An analysis into Cassandra Pentaghast: the famed Seeker, Hero of Orlais, and Right Hand of the Divine.
Watch it on Youtube: http://youtu.be/k6PaV0whwyE
Welcome to DA Talk, an exploration into the world of Thedas and its long history of faith and conflict. Today’s feature is Cassandra Pentaghast, the Nevarran beauty who forsake her lineage to become one of the most famed Seekers in the Chantry’s history. A confirmed companion for Dragon Age: Inquisition, Cassandra’s long history in the Seekers of Truth and future involvement in the Inquisition will cut a swath through Thedas’ troubled lands. But how? Let us peer into the life of the Right Hand of the Divine, the Hero of Orlais: Cassandra Pentaghast.
Cassandra is a warrior, moderately hot-headed and zealously dedicated to “getting the job done”. Approximately in her late 30’s, early 40’s. She is the epitome of practicality, with her black hair cut short and armor donned at all times. Her personality is more blunt and to the point. She bears no love for mages, especially any maleficar. When she was a child, her brother was killed in front of her by a blood mage. Other than hunting for those who would hurt the Chantry and its beliefs, she as a Pentaghast is renowned as a Dragon slayer.
The Pentaghast name is royalty in the nation of Nevarra, previously a city-state that earned its independence from invading nations like Orlais since the Glory Age. Cassandra’s lineage stems from a long line of great warriors and Dragon slayers, originating from Caspar the Magnificent, the exalted “supreme lord of Nevarra”. The Pentaghasts did not hold the royal line for all years, as another family named the Van Markham staged a coup during the Exalted Age. But as the two families joined in marriage with a Van Markham daughter and a Pentaghast son, Nevarra is still ruled by the Pentaghast bloodline. Relatively. The current King of Nevarra is still Markus Pentaghast, an old man short of his mind and clutching near to his death bed while his Mortalitasi advisers rule the country for him. As he has no heir, and neither does Ferdinand Pentaghast, the direct successor who has no care for the throne, the Nevarran royal line is up for the taking. Cassandra rescinded her bloodline to join the Seekers and serve the chant, but unlike serving the Wardens, she still has the ability to return. Albeit a stretch for the throne.
Cassandra is the Hero of Orlais. Rightly deserved, for in the 22nd year of Dragon, she discovered and foiled a murder plot against the Divine, Beatrix the Third. With the help of her Seeker mentor Byron and a Circle mage (and slight romantic interest) Regalyan D’Marcall, or Galyan as his friends call him, she took down blood mages, dragons, and the originators of the evil plot - Knight-Commander Martel and the Grand Cleric Callista. For her efforts, Cassandra was promoted to Hand of the Divine. Beatrix provided her a book, the same book seen in Dragon Age 2, that would start her journey of uncovering the truth of events to come.
Beatrix the Third died in year 34 from a massive stroke and an Orlesian Revered Mother named Dorothea, the same mother that helped Leliana into the Chantry, succeeded as Divine Justinia the Fifth. Acting in service to the new Divine, in year 40 Cassandra sought out Varric Tethras for the location of Hawke, the Champion of Kirkwall and plausible instigator of the Kirkwall uprising. Post interrogation, she arrived at two conclusions: the Idol and Anders were responsible for the rebellion and no one knows where Hawke or the Warden are. Left to fate, Cassandra, Leliana, and their army left Kirkwall.
In Dragon Age: Inquisition, Cassandra is confirmed as a companion to the Inquisitor. “The Fires Above” trailer revealed her plotting a course and storming a Grey Warden keep, right before the Veil tears in the sky. All that remains is what actions Cassandra will act upon in the future.
A few situations come to mind.
First: Galyan, the mage she grew comfortable with in the events of Divine Beatrix’s near assassination, is still alive and well. With his internal promotion to Enchanter at the time, he most likely is still involved with the Circle, up until the events of the Nevarran Accord nullification and the Circle uprisings in year 40. If Cassandra and Galyan are to have a reunion in Inquisition, it is unclear how it will play out. Especially with the Inquisitor involved.
Second, Cassandra still holds some animosity against blood mages. Her brother Anthony was decapitated by a blood mage when Cassandra was younger, thus shaping and fueling her hatred of all mages, both maleficar and regular mages. During Varric’s interrogation, Cassandra can show some appeasement if Hawke is a mage and does admirable actions, like engage in single-handed combat with the Arishok, but her overall disposition towards mages is not completely stated.
Third, acting on the behalf of the Divine as a Seeker and Hand comes with…strings. The Inquisition is said to be a completely independent organization in Thedas. Not endorsed by the Chantry or other organizations, the Inquisition may have conflicts that Cassandra cannot engage. She may stand her ground and refuse to participate. She served the Chantry for approximately 20 years up to this point - to not serve the Chantry is…highly out of character. But then again, the Inquisitor may help her extend her reach beyond the confines of what is expected from the Hero of Orlais, a Hand of the Divine, or a Pentaghast. Cassandra has a story, but she has yet to complete her tale.
That is the end of DA Talk on Cassandra, thank you for watching.
Here’s the question of the vid: will Cassandra’s ties to the Chantry hurt her affiliations with the Inquisition? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Last time we talked…rather in-depth on the Old Gods. Some questions were additionally answered in the comments, so let me address a couple real quick. Raven Redoblado asks “Are Old Gods already evil or do they become evil when they are infected with the blight and become Archdemons?”
So, I waver in calling them all evil. Dumat is the one I find true problems with, as he allegedly is the one who taught blood magic and led the ancient magisters into the Golden City. That action ruined them and brought the Darkspawn taint. Magic isn’t inherently evil. Neither is blood magic. Humans, elves, Qunari, dwarves (if they could) - people themselves make magic evil. I think the Old Gods are deceptive but other than Dumat, I do not think they are evil. They truly are evil incarnate when they become Archdemons, but I’m not sure whether they are causing the Blights of their own will because of revenge for being tainted or because they only wish to cause destruction and death.
And second question is “If the Gray Wardens ritual requires Arch-demon blood then how did the first Gray Wardens become Gray Wardens before the first Arch-demon died? Where did the first Gray Wardens get Arch-demon blood?” Well, we don’t know. We only know that Dumat was allegedly killed. It’s possible to bleed the Archdemon out and get lucky, but are we sure he didn’t transfer to another being? That he was slain and his soul was destroyed? Not at all.
That’s all we have time for today. Thanks again for watching, please put your positive or negative comments in the box below. Subscribe for more Dragon Age content, or check the playlist in the description to watch more Dragon Age talks like this one. Take care, I will see you…next time.