Solas

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Character
Name: Solas, Fen'Harel, The Dread Wolf
Occupation: companion
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Fandom: Dragon Age: Inquisition
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Solas is a companion in Dragon Age: Inquisition, and a possible love interest for female elf Inquisitors. Solas is written by Patrick Weekes, and voiced by Gareth David-Lloyd.

Pre-Release

Solas was not an early fan favourite. Many people found him unattractive, especially (or because) he is bald. One fan suggested that, in a specific promo shot, Solas looked like Nicolas Cage. Solas' resemblance to Nicolas Cage quickly became a meme. He has also been compared to Nosferatu, Voldemort and an egg.

While some fans embraced the character immediately, others only became interested when Patrick Weekes was revealed to be writing the characters. Others became intrigued with the character after learning that Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto of Torchwood) voiced the character.

Post-Release

Solas quickly became a very controversial character with wildly different fanon interpretations of him and his motivations. He got compared to the apostate love interests from the earlier games, Morrigan and Anders, who also upset many players at the end of their respective games. This lead to many jokes about how you shouldn't trust the apostate love interests.

Though he accrued a significant fanbase, particularly of Solavellan shippers, character bashing of Solas became common, particularly after the release of the Trespasser DLC and the reveal of his true identity as the Elven god Fen'Harel, along with parts of his plan moving forward. Reveals from Trespasser also led some people to compare him to an RPG protagonist:

Like, so often in games (especially Bioware games) you get asked to make these world-shattering decisions. Your characters go on these quests to stop a great evil, to battle gods, to bring order, or sow chaos, and at the end you’re left with the power to utterly change the world. And that’s not really a power that should ever rest with just one person, but in these narratives, it so often does.

And afterwards, I usually find myself wondering about all the worst case scenarios. Sometimes I get a bad ending and it’s just like ‘well I guess I’ll start over and try again…?’ But even when it’s a good ending, all too often it’s ambiguous enough that it still seems like a lot could go wrong further down the road.

To me, this is Solas. This is what happened to Solas. He is one of those video game protagonists. [1]

Shipping

The most common Solas ship by far is the (potentially, depending on player choice) canon het ship Solas/Female Lavellan (usually known by the portmanteau Solavellan). All the common Solas ships similarly involves shipping Solas with the Inquisitor, with some of the most common variants being Solas/Male Lavellan and Solas/Female Trevelyan, with self insertion shipping and reader insert shipping also being fairly common.

Fanon

  • As romancing Solas involves no sex scene, some fans see him as asexual, while others point to a line in the Trespasser DLC where he says he "wouldn't sleep with [Lavellan] under false pretenses" as a counterargument. Still others see him as demisexual or grey-asexual, as these actions still imply sex to be less important to him.
  • Hipster!Solas became a common way to portray him in modern AU fanart.
  • After the comparisons between Solas and an egg early on, various nicknames involving the word "egg" became a popular way to refer to him, particularly by those who disliked him, though it also gained popularity within his fanbase and eventually got used by official Bioware accounts, too. [2] However, some still dislike the nickname as they see it as a mean-spirited joke about his looks.

Fanart

Resources

References

  1. https://web.archive.org/web/20170719161616/http://thefairyknight.tumblr.com:80/post/129102347639/honestly-i-think-part-of-the-reason-why-im-so thefairyknight on Tumblr 14 September 2015.
  2. https://twitter.com/DragonAgeKeep/status/566326888570691584 Dragon Age Keep Twitter on 13 February 2015