(Also, since I played Awakening, I’ve had some serious feels regarding my Warden Keely and Anders. I’ve got so many ideas running in my head as to how Anders’ departure from the Wardens would have happened. Keely fully supported him and would have protected him from any sort of prejudice. I would like to think his merger with Justice happened after Keely left Vigil’s Keep to reunite with Zevran.)
The Wardens weren’t taking Anders seriously and just kept pushing and pushing and finally, around the time they made him give Ser Pounce away, he snapped. The Wardens were little better than the Circle, they weren’t freedom. If Keely had stuck around, he could’ve gotten somewhere, training the new Warden mages, but with her gone the Keep skirted around rules very similar to that of the Circle. The atmosphere was staunch and cold and so unlike the warmth that Keely had brought him. He merged with Justice out of desperation and then the fallout with Rolan happened.
In Kirkwall, everything continued to fall apart. Hawke tried to be fair, tried to see his fellow mages’ plight. But, then, he had never been in the Circle, never truly been oppressed. He thought Anders was too extreme, that he was going about things wrong. After the fall of the Chantry, Hawke spared Anders but could do little else.
Anders fled again, again, again, always fleeing, always pursued and spat on and demoted to a status less than human.
It is a happy coincidence when he runs into Keely again. Anders is worn ragged and has been cornered by yet another band of templars. He’s to be taken in for his crimes against the Chantry. He lets out the biggest burst of flame he can muster but it’s barely anything and it only fells half the group. He’s resigned to death—and he knows that only death awaits him—when a rain of arrows soars around him and into the remaining templars.
He turns as she says, “I would say ‘I didn’t do it’ but that wouldn’t be quite appropriate.”
A throwback to when they first met. He can scarcely believe that it’s happening, that he’s been saved. She approaches him, strong and proud as the day they met, and throws her arms around his shoulders. He accepts it all too quickly, letting out a relieved groan and wilting into her smaller frame.
"Anders, what the hell happened?" she gasps, tightening her embrace as though he’ll blow away. She can feel how thin he is now. Even she easily outweighs him despite the significant height difference. "I heard the craziest stories about you, about Justice, about… Kirkwall!"
"The Chantry," he offers. "It’s all true. It’s true."
The defeat in his voice impales her. He trembles and pulls back from her, fully expecting the worst, hoping with every fiber that she still will find a way to understand him.
She does, bless her, and she holds him tighter. He’s so close, her hair tickling his face, and she smells of leather. She whispers, “What did they do to you? My dear friend, what have they done to you?”
"It hardly matters now," he says. "I can’t change any of it now. I’m a fugitive. Not even the Wardens can change my fate, not this time."
"They hell they can’t," she growls. "And if they can’t, I will."