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Heartwarming / Dragon Age II

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     Main Game 

  • At the very beginning of a mage Hawke run, when Bethany dies, Aveline's husband, a Templar, commends Bethany - an apostate - to the Maker. It's small, but it is a touching moment.
    • And this comes maybe twenty minutes after they first meet. Wesley was more than prepared to apprehend her. The fact that he isn't just a stone-cold mage hunter shows how far the Order has fallen in Kirkwall.
    • It even works if it's Carver for whom he's giving "last rites." He's just met this family, one of them is an apostate, they've just had a very tense stand-off preceding and followed by intense battles with hordes of darkspawn, and he still takes the time to give complete strangers, of whom he has every reason to be wary, what little comfort he can for the death of one of their loved ones. It's easy to see why Aveline was so deeply in love with the man.
  • Much like in the first game, Bodahn and Sandal. It is very heartwarming how much Bodahn loves the kid, especially when he worries what will happen to Sandal when he's gone.
    • Not just that, at one point, Sandal outright says "I like Bodahn!" and then Bodahn, like a concerned parent, laments to Hawke what would happen to Sandal after he's gone. The man really does consider the kid his son.
    • The best part happens in Act 3. Hawke and Bodahn are talking about the future of Sandal after Bodahn is gone. Hawke can offer to look after Sandal, but Bodahn quietly rejects the idea, saying that everything that Hawke has done for the two of them over the years was good enough. Bodahn has come a hell of a long way from the scamming salesman of Origins. There's just something about how his face changes over the years, and there is a little twinkle in his old face by Act 3.
  • During "Wayward Son" in Act 1, Mage Hawke gets one when Feynriel angrily questions why Hawke came after him, thinking they'll turn him over to the Templars for being an apostate.
    Feynriel: Why do you care? You don't even know me.
    *Hawke creates a blinding ball of light in one hand*
    Hawke: [gently] I am you.
    • A non-mage Hawke can also gain Feynriel's trust, and the dialogue hints just how protective Hawke is of Bethany and how hard they have worked to keep her safe from the Templars:
      Hawke: I've spent my entire life fighting to protect my sister from the same fate you fear.
      • Bonus heartwarming points if Bethany has been brought along for the quest. When Hawke makes this remark, Bethany turns to regard her sibling with an expression of deep gratitude and affection.
  • If you chose a past where Alistair left the Grey Wardens, you'll find him in the first act drinking in the bar, a little funny and kind of sad. In the second act, you see him there again... and Bann Teagan comes in, pulls him out of his slump, and takes him back home. Nice to know that he still has family that cares for him.
  • There's something very, very cool about the fact that all the City Elves bow to Keeper Marethari when she arrives in the Kirkwall Alienage during "Night Terrors," especially since tensions between the Dalish and the City Elves often run quite high.
  • It's a small thing, and a little hard to see, but if Hawke killed Kelder in Act 1, and then walks through the Alienage with Aveline in their party in Act 3 during the day, an elf will come up to them. It's Lia, the girl Hawke saved. She thanks them for rescuing her all those years ago and says you did the right thing by killing Kelder; afterwards, when she walks off, Aveline comments that Lia, inspired by your example, joined the City Guard a few months ago. It's just really nice to see that, for all the failures that they've endured, Hawke was a hero in the eyes of at least one little elven girl.
    • Can we just emphasize the fact that she is an elf, a member of a race that suffers from persecution and racism and poverty throughout Kirkwall? I can't tell what's more heartwarming - the fact that she's still inspired enough to want to protect a city that likely would have been terrible to her, or the fact that she actually overcomes the Fantastic Racism and gets to protect it.
  • "On the Loose." Two of the mages you're charged with tracking down have been consumed by demons, and are beyond saving. But Emile de Launcet hasn't turned to blood magic or harmed anyone; he's just an awkward guy who's been confined to the Circle since he was six years old, for something that he couldn't help. He laments never being allowed to cook something for himself, stand in the rain, or kiss a girl. One of your options is to send him back to the Templars. The other is to let him go free.


     The Hawke Family 
  • A small, easily missed note in the Hawke estate reads: "I'm proud of you. Love, Mother." It's just a simple thing, not that far from what a parent could leave in their child's lunchbox; but after everything Hawke's been through, especially "All That Remains," it means something.
  • Similar to the above - after the surviving twin joins the faction which keeps them away from home, clicking on the desk in the library can sometimes cause Hawke to comment on having heard from them. Circle!Bethany in particular is a diligent correspondent, to judge by Hawke's remark that "I'm glad Bethany writes all the time." Even though they're far apart, the Hawke siblings remain connected.
  • Consider how how much Malcolm and Leandra had to love each other. Details of their courtship are learned in the Legacy DLC, but even more can be found in the World of Thedas books.
    • Malcolm was ready to go through hell and use a form of magic he deeply despised just to keep his wife-to-be safe and ensure their future together. And once he finished his work with the Grey Wardens, he recruited a handful of them to come with him to the Amell estate to back him up as he insisted Leandra be allowed to leave with him.
    • Leandra, meanwhile, didn't hesitate to leave all luxuries and titles behind to stay with her love. She spent years on the run just to keep her husband and children out of the Circle and never expressed any regret about it. When she left the Amell mansion to find Malcolm waiting for her so they could elope, he asked if there isn't anything she wanted to bring with her from her old life; her parents wouldn't let her take anything, but all she told Malcolm was that "I have everything I need."
  • Very minor one, but heartwarming nonetheless, learning of the friendship between Malcolm Hakwe and Maurevar Carver, which proves that a positive relationship between apostates and Templars can exist. It's even more significant in light of the current mage-Templar war.
    • This also leads to another touching moment with Carver when you give him the letters from Maurevar Carver, for whom he was named. Carver understands that Malcolm looked on him as "a way to look forward" and that his name would always mean "skill thoughtfully applied". If you want to repair the relationship between a Mage!Hawke and Carver, this goes a long way towards that goal.
  • Carver has issues in a mage playthrough, given that he's got two mage siblings and considers himself The Unfavorite. But when Fenris realizes that Hawke's a mage, he's instantly protective of his sibling, saying that if Fenris has a problem with Hawke, then he has a problem with Carver.
    • This ties in with a lot of Carver's friendship/rivalry scores. If you do something that could bring you to the attention of the Templars and put yourself in danger, he disapproves. Realizing that, despite his problems with his older sibling, he is trying to look out for Hawke, is incredibly heartwarming when you consider that Carver's feeling of being in Hawke's shadow is such a key part of his character.
  • In the Deep Roads Expedition, there's a moment if you bring the surviving sibling along and their life is in danger. When Stroud states that becoming a Warden is a calling and not just a cure for people infected with the Taint, the icy tone in Hawke's voice makes it very clear that if he doesn't help Bethany/Carver, there won't be much left for the darkspawn to find after Hawke's done with Stroud.
  • Hawke has some touching moments with their family during the Legacy DLC. Of particular interest is the end of the "Malcolm's Will" quest, if Bethany or Carver is in the party. Bethany recalls happier times and how Carver could make her smile when she was sad, and Carver breaks down and actually admits how much he misses both Bethany and his father, even though Malcolm spent very little time with him, and how he also misses Hawke sometimes as well.
    • Even further, when the DLC is finished, Hawke will speak with their mother. She can talk about Malcolm and how they met, but a really poignant conversation comes if Leandra is deceased at the time, as Hawke will be talking not to the real Leandra, but an imaginary one who reassures them that they're very much like their father, and that the best of both Malcolm and Leandra lives on in Hawke, and that it's what makes them try so hard. She tells them everything will be all right. It's the sort of emotional speech only a mother could give.
      • Fridge Heartwarming. Varric tells Cassandra up-front that he's taking liberties with this particular part of the story. The conversation with the imaginary Leandra is there just because Varric wants to give his friend some closure.
      Cassandra: Is there anything else?
      Varric: Two things. A moment for the last of the family, and an echo. You'll forgive me if I take a liberty or two.
    • Another example occurs if Hawke and a Templar Carver part on bitter terms at the end of the DLC. Even if Hawke is the violent personality, he laments the rift with his brother, feeling powerless to overcome their differences. This becomes especially poignant given the climax of the game, when Carver effortlessly puts aside the rivalry to come to Hawke's aid, showing that not only has he escaped Hawke's shadow, but Carver's actually surpassed Hawke in some respects.
    • If both Bethany and Carver are dead, Hawke gets to talk to Gamlen instead. He admires Malcolm for what he was ready to go through for his family. Remember that at the beginning, he despised this guy. If the right dialogue options are chosen, this scene becomes even more heartwarming. Gamlen tells you how he helped your parents by distracting Lord Amell so they could sneak out, and then once more expresses his grief over Leandra’s death. The conversation may end with an awkward declaration that if Hawke needs anything, they just have to ask. This doubles as a Tear Jerker since at this point your entire family, except for Gamlen, are dead.
  • Mark of the Assassin has a short but sweet sidequest involving Hawke's mother. If you examine the fountain at Chateau Haine, Hawke explains to Tallis that it's tradition for noblewomen to throw Orlesian coins into the fountain and make a wish. Leandra had a coin collection just for the occasion, but since she married an apostate, the resulting social stigma meant that she wouldn't even be invited to the Chateau. Hawke spends the quest finding Orlesian coins to throw in the fountain in Leandra's stead. Hawke, you big softy.
  • Speaking with Circle!Bethany at the end of the game if you support the Mages; it really shows her character development in accepting that the Circle, which she feared all her childhood, did not damage her. Hearing her speak of her love for her big brother/sister is just gravy.
    • Alternatively, if Bethany becomes a Grey Warden, she's initially cold and resentful of Hawke forcing her into this life, but she comes during the final battle to support her sibling. She also apologizes for her previous cold attitude, saying that she no longer resents Hawke for taking her to the Wardens, acknowledging her sibling did it to save her life and that, while it's not the life she would have chosen, she has made the best of it.
    • And then, if you support the Templars, finding Bethany alone, the last of the Circle, lamenting Orsino's descent into madness. Meredith moves against her, but Hawke can step in and have a Go Through Me moment. Hawke assures Bethany that they could never kill their own sister, and the siblings embrace.
    • Much of Hawke and Bethany's relationship could count, really. Given the number of people who are willing to screw over siblings for some material advantage such as Bartrand and Varric, Fenris and his sister Varania, and Gamlen and Leandra, the fact that Bethany early in the game mentions that she could never turn on her own sibling like that is sweet enough. But the fact that Hawke and Bethany can go through the entire game and not once turn on each other is both incredibly heartwarming and a big middle finger to the Crapsack World nature of the Dragon Age universe in general.
    • Oppositely, if Carver came to Kirkwall and became a Grey Warden, he thanks you for saving his life, and see his growing up from being resentful of always being in your shadow, and he asks to fight by your side. Very touching.
      • Or, if Carver runs off to join the Templars, he's pretty distant toward Hawke, but states that he won't turn Hawke in. During Act 3, he outright defies Meredith when she demands that Hawke be executed, stating that he will NOT kill his own sibling.
      • Similarly, if Carver becomes a Warden and Hawke sides with Meredith, he outright states that he doesn't understand how Hawke could follow "that bitch". Nonetheless, he supports Hawke's decision and offers to stand with them.
  • If Carver joined the Grey Wardens and is on a friendship path with Hawke, he'll be encountered during a quest with Nathaniel Howe.
    Carver: Still coming to the rescue after all these years? I've got this under control, but thanks.
  • Carver also gives this one simple line in Mark of the Assassin if he is a Grey Warden.
    Carver: Running around with you has made me realize just how much I miss it.
  • The subplot with Gamlen and Charade. Here is an uncle who's a deadbeat, a liar, and an all-around Jerkass. You discover he has a daughter he's never known, and if you arrange a meeting between the two, Gamlen starts to really cheer up and take to being a father. In the aftermath, he even praises you indirectly by saying your apostate mage father was a good man if he raised a man/woman like you. This comes at the heel of Bethany/Carver's departure and Leandra's death. You and Gamlen are all alone. The letter Charade sends you afterward puts you on such an up - it doesn't bring the rest of your family back, but hearing from a cousin who genuinely cares for you is the next best thing.
    • Also in the quest, Charade at one point doubts whether or not to actually meet Gamlen and reveal her relationship to him. A diplomatic Hawke convinces Charade that for all his flaws, Gamlen's a decent man at heart and his daughter might be surprised by him if she gets to know him.
    Hawke: He's got some good qualities... Maybe give him a chance before you write him off.



  • Dragon Age II has one of the most well-put-together set of True Companions in recent roleplaying history, with each of them, despite their differences, constantly looking out for each other. Varric always keeps bribes ready to keep thugs off the backs of Anders and Merrill, and adds the party's drinks to his tab. Aveline, despite being guard-captain, still bends the laws a little to make sure that Fenris and Isabela don't get into too much trouble. Even Isabela sleeps with the seneschal to ensure that Fenris can safely stay in Danarius's Hightown mansion without having to pay taxes, and Fenris - despite his avowed hatred of mages - unequivocally refuses to consider turning Anders or Merrill in to the Templars (if only out of loyalty to Hawke). They do this for eight years. Damn, that's impressive.
    • It's probably because they do this for eight years that the True Companions are so strong. One doesn't spend so much time with another without feeling a kind of kinship. They share so many experiences together that they effectively do become a family.
    • Perhaps the most striking aspect of all of this is that the party cares for one another in spite of their differences. Fenris, Anders, and Merrill all grate on one another, Aveline and Isabela are antagonistic at first and become Vitriolic Best Buds, and so on, but when push comes to shove they'll put aside their differences and fight alongside one another like, well, family.
    • Even better, if you manage to max out every party member's friendship/rivalry, they will all follow you, which is especially heartwarming in the mage ending because none of them expect to survive the battle.
    • Even Sebastian, who joins the group three years late (which might be the reason why he doesn't have quite the same connection, leading to him and Anders becoming mutually exclusive by the end), gets in on the action. His station doesn't enable him to do much for the others, but he puts Wesley's name on the Chantry memorial wall for Aveline, which is exceptionally kind considering that he never met Wesley. He also puts Leandra's name there for Hawke.
  • While the quest is mostly Played for Laughs, it's still touching to see every companion support Aveline's attempts to court Donnic.
  • After "All That Remains," Gamlen comes in and begins to chew Hawke out, as usual, starting with claiming it was all their fault - but he can't even get through the first sentence before he bursts into grief-stricken sobs. He and Hawke wind up mourning Leandra together.
    • Then, while Hawke is sitting on their bed in the throes of a Heroic BSoD, one of their companions comes to try to offer some comfort. Regardless of who shows up, it's very heartwarming.
    • If you romance Isabela, even if Hawke remarks she's not good with 'emotional stuff', she comforts them and reminds them that family isn't just the people that are related to you and there are still people that care about you. Alternatively, she'll point out that Hawke's made sure Quentin will never hurt anyone else - something she thinks would make Leandra proud.
    • Fenris, likewise, admits that he has no idea what to say and finds words inadequate in a situation like this, but tries to be there for Hawke nonetheless - particularly touching since it is highly likely to be taking place after he's already broken off his romance with Hawke in confusion about his feelings.
    • Anders will calmly accept all of Hawke's anger at mages for what Quentin did to their mother. He stoically accepts it, letting Hawke get out all their frustration.
    • Merrill and Hawke agree that she is in a better place, whether by the Maker's side or with Falon'Din, the elven god. She just sits there with Hawke though, being there for them like they were for her.
    • If Hawke hasn't romanced anyone, it's Aveline who arrives to offer words of comfort. Unlike the love interests, her visit is very short, and she doesn't sit down; she just invites Hawke to come and talk to her if they feel so inclined. This seems abrupt until one remembers that of all the companions, Aveline has known Hawke - and Leandra - the longest. She's also grieving, and she doesn't want to intrude on Hawke's solitude.
      • Regardless of who comes to the house that night, Hawke afterward can have a conversation with Aveline in the Guard HQ. She isn't fooled by Silly!Hawke's Sad Clown act; she's also the only one to whom Diplomatic!Hawke feels comfortable admitting that "My heart's broken." To console them, she tells you a story about her father, a chevalier named Benoit Du Lac. Every night, when she was a girl, he would read stories to her, but only turned the page when she grasped his hand. It was symbolic of her only continuing the story by her choice. When she became an adult, she would read stories to her ill father, and like old times, he would grasp her hand when it was time to turn the page. The point of the story? She says that no one should tell Hawke when to move on, when to proceed with the story. It will be their choice. Probably the most poignant thing Aveline says in the entire game.
        Aveline: No one should tell you how to mourn. And when someone says 'move on,' you take their hand and say, 'my choice.'
      • Think about this one a little harder and you realize this is meta-heartwarming. Your story? You decide when to move on and how to proceed? That's BioWare in a nutshell.
      • The best thing about Aveline's response is how honestly realistic her advice is. It doesn't just work for the story, it works in Real Life too. This troper actually took Aveline's advice to heart in dealing with a tragedy of his own, which goes to show the effects of great storytelling.
  • Even the reviewers who hated the game and denounced the "lame story" praise the characters. They, altogether, are a band of people with various Fatal Flaws, bigotries and resentments, which makes it all the more real that characters being gay - in either gender - isn't even questioned, or brought up. Characters that are gay aren't in a 'gay relationship'. They are depicted as being in love. The game was even commended by the official GLBTQ board of Seattle, Washington.


  • The sheer hope in one sentence in the romance scene with Anders:
    Anders: "Would you tell the world, the Knight-Commander, that you love an apostate and will stand beside him?
    • And it gets even better if you complete the romance as a warrior or a rogue:
      Anders: Ten years from now... a hundred years from now, someone like me will love someone like you, and there will be no Templars to tear them apart.
    • If you romance him as a mage, he'll say something about not being torn apart for how you were born.
    • The above exchanges (especially the third one) get extra points if your Hawke is also a man.


  • The trope pretty much describes Hawke and Aveline on a friendship path, particularly if you do her Act 2 companion quest. While they may occasionally snark at each other, they genuinely watch out for the other. Probably the most poignant part is if you give her the Shield of the Knight Herself. Aveline will get very blustery about having to give up nearly everything of who she was. Hawke can point out that it's just a gift, which softens the Captain's mood considerably and opens up one of the most touching lines in the game. Doubly so if you remember Aveline describes her name as a "wish that her father made."
    Hawke: Then accept it on those merits. Nothing more.
    Aveline: (softly) It is a fine shield. *beat* You do know that Orlesian smiths slap Ser Aveline's name on every second piece of armor. This really didn't belong to her.
    Hawke: (warmly) It does now.
  • Talking to a maxed friendship Aveline on the mage path. It really shows that she's been with Hawke longer than anyone and has no intention of changing that.
    Aveline: Hawke, it's worth it. Now come on. Let's bust some heads like the old days.


  • Giving Fenris the book A Slave's Life. The problem is, Fenris was a slave... so he never was allowed to learn to read. Hawke can offer to teach him.
    • Made even better when you find out that there's a bookshelf you can examine in your home, and one of your Hawke's comments is about how Fenris's reading has improved, and they should pick out a new book for him to work on.
  • Fenris's companion quest during Act 2 is extremely touching, particularly playing a Mage!Hawke. Assuming the right options are chosen, he'll toast to Hawke and say that they are the finest person he's ever known.
  • A very poignant line after Fenris' final companion quest:
    Fenris: The future of a slave is never uncertain. But I am no longer a slave. Perhaps it's time I remembered that.
  • Even after he was betrayed by his own sister, bringing Fenris - who was taught by Hawke that families are important - along for "Gamlen's Greatest Treasure" leads him to say the same thing to Gamlen's daughter.
  • Repairing Fenris's and Hawke's romance in Act 3 is a CMOH on its own; however, one line in particular stands out:
    Fenris: If there is a future to be had, I will walk into it gladly by your side.
    • The lines just before that:
      Fenris: If I could go back, I would have stayed, told you how I felt.
      Hawke: What would you have said?
      Fenris: ...Nothing could be worse than the thought of living without you.
    • For most of the game, Fenris's obsession, fear, and hatred of his past has been one of his defining character traits. It's what makes him end the relationship with Hawke, what makes him obsessed with revenge, and what makes him angst so much. Him saying that shows that he's finally willing to put the past completely behind him so that he can be happy with Hawke, and is really, really touching, especially if Hawke is a mage.
      • Even before that, there's a small touch that proves very heartwarming if you stop to think about it: Most love interests have some kind of change to their outfit at some point during the romance. In Fenris's case, he puts Hawke's family crest on his belt and a red armband (described by Word of God as Hawke's favor to him) on his right wrist. He begins doing this immediately after he and Hawke spend the night together in Act 2, and continues to do so after abandoning their relationship... and for the next three years afterward.
    • If you decide to romance Anders after Fenris leaves you, Fenris will not only accept it, he will threaten to kill Anders if he ever breaks your heart. Given how he's in love with you himself, and the fact he hates Anders with the intensity of a thousand suns, it's pretty adorable (death threats aside) that he's willing to overlook this as long as Hawke is happy.
    • And then, after you finally discuss matters and tell him he's forgiven, his default response when you approach him? A husky statement of "I am yours." SWOON.
      • This last line is especially heartwarming. Fenris has spent his entire life in slavery, being molded into whatever Danarius wanted. He spent years before and during the game trying to avoid returning to this fate. In two lines, Fenris showed how he can let go of his fears and give himself wholly and completely to the person he loves, and expect the same in return. That really shows character development.
      • It is unfortunate that there are not Crowning Moments of Sexy, because that would be one. It's doubly heartwarming for players of the first game as a call back to Zevran's romance path.
    • To make it even more heartwarming, pay attention to Fenris's body language in his companion quest scenes. Fenris has this habit of avoiding eye contact with Hawke, either shifting his eyes or outright turning his head at a different direction. He does this again when he tells Hawke how much he regrets leaving in his last "Questioning Beliefs" quest. When you ask him what he would've said if he stayed, he says the quoted line, without looking away at all.


  • There's one when you meet up with Isabela at the beginning of Act 3. If Isabela returned with the relic and Hawke dueled the Arishok on her behalf, Isabela expresses frustration over her past decision to give up the relic and questions why Hawke, who is now Champion, is bothering with someone like her. Hawke can then reassure Isabela that they are still friends and that Hawke is grateful that she came back and acknowledges how hard it must have been for her to do the right thing. Hawke further promises that if Isabela needs help, Hawke will be right there to back her up. Isabela acts nonchalant about this, but you just know she's touched.
  • If Isabela is along for the ride in MOTA and is in a romance with Hawke, she gets drawn into Tallis's debate about having a purpose. When asked directly about not having a purpose:
    Isabela: I... I have purpose. I have Hawke.
    • What's particularly heartwarming is the look on Isabela's face. MotA happens before the final affirmation of the relationship at the Gallows: Isabela looks a little unsure, a little bemused at what she's saying, but despite her personal doubts she's still sticking with Hawke.
  • There is a small banter with Merrill after Isabela's romance is completed, in which Merrill notices that Isabela is smiling, and wonders if she's thinking dirty thoughts. Isabela just replies that she's... just really happy.
  • Isabela's last line of dialogue before the last leg of battle when Meredith or Orsino ask you to give your companions orders. Isabela and Hawke joke about how she should probably be halfway to Tevinter, but Isabela remembers how Hawke stood up for her to the Arishok, even dueling him to ensure her safety. She comments that, when Hawke looks for her, she'll be right by their side fighting beside them.
    • There's an extra heartwarming depending on whether she is a friend or a rival. As a friend, she still has trouble believing that Hawke stood by her after everything she did, and promises to do the same this time. As a rival, she admits that she doesn't inspire confidence but that she wants to be a better person for Hawke. Both of these may be even more powerful if their relationship is completely platonic.


  • Supporting Merrill on your visit to her clan looking for the mirror-fixing tool.
  • Speaking with Merrill after Bethany is taken to the Circle, Merrill consoles Hawke by saying that if anyone is tough enough to survive the Circle, it's Bethany, and somehow, everything will be all right.
    • She also does this with Carver if he joins the Templars. Hawke can comment that they aren't speaking to each other. Merrill gently reassures Hawke that no one can stay angry forever, not even Carver, and one day, he'll understand that you only wanted to save his life.
  • Romancing Merrill as a friend, since she never had anyone before Hawke. She was really lonely.
    • It's more than just being lonely with Merrill. Merrill notes that Hawke is the only person who understood what she was trying to do, as even her clan, who are supposed to be like a family, rejected her for it and called her a monster. The fact that Merrill has finally found someone that is willing to support and understand her is utterly sweet
      • Doubly so if you've taken Blood Magic specialization. The whole world seems to be against Merrill for something both she and Hawke consider perfectly routine and Hawke might not be able to make it okay, but they can remind Merrill that no matter what happens, she's a good person and has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.
    • While we're still here, the end of Merrill's romance: her final scene is very heartwarming.
  • A conversation between Merrill and Aveline, should you choose to romance Merrill:
    Aveline: I didn't expect you to stick around for this mess, Merrill. This has nothing to do with your elves.
    Merrill: I love Hawke, I wouldn't go anywhere.
    Aveline: But it's not your fight.
    Merrill: I love Hawke.
    Aveline: You said that.
    Merrill: I say it a lot. It makes things clearer, takes away doubt when everything is crazy and people are dying.
    Aveline: I understand.
    Merrill: Oh, good. Someone should.
    • It's even more touching when you consider an earlier conversation she'll have with Anders, unrelated to romance but connecting to that bit about things being clearer:
      Merrill: You really believe, don't you?
      Anders: What are we talking about?
      Merrill: Believing. You do, I can tell - in freedom, in mages, in good spirits and bad Templars. With more fire than the sun.
      Anders: And your point is?
      Merrill: I miss it sometimes, things being certain.
      Anders: Some things are certain.
      Merrill: Not anymore.


  • If Hawke is knocked down in a fight, all the companions have preset lines to react to it. Most of them (Bethany and Anders in particular) are tear-jerking as they beg Hawke not to leave them, or else swear vengeance on the person who downed Hawke. Varric, on the other hand?
    Varric: Hawke! Hang in there, I'll get you out of this!
  • The reveal (which doesn't actually come until the next game) that Varric deliberately misdirects Cassandra throughout the entire story is sweet when you remember that he still doesn't understand what she wants with Hawke, and he'll be damned if he lets the Chantry get their hands on his best friend.
  • At the beginning of Act 2, you can find a signet ring in the valuables section of a trinket seller's shop in Lowtown. It turns out to be the Tethras signet ring, which originally belonged to Varric's father, and which Bartrand sold to finance the expedition. For all his talk about how he doesn't care much for tradition or his family, Varric is genuinely touched that you managed to get it back for him.

     Between Companions 

  • One party banter between Merrill and Isabela has the former commenting that Isabela has led an exciting life as a pirate, a duelist, and her many love affairs; she then wonders how Isabela could like a girl as boring as Merrill, and wishes she had Isabela's life. Isabela immediately denies this, and says Merrill has a beautiful heart, and is deserving of so much more than what she has.
    Merrill: [sighs] Why do you even like me? I must seem so dull.
    Isabela: What brought this on?
    Merrill: Your life has been... so exciting. The adventures, the duels, the passionate love affairs. Compared to that, my life is a stale, dry biscuit. [sighs] I wish I had your life.
    Isabela: [flatly] No. You don't want my life.
    Merrill: Why?
    Isabela: [warmly] Because you have a good heart, and you deserve better.
    • Another moment from the elf-pirate friendship after Pol runs straight into a monster rather than stay near Merrill:
      • If Fenris or Anders is in the party with Merrill and Isabela, they'll show No Sympathy, with Fenris responding to Merrill's "He acted like I was a monster!" with "You are a monster." Izzy will snap at him, snarling that he's not helping. It doesn't make Fenris lay off, but she tries.
      • If the resident grouches aren't in the party, Isabela responds to Merrill's lament with a soothing "Don't blame yourself, Kitten. Sometimes men do senseless things."
    • If Hawke and Isabela are in a relationship:
      Merrill: I think Hawke likes you, Isabela.
      Isabela: I certainly hope so!
      Merrill: Of course, it's not surprising at all that anybody would love you, but it's nice to see you two happy.
      Isabela: Merrill, sometimes you're so sweet I could eat you for dessert.
  • In Act 1, Merrill and Varric banter reveals that Varric has given her a ball of twine to help her find her way back home, so she will not to get lost in Lowtown. Later, in Act 3, she tries to give it back to Varric because she no longer needs it; and he comes up with a bunch of other reasons why she should keep it, but the way they say these lines you just know the big softy still cares about his Daisy after all these years.
    • This one little dialogue says it all. Varric is paying to keep Merrill safe.
      Varric: Daisy, for my sake, please quit cutting through the alleys in Lowtown alone at night!
      Merrill: Nothing ever happens, Varric. I'm perfectly safe.
      Varric: I know, and that nothing is costing me a fortune.
    • The codex also says that after Merrill fixes the Eluvian, she doesn't leave the house much, not even to buy food, and so Varric takes to having produce delivered to her house. In fact, for someone so brash on the surface, Varric has CMOHs all the time, from big ones like forgiving his brother and sending him to a sanitarium instead of getting revenge and paying off the Lowtown gangs to stop them from extorting Anders for protection money to little things like putting Anders on his tab at the Hanged Man. He's also the only one, besides you and (depending on the playthrough) Bethany, who genuinely seems to like everyone else, and is always trying to help them or cheer them up.
  • Varric's entire relationship with Bethany is a CMOH all by itself. YMMV as to its exact nature - some think it's Like Brother and Sister while others think it's a Ship Tease - but it can't be denied that they care about each other deeply. His nickname for her ("Sunshine") is clearly an Affectionate Nickname; contrast it with the more sardonic "Junior" he gives Carver, and listen to the number of lines he has where he mentions that he likes to be where it's sunny. Their dialogue is a thing of joy and a reason to keep both of them in the party as long as possible, especially when he upgrades her to "Milady Sunshine" during the quest to recover Grandfather Amell's will, and consoles her about how much she misses her lost twin. He makes her laugh like no one else, and if she falls in battle, his immediate response is to shout that he's coming to help her. If she gets left behind at the end of Act 1 and joins the Circle, he laments her fate, noting to Cassandra that there was nothing they could do for her. If she goes along to the Deep Roads and dies from the darkspawn taint, he openly grieves, swearing to make Bartrand pay for her death; Inquisition reveals that he never gets over it, as he still speaks sadly of the event ten years later. If she joins the Grey Wardens, she's prickly on those occasions when she returns - but it doesn't stop him from telling her that he's happy to see her, and she can't bring herself to be too cold with him. Both of the DLC campaigns give them even more conversations, especially in the case of Circle!Bethany, which further illustrate the depth of their bond; if she's still alive in the next game, Varric will occasionally mention her to the Inquisitor, and it's implied that they write to each other a lot. Theirs is arguably the sweetest relationship in the game that doesn't involve Hawke directly, and one of the sweetest in the entire franchise.
  • Fenris, of all people, gets along surprisingly well with Bethany. When Anders argues that not all mages are weak, Fenris actually agrees with him: Bethany, he says, is not weak. Coming from Fenris and his deep-rooted hatred of mages and magic, it's the very highest of praise - the only other mage he's willing to talk about this way is a mage Hawke. If they're taken along for Mark of the Assassin and/or Legacy, they have extra dialogue which further illustrates how much Fenris not only respects Bethany, but genuinely likes her.
  • Isabela and Aveline do not get along. Eventually, though, they find some common ground... in their own way.
    Aveline: You're right.
    Isabela: About?
    Aveline: About knowing who you are. I'm the captain of the guard. I'm loyal, strong, and I don't look too bad naked.
    Isabela: Exactly. And if I called you a mannish, awkward, ball-crushing do-gooder, you'd say...
    Aveline: Shut up, whore.
    Isabela: That's my girl!
    • In Act 3, Hawke may walk in on the two of them sharing a drink in Aveline's office. Isabela leaves and Aveline admits that she's not all bad.
    • Aveline will vehemently object to Isabela being taken by the Qunari. She claims it's because she wants to kick Isabela's ass herself, but we all know she cares.
    • She even invited Isabela to her Solstice dinner party, though Isabela was too sheepish to turn up. Isabela trying to justify not attending Aveline's Solstice dinner party, saying she isn't the type of person Aveline would want in polite company, is both hilarious and touching. The awkward way in which she says it really sells the moment, because by this point, she and Aveline really are best friends.
      • It also doubles as a Funny Moment, since Isabela alludes to "What happens when you have kids?" (namely that she's the last person Aveline should want around her children) and says in a little-girl voice:
        Isabela: Mummy, what's a slattern?
        Aveline: I'll just point at you and say 'That's a slattern!'
  • Similar to Aveline objecting to Isabela being taken by the Qunari, Merrill will basically beg you in the saddest way possible not to go through with betraying Fenris to Danarius on his final personal quest. Given how rude he is to her the entire game, and especially how horrible he is to her after her final personal quest, it just shows how selflessly kind Merrill can be.
    • Merrill is made of selflessly kind. Anders openly despises blood mages like Merrill, for whom he (often justifiably) blames society's hatred of mages. He spares no opportunity to berate her for the careless stupidity he feels she embodies as a blood mage and a demon apologist. When Anders experiences his BSOD, blaming himself for the corruption of the friendly spirit, Justice, into the demonic Vengeance, she quietly and sadly corrects his mistaken beliefs not only about Vengeance, but about her: just because she never believed demons were inherently evil doesn't mean she ever believed they were inherently good, the way Anders did about Justice. All spirits are dangerous, and she's truly sad for Anders that he didn't realize this sooner.
  • Sebastian shows how much a bro he is when chatting with Fenris about the possibility of Fenris training his army if he ever retakes Starkhaven.
    Fenris: I'm no leader, and I doubt humans would want me training them.
    Sebastian: Then why not train elves? I bet there's plenty who would admire all you've accomplished.
    Fenris: I... haven't accomplished anything.
    Sebastian: No? You are your own man, living as you see fit. You give yourself too little credit.
    Fenris: You are being kind.
    Sebastian: Not at all. Think about it.
    • And again, when he offers to help Fenris deal with his past:
      Sebastian: You know, Fenris, as a brother in the Chantry, I am allowed to hear confessions.
      Fenris: Why would you tell me this?
      Sebastian: I know Danarius made you... do things. I thought you might be more comfortable talking to a friend. You should know a murder committed under duress is a sin on the one who ordered it, not on the one whose hand carried out the deed... Sometimes, it's painful to speak. But it's the only way the wound can be lanced.
  • Aveline and Varric have this banter during Act 3 that never fails to make me go "Awwww...":
    Aveline: Why are you still here, Varric?
    Aveline: You always talk about how much you hate commitment, yet here you are six years later, still at Hawke's side.
    Varric: Aveline, I thought you'd have noticed by now: I lie a lot.
  • If you romanced Isabela during Act 2, and then romance Merrill when the option comes up during Act 3, if both are in the party, Merrill will notice that Isabela seems a bit down, and then blame herself for it (though she doesn't exactly realize the reason). Isabela will then reassure her that everything's fine, and it's not her. Furthermore, if you talk to Isabela about it at The Hanged Man, the only thing she'll really do is note that she's happy for Merrill, and that if Hawke breaks her heart, "I'll cut off your balls." Isabela, thy soft spot is Merrill.
  • Merrill straddles the line between Heartwarming and Funny when Hawke and Fenris repair their relationship in Act 3. She points out to Fenris, who is quite embarrassed about it, that he looks at Hawke with "sad puppy eyes" whenever Hawke isn't looking. He denies it, but it's clear that Merrill thinks it's sweet that Fenris is actually lovesick.
  • When Merrill's companion quest ends, with Marethari and possibly the entire clan dead, Sebastian very gently tells her that it was pride that led her to make deals with her demon, and so, rather then trying to make impossible amends, she should admit there are things she cannot accomplish by herself.



  • The party banter in this DLC is one long one for Isabela, provided she and Anders are in the party together. She doesn't like the Deep Roads one bit and won't hesitate to say so, but the second Anders starts freaking out (as Grey Wardens are guaranteed to do when they begin hearing darkspawn voices in their heads), she sets aside her own discomfort, hops right into therapist mode, and basically holds his hand through the whole ordeal. If you didn't love her after that, you clearly lack a soul.
  • During the DLC, you have to kill an old friend of Varric's who's in the corrupted Carta. Hawke can tell him it's his choice on how to handle the situation and, without hesitation, Varric says he will take the man out - because he's a danger to Hawke. Just shows how close and how loyal Varric is to Hawke.
  • If Bethany and Varric are both brought along, Bethany is showing the strain from having been attacked by the Carta. If this is done in Act 1 (meaning she's not joined either of her potential factions yet), Varric expresses alarm over her appearance - she's so visibly upset by the whole thing that he actually thinks she's ill, and is clearly worried about it.
    • If it's Act 2 or 3 and Bethany is a Circle mage, she's still showing the strain; considering where the Carta had to go to even try to get to her, it's hard to blame her for being rattled. Varric responds with a line that actually makes her laugh, which is no easy matter in the moment, and her tone for him as she continues speaking is warmer.

Mark of the Assassin

  • Astonishingly, if you play this DLC following Leandra's death but before you start "On the Loose" in Act 3, Dulci de Launcet - of all people - will express sympathy to Hawke over her murder.
  • When Carver and a romanced Merrill are looking for Hawke and Tallis to rescue from prison, there is a short but sweet exchange between them goes to show just how much the Love Interest means to Hawke, at least in the eyes of the sibling, and especially how a same-sex relationship is no more unusual than an opposite-sex one.
    Carver: Right, let's get to it. My brother/sister will be missing you.
    Merrill: I'm glad you think so.
  • There's a pair of adorable interactions if the companions for this DLC are Varric and Circle!Bethany.
    • First, while on the hunt for the wyvern, he asks why she's not enjoying the day more, and she admits she's embarrassed by her clothes. He reminds her that she didn't have a choice in what to wear, but it doesn't matter, because "you could make a burlap sack look good" and "You would kill these people if you wore the height of fashion." He won't have her feeling even a little inferior, and she's grateful. A lot of people who ship the two of them point to this interaction as one of their reasons why.
    • Later, while trying to find Hawke and Tallis in the prison cells, he makes a comment about the quickness of her stride. She quips right back at him, and - in possibly the warmest and most affectionate tone we ever hear him use - he replies, "There's my Sunshine," showing that he's really missed her while she's been in the Gallows. It's also the only time he ever refers to any of his friends as "my" anything.
  • At one point, an Orlesian asks you to help find his two missing dogs, and you also receive a quest to find an antidote for wyvern venom. The two seem unrelated, but then you see a dog elsewhere in the woods. He leads you to another dog, lying injured on the ground, and you realize the dog has been attacked by a wyvern and is dying from the venom. You can give the antidote to this dog and save its life.
    • Not to mention the Orlesian's reaction at the end of the quest. Throughout this DLC, Orlesians are usually shown as the typical evil fops. However, this man is genuinely thrilled to have his dogs back safely. Awwww.


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