Dragon Age 2 – Varric

It’s been a long week full of being at an organizational development conference, so today I’m going to talk about Dragon Age 2. Which is a video game.
Which I’m not even playing. I’m watching someone else play it.
(Yes, I recognize that this is some strange meta-level of video game enjoyment. )

The reason I have called you together today is to talk about Varric, the coolest fantasy dwarf that ever wrote a bodice ripper. This guy is like my new hero.  He’s proud of his writing, he cares about the people around him but still has boundaries, and he has a giant crossbow named Bianca. All the things I’ve ever really wanted from life! (… sort of.)

Varric and Bianca- Dragon Age 2

Do you guys have any characters from fiction that you really like or admire? (You’re allowed to pick and choose traits. For example, I really admire how confident and observant and thoughtful the Count of Monte Cristo is, but not his, shall we say, sense of moral direction.)

One thought on “Dragon Age 2 – Varric

  1. My admiration of fictional characters is pretty fickle. The only ones that spring eagerly to mind are the ones that were only just before my nose.

    In The Hallowed Hunt, I absolutely love this side character named Hallana, a physician, priestess, and sorceress. On the one hand she’s very practical, on the other, she readily allows herself to be guided by fate with an unshakable, matter-of-fact faith. She has no illusions about how dangerous this is and how reckless this makes her and does what she can to prepare her loved ones for the consequences. Best of all, though, is she always goes about it with unflagging cheer and humor.

    My favorite part featuring her is when she arrives in town having been spurred by a prophetic dream. Once in town she sets off in a random direction, trusting that eventually she’ll find her mark. Indeed, she comes across the boyfriend of the woman she’d been looking for — and they have a very important conversation that ends up giving him another piece to the puzzle he’d been trying to solve for the entire book. An excerpt of the end of their conversation:

    [Ingrey asked] “Would the gods use us to destruction?” [Hallanna] had not brought her children — for speed, for simplicity? Or for safety? Theirs. Not hers.
    “Perhaps.” Her voice was perfectly even, delivering this.
    “You do not reassure me, Learned.”
    Some might call her return smile enigmatic, but Ingrey thought it more sardonic. […] He added over his shoulder, “If you go at once to Lewko [another priest], you might find your husband still there. And possibly a red-haired islander whose tongue is lubricated by either vile liquor or holy kisses from the Lady of Spring, or both.”
    “Ah-ha!” said Hallanna, sitting up in sudden enthusiasm. “That is one part of my dream I should not object to finding prophetic. Is he as darling as he seemed?”

    (Yes, Hallanna. He very much is.)

    As far as Dragon Age II… gosh. Here we go.

    I have a great deal of affection for Aveline, but that’s largely because I’m a sucker for lawful good folks. Still, I appreciate how she gets to be really hard-nosed and convicted about most things but not at the cost of compassion for individuals. Like, she strongly believes in mages being kept on the Templars’ leash, but she also completely understands, accepts, and respects why Bethany chooses to avoid that leash. I also always relish how she falls so flat on her face when it comes to courting Donnic. It’s good to see her so vulnerable about something. It’s a pity we don’t ever get to see WHY she fancies Donnic.

    Merrill is another one who plucks my heartstrings. She gets to be blithe, naive, easily flustered, and socially awkward but also fearsome. She cares so much about her people’s legacy that she unflinchingly makes pacts with demons and utilizes blood magic, both of which are methods that are highly stigmatized pretty much everywhere, in pursuit of these goals. It’s tragic how it distances her from pretty much everyone — and how each new distance only makes her more committed to this doomed course. She HAS to risk her very soul (and subsequently the safety of those around her) in continued pursuit of ancient, volatile, and unknown magics or else she sacrificed everything and everyone she cares about in vain. (Not that she’s self-aware enough to realize this.)

    What were some of your favorite Varric scenes/moments? What about the Count of Monte Cristo?


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