- "The Emperor of Orlais also thought I could not bring him down. Expect no more mercy than I showed him. There is nothing I would do for my homeland."
- ―Loghain to Eamon Guerrin
Born during the Orlesian occupation of Ferelden, Loghain was a farmer who joined the rebellion with his father while still a boy where his tactical genius quickly became apparent. He became close friends with Prince Maric Theirin, the true heir to the throne; together they led the rebel forces and drove out the Orlesian Empire. For his service to King Maric, Loghain was elevated to the nobility and became Teyrn of Gwaren. To the Ferelden citizens, Loghain became a living legend, a symbol of hard work and independence.
After his friend Maric was lost at sea, Loghain assumed responsibility for defending Ferelden as well as guiding his naïve and inexperienced son-in-law, King Cailan Theirin, Maric’s son. But because of the experiences he endured during the rebellion, Loghain sees Orlais as waiting in the shadows for a chance to strike again.
When the Fifth Blight began, Loghain is introduced as the general providing strategies for Cailan in the defense of the realm from the darkspawn at Ostagar. During the battle, however, after the signal is given for Loghain to outflank the darkspawn, he fled the field, leaving King Cailan and the Grey Wardens to die. He returned to Denerim and declared himself regent to his daughter, Queen Anora, and becomes the de facto ruler of Ferelden. Loghain uses the Grey Wardens as a scapegoat, blaming his traitorous actions at Ostagar on the Wardens and demanded the nobility to submit to his rule and follow him against the darkspawn—upsetting many of the banns. His actions instigated a civil war between himself and the Bannorn, who blamed Loghain for the death of the king or resent him, as a man of common birth, taking the throne.
Things finally came to an end when Arl Eamon Guerrin called a Landsmeet, where Loghain was removed from power and put on trial. Loghain was found guilty of committing high treason and executed for his crimes.
Born as a Freeman, Loghain Mac Tir was the son of a farmholder from Oswin in the western Bannorn, Gareth of Oswin. After the Orlesian invasion, Emperor Florian Valmont declared a tribute tax from all of the Fereldan Freemen. Loghain’s father refused to pay the tax collectors, and, as a result, was accused of tax evasion and lost the farmhold.
The family resisted, but the Orlesian soldiers bested them, forcing Loghain and his father to watch as they raped and killed Loghain’s mother. Gareth was nowhere to be found for the next three days. When he finally returned, he informed his son that he had murdered the Orlesian commander responsible. Unable to stay in Oswin, they lived on the run in the Fereldan wilds, banding together with other desperate Fereldans to eke out a living however they could.
Rebellion against the Orlesian Empire
While living with the outlaws, Loghain met Maric Theirin, though he was not initially aware of Maric’s royal blood. When the Orlesian forces caught up with them, Gareth charged his son with saving the Prince. Loghain eventually managed to escort Maric to Arl Rendorn Guerrin and later joined the rebel army. He became one of Maric’s closest friends, as well as a key military advisor of the rebel cause. His strategies, and his creation of the guerrilla Night Elves, were responsible for many of the rebels’ greatest victories.
Over the course of the rebellion, Loghain fell in love with Lady Rowan Guerrin, who was betrothed to Maric and thus the future queen. After Maric fell in love with Katriel, Rowan and Loghain formed a romantic relationship. Both relationships were short-lived, however; Loghain discovered and revealed to Maric that Katriel was a spy, which resulted in her death. After this, Loghain encouraged Rowan to marry Maric to assist him and guide Ferelden as queen. Afterwards, Loghain led the Ferelden forces at the critical Battle of River Dane.
Despite his encouragement of their relationship, Loghain’s own relationship with both Maric and Rowan became strained. After the marriage, he rarely spent time in their company.
Commoner to Nobleman
King Maric gave the vacant teyrnir of Gwaren to his close friend and advisor Loghain Mac Tir in order to elevate him to nobility, but the gift came with a serious setback. Gwaren had suffered under the Orlesian occupation for years and was in a state of deep disrepair. Because of its remote location, no Orlesian governor had ever wanted to reside in the castle. Upon arriving in Gwaren for the first time since he helped liberate it, Loghain took one look at his new home and gave it up for lost. He lived out in a tent pitched in the middle of the courtyard while he tried to bring the port into order and recruit an army capable of defending the teyrnir.
After one month of watching their new teyrn live among them like a transient and suspecting that this new lord was just as likely as the Orlesians to abandon the keep and the village, the people of Gwaren sent a representative to speak with Loghain. Celia, who came from a long line of cabinetmakers, possessed patience, attention to detail, and very little tolerance for those who neglect to care for their furniture. She had a word with the newly appointed lord, which turned into an argument, which turned into a shouting match. In the end, she calmly reminded the Hero of River Dane that no matter what King Maric said, he wouldn’t be teyrn of anything unless his freeholders swore fealty, and if he left Castle Gwaren crumbling and empty, not one knee would bend to him.
After cursing the stubbornness of his fellow Fereldans in general and Gwaren cabinetmakers in particular, Loghain had no choice but to divert some of his attention to repairing the keep. The first thing he did was hire Celia to supervise the work. Two months later, he asked her to marry him.
Loghain spent much time in Denerim with King Maric and left ruling Gwaren to his wife. However, by 9:10 Dragon, Teyrna Celia had begun to worry that her husband’s absences from Gwaren were taking a toll on their young daughter, Anora. She knew Loghain would never forsake his duty to his king, but her stubbornness was a match for his. Their arguments spawned at least one rumor of dragons roosting in the castle, but the outcome was foregone. Loghain began to take their young daughter with him on his trips to the capital. This had two immediate results: First, that his trips were necessarily shorter in duration, and second, that the Hero of River Dane quickly became an expert in braiding the little girl’s hair. He also learned how to covert the tales of his bloody battles into bedtime stories for children, how to interrupt talks with leaders of the Bannorn to tend to skinned knees, and how to sneak cookies into cabinet meetings. Anora flourished under the new regimen, and perhaps as a side effect, so did he.
Arrival of the Grey Wardens
In the years after the death of Queen Rowan, Loghain supported King Maric. Duncan observed that Loghain seemed to be the true ruler. Despite having a beautiful wife and young daughter in Gwaren, Loghain preferred to stay in Denerim, claiming that Maric needed him. Maric himself commented on this noting that, "We are all running away from something."
Loghain was suspicious of the Grey Wardens, suspecting them of being in league with the Orlesians. After Maric vanished following a meeting with the Wardens and First Enchanter Remille, Loghain deployed the army to search for the missing king while he also spied on the Orlesians in Kinloch Hold as he was certain that they would betray them. Two days after the tower was taken over by Orlesian mages and templars who allied with the Architect, Loghain led an assault on Kinloch Hold through Lake Calenhad. The attack was successful and Loghain was surprised when he found King Maric in the tower as well. Loghain believed the plot was the doing of the Grey Wardens and felt Maric made a mistake in continuing to trust them. He disapproved when Maric allowed the Wardens to return to Ferelden and re-establish their order there on a permanent basis.
King Maric's disappearance
King Maric Theirin disappeared at sea while en route to Wycome in 9:25 Dragon. Teyrn Loghain spent almost two years searching for his lost friend, consuming much of the royal treasury and the majority of the Fereldan navy. The search was futile, and when Loghain claimed that Orlais had purposefully sunk King Maric’s vessel in order to prevent Marcher unity, he was called off by his daughter, Queen Anora, and a united Bannorn. It was time to mourn the king, they said, and so, in 9:27 Dragon, a massive state funeral was held in Denerim’s chantry.
Maric’s death and Anora’s marriage to the newly crowned King Cailan Theirin put an end to Loghain’s visits to Denerim for a time. He returned to Gwaren and Teyrna Celia, and for three years he remained there in relative peace and quiet. In 9:28 the king, queen, and the entire Fereldan royal court traveled to the remote castle for the funeral of Teyrna Celia. When they left, Loghain left with them, never to return.
Battle of Ostagar
Loghain is first encountered at the fortress of Ostagar. As the teyrn commanding the army, Loghain is responsible for devising the tactics that will be used in the Battle of Ostagar. Loghain’s plan utilizes the anvil and hammer strategy; the Grey Wardens are to act as the anvil, drawing the main body of darkspawn, and Loghain’s troops will flank the darkspawn once the beacon is lit.
Although Loghain advises him not to fight on the front lines, King Cailan Theirin refuses and insists on accompanying the Wardens. Cailan also insists on having the two newest Grey Wardens, Aedan Cousland and Alistair, light the beacon; Loghain and Uldred disagree, but acquiesce to the king’s desire in the end. Despite a darkspawn attack on the beacon tower, the Wardens eventually manage to light the beacon; however, on seeing the lit beacon, Loghain orders his troops to retreat, leaving King Cailan and the Grey Wardens to die.
Fereldan Civil War
After the battle at Ostagar, Loghain declares the Grey Wardens traitors and places a bounty on their heads. He also declares himself Regent for his daughter Anora. However, this is not met with approval from the Bannorn, and civil war ensues.
With Arl Rendon Howe of Amaranthine as his main advisor, Loghain takes drastic measures to secure Ferelden, such as allowing elves to be sold into slavery, and hiring Zevran Arainai, an Antivan Crow to assassinate the remaining Grey Wardens. He refuses all Orlesian reinforcements, not believing Empress Celene Valmont I’s intentions are honest. Neither Howe nor Anora can convince him otherwise. Rumors circulate that the reason he abandoned Cailan at Ostagar was that Cailan hoped to cement a union of kingdoms with the Orlesians by putting aside Anora, who was believed to be barren, and marrying the Empress Celene.
At the Landsmeet, Arl Eamon Guerrin of Redcliffe and Aedan confront Loghain. Despite his attempts, Aedan wins the favor of the Landsmeet. Refusing to abide by the Landsmeet’s decision, Loghain tries to stage a coup d’état. Determined to resolve the impasse, a duel was declared. Aedan wins the hard fought battle and Loghain is defeated. He yields after losing the duel, allowing Aedan to decide his fate – though Riordan suggests he be recruited to the Grey Wardens. The idea is refused, however, and Aedan personally carries out Loghain’s execution.
History will remember Teyrn Loghain Mac Tir as many things: a war hero who fought beside King Maric to retake Ferelden from its Orlesian occupiers; a decorated general with an irreplaceable mind for strategy; the attentive, if absent, teyrn of Gwaren. But to most, Loghain was a traitor: the usurper of the throne of Ferelden during the Fifth Blight. A cold man of stubborn character who refused to trust anyone but himself, Loghain displayed a poverty of judgment and distrust of the Grey Wardens during the height of the Blight that might have doomed Ferelden, if not for the actions of Aedan Cousland.
While much has been written about Loghain’s time at Maric’s side and his treachery during the Blight, less has been said about his time in Gwaren.
List of characters Loghain killed
This list shows the victims Teyrn Loghain Mac Tir has killed:
- King Cailan Theirin (Caused) –
- Warden-Commander Duncan (Caused) –
Appearances in other media
- "Here at the River Dane is where the Dragon Age begins, my friends! Today they will hear us roar!"
- "How fortunate Maric did not live to see his son ready to hand Ferelden over to those who enslaved us for a century!"
- (to King Cailan) "Your fascination with glory and legends will be your undoing, Cailan. We must attend to reality."
- (about the Orlesian occupation of Ferelden) "Hate doesn’t describe it. I’ve seen painted, masked lords beat an old farmer to death with riding crops. To this day, I don’t know why. Is that hate? I saw good, sensible men fighting armored chevaliers with nothing—no weapons, no armies, not even hope of success—to see the occupation end. Is that hate?"
- "It takes more than legends to win a battle."
- (to the Bannorn) "Understand this: I will brook no threat to this nation… from you or anyone."
- "Traitors! Which of you stood against the Orlesian emperor when his troops flattened your fields and raped your wives? You fought with us once, Eamon! You cared about this land once. Before you got too old and fat and content to even see what you risk! None of you deserve a say in what happens here! None of you have spilled blood for this land the way I have! How dare you judge me!?"
- "’A man is made by the quality of his enemies.’ Maric told me that once. I wonder if it’s more a compliment to you or me."
- (to Aedan) "I underestimated you, Warden. I thought you were like Cailan, a child wanting to play at war. I was wrong. There’s a strength in you I’ve not seen anywhere since Maric died. I yield."
- "War is cruel. Every soul who fought alongside Maric knows this. And in it, there are no such things as innocents, only the living and the dead, and the degrees of guilt both bear."
- The name "Mac Tir" means "son of the land." It was given to him by Maric after the Battle of River Dane. It is fitting, not only due to his patriotism, but also because he is the son of a farmer.
- His wife is the daughter of a cabinet maker.
- Loghain once owned a mabari war hound when he was a child. He named her Adalla, and had her for 10 years before an Orlesian took her to use her for breeding with his hunting dogs. Sometime after Loghain was reunited with his dog, when the Orlesian threw the mabari out of a moving wagong. The dog was so weak that it died a week later in Loghain’s lap.