It is possible that I’m now employing the ‘You’re not allowed to play Alim’s save again until you write his diary entry’ method of self-motivation, here. So yeah, my save is an entire play session ahead of the diary now. Go me!
Which means, among other things, the introduction of the healthiest, most functional mother/daughter relationship in all of Thedas.
Yeah, anyway, Flemeth. I do have some notes on Ostagar too, but let’s start with Flemeth. Because, well, it’s Flemeth.
1. Now that we know a bit more about what’s going on with Flemeth, some of her lines are starting to make more sense... and others of them are becoming even more cryptic.
Jory: Quiet, Daveth! If she’s really a witch, do you want to make her mad?
Flemeth: There’s a smart lad. Sadly irrelevant to the larger scheme of things, but it is not I who decides. Believe what you will.
I had previously categorised this one in ‘leaning on the fourth wall’ and ‘maybe vague allusions to the Maker’, but post-Inquisition...
...there’s a few things to be said here, but what really jumps out at me about it is a similarity to Solas and Flemythal’s post-Inquisition scene. Namely, they both contain vague references to higher powers than the Evanuris:
Solas: The failure was mine. I should pay the price. But the People, they need me. I am so sorry.
You know what’s still fascinating me? This whole ‘pay the price’ thing didn’t come up once in Trespasser that I could see - and believe me, I was looking for it.
From context, we can deduce that the price involved is death, but it is still very unclear which particular failure Solas is talking about. There are several thousand possibilities, here, and some of them don’t even imply higher powers, but then we also have this if the Inquisitor doesn’t drink from the Well (haven’t seen the alternate version yet):
Flemythal: Alas, so long as the music plays, we dance.
There’s a whole essay here on ‘The Music’ and its relation to the Calling, darkspawn, and even some of Cole’s banters. For now, let’s just settle with: there’s some kind of magic music, it’s the universe’s greatest earworm, and not even being a literal elvhen god will stop it.
...oh shit no hold on let’s not because I just had a thought
Cole [on Solas]: He hurts, an old pain from before, when everything sang the same.
Cole [to Varric]: Do you write to reach across? To hear the song that was sundered?
There was a song, and it used to be everywhere, and many of Cole’s other lines imply that it’s something to do with the Fade (and I am not getting into the Calling here), but the song was sundered. By the Veil?
The Chantry believes that the ideal situation for the world is one in which the Chant of Light can be heard everywhere in the world. What if Andraste didn’t say ‘the Chant’, though? What if she said ‘the song’?
Food for thought.
Flemeth: So much of you is uncertain... and yet I believe. Do I? Why, it seems I do!
Another line that’s gone from ‘leaning on the fourth wall’ to ‘fuck Bioware’s foreshadowing’, in which Flemeth takes time out of her cryptic old lady schedule to chat to Mythal. Probably.
Flemeth: I have protected [the treaties]. [...] Take them to your Grey Wardens and tell them this Blight’s threat is greater than they realise!
Warden: What do you mean the threat is greater than they realise?
Flemeth: Either the threat is more or they realise less. Or perhaps the threat is nothing! Or perhaps they realise nothing! *laughs*
In the wake of the Trespasser reveals about Titans and the Blight, I’d say they realise nothing, wouldn’t you?
(Sidenote: It was Mythal who killed/subdued the Titans... could the Blight be her fuckup? ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE)
Number two is under the cut! I made it to number two!
2. Morrigan and Morrighan’nan
I think most of the fandom has noticed this bit, from the Saga of Tyrdda Bright-Axe:
One day child of Tyrdda's blood, Morrighan'nan, in
strength must shine.
Lover's whispers to obey,
Hendir, dwarf-prince, friend in passion,
Babe produced to serve the line,
The Avvar tribe, her name, our taking.
But I haven’t seen anybody pointing out that the name also appears in the Ostagar Ash Warrior’s story about Luthias Dwarfson:
During a feast between the tribal leaders of the Alamarri and the Avvar,
the beautiful and powerful Avvar chieftain, Morrighan'nan, became
enamored with Luthias and seduced him. [...] When Luthias rebuffed
Morrighan'nan's offer of marriage, she left in great anger, and from
that moment on, there was war between the two tribes.
For 15 years, the Alamarri and Avvar fought. During the Battle of Red
Falls, a powerful young warrior from Morrighan'nan's tribe challenged
Luthias to a battle. Luthias was injured grievously, but slew the boy.
Morrighan'nan revealed that the boy was Luthias's son, conceived 15
years ago during their tryst. She cursed Luthias as the murderer of his
own kin, and the Battle of Red Falls turned against Luthias.
Morrighan'nan defeated Luthias in battle after battle, until the Alamarri were driven to the foothills of the Frostback Mountains.
There, Luthias made a last stand. In the night before Luthias's final
battle, Scaea came to him and offered him a dwarven suit of chain in
exchange for a night together. Luthias agreed and wore the armor the
following morning in battle. The battle was fierce and bloody, and
Luthias met Morrighan'nan in personal combat. In the end, Luthias slew
the warrior woman, but not before receiving a mortal wound to his heart,
the chain inexplicably unable to block her final blow. Luthias died...
Considering they both involve a half-dwarf and an Avvar woman named Morrighan’nan, they’re probably the Avvar and Alamarri versions of the same story. The codex entry for the Alamarri version says it’s circa -350 Ancient, which would seem to stymie the likelihood of the saga referring to our Morrigan.
Stymie, but not outright dismiss. Her mother’s Mythal. I ain’t taking chances here.
(at some point I should go through and do a comparison of these two and the Flemeth story, shouldn’t I? Hmm.)
3. Speaking of the Avvar/Alamarri alliance(s) with the dwarves...
We hear a bit about it in Awakening, too: here, and reference is made somewhere (ETA: here, thanks @meridok!) to the fact that the dwarves trading with the Avvar would have been in violation of their alliance with Tevinter.
This is one of two times we’ve heard of Ancient-era dwarves violating that alliance, the other being the dwarves who took refugees from Arlathan into Cadash Thaig. Now it could just be a couple of isolated incidents... or it could be that the Tevinter/dwarven alliance isn’t as friendly or as even-handed as we’ve been led to believe until now. I guess we’ll find out in DA4.
4. Wynne is wrong about everything.
Honestly, literally everything.
I love her, but it’s embarrassing listening to her try to explain the Blight at this point.
We’ve come a long way.
5. In conclusion, screw Bioware.
‘Hahaha, we’ll just put a sly little reference into the start of Origins and then not reference it again until the end of Inquisition! Aren’t we clever? Aren’t we such clever writers?’ Yes, yes you are. You all are. Fuck you all I love this series. I love you fuuuuck yoooou.