To its neighbours, the kingdom of Ferelden seems utterly chaotic. Unlike other monarchies, power does not reside exclusively with the royalty and nobility. Rather, it arises from the support of the freeholders.
The Landsmeet is a council of the Fereldan noble class which has been held annually for almost three thousand years, only occasionally interrupted by war or foreign occupation. It brought together all the fractured Alamarri tribes and after the unification of the kingdom, it functions as the official legislative body for Ferelden, and can override the king or queen on any matter of law. However its members tend not to exercise this privilege if the king is particularly popular or powerful. During the Landsmeet the current monarch is expected to mingle with and curry favour from their vassals. An important milestone in the history of the Landsmeet, and of Ferelden itself, was that of the 42nd year of the Exalted Age. After mysteriously gaining the support of the Circle of Magi, Calenhad Theirin marched on and seized Redcliffe, thus forcing a Landsmeet at which the nobles unanimously submitted to his kingship. This marked the birth of modern-day Ferelden and began the Theirin dynasty which has ruled Ferelden ever since, with the exception of the Orlesian Occupation.
Order of Succession
Fereldan inheritance of noble titles is determined by a combination of elective and hereditary order of succession. Any legitimate offspring of the reigning noble is able to succeed the title as heir regardless of gender or birth order. In the absence of the reigning noble and should the heir apparent be too young to assume their duties, the spouse of the reigning noble can assume the role of regent until the heir apparent comes of age. Alternatively, should the heir apparent be orphaned and/or cannot assume their duties, the heir apparent can appoint a regent to rule in their stead. The Fereldan monarch can also appoint a Chancellor of Ferelden which acts as a regent and chief advisor for the royal monarch but appear to be below the monarch's spouse if the monarch is married.
Should the reigning noble lack lineal descendants to be an heir or the heir abdicates, the title would go to any of the noble's elected siblings or collateral descendants until the bloodline is spent.
Should no descendant of the noble family survive, the spouse of the penultimate reigning noble can make a claim of inheritance through marriage. An in-law can also make the same claim. In the event that no legitimate descendants are available, bastards from the penultimate noble's lineage can make a claim of inheritance and some say they have a stronger claim than in-laws or widows/widowers who aren't related to the noble by blood.
By Fereldan custom, vacant lands become the property of whomever claims them through skill of arms; a tournament is usually held with the victor taking the vacant title as their prize.
Alternatively, the Fereldan monarch can appoint new families to rule vacant titles but some of the conservative nobles would view these new nobility as interlopers despite the legitimacy of their elevation.
The King is the most powerful noble in the kingdom. Although Denerim was originally the official "teyrnir of the King", it has since been changed to a separate noble's arling, as the king's domain is all of Ferelden. However, even the monarch's power must derive from support throughout the land. The sight of a King asking for, and working to win the support of, "lesser" nobles is a source of constant wonder to foreign ambassadors.
In antiquity, Teyrns arose from among the Banns, having grown powerful enough to move lesser Banns to swear fealty to them. There used to be many more teyrnirs before the rise of Calenhad, but he downsized them during his war for the throne. In modern Ferelden there are only two teyrnirs; Gwaren in the south and Highever in the north. Teyrns are still owed fealty by vassals of both Arl and Bann ranks, whom they may call upon in the event of war or disaster. However they are also responsible for lending aid to them when needed. In modern times a king or a queen has the right to name a teyrn.
These are the current two teyrnirs:
The Teyrns at some point established arlings, giving the title of Arl to those assigned to command strategic fortresses that the Teyrns could not oversee directly. Arls are more prestigious than Banns, but they usually have no Banns sworn to them—known exceptions being Amaranthine, South Reach, and Redcliffe (Arl Eamon Guerrin ruling Redcliffe in 9:30 Dragon with his brother, Bann Teagan Guerrin, ruling the bannorn of Rainesfere subordinate to Eamon.)
These are the current six arlings:
- South Reach
- West Hills – south of Redcliffe
- Edgehall – located west of Lake Calenhad
Each freehold chooses the Bann or Arl to whom it pays allegiance. Typically, this choice is made based on proximity of the freehold to the lord's castle (as it's rarely worthwhile to pay for the upkeep of soldiers who will arrive at one's lands too late to defend them). For the most part, each generation of freeholders casts its lot with the same Bann as the previous generation did, but things can and do change. No formal oaths are sworn, and it is not unheard of, especially in the prickly central Bannorn, for Banns to court freeholders away from their neighbors—a practice tending to ignite feuds that can last for ages.
These are the known bannorns:
- Calon – Under the domain of the Arling of Redcliffe
- City of Amaranthine
- Dragon's Peak
- Oswin – Bann Loren's lands
- Southern Bannorn – on the eastern shore of Lake Calenhad
- Storm Coast
- Waking Sea – on the northern shore of Ferelden
- West Hill
- White River
- Winter's Breath
Knights are minor nobles sworn into the service of a lord. In wartime, knights serve as officers and elite warriors in a lord's army and are sometimes sent on quests. For example, the knights of Redcliffe were sent to recover the Urn of Andraste. Fully-pledged members of a chivalric order, such as the Templar Order, are given knighthood, but they are not a part of the nobility.
Most of the property in Ferelden is owned by the Freeholders. Although not strictly speaking Nobles they provide the primary source of income for most banns and arls. A Freeholder is essentially a commoner who owns their own land. Although many Freeholders swear loyalty to a bann or arl this is more of a business arrangement, trading goods for protection. It is not unheard of for a Freeholder to leave the service of one bann in favor of another. Many feuds amongst the bannorn are the result of the Freeholders shifting allegiances.
Masculine Feminine Form of address Usage King Queen Your Majesty Title for the Ferelden ruler and his or her spouse. Prince Princess Your Highness Title for direct family members of the ruler, including their children and siblings. Teyrn Teyrna Your Lordship/Ladyship The highest title of the nobility. Feudal rulers of teyrnirs. Arl Arlessa My Lord/Lady Noble title. Feudal rulers of arlings Bann Bann My Lord/Lady Lowest title of the nobility. Feudal rulers of bannorns. Lord Lady My Lord/Lady Courtesy title for spouses of Banns and Arls. Acceptable address for any nobility, no matter the rank, but not royalty. Knight Knight Ser Title reserved for Fereldan knights.
Known royalty and nobility
- In chronological order:
- King Calenhad Theirin – first King of Ferelden
- Queen Mairyn – Queen to Calenhad Theirin
- King Weylan I – son of Calenhad and Mairyn
- Queen Fionne Theirin – ascended to the throne in 6:18 Steel
- King Lewys Mavbrae – ascended the throne sometime after 6:50 Steel 
- King Arland Theirin – ascended to the throne in 7:5 Storm
- King Vanedrin Theirin – died in 8:24 Blessed, the same year as the Second Orlesian Invasion started.
- King Brandel Theirin – succeeded his father in 8:24 Blessed, driven into hiding after Orlesian sacked Denerim in 8:44.
- Queen Moira Theirin – daughter of Brandel and mother of Maric. Known as the 'Rebel Queen'. Murdered in 8:96 Blessed.
- King Meghren – the Orlesian King of Ferelden during the last years of the Orlesian occupation, killed in 9:02 Dragon.[note]
- King Maric Theirin – ascended to the throne in 9:02 Dragon.[note] Dissapeared at sea in 9:25.
- Queen Rowan – Queen to Maric Theirin, mother of Cailan Theirin
- King Cailan Theirin – son of Maric Theirin, married to Anora
- Queen Anora – Queen to Cailan Theirin
- In chronological order:
- Teyrna Elethea Cousland – Teyrna of Highever
- Teyrn Ardal Cousland – Teyrn of Highever
- Teyrn Voric – Teyrn of Gwaren
- Teyrn Loghain Mac Tir – Teyrn of Gwaren
- Teyrna Celia Mac Tir – Teyrna of Gwaren; wife of Loghain and mother of Queen Anora
- Teyrn William Cousland – Teyrn of Highever; father of Bryce Cousland
- Teyrn Bryce Cousland – Teyrn of Highever; married to Eleanor Cousland and father of the Human Noble
- Teyrna Eleanor Cousland – Teyrna of Highever; wife of Teyrn Bryce
- Teyrn Fergus Cousland – Teyrn of Highever; elder brother of the Human Noble
- Arl Leonas Bryland – Arl of South Reach
- Arlessa Sophia Dryden – she became a Grey Warden during the Storm Age
- Arl Rendorn Guerrin – Arl of Redcliffe; died during the Battle of West Hill
- Arlessa Marina Aurum – Arlessa of Redcliffe and wife of Rendorn, originally from Ansburg; sister to Margravine Thalia Aurum
- Arl Eamon Guerrin – Arl of Redcliffe and husband of Isolde
- Arl Teagan Guerrin – Arl of Redcliffe as of 9:38 Dragon
- Arlessa Isolde – Arlessa of Redfliffe and wife of Arl Eamon
- Arl Tarleton Howe – Arl of Amaranthine; he was hanged for siding with Orlais during the Fereldan Rebellion
- Arl Byron Howe – Arl of Amaranthine until 8:97 Blessed
- Arl Rendon Howe – Arl of Amaranthine until 9:30 Dragon
- Arlessa Eliane Bryland – Arlessa of Amaranthine and wife of Arl Rendon
- Arl Urien Kendells – Arl of Denerim
- Arl Vaughan Kendells – son of Urien; Arl of Denerim (conditional)
- Arl Myrrdin
- Arl Ruahn
- Arl Gallagher Wulff – Arl of West Hills
- Arl Fergus Lendon – Arl of Edgehall
- Arl Gell Lendon – Arl of Edgehall
- Arl Voychek Neruda – Arl of Stenhold
- Arlessa Macia Neruda – Arlessa of Stenhold
- The Warden-Commander – Arlessa/Arl of Amaranthine ex officio
- Bann Alfstanna Eremon – Bann of the Waking Sea
- Bann Angus Eremon – Bann of the Waking Sea; died during the Battle of White River
- Bann Bronach
- Bann Bryton
- Bann Camenae Eremon – Bann of Waking Sea during Calenhad's reign
- Bann Ceorlic – Bann in the Southern Bannorn
- Bann Darby
- Bann Donall – a fat man with curly red hair
- Bann Dusic
- Bann Elara – Bann of Calon; died 9:41
- Bann Esmerelle – Bann of the City of Amaranthine
- Bann Fearchar Mac Eanraig – Bann of the Storm Coast; also known as the "Storm Giant"; father of Eleanor Cousland
- Bann Ferrenly
- Bann Franderel – Bann of West Hill at 9:30 Dragon
- Bann Gilroy – Bann of West Hill; once owner of Misfortune's Bite
- Bann Grainne
- Bann Gordon Curwen
- Bann Hargrave – Bann and Protector of the Fallow Mire in 6:52 Steel
- Bann Harkwold
- Bann Kail
- Bann Karel Dusic
- Bann Keir – one of the turncoats during the second Orlesian occupation; he had black curly hair, a goatee and slightly darker complection; his mother was of Rivaini origin
- Bann Lanya
- Bann Loren
- Bann Mathuin Wulff
- Bann Nicola Baranti
- Bann Parth
- Bann Perrin
- Bann Reginalda – Bann of White River
- Bann Rodolf – employer of Cyrion Tabris
- Bann Sighard – Bann of Dragon's Peak
- Bann Teagan Guerrin – Bann of Rainesfere
- Bann Telmen
- Bann Teoric – Bann of West Hill at 9:20 Dragon
- Bann Tremaine
- Bann Trumhall
- Bann Valdur Krole
- Bann Vigard – a visiting dignitary to the Inquisition suffering from PTSD and poor sleep as a result from the Blight that previously hit his lands in Ferelden
- Bann Tabris (conditional) – Bann of the Denerim Alienage if the Hero of Ferelden asks for the city elves to be treated better for their boon
- Bann Cyrion Tabris (conditional) – Bann of the Denerim Alienage
- Bann Shianni (conditional) – Bann of the Denerim Alienage
- Lord Braden
- Lord Dairren – son of Bann Loren
- Lord Eddelbrek – noble of Amaranthine
- Lord Guy – minor noble of Amaranthine
- Lord Jonaley
- Lady Landra – wife of Bann Loren
- Lady Morag – minor noble of Amaranthine
- Lady Megana – minor noble of Amaranthine and previous owner of Misfortune's Bite
- Lord Oswyn – son of Bann Sighard
- Lady Liza Packton – minor noble of Amaranthine
- Lady Shayna – an Alamarri noble
- Lady Sophie – allegedly the lover of Arl Rendon Howe
- Ser Derren – minor noble of Amaranthine
- Ser Devith – knight of King Calenhad
- Ser Gilmore – sworn to the teyrn of Highever
- Ser Landry
- Ser Nancine
- Ser Perth – sworn to the Arl of Redcliffe
- Ser Tamra – minor noble of Amaranthine
- Ser Temmerly – minor noble of Amaranthine
- Ser Timothy – minor noble of Amaranthine
- Theirin family – the royal family of Ferelden
- Cousland family – holds the teyrnir of Highever and Ferelden's second most powerful family
- Mac Tir family – the family established by Loghain Mac Tir, holds the teyrnir of Gwaren
- Howe family – holds the Arling of Amaranthine
- Guerrin family – holds the Arling of Redcliffe and the Bannorn of Rainesfere
- The timeline on page 133 of Dragon Age: The World of Thedas Volume 1 states that it was the year 9:00 Dragon when Prince Maric defeated King Meghren. However, according to the epilogue of Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne, the aforementioned 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 Orlesian occupation in 9:02 Dragon.