conflict with his family is aggravated by the lack of siblings who could carry on the Pavus legacy in his stead. Justified by the fact that Dorian's parents hate each other and would have only wanted to spend as much time together as necessary to produce an heir. By the time they realized that putting all of their eggs in one basket had backfired, it was probably too late.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The normally flippant and sarcastic Dorian completely flips his shit at his dad for what the man tried to do to him.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: There's more than a few moments where his tendency to snark at everything results in him not shutting up when he really should.
  • Optional Party Member: You can refuse to recruit him at Haven (if you pick the mages) or Skyhold (if you pick the Templars).
  • Pair the Spares: If you do not romance him or The Iron Bull, and take them together often enough, they get together.
  • The Paragon: Ridiculously talented and of an esteemed bloodline, he uses the admiration he is afforded to make himself an example as he rebels against the Imperium.
  • The Paragon Always Rebels: From the Tevinters' point of view. From the perspective of everyone else, though, it's more akin to a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Pardon My Klingon: He occasionally makes a Tevene (Tevinter language) cuss of Vishante kaffas - it means "You shit on my tongue."
  • Pet the Dog: With Blackwall; though they spend the first half of the game sniping at each other, that changes after the truth about Thom Rainier is revealed. He and Dorian have party banter in which he urges Blackwall to "let yourself off the hook. I know bad men, and you aren't one." Blackwall is legitimately astonished by the kindness, and when Dorian offers a truce, he gratefully accepts.
  • Platonic Life-Partners:
    • If you gain "Friend" status and don't romance him, he swears his loyalty to you and says he will fight for you against anything, so long as you'll have him.
    • This leads to a sweet moment during the celebration after the final battle, if you did not have Dorian and Iron Bull in the party together often enough to begin a relationship, or romanced Bull yourself. The Inquisitor with whom he is friends can ask if he still plans to return to Tevinter, to which he replies that he intends to remain in Skyhold for the time being since Tevinter "lacks the presence of my best and only friend."
    • He apparently had this relationship with Felix during his studies with Alexius. He denies he ever had any romantic involvement with Felix since that would have meant taking advantage of his mentor's hospitality.
  • Playing with Fire: He starts out with a fire staff, and it's mentioned in various bits of banter.
  • Precision F-Strike: When confronting his father.
    Dorian: You wanted the best for you! For your fucking legacy! Anything for that!
  • Pretty Boy:
    Iron Bull: Watch yourself. The pretty ones are always the worst.
    Harding: Dorian's awfully pretty, isn't he?
  • Rebel Prince: He's of high rank in the Imperium, yet throws it all away for his ideals.
  • Redemption Quest: Specifically, he wants to redeem his country. Near the end of the game, he may discuss plans to return home and improve things (as opposed to leaving because you just don't get along - see below). He may decide to postpone this if you're in a romance or on good terms.
  • Religious Bruiser: Dorian doesn't mention religion often, but if questioned he'll admit that he believes in Andraste and the Maker. He simply views the Chantry as an outdated relic, in both Orlais and Tevinter.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here! If you lose enough approval with him and make enough decisions of which he disapproves, you will find out he has booked a ship back to go back to Tevinter after stopping Corypheus. Depending on what you say/do, he may choose to leave right there.
  • Serious Business: He takes misfiled library books very personally - there are punishments for that in some places!
  • Shipper on Deck: Finds a female Inquisitor's romance with Cullen "adorable", and also approves of the Inquisitor romancing Cassandra or Josephine due to how flustered it makes the latter two.
  • Shock and Awe:
    • Promotional materials show him using lightning to match Solas' fire and Vivienne's ice.
    • Despite this, all the comments he or others make about his magical abilities are about fire spells rather than lightning ones. His starting staff is also a fire one.
  • Side Bet: Has many of these going on with Varric, including one about the Inquisitor's chances of success - and he's betting against them, which seems to actually scandalize the dwarf a bit. The Inquisitor can choose to be insulted, tell them to stop, or ask to get in on the action.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Subverted; he's a learned man and plays chess with Cullen, but he cheats. Cullen still beats him.
  • Stepford Snarker: His wit is driven by his jaded attitude towards his country.
  • Stop Being Stereotypical: One of his reasons for being against the Venatori. The Tevinters have a reputation for being megalomaniacal magic abusers that Dorian laments... and here the Venatori are, indulging all those stereotypes.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: To his father.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Blackwall. The two hate each other mutually. On Dorian's part, he thinks Blackwall is Dumb Muscle and (correctly) guesses that, like many Wardens, Blackwall was a criminal or some other kind of social undesirable before being conscripted. He also finds Blackwall's rhetoric about honor, sacrifice and heroics to be self-righteous. He mellows considerably after Blackwall's true identity is revealed (see Pet the Dog, above). Eventually, they call a truce and try to find some common ground.
  • These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: After your trip into the Fade, Dorian suggests keeping quiet about it. He believes that people aren't ready to know that it is possible to physically enter the Fade, given all of the problems that happened the last time someone tried it.
  • This Cannot Be!: If taken to the Temple of Mythal, Dorian reacts this way when Abelas reveals that Tevinter didn't conquer Arlathan; the Imperium merely scavenged the scraps that were left after the ancient elven empire destroyed itself in a bloody civil war. Afterwards, Dorian reflects that it wouldn't go down well in Tevinter if it were revealed that their ancestors who established the Imperium acquired their power as little more than vultures picking a corpse clean.
  • Too Clever by Half: He's a genius and he knows it. Sometimes this causes problems.
  • Too Much Alike: Regardless of his sexuality, Dorian implies that he and Livia dislike each other for this reason.
    • After his personal quest, should the Inquisitor encourage him to make peace with his father, he notes that his father made this exact observation about himself and Dorian.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Grapes. Especially ones that have been hand-peeled and fed to him.
  • Try Not to Die: One of his possible parting remarks to a friendly Inquisitor after finishing a conversation thread in Skyhold.
    Dorian: Try not to die; I would notice you were gone.
  • Tsundere: He has shades of this during his party banter with the Iron Bull, who gets a major kick out of teasing him. If neither of them are romanced and they hook up, it becomes even more apparent.
    • This is somewhat lampshaded in the Trespasser DLC where the Inquisitor will comment on how Dorian makes a fuss about the Iron Bull's affectionate gestures when he quite enjoys the attention.
    Inquisitor: (laughs) You do like it!
    Dorian: Quiet, you! He'll overhear, and then where will I be?
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:
    • He and Vivienne enjoy tearing into one another, but it's all good fun to them. She even defends his relationship with a male Inquisitor to an outsider, according to party banter.
    • He also develops this relationship with Blackwall once each of them come to understand and respect the other's past and motivations.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: According to what Cole picks up from Dorian's memories (and some dialogue from Dorian himself), he used to revere his father.
    Cole: "Anything to make him happy. Anything." Why isn't that true anymore?
    Dorian: [choked] Cole, this... is not the sort of discussion for walking around.
  • What Does She See in Him?: His initial reaction to the female Inquisitor romancing Blackwall, since he has a less than positive opinion of the Warden - especially his hygiene.
  • White Sheep: Varric calls him a black sheep in party banter; however, given his Defector from Decadence status and the fact that he truly is a Nice Guy, he's really more this trope.

Voiced by: Gareth David-Lloyd

"I have seen things in my journeys that most can only dream of. Literally."

A raggedy hedge mage who is an expert on the subject of the Fade. He sees the Breach as an opportunity to finally put his unique knowledge to good use, hoping to challenge a few preconceptions along the way. He is a romance option for a female elven Inquisitor.

Written by Patrick Weekes.

  • Above Good and Evil: He refuses to believe in bad and good, thinking that such oversimplifications are precisely what led to the current crisis.
  • Affably Evil: Solas is usually incredibly polite and respectful in most situations, so the reveal that his plan to restore the elves involves destroying the world and killing millions is genuinely shocking. However, unlike Corypheus, he says that he doesn't relish it, feels that he doesn't have any other choice, and deliberately exposed the Qunari invasion plot in Trespasser because he doesn't want the few remaining years the world's population has left to be subjugated under the Qun. Also depending on the player's actions, he can consider the Inquisitor a dear friend or someone he genuinely loves.
  • Affectionate Nickname: He'll refer to a female elf Inquisitor as Vhenan (which literally translates to "heart") if he is romanced.
  • Admiring the Abomination:
    • He doesn't perceive some demons as demons, but merely spirits whose desires/functions have gone wrong. For example, where one might see a Pride demon, he simply sees a Wisdom spirit.
    • Upon seeing a dragon, he mentions admiring the purity of such raw power.
  • All for Nothing: All of his efforts to reclaim the Orb from Corypheus fail in the end when it is destroyed in the final battle. It was much worse in the Bad Future, in which Corypheus succeeded and the world was practically destroyed.
  • Ambiguously Bi: He compares his Walking the Earth trying to find new dreams in the Fade to the Inquisitor's dedication to their training. From his words, it's evident that he's been watching the Inquisitor very closely, regardless of their race or gender. (However, only a female Lavellan can respond with [Flirt].)note 
    Solas: (Warrior) You strengthen your body to deliver and withstand punishment. The muscles are an enjoyable side benefit.
    Solas: (Mage) You train your will to control magic and withstand possession. Your indomitable focus is an enjoyable side benefit.
    Solas: (Rogue) you train to flick a dagger or an arrow to its target. The grace with which you move is a pleasing side benefit.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Resolved as of Trespasser: the elven gods, of which he is one, were never really gods at all, simply powerful magic users that progressed from war leaders to kings to being worshiped as gods. The closest equivalent are the Tevinter magisters - and, ironically, Solas's plan is basically the same as Corypheus's, even with similar reasoning. Powerful is severely understating it though; from what little we see of Solas at (almost) full power the myths around them could very well be otherwise true.
  • Am I Just a Toy to You?: A potential response to his breaking off a relationship with the Inquisitor. She can scream at him to tell her she was just some casual dalliance, but he can't bring himself to do it.
  • Anarchy Is Chaos: Subverted. During banter with Sera, he proposes various ways for the Friends of Red Jenny to be more effective at what they do. Hearing Solas talking about overthrowing political order, establishing a new authority and then "disposing" of the agents that have now become obstacles to the reformation leaves Sera freaked out.
  • Animal Motifs: Solas seems to have an affinity for wolves, as seen by his jawbone necklace, wall murals, and tarot cards. Cole asks him what he thinks of wolves, and he says they're smart, practical, misunderstood animals. "May the Dread Wolf take you," indeed.
  • Apologetic Attacker:
    • In The Stinger, he tearfully tells Flemeth that he should be the one to pay the price for giving Corypheus the Orb - but the People need him. Then he drains... something... from her, apparently killing her.
    • During "All New, Faded For Her", he apologizes to the Wisdom Spirit, but it tells him not to be sorry and requests a Mercy Kill. Surprisingly, he does not apologize if you choose to attack the spirit while it's corrupted into a Pride demon instead of freeing it from the binding circle.
    • At the end of Trespasser he'll go more into his plans. These involve destroying the world by tearing down the Veil and letting the magic come back. If you have high approval he'll admit this is a terrible thing, and you have shown him that he has been wrong before. But he feels it must be done. If you state that you will try to show him the world is worth saving, he will all but beg you to prove him wrong.
  • Appropriated Appellation: Solas actually is his real name. Fen'Harel was an insult from his enemies, one that he eventually took as a badge of pride.
  • The Atoner:
    • He's the reason Corypheus has the orb that allowed him to open the Breach, but believes himself too important to the fate of the elves to accept death as punishment, so he must make amends by stopping the Elder One instead.
    • Trespasser reveals that Solas was also the one who created the Veil which separates the physical world from the spirit world, the latter of which is the source of all magic. Since elves were intrinsically tied to the Fade, being cut off from it caused them to age and their society to crumble, which left them easy pickings for the human Imperium. He deeply regrets his hand in the elves' downfall, and seeks to remove the Veil to restore what he took from the elves. He's open to alternatives... he just doesn't think there are any.
      Solas: I would treasure the chance to be wrong once more, my friend.
  • Author Appeal: Solas absolutely hates tea, especially caffeinated tea - it keeps him awake and thus unable to enter the Fade in dreams. Incidentally, Patrick Weekes doesn't like it either.
  • Badass Bookworm: He's a powerful mage, and upon moving into Skyhold, you'll find a note on his desk stating that he's requested at least a dozen books on the Fade, plus more to be delivered from libraries across Orlais and Ferelden.
  • Bad Boss: He's suggested to have been Felassan's superior from The Masked Empire and killed him. Cole also makes a comment that suggests this in-game.
    Cole: His friend had to die, because he thought they were people. A slow arrow breaks in the sad wolf's jaws.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Solas created the Veil. This, arguably, lead to the downfall of the elves, which lead to the rise of the Tevinters, which lead to the Magisters' invasion of the Fade, the creation of the darkspawn, the weakening of the Tevinters, the rise of the Chantry... That one act, all by its lonesome, had more impact on the history of Thedas than any other act performed by any other character revealed in the series thus far, and he's done a lot more than "just" create the Veil.
  • Berserk Button: There's only one thing that will always consistently make Solas lose his cool: denying living creatures their freedom. Whether these are spirits, people living under the Qun, mages, slaves, or anything else, he will always get heated, and sometimes even outwardly angry about this topic.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Normally calm and civil, but if something pushes a Berserk Button too hard, he's more than willing to Kill It with Fire. Also note that his specialization, Rift Mage, is the most destructive of the three.
  • Big Bad: His plan to merge Thedas with the Fade makes him this post-Inquisition.
  • Big Bad Friend: He can be considered this for an Inquisitor who befriended or romanced him, as he'll still deeply care about the Inquisitor and act respectful towards them, but that doesn't stop him from plotting to destroy the world to restore the elves.
  • Big Damn Kiss: With a romanced female Lavellan near the end of Trespasser, which he uses to remove the Anchor and save her life.
  • Bilingual Bonus: He occasionally speaks in full Elvish (unlike most elves, who just pepper a few words here and there), and rarely bothers to translate this. You can learn a bit more about him if you take the time to translate it yourself. You can also catch him altering the translation of some phrases.
  • Boomerang Bigot: A mild example, as he's not terribly fond of other elves. He particularly disapproves of the Dalish, though he's not one himself. The reason for this ends up being that he feels current elves are mere shadows of what they once were.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: Listening to Solas talk about the ancient elves gives one the distinct impression that he feels everything was better then, and he frequently mentions seeing it would be spectacular. It turns out he wasn't born in the wrong century; he's an ancient elf from the days of Arlathan. He prefers the past because he was there.
  • Brutal Honesty: He is perfectly happy to break down a comfortable lie regardless of being seen as rude, and prefers people who are genuine and honest. He respects Cassandra for this reason, in spite of their disagreements.
  • Can't Spit It Out: Word of God says that at the culmination of his romance, he was planning on admitting everything, including his true identity, but backed out, and decided to tell you the truth about your vallaslin instead.
  • Caught the Heart on His Sleeve: During his second romance scene, he very nearly leaves when he decides it would better in the long run not to pursue the Inquisitor, only to be stopped this way and give in.
  • Chastity Couple: As with Josephine, the Inquisitor's romance with Solas is never confirmed to be sexual, leaving it to the player to determine what they prefer to imagine. In Trespasser, it is confirmed that Solas would not "lay with [the Inquisitor] under false pretenses," though his phrasing is still pretty ambiguous. Is he saying he never slept with the Inquisitor, or that he slept with her as himself (Solas) rather than Fen'Harel, or denying that he manipulated her through sex and romance? You decide!
  • Chessmaster Sidekick: He's the one who originally knows about Skyhold's location, but sets it up such that the Inquisitor appears to "find" it for the growing masses following them, ensuring they look like an inspiring leader rather than someone who just won a heavy Pyrrhic Victory by destroying Haven. At the Winter Palace, he has himself introduced as "the Inquisitor's elven serving man" and no more, despite the fact that his role in the Inquisition is as an expert in the Fade.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: For Cole, a little bit. Cole can converse much more readily and more on the same level with Solas than most other people, and Solas sometimes offers translation when Cole gets a bit too metaphorical to understand.
  • Commonality Connection:
    • Initially seems to be a Foil to Dorian: raggedy versus pristine, apostate versus magister. But Dorian is not a magister; he is, in fact, a Defector from Decadence, something Solas greatly appreciates. They bond over magic and artifacts.
    • Played with in several of his conversations with Dorian too; while he approves of Dorian's Defector from Decadence status, Solas also criticizes him for running away from it rather than really trying to change it. Little does Dorian know, Solas also blames himself for the downfall of the elves, and is working to change it.
      Solas: If you wish to make amends for past transgressions, free the slaves of all races who live in Tevinter today.
      Dorian: I... don't know that I can do that.
      Solas: Then how sorry are you?
  • Constantly Curious: Ties into his intellectual nature, sometimes even offending people. He also likes it when others are curious. One of the most consistent ways to gain approval with him is to ask questions about everything. "Solas Slightly Approves" is even more common than "Morrigan Disapproves".
  • Cool Old Guy: Solas is in his forties. He and Blackwall occasionally have "kids these days" talks. Actually, he's a couple thousand years older, but it still applies.
  • Crapsack Only by Comparison: Played with in that while Thedas is a Crapsack World, because Solas saw pre-Veil Thedas in the days of Elvhenan ("a world that would blind you with its beauty" as Felassan put it), to him all of post-Veil Thedas as an utter hellhole beyond saving by comparison, and he would rather collapse the Veil to retore Thedas as it was. Most characters who've never seen Elvhenan know Thedas is flawed but still feel it has enough redeeming qualities to be improved rather than erased. A friendly Inquisitor can vow that they will show him the world is still worth saving, and Solas sounds half-hopeful that you'll succeed.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Implied in Trespasser. Upon learning that he created the Veil to imprison the Evanuris, and plans to destroy it to restore the elves, the Inquisitor can state that destroying Veil will release the Evanuris from their imprisonment, which would be a very bad thing. Solas merely replies he has plans for when that happens, but does not elaborate.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He doesn't practice Blood Magic himself, but nor does he see it as inherently worse than any other school. He draws the line at trying to manipulate the Blight, however.
  • Deadpan Snarker: While normally fairly polite, snark seems to be his default method of dealing with people he doesn't like. Putting him in a party with Vivienne results in some epic Snark-to-Snark Combat.
    Vivienne: So, an apostate?
    Solas: That is correct, Enchanter. I did not train in your Circle.
    Vivienne: Well, dear, I hope you can take care of yourself, should we encounter anything outside your experience.
    Solas: I will try, in my own fumbling way, to learn from how you helped seal the rifts at Haven. Ah, wait! My memory misleads me. You were not there.
  • Defector from Decadence: Implied in his backstory. It's not clear if Solas was actually one of the Evanuris at some point, but if the statuary and iconography found in Mythal and Dirthamen's temples are anything to go by, he used to be a pretty important guy. He later rebelled against the elven gods and fought to free their slaves, earning himself the name Fen'Harel, and a couple millennia of vilification for his efforts.
  • Destructive Saviour: He was responsible for creating the Veil long ago, sealing away the other cruel elven "gods"... at the cost of sapping elves of their immortality and the destruction of all their magic-reliant wonders. His current plan is to restore what was lost by removing the Veil... which would cause untold devastation on the current world.
  • Didn't See That Coming: When he let Corypheus find the Orb, he expected Corypheus would blow himself up unlocking it, leaving Solas to take the Anchor. He didn't count on his dupe being able to jump bodies. Thus, the explosion that destroyed the Conclave and the resulting Breach are his fault. His joining the Inquisition is his means of cleaning up the mess he's made as much as it is about reclaiming his Orb.
  • Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?: His flustered reaction to Blackwall's inquiry on the subject suggests he may or may not have been intimate with a Fade Spirit, which are extremely otherworldly by most standards. And then there's the fact that he's Fen'harel, which would seem to make him a Divine Date for the Inquisitor. While Trespasser reveals that the elven pantheon weren't divine, exactly, their power and age was great enough that difference is troublesome from a mortal perspective.
  • Distinction Without a Difference:
    • Blackwall asks for tips on fighting demons, to which Solas tells him to "survive the first thirty heartbeats". Blackwall accuses him of telling him to just Try Not to Die, but Solas points out that demons are fairly unoriginal and will exhaust all their battle tactics very quickly; once you know what they're capable of, you can find a way to beat them. He then adds that one also must try not to die.
    • If warrior Lavellan flirts with Solas, he remarks that you have trained your body to deliver and withstand punishment, and the muscles are an enjoyable side benefit. If you ask if he enjoys your muscles, he states that he meant that you enjoy having them, presumably. But then he adds that yes, he enjoys them too, now that you've asked. If Lavellan is a rogue, the conversation is about her dexterity instead.
  • Divine Date: Teased to be this for a romanced female Lavellan with the epilogue reveal that he is Fen'Harel, ultimately discredited when Trespasser reveals that the ancient elven "gods" were not world-creating entities so much as exceptionally powerful mages. It's worth noting, however, that they/Solas were/are so far beyond mages post the Veil in power that the distinction may not actually matter, depending on your point of view.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: In banter with Varric, Solas evinces bewilderment as to why the dwarves have let themselves become a Dying Race, and states that nothing could be worse than simply giving in. Probably because he can remember the days when the durgen'len were in their golden age. Varric is actually offended by this, since he considers the surface dwarves like himself a separate culture and they're thriving.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: No one suspected that the mysterious, mild-mannered elven apostate was the one responsible for giving Corypheus the orb, or that he was subtly shaping the Inquisition into a force that he could use to retrieve the aforementioned artifact. Doubles as a Stealth Pun, since Solas is the Dread Wolf of elven legend.
  • Does Not Like Spam: He hates the taste of tea, partly because it's a stimulant that keeps him from engaging in his favorite pastime of dreaming in the Fade, and partly because it's just too bitter. There is more than a dash of Author Appeal here, as Solas's writer Patrick Weekes has stated that he too dislikes tea.
  • Dreamwalker: With time, he mastered the ability to visit places in the Fade no others could. It is similar to lucid dreaming.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Has shades of this in some of his interactions. Despite having extensive knowledge of the Fade and ancient elven culture, he claims that both humans and the Dalish look down on him. He's especially bitter towards the Dalish, probably because he's remembered as the Big Bad of their legends, even though the actions they accurately accuse him of (sealing away the elven "gods," and being directly responsible for the downfall of elvhen magic and immortality) were born out of a desire to free them, not to spite them.
  • Dying Alone: His worst nightmare, according to the Fear Demon.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Appears in the background at the tavern in Varric's character trailer set just before the creation of the breach. He was in Haven at the time.
  • Earthy Barefoot Character: Like many elves. He commonly wears footwraps that cover his heels but leave his toes Exposed to the Elements, but spending so much time outdoors has left him able to stand in the snow with no complaints.
  • Enlightenment Superpowers: He learned to draw his power directly from the Fade after many years of isolation, introspection, and Fade exploration.
  • Envy: Minor case; he admires spirits like Cole for their simple and uncomplicated lives, and admires Sera for her simple and uncomplicated purpose.
    Solas: I am not a spirit, and sometimes it is hard to remember such simple truths.
  • Exact Words: Solas very rarely outright lies. However, he is more than willing to omit information and twist his phrasing in order to hide his identity, and his role in instigating the plot.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Since he's no longer pretending to be a random apostate hermit, come Trespasser he's ditched his old humble clothing for clothes befitting Fen'Harel. Now he wears a suit of elaborate gilded armor with a wolf's pelt draped over his shoulder.
  • The Evils of Free Will: He is vehemently against such sentiments. If anyone expresses such a sentiment (like, for example, espousing the virtues of the Qun), Solas will give them a tirade on how it's tantamount to slavery or worse. He's big on free agency.
  • Fallen Hero: He was once the leader of a rebellion against false gods. Come Trespasser, he declares himself willing to commit mass murder on an unprecedented scale in order to restore the old world. If you have a high enough approval with him, he will state that he hopes the Inquisition can prove to him the world is worth saving.
  • Fan of the Underdog: While he's less vocal about it than Sera, Solas greatly admires everyday people struggling under hard circumstances and unjust institutions, particularly Circle mages, Tevinter slaves, and those under the Qun, and doesn't even try to hide his distaste for authority. This is also the basis of his backstory. As Fen'Harel, he was a Defector from Decadence who sought to free the Enslaved Elves from the tyrannical Evanuris.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • In conversation with an Inquisitor who has earned his respect, he will wonder if the Anchor changed them, and if not, he feels that You Are a Credit to Your Race. He sees Qunari as inherently savage creatures and the Qun as the only thing that has kept them in check. He says Dwarves are unimaginative and overly practical due to lacking a collection to the Fade. Humans are short-sighted and petty, motivated by black and white views. He dislikes the Dalish, scathingly mocking them for attempting to reclaim elven culture when they're nowhere near able to do so, though he is willing to consider that he may have instead misjudged them, believing the Dalish must have had a positive influence. If a non-elven Inquisitor says he is wrong for judging their race, he will chide them, saying he's seen enough to know he is not mistaken.
    • By contrast, if he hates the Inquisitor, he says all his thoughts about their people must be true. He finds this comforting, as it makes him feel less guilty about his plans.
    • In the Trespasser DLC, he admits that when he first woke up, he didn't see modern people as people. The fact that none of them had more than the barest connection to the Fade made them seem like a world of Tranquil. If the Inquisitor gained his respect, he reverses this stance (though he's still planning on removing the Veil).
  • First Guy Wins: For a female elf PC, should she choose to romance him; he's the first potential Love Interest she meets.
  • Foil:
    • His humble brown clothing contrasts with Vivienne's pearl and gold. Additionally, he's an apostate, whereas she's a pro-Circle mage, and his spirit-friendly attitude challenges her own views. Surprisingly, however, he too relishes the Deadly Decadent Court.
    • Also to Sera. She's brash, mouthy, and has no interest in anything not immediately important to her pranks and everyday life. He's quiet, thoughtful, and consistently interested in ancient history, especially elven history. However, both of them distance themselves from other elves.
    • To Briala. As Felassan notes in The Masked Empire, the two of them are very much alike. Both of them are rebels who try to use the Eluvians to improve the lot of the elven people. While Briala has rejected Elvhenan and seeks to save the elves through political reform, Solas believes that the only way to save the elves is to restore Elvhenan.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Cole says he feels different from the other companions, and detects an unspecified guilt from Solas's past. Solas is also able to wall off his feelings from Cole - a spirit who specializes in sensing feelings, particularly those of pain.
      Cole: They sleep, masked in a mirror, hiding, hurting, and to wake them... (gasps) Where did it go?
      Solas: I apologize, Cole. That is not a pain you can heal.
    • While discussing their shared histories of war, Blackwall asks if Solas was part of some "elven skirmish". Solas hedges and says Blackwall wouldn't have heard of it.
    • If the Inquisitor says they'll use the power of the Well to make the world better, he emotionally asks what they'll do if they "wake up" in the future and things are even worse.
    • He wears the lower jaw of a canine around his neck. It can be seen under his armor, but it's most obvious when he's not decked out and ready for battle. (The player may not realize what it is for some time.)
    • The penultimate quest for the main storyline is "What Pride Had Wrought." One guess on the meaning of Solas's name!
    • At one point Solas says that no god needs to prove himself and anyone who tries is mad or lying. This becomes meaningful later twice; once if the Inquisitor asks why Mythal didn't reveal herself, and she replies, "Reveal myself to whom?" and again when you find out Solas himself is Fen'Harel.
    • Iron Bull notes that every self-taught warrior he has seen, even the good ones, always has something that "clunks" in their fighting style; Solas uses magic effortlessly and with great skill. The elf retorts that, since Bull is not a mage, he probably just "can't see the clunky bits." However, fellow mages Vivienne and Dorian never notice anything off about his magic. In fact, he and Dorian often geek over obscure magic and artifacts.
    • If you bring him along to the Temple of Mythal, you might notice that he has a lot more in common with Abelas and the sentinels, in terms of facial structure and build, than he does with most modern elves. He looks like an ancient elf because he is one. In some shape or form, at least.
    • His mental game of chess with the Iron Bull in party banter subtly reveals more about his true character and how he pursues his goals than perhaps all other examples combined. He moves a seemingly innocent and inconsequential pawn (the Inquisitor) in the middle of Bull's all-out offensive. Bull, focused on crossing the board and capturing his rooks, realizes too late that the pawn is in the perfect position to block his most powerful piece (the queen) from defending his own king, allowing Solas to move in for the kill with his mage/bishop (himself).
      • Solas's strategy seems bizarre, even suicidal at first, with his sacrifice of his towers/rooks; but it shows he's willing to play the Long Game, distracting his opponents with valuable but short-term gains, even placing enemies perilously close to his King (who, despite all appearances, is quite safe), all the while arranging the board so he can move in unimpeded for the ultimate prize.
      • The cornerstone of his strategy has him creating an opening by sacrificing his queen to lure out his opponent's final defenses, which can both reference Solas sacrificing Mythal (an old friend, and queen of the Elvhen 'gods') and a romanced Solas sacrificing his relationship with Lavellan (queen of his heart) to succeed in his goal.
      • It is also debatable as to whether he actually 'sacrificed' his towers/rooks, as he was more focused on maneuvering his weaker pieces into position and cared less about defending his more powerful but less useful ones (the game's Real Life player, Adolf Anderssen, explicitly used this game to demonstrate that 'two active pieces are worth a dozen inactive pieces'). Either way, it hints at Solas's ruthless and pragmatic nature.
      • His final move is very telling. The mage/bishop, deep in enemy territory and previously thought to be harmless, checkmates by moving right next to the King, showing that Solas is not adverse to putting himself in mortal danger and personally infiltrating his enemies if it means he can succeed in his goals.
      • His final move also has him protected and all his opponent's escape routes covered by his two knights. Trespasser has shown that Solas/Fen'harel has an extensive spy network that even Leliana could not discover, and Bull calls the knight pieces 'Ben-Hassrath', the Qunari equivalent of spies or Seekers, which further describe Solas's machinations.
      • More prosaically, the chess game he and Bull play is a move-for-move copy of The Immortal Game (link to The Other Wiki). The name is rather fitting, don't you think?
    • His personal quest name is a Significant Anagram. "All New, Faded For Her" -> "Dread Wolf Fen'Harel".
    • Promotional material released prior to the game showed the Inquisitor with all of the companions and advisors standing around a table a la The Last Supper. Solas is in Judas Iscariot's spot.
    • If he's in the party for "In Hushed Whispers," Solas immediately understands Dorian's explanation about what happened to him and the Inquisitor. Comment on it and Solas responds by saying, "You would think such understanding would stop me from making such terrible mistakes. You would be wrong." It's presented like a throwaway line, probably the result of the Bad Future getting the better of him. Or so you'd think. Turns out that Solas has a very, very good reason for blaming himself.
    • During "What Pride Has Wrought", there is a small window where Morrigan mentions that ancient elves were adept travelers of the Fade. What does Solas spend his spare time doing again?
    • In an optional conversation with him, you can ask him about the Veil. If you say that you can't imagine a world without it, he will launch into a uncharacteristicly fiery description of how the world would be without it. Not only has he lived in a world without the Veil, Trespasser reveals he created it and is actively trying to remove it.
    • Watch his face during the 'finding Skyhold' cutscene. After the Inquisitor walks past, he drops the smile and his expression becomes harder and more enigmatic. The next shot is carefully framed so that you see him overlooking both the Inquisitor and Skyhold. All this makes a lot more sense after playing the Trespasser DLC, when you learn how Solas has been manipulating you; among other things, Skyhold was his, and he's used you to reclaim it.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Not Solas himself, but when the Inquisitor shares a dream with him, he reshapes the Fade to resemble Haven, before it was wiped out, as he knows the place will always hold meaning for you and it would be easier to talk there than someplace less familiar.
  • Former Teen Rebel: He makes constant references to mistakes made when he was younger, many dark and sad, while some just silly. When Sera asks him if he ever pissed magic by accident, he has to stop and think about it. ("We were all young once.") Since he's actually Fen'Harel, who is theorized to be the elven God of Rebellion, this is a bit more literal than most examples.
    Blackwall: For all your experience, Solas, you don't carry yourself like a soldier.
    Solas: You should have seen me when I was younger. Hot-blooded and cocky, always ready to fight.
  • Friendless Background: His only friends prior to the events of the game are Fade spirits; the Inquisitor can either tell him that this is quite sad and they don't count as "real" friends, or express approval of his unusual social circle. Notably, his biggest fear is dying alone.
  • Genius Loci: Mentioned in his backstory about the Fade; since he never grew up with the Andrastian fear of the Fade, it isn't physically as scary to him.
  • Godzilla Threshold: His erecting the Veil was this. Whatever horrible things happened due to being cut off to the Fade and trapping the Evanuris on the other side, allowing them to continue their tyranny was (at the time) a worse prospect to him, especially after they showed they were willing to murder one of their own.
  • Gratuitous Iambic Pentameter: Half the time he speaks in it, though it's hard to notice. You even get approval for responding back in pentameter.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: He tends to take this stance regarding history, judging that people's tendency to see things in black and white and erase complexities is what landed them in the mess they're in.
  • The Hermit: He grew up isolated from those who would cage him, and would be quite happy to spend his life sleeping alone in ruins. But ironically, his greatest fear is dying alone.
  • Hermit Guru: Although it seems that he sought out the Inquisitor rather than the other way around.
  • Hidden Depths: He's the last person you'd expect to be comfortable in the Deadly Decadent Court of Orlais, but he actually relishes it.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Claims he's from one, though it was so small that you'd likely not find it on any map. When Leliana finally tracks it down after he leaves, it's nothing but centuries-old ruins. He may or may not have lived there in the past, but it was obviously much longer ago than his physical age would suggest.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Played with. As Fen'Harel, Solas is vilified by the Dalish, despite his devotion to freeing the elven people from slavery. However, he is still directly responsible for the loss of elven magic and immortality. And while his creation of the Veil was arguably an act of desperation born of noble intentions, it was done, at least in part, to punish the Evanuris for murdering Mythal. So the Dalish are technically correct when they accuse Fen'Harel of sealing the Creators away out of spite, even if they're missing a lot of important details.
  • Hot-Blooded: Says he was when he was younger; he appears to have matured beyond it now, but the devs have compared him to Scotch bonnet candies.
  • Humans Are Bastards: He appears to hold this opinion to some extent, best exemplified in banter with Varric.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Well, not humans specifically, but mortals. While mortals eschew demons and are wary of spirits (because they tend to become demons), he says that this is a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. Spirits are shaped by the thoughts and feelings of those around them. Thus, if a mortal mind expects to find a demon, or is loaded with negative thoughts and feelings, the spirit will absorb them and take them all upon itself, becoming a demon in the process.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Solas rips into Blackwall when it's discovered that he is living under a fake identity, calling him out for talking about honor and knowing nothing of it himself. Solas himself is actually Fen'Harel, so just about anything he says of Blackwall could be said of him as well. He later apologizes and credits Blackwall for at least trying to make amends, which is more than most ever do.
    • He tells Dorian that if he wants to make amends for Tevinter's actions, then he should stop romanticizing the past elven nation and work to free those who live in slavery right now. Later in Trespasser, however, it's revealed that Solas plans to restore said past nation (minus the Evanuris), even though he expects the fallout to be apocalyptic.
    • He alleges to believe in the inherent right of all free-willed peoples to exist and determine their own destinies... only to be perfectly willing to drastically alter (if not outright destroy) the current world by collapsing the Veil and bringing the Fade back to Thedas, without its inhabitants' consent, to bring back the ancient elves.
    • Solas greatly values freedom of choice and self-determination, but yet critcizes Sera for her choice to distance herself from elven culture and not live an "elven life", telling her that she is the furthest from what she is meant to be.
    • A low-approval Lavellan can call Solas out on looking down on his fellow elves for being ignorant about their own history, despite refusing to teach them himself. When Solas retorts that it would be pointless because the Dalish already think they're perfect/city elves would just become more bitter learning what they lost, Lavellan can call him out on preemptively deciding their reactions for them. Solas grudgingly concedes the point.
  • I Just Want to Be Free:
    • Freedom is very important to him. He disapproves of anything or anyone that subjugates others whether it be tradition, slavery or oppressive systems. The Qun is a particularly sore point for him because it explicitly denies freedom and, worst of all, claims that this is a good thing. For this reason, he approves of a full alliance with the mages, and disapproves of a full alliance with the Templars; one is enabling the freedom of a people, the other is subjugating it, in his mind.
    • He believes that any large-scale organization will, given enough time, inevitably grow more concerned with sustaining itself than its original purpose. If the Inquisitor suggests they'll share power with others in the future, he considers it noble but misplaced - a selfless individual might walk away from power, but he cannot think of any group to ever do so.
  • Insult Backfire: "Dread Wolf" was an insult from the rest of the Evanuris. Solas, however, appropriated it for his own use - inspiration for his followers, terror to his enemies - to the point that even his friend Mythal calls him by that name.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: He develops a bond with Cole as they discuss the nature of spirits; which is the elder of the two is subject to some scrutiny, although certainly almost every character considers Cole to be both young physically and mentally.
  • Intimate Healing: When the Inquisitor catches up with Solas in Trespasser, he confirms that the mark is killing you and you're out of time. If not romanced, he removes the anchor with a hand gesture. If romanced, he heals her with a Big Damn Kiss. note 
  • In Vino Veritas: Played with. While the servants being "eager to refill his glass" at the Winter Palace does cause him to slip from Nice Guy Solas into a more calculating personality with a love of court intrigue, he doesn't reveal his true identity or intentions. If the Inquisitor questions him about his odd behavior afterwards, he will hastily brush off their questions, saying that he knows it all from the Fade. Notably, this is one of the only times your questions will earn disapproval.
    Solas: I do adore the heady blend of power, intrigue, danger and sex that permeates these events...
  • Ironic Nickname: Varric calls him "Chuckles" despite seeing him as rather dour and humorless. If you befriend him, or listen to his banters, you'll find he does have a sense of humor.
  • Irony: He's a hermit who spends all his time in the Fade and distances himself from other Inquisition companions, yet his greatest fear is Dying Alone.
  • It's Not You, It's Me: Although he doesn't reveal his true reasons for breaking up with the Inquisitor, he makes it clear that she's not the one at fault, and feels he's doing it for her own good.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Averted. He insists that a Spirit of Wisdom is an "it" if the Inquisitor has Pronoun Trouble, but obviously holds it in high regard and calls it his friend. When you meet said spirit, it somewhat resembles a woman and has a feminine voice. He refers to Cole using masculine pronouns, however, so it's likely that being called "it" was the spirit's choice.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: A low-approval Lavellan can call Solas out on refusing to help his fellow elves despite looking down on them for being poor and ignorant. Solas retorts that he simply sees no way to help the elves, as he feels political reform can only go so far or last so long, given how human-elf history is filled with humans betraying and taking from elves. He further retorts that as Inquisitor you could order Halamshiral returned to the elves, but you know in the long run that won't work. This adds another layer to his motivations. Yes, tearing down the Veil is going too far, but given how many times humans have betrayed or screwed over elves in their long history together (and the number of historical elves and mages the Inquisitor alone learns were given the Orwellian Editor treatment by the Chantry - Shartan, Ameridan, Talana, the mages who helped Cassandra rescue the previous Divine) - it can be hard to blame him for not completely trusting human political reform...
  • Jumped at the Call: The moment the Breach appeared, he showed up at Haven offering his expertise. Subverted by the end, when it's revealed that he was the one who gave Corypheus the orb in the first place. He didn't so much Jump At the Call, as he set out to fix his mistake.
  • Licked by the Dog: By Trespasser, Solas' true identity and plans have been revealed to the audience. How does Word of God get across that Solas is not all bad? Have The Empath and All-Loving Tag Along Kid Cole take a firm stance that Fen'Harel is Not Evil, Just Misunderstood.
  • Like Goes with Like: Only a female elf can romance him. No other Inquisitor of any other gender or race can even flirt with him. He is the only companion or advisor who has this restriction. note  If a female elf romances Sera, he comments that he finds it natural to desire a fellow elf.
  • Little "No": Upon discovering evidence that mages have corrupted his spirit friend into a demon, he lets out a whispered string of, "No. No, no, no, no."
  • Loners Are Freaks: He's an introvert, his opinions concerning the Fade don't match any Thedosian civilizations, and he freaks out Andrastians and Qunari alike.
  • Love-Interest Traitor: To a romanced Lavellan.
  • Man Behind the Man: Hinted at in the main game's epilogue, and confirmed in Trespasser, is that Solas manipulated Corypheus by allowing him to come into possession of the Orb in the belief that Corypheus would unlock it and be destroyed by the resultant explosion, leaving it for Solas to reclaim. With that power, Solas planned to tear down the Veil he himself created to imprison the elves' false and tyrannical "gods". He, personally, is Fen'Harel, the trickster god of ancient elven lore. Knowing the decline of the elves is his own fault, he now seeks to undo it and restore the elves' civilisation and immortality at the expense of the world as it is now and all the races that reside within it. He's still pursuing that agenda despite the failure of his plan, making him a very likely candidate for prime antagonist of the ongoing series.
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: Like Blackwall, he doesn't reveal to anyone his true identity and plans, and that is likely what makes him break up with the Inquisitor if she romances him.
  • May–December Romance:
    • Implied. In an argument with the Elf Inquisitor about the Dalish, the Inquisitor refers to Solas as "hahren" (elder) and Solas refers to them as "da'len" (young one).
    • Played straight with the revelation he's at least thousands of years old, which means it's likely a Mayfly–December Romance as well.
  • Meaningful Name
    • Solas means "pride" in Elvhen. He does express grief that he did foolish things when he was younger, but is deliberately vague about them.
    • In the real world, Solas means "light" in Gaelic, calling to mind associations between light and knowledge, as well as some less savory aspects such as the connection between light and fire.
  • Merlin and Nimue: With a female elf mage Inquisitor that is romancing him, and to a lesser extent any female mage Inquisitor. Could even be extended to any female Inquisitor, period, as their mark gives them Magic Knight capabilities over Fade rifts.
  • Metaphorically True: Solas almost never lies, but the few times he doesn't feel like sharing he choosed his words carefully so that while they're technically true, they're a touch misleading. The Inquisitor can call him out on it in Trespasser - especially a romanced Lavellan - with Solas defensively stating that he never lied, only by omission.
  • Morality Pet: The Inquisitor becomes this to him, particularly a romanced female Lavellan. He admits he didn't even see his companions as people before the Inquisitor became his friend and proved his preconceptions wrong. Notably, despite caring for the Inquisitor greatly - and, in Lavellan's case, obviously loving her - this doesn't change his mind about the perceived necessity of his plans, and he abandons them to carry them out. This can also be seen of him hardening himself to do what he feels must be done, particularly as he calls Lavellan 'vhenan'/heart.
  • Morton's Fork: Hinted at in the Trespasser DLC. If the Inquisitor asks why he created the Veil to seal the Fade away when he loves it so, Solas responds that "every other alternative was worse," and claims the Evanuris were about to destroy the world. Various codices and the Descent DLC implies they were hunting Titans, at least. He also hints, but will not elaborate, that something worse might be on the horizon for Thedas if he does not act.
  • Mr. Imagination: He likes to spend his free time in the literal land of dreams.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Touched upon when he asks the Inquisitor what they would do if they woke up to find the world had changed for the worse due to their actions. The player doesn't know it then, but Solas is really thinking about his own choice to seal away the elven gods, which both spelled the end of elven civilization, and removed people's conscious connection to the Fade, which he compares to walking through a world of Tranquil.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: If you ask him about other elves, he says the Dalish are too stuck on trying to hold to traditions that none of them even remember, and those in the Alienages do the same while remembering even less. If they aren't able to remember, and don't have members who can use the Fade to see the past as he does, then they ought to learn new ways to live that make sense in the present.
  • Mysterious Stranger:
    • After the explosion at the Temple, he showed up, surrendered to Chantry forces, and offered his aid. That's about all anyone knows of him, other than the fact that he was in some random nearby village during the actual explosion (and thus couldn't have been responsible). Actually, he was: the Orb Corypheus used was his, given to him for an unknown purpose. He is actually Fen'Harel, the Dread Wolf of elven legend, and never intended for any of the events of the game to happen.
    • Bits of dialogue suggest that Iron Bull, Vivienne and Cassandra are aware there's something he's not telling them, or at least that his timing was convenient enough to be suspicious, but they're too busy with Corypheus to investigate.
  • Nay-Theist:
    • He believes the old elf pantheon existed, but hesitates to call them "gods." He approves of the idea of The Maker, a deity that does not need to prove its power to anyone, but does not believe.
    • The Stinger reveals that he's closer to A God I Am Not than a true Nay-Theist. His general attitude seems to imply that he thinks the elven pantheon were neither divine nor worthy of worship. That he's technically a member doesn't seem to change his feelings on the matter.
  • Necessarily Evil: In the Trespasser DLC, it is revealed his intentions are to tear down the Veil, which will return the world to what it once was, but will devastate - if not destroy - the waking world. He states that it pains him to do so and wishes there was another way, adding that his assistance in dealing with Corypheus and the Qunari was to give the world comfort and peace before its destruction. Solas even hopes that the Inquisitor can prove to him that the world is worth ending his plans for.
  • Nice Guy: While he is genuinely nice, polite, and caring towards the destitute, he has a pretty important dark side that he hides, and endeavors to appear as a simple apostate.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: He took a nap, and then woke up too weak to activate his focal orb, so he gave it to Corypheus to unlock its power. Naturally, Corypheus decided to take the orb for his own uses.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: By most people's standards, his love for everything Fade-related is somewhat creepy. This is especially the case for Vivienne (who, as a mage, is constantly open to possession by demons) and the Iron Bull (who isn't fond of demons in general).
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: He sought to free the ancient elves from the tyrannical "false gods" and save the world from whatever catastrophic plans of theirs that would have destroyed it by creating the Veil and sealing them away, only to accidentally destroy the ancient elven people and their society and plunge them into millennia of slavery under humans. He was then vilified in Dalish lore as a malevolent trickster who screwed them over on purpose.
  • Not So Above It All: Mature and cerebral he may be, but that doesn't mean he can't give resident troll Sera a run for her money when he really wants to. He also can get dragged into catty sniping with Dorian or Vivienne when they goad him.
    • In a banter with Sera, he tries speaking elven to her to see if she can make sense of the rhythm of the words. When she can't and snaps at him for trying, he replies with Fenedhis lasa, which roughly translates into Go suck a wolf's dick. This is especially funny considering he IS the Dread Wolf himself.
  • Not So Different:
    • He shares many traits with Morrigan, such as being a skilled apostate who lived in the wilderness, which makes the ways in which they clash stand out more starkly.
    • To Cole. They both joined the Inquisition to help and often approve of the same decisions, particularly those which help people even if they give little immediate reward, and share a distrust of Templars and Grey Wardens. They're also both Older Than They Look, and out-of-touch with modern Thedas due to spending too much time in the Fade - Cole because he formed there, Solas because he was asleep for several thousand years.
    • To Sera. While very different in temperament, they both share a strong desire not to be judged simply for being an elf, a derision of other elves for clinging on to remnants of history (although in different ways), as well as a general distaste for authority and a sympathy for the poor and needy. Solas will sometimes remark on this (although it doesn't endear her to him), but it's generally lost on Sera, who thinks of Solas as being almost everything she doesn't want to be.
    • Trespasser reveals that his goals are very much similar to Corypheus', as they both want to restore their respective peoples to the past glory they remember. Even his nature as a god is what Corypheus wanted to achieve - Solas isn't a god and never was one, but he began to be worshipped as one eventually.
      • It extends even deeper to their backgrounds: Both woke up from a long sleep to be shocked by the current state of the world. Both are angry and lament how far "their people" have fallen and how said people no longer remember their past properly. Both are depicted in myths as villains for their actions.
      • And it goes even deeper. Though rather than Corypheus, it's for the Inquisitor themselves. Before he created the Veil, he was the leader of a faction of former elven slaves, fighting to free themselves from the more tyrannical of the Evanuris. He likened his faction to the Inquisition; as with the Inquisitor, his followers were loyal to him, and some even saw him as divine, regardless of his wishes not to be.
  • Odd Friendship: With Cassandra. He's pretty much a complete heretic according to Chantry standards and she is a heavily devout Andrastian. They have a deep respect and admiration for each other.
    • If you take Cassandra with you when the Vidisala reveals that (she believes) Solas is an agent of Fen'harel, her only response is an incredibly heartbroken "What?".
  • ...Or So I Heard: He knows a lot of things that have been forgotten over the centuries, all from watching Fade memories. Or so he claims. Not that he was there or anything...
  • Pardon My Klingon: If the Inquisitor falls in battle, he'll sometimes swear in Elvish. No official translation has been given for fenedhis, but popular theory is it means "wolf dung" or similar. note 
  • Pet the Dog: Part of the reason for his romance is to show that Solas has other sides to him besides being mysterious and vaguely villainous. It's also why he has a friendship with Cole, and is surprisingly polite to Cassandra, whom he very emphatically admires for her innate nobility.
  • Playing with Fire: His Focus Spell is the incredibly powerful Firestorm and promotional materials show him using fire.
  • Power Perversion Potential:
    • Sera and Blackwall want to know if any of his Fade spirit friends are "more than friends, if you know what I mean." Solas's reaction is to freak out and exclaim that such matters are not simple at all. He also tells Iron Bull that acting out sexual fantasies with spirits tends to attract demons. Whether he learned this from firsthand experience or not is not known.
    • If a Dalish female Inquisitor kisses him in the Fade, he immediately returns the physical affection and says that such things are always easier for him to do in the Fade.
  • The Professor: He's an expert on the Fade, and if the Inquisitor is friendly with him, he'll be glad to share parts of his knowledge and attempt to teach. The easiest way to gain his approval is to ask questions.
  • Psychic Block Defense: While he can't hide all of his grief from Cole, it's implied that he is able to keep the details of his past a secret. All Cole can find is a vague sense of regret for something he did. He's also able to erase the details of his location and plans from Cole's mind after he leaves. Being Fen'Harel explains how he got this block defense in the first place.
  • Psychic Powers: His unmatched mastery of the Fade allows him to catch and interpret glimpses of past events. After he leaves, he's even able to use his powers to fog Cole's ability to find him, then wipes his memory of that happening afterwards.
  • Reality Warper: He has come to develop powers to control the Fade's effects on reality. And that's parlor tricks compared to Solas' most powerful act: creating the Veil itself. By the end of Trespasser, his powers have progressed to the point that he can kill people by thinking about it; he may be the most powerful being alive in Thedas at that point, and there's hints that he's still not as strong as he used to be.
  • Really 700 Years Old: The Stinger of the game after the credits reveals him to be Fen'Harel, The Dread Wolf, a figure from ancient Elven lore.
  • Revenge: His reason for creating The Veil. It was his way to punish the killers of Mythal.
  • Reverse Arm-Fold: He spends much of his conversation in Trespasser striking this pose; fitting, given he's gained a huge power boost and is no longer hiding his age or ruthless nature.
  • Romance Sidequest: For a female Elven Inquisitor only.
  • Sage Love Interest: For a romanced Lavellan, who can also be this to him (he considers them to be wise).
  • Sarcastic Confession: At one point in Inquisition, he can sarcastically say that the only way he can think of to truly save the elves would be to destroy the Veil and use the Fade to reshape reality. Trespasser reveals that he actually intends to do this.
  • Saying Too Much: He occasionally mentions things that seem interesting, then clams up when you try and ask for more details. Combined with his need to keep secrets and his preference not to lie, this causes problems for him. For example, when Leliana asked where he came from, he gave her his real hometown, and she eventually discovered that it's nothing but an ancient ruin. It would have been far easier for him to just name a random alienage.
  • Seriously Scruffy: Not as easy to tell, since he's bald, but life as an elven apostate is full of hardships, and his wardrobe shows it.
  • Shoo the Dog: To his Dalish Inquisitor girlfriend, if things go that far.
    • Also to Cole after the main game.
  • Significant Anagram: The name of one of his personal quests, "All New, Faded For Her" can be rearranged to form Fen'harel, Dread Wolf.
  • The Smart Guy: He's an entirely self taught expert on the Fade, and takes a more nuanced approach than most in his everyday life. Promotional material also referred to him as "The Mind" of the Inquisition.
  • Smart People Play Chess: He and Bull play during banter after Bull truly goes Tal-Vashoth, as a way to assuage the distress Bull is having from it - that is, they call out moves and the "board" exists in their heads.
    • He is apparently a terror in Diamondback, as Blackwall warns you after losing all his clothes when he taught Solas how to play the game.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: At best, he and Vivienne will spend most of their dialogue trading zingers.
  • Stealth Pun: His name means "pride" in elven. This takes on a new significance when you reach the endgame mission "What Pride has Wrought." It's a subtle hint that Solas is responsible for both Corypheus's rise to power, and possibly the fall of elven society - the latter of which is only emphasized as you fight your way through an ancient elven ruin.
  • Stop Worshipping Me: Trespasser reveals that he tried to invoke this trope back in ancient Elvhenan when he was a rebel leader freeing the slaves from their false god masters. It's because of that last bit that Solas despises the idea of people proclaiming godhood: it basically ruined the ancient elves. It's also why he approves of the idea of the Maker, a being that, if it exists, would have to be incalculably powerful yet feels no need to prove its godhood.
  • Supernatural Is Purple: Solas is a Dreamer mage, capable of bending the Fade to his will, with the unheard of talent to witness the historical memories of a place by sleeping near it. His eyes are a fittingly mysterious and mystical color. He's also an ancient elf and the Dread Wolf. Notably, the only other character ever known to have purple eyes is Felassan, his agent and fellow ancient elf, which gave partial credence to the now Jossed theory that Solas had possessed Felassan. Atypical to most examples of this trope, Solas's violet eyes are of the more realistic kind, rather than an amethyst-purple, meaning they can appear blue or grey depending on the lighting.
  • Sweet Tooth: Unlike Blackwall, he enjoys the little cakes sold in the Orlesian marketplace.
  • Taught by Experience: Solas never received a formal education in magic. Not that he needed one, considering he's really a god. Iron Bull points out how odd it is that Solas is so skilled, since experience has shown him that even the best self-taught warriors have "clunks" in their technique.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
    • He really does not like Vivienne. His snark at her actually goes for the mean, not that she cares. He does, however, acknowledge her intelligence, stating that despite their disagreements he does not consider either of them to be fools.
    • His whole involvement with the Inquisition is a form of this, as he has no love for the Chantry as a whole, though he does concede that it does some good and has nothing but the greatest respect for a friendly Inquisitor (and indeed, seems to think that if the Maker is real It at least lacks the desire to prove Its power).
    • During "What Pride Had Wrought", he and Morrigan do not get along at all. It's probably because she keeps acting like an expert on Elven history when she's actually confusing it with Elven lore.
    • Initially he does not get along with Iron Bull because he's a Qunari, and Solas despises the Qun. Their relationship can either get better or worse depending on the results of Iron Bull's personal quest.
    • Potentially with the Inquisitor, if his approval gets low enough. It can get to the point where he can piss the Inquisitor off with his snarky comments enough for them to punch Solas.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Already strong enough to hold his own among the most powerful members of the Inquisition, in Trespasser we see that whatever he absorbed from Flemeth, along with the power he has slowly been regaining since his reawakening, has made him powerful enough to petrify people where they stand just by thinking about it.
  • Tranquil Fury: During his personal quest "All New, Faded for Her" he does momentarily lose his cool when he discovers a group of inept mages have summoned his Actual Pacifist spirit friend and forced it to fight, turning it into a demon, but after the fight, the only clue he's about to kill the three mages is a glint in his eyes and an edge to his voice.
  • The Trickster: He likes them in tales, another sign of his intellectual bent (since tricksters win through smarts and by moving outside established thinking) and asks Varric why there aren't any in dwarven literature. Also, he's really Fen'Harel, the Dread Wolf who tricked the Fade and mortal worlds apart in elvish mythology, sealing away the gods and their opposite numbers in their respective realms. He's also responsible for Corypheus gaining the knowledge he needed to merge the fade, and the Inquisitor's Anchor. Ultimately, Solas uses his intellect and cunning to get things done.
  • Try Not to Die: Says this once to Blackwall rather glibly (see above), and then again to Cole with more seriousness.
    Solas: There will always be plenty of negative emotions to fuel Rage and Desire demons. The gentler spirits are much rarer; that is why we cannot afford to lose even one Spirit of Wisdom... or Compassion.
    Cole: I shall try not to die, then.
    Solas: Do that, please.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means:
    • Occasionally expresses this view in the main game.
      Solas: Sometimes to achieve the world one desires, one must take regrettable measures.
    • Trespasser takes it further as Solas, now outed as Fen'Harel, reveals that he intends to remove the Veil that he created in the first place, in order to restore the elves' lost glory, immortality, and society. He knows that doing so will likely destroy the world and most living beings in it, yet he feels it's a necessary price to pay for the ideal world he wants to restore.
      Inquisitor: Solas, whatever you want, this world dying is not the answer.
      Solas: Not a good answer, no. Sometimes, terrible choices are all that remain.
  • Unreliable Expositor: Solas is the expert on all things Fade-related and some things magical and Elven-related. The vast majority of the time, he is right on the money about everything. He is, however, fallible like any other source of information in the series. Especially since much of the time he's lying by omission or only giving pieces of information.
  • Vetinari Job Security:
    • If the Inquisitor manages to get his approval low enough, they'll eventually have an argument in which he points out that you don't have another expert on the Fade around to replace him. He's right: no matter how mad you make him, you can't get rid of him. You can punch him in the face, though.
    • His codex profile has Leliana advise Cassandra that, since he's the only person that has a clue what's going on, they need to keep him around no matter what.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With extra vitriol. Most of the time he and Iron Bull speak, Solas lashes out against the Qun. But if Bull winds up being declared Tal-Vashoth, Solas will support him when he worries about turning vicious. And a rather long chain of party conversations between them later is essentially Solas distracting Iron Bull from his worries by deliberately provoking him into playing a mental game of chess.
  • Walking Spoiler: His real identity as Fen'Harel is a major twist and he is one of the main instigators of the plot.
  • Warrior Poet: He's well-read and knows a thing or two about courtly intrigue, paints a fresco of the Inquisitor in his spare time, and discusses the delicate balance of passion in a warrior's life with Blackwall: too much and a man is likely to die in a fool-hardy way, too little and he is likely to die because he is uncommitted to the fight or to simply leave the life of a warrior for safer, more sedate pastures.
  • Was It All a Lie?: He tells a romanced Lavellan that what they had was real.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • He sympathises with the mage rebellion, seeing the violence as an unfortunate step towards something better. He has no such patience for the Grey Wardens, who he views as ignorant and too quick to use duty as a catch-all excuse.
    • Then there's his own arc. After witnessing how badly sealing away the elf pantheon backfired, he resorts to giving Corypheus a powerful artifact that he's too weak to unlock himself. After that blows up in his face too, he leaves the party on a mission he does not want any of his friends to share in.
    • In the Trespasser DLC, Solas reveals his plans to tear down the Veil he himself created, restoring the world to how it once was...even if it kills countless people in the process. He takes no pleasure in any of it, wants everyone's last days to be as peaceful as possible, and if you promise to prove him wrong he seems half-hopeful you'll succeed.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Implied in a banter with Sera:
    Sera: So you can create magic whenever you want? Did you ever piss it by accident?
    Solas: No. Wait... No.
    Sera: How could you not remember somethin' like that?
    Solas: We were all young once.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Though whether you can call him heroic at this point is debatable, in Trespasser, when the Inquisitor learns that Solas plans to tear down the Veil, which would devastate Thedas and kill untold amounts of people to recreate the world he used to live in, the Inquisitor can call him a monster who doesn't care about anyone but his elves.
  • Wild Card Excuse: Whenever anyone asks how he knows some obscure piece of lore, he says he saw it in the Fade. While he does learn quite a lot from the Fade, the truth is that he lived most of the ancient events that are relevant in the game.
  • Written by the Winners:
    • When it's pointed out that the visions seen in the Fade can be distorted, Solas points out that the same things happen to a living person's memories and also in history books; no one recollection is perfect or free from bias. The way things are is not necessarily the way a person thinks they are, but which is most important in their future decisions?
    • He gives one specific example: Loghain withdrawing his troops during the battle at Ostagar. Some remember a sneering villain mad with power discarding the lives of those inconvenient to his goals. Others remember a beleaguered commander trying to salvage troops from a battle that was already lost, though it meant abandoning his foolhardy king.
    Solas: I dreamt at Ostagar. I witnessed the brutality of the darkspawn and the valor of the Fereldan warriors. I saw Alistair and the Hero of Ferelden light the signal fire...and Loghain's infamous betrayal of Cailan's forces.
    Inquisitor: I've heard the stories. It would be interesting to hear what it was really like.
    Solas: That's just it. In the Fade, I see reflections created by spirits who react to the emotions of the warriors. One moment, I see heroic Grey Wardens lighting the fire and a power-mad villain sneering as he lets King Cailan fall. The next, I see an army overwhelmed and a veteran commander refusing to let more soldiers die in a lost cause.
    Inquisitor: And you can't tell which is real?
    Solas: It is the Fade. They are all real.
  • Wrong Context Magic: Solas's abilities to command the Fade and view the history of places is completely new and foreign to Thedosian mages, not to mention Thedosian society in general. This is a hint to his actual nature.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race:
    • Some of his comments and a lot of his banter borders on or falls outright into this territory. Once you get his approval high enough, he outright asks the Inquisitor if the Anchor has altered their morals in some way, as their behaviour doesn't match his expectations of their people (especially human, dwarf or Qunari).
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: In Trespasser, a fully befriended or romanced Inquisitor can tell him that they never imagined that he was someone who would destroy the world to rebuild his old one. Solas looks deeply shocked and moved, then replies, "Thank you."
    • In the last conversation you can have with him before the final battle, he may tell a befriended Inquisitor of any race that "you have not been what I expected," and express his admiration for their goodness and depth of character.
  • You Cannot Kill An Idea: After his friend the Wisdom Spirit dies, he says that if the idea giving a spirit form is strong enough, it will one day reform in the Fade, though the spirit that was will not truly be resurrected. His friend is still truly gone.
  • You Have Failed Me: He kills his agent and friend Felassan when the latter fails to obtain the Eluvians for him.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In party banter, he advises Sera to "remove" and "replace" those of her forces who are no longer valuable.
  • You Monster!: As opposed to You Are Better Than You Think You Are above, in Trespasser, a low approval Inquisitor can call Solas a monster for his plan to tear down the Veil, knowing that it will kill almost everyone in Thedas just to bring back the ancient elves of Solas' time.

Voiced by: Indira Varma

"Magic is dangerous, just as fire is dangerous. Anyone who forgets this truth gets burned."

A Free Marches-born and Orlesian-raised mage who was the official enchanter to the Imperial court and First Enchanter of the Montsimmard Circle before the entire Circle of Magi went rogue. A staunch supporter of the Circle system, she joins the Inquisition to support her fellow "loyal" mages (and her own agenda) in any way she can.

Written by Mary Kirby.

  • Absolute Cleavage: The outfit she's wearing when she's introduced, as well as other mage armor you can equip her with.
  • Action Girl: As Irving and Orsino demonstrated, you don't become First Enchanter without knowing how to kick ass.
  • Action Fashionista: As described on her character kit, "A thousand arrows would pierce her breast before Vivienne would don beaten steel for so base an urge as protection." Also, when Varric reveals that he's basing the villain of his latest book on her, she demands that his writing describe her wearing nothing but the latest fashions.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: She's absolutely delighted about being the villain in Varric's planned trilogy of novels set in Orlais. A good portion of her banter with him is talking about how the story will go and how accurate it'll be.
  • The Archmage: She was a First Enchanter before the Circles rebelled. Her ultimate goal pre-rebellion was to become Grand Enchanter.
  • Authority in Name Only: She calls herself the leader of the last loyal mages in Thedas, but since there aren't too many of those, that title doesn't mean much beyond being an indicator of her skill as a mage - something she acknowledges openly.
  • Badass Boast: Vivienne is quite an expert at this:
    Cassandra: Varric, expect a standard formation of ranged enemies on the walls and expendables gathering there.
    Vivienne: My dear, we'll render them all expendable.
  • Bald Women: Without her headgear, Vivienne has a closely shaven head.
  • Barrier Warrior: As a Knight-Enchanter, Vivienne specializes in using barrier spells to stay in a fight while delivering devastating damage.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: While she brings a lot more grace and magic into it, Vivienne is not above reversing Sera's pranks back on her. When Sera sticks a snake into her drawer, Vivienne enchants it to give it legs, then sends it back to Sera. Also, when Sera remarks that she could dig up Vivienne's past and use dirt she finds against the mage, Vivienne gently warns her that all people are this way, and if Sera wants to try that, Vivienne will be more than willing to pay her back in kind. It shuts Sera up quickly.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Somehow her perfect, pristine silk and satin clothes never get ripped, stained, or muddied even though she spends a lot of time hoofing it out in the elements if taken out in the party.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: Party banter with Cole implies Vivienne often does this.
    Cole: You're lying. You're... twist the words right, and it will show its true form.
  • Beneath the Mask: There is a part of Vivienne that actually cares for Cole as a person. She doesn't like it, but part of her is genuinely worried he could be hurt. Cole agrees not to tell anyone. She is also absolutely distraught when all of her efforts still fail to save Bastien's life.
    • Subverted regarding Templars. At first glance, Vivienne seems to like the Templars. On talking to her further, the Inquisitor can learn that beneath that mask she doesn't like or trust Templars, but feels they're a necessary evil to prevent chaos. However, Cole can eventually discover that this is also a mask.
    Cole: You like the Templars. You think they were right.
    Vivienne: It can learn after all.
    • Vivienne also claims to support Circles because she feels they're the best way to protect mages and ordinary folk alike from the dangers of magic. However, Nightmare reveals the real reason she supports Circles is she fears they're the only way she can gain power. (Tellingly, this is one time she doesn't have a blithe comeback.)
    Nightmare: What's it like living as an apostate, Vivienne? Do you really think you'll reclaim your power in the Circle... At your age?
    Vivienne: (through clenched teeth) Not. One. Word.
  • Character Filibuster: Ask her about why mages are fighting mages and she will launch into a speech that repeatedly refers to some as terrorists declaring war on the entire free world, how they in turn tar all mages with the same brush, and through their actions those who want no part in the war caught up. She also points out that of course this draws the ire of the Templars in particular, as well as the rest of Thedas in general who oppose all mages, not just the warmongers.
  • Cleavage Window: Some of her outfits have this, including the default ensemble she wears in Haven/Skyhold.
  • Combat Medic: Vivienne's Focus Spell is Resurgence, the only true healing spell that can be cast in combat.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: While she's perfectly willing to leverage all of her assets (magical and otherwise) to her own benefit, she also strongly believes that magic, like all power, comes with responsibility. She's not sympathetic to the rebel mages because she believes that the actions of certain rebel mages — Anders blowing up the Kirkwall Chantry, the attempted assassination of Divine Justinia, the killing of innocent people caught in the crossfire, and the killing of fellow mages who didn't want to rebel — prove that they are being irresponsible with their magic and simply don't deserve the freedom they crave.
  • Control Freak: She must be in control. It starts with herself and her emotions, but in general, she must have a say in anything that affects her life directly or indirectly. For example, the Nightmare demon taunts her with the fear that she'll be living as an apostate forever and never reclaim the influence she once held. Also see Xanatos Gambit below.
  • Court Mage: Her actual pre-war position was official Enchanter to the Imperial Court, and according to Leliana, she was the first to transform it into something meaningful; previously it had been little more than the role of a court jester.
  • Cruel Mercy: How she deals with the Marquis who insults the Inquisitor, if he's spared. If the Inquisitor says they don't care how she deals with him, Vivienne will give him such a scathing "Reason You Suck" Speech (in front of everyone he knows) that one can't help but wonder if killing him would have been the kinder choice. After the encounter, Vivienne can confirm that he will be disgraced and disowned, and will probably join the war effort in the Dales to either go out in a blaze of glory or try to earn back some semblance of self-respect. Suddenly, asking her to kill him doesn't seem quite so needlessly cruel.
  • Culture Justifies Everything: Defends most Orlesian Court and Circle practices with this mentality. Deadly games and intrigues in Orlais' Deadly Decadent Court? Why, it's common practice by everybody who's anybody, darling, so who are we to question it? The Chantry robs mages of freedom via Circles and enables Templars to abuse their mage charges? Oh my dear simple reader, the Circles are necessary to protect not only ordinary citizens from the dangers of untrained mages, but mages themselves from fearful commoners that would lynch them on sight without Templar protection.
  • Deadly Decadent Court: She is supremely adapated to thrive in Celine's court of backstabbing nobles. She purrs at the Inquisitor that she finds it sublime and exciting.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Vivienne is very skilled at verbally destroying people who get in her way:
    Vivienne: I know you are only seventy-third in line for the Nevarran throne, but that is hardly so lowly a position as to relegate you to trailing after Comtesse Montbelliard in the hope that she might give your suit a moment's thought. She won't, my dear. She only likes men with self-respect. Perhaps you might sober up and acquire some?
  • Divided We Fall: If she becomes Divine, she tries to avert this by forcing every mage into a Circle instead of having mages split between the College and the Circles.
    • However, if Leliana is made Divine and the mages were allies, Vivienne undermines the public's growing acceptance of free mages and the College of Enchanters by restoring the Circle of Magi, causing frictions to break out between mages and civilians alike over whether they prefer the College or the Circle.
  • Double Standard: Like Cassandra, Vivienne holds all Rebel Mages responsible for the actions of a few rogue mages who roam the countryside killing innocents indiscriminately, yet she doesn't hold all Templars responsible for the rogue Templars doing the exact same thing.
    • If a Templar or peasant mob attacks a mage, she think it's perfectly understandable given how dangerous mages can be. If a mage attacks a Templar or nonmage, even in self-defense, even if the attacker was trying to murder them, she feels it's never justified and the mage is just encouraging negative stereotypes.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Invoked. Party banter between Vivienne and Cole reveals that Vivienne intentionally set up the noble she humiliated at the salon she invited both him and the Inquisitor to so her first appearance to the Inquisitor would be as impressive as possible.
  • Evil Reactionary: Subverted. At first blush, it seems as though she's extremely conservative because of her desire to keep the Circles around, but if you suggest that mages join the Chantry, she agrees wholeheartedly with you. Also her idea of circles is much more lenient, allowing mages to come and go freely, and is more akin to a mage college than the prisons they normally are. Double Subverted as Vivienne brings the Circles back even if Divine Leliana establishes a College of Enchanters. And if Vivienne is made Divine, she declares war on the rebel mages and forces them back into the Circles through sword and bloodshed.
  • Foil:
    • The silver clad pro-establishment counterpoint to the raggedy apostate Solas. (Not to mention she turns out to be upfront about her agenda while Solas hides a much grander one, and in the long run she proves a staunchly loyal companion while Solas leaves the instant the world is saved from Corypheus).
    • Vivienne is a Circle-trained mage who is a master of Orlesian politics to further her own agenda; in contrast, Morrigan is an apostate who sneers at politics but gains Celene's favor to further her own agenda. To make it visually obvious, Vivienne is dressed in white Orlesian fashions while Morrigan ignores all fashion and wears black. The fact that they hold each other's way of life and mage training in utter contempt, but are very similar in other ways, is even better.
    • Across the series itself, Vivienne and Anders could not have led more dissimilar lives; Vivienne thrived in the Circle until she became the well-dressed and respected member of high society, while Anders frequently tried to escape from the Circle's abuse and lived on the run in slums to become an apostate revolutionary. It's no wonder that both have polar opposite views on mage rights and freedoms.
    • To Sera, the other female Optional Party Member and Static Character who approaches the Inquisitor during their first visit to Val Royeaux. While Vivienne is a Wicked Cultured Lady of War who likes Kicking Ass in All Her Finery, Sera is a Lower-Class Lout and Satisfied Street Rat. Both believe Circles should remain to protect the common folk, though they also have personal reasons: Vivienne because the Circle is what gives her power, Sera because she's very uncomfortable with magic. They also want to restore the world almost exactly the way it was for personal benefit: Vivienne because playing the Circle hierarchy and Orlais' Deadly Decadent Court gives her political power. While Sera hates snobby nobles, she also wants to restore society's nice, familiar little categories because it allows her to be a Wild Card and Karmic Thief who can dodge society's rules and prank and rob nobles with (to her) moral impunity. At least before Sera's Character Development in Trespasser.
  • Fairy Tale Motifs: Slight, but present. In addition to her Maleficent-esque horned hat, Vivienne's dialogue and story reference fairy stories - usually the older, bloodier versions. She was elevated to her status by a wealthy suitor. One of her personal quests is named "Bring Me the Heart of Snow White." When Cassandra suggests no one could fill the Divine's shoes, Vivienne says they'll find someone, even if they have to trim off her heels and toes, as occurs in some versions of Cinderella. She references (jokingly - we hope) feeding a man his relative in a stew, and the party member whose personality clashes with hers the most is essentially a big bad wolf. Finally, her personal quest is to restore the health of a loved one who is mortally ill.
  • Grand Dame: She is officially the biggest one, and carries herself as such, which is saying something in a Deadly Decadent Court where there are dozens of Grand Dame wannabes.
  • Green-Eyed Monster:
    • If the Inquisitor romances Blackwall, some party banter between Blackwall and Vivienne has her being particularly scathing toward him about his and the Inquisitor's relationship, saying that the Inquisitor is far out of his league. Blackwall retorts that the real reason she's being so critical is because she's envious of the Inquisitor being able to love anyone she wants, with no worries about her reputation. Since this is the only time during their banter that he's able to stun Vivienne into silence, he's probably right.
    • Cole discovers that Vivienne practically seethes in jealousy about how Morrigan was able to simply waltz into Celene's favor without having to going through any Circle training or ruthless Orlesian politics like she had. Having to work extremely hard for something that just falls into another's lap can do that to a person.
  • Go-Getter Girl: This to an extreme; it's how she rose to her position so quickly.
  • Guile Hero: This was wired into her as an Orlesian, allowing her to rise so high in station as to be considered the jewel of the high court in spite of being a mage in such a Deadly Decadent Court.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • According to Cole, part of her does care about him, she's just convinced she shouldn't.
    • She also really enjoys pulling counter-pranks on Sera. Vivienne finds inventive methods to best her at every turn, and has a lot of fun with it. Sera is less than pleased.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Vivienne supports the Circle, believing that mages are naturally dangerous and need to be supervised. However, Vivienne herself would not volunteer to be controlled, and instead desire to be the one holding the leash for both herself and others.
    • Vivienne frequently dismisses pro-liberation mages as "selfish" for not wanting to live in Circles; yet even before the Circles collapsed, Vivienne spent most of her time in Duke Bastien's palace, frequenting lavish parties and making appearances at Court. And yet she remarks at one point that the Circles were probably too permissive.
    • Vivienne frequently derides the rebel mages for turning mages against each other just for their own desires. If Leliana is made Divine, Vivienne does exactly that when she reforms the Circle despite Leliana declaring all mages free and endorsing the College of Enchanters, undermining the public's growing trust of mages, pitting mages against each other, and severely impeding the growing peace. Just so Vivienne can finally run the Circle as Grand Enchanter.
    • It's implied that Vivienne was constantly starving as a child, in conditions similar to what some of the worst Circles did to their mages (and considerably less awful, in some cases), and joining her first Circle improved things for her; her experience in the Circles has been overwhelmingly positive due to being raised in some of the best Circles in Thedas, but yet she looks down on rebel mages for wanting a better life themselves.
    • Vivienne remarks that everyone believes the Inquisitor is the Herald of Andraste, and that it gives them power whether it's true or not. She approves if you say no one should have that kind of power, but disapproves if you say you hope to make positive changes with it. This despite Vivienne tirelessly amassing power for herself through the Circle and Orlesian Court all her life and possibly becoming Divine, all the while asserting that she'll use it to enact what she sees as necessary changes. Ironically, if made Divine, Vivienne becomes so tyrannical that Cassandra quits working for her in disgust.
    • Like Sera, Vivienne will not tolerate endangering common folk... except for mages, whom she believes should be imprisoned as Necessarily Evil despite the horrific abuses they face in the Circle.
    • Vivienne often tears into the rebel mages for causing needless violence and killing countless non-mages for what she perceives to be a selfish desire to leave abusive Circles. If Vivienne is made Divine, many non-mages will riot in protest of having a Mage Divine, which Vivienne will ruthlessly crush with her own private army, creating months of chaos and bloodshed afterwards. Apparently, slaughtering non-mages is fine when Vivienne does it to protect her own power, but selfish when other mages do it to escape abusive Circles.
    • Vivienne rips into the rebel mages for killing other mages who didn't want to leave the Circles with them. Not only does this willfully ignore centuries of mages being forced into Circles with the threat of death if they resisted, but if Vivienne is made Divine, she declares war on the remaining rebel mages, forcing them back into the Circles through violence. This once again shows that Vivienne thinks mages forcing other mages to live how they want and murdering anyone who resists is just fine as long as she is the one doing it.
    • Vivienne dismisses Solas' idea to abolish Circles as sustainable only if he was immortal which he is, as an elvhen god. Yet her solution is no better, as her idea is to restore the Circles and Templar Order exactly as before, only with herself holding the leash to limit the abuse of mages. This would also only work if she were immortal, since the moment she dies the Chantry and Templars will just fill the power vaccuum and resume their old control of mages like nothing ever changed.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: According to her gravestone in the Fade, her greatest fear is "irrelevance". The idea of being unimportant, of being caught up in someone else's agenda or war and having no part or say in her own fate, both terrifies her and pisses her off.
  • An Ice Person: In the promotional materials, Vivienne is always shown wielding ice spells, suitable to her demeanor, and she is introduced using one on a troublesome noble.
  • Ice Queen: She's a pretty haughty individual. The only people she seems to respect are people who are either noble or otherwise highly influential. She looks down on everyone else. Almost everything she says is layered in icy, razor-sharp politeness and she gives away her true feelings about as freely as other people give up their limbs.
  • Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance: Solas accuses her of being this regarding her willfully limited, Chantry-approved view of magic. Vivienne doesn't care.
    • Vivienne dismisses all Chantry unapproved magic as inherently dangerous and beneath consideration, and is a Smug Super regarding her own Circle-taught Knight-Enchanter class. Yet, she doesn't seem to know that the Knight-Enchanter class is derived from the Ancient Elvhen Arcane Warrior class.
  • Immortality Seeker: She asks the Inquisitor for help making a potion that reverses aging. Subverted when you learn she is making it to cure her lover of a disease. Unfortunately, even if you don't decide to replace the ingredient she needed, the potion doesn't work and her lover dies.
  • Improbable Age: Vivienne's exact age is unknown, but her codex entry notes that she was voted First Enchanter at an age "young enough to cause scandal".
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Part of the reason she so vehemently dislikes Cole might well be because his read of her indicates she wishes she weren't a mage, fearing that her magic could control her and eclipse her identity (whether by demonic possession or by the lack of status that mages have). Rather than allow that, she's made her magic into her identity, something for others to fear rather than something she herself fears. Solas may also comment on it, adding that it must annoy her that magic is all that makes her special.
  • Informed Attribute: Vivienne is presented as a master manipulator and accomplished player of The Game, yet if the Inquisitor angers her enough the worst she does is passive-aggressively move your furniture around. She does restore the Circles in Trespasser regardless of who is made Divine, however.
  • Insistent Terminology: She doesn't like nicknames (except for "Madame de Fer" or Varric's "Iron Lady") and insists on being referred to by her name or title, though she will accept being called "Ma'am".
  • Insufferable Genius: She's smart (an “exceptional scholar,” the youngest First Enchanter in history, and a potions master), she knows it, and she won't hesitate to tell you so.
  • Insult Backfire: As a part of her unflappable demeanor, most insults shot at her will be twisted to suit her.
  • Internalized Categorism: It is heavily implied through her conversations with Cole that she secretly hates being a mage, that she thinks the Templars are right to fear and imprison mages for what they are which is why she supports the Circle's existence so heavily.
  • Iron Lady:
    • Invoked by her in-universe moniker "Madame de Fer". Also used by Varric when addressing her.
    • A letter released by Mary Kirby has her demonstrate this, addressing an ambassador whom she's heard is planning to gate-crash a party she would be hosting, politely reminding him of her position, before proceeding to verbally tear him apart and suggest that if he knows what is best for him, he'd do well not cross her.
    • Also pretty well demonstrated by her intimidating Iron Bull. She haughtily shuts him down after he calls her "Viv," and from that point on he calls her "Ma'am" and goes along with her ideas on improving his wardrobe.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Repeatedly calls Cole "it", and/or the Inquisitor's "pet".
  • It's All About Me: She's not a bad person per se, but she does have self-serving tendencies. If Leliana becomes Divine and the mages are allies, Vivienne recreates the Circle (despite free mages being accepted by the public and the College of Enchanters proving a success) to regain her position of power.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While many of her opinions on the war and non-human cultures can range from ignorant to outright offensive, she also brings up a fair number of valid points: Anders not only blew up a Chantry full of innocent people, but a mage later attempted to assassinate Divine Justinia. Conversations with Cole and the Inquisitor also point out that many mages who gained their freedom used it to hurt even more innocents. While the Grand Enchanter never forced anyone to follow into rebellion, mages who didn't want to be rebels were quickly killed by their fellows, as shown in dialogue between Vivienne and Cole. She also calls the idea of mage freedom foolish since the Circles were also created to protect mages from people who would lynch them out of fear, a fear that now very justified in the chaos of the Mage/Templar war.
    • Vivienne points out that the rebel mages picked a really bad time to rally for independence. Anders had already stoked the general population's fear of mages, but instead of taking this into account, the rebel mages opted for breaking free of circles entirely, which only deepened this fear and worsened the situation.
    • She argues with Solas about the benefits of the Circle and Templars, and points out the flaws in his arguments for total freedom: having no established way of handling murderous or possessed mages would result in mob rule or vigilantism. Or, if he alone would be jury, judge, and executioner, he'd need to be immortal and omniscient. One wonders if she isn't onto Solas's true identity with that last statement...
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Vivienne is condescending, ambitious, and haughty — however, she does genuinely want to save Thedas from the Breach and the Mage-Templar war. She also displays a number of Pet the Dog moments, as seen below.
    • During the siege of Haven, if Vivienne is in your party, she will advise you to leave the villagers to die, as they will slow the group down. Ignoring her advice and saving them anyway will give you approval from her.
    • If the Inquisitor befriends her, she proves to be a loyal and steadfast friend who happily does all she can to help the Inquisitor no matter what.
    • As much as she chides the rebel mages for their actions, she wants the war to end quickly with as few lives lost as possible.
    • Though she hides it with her usual snarkiness, she genuinely cares about Cole and his well-being.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: She dresses to make an impression everywhere she goes. When she finds out that Varric is making her a character in one of his books, she insists he research Orlesian fashion so that he describes her wardrobe properly.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All:
    • When it comes to magic outside the Circles - something mage Adaar, mage Lavellan, and Solas all experience. Solas can even call her her out on this.
    Vivienne: So, an apostate?
    Solas: That is correct, Enchanter. I did not train in your Circle.
    Vivienne: Well, dear, I hope you can take care of yourself, should we encounter anything outside your experience.
    Solas: I will try, in my own fumbling way, to learn from how you helped seal the rifts at Haven. Ah, wait. My memory misleads me. You were not there.
    • Also seen with other Circle mages at times. When talking to mages like Lias in Redcliffe, she makes generic remarks about changing things from the inside instead of rebelling, as if the mages hadn't been trying that for years only for their efforts to be blocked by the Chantry and Templars.
  • Lack of Empathy: Vivienne has this toward mages outside of her own Loyalist faction. Her own easy time in the Circle has given Vivienne a distorted perspective of how bad it could be and why so many mages gave up on changing things peacefully. She grew up in a very privileged position where the Circle protected her from people who hated mages and Templars had much less power, so she refuses to try to see from the perspective of those who are more oppressed than she is.
    • For example, a human mage who agrees with the Mage Rebellion can point out that Templars can be much more ruthless than those she's accustomed to, which is why some mages want them gone altogether. This is met with one of her usual brushoffs.
  • Lady of Black Magic: She's regal and graceful, and in battle she can be seen Kicking Ass in All Her Finery by using ice spells to turn her opponents into frozen statues.
  • Lady of War: A Knight-Enchanter, Vivienne is very calm and regal. She's most at home wearing the finest silks and jewels and enjoying court life in Orlais, and is able to conjure a Laser Blade for melee combat.
  • Love Is a Weakness: As someone who has apparently struggled to get where she is, she believes sentiment is a liability and a privilege for those with less responsibility than herself. To illustrate the point, during a conversation with Vivienne after her recruitment, the Inquisitor can suggest a relationship with Vivienne, but Vivienne replies, "I don't see how that benefits me at all, my dear." She has great and genuine affection for the Duke to whom she's mistress, however, which might at least explain her refusal from that perspective.
  • Magic Knight: Vivienne is a Knight-Enchanter, and wields magic-created weapons and shields in combat.
  • Misery Poker: Although it's up to the player to decide who is engaging in it: Vivienne complains that the mages are being selfish by rebelling and causing a war that's getting the common people (as well as loyal Circle mages like Vivienne) caught in the crossfire. If the player agrees with the mages, they can decide Vivienne is engaging in misery poker by using the complaints of the common people to shut down the mages' viewpoint. If the player agrees with Vivienne, the player can decide that the mages are playing misery poker to shut down the viewpoint of people like Vivienne.
  • The Mistress: A large part of Vivienne's political power comes from the fact that she's the mistress to an Orlesian duke. When asked what the duke's wife thought of this, Vivienne responds that she and the duchess got along very well and planned many parties together. She also notes that the lady passed away a few years ago; Vivienne misses her.
  • Moral Myopia: She believes that the rebel mages support mass murder by association since the rebellion started amidst an act of terrorism that killed innocent people. However, for centuries the Templars freely abused the Rite of Annulment and Rite of Tranquility, yet she argues against the idea that the Templars and Seekers who associate with those who abuse these powers are just as complicit.
    • Vivienne condemns the Rebel Mages for starting a rebellion that forced many non-Libertarian mages to rebel with them if they did not wish to be killed by Templars or fellow mages. This overlooks how the Chantry has spent centuries forcing countless non-Loyalist mages to conform to the Circle against their will if they din't wish to get hunted and killed as apostates by Templars. And regardless of who is made Divine, Vivienne restores the Circles in Trespasser. In some endings, she declares war on the rebel mages and tries to force mages back into Circles through sword and blood.
    • Vivienne also condemns Rebel Mages for causing needless wars and mass slaughter for what she perceives to be their own selfish personal gain, yet if Vivienne is made Divine, she'll ruthlessly put down three revolts launched by non-mages citizens against her as a Mage Divine. Apparently causing needless wars and slaughtering countless non-mage citizens is fine when Vivienne does it.
  • My Greatest Failure: Being unable to save the Duke, even with the proper Snowy Wyvern heart.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Vivienne is largely unsympathetic towards the plight of the mages because she feels they are the ones responsible for instigating the war. Being Pro-Circle, Vivienne also argues that complete mage independence is a selfish idea.
  • Mystical High Collar: This probably has to do with her being an Orlesian, too.
  • Nice Hat: She wears a large and very ornate hat - not surprising, given the love that mages and Orlesians have for this trope.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between:
    • Takes the role of the Mean one among your three female party members compared to Cassandra's Nice and Sera's In-Between. She's ruthless, lacks sympathy, and is clearly only an ally of circumstance and, unlike the Cassandra and Sera, she's not a romance option for the Inquisitor — albeit because she's already in a committed relationship with someone else.
    • She takes the Mean role among the three Divine candidates compared to Cassandra's In-Between and Leliana's Nice. She restores the Circle of Magi rather than disband it like Leliana or reform it like Cassandra. Her reign is also the most chaotic and uncertain due to her tendency to quash rebellions using extreme violence. This is also shown through her support of the Inquisition as Divine: She requires a positive approval (Leliana unconditionally support the Inquisition) and seems to completely severe any ties with the Inquisition if you have negative approval (Cassandra still maintain a strained relationship).
  • Non-Answer: When asked if the mages had a valid reason to rebel, Vivienne doesn't address the mages' grievances before condemning them for their own actions.
  • No Sympathy: To mages. No matter how often she hears stories of horrific Circle abuse or or how often she's told these abuses are common in most Circles besides her own, Vivienne retains the firm opinion that all mages who have given up on the Circles (even ones who experienced said abuse) are just being selfish, comparing who among them has suffered the most and been dealt the worst hand in life, and that they all just need to get back in their towers, suck it up, and deal with it.
  • Not So Above It All: If a female Inquisitor approaches her on advice for a gift for a romanced Sera, Vivienne suggests shaving something vulgar into her privates. Vivienne seems to enjoy Sera's pranks in general, especially when she can turn them around and one-up her. Sera put snakes in her bed? No problem; Vivienne will just enchant them to have six legs and send them right back.
    • She's positively delighted to learn that Varric plans to base his next book's villain on her, and eagerly asks for spoilers. She also dictates her character's wardrobe.
  • Not So Different: Admits this in dialogue with Solas, that they both believe magic is quite dangerous, and that neither of them are fools with their training.
  • Not So Stoic: Cole brings Vivienne out of her Madame de Fer persona by seeing past all her masks and wordplay effortlessly. She does not like this one bit.
  • Odd Friendship:
    • With the hedonistic Iron Bull, whom she keeps in line.
    • Once he gets over his initial wariness of her, she and Varric get along spectacularly, despite the fact that he lives like a commoner and is proud of it. His idea of using her as the basis for a villain in a new book only endears him to her.
  • Older Than They Look: Implied by the Nightmare demon, who claims that the reason Vivienne is so desperate to restore the Circle of Magi is because she is afraid that she is too old to recreate her power base in a new system. Instead of brushing this off with a pithy comeback like she does with every other insult directed at her, Vivienne angrily orders the rest of the party not to say a word.
  • Only One Name: According to Mary Kirby, she has no last name to which she'll admit. The Imperial Court calls her "Madame de Fer." (Since she went to the Circle as a child, it's possible that she no longer remembers her birth surname, if she had one at all.)
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Vivienne's default reaction to being insulted or threatened is to snark, demolish the offending party with politeness, or just use old-fashioned passive-aggressiveness. When the Nightmare makes a "The Reason You Suck" Speech that preys upon her worst fear, namely that she is too old to rebuild her power base if the Circle of Magi is replaced with a new system, she reacts entirely differently.
    Vivienne: Not. One. Word.
  • Optional Party Member: You can choose not to recruit her, or simply not go to her party at all.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat: If you sufficiently upset her, she starts hiring people to refurbish your room... specifically, moving all your furniture out of it.
  • The Perfectionist: She has some extremely neurotic memories of striving to be perfect for The Game, which Cole finds in her head and brings into the light.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: During banter, Iron Bull compares her to a Qunari dreadnought. At first, he thinks he may have offended her, but she enjoys it. Iron Bull also mentions that Vivienne has a swagger when she walks, "like she's the most dangerous thing in the room, and she knows it."
  • Pet the Dog:
    • If the Inquisitor and Dorian enter a relationship, regardless of her friendship level with the Inquisitor, she'll defend the pair from a pompous noble calling their relationship "horrendous".
    • If you choose to express self-blame in the aftermath of Haven, Vivienne is quick to offer kind, comforting words, telling the Inquisitor they didn't fail the people of Haven, and to honor the men and women who died.
    • In a companion conversation, Cassandra expresses regret over being unable to attend the Conclave, and believes she could've done something to save the Divine. Vivienne gently disagrees with that, and tells her not to blame herself and that she did all she could.
    • She is apparently very congenial with Cullen, to judge by something he says to the Inquisitor if they ask him if there's anything they should know. He says he's used to "mages hating me on principle," but she treats him with politeness.
    • For all her vitriol for Cole for being a spirit or demon, after you do his companion quest, she attempts to goad and insult him one more time... before Cole reads her mind and realizes that she actually does care about him, but refuses to admit it because she believes "caring will hurt [her]" and because of what he is. She doesn't really try to deny it, and Cole promises he won't tell anyone before dropping the subject.
    • During Trespasser, if her approval of the Inquisitor is high enough, she treats them to "spa day" and they chat about the Inquisitor's love life (if they have one). No matter which companion is the Inquisitor's inamorata, she has something at least civil, if not outright kind, to say about them. This includes Scout Harding, if the Inquisitor flirted with her and didn't confirm a romance with anyone else; she inquires whether they ever did "take that adorable scout somewhere nice."
    • If Vivienne or Cassandra became Divine Victoria and "In Hushed Whispers" was completed, then two years after the defeat of Corypheus, after a fight against the rebel mages, she will allow their own college to remain alongside the new Circle of Magi, out of respect for the Inquisition.
    • In Jaws of Hakkon, she offers sincere condolences to Finn on the loss of his father.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Places survival above sentiment.
  • Pride: Solas seems to consider it one of her main faults. She's not exactly fazed.
    Solas: Enchanter. Any Pride Demon you met would just walk away, shaking its head and laughing uncontrollably.
    Vivienne: Oh, darling, more than one already has.
  • Rags to Riches: Vivienne was born into an impoverished family. The Circle, in addition to removing the fear of freezing or starving to death, gave her the avenue to considerable wealth and power.
  • Red Herring: The marketing hinted at her having a secret agenda, and companions will sometimes recommend you keep an eye on her while valuing her advice. In reality, Vivienne is totally up-front about her politics and motives for joining you; the one time she gets cagey with information, it's for a very personal reason. Blackwall and Solas are hiding much bigger secrets.
  • The Remnant: As a pro-Chantry and Circle Mage, her entire world has been turned upside down with the outbreak of the Mage-Templar War. The Circle has been dissolved, the Templars have gone rogue, and the Chantry has been left in complete disarray. She describes herself as "the leader of the last loyal mages in Thedas."
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Andrastian mages can't legally possess any form of political power, but she overcame those restrictions through sheer force of character, becoming an advisor to the empress of the most powerful nation in Thedas. Should the player will it, she will step up from that rank to the Sunburst Throne itself, becoming the first-ever mage Divine.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Vivienne is unwilling to acknowledge how pervasive abuses are outsider her own privileged Circles. While she pays lip service that some Circles are abusive, her cold and dismissive tone implies she doesn't really believe it (or doesn't care), and she refuses to acknowledge just how widespread and common they are. The few times she will acknowledge a Circle was abusive, she insists it's just a rare exception, and most mages just weren't trying hard enough to reform things from the inside.
    • In the party banter where Vivienne realizes Cole was the Ghost of the Spire, despite previously acknowledging the Spire was a particularly horrific case of Circle abuses, Vivienne ignores the Templars' culpability and chooses to lay the entire blame on Cole himself and the mages. Cole calls her out on it.
    Vivienne: Your murders stirred the Circle into a frenzy. That was what brought the attention of the Templars.
    Cole: The Templars hurt mages.
    Vivienne: Stupid, panicking mages who became a danger to themselves and others because of you! You brought matters in the Spire to a head. Without you, there would be no rebellion. Countless deaths are on your head, demon. Are you satisfied with the result of your protection?
    Cole: You're lying. You're... twist the words right, and it will show its true form. Blood or banishment, either will suffice. (gasp) You like the Templars. You think they were right.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Or iron, as it were. Her impeccable manner and dress rarely slip even when talking to people she despises or confronting enemies.
  • Sketchy Successor: The Inquisitor generally has to be lock-step in agreement with her policy aims in terms of Mages and Templars in order to get an outright positive ending. Otherwise, the Mages can form a new College, the Templars will outright refuse to rejoin the Chantry, and the Chantry itself will be divided. She can emerge triumphant, but only after a lot of bloodshed. In Trespasser, Cassandra outright calls Vivienne a tyrant.
  • The Smart Guy: Aside from excelling in her studies, acing the Game, and becoming the youngest First Enchanter, she also realizes that Solas shouldn't be trusted:
    Vivienne: I don't know what to make of Solas. So much knowledge and so little personal history... I find that... peculiar, don't you?
  • Smug Super: Knight-Enchanters are hilariously overpowered, and if you become one, you can gloat about it with her.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: She and Solas trade quips regarding their politics or preferred combat styles.
  • Static Character: Like Sera, Vivienne doesn't undergo any Character Development. Rather, the player can choose to learn more about facets of her personality.
  • Stop Being Stereotypical: Vivienne hates the rebel mages because in her mind they're "proving" to the world that all mages are dangerous, and will just sew chaos, destruction, and go on killing sprees if given an ounce of freedom.
  • Take a Third Option: Since Divine Justinia V is murdered at the beginning of the game, it becomes necessary to choose her successor. The two stated candidates are Leliana and Cassandra Pentaghast, but Vivienne might become Divine if your Inquisition acts the way she would or supports her.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Vivienne insults quite a few members of the party in her banter with them.
    • She considers Blackwall meek, and the Grey Wardens an aged relic who take far more than they need to defeat the Blight (and that's before she learns of the problems at Adamant). Blackwall frequently snipes with her as well, although she does accept his condolences when Bastien dies.
    • She and Solas can't stand each other. Their personal morals and lifestyles are so divergent that most of their banter is icy insults and barbs. They have exactly one civil conversation discussing The Elder One, during which Solas concedes that despite their differences he recognizes that neither of them is a fool.
  • Terms of Endangerment: She's known to say "dear" and "darling" a lot, but when she's faced with an enemy, it takes shades of this trope.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: Solas accuses her of being too proud for a Pride demon. She agrees.
  • Tranquil Fury: Her specialty.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: If Vivienne is made Divine, the Trespasser epilogue reveals that Cassandra eventually quits her service to the Divine in disgust because she finds Vivienne to be too much of a tyrant. Given their shared belief in the importance of the Chantry, Circles, and Templar Order, make of that what you will.
  • The Unfettered: She allows nothing to stand in the way of what she desires.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Whether she's being serious or not, she states that if she ruled over mages, she would rule as a tyrant with an iron fist and kill any mage who did not re-enter the Circle. She makes good on the threat if she becomes Divine, declaring war on the rebel mages when they form a new College.
  • Vetinari Job Security: Vivienne lives by this. Anyone who isn't irreplaceable at their job becomes a liability to their job and it's only a matter of time before they're replaced or killed. Thus, she believes that every person who takes up a role needs to appear awe-inspiring at it (including the Inquisitor). This explains a lot about her personality. (See I Just Want to Be Special.)
    Vivienne: If you are no longer necessary to move the faithful, you're a liability, a rival to those who would use the power you've amassed.
  • Victim Blaming: If a Circle or Templar is revealed to be abusive to mages, in most cases Vivienne will side with the Circle/Templars and choose to believe the mages brought their punishment on themselves. The few times she'll acknowledge the Circle/Templar was indeed in the wrong, she'll insist rebellion is still going too far and the mages just weren't trying hard enough to reform things from the inside.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: She and Dorian enjoy tearing into one another, but it's all good fun to them.
  • Workaholic: Vivienne never quite switches off. Even after Bastien's death, when she's as vulnerable as she ever gets, she can't stop thinking about the arrangements she'll need to make. If you helped her find the wyvern's heart, she uses your efforts to comfort Bastien's relatives, gain their support for the Inquisition, and increase her own power all at once.
  • Wicked Cultured: She certainly gives off this vibe (enough that Varric bases a Wicked Cultured villainess of one of his book series off her, to her delight), and not a few companions and random Inquisition employees suspect her to have evil motives, but ultimately the "wicked" part is subverted. She's not evil, she's just very selfish and ambitious.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Her personal quest turns out to be one. By providing her with the medicine that can supposedly save Bastien, you provide her with two possibilities for success. Even though Bastien dies, she still ingratiates herself and the Inquisitor in his family's good graces for trying to save him, providing greater prestige and political power for both. If Bastien had lived, saving the man she loved would have been its own reward.


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