Leandra was born in Kirkwall towards the close of the Blessed Age, the first child of the powerful Lord Aristide Amell, and his wife Lady Bethann Walker. When Leandra was still a baby, she was joined by a younger brother, Gamlen. From an early age, Leandra and her brother were inseparable, serving as each other's best friend and confidant.
Throughout her childhood, Leandra was doted on by her parents who considered her their pride and joy, and showered her with love and gifts. Gamlen however was not as beloved, and slowly grew to resent his sister's status as the family favorite. Although Gamlen was bitter at his parents' favoritism, the siblings continued to adore each other. Whenever Leandra received a gift from her parents, she questioned why Gamlen didn't receive the same. As she excelled in academics, she often assisted Gamlen with his studies and defended him whenever he lagged behind.
As a young woman, Leandra and her family attended a banquet thrown by Viscount Perrin Threnhold for the visiting Grand Duchess Florianne de Chalons, the niece of the Orlesian emperor. While at the banquet, Leandra met Malcolm Hawke, a member of the Kirkwall Circle of Magi. She was instantly smitten with Malcolm but struggled to find a way to speak with him in the crowded ballroom, so Gamlen assisted his sister in finding a place for the pair to speak privately. That night, Leandra and Malcolm began a romantic relationship.
After Florianne's ball, Leandra and Malcolm continued to grow closer and eventually Leandra became pregnant with his child. When Leandra revealed her pregnancy to Gamlen, he assisted her in hiding it from their parents, as the two of them attempted to figure out what to do.
Around the same time as Leandra's pregnancy, Gamlen became addicted to gambling. Although Leandra attempted to hide her brother's issues from their father, he was eventually caught and earned the ire of their parents who reduced his allowance by half and barred him from leaving the estate after dark.
Sometime later Gamlen came up with a plan- he suggested Leandra claim that the baby was Guillaume's. Leandra agreed to Gamlen's plan but told him that she needed to see Malcolm one last time before she could go on with it. When Leandra attempted to break off her relationship with Malcolm, he proposed to her and she accepted.
Soon after Malcolm's proposal, Leandra's parents discovered that their daughter had been impregnated by a mage. Aristide was furious and urged the templars to hunt down Malcolm. Leandra appealed to Bethann for help but her mother refused, and distanced herself from her daughter. Malcolm soon fled the city as an apostate with the Templars on his trail.
Leandra was heartbroken by Malcolm's disappearance. At the same time her parents ignored her; often refusing to even be in the same room as her. Leandra's only comfort was Gamlen, who did his best to cheer up his sister.
Eventually the day came when Malcolm returned to Kirkwall with a contingent of Grey Wardens to take Leandra away. When Leandra heard the news, she was forced to choose between her parents and her love. She chose Malcolm and Aristide consequently disowned her. Before Leandra left, she attempted to say goodbye to her mother, but Bethann locked her bedroom door and refused to answer. Leandra began banging wildly on her mother's door but still received no reply. Eventually, her father gently grabbed her hands, and calmly told her "Just go, Leandra. You are no longer an Amell, and she is no longer your mother." That would be the last time Leandra ever saw her father.
Leandra and Malcolm still needed a way to escape the city so she enlisted Gamlen's help in finding a way out. Although Gamlen was wary of the plan, he used his contacts in Lowtown to find a ship to take the couple away. Before she departed, the last thing Leandra asked of Gamlen was that he take care of their parents, and with that the two parted ways. That night, Leandra and Malcolm boarded a ship headed for Ferelden.
Soon after their escape, the Grey Wardens returned and demanded a special service of Malcolm for their help in reuniting him with Leandra. He would travel with them to the Vimmark Mountains and assist them in rebinding an ancient evil. When he hesitated to accept, they threatened to kill the pregnant Leandra. Malcolm eventually agreed to the Wardens' terms and sent Leandra a simple message telling her that when he returned, "they would be free". Malcolm was successful and the couple began their life together in hiding.
After reaching Highever by ship, they settled in a small village near Amaranthine. Malcolm found work as a farmhand while Leandra found work mending torn bits of clothing. When Leandra gave birth to Hawke a few months later, she immediately wrote a letter to her brother informing him of the birth and attempted to re-establish contact. Gamlen spent an entire day attempting to write a reply that didn't sound accusatory in nature but when he failed to do so, he set the letter aside. With the lack of correspondence, the Amell siblings eventually lost contact.
While Leandra was coming to the end of her second pregnancy, her father passed away from complications with cholera. Her mother, Bethann, had also died of the same disease the previous year. Although he had disowned her years earlier, Aristide left everything in his will to Leandra; leaving Gamlen only a small trust fund to be administered by Leandra. Gamlen sent a letter informing Leandra of their father's death but neglected to inform her of her inheritance.
Soon after her receiving news of her father's death, she gave birth to twins: Bethany, named after her late mother Bethann, and Carver, named after Maurevar Carver (a Templar friend of Malcolm's who had helped enable their relationship). After the twins' birth, Leandra sent another letter to her brother, expressing her love for him. Once again, Gamlen did not reply to his sister.
In 9:20 Dragon, after years of living on the run, Leandra and Malcolm settled down with their children in the small Fereldan village of Lothering. Seven years later, Malcolm died and ultimately left Leandra as a widow.
Shortly after the Battle of Ostagar, (where at least one of her children had fought as a soldier in service to King Cailan) Leandra escapes with her family from Lothering's destruction, where they had lived for several years, fleeing with portions of the darkspawn vanguard in pursuit. During their flight through the Blightlands, one of the twins is slain by an ogre. Stricken with grief, she blames Hawke for this, as she believes that they could have prevented her child from "charging off." Leandra and her remaining children, along with Aveline Vallen, escape to Gwaren with the aid of Flemeth, the Witch of the Wilds. There, they take a ship to Kirkwall, planning to flee to the estate which belonged to Leandra's family, the Amells. However, Leandra's younger brother Gamlen lost the estate some years earlier due to his gambling habit. To help his family gain entrance into the city, Gamlen commits Leandra's children to working for either mercenaries or smugglers for a year, much to her dismay.
Leandra and Gamlen experience some conflict over money, as well as the loss of the Amell estate. Hawke and their sibling can go to the vault of the old estate to find their grandfather's will, which shows that their grandfather left the estate to Leandra and her children while Gamlen was to receive a stipend, controlled by her. Leandra still expresses sadness at the loss of her child in Lothering, but does not seem to blame Hawke for the death anymore; indeed, if Hawke asks her about it directly, she apologizes for having lashed out in her grief.
Before Hawke sets out for the Deep Roads expedition, Leandra pleads for her other child to stay behind: she fears losing both children, should the expedition fail.
Upon Hawke's profitable return from the Deep Roads, the family regains control of the old Amell estate from the slavers and Leandra tells Hawke how proud she is. She talks about finding a suitable partner for Hawke and even entertains the idea of remarrying. If Hawke is in a romance, she briefly acknowledges it. Bodahn Feddic and his son Sandal become part of Hawke's household at this point; Bodahn refers to Leandra as "Mistress Amell" and appears to be quite fond of her.When Hawke investigates the mystery over the missing women in Kirkwall, Leandra is abducted by the white-lily serial killer while on her way to visit Gamlen. Following the killer's trail, Hawke finds that Leandra has been murdered and pieced together with parts of other women by the killer, kept alive by his magic as he believes Leandra's face largely resembles his deceased wife. During his battle with Hawke, the killer causes Leandra to appear in the possessed form of a desire demon along with his other victims, Ninette de Carrac and Alessa. Before Leandra dies, she tells Hawke how proud she is. If Leandra is dead when Legacy is played, her ghost appears to Hawke at the end of the DLC. She converses with her child about her husband, Malcolm. Varric, in his role as narrator, admits that this conversation did not actually take place, but says that he feels Hawke deserves the closure and so he has added it to their story. The conversation will still happen if Legacy is completed before her death, but will have a slightly different tone (and of course will need no explanation from Varric)
- "Those elves you're friends with, they're... Rather strange, aren't they?"
- "My little boy/little girl has grown so strong. I love you. You've always made me proud."
- (After Hawke's sibling dies in the Blightlands, if a diplomatic option is chosen) "I don't want a hero, I want my son/daughter!"
- (The same as above, but to a humorous reply) "Don't speak to me of grief! This is your fault! How could you let him/her charge off like that?"
- (The same as above, but to a direct reply) "Don't lecture me! This is your fault! How could you let him/her charge off like that?"
- Leandra is related to the human Warden from the Magi Origin; she is the cousin of the Warden's mother, Revka.
- Like the Hawke twins and Gamlen, Leandra can have an alternate appearance (facial features and hairstyle) depending on the face preset the player chooses during the character creation. Her hair will always be grey.