Okay, before I go to bed I need major help from the DA community. I saw a while back a writer’s guide on the many ways people in Thedas express themselves, ie: how Dalish curse, what dwarves would say when exaserbated, etc. I also saw a huge link guide on writing, how to start, what to do when you reach writers block, how to do certain scenes.
I can not locate these, and I have been searching on Tumblr on and off all day. If anyone can locate them or sees them on their dashboard please help. Reblog this if need be, I just want to see them so I can write with as much accuracy as possible.
Today’s topic is Bethany and Carver and the relationship of the twins. Primarily I will be focusing on Carver’s reactions and emotions relating to the loss of his sister, just because usually people seem to think that he doesn’t care, whereas Bethany does.
I however believe this to be untrue: Carver cares, deeply.
The World of Thedas Vol 2 provides us with some interesting snippets about Carver’s relationship with his family, and is supposedly a direct account with someone who was Carver’s superior or comrade back at Ostagar.
Said he wanted to protect his family. That someone had to, because his father had died and, well you know how the Champion turned out. Carver took it real serious…”
Along with a love of using a sword, this was Carver’s motivation for signing up with the army, the Blight was threatening his home, and his family, and he saw it as his duty to protect them.
“The more ground we lost, the harder he swung that plank of a sword of his. He was shouting that we had to win, that it was to keep our homes safe. I swear he was crying when we finally tackled him, but damned if I’ll hold that against him. It took three of us to drag him to cover. I had to slap him back to his senses, to make him see that killing five, or ten, more ‘spawn wouldn’t matter. The wall was on us, and dying there wasn’t going to help anyone. I said if he wanted to do his family good, he’d get them safe.
So despite there being insurmountable odds, hordes of Darkspawn everywhere, and men and women being slaughtered all around him, Carver kept fighting, kept trying to rally the men because his home was in danger, because he’d promised to protect them. It took three men to drag him from the battle and he was crying as they did. He felt that this was his failure, that it was his fault that the battle was lost, and the Darkspawn victorious. And he was told that if he wanted to help his family he had to run, run and get them out before the horde descended.
We don’t know what exactly happened in the days it took Carver to flee north, hunted by Darkspawn all the way. But we do know that he’d barely gotten home when the darkspawn overran Lothering.
This account does not paint a picture of someone who wouldn’t care if his twin sister, or his elder sibling died does it.
Bethany: We should have run sooner, why did we wait so long?
Carver: Why are you looking at me? I’ve been running since Ostagar!
This is the first interaction of the twins, and comes after Leandra mourns all they lost at Lothering. Bethany pronounces the first half of her sentence looking at Hawke, but looks at Carver with a frown on her face for the second half. He seems surprised, and defensive at her attack, but the disagreement is quickly broken up by Hawke and Leandra.
Carver: Then let’s go, lead on.
This is directed at Hawke, and is devoid of any snark, sarcasm or bitterness. He genuinely trusts his elder sibling to lead them. This indicates that Carver’s bitterness hasn’t always been ingrained in him.
Bethany: Wait, where are we going?
Carver: Away from the Darkspawn. Where else?
In this cutscene Carver’s concern is for the now, for the immediate threat of the Darkspawn looming in on them. While the others decide where they’re going he stays quiet until the very end.
Carver: If we survive that long. I’ll be happy just to get out of here!
Again there is no bitterness here, no anger at Bethany, or at his mother or Hawke.
The next scene is when they meet Aveline. Carver stays quiet during the conflict with the Templar, but when the scene cuts to him he can be seen standing with his arms folded. Likely he is backing up his siblings, letting them handle it until they require him.
Finally it’s the ogre attack. We see Carver dive to the side, but the Camera doesn’t cut to Carver until Leandra angrily blames Hawke. He’s seen kneeling beside his big brother, looking at Bethany.
Carver: If we stand here weeping, the darkspawn will take the rest of us too.
Listen to his voice during this line, he sounds choked up, there’s a tremor there, like he would like nothing better than to break down and cry. But he can’t. Bethany is gone but the rest of them are still in danger.
Dialogue in Act 1
There aren’t many mentions of Bethany for the rest of the game, but there are a few, and Carver’s reactions to them are interesting.
We all know that in Act 1 Carver is extremely bitter and resentful. He feels out of place and alone. His mother seems obsessed with reclaiming the Amell glory, of reclaiming her life before them, which he sees as a rejection of his farm boy upbringing. Hawke meanwhile is assisting and has acquired respect and interesting friends and companions, where Carver seems to have nothing. Everyone seems to have moved on, from both Bethany and Ostagar, and Carver hasn’t really had time to grieve.
He can’t grieve with his mother because he doesn’t want to hurt her by reminding her that Bethany’s gone. And he can’t grieve with his elder sibling because Hawke and Bethany were both Mages, they had a special bond, and Hawke seems to be doing just fine now. And no one wants to hear about Ostagar.
So mentions of Bethany tend to get one very cross reaction.
Case in point: Anders:
Carver: What are you looking at? Anders:
(If Hawke is male) Your brother is a mage. As was your sister and father? (If Hawke is female) Your sisters are… were both mages, as was your father?
Carver: And I’m not. What of it? Anders: Nothing, it’s not always passed to all siblings. But it’s good to know that you understand our plight. Carver: Shove your plight.
Anders: I’m sorry about your sister. She sounds like a special girl. Carver: Why? Because she was a mage? Anders:
(If Hawke is male) Your brother says she had a good heart. Being on the run never made her bitter. (If Hawke is female) Your other sister says she was a good person. That she never turned down a chance to help people.
Carver: Yes, yes. I’m sure the Chantry’s got a shrine with her portrait on it. Anders: I was trying to be nice. Carver: Stick to surly. It works for you
Anders: You don’t like me, Carver? Carver: I don’t like you. Anders: That’s unfortunate. Hating someone just because they’re a mage is a shameful thing. Carver: I don’t hate you because you’re a mage. I hate you because you won’t shut up about it. Carver: Oppression this, templars that. I’d heard enough long before you. Anders: Maybe it’s time you put some thought into it.
We see here the full force of Carver’s bitterness. Anders, as we know, is a little fixated on the Mage Plight, which is a sure fire way to ruffle Carver’s feathers. His whole life has been about hiding from the Templars and protecting the Mages of his family. He’s sick of it, especially since he was supposed to protect Bethany.
So when Anders brings it up, Carver guesses that he’s bringing it up because of the Mage connection, both of his siblings were Mages, yes, and so was his father. Doesn’t mean anything. He has no patience for Anders’ Mage Rights campaign. He doesn’t care anymore, because Bethany is gone, and she was the one who needed his protection.
Then Anders brings up Bethany again, “She sounds like she was a special girl.”
And Carver snaps, because what does Anders know about Bethany? He only cares because she had magic.
His jab about the Chantry is because she was good, she was kind and good and the Chantry would have hunted her down. and locked her away in a tower. He misses her so much, that being reminded of her goodness reminds him that it should have been him that died. He probably wishes it had been him before her.
So he isn’t really disposed to like Anders, and the last banter reflects that. He doesn’t dislike Anders because he’s a Mage. He dislikes him because every second word out of his mouth is about Mage rights, templars, Magic….all things that remind him of Bethany.
Legacy Act 1
Legacy is particularly useful when looking at Carver’s feelings about Bethany, simply because this DLC is about the Hawke family, and has a lot of Darkspawn encounters.
Anders: It must be hard being around so many darkspawn. After what happened to your sister. Carver: I’d happily spend the rest of my life doing nothing but making them pay. For everything. Anders: Have you thought about joining the Grey Wardens? They’ve got a whole club for people just like you. Carver: If I did join the Wardens, you can be bloody sure I wouldn’t run away to go live in some sewer. Anders: But we’d all be so sorry to see you go…
This is unusually sanguine for Carver in Act 1. Normally he just snaps and brushes Anders off, but this time he gives more of an answer…at least until Anders teases him again.
Fenris: You must hate the darkspawn, after what they did to your home. Carver: And to Bethany. Hawke:(If Hawke has a diplomatic/helpful personality) Mother is still sick with grief. (If Hawke has a humorous/charming personality) Well, I hate them a lot. (If Hawke has an aggressive/direct personality) There was nothing we could do back then. Fenris: I never knew her. I’m sorry for your loss. Carver: Thank you.
Legacy Act 2
The banter with Fenris is performed even after Carver has chosen a new path. But the responses differ.
Fenris: You must hate the darkspawn, after what they did to your home.
Carver: Absolutely. And the magic that brought them to this world.
Fenris: Then we’re agreed on something.
Fenris: You must hate the darkspawn, after what they did to your home.
Carver: (Rival) I don’t know that I hate them exactly. It’s… deeper than that. But yes, after what happened to Bethany, I won’t let that go. So I fight.
I don’t know that I hate them exactly. It’s… deeper than that. But I hate what happened to Bethany, and many more like her.
It’s interesting in itself that in Act 1 and as a Grey Warden Carver voluntarily continues speaking about Bethany, but as a Templar he does not. But make of that what you will. It’s worth noting that Carver as a character seeks Fenris’ approval during Act 1, as I’ve stated in other posts. So he doesn’t jump down Fenris’ throat like he does down Anders’ who he sees as only caring about her as a mage, rather than the woman she was.
Legacy (Bethany Lives)
We find out in a Rogue!Hawke or Warrior!Hawke playthrough, and Bethany lives, that Carver invented a jig to cheer her up
He probably looked ridiculous doing it, but he would do it any time Bethany was sad, or hurt.
Carver becomes a far more bitter character in Act 1 than he was in the Prologue. He is snarky at times in that small segment of play, but he’s not bitter, not like he is that second year in Kirkwall. Personally I attribute it to the lost battle at Ostagar and feeling like he had failed his family, and the loss of Bethany. The two are intrinsically linked to him.
Just as he failed to protect his family at Ostagar, so too did he fail to protect Bethany. As such he is rude, brusque, and pushes away his older sibling, who he sees as over it and rising up in the world, and his mother, who is reclaiming her noble heritage, a heritage he feels like he has no part in.
He most likely suffers from PTSD, and survivors guilt, but no one seems to take the time to get to know him, other than the time also spent with Hawke.
He lost his twin. The other half of him.
And now he feels alone.
Don’t say that Carver didn’t care that Bethany died.