hmmm, you know, i’ve seen a lot of posts lately about how unfortunately absent justice as we knew him is from da2, and how it’s a shame because he was such a fascinating character in daa. about how we only speak to him either in the fade or through corrupted anders takeovers on the rival path, but…
basically, there was a reason the anders thread on bsn referred to him post-merger as ‘janders’.
the smart breed of anders fan is quick to point out to those obnoxious detractors mired in daa vs da2 that anders’ change in character over the course of the two games is intelligent and necessary development. hell, we’ve all talked ourselves to death about how anders was influenced by an autonomous spirit, and how it transformed him into a man of purpose and without compromise. those very subtle issues that were always hinted at but never explored come to the forefront, and the end result is an incredibly complex, broken, and beautiful character.
and i agree with and perpetuate that sentiment.
like, that’s my life anymore lololol :(
but the entire catalyst for that development was a merging of personalities in the first place.
flutiebear brought up an excellent point in her 30 Days Challenge OTP post about the nature of justice’s influence on anders’ actions, and given anders’ own statement on their relationship, the one that is probably more true than anything else he says, “not even the greatest scholar could tell where i end and he begins”, i am inclined to give it serious consideration.
my argument is not that justice is a parasitic being preying on an autonomous human, nor is my argument that justice’s thoughts and actions are informed by the change in anders. it is not through the filter of anders that we see justice. what i am saying is that, especially on the friend path, they are an increasingly colloid being, a melding of spirits and souls and personalities and goals and dreams and experiences that makes them indistinguishable, a character almost new.
the op of this secret laments that we can’t interact with justice on a regular basis in da2, but i posit we spend the entire game doing just that.
I’m tired and this probably won’t make a lot of sense but I’ll give it a go.
I think that “not even the greatest scholar could tell where i end and he begins” line is key. Fics where Anders and Justice have a back-and-forth conversation in Anders’ head don’t work for me. It’s not that Anders and Justice are two separate beings just inhabiting the same meatspace—they’re all tangled together, and can’t exactly have a chat.
For me, perhaps it’s more a that Anders’ now has some sort of personality continuum? Ranging from Anders-influenced-by-Justice to Justice-influenced-by-Anders? It seems that a majority of the time, Anders’ personality—for lack of a better word—is dominant. That said his personality is much changed since Awakening because of Justice’s influence. But if something triggers Anders sense of injustice, Justice (who’s also changed due to Anders’ influence, so he’s more Vengeance) is thrown to the forefront as the dominant personality.
When Justice takes over, it’s so sudden and forceful that “Anders” essentially blacks out and doesn’t know what’s happened. Justice/Vengeance has a goal and clear course of action—nothing else matters. I guess things Anders does in this state could be considered “crimes of passion”? The Anders side of things is more rational. But he’s so driven by Justice’s influence that I suspect he’s spent a lot of time rationalizing things to himself—such as blowing up the Chantry.
As the game progresses, I think what line there is between Anders and Justice becomes more and more muddied. The more melded they become, the more…stable? less mood-swingy? Anders seems. The Anders we see early in the game couldn’t have planned to blow up the Chantry. The Anders side wasn’t yet convinced to make such a big move, and passionate Justice isn’t a planning sort of guy. It’s the combination of the two that makes it possible. Also, before the Chantry’s blown up, we only see a slight flash of glowy-Janders. The rest of the time Anders has himself under control. Instead of brash, glowy Justice saying “boom goes the Chantry,” you have Anders saying what he’s done and why. And then he waits for Hawke to pass judgement upon him. If this were earlier in the game, I suspect Anders would behave very differently, and if Hawke didn’t agree with him he’d try to take him out right then and there.
Hopefully that’s at least kind of coherent.