At the end of Dragon Age II, you see that Cassandra commands a small platoon of Seekers and is working with with Leliana. You also see that she was interrogating Varric inside of Hawke’s manor. (See the crest in the picture?)
Think about what Varric was feeling when he was retelling those whirlwind adventures, looking around the empty room where his best friend used to live, knowing that he probably won’t see Hawke, or any of the other companions ever again.
Maybe Varric thought about when he and Hawke would share some wine and tell stories from before their time Kirkwall, laughing at the various idiotic adventures that took place.
Or when Hawke would have everyone over for dinner, and Anders would always end up wrapping up his food, preserving it for his patients in Darktown, even though Hawke offered to give the rest of the dinner for them.
Or playing wicked grace there in front of the fireplace, and Isabela robbing all of them blind because of her witty retorts and the fact that none of them were cunning enough to catch her cheating.
Maybe he though about when he would sit in the library, penning tales while Fenris was bent over a book, Hawke beside him, guiding him as the elf struggled to read a simple line of script.
Maybe he remembered the time Merrill tore down the drapes and rushed outside to aid a cat who was about to give birth while Hawke just stared and chuckled a bit as the elf brought the feline inside.
Or when Aveline would come over and sit down with Hawke, giving updates on how everyone was doing, and what she was doing to keep them out of the Guards’ hair. But also being there for Hawke when any kind of sincere talking was necessary.
Think about how he might have tried to repress those memories, how painful it must have been to recount every adventure that Hawke went on, how it was almost insulting to be interrogated in the place where so much joy was wrought. To not know if Hawke or anyone else is alive.
I think about that sometimes, and I feel sorry for Varric.