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  • Failed a Spot Check: During the mage origin. After exiting the phylactery chamber, Irving will ask if you took anything, to which you can say you didn't; he will accept your word if you pass a persuasion check, despite the fact that chances are you've got a staff on your back you certainly couldn't have gotten anywhere in the tower.
  • Family Extermination: If the Warden makes Bhelen King of Orzammar, he launches a campaign of extermination against his rival Harrowmont's entire extended family.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • In spite of Morrigan otherwise looking pretty damn hot and the overall sexy factor, context makes the Dark Ritual (if you choose to go through with it) somewhat Squicky. It's also worse if you're a female character and are romancing Alistair, in which case, he has to do the ritual - and the game forces the player to watch (well, until it blacks out). Even if you didn't romance Alistair, the scene is made incredibly uncomfortable by the fact that he looks terrified when Morrigan joins him in bed. It also doesn't help that Alistair and Morrigan pretty much hate each other.
    • Every Broodmother, up to and including The Mother in Awakening, qualifies as in-universe disservice, as even the typically lecherous Oghren is Squicked out by her.
  • Fantastic Honorifics: Both the gender-neutral "ser" version and a few more unique variants among the elves and the qunari. Unfortunately, we don't have very much detail on the latter two.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Humans look down on elves. The Dalish are believed to be nothing but bandits and troublemakers, while the Alienage elves are treated as second-class citizens at best.
      • Subverted from the usual styles of the trope, however, in that most humans merely don't like elves and/or are ignorant of their ways. If told of the true plight of the elven Alienage, most humans react with utter horror at the conditions there. This comes to a head if the Warden reveals that Loghain's been selling elves into slavery — though this is partly due to Fereldan pride that they have abolished slavery in their nation — which leads to open outrage against him, and depending on player choices, they or another elf can even be raised to nobility.
      • It gets even worse. If you tell Anora you won't make her queen and need to play the Landsmeet perfectly to convince them to side with you, pointing out elven slavery is actually one of the weaker arguments you can make against Loghain, far less effective than pointing out the kidnapping of a noble heir.
      • It's worth noting that, when this comes up in the Landsmeet (see previous spoiler for context), the distinction is likely just the standard disconnect between the way the nobility view themselves and commoners. If your blood is blue, there's a fairly decent chance you are just considered more important than a bunch of random commoners, regardless of the shape of their ears.
    • Dalish elves themselves pity the Alienage elves and are mystified why they remain in the human cities. Meanwhile, the Alienage elves also look down on "flat-ears", elves who have left their walled ghettos and attempt to integrate themselves further within the human settlements, believing they are abandoning their community.
    • The higher castes of Orzammar treat the casteless as lower than dirt.
    • Dwarves also look down on humans and elves, considering themselves to be superior. And they also hate "surface dwarves", fellow dwarves who have left Orzammar for the surface world, who are officially considered casteless and exiles. They're still allowed to trade with Orzammar, however; it's just not discussed in polite company.
    • If the Warden is a Female Elf Mage, it creates some funny situations where people, who were just scorning you for being one of the three, learn that you are a Warden as well. Of course, it also means that, congratulations, you have created the most hated character in the game!
    • In Awakening, the Orlesian Warden is often on the receiving end of this, as many nobles don't trust that they're now swearing fealty of their lands to the Grey Warden order... and what's worse, to an Orlesian.
    • You also get the trifecta in the scorn department if the Orlesian Warden also happens to be an Elf.
    • This game will actually let you play the race card. One of the noble women in Redcliffe casts doubt on your abilities. She says the same thing no matter what race you are but if you're an elf, you can imply that she's discriminating against you for being an elf which will cause her to get embarrassed and start backpedaling.
  • Fate Worse than Death:
    • The darkspawn taint, especially for women. If they survive, they eventually turn into Broodmothers and birth more darkspawn. The taint is no picnic for men either, though, as it turns them into deformed insane slaves to the darkspawn, assuming they survive.
    • Caridin only realized that being turned into a Golem was a Fate Worse than Death after being turned into one himself.
    • Many mages consider being made Tranquil (i.e. essentially getting a magical lobotomy that destroys their ability to use magic, dream, and feel emotions) to be this. Of course, some volunteer because they are afraid of being possessed by demons. The Tranquil themselves don't mind, but then they don't have emotions anymore so they really can't.
  • Fetch Quest: The Orzammar questline is by far the longest in the game. First, you have to run a couple of minor fetch quests in the city and/or the Aeducan thaig, then you have to fight the Carta in Dust Town, and then you have to navigate the Deep Roads - a Marathon Level consisting of four sprawling thaigs - in order to find Paragon Branka and have her (or Paragon Caridin, depending on your choices) forge a crown for the king of your choosing.
  • Fictionary: Played with. Dalish elves often seem to sprinkle their dialogue with "elvish" phrases, even when a scene consists of just elves (such as in the Dalish origin). This isn't just breaking Translation Convention, though, because the whole point is that the Dalish aren't speaking "elvish"; the elven language has been all but forgotten. Many Dalish use as much gratuitous Elvhen as they can as a way to hold on to their heritage.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The character classes in the game appear to be set up along these lines, with the Mighty Glacier Warrior, Fragile Speedster Rogue, and Squishy Wizard Mage.
  • Final Battle: What you spend most of the game preparing for.
  • Final Dungeon Preview: You can potentially get captured and taken to the prison in Fort Drakon and have to sneak or fight your way out. The final dungeon is a return to Fork Drakon, which is now overrun by darkspawn.
  • Finish Him!: A choice the player can make after dueling Loghain. They can either nod to Alistair, indicating their approval of him doing it, or strike the blow themselves.
  • Finishing Move: Occasionally, a character will get one when killing an enemy, ranging from a simple beheading animation when killing a Mook to a more involved lunge and coup de grace when slaying an Ogre. The most elaborate (which actually pause the gameplay for as much as 20 seconds) come with the deaths of the High Dragon, the Broodmother, and the Archdemon.
  • Fireballs: A bread 'n butter spell for higher-level DPS Mages. Does pretty hefty fire damage, has a large area effect, does lingering afterburn damage, bowls over any who fail a physical resistance check, is satisfyingly loud, and cools down quickly for a quick follow up in case the enemy didn't get the message the first time. Just don't shoot at your teammates.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: Your primal magics are this, + earth.
  • Fishing for Mooks: You'll need to do this to survive on Nightmare if your party isn't insanely well-balanced. And good luck with the bosses...
  • Flavor Text: Lots of it, and a very nice way to spend time.
  • Flunky Boss: Several.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • The existence of the other Origins player characters is indicated in the game (or in some of the DLCs). All of the origin stories happen; whichever one you're currently playing is the main character only because Duncan was in the right place at the right time.
    • And then there's the DLC quest Darkspawn Chronicles, where it shows to some extent what would have happened if the Grey Warden candidate from any of the origins never survived the Joining ritual.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Gameplay-wise, Jowan is one of only two Guest Star Party Members (in the PC version) with a colored background in his portrait. While it's actually a remnant of Jowan originally being planned as a full party member, it still ends up foreshadowing the fact that he is the only companion from the origin stories to play a major part in the plot.
    • Play the Human Noble origin a second time, then try not to cringe when Fergus assures Oren that he'll bring a nice sword home. Just imagine how he feels when he learns of the attack on Highever, and realises that those were some of the last words he ever spoke to his boy...
      Fergus: Don't worry, son, you'll get to see a sword up close real soon!
    • Oghren can give you one if you cause him to leave the party through negative relationship: "I hope you succeed [in killing the Archdemon], Warden, but I hope it kills you!" Which it can, even if you do.
    • In Redcliffe, there is a codex titled "Cautionary tales for the Adventurous," which tells about evil spirits inhabiting campsites that drain the life force from those who rest there. Eventually, you'll find yourself in the Brecilian forest. You find yourself in a very... inviting... campsite...
    • If you accept Morrigan's loophole to avoid being killed by the Archdemon when you kill it, one of the dialogue options before you part is, "Just don't make me come after you." Guess what the plot of the Witch Hunt DLC revolves around?
    • Morrigan can also give one to Alistair in party banter, if the Warden has romanced him. She points out that their relationship could create a problem if they ever have to choose between saving the world and being together. If you execute Loghain and don't go through Morrigan's ritual, this will essentially happen since one of the two Wardens has to die.
    • In the Mage Origin story, it's possible to stumble upon a statue of a Tevinter Mage who was turned to stone for prophesying the fall of Archon Valerius. She does surprisingly little... until she reappears in Witch Hunt with crucial information about the Eluvian. Her prophecy also makes very little sense at the time, until you realize she's referring to the events of the Legacy DLC in Dragon Age II, which could actually be happening at the same time as the events of Witch Hunt. Corypheus, an Ancient Tevinter Magister turned darkspawn, is accidentally released from his millennia-long-incarceration in a Grey Warden Prison; he performs a Body Surf into a nearby Warden before Hawke delivers the killing blow, and then leaves inside his new host with no one the wiser. Then comes Dragon Age: Inquisition...
      Eleni: The prison is breached. I see the encroaching darkness. The... the shadow will consume all...
    • Flemeth gets in a very, very subtle bit of foreshadowing when the Warden first meets her in the Wilds, which doesn't really make sense until after you've completed the Joining. She refers to Ser Jory as being "irrelevant to the greater scheme of things, but it is not I who decides." Jory, as seasoned players know, is killed by Duncan rather than completing the Joining ritual... which does make him rather irrelevant to the plot.
    • During the Gauntlet, the Warden must correctly answer riddles posited by eight ghosts. One of these is of the wife of Archon Hassarian, who bluntly states that her husband wanted to give Andraste a quiet and merciful death, but she made him promise to execute her publicly to prove the might of the Imperium. Her final words to the Warden are rather eerily chosen, in light of events to come in Thedas.
    • An extremely subtle bit of foreshadowing all the way to Dragon Age: Inquisition can be seen in the item description of the Maetashear War Axe, looted from the High Dragon boss at the Temple of Sacred Ashes, which foreshadows the revelation that Solas created the Veil and separated the world of spirits and the world of mortals.
      "This oversized weapon was reforged from two poleaxes and dates to the founding conquests of the Tevinter Imperium. Runes tell a primitive creation myth of how the lands of gods and men were cut apart."
    • One dialog between the Warden and Sten in the party camp has Sten questioning the Warden's authority; one dialog option results in Sten bluntly answering he could be a better leader than the Warden. If Sten is in the party when you enter Haven during "The Urn of Sacred Ashes", he'll question your leadership again, which may end in a duel to challenge you to take over the party's leadership (depending on the dialog and whether you completed his personal quest).
    • Did you notice Cailan looks a lot like one your followers? It turns out that Alistair is a royal bastard and Cailan's half brother, a reveal which plays a major role in the succession crisis storyline.
  • Foreign Queasine: Apparently, dwarven cuisine is mostly this. There are codex entries on nugs which state that humans find nug meat revolting, as well as several references to lichen ale and bread, and Oghren states that dwarven ale tastes like dirt compared to surface ale. There's also a funny piece of party banter between Oghren and Morrigan involving lye-soaked fish (which sounds remarkably similar to lutefisk). Probably justified considering that their only reliable sources of meat appear to be nugs and brontos, and agriculture in sunless tunnels is probably mostly dependent on fungi.
  • Forest Ranger: Subverted; not quite a Friend to All Living Things. Rangers are specialized Rogues described to "exploit every advantage of their environment". In this case, that includes summoning battle beasties, making a Ranger more of a Minion Master. Turn off the ability or call another creature and they die on the spot.
  • Fragile Speedster: Rogues. They usually don't have a high Constitution stat, but they have the ability "Evasion", which allows them to dodge one-in-five attack, and "Momentum", which boosts their speed all-around. However, this can be averted by putting enough points into Constitution, which turns them into Lightning Bruisers.
  • Freudian Slip: A non-sexual example, as Sister Theohild's grumbling stomach leads to a decidedly non-traditional rendition of the Chant of Light.
    Sister Theohild: The Veal holds no uncertainty for her, and she will know no fear of death, for the Maker shall be her bacon and her shield, her foundation and her...
    Mother Perpetua: There is no bacon in the Chant!
  • Freudian Trio: The starting team. Unusually, all three members show traits of multiple parts of the trio. Alistair is a dorky Manchild who is very much into saving kittens from trees and dislikes ruthless choices as a combination of the Id and Ego. Morrigan is mostly ruthless for pragmatic reasons, is motivated by power and survival, plus she has one odd puppy kicking moment as a combination of the Id and Superego. The Warden rounds things out as a combination of the Ego and Superego.
  • Friendly Fireproof: With regard to spells that affect an area. On Easy, this trope is in operation. On the other difficulties, it isn't, although Normal dials down the damage inflicted.
    • It's the nature of all fire spells in particular to avert this. Avernus combines his aversion with being an Annoying Video Game Helper, as his assistance is highly likely to wipe out all your melee fighters.
    • Played jarringly straight in the Warden's Keep DLC, where Levi Dryden is curiously immune to the chaotic battles around him. Justified, as otherwise most of the DLC would be an Escort Mission.
    • Very much not in effect during the 'Attack at Nightfall' section of the Redcliffe storyline, where the militia can easily get wiped out by fire spells or decide to run into the burning barricades.
  • Friendly Enemy: Greagoir, Knight-Commander of the Templars, and Irving, First Enchanter of the Fereldan Circle. Irving sees Greagoir as one of the few Templars who listens to reason, and Greagoir sees Irving as one of the few mages who isn't power-mad.
  • Friends with Benefits: Both Morrigan and Zevran say that they want this relationship with the Warden if romanced, but Morrigan instantly becomes a Clingy Jealous Girl whenever the Warden shows a romantic or sexual interest in anyone else. (Zevran, being an Ethical Slut, is much more easygoing, even if he does eventually develop feelings for the Warden.)
  • From Bad to Worse: Redcliffe Village is beyond screwed in general, what with the entire populace almost wiped out by undead which attack every night, dragging away the living to be devoured and turned, but the Warden has a few chances for finishing side quests here which adds a few extra helpings of salt to the wounds. These include: informing one wife that her husband has died in the army and another that both her husband and son were killed in the Wilds; letting one of the few survivors of the massacre know that he was drafted by a mercenary company he'd signed up with (or inform him before the attack goes down, resulting in one less defender); and taking one of the party members' weapons back from a dwarf who'd purchased it fair and square. This last one isn't so bad, though, since you can pay him for the return of the weapon.
    • Even if you don't pay the dwarf for the sword and take one of the many options that can have him fork it over for free, it's difficult to feel bad about it - during the preparations for the next undead attack, he boards himself up in his own house with armed guards, despite how he's a warrior himself, and if you don't have a high enough persuasion or coercion skill then he outright refuses to help the people of Redcliffe, taking on the attitude of "sod yourself."
  • From Nobody to Nightmare:
    • Played with in regards to Loghain, a commoner who became a hero to Ferelden during the Orlesian Wars and later takes the throne. He clearly thinks he's this, as evidenced by how he acts during Origins - threatening the Bannorn into inciting Civil War and believing he can outmaneuver the darkspawn like he does more conventional enemies.
    • The Warden can be this, if you started as an Elf or Dwarf Commoner, or a Mage - this is how you appear to your enemies. The sheer number of assassins they send after you is a indicator of how much you're putting the fear of the Maker into them. The Guard in the City Elf Origin lampshades this, in disbelief that the Arl's son lies in a river of blood that runs throughout the castle due to one Elf. When you step forward to take the blame, the Guardsman actually seems somewhat impressed.
  • Frontline General: Overlapping with Royals Who Actually Do Something, whichever candidate is made monarch at the Landsmeet will personally lead the allied army against the darkspawn at Denerim.
  • Fur and Loathing: All mage robes manufactured by the Tevinter Imperium prominently feature fur (except for one from the Witch Hunt DLC).

  • Gag Penis: Male Wardens who romance Morrigan can make a crack about what he has below the belt when Wynne brings up her concerns about the relationship.
    Wynne: It's like she's forgotten you exist above the waist.
    Warden: To be fair, there's quite a bit of me below the waist.
    Wynne: By the Maker! Is a little decorum too much to ask for?
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • Elves are notably the only playable race without any bonuses to physical stats, like STR, DEX, or CON. In-universe they're also the most oppressed race, being enslaved and second-class to humans all over Thedas. Implication being that they don't have any natural physical prowess to give them an edge over humans (not even Dexterity, a traditional "elf" stat that would at least give them an edge in rogue fighting or archery), so in a world where Might Makes Right... They do, however, have bonuses to Magic and Willpower, both of which are ideal for the Mage class. Sure enough, a few characters mention throughout the game (and the elves' lore itself states) that elves have a natural affinity for magic.
    • Alistair asks Zevran why the Crows would send someone like him to attack someone as powerful as surviving Grey Wardens, commenting that Zevran is no master of straight-up combat. While the player can build him up to be such after he joins the party, Zevran is indeed not too well-built when he first attacks the Warden. (He basically has one or two talents in several talent trees but not enough to make any of them particularly useful, making him a Master of None.)
    • The Mage class is the definitive Game Breaker class, compared to Warriors and Rogues. This makes sense, since Mages are seen in-universe as such potent people of mass destruction that most characters think they have to be tightly controlled, since individual mages can take on large groups of people with little effort, and several can take on a city or army of non-mages. As for what hundreds, or even thousands of mages can do? Well... there's a reason The Empire of Thedas is also The Magocracy.
    • Alistair starting's XP is marginally higher that the player character's when they first meet, reflecting Alistair's background as having been recruited by the Grey Wardens six months before your own introduction in the order: he's a tiny bit more experienced than the Warden, but not much.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Although Wynne strongly disapproves of Blood Magic like other Circle Mages, there is absolutely nothing preventing you from making Blood Mage her second specialization after unlocking it. If you are a Blood Mage, Wynne won't even bat an eyelash if you use Blood Magic right in front of her during battle. Dummied Out dialogue reveals that this was not originally the case, as it has Wynne confront a player who uses blood magic. It also explains why neither she nor other mages seem to take notice otherwise: she does not recognize the spells as being Blood Magic (though she has her suspicions), and she can be persuaded to believe that they are actually special "Grey Warden abilities." Other specializations work similarly, as there is nothing stopping you from, say, making all-around good guy Alistair a Reaver.
    • Rangers can call wolves and bears in areas where there shouldn't be any to call on, like the Deep Roads.
    • When Zevran asks to join your party, he claims he is good at lockpicking (besides other qualities...). Yet, he doesn't come with any lockpicking talents at that point. Of course, he might just be lying.
    • When recruited after Ostagar, Morrigan tells she knows "fifteen different poisons". She actually starts with the Poison-Making ability at level 0.
    • Lyrium potions are supposed to have an addictive quality, but none of your characters will ever suffer that no matter how many bottles they chug. Additionally, lyrium ore is supposed to be lethally toxic to non-dwarves, and potentially brain damaging even to experienced dwarvish miners. Non-dwarven characters can touch exposed veins of the substance to heal themselves, and dwarven characters receive no effects at all - in fact, interacting with the lyrium veins during the Fade sequence will actually harm dwarf Wardens.
    • Darkspawn corruption. Darkspawn blood is toxic, and getting it inside the body, either through ingestion or through a wound, can lead to death or ghoulification, and is one of several reasons the Grey Wardens intentionally taint themselves. However, your non-Warden companions will never once have to worry about that as they cut a bloody swath through entire hordes of the fiends. There was an early intent to make Grey Wardens out of the rest of your companions near the end of the game, but they had to abandon it. You can recruit most if not all of your companions in Awakening, however.
    • Wynne is first shown (if you don't talk to her at Ostagar) defeating a fire demon with a cold spell, but doesn't have any when she joins the party.
    • Some of Alistair's dialogue at the Landsmeet assumes that he gets along with the Warden, regardless of the state of his approval meter. This is most apparent if you choose to spare Loghain.
    • After you have completed the "A Paragon of Her Kind" quest and leave Orzammar with Oghren, he will ask for a moment to regain his composure because he, like all non-surface dwarves, is afraid he will "fall into the sky" the first time he sets foot on the surface. This makes sense if that is really the first time he leaves Orzammar - but not so much if you leave Orzammar when he joins the party and complete other (main) quests, plenty of them set in the open air, before coming back and tackling "A Paragon of Her Kind." Dummied Out dialogue reveals that Oghren would originally leave the party if you left Orzammar too early, and only join again when you return.
    • At one point, you have to go rescue someone who is sealed in a room with a spell. If you're playing as a mage with Dispel Magic, or you brought Morrigan or Wynne and one of them has Dispel Magic, you'd think you could just cast it on the door and be done with it. But nope, your only option is to go kill the mage who set the spell, which means you have to slaughter your way through the dungeons and alert the entire building to your presence.
    • While in late game Anora comments marrying Alistair would feel awkward because he's similar to the late king Cailan, having Alistair wearing her husband's armor (which you have to retrieve to complete the Return to Ostagar DLC) at this moment has no effect on the dialog.
    • Sten is very insistent to explain a Qunari warrior isn't complete if they lose their weapon, and that he won't be able to go back to his homeland without having retrieved his sword. Finding his sword, "Asala", is the goal of his personal quest. Once you complete it, dumping it or sellingnote  it has absolutely no consequence on Sten's dialog or post-game fate.
    • If you give Morrigan a gold mirror, it will initiate a dialogue with her being moved by the thoughtful act (since the mirror is similar to the one she stole as a child and Flemeth broke in rage) and asking what do you want in return, responding that it's just a gift and you don't want nothing leads to Morrigan saying that she never received a gift without a price attached to it... despite the fact that you' likely have been giving her gifts through the whole game.
  • Gargle Blaster: Just read the description of any of the heavy liquor "gifts." And then picture Oghren chugging that stuff.
  • Gay Option: Origins pretty much set the standard for the typical Gay Option Romance Sidequest in games to come. Both Leliana and Zevran are available for Wardens of either gender, with some minor dialogue changes in how the relationship develops. The player may also sleep with pirate captain Isabela and/or pay for some 'companionship' at the Pearl, and Human Nobles can spend the night with either Dairren or Iona, all regardless of gender. Aside from that, all romantic content remains strictly heterosexual, although PC players have the option of using mods if they want to change that.
  • Gender Bender: In the Darkspawn Chronicles DLC, cornering Wade and Herren in an alley results in the latter transforming into a Desire Demon and teleporting the two of them away.
  • Genki Girl: Dagna, the dwarven girl who wants to study magic at the Circle Tower.
  • Giant Spider: The franchise focus on them begins here: tainted by darkspawn, they are aggressive and violent Demonic Spiders thanks to their overwhelm ability, where they overpower, pin down, and repeatedly bite your character.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot:
    • Oghren definitely thinks so. He remarks that he wishes he'd known Branka preferred girls to him - just before stating he has A Date with Rosie Palms. If a female Warden has Oghren in the party when she visits the Pearl and requests a female prostitute, Oghren will walk in on them. And if your female Warden invites Leliana along for her tryst with Isabela, Oghren faints.
      Oghren: ..Too much to handle....Stone!... *passes out*
    • A female Warden romancing Alistair and Leliana will eventually have him force her to choose, though not before he drops this gem:
      Alistair: What about Leliana, then? I mean, sure, hot, but...
  • Give Me Your Inventory Item: Lots of these, actually. One sidequest for the Blackstone Irregulars is just the player giving them 20 health potions. The Mages' Collective wants 10 Deep Mushrooms and 10 Lyrium potions. The Chantry wants 9 (or 18 if you want more gold) Corpse Galls, and the Interested Parties want 15 Toxin Extracts and 10 pieces of Garnet. Lothering villagers want potions, poisons, traps...
  • Gladiator Subquest: The Provings.
  • Glass Cannon: Mages and Rogues, usually, but you can avert this through stat building and specialization.
  • Godiva Hair: The Lady of the Forest
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: The majority of the game is spent securing help from the Dalish elves, the dwarves of Orzammar, the Circle of Magi, and Arl Eamon's knights.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Evil:
    • The game effectively has two antagonists, a human one and a demonic one. Thus we have The Warden, Loghain, and the Archdemon, respectively.
    • Mages and Templars see themselves as the good, each other as the bad, and abominations as the evil.
  • Good Feels Good: In Lothering, you meet a little boy on a bridge whose mother was likely killed by raiders. If you're patient and help him to the best of your ability, he'll comment that you're the nicest person he's met so far in the village - there's no other reward but that.
    Boy: Father says elves aren't very nice. But you're nicer than everybody here. Thank you for helping me.
  • Going Through the Motions: It's not really noticeable unless you're really paying close attention, but if you watch long enough, you'll notice that a lot of characters use the same gestures, or tend to cross and uncross their arms a lot.
  • Gold Digger:
    • Noble-hunting is practically a profession amongst the casteless dwarves, as children inherit the caste of the parent of the same sex. Such a child is a valuable commodity which benefits both parents. The casteless family is adopted into the noble house, and the nobles receive another heir, which - due to low fertility rates and casualties from the darkspawn and political backstabbing - are in rather short supply.
    • If the PC is female and accompanies Alistair to meet with Goldanna in Denerim, Goldanna will straight up accuse the Warden of being this. Alistair does not take it well.
  • Good Morning, Crono: City Elves begin the adventure by being woken up by their cousin. Who is already half-drunk.
  • Gory Discretion Shot:
    • The killing of Connor is shown off-screen. This is presumably because showing the deliberate murder of a young boy, even a possessed one, even in an M-rated game, would have upset the Media Watchdogs. The killing of Oren, the PC's young nephew in the Human Noble origin, is given the same treatment.
    • At the Landsmeet, if Loghain is formally executed, the act is given this treatment... sort of. As the sword is swung, the camera cuts away to Anora's face as his blood splatters her.
    • Played for Laughs when leaving Honnleath with Shale. Upon reaching the road to the exit, a cutscene starts. Shale sees a chicken idly clucking away and scowls at it, since birds are Shale's Sitcom Arch-Nemesis. The camera cuts to the rest of the party as they continue down the road, until they are interrupted by a loud stony *STOMP* and the chicken squawking. The party looks back to see that next to Shale is a bloody puddle, and Shale simply shrugs.
  • Grail in the Garbage: Far Song, generally considered to be the best bow in the game, has apparently spent decades sitting buried in the stockroom of a tiny podunk blacksmith shop in Redcliffe.
  • Grave Humor: In Haven, after you've gone through it the first time, you can return and will have access to the village cemetery. The stones are engraved with all sorts of developer humor. Once you've completed your business at Andraste's tomb, you have no plot-related reason to go back to the village, so it's extremely easy to miss.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: A series of Codex entries found in the Deep Roads gives the first-person accounts of a group of dwarven miners searching for treasure at the direction of their leader, who thought they were getting directions from the Stone itself. Instead of treasure, they found a darkspawn-dug tunnel that was about to break into Orzammar. The miners pulled a Heroic Sacrifice by collapsing the tunnel, and no one in Orzammar would ever know that they owed their continued existence to a small group that were considered losers and misfits when they were there.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality:
    • The succession arc in Orzammar. Harrowmont is an honorable man who worked to his position and is as honest and clean as a politician can be, but believes in preserving dwarven traditions, most notably the oppressive caste system, even though he knows it is flawed. He also acquiesces too easily to the demands of Nobles (of whom Oghren half-jokingly says, "They've been trying to destroy Orzammar for years"). On the other hand, Bhelen may be a scheming bastard who schemed to kill or exile his brothers to secure his position, (and if he wins, his first royal order is Harrowmont's execution), but he wants to abolish the caste system and end Orzammar's policy of isolationism. Neither are presented as better then the other, and the player has to weight what they think is better for the people and city, and choices made in other parts of the game can cause either option to look better or worse on the chosen parties part. According to the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, if Harrowmont becomes King, the dwarven kingdom becomes isolationist and cuts itself off from human contact (and keeps the caste system) and he ends up assassinated; whereas if Bhelen becomes King, he becomes a benevolent dictator who does indeed curtail the caste system as well as open the kingdom up to the rest of the world, and strong-arms the self-serving, traditionalist nobility into compliance, while sending people out to hunt down any of Harrowmont's supporters who left the city.
    • This applies to quite a few situations in the game - e.g., the conflicts between the Dalish elves and the werewolves and the Templars and the mages, not to mention the motivations of the primary human antagonist Loghain. That being said, there is usually an acceptable middle ground solution for most of the quests - but Orzammar isn't one of them, given the epilogue.
  • Groin Attack: The "Below the Belt" talent is described as a "swift and unsportsmanlike kick" to the target, which causes normal damage and movement penalties, and if you're lucky can be a critical hit. This makes it entirely possible to finish off enemies with an especially potent kick to the jewels.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: All of Howe's guards are human, but any party character (except Shale or Dog) can get in with a pilfered uniform. Similarly, the Warden is always able to pass for a guard recruit in Fort Drakon.
  • Guest-Star Party Member:
    • The PC gets one or more of these during the origin stories. They vary based on the origin in question.
    • At Ostagar, during the preparations for the Joining ritual, the Warden-to-be is accompanied into the Korcari Wilds by Alistair and two other Warden recruits, Ser Jory of Redcliffe (a Warrior) and Daveth (a Rogue). Neither of them end up surviving the Joining for one reason or another.
    • During the actual Battle of Ostagar, when the Warden and Alistair are making their way through the Tower of Ishal, they will pick up either one or two of these for the duration of the quest - a nameless Circle mage and a nameless soldier, or two nameless soldiers if the Warden is a mage. If the Warden is the Human Noble, Dog is already in the party and only the mage will attach himself to the group.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Origins contains a few quests that don't appear in your journal.
    • The gifts you can give your party members can be very unintuitive and require a bit of poking around; this is even more the case in Awakening, where you have fewer opportunities to talk to the characters. But on the plus side, some are highly obvious.
    • Also, seemingly innocuous actions can have severe consequences. For instance, attempting to enter Arl Eamon's bedroom during your first visit to Redcliffe Castle (or even just getting lost and ending up there by accident) leads to Connor's death, and choosing Alistair as your champion at the Landsmeet leads to him executing Loghain immediately after the duel, thus preventing you from recruiting Loghain and/or marrying Anora to Alistair. The wide variety of finishing options means that if you want a specific ending, you have to take very specific actions.
    • Hardening Alistair and/or Leliana. Hardening the former is the only way to make it possible to recruit Loghain without Alistair stomping off and leaving (provided he has agreed to be Anora's husband). Hardening the latter will change her slightly; a romanced Leliana will be the Warden Queen or Prince-Consort's mistress, for instance, during the epilogue. However, there's no way to know this is possible, and there's no indication that they are hardened until certain events test it.
    • If a mage equips standard weapons, several spells will automatically sheathe them before casting, leaving you open to attack. This is problematic for Arcane Warriors, since the game does not inform you which spells will sheathe your weapons and which ones won't. There are online guides that do, which basically means a player wanting to go this route needs to plan from the start which spells they want.
    • Bringing Oghren in the active party to Haven will remove the opportunity for the Warden to accept (or even listen to) Father Kolgrim's offer to teach the Reaver specialization. Oghren is super pissed at the guy and never gives him a chance to say much.
  • Guilt-Based Gaming: Oh boy. Yes, being a creep generally nets you a lot of goodies, but certain members of your party are not going to let you forget it. And just try breaking up with someone without feeling like a scumbag. (Hint: watch your dialogue choices, or you may end up with some hapless character on your romantic radar unintentionally. Additionally, thanks to a known bug, it's extremely easy to accidentally romance Leliana and not know it until either she or your actual love interest asks you to choose.)
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot:
    • There's nothing stopping a male Warden from being a ranged fighter or a female one from being a warrior, of course, but this is in full force with the companions. In the base game, the companions include no female warriors note  and no male mages; and of the rogues, Zevran is geared towards melee weapons while Leliana favors a bow. Averted in the expansions, which has warriors and mages of both genders.
    • For the short time where the City Elf Warden's cousins are in combat (Soris in the origin story and Shianni in the final battle), Soris is more fixated on using a sword while Shianni fights with a bow.

  • A Handful for an Eye: Rogues can get an ability to do this as a stun.
  • Harder Than Hard: Nightmare difficulty.
  • Haunted Castle: Soldier's Peak, in the Warden's Keep DLC, is literally one of these. Redcliffe Castle also qualifies, to a less literal extent.
  • Have You Come to Gloat?: Loghain invokes this trope the first time the Warden speaks to him at camp. He'll ask whether the Warden is planning on insulting him or keeping him as a trophy. You have an array of dialogue options.
  • Have You Seen My God?: The existence of the Maker of which the Chantry speaks is never given irrefutable proof in-game. For that matter, the elven Creators aren't obviously real, either. The Chantry preaches that the Maker did, in fact, abandon Thedas because of humankind's crimes, and that only their extreme penitence can make Him come back. Consequently, quite a few people in Ferelden are atheist or agnostic.
  • Heir-In-Law: Anora's situation is affected by a variant of this - she's not a princess, but as the king's widow, she'd bolster the claim of someone who marries her. Depending on various factors, that could be Alistair, the Warden, or nobody. There's no circumstance in which she helps someone onto the throne while accepting demotion to mere consort for herself, however.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic:
    • In-engine cutscenes show the characters in their currently equipped gear, except for their helmets. This is not true for all cutscenes, however. Generally, if the scene is the prelude to the appearance of some monster, the helmet stays on. And, of course, helmets are generally removed for conversations, but this only makes sense.
    • Plot-significant characters take their helmets off for cutscenes. People who don't have names (or who are going to die shortly) will not. In that way, the spirit of the trope still holds.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: No matter what kind of character you're playing, you can always count on the unquestioning love and loyalty of the Mabari Hound. Human Noble Wardens start with one, and Wardens of other backgrounds can get one by completing an easy-to-finish side quest at Ostagar. Once Dog has joined you, it's not possible to make him leave, even if you deliberately try to drive everyone else from your side; his approval starts at maximum, and except with a silly bit of DLC, you cannot lower it for any reason. Plus, you may engage him in dialogue to literally Pet the Dog.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The Warden, Alistair, or Loghain can make one by killing the Archdemon without performing the dark ritual.
  • Hidden Backup Prince: Alistair turns out to be this, much to his dismay.
  • Hidden Depths: There's more to some of your companions than they appear.
    • Behind the deadpan snarking, Morrigan's party banter with Leliana actually makes her raise some highly intelligent philosophical questions. In one conversation, she points out to Leliana, who compares belief in Magic to belief in the Maker, that it's not the same - she can see magic and uses magic, whereas there is no proof for the Maker at all. She also theorizes that if the Maker does exist, he may have simply moved on to another creation - which, given her later discovering that the Eluvian leads to an entirely different realm altogether, may not be too far from the truth.
    • Zevran demonstrates that he's not just the mere assassin he seems, seemingly picking up on Morrigan having plans for the Warden fairly early in their acquaintance.
    • Oghren, the smelly, drunk, womanizing, ever-belching dwarf, looks like quite a superficial person. But take him to talk to the Guardian of Andraste's Sacred Ashes and...
  • Hidden Elf Village: One of the reasons suggested why the Dalish kingdom was invaded and destroyed is that they kept watching their neighbors getting beaten to a pulp... so the neighbors got pissed and now there is no more Dalish kingdom. Now, all Dalish clans occupy these, and they are almost continually picking up stakes and relocating in order to ensure that they stay hidden.
  • High Fantasy: What the game wound up being. Sure, magic is restricted in this setting, but it's still everywhere.
    • The other definition of high fantasy fits too; the world is way bigger than the immediate events in the game, and characters and events are quite deep and differentiated.
  • High-Pressure Blood: Defeated enemies sometimes lose parts, resulting in a pretty blood fountain. Arguably applies to all melee combat, considering how much gore characters get on them. (It even goes on their backs!) And the Walking Bomb spell causes its victim to literally explode in a shower of blood. Also, any use of blood magic, or the Power of blood talents from the Warden's Keep DLC results in ridiculous fountains of blood. One of the Power of Blood talents boils down to knocking enemies over with High-Pressure Blood.
  • Hit Box Dissonance: The only thing keeping two-handed weapons and ogres from being a joke is that their attacks always hit if the target is within the hitbox when the attack animation starts. It doesn't matter if you're on the other side of the map - an attack that would hit you when the animation starts will hit you unless the user is stunned, knocked down or frozen.
  • Hollywood Tactics: Justified. The darkspawn rushing at the fortifications at Ostagar is somewhat plausible since they are mostly mindless beasts and have virtually unlimited troops. However, the Ferelden soldiers break their ranks and charge out of their defensive positions before the darkspawn have even come close. Even if Loghain had charged the darkspawn horde from the side, it wouldn't have helped the King and Duncan in any way, as they were already getting swamped by darkspawn at the other side of the battlefield. Justified because King Cailan is an Idiot Hero who was dead set on winning the battle in an epic, storybook-style fashion. More than that, Loghain is the one who made the plan in the first place, and he deliberately screwed it up because he wanted to kill King Cailan.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: The Holy Smite ability for the Templar specialization. When combined with a weapon that's been enchanted with silverite runes, it can potentially take out large groups of darkspawn from a distance with one hit.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Bioware probably intended the (optional) fight with Ser Cauthrien in the Arl of Denerim's estate to be this, though they also probably realized that they had to provide a possibility for someone to beat Cauthrien or else it would feel like a cop-out if she suddenly turned invincible and wiped the party at 1 hp. You have the option to surrender without fighting, and if you fight and get killed (very likely) you're "captured" instead of getting a game-over. Cauthrien is beatable; she's just extremely difficult to beat, possibly the hardest boss of the game, level to level. She's definitely the hardest if you don't draw her out of the room with all her lackeys (the two warriors will follow you as well, but the horde of archers and the mage will stay put). Even then, she can still kill even a tank with only one or two hits. Inexplicably, she becomes a Degraded Boss when you meet her again at the Landsmeet if you took the "go to prison" route (and is in fact a Skippable Boss the second time, if your persuasion skills are strong enough).
  • Horrible Judge of Character:
    • One of the one-off NPC dwarves you can meet is Lord Helmi. He has strong opinions that the caste system is an inefficient and unjust disaster, which is why he's backing... Harrowmont, the candidate who doesn't want to end it. Although, it's arguably justified, since Harrowmont is an honest man, while Bhelen, despite wanting to move Orzammar towards progress, is corrupt and ruthless to the core, as seen specially in the Dwarf Noble origin.
    • Interestingly, Loghain. He entrusts operations of his capital city to Rendon Howe, who is so evil and cruel that his own children and the entire country's Bannorn are relieved when he's dead. He entrusts killing the Wardens to Zevran, who wants to die and deliberately attacks the party with a terribly obvious ambush that doesn't work. He entrusts Uldred to lead the Circle, but Uldred is a Maleficar the rest of the Circle can barely stand. He sells slave elves to the Tevinter Magister Caladrius, a sociopathic Blood Mage, who is leeching money and people from the city. He entrusts a pack of loyal adventurers with gaining him access to the Dwarven capital of Orzammar, and they shoot their mouths off so much they don't even get past the gate. The only good hiring calls he makes are the nearly invincible Cauthrien and Bann Ceorlic, who doesn't desert him out of terror of what Loghain will do if he ever grows a spine. Most tellingly, though, he thinks the Wardens can't stop him, right until they walk Eamon right through the gates of the city and force a Landsmeet at the worst possible time for his efforts to win the Civil War he started.
  • Hub Under Attack: Late in the game, your party's camp is attacked by the Darkspawn. If the Warden is of the Dalish Elf Origin, the attackers are led by the corrupted member of their old clan.
  • Human Resources: Golems are made using Dwarven lives. Also, Blood Magic drains the caster's (or others'...) blood and health points.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Anyone who gets possessed by a demon, but manages to maintain their human form counts. It helps that only the strongest demons seem to be able to possess someone without twisting their host's form beyond recognition.
    • Arguably, a Mage PC with Arcane Warrior/Blood Mage specialization is one. By the time everything is over you only partially exist in reality, are surrounded by layers of magical protection, are supernaturally strong, ungodly durable, cast spells using/can manipulate blood, and can control the minds of your victims. Only the Archdemon or similarly powerful enemies really stand much of a chance.
  • Humanoids Are White: The number of named dark-skinned characters you meet can be counted on one hand, including one black elf. It gets especially jarring if the player gives the Grey Warden a very dark skin tone - in the origins where the Grey Warden's parents are seen, like the human noble origin, said parents are very fair-skinned in contrast to their son/daughter. No one in the game mentions the Grey Warden's skin tone as being in any way unusual if this is done. Bioware actually got criticized about this, to the point where this was one of the things they addressed in Dragon Age II - your family will actually resemble you in skin tone and features.
  • Hypnosis-Proof Dogs: A powerful demon tries to imprison you and your current party in a Lotus-Eater Machine. After you break free, you can enter your companions' dreams to free them. Most of them (except Morrigan and Sten) fall for the illusion, but your Dog is simply put to sleep and re-joins you as soon as you approach him.note 

  • I Call It "Vera": In the Witch Hunt DLC, Finn's default staff is literally called Vera.
  • I Can't Do This by Myself: If you're enough of a jerk, Alistair will call you out for what you're doing to the reputation of the Grey Wardens. But he still remains in your party, adding that he can't stop the Blight by himself.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Will probably be inscribed on the Warden's tombstone. Can be invoked by name if the Warden kills Connor to eliminate the demon. Also claimed by Loghain, Avernus, and Zathrian.
  • I Got a Rock: A good thing, if done correctly. The Feastday Gifts DLC enables you to purchase a pet rock. If you give it to Shale, her approval rating for you jumps up fifty points.
  • If Jesus, Then Aliens: An unusual case of it. Leliana points to magic as proof of the divine. Morrigan believes in magic, obviously, but finds its existence sufficient to explain things that are attributed to the Maker. Later in the game, it seems Morrigan does believe in the existence of the Old Gods of the Tevinter Imperium, but not necessarily the Maker.
  • Immortality: The Archdemon has Type IV, which is why it can only be killed by a Grey Warden. Flemeth has Type IX, but also seems to have a way back without Morrigan's involvement.
  • Improbable Power Discrepancy: An odd variation. Because the game gives you a lot of freedom about the order in which you do the major quests and the difficulty of almost all encounters is scaled to the level of the PC, it's possible that you'll end up facing back-alley muggers at the end of the game that are more powerful than the blood-curdlingly horrifying monsters you faced in the beginning.
  • Inescapable Ambush: A number of random encounters throughout the game as you travel, but special mention must be given to how you meet Zevran.
  • Inevitable Tournament:
    • The Provings during the Orzammar treaty quest line, although you only have to enter the Provings if you side with Harrowmont.
    • With the game having such an open concept, taking part in the Provings is completely optional and available if you are supporting Bhelen; you can dedicate your victory to him or even to the Grey Wardens.
    • The Provings also factor into both of the Dwarven origin stories.
  • Infinite Stock For Sale: In most cases, the game averts it for anything except basic crafting components, though the merchants appear to have infinite funds. There are a couple of merchants that sell infinite amounts of crafting components.
  • Infinity +1 Sword:
    • In an odd twist, many of the best-in-slot weapons and pieces of equipment can simply be bought from merchants. They each cost a small fortune, however, so unless you're extremely compulsive about hoarding treasure and running sidequests (or extorting NPCs for favors), odds are you won't be able to afford many such indulgences.
    • Some of the DLC equipment — whether pre-order, collector's edition, or achievement awards — also counts.
      • Worth mentioning is the Reaper's Cudgel in the Golems of Amgarrak DLC. Statwise, it's an impressive, but otherwise ordinary mace. Its real value comes when, as DLC content, it is spread to your inventory in every game you have on file, and can be sold for insanely high amounts of money, even from the start of a new game. The only drawback is that to get it, you have to defeat The Harvester, a creature that spawns Elite Mooks as Goddamned Bats and is far and away the hardest boss in the game, easily outstripping the Archdemon or The Mother. And you have to do it on Hard or Nightmare mode, for the entire battle (no changing the difficulty when he's down to a sliver of health for you).
  • Informed Ability: For all that the game plays up Teyrn Loghain mac Tir as a military genius and his daughter, Queen Anora Theirin, as a savvy politician, neither of them show much of this.
    • Loghain is a berserk attacker in personal combat whose only even reasonably smart tactical move is pulling his forces back from the Battle of Ostagar, getting the outnumbered and surrounded King's Army killed (including the King). He then proceeds to pull back all military forces south of the Bannorn, allowing the Darkspawn to get a foothold.
    • Anora, meanwhile, is presented as the true power behind the Fereldan throne on which her husband sat, but is shown to be absolutely ineffectual and does nothing to oppose her father's coup until the Warden forces her hand. Possibly somewhat justified by her being a massive Daddy's Girl, and thus unwilling to believe he's so terrible; but considering she makes great claims about being patriotic and loving her people and wanting what's best for Ferelden, it comes across as weakness.
  • Informed Attribute:
    • Templars are said to be able to overpower magi that get out of control, but they never do anything other than get stomped by them. Even though blood magic is used, the magi shouldn't have been able to get as out of hand as they did if the Templars are as tough as they make themselves sound.
    • The character creation screen states that women and men are regarded as equals and are equally represented in most organizations. However, if you play as a female PC, the game is full of characters commenting in shock that a woman is a Grey Warden. Most, if not all, of the military leaders, heads of noble houses, and Templars you meet in the game, as well as the Grand Enchanter of the Ferelden Circle, are men. No one (except Bann Teagan) seems to question why the Queen's father is taking over the kingdom after the King's death instead of the Queen herself. One of your companions has what is implied to be a pretty brutal gang rape in her backstory. Rape is also a theme in three of the origin stories. In another origin story, a female PC is told off for "playing at being a man." The subsequent games gradually improved on this.
  • Informed Flaw: Wynne goes on and on about how old she is. Zevran comments on how well her body has held up. However, netting a high approval with her will allow you to find out that she has, in fact, already died once, but was revived with the help of a benevolent Fade spirit, which is now keeping her alive; it's this condition which likely makes her feel like an old woman.
  • Insistent Terminology: When Morrigan refers to Zathrian as a "sorcerer" instead of a "keeper," he flips out.
  • Insurmountable Waist-High Fence/Invisible Wall:
    • A veritable cornucopia of them. Rather egregiously, you can climb to just below the top of a hill but you have to walk around the peak.
    • Even unobstructed roads and trails can be impassible. A Wide-Open Sandbox this ain't.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • Depending on which voice set you chose, the Player Character may shout "Warden senses are tingling" or something similar when you encounter darkspawn. This can happen in the origins, thus spoiling the fact that you will eventually become a Grey Warden.
    • Temporary quest followers and actual regular companions can be distinguished quickly because the former don't gain experience and have no approval meter.
  • Internalized Categorism: Keili, a Circle mage, genuinely believes everything the Chantry teaches about magic being wicked. In the Mage Origin, she says it must be a punishment from the Maker and that she prays daily for forgiveness. During the "Broken Circle" quest, she all but hopes the Templars will kill her.
  • Interspecies Romance: None of the love interests care what race the player is. Almost. Anora does, and Alistair cuts off a non-Human Noble PC if he gets the throne unless you pass a difficult skill check; even if you do, you don't marry him, you just become his bit on the side, and then you'll have to have made him a bit more selfish through dialogue options in the game... but at least with him it's mainly politics.
  • Invisible Bowstring: Your character looks like they're pulling the string back and firing, but there is nothing to grab.
  • Ironic Nursery Rhyme: Hespith's poem, and the little boy in Haven:
    Come, come, bonny Lynne; tell us, tell us where you've been
    Were you up, were you down
    Chasing rabbits 'round the town
    Come, come, bonny Lynne; tell us, tell us where you've been

    Come, come, bonny Lynne; we've a bed to put you in
    It is soft, it is warm
    It will shelter from the storm
    Come, come, bonny Lynne; we've a bed to put you in

    Dear, dear bonny Lynne sleeps the peaceful crib within
    A mossy stone, a finger bone
    No one knows but Lynne alone
    Dear, dear bonny Lynne sleeps the peaceful crib within...
    • There's also a couple which can be overheard in the Alienage orphanage.
  • Irony: If you decide to help Brother Burkel open a Chantry in Orzammar, you can intimidate the Shaper by saying that a single dwarven preacher is better than a human army marching on the city to convert everyone. If Burkel gets his permission, the epilogue mentions that the Chantry's success in Orzammar ultimately leads to Burkel's death and riots in the city, which in turn leads the Chantry on the surface to contemplate a Exalted March, which is basically a crusade. Or in other words, a human army marching on the city.
  • Isn't It Ironic?: Whoever decided Marilyn Manson's "This is the New Shit" was a good pick for the game's trailer either didn't listen to the lyrics at all or was intentionally satirizing it: The song mocks the use of sex, violence, and blood as hype to cover up a complete lack of true innovation and creativity, and was used as backdrop in a trailer featuring... sex, violence, and blood in an attempt to hype the game as innovative and creative.
  • It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: Wynne says this, with a trace of amusement, as the explanation for why she decided to try what turned out to be her Vessel of the Spirit ability.
  • It's All About Me: Dwarf nobles seem to have this as their hat, as seen multiple times. They refuse to help against the darkspawn — not because they think it's futile, but they fear to send their troops away and leave themselves vulnerable to the machinations of another noble house, and they can't unite against a common enemy without a king. Even after the dispute is settled, one house still doesn't send men, as evidenced by NPC chatter among dwarf soldiers at Redcliffe Castle the night before the battle.
    • During the First Blight, when the dwarven kingdoms were being destroyed by the darkspawn, the dwarves couldn't pull together because the Assembly was constantly arguing over whose thaig was more important, causing Paragon Aeducan to launch a coup in order to save their species.
    • In The Golems of Amgarrak, Jerrik Dace couldn't care less about how horrifying Paragon Caridin's research was (even telling the Warden to "spare [him] the moral stuff") and just wants to bring glory to House Dace. Even after seeing everything that happened in Amgarrak, even after helping the Warden kill the Harvester and seeing all the horrific stuff that happened there, he still doesn't want to leave without getting some of the notes the previous expedition took.
  • It's Not You, It's Me: What you can say to Leliana to break up with her. She'll get mad and try to fight to save the relationship.
  • It's Quiet… Too Quiet: In the Dalish Origin, Merrill (and the Warden, if the player so chooses) notes that the animals in the forest are unusually silent and that they should be careful.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: You pretty much have to have played both Dwarf origins and seen both of those characters' interactions with both candidates to get the whole picture for the Orzammar story.
  • Justified Criminal: The casteless dwarves of Orzammar. Marked as outcasts and criminals from birth, they are not legally permitted to gain any legitimate work or housing. As such, they're forced into either begging or criminality for survival.

  • Karl Marx Hates Your Guts: Every merchant in Ferelden sells their goods at the same price. The only exception is Gorim, in Denerim, and he's only an exception if you're playing as the Dwarf Noble.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Bhelen Aeducan can be this if the player is a Dwarf Noble and supports him as King of Orzammar. Depending on the Noble's actions in the origin story, he/she can actually be innocent of murdering their older brother, Trian, but he/she is then framed for his death and subsequently sentenced to death for a crime of which he/she is innocent. However, this comes down largely to player choice. A player can make certain decisions during a Dwarf Noble playthrough in which they will actually be responsible for killing Trian, either out of self-defense or aggression. Moreover, when a Dwarf Noble Warden returns to Orzammar, he/she can easily support Bhelen's rival for the crown, Lord Harrowmont, out of revenge. This trope is only played straight if the Dwarf Noble had no role in Trian's death (or if Trian was killed in justified self-defense after attacking his sibling) and subsequently supports Bhelen's claim to the throne of Orzammar, in which case he becomes King and never suffers any real consequences for his actions.
    • If you have Loghain become a Grey Warden and sacrifice himself, the epilogue claims that history forgets all the evil things he did and instead remembers him as a hero, because he gave his life for Ferelden. These forgotten crimes include almost dooming all of Ferelden, the attempted murder of Arl Eamon, allowing slavers to abduct elves from the Alienage, branding the Grey Wardens - the only people who can stop a Blight - criminals and trying to kill them, allowing a king to die in battle despite having the ability to save him, allowing the kidnapping of his own daughter, and quite a few other things. It's understandable that he (at least partially) redeemed himself at the end, but come on.
    • A particularly evil Warden can be this as well: committing numerous misdeeds and ultimately surviving the Blight and becoming a powerful and respected figure.
  • Karma Meter: Removed entirely, and replaced with a system of consequences for individual choices, along with personal reactions to various actions from your party members. Two characters actually can be "hardened", which makes them much less likely to complain about evil decisions (and more likely to accept a threesome or foursome).
  • Keep the Reward: An option for a few quests. Notable for the fact that it doesn't earn you karma or anything, since there is no karma. You just miss out on a reward when you do this. Instead, it's usually better to grub for rewards... and that's why it's so much more satisfying in this game when you do refuse the reward.
  • Kick the Dog: "Lord Harrowmont kicks casteless in the streets! Does he respect none below his station?"
    • Loghain's betrayal of King Cailan and the Wardens at Ostagar, considered by many (including Alistair) to be a Moral Event Horizon. His ensuing slander campaign against the two surviving Wardens is kicking the dog again.
    • Everything Vaughn and his men do to the elves of Denerim during the City Elf Origin, especially what they do to Shianni for defying him. Bear in mind, Vaughn and his pals meant to rape her anyway. . . her, you (if female) or your betrothed (if male, your cousin's betrothed, and another bridesmaid. And then let the estate guards have a turn. Shianni's earlier defiance just meant she got to go first.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: There are some mods that allow players to eviscerate Arl Howe because some players feel his death taking place in a cutscene lets him get off too easy. And most players are more than happy to reject Vaughn's offer in the City Elf origin so they can kill him themselves. You can literally tell him you will enjoy kicking his ass.
  • Kill 'Em All: In the Darkspawn Chronicles DLC, you can do this to a lot of named NPCs that would be in Denerim. Yes, including Alistair's sister. (Too bad you can't get Herren, though...)
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: Debatable vis-a-vis the Grey Wardens. The Grey Wardens have dark secrets about the Joining ritual and other disturbing truths about the Darkspawn taint that the Wardens live with. Ser Jory is possibly a victim of this, though one could also argue that Ser Jory drawing his sword forced Duncan to kill him.
    • You have this option with Brother Genitivi, who wants to show off Andraste's Ashes to the world. (However, the tie-in short story collection Tevinter Nights shows that Bioware canon is that he's still alive.)
  • Kill It with Fire/Kill It with Ice/Dishing Out Dirt/Shock and Awe: The primal spells.
  • Knight In Shining Armour: Averted. Nelaros from the Female City Elf Origin so desperately sees himself as this, attempting to protect you from Vaughn and later organising an attempt with Soris to rescue his bride. What he doesn't realise is you are already planning your own escape, which luckily coincides with Soris arriving to slide you a sword, and within minutes you're heavily armed and taking down guards left, right, and centre. Sadly, you arrive too late to be able to rescue him.