Everyone's Parents/Parental Figures Fucking Suck and How I Feel About That, Personally

Massive spoilers abound for all three games! You have been forewarned!

Boy oh boy I have never related to a cast of people more.

  • 1. Dorian's Dad
  • OH HO HO YOU THOUGHT I WOULDN'T START WITH THE (second most) OBVIOUS ONE. Dorian's dad's crimes include:

    Attempting to use blood magic to "cure" his son into being straight via conversion therapy
    because Dorian's dad is so obsessed with his son turning out perfect so he can be a Perfect Scion Of House Pavus and Bring Glory To His Family's Legacy because he's an only child and his parents are so eugenicsy and can't understand why Dorian wouldn't want to basically turn himself into a screaming abomination just to please them
    also he attempts to get Dorian to "come back home to Tevinter" like sir Dorian is a grown ass man. You're not his dad like THAT any more. jfc

    And, y'know, THAT'S THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG. Helping Dorian tell his dad to fuck off in the tavern is always so fucking edifying. I too am an only child whose parent's response to learning conversion therapy existed was "does it work"? so Dorian's dad can fuck right off into the sun.

  • 2. Alistair & Arl Eamon
  • "I remember coming here in the summers with Arl Eamon... he made me sleep in the stables. With the dogs."

    Eamon's attempts at ~*~raising Alistair like a normal boy~*~* sure seems like making sure Alistair feels unloved and shitty!! Also, some of Alistair's ambient banter back at the Denerim estate is just too real. "I locked myself in one of those cages once. Nobody noticed for an entire day." and "Sometimes in the abbey it got so quiet I'd just start screaming and screaming and people would come running and I just thought it was so funny" - me too, Alistair. Me. Too. :(

  • 3. Morrigan's Mom, Flemeth
  • WELL WASN'T THIS ONE OBVIOUS ALSO. Flemeth. Fucking. SUCKS. Obviously. She treats Morrigan like shit and trains her to hate people from birth and basically uses her as a vicarious tool for her own gain. So there's THAT. But oh man does it melt my fucking heart when Morrigan meets Flemeth again in DA:I and she says she'll be NOTHING like Flemeth was, as a mother to Kieran. WHICH MAKES ME CRY. IRL. My canon playthrough with my Dude Warden (and subsequently my heart) has me as Kieran's biodad and I just. oh my god. I can't. Morrigan don't worry we're gonna be the best parents and Kieran will never have to go through any of that shit.

    Morrigan: [a bunch of horrible shit Flemeth used to tell her]
    Leliana: Oh... I see.
    Morrigan: No... you really, really don't.

    "Morrigan, your mom is a huge bitch" - The Warden, off-screen, hopefully

  • 4. Sera & The Lady Emmald
  • It's just a small conversation, but Sera talking about how Lady Emmald convinced her the baker was racist JUST so Emmald could keep pretending her cookies were homemade? Lying to get Sera's love is shitty enough but Sera is mad, specifically, about how Emmald let her believe this guy was racist when he was being perfectly nice to her. "She made me believe there was something wrong with me" really fucking hits esp when Sera's talking about someone she trusted. EMMALD FUCKING BLOWS

  • 5. Cassandra's Uncle/Family
  • Less severe but still saddening, hearing Cassandra talk about how it took her later in life to find her passion as a Seeker and being kept away from stuff because of the Pentaghasts' obsession with status is still something. The gilded cage dialogue :(

Counterpoint: People Whose Parents Don't Actually Suck

  • Hawke's Mom, Leandra
  • Leandra is an angel and a saint and I will hear no ill will towards her! She cares so much about Hawke and Bethany/Carver and is just kind and gentle and good. Which is why it's so fucking devastating when she dies in the most horrific way possible in DA2. Well I didn't have beef with blood magic BEFORE but you got me NOW, Bioware! Also I totally kept reloading thinking I could save her. DEVASTATING.

  • Dagna's Dad
  • So it turns out Dagna's dad is just worried she'll end up casteless if she goes to the surface, to learn magical theory at the Circle, which is a totally valid concern because it means she might not ever be able to return to Orzammar! But you can get them to talk it out and Dagna's dad actually ends up understanding and can support her journey. Which is super nice.

  • The Cousland Family
  • In the book "Heir Apparent" the main character hesitates to leave the starting area in the RPG she's playing because it just makes her so happy to play happy families forever, even if it's totally Fake And Cringe. And. I'll just leave that there. I was so excited when Fergus came back at the end for the Royal Wedding, I could've just ascended.

People Who Only Kind Of A Little Bit Suck as Parents
  • Uncle Gamlen & Charade
  • Charade fucking rules and it's totally sweet if you reconcile her and Gamlen. Gamlen could use a stabilizing force in his life and you can totally tell he's going to shape up for his (grown, 30-something, adult) daughter. Gamlen fucking sucks for other reasons however, such as asking Dude Hawke "who's the girl" if he's dating Fenris, which, WOW GAMLEN. But it's so fun to talk shit to/about him with Bethany that I'm like, pretty happy the game gives you a "Gamlen you piece of shit" option all the time. Anyway. Charade, bless her, can't wait for DA4! Red Jennies forever!