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Fanfic / Walking in Circles

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Art by Kauri
"Do you have anything that you wish to keep?"

An AU fanfic of Dragon Age: Inquisition by Milee_Cosgrove.

Solas wakes up earlier than he did in canon, but instead of having ample time to prepare for his plan, his unfamiliarity with the current world causes him to be caught by the Templars. He is imprisoned in the Circle of Otswick where he meets Evelyn Trevelyan. Solas, being who and what he is, is dead set on escaping but freedom won't come so easily, not for himself or Evelyn, or any other mages. Meanwhile, the Kirkwall Rebellion and the mage uprising is brewing...

The first part of the story starts with Solas's arrival at Otstwick Circle until two years before the event at the Conclave. The current second part takes place during the canon game, officially starts at chapter 23.

You can find it here on Archive of Our Own. For other extra and deleted scenes, go here.


Has nothing to do with comedic fantasy web series Walking in Circles.

This work provides examples of:

  • Action Dress Rip: The ballgown Evelyn wears in the Winter Palace is specifically designed so its outer layer could be ripped away into a Battle Ballgown suitable for fighting.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: As the story is based on the alternative universe in which Solas awoke earlier than he did in canon, aspects of each character have significantly more angst. Solas lives within a mage circle and sees the abuses of power firsthand and bears witness when the Ostwick Circle is annulled. Evelyn Trevelyan is nearly raped and made tranquil thus giving her a harsher view of the world.
  • Adult Fear: If a mage in a Circle gives birth, her child will be taken away immediately, most of the time she won't even be allowed to hold it before that happens.
    • Templars who actually care about their offspring with the mages could face the possibility that their child may also be a mage, and might not survive their own Harrowing. Ser Ralston's daughter was one of those cases
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    • The older Circle mages who take care of the younger ones often lost them to Harrowing, or unable to protect them from templars' harassment.
  • Affectionate Nickname: A few.
    • Kinnaird calls Evelyn "Evie."
    • Evelyn and Danforth trade affectionately snarky nicknames: she calls him "Old Man," and he refers to her as "girl."
    • Solas calls Evelyn "vhenan" after she is made tranquil and continues to do so from that point on.
  • Anti-Villain: Solas is a bigot who looks down on modern elves, he also intends to destroy the Veil and this world as people know it, but at the same time, he isn't afraid to stand up to help people, even those who he considers beneath him.
    • Evelyn later also turns into this trope at least in her intention, she's still the same compassionate woman as before but the trauma she suffered has given her a reason to follow Solas's goal of taking down the Veil, willingly accepts the fact that it'd kill a lot of people.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Evelyn to Solas when their Circle's Annulment happens and she knows that he'll leave without her, so she just wants to get it out before going to do her own part in the rebellion.
    • And Solas to Evelyn not much later, when he discovered she has become a Tranquil.
    • Two years later, Evelyn once again declares her love for Solas after she comes back from being Tranquil.
  • The Atoner: Solas toward Evelyn. He's extremely protective and considerate toward her both out of love and guilt because, as he puts it, most of her ordeals and traumas were partially his fault.
    • Ser Ralston is also one. In his younger days, he had a dalliance with a mage as perk of the job, said relationship produced a child who was taken away but he kept an eye on her. But eventually, his child turned out to be a mage and didn't survive her Harrowing. He now spends the rest of his life atoning for his sin by helping and protecting mages whenever he can.
  • Attempted Rape: Evelyn first met Signy when the latter was being cornered by Grieves. Later, Grieves also attempts to force himself on Evelyn but she kills him instead.
  • Battle Couple: Solas is a highly capable fighter, and while Evelyn has less experience, her talent for fire and storm make up for it.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Solas cares and befriends Evelyn in the first place because she constantly goes out of her way to help or rescue him, even when she must suffer for it while he didn't think much of her in the beginning.
    • Solas also often notes that no matter how many things about himself that he's ashamed of are revealed to Evelyn, she always accepts him without any hesitation.
  • Becoming the Mask: Inverted with Solas. He states that who he was while living Circle is his true self, while the Dread Wolf was the persona he became in order to fight.
  • Benevolent Boss: Evelyn mentioned that people being this trope will rarely give their employees reasons to betray them.
  • Berserk Button:
    • If you value your life, don't hurt anyone Solas cares about.
    • For Evelyn after her tranquility is cured templars or anything to do with re-instating the mage circles.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Signy is a quiet girl who rarely talks even to her friends, but she is also a blood mage who doesn't hesitate to kill or control when the time comes.
  • Body Horror: Evelyn sees what happens to red templars as the lyrium takes them over. Some of them don't even have eyes, just red crystal.
  • Break Them by Talking: Imshael attempts this on Evelyn, first by whispering to her, invading her dreams, and then confronting her in the courtyard of Suledin Keep. She ends up setting him on fire.
  • Brick Joke: Fennel, a kitchen cat appears once in one of the first chapters later became Solas and Evelyn's pet when they leave Ostwick.
    • Solas's pickpocketing talent is used to get the key to the Knight Commander's study. Later, he uses it again to out-mug a thief.
  • Broken Bird: Evelyn by the time she gets the Mark. The trauma during the uprising plus her two years as a Tranquil has made her into a much more cynical and ruthless person to the point that she actually supports Solas's goal. Yet at the same time, she still retains her kind and caring attitude.
  • Brother–Sister Team: The twins Keldra and Kinnaird. Keldra takes care of the fighting part while Kinnaird is the healer. It doesn't make him a pushover, though.
  • Brutal Honesty: One of Evelyn's main traits is her honesty. She isn't afraid to call you out if you're wrong or did something stupid. A trait in which Solas has been the main target several times thanks to his prejudice and bigotry.
    • And it only gets stronger after she gets the mark and recovered from being Tranquil.
  • Byronic Hero: Solas qualifies. Brooding? Check. Cynical and world weary? Check. Is emotionally conflicted? Check. Intelligent, sophisticated, and cunning? All of the above. He has the best of intentions, but the way he goes about achieving his ends seems to have him firmly set on a tragic end.
    • Evelyn may also qualify as a Gender Flip version in the later chapters.
  • Chastity Couple: Solas and Evelyn after they escape from the Ostwick Circle. During the first two years, it's because she is a Tranquil who can't give consent and Solas will only touch her when he needs to guide or take care of her. They don't do it for months after she got the mark, as the act of sex reminds Evelyn of her trauma during the uprising and her being afraid to give up control to someone else.
    • They eventually have enough confidence to gradually move away from this trope, and finally break it in chapter 32, after Evelyn has finally recovered enough. Solas still tread very carefully when they did it, though.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Evelyn very first Establishing Character Moment in the first chapter is her risking to be beaten by a Templar just to protect Solas's wolf jaw pendant for him. She also uses her family's noble status to protect other mages from being harassed by Templars, even though it weakens her own self-protection. In fact, this trait is what made Solas notices and falls in love with her in the first place.
    • It's deconstructed as while her personality endears her to many people, it also brings her foes who target both her and her friends. Not to mention, seeing too much suffering and yet can't do anything to change it is what finally pushes her to become a Well-Intentioned Extremist who supports Solas's plan.
  • Claimed by the Supernatural: When he is planning to leave the tower, Solas gives Evelyn his jawbone necklace. After she is made tranquil, the necklace becomes a visible claim to the other elves working with Solas. Despite being scornful of a human in their midst, they will not harm or belittle her.
  • The Conscience: Evelyn is this to Solas. Due to his past, he tends to act rather arrogantly, but with Evelyn's influence and her calling him out, along with his love for her, his behaviours have changed quite a bit that there're occasions where he helps other people not because it benefits him but because 'it's something she'd do'. Of course, sometimes it takes more than just her words to reach him, namely after Wisdom's death, it's only when Solas realizes that his actions during his wraith has hurt and made Evelyn fears him that he snaps out of it.
  • Cool Old Guy: Mortimer Danforth, he takes interested in the Fade and spirits while such topics are often avoided by other mages.
    • Later, he's also revealed to had almost been made Tranquil before due to suspicions that he killed a Templar. He didn't, since if he was the one that did it, according to Danforth himself, that Templar would have died a slower and far more painful death.
    • It is revealed that the other reason he was forbidden from healing was because he helped end unwanted pregnancies. One of the templars took issue with it.
  • Crush Filter: When they first meet, Solas comments that Evelyn, while looking delicate and balanced in features, isn't that standout from others. After he falls in love with her, though, he often calls her beautiful, and generally can't resist her even when she looks less than pretty (like being emaciated and extremely pale, or looking very hazardous from fighting and running). At one point, he even scoffs at a noble in Halamshiral who calls her plain.
  • Cry into Chest: Happens after Evelyn meets up with Vivienne. After realizing where the First Enchanter stands on the matter of mages and Circles, Evelyn walks out of the mansion and cries in Solas's arms for a bit before declaring Vivienne won't be joining them.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Solas, Evelyn, Danforth, Fitz, even Signy when she decides to talk. it's easier to count the ones that aren't this trope.
  • Determinator: Fitz, no matter how many times they caught him, he just won't give up. In the end, only death can stop him.
  • Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?: Evelyn, a human mage and Solas, an Elven God. Solas fears the day she knows who and what he is but has tried to accept the fact that she may leave him. She doesn’t care, in fact, it just makes her more worry for him, not of him.
  • Dirty Coward: Monette whose first concern is always to look out for herself first, even if she has to look away when injustices happen to innocent people. She's one of Evelyn constant reminders about what's wrong with the Circles, thus giving her one more reason to see them gone.
  • Do Wrong, Right: When Evelyn and Solas get caught while they're having a tryst (it's just a cover for Solas's failed escape), she gets a scolding from Monette but it's mainly about Evelyn's choice in partner and places to do it rather than her having a lover in the first place. As Monette puts it, if Evelyn has a lover, it's better to be someone with influence (like a Templar) rather than an apostate elf with no name or influence.
  • Driven to Suicide: Malorel, one of the young apprentices, kills herself near the day of her Harrowing out of fear not being able to pass it and made into Tranquil as it often happens to the pretty ones, like poor Orla.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Grieves cares enough about his family that he actually backs down when Evelyn, to stop him from sexually harassing mages, threatened to use her family's influence to destroy their livelihood. It doesn't stop him from hitting or threatening her, though.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Evelyn has dark hair and is pretty pale from years living mostly inside the tower, but once she becomes Tranquil and her diet suffers for it, she turns even more paler and thinner. That, combines with her attitude during that time, causes most people to find her very creepy to look at.
  • Exiled to the Couch: After Wisdom's death and Solas realizing that Evelyn is angry at him for his ruthless action, he asks if she wants him to sleep elsewhere but since Evelyn doesn't want to make the fissure between them bigger, she tells him to stay with her and they spend the rest of the night holding each other.
  • Face–Heel Turn: In a sense, Evelyn does this since even if both of her current and end goals is to defeat Corypheus and help all mages from their predicaments, to reach the latter, she has to aid Solas in destroying this world and thus killing countless people.
  • Fetish: Solas definitely has a thing for Evelyn wearing silk. Fen'Harel in the bad future dressed her up in a silk nightgown, which the present!Solas noticed and mentioned. Then in Halamshiral, he clearly enjoys seeing Evelyn in her black silk ballgown; and later, outright says to her that she should wear silk more often before making love to her.
  • Fiery Redhead: Fitz, who is free-spirited, determined and snarky.
  • First Love: Evelyn previously fell in love with a young mage named Anselm. He was taken to the Kirkwall Circle when his mentor was revealed to be a blood mage. When Evelyn goes to the College of Magi with Monette, she discovers that he had been made Tranquil for a few years and was killed during the Circle Annulment.
  • Flower Motifs: Evelyn is often associated with flowers, either as a small, unassuming but poisonous flower, or dried flowers that stringed together, to be swayed by the winds helplessly, or little flowers that bloom strongly on rock walls despite their circumstance.
  • Food Porn: From sweets and tea and snacks from the First Enchanter's room and the College of Magi to the decadent feast in the Winter Palace to just a lunch in the Trevelyan household, not mentioning the meal the Dread Wolf gave Evelyn in the bad future, it is a certain that when the author when to make the readers hungry, she will do it.
  • Foreshadowing: Evelyn revealed to Solas after his meeting with Monette that the First Enchanter is more than she seems underneath all those flowers and teas in her room. Much later, Monette gives Evelyn some special tea that helps the latter remains awake despite being drugged for the kill by the Templars.
    • At one point, Keldra has to take her clothes to the laundry chamber due to her period staining them, when she asks Signy if the latter needs help deliver her own things too, Signy declines. Much later, it turns out that Signy is a blood mage using her period blood as materials for practice, instead of risking to cut herself like others.
  • For Want of a Nail: Solas being taken into the Circle of Ostwick caused a chain of events that lead to Evelyn, the Inquisitor herself to develop a much more radical view about the current world affair which results in her becomes his ally and confidant in his plan of taking down the Veil and he actually agrees with her decision unlike in canon.
    • The Bad Future also happened differently from the canon game, where instead of resigning to his fate and be imprisoned, Solas, in his grief and rage of losing Evelyn, gathered forces to take over Redcliffe castle, making it his headquarter in his war against Corypheus. He also killed Alexius to take the amulet.
    • Felassan is still alive because Evelyn suggested to Solas that killing him would be a waste. Instead, the elf was sent away to work somewhere else where his torn loyalty would not be tested again.
  • Friend to All Children: Evelyn. On her third encounter with Solas, she was trying to coax an elven child out of his hiding spot and then protected him from Grieves. Her main job in the tower is to teach the younger apprentices, including secretly preparing them to survive their Harrowing. And when she becomes Herald, children in Haven flock to her with gifts of flowers and herbs which she accepts unlike everything else that she turned away.
    • It's deconstructed later, when her love for children and seeing the younger mages being slaughtered or made Tranquil is what pushes her to side with Solas.
  • Friends with Benefits: Solas and Evelyn try to pretend that their relationship is this but it's obvious from the first time they have sex that they feel something much more than that.
  • Gilded Cage: Basically, how life is inside a Circle. You will be fed, clothed and given education, if you climb up the ranks high enough, you can even enjoy a luxurious lifestyle. But you can't leave your tower without permission, all of your works belong to the Chantry, any children you have will be taken away, and any chance of acting out of line can result in you being beaten, imprisoned, make Tranquil or killed. And even if you act within your line, you can still be abused by the Templars if you don't have your family backing you.
    • In a more benevolent version, Solas sometimes considers the idea of taking Evelyn away, hiding her in some quiet corner of Thedas with a guard to prevent her from taking on his burden. But he doesn't go through with it because he knows she'll never accept such a thing.
  • Grammar Nazi: When they finally get to Skyhold, Evelyn tries to persuade Solas to forget about "preserving her reputation" and just move in with her by talking in Elvish which she learned from hearing him speaking for two years. He's definitely moved by it and agrees, but still tries pointing out she used the wrong verb.
  • Guilt Complex: Solas isn't a stranger to guilt considered his past, but he still holds an enormous one toward Evelyn, considered himself to be the sources of most of her problems instead of saving her like he promised, and that she could have a simpler life without him. Even when she repeatedly telling him to stop doing so and explains that it's her choice to remain with him, he still lapses into this trope here and there.
    • Deconstructed when Solas's guilt complex actually causes Evelyn sometimes to have doubts that he's with her out of guilt, not love.
  • Head Pet: Fennel the cat was often seen sitting on Solas or Evelyn's shoulder.
  • Heel Realization: Solas when he comes to understand that Evelyn, and by extension the people in the current age, despite their weak connections to the Fade are all true people with their own lives, emotions, desires and dreams that are no different from the people of the old world.
    • Evelyn also has one when she realized that despite understand what is a Tranquil, she, like everyone else, has taken them for granted and forgot just how horrible it actually is.
  • Heroic BSoD: Solas has one when he discovered what exactly is a Tranquil as it shows him that he had not only condemned his people but also other races too.
    • He has an even bigger one after Evelyn became a Tranquil. It shocks him to the point that he even confesses his love for her out loud, an act that he had been repeatedly refrained from doing, in hope that it could do something.
    • It happened again to him in the bad future, where losing Evelyn and having to fight a hopeless war against Corypheus caused Solas to almost cease to exist altogether, only the Dread Wolf remained.
    • Evelyn has one when she heard about Anselm's death, another one when she discovered Orla has been made Tranquil and then Malorel killed herself.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When their escape plan is discovered by the Knight Commander walks in on Evelyn, she orders Solas to run back to his dorm, letting people think there's only her and Fitz in the plan. She doesn't get killed for it but the isolated imprisonment certainly does a number on her.
    • In the bad future of Redcliffe, Fen'Harel/Solas leaves Evelyn to hold back Corypheus, knowing very well that he'll die but it'd give her and Dorian times to escape to the present.
      • Solas also mentions that in that one year of the future, several ancient elves have sacrificed themselves in the fight against Corypheus so he could escape.
  • Hidden Depths: Signy was a quiet girl who mostly kept things to herself, but she often the first person who comes for Evelyn and helps her. She's also a powerful blood mage who practicing her arts by using her monthly blood instead of just cutting herself and risked being discovered like regular blood mages do. Her being a shy, meek, gloomy girl is also mostly an act to avoid drawing attention to herself, as Solas notice that after they left the tower, Signy stands straighter, hair pulled back, and meets everyone's gaze directly, she talks more too.
    • Kinnaird may look like a selfish guy at first glance but it's because he has to look out for his sister, as she'll be the one to be punished if he does something wrong. he's also a healer, despite his appearance suggests otherwise.
    • Danforth used to be a healer who secretly helped female mages dealing with the result of their rapes, but he was almost made Tranquil and transferred to his current position when he was suspected to be a blood mage who killed a Templar. He didn't but he does wish to be the one who did it, in a much slower and more painful way.
    • Evelyn herself lampshades this trope when she calls Solas out on his bigotry and condescending attitude. She points out that the reason he sees her as strong, kind, wise and more special than anyone is because he spends most of his times with her while deliberately avoiding all other mages. Had he tried to know others more, he'd have seen that they also have their own lives and stories to tell, how they also try to rebel against their oppressors in their own ways.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: The new Knight-Commander Clayborne obviously believes what's she doing is good and that all mages are monsters that need to be contained or killed. But by the time Ostwick Circle's Annulment happens, she's very much become a monster that had no qualms killing defenceless mage children.
    • After Evelyn watches as Celene is assassinated she feels as if her hands have been bloodied through her inaction.
  • Holding Hands: Once she's got the Mark and is cured of Tranquil, Evelyn and Solas almost always do this (among their hugs, kisses, and headbutts) whenever they're within arm's reach with each other, and it's even often specifically described in those scenes that they're entwining their fingers and not just simply holding hands. It's to compensate for their time in Ostwick when they can't show affection publicly and their two years afterwards, not to mention it also brings them great comfort, especially Solas.
    • Evelyn takes Solas's hand at the Winter Palace, knowing it will send the court into a gossip frenzy.
  • Honey Trap: At one point, Solas accuses Evelyn to be this, thinking that she's trying to offer herself to him to make him give up on trying to escape Ostwick Circle. She doesn't, and immediately chews him out for that accusation.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Happens when Solas has to go through Harrowing. A rage demon looks at him, he looks back and the demon just backs away without a single word.
  • Humble Goal: Solas's main goal is to restore his people's former glory and freedom which is definitely not a small wish, but for himself, all he wants is just a quiet, simple life with Evelyn.
    • Similar to Solas, all Evelyn wants for herself is a home with a garden, a kitchen, and a bookshelf. And most of all, children of her own, which is something Solas discovers that he really wants for himself too after hearing Evelyn's wish.
  • Innocent Cohabitation: For two years after they escaped from Ostwicks, Solas and Evelyn live together but due to her being a Tranquil, nothing affectionate or sexual happens despite them being lovers before. Solas also forces himself to only touch her when he needs to take care of her.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Evelyn and Solas toward each other. For Evelyn, once the canon events start and they're officially together, she often displays doubt about herself due to her experience as a Tranquil, her not being able to control her emotions or use her magic. She also sees herself as physically unattractive, having only skin and bones due not being able to take care of her health properly for two years. Solas always quickly assure her that he still finds her very desirable, though, and that any hesitation on his part are only out of concern that he may hurt her.
    • Solas, at least in the beginning, often tell her that she should run away to find a quiet and safe place to live and let him deal with everything as he doesn't want her to suffer for his mistakes. Even when they're together and he's accepted that she's not going anywhere or leaves him alone, Solas still believe that Evelyn could have a better and simpler life without him.
  • Intertwined Fingers: Solas and Evelyn are often specifically described to do this and not just simply holding hands. Even as Fen'Harel in the bad future, just doing this with Evelyn instead of sex is enough for him to feel comforted.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: Felassan asked Evelyn how did a Tranquil human like her caught Fen'Harel's eyes. Her answer is "I believe it was because I hid his necklace, forced him to drink tea, and then I pleasured him in an empty classroom". Unsurprisingly, this talk ends with Felassan laughing himself to the floor.
  • Karmic Death: Grieves, the rapist templar finally get his retribution when his would-be victim killed him with his own knife.
  • Kind Hearted Cat Lover: Evelyn has a soft spot for cats. In fact, the reason her magic was discovered by public years ago was because she threw a fireball at a man who was abusing a cat. Solas even tries to give her the task of taking care of Fennel when they leave Ostwick in hope that it could do something to her Tranquil state.
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: Solas definitely isn't very happy about the fact that he has to lie about his identity or his goal to Evelyn; at the same times, he's afraid of her reaction upon finding out the truth. Turns out she not only doesn't mind but also supporting his plan.
    • After, they both have to lie to everyone else, but Evelyn does plan to tell some of her friends when the proper time comes.
  • Last Kiss: In the Redcliffe!Future, Solas/Fen'Harel kisses Evelyn one last time before leaving to fight Corypheus in order to buy her time to escape.
  • Last-Name Basis: For the first few weeks while he's at the tower, Solas consistently refers to Evelyn as Trevelyan. He only begins calling her by her first name after his first failed escape attempt.
  • Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: Nearly said verbatim by Varric after a newly un-tranquilized Evelyn meets up with Solas on the battlefield. While Cassandra is focused only on fixing the breach, Varric wants to give them a moment of privacy.
  • The Lost Lenore: Anselm who when first mentioned by Evelyn is already dead. His demise is one of the first major key factors for her decision of actually trying to change the status quo and escape from the Circle.
  • Love Hurts: At first, Solas doesn't dare to reveal his feeling to Evelyn as he thinks it as a betrayal to his people to fall in love with a shemlen, not to mention he's also afraid of Evelyn's reaction if she knows who he is and what he's planning. Only when she becomes Tranquil that he finds to courage to confess but it's already too late, and he spends the next two years regretting everything.
    • Evelyn, meanwhile, thinks that she'd never be able to leave her Circle while Solas values freedom more than anything so she can't reveal her love as it would tie him down.
    • Kinnaird is in love with Fitz but they were only together for a short while before broke up due to Fitz constantly trying to escape and Kinnaird wanting to keep his sister safe.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: To be expected, as Solas is one of the ancient Elvhen, and Evelyn is a human. He knows he will outlive her, and he says as much in Chapter 35.
  • Meaningful Echo: The first time Evelyn talked to Solas, she asks "Do you have anything that you wish to keep?" His answer was "My pendant." Much later, when he remembers that question again, his answer this time is "You (Evelyn)."
  • Meaningful Name: Ser Grieves. With that kind of name, he couldn't be a safe person to be around.
  • Mercy Kill: Kinnaird mentions that some other mages often tell their friends to kill them if they ever made Tranquil.
  • Merlin and Nimue: Evelyn is the Nimue to Solas's Merlin. He's even started to groom her into becoming his replacement to lead Fen'Harel's organization in the case something happens to him.
  • The Mole: After escaping Otswick, Evelyn becomes Solas's mole as Tranquil are always overlooked or ignored by other people and thus being perfect for spying duty. It should be noted that he didn't force her to do so and it was her suggestion in the first place since Tranquil hate, as much as they can, being idle.
  • The Mourning After: A non-fatal version happens to Solas after Evelyn becomes Tranquil.
  • Mugging the Monster: A non-violent example in which a pickpocket tries to mug Solas and Evelyn, he ends up losing his own purse instead.
  • Mundane Luxury: Being imprisoned from a young age has made Evelyn enjoys and fascinated by things most people won't think much about like travelling, flowers, having your own private space, snow storms, etc.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Solas has this reaction when in his rage trying to kill the Kirkwall mages were the cause of Wisdom's death, he causes Evelyn to fall and looks at him in fear. The shock of seeing fears in the eyes the woman he loves (which she has never done before) is so great that it snaps him out of his anger and instead just leaves.
  • My Greatest Failure: Solas, as per canon, considered his act of creating the Veil to be the biggest mistake of his life but by the time canon events start, he also considers what happened to Evelyn to be his other greatest failure. As he put it, he promised to save her but in the end, it was always her who saves him and she has to suffer for that, yet she has never once blamed or hated him, still choose to accept him which only further his Guilt Complex.
  • Noble Bigot: Solas, of course. He would help people and generally being friendly with them but it obvious that he holds mostly contempt toward everyone in the tower, seeing them as less than his People, as weak, short-sighted and feeble children. The only one who exempted from that view was Evelyn but that was because she went out of her way to help him and proved herself from the beginning.
  • Noodle Incident: Evelyn notices Future!Solas has a silvered mark across his neck, as if someone tried to cut his throat.
  • Not So Different: Solas after spending over a year in the Ostwick Circle realizes that the people in this world are real and not so different from his people thousand years before.
    • In chapter 33, Evelyn points out to Solas that she and the mages that caused Wisdom's death isn't so different. Had she was in the same position of them: hungry, afraid, desperate, she'd probably resort to some magic she doesn't really understand to save herself too. And the only reason she didn't was because Solas was there to take care of her.
    • In the same chapter, after being called out by his lover, Solas realized that he maybe not so different from his fellow false gods after all. The Evanuris acted arrogantly because they saw themselves as gods, and Solas despite his insistence that he's different also has no problems acting like that when it suits him, easily killing people as if they aren't real.
    • Later, Evelyn discovers that she and Cullen, and by extension mages and Templars, are quite similar to one another due to both sides' lives being confined within their shared tower for most of the time. Just like Evelyn, Cullen isn't suited or used to survive in the wild either, so both of them have to rely on other people for basic skills like hunting or finding trails.
  • Note to Self: Redcliffe future!Solas gives Evelyn a note to deliver it to himself in the present. Most of it concerns future events such as Celene's assassination, the eluvians' locations and such, but the last line is to remind himself not to give Evelyn any red wine since it triggers her trauma.
  • No More Lies: Solas finally tells Evelyn who he actually is after they escaped from Ostwick Circle. At the time, he does so because with her condition, there's no harm in telling her the truth.
    • After she recovered, Evelyn directly asks him if he'd ever lie to her again and his answer is no.
  • No Periods, Period: Keldra once complains about having to deal with her stained clothes and her period being irregular. This event links with the foreshadowing that Signy uses her period blood to practice blood magic.
    • Evelyn knows that she isn't pregnant after her first time with Solas (despite not drinking her contracepting tea on time) because her period comes a week later.
  • Nudity Equals Honesty: One of the first times Solas truly connects with Evelyn they are naked. In a show of trust, Evelyn invites him to share the baths. She remarks he has more muscle than she expected.
  • Parental Abandonment: Evelyn's parents gave her away immediately after they discovered she's a mage. She's actually somewhat grateful for that because by giving her away when she was too young to get attached to her family, Evelyn has time to adjust and get used to her ordeal instead of fighting against it and causing more dangers to herself later.
  • Pet the Dog: Monette is a selfish coward who looks out only for herself but she does care about Evelyn not just as a potential alliance in her power game. Enough that she actually gives the latter enchanted tea to counter the drugged wine even when it gives her no benefits.
    • Later, when she meets a Tranquil Evelyn again, she takes her in under her protection to prove to the Chantry that the Templars went too far but also out of guilt.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: When Solas realizes that Evelyn has been made tranquil, there is a particularly heartbreaking example.
    "My heart, please. Come back to me."
  • The Power of Love: Solas attempts to use this when Evelyn is forcibly made tranquil. It doesn't work.
    • Varric also spreads rumors about how Solas and Evelyn's love for each other despite all the tragedies befell them was the reason Andraste made the mage her Herald. Technically, part of it was true because if it wasn't for Solas, Evelyn wouldn't survive this long.
  • Prison Escape Artist: Fitz whose several escape attempts are the reason the Ostwick Circle established several new rules:
    • He dug a tunnel from the kitchen to outside the tower wall by hands only for several months without any magic to avoid detection. It results in the outside wall's foundation being reinforced with rocks.
    • He stole a templar's armor during a high-up's visit and walked out from the front door. After that, no templar can leave the place without showing their face first.
    • His third attempt involving using sew-together clothes as wings and parachutes. It left dents in the cobblestones where he landed.
  • Rape as Drama: Circle mages are regular victims of this, either by force or coercion. One of Evelyn's friends was raped by a templar which resulted in a child that was taken away from her and gave her severe depression. This happens less often with noble-born mages like Evelyn but the threat is still there.
    • Ser Grieves was transferred to Ostwick because he framed and turned a mage into a Tranquil after she refused his advances; she couldn't say no afterward.
    • Evelyn is nearly raped during the uprising, and the story arc concerning her recovery is both tactful and believable.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Implied by Solas in the Bad Future when he talked about how he killed Alexius to take the amulet, then gathered forces to take control of the Redcliffe Castle and stubbornly refused to lose it to Corypheus despite the fact there are more important and safer places he could use. Evelyn guesses that Solas remained there where he thought she died to always feel his anger the most keenly.
  • Running Gag: Solas's little feud with his and Evelyn's cat, Fennel. The cat makes it his life mission to take Solas's food and bed, and generally annoy the hell out of the elf.
    • Fennel demands food from his owners despite he just ate a few minutes before.
  • Samaritan Relationship Starter: Solas and Evelyn's first interactions is her willing to be hit to keep his pendant safe. But it takes him to see her protecting an elven child and, once again, risking herself to keep him safe from his own mistake that he truly notices and develops affection for her, and much longer than that for him to actually see her as a true person with full emotional capability.
  • Second Love: Solas's actually this to Evelyn. Her first love was Anselm, a mage who had been transferred to Kirkwall Circle due to his connection with a blood mage.
  • Secret Relationship: When Solas and Evelyn are (not officially) in a relationship while they still in Ostwick, they keep it a secret to prevent it being used against them (and to not acknowledge that they really are in love). Once canon kicks in, their relationship is more like a semi-open secret, most of the main cast know that they're together but to everyone else, it's just a rumor.
    • Defied by Evelyn once they get to Skyhold. She asks Solas to move into her room, but he's reluctant to do so because it may damage her reputation which in turn can affect her position in the Game. Evelyn, of course, has none of that.
  • Sense Freak: Tranquil cannot feel as normal people do, so after two years of tranquility, Evelyn has trouble adjusting. She can't control her emotions, and her senses have become painfully sharp. Food tastes stronger, smells linger and a shift in temperature can make her recoil.
  • Sex for Solace: Evelyn asks Solas to do it with her after she was released from her punishment for her escape attempt, he helps her clean up and eat instead, believing that she needs reassurance more than sex.
    • Solas mentioned that in the past, he often did this to empty his mind when the pressures were too much. That's why he understands that Evelyn needs something more than that after she was released.
    • Circle mages often find short dalliance with each other as a way to ease their stress and boredom. However, they tend to not prolong said relationships in fear they could be used against them and others.
  • Signature Scent: Solas always smells of herbs and old books to the point that even without looking and being surrounded by blood, Evelyn can still know that he's there with her. When she meets Solas/Fen'Harel in the bad future, one of the things that make her realizes how wrong things have become is that he smells of old blood and armor instead.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: When Evelyn visits the Winter Palace in Chapter 36, she wears a striking black gown and Solas is clearly quite taken with her new look.
  • Shipping Torpedo: Keldra, Evelyn's best friend openly and constantly opposes to the idea of Evelyn and Solas being together or even acquaintance, believing that Solas being too old will prevent him from adjusting to a life in a Circle, and thus will bring dangers to himself and Evelyn.
  • Slashed Throat: Implied to had happened with Redcliffe!Solas with the scar on his throat.
  • Sleep Cute: In Redcliffe, Fen'Harel seeks out Evelyn in the middle of the night just to be close to her for a moment. He plans to leave sooner but she convinces him to stay so they end up sleeping together for a short period, enjoying each other's presence until Corypheus attacks the castle.
  • There Is Only One Bed: Plays for drama when Evelyn and Solas share a room after their escape from Ostwick. Evelyn is a Tranquil so she doesn't see the act of sharing a bed as anything special despite her partner's protests, but at the same time, even with her state there's still enough of her in there to want to comfort him to the point that she mimic her old self's habit of holding his hand. After that experience, Solas avoids sleeping next to her and only touches her when he needs to since the pain of seeing her like that is just too much. He still arranges to always sleep in the same room with her, though.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Evelyn loves mints, especially for tea. She also often keeps fresh mint sprigs around because cats enjoy that and she enjoys their presence. Her love for the herb is so strong that even when she is a Tranquil, she still tries to make mint tea despite not truly know why.
  • Tragic Dream: In a dream, a deleted scene from the Bad Future caused by Redcliffe, when Solas meets Cole, the latter reveals that all the ancient elven god wants is a simple, domestic life with Evelyn. But instead, what the former gets is a hopeless war against Corypheus after Evelyn was "killed" by Alexius.
  • Tranquil Fury: Solas after he found Evelyn has been made Tranquil. So much that Ser Clacher found them, the elf just silently walked forward and gave him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown with a sword instead of using his magic, finally killed him after confirming that the man didn't force himself on Evelyn.
    • It was so terrifying that later, when Evelyn realizes that he's pointing the same look at Cassandra who demands Evelyn to hand herself over, she immediately begs him to calm down before anything bad can happen.
    • He showed the same face again in the Bad Future when he talked about how he got Alexius's amulet.
  • True Blue Femininity: Aside from being compared to flowers, Evelyn often wears blue to the point that when Solas needs to find her, he always look for a blue robe and dark hair. In Redcliffe future, Fen'Harel also dresses her up in a blue nightgown before seeking her out in the night.
  • Unequal Pairing: Played with. Solas and Evelyn's relationship is this to outsiders but depends on who was looking them that the dynamic changes. For a normal person, they're a noblewoman/The Inquisitor with a no-name apostate, but for anyone who knows about Solas's identity, Evelyn is just a lowly human who somehow managed to attract the attention of a god. But the couple themselves see each other as equal.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Increasingly Evelyn is becoming just as much a Well-Intentioned Extremist as Solas.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Evelyn hasn't actually had a chance to give someone a beating for harming Solas due to all previous events demand her to not be violent, but she always protect him with everything she's got, either from his own mistakes or from others. Her willingness to give him protection, even when he thinks he doesn't deserve it is actually one of the things that he loves and loathes about her
    • Solas is also a gender-inverted case. After several times being protected by Evelyn, he's also developed an urge to protect her even at the cost of himself; often in the form of wanting to kill whoever trying to harm her, be it Templars, Seekers or Corypheus.
  • Wall Bang Her: As the templars patrol the dormitories frequently, the first time Solas and Evelyn have sex, they do so in an empty part of the library.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Solas and later Evelyn. Even Solas's taken surprised by her decision and he grieves for her loss of innocence.
  • When She Smiles: When Felassan first meets Evelyn, he wonders what makes her so special to catch Fen'Harel's eyes. Later, when he sees her again after she has been cured of Tranquil, he finally sees her smile for the first time and comes to an understanding.
  • Would Hurt a Child: When the Ostwick circle's annulment happens, it's obvious that many of the Templars aren't afraid to kill children in their sleep (or while they wake up for that matter).
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: At the same times, there're other Templars who refuse to do so, either letting the mages go or even join the fight against their own comrades to protect them.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Vivienne tries to persuade Evelyn to join her cause by appeal to the latter's background as a noble-born mage and her youth's naivety. But apparently, she didn't do enough research to know that noble or not, Evelyn has seen and suffered enough during the uprising to find the idea of continuing the Circle system to be absolutely appalling.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: At one point, Solas praises Evelyn by saying that he can't understand how can someone as wise and compassionate as her could exist while her "kind" are nothing like that. This, of course, pisses her off and she instantly calls him out on that.

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