Question from Ryath

Picking between the two factions of Orzammar?

Just got to Orzammar and found that I need to help one of two factions with a group of quests to prove myself to them.

I just wanted to know what are the major plot difference between the two and is there any way of doing them both at the same time?

Top Voted Answer

John117X answered:

I finished my first playthrough on Harrowmont's side and am now doing Bhelen's:
Is (relatively) more honest and was asked by the last king Endrin to take the throne (from a note I found in Harrowmont's quarters). Is a traditionalist and wants to keep the caste system intact. At the end of the game, it talks about how his policies shoved Orzammar further into isolationism. Keep in mind that his first trust quests involve going up against fighters one/many against you alone, so may not be a good option for squishy mages.
Is a savvy politician to say the least. Very likely killed one elder brother and framed the other for it. Forged documents that put Harrowmont in a bad light. tried to fix matches in the proving grounds against Harrowmont's team. That being said, he is marrying a casteless woman, most merchants favor his global trade policies and he is in favor of a less oppressive regime.
If you play as a dwarf noble (SPOILERS)........

Bhelen is the one that got you thrown out of dwarven society.
If you play as a dwarf commoner it does appear that Bhelen is a benefactor to the poor.

So it's your choice really. Ah Bioware, always giving us a twist to the "Good" and "bad" choices. No kidding when they said it's a dark RPG.
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mewarmo990 answered:

You have to pick a side. As a Grey Warden I would have preferred to stay neutral but basically Orzammar needs a king ASAP so you can get their support.
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kilbrid4 answered:

Bhelan is a douche support Harrowmont
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socklesshermit answered:

You do have to pick a side. Harrowmont's quests involve the Proving Arena, while Bhelen's involve a little politicking and a venture into the Deep Roads (the Aeducan Thaig) to save a politician. The two quest lines rejoin after that point by sending you after Jarvia.

Of course, as a Dwarven noble, Harrowmont is the obvious choice. Or if you just want a faster resolution. Bhelen's a great choice for more exp, as the Deep Roads have more monsters than the Proving Arena has contestants.
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Denethor0 answered:

Ok, here is basically what both of them believe in politically:

Harrowmont believes in traditions and Isolationism
Bhelen is more of a globalization, meaning a the opposite to Isolationism and is against traditions(like cast system)

So from the perspective of the Dwarven kingdom's future, Harrowmont want things to stay pretty much the same for the dwarven kingdom, so I guess you could say he lives in the past, while while Bhelan is looking toward the future. This of course, says nothing on how nice people they are.
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