Trying to draw them from memory
Reading about it is one thing. Being there is entirely different. Linett records what she finds in lands far from Bree, but you really ought to see it for yourself.
Trying to draw them from memory
I’m going to talk about a certain brother of the Chantry, the Prince of Starkhaven, Sebastian Vael: One of the most disliked and misrepresented Dragon Age companions across all three games. I’m going to talk about Sebastian because I love Sebastian, and I feel like there can never be too much love for him in the world. Never ever.
The main question this post will be answering is ‘Why would Sebastian make a good prince?’ Obviously a nice person =/= a good ruler, right? So I’ve been looking through banters and conversations and chosen a few to pick apart.
[Disclaimer: Everything in this post is obviously based around my own opinions. If you dislike Sebastian already (and you’re not open to a new perspective), I wouldn’t recommend reading this. Some of my comments may also be considered Aveline-critical and Anders-critical. I’m posting a warning now before someone bites my head off. But don’t worry, this post isn’t about that.]
The entire fact that Varric finds Sebastian boring is odd to me. Sure, he might be dull NOW (even though he isn’t), but his past should appeal to him, right? What sensational writer could resist a prince in exile with a mysterious, checkered past?
To say nothing of the brutally murdered family, the search for justice (or vengeance), the ability to cling to faith… to see good in a world that’s done its best to heap shit upon shit upon shit…
I sometimes wonder, and this is a wacky theory that may hold no real weight, whether there’s something about Sebastian that actually makes Varric deeply uncomfortable and that’s why he retaliates and dislikes the way he does. As a kind of armor? Or defensiveness?
I mean, when you think about it, Varric and Sebastian actually have a lot in common. They’re youngest sons of important families (merchant and nobility, but still; Varric’s family were noble in Orzammar). They’re both archers. They’re both rogues. They’ve got weird family relationships and dynamics going on. They actually both really do enjoy helping people. Depending on how one untangles the mess of the DA2 timeline, it’s possible they’re actually closer in age than, say, Varric and Hawke. They’re also the characters who’ve spent the most time in Kirkwall, and have the closest connections there, and the strongest ties.
I tried to put this in a reply and immediately went over the word limit.
Story of my life
But. While I completely agree with all this, I will say that listening to the actual in-game intonation of that particular banter, it seems like Sebastian is sort of… coyly saying it. Being truthful, yes, but… not revealing everything all the same. And also add to the fact that Varric more than likely does find Sebastian’s past very interesting. And probably very odd that he would be so… up front about it. I almost feel like Varric is jealous that Sebastian’s come to terms with (metaphorical) demons that he most definitely hasn’t. Despite the fact that Sebastian’s got a lot of other things to work through and come to terms with/own up to, but Varric might not… even see that?
Perhaps he’s hung up on the fact that this other person, who really is so very much like him in probably far too many ways, has been able to deal with issues that Varric hasn’t been able to–maybe never even tried? Even the ones he knows he should, that hang around his neck like an albatross–and it just stirs this… negative sentiment?
Why would Sebastian reveal all these mistakes about himself and his past readily when asked about it, when Varric doesn’t? Why would Sebastian just simply tell the truth about those things, when Varric doesn’t? Why would Sebastian try to move on from his past, all the while acknowledging it and the mistakes he made, when Varric doesn’t?
Sometimes I feel like this is a case of Varric looking at Sebastian and seeing a mirror of himself, except it’s the person he could have been, if he’d chosen a different path, even though he enjoys what he does (because there is no doubt that Varric immensely enjoys what he does), he also wants to have chosen that other path. Either that, or he wants Sebastian to have not chosen that other path and not inadvertently caused Varric to feel bad about his own life decisions. Or maybe both.
Some peeps have been asking for a Dragon Age 2 Dad post so here is…Dad Age 2
Fenris is “has a grudge against the GPS for some reason, helped you dye your hair during your ‘edgy’ phase, gets more worried about you than he wants to let on but doesn’t want to blow up your phone and isn’t very good at texting so instead you just get hourly texts of ‘?’ or ‘?????’ when you’re out,” Dad.
Sebastian is, “taught you to dance by letting you stand on his shoes, is always up before anyone else in the morning and reading scriptures with a cup of coffee, frequently asks if a movie is getting too scary for you,” Dad.
Anders is “couldn’t sleep a wink that one time you got sick and you woke up with like six bottles of gatorade next to your bed ‘so you don’t get dehydrated’, read you old and dry texts on human rights and freedom when you were fussy because those put you to sleep in minutes, ‘Five hours of homework daily is an injustice and I will be having a word with the school council!’” Dad.