Softened refers to optional personality changes for Leliana in Dragon Age: Inquisition. The change affects future character dialogue, the overall attitude of the character, and Leliana's methods of dealing with opposition as the Divine, if elected.
In the game, Leliana is hardened by default regardless of whether or not she was hardened in Dragon Age Origins. As hardened, she will kill those she believes guilty of betrayal and question herself when she shows weakness. She will often remark on how killing can be a necessity when dealing with those who oppose the Inquisition. If elected as Divine, she will meet her opposition with ruthless force. If you wish for Leliana to remain hardened, you only need to avoid one of the dialogue options below.
To soften Leliana, it is strongly recommended you follow every dialogue option listed below. Missing even one could result in Leliana remaining hardened. In each dialogue wheel, only one choice will soften Leliana, all others will result in no change.
- When you are first able to speak with Leliana in Haven, you will find her praying. She expresses doubt at the Maker's plan and anger toward her mentor's death. Choose whichever option you wish for the first dialogue wheel. For the second, choose the option My Sympathies. Leliana will then admit Justinia's death hit her hard.
- Later in Haven, you will discover Leliana speaking to an agent about a traitor. She makes the decision to execute him. Choose the option Do you have to kill him? You can convince Leliana to spare him any way you would like. She will argue with you, but eventually relent.
- After arriving at Skyhold, you will find Leliana in conversation with Cullen. She blames herself for the people who died at Haven and believes if she didn't pull her agents back, they might have had more time to work against Corypheus and perhaps save Haven. Do not blame Leliana for what happened, and at the third dialogue wheel, choose the option Our men are not disposable. Leliana will question your "sentimentality."
The Left Hand of the Divine
- During The Left Hand of the Divine quest, Leliana will want to kill Sister Natalie. Tell Leliana to Let her go. If you have chosen the correct dialogue options in all previous conversations mentioned above, Leliana will let Natalie go. If you have not chosen the correct options or if you tell Leliana to kill Natalie, Leliana will remain hardened.
- After Leliana releases Natalie, she will go to the box and find it empty. Choose which ever option you wish for the first dialogue wheel. For the second, choose the option Stop torturing yourself. Leliana will thank you for helping her see what was right and says she will see you back at Skyhold.
Return to Skyhold
- Talk to Leliana upon returning to Skyhold and choose whichever dialogue options you would like. Leliana will admit that she feels reborn and she realizes she is more than what Justinia made her. In contrast, if she's hardened, she will say that ruthlessness gets the job done and is something to be proud of. She believes the Inquisition needs her as Justinia made her.
Provided that the player has taken the appropriate steps, Leliana will eventually find herself sitting upon the Sunburst Throne. Whether she is softened or hardened directly affects her style of approach as divine, as the concept of working through diplomacy or killing those who oppose her ultimately fall under the circumstances. The Chantry can remain strong or gradually change depending on the amount of support she had coming into power.
- This particular walkthrough showcases the entire softening process.
- Considering the previous example, the precise mechanics in softening Leliana are not clear. Dialogue options outlined above are comprised through general consensus of the steps needed to soften Leliana. Since there is some variation, there may be a points system with conversations moving Leliana toward soften or hardened but either due to a bug or an intentional choice by the developers, it does not show on screen. Help improve this page by joining the discussion.
- The “Our men are not disposable“ can be all together skipped (on accident or purpose), but she can still be softened if all other dialogue has been checked. -confirmed on PC. Patch 9