Hi! :) I'm playing through The Descent again, and I got to the part where Valta tells Inqy that the mention of Titans was taken out of the Shaperate records. Nobody knows who wanted it removed but I'm guessing either a) Solas did it around the time he put up the Veil to get rid of incriminating evidence? -OR- b) FleMythal did it because Dead Pillars of the Earth by Elgar'nan™ and "they made bodies from the earth/they made It forget" (Cole dialogue TP-DLC) Your thoughts? Thanks! - A-1Lavellan
This got longer than I thought XD So…here have a very long answer XD.
TITANS AND THE MEMORIES
On Titans And The Shaperate
So, while I get why the idea of linking Solas or Mythal to the suspicious absence of the Titans in the Shaperate might seem appealing, I actually don’t believe either of them is related to the Titan’s disappearance from Orzammar’s Memories.
The reason for this is because in that same scene you’re discussing, Valta discusses finding a book written by Paragon-King Orseck Garal, and it speaks to his heading down and connecting with the Titan during his reign (the last time the Titan woke and the earthquakes happened, to our knowledge). He wrote this account himself, and so the Titans were part of the memories (or collective knowledge in general) during his time, which was definitely AFTER the fall of Elvhenan, because it was Elvhenan’s fall and a united trading block that led to the rise of the dwarven kingdoms and the massive explosion of Tevinter power.
The Rise of Tevinter, The Fall of Elvhenan, The Timeline For the Formation of the Veil, and the Rise of the Dwarven Empire
Orseck Garal ruled prior to Endrin Stonehammer, and was made a Paragon posthumously by a dying Endrin as Endrin’s first and only act as a Paragon [WOT2, pg. 26]. The two together moved the dwarven capital to Orzammar, the original kingdom/home of the smiths, from old Kal-Sharok. [Codex: Orzammar History Chapter 1] around -1170 Ancient [WOT 1, pg. 19-20]. Arlathan was utterly obliterated in -975 Ancient [WOT2, pg. 37-38], but discussions with Abelas at the Temple of Mythal suggest that the fall of the elves happened long before this time, and since Tevinter itself united into the Imperium in -1195 Ancient [WOT 1, pg. 18]. This only happened because Elvhenan no longer had the power to stand against the rise of Tevinter. In other words, Elvhenan had already fallen by -1195 Ancient, and the remaining elven outposts like Arlathan and the battles at Sundermount [Codex: Sundermount] were all that remained, soon to fall. We can mark the formation of the Veil (generally speaking) with where elves supposedly lost their immortality, since this is mentioned as a side effect of the Veil in writings at the Temple of Mythal written by Abelas, as well as the fact that time exists in Earth but not within the Fade (seen below).
Codex: Untranslatable Elven Writing
"We are trapped. The ones born here do not understand the keenness of what we have lost, or why so many of their elders weep as they enter uthenera. The new ones are faithful to Mythal, but do not understand what she was in her fullness. Without the wise to lead them, they will lose what they should have been.
I will teach them. They must serve. We must prepare for those who cast Mythal down. I shed my name the day I began her service. I shed my new one again, now that she rests. I will only be known by the sorrow that cuts my heart.“
The elves supposedly started noticing the quickening as early as -2950 Ancient (-1160 TE) [WOT 1, pg. 11] and while this is considered legend, the first recorded listings of the Old Gods reaching out to Tevinter mages occurs only fifty years later [WOT 1, pg. 12], which suggests the beginning of Tevinter ascension and thus the decline of Elvhenan.
Discounting the Solas Theory Within The Timeline
Since the Titans existed in the Memories in written records under Orseck Garal, and he definitely returned from Heidrun Thaig and the Titan to rule Orzammar again (therefore bringing the knowledge back with him), and since this was after the decline of Elvhenan itself (the catalyst for this decline being the formation of the Veil), that rules out Solas being responsible for it, since this happens a significant amount of time after the formation of the Veil (approximately 1,500 years after, according to what malleable dates we have been given).
The dwarves are independent at this point, and the Shaperate has already been formed to record the Memories (recording such things in lyrium dates back to the time of the Titans, and technology to record memories definitely exists elsewhere within the Tevinter Imperium as they are in use during Corypheus’s time (he uses some if you sided with the Templars in Inquisition to record his thoughts, and leaves them scattered around the Temple of Dumat).
The Shaperate is likely already a significant propaganda machine by this point, especially as this is the age of the “First Paragon” Endrin Stonehammer (and the second Paragon Orseck Garal), and the whole point of the Paragons is to be a Living Ancestor, the embodiment of how the dwarves once were. That implies that the dwarves are familiar by this point with what was lost, and the struggle to get it back (and what was lost definitely relates to whatever link they had at one point with the Titans).
Since the dwarves have a system that recognizes what was lost in the past and is shaped towards reclaiming it, and since they also have Paragon Kings actively working to build a massive empire through trade with the rising Tevinter Imperium, and since by this point the Veil already exists and has done for a millenia and a half, Solas is not likely the culprit. Since no one recalled the information about Titans in the modern day, the information was lost at some point in the past, and not recently, so Solas could also not have altered the memories after waking during/just prior to Inquisition either. How long Solas stayed awake after creating the Veil is unknown, but he claims to have just found somewhere and gone to sleep fairly soon after making it. So…Solas is not our likely culprit.
Breaking Down Flemeth/Mythal and Her Interactions
Now, with regards to Mythal, we know that Mythal herself was killed and this prompted the formation of the Veil. Flemythal in the Fade states that Spirit!Mythal was passed down through the millenia to Flemeth, where they then joined. What information we do have of Flemeth (the woman) places her birth in 3:00 Towers [WOT1, pg.82], so if she altered these records, it happened at some point after the Towers Age. In 3:10 Towers, the Third Blight begins [WOT 1, pg.83], so the dwarven kingdoms have also fallen by this point (that happened during the First Blight for most thaigs).
The last known contact with the Titans (Orseck Garal) happened prior to the First Blight, which itself began in -395 Ancient [WOT1, pg 28]. Why does this matter? Well, the dwarves had forgotten the Titans by the First Blight, because it was during the First Blight that Caridin “rediscovered” the method of creating golems. Caridin’s own writings [Codex: Caridin’s Journal] speak nothing to Titans, and he seems to have no knowledge of them, despite working very closely to link people back with the Stone, in a manufactured connection that echoes what Valta accomplishes naturally at Heidrun Thaig at the end of Descent. So this means that the Titans were lost to the dwarves (and ergo written out of the memories) at some point between Orseck Garal in -1170 Ancient and Caridin in -255 Ancient.
Since Mythal was murdered pre-Veil (sometime around -3000 Ancient according to the timeline we’ve made, and at her own admittance floated about as a wisp until joining with Flemeth in the Towers Age, she wasn’t an actor in this time-frame. If she wanted to influence the memories, she would have to have done so AFTER joining with Flemeth, but that’s too late in our timeline. So, that means Flemythal is not our suspect either.
Conclusions and Thoughts
In truth, things are written in and out of the Memories for any number of reasons (both petty and significant). This doesn’t have to be a nefarious scheme necessarily, by any major player. The fact it is absent from the Memories is strange, and noteworthy for the storyarc of the Descent (and the overall understanding we have of Thedas itself) but it doesn’t necessarily need to be a cover-up on behalf of Flemeth or Solas. There are many reasons why it might be left out, and not everything is the work of the elven creators.
I don’t have an answer to replace either theory, though. We don’t have enough information from this time. But I will state that there are MANY things lost and forgotten in the Deep Roads (ex: the Anvil of the Void, Gundaar’s House of Crystalline Waters, Amgarrak Thaig, Caridin’s Cross, Kal-Sharok, Kal-Hirol, the Lights of Arlathan in Cadash/Cad’Halash, and many MANY others). Titans are deeper and further down than most people every go. Valta herself says that at Heidrun it’s BELOW the Deep Roads, and we have mentions in a codex that references the Deeper Roads (whatever THEY are). Since it’s possible to walk right into the Wellspring in Descent before even working out you’re inside a Titan, and the Titan post-Trespasser seals the Wellspring off for good, it’s entirely possible that people wander into Titans all the time without realizing, or knowing, and that over the centuries between Orseck Garal’s joining with the Heidrun Titan and the First Blight, the distinction here was simply lost to the ages, especially as the dwarven empire grew (leaving most people detached from the Shaperate).
I’m inclined to consider it a cultural growth, in that sense, the natural progression of time (after all the elves can hardly remember much of Elvhenan, and we still don’t actually KNOW where Arlathan once stood, and they forgot about pretty significant things like the Evanuris not being actual gods, and vallaslin being slave markings, among other things). Forgetting Titans that look like the rest of the world around you anyway and are, post-Veil, fast asleep and no longer connected to you? Seems like an actual possibility. Not to mention that the timeframe we have between -1170 and -220 Ancient gives us about 900ish years of wiggle room. If we look at our own history, how much has been lost since the 1900s? If we consider things in terms of the overall timeline (each Age being 100 years, with the Ages beginning with 1, not zero), we have a timespan of 1100 years ago to 2000 years ago. Our own history 2000 years ago is vague. We know pieces, parts, and warped stories. We can dig up old ruins and try to piece together the clues. But we don’t have all the details, and much has been lost.
Final Verdict/ TL;DR:
The Titans no longer existing in the memories is likely not the work of Solas or Flemythal, because their timelines don’t match up (and are off by centuries if not millenia). The Shaperate morphs and changes the truth all the time - it’s a propaganda machine. Titans are hard to spot at the best of times, and you can wander right into a Wellspring without realizing you’re in one, so they’re capable of being hidden in plain sight. The Titans themselves are not the only things to be lost in the Deep Roads (far from it), and so the idea of them being collectively forgotten is not wholly impossible. Whoever did erase them from the Memories did so at some point between -1170 Ancient when Orseck Garal reined, and -220 Ancient when Caridin invented golems in the First Blight, still a window of 900 years, but 900 years is definitely enough time to forget important things, as it is in our own world.