Magic is a cancer in the heart of our land, just as it was in the time of Andraste. And like her, we are left with no choice but to purify it with fire and blood.

Meredith Stannard is the Knight-Commander of the Templar Order in the city of Kirkwall.


An orphaned native of Kirkwall, Meredith rose in the ranks of the Templar Order and became an accomplished warrior. In 9:21 Dragon, when Viscount Perrin Threnhold attempted to oust the domineering Templars from the city, Meredith retaliated after the hanging of Knight-Commander Guylian, ending with the arrest of Viscount Threnhold. Grand Cleric Elthina then promoted her to lead the Order and she has governed with an iron fist, though few doubt that her influence is reserved to the Templars as it was at her behest that the current Viscount was appointed.

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age II.

When Meredith was younger, her sister Amelia developed magical talents but her family decided to shield her from the Chantry, knowing that she couldn't survive in the Circle or face their rigorous tests. One day, Meredith's sister was possessed by a demon, turned into an abomination and killed the rest of her family save for Meredith, who survived. The Templars eventually slew her sister, but not before the Abomination killed 70 people. This experience led to Meredith's harsh view on magic and why she thinks mages must be treated as people with a curse.


This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age II.

Meredith initially prevents most Ferelden refugees from entering Kirkwall, including the Hawke family and Aveline Vallen, forcing the refugees to prove they have legitimate business in the city by screening them at the Gallows. Meredith is first seen in person passing through Hightown, before Hawke's first conversation with Bartrand Tethras.

Meredith keeps a constant watch over the mages of the Circle, and strictlty enforces the use of harsh measures to neutralize Apostate mages, though she denies Ser Alrik the use of his "Tranquil Solution" plan to turn all mages in Kirkwall into Tranquil. She is also the real political power in Kirkwall, as the current viscount fears to go against her wishes. Meredith is willing to neutralize anyone in order to root out corruption among the mages. She views the very existence of magic and mages as a threat to the general populace and thus sincerely believes her unremitting vigilance and sometimes harsh measures are necessary for the safety of all.

During the Qunari invasion of Kirkwall, Meredith saves Hawke and their companions from a Saarebas. Soon after Meredith joins forces with both Hawke and First Enchanter Orsino in an attempt to retake the Viscount's Keep. If Hawke agrees with Meredith and launches a frontal assault on the Qunari outside the Keep's entrance, Meredith and several Templars will fight alongside Hawke personally. Once Hawke deals with the Arishok, Meredith appoints Hawke Champion of Kirkwall. She does so reluctantly, however, as Hawke's new influence in the city poses a potential threat and she initially views the foreign Hawke with disdain.


Meredith in the Gallows with her lyrium sword

At some point after Hawke accompanied Bartrand and Varric into the Primeval Thaig in the Deep Roads, Meredith was able to obtain the lyrium idol which they had discovered. She had this reforged into a sword for herself. However, the side effects of the lyrium it was composed of caused her to go insane, just like Bartrand. This exacerbated her paranoia and prejudices against mages, and tensions between herself and First Enchanter Orsino rose over the three years following the death of Viscount Marlowe Dumar. She had Kirkwall placed under martial law and blocked every attempt to replace Dumar. According to Ser Karras, she went as far as to request the Right of Annulment from the Divine in Val Royeaux in advance.

After Anders destroys the Kirkwall Chantry in his attempt to spark an uprising among the mages, Meredith retaliates by invoking the Right of Annulment on the Circle, even though they were uninvolved (as Anders was an apostate mage who had never been a part of the Kirkwall Circle.) Hawke is forced choose to side with Meredith and the Templars or support Orsino and the Circle.

Meredith and Orsino meet again in the Gallows Courtyard. In a last ditch effort to save the Kirkwall Circle from annihilation, Orsino offers Meredith complete compliance to her wishes if she would only revoke the Right of Annulment. Meredith however, rationalized that the people of Kirkwall would demand retribution and she was determined to give it to them.

If Hawke agrees to aid the Templars, Meredith will rally the Order and Hawke's party in the Gallows Courtyard to lay siege to the Gallows and wipe out Orsino and the mages. Once Hawke and their companions breach the defenses, Meredith will fight with them against Orsino. If Bethany joined the Circle, Meredith will agree to spare her if Hawke insists. She does the same with other mages who willingly surrender to the templars.

Regardless of whether Hawke sides with the Circle or Templars, Meredith will turn on Hawke, accusing the Champion of plotting against her during the whole ordeal and orders the Champion to be executed. Her second-in-command, Knight-Captain Cullen, who was previously mostly supportive of her harsh measures, sees her insanity has taken her completely and orders her to step down.

Meredith petrified

Meredith, petrified in Red lyrium when her sword disintegrates

This pushes Meredith over the edge and she accuses all of her Templars of being Blood Mage thralls. She then reveals the sword made of the lyrium idol found during the Champion's earlier trip to the Deep Roads. The sword grants her superhuman abilities and the capability of animating statues; nevertheless, the Champion and their companions are able to defeat her. In the midst of the battle, Meredith momentarily begins to question if what she was doing was right but her doubts are quickly washed away. As she refuses to admit defeat, her sword shatters and Meredith is petrified in lyrium.

Ironically, Meredith's attempts to enclose the mages became the catalyst for the rebellion of the other Circles in Thedas: seeing that the Templar Order could be defied and would even use the actions of an unaffiliated apostate to justify the annulment of an entire Circle, inspired mages everywhere to rebel. Cassandra comments that it was the Knight-Commander's actions which provoked the war, though Varric argues it could be said to be Meredith, the idol or Anders.


Tier progression of "Red Lyrium Meredith" in Heroes of Dragon Age


Act 2

Quest icon DA2 Demands of the Qun

Act 3

Quest icon DA2 Showdown
Quest icon DA2 On the Loose
Quest icon DA2 Best Served Cold
Quest icon DA2 The Last Straw


  • "What I have done is protected the people of this city, time and again. What I have done is protect you mages from your curse and your own stupidity! And I will not stop doing it! I will not lower our guard, I dare not!"
  • "What other option do we have? Shall we look the other way? Tell the poor victims of a possessed mage that we meant no harm? Tell me, Champion, that you have not seen with your own eyes what they can do, heard the lies of mages who seek power?"
  • "I tried to have sympathy! Maker knows, I've tried! But how can we allow them freedom when so many would use it to commit atrocities? They control minds, they become abominations, they began the Blight itself!"


  • David Gaider wrote Meredith for Dragon Age II.[1]
  • Meeting her is required for the "Friends in High Places" achievement, along with Viscount Marlowe Dumar, First Enchanter Orsino, and Grand Cleric Elthina.
  • Meredith is one of the figures on the starting screen of the game, along with First Enchanter Orsino.
  • Meredith is the only Knight-Commander whose surname has been revealed.
  • Meredith is voiced by Jean Gilpin, who also lends her voice to Elenwen, Meridia, and Boethiah in Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim


Codex entries

Codex icon DA2 Codex entry: Knight-Commander Meredith
Codex icon DA2 Codex entry: History of Kirkwall: Chapter 4
Letter icon DA2 Best Served Cold
Letter icon DA2 A Letter from Meredith
Letter icon DA2 From the Desk of Knight-Commander Meredith
Letter icon DA2 The Last Straw


  1. Gaider, David. "Meredith Knight-Commander of the Templar's: Appreciation thread. ". BioWare Social Network. Retrieved 2011-01-17.
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