Honestly I could literally replace the cutscene of the Chantry blowing up with Anders killing Elthina directly and it would change literally one line in the entire end game. One. An optional line that you Hawke can say. Oh, and I guess one loading screen that mentions that it killed “Everyone in the Chantry” with zero mention of any other collateral damage (which, granted, is actually about what I would predict in modeling the explosion, I suppose)
Like I have so many complaints about how the finale of The Last Straw was done. It was thoroughly incoherent, lacking in appropriate context, and full of a confusing mess of narrative assumptions that was clearly written in a huge rush with basically no critical thought put into making it internally consistent and we wind up with this emotionally disconnected nonsensical physics defying explosion of a barely populated building with wildly inconsistently expressed collateral damage wherein the entire plot needs Anders to have been pushed to the point by extreme circumstances in order for his narrative arc to make sense while at the same time holding the idea of slaughtering en masse a group of imprisoned people who have less connection to the guy who blew up the Chantry than you do because - and I’ve text mined the hell out of this dialogue and plot summaries and this is literally the only consistent rationale they give internally - “the people would riot and kill the mages anyway, so we have to do it so none of them get hurt doing that.”
And all because an apostate killed the Grand Cleric, mind you, not because of literally any other mentioned potential collateral damage. But I guess in DAI they’re just going to mention rubble patterns so absurd that I’m pretty sure the Chantry would have had to be a few square miles large? Like I was there for it and rubble doesn’t work like that but okay.
Like honestly at this point I’m over here concluding that literally the only reason they went with an explosion - particularly over something way more symbolically satisfying, like the Chantry burning down in flames - was to trigger a knee-jerk ‘explosion=terrorism=bad’ reaction and then panicked when some pro-mage people went ‘uh he kinda has a point though’ and retcon in a bunch of inconsistent fallout, because they only want fans taking complex moral stances about hard choices and morally grey ‘do the ends justify the means?’ situations when they’re the ones they’ve pre-programmed into the game.
Like I love this game but it’s such a fucking mess, so yeah, my official opinion on the Chantry Boom isn’t even “Anders was right” or “Anders had the right motivation but there was too much collateral damage” - it’s “I honestly don’t find the scene coherent enough to judge on an ethical level?”
ETA: This post was made out of frustration with Anders hate and pro Circle people and I am blocking every single person who reblogs this with any variation of “Yeah Anders sucks.” I am done fucking around here.