When the Blight rose in Ferelden, most fled or pretended it didn’t exist. Fortunately, Virginia Cousland, a new recruit to the Grey Wardens, turned out to be the best hero the country could have hoped for. She balanced pragmatism with benevolence. She could be coercive and callously calculated, but she never lost her compassion. There was context to her decisions and her moral character grew out of her choices. She always had the option to choose otherwise—she could have tainted Andraste’s ashes as easily as she preserved them—but she stuck to her principles even when an easier path forked away from them. Virginia’s successor, Mira Hawke, did not make her own choices even when there was room in the story to do so.
Both the Warden and Hawke’s moral strength can be judged by their actions, but Hawke’s actions, unlike the Warden’s, are largely out of the player’s control. Judging Hawke’s moral character, then, is done on the basis of actions that can not be avoided. Hawke is racially and economically privileged; she’s ushered into the ruling class, and she exploits the underprivileged citizens of Kirkwall.