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YMMV / Dragon Age II

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  • Alas, Poor Scrappy:
    • Carver, if he survives the Death by Origin Story, can get one of these later.
    • And in a much more contentious example, Anders, if you choose to execute him. Regardless of fan reception, it was clearly designed to give his death drama.
  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation: Occurs in-universe at the end of Merrill's personal quest. Hawke can either tell her she was stupid for thinking she could ever use blood magic safely, or that everyone else was stupid for interfering with her life - especially Marethari.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Because it's lower fantasy than its predecessor, the game forces the player to re-evaluate preconceptions built up by playing as the Warden, such as the fate of mages, the rightness of the Chantry, and so on. Hawke having an apostate sister, and possibly being one themselves, gives the player a distinctly different starting perspective than, say, the Human Noble Warden. Then again, one can argue Hawke's starting perspective is not that different from the Human Noble and Mage Origins (many players see it as just a fusion of the two), and can be outright privileged compared to most Non-Human Warden backgrounds. The review by Zero Punctuation put it best:
      Yahtzee Croshaw: Much like the first one, Dragon Age II is all about the representative messages, and can't go more than five minutes without someone being really, heavy-handedly racist against mages, elves, dwarves, goldfish, etc, which is why I find it somewhat ironic that you're only allowed to play a human this time aroundnote , when the last game let you pick from an entire Burger King Kid's Club of racism backstories.
    • Anders. Is he a tragic hero, a hypocrite, or some combination of the two? At best, he's a revolutionary fighting against injustice. At worst, he's killed dozens of innocent people to start a chain of events that would contribute to the start of a rebellion. Another factor started making the rounds after the release of Dragon Age: Inquisition: did Anders somehow know that the Right of Annulment has been abused and covered up before? The similarities to the Gallows and the Antiva City Circle prior to its illegal Annulment are a little too close to be coincidental.
    • Merrill. Is she a careful, courageous researcher, fighting against prejudice and misunderstanding to discover the lost secrets of a dying race? Or is she a foolish blood mage whose pride prevents her from seeing risks until they harm the ones she loves?
    • Grand Cleric Elthina. Was she the only thing keeping the mage/Templar conflict stable, or did her refusal to take a side make things worse? The question is also applicable to the Chantry/Qunari conflict in Act 2. Either the appearance of violent zealots was an inevitable consequence of the sustained Qunari presence in the city, or the deterioration of so many members of her church is an indication that she's dangerously out-of-touch with the rest of Kirkwall.
      • There's a growing interpretation of Elthina as well that she was, in reality, a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing. While posing as a Good Shepherd with Head-in-the-Sand Management, she, in reality, was very complicit behind the scenes in what was going down at Kirkwall. There is some surprisingly strong evidence for this interpretation as well, laid out best in these two blogs.
    • Orsino is either a good man who did horrible things out of desperation, or a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing. Further complicated by him acting differently depending on which ending you take. Then there's his involvement with Quentin.
    • Meredith: A crazed Knight Templar, a Well-Intentioned Extremist, or a Properly Paranoid woman who was right all along? Or did she shift from the latter to the former after being corrupted by the Artifact of Doom between Acts 2 and 3?
    • Sebastian: A Royal Who Actually Does Something or a spoiled prince who'll try to get others to do his dirty work more often than not?
    • An in-universe case: If Hawke rivals Anders, Justice eventually gets referred to as Vengeance. If Hawke supports Anders' decisions, they keep calling him Justice.
    • Even Snarky Hawke falls prey to this. Are they just an unambiguously heroic figure that had no desire for power, or a Rich Idiot with No Day Job whose continued refusal to take a position of authority meant they were content to sit back and watch while Meredith practically turned Kirkwall into a police-state?
    • Alternatively, is Hawke's continuing reticence to lead simply because every time they're forced into authority (such as during the flight from Lothering, the Deep Roads expedition, and the hunt for Quentin), they end up losing those closest to them? From Hawke's point of view, if they can't even run a mine without their workers getting repeatedly attacked by monsters, how are they supposed to manage running a city?
    • Marethari - was she trying to save Merrill from a fatal mistake, or was she denying Merrill her agency and endangering her clan by keeping them in one place for years? For that matter, there's an argument that Audacity was always at least as interested in her as Merrill - they both heard its call the first time. While Marethari never shows intolerance towards humans like many other Dalish, nonetheless, was Hawke being a Shemlen and an outsider the reason that she repeatedly failed to give them critical information, which would have better helped steer Merrill away from her dangerous path?
    • After what we learn in Inquisition, the Pride Demon in Merrill's quest. Was it always a demon manipulating Merrill into granting it its freedom, or was it a spirit of wisdom, warped into a demon by Marethari's perceptions and refusal to admit she might be wrong?
    • Knight-Captain Cullen. Locked Out of the Loop trauma victim who ultimately overcomes his horrific past despite Meredith's best efforts to exploit his fear of magic? Or someone who's willfully blind to abuses and only undergoes a "convenient last-minute change of heart" when Hawke is in danger? Or is he somewhere in between?
    • As pointed out here, there's no small reason to see Aveline as being just as incompetent as her predecessors, given her repeated instances of passive Fantastic Racism towards elves and with regards to Mages, and handling situations such as the Serial Killer with woeful incompetence bordering on willful negligence.
  • Ass Pull: Orsino and Meredith turning on you, even if you side with one of them, as a result of a Conflict Ball - likely due to the game being rushed.
  • Base-Breaking Character: The companions in general (with the exception of Varric, who is almost universally beloved by the fandom). To be more specific:
    • People are debating whether or not Anders is the most compelling character in the game and a tragic figure that's developed from his previous incarnation, or a complete jackass. Or both.
    • Carver's Sibling Rivalry with Hawke either gives him depth that Bethany lacked, or makes him an annoying whiner.
      • Whether he joins the Templars or Grey Wardens tends on respective playthroughs tends to affect this. If he joins the former, Carver's Jerkass tendencies become more pronounced and he behaves more antagonistically towards Hawke. If he joins the Wardens, he becomes far more of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold and grows past his Sibling Rivalry with Hawke. Templar Carver tends to be The Scrappy for most players while Warden Carver tends to be considered as having been Rescued from the Scrappy Heap
      • When factoring in Legacy, most players tend to agree that Carver has been rescued from his Base Breaking Character status, citing his newfound maturity (particularly as a Warden, but even as a Templar he qualifies), depth, and understanding of his father and siblings. It helps that Carver is the one who attempts to bury the hatchet. On the other hand, this DLC did just about nothing to affect Bethany's popularity whatsoever.
    • Similarly, Bethany is either completely generic and flat as a character, or a refreshingly well-adjusted Only Sane Woman in a cast of ridiculously dysfunctional people. As with Carver, it depends on how much the player enjoys a Dysfunction Junction.
    • Isabela is either a walking Funny Moment with a secret heart of gold or a Designated Heroine whose actions got a lot of innocent people killed, and who engages in some extremely Not Okay banter with Fenris.
    • Fenris is either a compelling character that shows the darkest of what a minority has to face, or an asshole who has a huge stick up his butt for every single thing that has something to do with magic to the point of being the Templars' viewpoint version of Anders. Mage sympathizers and Dalish fans in particular feel that he is very hypocritical for generalizing both groups for thinking that they will always put down the disadvantaged if they gain power and always attempting to talk about the past respectively in a scathing way yet he does the exact same thing (to the same group of people in the former case). His status as a love interest doesn't help; you either love his Troubled, but Cute storyline or think that he's too much like a stereotypical JRPG protagonist.
    • Aveline is either the perfect Straight Man to almost all of the other party members and Snarky Hawke or someone who doesn't really fit well to the overall story of the game and should have left early. Like with Bethany, this often comes down to how much a player enjoys the Dysfunction Junction and more flawed (and sometimes even unlikable) personalities. She is also sometimes criticized for her pursuit of the elves at the end of Act 2 who killed one of her guardsmen in an act of Rape and Revenge after legal remedies failed; her stance against vigilante justice in this case draws accusations of hypocrisy and Fantastic Racism. On the other hand, fans will counter that she's one of the very few guard captains in the series that allows elves to join the city watch by trying to convince Fenris to join and and even making an elf you may have saved in the first act her lieutenant. Of course, this is the same woman who shielded a guard from any investigation or punishment after he was accused of raping an elven woman, yet dropped everything first thing to arrest the elven brothrs who had tried to report him many times, making the accusations of incompetence and passive Fantastic Racism not unwarrented.
    • Tallis. This boils down to how much one likes Felicia Day and her involvement in MOTA, as well as how much one likes the Qunari. Many found her character fascinating and felt that Day gave a really compelling performance. Others were annoyed that she succeeds in her goals, irrespective of whether Hawke is anti-Qunari, feel her dialogue is filled with moments of "Can't argue with Qunari!" (for example, a Mage Hawke can't bring up Saarabas), and argue that MOTA feels like "Dragon Age starring Felicia Day (with Hawke and Co. tagging along)." The fact that the character was conceptualized by Felicia herself, rather than the Bioware writers, does not help matters, with many fans arguing that the entire character is essentially ascended fanfic for name recognition.
      • Beyond that, there's another group of detractors who feel Tallis doesn't even make sense on a Lore level. Primarily, they point out the fact that she's a woman who fights (which seems to contradict what Sten said in Origins, though it's since been explained with the fact that Tallis is technically in the priesthood, with players debating whether this is a logical extension of Qunari culture or an Ass Pull Retcon) and especially the fact that Tallis seems to repeatedly disregard any aspect of the Qun she dislikes. The fact that Felicia Day herself has stated Tallis wishes to retain some level of individual freedom often has some fans complaining that she can't even be considered Qunari (as the individual's desires are rather unimportant and they are completely subservient to the collective good of society)
    • Merrill, especially as time has gone on. There's a good-sized faction of fans who are angry with Bioware for taking a no-nonsense, hard-nosed female authority figure in Origins and turning her into a Moe Bunny-Ears Lawyer Cloudcuckoolander, straight down to substantial physical changes to make her look far younger than her previous appearance. Others argue that she's a hugely important component of the story, as while other characters might provide "comic relief", nearly all the rest of it is of the bitter, ironic kind; Merrill is the only one who can provide legitimate levity thanks to her dogged innocence. They also point out that the game desperately needs a character like her to provide Hawke a different perspective on things. (Which leads the other side of the base wondering why BioWare couldn't have written a new character for the levity instead of rewriting a pre-existing hard-nosed female authority figure for the role.)
      • There's a pretty significant hatedom that perceives Merrill as a clueless, arrogant, ditzy, stubborn idiot who excels at screwing up (particularly how she handles the Eluvian, which can ultimately lead to her entire clan dying for what is, essentially, reclaiming tradition for tradition's sake). Her attitude towards blood magic and especially demons fuels this side's hatred even more. On the flip side, her fans tend to find her more clueless and ditzy moments sweet, funny, and endearing, and believe that acting ditzy doesn't make her any less intelligent or capable at what she does. And while most would agree Merrill can be too prideful for her own good, her fans believe that she has a strong grasp on the dangers of the Eluvian, blood magic, and demons, and what trips her up is other characters constantly undermining and sabotaging her efforts and then blaming her for them not working out (particularly Marethari choosing to let the demon possess her behind Merrill's back, and then Merrill getting blamed for said choice); she may have too much confidence in her abilities, but her issue stems from other characters not having enough confidence in her abilities.
    • Sebastian, unlike most of the examples, has to do with both his status as a DLC party member as well as his characterizations. While BioWare has a good track record for well-liked DLC party members such as Shale, Kasumi, Zaeed, and Javik, many people feel that Sebastian doesn't really fit well into the overall dynamic and some feel that he shouldn't even be in the game at all, let alone worth the money to use him. Those who don't really mind the DLC party member part are also torn between whether they like him for being a nice, calm religious guy who doesn't try to convert people by preaching, or loathe him for being a blatant hypocrite who is well aware of the faults of the Chantry and yet doesn't do anything about it... and absolutely tries to convert people by preaching. His decision to try and raise an army against Kirkwall if you spare Anders is also hotly debated. Some see it as the 'ultimate proof' of him being a bad person since the city itself had nothing to do with Anders's actions, while others see it as a understandable move, due to him being in a lot of emotional distress after just witnessing someone he knows blowing up his mother figure and dozens of innocent brothers and sisters, while his supposed friend protects the culprit.
    • Grand Cleric Elthina is almost as divisive as Anders. Some fans praise her as an incredibly intelligent, kind, good-hearted Reasonable Authority Figure who made every possible effort to defuse the volatile situation in Kirkwall, and feel that she might have even been making progress on the Mage/Templar issue when Anders blew her and the rest of the Chantry up. Many view her as being an utterly incompetent nitwit with a serious case of Head-in-the-Sand Management (both in the Qunari crisis, which resulted in countless innocents dying, and in the Mage/Templar crisis) and an unwillingness to take responsibility for her actions or faults (most specifically, the appointment of Knight Commander Meredith).
    • As time goes on, Leandra has increasingly become this. Plenty see her as a good parent naturally depressed following the first twin's death. Others see her as a flawed parent, showing some favoritism to the surviving twin and being slightly spoiled from her wealthy upbringing. Others see her as straight up abusive parent who shows open Parental Favoritism to the surviving twin and emotionally abuses Hawke (being protective of the surviving twin, but not Hawke, outright blaming them for the first sibling's death and never apologizing unless Hawke brings it up). And then there are those who see her as a Designated Hero: a lazy, entitled, ungrateful mooch who feels owed the wealth she chose to abandon by eloping with an apostate decades ago, refusing to accept the consequences of her actions and is willing to let her children endanger themselves to reclaim the wealth she claims is to protect them. (Not helped that she brings her children to the "Templar Capital of the World" despite this endangering at least one of them, depending on whether Hawke or Bethany is a mage, refuses to get a job or do chores to help out while her kids Work Off the Debt, and is willing to let at least Hawke risk their life looking for treasure in the Deep Roads so they can move to Hightown, rather than insisting on starting over somewhere else where they'd all be safe.)
  • Broken Base: The sequel makes heavy changes from Origins, which is a far more traditional BioWare game. In-fighting is vicious and common, in just about every discussion about the game.
  • Complete Monster: Ser Otto Alrik is a high-ranking Templar who's infamous for his habit of illegally conducting the right of Tranquility on unwilling mages. Forever cut off from the spirit world, known as the Fade, Tranquil mages have undergone the spiritual equivalent of a lobotomy and are left as Empty Shells for the rest of their lives. Not content with the way things currently are, Alrik's dream is to initiate the Tranquil Solution, a plan where every mage is forcibly made Tranquil, regardless of age or ability. When this plan was turned down by Knight-Commander Meredith for being too extreme, Alrik began taking steps to carry out his plan in secret, turning mages Tranquil without formal sanction - such as he did with Anders’s first love, Karl. Also, in the mission "Dissent," while pursuing a runaway Circle mage named Ella, Alrik heavily implies that he’ll use the Right of Tranquility to turn her into his willing Sex Slave, with the added implication that he frequently does this.note  For extra monster points, Ella is approximately fifteen.
  • Contested Sequel: While the game received positive reviews upon release, with critics praising the companions' Character Development, new gameplay changes, and a generally tighter story which deconstructed a lot of usual BioWare Tropes many fans criticized the environments for being smaller, less detailed and very repetitive. This criticism was largely aimed at EA by detractors, believing they rushed out the sequel in a very short development cycle.note  Furthermore, the finale remained largely the same regardless of player choices, and thus didn't really offer much in the way of closure. Several returning characters from previous Dragon Age games, particularly Anders, also have markedly different personalities. Is it a worthy entry into the DA franchise, an okay but obviously rushed game, a disappointing, lackluster experience with a few good ideas shining through here and there, or the herald of the beginning of the end for all of Bioware? There but for the grace of the Maker go you, gentle troper.
    • Notably, quite a few fans think that the game is quite solid in and of itself, but suffers from being labeled a main installment in the franchise, claiming that the game's description as a direct sequel to Origins created expectations that it never really had any chances of living up to (especially when it came to the scope of the story), and it would have gotten a more favorable reception if Bioware had kept expectations at a more modest level and called the game a side story or an outright spin-off.
  • Critical Dissonance: An example where critics, primarily major ones with previews and review copies, have higher recorded scores than the recorded scores of customers. On Metacritic, Dragon Age II has scores ranging from 79 to 82. Its user scores? Range from 3.9 to 4.4.
    • Although this, like the infamous Spore debacle, should be taken with a grain of salt - the PC version of this title was Origin-exclusive, which would garner negative reviews based on that more than the game itself.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: The song that plays in the Destiny trailer, especially the chorus.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Some people who played the game complained that the conflict between the mages and Templars, due to both sides frequently going out of their way to Kick the Dog and not doing very much little to render themselves sympathetic in return resulted in this.
    • Aside from the primary conflict, a majority of the people you meet in Kirkwall are either corrupt, stupid, evil, cowardly, or combinations thereof (many of the ones who aren't any of these die). This makes some players wonder why Hawke should give a damn about such a hellhole of a city at all.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Enemy assassins have disproportionately large HP bars and vanish off-screen during battle, reappearing only to backstab the member of your team with the lowest armor or health value for massive damage only to return to stealth immediately after. This means that, at best, the player has a seconds-long window to whittle down a large amount of health while dealing with whatever other backup they brought with them and places frail members at exceptional risk.
    • Enemy mages, while not as versatile as before, are still a large pain with dangerous area of effect attacks that can easily wipe out a party in seconds if they do not move out of their substantial range. The mages themselves are still relatively frail compared to warriors, but get around this by either covering themselves in an impenetrable shield for ten seconds at a time (at least they can't do anything while in that shield), or seemingly teleporting themselves to a random point on the battlefield to evade. Of special note are Blood Mages, Saarebas, and Arcane Horrors - three foes that you'll have to eliminate as soon as possible if you hope to win a battle.
      • Let's talk more about the Qunari mages, or Saarebas. The Qun should really take more pride in its mages, since they can KICK YOUR ASS TO PAR VOLLEN AND BACK. Not only do they take a ridiculous amount of damage, but they have a lightning ball spell that they can spam and essentially down your party within five seconds if you're not careful. Also, they can teleport, which is impossible according to in-game lore on the limitations of magic.
    • While the Rage Demons of Origins were mostly minor foes with crippling weaknesses to ice spells, including the ever popular Cone of Cold, their successors have become far more dangerous. They're extremely resilient to most attacks, can dive into the ground for sneak attacks, are next to impossible to stun, and deliberately target the party members with either the least armor or lowest health, making them one of the biggest threats on the battlefield whenever they appear.
    • Revenants are just as deadly in this game as they were in Origins. Worse, they often appear alongside Arcane Horrors and have a nasty tendency of pulling you away from them, giving the Horrors time to cast their party killing spells.
    • More literally, poison spiders on Nightmare. Their stun poison attack lets them wipe out anyone in 1v1 combat unless you can stop that. And the biggest problem is that they always spawn at least 2, usually 3, at a time. Definitely a contender for the toughest non-boss enemy in the game, at least on nightmare.
    • Legacy brings back the older darkspawn and other cave dwelling monsters to give them a serious boost.
      • Genlocks, who were originally just smaller darkspawn infantry (barring powerful ones like the Forgemaster), return as apelike berserkers that aren't so bad on their own. Their Alpha cousins, on the other hand, are large menacing creatures that carry spiked shields that almost completely nullify head-on damage. Getting behind them is easier said than done as they have surprisingly quick charge attacks that do massive damage and send most characters flying. To make it worse, the areas where they're found are full of identical spiked shields as background pieces that allow them to ambush the player.
      • Hurlock Alphas return as hideous, three meter tall giants with massive axes capable of easily sending an entire party flying in one sweep. Worse, they actually seem to buff and coordinate other darkspawn into a much more dangerous force.
      • Deepstalkers remain much like their Origins counterparts, except for a few details: their spit attacks are fast, plentiful, and they can hurt. They appear in swarms and can easily pick off your least powerful party member through sheer firepower before you finally rip through them all.
    • The Ghasts in Mark of the Assassin. Just as bad as Deepstalkers, they also throw buffers and mages into the mix as well.
  • Designated Hero:
    • The Dwarven Noble Warden from the optional backstory is definitely this. He exiled Alistair to become a wandering, bitter drunk, sent Loghain to his death against the Archdemon, and was utterly ruthless in dealing with the Blight. Despite all signs pointing to him being an incredible asshole, he's still considered "The Hero of Ferelden."
    • Arguably, Leandra. The game paints Gamlen as being wrong for things like charging rent to Leandra and putting Hawke and their sibling into servitude... except that if it wasn't for Gamlen, the family wouldn't have gotten into Kirkwall, period, and he's asking Leandra, who is sitting around doing nothing, to be decent enough to help pay for food and the like. It's hard to view Gamlen as being completely in the wrong, especially when you learn that Gamlen remained The Unfavorite even as he cared for his parents in their declining health while Leandra was living comfortably with her husband and children in Lothering.
    • Tallis is a straight-up and unambiguous example. Her goal of stealing and hiding/destroying a list of known Qunari spies puts countless nations in Thedas at jeopardy of being invaded and taken over by the Qunari, given that spies are often crucial to stealth attacks and sabotage. Come the Trespasser DLC of Inquisition, the Qunari do attempt to launch a surprise attack using their spy network to murder all the leadership in Thedas first. It fails and, while there's no guarantee that Tallis's list would have stopped this, it certainly could not have hurt to have access to it. Despite the fact that Tallis succeeding at her goal is bad for everyone in Thedas except for the Qunari, it's still presented as heroic because she's "saving innocent lives" and "protecting people." (This is Metaphorically True, given that she would see these people as being innocent and heroic. Doesn't change the fact that their actions could cause the death of countless others if they aren't stopped.)
  • Designated Villain: Invoked Trope. It's funny how Hawke starts out as the bad guy to Cassandra, no matter how heroic the player chooses to play them. As a result, this trope may ensue. Of course, there's also the option of playing an absolute Jerkass instead...
  • Die for Our Ship: There's a very vocal minority that can't stand the idea of Isabela and Fenris hooking up, even though it only happens if you don't romance either of them yourself. There are even some who claim to have handed her over to the Arishok just for that - which ignores Fenris flat-out stating that he would never have done such a thing himself.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Depending on one's opinions of the Mage/Templar situation, the characters on one side will often tend to have their flaws ignored or justified while the other side is utterly demonized.
    • In addition, players who tend to like the Qun/Qunari often try to justify the Arishok's actions, despite the fact that he killed a whole bunch of innocent people, including the Viscount - who, ironically enough, appeared to be the only person in all of Kirkwall trying to end the city's status as a Wretched Hive. It's not uncommon for players to turn over Isabela purely so they don't have to kill the Arishok.


  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Minor character Lilley from the "Inside Job" sidequest (who only has a few lines of dialogue and gets killed off halfway through the quest) has somehow endeared herself to a lot of fans, some of whom go as far as to suggest she should've been made a permanent party member. This is probably all thanks to a surprisingly powerful performance from Alix Wilton Regan, though her being a good-looking Action Girl likely helps a lot, too.
    • Athenril seems to have attracted a similar following, probably for much the same reasons, and the fact that she's one of the elves people will hold up as a sign that the new elf design is good.
    • Ketojan. He really gave the feeling that he would be a party member, which meant his fate left a lot of players very disappointed.
    • Cullen, a returning fan favorite from Origins, has lost none of his popularity; if anything, this game likely helped him to gain some, since he's got a much larger role here.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Those who don't romance Merrill usually pair her with Carver, who flirts with her during the game.
    • Plenty of fans ignore the fact that Varric isn't a romance option and pair him with their Hawke.
      • Many non-mage players alternately ship him with Bethany, with whom he is shown to have considerable Ship Tease.
  • Foe Yay:
    • Aveline and Isabela.
    • "Fenders." Fenris and Anders is becoming more prevalent as well, despite their obvious vitriol. Adds a whole new layer of meaning to the term "fender-bender."
    • Merrill/Fenris is also surprisingly prevalent in the fandom, for similar reasons.
    • Orsino/Meredith is quite a popular pairing among fans, which is probably helped by Snarky Hawke jokingly shipping them in-universe during a heated argument between the two.
  • Franchise Original Sin: Elf fans who weren't very happy about how Bioware handled the "eluvian expert" in Dragon Age: Inquisition have retroactively looked back at how this game treated Merrill's quest to restore her eluvian and found that the seeds were sown earlier than they noticed. Many have noted that in-universe Merrill is treated like a naive idiot by pretty much everyone for supposedly messing with powers too great for her to control, despite it being her own culture (fans are still divided on that), whereas Morrigan in the Witch Hunt DLC and Dragon Age: Inquisition is never questioned or disrespected by any characters for restoring her own eluvian despite (or because of) the fact that she's human. Narratively, many fans have also noted that this game depicting Hawke, a required human protagonist, as more credible in determining whether or not Merrill should or could even restore an artifact of her own culture only opened the door later for Inquisition to treat Morrigan as a far greater expert on all elven lore over all other elves (even potentially to a Dalish Inquisitor and/or their ancient elven expert companion), and the game presenting her as the most suitable choice to drink from the Well of Sorrows, a compilation of millennia of ancient elven memories, and inherit Mythal's godhood despite not being elven and having no personal connection to elven culture or people. The fact that Inquisition was written with a required human protagonist in mind, and Morrigan is the default drinker of the Well unless the player manually adjusts an elven protagonist to be one instead, just fans the flames.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • If Varric is in the party when Dougal offers to front you the cash to get in on the Deep Roads expedition, when you mention that Bartrand won't like it if Dougal is involved, Varric will say, quote, "He'd lose his mind. Not that it wouldn't be funny to watch." Yeah... not so funny to someone who's already done a playthrough and knows what happens to Bartrand after the Deep Roads...
    • One of the "Bone Pit" sidequests has Hawke convincing the miners to go back to work. One of the miners doesn't want to go back after the dragon attack. He drunkenly says "What if something else comes, like uh... bigger dragons?" Cue Act 3...
    • A meta one: per Word of God, Cullen initially fails to notice a mage Hawke is a mage because "[he's] just very oblivious." According to Inquisition and World of Thedas, he was also oblivious to the extent of the abuses at the Gallows, despite some of it taking place right in the courtyard.
  • Game-Breaker: Has its own page here.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • If all but one of your party is laid out on the floor and the game goes to a cutscene, when the gameplay resumes they'll be back on their feet with full health and mana or stamina bars, and no injuries.
    • A glitch can give Rogue Hawke a whopping 35 defense score per point of Cunning, making them nearly untouchable by normal attacks.
    • Using the Maker's Sigh potions basically resets your character's talents, attributes, and specialties. Occasionally, drinking it would cause a glitch to happen in which you would keep your specialties, meaning you could unlock a third one. This has since been patched out.
    • In the final boss fight, the boss will repeatedly paralyze all combatants to go on monologues... but if you've invested into Aveline's defensive skills, and have her in your active party, she'll be immune, and proceed to smack around the boss. It's as if someone asked: "Why don't you just hit 'em?" This can actually cause a glitch with the post game autosave. If the boss isn't allowed to complete its stun-cycle at least once, the autosave may be saved incorrectly and when you load you will be stuck in a wall listening to the final battle dialog until the game crashes.
    • It's possible for the Arishok to throw Hawke through the door and into the adjoining room where he can't get at Hawke. If you're playing a mage, the battle presumably goes down in history as Hawke running out of the room, barring the door, then sending in fireballs through the keyhole until the Arishok collapsed.
    • In the Legacy DLC, there's an exploit that potentially allows all twelve of the potential Hawke's Key bonuses to be put on it instead of the player having to choose a maximum of three. See here for directions. The result, especially if the player waited until late in the main game, is just as powerful as it sounds; if acquired prior to the Arishok fight, the Hawke's Key can turn that event into a Curb-Stomp Battle - in your favor.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Anders's destruction of the Chantry feels worse following the 2011 Norway attacks, whose perpetrator is also named Anders, and called himself a Templar to boot. They look quite similar as well.
    • Anders' personal story arc is kicked off by having to Mercy Kill an old friend and lover who's been made Tranquil. In the following game, we learn that the Rite of Tranquility can be permanently reversed.
    • In Act 3, Corf The Bartender can say that the aging Divine Justinia needs to pick a successor soon or it be a huge mess when she dies. In Dragon Age: Inquisition, that mess turns out far worse than anyone expected due to the number of potential successors who died at the Conclave.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Fenris's wolf motif seems highly appropriate in light of Gideon Emery's later role as the werewolf Deucalion on Teen Wolf.
    • Following the season 6 Game of Thrones finale, fans of both franchises (of which there are many, due to the influence of A Song of Ice and Fire on Dragon Age) immediately picked up on the similarities between the bombing of the Chantry in this game and Cersei's bombing of the Great Sept. Since both of the characters are blond-haired, the phrase "way to go, Blondie" became quite the relevant statement for the events of the show.
    • A dialogue between Varric and Aveline in Act 1 about petitioning the Viscount to let him "steal" ownership of the Hanged Man is a lot funnier since the release of the Inquisition DLC Trespasser, which reveals that now, Varric is the Viscount of Kirkwall.
  • Incest Yay Shipping: Hawke and Bethany. Owners of the PC version can mod the game to enable a Bethany romance, or mod Merrill to have Bethany's appearance. There are plenty of fanfictions shipping Hawke with Bethany (and/or Carver too sometimes).
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Carver, if he lives so long. The more terrible things happen to him, the more of a jerk he becomes.
    • Anders and Justice are this too, individually or combined. Though Anders still genuinely seems like a selfless, caring person (even on occasion to Merrill), it's often undermined by his more callous/cruel remarks to people with differing opinions about mages. Of particular note is his taunting Aveline about her dead husband, and being delighted if you choose to hand Fenris over to Danarius.
    • Bethany can become this over the course of the story, depending on her fate. It's far less noticeable if she's forced to join the Circle; she's a little cold and sharp towards Hawke later, particularly in the run up to the Arishok fight, but (especially if her friendship was maxed) she moves past it. Warden Bethany, however, is considerably bitter and cold towards not just Hawke, but almost all the party members. This is more noticeable during the DLC campaigns, in which she provides some scathing remarks and then retracts them in frustration. It's a cruel counterpoint to Act 1's sweet, kind, gentle Bethany.
    • Fenris. He gets Woobie points for his slave background, but the resulting hatred of mages makes him wholly unsympathetic towards them. He even asserts that Merrill's a monster while she's in mourning (see above). On the other hand, it's hard not to feel bad for him when you find out that he competed for the chance to be used as the subject of his master's ritual, not for his own sake, but to free his mother and sister from slavery... only for his sister to eventually turn him in to his former master in order to become his apprentice.
    • Gamlen Amell comes off as an unpleasant dick to pretty much everyone, even his own family; but when you find out a bit more about his life, it's hard not to find some pity for him. Despite him staying by his dying parents' side and caring for them, they still seemed to favor Leandra over him and barely left him anything in their will, then a series of bad investments and decisions resulted in him living in squalor and cost him the woman he loved, and then he loses his beloved sister to a Serial Killer. At least it's possible to grant him something of a happy ending by reuniting him with his long-lost daughter.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Fenris, being shipped with both female and male Hawke, Anders, Merrill, Sebastian, Bethany, Isabela, and sometimes Zevran and even Dorian.
  • Literary Agent Hypothesis: How Varric begins the story; the prologue is somewhat similar to what actually happens, with marked differences. See Framing Device and A Taste of Power on the main page.
    • Many of the inconsistencies and questionable events in the game are often explained away by fans as being due to Varric embellishing the story or hiding inconvenient or embarrassing facts. Some of the more popular ones are the sudden appearance of enemies from rooftops or out of nowherenote , the "romantic" duel with the Arishoknote , Hawke or mage companions flinging magic spells around in one of the most mage-unfriendly cities in Thedasnote , Varric not being a romance optionnote , and Orsino's bizarre Face–Heel Turn when Hawke sides with the magesnote . Funnily enough, at least one of these (the 'enemies appearing out of nowhere in surprising numbers' one) gets referenced in Inquisition, where Varric is asked where all those enemies came from.
  • Memetic Mutation: See here.
  • Moe: Merrill. Besides having the regular enormous elf eyes, she also possesses the quintessential "cute and adorable" trait associated with Moe girls. As a bonus, she's clumsy and absent-minded.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Some fans' reactions to Anders nuking Kirkwall's Chantry in order to start a rebellion between mages and Templars have been disgust and horror.
    • Meredith wastes no time crossing the line herself when she uses Anders's aforementioned destruction of the Chantry as an excuse to invoke the Right of Annulment against a Circle to which Anders never belonged. The fact that it's completely legal makes this an In-Universe Moral Event Horizon for the Chantry and the Templars in the eyes of Circle mages throughout Thedas. Half of them rebel on the spot when they find out what she did and the rest follow within a year - all of which was exactly what Anders planned.
    • Orsino either crosses it when he reveals that he was working together with Quentin and covered him up or when he defiles the corpses of his fellow mages (or, depending on who you side with, even sacrifices them himself) to become a Harvester.
    • A lot of the bad things Hawke can do can have some justification. However, there's no justification for selling Fenris back into slavery to Danarius, even though he's been your trusted companion and potentially friend/lover for 7 years. Every member of your party calls you out on it (with the exception of Anders, who cheers you on).
    • Mother Petrice crosses it when she murders Saemus Dumar, frames Hawke for it, and tries to use the whole affair to spark a war with the Qunari. When told that her actions will lead to a massacre on both sides, she brushes off the excess of blood which is and will be on her hands as though it's meaningless.
    • The Arishok's decision to attack Kirkwall. Lots of the people are killed, such as the Circle mages and the Viscount, and absolutely none of them did anything to deserve it. Hawke has the option of telling him that regardless of whether or not he had legitimate grievances, he went too far by responding that way.
  • Narm: Yes, it is shocking when Anders nukes the Chantry at the end of Act 3. It is, however, impossible to take the situation seriously after Sebastian's Big "NO!".
  • One-Scene Wonder: Flemeth only makes two major appearances, once in the prologue after Hawke defeats the Ogre that killed Carver/Bethany and then near the end of Merrill's recruitment quest after being summoned from her amulet. However, Kate Mulgrew's performance makes those scenes quite memorable.
  • One True Threesome: Two major ones:
    • Hawke, Fenris and Isabela: Two potential love interests who have a canon attraction that turns into Friends with Benefits (and possibly more) near the end of the game. It also neatly avoids the Ship-to-Ship Combat issues.
    • Hawke, Merrill and Isabela: Merrill and Isabela are already close friends and ship each other with Hawke depending on romance paths.
  • Player Punch: Plenty.
    • Leandra's death at the hands of Quentin.
    • Bethany or Carver being conscripted into either the Circle or the Templars if you leave them in Kirkwall during the Deep Roads expedition, or becoming Grey Wardens after being infected by the taint, or dying of the taint if you don't bring Anders, or dying at the hands of the Ogre in Lothering. Getting the Hawke estate back rings hollow because they aren't there with you. See above for why it gets even lonelier.
    • Anders blowing up the Chantry. Especially if you're in a romance with him.
    • If you help Merrill with all her quests with the mirror, you end up having to kill the possessed Keeper Marethari. And unless you choose the counter-intuitive 'I assume responsibility' dialogue option when confronting the clan, you also have to slaughter the entire clan. This includes people like Feynriel's mother Arianni, Paivel the storyteller, and Master Ilen the craftsman. It's especially horrifying if you played as a Dalish Warden in Origins.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Before the game's release, many fans weren't thrilled about the fact that the game had a new player character, Hawke, in place of the Grey Warden from the previous game. The "Destiny" trailer went a very long way towards reconciling people to the idea.
    • Carver, as of Legacy.
    • The entire game, as of Legacy, and to a lesser extent, Mark of the Assassin. The DLC corrects some of the blunders of the game (like repeating dungeons and waves of annoying enemies), whilst keeping and expanding on the good stuff (like the Hawke family).
    • Before its cancellation led it to being held back for the third game, many at Bioware have suggested that the Exalted March expansion would have been a further attempt to do this.


  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Trying to avoid friendly fire on Nightmare difficulty is an exercise in frustration, due to your cursor automatically centering itself on enemies that it approaches closely as you try to cast your abilities. We hope you didn't want to cast area-of-effect stuff against enemies engaged with the melee member(s) of your party! It's even worse than the first game because you can't zoom out the camera as much anymore to swing it around and try to find some spot on the ground to hit enemies while avoiding allies and the automatic-targeting on enemies.
    • Enemies spawning mid-fight (at worst, behind your party to leave its squishies ridiculously easy targets unless you knew that would happen beforehand) a lot isn't a popular choice of gameplay.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Bethany/Alistair is quite popular, for some reason. This is sort of strange considering what the reaction was to Alistair/Leliana being merely suggested in the Darkspawn Chronicles DLC.
  • Squick: Some of Isabela's sexual remarks, which is lampshaded in-universe.
    Hawke: Isabela! I cannot unsee that!
  • Stoic Woobie: Ketojan, and any other Saarebas by extension. Tranquil as well, particularly Karl.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • Despite what you may feel about Meredith's methods, she is in fact correct that a great deal of the Circle mages are indeed practicing blood magic. This includes First Enchanter Orsino, who turns himself into an abomination and attacks Hawke, even if you choose to protect him.
    • Since it still wasn't all of the Circle mages, this goes both ways. Orsino isn't off-base when he tells Meredith:
      Blood magic! Where do you not see blood magic?! My people cannot sneeze without you accusing them of corruption!
    • If you read the "Enigma of Kirkwall" entries, you'll discover that the Tevinter magi specifically built Kirkwall as a giant amplifier for blood magic through use of the city's architecture and secretly sacrificing thousands of slaves. The ritual sacrifice probably contributed to the weak Veil in Kirkwall (as stated in the codex), making communication with Fade demons a lot easier. No wonder so many Circle mages turn to blood magic; they're practically compelled to do so. This point is expanded on with a Codex entry you find for Legacy which explicitly states that is why Kirkwall suffers a great deal of abominations/possessions.
    • As mentioned in Designated Hero above, the game paints Gamlen as being completely in the wrong for everything, yet he does make some valid points. Leandra acts like he's selling Hawke and Sibling into slavery when he suggests a year of indentured servitude in exchange for passage into the city; yet he's not wrong when he says that the family fortune is gone (however it went), this is their only option, and also that the large influx of unskilled immigrant labor into the city would make jobs very limited, so "think of it as having a job waiting for you once you get in." Sure enough...note  While Gamlen is wrong for having stolen and gambled his sister's inheritance away, he still makes a point that Leandra chose to leave the fortune behind decades ago. Finally, the game treats Gamlen asking Leandra for rent as a very unreasonable request, yet by the time he asks she's been sitting in his house doing nothing (neither chores nor job-hunting) for over a year, so it's perfectly reasonable for him to ask her to pitch in if she has no intention of moving out.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: The Party Banter in the DLCs has quite a few jabs at the expense of Carver and Anders.
  • That One Achievement: "Supplier," which as the main page notes is an egregious case of Guide Dang It! thanks to the game's inaccurate description of its requirements. Good luck finding every single crafting resource in the main gamenote  without a detailed walkthrough at hand.
  • That One Boss:
    • The Rock Wraith provides a lot of frustration for players, unless they learn the trick to avoid being hit. When it starts seizing up like it's about to explode, run and hide in the shadowed area behind one of the pillars. After all the deadly light stops blaring off of the thing, it collapses and you can get in some free hits before it regains its senses.
    • The Arishok has titanic defenses, nasty combo attacks, and hits harder than anything you've come across in the game so far - and he drinks healing potions. A lot of your duel will likely be spent dodging him around the pillars and running for your life.
      • The battle with the Arishok is slightly less difficult if you have the (free) Black Emporium DLC, because your faithful mabari can be summoned to keep the Arishok off your back while you scamper off to catch your breath.
      • If you didn't pick the right options to get the single combat, the fight includes such notable things as two Saarebas mages and a veritable horde of lesser Qunari to back up the Arishok.
    • Corypheus of Legacy proves to be much tougher than either of the others. Legacy also has the secret boss Malvernis, who switches between summoning dozens of skeletal archers, using high-damage blood magic, and eventually turning into a dragon.
    • The Pride Demon backed up by a Blood Mage and a horde of Shades on the Docks in "The Last Straw." Many people find that fight to be the toughest of the whole finale and cite it as a reason for sparing Anders, since he's the only healer at that point if Hawke isn't a mage.
  • That One Level:
    • The Deep Roads expedition can be this, depending on Hawke's class or your usual party composition, since Varric is required. If Hawke is a rogue, it means there are two in the party and not much room for choice; Anders will be needed for healing and Aveline or Fenris will be wanted for tanking.
    • The entire final level can be this if Anders if not present. Being the only healer besides a Mage Hawke, running the gauntlet of late game monsters and enemies is a nightmare without him. Some players have even chosen to spare him when they would rather not have out of simple necessity.
    • The Mark of the Assassin DLC can arguably be considered this. Tallis is required, so you can only bring two of your regular companions; not only that, but you don't even have them with you for the entire middle third of the DLC anyway. Be sure to bring a lot of potions.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • The second game makes changes to the dialogue wheel, predefined character with a voice, combat, and many other mechanics. This crops up as a complaint due to that. This is reflected in the reviews for the game, which range from "best RPG combat ever" and "refreshingly original narrative" to "dull and unnecessary gameplay changes" or "unfocused and inferior story." Most reviews seem to strike somewhere between the middle, though this still puts the game lower than Origins.
    • The Origins rogue was something of a Skill Gate character, but complaints from players who couldn't get the hang of them were numerous enough to remake them into another flavor of fighter. It didn't help that the AI didn't provide a good example of how to use them. As a YMMV, the changes could be as much an improvement, as the rogue can now be played as another flavor of fighter, and lockpicking/traps cost no additional skill investment.
    • In a related vein, this change severely limited the Warrior class as well. Bow and Sword, in Accord warriors were one of the best builds in Awakening, but now the class doesn't even have access to archery abilities.
    • There are clashing opinions over various changes from Origins, particularly over character redesigns. Many were also displeased with how many Origins characters look with the new graphics engine. Especially worth noting are how the changes to the elves necessitated an alteration to Zevran's look, and that not everyone was happy about the Qunari getting horns.
    • Another common complaint is that it doesn't focus on the characters enough, when the substantial focus is actually about Hawke's relationship with their companions over the course of seven years, completely missing the point that unlike the first game, we get an indication that these people have a life outside of the main character.
      • The main criticism with this is that the player never sees said life outside the main character when the rule of good storytelling is often considered "Show, don't tell." That said, most players who complain about this path are often ones who choose to befriend the characters rather than rival them (the former encourages them to maintain their current outlook, while the latter challenges it and pushes them to change).
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Anders is a de facto party member in any game where Hawke isn't a mage. Since he's the only healer besides Bethany, who becomes unavailable after the first act, and more effective by far, he's too useful not to have around in most cases.
  • True Art Is Angsty: This game is a poster child for this mentality, and many feel that the writing veered into overdone melodrama.
  • Ugly Cute: Some have commented that the ghasts invoke this trope.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Those eyelids weren't made to be animated. And the eyebrows may look pleasant and harmless at rest, but more they come to life, the more they lurch. Nostrils seem to have been problematic as well.
    • Dwarves, with the exception of Varric. Their eyes look like they're made of acrylic, like something that a taxidermist attached to their faces after he was done stuffing them.
    • The most obvious aesthetic differences between humans and elves were that elves were shorter and had sharp ears. The elves in Dragon Age II look completely alien: bug eyes, incredibly round faces, stick-thin builds, and heads three times too large for their bodies. It seems to justify the racism towards elves, but it was a bit over the top.
    • Possibly the worst aspect - female fingers. Regardless of how attractive they might be, all women have the hands of an old crone.
  • Unfortunate Implications: As Zero Punctuation touched on his review of Dragon Age II, the Dragon Age franchise is not exactly subtle about its Fantasy Counterpart Culture coding of Andrastian humans after European Christians and Elves after minorities (by Word of Gaider), nor the rather heavy-handed way it handles in-universe racism. This creates a rather unfortunate implication when it doesn't allow the player to pick anything but the dominant race and class (human of noble blood) which can be seen as troubling.
    Yahtzee: Much like the first one, Dragon Age II is all about the representative messages, and can't go more than five minutes without someone being really, heavy-handedly racist against mages, elves, dwarves, gold fish, etc, which is why I find it somewhat ironic that you're only allowed to play a human this time aroundnote , when the last game let you pick from an entire Burger King Kid's Club of racism backstories.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • A criticism of the game's writing is that characters from both the mages and Templars are made out to be evil or insane so often that BioWare's attempt to create two morally gray antagonistic factions becomes a case of Evil vs. Evil instead.
    • As a subset of this, Grand Cleric Elthina is clearly supposed to come across across as a Reasonable Authority Figure desperately trying to keep things together and failing despite valiant efforts; but her constant talk about compromise while both sides pile up the atrocities, without her ever really specifying exactly what "compromise" would entail, makes her behavior come off as Head-in-the-Sand Management that borders on being Stupid Neutral at worst.
    • The quest "All That Remains" is supposed to make the Templar point of view seem more sympathetic, since it features a blood mage serial killer who brutally murders Hawke's mother. But at the same time, it portrays the Templars as utterly incompetent — only one of them ever bothered investigating the murders, and his concerns are dismissed by Meredith, who later has the gall to brandish it as a trump card should Hawke speak out against her. To make matters even worse, when said Templar investigator ends up murdered as he gets too close to the truth, the other Templars are by all appearences unable to come to the blatantly obvious conclusion that his death is connected to the murders he was investigating on their own, judging from how they react with bafflement when Hawke points it out to them.
    • After Meredith invokes the Right of Annulment, the player is clearly meant to see this as a horrible thing, as the Templars immediately start slaughtering the mages who had no hand in the Chantry's destruction... but in the next moment the town gets absolutely swarmed by demons and abominations. There is even a scene where three Templars are ganging up on one mage who insists she is innocent, only to turn into an Abomination the very next second. Instead of portraying the mages as victims, this has much more of the opposite effect. As noted on the main page, the only Circle mage we know for certain is not a blood mage by the end of the game is Bethany, if that's where she is.
  • Vindicated by History: Pretty significantly as time goes on, for a variety of reasons:
    • The biggest one, by far, is this game's ambitious plot, particularly in light of Dragon Age: Inquisition. While most people agree the execution isn't perfect, the fact that Inquisition felt less unique of a story due to the plot being a Cliché Storm at points has generated a great deal of praise for how unique this game is (shrinking the scale to a single city with a fairly morally grey and complex Mage vs. Templar issue). In particular, it helps that this game has more interesting and complex antagonists in the form of Anders, Knight-Commander Meredith, Grand Cleric Elthina, and the Arishok.
      • Anders himself deserves a special mention. While widely considered The Scrappy for many on release, he's since become a a far more divisive companion, with many fans praising how complex and developed he is as well as the interesting themes and dynamics that his story arc ties into. This is especially in the wake of the third game's dull and generic main antagonist.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • When Aveline's husband Wesley is dying from the darkspawn taint, his face slowly becomes more and more gaunt, pale and his eyes begin to sink into his head. Also, the veins in his neck and face become dark and pronounced as the taint spreads through his body.
    • Also noticeable to tragic degree on Bethany if you take her to the Deep Roads; it makes you wonder why no one realized she was tainted sooner though. Oddly enough, the visual effects of the taint aren't present on Carver if he becomes infected.
    • Any fire you see is very nicely done, particularly considering how hard it is to make CGI fire look good.
    • Electricity also looks very good, especially when used in conjunction with Elemental Weapons, a mage talent that channels the elemental power of their staff to all the weapons of all party members. Seeing everyone's weapons coated in pure lightning while sparks fly all over the battlefield is a sight to behold, especially during nighttime battles.
    • The eyes are just gorgeous, especially compared to the dull ones of Origins.
  • Wangst:
    • Almost every conversation and banter involving Anders, as well as all of his quests, revolve around the plight of mages. Though it comes from an understandable place, the degree of championing changes as the series goes on; he browbeats everyone in the beginning, and gets progressively angrier and more introverted as it continues.
      Anders: That's unfortunate. Hating someone just because they're a mage is a shameful thing.
      Carver: I don't hate you because you're a mage. I hate you because you won't shut up about it.
    • Similarly, Fenris can't seem to go longer than half of a conversation without mentioning slavery/evil mages/Tevinter. Not that it isn't somewhat justified, given his background, but some of his lines about it go a bit over the top.
      Fenris: I escaped a land of dark magic only to have it haunt me at every turn. It is a plague burned into my flesh and my soul.
      Aggressive Hawke: (on a separate occasion) Yes, yes, magisters are bad. We GET it!
    • In-universe, this is the main reason that Carver isn't overly popular in the party, as he comes off as rather whiny for reasons that are much more small-scale and even downright petty compared to the rest of the group and their problems. He mostly gets over it later in the game, though.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Pol. Apparently, a few bits of gossip about meek, gentle Merrill is enough to get him to run away from her and right into the jaws of a varterral that killed three of his fellows.
    • Emile de Launcet. He squanders the money his mother gives him to escape Kirkwall on drinks at the Hanged Man. He also falsely and publicly claims to be a Blood Mage because he thinks it'll help him get laid. Even Meredith dismisses him as a threat when she hears this.
    • Orsino. Besides his association with Quentin, who killed Hawke's mother, his reaction to the deaths of so many mages at the hands of the Templars, which would have garnered public sympathy for the mages, was to prove Meredith right by turning himself into a Harvester and attacking Hawke and company.
  • The Woobie: It's almost easier to list those who aren't Woobies.
    • Hawke themselves may be the crowner. Just try going through the game without wanting to give them a hug at some point. The best case scenario involves one sibling dead, their mother dead, themselves vanishing from their new home at Kirkwall, and their other sibling as well as all their companions (save their love interest) driven from their side. The best case scenario.
    • Carver. The brother of a dead apostate sister has quite a chip on his shoulder having to protect his surviving apostate sibling, while proving that as the only warrior in the family that he isn't a burden. He's either forced into being a Warden and hates how he was always bailed out by his apostate sibling, or he joins the Templars and expresses how badly he wants to kill his only living connection left to prove something. Regardless of his choice, Carver just feels like he has no control over his own life.
    • Bethany. For one, she's an apostate, so her entire childhood was spent constantly on the lookout for Templars. Then, either she or her twin brother dies at the hands of an ogre. If she survives, and is taken to the Deep Roads, she's infected by the taint. Unless Anders is there, she dies. If he is there, then she undergoes the Joining. It's a harsh life and totally destroys any innocence she has left. But if you leave her with Leandra, she's discovered by Cullen and is forced into the Circle, because otherwise her family will suffer reprisals for harboring an apostate. Either way, you never have her in your party again until the endgame (unless you have the DLC and bring her along). It gets a little better if you're pro-Mage and she joins the Circle; you get to free her from her bondage to the Circle, she isn't guaranteed a miserable life and a miserable death before she hits fifty, and the end of the Trespasser DLC in the next game implies that she finally gets a Belated Happy Ending.
      • She also clearly feels a great deal of guilt over the fact that her family spent most of their lives moving around Ferelden to protect her from the Templars. She feels like a burden and wonders aloud to Hawke if it wouldn't have been better for everyone if she had gone to the Circle long ago.
    • Leandra Hawke. She's a grieving widow to start, and then one of her children gets killed in the beginning of the game. Later, she learns that her brother stole her inheritance. Another of her children either dies or must spend the rest of their life in the Circle of Magi, the Templars, or the Grey Wardens. To top it all off, she's kidnapped by Quentin and put through an And I Must Scream moment before she dies.
    • Even Gamlen has some Woobie qualities. Though he's to blame for gambling the family fortune away, you have to feel bad for him when you hear about how he nursed his ill parents in their dying days, only to have their last words be of Leandra, and then he learned that they left all their money to her. He resents his sister due to this for quite a while (as a mirror to Carver/Hawke), before becoming utterly distraught and miserable when she's murdered. The one high point of his story is that you can unite him with a daughter he never knew he had.
    • The orphans under Evelina's care. First, they have to flee to Kirkwall's slums to eke out a living after their parents are killed in the Blight. Then they have to watch their surrogate mother be taken away by the Templars when she tries to appeal to the Circle for help. When she returns years later, she's become an insane abomination. Finally, they have to watch helplessly as Hawke and company slay her, leaving them alone to an uncertain future. And the only thing the player can do to help them at all is have Hawke give the older one a few coins. note 
    • All of the companions are also Woobies, in their own way:
      • Anders went from being the snarky comic relief in Awakening to a paranoid and angsty revolutionary. Life has not been good to him. His rudeness to various people, particularly Merrill, gradually edges him towards Jerkass Woobie before diving straight into Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds with his little stunt at the Chantry.
      • Justice too - he started out as a fairly benevolent spirit whose worst fear was to become a demon. In Awakening, he's friendly and in awe of everything in the world. In Dragon Age II, his personality is warped even further than that of Anders, and gets progressively worse during the game as he becomes the very thing he feared the most.
      • Merrill. When you consider how the Dalish treat their entire clan like family, the way they ostracize her seems exceedingly harsh. Her reaction to Pol's death was heart-wrenching, and her next personal quest includes a Player Punch. Fenris and Anders also say some incredibly cruel things to her from time to time.
      • Fenris is either this or a Jerkass Woobie. Even when he's romanced, he finds that he isn't ready for a relationship after he has sex with Hawke and momentarily remembers everything about his past life, before losing the memories again. He can even tell Hawke at this point that it's a more upsetting event than it probably appears from the outside, and no matter how much it pains him to do it, he has to leave, and he feels foolish for thinking that he could have this shot of happiness with Hawke. Staying loyal to him and getting back together with him has him reveal that if he could go back to that night, he would have stayed, and that he absolutely regrets the break-up.
      • Aveline's main source of Woobieness is that her husband dies in the prologue (with either her or Hawke dealing the killing blow), but she's also clearly scarred from the events in Ostagar, and in Act 3 has to deal with Jeven trying to spread insubordination among her guardsmen.
      • Sebastian's backstory is that his whole family was killed off by assassins (sent by his family's friends, no less), and in the game's finale his mother figure, Elthina, is blown up by Anders.
      • Isabela's backstory reveals that she was sold by her mother in exchange for a goat, and lived as her husband's property until Zevran killed him. Since then she's lived a pretty rough life as a pirate, and even notes when Merrill is feeling jealous of the 'excitement' that she shouldn't want Isabela's life, because she's a 'good person and deserves better'. If Isabela returns during the fight with the Qunari in Act 2, Hawke can also hand her over to the Arishok so that she can be taken back with them for punishment.
      • Lastly there's Varric, who's had to put up with Bartrand's Jerkassery for a long time, is betrayed by him in the Deep Roads, and then either has to kill Bartrand or spend the rest of his days looking after him now that his brother's completely insane. And he's the only one left in Kirkwall to explain what really happened.
  • Woobie Family: The Hawkes. Malcolm Hawke spent his life on the run as an apostate mage, his wife Leandra was disowned by her noble family for eloping with him, then he died shortly before the Fifth Blight destroyed everything he left to her and their three children. One of said children was then killed by the darkspawn in front of their mother and siblings, another (potentially) died from the Taint, their mother was turned into a zombie by a deranged mage and had to be put down by her eldest child, and the eldest child became the world's premier Cosmic Plaything, when their attempts to take care of their dysfunctional friends and family bring about several cataclysmic events that shake Thedas to the core.


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