1/2 I think the reason Anders bugs Isabela about mages is because he can sense that she might agree with him. He might also have some basic knowledge about Rivain, so he can make a calculated guess that someone who is Rivaini and loves being free would not approve of mages being oppressed. And he is right, because she doesn't. If you force her to side with the Templars, Isabela makes a sneering comment about killing people for daring to be free.
jesus christ anon I’m sorry you had to see this shit and it ruined your mood, but I’m also glad that I’m entrusted with your hate&ranting. I hope you feel a bit better after venting, I do <3
I don’t even recall what her exact comment on Cullen was (so like, in case anyone feels like asking me, I don’t remember, sorry), but I sleep better with deciding that it never happened. Because if she was to know what kind of a person he is & also how he creeped up on the mage Warden and asked Leliana about her, she’d soak his ramen head into the nearest chamberpot, and this would be the safest scenario for him. She has very little patience for this kind of crap and this is why I love her.
Either way, I very much agree. In fact, Isabela’s open sneering at the Chantry is something I wish we saw a bit often than we did, because her mockery is delicious. As the codex entry on Rivain says, “the Chant of light doesn’t reach these people’s ears”, or something along these lines, so obviously she grew up in an environment very different from Kirkwall, and she doesn’t take the Chantry as an authority never to be questioned. She must have seen real seers in her life, too, who held actual authority back in Rivain and were walking freely, so all the local superstitious bullshit must be…jarring.
In hindsight, it was nice to see characters openly “meh” about the Chantry, I miss that.
I mean, one of my favourite moments is when Elthina answers Hawke’s question about mages living in the former prison, saying that it was “once a horror”, to which Isabela cannot help but reply “was once a horror?”. Obviously, Isabela is a smart person and holds her ear to the ground in terms of what is happening in the city, but it’s also a clear indication that it’s very hard to walk into the Gallows and not see that it’s anything but a prison, and that Elthina speaking of it with such chill would send even Isabela sputtering with confusion.
I can understand Anders’ motives when he keeps pestering her for years on the subject, because he tries to reach out to someone and it feels like he’s beating into closed doors, but with her he must know what that she does hear him, she just has other priorities in her life. I don’t blame her, she’s been on her own for the most part of her life, knowing that either you look out for yourself and know how to survive when left to your own devices, or you get in trouble and probably die. Hawke is the frist person she allows herself to trust fully in years, so I can see why this whole talk about how she simply must get involved with something that is bigger than her own life, prosperity and safety, annoys her and she repeatedly tries to steer clear of it.
There’s not much mental and emotional ability left to care for other people, even knowing they’re suffering for real and it goes against your beliefs, when your own life is in a very real trouble and you might get killed any day. And it’s the suspence she lives in for years before you finally manage to track Castillon down.