- “For those who value survival, sentimentality is not an option.”
Vivienne is an Orlesian mage and personal enchanter and adviser to Empress Celene. She is an optional companion to the Inquisitor in Dragon Age: Inquisition and can be unlocked through The Imperial Enchanter quest.
She is straight-laced, pro-Circle and was set to be appointed the First Enchanter of the Circle in Montsimmard. However, the Mage-Templar War and the Orlesian Civil War started before she could formally assume the position.
Vivienne is a connoisseur of fashion, placing beauty above function. Caring more about her outward appearance than protection, Vivienne is always found in the finest silks and jewels. Her rich wardrobe and appreciation of fashion speaks of her station, being dubbed "the jewel of the high court of Orlais," where she serves in an advisory capacity to the empress.
As a cunning participant in Orlesian politics, Vivienne doesn't let anyone stand in the way of her goals. She originated from the Ostwick Circle but was transferred to Monstimmard while still an apprentice. She became the mistress of Duke Bastien de Ghislain, the head of Orlais' Council of Heralds, an advantageous connection that opened many doors. When the position to enchanter of the Imperial Court became vacant, Vivienne was able to secure it. She managed to turn her position as enchanter of the Imperial Court, which was regarded as little more than being a glorified court jester, into an advisory position to the Empress despite the official ban prohibiting mages from holding political power. Her reputation was such that she earned the moniker Madame de Fer: the Lady of Iron, claiming a place as both a respected, and feared, member of the court. The important thing to her is that she is left standing at the end of her struggle for order. To this end, Vivienne defies those who may see her only as a social climber or someone whose power must be restricted, and even fellow mages who try to push her into backing the Mage-Templar War, a rebellion she does not support.
Vivienne had never officially joined a Fraternity previously. Yet since she was never restricted to a Circle tower she was also never coerced to join the mage rebellion. Thus, after the Circles revolted, Vivienne became the de facto leader of the Loyalists when she rallied those who took up arms against the mage rebels.
Dragon Age: The Masked Empire
Vivienne is briefly mentioned by her epithet "Madame de Fer" by Empress Celene while she considers speaking to her about Lady Cosinne de Montsimmard and her husband's familiarity with the Circle of Magi.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Vivienne is one of the Inquisitor's companions. With the world thrown into chaos, she sees the Inquisition as the only group willing to stand against it and introduces herself by throwing them a party. She intervenes when a Marquis openly disparages the Inquisition and attempts to challenge the Inquisitor, magically immobilizing him and leaves his fate up to the Inquisitor. She offers to join up with the Inquisition to help her fellow mages however she can.
Vivienne is extremely bitter and resentful at what she perceives as the selfish actions of the rebel mages. In her mind, they see only their own oppression and fail to consider the well-being of others outside the Circle of Magi, as well as the justifiably increased fear of magic in the populace and ranks of the Templar Order; a fear that she believes is now, by their actions and that of the Kirkwall Rebellion, greater than it ever was since the rise of the Tevinter Imperium. She believes that the Circles and Templar Order must be restored to ensure the continued protection of mages, and thus supports Cassandra Pentaghast as the new Divine.
If her approval is high enough, Vivienne asks the Inquisitor to bring her the heart of a snowy wyvern. Should the Inquisitor procure this item, Vivienne uses it to create a potion for Duke Bastien, who is suffering an incurable disease, but he passes away regardless.
If her approval is low enough, Vivienne will have movers rearrange all of the Inquisitor's furniture in Skyhold. She claims that she was needling the Inquisitor to test their limits but she also expresses her disapproval at how the Inquisitor allows the mage rebel "malcontents" loose on the population unchecked.It is possible to have Vivienne elected as the new Divine, after Justinia V. If chosen, she will be known as Divine Victoria. She is the first mage to hold the position and once appointed, the uproar is immediate. Three revolts follow in quick succession, and her response is immediate and vicious. Chaos reigned for months but eventually subsided. To the surprise of many, she reinstates the Circle of Magi and creates a Templar Order firmly leashed to her hand. Mages rise quickly in the new Circle, having more freedom and responsibility then ever before - even if all true power lies with her. Her reign is contentious and the Chantry could either accept her reign despite her detractors' chagrin or begin to fracture.
- Main article: Vivienne/Approval
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Vivienne likes those who approve of the Circle system and scorn the mage rebels. Vivienne also enjoys posturing and approves of an Inquisitor who postures as well; especially if they are a mage. Aid her in helping her or mages gain status also gains her approval.
- Main article: Vivienne/Dialogue
- (To Cassandra Pentaghast) "Rest assured, dear Seeker. I'm never truly out of my element."
- (Regarding the Mage-Templar War) "Kirkwall gave the world a reason to remember its fear of magic. A mage killed hundreds with a snap of their fingers. Across Thedas, a new tangible fear of magic grew. Commoners and nobles alike called out to the Chantry for protection. But the malcontents in the towers thought nothing of this."
- "Magic is dangerous, just as fire is dangerous. Anyone who forgets this truth gets burned."
- "In my own experience, nothing is more deadly to a young mage than a lack of knowledge."
- "I never worry, darling. A leash can be pulled from either end."
- "The Divine must set the example for all Thedas. She must seem to be the embodiment of the Maker to the faithful. She needs the authority of the Maker and the charisma of Andraste."
- "We need an institution to protect and nurture magic. Maker knows, magic will find neither on its own."
- According to David Gaider, Vivienne's "fashion touchstone" is Maleficent.
- She is described as "The Ambition".
- Vivienne was written by Mary Kirby, who remarked that she is "allergic to Fereldan fashions," arranges to receive only approved gifts on Wintersend and favors gold encrusted boots made from rare animals, "and possibly the skins of one or two of her political rivals."
- Vivienne's greatest fear is irrelevance.
- When asked to compare Vivienne to food, Mary Kirby described her as "Ortolan Bunting," a notorious French dish. This kind of bird dish is a delicacy in France. The bird is caught alive and then blinded or put in a darkened cage. In the cage, the birds are force-fed until they get very fat and then drowned in a snifter of Armagnac. After which they are roasted for eight minutes.
- When Bioware announced Vivienne's voice actor, Indira Varma, they had her instigate a fake twitter war with Vivienne's writer, Mary Kirby.