William Cousland (paternal grandfather; deceased)
Pup (by his father)
Bryce Cousland, Duncan
On the night his elder brother Fergus took most of Highever’s troops to war, the Cousland’s ancestral castle was betrayed from within by Arl Rendon Howe when launched an unexpected surprise attack and most of the inhabitants were slaughtered, including almost the teyrn and teyrna. Aedan witnessed the massacre firsthand, a devastation that continues to weigh heavily on him. However, Warden-Commander Duncan intervened and helped Aedan escape to safety in exchange for his services as a Grey Warden, where his training in both combat and diplomacy were put to the test.
As the Fifth Blight began devastating Ferelden following the disastrous battle at Ostagar, Aedan evaded assassination attempts to assemble a coalition to combat the Archdemon Urthemiel’s forces. By utilizing ancient Grey Warden treaties, he enlisted the aid of the Dalish elves, dwarves, Circle mages, Templar knights and Redcliffe soldiers. Additionally, he supported the royalists-led Bannorn during a civil war when Teyrn Loghain Mac Tir usurped control of the throne and declared himself regent following King Cailan Theirin’s death at Ostagar. With many political tensions and numerous other distractions crossing his path, Aedan formed an alliance with Arl Eamon Guerrin and Queen Anora to overthrow Loghain. Upon removing the ill-fated tyrant from power, Aedan defeated Loghain in a duel and carried out his execution in the Landsmeet. After ending the civil war and uniting the kingdom under a single banner, Aedan led the coalition forces into battle against the darkspawn at the siege of Denerim, where he fought and killed Urthemiel. With the archdemon dead, the darkspawn broke ranks and were easily routed. Aedan managed to survive the final battle and was proclaimed the Hero of Ferelden.
Six months after the fall of Urthemiel and the end of the Blight, Aedan assumed the fallen Duncan’s mantle as Ferelden’s new Warden-Commander and rules over the arling of Amaranthine as its Arl. Yet while stationed at Vigil’s Keep, several new challenges laid ahead for him: when reports of two warring factions of highly intelligent darkspawn led by the Architect and the Mother engaged in a civil war over ideological differences threatened the security of his lands, Aedan initiated a strike team to lessen the darkspawn threat and destroyed the Mother while also choosing to spare the Architect’s life, thereby changing the fate of the darkspawn. He returned to rebuilding the Wardens’ presence and oversaw reconstruction efforts to Amaranthine while consolidating his control over the arling, serving with honor until his disappearance several years later.
Shortly before the War against the Elder One, Aedan traveled deep into the western lands in search of a way to find a cure for the Calling. With a renewed determination to save all Grey Wardens from its effects, Aedan intends to prevent the Calling from further afflicting the Order by any means necessary. His efforts were proven to be difficult yet successful, and he soon made his return to the known world where he has since retired to a private life with his family.
Born on 7 Wintermarch 9:05 Dragon, Aedan Sarim Cousland is the second and youngest child of Teyrn Bryce Cousland, ruler of Highever and one of the most powerful nobles in Ferelden, and his wife Teyrna Eleanor Cousland (née Mac Eanraig). For countless generations, the Couslands have stewarded the lands of Highever dating back to less civilized days before the crowning of Ferelden’s first king. As a child, he rarely left his family’s ancestral lands other than to accompany his father to the capital city of Denerim for a Landsmeet.
Not much is known about Aedan’s early education, other than that he studied within his grandfather’s private study. His tutor, Aldous, described him as "one of the most determined and brightest" students he has ever taught. Due to achieving good academic grades, he was sent to the University of Orlais where proved himself an amateur scholar and patron of the arts—showing talents in history, literature, politics, economics and mathematics. It was during this time he became acquainted with Chantry brother Ferdinand Genitivi. Hailed as a prodigy by nature, Aedan was praised by his tutors as the best of his generation. While in Val Royeaux, he learned to speak fluent Orlesian and studied the arts of the Grand Game. After graduating, Aedan returned to serve as his father’s seneschal.
At some point in time, he attended Fergus and Oriana’s wedding to congratulate them.
It is believed that Aedan held his first sword when his father sent him to South Reach train as a squire under Arl Leonas Bryland at age four. He also participated in the Grand Tourney in Markham at the age of sixteen and defeated opponents such as Dairren, his brother, and even his father. Despite Fergus’s martial skill, however, many speculate that Aedan is more likely to be chosen as the next Teyrn of Highever than his brother. From then on, he was known as the young scion of House Cousland—living up to his family’s proud heritage.
Fifth Blight (9:30-31 Dragon)Edit
Highever massacreEditOn the eve of the Fifth Blight in 9:30, Aedan entered the main hall to speak to his father, who is greeted by him and Arl Rendon Howe of Amaranthine, a close friend of the teyrn. When the latter explains that his troops are being delayed due to the response to King Cailan Theirin’s call to battle darkspawn at Ostagar, the teyrn informs Aedan that while he and his older brother Fergus leave for Ostagar, he will be ruling Highever during his father’s absence until he returns. He is also introduced to Warden-Commander Duncan, leader of the Fereldan Grey Wardens, who explains his mission of seeking potential recruits and suggests to Teyrn Cousland that his son would be a promising candidate—already knowing this idea would be dismissed. After being tasked with instructing Fergus to depart immediately to Ostagar with the bulk of Highever’s army, Aedan is intercepted by Ser Roland Gilmore, a knight in Highever’s service; Teyrna Eleanor Cousland, Aedan’s mother, wishes her youngest child to collect his mabari dog. After finishing both tasks, the young noble heads for bed. However, Arl Howe took advantage of Highever’s weakened defenses and launched an unexpected surprise attack with his "late" troops in the middle of the night. The attack saw the Cousland’s ancestral castle burn, and the teyrn and his wife slain. A quick search reveals Fergus’ son and wife murdered as well, along with the other guests. Before the death of Teyrn Cousland, Duncan fights his way in the pantry and asks him to recruit Aedan. Bryce relents, wanting his youngest child to tell Fergus what has happened. Duncan offers to bring the teyrna too, but she refuses to leave her husband’s side as the teyrn is too injured to travel. True to his word, Duncan helped Aedan escape to a new life with the Wardens.
Battle of OstagarEdit
Aedan and Duncan traveled south to Ostagar to meet with King Cailan and Teyrn Loghain Mac Tir to defeat the darkspawn threat. In order to do so, the noble and two other recruits, Daveth and Ser Jory, are tasked with gathering three vials of darkspawn blood for the Joining by venturing into the Korcari Wilds under Grey Warden Alistair’s supervision. The group find a cache of treaties, as well, but finds them missing. A Witch of the Wilds named Morrigan invites them to meet her mother, Flemeth, who has safeguarded the treaties.Back at camp, Duncan reveals that darkspawn blood must be consumed during the Joining. When Daveth dies to the taint upon drinking the blood, Jory refuses to follow and draws his sword at Duncan, who executes him. Aedan eventually survives the Joining, however, and went on to become a full-fledged Grey Warden.
During the war meeting with King Cailan and Teyrn Loghain, Aedan and Alistair are ordered to light a beacon atop the Tower of Ishal while the rest of the Wardens fight on the front line with the king and the royal army in the valley below. The two battle their way to the top of the tower, where an ogre guards the beacon. But valor turned to despair however as Loghain, upon seeing the signal, withdraws his troops. Cailan and Duncan were slain, the army was almost annihilated and the south was lost. The tower itself is soon overrun by darkspawn, who strike down Alistair and Aedan.
Following the disaster at Ostagar, Aedan survived with the aid of Flemeth and regains consciousness in her hut. He soon discovers that Alistair is the only other Grey Warden remaining besides him and that Flemeth is the one who rescued them. In a discussion, Aedan comes up with the idea of using the treaties to build an army and continue the fight against the darkspawn threat. Joined by Flemeth’s daughter, Morrigan, Aedan and Alistair set out to build an army strong enough to abolish the Blight.
At the same time in Denerim, Loghain presents his own version of the events at Ostagar to Ferelden’s nobility, placing blame for the massacre solely on the Grey Wardens, and wastes no time in declaring himself regent. This move is met with outrage by much of the nobility, and Loghain’s imperious, tyrannical attitude to their reservations sows the seeds of civil war.
Fereldan Civil WarEdit
Undead attack on Redcliffe VillageEdit
Locating the Urn of Sacred AshesEdit
The Circle of MagiEdit
Curse of the Brecillian ForestEdit
Unrest in OrzammarEdit
Battle of DenerimEdit
The shattered kingdom embarked on the road to recovery. In the aftermath of the Blight, new leadership emerged. Alistair and Queen Anora forged a powerful, if somewhat distant, political alliance with their arranged marriage. Together, they ushered Ferelden into a new era. For people across Thedas, legends of the Hero of Ferelden remain the nation’s brightest beacons of hope during its darkest times. On the same day Aedan proposed marriage to Leliana, who happily accepted. It is later revealed that Leliana is pregnant with Aedan’s child.
He later returned to Highever with Fergus to help the reconstruction efforts. They did a proper funeral for their parents and all who had perished when Howe attacked. In time, the teyrnir was once again restored to its former glory; however, Aedan grew melancholy in the empty halls of his home and left Highever for good, leaving behind a note to his brother apologizing for his absence.
Lord High Chancellor of the RealmEdit
On Alistair and Anora’s coronation, Aedan was appointed as Chancellor of Ferelden as a reward for his service to the crown and ending the Blight. Additionally, he served as King Alistair’s chief advisor, assisting him with political and social measures. He was often seen at court—at least for a time, accompanying the king and queen in the royal progresses around Ferelden. With both Alistair and Anora actively involved in running their kingdom, the need for an advisor diminished with time. He continued to enjoy great popularity, however, and maintained considerable influence at court with only slight disagreements. During the summer, Aedan was present with Goldanna during a royal inquest at Denerim which heard a complaint about determining Alistair’s true parentage. In the end, the resulting investigation proved to be inconclusive.
As well as his chancery duties, Aedan sat on the Privy Council along with Ferelden’s influential nobles to advise the royal court. At times he acted as head of state while both Alistair and Anora were absent, during which time he arranged a meeting with Warden-Commander Alisse Fontaine to negotiate an agreement with the Orlesian Grey Wardens to assist their Fereldan counterparts in rebuilding the Order in Amaranthine.
Warden-Commander of Ferelden (9:31 Dragon―present)Edit
With plans for reconstruction underway, Alistair and Aedan have taken up the cup of their predecessors, and have set about seeking the most capable individuals to protect a weakened Ferelden from harm. Six months later, Aedan officially assumed the mantle of Warden-Commander of Ferelden, and the Wardens had been given Vigil’s Keep – formerly the seat of Arl Rendon Howe – as a home base. Even though the archdemon is dead, the darkspawn have not departed (as was natural following prior Blights) and there were reports of a new, highly intelligent breed of darkspawn. Aedan left the royal court to combat this new threat. Upon his arrival, he discovered that the Orlesian Grey Wardens who had been posted to Vigil’s Keep had been killed or were missing, and that a talking darkspawn was responsible for the attack. Aedan was thrust simultaneously into the investigation of the events and the political upheaval of Amaranthine. Not only did he need to fill the role of Warden-Commander, making decisions on how best to rout the new darkspawn threat and deal with the Architect, he also needed to employ all of the training he learned in politics to keep peace in the region.
As Arl of Amaranthine, he sent soldiers to protect the farmlands and the city while working to secure a safe route at the Pilgrim’s Path for economic trade to flourish again and reinforce the Vigil’s defenses—though he was forced to respond to a mob of angry peasants threatening to start a riot due to food shortages. Smugglers in Amaranthine were dealt with swiftly and harshly, deserting soldiers were punished, and Aedan invested silverite armor for the soldiers of the Vigil’s soldiers, eventually becoming to be known as the Silver Order—one of Ferelden’s most revered military forces. Sometime later, when Aedan heard of a conspiracy against him by a group of nobles still loyal to the late Rendon Howe, he employed the Dark Wolf’s services to handle the situation efficiently before apprehending and executing the nobles for treason.
As Warden-Commander of Ferelden, he had his commitment to protect the nation from the new darkspawn threat and worked to recruit as many new Wardens as he could. The team he compiled was just as skilled and diverse as his companions during the Blight, but he never achieved the same sense of closeness, no doubt due to his status. He recruited his old friend Oghren; Anders, a mage desperate to escape the Circle of Magi; Justice, a benevolent spirit of the Fade trapped in a dead Grey Warden’s body; Sigrun, a dwarf from the Legion of the Dead; and Velanna, an angry Dalish mage determined to get revenge on the darkspawn. Perhaps his most unlikely recruit, however, was Nathaniel Howe, who snuck into Vigil’s Keep with the original intention to assassinate Aedan in retaliation for the death of his father, but in the end, asked only to be allowed to take some of the Howes’ treasured possessions. Aedan acquiesced, after trying to explain what Rendon Howe had done but realizing that Nathaniel was not ready to comprehend it, let Nathaniel go, only for him to return a short time later asking to join the Grey Wardens as a way to redeem the Howe name. Aedan hesitated, but knew he needed all the help he could get, and Nathaniel proved to be an invaluable part of the team as they fought against the new and strange darkspawn threat. During the investigation, Aedan discovers that the darkspawn have broken into two warring factions: one led by the Mother and the other by the Architect, and it is their conflict which is behind the ongoing troubles.
He would later meet the Architect, a sentient darkspawn emissary and the first to develop a will of its own. It explained that it wanted to end the conflict between the darkspawn and the world, offering Aedan the opportunity to work together for the greater purpose of preventing future Blights. Aedan reluctantly trusted the Architect’s word and worked with it to destroy the Mother, though he later learned that the Architect’s botched attempt at making Urthemiel into a disciple caused the Fifth Blight. After the Mother was defeated, the Grey Wardens stood victorious with Vigil’s Keep badly damaged but remained standing. Having successfully put down the intelligent darkspawn incursion in Amaranthine, Aedan decided it was time to move on after believing that the Blight was truly over. He returned to Denerim to resume his duties as Chancellor and was greeted with a hero’s welcome. Some claim he reunited with Leliana. A year later after the Blight’s end, the pair was spotted in Denerim. Despite the rumors, Aedan never returned to Vigil’s Keep.
List of characters Aedan killedEdit
The following is a list of characters actually killed by Aedan:
- Sophia Dryden (Possessed) – Aedan encounters Sophia Dryden at Soldier’s Peak, but quickly discovers that she was possessed by a demon and kills her after refusing to make a deal.
- Arl Rendon Howe – Aedan desired to exact revenge on him for betraying and murdering his family. He encounters him in the Arl of Denerim’s dungeon and kills him.
- Ser Cauthrien – She is killed by Aedan while trying to arrest him for the murder of Arl Howe.
- Teyrn Loghain Mac Tir – Right after losing the Landsmeet to Aedan and Arl Eamon, Loghain refused to abide by the decision and tried to stage a coup d’état. He was defeated in single-combat and summarily executed.
- Urthemiel, the fifth Archdemon – During the final battle of the Fifth Blight at Denerim, Aedan fought and killed Urthemiel by sinking his blade deep into the Archdemon’s head.
- The Withered – When Aedan reached the top of Vigil’s Keep, he encounters the Withered attempting to break Seneschal Varel's will. He subsequently defeats the Withered to save Vigil’s Keep and its inhabitants.
- Olaf (Out of Mercy) – Learning that he was infected by the darkspawn taint, Aedan put Olaf out of his misery by slitting his throat.
- The Lost – He and his inferno golem were killed in the ensuing confrontation with Aedan at Kal’Hirol.
- Lord Guy – After discovering that Lord Guy was part of a group of nobles conspiring against his rule over the arling of Amaranthine, Aedan tracked him down and killed him along with his fellow co-conspirators.
- Lady Liza Packton – After discovering that Lady Liza Packton was part of a group of nobles conspiring against his rule over the arling of Amaranthine, Aedan tracked her down and killed her along with her fellow co-conspirators.
- Lady Morag – After discovering that Lady Morag was part of a group of nobles conspiring against his rule over the arling of Amaranthine, Aedan tracked her down and killed her along with her fellow co-conspirators.
- Ser Timothy – After discovering that Ser Timothy was part of a group of nobles conspiring against his rule over the arling of Amaranthine, Aedan tracked him down and killed him along with his fellow co-conspirators.
- The Mother – Aedan impaled the Mother through her stomach, then her chest and finally ran a sword through her mouth.
- Bann Margaret Harling – Before leaving Ferelden to travel to uncharted western lands, Aedan learned of Margaret's plot to overthrow him and seize the arling of Amarnthine for herself following an anonymous tip. He arrested the treacherous noblewoman and her executed for treason.
- "You’re the best friend I could ever have asked for. I would be dead if you hadn’t saved my life a dozen times over by now." ―Alistair to Aedan
As a child, Aedan was a very kind and cheerful boy. In his youth, he had a desire to be acknowledged as the greatest teyrn Highever had ever seen. Even as an adolescent, Aedan was noted to be wise beyond his years and spent much of his time in libraries researching the history of Thedas from ancient writings.
As an adult, Aedan’s most prominent traits are his sharp wit, patience, cunning and intelligence; as such, he displays both great maturity and a sense of responsibility. A politically astute man, Aedan has been a master of court politics and intrigue his entire life. Unlike the vast majority of the nobility, Aedan was not politically ambitious nor was he interested in personal gain; he cared not only for a separate class of citizens but for everyone around him—regardless of their race. To his family, his ideals represented everything the Couslands stand for: justice and temperance, but knows when to be stern and strict in serious situations. Along with his older brother Fergus, Aedan dearly loved his parents, his sister-in-law Oriana and his nephew Oren. However, when Arl Rendon Howe betrayed the Couslands and launched a brutal coup d’état against that resulted in the murder of almost the entire family, Aedan was completely devastated as he witnessed the heinous act as he irrationally tried to protect people close to him despite the fact that Highever was already lost, only stopping when Eleanor manages to talk some sense into him. Duncan described Aedan as a man "who lost everything except his life." After the fall of his family’s teyrnir, Aedan’s personality was altered: his mind was clouded by loss, grief and suffering, developing an unsated hunger for vengeance, never forgetting who wronged him or his friends and dedicated his life to killing Howe, to the point where Alistair, Leliana and Wynne are shown to be very worried about his well-being.
Apparently being emotionally scarred from the trauma he experienced during the Highever massacre, Aedan was portrayed as an aloof, melancholic, and serious man. He is willing to take risks for those he cares about, but is willing to let those who wronged him suffer for it, as shown when he brutally killed Howe for what he did to his family and when he personally executed Teyrn Loghain Mac Tir for crimes committed during his regency. In a way, Aedan slowly began to regain portions of his morality when in the company of his companions, but antagonists seeking to harm them force him to remain hardened and has developed a talent for giving people an icy-cold death stare when unimpressed with something. He ultimately comes to terms with his dark nature which he thought he has put away for good. Nonetheless, despite this change in mindset, Aedan’s main drive does still appear to be carrying on the Cousland legacy and honoring the sacrifice of his parents by staying alive and doing what is right, even trying to let go of his hatred and desire for vengeance as he realized it threatened to consume him.
He has also shown to be rather selfless towards his companions as demonstrated when he offered to help them with their personal quests. Furthermore, he adores his lover Leliana very much and thinks of her dearly, showing genuine affectionate towards her and will not hesitate to put himself in harm’s way in order to protect her. This mutual affection with Leliana led to several months of courtship that eventually led to the two getting married and having a son. Since then, Aedan became very caring and protective of his family. Despite the fact that his duties as Warden-Commander make it difficult for him to be a family man as he wanted, Aedan always tried to make time for them, proving himself as a loving husband and father. However, Aedan also acknowledges his mistakes and is willing to apologize for them. While he is happy in his marriage to Leliana, Aedan enjoys teasing her after she becomes Divine Victoria.
Appointments and titles heldEdit
Commonly known as "Warden" and "the Hero of Ferelden" to most, Aedan was given many titles over the years, including, but not limited to:
- Lord of Highever
- Scion of House Cousland
The following appointments and titles were held by Aedan Cousland after joining the Grey Wardens:
- The Warden
- Champion of Redcliffe
- Crowner of Kings
The following appointments and titles were held by Aedan Cousland after the Fifth Blight:
- Hero of Ferelden
- Vanquisher of the Fifth Blight
- Slayer of the Archdemon Urthemiel
- Lord High Chancellor of the Realm
- Royal Advisor
- Qunoran vehl
- Commander of the Grey in Ferelden
- Arl of Amaranthine (ex officio)
- Dark Wolf
Through his father, he is a lineal descendant of Bann Sarim Cousland who founded the family branch after the reigning family of Conobar Elstan became extinct during the Towers Age. Aedan’s ancestors can be traced to early Alamarri nobility before the Unification of Ferelden. He is first in line to succeed his older brother, Fergus Cousland, as Teyrn of Highever.
In the beginning of the Storm Age, several of Aedan’s ancestors conspired with Warden-Commander Sophia Dryden in the Grey Warden’s attempted rebellion against the brutal and tyrannical King Arland Theirin. However, the king executed the Cousland Teyrn and a number of others to ensure their loyalty. His paternal great-grandfather Teyrn Ardal Cousland was slain during the Battle of Lothering while defending King Vanedrin Theirin during the Second Orlesian Invasion of Ferelden; his paternal grandfather, Teyrn William Cousland, died of illness during the final stages of the rebellion against the occupation.
His maternal grandfather, Fearchar Mac Eanraig, was Bann of the Storm Coast Bannorn and a famous raider known as “the Storm Giant”. From his mother’s side, he had three unnamed Mac Eanraig relatives.
The name Aedan was a 6th-century king of Scotland. The Ancient Irish equivalent is Aodhan, a form of Aodh, which means "fire".
- "You look familiar. Have I seen you at the Landsmeet?" ―Teyrn Loghain Mac Tir to Aedan
Aedan has blue eyes and chin-length dark hair with bangs parted down to frame both sides of his face; his hair and bangs grow longer over the years. During his early childhood, Aedan wore a long-sleeved white outfit containing golden embroidery with a family pendant containing the laurel sigil, and navy blue pants.
Arl Eamon Guerrin once mistook Aedan for his father Teyrn Bryce Cousland, whom he greatly resembles. Other nobles such as Bann Sighard of Dragon’s Peak and Bann Alfstanna Eremon of Waking Sea recognized him as Bryce and Eleanor’s son due to their stark resemblance as well. As stated by Lady Landra, Aedan is considered quite handsome and good looking as he attracted many suitors. Before the beginning of the Fifth Blight, Aedan’s clothing consisted of the traditional Cousland clothing: a navy blue, long-sleeved shirt with golden embroidery and a pendant once more containing the green laurel sigil and dark violet pants. When his parents were killed during the siege of Castle Cousland, he took possession of his father’s signet ring and wore it for some time, only to return it to his brother after defeating the Archdemon.
As a Grey Warden, Aedan has grown noticeably more muscular and slim. He was first shown wearing a Warden recruit’s armor with a high collar, cladded with silverite armor and blue cloth and chainmail, along with an argent griffon heraldry on the front of his chestplate. He also wore brown boots from halfway up to his knees and brown gloves that covered his forearms and stretched up to reach past his elbows. He also wore a black cloak with this to conceal his identity during the Fereldan Civil War. While at camp during off-duty hours, he wears a sleeveless grey shirt with a red belt sash around his waist. His gloves were also removed, and he wore bandages on his wrists. Another noticeable trait is that along with this new outfit, Aedan grew a beard and allowed his hair to grow to shoulder-length as well with his bangs hanging to the right side of his face. During his fight with Arl Rendon Howe in the arling of Denerim’s dungeons, Aedan obtained a small vertical scar running over his left eye.
Six months after the Fifth Blight, now as Warden-Commander of Ferelden, he wears heavy Grey Warden armor and has cut his hair shorter to chin-length. He dons a navy blue cape decorated with white motifs on the edges and wears a locket containing a small portrait of his family around his neck. The hilt of his sword also has a blue fabric tied around it, a folklore entailing a maiden’s favor to bring her champion victory in the coming battle.
Teyrn Bryce CouslandEdit
- "I know that you’ll do me proud. You’ve grown into a fine lad, that much is clear." ―Bryce to Aedan
At the Temple of Sacred Ashes, Aedan encountered the spirits of Bryce, Eleanor, Oriana and Oren, all four of whom gave him the emotional support he needed to let go of the pain and anger he was feeling. Bryce comforted his son, reminding him that the Maker knows his heart and that he no longer needs to grieve. Before he departed into the afterlife once more, Bryce passed on his love and forgiveness to Aedan. By the end of the Fifth Blight, Aedan had finally managed to truly let go of the guilt and found peace within himself.
After his death, Bryce would posthumously gain a grandson, Adrien, when Aedan married Leliana.
Teyrna Eleanor Cousland (née Mac Eanraig)Edit
- "I love you, my darling boy. You know that, don’t you?" ―Eleanor to Aedan
At the Temple of Sacred Ashes, Aedan encountered the spirits of Bryce, Eleanor, Oriana and Oren, all four of whom gave him the emotional support he needed to let go of the pain and anger he was feeling. Eleanor comforted her grieving son, reassuring Aedan she will always be with him, even if she is not seen. Before departing into the afterlife once more, Eleanor tells Aedan how proud she is of her youngest. By the end of the Fifth Blight, Aedan had finally managed to truly let go of the guilt and found peace within himself.
After her death, Eleanor would posthumously gain a grandson, Adrien, when Aedan married Leliana.
- "Take care of yourself, you hear? Or I’ll find you and nag you like mother did until you were ready to tear out your hair." ―Fergus to Aedan
When Fergus took most of Highever’s troops to Ostagar during the Fifth Blight, Aedan promised to look after Fergus’s wife and son for him in his absence but when Arl Howe attacked, both Oriana and Oren were killed. When the Blight ended, both Aedan and Fergus took time to properly mourn the loss of their loved ones – though Fergus angrily expressed his regret that he couldn’t help his brother kill Howe. He attended Fergus’s ceremony as Highever’s new teyrn and helped rebuild the teyrnir’s infrastructure. However, Aedan chose not to remain at Castle Cousland and left behind an apologetic letter to his brother explaining why he couldn’t remain home any longer.
- "If you should need any assistance in the coming days, I would be glad to offer it." ―Oriana to Aedan
At the Temple of Sacred Ashes, Aedan encountered the spirits of Bryce, Eleanor, Oriana and Oren, all four of whom gave him the emotional support he needed to let go of the pain and anger he was feeling. Oriana reassured her brother-in-law that what happened to them was not his fault. Before she departed into the afterlife once more, Oriana asked Aedan to take care of Fergus for her and to tell him she wants him to be happy. By the end of the Fifth Blight, Aedan had finally managed to truly let go of the guilt and found peace within himself. Afterwards, Aedan and Fergus took an opportunity to mourn the loss of their loved ones.
After her death, Oriana would posthumously gain a nephew, Adrien, when Aedan married Leliana.
- "Will you teach me to use a sword, uncle? Then I can fight evil too! Take that, dire bunny! All darkspawn fear my sword of truthiness!" ―Oren to Aedan
At the Temple of Sacred Ashes, Aedan encountered the spirits of Bryce, Eleanor, Oriana and Oren, all four of whom gave him the emotional support he needed to let go of the pain and anger he was feeling. Oren told his uncle he always looked up to him. Before he departed into the afterlife once more, Oren asked Aedan to take care of his father for him. By the end of the Fifth Blight, Aedan had finally managed to truly let go of the guilt and found peace within himself. Afterwards, Aedan and Fergus took an opportunity to mourn the loss of their loved ones.
After his death, Oren would posthumously gain a cousin, Adrien, when Aedan married Leliana.
- "I’m so happy. Blissful. I haven’t slept so well since I was forced to flee from Orlais. Knowing you will be the first thing I see when I wake gives me no small amount of comfort. I feel safe in your arms. Safe, loved and accepted. This is where I belong. Thank you." ―Leliana to Aedan
Aedan first met Leliana in the village of Lothering during the Fifth Blight. At first, he merely thought of her as an ordinary Chantry Lay Sister but it wasn’t until an encounter with several of Loghain’s soldiers at Dane’s Refuge tavern that she caught him completely by surprise after watching her single-handedly fight them off. Regardless, when she told Aedan her belief that the Maker told her to accompany him he thought she was crazy but allowed her to join. Aedan initially had a good friendship with Leliana at the beginning, though when Leliana admitted she previously spent much of her life as a bard in Orlais: minstrels, assassins, and spies employed by the nobles of Val Royeaux in their elaborate games of intrigue, Aedan had his suspicions about her but did not treat her differently because of it.However, when he learned of how Leliana was betrayed by her mentor and ex-lover Marjolaine who framed her for a crime she did not commit, hence her reason for deciding to join the Chantry and leave her past life behind, Aedan’s opinion of her changed. He even protected Leliana from Marjolaine and stood by her side even though she claimed Leliana is not to be believed, that she will use Aedan because she enjoys "The Grand Game," a part of her Marjolaine claims that cannot be changed or denied. After helping her kill former lover, Aedan helped Leliana sort through her feelings saying that Marjolaine chose her own path and Leliana is a pure, gentle soul. Touched by his selflessness and kind heart, Leliana fell in love with Aedan. He, on the other hand, was hesitant of forming close attachments and feared those close to him will be taken from him as well. However, as he spent time interacting with Leliana, Aedan began to experience a special kind of peace and serenity he hadn’t felt in a long time, and eventually, in their moment alone, Leliana confessed her feelings to him, which left him speechless. Reaffirming his affection for her, the two shared their first kiss. He adores his lover very much and thinks of her dearly, showing genuine affectionate towards her and will not hesitate to put himself in harm’s way in order to protect her. As such, he nicknames her "Leli." At the height of their relationship, Leliana invited Aedan to join her in her tent, where they soon shared their first night together and have sex. Upon waking up, Leliana expresses how happy she feels and reiterates her love for Aedan and thanks him for everything.
After the Fifth Blight ended, Leliana and Aedan take up residence in Denerim. She then reveals her pregnancy to him, who in turn proposes marriage to her—an offer that Leliana happily accepted. They got married in Valence (after several months of dating during the Blight according to Oghren) and have a son, Adrien. When Aedan became Warden-Commander of Ferelden and Leliana as Left Hand of the Divine, their duties often kept them apart though they still tried to meet up as much as possible. But once Aedan disappeared without a trace into the uncharted western lands to find a cure for the Calling, Leliana missed him dearly and feared for his safety when she learned Corypheus was capable of influencing the Grey Wardens’ minds. After the War against the Elder One ended, Aedan returned home and was able to spend more time with his family, making Leliana happier once more.
- Despite the traditional lines of succession, many outside Highever speculate that Aedan would be more likely to become Teyrn of Highever than his older brother Fergus himself. However, this did not happen as Aedan was instead recruited into the Grey Wardens.
- He is right-handed.
- After Alistair and Aedan survived the disastrous battle at Ostagar, the two leaders soon became good friends and considered each other brothers. Lately, it seems the friendship between Aedan and Alistair has been compared to that of King Maric and Teyrn Loghain.
- Aedan’s hobbies are reading and taking walks.
- Teyrn Loghain Mac Tir, Arl Eamon Guerrin, Arl Gallagher Wulff, Bann Sighard, Bann Teagan Guerrin and Bann Alfstanna Eremon have compared him to his father Teyrn Bryce Cousland, at least in physical appearance.
- He is the first Grey Warden in 400 years to defeat a Blight and the only one in history to ever survive the slaying of an archdemon.
- Sten views Aedan as a fluke like "some sort of ambulatory pair of paints or talking horse," since a competent and honorable person outside of the Qun appears impossible to him.
- Aedan once slept with Niamh (his elven childhood friend), Isabela (a libidinous pirate) and Iona (Lady Landra’s elven lady-in-waiting), implying he was once a womanizer.
- He hates insects.
- His favorite animal is the mabari.
- Aedan’s mother was nicknamed the "Seawolf" while his father was famed as the "Soldier" and their first meeting went so badly it was immortalized in the famous sea shanty called "The Soldier and the Seawolf". During the Amaranthine Conflict, most locals in Amaranthine called him "the Dark Wolf".
- According to Nan, Aedan’s favorite drink is Rivaini spice tea. Some of his favorite foods are galantine of pork and brie tart.