It is not an unknown idea that many historians believed Trevelyan was born during the wrong age, where most of her greatest beliefs were placed into a forgone age. A visionary pragmatic, Trevelyan’s interest had included establishment of free trade, a vigorous banking system, and a strong central government headed by hereditary monarchs and chosen leaders of the people. At the time of her birth, Thedas had been broken into great kingdoms and empires, and for a child born in the squabbling lands of Ostwick, it was no wonder why Trevelyan shared such views which many considered depostic in nature. According to Lord Torin Nerwan of Garenwell, a naysayer to the Inquisition, and especially toward Trevelyan, classified Trevelyan as “proud a fault. I have never met a child so ignorant, so vain, of current events. The Maker must have crafted her in some form of a cruel joke. I’d say that she has no intelligent spark in her mind.”
But to many of her supporters, Trevelyan was the embodiment of the highest form of intellect. Magister Dorian Pavus, a longtime friend and confidant to Trevelyan, wrote “in terms of beauty, she is second to only but me. But in mind, Alexa [as she was often affectionately referred to] was second to none. She had the loftiest and keenest of intellects that Thedas have or will ever known.” Her many treaties and letters display a vivid mind, learned and sophisticated in clearance, and near-prophetic at times. Trevelyan imagined a world conquered by banks, stock-exchanges, and a government shared between the powers of the monarchy and the people. To many councilmen, after the ending of the Mage Era in the Thedosian Council, Trevelyan was the great demon in disguise. Councilman Harwald Malce of the Senate demeaned Trevelyan as “the greatest evils that scoured this land. In her mind, she was meant to lead the entirety of Thedas as a de facto monarch, wielding absolute power over all the people of the continent.” While indeed caring to the poor, Councilman Malce’s words holds some truth toward Trevelyan’s ambitions. Many of her actions seem tyrannical at face-value, with practically seizing the Orlesian Imperial Throne in 9:41 from Empress Celene and withholding that power for decades afterward. Trevelyan also ordered the seizure of many forts and castles from rebellious lords during the War with the Elder One. Yet, Trevelyan had little choice in either of the matters. The Orlesian Empire was deteriorating with the Civil War between Empress Celene and her cousin, Grand Duke Gaspard, and Corypheus held plans to takeover the most powerful nation in Thedas with Empress Celene’s attempted assassination. For the matter of the seizure of the forts, while distasteful, Trevelyan offered many lords compensation and promises to return the forts and castles after stability returned to southern Thedas. Promises she kept after the fall of the Dread Wolf. While often overextending her powers and influence, Trevelyan often felt forced into her situations. A player of the Game, Trevelyan distasted the individual interests some lords and dukes held despite the great crisis of the Breach. During her early years of living in a city-state, observing the warring of the other Marcher cities from a well-secluded distance, the life had revealed to Trevelyan the failures of decentralized governments, and installed within her a desire for a strong, centralized government or organization that could readily defeat any crisis if need be before returning power back to the squabbling powers. While it is fair to criticize Trevelyan’s ambitious desires of her life, one must look back at the history of the noblewoman that Thedas referred to as the Herald of Andraste. Trevelyan had lived during a time when the most powerful centralized authority–the Chantry–crumbled into inaction after the wake of Divine Justinia’s death, due to indecisiveness among individual interests that reminded her well too much of her time in Ostwick, while other seemingly powerful nations remained undecided at the threat of the Breach. If Trevelyan saw the Inquisition as the protector of civilization, than she rightfully considered its continued existence as vital to Thedas’ survival, akin to the Grey Wardens.