Blackwall is such a nuanced character, it’s really amazing.
I get why some people think he’s boring, because on the surface he comes across as a reserved noble warrior, and those are dime-a-dozen in fantasy fiction. Being a quiet middle-aged soldier isn’t something as immediately interesting as, say, Sera’s colourful boldness or Solas’s air of mystery. But when you look a little deeper, Blackwall has so many different sides to him. His personality isn’t based around any single trait that really defines him - he’s a collection of many things.
He’s the grizzled Warden he appears to be on the surface, the man who’s seen war and fought darkspawn and seen (and caused) death, the lone wanderer who’s had no friends or companions in his life for years, who knows how messed-up and harsh the world is but who’s still determined to make what little difference he can.
He’s the absolutely broken man consumed by self-loathing, chronically lying because he can’t find any other way forward, who doesn’t think he deserves happiness or love or trust, who devalues his own life again and again because he thinks death is the only way he could ever be redeemed.
He’s the thoughtful craftsman who can create intricate shapes from wood, who carves out a wooden rocking griffon because he thinks the children of Skyhold have a right to play even in the midst of war.
He’s the gentleman who bows to a romanced Inquisitor and calls her his lady, who knows more about the Game than he lets on, who’s been among the nobility of Thedas and knows how they work - he may not fit in among them like Vivienne, never could, but he has the measure of them - who’s more cultured, more courteous, than anyone would expect from a gruff wanderer who sleeps in a stable.
He’s the cocksure, carefree soldier he once was in his youth, the playful rogue whose sense of humour is as dirty and infantile as Sera’s, who’s willing to goof around with her - you’re looking for ‘titsicles’, I stole all the beards and all the power held within - who swears the way you’d expect a soldier to (and surely once this side of him was full of arrogance and contempt, but that’s gone now, drowned out by his determination not to be everything Rainier was.)
He’s the gentle, uncertain and yet passionate man you only see if you romance him, the man who backs away from the first kiss but pins the Inquisitor against the banisters on the second, who opens himself up to her in a way he does with no one else, I’m just a man with his heart laid bare, who’d be ripped apart if he ever lost her - Maker, let her keep breathing - who finally comes to understand that he is her choice, that she stands with him, that he doesn’t need to be afraid, the man who smiles the most damn beautiful smile when he’s with her.
He’s the man who, pardoned, forgiven, is able to make a new life. To either continue his wandering protector-Warden life but not feel like he’s lying to himself when he does it this time, or else to seek out the most hopeless people in Thedas and show them ways to move forward. Either way, he’s a bringer of hope.
He’s a soldier, a Warden (at heart, if not in title), a recluse, a friend,
a craftsman, an atoner, an idealist. He’s so many things. And that makes him an incredible character.
(And there’s one thing he’s emphatically not: a boring stick in the mud. Seriously, put him in a party with Sera. You won’t regret it.)