Rogue. Champion of Kirkwall. Frequent customer of the Hanged Man. Sarcastic pain-in-the-ass. These are all various ways that people have described Astrid Hawke. Some of them are even true. All anyone really knows is that when Hawke's around, it's highly likely someone's about to get stabbed. Or set on fire. Or maybe both.
Physical Appearance Edit
Astrid has shoulder-length brown hair and very vivid green eyes. She can often be seen wearing her Champion's armor, although she questions why someone thought that bright red was a good choice for someone who's supposed to be stealthy.
Astrid is fast-talking and always has a smart remark or a humorous comment prepared, even in the worst of situations. She "enjoys hearing herself talk" and likes to be in the middle of the conversation. She can be a bit of a troll at times and seems to enjoy making people uncomfortable a bit too much for her own good.
Still, she's a fundamentally good person who cares for her family and friends and wants the best for them. She tries her best to protect Kirkwall - emphasis on "tries" - and doesn't take failure well. After the disaster of the Chantry and the kicking off of the Mage-Templar War, Astrid became quite a bit more serious, although her humorous nature hasn't completely gone away. It's just hidden behind a lot of baggage these days.
Talents and Skills Edit
Astrid is very good at quickly stabbing things with daggers, although she's at least proficient with a bow when she needs to be. She's quick on her feet and pretty stealthy, and she can pick nearly any lock and disarm almost every trap.
She can also drink everyone except Isabela under the table. The one time she tried to outdrink Isabela, bad things happened, and it wasn't a mistake either of them cared to repeat.
Early life Edit
The eldest child of Malcolm Hawke and Leandra Amell, Astrid spent most of her childhood moving from place to place. Her father was an apostate, after all, and he didn't care to be locked up in the Circle and separated from his wife and daughter. Needless to say, Astrid's parents were quite pleasantly surprised when it appeared that Astrid didn't have any magical talent.
Astrid spent most of her earliest years living in Redcliffe, which is also where her younger siblings Bethany and Carver were born. When Astrid was seven, she was playing with her friend Taryn, a mage, when the Templars came to take him to the Circle. Astrid tried to stop them, but being a seven-year-old girl with no combat training, there wasn't much she could do, and she got punched in the face by one of the Templars for her troubles. It didn't take long for Astrid to tell her father about "those mean men" who had taken her friend away, and the family was packing their things to move. When Astrid found out why, it led to a hatred of the Templars that would last for pretty much her entire life.
The Hawke family moved to Amaranthine, where they stayed until Bethany's magic manifested. Upon finding out that her sister had magic, Astrid promised her father that she would never let the Templars take her sister away.
After Amaranthine, the family moved to Highever for a few years. Astrid loved the atmosphere of the big city, and she made a lot of friends with the other city kids. She also frequently explored places she shouldn't have, the elven alienage among them. When Astrid was thirteen, she was hanging out in the alienage with some friends, got separated from them, and was kidnapped by a group of slavers from Tevinter. Malcolm managed to find her and rescue her before she could be taken away, but he was forced to use magic to do so, and that meant yet another move. While she tried to hide it, Astrid found the whole ordeal terrifying, and she blamed herself for forcing her family to run again, since it wouldn't have happened if she hadn't been kidnapped in the first place.
When the family relocated to Lothering, Astrid threw herself into combat training, so she'd never be put into danger - or put her family in danger - the same way again. Malcolm taught her the basics of knife combat and archery, as well as how to pick locks and disarm traps. Astrid spent nearly every spare moment training, and eventually became an extremely capable fighter. In addition, Lothering was rather isolated, and the family's homestead was far enough outside the village that they didn't attract much attention, meaning that the Hawkes were finally able to settle into a permanent home.
Malcolm died of a wasting illness three years before the Blight, leaving Astrid as the family's breadwinner. When King Cailan called for the armies of Ferelden to fight the darkspawn, Carver quickly signed up. Astrid didn't want to sign up, as she was worried about leaving her mother and sister alone, but Leandra insisted that she enlist to keep an eye on him.
Astrid and Carver spent the next few weeks at Ostagar fighting darkspawn with the army. Shortly before the battle, Astrid briefly met Ellie Cousland, although obviously neither of them knew what they would end up doing or who they would end up becoming. Astrid's first impression of the future Hero and Queen of Ferelden was "she's okay, she'll do fine as a Warden".
In Jocelyn Amell worldstate: Astrid and Jocelyn don't meet until years later, but she hears rumors from Carver that an "Amell mage" was the only Warden recruit to survive the Joining.
Obviously, the battle didn't end well, and Astrid and Carver barely survived the trek back to Lothering after they both fled for their lives. They made it back to Lothering to warn Bethany and Leandra that the Blight was coming...
Act One Edit
...but it was already too late. The Hawke family barely escaped Lothering as the darkspawn burned it to the ground. And while Astrid, Leandra, and Bethany managed to flee to Kirkwall with the help of Aveline Vallen, Carver didn't make it - he was cut down by an ogre trying to defend his mother.
The Hawke sisters spent their first year in Kirkwall working for Meeran's mercenaries to buy their family's way into the city. Still, the family was stuck in poverty, and with nowhere to run, they both started to worry about how they could protect Bethany from the very strong Templar presence. Fortunately, opportunity struck in the form of Varric Tethras, a storytelling dwarf who was willing to make them his partners in a very lucrative expedition to the Deep Roads that could set them up for life.
So Astrid spent her first year after being released from Meeran's service gathering various allies and helping the people of Kirkwall whenever she could get a few sovereigns out of it. She couldn't help but notice how powerful the Templars were in the city, and she tried to defend and protect the mages from them whenever she could.
Finally, Astrid gathered enough money to join up with the expedition to the Deep Roads. At her mother's urging, she left Bethany behind in Kirkwall for her own safety. Astrid made it out of the Deep Roads alive - despite some Bartrand-related complications - and with enough treasure to buy half of Kirkwall. Unfortunately, she got back too late to save Bethany from the Templars, who were carting her off to the Circle just as Astrid got through the door.
In Jocelyn Amell worldstate: Astrid takes Bethany with her into the Deep Roads, fearful of the Templars taking her to the Gallows without Astrid to protect her. Unfortunately, Bethany contracts the Taint in the Deep Roads, and would have died if not for Anders, who led her to a group of Grey Wardens who accepted Bethany into the order. Bethany survived the Joining and became a Grey Warden under her cousin, Warden-Commander Amell.
Act Two Edit
Thanks to the Deep Roads expedition, Astrid was able to buy the old Amell estate, now the Hawke estate, and move herself and her mother into Hightown, although Astrid saw it as a hollow victory without Bethany there. Still, Astrid continued to help Kirkwall's mages whenever she could, and became very active in the Mage Underground alongside her friend Anders. The pair grew closer as a result, and after a lot of circling around the issue, Astrid and Anders formally began a romantic relationship and moved in together, something that made them both very happy.
Once again, Astrid found that a good thing in her life was immediately followed by a bad thing after Leandra was murdered by an insane serial killer. Astrid blamed herself for the death and entered a depression, feeling like she had completely failed to protect her family.
Still, she wasn't able to stay in mourning for long, not with the Qunari situation getting worse and worse. Mother Petrice, described appropriately in Astrid's journals as "Kirkwall's Craziest Bitch", was inciting violence against the Qunari, who were staying in Kirkwall despite their obvious distaste for the place. Things came to a head when Petrice murdered Saemus Dumar, who had converted to the Qun, in a last-ditch attempt to turn Kirkwall against the Qunari. This pushed the Arishok (described in Astrid's journals as "having a stick permanently lodged in his ass") over the edge and he decided that the best way to deal with the situation was to set Kirkwall on fire and convert everyone to the Qun whether they liked it or not.
Confronting the Arishok in the Viscount's throne room, Astrid was quite surprised when she found out that her friend Isabela had stolen the Tome of Koslun, the relic that the Qunari had come here for. She found this out when Isabela came in with it in an uncharacteristically heroic act. Unwilling to hand her friend over to the Qunari when the Arishok demanded her capture, Astrid fought the guy in a one-on-one duel that mostly consisted of her running around the room shooting arrows at him and making sure he didn't get close enough to impale her on his overly large swords. She appreciated Varric's much more dignified retelling of the duel. Astrid won the duel, the Qunari left the city, and Astrid found herself named "The Champion of Kirkwall" by a very angry Knight-Commander Meredith.
Act Three Edit
Astrid's fancy new title granted her the respect of pretty much everyone, especially since Kirkwall's nobles all owed her their lives. Still, she didn't have much time to actually enjoy it, as the situation between the mages and templars was getting worse by the day. Astrid reluctantly stopped helping the mages quite as openly, as she was terrified that Meredith might hurt Bethany if she went too far. She also found herself dealing with Anders' declining mental health, loss of his control of Justice, and increasing anger at the templars.
Still, Astrid found herself up against Meredith (dubbed in Astrid's journals as "the craziest of Templars") in the last days of Kirkwall's peace. Astrid only begrudgingly agreed to help Meredith hunt down some apostates because she blackmailed her, and even then, she let one of them escape before proceeding to bitch out Meredith for her horrible treatment of the mages. After the incident, Astrid tried to convince Grand Cleric Elthina to get Meredith under control, but Elthina refused to take a side on the issue.
The tipping point came when Anders blew up the Chantry to force open conflict between the mages and templars. Astrid agreed with and even defended the actions of her lover, and sided with Orsino without hesitation after Meredith invoked the Right of Annulment on the Circle, hoping to protect Bethany and Anders and finally get a chance to stab Meredith. She succeeded in the former, but not in the latter, mostly because Meredith turned herself into a red lyrium statue during their final confrontation. After the fight was over, Astrid and her companions escaped, leaving Kirkwall behind them.
After fleeing Kirkwall, Astrid stays with Varric, Anders, and Bethany. They do their best to help the mages who survived Kirkwall's Annulment, but it soon becomes clear that Anders is rather unpopular among them, so Astrid and Anders choose to leave the surviving mages to Bethany. They reunite with Isabela and join her in the Raiders for about a year before going their own way yet again. They end up travelling from place to place, never staying for too long, and really only keep in touch with Varric.
In Ellie Cousland's worldstate: When Varric tells Astrid about the state of the Grey Wardens in the south, Astrid worries for Anders and once again reunites with Bethany. She agrees to take Anders far to the north, specifically to the Anderfels, to prevent him from succumbing to the influence of whatever is affecting the southern Wardens. She then heads south to help Varric with the Inquisition.
Astrid survives her trip to the Fade at the cost of Stroud's life. She heads north to tell the senior Wardens at Weisshaupt about what happened, reuniting with Bethany and Anders along the way. Their visit is a rather unpleasant one, as the Wardens are unhappy with pretty much everything about the situation. They eventually return south.
Astrid is more than happy to help Varric with Kirkwall's reconstruction efforts when she returns, but with the citizens of the city-state still bitter with Anders, she thinks it better if they don't stay in the city itself. She sells the Hawke estate and moves with Anders to an estate in the country outside Kirkwall. When she finds out that Ellie Cousland has returned with the cure, Anders takes it, curing him of the taint.
Astrid and Anders never marry, but they stay together and completely devoted to each other. After Anders is cured, the couple ends up having two daughters, Leandra and Jocelyn. When both girls turn out to be mages, they happily apprentice the two with the independent College of Enchanters, where they're mentored by Bethany.
In Jocelyn Amell's worldstate: When Varric tells Astrid about the state of the Grey Wardens in the south, Astrid worries for Anders. She meets with Jocelyn Amell, who agrees to take Anders with her to the west on her quest to cure the Calling to prevent him from succumbing to the influence of whatever is affecting the southern Wardens. She then heads south to help Varric with the Inquisition.
Astrid survives her trip to the Fade at the cost of Loghain's life. She travels with Bethany to Weisshaupt to tell the senior Wardens what happened. The trip is an unpleasant one, as the senior Wardens blame Astrid for what happened and have her imprisoned. Bethany tries to have her released, but no one listens to her, the sisters are forbidden to contact anyone from the outside, and Bethany herself is placed under close supervision. While she's in prison, Astrid writes her autobiography, which ends up being called "The Unauthorized Tale of the Champion" at Varric's insistence.
After almost six months, Astrid manages to escape, killing several Wardens in the process. She and Bethany go into hiding for a while before abruptly reappearing in Kirkwall two years later. Not long after their return, Jocelyn Amell returns from her quest with Anders, who has taken the cure.
Astrid is more than happy to help Varric with Kirkwall's reconstruction efforts when she returns, but with the citizens of the city-state still bitter with Anders, she thinks it better if they don't stay in the city itself. She sells the Hawke estate and moves with Anders to an estate in the country outside Kirkwall.
Astrid and Anders never marry, but they stay together and completely devoted to each other. After Anders is cured, the couple ends up having two daughters, Leandra and Jocelyn. When both girls turn out to be mages, the couple refuses to send them to the Circle even with its reforms, the abuses of Meredith's tenure as Knight-Commander still in their minds. Instead, Anders tutors them himself, much like Malcolm Hawke had done with Bethany before. He has frequent help from both Bethany and Jocelyn Amell, both of whom have joined the independent College of Enchanters.
From Astrid's journals:
Varric always seems to know the right thing to say. Yesterday, he tricked a slaver into letting a runaway mage go by telling him the kid was the Viscount's son! That was priceless. I'm meeting him later at The Hanged Man, where hopefully I can beat him at cards this time. I really don't need to lose more money to the guy when all Gamlen has at home is two-month-old cheese. Still, there's no one I'd rather have in my motley crew.
Varric and Astrid are best friends, and got along well from the start. Whatever else happens, things will never be boring when these two are together.
From Astrid's journals:
If there's a woman who's worse at spitting it out already than Aveline, I am truly sorry for them. It's a good thing Merrill spoke up when she did, because if she hadn't, I would have been doomed to playing awkward matchmaker forever. I think I'd rather duel the Arishok than deal with that. Still, I'm happy for her and Donnic, and I wish the best for them; I hope he can make her just as happy as Wesley did.
Companions from the start, Astrid and Aveline have a very supportive friendship, and helped each other a lot through the grief of losing loved ones - not to mention the awkwardness of matchmaking. Aveline tries to keep Hawke on the straight and narrow, but she almost never succeeds.
What has magic touched that it hasn't spoiled? Really Fenris? How about my sister, who wouldn't hurt a fly? Or my father? Or my cousin, the Hero of Ferelden? Or...well, maybe Anders and Merrill aren't the best examples of upstanding mages, but their hearts are in the right place. I swear, that broody bastard needs to get it into his head that not every mage is a manically laughing Tevinter maleficar who kicks puppies. Ugh. Still, he doesn't deserve to have slavers after him. If I didn't find him so frustrating, I might even grow to respect the guy.
There really isn't anything that Fenris and Astrid agree on, other than slavery being bad. While they can be cordial to each other and respect the other, bringing up anything about magic or mages will likely end in a shouting match, and Fenris isn't the biggest fan of Astrid's often inappropriate sense of humor.
How is Merrill still this hopeless after three years in Kirkwall? She brought me some flowers that I swear were from the neighbors' garden. No wonder they seemed to angry with me at that last dinner. Maybe Varric can get her another ball of twine. I'm honestly worried for her; I think the blood magic might be making her a little funny in the head.
Astrid felt bad for Merrill, being a well-meaning Dalish elf ostracized by her people. She took the effort to befriend her and make her feel welcome, even if it didn't always work. While she worried about her experiments with blood magic coming back to bite her, she realized that while Merrill may be a bit scatterbrained on a lot of things, she seems to know what she's doing when it comes to her experiments with the Eluvian.
Well, that was a night I will never forget. Wait, it was actually a night I will never remember. Why do I have all of these cheese wheels in my house again? Well, I suppose I've learned my lesson: never try to outdrink Isabela unless you're in the mood for a bar brawl and enough cheese for half the Orlesian court. I should ask if she wants to go drinking again tonight.
Drinking buddies, partners in crime, and former bedmates, Astrid and Isabela get on like a house on fire. Their friendship is a lot deeper than just partying however, as Isabela came back to save Astrid when the Qunari nearly destroyed Kirkwall, and Astrid wasn't about to hand her friend over to the Arishok when he demanded it. When Astrid was nearly killed in the ensuing duel, Isabela stopped by her sickbed, thanked her, and then left for three years regretting what had almost happened. Fortunately, Astrid was willing to forgive her, and the two remain great friends to this day.
Why Mother thought it would be a good idea to bring an apostate to the Templar capital of Thedas completely escapes me. Meeran's mercenaries are willing to keep Bethany's magic a secret as long as we keep getting results, but I see Templars everywhere in the city, their eyes watching our every move. I fear what will happen if one of them raids our house, or catches her using magic. Well, even if they do, they'll need to go through me if they want to get to her, and if they do, those skirted bastards will find out just how badly they fare against people who are willing to fight back.
Ever since they were kids, Astrid has always been fiercely protective of Bethany; in fact, she once beat up three boys who had been bullying her so badly that they would run away scared whenever they saw one of the Hawke twins for fear of inviting Astrid's wrath. Those instincts traveled with her to Kirkwall, where she spent every night watching their neighborhood for Templars in order to keep her safe. Bethany, for her part, loves and admires her older sister, and appreciates her protective instincts. There was a period between the sisters where they grew distant as a result of Bethany being forced into the Wardens (which she hated), but she eventually came to realize that Astrid was just doing what she could to protect her remaining family.
I can barely sleep on this damned ship. Even without the crying and the constant smell of vomit and the complete lack of privacy, whenever I try to sleep, all I see is Carver charging that ogre. Bethany says that I'm not to blame, but I am. He was my brother and I couldn't save him. So much for my promise to keep my family safe.
Astrid's younger brother, and a non-mage fighter just like her. Carver often seemed jealous of Astrid for being the better fighter, and was frustrated at their mother's insistence that he needed Astrid's protection at Ostagar. Despite their sibling rivalry, the two still loved each other, and Carver's untimely death at the hands of an ogre still haunts Astrid years later.
Another day, another innocent mage out from under the thumb of the craziest of Templars. I swear, Meredith really needs to get that sword out of her ass before she gets hurt. It feels good to help the mages; it won't help everyone, but at least it gets some people out of that prison.
It's always good to see Anders happy, he makes for pretty good company that way. I helped him write a little bit of his manifesto earlier today. It was too serious, and I felt the need to inject some humor to it so that people wouldn't get bored while reading it.
We're going to the Hanged Man later today; I need a drink after everything that's happened today. I'm glad Anders is coming with me. Sometimes he needs to get that "renegade possessed mage" look off his face, however sexy it makes him look. I've been spending a lot of time with him helping the mages, and it's great to see him perk up whenever he helps someone. He has a good heart and a great body and...well shit. I think I'm falling in love with a runaway apostate mage. I'm turning into my mother!!!
Astrid has always had a thing for the dangerous type, and while Anders certainly fit the mold, it wasn't love at first sight so much as lust at first sight. Indeed, Astrid initially flirted with Anders with the sole intention of sleeping with him, but he mistook her advances for wanting a relationship and shot her down, scared that he'd hurt her. Astrid backed off after that, especially since she wasn't looking to tie herself down at the time, and settled for being friends with him.
Anders then proceeded to spend three years pining after Astrid while she slept with other people. Astrid, for her part, didn't realize her true feelings until much later. She was incredibly grateful to him for saving Bethany's life in the Deep Roads, which is also when she first felt something for him - although she mistook it for simple gratitude at the time and nothing more. After their return from the Deep Roads, Astrid joined the Mage Underground and started to help him fight for mage freedom, bringing the two closer as they united under a common cause. She started spending more time with Anders over the next three years, and a drunken conversation with Varric and Isabela made her realize why - because she was starting to fall for him. Astrid denied it and started sleeping with Isabela to prove that she wasn't in love with Anders, but that just made her realize that she was. Even when she figured out her feelings, she wasn't sure if anything would happen between them since Anders had been sending her mixed signals for years on end. They finally confessed their feelings after they helped Ella escape the Circle, and they became a couple. Their relationship wasn't always perfect, as both had a lot of emotional baggage to deal with, but they were always there for each other and more than willing to help the other.
While Astrid chose to spare Anders after the rebellion began, even defending his actions, their relationship was a little rocky for a while because Astrid was upset that he had lied to her. They managed to work through it, and remained a very happy couple.
The humorless prince of Starkhaven has crossed the line from annoyance to utter abhorrence in the wake of the rebellion we started. What kind of logic does he think he's going for? "Hawke, kill your lover - or I'll burn Kirkwall to the ground!" Like I'd ever choose his sorry excuse for friendship over protecting the only loved one I still have left!
Well, he's gone now, and good riddance. I don't think anyone was all that heartbroken to see him go.
Astrid was largely in agreement with Varric in that she never much liked Sebastian, calling him "the humorless Prince of Starkhaven" in her autobiography. She thought he was boring and preachy. He didn't like her glib attitude and disdain for the Chantry. They only barely got along, and any resemblance of friendship they formed was destroyed when Sebastian tried to force Astrid to kill Anders. When she refused, Sebastian threatened to kill Anders himself, but Astrid put herself between the two, saying that if the prince wanted Anders, he would have to go through her first. Knowing that trying to fight her would be suicide, Sebastian left the group for good, promising revenge against Hawke, Anders, and everyone in Kirkwall for what had happened. The two never reconciled, but Aveline was at least able to save Kirkwall from his "invasion" with the Inquisition's help.
Astrid is a Norse name meaning "divine strength".
Varric's nickname for Astrid is "Smiles" because she's nearly always smiling.
Reddit Writing Prompt Threads Edit
I Failed You Again - Astrid says good-bye to her mother (100 Words - A broken family)
The Champion vs. the Knight-Commander - Astrid has a rather tense conversation with Knight-Commander Meredith following her inauguration as Champion of Kirkwall (Prompt: Villain/Antagonist POV: "I know your secret")
Here Lies the Abyss - Astrid writes to Anders and recounts the events at Adamant Fortress (Prompt: Freeform)
The Unauthorized Tale of the Champion - Astrid's autobiography, or at least the introduction of it. (Prompt: Recursive storytelling)
Reddit Headcanon Threads Edit
Non-Reddit links (AO3, DeviantArt, Tumblr)