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Tear Jerker / Dragon Age: Origins

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"Join us, brothers and sisters. Join us in the shadows where we stand vigilant. Join us as we carry the duty that cannot be forsworn. And should you perish, know that your sacrifice will not be forgotten... and that one day, we shall join you."
— The words spoken before the Joining ritual, summing up the constant battle a Grey Warden will face.

Warning: Spoilers Off applies to these pages. Proceed at your own risk.

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Main Game

  • The Revenants of the Black Vials quest. Each of them was bound, with a little note accompanying them describing the demon's crimes. The hard part of those is who had to bind them:
    First: Cale Viazagat, revenant and perversion of an only son.
    Second: Nethamas Bigal, revenant and perversion of a fine daughter.
    Third: Argruth Massaad, revenant and perversion of a treasured mother.
    Fourth: Quametha Kagat, revenant and perversion of an honored father.
    Fifth: Shamas Goodson, revenant and perversion of a rare friendship.
    Sixth: Anton Wither, revenant and perversion of a friend not met.
    • Their own friends and families had to stand up their (in each case it seems, mass-murdering) demon-possessed corpse, defeat it and bind it. The fifth is marked with only five thumbprints instead of six (and has a note about weakness and forgiveness instead of rage), implying that the revenant was himself one of the former hunters. The last one was even signed in blood by a child.
    • The act of binding the Revenants was likely a CMOA however, considering how dangerous they are.
  • Bizarrely, the description of "Chasind Sack Mead":
    A brutishly strong honey liquor, reminiscent of warm summer days, apple blossoms on the wind with an unexpected aftertaste of father going off to war, never to return. Bitter, to say the least.
  • There's a very sad codex which can be found, beautifully written by a apple farmer from Rainsfere during the Orlesian occupation; the codex explains how he refused to swear fealty to the Emperor of Orlais, and how the soldiers burned his farm and arrested him. It's implied that he wrote the codex while waiting to be executed. Since Orlais was kicked out of Ferelden a generation before the events of the game, you're clearly finding the codex far too late to help the man, which only adds to the wistful feeling.
    It seems a foolish thing to die for, doesn't it? I could have said a few words and rebuilt my home, gone on with my life as if nothing had changed. A hundred generations of my family have lived and died on that land, and I won't be the one to trade our family honor for apples.
  • The City Elf Warden's life in general, when you take into consideration everything about city elves. Their people are routinely abused by the people above them for no reason other than that they are elves, and the when they finally strike back, they're purged. The Warden gets off because they were recruited, but they aren't allowed to come back due to the alienage being locked off by the city.
    • Due to the Warden's absence, Soris quickly becomes the city's scapegoat because they needed someone to blame. This is assuming that the Warden took responsibility. Otherwise, Soris is sent to the dungeon for it.
    • When by the time you're allowed to enter the alienage again, there's a mysterious illness going around and the elves are being quarantined. Out of paranoia, some of the guards are even taking those who are well on the off-chance they've caught the sickness, including your father. This, however, turns out to be a front for Loghain to kidnap elves and sell them to slavers. If you ever had a thought that Loghain was just a Well-Intentioned Extremist, this act would render everything he did unacceptable.
      • It gets worse depending on the origin chosen. If playing a City Elf, you rescue your father... who then sadly informs you that Valendrian (the hahren/elder of the alienage) has already been shipped to the Tevinter Imperium. If playing another race, you find Valendrian, but Cyrion (the City Elf's father) is nowhere to be seen. You cannot save both of them, no matter what.
    • One of the castles has an elf maid who won't risk talking to you because she might get in trouble. It really hits how much shit the elves have to go through.
    • Even Leliana gets in on the casual racism. She remarks about how elves in Orlais don't have it all that bad, and she begins describing them like one would describe a porcelain doll. The Warden can angrily reply that elves aren't pets, and Leliana immediately apologizes. Counts as heartwarming in a way, since unlike others, she clearly learns from her mistake as shown with her progressive stance in Dragon Age: Inquisition.
  • After you've completed enough major quests and then retreat back to camp, there's always a scene when you get ambushed by darkspawn — which becomes tearjerking if you're playing the Dalish Elf origin. It hits so suddenly and hard — and it doesn't help that ghouls in appearance and details are horrific, and that's Tamlen, the Warden's friend, going through it.
    • It's made a thousand times worse if a female Mahariel tried to romance him; after dealing with his loss in the forest, and (possibly) saying good-bye to him again in the temple of Andraste's Ashes, fate cruelly drops him back into her life in the worst way possible, as he slowly loses control and begs her to put him out of his misery. His final words to his beloved only increase the heartache ten times over.

    Origin Stories 

Human Noble Origin

  • A small one happens at the beginning, when you're given a brief chance to speak to Arl Howe. One of the options available is to say you merely wanted to wish him luck in the upcoming battle, to which he seems genuinely surprised and touched by your concern. Knowing what he does later and his blatant lack of remorse for his actions, it's quite possibly the only hint of humanity we see from him throughout the entire game.
  • Iona is a sweet, shy and demure elf who serves as lady-in-waiting to your mother's friend Lady Landra. You can romance her, but whether you do or not, she's killed by Howe's men. It's get worse, though. In your earlier conversation with her, she mentions having a daughter, Amethyne, who lives at the Elven Alienage in Denerim. Her husband, the girl's father, passed away two years prior. Near the end of the game, months after the the events of the Origin and when you probably already forgot about Iona, you visit the Alienage... and Amethyne is there, wondering to herself when her mother will return from Highever. And there's nothing you can do for her; you can't even speak to her.
  • Just after the castle invasion is brought to your notice, you and your mother fight your way to your brother's suite, where his wife and young son live, in order to protect them. You're too late - they were, in all likelihood, among the very first victims of the invasion. It's one of the instances where Dull Surprise is not at work on the faces; your character and their mother will both look absolutely crushed at the discovery.
  • The final scene of the origin. That last shot of your mother cradling your dying father, knowing that Howe's men are fast approaching, is absolutely heartbreaking. It's especially painful because the origin makes it abundantly clear that the Couslands are a loving family who really value one another.
    • Bryce and Eleanor's last words to their son/daughter:
      Bryce: Then, go, Pup... warn your brother... and know that we love you both. You'll do us proud.
      Eleanor: Goodbye, darling...

Dalish Elf Origin

  • The end of the origin, especially if you pick the reluctant conversation options when Duncan and Marethari inform you about your fate. You really don't want to go, but you have no choice: the only way to survive is to leave behind everything and everyone you have ever known, and there's a good chance you won't ever see them again either. If you then choose to not depart immediately but to stay for Tamlen's funeral, you're treated to a scene of your clan watching you go. As you depart, you take one last look back. Then you walk away, your head bowed.

City Elf Origin

  • You only have limited interaction with him, but Nelaros, the husband-to-be of the Female City Elf, gives a great tear jerker. He valiantly organizes a rescue to save his bride and the other women taken, despite being one of only two people in the Alienage willing to take the risk. He stands watch in the corridor while Soris frees the player character, only to be mercilessly cut down by guards the moment the two join back up with him. What's even sadder is that when you examine his body, one of the few things you find is your wedding ring. It's pure vendor trash... yet many a City Elf kept it in their inventory the whole game.
  • It's similar for Nesiara, the bride-to-be for the Male City Elf. She gets out with her neck intact, unlike Nelaros, but she loses you almost as soon as she gains you because joining the Grey Wardens doesn't allow you to marry her. Her dowry money has to be used to pay for her return journey home. Not to mention that she got kidnapped and threatened with rape and/or murder by Vaughan and his cronies, and the reason you're forced to join the Wardens in the first place is because you fought your way through the Arl's mansion to rescue her from that fate. She clearly regrets it, remarking that you'll never know how things might have been between the two of you.
  • Shianni's tearful plea to save her is like a knife in the gut. "Please... I want to get out of here. Please take me home."
    • Thankfully, the scene after has the Warden comforting Shianni after butchering Vaughn.
      Shianni: You killed them all?
      Warden: Like dogs, Shianni.
      Shianni: ... G-good.
    • Even worse is when they meets her "ghost" when searching for the Urn of Sacred Ashes as part of a test. The Warden still blames themselves for being too late to protect her.

Dwarf Noble Origin

  • The end result. Your older brother, who hates your guts no matter what, is either killed by you in self-defense or dies off-camera. Your "nice" brother, who plans to take his place as heir, frames you for fratricide (which you may or may not have committed) and gets you thrown into the Deep Roads to die fighting darkspawn. Your manservant Gorim, who may be your best friend or even your lover depending on your dialogue choices, is stripped of his honour and sent to the surface, and you both become Unpersons whose names are struck from the register of names in Orzammar. Later, your heartbroken father becomes ill and dies off-screen. It's made worse when you later learn that your father tacitly allowed you to be exiled because he thought it would cost your family the throne if he contested it (though he later came to regret that decision). And if Gorim was the Dwarf Noble's lover, it's painful to discover that after his exile, he married someone else and is expecting a child. Yeesh.

Dwarf Commoner Origin

  • The Dwarf Commoner is in many ways just as bad as the City Elf's origin. Born casteless, the Dwarf Commoner is seen as less than sub-human, scathingly referred to as 'brand' if they so much as venture out of Dust Town. Their older sister Rica has to work as a prostitute for Beraht the Carta leader, in a scheme that involves her bearing a son for a noble so Beraht can claim kinship to the boy and raise his caste, while the Warden works off Rica's debt by being his foot soldier. Also, their mother is an abusive drunk who gleefully tells the Warden that they'll never make something of themselves and will always be Dust Town trash.
    • If you choose to speak to Duncan in the Proving Grounds, he will greet the Warden warmly and then wonder why they're looking at him so strangely. One of the dialogue options you can pick is for Brosca to quietly admit that Duncan's greeting is much friendlier than what they usually get.
    • Seeing the vision of Leske in the Urn of Sacred Ashes quest becomes this if you go there after completing "A Paragon of Her Kind," because you would have had to kill him in the final confrontation with Jarvia.
      Warden: I'm sorry it ended the way it did, Leske.

Magi Origin

  • The Circle mage was torn from their family at a young age, never to see them again, placed in the Circle of Magi as an apprentice completely cut off from the outside world for years and under constant surveillance of Templars. To graduate from apprenticehood they're sent to the Fade to face off against demons, under the threat of Demonic Possession, and will be cut down should they fail or take too long. They're then lied to and betrayed by their best/only friend Jowan and can be left for dead or Tranquility by him when his plan to escape the Circle falls apart. And not long after their departure the Circle falls into shambles and almost everyone they knew has been killed, turned into an abomination or complicit to what's happening.
    • If they're an elf they can admit to having gone through constant Fantastic Racism during their time in the Circle to Duncan. Much later they can also tell Leliana their life prior was no easier with an option for their background being they grew up in an Alienage.

  • Duncan's death at the Battle of Ostagar. He's left alone in the middle of the battlefield, fatally injured, cradling King Cailain's body with an expression of utter failure, clearly aware that Loghain has betrayed them, watching as the darkspawn overwhelm and slaughter anyone still left on the battlefield. His last act is to look up at the Tower of Ishal (where the Warden and Alistair are still holed up), with an expression of deepest regret for having seemingly sent them both to their deaths, the signal fire that was to be the army's salvation silently mocking him. He then looks around to see the darkspawn general and the rest of the horde make their final assault, unable to do more than stare down the charging darkspawn as the beast pulls back its axe for the deathblow, helped along by the incredibly Sad Battle Music playing at this point.

    Brecilian Forest 
  • Encountering Danyla. She's a Dalish Elf who's already transformed into a werewolf, but has retained enough of her sanity to beg you to put her out of her misery and tell her husband, back at camp, that she loves him. The way she talks, constantly having to catch her breath because of the excruciating pain she suffers, while still trying her best to answer your questions if you press her for information... Not to mention that if you decide to grant her request, she will use her last breath to thank you. She's gone to a better place, but that doesn't make the conversation or the Mercy Kill itself any easier for the player.
    • Bear in mind also that Zathrian probably knew about what happened to her, but declined to say because it would mean admitting that he knew a thing or two about the curse. Selfish bastard.
    • It gains an extra measure of sorrow if you've played Dragon Age II using an imported save where the elves survived. Danyla and her husband apparently had a daughter whom the Warden never met... and she's continually haunted by her mother's tormented final days. Hawke has the chance to intervene in a meeting between this daughter and one of the former werewolves.
  • The Dalish Elf Warden coming back to their homeland is not easy on them: they have to deal with the fact that their people from another clan are being slowly killed by the werewolf curse, and at the end, they discover that Zathrian, a man who they've probably admired since childhood, has lied to them about the elves' regained immortality and the werewolf curse's origin.
  • If you convince Zathrian to end the curse, the subsequent cutscene is heartbreaking. It shows Zathrian surrounded by the werewolves he cursed, facing the Lady of the Forest, and the two sharing a long, emotional look. He slowly raises his staff, strikes it on the floor, and gets this peaceful, contented look on his face as he lets go of all his old hatred and rage before collapsing in death. The werewolves then crowd around their beloved Lady, reaching out to touch her one last time before the curse is lifted and she vanishes; you can tell that they truly did love her and are deeply saddened to see her leave them, even if it means they are free. Beautifully heartbreaking, and it's all conveyed by gesture and facial expressions.
  • After you finish the quest, you can speak to Leliana and she will sing "In Uthenera", a song about the death of an elder.
    • If Sten is in the camp, there will be a point in the cinematic where he'll look over to the fire before looking down, as if lost in thought. If you've completed his quest and took him through the "Broken Circle" quest to view his nightmare over the loss of his brothers in the Beresaad, it's easy to imagine Sten thinking back to his lost comrades.
    • When Morrigan hears it, she listens to it for a brief moment, before averting her gaze and shaking her head. It's sad to see how much Flemeth's "feelings are a weakness" raising method has touched her to the point of repression.

  • Telling Owen the blacksmith about his daughter's death, after you promised him you would bring her back alive just as a means to an end. If you return to the blacksmith, you find another guy there, who tells you Owen killed himself.
  • If you're a mage and stay loyal to your old friend Jowan, it makes his being led away to his final fate at the Circle Tower all the worse.
    Jowan: Goodbye... friend.
  • The death of Connor, if you choose to end the Arl of Redcliffe quest by killing him. You learn that Connor struck a deal with the demon to save his father, not knowing what would happen. It especially gets heart-wrenching if you've managed to defeat him but allow Isolde to convince you not to deliver the death blow. Connor will re-awaken and the demon will threaten to kill Arl Eamon; it is that point that Isolde will realize that he cannot be saved. In the end, she will tearfully ask you to leave the room while she kills Connor, still cradling her young boy in her arms.
    • To make matters worse, the ending afterward indicates that Isolde died in childbirth bearing a daughter, who also turned out to be a mage and got shipped off to the tower; you can't save Isolde or help Eamon carry on his family name if you take that option.

    The Circle of Magi 
  • The Templar in the Circle tower who's been bewitched by a Desire Demon. You can leave him to be happy in the demon's illusion, or you can fight the demon and kill him as well. If you choose to fight, the demon will convince the Templar to attack you by telling him their children are in danger. And he doesn't hesitate to defend his "children" to the death.
  • The death of Niall in the Fade.

  • Returning to Orzammar as a Dwarf Commoner warden is... tough. It doesn't matter how many heroic things you've done, you're still casteless, and NPCs react with suspicion and hostility towards you. Your sister might be happy, but your mother is still a verbally abusive drunk too worn down by her experiences in Dust Town to appreciate her family's success. And then, of course, there's Leske, who was once your best friend, and now has betrayed you and tries to kill you in order to regain favor with the Carta. That part's especially painful (and also kind of weird) if you're coming back to Origins after a run or two through Dragon Age II, because Leske has the same voice actor as Varric.
  • Endrin's letter to the Dwarf Noble:
    Perhaps you will burn this letter unread. For that, I would not blame you. But I would not return to the Stone without saying this to you: I have seen what Bhelen is. And when I saw it, I knew I had been a fool. For only a fool would cut out his own heart and burn it for the sake of appearances. I never believed in your guilt. I allowed you to be exiled because I feared an inquiry into Trian's murder would taint our house with scandal in the eyes of the deshyrs and cost our family the throne. But I have saved nothing by this sacrifice: I sent my only child into an uncertain exile. Know that whatever you do now, you bear all the honor and pride of House Aeducan.
  • Ruck's situation, the poor guy. He's half-mad, knows he's crazy, and is adamant that you not tell his mother about him.
    Ruck: Nonononono! No Filda! No mother! No warm blanket and stew and pillow and soft words! Ruck doesn't deserve good memories! No, no, NO!
    • And the topper? If you tell Filda that Ruck is alive, she'll rush off to the Deep Roads alone to find him.
  • Hespith's final speech before vanishing into the darkness: maybe it's because her Creepy Monotone starts to crack very slightly here, maybe it's because it's not established what she does afterwards (she has a choice between suicide and A Fate Worse Than Death), but it really is depressing:
    Hespith: But the true abomination... is not that it occurred, but that it was allowed. Branka... my love... The Stone has punished me, dream friend. I am dying of something worse than death... Betrayal.
    • Listen closely and you can hear the sound of something falling to the ground after she leaves the frame.
    • Also sad is that she feels nothing but guilt that she couldn't sway Branka from her madness.
      Hespith: I was her captain, and I did not stop her. Her lover, and I could not turn her. Forgive her... but no, she cannot be forgiven.
  • Convincing Branka to destroy the Anvil of the Void. Here's a woman who's sold her house to the darkspawn and sacrificed any remaining sanity in a mad quest to obtain it, yet when prompted, will finally realize how much of a mistake she's made and how far she's fallen from the Paragon. The look of utter freedom on her face after she destroys the Anvil is the crowner.

  • If you take Sten through the Gauntlet, the Guardian will ask Sten if he feels he has failed his people by killing the family who saved him:
    Sten: I have never denied that I failed.
  • Oghren's response to The Guardian is even more tear inducing. Keep in mind that at this point Oghren has gone through the loss of his house, his caste, and even possibly killing his own wife. Despite all that, he doesn't voice to the party anything beyond mild discontent. When The Guardian questions him however, Oghren solidifies his Woobie status.
    The Guardian: Ah, the dwarf. You left your home and came to the surface, knowing that-
    Oghren: Why don't I save you some time? Yes, I wish I could have saved my family from Branka. I wish I could have been a better mate; maybe she would have stayed home with a belly full of baby Oghren and never gone for the Anvil. Maybe I failed her. And yes, I came to the surface because I'm barely a dwarf anymore. My family is dead, my honor as a warrior long gone. I've lost my caste and my house, and I have nothing else to lose!
  • When the Human Noble encounters the spectre of Bryce Cousland during the Gauntlet. This whole segment was particularly poignant because the Warden finally has to start to come to terms with the brutal murder of their parents in their Origin story. The Warden, until this point, can be assumed to have put this to one side because they must be focused on stopping the Blight; but this part of the story is where it actually stops and delves into the mind of the Warden for a brief moment, over what they feel over this tragedy and their lingering survivor's guilt. Bryce gently reassures the Human Noble that there was nothing they could have done and they shouldn't feel guilty, and that it was their mother's own choice to stay behind to die with her husband. He then tells the Human Noble that they must learn to let go of their guilt over what happened, and also that it's time to let go of their parents as well.
    • It's also implied the Warden knows that this apparition isn't really their father, but still begs it to stay at the end. Given that the amulet received after this is "Reflection", this Test and the advice given could be interpreted as the Warden's subconscious telling them all of these things to overcome their guilt, from the one person to whose words "Pup" would always listen.
  • Going for the Urn of Sacred Ashes as a Dwarf Noble. If you've made it clear that you regret killing Trian, then his ghost appears midway through. He then forgives you and tells you that the past is the past, and you should move on.
    • If you were framed for the murder rather than actually committing it, he speaks gently about how you were both deceived and you should stop blaming yourself.
    • Any of the Wardens can tell the Guardian that they regret the fate of someone in their past and share a similar moment with them. The touching aspect of it can give way to Fridge Depression, however, when you realize it's not really that person's spirit; if it were, certain characters wouldn't be able to appear, and the spirit admits as much itself. You may be gaining absolution from whatever forces are in charge of the Gauntlet, but it encourages you to move on when the one who'd most need to hear your apology and have the most right to forgive you didn't do either.
  • If playing as a mage who didn't betray Jowan, his spirit says this in the Gauntlet:
    Jowan: You have wondered, many times, if what happened to me was your doing... But it is too easy to obsess over "what if" and "what could have been." These thoughts will eat away at you, if you let them. Forgive yourself, just as I have forgiven you.
  • Playing as a City Elf and meeting Shianni. Shianni reminds you that while you are out there being respected even by humans for being a Grey Warden, the rest of the Alienage, including your family, are still on the risk of being killed or sold into slavery.
    Shianni: Do you remember us, where you came from, and what some of us still face every day?
    The Warden: I wish I could free you all.
    Shianni: Really? Thank you, but that will take time, more time than you can spare.
  • The first portion of the Gauntlet after answering the riddle posed by the spirit of Maferath, Andraste's mortal husband. It's the regret in his voice, particularly in the last sentence.
    Maferath: Yes, jealousy drove me to betrayal. I was the greatest general of the Alammari... but beside her, I was nothing. Thousands fell before her on bended knee. They loved her, as did the Maker. I loved her too, but what man can compare to a god?

  • Ser Cauthrien, if you convince her Loghain's in the wrong, is near tears when she tells you to try to save him from himself. She knows that she may have signed Loghain's death warrant, but she realizes the insanity must stop.
  • Bann Sighard's reaction to the full extent of what Arl Howe did to his son while torturing him, particularly the line he gives if you bring it up at the Landsmeet. His delivery of the second sentence makes him sound as though he's about to break down in tears.
    Bann Sighard: Howe took my only son! The things done to him... some are beyond any healer's skill!
  • Loghain's "daughters never grow up" speech just before you execute him at the Landsmeet. No matter how much you hate him during the rest of the game, it's this moment that really shows his humanity and that, despite the huge evidence to the contrary, he genuinely cares for Anora.
  • If the Warden is a female from any background other than the Human Noble, and is romancing Alistair and makes him king without convincing him not to break up with her, pretty much every conversation after the Landsmeet (and some leading up to it) are massive Tear Jerkers. Alistair questions what good being king is if he can't have the one thing he truly loves, admits that he had wondered if the Warden still loved him despite the breakup, and - if asked whether he's okay - replies that no, not really, but he can't think about it because it's "too painful... and too tempting." If the Warden doesn't Take a Third Option, Alistair will try to sacrifice himself and, when asked if he doesn't have a duty to his future wife, he replies, "I was an idiot, of course. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me."
  • Alistair leaving you if you decide to give Loghain another chance. Your friendship has been dealt a severe blow, and neither of you are sure it will recover. Even if he's been hardened and agreed to marry Anora, which is the only way that he won't abandon Ferelden entirely, he remains angry with you for the rest of the game. He only eases up somewhat if you allow Loghain to sacrifice himself to kill the Archdemon.

    The Final Battle 
  • The Revelation comic. It takes place immediately after Riordan tells the Warden that a Heroic Sacrifice will be necessary to kill the Archdemon. To give the comic some context, it's set in a playthrough where a female Warden is in love with Alistair and close friends with Morrigan. Not only do we get to see Alistair's reaction to the knowledge that either he or the woman he loves is probably gonna die in battle, but we also see the conflict Morrigan feels at the prospect of sleeping with the man her only true friend loves in order to save her life. Read it here.
  • If Morrigan is in love with the Warden at the end, her face will contort with pain when she's telling you she's leaving you forever. When pressed about love, she becomes even more pained. "Caring for you as I have come to... that was not part of the plan." It makes her final words before having sex that much more sad and glorious: "Come, my love. Put the thoughts of the ritual aside and make this last night one to remember."
    • Then, if you don't take her with you to face the Archdemon, you can tell her one last time that you love her. She'll break down and look like she's ready to cry, saying you've made it profoundly difficult to leave, and tells herself that she needs to have no regrets.
  • Any of the player's heroic sacrifices can be this. Seeing a character you've built the entire game sacrifice themself is pretty sad.
  • What happens if you're romancing Alistair and don't take Morrigan's third option. "You say that like I'm giving you a choice."
    • What makes that quote especially touching is that it ends a game that is built around the player making pretty much all the important choices and saves the player character's life by having Alistair simply refuse her biggest choice in the story and sacrificing himself instead.
    • The next thing after his sacrifice is his voice in narration repeating what he said at your Joining, "And should you perish, know that your sacrifice will not be forgotten... and that one day, we shall join you."
    • Averting the above Tear Jerker won't let you off the hook, either (besides making the Warden dead). If you're romancing Alistair and refused the Ritual, leaving him behind to defend the gate is almost just as sad. He knows exactly why you're not taking him along, and he sounds completely heartbroken during that final conversation.
    • Try taking the Heroic Sacrifice after romancing Zevran, for that matter. If his epilogue doesn't do it for you, factor in his background as well... You Bastard!
      Hero: I love you, Zevran.
      Zevran: (face collapses in grief) ... cruel to the end.
    • Really, any epilogue where the Warden dies after romancing a love interest becomes this. Alistair leaves the Wardens because it's not the same without his lover, and vanishes to parts unknown.note  Leliana pours her grief into a heart-rending ballad before she too vanishes.note  Zevran eventually rejoins the Crows as its leader but never falls in love again.
  • Taking Loghain with you to the archdemon. When it comes to the final blow, Loghain pleads, "Please, I've done so much wrong... allow me to do this last thing right."




  • Talking to Alistair about his time with the Grey Wardens. Alistair tells you that he really misses Duncan and wishes that he could have something to remember him by.
  • Alistair meeting Goldanna. Pretty much all the dialogue paths are heartbreaking.
    Alistair: I— I want to go. Can we go?


  • Loghain talking with Dog about his own Mabari who was killed during the Orlesian occupation.
    Loghain: It was six months before we saw her again. The Orlesian returned her - and when I say "returned," I mean "pushed her out of his wagon." She was skin and bone, and still carried the scars from where their pronged collars bit into her neck. She never quite recovered. She passed away after a week. It was as though she held on long enough to come home to us. I held her head in my lap, and I believe she died happy.
    • Bear in mind, Marbari have human-level intelligence. It's repeatedly emphasized that they actually choose their masters. For Loghain, it may as well have been a sibling that was taken from him. And add to that the fact that his mother was also raped and murdered by Orlesians, it's kind of hard to hold his hatred for all things Orlais against him.
      • And Dog whines sadly to indicate that he understands what Loghain is telling him.


  • A small one from Morrigan: After she tells you about Flemeth, she'll ask you about your mother, and one of the answers you can give is that you love your mother and that's all you really need. In response, she tells you that she's envious. Morrigan's childhood must have sucked (and from what you hear, it did) if she was forced to hate Flemeth when she wanted to love her.
    • If you're playing as the Human Noble, you can truthfully acknowledge that your mother died very recently. Morrigan's face contorts somewhat sadly, and she offers her genuine sympathy.
  • Giving Morrigan the mirror. Tell her it's merely a gift, and she will be at a complete loss for words, while sounding like she's trying to hold back a river of tears.
  • One more for Morrigan, if you play as a female Warden. Max out her approval rating, and during one conversation she will tell you how much you mean to her as a friend, even regarding you as a sister. Then, when it comes time to part ways during the Battle of Denerim, if you had Alistair or Loghain sleep with her, she will tell you to live, long and gloriously.


  • Wynne's reaction to the Human Noble when they reveal how they became a Grey Warden. She's so shocked she even stutters a little when she realizes that "You... you are the last of the Couslands?" It's an insanely powerful moment as, until that point, Wynne has been your companion throughout the entire Mage Tower quest, and because she was there, she understands better than any of the others (except Alistair) what was lost as Ostagar. However, that conversation shows that until then, she's only seen the Human Noble as the Warden. It's a tear jerker moment when she finally realises who you are and that despite everything you've lost, you're still standing and continuing to fight.


  • Zevran's last mission before going after the Grey Wardens, along with his reasons for making the bid for the task of slaying the Wardens.
  • Romancing him or no, just talk to Zevran and learn about his past (even before he tells you about Rinna). He tells you about how the Crows will buy elves because humans find them beautiful. He'll also tell you that he has had to sleep with people against his will. Add those two together, plus the knowledge that he had to do whatever the Crows told him to do. What's worse? He laughs it off because humor has always been his coping mechanism.


Return to Ostagar

  • Everything about this DLC. Not only are you going back to the scene of the beginning battle where almost every last member of your order was butchered, but then you walk up and see Cailan's crucified body and bittersweet flashes of the last days at Ostagar. All the while, the eerie theme song mourns what's lost in the background. Having Alistair, Wynne, or even Loghain reliving it through party banter makes it worse.

Witch Hunt

  • Revisiting the elven ruin from the Dalish Elf Origin as a Dalish elf is heartbreaking. Ariane even refers to it as the place of your greatest sorrow and asks if, given the chance, you'd change anything. You can answer that no, everything happens for a reason - or you can say yes, you would change everything if it meant having a family again.
  • Saying goodbye to Morrigan at the end of Witch Hunt, if the two of you are friends at that time. She really is sad to have to part company with you, and it shows in her expression and her voice. Even though this is Morrigan and her honesty is sometimes in doubt, she can't be faking that kind of emotion. Not without being the greatest actress to ever exist. You just want to give her a hug. Or worse, you can betray any sort of trust she has left for you and stab her.

Darkspawn Chronicles

  • This DLC in general is one for those who grew really fond of the companions over the course of the main game. Here, you're a Vanguard darkspawn tasked to slaughter all of them.