You know, the thing that’s always bugged me the most about the whole ‘Merrill-Marethari-mirror’ plot in Dragon Age is how little we as Hawke get to point out that the real root of the entire problem isn’t Merrill or demons and their deals. It’s Marethari. Not even on the friendship path where Hawke can actually agree with her intentions with it.
Oh, the mirror’s a problem, sure. But it’s not the core problem. It’s really just the catalyst for the rest of the situation. The real problem of Merrill’s entire story in DA2 is that Marethari is determined to treat Merrill like a child, an invalid, someone who cannot make choices for herself. And it’s something that really does become clear as the acts progress, and it’s a far bigger problem for Merrill’s development than that bloody mirror. But we never really get to address Marethari’s failings.