He Stands for All Of Us: Unexpected Hero, Part II

Hey guys,

So Loghain just crossed the first threshold and survived his Joining. What is he going to do next?? Continue on his hero’s journey, of course.

5. Belly of the Whale (the hero does not conquer the power of the threshold, instead being swallowed into the unknown)
This can be seen as him passing out after drinking the darkspawn blood, but I think this is representative of the actual Blight itself. He is now bound to the Blight, the darkspawn, and the archdemon(s). Wardens take on darkspawn taint and assume some of their traits. Although the taint doesn’t immediately kill Grey Wardens, they eventually succumb to the taint and die. This is not how someone conquers something.

Now is where it gets interesting.
Initiation Phase

6. Road of Trials (series of trials the hero must overcome, with aids from advice, amulets, or other supernatural helpers. Often, the hero might fail one or two trials before being successful)
Now, Loghain doesn’t face nearly as many physical trials as the Warden (the playable character) does, but he faces many personal trials. Through his (many) conversations with the Warden, it becomes clear that he suffers from extreme pride and guilt over his actions, although he never outright states this. But through these interactions he also finds a way to conquer these personal obstacles, eventually “signing on” to the cause and swearing to follow the Warden if he/she is able to “win this war.” Loghain’s trial is facing his own darkness in addition to the darkness of the Blight.

7. Meeting with the Goddes/Woman as Temptress (exactly what it sounds like)
This is one of the steps that isn’t really necessary for a hero to pass through, but I was having fun trying to come up with a “goddess” that Loghain meets. The closest thing I can think of is the “Dark Ritual” with Morrigan – Morrigan tempts the Wardens and then, for all intents and purposes, shows goddess-like power in being able to create an Old God Baby that is free of taint and… this is getting into a whole different kind of post.

8. Atonement with the Father (abandonment of ego, id, superego)
Again, not really necessary, but losing his regency of the country certainly knocked him down a few rungs, and joining the Wardens forced him to reexamine himself, so perhaps the Landsmeet, or the meeting of all the banns and arls of Ferelden, is an example of this. A bit of a stretch, I know, but it fits.

And then…


9. Apotheosis – The Climax!
Loghain participates in the Battle of Denerim and the fight against the archdemon.

10. The Ultimate Boon (reward for passing through the climax of the story)
This can go a few ways. Of course, if Loghain slays the archdemon, he finds atonement through his sacrifice. If he doesn’t slay the archdemon, he does regain some of his honor and respect from being a Grey Warden.

Unfortunately, though, there is no real “great boon” for any Grey Warden. Their journeys as heroes continue for their entire lives.

The next stage, the Return Home, doesn’t really occur for any Grey Warden, either, as they never return to the lives they once knew because they are forever (?) tainted.

But there you have it. Loghain, a reluctant but undeniable hero of the Fifth Blight. What do you think? Does he deserve commendation, or did I miss the mark? Are there any other unsung heroes in video games that you know? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon!

–Athena Tseta

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  1. I said I would comment my way up the backlog and here I am, days later. 😛

    First of all, nice Aveline reference! I mean, it could be a reference to a number of other things, but I hope it is about her overworked self (talk about unsung heroes).

    The Hero’s Journey is one of those things I will never tire of reading or hearing about, so when I started reading your blog from oldest to newest I was like THIS BLOG GETS ME

    In all honesty, I didn’t have a lot of sympathy for Loghain during my first play, or at least I did not until I read the books and heard what other people had to say. Then I got a better picture of the man.

    Still, I never considered his hero journey in Origins. An easy explanation is that he is one of the antagonists and I was less inclined to think about him in those terms, but there is also the fact that he already the Hero of River Dane, so it felt like he had been there and done that.

    Anyway, to answer your question, yes, I think he is an unsung hero. Even more so in-universe where he basically destroyed his legacy before becoming a warden.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, thanks for reading! The title is definitely a reference to Aveline, who I love. Gosh, I say that about a lot of characters, don’t I?

      I always have a soft spot for father-daughter relationships, and I remember my first playthrough I talked to Anora ad nauseum about Loghain, and… ugh I just couldn’t hate him. This was a fun little thought experiment about him being a hero, albeit a tragic one, during the Fifth Blight.

      He’s a great Warden, though. No regrets there 😉


      1. His relationship with Anora was one of the things that redeemed him a bit in my eyes, but I truly thought he was a bit mad with power until I found out how much the Orlesian occupation had taken from him.

        And yes, I like him so much more as a Warden. It kinda sucks you cannot keep him and Alistair in the party, because that would be very interesting considering their past. Apparently, earlier in the game development they had planned for both of them to be in the party (and Loghain could be recruited earlier). If you go to the PC toolset you can find some banter for them, dialogue for Loghain specific to certain quests AND a Fade nightmare for him.

        I wonder if originally he wasn’t meant to be so antagonistic but they couldn’t find another character to replace him? Even so, I am glad he was the secondary antagonist, I’d take a fleshed out character with shades of grey over a moustache-twirling villain any day of the week.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll always see him as a rotten traitor (there are certainly eviler people in Origins though), but you make some great points! I did recruit him during my first crack at the Landsmeet, but it cost me Alistair so I reloaded my last save, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s fair. If you read some of the papers from Ostegar and get to know him a bit after the Landsmeet, it’s a lot harder to hate him (in my opinion). But he definitely isn’t a saint, either. I think that’s one of the reasons the idea of him as a hero is so intriguing to me…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And be even more fair, I never got to know Loghain so I trust your judgement of him more than mine, haha. I really, really hate Arl Howe though…

        Liked by 1 person

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