If you ever need to feel sadder about Zevran Arainai think about his Fade nightmare.
Each companion, when convinced that they are indeed trapped in a nightmare, aids you in the fight against the demons who turn on you. Each, with the exception of Shale, Dog, and Zevran. The first two, because no fight is necessary to wake them from their dreams. The last, because Zevran is simply too scared to help you, even after remembering that he is already a Crow.
Despite remembering you, despite knowing you tell the truth, he stands aside, not daring to raise his blades against the faces of his Crow tormentors. It is not until they lie dead that he can find his bravado again, chuckling about a good racking and asking where those luscious wood nymphs had gone. Repress, deny, survive.
If you ever want to feel even sadder about Zevran Arainai think about the curious appearance of his Crow torturers.
Wonder about their elven background and the vallaslin adorning their faces. Consider Crow demographics and the likelihood and potential circumstances of a Dalish elf becoming a Crow. Then ponder on Zevran’s comment to Harhen Sarel at the Dalish camp, on how they have Dalish up in Antiva City, though they’re much more violent, or so he’s heard. Think about a young Zevran escaping the Crows and running off to join the Dalish when they came near Antiva City, eyes bright and full of hope, thoughts on soft leather and delicate embroidery and a family he never knew. Think about a young Zevran somehow ending up on a rack undergoing his Crow initiation regardless. Thoughts of warm hands and kind smiles repressed, denied.
If you ever want to feel happy about Zevran Arainai think about how much he’s grown.
How he may have killed the last four assassins they’ve sent after him, and ah all their men, oh and the Guildmaster. How two of the seven Crow Guildmasters are already in his pocket and the Guildmaster of Rialto is mysteriously dead. How every disaffected Crow ever cheated of their tithes, driven into hiding, or threatened into silence is being found and turned by Zevran. Think about how the Crows are being torn apart from within by a single elf in a pair of fine Antivan boots, soft Dalish gloves, and a smile that finally reaches his eyes.