I adore Merrill.
Although she is initially introduced as a temporary companion in Dragon Age: Origins, her character doesn’t really emanate any importance until she becomes Hawke’s companion in Dragon Age 2. Voiced by Eve Myles, Merrill is an elven mage and First to the Keeper of her clan. Following the events of DA: O, Merrill keeps a fragment of the Eluvian to cleanse it of its taint. Her efforts are what initially cause her to turn to blood magic, taught to her by a pride demon. She becomes convinced that her dark ways are necessary in order to save the Dalish, and because of this, she is often ridiculed by the members of her own clan.
Merrill grows throughout the long events of the game, and her companionship tests your resolve against her use of blood magic. Her own mission with magic is lined up with the battle against mages and Templars, which forces you to choose in your own beliefs of the complex situation. In a world that forces society to view things as black and white, you learn that the complete spectrum is ultimately gray, and it’s that knowledge that helps determine your reactions to Merrill’s personal conquests.
However, her stubbornness contrasts heavily against her inexperience as a person, and while you know for a fact that what Merrill does throughout the game is naïve and dangerous, you can’t help but want to care for and protect her. It’s difficult to deny Merrill anything, and the danger resides in that fact. She carries an innocence that is too easily lost, and it’s that quality inside of her consistent shyness and rambling that makes Merrill such a likeable character.
Merrill is a powerful character inside of Dragon Age, and is no doubt my favorite in the second installment, and even though I try desperately to rival her… I can’t do it. It’s the equivalent of kicking an injured puppy!
What are your thoughts on Merrill and her role in DA2?