Last year in September, back when the Trespasser DLC was fresh in our minds, I was fueled with crazy theories. In the back of my mind, I could not sort my brain out what I thought about Dragon Age, but I basically typed down everything I could to possibly make sense of it. Well...to no avail. That's why I'm posting all of it.
For the curious, here are my absolutely jumbled thoughts on an "Overthinking It" video that never came to life, that would have been called "The Soul's Blank Slate".
Laundry List of Thoughts
- Souls never die unless they are joined by blood.
- Souls are memory wiped every time they died, and restored into borrowed bodies.
- The magic of the Fade and beyond is boundless. Blood magic is finite. Once you depend on blood, it’s literally “magical castration”.
- Time compression? (I never really said yes or no to this idea, but Valta and her situation is a stubborn thing to wrap your head around.)
Crazy Raw Fade Thoughts
What can be remembered can be restored, but only a shade of what it once was.
Everything in Dragon Age is based off memory. If you remember something completely and accurately, then you can resurrect that thing.
Spirits will return and reincarnate in the fade, but while their nature stays the same, they are a blank slate.
Demons are spurned memories.
Everything that the Shaperate does is write memory into living stone, aka lyrium.
"The pages of this book—memory?—show the blazing forms of the Evanuris banishing a howling spirit from the reaches of the Fade that touch their lands. A voice rings out, stern and imperial:"
History has ruined itself by being rewritten over and over again by different perspectives.
Cole:You don't need to envy me, Solas. You can find happiness in your own way.
Solas:I apologize for disturbing you, Cole. I am not a spirit, and sometimes it is hard to remember such simple truths.
Cole: They are not gone so long as you remember them.
Solas: I know.
Cole: But you could let them go.
Solas: I know that as well.
Cole: You didn't do it to be right. You did it to save them.
Cole acts as an example of what can be. He latches onto existence as a reincarnation of the boy who was locked up by the templars and left to die. However, he is his own existence.
The Grey Wardens were a significant point in describing this. When they take the life of an Archdemon, they also sacrifice their own existence. Both souls are lost in the process and those two souls will never be restored. Is it fair to say that they can never be reincarnated in the Fade? Perhaps.
(Counterpoint: The dead can still be remembered. Though, it's through others that you are remembered. Garahel. The Fade latches onto your memories and recreates what once was?)
The Void - Perhaps the absence of souls? Where things go to die permanently and not to have your own existence continue?
Everything is a shade of what once was.
This is why the Fade can reproduce memories through different spirits. But it's all hearsay, because it's through the perspective of other memories. They represent what we want to see, but it is never what they are.
As long as you have the soul, the power is there, though the slate is wiped clean
Examples of Reincarnating (Both successful and nonsuccessful)
- Leandra and the blood mage
- Divine Justinia
- Origins: The Gauntlet
- The Old God (and why Kieran doesn't join)
- Spirit of Wisdom (and Solas's conversation that the spirit will come back, but in a different part of the Fade and will not remember who they were)
- Flemeth (though she never really dies? She is just kept living)
- Claudio Valisti, where his memories were still intact shortly after his death
Claudio: Mages sculpting dreams. Dreams sculpting reality. The old gods. The dragon gods. We shall become them.
"Just a piece."
Mythal knows how to keep herself alive and knows a way for effective immortality.
Memory can be crafted into lyrium for immortality? Dying near lyrium may be crucial to continued existence? (Mythal, Leliana) holy shit horcrux what
Are those who are made Tranquil simply husks? That they can be returned but they need to be tapped back into existence? Or their memory is reserved elsewhere?
Shaping the Fade meant the ability to craft existence from magic?
Perhaps Elves were immortal, but not through corporal bodies. They lost the ability to switch? To keep themselves alive?
Souls of the Darkspawn
Definitely tainted, or perhaps held hostage? Possible that when dead, their connection to the world is severed and can never be recreated again?
The problem with necromancy is that it's used to recreate people, but without the soul it is impossible?
Death -> Soul goes to Fade -> Spends eternity in the fade -> Allows for reincarnation?
Death -> Soul is meant to leap into another body -> Soul cancels out in another Darkspawn-tainted body (and can only be reincarnated with another Darkspawn tainted body) -> Soul is destroyed
A body can have the taint, but the soul can be cleansed...if the taint has not pervaded it. Mix too much over years and it's impossible to separate the two. A tainted soul can never reach the Fade.
Regular Soul = Can reach the Fade
Darkspawn Soul = Incapable of reaching the fade (because blocked by blood/void?)
Leliana had a resistance to the taint as well. And if she was killed in the temple of sacred ashes, she's still capable of living. Close enough to lyrium.
there has to be a line drawn between those who are reincarnated and those who have spirits attached to their bodies which makes it a two-soul one body situation.
The first is what I'm talking about. The second is completely different.
The reason why spirits try to help those like Anders and Wynne (and Leliana) is because they still have work to do. Perhaps they inherently know that if they don't complete their task, their soul will no longer be able to perform those tasks once they are blank slated. And no guarantee that they'll be reincarnated
The soul is moveable. Perhaps the Elves stole it from the Dwarves? The possibility of moving one soul from a body to the other? Perhaps through magic and the Fade, one could recreate their body?
The Forgotten Ones
a play on the aspect of not having their soul preserved? they use blood instead of lyrium, and thus their existence can only transfer from blood to blood (thus separated from the fade
blood can only transfer to blood
lyrium can only transfer to lyrium
the Darkspawn taint can only transfer to the Darkspawn taint
they are all one-way roads and it's not possible (once, I imagine, you are far enough on the path) to cross the lines.
- The world is fueled by motives. Flemeth: "I laugh at a world full of stupid humans, who ignore the Blight's evil and abandon their vigilance to pursue mortal goals."
And there’s a quote from Patrick Weekes where he states that elf-blooded humans can’t have Elven children cause there are “no genetics in play”.
What I’m trying to get here is that there’s a huge difference between the Elvhen and Stone-kept Dwarves...versus everyone else. The former two have a natural affinity to magic, whereas the others have a
What I’m trying to get here is that there’s a great disparity between the music that Spirits hear versus those who’ve descended by blood. Humans do not have a natural affinity as Dwarves and Elves do, though some humans are gifted with magic. But I personally see magic as a manipulation than a natural gift when it comes to human mages...opposed to Elvhen and Stone-chosen Dwarves
Blood is impure?
If you have the non-tainted lyrium blood then you'll be able to sync with the Fade? If not, then the Void?
Perhaps why the transference of the old god soul is so important, because once the darkspawn blood is tainted, you cannot restore it. but if you remove the darkpsawn blood before death, that person can be reincarnated, in a sense.
also the matter that so many different experiments with having people infected with lyrium or lyrium running through their blood is a continued experiment. perhaps the elves were figuring out how to sustain life through their own people by having lyrium deposits in people? you must have a living source (?)
golems - immortality through the stone
anvil of the void - perhaps people are lost once they affix themselves to it?
cairidin: you cannot make a living creature out of non-living materials
- ties into the idea that people are farming out of other people. you need souls that can reproduce lyrium and its magic.
blood isn't living? it comes from the void? the idea that solas was curious about corypheus and the darkspawn finding the secret to eternal life...because the only one known was through lyrium? but now that you can find it in blood, it's possible
blood magic = synthetic
lyrium magic = natural
blood magic can manipulate the physical
lyrium can manipulate the spiritual
fenris: his memories were flashed out when he had the lyrium bound into his veins. similar things happen when a soul is brought back to the stone, thus forgetting themselves. or perhaps they never truly forget? it's just too far in the back of the mind to remember?
golems still attain their souls after being affixed with lyrium throughout their entire body and forged into a new body. but is it blood magic enough? or are they thrown over with lyrium enough so that the blood disappears? or is dwarven blood completely different?
perhaps lyrium veins are the pathways to the fade...so perhaps elves (dwarves?) and previously humans had their souls connected to the fade because of lyrium? and those who engage in blood magic have that connection severed?
can the fade be destroyed through the introduction of blood magic and the void? red lyrium in the fade?
spirits avoid the void because getting locked in the void means that they'd lose themselves completely? once you mesh with blood, you cannot be reborn? you must die and forever be destroyed? is that what is the greatest threat?
is that why blood magic is so downcast? because although it's cheap, it halves your life? that people immediately change once shoved into blood magic?
zenovia: Weep not for me, child. Stone they made me and stone I am, eternal and unfeeling. And I shall endure 'til the Maker returns to light their fires again
- cole says the maker is far away now
having your spirit bound to stone
or with the lady of the forest
tying your spirit to something, and can relive again and again but you will never remember what you were before. but with blood magic, it's possible that you may just exist once and be done
“The Lights of Arlathan will illuminate the scryer's path. The archons possessed them, but they were misused, befouled and lost, like so much the Imperium touched. Some were saved, carried by fugitives from the elven city. Their sorrow awoke the Stone, and her children sheltered them.” ―Eleni Zinovia
but the key to using the light of arlathan is blood, that of a pure blooded elf
perhaps blood of pure elves is different than other elves?
The sha-bytrol? or just dwarves in general? they fought the imperium?
question: is there ever deja vu in dragon age (the only one i remember are da2 jokes)
answer 1: sera says that she feels like she's been past the eluvian before
or maybe it's the other way around?
remember that convoluted thing that patrick weekes said how human blood will always trump elven blood? perhaps that is the case because elven blood loses itself because humans are born from the void, while elves had originated from "nature" or the maker
the Architect who was responsible for turning the Old God, Urthemiel into an Archdemon through a botched attempt at an awakening Joining thus triggering the Fifth Blight.
- which was done by using warden blood onto darkspawn, which awakened them. their soul returned to them? what do real people have that will help darkspawn stop hearing the call? or is it a canceling of the taint? however, they STILL HAVE THE TAINT because they are able to control the unawakened horde (architect, the mother, corypheus)