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I have read way too many fics where Hawke not only guilts Fenris into sleeping with them  again but blames him for leaving/not being comfortable with how fast things canonically went the first time
that’s really gross
and emotionally abusive
and y’all need to stop writing that shit because you seem to think that Hawke is in the right and that Fenris should feel bad about “abandoning” Hawke (when that is so not even what happened) 




Confession: I dislike all of the Rivalmances in DA2. For Merrill and Isabela it feels like Hawke’s trying to change them and make them into different people, for Fenris and Anders it feels like Hawke is just taking the place of their past abusers. I understand when people say rivalry helps them grow as people, but to me it just feels abusive and controlling.

Most of these I agree with, Anders being the only exception (I haven’t romanced Merrill, so someone else would be a better opinion on that one.) It all depends on how you handle the romance, though my head canon might have a lot to do with it.

I always play a mage Hawke that sends mages back to the circle. What!? In my mind, Hawke has spent her entire life as an Apostate, and knows what it’s like constantly being on the run, hiding what she is, risking her loved ones not only because of templars but also the general populous are not huge fans of mages period, let alone an Apostate. In her eyes, she genuinely believes that it is safer inside the circle among other mages. Players get a taste of what Hawke’s family life was like if you play a non-mage Hawke and Bethany goes to the circle. Bethany is relieved and is actually happy for awhile, because she no longer has to hide and no longer puts her family in danger.

Hawke also knows the importance of having someone that knows what they’re doing to train young mages on how to control their abilities, Hawke’s father being a circle mage and all. My Hawke sees that yes, the circle isn’t perfect and needs reform, but doesn’t feel Anders’ way is the solution. Mages are dangerous. Blood magic is dangerous, and she feels that it’s foolhardy to ignore that fact. She is however still pro mage, and that’s why at the end I always defend the mages from the templars.

This disagreement about the future of mages is where the rivalry points are made. Going the rivalry route, Hawke also shows a great concern over how Justice is controlling Anders, and only going through rivalry does Anders start to see how much Justice is in fact controlling him. This route, to me, shows that Hawke cares deeply for Anders and his well being, and she refuses to ignore the real problem of what Justice is doing to him simply because it’s uncomfortable. Anders is not in control of his actions and is in denial about it for a good chunk of the game, but when he starts to see it, Hawke is there for him.

However, what this leads to at the very end, I really don’t like. I get that the game had to end the way it did for story reasons, but how Anders reacts to it when you go rivalry makes me sick and furious. I really hate what Justice did to Anders. I understand that neither could foresee how much it would change them both, but it’s just—tragic.

It’s a hard road. If you go friendly then he remains in denial, believing he still has mostly full control of his actions, but you have the chance to keep Anders. It’s only when you go rivalry and Anders wants are in conflict with Justice’s, that the player gets to see how bad it really is, but then you lose Anders.

It’s the player’s choice how to go about rivalmancing Anders. You can go full rivalry by disagreeing with him, but you can do it in a way that is from a genuine place of concern for Anders. If anything, rivalmance is Hawke seeing Anders flaws and all and refusing to give up on him, and knowing you can disagree with someone and still love them.

The problem is more that the reactions to the rivalmances are extremely negative. Anders becomes extremely self-loathing and even alludes to wanting to commit suicide in playthroughs of the rivalmance. That’s not healthy disagreement or wanting to help your partner, that’s abusive.

Your view of the rivalmance and how it should be is valid, and I believe that Bioware could have done the “opposites attract” and “you can disagree with your partner on shit and still be a loving couple” but the way the rivalmances are set up, you’re trying to change an inherent part of the LI and Hawke isn’t terribly graceful or tactful about it.

Since DA 2 Anders was written as a way to reference mental illness (however clumsy it was), a lot of the rivalmance comes off as emotionally abusive. It didn’t have to be that way. Certainly it could have been written in a way that was more the way you see it, but a lot of the lines in that rivalmance come off as dehumanizing or trivializing.

Other people have been a lot more eloquent about this than I am. I don’t want to totally trash the idea of a rivalmance but I think it def could have been integrated in a way that wasn’t patronizing or unnecessarily combative. A lot of people do see the rivalmances as beneficial to their LIs, but I’m a little more wary of them myself


Confession: I dislike all of the Rivalmances in DA2. For Merrill and Isabela it feels like Hawke’s trying to change them and make them into different people, for Fenris and Anders it feels like Hawke is just taking the place of their past abusers. I understand when people say rivalry helps them grow as people, but to me it just feels abusive and controlling.

They could have been interesting if they’d been written better but they feel so…ugh. OP put it best.




It’s like, we all hate Sister Petrice, but then you remember she basically tried to incite a race war and suddenly she gets a whole lot scarier

Apparently it’s actually possible to side with her too?

Yup. And if you support her she doesn’t die and Saemus’ murder gets blamed on the Qunari as planned and she shows up in Act 3 and implies she’s making plans for an impending and inevitable schism within the Chantry (which is apparently too soft on heretics for her liking, pressing her to search for more ‘like-minded people’ in preparation for said anticipated schism).


I didn’t know this was an option

Why is this an option

That’s terrifying

(tw: ableism / ableist language)


One of the biggest complaints about Anders is that he allegedly has no control over himself at all, that he’s completely unstable and can’t be trusted not to lash out at any given moment.

He’s repeatedly called ‘crazy’ by just about everyone, including the few people he actually gets along with, like Varric, who considers it friendly advice to tell Hawke that maaaaaaybe the crazy mage isn’t good relationship material if they’re pursuing a relationship with Anders. He’s even called crazy as a joke—multiple times.

There’s really no arguing that they didn’t mean for us to think exactly along those lines ourselves—that of course, he’s obviously ‘crazy’—which they also repeatedly and ignorantly link to violent behavior.

-and yet-

Anders knew exactly who it was that turned Karl into an emotionless husk, knew he was torturing other mages, knew exactly where to find him, and probably could have, without much effort, found a way to kill him if he really wanted to.

He could have, but he didn’t.

Instead, he deliberately did not confront or attack him, and spent three years searching and waiting for enough legitimately incriminating information to bring to a higher authority in the hopes that they would have no choice but to do something about Alrik’s horrific abuses.

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My favourite thing about Dragon Age 2 so far:
When all of the party members have fallen and it’s just Anders with next to no health, he screams “don’t leave me behind!” before falling.

Update: In Legacy, during the final fight with Corypheus, all of the party members fell, leaving Anders to fight alone…and he whimpered “I’m trying…to…hold on” before dying himself.

Why would you tell me this and why do I want the audio for it?


alternate titles for dragon age ii

  • dragon age ii: aveline and her collection of irresponsible friends
  • dragon age ii: god damnit anders
  • dragon age ii: god damnit isabela
  • dragon age ii: half of this is varric exaggerating
  • dragon age ii: cute and troubled elves
  • dragon age ii: no, you can’t kiss sebastian vael
  • dragon age ii: all of your family is dead
  • dragon age ii: this wasn’t funny in the last game either, cullen
  • dragon age ii: but can i become a dragon
  • dragon age ii: your fave is problematic
  • dragon age ii: the return of sandal, conquerer of darkspawn
  • dragon age ii: not the arishok fight jesus christ
  • dragon age ii: at least it’s not the fade
  • dragon age ii: fuck you, bartrand
  • dragon age ii: fuck you, mother petrice
  • dragon age ii: fuck you, meredith
  • dragon age ii: fuck all of you

(Source: richardalperts)

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