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     Red Lyrium timeline 
  • Red Lyrium being regular Lyrium that has the Darkspawn Taint. Does this mean the taint precedes the Darkspawn after all?
    • What it likely means is that Darkspawn predate the first Blight, which is almost certainly true.
    • It's a bit more than that. The Red Lyrium idol was found in a thaig that predates recorded dwarven history. Assuming the idol was always made of red lyrium, not just of regular lyrium that got corrupted (we get no evidence that regular lyrium can be corrupted as easily as a "regular" living organism, after all, even after discovering it's tainted lyrium, all the sources of it still come from the primeval thaig), this means the Darkspawn Taint is very old.
    • It's possible that the Taint itself has been in Thedas for a very long time. For all we know, it could be as old as Thedas itself. The Magisters' ill-fated attempt to claim the Golden City for themselves simply infected them with it and spread the Taint far beyond its original confines.
    • Especially since Corypheus says in Legacy that the Golden City was already corrupted when the Magisters arrived.
    • There's certainly something odd with that explanation, though we'll have to wait to find out exactly what. It seems bizarre that the Darkspawn haven't tainted any other Lyrium despite living in the Deep Roads, which are filled with the stuff. Possibly the Primeval Thaig was the site of a prior effort to enter the Golden City or some other part of the Fade and some Lyrium used in the process got tainted by that. Either lacking a connection to the Fade kept the dwarves from being contaminated, or they actually severed their Fade connection at that point to obstruct the spread from their portal and managed to kill off their first set of Darkspawnnote  but the Thaig subsequently succumbed to the effects of Red Lyrium and the records were lost.
    • Another possibility is that the taint originally came from Red Lyrium.
    • With The Descent, we find out that Lyrium is the 'blood', so to speak, of Titans, massive beings whose 'bodies', so to speak, are beneath the Deep Roads and who contain massive caverns, miles across. As a result, it's not hard to suspect that the Red Lyrium found in II was from a Titan tainted by the Blight... and the actions of DAI have tainted a lot more Titans too...
    • We never get any hard evidence dating the Primeval Thaig; it's assumed to be prehistoric because nothing like it is mentioned in the Memories. But we learn in The Descent that the Shaperate removes dangerous or politically inconvenient information from the Memories. Also, the Primeval Thaig just happens to contain a staff that, according to its own Flavor Text, was sealed inside of a mysteriously abandoned thaig called Valdasine Thaig. So it's possible that the Primeval Thaig is Valdasine Thaig, and the Shaperate suppressed the truth about what happened there for the same reason why they presumably suppressed knowledge of the Titans—because they hoped that hiding knowledge of it would prevent people from digging it up.
    • The real question is, why didn't red lyrium pop up in the past? There doesn't even need to be a blight. You'd think with how well the taint seems to spread there would be more blighted lyrium.
    • This troper remembers, probably mistakenly, some obscure mention from the Descent DLC, that Titans somehow resist Taint and ward off Darkspawn, possibly even quell Taint effects nearby. And Darkspawn erupted not after introducing mortals to Taint, but after hearing Tainted Archdemon's song, which made them into coherent force, bent on conquering places to dwell and multiply like crazy, especially during First Blight, when no one knew how to fight them.
      • As to the source of Taint there's some more lore to consider: Evanuris encountered Titans when investigating series of earthquakes, and Mythal killed at least one, maybe even starting the fashion among the Decadent Court Evanuris were at that point. Elves mined lyrium from Titan's bodies for some time, but then suddenly collapsed the mines where Inquisitor is reading this story, in fear that "what Evanuris could unleash in their greed would destroy all in its anger" - doesn't sound like usual Lyrium, but something similar to Taint, no? Especially considering "three cups" speculation about Corypheus and Solas's reply to it - as if he already saw that happening. Now, what do the usual corpses do? They rot, and become infectious, although a healthy organism usually has resistance to small doses of such infections. And rotting literal geological body, which is simultaneously tied to essence of Fade, must produce something really terrible. Something that, for instance, translates whispers akin to ones from person dying from septic fever and hell-bent on revenge their murder into any receptive mind nearby. This fits nicely with theory about Golden City being Arlathan - there were many mines, and possibly they were not all collapsed in such precaution, so the Evanuris got their hands on Taint (or on Red Lyrium, then distilled pure Taint from it during research, doesn't matter), but then Fen'Harel finally created Veil and banished them along with the city of Arlathan, where they started to experiment with Taint to get out/succumbed to it over time/started to succumb even before banishing and Blighted the City in process anyway. Anyway, Corypheus doesn't say much about what's inside the City he and other reached. Remaining mines were then properly collapsed and sealed, with everything corrupted (or alive at all) in them being slaughtered to prevent outbreaks, thus placing a clamp on main Taint vector, since Lyrium veins grow seemingly slowly and reddening is most likely being gradual process too. All is well, until some dragons got lonely and wanted to chat with Evanuris, for this urging group of stupid mortals in some suspicious ritual...

    Destroying Red Lyrium 

  • How can it be destroyed? Smashing it into pieces in Varric's personal quest seems ineffective at best - it's still Red Lyrium, just a lot of small pieces instead of a big one. Smashing it into chunks bigger than the Idol was, and calling it a day, seem OOC.
    • The wording is "Locate and destroy Primeval Red Lyrium nodes", and those are really big splashes of it, growing out of mountainsides and in caves, so maybe it's not destroying every single piece of it, but preventing growth and expansion.
    • Perhaps the nodes the Inquisitor is destroying are "cores" of a sort? Destroy the core, and the red lyrium stops or at least slows down its growing.

     Varric's love life 
  • Varric telling the Inquisitor Bianca's story. He didn't tell it to Hawke (who was one of his closest friend since seven years) but he tells it to the Inquisitor?
    • Dragon Age II was a story he was telling to Cassandra; he very well could have told Hawke, it just wasn't shown.
    • He told Hawke.... when? Because they seems to be quite static between the acts; Merrill doesn't talk to Hawke about the killer mirror until Act 2, the fact that Fenris doesn't know how to read don't come up until Act 2 too... So, why would it be different for Varric?
    • At any point during the nine years they knew each other?
    • And again, if so, why doesn't Hawke know of Fenris's inability to read until three years after meeting him? Same goes for Merrill and Isabela.
    • Why would those things be related at all? Because Hawke doesn't know one thing about Fenris means that at no point in the nine years - including three years that we don't actually see because they take place between the uprising at the Gallows and Varric's interrogation - that they could never have had a conversation with Varric about Varric's romantic history? That literally makes less than no sense. You owe me sense, sir.
    • They're related because, if Hawke didn't ask why Merrill quit her clan or if Fenris's inability to read doesn't come between act 1 and 2, I assume the characters are static and so that Hawke didn't ask Varric about Bianca. Does it make more sense?
    • It makes sense in the sense that you're making a purely baseless assumption when there's a perfectly reasonable alternative that you refuse to accept, presumably because it justifies your annoyance at this. They aren't static between acts. Talk to Isabela at the start of act 2 and she and Hawke talk about misadventures they got into over the last three years. In this very game, after Hawke's death, Varric will tell a story about Hawke dealing with a Carta shakedown that we never saw or heard of in Dragon Age II. More things happened to Hawke in II than we saw. You can either accept that as a reasonable and rational explanation or you can continued to be annoyed at the assumption that Varric never told Hawke the truth about Bianca. That choice is yours.
    • It makes sense because, if something as important as Fenris's illiteracy or Merrill's reason for quitting her clan, or even Aveline's love of Donnic (which is hinted in Act 1 but isn't being acted upon until Act 2) don't come up offscreen during the three years Hawke knew them, I doubt Bianca's story would come up during this time. Hawke dealing with a carta shakedown did happened offscreen, just like Isabela's tale of "last lead on her relic" but the reasons for this isn't explained until act 2. And by "static", I didn't meant "don't do anything", I meant "don't really learn anything about each others".
    • Dragon Age II is not the true story of Hawke's life, it's Varric's version of it. So yeah, the characters are completely "static" during the timeskips, because having the point of view characters suddenly know stuff that the person experiencing the story doesn't would be bad storytelling. In real life, they probably got to know details of each other's lives much earlier, but Varric didn't see fit to talk about those things before they became somewhat relevant. Likewise, it's possible that he did eventually tell Hawke everything about Bianca, but didn't include that in his narrative at all because he didn't want to tell Cassandra.
    • Also it's not like he could just hide, she just showed up there. More importantly, this is Varric, take anything he says with some grain of salt.
    • First rule. Varric lies. Biggest lie he gave Cassandra? HE KNEW WHERE HAWKE WAS THE ENTIRE TIME!
    • I blame Retcon on this one
    • Isn't it also just possible that Varric (the social storyteller) simply had a closer, more open, relationship with Hawke, while Merrill and Fenris were standoffish and chose to actively avoid talking about embarrassing aspects of their backstory for a few years?
    • Or it could be pride on Fenris' part, maybe he's ashamed of not being able to read. As for Merrill her clan is like her family, do you air your family fights? I doubt it.
    • Another thing to keep in mind is that, at one point, there was another DLC planned for Dragon Age II that would focus on Varric and the criminal underworld of Kirkwall. It's entirely possible that the truth about who Bianca was and Varric's relationship with her was originally intended to be revealed in that DLC, but since it was cut, that was left hanging.
    • It's also possible that, given Varric deliberately skips over years because they were boring and not what Cassandra wanted to hear, that these things WERE found out in the gap years, but since they were skipped over, they were either omitted (Like Varric telling Hawke about Bianca) or moved around. Plus, keep in mind Varric's situation at the time he was telling Cassandra: do you really think he'd want to tell her about what happened with Bianca by way of relating Hawke's story? When Bartrand came up, he tried to evade it, but she demanded to know. It's very likely that he did his best to avoid mentioning the time he did speak about Bianca so that Cassandra wouldn't know.
    • Varric never told Hawke because the story of his crossbow was one he promised himself he'd NEVER tell. However, the Inquisitor actually meets Bianca, sees her flirt with Varric, and sees her mad smith-skills. At that point, the story basically tells itself. All Varric did was fill in the details. But he would never have done that before Bianca got involved in person. That's why he never told Hawke. Hawke never met the real deal.
    • Plus even with that he doesn't tell the Inquisitor the full story, just the basic details he had to give due to Bianca's presence.
  • I realize Varric probably really loves Bianca, but she's married to someone else. And their relationship is clearly not healthy, what with her parents sending assassins anytime they find out he's been near her and all that other stuff. Why doesn't he just let her go? It seems like it would be the best thing for both of them if they parted ways amicably.
    • Many, many Varric shippers would agree with you. In all seriousness, though: definitely it's for the best if they move on. But, well, love is blind and all that, and we don't know enough about Bogden to know if he cares about Bianca and Varric's relationship (or if he has his own affairs on the side), and given Varric's wealth, notoriety, and connections, I seriously doubt assassins would be a problem for him. At this point, it's probably more of a token gesture: "Oh, Tethras is in town? Oh, well, better send some assassins. Hey, maybe they can get a copy of Hard in Hightown signed for me." Ultimately, the answer is probably "people in love do dumb things".
    • In fairness to the besotted pair, Varric and Bianca got together before she was married, and indeed her parents made it happen to break them up since Varric was not an acceptable son-in-law. They'd be together all the time if they could.
  • This can easily be explained away by Varric telling the story to Cassandra. She came across as threatening and antagonistic, and wanting to know everything about Hawke. So he tells her everything about Hawke, how after meeting Merrill they encountered Giant Spiders, encountering Leliana, going to the Blooming Rose, etc., this is all as Cassandra sees it. The reason why Bianca is never brought up is because Varric never brings her up, and not wanting to give the Seekers another target he has every reason not to say, "Hey I told Hawke about an ex I had" and keep her safe.

     The Qunari and transgender 
  • According to Iron Bull, Krem (assigned female at birth, but is male) would be considered as a man. However, this seems to fly in the face of what Sten did in Origins, as he was completely flabbergasted by women such as Morrigan and Leliana taking up arms to fight, and not simply in defense. Several times he mentions what is men's work and women's work, and that did not change. Does Iron Bull presume Krem would be in the Ben-Hassrath (which has males and females and, although they can fight, they are not actual fighters) or is Sten incorrect? Or is it a Retcon?
    • Krem is a man, though. It seems the Qunari view of gender is at once progressive and restrictive. A person's gender determines what roles they can play in their society, but one's gender is not strictly tied to whatever gender one is raised to be. The Iron Bull explicitly states that he views Krem as a man, and implies that Krem would be treated like a man in Qunari society, as well.
    • Because the Sten is not shocked by the fact that they are cisgender women acting as men do in Qunari society, he's shocked by the fact that they still consider themselves women. Qunari society defines gender around very strict gender roles. So while they consider it entirely rational that a cis woman could be better suited for "men's work" and thus be a man, they don't grasp/don't respect the concept of someone who breaks those gender roles without adopting the gender they are acting as. He basically says as much in the conversation in DA:O.
    • Except that isn't really what he says. See here. He doesn't just not believe women can be warriors (or mages, for some reason) while identifying as women, he literally doesn't even think it's possible for someone not a cis man to identify as a man.
      Wynne: I do not understand. Do the Qunari have no female mages? No female warriors?
      Sten: Of course not. Why would our women wish to be men?
      Wynne: Do you believe I wish to be a man?
      Sten: You cannot wish to be a man. It will lead you only to frustration.
    • This would also imply that Qunari didn't have female mages, which would make no sense at all since it has nothing to do with their gender. It's most likely a Retcon.
    • Qunari recognize the distinction between the body and the soul; when a qunari dies, the body isn't treated with any respect because the body isn't them, the soul is. It makes sense that a society that believes that would allow for the disconnect between body and soul; that a cis man may be born with the soul of a woman and vis versa. Likewise, being transgender isn't a choice; it's just who they are. As the qunari are very big on that particular concept, they'd make allowances for someone to live as who they really are.
    • But, if that's the case, why would the Sten ask your Warden if she's a woman in Origins? He would have just assumed that she was the soul of a man in the body of a cis woman.
    • That seems like a clear retcon to me. Sten doesn't even talk about the Warden identifying as a woman, but looking like one. Well, even if he dresses, acts and identifies as a man, Krem also looks like a woman, and unless the Qunari have invented plastic surgery, so do any of their transgender people.
    • Krem doesn't look like a woman, he looks like a transgender man. Out-of-universe, it's very clearly meant to be a retcon of a fantasy society that wasn't fully defined before, but that's no reason to be transphobic in the name of semantics.
    • All due respect, there's also no reason to throw around words like "transphobic" over a simple difference of opinion. Video game character faces often straddle the gender line. (So do many real human faces, for that matter.) Give Krem some longer hair and slap on some makeup and "he" would probably look very much like a "she". It's not unreasonable for someone to look at Krem and think "this character looks female".
    • There's a point up there, and you missed it. It doesn't matter if Krem looks female, he identifies as male. Loads of transmen look female, but they're not. To refer to someone as one gender when they identify as another is transphobic.
    • It's definitely a retcon, not a reinterpretation. Here's what Sten actually says on the topic. The problem I have with this scene in DA:I is two-fold. First, it's not only inconsistent with what Sten said in Origins, but it's also inconsistent with everything we've previously learned about the Qunari. Up until now everything we've seen and heard about the Qunari, including from actual followers of the Qun, has reinforced again and again that they are strictly opposed to individuality. You are assigned a role in Qunari society from which you cannot deviate. If you don't like your role your only options are to run off into the wilderness and become Tal-Vashoth, or be "reeducated" via torture and/or chemical brainwashing. And those roles do conform along gender lines. If you disagree, explain why the Arishok had no female Qunari soldiers, or "women who identify as men" soldiers, with him in DA2. Did they all conveniently go down with the ship? So now, after two games establishing the Qunari as profoundly against individualism, all of a sudden we're told that in this one specific case individuality is A-Okay with them? Why this one case? If it's okay for a trans man to live as a man, why can't a merchant who wishes he were born a warrior be a warrior? Why do the Qunari tolerate individuality in this one instance but not others?

      The second problem is that, because we've never actually visited Qunari or Tevinter lands, Krem's story is robbed of the emotional weight that it could have had. We're told that Tevinter has very traditional views on gender and the Qunari have very progressive views, but neither one has ever truly been shown to us. I think Krem's story would have a lot more impact if he were born and raised in Orlais, a culture we has been directly exposed to and is known to have very strict gender roles, and ran away to join a Fereldan-led mercenary company. We know for a fact that Fereldans have no objections to women being warriors so it wouldn't be surprising if they are also very accepting of transgender people as well. Bull's line "You are a real man" would sound a lot more credible and be a lot more powerful if it wasn't coming from the representative of a culture that tortures and brainwashes people if they dare to disagree with the Official State Religion.

      Personally, I think this was an awkward attempt at an Author's Saving Throw. Let's be honest, here. Based on everything we know of the Qunari so far, we can only conclude that they are a bunch of massive swinging dicks. Individual members of their society can be good, but their society itself is objectively Evil. The writers wrote the Qunari directly into the role of Always Chaotic Evil, probably without even realizing it. That's why I think this scene exists. They realized what they had done so they crowbarred in this scene establishing "serious you guys, the Qunari are totally pro-LGBT rights" in the hope of balancing it out.
    • I have to disagree. With their obsession with roles and order the qunari are more Lawful Evil than Always Chaotic Evil.
    • The trope is not about being Chaotic Evil specifically, but about a whole race being shoehorned into a single (evil) alignment, rather than showing the whole gradient from good to evil as would be expected of any large enough group of people.
    • This might be a caste thing. Sten is from the all-male soldier caste, which both he and the Arishok from Dragon Age II describe as practically a separate culture within the Qun to the point that they don't consider themselves qualified to speak on the rest of the society. Iron Bull is from the mixed-gender Ben-Hassrath, who's members include Tallis as the other main example. The swords-as-soul thing is explicitly pointed out as unique to the warriors and not applying to him, for instance. The Qunari might recognize Krem as a man, but Bull never says they would accept him as a warrior.
    • "The Qunari might recognize Krem as a man, but Bull never says they would accept him as a warrior." Perhaps, but that still seems to disagree with what Sten said in Origins. He didn't just say "women cannot be warriors, it isn't done" he bluntly asserts that a woman can't wish to be a man, or become one, and seems baffled by the very idea of it.
    • Besides, the lore says that are female engaging in male work and vice-versa. The reasoning behind the Qun is 'do what you are best at it'. So if a woman is a badass fighter, and show to their priests, they may assign her to that job. It's not about body type, but about skill. It would not be impossible to believe that Sten didn't think they were good fighters to actually do the job, to the point that he asked these questions quite early, but later seems to have to accepted it (especially with the female Warden). Hell, the Arishok even accepted female Hawke as someone worthy, without EVEN mentioning anything of their gender being improper, the Qunari problem with the PC was the fact that he didn't live with the same principles as he did.
    • "Besides, the lore says that are female engaging in male work and vice-versa." Which lore? Lore from Inquisition or something established in a previous game? And if that is the case, why did we not see any cis female warriors with the Arishok in DA:2?
      "The reasoning behind the Qun is 'do what you are best at it'." Actually it's more like "do what the Qun says you're best at". Just because you show some aptitude in one profession doesn't mean you wouldn't be even better at something else. You could really love carpentry and practice for years until you're an awesome carpenter, but if the judgment of the Qun is that you'd be even better stonemason, soldier, or tailor, that's the role you get. Consider this: Suppose Krem was press-ganged into the Qun and the person in charge of assigning "roles" said "Well you say you're a man on the inside and you're good at being a warrior...but our test results clearly show you'd be even better at teaching Qunari-kindergarten. Also you've got child-bearing hips and good genes, so we've assigned you to give birth to five babies. Fingers crossed for boys!" We know that the Tamassrans assign people their roles via some sort of test, and we know that they strictly control all breeding. There's no reason to believe this couldn't happen.
    • Check the World of Thedas, the fact that Tallis was part of the Qun, and the writers Q&A. We had like, two or three lines of Sten disagreeing with women in fighting in the frontlines. Since we know very little from them, we can't also think they WOULD something like your idea. Hell, Bull explained through the whole game as strict the Qun was, they weren't stupid about it. They stopped fighting when they realise the territory they were occupying were under constant destruction for they war they were waging. We also don't really know how they process who should bear children, how do they choose what job to do. So while what you said COULD happen, just as well, they could do a bunch of tests that result in: 'Oh, hey, Cremisius, you are a good fighter, and don't want to kill yourself for doing it! Well, this could be a good work for you'. Bull himself says that they picked the right job for him, since he LIKED hitting things, and combining with his wits and smarts, his job as a Ben-Hasrath was pretty much something he more or less loved. For the Qunari, gender mostly means you can do something better, but that does not mean it's the ONLY factor. I mean, Bull is pretty much an awesome fighter, why isn't he amongst other soldiers? Because he also had some other characteristics that would benefit his work. Their leaders also are not picked just because they are awesome at making people do stuff they say, but because they ALSO can make the hard choices. Bull also explained that he could just pretend he didn't like hitting things to get another job, but what would be the point? So considering that Krem is a good fighter, follows rules well, and can do his job with proficiency, why wouldn't he be picked as a soldier? Specially considering that he knew he was a man since he was a kid?
    • "Tallis was part of the Qun" Tallis was part of the Ben-Hassrath, which is apparently not considered a gender-specific profession the way the military is. "So while what you said COULD happen" The fact that it can happen at all is a matter of great concern. Bull makes it out like Krem's freedom of choice and personal identity would be respected under the Qun, but that's not true. If the Tamassrans decided Krem would be a better baby-maker than a fighter, then that's what Krem would be and he wouldn't have any recourse to object. The argument you make goes both ways. They COULD respect Krem's personal preference and give him the job he obviously prefers, soldier, but they could just as well assign Krem as a math teacher. Or a janitor. Who knows? It all depends on where the Qunari decide Krem would be the most useful, not on where Krem thinks he would be the most useful. And we know for a fact that plenty of Qunari don't get placed in roles they enjoy. That's the whole reason the Tal-Vashoth exist in the first place. Based on some banter between Solas and Bull, the Tal-Vashoth are large enough in number to start breeding with each other, so clearly there are a lot of Qunari who get assigned to roles they despise despite having an aptitude for it. That or Qunari career tests have a disturbingly high rate of error. Either way, the chance of Krem being assigned to a "female role" is not only possible, it's very significant.
    • No, we know that there a number of Tal-Vashoth, but is their role that makes them unhappy? Bull pointed out that every time he dealt with Tal-Vashoth, most of them were savages and aggressive (also ALL of them are Kossith, WHICH means it might be a problem with the race, instead of the whole system, an idea on which Sten, Bull, and the Arishok seem to agree), AND though they may be 'large' in number, there are more than enough members of the Qun in comparison who like it. In Rivain we KNOW that are many converted that enjoy their lives under the Qun (Isabela's mother gave her up just to do that). And AGAIN, the argument you make is that Krem COULD be a baby making machine(even though the lore says that the parties only meet once or twice, and then just go separate ways, which means there is no specific job to do THAT), but WE. DONT. KNOW. All we have is information based in game and lore tidbits. And from them, we know that: Qunari have roles based on skillsets, they believe those skillsets are better with one gender over another.
    • "is their role that makes them unhappy?" Yes! We speak with a Tal-Vashoth in the 2nd game, and he clearly states "I did not like my role, so I left the Qun." Frankly, why else would someone leave the Qun unless they didn't like the life they were forced to live? Do you think all those Tal-Vashoth were living totally awesome lives, loving everything about the "roles" they were given, and then just up and decided to leave and become Tal-Vashoth just because? "Bull pointed out that every time he dealt with Tal-Vashoth most of them were savages and aggressive" And Solas countered that by pointing out that those Tal-Vashoth are savage because life under the Qun made them that way. And Bull's only response is to dodge the accusation and fall back on emotional appeal. And Bull's characterization of the Tal-Vashoth as "savages" is highly questionable. In another dialogue with Solas, Bull all but admits that the reason he calls them savages is because it makes it easier to kill them when he's ordered to. "there are more than enough members of the Qun in comparison who like it." You mean there are more than enough who have been conditioned to like it. You forget that most of those people in Rivain who "converted" to the Qun did so involuntarily. The Qunari didn't just roll into town and offer membership to anyone interested. They invaded Rivain and conquered the people living there. And for all those people who claim to "like" living under the Qun, how many of them only say so because they're afraid of being tortured and brain-wiped if they say otherwise?

      The point I'm trying to make here is that all this talk about the Qunari being willing to respect Krem's gender identity is a farce. The Qunari don't respect Krem's gender identity. They don't respect anyone's identity, period. Krem wouldn't be a person to them, he would merely be a tool of the state, to be used in whatever manner the state saw fit. In Tevinter, society pigeonholed Krem into a certain role, without regard for his feelings. Under the Qun, it would be exactly the same. Only they might pay lip service to tolerance.
    • Check Cassandra's and Bull banter. He explains it exactly - it's not about being a man or a woman, it's about being gifted. If you are gifted, then you will become part of the soldiers, and if you DO become part of this caste, then you are now considered a MAN. That's it. Since Krem shows skill in fighting, that's exactly where he would be sent. Also Rivain NEVER had any sort of uprising against the Qunari and with the information we HAVE they don't have a problem with it in majority. 'Also conditioned to like it'? How do you think people like anything? Someone at some point taught or told you something is good, be it morals, be it taste, or simple belief, were you not conditioned then? Also pay close attention to the Qunari, to their customs and everything Bull says if he becomes Tal-Vashoth, there is a sickness in them, or something close to it, something that incites bloodlust and aggression. Every Tal-Vashoth you met in Dragon Age II was your enemy, save for one, and like Bull says, for every one that can live well, DOZENS do not. Considering, again, that all Tal-Vashoth we know of are actually Kossith, THEN it's safe to assume that it could be very well not their role, but a problem with themselves in majority. Also, if savagery is all the know because of the Qun, why do others exist that are Tal-Vashoth and do not act like it? Is it because of their beliefs and how they were raised? Or could very well be something specific to the race, you know, the only race we actually see becoming Tal-Vashoth.
    • "If you are gifted, then you will become part of the soldiers, and if you DO become part of this caste, then you are now considered a MAN." You're making my point for me. Imagine if Krem were a trans woman. According to this logic, the Qun would require her to consider herself a man, no matter how she felt about it. It would also require Cassandra to identify as a man, even though she clearly doesn't consider herself one. So where's the progressiveness here? I agree, Bull does explain it exactly, just not in the way you seem to think. Every explanation of the Qun he gives boils down to one thing. Somebody else tells you what to do.
      "Since Krem shows skill in fighting, that's exactly where he would be sent." Says who? People can be skilled in many things. Krem could also be very skilled in baking and really want to open a bakery, but under Qunari rule he would be forcibly drafted into the military and tortured and drugged if he objected, all because this outside entity known as "the Qun" thinks he'd be more useful as a soldier.
      "Someone at some point taught or told you something is good, be it morals, be it taste, or simple belief, were you not conditioned then?" ...No, that wasn't "conditioning". There is a vast gulf of difference between agreeing with or believing in something because you enjoy it or you see the logic in it, and being indoctrinated. I think you are grievously misunderstanding the meaning of the word "conditioning" in this context. The Rivaini were conquered by the Qunari. That is an indisputable part of Dragon Age lore. The Qunari invaded their lands and imposed the Qun on them. The mere fact that they haven't thrown off their brainwashing hardly proves that they like it.
      "Also pay close attention to the Qunari, to their customs and everything Bull says if he becomes Tal-Vashoth, there is a sickness in them, or something close to it, something that incites bloodlust and aggression." Everything Bull says about the Tal-Vashoth smacks of indoctrination and propaganda. We know for a fact he's visited the brainwashers before. For all we know, that's just another lie he's been taught to believe. We honestly can't be sure if any of the stories he tells of the "savage" Tal-Vashoth are true.
    • But that is the damn thing, is NOT about being progressive, it was never about being progressive, it's about the fact that Qunari CAN accept someone being of a different gender of their bodies. Because that's what gender is for them, it's related to work and duty, not to what bits you have. And if Iron Bull, a Ben-Hassrath that engages in multiple conflicts and only allow people that are good in a fight to stay in his company, then we can assume that in fact, yes, Krem could very well be chosen to work as a soldier. The whole discussion was NOT about if Krem would be in fact considered a man, but if he COULD, and through the whole analysis, YES, HE COULD. Maybe he might not be, it would happen by a choice of the Qun, but the fact is, HE COULD be considered a man.
      The Qun imposed themselves over Rivain just as well Orlais did with Ferelden, yet Ferelden fought back, never accepted it. Rivain accept it. They don't fight it, hell, the only reason the Qunari left was due to the exalted marches were taking a toil to the population. Also, search any course of propaganda, ANY, and they will tell you outright that it's not hard to make people think they want something, or that something is good. Hell, consumerism is entirely dependent on people believing they need or want something. That's exactly what indoctrinating means, you were at some point told to like something, maybe it was done in such a way that it was subtle, but they told you.
      'For all we know?' For all we know of the Qunari, for all the tidbits and lore we know that MOST Tal-Vashoth act like savages, we HAVE those examples in lore and even in gameplay. Dragon Age 2 has plenty of enemies that were those and we FOUGHT against. Also, if you check the Codex we have an example of a Tal-Vashoth being visited by Brother Genitivi, THEY attack everyone indiscriminately (and he was lucky to escape with his life). Also we have the account of Solas, that himself admit the fact that Tal-Vashoth are violent (though he blames the Qun for it), Sten, and Bull (himself being terrified of becoming a Tal-Vashoth, and through the dialogue he says that the Qun stop the savage nature of his people. He is especially terrified of succumbing to his own bloodlust that he shows quite a lot).
    • Also, Dragon Age II was an incredibly limited game, well known for being rushed. We only saw female Qunari in Inquisition, and that because they became one of the player's race. Nowhere in the game they said: 'Oh, hey, you know why you don't see women in here? Because we believe they shouldn't be here', the point was never made, or even implied.
    • ...Except it was implied. In fact it wasn't just implied, it was stated. Very clearly. In the previous game.
    • It was stated by Sten, who is basically a scout and is also very reluctant to explain anything of the Qun because he both lacks the mastery of language to explain it and it is not his role to do so. And even then, it comes up because he asks the obviously Female Wardens if they are a woman; you can easily retcon that to him being confused that this man (because they're a warrior) identifies as a woman (who can't be a warrior). He might have initially assumed she was like Krem and only asks the question after seeing female Warden identify as a woman.
    • The first one. Not the one that was used as an argument of why there wasn't any women alongside the Qunari in Kirkwall.
    • It's possible that the Qun doesn't address the transgender concept at all, and that most Qunari would interpret it as being very much against the idea. Bull could easily be interpreting the Qun how he wants to, as opposed to how those whose role it is to do so would (it's not like he acts like typical Qunari, from what we've seen of them). He may even be doing so while (subconsciously) knowing that it would be unorthodox.
    • That's probably the most plausible explanation. Bull has obviously started Going Native long before the Inquisition recruits him, so it's very possible that a more "orthodox" Qunari might slap Krem across the back of the head and tell "her" to go hang with the womenfolk.
    • Considering that there is a specific word in the Qunari language to describe the transgender concept, I would not chalk this up to Bull going native.
    • Sten didn't hit anyone in the group, neither the rest of the Qunari in Dragon Age II attacked without proper reason. Please, just because you think they would not agree with women and men doing something different, that does not mean they would be uncivil about it.
    • Okay, A) that was just me being flippant, not a serious example of what a Qunari might do. I thought that was rather obvious. B) The reason the Arishok attacked Kirkwall is, literally, because he got fed up with having to deal with non-Qunari politics. In what universe is that a legitimate reason to raze an entire city and kill God knows how many people? In fact the Qunari themselves later acknowledged that this was a stupid decision on the Arishok's part. And, really, uncivil? We're talking about people who torture and brainwash you if you don't do exactly what the Qun tells you to do. That's not just uncivil, that redefines uncivil. And Bull has the balls to call the Tal-Vashoth "savages"...
    • They attacked the city after YEARS not touching anyone and seeking only to stay where they are, in an impasse to do their job (because Isabela stole a HOLY book). They attacked the city after a bunch of fanatics simply started to attack them and their followers, which we should remember it was EXACTLY what these people wanted. More importantly they are soldiers, applying a decapitation strike on the Viscount since he is the leader of the city. Other than that, we get the Qunari capturing everyone else that do not resist, and everything about them is about usefulness, so they didn't simply go around destroying the city (compare the destruction between Act 2 and Act 3. Varric himself says that after years they still did not recover from the Mage-Templar conflict, while in Act 3 everything was already restored). Also, really? You say they are savages because they force people to do things they might not want to? Do all mages want to stay in the Circle? Do all soldiers want to kill the next man? Do all prisoners want to stay in jail? No. And why does that happen, why are they forced to do thing they don't want to? Because society tell them to, because they need to keep Mages safe either from the people or from themselves; soldiers fight because a country, or some noble, wants something. If he doesn't to it, what happens? He hangs. Deserter or insubordination. So the Qunari do not give them choice based alone on what they want to do, but hey, if you don't want to, you simply don't get killed for it, you are still a part of the society, you still are fed, you still get to sleep.
    • It's probably not a good idea to base the Qunari's take on transgender people based on Iron Bull's opinion alone. It's pretty obvious that Iron Bull isn't a typical Qunari, and his faith in the Qun has been wavering for years by the time you meet him. It's possible that the main reason he doesn't abandon it on his own is because he's terrified of being a Tal'Vashoth, having hunted and demonized them his entire life. Under the Qun, Krem may be considered a man as Iron Bull believes. But that would be decided by the Qun, not Krem.
    • Considering that there is a word in Qunari to describe transgender people, and that the Qunari put more stock on the soul than the body, I'd say Bull is correct that Krem would be a man in a trans man under the Qun, and whilst not guaranteed to be a soldier would be considered as a man by other Qunari.
    • To be honest, expecting the whole Qunari nation to be represented by Sten or Iron Bull would be unfair, as Sten states 'people are not simple'. It's quite possible that some would be happy with transgender qunari, and others would find that extremely offensive, with the word of the Qun equally muddied. The Qunari like to present themselves as a unified body with no disagreements, but we've only ever interacted with them as an outsider.
    • As of now, just about everything Bull says goes against what we saw. He says the Qunari mostly go about their business like any other people and don't really worry about the Qun, but we see in Dragon Age II that the Arishok and his dudes really were a bunch of Qun obsessing zealots that sat there ranting about the Qun and glaring at the humans all day. Bull says that Qunari have their fun like everyone else, Sten says it's rare for Qunari to be allowed to engage in revelry and could be executed for it. Bull says Qunari are assigned their role based on what promise they show as a child which is where the Krem thing comes from (presumably if a Qunari female shows no talent for anything but fighting as a kid, they'll be made into a solider and raised as a man) but I'm pretty sure it was said by Sten or Arishok that Qunari are assigned their role at birth, and they all just happen to be great at it and it all works out somehow. Every thing we've heard about Qunari every game doesn't add up. It's possible that this is intentional, as all 3 main Qunari are shown to be from different parts of life in the Qun. Maybe Qunari society isn't as whole as they think and everyone is lead to believe things work differently than they actually do? But as of now it doesn't add up.
    • There are a few things to keep in mind. First off, the Arishok was the leader of the Qunari military. He is the epitome of "hurt things until the problem is solved," and is annoyed that he's in a situation where that won't help. Sten's talk of executions was actually talking about how when someone is declared a cultural hero, they party so hard that executions are needed—not that people get executed for having fun in general. He was basically saying "psh, you guys think you party? Our parties are indistinguishable from city-burning riots." The raised from birth, likewise, is true just from a different point of view. Bull was raised to be a soldier like Sten, but when they realized he had a cunning mind as well, put him in a job that could make use of both. Finally, remember that as Bull is one of the secret police, he has a much larger picture than Sten. Most of this stuff was detailed by Word of God back in Origins, so it's definitely not a new thing.
    • There's a point no-one seems to have raised here. In Origins Sten says the Warden cannot be a warrior and a woman, she must be one or the other. He even says "one of those things cannot be true." Now, Sten is not an idiot, he knows the Warden is biologically female, yet he says she must be a warrior or a woman and not both. That actually sounds rather like what the Iron Bull says about the Qunari attitude to Krem; you can be one or the other regardless of biological gender, but you can't call yourself a woman and a warrior at the same time. It's not progressive particularly, it's just a different take on what gender means.
    • Is it possible that The Iron Bull is a straight up liar? Because I think that's a possibility. Or that he's trying to make the Qun sound appealing, which is part of his job as a member of the Ben-Hassrath.
    • I thought it was pretty obviously a facet of Blue-and-Orange Morality; to humans, accepting someone born one gender deciding to be another is progressive and accepting that men and women can serve the same or similar roles is a common assumption; for the Qunari, it's the other way around. They believe that 1) the body and soul are separate, 2)the soul takes precedence, and 3)the soul's identity is rigidly defined by the Qun. The Qun attributes gender to specific roles rather than specific chromosomes, so if the body says one gender and the Qun says another, the Qun always wins. Qunari have no problem with transgender people so long as they have a role that fits their chosen gender, because in that case the Qun is saying that their soul is whatever their chosen gender is. Of course, this means that they wouldn't accept a trans person who still defies gender roles (i.e. a transman who wants to be a manager) and have trouble accepting cisgender individuals with gender-defying roles (to the Qunari, being a warrior means declaring yourself a man, which is why Sten has trouble with you being a girl at the same time and Iron Bull compartmentalizes gender based on whether or not someone's armored up), but that's a flaw with the Qun that goes beyond simple gender issues. TL;DR: Krem is a man because the Qun says he's a man, and his gonads are irrelevant.

     Qunari vs Tal Vashoth vs Vashoth 
  • Shouldn't the "Qunari" Inquisitor not refer to themselves as Qunari, since they were never actually a follower of the Qun, having been born outside of it? How is it even possible to be a Qunari who was never under the Qun? The definition of Qunari is "follower of the Qun". Is it just a matter of convenience since the race of horned giants most commonly associated with the Qun don't have a racial name?
    • Simple answer; most people in Thedas don't know what "qunari" actually means, including, apparently, the qunari inquisitor as you can actually ask Iron Bull about that. So they're going to refer to the inquisitor as a qunari because that's just what they know the race as. A few of the more savvy ones will call the Inquisitor Tal-Vashoth, even though they're not really Tal-Vashoth, either. A Tal-Vashoth is one who is rebelling against the qun; the qunari inquisitor can't rebel against something they've never seen; they're just "vashoth". And at the end of the day it's easier to just go with what everyone calls you instead of correcting them constantly.
    • One of the codices (a Deleted Scene from one of Brother Genitivi's interviews with a non-Qunari woman) has her repeatedly try to clarify the distinction (as she'd never followed the Qun, she is simply "Vashoth" rather than "Tal-Vashoth") before simply muttering "I hate humans" when he doesn't get it.
    • It means the writer themselves couldn't decide what to write. So: Qunari = follower of the Qun, Kossith = horned giant
    • The Iron Bull is against using "Kossith" to refer to the race, though. Apparently Kossith, like Qunari, is more than just a race name, and they don't identify with it at all.
    • Kossith isn't the name of their race either. It's a reference to the philosophy that predated the Qun. It's possible that the horned giants have never named their own race.
    • That entire discussion actually came from a forum post in the Bioware Forums in the time gap between DA2 and DA:I. I believe it was added just to further clarify things for the people who played the games, but didn't read the forums. Kossith is a race, but it's a race that pre-dated the Qun; Essentially, Qunari are a derivative of Kossith, but they don't consider themselves Kossith because they've moved beyond that association. Non-Qunari, non-Tal-Vashoth "Qunari" are simply called Vashoth, as mentioned in that journal entry. The only reason that term came about is because there was a term that was NEEDED to describe people that fit into that very distinct set of circumstances. (Especially with more and more Qunari completely abandoning the Qun, rather than fighting against it, as is the role of the Tal-Vashoth.)
    • Depending on dialog choices, a Qunari inquisitor might not be aware of any of this themselves until Iron Bull explains it. As said above, in general parlance Qunari is considered the name of the race by outsiders.
    • Shouldn't the Qunari Inquisitor's parents have taught him/her the truth, though? Maybe this was a false assumption but I thought the Qunari player's parents were born as followers of the Qun and left it later, so they ought to know the true meaning of the word Qunari.
    • The impression I got is that the Qunari Inquisitor's parents told them as little about the Qun as possible, only explaining important things like Ben-Hassrath which may try to come and kill them or take them away. It's possible that they did everything they could to forget life under the Qun.
    • I figured that the Inquisitor mostly just said Qunari because that's how everyone else refers to them. Some dialogue options did seem to imply that the Inquisitor knows they aren't technically Qunari.
      • Pretty much this. The only people who know (or, likely, make a big deal) about the distinction between Kossith, Vashoth and Tal-Vashoth are the Qunari themselves. To everybody else in Thedas, 'Qunari' is shorthand for "those giant gray-skinned people with horns". Stereotypical, but this is a setting with enslaved elves, so.

     And then what? 
  • Half a headscratcher and half a WMG but in the first game you saved a country (a continent at most). In the second game one of the (if not THE) older order in Thedas was destroyed and in this game the very fabric of the world is menaced. So, assuming Dragon age isn't a trilogy, I really don't see what will happened next if they want to keep the feeling of "the world's doomed and only YOU can save it."
    • Probably they step down again, Dragon Age II toned down the stakes quite a bit, so they're not averse to the idea.
    • I have to disagree. While on Hawke's level the stakes where lowered, the first minute of Dragon Age II presented us a Chantry split in two with repercussions in the whole world and that Hawke was somehow responsible for this (except not). So the whole game isn't just spent with Hawke's success in mind but rather with the desire to see how Hawke started the split.
    • Talk out of Bioware suggests that the next game may be set somewhere up north; Rivain or maybe even Tevinter. Combined with toning down the stakes a bit, that offers a lot of possibilities.
    • Or they could finish the Flemeth storyline, which seems to be heading towards some really huge consequences for the world at large.
    • There is the matter of an Elven rebellion in Orlais, the rising power of Tevinter, and the Qunari apparently preparing for another invasion. The Stinger also hints that Flemeth's endgame is fast approaching. The trials of the Dragon Age are far from over.
    • The aftermath of a demon invasion seems like the perfect opportunity for the Qunari to take another stab at imposing the Qun upon all of Thedas.
    • Even more options than that; still a couple of Old Tevinter Dragon Gods left to start a Blight(or more interestingly, get free to do WITHOUT becoming an Archdemon, allowing a glimpse into Pre-Darkspawn Tevinter Empire, I would like the opportunity to find out who the hell managed to BIND these powerful Blood Mage Dragons in the first place.) if they go blight route there are countless ways to make it different from the Origins one maybe even including Corphyeus's contemporaries, Solas and/or Flemeth's plans. Even if you subscribe to the idea Solas ate Flemeth, Flemeth alluded to the ability to have MULTIPLES of herself out there so it could be a clash of worldly powers manipulated by two elven gods. The Architect's plans, possibly combining with the unaccounted for First Darkspawn Magisters. The Black City actually containing something that wake up from all the Veil tearing business in DA:I' is not alluded to, but not out of the realm of possibility. And those are just sequel ideas, as extensive and intricate as the history of Thedas is, they could easily have any number of games in more historically interesting times to give players of the first three games an idea of just how much is remembered and how much is lost to history.
    • I sincerely hope they don't go with another Blight. Been there, done that.
  • As of Trespasser: it looks like we're gearing up to stop Solas's plan to tear down the veil, starting in or around Tevinter, which is currently mired in an all-out war with the Qunari.

     The Spirit of Wisdom 
  • So why, exactly, did the Spirit of Wisdom think it needed to die? It was no longer an out-of-control demon insane from being given a command contrary to its nature. While it may be an Actual Pacifist, it's primarily concerned with knowing and understanding things, not necessarily just not killing them; if Cole can say that a Mercy Kill is a form of compassion, then even going temporarily murderous could be seen as learning about things which can make one snap. Wouldn't this experience be a form of wisdom it would be able to share later? As it's entirely possible to destroy the summoning circle stones without so much as scratching the demon (through careful party management, using a tank with Challenge and Shield Wall to hold the demon's attention while the other three smash the pillars), it's not like the spirit was necessarily dying anyway and just asked for a quicker death.
    • The impression I had from that quest was that the simple strain of being transformed into a demon of pride and being bound as long as it was and then the strain of transforming back was enough to put it on death's door. Could be wrong, of course.
    • Being turned into a demon might simply have been too traumatic for it. Cole finds the prospect horrifying and he hasn't actually been through it, who knows what the actual experience must have been like?
    • The mage who summoned it says he and his fellow mages have been fighting the demon and have exhausted themselves in the process. It probably died of wounds suffered in battle with them.

  • So, I really like Blackwall, but there's a part of his cover story that doesn't quite make sense to me; did no one think it was strange that the man went from second in command of all the wardens of Orlais to a wandering the earth recruiter? That didn't raise any red flags with the wardens?
    • Yeah, Blackwall's story is really weird in general. I mean, how did he even recruit anyone to the Wardens? Did he just send the recruits alone to Adamant without doing the Joining, or something? That would also be very suspicious. And if he didn't really do any recruiting, the whole plan to take Blackwall's name to continue his work makes no sense.
    • Wardens sometimes work quite weirdly. In DAO: Awakening, the Warden/Warden-Commander trusted the Joining ritual to Amaranthine's seneschal who wasn't even a Warden.
    • Well, considering Grey Wardens usually work in units, Blackwall recruiting solo would make it practically impossible for him to perform a Joining Ceremony, as he doesn't have the means to do it (there's a certain amount of magic involved, and he's not a mage). Thus, finding recruits and sending them along to Weisshaupt (or the closest fortress/stronghold/what have you) actually seems perfectly logical. You have to remember that the circumstances surrounding the Joining ceremony in DA:O is a lot different — it wasn't just Duncan, there were many more Grey Wardens there at the time, we just never interacted with them ourselves. So, they had the means at their disposal to actually perform the ceremony.
    • Blackwall's own failed attempt at gathering Darkspawn blood indicates that maybe the Joining being done on the wild is not that uncommon. Furthermore, sending recruits to a Warden keep is not the problem, the problem is that Blackwall would probably never go with them (or else he'd risk being recognised as a fraud). Warden recruits are not always willing to join, a lot of the times they're conscripts who'd love an opportunity to flee, and sending them to a keep unsupervised would be like giving a Get Out of Jail for Free card to them.
    • I find it far more likely that gathering darkspawn blood is just part of their trial to prove that they're worth recruiting to begin with. Real Blackwall could have been a little stingier about who he chose to recruit, where as fake Blackwall could have just been willing to recruit anyone who showed an interest in joining.
    • Well, Duncan showed up in most origin stories alone without any other Grey Warden. The noble dwarven origin was the only one different if I'm correct because of the proximity to the Deep Roads where the Darkspawn live. So a Grey Warden going around alone recruiting people would not be out of proportion. I mean, recruiting is different from doing the actual Joining. Jory lived in Redcliffe while you were somewhere else, and he was already at the camp with Alistair so they can leave the recruits alone while the recruiter found others. It would be more practical that a Warden walked around recruiting soldiers while the Joining would later be applied.
    • Jory lived in Highever. He explicitly states that when you talk to him.
    • Alistair was a Warden, though, the recruits were never truly alone. Plus, in Jory's case specifically (and the Hero of Ferelden's too, in most if not all origins), he wanted to become a Warden, so he'd not need to be closely monitored. The other Warden recruit was probably under a much closer watch.
    • There's a difference between recruits who volunteer and those taken with the Rite of Conscription. Blackwall was traveling Thedas asking for recruits, giving them a bit of martial training, and then likely sending them on their way to the major Warden forces for the Joining. They don't want to go? That's not his problem. He isn't revealing Grey Warden secrets and then having to making sure they don't spread them, and since a Blight isn't currently underway, there's not a strong need for unwilling conscripts. If someone doesn't want to go, Blackwall probably just gave them the evil eye and called them a coward, then went on his way to find someone who did want to join.
    • Given the truth of his background seems to have taken place in the early days of the Orlesian Civil War, he probably hadn't been going under the name "Blackwall" for a few months. The Wardens are withdrawing from Thedas, going on their false Calling, assuming that they'd gotten any recruits from him, they probably weren't asking for many details - if high ranking Wardens were departing for their Calling en masse, they were probably more concerned about filling the ranks than finding out who sent them, particularly considering that there wasn't a Blight taking place justifying using the Rite of Conscription.
    • It still raise the question as how the Orlesian Wardens would let their second-in-command go AWOL like that.
    • We don't know that the real Blackwall was AWOL. There is not much for Wardens to do between Blights other than track down scattered bands of darkspawn and keep their own numbers stable. It's not hard to imagine that a senior Warden like Blackwall would be involved in searching for promising recruits.
    • Duncan was the Warden Commander of Fereldan before Origins and he went traipsing all over the country for recruits, including the player character. Said player character, after being promoted, proceeds to wander all over a section of Ferelden on all sorts of unrelated adventures during a crisis. Apparently, high-ranking Wardens are allowed to go where they please so long as it's technically in service of the order.
    • I don't think Thom even knows what the Joining is. If you talk to him about the Wardens, his actual knowledge about the Grey Wardens is frequently lacking.
    • Something no one is noticing is that, in-game, Blackwall doesn't actually recruit anyone. When you meet him, he's having some "conscripts" fight off men who stole from them. He tells the Inquisitor he's basically teaching these farmers to help themselves, so they won't need someone like him next time. There's little to indicate that he actually recruited people and sent them to be Wardens, especially since he himself says that without a Blight there's not much need to force people into it nor many people who are hopping for the chance. It's doubtful he sent anyone to Warden fortresses to undergo the Joining; like he says, he just uses his identity as a Warden to inspire others.
  • Somewhat related: why don't any of the Orlesian Wardens say something when you have a guy walking around with you, using the name of their Warden Constable, who is clearly not the same man that they'd know? You address him as Blackwall out loud, and he can even, at your request, give a rallying speech to sway the Wardens to your side. Obviously, Clarel was a bit preoccupied at the time so maybe she didn't notice, fine, but there's still everyone else. Rainier's massacre of the Orlesian lord happened in 9:37 Dragon, by the start of Inquisition it's 9:41 Dragon, and we know Rainier wasn't immediately recruited by his own account; so for no other Warden to recognize Blackwall, they'd all at least have to have undergone the Joining fewer than three years ago. Even assuming that's true, there's still the matter of whichever Warden Hawke introduces you to: Loghain was sent to the Orlesian Wardens at the beginning of Awakening (9:31 Dragon), Stroud is Orlesian by birth and was recruited there, and while Alistair doesn't have a direct connection, he at least seems familiar with the group as a whole by the time of Inquisition. The Inquisitor can bring "Blackwall" to their initial meeting with the Warden and refer to him by name, but none of them question him or treat it as at all strange.
    • Well of the named Wardens, Clarel never got close enough to Blackwall to see him and was rather preoccupied at the time, whilst Loghain, Stroud and Alistair simply never met the man, the same way that Stroud never met Duncan or Alistair hasn't met Wardens at their main stronghold. As for the rest, how many of them would have actually met the real Blackwall seeing as at the time of his death he was wandering around alone recruiting people? Note that despite the Inquisitor at Skyhold being one of the biggest names in two countries, all Iron Bull has to do is slap some common armour and get you to be silent and none of your own grunts recognise you as their leader; just because you know of someone doesn't mean you would recognise them if you had never met before, and with large organisations nobody is going to recognize everyone.
    • If Blackwall's in the party when you meet Hawke and Warden Alistair at Crestwood, Alistair addresses Blackwall with "My mentor, Duncan, spoke highly of you." As in, Alistair had never personally met Warden-Constable Blackwall.
    • In the Storm Coast main quest, "Wardens of the Coast," you recover Grey Warden artifacts and pages from a journal, authored by an unnamed female Dalish Senior Warden, while she commanded a search party for another, unspecified male Warden. Given location and context, it's entirely likely that the author is Warden-Commander Fontaine of Orlais, looking for a now-AWOL Warden-Constable Blackwall. The piles of corpses, the author's Warden-Commander's badge left lying on the ground, and other items abandoned in camp might indicate that they met a similar fate to the Warden-Constable. No one at Adamant mentions that Blackwall doesn't look like Blackwall because all of the Wardens who were posted to Val Chevin are dead.
    • I assumed it was a reference to the hunt for Stroud/Alistair/Loghain, who presumably had no choice but to kill them all in self-defense. It's one of the first major hints that something is very, very wrong with the Wardens.
    • Possible, but unlikely. The Warden Ally specifies that he was forced to flee after he was threatened for objecting to the orders of Warden-Commander Clarel. Clarel's human, whereas the author of the journals was a Dalish elf. The only other Warden-Commander associated with Southern Thedas is the HoF, who's out of town if alive.
    • This gets brought up in party dialogue with Iron Bull:
      Iron Bull: I used to think it was just me who thought that you humans all look alike.
      Blackwall: And now?
      Iron Bull: Clearly, you guys can't tell each other apart either. How the crap did you live as some other guy for all those years?
      Blackwall: I grew a beard.
      Iron Bull: [laughs] Really? Put some hair on your face and no one can tell who you are anymore? That's some disguise, big guy.
      Blackwall: And I didn't talk to anyone for months at a time.
      Iron Bull: All right. That probably helped.
    • Given that he was a high ranking warden during the blight, Blackwall was likely approaching his calling. As such he likely already passed his responsibilities to a successor, and had decided to spend his remaining years recruiting and doing good deeds. Also likely why he was so willing to sacrifice himself for this random criminal he met, he was living on borrowed time anyway.

     Cassandra, Leliana, and the Warden 
  • Alright, so when Cassandra learns that Varric knew where Hawke was and was able to contact them all along, she is absolutely livid to the point that she tries to beat the living hell out of him. This is more due to her being angry at herself for believing his lies than anything, but still. Later, however, if Leliana was the Warden's LI, we learn that she knew where the Hero of Ferelden was the whole time. Even if she wasn't romancing them, she manages to track them down. So why is there no acknowledgment of this duplicity on Cassandra's part? I mean, wouldn't she expect Leliana, who she has known for years, and who she wasn't interrogating in a hostile manner, not to lie to her and keep a potential Inquisitor away?
    • Something similar happens at the beginning of Mass Effect 2: Shepard wants her/his old team, and can actually inquire to learn that Ash is back with the Alliance, Garrus disappeared, Wrex is trying to right things on Turchanka, Liara is an information broker on Illyum, and Tali is back with the Migrant Fleet, in other words they had moved on and not exactly in a place where they can jump back and fight for Shepard. She actually meets Hawke a couple of times and doesn't actively try and conscript them...Leliana is openly more reasonable than Cassandra is, and would accept that the Warden is tied up and Hawke is busy with Kirkwall, their family, Coryphenuts, etc.
    • Maybe Leliana told her right off the bat "I'm not telling you where s/he is" and Cassandra had eight years to deal with it.
    • Could be that Leliana didn't know when Cass originally asked? Or alternatively she did tell Cass where the Warden went: On a secret mission. It's worth noting that Leliana doesn't know where the Warden is beyond "they went out west (or was it East?) somewhere to do some Warden research", but she's able to have her agents track if you want, the response basically being "good to hear from you, but I'm too far out to help right now, good luck!". Since Cassandra was looking for them as a potential leader for the Inquisition she probably had to drop the idea early on and moved on to Hawke instead. Varric's duplicity about Hawke was different in that regard.
    • Assuming that the Wardens strange disappearance began at about the same time, Leliana and Cassandra may have given up on the Hero of Fereldan leading relatively early on. It wouldn't be too big of a stretch to assume that they're on some top-secret Warden business (which they kind of are by the time of this game) and unable to be disturbed. Hawke was a decent second choice. Given what we've seen Corypheus do to other Wardens, it was undoubtedly for the best that what may be the most powerful one alive was kept far away from the action. Although Leliana and Cassandra had no way of knowing this until Corypheus showed up at Haven's doorstep.
    • Yes, but at the end of Dragon Age II, didn't Leliana say that the disappearance of both the Hero of Ferelden and Hawke was some kind of coincidence? If Leliana knew where the Warden was then it appears she was keeping it from Cassandra when they went looking for Hawke.
    • Or it could be much simpler: Leliana could have told Cassandra the truth: that the Warden was on a personal quest and unwilling to come back to lead the fledgling inquisition. Tracking him/her down and exchanging letters is one thing, forcing the dragon-god-slaying Hero of Ferelden to go where s/he doesn't want to is another entirely
    • This seems nitpicky, but who says it was Cassandra's job to find the Warden? It's not out of the realm of possibility for the Divine to look at her Left and Right Hands and go "okay, Leliana, you worked with the Hero of Ferelden, go dig them up if you can. Cassandra, you have greater authority and reputation as a Seeker, so the Templars in Kirkwall would respect your word. Go see if they know where to find Hawke." As far as Cassandra knows, Leliana (if not romanced) couldn't find the Warden until after everything hit the fan, or (if romanced) told the Divine that the Warden was out of reach or unwilling to be Inquisitor. Even if she did take offense at finding out Leliana knew where the Warden was, Leliana's a close friend who has worked with her for a long time and would probably be forgiven more easily. Varric spent who knows how long wasting Cassandra's time and being hostile (for good reason, mind you). Cassandra probably wanted to smack him to begin with.
    • An easy answer to this is that Leliana, LI or otherwise, knew what the Warden was doing, but not where exactly they were. Easy enough to say "They're on an important mission for the Wardens, but finding them is proving difficult." And that still allows for the Warden to have "vanished", because Leliana would naturally be concerned that not being able to find them means something could have happened to them, even as they move on to trying to find Hawke.

     Where did Erimond go? 
  • So when you first meet Erimond, he sics the Wardens and demons on you while sneaking out the back after getting wounded by the Inquisitor. However, the place he's standing is an enclosure with no exit. If you jump over the railing, there's a fifteen-foot drop that can slip off into a canyon. The structure they're in is on a plateau completely separated from the man land with the only bridge across has Hawke guarding it. Where the hell did he go?
    • A Wizard Did It.
    • Enchantment! (In all seriousness, there are several spells which grant either intangibility or create physical structures from ice. He could have use one or both of those to slip past Hawke or make his own bridge across the canyon.)
    • Venatori Mage Mooks use teleportation spells in combat. One could assume their leaders also know the spell.
    • As a mage inquisitor, I often cast barrier on myself before jumping off of things. That way the barrier absorb the damage of the fall. Couldn't Erimond do that?
    • Jumping into the canyon that's so black from the Taint, it's only contrasted by the bones of creatures that fell in? Seems unlikely.
    • Jump down the side of the building, not the back (which is blocked anyway), use a spell that turns him briefly invisible (plenty of those around), run past Hawke. Easy enough.

     Where the hell did Erimond go 2: Electric Boogaloo 
  • So, at Adamant, Erimond is cornered on a parapet by Clarel. She zaps him, and he winds up getting tossed to the middle of the parapet, between Clarel and the party, before Clarel's gobbled up by the Archdemon. Then Clarel is spat out near the start of the Parapet - by its entrance, and the Party moves towards the edge. In the wide shot before Clarel blows herself up, we see the party, Clarel, the Archdemon, but NO ERIMOND (Who should be on the ground somewhere between the party and Clarel), then when Clarel causes the parapet to crumble (Forcing the Inquisitor to open a breach to save the party), there's still no sign of Erimond. So... where did he go? While wounded no less? How'd HE survive the fall off the Parapet, that two protagonists and a veteran warden along with the rest of the party needed the fade to avoid a long drop and a sudden stop? Heck, how'd he not fall into the fade? Did the party just... let him run away when Clarel was snatched?
    • Having re-watched the scene, he seems to disappear just after the dragon picks up Clarel in its mouth. Presumably, while everyone was distracted by the giant corrupted dragon, he used whatever magic he employed in the Western Approach to escape.
    • When you judge Erimond, it's said that the Inquisition forces captured him while you were in the Fade (or right after, I can't recall). Not the entire Parapet collapses, so a reasonable guess is that the injured Erimond started dragging himself clear as soon as the dragon swooped down on Clarel, which was quite a distraction for the Inquisitor and their party. There's not much time between that and Clarel's power collapsing the stone, so it's believable that Erimond hauled himself far enough away to not be caught in the collapse, while the Inquisitor and everyone else were more concerned with not being caught off guard by the dragon and then not falling to their deaths.

     Darkspawn Involvement? 
  • Even perhaps without the ability to summon a full-blown Blight, shouldn't the Elder One have surrounded himself with hordes of Darkspawn so he could have a supply of bodies to possess?
    • The Darkspawn are the result of his disastrous attempt to claim the Golden City. He'd be constantly reminded of the horrible darkness he encountered instead every time he looked at a Darkspawn. The Darkspawn's presence would remind him that he failed, and his Pride would not permit that.
    • The Elder One's plans were for the most part pretty subtle and manipulative. Having Darkspawn spreading the Taint around wouldn't really help his goals, so he preferred to surround himself with human (and elven, dwarven, etc) followers. In any case, the tainted nature of the red lyrium was probably enough so that he could possess any of his followers, not just the Wardens. And failing that, I don't think they ever said the body-hopping had any distance limit, so even if everyone he could possess got killed, he'd just regenerate on the body of the closest Darkspawn anyway.
    • Remember the Architect? It seems he succeeded in his research.
    • Perhaps he can't control Darkspawn like he can influence wardens? It could be the Architect or just the "song" of the remaining old Gods is stronger. What's really weird is that you find seemingly independent Darkspawn just wandering around above ground in the Western Approach, when they're supposed to mostly stay below ground between blights... Could be foreshadowing that the "archdemon" is a fake, considering the lack of darkspawn other than the aforementioned despite its presence.
    • It's true we never really see any evidence of him controlling darkspawn. Sure, they were in his prison but there's no indication at all that they're acting out of the ordinary for darkspawn in a way that would suggest they're under any form of control.
    • It's also possible that to recruit more Darkspawn he would have to venture further into the Deep Roads possibly placing him too close to one of the remaining Old Gods. For all his claims of godhood, he may still have too much reverence/fear of the Old Gods to risk disturbing their slumber. That may be the same reason he went to all of the trouble of making a fake archdemon.
    • A more simple answer is that the Elder One still thinks like the human magister he used to be instead of the darkspawn he now is. He uses manipulation on humans and elves or demonic armies because that's what he used to do originally. He might just not trust using darkspawn when more familiar methods exist. Using Grey Wardens as his tainted hosts has more benefit to him that an obvious threat like darkspawn ever could.
    • The Elder One doesn't really use the Taint in any capacity. The false Calling was a nightmare made by a demon, his dragon is :a normal dragon infected by Red Lyrium, he has a mundane source of Red Lyrium rather than just Tainting lyrium himself. He is Tainted, but he doesn't appear to have actually spent any amount of time studying it and learning how to control it, like the Architect or Avernus did. Even his reincarnation ability appears to be poorly understood; he never tried to create more Grey Wardens loyal to him to have spare bodies, and even completely screwed himself over by putting too much power into the dragon.
    • This^. The only real Taint-based power Corypheus demonstrates is the Body Surf ability used by the Archdemons, though he doesn't suffer from the Mutual Kill issue. As for why he doesn't try to make more hosts or surround himself with them — it all comes back to his Pride. He's so damn smug and self-assured and filled with delusions of godhood that he might not see the need for such precautions.
    • Morrigan states that there isn't any known range to his Body Surf ability. As long as he has it, any "death" is little more than an inconvenience. If for some reason he ran out of Wardens, he'd pop up underground somewhere in the body of a normal darkspawn, likely gaining more troops for minor inconvenience.
    • It's an image issue. His own forces, even once corrupted, are being fed lies concerning his goals (Samson, once captured, flat out says he's been lying to his men about the nature of their endeavor). It's likely they would have rebelled at the sight of darkspawn. There's also a perception issue outside of his forces - along as he's using rebel mages and Templars, it looks like a cluster fuck civil war where people have to pick sides. The moment darkspawn shows up, every military force available would be aligned against him.
    • If you sided with the Templars, when you do the shrine of Dumat mission, you find logs by Corypheus, and they contain the answer: He's in denial about the whole blight thing. He refuses to acknowledge that he and the other magisters might have unleashed it upon the world. To amass an army of Darkspawn would therefore be tantamount to him accepting his role in the Blight.

     Curing the Taint? 
  • So, the Warden's gone West to discover means of preventing the Calling. This mean that nine years after meeting Avernus, a Grey warden who used his magic to survive for two Centuries and spent them experimenting to better understand the Taint, and the Architect, the darkspawn... thing... who was able to prevent the Darkspawns' Calling and even after having them work together (you can find a note in Dragon Age II that has Avernus talking about the Architect's work), there STILL isn't a cure for the Taint? Does someone have an explanation?
    • The Wardens have been around for over a thousand years. It's doubtful Avernus and the Architect were the first ones to think, "Hey, the Calling sucks, let's do something about that." Since none of those people have (seemingly) managed to produce a cure either, it seems that it's really hard to pull off. The Architect's methods of preventing the Calling seem to rely on turning the Warden in question into a ghoul so far gone they're practically darkspawn anyways, and it seems Avernus could only prevent the calling in himself using his magic, not in others. There being no surefire cure for a problem a thousand plus years old after only a decade of practical study (backed up by a couple hundred years of theory) doesn't seem that far-fetched. It is a magical disease meant to be a curse upon the entire world, after all.
    • Still strange considering Avernus found a way to weaponize Warden's blood and that the Architect managed to prevent the darkspawn's Calling in less than twenty years.
    • There's a big difference between 'physically push some blood around using magic' and 'prevent a magical virus from carrying out drastic mental and physical changes while preserving the benefits.' And from what I remember, the Architect's method for curing darkspawn of their calling was to feed them Grey Warden blood in an inverse Joining, so it's not like he had a breakthrough that could be applied to non-darkspawn.
    • Avernus doesn't just "physically push some blood around using magic", he managed to create a potion that give someone (potentially) without magic the power to do so (and to do a non-class restrictive version of Frenzy. That's kind of a 'good' work. And I'm still sure that, him collaborating with the Architect can lead to a cure for the Taint.
    • The Hero of Ferelden might also be looking for a safer/cleaner way to get rid of the Calling. Avernus's method was riddled with blood magic and a Who Wants to Live Forever? problem, and the problems with the Architect's method were pointed out above. Maybe the Hero even got wind of Fiona's condition, and is looking for a way to replicate it safely (which would also be a cure for the Taint in general, a huge plus). Or maybe, and this is crossing into WMG territory, they're investigating the deeper secrets of the Blight as a whole, and the cure for the Calling is just a front.
    • There's a bit more information on it if the Warden and Morrigan are still together here. The relevant bit starts at 2:30. Basically it is indeed based on Fiona's experience and Avernus' work, but the current quest is based on new info we haven't been told, AKA we're not going to figure it out until the writers decide to reveal that particular out-of-the-blue setting-changing shocker. My personal guess, like the last poster, is that it has to do with the true nature of the Darkspawn and the Blight which the series keeps dancing around.
    • ^This. Fiona and Avernus' cases prove that it's possible to cure the Taint or at least delay the Calling by prolonging one's life respectively. The Hero is presumably following the new lead because they want to find a cure that could be safely applied to all Wardens that doesn't run the risk of leaving them a ghoul for good or relies on Blood Magic which lore-wise requires a lot of sacrifices to achieve anything — if a big cage full of slaves has only enough life force to grant one point of constitution, I can't imagine what Avernus had to sacrifice for his unnatural lifespan (note that Avernus murdered all of his fellow Wardens over the course of his research on the Taint).
    • Also, experimenting with the Taint is an extremely risky venture. One attempt to take advantage of it is the reason the griffons are all but extinct.

     Future Alexius's use of Fiona 
  • In the light of the above re:Fiona's total immunity to the darkspawn Taint, her role in the Redcliffe Bad Future seems like a double plothole.
    • If she is immune to Blight, how can she be infested by Red Lyrium, which is Blighted Lyrium?
    • Alexius was searching for a cure for regular Blight sickness, and used Leliana who "was resistant". Maybe he didn't even think to do tests on the elf, so he never learned she's immune to it?
    • Red Lyrium seems to be an entirely different beast compared to the Blight and normal lyrium, being exremely potent while combining the worst aspects of both. Just because Fiona's immune to the Taint doesn't necessarily mean she'd be safe from Red Lyrium corruption. The fact that she is still alive even with all of that Red Lyrium growing out of her body might be due to her immunity to the normal Taint.
    • Maybe once he had "used up" Leliana Fiona would have been next. It may have just been Leliana's bad luck that she was picked first and happened to be resistant to the Blight, catching Alexius' interest.
    • The real issue is that Alexius is continuing these insane experiments even after Felix died — he's a zombie in the future. Even if he found a cure for the Taint, it wouldn't bring his son back. Then again, he's clearly shown to be in denial about his son and half-mad with despair and self-loathing over what he helped the Elder One do to the world.
    • Zombie? More like a Ghoul, which would actually make sense.
    • Alexius probably meant to use the time rifts to go back and cure Felix, like he did to keep Fiona from going to Val Royeaux in the first place.

     No Krem Romance? 
  • In light of the above discussion about Qunari views on the transgender, it occurred to me that if Bioware really wanted to make a statement on this topic they could have made Krem a romance option. Nothing as elaborate as the romance subplots with your main companions, but something simpler and understated like the quasi-romance with Scout Harding.
    • They probably just didn't want to do a ninth romance plotline. I don't even think it's supposed to be a statement, in a setting where the only cultural gender restriction seems to be "men can't be priests" you'd sort of expect transgender people to be unremarkable.
    • Do they even touch on Krem's sexuality at all? His gender identity is there, yea, but I don't recall any real indication whether he prefers men, women, or both.
    • A romance takes a lot of time to make (each race would need a different scene made specifically for them), we only got Solas and Cullen because the game were extended an year.
    • Yet they threw in that go-nowhere mini-romance with Harding. I know they were pressed for time but it's hard to imagine they were too pressed for even a few more lines of dialogue.
    • Just wait for the next game. Five royals says Maevaris shows up as an LI.
    • Mae, if I recall correctly, is actually involved with this big bearded Thor looking chap. Anyway, in terms of whether he should be a LI... it seems like the logic is that you think it should have been done for social progression? Not a bad argument, but they've gone on record in saying that's not how they do things. I also think Krem would be a poor choice—a minor character who is a part of an optional character's entourage? A lot of people would complain it wasn't fully fledged that way. A full companion trans character would be nicer.
    • I haven't actually read the comics but I was under the impression that Mae wasn't currently involved with anyone; she had been married to Varric's cousin, Thorold (and widowed), who fits that description, though.
      • More accurately, she was engaged to Thorold - they never got legally married, but they were planning on it when he was murdered. However, as far as they themselves were concerned, they were married.
    • Remember, in order to teach people that Trans Equals Gay is wrong, they would have to make him straight, which means that only female Inquisitors could romance him, which would make a lot of people confused and add him as an "Gay Option" for females, thus putting us back at square one.
    • Bi?
    • I can think of a damn good reason not to have a Krem romance; it would feel very token. Krem is a very minor character, existing really as an add-on to the Iron Bull's story and to hand out a few Operations. Harding was mentioned above but at least she pops up in every new area. You could never speak to Krem outside of Bull cutscenes and not notice. And aside from his transgender nature there's very little to mark Krem out as any different than any of the other warriors lounging around the tavern. Sutherland has more of an arc. Therefore making him a romance option would feel like it was thrown in just to say "Look how progressive we are!" That would have been more insulting than anything else as far as I can see.
    • Patrick Weeks actually brings this up in an interview, explaining that when they do a romance involving a trangender character they want to take a lot of care to make sure they do it right, and not make it the gimmicky "trans romance". Krem was quite possibly testing the waters on the idea.
  • In "Trespasser", Krem is one of 3 men Maryden the Bard can end up with.

     Varric and nightmares 
  • Take Varric along to close the rift in the caves under Old Crestwood and you'll find a pile of bodies from people who were trapped down there when the place was flooded; Varric will comment on how this will give him nightmares. But it's an established part of the DA setting that dwarves don't dream.
    • Varric's a bit of a facetious snarker, so he probably wasn't being literal. It could also be a sign of how much he's embraced life on the surface. His height aside, it's easy to forget that he's a dwarf.
    • Being born on the surface and growing up surrounded by humans, one imagines Varric has picked up a number of human expressions. He also swears a lot of oaths to Andraste, but never quite confirms that he's an Andrastian.
    • One conversation with Cassandra in this game actually has her reveal that Varric is indeed Andrastian. He's not a particularly pious person, but he believes in the Maker.
    • Dwarves dream. They just don't go into the Fade when they do so. So that means their dreams are closer to what we dream ourselves.
    • No they don't. Dagna repeatedly mentions in this game that dwarves don't dream, period, and she can't even imagine what that's actually like.
    • Oghren in Awakening also brings this up if brought into the Fade, saying Dwarves "sleep like the Stone". So he's understandably freaked out when brought into the Fade, because he's doing something that should be impossible for his race.
    • Maybe he meant more like "I'll lose some sleep thinking about how fucked up this is", and just used "nightmare" as an expression.
    • If Oghren's ability to dream was caused by his entering the Fade, the same may be true for Varric. Leaving aside the events of Inquisition, it is possible for Varric to accompany Hawke into the Fade to rescue Feynriel during Dragon Age II. If the events of Until We Sleep are canon, he also enters the Fade with Alistair, Isabela, and Maevaris. It is unclear exactly when those events occur, but since Alistair is King of Ferelden, and no mention is made of Varric being Viscount of Kirkwall, it is presumably some time after the end of Origins, but before Trespasser.
      • It's set between II and Inquisition. That's why Varric is already acquainted with Isabela, but Hawke isn't part of the adventure - he/she is already on the run.

     Demonic possession 
  • So, this is more one that concern the entire series but, why do we only see mages getting possessed? The Origins codex (I don't know if that's still the case in the Dragon Age II and Inquisition) mentions that demons make offers to "powerful people". So why don't we see any king/general possessed? Hell, why isn't the Empress of Orlais the prey of a demon?
    • Demons can possess just about anything: corpses, trees, cats, rams, etc. (and these are just the ones in-game). They don't even necessarily need a host — that's what Shades are. Anywhere the Veil is weak, spirits and demons can appear without hosts. A mage is usually just the most tempting and easiest prey, thanks to their power and forays into the Fade.
    • If so, why don't we ever see a normal human/elf getting possessed?
    • I believe Amalia and her father from the Stone Prisoner DLC in DA:O could end up getting possessed. Plus, demons possess corpses all the time, including non-mage corpses like Sophia Dryden. They also possess animals, resulting in werewolves, and even trees, resulting in sylvans.
    • Likely answer: Communication, or rather, lack of same. It's well-established that you can't be possessed against your will - 'Arcane Horrors' occur when pride demons manage to convince mages that letting themselves be possessed is somehow a good idea. To obtain such consent, communication is necessary. Mages can reach into the Fade, and thus communicate with its denizens - Cole once mentions that basic, elemental magic simply involves convincing tiny, semi-sentient elemental wisps to come through the Veil to help you. Non-mages can't reach through the Fade in that way, and spirits/demons who cross over to our side are too confused by the sudden material-ness of the world that they can't communicate in the 'normal' way. Thus, they're stuck possessing things that can't refuse them, whether simple objects or dead corpses. Theoretically, a non-mage COULD be possessed if a spirit or demon was first brought through the Veil by a mage and then bound in a form capable of communication - but that doesn't happen much, and most leaders try to steer well clear of demon-summoning Apostates.
    • Does anybody who isn't mage have any lucid dreams?
    • Demons can take normal people, but it's usually just not worth the effort. With a mage, they gain access to a living body with full Fade connection. That makes them tempting enough to bother with having to deal with their mental defenses. With corpses, trees, and inanimate objects in thinly Veiled areas they find physical forms that take no effort to possess, even if they are far from optimal. With most people, not only do they have to find a thinly Veiled area to make up for their limited connection, but they also have to deal with a resisting mind, which can result in damaging the host to near uselessness. It's just not worth the effort, so most demons don't bother normal people unless they have help.
    • This, it should be noted, is also why Tranquil are immune to possession. They're not actually immune, but they're no more interesting than a rock, with the added caveat that they'll attempt to fight off anything trying to possess them. They're just not worth it.
    • But, if so, shouldn't normal people be easier to possess? Since they don't have control over the Fade they dreams are 'normal' and I'm pretty sure I could make a deal with a demon in my dream without consciously wanting to do so.
    • No because they're more distant from the Fade, its harder to reach them than a mage who essentially is a Fade portal to some degree. Even in areas where that isn't as big of an issue, there's still the fact that a conscious mind can resist them. For the power of a mage, a demon is willing to fight that resistance. For just some random person who can't shoot fire or, more importantly, magically repair the damage a demon can do to the body, it isn't worth the effort. To a demon, normal people are the worst of both worlds: the ability to resist like a mage, but all the extra magical power of an empty vessel. That's why they don't bother trying to possess them unless they have help. By the way, you don't have to make a deal for a demon to take over, but doing so does make things easier for them.
    • You'd still think possessing a king would be worth the trouble.
    • Not if said king turns into a twisted and obviously possessed monster. They won't be ruling anything like that. The Envy demon does use its powers to impersonate important people, but that's not the same as possession.
    • Consent does seem to be an issue; demons can't possess someone as long as that person is able to resist. How they get that consent varies. Some demons make deals. Others simply torture people until they say "yes", as seen in the Circle Tower in Origins.
    • Also, political power and such doesn't really interest demons/spirits. All they really want is to experience life in the mortal realm. Granted, being a powerful ruler would make it easier to indulge in Pride and Desire.
    • Possession is also simply a means to an end, that being finding a way into the mortal realm. If other ways become available, they'll take them. Take Merrill's Pride Demon in II for example. The entire reason it helped Merrill repair the Eluvian was because it wanted to use it to leave the Fade. Her old mentor the Keeper Marethari sacrificed herself to save Merrill by offering the demon another way: herself.
    • Did none of you play the 2nd game? There was a fairly substantial sidequest about Templars being possessed by demons summoned by a blood mage. The reason demons seem to prefer mages is probably just because they're more likely to encounter mages. Mages intentionally summon demons, and if the demon is in a mood to possess someone a mage makes a much more attractive target than a tree or an animal.
    • I just finished this quest (currently playing 2)and it seemed to me that while this was demonic possession, it wasn't natural as in, the demons were forced in the bodies of the Templars.
    • "Forced" is an ambiguous term when it comes to demonic possession. Uldred tortured mages into agreeing to possession in Origins. And Keran said that he was careful not to take anything the mages or the demons offered him when Tarohne held him captive, so evidently people can also be "tricked" into being possessed.
    • I meant that, in this quest, possession was not "demon make someone agree to be possessed" but "mages forces demons on/in people". Which I don't exactly call possession.
    • it also has to do with opportunity and risks. Demons can cross over any place the Fade is weak and most just try to snag the first thing they think is a living person, the majority screw that up and end up in a tree, corpse, or something similar. If a regular person was standing around when a demon slipped across they would end up possessed, but the chances of this are slim. Mages on the other hand are directly connected to the Fade, they are more vulnerable to possession because they are literally a walking weakness in the boundary. Combine this with the fact that only mages can communicate directly with demons In dreams, normal people are too distant for most spirits to do more then feed on, and mages are essentially the only reliable ticket into the physical world. Any other method is the demon crossing its claws and hoping there's a decent target once it punches through, obviously a big risk that most smarter demons aren't willing to take.
    • The impression I always got was that anyone can be possessed but only with permission. You can compel that permission through mind games, torture etc but you have to understand that you are being asked to be possessed and agree. That requires a demon to talk to a would-be host. Since only mages are aware in their dreams demons cannot speak to anyone else bar unusual circumstances, such as the demon cult summoning mages to possess Templars.

     The Warden 
  • What's the deal with the Warden? Bioware said their story was over but s/he's still considered, In-Universe, as someone equal to the Inquisitor. I don't understand.
    • What's so confusing? S/He saved the world from a massive threat and probably only got more powerful in the years following the Blight, but s/he probably isn't going to contribute directly to the main plot of the games from here on in. Given how many variables there were in the Warden (race, origin, romance, etc.), we're lucky to have gotten as much about him/her as we did in Inquisition.
    • Yeah, there's absolutely nothing wrong here. Sure, the Hero of Ferelden's story is over, but the characters within the game universe don't know that. To them, the Hero is still one of the most powerful people alive, it's only natural that they'll seek their help in times of crisis. The fact "their story is over" only means they'll never be available to solve any crisis again. Personally, I think it would be better if they legit made the Hero disappear without a trace, and then later explained that somehow. Having them going on a quest of their own while a huge hole has been punched into the sky and the world is in serious trouble is just kind of stupid.
    • By the time the Warden can be contacted in Inquisition, Corypheus has revealed himself and shown that he can dominate a Grey Warden into his service. If the Hero tried to help, s/he would run the same risk as any other Warden. Best case scenario, s/he is severely hampered by having to constantly resist Corypheus's call. Worst case, Corypheus turns one of the most powerful people alive into his puppet. Either way, it was in everyone's best interest that the Hero stay far away from the action this time.
    • But the fact that the Warden is searching for (and will probably find) a cure to the Taint is quite a world-changing quest. I don't take that as his/her story being over.
    • It's only world-changing if they succeed, and I doubt they will. At most, they'll uncover a lead that another new character will follow through, so they went from "main character" to "quest giver".
    • Well, if the Warden showed up and helped the Inquisition, would you say it was the Warden's story and not the Inquisitor's? Just because the Warden's story is over doesn't mean they can't show up in another's.
    • The epilogue mentions that the Grey Wardens are embroiling themselves in an internecine war: it wouldn't be surprising if the writers are simply planning to reintroduce the Warden when this story becomes central. Also, narratively speaking, bringing Origin's protagonist too soon would have retrograded the Inquisitor to a sidekick's role, so you'd have to bring him/her back after the Inquisitor defeated Corypheus in order to cement the third MC's status as the Warden's equal in strength and fame.
    • Humorous idea on how to get the Warden involved without the need for more voice actors is for the Warden to have their throat take a light injury and then bandaged. So the rest of the game has them writing or making gestures that only Morrigan, Leliana, or Alistair can understand.
    • As a game design matter, it is possible for the player to create a world-state where the Hero of Ferelden dies. So, since they couldn't count on the Hero being present for the story, they couldn't write them into it in any major way. Hawke is guaranteed to live, so they get a lot of screen time and a central role.
    • Then again, The Hero of Ferelden can be replaced by an Orlesian Warden in Awakening: there is a character holding the title of Warden Commander of Ferelden: the writers could easily write a script where the Orlesian Warden and the Origins protagonist are interchangeable, except from a few differences in cutscenes/banters and a couple of mutually exclusive sidequests.
  • I just want to know where my Warden is. Epilogue slides show that Morrigan or Leliana were reunited with the Wardens who romanced them; Zevran's been with his Warden the whole time; even a Grey Warden Alistair mentions that once he's done dealing with the Warden mess, they'll be together again. Why hasn't there been any mention of King Alistair getting his Warden back?
    • No specifically no but given that a Warden on all three other romances succeeded in curing the Taint and then returned no reason to believe a Warden with Alistair wouldn't get back.

     Magical Skill 
  • The creature researcher Minaeve says that she's not good at magic despite being a mage. This brings up the question of whether in the Dragon Age Universe magic is a binary skill of have or have not or if there is a variance of magical affinity amongst mages. Is Minaeve's lack of magical ability due to lack of training or an innate unchangeable shortcoming? Are there any other mages in the franchise who are not good at magic?
    • It's probably just a matter of aptitude. Some people just have more natural gifts, more talent, more drive to do better, more time to nurture their talents, etc. Even back in Origins there was stark contrast between the Warden Mage, a bona fide prodigy according to Irving, and their friend Jowan, a hapless guy whose own Harrowing was put off due to his lack of talent and correct suspicions that he was dabbling in Blood Magic. In II we meet Feynriel, a mage born with rare Dream Weaver powers that can't be learned at all. Just because someone can use magic, doesn't necessarily mean they will ever be any good at it. Which really sucks when you're stuck in the middle of a rebellion that destroys the system that kept you in a secure lifestyle. The more fanatical Templars (which would be most of them at that point) would strike down a mage who can barely light a candle just as quickly as a mage able to spam fireballs. There's a reason Minaeve didn't support the rebellion. As for mages who aren't good at magic in the franchise, besides Jowan there's also the Tranquil in Origins, apprentice mages who weren't confident enough to take the Harrowing and chose to be Tranquil instead. Connor, due to his youth, was also barely able to cast simple spells according to Jowan. Unfortunately, a mage doesn't need to be especially talented to be a threat, thanks to Blood Magic and demons (though resorting to that usually ends badly for the mage anyway).
    • There's also the possibility that a mage simply isn't suited for combat magic. Unlike rogues or warriors, a mage isn't necessarily someone trained and ready to fight. They're just people born with powers. Like most people, the bulk of them aren't prepared for the stress of the battlefield. They'd likely find civilian uses for magic that don't necessarily apply to life-or-death scenarios. Unfortunately, they're still marked as mages and subject to magical and mundane threats including ignorant civilians who'd see someone making fire in their hands at a rabid wolf as a monster to be killed instead of just a scared child. It's not hard to see why a mage civilian not powerful enough to fight the world would enjoy having a group of trained knights to protect them like the Templars, even if the lack of rights is still an issue.
    • There wouldn't be any point in studying and practicing magic if it weren't possible to get better at it. When Minaeve said she's not very good at magic, I took that to mean she didn't have any interest in learning to throw fireballs or Mindblast someone and would rather just be a researcher. She could probably get better at magic if she really trained at it, but she prefers to focus on other things and leave the fireballs to other mages.
    • Not necessarily. Everyone's skill plateaus at different points, and not everyone has aptitude for every skill. Minaeve probably could get better if she dedicated all her time and effort into training, but she'd never be as good as, for example, any mage companion or PC over the course of the series.
    • That's because the mage PC or mage companion has been spending all their time in what amounts to high-intensity training. Which only illustrates my point. Minaeve could be better at magic if she wanted to put forth the effort, but she's happier in her current position as, for lack of a better term, a "mage academic".
    • Think of magical ability in terms of physical ability. Theoretically, anybody without a disability could become an Olympic champion, but very few ever do. Even those who spend their entire lives training may simply end up at a point well below others with better innate physical or mental ability. This would be even more true for magic, since depends on individual Fade connection to begin with: any non-dwarf could theoretically be a mage since they all have some connection to the Fade. It's just that only a small percentage of people have an innate connection strong enough to willingly pull power from it. Among those, the strength of the connection can vary from world-sundering power to barely able to produce parlor tricks. Your party members are supposedly near-superhuman (or elf, dwarf, qunari) in their combat skills. Some of which have cultivated their talents since early childhood. If Minaeve hasn't reached that level by this point, chances are she won't ever get there no matter how hard she tries since she's currently about civilian level for a mage. Even if she could, she repeatedly states that she doesn't want to be a fighter, so she doesn't have the motivation to play catch up.
    • Except everything you just wrote is moot, because we have no reason to believe that magical ability is remotely similar to physical ability.
    • What we do have is several comments and statements, both from conversation with companions and NPCs and ambient dialogue, across all three games, that paints the picture that not all mages have equal aptitude for magic. They can train and get better, but there's never been any implication that "better" is an equivalent term across the board. "Better" is relative. Also, when talking about being a mage specifically, there is no small part of it that comes down to mental traits: being clever enough and having the good judgment to recognize a demon's attempt at possessing you, having the will power and force of personality to resist those attempts. Those aren't qualities everyone possesses. When talking about being a combat proficient mage in general, the other important thing to recognize is that a lot of people simply don't like fighting. For some, it frightens them and they panic. There are some people who you can't train to get over that. For others, they simply don't believe in violence, and if they don't have the investment in it, they aren't going to have the will to train for it.
    • "theoretically anybody without a disability could become an Olympic champion" is only true in a limited number of sports. Usain Bolt is tall and long-legged; part of the reason for his great speed is that he simply has to take fewer strides than his competitors to cross the finish line. Likewise, Michael Phelps has abnormally long arms and large hands; he can move more water more quickly than a virtual totality of his competitors. And so it goes across multiple disciplines - and team sports are actually harder because you need many people together capable of performing at extreme levels as a unit.
    • Which actually does play into the point that some mages are simply going to have the potential to be better than others due to their innate abilities and/or attributes. Some simply have a better connection to the Fade than others or are more spiritually attuned (Asunder shows that Wynne and her son are both more sensitive to spirits than the majority of mages). As such, they will have greater returns for lesser efforts. Your party members and player character are all on a level that most mages simply aren't going to reach. Some are stronger than the party will ever be, but they are still all significantly above average even before adventure forces them to become some of the most powerful people alive.
    • Hey it's me, original topic poster, just wanted to chime in and say that I'm really amazed with how this discussion is going. That you managed to all reach a seeming consensus with evidence to throw out the idea of magical ability being binary and have just gone on greatly from there is pretty impressive. Good job tropers.
    • To be fair, in my opinion, it seems that mages have "aptitudes" they excel at some forms of magic, e.g. a mage will be a better fire mage than say lightning or ice, seeing as magic in the setting draws semi-sentient spirits, all magic is technically summoning magic, maybe some are better at convincing certain spirits.
    • By the above logic, bringing to mind that Cole states that even simple spells draw on wisps (ie minor Fade spirits) or parts of the Fade's power, it could be that aptitude for certain magic bears some reliance on a mage's personality. We see elemental affinities in the demons we fight (ice with Despair, lightning with Pride, fire for Rage, etc), so an extrapolation of that could be that spirits of compassion, wisdom, and others carry some innate level of that specific magic and thus its those types of wisps that are drawn through by those particular spells. A mage who is very good with lightning magic but crap at ice could be more connected to wisdom than to compassion, for example.

     The Orb and the Anchor 
  • Solas and Dorian discuss the Orb the Elder One has, an elven artifact from the time of Arlathan called "somnaborium"note . It was used by the ancient Dreamersnote , insanely powerful mages able to reshape the Fade at will (like Feynriel from DAII). The Stinger reveals that the Orb belongs to Solas, the Dread Wolf: he had given it to Corypheus to "awaken" it after a few centuries of inactivity. In the finale, the Inquisitor uses it to permanently and effortlessly seal the Breach, breaking it in the process. Judging by Solas's reaction, it must have been a unique artifact; maybe it was the only one left, maybe it was custom-made for him.
    So, just what can the Orb do in the hands of a Dreamer? Does it give them godlike power? Also, since the Inquisitor still has the Anchor after the Orb breaksnote , does it mean that s/he has absorbed its power?
    • There's no way to answer any of those questions until later games.

     Calpernia's Tarot Card 
  • Her tarot card shares a lot of iconography with 14th-15th century depictionsnote  of the Virgin Mary. The halo, enveloping robes, triangular silhouette, and hands at rest in the lap are all commonalities. Does that make as little sense as I think it does or am I missing something? Is there an arcana being referenced?
    • I think so: check out the various versions of the High Priestess card—representing wisdom, mysticism, intuition—here and here.
    • For good reason too. The High Priestess card used to be The Popess card.

     Misplaced Knowledge Perks 
  • For reasons I can't understand, Leliana has access to Arcane Knowledge while Cullen has Underworld Knowledge. Given their roles in the Inquisition (spymaster and general) as well as backgrounds (former bard/spy and former Templar), shouldn't the two be reversed?
    • While it would make more sense for Leliana and Cullen to have access to Underworld and Arcane Knowledge respectively, there is an alternative reason that they would know these things; through mission texts, it is implied that Leliana handles the Inquisition's mages, possibly because she has a history of working with them and is an advocate for their freedoms. Meanwhile, Cullen could have some knowledge about the seedier elements of Thedas based on the fact that he'd been one of the law-keepers in Kirkwall since he took command of the Templars after Meredith died. His knowledge could come from hunting down criminals just like mages and learning how they operate.

  • If you didn't take the dark Ritual option, is it ever mentioned who Kieran's father is? Or why did Morrigan keep him in the first place instead of having an abortion?
    • For Kieran to exist at all without the Dark Ritual, he had to be fathered by a male Hero of Ferelden who took Morrigan's romance to at least high enough to have sex with her before the battle. Which means that he was the first man she ever loved and probably one of they very first people she ever really cared about. Even if she was disappointed about missing the ritual, she'd be unlikely to take any frustration out on her love child after she found out about the pregnancy. Besides, what sort of abortions did you think were possible in a setting suffering from massive Medieval Stasis?
    • Why wouldn't she keep her son? Why would she abort him at all?
    • I'm pretty sure even in the medieval world there was some sort of contraception/sort of abortion (you know, to interrupt pregnancy at its beginning). I'm also pretty sure that even a romanced Morrigan doesn't really like the idea of having a child in Origins.
    • No, the closest thing to contraceptives that were widely available in Medieval Europe were primitive condoms, which obviously aren't a factor if the pregnancy has already begun. As for not liking kids, Morrigan's whole plan involved becoming pregnant with a rookie Grey Warden's child, so she was prepared to handle a pregnancy from the beginning. Now that she finds herself pregnant with the child of the only man she ever loved, she would be committed to bringing the child up as best as she could because it is one of the only people she ever cared about. Play Inquisition and you'll see that she values Kieran so much that she'd submit to her worst nightmare if it guaranteed his safety.
    • Actually, in real life Medieval times there were plenty of abortificents that anyone tenacious enough could get their hands on. Even oldest cultures with written records in the world speak of abortions and their legal ramifications; it's a concept as old as humanity. The Medieval abortificents, like tansy tea, were generally poisonous and potentially harmful to the mother unless handled with extreme care, but they did exist. But that's neither here nor there; Dragon Age does not take place in the Medieval times, but in a fantasy world where magic exists. But more importantly still, Morrigan has no pressing reason to want to get an abortion. Raising a child with care and love is yet another way for her to prove herself that she is not like Flemeth.
    • Methinks earlier commenter is mistaking abortion for surgical abortion, which probably wouldn't exist in Thedas, no. But chemical abortion — taking medicine, herbs or poison to induce miscarriage — is also a form of abortion and there's no reason why the Dragon Age setting wouldn't have that. Also, there's probably magical procedures that exist.

    Time Travel 
  • Is it ever explained how did you do to go one year in the future? Or, more importantly how did you get back? For going into the Bad Future I think it could be handwaved by saying that you enter the Fade then spent a year in it (surprising but still) but I don't understand how to go back in time. Also, isn't preventing the Bad Future creating a time paradox?
    • The entire mission centers on Alexius' time magic and how it was supposed to be impossible before the Breach tore the established rules of magic a new one. You went forward in time because Alexius was preparing a spell in hopes of erasing you from time, with Dorian's interference sending you forward instead. You go back because Dorian, Alexius's former apprentice, took his amulet after the battle to send you back. It specifically says all of this multiple times before and during the mission.
    • As for the paradox, there are many ways around that, and since the time magic in this universe allows a mage to delete someone else from the timestream altogether, we can safely assume anything goes, causality be damned.
    • The use of the Breach for time travel is actually surprisingly realistic, all things considered. It acts as a wormhole connecting space-time, which means you can travel to any point in time where it exists, but not a moment earlier or later.
    • Too be fair, Alexius created that time distortion by removing you from existence and plopping you a year into the future, allowing the Bad Future to exist in the first place. A bit of Fridge Logic comes in when you realize that you're just correcting the paradoxes he's creating by putting everything back in place time-wise.

  • Am I the only one who think that putting the only one who survived the Breach in jail isn't a good idea? Granted, s/he's the only one who survived the Thedas equivalent of a nuclear explosion and thus might have something to do with it but I don't think putting them in jail is a good idea. On the same vein, isn't putting someone who forgot what the thing giving them their new power was (and thus maybe forgetting others things) in charge of the Inquisition (the last hope of all Thedas) a good idea?note 
    • Actually it's probably the best possible option. Remember that the survivors of the explosion pretty much all think the player character is a mass murderer who killed the Divine. Keeping the player character in prison is probably the only thing that stopped the villagers from lynching him/her.
    • One of Adan's notes about taking care of the Herald post-Conclave mentions that there have already been a number of assassination attempts.
    • The first act was done to actually showcase HOW the PC becomes the Inquisitor. First of all, you are the Herald of Andraste, which sways plenty of power both due to the mark in your hand and what you represent to the people. It's this influence that helps define HOW the Mages or the Templars will interact with you, Alexius because of your power, the Templars because of your sway over the faithful, otherwise you would be just a chump that matters little to the world. Throughout the story you show initiative and people LISTEN to you, a good example is the Merchant agent that you find in Val Royeaux, that by all logic should ask Cassandra so to become part of the organization, and yet she talked to you. Command only exists if people are willing to follow, and again and again your allies speak how much they care being part of the Inquisition and following the Herald. And even if this is not enough, let's remind ourselves that in history people followed plenty of incompetent and foolish leaders, sometimes to their deaths, and all because they thought they HAD to follow them.
    • Exactly. It's also worth pointing out that the Inquisitor only became the de facto leader after the first act is done; before that, the leadership is shared between Cassandra, Leliana, Josephine and Cullen, who are almost never on the same page regarding any decision and bicker to no end. The Herald of Andraste ends up calling the shots because the Inquisition's leadership is inefficient and gets nothing done, until they decide that the Herald is a pretty good leader and make their post official.

    Rune attached to Certainty 
  • Am I the only one who thinks that Certainty, the sword dropped by Samson, has the wrong kind of rune pre-attached to it? It comes with a Demon-Slaying Rune. While nice, wouldn't it be more appropriate for it to come with a Corrupting Rune?
    • It's a rune that would be fitting for a Templar weapon. Since enchanting is done by mages, maybe he never really got the opportunity to change it after going Red Templar.
    • Which still doesn't make much sense, since he has a Tranquil assistant.
    • It makes a fair amount of sense, actually; the plan to bind demons to the Grey Wardens has fallen apart and the Elder One has no control over the Rifts, and Samson has his super-powerful armor. From his perspective, demons are the only things that actually pose a legitimate threat to him: with normal people and animals it doesn't matter how strong they are, the only thing that changes is how long they last before he cuts them down. Demons, on the other hand, are capable of all kinds of horrible things, so it's prudent to focus on killing them as quickly as possible.
    • Plus, Samson still sees himself as a Templar first, and the primary enemies of a Templar are demons. Plus with the Grey Wardens summoning demons and the Breach spewing demons everywhere, he'd be seeing a lot more demons around and would need to be ready for them.

    Hawke vs. Nightmare Demon in Here Lies the Abyss 
  • Why does the Nightmare demon taunt Hawke with not being able to save Kirkwall, instead of their sibling or their mother? Kirkwall was a profoundly crappy place before Hawke got there, and when Hawke does get there she (or he) makes the best out of a bad situation—one that she has largely no control over. Hawke helps the Viscount, defeats the Arishok and repels a bunch of his forces, suppresses both Meredith and Orsino: if she didn't save Kirkwall, you have to admit she made a pretty good stab at it. I know Hawke is supposed to have Survivor Guilt issues, but this is ridiculous.
    • It did mention his/her family dying. Besides, Hawke being upset about indirectly contributing to Kirkwall's near destruction and the Mage/Templar War makes perfect sense. Beyond living in the city long enough to grow somewhat attached to it, Hawke was named the Champion: Kirkwall's greatest protector. Then it all fell apart while s/he was on watch, destroyed by extremists, some of which Hawke supported (Anders, Meredith, Orsino, etc.). Worse, after at least three years on the run, Hawke probably had the same realization that anybody playing DAII did: the worst of the chaos and destruction could have been avoided if Hawke had just been more proactive rather than passively wait until somebody else told them what to do like a glorified mercenary. Hawke knows that s/he was a complete failure as a hero and watched as all the good s/he did unraveled even before Anders' bomb. Doing the best that they could only makes it worse because it shows that they, the Champion of Kirkwall, was just some lucky refugee only good for killing things. Throw in the fact that the world itself is now threatened by an enemy Hawke failed to put down and is it any wonder why s/he would have a self-esteem problem after all that?
    • I admit this is veering into Just Bugs Me territory here for me, but more proactive how? Hawke already throws their weight behind Orsino or Meredith during their Act 3 quests as much as they can, turning in (or freeing) rebel mages and pursuing errant templars. S/he might have been an unwitting pawn in Anders' scheme, but that doesn't make them a failure any more than the rest of Anders' friends. Was s/he supposed to preemptively throw Anders in jail? Storm the Gallows and overthrow Kirkwall's leaders? Seriously, I'm honestly lost—it always seemed to me like Hawke got stuck in these no-win situations or screwed over (however unwillingly or indirectly) by their friends, or even random chance or fate, and then somehow it all became his/her fault.
    • Hawke actually being to blame for the events or not, they're a person who likes to help, and were knee deep in the events that ended in so much death and destruction. It's completely understandable and natural that they do feel it's all their fault, regardless of how things would turn out if they weren't there.
    • Hawke actually could easily blame him/herself for Anders' actions. Arresting him WOULD have stopped the violence that consumed Kirkwall, and the signs of what he was doing were all there and incredibly obvious in hindsight. Even if Hawke didn't pick up on them at the time - which s/he can for observant players - s/he could still look back and go, "I should have seen that, it was so obvious."
    • It should probably be noted that, after the metric ton of horrible, horrible things that happened in Dragon Age 2, Hawke's got a severe case of self-loathing. His speech about how everyone has a story to tell to justify their bad decisions... he's not just talking about the Blood Mages. He's talking about himself. Losing his family was heartwrenching, sure. But the Qunari and the Mage Rebellion left thousands of dead in the streets of Kirkwall. Why wouldn't he regret everything?
    • But neither of those were Hawke's fault. Hawke fought the hardest out of anyone (and certainly his/her personal hardest) to stop events and mitigate the damage! It's like if the Warden suddenly decided that all the lives lost during the siege of Denerim and the final battle against the Archdemon were personally their fault. It just frustrates me that you can do everything 'right' by narrative standards—you can do all the sidequests, save everyone possible, defeat the Arishok and put down Danarius and save Ella and all that—and everything still goes to hell and Hawke considers it all his/her fault and ends up a self-loathing mess. It feels like Deus Angst Machina and a slap in the face for people who wanted Hawke to have a happy ending.
    • It reinforces the Grey-and-Gray Morality of II and the theme enforced by the Framing Device, as badass Hawke was, they were still just the Right Man in the Wrong Place, and how being a Living Legend does little to help your psyche when most of your family is dead, your friends have separated, and the world looks like it's about to go down the shitter, all because you just happened to be there. Ultimately, it ACTUALLY isn't Hawke's fault from a logical point of view (though if memory serves, Hawke promised their mother to keep the family safe), but that's not the point; the Nightmare isn't appealing to logic, it's appealing to everyone's greatest fears. And what is Hawke's greatest fear? Being a total failure. As a child, a provider, a friend, and protector.

    Why use Justinia? 
  • Why did Corypheus pick Justinia of all people as his sacrifice to power the orb. The orb can't require the blood of a divine (Since it predates the Chantry and divines). It seems picking one of the most well guarded people on earth practically begged for him to have someone interrupt his ritual - which is what happened. Why not use some vagrant or farmer or other person who will not be missed? It's not like Corypheus attaches much value to the Temple of Sacred Ashes either - it's also younger than he is.
    • As we can see throughout the game, the Chantry is a monolithic organization that is prone to in-fighting and is quite slow to respond when dealing with crisis. Corypheus desires to sown chaos and how do you do that? You kill anyone capable of stopping you, cripple as many established power bases as you can, and generally do anything possible to damage or destroy the status quo. That is why he has gone to the Temple where the Conclave was being formed and amassed a great deal of personnel, his strategy involved killing all the important people from the magi, templars and the Chantry and do a serious blow to the ability of ANYONE to respond or solve their own damn problems. Second, we are talking about a man that desires to ascend to godhood, if you are going to kill anyone for a special ritual, wouldn't it be better if it was the leader of the organization that follow a 'false god'? And if people knew that such a person was sacrificed by this man, this new god, what do you think they will do? Look at how Leliana responded to Justinia's death; she entered a crisis of faith, after all the Maker simply did not protect even the best of all amongst them, and if one of the most pragmatic woman in the series goes through that and LIKE that, what do you think the population of Thedas would do? Despair and maybe even rather stay to the side of the god THAT indeed is capable of protecting them.

      Now, personally it wouldn't be as hard as you would think to infiltrate the Conclave. Corypheus already had in his sway the Venatori inside the mage rebels and controlling the Templars through his pet demon, getting the Divine aside to talk to them would not be as hard. Let's also remember that the Conclave amassed quite different people from Carta dwarves, Qunari mercenaries, to the Dalish, adding the Grey Wardens wouldn't be as weird since as much apolitical they are, they would rather the mage and templar conflict would end. They would not give support to either side as I see it, but would stay in the sidelines and maybe stay close if they think someone should become part of the Order.

      The last idea that came through my head about this is how meaning interact with the Fade. What Corypheus did was a spell that allowed him to enter the Fade, and to do so he needed a sacrifice. Sacrifice is not for oneself, but to others, taking away someone or something of importance that had a lot of meaning to people (life in most cases). The leader of the biggest spiritual and religious organization of Thedas? One that is quite well liked? It's quite a loss to MANY people. This one is actually speculation, but it does make some sense.
    • I'd say it's down to his arrogance. The game makes a point of his arrogance being his one weakness, he chose the Divine as a sacrifice to make a show out of his rise to godhood, not because he needed to for any practical reason. Even if the Chantry was in perfect working order, it would hardly be able to stop a Corypheus that can basically teleport using the Fade, and revives upon death.
    • It's a sign that, for all his sound planning, he's a Smug Snake more interested in grandstanding. I mean, what if the mages and templars were in there with her? What if his Grey Warden escort was killed? What if he was incapacitated? He would have been discovered early, and his plan would have unraveled. His need for symbolic victories gives him Complexity Addiction.
    • Blowing up the Conclave did help him out immensely. It wrecked the chance for an end to the Mage-Templar war, it destabilized the Chantry so they couldn't call for an Exalted March against him, and it took out a number of powerful mages and high-ranking Templars, likely helping his bid to seize control of both. Assuming that even a completely uninterrupted ritual would require a while for the Breach to expand before he could become god, the explosion by itself justifies the site. Also, the ritual wouldn't require a Divine, but it might require someone important as a sacrifice. Lastly, Oghren notes that the Temple Of Sacred Ashes is rich in extremely pure Lyrium, and there's Red Lyrium near the rift connected to the Breach, presumably at the precise location of the ritual. It could have helped amplify the ritual.
    • While true, none of that was planned. Had Corypheus's sacrifice gone off without a hitch, it's assumed he would have entered the Fade, arrived at the Black City unimpeded, and then whatever happens after that. The war against Corypheus would never have happened, and either we would all be praising our new god at the start of the game or, more likely, some new horrific awful thing would have been unleashed.
    • There has to be a reason why he needed the Divine, specifically, as she is the highest-ranking living person in the faith dedicated to the god whose throne Corypheus intends to take. There is a clear relationship between Corypheus, the Black City, the Maker, and the Divine. What's not clear is why the somnaborium would allow Corypheus to enter the Black City by sacrificing the Divine. We know enough to understand the relationships and powers at play, but not to actually understand why it works, and it's never exposited on. Based on the stinger, however, we may learn more about the somnaborium in the next game.
    • It may have something to do with the Divine as a 'focus' of Andrastan faith. That much psychic energy/faith must have made an impact on the Fade. One might also consider the location, the most Holy Place, with the Most Holy Woman.

    Why give the Orb to Corypheus? 
  • So why did Solas give the orb to Corypheus of all people? He specifically mentions he gave it - not that it got stolen or anything. Did he look at the tall dude made of thorn flesh and bits of metal growing out of him who gloats about how his people crushed the elves and go "You sir look like the kind of person who will make responsible use of ancient Elven artifact. Here. Charge my orb."
    • I think he was just really desperate—while there probably were better people, it's not like very many people could have enough power, and I think that desperation would fuel him to try however he could to get it charged. I mean, screwing up enough that your entire race was enslaved/killed to the point where they still haven't recovered is... well, it begs some attempt at reformation. Not to mention that Solas feels horrific about it, too, and waking up to a world where everything is so horribly skewed purely due to your own actions... I mean, it's not something anyone would take well, so he might've went against his better judgment, hoping Corypheus would be a decent person. On the other hand, it's also possible that he was hoping that activating the orb would give it power and kill Corypheus at the same time? I mean, that explosion at Conclave was ridiculous, and it's a miracle that anyone survived, and Solas has got to know the power of the orb (he even expresses surprise that Corypheus survived the blast), so that's plausible, too.
    • The latter theory seems like the most plausible. He straight up says in the cutscene after In Your Heart Shall Burn that he can't believe that any (former) human, even a powerful magister, would be capable of unlocking the orb. It's highly likely that Solas expected the process to kill Corypheus - two birds with one stone, and what have you. I imagine he simply didn't expect that Corypheus would even learn how it works, let alone survive the process. He took a calculated risk, and it backfired on him big time.
    • Solas betraying Corypheus somehow would be perfectly in-line with what we know about the Dread Wolf, so that would be a plus.
    • Given his identity, it is quite possible he knew Corypheus would use it successfully and just didn't care, or arranged for the Inquisitor to get the mark. This contradicts a lot of what he says, but he's a known Double Reverse Quadruple Agent.
    • First off, Solas has no reason to lie to Flemeth when the two are alone, and he casts the decision as a horrifically bad decision in that scene. Second off, the inquisitor stumbled onto Corypheus' attempted sacrifice of the Divine by complete accident. As Solas was in a nearby village at the time, there was no way he would have known about this beforehand.
  • The truth is: Solas intended for Corypheus to unseal the power in the Orb...and then to be killed by the resulting explosion. What Solas didn't count on was Corypheus' revival trick.
     Well, well, well 
  • The endgame of the Temple of Mythal is essentially a Mexican Standoff between you, Morrigan, and Abelas, each wanting the Well to keep it from Corypheus, to gain its secrets, and to keep it from unworthy hands respectively. As long as Corypheus doesn't get it (and without inexplicable future knowledge), why isn't simply destroying it not an option? Or letting Abelas drink and letting him open the eluvian to speed the unworthy on their way?
    • It is possible to suggest this option. It is quickly shut down because the power and knowledge of the Well is simply too great an advantage to pass up, and against a seemingly unkillable monster like Corypheus, the Inquisition needs every advantage it can get. This is something Morrigan and Solas agree can agree on. They both even agree that Morrigan should be the one to drink from it though that's because Solas knows exactly what will happen to whoever drinks from it. As for Abelas, it seems like he has already drunk from the Well and is already bound to Mythal. Assuming he isn't just killed, Abelas will trust the Well's fate to you because he can sense your cause is righteous. Abelas may also simply be weary of his burden — I imagine watching your fellow Sentinels dwindle in number while guarding a relic of a civilization that was already lost long ago gets old after the first few millennia.

    Corypheus' plan 
  • So Corypheus' master plan was to basically revisit the Black City and claim whatever power lies there? Considering how well that turned out for him the first time he tried it, what made him think he would fare any better a second time? A visit to a Bad Future shows that it does indeed turn out poorly: yeah, he ascended to "godhood", but Thedas is almost literally falling apart.
    • We don't know what exactly happened the other time around, aside from the Black City "already being corrupted", and presumably that this created the Darkspawn. One can imagine Corypheus would be better prepared to handle whatever is on the Black City on his second trip, specially since he'd go there with the power of the Anchor, which the Magisters seem to not have had before (the means by which they entered the Fade physically being unknown). What caused the deterioration of the world was not Corypheus's invasion, but the Breach, which was an unwanted consequence of the use of the Orb, and he could have closed it at any moment (so the fact it even happens in the bad future probably shows that he doesn't really think the world being riddled with demons is necessarily bad for him).
    • Knowing the kind of man/monster Corypheus is, I don't think he cares too much about how happy or, you know, alive most people are. Getting to the Fade the first time required sacrificing hundreds of slaves, so he's not too concerned about the sanctity of life. He's in complete denial about causing the Blights that destroyed his empire and twisted he and his fellow magisters into monsters out of sheer pride, so he's demonstrably not learned any real lesson from his first trip. So long as he has his power and army of loyal zealots/demons, he'd be just fine ruling over the hellish wasteland Thedas would become as a living god.
    • There's also another possibility: Corypheus failed. Without the Anchor, he could not control the Breach, and entering the Fade from the Temple of Mythal did not grant him godhood. His pride prevented him from admitting he failed, so he settled for conquering Thedas even as his mistakes tore the world apart.

    Skyhold's climate 
  • Two questions in one: Why is Skyhold so temperate? It's so high up there's snow right outside the walls. Even at lower elevation, water freezes solid (As you see at the river past the walls in the valley). But the moment one's inside the walls, Skyhold is temperate. Water in the courtyard doesn't freeze, grass grows, you can even have a garden that grows tropical plants with little problem. No one even comments on it being cold (And people were complaining the Hinterlands were cold! Which would imply Skyhold's warmer than Redcliffe's surroundings). That no one in game comments on Skyhold's nearly impossible weathers. People will talk the history of the place, that it has some connection to the veil... but no one seems to notice that the place is strangely balmy.
    • Morrigan mentions that the magic of that place has seeped into the very walls. That probably has something to do with it.
    • Dennet remarks that he never expected to find grass this good in the mountains, so there's at least one reference to it. And yeah, I also assumed the climate was magically influenced like the above poster.

    Based on a great big lie (spoilers) 
  • Why the retcon of all the Elven mythos? I found that the little bit of elven myths we were given in the previous games were fine as they were, why Retcon everything? And I mean Retcon because there was no foreshadowing whatsoever about this plot twist. I know that these things are supposed to be shocking when they're revealed but usually there are at least a few clues that it might be the case. So, why retcon everything we ever knew about the Dalish?
    • There was plenty of foreshadowing. We knew from the very beginning that the Dalish were struggling to hold onto their myths and traditions after Tevinter enslaved them and purged their histories (and with the loss of their immortality, they couldn't just call up their six times great grandfather and ask him). It's hardly unexpected that they'd make a few mistakes along the way. It was even mentioned back in the first game that many of the individual clans have different traditions, as they kept or corrupted different parts of their own lore. Plus, with the whole Vasillin revelations, it's implied that the Dalish are descendants of the elven slave caste, which means they wouldn't have been well educated in the first place. Honestly, it's a miracle they retained as much as they did.
    • Side note: I don't think that the Dalish are descended from slaves, just that they adapted slave markings to something else. Remember that in Witch Hunt, Ariane's blood lights the lanterns because she's a descendant of Arlathan's nobility.
    • Also, can you really call it rectoning when we were given so little to work with in the first place? This isn't extraordinarily different from what they've done with Andraste and any other religion we've seen in the DA-verse. We are presented with several conflicting theories, all varying levels of belief and support: Andraste is the bride of the Maker. Andraste was a powerful mage. Andraste was a powerful mage, but still divine. Elven mythos wasn't so much retconned as it was given additional information/an alternative explanation. And much of the bare bones of we know is still uncontested (or even supported) by what was revealed in Inquisition: Elven gods existed in some shape or form. Elves were innately immortal. Fen'Harel sealed the Creators and the forgotten ones away. Arlathan fell to Tevinter without their gods. If anything, I find that this adds greater depth to the world than "elves were perfect and sparkly and they had some gods and now they are gone through no fault of their own."
    • None of the codices or lore in the games can really be treated as the absolute truth. In-universe, most people don't really know the truth about The Maker, Andraste, the Old Gods, or the Elven Pantheon. This is an especially important plot point in this game, given that the Central Theme is faith. Just imagine what a future codex about the Herald of Andraste might say. It probably won't be anything close to the truth — more likely it will be closer to the legend spread by the Inquisition's followers.
    • It's not a retcon. David Gaider confirmed that all the late game revelations about the Dalish gods were planned from the start.
    • "Based on a lie" is pushing it. Here's what we now know; the Elven gods exist (or two them do at least, assuming the other's existence at this point is not unreasonable). One, Fen'Harel, has been misrepresented to some extent. He does not consider himself and the others to be gods. Another, Mythal, was killed by someone but survived in some form, eventually merging with a human woman. She expresses no opinion on being a god or not but does not object to being addressed as such. That's it. That's all we know. We still don't know if the Creators were powerful ancient Elves, spirits or indeed something we don't have name for. We don't know exactly what happened to any of the them except Mythal was killed and Fen'Harel went to sleep. We don't know who killed Mythal. The last word on the creators is far from given. Also, side note; just because Solas doesn't see them as gods won't stop the Elves seeing them that way, even if this all comes out. This isn't D&D, as Professor Kenric points out "god" is not a properly defined term. Hakkon Wintersbreath is considered to be "merely" a powerful spirit by several people but is considered a god by the Avvar. And they aren't wrong; he fits their definition of what a god is. The Creators are apparently immortal, very powerful entities that can do things no other entity can. Calling them gods is not unreasonable.
    • Honestly, the only true retcon seems to be regarding the Dalish's handling of mages. Games I and II make it clear that the Dalish treat mages as just another member of the clan, being willing to take in extra mage children even though they already had a surplus beyond their First and Second (Lanaya and Eneirin in DAO), or Dalish mage births becoming low in recent years and some clans needing to borrow spare mage children from other clans to have a First (Merrill from DA2). Then DAI rolled around, and suddenly the Dalish have always had a strict "Only 3 Mages Per Clan" rule (Keeper, Keeper's First, and Keeper's Second), where they dump excess mage children onto another clan if they can, or abandon them to die in the wilderness if they can't (Minaeve and "Dalish"). Um, no. That wasn't mentioned or even hinted at in any of the previous games.
    • Given how the Dalish Inquisitor can react to Minaeve's story this is not normal among the Dalish. Remember that the Dalish are not one culture, they are many similar cultures, one for each clan across all of Thedas except Tevinter and Par Vollen.

     Corypheus's plan for the Well 
  • So, we know Corypheus's plan was to ask his chosen Vessel (Calpernia or Samson) to drink from the Well, and then tell him everything he needed to know. But we also know that anyone drinking from the Well of Sorrows becomes bound to Mythal's will and has to obey her commands. Solas and Morrigan both imply that this works even when the drinker isn't aware of it, and Mythal isn't physically present to give commands. So doesn't that mean that Corypheus' plan would have failed even if the Inquisitor wasn't around to stop him? His Vessel drinks from the well, and then starts working for Mythal. Flemeth/Mythal isn't interested in helping Corypheus, and so the Vessel won't tell him anything. The End.
    • Maybe that's why Corypheus doesn't want to drink from the Well himself. He likely had some means of extracting what he needed from his Vessel that did not require consent.
    • I'm not too sure about the part where they work according to Mythal's wishes even when she didn't directly interact with them. The only time we see Flemeth actually exercising control over the drinker from the Well, she was present there. Other than that, no change in personality or actions could be seen (with the Inquisitor at least). Flemeth could show herself and give an order right then and there, but she would be risking her life fighting against a foe she couldn't exactly kill right there.
    • I'm extrapolating a little bit, but this is the line from Solas. "You are Mythal's creature now. Everything you do, whether you know it or not, will be for her." I'm assuming that the possibility of not knowing you're serving her means she doesn't have to give you orders in person.
    • Even if Mythal isn't directly influencing you, she still has the drinker on her leash. Anything you do will only be possible if you have her implicit approval (or at least indifference) since she could override you if you try to cross her. Moreover, she could easily force you to turn everything you have over to her whenever she wants. Anything the drinker does from this point will be to Mythal's benefit one way or the other. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday, she's going to call upon her new servant. As for Corypheus' plan, there's no way to tell if it would have worked, but clearly everyone considers the possibility of him pulling it off too big of a risk to ignore.
    • It's entirely possible that Corypheus had a way of taking what he needed from his Vessel regardless of any geas placed on those who drink from the Well. If he knew about the Well's existence he may also have known about the stories concerning the geas on the Well. The best explanation for why he would prepare someone else to be a Vessel rather than drink from it himself was to let someone else pay whatever price the Well would demand of them.
    • Did he actually need the information? I thought the point of the whole business was to activate the Eluvian. And Samson, at least, is infested with Red Lyrium, which could very well let Corypheus override the Well.
    • Morrigan believed (incorrectly) that his goal was an Eluvian. He wanted the Well because he thought it would give him the power to enter the Fade physically. Much of his endgame is spent trying to find a substitute for his lost Anchor.
    • The Well would allow Corypheus to enter the Fade...because it's the key to opening the Eluvian. Morrigan was not wrong about the Eluvian, there was just an additional step she was unaware of.
    • It's not clear whether Corypheus even knew about the Eluvian. He knew about the Well because the Orb showed it to him. If this makes the entire Well Vessel scheme seem desperate and ill-planned...that's because it is. This is basically Corypheus' Plan B.
    • Corypheus had a clear plan for the Vessel to sidestep the issue of Mythal: bind them within a seal that compels them to answer any question they are asked, and tortures them if they try to lie through omission. If he's working with Calpernia, you can find out that he already did the same thing with Erasthenes as a dry run, and he'll tell you flat out that the version of the spell Corypheus plans to use on Calpernia is much, much stronger. Everything the Vessel does will be for Mythal whether they know it or not, but if the Vessel can only do one thing no matter what else they might attempt, it's a moot point. Mythal's influence might dictate what the Vessel tries to do, but she can't make the Vessel succeed.

     Weird War Table Timing 
  • It just bugs me that war table missions where the advisor's suggestion is to do nothing (e.g. when Leliana suggests not aiding Kirkwall) still take time. It takes time for the advisor to do nothing?
    • The time could be them observing the situation to see how it turns out and if the results could be used to the Inquisition's benefit. The fact that it appears on the war table shows that the Inquisition saw it as important enough to pay attention to, so it would make sense for them to keep an eye on it even if they don't directly involve themselves.

     When did he wake up? (spoilers) 
  • So Solas supposedly spent the last thousand years sleeping, but he seems to know a lot about current events for a guy who's been napping since Andraste was kicking around. Especially regarding the qunari, who only appeared in the last 300 years (if I recall correctly), and who he'd have no reason to know about, let alone dislike. Not to mention the fact that he'd need time to pick up the common tongue, and adjust to cultural changes. It just seems like he's seen and done too much to have only recently woken up.
    • We're given no hint of when he woke up, other than the implication that it was recently—and that's recently from the perspective of a guy who was asleep for at least a thousand years, and alive for thousands more before that. It could even be that he woke up a good couple decades ago, long enough to study the new shape of the land and its cultures. If Solas is good at anything, it's studying. Also remember that while he used the "I saw it in the Fade" thing to explain all his ancient knowledge, he really did spend a lot of time wandering the Fade like he said. It's quite possible he picked up a lot of detail from there. Language, at least, wouldn't have been too difficult; the spirits apparently keep up on that, so he'd have occasion to learn the King's Tongue. And then of course there's the possibility that he's possessing a contemporary elf like what Mythal does. Well, that's not "possession," but the point is he has several sources of knowledge.
    • If he spent all that time sleeping, then he presumably was in the Fade, since the Fade is the world of dreams. Much of his non-Elf knowledge may really be things he saw in the Fade. It would also explain why he's so chummy with Spirits, since they were the only company he had for a thousand years.
    • That explanation also works very well when you think that he doesn't seem to know a lot about dwarves, the only creatures he wouldn't be able to study by visiting the Fade.
    • Hence his shock. Last time he saw the Dwarves, they were a glorious empire. Now, they're just a couple of thaigs.
    • Corypheus mentions that he'd been preparing the ritual with the Anchor for years; presumably he would have needed the Orb to even start that, so, at least that long.
    • Doesn't Solas claim he woke up a year before the conclave?

  • Is the mages ability to teleport ever explained? Or at least handwaved?
    • The ability playable mages can use is not teleportation, and more like being flung at a high speed from one place to the other. As for NPC mages, most of them are Venatori, so they possibly wield a lesser version of the time magic that was explicitly used to break the usual rules of magic in the setting, and only became possible because of the rifts.
    • One of the codices mentions something about mages recently learning they can bind many lesser spirits to a single item—books, in the case of spellbinders—to achieve things they didn't previously think possible.
    • It's also worth nothing that many of the established rules of magic have been thrown out the window because of the Breach. If Time Travel is suddenly possible, it wouldn't be a stretch to assume that teleportation is too.
    • The explanation seems to be that it's actually a Flash Step; they don't teleport but instead move extremely quickly for a brief period. That's explicit in some of the teleport power descriptions in the previous games.

     Iron Bull Dislikes Chainmail Bikinis? 
  • Okay I get that it's become more common to mock this trope as stretching credibility of protection, but of all people in the party to criticize it? During a conversation with Cassandra Iron Bull mentions his admiration of Cassandra not wearing this kind of armor, but the man's default armor exposes his entire upper body, where all those vial organs happen to be located. Why couldn't it have been Blackwall or Cullen mentioning it at home base, rather than the one guy who plays it straight?
    • Because commenting on what a woman wears on her chest is the kind of awkward subject that neither seems comfortable mentioning. Iron Bull giving the comment and backing it up with the solid reasoning that twin circular protrusions on armor guide hits right towards the sternum is very much in character for him. He then follows it up with a comment along the lines of "better to leave something for the imagination". As for Bull's own usual shirtless attire, you have some point, but it's fairly normal for a qunari (who are much tougher than humans/elves/dwarves and have large horns that don't go through shirts well) and a Reaver who grows stronger with wounds.
    • It could have been Vivienne mentioning how nobles' fantasies re unpractical.
    • I would argue there's a difference between choosing to wear minimal armor and choosing to wear impractical armor. Iron Bull can possibly justify his minimalist armor on the grounds that it lets him be more mobile and agile. He already has enough trouble swinging that huge axe around so he has to cut down on the weight somehow. You might call that a weak justification, but at least it's a justification. There is no justifying sculpted Tit Plates. Iron Bull is not saying it's good that Cassandra wears armor in general. He's saying it's good she doesn't use impractical armor.
      • That's the impression I got. It seems like he wouldn't mind an actual chainmail bikini - boob plate is dangerous even if the wearer just trips, so it's an extra hazard above even just wearing no armor.
    • In one of his conversations with Dorian, he brings it up. Qunari will only wear full armor when they are at war. Dorian says "You should wear full armor all the time!" meaning it would be practical. Iron Bull laughs and says "How bloodthirsty!"

     Hawke and Varric's disapproval 
  • Why does Varric "Greatly Disapproves" if Hawke sacrifices his life? In the rest of the game the approval-rating is based on the Herald's actions, but in this case the Herald hadn't anything to do with it.
    • The Inquisitor makes the final call as to whether Hawke or Alistair/Loghain/Stroud is the one who stays behind. While it's true that Hawke makes the sacrifice willingly, it is far from accurate to say that the Inquisitor has nothing to do with it: if the Inquisitor had sided with the Warden in the argument about who's going to stay behind, then Hawke would be alive. And even if that weren't the case, the Inquisitor still left one of Varric's closest friends behind to die; why wouldn't Varric be unhappy about that?
    • Perhaps it was Varric leaning on the Fourth Wall a bit. The Inquisitor may not have the final call, but you as the player do. Therefore, he's not disapproving of the Inquisitor, he's disapproving of you.
    • Varric only disapproves if both Hawke sacrifices himself and you allied with Wardens instead of kicking them out of Orlais. While it's true that it was Hawke's decision to hold the line, he/she got there because of the mess caused by Wardens, so, as Varric probably sees it, his closest friend ended up ass-deep in shit and then dead because someone else fucked up everything. Again. He must've hated the Wardens at that moment, no wonder that he'd be royally pissed with the Inquisitor allying with them.
    • Likewise with kicking the Wardens out while you chose the Grey Warden ally to hold the line will make it look like the Inquisitor being needlessly cruel to someone who finally owned their mistakes and put Hawke out from the danger. Kicking them while they are down, the very people who indirectly saved Hawke by making them stay out of their business, is downright low. This decision also nets Varric's big disapproval as well.

    Elder One gaining the Orb (spoilers) 

  • Here's a question: who looks at The Elder One and thinks "Oh, yeah, how 'bout I give the precious and unique and powerful artifact to that guy! I like the sound of his town, he doesn't look like the kind of guy who'd tear reality a new asshole and promptly try to fornicate his way into it." Normally I'd just write it off as being a dumb thing to do, but Solas goes out of his way to be a pompous dick about how knowledgeable he is and he doesn't know blisteringly evil when he sees it?
    • Solas was clearly unaware that Cory would be able to survive the explosion, and repeatedly expresses surprise that he managed to get as close to using it correctly as he did. The theory bouncing around is that he manipulated it into Cory's hands since, as the most powerful individual on the planet, Cory was the only one capable of unlocking it, under the assumption that he'd kill himself in the process (hopefully in a way with a minimum of other casualties) and leave the empowered orb behind for Solas to scoop up.
    • I wonder if Solas knew Cory wanted in to the Golden City, and figured since he'd already done it once maybe he could do it again. Then Solas could simply follow him, and likely have ways to neutralize him once he was inside.
    • Also of note: Corypheus does not recognize Solas when they meet again.
      Corypheus: Is this ragged mage another ally? One more rat has emerged from the garbage?
      Solas: You cannot win, Corypheus.
    • "Trespasser" reveals that Solas had his agents plant it where the Venatori would find it and take it to Corypheus a year or so before the game starts, so Corypheus never actually met Solas directly.

     Why aren't there any Orlesians among the templars? 

  • Arguably this point could apply to many of the other factions in the game too, but it's most notable with the templars. How come absolutely none of the named templars (or ex-templars), whether of high or low rank, are Orlesians? Barris? Fereldan. Knight-Captain Denam? Marcher or Fereldan (possibly Nevarran or Tevinter, but unlikely). Samson? Marcher. Carroll? Fereldan. Cullen? Fereldan. Belinda Darrow (the templar multiplayer character)? Marcher. Rylen? Marcher. Heck, as far as I remember, none of the unnamed templars at Therinfal or any of the Red Templars you hear speaking throughout the rest of the game sound Orlesian either. The Chantry was founded in Orlais, and it is/was the headquarters of both the chantry and (more importantly) the templar and seeker orders. Are we really supposed to believe that the Inquisition would just happen to only interact with non-Orlesian templars? This made sense in prior games, because they took place exclusively in Ferelden and Kirkwall, but Orlais is a major location and home to at least half the main quests in Inquisition. The should be SOME Orlesian templars at least, if not make up the majority of their footsoldiers and higher-ranking officers (given their proximity to Val Royeaux, it seems Orlesian templars would have more opportunity to be picked into the Knights-Divine or rise to Knight-Vigilant). As it is, it's almost like we're supposed to assume that all the Orlesian members of the order died at the conclave or something. And don't say it's because Orlesians are pansies - remember that they conquered at least half the continent in the past.
    • It's because Orlesians are pansies.
    • They're probably there, you just never meet them. Ask yourself how many poor French accents you want to listen to.
    • Honestly, I could put up with a few more fake French accents for the sake of immersion. The fact that there are none to be found in the templar order at all is more distracting than any of the French accents I heard throughout the game. Sure, I don't speak French, so I don't know how good or bad they are, but at least none are really unpleasant to listen to (unlike Lady Isolde's, which made my ears bleed at times...).
    • At a guess, the Templar Order has been decimated. Remember, most of the high-ranking members (all the Knights-Divine and most if not all of the Knights-Vigilant) were at the Conclave. Because the Order was founded there, chances are many of the high-ranking templars were Orlesian, and are currently about as dead as you can get. Before that, they were probably involved in the Orlesian civil war, and the Mage-Templar war. It doesn't excuse the complete lack of Orlesian templars, but it does minimize how strange it is.
      • There's only one Knight-Vigilant and he was killed by Denam at Therinfal.
    • Hmm, good point, thanks.
    • It could be they just changed or covered their accents upon joining. Either for ease of communication, as real life militaries don't typically appreciate people who speak in a thick unusual accent in a profession where fast clear communication is vital. Or just because Orlesian's ARE seen as pansies who stick to assassins and political machinations rather than swinging a sword themselves by the vast majority of other nations and they don't want to be perceived as weak.
    • Note: Lysette, the templar you save at Haven and whom you encounter around Skyhold, is Orlesian.
    • As is the dying Red Templar you can talk to between encountering Imshael and claiming Suledin Keep. While we don't hear them I'd guess the Red Templar commanders in that contingent were also Orlesian, given that Mistress Poulin states that they seemed like chevaliers to her.
    • The Orlesian templars are probably few in number because they're likely killed in the Mage-Templar War, the explosion at the Temple of the Sacred Ashes or they joined the Red Templars. There's also the fact that some templars choose to abandon the order and the ones who doesn't join the Inquisition, join either the mages or the wardens.

    Templars and Lyrium 
  • So back in Origins, Alistair mentioned that the Templars don't actually need Lyrium for their abilities. I can get why Cullen, at least, hasn't figured out that the Chantry was lying, since trust in the Chantry is kind of one of his problems. But the game seems to really imply that yep, Templars do need it. And it just keeps bugging me, because lyrium use was never mentioned for the Warrior in Dragon Age II, and Alistair made it explicit that he'd never taken Lyrium at all ever and he was getting his Templar on all over the place. The fact that David Gaider was Alistair's primary writer makes it double weird.
    • I've noticed this too. Most likely Gaider & Co. just realized that it didn't make any sense for people to be able to unlock templar abilities without lyrium, so they quietly retconned it, or they forgot about what Alistair said in DAO. The lack of lyrium use in II was probably for the same reason that Hawke can throw around blood magic willy-nilly without anyone noticing, or why we never see a Reaver Hawke drink dragon blood - the specializations simply had no impact on the story at all in II (or maybe there was one instant where you could resist blood magic if you were a templar, I forget...). That said, my personal headcanon on this issue is that normally lyrium is required, but Grey Wardens can get around that because there is a little lyrium in the Joining cocktail (Alistair does say that lyrium is an ingredient in the Joining, after all), and so Alistair and the Warden could draw the necessary power to use templar abilities from that (it's also worth noting that the templar spec in DAO is weaker than in later games; that could be because there is less lyrium in their bodies for Alistair and/or the Warden to draw upon). As for if you make Sten and Oghren templars too, well, if the theory that the Qunari are natural reavers is true, Sten may somehow be able to draw on his dragon-blood to do it. In DAI, Cole claims that the dwarves' magical resistance works similarly to templar abilities, so they may actually be natural templars somehow, which would explain Oghren and a dwarf Warden. Both the warrior companions in Awakening are wardens (well, Justice is possessing the body of a warden anyway...), so the aforementioned explanation for Alistair and the Warden would apply to them too.
    • Alistair was a Templar before he was a Warden, though. He's the son of a Warden, too, and one that somehow ceased to be a Warden, so maybe he's not exactly a completely normal human to begin with. Also, I always thought of Origins Templars as stronger than the ones in later games. They're capable of really wrecking mages really easily.
      • It's also worth noting that Alistair's mother is a mage and an elf. So he's elf-blooded, has magic in his background, and according to the DA comics where he goes looking for his father, his royal heritage also has dragon blood in it. Alistair is definitely not a normal human.
    • I meant more in the sense that DAO templar abilities specifically only target mages. DA2 and DAI templars are more useful on the whole, since they have abilities that are useful against other types of enemies besides mages. Anyway, it's also worth noting that, according to the Qunari, Calenhad and his descendants (which would include Alistair) have dragon's blood. If they're right about that, that would certainly support that Alistair could be a very special case, in addition to what you and the guy below me said.
    • Cassandra can use Templar abilities without Lyrium because of her bond with a spirit of faith. Mages weave spells by manipulating wisps, which are simple, almost mindless fade spirits. Magic is a hereditary trait. Alistair's mom is a mage powerful enough to join the Grey Wardens' ranks. Here's a theory: Alistair's prowess as a templar is actually a peculiar manifestation of his magical abilities.
    • It's also possible that this has something to do with regional differences in training. Alistair, as a Templar trained in Ferelden, was trained specifically to deal with Mages. Templar in other lands have to deal with other threats so their abilities have expanded - most notably for dealing with demons which, as well all know, are more populous in and around Kirkwall. As for the Lyrium bear in mind that Lyrium and the lore behind it has been very shaky. At first it implies that Lyrium withdrawal could actually kill a person, something about melting their brain. But by DA:I someone can just quit it cold turkey? It was made relatively clear in DA:O's codex that the Lyrium empowered the Templar but then Alistair says that. So clearly this is a case of a retcon.
    • Possibly it's less that Templars need it to use their abilities at all, and more that it enhances their abilities to the point that they are realistically useful for constantly policing mages. It's one thing for Alistair to fight the occasional mage/group of mages without lyrium, but if he had been on mage guarding/hunting duty like most Templars, he would need lyrium to keep up with the potential strain. So Templars don't strictly need lyrium, but in practice they basically do to perform their jobs properly.
    • Both Cole and Ser say that lyrium is not what makes a templar. What allows a templar to deny magic is because they reach out to something greater than themselves, and magic finds no room in reality when they do. Lyrium and camaraderie allows them to deal with the stresses of being a templar (much like having good friends and substance abuse might help you deal with the stresses of any other job). It might be that lyrium is required to unlock a templar's skills, but not required to sustain them? Then again, as Dorian puts it: "What if you need more? You always need more."
    • It's a control method, remember Lyrium is Addictive most templars are hopelessly addicted to the stuff, and as mentioned above withdrawal can kill, its how the chantry controlled them.

     How did the orb get to The Elder One? (Spoilers) 

  • It's pretty well accepted at this point that Solas gave Corypheus the orb willingly, but it's never established how Solas knew where to find Corypheus, or that he was even a viable option in the first place. Corypheus was only a whisper among even high ranking Wardens, and it seems unlikely that Solas just managed to stumble across him one day. So how did they find one another? And assuming they did eventually meet to exchange the orb, why wouldn't Corypheus have recognized Solas at some point after the fact?
    • Solas has a lot of knowledge about the past, either because of his affinity to Fade spirits or because of his age (or both). Its not such a stretch for him to have caught wind of the rumours over time.
    • It's not such a stretch to assume that Solas could disguise himself for the meeting with Corypheus. Or that he was disguising himself the entire time he was with the Inquisitor, and met Corypheus in whatever his real form is. I can't imagine Corypheus taking advice or presents from a simply dressed elf.
    • For that matter, he might not have delivered it in person. If the above theory that "Solas gave Corypheus the orb intending that he blow himself to smithereens by activating it" is true, then he might have just left it on the ground somewhere he knew Corypheus would walk by.
    • In a conversation with Solas, Dorian calls the orb a 'vessel of dreams.' Taking that into account with its obvious powers over the Fade, it's possible the Orb can be physically transferred through it. Solas could have found Corypheus wandering the Fade, lamenting the days gone by; Solas could have then given him the Orb, figuring someone else from the past could unlock it, since he'd evidently forgotten how. And since even non-mages can change their shape in the Fade, Solas could have disguised his true nature from Corypheus. Hell, Corypheus could have been doing the same thing. The darkspawn then absconded with the Orb and Solas went, "Well shit."
    • When Cassandra questions how Solas conveniently showed up following the explosion at the Conclave, he says he was nearby hoping to catch wind of the Conclave's results, but it can easily be seen as him simply lying while his true intentions were one of the following:
      He was shadowing Corypheus, intending to swoop in and gank the orb once Corypheus' ritual was complete.
      He grew suspicious of Corypheus' intent for the orb and was following, trying to see what Corypheus was planning to do.
      He realized what Corypheus was trying to do, and was trying to chase him down and confront and/or stop him, but arrived too late.
    • "Trespasser" reveals that Solas arranged for it to be found by the Venatori via his agents and he had planned for Corypheus to unlock the Orb and die in the process, then Solas would take the Orb and seize the Anchor for himself. Corypheus survived though, which prompted Solas to help the Inquisition.

     How did the Orb get out of the Temple of Sacred Ashes? (Spoilers) 
  • So, what we know is that the Inquisitor accidentally interrupted Corypheus' ritual, and received the Anchor because he was able to pick up the Orb. We then know that the same process made the whole Temple explode, destroying everything that wasn't thrown into the Fade. We know Corypheus wasn't thrown into the Fade (since his entire objective was to get there). Corypheus survived the explosion because he can swap bodies with Tainted creatures. But wouldn't the Orb have been left behind in the rubble? He wasn't even holding it when he got blown up and forced to possess something miles away. Why does he still have the Orb in later scenes? The only way I can think of to reclaim it right under the Breach would be to fly in on the dragon, and you'd think with all the people watching the sky that would have been seen. For that matter, if Justinia and the Inquisitor were both thrown into the Fade, why wasn't Corypheus or any of the Wardens? The Maker did it?
    • Corypheus didn't need to fly in on a dragon. He could have just walked back; a few demons would be nothing to him. As for who got thrown into the Fade, it's hard to say. Could just be that the Inquisitor and the Divine were close enough to fall through the rift (eye of the storm) while everyone else got torn apart.
    • This is being a bit nitpicky, but I don't think proximity to the explosion works as an explanation. Corypheus was closer to the Inquisitor/Orb than Justinia was when it blew because he was trying to get it back. Come to think of it, the biggest difference between Inquisitor/Justinia and everyone else in the room is that they don't have the Taint. Maybe Tainted creatures are harder to shift into the Fade?
    • Or he could have actually literally flown in on a dragon and picked it up during the attack on Haven. He could have grabbed the orb between showing up at the beginning of the attack, and attacking the Herald personally, when he would have known for sure there'd be nobody at the site of the Breach.
    • I realize it's been a while, but the thought occurs to me. Justinia and the Inquisitor were actually involved in the ritual - the sacrifice-to-be and the recipient. Possibly the spell going wrong threw them into the Fade, since they were connected to the spell, and killed everything else. Also, since those two ended up in the Fade, I would be surprised if the Orb did too. It wouldn't have been too hard for Corypheus or the Nightmare or something to command a demon to find it and chuck the thing through a convenient rift. Maybe that's part of the reason it took so long for Corypheus to attack Haven: he was waiting until he had the Orb to do it.
    • I thought the shape you see in the beginning of the game is the same spirit you later meet in the Fade? So only Inquisitor enters the Fade thanks to the Anchor, the real Divide is already dead.

     Felix's Illness 
  • Why did nobody suggest that Felix become a Grey Warden to save his life after being exposed to the Blight? Fiona, at least, should have known that was an option, and possibly she would have known how to perform the Joining. Maybe the particular strain of Blight he had was different, but in all other cases of people being sick with the Taint/Blight, being a Grey Warden is always presented as an option to save them. You do encounter darkspawn during the game, so it wouldn't be unreasonable to gather the Joining materials in a side quest. I just found it odd that nobody even mentions it as a possibility (perhaps with a reason it wouldn't work).
    • All the Grey Wardens are missing because they're all being manipulated by the Elder One. Anyone who would have suggested it to him because they wanted him to live is probably well aware of that and kept their mouth shut because a slow death is probably still better than being sacrificed in a blood magic ritual. Even if the issue did come up, Felix probably would/did refuse, on the grounds that it wouldn't actually help Alexius' desperation; in the end, Felix is just a very decent guy who's come to terms with his death, and it's clear that what he cares about is his dad being able to move on.
      • Not all the wardens, the game only mentions the Fereldan and Orlesian branches. And we only view the Orlesian wardens, the Fereldans are still missing (no sign or mention of Oghren, Nathaniel or Velanna's status).
    • There's also the fact that Felix has a low chance of even becoming a Warden if he did take the Joining. The process kills most who attempt it, leaving the survivors with all the "benefits" of Warden life ending with becoming a ghoul anyway. Alexius being the mother hen he is would never risk his son having to deal with the Joining.
    • Or from a political point of view, since Grey Wardens renounce all titles and rank they had before Joining, he'd lose his only heir that way.
    • Alexius mentions that The Elder One can save Felix, without mentioning anything about Wardens. It was probably the case of Corypheus being conveniently nearby when the Darkspawn attacked, and offered his miracle cure afterwards, in exchange to Alexius's loyalty.

     The Road to Skyhold 
  • As much as I really really love Skyhold, this bothers me every time I watch the cinematic of the Inquisition finding it. The castle is built in the high mountains, surrounded by jagged rock. There is no road leading to the gate. How in the Maker's name does anyone get to it?! Sure, people could climb, but horses? Visiting dignitaries who probably arrive by carriage? It doesn't make any sense.
    • Remember in Origin how he Brecilian forest could close or open access to the elven ruins? Skyhold is an ancient elven keep whose magic is still active: it could have hidden the more obvious paths to itself until the inquisitor claimed the place and unknowingly turned off its protective wards.
    • As to how the Inquisition managed to claim it despite such wards? Presumably, the incognito Elven god who revealed Skyhold's location to them shut them off without anyone noticing.
    • Additionally, in Trespasser a codex entry found in the Shattered Library makes reference to Fen'Harel "holding back the sky" to imprison the Gods; possibly even creating the Veil there. He always knew where he was going, that smarmy eggheaded bastard! Even if there were no wards, he always knew how to get there.
    • Alternatively, a road was built during the timeskip between "hey look, our band of desperate refugees has found a castle" and "The Inquisition has received volunteers from all corners of Thedas" that takes place in a few in-game seconds. Lots of people mention making repairs to Skyhold itself during that same skip, so additional construction isn't impossible.

     Morrigan and Dalish Elf Inquisitors 
  • Why can't you tell Morrigan to go fuck herself (or at least, to keep her opinion to herself) if you're a Dalish elf when she disapproves of the Dalish and their ways? On a similar note, why do you need her to translate murals you should be able to read for yourself? Or better yet, dictate to the the rest of your party yourself? Did Bioware just not think that option through?
    • I believe that's a bug (I could be wrong) but, honestly, the whole 'Morrigan and the Dalish' thing was a huge mess and she should not have been the one who gets the be the (semi) expert of elven history.
    • Hey, guess who else is an expert on magic and ancient Dalish language/culture and actually worked on an eluvian herself... (Seriously, can you picture Merrill in a giant floofy dress at the Winter Palace?)
    • To answer the issues brought up here; Given who Morrigan was raised by a deep knowledge of Elven history and myth is not at all surprising. As to why a Dalish Inquisitor cannot translate the murals that's because the Dalish cannot properly speak Elven, just a few words and phrases, and they certainly can't read it. Remember Witch Hunt, when neither Ariane nor a Dalish Warden could read the Elven book but Finn, a human, could. That was because he had access to a big library with (likely Tevinter) books on Elven writing. As for telling Morrigan off, why? All she ever offers as disapproval for Dalish culture was doubt that the Elven gods were truly divine, which is an opinion held by pretty much everyone who's not an elf and many who are. Solas, Vivienne and Sera say far worse than that. Hell, in the entire Inner Circle the only people that offer respect for the Dalish as a whole are Leliana (who has personal experience with them) and Josephine (given to understanding and acceptance of other cultures by nature and profession) so yelling at Morrigan would be rather petty, especially as she has a great respect for elves in general.
    • Exactly, players need to keep in mind that the Dalish are pretty much all talk, no substance. They don't know their own culture. They desperately cling to what little they can remember and make things up to make it seem important. They can't speak their own language, read their own language, know their history and it's made pretty clear they got their myths wrong. The two elven gods we've run into pretty much just roll their eyes at the Dalish and ignore them because even if they tried to correct them the Dalish are too arrogant to listen.
    • It's not a question of arrogance. If Mythal and the Dread Wolf could prove they were ancient elven gods (and the Dalish thought Solas was a reliable source) then of course they'd listen. But there's nothing arrogant about having some random person coming up to you and telling you that actually you have your entire culture wrong and here's what it actually means and they know because of a secret reasons they're not going to tell you or because they saw something in the fade and then not changing your entire system of belief. It's just not believable and no one, no matter their level of arrogance, is going to be swayed on their say-so unless they establish themselves as someone who would actually know.
    • OK, that's a touch excessive (and I'm the guy who posted the previous point). The Dalish do have a hell of a lot more Elven lore than any of the city elves and likely know more than anyone but scholars like Finn who have Tevinter resources and the time to study them. They have got a lot wrong and there's a lot they flat out don't know but it's not fair to call them arrogant given that they freely admit that there's a lot they don't know and they're probably wrong on a lot. Some clans, like the one in Masked Empire, are fairly unpleasent but the others we've seen or heard about, namely the Sabrae clan, Zathrian's clan, Vehlanna's clan, the Lavellan clan and the one you meet in the Exalted Plains, are actually some of the most decent and stable social groups in the setting. They are stand-offish around humans but that's caution, not arrogance; humans are usually dangerous for them. As for the gods, (spoilers incoming but frankly if you haven't finished the game you're on the wrong page) Flemeth actually shows a great deal of respect for the Dalish and in fact worked with them in The Stolen Throne and Dragon Age II and, while Solas doesn't like them, a Dalish Inquisitor can point out to him that the Dalish are doing the best they can with what two separate cultural rapes left them with and Solas concedes the point. The Dalish know their culture perfectly well and have plenty of substance, they just don't know Arlathan's culture all that well, But they know that. Expecting the Dalish to be like Arlathan, like Abelas does, is like expecting Orlais to still be as Drakon left it or Ferelden to be just like it was in Calenhad's day.
    • Or, indeed, Corypheus expecting Tevinter to be exactly as he left it. Or Solas wanting the world to be how he lived. Can't help but see a parallel there.
  • This is largely WMG but it could also have simply been a question of resources. We know based on dev comments that the race options were added as a result of a somewhat late decision by EA to give Bio Ware an extra year of development on the game. Originally the Inquisitor was going to be human only. It is possible that it was just too late to make such an extensive change to that part of the game when the decision was made to have the option of a Dalish Inquisitor.

     Sera's Freudian Excuse Regarding Elves 
  • Sera cares a great deal for the plight of the "poor common folk," but is very sarcastic and dismissive of the idea that elves are subject to Fantastic Racism. The game presents her backstory as a Freudian Excuse for this note  but how does that really explain (or excuse) Sera's antipathy toward the elves' plight? Does Sera think that just because a human noblewoman took her in and then turned out to have lied the one time she said another human had a problem with her for being an elf, means that racism against elves doesn't exist? and thus elves who claim they are are also lying and/or whining? Does she subconsciously want to distance herself from the Fantastic Racism against elves by distancing herself from other elves in turn? (Not an altogether uncommon defense mechanism for people who're part of a minority, sadly.) A bit of both?
    • It's pretty clear from some romance dialogue that she is well aware of the general racism against elves, so it's not that. I think it's more that Sera sees people as all basically the same and dislikes anything that raises one above another based on something other than achievement, the same reason she hates nobles and similar. Her issue with elves is that she sees their lauding of Elven culture as doing exactly that, raising themselves over others. She also hates people trying to tell others (particularly her) how to live and sees other elves as doing that as well. Her issue is not that she doesn't recognise the Fantastic Racism, just that she think elves go on about it far too much and are too focused on the past. I hasten to add that I do not agree but that's her view. There's also the fact that (while by no mean stupid) Sera is poorly educated and doesn't like thinking deeply. So she likely hasn't considered how her antipathy towards "elfy" elves makes a hypocrite of her sometimes. She's hardly alone in that. The far more thoughtful Fenris hates slavery but supports the Circle and doesn't see the conflict there unless Hawke points it out for him. As a side note I like Sera (and Fenris) but, well, people have flaws.
    • It's because she doesn't view elves as poor common folk. There's a lot to draw on there; she hates on elves because they're in mourning for something she doesn't value or recognize, she hates on elves because they revere something she doesn't respect or understand (and when the opportunity presents itself, she leaps to the conclusion that Elven gods are demons because that's easiest), and she hates on elves because Internalized Categorism as a child made her hate herself. Sera's biggest flaw is that she's willfully ignorant and refuses to believe in anything that isn't simple or concrete, she dismisses anything that doesn't fit into her already narrow, black-and-white worldview, and completely disregards anyone who doesn't think the same way. For her, sympathy is a matter of balance; important people are okay until they're in a position to choose the many over the one, then they're too big to like. Elves are only the poor common folk if they aren't "too elfy", she seems to follow the same logic as "Well, why don't all the homeless just get jobs?", with the same kind of ignorance.
    • I don't think the point of that scene was to "explain" why Sera felt the way she did about elves, and I certainly don't think the game was putting it there as a Freudian Excuse for how she felt about them. It was to explain how she felt about those that valued their pride over over people. She didn't end her story talking about how her experience of Fantastic Racism was fake and so all Fantastic Racism must be fake, she ended it talking about how her mother figure was willing to let her hate someone and think that she was hated, something that clearly upset her even if she brushes it off now, just to spare herself from embarrassment. Which ties in to what was said above, she doesn't like people putting on airs and raising themselves above other people at other peoples' expense. And, while I haven't seen all her dialogue so maybe I'm wrong, her issue with "elfy" elves looks to me less them complaining about their day to day struggles with racism/poverty and more their constantly bemoaning past transgressions that have no real bearing on day to day life anymore (such as the Exalted March against the Dales or the fall of Arlathan.) The "elfy" talk she objects to is usually "we had it so much better back in the golden days of being immortal ever-powerful mages and the humans took that from us," not "That human called me a knife-ear and beat me for being an elf yesterday."
    • It's not just that her adopted mom tricked her into thinking one baker is racist, it's her way of reconciling how she was rejected by both sides of her heritage. Her internalized racism may be part of her upbringing, but other elves only confirmed it for her by acting like she was a race traitor for being raised in human culture. She's been forced to pick a side, and she's decided to pick the one that gave her some good memories. And as shown by her reaction to the Elven Pantheon potentially being real, when Sera decides to pick a side she goes all-in and brooks no ambiguity. It's a rather childish reaction, but then Sera's a rather childish person.

     Solas and the Grey Wardens 
  • Solas often disapproves of any choice the Inquisitor can make that sides with the Grey Wardens, considers them dreamers who would plunge the world into nothingness in their quest to end the Blight and has no objections at all to the Orlesian Wardens being dispersed and exiled, even though they are sorely needed to end possible future Blights. A common view is that he knows more about the Blight then he lets on, and that killing the Old Gods would be a terrible idea. However, his early conversations with Blackwall, before The Reveal about his past, has him showing Blackwall great respect, both as a soldier and a Grey Warden, and even comments that he hopes the Grey Wardens are right about ending the Blight by killing all the Archdemons, with his respect for Blackwall quickly diminishing after his past is revealed. He either doesn't know as much about the Blight as he should, or there is something else going on besides him believing that the Archdemons need to be preserved.
    • Personally I think it's the demon summoning thing. He doesn't really kick off about the Wardens until after that comes out and we know that he hates people dicking with spirits.
    • He disapproves of siding with the Wardens several times even before you get to the Western Approach, where you find out about the source of the demon army being Warden mages.
    • The only time I can recall him objecting to Grey Warden stuff before the Western Approach (indeed the only chance for him to do so) is Jana's desire to join them and that's more common sense; there's something up with the Wardens, better not to join up right now.
    • He also disapproves when you first meet Stroud or the Warden from Origins and excuse the Grey Wardens' actions before anyone mentions the demons.
    • No, he doesn't. He approves if you call them on being foolish (and then only Slightly Approves and so does Sera, who Greatly Approves of forgiving the Wardens at the end of the quest) but doesn't disapprove if you choose any other conversation option in that scene.
    • Now that I played it again, he specifically says if you bring up the demon summoning up that demons are merely tools, and he is more angry at the Wardens for thinking that the Blight is something that can be smugly outsmarted, which still leaves his exact reasons unclear.
    • There's a few theories that point out the similarity between the story of the Old Gods, and elven legends about their deities being trapped in the underworld by the Dread Wolf. If the Old Gods are elven deities Solas sealed in the bodies of dragons, then he might dislike the Grey Wardens because their order's entire purpose is killing his brothers and sisters (something he was presumably unwilling to do himself). One of Cole's cryptic rants to Solas is "They sleep, masked in a mirror, hiding, hurting, and to wake them...", which could conceivably refer to the Old Gods if the end of that sentence would have been "would unleash a Blight". When Erimond explains the Grey Warden plan to kill the Old Gods, Solas says killing the Old Gods would be bad but hedges as to why, just as he does when anything about his past comes up.
    • I really don't buy the "Elven Gods are the Old Gods" thing. Apart from anything else whatever revelations have cropped up the various things the Dragon Age setting has thrown at us have been kept separate up till now, even when they have some superficial similarities. While demons and Darkspawn both cause corruption they are not connected and indeed seem unfamiliar with each other, the Qunari came from a land across the sea but the mysterious "Those Across The Sea" are not them etc. Hell, in The Descent the Inquisitor can point out the similarities between the "rhythm" that Valta is hearing from the Titan and the call of the Blight and is told no, not the same and indeed that is the case. Also there's no real significant match up between the two; the Elven Gods are all gods of positive things, barring Elgar'nan and even that's arguable, whereas the Old Gods are generally gods of destructive or threatening things, Urthemiel aside (ok, one exception each, I'll give you that connection). Also the Old Gods were capable of communicating with mortals, at least for a while. We know this because Corypheus spoke with Dumat at the very least, so why would they not continue to work with the elves? And why in the hell would they tell the Tevinter to destroy their own civilisation? Plus the only dragon iconography the elves use at all, let alone in connection with their gods, is in the Temple of Mythal and she's the only one we know is not an Old God (though she is a dragon or becomes one at least). Personally I think Solas is more worried about what the Darkspawn will do next after the last Old God dies and they are no longer held to their call.
      • "The Elven Gods are all gods of positive things, barring Elgar'nan and even that's arguable"- that's just how they are described in the Dalsh myths, which we know now are completely wrong; in reality, the Evanuris were right bastards, murderous dictators and slavelords. As for why they encouraged the Magisters to enter the Golden City: my guess is that they believed the resulting cataclysm would breach the Veil and allow them return to the physical world... and they were right.

     Chastity and the Chantry 
  • A fairly minor point in the grand scheme of things but one that's been bothering me; Why are Chantry priestesses required to be celibate? And for that matter why are non-clergy figures from Chantry history portrayed as celibate and celebrated as such (even when, like Ameridan, they were not)? I know celibacy or at least chastity is a big part of some major religions in the real world but those all have key figures in their religion be celibate themselves or at least be associated with virginity. Andraste was definitely not a virgin, she was married with two kids. In addition the reason given why Andraste became the religious figure she did is because the Maker fell in love with her and it is explicitly identified as romantic love. None of the other religions around care about virginity, so they didn't pick the idea up from any of them. And it's not as if anything magical in Thedas runs on Virgin Power, which might have been another reason. So why the celibacy?
    • Maybe members of the Chantry are supposed to love the Maker unconditionally.
    • Not a bad thought but again it falls foul of the Chantry's own doctrine; Andraste herself did no such thing, she chose her husband and mortal love over the Maker and this is portrayed as the morally correct choice. I could see the Chantry priesthood being limited to sex in marriage as a result of the Andraste story but not celibacy.
    • Maybe it's related to the fact that Andraste's death was ultimately caused by being betrayed by her husband.
    • The Chantry is a man-hating religion. Of course they would want their priestesses away from men. According to their theology, men are corrupt and evil.
    • But it seems like that would give lesbianism a total pass, but in Origins, Leliana, who is very much not bound to any sort of celibacy and who does have a sexual interest in women, acts shocked when Zevran asks what sorts of things the Chantry sisters get up to in their free time. One must remember that the Chantry is pretty big on hypocrisy. They were quick to strike Shartan and his followers from the Chant once the Dalish got on their nerves, so it seems plausible that they would handwave Andraste's sex life while still acting as if celibacy is some kind of moral high ground.
    • Celibacy has a practical as well as religious or moral significance, it keeps them out of politics. Without family ties or children they are not drawn into worldly concerns, and it's then far easier to keep the chantry as a whole apolitical.
    • I doubt that that's the idea. The Chantry is not even slightly apolitical, being involved in politics across Thedas all the time without making any effort to hide it. Plus those who are from families where politics are a concern (nobles, basically) are still going to be part of those families even if they don't have kids. Witness Sebastian; he keeps to his vow of celibacy and this has no effect on him getting caught up in Vael family business. Also organisations that really are supposed to stay out of politics (even if they sometimes don't) like the Grey Wardens and the Templars don't enforce celibacy. Though in the Wardens the child thing usually takes care of itself.
    • The idea is that Chantry priestesses are symbolically wedded to the Maker. Keep in mind that Andraste was the Bride of the Maker.
    • No member of the Chantry has ever described themselves as wedded to the Maker and indeed to do so would be incredibly heretical; Leliana gets shit just for believing that she can detect messages from the Maker in the world, to claim to be wedded to the Maker, even if only symbolically, would be effectively claiming to be as good as Andraste. Also, as I pointed out above, Andraste may be called the Bride of the Maker as a title but in the mythology she actually rejected the Maker for an earthly marriage (and certainly not a sexless one, given as she had two daughters). Furthermore she is portrayed as having made the morally correct choice by doing so, even though Maferath eventually betrayed her, since if she had devoted herself to the Maker completely when he asked she would not have begged him to give the rest of the world a second chance.
    • Why does it have to be consistent? Religions evolve and change all the time, but their stories and histories very rarely do. The Chantry could have been fine without celibacy in its earliest days, but then have evolved to believe it ideal because it meant the Chantry came first to its members. Religions change with society — seeing the dissonance between modern-day Christianity and the ancient Bible is a good example of this, because over time Christianity has grown more accepting of attitudes the Bible has condemned (and the other way around) but nobody would ever suggest changing the Bible itself. It's perfectly plausible and realistic that a religion's teachings and practices would differ from its legends and histories because things change and adapt, and religion and its institutions are exactly the same. Even the most devout of religious practitioners rarely follow holy texts to the letter.
    • While Chantry clergy are political, nothing says that they're supposed to be political. Christian clergy during the Middle Ages weren't supposed to be political either, but they certainly were, and in fact the Christian vow of celibacy was introduced in part because of fear that priests would create political dynasties within the Church (early Christian leaders had no moral duty to abstain from marriage or sex). Secondly, while the southern Chantry is a female-led organisation, human societies in Thedas are patriarchal (not in the woman-hating way, because let's not climb into that barrel of eels right now; lineage is dictated by the father). For Chantry sisters and mothers to marry would be to tie themselves to a male family line, and ally themselves to mortal men, when they're supposed to offer their greatest loyalty to their duties and the Maker. If Thedas were matriarchal, then marrying and having children would presumably be less of an issuenote . It's also worth considering, from a more cynical standpoint, that many organised religions keep people tied to their faith by denying them outlets in other areas. Sex, denial of sex, and a culture of religious guilt and taboo surrounding sex, are fantastic means of control.
    • One could also assume that the chastity was meant as a way to make sure no child of a member of the chantry (that doesn't join the chantry themselves) would ever try and inherit some of the riches the chantry member ammassed over their lifes. After all, when a chantry member comes from noble house, and their kid doesn't join the chantry, the noble house could make a claim to the posessions of that chantry member after their death; depenging on the importance of that house, it might actually get the kings/empresses backing. But if they are supposed to stay chaste and therefore childless, it would be impossible for a "legitimate" heir to pose such a problem.

     King Alistair/Anora banishing the mages 

  • Putting aside my overall feelings about the quest, there's something that confuses me: in the mage quest In Hushed Whispers, when the Inquisitor offers the mages to join the Inquisition (as allies or prisoners), did no one tell Alistair or Anora that Haven is still in Ferelden? Wouldn't that kind of make banishing them pointless?
    • Haven may be in Ferelden on the map but then so is Orzammar. Prior to the events of Origins, the population of Haven never paid any attention to the rulers or Ferelden, and its current population were loyal to the Divine and now the Inquisition. It's effectively a micro state. Also the later uses of Caer Bronach, Griffon Wing Keep and Suledin Keep suggests both Ferelden and Orlais are fine with ceding small amounts of land to Inquisition control. Finally even if the mages are still on Fereldan land they're a long way from any actual Ferelden populations so the effect is much the same as if they'd sailed to Antiva. The borders of a country are fuzzier when a country's laws only stretch as far as the rulers can send troops.
    • It's also mentioned in Origins that the border between Orlais and Ferelden isn't so much a stark division as it is a gradient - the maps in the war room are just separated for convenience sake. What piece of land belongs to which country depends largely on who you ask, and when you ask. And much of the area is so remote, that few would even bother trying to lay claim to it. It might very well be that most in Ferelden consider Haven to be a part of Orlais, whereas those in Orlais see it as a part of Ferelden.
    • Redcliffe Castle is referred to as the first defense for Ferelden, anything west of there is likely out of their writ including most of the Frostbacks, Haven and Orzammar.
      • Orzammar is not part of Ferelden, is another country, just listen in DAO when a minion tries to make the dwarves swear loyalty to "King" Loghain and the gatekeeper just dismiss his claims as nonsense. Orzammar is like Andorra (situated between Spain and France, yet not part of either).

     (Trespasser DLC spoilers) Varric and Racism 

  • Varric as Viscount: Shouldn't there be at least a token nod to Thedas's Fantastic Racism? In Origins it was a big deal—if you were romancing Alistair as an elf/dwarf and made him king, you got dumped straight after the Landsmeet because there's no way Ferelden would accept a non-human on the throne. But Varric gets made Viscount and nobody blinks an eye? I get that all the nobles think the position is cursed and after the Arishok burning down half the city, the Chantry blowing up, and Orsino and Meredith burning down the other half, they probably thought "screw it, the dwarf can't do a worse job". But shouldn't there be something?
    • There probably was something, probably quite a lot of somethings, but we were not in Kirkwall to see it. Also Kirkwall is not Ferelden. The latter is a firmly established kingdom with a long cultural history, the former is a chaotic city state in a region of usually low-level but consistent flux. There's good and bad to both situations but it does mean Kirkwall is more open to change. Plus the city has a sizable and powerful dwarven population. Finally, while there is racism against dwarves, it's nowhere near as virulent or as ingrained as that against elves and, if you're playing as a Dalish Inquisitor, a Dalish elven clan can end up leading a council in a Free Marches city so clearly there's wiggle room here.
    • I would note too that Varric IS a noble and a native son of Kirkwall.
    • Varric ending up as Viscount makes a lot of sense if you really think about it. First, as aforementioned, he's a noble and native of Kirkwall. Let us not forget that Varric is loaded as all hell (Banter in II has him bribing people to leave Merrill alone, whilst Vivienne acknowledges Varric's wealthiness as being around her level), so that contributes. Secondly, tying to the bribing people for Merrill bit, he's got CONNECTIONS. His editor run half the Coterie in Kirkwall, he's part of the Inquisition's inner circle, he's got friends in the Carta, he's a member of the Merchant's Guild, etc. etc. He's got ties in a lot of good places. Third; his friends. If Hawke was primary candidate for Viscount but was absent, what would the closest thing be? Someone Hawke trusts implicitly. Someone Kirkwall thought/knew would be acceptable as a substitute. Enter Varric. Take note that the guard-captain is Aveline, and that the Provisional Viscount is Bran, who is a repeated questgiver in II. Chances are, Bran remembered that affluent dwarf that's almost always around the Champion, and suggested it, and Aveline just backed it up.

     (Trespasser DLC spoilers) Hawke and Kirkwall 

  • If Hawke sided with the Templars and got crowned before leaving to avoid the Exalted March, shouldn't he/she at least be considered for the position? (Whether she/he'd want it is another question entirely.) Is Hawke that much of a persona non grata now?
    • Hawke isn't there. He/she spent the last two years caught up in whatever's happening up in the Anderfels. Or he/she's dead.
    • If Hawke survives the Fade in "Here Lies the Abyss", he/she is mentioned in the epilogue slides to be helping Varric rebuild Kirkwall. I suppose the kindest guess is that he/she didn't want the position after all that's happened, preferring a quieter life.
    • Hawke is back in Kirkwall after Trespasser but not before. Varric states in a conversation during the DLC that he/she is still in Weisshaupt at that point. This means Hawke was not present when the decision was made.
    • Plus, Hawke has almost always seemed the type to avoid offices of public responsibility (Aveline gives them trouble for not petitioning for a title in Act 2 or 3 of Dragon Age II) and may have preferred to be the Viscount's drinking buddy instead. Varric exhibits a similar reluctance to take a public post of responsibility, what with near-religiously avoiding meetings with the Merchant Guild, but his Character Development in Inquisition may have pushed him to go for Viscount.

     Elven Immortality (Trespasser Spoilers) 

  • So Trespasser confirmed a long standing theory about the elves - their innate connection to the Fade is what granted them immortality, and when the Veil sundered that link, they began aging like everyone else. So in that case, why are there still any immortal elves left at all? Solas claims that he's no less mortal than any other elf, just a lot more powerful, and Abelas and his sentinels don't even have that excuse. So what's stopped them from aging and dying like all the rest?
    • Solas may be referring to the fact that he is capable of being killed. It's noted elsewhere that some Dalish keepers are capable of living remarkably long lives, and since mages are distinguished by being connected to the Fade, it may be possible for an elven mage to slow or even halt the aging process. Or they may be able to halt it temporarily by entering some kind of stasis.
    • While Solas and the Evanuris (ugh, Creators was easier to remember how to spell, oh well, never mind) may have started out as "just" very powerful mages they seem to have gone beyond that, as some of the things Solas and Mythal can do outstrip any other mage we've heard off. Solas also mentions that he was surprised that Corypheus had discovered a method of immortality but he did not seem surprised that such a thing existed to be discovered. Remember also Avernus; one human mage working alone (not to mention struggling against the extra difficulty of the Darkspawn Taint) was able to prolong his life by centuries. It seems that immortality or at least a greatly increased lifespan is still quite possible if you can figure out the right magic. Also it's possible elves in general are better subjects for such magic; Dalish elves live much longer lifespans than city elves. Some of that can be attributed to a much healthier way of life but they also seem to have noticeably higher lifespans than humans and one of the biggest differences between the Dalish and most other cultures is a greater acceptance of and exposure to magic, particularly healing magic. So to sum up I reckon Solas, while I'll respect his personal preference and not call him a god, is not exactly an elf anymore either while Abelas and his people are likely receiving the benefit of what's basically very advanced healing magic.
    • The Guardians of the Temple only came out of Uthenara when there were trespassers to the Arbor Wilds; once the threat was dealt with, they would go back to sleep. Decades would pass between those times.

     Cassandra and Pro-Mage Hawke 

  • Why does Cassandra want my Anders-sparing pro-mage Hawke to take over the Inquisition given her repeated anti-mage statements and approval moments? What did she expect him to do had he been in charge? Suddenly renounce the cause he's devoted a decade of his life to? I mean I get why she likes him, she's a shameless fangirl of Varric's books and his best book is Hawke's biography. But Hawke isn't exactly going to make peace.
    • Cassandra is not anti-mage, she is just somewhat conservative toward changing the status quo. The cause she's dedicated to is serving the Chantry and the Divine and Divine Justinia is pro-mage (much more moderately than a pro-mage Hawke or even her own devoted servant Leliana but still). Cassandra would prefer an Inquisitor that's going to support an alerted Circle system but ultimately she's practical enough to take someone who's going to get the job done, end the war one way or another. That's why she can still be great friends with a pro-mage Inquisitor and why she is at most a little unsure of Leliana's policies as Divine.
    • She's only moderately anti-mage, but she is anti-mage none the less. She Greatly Disapproves to bringing the mages in as allies and disproves to all comments that are pro-mage.
    • True, but that's not really due to any inherent hatred of mages but rather the result of her being rather wedded to the status quo. Other characters are similar; Sera also Greatly Disapproves and is clearly scared stiff of magic but gets on fine with Dorian and possibly a mage Inquisitor and her issues with Vivienne and Solas have nothing to do with them being mages. Cassandra's practicality outweighs her distrust of magic. If it didn't she would have gone with the other Seekers and joined the Templar's crusade of hatred. She thinks the Circle (made less stupid) is the way forward and therefore would prefer that the Inquisitor go that way but ultimately if a pro-mage Hawke (or a pro-mage Herald) can end the war she'll go with it. She is also not anti-mage so much as she is pro-Circle; she is insulted when she discovers the Chantry hid Ammeridan's status as a mage, she fully intends to use the Tranquil cure if it's viable, her only lover (not counting the Inquisitor if the player goes that way) was a mage, she never bad mouths the Inquisitor if he/she's a mage etc.
    • True, what I just don't get is how someone so wedded to the status quo would ever think someone as radical as a Pro-Mage Hawke as the ideal leader of the inquisition. I could see it if Leliana was the one pushing for Hawke as Inquisitor, but it feels to me like if there's anyone Cassandra would want as the leader of the Inquisition it would appear not to be the very anti-status quo Hawke, who is informed by probably the worst excesses of the status quo.
    • For all we know it was Leliana pushing for a pro-mage Hawke and Cassandra just agreed, given the lack of any other viable candidates (every other big impressive figure either having other responsibilities or already being on one of the existing sides of the war). Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if a pro-Templar Hawke was someone else's suggestion, given that Cassandra seems very distrustful of him/her when starting to question Varric at the beginning of DA:2.
    • There's no reason why Cassandra can't get along with or respect someone with different ideologies to her — people like that are rare, but they do exist. This is the person who serves a Divine who dissolves the Circle and inducts new races into the Chantry (if Leliana becomes Victoria), but walks away from the post if the Loyalist Vivienne becomes Divine instead. She also states multiple times that she disagrees with someone's decisions (usually yours or Leliana's) but will respect it and defend the person who made it. To Cassandra, what you believe isn't as important as what you achieve.

     Qunari and Seeker Ritual 
  • Why haven't the Qunari incorporated something like the Seeker ritual into their culture? You'd think since possession is one of the few things they're absolutely terrified of, the Qun would eat up something that grants immunity.
    • Several reasons, first, Qunari don't have access to lyrium, which was shown in Trespasser, so they can't even create regular old Templars, secondly Seekers are not that well-known among humans in Thedas, with only Templar's really have any idea of what their powers are, so the knowledge is not present. Thirdly, the Seeker ritual requires someone to actually be possessed by a benevolent spirit to cure Tranquility, which as you said, is something they are absolutely terrified of. The Qunari make no distinction between Spirit or Demon, they likely see the ritual Seeker's go through as Thedosians see the Joining, you're making yourself an abomination/darkspawn in order to prevent yourself from becoming an abomination/darkspawn.
    • It's also borderline impossible that the Qunari would be able to find out how Seekers become what they are. Even most Seekers themselves are misinformed about how they become what they become.

     His true Name (Spoilers) 
  • Solas means Pride in Elven and is Fen'Harel, he introduced to Inquisitor as Solas. In Appropriated Appellation page, it is claimed that he adopted Fen'Harel/Dread Wolf nickname as Appropriated Appellation from his enemies. What is his real name exactly, Solas/Pride or Fen'Harel/Dread Wolf?
    • You can talk to him about this at the end of Trespasser and Solas was his name before he was called the Dread Wolf. It may mean his parents called him Pride for reasons of their own or it may be that Solas came to mean pride in Elven as a result of his actions but his name really was Solas.
    • Or on a more simple level, his parents named him Pride in large part because they wanted their parental pride in their son.
    • While Trespasser shows us that Solas was his first name that causes even more confusion — Cole once said "he calls himself pride", as if Solas came up with his own name rather than being named that by his parents. What's up with that?
    • Well, it's entirely possible that's just an odd turn of phrase on Cole's part; hardly unusual, kid does speak in a strange fashion even when he's not being oracular. If you think there's meaning to it then it might be that Solas refers to himself by that name as opposed to the one given to him. Or maybe Solas was a name he chose for himself rather than a title placed on him by his enemies but was not his birth name.
  • He says, "I was Solas first", but he never says who gave him the name. Since there's nothing to contradict Cole, the implication seems to be that Solas is a name he took for himself at some point before he adopted Dread Wolf as an identity. There's nothing to indicate either way, but if he was telling the truth about befriending spirits in his youth, he may have taken the name Pride in order to fit in better with them.
  • It is interesting that Solas' personal mission involves the attempt to save Solas' friend, a Wisdom Spirit- that is, one who when perverted by forcible summoning becomes a Pride Demon. Solas' personality certainly combines wisdom and pride.

     Changing pronunciation of 'amatus'. 
  • In the main game, a romanced Dorian will call you um-AH-tus, but in Trespasser the pronounciation seems to switch to um-uh-TUS. What happened there? Did the actor bugger up his pronunciation or does it mean something different if the stress is put on a different syllable?
    • It changed in the main game as well. It's an ancient word so who knows which pronunciation is right?
    • He /did/ just get back from Tevinter in Trespasser; I know my pronunciation of French words sharpens whenever I visit my Francophone side of the family. Perhaps something similar happened with Dorian?

     Iron bull's personal quest confuses me 
  • Okay, we have two small Venatori camps in the hills. One is for the inquisitor's party, one is for the chargers. When the two camps are taken, a signal is sent that it's safe for the dreadnought to attack, since all the mages are apparently presumed to be in the camps or the ship. Question 1: Why assume that to begin with? Given that this is supposed to be a large operation, shouldn't there be assumed to be some kind of nearby dock? Or at least, a place somewhere on the waterside to actually load the ship? When the signal is sent, it does indeed turn out that there's a large group of soldiers on the waterfront, including some mages. That's when the player is offered a choice: Have the chargers hold their hill and die, or have them retreat, which will cause the dreadnought to be destroyed. Question 2: How does holding the hill save the dreadnought? The Venatori mages are quite capable of destroying the dreadnought from the beach with just a few volleys (as seen in the 'sacrifice dreadnought' cutscene). Question 3: Why are these the only two options? I've got a party with 3 ranged fighters, and the enemy is just a small way down the hill. There's not that many of them. Question 4: How did no one spot these guys before this? The Venatori are just casually strolling down the beach. Shouldn't the chargers or the dreadnought have seen them long before they got in our view?
    • The whole thing was likely a set up to test Bull's loyalty.
    • Keep in mind game engine limitations. They can't have too many units on screen at a time, and distances are much closer together than they "really" are.
    • In answer to question one; The Ben-Hassrath messed up. They investigated the situation and missed the other Venatori. The Venatori are also a group dedicated to being sneaky, they won that one. For the rest the forces are larger than shown, though not in my opinion in the way described above. When we are shown the force advancing on the hill we're only seeing the leading edge in the same way that we know that there are more Chargers than the four or five we see at the very top of the hill. Holding the hill saves the dreadnought because the Venatori have panicked and made a tactical error. They should stay on the beach and pound the ship. They'd lose people to ranged attack from the Chargers but they'd sink the dreadnought. Instead they've made the mistake of trying to retake the hill first. They will succeed but by the time they beat the Chargers the dreadnought will be too far away. If the Chargers retreat then the Venatori stop heading that way and reposition in time to attack the ship. As for why nobody saw them the Storm Coast does not lack for caves to hide in.
     [Trespasser DLC] Southern Thedosians now have Gaatlok 
  • Remember the super-secret gunpowder fantasy counterpart that the Qunari guard jealously? Well one of the levels in Trespasser has the Inquisitor run through a Qunari mining operation and blow shit up. Did it not occur to anyone to take a sample? Hell you catch an elven Qunari spy trying to sneak in a fucking barrel full of the stuff, and more barrels of it were found in Denerim and Val Royeau! Thedosians must now have plenty to study/reproduce.
    • Given decades of war with all of Thedas in the initial invasion and centuries of conflict with Tevinter and spy work by everyone else I find it extremely unlikely that samples of the stuff have not been taken before. I would guess that the finished product is extremely difficult to reverse engineer. (Also I hope you don't mind but I corrected your heading; you said Saar-Qamek, which was the poison gas formula the Arishok let get stolen instead, rather than Gaatlok, the gunpowder.)

     [Trespasser DLC] "You've hidden the Qunari body. You've all but seized the Winter Palace." 
  • During the course of Trespasser, the Inquisition does some rather questionable things at the winter palace. When a Qunari body is found on premises, dressed in full armour (meaning an invasion is going on), the inquisition hides the find, the inquisitor instead withdrawing from the negotiations without any official explanation. It also becomes increasingly apparent that the inquisition has pretty much parked an entire army on the footsteps of the winter palace, which has forced themselves into the position of now handling all security duties. This leads to one obvious question: Why are we doing this? Why is the Qunari body being hidden? Surely, if you find evidence of a Qunari invasion, the sensible thing to do is evacuate all the major figures, establish a defensive perimeter and investigate the premises? Cullen claims that what he's doing is "The right thing, not the politically expedient thing", but I genuinely don't see what he's trying to accomplish with all the secrecy and force.
    • The last thing one does when one discovers a hidden plot is tip one's hand. The Inquisition knows the Qunari are up to something but not what. What if the Qunari are waiting to ambush the delegates as they leave? Or want to kill the Inquisitor but not the Orlesian and Fereldan ambassadors and are just waiting to catch them alone? Granted that isn't the case but the Inquisition doesn't know that. Also who knows what spies are hidden among the delegate's parties? Keeping the whole thing to just the trusted Inner Circle is the smart move from an operational point of view. And indeed if they had evacuated Halamshiral it's likely the Qunari would have smelt a rat and activated Dragon's Breath early, before Leliana's people could find and remove the Gaatlok barrels in other places. So it's likely a damn good thing that they did what they did. It was just poor timing from a diplomatic standpoint.

    Cullen Commander? 
  • I know the true reason for his presence in Inquisition, but who decided that he was the guy that deserved to be the Commander of the Inquisition's army? He has no military experience. Why not Fergus Cousland or Ser Cauthrien if they want a recurring character? And why is Cullen not in Kirkwall trying to reform the Templars? And who thought that making the former second-in-command of one of the most abusive Circle in Thedas the commander of the army of the organisation trying to bring peace to Thedas was a good idea?
    • Aside from the obvious shoehorning in of a character popular with fangirls, the in-universe explanation is that Cullen was experienced in running the remnants of Kirkwall's Templars after Meredith died and, apparently, did a fairly good job of it. Given that the Inquisition's forces were built up from loyal Templars at first, it would make sense to keep one of them in such a high ranking position to ensure the loyalty of the others. From what we saw at the end of DAII, Cassandra and Leliana started recruiting in Kirkwall after interrogating Varric, so I guess Cullen got in first because he volunteered. Cassandra could have probably done the job, but she doesn't seem to like political power or desk work, so she refused in order to remain in the field.
    • Don't forget that Fergus is busy running Highever (and the player may never have even met him if they didn't do the Human Noble Origin, whereas Cullen does have an established presence across both Origins and 2) and Ser Cauthrien may or may not be dead—at the very least, like Threnn, she's bound to be unpopular thanks to being Loghain's right hand. Also, don't forget that they're not supposed to be coming from a neutral perspective: Leliana and Cassandra are working for the Chantry at the end of Dragon Age II, and the Chantry standpoint is "put down the mage rebellion", not "make peace between the two". From their point of view, it makes total sense to get a Templar on board, regardless of his feelings on mages—ideally he should have been balanced out by a magic adviser, like Vivienne or Morrigan, but they're toeing the Chantry line here. It isn't until the explosion at the Conclave and everything goes great-big-green-glowing-hole-shaped that the focus shifts to "make peace between Templars and mages so we can solve the great big green glowing hole". (Also, the jab at 'fangirls' seems a bit unfair.)
    • No military experience? The templars are a military organization.
      • They're glorified prison guards. Would you appoint a prison governor as your general? Even putting aside the issues of a) his still being in withdrawal from lyrium, which means he really ought to take some time off to recover, and b) just how bad the optics of hiring the former Knight-Captain of the worst Circle in Thedas are, if you want to present yourself as a neutral party in the mage-templar war.
      • No, the Templars are a military. While their most visible role is guarding the Circles they also hunt Apostates and Demons and defend Chantry holdings. They are (or were) the Chantry's army. On the withdrawal he went off the Lyrium after becoming Commander and offered to step down as a result. Cassandra refused to accept this, knowing that becoming useless like that would destroy him. As for PR of it yes, it wasn't a great look, hiring a Templar, but that was really their only option. Anyone else with military experience was either a) already in the service of some nation or other or b) a mercenary and thus not really someone you'd want to trust with your entire military.
    • Though it eventually becomes a lot more diverse, the Inquisition at the start was a Chantry organization. Leliana, Cassandra and Cullen are all chantry members, and Josephine is a friend of Leliana's. Afterwards there was no point in demoting Cullen, as he was doing a pretty good job.
      • Exactly. Cullen wasn't brought in to run the Inquisition military because it wasn't originally supposed to be a military. He was brought in because his experience in Kirkwall made him something of an authority on how to deal with rebel mages and nutty Templars. Then the Conclave blew up and they had to actually become a military arm, and instead of finding someone else to be in charge, they just stuck with the guy they already had because he was committed to the cause and doing his best and they liked him.
    • It is worth noting that as it turned out Cullen was the right guy for the job. The Inquisition end up fighting three major battles. They win two handily (Adamant and the Arbor Wilds) and the one they lose (Haven) involved them being so badly outnumbered that it's unlikely anyone could have pulled off a win and this battle still has comparably limited losses on their part and is something of a Pyrrhic Victory for Corypheus. Granted the Inquisitor takes a good chunk of the credit for these, as their actions had a big effect. But they wouldn't have been able to do so if the battle wasn't already going well (and the casualties would have been worse as well). The Inquisition tends to come out on top in the more common smaller scale conflicts as well.

     Clan Lavellan are the worst spies ever. 
  • So, Clan Lavellan, if you choose an elf inquisitor, wants to spy on the Conclave. Fair enough. But there's a problem with that: Dalish elves have big freaking tattoos on their faces. City elves do not. So how on earth did the Dalish expect to successfully "spy" on the Conclave when they might as well have written a big sign saying "I AM DALISH" and carried it around? Sure, some city elves do have tattoos, but they're extremely rare and have very, very close ties to the Dalish. The only exception I can think of is the city elf Warden. Feynriel's mother has vallaslin, but she grew up in a clan. Zevran has a small tattoo on his face, but his mother was Dalish and he's very touched in Origins if you give him a pair of Dalish gloves. Whether or not some city elves have tattoos, the ones that do still have enough ties to the Dalish that there's absolutely no reason why even the most ignorant human wouldn't immediately recognise a Dalish spy when they saw one.
    • An elven mage could probably say that they were exiled because their clan had too many mages, and they were either sent to the Circle or joined up with the rebel mages. A non-mage elf? Yeah, that's pretty bad.
    • Well, a warrior or rogue could say that they were kicked out of their clan for arguing with the Keeper or something - it's not like humans would know enough about Dalish culture to spot a lie. And it's possible that the Dalish have some kind of way to hide vallaslin, makeup of some kind, and that it just got removed at some point. A Lavellan Inquisitor doesn't start out in Dalish clothes, so they were probably putting some effort into a disguise. Or they expected to mostly be spying by sneaking around and staying out of sight.
    • The Dalish future Inquisitor is there to gather information. Nothing says he/she needs to hide the fact that he/she is Dalish in order to do that. They just need to listen to what people are saying and report back what conclusions the Conclave reaches.
  • The pre-Inquisitor character is always wearing mercenary gear. If anyone saw a Dalish elf dressed like a mercenary, well, they're just what they look like. A mercenary with an interesting backstory, maybe, but a mere sellsword all the same.

     The Well and Fen'Harel (spoilers) 
  • It's established that the Well of Sorrows has knowledge stemming all the way back to the origins of ancient elven culture; the "voices" of the well and its protectors, the sentinels, are ancient elves of Elvhenan. Abelas seems well aware of the truth of things, at least to an extent; he states outright that Fen'Harel had nothing to do with Mythal's murder. Shouldn't the voices of the well share these truths with Morrigan or an Inquisitor who drinks, revealing the truth about the Evanuris and Fen'Harel and the creation of the Veil? Why is the Inquisitor surprised to learn all of this in Trespasser, even if they were the one to drink? It isn't unreasonable for at least one of the well's voices to know that Fen'Harel's original name was Solas; his whole cover could have been blown, and yet there's no indication that the well shared any of that knowledge with Morrigan or the Inquisitor.
    • Just as anyone who drinks from the Well is bound to the will of Mythal, so is the Well itself. Mythal, AKA Flemeth, apparently doesn't want the Inquisitor or Morrigan to know these things, since Mythal is an ally of Fen'Harel. And once she gives her power to Solas, presumably including power over the Well, he definitely isn't going to want the Inquisitor or Morrigan to know these things, since he doesn't want them to interfere with his plans, but also doesn't want to have to take control of anyone.
    • The voices don't share all their knowledge at once. They dole it out in bits and pieces as needed.

     Descent DLC spoilers — raw lyrium has no effect? 
  • In DA:O, it was established that raw lyrium would affect even a dwarf — any other races would be seriously impaired by lyrium, and a mage can't go near unprocessed lyrium because it kills them. So how on earth is it that in the last level of the Descent, you're running around inside a Titan who's lit up by lyrium like it's a bloody Christmas tree, without a single party member feeling even a little bit queasy? How can, say, Dorian and Solas go in there and not drop dead?
    • Gameplay and Story Segregation—the devs probably (and probably correctly) thought it would be a pain in the ass if the Inquisitor and their party lost health (or went slower, or staggered around) every time they came within ten feet of lyrium. Note that you can also climb on top of the giant red lyrium crystals in Emprise du Lion and have a picnic for all the harm it does you.
    • Raw Lyrium isn't Krytonite, it doesn't have radiation around it. You just can't touch the stuff safely. So long as the party don't rub their faces in it there's not problem being around it. Hell, in Origins you could run around for half the game with a box of raw Lyrium from Rogek in your pack with no harm.

     Why is Cassandra surprised that Solas never attracted Templar attention? 
  • During banter between Cassandra and Solas, Cassandra expresses surprise that, as an apostate, Solas never aroused the suspicions of any Templar. But why would she be surprised? If you're a mage that the Circle doesn't know exists, surely all you'd have to do to avoid the attention of Templars is not use magic around people at all? That can't be hard, as from what I know the only mages who have magical accidents are children who don't know how to control it. Or do Templars have spidey senses that tingle whenever a magic-user is nearby?
    • As much as she tries to be open-minded, Cassandra still carries some anti-mage bias. It's probably showing there.
    • It's more of a showing of the flaws in the Seekers and Templars as a whole. Despite her job being essentially Templar Internal Affairs, Cassandra herself has been shown as ignorant of the degree to which Templar authority has been abused in the Circles (see: her horrified reaction to Cole's memories of the real Cole's life) and so many can fail at even the most basic idea of their jobs thanks to overconfidence or zealotry. Apostates having such an easy time sneaking by the Templars is just another point that never occurred to her. The Seekers' holy duty was to oversee the entire system, and she's was forced to realize that their arrogant faith in their own infallibility allowed so much to fester. The events of the game were something of a wake-up call to Cassandra that forced her to admit that the system as it was had completely failed its ideals. That's why she dedicated herself to improving it after the events of the game.
    • While the conversation is relevant in that it shows Cassandra's anti-magic bias and the flaws in Templar system, she DOES have a point. In DAO the head Templar at Lothering mentions he can sense a Mage Warden is, well, a mage, but doesn't choose to act on it as he has bigger concerns like the incoming horde of Darkspawn. Since the apostate Hawke family lived for years in Lothering without issue the Lothering Templars likely knew the Hawke mages had control of their magic and weren't a threat to their neighbor muggles. The DAI conversation is likely meant to highlight Cassandra's and SOLAS' flawed thinking because it's only after the events of Trespasser do we discover he's the Dread Wolf, slept for a few thousand years, and knows as little of the intricacies of everyday Templars and mages.
    • Speaking of which, the Hawke family is probably why the Lothering Templars were there in the first place.
      • As to the immediately above no, those Templars were simply the Lothering Chantry's assignment of Templars. Any reasonable sized Chantry has some as guards regardless of the presence of local apostates. The Denerim and Redcliffe Chantries both have Templars hanging around as well.
  • It's actually a hint at both their biases. Cassandra assumes the Templars are more competent than they really were. Solas, being new to this world, underestimates the Templars and how much attention he would have attracted with the level of magic he uses. Cassandra can tell he's a powerful and competent mage and that only happens by practicing magic a lot and tossing around that much magic really would have attracted Templar attention.

     In Hushed Whispers spoilers 
  • Does Leliana have a death wish?
    • Probably. When confronting Alexis she executes Felix and sends him off the Despair Event Horizon, okay no problems here as she was driven by utterly understandable rage. However, when given hope the crisis could be averted, Leliana seeks to Hold the Line by placing herself right behind the throne room doors.
    • Right... there wasn't perhaps a better place Leliana could situate herself? It wasn't as if she had to be in that particular spot to keep the demons from getting to Inquisitor and Dorian, she could have well kept from being overwhelmed providing archer support from further away. Better yet, why not fight with the other allies? Rogue or no rogue as a veteran of the Fifth Blight she could have helped them survive, or at least bought that extra bit of time. It wasn't as if her skills were no longer up to scratch as Leliana fights in a manner that should have Inquisitor asking her to train them. So, did she pick up the Idiot Ball or am I missing something?
    • She doesn't want to save herself from being overwhelmed—she wants the full attention of the oncoming enemies so they don't focus on Dorian and the Inquisitor. If she stays further away, the risk is higher that they focus on the big glowy time portal and the people in front of it. That she's a squishy rogue archer instead of a tank warrior is a problem, but it's the best shot they've got. As for joining the allies outside: if she does, there's no-one to cover the people on the inside in case a straggler gets through, and if everyone gets wiped at the door—which they will; there's no chance of them surviving this one and they all know it—then Dorian and the Inquisitor are screwed. Better to have two last lines of defense than one.
    • Two weaker ones as opposed to one stronger one? Leliana even in her state did better even than my Rogue Inquisitor. Quite a few questions that could be asked here, strategies that could have been tried, maybe in the hour to prepare they were discussed...sure the game wasn't going for that, the idea was to show Mass Effect how to properly throw a Player Punch. Still good to wonder, discuss.
    • Mass Effect threw Player Punches just fine. And they're not trying to win this battle—they're trying to buy time for the Inquisitor and Dorian. Leliana is going to lose no matter where she stands or what she does, so it's better to pull a Leeroy Jenkins than risk the darkspawn getting to their last chance.
    • Leliana knows that even with all of them at full strength, there's no way their party can win the battle. The enemy is advancing with large numbers of soldiers and demons and the Elder One himself is on his way. The group will be overwhelmed eventually and there's nowhere to run to. Even if they weren't the world is a dying pit ruled by a darkspawn who has actually managed to achieve godhood (making him far more powerful than he is when you face him) where the Veil has been completely destroyed. There's nothing left worth fighting for here even if they miraculously won. The point of the battle is just to buy time so that Dorian and the Inquisitor can go back and stop all this before it really begins. Leliana and the others will gladly die if it means there's even the slightest hope that they can avert this dark future.

     Let's Follow Elf Satan! 
  • Seriously, how did Solas convince anyone to follow him? He must be the most hated person in Dalish history.
    • Technically Solas is more of an elf Loki. But on the face of it the likelihood the majority of his elf army know his true identity is pretty low. Without that history, Solas is intelligent, charismatic, a talented revolutionary, spymaster and manipulator with lifetimes of experience. That alone would be enough to galvanise the Dalish to join him. He would probably limit the truth to those he know will understand the truth. And if he wanted all the Dalish to know his true identity, well he could always tell them the truth. He has the magic power to back up his claim and even the Dalish admit they don't know everything of their past. Get enough on his side and the others will fall in line with the promise of returning to their past glory. The depressing truth is that the Dalish may just be desperate enough to take up a deal with the devil.
    • More than that, Solas knows the real truth about the elves' history and can prove what the Dalish think happened is at best partially correct. Unlike their Keepers, he could fully demonstrate his mastery of the ancient magic devices and promise them a real homeland again. Besides, his plan involves the elimination of all non-elves which would motivate some to join out of hatred or just survival instinct.
    • Why are we assuming that the Dalish make up the majority of his forces? I suspect most of them wouldn't and the lines from Trespasser's epilogue talks about elven servants going missing, not the Dalish. The Dalish would be very unlikely to follow the guy they see as the ultimate cause of their misfortune and tend to be more about avoiding conflict anyway. I'd guess that Solas' forces are going to be mostly City Elves to whom Fen'Harel is just a name out of myths they don't care about rather than something they are actually scared of. Most City Elves are Andrastian or atheists. Why should they care if Solas is Fen'Harel or not?
    • It's not an assumption. Felassan served Solas and was a Dalish. I doubt he was the only one. Fen'Harel's ending slide in Trespasser explicitly showed Dalish Elves migrating to join him. The focus on eleven servants is because they are his spy network and humans would notice their absence before the Dalish. As for Dalish always avoiding conflict, that was only when they thought they could not win. They were never doing it out of pacifist beliefs and hated the life they were forced to live. Suddenly now their odds have improved.
    • Felassan was not a Dalish elf, he merely pretended to be one. But that's a nitpick. Please note my comments said "most of them wouldn't" not none of them wouldn't. Naturally some will, likely dumb angry kids like Vehlanna (though probably not actually Velanna, being a Grey Warden and all) and that mage from one of the Exalted Plains side quests but, as the initial poster pointed out, Fen'Harel occupies a position of utter hatred in Dalish culture and him as saviour is going to be a tough sell to them. I never meant to suggest that the Dalish were pacifists (though I see why you thought that, my bad, phrased that poorly). I meant that they are cautious by nature, as life has taught them to be. They are not really the sort of folks to suddenly abandon their centuries old belief structure and follow their former archenemy on an apocalyptic crusade. Plus Solas holds the Dalish in contempt anyway. The ending slide in Trespasser showed one Dalish elf going to join him. The one in front facing the (for lack of better term) camera has Vallaslin and can therefore be assumed to be Dalish (although we have seen non Dalish ape that custom so it's not certain). The other elves in frame are facing away and indeed are mostly wearing very non-Dalish clothing while a voice over refers to elven servants vanishing. The idea that the majority of his forces are Dalish is rather jumping to conclusions. As a side note if, as the end to "Trespasser" implies, the next game is going to be in Tevinter that further suggests non-Dalish are more likely; there are no Dalish clans in Tevinter, Dorian said as much, and the elves that already live there have more reason than most to throw in with him.
    • Even back in Origins, if you look at their legends about the Dread Wolf, even they admit they have no idea how or why he sealed the others away. They're not even sure he did it, it's just their best guess. If he were to provide actual answers, which we know he can, he would be able to convince a large number of elves to follow him, especially given what he's offering. Also remember Dalish lore varies from clan to clan, so even if some clans utterly despise him there would likely be others that were sympathetic.
    • Perhaps but I doubt there'd be that many. Every Dalish elf we've ever heard speak on Fen'Harel were very clear; Fen'Harel sealed the gods away because he's an untrustworthy bastard who betrays everyone who trusts him in the end. No matter what answers he promises most Dalish would never trust him enough to even listen. I really think that Solas forces are going to be mostly City Elves and freed Tevinter elven slaves.

     Discovery of the Temple of Sacred Ashes 
  • So since the status of what went on within the temple and what happened to Brother Genitivi is not a choice in DA Keep for some reason, the Hero of Ferelden apparently did not reveal to the world the location of the Temple of Sacred Ashes and brother Genitivi has gone missing. Why did Bioware choose this scenario to be canon? Wouldn't it have made more sense to have Brother Genitivi reveal the location of the temple since the conclave takes place there?
    • Whatever choice you make in Origins, it's Brother Genitivi who is choosing to reveal the location of the Urn. The Hero and his/her party have other things to be getting on with. The way the codex is phrased it's ambiguous as to whether Genitivi went missing because the Hero killed him in the Urn quest or if he went home and gave his research to the Chantry but vanished later before it could be verified and the Urn was gone by the time the Chantry reached the Temple. Since Bioware wanted the Temple as the start of Inquisition they needed to give such ambiguity to cover all player choices. Unlike the Keep choices the game couldn't alter based on player choice too much since it had to start at the Temple no matter what. One can debate whether that was a good decision or not of course.

     No small Alistairs running around? 
  • Hang on a sec... it was a major plot point in Origins that Cailan and Anora didn't have an heir, so Alistair was brought forward so he could pump out more Theirin kids. But ten years on from Origins and not only are there no heirs, if Alistair isn't married to Anora or the Warden, he's still single. Shouldn't someone have brought up marriage negotiations by now? Sure, Alistair's only thirty or so, but he's still got the Taint and he's not immune to the Calling—guy's on a timetable, and one that's getting increasingly shorter. Wouldn't Eamon, at least, be sitting in the background and tapping his watch with a really meaningful look?
    • First of all, Alistair and Anora may have children for all we know; they just don't factor into the story. And it is possible Alistair does have a wife the Hero of Ferelden. Granted she also can't have kids, but they can end up married. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Alistair is a Grey Warden. He may actually be physically incapable of having children (which would explains why he's so cavalier about having battles in the palace kitchens) and just decided to be the best King he can with what little time he has left. A better question might be why Anora, who shouldn't be infertile, hasn't married someone if she didn't at the end of Origins.
      • "And it is possible Alistair does have a wife the Hero of Ferelden." Right, but if he's not hitched to the Warden or Anora in Inquisition, he's not married at all, and there's no hint of any courtship or marriage proposals. Considering how hardline Eamon was about Cailan, and how easily the Bannorn was swayed over the childless Anora, and how big a deal royal marriages and alliances are in general, it seems like a dangling plot thread. (The point about Anora not being married either is a good one; it's like the writers forgot or didn't want to deal with a new character/spouse.)
    • Alistair and the Hero can have children, it's just since they're both tainted the odds are very low (and since she keeps taking off for long periods of time even lower). Alistair was put on the throne because he had the right bloodline and Loghain wasn't a popular choice; if he doesn't provide an heir that's a problem for later. They were in a hurry during Origins as they needed a leader who could command the land and oppose the Blight. We don't even know how hard he's even trying to produce heirs, and we likely won't get official word until it's absolutely necessary since there were so many possibilities for how that situation went down.
      • No doubt. It's just that Eamon kicked up so much fuss over Cailan popping out an heir—in the Return to Ostagar DLC, he writes letters to Cailan urging him to divorce Anora and get married again for the sake of producing a child, one of the reasons why Loghain kicked off his coup/rebellion in the first place. But with Alistair, the guy with an actual deadline on making babies, he just sort of... lets it slide? In fact, nobody at all seems concerned about a childless King of Ferelden. You'd think someone, somewhere, would bring up a princess or a countess or heck, resurrect the plan to marry Celene.
    • I have what may be an explanation; the Hero is looking for a method to cure the Calling. Judging from his/her return (if romancing Leliana dialogue in "Trespasser" states that he/she is back, no reason to think a Hero that didn't romance Leliana met with less luck) then the Hero succeeded. Even if the Hero is dead the same leads he/she follows still exist for some other Warden to look into. If Alistair is aware of this perhaps he's waiting until he hears back about that, since if the cure works then there's a decent chance it'll fix the fertility issue as well so he might as well wait until that's fixed and he has a much better shot at an heir. As for Anora there's two things there; first, Anora may very well be infertile through entirely non-Blight related reasons (it was noted by some characters in Origins that Cailan and Anora have been married for a while with no kids arriving) and second, if Anora holds the throne on her own, then the prestigious bloodline thing doesn't apply and she can pretty much name whoever she wants as her successor and it'll be much the same as her actual child. Her family has only even been nobility for two generations.

     (Bash)spects of the Fade 
  • Solas comments on how he is impressed by the destroyed tower (not Fort Connor, not Redcliffe windmill, one other random Hinterland ruin) and says he wonders what dreams the Fade has to offer, which led me to begin bashing Fade aspects. If the Fade is so ethereal and dependent upon the dreamer, what difference does it make (in respect to the Fade's response) where the dreamer enters, or is inspired to enter, as to the experiences thereof? If Fade entities can just toy and manipulate, what obligation do they have to "reflect" a dreamer's inner experiences and views?
    • OP here: I realized I was being a little picky so to clarify: Second playthrough and Solas is established as well-read in my opinion, so, also, this argument either leans on Solas's expertise to bash the Fade, or (Story Segregation) it's just Solas venting some Fade gaiety, obviously. Not really comfortable bashing Solas, but...
    • I... honestly have no idea what you're asking here. The Dragon Age series has emphasized over and over that the Fade reflects a person's inner thoughts—it's why you get the various companion quests in "Broken Circle" in Origins, it's why Feynriel has his dreams and the companions each face their own temptations in 2, and it's why everyone sees their own personal worst nightmares in Inquisition. The Fade feeds off of people's imaginations. So if they see a beautiful ruin or a forest grove or a windy beach, they see that in their dreams, too. A Fade entity can "play along" with those experiences, either to make them feel better or make them more susceptible to possession/defeat.
    • Ah. I was thinking dreams would certainly be influenced by specific locations but given the "duality" (not that it's always dual interpretations, whatever) of the Fade's responses, I was just more confused by how Solas put it: "I wonder what here will cause my dreams to be" when he's had such extensive though, surely, as variable experiences. I don't know. And he's not immune to demons/spirits effects or at least its not gone into?
    • Solas explains it if you chat with him about his journeys through the Fade. The freaky green-brown floating landscape you see in the games is the raw Fade. Normally, non-magical people can only access it through dreaming; when they do, their minds render it as a dream landscape, based off their memories and experiences and the stories they've heard. Dreams are inspired by what people have seen and heard, so old ruins can spark some fascinating dreams. Solas has never entered the raw Fade himself—he flips out about it if you take him along on "Here Lies the Abyss"—but he explores the Fade through dreaming, while meeting other people and spirits and demons. If the Inquisitor asks him if he ever gets tempted by demons, he replies with "No more so than a brightly coloured fruit is tempting you to eat it." As an Elven trickster god, he probably has enough experience under his belt to resist possession.
    • That's where I was floundering. I didn't take the fruit analogy to mean himself, thinking he meant it as advice to someone asking. Awesome, thank you.
    • Also Solas mentions a few times that spirits watch the mortal world even when people are awake and have a habit of copying what they see, albeit through peoples personal experiences of it rather than objective truth, since that's how spirits see the world. So spirits in the Fade around Ostagar will play out versions of the battle there even without someone directly dreaming of it and a Fadewalker as experienced as Solas could go watch.

     Shard Quest WTF (SPOILER...I think) 
  • Why, um, weren't, um there any, oh, uh, lightning resistance shard quest?
    • Do you mean the temple in the Forbidden Oasis? There is—it's the final quest after you've completed the fire, cold, and spirit chambers.
    • ohhh. I also didn't get the Elgar'nan (Knight Temple) quest on my first playthrough.
    • Eh, given the sheer number of shards lying around, I think you can be forgiven. Anyways, that's what multiple playthroughs are for!

     Damn Dragons 
  • I noticed it was very effective to use poison on the various dragons with the rogue, but I tried to be slick by applying the poison, nailing one hind leg, and then quick try to poison the other leg for 2x damage with the poison. I was so proud, and then so crushed. I thought sure, the legs are the multiple designated accesses to the dragon's only hp, so I guess It Just Bugs This Troper that there were four leg targets but only one poison victim. Furthermore (if I may) I felt like the dragons were leveled and sufficiently skilled enough for this to be fair and rewarding. Without the poison accessories there's only three poisons anyway, and more than one rogue against the dragons (without stats certain to win)? This isn't some arcade game.
    • Mechanically the legs might be different targets but being able to poison each leg individually would make not sense at all from an in-universe perspective (and might very well have ended up on this page from the opposite direction). The dragon is one creature, if there's poison in it's bloodstream that's powerful enough to begin affecting it immediately then it's going to affect the entire body equally.

    Where did all the Desire demons go? 
  • Back in Origins (and II, to a lesser extent) you were practically tripping over them; now, in Inquisition, there's only Imshael the "choice spirit". Where are all the half-naked purple people?
    • Most of the demons in this game came through rifts and Solas (and a few others) note that a lot of them may not have been demons before being corrupted by the experience of getting dragged unwillingly into an alien world. Fear, rage and despair are all reasonable reactions of both the spirits and nearby humans to this. Desire, not so much. Of course the same could be said for pride but Pride Demons are (usually) the most powerful so likely the Pride Demons we encounter were always Pride Demons, they just weathered the trauma better. As such the rifts are just less likely to produce Desire Demons. That said a few seem to get through; there's a diary in a tower in Emprise Du Lion from some poor sod who came across a Desire Demon that came through a rift.
    • More likely because a) Desire Demons were pretty wimpy enemies in combat, and b) Bioware by 2014 was moving away from 'fanservice' character design like the near-naked Desire Demons in Origins. I'm actually kind of surprised they let Morrigan keep her old outfit.
    • ^ Watsonian vs. Doylist right there.

    The Warden as Inquisitor 
  • Why did Divine Justinia believe that the Warden would accept being Inquisitor if Leliana and Cassandra find them? I know that the Warden is one of the most powerful people in Southern Thedas and Justinia was desperate; but still, the Warden would probably reject the proposal with the excuse of staying neutral for being a Grey Warden or simply to continue with his own plans (investigating the cure of the taint, how Fiona managed to being immune to the taint, etc.). So, what's the point behind that idea?
    • Simply put? Worth a try. The Warden might say no but s/he might say yes and there's no harm in trying. The Warden's devotion to Grey Warden neutrality is dependent on the player anyway and Wardens have stepped outside that role to assume others before (Alistair for instance). The Hero Of Ferelden is an almost universally respected figure in addition to their personal power so them as Inquisitor would have a number of advantages.
    • It might have actually been on Leliana's recommendation if she and the Warden were on good terms; she's one of Justinia's two closest advisors and one of the people in Thedas most familiar with the Warden and their capabilities. Doesn't quite work in playthroughs where the warden killed her, and either way would ultimately end with her writing them, them writing back "Nah I got this whole calling thing to solve. Good luck with that though." and Leliana being like "Oh well. Plan b."
  • There's also the fact that the Warden had, by that point, become a legendary hero. S/He would have a great head start on gaining followers and be more likely to ply support from more stubborn authority figures while being highly competent on the job. The Divine herself adding authority to the Warden or Hawke would give them much more clout as Inquisitor. Plan "C" would have likely been finding some other living legend, but then the Breach happened so they went with the person who got seemingly divine powers just perfect for the current crisis. Even then, they were basically a gloried gofer until they proved themselves in Haven and were given the title.

    Proof of Divine Justinia's Orders 
  • Whole piles of politics hinge on the Inquisition lacking Chantry authority, or proof thereof. Pointing out that the Divine's Right and Left Hands are the founders doesn't help, fine. But why, when a whole tome of holy writ instructing them to found the Inquisition is presented right in front of Roderick, do he, the various Mothers, and the Orlesian noble who claims to own Haven, all keep asserting they lack proof of the Divine's authority? I can sort of see Roderick's argument being that Justinia, being dead, no longer has authority, and they can't just go on old orders she gave before circumstances changed. The Mothers have political reasons for sticking their fingers in their ears and flat out ignoring the proof. But the Orlesian noble simply said he wanted papers proving that the Inquisition was founded by Justinia's orders, which they clearly do have.
    • The noble wants proof that the Divine gave stewardship of Haven. The writ gives authority to the Inquisition to exist, nothing says the Divine planned to use Haven as it's HQ so that's probably not in there.
    • In practical terms, it seems more like the Marquis throwing his weight around - the Inquisition is pretty clearly aiming for holding power and authority in Thedas, at a time where it seems the world is ending. The Marquis is looking to either get rid of the Inquisition or shield himself from blowback when the Inquisition inevitably pisses the wrong group of people and they come for his head, since they're supposedly on his land. If he has it on paper that this is Justinia's will, he can bank on her name to avoid retribution, given how loved Justinia was. If it's not there, then he's stuck with the Inquisition unless they give him an alternative. It's not that he wants to have evidence of Justinia's authority, he wants it in writing that he is not one of the heads that will roll when the Inquisition parked on his lands pisses off the wrong authority.

    I'm strongly against Blood Magic despite being a Blood Mage myself and/or currently being in a relationship with a blood mage. 
  • Did something in-universe happen during the four year time skip for Hawke to become so anti-blood magic despite possibly being one because even after their mother was killed by a blood mage they never had any problems with further using it or in pursuing a relationship with Merrill?
    • What Hawke says is, essentially, that Blood Magic always has a price and the price is always high. While he/she may have accepted that price for themselves and/or Merrill it doesn't change the fact that Blood Magic has messed up their lives. A few years reflection may have caused them to decide that, while he/she and/or Merrill have found something of a balance, they no longer believe it's worth it. Certainly the reckless use of Blood Magic by the Wardens is not going look good to anyone and Hawke least of all.
      • That's what's confusing though. If there was a price for Hawke to accept then that price didn't occur after three or six years. There's also the Warden who could also be a blood mage and fourteen years later they're a national hero who could potentially be Happily Married to a wife who Took a Level in Kindness and Good Parents to their child or in a happy relationship with Unharden Pro-Mage Divine. What price did the Warden have to accept?
      • They sold a child to a demon. Of course once you unlock the Blood Mage class you can use it on subsequent playthroughs but that's very meta and the way you unlock it is giving up Connor to the demon possessing him. Besides Hawke has, as far as we know, never met the Warden and even if the Warden is a Blood Mage we can assume that's not public knowledge. Which is rather a point in itself; any Blood Mage, even one that avoids temptation to misuse it and isn't used as a finger puppet by a demon is still going to have to live their entire life in hiding. As a side note this opens up another possibility, namely that Hawke is deliberately overdoing it to hide their/Merrill's Blood Magic from the Inquisition.
      • Except with high persuasion the Warden can intimidate the demon into giving them blood magic and leaving Connor peacefully with no negative repercussions. Also, the Grey Wardens make it no secret they have no problems recruiting blood mages or criminals of any kind. This is going by how Riordan causally says such at the Landsmeet in front of nobles and a Grand Cleric of the Chantry. Though, the latter of your answer does make the most sense, since I can imagine nobody will care how incorruptible a blood mage is or regardless if nothing bad ever comes from using blood magic.
  • I saw it as a slightly awkward attempt by the writers to get out of a slightly awkward situation. In Origins and II, you could be a blood mage and none of your companions would comment on it—not even Wynne or Leliana, who would attack you for defiling the Urn of Sacred Ashes, or Fenris, who has very good reasons to hate and fear blood magic. No personal qualms whatsoever, even if you were super pro-Chantry/pro-Templar. The whole thing felt like Bioware saying "we want to give you the cool evil powers", without much in-story justification, and Hawke being violently anti-blood magic feels like an Author's Saving Throw that turned unfortunately into a Voodoo Shark.
    • Perhaps it was an Author's Saving Throw but Voodoo Shark is pushing it, since A: Hawke can be anti-blood magic, B: As noted above there are reasons a Blood Mage Hawke may have changed his/her mind and C: As also noted above he/she may be faking.
  • Honestly there's a lot of possibilities:
    • First just because you chose to use blood magic doesn't mean Hawke did so in canon.
    • Second even if Hawke did decide to use blood magic doesn't mean they thought it was a good idea overall or that they actually used it anywhere near as much as gameplay would suggest.
    • Third, maybe Hawke did become a blood mage and used it as much as in gameplay and just decided it was a bad idea afterward.
      • The canon argument is pretty weak since the whole point of the Keep and such is that there is no canon (or, at least, the player defines their own canon). The other two stand though.
      • The writers of the series have ignored the players choices many times throughout the series if they want the plot to go in a certain direction.
      • They haven't actually. They have Handwaved a fair bit but every time they reversed the results of a player choice (and there aren't actually that many) they have given a reason, such as Leliana being a spirit if the real one was killed, Anders joining the Wardens of his own accord if you didn't recruit him etc. The books have a canon that may not fit with player choice but the games do not.

     Varric in the future 
  • When you meet Varric a year into the future, why doesn't his chest gets hairier or beard longer (not counting game limitations)?
    • Rather an unfair restriction, as game limitations are exactly why Varric's beard doesn't grow. The same thing applies to The Iron Bull and Blackwall. Or indeed to the head hair of the female party members (and possibly Solas as well, if he shaves his head rather than being naturally bald). In order to show this Bioware would need to create longer hair models for every party member except Dorian and Cole. That's a lot of work for a short sequence that not every player will even see. If you really need an in-universe reason blame it on the red lyrium.
    • Another possibility is that something happened with regards to Alexius's spell which caused people to stagnate in the same condition they were in when it was cast. This would account for their clothes not being torn and them still having access to their weapons, which I should think would otherwise have been taken from them when they were imprisoned.
    • I may be wrong, but I seem to recall having read that Varric actually shaves his beard regularly. Beards are very much a staple of Orzammar society, so Varric shaves in order to continue his lifelong trend of bucking their traditions. I don't know if it was canon or just a fan theory, but I know I read it somewhere and it made sense to me.

    Walks a dark path? 
  • Why does a Warden Alistair have such a low opinion on the Warden to the point that he doubts s/he will be on the same side as him and say they walk a dark path? This is especially baffling because Alistair not only says this if the Warden was a total paragon and his friend, but also if he was the one who agreed to and did Morrigan's ritual knowing what the results would be.
    • Presumably being pressured into sex with someone he hates for a disturbing magical purpose doesn't sit well with him. Even though it saved his life it's still pretty disturbing. King Alistair has had time to get some distance, Warden Alistair has spent the intervening decade steeped in Grey Warden responsibilities.

     Timeline goof 
  • This is a straightforward blunder by the writers. Corypheus tells the Herald at Haven "You interrupted a ritual years in the preparation;" but in "Trespasser" Solas says he only awoke a year before the Breach, and therefore Corypheus could only have had Fen'Harel's orb less than a year.
    • Corypheus has been up and around for years and planning to return to the Black City, Solas just gave him the actual means to do so. Not saying it wasn't a goof mind you, but if you want an in-universe explanation there it is.
    • Also, it's entirely possible Corypheus conceived of the basics of the plan before getting captured and sealed away and only started putting things into action after Hawke accidentally unsealed his can. We do know from codex entries that whichever Warden Corypheus rides out of the Vimmarks in is seen talking to Samson, so it could easily be as early as Act 1 of Dragon Age 2 that he started working on his plan. It seems like "waste the Divine, charge the orb I've been searching for and just conveniently found, become a god, profit" were just the last couple steps.

     The Warden inconsistencies 
  • The Warden refers to themselves as "Warden-Commander of Ferelden" in their letter even though they've been replaced as revealed in Last Flight. Their codex says they served as it for years before disappearing even in a world state where they either go through the Eluvian with Morrigan or travels to Antiva to be with Zevran six months into the promotion. Also despite that people such as Morrigan and Alistair will talk like they still have anything to do with the Wardens. Are these retcons or is there something I'm missing?
    • It is a bit of a Continuity Snarl, although it's entirely possible (though unlikely) that the Warden doesn't officially know they've been replaced, or isn't acknowledging their replacement, or is simply using the title like a real-world retired soldier could be Colonel (Retired) Badass. Or they've essentially moved sideways in the position instead of stepping down, as the Warden was very much a Frontline General and their replacement may be more of a strategist and administrator, allowing them to do more Wardening while their replacement does more Commanding. Also, the books like Last Flight take place in Bioware's worldstate, which is deliberately vague in a lot of ways.
    • The Warden most definitely has stepped down from that role (Anders would have been unlikely to run to Kirkwall otherwise and anyway it's hard to command a group you're hundreds of miles away from). However it is pretty common for retired soldiers to continue to use their rank. In at least one case I'm aware of one soldier (R. Lee Ermey) was promoted after retiring. It would not be at all surprising that the Warden would continue to use their title after leaving the position.
    • The books follow Bioware's own worldstate, where the Warden is a female Dalish who died killing the Archdemon, which it's more than likely that this means that the replacement never happened in the worldstates where the Warden survived. Also, 1) the lore mentioned that when a Warden-Commander is absent (like being called from Weisshaupt), the second-in-command aka the Warden-Constable take command until the Warden-Commander returned, and 2) most of the epilogues from the first games aren't canon (like the one where Cullen goes crazy and killed some mages). So, it's possible that in the time the Warden is doing his mission, the Fereldan branch of the Wardens are led by the Fereldan Warden-Constable, whoever s/he is.