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The Untold Truth Of Dragon Age's Solas

Solas is one of the most mysterious characters in Dragon Age: Inquisition, considering that his true identity is only revealed after the game. Intelligent, introverted, and at times arrogant, Solas leads the Inquisitor through the story by offering insight into both the world of elves and the experiences of mages in Thedas. Even though Solas is hiding a dark secret throughout the main questline of Inquisition, he still manages to serve an important function by helping players understand the secrets of the Fade. He even offers a romance option for those playing as female elves. 

However, the Solas that Dragon Age fans know and love (or love to hate) began much differently. While it's common for characters to go through changes during development, Solas' transformation is particularly radical, especially since it had to overcome a challenging hurdle. Here's a look back at Solas, and the secret origins of his character.

Solas was originally much different

Though Solas was always elven and a "hedge mage," the finer details of his personality weren't nailed down until later in Inquisition's development — all because of a huge secret. In an interview with Video Game Sophistry, Dragon Age: Inquisition lead writer Patrick Weekes revealed that Solas was his pet project from the beginning, but that his plotline went through many changes. 

Initially, Weekes said, "Solas and Cole actually probably tied for least like how I originally wrote them and how they shipped. And, really, it was getting past the secret. It was getting past Fen'Harel." As Dragon Age: Inquisition fans will remember, Solas is actually Fen'Harel, a powerful and ancient mage who deceived the Inquisitor and became a fully revealed antagonist in the Trespasser DLC. 

Even though Solas was always Fen'Harel, deep beneath his false identity he had to have other motivations and personality traits in order to exist as a believable, interesting character.

Master of the Fade

Weekes decided that Solas's interest in the Fade was enough of a reason for him to join the Inquisitor, and began writing Solas as a mage strictly invested in research. "You cannot have a character hook built on something that you only reveal after the player has watched the credits," Weekes stated in the VGS interview. "That is how we got to Fade expert." 

Weekes' dedication to making Solas a complete character with interests and motivations beyond his secret identity had a major hand in the final version players experienced in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Without his focus on the Fade, which is an essential aspect of Dragon Age: Inquisition's plot, Solas might have been a less complex, less fascinating character. Solas has always been an antagonist, in a sense, but now he's an antagonist fans can get attached to and respect.

Dragon Age players have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season, including the development of a new studio from former Dragon Age creative director Mike Laidlaw. How will Solas figure into the new world of Dragon Age 4? Only time will tell.