FYI, and I’ll update my sidebar to include this, but from now on I’ll try to tag posts like the last one that have potentially polarizing character or plot talk with “#controversial character discussion” so you can block/tumblr savior that tag if you need to. Regardless of my personal opinion of any of the elements of the DA games, I will always do my best to avoid putting any outright character hate on the blog. But I do think discussions of problematic elements can be important and they will show up from time to time.
"Isabela would be more concerned with scamming one of you nerds out of their money and the making a quick get away than this nonsense, what character are you thinking about cause it sure as hell isn’t her"
you mean the isabela that while flirting with a male hawke, her first reaction to a female hawke is to WARN her that the hanged man is full of men who won’t respect her boundaries and may try to hurt her
or the isabela that comes back with the tome despite facing near-certain death because hawke is her friend
or the isabela that refused to traffic slaves
or who vehemently defends merrill from criticism from fenris, anders, aveline and even HAWKE
honey you could not be more wrong about the kind of person isabela is
i can’t keep this in i’m sorry rhona i gotta rant
i am so TIRED of this fandom and their absolutely incorrect view of isabela. who think she’s selfish, who think she would rather place a knife in your back and run away than help a friend out.
because it seems to me nobody fucking paid attention to her act 3 dialogue at all, because you actually see that in spite of isabela’s confidence there is somewhere deep inside her that believes she’s a horrible person, aka ‘i’m just a lying, thieving snake’ as she eloquently puts.
do you think isabela would say that, actually sounding ashamed and upset as she says that line to hawke, if she actually was those things??
isabela is so unbelievably kind. she stops nosy guardsmen and nobles from evicting fenris, she defends merrill at every chance she can, she cares and gives advice to bethany, and she doesn’t shame sebastian for his chastity unlike varric and others. she doesn’t even say shit about anders, who on the other hand, loves to slate her whatever chance he can get.
if you even got a chance to know isabela in the game she comes back to save hawke after running away, because she doesn’t want her friend/love to get punished.
do not talk shit about isabela i stg
…but Isabela IS selfish. It’s one of her defining character traits, formed after a lifetime of abuse and she’s had to become selfish to protect herself—she cares for her freedom and her independence more than she cares for anything else and she doesn’t want to be trapped in a bad situation, ever again. Hawke and company can become the only exceptions to this. And there’s nothing wrong with her being a snarling selfish pirate queen, because that’s just part of who she is.
She has made horrible mistakes that got a lot of people hurt or killed. She is deadly, and cuts her loose ends off quite literally when she can. She CAN be a good person when she wants to be, and she DOES do good things for her friends, though almost never in a lawful capacity. The bad does not eliminate the good, and the good does not eliminate the bad.
It’s just… Isabela didn’t refuse to traffic slaves? She got into the slaver business to pay off her debts to the Felicisima Armada. And you recall that time when she had elven slaves in the hold of her ship? And how to avoid being caught by Orlesian naval authority, was forced by Devon, her liason to Castillon’s slaver ring, to drown them in the Venefication Sea? Like I know that’s in the comics and everyone refuses to acknowlege it, but it’s not part of the off-canon quest for Maric that only happens under specific circumstances—it’s part of her past. You can’t cherrypick what you like and don’t like and expect others to do the same.
Isabela’s Act 3 questline is terrible for so many fucking reasons [like being able to hit her, UGH WHY IS THAT THERE, WHY DO I HAVE THE OPTION TO HIT A WOMAN OF COLOR WITH A HISTORY OF ABUSE AT THE HANDS OF PEOPLE WITH NO CARE FOR HER FEELINGS], but the reason I hate it the most that sticks out in my mind is because she is willing to let a literal slaver and his living cargo go in exchange for a new ship. It’s only if Hawke puts a stop to it and kills Castillon that justice is served and Isabela gets her ship without making a deal with a slaver. That should not have happened, tbh—Isabela should have just killed him instead of going on about how crude and amateurish it would be to kill him instead of striking a deal. He’s a literal and unrepentant slaver who doesn’t care who gets in his way, and he’s been HUNTING HER, I should think she would WANT HIM DEAD.
And I’m a little confused about the whole ~not shaming Sebastian for his chastity~ thing, because only Fenris and Merrill and Aveline don’t do that. Isabela makes a transphobic joke at Sebastian’s expense and laments not meeting him when all he cared about was sex and having a good time. She also talks about sex to scandalize him. She stops doing this later, but that doesn’t change anything she said to him previously.
Like it’s perfectly fine to laud Isabela for the good things she does, because she DOES do good things for her friends and WILL be a loyal companion or lover to Hawke if you put in the effort to get to know her. She’s one of the only companions who looks out for Merrill and defends her, and when an entire narrative shits on a character, they need all the positive friendships help they can get. But she makes a rude joke about Fenris’ slavery [he was sexually abused by Danarius, and she makes a GLISTENING FOR YOUR MASTER joke and everyone in fandom just leaps on it because haha so funny] and has the potential to make, and has in the past made, deals with literal slavers as long as she has her freedom and her ship and her way out.
Isabela is a character of many contradictions. I just wish people would more openly discuss her flaws—they’re part of what make her interesting. She’s clever, skilled, extroverted, and good to her friends and loyal to Hawke [if you put the effort to have this happen], but she’s also selfish and is willing to do almost anything to protect herself and her freedom. She’s not a good-aligned person. If anything she’s chaotic-neutral.
yeah, this. these touch on a lot of the problems I have with isabela, and so well put. that’s not to say i hate her or want to hate on her, there’s a lot i also really appreciate about her, but she’s got a lot of problematic aspects to her character and her past. and i disagree with how she handles some of it, including how she addresses fenris’s own past in light of it. but i mean, a lot of that is the point. she’s supposed to be a complicated character with both strengths and flaws.
oh my god
jesUS CHRIST PATRICK
A few people suggested I draw Fenris, and as I haven’t drawn him all that often (and not at all in about three years) I figured I’d give him a try
I’ve written up about three angry posts and then unwritten them again.
Maybe I just need to walk away from some of this fandom for today.
There’s been enough upsetting/disappointing news for people, there is no reason to make it worse by spreading rumors that have no source or confirmation that you’ve decided are true because you’re angry. Everyone is already upset, stop making it worse when we do not have all the facts about the last LI and who the second race-gated romance is, which I will remind you could be literally anyone other than Bull and Josephine.