I had heard rumblings that Hawke was going to be involved in DA:I, so I wasn't too surprised to hear Varric admit that he knew where she was all along, and that he was bringing her in. (The confrontation between Varric and Cassandra was appropriately epic.) I was surprised, though, to see her connection to the plot coming in through the disappearance of the Grey Wardens. And now, of course, I'm madly curious to see how my other Hawkes deal with this situation. It makes some sense that my Marian would have gotten involved in the mage rebellion and then ended up investigating what was going on with the Grey Wardens -- although it was a bit surprising to hear Stroud described as a "friend". My other Hawkes have a Grey Warden connection through their surviving sibling, but I can't see Marissa joining the mage rebellion (and certainly not dragging Fenris along). And my Garrett was a Chantry-loving templar supporter, so his interest in working with the Inquisition would be rather low. Especially an Inquisition that chose to work with the mages. At the moment I'm tempted to run his game with a Tal-Vashoth mage just to see how big the veins in his forehead get. But I had wanted to play Qunari next, and I'm more interested overall in seeing how Marissa's world plays out. So we'll see. Most importantly, I want to play a templar game the next time through, so I need to select my Herald/Inquisitor appropriately.
It was a bit of a surprise to hear Hawke describe Stroud as a friend, although I like that they chose to bring him back in. I guess, at least in her universe, there really isn't any other Warden whom the player already knows -- Bethany went to the Circle, Alistair is king, it's too complicated to bring back the Hero of Ferelden, and Anders isn't with the Wardens anymore. I do have to wonder whether Alistair or the surviving Hawke twin fills this role, if they're available. I continue to be pleased with how important the Grey Warden thread is to the overall story, and with how involved Hawke is with it. I look forward to seeing where it goes next.
We're also getting closer to Blackwall telling us whatever his true backstory is -- I brought him along to meet with Stroud, of course, Malika would never have done otherwise, and I almost jumped with glee when we found that letter in Skyhold. We seem to be settling nicely into a romance with him. (I suppose this makes three times in a row that I've gone for the Grey Warden as my romance the first time through the game. Whether this fact holds any deep meaning, I leave as an exercise for the reader.) Almost none of the flirt lines with any of the characters felt natural to Malika -- she's very practical, no-nonsense, and though she'll crack a joke it's not usually her first impulse. Most of the initial flirt lines were too forward with people she barely knew, especially given that she was feeling in so over her head at the beginning. So when Blackwall finally gave her one that felt in character, I jumped on it. It makes sense, and she doesn't mind that he seems to want to take it slowly. Who has time for a lot of romantic drama or lovey-dovey crap anyway?
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