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Spoiler note: More discussion of near-end DAI plot developments

Butch:

Ok, let’s try this again without the devolution into side-topics. Ha.

Ok, so talked to Sera last night, had a moment (without boobs), then went to find Morrigan, and, well, you know what happened. Flemeth took the soul, which was, what, part of Mythral? I didn’t really get that. Cuz if it WAS mythral, doesn’t that mean that whole archdemon from one was Mythral? Or is mythral just a demon who’s collecting shit? Do we know? Explain it.

So now my girl is like a slave to Flemeth, but has the child. Who is now just a child. Right?

So now I’m at that point of no return, which I will cross when Mrs. McP has class.

So Morrigan.

Yes, Cole is great. Morrigan is better. Well acted, well written. Not just hot. See, I thought she was feigning her love for her son. I thought she was using him to get…something, but I really got that she loved him in that scene, and that she’s both scared and confused by Flemeth. She looked vulnerable, and it played well. It’s rare a game can show a different side to a character (we do get the one dimensional ones), but it’s very rare that a game can show that maybe you were wrong about a character through the course of many games all along. Now we’re left wondering if that hard, cold, possibly very evil witch was just a scared, insecure daughter all along. (Note we did see a glimpse of that in DAO, when she talked about the golden mirror. When you give her the mirror you do see some chips in her emotional armor.)

Hell, they did it twice! Cuz we’re also left wondering if maybe Leliana was this batshit crazy zealot all along. (We saw some glimpses of THAT in DAO as well)

And now they’re, once again, set up as thematic opposites, but instead of innocence/good/belief vs. sexy/evil/skepticism in DAO, we get a slightly warped view of the same thing: zealousness/order/conformity vs. doubt/freedom/sacrifice/reason. It’s cool.

And yet it makes the whole “Varric didn’t evolve” thing that much more apparent.

One can also point out, at this point, that these two characters are women, and gorgeous women at that. Games take a lot of heat for having women be there to a) wear very little, b) have armor that changes cup size and c) be love interests. Morrigan and Leliana did fall into that in DAO, for sure. But they also are two of the best written characters in game history. So what to make of that?

Feminina:

This was a very interesting development. I’m especially interested in how it’s going to play out in the long term, since it didn’t even happen if Morrigan didn’t do the ritual in DAO, and had a normal human child instead of one with an Old God soul. Mr. O’s game didn’t have that bit with the kid at all, because he was just a regular kid and Flemeth had no interest in his soul. Which means…it can’t be that critical to later storylines if it didn’t necessarily happen. And yet, it seems like something that would make a major difference, you know?

Although…I suppose that this action brings ritual/non-ritual world-states into parity, since at the end what we’re left with is Morrigan with a normal human kid who doesn’t have an Old God soul, either because he never had it, or because Flemeth took it. Flemeth being Flemeth, she could have found some other way to get that soul in non-ritual world-states where Kieran didn’t have it, so the next game could logically have the same key components.

So on reflection, maybe it DOESN’T actually matter…in which case, that’s clever writing there.

As I understood it as I played–and I could have been wrong–Flemeth is Mythal: she was originally her own personality, but at some point she merged with Mythal and now they are essentially the same being. For some unexplained reason, she wanted to add the Old God soul contained by Kieran to herself, or something (I never caught a specific name for that other soul, so I think it’s left unstated as of yet whether or not it’s a personality, or just power), so once she takes it from him I guess she is holding two god souls…or else absorbs one and becomes super-powerful?

The character development for Morrigan is great–like you, I was touched by her devotion to her child here–but I was also interested in what we learned about Flemeth when she told Morrigan that taking over another person’s body can only be done with consent, and Morrigan was never actually in danger from her. So (assuming Flemeth is telling the truth) all of that DAO plot where Morrigan had to escape from Flemeth was Morrigan’s misreading of the situation…which means, what else might Morrigan have failed to understand about who/what Flemeth really is, where she came from, what her power is all about, and what she’s trying to do?

She was mistaken about what it would mean to drink from the pool, she was mistaken about her mother, she was mistaken maybe about what it even meant to have a child with an Old God soul (presumably this is NOT what she had planned to have happen). Morrigan is very smart and very powerful, but also human and fallible in a way we haven’t seen before. This whole bit drove home for me the fact that Flemeth is playing a REALLY long game here, and has been standing at the edges of Thedas’ history for an incredibly long time, waiting to accomplish who knows what. Pretty cool.

As you say, the contrast with Varric’s failure to get much character development is striking, but perhaps they’re saving big plot points for him later. Another read might be that they’re trying to maintain Varric’s role as the impartial storyteller, rather than a central figure of the plot: someone who was there, who saw everything and wrote it all down and passed on the legends, but who is never going to claim that the story is ABOUT him. He is the narrator figure, so if we assume that in some sense he’s shaping what we see/are told (as he explicitly did in DA2), then maybe he’s intentionally leaving out his own stories, either because of concern for his own privacy, or because he genuinely doesn’t think he’s as interesting as these other people.

Butch:

Really? He didn’t do the ritual? Thought he did. And so he didn’t get ANY of this? Didn’t go to the fade or nothing? So what happened? He just got back from the temple and boom, endgame?

So now that I’m here, is the “on burning wings” trophy some “if you drank the well, then you can do something with Flemeth” bit? Or is it too soon?

Re: clever writing covering multiple choices…Yup. That could well have been an “oopsie daisy….need to do something here, stuff isn’t necessarily on the same page…how to fix?” And they did so in a way that won’t make people roll their eyes at the cheapness of it all, like, say, “oh, um, Leliana just, um, came back to life” if you killed her.

The old god soul in Kieran didn’t have a name. Flemeth sure as shit is trying to get more and more powerful.

You know, in that whole staring down Flemeth bit, there was always an option to attack her outright. I didn’t. I find it impossible to believe you could kill her, or you could stop her from taking the soul. Go wiki it. I don’t want spoilers.

And watching Morrigan come to terms with that was really well done (and well acted). She doesn’t throw up her hands and say “What, I never SAID I knew it all!” We get to see the doubt seep in, and, eventually, have Morrigan have to accept that she’s been wrong/duped/foolish.

That was a nice touch finding out that Morrigan wasn’t really in danger.

But still…..why in DAO could you not take Morrigan to “kill” Flemeth? Why? Ok, I was wrong, Morrigan isn’t Flemeth (yet, that we can know), so why couldn’t she go? Why couldn’t Flemeth, at that point, say “Chill, Morrigan, you don’t have to be me, it’s cool?” And remember, it was FLEMETH’S idea to have Morrigan join the DAO party in the first place. Morrigan didn’t want to go. Flemeth was the one who set all of Morrigan’s story/actions in motion.

Which is also part of what Morrigan’s going through. She’s realizing she’s been a pawn the whole time, and doesn’t know what the game is.

I’m pretty sure that if (when) I keep playing DA games, eventually I’m going to have to kill the shit out of Flemeth.

Hmm. Interesting thought about Varric’s distance. I can see that, though he doesn’t seem to be “telling” the story so much in this one. (I hope they keep up the convention that Dandelion is writing the codexes and whatnot in The Witcher, cuz it’ll be interesting to see you compare that to this.) It does seem that some shit was set up to be shit later with him, like meeting Bianca (I’ll be we haven’t seen the last of her), and Bianca giving us some backstory about Varric’s family, business, etc.

I mean, things can take a break. We’re talking on the development of Morrigan and Leliana, but those were characters who weren’t even in DA2 (save for that last little bit at the end). So bioware is playing the long game, one hopes.

Feminina:

Mr. O’ did the ritual in DAO, but he didn’t do the DA keep, so his DAI playthrough used the default world-state…which apparently assumes no ritual. He also drank the pool himself, and according to the wiki, this works out the same as if Kieran doesn’t exist or doesn’t have the old god’s soul (and apparently this was a specific old god named Urthemiel, so maybe he/she will be a conscious character in future games?). And the way that happens is, you don’t go into the fade to meet Flemeth, instead you go with Morrigan to an Altar of Mythal and meet her there.

As for the Burning Wings trophy…I think we can ALMOST talk about that. Has Morrigan told you her specific plan for fighting Corypheus’ dragon? If so, all can be revealed, if not it’s a slight spoiler to discuss it.

Also, apparently you are quite right that if you attack Flemeth during the whole fade scene, she just smacks you down–you can’t actually damage her and it has no real impact on the story. Thanks, internet!

And yeah, Morrigan is in a weird place right now. Half the things she thought she knew are wrong, her mother has been playing her expertly since forever and now can literally control her, and she still doesn’t even know WHY. Man, we have to talk more about this once you’re finished. I’m half convinced that Flemeth is the cause of, and solution to, all life’s problems.

Butch:

Ah. So there is still Flemeth. And does Flemeth get some god soul?

Nope, Morrigan hasn’t told me the plan yet. Just that we can beat the dragon. She’s back at the war table. I have a feeling once I click the “yeah, go ahead, let’s end this shit” she’ll tell me.

I kinda metagamed that one, with the Morrigan/Flemeth confrontation. “I’m the fucking INQUISITOR but yeah….you do what you do….I’ll be over here…this is between y’all.”

I have heard that there’s something after the credits (apres les credeets, as they say in Canada) that one must see. It’s about Flemeth, isn’t it?

Feminina:

Yes, after the credits. We must discuss. We shall discuss! May fortune favor you in your attempt to find game time.

Butch:

But it’s not the kid, huh? Figured it would be the kid.

Morrigan. Better. Not. Die.

Feminina:

I can say no more. Go play.

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