Trespasser question! I saw you reblogging spoilery stuff so I hope you're alrgiht with it but if not, please disregard and sorry for any inconvenience! Katy, my poor heart can't with what Cole says about Qun!Bull's betrayal, that there isn't any pain (and to a lesser degree, that regardless of his approval Bull betrays you even if the Chargers are alive but you didn't do his personal quest.) I'm trying to find justifications but I keep thinking that Bioware simply did him dirty because (1/2)
of their whole savage Qunari shtick they sometimes have going, but I’d love to know what are your thoughts on the matter. Your analyses of the Qun are always so on point! (2/2)
D’AW you’re the sweetest.
hilariously i’ve not played trespasser yet due to LOTS OF REASONS that make me angry at frigging ea origin, but i’ve spoiled everything for myself outside of the main plot stuff lmao.
so the thing about bull is that he compartmentalizes. he is so frigging good at emotional detachment (of the disassociation / repression variety) because he’s had to be in his life. it was at the very least a coping mechanism he developed while on seheron. one of my favorite horrifying facts about his past is how most qunari on seheron lasted ~2 years, and he was there for ~10. like, let that sink in. most soldiers lose their minds/go tal-vashoth, die, or get brought back for reeducation/recuperation by the end of 24 months. hissrad managed seheron for 120 months (that number still seems too small – 520 weeks, 3650 days, waking up every morning not sure if that was the day he was going to die; not sure if that’d be the day someone he considered a friend, who he depended on, would lose themselves; not sure if the bartender he drank with every night was gonna end up with a knife between his ribs, and then think about how he’d deal with it once it finally happened (because it always does, nobody survives seheron, he knows that); not sure if the baker down the street will be there tomorrow to sneak him pastries to make him smile), and finally broke when a bunch of kids he probably knew were slaughtered. and even then, once he let himself feel the rage, let himself untether, he still stopped and wanted to start over. he pulled himself back enough to identify what his next steps needed to be.
hissrad survived seheron because he knew how to compartmentalize, and he knew what he needed to do to relieve the pressure building up behind his eyes. (we see this with bull after adamant – he knows what he needs to get his head screwed back on straight enough to keep going, and while you can argue that being beaten with a stick is an unhealthy coping mechanism, if it works… assumedly he had something similar when he was younger on seheron. he had to have.)
now let’s talk about the iron bull.
everybody’s talked about the emotions bull has tied up in his boys (and think about that, he doesn’t call them his men, he doesn’t call them his crew, he calls them his boys, which is such a great use of language/word choice.) i hate to rehash things, but every member of the chargers we meet is an outcast in some way (and i’d bet the whole of the company are too). all of them were rejected or had to leave their homes – and they’ve found their new place in the chargers. bull didn’t have to make a group of mercenaries out of outcasts. but they’re the people who he was drawn to and vice versa, and he finds a way how to be who he is (a qunari spy, ben-hassrath, a man who understands the darkness he sees inside of himself and is devoted to controlling it, a friend, a lover, someone who’s almost Tal-Vashoth but not quite…) amongst them because he gets them. he understands. he is as much an outcast as he is someone loyal to the qun – by this point, the qun isn’t exactly the priority it was for him before.
the qun doesn’t forbid friendship. but at the end of the day, friendship doesn’t surpass the qun. nothing surpasses the qun. at the end of the day, a qunari’s devotion is to the qun – and the very fact that bull hesitates when given the choice between sounding the retreat and saving the dreadnaught during the demands of the qun is proof of his faltering on this ultimate rule. (i’m not sure i 100% buy the theory that the entire setup was to force bull’s hand in being brought to heel under the qun or going tal-vashoth, though it’s fun to consider as an element of the situation.) and so bull falters, and the inquisitor decides for him.