How Leliana Predicted Dragon Age: Inquisition

(cross-posted on www.nowloading.co)

Mythal’enaste, Athena. More Leliana?

Yes. More Leliana. I swear I play more games than just Dragon Age…

I was playing through the beginning of Inquisition again (hence all the posts) and I had an interesting thought and would love to know your opinions about it. In Dragon Age: Origins, Leliana describes a so-called prophetic dream, where:

“In it, there was an impenetrable darkness. It was so dense, so real. And there was a noise, a terrible, ungodly noise. I stood on a peak, and watched as the darkness consumed everything. And when the storm had swallowed the last of the sun’s light… I fell. And the darkness drew me in.”

She also comments:

“In my dream I fell. Or… maybe I jumped…”

She is quite adamant that this dream was “different somehow” to other dreams. The Guardian at the Temple of Andraste accuses her of vanity and attempting to model herself like Andraste, to which Leliana vehemently denies that she is “did it” for the attention.

At the time, my pragmatic Warden had been fairly benign about her dream, telling her to believe what she wanted to believe. So what if she had made it up due to boredom in the Chantry? So what if she feared fading into nothingness after the exciting life of a bard? Her dream, or her fantasy, or her delusion, had moved her to help me (the Warden) and my cause, granted me a fantastic archer, and had earned me a good friend and, as was the case with my Dalish elf, a happy and sappy romance. Who cared what her dream meant, or if it meant anything at all?

And then I played Inquisition.

spoilers

Minor spoilers for beginning of Inquisition ahead. You’ve been warned!

spoilers

conclave-explode
When this happens on the menu screen, you know the game is not messing around!

Let’s go bit by bit:

“I stood on a peak.”

Haven and the Temple of Sacred Ashes is on top of a mountain, as experienced in Origins and as seen on Inquisition’s menu screen

“And there was a noise, a terrible, ungodly noise.”

The Temple of Sacred Ashes, filled with members of the Chantry, explodes in the very beginning of Inquisition.

“There was an impenetrable darkness.”

Leliana was Left Hand of the Divine and one of the two people very responsible for the Divine’s well-being. The Divine’s death during such a troubled time would certainly cast a shadow on the harsh sociopolitical events in Inquisition. Alternately, the darkness could represent the mire of said sociopolitical events coupled with the demons now raining down from the sky. Darkness, indeed.

“I watched as the darkness consumed everything.”

The sky is split open, demons pour out of it, and the upper echelons of the Chantry were destroyed. Demons and Fade rifts begin appearing all over Thedas, wrecking havoc as the Chantry barely survives the loss of their Divine.

“And when the storm had swallowed the last of the sun’s light, I fell, and the darkness drew me in.”

Leliana’s anger is apparent at the beginning of Inquisition. She is a much different character than the bard we knew in Origins who “tried to be merciful.” She’s lost a lot in the past decade, and done some things I think she regrets (not getting into the books too much here, though). Perhaps the last bit of sunlight is the Divine, her friend and trusted mentor, who was now taken from her. But most interesting to me is this line:

“I fell… or maybe I jumped.”

The Divine worried about those who would draw Leliana back into the shadows and darkness of her old life, and then proceeded to do so herself through the work given to her as the Left Hand of the Divine. Leliana went willingly, following the Divine and doing her bidding. So did she fall, not having control over her path, or did she jump into the darkness herself?

Thanks for bearing with me; I can’t promise to stay away from pure speculation-based topics, but I think it is so important in life to sometimes look past the face-value of something (like my Warden did) and entertain that there could be something greater to what we are experiencing, either in ourselves or in others.

This is especially true in a game like Inquisition where not everyone is who they appear to be. It seems fitting to revisit who Leliana is and at least entertain the fact that she could be both more and less than we give her credit for.

What do you think? Is this possible? Plausible? Or have I let my fondness for the Orlesian bard run amok in my head?

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

–Athena Tseta

PS I realize this is assuming either quite a bit of forethought or great attention to somewhat minor details on the developer’s part, but, like I said, in a world where so many aren’t who they seem to be, it at least seems plausible that Leliana’s nightmare held other meaning within it.


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10 thoughts on “How Leliana Predicted Dragon Age: Inquisition

  1. Eh, stories are what you make of them. Doesn’t much matter what the author intended if you’re able to get something more out of it and keep it internally consistent. If it makes sense to you, if it makes the story deeper to you, that’s good enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup, absolutely 🙂

      My friend and I debated Leliana’s dream when we both first played Origins, so I thought it would be fun to try and make it important in the grander scheme of things. Honestly, I’m not sure I actually believe any of this was intended, nor do I think Leliana’s dream was specific enough to really predict much of anything. It reads like a horoscope, so it’s easy to shoehorn it into something that, like you said, works for you.

      …or presents an interesting lore challenge 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I come bearing questions:
    1) What happened to the Guardian? I might have missed something in the Origins epilogue, or a bit of dialogue from Inquisition, but considering what went down I really want to know what happened to him and to Andraste’s earthly remains.

    2) Who else do we know to have divine visions in DA? Besides Andraste and her mother, I can only think of Havard, to whom Andraste appeared before when he found the ashes, and the Herald (maybe).

    3) And in relation to that last question: could it be that Leliana is a prophet of Andraste’s second coming*? I feel like Andraste is definitely going to pop up in the next game, and Leliana has been a key player in shaping how things are in Thedas right now. Not to mention that she is important enough that she can come back from the dead.

    *Or Andraste herself. After you mentioned that idea I keep coming back to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I come bearing answers/thoughts:
      1. As far as I know, the ashes are destroyed along with the temple. The PC and merry band of misfits walk through the temple’s remains, and I didn’t see that huge statue or anything. I think Leliana even comments that there is now nothing where Andraste’s ashes *once* stood. I imagine, with Andraste’s earthly remains gone, the Guardian didn’t have a job anymore and went to the fade.

      2. I’m not sure about divine visions or prophetic dreams, but Flemeth/Mythal knows a lot about things that haven’t happened yet. Regarding the Herald, that’s an interesting through about him having visions, since he can see into travelers’ hearts. But I’m not sure. I do know that I think he was Andraste’s husband, Maferath, because he comments that he was Andraste’s first guardian, but otherwise I’m not sure he’s remarkable in the “divine” sense.

      3. What an interesting idea! Even if she’s not a prophet as we know them, I think her involvement (especially if she is a “softened” Divine) definitely is paving the way for Andraste to return. Of course, I still wondering if Mythal is Andraste, so Andraste’s return might not be what we expect. sort of like learning about the Dalish gods… It would be quite a twist if Leliana was Andraste, wasn’t she? I don’t think the Warden would be too pleased, though… And really, can’t poor Leliana finally have some peace and a nice retirement?

      Like

      1. 1) That is true. I just assumed that with all that Lyrium contact he could have survived, of course, if the ashes are gone, then what is left for him to do?

        2) You’re too right about Flemeth having some kind of prescience. I kind of assumed it came with being so old that she can infer the most likely outcome and plan ahead (it seems to me that is what she does in DA2 with the necklace).

        I apologise for my poor reading comprehension, but I am a bit confused about about what you said regarding Maferath. Are you talking about the Herald being Maferath reincarnated or Havard(‘s shade) not being who he said he was?

        3) ” And really, can’t poor Leliana finally have some peace and a nice retirement?”

        It’s what I’ve been thinking. I mean, on the one hand, I am all for her remaining in the games for as long as they last. On the other hand, if someone needs an early retirement it’s her.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I mean, Flemeth could just be old and see patterns in how the world works, too, so who knows?

          And I wasn’t exactly clear about Maferath. I think the Guardian is Maferath’s spirit. He didn’t protect Andraste in life, so he was tasked with guarding her for the rest of eternity. The Maferath inside the hall with the ghosts has his face covered so we can’t see the similarities 🙂 (Yes, I have the wildest headcanons).

          I also agree with just wanting Leliana everywhere all the time because I love her, but… I also want her to be happy with her Warden!! (cough cough She and Renya deserve it 😉 )

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          1. I like that you speak of Flemeth in present form. It’s fairly obvious she’s one of my favourite characters and I refuse to accept she is gone. After all, she is in the habit of not staying dead for long. 😀

            Oooh, I love the idea of Maferath becoming a penitent. It seems like a common thread when it comes to those who wronged Andraste but repented. I am in!

            I am quite certain that s reunion of the remaining Origins party is not going to happen, so hope they do put in the next game a reunion between Leliana and the Warden (it’s been nearly ten years IRL, too).

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Of course! Even if Solas absorbed her or whatever, that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s dead. I don’t think it’s possible to really kill a god, is it? I have some wild ideas about that, too, but they are based on absolutely nothing and I’ve bored you with my insane headcanons enough haha. I’d be interested to see where she fits in as the story continues!

              I think at the end of Trespasser there is one of those cards that comes up and says that Leliana and the Hero of Ferelden either retire and live in Leliana’s old childhood home (so… HoF isn’t arl of Amaranthine anymore??), or if she’s Divine, people notice the HoF hanging around a lot, so I think it’s safe to say that at least *they’re* together…

              OMG ten years already? Wow

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              1. I mean, I am rounding up, but still! And I love reading other people’s hypothesis and interpretations, the more headcanons, the better. 🙂

                You’re right, the cards say that they reunite and live in Lady Cecilie’s house on the Walking Sea, but I was hoping for an on-screen reunion or something like this: http://against-stars.deviantart.com/art/home-again-642376757

                I don’t think we’ll get that, but hope springs eternal and all that.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Ugh you’re making me want to fix up my Inquisition drabbles and post them.

                  I love those panels, by the way, even though I’m not sure how the Warden would feel about Leliana being Divine. She’s my first pick of course because of her ideas, but… the Warden…

                  Yes, hope springs eternal!

                  Like

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