the inquisitor and da4
Before delving into things, I’d like to make it clear that I’m not trying to rag on the Trespasser DLC in any way. In fact, I really enjoyed it. I also know that there was a quote floating around here from someone with Bioware who apparently stated that the Inquisitor won’t be playable in the next game (I can’t find the source or the exact quote right now), but I just wanted to give my two cents anyway.
How did the Trespasser DLC ensure that the Inquisitor would no longer be the playable protagonist? If anything, it only gave me the impression that the Inquisitor would be playing a major role in the next game. Wasn’t Trespasser being advertised as the ‘end’ of the Inquisition? I’m not saying they should have killed the Inquisitor off, but that would at least have been a definite ending to the Inquisitor’s story and would have effectively barred them off as the main character in Dragon Age 4.
Having the Inquisitor return would make sense because, in a way, they are partially responsible for Solas:
Inquisitor: This war proved that we can’t go back to the way things were. I’ll try to help this world move forward.
Solas: You would risk everything you have in the hope that the future is better? What if it isn’t? What if you wake up to find that the future you shaped is worse than what was?
Inquisitor: I’ll take a breath, see where things went wrong, and then try again.
Solas: Just like that?
Inquisitor: If we don’t keep trying, we’ll never get it right.
Solas: You’re right. Thank you. You have not been what I expected, Inquisitor. You have… impressed me. You have offered hope that if one keeps trying, even if the consequences are grave, that someday, things will be better.
While Solas was already planning to destroy the world by allowing Corypheus to find his orb, his plans were foiled when Corypheus didn’t actually die. Thus, he was forced to find another way to regain his power. The Inquisitor inspired Solas to keep trying to rectify his mistakes. So yes, the consequences of doing so will be grave, but he must persist to make up for creating the Veil, no matter what. That being said, the Inquisitor cannot directly be blamed for what Solas is planning, but they should feel at least feel that it is their duty to stop him and once again save the world.
Sure, Leliana and the Inquisitor both agree that it would be best to find people that Solas doesn’t know since he is familiar with all of their faces and tactics, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Inquisitor will be staying on the sidelines while someone new goes after him. When speaking to Solas at the end of the DLC, the Inquisitor makes it sound like they will personally find a way to stop Solas from destroying the world:
Inquisitor: You don’t have to destroy the world. I’ll prove it to you.
Solas: I welcome the chance to be wrong once again, my friend.
Inquisitor: If I live, I’m coming to stop you.
Solas: I know.
To me, Solas’ response to the first option even sounds like a direct invitation for the Inquisitor to try. Also, wouldn’t it make more sense narratively to have the Inquisitor confront Solas at the end of the next game? I think it would be likely that Solas would respond more positively to the Inquisitor than to someone he doesn’t really know. If you manage to get Solas’ approval high enough, he even tells you that he has great respect for the Inquisitor, so obviously, if anyone could persuade him, it’d be them.
Solas even likens himself to the Inquisitor:
Solas: I was Solas first. “Fen’Harel” came later… An insult I took as a badge of pride. The Dread Wolf inspired hope in my friends and fear in my enemies… Not unlike “Inquisitor,” I suppose.
Solas: You also know the burden of a title that all but replaces your name.
Wouldn’t it be more fitting, then, for them to be the one actively working to find and confront Solas once and for all? Not to mention that having the Inquisitor be the one to face Solas in DA4 would also offer more closure to those who romanced him.
All Bioware really did was have the Inquisitor lose the forearm that the Anchor was attached to. Don’t tell me they expect us to believe that losing an arm means they can no longer go after Solas. Dragon Age is a series that has magic, dragons, elves… need I go on? My point is, implying that it’s not realistic for the Inquisitor to be returning as the playable protagonist in DA4 merely because of what happened to their arm is ridiculous. They can’t think of a way to give the Inquisitor some sort of prosthetic that will help them fight? Dagna exists! If anyone can invent something that can help the Inquisitor, it would be Dagna. Cullen even says that Dagna “crafts the impossible every day,” so… there you go.
I know some think that DA4 will give you the choice to have either the new protagonist or the Inquisitor confront Solas, but that seems unlikely. Having the Inquisitor decide for your character or having the protagonist tell the Inquisitor what to do won’t be very gratifying. If anything, I can see Bioware coming up with a scenario in which the protagonist and the Inquisitor both confront Solas, which will result in the protagonist having to battle Solas with assistance from the Inquisitor. That would be a very cheap and cliché ending, if I’m being honest. I know that Bioware isn’t really one for originality, and their writing tends to contradict itself quite a bit, but I want to give them the benefit of doubt.
I’m also aware that the tradition for the Dragon Age series is that each game will have a new protagonist, but honestly if Bioware wanted that to happen, they shouldn’t have ended Trespasser the way they did. It was too open-ended to keep the Inquisitor from returning as the main protagonist. I hope that I don’t give the impression that I’m just really attached to the Inquisitor (the Warden is my favorite hero, personally). All I’m saying is that it would make for a much interesting and compelling story if the Inquisitor were to continue as the main character in the next game.