The Old Gods are beings in the Dragon Age series that fans are anxious to learn more about. They are dragons that the Tevinter Imperium worshipped a long time ago, and it is believed that it was these dragons that originally taught mages how to use magic. Not only that, but these Old Gods, one by one, have become Archdemons that start Blights.
The Chantry teaches that the Old Gods are nothing more than spirits that envy mankind and decided to trick humans into worshipping them instead of the Maker. However, like most things in Dragon Age, there appears to be far more to the Old Gods than meets the eye. After all, it seems that Flemeth has plans for the soul of an Old God and has been arranging some plot of her own since the first game.
The Seven Old Gods
There are seven known Old Gods that were worshipped in early Tevinter. The first five of these dragons have been Archdemons in Blights. They are Dumat, the Dragon of Silence, Zazikel, the Dragon of Chaos, Toth, the Dragon of Fire, Andoral, the Dragon of Slaves, and Urthemiel, the Dragon of Beauty. The last two dragons have not been part of a Blight yet, and they are Razikale, the Dragon of Mystery, and Lusacan, the Dragon of Night. According to the codex called "constellation 'Draconis,'" a Chantry scholar has theorized that there could actually be an eighth Old God but that it was pulled from historical records.
These Old Gods are known to currently live underground and only become Archdemons if touched by Darkspawn. According to the Chantry, the Old Gods were put underground by the Maker himself as punishment for their sins. Others believe the Old Gods are just super powerful dragons that are in deep hibernation.
How The Old Gods Were Worshipped
Tevinter does not believe the Old Gods are creators, but teachers of powerful magic. These dragons would speak to chosen mages from the Fade. One of the earliest records of this was in -1595 Ancient, when a man named Thalsian learned blood magic from Dumat. To show his gratitude to Dumat, he built temples to worship the dragon and became known as the First Priest of Dumat, first blood mage, and first Dreamer.
It was not until four centuries later that the Tevinter Imperium was founded. The nation worshipped the Old Gods and built many temples. Each of the Old Gods got a High Priest, and the seven High Priests were called the Magisters Sidereal. Different followers swore different oaths depending on the Old God they worshipped. For example, the acolytes of Dumat would swear oaths of silence since Dumat was the Dragon of Silence. For a while, these Old Gods communicated with their worshippers directly, often giving them commands. A sacred text was written, much like the Chant of Light, but it was instead called the Verses of Dumat.
The Old Gods' Downfall And Corruption
The downfall of the Old Gods is a big unknown in the Dragon Age universe. Different cultures have different stories and theories. The Chantry believes that the Old Gods get turned into Archdemons by making contact with Darkspawn. However, some ancient lore has suggested that it's the other way around, and that Dumat made Darkspawn.
It was after the Magister's Sidereal physically tried to enter the Golden City that the Old Gods halted all communications with mankind. This shook the Imperium to the core, with betrayed believers destroying temples and killing priests. Eventually, worshipping the Old Gods was replaced with worship of the Maker. Any that remained faithful to the Old Gods in Tevinter were slaughtered.
The Grey Wardens were formed to kill Darkspawn and Archdemons. Their organization actually knows the location of the Old Gods, but they are impossible to get to without driving through thousands of Darkspawn. Slaying an Archdemon can only be done by Grey Wardens, as a killed Archdemon's soul goes directly into a souless tainted creature and is reborn. Since Grey Wardens are tainted but have a soul, both souls are destroyed.
The Mystery Of The Call
One of the greatest mysteries connected to the Old Gods is the Calling. It is described to be beautiful and impossible to ignore. The Call comes from the Old Gods underground, and it is what attracts Darkspawn to them. Grey Wardens also hear the Calling, due to having some Darkspawn taint in them, and eventually have no choice but to go into the Deep Roads to die in battle.
The Architect is a Darkspawn free from the Calling and wishes to free all others from the compulsion to seek out the Old Gods. He was successful in freeing some Darkpawn from hearing the Call, but it drove some to madness when they could no longer hear it. Corypheus, on the other hand, is a Darkspawn that can emulate the Call. With that power, he could mind control Grey Wardens, Darkspawn, and whoever else has Darkspawn blood. It is believed that both the Architect and Corypheus were the ancient magisters that broke into the Golden City, which possibly explains their abilities.
Theories About The Old Gods
There are a ton of theories about the Old Gods, especially since the events of Dragon Age: Inquisition. One of the most popular theories is that the Old Gods are actually the Evanuris that Solas sealed away. The strongest evidence of this theory is that Solas sealed exactly seven Evanuris away, and there are seven known Old Gods. It would also make sense for the Evanuris to lie and take shape of dragons (after all, Mythal/Flemeth can turn into one).
The Evanuris could have lured the magisters to the Golden City as a means for them to escape the prison Solas put them in. However, something must have gone wrong since they then ended up underground and turning into Archdemons. This would also explain more of why Flemeth wishes to keep an Old God soul. Since she is also Mythal, she would know more of the Evanuris' fate than most. It would also explain why Solas does not like the Grey Warden's plans to kill the remaining Old Gods.
That is just one theory, though. Other fans have theorized that the Old Gods were probably the first dragons ever and are important to the laws and physics of Thedas. There is also the theory that the Old Gods are not the Evanuris, but were made by them or were their rivals. Another is that the Old Gods were once worshipped by the qunari before the Qun was created, which would also explain why they feel a connection to dragons. Clearly, Dragon Age fans are interested in learning more about the Old Gods.
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