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Characters / Dragon Age Recurring Non-Playable Characters

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Characters who were not companions, but still had an important role in the storylines of more than one game.

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First Appearance: Dragon Age: Origins
Voiced by: Kate Mulgrew

    Tropes In Dragon Age: Origins

"You are required to do nothing, least of all believe. Shut one's eyes tight or open one's arms wide, either way, one's a fool."

The legendary Witch of the Wilds, mother of Morrigan and fear of Chasind tribes everywhere. She is apparently centuries old, loves cryptic hints and indulges in Voluntary Shapeshifting.

  • Abusive Parents: At best, Flemeth and Morrigan have a love/hate relationship. Dialogue from Morrigan implies that Flemeth was at the very least neglectful and emotionally abusive: Morrigan was often left to wander on her own in the Kocari Wilds, the skimpy outfit she wears are scraps of fabric she stole from the Chasind (meaning Flemeth never even gave her proper clothes to wear in the frozen southern wilds), and after Morrigan stole a golden mirror as a child, when Flemeth found it she smashed to teach her that love and sentimentality are meaningless and "only power has meaning". Morrigan also spouts Social Darwinist and Love Is a Weakness views that she learned from Flemeth.
  • Affably Evil: In keeping with her being Ambiguously Evil, she's always immensely polite, gives good advice, would rather compromise than fight, and saves the lives of the protagonists in the first and second games. Of course, according to Morrigan she's forced her daughter to watch her rape and murder men, gains her immortality by stealing the bodies of her daughters (which is revealed to be untrue in later installments), and her plan in the first game all along was to get Morrigan impregnated with the soul of an Old God. Still, for all that, she acts like someone's batty grandmother.
  • Age Without Youth: In her myths, she was the World's Most Beautiful Woman. When you meet her, she's an old hag. Morrigan claims Flemeth takes over her daughters' bodies to regain her youth.
  • Ambiguously Evil: There are plenty of stories about Flemeth doing evil things, but the player never actually sees her commit any truly atrocious acts. Morrigan, for instance, claims Flemeth is a body snatcher, but Morrigan is also as manipulative as her mother and lacks true knowledge of the situation.
  • Ambiguously Human: So mysterious and powerful that the Warden has the option to state disbelief that she's even a person at all but rather something...else. Inquisition reveals she's the Elven goddess Mythal merged with a human woman.
  • Back from the Dead: Even if the Warden kills her at Morrigan's behest in Origins, Hawke and Merrill end up resurrecting her early in Dragon Age II. Turns out that Flemeth had prepared a Soul Jar containing part of her essence, just for this eventuality. Of course, even if she is "killed" in Origins, Morrigan says Flemeth will manage to eventually return.
  • Body Surf: Morrigan claims Flemeth raises daughters and teaches them magic so that she can easily possess them.
  • Bonus Boss: The player can fight her in Origins by completing one of Morrigan's optional quest lines, to get her grimoire for Morrigan.
  • Captain Ersatz: Shares many elements with Baba Yaga, as an Ambiguously Evil centuries old decrepit witch who lives in a hut deep in the forest and most consider nothing but a legend with which to frighten children. Much like Baba Yaga, some of the stories about Flemeth involve kidnapping and eating children as well; Flemeth herself rolls her eyes at that notion. "As if I had nothing better to do!"
  • The Chooser of The One: She comes after Duncan, but she's the only reason the Warden and Alistair survive Ostagar. She repeats this with Hawke in the next game.
  • Crazy-Prepared: We learn in Dragon Age II that death is, at most, an temporary inconvenience for her.
  • Cryptic Conversation: She talks in nothing but hints and riddles, and will generally tell the Warden to come to their own conclusions instead of asking her to give them to them. She'll also talk ominously about her daughter's "true intentions" if the Warden sides with Morrigan against Flemeth.
  • Death by Sex: Morrigan claims that this is one of her favourite pastimes, luring Chasind men to her bed only to kill them afterwards.
  • Demonic Possession: Some of her legends claim she's a centuries old mage possessed by a demon. Most people who meet her agree she's something even scarier than an Abomination though.
  • The Dreaded: Fereldan mothers frighten their children by telling them Flemeth will come to get them if they don't behave, and even adults are uneasy at the mention of of the legendary "Witch of the Wilds".
  • Enemy Mine/Evil vs. Evil: Subverted. She suggests that this is the reason she rescued the Wardens from Ostagar and is sending Morrigan with them, but as it turns out, she has other reasons.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: One of her legends involves a nobleman buying Flemeth from the witch's destitute husband on Flemeth's suggestion. But when the nobleman has her former husband killed instead, Flemeth slaughters the nobleman and his entire estate. In Morrigan's version, Flemeth did it because she refused to be married to a man with no honor. Interestingly, the castle the nobleman ruled was Highever, and the chain of events she set off led to Sarim Cousland's ascension to Bann, and the eventual creation of the Teyrnir of Highever. (This is particularly interesting if the Warden is of the Human Noble origin, since it suggests that Flemeth set events in motion centuries ago which led to them being the one to save the world.)
  • Evil Laugh: A brief but spooky one, when she seems little more than a Talkative Loon.
    Flemeth: Oh, don't mind me. You have what you came for.
  • The Fair Folk: The Dalish Elves see her as a legendary and dangerous spirit of untold power, Asha'bellanar.
  • Familial Body Snatcher: The true source of Flemth's immortality, according to Morrigan.
  • Grand Theft Me: Morrigan claims the secret to Flemeth's immortality is that she keeps transferring her spirit into new bodies (specifically, those of her daughters).
  • Hand Wave: No explanation is ever offered for why she rescues Alistair and the Warden from the Tower of Ishal. Once the truth about the dark ritual is revealed, it does make more sense; however, while her rescue of Alistair and a male Warden is understandable with regards to the ritual, it's never explained why she would trouble herself to rescue a female Warden. On the other hand, this may have been a simple case of foresight; we know from the Darkspawn Chronicles DLC that alone, Alistair would have failed utterly. Morrigan also reveals that even from the Wilds it was clear that the Warden was the true leader while Alistair followed, so Flemeth probably knew they'd need the de facto leader for the "defeat the Blight" part.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: She has some sort of questionable plan involving the Old Gods, dragons, and more. However, the goal or even the specifics of this plan are left entirely unknown through the first two games.
  • Humanoid Abomination: In the Witch Hunt DLC, Morrigan states that Flemeth may look human, but she's something far worse than a demon, blood mage, or abomination. In Dragon Age II, Anders is somewhat unnerved that Justice doesn't know what she is either. Dragon Age: Inquisition reveals that she is the Elven goddess Mythal possessing a human woman.
  • Hyper-Awareness: Seems to be at least somewhat aware of the Warden's and Hawke's coming destinies just by having a look at them. The first time you talk to her she offhandedly bemoans that Daveth is unlikely to survive — she knows he lacks the constitution to survive Darkspawn blood —but it is not her place to choose.
  • I Have Many Names: Fereldans call her "The Witch of the Wilds". The Dalish elves, meanwhile, call her "Asha'bellanar" (the Woman of Many Years). Even "Flemeth" is just the Chasinds name for her.
    Alistair: What do we call you? You never told us your name.
    Flemeth: Names are pretty, but useless. The Chasind call me Flemeth; I suppose it will do.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Though rather elderly looking when you meet her, Flemeth's stories claim she was legendarily beautiful and attracted suitors from all over the world.
    Flemeth: Men desired Flemeth, and some even killed for her...
  • Lady of Black Magic: The legendary Witch of the Wilds who acts in an affable, immensely polite manner and has cryptic motives. Her many daughters are all witches, and Morrigan takes after her in this regard.
  • Meaningful Name: The Dalish refer to her as Asha'bellanar, the "Woman of Many Years," hinting at her power and apparent immortality.
  • Mrs. Robinson: Given her immense age, this is technically in effect with any man she supposedly lures to her bed before killing them. If playing as a Male Mage Warden, she expresses that it's a shame she has to send them off with Morrigan, instead of keeping them around for a while.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: There are multiple separate accounts of her origins, ranging from a powerful demon possessing female apostates through the ages, to a beautiful mage who became an Abomination to take revenge on the man who killed her husband, to some sort of shadowy fallen god.
  • Never Mess with Granny: She may seem like an unassuming, dotty old woman, but she can also turn into a dragon and rip your head off.
  • No Need for Names: Discussed.
    Flemeth: Names are pretty, but useless. The Chasind folk call me Flemeth. I suppose it'll do.
  • Noodle Incident: Flemeth did something horrible to the Templars over the ages who tried to hunt her, though the specifics are never revealed. The Penny Arcade comic is all about this.
  • Older Than They Look: Certainly she looks old, but not as old as she actually is.
  • One-Winged Angel: Turns into a giant purple dragon in battle.
  • The Plan: Morrigan was sent with the Warden in Origins in order to forward Flemeth's unknown plan involving luring an untainted Old God's soul into the body of an unborn child.
  • Progressively Prettier: Her witch form in Dragon Age II, while still aged, is far better looking than the liver spotted old hag she appears as in Origins.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Lampshaded by the Dalish, whose name for her translates as "the Woman of Many Years."
  • Retired Monster: Despite the horrific acts she is said to have committed in her legends, these days she just quietly lives in a hut deep in the woods. It eventually turns out she's just biding her time while her daughters act out different elements of her unknown plan.
  • Scaled Up: In battle, she transforms into a dragon.
  • Shapeshifter Default Form: In the second game, she half-jokingly points out that for all Hawke knows, the dragon could actually be her real form and it's the witch that is merely the illusion.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Her history has been told so many times as a legend that no one knows what the truth is - except for Morrigan, who heard it firsthand from her mother and believes that Flemeth's own version is the true one.
  • Skippable Boss: The Warden can avoid fighting Flemeth as a dragon by just asking her what her intentions are, and can they pretty please have her gremoire? She will give it to the Warden without any trouble, seeming more amused by the whole situation than anythingnote , and it is possible to lie to Morrigan and claim to have killed her with no repercussions for the fib. It makes sense, since Morrigan states even before the Warden faces her that killing Flemeth is likely just a temporary condition for her.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: In her backstory, her legendary beauty and men's desire for her dictated the course of her entire life. While she has a Multiple-Choice Past, every version of her tale agrees that she was beautiful, and that such beauty brought her no joy in life.
  • Solitary Sorceress: Flemeth initially appears to be just an elderly "apostate" mage hiding out in the wilderness from the Chantry's enforcers when you first meet her.
  • Staying Alive: Come on, do you really think BioWare would kill her off so quickly, especially with the endgame ritual? The codex entry that is written down if the Warden should kill her says that she was apparently slain. Morrigan doesn't even consider the idea that she might really be dead. She's prepared to kill Flemeth over and over as long as she lives to avoid having her body stolen if the Grimoire won't teach her how. Flemeth returns in the sequel, having taken contingencies using Hawke as her Unwitting Pawn and stating that there's no reason why she can't be in multiple places at once.
  • Tyke Bomb: Morrigan is the latest of many daughters she's raised to terrorize the Korcari Wilds. And supposedly provide her with a new body for when her current one gets too old.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Her legend has undergone Adaptation Decay over the centuries. While Morrigan can tell the Warden what Flemeth claims is her true past, she notes that it is unwise to take anything that Flemeth says at face value, though she believes her story is the most accurate. In the Witch Hunt DLC, Morrigan says that Flemeth isn't a human, a blood mage, or an abomination. However, her true nature is not revealed until Inquisition
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Just try and fight her. An Oh, Crap! moment will ensue.
  • Wham Line: Alistair reacts this way when she reveals her identity.
    Alistair: (stunned) The Flemeth? From the legends?
  • Wicked Witch: The Chasind seem to think so. She's old, wrinkled, lives in a cottage in the middle of nowhere, cackles, and is rumored to be widowed and a stealer of children. ("As if I had nothing better to do!")

    Tropes In Dragon Age II

"We stand upon the precipice of change. The world fears the inevitable plummet into the abyss. Watch for that moment... and when it comes, do not hesitate to leap. It is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly."

Flemeth returns in Dragon Age II in a new form, making it clear that whatever happens to her in Origins is at most a mild inconvenience.

  • Affably Evil: Despite supposedly being a villain, Flemeth not only saves Hawke's life but escorts their family safely to Gwaren as promised, and offers free advice (and consolation) to Hawke and companions at Sundermount.
    Flemeth: You have my thanks... and my sympathies.
  • Ambiguous Situation: She states lightly that she may not be an old woman but instead an actual dragon, and hints to Merrill that there is more to know about who she is than just Flemeth. This and some other implications suggest she might very well be a dragon or even an Old God, if you remember that Morrigan learned the ritual from her in the first place and her statements at the end of Witch Hunt. Yet everything about her is completely ambiguous, and by the end of the second game you still don't really know what's up with her.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Despite what we are told, she really hasn't done a single villainous thing onscreen and it's possible she isn't that evil, though she's almost certainly every bit as terrifying.
  • Badass Boast: "I am a fly in the ointment. I am a whisper in the shadows. I am also an old, old woman. More than that you need not know."
  • Big Damn Heroes: She saves the party from a seemingly unending army of darkspawn during the prologue.
  • Broken Aesop: Hawke can point this out on her advice.
    Flemeth: It is only when you fall you learn whether you can fly.
    Hawke: Cheap advice... from a dragon.
  • Crazy-Prepared: It's heavily indicated that she has some precognitive ability. For starters, after sending her daughter off with the Wardens, she sets up an out just in case Morrigan has the Warden try to kill her. Disturbingly, when she expresses surprise that Hawke kept their word, she doesn't act all that concerned that her backup plan might have failed, suggesting she's got even more ways out than we see in the game. She also suggests she's aware to some degree of Hawke's eventual fate, though she doesn't say it outright.
  • Continuity Nod: Gives one to the (chronologically concurrent) events of Origins at the end of the prologue, when she notes the only way to save the mortally wounded Wesley would be for him to become a Grey Warden. Hawke bitterly notes that all of Ferelden's Wardens died at Ostagar, to which Flemeth replies that not all the Grey Wardens are dead, but "the last are now beyond your reach." By the time of Lothering's destruction, the Warden and their companions have already acquired the aid of one of the factions they're trying to rally, and could potentially be on the other side of Ferelden at the moment.
  • Deadpan Snarker: To the point that she outright approves of snarky responses from Hawke.
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?:
    • Hawke's companions aren't particularly thrilled to encounter her on Sundermount - especially Aveline or Hawke's sibling, who were already unnerved by her the first time around.
    • Played for laughs in Mark of the Assassin - Isabela claims that she occasionally plays cards at the Hanged Man, threatening to turn people into toads or eat their babies if she loses.
      Aveline: You're joking.
      Isabela: Perhaps.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Despite being the terrifying and legendary Witch of the Wilds, she shares some lighthearted banter with a Sarcastic Hawke, notes wryly that if she wanted to kill the group, they wouldn't be able to stop her, and refers to herself (once again) with the self-deprecating description of "an old hag who talks too much."
  • Evil Matriarch:
    Flemeth: [Morrigan] is a girl who thinks she knows what is what better than I, or anyone. Ha ha! And why not? I raised her to be as she is, I cannot expect her to be less.
    Hawke: I'm not sure whether she's your daughter or your enemy.
    Flemeth: Neither is she.
  • Foe Romance Subtext: She admits she really enjoys dealing with Hawke, especially snarky Hawke:
    Flemeth: [after Hawke makes a flippant remark to her for the first time] Ha ha! Oh, you I like!
  • Foreshadowing: The Dalish altar where Merrill places her amulet? There's an entirely optional scene late in the game where Merrill offers a prayer to Mythal at that same altar. Jump to the third game...
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: It's possible that she was playing this straight with the Warden-Commander in Origins, where she appeared as a harmless old woman, but the two forms Hawke sees are both pretty scary. She even does a bit of Lampshade Hanging after Hawke assumes that the badass witch-queen version is her Shapeshifter Default Form.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: We still know absolutely nothing about what her overall goal is.
  • Horned Hairdo: Her hair is wrapped up into a set of horns. Dragonish looking ones.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Explicitly stated when she appears. Aveline describes her as a "Witch of the Wilds," and Bethany muses that she's an apostate, but anyone who's played Witch Hunt will know that she's neither. Fenris also notes that he has seen many blood mages, demons, and abominations while in Tevinter... but Flemeth is none of those things. Even Anders is immediately tuned into the fact that she is neither abomination, demon, or mage, and the man shares a mind and memories of a spirit who has been around for Maker only knows how long.
  • Hyper-Awareness: Flemeth's cryptic dialogue implies that, much like the Warden before them, she is perfectly aware of Hawke's destiny and their role in shaping the face of Thedas forever.
    Flemeth: Is it chance... or fate? I can never decide...
  • I Gave My Word: The reason Hawke keeps their promise to give the amulet to the Dalish Elves, since they owed her a favour. Flemeth appears to be pleasantly surprised by this, having half-expected Hawke to simply flog it to the first merchant they saw.
    Hawke: No one wanted to buy it. Maybe because there was a witch inside?
  • I Have Many Names: She says this to Hawke after being asked who she is. One of the names she lists is "an old hag who talks too much."
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: "Let me? If I wished you harm, I daresay you could not stop me."
  • Inexplicably Awesome: Up to this point, anyway. No one, including her own daughter, has a clear answer to the question "What is she?"
  • Memetic Badass: In-universe. The Dalish Elves know that if Asha'bellanar summons you, there's no question about it; you go. May the Creators help you if you at all keep her waiting or attempt to screw her around.
    Merrill: Most people who meet Asha'bellanar wind up in little pieces... hanging from the trees.
  • Me's a Crowd: We only see one of her at a time, but she considers bodies "limiting things" and asks, "Must I be in only one place?" Considering the number of people who want to kill her, this is a good idea.
  • Our Liches Are Different: She survived her fight with the Warden-Commander by creating a backup to revive herself, with her Soul Jar acting as a Dungeons & Dragons style Phylactery as opposed to the Dragon Age variant.
  • Pet the Dog: Her interaction with Hawke. Dialogue with Marethari and Merrill implies that she's slightly more inclined to give these moments to the Dalish, due to them showing her the correct amount of fear and respect. She also offers some words of consolation to Aveline in the prologue.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: When Aveline mentions the legends claim that the Witch of the Wilds steals children.
    Flemeth: Bah! As if I didn't have anything better to do!
  • Sequel Hook: Literally everything about Flemeth, her origins, her plans, her motives, and where the hell she went goes unexplained, despite considerable lead-up in dialogue during the Witch Hunt DLC. Her obviously immense power and the sheer amount of knowledge she carries imply her goals and motives are vastly more complicated then we've seen so far, all clearly leading up to something... but what, exactly, that is has yet to be revealed.
  • Silver Vixen: Her character model certainly got an upgrade from crazy old wild woman, though she still does look old. May just be an art upgrade coupled with actually taking care of hair. Also, she's a shapeshifter of immense magical power- she could just be choosing what she wants to look like.
  • Staying Alive: Morrigan makes it quite apparent in the first game that Flemeth was not killed by the Warden. It turns out she kept a contingency via the amulet she gave to Hawke.
  • Stop Worshipping Me: Although she commands a lot of respect and fear amongst the Dalish, she makes a point to let Merrill know she doesn't have to keep bowing before her. She even chastises the Dalish for bending their knees too willingly. She seems especially amused that Merrill takes this attitude despite having absolutely no idea who she is beyond her title. This turns out to be some foreshadowing, as Fen'Herel was her best friend, and his entire goal was to free slaves from their elvish "god" mages.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Despite her new form, she retains them.
  • Trickster Mentor: Much of the advice she gives to Hawke, Carver/Bethany, and Merrill makes a lot of sense. You know things are bad when Flemeth, of all people, is counted among the reasonable.
    Flemeth: (to Merrill) As for you, child, step carefully. No path is darkest, than when your eyes are shut.
    Flemeth: (to Carver/Bethany) Regret is something I know all too well. Take care not to cling to it, to hold it so close that it poisons your soul. When the time comes for your regrets, remember me.
  • Villainous Rescue: How she saves both the Warden and Hawke, assuming she is a villain.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: In both Origins and II, she can be seen turning into a High Dragon. However, she points out to a snarky Hawke that, for all they know, she really is a dragon and the old woman is the shifted form.
  • What the Hell Are You?: Fenris has this reaction, saying that he has met many abominations, demons, and blood mages before - but she is none of those things. Anders is more worried that Justice has no idea what she is either.
  • You Got Spunk: She takes an immediate liking to Hawke at the start of the game because of their flippant sense of humor.

    Tropes In Dragon Age: Inquisition

"You, of all people, should expect the unexpected."

Flemeth makes her return in Inquisition, still as cryptic as ever.

  • Abusive Parents: Morrigan can accuse her of being one to her face.
  • Affably Evil: Still as friendly and polite as the previous games, though now we have a bit more knowledge of her.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Just like before, nobody is sure what her plans are and what she intends to do. Should the Inquisitor drink from the Well of Sorrows, which puts them under Flemeth's control, she doesn't force them to obey her whim, stating she has no reason to do so... yet.
  • Break the Haughty: Acts pretty haughty and superior to Morrigan during their reunion, once again taunting her and taking delight in Morrigan's ignorance and discomfort. However, if Morrigan has Kieran she will claim she will not be the kind of mother that Flemeth was to her. Flemeth's haughty smile finally falls, and she stops taunting Morrigan after that.
  • The Chessmaster: Oh, you saved Morrigan from her in Origins? Turns out that was part of her plan all along. Oh, and you went through with the ritual so Morrigan could have an Old God baby? She was definitely planning on that.
  • Deadpan Snarker: An Inquisitor with the History Knowledge perk has the chance to rattle off a quick backstory for her.
    Flemeth: One day, someone will summarize the terrible events of your life so quickly.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Being an Elvhen goddess didn't stop Mythal from choosing Flemeth, a human, as her host, nor raising Morrigan and other human girls as her daughters. She also backs heroes (like the Warden, Hawke and the Inquisitor) of any race and gender.
  • Friendly Enemy: To the Inquisitor, if the player should choose to introduce themselves politely. She will remark that Morrigan should learn from that example.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: She confirms that her origin story is actually true. There was a time, long ago, when she was simply the Lady of Highever.
    Flemeth: I was that woman once.
  • Gaslighting: A minor case with Morrigan. Those who've played Dragon Age: Origins know how manipulative at best Flemeth could be to Morrigan, with Flemeth even telling Hawke in Dragon Age 2 that she wants Morrigan to not know whether she's her daughter or enemy. Yet, if Morrigan has Kieran then Flemeth is perfectly cordial to Morrigan in front of the Inquisitor, making Morrigan look dramatic and hysterical for insisting that Flemeth isn't normally this nice and that she must be planning something, and eventually come to question her own memory and sanity. If Morrigan doesn't have Kieran, then Flemeth openly delights in how much distress she causes Morrigan, and subtly points to Morrigan's lack of composure to the Inquisitor for them to believe her word over Morrigan's.
  • God Was My Copilot: She has become one with the ancient elven god Mythal and is apparently at least friends with Fen'Harel.
  • The Gods Must Be Lazy: The Dalish Inquisitor can accuse her of this, stating that if she's been around for centuries, why she hasn't made herself known to nor helped the Elvhen people? Flemeth/Mythal herself seems unconcerned with their plight, more interested in pursuing revenge for her own murder.
  • Good All Along: Mythal was killed by her peers because she tried to free the elvhen slaves from the Evanuris.
  • Grand Theft Me: As assumed in the first game, Flemeth's method of immortality is to steal the bodies of her daughters, but Flemeth claims in Inquisition that she can only pass the soul of Mythal to someone who is willing, which she does in the post-credits scene by sending the spark elsewhere trough an eluvian before she herself dies at the hands of Solas.
  • Have You Seen My God?: The Dalish Inquisitor would like to know where the hell she's been all these years, and why she hasn't helped her people. Flemeth pretty much blows them off with a cryptic "you know not what you ask" and goes into a brief Motive Rant about her thirst for Revenge.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Solas claims Mythal was "the best of" the Evanuris, but the observant player will notice she still had slaves and slave-markings dedicated to her. There's also all the Ambiguously Evil stuff she's implied to have done as Flemeth, and her Abusive Parents tendencies to Morrigan.
  • Not So Stoic:
    • Her cryptic veneer breaks for the first time in the series when she recalls what happened to Mythal and reveals her quest to avenge the goddess, giving the Inquisitor a glimpse of the seething rage underneath.
    • Flemmeth looks legitimately sad for a moment after Morrigan either says that she will be a better mother to Kieran than Flemmeth ever was to her or that Flemmeth should just possesses her now as Kieran would be better off without Morrigan as a mother just as Morrigan was better off without Flemmeth. This seems to be what makes her to simply take the Old God spirit out of Kieran instead of taking Kieran entirely with her.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Seeing Morrigan's genuine love for her son Kieran, Flemeth chooses to simply take the Old God soul he houses and let him return home.
    • Aside from this, she seems genuinely hurt when Morrigan exclaims that she has no intention of being the kind of mother Flemeth was.
  • Physical God: She houses the Elvish deity Mythal inside her, making her one of the only Gods to physically exist in the series.
  • Revenge: She reveals her motive is to get revenge for Mythal's murder, and when she does, it will be an act that "shakes the heavens."
    Flemeth: Mythal clawed and crawled her way through the ages to me, and I will see her avenged!
  • Supernatural Aid: By her own admission, she likes to "steer" history in the proper course. As such, Flemeth appears in each console game (and sometimes the Expanded Universe) offering advice and assistance to the heroes.
  • Tough Love: It seems most of her Abusive Parents tendencies were intended to make Morrigan stronger, rather than just base cruelty. She seems genuinely hurt when Morrigan insists she will not be the same type of mother that Flemeth was.
  • Uncertain Doom: The stinger has some major revelations, but specifically it shows her sending a spark of light through the eluvian and then seemingly dying in Solas's arms as he absorbs her power. Her body loses all color and turns grey and lifeless. It's not clear if this is a final death (or not), and what that spark is. Designer notes state that Flemeth is indeed dead, and before her death she has passed the soul of Mythal to Morrigan. However, David Gaider has noted that this is legacy information and may no longer be canonical.
  • Walking Spoiler: Sorry to the tropers that are trying to play spoiler-free and saw that Flemeth appears in Inquisition.


Cullen Rutherford

First Appearance: Dragon Age: Origins
Voiced by: Greg Ellis

    Tropes In Dragon Age: Origins

"Maker turn His gaze on you. I hope your compassion hasn't doomed us all."

A young Templar at the Circle tower, Cullen harbors a long-standing infatuation with the female Mage PC, despite knowing of the impossibility of this sentiment.

  • Anguished Declaration of Love: To the female mage. Subverted horribly when he proclaims that he no longer cares that she knows, because the massacre had turned all mages into possible monsters in his eyes. Dragon Age II shows part of him does still care.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes": Tells the female mage Warden that she's 'not' distracting him from his duties when she certainly is.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: While he's strongly infatuated with the female mage and keeps stuttering around her, his occupation forbids him from even thinking about telling her about it.
  • Cowboy Cop: His recommendation for dealing with the blood mages? Kill 'Em All. Justified after the Cold-Blooded Torture he was forced to endure, seeing his fellow Templars break and die.
  • Deconstruction: When we first meet him he seems to be a perfect model of the Templar Order's highest honors - he carries no prejudices and is friendly to all the mages (and has a budding crush on the female mage Warden), noble, brave, faithful, and an all around Knight in Shining Armor. That is, until Uldred's demon invasion, in which his preconceptions of mages are shattered and the sheer trauma of the event causes him to go Jumping Off the Slippery Slope.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Not that he would have taken the chance had he been given one.
  • Everyone Can See It: Even mage apprentices around the tower gossip about how taken he is with the female mage PC. And not covertly, either.
    Female Apprentice: I heard Cullen is in love with you!
  • Foreshadowing: When the Warden first meets him in the Mage origin, he asks them if they think there are abominations that could pass as ordinary people. Come the demon invasion on the Tower, and this seemingly innocent comment has become his entire character...
  • Hunk: He is well-muscled and adheres to the classic western standard of male beauty.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: In one epilogue, if the player sided with the mages, it's rumoured that he loses what little sanity he has left, butchers several apprentices, and flees the Tower. It's heavily implied that he goes on to become a wanted serial killer. The events of the second game suggest that the rumor had little to no basis in truth.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: If the Warden is a female mage, she appears in the visions with which the demons torment him, presumably either seducing him or being married to him. The latter is forbidden - Templars can marry, as he explains in the third game, but mages cannot.
  • Mind Rape: The demons were rather thorough in their breaking of him. It takes him years to recover.
  • Nice Guy: At first, unless the Warden isn't a mage. The Mind Rape justifies him becoming a not-so-nice guy. The niceness comes back to an extent in the second game, as he is always civil to Hawke, even if they are a mage. It comes back even more in the third game.
  • Permanently Missable Content: A mild example. It's completely possible to play through the mage origin and not actually encounter him, especially if you're focused on the whole Jowan situation and don't stop to talk to any Templars. If the mage PC is female, he nevertheless responds to her appearance during "Broken Circle" the same way, which can be confusing to a player who doesn't know about his crush.
  • Shrinking Violet: A male version towards the female mage. If the mage Warden is male, he seems perfectly normal.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With the female mage Warden, if she reciprocates his feelings. Cullen isn't free to act on them because she's a mage and he's a Templar. It doesn't end well for him. It's implied in Dragon Age II that he still has feelings for her. If you import an Origins save with a female Human Mage Warden, he'll comment on it if you talk to him in Act 2. (Presumably he feels the same for Surana, but since she has no relative appear in the next game to remind him of her, he doesn't bring her up.)
    Cullen: I knew an Amell once. [stares off into the distance] She was a special woman.
    • He'll speak of her again in Inquisition if that's part of the imported save, noting that he was less than gracious with her and that he wishes he could let her know he regrets the things he said.
  • Unexplained Recovery: There's at least one ending where Cullen loses his mind completely, leaves the Templars, and becomes a serial killer. Despite this, he reappears as Meredith's second-in-command in Dragon Age II, where he's far more sane. Word of God clarified that many of the epilogues are merely rumours of what might have happened. After his traumatic experiences at the Circle Tower, Cullen decided to transfer to Kirkwall to recuperate. The World of Thedas books suggest that this might not have been entirely his own idea; his Mind Rape by the demons altered his personality and made him far more of a zealot than the relatively liberal Kinloch Hold liked in its Templars.

    Tropes In Dragon Age II

"Mages cannot be treated like people! They are not like you and me."

In Dragon Age II, Cullen has been sent to Kirkwall due to his newfound radical view on mages and promoted to Knight-Captain. As Meredith's second-in-command, he’s Hawke's primary contact in the Templar allegiance.

  • All Love Is Unrequited: If the Hero of Ferelden was a female human mage, some dialogue suggests he still has feelings for her. (Presumably the same goes for the female elven mage, though none of her relatives appear in the second game to remind him of her.)
  • Anti-Villain: He hates mages with a passion, but there's a very good reason for that. He also points out that the Templars aren't there to merely guard the people from mages, they're also there to guard the mages from other people and themselves.
  • Ascended Extra: From Origins, where he only appeared in the Mage Origin and the Circle arc. Here, his role is greatly expanded as Meredith's second-in-command, making him one of the Templars that Hawke will encounter most often before Act 3.
  • Claustrophobia: One of the byproducts of his Mind Rape in the first game, when he was held for weeks on end in a very small magical cage, is that he developed this. It's really only mentioned in the second World of Thedas book, which describes how he couldn't stand living below deck on the ship which took him to Kirkwall for his reassignment.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Yeah, Cullen in II never went berserk and had a mage-killing spree as one of the possible epilogues in Origins states.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: Playing off his character development in the first game, here - with someone like Meredith as his leader - he is in full Knight Templar mode with his phobia of mages at its peak. However, he is still a kind, reasonable, honorable knight, tries to argue against using the Right of Annulment even after Anders destroys the chantry, personally volunteers to watch over a trio of suspected blood mages rather than kill them, and he will actually rally the other Templars to side with a pro-mage apostate Hawke when he realizes that Meredith has gone too far.
  • The Dragon: To Meredith.
  • Enemy Mine: With a mage Hawke. Despite being a mage, he still stands with them and informs Meredith that she has to go through him when she orders Hawke's execution, realising she has gone completely off the deep end.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He is increasingly alarmed by Meredith's fanaticism, although he only takes a stand when Meredith wants to kill Hawke, a popular noble and the Champion of Kirkwall, rather than objecting to the mass slaughter of innocent mages in retaliation for a crime no-one in the Gallows had any part in committing.
    Meredith: You will do as I command, Cullen.
    Cullen: No! I defended you when Thrask started whispering you were mad, but this is too much.
  • Friendly Enemy: Hawke (regardless of class) can see him this way if the player is doing a pro-mage run. Despite his heavy Templar leanings, Cullen is generally pleasant and respectful toward Hawke, who can treat him the same way.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: By Act 3, the mages on team Hawke are public knowledge kept safe by their status. Throughout Act 1, Cullen never seems to realize that the people with staffs and robes who have glowing eyes and hands might be mages. David Gaider admits they had to cut corners for time and this was one of them:
    David Gaider: It was too late for us to do anything about it and we decided that Cullen is just very oblivious.
  • Go Through Me: He says this when Meredith tries to have Hawke executed.
  • Heel–Face Turn: He will turn on Meredith to protect Hawke once it becomes clear how batshit insane she's become, and allow Hawke to leave peacefully despite them siding with the mages. Alternately, should Hawke side with the Templars, Cullen is the first to drop to one knee and acknowledge them as the new Viscount/ess of Kirkwall.
  • Hunk: Just like before.
  • Hypocrite: If Hawke sticks up for Alain at the end of "Best Served Cold," Cullen dismisses his actions as a "convenient last-minute change of heart." He only tries to oust Meredith when the battle is almost over, with maybe one other moment of defiance if you side with the Templars. By Inquisition, he considers this My Greatest Failure.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: The party first comes across him beating the hell out of a new recruit as he demands to know the truth about the recruit sneaking away. Turns out the recruit is possessed.
  • Knight Templar: Though he does have lines he won't cross and will (sometimes reluctantly) listen to reason. He just also happens to be a Templar Knight.
  • Mind Rape: What Uldred and his followers put him through back in Ferelden. When confronted with Alrik's "tranquil solution", he claims that he doesn't necessarily support the idea - but that there is an argument for using Tranquility more widely, because it's a kinder alternative than instant execution or indefinite imprisonment. Anders, naturally, is disgusted.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: At first, though he eventually stands up to Meredith.
  • Noble Bigot with a Badge: While he openly admits that he's not a fan of magic, he considers it the job of the Templars to protect mages, as much from other people as themselves. Cullen may occasionally tar other mages with the same brush as the bad ones, but he dislikes those who attempt to justify their brutality with that rationale.
  • Number Two: To Meredith; as Knight-Captain, he's become the second-highest ranked Templar in Kirkwall.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Compared to most of Kirkwall's Templars. A lot of it depends on Hawke's own actions - throw Keran out or let him stay in the order? Show Alain mercy or execute him? Spare or kill surrendering mages in the Templar ending? He repeatedly defers to you.
    • He even believes that the Right of Annulment should be used only to kill known and suspected maleficar and let untainted mages live, and orders his Templars to think likewise in direct defiance of Meredith if the Champion encourages him to mutiny. This is a direct inversion of his attitude from Origins, showing his Character Development.
  • Retcon: At the end of Origins, he is either a rogue Templar, having murdered several mages and now hunted by his own comrades, or he replaces Greagoir as the Commander at the Fereldan Circle, using fear as his primary means of enforcement on mages. In the sequel, not only is he not a madman or totalitarian, but he ultimately defies Meredith when she becomes both of these very things. Word of God explains that the ending slides about Cullen didn't state things which actually happened, but rather stated rumors which got out about him, and that they were inaccurate.
  • Suddenly Blonde: The first game made him appear to have red hair, but starting in this game he's quite distinctly blond. According to the devs, he was always intended to be blond, but the lighting limitations in the mage tower in Origins caused his hair to appear dark red.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The kid who ran away from the female mage Warden when she invited him for a quickie has come a long way, eventually raising his sword against Meredith and living to tell the tale. But he's nevertheless embarrassed talking about the city's brothel.

    Tropes In Dragon Age: Inquisition

"After the Circle, I was angry for a long time. I am not proud of the man that made me."

In Dragon Age: Inquisition, Cullen leaves the Templars and joins the Inquisitor's team as military advisor after Cassandra notices the role he played in keeping Kirkwall together. He is a romance option for a female elven or human Inquisitor.

  • Actually Pretty Funny: Although mortified to walk in on Iron Bull's love scene, he still chuckles at Bull's sense of humour.
    Cassandra: So I take it-
    Iron Bull: Actually, s/he is the one who has been taking it.
    Cullen: [snickers]
  • Addled Addict: In Trespasser, if Cullen was encouraged to keep taking lyrium indefinitely and the Inquisition is disbanded (and he isn't romanced), he eventually devolves into this.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: His torture at the hands of an abomination in the first game has made him a deeply troubled person all around. He's showing the signs of severe PTSD, as well as a desire to atone for not confronting Meredith sooner. And that's before we even get into the horrors of lyrium withdrawal. Cullen also shows signs of OCD. Thus, Sera's prank is simply to make his desk slightly uneven, noting that it will cause him a great deal of stress and mess with his control freak tendencies.
  • Animal Motif: He wears a lion head-shaped helmet in the trailers and promotional artwork, and a fluffy mantle resembling a lion's mane over his shoulders. While lions are used in Orlesian heraldry, in the real world they are most commonly used as symbols of courage and nobility, which fits Cullen's personality in Inquisition well.
  • Appeal to Force: Naturally, as the head of the Inquisition's military arm, most War Table solutions he proposes amount to marching an army somewhere to attack/intimidate someone into complying with the Inquisition.
  • The Atoner: He's come to regret his involvement in the abuses of mages at Kirkwall, despite (or even because of) his lack of awareness of Meredith's more extreme actions. He sees the Inquisition as his chance to atone.
  • Brain Bleach: The Inquisitor suspects Cullen needs some after he walks in on the Iron Bull naked if Bull is romanced:
    Inquisitor: I believe we may have blinded poor Cullen.
  • Broken Pedestal: Meredith's descent into madness made Cullen lose his faith in the Templar Order. Their association with Corypheus will make him very angry about how far the Order has fallen.
    Cullen: I wanted to serve. They sent me to Kirkwall. I trusted my Knight-Commander and for what?! Her fear of mages ended in madness. Kirkwall's Circle fell. Innocent people died in the streets. Can't you see why I want nothing to do with that life anymore?!
  • Brought Down to Badass: Cullen is no longer a Templar and has stopped taking the lyrium that gives them their abilities, but he still has all of his warrior training and leadership savvy. As he tells you, Templars (or ex-Templars) are among the best warriors in Thedas, presumably close to chevaliers and Grey Wardens in skill.
  • Butt-Monkey: He tends to be the butt of jokes this time around, mainly because he's The Comically Serious in a group overflowing with Deadpan Snarkers. He loses all his clothes in the game of Wicked Grace and is the first person to walk in on the Iron Bull completely naked during Bull's romance arc. Other characters sometimes poke fun at him behind his back as well. It's without malice, though, since everyone seems to like him, and he takes it in good nature for the most part.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes": Happens twice if he's romanced. His stutters a "I wasn't- I mean I was..." in response to Leliana playfully saying he was eager to seeing his Lady Inquistor during a war meeting. He does it again when he's about to ask her out to a lake, even if he actually said "No" instead of "Yes". She can see right through him.
    Cullen: There you are!
    Inquistor: Were you waiting for me?
    Cullen: Yes. I mean, no.
  • Closest Thing We Got/Not What I Signed on For: He's not really qualified to be leading an army. However, leading an army isn't what Cullen was intended to do. When Divine Justinia gave the order to revive the Inquisition, Cassandra recruited Cullen to help subdue rebel mages and Templars who had gone off-script, and to instruct others in doing the same; his experience in Kirkwall after the mage uprising does make him very qualified for that task. Nobody expected the Conclave to explode and cause the Inquisition to have to become an actual military, but when it did, they more or less stuck with the guy they already had even though the job had suddenly gotten a lot bigger. To his credit, he's extremely committed to the cause, and his soldiers respect him a great deal.
  • The Comically Serious: Most of his comedy that isn't snark comes from him taking himself too seriously.
  • Commanding Coolness: He assumed Meredith's post as Knight-Commander in the gap between games, and his new rank in the Inquisition is "Commander".
  • Consummate Professional: Cullen has no objection to sending his men to do any number of menial tasks, such as earning coin for the Inquisition by working as caravan guards or bringing a message to a Dalish clan, but of the Inquisitor's three advisors he has the least tolerance for shenanigans. Among other things, he flat out refuses to spend time helping Maryden the Inquisition minstrel deal with a rival singer.
  • Cool Big Sis: He has one of these in his big sister Mia, who somewhat mother-hens him from a distance. According to the family profile in The World of Thedas, vol. 2, she was the one who - upon realizing that his dream of becoming a Templar was serious - insisted on helping him train for it. She and their younger brother and sister helped him stage elaborate "missions" throughout their village.
  • Cool Uncle: He's become this by the time of Trespasser, with a letter from his sister Mia telling him that their toddler nephew is insisting on sending greetings. She also heavily implies that the child reminds her of Cullen.
  • Cultured Badass: As leader of the Inquisition's military, he's one of the highest-ranking badasses in the entire Badass Crew. He also plays chess, enjoys music, sings beautifully (though he's only heard briefly), recites the Chant of Light from memory with great reverence, and knows a lot about military and political history.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Getting out of the Templars seems to have brought this out of him.
    Inquisitor: Well, let's hope we find solutions, and not a cathedral full of Chancellors.
    Cullen: The stuff of nightmares!
  • Defector from Decadence: Cullen left the Templars to join the Inquisition. If the Inquisitor is also a Warrior, you can ask him whether he thinks you should take the Templar specialization; he all but begs you not to do it. If you take that specialization (with or without conferring with him first), you get a special dialogue option. Cullen snarks about the irony of an ex-Templar and one never inducted into the Order being examples for all others to follow.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Cullen has this problem if engaged in a romance with a mage.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Do not call him "Knight-Commander," as that is not his title anymore.
  • Don't Ask: At the conclusion of the "Tevinter Resistance" war table operation, if he's assigned to handle it, Cullen reports that Magister Maevaris Tilani sends her thanks, some magical artifacts, "and a scented handkerchief. Don't ask."
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Poor Cullen being mobbed by admirers, male and female alike, at the Orlesian Ball when he's on a diplomatic mission (and thus can't reject their advances too harshly without jeopardizing the mission) is Played for Laughs, even though it causes him a great deal of distress. Imagine if Josephine was mobbed by dozens of male admirers who constantly invaded her personal space, refused to take "no" for an answer, grabbed her bottom without her permission, and kept hitting on her after she made it clear she's already taken or not interested. Only Cole seems aware of Cullen's distress; if he's one of the companions for the quest, talking to him can reveal that this experience triggered Cullen's traumatic memories of being imprisoned by demons in the Fereldan Circle.
    Cole: Cullen is afraid. They're hunting him, following fear. He shouldn't be here.
  • Downer Ending: If he was not cured of lyrium addiction and if the Inquisition chooses to disband in the Trespasser DLC, he ends up becoming a wandering, crazed beggar begging for lyrium in the streets of Val Chevin. It's implied that Scout Harding may have given him a Mercy Kill.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Cullen has brown eyes; however, if he's encouraged to resume taking lyrium, the observant player may notice that his eyes change in the cutscene where he talks about it. Their color is paler, the pupils are smaller, and all the warmth is gone.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After suffering through the events of the first two games, if Cullen stays off of lyrium, he earns a Belated Happy Ending that he seems to consider having been worth the wait - especially if he's romanced.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: At the Winter Palace, Blackwall observes nine women and six men asking him to dance. They also try to give him drinks and grab his rear. Cullen is not amused.
    Cullen: Did you just... grab my bottom?!
    Male admirer: I am a weak man...
  • Event Flag: Cullen's romance is plot-gated — the stages of his romance will only unlock as the game unfolds. Completing major events and quests will trigger the event flags which allow the relationship to continue growing.
  • Fantastic Racism: Admits to it, and that his past behaviour was "unworthy" of him. That said, he hasn't actually changed his behaviour much. He still automatically assumes there will be abominations among the mages if they are recruited as allies, compares mages to Darkspawn by drawing a similar analogy between the Wardens and the Templars, and defends Meredith's methods for 'keeping people safe' despite admitting her extremism.
  • A Father to His Men: According to Varric:
    Varric: Cullen is acting like a doting parent. I think he might carry portraits of all the soldiers in his pocket.
  • First Guy Wins: For a human female Inquisitor, should she choose to romance him; he's the first potential Love Interest she encounters. (He can also be romanced by female elf Inquisitors, but for them he's the second possibility, as they meet Solas first.)
  • Four-Star Badass: He's just called "Commander," but he's the de facto general officer of the Inquisition's armed forces. In the battle in the Arbor Wilds, the soldiers even refer to him as General Cullen. Sera calls him "General Uptight" as well.
  • Going Cold Turkey: He no longer takes lyrium and has to deal with the consequences.
  • Good Luck Charm: Cullen shows (and, if she accepts it, gives) a romanced female Inquisitor a coin given to him as a good-luck charm by his brother when he left to join the Templars. Although Templars are not supposed to carry such charms, since they're expected to rely entirely on their faith, he nevertheless kept the coin with him through all of his experiences at Kinloch Hold and in Kirkwall.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: He now sports a slim and discreet scar on his upper lip, which only underlines his experience rather than deters from his attractiveness.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: If you charge with the soldiers during the prologue, or go to the Lost Temple of Dumat to find Samson, Cullen will fight side-by-side with the Inquisitor. He can't be controlled, but he functions as a sword-and-shield tank-type warrior. The Inquisitor's party can also join him and his men at one point in the Arbor Wilds.
  • Hand Behind Head: He does this a lot during his romance arc, demonstrating that when it comes to matters of love, he's really rather shy and easily embarrassed. There are also a few instances where he's seen doing it regardless of whether he's romanced, such as when contemplating the notion that he too could have ended up as a Red Templar.
  • Happily Married: In Trespasser, he and a female Inquisitor who romanced him can tie the knot. The epilogue shows them to be truly happy together, living a simple life somewhere in Ferelden with their dog - after paying a "long overdue" visit to his family, who are thrilled to meet his wife.
  • Headbutt of Love: He and his Inquisitorial ladylove get one in their romance scene.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Implied if the Inquisitor breaks off the romance instead of confirming it. He stutters for a few seconds, then gives her a reproachful look before walking out of his office. If she tries to talk to him again, he says he would prefer not to speak to her for a while.
  • Held Gaze: Happens a lot between him and the romanced Inquisitor.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: In Trespasser, Cullen finds a lost Mabari hound in Halamshiral and decides to keep him. Cullen is Fereldan, and Mabari are not usually found outside of Ferelden, so he jokes about them being a pair of Fereldans in Orlais. He spends his whole time in the palace at the dog's side, petting him; the dog is also the only witness should Cullen marry the Inquisitor. If he was cured of lyrium addiction, then the epilogue slideshow also shows him with this dog.
  • Hidden Depths: If the singing of "The Dawn Will Come" is any indication, he has a magnificent singing voice.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Discusses this in regards to some of the notable groups in Thedas who have sided with Corypheus.
    Cullen: First the Templars, now the Grey Wardens. Both dedicated their lives to fighting evil. Now they serve it.
  • Humiliating Wager: In a game of Wicked Grace, Cullen bets his clothes - and loses.
  • Hunk: He is masculine and very handsome.
  • Hurting Hero: He has some serious issues due to his past.
  • I Can't Dance: He'll only take the risk if romanced.
    Cullen: I'm not one for dancing. The Templars never attended balls.
  • Indifferent Beauty: Despite being eagerly admired by many people for his dashing good looks (especially at the Winter Palace), Cullen is almost completely unconcerned with it and is more focused on the success of the mission and the well-being of the people. The closest he gets to paying any attention to it is to acknowledge, when teased by Josephine and Leliana, that his hair does "not entirely" take on its style without help.
  • Insecure Love Interest: This can be a factor with a female mage Inquisitor who romances him, since he was a Templar, although he doesn't seem to fear that his background of mage persecution might prevent her from caring for him. It's also present, though less pronounced, in his romance with either of the other two classes; he isn't quite sure he's worthy of the Inquisitor, but with her encouragement he gets past it.
  • It's All Junk: A heartwarming example in his romance. At one point the Lady Inquisitor leans back on his desk, only to knock something over. Given what a Workaholic and Control Freak he is, she's naturally concerned he'll be upset. Instead, Cullen throws all his things off his desk and they climb on, showing that he realizes paperwork and duties are not as important as his love.
  • It's Personal: Being a former Templar, he was once friends with many of the Red Templars. He takes a very personal interest in many of the quests relating to them, and even insists on accompanying the Inquisitor to the Lost Temple of Dumat in search of their leader. There's also ambient dialogue with one of the Skyhold runners in which he and Leliana both talk about her searching for some of his old friends; in particular, he asks that she try to find Carroll, who unfortunately has already become a high-ranking Red Templar.
  • It Was a Gift: It's only mentioned in ambient dialogue with one of the Skyhold messengers, but after Cullen borrows one of Leliana's birds to send a letter, Leliana gives him one of the birds to use whenever he likes. His tone upon accepting the gift suggests that this is an exceptional gesture on her part, and he's very appreciative. (Deleted dialogue from the game suggests that he and the Inquisitor were both using the bird, although the reason for the need is not explained.)
  • Knight in Shining Armor: He has graduated into this by the time of the game, complete with Knightly Sword and Shield.
  • Lady and Knight: His romance arc has shades of this; he even calls the Inquisitor "my lady" when asking her to dance.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Downplayed compared to Dorian and a female Inquisitor, but he has this dynamic with several female characters:
    • With Cassandra, as suggested by some of his dialogue and ambient dialogue with the messengers, who are following her orders to check on him and report back to her so she can monitor his lyrium withdrawal. They like, respect, and trust each other in a non-romantic way.
    • To a lesser extent, with Josephine and Leliana, as indicated by some of the war table banter — they tease him about his hair and his romance with the Inquisitor. If asked for his opinion of Josephine in particular, his response is warm as he admits he doesn't understand how she does her job, but adds that he enjoys working with her.
  • Made of Iron: During those parts of the game where he's seen fighting - such as the prologue (if Cassandra's suggestion is followed) and the Arbor Wilds - he cannot be killed. This is particularly useful during the points where he functions as a Guest-Star Party Member, like at the Lost Temple of Dumat.
  • Married to the Job: He may call himself this at the Winter Palace ball, when asked if he's married. Unless he's in a romance with the Lady Inquisitor, he deflects the question by saying, "I'm married to my work." In neither case is the questioner at all deterred.
  • Mission Control: Along with Leliana and Josephine, he provides the multiplayer teams with the information that they need to complete their missions.
  • Mr. Fanservice: He has an obligatory Walking Shirtless Scene.
  • My Greatest Failure: Cullen deeply regrets not standing up to Meredith much earlier. If the Hero of Ferelden was a female mage, he regrets everything he said to her at the Circle tower as well.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Loses all of his clothes to Josephine during a game of Wicked Grace. When he gets up and flees, it's evident he's completely starkers. Dorian approves.
  • Nice Guy: Kind, brave, noble, friendly, and overall a nice guy, despite his Dark and Troubled Past and lyrium withdrawal. Even though there's still some basic Templar leanings in him, he's become much more tolerant of mages, becoming friendly with Dorian and willing to loyally follow a mage Inquisitor. If the player listens to his ambient conversations with the various runners who deliver messages throughout Skyhold, he's quite patient with them and seems to appreciate their hard work. His options for some of the war table operations fall under this as well.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: Among the three advisors, he's the In Between personality. Cullen's generally a pretty sweet guy, but he lacks Josephine's talent and inclination for negotiating with nobles, for whom he has no patience. However, he's not nearly as ruthless as Leliana; he prefers taking the honest route, often through his own or his soldiers' hard work.
  • "No. Just... No" Reaction: After getting a war table operation to stop a gossiping minstrel, this is Cullen's (written) reaction to selecting Force to resolve it, noting that it's not worth dealing with at all. It's also his reaction to the Inquisitor and Leliana's unbearable puns if you make Storvacker an agent in the Jaws of Hakkon DLC.
  • Not So Above It All: After walking in on the Inquisitor and the Iron Bull in Bull's romance path, he's rather embarrassed at first, but he recovers from the embarrassment quickly. He even barely stifles a laugh when the Bull makes a suggestive joke about it. Cullen's also not too much of a workaholic to join the rest of the group in a game of Wicked Grace (though he does try to get out of it at first by saying he has too much to do); he fetches one of the rounds of drinks for everyone, and even contributes to the storytelling over the card game. And in the war room, he's the one to point out to the others that "if you squint, Lake Calenhad is shaped like a bunny."
  • Odd Friendship: Dorian seems pretty fond of him, despite being a mage while Cullen's an ex-Templar, and it appears to be mutual. They play Thedosian chess together, sassing each other while they do, and Dorian is the biggest Shipper on Deck if a female Inquisitor romances Cullen.
  • Parental Abandonment: Part of his Dark and Troubled Past. His family lived in Honnleath, and fled during the Fifth Blight - and if the player did the Stone Prisoner DLC in Origins, they know exactly what happened to that village. According to The World of Thedas, vol. 2, neither of his parents survived; Cullen left for Templar training at the age of thirteen and never saw his mother and father again. It also means that they died while he was the prisoner of demons in the Fereldan Circle of Magi, which only adds to his bad memories of the time.
  • Percussive Therapy:
    • Throws daggers at a training dummy after learning what Samson allowed to happen to the Templars he led. Good thing the Inquisitor is always ready to listen.
    • Also throws his lyrium kit in a fit of anguish during his personal quest. He just barely avoids hitting the Inquisitor, whom he didn't realize was there. Just after that, he punches the bookshelf in frustration.
  • Perfumigation: It's only mentioned in multiplayer party banter, but according to Luka the rogue, Cullen "smells like elderflower and oakmoss." The trope comes in because this is cited as a reason why that character would not trust him.note 
  • Pragmatic Hero: Contrasted with Josephine's Guile Hero/The Face and Leliana's Terror Hero/Unscrupulous Hero. As he is the commander of the Inquisition's military forces, all of his suggested solutions to problems are military solutions involving direct application of manpower and/or shows of force. Josephine describes him as "the man with a hammer" to whom every problem looks like a nail.
  • Professionals Do It on Desks: During his romance arc, when the Inquisitor confirms their relationship, he shoves everything off of his desk before they climb on it. It's an indication of how much he cares for the Inquisitor, because for a Workaholic and control freak like him, his desk is the single most important thing - or was before meeting the Inquisitor.
  • Progressively Prettier: He gets more attractive with each game in which he appears. Suitably, he's most attractive in the game where he's a potential Love Interest, to the level of becoming a Mr. Fanservice in-universe (and both his prettiness and his "nice hair" are a Running Gag).
    Varric: Curly? They just keep him around to look pretty.
    Leliana: Hush. Just look pretty.
  • Punch a Wall: Or, in his case, a bookcase when he reaches his limit due to lyrium withdrawal. The Inquisitor just listens as he vents out years of anger and frustration.
    Cullen: I will not give less to the Inquisition than I did the Chantry! I should be taking it! [punch] I should be taking it.
  • Reconstruction: Bringing his character arc full circle. After experiencing the horrors of magical abuse in the Fereldan Circle, and witnessing the depths of un-checked prejudice during his tenure in Kirkwall, he has finally regained his lost Knight in Shining Armor idealism. It's ironic that he could only live up to the standards of the Templars after he left the order.
  • Reflexive Response: By the time a romanced female Inquisitor asks him to dance at the Winter Palace, he's had to turn down so many invitations that he says "no" on reflex, and has to do some hasty apologizing when he realizes how crestfallen she is at his abrupt rejection. He assures her that "yours is the only attention worth having."
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: Cullen is no longer a Templar nor actively hunts mages, but he still consistently advocates supporting Templars and distrusting/restricting mages at every opportunity. He also reacts badly to allying with mages (including the Avvar mage Sigrid in Jaws of Hakkon), arguing that they will inevitably become abominations and accusing you of dooming everyone.
  • Romance Sidequest: When the game was delayed, the developers added him as a romance option, though he's only available to female Inquisitors who are either human or elven. Even a mage can romance him, which adds an extra dimension to the romance given his past.
  • Second Love: Subverted, and only mentioned at all, if the female Inquisitor romances him in a female Mage Warden world state. While Cullen admits that he had feelings for the Warden, he confesses it was a boyish infatuation he has long gotten over; he still admires her as a person, though, and regrets the horrible things he said to her.
  • Self-Made Man: According to The World of Thedas, vol. 2, he first declared his intention to join the Templars at the age of eight. He left for formal training at age thirteen, and worked his way up the ranks through an awful lot of horrible situations, finally serving as Kirkwall's provisional Knight-Commander following the events of the second game. It was his heroism and commitment there which made Cassandra think him worthy of leading the Inquisition forces, bringing him to his current position.
  • Shipper on Deck: If the Inquisitor is in a romance with Josephine, Cullen mentions that she seems much happier and he even heard her humming at one point, and smilingly says he feels Josephine deserves to be happy.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: His first kiss with the female Inquisitor who romances him ends up being one of these. After he moves in only to be interrupted by a very oblivious scout, she starts to tell him that she understands if he needs to return to duty. She gets as far as "If you have to-" before he cuts her off.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Of all the male love interests, he's the nicest.
  • The Sleepless:
    • Implied both because he's a Workaholic and because his lyrium withdrawal increases his tendency toward nightmares.
    • During the battle in the Arbor Wilds, NPCs comment on the fact that he hasn't slept for more than an hour at a time in the last few days, and has been fighting almost nonstop since daybreak. When the party reaches him, he's tearing through the enemy forces like a man possessed.
  • Smart People Play Chess/Spirited Competitor: Loves a Thedosian version of chess, and plays it with (and beats) Dorian rather frequently; he may also play it with Leliana and, if they agree, the Inquisitor. As a boy, he would play it with two of his siblings.
  • Smurfette Principle: Inverted. He's the only male leader of the Inquisition, unless the Inquisitor is also male.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: A female Inquisitor who is a mage may express apprehension over having a former Templar as a paramour. If she encourages him to go back on lyrium for the sake of his duty, his old Templar discipline comes back and he breaks up with a female Inquisitor, mage or no.
  • The Strategist: Cullen is quite correct in his interpretation that "held up against darkspawn for hundreds of years" means "not reinforced to withstand modern siege weapons" when planning the assault on Adamant Fortress. He also details further plans once the fortress is breached to control the battle.
  • Sweet Tooth:
    • According to one sequence of ambient messenger dialogues, Josephine presents him with cookies as a belated birthday gift. She's a little surprised when he genuinely enjoys them, since they're "just butter and sugar."
    • He may also remark to the Inquisitor that Sera sent him a piece of cake because "she thought I looked hungry." However, despite his sweet tooth, he's hesitant to eat the cake because he's not sure if it's meant as a kindness or some sort of sneaky prank.
  • Talk About the Weather: When the female Inquisitor romancing him asks to speak privately and kickstart the relationship, they go outside and he does exactly this, Hand Behind Head and all. She can call him out on it.
    Cullen: It's a... nice day.
    Inquisitor: What??
    Cullen: I... there was something you wished to discuss.
    Inquisitor: Certainly not the weather.
  • Talking in Your Sleep: Deleted dialogue has Cullen talking about how his first Templar roommate requested a room transfer because "apparently I talk in my sleep." The romanced Inquisitor confirms this by saying "You do!" in an amused voice. During their morning-after scene, he is shown muttering feverishly before startling awake.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Well, another level. He's the reason Kirkwall didn't descend into complete anarchy during the Mage-Templar War. Judging by the Inquisition's numerous military victories and the respect the soldiers have for him, he keeps up the good work. Despite all that, he is still embarrassed when talking about more... intimate matters.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: His change of heart at the end of the second game has stuck:
    • He no longer hates mages despite his own issues with them, and makes other ex-Templar Inquisition forces treat Inquisition mages and elves fairly.
    • One of the War Table missions involves arranging a political marriage between two young nobles even though the girl is in love with someone else. While Josephine's and Leliana's reactions boil down to "sad but it must be done," Cullen instead offers to help the girl and her sweetheart elope, politics be damned.
    • Another War Table mission involves a cranky old nobleman demanding the Inquisition send troops to force refugees off his lands—elves and apostates among them. Josephine suggests a polite refusal. Leliana, in a bizarrely Out-of-Character Moment, suggests using spies to harass them off his land. Cullen will offer patrols to help the refugees (elves, apostates, and all), not the noble. If Cullen is chosen, the noble is outraged at the Inquisition sending food and blankets to the "filthy savages" instead of driving them off like any "civilized" army would do.
    • He asks Josephine to collect funds to help the relatives of those who died at Haven, and has a moment with Leliana in which they both gently express their sorrow that the tragedy happened. Despite their differing views and responsibilities, it's intimated that he greatly respects and cares about both of his fellow advisors; it's also intimated that this is mutual, since Leliana gives him one of her birds and asks about his health when he seems unwell at the war table, and Josephine tries to get him a birthday present.
    • He generally gets along with everyone, even if he would have reasons to want to avoid them. One of Cole's lines implies that Cullen sometimes tells him jokes, and he has no objection to participating in the card game even if Cole is there (and Cole being what he is, Cullen's tolerance is pretty impressive). He also becomes good friends with Dorian, a mage from Tevinter, to the point where their chess game is the only time Cullen seems to actually relax.
  • Unwanted Harem: He is mobbed by admirers at Celene's ball. Blackwall counts nine women and six men flirting with him, and suspects that Cullen may need a bodyguard. After the ball, the Inquisition receives numerous inquiries to his status, which Leliana and Josephine reason could be used to benefit the Inquisition. Needless to say, Cullen is not amused by any of it, and even less so if he's in a romance with the Inquisitor. Even by the time of Trespasser, the Inquisition still receives requests for information about his eligibility. If he marries the female Inquisitor, Cassandra mentions (with great amusement) that a large portion of the Orlesian court is extremely disappointed.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Leliana. They snipe at each other occasionally, but it seems to be largely in good humor; some of the codex entries which include notes from them contain wickedly funny banter, particularly in Jaws of Hakkon.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene:
    • In the game, he's missing his shirt and more besides at the Wicked Grace game when he bets his clothes (and loses), as well as at the culmination of his romance arc.
    • He literally fulfills this trope in the video thanking the players for getting Inquisition nominated as Game of the Year. While Varric and Cassandra thank the viewers and bicker, Cullen walks casually through the scene, shirtless, for no apparent reason other than to make Cassandra become flustered and to be Mr. Fanservice for the viewers.
  • We Used to Be Friends: With Samson. And Carroll. In fact, if you don't complete "Champions of the Just," going against the entire Templar Order distresses Cullen since he personally knew many in their ranks.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: He doesn't take it well if the Inquisitor allies with the mages or disbands the Templar Order, even if the Inquisitor counters with valid reasons why they made either choice.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: Being an ex-Templar now in charge of the Inquisition's armed forces, Cullen's expertise is limited to military strength, so his solution to most problems is to whale on it till it stops moving. It's taken to a comic extreme in the Jaws of Hakkon DLC, when the council is asked for official word on how the scouts should deal with the very uneven terrain; in Leliana's words, he suggests "hitting the hills until they forget they are hills."
  • Will Not Tell a Lie:
    • In the Jaws of Hakkon DLC, Cullen is the only advisor who insists that they should reveal to the world that Inquisitor Ameridan was an elf. If the Inquisitor chooses to take the war table mission where they hide the facts, he refuses to participate in the mission because he's committed to the truth.
    • If you give the proof of Red Crossing to the Dalish rather than the Chantry, it results in a war table mission where the Dalish want to send a mourning halla to modern Red Crossing as an apology gift. Both Josephine and Leliana want to engage in elaborate political maneuvering to pressure or trick the humans into accepting it, while Cullen just wants to escort the blasted thing without any lies or games.
  • Workaholic: Varric claims that if anyone in the world needs a hobby, it's him. It's also why he's so worried about his lyrium detox; it makes it harder to do his job. Even during a date with the Inquisitor he cannot relax.
    Inquisitor: How will you survive without a parade of messengers and war reports?
    Cullen: (sarcastically) I should be able to last the day. (matter-of-factly) Besides, I told Leliana to send word if...
    Inquisitor: Cullen. You. Me. Alone. Pretty lake.
    Cullen: (sheepishly) Right. Of course...
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: If Cullen's romance is completed, he sends a letter to his family. His elder sister, Mia, is pleased that he sounds happy in his letters, but complains that he's withholding details - previously he referred to the Inquisitor as either that or "Her Worship, the Herald of Andraste," but now he's using her first name.
  • You Know I'm Black, Right?: While Cullen's treatment of mages has improved significantly, siding with the rebel mages has him make some harsh statements about the dangers of having so many mages running around. A mage Inquisitor has the option of angrily reminding Cullen that everything he said also applies to them.


Corypheus / The Elder One

First Appearance: Dragon Age II: Legacy
Voiced by: David Sterne

    Tropes in Dragon Age II: Legacy

"The City. It was supposed to be golden! It was supposed to be ours!"

The Big Bad of the Legacy DLC; a mysterious Darkspawn sealed away many years ago by the Grey Wardens, and later had those seals reinforced by Malcolm Hawke. Corypheus now seeks the blood of Malcolm Hawke's children in order to escape.

  • All Myths Are True: Anders believes that the Golden City tale of the Chantry's canon is just propaganda to justify imprisoning mages. As it turns out, the Magisters - including Corypheus - did travel to the Golden City to claim its power... though whether they corrupted it in doing so is left up in the air, as it was already black when they arrived. On the other hand, Word of God and in-universe historians confirm that the city did in fact appear golden, at least from the outside, until the Magisters' attempt to conquer it, suggesting that it might have been tainted at the moment they set foot in it.
  • Antiquated Linguistics: His word order is strange and old-fashioned, which makes sense since it has been a thousand years since he last spoke.
  • The Archmage: One of the most powerful Mages encountered thus far, and he might not even have been at full strength.
  • Big Bad: Of the Legacy DLC.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: His eyes briefly turn this colour moments before Hawke delivers the killing blow. This happens at exactly the same time Janeka or Larius stumble in the background, implying this was the moment he performed the Body Surf.
  • Body Horror:
    • Similar to the Architect, he appears to have a hood growing out of his skin. Then again, as one of the first Darkspawn, it's very possibly these may actually have once been his clothes and the Taint fused them to his body.
    • And once again if he possesses Larius, who's a Ghoulified Warden.
  • Body Surf: It's strongly implied that he survived his battle with Hawke by body-jumping into the nearby Larius or Janeka.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: The main reason the Wardens kept him alive after the First Blight. Initially they'd wanted to interrogate or make use of him as a weapon against the Darkspawn; but when it became clear that any Warden who went near him fell under his influence, they were forced to imprison Corypheus as the only way to contain the danger he posed.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The trailer for the DLC implies that Corypheus is a Darkspawn, yet records you can find during gameplay show that people saw him as being as intelligent as a human being. That's because he was, once.
  • Elemental Powers: In between fighting him head on, he unleashes a slew of surprisingly powerful attacks.
  • Evil Counterpart: He has many things in common with the Architect; but while the latter's morally grey and does have good goals, Corypheus isn't implied to have any sort of noble goal whatsoever. Especially true as the Architect is the Architect of the Works of Beauty - the High Priest of Urthemiel. Corypheus willingly intends to destroy the world, while the Architect was ashamed that his actions led to the Fifth Blight.
  • Evil Laugh: He has a pretty impressive one, which both Sarcastic Hawke and Isabela see coming a mile off.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Even before he became an actual monster, he was a High Priest of Dumat, the dragon of Silence.
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: Speaks in a sinister, raspy tone of voice.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: He's initially under the belief that Hawke and company are acolytes of the Temple of Dumat, servants or slaves to the Tevinter Imperium. He becomes even more confused when these "slaves" have the audacity to speak back to him! And since when did the Deep Roads of the Dwarven Empire fall into disrepair?
  • Godhood Seeker: He aims to be a god, and plans to fuse the material world and the Fade to accomplish this.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: As one of the original villains behind the Blight, he's one to the entire world. In addition, a Codex entry speculates that he might be responsible for Kirkwall being an Eldritch Location, which, if true, would make him partly responsible for the events of the main plot.
  • Have You Seen My God?: He's visibly disturbed by the fact that Dumat is no longer around to answer his calls.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Like the Archdemon, he's able to call those with the Taint to him and can even jump vessels when his body is destroyed. However, unlike the Archdemon, which is always destroyed trying to possess someone with a Grey Warden's soul, he's capable of doing so and surviving.
  • Ironic Nickname: According to the Chant, he is "the Conductor of the Choir of Silence," being the High Priest of Dumat, god of silence. He spends a lot of time in both games monologuing.
  • Kneel Before Zod: "Whoever you be, you owe fealty to any Magister of Tevinter. On your knees, all of you!"
  • Large and in Charge: He must be at least nine feet tall.
  • Large Ham: It might have something to do with being originally a Tevinter Magister, who are the Thedosian answer to what goeth before a fall.
  • Leaking Can of Evil: He has been sealed inside a Grey Warden prison in the Vimmark Mountains by blood magic and he wants out.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Subverted, as he wasn't aware that he was doing anything.
  • Meaningful Name: In ancient Athenian theater, the coryphaeus was the leader of the chorus. Corypheus has his own Calling, or 'music', and the achievement for defeating him is 'Conductor'. According to Word of God, he was once the Magister Sethius Amladrus, who used the alias 'Conductor of the Choir of Silence' during the planning of the assault on the Golden City (Dumat having been the Dragon of Silence).
  • Mind Control: While sealed, Corypheus sends out a Calling similar to that of the Archdemons, allowing him to control anyone with the Taint. Corypheus does this unconsciously and is confused to see his victims once freed.
  • Monster Progenitor: He is one of the first Darkspawn.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Lampshaded by Hawke and company, who note that with a name like that, he's clearly going to be a bad guy.
    Hawke: I'd like to know who this Corypheus is. With a name like that, he's bound to go "Mwha-ha-ha-ha!" at some point, I just know it.
  • Nightmare Face: The guy's pretty horrific to look at normally, to say the least, what with half his face stretched out and strange growths coming off it. It gets worse when he loses his temper. And even worse when you realise that the odd growths coming out of his face resemble the shape of a typical mage's hood. When you remember that he was once a man and the Darkspawn Taint is frequently shown to actively mutate individuals... suddenly you realise that those growths probably were once parts of his clothes.
  • Old Master: He's over 1300 years old and a powerful Mage.
  • Only I Can Kill Him: Inverted. The Wardens realized he was way too dangerous to be kept alive, but his influence through the Taint prevented any Warden from striking him down. They had to imprison him instead, and his prison was deliberately abandoned because any Warden left around there would inevitably fall under his influence and try to set him loose.
  • The Power of Blood: This is the power that bound him. Despite being a Tevinter Magister who worshiped Dumat, Corypheus is never actually seen using any blood magic.
  • Pride: Well, what did you expect from a Tevinter Magister?
  • Really 700 Years Old: As one of the Magisters who entered the Golden City and caused the First Blight, he's over 1300 years old. Grey Warden records imply he's been sealed away in his prison for the better part of a millennium.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: To the point where the entire Grey Warden prison acts as one giant seal to contain him. Rather tellingly, the Wardens imprisoned several Pride Demons merely to provide power to maintain the seal, turning them into little more than batteries.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Of Dumat. Corypheus and the other Magisters went to the Golden City at Dumat's request, believing they would be rewarded with light. Instead, they found only darkness.
  • Walking Spoiler: After The Reveal that he's not just a darkspawn. He's one of the first.
  • Was Once a Man: And one of the Tevinter Magisters who entered the Golden City to boot.
  • Wizard Duel: Engages in one with Mage Hawke, who manages to defeat him.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Larius and Janeka both tell Hawke to free him while he's still "weak." Either they badly underestimated him, or Corypheus at full power would have been unstoppable.

    Tropes in Dragon Age: Inquisition
"Beg that I succeed, for I have seen the throne of the gods, and it was empty!"

He returns in Dragon Age: Inquisition as the Elder One, a mysterious being whom the Venatori serve. His desire is to enter the Fade and use ancient magic to merge it with the mortal world, transforming himself into a god, and resulting in the death or enslavement of all sapient life in Thedas.

  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: At the conclusion of the final battle, he desperately begs Dumat and the Old Gods for help. Ironically, this is only minutes after mocking Andrastians for praying to a Maker he claims doesn't exist.
    Corypheus: Dumat! Ancient ones, I beseech you! If you exist - if you ever truly existed - aid me now!
  • Ambition Is Evil: The game writer Sylvia Feketekuty describes him as ambitious, and he is the Big Bad of the installment.
  • Arch-Enemy: To the Herald of Andraste. They single each other out as their greatest and most important enemies; the Inquisitor has to save Thedas from Corypheus no matter how ruthless they must be. Meanwhile, Corypheus despises the Inquisitor not only for opposing him but for interrupting the ritual that would have fulfilled his plans before the game's start.
  • Bad Boss: Things don't go for well for his subordinates whether they fail or succeed. Samson and Calpernia have it particularly rough: Samson has to ingest so much red lyrium that he doesn't have long to live even with his astonishing resistance to it, and Calpernia was going to be brainwashed by Corypheus as soon as she drank from the Well of Sorrows.
  • Badass Boast: He's really good at these.
    Corypheus: Exalt the Elder One... the will that is Corypheus. You will kneel!
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: He wanted to get into the Fade. The Inquisitor grants him his wish, banishing him to the Fade but destroying Corypheus's body in the process.
  • Big Bad: He's the main villain of the game.
  • Blatant Lies: Calls the Herald out on this during their first encounter:
    Herald: Whatever you are, I'm not afraid!
    Corypehus: Words mortals often hurl at the darkness. Once they were mine. They are always lies.
  • Body Surf: How he resurrects himself after death. However, it doesn't work if his "Archdemon" is dead.
  • Boss Banter: Besides his general grandstanding, he has specific comments to reflect your Inquisitor's race and choice of party members.
    Corypheus: (to Cassandra) A pike shall hold your head before the gates of the Grand Cathedral, Seeker!
    Corypheus: (to Varric) The beardless stone-worshiper? Run as fast as your little legs can take you.
  • Broken Pedestal: The entire reason he wishes to become the God of Thedas is that he went on a mission to the Golden City to meet the Maker Himself, but he found it Black with no one in it. He then jumped straight to the conclusion There Is No God, and never considered the idea that the Maker wouldn't want to meet him, or that he corrupted the Golden City himself. Regardless, basically Corypheus had a Crisis of Faith and decided Then Let Me Be Evil.
  • Combat Stilettos: Corypheus's outfit includes Wicked Witch-style high heels. Why he needed to be taller when he was already nine feet in height is a mystery. The black and white striped stockings only make it weirder.
  • Conflict Killer: He serves this role not for one, but two civil wars going on in Thedas: the Mage-Templar War and the Orlesian Civil War. He represents such threat that the Inquisition must pacify all these factions at each other throats to make them stand together against him.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The Inquisitor opens a Fade Rift inside his skull, ripping his physical body apart and banishing his essence permanently into the Fade.
  • Dark Messiah: His followers are convinced that he's on the way to godhood, where he will make a better world for them.
    Erimond: While the Elder One rules from the Golden City, we of the Venatori shall be his god-kings here on earth.
  • Devil, but No God: The Elder One claims there's no Big Good spirit like the Maker, leaving nothing to save Thedas from him and his legions of demons. He was heartbroken by the realization that his former god in Dumat is dead, and he saw no hint of the Maker in the Black City. His core motive, along with power, is to serve as the new, true God, which the Inquisitor can call out as incredibly selfish and insane. Also, it turns out the Elven Pantheon is (possibly) real, and the Dread Wolf is a (now regretful) Mysterious Backer working behind the scenes.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Josephine accuses him of this with his plans to restore Tevinter to its former glory; with the inevitable decline of the Imperium, due to the tensions with southern Thedas and the ongoing war with the Qunari, the Imperium is a shell of its former glory and probably too far gone to reverse that decline. Corypheus is working to restore something that no longer even exists.
    • In Trespasser, Leliana remarks that Corypheus should have done like the Qunari are attempting and killed as many prominent leaders across Thedas after the Conclave if he'd wanted to gain an advantage instead of trying to manipulate things from the shadows.
  • Dragon Rider: Not just any dragon, but an Archdemon. Or rather, a dragon he's corrupted with red lyrium to make it look like an Archdemon.
  • Dystopia Justifies the Means: He wants to become god by merging with the Fade and Thedas. If he gets his way in the worst possible ending, the Fade would be forever twisted and Thedas will be destroyed.
  • Evil Brit: His British accent only serves to make him even more intimidating. Much like most Tevinter.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Wrongly believes that the Inquisitor has the same motivations he does, which makes them a rival for godhood. The Inquisitor can even retort at the end that "I didn't come here to become a god!" - his reaction is to say nothing, but to stare at them in complete confusion for a few seconds, because this has never occurred to him.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Corypheus is huge. He can casually lift and throw the Inquisitor with one hand, regardless of their species.
  • Evil Laugh: The "Enemy of Thedas" trailer ends with him letting out a terrifying chuckle. In-game, it's actually the Nightmare demon (sharing the same voice actor) who gives the terrifying chuckle.
  • Evil Overlord: Lets count the ways: 1) A supernatural being literally Made of Evil, more force of nature than man. 2) Aspires power and domination over all mortals. 3) Has an army of evil minions and monsters at his disposal to wreak havoc upon the land.
  • Evil Reactionary: Corypheus has incredible power at his disposal even without the Anchor, but the only thing he can think to do with it is to essentially hard-reboot the last thousand years and turn things back to they way they should be. When thwarted, rather than accept and adapt to the new world, he tries to destroy everything.
  • Evil Sorcerer: He is an expert at bending the Fade to his will. A continuation of his old life, no doubt.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: He speaks with a deep British accent.
  • Faith–Heel Turn: He was never a good guy, so losing his faith in the Old Gods just shunted him over to another form of evil. It's also deconstructed, in that he genuinely believes that his bid for his own godhood is actually a good thing, since he can't imagine why other people would tolerate living in a godless world. In effect, his worldview hasn't changed all that much.
  • Fantastic Racism: Exhibits this towards the Inquisitor during the final battle:
    Corypheus: [to a non-mage human Inquisitor] Look at you! A soporatiexplanation  nipping at the heels of your betters!
    Corypheus: [to an elven Inquisitor] Look at you, wearing slave markings scrawled across your face with pride! You are nothing! A race of sniveling cowards who quailed before Tevinter's power!
    Corypheus: [to a dwarven Inquisitor] You think to best me? A runted dirt-worshiper? Your people have ever been the sand beneath Tevinter heels!
    Corypheus: [to a Qunari Inquisitor] What do they call you? A Qunari? Your blood is engorged with decay! Your race is not a race, it is a mistake!
  • Fatal Flaw: His pride. While he's a competent planner, having been working for years to come to this point and making a frightening number of extremely dangerous allies, his arrogance completely blinds him to his weak points and the idea that anyone could stop him. This makes him unable to properly adjust once the Inquisition thwarts him again and again. The Inquisitor and others lampshade this at numerous points. It's only at the very end when his doom is certain that he realizes he needs help and begs the Old Gods to save him. By then it's far too late.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: One of the traits that keeps him from being wholly unsympathetic. Deep down he's confused and afraid, especially since he can no longer hear his god Dumat. His entire plot is merely a means to restore some measure of familiarity and control in this new and frightening world.
  • Flunky Boss: Summons demons and then a dragon during the final fight.
  • Foil: To Solas. Both are Fish out of Temporal Water who unwittingly did enormous harm to the world in the distant past, only to wake up in the modern day and immediately try to destroy everything again and replace it with something they find more palatable. The difference is that Solas is full of guilt and self-loathing over his actions and previously fought against false gods, while Corypheus accepts no responsibility for his role in spreading the Blight and has decided to set himself up as the world's new god. In addition, Solas believes if people should die, they should die in comfort at the very least, and he would happily accept a third option that didn't involve death.
  • Foreshadowing: During his attack on Haven, he corners the Inquisitor and tries to take the Anchor back with a spell - only it doesn't work, and he's genuinely confused. Seems very odd that he'd not know how to handle his own MacGuffin until the ending, where it's revealed Solas, as Fen'harel, gave it to him.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: Continues to fall back at certain points throughout the final battle, forcing the Inquisitor and co. to give chase.
  • A God Am I: In the "Enemy of Thedas" trailer, he boasts that he's the new god of Thedas. His Venatori followers worship him as one. Solas, a "god" on the equal of Corypheus, dismisses this, saying real gods don't need to announce they are one.
  • God is Dead: His gods, anyway. Corypheus claims that the Golden City was already empty and corrupted, meaning that the Maker (if he ever existed) cleared out long ago. His own god, Dumat, was the first Archdemon and was slain by the Grey Wardens. His ultimate goal is to replace them with a new god: himself.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Could be seen as one for the entire world of Thedas, being one of the seven Tevinter Magisters who became the first darkspawn.
  • High Priest: Before entering the Fade, he was the high priest of Dumat, making him the leader of the seven Sidereal Magisters who ruled Tevinter alongside the Archon.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: According to him, this is what he and the other six Fade invaders have become in the centuries since they vanished. He bitterly bemoans the fact that everyone, even his own home nation, now want nothing to do with him, have turned against him, and have even stricken all record of who he really was from history.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • His attempt to crush the Inquisition early on seems to have worked at first, but actually results in the Inquisition becoming more powerful than ever before. At the end, the Inquisitor kills him using the very tool he hoped would bring him godhood.
    • Even earlier, creating his "Archdemon" demanded so much of his power that its death would drain him so much that he'd be unable to resurrect himself for a time. This one weakness is what allows his enemies to finally kill him for good.
  • Humiliation Conga:
    • It starts when the future Inquisitor interrupts his sacrifice ritual at the last moment, allowing Justinia to knock away the Orb and the Inquisitor to pick it up, kicking off the events of the story.
    • The next instance is when he tries to kill the Inquisitor at Haven, only to have the Inquisitor drop a mountain on his forces and escape. This also results in a series of events that allows Inquisition to become more powerful than they ever were before.
    • One by one, the Inquisitor takes out his allies and stops Corypheus from getting any of the MacGuffins he needs to complete his plans. Corypheus's plans grow more and more desperate with each defeat.
    • Corypheus flies into pure rage when the Inquisitor beats him to the Well of Sorrows.
    • Finally fed up, Corypheus calls the Inquisitor out at the endgame, and gets his ass handed to him, shouting "Not like this!" when it's clear he's lost. The Inquisitor then summons the Orb (which Corypheus claimed he alone had mastery over) right out of Corypheus's hand, shattering his jaw in the process, and uses it to destroy him for good.
  • Hypocrite: He proclaims himself a god while mocking everyone else's faith in the Maker. When he is about to die in the final battle, he loses his nerve and begs his god, Dumat, to save him.
  • Kneel Before Zod: He commands all of Thedas to kneel before him.
    Corypheus: Tell me, where is your Maker now?! Call him! Call down his wrath upon me! You cannot... for he does not exist! I am Corypheus! I will deliver you from this lie in which you linger! Bow before your new god and be spared!
  • Large and in Charge: He towers over every other character in the game. Even the Qunari Inquisitor is dwarfed by him, at one point being picked up by one arm and tossed aside like a rag doll. It's even more imposing with a dwarven Inquisitor, who is not even half his height.
  • Large Ham: Just listen to his monologue at Haven.
    Corypheus: I once breached the Fade in the name of another, to serve the Old Gods of the Empire in person. I found only chaos and corruption, dead whispers. For a thousand years, I was confused. No more! I have gathered the will to return under no name but my own, to champion withered Tevinter, and correct this blighted world. Beg that I succeed, for I have seen the throne of the gods, and it was empty!
  • Last of His Kind: He's surprised that none of the other Ancient Magisters have returned... but oh well, more glory for him! While at least one other of the seven original Ancient Magisters is potentially still around in the modern age (the Architect), that one has the good sense not to be openly causing trouble on the world stage.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Inverted. Players of the last game's Legacy DLC can easily spot his distinctive silhouette in his first appearance as a shadow.
  • Never My Fault: Logs found in the Shrine of Dumat if you sided with the Templars reveal that he is in total denial about his role in bringing the Darkspawn Taint to Thedas.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
    • Trespasser reveals that by surviving the attempt to unlock the Orb, Corypheus inadvertently prevented Solas from moving forward with his plans to tear down the Veil, and ended up averting a different and possibly even more cataclysmic apocalypse.
    • His arrival also acts as a Conflict Killer for the Mage/Templar war by turning one side into his minions (and getting them wiped out in latter battles) and causing the other to be rehabilitated in the eyes of Thedas by working with the Inquisition and spurs the factions in the Orlesian civil war to try to come to terms.
  • Nightmare Face: One distinct enough that it can potentially spoil part of the plot.
  • Ninja Zombie Pirate Robot: As noted in the epilogue, he's a Darkspawn Magister. That combination alone was enough to instantly unite everyone in Thedas against him.
  • Nothing Can Stop Us Now!: Never said by the man himself, but mentioned by others. The Elder One is so astoundingly arrogant that he can't even conceive of defeat. Several instances where he could have made a personal effort to salvage failing plans or protect himself, he chooses not to because it would make him look weak. Even after losing his army, his lieutenants, his Orlesian saboteur, and the MacGuffin, he still believes that this is a minor setback.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Alexius believes that the Elder One intends to destroy Thedas. After the Inquisitor stops him from using the Well of Sorrows, Corypheus snaps and reopens the Breach; if he succeeds, Corypheus will successfully merge the Fade and Thedas, permanently corrupting the former into his personal paradise and killing most-to-all life in the latter; and even if he doesn't, the Breach is unstable enough for Corypheus to take out the whole world.
  • Our Liches Are Different: Intelligent, long-lived monster sorcerer with super-magic: fits the bill. He also has what looks like nasty red lyrium spikes shooting out of his face. He even has a Soul Jar in the form of the "Archdemon", since he invested so much of his being in corrupting it that killing it would temporarily neutralize his Body Surf abilities. And like a lich, killing him without destroying his soul jar is pointless since he can immediately resurrect himself using any tainted being, even a Grey Warden, as a host.
  • Out of the Inferno: Near the end of the Siege of Haven, he does this when he meets the Inquisitor face-to-face for the very first time.
  • Prayer Is a Last Resort: When all else fails, he desperately begs the Old Gods to help him. They don't listen, probably because they're dead. Played with in that when he first appeared prayer was his first resort, and Dumat not responding terrified him. He was originally a priest, after all.
  • Pride: One of his writers describes him specifically with the word arrogance, not just arrogant. His whole being is constructed around his pride in himself.
  • Put Them All Out of My Misery: After being utterly defeated at the Temple of Mythal, Corypheus creates a new Breach, knowing that only the Inquisitor can close it. His plan is to either lure the Inquisitor into a trap or allow the bigger, stronger Breach to kill everything in Thedas. He's too pissed off to care which.
  • The Red Baron: In Ancient Tevene, "Corypheus" literally translates to "The Conductor of Silence".
  • Resurrective Immortality: Corypheus will automatically possess the body of any tainted creature upon death and shape it into a copy of his original one. Death is barely an inconvenience to him as this ability has no known maximum range and takes only seconds. This ability is literally the only reason he's even a threat, as Solas says that the blast that involved creating the Breach would have killed Corypheus had he not been able to respawn.
  • Satanic Archetype: He's a fallen Magister and the original source of the setting's major evil, with loads of pride and ambition, who wants to set himself up in God's place.
  • Self-Serving Memory: Mother Giselle claims that he has this in regards to his claims about entering the Black City not matching the Chantry's official doctrine. While she notes the Chant of Light is far from a perfect and historically accurate record, Giselle points out Corypheus could easily be manipulating his recollection of events to either cover gaps in his memory after millennia of imprisonment, or to present a version of what happened that paints him in a better light.
  • Slasher Smile: Sports a triumphant grin during a flashback where he drains the Divine's life force to power his Orb.
  • Smug Snake: To himself and his followers, the Elder One seems like a Magnificent Bastard. Indeed, when the Inquisitor first stumbles upon his plans, the Elder One has secured so much power and so many allies that he seems virtually unbeatable. However, the Inquisitor deals him one humiliating defeat after another and Corypheus doesn't take any of them well. His obscene arrogance is his undoing; as Cassandra puts it, he was so sure that a true defeat was impossible that he never took any precaution against it.
  • Soul Jar: His one weakness is his fake Archdemon. He invested so much power in corrupting the creature that its death prevents him from resurrecting long enough for the Inquisitor to deliver the final blow. Whether or not he knew of this potential liability to begin with is unknown.
  • Spanner in the Works: Solas led him to the Orb of Fen'Harel believing that he'd die in the process of unlocking its power, not knowing that Corypheus was functionally immortal and thus putting a severe hamper to his plans.
  • Stupid Evil: Not only is he an incompetent planner whose every action is geared towards causing chaos and destruction over any actual benefit, but this focus on appearing evil above all else repeatedly and predictably backfires on him: being at the Conclave at all and deciding to use the Divine as the sacrifice when he could have used any sacrifice winds up with the Inquisitor making off with the Anchor ability; blowing up the Conclave to exacerbate the war between mages and Templars leads to the rise of the Inquisition and the war's end; the attempt to throw Orlais into chaos by having the Empress assassinated by a similarly Stupid Evil underling while screaming "For Corypheus!" leads to Orlais predictably uniting against him; freeing Calpernia from slavery solely so he can betray her in a cruel and ironic fashion leads to the Venatori turning against him at a decisive moment. That he refers to himself as "darkness" and exalts his own evilness every time he opens his mouth does not help his cause, either. By far, the worst is his adamant refusal to change any plan already in motion, even if he knows for a fact that his enemies know about it and how to stop it.
  • Transformation of the Possessed:
    • He now looks identical to his old body, despite possessing Larius or Janeka, and then some other, random Warden; the body he gained by possessing either of them was most likely destroyed when the Breach opened, and according to Morrigan, his body surf ability has no maximum range. This ability of his is basically an improved version of the Archdemons' re(dark)spawn that works similarly. However, unlike the Archdemon who has to possess a Darkspawn and dies when entering a Warden's body, Corypheus is able to possess Wardens as well - which would make him unkillable if it wasn't for some particular loophole the Inquisitor, of course, takes advantage of.
    • He "dies" at the Temple of Mythal with his body being obliterated, and we get to see him Body Surf into another poor Warden. The poor sucker vomits up black goo and we see Corypheus rise out of the mess looking none the worse for wear - and exactly the same.
  • Unknown Rival: Lampshaded when you first meet him after act 1. He acknowledges that you have no idea who he is despite foiling several of his schemes; he just wants you to know that won't save you.
  • Villain by Default: Over on the Dragon Age – Races page, there are three groups marked as "Always Chaotic Evil": Tevinter Magisters, Darkspawn, and Demons. Corypheus is, technically speaking, all three of these.
  • Villainous Breakdown: He does not handle setbacks, failure, or defeat well. He flies into a rage at the slightest provocation, and your advisors tell you that Corypheus's actions grow more and more desperate and reckless with each victory by the Inquisition. He goes into a rage after the Inquisitor steals the Anchor from him, and when the Inquisitor stops him from using the Well of Sorrows, Corypheus decides to throw strategy aside and attempt to destroy the world by reopening the Breach.
    Solas: [talking of Corypheus after the Temple of Mythal] You have waylaid all his other plans. Now, as a petulant child, he will destroy the game board rather than admit defeat. Be ready for anything. He still believes himself a god, and gods do not fall gracefully.
  • Vocal Evolution: This time around, David Sterne uses a voice much closer to the Profane Abomination. You could almost mistake him for a different voice actor.
  • Walking Spoiler: The fact that he survived past Dragon Age II is itself a spoiler.
  • Was Once a Man: One of the first Tevinter magisters, here. Also, according to some scraps of paper written by one of his old slaves, he used to be a stern but fair man with a loving wife. There's a War Table mission where Dorian tries to find out who he really was, before he and the other six donned their monikers as High Priests of the Old Gods. The conclusion offers us a possible real name: Sethius Amladaris.
  • Where Is Your X Now?:
    Elder One: Tell me, where is your Maker now? Call him. Call down his wrath upon me. You cannot, for he does not exist!
  • Worf Had the Flu: In the previous game, Corypheus was newly awoken and killed in a difficult but straightforward battle by Hawke's group. In Inquisition, he has been operating for years and shows how powerful he really can be.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: In the final battle, especially toward a Dalish Inquisitor. This is not surprising, given their peoples' history.
  • You Have Failed Me: Several times, you find servants (or their logs) saying that he offered zero help to failing or endangered operations, expecting that they either succeed or die trying. After failing to get his hands on the Well of Sorrows, Corypheus abandons what's left of his army to be destroyed while he makes his escape.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Plans to use the Fade's tendency towards this to become a god in both worlds.


Storekeepers who were present in more than one of the games.

Bodahn Feddic & Sandal Feddic

First Appearance: Dragon Age: Origins
Voiced by: Dwight Schultz (Bodahn), Yuri Lowenthal (Sandal)

    Tropes Applying To Bodahn

"If there's anything I can do for you, please, please tell me."

A dwarven merchant whom the Warden and his companions rescue on the Imperial Highway outside of Lothering, Bodahn and his adopted son Sandal thereafter travel with the party, providing a ready source of supplies as well as enchanting services.

He appears next in Dragon Age II with Sandal, later becoming Hawke's manservant.

  • Ascended Extra: Bodahn and Sandal were originally just merchants that offered overpriced equipment and enchantments for the Warden's party. They eventually become Hawke's loyal servants who stick alongside them until the end.
  • Aside Glance: When Bodahn discusses the Warden with Hawke, he looks straight at the camera.
  • Cloud Cuckoolanders Minder: Bodahn is this for Sandal, due to his adopted son's tendency to either wander off, enchant anything he gets his hands on, or accidentally set things on fire, such as their house (twice).
  • Disc-One Nuke: Provided you can afford them, he offers access to some very powerful items quite early in Origins.
  • The Exile: He explains that he came to surface after being accused by a noble of graverobbing (which was in fact true).
  • Fell Off the Back of a Truck: Or the medieval fantasy equivalent - where most of his goods come from, as he'll admit if you press him. He's quick to make it clear, however, that he and Sandal don't rob people; they merely scavenge whatever valuables people have left behind whilst fleeing from the Blight. After all, it's better they go to people who might need them than get destroyed by the darkspawn!
  • Friend in the Black Market: As he says, you're fortunate to have someone around dealing such valuable items with the Blight coming.
  • Honorary Uncle: While never actually called this, it seems clear that Bodahn and Sandal become part of the Hawke family, particularly considering how devastated they are at the death of Leandra.
  • Insistent Terminology: Refers to Hawke as "Messere" and Leandra as "Mistress Amell." The latter is particularly odd, since she's a widow and he's insisting on using her maiden name.
  • Intrepid Merchant: He boasts that he and Sandal have never played it safe or stuck to the "tried and true road". Given their choice of friends, he's not lying.
  • The Jeeves: Runs the day to day details of the Hawke Estate.
  • Like a Son to Me:
    • While not actually blood related, Bodahn considers Sandal to be his son and no one can say otherwise!
    • When Bodahn admits that he sometimes worries about Sandal, now he's getting on in years, Hawke tells him that whatever happens, Sandal always will be welcome in their home.
  • Nice Guy: Despite his questionable deeds, it's blatant he truly cares about Sandal, he serves Hawke for saving his adopted son in the deep roads, and is always friendly to the Warden and Hawke.
  • No Hero Discount: In Origins, despite the fact that you save his life and he claims to be offering you a discount out of gratitude, Bodahn's prices are actually quite high compared to those of other merchants in the game.
  • Odd Friendship: Bodahn and Hawke, particular with the sarcastic personality.
  • Sarcastic Devotee: Whenever Hawke dishes out their brand of snark, Bodahn politely returns some right back.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: How he regards leaving Orzammar. A noblewoman found a pair of bracers that had belonged to her dead brother in Bodahn's shop and accused him of stealing them, unaware that Bodahn had paid casteless workers to retrieve lost artifacts and treasures from the Deep Roads. Not wanting to find out how he'd be punished, Bodahn bribed the prison guards and ran for the surface.
  • Servile Snarker: To a sarcastic Hawke, though he's clearly outmatched and frequently ends up exasperated by his boss having the bizarre need to make everything into a joke. He's much less snarky with a diplomatic or violent Hawke.
  • Team Dad: Despite Hawke's insistence that Bodahn doesn't need to pay them back for rescuing Sandal, Bodahn nonetheless takes it on himself to manage the day to day operations of the Hawke estate, even tending Hawke's armor and weapons.
  • Undying Loyalty: Bodahn displays this towards Hawke for saving Sandal in the Deep Roads. Bodahn is particularly upset at the death of Leandra.
  • Unexplained Accent: Despite being a dwarf from Orzammar, he speaks with an exaggerated Fereldan accent. Since he used to run a shop in Orzammar that catered to the nobility, his accent is possibly an affectation to make himself sound more respectable and upper-class.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Bodahn mentions being married to a woman in Denerim in Origins. No mention of his wife is made in the second game, however; it's possible, although not stated, that she simply did not survive the events of the Fifth Blight, since the final battle was in Denerim. This may also explain how he and Sandal ended up in Kirkwall, as he may have left to get away from the memories.

    Tropes Applying To Sandal

"Enchantment...? ENCHANTMENT!"

The adopted son of the dwarven merchant Bodahn Feddic. Sandal is... special, to say the least, as he is lyrium-addled. However, he has a unique and natural talent when it comes to enchanting, displaying skill that surpasses that of even grandmasters. He follows the party along with his father and the two offer their services in the party camp.

He appears again in Dragon Age II together with his father, later becoming Hawke's manservant.

  • Ascended Extra: Bodahn and Sandal were originally just merchants that offered overpriced equipment and enchantments for the Warden's party. They eventually become Hawke's loyal servants who stick alongside them until the end.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Sandal is one of the legitimately sweetest characters in Thedas, especially in II where he can talk in longer sentences and is adorably excited to enchant things for you. He also has a habit of somehow slaughtering powerful opponents off-screen, up to and including a Pride Demon.
  • The Cameo:
    • During the quest "Champions of the Just" in Dragon Age: Inquisition, the player can find a dwarf that looks suspiciously like Sandal standing in a jail cell. The jail cell is in the Fade, which dwarves are not supposed to be able to enter.
    • He also has sort of a cameo in Trespasser, where the Inquisitor can find a journal in the Crossroads in which he has written nothing but "Enchantment!" The journal is next to a dead qunari that has somehow been impaled to the wall.
  • Cloudcuckoo Lander: He comes across this way at times, as his comments can be very cryptic or downright nonsensical, but it's clear that he understands what he's saying even if he can't make himself comprehensible.
  • Creepy Child: Repeatedly speaking to Sandal in Dragon Age II eventually causes him to spout some mildly ominous prophetic phrases.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Sandal is very dim, but the player keeps finding him surrounded by corpses.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Hawke’s dog is incredibly fond of him, and Bodahn implies that the Warden's dog may have been as well, since he theorizes that Sandal may have learned "mabari speak" during their time in the Warden's party.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Or Half Dwarven Hybrid, at any rate. In Legacy, some Carta dwarves can be overheard gossiping that he looks like a bastard son of an Aeducan nobleman, by a human or elven woman, who went missing years earlier.
  • Happily Adopted: By Bodahn after he found the kid in the Deep Roads. "I like Bodahn!"
  • Hidden Depths: It's clear that there's something going on with Sandal. There's his prophecy, there's the Noodle Incident, etc. Also, a bit of dialogue in Legacy strongly implies that Sandal is the bastard child of an Aeducan noble and a human or elf mother. Word of God Gaider claimed in an interview that the writing team included the prophecy and other stuff because they felt they had to or "[they] would go insane."
  • Mysterious Past: Bodahn first found Sandal wandering in an abandoned Thaig in the Deep Roads.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Near the end of Origins he appears covered in blood in a room surrounded by darkspawn corpses (including two ogres). Exactly how and why is never explained. The only reason he gives is "Enchantment!"
    • He does it again in Dragon Age II in the Deep Roads expedition, including freezing an Ogre solid. The reason ogres suddenly freeze in his presence is, in his own words, "Not enchantment!" To add further confusion, he then hands you a cold damage weapon rune. "Boom."
    • And again in the Templar Hall at the endgame, where he massacres a small army of demons, including a Pride Demon.
    • Also responsible for a few after moving into the Hawke Estate. Apparently Sandal regularly sets things on fire by forgetting where he's put his enchantments or by bringing home salamanders, is known to swing from the chandelier (unless it was Merrill), and while playing a game with Merrill, accidentally broke one of Hawke's wardrobes by climbing on it.
  • Omniglot: Sandal holds a conversation with the Dog at one point. Bodahn jokes that Sandal must have learnt "Mabari-speak" during their stay in the Warden's camp. He might not be wrong; a common Ferelden saying is that the breed is "smart enough to talk, wise enough not to," and a few other characters including Loghain seem to understand them.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Sandal's infamous ominous prophecy is... jarring, to say the least. It'd be somewhat foreboding on its own, but from someone as terse, cheery and simple as him? Bodahn is as unnerved as the player.
  • Running Gag: His tendency to show up surrounded by enemy corpses.
  • Unexplained Accent: Like Bodahn, he speaks with a decidedly non-dwarven accent laced with a bit of Simpleton Voice. Also like Bodahn, it can be assumed to be an affectation that he picked up by hanging around non-dwarves.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Toward the end of II, Bodahn says that he and Sandal are heading for Orlais and the court of Empress Celene, because the Empress is fascinated by Sandal's enchanting ability. However, neither dwarf makes an appearance in Inquisition. As of Trespasser, a journal can be found in the Crossroads (near a Qunari impaled on several spikes) which reveals that Sandal spent Dragon 41 to 42 there. We have no idea what he was doing, of course, because the journal simply says "Enchantment!" several times with varying emphasis.
  • Wrong Context Magic: A dwarf that's heavily implied to be him appears in The Fade during a mission in Inquisition. The problem here is that dwarves, unless forced by extremely specific outside means, can't enter The Fade.

Alternative Title(s): Dragon Age Non Playable Characters


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