Confession: Beside the fact that he’s a fan character, I can’t understand why Cullen is in Inquisition, especially as an adviser of war. He’s never been in a war and he can’t properly strategize, seeing as how he waits until the last moment to do help. He wouldn’t be a good person to be in a position of power but still under someone. For example, he let Meredith and his fellow templars harass and abuse mages AND send for the destruction of the Circle. I just can’t see him as a general and adviser of war.
fuckyeahcullen, you wanna take this one?
Eh, yeah, sure, I’ll add some donuts to this, why not? I mean I’ve seen this particular POV before on several occasions, though this one seems to be a culmination of several POV’s all rolled into one. Putting it under a cut though for general length which may offend people’s eyeballs.
So let me see…Alright, first thing. "He’s a fan character." I’m assuming the OP means he was added to Inquisition simply for the fan service, and this is honestly a term I’ve never understood in being applied to Cullen. Saying a character is “fan service” means that the majority of a fandom likes/loves them and wants to see them again regardless of the benefit they may provide to the story content/material presented in a game/other form of media. I mean, the last I checked, Cullen wasn’t that popular of a character, and there’s a ton of people who don’t want to see him in Inquisition, so calling him “fan service” just doesn’t really work. (Additionally, Varric, Cassandra, Leliana, and Cole could also be called “fan characters”, but just because someone’s shown up in a previous game doesn’t automatically make them “fan service”.)
Something else people forget about templars in general, and Cullen in particular. They are an army, which purpose is to participate in Exalted marches. Do you think they don’t train their officers to be ready for that? Do you think, that when the Divine calls, they gather in Circles, and act like, “You lead Tom!” “No, why me? You lead, Mary!” “Let Cullen lead, he’s blond!” “But I have no idea what to do!” Do you think this is how a military order works? Use your common sense.
Maybe Cullen didn’t have any experience in a leadership role in Origins, but I’m sure he had the knowledge. And after he came to Kirkwall, and Meredith made him her Knight-Captain, he put that knowledge to use, and I assume he was a good captain, and that’s why he held the position for 7 years, and wasn’t replaced by someone more experienced.
Also don’t forget what Brianne Battye said in the interview about him: he rallied the templars after Meredith. He organised them, and was their leader until Cassandra found him. And apparently his templars became the foundation of the Inquisition’s army, and they respect him and trust him, because, apparently, he was good at doing his job.
So if all these people, who know Cullen better than any fan of his, think that Cullen is a good captain\general\military advisor, why should we doubt that he’s capable of leading our troops just because we haven’t seen him leading armies before? People trust him with their lives. You don’t do that without a reason.