SOLAS: I was trying to determine some way to show you what you mean to me. So I am going to get a few smoochies, grab your highly toned elven posterior, and then cruelly dump you without a word of actual explanation, leaving you in a swamp full of hungry wyverns.
I always knew it was gonna be a doozy, because the scene is so emotional and complex. But hey, since my heart right now looks and feels like a stomped orange, it's the perfect time to dive right into the lowest pit of Solavellan Hell, and get this party started!
Tissues? Check. Cynicism? Check. Capacity for emotional upheaval? 100%.
I'm ready. Let's do this.
Where We Are Now
So in Part 4 of my analysis of Solas's romance, I took a look at the balcony scene and declaration of love (I know the URL says Part 3, but it's truly Part 4, apologies). Then later, I discussed his state of mind after the Arbor Wilds... and how he seemed especially shaken on the brink of achieving everything he wanted.
SOLAS: Forgive my melancholy. Corypheus has cost us much. The Temple of Mythal did not deserve such a fate. The orb he carries, and its stolen power… that, at least, we may still recover. With luck, some of the past may yet survive.
A romanced Lavellan has a few potential options in her response here, so let's take a look at them:
LAVELLAN: Whatever comes, I will have you by my side.ME: Oh, sweetie...
Option number two here is one of the most hotly debated among "Solavellan" fans, or Solas romancers, because of the implication that they may already be sleeping together:
LAVELLAN: You’re being grim and fatalistic in hope of getting me into bed, aren’t you?SOLAS: I am grim and fatalistic. Getting you into bed is just an enjoyable side benefit.
I've already given my case for why I feel this is a simple, flirtatious misdirect, and that they do not have sex. His denial in "Trespasser" is so emphatic I just feel there's no way they were ever together in that way, and I feel like that point of view is further backed up by the fact that there are no kisses on demand, and no love scene.
The third option in this conversation is a fairly strong echo of the romanced Inquisitor's last bedroom scene with Bull, where they may struggle with the idea that they may not survive:
LAVELLAN: You’re talking like you’re going to die. Stop. We’re going to get through this.SOLAS: I hope you’re right.
No matter how the conversation has gone thus far, it ends with a plea from Solas for the two of them to escape for awhile:
SOLAS: Come with me, vhenan.
We find our kin in strange places. Though we know not if you will carry tradition with you, we would see you carry pride in some form. For the wounded sky is all of ours, whether belief is shared or not. Let all see this, and convey yourself as we should be.Emmasalin var suledin evanura.
Perhaps you are not as we and do not share what we believe, but this threat is common to us all, for the wounded sky belongs to everyone. If nothing else, we would have you sure of foot in your journey toward victory.
Mas enasalin lasa revas evanura
There's a mural inside the encircling walls here that also appears at the Temple of Mythal, with the addition at Mythal's temple of a dragon image flying above.
We've seen this more complete image—with the dragon—in the Temple of Mythal. We also see it again, later on, in "Trespasser." And we also find this dragon image repeatedly across Thedas (and even at Skyhold).
Which also reminds me of the Codex about the "sinner" who was egged on by Dirthamen and Ghilan'nain to commit the crime of high treason by taking on "a form reserved for the gods and their chosen," who "dared to fly in the shape of the divine." And of course, as we know, it's a rare instance in which Mythal was not merciful and fully unleashed her wrath.
Given what we now know about Ghilan'nain being pretty monstrous, this will undoubtedly come up again so I'm noting it here in case it's directly relevant.
SOLAS: I was trying to determine some way to show you what you mean to me.
ME: Oh, awesome! What's it going to be? A poem? A piece of jewelry? Maybe a pony? Or... maybe... finally... SEX? Although I admit that a cave floor near a bunch of wild wyverns wouldn't be my preferred location, but beggars can't be choosers, so let's do this!
SOLAS: Hold your halla. It's not that. Because I gave it a lot of thought and I really felt that...
SOLAS: ...breaking your heart was the gift that would keep on giving.
SOLAS: We're talking absolute devastation. Pulverizing your heart into little tiny smithereens.
ME: Got it.
SOLAS: What do you think?
Option 1 ("I already know"):LAVELLAN: That’s not necessary, Solas. You’re my…SOLAS: That is the question, is it not?Option 2 ("Interesting!"):LAVELLAN: I’m listening, and I can offer a few suggestions.SOLAS: I shall bear that in mind.Option 3 ("You don't have to do that."):LAVELLAN: I know what we mean to each other.SOLAS: Even so.
SOLAS: You are unique. In all Thedas, I never expected to find someone who could draw my attention from the Fade. You have become important to me, more important than I could have imagined.
I mean, what could possibly go wrong?
SOLAS: Your face. The vallaslin. In my journeys in the Fade, I have seen things. I have discovered what those marks mean.LAVELLAN: They honor the elven gods.SOLAS: No. They are slave markings, or at least, they were... in the time of ancient Arlathan.
That doesn't matter.That can't be right.We were wrong?That's a lie!
SOLAS: A noble would mark his slaves to honor the god he worshipped. After Arlathan fell, the Dalish forgot.
And they turned him away. They threw him out.
LAVELLAN: I know you told me because you wanted to help, but the vallaslin is part of who I am. I hope you can see past—SOLAS: Stop. You are perfect exactly as you are.
Even before the terrible break that is about to occur, everything has changed.
SOLAS: ...And I am sorry. I distracted you from your duty. It will never happen again.
Next tier:I love you.Don't do this to me.I believe in us."I love you."LAVELLAN: Solas... don't leave me. Not now. I love you.SOLAS: You have a rare and marvelous spirit. In another world—LAVELLAN: Why not this one?SOLAS: I can't."Don't do this to me."LAVELLAN: Tell me you don't care.SOLAS: I can't do that.LAVELLAN: Tell me I was some casual dalliance so I can call you a coldhearted son of a bitch and move on!SOLAS: (silence)"I believe in us."LAVELLAN: I'm not giving up on you, Solas.SOLAS: You truly should.LAVELLAN: Whatever you need, we can find together.SOLAS: No, we can't. You'll see.
SOLAS: I'm sorry.
He walks off, leaving her behind as we fade to black. Except in the case of "Don't do this to me," where SHE walks off and leaves him! And I love it so much.
Next tier to both of the above:
You did: Everyone makes mistakes.Great job: Well, we don't always get what we want, do we?Your loss, asshole: Banal'abelas, banal'vhenan! (This translates from elven as: "Nothing-sorry, nothing-heart," which I'd essentially put as "You're not sorry, and you have no heart.")
WEEKES: If you want to see the utter sadness of Solas, it’s the playthrough where you romance him. You really get to see that he does care about you. It’s obvious, I hope, that his feelings for you are not fake. He cares about you deeply. He is always one step from telling you the truth about himself.Like, for instance, what came across so fantastically is that he’s about to tell you the truth, pulls out at the last second, tells you about the vallaslin instead, and then again he goes in on the kiss and is so ready to just lose himself and forget about the past...And then he has to push back. He knows that he has to break it off right there, or else he’s going to have betrayed himself. It is so sad, and it has broken the hearts of many players, and it broke my heart when I wrote him.