Etymology: from Middle English boden > Old English bodian, “to announce, foretell”, derivative of boda, “messenger”, cognate with German Bote, Old Norse bothi + -ment, a suffix of nouns, often concrete, denoting an action or resulting statement, a product or means, from Latin -mentum.
I find it genuinely bizarre that I can watch every death in Game of Thrones without issue but twelve years later I’m still freaked out by Trelawney’s prophecy in Prisoner of Azkaban to the point that I don’t even watch it, I have to fast forward every time.
A few pictures here presented to illustrate a point regarding the symbolic association between Solas and Christian Revelation. First, his tarot, the Hermit rising from the mountains to return the light of wisdom to the people. The four entwined circles surround him, as they surround the golden city, which represents the kingdom of heaven.
Next, the same pattern repeats, of four concentric circles. One around the symbol of mighty Orlais, and the other around the peacock. These are beasts representing pride. Superbia is Latin for pride, and the peacock image is from The Basilica of Notre Dame.
Finally we have the eye of heaven. In Dragon Age, this is the Maker, his holy seat defiled, shining down his wrath from the Fade. For Catholics, it is Jesus, rising from his tomb, surrounded by sin.
A few things of note.. in each of these pictures there are four things, four circles. And there has always been much speculation of what these four circles represent in-game. Allow me to suggest: The Four Last Things. These are: death, judgment, heaven, and hell. This is part of Catholic belief, but it works as well for Dragon Age. The Fade representing Heaven and the Abyss representing Hell.
We know that Solas intends to bring about an apocalypse. Even as little as we understand how he intends to do that, we can draw a surprising number of parallels between the game and Revelation.
Solas wants to resurrect/restore his people, the elves who wandered in sin after the destruction of Elvhenan, or Egypt, which was set upon by plagues before the Hebrew slaves escaped. He has taken over the Eluvian network, which according to The Masked Empire, connects to all of the ancient elven tombs. In Revelation, the dead also rise from their tombs.
Solas is taking a select few of his chosen people with him, and they are disappearing from the world, just as the Rapture tells of people who are taken by god into heaven before the end times.
Solas is planning a holy war among the spirits of heaven. Before he can tear down the Veil, he must fight the Evanuris. We know that he has ancient elvhen allies, which may be either spirits like Wisdom or spies like Felassan.
Dragons, which Mythal and the Old Gods inhabit or gain power from, are representative of the evils of hell in Christian scripture, and Archdemons are literally the opposite of Archangels: they are lieutenants of Satan. That makes Mythal, who is the mother of dragons and possibly an eighth forgotten old god, equivalent to Satan in this battle.
This speculation is fueled by older drawings showing Draconis as more serpentine in appearance, perhaps depicting a sea creature or an unknown eighth Old God that was stricken from historical record.
Naturally, if Mythal is an Old God, so are the other seven Evanuris.. who also took on the form of dragons:
His crime is high treason. He took on a form
reserved for the gods and their chosen, and dared to fly in the shape of
Revelation contains a Book of Life, which records the names of those who are permitted into heaven, while those marked by the beast may not return. In Dragon Age, this takes the form of the Shaparate which records literal memories into the stone. Dwarves can be struck from the memories if they are dishonored, and this is done so that they do not weaken the stone. Only those who are recorded by the Shapers may return to the Stone.
In Jaws of Hakkon, we learn that people who are plagued by the Blight are rejected by the gods. This is a huge part of the reason the cult rejects all the other gods in favor of Hakkon. They cannot forgive the gods for forsaking their kin. Since Blight is representative of all things evil.. hate in the absence of god’s love, and the sickened, it may also be the mark of the beast.
Another thing that occurs is the moving of mountains and earthquakes, as well as lightning and fire from heaven, and the darkening of the skies. So great is the destruction on earth that survivors all flee into a mountain for protection. All such things are possible with the weakening of the Veil. As the heavens rains down its wrath, the Titans would awaken from their slumber and cause widespread earthquakes. Ironically, the dwarves have the right idea. Within the Titan itself lies protection.
Many similar calamities are described in the Chant of Light’s own version of end time prophecy: The Canticle of Exaltation. The skies darken. Titans rise and “stamp paradise indelible”. Ancient beings awaken, and the world is torn apart by war.
Finally is Solas and the way he sees the world. Personify a god returned to a world of mortals, any god you please, and they are going to suffer the same problem: “knowing everything without looking like a jackass”. Christians speak of a Christ and God who is angry at a world full of people who have forgotten his teachings and are so full of sin. Solas is definitely indignant at a world full of ignorance and suffering caused by selfishness. Both desire a new world and would bring death to this one in order to achieve it.
What is interesting to me is that Solas can also represent certain aspects of Lucifer: so full of pride that it clouds his wisdom. Described as a being that devours in his rage, eager to punish sinners. Rebellious and deviant, cleverly capable of bringing people to an ironic downfall. Demons of pride are, in general, strongly influenced by the Christian concept of that sin.
In All New, Faded For Her, we learn that spirits and demons are not different, and Solas himself is quick to condemn black and white thinking. It would be interesting if the developers intended to take these beliefs and turn them on their head: giving us a god with traits of both the most beloved and most hated figures, who shakes the heavens in an attempt for a quick and painless end, but because of his hubris he fails to see that he is really bringing about a time of great tribulation and pain for the world. And because he has both good and bad traits, as fans we feel both. We love and despise him, sometimes all at once.
Disclaimer: This theory is presented as objectively as possible. I
am no Christian. Thus this analysis is presented because I find it
compelling enough to point these things out. While I realize that Dragon
Age is inspired by many things, I cannot deny the religious overtones
within the series. I also mean no offense to Christians. If I have made any mistakes in these descriptions, it is not with any malice.
Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer. If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.