Dragon Age II/Characters/Companions

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This page is for listing the tropes related to Hawke's companions who are found in Dragon Age II.

Mages

Anders

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There will always be mages born in Thedas. But templars are made by men...and they can be unmade.

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A returning companion from Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening. He has left the Grey Wardens and come to Kirkwall to use his healing magic to help refugees. He is the current host of the Spirit of Justice, however Anders's hatred for the Circle of Magi has corrupted Justice into the demonic Spirit of Vengeance. He is a potential love interest. Voiced by Adam Howden.


  • A Wizard Did It: Invoked, but not actually true--"A wizard did it" is his sarcastic reply if he's in the party when you give the maps to the Deep Roads to Bartrand. Actually, he stole them.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: It's implied that Anders falls in love with Hawke even if you don't romance him. (For example, not starting his romance at the first opportunity gets you rivalry points.) Obviously, this is subverted if you do romance him.
  • An Ice Person: One of his starting spells is Winter's Grasp. It also makes for an interesting bit of meta-lampshading about how much he's changed when you consider that, in Awakening, he was first seen using fire magic.
  • Anti-Hero: Type II. Though he later slides down the scale until he becomes a Type IV, or goes through a straight up Face Heel Turn depending on your stance on the mage-templar conflict.
  • The Atoner: Can potentially become this if you have him at high rivalry and try to convince him that his merging with Justice was wrong and that there are other ways for mages to win their freedom, so that he will join Hawke when he sides with the templars.
    • Even if you side with the mages, Hawke (and Merrill) can choose to invoke this as a reason to spare him.
  • Batman Gambit: He knew exactly how Meredith would react when he destroyed the Chantry and he was depending on it for his plan to work. It did.
  • Beat the Curse Out of Him: During Legacy, Corypheus's influence briefly causes him to snap - Justice's voice takes over, but demons start appearing around him. After the fight, he stays lucid and on your side for the rest of the campaign.
  • Berserk Button:
    • The Templars, and the foundation upon which they stand including the Circle and the Chantry. But especially Templars.
    • Blood Magic as well, to a slightly lesser extent. Of course, part of why Blood Magic offends him so much is that it's the main thing the Templars use to justify confining mages.
    • His reaction to Karl being made Tranquil, causing Justice to manifest;
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Justice: You will never take another mage as you took him!

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  • Black and White Insanity: Anders becomes slowly more irrationally convinced that the cause of mage freedom, or at least his view of it, is the real distinguishing mark of morality and that anyone who disagrees (even other mages) is his enemy as Vengeance exerts more and more influence.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: More subtle than most, but the presence of Vengeance fundamentally alters Anders' viewpoints on a lot of things. Having a significant part of who and what you are made up an entity formed around an unyielding concept, coupled with the lack of an understanding of time (time is irrelevant in the Fade, so Vengeance doesn't understand the concept of "waiting") a distinct slant on his perceptions. It doesn't excuse his actions, but it does make them understandable.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To Bethany, though she finds him more reminiscent of her father then anything else.
  • Bi the Way: Like Fenris and Merrill, his interest in men is never even alluded in the straight romance. This brings up debates on whether his sexuality changes based on the gender of the player character.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: If brought along for Legacy, Anders becomes a thrall of Corypheus. He snaps out of it after a brief boss fight.
    • One interpretation of his actions in Act III was that Justice pushed him to destroy the Chantry. During his speech to Meredith and Orsino, you can hear Justice's deep voice intermixed with his words, implying that he's just below the surface and barely contained.
  • Break the Cutie: Anders was flirty and cheerful with a soft spot for cats in Awakening. Things change big time in this game.
  • Combat Medic: Still retains his healing powers. He uses them on sick refugees in Kirkwall.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Whether romanced or not. If Hawke romanced Merrill or Fenris, he states his disapproval in the bluntest, and most hypocritical, ways imaginable during "Justice" in Act III.
  • Cruel Mercy: Letting him live after blowing up the Chantry.
    • Or even worse, convincing him to side with the Templars. Takes a maxed-out Rivalry meter, but boy is it worth it.
  • Dark Is Evil: He becomes noticeably more ruthless in Act III, when his outfit turns black.
  • Dark Messiah: Has hordes of the poor and needy willing to risk their lives to protect him? Check. Dedicated his life to creating a better system for his people? Check. Willing to sacrifice everything, to his own life and the lives of others to achieve this? Oh so very much check. He even compares his situation to Andraste's once or twice, to Sebastian's disgust.
    • Averted if Hawke is in a Rivalry with him though-- he breaks down and sees himself not as a savior but as just another monstrosity to be put down.
  • Dead Little Sister: Karl, his friend and ex-lover, is made Tranquil and is used to draw Anders and Hawke into an ambush by the templars. After the fight, Anders gives him a Mercy Kill at his request. Anders is a lot grimmer after this.
  • Dead Man Walking: By the third act, he's convinced that he is this. It turns out this is because he knows he will most likely be executed after igniting the mage/templar war.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Just don't ask him about the Chantry.
  • Death Seeker: Becoming his Rival reveals that he has shades of this due to his difficulty in keeping Vengeance under control.
    • He still has traces of it if a Friendship was pursued, although he's less obvious about it.
  • Demonic Possession: Originally, Anders allowed his friend Justice, who was a benign spirit, to posses him, but Anders' inherent anger at the perceived injustices against mages perverted Justice into Vengeance.
  • Dr. Jerk: Variation. He's quite kind to his patients, to the point that they're willing to risk their lives for him. Everyone else who doesn't share his views, however, is open for jerkery.
  • Enemy Mine: With Fenris. And Merrill to a lesser extent by Act II. As time goes on and his paranoia increases, he starts treating everybody aside from Hawke and Varric with suspicion.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Though you don't realize it until later.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Possibly subverted, as you can choose not to kill him.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: He sees being made Tranquil as this.
    • And if you make him side with the Templars through the rivalry route.
  • Fallen Hero
  • Fighting From the Inside: Anders must constantly push back the influence of Vengeance or become a true abomination and lose himself.
  • Foreshadowing: Check out the banter between him and Justice (as well as Justice and Nathaniel) in Awakening. Heads will explode.
  • Freudian Excuse: Revealed to Hawke in brief rambling in his clinic. From a young age he was estranged from his home, terrorized and confined by templars. If he had a sense of the injustice, it blurred with his lifelong grudge, begetting vengeance.
    • He's got another one: he's under constant pressure to keep Vengeance under control. He's losing.
  • Fridge Horror: He gets an In-Universe one. For much of the game, he talks about how Justice used to be as though he were a paragon of virtue. After losing control of Vengeance and almost/killing a young girl, Merrill explains to him that there has never been a "good" spirit and that they are all dangerous. That he is totally silent after learning this says it all. Again, if you're on a Rival path, he finally comes to terms with it after blowing up the Chantry.
  • Gay Option
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Whenever he starts losing himself to Vengeance, his eyes glow blue.
  • Hair of Gold: Nicknamed "Blondie" by Varric, but the trope is continually subverted; he's grim and understands that change for mages will come slowly, if at all. By Act III, very little of his kind-healer-fighting-against-his-darker-side persona remains.
  • Hearing Voices: The rest of the party occasionally refer to Justice/Vengeance as a voice in Anders' head, though it's a bit more complicated than that. If he comes along for Legacy, he eventually starts hearing Corypheus' voice in his head as well and briefly is forced under his control.
  • Heroic BSOD: When Vengeance (almost) kills a mage girl they had just saved from being made Tranquil, he realizes his control is slipping. While Hawke may help (or not help) him through this, the Codex says he abandons the cause of mages for a few years in regret.
  • Hero Worshipper: Points out that Mage!Hawke has done much to help the plight of Mages in the city and could easily be the leader the Underground is so desperate for. Hawke's stubborn refusal to get into politics, eventually forces Anders to use implement his own solution to the problem.
  • Hesitation Equals Dishonesty: First hint something's wrong during "Justice". He keeps glancing around nervously and sometimes just trails off or switches tracks in the middle of a sentence.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Eventually blows up the Chantry, with the Grand Cleric and Maker knows how many people inside so that a compromise cannot be reached and the mages and templars will have to fight a war.
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Anders: I removed the chance of compromise, because there is no compromise!

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  • Hot-Blooded: Deconstructed. His passion for mage liberation is what kicks off the Mage-Templar war.
  • Humanoid Abomination: He has been possessed by the Spirit of Justice, who becomes a Demon of Vengeance. If he's a Rival, he blames it on himself more than usual.
  • Hurting Hero
  • Hypocrite: Oh, where do we even start?
    • Criticizes Merrill about her obsession with the mirror and her casual views on Fade spirits. She will in turn point out his own obsession with the Circle and how he willingly let a "good" spirit into his body. Anders is self-aware of this, and at one point wonders if this makes him unqualified to help mages.
    • He is petty and disrespectful towards Aveline and Fenris because they do not share his pro-mage stance, and yet criticizes Hawke for romancing Fenris, who has "let one bad experience colour his entire world", instead of someone "more open-minded". If Fenris is in the party, he calls him out on it.
    • Despite Anders being vehement about how wrong it is to enslave mages, if you choose to sell Fenris back to Danarius, Anders applauds.
      • Although this could be seen as due to Anders and Fenris mutually loathing each other.
      • ...not to mention, it's a sign of Justice/Vengeance's corruption. Initially Justice would seek.. well, justice for all, and would have never stood for that. However, having been corrupted into Vengeance, he only seeks (warped) 'justice' for mages, and he considered Fenris an obstacle to that goal. Thus: celebration of this 'obstacle' being removed.
    • He disapproves of a romance with Merrill, alleging that she'll eventually turn on Hawke in favor of her demons. She calls him out on this if present for the conversation.
      • The hypocrisy of this hits critical mass when you realize that he says this during a quest where he's tricking Hawke into helping him blow up the chantry.
    • If spared after destroying the Chantry and brought to confront Meredith, him calling out her zealotry as "madness" could be construed as such.
      • Indeed, if you spare him and side with the mages, he'll state his belief that every single templar had always wanted to enact the rite of annulment and slaughter the mages, using the same absolutist view of his enemies that only the very worst of them use against mages. Even Meridith admits there are good mages, she just feels that their rights are outweighed by the safety of everyone else.
    • A great deal of this hypocrisy appears to come from Vengeance's influence. Vengeance doesn't subscribe to human sensibilities or morals the same way a human would, and is an irrational entity by human standards. Anything that favors his ends makes sense as far as he's concerned, and this clearly has a fundamental influence on Anders' thought processes as well.
  • I Am a Monster: He starts invoking this trope in Act II, especially if you fail to stop him from killing Ella. By the time Act III rolls around, he's pretty much resigned himself to being a monster.
  • Insecure Love Interest: While almost all the party members in this game have serious self-worth issues, Anders is probably the most vocal about it if Hawke tries to romance him, repeatedly telling him/her that he has nothing to offer and that Hawke should be free to have a normal life with someone else. If Hawke is not a mage, It's Not You, It's My Enemies also comes up, since Meredith starts declaring that anyone who shelters an apostate will face a death penalty.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Anders can be very petty and hypocritical. But in the end, all Anders wants is to help people, and he's willing to go to grand lengths to do so.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: In the beginning of the game, as far as mages are concerned, while he firmly advocates their freedom and rejects turning them over to the templars, Anders is actually quite reasonable. He outright condemns blood magic and demons, allows murder only as a last resort, and is perfectly willing to work with reasonable men like Thrask. By Act III, that persona is all but gone, and he refuses to accept anything less than total freedom for all mages, no exceptions. Thus, "no compromise" when he blows up the Chantry.
  • Karma Houdini: The decision to have him killed for the destruction of the Chantry rests with you, so this trope can be played straight or subverted. Though even if you do kill him, he gets the war he wanted. If he does live, Sebastian vows to make sure Anders will face justice someday.
    • Word of God subverts this though, saying he wants to die for what he's done, so that the people he's killed will have their justice. See Cruel Mercy and Death Seeker above.
  • Kick the Dog: If you bring him along for Merrill's second companion quest, he'll flat-out say to her that she should have died instead of Keeper Marethari. Ouch. Also, if he and Aveline are in the party, he may start making some very negative comments on her and Wesley's sex life.
    • Approving of selling Fenris back to Danarius. The rest of the party is not amused.
    • Blowing up the Chantry to kick off the Mage-Templar war certainly counts, though for him and a good number of fans it's a Moral Event Horizon.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Sadly, Anders had his cat Ser Pounce-A-Lot confiscated by the Grey Wardens after it nearly got him killed by accident. He's still very fond of cats, and puts out milk for the local strays. Ultimately subverted when Anders jumps off the slippery slope.
  • Knight Templar: Becomes one, ironically, towards the Templars over the course of the game.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Inverted; if his romance is pursued, his Act III codex entry explicitly states that he views Hawke as the one thing in his life keeping him sane. Not that it makes a difference in the end.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Anders lies to Hawke and co. to help him gather reagents to blow up the Chantry, telling them it's for a potion to rid him of Justice. It especially stings if Hawke is in a relationship with him.
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: Starts off entirely open about his pro-mage agenda. Eventually, he becomes less than honest and uses Hawke for his own purposes.
  • Mood Swinger: Stated in the Codex to suffer from manic and depressive phases as of Act III. His dialogue throughout the game tends to reflect this, ranging from calm and caring, to cheerful and snarky, to obsessively focused on his goals, to self-righteously grandiose, to self-loathing and miserable, to vengeful and bloodthirsty, with alarming speed.
  • Morality Pet: Arguably by Act III, Varric and (possibly) Hawke have become this for him, as he is much more distant, if not hostile, towards the rest of the party at that point. He even admits to a romanced Hawke that he/she is one of the few things he thinks is keeping him sane.
  • Mr. Fanservice
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: If you kill him after he blows up the Chantry.
  • My Greatest Failure
    • Allowing Justice to possess him, which turned one of his closest friends into a demon. Though this may not be his fault...
    • During one of his companion quests, he loses control of Vengeance and threatens(possibly kills) an innocent girl.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: If you're on a Rivalry path with him, he expresses much more regret about blowing up the Chantry, and even states that Justice may have become a demon from the moment they merged.
    • If you're on the Rivalry path, after completing "Justice" Hawke can convince Anders to undo whatever it was he was doing in the Chantry at the end of the quest, with Anders becoming horrified at the prospect of actually succeeding and running off to stop it before it is too late. Since the Chantry explosion still goes through, it seems that Justice sabotaged this attempt.
    • The end of "Dissent" in Act II, which is nine times worse if Ella actually ends up dead.
  • Necessarily Evil: He recognizes that blowing up the Chantry is a horrible thing to do, and does seems guilty about it, but he honestly believes it's for the best.
    • Subverted if he's in a Rivalry with Hawke; he becomes convinced that he's a Complete Monster by the end.
  • No Place for Me There
  • Not as You Know Them: Though to be fair, a lot of this can be explained by his joining with Justice, and it is lampshaded several times. Even the other characters get sick of his constant talk of "the mages' plight" at times.
  • Not So Different: From the Templars. Especially Meredith.
  • Not So Different: From Fenris, despite claims to the contrary. Both have similar backgrounds as members of oppressed populations and share an unreasonable hatred of anybody belonging to the same groups as their oppressors. They both enjoy taking the opportunity to somewhat pettily snipe at anybody who disagrees with their views, especially each other.
    • Maybe not so unreasonable; they both witnessed the worst of a certain group (whether it was templars or mages) and they know it could happen anywhere.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: According to Word of God, Anders is a nickname because his family is from the Anderfels [dead link].
  • Outlaw Couple: If you romance Anders, spare his life after he blows up the Chantry, and commit to him before the Final Battle, the two of you will go on the run together, since he is now the most wanted man in Thedas.
  • Perma-Stubble
  • Pet the Dog: His treatment of the refugees, as well as the others forced to live in Darktown, to the point where they are willing to risk their lives for him.
    • Also, though he always treats Aveline with suspicion due to the City Guards working with templars on occasion, he is relatively lighthearted and supportive of her attempts to woo Donnic in Act II.
    • At the end of "All That Remains", if he goes to comfort Hawke and he/she yells at him for what an insane blood mage did to his/her mother he only tells Hawke that if it helps, to take his/her anger out on him.
    • He's actually quite compassionate with Merril when he tells her that he can't heal Pol. Of course, this is immediately subverted by the vicious way he chews her out the entire trek back to camp.
    • If Anders is romanced and moves in with Hawke, Bodahn comments on how nice it is having Anders around; both Bodahn and Sandal have taken quite a liking to him.
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Bodahn: It's been quite pleasant having Master Anders staying here, messere.
Sandal: [happily] He's funny!
Bodahn: And he finds my boy's enchanting quite intriguing. That's the word he used! It's too bad he seems so... intent on whatever it is he works on.

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  • Principles Zealot: While not as bad about it as the qunari (he compromises in "All That Remains" due to the serious circumstances), due to a glitch, he is the only party member who cannot be convinced to side against his faction. This will apparently be fixed in the upcoming patch.
  • Properly Paranoid: Whether you agree with his solution or not, it turned out Meredith was in fact going quite mad and cracking down to a point where even her own templars turned against her.
    • Zigzagged with "The Tranquil Solution", which he panics over in Act II, only to find out that the Grand Cleric rejected it. He is surprised and wonders if there is hope for negotiation after all... but he's not entirely convinced it isn't a threat. And in Act III, it turns out Meredith is adopting it after all.
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Sebastian: The Chantry would never follow through with such a thing.
Anders: Yet.

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  • Power Perversion Potential: A conversation with Isabela reveals that he uses magic for sexual applications.
  • Retcon: If Anders died in Awakening, it turns out the corpse Nathaniel found was badly burnt and they just assumed it was him.
  • Running Gag: Hawke manages to find bits of Anders' manifesto everywhere.
    • He's terrible at card games, and everyone in the party knows it. In Mark Of The Assassin, he proudly announces that he actually beat Isabela. With supernatural help.
  • Sanity Slippage: Compare his behavior in Act I to his behavior in Act III.
    • If brought along for Legacy, Corypheus' voice starts sounding in his head, which pushes him almost to the point of a complete breakdown. At one point he is forced under Corypheus' control and the party has to fight him to get him to snap out of it.
  • Self-Deprecation: There are times where he makes it plain he knows exactly how he comes across, especially if Hawke is romancing him and even more so if they are Rivals. Sometimes he takes lighthearted jabs at his own behavior, but other times it's a bit more serious.
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Anders: Orlesian.
Varric: Fop. Um... Party.
Anders: Crash!
Varric: Seriously, Blondie? No one ever invites you anywhere?
Anders: [softly] Would you?

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  • Shoot the Dog: His friend and lover Karl begs Anders to kill him rather than continue living as a Tranquil.
  • Split Personality: Between his own mind and Vengeance.
  • Squishy Wizard: He's a mage, and not a blood mage, so he'll likely have very little constitution. His vengeance talent increases his damage in exchange for damage resistance, thus making him even more of this, as well as a Glass Cannon.
  • Suddenly Sexuality: While Isabela has always been openly bi, and we don't know enough about Merrill and Fenris when we meet them to suggest they're not, Anders did not come across as anything but straight when he first appeared in Awakening, flirting with the ladies in the party and talking about how he wants to settle down with a nice girl one day.
  • Token Evil Teammate: If you choose to spare him and keep him in your party in Act III.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass
  • Tragic Hero
  • Troubled but Cute
  • Ubermensch: His goals regarding the Magi are transformative, to say the least, and he breaks a lot of eggs to get there, knowing full well he will probably be either killed or hated for his actions. Nevertheless, in his mind, society HAD to change or he would make it change.
  • Welcome Back, Traitor: Can be either played straight or subverted. If you told him to run after he blows up the Chantry, he will still return to you in the Gallows. Naturally, what happens after that is up to you.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Gives a big one to Hawke if s/he chooses to let a demon possess Feynriel, and strikes down Justice when he objects. If he's in a romance with Hawke at this point, some fast talking will have to be done, or he'll break it off at once.
    • Hawke can demand an explanation for blowing up the Chantry at the start of the endgame.
  • With Us or Against Us: As part of his decline, by Act III he's become paranoid of anyone who does not explicitly share his views on granting mages immediate freedom, going so far as blowing up the Kirkwall Chantry alongside the only political figure capable of pacifying both Templars and mages just to ensure that everybody would have to pick a side.

The Spirit of Vengeance

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YOU WILL NEVER TAKE ANOTHER MAGE AS YOU TOOK HIM!

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Technically not a party member, but closely associated with one. Originally the Spirit of Justice from Awakening, Anders allowed him to become his new human host in a joint effort to free mages from the Circle. But Anders' anger at this injustice corrupted the spirit—when Hawke meets them, he is a Demon of Vengeance. Voiced by Adam Leadbeater and Adam Howden.

  • Ambiguously Evil: Did he become a Knight Templar but remain a spirit, or does he fall from grace and become a true demon? Anders' opinion changes depending on whether he's a Friend or a Rival.
  • And I Must Scream: Anders talks about the terrifying sensation of being trapped inside your own body and unable to do or say anything after Justice briefly became the dominant personality during "Night Terrors", then remarks sadly that Justice must feel like that all the time. No wonder he's become a grouch.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Vengeance does not understand time (time doesn't matter in the Fade) and doesn't truly understand things like "mercy" or "forgiveness." Thus he is driven by the unyielding desire to constantly lash out at the injustices Anders perceives, regardless of who it ultimately hurts.
  • Berserk Button: Shares them with Anders, with one added bonus--Don't call him a demon.
  • Break the Haughty: Justice's transformation into Vengeance. Could also count as Break the Cutie, personality-wise, seeing as he was an idealistic, good, poetic spirit before becoming twisted by hate.
  • Fallen Hero: The difference between Vengeance and a true demon is practically non-existent.
  • Foreshadowing: In Awakening Anders and Justice had a conversation about the differences between spirits and demons and whether Justice could become a demon. May also count as Harsher in Hindsight.
    • Another conversation between Justice and Nathaniel about what would happen to Justice after the decay of Kristoff's body ends with him considering the idea of possessing a willing living human host...
    • The Warden can even ask Justice if he desires revenge for what happened to Kristoff and tell him that there is a thin line between avenging a wrong and outright vengeance.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: While various party members have their own opinions on Anders, everyone seems very vocal in their clear dislike of Justice.
  • Guest Star Party Member: During the side-quest "Night Terrors", Vengence takes control of Anders and fights alongside you.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Inverted. While Justice originally encourages Anders to seek freedom for all mages, Anders wanted revenge more than justice, and Justice was corrupted.
  • Knight Templar: He still seeks to protect the weak and punish the wicked, but Anders' anger has made him completely merciless.
  • Large Ham
  • Moral Event Horizon: An in-universe example. Anders will consider this to be Justice's (and by extension his own) in Act II if he isn't restrained and ends up murdering a young girl. Even if you do stop him, it still shocks him to the core. Vengeance, on the other hand, is much quicker to throw this label around.
  • Not as You Know Them: Justice has become a demon: Vengeance.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Pretty much embodies this.
  • Super-Powered Evil Side: For Anders.
  • Split Personality Takeover: Anders constantly fights to keep Vengeance under control—but occasionally Vengeance comes out. When he does, Anders' eyes glow blue.
    • By Act III, Anders reveals he's been suffering blackouts, which only had previously happened when Justice took control. This heavily implies that Justice is now actively vying to control Anders.
  • Voice of the Legion: Speaks with both the booming, echoing voice of Justice, and Anders' voice underneath it. If you listen closely, there are times where their tone of voice differs, hinting at the personality conflict.
  • What Have I Done: Anders blames himself for Justice's corruption. The Mysteries of Kirkwall texts imply, however, that Tevinter blood magic under Kirkwall may have been more responsible.
  • With Us or Against Us: Vengeance is significantly less discerning about who qualifies as ally or enemy than before.

Merrill

Our people need to reclaim their heritage.
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It's a Keeper's job to remember. Even the dangerous things.

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A Dalish Elf who was Keeper Marethari's first in the Dalish Elf Origin. She returns in Dragon Age II as a companion after leaving her clan for mysterious reasons. She is a potential love interest. Voiced by Eve Myles.


  • Action Girl: See Beware the Nice Ones below. Let's face it; Merrill's every bit as actiony as the other ladies.
  • Adorkable
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Shunned by her clan for being a Blood Mage. Keeping the Eluvian that tainted Tamlen and the Dalish Warden doesn't help things either.
    • Even before that, Merrill hints that the only people in the clan she was truly close with were the Dalish Elf!Warden, Tamlen, and the Keeper. Her being the First alienated her from her peers.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: There's a pretty strong case to be made for schizoid or avoidant personality disorder.
  • Apologizes a Lot: She gives an apology every three sentences.
  • Ascended Extra: She was a temporary companion for half of the one-hour long Dalish Origin, there to give the player a mage temporarily. By the developers' own admission, she did not appear long enough to have a personality. In Dragon Age II, she returns as a full companion.
  • Badass Adorable
  • Badass Bookworm: While not so much in the traditional bookworm sense (the Dalish rely more on oral traditions), she is noted as an extremely talented mage and historian.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: She's sweet, innocent, and naive, and means harm to no one. She's also a practicing blood mage and demon summoner. This is the cause of most of her problems with others in-game.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Merrill is probably the nicest, kindest, and most adorable character in the sequel. And she is also a practicing blood mage, a demon summoner, the only mage in the party who has no healing spells, and access to at least half a dozen spell trees full of hideous death in flavors ranging from 'mass human flambe' to 'torn apart by eldritch tentacles' to 'I will punch you in the soul!'
  • Bi the Way: Like Anders and Fenris, her interest in women is never even alluded in the straight romance. This brings up debates on whether her sexuality changes based on the gender of the player character. Though if romanced by a woman, she will still express attraction towards men.
  • Black Magician Girl
  • Blood Magic
  • Blunt Metaphors Trauma: Frequently.
  • Break the Cutie: The game (and certain party members) are very determined to punish her for her optimism and naivete in the face of a Crapsack World. Though she has a few moments where she breaks down, for the most part she always bounces back.
    • She's not so lucky in Act III's "A New Path", especially if Hawke doesn't make the exact choice. In the worst-case scenario her entire clan she worked to restore to their former glory will end up dead. Even in the best case scenario, she'll be slightly more brittle for the rest of the game.
  • Buffy-Speak: Sometimes. For example, she calls Carver's fighting style "swording" and Carver himself a "sworder" because she really doesn't know what style he uses.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: If pursuing the friendly or flirty paths with her, it's implied Merrill develops a crush on Hawke, but most of the other love interests step forward more quickly. If Hawke romances Isabela, too, s/he must explicitly tell Merrill of his/her affection for the elf before Merrill will state how she feels.
  • Characterization Marches On: In the first game, she comes across as having a straight-to-the-point, no-nonsense demeanor as opposed to her Cloudcuckoolander tendencies in the second game.
  • Character Development: If a full rival and her final personal quest is complete she finally admits she was wrong to use blood magic and blames herself for not listening and thus causing Marethari to sacrifice herself for her. As a rival she also grows a bit more serious in conversations with Hawke and isn't as easily flustered as before.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Merrill wonders how Qunari scratch their heads. She wonders if they rub their horns on trees like Halla[1] do. That is but one of many random ponderings that come out of her mouth.
    • Should her romance path be completed, she will move in with Hawke in Hightown. Her codex states that she's stunned the neighbors by walking barefoot, picking flowers out of people's gardens, and cooing at the nobles' guard dogs among other adorable antics.
    • If she moves in, Hawke seems to have the sneaking suspicion she's the one who's been swinging on the chandelier in the Estate.
    • Her greatest desire is to own a baby Griffon, despite the fact that they have been extinct in Thedas for over 200 years. She'd call it Feathers.
    • If importing a save with the Dalish Warden, she mentions that Duncan was the first human she'd ever seen with facial hair. She admits she initially thought his beard was a squirrel that had grabbed him by the chin.
      • Make you wonder what if thats one of the reasons she's so nervous when she first meets Male Hawke?
  • Comically Missing the Point: Also happens a lot.
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Merrill: Don't be silly. A dowry would only matter if you were courting him.
Aveline: Merrill...
Merrill: *gasp!* You're courting him!

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    • Also when she ruins one of Hawke's attempts to distract some guards
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Hawke: You've got to come help! There's a building on fire!
Guard: What? The loot will burn!
Merrill: There is no actual fire, is there?
Hawke: ... it's a trick, Merrill.
Merrill: Oh! Well, it's very clever then!

  • guards attack*
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  • Covert Pervert: She reacts with glee at the possibility of finally hearing anything "dirty", especially Isabela's stories.
    • In Act III, she mentions that she misses having all the qunari around; they didn't smile much, but they were easy on the eyes.
    • When speaking to party members in the final battle, and regerdless of whether or not she was romanced, it's possible to get this exchange:
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Merrill: "Does all this feel like a dream to you, too?"
Hawke: "In a moment, I'll look down and see I have no pants on."
Merrill: *giggles* "The Champion of Kirkwall, going to battle naked. Why can't I ever have that dream?"

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    • Legacy also reveals that she's been reading Anders' grimoire in the hope of finding "dirty spells" to "make things more exciting" between her and Hawke, if you romance her.
      • Fridge Brilliance; An Act I conversation between Anders and Isabela reveals that Anders does, in fact, use magic during sex. If Merrill overheard that or had it relayed to her by Isabela, she has a reason to be looking through his spellbook.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: According to the short stories about the love interests, Merrill has an issue with watching where she is going. She also gets lost frequently.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: She believes this of blood magic, and of demons. Though she is quick to point out to Anders that just because she isn't adverse to using them doesn't mean she isn't fully aware of how dangerous they can be.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Even though she has trouble understanding sarcasm in others, Merrill is still surprisingly good at dishing out snark of her own at certain times.
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Ilen: How has your time been amongst the shemlen?
Merrill: It's been nothing but roses and rainbows, Master Ilsen. The Alienage is lovely in the spring. The collapsing shacks and the drunken brutes are offset nicely by the knee-deep mud.

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Merrill: I've never met a human before. Dalish mothers frighten their children with stories about you, you know. (Beat) Not you, personally, of course. I'm sure they don't have any tales about you. Or not scary ones, at least. (Beat) Not that you're not notable enough to have a story... I'll just shut up now.

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  • Ditzy Genius: Merrill's lack of understanding of the social world makes people around her think that she lacks understanding of what she's doing with her magic. But as proven above, it turns out that she knows very well what she's doing, even better than some of the mages in the party.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Like most elves.
  • Does Not Understand Sarcasm: Leads to comedy gold considering several characters have a fondness for dry, sarcastic humor.
    • Only really applies early on, when she's not used to humans - she can be quite sarcastic herself, in fact. Though she's always pretty bad at catching innuendo.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Just like Isabela, Merrill appeared earlier in the Dragon Age franchise for a brief time.
  • Enemy Mine: A bit one-sided given her generally friendly nature, but she gets this from both Anders and Fenris for her insistence on using blood magic and demons. Even Sebastian, though he's much nicer to her, regards her as a potential threat and considers turning her and Anders over to the templars in a conversation with Fenris.
  • The Exile: Subverted: Hawke's first assumption is that Merrill wants to join the party because she was exiled, but she left of her own volition. Played straight if her Act III quest ends with her clan surviving.
  • Fantastic Racism: Surprisingly averted, given most Dalish attitudes towards humans. Merrill is sweet to everyone regardless of whether they are humans, elves, or dwarves. She does seem to hold the view that the Dalish are superior, which annoys Fenris especially, but even that is not explicit and seems to wane as she lives longer in Kirkwall.
    • Yet she will pull out racial insults if Hawke is in a rivalry with her, such as if he/she refuses to give her the arulin'holm to help her repair the mirror in Act II.
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Merrill: You're keeping a priceless heirloom of my clan? You have no right! You're not even Dalish! I can't believe you! Why did I trust you? You're just a shemlen like all the others!

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  • Fatal Flaw: Merrill's is that she doesn't understand that her actions have consequences that she cannot completely control, and those consequences may not stop with her - she's aware that she runs the risk of becoming an abomination, and on some occasions she even makes sure to have someone on hand to kill her if that should happen, but she rarely seems to consider the potential collateral damage if she were to become possessed or let a demon loose on the world, and can't remotely grasp that others such as Hawke and Marethari would rather put themselves at risk than let her die. Yet, because she believes she fully understands and accepts the risks of what she's doing, she refuses to listen to warnings or criticism.
    • Unsurprisingly, the Demon she summoned to help her fix the Eluvian, as well as the Demon that causes her to temporarily turn on Hawke whilst they are in the Fade, in both instances are revealed to be Pride Demons.
    • Oddly, Merrill's fatal flaw seems to be ultimately rooted in low self-worth, not hubris. She fails to consider that other people might put themselves at risk for her because she doesn't believe she would be worth such an effort, and she is determined to repair the eluvian because she sees it as the only way she could actually make a worthwhile contribution to her people. Picking the right dialogue options will have Merrill openly lampshade that she thinks she would have been a horrible Keeper had she remained and succeeded Marethari, and that her current project will at least be of use to her clan once she completes it.
  • First Episode Spoiler: Finding out that that seemingly-innocent Adorkable elf was a blood mage who has dealt with demons is a bit of a surprise, even if you're finding this out within fifteen minutes of when you first met her.
  • Fish Out of Water: Not that she fit in that well with the Dalish, either.
  • Foreshadowing: Whilst she has very little screentime in the previous game, she does appear to be extremely interested in using the Eluvian mirror to find information, this plays a big part in her companion quests in this game.
  • Forgets to Eat: The codex mentions that Varric has to leave food on her doorstep when she gets really fixated on the Eluvian.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: She possesses a mix of Keeper magic and her own experimentation with blood magic.
  • Gay Option
  • Girl Next Door: According to the developers in the second Dev Diary.
    • Evokes the Big Brother Instinct to life-threatening extremes, even in those who should know better. Even Carver shows uncommon tenderness toward her. Fenris is the only one without a smidgen of pity for her.
  • Good Bad Girl: Very much. She tries to get Isabela to teach her how to do a Sexy Walk and even looks through Anders' book of spells in hopes of finding some Dirty Spells to spice up her bed time with Hawke.
  • Happily Adopted: By Keeper Marethari, as per the Dalish tradition of moving magically-gifted children between the clans to distribute them evenly amongst clans that need them, but by the start of the game their relationship has gotten strained due to the blood magic and demon summoning.
  • Heroic BSOD: A small one happens if Hawke brings her along on the "Night Terrors" quest, where she gives in to a Pride Demon's temptations and briefly turns on the party. She's pretty shaken up afterwards if you go visit her home.
    • A much, much bigger one comes after her Act III quest.
  • Hikikomori: Borderline; between Acts II and III, she's gotten so obsessed with finishing the Eluvian that she's forgetting to eat and often doesn't leave the house for days at a time. Varric comes by each week to convince her to take a break and come outside to make sure things don't get worse.
  • The Ingenue: For all her cheerful innocence, she's also dangerously naive about the risks of blood magic and demons.
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Merrill: There's nothing inherently evil about blood magic. It's magic, like any other.
Anders: (disgusted) Are you really that stupid?

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    • Though she later points to Anders that he's screwed up worse on this account than she has.
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Merrill: Are you all right?
Anders: I nearly killed an innocent girl. How could I be all right?
Merrill: I'm sorry.
Anders: You're sorry? For me? This could be you! You could be the next monster threatening helpless girls!
Merrill: Anders... there's no such thing as a good spirit. There never was. All spirits are dangerous. I understood that. I'm sorry that you didn't.

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Arishok: They say we were careless with our trap, that this is our fault. But even without the saar-qamek, there would have been death. This elf was determined to lay blame at our feet.
Merrill: But your feet didn't do anything wrong! Did they?

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Merrill: Why is it that you always win at cards?
Isabela: *chuckle* Because I cheat, Kitten.
(Beat)
Isabela: This trinket... it's elven, isn't it? From your clan.
(Isabela hands the trinket back)

Isabela: Don't bet anything you're not prepared to lose. Here... have it back.

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  • No Sense of Direction: Her codex reveals that she somehow found herself in the cupboards of the Chantry, a dog track in Darktown, and the Viscount's bathroom in her attempts to walk home.
    • While on Sundermount, she mentions that she gets lost a lot on the mountain. THE PATH ONLY GOES ONE WAY.
      • The path does, but outside of gameplay the Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence doesn't apply, so it's more reasonable for her to get lost off the path there than that she took a wrong turn in Lowtown that got her into the cupboards of the Chantry.
  • Noodle Incident: In Legacy.
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Merrill: I am so sorry about the wardrobe. Was it very badly smashed?
Hawke: What did you do to it exactly?
Merrill: I didn't expect it to fall over the railing like that. I thought it'd be more stable.
Hawke: Fell over the railing? ...What?
Merrill: I mean it held up just fine for me! Poor Sandal, it took hours for Bodahn to coax him down from the chandelier.
Hawke: On second thought, I don't want to know.

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    • No one is quite able to explain how she keeps ending up in the Chantry cupboards or the Vicount's bathroom in her attempts to get home.
  • No Social Skills: She has next to no understanding of life outside the Dalish.
  • Obliviously Evil: She genuinely means well, but her naive attitude toward the dangers of blood magic and the Eluvian make her dangerous in spite of her good intentions. Although she does express some awareness of the risks and states that she's prepared to face the consequences, she does not seem to take into consideration that those consequences are not likely to stop with her, or that people who care about her might choose to endanger themselves to protect her. This is actually her Fatal Flaw: she's fully willing to risk her own life and can't seem to see why anyone else would have a problem with this.
  • Oblivious to Love: Merrill develops a crush on Hawke seemingly at their first meeting, but seems to not realise if Hawke actually flirts and returns the affections, up until Hawke has to just directly tell her.
    • She also has this in regard to Carver when he attempts to flirt with her, although her aforementioned crush on his older sibling may be what stops her noticing this.
      • Although an exchange in Mark of the Assassin suggests that she might just put on an oblivious act, presumably to not hurt Carver's feelings:
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Carver: Okay, we're lost together. Both of us, not that we're "together" together.
Merrill: If we have to be lost somewhere, at least it's a nice hallway! Very well built, not at all likely to collapse.
Carver: Right, well, back to rescuing... wait. You're doing that on purpose!
Merrill: (giggles)

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  • Of Corsets Sexy: Wears one in the romance scenes. Covert Pervert indeed...
  • Rescue Romance: If the rivalry path is taken, she falls for Hawke as s/he tries to save her from herself.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: A bit more hipster than the traditional flow with the person as they move variant.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Her attitude towards demons and blood magic crosses over into this frequently. She states, (and even demonstrates on occasion), that she understands the risks... yet is surprised when people ask/demand that she stop, and doesn't seem to understand why others might view her as dangerous.
  • Shipper on Deck: She fully supports Aveline/Donnic. As well as Hawke and one of the other love interests if her own romance arc is not pursued.
  • Shutting Up Now: Tends to talk her way into a hole, and ends her dialogue like this.
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Merrill: I'll try not to hit anyone. On our side, I mean. I'm babbling again. Let's go.

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  • Skilled, But Naive: She's the most powerful offensive mage outside of possibly Hawke, but she's got so little life experience that half the party has to watch out for her.
  • Squee: On occasion, usually when concerning other party members' love lives.
  • Survivors Guilt: She admits to Sebastian in conversation that she thinks she should have died instead of Marethari. It's likely the reason for her more delicate temper in Act III-she's much more likely to get snippy and sometimes sounds like she's on the verge of tears. Nine times worse if her whole clan ended up dead as well.
    • Implied a bit with what befell Tamlen (and possibly the Dalish!Warden) as well, especially considering it led her to the Eluvian in the first place. Years later, she says she still sees their faces sometimes out of the corner of her eye...
  • Tragic Hero
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Arguably. She turned to blood magic and made a deal with a Pride Demon in order to repair a broken elven artifact and reclaim some of her people's history. She is aware that these actions might harm herself, but her inability to comprehend that the consequences will likely hurt others as well sometimes crosses over into denial.
  • What Have I Done: If the rivalry path is pursued, after her Act III quest, Merrill will destroy the mirror, admitting that her obsession with it is what caused the death of Marethari/her clan. However, on the friendship path she will lament that their lack of understanding is what caused their deaths.
    • Whether you are her rival or not, this is her reaction after the Keeper reveals how the Pride Demon tricked her and she is forced to kill her.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Anders and Fenris both give her these for her blood magic and demon dealing.
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Fenris: So a demon called out to you, and you answered. Brilliant.

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    • She herself will have a nice long yell at Hawke if he/she refuses to give her the arulin'holm to help her repair the mirror in Act II.
  • Woman in White: After successfully romancing her, Merrill switches from her scarf and earth-tone clothes to a white robe with silvery chainmail and shoulder plates. The whole outfit makes it quite clear that being the significant other of a rich noble has its perks...
    • Hilarious in Hindsight: If you had Sebastian and Merrill in your party, you may have heard Merrill call Sebastian out on his impractically "shiny armor".
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Or maybe Genre Savvy, but coincidentally wrong this time. Merrill views blood magic through a morally relative lens, and thus thinks that it's no better or worse than any other magic or weapon, except that it can be used for dire things. But this is Thedas. She's wrong.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Gets kicked out of the Dalish for the whole blood magic thing. Also, unless you make exactly the right choice during her Act III companion quest, they'll attack, and she'll have to help you kill them.

Warriors

Aveline Vallen

Look out! Authority! Wooo!
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I’d rather kill a bandit and save a merchant’s family than know the correct dance steps and which rouge is in fashion.

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The daughter of an exiled Orlesian Chevalier. She believes that honor and pride come second to pragmatism. Voiced by Joanna Roth.


  • Action Girl: Hell yes!
  • Amazonian Beauty: So far, she's the most muscular woman in the Dragon Age (or in BioWare) games to date—that's not to say she doesn't have a feminine figure.
    • Though the prologue and a brief cutscene in Act III are the only times you'll get to see it.
  • Badass Normal: Deserves special mention, see Establishing Character Moment below.
  • Berserk Button: As mentioned below, do NOT question her loyalty or accuse her of coddling her guards.
  • Bi the Way: Implied. If you flirt with her and then successfully get her and Donnic together in Act II, she asks if Hawke ever thought about the two of them. The conversation does not change for Lady Hawkes.
  • Big Sister Mentor: Has some shades of this for Hawke and his/her siblings especially. Some cut-dialogues refer to her cornering most of the party and getting them to practice swordsmanship with her (including the mages) and criticizing their techniques.
  • Breast Plate: Initially played straight during the prologue sequence, though justifiably so; it takes little effort to forgive leather armor for being form-fitting. Heavily averted for the rest of the game - the metal plate the guards wear is the same general shape for both men and woman, giving Aveline no more chances to show off her assets.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Towards Donnic. She tries courting him in more subtle ways, but her methods seem to make sense only to her. Depending on how this is handled he may conclude that Hawke is awkwardly hitting on him.
    • Insane Troll Logic: Eventually, her efforts to woo him get so bad that even when she does explain the reasoning behind her Hawke can't argue directly with them because they make no sense. You get the chance to call her out on it.
  • City Guards: Joins the Kirkwall guard after fleeing Ferelden and can be promoted to Captain of the Guards after a mission where she investigates her superior's corruption.
  • Comically Serious: Especially when paired with Silly!Hawke.
  • Cowboy Cop: Even as Da Chief, she has no problem telling authority where to shove it and will bend the rules for the sake of her friends.
    • However do not EVER question whether she is going soft on the men under her command and coddling certain individuals (Donnic). When the Templars force you to investigate her on this in Act III, you set out to prove that Donnic is doing the same routes as the other men, if not more dangerous, and most of her men are fighting for their life twice a week to keep Kirkwall safe.
  • Da Chief: Eventually reaches this position on the Guard.
  • Depending on the Artist: Her official art is... considerably more mannish when compared to her in-game model.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Borderline; she trains with each guard individually and makes certain that they know what they are doing. They certainly think that it's Training from Hell. If you've been succeeding at her personal quests, she bonds with each of the guards as well, which takes the edge off of it. If not, the guards become more efficient, but Aveline herself will not be well liked.
  • Establishing Character Moment: One of the first things she does is tackle a darkspawn that severely wounded Wesley and punch it into submission before lever-cutting its head off with its sword. She proceeds to fight the rest of the horde with the intention of saving her husband or dying with him.
  • Failure Knight: Her sometimes obsessive need to protect everyone seems to be the reason she latches onto looking after the Hawke family. It is implied to have largely stemmed from her guilt at being unable to save Wesley. If brought into the Fade during "Night Terrors", a Desire Demon will use this against her and she'll turn on the party.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Wesley, initially. At the start of the game, she bonds with the Hawke family when they fight their way out of Lothering together.
  • Green Eyed Red Head: Fits the basic description: red hair, green eyes. But she's not a love interest character as is often the case.
  • Happily Married: With Wesley before. With Donnic later, if Hawke helps out.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners / Platonic Life Partners: With Hawke.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Averted; Aveline has no issue with the Chantry or those who believe in the Maker (she even married a templar), but she doesn't seem to believe herself. She says that she thinks the Chant is lovely, but perhaps that is all it needs to be.
  • Idiot Ball: Played for Laughs. She's a bright, talented and quick-thinking guardswoman... but her intelligence plummets when it comes to dealing with Donnic. Case in point? While trying to be romantic with him she turned it into a conversation about the sharpness of swords.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Wesley's death remains a sore spot for her for a good half of the game, partially because she feels she should have been able to prevent it. Her fear of losing anything else drives much of her actions throughout the game.
  • Married to the Job: Apparently the reason she's having such difficulty with romancing Donnic. Even though she was once married, she's thrown herself into her work so much, she's forgotten how not to be a guard for a while. If you don't help her out on her sidequests, she never learns to relax and the pressure eventually pushes her to leave town.
  • Match Maker Quest: Her sidequest in Act II involves her attempting to court Guardsman Donnic. Don't mess things up, and they'll get married.
  • Meaningful Name: An in-universe example; Aveline was the name of the first female Chevalier.
    • She actually doesn't seem fond of the symbolism, (though it fits her perfectly), calling the name "a wish [her] father made", and expressing relief that Fenris doesn't know the story of Ser Aveline. By the end of the game though, if her personal quests were completed correctly, she seems much more sure of herself and has come to terms with it.
  • A Mother to Her Men
  • My Beloved Smother: Doesn't actually plan on being a mother herself, but she definitely acts this way towards the others during Party Banters, especially Hawke and Carver. If her personal quests are not completed, her guards complain that they are feeling smothered and start to resent her for it.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: Ser Wesley and Guardsman Donnic are the exceptions that prove the rule; almost everyone else finds her intimidating and off-putting, as other party members point out. According to Isabela, she's a "woman-shaped battering ram."
    • Hawke also can express an interest in her, which she won't actually realise until after she's hooked up with Donnic.
  • No Social Skills
  • Not So Above It All: In Legacy, she finally gets back at Anders for all of his arsey comments by ripping the piss out of him.
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"Any second I'll surrender to the almighty power of 'Guard Captain' and enslave all mages. Look out. Authority. Wooooooo."

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    • She also chuckles at Isabella's "ghast-hole" comment in Mark Of The Assasin before stopping herself.
  • Oblivious to Love: If Hawke flirts with her—particularly during her Match Maker Quest.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: As Captain of the Guard. Under her command, the guard is the most efficient and respected it's been in generations, though once Meredith takes over some of the templars seem to be making it a point to limit her influence and try to oust her from her position.
  • Running Gag: Aveline being able to lift a cow. Comes up often in party conversation, particularly during Mark of the Assassin.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: If she sides against Hawke during the endgame, she decides that she owes Hawke too much to fight him/her and walks out after delivering a Reason You Suck Speech to Hawke. Her fellow guardsmen quickly follow suit.
  • Stone Wall: Her specialization focuses on defense and protecting party members. Thanks to her Indomitable ability, she's the only party member immune to the final boss's "stun you all so I can monologue" move.
  • Team Dad: Gender-flipped. Most of her conversations with the party involve her providing some form of advice or critiquing their lifestyle choices. It's also said that she has people spying on most of the others and bends the rules a bit if necessary in hopes of keeping them out of trouble.
    • Is also very protective of Hawke and the only person besides the love interest who really takes time to console a devastated Hawke after his/her mother's murder.
    • Made especially clear by a line she can say when drinks a health potion. You'd obviously be using this when she's dying, and she still might say:
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"I hope no one else needs this!"

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  • To Be Lawful or Good: Establishes herself as being on the "Good" side of things at all times early in Act I, despite having only just taken the job. It's also why she has no problems with Hawke if you play as a more Chaotic Good character.
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"I can trust you at least try to do right."

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  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Aveline invokes this when Arishok says he must take Isabela back along with the book she stole: "Oh, no. If anyone's going to kick her ass, it's me." She gives Friendship points if you go to bat for Isabela against Arishok, and Rivalry points if you hand Isabela over.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Wesley's shield. She's not pleased if you've sold it, and even just un-equipping it and putting it in storage earns a few complaints in Act II. Though she later clarifies it's less about Wesley and more just holding onto the last pieces of her old life.
  • Tsundere: A Type A, especially towards Hawke and Isabela. Wesley and Donnic both seem to be the only people who constantly gets her softer side.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Isabela towards the end of the game.
  • Well Done Daughter Girl: Implied, especially during "Night Terrors".
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Demon!Wesley: You spent your whole life trying to be the chevalier your father wanted. The one thing you chose for yourself, and the darkspawn took him.

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  • Widow Woman: Ser Wesley, her templar husband, dies shortly after meeting him due to darkspawn taint. Either you or Aveline can Mercy Kill him. She can eventually remarry though.
  • Workaholic: The Codex notes that her life revolves around guarding others; when she's not on-duty as a city guard, she's guarding Hawke and co. If her personal quests are completed, she starts to relax a little bit. If not, the pressure slowly breaks her down and she can resolve to step down from her position and leave Kirkwall entirely in Act III.

Dog

No, not that Dog, though he might as well be. The Hawke family's loyal mabari companion. Dog isn't a full party member, but can be summoned to give some extra help.

  • Assist Character
  • Angry Guard Dog: To his enemies.
  • Badass Grandpa: According to the timeline, Dog must be in his double digits by the game's final act, which is quite old by dog standards. This doesn't stop his badassery in the slightest.
  • Big Friendly Dog: To everyone aside from his opponents.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Though he's not actually evil, really. It does give him an unsettling appearance, though.
    • Even Bodhan remarks on the eyes, finding them rather creepy-looking.
  • Canine Companion
  • Country Mouse: Kirkwall doesn't really give him the space a dog the size of a pony needs.
  • Covert Pervert: If romancing Merrill, she comments that she doesn't appreciate that the Dog watches her and Hawke while they have sex.
  • Expy: Of the original Dog.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Inverted. Mabari choose their owner and he chose Hawke.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: He's downright adorable to his allies. His enemies on the other hand.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Everyone in the party loves Dog. With the exception of Anders, but only because he's a cat person.
    • Even Anders seems to like Dog, especially if he moves in with Hawke later in the game. He just doesn't appreciate being slobbered on.
  • Heroic Dog
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute
  • Undying Loyalty

Fenris/Leto

I'm perfectly content at the moment.
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An elven slave turned living weapon. He used his power to escape his master Danarius, a Tevinter Magister who is trying to reclaim his "property." He is a potential love interest. Voiced by Gideon Emery.


  • Achey Scars: His lyrium markings are the reason he hates being touched.
  • Anti-Hero: Type IV or Type III on his rare good days
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: Among other things, he resents the lyrium markings and the power that was inflicted upon him. In his final companion quest "Alone", he discovers that he had actually wanted them, even competed for them, for the sake of using the boon offered to the winner to free his family.
    • Varania also implies that he wanted the power that the markings brought him, something extremely jarring for Fenris who insists mages cannot be trusted because they will always find an excuse to seek power and end up going too far/getting used by a greater evil.
  • Attack Animal: Brainwashed by his Tevinter owner into this.
  • Badass Abnormal: While the lyrium gives him phasing abilities, much of his skill with a blade is just that; skill. He had it before the lyrium. And it was that skill that allowed him to win the right to get the lyrium markings in the first place.
  • Berserk Button: His Establishing Character Moment is his violent reaction over being called a slave—being taunted with it also comes up several times during his personal quests. He hates mages—particularly the Magisters of Tevinter, and the blood magic connected to them.
    • He doesn't take kindly to the suggestions that he "just move on" or, worse, to forget about revenge against Danarius.
  • BFS: Uses two-handed weapons. Several of which are as tall as he is.
  • Bishonen: He's most likely older than twenty, but considering the new, leaner elven body model, he certainly fits the aesthetic.
  • Bi the Way: Like Anders and Merrill, his interest in men is never even alluded in the straight romance. This brings up debates on whether his sexuality changes based on the gender of the player character.
  • Brutal Honesty: He's extremely blunt with his criticism of anything he dislikes, especially if it relates to magic or its users.
  • Character Development: If a full rival he admits revenge has brought him nothing and decides it's time to let go of his hate. Unfortunately, unlike Isabela's rivalry, this does not change his comment at the final quest as he still shows hatred towards magic and is initially against supporting the mages.
    • Another example would be his gradually opening up to a few of the other companions and eventually befriending them (evident in party banter), in contrast to his initial anti-social behavior. He even jokes with some of them and by Act III regularly plays cards with Varric and Donnic.
  • The Comically Serious: His generally dour demeanor gets him ribbed on by some of the more jokey companions.
    • ... Although if you keep him away from people who push his buttons, he makes his share of jokes.
    • And Silly!Hawke's comments usually get at least a smile out of him. He even chuckles with regularity.
  • Cursed with Awesome: The lyrium scars emblazoned on him by his master cause Fenris no small amount of pain, but give him extra strength and endurance, as well as the ability to go partially intangible.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He was a slave in the Tevinter Imperium, and had his skin laced with lyrium in a process so torturously painful that it wiped away his pre-ritual memories.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sometimes, and with emphasis on the deadpan.
  • Defrosting Ice King: He's loosened up a little bit by Act III, particularly around Aveline, Isabela, Varric, Donnic, and possibly Hawke. He even starts cracking a few jokes of his own.
  • Despair Event Horizon: If you choose to betray Fenris and give him back to Danarius. Your betrayal so utterly breaks his spirit and his faith in freedom and friendship, he just gives up without a fight. He doesn't even have the strength to show anger at you about it. Later, you get a letter from Danarius thanking you, telling you that Fenris has been memory-wiped again and is now perfectly obedient.
  • Does Not Like Magic
  • Does Not Like Shoes: He never wears shoes and he will occasionally say with disgust, "I think I stepped in something."
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": His response to his sister calling him by his real name at the end of "Alone" after he finds out she betrayed him is an angry "Stop calling me that!".
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Despite his frequent mentioning of his past, he despises people attempting to empathize with him about it.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: He can be seen drinking quite a lot at least twice during the game. Especially when he's about to confess something about his past.
    • It's implied part of the reason he's content with staying in the rundown mansion is because of the wine cellar.
  • The Eeyore: Probably the most pessimistic of the group, though not as much as they'd have you believe. Even in his lighter moments, he's generally dry and rather bleak. By the end of the game, he's starting to grow out of it.
  • Enemy Mine: He takes this approach about working with any mage except for, potentially, Hawke. If asked about it when he's recruited he says that he'll be watching the party's mages very closely. Much of his dialogue with Merrill is antagonistic over her blood magic and her naive attitudes regarding elves outside the Dalish, and Hawke can even gain rivalry with him for being nice to her. He tolerates her as a teammate - if only because Hawke is around. He's not much less hostile towards Anders, (and in this case the feelings are mutual) though with Bethany he merely suggests that she should be in the Circle.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The surviving leader of a group of slave hunters grabs his shoulder and calls him a slave. Fenris turns and shoves his hand through the guy's chest, crushing his heart and killing him instantly (and messily).
  • Expy: He has more than a few similarities with Jack, though he's much more stable. Relatively speaking.
  • Fantastic Racism: He believes that all mages, no matter their intentions will eventually become power-hungry maniacs (which, to be fair, seems to be the norm for the Tevinter Imperium) unless constantly controlled. If Hawke sides with the mages in The Final Straw, Fenris will turn against him/her unless he has been permanently locked in as a friend or rival or if Hawke calls him on the hypocrisy of supporting the enslavement of mages.
    • Fenris is also not particularly fond of the Dalish. This is rooted in the Dalish viewing themselves as the Superior Elves.
  • Freudian Excuse: His pretty horrifying life as a slave, (as well as the fact that this is quite literally all he knows), explains quite a bit of his antisocial tendencies.
  • Friends with Benefits: With Isabela if the player isn't romancing either of them.
  • Gay Option
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: All over his body. They look more like tattoos, however, and they're pretty like the veins of leaves.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Says to Hawke that the reason most slaves don't simply run away or rebel is that they don't think of anything beyond satisfying their masters. The only reason he was able to subvert this trope and escape is because he was accidentally seperated from Danarius for a few months and in the care of the Fog Warriors, who treated him as a person instead of an object or a pet. After Danarius returned, the Fog Warriors were prepared to fight to protect him, but Danarius ordered Fenris to kill them and he did so. The resulting What Have I Done shocked him to his core and he ran.
    • If Hawke gives Fenris back to Danarius in Act III, Danarius' letter states he has wiped Fenris' memories again and implies that he truly believes Fenris is happier as his perfectly obedient self.
  • Hates Being Touched: See above, between Fenris, Morrigan, and Arianne this might be becoming a signature of the series. If romanced he will obviously move out of this (with Hawke at least). In one of their possible romance scenes, he'll nearly attack Hawke when s/he surprises him with a touch.
  • Headbutting Heroes: Hates the party mages who are careless about their abilities - Anders for thinking he can take a spirit into him and remain in control and Merrill for believing herself justified in using blood magic. He is much more lenient toward Bethany, who is wary of her abilities and wishes she could be normal, and potentially a mage Hawke.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Subversion. His banter with Sebastian reveals that while he's not entirely convinced that the Maker exists, he does keep something of an open mind. It's even implied in Act III that Sebastian may be rubbing off on him.
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Sebastian: I saw you at the Chantry last week, Fenris, but I haven't seen you back since.
Fenris: I was only delivering something... you needn't concern yourself.
Sebastian: But you were praying. Or was that part of the delivery?
Fenris: I was... trying to blend in.

Sebastian: (Laughs) Oh, yes! You wouldn't want to ruin your reputation.

Fenris: Don't you have a city to re-conquer?

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  • Homeless Hero: Fenris squats in his former master's abandoned Hightown mansion.
  • Hypocrite: While naturally doesn't approve of dealing with demons, Hawke can gain friendship points with Fenris if s/he turns on Anders/Justice in the Fade during Night Terrors for opposing a deal with a demon.
    • He believes Mages are too powerful to be trusted and will inevitably abuse their power, so they should accept being enslaved and controlled by the Chantry. He himself is an escaped slave with magical powers who is being hunted by his former master and will mercilessly kill those who are no longer a threat to him if they piss him off enough. At least half of his arguments for corralling and controlling mages could also apply to him. Anders calls him out on it once or twice.
    • He's vehemently against slavery, yet supports locking up mages and denying them the freedoms and equal rights that others enjoy. Hawke can point out this hypocrisy at the endgame if s/he sides with the mages, prompting Fenris to turn against Meredith and support Hawke.
    • Merrill of all people points out that - he criticizes how much she risks herself and others by taking a demon's help to regain a piece of elven history, when in order to find his sister, Varania, he is also taking risks and making compromises for the sake of regaining a piece of his past.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Tells Merrill in party banter that he doesn't have "puppy eyes". He actually uses them quite a bit, usually with a Hawke who has a strong Friendship with him, and/or romanced him. Case and point; the look he will give Hawke to a flirting response at the end of the "Alone" quest.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Early on in the game, he seems somewhat taken aback that Hawke would be romantically interested in him, if s/he flirts with him.
  • I Can't Do This by Myself: From the moment you meet him, he'll ask for your help using pretty much these exact words. Comes up in his later personal quests as well.
  • Identity Amnesia: The lyrium-infusion ritual wiped his memory.
    • As it turns out, he asked for and fought for the "privilege" of having this done to him. He is utterly horrified to find out that he essentially destroyed his own identity, willingly.
  • If It's You It's Okay: A possible example. Despite his general hatred and suspicion of anything magic related, getting romantically involved with a mage Hawke doesn't seem to bother him in the slightest. Well, not in the magic department, anyway.
    • During party banter with Anders, Fenris will admit that he considers Hawke (or Bethany) a strong mage who doesn't need supervision.
      • This is even present if you only pursue a Friendship with him as a mage. At the end of his first Questioning Beliefs, he will toast Hawke with a happy smile on his face, stating, "Here's to you, Hawke. A finer mage, I have never met." Considering that he seems to hate every other mage (sans Bethany), this says a lot.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Will warn Anders in this manner, if he had been romanced and has dumped Hawke.
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Fenris: You... are living with Hawke now?
Anders: What of it?
Fenris: Be good to him/her. Break his/her heart, and I will kill you.

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  • I Need a Freaking Drink
  • Intangible Man: The lyrium-infusion gives him the power to make himself partially intangible.
  • It's Not You, It's My Past: Gives this apology to Hawke after their first night together, having momentarily gained back and instantly lost his pre-ritual memories.
  • In Vino Veritas: He's a lot more talkative when he's drunk, and willing to bring up his past in a bit more detail. He also will happily toast a Mage-Hawke who pursued a Friendship with him, and even gets rather flirty at one point, a far call from his usual broody, slightly awkward self.
  • Irony: Fenris fought to participate in Danarius' experiments so he could use a boon to free his family. Danarius is quite amused to hear Fenris claim that he never asked for his markings.
    • Also, for somebody who hates mages as much as he does, his Leitmotif is very similar to Mage Pride...
      • Foreshadowing / Fridge Brilliance: ... And then you discover that there's a reason for that. He's related to one. It makes perfect sense for the themes to be similar.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: He's obviously prejudiced against mages because of his past experiences, so most of his opinions on them are pretty harsh. However, he does actually make a good point on occasion.
  • Kick the Dog: Viciously insulting an already devastated Merill at the end of her personal quest.
    • Not quite as bad as the above, but after the party helps him clear out the mansion (possibly free of charge), if a mage is in the party he will refer to them as "a viper", and warning Hawke that "it" will only turn on him/her later. Considering they have done nothing but help him at this point (even Anders is sympathetic to him at first), this might come off as a bit much.
  • The Lady's Favour: Per Word of God, the red wristband he begins wearing after spending the night with Hawke is Hawke's favor to him.
  • Leitmotif: The only companion that has a named theme in the official soundtrack, "Fenris' Theme", a slow and melancholy piece that combines Playing the Heart Strings with bits of a soft One-Woman Wail.
  • Lightning Bruiser: As a warrior specializing in two-handed weapons, Fenris can hack through low-level enemies almost as easily as he can stick a hand through someone's chest. His unique specialization combines the best passive skills from Hawke's Reaver and Berserker classes into one lethal package, allowing him to increase his attack speed and restore his stamina every time he kills an enemy, causing his battle effectiveness to snowball. Low survivability, the one weakness of two-handers, is partially mitigated by his Lyrium Ghost sustained mode.
  • Long-Lost Relative: He has a sister named Varania. Like Alistair before him, the reunion didn't end up well. Except in Fenris' case, the sister can wind up dead - by his own hand.
  • Lost Forever: Unlike the other companions his personal questline and romance can be completely derailed if you don't use him in the right area at the right time.
  • Meaningful Name: Shares his name with the monstrous wolf Fenris of Norse mythology, who will slay Odin during Ragnarök (an apocalypse of terrible winter and war). In Dragon Age lore, it means "little wolf" in Arcanum, the language of the Tevinters, and was chosen by his former master. Leto directly translates as "summer" in some Slavic languages, and "he who is always happy" in Latin. Considering his current less than sunny disposition, this goes to show how much he's lost.
  • Morality Pet: Although he is eager to pounce on the faults of mages, his relationship with Bethany is generally quite cordial. Hawke can qualify as a second example, especially if s/he is a mage and is engaged in a romance with him.
  • More Than Mind Control: By his own words, a slave does not dream of freedom but thinks only of satisfying his master. Fenris's initial escape had been an accident, not deliberate, and even after months spent outside of his master's influence, upon his return it felt unthinkable for him to do anything but obey. Danarius also claims that Fenris had once felt affection for him. Of course, it bears remembering that he's a Tevinter Magister.
  • Mr. Fanservice: That pretty much runs the norm for elves anyway. Especially if they have white hair, green eyes, and a dark and troubled past.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Very wiry and slender, and uses double-handed weapons that are sometimes bigger than he is with ease. A few of the cutscenes also show off his physical strength as he can snap necks and toss around human adults with no trouble. Granted, the lyrium under his skin is said to have something to do with this.
  • Never Learned to Read: Comes with the territory as a former slave. Hawke can teach him though and will occasionally remark upon his reading in ambient dialogue at the estate.
  • No Social Skills: His intense bitterness and lack of life experience outside of Tevinter slavery left him bitter, largely tactless, and extremely poor at forming relationships with others.
  • Not So Different: From Anders. The two are both former slaves (of a sort) that share an intense, unreasonable hatred of those similar to their oppressors who are ruled by their rage. They both seem to take pleasure in taking petty digs at each other.
    • Hawke can invoke this in "Night Terrors" if he is brought to the Fade, saying that if he takes the Pride Demon's offer of power, then he is no better than the magistrates. It doesn't work.
  • Odd Couple: With a mage-supporting Hawke.
  • Optional Party Member: You can only meet him by doing a side quest in Act I.
  • Pardon My Klingon: He uses Tevinter swear words when he is upset.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Camera angles and his tendency to duck his head during some emotionally-charged moments mean his hair sometimes covers his eyes, which emphasizes his vulnerability (or Wangst depending on how sympathetic you find him at the moment).
  • Pet the Dog: After his above Kick the Dog moment to Merrill, he will (grudgingly) admit that the Keeper must have truly cared for her if she was willing to sacrifice herself for her, and (in his own way) encourages her to live up to her memory.
    • He gets several other moments, like during the quest A Bitter Pill, when he shows genuine concern and sympathy for the elven slave Orana and gets angry if you decide to take her as your slave. There are also many moments between him and Hawke, especially if Hawke is in a friendly romance with him, or are at least friends, even if Hawke is a mage. Most of them enough to qualify as Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
  • Physical Scars, Psychological Scars
  • Phlebotinum Rebel
  • Power Glows: His lyrium scars glow when he is phasing.
    • Some Party Banter implies they have a slight glow, visible through clothing, even when he isn't using his powers.
  • Primal Stance: Compare his posture with, say, Merrill's.
  • Properly Paranoid: He suspects slavers around every corner and a trap behind every stroke of luck. He's usually right.
  • Rape as Backstory: Heavily implied in dialogue (Word of God confirms it).
  • Revenge Before Reason: Most obviously during his Act II personal quest, where he kills a hired sword after interrogating him and then kills Hadriana despite promising not to kill the latter in return for information about his past. Neither of these people were exactly innocent, (Hadriana may have even deserved it), but he still killed them after it was obvious they were no longer a threat to him. He also yells at Hawke if he/she tries to call him out on it. To his credit, he does clearly regret his behavior, and he goes to Hawke to apologize later.
  • Scars Are Forever: Due to being infused with lyrium when he was transformed. They cause him some amount of pain, more so when touched.
  • Seen It All: Gives off this impression with his generally stoic reactions, especially concerning the darker side of magic, though he is not in all likelihood older than his mid-twenties.
  • Slave Collar: Used to have one. Danarius apparently used to like to keep him leashed.
  • Somebody Else's Problem: Generally neutral in affairs not involving mages or slavers. In fact, it's implied that for most of the game, outside of adventures with Hawke and a few mercenary jobs he takes for money, he doesn't interact much with anyone. Varric complains that after years in Kirkwall he's still "practically a ghost."
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Fenris: You are too willing to involve yourself in the affairs of others, Hawke. Each time you put yourself at risk. One day you will not be so lucky.
Hawke: You have a better idea?
Fenris: Guard what you have. Keep your head low.

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  • Spikes of Villainy: The implications of the spikes all over his armor is discussed by the party once or twice, though he's an Anti-Hero.
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Varric: You do know the elf is covered in spikes, like an angsty porcupine? He might have some... issues.

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  • The Stoic
  • Sugar and Ice Personality
  • Tranquil Fury: Constantly, to the point that he has an actual class ability (Veneer of Calm) that gives him a bonus to damage as his health drops.
  • Troubled but Cute: He claims he doesn't brood. Varric isn't buying it for a second.
    • Broken Bird: Arguably has a few shades of this as well.
  • Unstoppable Rage: He usually doesn't emote much, but once any of his buttons is pushed, he's quick to reveal just how much fury he keeps bottled up.
  • What Have I Done: The incident that prompted him to run away from Danarius when he killed the Fog Warriors who had rescued and cared for him on Danarius' orders. He says at first it wasn't Danarius he was running from.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Hawke can give him one of these for breaking his word about leaving Hadriana alive.
    • Hawke can also call him out on his hypocrisy concerning keeping mages captive during the end-game and get him to turn his back on supporting Meredith. It says something about how much he respects Hawke considering how Anders has been browbeating him about that particular issue since Act I.
    • He himself will be furious at Hawke if s/he chooses to take Orana as a slave. Be particularly blase about it and he'll curse at Hawke in Tevinter and spit at the ground before storming off.
  • White-Haired Pretty Boy

Rogues

Isabela

Apostate prostitutes? Apostitutes!
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It's not about who's dangerous. It's about having choices made for you.

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A pirate who first appeared in Origins. After her ship sank, she became a smuggler in Kirkwall. She is a love interest for Hawkes of both genders. Voiced by Victoria Kruger.


  • Action Girl
  • Anti-Hero: Type III at the very least; though she can end up developing into a Type II if she doesn't leave Hawke at the end of Act II.
  • Ascended Extra: In the first game, she was a rogue who taught your Warden the duelist specialization in the Pearl. She also was a quick romantic encounter with Leliana, Zevran, Leliana and Zevran, or Alistair. She returns in the second game with a new model and a new voice actress as a party member.
  • Anything That Moves: According to her, she's had relations with Men, Women, Elves, and a cross-dressing dwarf. She doesn't recommend that last one.
    • Subverted if Hawke attempts to pimp her to the pathetic Emile de Launcet. Even sluttiness has its standards.
      • Subverted farther than that, ironically enough, if Hawke pursues a romance with Isabela. Isabela's behavior is mostly for her image as a pirate, and while she has no problems with a Friends with Benefits relationship (or a one night stand), she doesn't have nearly as many of those as she implies.
  • A Threesome Is Hot / A Threesome Is Manly: If you're romancing her when she propositions Zevran, she's quick to invite you to join in.
  • Badass Normal
  • Bad Liar: She's not very good at being subtle when she's hiding something; she stutters, avoids eye contact, and hesitates a lot. More often she just dodges unwanted questions though.
  • Bar Brawl: Her introduction. Apparently this happens with her fairly often.
  • Big Damn Heroes: If you have a high enough friendship or rivalry level, she pulls this during the qunari invasion by returning their relic, thereby creating a relatively peaceful solution to the problem.
  • Bi the Way
  • Brain Bleach: Invokes this reaction in Hawke and the other party members more than once.
  • Broken Bird: Has a few elements of one, though she'd never admit it, especially the issues with emotional intimacy.
  • Call Back: When the Warden meets Isabela, she is dueling people who claim she cheated them of their coin. After defeating them, they run off. When Hawke meets Isabela, she is dueling people who claim she cheated them of their coin. After defeating them, they run off.
  • The Casanova
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: On the eve of the qunari invasion, she abandons the party because they're after her personally. She turns around and returns to give them back their relic. Mind you, the trope will be subverted depending on your relationship with her.
  • Character Development: If full Rivalry is achieved she admits helping others and not always being selfish feels good, and vows to become a better person. Evident later, when if Hawke sides with the mages at the final quest, she seems enthusiastic about protecting them.
    • With high Friendship she starts drifting more towards the good side of the morality scale, though with much more reluctance than as a Rival, and expresses similar sentiment in the endgame.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Mark of the Assassin reveals that if romanced, she can be this towards a female Hawke.
  • Cool Big Sis: To Merrill and Bethany.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Jokingly invoked in several conversations with Bethany.
    • Also does this to a lesser extent with Merrill (teaching her how to do body shots), and Carver (goading him into grow into its fangs and sink them deep.)
      • In Legacy, her influence is confirmed to have rubbed off on Merrill if you bring them both along with Anders. You'll learn that Merrill was looking through his grimoire in the hopes of finding "dirty spells" to "make things more interesting" with Hawke. Isabela's response? "That's my girl!"
    • Also invoked with, of all possibilities, Bianca, which appears to end the playful flirting between Isabela and Varric.
    • Invoked with Aveline after they settled into the role of Vitriolic Best Buds by Act III, where she offers tips on how to spice things up with Donnic in the bedroom. Considering Aveline's response to Isabela asking if Donnic's "flipped [her] arse over tits and hammered her like a bent nail," Isabela apparently succeeded.
  • Distaff Counterpart: She shares quite a few similarities with Zevran and they get along quite well.
  • Does Not Like Men: A very mild case, and played very subtly, but Isabela seems quick to believe the worst when it concerns men and how they view women, even if she has no trouble befriending or sleeping with them. This almost certainly stems from her treatment at the hands of her late husband.
  • Double Entendre / Innocent Innuendo / Un Entendre: Sex drips off her tongue every time her mouth opens. For every subversion, she plays it twice as hard, even while Carver is chastising her for it.
    • Carver manages to get her back in Legacy if he's a Templar. He'll turn a stanza of the Chant of Light into one big double entendre, and Isabela's not sure if she's aroused or scared, but she likes it.
    • A notable subversion occurs while she's speaking with Varric, and serves as a Call Back to a similar conversation between Alistair and Oghren. For once, Varric and Isabela really were just talking about weapons.
    • One of her armor upgrades is called "Rigid Boning." There is no fucking way that is accidental.
  • Drowning My Sorrows
  • Dual-Wielding
  • Duel to the Death: With Hayder. Isabela suspects foul play, so when she meets Hawke, she asks for potential back-up.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Retroactively.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Isabela is a pirate to the core, but she would never condone slave trading, which led to her betraying Hayder before you first meet her.
    • Though she's perfectly willing to let non-repentant slavers get away clean if it means she can have a ship again.
  • Friends with Benefits: While a tremendous flirt, she only appears to have such a relationship with Hawke (if Hawke accepts) and, depending on the relationship of the player, Fenris.
  • Fragile Speedster: Her specialization abilities can make her one of the rare borderline Stone Wall examples. She becomes harder to hit and less effective at hitting—not very useful in of and itself, but paired with a skilled Scoundrel form the combat equivalent of a two-man con.
  • Gay Option
  • Genre Savvy: Knows that Hayder will double-cross her in Act I and in Act III Hawke hatches a plan to double-double-cross Castillon by pretending first to betray her and turn her over to him.
  • Guide Dang It: Averted with sleeping with her—she comes on to Hawke quickly, and follows through early in Act II, before players even kiss some love interests. Played surprisingly straight with genuine romance, however, to a point where even the official guide gets it wrong, and her romance is only completed half an hour or so before the game's end.
  • The Hedonist: Seems to live for three things: the thrill of adventure, alcohol, and sexual gratification.
  • Hidden Depths: Isabela's promiscuity and "who needs love?" attitude is an act to cover up the guilt she feels for breaking the heart of a former lover. Hawke can point this out to her after having sex with her by stating "You're not afraid of falling in love; you're afraid of being loved."
    • She can also be suprisingly eloquent, if deeply cynical, at times concerning philisophical ideas such as freedom and justice.
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Isabela: Justice is an idea. It makes sense in a world of ideas, but not in our world.

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  • Hidden Heart of Gold: She'll try to excuse any altruistic acts as self serving in some manner. Nobody buys it.
    • Anders and Silly-Hawke actually tease her about it, and invoke the trope by name.
    • Most obviously in Act II where her Big Damn Hero entrance has her irritatedly say that "This is your damned influence, Hawke!"
  • Hit Me Dammit: Enables this as a plan to get to Castillion. Also one of her many battle quotes
  • Hoist By Her Own Petard: Isabela occasionally uses the line "You have pretty eyes." as a way to shut down conversations she doesn't want. In Mark of the Assassin, she complains to Hawke that Gamlen's been inappropriate, and she wants Hawke to convince him to stop. Guess what Hawke's response is?
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Isabela: I get the feeling the girl's involved in something deep and dangerous. Look out for her will you? Make sure she doesn't hurt herself. ... Oh, and if you ever do anything nasty to her, I'll cut off your balls.

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  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Every single one of the talents in her unique skill tree is a pirate reference of some kind. Notable because almost every other skill's name tries to be serious or informative. Not Isabela.
    • She has an armor upgrade named Rigid Boning.
    • She actually seems quite fond of puns at times in-game, chuckling at the sound of "ghast-hole" and dubbing Idunna an "appostitute" before laughing delightedly. Yeah... Bela's kind of a dork.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: At the start of Act III, especially.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Every time you go to the Qunari Compound with her in your party, she will suddenly bail and run off. At first, it seems odd that she would do this, but as you find out later she stole one of the Qunari's prized relics. If she were to enter the compound she would most likely be caught and either killed or taken prisoner.
  • It's All About Me: While she can be a lot of fun, and even very affectionate at times (mainly to Merrill), it is made uncomfortably clear at several points in the game that she places herself and her hedonistic tendencies first, even when it (might) hurt others. Under Hawke's influence, her conscience can start to get the better of her, much to her dismay.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Platonic-version; if Hawke slept with her then moved on to Merrill, she seems a little wistful when Merrill gushes about how wonderful Hawke is, then assures the elf how happy she is for her. She later tells Hawke that she thinks Merrill was very lonely before and tells him/her to look after her. If Hawke is male, she also threatens to castrate him if he hurts her in any way.
  • Karma Houdini: Potentially subverted if she returns with the tome and you hand her over to the Qunari (though the codex implies she later escapes), and even if you don't she actually spends some years away from Kirkwall, either out of guilt or simple reluctance to witness the damage and hundreds of corpses left by her actions. If Hawke doesn't have a strong enough Friendship/Rivalry with her though, she gets away with the tome scot-free.
  • Knife Nut
  • The Ladette
  • Lampshade Hanging: She lampshades quite a few things.
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Isabela: If we kill them we get their stuff!

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Alistair: Isabela, you look... different.
Isabela: Don't we all?

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  • Loveable Rogue
  • Loveable Sex Maniac: Three guesses what most of her dialogue ends up being about.
  • Mommy Issues: Not fond of the woman. Given she sold Isabela to an Antivan merchant for a few gold pieces and a goat (without even haggling the price), this is justified.
  • Morality Chain: The player can be this to her, particularly at the end of Act II.
  • Morality Pet: Isabela's friendship with Merrill may be the only one that the pirate has that isn't based on teasing them. In fact, when Merrill wishes that she had an 'interesting' life like Isabela, she tells Merrill that she's a good person and deserves better than that.
    • Her fond annecdotes about her crew before the shipwreck indicates that they actually had quite a bit of comeraderie, and she clearly misses them.
  • Ms. Vice Gal: She revels in sex, violence, greed and drunken revelry.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She has about a foot of cleavage to back this up. And no pants. And frequent panty shots. Less than thirty seconds after she invites herself to the party, she invites Hawke up to her room. This appears to be approximately fifteen minutes after meeting, as well.
  • My Grandma Can Do Better Than You: One of her in-battle taunts.
  • Never Live It Down: Invoked in Act III when Snarky!Hawke comments that her last bright idea was stealing the Qunari relic.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: By stealing the qunari relic, Isabela set a chain of events in motion that resulted in the qunari attacking Kirkwall, the death of innocent people, and a power vaccuum that allowed Meredith to abuse her power and bring the mage/templar conflict closer to exploding.
  • Noodle Incident: She's behind a few of them. One of which involving a duel that somehow grew into a 20 person brawl in the streets.
    • Also, in Legacy banter with Fenris:
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Fenris: Interesting story I heard about you, Isabela...
Isabela: Yes, yes, all right. I just want it known I never asked for the goat. And the fire was accidental.
Fenris: I... that wasn't the story.

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  • Odd Romance: Hooks up with Fenris of all people in Act III, if you do not romance either of them. Granted, the relationship is purely physical by all accounts
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Isabela is not her birth name, but it's the only name she'll respond to.
  • Optional Party Member: She doesn't have to join the party, and if you don't go to the Hanged Man at the right time, you may never even see her.
  • Parental Abandonment: She was sold into marriage at an implied young age by her mother and never knew her father.
  • Pirate Girl: Her ship is named the Siren's Call. At some time during the game, it sinks. She inherited it from her deceased husband, a merchant whom Zevran killed.
  • Pirate Who Doesn't Do Anything: Not by choice. Due to the loss of her ship and crew as well as the Qunari tome, Isabela is forced to spend most of the game standing around the Hanged Man, drinking and acting vaguely pirate-y when not with Hawke.
    • There are a few sidequests that can allow her to get her pirate career up and running again. Her final companion quest can end with her getting a ship, and a sidequest in Mark Of The Assassin can end with her getting a crew. However, the player is always given a reason to not let her do so (for example, getting a new ship requires letting an unrepentant slaver escape justice), and she even if she gets them, she sticks with the drinking and vague pirate-y behavior for the rest of the game.
  • Rape as Backstory: Its implied the reason she let her husband get assassinated was because he had her "entertain" his friends.
  • Really Gets Around: Her sex life is a constant topic in conversations with the party.
  • Sex Goddess: She claims to be so good in bed, she can turn even the straightest woman lesbian/bisexual.
    • It reaches in-game Memetic levels as time goes by, as she and Varric recall several patrons who attempted to (unsuccessfully) flirt with her and she recalls her vast sex life.
    • If importing a save where the Warden was a Female Noble, romanced Alistair, convinced him to have a threesome and later ascended him to the throne, Isabela jokes that having slept with the King and Queen of Ferelden, she has something new to brag about.
  • Shipper on Deck: Found out through party banter. Also doubles as an Incredibly Lame Pun. In Mark of the Assassin, she catches onto Carver's crush on Merrill and is very eager to help. Carver, understandably, isn't too keen on the idea.
    • Writes "Friendfiction".
  • So Long and Thanks For All the Gear: She may return, however.
  • Somebody Else's Problem: "We're not responsible for anyone but ourselves."
  • STD Immunity: Averted. It's all but outright stated that Isabela does face repercussions for her grandiose sex life, but Anders is able (though not willing) to cure these without much trouble.
  • Stripperific: Isabela has the bustiest model in the game and she has the outfit to show it off. Also, no pants.
  • The Tease: Big time, especially to Carver.
  • Trick Bomb: She is a Rogue, so she can use different types of bombs.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Some of her dialogue with/about Hawke hints at this if s/he slept with her but later broke it off.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Aveline towards the end of the game.
  • We Could Have Avoided All This: Aveline invokes this in digust when she and Hawke learn Isabela stole the Tome of Koslun and only decides to tell them this now.
    • Gets worse when you realise that this not only set up Act II's climax, but allowed the templars to take over the city after, which pushed matters one more step closer to the Mage-Templar War.
  • Widow Woman: Not that she's complaining. Her husband was an arse.
  • You Fight Like a Cow:
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Isabela: You hit like my grandmother!

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  • You Lose At Zero Trust: She leaves your party for good if you haven't completed her Act II Questioning Beliefs Quest, which is obtained by getting her Friendship or Rivalry to at least 50..
  • Your Door Was Open: Apparently she breaks into Hawke's estate frequently.
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Silly!Hawke: Oh, look who's here! Time to change the locks again...
Isabela: I knocked this time!

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Sebastian Vael

Dragon Age II Sebastian 2601.jpg
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When I wanted to rule, I would have been terrible at it. Now that I might be decent, I don't know if it's the right thing to do.

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An archer of noble birth, Sebastian comes as a DLC character in The Exiled Prince, where the player must help him avenge the death of his family, the rulers of Starkhaven. His trailer is here. A potential love interest, though Hawke cannot actually sleep with him due to his vow of chastity. He is the only love interest that Hawke must be female to pursue. Voiced by Alec Newman.


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  • Blue Eyes
  • Brave Starkhavener
  • Break the Haughty: A mild version in his backstory, considering he was hedonistic prince that got Locked Away in a Monastery so that he wouldn't have any children that could contest his brother's claims to the throne.
  • Celibate Hero: Due to the vows he made when he joined the Chantry. Even if romanced he won't break this vow. That said, Sebastian is definitely not a virgin before his Chantry vows as his dialogues with Isabella shows that as the prince of Starkhaven, he was a hedonistic prince but vowed to be celibate.
    • Chastity Couple: If a female Hawke pursues him and is not in a Rivalry with him, they become this.
  • Church Militant
  • Conflicting Loyalty: He is torn between keeping his vows to the Chantry and his desire to reclaim his family's throne. You can encourage him either way. And no matter what choice has makes in the end, he will decide not to pursue it until the main plot is resolved and Hawke no longer needs his loyalty.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: If Hawke is in a Rivalry with him, s/he encourages him towards Well-Intentioned Extremist tendencies to regain his title. Subverted in that Sebastian wasn't always the Knight in Shining Armor he tries to be now.
  • Cultured Warrior: Favours the bow, following his grandfather's belief that it allows a King to both defend their people while never having to leave the walls of their castle.
  • Deadly Decadent Court: The reason his family was killed and part of the reason he is reluctant to throw himself back into politics. He and Varric bond over comparing it to life in the Merchant's Guild.
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Varric: In Starkhaven, do they bludgen you to death for forgetting the name of a minor clerk's third daughter?
Sebastian: (dryly) Only if you're lucky.
Varric: (sighs) Choir Boy, suddenly your life makes much more sense to me.

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Merrill: You're so shiny! Much better than a torch.

Sebastian: I did swear an oath to carry the Light of the Maker wherever I go. Grand Cleric Elthina will be so proud.

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  • Disproportionate Retribution: If Hawke lets Anders live after he blows up the chantry, Sebastian vows to raise and army and burn Kirkwall to the ground to avenge Elthina, a pacifist who was so dedicated to the people of said city that she refused to abandon them even after being told by the hand of the Divine that her life was in danger.
  • Easy Evangelism: Averted. While Sebastian does try to get the other companions to convert (he's not pushy about it, to his credit), they just brush him off. It's implied that he actually succeeds with Fenris, but Fenris denies it and it's played for comedy. In party banter, Sebastian admits that preaching rarely works, and he thinks leading by example works better.
  • Expy: Shares much of the same backstory as the Human Noble Warden from Origins.
  • Former Teen Rebel: His wild youth embarrassed his family into giving him to the priesthood in hopes that he'd grow up a bit.
  • Friendly Sniper
  • Good Counterpart: Arguably, to Sister Petrice, in that he represents a side of the Chantry that actually is charitable and compassionate, instead of just self-righteous. Especially obvious in Mark Of The Assassin when he treats Tallis with relative respect and states he feels that the Qunari highlight the Chantry's failings and their presence provides an opportunity for change and improvement, while Petrice can only see them as a threat that must be ousted even if she has to have the Vicount's son murdered to do it.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: He's been traveling to different cities in the Free Marches between Acts I and II, talking to the nobility and trying to gather allies, but his efforts are halted by his own hesitation. He'll run off to try again with much less doubt holding him back if Hawke spares Anders.
  • Good Shepherd: He tries to be, at least.
  • Government in Exile: In between acts, Sebastian tries to set up La Résistance so he can regain the throne. However, he doesn't get far due to his Conflicting Loyalty.
  • Happily Married: If Legacy is played after his last questioning beliefs scene in Act III it's revealed that he and a F!Hawke who romanced him as a friend are this. And no, she doesn't care about the lack of sex, though Sarcastic-Hawke will tease him about it.
  • Headbutting Heroes: He and Anders do a really good job of getting on each other's bad side. It borders on Enemy Mine at some points, largely concerning Elthina's position on the templars and mages. At the endgame, they become Mutually Exclusive Party Members.
  • The Hedonist: His past life as prince had him living life decadently, sleeping with noblewomen and getting drunk. His parents made him join the Chantry because of that reputation.
  • Hot-Blooded: Sebastian's repeatedly demonstrates that succumbing to Revenge Before Reason is his biggest flaw.
  • Hypocrite: After spending most of the game letting go of his bitterness, both at his family and their murderers, and scolding other party members for letting revenge take over their lives, he swears to build up an army and promises to kill everybody in Kirkwall if you spare Anders, to avenge Elthina. A pacifist. Who previously refused to leave the city specifically to protect the people of the city. And who had consistently urged him not to seek revenge. Completely Missing the Point indeed...
    • He may also declare "the end justifies the means. You taught me that!" in defense of his vow to raze the entire city of Kirkwall to the ground with an army because of one man, apparently not seeing the irony in using Anders' justification for committing mass murder and starting a war to justify his own decision to commit mass murder and start a war.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Reconstructed Trope.
  • Locked Away in a Monastery: His parents gave him to the Chantry to stop him dragging down their reputation; unusually, he declares it was the best thing that ever happened to him. Supplemental material reveals that Elthina allowed him to leave, and he returned out of a genuine desire for purpose.
  • Man in White: Shiny white armor. Something of a Running Gag within the party.
    • Isabela uses it as a mirror once.
  • Mr. Fanservice: In-universe, even! Bethany takes a shine to him in Mark of the Assassin, either letting out a swooning "Oh, Maker" when he smiles at her, or commenting "Oh, Sister, you lucky bitch," if he's being romanced.
  • Nice Guy
  • Not So Different: Admits before he found the Chantry, he used to be just like Isabela.
    • Also implied to be part of the reason he treats Tallis with respect, even defending her devotion to the Qun to others in party banter.
  • The Pollyanna: To an extent. When he gets mad, he gets mad. But for the most part, he's optimistic and relatively cheerful, if a bit more mature than this trope usually implies, despite his personal tragedies... which puts him in stark contrast with most of the party. Hilarity Ensues.
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Sebastian: I've never had so many opportunities to help people!
Varric: ... All right. I thought I was getting tired of moody. I take it back. You're making my teeth ache.

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  • Princely Young Man: The Prince Charming type, though he was more of a Royal Brat when he was younger.
  • Really Gets Around: In his younger years only, obviously.
  • Religious Bruiser
  • The Resenter: He was this towards his brothers for being favored by his parents. After their murder, he worries that he is not completely over this, and his desire for vengeance is actually a desire to get what his family never let him have.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Played with. When you first meet him, he is outraged by his family's murder, but is unable to do anything about it except ask you to kill the mercenaries responsible. After a Time Skip, he's calmed down considerably and is much more hesitant to take vengeance, due to the revelation that the murders were ordered by old friends of his and his own worries that he seeks justice for the wrong reasons.
    • Though it happens all over again when the Chantry is destroyed. He will leave the party if Hawke won't kill Anders and swears to bring an army to Kirkwall for the sole purpose of bringing him to 'justice.' This despite pacifistic Elthina likely being ashamed of someone being killed in her name.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: If Hawke refuses to kill Anders, Sebastian (knowing better than to attack Hawke) leaves the party and vows to later get revenge.
  • Ship Tease: If Sebastian isn't romanced and Bethany is alive, he really takes a liking to her.
  • Shut UP, Hannibal: In his Act II companion quest, if you don't do this to Allure, he will.
  • Sixth Ranger: Well, ninth ranger to be exact. He is the only companion to be recruited in Act II, rather than Act I, though he is featured beforehand.
  • Spare to the Throne: Resented the fact that he's actually the spare to the spare.
  • Token Good Teammate: Not as much as Bethany but he tries.
  • Token Religious Teammate
  • Undying Loyalty: To Elthina. Even if he decides to retake his throne, he decides to put it on hold until he's certain that Elthina lives through the coming conflict.
    • Subverted as he pledges his eternal gratitude to Hawke in Act I for helping him gain retribution for the Flint Company Mercenaries who murdered his parents, and for later aiding him in confronting Lady Harriman in Act II and finding his grandfather's bow. However, should you spare Anders at the end of Act III, he will not hesistate to turn on Hawke, leave the party, and vow to raise an army to burn Kirkwall to the ground.
  • The Unfavorite: His using his family's money for his personal pleasure made them send him to the Kirkwall Chantry. His parents also did not want him fathering any illegitimate children that could challenge his brothers' heirs.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He claims to be one but clearly lacks the ruthlessness required to fit the trope. His rivalry path involves turning him into a real one. He also becomes one if Hawke chooses not to kill Anders.
  • The White Prince: Aveline sometimes insinuates that he doesn't really understand how common people live and views his efforts to gain power and act for the greater good with suspicion, (though she's clearly citing Loghain), but how well he fits this trope is a matter of debate.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Averted/subverted, much in the same manner as Leliana. He's relatively idealistic in a cynical story, but doesn't usually come off as particularly naive or foolish, nor does the story go out of the way to break him (more than it does anyone else). Much of the rest of the party seems unsure of how to respond to this.
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Anders: How can you have so much faith? Does nothing bother you?

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  • You Killed My Family: Not only does he do this when confronting the mastermind behind his family's deaths, but he also pulls it when Anders blows up the Chantry, killing Sebastian's surrogate mother Elthina in the process. If you decide to let Anders live, Sebastian not only leaves the party, but makes it clear that he'll be coming for Anders... with an army!

Varric Tethras

That's all history is: the best tales. The ones that last. Might as well be mine.
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Opinions are like testicles - you kick them hard enough, doesn't matter how many you got.

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A dwarf with a fondness for storytelling. Voiced by Brian Bloom.


  • Abel To Bartrand's Cain
  • Anti-Hero: Type II; a little greedy but when it comes down to it, he's actually more moral than most of the residents of Kirkwall put together. Not that that's really too difficult...
  • The Archer: Well, The Crossbowman at least.
  • Automatic Crossbow: With sufficient upgrades, Bianca eventually becomes this.
  • Badass Longcoat: Well, it's long for a dwarf.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Demonstrates this towards Bethany, but especially towards Merrill.
  • BFC: Bianca, Varric's tricked-out, custom-made, and rather large crossbow. The devs specifically made Bianca level up with Varric so as to make players never want to part the two without breaking the game.
  • Cargo Ship: Invoked. His fondness for Bianca often rolls past mere praise into the realm of flirtation. He's not a romance option because he's already found the love of his life.
  • Carpet of Virility: Notable, as he's the first BioWare character since The Black Whirlwind with real chest hair. Type I, of course. Fenris lampshades this when he asks why Varric doesn't have a beard. He muses it "fell down onto his chest." Enhanced by a rare example of male Absolute Cleavage...
  • The Charmer: Word of God has said that no matter what danger he's in, the moment you let Varric begin to talk, he's won.
  • City Mouse: Varric isn't comfortable anywhere without streets and buildings.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Spare Gascard early in the game and he'll aid you in the search for your mother. Then it turns out that he's the necromancer's apprentice and is only interested in learning the rest of his secrets. Varric will promptly shoot him in the throat. "What? You were going to do that, right?"
  • Consummate Liar: His ability to spin up a good line of bullshit can help Hawke avoid a fight once in a while. He lampshades this in a party banter with Aveline, where he says he lies a lot.
  • Covert Pervert: While he does flirt shamelessly with Isabela and bemoan a lack of dwarven barmaids, Varric's otherwise more interested in being a Deadpan Snarker... until Aveline convinces him to do some recruitment posters for the city guard. He intentionally swaps the text with those for the local brothel's recruitment. This leads to a Crowning Moment of Funny when Avelina points out that while he filled the city guardhouse with whores, he filled the brothel with guardsmen.
    • Isabela shares her "friend-fiction" with him. He finds it hilarious.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • The Dutiful Son: Varric played this role when he was a kid, taking care of his alcoholic mother, as Bartrand was too busy building their business empire.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: During a conversation with Anders, this exchange;
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Varric: If you have something to say, just spit it out.
Anders: Are you sure you want to encourage me? I might be about to confess my undying love.
Varric: I get that a lot. So what's on your mind?

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    • If male-Hawke tells Merrill she's prettier than the Eluvian:
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Merrill: I'm sure you say that to Varric at least once a day.
Varric: Twice, usually. But can you blame him? Nobody can resist this face!

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  • Expy: Remind anyone else of Bartolomeo d'Alviano?
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: He's the progressive surfacer to Bartrand's traditionalist Dwarven ideals.
  • Friendly Sniper: He's the only member of the party on good terms with everybody else.
  • Genre Savvy: He is a storyteller, after all:
    • "I don't like this? That's right up there with 'What Could Possibly Go Wrong?'!"
    • He kills Gascard DuPuis before he gets a chance to join Quentin.
  • Guile Hero
  • Her Codename Was Mary Sue: During his companion quest, he briefly turns himself into a dwarven Tony Montana, rips through an army of mercenaries like it was nothing, and his brother spends the whole time talking about the awesomeness of Varric. Cassandra calls him out on this, and Varric tells the real story.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners/Platonic Life Partners: He's the only other party member that cannot be romanced, though he remains incredibly close to Hawke throughout their relationship.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: It is indicated in his inter-party banters that he does a lot of things in the background to help out other party members, like keeping thugs from causing trouble at Anders' clinic and that Merrill won't be have any trouble when she wanders into the wrong part of town (most nights). Apparently it costs him a fortune.
    • Gave Merrill a ball of twine when she first arrived in Kirkwall, so she could find her way back home again. When she offers to return it in Act III he tells her to keep it.
    • If she wasn't romanced, its revealed that during the years between Act II and Act III after Merrill stopped leaving the house while obsessively working on the Eluvian. Varric apparently visits her every week to try to coax her out and out of his own pocket pays for food to be delivered to her door because she's forgetting to eat.
  • I Call It "Vera": He has a crossbow named Bianca.
  • I Should Write a Book About This: In addition to his narration, this is a hobby of his. He frequently tells stories about Hawke and their adventures, though the stories are wildly exxagerated and very different from the truth.
  • Knowledge Broker: "It means coins flow when I talk and when I shut up."
  • The Lancer: Due to his role in the story, Varric is the only party member who cannot leave the party, and provides a counterpoint to both Paragon! and Renegade!Hawke. With Silly!Hawke, it seems like the two of them are snarkng best buds.
  • Mercy Kill: Hawke can convince him to do this to Bartrand. Varric tries to convince himself he'll enjoy it, but he clearly regrets what happened to his brother, even bringing it up to Fenris when the elf is about to kill his sister.
  • Momma's Boy: Despite having to single-handedly care for his alcoholic mother from a young age, he doesn't seem to resent her for it.
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Varric: I swear, I will find that son of a bitch - sorry, Mother - and kill him!

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  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Varric is a rare example of a surface-dwarf who sincerely believes that the Dwarves of Orzammar are morons for not realising just why living on the surface is actually completely fantastic.
  • The Nicknamer: Merrill is "Daisy." Bethany is "Sunshine," Anders is "Blondie," Carver is "Junior" and "little Hawke," Isabela is "Rivani," Sebastion is "Choir Boy," and Fenris is "Elf". He doesn't have one for Aveline, which bothers her - he says it's because he can't think of anything better than "Red," which they agree is too common.
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Aveline: You don't call anyone by the real name, except me. Where's my nickname?
Varric: Thats not true, there's Hawke and Bianca.
Aveline: Hawke is a family name. And Bianca is a crossbow.

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    • Hawke can also complain that Varric doesn't have a proper nickname for him/her, prompting Varric to bestow Hawke with a nickname that suits his/her personality - diplomatic!Hawke is Waffles, silly!Hawke is Chuckles, and aggressive!Hawke is Killer.
    • He also dubs Tallis "Shivs".
  • Noodle Incident: He refuses to tell anyone how Bianca got her name. Just that Mirabelle was taken. According to the descriptions of his personal abilities, he's written a song about it, but will only ever hum it quietly to help his concentration.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Bianca, the only working Automatic Crossbow in the setting, especially after its designer gets killed in Legacy... Then, during the course of Mark of the Assassin, this trope is Averted, with Duke Prosper making use of a repeating crossbow pistol. Basically, this trope only appears because Varric is an Unreliable Narrator.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: During "Haunted" in Act III, he becomes more and more agitated, finally yelling at Hawke and demanding to have the shard of the idol they found at the end of it. It certainly freaks Anders out a bit, who tells Hawke that the idol is affecting his mind. Varric does apologizes afterwords though, and he appears to have suffered no permanent ill-effects by the time Cassandra found him if Hawke allowed him to have the shard. Granted, it did take several years for Bartrand to go completely Axe Crazy...
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: While he's not the only beardless dwarf in Thedas, he's one of the few who actually prefers the surface. One could attribute this to his being born on the surface after House Tethras was exiled. His brother, Bartrand, on the other hand shows many traits common among the Dwarven nobles of Orzammar, such as irritability, arrogance, intolerance of other cultures and an over-inflated sense of ego.
  • Pet the Dog: In-universe. He freely admits to Cassandra that he's making up Hawke's conversation with the deceased Leandra in Legacy but still does so because he thinks that Hawke deserves to have something good happen in their life.
  • The Resenter: The Pride Demon in "Night Terrors" implies part of him is very bitter about his role sitting just outside the spotlight, and mostly how it portains to Bartrand.
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Varric: I did everything for the family. My whole life... and he's still the favorite son.

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  • Rich Idiot With No Day Job: He plays the part, largely in Act I, but in truth he's a Knowledge Broker/The Spymaster, and a very buisness-savvy one at that.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: He indulges in a Cliché Storm of Pre Mortem One Liners while single-handedly raiding his brother's hideout. Subverted.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Varric was born of the House Tethras, disgraced nobles exiled from Orzammar after his father was caught fixing Provings. Unlike Bartrand, Varric is more flexible and willing to compromise to achieve his ends, willing to get his hands dirty if needs be, and recognises Hawke as someone to be counted on get things done. He joins the Deep Roads Expedition to keep his brother from harm, is willing to follow Hawke into dangerous territory to rescue Sandal, and despite the implication being that he's probably more wealthy that Hawke, still chooses to live in the Hanged Man down in Lowtown.
  • Running Gag: The chest hair...
  • The Spymaster: He runs a spy network to help his friends and family.
  • The Storyteller: Of course he ends up the narrator.
  • Sweet Tooth: If Merrill is to be believed.
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Merrill: His mind draws [demons] the same way pastries draw Varric.

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  • Swiss Army Weapon: Bianca. It's She's an Automatic Crossbow, with a mounted grenade launcher that Varric uses when firing Miasmic Flask, and a hidden bayonet the size of an arming sword.
  • Team Mom: Like Aveline, party-member banter reveals things Varric is doing behind the scenes to try and keep members of the group out of trouble, such as bribing the Lowtown gangs to leave Merrill alone.
  • The Unfavorite: "Night Terrors" implies he sees himself as such, compared to Bartrand.
  • Unreliable Narrator: For portions of the story, he'll exaggerate certain events just to make the story interesting or if he's hiding something. Cassandra will ask questions occasionally and discern Varric's hyperbole and the truth.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Carver.
    • With Sebastian as well, especially in Mark Of The Assassin.
  • Warrior Poet: He actually writes poetry in his spare time.