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Hardened refers to optional personality changes for Alistair (after the Alistair's Family quest) and Leliana (after the Leliana's Past quest) in Dragon Age Origins. The change affects future character dialogue, the overall attitude of the companions, and the plot line.
Alistair will gain confidence and put himself first more often. This means he is more willing to become king, and to put his sense of duty above his personal feelings.
- At The Landsmeet:
- Alistair's attitude towards becoming king will be more positive, or at the least his attitude to Anora becoming queen will be more negative.
- If the Warden is not a human noble or is a human noble but decided to not marry him, and is in a romance with him, Alistair can be persuaded to remain her lover after becoming king at the Landsmeet, otherwise he will end the relationship after becoming king. This is the case even if Alistair is to marry Anora.
- If Alistair is chosen as the champion to fight Loghain at the Landsmeet and has not agreed to marry Anora, then Alistair will assume the throne without further input from the Warden. This is only if the duel is against Alistair's claim. If it is against the Warden, then Alistair will leave the choice to the Warden, but will insist on being made king.
- Alistair will still marry Anora and become king if Loghain lives as long as they had previously agreed to marry and Alistair's personality has been hardened. Otherwise, Alistair will leave for good, if allowed to live. Alistair will still leave The Warden's party if Loghain lives, but if he becomes king he will be around during the Epilogue. This is the only way that both Alistair and Loghain live and Alistair doesn't end up as a wandering drunk.
- Denerim, The Pearl: a woman named Isabela is acquainted with Zevran. If you are in a romance with Alistair and bring him to The Pearl, he will join you in a threesome if you choose that in her conversation choices.
Leliana will no longer object to some of the morally questionable choices made by the Warden. She will be less judgmental of Morrigan, and will have different ending epilogues available.
- If Leliana is in love with the Warden at the end of the game and the Warden marries the new ruler, then a hardened Leliana will be willing to stay on as the Warden's mistress. This option is available to both male and female wardens.
- Denerim, The Pearl: Similarly to Alistair she can be asked to join a threesome with Isabela, or a foursome if Zevran is allowed to come along.
- Urn of Sacred Ashes: A hardened Leliana will still object to the defiling of the Urn should the player decide to go that route but will not turn hostile should you do so.