Well, for a very small portion of the game.
Like always, I'm drawn into the story. You choose what back story you start with by choosing your race, class, and status in society. I was a dwarf warrior noble, and I really like the back story that they give you. I want to play the game again to see how it would be different as a mage (you can't be a dwarf and a mage) and see if I can start out with a fuller group.
Anyway, talking to the Boyfriend about his character's back stories, and then looking at what I've seen of my story so far, betrayal is HUGE. And this is where the spoiler marking matters so look away those who haven't played and plan to.
No matter what your back story is, you help out at a battle against the Blight (wretched creatures created by the sins of man infecting the lands like a plague) in an abandoned fort called Ostagar. You're there with your people, the Grey Wardens, to help King Calin's troops. The Grey Wardens are trained specifically to cast out the Blight. Your job, along with another Grey Warden Alistar, is to light a beacon for Calin's war aid Loghain to bring troops after Calin and the other Grey Wardens start out killing some darkspawn (creatures of the blight). So you finally battle a ton of darkspawn that shouldn't have been there in the first place, you light the beacon and you are excited to do your part when...
Loghain pulls his troops back and lets King Calin die.
First of all, you feel stupid for not realizing it would happen. When I first met Loghain I thought "he's so going to betray me" but then I took it back. I had already dealt with something similar earlier on in the story (and almost every back story has its own betrayal issues) so I figured it wouldn't happen again. I was so wrong. It was like a hard slap to the face.
Second, it prepares you for similar acts on a smaller scale to happen again and again and again. You have to do actions that you are suspicious of from the get go for the story to move. And then your suspicions are confirmed! It's like an abusive relationship!
As the game continues I'm going to see if this theme continues, and how important it is. Is it also a weapon against the bad guys?
If you know how it ends, don't answer that question!