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Ethics of siding with/killing the Architect[]

This is one of the choices BioWare has set up that has actually stopped me in my tracks and forced a bit of internal debate. The Architect, if you can believe him, shares a common enemy with the Grey Wardens (Mother AND the Calling, which leads to Blights). Blights are the true enemy of the GWs, not the Darkspawn. The Darkspawn are a symptom of the problem, not the root of it. If Darkspawn didn't follow the Calling, and if they were more rational like the Architect appears to be, they might be no less odd, foreign, or dangerous than the Qunari. Remember, according to Sten, the Qunari are on a crusade of sorts to invade and conquer non-Qunari lands.

So I got to thinking, as a GW, my main job is to protect people, all people, from the Blights. Helping the Architect might make that job easier. Then I got to thinking of the alternative ways to end the Blights and I recalled something from either the intro movie, a codex entry, or maybe one of those hits that appears when new zones are loading. The message said that there were only ~7 or so Old Gods/Blight-leading Dragons, and prior to the events of Origins, ~5 were already dead (killed at the end of the previous Blights). The 6th and most recent Blight ended with the death of the dragon but not the "uncorrupted" Old God (which is now contained in Morrigan's baby). So that means there's only 1 potential Blight left to fight, right?

This led to a 'Better the devil you know than the devil you don't." question. Which is better: A) killing the Architect and the Mother, and as many Darkspawn as you can, all the while waiting for the last Blight, and hoping you win that one too, or B) siding with the Architect, possibly gaining a useful ally who may be able to avoid the need for a final Blight at all.

For me, I followed the old idiom. If non-Darkspawn have defeated 100% of the Blights so far (albiet at great cost), and if there's only one left, that's a known enemy, a known problem, a known solution, and a perfect (though costly) success rate. I chose that as the better of two evils. In order for siding with the Architect to turn out better than not siding with him, many questionable things would have to happen:

  • The Architect would have to be telling the truth
  • The Architect would need to eventually be able to "cure" the Calling
  • The Architect's "cured" Darkspawn would have to be willing to help wipe out all the non-cured Darkspawn, including all those in the Deep Roads, before they found the last Old God.
  • Grey Wardens would have to provide an unspecified amount of blood over an unspecified amount of time to enable the Architect to continue his research
  • The Grey Wardens, in doing so, may be supporting Blood Magic (though this would also mean that the Grey Wardens are a product of Blood Magic. I'm not sure if this is true or not. It probably depends on one's perspective.)
  • The "cured" Darkspawn would have to be okay with leaving currently-populated lands to avoid conflict with the existing populations
  • The "cured" Darkspawn would have to be okay either dying off through old age (unless they don't age) or learning how to procreate amongst themselves because right now, they exist through the killing of non-Darkspawn, which would certainly be prohibited by any kind of alliance.

These are just the questionable conditions I can come up with right now. There may be more, and all of them would have to be true in order for any deal with the Architect to be better than suffering through the final Blight.

Perhaps it's odd that I spent so much time on this question, but I bet if BW read this they'd be happy that they created a big enough moral dilemma to prompt this kind of response. Did anyone else have to pause to consider what to do when faced with this choice? Did anyone side with the Architect, and if so, why? --Servius 22:52, April 23, 2010 (UTC)

A short annotation: The fifth Blight was the one defeated in Origins, so there are at least two left. -- CompleCCity 11:42, August 21, 2014 (UTC)

I did side with the Architect. Although I usually try to complete a game by making choices consistent with the main character's personality I have found lately, with all the forums and helps and hints that I sometimes side with what might accomplish a "victory" in an upcoming battle. My main character had been played basically as a "good" commander, making decisions that seemed both best for the majority and also morally correct (if there is such). I therefore chose to side with the Architect to enable an easier victory over the Mother. I had also activated the Trevinter towers. And guess what, I used none of those in the final battle and found it to be not that difficult, just long. Using Anders and Velanna, both with group heal and heal as well as offensive spells, Nathaniel with a longbow and Elven Arrows, and the Warden Commander as a Sword/Shield warrior with three Paragon Runes on his armor boosting his constitution turned out to be quite do-able. This was on the Hard setting. I only mention this because it is relevant to my motives in the first place. I am kind of ashamed in retrospect for not making my decision on whether to support the Architect or not soley on consistent role playing, but what has been done cannot be un-done.

To your ethics question and possible solutions concerning the blight and whether this was the greatest threat to the good of all citizens or the "new" Darkspawn; I agree with you. I think the Warden Commander would have decided to kill the Architect and then tackle the Mother on his own. I have read some on the new DLC "Darkspawn Chronicles" and I think Bioware thought this out ahead of time, making this interaction with the Architect to soften the player's attitude to Darkspawn a little and prepare them for the chronicles and perhaps, perhaps DAO II, whenever it emerges. With the possibility of the Architect living and his followers multiplying there is a complete whole new story line to develop it they chose to do so. -- 12:43, May 14, 2010 (UTC)Dalnor Ironhelm

I have the game running right now with the Architect standing in front of me with the "final question". It's been that way for about 30 minutes; the guy with the Mardi Gras hat sways back and forth and waits for me to answer "1" or "2". The ethics discussion above is quite interesting and helpful. Normally, when I'm playing a game, I'm one to make snap decisions even if it pisses off companions. I don't like to explore a dialog option and then reload, because reloading somehow makes decisions less genuine. But I really feel torn on this one. It almost seems like a medical ethics question in disguise. When it comes down to it, what is making me debate so much is the Bioware game save transfer system. Surely, in the next DA game, this decision is going to have consequences. In Awakenings itself, there really aren't consequences for this decision beyond the little time left until you win the game. But damn if that question of "what will happen in Dragon Age 2 because of this?" doesn't make this little ethics decision weigh more heavily. I both love and hate that fact. I've been flying through games all my life making snap decisions, but the second I realize that it might affect the fake future in a game that isn't even created yet, I have to sit down and think for a while. Damn you, Bioware. -- (talk) 05:56, May 29, 2010 (UTC)
This took me an incredibly long time to even come to an even possible conclusion. On the one hand, the Architect has, in a way, proven he means the Grey Warden Commander and the entire order little to no harm. He let the Commander survive when he/she could have easily been slaughtered, and also sent The Messenger to warn the Commander of the attack on Vigil's Keep. But, in contrast, the Architect has done many things to damage his campaign to be an ally. Firstly, when in the Silverite Mines, Velanna's sister, upon releasing you, says she 'doesn't want anyone else to get hurt', hinting that the Architect's experiments were more than just taking a few drops of blood, which anyone could gather from other evidence as well, and the Architect doesn't even really deny that. Also, in the cutscene at the very end of the Silverite Mines the Architect says, "Perhaps I should have killed it while it slept". This showed that the Architect really wasn't all that keen on gaining the Warden's loyalty, especially if he saw the Warden as a threat. Now, maybe this is over-analytical, but he also -if my perception is right and he was talking about the Warden- calls the Warden an 'it'. No kind of ally or separate species wanting to co-exist with another would call a member of the other race an 'it'. It would only demean the other species. After all, humans an the like call Darkspawn 'its', so if one called the other races that, it would only be as though another, intellectual race had erupted, and one more never ending war would ensue. Or it would eventually, anyhow.
One of my strongest inclinations to kill the Architect was the idea I mentioned above. If the Darkspawn suddenly become intellectual, speaking beings, then who is to say that they won't still wage war on us? Granted it would be different than the blight, but with the Architect at their head who knows what they could accomplish. It could be Orlais all over again, maybe worse. This could be the very reason the Architect wanted to ally with the Warden in the first place. With our help, he would have others like him; calculating, intelligent, manipulative. Rather than an aching lonliness, he's probably looking to create a nation that can hold their own in the real world, and possibly conquer it without the interference of the Old Gods, who could disrupt his plans. Why else work so adamantly to free his 'brethren'? He claims he simply wants to free them, but he has to have some sort of plan. His personality doesn't suggest he longs for company, and their are few just purposes he could have for making the Darkspawn shun their old ways.
Another was the fact that the whole time I was captured, it was utterly creepy and the sense of perversion was just repulsive. Maybe I get too emotionally involved in what I watch, but still. His lab and his notes are solid evidence toward the fact that he cares nothing for others unless they can help him meet an end. Also, if he wished to ally with us so desperately, why did he capture us and strip us of our equipment and give them to his 'experiments'? Why didn't he protest for our alliance then? I believe, in the mindset of killing the Architect, he only allied with us when he did for opportunity. He sought to eliminate the only opposition within his own race, and he could use us as his tool or 'experiment'. If we failed, he could exploit the weaknesses we made against the Mother and be rid of her as well as the Warden Commander.
Though, on my next playthrough, I plan to side with the Architect out of pure curiosity, if nothing else. And, if/when a third Dragon Age arises, I may even carry this game over to see what happens along with my main campaign. You never know, right? -- (talk) 07:08, June 14, 2010 (UTC)Melanie

Pursuade Justice to ally with The Architect[]

Is this even possible? I brought the cunning attribute as far up as I could and I still can't get him to side with my decision. I've got 130 cunning and he is steadily saying no everytime I try to pursuade him. I also have Coercion maxed out. From what I understand Pursuasion is based off of Coercion and Cunning. Has anyone been able to pursuade Justice into trusting you when you ally with The Architect? -- (talk) 01:33, June 13, 2010 (UTC)Jim

My only suggestion would be that possibly his approval rating isn't high enough, and may need to be at full capacity. Or, perhaps, if his companion quest wasn't finished or maybe not finished properly, meaning that you were unkind etc. I never attempted persuading Justice myself as I chose to kill the Architect instead of siding with him. But I'm on my second playthrough to test out the other options, so I may be able to tell you more thoroughly what could have gone wrong, or if it's just a bug in the game. (talk) 06:04, June 14, 2010 (UTC)Melanie
Yeah, you can persuade him. Just did it with 77 cunning, max coercion and 100 (Love) approval. I finished his sidequest, which, as Melanie pointed out, may well have been what swayed him. Also got no disapproval choosing to side with the Architect, unlike Sigrun and Anders. (talk) 17:52, October 16, 2010 (UTC)mayfaire
I think that with Justice and Sigrun, the amount of approval lost by persuading varies based on approval rating. If you're t 100, they trust you and you lose no approval. Someone confirm this.
Just did this on my first playthrough, definitely lost some approval from him. I had him maxed out at 100, his companion quest done, Coercion maxed, and 115 CUN. Lost 5 approval even after after using the (Persuade) option. Mdjacobus (talk) 16:59, April 10, 2011 (UTC)
Seems all a bit randomly… Master Coercion, 132 Cunning and 100+ Approval with Justice, personal quest finished to his satisfaction: It did cost me 3 points off him with persuasion. -- CompleCCity 11:27, August 21, 2014 (UTC)