“Anders escaped from the Circle 7 times! What else were the templars supposed to do?”
I always find it really interesting when people defend Anders’ year in solitary confinement with this, because it’s like, you’re right, and that’s exactly why the whole concept of Circles is fucked up.
Not to go all “come and see the violence inherent in the system!” here, but, well… come see the violence inherent in the system.
We can talk all we want about “not all Circles” and “the Kirkwall Circle was an anomaly” and “Kinloch Hold wasn’t actually that bad,” but at the end of the day, it still involves locking people up against their will, for literally as long as they live. This isn’t just mandatory education in how to use dangerous powers and resist demons, something that would be an entirely reasonable - it’s a life sentence for anyone born with magic.
Maybe, if you’re really lucky, if you play the game just right and the templars like you and your Circle is one of the less shitty ones, you’re well versed in manipulation, you might get to go out on a leash now and again, and you’ll call it “freedom” and “not all Circles.” But if you don’t have the, let’s be real, not only social skills but general luck and talent for manipulation? Sucks to be you. Maybe the templars will let you get out some letters now and again. If you’re from a noble family, maybe your mother can bribe her way into a visit. (The Circle is far from the equalizer it claims to be.)
But let’s not kid ourselves here. Everything, even your very capacity to feel emotions, is 100% at the mercy of the templars. Templars who have been trained for their entire adult lives to not see mages as people, to be willing to cut down the people they lock in at the slightest sign of possession, to stand by as apprentice after apprentice is thrown to the metaphorical wolves and literal demons, to pin down struggling apprentices and give them a brand that will sever their connection with the Fade and all emotional capacity.
And all this happens in even the nicest Circles.
And if you resist, peacefully, nonviolently, but effectively? Well, they’ve just admitted it, haven’t they? There’s no recourse for it but literal violence and psychological torture.
That’s why there will never be a good Circle in the current system.