Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne is a prelude novel to the Dragon Age: Origins video game. It was written by BioWare developer and writer David Gaider to introduce the reader to the world of Dragon Age. It was published on March 3, 2009 by Tor Books. An audiobook adaptation narrated by Stephen Hoyes was released in March of 2010.
A deluxe edition was released by Dark Horse Books on September 25, 2018, featuring new illustrations by Stefano Martino, Andres Ponce, German Ponce and Alvaro Sarraseca.
Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne was followed by another prequel novel, Dragon Age: The Calling, later the same year.
When the beloved rebel queen is murdered, her son Maric sets out on a mission of vengeance against the faithless lords who were responsible for his mother's untimely death. The nation of Ferelden that once prospered under his family's reign now suffers under the cruel hands of the invading Orlesians. His countrymen now live in fear and no one is to be trusted. Maric soon becomes the leader of a rebel army hell-bent on retaking Ferelden from the control of a foreign tyrant. With only two true allies by his side, the brash outlaw Loghain Mac Tir and the beautiful warrior maiden Rowan, Maric and his trusted band must outwit spies and traitors as they try to reclaim the stolen throne.
An Orlesian, named King Meghren sits on the Fereldan throne and Moira the Rebel Queen has been killed by traitors led by Bann Ceorlic, but her son Maric escaped. While attempting to flee the assassins who killed his mother, Maric encounters Loghain, who is part of a band of Fereldan outlaws. Having no real alternatives, Maric joins up with them.
Maric is not able to stay at the outlaw camp long, as an Orlesian force looking for him attacks. Though the camp is destroyed, Loghain is able to lead Maric to safety by taking him to the Korcari Wilds, a region avoided by most due to its dangers. They are taken prisoner by a clan of Dalish elves, who turn the pair over to the mysterious Witch of the Wilds, who enables them to pass through the Wilds safely. She provides this help on the condition that Maric makes her a promise. What this promise is remains unknown. She also warns Maric that a Blight will one day happen in Ferelden, and that Loghain will betray Maric if the young king keeps him close, "each time worse than the last".
After escaping the Wilds, Maric and Loghain meet up with Moira's rebel soldiers who are now led by Arl Rendorn Guerrin. Amongst these troops is Rowan, Maric's betrothed and Rendorn's daughter. The next few years see Maric, Loghain and Rowan become close friends as they strengthen the rebel army until it is in a position to take Gwaren, a Fereldan town. The attack is successful and the rebels conquer the town, their first real victory in years.
An elf by the name of Katriel, who claims to be a messenger, warns them of an impending attack on Gwaren and they are able to repel it. After this, Katriel and Maric begin a relationship. However, Katriel is a spy for Meghren, hired by his mage advisor Severan. She provides Maric with false information that convinces him to attack the fortress of West Hill. This attack results in massive loss of life for the rebel army, and Maric, Loghain and Rowan being separated from the remainder of the army.
Regretting her deception and developing real feelings for Maric, Katriel leads Maric, Loghain and Rowan into the Deep Roads, hoping to use the underground passages to return to Gwaren. While travelling through the Deep Roads, they fight Corrupted spiders and are rescued from a darkspawn attack by a company of the Legion of the Dead, whom Maric convinces to join his cause in exchange for glory and redemption. Once they return to Gwaren, they find the remnants of the rebel army; its morale bolstered by Maric's return, the rebel army, with the help of Gwaren's townsfolk, overcome an Orlesian army sent to destroy them and once again secure the town. With Maric thought to have risen from the dead, and the continuing cruelty of the Orlesians, there is now widespread support for Maric and the rebel cause; riots and rebellion against Orlesian rule erupt across Ferelden. Meghren tries to reinforce his rule with heavy-handed brutality, but this only incites further rebellion by the people, and goads most of his grudging supporters amongst the Fereldan nobility and the Chantry to abandon him and support Maric.
By this time, Loghain and Rowan have formed a romantic bond, but Loghain has also discovered Katriel's betrayal and reveals it to Maric. After confronting and extracting a confession from her, Maric kills Katriel, only to regret his action later. Following her death, Loghain encourages Rowan to become Maric's wife and queen, for Maric's and Ferelden's benefit. She reluctantly agrees and with increased momentum and growing support, victory is all but assured for the rebels. Maric lures the traitor nobles who murdered his mother into an ambush and executes them for their treason, before departing to kill Severan on advice left to him by Katriel before her death. At the same time, Rowan and Loghain lead the Fereldan rebels to victory over the chevaliers at the Battle of River Dane.The novel closes with Mother Ailis, who once lived within the outlaw camp, telling Maric's and Rowan's son Prince Cailan stories of his father; that after three more years of war, Denerim fell to the rebels after a long siege, Meghren (whom the Orlesian Emperor had abandoned to his fate after the River Dane, deciding the occupation was a lost cause) was defeated and executed for his crimes against Ferelden's people and Maric crowned King. She concludes by revealing that Maric has become a popular king, Loghain has become a powerful Teyrn, married and had a daughter, and Rowan has died after a long illness. After relating this, Ailis chases after Cailan who has run off into the distance.
Some key characters in the book are as follows:
- Maric Theirin – The Prince of Ferelden
- Loghain – A young Fereldan outlaw
- Rowan – A warrior in the rebel army and Prince Maric's betrothed
- Katriel – A mysterious Elven messenger
- Rendorn Guerrin – Arl of Redcliffe
- Meghren – The Orlesian Usurper King of Ferelden
- Severan – A mage from the Circle of Magi and advisor to Meghren
- Bronach – Grand cleric of Ferelden
- The timeline on page 133 of Dragon Age: The World of Thedas Volume 1 states that Prince Maric defeated King Meghren in 9:00 Dragon. However, the epilogue of The Stolen Throne states that the duel happened three years after the battle of the River Dane, which took place in the last year of the Blessed Age. This would put the end of the Orlesian occupation at 9:02 Dragon. David Gaider has addressed some discrepancies in a post on the now inactive BioWare Social Network.
- The map places Redcliffe on the west side of Lake Calenhad, while the map in Dragon Age: Origins places it on the southern tip of the lake.
- According to the book, the mages who lead the Orlesian attack on Gwaren were sent by the Circle in 'Val Cheveaux'. No other source has ever mentioned such a place. It is likely that it is instead referring to the Circle in Val Royeaux and that 'Val Cheveaux' is simply a misspelling that combines the names 'Val Royeaux' and 'Val Chevin'.
- The book erroneously refers to the nation of "Calabria" instead of Antiva. The name of the country was changed before the release of Origins.
- Shale, a potential Companion in Dragon Age: Origins appears under the command of the mage Wilhelm Sulzbacher. Loghain later references this, claiming he'd once seen a golem, although neither remember each other.
- Several pieces of equipment and weaponry used in The Stolen Throne can be obtained during later installments in the Dragon Age series including Katriel's gloves and Loghain's armor, in addition to Maric's sword.
- The novel is the only official installment of the Dragon Age series that does not actually take place during the Dragon Age, as its plot (except the epilogue) covers the period of 8:96 to 8:99 Blessed.