Musings, analyses and obsessions on Thedas and its personalities, romances, relationships and problems. Please note that SPOILERS will abound for all 3 DRAGON AGE games. On the other hand, satisfy me at the Herald"s Rest and I"ll buy the initially round of maraas-lok!


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INQUISITOR: We conserve Ferelden, and they’re angry! We save Orlais, and they’re angry! We close the Breach twice, and my own hand desires to kill me! Could one thing in this fucking people simply continue to be fixed?September 8, 2019 marked the 4-year anniversary for the Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC “Trespasser,” which is arguably the many impactful and also tantalizing DLC of the entire game trilogy. Personally, I still can’t think it’s been four years… some component of me is still back there, honestly, listening to bard songs, weeping over the outcome for my Qun-loyal Bull, or still ruminating on that last conversation through my other digital boyfriend Solas, and enjoying the prospect of also even more heartbreak to come.From Origins through Inquisition, each chapter of Dragon Period has contained a DLC that served as a tantalizing yet crystal-clear connect to the following game. From Origins"“Awakenings,” to Dragon Age 2’s “Legacy” to Inquisition’s “Trespasser,” these DLC landmarks gave a subtle step forward while presenting the issues and also story facets that would be highly impactful in the following major release and also a dramatic step in the game story.I love every one of these DLCs, from “Awakenings” and also its bittersweet foreshadowings of darkness for some of its brightest characters (Anders) to the method “Legacy” pointed us straight into the bleakness and chaos of Corypheus in Inquisition.But my favorite DLC so far hregarding be “Trespasser,” which provides us via everything we loved and also hated about Solas in a solitary DLC, and also which instantly paints him as someone that is both irredeemable in his purposes and yet vigorously worth love and loyalty (for many kind of, at least) for the reasons behind his actions, and also for his quiet and also rather surpclimbing continued loyalty to (and compassion for) the Inquisitor and also the Inquisition.Following are some of the many surpclimbing and also emotional moments in “Trespasser” for me… from joy to anguish and everything in in between. Here goes!
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It"s genuinely shocking to go right into "Trespasser" and to realize that not only have actually two years gone by, however that our companions have gone on with their lives, regularly in emotional and substantial ways. The Inquisition has grvery own, perhaps disquietingly so. Varric leads Kirkwall. Whether with the Inquisitor or Dorian, Bull and his romance have advanced in intimacy and also commitment. Blackwall has actually discovered a newdiscovered tranquility and also objective. Sera has actually found love and a newuncovered acceptance, regret and also maturity. Dorian has pertained to terms through his complex family members and heritage. Vivienne has actually settled ago right into her scheming, while still retaining her cold affections right here and tright here.

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We really get the feeling that everyone has actually, well, lived, in the time of the two-year gap. It feels actual, and also messy, and facility, and also I love it. For me, the one slightly sad facet is that, unmuch less romanced, the Inquisitor still feels a bit lost... in stasis. Committed to a bigger goal that may no much longer exist anymore.
My favorite element of all of this is the way the game story is actually daring to imagine a facility answer to the question: "Is the Inquisition finished? And if not... need to it be?"
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2. Oh, Teagan!Feel complimentary to fight me on this, however probably tbelow is no outcome as unsupposed or cruel for those of us who’ve been via Dragon Era given that Origins as the revelation that Arl Teagan has actually gone, in ten brief years, from a sexy, elegant and supportive stealth hottie, to a bitter, twisted male prematudepend aged and also prlinked by his circumstance.
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As a large fan of Teagan in Origins (and who invested means as well much time in that last Archdemon battle spamming heals and also frantically making certain he was okay), I uncovered myself mentally shrieking at him constantly in “Trespasser,” unable to process his loss of hotness (or empathy). Ultimately, I just finished up whispering “Who hurt you?” in answer to all of his bitter, nasty, political diapeople (also if he did, occasionally, have actually some genuinely excellent points about what, exactly, the Inquisition was still doing existing, for instance).Also, that hat. That hat. Why, Teagan, why? (This is where I shake my fist at the heavens, as cinematically as possible…)Honestly, I blame Isolde.
Thanks to some gorgeous conceptual design and also rendering, "Trespasser" provides us, at lengthy last, an achingly beautiful rendering of what it can have looked prefer to walk way back in the glory days of Arlathan and the elven world. The damages our Inquisitor navigates are stunning and regal, and also are lived in in bittersweet moments by flashbacks, books, spiritual memories, and also are all the even more painful because they sell a taste of something delicious we can"t rather have actually for ourselves. We carry out not gain to gain Arlathan. We simply acquire these tiny glimpses. It harms, and it"s also wonderful.
Sure, we"ve heard stories from Sten, and (frequently greatly propagandized) from Bull. And we certainly observed the devastation on the small city-wide scale in Dragon Era 2"s Kirkwall.
But currently, for the first time, "Trespasser" offers us a more expansive and terrifying genuine glimpse of the Qunari and also its purposes. We ultimately start to understand that the Qun does not bend; it never bends. It pushes and also pushes and also either wins or it breaks.For this reason, for me, there"s constantly something extra-awful and sort of horribly lovely about our progress with the Darvaarad. Finally, as through the elven Fade, so many kind of secrets unlocked and also accessible! And yet, still so alien. As much away as ever.
5. The Missing OnesIt’s one thing to lose personalities in Inquisition, relying on your options. But if you played a cooler, crueler or more insular Inquisitor, “Trespasser” deserve to feel choose a gorganize tvery own, an abandoned palace of emptiness.
Depfinishing on those decisions in both recruitment and in approvals, we might uncover no sweetly befuddling Cole exterior the tavern, no teasing Dorian or Bull banter, no spa day with Vivienne, no surpincreasing maturity and sweetness from Sera, and also no heat and also kindly update through Blackwall.And if we determined to save the Qunari dreadnought in Bull’s loyalty quest in Dragon Age: Inquisition, sacrificing the Chargers to maintain an alliance with the Qun, then “Trespasser” is not just pretty grim, it’s downbest depushing. With no Chargers, tbelow is no lighthearted birthday celebration for Bull, no sweet Krem existence in the tavern, quietly protecting Bull’s blind spot, or (possibly, depending upon your choices) romancing bard Maryden.There’s just nopoint. Nothing yet Bull sitting alone at the bar, waiting for the moment once he sells his soul for good and all and his suffering ends. In the meantime, he does what he’s finest at, and waits, drinks, and also lies.
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6. "Wait, We Get to Save a Dragon?!"
The revelation of the job entitled "Dragon"s Breath" is both tragic and yet rewarding. We realize just just how much the Qunari are willing to go, and it"s doubly upsetting if we flash ago to that conversation via Bull from Inquisition about the kinship the Qunari feel to dragons. It"s one thing for them to fight a dragon totally free and clear and also honorably; it"s grotesque for them to harness and also undermine one for their own aims.
As someone who always privately hated killing the dragons (yeah, I"m one of those) in Inquisition, it"s therefore doubly satisfying to have the ability to lastly save one in "Trespasser." And that cutscene of the dragon smushing a fleeing Qunari warrior? Is glorious.
7. Everybody Loses Their Shit (Including the Inquisitor)
One of the greatest surprises for me in "Trespasser" was also one of my favorite emotional moments in the DLC. It occurs reasonably late in the questline, when we’re nearing the finish of the story, and in a wonderful and also incredibly humale minute, eexceptionally single perboy in the room loses their temper. Including the Inquisitor. It’s a minute that shocked me as soon as I first played it, because it’s the rare occasion in which our heroic, bright-eyed Inky goes full-on ballistic and also has had actually sufficient with every little thing and everyone. But prior to she does? So does JOSIE.
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It’s excellent drama, and also it’s emotionally affecting bereason we haven’t viewed the Inquisitor this way. Up til currently, they’re arguably never before out of control also in the time of the the majority of emotional moments of Inquisition. So the moment when our long-enduring Inquisitor, facing a scary and paintotally disintegrating Mark, lastly realizes their own mortality and ssuggest loses their composure to their inner council of Josie, Leliana and Cullen is pretty surpincreasing and also powerful, and – ideal of all – it happens ideal after Josie absolutely loses it first (“Do you know what this has cost us with Orlais and also Ferelden? They are planning to dismantle us as we speak! And possibly they are right…”)After Josie’s outburst, the Inquisitor’s Mark flares aacquire, and also they gasp, then actually scream in pain. Here, we can choose for them to react in confusion, in fear, in bravaexecute, or (my favorite) with outright frustration:INQUISITOR: Shit! Damn it! We conserve Ferelden, and they’re angry! We save Orlais, and also they’re angry! We close the Breach twice, and also my very own hand wants to kill me! Could one point in this fucking world just remain fixed? (They sigh, panting.) I should get to the Darvaarad. You deserve to all fight amongst yourselves once I’m… as soon as I’m back.It’s the first time the Inquisitor really loses it in the entire arc of their sufferings despite the Mark, and the minute is really beautifully played, no issue which Inquisitor voice you chose to convey it – Alix Wilton Regan, Sumalee Montano, Jon Curry, or Harry Hadden-Paton.I especially love the last moments, as soon as the anger fades, and they attempt to skip past the certainty that they won’t make it through.
And from then on, there"s this slight vulnerability to the Inky, taken ideal along down to that last run for the Darvaarad, when, when aget, they admit to their companions (either in seriousness or as dark humor) that they"re most likely not coming earlier from this.

8. “Nothing Personal, bas.”"Nothing individual, bas." Three words that will certainly always resonate within the large emptiness of my Dragon Period spirit on its darkest night. (Well, those, and "Ar lath ma, vhenan...")
I always argue through those that characterize this as The Iron Bull’s “betrayal,” bereason to me that’s ssuggest not precise. While it’s damaging, Bull is betraying nobody below. In his loyalty search (“The Demands of the Qun”), he asked us what to carry out, and also unfortunately, in this particular Qun-loyal scenario, we answered “Bull, you need to remain true to the Qun. No issue what the cost to you.”
Bull"s answer: "Okay, bas" (Freddie Prinze, Jr. is a genius, bereason, with Qun-loyal Bull, that affectionate "Boss" nickname is gone forever before... if we listen closely enough).So that"s brutal. Because Bull heard us, took orders choose an excellent soldier, did precisely what we asked, appropriate down to watching the slaughter of his whole found family (including beloved Krem), and also then he predictably retreated back right into the shell of himself for the sake of his own tattered sanity. My individual belief is that Bull himself died (or the ideal of him did) in that lonely last, terrible reactivity punch after the loss of the Chargers ago at Skyhold.After that grief-stricken punch, my take is that our frifinish and companion Bull is gone, gone, gone—a shell going through the movements and also pithed by our (and the Qun’s) demands. It’s even worse if we check out between the lines when “Trespasser” takes location, after this scenario, bereason the implication is that Bull has invested the intervening years ago in the bosom of the Qun and (it’s heavily implied) under better brainwashing or “reeducation and learning.” Bull has, of course, potentially continued to romance the Inquisitor (or Dorian) for the sake of his calling, yet coldly, without warmth. Until he is freed, quite ironically, by the Viddasala’s command, once he deserve to at last take activity versus the Inquisitor who cheerfully ordered the killing of his family members, revealing that to him they are not also worth the title of being dubbed a basalit’an (a non-Qunari deserving of respect). Instead, the Inquisitor is just bas. A point. And he can currently, at last, unleash his grief from the depths and also die fighting and feeling… something.And, worst of all, still adhering to orders. All the means to the fatality.

9. Solas"s Confession...Sudepend there’s rarely been an RPG game conversation as cursed, complicated, beloved, or debated as Solas’s last astonishing, bittersweet confessional in “Trespasser,” especially with a romanced (and dumped) Inquisitor.
I"ll be going through this in even more depth later as I complete analyzing Solas"s whole arc (and romance), however for me, let"s simply say that his appearance in "Trespasser" is what good drama is made of, and entirely worth the wait.
It"s a genuinely cinematic moment, and also the BioWare artists and directors connected really deserve so many kudos below. The Inquisitor enters the ruined courtyard via the shimmering eluvian, perplexed and visibly shocked to uncover herself (if a romanced Lavellan) navigating a wilderness of grey motionless statues, Qunari warriors frozen in mid-assault.Trevor Morris"s gorgeous music soars.As she renders her means through, we hear that voice we haven"t heard given that the steps over Skyhost, as Solas lastly speaks—and also the truth that it"s been so long considering that we"ve heard it just adds to the impact of Gareth David-Lloyd"s silken Welsh voice right here. He speaks with slow-moving regret and equal contempt (and that would certainly have actually intended Solas"s first words to be in Qunlat?). Just 2 short, disastrous sentences: "Ebasit kata. Itwa-ost." ("It is finished. You all have actually fallen.")
The Viddasala ignores his warning and also assaults from behind, and also in a casual blue flash of his eyes (not even bothering to look back), Solas petrifies her, freezing her in place and also including an additional warrior to the silent woodland.
And then he pauses, rather slyly. He does not turn approximately, and also many thanks to some superb character rendering and motion... it"s so real for me. The bit details. Like, I always gain the palpable feeling that he"s using the drama, enjoying the moment and also even savoring it. Then, with that surprise feeling of wit and humor I"ve constantly appreciated around the character, Solasglances aside, still largely concealed from us, and also says, simply: "I suspect you have inquiries."
And hotdamn, he is totally working the primitive elven armor here. Eexceptionally time this scene plays, several thousand also loyal Solasmancers unexpectedly fan themselves then faint. So does Dorian.
Oh, boy. Wbelow carry out we also start? And why is this segment just 5 to ten minutes long (or 15 if you linger over all the options)? I would have happily gone with, choose, an hour of just lastly talking to Solas.Or, that am I kidding? At leastern 2 hrs. I would"ve bought an entire fourth Inquisition DLC that was just us talking to Solas in his Hot Ancient Elven Armor for hours. (By the method, "Hot Old Elven Armor" would certainly additionally have actually been my wanted DLC title, although "Those Solas Thighs" would also have been a decent runner-up.)
Either way, we gain the scene we"ve been waiting for, and after all this time, they talk. And Solas is lastly hocolony. He reveals his ultimate plans, talks openly about his deceptions, and admits some of the darkest facets of his motives. What provides this excruciating is that, of course, Solas additionally unveils his genuine self, past, sufferings, heroics, and more, appropriate alongside his open up commitments to actions that are both horrifying, short-sighted and grotesque.
Thanks to the treatment and also breakable attention to information by the Dragon Era writers in "Trespasser," and a lot of notably by Solas writer Patrick Weekes, this moment is both satisfying and also the extremely definition of complex.
Solas is, by several accounts in past actions, a hero, a freer of slaves and rebel against tyranny. However, his actions considering that his awakening (which, granted, were I think extremely affected by trauma) have definitely not been as clear or supportable, the majority of particularly in his deliberate conveyance of his Orb to Corypants), resulting in the Conclave explosion, and all of the devaterminal of the Breach and also rifts throughout Thedas that sparked the events start Dragon Age: Inquisition.To his crmodify, Solas was, and is, openly horrified by that outcome, and his occupational through the Inquisition was, I believe, his attempt to atone.
But… his future plans are all the more frustrating and upsetting provided the gentleness and romance of the scene with his romanced Inquisitor. And yet… Solas, who as soon as disdained being called a god, that deserve to now revolve armies to rock with an eyebattach, that claims he is set on the course of death and also cannot be relocated from it... has actually neverthemuch less moved heaven and also earth to both conserve Thedas from this latest Qunari hazard, to protect the Inquisition and also his former companions... and also to save the life of the Inquisitor.
How execute you react to someone who"s conserved the civilization 3 damn times right in the minute they"ve just confessed how they plan to singlehandedly finish it?So it’s an exciting conundrum, to say the leastern. Do we love Solas, or hate him? Thousands of fans eloquently protect alternatives on either side. Do we pick to redeem him, or kill him, in the chapter ahead? It"s not a given—one answer does not necessarily track via one more right here, as plenty of those I understand who love Solas have, for instance, pledged to kill him if and when Dragon Era 4 mirrors up.
The genius of Dragon Period is that Solas knows that he is a paradox, and also he expresses that knowledge, handing your protagonist a additionally weapon against him going forward.I think that"s my favorite element of this conversation. It goes versus so many kind of tropes in its very own odd way; it"s not a villain gloating, however a previous hero mourning what he feels he will certainly need to carry out. Instead, it"s Solas going, "So, hey, schmoops, I haven"t been totally honest via you, and also there are points you must recognize in the future so that you have the right to fight me and have actually also the faintest chance of winning."
Solas might be the unexpected Big Bad of Inquisition and “Trespasser,” but he is likewise, so far, in this minute, the lonely and antiheroic Big Good. He have the right to still go either means. All we have the right to carry out now is wait and also wonder. And hope it isn’t four even more years till we uncover out.
Thank all the gods of Thedas for the never-ending prickly, adorable and also facility connection between the Seeker and Thedas"s favorite writer.
Otherwise, those of us still weeping over Solas"s last moments and also that mournful epilogue would not have actually obtained the relief of Cassandra"s influenced and inevitably delighted reading of Varric"s tales about his years through the Inquisition, ideal down to fabulous impressions of all the characters (wonderfully and hilariously presented by Cassandra actress Miranda Raison) in the moment.
It"s the perfect antidote to the near-operatic drama we"ve just withstood in "Trespasser," and also the perfect affectionate near-farewell to the companions we"ve all spent so much time with... a final reminder of what we loved about them... and what they loved about each various other.

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Perfectly embodied by Cassandra"s overjoyed: "I"m in the book! I"m in the book!" and also... "I am going to check out the shit out of this."
As always (disgusted noises and all), once aacquire, Cassandra is... all of us.
atOctober 05, 2019
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