there-she-is

There was no exact translation into any human tongue, so far as Valya knew, although the phrase could clumsily be reduced to “the path to a place of lost love.” It was a quote from one of the few great poems to be remembered through the oral traditions of the Dalish and the alienages, and it described a wistful wish for beauty that one had never actually experienced in life. It was a sweetly painful sensation, akin to nostalgia but laced with greater bitterness, for a nostalgic man remembers the pleasure he has lost, whereas one experiencing *lathbora viran* longs for a thing that he can never really know.

"Under the blackberry vines, I felt it," Valya muttered under her breath. That was how the poem opened: with the musky fragrance of ripening blackberries, bitter and sweet, and a wish to remember the long-lost scents of Arlathan.

The poem itself was *lathbora viran*, because no elf she’d ever met remembered it in the original Elvish. The elves had a few fragmented words and the skeleton of the story, but the poem itself had been haltingly re-created in human tongues. No alienage elves knew enough of their own history or mother language to recall their civilization’s lost works of art. They didn’t even know the original title. “Under the Blackberry Vines,” it was called, because no one knew the true name anymore.

— 

- Dragon Age: Last Flight, Liane Merciel, pg 24-25

***

I just loved this passage, but especially because of Merrill and Carver’s dialogue in DA2:

Merrill: Do you miss it? Ferelden, I mean.
Carver: Sometimes.
Merrill: Blackberries. They don’t seem to grow here. And there were little song birds with black caps on their heads.
Carver: I sort of miss the dogs barking.
Merrill: Yes… It’s been mostly humans barking at me here. Not nearly as cute.

Maybe it’s just coincidence that Merrill brings up blackberries. Or maybe not. I do love that she thinks of them as she’s trying to relate to Carver about him missing his homeland — especially given that for elves, blackberries are apparently associated with missing something you never truly knew, a place that only exists in the ache in your heart.

"And while Oliver’s final thought was of Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) before he fell, his Girl Friday will continue to grow closer to Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) while he’s gone. “For Felicity it really becomes a difficult choice between these two men who are both in love with her, who in a way she has strong feelings for,” teased executive producer Andrew Kreisberg. “A lot of the back half of the year is her trying to figure out who [she should be with].”

Just don’t expect Felicity to rush into anything with Ray while she’s still mourning Oliver. According to Routh, although their connection deepens in upcoming episodes, “They’re feeling each other out a little bit more — she certainly knows more about him and his history and background and why he’s doing what he’s doing. He’s hesitant to jump into the relationship, because I don’t think he realized that a relationship was happening — he was just so involved in everything and she’s cool and then ‘oh wow, this is happening’ … Ray will challenge her and ask her to be a part of his mission, and she has to decide whether she’s going to help someone else go off and kill themselves potentially as well.”