Character You Wouldn’t Get Along With
This Challenge answer requires a level of self-insertion that I’ve purposefully avoided for as long as I could. Not that I don’t relate to Dragon Age 2 on a deeply personal level – no, quite the opposite; it’s because I’ve internalized this game so much that I struggle to insert myself into an already perfect narrative. Why screw up a good thing with a Mary Sue?
So how do I answer this question?
To be fair, I’ve already sort of answered it with my post on Sebastian, who, until recently, was the only character I actively disliked so much that I didn’t want to know more about his character or the role he plays in Thedas’s story. (But then I met Tallis. Oh, Tallis. You rolling ball of canon-holes and mangled accents, what is there to say about you that hasn’t been already said by others far more eloquently than I ever could?)
Anyway, after writing my post on Sebastian, and mulling over his character more, I think I’ve come to appreciate him in a new light. While I don’t take back anything I said about him then, I see him now as I think he was meant to be seen: a grand antagonist, a devil in pleasing shape; someone so short-sighted, self-righteous and self-absorbed that he has the potential within him to affect great evil on a wide scale. As I wrote almost a month ago:
Sebastian condemns Anders’s actions, but he never seems to realize that he too acts out of vengeance—that he has always acted out of vengeance, from the moment he shot an arrow at the Chantry board. Even Meredith tells you that death is never justice, but Sebastian is too short-sighted to see it. And even Fenris realizes that revenge is a bitter victory that can never satisfy, but Sebastian lacks too much self-awareness to understand it. Should you spare Anders for his act of holy vengeance, Sebastian promises his own retribution —- and unlike Anders’s, the prince’s revenge will not be a targeted strike: No, Sebastian vows to raise an army that will siege the whole of Kirkwall just to get at one man.
In future installments of DA, I think we will see Sebastian as the Conquistador of the Free Marches, or perhaps even the Leader of Ser Alrik’s Memorial Brigade of Templars Killing All The Mages (SAMBOT: KATM for short), or the agent of some other terrible and effective blitzkrieg to consolidate power under a tyrannical heel. He’s just the right combination of self-righteousness and charisma, competence and cruelty, and he’s in just the right position of power to rise like a black phoenix from the ashes of his dead family and summon forth an army to wreak terrible vengeance upon the land.
I wouldn’t put it out of the question for Sebastian to become the main villain of the third game or a DA2 expansion, depending on how the writers want to play it. After all, he already fits the textbook definition of a villain: A man who does terrible things and believes the entire time that he’s doing the right thing.
And you know what? If he were a future antagonist, I would absolutely love it, because that would be so poetic and perfect, and because by the end of Dragon Age 2, Sebastian has become the true embodiment of Vengeance, becoming what he thinks he hates most; the ultimate counterpoint to Anders’s manifesto of ashes; underscoring the truth of the words, “there can be no compromise”.
That, of course, assumes that he was serious about vowing to raise his army, and we already know how well Sebastian honors his vows.
But woe to Thedas the day Sebastian Vael keeps a promise he has made, because I’m not sure any mage or Marcher would ever be prepared for the apocalypse he would bring.
Sebastian as future archvillain: I think I just head!canon’ed it.
ETA (because someone brought it up in the reblogs): I don’t think the devs necessarily must make sparing Anders canon to allow for a villainous Sebastian. Seb’s faults exist no matter what, and even if you spare Anders, I can still see the Chantry explosion inspiring Seb toward his own personal Exalted March in the name of greater security. Anders provides a convenient excuse, sure, but his continued existence isn’t a prerequisite.