Dragon Age: Origins/YMMV

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General Tropes

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: The templars. They are either fanatics who are mercilessly hunting down innocent mages or protectors of mages and non-mages alike. Interestingly enough, it's a combination of both of those. Some Templars are in the business because they don't trust magic or its users, and want to be within sword's reach if they so much as smell trouble, while others are genuinely looking out for the mages, serving more as a secret service for the Circle than anything else, and either might have the personality trait of "nice guy" or "religious nutjob".
    • Additionally the inescapable Lyrium addiction that comes with being a Templar eventually causes paranoia and mild dementia, which doesn’t help those who are already bigoted or insane. Made even worse by Alistair’s mention that he’s not even sure the Lyrium is at all necessary and may be just the Chantry’s way of keeping them on a leash.
    • The Architect brings the uncomfortable detail that Darkspawn are only Exclusively Evil because the taint doesn’t exactly give them a choice. Once awakened, they can be as morally varied as any other race. Following his argument, a good portion of the hordes slaughtered during every Blight could be perfectly decent people like the Messenger if they were just capable of choice, making them as much victims of the taint as anybody else.
    • There are perhaps fortunate implications for the Templars in that the reasonable members tend to be high ranking members, while the religious nutjobs tend to be low ranking members.
  • And the Fandom Rejoiced: The announcement that Green Ronin (the makers of the Song of Ice and Fire RPG) had been given the license to the tabletop Dragon Age. This was somewhat abated by the "boxed set" fiasco.
  • Base Breaker: Each of these characters has ardent supporters and detractors:
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Many of the abilities and loot from the game's many add-ons are head-and-shoulders above all but the most elite gear from the base game. Examples include one of the strongest Massive armors in the game (and surprisingly cheap), and a very effective mage-only nuke that costs a mere 20 hit points and no mana.
  • Broken Base: Awakening either ruined Dragon Age FOREVER, was an alright game that didn't have enough content for its $40 price tag, or was a great addition/conclusion to the story of Dragon Age
  • Complete Monster: Has it's own page.
  • Critical Research Failure: Characters use health poultices by drinking them.
  • Cursed with Awesome: If you're a Circle mage, and you survive the Harrowing, you're one of the most powerful and feared people in Thedas, able to alternately heal or slaughter people at will. Granted, there are some social restrictions, but they hardly compare to the PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER. Which is precisely why the Chantry employs an army of knights specifically trained and equipped to kill any mage who gets uppity about their near-slave status.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Almost literal example with the spiders, who can web members of your party and attack you while you're helpless.
    • Drakes are quite deadly, as they can stun the entire party by roaring, use an almost certainly fatal Overwhelm attack (and are very difficult to stun), and have large amounts of HP.
    • Ogres can be this when they're not bosses, as they possess an area of effect knockdown ability and can grab people.
  • Disappointing Last Level: After the Landsmeet, the amount of bugs, some of them game breaking, seems to skyrocket.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: So there's a gigantic church with a prophet betrayed by one of her closest disciples, of which the symbol of her death becomes the symbol of the religion, filled with Inquisitors and Templars, and which only a specific sex can usually preside over church services.
  • Dry Docking: The fandom is especially rife with this. Just a mere throwaway mention in a non-canonical Alternate Universe DLC that suggested Alistair and Leliana were rumored to be lovers in that timeline caused an Internet Backdraft from the rabid portion of Alistair fangirls.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • In spite of Morrigan otherwise looking pretty damn hot and the overall sexy factor, context makes the ritual (if you choose to go through with it) somewhat Squicky. It's also worse if you're a female character and are romancing Alistair, in which case, he has to do the ritual - and the game forces you to watch (well, until it blacks out).
    • Every Broodmother, up to and including The Mother, qualifies as in-universe disservice, as even the typically lecherous Oghren is Squicked out by her.
  • Funny Aneurysm Moment: During the Human Noble origin, Fergus tells his eager son (and your nephew) Oren that "[he'll] see a sword soon enough". Oren is one of the first people slaughtered by Howe's attack...
  • Game Breaker: Tons...
    • Mages have many abilities that make them superpowered gods on the battlefield. Cone of Cold, Misdirection Hex, Mana Clash, Force Field, and many more are all so incredibly useful as to make the other party members useless.
      • The Arcane Warrior in particular, as it makes up for their Glass Cannon tendencies, by allowing your mage to add it's magic score to it's strength score, unlooking heavy armor and weapons. (This also encourages you to spend more on your magic score, unlocking high level spells sooner.) Their abilities also make you take even less damage by becoming intangible.
      • The Blood Mage specialization gives you access to Blood Wound, perhaps the best spell in the game. It's an Area of effect spell that causes ongoing damage (more so then even Virulent Walking Bomb, which it can be used in conjunction with for even greater effect) to all compatable creatures in it's area (only undead, golems and some demons are immune), and on top of that, paralyzes all the creatures that fail to pass a physical resistance check (this can even include the Archdemon if your magic score is high enough).
      • Combining the Arcane Warrior and Blood Mage specializations combines the game breaking strengths of each, and cancels out the weaknesses. If you go this route, the majority of battles will go: "Blood wound, run in, hack and slash while paralyzed, heal, repeat as needed" The Battlemage specialization from Awakening makes this build even more powerful, giving you yet another area-of-effect spell that doesn't affect allies and making it so that damage taken—including damage taken when using blood magic to Cast from Hit Points—fills up your mana.
      • Wynne's personal ability is incredibly versatile and powerful.
      • Mana Clash will allow the party to basically stroll through the Circle Tower. If it's the Warden who has it, "Lost in Dreams" becomes a breeze, too. Cast it while empowered with Spell Might and various spellpower-boosting items and you can use it to One-Hit Kill some high-mana bosses.
    • Almost all DLC gear tends to be some sort of this.
      • The Power of Blood abilities from Warden's Keep even more so.
    • In Awakening characters can choose a third specialization at level 22. This is unbelievably broken, given the fact that on the second playthrough...you can get two of the new (incredibly overpowered) specializations. (Even Keeper, which doesn't match up to Battlemage, the other new specialization, isn't bad when a player knows how to use it.)
      • The bonus specializations, gear, and abilities in Awakening themselves are usually unbelievable Game Breakers. Accuracy, an archery talent, can make even magic seem slow to kill things. One example: you can buy a paint job for your shield with the emblem of the Legion of the Dead. Not particularly nice looking, but it gives a whopping + 20 to all attributes. (This is apparently a bug that has remained unfixed except by unofficial mods, as every other heraldry adds only +3.) That's even more than it sounds. As a comparison, the Legion of the Dead heraldy adds a total of 120 ability points. If you max out your level at 35, you will get a total of 102 ability points from leveling up.
    • Rogues can be quite deadly, as well. Sure, they may be set up as a Fragile Speedster or Glass Cannon, but stuff enough points into dexterity, get the right equipment, outfit yourself with some Evasion and spell resistance runes, and you will be virtually invulnerable. You may solo The Harvester on Hard this way. Including his legion of Elite Mooks.
  • Genius Bonus: Leliana makes passing reference to Noyes's The Highwayman in a dialogue with Sten.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Goddamn enemy archers. Especially after they learn Scattershot, which inflicts a nigh-irresistible stun effect on the entire party. It doesn't last long enough to serve as a true lockdown (unless there are just that many archers attacking you), but you won't enjoy seeing your spells and talents repeatedly disrupted.
    • Deepstalkers. Small swarmers that are only dangerous if you feed yourself to them on purpose. Lyrium potions probably added as reward for the annoyance, so they make a worthwhile break from the darkspawn.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • In the final battle with the Archdemon there are a few ballistas nearby. Going up to them will aim them at the Archdemon if it's close enough. Mashing the Ballista fire button does a small amount of damage to the Archdemon, but every time it is hit, hit has to go through its hit animation. That means that due to the great firing rate of the Ballista, you can hit the Archdemon with it until it dies, slowly chipping away at its health as it can do nothing about it. If it flies away, just go to another Ballista closer to it. The only real threat is the other darkspawn, but your other party members and your army can deal with them easily. The Ballista do jam up if you use them too many times, but can be repaired by a Rogue, as it becomes a "trap".
    • Reloading a save can refund you for those pricey specialization manuals, but the specializations remain unlocked and available. They actually fixed this a few patches back, but fan outcry caused them to change it back.
    • Mana Cleanse does the opposite of its description and intent; it replenishes enemy mana to maximum. Later on the same spell branch, Mana Clash deals damage based on the target's total mana. Since most spellcasters have a higher capacity for mana than hit points, topping off their mana before Mana Clashing can be highly lethal. Between these two spells is Spell Might, which amplifies spellpower and makes Mana Clash a pretty brutal attack even on tougher-than-average wizards.
    • It's possible to double your attribute point increases with the Fade Essence Fonts, improving the experience of what for many is a Scrappy Level. One particular Essence of Cunning can yield a whopping 10 point increase with very rapid right-clicking.
    • One sidequest leads your PC to an abandoned, haunted orphanage in the Elven alienage. A rare glitch can lock you in a windowless room all by your lonesome, complete with blood on the floors and a corpse in the corner. To make matters worse, the background music for this area is made up of children screaming, a sound that persists even if the game is paused. You will have to reset to an earlier save, but your immersion will be amped up to 11.
    • It's also even possible to kill and loot Ser Cauthrien for her Cool Sword (complete with Codex entry!) twice-–first at the Arl of Denerim's estate, then allow yourself to be killed captured by all the archers she brought with her. (Make sure you loot her body before that last happens, though, as you won't ever be able to return here, either way.) Then once you go to the Landsmeet proper, there she is again, alive and well. Even if you decapitated her.
    • One bug in Awakening will allow you to max out your level before you even leave Vigil's Keep for the first time in Awakening.
      • Another good bug in Awakening: In the City of Amaranthine, the smuggler leader quest line can provide infinite gold. Perform the first two tasks, but refuse the third. Every time you go back, he'll repeat the conversation, Including the part where he gives you 15 gold.
    • A number of bugs that have not been fixed by Bioware as of the most recent (and probably final) updates may actually be seen as good things, even if they are sometimes annoying, as abilities having limits not described in the text might be the only thing not making the game even easier. If Haste worked properly (and there is an unofficial fix), mages would be even more broken, and that would be just the start of the mayhem you can cause.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: If you're a Dwarf Noble and choose to support Bhelen in the succession crisis, then his first task for you is to form an alliance with a noble house whom you most likely severely humiliated in your Origin. Awkward.
  • Internet Backdraft: The Sex and Violence marketing campaign, the DLC and the fact Alistair and Leliana may be romantically involved in Darkspawn Chronicles.
    • The response to the RPG being done in a "boxed set" design calling back to first edition D&D can be charitably described as a rain of rotten tomatoes.
  • It's Easy, So It Sucks: A lot of players say that Nightmare is not hard enough, and generally complain about the Fake Difficulty, terrible AI, insanely powerful crowd-control mechanics, and potions.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: There are some mods that allow players to eviscerate Arl Howe because some players feel his death taking place in a cutscene let him get off too easy.
  • Memetic Mutation: Morrigan disapproves.[1]
  • Missed Moment of Awesome: If you're playing the Human Noble origin. Fergus Cousland showing up, alive and well, to find that his younger sibling is not only alive but the Hero of Ferelden and possibly about to become Queen or Prince Consort? Anyone with siblings knows there should have been happy tears and lots of hugging.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The Warden can cross this from the perspective of every party member: for (almost) each member there's an action you can take that makes them either attack you or leave the party altogether, regardless of approval level. Though for some of them, if you have a high enough Persuade or Intimidate skill and under the right circumstances, you can either convince them that you had to do it (or never did it in the first place) or intimidate them into submission and service.
    • Alistair: Sparing Loghain, unless you harden him and marry him to Anora and convince him otherwise.
    • Shale: Choosing to preserve the Anvil (even if you destroy it afterwards, you'll have to kill it/her)
    • Leliana: Defiling the Urn of Sacred Ashes (unless she is hardened and you have a high enough Persuasion to bully her into submission
    • Wynne: Either defiling the Urn or killing the Circle of Magi (though you can side with the Templar after defeating Uldred and all except for her will be locked up in the tower)
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • The pet nug in camp will probably get on your nerves in time. There's a mod dedicated to silencing it. Ditto with the Dog's barking.
    • Even the developers hated the line "Can I get you a ladder, so you can get off my back?", just because you hear it so often.
  • Player Punch:
    • Let's just say you'll most likely enjoy the thought at gutting Arl Howe and Bann Vaughnn like pigs when you get the chance, regardless of chosen Origin. The endgame is no picnic either, particularly not for non-human female PCs who are romancing Alistair.
    • Leske's likeable personality makes his Face Heel Turn all the more shocking
  • Recycled Script: Awakening. Nathaniel's "Help me find my sister in that big city!" companion quest is similar to Alistair's, except it involves hugs, as opposed to bitterness and accusations.
  • Ruined FOREVER:
    • It has recently been announced that Dragon Age 2 will depart from the character customization and origin stories of the first game, and instead place the player in the shoes of Hawke, a human war hero with a ruined career that hails from a Doomed Hometown. Fans have complained about this change of direction that turned the much touted Spiritual Successor to the Baldur's Gate series into Mass Effect with swords.
  • Porting Disaster: Edge Magazine's view on the console versions. Most other publications were less dramatic about the console versions being easier for a more casual audience (IGN even listed it as a plus in its video review). Other specific changes include each difficulty mode in the console versions being "bumped down" (ex. Normal on the console versions is equivalent to Easy on the PC version) and battles where enemies spawn in waves, such as the defense of Redcliffe, will have smaller waves in the console version (though this could be justified with how consoles have significantly less powerful hardware than PCs).
    • The real Porting Disaster comes from the game's bugginess and how consoles get crappy, delayed patches while PC gamers get official patches soon enough and unofficial fixes almost the same day the bug is introduced. (Yes, Bioware's DAO patches often introduce bugs.)
  • Serial Numbers Filed Off: The Gauntlet in Andraste's ruined temple is amazingly similar to the tests required to reach the Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
  • That One Attack: Groups of enemy archers spamming "Scattershot", which stuns the entire party and is almost impossible to resist. Enemy mages casting Chain Lightning, which can be a game-ender if your party members are standing close together, or Crushing Prison, which is likely to be an extremely slow-acting death sentence if it's targeted at a mage. Ogres, dragons, and other large enemies using Grab to pummel your tank to death. Revenants using Mass Pull to disrupt your carefully planned tactical spacing, interrupt your slow-recharging spells and talents, and render your entire party extremely vulnerable to some heavy hitting follow-up attacks. Let's just say that enemies in this game have a lot of ways of being extremely annoying at their disposal. Misdirection Hex, while entirely useful on enemies, is infuriating when on the player, as it causes all normal hits to be misses, and all critical hits to be normal hits.
  • That One Boss: The Harvester. A Flunky Boss...that summons other Boss-level enemies as his flunkies.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The reaction to the game's new look and the greater emphasis on Darker and Edgier compared to the earlier trailers and promotional materials.
  • Ugly Cute:
    • Nugs. Kind of like a cross between a rabbit, a pig, and mole, hairless and beady-eyed, and make these adorable little squeaks.
    • Also, Deepstalkers. They may be ravenous lamprey-mouthed monstrosities, but those little "meep" sounds they make when you hit them are so cute it makes you almost feel bad for wiping out their nests. Unless you get a good look at their faces, which is hard, as they're small.
    • Dragonlings (baby dragons) make similar chirping noises and will attack you with a little puff of flame. For added cuteness points, their race has been nearly hunted into extinction.
  • Uncanny Valley: When mages activate combat magic with a certain talent equipped (the top tier talent for arcane warriors, meaning one you will use later on), the eyes and mouth are visible from the back of their head.
  • Unfortunate Implications: In the first Dragon Age, the character's families generally default towards white, no matter what ethnicity you make your character.
    • The developers have stated that this was due to a technical limitation of the game. This oversight was corrected in Dragon Age II, where customising the characters ethnicity altered their family members accordingly.
  • The Woobie:
    • Lily. Poor girl tries to follow her heart and ends up in the worst prison in the world for it.
    • Ruck.
  • Woobie Species: After the elves had their homeland invaded, were enslaved, freed, had their homeland invaded again, and now are either second class citizens or living in the forest, with uneasy relations with humans, it's hard not to pity the elves.
    • Though their descendants certainly suffer greatly, it is heavily implied that the attacks on the Dales were not unprovoked. We're talking kidnapping human villages for blood sacrifices here. But, as always, no one in Thedas knows the truth, no matter how much they insist otherwise.

Character Tropes

The Warden

  • Character Alignment: Like in Mass Effect, the only thing you can't change is that you have to stop the Blight. Whatever you do along the way is up to you.
  • Mary Sue / Marty Stu: Oghren lampshades the Player Character's Mary Sue or Marty Stu potential—if you don't go speak to him at Tapster's before he meets you at the entrance to the Deep Roads, he'll ask if you've seen the Warden. If you ask what the Warden looks like, he'll respond:

Oghren: Stout and muscular, fair of face, but with a strong jaw and a bold nose, surrounded by a great, glowing nimbus. If she's a woman, she might be more slight, but her eyes will shine with the light of purity and her large but chaste bosom will heave magnificently.

  • Mistaken for Gay: Possibly for a female Warden. Gossips in Witch Hunt seem to think that the female Warden is gay/bisexual and something happened between her and Isabela, even if no such encounter took place and the Warden was played as completely straight or asexual.


  • Memetic Mutation: He is the Butt Monkey of the party and his liking of cheese has been built up to ridiculous levels—despite him only mentioning cheese perhaps three times within the game.
  • The Scrappy: Alistair has a small but notable hatedom that is divided in its motivation; part of it comes from backdraft from his Mr. Fanservice status from people who aren't ardent Fem Warden shippers. Part of it comes from him dumping the Fem Warden if they marry him off and don't make certain requirements necessary for him to take them as their queen/mistress. Part of it comes from the opinion, justified or not, that he unfairly puts the weight of saving the world on your shoulders, expects you to do the job without complaining (whether you chose to be a Grey Warden or not, regardless of whatever personal tragedy you went through prior to Joining), and then decides to Rage Quit if you opt to give Loghain a chance at redemption instead of taking his head off.
  • Wangst: Alistair has this reputation with some of the fanbase. If anything, he discusses and defies the trope. He is conscious of how it appears to those around him, tries not to wallow in self-pity, and at least makes the attempt to lighten up with a joke.
  • The Woobie: An orphan, shipped off to the Chantry by his guardian because his wife was suspicious that the child was his bastard, has a sister he's never met who turns out to be a total money-grubbing bitch that blames him for their mother's death, has spent most of his life unhappily resigned to his fate as a templar - to the point that he prayed Duncan would pick him to become a Grey Warden - and the only time he was actually happy since childhood were the past six months with the other Wardens. Oh, and he happens to be the bastard son of King Maric, which has affected all his life, because people either coddled him or sneered at him. If not hardened, he really resents being put on the throne, which he never wanted, becoming a reluctant, though popular, king. If hardened and crowned, he comes to accept things and becomes a very good king.


  • Angst? What Angst?: When you talk to him after completing the quest to locate his wife Branka, he's remarkably nonchalant about having been forced to kill her after finding out she'd gone crazy and turned into Complete Monster willing to send friends and loved ones to A Fate Worse Than Death in pursuit of her ambitions.
    • When you first ask him if he misses Orzammar, he'll scoff at the notion, saying that he was treated like crap there and the surface has much more to offer him (such as better ale). When you ask him again after raising his affection level, he will admit that despite all that he is still a bit homesick. Still pretty cheerful though.
    • Taking him to the Guardian, however, implies that he really isn't taking any of his problems as well as he outwardly shows.
  • The Woobie: Take him along to the Gauntlet when looking for the Urn of Sacred Ashes. His answer to the guardian should be proof enough of this trope. (Also one should note, in case you haven't picked up on it by now, that almost every character on this list is some combination of Woobie and Deadpan Snarker.)


  • Angst? What Angst?: Was effectively tortured to death in order to be made into a golem. Despite the Nightmare Fuel inherent in being trapped in a stone construct while boiling liquid is poured on top of you, then being hammered into shape, Shale never mentions or complains about this fate - possibly because there's no memory of it. Still, you'd expect Shale to be angry about this upon learning it.
    • Still, if you decide not to destroy the Anvil of the Void, she will turn on you; she may not be tormented by what happened to her, but she feels strongly that it should not happen again
    • In fairness, Shale volunteered to be turned into a Golem, even knowing full well what the process involved. The fact she still went through with it is why Caridin calls her one of the bravest Dwarven women he has even known.



  • Alternate Character Interpretation: There's a strong case to be made that one of the things that sets Morrigan apart from the rest of the party is that she is the only innocent—even the Warden has more life experience than Morrigan, who is only just now experiencing life without her mother's direct influence. This is subtly lampshaded (if such can be possible) by comparing her interactions with the more straightforward members of the party with her romance with the Warden, and the ending to Witch Hunt: for a character who regularly gets the last word in arguments with everyone else, it's surprising how often the Warden leaves her utterly speechless and confused. It's also implied that Morrigan and Flemeth do care for each other, just not as much as they do for themselves. She's also significantly less cavalier about killing than Alistair (who jokes about it), and doesn't try to excuse it the way Leliana does, despite Leliana being a trained assassin.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Growing up with no one but Flemeth for company would be enough to make her a candidate. The results of her personal quest reaffirms this several times over—and, if romanced, she might as well have it tattooed on her forehead.
  • Memetic Mutation: She disapproves of everything. Everything.
    • [Morrigan Disapproves -30]. BioWare made a shirt about it.
  • The Scrappy: Also has a fairly sizable hatedom, comparible to Alistair's. Likewise, its motivation is varied, largely being based on her memetic disapproval and Stupid Evil alignment, general bitchy attitude, and what not. On the other side, there's a camp that sees her and Flemeth as a Spotlight-Stealing Squad, taking up too much of a story they think should be focused on the Wardens fighting the darkspawn.
    • Put it this way: People hate her so much that someone made a mod where you can slap her any time you want.



Leliana: You are very beautiful, Morrigan.
Morrigan: Tell me something I do not know.
Leliana: But you always dress in such rags. It suits you I suppose. A little tear here, a little rip there to show some skin. I understand.
Morrigan: You understand I lived in a forest, I hope?
Leliana: Maybe we could get you in a nice dress one day. Silk. No, maybe velvet. Velvet is heavier, better to guard against the cold in Ferelden. Dark red velvet, yes. With gold embroidery. It should be cut low in the front of course, we don't want to hide your features.
Morrigan: Stop looking at my breasts like that. Tis most disturbing!
Leliana: You don't think so? And if it's cut low in the front we must put your hair up to show off that lovely neck.
Morrigan: You are insane! I would sooner let Alistair dress me!
Leliana: It'll be fun, I promise! We'll get some shoes too! Ah, shoes! We could go shopping together!

  • The Woobie: A professional spy and sometime-assassin, she was framed by her superior/maybe-lover Marjolaine as a traitor to Orlais when she discovered documents proving that Marjolaine was a traitor. Captured by guards, she was tortured and possibly raped, but managed to escape to Fereldan, where she became a lay sister out of desperation and fright. It turns out that the paranoid Marjolaine had her watched after that, convinced that Leliana intended to take her revenge with a plot spanning years.



  • Alas, Poor Villain: Should you execute him, he says goodbye to Anora and tells you that he trusts you to protect Ferelden in his place.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: He is either an unforgivable traitor who deserves to die or a misguided and ultimately tragic figure. He was clearly plotting treason during the leadup to the battle at Ostagar, but the consequences were drastically out of proportion to his original plans. It's also possible he did not realize that his plan to take over as ruler of the country in order to protect it would have the results it did. He shows contempt for some of the actions his followers take, such as Howe hiring an assassin to deal with the main characters.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: While there are a lot of indications that Loghain is a Well-Intentioned Extremist who did what he thought he had to in order to protect Fereldan, some of his fans refuse to believe he's a villain at all and insist that he is still a hero who never did anything wrong. There are many who ship him with a female Cousland Warden. Y'know, the Couslands, whom Arl Howe murdered, and then Loghain promoted him after?
  • The Untwist: Of course he's a bad guy! Pale, with black hair, ominous music sounding, and the least shiny armor on? The only way he could have been more evil looking would have been if he was cackling, had a handlebar mustache, and his armor was black and spiky.

King Cailan

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: The tidbits you find in the Return to Ostagar DLC reveal that Cailan was far more politically savvy than virtually anyone thought. His bravado and seemingly nonchalant attitude may well have been a front.
    • Arl Eamon's letter to him implies that he didn't like the idea of dumping Anora, and it took almost a year for him to come around. It's unclear how many of those ideas were his.
    • Wynne supports this, if you talk to her in camp and mention how foolishly upbeat and overconfident Cailan seems. She basically says it's the king's job to act like it's all going swimmingly and there's nothing to worry about, so that the rest of the army will feel as confident as he seems.
    • His idealism about the battle could be seen as a variety of well-meaning Obfuscating Stupidity. His actual idealism is more displayed in his belief that the differences between Ferelden and Orlais can be put in the past so easily, and that the two nations can be allies and friends barely a generation after one was driven out of the other after a long, brutal occupation.

Queen Anora

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Some see her as a strong queen determined to maintain her throne who was unwilling to believe that Loghain was truly evil because he's her father, and that she is ultimately determined to do what's best for Ferelden—she joins the Grey Warden on her own initiative, and her doubt in Alistair's ability to be a good king is quite frankly well justified, him being illegitimate, having no previously demonstrated leadership skills, and not wanting the throne in the first place. Support her and let her father find redemption, and she's even willing to marry a male human noble Grey Warden.
    • On the other hand, reject her and watch her abandon you at the Landsmeet and switch back to supporting her father, even at the exact moment that doing so would only risk prolonging Ferelden's civil war. Anora wants what's best for Ferelden so long as that still includes her being in power and no danger to herself.
      • Considering that she seems surprised when she finally finds out Alistair isn't going to kill her after taking the throne, she may think she has a good reason for betraying the party if they refuse to support her.
        • Given that its impossible to reach that fork of the decision tree without being betrayed by her a minimum of once, she has more than one reason for being surprised.
  • Narm: Her Rousing Speech. In contrast to Alistair's more steady diction, Anora uses a screeching, halting voice when rallying the troops at Denerim.

Arl Howe

Arl Eamon

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: He appears to be a standard Reasonable Authority Figure, but it's also fairly clear that he wants Alistair on the throne so he can have strong influence over a ruler. The Return to Ostagar DLC reveals that he was pushing Cailan to dump his wife due to his fears that Anora is barren.
    • His role in Alistair's upbringing is also a lot less rosy than Alistair paints it, if you think about it. Hidden from his mother's family and sleeping in a stable with the dogs, until finally thrown out of even that? And now that Alistair is suddenly useful, he expects him to obey without question?

Bann Teagan


  • Memetic Mutation: Tee-gAAAHN!!!
  • The Scrappy: To almost everyone, particularly due to her voice and the fact that she not only plays a large role in what happened to Redcliffe, but does not acknowledge her mistakes. Usually, this is a toss-up between her and Anora.
  • What an Idiot!: One stupid decision after another makes her half-responsible for the problems in Redcliffe.




  • Urban Legend of Zelda: There was a rumour (and rumour only) that if you do not kill Flemeth in Morrigan's sidequest, the ending epilogue will state that Morrigan was killed and possessed by Flemeth. Said rumor only ended when it was Jossed by the series' head writer.



Wade and Herren





  • Complete Monster
  • Moral Event Horizon: Leaving all the surviving female members of her expedition, her lover included, to Darkspawn captivity with deliberate intent to allow them to be turned into Broodmothers, so that they could produce as many Darkspawn as needed to lure into the traps that guard the Anvil of the Void. This also resulted in the deaths of all the men.



  • Les Yay: "Leave the pretty one alive. I have plans for her!"


  • What an Idiot!: Was there a single decision Jowan made in this game that didn't end in an eternally escalating series of disasters? Of course, without well-meaning miscalculations, and unintented consequences spiralling spectacularly out of control, the game would have been much shorter. See also: Loghain Mac Tir.
  • The Woobie: His storyline, involving him trying to escape, becoming an apostate, losing his love, cheated and becoming awfully deluded in his actions whilst trying to atone, resulting in either his death (if the PC kill him or insists on his execution), his imprisonment (given to the Circle, which is presumably this) or a life of exile (if the PC let him free), is short but nevertheless rather sad. Giving him to the Circle is arguably worse than execution—it's highly likely the Circle will make him into a Tranquil as punishment for his crimes and to prevent from using Blood Magic again.


  • Good Bad Bugs: Visiting the Harrowing Chamber after killing him causes him to respawn without any other abominations to back him up. He provides a good amount of experience.



The Broodmother



  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Only emphasizing the Shout-Out below.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Many see her as a replacement for Morrigan. Mostly for having the same hairstyle and "angry witch" demeanor. She has genuine Scrappy status without resembling Morrigan, anyway, for her utter hatred of humans, her willingness to kill any, innocent or no, that come across her path, but mostly for her tendency to treat anyone who treats her decently in spite of that like scum.
  • Shout-Out: If Velanna isn't Viconia DeVir brought back in all her irascible, human-hating glory then she is a remarkably good Expy.
    • Also, her voice actress portrays Azula. Velanna starts with knowledge of all fire spells.


  • The Unfavourite: While not mentioned in the game itself, the fans love to write this as his backstory with a huge side-dish of "Well Done, Son" Guy, seeing that his war campaign in Free Marches during Origins was just a reason for his father to kick him out of the house. Just look any fanfiction with Nathaniel and his father and don't try to deny, that the first father-son pair that comes to mind of that is Denethor and Faramir. The fact that his father doesn't even mention him in the first game is possible proof of this.
  • The Woobie

The Mother

The Architect

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Will his attempts to prevent future Blights make him the savior of Thedas or does his Lack of Empathy make him worse than the Archdemons?
    • Given that the darkspawn reproduce only by infecting other people and turning them into darkspawn, its kinda hard to save Thedas with any solution that does not involve the total extermination of the darkspawn.



  • Complete Monster: He considers his party a failure if somebody isn't tortured. His abuse of the people of Ferelden is what ultimately ends him.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Crossed it before the novel even started.



  • Moral Event Horizon: He is willing to kill most of humanity to ensure there is no more war with the darkspawn.
  1. Morrigan disapproves of a lot of things...including taking sidequests.