A few years ago, an upmarket chef gave rise to the trend of using tropius fruit in desserts and sauces, claiming that it had a richer taste than regular fruit. Most people now accept that this was little more than a pretentious fad, too expensive and impractical for its own good. Any difference in taste is hardly worth the cost of harvesting, and indeed purchasing, the fruit from a tropius’ neck.
If you don't mind replying, why do you like Anders so much? (Not tryna start an argument; reading about why someone likes a character helps me like a character a lot of the time.)
the short answer to this is a pixely screenshot of anders with kittens badly photoshopped on with DEGENERATE APOSTATE HOBO CAT HUSBAND written across it BUT BECAUSE I DON’T WANT TO STUDY FOR MY MIDTERM YOU’RE GETTING THE LONG ANSWER INSTEAD? I’m really emotional right now; this might get more than a little pretentious.
I love how from the moment you meet Anders in Awakening you’re given everything you need to predict how his story will end. It’s very oblique foreshadowing and likely wasn’t intentional on Bioware’s part, but I like playing fast and loose with canon to suit my needs when continuity is malleable like it is for Dragon Age due to different in-game choices and the extended universe novels, etc.
From the beginning, Anders’ identity was dissociated from personhood. You never learn his real name, as Anders is only a nickname given to him in reference to the fact he was from the Anderfels, and what are the Anderfels known for? The land is barren from Darkspawn taint and living is hard (his clinic), an endless battle against the Darkspawn they’ll never win (mage freedom), kept alive and bolstered only by unshakable faith in Andraste (Justice). The Anderfels are poor, but feared across Thedas for giving birth to the hardest warriors, the staunchest believers. The Anderfels’ government is a puppet run by the Grey Wardens, and isn’t it appropriate, that for all Anders rejects societal institutions (the Chantry, the Circle, the Templars) and refuses to work with or within them, that he will never escape the Darkspawn taint poisoning his body? For all the times Anders fled the Circle longing for home, it seems he never truly left.
Fundamentally, Anders is a tragedy. Anders is good intentions gone horribly wrong. The conclusion to Anders’ story is Justice will never exist for mages, for anyone, because Justice itself cannot exist in our world. If you want to bring in 9th grade lit class into this, Anders is man vs. society brought to nihilistic conclusion.
Nothing else in the game highlights this better than his relationship with Fenris and the way their stories play off one another. I hate how the fanbase more or less split itself into to camps where you have to pick to like either Fenris or Anders, because I love them both very much! They’re foils to each other in ways that go far deeper than their stances on mages and magic. (Personally, I think this kind of reductivism is what led to Inquisition’s stance on the mage/templar conflict which is a whole other discussion, but I don’t regard Fenris as being pro-templar so much as mage/magic critical.)
Fenris’ story is a personal one. His fight isn’t with mages or magic; his fight is with Danarius, Hadriana, Varania, who have all abused, violated, and exploited him in some way, although they do happen to all be mages. He ends the game (assuming you didn’t give him to Danarius, and if you did how the fuck could you?) having begun a slow recovery process to move on, but this only happens after Danarius and Hadriana are dead and he’s permanently burned his bridges with Varania. Fenris recovers because he gets closure.
But Anders’ fight isn’t personal like Fenris’. Well, it is personal because he’s a mage, but functioning as an activist who writes manifestos, his struggle becomes an abstract one against ideas and societal institutions. Anders is fighting a battle against the Chantry, against every single piece of misinformation spread about magic, every piece of social conditioning that predicated Thedas to hate magic, to believe the Circles are a just institution and the Templars are a necessity. Locked away in Towers, most people never witness what mages experience nor are mages given an opportunity to dispel misinformation about magic. Anders fights ideas, and in the end, how do you make peace with an idea?
In Awakening, Anders was filled with just as much hate for the Templars, the Chantry and the Circle as he was in DA2, something I feel fans who don’t like Anders like to forget, partially because Anders was written to hide his hatred beneath his humor and I guess that was done too well. The thing is though, Anders in Awakening acknowledged that as a single person, he’ll never have the power to make things better for mages. He can’t upend the Chantry and end the Templars, nor can he single-handedly change the mind of every peasant of Thedas to stop fearing magic, which his own father did, having rejected him after Anders’ magic manifested. By then Anders was 12 and old enough to understand exactly what was going on too. He resented it, but he accepted it and compromised because he knew he couldn’t change it.
Once he merges with Justice, accepting and living with injustice and oppression isn’t an option for him anymore. Justice forces him to act, because Justice can’t compromise. All throughout DA2 he’s fighting against a battle he can’t hope to win because abstract ideas don’t function in the real world. Isabela even comments on this directly, and says, paraphrased, that ideas don’t work in a world full of people. Fenris’ problems are rooted in people; his problems can be solved. Anders’ never will be. Anders could never “get better” in DA2 the way Fenris did because Justice is hard, Justice can never be satisfied.
Anders functions as a tether to humanity for Justice, but in the end he loses. In Awakening, he knew he couldn’t win a fight against ideas, and that’s exactly what happened to him in DA2. He lost his battle against Justice, and he lost his battle against the oppression of mages because people can never win battles against ideas. He lost the moment he says that he has become the cause of all mages, because he no longer sees himself as a person but has sublimed himself into an abstract ideal. If you function at the level of abstract ideas, destroying the Chantry makes perfect sense, because the Chant of Light is the origin of the oppression of mages.
Anders is breaking under the weight of perfection, a cautionary tale about ethics pursued without morality, good intentions that could only ever go wrong, and that’s why I love him.
Listen up SJW and stupid girls who think that the USA needs your fucking bloated, sexist, political version of feminism:
In Columbia, right now, almost every single woman, by the time they’re 15, have butt implants. YES, 15 year old’s getting butt implants because that is sexy there. Not by force, of course.
In specific tribes in Africa, people still practice female circumcision, with crude tools, at a every young age.
Lots of parts of Asia still practice traditional gender roles where the woman must do what her father or husband wants.
Not to mention the Middle East’s issues with letting women do anything outside of the house.
The rest of the world is struggling a lot more with the problems of ACTUAL PATRIARCHY. Not this we’re not gonna wear pink anymore because we wont support the patriarchy bullshit.
While there are women on this planet who never have and never will have an orgasm. They’ll never feel safe in there own homes, even with their parents sleeping in the other room because they still feel more devoted to “honor” than their own daughters.
You pretentious little girls need to understand the men who fall in love with women and the women who fall mutually to those men, but who have already been sold off by their families to other families.
The fathers who risk their lives and their reputations to give their daughters basic human rights in countries that don’t allow it.
The mothers who try to teach their daughters, through tears, that their lives are structured by a society that barely recognizes them as people.
DO-FUCKING-NOT bitch and moan and berate the entire male gender because one guy on the subway said something off-color to you. Just live your life in the privileged world that this country has built for you and realize that the world is a fuck-ton bigger than you’re petty man-hating agenda.