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(Part 1)

*flops* Well, thank goodness that week’s over. I can play video games again!

As such, guess who has two thumbs and is now a Grey Warden!

“I hear some people have parental figures who don’t argue over the most politically expedient way to kill them.”

1. The Chantry can replace First Enchanters more or less at whim, according to Jowan. So it isn’t a safe position by any means, and the only way to retain it is to toe the Chantry line at least to some extent. I think it’s worth bearing that in mind when we discuss Irving, Orsino and (especially) Vivienne. None of them, especially not Orsino, is safe in their position.

Can the Chantry do the same thing to the Grand Enchanter? One would assume so, but then again Fiona was (I think) already GE in 9:31 when the first vote for independence was called.

2. I used to think Owain’s conversation with the Warden about why they wanted the rod of fire was there for comedy. I mean, look at it:

Warden: I need a rod of fire.

Owain: Rods of fire serve many purposes. Why do you wish to acquire this particular item?

Warden: What can the rods be used for?

Owain: Some mages require them for their research; others merely want to light fireplaces.

Warden: I anticipate having to light a fireplace.

Owain: I will set down that you require the rod to deal with a personal matter.

Every time I see it, though, and especially as we learn more about the Tranquil, I become less sure. I think Owain’s actively helping the Warden out here, and possibly even using his ‘robotic’ Tranquil status as a cover to some extent.

3. There is an actual, definable difference between a Harrowed mage and an unHarrowed one, at least in terms of their magic:

Warden: Since you have the password, can’t Jowan help you enter?

Lily: The ward only responds to the [magical] touch of one who has been through the Harrowing.

This is fascinating, in light of that thing Irving says later on about how Connor will be ‘forever changed’, and the way the Seekers get their powers. I don’t think what happens during the Harrowing is the same as being possessed and then unpossessed again - not least because being unpossessed is probably what leads to Blight immunity and a mage Warden is definitely capable of contracting the Taint - but there might be something similar going on there? Maybe?

4. Antimagic wards exist. There is a simple, effective way to stop mages from doing magic in a specific area that doesn’t involve, you know, lobotomising them, locking them up, or throwing them to demons. So. That’s fun.

5. Most of Eleni Zenovia’s really interesting lines are in Witch Hunt (’The prison is breached!’), but there are a few things:

  • Firstly, she describes herself as ‘the essence and spirit’ of Eleni Zenovia. She’s not much given to tautology, so I’m inclined to believe these are indeed two separate things. Why is this relevant? Because Mythal, and Kieran, and that whole thing in the Inquisition end credits scene where Flemeth sends one thing through an eluvian before Solas takes another. (Also, because one of those words is spirit. Can we take ‘essence’ to mean ‘soul’? More evidence needed.)
  • In the wake of Trespasser, I am suddenly very suspicious of the circumstances surrounding anyone being turned to stone by a powerful mage. Not that I think Valerius was Solas or anything - the question is more one of power. Is it possible to do it slower than Solas does? Is there an actual spell that’ll do this, or are creepy glowy eyes required?

6. The spell enhancer statue.

Looks a bit... wolfy, doesn’t it?

This is a bit tricky, because Origins only has one art asset for anything vaguely canid. So the statue doubles as both Fen’Harel and every mabari statue in Ferelden. You know, Ferelden, the land with all the dogs. Yeah.

That said, the statue probably predates the mabari breed even if it is Tevinter in origin, and we can take a wild guess and say that if it’d been actually Tevene in origin it’d be shaped like a dragon, so... yeah, I think that’s probably Fen’Harel. And the statue ain’t Tevinter, it’s elvhen.

7. Actually, speaking of Ferelden and dogs. Now that we know that Skyhold was once Solas’s castle, is anyone else finding this a bit suspicious? Ferelden was a land with a massive werewolf problem, and now it’s a land that adores dogs. And, well, Fen’Harel’s castle is right there. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that what is now Ferelden was once Solas’s stronghold.

8. While we’re on the subject of statues in the repository...

I need to do an actual comparison of those winged statues, because they turn up everywhere in Origins and I’m fairly sure we can at least narrow them down to specific Old Gods, if not also specific Creators. Right now, all I can tell you is that this is not the same statue as the one that Tamlen identifies as Falon’Din in the Dalish origin.

As for the one on the right, it’s fascinating to me for several reasons:

  • These statues, unlike the winged ones, don’t turn up all that often. The winged ones turn up everywhere from the blood mage hideout to the Architect’s bedroom to the Temple of Sacred Ashes, but the ones on the right... hardly ever.
  • It’s clearly elven - look at the ears - but it doesn’t have wings, and the ‘shadow’ behind it is the one with the weird hat. So we could be looking at a priest or a warrior, rather than an actual Evanuris? Which would explain why these ones turn up so rarely.
  • If the ears are actually a hat and we assume it’s Avvar, then why does it have that shadow backboard thing? Which looks, again, very like the winged’ statues’ weird hats...

9. Friendly reminder that, if you pick the right dialogue options (namely, ‘Greagoir is right. I should face the consequences’), you can literally get Greagoir to use the phrase ‘He/she knows his/her place’.

In conclusion: Too many statues, the Circle is a shithole, and what the hell even is the Harrowing, anyway.


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July 2016

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