Marianthi Hawke was a Fereldan apostate and the former Champion of Kirkwall. Like so many other Fereldans, the Fifth Blight led her to seek refuge in the Free Marches. She was infamous for having been involved in various criminal pursuits as a resident of Kirkwall's Lowtown, until a Deep Roads expedition set her on the path to nobility, and eventually Champion.
Whichever title or position she held, Hawke was a controversial and contradictory figure throughout her life.
Messy deep brown hair, eyes dark enough you didn't immediately notice their true midnight blue color, and a million freckles - during Kirkwall summers, the Champion was known to complain that she was "turning into the biggest freckle in the Free Marches." Her Hightown neighbors claimed her towering height in combination with her features could have made her striking, if she wasn't always slouching and smiling.
Marianthi's fondness for fancy and elaborate ear jewelry as self-expression only intensified after she came into her fortune, and she earned a reputation for dressing eccentrically; Kirkwall residents recalled some fashion choices giving them cause to wonder if the Champion had sustained lasting damage to her head during her famous duel with the Arishok.
Following the Kirkwall Rebellion, the prominent scar on her cheek became her most distinguishable trait, at least according to her various wanted posters. Just how she received this scar is heavily debated - some claim she received it from a piece of debris when the Chantry exploded, while others insist it must have been a parting gift from Knight-Commander Meredith.
Stubbornly cheerful and relaxed even in the harshest of environments, Marianthi was widely regarded as a light-hearted spirit and entertaining - if sometimes scandalous - company. Her clever tongue and seeming inability to take anything seriously endeared her to some and alienated her from others, who viewed her as blithe and disrespectful. It was sometimes thought that there was an element of calculation to her friendly, easy-going persona; rivals accused her of deliberately making herself appear less threatening and competent than she actually was. If true, this was an effective strategy. Her jokes often concealed her sometimes ruthless intelligence and her natural tendency towards selfishness, and caused many to dismiss or underestimate her. Her open affection and warmth towards her friends and family was, however, always considered sincere.
Marianthi's difficulty with her attention span and her constant struggle to focus and stay still even for short periods of time were not often interpreted charitably by others. It was not uncommon for her to be accused of not listening or caring, or of being lazy or unintelligent. While being underestimated often proved useful, Marianthi was deeply frustrated by her inability to perform what others wanted and expected from her socially. In the times she wasn't extremely talkative, she was often forgetful and spacey, even dissociative in extreme circumstances. Her close friend Varric would frequently assist her with tasks that required organization, planning, and time management, particularly once she became Champion. Prior to her move to Hightown, her work and living spaces had consistently become cluttered and overwhelming, and her mindset improved considerably once she was able to afford upkeep for the Hawke Estate, as well as living with the more organized Anders.
Talents and Skills
Marianthi was a dangerous but fairly limited mage, specializing primarily in force magic, and rarely straying from her area of expertise. What she lacked in technical skill and the broader knowledge of more formally trained mages, she made up for with raw magical talent and creativity. Outside of sending her enemies sprawling in every direction and slamming them into the ground, Marianthi would use anything her magic was strong enough to lift and throw to batter, crush, impale, and pin her opponents. She could toss carts and boulders and send them crashing down into groups of enemies, rip beams out of structures and send them through chests, skewer them on barbed wire fences and boat spikes. Varric Tethras was once heard joking that Hawke had made him afraid of everyday objects and the thousand ways they could be used to kill him.
Not even weapons turned against her were safe. Marianthi frequently yanked swords and shields out of enemies’ grips. Visible archers posed no threat to her; she could stop projectiles in their tracks and send them back to their owner with twice as much force. Lacking any resources, she could even turn to the body itself, wrenching limbs out of sockets and worse with a vicious twist of her fingers.
However, lacking her magic, the Champion was umimpressive in combat. She carried a dagger, a token from her first love, but was more likely to show off with it than do anything useful. She was also notably vulnerable when pitted against Templars, having never fought them openly before Kirkwall, and suffering more extreme reactions to smites, dispels, and drains than other mages (the reason for this is heavily debated). Marianthi utilized many underhanded roguish skills while in hiding as an apostate, and those in combination with her quick wit and talent for improvisation meant she thrived as a smuggler under Athenril.
Born Marianthi Phaedra Hawke to Leandra and Malcolm Hawke in 9:06 Dragon, Leandra chose to give her first daughter the name of her beloved grandmother - to honor her, of course, and perhaps in the hopes that the family name might inspire her parents to reply to her letters. They never did. The name’s Free Marches roots were of use to Marianthi later, though by then she was primarily using Hawke, as she had ever since her father’s passing. To her, "Hawke" was an inheritance.
Marianthi’s magic manifested at the age of six, in an attempt to imitate and impress her father. Malcolm’s deeply involved and caring tutelage, as well as coming into her magic at a young age and in a relatively peaceful manner, meant that Marianthi never struggled with the self-esteem issues that plagued so many mages. She considered her magical abilities a fundamental part of herself, as much as any personality quirk or physical trait, and would never give them up - even if there were a way to do so without the other consequences of Tranquility.
Her childhood and adolescence in Ferelden were as uneventful as an apostate’s could be, though as a naturally outgoing and friendly child, Marianthi struggled with the distance she was required to keep from others. She often longed specifically for mage peers outside of her family. She also struggled with the expectations her parents placed on her with regards to her siblings, not being a natural caretaker, though she loved them dearly. The Hawke clan was close-knit, and despite inevitable family conflict and the issues that came with apostasy, all three Hawke children grew up wrapped in love, support, and good intentions.
In her adolescence, against her parents' advice, Marianthi began a relationship with a fellow Lothering girl named Brielle that lasted for almost three years. Brielle died of the wasting sickness when both girls were nineteen, and Marianthi was at her bedside every day until she was gone. Marianthi bitterly regretted that she had never worked up the courage to tell her lover that she was a mage; she was the first person Marianthi had ever been close to outside of her family, and yet there had still been so much distance between them.
Malcolm Hawke died in the same manner several years later, and those two losses changed Marianthi fundamentally. Though she’d always been mischievous, the stumbling sincerity of her youth was gone forever, replaced by an almost nervous sense of humor as a coping mechanism. She developed a deep fear of helplessness, though she refused to treat this issue with any measure of seriousness, and her executive functioning and overall self-image worsened without the presence of her father or any peers.
The details of Marianthi’s activity post-Kirkwall, as well as the extent of her involvement in the mage rebellion, remain hazy and based on varying and mostly unsubstantiated accounts. It can only be generally agreed upon that she was involved, and remained in the company of the fugitive Anders, given their devotion to each other. The hunt for the pair, organized by Prince Sebastian of Starkhaven, was significant, and they likely spent the bulk of their time directly following their escape from Kirkwall avoiding efforts to kill or capture them.
According to Inquisition sources, Marianthi married Anders privately sometime between 9:37 and 9:41 - the details were never made clear to anyone outside of the two of them.
Marianthi was also spotted in the company of several different Grey Wardens, speculated to be her brother, as well as Alistair, a hero of the Fifth Blight. Her association with Alistair was confirmed when the pair aided the Inquisition in the fight against Corypheus.
Marianthi Hawke was presumed dead under unclear circumstances after not returning from the Siege of Adamant in 9:41 Dragon. Given her controversy, reaction to her death was mixed, and the status of Anders and Carver, her only remaining family, is unknown. Inquisition rumors suggested that Marianthi and Anders had been living in a cabin on the outskirts of a rural village in Ferelden. By the time it was located, well after Marianthi’s death, the place was long abandoned, if indeed it had ever been inhabited.
There is a small memorial for her in Kirkwall that the current Viscount is known to visit once every few weeks.
Carver and Bethany
Marianthi loved both of her siblings deeply, but found the caretaking role and responsibilities placed on her by her parents after their birth very difficult to meet, not being particularly nurturing or responsible by nature. After Bethany’s death, her mostly-playful relationship with Carver slowly deteriorated, and was only able to truly recover once they’d gotten some space away from each other and Carver had found his place among the Wardens. As the final two Hawkes, they made an effort to repair their relationship, though they would always have their differences.
Marianthi would have described Anders as the love of her life, if she wasn't generally opposed to grand sappy declarations. Though she had little initial romantic interest in Darktown's healer beyond intrigue at meeting a fellow apostate, her feelings for him grew over time as she realized how right they felt together; she had never clicked with someone so effortlessly. Building and maintaining an actual relationship was more difficult, but how hard both Marianthi and Anders tried - in spite of everything - was a testament to how deep the love was between them. With Marianthi, Anders always felt safe, welcome, and at home. In contrast to everyone else, he found her energy and talkativeness almost soothing and calming. Marianthi was inspired by Anders' passion and dedication, struggling herself with ambivalence and focusing on anything beyond the fleeting, and felt understood, seen, and loved by him in a way she'd seldom experienced. Very swiftly, neither could imagine a life without the other.
Marianthi and Varric were friends from the first. Sharing a similar sense of humor and approach to life, they remained close throughout the years spent together in Kirkwall, and consistently supported each other. In addition to acting as a sympathetic ear and an excellent drinking buddy, Varric was invaluable in assisting Marianthi with tasks made difficult by her attention span. She repaid him in kind as a steadfast friend and ally, readily assisting him with any favors he required and providing him any material he asked for with regards to his planned Tale of the Champion. She also gave all his books (which she may or may not have actually read) five stars.
A stranger pair Kirkwall never saw. "The dog lord and the knife-ear," as described behind closed doors, bonded over being Hightown's oddest and frequently least favorite residents. Despite Fenris' reputation for seriousness, he responded well to Marianthi's light-hearted nature - and Marianthi was just delighted to find someone who consistently laughed at her jokes. Despite the animosity between Fenris and her lover, Marianthi maintained a very close friendship with Fenris, and considered him "something like her best friend." She was notably careful in using magic around him, and despite being prone to displays of physical affection, was always careful not to touch Fenris without express permission. Marianthi also taught Fenris to read, and one of her first gifts to him was a book on the elven slave Shartan... as well as a book of puns, to the horror of their mutual friends.
Marianthi's friendship with the pirate queen was tumultuous, unpredictable, and fun - just the way that both of them liked it. It was rumored that they were even bedmates for a not-insignificant time, though always in bursts, on and off. They enjoyed each other's company greatly, and grew to care for each other deeply, particularly following Isabela's return to the city after the Qunari attack. Isabela was likely the only friend aside from Varric that Marianthi maintained real contact with following her flight from Kirkwall.
Though she certainly considered her a good friend, Marianthi rarely sought out Merrill’s company on her own initiative, and as a result spent the most time with her in a group setting, around Isabela and Varric. Marianthi readily assisted Merrill with everything she asked of her, but otherwise left her to her own devices, despite Varric’s prompting and Anders and Fenris’ protests. She deeply regretted the deaths of Marethari and Clan Sabrae, but considered Merrill's business and actions her own (and rather thought that if Marethari had shared the sentiment, she might have lived). Merrill's use of blood magic was a point of contention between them, though Marianthi never pressed the issue as much as Anders and Fenris would have liked.
There was affection between Marianthi and Aveline; fondness and familiarity lingering from their shared flight from Ferelden. However, Aveline was frequently frustrated by Marianthi's less-than-serious conduct. Marianthi, in turn, felt that sternness and seriousness didn't always indicate competence. She was often less than impressed by how Aveline went about doing (or not doing) her job. In addition, Marianthi smuggled Anders out of Kirkwall behind the back of Aveline, who had wanted him jailed and tried. After that, had the former Champion returned to Kirkwall, it is unlikely she would have been welcome in the Guard-Captain's presence.
In Kirkwall, Marianthi and Sebastian's friendship could be described as distant but friendly. Though they parted badly after the Chantry explosion, Marianthi never appeared particularly angry with Sebastian - at least not on her own behalf. Sebastian did not share the sentiment, having grown increasingly resentful and furious at the role she played in enabling and defending Anders. To some degree, he blamed her even more than him, given her actions were not twisted by the influence of a spirit. When news of her death in 9:41 reached him in Starkhaven, he was placated, if not vindicated.
- Varric's nickname for Marianthi was "Fiddlesticks"
- Marianthi's Mabari is named Tate. This is a nickname, naturally - her very concerned parents forced her to shorten it after she thought it would be hilarious to name her dog "Apostate," and then see the looks on the faces of everyone in Lothering when she called his name. Carver despairs.
- Marianthi's most prized possessions were her father's grimoire and the hawk's feather earring given to her as a gift from Leandra, as well as an Orlesian dagger that belonged to her first love, though she lost the latter during the Deep Roads expedition.
- Though great emphasis is often placed on the Hawke's bold and iconic 'blood smear' in Varric's Tale of the Champion, in reality Marianthi rarely wore it; she claimed it made her skin break out.
- In times of high emotion, Marianthi often struggled to control her magic; her fingertips would spark. As an apostate, she constantly wore gloves for fear of this nervous tic giving her away.
- Marianthi's eyes were originally the lighter blue-gray of Carver and Malcolm, but darkened significantly when she came into her magic. Similarly, Bethany had Leandra's dark brown eyes, which gradually lightened to a more amber brown after her own magic manifested. This distinctive characteristic came from the Amell side of the family, as Malcolm did not experience the same thing in his youth.
- Marianthi frequently wore Anders' earring from Awakening, which she found among his scarce belongings when he moved into the estate.
- In battle, Marianthi liked to swear in Tevene, thanks to Fenris' influence.
- Marianthi had a fascination with magical items, and liked to tinker and put staves and other useful things together as a hobby. There was a makeshift workspace for her both in the Hawke Estate and her and Anders' cabin in Ferelden. She and Sandal worked together to create a unique staff of her own after she became Champion.
- Marianthi played the lute very well, to Anders' jealousy.
- Marianthi built her own little spy/information network in Kirkwall, with a wide circle of friendly acquaintances and contacts across the city. This network was largely composed of Fereldan immigrants and refugees, given she spent a fair amount of time helping out in the camps and making friends, even before gaining status as a noble and then Champion. A fair amount of Fereldans worked as Marianthi's eyes and ears in Kirkwall, and very few people ever realized.
- Marianthi would occasionally bring her dog Tate to Anders' clinic to help calm patients, or help to keep an eye on kids when their only guardian was being treated. Despite being terrible at healing magic, helping out at the clinic meant a lot to her.