(different annon) Wait Cullen/solas? i didn't know that was a ship, sounds intresting tho >.> can I ask what u like about it? ^^
So much, anon. On a personal level, it hits all of my wickets. It’s an amalgamation of espionage, angst, military tactics, chess, and supreme nerddom (I mean…in the race for Biggest Nerd in the Inquisition, Solas and Cullen are pretty well up there.) And it’s all tied together by that classic dynamic of a cool, aloof intellectual vs a warmer, more personable commander.
On a broader level there are so many fascinating angles and tensions that could play out in this ship. Apostate mage vs ex-Templar, other worldly vs worldly, duplicity vs directness, past vs future, just to name a few. They also have much in common, enough that I think they would have fantastic chemistry. They both value duty above nearly everything else, they (too willingly) sacrifice their well-being, and both ultimately want people to be safe– although their definition of ‘people’ varies. These two have a lot to learn from one another about how to face failure, cope with pain, and exercise empathy. They could help each other in so many ways. The worst part is they absolutely have the potential to save one another, even if it goes up in flames.
For instance, a common thread in Lionwolf is Solas helping Cullen to cope with nightmares/lyrium withdrawal, in a way only he can– not only through magic and his Fade expertise, but because letting Solas help him would be a huge turning point for Cullen. He’s not a man who accepts help easily, especially from someone like Solas who lives so free from rules and convention. It would be healing in more ways than one, a sign that he’s let go of his tortured past and can finally be the person he was meant to be.
And Solas helping Cullen to overcome his past while holding so tightly to his own is beautifully ironic. Just being with Cullen would make him question everything, because it’s so easy to think of him as just some brute human and a mage jailer. Seeing him for the complex and real person that he is would undermine Solas so badly, which he needs and I think on some level wants. And seeing the way Cullen chooses to cope with his mistakes, as opposed to the way that he does, would torture him with doubt (which all of us Solasmancers love doing.)
Then imagine Cullen finally learning to trust someone who represents everything he fears: a powerful apostate, practically more spirit than person, who doesn’t follow any of the rules Cullen believed kept people safe. Imagine Cullen letting go of all of his old fears, and putting all of his love and hope in this man. And his heart breaking, and every moment of doubt justified when Solas betrays him. f u c k.
On another note, it’s interesting to think of Lionwolf from the perspective of power dynamics. Cullen is a Commander through and through, both in title and in personality. So is Solas, even if he’s incognito. They’re both dominant types in life and in their relationships. Imagine that banter as they butt heads– Solas trying to maintain his facade as a humble beige hobo, but showing too much of his rebel commander side in a heated moment. Cullen picking up on that, recognizing him as a fellow general and tactician and wondering just how an elvhen apostate came by those skills. The ensuing push and pull between two commanding men who are feeling each other out, vying for dominance, planning moves and gambits because they’ve finally met an opponent worthy of playing on that level.
…And behind it all, Solas playing another game entirely. Moving his spies into the Inquisition, pulling strings with knowledge he sees on Cullen’s desk and pulls from their conversations. Cullen getting too close to finding out, and Solas kissing him to distract him (it works), and telling himself that it’s for a greater cause, despite the way he wants to sink into it. Cullen being flustered at first, on the back foot, and then rising to his challenge, pushing back–
All right, I’m getting carried away and this post has gone on for too long. There’s just so much there to work with and I haven’t even begun to touch on everything. I hope it’s enough, though, to have given you a taste of all the potential within this ship.