People seem to do one of two things about this particular dialogue. They seem to either pretend it didn’t happen and act like it’s out of character for Fenris, or they hold it against him and decide he’s an awful person. The fact is, it’s not so black and white. I wish people could spot that in-between, and remember where he’s coming from. It’s not just that he does view blood mages as monsters (which, based on his history, he does). It goes a lot deeper than that. Fenris (for all intents and purposes) had no childhood. He does not know how to self-regulate, especially anger and hatred, which are emotions he probably was not allowed to express when he was a slave. So it’s important to remember that he’s not just being a dick for the sake of it; no, Fenris likely genuinely struggles with tact and healthy self-expression. That, paired with his fear and hatred leftover from his traumatic past in Tevinter, has led him to be… well, a real fucking dick, honestly.

Another thought: 

Merrill’s friend just died and she’s feeling sorry for herself. Pol’s death was probably Marethari’s fault (for turning the clan against Merrill and/or for making them stay so long in an area with regenerating varterral) but Fenris sees it as Merrill’s fault, which is understandable given his background.

Fenris probably thinks that Merrill should take responsibility for Pol’s death and hate herself and he’s disgusted that she seems to expect people to pity her instead. He seems to see himself as a monster because of a lot of things he’s done, including killing the fog warriors, and he doesn’t understand why Merrill wouldn’t have the same reaction. 

In this scene, Merrill reminds Fenris of people who have hurt him but she’s also reminding him of himself. It makes him deeply uncomfortable and, as explained above, he’s really bad at expressing that in healthy ways.

Also…Fenris has a tendency to be just plain blunt, and to value bluntness. “You say what’s on your mind, I’ll give you that,” he says to Hawke in one conversation and in context it’s pretty much a compliment, a trait he values in Hawke because he values it in himself. So…yeah, he’s not going to try to sugar-coat what just happened to Merrill’s clan just to comfort her, especially not when he’s been pretty clear about his wariness of her blood magic from the beginning.


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