Though she be but little, she is fierce! – Julie Replays Dragon Age 2 Pt. 7
The last Act – and I must admit, finally. This playthrough kind of dragged me along rather than speed me on, maybe in part because of how much I realized how damn hard life for my poor Hawke is. More than ever.
The events in Act 2 were of a sort that left Adriene bitter and hard, which is mirrored in her now red personality. It actually is supported by ingame conversations like the one she has directly in the beginning with Isabela:
The woman Adriene loves basically ignored her for three years. She still has barely any contact with Bethany and to make things worse, Bodhan wants to leave. She feels very, very alone.
The people in the city might cheer for her, but the ones in charge are not so happy about her, especially since she still makes a point of being visible and making a stand for the mages.
The fight between Meredith and Orsino, with which the Act starts shows how important that is, since nobody else stands for and with them. And the Chantry that should protect the mages? Does nothing. Grand Cleric Elthina even supports Meredith’s actions and cruelty and wants everything to stay exactly as it is. (Awesome analysis of the first scene can be found here.) Adriene does not at all like Meredith and rather thinks the woman is cruel and powerhungry – three years and the city still has no new viscount and templars keep guard in the city’s keep? This cannot go on well for much longer. Cruelty in a void of power… oh no no no. So she takes Orsino’s place and also – because nobody else will do it and someone has to – petitions for the place of Viscount.
“Because nobody else will do it and someone has to” is basically the reason for many things Adriene does. She stands with Fenris when he finally meets Danarius and helps him kill the bastard (but stops him from killing his sister).
She goes to meet the king (whee, Alistair!) and an assassin who was sent by the Divine herself (whee, Leliana!) to assess whether there was an intervention needed. Unfortunately, the games does not give the player the possibility to actually tell Leliana what happens in Kirkwall and the whole encounter is so short and rather needless that it was there for the cameo and not for story reasons. Also, we met Leliana in Mark of the Assassin and even talked to her but she does not recognize us and neither does Hawke recognize her. Hrmpf.
So, while Adriene herself might not be very happy, she does her best to help others to be happy. It’s just the kind of person she is, even if she is rather direct and aggressive in non-personal thing. It leads to some actually rather heart-warming scenes with Gamlen.
We also manage to reconcile him with his daughter they both didn’t know he had – a cousin who is so cool and awesome that I’m really sorry we don’t get to see more of her in the game. Also, Adriene and Charade get along immediately and way better than her and Bethany.
(The heart-warming part is immediately destroyed by Gamlen with completely inappropriate comments about her at that point more off-than-on-relationship with Isabela.)
By the way, the relationship with Isabela. While the two of them are adorable together, the first conversation with her in Act 3 is, as I said, more of the kind that there is no relationship at the moment. There are however, several party banter moments and comments like in the picture above, that are more directed at an active romance. It does not quite fit what happens ingame. Unfortunately, there are several moments ingame where what is said does not quite fit what is shown – or is just plainly buggy. Like my encounter with Zevran (♥).
A quest leads us to an ominous assassin hiding with the Dalish. We are of course supposed to kill him and do of course nothing of the sort. On the contrary, we’re teaming up with him to kill his colleagues, the Crows (who hired us). Not only does Isabela know him, Anders heard of him as well as friend of the Hero of Ferelden AND he is quite handsome and convincing.
When I first played the quest, nothing hinted to Zev’s relationship with Fian and my imported worldstate. I even was able to have the threesome sex with him and Isabela at the end, which shouldn’t have been possible while he is in a relationship with the Hero. Reading up on it I found out that this is actually a common bug. There is an unofficial fix for it which did somewhat work for me as can seen below. The correct answers are recorded but do not whow up for many players. The last comment (when refusing sex with Isabela) however was “the memories are still too fresh” which sounds ominously like “the warden is dead” instead of the expected “Normally I would jump at the chance, but my dear Warden may be a tad put out.”
Still, I loved the encounter (and got to play it twice), especially since I really missed hearing his quirky comments. I do love this character so very much.
And speaking of romance – after a while and probably an appropriate amount of booze, judging from Isabela’s position when starting the conversation:
… we have the long-hoped-for talk. And finally, Adriene and Isabela are officially together.
It’s easy to miss the subtle hints about what’s to come when you’re in love and finally happy for at least a few days. Right?