Bound to a Titan - A Dragon Age Theory


The Titans have been using agents to manipulate the Player (the Warden, Hawke, and the Inquisitor) into curing the Blighted Titans throughout the entire Dragon Age series. Once the Titans are freed from the Blight, they will return and we will see catastrophic consequences.


Mythal, Valta, Sandal, and (depending on your choices) Leliana are all part of the Titans

Because of Valta in the Descent DLC, and the brief interaction with Dagna during the base game, we now know the basics of what a person under the influence of a Titan. The song affects more strongly for a Dwarf, but utilize non-dwarves as well. 

I don’t sleep anymore, but sometimes I stop to listen. Yesterday—or was it an hour ago?
— Shaper Valta
  1. Dwarves accepted by the Titans possesses a power that is normally unimaginable to their species.

    In Descent, Valta has the ability to use powers related to magic, which, according to history and the Shaperate, has never been possible for a Dwarf.

    Sandal has the ability to shape stone and paralyze. He's a natural at crafting lyrium into armor and weapons...he's even used red lyrium in the same capacity with no real problem. Also, he's paralyzed or perhaps merely frozen a Darkspawn ogre before in Dragon Age 2, to which he attributes as "not enchantment". 
  2. Dwarves survive through the Titan. Persons under the Titan are not bound to constraints of their physical body.

    As far as the Dwarves, Valta is able to exist without food or water. In her records, she even says she does not need sleep. Sandal was abandoned in the Deep Roads and yet survived alright, before he was found by Bodahn.

    Mythal continues to exist, regardless of whether you kill Flemeth in Origins. Her murder at the hands of the Evanuris stopped her original goal, and it's to my expectation she was given the chance to continue her existence and complete her purpose. But instead of using a lyrium body, something that I'll get to later, she joins with Flemeth of Highever. Of course, Flemeth's body would decay as she was simply a human, more likely a mage, so she and Mythal utilized her daughters to span throughout the ages. 

    Leliana can also die by the Warden's hand and be resurrected. Matter of fact, if she was killed in Origins, she disappears at the end of the Trespasser DLC. "Those who investigated found both the rookery and Leliana's chambers vacant, with only a single message left as explanation: 'The lyrium sang thought into being. Now time is stale, and the melody is called elsewhere. Until I am needed, I am free.'" Leliana used a lyrium body in order to continue her work, which was not completed because of the Warden's decision in Origins. We'll get into more on this later in the video, but keep this fresh in mind for now. 
  3. Shapers have no sense of time or danger, being part of the Titan.

    Valta has the most records regarding this instance, which are found through the Descent DLC. "I don't sleep anymore, but sometimes I stop to listen. Yesterday—or was it an hour ago?" then in a later entry "Tomorrow—no, it was just a moment ago".

    Her letters were inexplicably found throughout Skyhold, as well. Valta alone makes the Titan's Song seem limitless - that she can be everywhere and nowhere in the gaps of time. 

    As far as Sandal, according to his journal in Trespasser, he spent the better part of a year working on an Enchantment. He has the capability of using the Eluvians, which may be because of Briala unlocking part of the labyrinth and his curious role as part of Empress Celene's court, which by the way was never discussed past Dragon Age 2. But because of the rumors that he may be half-Elven, with a father Aeducan and a human or Elven mother, because of his ability to last in the Crossroads for as long as he did, he may have been half-Elven. In any case, Sandal has powers that are unknown to us, and continues to research them without a care of his safety. The Qunari dead next to his camp is pretty indicative that he's powerful. 
  4. Probably the most damning yet concrete of all the attributes here, those of the Song are aware and have insight into the past, present, and the future. The future is never perfectly shown, but the basics are illustrated.

    Valta only recently communed with the Titan, but she is aware of the gaps in history that have expanded since before the First Blight, before the Elven pantheon, and before the Elves waged war on the Titans. While that's the past, it's like her mind and body is unlocked. Almost like she's incorporeal and her presence is fleeting, as depicted by the journal papers being found everywhere in Skyhold, and the Titan's disappearance from below the Deep Roads.

    Sandal knew Solas before we knew Solas. "One day the magic will come back. All of it. Everyone will be just like they were. The shadows will part, and the skies will open wide. When he rises, everyone will see."

    And most notably, Flemeth has been directing the world for ages. In the Stolen Throne, she was aware of the true notions of both Loghain and King Maric. To Loghain, "You've rage enough inside you, tempered into a blade of fine steel. Into whose heart will you plunge that one day, I wonder?" and then later to Maric, "You will hurt the ones you love the most, and become what you hate in order to save what you love." She pushed the Warden to succeed in countering Urthemiel, with the hopes of rescuing the Old God soul as well, and even saved Hawke who later became the catalyst in the mage/templar conflict. 

As agents of the Titans, Mythal, Valta, Sandal, and Leliana have quietly guided the Player in specifically countering the Blight.

Through knowledge and force. Additionally, some of these agents are more willing to help than others.

We'll go one by one.

Before Valta, we knew almost nothing about the Titans. She was definitely the player's liaison to discovering who the Titans were in a more positive, though intimidating light. She was right beside us when fighting the Darkspawn. When uncovering the ideas behind the lyrium being the blood line behind the Titans. As we played Inquisition, we learned that red lyrium carried the Blight. But now that we know lyrium is the blood of the Titans, we also know that the Blight affects Titans as well. 

Leliana is the most obvious, front-facing person. The Blight affects her as a human living in a world that is plagued by the taint, and because of her faith, she feels that she could do good in helping the Warden with her very specific set of skills. We know this. She had no influence by the Titans at this point, unless you want to consider her affiliation with Tug during the Leliana's Song DLC, who has had a very interesting link with the Primeval Dwarves. But that's for another video.

What's the curious point is that if the Warden kills her at the Temple of the Sacred Ashes, she returns as the Inquisition's spymaster. She's resolute in helping Thedas stabilize, especially after the death of her most trusted friend Divine Justinia, through the Inquisition. She's tirelessly moved against red lyrium, always turns a blind eye against the Wardens and is in full support of them, and always looks in favor of freeing mages.

Those who investigated found both the rookery and Leliana’s chambers vacant, with only a single message left as explanation: ‘The lyrium sang thought into being. Now time is stale, and the melody is called elsewhere. Until I am needed, I am free.

I don't think for a second the Titans had any influence on Leliana's personality - that's how she's always been. Supportive of mages and the Grey Wardens. And those who sacrifice themselves in the name of duty. But I think the Titans specifically gave her the opportunity to fulfill her purpose in helping counter the Blight, basically enabled someone who was in line with their goals, especially if she did not fight in Denerim against the Old God Urthemiel. They allowed her to have a body to continue her purpose, and at the end of Inquisition, that body was taken back.

Sandal. Sandal was always there. While we can sit here and say he was a dash of comedic relief and just someone to help the player sell their goods, everything about Sandal has been suspiciously advantageous. He slaughtered Darkspawn and managed to sit in front of the door leading straight to the Archdemon in Dragon Age: Origins. He slaughtered the Darkspawn and paralyzed an ogre into stone in the Deep Roads before Hawke found him. He crafts red lyrium into a usable rune if Hawke forces Varric to get rid of it. He stands in a room of dead demons with a happy smile and gear right before the big fight against Meredith who trips out on red lyrium. (Noticeably, not there for Orsino's grand fight.) He's handled the Blight, both Darkspawn and lyrium form, with flying colors. Also, he gave his prophecy about Solas's return and the sundering of the Veil. It is without a doubt in my mind that Sandal is aware of what he's doing. He has the frightening means and know-how to get where the player needs him at the right moment.

Although he did not show in Inquisition, Trespasser showed that his role is not over. He is in the midst of doing calculated research that has taken longer than a year to complete. He is strangely powerful, and is working in the corners of the world on something we may see in the future.

Mythal was the most level-headed of the Evanuris. While her compatriots fought for power and greed, she judged with fairness. But as the Elves waged wars against the Titans, she sought their destruction. In one instance she was successful, and the lands of the conquered Titan were free to her people, it endured and fought back. And despite her murder, she continued to live on. But instead of casting her vengeance immediately against those who killed her, she worked her way through the ages and joined Flemeth of Highever. They nudged at the threads that weaved present-day Thedas, in order to preserve what was lost and fight the Blight.

As Flemeth, she warned Maric about the Blight in Ferelden. She saved only the Warden and Alistair in Ostagar, and protected them in the hut using magics to block the Darkspawn. She gave Morrigan to the Warden, gifted with the knowledge of cleansing the Old God soul from the Blight. She rescued Hawke from the Darkspawn attacking the family, providing safe passage from Ferelden to the Free Marches, again hiding their presence to the Darkspawn. She entrusted her other daughter Yavana to restore the Great Dragons to the world through Maric's blood - those untouched by the Blight and more powerful than any high dragon. And despite willfully giving her power to Solas, she made Morrigan the Inheritor, the one to continue her work into the next age.

Flemeth always said the Darkspawn taint was evil. That men were foolish in their worldly endeavors and overlooked the true threats that plagued the world. But despite fighting the Darkspawn in her own way, by guiding those to conquer it, she did note one specific thing.

Alas, so long as the music plays, we dance.
— Flemeth

Everything Mythal has done up to now has been indirectly conquering the Blight. But as it is a disease that affects the Titans, what will happen if the Blight is removed?

The Titans will return. In full force. And everything up until now has indicated that Mythal wants nothing to do with that.

In the beginning, Mythal and the other Elves fought against the Titans because, other than threatening their Temples and structures with earthquakes, they acted in an unbreakable hivemind. In a codex entry within the Arbor Wilds...

Their workers scurry, witless, soulless. This death will be a mercy. We will make the earth blossom with their passing.

It's similar to Solas's distaste of the Qun, from the personal quest with Iron Bull to his voiced disgust in the Qunari's meddling of the Trespasser DLC. Those under the Qun had no identity. No self. The children of the Titans seemingly had no purpose other than to serve the Titans. To serve the Stone. Mythal seemed the same, and as she voices a soft discontent with following the Song and practically resurrecting the Titans who were crippled and polluted with the taint, she may as well be under their call.

But in having others battle in her stead, and having Maric and the Hero of Ferelden and Hawke fight her battles for her, she may be completely aware that she has no control in the form that she is in. While she agrees the Darkspawn taint would destroy everything, she fights for both the cleansing of the taint and the restoration of what was lost because of her and the Evanuris.


Why stop the song?

  1. The stop of dependency on lyrium and its adverse affects, which has strengthened because of the presence of the Veil. It takes a gargantuan amount of lyrium to enter the Fade, to perform magic, to control magic, to repel magic. Everyone that lives with or against magic is dependent on the usage of lyrium. The song itself will make one crazy or dulled to death. Those dependent on lyrium are those dependent on the song.
  2. The preservation of choice and identity. The Titan and all its underlings engage in a hivemind-like existence. Identity is a constant struggle in the Dragon Age universe. Religious identity and the idea of believing in either one God one Maker or a whole pantheon of Gods. Sexual identity, in areas like Tevinter where lineage and bloodlines influence the continuation of the Dreamer society, and duty and responsibility will trump love and sex. Even identity and purpose - the idea that your existence is for another.

    The Qun is the greatest counter, as it is an ideology that prevents the individual from being free. Some like Solas have scorned those for joining the Qun, in ridding themselves of their own thoughts. But at the same time, people like Solas have given up on the oppressed because they do not see any other way. But people like Leliana see that there are those who can choose the different paths and the harder struggles. Regardless, stopping the song is a matter of keeping one whole versus only one.

    However, I think the only reason why the Titan wants to assist the player at all is a more selfish, self-preserving reason.
  3. The Blight needs to be cleared. The red lyrium sings in anger, and the Blight itself is likely sourced from a Titan. The Darkspawn are unruly and only a small handful have been able to escape the call. The destruction of the Darkspawn taint does not come from killing 7 Archdemons. Those Archdemons are merely the extension of the Blighted Titan's will. Nullify the Blight and cure the Titan. That is, if the Blight has not moved to more than one singular Titan. Remove the Blight, however, and you are only left with stagnating corruption. 

The End

Flemeth taught Morrigan how to remove the Blight in the ritual with the Old God Child. Valta helped the Inquisitor, the player, understand the machinations behind lyrium. Sandal helped the Warden fight the Archdemon and helped Hawke fight only Meredith, who had become obsessed with red lyrium. He even helped with the safe crafting of red lyrium if Varric needed it. And Leliana helped the Inquisition as its spymaster, extending its helpful or harmful reach across all of Thedas.

The Titans have used us to free them. We must stop the Song, and hope we don't lose our minds in the process. 

Some agents will cling to the physical world stronger than other spirits. When they are called and needed, they are present. Destruction and death are merely bumps in the road. They continue to serve, with no bounds of time. But once the Titans are free? There will be no agents. There will be nothing. They have stood in their isolation for too long. With you, and the rest of Thedas, they will make you whole.