I have a dragon age theory
So, I was thinking about how weird the restrictions on Solas’s romance are, because they are not like any other restriction in the game, and, because my brain is a terible creature that will run off on me and return with horrible ideas unless I pay careful attention, I have now developed a Theory about ancient elves. This was originally a joke, but the more I think about it the more it starts to make horrible, horrible sense.
First, let us look at the oddities in Solas’s romance. With every other romanceable character, and with Vivienne, who is not a romanceable character at all, flirt options are available to all inquisitors whether or not the romance path is actually possible. An incompatible character will eventually turn you down, but the option to flirt still appears. Meanwhile, it isn’t even possible to flirt with Solas unless you are a female Lavellan; the options simply don’t appear for anyone else.
So: while Dorian and Cassandra are programmed not to be attracted to women, Sera and Blackwall are programmed not to be attracted to men, and Cullen is programmed only to be attracted to slender women six to eight inches shorter than he is, Solas’s orientation and preferences aren’t actually programmed; rather, the game is coded so that only female Lavellans are attracted to him.
Furthermore, all the flirt options which set you on Solas’s romance path in the first place are responses to lines that Solas delivers exactly the same way to inquisitors male and female, Cadash, Trevelyan, Lavellan, or Adaar. Some of them are plentifully flirtatious lines in their own right, and f!Lavellan simply comments on the undertones of what he just said. The most notable ones are the class-specific flirts, when he comments on an Inquisitor’s muscles / iron will / grace of movement; and the scene in the Fade where they are dreaming of Haven. In this scene in particular, there’s astonishingly little transition – Solas says that he saw the Inquisitor close the rift and ‘felt the whole world change,’ and all noncompatible inquisitors simply move on from that remark, while the romance option plays out like this:
Lavellan: Felt the whole world change?
Solas: A figure of speech.
Lavellan: I’m aware of the metaphor. I’m more interested in ‘felt’.
Solas: You change… everything.
Lavellan: Sweet talker. [She kisses him.]
So the scene plays out as if the line ‘felt the whole world change’ is a love confession – and he says that to any Inquisitor with high enough approval to see this scene.
So, it is a reasonable conclusion to draw from the text that Solas isn’t straight at all, or exclusively interested in elves either – that, in fact, he is attracted to any inquisitor and develops at least the beginnings of a romantic interest in any inquisitor with a high approval level, but that, for some reason, only elven women will ever develop a reciprocal interest. Why might this be?
I present to you: ancient elven sex pheromones.
I did say it didn’t start out as a serious theory.