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     Fridge Brilliance 
  • At first, the cover of Inquisition looks like a massive break with the tradition of red-saturated covers of the first two-and-a-half games. But then you notice that the negative space in the image shows an outline of a rising dragon—just like on the other two main games.
  • Blackwall works alone, ostensibly because of his high moral code. But it's also possible that it's at least partly because he doesn't want to meet a Warden who knew the real Blackwall and would reveal him to be an impostor. Similarly, his collection quest where he sends you after Warden artifacts, and the fact that you only get an approval bonus if he's with you when you find them: he's trying to learn more about the Wardens so he can keep up the charade, and the approval is because he wants to take a look at them before you can in case anything you find could blow his cover. Also, during a conversation with him at Skyhold, you can ask him how the Grey Wardens permanently kill an Archdemon. His Big Reveal shows exactly why he's so vague on the subject. He was never inducted, so he has no idea.
  • The truly brilliant part of Blackwall is that veteran Dragon Age players have long known that the Grey Wardens are a very secretive order. They tell no one outside their ranks about the Joining or what really happens when an Archdemon dies. Because of this, players misinterpret Blackwall's vagueness and unwillingness to talk specifics as him maintaining that secrecy. It is only on a second playthrough that it becomes clear that he is being vague because he really doesn't know.
  • In a similar vein, Solas works alone because he's not just any old elf, he's the Dread Wolf Fen'Harel, so it's damn unlikely any of his backstory is real. Working alone makes it conveniently unverifiable.
  • Solas approval:
    • On the flip side of the above, the reason Solas approves of every little question you ask him is because his greatest fear is Dying Alone. He's desperate for a friend. Likewise, he probably doesn't wish that fate on anyone, and being nice to others is a good way to win friends and ensure someone will be there to the end; you helping out means that at least you and they won't die alone, even if his ultimate endgame likely means he will.
    • An alternative reason for Solas approving of doing seemingly-inconsequential nice things that even fellow champions of the common folk like Varric, Sera, and Cassandra don't gain approval for is because it's been so long since anyone has treated him kindly, especially since the Dalish went with their Historical Villain Upgrade and want nothing to do with Fen'harel. Your other companions, who routinely interact with society, expect you to be a decent person as a matter of course and take it for granted that you would help; since Solas has spent so long being shunned by the very people he wanted to help, any indication that you're not a complete jerk is taken favorably (but only a little bit, because he still has issues with trusting others).
    • Solas's approval of your trivial interactions mostly stems from asking for his input. Wanting to know about him, wanting to hear about the Fade, wanting his opinions on things, just being interested in what he has to say. Apart from just being basic social interaction with the living that, being a bit of a salty hermit, he doesn't get a lot of even when surrounded by people, it's also because it shows that you actually care what he thinks and you value his experience, which practically no one else does. Being the Dread Wolf, he's used to being dismissed and disparaged by everyone who knows he exists, and completely ignored by everyone else. That is why he's so impressed with the Inquisitor for next to no reason: he assumes that your ability to care about him makes you unique and different because he is unique and different... which is also why he has to break his relationship with the Inquisitor, just like Cole says: if she's real, then everyone else might be real too, and he might not be so above all the riffraff. He may have been isolated before, but it's that realization that could very well make him feel lonely. When you pay attention to him, you're not only relieving his loneliness, but you're showing him that someone ordinary can still acknowledge him and treat him with respect... and you're also reminding him how long it's been.
    • Or, in a less positive spin, he approves of the Inquisitor following his advice, his way of thinking, even if it's just him trying to guide them down that path. He acknowledges that in the Fade, the conquering hero and the power mad monster can be the same person. He's seen his image turned into this villain among the Dalish, so when he feels the Inquisitor is sympathetic towards him, he approves. And if the Inquisitor questions his particular narrative, he disapproves, because HE knows he's not a monster, stop poking holes in my image of myself as a hero.
  • The true nature of Solas makes a lot of prior moments into these. Why does he know so much about the past, why is he so hard on modern elves and dwarves for their Dying Race tendencies, and why does he count so many spirits as friends? Well, he is a being that might legitimately be a contender for godhood, so of course he's got all kinds of strangeness. Even more minor things, like why he doesn't seem to mind being almost barefoot in terrible conditions, can be explained by this - he's genuinely unperturbed because it's not like a little cold is going to bother the Dread Wolf. Even the Fade fear sequence gets more poignant with the reveal. The Dread Wolf tricked all the other gods away in myth, and in-game, seems devoted to making the mortal world free of gods. His own goals will eventually drive him to die alone; that's his best endgame in the scenarios he builds. Of course he's terrified of it.
    • If the right conversations in party banter are triggered, the player might actually get a bit of what seems to be plot inconsistency. It's actually an outright lie. When she asks Solas how he knew to come to the Inquisition, he says it was only coincidence and didn't know they'd be there; he was only in the area to hear how the Conclave went and happened to run into them when he went to investigate on his own. His Codex entry is a letter from Leliana to Cassandra detailing Solas's introduction to the camp, as she wasn't present, and how he asked to study "the prisoner", which meant he actually did know before he showed up. Cassandra really does suck at interrogation!
    • In a conversation in Haven, Solas mentions that he's eager to find the artifact that ripped open the fade. Thing is, at that point, the player and the group really has no reason to think that an artifact was used as opposed to just a powerful spell or ritual; nothing in the vision at the Temple of Sacred Ashes clearly shows the orb being used. It's only when Corypheus finally shows up that it makes an appearance. Solas is tipping his hand and hoping that no one will question the "expert on the fade" as to how he knows that an artifact was used at all.
  • During the advertising campaign, developers explained that the Inquisitor's main adversary is someone with a similar campaign struggle to obtain power and influence, and fights like the Inquisitor. We got Corypheus. Fans were displeased. Then the Trespasser DLC came along and it turns out they were talking about Solas. Solas has fought alongside you, literally building his power base off of your Inquisition, and as such will fight and strategize the same way. With an all-elf squad.
  • The Elder One and the Inquisitor:
    • Look at the Elder One's companions. The developers have repeatedly stated that the villain is an "equal and opposite" opposing the Inquisitor - and he is. Corypheus's main trio of baddies not only fits the Arc Number of 3, but also fits because each one is a different playable class. Samson is a Templar, and so he fits the Warrior archetype. Florianne is a dual-wielding Rogue (and most likely, her specific class is Bard, given how popular that training is among Orlesians), so there's the second playable class. Lastly, Calpernia/Alexius (depending on whether you went to the Templars or the mages for help) is a Mage, fulfilling the last of the three classes. The Elder One's main failing isn't that he's not more powerful than the main character; it's that after forming his team, he didn't fight alongside them; a Wolfpack Boss consisting of Samson tanking, Corypheus and Calpernia/Alexius providing fire support, and Florianne landing DPS hits would have been almost impossible to beat, but he makes the mistake of using his literal dragon as his one super-weapon. The Inquisitor guides his/her people to victory by leading from the front, while Corypheus, as fitting his magister past, leads from behind.
    • This goes even further for Corypheus himself. Like the main character, he clearly has both a normal class and unusual powers alongside it; specifically, Corypheus is a mage, being a magister like Dorian and Alexius, but also has a wide variety of unique and unusual abilities alongside this. He's even a reference to a prior protagonist - much like the Warden from Origins, Corypheus has the darkspawn taint in him, though his case is much more advanced than the drop of darkspawn blood the Warden drank.
    • To add to this, Corypheus sends agents just like you do. The problem is that he's always sending Venatori, Templar, or Mages. Nothing else. In comparison, your advisers send different people and use different tactics because they know what is the best choice. Corypheus is simply ordering people around with no one to offer their own opinion because to do so would make him seem less like the god he wants to be. The Inquisitor, regardless of choices, will defer to their allies when they know that the allies are better suited for a task or better informed on a subject.
  • Qunari and Transgender:
    • Some people wonder why the Qunari would have such a progressive view on transgender individuals. However, it makes perfect sense since the Qunari believe in the separation of body and soul. Their body doesn't define them as male or female, but their "soul" does. It also puts Sten's questioning whether a female Warden is actually a woman into a whole new light.
    • It's a rigid view in its way. When Cassandra asks the Bull if he has a problem fighting alongside women, he talks about how, in the Qun, women who can and want to fight are considered and treated as men. So Cassandra asks if he considers her male and he says it depends on if she's in or out of her armor. Despite everything, Iron Bull is actually surprised when Cole refers to Krem as "he". He has a different view of gender which is functionally more flexible and liberal than Sten's but has the same roots.
    • It may also be indicative not of the general Qunari opinion, since offering someone a choice of gender seems to be counter-intuitive to their general nature, but of Iron Bull's changing beliefs, a forerunner to his choice to abandon either his men or his faith. It might actually be a sign that Bull's moving away from the Qun, which makes it Fridge Brilliance in a different way, especially if you tell the Qunari to piss in a bucket during Bull's quest.
    • Alternatively, remember that Sten explicitly mocks the idea of his ideas and attitude being typical to Qunari. The soldiers have their own subculture, and "people are not simple". Even the Arishok flatly refuses to speak on the other castes, on the grounds that he doesn't understand them himself.
    • Another factor to remember is that Bull is part of the Qun's priest caste. By default he's going to have a better understanding of the minutia of the Qun than a soldier like Sten, who only needs to know enough to fulfil his own role; Bull needs to know more about the Qun's finer details because otherwise he wouldn't be able to enforce it on others.
    • Even more alternatively - being transgender per se is not accepted by the Qun - that is, one does not choose one's own gender. It is assigned by the Tamassrans along with one's work. If one is a soldier, one is a man, and if one fills any of the designated female roles, one is a woman, regardless of one's own gender identity. It only seems more liberal to the audience because we're used to the idea of gender being assigned at birth, but it's possible that if Krem had still been a trans man, but followed in his father's footsteps as a tailor (a designated 'female' role under the Qun), Bull might've had a bit more trouble contextualising this in light of Qunari beliefs.
  • The Inquisitor being depicted wielding a Flaming Sword is even more significant when you remember that the Flaming Sword is a symbol of Andrastian worship: Archon Hessarian's Blade of Mercy, further reinforcing the Inquisitor's status as the "Herald of Andraste".
  • The reasons behind Hawke's disappearance parallel the entirety of Dragon Age II. Cassandra was convinced there was some dark secret behind his/her disappearance, when really they were just trying to split the Divine's forces and give Kirkwall a better chance to survive an expected Exalted March. No conspiracies, no dark magic, no ill intent. Just like the cause of the Mage Rebellion in the first place: Everyone thought that someone must have masterminded the whole thing, but it was mostly caused by people being people (with a little extra helping of crazy from the red lyrium idol).
  • The Iron Bull's name under the Qun and its translation seems a bit odd considering how honest he is about his reason for joining the Inquisition. Fridge brilliance kicks in at two points. Being so honest despite being literally named "the liar" is an early rebellion against the Qun which foreshadows his eventual defection, if he spares the Chargers. More importantly, the one Bull is lying to most of all is himself. If he rejects the Qun, he rejects his name and becomes more honest about his own feelings. This may also explain why he insists on taking the dominant role in a romance with the Inquisitor. After spending his whole life being defined by his supposed dishonesty, deep down, to the point where he is most likely unaware of it, he needs that reassurance that his partner trusts him, and he hasn't had enough time away from the Qun to grasp that disagreeing with him is not a sign of mistrust.
  • It may seem a bit odd that it apparently took centuries before anyone discovered that lyrium is alive, and that it only happened because someone found out Red Lyrium is Tainted lyrium, and the Blight only affects living things. But Solas's banter with Varric about the Dwarves and lyrium explains it. Lyrium is toxic. The only ones who can handle it with relative safety are the Dwarves, a culture that is not big on innovation and discovery (smithing being an exception). Even they are harmed by long-term exposure to lyrium as well. The people in the best position to research lyrium's properties are the ones least likely to bother.
  • Why does the Elder One use Red Lyrium so heavily? As a Tainted Magister who abused lyrium to the point that he mutated (like the other magisters of old), he knows first-hand how powerful the combination of lyrium and the Taint can be.
  • In Dalish legends, Fen'Harel is known as Roamer of the Beyond, and is reported to still wander the Fade to this day. Now what is it that Solas spends most of his free time doing?
  • Flemeth claims that her plan for Morrigan never involved stealing her body, and in fact such a thing would be impossible. Morrigan is confused and bewildered, but says she thinks she's telling the truth. Thing is, this fits with what little we know of souls in this 'verse perfectly. Demons and spirits both need permission to possess a mage; Flemeth implies even Mythal was the same. The Archdemon is able to reincarnate because most blighted creatures don't have souls, but when it tries to jump into a Grey Warden, it simply can't wrest control of the body away. Yavana from the comics, at least, seemed perfectly game for Flemeth to take her body, describing the ritual as "a gift."
  • If Morrigan, Kieran, and the Inquisitor meet Flemeth in the Fade, Flemeth is insistent that either Kieran leaves with her or she gets Morrigan's body. "I will have my due," she says. That is, until Morrigan makes it clear that she adores her son and will do anything for him, including surrendering her own body. Flemeth immediately backs down. Why? Mythal, the elven goddess possessing Flemeth, is the goddess of motherhood. Morrigan later speculates that what occurred in the Fade was a test and wonders if she passed. She did, with flying colors. "Flemythal" saw that Morrigan was a loving and devoted mother, in spite of the way she was raised, and was satisfied.
    • More than that, by the way that Flemeth reacts to Morrigan saying 'I will not be the mother you were to me,' it may well be that Morrigan passed Mythal's test and Flemeth failed. While she was so busy arranging her vengeance, one of her duties, she abandoned her daughter, her other duty. And so she took a different path, made a different choice, because of how her daughter viewed her as a mother.
  • It's puzzling that so many of your party members are eager to see the Wardens punished with exile after the Siege on Adamant. It seems so shortsighted to want to banish the only group who can defeat the Blight, especially after what happened in Ferelden just 10 years before. Even Cassandra, who spent years searching for the Hero of Ferelden in hopes s/he might lead the Inquisition, is eager to see them ejected from southern Thedas. But consider that most people actually don't know how necessary the Wardens are. They say they are the only ones who can defeat the Blight and yet they refuse to tell anyone outside the Order what happens when the Archdemon dies. To everyone else, "only we can defeat the Blight" starts to look like bluster and a convenient excuse for I Did What I Had to Do. The player is intimately acquainted with their necessity, but characters in the game universe, not so much. Furthermore, the Fifth Blight occurred 400 years after the the Fourth; it lasted for a little over a year and never got out of Ferelden, compared to the Blights of old, which lasted for decades and impacted multiple countries. To most people, it must probably seem that the Blights are weakening over time, occurring less and less frequently on an ever smaller scale.
  • At the Well of Sorrows, Solas counsels you that the knowledge of the Well is vitally important, but is dismissive of Morrigan's desire for it, calling her "a glutton before a feast." But if you give it to her, he doesn't say a word, while if you take it for yourself, he disapproves, which seems opposite of what it should be. It ties into the reason he flatly refused it himself: He knew that it would bind you to Mythal, and that she was still active in the world. He was using reverse psychology to trick Morrigan into getting some Laser-Guided Karma, and if you're the one to drink, he's annoyed that you derailed his plan - especially since it means you are bound instead. On the other hand, that could be the reason he kills and seemingly takes Mythal's power in the end if the Inquisitor drinks. Now the Inquisitor is bound to him, and he can choose to ignore the bond and leave the Inquisitor alone.
  • Solas is the one who figures out how to use your Mark to seal the Rifts. The Orb was his, which presumably means he understands the Anchor as well.
  • The elves, especially the Dalish, pepper their speech with Elven words in an effort to cling to their lost language. Solas doesn't, with a few very rare exceptions, because he still remembers the language perfectly.
  • Dragon Age II actually had quite a bit of foreshadowing for Flemeth's identity.
    • When she was revived, she referred to Merrill as one of "the people", which is the literal translation of Elvenhan, and then drops some more hints that she has some connection to the elves. Not only that, but once Merrill answers that she "knows only a little" to Flemeth's question "Do you know who I am beyond that title?", the Witch says that "The people bend their knee too quickly." She's not talking about people in general, but about THE people: slaves of their nobility during Arlathan's days, slaves to the magisters in Tevinter, and either meekly enduring life in Alienages or submitting themselves to misremembered Dalish tales and customs, the Elves have throughout all their history bent their knee too quickly.
    • The altar that was used to revive her is revealed in Act III to be dedicated to Mythal. Back then it seemed pretty random, but now? Of course she would be revived at an altar devoted to her specifically.
    • Merrill says in Act I that people who anger Asha'bellenar tend to wind up in little pieces, hanging from the trees. In Act III, she says that people who anger Mythal are erased, as if they never existed in the first place.
    • After Marethari tells you what to do with the amulet, she asks for the blessing of Mythal to be upon you.
  • You might ask yourself: why did Bull send Krem to tell the Inquisition that the Chargers were interested in working with them? Think about the actual members of the Chargers. Bull's savvy enough to know that Krem is the only one of them with the professional demeanor to approach complete strangers and conduct business without creating a situational mess.
  • The Central Theme of Dragon Age II seems to be "wrong people in the wrong place at the wrong time" - and in light of Dragon Age: Inquisition, even the Framing Device reinforces it. Namely, the next installment reveals that the Seeker of Truth, Cassandra Pentaghast, who led the investigation into the disappearances of Hawke and the Warden, had the two people who potentially knew where both of them were the entire time right before her (Varric knows exactly where Hawke is and can contact the Champion at any time, while Leliana, if she was romanced by the Warden, knows about his/her quest and can contact him/her) and failed to figure it out. As Inquisition reveals, Cassandra is a great warrior with a strong sense of duty, but interrogations are really not her forte.
  • The final battle. There is something familiar about the area design when the Elder One lifts the remains of the Temple of Sacred Ashes into the sky. What's the other set of floating islands that can be found near the Breach? The Black City. You are fighting a Pretender God in a false Black City.
  • The Siege of Adamant proves to be one of the biggest blows to Corypheus, but the reason is massively important. After Haven, the Siege of Adamant is the biggest scale battle between the Inquisition and anyone associated with Corypheus and his allies. Considering how the last time went, it shows just how stagnant Corypheus really is and sets up his defeat.
  • Hawke's anger at the Grey Wardens makes more sense when you remember how they forced Malcolm to perform blood magic - by threatening Leandra's life. While Hawke was still in the womb.
  • Why is Solas so salty about the Dalish? Because he tried to free them from slavery to their gods, and how did they thank him? By naming him the Big Bad of their mythology. Talk about Dude, Where's My Respect?.
    • Of course, that leads to additional brilliance - his name means "Pride." Early on at Haven, he brings up how the perspective of things changes your point of view on a subject, using the Battle of Ostagar as an example, where some impressions of the soldiers fighting saw a battlefield overrun and Loghain's withdrawal as the act of a man to save who he could, and others saw a cruel and vicious tyrant quitting the field and letting them die. Solas will say to the Inquisitor both perspectives are correct and wrong, depending on who is viewing them. Now, look at things from his perspective - he, the Dread Wolf, freed the elves from their enslavement, taking away their slave markers and eventually banishing the cruel gods who'd enslaved them. But what the Dalish remember is what their ancestors left them - and their ancestors were largely of the elves left after the Evanuris were banished, not the ones who he freed. So what they know is that the Dread Wolf took away their gods, and they proceed to wear the markings of the gods in remembrance of the lost deities. Who's right? It depends on your perspective.
  • Vivienne's Tarot Motif is The High Priestess, an arcana associated with the moon. Her starting staff has a sickle on its head, a shape not unlike a crescent moon.
  • Cullen's location:
    • In his dialogue with the Inquisitor, Cullen mentions that he believes that mages should have some level of freedom, but that measures must be taken to protect innocents from the more dangerous side of magic. Now look at where the former Templar Knight-Commander has placed his office in Skyhold; he's just a short stroll from Solas, the apostate mage with a fondness for befriending spirits in the Fade. In the likely (at least from Cullen's perspective) chance that Solas would be possessed, Cullen would be one of the first to reach the new Abomination, protecting many of the Inquisition's soldiers (and civilians in Skyhold) from the dangers posed by the demon.
    • Furthermore, it places him a similarly short walk from where Cole normally lurks in the rafters of the Herald's Rest tavern, and a staircase or two up from Skyhold's main gates. Barring Morrigan and her Eluvian, which comes in quite a bit later after Cullen's office has already been set up, he's positioned himself to be able to respond quickly to what he would consider the two most likely threats to Skyhold's safety.
  • In the picture of the Inquisitor and their companions modeled after "The Last Supper", take a good look at where Solas is located. Then take a look at "The Last Supper" and see which apostle is in the same position. It's Judas Iscariot.
  • Why are both Hawke and the Inquisitor afraid of spiders? They're both the Player Character, and the embodiment of the one person playing the game. One player = the same fears.
  • The player can find a codex entry describing a personal account of a mage's Harrowing. The mage describes being terrified because they thought the very ground could disappear on them. The demon took the form of a great cat that exploited the apprentice's fear of the Templars surrounding their helpless body and what they might do. After the Harrowing ended, the mage went on a brief tirade about forcing something so evil on all mages while calling it good. The account is noted to come from a damaged journal found at Kinloch Hold. What mage do we know that was originally from Kinloch Hold, has an affinity for cats, dislikes the Fade itself, and hates everything about the Circle, and especially the Templars? It was almost certainly an account of Anders's Harrowing.
  • Origins and Dragon Age II both feature dog-companions. Seems like they left this out in Inquisition. ...And then we learn that Solas is the Dread Wolf.
    • This adds an extra layer of brilliance in the sense that not only do you have the Dread Wolf as your 'canine companion,' but if the companions had included a dog, the mabari would very likely have been able to detect that Solas was not what he claimed to be. Mabari are wicked smart, after all.
  • It actually makes sense that the most difficult outcome of the Orlais questline to obtain is the worst one in the long run. You're leaving three people raised in a Deadly Decadent Court who hate each other in charge of an empire, united only by blackmail and a shared resentment of the Inquisition for forcing them into that situation. Is there really any way that can end well? Likewise, the happier endings also make sense. Reconciling Celene and Briala makes them both a little less ruthless, with Celene supporting the Inquisition not only due to pragmatism but out of genuine gratitude as well. Making Gaspard a puppet under Briala also works out well enough, since Gaspard knows he can't beat someone as cunning as Briala in The Game, and Briala knows that the Inquisition's support is a key factor in maintaining her unofficial power in Orlais.
  • Vivienne as Divine:
    • Vivienne is the Divine candidate who can score the most points for the endgame simply from dialogue, rather than from major story choices; even seemingly private conversations with her end up giving her huge boosts. Why? Because, as the most skilled player of the Game (where words are often more powerful than swords) at Skyhold, she knows exactly how to spin even the most offhand remark of someone as powerful as the Inquisitor to her advantage later.
    • Also, similar to the Orlais example above, it makes sense why this Take a Third Option is possibly the worst choice despite being the hardest thing to get: Vivienne is not only entrenched in the status quo, but she's also someone no one would ever think of electing as Divine, given her status as a mage, meaning she'll have less initial support than Cassandra or Leliana. Even if you side with the mages, Vivienne will not support them, and if you side with the Templars they will not support her thus making her the weakest candidate by the end of it. Sometimes the least likely option is least likely for a reason.
  • The final mission is the only story mission triggered from the war table with zero power cost. This makes sense: for other story missions, you need to build up the Inquisition's power to either challenge your enemies in force or make your potential allies take you seriously. The final mission is a Boss-Only Level with just you and three of your companions against Corypheus; the Inquisition's resources aren't even involved.
  • The Final Battle is a bit underwhelming, but it's perfectly justified. By this point, you've shattered Corypheus' power base. His armies and allies are gone. The Anchor is lost to him. The Well of Sorrows is also lost to him. All he has left is the Orb and his dragon. You've driven the would-be god into a corner and he's lashing out the way a cornered rat would. An epic endgame siege would be cool, but there's no real way Corypheus can launch such an attack anymore.
  • Cole's appearance. He's very pale, with dark circles under his eyes, and for a human-ish teenager of his height, fairly thin. He modeled his human appearance after a young mage who was abandoned in a lightless cell until he starved to death.
  • Look at the downward-pointing sword symbol on the Templars' shields in the very beginning of the game. The Andrastian Chantry which this symbolizes is a very clear Expy of the Christian Church. What other religious symbol does that sword look like when you squint?
  • The Cleansing Rune. The rune is specifically made to do damage to both Darkspawn and Red Templars. Of all the runes in game, it seems a little too strange for two reasons. One, it is one of two runes (the other being the Demon-Slaying rune) that does damage to two types of enemies simultaneously, Darkspawn and Red Templars for the former, demons and undead for the latter. While the connections between demons and undead have always been established, the connection between Darkspawn and Red Templars have never been. Secondly, the existence of a rune that could harm a new type of enemy such as Red Templars seems too convenient as Thedosians never had experience with Red Lyrium empowered enemies. It isn't until The Reveal that Red Lyrium is Blighted Lyrium that it all makes sense. Though by that logic, the Cleansing Runes would also deal extra damage to Grey Wardens too.
  • Bull and Vivienne:
    • Iron Bull is a mercenary company leader and takes a firmly dominant role with the Inquisitor if they have a relationship, and generally takes a forward, confident approach to most things. And then he meets Vivienne, and defers to her pretty much immediately when she asserts herself as a noblewoman. At first it's just funny and cute, because of the way The Iron Bull gets out-bossed by such a prim, haughty lady and that's how their relationship builds, but then you realize: Bull is a trained spy who knows how to read people and a skillful manipulator; Vivienne's greatest fear is irrelevance. Vivienne has hitched her wagon to the Inquisition at least partly because it will secure her a power base in the order that it means to bring to Thedas, but she herself has no real authority within it. She's not present at the war table, she has to ask the Inquisitor for favors when she needs something she can't get herself, and she chose a personal space on the balcony overlooking both the courtyard and the main hall that would normally be used for addressing the masses. It's her way of reassuring herself that she is vital to the cause (even though intellectually, she knows it could get along without her if it had to). Bull knows it, so he lets her cow him so she can feel powerful and important again.
    • On the other hand, Bull himself can note that her Nice Hat (which has horns) and "authoritative female" demeanor could activate the part of his brain that defers to the Tamassran.note  Though Bull asserts that he's onto her and is too good for such manipulation since he was trained by the Ben-Hassrath, Vivienne doesn't seem too convinced.
  • Here's one that's only seen if you choose the mages over the Templars. In the bad future, codex entries explain that Alexius is having the prisoners used in experiments to resist the Blight's effects, and it's noted that Leliana is proving to have the most resistance to it. Of course she is! Leliana is one of the heroes of the Fifth Blight - she spent months fighting alongside the Hero of Ferelden, killing darkspawn, without ever contracting the Blight herself! She's as close to immune as a non-Grey Warden can possibly be! It also explains why she is so much Darker and Edgier throughout the game: this is what will happen should the Inquisition fail, or if the Templars are sided with instead The Inquisitor either shares what s/he faced or it is easy enough to guess. Of course Leliana would want to stop such a threat at any cost.
  • The overall theme of the game itself centers on belief, faith, and comfortable lies versus Awful Truth. Nearly all the Inquisition's inner circle quests involve confronting a situation where their beliefs conflict with reality, and they have to either accept the truth, or persist in the lie... and the lie might be better for you.
  • The renovation of Skyhold happens so gradually that you will barely notice it on the first playthrough. On the other hand, it's immediately apparent when you first enter the fortress on your second playthrough.
  • Sera's immaturity actually makes sense when you learn that she met the Warden when she was a child. By the time she joins the Inquisition, she is probably in her late teens to early 20s - old enough by most standards to be an adult but young enough that she still has some maturing to do. If nothing else, she is certainly the youngest of the Inquisitor's companions.
  • The only three party members who join you automatically and won't leave your party before the end of the game, no matter what their approval level is, are Cassandra, Solas, and Varric. Gameplay wise it is to ensure that you have a warrior, mage, and rogue in your party to fulfill quests but after talking to them, it is clear that there is a story line reason as well: each one is blaming themselves for the current situation. Cassandra believes that if she had found Hawke, the destruction of the Conclave and the death of the Divine would have been prevented as well as the political unrest of the Chantry. Varric is kicking himself for playing a part in bringing back Corypheus and bringing the red lyrium idol to the surface. Solas was the one who gave Corypheus the Orb, thus being indirectly responsible for the Breach and the events for the game. They are not going to let some grudge over the Inquisitor destroy any chance of fixing what they believe is their mistake, they will make sure that The Elder One will be stopped no matter what.
  • At one point, Cassandra asks how Solas, probably the only person in the world who knows about Fade rifts, just happened to show up right after the Conclave explosion. Solas says that he was in a nearby village, hoping to hear about the result of the Conclave. But once it is revealed that he is the Dread Wolf who also gave Corypheus the Orb in the first place, it's not too hard to figure out that he wasn't there for the Conclave; rather, he was following Corypheus, either curious as to what he was planning to do with the Orb, or realizing Corypheus' intentions and attempting to confront and/or stop him.
  • Cassandra's personality actually could be alluding to her former Tranquility. One of the traits of a "cured" Tranquil is an inability to control their emotions. Cassandra herself admits she has been chided for being too impulsive, and says herself that when she sees the right thing to do, she does it right then and there. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
  • It's noted that the Fereldan monarch(s) permitted the rebelling mages under Fiona's leadership to take sanctuary in their kingdom, although they're not best pleased with the group then turning around and ousting Arl Teagan. It's also noted that many people in-universe were surprised at this, since it does put the monarch(s) somewhat at odds with the Chantry. But it makes absolute perfect sense if the monarch (or one of the monarchs) in question is Alistair. He spent his whole life with no mother, but if Wynne joined the party during Origins, then you know that they became very close and developed a mother-son sort of attachment. It's BioWare's own canon that Wynne has died by the time of Inquisition, and if Alistair is King of Ferelden, he most likely consented to sheltering the mages because she was his "favoritest mage ever." This creates a bit of a mental twist because, if this is indeed the case, it means that Alistair (unknowingly) sheltered his biological mother out of affection for the memory of a completely different maternal figure.
  • Wicked Grace:
    • If Cole is present for the game of Wicked Grace, he gets gently admonished by Varric for "talking to the face cards." But like everything else Cole says, his words here have a deeper meaning. He mentions that the king has a crown and a sword, and "his head didn't want either." He may be talking about Alistair. He didn't want to be a Templar, but was sent away to train against his wishes - hence the sword. Later, the Fereldan Succession Crisis had him at least considered for the throne, even if the Warden didn't push him to take it - hence the crown. His head really didn't want either.
    • Or the deck they're using just has a suicide king like the typical King of Hearts in real life. It might be a reference to any reluctant leader. Even Corypheus is driven by a deep need to resolve his crisis of faith in a way that flies in the face of reason and common sense. If what he says about entering the Golden City to serve the Old Gods in person is true, he really didn't want the crown or the sword either.
  • During party banter, Solas and Iron Bull can start playing chess in their heads against each other. Now, the tactics involved make sense: Iron Bull going for a more aggressive stance, Solas winning the game through cunning and misdirection, and is entirely in character... but if you look at the full game, it's known as the Immortal's Game. A rather fitting game for Fen'harel to play, wouldn't you say?
    • A little bit of symbolism on Solas's side. Solas sacrifices a lot of his pieces, which can symbolize how he's willing to sacrifice the modern world to bring back the old world. He also sacrifices his queen, as per the Immortals game. What does Solas do at the end of Trespasser if you romance him? Sacrifice his one true love, a queen you could say, to carry out his plan.
  • In Origins, whenever you try to ask Sten about Qunari culture, he either flat out refuses or he will only reveal parts of it if you hear one of his comments. However, in Inquisition, Iron Bull will gladly answer any questions about the Qun without too much prodding. Since Iron Bull is part of the priesthood (specifically, the religious enforcers), technically educating outsiders about the Qun is part of his duty.
  • Word of God is that Solas had planned on telling the Inquisitor his true identity at the culmination of their romance, but "chickened out" at the last second (probably because he was afraid of her rejecting him). He then became very close to discarding his ambitions to stay with her, but forced himself to break up then and there or he'd never be able to do it. One might wonder: Why didn't he choose that moment to tell her his true identity and/or plans and let her break up with him, instead of getting her to keep loving him and then breaking her heart? Thing is: a) She might not reject him; she might love him more and want to help, and he wanted to keep her in the dark to save her from getting involved. b) As Solas himself notes, "it was selfish of me." Solas knew going in that "it would be kinder in the long run" not to pursue a relationship, but he wanted to be with her so badly that he chose to pursue it anyway, and then he later chose not to reveal his identity because he feared it would make her stop loving him. Ultimately, Solas chooses not to reveal his true identity after he breaks things off because he selfishly wants her to keep loving him, even if it means breaking her heart by leaving her without explanation.
  • At the end of Trespasser, Solas aids every Inquisitor by severing their left arm, thus removing the wildly-unstable Anchor from them and saving their life. At first glance, the only Inquisitor Solas doesn't seem to perform this mercy for is one who romanced him. (Solas merely kisses a romanced Inquisitor and tells her that he'll "never forget you," seemingly implying that he's leaving her to die from the mark so she won't be able to talk him down.) However, a closer glance reveals that just before the kiss Solas' eyes glow the same way they did when he kept the mark from consuming her when she first caught up with him, then after the kiss her arm becomes glowing green plasma the same as after he aids non-romanced Inquisitors. Solas does heal his beloved, just with a kiss instead of a hand gesture.
  • Regarding Iron Bull's behavior during Trespasser: this longish text offer a very interesting insight of the character: Bull never was a spy, he was a sleeper agent sent to stab the Inquisitor in the back if and when the need arose. if the Inquisitor let the Chargers die, Bull dedicates himself to the Qun and his role as a sleeper agent because he knows it will give him the opportunity to avenge Krem and the others down the line. When Hissrad tells the Inquisitor that there's nothing personal, he's uttering his final lie: it is very personal.
  • There are a couple of subtle hints about the Titans in the past BioWare games:
    • In Origins, a majority of the dwarves claim that they can detect lyrium in different ways, from smelling to hearing to simply having a sixth sense for it. The Descent reveals that lyrium is part of the Titans, specifically the blood.
    • Throughout Origins, you encounter genlock emissaries, which are darkspawn spawned from dwarven Broodmothers. This is odd, considering the Dwarven race can't do magic but its Darkspawn counterpart potentially can. The end of The Descent has Shaper Valta being able to cast magic after being exposed to the Titan's heart, implying that dwarves might have been able to use magic in the past.
    • In Dragon Age II, a couple of people in the expedition to the Primeval Thaig comment that some of the designs look like magic was used (something that dwarves can't do), as well as some altars that look like they are used to worship gods (something unheard of in dwarven culture). The Descent then introduces the Sha-Brytol, who worship the Titans. Furthermore, evidence in Trespasser indicates that the dwarves were like the elves at one point, until Mythal killed one of their Titans. It is implied that the death of one Titan somehow changed the dwarves to what they are now.
    • If you complete a War Table option that helps Dagna with her studies of the Fade, she makes very cryptic comments about feeling tall and hearing every single dwarf. Valta makes similar cryptic comments once she is exposed to the Titan's heart.
    • While a human or Qunari Inquisitor being able to use an elven magical artifact to manipulate the Fade makes a certain amount of sense, a dwarf being able to do so seems a bit odd since they have no connection. Similar to the above comment about Genlock emissaries, this also shows evidence that dwarves might have been able to use magic in the past.
  • A little thing about Iron Bull's romance that is easy to overlook, but explains a lot. Assuming his personal quest ended with the Chargers saved and Bull becoming Tal-Vashoth, he only begins a romance after the 'formality' of an attack by Qunari agents where he tells the Inquisitor that he kept quiet about the threat of these spies because he's had training in reading micro-expressions of people. And then he approaches the Inquisitor and will take a dominant role in the relationship, that his job is going to be to figure out and give the Inquisitor what they need. BUT, if it turns out the Inquisitor (or the player) doesn't want this type of relationship, part of him backing off is because he's misread the Inquisitor. He doesn't think he CAN give the Inquisitor what it is that they need because he came to the conclusion that the Inquisitor wanted this and they've refused him. He's misread the situation once, and so doesn't go further with things because of it.
  • Sillier example than normal: The entire game can be summarized as a dog trying to get his ball back.
  • Solas' loathing of Morrigan makes a lot more sense a second time through. It's obvious that he doesn't like Morrigan's arrogance or her aim to preserve the wonders of the world in a way that just so happens to mean gathering power for herself, but the two of them clash hardest over ancient Elven culture. Of course they do, Morrigan acts like she knows more than anyone else because she has no idea that Solas actually is an ancient elf, and he can't correct her without blowing his cover. His entire motivation is to raise up the elves after losing so much of their culture to human success and expansion, and he's had to wait and go through this whole mess because a darkspawn magister is misusing his orb for over a year. If he's there at the Temple of Mythal, he's being forced to sit there and listen to Morrigan blithely talking down to him about his own culture, grasping at what little is left for her own gain, casually disrespecting someone he's still mourning and him personally, and all while utterly misinforming everyone around her because his word as an elven expert is less valuable than her word as a human dabbler with lofty connections. No wonder he hates her, she's the embodiment of everything he's trying to fix.
  • Cole's dialogue comes from lots of things outside the world he's in when you talk to him at Skyhold, but if you ask him what he sees when he looks at the Inquisitor, he may respond, "You reach across, mindful, meaning. You pull it through to this side, make it real here." He's talking about drawing on the Fade to produce magic (probably), but it's just as true for the Inquisitor-as-player character. The first "you" is the player sitting down to play; the second "you" is the Inquisitor themselves, serving as the means by which the player's will becomes real on their side of the monitor, so to speak. It's also amusing to think about in terms of an atheist Inquisitor, since that means denying the idea that any higher power is behind their actions.
  • At the end of the Jaws of Hakkon DLC, you end up with one of two War Table missions: one where you tell Professor Kenric the truth about Ameridan's identity, and one where you hide it. If you choose to hide the truth, Cullen does not participate in the mission. However, if you tell Kenric the truth, Cullen does participate; his option is to let the whole world know the truth. Cullen isn't an option if you hide the truth because of his option – he believes that the world deserves to know who Ameridan really was, and he's refusing to help you lie about it.
  • The multiplayer has a subtle bit of Fridge Brilliance about how Cullen smells. According to Luka the rogue, he "smells like elderflower and oakmoss," which for some reason is why Luka doesn't trust him. Reading up on herbalism reveals that oakmoss is a restorative, while elderflower can be applied topically as a pain reliever. The implication is that Cullen is using an herbal salve to help with the symptoms of his lyrium withdrawal.
  • Dorian and Iron Bull with enter a romance with each other if several requirements are met. The first is (obviously) that the Inquisitor is not romantically involved with either. The second is that you must have them in your party for a series of banters to trigger between them. Since the two of them are in the middle of nowhere (most of the time) with only two other people, they are going to talk to each other and get to know each other. In other words, you have to force them spend time together.
  • David Sterne voices two major villains: Corypheus and the Nightmare Demon. Odd to use a man with a very distinctive voice to voice two major characters. However, what is the goal of a Nightmare Demon? To make someone afraid. He changes his shape so that he is a giant spider for some and red lyrium ghouls for others. Why should that not extend to his voice? He is using the voice of a powerful villain who dealt serious blows against the Inquisitor.
  • Solas mentions that his interactions with the Dalish don't go well because they're prickly and not interested in new viewpoints (and also because he's the villain in their pantheon), but consider what Solas would look like to a Dalish clan. No vallaslin, weirdly mild-mannered and bookish but doesn't hide his disdain for their way of life, clearly educated but chooses to wear furs and bones, never names the place he's from, and wants to tell them what Elven culture should be? They'd probably think he was a city elf, or an elven servant sent by his master to try to "civilize" them and drive them off his land... and to an extent, they wouldn't be wrong. The Dalish have built an identity on freedom and a certain degree of wildness, so of course they don't want to hear some random bare-faced nobody who hangs out in libraries tell them that they suck at being elves.
  • Blackwall greatly disapproves if the Inquisitor chooses to support Gaspard as sole ruler of Orlais, which can be initially chalked up to his dislike of Gaspard's warmongering ways. Reading Blackwall's codex entry after completing his personal quest reveals that the man he killed was one of Celene's staunchest allies, and he was hired to do so by a pro-Gaspard chevalier. Since Blackwall expressed remorse for his past actions by handing himself over for the Callier massacre, this means his great disapproval of making Gaspard sole ruler of Orlais is based on his past catching up to him by making his fear of helping the man who hired him come true.
  • The option to customize Hawke even if the player imported a custom world state is easily attributed to different game engines between Dragon Age 2 and Inquisition. However, it can also be attributed to Varric embellishing his stories by changing or leaving some details out, and that can even include Hawke's appearance.

     Fridge Horror 
  • The Reveal that Red Lyrium is lyrium Tainted by the Blight. Not only does this imply that using lyrium to power magic is just another form of Blood Magic, except that you are consuming a life form unto itself, it also implies that the Fade is alive, and at least partially tainted by the Blight. In other words, the Fade itself is becoming a darkspawn. On a related note, there's also the fact that Red Lyrium existed before the darkspawn. At least, before the darkspawn we know of...
  • Apparently, lyrium is the blood of Titans, which yes, does make all magic fueled by lyrium technically fall under blood magic, but it also means that something big enough to cause earthquakes and reshape a continent can be Tainted.
  • Also, what about Avernus's legacy? His work was centered around giving Wardens conscious control over the Taint in their body in order to weaponize it, which is precisely what Corypheus did. If the Warden in Origins used Avernus's potion, allowed him to continue working and survived the encounter with the Archdemon, especially if said Warden was a mage, then - thanks to the player's choices - another creature uncomfortably similar to the Tainted Magister of old (with a network of alliance rivaling the Inquisition's at his or her beck and call) is freely roaming the land, somewhere in Western Thedas. At least the Warden is, ostensibly, one of the good guys.
  • We don't know if Hawke/Loghain/Alistair/Stroud are actually dead inside The Fade. It's entirely possible that they are alive, stuck in the Fade forever until they die with nobody to know their fate. Also a possible glimmer of positivity - there are still Fade rifts out there. The text regarding the choice says they'll probably die, but perhaps they may find their way back into Thedas through one of them.
  • The revelations about the true nature of lyrium and what red lyrium actually is are so much worse when you remember that Fenris has lyrium tattoos all over his body.
  • If red lyrium is infected with the Blight, then that means that the song Bartrand was hearing was the song of the old gods. Also, the madness that took him after he sold the idol and couldn't hear the song anymore? That is exactly what happened to the Mother after the Architect put her through the Joining.
  • The Reveal that Mythal, the Elven goddess of love and justice, seeks revenge for what happened to her long ago and plans to unleash a reckoning that will shake the heavens is already ominous enough. It's even worse when you remember what happened the last time an embodiment of Justice possessing someone turned to Vengeance, one that wasn't nearly as powerful as Mythal.
  • Dorian's parents planned to use a blood magic ritual on him to change his sexuality, knowing there was a distinct possibility that it would destroy his mind and leave him a drooling vegetable, all for the sake of preserving the family lineage. That's bad enough, but then there's the realization that if the worst had happened? A little thing like that wouldn't have deterred them from getting what they wanted out of him. That this references Real Life family dynamics for many people should also concern players.
  • In the bad future, Alexius notes that his time-manipulation magic is confined to the span of time in which the Breach exists, and the Elder One is pissed about not being able to go back and keep the Inquisitor from mucking up his plans at the Conclave. The implications of some combination of the Orb and the Fade being the key to true time travel, and what that would mean for a Fade-walking trickster, are nightmarish.
  • In the Bad Future, we see what happens when a person is infected with red lyrium. We also see dungeon cells that are empty... except for a large chunk of red lyrium in the corner.
  • The Oculara:
    • Once you discover how they're made. Tranquils are possessed by demons, and killed at the exact moment of possession. The timing of their death is exceptionally crucial to the creation. When you consider how many Tranquil must have died in order for them to time it just right, and multiply that by the number of Oculara scattered throughout the different regions, it's gut-wrenching. And all just to find those damnable shards and get into the Forbidden Oasis... it hardly seems worth it.
    • And the Jaws of Hakkon DLC adds a few more, with twelve shards needed to bypass an ancient Tevinter ward. According to the codex found near one of the Oculara, the Avvar learned about the process from the "lowlanders." Where they got the Tranquil necessary for the project remains an unsettling mystery.
  • The epilogue for the Grey Wardens, if they weren't banished, is both emotional and rather disturbing. They dissolve their connection to the motherhouse at Weisshaupt and dedicate themselves not only to continuing to fight the darkspawn threat, but also to helping regular people with regular problems. This takes on a dark note when the epilogue notes that communications out of Weisshaupt eventually cease altogether because of the riotous infighting happening there. The fact that the Trespasser DLC clearly shows that Hawke (if s/he was not sacrificed in the Fade) returns safely from his/her trip there is slightly encouraging, but it's still frightening to consider that Thedas may be facing a future without this very necessary order.
  • The Well of Sorrows:
    • Whoever drinks from the Well of Sorrows is bound to Mythal and has no choice but to act if she commands them. Solas seemingly absorbs Mythal's power or essence in The Stinger. The Inquisitor or Morrigan may be bound to Solas's will the next time we see him. This could also explain why Solas is furious with an elven Inquisitor who romanced him and then drank from the Well: Imagine falling in love with someone, only to find out, to your sheer horror, that she's inadvertently bound herself as a slave to the very gods from which you were trying to protect her and the rest of Thedas.
      • However, this is only the case if Solas did actually take Mythal's essence. It's still not known what exactly happened, though, and he may not have taken her spirit at all and therefore may have no control over the person who drank from the Well.
    • If the Inquisitor drinks, they don't have the juice to make use of the Well's power - but Morrigan does, and Flemeth, Abelas, and Solas all have memories of the glory days of elven history. All of them have the knowledge necessary to completely change how modern elves see their culture and can, presumably, speak the language perfectly; but the only one who mentions even attempting to do anything with it is Solas, and even he basically gives up on that. For all the complaints about how the elves will never be what they once were, none of them are trying to bring elven culture any further than it was when it fell.
  • All of the revelations about Elven history in this game, assuming they can be trusted, put the abuse Elves suffered in the previous games in a terrible new light. As bad as their situation is in the present day, it's likely no worse than what they endured at the hands of other Elves in the days of Arlathan: Slavery is outlawed in most countries outside of the Imperium, and Elves don't have to tattoo their faces if they don't want to do it.
  • The Western Approach:
    • Parts of the Western Approach are pretty creepy to begin with, but there are strange sounds in certain parts, a mine shaft where the player can see something the looks like a dragon if they pause at just the right time, a statue depicting Razikale's worshipers found in a cave in the area, and a very old book detailing an attempt by the Wardens to kill one of the Old Gods before it could be corrupted. Asunder also reveals that Cole can hear the Calling when he's in that specific region. All of this taken together gives the very strong impression that Razikale's prison is directly beneath the Western Approach. That, however, is not the Fridge Horror. The Fridge Horror is that there are darkspawn lurking in the area. The Sixth Blight may be approaching.
    • What's the name of the mosaic you find in the Western Approach? The Archdemon.
    • The Western Approach was also a battleground of the Second Blight, visited by Zazikel himself. If another Old God is buried under the Western Approach, just how close did Thedas come to having to deal with two Archdemons at once?
  • A small one regarding the human Inquisitor. It's noted that the Trevelyan family traditionally gives any children born after the Spare to the Throne to the Chantry, usually to serve as Templars, sometimes as priests. Given what happens to the Templar Order in Inquisition, there is the strong and depressing possibility that a human Inquisitor has had to kill some of their own relatives, especially if they sided with the mages. And that's in addition to the members of the Trevelyan family that were killed by the Breachnote .
  • During Varric's companion quest, Bianca tells you that Red Lyrium is, in fact, Lyrium that's infected by the Blight, indicating that Lyrium might be alive. Fast forward to the DLC The Descent, where we learn that Lyrium is the 'blood', so to speak, of Titans, these utterly massive beings, incomprehensible in size, that lie underneath the Deep Roads. Relevance? Add them together, and it implies that at least one Titan has become tainted by the Blight.
  • You find the Titan under the Storm Coast, where darkspawn have come above ground. What if Old Gods aren't the only ones who can cause Blights?
  • A little bit of Fridge Horror in the wake of Trespasser? Think about all those "Veil-strengthening" elven artifacts Solas and the Inquisitor activated, knowing Solas' true intentions. If he plans to remove the Veil, will those artifacts hinder his efforts? Or did he lie about their purpose?
  • Additional fun realisation post-Trespasser: Solas approves of you bringing peace, helping those in peril and easing people's suffering in the main game... because if his plan comes to fruition, all of those people will die, and he wants them to spend their last days happy and free of fear. It's true when he says he's not like Corypheus. If he succeeds, no one would see it coming.
  • Yet another post-Trespasser bit of fridge horror. At Haven, at some point, Solas can make a remark that induces eyerolls and snorts at its jerkassery: "If the world was destroyed, I'd have no place to lay my head!" At best, some people might have found it endearingly and obliviously self-centred. Then Trespasser happens and that remark becomes terrifyingbecause that "oblivious" comment foreshadows his character arc, who he is, and how he views the people around him. They are so beneath him that if his original plan had succeeded and the Fade had flooded into the world, while the inhabitants of Thedas suffered and died terrible deaths, his biggest regret was that he'd have nowhere to take a nap.
    Inquisitor: We weren't even people to you.
    • It throws a lot about his character quests into the horror bucket, too. His admiration for a high-approval Inquisitor tends to be expressed by how unlike everyone else they are, particularly if they're Dalish. How they draw Solas's attention from the Fade, how they've earned his respect, and so on, and it's not strange because he's speaking from the point of view of an antisocial hermit who holds a lot of unconventional opinions. His hipster attitude about elven history and magic seems harmless coming from a lonely apostate. But post-Trespasser? It's because Solas's idea of respect is to attribute personhood to them at all; the only people he actually cares about unconditionally are all immortals like himself, either other members of the Elven pantheon or spirits. He always meant everything he said, but what makes it seriously not-okay is that he has the power to actually enforce his judgment on the world.
    • Remember old saying: "Home is where you can lay your head." And remember his current lifestyle and all the history, that led him to such circumstances. Suddenly sounds so heart-wrenching for a seemingly jerkish joke, isn't it?
  • It turns out that if Leliana was killed in Origins, then the Leliana seen in II and Inquisition is not the real Leliana, but a spirit that came through the veil and impersonated her like Cole did. Given Leliana's character, any spirit impersonating her would most likely be a Spirit of Faith. Spirit!Leliana experiences the same Crisis of Faith the real one did. A Spirit of Faith having a Crisis of Faith? Knowing what we do now about the results of a spirit not being able to fulfill its virtue, the Inquisition came dangerously close to having its spymaster turn into a demon. Thankfully it gets resolved before that happened...
  • A bit of Fridge Horror if Anders survived II: imagine what it must be like to have Justice/Vengeance and Corypheus's false calling in your head all the time.
  • When you recover Tyrdda's "Axe" (really a mage staff), it comes with a Corrupting Rune pre-embedded in it. Corrupting runes are made with Red Lyrium. That's right... Red Lyrium was being dug up even way back in the Ancient Age.
  • Vivienne being in control of virtually anything regarding an organized structure to control or house mages. The only things she knows about what "structure" other mages need comes entirely from having the absolute best possible experience in the Circle and exploiting a system that she can use to elevate herself above everyone else, and she loathes ceding power to anyone else unless absolutely necessary: those are very bad traits in a leader, particularly the leader of an institution designed to outlive its members.
  • Most of what Solas has to say at the end of Trespasser falls into this, regarding the entire rest of the game. There are plenty of opportunities for the Inquisition to support elves, particularly with a Dalish Inquisitor. If you play your cards right, the Inquisition can net itself at least one Dalish agent, see that Wycome is co-ruled by the Keeper of clan Lavellan, arrange it that Briala is made Marquess of the Dales or the power behind the Orlesian throne, uncover and protect multiple ancient Elven ruins, and just show kindness to various elves all over the place. If Solas really needs proof that the People don't need him to tear the veil down in order to thrive again, the groundwork has already been laid.
  • A minor one, but the way Cullen is treated at the Halamshiral ball falls into Fridge Horror if it's seriously contemplated. If Cole is brought along and asked if he's seen anything, he tells the Inquisitor that "Cullen is afraid. They're hunting him, following fear. He shouldn't be here." The Orlesian courtiers have Cullen cornered and keep doing things like making suggestive comments and even touching him inappropriately. Remember what Cullen went through way back in Origins? He was trapped behind a magical barrier by demons who tortured him, and it's been heavily implied that this included at least one desire demon whose torture was of a... personal nature. Imagine how the treatment he receives at the ball must remind him of everything he's tried so hard to put behind him.
  • Solas is a Dreamer mage, which is a mage who is fully conscious while dreaming and can shape the Fade. This is actually quite disturbing when you realize that Solas, who is thousands of years old, is always conscious. He's never been able to actually take a break and rest. Add to that all the guilt and responsibility he feels, it must be exhausting.
  • Solas's motivations and goals within Trespasser can come across as this if one starts to think about it. The game makes it pretty clear that the Elves' greatest enemies are not humans, but rather themselves. Everything they built, they eventually destroyed, not the humans as other elves had long believed, and Solas desperately wants to bring back the good ol' days by destroying the current world. However, even if he does have plans for the previous "gods" of his people, once you start reliving the past then you are on the same track that the world was on in those days; you cannot simply live the parts of the past that you want, and that means that, somehow, some way, the Elves will destroy themselves again. But this time there won't be humans ready to rise to a new era, there won't be dwarves connected to the Titans, there won't be Qunari living in their strict alien religion - meaning that, when the Elves destroy themselves, there won't be anything left. Solas is trying to lead the population of the world not on the path to the past... but on the path to extinction.
  • A retroactive moment of Fridge horror for players of Dragon Age: Awakening comes when you realize that Corypheus and the Architect are ancient darkspawn who can pass their souls into a Grey Warden's body upon death, possessing and then eventually changing that form into a replica of their original shape. If you chose to kill the Architect in Awakening as either a separate Commander of the Grey is one thing, but if you were the Hero of Ferelden. . .and then you notice the suspicious absence of the Hero during the events of Inquisition, reassuring letter provided from Alistair/Morrigan and/or Leiliana or no, and one comes away from the game with a horrifying thought. . .
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Fridge Logic

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