Character Profile: Blackwall
[DRAGON AGE]: What is Blackwall's life like before he meets the Inquisition?
[SHERYL CHEE]: The Blight is ten years past. The Grey Wardens' prominence is decreasing again. The Wardens are known for their vigil; they keep watch for the darkspawn, for the Blight. But Blackwall isn't interested in just watching. He is absolutely invested in the idea of the Grey Wardens of legend: those who place themselves between the people of Thedas and the oncoming Blight, acting as their shield.
[DA]: Would you say that he sees himself as a defender of the people?
[SC]: To him, that's a Grey Warden, someone who protects others, who takes a hit so someone else doesn't have to. And if that's a Grey Warden, then it's his moral imperative to act, even when there's no Blight. There's more evil in the world than just the darkspawn, and he believes it's his duty to do something about it. He lives by that old saying: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
[DA]: How does he become involved with the Inquisition?
[SC]: When the Inquisition tries to get in contact with the Grey Wardens, they find Blackwall. He's traveling on his own, a bit of a loner. But with the world spiraling out of control, Blackwall sees the Inquisition as Thedas's last hope to restore order, and he realizes that he'll probably be able to do more good with its backing than by himself.
[DA]: How would you describe Blackwall's character?
[SC]: He's a veteran. He's been through many battles, many conflicts, and he knows their price. He's aware that in wars, the people who call the shots are often safe in their fortresses. It's the soldiers who die. He's seen people with power abuse it and use it to manipulate others, and he absolutely hates that.
[DA]: How does he view himself in the hierarchy of war?
[SC]: He's not going to put himself above the rank and file. He's not better than them. At the end of the day, after all the talk about good and protecting people, he's going to want to have a round of drinks with the rest of the troops and share stories.
[DA]: What was it like for you to write his character in Inquisition?
[SC]: I had a great deal of fun writing Blackwall. At least part of it was asking why someone might find the Grey Wardens appealing. Why choose to be part of that? A heroic sacrifice is still a sacrifice. What sort of person could decide that dying for something is better than just living?
And I would love to say more, but I won't. Ask me again in October.
[DA]: Being good and just can sometimes rub other characters the wrong way. How does Blackwall fit in with his fellow companions in Inquisition?
[SC]: There are definitely characters that Blackwall enjoys the company of more than others. While he always keeps a close watch on his conduct, he loosens up around certain people. There's also the possibility that his relationships may change over time.