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Characters / Dragon Age Recurring Party Members: Part One

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This page is for listing the tropes related to the characters who have appeared since Dragon Age: Origins and have also appeared in other games.

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First Appearance: Dragon Age: Origins
Voiced by: Steve Valentine

    Tropes In Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II
"Yeeess, swooping is bad."

"Just so you know, if the King ever asks me to put on a dress and dance the Remigold, I'm drawing the line. Darkspawn or no."

One of the junior Grey Wardens and Duncan's protégé. He's the first true party member to join the player's party (unless the player is a Human Noble, in which case it's the dog). A former Knight Templar in training, he's a central character to the story and the only remaining Grey Warden in Ferelden aside from the player character. Shale refers to him as 'the second Warden'. He is a romance option for a female Warden.

  • Abusive Parents: Well, foster parents. He was raised by Eamon, who made him sleep in the stables or kennels to keep him out of the way. When Eamon married Isolde, she made Alistair's life miserable until she finally convinced Eamon to ship him off to the Chantry to (again) get him out of the way. His Chantry upbringing is also implied to have been pretty strict. As a result, Alistair is very awkward, insecure, desperate for any kind of family (part of why he latches onto Duncan and the Grey Wardens), and has serious self-confidence and self-worth issues. The fact that he was raised to be submissive and dependent as a Spare to the Throne doesn't help.
  • Accidental Pornomancer: Alistair is, at the game's outset, a virgin. In fact, he's practically frightened by the prospect of sex. However, let's look at the number of potential bedmates he can have in a single playthrough: Isabela, Anora, Morrigan, and the Warden (if the Warden is female). He can bed all four women in one game, but it's actually the player who has to do the work for him.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Becomes increasingly red-haired in the next two games, and red-haired and blue-eyed in the comics.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: When Alistair was training as a Templar, the initiates from noble families ignored him for being a bastard, while the initiates from poor families resented his noble lineage, leaving him with few, if any, friends during that time.
  • Always Save the Girl: If romanced, he makes it clear he values the Warden's life over his own. If he is brought along to the final battle without completing Morrigan's ritual, he refuses to allow the female PC to deliver the finishing blow to the Archdemon. Unless hardened, he's under the impression that he'd make a worse king than Anora. This way, he can go out a glorious king and save the woman he loves all at the same time. It can be avoided by leaving him to defend the gate, but he knows exactly what you're doing.
  • Arranged Marriage: The Warden can organise one between him and Anora, putting both a Theirin and a competent, experienced ruler in charge of Ferelden. Or two, if he's hardened. If she's the Human Female Noble, the Warden can also potentially arrange one between him and herself. If a romance between the Warden and him flourishes, it becomes quite ideal for both.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: His description of what's wrong with Orlais at the moment if he's king in II.
    Alistair: Oh the usual: attempted assassinations, uprisings, fancy parties with stinky cheeses...
  • Battle Couple: If romanced, he's this with the female Warden. This can be combined with Royals Who Actually Do Something if he becomes King and marries a Female Human Noble.
  • Berserk Button: Loghain becomes this to him after his betrayal of Cailan leads to the death of all the other Grey Wardens, and Duncan in particular. While he will (reluctantly) go along with a lot of awful stuff the Warden can do, spare Loghain and he will walk out the door, end of story.
  • Betty and Veronica: Very much Betty to Zevran's Veronica. Possibly also serves as the Betty for Leliana's Veronica, too.
  • Big Eater: It's a Grey Warden thing, apparently.
  • Breakout Character: He has appeared more Dragon Age media than any other character. Thus far he's been in all three games, a trilogy of comic miniseries, and the novel The Calling, where he appears as a newborn.
  • Break the Cutie: The massacre of Ostagar and the death of Duncan really took a toll on him. While most of the personal quests end with the companion in higher spirits, Alistair's has an outright Downer Ending. And depending on your choices, he will dramatically change for the rest of the game.
  • Broken Pedestal: Like most, he holds Loghain in high regard before the Battle of Ostagar, privately admitting that while Cailan is the King, it's Loghain to whom they have to look for victory. Then Loghain retreats from the battle, leaving the King, the Grey Wardens, and Duncan to an ignoble death, and then blames the Wardens for regicide. From then on, Alistair has an undying hatred for the man and it becomes very personal.
  • Buffy Speak: Tends to lapse into this at times.
    Alistair: You stole them, didn't you? You're some sort of... sneaky... witch-thief!
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Everyone gets a turn to mock him. Even the dog. (The player alone has the option not to do so.)
    • Meta-example of a Cosmic Plaything as well, in that the player ultimately decide his fate. He can either become King, remain in the Grey Wardens, die, or end up a drunk loser — all as a direct result of the player's actions.
  • Child of Forbidden Love: King Maric's bastard. His personal quest has him looking up his mother's family. He was actually lied to about his mother; his real mother, Fiona, hoped he'd have a better life if nobody knew his mother was an elf mage.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: Morrigan accuses him of doing this while traveling to Lothering, in so many words.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: If the player chooses to "harden" him, he loses many of his squeaky-clean morals, but the loss of naive idealism makes him more understanding of his subjects should he be anointed King.
  • Covert Pervert: In addition to the Girl-on-Girl Is Hot moments mentioned below, he also apparently spends a fair deal of his time ogling a romanced Warden's ass. Wynne teases him about it.
  • The Creon: Alistair intentionally avoids mentioning the fact that he is actually the senior Grey Warden — because he doesn't want to lead. In fact, he even refuses to take the throne of Ferelden for exactly the same reason.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Despite the fact that he's... well, Alistair, he is very much capable of holding his own in a fight, being able to take on numerically superior opponents and even dragons. Should the player choose him to duel Loghain at the Landsmeet, Alistair wins and wastes no time in delivering the fatal blow.
  • Dare to Be Badass: The Warden can often invoke this if they convince Alistair to take the throne.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Alistair can potentially be one for a Knight in Shining Armor.
    • Alistair sticks to his ideals to a fault, in a setting where the characters around him are making political moves and have no problem dirting their hands for the sake of the greater good. In particular, Alistair holds a romantic and somewhat childish view of what it means to be a Grey Warden, when in reality the order is willing to take anyone as long as they can pass the Joining. This comes to a head if the Warden decides to spare Loghain and induct him into the Grey Wardens, where an unhardened Alistair ends up quitting on the spot.
    • This also applies to his chivalrous views of love that were popular in many a High Fantasy and Chivalric Romance. If a female non-Human Noble Warden who Romances him makes him King and hopes to Marry for Love and become Queen, Reality Ensues when Alistair counters that the Landsmeet already barely accepts him as King, so there's no way they'd accept a mage or non-human as their Queen. Alistair's squeaky clean morals then shine through at the exact wrong time and his refusal to "degrade" her by making her The Mistress causes him to dump her. (The female Warden had to "harden" Alistair much earlier in the game just to be able to convince him to make her The Mistress, and by then many players don't want to do it since he keeps rubbing in how shameful and tawdry their love would be.) Word of Gaider is that this was meant to demonstrate that Alistair puts his own warped sense of duty and honor before her feelings too.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Like father, like son: Maric snarked just as much as him.
  • Deuteragonist: The secondary storyline (Ferelden's Succession Crisis) pretty much revolves around him.
  • Disappeared Dad: Although he understands why King Maric couldn't acknowledge him as his illegitimate son.
  • Distressed Dude: Should he be in the party by the time you run into Cauthrien's boss fight and lose or surrender, he gets captured along with the Warden.
  • Dork Knight: While Alistair is heroic, noble, and brave, he also lacks confidence and fumbles when talking to women.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Should the player spare Loghain, Alistair will leave the party. Unless he was already persuaded to marry Anora and keeps that promise, he ends up as a drunkard rambling about how he used to be a prince and a Grey Warden. He can be found at the Hanged Man in II; thankfully, Bann Teagan shows up and persuades him to come home and make a fresh start.
  • Ensign Newbie:
    • During the Korcari Wilds mission, he's this; as the most junior Warden (he's only been in the ranks for about six months), it's traditional for him to lead the newest recruits on their blood-fetching quest. However, as the plot unfolds, he soon makes his clear that he'd rather have the Warden take this role. Morrigan even lampshades it.
    • The Darkspawn Chronicles DLC shows what would have happened if he hadn't been able to pass the buck. He manages to make it all the way to the Archdemon. But then it ends badly.
  • Entendre Failure: He'd happily hop borders with Zevran given the chance — after all, he's never even been close to leaving Ferelden.
  • Evil Laugh: He has a very impressive one that he breaks out on a couple of occasions, such as when revealing his nefarious plan to make the other party members mutiny and have him take over as group leader. In a subversion, he once breaks into a cough mid-evil laugh.
  • The Fettered: As much as or (depending on player choices) even more than the PC, especially if he becomes king.
  • Final Boss: He is the final antagonist fought in The Darkspawn Chronicles.
  • First Girl Wins: The female PC is the first woman his own age he encounters in the story, having been sent to the Chantry at age ten to be a Templar and then being a part of the Wardens (who, in Ferelden, have no women currently in the order until the Warden come along). Unless you count that one time in Denerim... but those women were not like the Warden.
  • Foil: To Zevran, especially as a romance. Two orphaned boys who were raised communally (Alistair in a castle, Zevran in a whorehouse) who were shipped off to an organization at an early age (Alistair to the Templars, Zevran to the Crows) without their consent, which largely defined who they became as adults (Alistair a duty-bound warrior, Zevran a loose and easy assassin). They both even have prolific (often deadpan) senses of humor. However, while Alistair is a dorky virgin who hides his pain behind a shield of duty, honor, and lame jokes, Zevran is The Casanova who Really Gets Around and hides his pain behind a charming smile and a devil-may-care attitude. They are even foils when it comes to sleeping with someone, Zevran is good at convincing others to sleep with him but is implied to be nothing special while Alistair is a virgin when he first appears but everyone compliments him to the point where Isabela gives him the biggest praise out of all the characters she can sleep with.
  • Generation Xerox:
    • Potentially to both of his parents. He's a Grey Warden like Fiona and can become King of Ferelden like Maric.
    • Even more so to Maric if he falls for an Elven Warden, particularly a rogue city elf or mage elf. Maric had a thing for elves too; fell in love with the elven bard Katriel (although that ended badly), and later conceived Alistair with the elven mage Fiona.
    • For a complete Xerox, romance him as a city or mage elf, have him enter an Arranged Marriage with Anora (a human noblewoman he doesn't love) after making him King, and then have him conceive a royal bastard out of wedlock with Morrigan.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: His reaction to a female Warden propositioning Isabela. If he's hardened and the player invites him along, he'll eventually succumb with a sudden "What can I say? I am a weak, weak man." Even if he's not hardened (and therefore willing to give it a go), he'll note, "And here I am, awake and everything..." Also, if he confronts the Warden about choosing between him and Leliana, and the player chooses him, he'll ask, what about her? "I get it, sure — hot. But-" and so on.
  • The Good King: A hardened Alistair turns out to be an excellent monarch, having a common touch which makes the people of Ferelden love him, and quickly learns the finer points of administration. If combined with a Female Human Noble as queen, Ferelden ends up with one hell of a Ruling Couple.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Alistair is a sweetheart, and falls for a female Warden that he finds to be kind as well. After his first night with a female Warden, Alistair comments that the Chantry sisters had him half-expecting to be struck by lightning for doing what they just did. His beloved can reassure him: "Not for that performance." She can also have "girl talk" with Leliana and Morrigan, where she can assure them (out of his hearing range) that he is very good in bed. Even Isabela practically wants to keep him all to herself if she sleeps with both him and the Warden.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The Calling implies that Alistair's mother could be Fiona, an elven Grey Warden and lover of King Maric. Alistair was confirmed as elf-blooded by the devs here. However, the children of elves and humans are always human, so he doesn't look elven. In Inquisition, Fiona herself vaguely hints at her relationship with Alistair, but never outright says it.
  • Happily Married: Provided the Warden is a Human Noble and are persuasive enough to convince the entire Landsmeet (as well as Alistair privately) that the infertility issue is not a problem. Otherwise, get ready to be dumped like a sack of potatoes (true love or not), unless he's been hardened or the player makes Anora the sole ruler instead.
  • Henpecked Husband:
    • In Dragon Age II, if he's King and married to the Female Human Noble, it's clear who wears the trousers in the relationship. It's treated very lightheartedly, however, and when Alistair calls her "the old ball and chain", it's said with obvious affection.
      Alistair: Just because she killed an Archdemon, she doesn't scare me!
      Teagan: You just keep telling yourself that, Your Majesty.
    • If married to Anora and left unhardened, Alistair ends up leaving the actual ruling to the Kingdom to her, effectively becoming a King in name only.
  • Heroic Bastard: And a royal bastard at that. He notes he should use that line more often.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: If the player refuses Morrigan's ritual and allow him to finish the Archdemon (he'll insist on it no matter what if him and the Warden are in a romance).
  • Hidden Backup Prince: He's a bastard, and in line to the throne! His claim is apparently roughly equal to that of his half-brother the king's widow.
  • Hidden Depths: If the player makes him king, he turns out to be better suited to the job than he expects to be. In Dragon Age II, he demonstrates a willingness to allow fleeing mages to enter Ferelden so long as they follow the laws of the land. Meredith is annoyed that the new king does not immediately comply with her demands. In Inquisition, his codex entry notes that the people love him.
  • Honor Before Reason: Arguably, his Fatal Flaw. Despite being snarky and not very religious, Alistair is very hard-up on duty and honor and will put his squeaky clean morals before his desires. The Warden can help him grow out of it by "hardening" him. If they don't, this comes to a head in the romance as if a non-Human Noble Warden makes him King, Alistair puts his perceived duty to marry a Bannorn-approved human noblewoman and sire royal heirs with her to avoid another Succession Crisis before his own desires, and does to degrade his future wife or the Warden by making the latter his mistress, and dumps the Warden. Even if the female Warden makes it clear she doesn't mind being a mistress, Alistair doesn't have to get married (if she didn't arrange him with Anora), and/or marriages of conveniences involve extramarital affairs all the time, Alistair isn't willing to tarnish her honor, and dumps her.
  • Hunk: Quite manly. Quite handsome.
  • Hurting Hero: He rarely says it outright, but the massacre of Duncan and the other Wardens scars him pretty deeply, to the point that he harbors an intense and bitter hatred for Loghain. The Warden can get a lot of approval for just being there and listening to him without judgment.
  • Idiot Hero: Morrigan and Anora both accuse him of being one. Although he has his moments, they're never at critical junctions. He even calls himself an idiot hero at times.
    Alistair: Look, I can't be king. Some days I have trouble figuring out which boot goes on which foot.
  • In the Blood: Despite being raised a Templar, Alistair is fascinated by strange runestones and figural studies of arcane creatures, to the point that gift items of that type earn lots of approval. Alistair's mother was a mage, implying his fascination with magical items is somewhat inborn. A number of cahracters also believe he'd make a good king due to being Maric's son.
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: Alistair is very open about his feelings, particularly his grief over the Grey Wardens (often sounding on the verge of tears when discussing them) and invites you to talk about your grief as well (at least regarding the loss of the other Grey Wardens). This annoys some of the more stoic party members (particularly Morrigan and Sten) who think Real Men Dont Cry, though it doesn't deter him any. Alistair is also pretty unashamed about his less-than-manly moments, like joke with the Warden that Alistair should wear a dress to distract the darkspawn, and mentioning a girly scream he once emitted when he first joined the Wardens.
    • This is also a point in his favor with the romance, since Alistair gives a female Warden he's crushing on a rose he had sentimentally picked earlier for unrelated reasons but which now reminds him of her, asks to wait to have sex since he wants it to be special, and is very open about his budding romantic feelings toward her (even if he's not always the most eloquent about it).
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With Wynne, who becomes something of a surrogate mother to him if they're kept in the party together often enough.
  • Irony: Alistair is a Human Templar Grey Warden. His (real) mother is an Elven Mage Grey Warden.
  • It's Personal: Towards Loghain for causing the deaths of the Grey Wardens and Duncan in particular. Best shown during the Landsmeet if Alistair is the one chosen to duel Loghain.
    Loghain: So there is some of Maric in you after all. Good!
    Alistair: Forget Maric! This is for Duncan!
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Although he's aware that Grey Wardens often must do pretty bad things for the greater good, and lives in a world that has rarely shown him any kindness, he still feels as if it's still worth being a decent person and protector. If he's hardened and King, he becomes one if Loghain is spared.
  • Knight Templar: He was training to be one, though only in job description; he flat out states that a life devoted to single-mindedly hunting down apostate mages was not for him, and it wasn't his choice to pursue that future.
  • Lady and Knight: It's more accurately Knight and Knight, but if the PC romances him, he definitely behaves like a White Knight to a Bright Lady. This is perhaps especially fitting if the female is the human or dwarf noble, and perhaps especially touching for a female city elf who's been treated like dirt by human soldiers and nobles her whole life.
  • The Lancer: Alistair is the only humanoid member of the Warden's party whom the player can neither fail to recruit nor ask to leave. He's also the only other Grey Warden in Ferelden, and the main character apart from the PC — to the point where he's nearly a deuteragonist. He fits this trope completely if the Warden is on the darker end of Grey-and-Gray Morality.
  • Lethal Chef:
    • When Morrigan joins the party, one of the first things he asks is "Can you cook?" Then he explains that if he has to cook, they're all as good as dead.
    • A party banter between him and Leliana can be triggered where Leliana asks him what was in the dish he made for the party's supper the previous night. When he tells her it was a lamb and pea stew, she comments that it had a texture she doesn't normally associate with lamb. He explains this by telling her that this is the way all Fereldans cook.
      Alistair: We take our ingredients, throw them into the largest pot we can find, and cook them for as long as possible until everything is a uniform grey color. As soon as it looks completely bland and unappetizing, that's when I know it's done.
  • Let's Wait a While: If the female Warden who romances him asks him about sex first, Alistair asks to wait, since he doesn't know if they'll even survive the Blight, and he'd rather not rush into anything. If she insists, Alistair is clearly pretty unhappy about it (especially since you can respond to that refusal with insults), whereas once his feelings for her reach "love" he approaches her of his own volition. He can also get to a point where he will happily accept if you ask him before he can ask you.
  • Loved I Not Honor More: If romanced, he loves the female Warden greatly, but if she makes him king and doesn't harden him, he puts his perceived duty to sire royal heirs (either with Anora or a future Bannorn-approved noblewoman) to avoid another Succession Crisis above his own desires, and further doesn't wish to degrade his future wife or the Warden by making the latter his mistress, so he dumps the Warden.
  • Love Interest: For a female Grey Warden.
  • Manchild:
    • At times, his decisions are more reminiscent of a temperamental teenager than a defender of the whole land. These are often potential Jerkass moments. He gets called a lad/boy several times. This is slightly justified as he's only 20 years old and from a very sheltered background.
    • To drive the point home, his Feastday gift is a Grey Warden toy set.
  • The Mistress: One outcome of his romance — the non-human noble Warden can become this for him if he's hardened and king. The human noble can, too, but she also has a chance to marry him and become queen.
  • Modest Royalty: Should he become King of Feraldan, he's shown in II to still be getting the hang of things. He introduces himself to Hawke just as Alistair in a casual and informal way before awkwardly remembering to add that he's also King and Teagan is his uncle...sort of.
  • Mr. Fanservice: He's handsome, and a hopeless romantic. The voice doesn't hurt either.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members: No matter what you say to him, he will not fight alongside Loghain under any circumstances.
  • Nature Abhors a Virgin: While Alistair himself is pretty okay with the idea (aside from teasing), the plot is most definitely against him. For him to have the happiest ending with a female Warden, he must sleep with Morrigan — other options mean that either he or the Warden must make a Heroic Sacrifice, leaving him either dead or in mourning, or that he becomes a wandering drunk if Loghain is around to do the deed. Marrying him to Anora can allow the player to skip the cheating, but he doesn't seem particularly happy with her, either. Apparently, a man can be a virgin, but can't remain one for long and can't have just one woman in his lifetime for things to work out to his benefit.
  • Odd Friendship:
    • Despite being a former Templar, he quickly strikes up a friendship with Wynne and seems closer to her than any of the other companions. This is rather understandable, as he freely admits he was terrible at being a Templar and never wanted to be one in the first place.
    • Similarly, aside from some initial awkwardness upon their first meeting, he has no problem with Mage Wardens.
  • One-Drop Rule: The Calling implies and Word of God confirms that Alistair's real mother is an elven mage named Fiona, but due to Ferelden's Fantastic Racism against elves, mages, Grey Wardens, and Orlesians, public discovery would disqualify him from being a Spare to the Throne, so Eamon covered up Alistair's real parentage by forging documents that made it seem like his real mother was a human serving girl who died in childbirth.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: Averted — he had an amulet from his mother, but threw it at a wall and smashed it. The player can find it after his foster father Arl Eamon painstakingly glued it back together and give it back as a gift, but it has no further relevance to the story.
  • Parental Abandonment: Repeatedly.
    • Both his mother and father weren't present in his upbringing, primarily due to reasons of death (or so he was told) and not being able to recognise him due to his illegitimacy.
    • After Arl Eamon married an Orlesian, who took an immediate dislike to him, Alistair was sent to a monastery.
    • And then Duncan, who was the closest thing he ever had to a real father, dies in the battle of Ostagar. If Alistair has abandonment issues, they're not hard to understand.
  • The Pig-Pen: According to Wynne, he smells just as bad as the dog (she asks the Warden to make them sleep on the same side of camp, opposite everyone else, to try to contain the stink). When he mentions being raised by flying dogs, telling him "That would explain the smell" will not hurt his approval of the Warden rating at all, and will actually open up a line of banter that increases it. This whole line of banter takes a turn for the tragic once the player learns that Arl Eamon used to make Alistair sleep in the kennels in order to keep him out of the way; to a small extent, he actually was raised by dogs.
  • Properly Paranoid: To the point where some of his dialogue may well be Foreshadowing.
    • His suspicions that Flemeth has ulterior motives for sending Morrigan with the party are completely correct.
    • If Alistair is king and meets with Hawke in DAII, he'll urge Hawke to continue protecting Kirkwall; Hawke may respond by asking him, "Protect Kirkwall from what, exactly?" Alistair expresses the opinion that Knight-Commander Meredith is probably the biggest threat to Kirkwall — and he's absolutely right.
  • Race Fetish: A very mild and benign version. While he greatly loves a Warden of any race, if a Dwarf or Elven Warden asks if he loves her even though she's not human, he half-laughs that it's especially because of that. Like father, like son.
  • Raised by Wolves: He jokes about this to the Warden if they get pushy before he's ready. He was raised by dogs. With wings. Who were devout Andrastians. And hated cheese. The Warden eventually learns that Arl Eamon had him sleep with the hounds as a child, so this actually isn't far from the truth.
  • Really Gets Around: Potentially. He can sleep with a female Warden, have a threesome with her and Isabela, sleep with Morrigan, and marry Anora (which implies getting some nookie as well) — all in the same playthrough. Not bad for a guy who started the game as a virgin.
  • Reluctant Ruler: Though he's the senior Grey Warden, he's not at all interested in being party leader. Despite, or perhaps because of, his lineage, Alistair is very clear that he does not want to be a leader. Nevertheless, if given the crown, he proves to be good at the job.
  • Required Party Member: Unlike the other humanoid companions, he cannot be made to leave the party if his approval drops to rock-bottom; and unlike Dog in most origins, his recruitment can't be skipped entirely. The only way to lose him is to recruit Loghain.
  • Revenge Before Reason: A heroic example. No matter how the player chooses to present the argument for needing more Wardens, Alistair never stays in the party if Loghain is recruited. And if the player wants to even have the option to consider recruiting Loghain, don't make Alistair the Warden's champion in the Landsmeet duel, because Alistair kills him.
  • Rousing Speech: Gives a damn good one to the Warden's army before the assault on Denerim, if the player makes him king (otherwise Anora gives one).
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: If Alistair becomes King at the Landsmeet, he makes it perfectly clear that he'll be on the front lines and leading the charge during the Battle of Denerim and the assault to take down the Archdemon.
  • Sad Clown: The game doesn't expect the player to be fooled, however; the Warden can outright say, "Is this the part where you deflect questions with humor?" and he responds, "I'd use my shield, but I think you'd actually see me hiding behind it." None of the other party members are fooled either, and his humor is often irritating to other people; Shale says as much outright.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Seeing as the series was heavily inspired by it, Alistair is one for Jon Snow from A Song of Ice and Fire. Each one is a bastard from a respected royal family who doesn't know who his mother is and who suffered mistreatment and neglect at the hands of their stepmother figure. Each one is offered the throne, and is part of a elite group that slowly is dying out but are vital to the survival of the world in the face of the reawakening ancient evil they were created to fight.
    • Also, with Buffy the Vampire Slayer serving as additional inspiration, it's possible that Alistair's jokey mannerisms and Butt-Monkey status were based on that of Xander Harris.
  • Shutting Up Now: Most obviously when the female Warden rejects his confession of love and when she's the one to suggest sex first. Each for different reasons.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Unlike Cailan, who merely thought himself the Warrior Prince, Alistair proves to actually be one.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: His romance with the Warden comes close to this, if Wynne and Morrigan are to be believed. Wynne doesn't seem to mind; Morrigan is another story.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: With this trope in mind, his romance is certainly one of the best-written ones for a female PC.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: When he acts silly, engaging him and being silly back is one surefire way to raise his approval.
  • Spare to the Throne: Unfortunately, he's a bastard, so he wasn't raised to the task. Needless to say, he's not happy about the idea of becoming king after being trained for something completely different and being quite forcefully assured that his illegitimate status would prevent the question.
  • Speed Sex: If romanced, it's implied to happen at least once in party banter with Zevran, who remarks at things just seemed to get going when all got quiet, and offers Alistair some herbs to help him last longer in bed. (A female Warden can also potentially tell Leliana during "girl talk" that Alistair tends to get too excited too quickly in bed.)
  • Survivor's Guilt: Much of Alistair's grief stems from guilt for have surviving Ostagar while all his fellow Grey Wardens died, especially Duncan. He often feels like he should have been there to protect them with his shield, or at least died fighting beside them. (The fact that he was singled out as a Spare to the Throne doesn't help.)
  • The Talk: Wynne starts giving him one when he begins an intimate relationship with the female PC. Once he realizes what she's going on about, he interrupts with a highly embarrassed "Andraste's flaming sword, I know where babies come from!" She delights in the fact that she gets him to blush. He grumbles that she's a bad person and he hates her, but it's obviously not true.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: While it isn't exactly difficult to keep Alistair alive, he's still the one character who has multiple opportunities to die for good in the series.
    • If you don't kill Loghain but also don't make him king, there's the possibility of him being executed.
    • If you don't undergo Morrigan's ritual, he can be the one to take one for the team (and Thedas) by killing the Archdemon.
    • And finally, if he stayed a Grey Warden, you have to decide between him dying or Hawke.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Jokingly admits to having "an unholy obsession with very fine cheeses." The fandom has kind of run away with this one.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: Oh yeah.
  • Undying Loyalty: Unlike all of the other companions besides Dog, Alistair will not leave the party even if his approval drops to the lowest possible value. The Warden can be the biggest jerkass in Ferelden and Alistair will be right by their side. He states at -100 approval that he feels he has no choice — he considered the Grey Wardens to be his family, and the Warden is all he has left. It's actually because Alistair is required for the Landsmeet, where he finally leaves if the Warden spares Loghain.
  • Unexpected Virgin: As a result of growing up in the Chantry and then being recruited directly from there into Ferelden's Grey Wardens (which currently have no female ranks before, potentially, the female Warden). Alistair is reluctant to talk about it (for understandable reasons), so this is treated as a minor revelation during his Romance Sidequest.
  • Uptown Girl: Unless the Warden is a Human Noble, this can present a problem for characters romancing him. If the player makes him King, the best non-Couslands can do is become his secret mistress, and that's only possible if the player has hardened him.
  • Warrior Prince: Unlike Cailan, he actually fits the warrior part as well as the prince.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • He lets the Warden have it if they resort to killing either Connor or Isolde to resolve the situation at Redcliffe instead of taking the third option, although he calms down and apologizes if the Warden figures out what Alistair is truly angry about and/or convinces him that they did the best they could.
    • He will also be outraged and immediately quit if the Warden chooses to spare Loghain, even though they are condemning him to death one way or the other by forcing him to do the Joining.
  • What's Up, King Dude?: If he is made king, the epilogue can potentially state that he frequents taverns, endearing him to the common folk.
  • The Wrongful Heir to the Throne: He sees himself as this.
  • Younger Than They Look: He looks and sounds to be in his mid-twenties to early thirties, but he's actually 20 at the start of the game. See Manchild above.

    Tropes In Dragon Age: Inquisition

"Yes, that was me. War, betrayal, darkspawn: all lots of fun and made for excellent stories, I'm sure."

If he was crowned King or remained a Grey Warden in Origins and survived, Alistair will return in Inquisition. As King, Alistair reappears only in the Mage plot and exiles Grand Enchanter Fiona from Ferelden; he also appears during a few war table missions. If still a Grey Warden, Alistair assists the Inquisitor as Hawke's informant on the Wardens.

  • Assassin Outclassin': The war table mission "Shadows Over Denerim" ends with him and Inquisition agents battling Venatori agents dressed as the Royal Palace's kitchen staff.
  • The Cameo: His appearance as king in the quest "In Hushed Whispers" is more or less this, since he doesn't appear again except through certain missions in the War Room.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He's grown even more snarky since the first game. It's a lot more evident if he remained with the Wardens. If asked what it's like being a Warden, his description is gold.
    Alistair: Oh, it's wonderful! You get fresh peaches delivered every morning, first choice of the village girls, and bunnies too!
  • Disappeared Dad: If he was chosen as the one to participate in Morrigan's Dark Ritual, he's this to his son, Kieran. Morrigan, having become kinder in the intervening years, has at least let her son know that his father is "a good man", feeling Alistair deserves that much. (She only mentions this, however, if Alistair is still a Grey Warden and they interact at Skyhold; otherwise, she merely tells the Inquisitor that Kieran's father will not be joining them.)
  • Dramatic Irony: He doesn't know that Grand Enchanter Fiona is his real mother, and when they part ways after the Redcliffe questline, it's on a decidedly negative note.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In the game trailer where Hawke is first seen, she's accompanied by a Grey Warden. Absolutely no one in the fandom realized that this was meant to be Alistair, until his character design was revealed later.
  • Good Is Not Soft: As King, he's willing to let the members of the mage rebellion take shelter in Redcliffe. Once they usurp his "sort-of uncle" under the direction of Alexius, however, he shows up in person to retake the village and kick them out of Ferelden for abusing his generosity.
  • The Good King: He offers the rebel mages shelter in Ferelden, out of a genuine desire to help them. It's only when they ally with the Venatori and kick out Arl Teagan that he puts his foot down and exiles them. He also is on board with the Inquisition far more readily than Empress Celene, requiring no direct intervention from the Inquisitor themselves due to a lack of obstinacy in dealing with Venatori infiltrators in his palace (his infiltration problem is dealt with in a War Table operation instead of in a big involved mission).
  • Happily Married: With a female Human Noble Warden if she married him in Origins. Could also possibly apply to Anora if Alistair married her instead; their union appears amicable at the very least, and they're clearly in agreement about things when they show up for their cameo in the mage questline.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: If chosen, Warden Alistair stays behind to fight and hold off the Nightmare so the Inquisitor, their party, and Hawke can escape during the trip to the Fade.
  • Hunk: Played straight, like in the first game.
  • I Will Wait for You: If romanced in Origins, he remains deeply in love with the Hero of Ferelden ten years later, and is impatient for her to return to his side. If he's king and she's his queen, a codex entry in the game notes that although he continues to be a good ruler and the people love him, they're also kind of worried about him (due to noticing how much he misses her).
  • Is That the Best You Can Do?: After the Nightmare hits him with a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, this is his reaction.
    Alistair: Is that all it's got? I've heard worse than that from Morrigan!
  • Like Father, Like Son: If the player had Alistair perform the Dark Ritual with Morrigan in Origins, then he has an estranged son just like Maric and Fiona had him. For bonus points, if Alistair is a Warden and the Inquisitor completes "Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts" before "Here Lies The Abyss", then Fiona, Alistair, Morrigan, and Kieran can all be at Skyhold at the same time, and Fiona opts not to make herself known to Alistair the same way Alistair opts not to make himself known to Kieran.
  • Missed Him by That Much: Depending on the world state and order of main quest completion, it's possible for Warden Alistair, his mother Fiona, Morrigan, and his son Kieran to all be in Skyhold at the same time. Alistair doesn't know Fiona is his mother, Kieran doesn't know Alistair is his father, Fiona most likely doesn't know Kieran is her grandson and vice-versa, and neither parent approaches their estranged child despite having the opportunity.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: If he's still a Grey Warden, he'll object to Warden-Commander Clarel's plan to end all Blights by using Blood Magic and Human Sacrifice to summon a demon army. Unfortunately, this means he's labelled a traitor and hunted by his fellows.
  • Reluctant Ruler: Just like before, Alistair still prefers letting others lead if he remained a Grey Warden. The Nightmare mocks him for his tendency to pass the buck to other people and then asks him who he'll hide behind this time. If he survives the trip to the Fade, he's forced to lead the Orlesian Grey Wardens despite this.
    • Averted if he's king. He's an excellent ruler and beloved by his people, taking his duty seriously while still being the glib goofball we remember.
  • Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: If he's a Warden, he's slightly annoyed when people bring up his involvement in the Fifth Blight.
    The Inquisitor: You were there, weren't you? You helped fight the Archdemon?
    Alistair: Oh, Maker, I'm going to be answering that question for the rest of my life. Yes, I was there. The Archdemon was big. The Hero of Ferelden was brave...
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: While Warden Alistair and Hawke get along fine at first, Hawke's frustration at the Grey Wardens, the order's use of blood magic to summon demons, and the revelation that Corypheus used several Wardens to help sacrifice the Divine and open the Breach ultimately lead Hawke to lash out at Alistair. While Hawke also chews out Stroud and Loghain, Alistair takes it a lot more personally — the Wardens are like his family.
  • Uncertain Doom: If chosen to hold off the Nightmare in the Fade to give the others time to escape, he's never seen actually dying. Adding to the uncertainty, the in-game text for making the decision even says whoever holds off the Nightmare will "probably" die.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • If the mages are recruited and he is king, he gives one to Fiona (still not knowing what she actually is to him). Outraged that she took advantage of his hospitality to bring a Tevinter cult into the country, he immediately banishes the rebel mages from Ferelden. In a later petition for aid in disposing of a Venatori infiltration in his palace, he prefaces with an apology for how things went in Redcliffe Castle, regretting not letting Fiona at least say her piece.
    • If he is still a Warden, Alistair calls Hawke out during the trip to the Fade for what happened in Kirkwall.
  • You Are in Command Now: If he makes it out of the Fade, he'll be the most senior Warden present and will take command of the Orlesian Grey Wardens. This is quite a big step for someone who pointedly didn't even want to lead the party as the most senior Warden in Origins.



First Appearance: Dragon Age: Origins
Voiced by: Claudia Black

    Tropes In Dragon Age: Origins
Disapproval imminent.

"Apparently everyone seems to agree that a Blight is the perfect time to start killing each other. Marvelous, really."

Morrigan is a Lady of Black Magic and the daughter of Flemeth, the mysterious Witch of the Wilds. She is forced to join the party by her own mother for reasons that are very unclear at first. Shale's nickname for her is "The Swamp Witch." She is a romance option for a male Warden.

  • Absolute Cleavage: Her tope, being a simple cloth hung in a U-shape over her breasts, combines this with Sideboobs.
  • Abusive Parents: She was raised by Flemeth who was emotionally abusive. Particularly heartbreaking is the story of how as a young girl she stole a golden mirror, as she had never been given beautiful gifts, only practical ones. She ran back to the Wilds with it held tightly in her hands for fear she would drop it, only for Flemeth to find out and smash it against a wall. If you take Morrigan into the Fade in the Broken Circle Quest, she reveals that physical abuse was not uncommon in her childhood as well, when she indicates that the Flemeth in the Fade is a better imitation of her mother after slapping her.
  • All Amazons Want Hercules: While not physically an Amazon, Morrigan does have a wildly independent and Social Darwinist personality, valuing strength and power. Accordingly, the only characters she expresses interest in are a male Warden and Sten. While the former is subject to change, they're generally strong-willed and very competent, with decisive personalities, while the latter displays both incredible mental and physical strength. This keeps with the spirit of the trope, that strong women are only interested in stronger men. Played With when you consider her magic, which makes her the more powerful member of the pairing. Anything less than a man of extreme physical and mental strength or toughness would be a mere plaything to her magics.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: A gender-flipped example if the Warden romances her. Goes both ways if the Warden is morally ambiguous himself, although more noble-minded Wardens can win her over as well. She tends to get irritated if the Warden gravitates towards the more decent and upstanding options than the pragmatic and unscrupulous ones, though the player being nice to her and providing her with gifts can also do the trick.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: A tall, slim, gorgeous pale-skinned brunette who is detached, stand-offish and aloof to the point of hostility to everyone except for befriended or romanced Warden.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Likely due to her upbringing, she displays several signs consistent with Antisocial Personality Disorder.
  • Animal Motifs: Being a Shapeshifter, this is to be expected:
    • Shale comments that Morrigan resembles a bird, particularly the way she gazes at people. She also has a rather magpie-ish interest in jewelry.
    • Some have compared her attitude to that of a cat.
    • Sten knows a viper when he sees one.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: She passes through an Eluvian to a place that is neither Thedas nor the Fade. It is impossible to know at this time if this is simply another dimension, or another Plane of Existence.
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: The most ruthless and unpleasant of the companions, she starts off with spells tilted toward destroying things and screwing with people's minds.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: A female Warden or a male Warden who doesn't romance her can be the first friend Morrigan has ever had in her entire life. Build up her regard properly, and her loyalty is powerful. The following conversation was triggered by a male Warden who did not romance her until the completion of her Personal Quest and triggering this conversation.
    Morrigan: "I am aware that I have…little talent for forming friendships. To put it lightly. ‘Tis something I know nothing of, nor ever thought I needed. Yet when I discovered Flemeth’s plans, you did not abandon me. Whatever your reasons you fought what must have been a terrible battle without hope of real reward."
    Morrigan: Even so, you went, no one has ever… ‘twas unexpected, that is all. The extent of my usefulness does not explain the interest and kindness you have shown since the Wilds. You could as easily have ignored me entirely, yet you did not."
    Morrigan: You will need to forgive me for speaking so awkwardly…but do you suppose that we have become friends, you and I? I have nothing to compare it to.
  • Beneath the Mask: Underneath her confidence and cold exterior, Morrigan is an isolated and lonely woman, being an emotional and physical abuse survivor at the hands of her mother Flemeth. She yearns for connection and fears rejection, even if she has been taught that such closeness is dangerous.
  • Berserk Button: Morrigan greatly values freedom and hates it when people are imprisoned, such as Sten and Jowan. Those who willingly submit to imprisonment — such as the Circle of Magi — earn even more of her contempt. Also, as a Vain Sorceress, she has another fear:
    Morrigan: You... do not truly think I look as my mother does, do you?
    Alistair: Have you really been thinking about that all this time?
    Morrigan: I am simply curious.
    Alistair: And not insecure in the slightest, I'm sure.
    Morrigan: I think I look nothing like her.
    Alistair: I don't know. Give it a few hundred years and it'll be a spot-on match.
    Morrigan: I said that I look nothing like her!
    Alistair: All right. Got it. Totally different. I see that now.
  • Betty and Veronica: The Veronica to Leliana's Betty, as far as female love interests go.
  • Black Widow: She tends to respond to men hitting on her with threats of this sort. Like mother, like daughter.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: She attempts to invoke this with a male Warden who romances her, straight up begging him to say he doesn't love her at one point.
  • Broken Bird: She has the detached, cynical personality, the troubled backstory, and the dark Gothic look. This is further reinforced by the mirror story, as well as some of her other dialogue, which suggests that Morrigan is secretly desperate for a connection with the outside world, but she doesn't know how to go about it after years of Flemeth's abusive upbringing. This is especially evident when romancing her as a male Warden, who's able to break down some of her walls and expose her vulnerability. For male Wardens who opt to not romance her until the completion of her personal quest, she would reveal that she had never thought it possible to be cared for beyond what she can offer, beyond her sexual beauty. This conversation could also initiate a romance with Morrigan for male Wardens.
    Morrigan: I have been with men physically, those who lusted after me and even professed love…but friendship with a man? I did not know ‘twas even possible."
    Morrigan: Tell me, could there ever be anything more… between you and I? Have you ever considered it?
  • Byronic Hero: She has troubled past, high intelligence and unique(magic) skills, doesn't fit in with society, and is highly complicated, passionate, and strong-willed, while also remaining sympathetic.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Immediately after initiating a relationship with a male Warden, she will repeatedly and in no uncertain terms tell him that they don't want any sort of romantic connection and that, in particular, she "[has] no designs on [his] independence." All lies. She'll tear the Warden a new one if she catches him trying to seduce other women or carrying on a relationship with another companion.
  • Country Mouse: A more sardonic version as Morrigan is often confused by Thedas outside of Lothering and has no idea how to act appropriately. While she does treat large cities like Denerim with contempt she also likes fancy things such as jewelry which she couldn't get hold of out in the wilds.
  • Damsel Errant: She serves this role at the end of Witch Hunt, particularly if a romanced male Warden chooses to follow her through the Eluvian.
  • Dark Is Evil: She has black hair and wears black/dark violet garb, and is the Token Evil Teammate. When the Warden first encounters Morrigan, she muses about whether they'll immediately assume she's evil because she's one of the Witches of the Wilds. Once she's spent a little time on the team, she turns out to have a nasty Darwinist streak and in the endgame it is revealed that she's been assigned to help the Wardens solely to perform a dark ritual and capture the soul of the Archdemon for purposes unknown.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Beneath her dark veneer, Morrigan is one of the more innocent and naive characters, having only ventured out of the wilds a few times and never truly interacting with anyone other than Flemeth. Moreover, her beliefs are a result of Flemeth conditioning her to think and act in this way. By the end of Witch Hunt, she's had enough time to defrost a little.
  • Deadpan Snarker: And she hates Alistair. Thus their banter is highly snarky.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: If the Warden romances Morrigan, this trope is upheld in classic style for most of the trip and then subverted all to hell when Morrigan panics at actually feeling something for the Warden, and immediately cuts him off and frantically retreats back into her snarky persona. The Witch Hunt DLC can end with the male Warden leaving Ferelden with Morrigan to see their son, making this a Double Subversion.
  • Depending on the Artist: Her facial structure tends to vary between official depictions. Compare this in-game screenshot with these two illustrations. She looks like an older version of her Origins self in Inquisition, which makes perfect sense since ten years have passed.
  • Deus Sex Machina: In order to defeat the Archdemon, the Warden needs to either concieve a child with her or make one of their companions do it.
  • Disappeared Dad: Her biological father is unknown, but is heavily implied to have been of Chasind origin, reinforced by the fact that more than one character has pointed out that she resembles a Chasind. Given Flemeth's penchant for killing her lovers, it's unlikely he survived the encounter.
  • Druid: She is a Witch of the Wilds and can shapeshift into animals by "copying their soul", or so she claims in a dialogue with Shale. However, she doesn't care for such notions as balance, and while not fond of cities, she doesn't go on about it. Though she's a Social Darwinist, she doesn't go out of her way to try to get anyone killed but Flemeth, and that only after she realizes that Flemeth's working on killing her.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: The first half of which is odd, considering she has spent most of her life outdoors, and Alistair outright says she "looks Chasind" during her introduction — a racial minority of the Korcari Wilds who are everywhere else shown to be dark-skinned.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Morrigan immediately expresses disgust that Sten has been caged like an animal in Lothering to serve as darkspawn chow by the "mercy" of the Chantry. Although he did kill innocent people, being captured by the darkspawn is one of the most horrible fates imaginable in the game and one that nobody deserves.
    • If the player chooses to send her into the Fade to free Connor, it's revealed that even she wouldn't make a deal with the Demon, although this has less to do with standards and more with the fact that she knows nothing good can come out of doing so.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Providing she is romanced, she falls deeply in love with the Warden and cares for him very much. She is heartbroken when she has to leave him to pursue her agenda.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: The very idea of acting altruistically seems to be both alien and offensive to her for most of her time in the group, presumably due to Flemeth's teachings.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • To Wynne. Both are powerful mages, but Wynne is a kind and pious healer from the Circle of Magi who conforms to its norms, while Morrigan is a cynical combat mage who can shapeshift into a Giant Spider or a bear and a Witch of the Wilds who despises the Circles and the Chantry.
    • To a heroic Mage Warden, who tries to save Thedas while Morrigan pursues her own agenda.
  • Femme Fatale: She is attractive, mysterious and morally ambigous. She has a two-part banter with Sten in which they speak about the Qunari act, and often talks about women only needing to bat their eyelashes to get men to do what they want. Double subverted because she doesn't actively try to seduce the male Warden until the end when she states that he should lay with her to perform the Dark Ritual.
  • First Girl Wins: She's the first female companion to be recruited, and if the Warden is male, she's a romance option.
  • Freudian Excuse: She was raised in the wilderness away from society, and the only person around was her mother who was distant and emotionally abusive, and taught her to survive by any means necessary.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: And vice versa. The only people who get along with her to any degree are Zevran, the Dog, and possibly the Warden themselves.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: When the Warden asks about her shapeshifting magic, she says that she's studied many of the creatures of the Korcari Wilds and learned to assume their forms. When she joins the party, however, the only shapeshifting form she's learned is Giant Spider. Justified as being the only form she finds useful in combat — the form of a bird (which she mentions) and a wolf (which the player may witness) aren't strong enough for her purposes.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: She's a Lady of Black Magic who mostly wears purple and black. Violet is often emphasized with her in official artist's depictions, as well as occasionally being the color of her magic.
  • Hates Being Touched: When it comes to simple greetings, Morrigan is not a handshake person; she doesn't in the least understand the need for it. This doesn't include more intimate touching — of all the possible lovers, she requires the least amount of approval to get her to sleep with the Warden. Though considering what her plans are, she wouldn't need to like the Warden to start sleeping with him.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Not so much in the reasons for her non-belief, but in that her atheism goes along with being selfish, misanthropic, and actively contemptuous of religious people.
  • Hot Witch: Lampshaded, not that it's all that unusual for the setting.
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You: Her relationship with a romanced male Warden.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: According to some dialogue that didn't make it into the retail game but can be accessed on the PC via mods, Morrigan's very loud during sex:
    Leliana: So you're saying you're wild and uninhibited? I suppose he must like your shrieking, you sound like a genlock being murdered — a sweet, sweet sound to a Grey Warden. You should try a little harder next time he takes you. I don't think they heard you in the Anderfels.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Her blouse is loose and draping from the shoulders and down the front, yet has a laced cinch at the back. It's possible, but difficult to make and impractical to wear. The Robes of Possession (which presumably belong to Flemeth) share the same design.
  • Informed Attribute: It's said she "looks Chasind" despite the fact that the Chasind are dark-skinned and she is very much not.
  • In Love with the Mark: Her romance arc with a male Warden in a nutshell. She meant to get impregnated by the Warden, not to fall in love with him! If you completed Morrigan's Personal Quest at +75 Approval without romancing her, it would trigger a conversation where she reveals that she was, at minimum, intrigued by the Warden even before Flemeth started her plans upon meeting the four Warden recruits. In that same conversation, you could also initiate a romance.
    Morrigan: I am reminded of our first meeting in the Wilds, I had been in animal form for some time, watching your progress.
    Morrigan: I knew immediately that you were far more formidable than the other men you travelled with. I found you intriguing.
  • Ineffectual Loner: Morrigan's not a people person. Her tent is placed away from all the others in the camp, and she has her own private campfire where only the Warden bothers to visit her.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Morrigan tries to hide it behind a tough exterior; but after the Warden kills Flemeth (or claims to have done so), she will thank him for taking the time to befriend and possibly romance her, despite her more unpleasant nature.
  • Insufferable Genius: According to Alistair, who tries to use a Chantry-related question to mock her for it.
  • Jerkass: She is a cynical and snarky Social Darwinist. The only people who seem to get along with her are Zevran, Dog, and the Warden themselves.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Inverted since she's The Vamp. She's horrified when she realizes that she has developed actual feelings for the Warden if the player pursues a romance with her.
  • Lady of Black Magic: A shapeshifter who is well-spoken and cunning—and evil. Listed as one of the few characters with "High" intelligence, her biography notes that she favors a look of wild elegance. She's the most ruthlessly pragmatic member of the party, uses destructive magic spells, and NPCs often comment she's very beautiful.
  • Laugh of Love: She will giggle on occasion if romanced by the Warden, and with a high approval rating (which is very unlike her).
  • Licked by the Dog: By Dog, of course. In Witch Hunt, she's actually rather pleased at how happy he is to see her. In-game dialogues indicates that Morrigan sneaks treats to Dog when he begs despite her repeatedly insisting that she would not give him anything.
    Morrigan: "I know it was you rooting in my pack, mongrel."
    Dog: (Innocent whine)
    Morrigan: "Who else? Alistair? He's a likely suspect, I admit, but no."
    Dog: (Bows head shamefully)
    Morrigan: "I notice you avoided the hemlock."
    Dog: (Happy bark!)
    Morrigan: "Yes, yes, very clever. Next time I will disguise it more carefully."
    Dog: (Sad eyes)
    Morrigan: "Do not even try it! I would not give you a biscuit had I one."
    Dog: (Sadder eyes)
    Morrigan: "Oh... very well. But tell no one.
  • Longest Pregnancy Ever: If the Warden sleeps with her early in the game, and don't do it again later, in Witch Hunt the player will find out she bore the Warden's son. He isn't the OGB, but still. The pregnancy lasted all of Origins and never ever showed...
  • Love Hurts: If the male PC is romancing Morrigan, there is no way to get a traditionally happy ending, no matter what you do. If you don't take her up on her offer at the end, she leaves the party immediately. If you do comply with her plan, she vanishes anyway after the final battle. The Witch Hunt DLC does allow the romanced Warden to enter the Eluvian with her and raise their children together.
  • Love Interest: A possibility for a male Warden.
  • Love Is a Weakness:
    • Morrigan has a conversation with Leliana where where she expresses with venom her feelings that love is a cancer; she doesn't want to love the Warden, as it only complicates her plan, and begs him to leave her be or tell her that he doesn't love her.
    • When reuniting with a romanced Warden in Witch Hunt, she points out the ironic role-reversal:
      Morrigan: And you once argued with me that "love is not a weakness"...
  • Love Redeems: Averted. She notices that a romance does soften her up and desperately backpedals into her old bitchiness out of fear of such unfamiliar feelings. The trope is then potentially played straight at the end of Witch Hunt.
    • Wynne invokes this in banter with Alistair when they discuss the Warden's relationship with Morrigan. While Alistair believes she will lead him astray, Wynne points out that he may be a good influence on her.
    • Morrigan's personality during her appearance in Dragon Age: Inquisition depends heavily on whether or not the Warden took the time to befriend her in Origins. If she was befriended, and especially if she was romanced, she behaves with much more warmth and compassion.
  • Meaningful Name: The Morrigan was a shapeshifting Celtic deity of war and death, but she averts the trope, since the lead writer said that Morrigan is named after a character of a friend of his and all similarities with the Celtic goddess are coincidental, as they are with Morgan le Fay.
    • Seems the outfit designers didn't get that memo. The crow feathers on her shoulder are symbolic of the other Morrigan.
    • In-universe, she seems to be named after a legendary Avvar warlord famed for her powers of seduction as well as her skills as a fighter. Given what Flemeth sent her to do, this was probably an intentional reference on her part.
  • Merlin and Nimue: Her relationship with a more heroic male Mage Warden often has this vibe.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Morrigan is a Hot Witch with one of the most revealing costumes in the game. Her default outfit alone doesn't leave much of her top to the imagination, exposing both her cleavage and sideboob. And combine that with her sultry voice and accent...
  • Nature Hero: An unconventional Evil Counterpart of the standard version. Instead of a kindly Friend to All Living Things, she lacks compassion for anything barring a scant few exceptions, embraces social Darwinism, and doesn't hesitate to resort to murder if someone gets in her way. She's Nature Is Not Nice personified.
  • No Social Skills: She is largely tactless and ignorant of/annoyed by social mores; she considers shaking hands an offensive breach of her personal space, for example. This is because she was raised in the wilds, largely forbidden to interact with outside world.
  • No Sympathy: A big part of her character. Morrigan just doesn't do empathy. She may surprise the player every now and then, however — once befriended, she genuinely cares about the Warden and their feelings, expressing sympathy over their mother's death or having girl talk with a female Warden.
  • No, You: Notably in one of her conversations with Alistair:
    Alistair: So let's talk about your mother, for a moment...
    Morrigan: I'd rather talk about your mother.
    Alistair: But there's nothing to talk ab— And besides, isn't your mother a scary witch who lives in the middle of a forest? Much more interesting.
    Morrigan: To you, perhaps. You would find the moss growing upon a stone interesting.
  • Not Good with People: She freely admits that due to her time in the Korcari Wilds, she's better at understanding animals than people.
  • Not So Different:
  • Potentially can be seen as this to a Mage Warden. The Mage Warden was trapped in the Circle Tower for many years under the watchful eyes of Templars who molded the Warden into the type of Mage they deemed acceptable; in contrast, Morrigan was trapped in the Korcari Wilds for years under the watchful eyes of Flemeth, who molded her into the Mage she wanted. Both can thus be seen as somewhat naive when it comes to the outside world at large. Morrigan herself seems somewhat surprised when the Mage Warden admits to finding the Circle sometimes suffocating and actually believes the traditions of magic she learnt are worth preserving and would be willing to learn them, unlike the Chantry puppets she assumed Circle Mages to be who foolishly live under the thumb of Templars without question.
  • She can also be this to a Dalish Warden; both were raised in isolation from the strange human world they find themselves in, both can find themselves thus feeling like a Fish out of Water, both will likely feel some resentment towards the Chantry, and both were raised to respect lost magic and history. However, while the Dalish Warden was raised by their loving clan and taught to support their clanmates, Morrigan was raised by Flemeth and taught to look out only for herself.
  • In the Witch Hunt DLC, she appears surprisingly sympathetic and nice, and seems actually surprised and sad if the Warden decides to kill her. She even says that she is sorry for everything.
  • Odd Friendship: Any friendship she forms, given her complete lack of social skills. It's especially notable with a more heroic male Warden who does not romance her.
    • Only Friend: If the Warden is female and grows close to Morrigan, Morrigan will admit that the Warden is the first friend she's ever had and that she views the Warden almost as a sister.
  • Pet the Dog: Get a high enough affinity with her, and she'll apologize to the Warden for her jerkass tendencies and say that she appreciates their friendship.
    • At the Lothering Chantry, should the player ask for the revered mother's blessing, she will respectfully kneel along with the rest of the party. Contrast this with her usual dismissive attitude towards the Chantry and religious belief in general.
    • She expresses her condolences to a non-Magi Warden if the latter tells her the truth about the fate of their mother (dead, or in the Dwarf Commoner's case, a "useless drunk").
    • Near the endgame, either Alistair or Loghain will ask Morrigan on whether the child she'll conceive from the dark ritual will be a threat to Ferelden in the future, to which she assures them with honesty that it won't be the case.
    • In Witch Hunt, she practically does this literally. When the Warden finally catches up to her, both she and Dog are quite happy to see each other and she even cracks a rare smile.
  • Please Dump Me: One of the conversations in the romance line.
  • Pre-Climax Climax: With the PC, Alistair, or Loghain, potentially.
  • Pregnant Badass: She can potentially be in the earliest stages of pregnancy if the Dark Ritual is performed or if she spends the night with the Warden on the eve of the Battle of Denerim.
  • Raised as a Host: After finding Flemeth's grimoire she becomes convinced this was her mother's intent for her, since Flemeth has apparently been raising her daughters, teaching them magic and then taking over their bodies when her own gets to be too old. Morrigan then asks you to kill Flemeth for her. Exactly how true this is remains ambiguous until Inquisition. Another of Flemeth's daughters named Yavana from The Silent Grove calls Flemeth's possession "a gift" and Morrigan - a "poor, confused child.". Although the interpretation is left in the air considering Flemeth did have Robes of Possession hidden in her hut which can be equipped only by Morrigan and were described in the game files as designed to sap Morrigan's will and ease the ancient sorceress's possession of her daughter
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: She has pale skin and black hair, and NPCs often comment that she's very beautiful.
  • Sarcastic Devotee: As much as she snarks at both the Warden and the other companions, and as easy as it is to earn her disapproval by doing anything heroic or altruistic (even if the motivation for it is completely pragmatic), it's actually pretty difficult to piss her off to the point that she'll leave the party. Furthermore, there is no single choice in the game that will cause her to leave if mishandled, which (with the exception of Dog) is not the case for any of the other companions. This is perhaps because she has a reason for following the Warden besides helping them fight the Blight.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Leaves the party right before the final battle if the Warden refuses the Dark Ritual.
  • Sequel Hook: You just know the child she conceives by one of the Wardens at the end is going to show up again. And of course, he does — in Inquisition.
  • Shared Unusual Trait: Just like her mother Flemeth, she possesses striking golden eyes.
  • Shoo the Dog: If she and the Warden are intimate, the Warden has saved her from Flemeth, and her approval is above 90%, she gets desperate to get him to break up with her, down to flat out begging him to say he doesn't love her.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: She's a witch with golden eyes that she got from her mother.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: When in a romance with a male Warden, she will give him a ring. She quickly denies any real sentimental value behind it, stating that its purpose is to allow her to track the Warden if they get separated. If the Warden presses her more on the subject, she'll get more and more flustered.
  • The Smart Guy: Morrigan is one of the smartest members in the Warden's group and she knows it.
  • Social Darwinist: Flemeth raised her to be a pretty severe example of this. As a result, Morrigan believes that people who can't solve their own problems without help are worth less than nothing. It actually explains many of Morrigan's more Stupid Evil tendencies. Perhaps the best example is in the "Broken Circle" quest, where she insists the Warden should leave the Mages to their fate, claiming that their current plight is their own fault, for a) agreeing to be caged in the Tower in the first place and b) not being strong enough to stop Uldred before things got out of hand.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: This can happen if a male PC romances her, but refuses to make love to her before the final battle as part of her "dark ritual". If he slays the Archdemon himself, he will die. However, the epilogue states that she is pregnant with their child, who was conceived at some point beforehand.
  • Stalker with a Test Tube: Her real reason for joining the party is that she needs to become pregnant by a Grey Warden in order to complete a dark ritual.
  • The Starscream: To Flemeth, albeit out of self-defense rather than ambition.
  • Stripperific: Her default costume. Although every human female in Thedas shares the same body type, Morrigan is the only one who can wear it.
  • Stupid Evil: Often falls into this. She seems to take the position that helping others is universally wrong, even if such aid is explicitly rendered solely on the condition of later repayment (and even if the person being helped is absolutely critical to stopping the Blight).
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Morrigan falls into this when she realises she's actually started to fall in love with the Warden.
    • She emphatically insists that just because she gave a ring to a romanced Warden, which was part of a set, and the rings are magically bonded, the gesture does not have any kind of deeper meaning... Yeah, right!
  • Teacher/Student Romance: If a Mage Warden has Morrigan teach him Shapeshifting, then romances her.
  • The Tease: Toward a male Warden, Sten, and even occasionally Alistair.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Unlike Zevran or Shale, who (with some exceptions) merely fail to object when the Warden does "evil" things, Morrigan actively disapproves of acting selflessly and helping others.
  • Too Many Belts: Her default outfit features a skirt that appears to be made out of rags and strips of cloth stitched together with belts.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Can take one over the course of Origins if befriended by the Warden. Similarly, despite her constant irritation at the Dog, she broadly smiles upon seeing him again at the end of Witch Hunt.
  • Troll: A large portion of her in-game banter with other companions is this, particularly with Sten.
    Sten: Paarshara! Why do you pester me?
    Morrigan: Because 'tis amusing, that is why.
  • Tsundere: Oh yes. Type A, mostly tsuntsun, but being nice to her and/or romancing her brings out the deredere (as much as she is capable of, anyway). If the player gets her approval high enough, she even apologises for her behaviour in a very roundabout Tsundere-ish manner.
  • Tyke-Bomb: One of many raised by Flemeth. Unusually, she ends up defusing herself to a certain extent, planning Flemeth's death the moment she realises her end use; it's not until Witch Hunt that she finally slips her leash altogether, though. Temporarily, anyway.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Played with with her shapeshifting.
    • Her shapeshifting powers sound cool in theory, but in practice are nearly useless as they don't enhance her combat ability all that much, take far too long to activate, and prevent her from using her other spells. Although her swarm form is easily the quickest method of moving around, it does require that you don't mind the other three characters trailing a mile and a half behind you.
    • Building Morrigan into a tank-mage with the Arcane Warrior specialization, however, makes her shapechanging powers much more useful. She can kite, she can tank, she can beat down opponents in melee, and she can do everything an Arcane Warrior does. The only problem with Shapeshift is the same problem with any other skill: if the player doesn't develop it and learn how and when to use it properly, it won't be useful.
  • Vain Sorceress: Morrigan is a magpie when it comes to jewelry. The gifts that boost her approval most (aside from the golden mirror and her mother's grimoire) are pieces of jewelry.
  • The Vamp: Played with for male Wardens. Morrigan fully intends to play this trope straight when she joins the Grey Warden, and every member of the party is certain that this is what she is, but how it all comes down depends on the player. If the Warden romances her, she begins to panic when she actually starts to feel something for the Warden. Several times, she tries to warn or mock him in order to force him to break up with her. If you don't listen, she only becomes more upset and flat out begs him to say he doesn't love her. And then, in the ending, she uses him for her own purposes, regardless of what her feelings may be.note 
  • Verbal Tic: Almost all of her dialogue is spoken in a sing-song rhythmic style, which is not that noticeable at first but becomes far more apparent the more the player talks to her. She also has a noticeable fondness for the word "'tis". and she uses the "over" instead of "too", as in "overlong and "overmuch".
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Her specialization. She can only be persuaded to teach it, however, if her approval is not too high; she has to have a sort of lukewarm opinion of the Warden in order to be willing to share her knowledge.
  • Voodoo Doll: Her Feastday Pranks DLC gift is an Alistair voodoo doll which has a variety of effects on the poor guy.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Male Wardens who romance her can ask her whether her desire to birth an old god baby was the reason she entered their relationship. She says no.
  • What Does He See in Her?: She'll pretty much ask a male Warden this word for word if he chooses to romance Leliana instead of her. The other companions say the same thing for a male Warden who does romance her.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: The very concept of forming attachments to others confuses and terrifies her. She's quite disdainful of "sentiment", so the fact that she becomes genuinely fond of the romanced Warden drives her crazy, although she's not visibly distressed by the platonic affection she can develop for a non-romanced Warden.

    Tropes In Dragon Age: Inquisition

"The magic of old must be preserved. No matter how feared."

After her disappearance through the Eluvian in Dragon Age: Origins, Morrigan returns in Dragon Age: Inquisition. She has become the Arcane Advisor to Empress Celene of Orlais, and she is assigned to the Inquisition as the liaison. Though not a party member, she plays an important role in the story.

  • Action Mom: In the case that Kieran exists.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: She spends most of her time seeking out ancient artifacts and exploring prehistoric magical sites in search for arcane relics and secrets such as eluvians.
  • Agent Scully: Acts as one, especially towards Solas, at the temple of Mythal. She dismissed the supposed godhood of the Elven Gods while trying to find logical explanation for whatever mystical and arcane things happening during the reign of Elvhenan.
  • The Bus Came Back: Morrigan, who hasn't been seen since Origins (and the Witch Hunt DLC), finally returns in Inquisition.
  • Breaking the Cycle of Bad Parenting: If the player slept with Morrigan and/or allowed her to undergo a "ritual" in Dragon Age: Origins, she will return 10 years later in Inquisition with a son. Regardless of the partnership or circumstances (whether she conceived the child with her One True Love, whether the boy is the reincarnation of an Old God and whether or not she and the father raised the boy together), Morrigan loves her son and is very protective of him. If the boy IS a reincarnation, during the course of the game, he will be abducted by Morrigan's mother, Flemeth, and Morrigan will do everything she can to get him back. She says this is because she's determined to not be the sort of mother to him that Flemeth was to her. Flemeth is visibly hurt by that statement, and then takes the Old God soul from Kieran before giving him back to his mother, almost as if in apology.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Absolutely lets Flemeth have it when they meet again in the Fade, especially if Morrigan has Kieran, and thus tells her that for all her faults, Morrigan will never be the kind of mother Flemeth was.
  • Character Development: Massively since the events of Origins, particularly if she and the Hero of Ferelden had a child, and whether she has a child regardless of the father's identity.
  • Education Mama: Mildly as while she's not oppressive about it, she insists Kieran keep up with his studies, mostly as a way to keep him out of trouble.
  • Evil Chancellor: To Celene, in the eyes of the court, since she brings with her a view of magic untainted by Andrastianism. Some believe she has enthralled Celene with Blood Magic, but others dismiss the claim since an enthralled Celene likely wouldn't argue with Morrigan as often as she does.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The one who drinks from the Well of Sorrows is bound to serve Mythal/Flemeth for all eternity. While Flemeth seems willing to let them go free, it's going to be hanging over them for the rest of their life... and afterlife. After meeting Flemeth, Morrigan will either express regret at drinking from the Well or relief if the Inquisitor did so instead.
  • Foil: To Vivienne. They are both mages advising the Empress, but one is conservative and Orlesian at her core, while the other is an apostate who despises the High Court and the Circle. For her part, Vivienne resents Morrigan as an upstart apostate who appeared out of nowhere and quickly gained political power that she herself worked years to gain.
  • Foreshadowing/Call-Back: One epilogue slide in Origins stated a woman matching Morrigan's description was seen several years later in Orlais, having insinuated herself within the Empress' court. As of Inquisition, this is exactly what happens.
    • Her outfit serves as something of a Brick Joke to Origins, being almost exactly like the one that Leliana described as wanting to see her in if they went clothes shopping together. Leliana actually questions her about this. Morrigan will admit that Kieran picked it out, if Kieran exists.
  • The Good Chancellor: What she actually is. During the Winter Palace arc, she does her part to save Celene's life.
  • Good Parents: Very much so. She genuinely cares for her son and wants to give him a better life than she had.
  • Happily Married: If romanced, her relationship to the Warden is all but stated to be this. His letter to the Inquisitor even outright calls her and Kieran "my family", and she refers to him as "my Warden".
  • Humble Pie: Her conversation with Flemeth within the Fade is an especially humbling experience for her. As she says, sometimes she needs to be reminded that she doesn't know everything.
  • Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance: She learns a harsh lesson in this, this time around. The Temple of Mythal and its fallout is a particularly humiliating experience for her.
  • Impractically Fancy Outfit: Averted. Her character kit mentions that Morrigan designed her outfit to be fashionable enough to fit in with Orlesian nobility, but had enough flexibility to cast spells at any Bards she'd encounter in the Decadent Court.
  • Love Hurts: If imported as the lover of a Warden who made the Ultimate Sacrifice but still conceived a son with her, this is more or less her reaction when Alistair, if alive and a Grey Warden, asks about him.
    Alistair: At least you have Kieran.
    Morrigan: (quietly) I could have had them both.
  • The Magic Comes Back: Morrigan's goal once she learns about the Well of Sorrows. She believes the Well's power could be used to restore ancient magics to Thedas, taking away some of the 'mundanity' of the world.
  • Mama Bear: Morrigan will protect her son from anything, even a Physical God.
  • The Mistress: Technically, she will have this role if the Human Noble Warden impregnated her, but married Anora in Origins. However, if the Warden helped her raise Kieran, he and Morrigan make it clear that she is the favorite and his true love.
  • My Greatest Failure: If she did not do the Dark Ritual with the Warden and was not romanced, she says that parting on bad terms with the Warden is her greatest regret.
  • No Name Given: In keeping with the writing style of Failbetter Games, her appearances in The Last Court only refer to her as "The Scornful Sorceress."
  • Not So Above It All: Provided she was romanced (and joined) by a male Warden in the first game, contacting him in Inquisition has her express mild gratitude about Leliana having not opened the note intended just for her — as its contents would likely make even an Orlesian blush.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Well, just look at her Inquisition trope image.
    • That's while wearing her outfit during the Winter Palace ball — afterward, she's seen in her old familiar outfit.
  • Oh, Crap!: She has two major moments.
    • When she sees exactly how Corypheus keeps coming back.
      Morrigan: This cannot be!
    • When she realizes that Flemeth is Mythal. Especially if Morrigan drank from the Well of Sorrows.
  • Older and Wiser: While she hasn't completely grown past her arrogance and cynicism, she's far more learned about the world and far less venomous. She used to struggle just socializing and was confused about the norms of high society but now she's more amiable, if still aloof, and carries herself in Empress Celene's court with ease.
  • One True Love: If romanced, her comments on Warden pretty much declares him as the love of her life.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Morrigan's composure completely shatters if Kieran goes through the Eluvian into the Fade. At that point she's not a Witch of the Wilds, but a terrified mother desperate to find her child.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat: Morrigan's dress in Inquisition is designed specifically to annoy the rich and powerful of Orlesian society: it's just similar enough to what they themselves wear to be acceptable at court, but is way too dark to not stick out like a sore thumb. Remembering how and where she grew up, her contempt for the decadent Orlesian court is very understandable.
  • Possession Implies Mastery: Morrigan believes that because she possesses a working eluvian and some knowledge on elven lore and magic, that makes her a greater expert on all things elven than any elves anywhere. The Temple of Mythal and her encounter with the Mythal in the Fade afterwards humbles her considerably.
  • Raised as a Host: Contrary to Morrigan's belief, Flemeth never intended to forcefully possess her daughter, though she did raise her as a host — not for herself, but for Mythal, an anchient elven goddess whose spark Flemeth was bearing until she passed it to Morrigan at the end of the game.
  • Scaled Up: Turns into a dragon to fight the red lyrium dragon, should she drink from the Well of Sorrows. Said dragon bears a strong resemblance to her mother's dragon form in the previous games.
  • Sixth Ranger: She joins the Inquisition much later in the game than the other major characters.
  • Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: Subverted, as preventing that very mindset is revealed to be her highest priority. She believes that ancient magic needs to be preserved, no matter how feared or dangerous. She believes this so completely that she's willing to use something totally unknown and untested on herself just to save it from destruction. Even if it claims her life, or keeps her from seeing her son again, she considers it worth the cost... at first. She learns the hard way that Flemeth was counting on this.
  • Took a Level in Kindness:
    • Morrigan appears warmer and more compassionate if the Warden took the time to befriend her during Origins, especially if she was romanced, became a mother, or both. This is proven true if she joins the Inquisition, as she offers advice and praise to the Inquisitor all the time, with only a little snark, and none of it anywhere near as spiteful as she once was.
    • Notably, her relationships with Alistair (if he's still a Warden) and Leliana are much more amiable, particularly with her son present.
  • Unknown Rival: Vivienne despised Morrigan with a passion for essentially replacing her as Celene's mage advisor. Morrigan barely knew who she was.
  • Unreliable Expositor: She is not as knowledgeable as she thinks she is, and she isn't above small lies or withholding crucial info, either.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: She wants to, in her own words, preserve ancient and lost magic for the future, no matter the price she would pay.
  • White Man's Burden: She believes that she alone can revive ancient Elvhen magic and lore from extinction; none of the elves are capable of understanding the intricacies or complexities of their own lost heritage that she can.



First Appearance: Dragon Age: Origins
Voiced by: Corinne Kempa

    Tropes In Dragon Age: Origins, Leliana's Song, and Dragon Age II

"I came to Ferelden and the Chantry because I was being hunted. I walked where the Maker led me and He has rewarded me for my faith. I found you."

Leliana is a former Orlesian bard and a lay sister at the Chantry in Lothering. After receiving a prophetic dream about the Blight, she asks to join the Warden on their quest. Basically, she's a nun/ninja/minstrel/spy. She's complicated like that. Shale's nickname for her is "The Sister" and occasionally "The Bard." She is a romance option for a Warden of either gender.

  • Action Girl: Seemingly inexplicably at first.
  • All Women Are Lustful: Show even the slightest interest in her and Leliana wants the Warden bad. If hardened, instead of getting jealous with Isabela she invites herself along, and after her romance or if the Warden get a foursome, she wants another go!
  • All Women Love Shoes: She certainly does. A female Warden can agree.
    Leliana: Oh, I could talk about shoes all day...
  • And This Is for...: The Leliana's Song DLC has Leliana say this in her final confrontation with Raleigh.
    Raleigh: I still remember that scared little girl in my cell!
    Leliana: I remember her too. This is for her.
    [pushes him backwards off of a cliff]
  • Anti-Hero: Previously an Unscrupulous Hero. Repentant as a Pragmatic Hero when the Warden meets her, but can slip down if hardened by the player.
  • Archer Archetype: She claims to be skilled in knife combat, and even starts the game equipping a dagger, but all of her skills are in archery and her best weapon is Marjolaine's favorite bow. While not possessing any "Aloof Ally" qualities in the present, her past self featured in Leliana's Song has shades of this.
  • The Atoner: Though more in her backstory than in the game itself.
  • Bad Liar: About matters dealing with emotion and her own feelings.
  • The Bard: Her specific character class to boot. She claims its training will involve throwing knives and combat but... it doesn't.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: Part of her romance — she likes watching the PC sleep. The Warden can reply that this is creepy.
  • Becoming the Mask: She originally adopted the guise of a simple, pious, religious convert in order to escape the notice of Marjolaine, her former employer/lover and now mortal enemy. It was only later, when she found herself content in that life, that she actually started to become that person for real.
  • Betty and Veronica: Betty to Morrigan's (and Zevran's) Veronica. She's not as Betty-like as she seems, however. She can also be the Third-Option Love Interest for a Female Warden involved with Alistair and Zevran
  • Beware the Nice Ones: She presents as a sweet, pious woman who loves to sing. She's all these things — but she'll also gut you like a fish if the situation demands it.
  • Blatant Lies: "I'm just flushed from the... heat!"
  • The Cameo: Shows up at the end of Dragon Age II, where she's revealed to work as a member of the Seekers alongside Cassandra. She appears chronologically earlier as an Agent of the Divine in the Exiled Prince DLC, going under the code name of "Sister Nightingale", as well as a guest at Chateau Haine in the Mark of the Assassin DLC, where she's revealed to know Tallis. She also appears in the novel Asunder, set in the aftermath of Anders' destruction of the Kirkwall Chantry and the beginning the Mage-Templar War.
  • The Chick: An unhardened Leliana is the most moral of the companions, constantly trying to keep the group walking along the side of the good.
  • Church Militant: While not an ordained member of the Chantry (she never got around to her vows), she's very open about her faith. Surprisingly, this doesn't put her at odds with Sten.
    • Dragon Age II reveals she later became the Left Hand of the Divine.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: If romanced, she's extremely affectionate to the Warden, but makes it clear she in no way approves of the Warden even looking at another woman (or man). That said, Isabela quickly figures out that if she gets between the Warden and Leliana, then she gets butchered; but if hardened, Leliana's solution to a fling is to join in to keep an eye on the Warden with her, or a foursome with Zevran too.
    • However, if the Warden and Morrigan had Kieran via the Dark Ritual, Leliana refuses to hold a grudge against Morrigan for providing a way for her love to survive.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: A tame example. The player is given the option of "hardening" her. Subverted, however, in that Leliana is not the naive innocent she at first appears to be.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: The Warden can mistake her for one at first, as Chantry Sisters aren't generally renowned for their fighting ability and she can seem a bit loopy at times. But Leliana's no ordinary Chantry Sister.
  • Culture Clash: With an elf Grey Warden. Leliana tries to talk to the Warden about the situation of elves from what the Warden will recognize as a rather warped perspective. Said Warden can bite her head off about her notions about the elves and directly call her and everyone in the society she hails from a bunch of naive fools... and gain approval for opening her eyes.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Before joining the Lothering Chantry, Leliana led a harsh life as a Bard, which ended when her mentor/lover betrayed her to be tortured, and very likely raped, by Marjolaine's Fereldan allies.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The Leliana's Song DLC, which follows her final missions as a bard.
  • Dogged Nice Girl: Due to a dialogue glitch, she may act like she is in a relationship with the Warden even if the Warden has made it clear that they are not interested in her.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: A dream which she interprets as being a vision from the Maker is what convinces her that she was meant to join the Grey Warden's quest. Whether it was a real vision or not is up for the player to interpret.
  • Evil Me Scares Me: Leliana is the most openly disturbed by fighting "herself" during the Gauntlet.
    Leliana: Did you see the cruelty on my... on her face? Is that really what I am?
  • Femme Fatale: Used to be one. As a bard, she was taught to become "the woman people fall in love with", whatever that might be depending on the situation
  • Femme Fatale Spy: Orlesian Bards fill this role. Leliana eventually admits that part of her enjoyed it.
  • Foil: To Zevran. They're both rogue Funny Foreigner OptionalPartyMembers with backgrounds as seductive assassins of sorts. However, while Leliana specializes in archery and tech skills, Zevran specializes in dual-wielding and pure damage output. While Leliana had a rather sheltered upbringing by an aristocrat and became a bard because she was seduced by the exciting and dangerous life it offered, Zevran was raised communally in a whorehouse and was sold to the Crows at an early age and was raised to know nothing but murder. Leliana often struggles between her darker side and her new loftier morals, whereas Zevran has largely embraced his darker side.
    • Also one to Alistair, narratively. They're both dorky former members of the Chantry, can be hardened throughout the game, are orphans who were raised by nobles, and hide part of their backstory to the others. However, Alistair is innocent, naive, and an irrevent Deadpan Snarker, whereas Leliana is more experienced and sinful, as well as more polite. Leliana chose to join the Chantry to escape her life as a Femme Fatale Spy and found peace in it, while Alistair was forced to join the Chantry by his adoptive father and only enjoyed his lot in life when he was recruited into the Grey Wardens. Alistair's hardening consists in him learning that it's okay to think about himself first sometimes, which helps him overcome his childish tendencies and mature, while Leliana's hardening has her accept her darker side that she's been repressing and slighlty coming back to her old ways.
  • Friendly Sniper: Leliana's preferred weapon is a bow, and she is one of the Warden's nicest companions.
  • Gay Option: For a female PC.
  • Gentlewoman Snarker: Being the resident Nice Girl, Leliana doesn't snark quite as much as other party members like Alistair, Zevran, and especially Morrigan. But when she does, she can hang with the best of them.
  • God Before Dogma: Goes against Chantry doctrine in believing the Maker is present in the world and involved in His creations' lives.
  • Girly Bruiser: Her love of shoes, fashion, romantic starlit evenings, cute animals, etc. doesn't mean she can't also be a dungeon-crawling, arrow-slinging Action Girl.
  • Going Native: She is an ethnic Fereldan, whose mother journeyed to Orlais. As a bard, she spied on her ancestral homeland.
  • The Heart: She advocates the party helping others whenever possible.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In her backstory, from murderous troublemaker to pious bard.
  • Heel–Faith Turn: She initially went to the Chantry to hide from her enemies, only to discover her faith.
  • Heroic Bastard: Leliana's mother never married, and Leliana is probably the Warden's most moral companion, especially if she is not hardened. Though Leliana could be a Bastard Bastard during her time as a Bard.
  • Hitchhiker Heroes: Although she has her reasons, the way she joins the party fits this trope to a 'T', which the Warden can lampshade by asking her why she's so eager to go off adventuring with someone she's just met.
  • Honey Trap: She used to prefer this tactic to actual murder as a bard. Not that she didn't use both at times.
  • Hypocrite:
    • If caught in a love triangle between any of the other three romance options, she will accuse the Warden of "playing with her feelings". A male Warden stuck between her and Morrigan or a female Warden stuck between her and Zevran can then call her this, as Leliana herself used to do the same to other men.
    • Leliana always protests when the Warden kills someone, be their reasons petty or justified. However, her battle dialogue shows that she's rather eager to get her hands dirty. After her personal quest, she admits to the Warden that part of her enjoys hunting and killing other people for sport.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: Alluded to in the second game if she had a threesome with the Warden and Isabela in Origins.
    Isabela: [laughs] "Sister Nightingale" indeed, I remember it didn't take much to make you sing.
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: She just loves the nugs in Orzammar. The player can actually get her one... and she names it Schmooples.
  • Informed Ability: She is supposed to be a skilled storyteller, but her storytelling skills really don't rise above the rest of the cast. Also by her accounts, the smooth talking, courtly connivers seem to be stock and trade and a survival necessity for Orlesian bards. Yet her repartee is less evident than her loss of words; she's often flustered and easily embarrassed. One could infer that her former skills have become somewhat rusty as a result of Becoming the Mask. In comparison, we see a far more cunning, devious and altogether darker side of her in the prequel DLC, Leliana's Song.
    • And if the Warden sleeps around on her, she comes off as painfully naive and easily deceived. On the other hand, Leliana consistently demonstrates that if she's emotionally invested in a person, she lets her emotions affect her judgement. This is best demonstrated in her prequel DLC Leliana's Song, where Marjolaine uses Leliana's feelings for her to play her effortlessly.
  • Innocent Bigot: She'll make some well-intentioned but racist comments to the Warden if they are an elf. If the Warden tells her they are offended, she'll apologise for her remarks and admit that she's not met many elves, thanking the Warden for opening her eyes.
    • For a Elven Warden, she comments that the Warden could have earned a very good wage working in an Orlesian household, where elven servants are prized for being skilled workers and very attractive. The player can point out that this is devaluating one's life to that of a pet for a stuffy noble.
    • She similarly compliments a heroic Dalish Elf for not being one of the savages who steal women the stories describe, as well as stating her admiration for their people's closeness to the land. The player can point out the rather racist undertones to her describing the Dalish way of life as "quaint", especially when it's not by the Warden's own choice.
  • Jeanne d'Archétype: Action Girl? Check. Devoutly religious? Check. French (or the equivalent)? Check. Visions telling her to fight? Check. Case closed.
  • Jumped at the Call: When the Warden meets her, she informs them that she's coming with them — at the Maker's behest, no less. The player can turn her down, if they are so inclined.
  • Lady of Adventure: To some players' surprise, as well as that of her former partner in crime (and bed) Marjolaine.
  • Lady of War: She retains her femininity in battle and can use the more graceful bow as a weapon.
  • Lady Legionnaire Wear: She wears one, but the leather straps don't overlap as usual for this trope, and she's a feminine fighter.
  • Laugh of Love: She will giggle on occasion if romanced by the Warden, and with a high approval rating.
  • Lovable Rogue: At the beginning of the Leliana's Song DLC.
  • Love Interest: One of four potential ones.
  • Magic Music: Standard for a bard.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Close enough to Leliana (which apparently has no meaning) is the name Eliana, which means 'God has answered' in Hebrew. This fits her reasons for joining very well.
    • It's also similar to "Lilianna", "Lily flower". Lilies feature heavily in Marian religious imagery, and are the emblem of France, the real-world counterpart to her home nation, Orlais. One of the gifts the Warden can give her is a flower called Andraste's Grace, which strongly resembles a lily.
  • The Mistress: Can become this (if hardened) for a Human Male Noble Warden who has asked for the Queen's hand, or for a Female Human Noble Warden who marries Alistair for political reasons. Leliana decides to stay by the Warden's side in Denerim, and even sends them a letter if they are exported to the Awakening expansion pack. However, perhaps due to a glitch, this can only happen if the player stops talking to her altogether (at least until the epilogue) after having made the decision to marry the monarch. If talked to before the epilogue, she will immediately end her relationship with the PC, even if she was previously hardened. But if it's done correctly and Leliana's relationship with the Warden continues, it will be mentioned in Inquisition; it's apparently an open secret by this point. When the Inquisitor's group attends the Winter Palace ball, the court herald will announce Leliana as, among other things, "Mistress of the Prince Consort/Queen of Ferelden."
  • Naughty Nuns: Zevran definitely wishes. Leliana herself seems to wish it too, a little. Oghren also wonders if the Chantry girls wear anything under the robes. If hardened, or even if she isn't, Leliana will occasionally let the bad girl out to play.
  • Not That There's Anything Wrong with That: If in a romance and a male Warden gets with Zevran, Leliana's reaction is along the lines of, "I'd thought there was something extra you were after, and knowing now that's what it was, I'm happy for you two." Leliana having no problem with race or gender certainly helps.
  • Nun Too Holy: While not a properly ordained nun, Leliana was a ninja trickster bisexual spy before, perved on her sisters while in the church, and later whines to the Warden that she wasn't allowed to have fun... which included pudding and pinning underwear to Chantry boards, among other things. Goes further in Inquisition where she darkens into a ruthless assassin.
  • Old-School Chivalry: Being a romantic at heart, this is how Leliana would like her romance with the Warden to play out. Can be hilariously subverted.
  • One Degree of Separation: Word Of God confirmed the Adaia that Leliana encounters in Leliana's Song is the City Elf Warden's (now deceased) mother. More poignant if the Warden actually is a City Elf, though neither acknowledges it.
  • One-Song Bard: Leliana prides herself in her bardic past, but only ever sings once in the course of Origins, namely "In Uthenera", an ancient elven funeral song. Later games don't see her sing at all, although she does perform the same song at Wynne's funeral in Asunder.note 
  • Parental Abandonment: Her mother had her out of wedlock and died when she was young.
  • Permanently Missable Content: If the player never enters the pub in Lothering, they will never find her and she can't be recruited.
  • Quirky Bard: Well, she's a bard and she's quirky, but she's also deadly if built and utilized correctly.
    • It makes sense within Orlesian society that "bards" are synonymous with spies — after all, seeing as the nobility of Orlais is a Decadent Court, they are prone to throwing raucous parties involving all number of performers and musicians. Who better to slip past security than the entertainment?
  • Rape as Backstory: Implied heavily in the Leliana's Song DLC. However, it should be noted that this is not stated explicitly, and therefore should be taken with a grain of salt. Due to the brutally pragmatic environment bards usually work in, she also seems to have come to terms with it much more efficiently than most examples of this trope.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Leliana's Orlesian (French) accent has been criticized by some as sounding fake, although her voice actress (Corinne Kempa) is actually French.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: Downplayed, as she's one of your nicest companions, but she still shows some traits that date from her days as a bard, albeit in lighter ways, such as her occasional polite snarks, her teasing of Sten and Zevran, or her Covert Pervert tendencies. If she's hardened, her traits from her past-life come back in full force.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: If romanced, she and the Warden come dangerously close to this, if Wynne and Morrigan are to be believed.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Well, man or woman. Her romance path requires a Warden to be particularly kind-hearted to NPCs and/or extremely generous with gifts.
  • Tagalong Chronicler: She remarks to Dog that she's composing a ballad about the party's adventures. Some dialogue in later games suggests that she does complete and publish the work; in Dragon Age II, Hawke can identify her as "the Leliana", and she takes this to mean that Hawke is familiar with her writings.
  • Technical Pacifist: Sort of. She's a quasi-nun and interested in peace and contemplation, but while she prefers non-violent solutions, she's perfectly willing to resort to bloodshed when she must.
  • That Woman Is Dead: What she tells Marjolaine when she's asked about her past in Orlais.
  • Third-Person Seductress: Being utterly gorgeous in both looks and personality and her being rather Aggressive Submissive in seducing the Warden makes Leliana a literal example.
  • A Threesome Is Hot: She'll join the Warden and Isabela for some fun if hardened.
  • Together in Death: Subverted. If the player completes Leliana's romance and then sacrifices themself to kill the Archdemon, the epilogue says that Leliana had a vision that showed her a way to be reunited with her love. One possible interpretation of this epilogue is that she killed herself. This interpretation is apparently incorrect, however, because regardless of the Warden's life status, Leliana is still living in Inquisition, though she will remark on their death should it happen.
  • Token Religious Teammate: She is the most overtly Andrastian member of the party, and the only one who remains in the Chantry for life, eventually becoming the Left Hand of the Divine (and potentially the Divine herself, after Inquisition).
  • Unexplained Recovery: If Warden had her killed in Origins, she basically tells Hawke "I got better" in The Exiled Prince, suggesting 'God Was My Copilot' as the explanation. The epilogue of the Trespasser DLC reveals through a cryptic note that "Lyrium sang thought into being".
  • The Unfair Sex: Played for Laughs as one of Leliana's quips when nearing the end of her Romance Sidequest, after she'd told the Warden how she felt and then gets flustered after they tell her they feel the same way.
    Warden: I thought you felt comfortable around me?
    Leliana: [stammers] Well yes, but... D-Don't question me! I am a woman, and I reserve the right to be inconsistent!
    • Even funnier if the Warden is also female.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Her account of her betrayal by Marjolaine and subsequent capture doesn't quite match up with the events of her prequel DLC. Of course, given that the majority of the Warden's retinue are native Fereldans, one can understand why she would lie and say she was imprisoned for stealing military documents from Orlais instead. In the same DLC, she explicitly says in a voiceover that she changes the story with every telling (which is why it has multiple endings despite being framed as her telling the Warden the story later).
  • Wandering Minstrel: A former bard ninja assassin, she seeks shelter from her past in the church and latches onto the Warden hard upon finding out they are fighting against the Blight.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: She turns on the Warden if they poison the Urn of Sacred Ashes in front of her and she is not hardened. If hardened and successfully intimidated, she won't turn on the Warden but thoroughly resents them for it. If she is not present, she still finds out and leaves the party unless the Warden successfully lies to her.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Averted/subverted. Despite a fairly violent and traumatic past, Leliana is the resident idealist in a story that is on the whole pretty cynical, and it's usually difficult to write a character like that without succumbing to the temptation to either condescend to, belittle, or fundamentally alter the character's worldview. The writers avoided those traps, however, and managed to create a multi-layered personality who fits in well and demonstrates how idealism is possible even in a very dark world. She's even quite nice to Loghain, who hates her on sight. In Inquisition, she has become much darker and more cynical, although the Inquisitor can soften her.
  • Zen Survivor: Downplayed in her conversation with Empress Celene in Asunder. When Celene asks her how large the Archdemon was (Leliana fought atop Fort Drakon in the book canon), Leliana just smiles politely and replies, "Large enough that most problems seem small by comparison", referring to the current Mage-Templar hostilities and the civil war. Too bad the the Conclave explosion in Inquisition proves too big even for her.

    Tropes In Dragon Age: Inquisition

"Sometimes the best path is not the easiest one."

Once a bard, a Chantry sister, a hero of the Fifth Blight, and now Left Hand of the Divine, Leliana's presence has a new gravitas since Origins. She serves as an adviser to Inquisitor in the area of espionage.

  • Animal Motifs: Depicted with ravens in both trailers and her Skyhold icon. In Skyhold, she is also found near the rookery, where the birds are raised and trained to be messengers for her espionage operations in the Inquisition.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • If the imported world state had Leliana slain by the Hero of Ferelden after tainting the Urn of Sacred Ashes, then Leliana will assert that yes, she did die, but had an Unexplained Recovery and awoke in agony some time later, the Urn missing.
    • The ending slides of the Trespasser DLC imply that this version of Leliana was actually a Cole-style spirit who impersonated the real Leliana after her death.
  • Bad Present: Inverted in the mage questline. The Herald and Dorian wind up a year in the future, and with the help of the allies try to get back to the past to avert it. Leliana scoffs at their goal, because while it's just fine and dandy that they can go home and avoid this hell, she had to live through it. For her, this hell is present reality, not just some "hypothetical" she can pretend didn't happen.
  • Bait-and-Switch: In one of the gameplay demos, Leliana comments bitterly that the mages shouldn't be wondering why others fear them, since no one should have this power. This may give the indication that Leliana has suddenly become very anti-Mage; in the game proper, the context surrounding this line turns out to be far more complicated than that. In fact, she is probably the most consistently pro-mage character in the game.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. In the Bad Future, she is horribly disfigured after being tortured by the Venatori. According to the notes the player find left by the Venatori, they were mutilating her flesh and infecting her with Blighted body parts to figure out why she has such a high resistance to it.
  • Bedmate Reveal: After the Winter Palace, she pushes for this. Not with the Inquisitor, though; Leliana has something much more special in mind. She wants to place what's left of Grand Duchess Florianne in the beds of those who threaten the Inquisition. If the player takes her up on it, she'll crack wise about her ghost appearing to make the Inquisitor wear flat shoes.
  • Break the Cutie:
  • But Now I Must Go: If Leliana was killed in Origins, she mysteriously vanishes in the epilogue for Trespasser, leaving only a cryptic note that reads: "Lyrium sang thought into being. Now time is stale, and the melody is called elsewhere. Until I am needed, I am free."
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Suffers this in the Bad Future of Alexius's time amulet.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • During the Halamshiral Ball, she's once again fixated on shoes. While she justifies it as being able to tell a lot about a person's current circumstances, she's obviously as fashion-aware as ever.
    • When Griffon Wing Keep posts a need for morale boosters, Josephine recommends some reading material, Cullen suggests sending a master chef to fill the soldiers' bellies with more than the bare minimum rations... and Leliana recommends a cobbler to rectify their painful shoes.
    • The player can also find a note on her desk at Skyhold from an agent she's got caring for Schmooples II and its babies. In the Trespasser DLC, she's selling litters to nobles — and apparently, they're so popular she's out of them, and tells the Herald that they'll have to wait if they want one.
    • In Haven, one of the conversation options the player can pursue with her is to ask about her relationship with the Hero of Ferelden. If she was romanced or befriended, she speaks of the Warden with a warmth and affection that strongly recalls her personality in the first game.
  • Cool Big Sis: Josephine explicitly states that Leliana has acted as both a best friend and big sister figure for her since they met. If the Inquisitor decides to pursue romantic intentions with Josephine, Leliana will offer some some words of warning right before the relationship officially starts.
  • The Creon: Leliana is tied with Cassandra with having the best claim to lead the Inquisition, as Cullen points out it would not exist without her. However, when the chosen character averts Headbutting Heroes, Leliana is happy to advise from the shadows instead.
  • Crisis of Faith: She confesses that she's having one, lashing out at the Maker during a particularly bitter moment. If He can't be bothered to protect one of His most devoted followers at a time when her death caused such dreadful chaos, then what good is He?
  • Cynical Mentor: The player can ask her about life as a bard, where she offers to train the Inquisitor, unlocking a rather bitter and jaded codex entry encouraging them not to take this path.
  • Damsel in Distress: In the Bad Future, she is suffering Cold-Blooded Torture at the hands of the Venatori.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Even when cloaked in ninja armor and best described as a Holy Hitman Leliana cares deeply for her friends and allies and genuinely wants to help... it's just that her idea of helping is typically along the lines of assassination or other brutal, barbaric methods.
  • Dead All Along: As noted above, if she's killed in Origins, the epilogue of the Trespasser DLC reveals that "Leliana" is actually a spirit given life by lyrium that impersonated the original and the real one is in fact dead.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen:
    • She is far less open than before, but should people make the effort to befriend her, they will find her just as pleasant as she once was.
    • Specifically, her central arc for the game is a very stale beer realization that she's burnt out and regretful of having spent the last decade hardening herself against ruthless spy work.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Some of her methods on the war table can delve into this. For example, when a little known bard starts singing slanderous songs about the Inquisition, Leliana's solution is to cut out the bard's tongue.
  • Enemies Equals Greatness: She invokes this in the Trespasser epilogue if she is "softened" and becomes Divine. She takes assassination attempts from reactionaries as proof she's doing the right thing, and refuses to cave in.
  • The Extremist Was Right: She suggests sending her assassins to destroy the House of Repose’s contract on Josephine’s life during the latter’s personal quest. Fast forward to Josephine’s epilogue in Trespasser, and the House of Repose asks her whether or not she needs their services. She hires them as guards for her trading vessels, and her family prospers greatly because pirates don’t dare challenge its presence in the sea.
  • Famed in Story: Regarded as, in no particular order, veteran of the Fifth Blight, companion of the Hero of Ferelden, Left Hand of The Divine, (possibly) mistress of the Prince Consort/Queen of Ferelden, and Inquisition Spymaster. Indeed, Tallis can encounter her and is frightened almost beyond words, and for all intents and purposes is seen as a Terror Hero.
  • Foil:
    • Leliana serves as one to Cullen in Inquisition, particularly with their standing on the Mage-Templar war. Before the Inquisitor can decide whose faction's help they should get, Cullen insists on asking for the Templars' help, whereas Leliana prefers the mages' assistance. Additionally, Leliana advocates for an alliance with the mages and the conscription of the Templars, with Cullen having a perfectly reversed stance on the matter. This ties with their opinions of both factions in general: Leliana believes that the mages deserve freedom and the Templars deserve an accounting for the many times they wronged the mages, while Cullen remains wary and distrustful around mages and believes the Templars deserve redemption.
    • She's also a good counterpart to Cassandra. Both are faithful women who serve the Divine, but what differs them is how they regard the Chantry and the Inquisitor's opinion of it. Cassandra is a Chantry loyalist to the point that she disapproves if the Inquisitor has negative things to say about it (even if they have very good reasons to do so), while Leliana is loyal to the Divine but very aware enough of the Chantry's flaws to accept and understand if the Inquisitor isn't fond of the Chantry. And like with Cullen, they also have opposing opinions on mages and Templars, since Leliana supports the mages and distrusts the Templars whereas it's the other way around with Cassandra.
  • Friend to All Living Things: For a ruthless spymaster who won't hesitate to order assassinations, she's still an animal lover. She has an agent taking care of her pet nugs and their offspring, all the messenger birds adore her even if they hate everyone else (one of her agents suspects blood magic), and her suggested solution to varghests infesting a critical water supply is not to exterminate, but try to gently move the giant, scaly, venomous, vicious beasts somewhere else.
  • Friends with Benefits: It's implied that this may have been the relationship between herself and Josephine while the latter worked as Antivan ambassador to Orlais. Refreshingly, they remain just friends. Ask this of her and Justinia at your peril.
  • Good Shepherd: As Divine Victoria, if softened and her personal quest was completed, she's probably the best possible leader the Chantry can have. If she's hardened, then she follows the version of this trope that includes "fighting off the wolves;" but depending on events, she can become an ironfisted Well-Intentioned Extremist as Divine.
  • Graceful Loser: Leliana has no problems with Cassandra being named Divine instead of her. She's less pleased if Vivienne gets the position, but that's mostly because of the chaos that a mage Divine will bring.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: She joins the battle in the Prologue against the Pride Demon, and again in the Bad Future. She can't be controlled, but she also can't be killed; she fights as an archer and will attack and kill the Inquisitor's enemies.
  • Hates Small Talk: Her future self.
    Dorian: Aren't you curious how we got here?
    Leliana: No.
    • And moments later:
      Leliana: Stop talking.
      Dorian: I'm just trying to gain information.
      Leliana: No. You're talking to fill silence.
  • Heartbroken Badass: If the Warden romanced her in Origins and made the Ultimate Sacrifice, her dialogue implies that she's still mourning them.
    Leliana: I was with the Hero of Ferelden when s/he killed the Archdemon. The Maker brought us together, and then... I watched him/her die. In that instant, I felt the Maker's presence grow cold. One moment, a cherished child. The next... abandoned.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: She makes one in the Bad Future to save the Herald and Dorian. If asked about it in the present, she assures the Herald that she would do it again without a second thought.
  • Hold the Line: In the Bad Future, she performs one against a wave of demons, buying Dorian enough time to open a portal back to the present day.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Heartwarmingly invoked if the Inquisitor speaks to her after the example above, and much of her storyline revolves around either finding another way or encouraging this approach. Encourage it, and she will end up kidnapping children to coerce those who threaten the Inquisition. Defied if you consistently talk her down from darker acts. At the end of her quest, she says that if you hadn't been a steadying influence, she would have easily done horrible things and say she had no choice in the matter, but there is always a choice.
  • I Was Never Here: Her War Table solution options sometimes say things like "Make It Look Like an Accident" or "No one will trace this back to the Inquisition."
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: If the Inquisitor romances Josephine, Leliana will give them a speech to this effect, warning them that Josephine is "innocent in love" and doesn't want the Inquisitor to break her heart. This is because Leliana was something of a surrogate older sister to Josephine when they were younger, and still has some Big Sister Instinct toward "Josie."
  • The Immune: According to notes found scattered in the Bad Future, she has the highest Blight resistance the Venatori have ever seen. Nothing is ever brought up about it later, though.
  • In the Hood: Adds to her mysterious spy look. The official art book specifies that she was given this design to combine her bardic background with her devotion to the Chantry, since the hood is both roguelike and reminiscent of a monastic cowl.
  • Informed Attribute: She's played up to be a master spy, but considering how she constantly misses fairly obvious things such as Blackwall not actually being a Grey Warden and Solas's and the Qunari spies, she really isn't as good as Cassandra makes her out to be.
    • As well, she orders her sentries and scouts at Haven to pull back after several go missing, allowing Corypheus's army to only be noticed when it reaches visual range of Haven, and she fails to notice or prevent the Inquisition from being infiltrated by spies from the Qunari or those loyal to Fen'Harel.
    • Given that her agents successfully complete all kinds of operations on the War Table, and her scouts (especially Harding) can normally do basic recon with impossible speed, the business with the Qunari and Fen'Harel might be more fairly categorized as an espionage version of The Worf Effect.
  • Irony: There's one notable example, almost in the meta sense. The concept art of the quest "Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts" shows Leliana having a distressed expression while running to a wounded Celene, but in the quest itself, it's Leliana who stoically suggests that the Inquisitor should let Celene die.
  • I've Come Too Far: After the Inquisitor's first talk with her at Haven, she receives news of a traitor and orders his death. If the player doesn't talk her out of it then and there, Leliana considers herself too far gone for any future acts of mercy.
  • Meaningful Echo: In the Bad Future, she slits the throat of Alexius's son, no matter what anyone says. It's possible for something similar to happen in the present as well, at the end of her side quest.
  • Mission Control: Along with Cullen and Josephine, she provides the multiplayer teams with the information that they need to complete their missions.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: By the end of the game she can have a death count that comes close to the Inquisitor's, should the player side with her ideas... the crux of her character arc involves fighting her on this, which leads Leliana to scale back the death count considerably.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In the Bad Future, despite Alexius's My God, What Have I Done? complacency, Leliana vengefully kills his son, prompting him to lash out in grief.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between:
    • Among the Inquisition's three advisors, she's the Mean one. Leliana has a ruthless streak, and many of her responses during war table operations involve silencing people through threats, bribery, or occasionally, outright murder. She also champions buying items on the black market instead of through legal channels.
    • On the other hand, she takes the role of the Nice one among the three Divine candidates compared to Vivienne's Mean and Cassandra's In-Between. She declares the Mages to be free by ending the Circle system as well as open priesthood to all races. Additionally, her being appointed Divine is the only ending where the Mages and the Templars can now truly be serving the people, plus there's the fact that she as Divine unconditionally supports the Inquisition (Cassandra and Vivienne are much less supportive if you have negative approval with them).
  • No Badass to His Valet: Inverted toward the Inquisitor. No matter how powerful they are, if the Inquisitor is flirting with Josephine, she summons them to give them an "If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her..." speech. A hostile Inquisitor can scoff at her threat and tell her to mind her own business, which gets a raised eyebrow and an "...Oh really?" from the unfazed spymistress.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: If she becomes Divine Victoria, her approach to her the Chantry brings to mind populist, reform-minded Popes such as John XXIII and Francis.
  • Noodle Incident: According to Josephine, if you see her with a ball of twine, a measuring stick and a handkerchief, run.
  • Not So Stoic:
    • Following the move to Skyhold, the Inquisitor can walk in on a brief but emotional scene between Leliana and Cullen, in which they both express their regrets concerning all the deaths at Haven. After he leaves, she comments to the Inquisitor that "you must blame me" for what happened; she clearly blames herself.
    • Seen again when the Inquisitor tells her Divine Justinia's last words to her.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Despite Leliana being a staunch supporter of siding with mages and granting elves rights (to the point of reforming the Chantry to free mages, restoring the Canticles of Shartan, and opening the priesthood to all races if she is made Divine), she chooses the most ruthless option for them during a few war table missions. While she is the Mean of the Nice, Mean, and In-Between Advisers, they're still fairly alarming moments for someone so supportive of elven and mage rights.
    • In "Address a Nobleman's Concerns", she opts to use her spies to harrass poor and starving refugees (including apostates and elves) off the noble's lands (rather than refuse his request as Josephine suggests or help the refugees as Cullen suggests).
    • For "Bestow Mourning Halla", Leliana alone decides to trick humans into thinking they're receiving a Dalish peace offering as a hostage trophy instead (which completely undermines the purpose of the gift), while Josephine and Cullen assure its safe arrival without pretense.
    • During Jaws of Hakkon, (regardless of whether the Inquisitor revealed that Ameridan was an elf or not), in both instances Leliana supports maintaining the secret by extorting the noble family that claims descent (even though maintaining the lie contributes to elves' continued oppression).
  • Plot-Sensitive Snooping Skills:
    • Leliana is an excellent spymaster overall, but somehow lets Solas and Blackwall into the Inquisition without checking out their backstories thoroughly. Post-game, she finally decides to search for the Hidden Elf Village from which Solas claims to hail, only to discover that it's nothing but centuries-old ruins. As a personal companion to the Hero of Ferelden, she should have known that Blackwall most certainly wasn't there "recruiting new Wardens and killing darkspawn" during the Fifth Blight.
    • During Blackwall's personal quest, Cullen mentions that Leliana has something of a "blind spot" when it comes to Wardens. Cullen also seems to imply, after he confesses the truth, that Leliana might have conveniently 'misplaced' evidence of it.
  • Rousseau Was Right: If elected Divine and softened, her radical idealism works. She frees the Mages completely from Chantry control, opens the clergy to non-humans, restores the Canticle of Shartan, and the opposition to her drastic reforms isn't crushed like if she's still hardened; rather, those who oppose her are invited to sit down and talk, and she convinces them to go along with it. Like her predecessor said, idealism is the Chantry's stock in trade.
  • Saintly Church:
    • A "softened" Leliana has her passion for the Chantry reignited, and she firmly believes it needs to start being this. Should she become Divine, she frees the mages, removes species limits on priesthood, and tries to resolve disputes peacefully. A "hardened" Leliana still does most of that, but has a hard-line approach to dissidents.
    • In the Trespasser epilogue, she restores the Canticle of Shartan to the official Chant of Light, and if she's in love with the Hero of Ferelden, she allows all members of the Chantry to have romantic relationships.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Word of God is that if she is made Divine and is the Hero of Ferelden's love interest, Leliana eventually repeals the rule that requires the Divine to be celibate. In Trespasser, she extends this to the Chantry as a whole.
  • Secret Keeper: If the Dark Ritual was performed, Leliana implies that she is aware of Kieran's true nature, which by extension implies that Leliana knows the real reason that only Wardens can slay Archdemons.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Cullen observes that she has one where Grey Wardens are concerned — which, considering who befriended her ten years earlier, does make sense.
  • The Spymaster: She adopts this position in the Inquisition, having previously served as one for the Divine. She is called "The Left Hand of the Divine", which — as the etymology of the word suggests — means doing the dirty work from the shadows, while the Right Hand Cassandra presents a bold and direct face to the Chantry.
  • Sketchy Successor: If she becomes Divine Victoria and the Inquisitor didn't complete her personal quest, the Chantry fragments under her leadership. This is averted if her quest is completed; whether hardened or softened, her reforms hold and the Chantry remains intact.
  • Superior Successor: Depending on the choices the player has made throughout the game, Leliana can turn out to be a far more effective Divine than Justinia V ever was.
  • Sweet Tooth: In one War Table mission outcome, the rewards include, among other things, chocolate. She promptly claims the chocolate and lets the Inquisitor have the rest.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: While they generally work well together and have a few civil conversations, there are still hints that there's animosity between Leliana and Cullen, especially if Leliana was romanced by a female mage Warden.
  • Terror Hero: Many of her solutions, especially at the War Table, amount to using stealthy operations to scare targets into complying.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass:
    • No longer the cheerful optimistic woman who fought at the side of the Hero of Ferelden, the years have made her less carefree and forced her to adopt a stony facade. This happens even further if the Inquisitor approves of her more ruthless actions throughout the game. In her sidequest, she Becomes the Mask of the Nightingale, fully committed to do anything to fulfill her goals, no matter how repugnant.
    • In Alexius's Bad Future, she becomes impatient and unsympathetic towards mages due to the torture she faced. Once the Inquisitor returns home, present Leliana averts this and will object if they treat the rebel mages as prisoners.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: After the death of Divine Justinia V, Leliana is one of two candidates for her replacement (the other is Cassandra). If Leliana is chosen to be the Divine's successor, then as Divine Victoria, Leliana dissolves the Circles and allows mages to rule their own lives, and admits non-humans to the Chantry priesthood. The player can encourage her toward this within the game itself, by being supportive and urging her to show mercy and care for her subordinates.
  • Undying Loyalty: Her devotion to the Maker is matched only by her devotion to Divine Justinia V, the woman who set her on the path to redemption. If the Hero of Ferelden is still alive and her close friend, Leliana still has this for them as well, calling them "the only person I trust completely."
  • Unexpected Successor: At the end of the game, she may become Divine Victoria, succeeding the late Divine Justinia V.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: Her role as Sister Nightingale, the Spymaster, involves her doing some pretty reprehensible things (or ordering her agents to do them). Deep down inside, she's wracked with conflict. But she can embrace it fully if the player encourages her to do so.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Cullen, somewhat. They snipe at each other occasionally, but it seems to be largely in good humor, and some of the codex entries which include notes from them contain some wickedly funny banter.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Even as she commits or suggests some rather harsh actions, she always has the Inquisition's welfare in mind. This may extend to the entirety of southern Thedas as well, given that she makes radical changes if she's crowned Divine because she believes those changes are for the better, whether she's hardened or unhardened.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • She objects to the Inquisitor and Cassandra if they take a harder stance on the rebel mages. There's a certain amount of Dramatic Irony, given her embittered Bad Future self.
    • If the player chooses to applaud her ruthlessness throughout the game but later tries to say she's gone too far, she'll mock the Inquisitor for it and say it's too late for her to change now.

Zevran Arainai

First Appearance: Dragon Age: Origins
Voiced by: Jon Curry

    Tropes In Dragon Age: Origins

"We all do our share of murdering around here, don't we?"

An elven assassin from Antiva sent to kill the remaining Grey Wardens. Upon defeat, he can either be killed, set free, or recruited on his request. Shale's nickname for him is "the Painted Elf", which Zevran rather likes. He is a romance option for a Warden of either gender.

  • Affably Evil: Despite being a professional assassin with no morals to speak of, he's almost perpetually cheerful — as he notes, he's an eternal optimist. It's a defense mechanism, as the player quickly learns if pursuing a romance.
  • Agent Peacock: He's a somewhat over-the-top flamboyant bisexual, while remaining a fairly effective addition to the Warden's companions.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys:
    • Lampshaded in a conversation between Alistair and Leliana:
    Alistair: He's an assassin who's tried to kill us more than once. Do women go for that sort of thing?
    Leliana: Where I come from, they do. Oh yes.
    • Subverted when it becomes clear that even his bad-boy persona is mostly an act — if romanced, he stays with the Warden no matter what, practically proposes to them and calls them the best thing that ever happened to him. If dumped, he lets the Warden go with dignity and even considers the other love interest's POV when suggesting that the Warden decide between them.
  • Anything That Moves: Or at least, "Anything That Moves and Isn't Oghren."
  • Assassin Outclassin': His attempt on the Warden's life early in the game ends in failure.
  • The Atoner: Double Subverted: Wynne assumes he wants to leave the Crows because of a crisis of conscience. Zevran doesn't want to leave the Crows to find redemption. He wants to die.
  • Backstab: His primary combat M.O., and a vital ability (both literally and figuratively) for an Antivan Crow to have.
  • Because I'm Good at It: He fully intends to continue his assassin career even when he gets away from the Crows. One reason is this trope; the other is that he notes his lack of other skills that wouldn't get him arrested for performing in public.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: If the player gains high friendship with him, he will willingly betray the Crows to protect them in the endgame. If questioned afterwards, he admits the Warden was the first real friend he ever had and that gave him to courage to accept facing the Crows' wrath.
  • Becoming the Mask: Inverted, if he gets romanced. Falling in love with the Warden breaks his confident ladykiller facade to bits.
    • Beneath the Mask: Bring him along during the search for the Sacred Urn and it's shown that he's not as apathetic as he pretends to be.
  • Betty and Veronica: Veronica, with Alistair (or Leliana) as Betty. Can also be the Third-Option Love Interest when the Male Warden is involved with Morrigan and Leliana.
  • Blithe Spirit: Antiva seems even more uninhibited than Ferelden, really. Add to that that the Crows look for a willingness to cross certain lines in their assassins...
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: "Magic can kill. Knives can kill. Even small children, launched at great speed, could kill."
  • Break the Haughty: As if Rinna's death wasn't enough, the Crow master who assigned them the mission already knew of it and was very quick to remind the two surviving assassins that they were entirely expendable tools worth little more than nothing to even the Crows.
  • Brutal Honesty: Most prominent after the Warden defeats and revives him.
    Zevran: Ah, so I am to be interrogated? Let me save you some time. My name is Zevran — Zev to my friends. I am a member of the Antivan Crows, brought here for the sole purpose of assassinating any remaining Grey Wardens. Which I have failed at, sadly.
  • The Cameo: If you upload a save from the first game, he can appear in Dragon Age II for one mission — and as a guest in the final battle against Meredith. Predictably, he and Isabela can have a threesome with Hawke.
  • Captain Obvious: If the player opts to recruit Loghain and put them in the active party together.
    Zevran: You know who I am, yes? I was one of the Crows you hired to kill the Grey Wardens.
    Loghain: I thought you looked familiar.
    Zevran: Well, I just wanted to report that I failed my mission, Loghain.
    Loghain: You don't say.
    Zevran: I'm terribly broken up over it.
    Loghain: Hmm. Well, thank you kindly for informing me.
  • Cartwright Curse: All of his love interests tend to end up dead. Rinna, Taliesin, his first mage lover, a romanced PC who sacrifices themselves...
  • The Casanova: He apparently specializes in being a Latin Lover as part of his job, along with a healthy dose of Stealth Hi/Bye. Curiously, when it's not part of a job, he becomes the latter. If romanced and the Warden survives, he ends up developing into The Charmer.
  • Child Soldiers: Buy them young and raise them to know nothing but murder. Trademark recruitment motto of the Antivan Crows.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: A must if you want to make your way among the Antivan Crows, it seems. If the Warden is not careful to cultivate his loyalty, Zevran has no trouble adding them to the list of people he's backstabbed.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Was apparently subjected to this by the Crows as a means of building up pain tolerance — as with all their recruits.
  • Combat Pragmatist: When explaining the assassin specialization, he mentions poison and crippling one's opponent as his preferred strategies. Alistair even wonders why the Crows didn't send their best on the task of killing the Wardens, mentioning that Zevran is no master of straight-up combat. He eventually explains he was the only one who wanted the job.
  • Contract on the Hitman: Avoiding this trope is his primary reason for asking to join the Warden; the Antivan Crows have a very bad "retirement package", as he himself mentions, so the only way to get out is to have them assume you died or sign up with someone even they can't touch. Subverted with Master Ignacio, who tells Zevran that other Crows might hunt him but he's already dead in his eyes. Once Taliesen shows up to finish the job, this can be either subverted when Zevran either turns on the Warden and accepts Taliesen's offer to rejoin the Crows (which results in his death) or played straight if he refuses and avoids the battle/fights against his former comrade.
  • Cry into Chest: He asks Wynne to let him do this because he feels bad about being a killer. She assures him that he can cry well away from her bosom.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Due to his Antivan heritage.
  • Dashing Hispanic: His voice actor apparently summed him up with a "So he's like a sexed-up Inigo Montoya?" before recording started. Ironically, Antiva is based on a prototype Venetian state, according to Word of God.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Not too heavy on the deadpan bit, but he does get snarky when Alistair questions his motives, when he's trying to coerce Leliana into telling him about her vision or when Wynne assumes that his reason for wanting to leave the Crows is a crisis of conscience. He's more fond of cheerful sarcasm.
  • Death by Sex: Apparently, this is his favorite assassination strategy.
  • Death Seeker: He eventually admits that he took the assignment to kill the Warden because he was hoping to get killed himself in the process. He settles for searching for a new beginning later if spared.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Or at least a chance at such, if he is spared. It can either go this way, Zevran's ideal hope of Redemption Equals Sex, or Zevran making a Face–Heel Turn if he is not befriended.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Well he's depraved and bisexual, but the trope doesn't apply unless the two are related (which they are not). He swings both ways, has a thing for leather, and has no moral compunction against killing. He is very open about this — he even laughs in a male Warden's face if he gets a somewhat taken aback response to his propositioning, only later apologizing for forgetting that he isn't in Antiva anymore.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: Implied. Earning high enough approval eventually gets Zevran to reveal that he took the contract to kill the Grey Wardens because he hoped to die in the attempt. So why did he ask to be spared if the Warden wakes him instead of asking/provoking them to kill him? Considering the only other time he provokes the Warden's blade is after he encounters Taliesin, it's likely that Zevran wants to go out in a blaze of glory.
  • Easily Forgiven:
    • He goes from being an assassin hired to kill the player to a companion rather quickly, though Alistair is initially very wary of him. Of course, the fact that he wants to get out of the Crows — which he never wanted to join in the first place — helps. To top it off, his Redemption Equals Sex, if the PC is willing.
      The Warden: You tried to kill me!
      Zevran: Unsuccessfully! Besides, someone in your position can't take these things so personally, can you?
    • It works both ways, no less. The Crows will forgive him for his betrayal and welcome him back provided he turns on you... which, if he doesn't like the Warden, he does without a second thought.
  • Elfeminate: In Oghren's words, Zevran's "got small breasts for a gal."
  • Ethical Slut: Eventually evolves into this assuming he doesn't Face–Heel Turn.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: The Warden can gain huge approval by giving him a pair of Dalish gloves like the ones his mother used to have (which he kept as a Tragic Keepsake in the whorehouse), and by agreeing not to slaughter the Dalish in honor of his mother's memory. The Warden can also gain disapproval for asking if the woodcutter his mother left the Dalish for was his father, thus questioning her sexual integrity before she even took up prostitution.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • He tends to react badly to pointless cruelty, such as when the Warden torments a widower in the Dalish Camp by refusing to tell him about his dead wife. He may be an assassin, but at least he gives his victims a quick death.
    • He also has issues with slavery, but then, with his background, it's to be expected.
    • He also disapproves of any cruel actions the Warden can take against elves, such as massacring a Dalish clan or sacrificing city elves with blood magic. He also doesn't approve of killing the mages for the Templars, though he doesn't lose actual approval points if the player goes through with it.
    • He also gets very angry if the Warden agrees, in the Stone Prisoner DLC, to let the demon have the child it wants to possess.
  • Everyone Is Bi: In Antiva this is the case, or at least so Zevran implies.
  • Extreme Omnisexual: In short — for any Optional Sexual Encounter the Warden has, Zevran has stories about five similar, wilder ones.
  • Face–Heel Turn: If the Warden fails to raise Zevran's approval, Zevran will turn on them in Denerim and rejoin the Crows.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Over the course of the game, the Warden picks up on the fact that Zevran isn't quite the ultimate badass assassin he paints himself as. Zevran recounts a story where he actually almost got screwed over by his mark and only achieved his mission through dumb luck. Alistair is also incredulous, mentioning that Zevran isn't particularly great at fighting. Zevran admits that he was the one assigned to assassinate the Wardens because he was the only Crow willing to volunteer.
  • Foil:
    • To Leliana. Optional Party Member rogue companions who were orphaned young, took on a sort of assassin career (bards are essentially spies and assassins in Orlais), and preferred the Death by Sex approach to their targets. However, while Leliana grew up rather privileged and sheltered (fostered by a noblewoman) and became a bard because she was seduced by the exciting, dangerous life it offered (and Marjolaine), Zevran was raised communally in a filthy whorehouse and had no choice joining the Crows since he was sold to them at age seven, and had to adapt or die. While Leliana protests that she never enjoyed the killing and judges those who do (unless hardened), Zevran is very open about how much he enjoys the thrill of the hunt, the seduction, and the kill, and doesn't judge anyone who does.
    • Also this to Alistair, at least as a Love Interest. Two orphaned boys who never knew their parents, raised almost like animals (Alistair made to sleep in castle stables and kennels, Zevran raised communally in a whorehouse and then later the Crow apartments), joined organizations that largely define their adult identities (the Grey Wardens for Alistair, the Antivan Crows for Zevran), and hide their pain behind cheerful humor. However, while Alistair is a dorky virgin who hides his insecurities behind a shield of duty, honor and lame jokes, Zevran is The Casanova who Really Gets Around and hides his pain behind a charming smile and a devil-may-care attitude.
  • Freudian Excuse: Oh dear, where to start? His father (is implied to have) died before he was born, his mother died giving birth to him (which he seems to blame himself for), and he was raised in a whorehouse. At the age of 7, he was auctioned off to a ruthless assassination syndicate and had to endure severe torture. He then fell in love with one of his colleagues who was accused of betraying the Crows, and he helped to kill her for it. He later found out that she was innocent.
  • The Gadfly: See Likes Older Women, though that's not the only way he harasses Wynne. He also does it to Leliana, but if hardened she calls his bluff on the lecherous behavior.
  • Gallows Humor: It's his preferred way of dealing with a bad situation, as the player will discover if the Warden interrogates him when they have him at their mercy after his failed attempt to assassinate the party. Given his backstory, it's almost certainly another defense mechanism.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: If the Warden is skeptical when Zevran offers his services, he answers that he happens to be a very loyal person (up until someone expects him to give their life for him). In combat, if it seems like Zevran always goes out of his way to assist the Warden when they're injured, it's not just your imagination. Zevran's default combat tactics really have him drop whatever he's doing to assist the Warden when they're taking heavy damage, something that no other party member (not even Alistair) has. Hearing some stories from his past reveals that Zevran is indeed naturally inclined towards honesty and loyalty, but the Chronic Backstabbing Disorder nature of the Crows forced him to adjust to survive, and the Warden has to befriend him to help him unlearn those habits.
  • Gay Option: For a male PC.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: One of his lines when selected on is "sí, amor?" if his approval is high.
  • Go Through Me: He can invoke this during the endgame when confronting Taliesen, if his friendship with the Warden is strong enough. Taliesen offers to take him home to Antiva, and they'll make up a story for why he left.
    Warden: Of course, I'd have to be dead first.
    Zevran: And I am not about to let that happen.
  • Heartbroken Badass:
    • Was in love with one of his fellow Crows who was accused of betraying the organization; he laughed and watched as she was killed, and then found out that she was innocent.
    • The player has the potential to (permanently) turn him into this a second time if the Warden romances him and then performs a Heroic Sacrifice at the end of the game; Zevran returns to Antiva, takes over the Crows, and never loves again.
  • Heel–Face Turn: He's hired by Loghain to assassinate the party and ambushes them on the road, but after being beaten he can be recruited as party member, if spared.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath:
    Zevran: So let us pretend that I do, indeed, believe that murder is wrong...
  • Hidden Depths: He puts effort into trying to convince the player he has none. Some gamers are quick to write him off as a highly one-dimensional character.
    • Protip: check out his remarks on your surroundings and his thoughts about the current situation (he'll have something to say when you're talking to a significant NPC). Don't forget his conversations with other party members, especially Sten and Morrigan. Basically you gotta put him in your party a lot to actually see these. Even Leliana remarks on it, as she can comment that there's "more to him than he lets on, isn't there?". Admittedly, Leliana seems to have been watching him very closely...
    • He's the only love interest who does not react differently if a Warden is cheating on him in favor of a homosexual relationship (a female Warden and Leliana in this case). He pretty much treats it the same way he would treat it to a male Warden romancing both him and Leliana.
    • While it's fairly easy to miss, Zevran and Taliesen are lovers. One of the biggest reasons for Zevran's possible Face–Heel Turn is that he cares far too much about Taliesen and far too little about the Warden to allow the latter to kill the former. This even overrides the pragmatism behind it, as your relationship with Zevran is the only thing which determines his loyalty (or lack of).
  • Hitman with a Heart: Double-subverted: He does actually have one, under all the Crow training, but after his First Love turned out to be a supposed traitor to the Crows and he killed her without remorse only to find out that she had been innocent, he's not at all keen to let such sentiment surface again.
  • Hypocrite: The Warden can call him one during "Broken Circle" after Zevran objects to wiping out the mages (if the Warden agreed with Cullen to do so). Zevran agrees, but remarks that he at least "looked his victims in the face".
  • I "Uh" You, Too: Like Morrigan, he gets highly confused by falling in love with the Warden, but eventually doesn't shirk away from admitting it, in a fashion.
  • In Love with the Mark: It takes a while and it's carefully subverted in places, but the romance does have elements of this.
  • Intimate Healing: His solution to the PC's apparent tiredness is a private massage.
  • Intimate Marks: He insinuates that he has tattoos on parts of his body that he can't show in polite company that "accentuate the lines of the body". These tattoos are never actually seen and he only refers to them.
  • Ladykiller in Love: And it works without being cliche. If his earring is refused the first time on the grounds that the Warden will only accept gifts with a meaning behind them, he offers it once again later. That leads to an exchange made of this trope:
    Zevran: I... still have the earring. I would like to give it to you... as a token of affection. Will you accept it?
    Warden: That almost sounds like a proposal.
    Zevran: (slowly) Not unless you wish it.
  • Last Guy Wins: Out of the four romance options, Zevran's always the last one to be recruited, since he is encountered after finishing one of the main story quests, which permanently closes off Lothering where Leliana is found. Double the points for also being a Gay Option for male PCs.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: In the Romance Sidequest.
    Zevran: It has meant a lot to me but so have — so has what you've done.
  • Latin Lover: All the way.
  • Likes Older Women: Zevran seems to really have a thing for Wynne. Or for making Wynne very uncomfortable.
    Wynne: Zevran, I am old enough to be your grandmother.
    Zevran: You say that like it's a bad thing.
    Wynne: And what would you do if you had me, hmm? This is a game you play, nothing more.
    Zevran: Oh, you are a cynical woman, Wynne. Cynical and powerful. It drives me mad with desire!
    • One of the funniest dialogues is after Zevran has learned of Wynne's condition.
      Zevran: I couldn't help hearing about your... predicament. Forgive me if I am prying...
      Wynne: Yes, you are.
      Zevran: ... but what does it feel like being possessed by a spirit?
      Wynne: Why does this interest you so?
      Zevran: I simply wish to get to know those that I travel with. Is that wrong of me?
      Wynne: No, of course it isn't. Well... let me see. It is hard to describe. It is comforting... I... I feel safe, loved.
      Zevran: Comforted, loved, yes...
      Wynne: It is like being held close, cradled... the bond is so complete that I am unable to extricate myself, nor do I wish to. Wait... why do you have that look on your face?
      Zevran: Mmm, I... I am simply imagining it. Continue, please.
      Wynne: And there is a constant warmth, that spreads outwards from the very center of my being, infusing my body with—
      Zevran: Ooh...
      Wynne: Andraste's grace, what are you thinking about now? No, I don't want to know. I feel dirty. Do not speak to me.
  • Lovable Rogue: A charming assassin with some degree of conscience
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Most of his interactions with other party members seem to revolve in some way around sex, although he's obviously turning it Up to Eleven with Wynne and Morrigan just to irritate them.
  • Love Interest: One of four potential ones.
  • Love Redeems: Actually averted — being on The Dark Side isn't really his choice, so he makes the Heel–Face Turn almost on his own account, if given enough incentive.
  • Love at First Punch: Even after getting beaten within an inch of his life, bound and interrogated by the party, he wastes no time in propositioning the PC. This is especially pronounced with the female PC:
    Female Warden: (after Zevran proposes to join the party) You must think I'm royally stupid.
    Zevran: I think you're royally tough to kill. And utterly gorgeous. Not that I think you'll respond to simple flattery. But there are worse things in life than serving the whims of a deadly sex goddess.
  • Meaningful Name: And it works a number of ways.
    • Zevran can derived from the Hebrew words "Ze'ev" (wolf) and "Ran" (he sings; more specifically he sings joyously). Put together, Zevran means "wolf who sings joyously" or "joyously singing wolf." Very fitting for our wolfish "eternal optimist." Played with when it turns out his cheerful demeanor is a coping mechanism from his Dark and Troubled Past, and the whole reason he took the job to assassinate the Warden was in hopes that he would die in the attempt. Can become a full-blown Ironic Name depending on the Warden's choices.
    • Conversely, Zevran can be a form of Saffron, which refers either to a spice, the crocus flower from which it is harvested, or the yellow-orange colour of the spice. More specifically, the Old French from the Arabic za'faran, probably from Persian meaning "gold leaves". Considering Zevran's golden hair and "spicy" demeanor compared to the other companions, it fits.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Casually reveals at one point that he was raised communally with other children of whores and orphans in the whorehouse, and while the girls had built-in future careers to earn their keep, the boys were just considered hungry mouths to feed. He remarks that he was lucky to be bought by the Crows when he was at seven, as you don't want to know what they did to boys they couldn't sell.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Killing Rinna, then finding out that she was innocent.
  • My Greatest Failure: Not only did he help Taliesin kill his First Love Rinna, but he laughed and spit in her face when she professed her innocence and love for him as she was dying. When he found out later that she was indeed innocent... well.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Lampshaded when he lists "stand around and look pretty" as one of the various skills and services he can offer the Warden as an ally.
  • Nature Vs Nurture: If the Warden gains sufficient approval and learns about his past, it becomes clear that Zevran is by nature very loyal and compassionate, but his horrific upbringing by the Crows conditioned him to place ruthless pragmatism above sentiment. A Warden who befriends and/or romances Zevran can help draw out his good nature under his ruthless nurture.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Narrowly averted for Zevran's first mark. He took pity on her and arranged to help her escape while he took credit for killing her to the Crows so they'd both come out okay. She promptly tripped on her carriage door, fell, and broke her neck. The Crows congratulated him on being able to Make It Look Like an Accident. Zevran later found out that she had arranged to betray him to the Crows.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Appears to be a literal case when the time came to record the dialogue — poor Zev is the only one who pronounces his name correctly (emphasis on the second syllable, not the first). Justified: He's Antivan (think Spanish or Italian in Real Life), while Fereldans are the equivalent of Brits. Most native English speakers mispronounce Spanish names. Note that only Master Ignacio, another Antivan, pronounces it correctly.
  • No Sneak Attacks: Despite admitting easily that he wasn't planning on a fair fight, singing praises about poison usage and crippling one's opponent, he tries to take the PC head on (subverted in the fact that he's somewhat Crazy-Prepared with tons of traps, archers and even a mage). Most likely because of the fact that he's a Death Seeker.
  • Nothing Personal: After failing to assassinate the Warden, he explains that he has no idea what Loghain's issues are with them and that they can't afford to take that sort of thing personally.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: His conversation with Morrigan after completing her personal quest is, basically, "I know your mother sent you here because she had a plan, and I know you're here because you have a plan." And if the Warden is in a romance with Morrigan, Zevran will note that she is 'biding her time'. Pretty much what some players want to say to her face.
  • Optional Party Member: The player can choose to kill him on the spot, let him go, or allow him to come along in the journey.
  • Parental Abandonment: He's the son of a whore who died in childbirth. His father either died or abandoned her, since she had to become a whore to put food on the table shortly after conceiving Zevran.
  • Playing Hard to Get: A possible response to repeated propositioning from the Warden. Zevran playfully considers it for about two seconds.
  • Polyamory: The game implies, and The World of Thedas Vol. 2 confirms, that Zevran was in a poly relationship with Taliesin and Rinna. He is also notably the only romanceable companion who is willing to enter an open relationship with the Warden, though he knows the others (Morrigan, Alistair, and Leliana) wouldn't be okay with it.
  • Power Trio: The World of Thedas Vol. 2 reveals that Zevran was part of this with Taliesin and Rinna. Individually they were all average assassins, but together they complemented each other's skills wonderfully. Zevran excelled at seduction and poisons, Taliesin was the best warrior, and Rinna was great at planning. When Rinna was killed, everything fell apart.
  • Professional Killer: He's one of the Antivan Crows' best assassins.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: He's fine with admitting he only does it for the money.
  • Questionable Consent: Implied.
    Zevran: I have had to do many things in my work as an assassin, some pleasant and many not so. The Crows recruit elven assassins because we are considered beautiful by humans... I am sure you can imagine the rest.
    • Averted, if not Defied for his romance. If the Warden doesn't offer sex first, then Zevran will eventually offer a "massage," but then clearly spell out that he hopes the massage will lead to sex, and asks if you're okay with that. If the Warden tries to play coy he'll keep asking until they give verbal and enthusiastic consent before proceeding.
  • Really Gets Around: To the point that he's not unwilling to have a foursome with Isabela, Leliana, and the Warden.
  • Retcon: The World of Thedas Vol. 2 provides a pretty major one for his backstory. His father was a mark for the Crows, who kept tabs on his mother and him until the day they bought him. Rinna was also secretly the bastard child of an Antivan prince, and a legitimate contender for the Antivan throne. She was part of a huge plot to try to take the throne which failed, and she was indeed executed by the Crows for it. Taliesin knew of her guilt but let Zevran think she had been innocent to spare his feelings, but this backfired as Zevran fell into guilt and despair for her murder.
  • Sad Clown: All his lusting and quipping is meant to hide how much he really wants to die.
  • Second Love: The Warden becomes this for him if he gets romanced; the first girl was killed because she allegedly betrayed the Crows.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: An interesting case, as the Warden can express reluctance to recruit him because they don't trust him not to betray them (a number of players admit to almost never interacting with him on their first playthrough due to said distrust). Near the end of the game, Zevran betrays the Warden only if they have less than 26/100 Approval with him (i.e. enough to befriend Zevran and get him to teach you the Assassin Build or even sleep with you). You can get almost that many Approval points in your first conversation just by being nice to him. In other words, the Warden has to either actively antagonise Zevran or never talk to/adventure with him in order for his Approval to be low enough to betray you. Said distrust or hostility can easily be part of what fuels his betrayal.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Downplayed. Zevran mentions that the Crows often recruit elves because they're considered beautiful to humans, making it easy to seduce potential targets. Considering seven-year-old Zevran was picked up in a whorehouse...
  • Son of a Whore: His Dalish mother abandoned her clan and moved with his woodcutter father to Antiva City, then had to sell her body to put food on the table shortly thereafter (either because he died or abandoned her).
  • Stepford Smiler: His backstory almost makes him The Woobie. If the PC enters the mage tower with him, his Fade nightmare shows the torture he was made to endure to become an assassin. Aside from that, he allowed the woman he loved to be killed for betraying the Crows while she was professing her innocence and love for him — it turned out later on that she had indeed been innocent. Most of his cheerful perversity is the result of trying to accept his cruel and twisted upbringing.
    • He also plays this straight during most his dialogue with the Warden. It takes a lot of effort to break it, to the point you have to be outright trying to hurt or offend him. Zevran often takes break ups fairly well (at least to the Warden's face), and will even laugh off or make jokes about a human/dwarf warden making extremely racist comments about him (he even sticks to this if informed that the Warden wants to keep him as a servant, though he is obviously irritated).
  • Suicide Mission: The rest of the Crows consider his taking the contract to kill the Warden to be this, given the reputation of the Wardens as warriors. Zevran intended it to be: as Death Seeker above shows, he wanted to die after Rinna's death and thought throwing himself in the path of a Grey Warden was the surest way to accomplish that.
  • Tattooed Crook: Some of the tattoos (like the one on his face) have certain meanings within the Crows organization. Others (such as the ones that he implies are around his... *ahem* ) are just there for decoration.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Nowhere near the levels of Shale or Morrigan, as Zevran is primarily just a Pragmatic Hero and highly disapproves of needless evil or cruelty, but yes, this game has three of them.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Rebuffs Morrigan's threats of bodily harm with this but averts it in the Fade, where he briefly becomes The Determinator in his nightmare.
  • Training from Hell: Take him along to the Circle Tower and watch his nightmare. That should give you a general idea.
  • Troll: A lot of his party banters involve toying with the person he's talking to and intentionally angering them for amusement.
  • Troubled, but Cute: An elf with layers upon layers upon layers of defense mechanisms covering up an incredibly traumatic past. He goes to great pains to deny this until befriended/romanced deeply enough.
  • Turn Coat: Very willingly when the Warden beats him. He'll also eventually turn on them if his approval is too low.
  • Unusual Euphemism: When he tells the Warden about how he misses the smell of Antivan leather, the PC can ask if he's using this trope. In a subversion, he bursts out laughing and admits that he may as well be, but isn't (this time).
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Oghren, perhaps as a small homage to Legolas and Gimli. Lampshaded when Zevran asks whether they're going to engage in the standard elf/dwarf banter. Oghren's response is "Nah."
  • Weak, but Skilled: Dialogue with Alistair and his own recounts of his past reveals that Zevran isn't exactly the best fighter. He even reveals to Alistair that he was commissioned to kill the party because he was the only member of the Crows who actually signed up for the job. This can, of course, be subverted in gameplay.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Alistair loudly invokes this trope after Zevran joins the party and the Warden gains some favor with him, asking if the hair and clothes aren't too much and if women really go for men who tried to kill them. Leliana promptly responds that a) the elf is attractive to some and b) where she comes from, they very much do.
  • Wild Card: He can do a genuine turn, but if his Relationship Values are neglected he remains the Wild Card. In Dragon Age II, he appears as a Hero of Another Story with enough savvy not to meddle in the Warden's. He still appears to be the Wild Card in his own story.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Hinted at. In the Stone Prisoner DLC, if the player chooses the "best" result and free the little girl of the demon, Zevran nets a higher approval than Alistair. Also implied to be part of the reason why he will object to letting the Templars annul the Fereldan Circle; the annulment sentences all mages within the tower to death, including those too young to have any understanding of (much less involvement with) the uprising.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: And it takes a lot for the Warden to convince Zevran of this.
  • You Lose at Zero Trust: Recruiting Zevran but failing to befriend him (less than 26/100 approval) will cause him to betray the Warden and team with former Crow ally Taliesen against them, which results in his death.

    Tropes In Dragon Age II and Dragon Age: Inquisition

"Excellent. Killing my former brothers-in-arms is oddly satisfying."

If he survived Origins, Zevran will appear in Dragon Age II Act 3. No longer a Crow, Zevran has now devoted most of his time killing Crows pursuing him.

  • Anti-Hero: In Dragon Age II, he has dedicating his life to killing and bringing down the Antivan Crows, showing that he has settled down to Unscrupulous Hero.
  • Demoted to Extra: Out of all the romance options of Origins, Zevran's only appearance in Inquisition is being an agent for a single war table mission or a brief mention in a codex entry if romanced.
  • Contract on the Hitman: In Dragon Age II, not only is he still alive after seven years of the Crows hunting him, but he's leading a crusade against them and winning. His codex entry says he's killed one guildmaster, bribed two others, and has developed a knack for finding assassins as disaffected as he was in the first game.
  • The Dreaded: In his possible one-man revenge spree against his former employers in the second game, a few of the Crow bosses submitted to and allied with him to avoid his knives in their backs.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: If he's alive at the end of the first game and made a Heel–Face Turn, Hawke runs into him in Dragon Age II during a sidequest. If Hawke help him get away from the Crows who are trying to kill him in that sidequest, he will return to help them in the Final Battle against Meredith.
  • Heartbroken Badass: If an Origins game is imported where he is romanced but the Warden made the Ultimate sacrifice, his cameo in Dragon Age II appears to imply that he never so much as sleeps with anyone again: when Isabela proposes they have sex, which seems to be a habit of theirs whenever their paths happen to cross, he firmly declines, stating he is still in mourning. It is worth noting that this takes place approximately seven years after the Warden has died.
  • Hero of Another Story: He's off internally tearing down the Crows bit by bit in Dragon Age II, and continues to do so in Inquisition. If romanced however, he traveling with the Warden to cure the Calling.
  • Hunter of His Own Kind: In Dragon Age II, if he survives the first game.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Throws a knife into a Crow's eye socket before turning his head at them.
  • Ladykiller in Love: If an Origins game is imported where the Hero of Ferelden is alive and he is romanced, Zevran can still be flirted with and he will flirt back, but outright turns down sex with Isabela since he's now devoted to the Warden.
  • The Mourning After: See Heartbroken Badass entry above.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In a War Table chain in Inquisition, the Inquisitor can hire the Crows to deal with a Venatori aligned noble. The Crows fail because Zevran, believing that the assassins were after him, killed one of them. Zevran offers to kill the noble in the Crows' place.
  • One-Man Army: A codex entry in Dragon Age II reveals that he's single-handedly annihilating the entire Crow organization. Publicly, his former employers are still trying to assassinate him out of principle. Privately, however, they're all terrified of him.
  • Optional Sexual Encounter: In Dragon Age II, Hawke can sleep with him, and if Isabela's present, then they can have a threesome.
  • Red Baron: He's now called "The Black Shadow" among the Crows.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Story-wise, at least. By the endgame of Origins he can be devastating in combat despite being described as a merely decent fighter. He's never controllable in Dragon Age II (he appears as an allied NPC in combat), but codex entries detail that he's pretty much singlehandedly burning the Crows out of their nests.
    Zevran: I may have also killed the last four assassins they sent after me. And all their men. Oh, and the Guildmaster.

Loghain Mac Tir

First Appearance: Dragon Age: Origins
Voiced by: Simon Templeman

     Tropes In Dragon Age: Origins

A hero throughout Ferelden, Loghain is the general of the army brought to fight the Darkspawn at Ostagar. His plans, however, are a little different from what King Cailan expects. After being defeated at the Landsmeet, he can be recruited in place of Alistair, who resultantly quits the Wardens.

  • All There in the Manual: His character is much, much better understood once one has read The Stolen Throne and The Calling.
  • Anti-Villain: He's not nearly as one-dimensionally evil as he seems at first. In his mind, he's a Well-Intentioned Extremist with most of his actions being Necessarily Evil in order to protect Ferelden, the country he loves and has served all his life.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Receives one from Anora regarding Cailan. After a lot of arguing, he goes completely silent when she asks point-blank:
    Anora: Did you kill Cailan?!
    Loghain: (silent, unable to look her in the eye) ... Cailan's death was his own doing.
    [Anora scrutinizes him for a while, then throws up her hands and leaves]
  • The Atoner:
    • He realizes what he's doing is wrong, but until he is subdued, Cognitive Dissonance prevents him from stopping his heinous acts.
    • He gives a powerful line when he offers to kill the Archdemon instead of the Warden.
      Loghain: Please, I've done so much wrong. Allow me to do one last thing right.
  • Badass Creed: When asked by the Warden about what he wants, Loghain is genuinely taken aback, then gives one hell of a speech.
    Loghain: (taken aback) What I want? What an odd question... (fiercely) I want to ride back to Denerim and sit in the war room and find no empty chairs at the table. I want to lose nothing else. I want a line, clearly drawn, that I can defend. (wistful) I want an end to this war. All of this can rightly be called my fault. Whether or not you can do better remains to be seen. (firmly) But if you can make this the end, Warden, I will follow you. I swear it.
  • Base-Breaking Character: A textbook in-universe example. The country is deeply divided on the subject of his character and his stewardship of Ferelden. Many find it difficult to reconcile the hero who helped free them from oppression with the despot whose corrupt regime has created so much injustice in the land.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: Right after leaving Cailan and the Wardens to die, he pins the blame on the surviving Wardens; an obvious scapegoat maneuver since the Warden sees Loghain at the same war meeting where Duncan cautioned Cailan against charging into the horde as much as him. It's unclear how much he believed his claim at the time, but there are hints that he felt at least some guilt, such as his inability to look Anora in the eye when she asked him point-blank if he killed Cailan. However, by the Landsmeet he's been repeating his story so many times he completely believes it, and loudly and proudly proclaims it without so much as a blink.
  • Berserk Button: Orlais' century-long occupation of Ferelden. Any time it's brought up (even by him), he nearly boils into a frothy rage.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Loghain would be a legitimate Big Bad if the Archdemon wasn't in the game; as it is, he's a genuine threat, but not the main one. The only one of his plans that goes off properly was abandoning his son-in-law at Ostagar. His retreating from Ostagar, declaring himself regent, and demanding troops from the Fereldan nobles starts a civil war. Hiring an assassin (which might have been Howe's idea) winds up with the assassin either dead or recruited by the person Loghain sent him to kill. Poisoning his primary political opponent winds up with the man not only cured, but further alienates the nobility, who don't have proof of his involvement but find it awfully convenient that Eamon mysteriously fell ill right before Loghain took power.
  • Black-and-White Morality: How Loghain sees the world. As noted, one of his deepest desires is "a line, clearly drawn, that I can defend."
  • Co-Dragons: Howe and Cauthrien are this to him.
  • Cool Old Guy: He mellows into one if he's still alive during Awakening.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: While not quite as bad as Howe or Anora, Loghain betrays and abandons nearly every ally over the game. He abandons Cailan and the Grey Wardens to die at Ostagar, then pins the blame on the surviving Grey Wardens. He promises to help Uldred and the rebel mages, but abandons them to the Templars. He promises Lady Isolde he'd find a tutor for her mage son, but sends an assassin to poison her husband. He promises Jowan he'd fix things with the Circle if he kills Eamon, but abandons him to Isolde. He promises to merely act as Queen Anora's general, but practically usurps her when she speaks out against him. Most of the Warden's army in the endgame are Loghain's former allies that the Warden saved from his treachery. (Even in the supplemental prequel novel The Stolen Throne, Flemeth warns Maric that "Loghain will betray you, each time worse than the last.") He only really breaks out of it if the Warden defeats and spares him in single combat, and allows him to atone for his crimes.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Not surprising, considering that many of the nobles resent the fact that a farmer's son was elevated above them all.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: The first minute you lay eyes on this guy, you just know he's up to no good, but no one else sees it.
  • Double Standard: If the Warden calls him out on selling elves into slavery, Loghain tries to justify it by saying, "Isn't it better to live as a slave than die without hope?" This, despite how Loghain nearly let the darkspawn take Ferelden rather than risk re-occupation from Orlais. To Loghain, it's better to die free than live enslaved if you're human note , but it's okay to live as a slave if you're an elf. What's worse, he sold the elves to Tevinter, where there's a not-insignificant chance they'll be murdered to power blood magic. So much even for living as a slave.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Whether being executed or killing the Archdemon, you're always reminded the man was and still can be a hero.
  • Easily Forgiven: Subverted. If you spare him, Alistair leaves the party and Loghain refuses to believe that you spared him out of mercy. While the player can play the Warden as completely forgiving Loghain for everything he has done, the Warden will be the only one who feels that way. This even extends all the way into Inquisiton, which is ten years later In-Universe. It's clear that his actions have made him disliked by many of his fellow Grey Wardens.
    • Played straight regarding his selling elves into slavery. While Loghain remains an in-universe Base-Breaking Character regarding his betrayal at Ostagar and stewardship of Ferelden, no one seems to remember that whole slave-trading stunt. None of the characters ever bring it up or hold it against him, including elven characters. (Not even Solas, the Fade-walking, slavery-hating elf.) It could be that everyone at that point has chalked it up to Arl Howe's actions, however.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Black hair, almost sickly pale skin... no wonder some fans suggested Alan Rickman as a possible live-action candidate.
  • 11th-Hour Ranger: If he joins your party. Unfortunately, by the time he's a part of your team, you have precious little time to spend with him.
  • Enemy Mine: Subverted. To be of use to the Wardens, Loghain must become one himself.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Even though his support erodes by the moment, Loghain is defiant throughout the Landsmeet. But when Anora speaks out against him, it seems to take the wind out of his sails momentarily.
    Loghain: [after Anora has denounced him to the Landsmeet] So, the Warden has poisoned even your mind, Anora?
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: He fully supports his daughter being queen (though only as long as she acquiesces to the terms of his regency), his handpicked lieutenant (and leader of his elites) is Cauthrien, and he knows the female Warden belongs at Ostagar. His attitude towards elves is hazier, though he's personally witnessed Dalish archery.
    Loghain: You're pretty for a Grey Warden. Don't let anyone tell you that you don't belong. The first Warden Maric brought to Ferelden was a woman. Best warrior I've ever seen.
  • Evil Plan: One that is spectacularly thwarted at every turn, and had frankly gone totally off-script before that.
    Loghain: (in full Sarcasm Mode) Fine. I confess: it was entirely my idea that Uldred consort with demons. I had a dastardly scheme in which the utter destruction of Ferelden's best weapon would benefit me, personally.
  • Face Death with Dignity: If you choose to execute him, he does this. However, if Alistair is the one to face him in the duel, he's killed before he really has the chance to choose a way to face the inevitable.
  • Fallen Hero: He gave up everything to restore Ferelden, and as a result began to resent the very people for whom he won it.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Hates Orlais since they invaded his homeland. And killed his dog. And raped his mother while forcing him and his father to watch. This leads to some nasty banter with Leliana on his part. Loghain publicly has this for the reason he betrayed Cailan. He voices doubt in the Landsmeet that the Orlesian soldiers which were expected to come over their borders would simply leave after the Blight is finished.
    • While more subtle about it than most, he's clearly bigoted against elves. If you call him on selling elves into slavery, he tries to justify it with his usual "I Did What I Had to Do to ensure Ferelden's independence" line, neatly glossing over how elves are Ferelden citizens, too. He's even contemptuous of an Elven Warden who calls him out on it. Whenever he uses the word "elf" in any conversation, his voice actor practically spits the word like it's a slur or a curse.
    • In The Stolen Throne, he's skeptical of Maric's trust in Katriel's abilities partly because she's Orlesian, but mostly because she's a woman and an elf.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Pride. He let his heroic reputation get to his head and expected all of Ferelden to Kneel Before Zod.
    • His hatred for the Orlesians. One of — perhaps the — major part of his character is that he grew up during the Orlesian occupation of Ferelden, which colors his entire worldview; even if an alliance between the two countries would help both, he won't hear of it. He also attempts to invoke public fear about another Orlesian invasion while conveniently ignoring that Ferelden is no longer the collection of squabbling chieftains that fell to them and would present a much more difficult challenge (not to mention the fact that Orlais will not want the tainted ruin that will be left of Ferelden once the darkspawn are done with it because Loghain is wasting his time and armies against a non-existent threat while the real one only grows stronger, and the Grey Wardens are perfectly prepared to abandon Ferelden to its fate and use the time to fortify other nations against the Blight when it spills out, rather than deal with Loghain's stupidity).
      Arl Wulff: The South is fallen, Loghain! Will you let darkspawn take the whole country for fear of Orlais?
  • A Father to His Men: He chastises Wynne for criticizing his decision to abandon Cailan's army on these grounds, claiming he wasn't about to throw away more lives of soldiers he knew and cared about for a lost cause. In Inquisition, Solas will note this is one of the impressions he got in the Fade while dreaming at Ostagar.
  • Figure It Out Yourself: If Loghain is a party member, and you decide not to take him with you to defeat the Archdemon, he wonders why you spared his life if you had no intention of forcing him to kill the Archdemon as an alternative to self-sacrifice. One of your answers is that someday he'll realize why. If you choose the Heroic Sacrifice, it's doubly poignant.
  • Freudian Excuse: He hates Orlais because Orlesian soldiers made him watch as they raped and murdered his mother. There's also a major element of Green-Eyed Monster regarding Loghain's relationship to Maric. Loghain lost his one true love to King Maric out of duty.
  • General Ripper: His paranoia over the Orlesians is the cause of his betrayal.
  • Glorious Leader: Loghain has a damn good hold on Denerim's populace thanks to being the Hero of River Dane. This is averted in the rest of Ferelden, which is less impressed by his tyrannical leadership. Even in the case of Denerim, his hold is maintained less by his own personal magnetism (of which there is little), and more due to Arl Howe's army infesting the city.
  • Guide Dang It!: It's difficult to have Loghain join but keep Alistair on the throne without some quick research.
  • The Heavy: While the Archdemon and the Darkspawn are the premier threats of the game, Loghain is the biggest obstacle to the player when it comes to trying to get Ferelden to band together.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: If you choose to kill him at the Landsmeet after Riordan suggests making him a Warden. If Alistair duels Loghain, he doesn't even let him get that far, and kills him on the spot.
  • Heel Realization: "Please, I've done so much wrong... allow me to do this last thing right."
  • Heroes Act, Villains Hinder: The Wardens just want to stop the Blight already, but Loghain does everything in his power to hinder them from doing so. (First leaving them to die at Ostagar, then pinning the blame on the surviving Grey Wardens for Ostagar, then sending assassins and bounties on them...)
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He will willingly sacrifice himself to kill the Archdemon in place of the Warden in order to make up for what he's done.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: He makes the transparently evil Arl Howe his right hand man and believes (or pretends to believe) his lie that the Always Lawful Good Couslands are pro-Orlesian collaborators. Similarly, he's willing to make deals with Uldred, Jowan, and Caladrius, while distrusting the infinitely more reasonable Duncan.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: While being The Lancer to Cailan, he's the one who single-handedly manages the war effort with his "boring" strategies. And while not nearly to the same degree, he was this to Maric, as well, though you'd never know it from hearing him talk about the guy.
  • Hypocrite:
    • During the Landsmeet, Loghain accuses Eamon of bringing Alistair forward just to put a puppet king on the throne. This would hold more weight if Loghain himself hadn't spent all game ignoring his daughter's political advice, and just allowed Howe to lock her away for increasingly questioning and disapproving his decisions, effectively reducing her to a puppet queen for his own regency.
    • Loghain always froths at the mere mention of Orlais because of how it "enslaved" Ferelden note  and uses it to justify most of his war crimes. However, if an Elven Warden calls him out on selling alienage elves into slavery, he is dismissive at best, contemptuous at worst.
      Loghain: Honestly, elf, do you think that among all my crimes, that is the one that keeps me up at night? It's a bit egotistical of you, don't you think?
    • At Ostagar, Loghain admonishes Cailan's blind confidence in his own military prowess, telling him "we must attend to reality." Yet, Loghain constantly denies the severity of the darkspawn threat, the increasing evidence that this is a Blight, and dismisses Anora's and Howe's increasingly dire warnings that his forces are stretched too thin to fight the darkspawn, and the civil war, and patrol the Orlesian border, all at once, without any help. So much for "attending to reality."
  • I Did What I Had to Do: He justifies his more horrific actions with this argument. For example, he claims that he abandoned Cailan because it was impossible to save him without taking too many casualties to fight the darkspawn.
    • He's been this as far back as The Stolen Throne: he told Maric Katriel had been reporting back to the Orlesians, but neglected to tell him that she had reneged on her orders out of love for him. In Loghain's view, Katriel's crimes, regardless of Maric's feelings for her, demanded death, and he wanted to impress upon Maric the importance of a king doing what has to be done, as opposed to what he wants to do. When Maric later learned the truth, it caused a rift between the two that was only healed after Loghain helped Maric through his grief over Rowan's death.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: When Arl Howe presents the assassin he hired to kill the Grey Wardens, Loghain can be seen draining his chalice.
  • Informed Ability: His legendary tactical genius. Apparently, he pretty much won the Fereldan rebellion against Orlais single-handedly, and background characters throughout the game will be heard to remark on all the military victories he wins against the Bannorn in the civil war. The only tactical move the player will actually see him make, however, is his decision to abandon Cailan at Ostagar, a move that nearly destroys the nation.
    • However, it must be noted that Cailan didn't want to employ Loghain's Boring, but Practical tactics, which probably led him to sound the retreat after Cailan did his Leeroy Jenkins impression.
  • I Reject Your Reality: No matter how much mounting evidence there is that the well-organized darkspawn incursion really is a Blight, and that his forces cannot combat the darkspawn incursion and the rebelling nobles and patrol the Orlesian border alone, Loghain continues to insist that it's not a true Blight and Ferelden can stand alone, even as half the country is swallowed up by the Blight. At the Landsmeet, he changes to admitting that it ''is'' a Blight, but claims that they don't need the Grey Wardens to defeat it.
  • It's All About Me: Believes he alone suffered the worst under Orlesian occupation, and he alone is doing what is needed to protect Ferelden. He also seems to think the Warden's insistence on "opposing" him is due to a personal vendetta, not that they're trying to do, you know, their job of stopping the Blight already. If the Warden is elven and calls him out on his elven slave-trading, he dismisses their rightful anger against him as just "egotistical" self-flattery, since he suffered way worse under Orlesians than they did.
    Loghain: None of you deserve a say in what happens here! None of you have spilled blood for this land the way I have!
  • It's All My Fault: Part of his Character Development is realizing he's been wrong, though admittedly, he might have realized it without his own personal Treacherous Advisor manipulating him.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Should Loghain be the one to kill the Archdemon one of the parting words you can give Loghain is, "For what it's worth, I salute you."
    • Alternatively, if you don't take him with you and didn't Take the Third Option with Morrigan, you can have this exchange:
      Warden: You need to stay here. And live.
      Loghain: (pensive) I see... (beat) Then let me say it has been an honor to fight at your side, however briefly.
  • It's Personal: Orlais invaded his homeland, true, but he has a far more personal Freudian Excuse for being the way he is.
  • I Want Grandkids: If the Warden's married to Anora and Loghain's still alive in Awakening, he pesters the Warden about when he and Anora are going to have an heir.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • In Return to Ostagar, he's completely dismissive of the idea of peace with Orlais, declaring that peace just means "fighting someone else's enemies in someone else's war for someone else's reasons." Cue The Masked Empire, where it's revealed that the only reason Empress Celene wanted to marry Cailan is so she could add Ferelden's military strength to her empire in order to drive back Nevarra and give Tevinter pause.
    • The same letter cache will reveal Arl Eamon begged Cailan not to lead the attack on the Darkspawn, stating, "Cailan, I beseech you, as your uncle, not to join the Grey Wardens on the Field. You cannot afford to take this risk. Ferelden cannot afford it", and noting he did not have an heir yet. Both Loghain and Eamon thought Cailan was buying too much into the glory of battle and not employing Boring, but Practical tactics.
  • Kick the Dog: Even after being recruited. Aside from the entire elven slavery thing (which he has no problem telling a city elven warden he doesn't regret to their face), if the Warden points out Alistair left because of him he'll reply "You can thank me for that later" even if this resulted in Alistair being executed.
  • Karmic Death: Regardless of what he intended, he still got many soldiers killed alongside harming many innocents in his attempted takeover, his death at the landsmeet is completely earned and Aside from his daughter, no one sheds a tear over him.
  • Kneel Before Zod: He demands this of the Bannorn. Teagan tells him to get stuffed, and a civil war breaks out as a result.
    Teagan: The Bannorn will not bow to you, simply because you demand it!
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: His retreat as Ostagar, according to him and his followers. The horde was simply too numerous, and the main battle line was already buckling when they got the signal. They still maintain this position almost a decade later in the third game. Almost no one else believes this interpretation of events, though. As with most real life history, it's impossible to tell for certain if this is true.
  • Large Ham: This man isn't ashamed at making a spectacle out of everything at the Landsmeet.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: If Loghain is a Warden, he's sent to Orlais by the Wardens. To his credit, Loghain is more intrigued than upset.
  • Love Hurts: He gave up the woman he loved because he knew she would be a good queen, and although he married someone else (Anora's mother) later on, it is mentioned that he lives apart from his family and rarely sees them. As Maric notes, "we are all running from something."
  • The Lancer: Was one to Maric, then to Cailan. If recruited, he more or less takes over this role from Alistair.
  • Meaningful Name: Mac Tir, in modern Irish, translates roughly to "son of the land", which is apt given his patriotism. He's also the son of a farmer.
    • Doubles as an Invoked Trope, seeing as he was given the surname by King Maric.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: Surprisingly, in battle: he seems to like the Rally move (which requires this along with a Skyward Scream) a little too much.
  • Misery Poker: If you recruit him and call him out on selling elves into slavery, he uses the losses at Ostagar (that he caused) to dismiss the elves' plight (that he also caused).
    Loghain: The plight of a few dozen elves in the face of all the hundreds who died at Ostagar, the countless others fighting the civil war that followed, seems irrelevant.
  • Moral Myopia: Loghain will never forgive Orlais for "enslaving" Ferelden, yet insists his selling Ferelden elves into actual slavery was Necessarily Evil. See Fantastic Racism and Hypocrite above.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members: If you recruit Loghain, you end up losing Alistair permanently one way or another.
  • Necessarily Evil: It's quite obvious that he realizes that what he's doing is wrong and evil, but he feels it is necessary to protect Ferelden. Ferelden humans, anyway.
  • Never My Fault: Has shades of this during the Landsmeet. His first response to any mention of his crimes is to deflect the blame onto someone else. He left Cailan and the Grey Wardens to die? Cailan killed himself and/or the Grey Wardens goaded him into the charge. Loghain allowed the darkspawn to pour into Ferelden because he was too busy fighting a needless civil war and Orlesian border patrol? It's the nobles' fault for not instantly bowing before him. The Warden points out he sold elves into slavery? It's the Wardens' fault for opposing him, and for making him stretch his forces too thin, and he needed the money. Anora sides with the Warden because Loghain has finally gone too far for her? The Wardens brainwashed her. Only occasionally does he expand his defense to I Did What I Had to Do, and only if spared does he start to acknowledge responsibility for what he did.
    • Even after the Landsmeet if the Warden spares him Loghain continues to insist that the elven slave-trading was the right move, and will tell the Warden to their face (even if they're a city elf) that it's their fault that he "had" to resort to it because they insisted on opposing him (as opposed to rolling over and dying when he pinned the blame of Ostagar on them), and that if they hadn't stopped his slave-trading operation in Denerim he would have gotten enough money to fight the darkspawn and the civil war and patrol the Orlesian border all at once, and now it's their fault that they're in the mess they're in now. What a hero.
  • No Sympathy: For someone who experienced so-called "slavery" under Orlais, you would think Loghain would have a little more empathy for an Elven Warden who objects to him selling elves into actual slavery. Instead, Loghain is dismissive and contemptuous, calling them egotistical for not instantly getting over it.
  • Not So Different: Loghain and the Grey Wardens (Duncan in particular) in their single-minded Combat Pragmatism. Loghain's vendetta against Orlais and Duncan's against the darkspawn. The difference being, of course, Orlais is much more complex while darkspawn, especially during a Blight, have only one goal in mind.
    • Loghain despises Orlais for their tyrannical occupation of Ferelden: ruling against its people's wishes, using military force to intimidate and crush opposition, and selling elves into slavery right and left. However, after declaring himself Regent against the Bannorn's will, Loghain resorts to increasingly tyrannical measures to keep his throne, uses military force to crush and intimidation opposition and sells his own elven citizens into slavery. And, dependent on his whims, imprisons or murders any who speak out against him. Many people openly state his tenure in power is far too similar to the Orlesian occupation for their liking.
    • Little does Loghain know, most of the abuse he faced growing up under Orlesian nobles and Chevaliers is eerily similar to the discrimination the City Elf Warden dealt with growing up under abusive human nobles and guards. In fact, Loghain's Dark and Troubled Past where a Chevalier raped and murdered his mother is eerily similar to the City Elf's Origin where Bann Vaughan raped their cousin Shianni, and possibly murdered their fiance if the City Elf is female, but Loghain is too racist and self-absorbed to listen or empathize. He also just doesn't seem to care about the plight of city elves even after supposedly employing "Night Elves" to help rid Ferelden of Orlais.
  • Nouveau Riche: Despite being one of the most powerful noblemen in Ferelden, he's common-born, and has very little respect for Fereldan political tradition (or, indeed, the law), having never been raised in that culture. Therefore, as a result, the royal court under his regency becomes a tyrannical den of corruption and abuse. Many of the rest of the nobility look down on him as being an upjumped commoner, and feel that his taking of the Regency is nothing but an opportunistic grab for power.
  • No, You: If you accuse Loghain of being the one responsible for dividing Ferelden after he does so to Eamon at the start of the Landsmeet.
    Loghain: You divide our nation and weaken our efforts against the Blight with your selfish ambitions to the throne.
    The Warden: You're the one who divided Ferelden.
    Loghain: I was not talking to you.
    • The entire confrontation at the Landsmeet essentially amounts to this. The Warden brings up one of his many crimes? His most frequent response is No, You and your allies are the ones responsible, not him. (See Never My Fault.)
  • Off with His Head!: If executed at the Landsmeet, he goes out in this fashion.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: A lot of people feel his taking of the throne with such alacrity after Cailan's death smacks of this.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • In one of the possible outcomes of the Landsmeet, the last thing he does before getting executed at the hands of the Grey Warden is to console Anora. In another outcome, when Shale questions Loghain as to whether he would have killed Anora to take the throne of Ferelden (as Loghain previously claimed that he would do anything to protect Ferelden), Loghain replies that he would not have done so even if he had known what he knows now. Also in Awakening, if Loghain is alive and the (imported) Grey Warden is married to Anora, Loghain tells him to take good care of her or otherwise he'll be back anytime from Orlais.
    • In the Return to Ostagar DLC, it's implied that part of the reason he betrayed Cailan was because Cailan was callously going to divorce his daughter due to fears that she was barren, having produced no children during their five year of marriage — and was already planning to marry the Empress of Orlais. If he's in your party when you play the DLC, he will be so furious and disgusted that he will insist you throw Cailan's corpse to the wolves.
  • Paper Tiger: It's pretty clear he's not the political powerhouse he might portray himself as. (Though he is a military powerhouse.) Highever is openly rioting against him, Redcliffe and nearly the entire Bannorn is warring against him, and according to Bodahn, the darkspawn burn down Gwaren, his own fief, leaving him with Denerim under his military occupation and Amaranthine, which Awakening reveals was increasingly divided because of what Arl Howe did. Actually losing to him at the Landsmeet pretty much requires the Warden to actively avoid the political sidequests, or for them to go out of their way to be a jerk to people they're trying to win over.
  • Pet the Dog: Literally, if you have him join your party. He ends up getting along very, very well with Dog, and even shares a story about a mabari he once owned.
  • Precision F-Strike: In Return to Ostagar, after finding Cailan's correspondence, he calls him a "cheating bastard" and the Empress of Orlais a "bitch."
  • Quickly Demoted Leader: Up until the Landsmeet, he's the one leading Ferelden's defense and managing the entire war effort. The Warden goes from outlaw to taking over his job within a single battle.
  • Rags to Riches: As explained under the Paper Tiger entry, Loghain does not have the political backing to support his campaign. This is because most other nobles both actively and secretly look down on him and Anora because of his commoner roots. So while Loghain is viewed as a man of the people, he has few actual political allies (the only ones he has being the likes of Arl Howe, who are only in it for what they can gain, or Bann Ceorlic, who is scared shitless of what Loghain will do to him if he refuses to support the man).
  • Retcon: In The Stolen Throne (written after Dragon Age: Origins due it its five-year development but published a year before DAO due to its release being pushed back a year to make it console-compatible), Loghain employed a number of "Night Elves" to serve as nocturnal guerrilla archers for his army against Orlais. These are never mentioned in-game (to the point that Loghain will tell every other minority Warden except an Elven Warden that he's witnessed their people's prowess firsthand), and actually contradicts Loghain's in-game attitude towards elves, as he sees them as dead weight at best, sellable chattel at worst.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: It's heavily implied that he thought Cailan was using a false "Blight" as a smokescreen to gather Orlesian forces inside Ferelden, allowing their former oppressors to annex the country once more. He was only partially correct. Cailan really was attempting to forge an alliance with Empress Celene, but he wasn't planning to enact a coup with Orlesian forces at Ostagar and the Blight was very much real. Similarly, his suspicions about the Wardens were incorrect as they had nothing to do with Cailan's plans. His belief that the Wardens were traitors was presumably fostered due to their failed rebellion against King Arland, two centuries earlier, which — given his constant allusions to their Order's exile — seems very likely.
  • Redemption Equals Death:
    • He can sacrifice himself to destroy the Archdemon. Anora will invoke this after he does so, saying that all of his crimes were absolved by his sacrifice for the good of Ferelden. The epilogue says a statue of him will be erected by Anora outside the Orlesian Embassy of Denerim. It will become a popular landmark, and Loghain will be remembered for his heroism instead of his mistakes.
    • Can also end up sacrificing himself to save the Inquisitor and Hawke in Inquisition.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: If he joins, no one is particularly fond of him, and Alistair leaves.
  • Self-Serving Memory:
    • By the Landsmeet, Loghain truly believes his claim that the Grey Wardens goaded Cailan into the charge, despite attending the same war meeting where Warden-Commander Duncan repeatedly cautioned Cailan against charging blindly into the horde just as much as he did. Still, the story that they egregiously misled the king into making a charge that took their lives puts Loghain in a much better light, doesn't it?
    • It's questionable whether he's just blustering, but when he arrives at Arl Eamon's estate in Denerim before the Landsmeet he warns "The emperor of Orlais also thought I could not bring him down!" Florian didn't die until seventeen years after the Fereldan Rebellion, and Loghain didn't kill the Orlesian king of Ferelden, either (Maric dueled him and won).
  • Skewed Priorities: Most In-Universe characters' reaction to Loghain prioritizing a possible Orlesian invasion over, you know, the Blight. (At one point in the Landsmeet the Warden will always lose approval with the Landsmeet unless they say, "The Blight is the true threat here, not Orlais.")
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Subverted. Before the Warden can confront him at the Landsmeet, his daughter Anora helps the Warden dig up some dirt by helping them gain proof that Loghain has been selling Ferelden elves into slavery. However, if the Warden actually presents said evidence to the Landsmeet, his slave-trading earns the least amount of points in their favor, since most human nobles don't care about a bunch of elves. If Loghain survives the game, then in future games his desertion of Ostagar is often brought up, but his Ferelden slave-trading becomes entirely forgotten.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: According to the World of Thedas, this was apparently Loghain's relationship with Maeve, Anora's mother initially; she came to give Loghain a tongue lashing on behalf of the rest of Gwaren, because after years of neglect and fighting, the town was in near ruins and Loghain was concentrating all rebuilding efforts on the harbour. Their first meeting turned into a shouting match where Maeve pointed out Loghain would have no support if he left his own teyrnir in ruins, and Loghain grudgingly put Maeve in charge of rebuilding Gwaren's town and castle. Though they butted heads frequently, two months down the line, Loghain asked her to marry him.
  • The Strategist: A military planner of great renown, having acted as a commander and planning campaigns for the kings Theirin since before Ferelden regained its independence from Orlais.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Especially visible if you recruit him.
  • Tragic Hero: Can be interpreted this way, especially if you consider his backstory.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Acknowledges this trope in regards to the Warden after being defeated at the Landsmeet.
    Loghain: I underestimated you, Warden. I thought you were like Cailan, a child wanting to play at war. I was wrong. There's a strength in you I've not seen anywhere since Maric died.
    • Does the same if he loses to Alistair.
      Loghain: So, there is some of Maric in you after all. Good.
  • The Upper Crass: Teryn is a commoner elevated to being the local equivalent of a duke. His fief Gwaren, is nestled deep within the Brecilian Forest and is described as a largely rural place with the town itself being a fishery and logging community. The Orlesian Empire views every Fereldan nobleman as being an upjumped barbarian, but that's not necessarily true. Teyrn Bryce Cousland of Highever, for example, is cosmopolitan enough to have deep connections to Antivan trading families (his son married the daughter of a wealthy Antivan merchant) and has positive diplomatic relations with the Grey Wardens. Loghain, on the other hand, acts completely out of step with the rest of Ferelden, and has very little political support.
  • The Uriah Gambit: Loghain orders his forces to retreat instead of flanking the darkspawn as had been planned. This results in the deaths of both his king and all but two of Ferelden's Grey Wardens. And how does he get away with this? By spreading the word that the Wardens egregiously misled the King, leaving many blaming the Wardens for Cailan's death. Even after his defeat he insists this was the correct move, and that all attacking would have achieved was to get his own men killed as well.
  • Villainous Breakdown: If he loses at the Landsmeet, he accuses all of the Bannorn of treason.
  • Villain Decay: At the beginning of the game, he's the dictator hunting down Wardens and political enemies like dogs across the country. By the end of the game, his association with Howe and the Warden's efforts have destroyed his credibility, and his grasp of Ferelden is tenuous at best. He's a fairly easy mid-level enemy to defeat in combat. Should you choose to kill him, he ends up getting unceremoniously beheaded in front of the entire Landsmeet.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Played with. Yeah, he's a war hero and while his personal reputation might not take a terrible hit immediately, his regime is hated. Highever and Redcliffe both hate him, the first because of his endorsement of Arl Howe, and the second because of his abandoning the king. Amaranthine is divided between those who dislike Howe, and by extension, Loghain, and those who are loyal (primarily, like Howe, out of their self-serving interests rather than any sense of patriotism). His heavy-handed political Epic Fail means that, effectively, the entire Bannorn opposes him. And Bodahn suggests that Gwaren, his own fief, may have fallen to the darkspawn (and Codex entries in Dragon Age II indicate his estate there was ransacked and looted by people angry with either his brutality to the Bannorn or his failure to stop the darkspawn). By the end of the game, he has only one true supporter at the Landsmeet, and Arl Howe is able to kidnap his daughter, the Queen, and hold her hostage. The Warden has to almost be trying to lose the Landsmeet, and even then, Loghain and Anora are only saved by a sudden, last-minute endorsement by the Warden.
    • An interesting divide as well is that while the common folk look up Loghain because of his Rags to Riches journey, his fellow nobles look down on him for the same reasons. He has few actual political allies because people look at his actions as a power-grab.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: In his eyes, leaving Cailan and the Wardens to die at Ostagar was the best way to put an end to a second possible Orlesian invasion.
  • We Used to Be Friends: The Stolen Throne implies that Maric and Loghain's relationship became much colder in the wake of Katriel's death and Maric's marriage to Rowan. It did recover a little when Loghain helped Maric through his grief after Rowan's death.
  • Wham Line: "Sound the retreat".
  • What an Idiot!: The in-universe reaction to his war against the Grey Wardens. Warden-Constable Blackwall of Orlais, in his private correspondence, is taken aback by Loghain's stupidity, noting that the Grey Wardens will let Ferelden be destroyed if the only reason for Loghain's proscription of them is that they are from Orlais.
  • Worthy Opponent: He acknowledges the Warden as this if he is defeated in the vote at the Landsmeet.
    Loghain: "A man is made by the quality of his enemies." Maric told me that once. I wonder if it's more a compliment to you or me.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Justified by his backstory as recounted by the tie-in novels. Every time he decided to forego the normal train of logic between problem and solution and decide that it was all an Orlesian plot, he was invariably right. It's no great wonder that he immediately jumped to the same conclusion about the Grey Wardens, especially considering they had already been exiled from Ferelden once before for betraying the King and requested reinforcements from their Orlesian contingent.
  • You Know I'm Black, Right?: If called out on selling elves into slavery, he tries to justify it with his usual "I Did What I Had to Do to ensure Ferelden's independence" spiel... even if the Warden is an Elf. Especially a Denerim City Elf. Some advice, Loghain: Don't try to justify selling elven lives to ensure human freedom to an Elven Warden and expect it to hold the same water as it would for a human or dwarf.

    Tropes In Dragon Age: Inquisition

"The Traitor Teyrn. Yes. I've heard all the names."

If he was spared in Origins and survived, Loghain will return as a Grey Warden in Inquisition and will assist the Inquisitor as Hawke's informant on the Wardens.

  • The Atoner: In Inquisition he'll invoke this during the trip to the Fade, as he feels he must sacrifice himself to atone for what the Wardens did.
  • Character Development: Loghain can have the longest character arc in the trilogy, going from a man deeply suspicious of the Grey Wardens to being a Warden who performs the biggest Heroic Sacrifice for the Wardens in Inquisition.
  • Easily Forgiven: Subverted. Even ten years later In-Universe. It's clear that his actions have made him disliked by many of his fellow Grey Wardens. That said, no one seems to remember or hold that whole "slave-trading" stint against him.
  • A Father to His Men: The Inquisition's quartermaster, who used to serve under him, mentions that she got the chance to talk with him while he was at Skyhold. He recognized her and remembered her name, ten years later.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: You will have to choose whether it'll be him or Hawke who makes a heroic sacrifice.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: He's on the wrong end of this, as Warden-Commander Clarel believes Magister Livius Erimond over him and tries to have him arrested or killed for speaking out against her insane plan.
  • Irony: In Dragon Age: Inquisition, if he was spared in Origins, Loghain finds himself on the receiving end of being branded a traitor by a leader who has jumped into the deep end of Well-Intentioned Extremist after pointing out the madness for what it is. Better still, if the Inquisitor chooses Hawke to hold the line in the fade, Loghain will have to step up as the new leader of the Orlesian Wardens. A capricious twist of fate for a man who held Wardens in suspicion and Orlesians in contempt.
  • Is That the Best You Can Do?: When facing the Nightmare, this is his reaction to its "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
    Nightmare: Teryn Loghain Mac Tir, the brilliant commander. Pity the one time you tried to rule, you failed so miserably. You had to be beaten, humiliated, lest you destroy your own country. You even doomed the Wardens by bringing the Inquisitor down on them. You destroy everything you touch.
    Loghain: Is that all you've got? It's nothing I've not said to myself!
  • Laser-Guided Karma: If a Grey Warden in Inquisition, the order accuses him of being a traitor when he tries to convince them that The Calling they're hearing is too early. Better still he winds up on the end of Well-Intentioned Extremist when the Warden's leader starts turning to blood magic and demons out of desperation. Karma is quite the B ain't it Loghain, though it's mitigated a little if he ends up being the leader of Wardens and allowed to stay in the South, and decides enough is enough and gives them humanitarian work to do when there isn't a Blight.
  • Not So Different: Loghain fully understands why the Wardens have turned to extreme measures better than anyone, even relating to the Warden Commander's actions, but by that very same token knows they've gone too far and must be saved from themselves.
  • Older Than They Look: He's roughly in his early-60s, but looks like he's pushing 50 at most.
  • Old Soldier: he's still active as a Grey Warden in his sixties.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Can also end up sacrificing himself to save the Inquisitor and Hawke.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Even now, Loghain is known as the traitor Teyrn, and the Wardens have little trust in him.
    Loghain: I've been a Warden for ten years. They will never fully consider me theirs.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Averted. While plenty of characters bring up his desertion at Ostagar (and either condemn or excuse him), no one seems to remember or hold his elven slave-trading against him. Not even Sera (who was living in Denerim at the time), or Solas the Fade-walking, history-observing, slavery-hating elf.


First Appearance: Dragon Age: Origins
Voiced by: Mika Simmons (Origins), Victoria Kruger (Dragon Age II and Dragon Age: Inquisition)

    Tropes In Dragon Age: Origins

A pirate captain who first appeared in Dragon Age: Origins. She's only a minor character in the first game (although she is the only person who can teach the Warden the "Duelist" specialization).

  • Action Girl: Female pirate captain.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Like Duncan, she's a Rivaini.
  • Badass Normal: A normal human being, she's good enough at dueling to parry 3 men at once.
  • Bar Brawl: Her introduction.
  • But Not Too Black: The lighting makes her skin appear far whiter than she really is.
  • The Captain: Casavir, one of the men on her ship, indicates that she's extremely beloved by her crew.
  • Distaff Counterpart: She shares quite a few similarities with Zevran and they get along quite well.
  • Dual Wielding: Like most melee-oriented rogues.
  • Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: She insists that the Warden beat her in a card game before she'll teach him or her what she knows; in reality, this is impossible, and the only way to win the game is by catching her cheating or having the Warden cheat. If the Warden's Cunning isn't high enough, neither works properly, but having Leliana in the active party will make it possible.
  • Optional Sexual Encounter: Perhaps the most infamous one in Origins, though nothing is shown.
  • Take a Third Option: As noted above, the only way to win at her card game is to cheat or to catch her cheating. However, the card game can be skipped entirely if the Warden's Coercion skill is high enough; they can persuade her to sleep with them instead.
  • A Threesome Is Hot: She's up for pretty much any sexual configuration party the player can throw at her, even a potential foursome.

    Tropes In Dragon Age II

"Everyone should be free, not just mages. It's not about who's dangerous. It's about having choices made for you."

After her ship was destroyed, Isabela is stranded in Kirkwall and can enlist Hawke's help in searching for a relic to pay back her former employer, Castillon. She is a romance option for a Hawke of either gender.

  • Action Girl: Even more of one now that she's a party member.
  • Ascended Extra: In the first game, she was a rogue who taught the Warden the duelist specialization in the Pearl. She also was an optional quick romantic encounter with the Warden and Leliana, Zevran, Leliana and Zevran, or Alistair. She returns in the second game with a new model and a new voice actress as a party member. Lampshaded if the party meets Alistair as the King of Ferelden and she's in the group; he remembers her and remarks, "You look... different."
  • Anything That Moves: According to her, she's had relations with men, women, elves, and a cross-dressing dwarf. She doesn't recommend that last one.
    • Subverted if Hawke attempts to pimp her to the pathetic Emile de Launcet. Even sluttiness has its standards. Subverted farther than that, ironically enough, if Hawke pursues a romance with Isabela. Isabela's behavior is mostly for her image as a pirate, and while she has no problems with a Friends with Benefits relationship (or a one night stand), she doesn't have nearly as many of those as she implies.
  • Badass Normal: The main menu for Heroes of Dragon Age has her roaring right in Coryphetits' face, and Isabela is naught but a pirate captain in a world of mages and those Badass Abnormal.
  • Bad Liar: She's not very good at being subtle when she's hiding something; she stutters, avoids eye contact, and hesitates a lot. More often, though, she just dodges unwanted questions or starts talking about what pretty eyes the questioner has.
  • Bar Brawl: Her introductory scene. Apparently this happens with her fairly often.
  • Big Damn Heroes: If Hawke has a high enough friendship or rivalry level, she pulls this during the Qunari invasion by returning their relic, thereby creating a relatively peaceful solution to the problem.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Particularly if Hawke is either romancing or previously romanced her. According to the Codex, her final words to Hawke before storming off for some time between Act 2 and 3 were:
    Isabela: I didn't do it for them. I did it for you. It was always about you.
  • Brain Bleach: Invokes this reaction in Hawke and the other party members more than once.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: During the "Haunted" quest, three guesses why.
    Isabela: I really should have gone to the privy before coming here.
  • Broken Bird: Has a few elements of one, though she'd never admit it, especially the issues with emotional intimacy.
  • But Not Too Black: A consistent problem in promotional material — the pre-game marketing, comic book covers and artwork in Art of Thedas lighten her skin-tone considerably.
  • Bystander Syndrome: "We're not responsible for anyone but ourselves."
  • Call-Back: When the Warden meets Isabela, she is dueling people who claim she cheated them of their coin. After defeating them, they run off. When Hawke meets Isabela, she is dueling people who claim she cheated them of their coin. After defeating them, they run off.
  • The Casanova: A female version, she wins the eyes of many men and Really Gets Around.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: On the eve of the Qunari invasion, she abandons the party because they're after her personally. She turns around and returns to give them back their relic. Mind you, the trope will be subverted depending on Hawke's relationship with her.
  • Character Development:
    • If full Rivalry is achieved, she admits helping others and not always being selfish feels good, and vows to become a better person. Evident later when, if Hawke sides with the mages at the final quest, she seems enthusiastic about protecting them.
    • With high Friendship, she starts drifting more towards the good side of the morality scale, though with much more reluctance than as a Rival, and expresses similar sentiment in the endgame. If you kill Castillon but otherwise have high Friendship, she admits that getting a ship doesn't seem so important when everyone she cares about is in Kirkwall.
      Isabela: I'd just hate to have to say goodbye. You're the best friend I've had a very long time.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: She only has one scene in the first game, but was popular/infamous enough to be made a full companion in the sequel.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Mark of the Assassin reveals that if romanced, she can be this towards Hawke.
    • She admits, however, that she's willing to have a threesome, or let Tallis sleep with Hawke, as long as Tallis asks first. In Act 3, should she be in the party if they encounter Zevran, she's also open to that threesome configuration.
  • Claustrophobia: Nervously says she "really doesn't like tight spaces" when Hawke takes her with them on the Deep Roads expedition.
  • Cool Big Sis: To Merrill and Bethany.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Jokingly invoked in several conversations with Bethany.
    • If Bethany ends up in the Circle, Isabela sends her many erotic books to get her through the night.
    • Does this to a lesser extent with Merrill (teaching her how to do body shots) and Carver, whom she goads into "growing into his fangs". By Act 2, he proves he can give her a run for her money when it comes to innuendos.
    • In Legacy, her influence is confirmed to have rubbed off on a romanced Merrill if Hawke brings them both along with Anders. The player learn that Merrill was looking through his grimoire in the hopes of finding "dirty spells" to "make things more interesting" with Hawke. Isabela's response? "That's my girl!"
    • Also invoked with, of all possibilities, Bianca, which appears to end the playful flirting between Isabela and Varric.
    • Invoked with Aveline after they settled into the role of Vitriolic Best Buds by Act 3, where she offers tips on how to spice things up with Donnic in the bedroom. Considering Aveline's response to Isabela asking if Donnic's bedroom prowess leads to Aveline being "flipped arse over tits and hammered like a bent nail," Isabela apparently succeeded.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Aveline mentions this in disgust when she and Hawke learn that Isabela stole the Tome of Koslun and only decides to tell them this now.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Heavily hinted throughout the game, though she is reluctant to go into details. Those Who Speak reveals that her mother was a Viddethari, who sold her into slavery after she refused to convert. The comic also tells of a particularly low moment for her, when she offloaded an entire ship's galley worth of elven slaves into the ocean to drown so she could make a faster getaway from her pursuers. Her self-disgust and guilt over this is why she would later free Castillon's slaves, starting the chain of events that would bring her to Kirkwall.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: In Origins, she uses the same assets like any other character. In Dragon Age II she has her own unique model.
  • Does Not Like Men: A very mild case, and played very subtly, but Isabela seems quick to believe the worst when it concerns men and how they view women, even if she has no trouble befriending or sleeping with them. This almost certainly stems from her treatment at the hands of her late husband.
    • Also worth mentioning is that, both in Origins and here, her reactions to sleeping with Hawke and the Warden change depending on their gender; she's quick to tease men about their performance, but is even quicker to praise women for theirs.
  • Double Entendre/Innocent Innuendo/Un-Entendre: Sex drips off her tongue every time her mouth opens. For every subversion, she plays it twice as hard, even while Carver is chastising her for it.
    Carver: Why is it always about sex with you?
    Isabela: It's not. Sometimes it's about sex with other people.
    Carver: You see? It comes up every single time we talk!
    • A notable subversion occurs while she's speaking with Varric, and serves as a Call-Back to a similar conversation between Alistair and Oghren. For once, Varric and Isabela really were just talking about weapons.
    • One of her armor upgrades is called "Rigid Boning."
  • Drowning My Sorrows: She's found at the Hanged Man's counter when she's not in the party.
  • Dual Wielding: Is restricted to this in the second game.
  • Duel to the Death: With Hayder. Isabela suspects foul play, so when she meets Hawke, she asks for potential backup.
  • Ethical Slut: While perfectly willing to sleep with anyone and anything, she is greatly concerned with not hurting others' (especially Merrill's) feelings and gets incredibly angry with men who mistreat women.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Isabela is a pirate to the core, but she would never condone slave trading, which is why she betrays Hayder before Hawke first meets her. However, she's perfectly willing to let unrepentant slavers get away clean if it means she can have a ship again.
  • Expy: With her Devil-may-care swagger, lecherous personality, penchant for heavy drinking and betrayal, emphasis on personal freedom, obsessive mission to reclaim a lost ship even to the point of making a Deal with the Devil, and the fact that she's in her current predicament because she freed slaves she was supposed to transport, you'd be forgiven for mistaking her for a beardless Captain Jack Sparrow.
  • Fingerless Gloves: She's been wearing 'em since before the artstyle change.
  • Four-Star Badass: Talking with Varric in Inquisition reveals that, after Kirkwall, Isabela can potentially go back to the Raiders and become an admiral. Though, as Varric puts it:
    Varric: I'm not sure if she's really an admiral or she just has a really big hat. Might be the same thing, honestly.
  • Friends with Benefits: While a tremendous flirt, she only appears to have such a relationship with Hawke (if Hawke accepts) and, depending on his relationship to the player, Fenris.
  • Friend to All Children: It's mentioned that most of the pirates on the Waking Sea want Isabela dead for performing a one-woman army stunt, seizing the vessel she was meant to be escorting, after she discovered it actually contained slaves who were mostly women and children.
  • Friendly Pirate: Isabela isn't entirely friendly at first, but she's also far from evil. As the game progresses, character progression pushes her further and further into this trope, to the point that if her Companion Meter is maxed out she admits that Good Feels Good and she's happy to have found you and the rest of the party.
  • The Gadfly: She trolls Aveline about her sex life with Donnic just to see how she reacts. "If you shove your thumb up his ass, I win."
  • Gay Option: For female Hawke.
  • Guide Dang It!: Averted with regards to sleeping with her — she comes on to Hawke quickly, and follows through early in Act 2, before players even kiss some love interests. Played surprisingly straight with genuine romance, however, to a point where even the official guide gets it wrong, and her romance is only completed half an hour or so before the game's end.
  • The Hedonist: Seems to live for three things: the thrill of adventure, alcohol, and sexual gratification.
  • Hero of Another Story: Alongside Varric and King Alistair in The Silent Grove/Those Who Speak/Until We Sleep trilogy.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: If Isabela returns to Kirkwall at the end of Act 2, Hawke can potentially hand her over to the Arishok to prevent his rampage.
  • Hidden Depths: Isabela's promiscuity and "who needs love?" attitude is an act to cover up the guilt she feels for breaking the heart of a former lover. Hawke can point this out to her after having sex with her by stating "You're not afraid of falling in love; you're afraid of being loved." She can also be surprisingly eloquent and wise, if deeply cynical, at times concerning philosophical ideas such as freedom and justice.
    Anders: There is justice in the world.
    Isabela: Is there? You want to free the mages. Let's say you do, but to get there, you kill a bunch of innocent people. What about them? Don't they then deserve justice?
    Anders: Yes.
    Isabela: And Then What?? Where does it end? It's like a bar brawl: people are continuously pulled into the fray, and nobody remembers why it started. Justice is an idea. It makes sense in a world of ideas, but not in our world.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold:
    • She'll try to excuse any altruistic acts as self serving in some manner. Nobody buys it. Anders and a silly Hawke actually tease her about it, and invoke the trope by name.
    • Most obviously in Act 2 where her Big Damn Hero entrance has her irritably say that "This is your damned influence, Hawke!"
  • Hit Me, Dammit!: Enables this as a plan to get to Castillion. Also one of her many battle quotes.
  • Hoist by Her Own Petard: Isabela occasionally uses the line "You have pretty eyes" as a way to shut down conversations she doesn't want. In Mark of the Assassin, she complains to Hawke that Gamlen's been inappropriate, and she wants Hawke to convince him to stop. Guess what Hawke's response is?
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: She's not surprised if Hawke agrees to casual sex with her but is shocked if Hawke wants a serious relationship with her, owing to Isabela's failed previous marriage. If she is spared from being handed over to the Arishok, she's shocked that Hawke even wants to still be friends with her.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: At the start of Act 3, especially.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Every time Hawke goes to the Qunari Compound with her in your party, she will suddenly bail and run off. At first, it seems odd that she would do this, but as the player finds out later, she stole one of the Qunari's prized relics. If she were to enter the compound she would most likely be recognized and either killed on sight or taken prisoner.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: If Hawke sleeps with her but then moves on to Merrill, she seems a little wistful when Merrill gushes about how wonderful Hawke is, then assures the elf how happy she is for her. She later tells Hawke that she thinks Merrill was very lonely before and tells them to look after her. If Hawke is male, she also threatens to cut of his balls if he hurts her in any way.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Gives male Hawke this one if he's romancing Merrill.
    Isabela: I get the feeling the girl's involved in something deep and dangerous. Look out for her, will you? Make sure she doesn't hurt herself. ... Oh, and if you ever do anything nasty to her, I'll cut off your balls.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Every single one of the talents in her unique skill tree is a pirate reference of some kind. Notable because almost every other skill tree's names try to be serious or informative. Not Isabela.
    • She has an armor upgrade named Rigid Boning.
    • She seems quite fond of puns at times in-game, chuckling at the sound of "ghast-hole" and dubbing Idunna an "apostitute" before laughing delightedly. Yeah... Bela's kind of a dork.
  • Indy Ploy: Most of her plans tend to involve these.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Discussed in game. Isabela readily admits that she is not as attractive as her reputation leads one to believe. Her real secret is that she just casts a wide net.
  • Irony: If the player goes through Mark of the Assassin in Act 3 and agree to help Tallis at the end, Isabela is bemused to find herself helping the Qunari recover a priceless artifact.
  • It Doesn't Mean Anything: She brushes off the idea of being in anything other than a Friends with Benefits situation if Hawke asks about it, and will deny anything more between them to the other party members when it comes up for the vast majority of the game.
    Isabela: (annoyed and dismayed) Wait. You're not thinking of bringing feelings into this, are you?
    • According to the Codex entry for Act 3, if previously romanced, then Isabela has a particularly meaningful outburst towards Hawke before storming off for the next three years:
      Isabela: I didn't do it for them, I did it for you! It was always about you!
  • It's All About Me: While she can be a lot of fun, and even very affectionate at times (mainly to Merrill), it is made uncomfortably clear at several points in the game that she places herself and her hedonistic tendencies first, even when it might hurt others. Under Hawke's influence, her conscience can start to get the better of her, much to her dismay.
  • It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: In party banter, if Fenris asks her about the incident where she released Castillon's would-be slaves, she downplays it with this exact phrase.
  • Karma Houdini: For stealing the Tome of Koslun, especially if she either does not return after abandoning Hawke or Hawke kills the Arishok to secure her freedom. Even if Hawke does turn her over to the Arishok, Varric will reveal in Inquisition that she still managed to escape and the Arishok was demoted for his failures.
  • Knife Nut: She dual-wields and carries plenty of knives and daggers.
  • The Lad-ette: She enjoys dirty jokes, drinking and getting into duels and bar-room fights.
  • The Lady's Favour: If romanced, she adds a red armband to her outfit — Word of God confirms it's this.
  • Lady Killer In Love: If romanced, she realises in Act 3 that she's fallen in love with Hawke, despite herself.
  • Lampshade Hanging: She lampshades quite a few things.
    Isabela: If we kill them we get their stuff!
    Alistair: Isabela, right? You look... different.
    Isabela: Don't we all?
  • Lost Forever: The Champion can choose to betray her and hand her over to the Qunari.
  • Lovable Rogue: A pirate captain not afraid to fight dirty and is quite the snarker.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Three guesses what most of her dialogue ends up being about.
  • Missing Steps Plan: Invoked during her summing up the plan to deal with Velasco and Castillion.
    Isabela: Step one, we go to Velasco! Step two, something exciting happens! Step three, profit!
  • Mommy Issues: Not fond of the woman. Given her mother sold Isabela into marriage to an Antivan merchant for a few gold pieces and a goat (without even haggling the price), it's hard to blame Isabela for how she feels.
    • To add insult to injury, her mother was a Qunari convert who sold her because she refused to follow in her footsteps. No wonder she also holds a grudge against the Qunari.
  • Morality Chain: The player can be this to her, particularly at the end of Act 2.
  • Morality Pet: Isabela's friendship with Merrill may be the only one that the pirate has that isn't based on teasing them. In fact, when Merrill wishes that she had an 'interesting' life like Isabela, she tells Merrill that she's a good person and deserves better than that.
    • Her fond anecdotes about her crew before the shipwreck indicate that they actually had quite a bit of camaraderie, and she clearly misses them.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She has about a foot of cleavage to back this up. And no pants. And frequent panty shots. Less than thirty seconds after she invites herself to the party, she invites Hawke up to her room. This appears to be approximately fifteen minutes after meeting, as well.
  • Ms. Vice Gal: She revels in sex, violence, greed and drunken revelry.
  • Mundane Object Amazement: Merrill's so fascinated by boots that reach thigh length that she sometimes drops marbles in them.
  • My Grandma Can Do Better Than You: One of her in-battle taunts.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: By stealing the Qunari relic, Isabela set a chain of events in motion that resulted in the Qunari attacking Kirkwall, the deaths of many innocent people, and a power vacuum that allowed Meredith to abuse her power and bring the Mage/Templar conflict closer to exploding.
  • Noodle Incident: She's behind a few of them. One of them involved a duel that somehow grew into a 20 person brawl in the streets.
    • Hawke mentions the time she thought she had found the Relic and led them on a wild-goose chase all across the Wounded Coast, only to discover that the chest contained nothing more than some bad poetry... and an old boot.
    • There's also a letter from her at Hawke's estate, at the beginning of Act 2, saying that she "expected treasure, not spiders. Get well soon." It seems like they had several unsuccessful treasure chases in the wilderness during the three-year intermission.
    • If she and Sebastian are both brought along for the Mark of the Assassin DLC, she apparently wound up in the Chantry bound, gagged, and with a contusion on her forehead.
      Isabela: Just... don't ask for the "bad girl special" at the Blooming Rose.
    • Also, in Legacy banter with Fenris:
      Fenris: Interesting story I heard about you, Isabela...
      Isabela: Yes, yes, all right. I just want it known I never asked for the goat. And the fire was accidental.
      Fenris: I... that wasn't the story.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Invoked in Act 3 when snarky Hawke comments that her last bright idea was stealing the Qunari relic.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Isabela is not her birth name, but it's the only name to which she'll respond. Her birth name is revealed to be Naishe in the comic Those Who Speak, but she considers that person to be dead.
  • Optional Party Member: She doesn't have to join the party, and if Hawke doesn't go to the Hanged Man at the right time, they may never even see her.
  • ...Or So I Heard: "There's no way this Javaris stole from the Qunari. That's hard — I've heard."
  • Pair the Spares: Hooks up with Fenris, of all people, in Act 3, if the player does not choose to romance either of them. Granted, the relationship is purely physical by all accounts.
  • Parental Abandonment: She was sold into marriage at an implied young age by her mother and never knew her father. Those Who Speak sheds new light on this; her mother joined the Qun, but Isabela refused to convert. She mentions in the Legacy DLC that she never knew her father, and her mother didn't particularly know him either.
  • Phrase Catcher: "Shut up, whore!" from Aveline. It becomes an Insult of Endearment if their friendship grows.
  • Pirate Girl: Her ship is the Siren's Call, which she inherited from her deceased husband, a merchant whom Zevran killed. It sank sometime before Act 1, during the same storm that wrecked the Qunari in Kirkwall. Given what we later learn, it's left ambiguous whether it was the storm or Qunari cannons that actually sank it.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Not by choice. Due to the loss of her ship and crew as well as the Qunari tome, Isabela is forced to spend most of the game standing around the Hanged Man, drinking and acting vaguely pirate-y when not with Hawke.
  • Rape as Backstory: It's implied the reason she let her husband get assassinated was because he had her "entertain" his friends.
  • Really Gets Around: Her sex life is a constant topic in conversations with the party.
  • Running Gag:
    • "Have you slept with everyone in Ferelden?"
    • Another running gag, especially in Legacy and Mark of the Assassin, is her perpetual pantslessness.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: If her friendship or rivalry isn't high enough, she will abandon Hawke at the end of Act 2, taking the Relic with her.
  • Sex Goddess: She claims to be so good in bed, she can turn even the straightest woman lesbian/bisexual.
    • If importing a save where the Warden was a Female Noble, romanced Alistair, convinced him to have a threesome and later ascended him to the throne and married him, Isabela jokes that having slept with the King and Queen of Ferelden gives her something new to brag about.
    • It reaches in-game memetic levels as time goes by, as she and Varric recall several patrons who attempted to (unsuccessfully) flirt with her and she recalls her vast sex life.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Approves of Hawke hooking up with Merrill, trusting Hawke to keep her safe to the point of threatening to cut a male Hawke's balls off if he ever does anything to hurt her.
    • In Mark of the Assassin, if she is in the party with Carver and Merrill is unromanced, she catches onto Carver's crush on Merrill and tries to help him, much to his horror.
    • She writes erotic "Friend-fiction" involving Aveline and Donnic, and shares it with Varric.
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: She may return, however with a high enough friendship/rivalry score.
  • STD Immunity: Averted. It's all but outright stated that Isabela does face repercussions for her grandiose sex life, but Anders is able to cure these without much trouble.
  • Stripperific: Isabela has the bustiest model in the game and she has the outfit to show it off. Also, no pants.
  • Stone Wall: Her specialization abilities can make her a very evasion-focused example. She becomes harder to hit and less effective at hitting — not very useful in of and itself, but paired with another party member it forms the combat equivalent of a two-man con.
  • The Tease: Big time, especially to Carver.
  • A Threesome Is Hot: If Hawke is romancing her when she propositions Zevran, she's quick to invite them to join in.
  • Trick Bomb: She is a Rogue, so she can use different types of bombs.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Some of her dialogue with Hawke hints at this if they sleep with her but later break it off.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Aveline towards the end of the game.
  • Widow Woman: Not that she's complaining]. Her husband was an arse.
    Isabela: My husband took an assassin's blade to the back of the skull, and before you ask, no, I didn't hire the assassin. I did, however, thank him profusely.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: In party banter, she seems really turned on at the thought of Danarius oiling Fenris up and "keeping [him] close at hand" while Fenris "glistens." Fenris asks her if she's already written a whole story about it in her head, and she doesn't deny it.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Fully befriending or rivaling her can convince her of this in different ways. It gets more complicated with Hawke's variable personality. It ranges from "Whatever you think you are, I still care about you", all the way to "Bullshit! Stop making excuses for yourself!"
  • You Fight Like a Cow:
    Isabela: You hit like my grandmother!
  • You Lose at Zero Trust: She leaves Hawke's party for good if they haven't completed her Act 2 "Questioning Beliefs" quest, which is obtained by getting her Friendship or Rivalry to at least 50.
  • Your Door Was Open: Apparently she breaks into Hawke's estate frequently.
    Silly Hawke: Oh, look who's here! Time to change the locks again...
    Isabela: I knocked this time!

    Tropes In Dragon Age: Inquisition

Isabela is a playable character in the Dragon Age: Inquisition multiplayer as Swashbuckler.

  • Can't Stand Them, Can't Live Without Them: Downplayed. Her relationship Aveline is vitriol on Aveline's part and teasing at Isabela's part, but she could always rely on Aveline to protect her. Her line if she's hurt indicates she misses her old party mate.
  • Demoted to Extra: After being playable and one of the important characters in DAII, she is just an agent of the Inquisition, and only playable in DA multiplayer. She doesn't even have a single conversation with Varric or Hawke, and doesn't appear at all in the single-player campaign.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: One of her lines reflect her bad moods when hungover.
    Isabela: Could you please not talk? I have the worst hangover.
  • Rank Up: She becomes a pirate admiral by the time of Inquisition, but it's unknown if it's real or just her self-styling title. Varric suspects she just owns the biggest hat.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Leliana says of recruiting her that however good she was before, now she is considered untouchable, and she specifically sought out Isabela to defend the south against dragons.


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