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I’m wondering if anyone has theories on this other than “LOL game mechanics,” so, of course it’s time to ask the fandom!
katiebour recently posted a video of an alternate outcome for the On The Loose Quest in Act III. The alternate outcome with Emille isn’t what caught my attention in terms of these particular ideas. It was the latter part of the conversation with Anders, Fenris and Meredith that did.
In the video, Meredith states outright that she knows that Anders is a mage. (And then tells him that he needs to watch what he says.) And this means she knows that he’s an apostate. Now, she claims that it’s the Champion’s influence that keeps Anders free, but at this point I’m giving the game a bit of side-eye.
Meredith, while paranoid even before getting a hold of the lyrium idol, isn’t a fool. Is she really going to allow mages to walk free that aren’t Hawke? And if so, why in the world would she? Is it still a secret that Anders is/was a part of the Mage Underground? Or does she already know this? And if she does, why in the world is Anders still free?
(And I also wonder if she knows about Merrill, then, and if she does, how much.)
I mean, I know that this dialogue isn’t necessarily going to happen. If the player doesn’t take Anders with them for this scene, the conversation doesn’t happen. And I love bringing Anders for this because he gets a chance to make points to the Knight-Commander herself, but then I run into this plot hole that bothers me.
So, ok DA fandom. GIVE ME YOUR HEADCANONS.
Also, thinking about this from watching the video - Meredith does have her red lyrium sword at this point. Is it the general consensus that red lyrium feels different than blue lyrium? Or perhaps it might be something that happens with uber-special swords, to have some lyrium in them? Because with Anders there, I would wonder if Justice’s lyrium senses would be tingling.
Or, perhaps since it is the Gallows and where the Templars hang out and would have the lyrium, there might be so much around to throw off the “scent” of something strange.
…or, again, perhaps this is because taking Anders with Hawke is optional so there can’t be a lot of reneging in the plot.
My headcanon regarding Meredith and Anders was that the Grey Wardens had stepped in very early on.
They are aware Anders had merged with Justice and were perhaps hoping they would be able to get him back at some point.
Think about it, Wardens are in Kirkwall. In Act 1 Anders is keeping a low profile and Meredith may or may not be aware of a healer in Darktown. Regardless she probably doesn’t see it as a priority as the Qunari arrive.
By the time Act 2 rolls around I believe the Wardens have had a word with her. There are definitely Wardens stationed in or around Kirkwall at this point. When the Qunari finally kick off Hawke and co can run into them. Depending on your origins import and whether you took your sibling to the Deep Roads you can run into Alistair/Stroud and Bethany/Carver.
They are leaving because of the trouble not arriving. They’ve been there for who knows how long.
In Act 3 you have to go help Nathaniel Howe and he shows up again to help in the final battle. As does your sibling if they are a Warden.
Again they have been in Kirkwall for who knows how long.
My headcanon is that they are keeping an eye on Anders. Obviously not a very close eye because he manages to pull off Chantry Jenga.
I think Meredith never pulls Anders off to the Gallows because she has been told he’s still an official Warden. Doesn’t matter if that’s true or not. The Wardens still see Anders as their brother and they’re looking out for him in some small way.