*rant incoming!*  ok so disclaimer i can't play trespasser yet, i've just read the mage-related epilogue slides (and promptly actually cried hahaha nbd nbd fuck u bioware) - but now that i've calmed down some… i really hate how bioware is using vivienne as a shield to exempt themselves from criticism??
I REALIZED YOU SENT MORE AFTER THIS IM SO SORRY
edited with the later messages orz
 i mean, yeah, at first i was absolutely furious at vivienne, too. but then i decided to think more critically… and the tl;dr is i now refuse to blame vivienne for something bioware did and would rather we blame their black woman character for.
 look at the language they use: ‘crushing’ and ‘utterly razing’ and ’[playing] on the mages’ fears’? cassandra becoming ‘disgusted with vivienne’s perversion of the chant of light’s intent to suit her whims’? when has bioware EVER been so critical of pro-circle mages (or perversions of the chant of light) before? rereading it sent up some huge red flags.
 sad but true, we all know bioware’s attitude towards pro-circle characters hitherto: sympathetic at best, completely supportive at worst (and most frequent). so that they’d use this kind of negative language all of a sudden seems… suspicious.
 it just rings too similar to previous offenses: like colored people almost always appearing in dragon age and mass effect as sleazy and violent characters (hubert, etc.), or the blame for lazy writing getting pinned on disliked characters (anders, etc.) - jacob taylor from mass effect jumps to mind as the middle of this venn diagram, to name an example, but i can’t list everybody or we’d be here all day. vivienne would now appear to be falling into these categories, too.
 in addition, user mllemaenad pointed out that non-divine vivienne has no authority restoring the circles anyway, since they were legitimized by the divine and chantry. no amount of “~power and influence~” handwaving on bioware’s part can explain why this doesn’t raise eyebrows - in-universe and out.
 hypothesis? they are redirecting the backlash for THEIR OWN FAILURE to follow through on their promises by blaming the same exact character in every single situation. and it’s pathetic. “guys, it’s not OUR fault the divine choices were basically retconned and all assimilated into our single vile, preferred outcome for ease of reference in future games - it’s vivienne’s, see? SHE took away your player agency, not us! isn’t she just awful??”
 through these ending slides, bioware manages to divert the blame from their faulty business practices and ableist opinions on what the fate of the mages Should be (read: not free) to their only major black woman character. and a lot of people are buying it. i almost bought it, too. …then i remembered that wynne and rhys would never have been described as “utterly razing” anything.
 i gotta restate that i am in NO way condoning vivienne’s horrific actions or her awful opinions in general - i’m just pissed at her treatment compared to other /white/ pro-circle characters guilty of just about the same. it’s clear that bioware just wants to allocate the blame for their failure to implement player choice as the nefarious deed of a fictitious black woman, and i’m having none of it. @ bioware try this: accepting the consequences of /YOUR/ actions for once. cowards.
!!! Oh my god you’re right!!
All of it is violent and brutal and negative. It’s not language they would have used for a character like Wynne, for example. It’s language they’d use for characters that they want to vilify and want us to disagree with.
Honestly I’ve been so so angry at Vivienne for those things, especially because I did not expect this from Vivienne. The ending I got (the Divine Leliana one) okay, it’s super angering, but the one where she razes the College was shocking and horrifying and surprising and it made me cry. All of them made me cry but that one? wow. I’d never get it because Leliana is always my Divine, but knowing the different endings, knowing what a character does depending on the situation is important.
Vivienne is so so pro-Chantry it hurts, but the thing that is important is that I don’t think she really likes unneeded violence that much, or does she? Again, I think I remember her disliking the Rebellion for the people it killed so why the hell would she just raze the College of Enchanters and keep its leaders alive only “out of respect”?! I don’t know her character as well as others but really, it’s shocking coming from her?
And it’s actually really interesting because it’s true- she doesn’t have any power over this. She isn’t the one leading the College of Enchanters. She doesn’t seem to have been given any special favors from the Divine (if she isn’t the Divine) and the College has been working pretty well for 2 years. All she complains about in the DLC is it’s organization, but it isn’t any major problem.
So she has some kind of role in the College but, in the Divine Leliana ending, she can’t really just go and be like “oh yeah let’s build Circles again! :D” it’s way more complicated than that and I don’t think Leliana, especially hardened Leliana, would let her do that so easily? Because Vivienne would need approval from the Divine for that, and if Leliana freed the mages, it’s not to just let her imprison them all again.
And for the Divine Cassandra ending, I don’t care if Cass puts mages in Circles again- I don’t think she’d approve of the College of Enchanters being razed. She isn’t that kind of brutal, murder happy Divine, is she?!
But yeah, it’s seen as all Vivienne’s fault- my anger and everyone’s anger at her proves that. They want us to be angry at Vivienne, but it is them, it’s Bioware, who did this. It’s Bioware who made her do this even though half of it makes no sense.
I am still angry at Vivienne and will not condone her awful actions, but yeah. You make an excellent point. Bioware is also to blame, very much so.
And the fact that she’s a black woman is :^) Bioware, yes, hello, is there something you want to tell us???!