I've been talking about this a bit on Tumblr but since this was originally a gaming blog, I may as well put my long rambles here.
I successfully avoided the spoilers and was surprised by everything! This is your warning to look away now.
I rolled a human (double-dagger rogue, my standby) and went with the default name because Evelyn is very much a name I would pick for a character.
Face isn't far off default either, though I did tweak some things and she doesn't look QUITE like the youtube girls.
Went in as Andrastean-by-default who didn't really believe in much, and was VERY uncomfortable with being called the Herald. If there really was an Andraste, claiming to speak for her would be wrong, and if there wasn't, letting people believe there was would also be wrong. On the other hand, she's a noble and understands the need for leadership, so she was willing to go along with it to a point, while questioning religious fanaticism and blind devotion at just about every step. She wasn't too keen on the Inquisitor title not because she rejected power, but because she was uncomfortable about setting up ANOTHER major religious power when Thedas has enough trouble with the Chantry and the Templars. After the attack on Haven, however, she was more than ready to take up the reins of power. It needed to be done, and she felt herself more capable than others of controlling the situation - and of being willing to shut the whole thing down when the job was done.
On a meta level I created a human because I intended to pursue Sera as my romance. This didn't quite work as planned. As a rogue herself, Evie appreciated the sneaky side of life and didn't mind taking fellow nobles down a peg, especially if they had it coming. On the other hand, Sera kept coming across as a shallow kid with no head for larger issues. Evie has a sense of humor, sure, but she is quite serious at heart, and sometimes mistrusted Sera's motives (worrying that she was only into having fun with no care of the consequences). They became friendly easily, but it wasn't clicking.
Evie and Cassandra started off with obvious antagonism, both because Cass thought she might be evil and because Evie did not approve of Seekers and fanatical religious types in general. Things quickly developed into a calmer mutual respect (Both being nobles who weren't quite what their families wanted, after all, and Cass being more open-minded than she first seemed). Evie admired Cass's strength. (On a meta-level I knew she was straight and never pushed hard enough to get the rejection scene, though I did pick a lot of flirt options when they seemed appropriate.) Even before the end of Act 1, they were on pretty good terms.
Cullen was someone Evie had little time for in Act 1. He seemed very busy drilling the troops and she had more interesting avenues to pursue. (Meta level, I incorrectly thought he was a 'chaste romance' and was even less interested.)
Solas, Evie found intriguing. She was very curious about all the magic shit going on and he seemed to have lots to talk about. She was always happy to hang out and listen to his opinion on things, and generally deferred to his judgment on anything to do with spirits or the fade. She trusted him. However, not being an elf, romance wasn't possible here.
Vivienne seems like a waste of a character (she never had much to say, other than vague comments about fashion) and isn't romanceable so eh. She's mostly only relevant because she was an example of a mage who behaved herself, which Evie appreciated, considering...
... that she sided with the mages and then spent In Hushed Whispers tearing her hair out and wanting to beat Fiona's head against the floor. YOU STUPID WOMAN LOOK WHAT YOU DID HOW COULD YOU SELL YOURSELVES TO BLOOD MAGE SLAVERS WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU I WAS DEFENDING YOU. I've heard that some people hated Fiona before the game (from the books) and felt sorry for her after this quest because she ruins her relationship with King Alistair and all. Nope! I didn't hate her before, but she's on my shitlist now. Largely because the game never really gave me the opportunity to chew her out as hard as I wanted to. Anything that happened to her was her own fault and she wasn't nearly sorry enough. By the end of the quest, Evie was pretty ticked off at the rebel mages. She doesn't hate all mages and certainly doesn't want them to be abused, but the rebels had, in her estimation, proved that they could not be trusted to make wise decisions on their own. So of course she conscripted them and agreed with Cullen and Cassandra that they needed to be watched. (This would have annoying consequences later.)
Hushed Whispers was also Dorian's introduction. Exciting stuff, and poor Evie did get a bit swoony over Dorian, who is quite charming and a huge flirt and gave her no reason to guess he wasn't serious, and they pretty much went through hell together during that quest. It was hard for her to trust a Tevinter, since she really did think they were all ridiculous villains at first, but the circumstances bonded her to him and gave her firm trust in him personally, after which she was curious and chatted a lot more about his homeland and problems.
Varric, Evie didn't have much to do with in Act 1. He was there, that's about it.
Iron Bull, Evie agreed to meet with but after he admitted to being a Qunari agent, she put him on the list of people never to be trusted. A useful ally, perhaps, but only as long as their interests were aligned, and certainly not someone to share secrets with. She was perfectly friendly with him, but would never take him along on anything important.
Josephine seemed pleasant but not very interesting. So much so that I almost forgot to list her here, adn can't remember ANYTHING she did during Act 1, or even where she was located. I kept desperately trying to talk to Leliana instead and getting brushed off a lot and feeling sad because I missed the friend I knew from previous games, who was obviously badly hurt by all that had happened... but of course Evie had none of that backstory and eventually it seemed like talking to Lelly was just annoying her so I had to stop.
So, leading up to In Your Heart Shall Burn, this is where I was. Plenty of people I liked hanging out with, some I gently tolerated, none that I had any real romantic inclinations for, and the people Evie was most interested in were the two that could never reciprocate. That would soon change.
(huge ramble should be broken up into multiple posts now!)