Let me preface this by saying that I no longer believe this. But it took me a good 40 hours into my first game not to. When I first played Dragon Age: Inquisition, I was absolutely convinced that The Inquisitor was a spirit in human form and that that was going to be the KOTOR twist of the game. I thought that the original Inquisitor, be they human, dalish, qunari or dwarf, died in the fade. Here was my evidence at the time and, honestly, I still kind of love this theory and wish it was correct.
We Don’t Remember Exactly What Happened To Us
It’s weird that we don’t remember what happened to us in the fade or the moments leading up to it, and that would make sense if we weren’t really the Inquisitor but instead just a spirit attached to the concept of the Inquisitor.
“Choosing Our Form” Takes Place After We Wake Up
When we first start the game, we have one appearance. We then modify our appearance after the game has started. This happens in Dragon Age 2, but there is a story reason involved: Varric is telling the story incorrectly for Cassandra the first time he tells it, including our looks. So wouldn’t it make sense that Dragon Age: Inquisition would have an in-game reason for it, too? Otherwise, why do we enter the game with one appearance and then select another…?
We Can Walk In The Fade — Even If We’re a Dwarf
When we get the Solas cutscene in the fade, we’re actually finding him in the fade, we’re already sleeping when we initiate the conversation — he’s surprised that we can walk there (this is kind of vague if you don’t ask the right questions; you can easily assume it’s Solas who pulled you into the fade). This is attributed to the mark, but it could also be because we are from the fade. A dwarf isn’t even particularly surprised.
We Can Have the Anchor At All
It’s strange that we even have the capacity to not only support but control this physical anchor to the fade. Yes, it’s because of the glowing orb thingie — but it still seems as though it’s rather powerful magic for a character that might not be magically inclined whatsoever.
The Inquisitor Is “Bright”
Cole sees the Inquisitor as bright — almost blinding, like looking at birds flying in front of the sun. He describes Solas similarly. This is a connection to the fade. It could just be the mark, but it could also be something inherent to the Inquisitor.
Cole Introduces Us To The Concept of Human Spirits
Cole practically beats us over the head with the idea of a spirit taking on human form. He has an entire side quest about how he came to a person who was suffering and took their form. Of course, the caveat is that he doesn’t remember much about his “human” until he is traumatized. But then…
Divine Justinia Shows Us Spirits Can Act Like Their Human Inspiration, Too
Divine Justinia shows up in the fade and directly displays that a spirit can take a former human’s body — as well as their motivations and personality. The spirit in the fade, for all intents and purposes, is Divine Justinia even though she might not actually be Divine Justinia. She still has the same compassion for Leliana, for instance, and fulfills Divine Justinia’s wishes for her, even though she is obviously a spirit.
We Aren’t That Attached To Our Family
I play the Dalish origin a lot. Even if my Dalish inquisitor really loves her family, she doesn’t bat an eye when her entire clan is destroyed. Many people consider this poor writing or a plot hole — but maybe it’s just that we aren’t really that person anymore. Likewise, the other origins rarely reach out to their families, either.
We Gain Our Memories Back While In The Fade
Or do we? Maybe we simply pick up the memories that we couldn’t get last time. It seems strange that our memories are residing in little spirit snack packs in the fade just waiting for us to pick them up. Maybe they were never actually our memories at all. Taking it a step further, maybe Divine Justinia offers us up these memories because she is aware of our unique situation as well.
We Know How to Command a Freaking Army
This is a little on-the-nose, but the entire game kind of doesn’t make sense: we’re just some random person spit out of a hole, yet we seem to know the intricacies of leadership and battle tactics. The Iron Bull lampshades this a bit by remarking that the Inquisition just needs someone to make decisions, whether the decisions are fantastic or not. But it could also be because we are drawing from past wisdom in the fade.
Sometimes We Don’t Know What We Should Know
Dwarfs may not know the intricacies of dwarf politics; dalish inquisitors may need dalish gods explained to them by Morrigan; qunari may seem charmingly inept with all things regarding the Qun (even if they aren’t actually following the Qun, you would expect them to at least know something about it). Many of these are now explained away by failed dialogue checks, but it could also be explained by an Inquisitor who doesn’t have perfect memory.
Obviously I don’t still believe this theory — but I did for a really long time and I’m still quite enamored with it. It would explain so many things: why the Inquisitor was special, why the Inquisitor was capable of leading armies even though they never had before, why they couldn’t remember things, why they had such a connection to the fade… I still really like this theory. There’s nothing that directly discredits it, either, except for the fact that it just never happens.