I abhor violence, Mother. Especially unnecessary ones."
Adrien Cousland (born 9:31 Dragon) is the son of Aedan Cousland and Leliana, nephew of Fergus Cousland and grandson of Teyrn Bryce Cousland and Teyrna Eleanor. Despite being one-quarter Orlesian, he is a member of House Cousland and heir apparent to the Arling of Amaranthine.
Sometime after the Fifth Blight ended, it was discovered by senior enchanter Wynne that Leliana was pregnant with Aedan Cousland’s child. The baby was not seen until after the Amaranthine conflict was brought to an end. When Teyrn Fergus Cousland visited Denerim, he also met his newborn nephew for the first time. As Adrien gripped his uncle’s finger, it brought him to tears. Wynne was also present during Adrien’s birth and adored the child.
In his infancy, he was well-loved and doted on by his mother, but his father’s duties as a Grey Warden mostly kept him away from home and he periodically saw him whenever he could. Aedan even admitting to wanting the desire to raise him together with Leliana as a family and told the baby how proud he is to be Adrien’s father.
In 9:34 Dragon, on the day that Leliana was to become the Left Hand of the Divine, Aedan asked her to take Adrien with her to Orlais for fear of their son’s safety. Although Leliana was quick to protest, she conceded and agreed. During the carriage ride from Denerim to Val Royeaux, Adrien glances one last time at Aedan and called "Papa".
Over the years, Adrien would often ask Leliana about when his father was coming to visit them, though Leliana would respond by telling him that Aedan was away because they are important to him and that Adrien will understand it someday.
Adrien was present at his mother’s side during the ongoing conflict between the mages and templars. Though he remained quiet during an audience with Divine Justinia V, he spoke out against Lord Seeker Lambert when his mother prevented the fromer from attacking Rhys. He later attended Wynne’s funeral with his mother, mourning the loss of "his nana."
Destruction of the Conclave
Sometime after his tenth birthday, Adrien accompanies his mother in joining the Inquisition. It is revealed that Adrien has been training under Leliana, excelling in archery and dual-wielding knifework. Despite his growth and latent potential, Leliana refuses to allow her son from participating in the campaign against the Breach so instead Adrien spends most of his time with Lady Josephine Montilyet. Following the loss of Divine Justinia V following the Breach, Adrien tries to comfort his grieving mother.
Settling in Haven
When asked by Maxwell Trevelyan about the rebel mages and templars, Adrien recommended seeking the aid of the mages, as he reveals his personal experience based on what he witnessed during the conflict and says that not all mages are as bad as most people think. He believes that it is wrong to vilify mages simply for what they are and thinks that they deserve their freedom. Adrien also comments on his father with high esteem, believing that the Hero of Ferelden is "the world’s coolest dad." He adds that once the chaos is over, he and his mother plan to reunite with him "permanently". Adrien will also mention that whenever Aedan is around, everything would be alright.
Upon the Inquisition’s decision to recruit the rebel mages, Maxwell and Dorian Pavus are sent one year into the future by Gereon Alexius, where the former’s absence had allowed the Elder One to conquer southern Thedas. In the alternate future, Maxwell and Dorian find Adrien lying dead in a pool of his own blood. According to Leliana’s future self, the Venatori slit her son’s throat in front of her. Should Maxwell tell the present Adrien of what happened, he reveals that he is afraid of the chaos and asks Maxwell to seal the Breach as quickly as possible.
Settling in Skyhold
When the Inquisitor takes control of the fortress of Skyhold, Adrien will spend his free time in the gardens. He is deeply traumatized about his near-death experience during the attack on Haven, and wishes that his father was still with him. The Inquisitor comforts the boy and assures him that no harm will come to him ever again, easing Adrien’s thoughts. At any rate, he thanks Maxwell for talking to him.
Following the siege of Adamant fortress, Adrien inquiries about the Grey Wardens and wondered if his father was among them. When the Inquisitor replies that he has not seen him, Adrien is seen to be sadly disappointed before leaving to speak to Revered Mother Giselle. In a later conversation with Maxwell, he mentions that Aedan once told him that he would be venturing deep into the west to find a cure for the Calling. He also reveals to the Inquisitor that he deeply misses his father and wants him to come home, believing that his family is not the same without him. When a letter from Aedan arrives, Adrien and Leliana are put at peace knowing that Aedan is still alive and misses them both.
Intrigue at the Winter Palace
Adrien, along with Josephine, Cullen and his mother Leliana, accompany Maxwell to the Winter Palace during peace negotiations with Empress Celene Valmont I and Grand Duke Gaspard de Chalons. There he mingles with the nobility and mentions that his parents first brought him to the palace when he was five years old.
After the sealing of the Breach, Adrien attends Leliana’s coronation as Divine Victoria. With peace restored to Thedas, he wonders what will come next in the days to come.
Two years after Corypheus’ defeat, Adrien, now thirteen years old, is regularly seen alongside his mother. He mentions that he spent last season training as an assassin under Zevran Arainai’s tutelage and also complains to Maxwell about Leliana’s recent hobby of breeding nugs, hinting that he developed a certain disdain towards the animal. In addition, he adds that his father Aedan returned home and is now free of the Calling. While initially happy to see him, Adrien remarks that Aedan has a lot of making up to do for all the time he’s been gone but is nonetheless relieved to see his family being together again.
A correspondence at the Winter Palace's Exterior Garden reveals that prior to the Exalted Council, Adrien was betrothed to marry Princess Johanna Theirin as part of King Alistair's plan to unite House Theirin to House Cousland by blood.
After the Inquisition foiled a recent Qunari attempt to invade southern Thedas, Adrien spends his family dinner with Aedan and Leliana for the first time in years. When walking through the halls of the Grand Cathedral, he looked at the new painting he had been in with both of his parents and smiled happily.
Personality and traits
Adrien is to be a bright and sweet child. He is also well mannered, as he displayed adequate manners when talking to adults and meeting influential figures across Thedas. He is also perceived as a curious child; commonly strikes up conversations with his parents and people he feels comfortable with.
He loves his mother Leliana very much and enjoys the sense of adventure with her. Like his mother, Adrien has a fascination for certain stories, especially if some of them were about his father’s heroism during the Fifth Blight. He also shows great love for sweets, a trait obviously passed down from his father Aedan, as he is often seen discreetly raiding the kitchen for cookies and sugary cakes on more than one occasion. He looks up to and greatly admires his father as he was always telling people around him that he is the Hero of Ferelden’s son.
However, due to Aedan’s duties to the Grey Wardens and seeing all his peers enjoying time with their families, Adrien misses his father terrible and has yearned to spend more time with him throughout his childhood. At the same time, he deeply cares about him, happy to hear from Alistair how he inherited many good traits from him. That being said, Adrien isn’t a conformist and is not afraid to speak what’s on his mind.
At the same time, Adrien does retain some of his child-like qualities, including cracking jokes now and again and pulling pranks. Being relatively young, Adrien was shown as often being frightened by the horrors of the world and thus looked to his parents for protection and comfort.
Many of Adrien’s paternal ancestors are Fereldan and Alamarri. Through his paternal grandfather, Teyrn Bryce Cousland, he descends from the Cousland family. He is second in line to succeed his uncle as Teyrn of Highever, being preceded by his father. He was the second Cousland grandchild to be born, though his cousin Oren was slain in 9:30 Dragon ten years before his birth.
The name Adrien is the Latin equivalent of Hadrianus, which means "of the Aradiac."
Overall, Adrien greatly resembles his father: he has blue eyes and fair skin. He also inherited the shape of his mother’s face and red hair. According to Josephine Montilyet, his hair is redder than Leliana’s.
In 9:41-42 Dragon, Adrien wore a red velvet attire of the nobility with violet pants and a laurel sigil pendant around his neck, a symbol that represents House Cousland. Early in his childhood days, his outfit is quite similar to his previous attire, with a brown shirt and navy blue pants. Beneath his vest – which he leaves unzipped – he wears a plain white collared shirt. In 9:44, he wears a belt with what appears to be a dagger on one of the loops, studded leather boots, and dons a charcoal grey cloak.
Appearances in other media
- Before Aedan disappeared, he asked Alistair to take care of his son if something should ever happen to him.
- He routinely travels with his mother Leliana.
- Adrien calls Wynne "nana", and freely accepts hugs from her. He was deeply saddened when she died and was briefly miserable, showing that he had great affection for the senior mage.
- Based on his talents for picking locks, stealth and archery, Adrien’s talents lean towards rogue.
- Although Adrien has spent most of his life in Orlais, it is suggested that he might not speak with an Orlesian accent.