- "Other people always took the risks to keep me free."
- ―Bethany, to Anders
Bethany Hawke is the youngest sibling of Garrett Hawke and Carver's fraternal twin sister. From birth, Bethany and her family had been on the run. Her father, Malcolm Hawke, was an apostate who escaped the Circle of Magi and her mother, Leandra Amell, was a noblewoman from Kirkwall. Though traveling while pregnant was not advised, her mother had no other option.
At first, the Hawkes were on the run for Malcolm’s sake. It was easy enough for him to hide his talents, having been taught control in the Kirkwall Circle. It was until just after Bethany’s and Carver’s seventh birthday that everything changed.
She lived with her family in the outskirts of Lothering. Despite standing out in her curiosity about religious stories, she was known to mostly stay hidden away at home. This was, of course, because of her arcane talents. A traveler identified as only "Sade" visited the Amell family after the onset of Bethany's gifts, describing her as "reveling in the stories of the far and away" and "masterfully reserved".
Once, she and a friend were being chased by a wild dog and Bethany accidentally made it go to sleep. After this incident, Bethany kept herself in even more secrecy. The friend did not betray her to the templars because "she was too nice to be magic."
Move to Kirkwall
Escaping the Fifth Blight
As Lothering is overrun with darkspawn during the Fifth Blight, Bethany is forced to flee with her family. In a surprise encounter with an ogre, Carver attacks the ogre, but is grappled, smashed to the ground and killed. Following the fight, Bethany accompanies her family to Kirkwall.
Upon arrival, she spends a year working with her elder sibling in servitude to repay their passage into Kirkwall.
A New Beginning
Afterwards, Bethany and Hawke overhear about the Deep Roads Expedition and agree to join as a last resort to acquire enough wealth and influence to cow the templars from scrutinizing them too closely.
Though she appreciates the trouble her family took to keep her out of the Circle, the running, hiding, and constant fear for what their future would hold have taken their toll. She begins to express guilt when she sees how much the family sacrifices to keep her free, especially when she learned their mother gave up her life as a noble to elope with their father. Sometimes, she even wonders whether everyone would be better off if she'd been sent to the Circle from the very start. Through their time in Kirkwall, Bethany and Garrett work on reclaiming the family estate.
After amassing the fifty sovereigns needed to fund the expedition, Bethany volunteers to join her elder sibling in the Deep Roads venture. Just as they prepare to go, Leandra begs Hawke to leave Bethany at home, as the expedition is too dangerous. Though Bethany remarks that she is "allowed to fight the darkspawn," but the final decision is made by Hawke.
Circle of Magi
She remains in contact with her family and adjusts quickly to life in the Circle. She passes her Harrowing and becomes a senior member of the Circle, in charge of teaching young apprentices. A letter reveals that Ella has taken quite a shine to her. She is happy that she doesn't have to run anymore and supports the Circle.
I hope this letter finds you well. My time in the Circle has been bearable, even after the templars made a point of putting me through the Harrowing as soon as I arrived. They thought I was at risk of possession or running away like Father. Glad it's over with.
I've started mentoring apprentices. I enjoy time with the children, teaching them basic spells. One of them, Ella, has taken a shine to me. Adorable!
Life's not perfect here, mind you. The templars are mostly polite, and I know they're just doing their jobs, but some hold extreme views. There's one creep named Ser Alrik who likes harassing mages, but I'll steer clear of him!
I'm doing fine! Please don't worry about me.
First Battle of Kirkwall
During the Qunari siege of Kirkwall she leads an attempt to save First Enchanter Orsino from the Qunari. Garrett is coldly received by Bethany, who utters sarcastic and ungrateful remarks, but she survives the siege.
A deranged sect of the Carta tries to kidnap Bethany due to her link to "the blood of the Hawke". Bethany travels with Garrett to a secret Warden prison in the Vimmark Mountains in order to find the source of the aggression and uncover the harsh truth about the Hawke lineage.
As hostilities between mages and templars increase, Bethany is kidnapped by Grace and Ser Thrask who are inciting a rebellion to overthrow Meredith, believing that Garrett is working for the Knight-Commander, regardless of his actual allegiances in the mage-templar struggle.
When Anders destroyed Kirkwall's Chantry, this resulted in Knight-Commander Meredith to invoke the Rite of Annulment. When both mages and templars petitioned for Champion's support, Garrett sides with the mages. Bethany is relieved and thankful to her brother and participates with the defense and evacuation of the Circle. In her final dialogue she comes to the conclusion that her magic comes from the Maker and He wouldn't want mages to be treated as they are.
On the Run
By 9:41 Dragon, Varric states that Bethany stayed behind in the Free Marches to help other mages from the Kirkwall Circle. A conversation with Garrett reveals that he sent his associate Aveline Vallen to take her far away from the Free Marches when they heard about Grey Wardens acting strangely.
After Garrett survives the encounter with the Nightmare, it is mentioned that Bethany will likely reunite with her brother.
Personality and traits
Even growing up as an apostate has not dimmed Bethany's faith and sunny nature, though it has colored her view of the world. Bethany wishes above all else to be "normal." She appreciates the trouble her family took to keep her out of the Circle, but the running, hiding, and constant fear have taken their toll. Though she would never admit so to her mother—not after all she sacrificed to protect her—Bethany sometimes wonders whether she would be better off in the Circle. At least there she would be with other mages, confident she'd be serving the will of the Maker and not defying a millennium of religious teachings. Still, her first loyalty is to her family; despite her doubts, she gladly embraces her magic if it keeps them safe. She has a teasing rivalry with her twin, Carver, and greatly respects Garrett.
Since arriving at the Gallows, Bethany often communicates with her family since entering the Circle, and she is adjusting to her new life with ease. For the first time, she can study magic without watching over her shoulder. After passing her much-delayed Harrowing, she took a senior position within the Circle, teaching and mentoring the newest apprentices. Bethany is surprised at how many templars are honest Andrastians, who believe they serve the Maker and the people by keeping mages from using blood magic. However, this up-close look at the templars has also shown her the abuses that inevitably occur when one group of people is given life-and-death power over another. Bethany supports the Circle as it is, but this grows harder as Knight-Commander Meredith clamps down more tightly.
Appearances in other media
- (upon meeting Wesley) "Well, the Maker has a sense of humor. Darkspawn, and now a templar. I thought they all abandoned Lothering."
- (to Hawke) "I was just hoping it would be different here in Kirkwall. We're not running away. We're coming home."
- "Father was a good man, but... Mother gave up so much for him. Of course, if she hadn't worked up the nerve to elope, she probably wouldn't have been able to resist the templars, either. If we'd been born here, you'd be nothing more to me than a name the Circle kept in my file."
- "All these years I tried to understand what Andraste saw. Why she had to lock us up. But my powers come from the Maker... and I just cannot believe that is His will."
- "The Maker is wiser than we can be in a lifetime. Who am I to question His plan?"
- (to Hawke) "You're a far better representative of the family than I would have been."
- Bethany was named in honor of her maternal grandmother Bethann.
- In the beginning of his interrogation, when Varric is telling the legend of the Champion, Bethany has much larger breasts, a subtle reference to Varric's tendency to exaggerate.
- She was a lot closer to the eldest sibling than Carver. It can also be noted that she was afraid of the idea of being a mage, as Bethany wanted a normal life for herself.
- When approaching the Qunari compound at the Kirkwall Docks, Bethany mentions that one of them killed her best friends back in Lothering, which is a reference to Sten.
- In the Chantry, Bethany mentions Leliana, saying she misses her telling stories in Lothering.
- After being taken to the Circle, Isabela often writes Bethany letters and sends her "wicked" books to read.