Rowan Theirin of Ferelden
(Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne)
Rowan primarily features in a Dragon Age prequel novel – The Stolen Throne. This profile has S P O I L E R S about it.
But do not charge ahead ! This profile has prerequisites.
- If you have no familiarity with the world of Dragon Age, you’ll want to hit our primer to Thedas first.
- Reading the section about Ferelden in Alistair’s character profile will also provide you with useful context and a sense of place.
- This entry is meant to be read after Maric’s character profile, to avoid repeating information.
- Real Name: Rowan Theirin (née Guerrin), Queen of Ferelden.
- Other Aliases: “Pup” (nickname from Rendorn back when Moira was still alive. It’s presumably a common one in Ferelden).
- Marital Status: Married.
- Known Relatives: Maric Theirin (husband), Eamon and Teagan Guerrin (her kid brothers), Rendorn Guerrin (father, deceased), Cailan Theirin (son). Eamon later married one Isolde and they had a son named Connor, but that was after Rowan’s death.
- Group Affiliation: Guerrin family.
- Base of Operations: Mobile, and eventually the royal palace in Denerim, Ferelden.
- Height: No data. Weight: No data.
- Eyes: Dark grey. Hair: Brown.
Powers & Abilities
Rowan was a skilled, experienced knight. She usually fought in heavy armour and led the rebel Fereldan cavalry. Her tactical acumen and her authority were good.
She seems to be stronger and a bit taller than a young Maric. As the saying goes, it just seems that she could punch a bear. If she wanted to (video).
Though she generally fought from horseback, Rowan was among the cream of her generation’s Fereldan sword fighters. Her speed, determination and technique were a match even for Loghain. Mr. Mac Tir was in fact a mite slower than Ms. Guerrin, though he had the experience to compensate.
This oooold thing — a prog-rock classic — is oddly fitting for Rowan and her faith, if a bit guitar-ish in parts. And it has a marked epic fantasy vibe. Perhaps it’s Gaudí’s fault.
Rowan Gerrin was born circa 8:79. She was the scion of the Guerrins of Ferelden, an important noble family. The Guerrins are the arls (lords) of Redcliffe, a thriving lakeside town in central Ferelden.
Central Ferelden is also called the Bannorn (“place of many baronies”, more or less). It is the nation’s breadbasket.
Moira Theirin, the Rebel Queen, convinced Arl Rendorn Guerrin to defect to her rebellion. Rendorn joined her in the field, becoming her key commander. This was an important gain for Moira.
They sealed this alliance by betrothing their children when Rowan was born. The Guerrin/Theirin union would become a major factor in Fereldan history, and in the history of the Fifth Blight.
As children, Rowan and Maric often played together. They grew up together.
After the Arlessa, Marina Guerrin, died of fever, the Arl sent his younger sons abroad. This was mostly to protect them from Orlesian retortion. If the Guerrins were captured by the occupier for their alliance with the Theirins, the little boys would be far away.
Being separated from her kid brothers, possibly forever, is one of the very few times Rowan cried.
Rebel rebel, you’ve torn your dress
Rowan was the one who found the fugitive Maric after the death of the Rebel Queen.
Soon after that, as pro-Orlais forces attempted to box in the rebel army, she led the rebel cavalry into rescuing Loghain Mac Tir’s party. This was done in direct defiance of her father’s orders, as she considered these to be dishonourable. From there she charged back into the main battle, and her cavalry won the day.
The lady Guerrin remained a senior officer among the rebels. Her lifelong friendship with the voluble Maric also gradually extended to the taciturn Loghain.
Rebel rebel, your face is a mess
During the taking of Gwaren, Rowan volunteered as part of Loghain’s latest ruse de guerre. She disguised herself as a commoner and fed misleading information to Orlesian troops. The ploy worked. However, one of the Orlesian mages used magic to restrain her and seemed about to rape her.
As the rebels attacked from hiding, Maric came to her help. In part because he had attacked too early to help Rowan, Mr. Theirin was grievously wounded. Meanwhile, grabbing a sword, Rowan savagely murderised her aggressor.
The incident left Rowan shaken by the blood rage that had overtaken her. Feeling that she was becoming nothing but a killer, she wished to get closer to her betrothed. She also made an attempt at looking more conventionally feminine.
But in a spectacular display of poor timing, this was the very night where:
- Maric was seduced by the bard Katriel.
- Loghain finally approached Rowan to talk about his feelings for her. She brusquely rejected him. Guerrin was struggling to deal with her own emotions and thus couldn’t handle his.
Rebel rebel, how could they know ?
During the disastrous battle of West Hill, in 8:99, the majority of the rebel forces were killed. One of the casualties was Rowan’s dad.
Rowan and Loghain were nearly killed as they narrowly saved Maric. Joined by the spy Katriel, they fled for days – overland, and then using the Deep Roads.
After an harrowing encounter with giant spiders, Rowan and Loghain reached the conclusion that Katriel was simply too suspect. They strongly considered leaving her behind.
This is during this argument that Maric finally understood that his childhood friend Rowan had feelings for him. But he handled this badly, and hurt Rowan. She told him off.
Maric then doubled down by professing unconditional love for Katriel. The dismayed Rowan ended up sleeping with Loghain, though they were both reluctant to do so.
I said, how could they know?
After the return to Gwaren, the rebellion was ascendant. This is also when Rowan’s scouts realised that Katriel’s activities were odd. Rowan had her scouts work with Loghain’s men to establish that Katriel was indeed a spy.
That Loghain engineered Katriel’s death at Maric’s hand shocked Rowan. She had blinded herself to this possibility for sentimental reasons, but Rowan had never wanted the Elf to die. She empathised with Katriel’s love for Maric, and realised that her death would badly hurt the Prince.
But Loghain’s plot left her with little choice. She had to reach out to Maric and become Ferelden’s Queen for the country’s sake, and the tryst with Loghain was over. Devastated by Katriel’s death, Maric welcomed her hug, and they became a couple.
However, Katriel’s death had changed Rowan’s personality. She wasn’t Maric’s friend anymore, nor quite his lover. She now had to be in the mindset to become the Queen. Thus her relationship with Maric was more akin to a job than to love.
Seeing that she had no choice in the matter, Rowan took on her new task with her usual warrior’s discipline. The life she’d always loved — one hand on the reins of a warhorse, the other on a sword — was now over.
Rowan was seriously wounded during the Battle of the River Dane, though no details are given.
But enough ain’t the test
Rowan saw it as her function to provide stoic support to King Maric, as there was no one else. Especially since their parents were all dead, depriving them of a precious source of advice as to how to handle their royal role.
Whether Rowan ever recreated genuine personal ties with Maric is unclear.
In 9:5, two years after the coronation, Rowan gave birth to Prince Cailan. However, the Queen of Ferelden fell gravely ill while Cailan was still very little. Even the best mages from the Circle couldn’t cure the wasting sickness that afflicted her.
Queen Rowan died on the eighth year of the Dragon Age.
(Two years later, Maric came to wonder whether this could have been the Taint. His guess was that Rowan might have been infected in the Deep Roads and/or bitten by the darkspawn. This certainly seems possible.)
Rowan had pale skin and long, curled, rich brown hair. She sported beautiful features, with high cheekbones and a strong chin.
If she could help it, she’d wear intricate, costly plate armour with the heaume on. She has a martial, forceful body language. Curiously, the plume on her helmet was green (Redcliffe’s heraldry is, believe it or not, red).
Her broad shoulders and robust musculature made it slightly awkward to wear traditional feminine clothing. And since Rowan barely ever wore dresses and disliked wasting time on her appearance, she never had something tailored.
Body armour also avoided men ogling her body, which Rowan detested. And after so many years wearing high-end plate, wearing ordinary clothing felt like being dressed in transparent food wrap.
As she matured as a fighter, a woman and a noble, Rowan came to look every bit the warrior queen, in the tradition of Moira Theirin. She had the strength, the charisma, the martial demeanour, the bearing and the looks one would expect from such a figure.
The portrait in this entry is original art – there’s essentially no official art of the women in The Stolen Throne. And yes, the eyes are a bit greener than they should be, my bad.
Rowan loved cavalry. She was devoted to her responsibilities and training as a military leader. This was unusual for a Fereldan woman, especially back then, but she cared little about that.
She didn’t care much about courtly artifice either, though she still expected to be treated as a noble. As an arl’s daughter, she’s properly addressed as “my lady”.
Rowan was famous for her temper. She wasn’t wantonly aggressive, but her ire was easily roused. Once angry she was a right charger and people would get punched. She also had a tendency to jump to mistrustful conclusions, but was businesslike and decisive.
Rowan had a marked stubborn and independent streak. She did what she thought was proper, and changing her mind required quite a case. She was proud of her superior martial skills, and thus had a hard time backing down from fights.
Unlike her husband, Rowan had little interest in commoners. She preferred to associate with trained nobles and military officers. Being a good rider and/or caring well for horses would automatically improve Rowan’s attitude toward that person.
She was a mite staid, and prefered her life to be regimented and disciplined. Things and people outside of this frame tended to make her awkward. She saw her emotions as a weakness, and was highly reluctant to discuss them.
In a way, the war of independence was a good thing for Rowan. Without it, she’d likely have been stuck wearing pretty dresses and learning Orlesian dances.
Rowan always referred to the Ferelden occupation government as “the usurper”, as did her father. She also tends to exclaim by the Maker’s name – she seemed more religious than her friends.
Ay Maric, Maric, ik hield van jou (part 1)
Rowan’s relationship with Maric was complicated. Though she was betrothed to him at birth, this was a political marriage without emotional implications. But to Rowan, Maric was :
- Her childhood bestie. Maric was the person with whom Rowan was the most likely to act in a relaxed, not-martial way.
- A little brother figure. She actually was the younger one (albeit by little), but Rowan always was stronger and more mature/focused than Maric. Part of her big sister attitude involved protecting him… or punching him when he got on her nerves. She also made fun of him for years for being a so-so equestrian.
- Her liege. Like her father, Rowan was well-aware of the necessity of protecting the Prince, sometimes against his orders. If Maric falls, the claim to the throne is void. This contributed to her protective attitude, even though she herself refused to be mollycoddled. She hated when Maric was weak and sometimes slapped him over it. Again, crappy temper.
- A romantic interest.
The latter role was an uneasy one. Rowan wasn’t one to think much about love and sex, as these made her uncomfortable. But as Maric matured and acquired a knightly stature she started thinking about their eventual marriage.
For years she refused to “betray” him by sleeping with another man, yet she and Maric weren’t lovers.
Ay Maric, Maric, ik hield van jou (part 2)
Rowan clearly felt uncomfortable about these feelings, and about being a woman in a romantic situation. After the incident with Loghain her relations with her two friends became awkward, and painful for her – even though Maric had no idea there was problem.
Rowan’s relationship with Loghain was more of a product of the circumstances, and shared stress and loneliness. It never had a future, and both saw it to an extent as a sign of weakness on their own part. But they had good chemistry, and given their reserved natures the emotional solace was a welcome change.
Once Katriel joined the party, it was even worse. Rowan tortured herself over whether Katriel and Maric had a thing, yet refused to breach the subject. Which, of course, condemned her to jealousy. Her closed, uncomfortable-with-emotions demeanour quite helped make the situation intractable.
Queen of Ferelden
Once she and Maric reunited, Rowan accepted her role as a future Queen. Katriel’s death had made it clear what sort of hardship the King had to endure, and Rowan saw how only the Queen could be a source of strength and sanity in such circumstances.
There was a certain “close your eyes and think of England” vibe, though it wasn’t about sex. It was much more about being the person in charge of holding the King together through his travails, for Ferelden’s sake.
Rowan never forgave Loghain for the murder of Katriel, and how that had forced Maric’s life in the path Loghain upheld. Furthermore, one gets the feeling that she never resolved her romantic issues with Maric or Loghain – she had to push everything aside without a look back to be the Queen.
One of the last things Rowan did before becoming Queen was observing a flying female dragon in the distance. This was one of sudden appearances from a small number of dragons that led to the Divine proclaiming the new century the Dragon Age. Seeing the power, freedom and speed of the great wyern reminded Rowan of whom she had yearned to be, before she had to perform her duty.
“I never stopped believing in you. You’ve come so far. Your mother would be so proud. But you can’t always be a good man, Maric. Your people need more than that.”
Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG
Tell me more about the game stats
Queen Rowan (later years of the rebellion)
|Dex: 04||Str: 03||Bod: 04||Motivation: Responsibility|
|Int: 04||Wil: 04||Min: 04||Occupation: Insurgent leader|
|Inf: 04||Aur: 04||Spi: 04||Wealth: 005|
|Init: 014||HP: 025|
Animal handling (Horses): 05, Martial Artist*: 04, Medicine (First aid): 02, Military science (Field command): 05, Weaponry (Melee): 05
Area Knowledge (Fereldan hinterland), Credentials (Fereldan rebellion, High), Familiarity (General education).
Fereldan Rebellion (High).
Public Identity, MIA toward Maric.
- Good broadsword [BODY 05, Enhance (EV): 02 (cap is 06), Descriptor: Slashing, piercing, bludgeoning].
- Excellent warhorse.
- FIELD PLATE w/HELM [BODY 05, Conditional Soaking (Slashing damage), Blunting: 02, Damage capacity: 04, 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.]
Source of Character: Dragon Age material.
Writeup completed on the 16th of July, 2018.