First things first. If you have no familiarity with the world of Dragon Age, you’ll want to hit our primer to Thedas before you read anything else. This profile assumes that you did.
Reading the section about Ferelden in Alistair’s character profile will also provide useful context and a sense of place.
Second things next. Maric primarily features in two of the prequel novels, written by the games’ lead writer . These are The Stolen Throne, followed by The Calling. Maric’s absence then shapes the events in the DA:O video game.
This profiles series has S P O I L E R S for these novels, for DA:O, *and* for the Silent Grove/Those Who Speak/Until We Sleep comic books arc.
- Real Name: Maric Theirin.
- Former Aliases: Hyram (fake identity).
- Known Relatives: King Brandel the Defeated (grandfather, deceased), Moira Theirin of Ferelden (mother, deceased), Rowan Guerrin (betrothed). Various other Theirin ancestors, the most important one being King Calenhad The Great.
- Group Affiliation: Ferelden, I guess.
- Base of Operations: Mobile with the insurgents.
- Height: No data. Weight: No data.
- Eyes: Grey. Hair: Blond.
Powers & Abilities
He also has genuine charm. It comes in part from his affableFriendly, good-natured, easy to talk to. and empathic manner. It is difficult to detest Maric, and he makes friends easily.
Furthermore, he’s an uncommonly lucky man.
Maric is in excellent physical condition, and has survived several grave wounds.
In battle, he wears stout Dwarven-made plate armour. It greatly contributed to his survival.
As a youth, Maric was a mediocre equestrian. But he significantly improved as an adult.
Maric is dragon-blooded, but more about that later.
About the Theirin family
The Theirins came to prominence during the Exalted Age (the fifth century), with Calenhad Theirin.
As Alistair once put it, “Calenhad made Ferelden… Ferelden”. This powerful, charismatic warrior united the unruly Alamarri barbarians. He turned them into a more modern nation.
Takes on Calenhad – the official one
In the Chantry version of history, he was a great knight in shining armour, and a pious man. But after he created Ferelden, his marital indiscretion nearly destroyed his marriage.
Calenhad abdicated and vanished, for the realm’s sake. His wife Queen Mairyn narrowly kept Ferelden together through both diplomacy and force of arms.
The Chantry version is probably sanitized. Calenhad probably wasn’t that pious, he likely wasn’t *that* honourable, and the assertion that it was magic that led to his adultery smells like BS. But the basics are probably correct.
Takes on Calenhad – the Qunari one
As the Qunari understand it, Calenhad was an ambitious dogs-keeper trading in secrets.
He lucked out, learning how to contact a mighty witch. The witch told him how and where to stab a sleeping dragon and drink its blood. For the Qunari, having drunk the blood is what turned the unremarkable Calenhad into a great leader.
Dragon blood is a known way to gain special powers. It was used by the Pentaghast clan or (the writeups.org version of) Marian Hawke, the Champion of Kirkwall. And the blood of Maric Theirin did have magical properties, lending credence to the Qunari explanation.
The “dogs-keeper” part sounds like an ethnic cliché about Ferelden, though.
Takes on Calenhad – heavy Mythal
It is tempting to assume that the witch mentioned by the Qunari was Flemeth. She almost certainly was alive during the Exalted Age, and has long worked to mould the history of Ferelden.
Thus, that Flemeth picked Calenhad, had him drink dragon blood, then prophesied that he would unite Ferelden, seems credible.
If Calenhad was as wily as the Qunari said, then he likely emphasised his faith in the Maker to gain popular support. Which would explain the Chantry accounts.
Later kings of Ferelden
We know few names for the Theirin kings between the Exalted Age and the Dragon Age (ninth century). But it seems that having a Theirin on the throne is a respected symbol of Fereldan unity.
The country would otherwise balkanizeWhen a region splits into smaller mutually hostile states or groups. But people like having a descendant of the great King Calenhad on the throne. And that forms a good part of their attachment to the nation, dampening the odds of civil wars.
It seems likely that the Theirin royals had a notable level of charisma, and heroic resolve. That was the case for both Maric and his mum, and dragon blood likely enhances the lineage. Keeping Ferelden united does require both qualities.
The obvious, really.
Maric Therein was born in 8:78. Ferelden had been entirely conquered by Orlais for 35-ish years. The lineage of King Calenhad had been deposed.
For 18 years, Maric was primarily his mama’s boy.
- Part of it was because he evidenced little talent or charisma.
- Part of it was because his mum was the celebrated, charismatic, martially adept Rebel Queen of Ferelden.
A knight in shining armour, the Rebel Queen was a pillar of strength and determination. She inspired genuine loyalty among many Fereldans.
Moira Theirin never accepted Orlesian domination. She always claimed to be the rightful Queen of Ferelden. She spent her life running a guerrilla war, growing her power base, and convincing nobles to lend help. Maric grew up on the run with her and her followers.
Foul weather friends
Moira struck an alliance with the powerful Guerrin family of Redcliffe. The Guerrins’ firstborn, Rowan, was born shortly after Maric. The two were betrothed.
By the 8:90s, the Rebel Queen had hundreds of insurgents. This well-run force had endured for years. They could win small victories by carefully picking their battles. However, they were dependant on sympathisers for food and supplies.
Another notable ally of the Rebel Queen was the capable, if annoying, enchanter Wilhelm. He smugly fielded one of the last known Dwarven golems, the terrifying Shale.
Yet another asset for the Rebel Queen came when the Orlesians put on the Fereldan throne a young man named Meghren. The usurper king was a miserably cruel tyrant, ruling through fear and caprice. He had been disgraced in Orlais, and shoved out of sight all the way to Ferelden.
This made the locals much more inclined to side with Moira.
The Queen is dead, long live the King
In 8:96, the Rebel Queen and her followers met in a forest with Fereldan nobles. These were supposed to join Moira. But these men betrayed the Rebel Queen to the occupier. She and her retinue were surrounded and overrun.
Among the few survivors was Maric. Moira ordered him to run, and he narrowly escaped into the forest.
Alone, overwhelmed, unequipped and wounded, Maric lucked out. He was taken in by Gareth Mac Tir and his brigands.
Maric hid his identity. But the bandits realised the truth just as pro-Orlais troops neared the camp.
To everyone’s surprise, Gareth had his son Loghain escort the Prince into the wilderness. Meanwhile, he led what men hadn’t already fled into a suicidal delaying action against the occupier’s troops, covering Maric and Loghain’s egress.
In his first act as King, Maric made Gareth a knight. Then he and Loghain fled into the Korcari Wilds, as these swamps were too dangerous for pursuers.
Though Loghain Mac Tir was furious and bitter about his father’s death, he narrowly decided to stick with Maric Theirin.
Eyes shining in the dark
Maric nearly died of hypothermiaWhen the body loses too much heat. Yet the pair survived the Wilds – only to be captured by Dalish Elves.
The Keeper of this clan wasn’t hostile. But he realised that the Humans should be taken to the Woman of Many Years, whom the Elves normally steered clear of.
Maric’s good manners mollified the Woman (a.k.a. Flemeth, a.k.a. the Witch of the Wilds, a.k.a. the Mother of Vengeance, etc. etc.). This saved Loghain’s life.
During this private audience with the Witch, the young King :
- Was prophesied that Loghain would betray him, “each time worse than the last”. Maric did not know what to think about that. Thus, Loghain remained his close ally for decades.
- Was prophesied that he would hurt the ones he loved the most, and become what he hated in order to save what he loved.
- Seemingly was told about the true source of Calenhad’s power.
- Agreed that he would come alone to a place called the Silent Grove once his children were of age.
- Was prophesied that a Blight would take place within his lifetime.
- Was told that a way would soon appear for him to return quickly and safely to Ferelden.
There likely was more, since the Witch and the King talked for hours.
Out of the Wilds
The two men could indeed return to Ferelden safely, thanks to Flemeth’s magic.
Once out of the swamps, they ran into Rowan Guerrin’s cavalry. Seeing the King alive thrilled the troops, further allowing Maric to fill Moira’s sabatons.
By that point, Arl Rendorn Guerrin was the de facto commander of the rebels. But pro-Orlais forces were nearing the rebel camp, boxing them in. The arl wanted the VIPs to escape, which meant sacrificing the troops.
Maric and Loghain virulently opposed this. Maric asserted his royal authority, and Loghain came up with a plan.
Rendorn’s conservative orders still would have led to disaster in the name of realism. However Maric, Loghain and his own daughter Rowan imposed more daring and cunning approaches in the heat of the battle. Though the rebels lost half their number and precious resources, they still fared better than hoped.
Thanks to Loghain’s ruse, the rebels evaded the forces chasing them and resumed operating in central Ferelden.
The usurper had spread the news of the Rebel Queen’s death far and wide. The rebel leaders split up to gather support and convince selected nobles that the rebellion was still viable.
Rowan and Loghain tried to secure new allies, though that resulted in treacherous attempts at capture. And Maric and Enchanter Wilhelm visited more reliable parties to raise support. Trouble did happen, but the golem ended it.
Their main ally was the plunder-grade taxation from the occupier. Volunteers thus kept joining the rebels. Then the Arl of Amarathine defected to the rebels, as the Arl of Redcliffe had years before.
By the end of the winter, the rebels again had the manpower to harass the usurper in carefully selected battles. Maric tended to lead from the front, unless Arl Rendorn or Lady Rowan forced him not to.
At the Tower of Magi, Prince Maric had a brief encounter with Revered Mother Bronach, the head of the Chantry in Ferelden. But the clergy had firmly thrown its lot with the usurper.
Three years after the Rebel Queen’s death, the rebels were back to strength. But this meant being at once too weak for direct war, and too strong to hide or live off the land for long.
The Theirin lineage generally has fair hair and skin, and so did Maric.
During the Winter when he toured the Bannorn and met Mother Bronach for the first time, Maric grew a beard.
He sports a billowing purple cloak , serving as a rallying point in battle. Early on, this was Queen Moira’s old royal cape.
The art on the cover of The Stolen Throne (by Ramil Sunga ) is IIRC the only depiction of a young Maric. It is used as the illustration for this profile.
Though this cover isn’t flawless (presumably because its job is to sell the book, not to document the continuity), Maric’s features seem based on his son Cailain’s, as he appears in DA:O.
After his mum’s death, Maric felt completely out of his depth. He internally chided himself all the time for not being strong, decisive and charismatic enough. So he aped what the Rebel Queen would have said and done.
Yet he grew to fill her shoes much quicker than he expected.
He also was inspired by the devotion of his subjects into becoming a true King.
Though he doubted his own courage early on, there was no genuine reason to. Maric would fight on the frontline whenever this wasn’t completely unreasonable, projecting the image of a warrior prince.
Though he grew into a determined man, his resolve wasn’t cinematic. After major defeats, Maric may become crestfallen. He’ll come to doubt his role and carry a hint of depression in his words. Normally, his friends allow him to overcome this.
During the early years of his leadership, Maric was over-sensitive about Arl Rendorn preventing him from taking excessive risks. The Prince would go on to pout like a sullen child when Rendorn won their arguments.
My mom says I’m a catch / I’m popular
One key lesson from Moira was to be respectful and thankful toward commoners. Maric thus acts in an affable manner, paying attention to the feelings and safety of others. He likes to talk with people, and displays no arrogance.
The death of commoners genuinely affects him. He doesn’t see them as expandable.
He also has a pleasant sense of humour. When he was young, and during moments of enthusiasm, he could even be something of a goofball.
Maric talks a *lot*, and charmingly. But like many men who talk aplenty, he doesn’t listen enough or pay enough attention to others’ emotions.
Though he’s a popular man, Maric has only two real friends – Rowan and Loghain.
Maric is markedly less focused on his lineage than his subjects are. What he thinks is important is for the country to be governed properly – not necessarily by a Theirin. He’s more pragmatic in this respect than most of his countrymen, who do not object that much to pointless suffering in the name of tradition.
On the other hand, this progressive view is clearly underestimating the attachment of most Fereldans to their national myth.
That Maric is sincere and talkative is a great asset of his, but also his tragic weakness. His worst decisions have stemmed from speaking forcefully, spontaneously and from the heart… when he really should have shut the heck up. In most such cases he had been wounded and was clearly weakened but, well, it’s not like life cares.
He’s also an idealist, wishing the best for Fereldans – and a trusting man. These two factors lead to risky choices, and in Maric’s case a lack of necessary cold-blooded pragmatism and primate-like displays of authority. Thankfully, these are provided by Loghain and, sometimes, Rowan.
(As the pair was captured by Dalish nomads).
Loghain: “You don’t know about the Dalish ?”
Maric: “Well, you know, I had other things I was supposed to learn.”
Loghain: “Such as ?”
Maric: “How to be taken prisoner by outlaws, apparently.”
Rowan: “The usurpers say you died at West Hill. They claim that your body wasn’t distinguishable from those of regular Fereldan men, and thus couldn’t be found.”
Maric: “Well, that’s just rude.”
“This isn’t about putting the blood of Calenhad on the throne. This is about getting that Orlesian bastard off it. Because if he was a good King of Ferelden, none of this would matter.”
DC Heroes RPG
King Maric (as a youth)
|Dex: 03||Str: 02||Bod: 03|
|Int: 03||Wil: 03||Min: 03|
|Inf: 04||Aur: 04||Spi: 03|
|Init: 012||HP: 020|
Animals Handling (Horses): 04, Martial Artist*: 03, Medicine (First aid): 02, Military science (Field command): 04, Weaponry (Melee): 04
Credentials (Fereldan rebellion, High), Familiarity (General education, History of Ferelden), Gift of gab, Luck, Misc: Maric is the rightful inheritor to the throne.
Fereldan rebellion (High).
Authority Figure, Mistrust.
- Good broadsword [BODY 05, Enhance (EV): 02 (cap is 06), Descriptor: Slashing, piercing, bludgeon].
- DWARVEN-MADE FIELD PLATE w/HELM [BODY 06, Conditional Soaking (Slashing damage), Blunting: 03, Damage capacity: 06, Enhance (Bludgeoning, Piercing, Slashing RV): 02 (cap is 09), Enhance (Laser, cold, heat/flame, Ballistic, Acid RV): 01 (cap is 08), Enhance (RV against Critical, Devastation and doubles): 04 (cap is 10), Enhance (Unarmed RV): 04 (cap is 11), Shade (Audial): 01, Stealth penalty 3/4, Bonuses & Limitations & Drawbacks:
- Damage Capacity has the Instant Recovery Bonus.
- Damage Capacity only for Slashing and Piercing damage.
- Audial Perception rolls have +2CS to their OV/RV.
- Visual Perception rolls have a +1CS to their OV/RV when the face protector is on.]
As discussed in the Thedas article, we assume realistic power levels for most Dragon Age characters.
As mentioned in, say, the Tessa the Magekiller character profile, there are efforts to weave the CRPG mechanics into the setting. So in Gaider’s novels, Maric is visibly levelling up as he goes.
The stats above are for him at a low level, where he’s not much more than a good soldier (albeit one with great body armour).
Source of Character: Dragon Age material.
Writeup completed on the 11th of July, 2018.