A Deep Dive Into Andraste

Andraste is one of the most major figures out of the lore of Dragon Age, as she is the prophet that the dominant religion of Thedas is built upon. She is known to be the spiritual wife of the Maker as well as a war leader who freed many slaves in Tevinter. Between history and the teachings of the Chantry, there is a lot to Andraste and many fans debate as to how much is true and how much has been twisted over time.

There are also many fan theories about Andraste, with some believing Andraste is Flemeth and Mythal. Others believe that Andraste may have been born with an Old God soul (like Kieran) since she was born the same year the first Blight against Dumat ended. Every theory has huge implications about the world of Thedas, as much of the world's culture and beliefs were shaped by Andraste.

RELATED: Dragon Age's Most Interesting Location Is Not In Its Main Games

Andraste's Family

While scholars have much debate as to exactly when and where Andraste was born, it is most commonly believed she was born in Denerim in -203 Ancient. Her parents were Brona and Elderath. Brona was a woman from the Ciriane tribe and Elderath was an Alamarri chieftain. Andraste also had a half-sister named Halliserre who had the same father but a different mother that was the father's advisor on matters of alchemy.

Halliserre died at a young age and under mysterious circumstances that only Andraste witnessed. According to writings of Emperor Kordillus Drakon, Halliserre followed lights that appeared in the woods one stormy night and Andraste followed her. What happened was unknown, but Halliserre was found dead in a burned clearing with wounds that could not be traced to any sort of weapon. The event had a profound effect on Andraste, who was sick in the lungs for a decade.

It was after this event that Andraste began to speak of hearing voices and seeing strange auras. Years later, Andraste would say that heresy played a part in Halliserre's death (which hints that Halliserre's death may have involved the Old Gods). Some fans believe this event supports Andraste being like Kieran, and that her sister originally had the soul of the Old God, Dumat, and it moved into Andraste upon Halliserre's passing.

In -187, the skilled Avvar tactician and general, Maferath, married Andraste.Their marriage made the biggest alliance between tribes ever attempted. Andraste, ever since Halliserre's death, was too weak to have children of her own so Maferath raised three sons born from a concubine. The sons were adopted by Andraste when the concubine passed away. The sons were Isorath, Evrion, and Verald. Eventually, Andraste recovered from her half-sister's death enough to have children of her own blood: daughters named Vivial and Ebris.

Despite having children, there are no known descendants of Andraste. In her 20s, Ebris died of plague and Vivial married a Tevinter mage which lead them to be exiled from their family. In the second Blight, an Andrastian cult destroyed any records of Vivial and her descendants.

RELATED: Dragon Age: The History Of Kirkwall

Becoming A Prophet

Andraste was eventually kidnaped during a Tevinter raid and enslaved. Her father was killed in the battle and the leadership of the Alamarri territory fell to Maferath. The Alamarri prepared to rally and free Andraste from enslavement while Andraste herself began to see herself as a prophet for the Maker in Tevinter. She began to lead an Exalted March against Tevinter rule along with an elven leader and ex-slave named Shartan.

The Alamarri joined in Andraste's war against the Imperium. They won a great victory in the Battle of Valarian Fields, but it was after this that Maferath decided to betray Andraste. Most believe that the betrayal was out of jealousy. He conspired with Tevinter Archon Hessarian and Andraste was captured, brought to Minrathous, and burned at the stake. When she was burned, Hessarian put a sword through Andraste's heart to put her out of her misery and later converted to the Chant of Light. Some scholars believe he only did so because he realized it was impossible to change the tides of Andraste's huge following while others believe his redemption was a true change of heart. About 10 years after Andraste was killed, Hessarian revealed Maferath's betrayal and Maferath and all in his court were killed.

A group called the Disciples of Andraste formed and took the prophet's ashes to the Frostback Mountains where they converted an elvhan temple. Their families remained there to protect the ashes from the undeserving. However, the descendants of these disciples eventually strayed from this mission to protect the ashes and instead thought that Andraste was reborn as a dragon.

What The Chantry Teaches

The Chantry believes the Maker did in fact speak to Andraste because he loved her singing. He wanted to take Andraste to his side, but instead Andraste begged for him to return to humanity and to forgive them for all their wrongdoings. To convince the Maker to return, she would spread the Maker's words to mankind and get them to believe in the single true god of Thedas. The Chant of Light is believed to be the continuation of Andraste's mission to the Maker.

The Imperial Chantry of Tevinter believes Andraste's story differently. Instead of her being the Maker's chosen bride, she was a powerful mage. To the Orlesian Chantry, this view is seen as completely heretical.

Fans have kept a close eye on all Andraste documents and events in the Dragon Age games and books. This gave rise to many theories, as Andraste is a woman absolutely shrouded in mystery. The theory of her possibly having been an Old God baby like Kieran has a lot of convincing evidence outside just being born the same year Dumat was slain. Fans have taken great notice of the obscurity of Dumat's death (it is unknown exactly how the Grey Wardens discovered how to defeat an archdemon). The year Andraste's half-sister died is also the same year Corypheus is captured and calls out for the Old God Dumat.

The theory that Andraste is actually Flemeth was also a popular theory that has been around since Dragon Age: Origins. However, it is said that Flemeth was born in the Towers Age, which is long after Andraste's death. The reveal of Flemeth being Mythal in Dragon Age: Inquisition further added to this theory, though, as Mythal, Andraste, and Flemeth herself all have the similar story of being women who were betrayed by men they kept close. Some fans have proposed that Flemeth is a descendant of Andraste, as she, like Andraste, has only daughters, no sons. There are also fans that believe Andraste had the spirit of Mythal in her before the spirit moved on to Flemeth.

There are also plenty of theories about Shartan, the elf that Andraste allied with during her Exalted March against Tevinter. Some believe that their relationship may have been more romantic, and it's possible that they had their own children that were kept hidden or were removed from historical records. Since so much of Shartan has been erased, there are many possibilities in terms of how Shartan and Andraste's relationship truly was.

Dragon Age 4 is in development.

MORE: Dragon Age: How Abominations Have Influenced The Franchise

Grand Theft Auto Leaker Says This is the First Image of GTA 6
Related Topics
About The Author
Allison Stalberg (401 Articles Published)

Writer, author of The Awei Series, and cat foster parent. Her favorite games include Dragon Age, Pokémon, Final Fantasy XIV, Team Ico games, Ōkami, and RPG maker horror games. She also loves pasta and probably would be a Fairy/Ghost type Pokémon Trainer.

More From Allison Stalberg