[SPOILERS] What Pride Has Wrought – Dragon Age Inquisition Foreshadowing

Just finish the game? Wondering what the hell just happened? On a second play through, many interesting things become apparent about the plot. Here is a collection of foreshadowed events that you can later piece together, after a freaking 15 second cutscene blows your goddamn mind. Basically, there’s a lot more going on in the plot than anyone could realize just playing through it once.

  • Of course, the most blatant is the fact that Solas’ personal quest “All New, Faded for Her” is an anagram of “Fen’Harel, Dread Wolf,” which denotes the fact that he is the dread wolf. The Dread Wolf is not a new character; he’s been referenced since as far back as Dragon Age: Origins. But there’s more. So much more…
  • Solasan is the temple that all of the shards you collect lead to. Solasan is the Temple of Pride; Solas’ name means pride. Does the connection between Solas and the temple run deeper? It’s probably cut content, since the actual temple does almost nothing at all (the rewards you get from getting all the way through are minimal at best). But there’s definitely something immensely important under it all.
  • Solas’ other personal quest is Measuring the Veil, which involves activating ancient elven artifacts to bolster the strength of the veil between the fade and reality. Solas never explains how he knows about them, he just says he believes it may work.
  • A banter conversation reveals that Solas was hot-headed in his youth–pride was likely his downfall. This is essentially his running theme; he locked away the other gods to free his people and then realized that, oh, in retrospect, it was kinda a bad idea.
  • “What Pride Has Wrought”; the main mission literally means What Solas Has Wrought. Because he did.
  • Solas hates the Dalish–if you’re a Dalish elf, you’ll get into an argument with him about it practically no matter what conversation choices you select. But after Wicked Hearts, you can apologize to him for not siding with the elves and he remarks that he doesn’t consider himself an elf. Well, if he doesn’t consider himself Dalish or a city elf… what does he consider himself? The answer is, of course, an ancient elf. And a god. That, too.
  • Solas seems to know way too much about the orb, but most players write it off the first time because of Exposition. He almost entirely reveals his hand to your Inquisitor, but since the Inquisitor is at such a disadvantage, it’s not even questioned (see the conversation just after Haven is lost; how do you know any of that, Solas?)
  • Solas remarks that the orbs were foci used to connect to the power of their ancient gods. The orb Corypheus holds isn’t just an orb, but instead the orb of Fen’harel specifically; it was used by people in the past to connect to Fen’harel in the fade.
  • Before the end, Morrigan runs into Flemeth and Flemeth remarks that “soul transfer,” which has been a theme since DA:O, cannot happen unwillingly. This was obviously put in to make sure that players understand that in the end cutscene, Flemeth is willingly giving her spirit to Fen’harel. But the question is why.
  • In the Emerald Graves, Solas remarks that the forest “has changed a lot” since he was last there. Probably, since that was likely thousands of years ago.
  • Another party banter, Iron Bull says that there’s something odd about Solas’ fighting style. Solas’ fighting style is self-trained and unlike anything Iron Bull has seen, but Iron Bull states that most self-trained fighters have part of their skill that “clunks,” and that Solas’ magic doesn’t “clunk.” Solas deflects by saying that it probably does, Iron Bull just doesn’t notice.
  • Vivienne, too, will notice something very strange about Solas’ magic. After all, he’s an accomplished rift mage… and rifts just started happening.Indeed, Vivienne seems to be the only one actively suspicious about Solas.
  • Solas wears the jaw of a wolf around his neck. This one is just cringingly obvious. He also doesn’t wear shoes. Because you know, he’s a wolf.
  • And that’s bad, but not as bad as it could have been–in screenshots on the official Bioware site, he’s shown wearing a wolf pelt. Sigh.
  • Following Wicked Hearts, Solas mentions he misses court life. You can ask him what he knows of it. It’s literally the only time inquiring about something will get you a “Solas mildly disapproves” note–because he’s been caught. He stumbles a bit following this and then makes yet another fade excuse. Throughout the entire plotline, Solas seems to know a lot more about court life than his life as a hedge mage would indicate.
  • This, along with many other references along the way, is a sign that the elven gods may not have been gods so much as nobility. Remember that elves co-existed with magic in the DA universe, so they were all magical (they were immortal, which was a by-product of their magic).
  • As the story line progresses, Solas will draw the entire plot on the walls of his room. There are a lot of freaking wolves in his rendition. A lot. He never finishes it; the jerk.
  • If you bring Solas into the Fade, the Fear Demon speaks to him. Even if you’re Dalish, you cannot understand what he says. This is because the Fear Demon is speaking ancient, dead elvhen, which you, of course, wouldn’t speak.
  • Upon high approval (romance or not), Solas will question the inquisitor about his or her motives and wisdom. At this time, Solas will stumble–he’ll mention that he has not seen wisdom like this since… and then he catches himself; he’s describing a time that no longer exists and his personal experience with it.
  • When in the Temple of Mythal, Solas will also translate the ancient elvhen. He falters, but only when Morrigan can pick it up–likely trying to obscure the fact that he does know what it says.
  • Why does Solas know about Skyhold? It’s an ancient elven structure in the middle of a goddamn mountain. In addition to the fact that he’s really frakking old, there are some theories, the most interesting of which that Fen’harel is the one who destroyed the bottom of it–the prison. It may have been where he awakened. Your Inquisitor will remark upon the damage done to the prison area, but it’s never answered as to what happened.
  • Some people have remarked that Solas’ treatment of Cole seems hypocritical. Solas is not a spirit, nor was he likely ever one. The lore indicates that the ancient elvhen gods were actually very powerful mages.
  • If you mark the statue of Fen’harel in The Exalted Plains, Solas mildly approves. (Jerk.)
  • Solas gets oddly defensive about dragons. Cassandra wonders if, perhaps, all arch demons are really just being controlled, like Corypheus’. Solas is very quick to correct her. In DA:I, dragons are everywhere–much more plentiful than in DA:O and DA:2. Dragons may be connected somehow to everything else going on.
  • Solas and Morrigan will have an entire conversation about Fen’harel if you bring him into the Temple of Mythal; which you should, because why not bring the ancient elf god to the temple of ancient elf gods?
  • Solas hates the Qun. To the point where his arguments with Bull get exhausting and repetitive (though they end up as friends). When you listen to his stories, you realize it makes sense. Solas isn’t experiencing the Qun from the vantage point of someone who knows about it, he has been watching its adherents through the Fade. He’s a spirit of rebellion. When he talks of the Qunari baker who folds sugar into her bread as an ‘act of rebellion,’ he’s talking almost of a disciple. As a god of rebellion, it’s his prerogative to act against the Qun.
  • In the Fade, you can see every companion’s fear. Solas’ is “Dying Alone.” It would have to be: he’s locked away all of his kind. He is probably an immortal creature.
  • If you ask Solas to drink from the Well, he immediately snaps “No. Do not ask again.” It’s uncharacteristically brief of him, but it makes sense later on; he certainly doesn’t want to give his allegiance to another god.
  • If you romance Solas, he breaks up with you. Later, Cole asks why he did so. Cole searches Solas’ mind and states that Solas has lived so long he feels as though he’s still dreaming; if he is with the Inquisitor, he starts to believe things are real. Solas was slumbering and then awakened. It’s not that he thinks he’s dreaming, but he thinks that the world he woke up into needs to be fixed; that the past has to be restored. If he accepts that this is just how things are, he’ll be distracted and unable to complete his journey.
  • At the end of the game, Leliana discovers the town Solas said he was from is reduced to ruin; no one has lived there for hundreds of years. This is interesting because the town exists at all. It indicates that the story Solas told, about being a young man entranced with the fade, may have very well been the truth. He may have become a god from that upbringing.

In fifteen seconds, Bioware essentially made Dragon Age: Inquisition almost necessitate a second play through. They could have beaten their players over their head with all of this, but it’s almost consistently subtle. However, it’s incredibly amazing how these things jump out at you after you’ve already played.

Jenna Inouye
JKCI is a tech and gaming writer with a passion for antique crystal doorknobs. She also loves talking about games with other people. Add her on twitter or contact her directly.

Jenna Inouye

JKCI is a tech and gaming writer with a passion for antique crystal doorknobs. She also loves talking about games with other people. Add her on twitter or contact her directly.

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