Many characters from Dragon Age: Origins appeared in later games, including Alistair, Morrigan, Leliana, Loghain, and Zevran. Wynne made a brief appearance in Dragon Age: Origins: Awakening, but then she was never heard from again. For a character who was as prominent in the Mage Circles as she was, you’d think she’d be there front and center during the Mage Rebellion. I fully expected her and Vivienne to be working together to reestablish the Circles to keep some semblance of order among the mages. But she was nowhere.
There could be a lot of reasons why, right? She was old, so she could have just died. Or maybe she was at the wrong place at the wrong time during the Rebellion and got caught in cross-fire. Really, though, this is Ferelden, and there are many reasons why someone could be missing. Thanks to Dragon Age: Asunder by David Gaider, I did learn what happened to Wynne.
(Oh and I learned the origins of Cole, if that’s really what interests you.)
Wynne is one of the main characters in this book, with her son Rhys as the main protagonist. He gets into some trouble at his particular Mage Circle—some due to Cole, some due to Templars refusing to listen—and Wynne happens to swing by his Circle at the right time to spring him out. She was coming for him anyway, because she needed him on a mission she has, ordained by Divine Justinia V. The fact he was in trouble only makes it easier, believe it or not, for Wynne to spring him from the Circle.
It’s a long and convoluted journey they take—Wynne, Rhys, Shale (remember Shale from DAO?), a mage friend of Rhys’, a Templar babysitter, and Cole. Where they go and what they do is better left for actual reading. The important takeaway from this trip is that Wynne doesn’t make it back.
Okay, so that’s not that shocking of a reason, right? This does take place after Anders decides to go all bomb happy, so plenty of Templars and Mages have made the countryside rather risky. It would make sense for one of them not to return, and why not Wynne?
The kicker is that the reason Wynne doesn’t return isn’t as simple as, “Oh, she died.” Wynne was actually dead since BEFORE the Hero of Ferelden met her at the Circle in Denerim. Didn’t see that coming, did ya?
I’m Not Dead
If you recall from DAO, when the Hero reaches the Denerim Circle, the whole tower is in chaos. A blood mage let things go amok, and abominations have taken over the tower. Those who weren’t outright killed were caged and tortured, such as Cullen. Wynne evidently died during the abomination domination. However, a Spirit of Faith was able to transition from the Fade due to the blood magic and demonic presence, and for whatever reason, it decided to bring her back to life.
So yes, Wynne has been dead the entire time she was in the Dragon Age video games. The reason she doesn’t make it back from this road trip with her son is that she gives up the Spirit of Faith. To whom, you ask? Well, it wasn’t Cole, obviously, but you’re gonna have to read the book yourself to find out.
But hey, now you know the rest of Wynne’s story.