I think the reason why there's so much quibbling over information RE: Dragon Age is that a lot of shit needs to be strung together in order to make sense of any of it. If you're not invested in the series, or are just plain ignorant to certain aspects of canon or characterization, you're understanding of the work is limited. Or something. Idk. I keep coming across people trying to argue that Commander Cullen doesn't make sense and that Cassandra only chose him because he's Andrastian, which doesn't match my understanding of him at all, or why Cassandra chose him in the first place.
And it kind of annoys me that this argument is repeated because they often gloss over the most straightforward information. Like, if you need a basic run-down as to why Cassandra chose Cullen, just examine her reasons for wanting to find Hawke. She needed Hawke because they were familiar with the mage/templar issue in Kirkwall, and was among the people trying to keep order in the City. They were basically the neutral party mediating arguments between Meredith and Orsino (not to mention the Qunari and the Viscount).
It makes sense that she would pick Cullen for a similar reason: he had experience in Kirkwall dealing with the mages and templars.
But even I can see that explanation rly isn't satisfactory to someone who hasn't dug into Cullen's backstory. Cullen comes from DAO traumatized by people he initially sympathized with. He's a sleep deprived, borderline zealot who rises to the rank of Knight Captain within a year of arriving in Kirkwall. Sure, Meredith chose him in part because he has experience with blood mages first hand (so he knows how badly things can get fucked up). But Cullen isn't a native of Kirkwall. If she just wanted another yes-man, she could've hired in house. But she didn't because Cullen's got the goods to keep everyone in check.
I mean, Meredith even goes out of her way to not only quash the rumors about Cullen's infatuation with the mage PC in DAO, but also punish anyone repeating the rumor. Yet she expels Samson for passing letters between two mages.Yeah she might think that that side of him is gone due to his experience in Kinloch Hold, but to me, it seems like she not only trusts him but also thinks he's valuable to keep around, thinks he's someone worth protecting.
But AFAK this is information you have to pay attention to to pick up, or otherwise have to piece together through conjecture.
Like, some ppl still worry that Cullen isn't mentally stable to be around mages even though DA2 is a story told over 9-11 years. That's roughly a decade. Why are people concerned that he still has PTSD even though the timeline suggests that he may have reached some semblance of recovery? No, scratch that - why do people think DAI Cullen is a threat to other mages? Like, are we even playing the same games anymore? There's literally nothing to back up this concern in any part of DAI, at least when you bother to examine his characterization in comparison to DA2 Cullen, you know, the borderline zealot who thinks mages cannot be treated like people.
And as to Cullen being qualified for the role: he was Knight Captain of Kirkwall for 9-11 years. He was essentially second-in-command to Meredith, who was arguably the person trying to keep shit running smoothly in Kirkwall. Second-in-command. To the person running the show.
But as I said before, if you're not paying attention or stringing info together, Cullen's gonna come across as the pretty boy they shoehorned into the story for the fangirls (i.e. pandering).
Edit: I meant to add that while this is something I sorta acknowledge, idk if there's really a writerly solution to this due to the size of the story and world.
On a different note, I'm becoming more and more tempted to ask for these mods of Cullen:http://theharlotofferelden.tumblr.com/post/127763534243/ellementalist-i-was-looking-through-myhttp://theharlotofferelden.tumblr.com/post/132135053998/vinylrahim-%CA%96
And maybe this mod:http://theharlotofferelden.tumblr.com/post/132127483438/astralizey-butlerbookbinding-trexila
Tho preferably I desire the pornstache. Like, the pornstache + the first two mods is the perfect ensemble imo.