- “Sometimes, after I've I lain down with my eyes closed for a while, when I get up I expect to see myself in my old room, but then I remember that's all gone now.”
- —Elissa Cousland
Elissa Theodora Theirin (née Cousland), also known as the Warrior of Ferelden, was one of three Wardens who led endeavors to make an army, stop the civil war in Ferelden and ultimately end the Fifth Blight. She is also the current Queen of Ferelden and wife of Alistair Theirin.
Daughter of Teyrn Bryce Cousland and his wife Eleanor, Elissa was born in Highever and grew up alongside her older brother, Fergus. Elissa enjoyed girly things, but always preferred playing and practicing sparring with the boys. She had no interest in becoming a Grey Warden, but at the urging of her parents, she accepted Warden Emmett's offer and joined the Wardens.
After Ostagar, the four Wardens planned to gather an army, with Elissa, Alim, and Jisenia sharing the lead. The three worked as a democracy, but each of them took charge at different points in areas they felt confident or personally involved in. Alongside Alim and Jisenia, the three slowly built an army after having saved Redcliffe. The remainder of the Circle had been saved and later went to help save Connor from possession. When they had approached the Urn of Sacred Ashes, she remembered seeing her father lying, bleeding to death and how she wished she could have saved him. For this reason, she took a small amount of ash from the Urn (her companions had been aware and fine without, but saw little point at the time), in case she was ever in such a situation again. Zathrian and the Lady of the Forest had died, ending the curse of the werewolves with their demise. Paragon Branka was killed, and Bhelen was crowned King of Orzammar, much to Elissa's dismay.
After gathering their army, they went to Denerim. The alienage was saved, with the slavers all being killed, and enough evidence was gathered to win the landsmeet. After killing the traitorous Loghain, the three heroes, along with Alistair, discussed who would rule Ferelden, and it was decided in the end that Alistair would rule as king, with Elissa ruling at his side as queen.
The day of the final battle, Elissa and the others had prepared themselves for death after learning that the only way to defeat the Archdemon was through a sacrifice. Alim then informed them that he had performed a ritual with Morrigan that would ensure their survival, the soul of the Archdemon instead going to the child he and Morrigan conceived. Elissa was absolutely furious to find this out, but they went on and managed to defeat the Archdemon anyway.
When the Mage-Templar War began, Elissa was sought out by Leliana to see if she would take position as Inquisition, but Elissa was severely ill at the time and therefore unable to lead. She managed to fully recover a few months after the Breach opened. With Stroud gone and no Warden able to lead the forces recruited by the Inquisition, Elissa briefly stepped out of retirement and led the Wardens until Corypheus was defeated.
Elissa remained at Alistair's side as queen, ultimately deciding to step away from her role in the Wardens. Elissa used the ashes she had previously collected to cure herself and Alistair. Three years after the Blight, she had her daughter, and five years later she gave birth to a son.
Alim Surana: After an uncertain start, the two befriend one another. They get along very well and have a mutual respect for each other.
Alistair: With Jisenia being so close to Alim right off the bat, Elissa felt somewhat excluded, and for that reason appreciated Alistair's presence. His humor, while often stupid, was endearing, and he had the amazing talent of bringing a smile to her face despite how miserable she may have been feeling moments before. She considered Alistair a close friend, and eventually grew to think of him as more. She was very happy to get married to him, and even though they do not see each other all the time, Elissa is happy to be his wife.
Jisenia Tabris: From the get-go the two did not get along. Jisenia always assumed Elissa was spoiled, and she criticized her for not being able to relate to commoners. Elissa believed that Jisenia was a brat who hated all humans for no reason. However, after going through the Gauntlet and learning more about the others' circumstances, they had a truce, and eventually became good friends.
Leliana: Elissa got along well with Leliana right from the start. She believed in Leliana's vision, and the two remained in touch long after the Blight ended.
Morrigan: Elissa would not have initially considered Morrigan a friend, nor would she have said she hated her. The two got along well enough and had a mutual respect. However, when they met again at Skyhold, Elissa realized just how much she had missed Morrigan.
Zevran Arainai: Elissa was not present when Zevran was recruited, and was extremely upset when her companions returned to camp and introduced her to a man who had been hired to kill them. She was not amused in the least by Zevran's flirting, and she was extremely concerned when he started getting close with Jisenia, remaining suspicious of him until the very end, wherein she apologized. The two have gotten along well enough after that.
- Elissa has the "Wise" voice.
- All possible companions were recruited.
Reddit Headcanon and Writing Prompt Threads:
- Elissa's journey to Ostagar
- Imagining the worst
- Jisenia questions Flemeth's rescue
- Meeting Zevran
- An awkward moment
- Alistair seeks advice for courting Elissa (minor role)
- After killing Howe
- Cyrion, Alim, and Jisenia after Alistair's coronation (mentioned)
- Alistair keeps Elissa from sleeping
- Zevran returns to Jisenia (mentioned)